I have had a difficult relationship with Shrine Mont. 10 years ago, when I first went there, I was a staunch vegetarian. They are really good at Southern cooking there. I was miserable. That first time, the only vegetarian options were salad greens and rolls. I was so hungry, I actually stopped at the first McDonald's I passed on the way home, and bought a FRIED CHICKEN SANDWICH, and ate it, crying a little from hungry and misery and not a little bit of horror at how far I'd fallen.
Over the years, I developed a truce with Shrine Mont. I'd bring a cooler full of rations, and agree to play nicely.
My, how things have changed.
This was the first year I did NOT have to dip into my own rations (which I still brought for safety's sake), and actually went away from dinner feeling full.
Granted, it is a little easier as I'm eating some meat right now. I feel really weird saying that I can't eat dairy, and while I felt OK saying I chose to be vegetarian, I'm afraid to claim that right now now because I don't want to be the prima donna. I suppose I could just say I've gone vegan, but I've found that if one has a food allergy, one needs to be very direct. I can't cloak it under "vegan" because A) it's not honest, and B) the chefs won't understand that I really *CAN'T* have dairy, and they might not know that they need to keep the dairy out to keep me safe.
It means I ate a LOT of meat. Wowsers.
For a decent workout, my best clergy friend and I walked to The Cross, a big cross build into a fire watch tower up the hill.
Eventually, she headed back down the short path for a nap. But I saw an inviting path and decided to walk the longer path down… Then I decided it looked fun enough to try and RUN!
I am reminded that I really like trail runs. I had a BLAST. I think the trails occupy my mind and body in a way that road running just doesn't. I'm constantly thinking about the best line to run or where to conserve energy for a burst up that next rise, or to watch out for the rocks. So my whole mental self gets consumed in the energy of the running.
This conference, which had a huge plenary session about reducing anxiety in our leadership styles, was actually making me acutely anxious. It was hard to leave Virginia 6 ½ years ago, and there is still someone here with whom I had a very poor ending to a relationship, and I have to admit that running into that person reactivated some of my trauma that I thought I'd put to bed.
I think running that trail consumed my energy so completely that I wasn't able to dwell on my frustration with that person, and instead helped me reprocess the trauma and grief and anger until I was my normal mellow self.
The funny thing is that I actually brought my running belt, but hadn't planned on THIS run (I just brought my gear figuring I should do A run sometime), so I had a small bag, a regular water bottle, and a shirt to carry- I felt a little silly running with all that stuff!
I'm following the Run the Edge program, which is set up like a game board. So instead of a plan with spreadsheets (which I do enjoy, often!), it's a program where you gain points before progressing to the next level. If you don't get enough points in a week, you stay at the level you are at until you get enough points. So you don't "Level Up" until your body is ready. I think it will help me free myself from feeling that I have to be going X fast because it's Week Z, and instead help me be more flexible. I'm hoping this helps me become a better and faster runner, overall.
As far as the healing goes… I've been feeling pretty good. I forgot my medicine when I went to Shrine Mont, and it is interesting to see how much of a difference it makes. It's interesting to remember what it was like to have strong recoveries and easy runs after a year of being so beat up that I'd almost forgotten what being healthy felt like.