Well, here I sit. It's kind of late, and there is nothing on TV - well, the six channels we have. I have nothing to do but contemplate life, and I am loving it. I wasn't going to write anything today, but since it's just me in a quiet, sleepy house, what the heck.
So, what am I thinking about tonight? Well, mainly how normal keeps redefining itself. About how things that I once must have thought were odd suddenly seem like they belong.
One of the biggest examples of redefining normal, of course, is having kids. Anyone who has seen the Johnson & Johnson commercials of old knows that having kids changes everything. Whether those changes are good or bad, I will not argue here. What is true, though, is that once one goes through that "change," that redefinition of life as we know it becomes the norm. Was there a time when I could actually use the bathroom without intrusion and angry shouts of "he said, she did?" I dunno, I don't remember. See? It now actually seems normal to have to referee fights from a shower. Who knew?
Now, this redefinition of normal is creeping over into my running life - once again. Did the idea of running 20 miles for no real good reason - other than to say I could - seem "odd" once? Yes, of course. But with two marathons under my belt (and 20 of Hubby's), I adapted and now that seems normal.
Somehow, though, Hubby, a.k.a. Distance Dude, has brought a redefinition of normal into our space yet again. He is gearing up to go on a 35-mile training run tomorrow. Thirty-five miles,... that's 3-5, people. It still boggles my mind. I mean, that is nine miles longer than my longest GOAL distance to date - and it is a training run. The strangest thing about it to me is that he thinks this is completely normal and makes sense. Even stranger than that, though, is that I think it is normal, too. We should probably both have our heads examined.
On a personal scale (which is much smaller than Hubby's), my running life seems to be redefining itself, too. Prior to a few months ago, running a 5K or 10K race somewhere between a 9- and 10-minute-per-mile pace was amazing to me. Running a group run longer than four miles and being able to hang with the group the whole time was cause for wild celebration. Suddenly, though, with the turn of one 5-mile race - where I managed to maintain an 8:41 pace for the whole race, normal was redefined. I thought it was a fluke, but the past month and a half have shown me it is not. I am now regularly racing in that range. Group runs are not as much of a struggle as they once were either.
Normal is being redefined.
Today I had the best impromptu group run ever, I think. I wasn't even planning on running with a group, but the opportunity presented itself and I grabbed it. I ended up doing 6.4 miles - of hills, no less - in 1:03. That works out to an average pace of 9:49 - with my LAST MILE being the fastest at 8:59. And, there was a lot of walking in there, so I know the running wasn't slow. In fact, as long as I was moving forward, I kept the watch going.
So, there is a new normal in town; a plateau has been busted. I don't know that I can really explain why this is happening now, of all times, after having been running for eleven years regularly and when I am coming off of an injury that has really confounded me.
But I'll take it. I'll enjoy it. I'll revel in it. Until a new normal - faster or slower, longer or shorter - is defined.
Have you had a new normal defined for you lately? Please share!