I've been doing nothing but short runs in recent months, so the appalling lack of content on my iPod has been a moot point. If I'm only going out for a mile or two, I don't really need the earphones in and tunes or an audio book or podcast chattering at me. Of course, every time it would occur to me to grab it, I'd discover the iPod was out of juice. Then, too, it happens to be linked with the iTunes library on my desktop. Which has been inoperable for the past 3 months on account of my monitor dying. I did eventually replace it. I just haven't bothered to hook the new one up yet. Yes, my life is a sad testament to the power of procrastination.
Anyway, in anticipation of eventually stretching out to longer runs, I've been wanting to download some podcasts for my listening enjoyment while I endure the torture. And rather than be bothered with the whole hooking-up-of-the-monitor and charging-of-the-iPod thing, I finally opted to download them to my iPhone. I run with it much of the time anyway so I can use my RunKeeper app. Which tracks all manner of exercise activity, including running, biking and swimming. But, strangely, not napping.
I've several politically-oriented podcasts to which I regularly listen, so I subscribed to those. And then I also, with a bit of searching, managed to locate and subscribe to podcasts from my church. Which I love to go to, but somehow rarely seem to do. The two things you never talk about at the dinner table? I'm all about 'em both. They're music to my ears and inspiration to my sorry feet.
So, iPhone suitably stocked, I resolved to get in a good work out tonight. I've struggled to stick to my running schedule (not surprisingly.) Socializing, sleep-deprivation, and cruddy weather have conspired to knock me off it. But tonight, I knew I'd have a golden opportunity: Riley has acting class from 5:30 to 7:00, right by the "Y". That would give me well over an hour to get a good run in and maybe.....a swim! I honestly cannot tell you the last time I swam (for training purposes, as opposed to fun). It was sometime early last summer (i.e., 2010) I think. I wasn't even sure I could locate a usable pair of goggles -- ultimately, I settled for the scratched up pair Riley used all this past summer.
After depositing her at her class, I hustled over to the "Y," and snagged a treadmill for my run. I figured I could manage a solid two miles. And I had podcasts! I opted for some religion tonight, and so pressed play to this past week's sermon: http://www.wcrossing.org/rss.aspx?c=1&f=1 Though I've not made it all the way through it, yet, you can imagine my surprise when, about 15 minutes in, the pastor, referencing a passage from Hebrews, began speaking of "the race that is marked out for us." What lies before us - is not a 40 yard dash, it's a marathon. And it's easy to lose focus and be hindered by the every day worries that litter our path.
Fitting that. In so very many ways. They don't happen all that often, but I love the grace of those moments. They do serve me well -- as both guidance and inspiration. Though I'd have gladly stepped off the treadmill at 1.25, I kept my focus and pushed on to the full 2. And, though, I approached my swim with some apprehension, not sure if I could manage even 4 laps, it seemed to me that 24 would be a nice, solid reintroduction to what is, in truth, my favorite part of training. Though it is challenging and tiring, there is something so peaceful and even rejuvenating about propelling your body steadily and rhythmically through the water. You're alone with your thoughts and uniquely able to focus.
And so, while I initially gave some thought to stopping at 18 laps, I stretched it out to the full 24. Just a little over a third of a mile, completed in roughly 18 minutes. No speed record there, but it was a good solid swim and I was pretty pleased with it.
And no, unlike some of my far more dedicated friends, I'll not be running a marathon anytime in the near future. But then again, I'm running one every day. We all are.