These past two weeks have been some for the books. Saying goodbye to security and hello to a mysterious new path. Thursday (9/1) was my last day at my job as a software consultant. I handed over my work laptop at 4:30PM and realized how quickly you can swap one path for another. In a matter of minutes all of the stressors associated with employment (deadlines, meetings, tough conversations etc.) were gone. I realized that for the first time in a long time, there was not a detailed path ahead of me. I had some ideas of what would unfold in the next week or two, but after that there is a lot of unknown. This is somewhat scary, but also exciting. An unpaved path is ahead of me and it feels like anything is possible. I left my office for the last time, took my local metro bus to my apartment and carried on, cause thats what you do.
Knowing I would be too jet lagged that weekend, I planned my long run for Friday morning (9/2), 12 hours before my flight to Munich. This 19 mile sweat fest consisted of 2 easy paced miles, 12 marathon paced miles, and then 5 easy paced miles to finish it off. For those new to running, you need to vary your speed and distance during training. Easy paced just means that you are running only as fast as you can still comfortably hold a conversation, you shouldn’t be huffing and puffing. Marathon pace is the average mile time based off your goal finishing time. To be completely honest, I have no idea what my MP should really be. My umbrella goal is to be under 4 hours at the Munich Marathon, which is a 9:09 pace per mile. Depending on how much pain I feel like enduring and persistence I have on race day, I think my secret goal (not so secret anymore) is to be right around 3:45 and that breaks down to an 8:35 pace. Disclaimer: I learned all of this from other runners and Runner’s High Club (the best training group in Houston!).
The logistics were crazy and fun! I started off with my friend Heather at 4:30AM. 7 miles later we planned our route to run into our usual run group, which meets at 5:30AM at Memorial Park. After 7 miles with/around the group we ran back to her house and I ran the remaining 5 miles on my own doing an out and back into the Heights. The last 5 miles were the hardest because in my head I had built up these miles as “no big deal,” they were only easy paced speed after all! Then you realize how far away you are from home when you get to 2.5 miles and turn around. I made it back to Heather’s house, knowing she would be gone, but I was planning to stop inside to get some water and my car keys. Walking up to the door I see the following:
NOTHING is better than some gatorade and chocolate milk after a run. Thanks Heather, you rock!
Next up was finishing up any last minute things in the USA and going to the airport, thanks Mom! Despite all the running from the morning and free wine on United, I did not sleep much on the turbulent plane ride. A long 10ish hours later I arrived in Munich, Germany on Saturday morning (9/3). My boyfriend, Patrick, was waiting for me at the airport and we spent the day walking around Munich, eating pretzels, drinking helles, and jumping in side streams of the river Isar in the Englischer Garten.
We played SpikeBall in the park and Patrick cooked dinner while I inevitably fell asleep on the couch.
On Sunday (9/4), we went for a short run around the Englischer Garten to shake out our legs from our long runs that weekend. Munich is a beautiful city to run around! We headed to the airport one more time to meet two of Patrick’s longtime friends who were visiting from Austin/Pittsburg. All four of us were heading out on a week trip to Rome, Bari, and Berlin starting on Monday (9/5).
Looking back at that that last bit of time in America and the first couple of days in Munich, I realized the adventure is on-going. I had imagined the adventure would begin when I met up with Patrick at the airport and started exploring Munich. I had been counting down to that moment for weeks! Looking back though, the adventure was definitely alive when I had my long run that Friday morning and prior to that when I met up with all of my friends and family to do goodbye-dinners. The countdown to anything exciting is pointless if you overlook the time in between. An adventurous life doesn’t always mean traveling the world or making drastic moves. The adventure started yesterday and is always available in the present. Let’s find it.