Monday, October 27, 2008

Taking the Long Way

Well, I never seem to do it like anybody else
Maybe someday, someday I'm gonna settle down
If you ever want to find me I can still be found
Taking the long way
Taking the long way around
Taking the long way
Taking the long way around - The Dixie Chicks

My last long training run of this season was on Friday morning. After finishing the quick 6 miles around my longtime favorite course, I took the long way home and this song was playing.

I passed Duke's East Campus, home of the loop around which I'm sure I've gone hundreds of times this year. I drove up the hill on which I hammered out several weeks worth of hill repeats during the middle of the season. I drove through downtown and past the pool with the rising sunlight just beginning to reflect against the glass. I pulled into my driveway full of gratitude - for this experience, whatever the result is on Saturday.

Thank you to my husband - for emotionally, nutritionally, and financially supporting my crazy fun habit throughout the last two years of training; for putting up with 5 a.m. alarms, the 4 hours gone on Saturdays, and a perpetually tired wife; for keeping me balanced and focused on what's really important.

Thank to my sister Rachel - for teaching me how to swim and bike; for joining me on long runs and bike rides even when she wasn't training for anything in particular; for never ceasing humor; for being there for the first 25 yards, throughout first few hundred miles, and at the finish line -- this one and the many more to come in sport and life.

Thank you to my coach and yoga teacher Sage - for cultivating my inner athlete; for believing in me when I doubted myself; for teaching me to be flexible inside and out; for helping me connect it all.

Thank you to my Mom, Dad, sister Holly, Sage Endurance and Team Stayput teammates, other family members, coworkers, friends, - for joining me on the trail, on the road and in the pool; for asking about my training and for talking with me about things other than triathlon; for cheering me on over the phone, through email, and at my races; for generously supporting Genesis Home.

Thank you Genesis Home families - for keeping me real; for giving my training a larger purpose; for all of the lessons.

It's been a long season and an even longer two years of training since we started this Tri to End Homelessness campaign in January 2007. But, it's been a journey of self-discovery for which I will forever be grateful -- and if this is what it takes to live my very best life, I'll always choose the long way.

Five more days to go...