Hey, how about I just take a week off from posting? Oh wait, I just did that. Huh. What do you know.
The thing is, I have these posts kind of working their way through my brain, but they are all Big Deep Thought kind of posts, not the sort of thing I can just dash off in the 20 minutes or so I usually have for blogging. So the posts remain unwritten, the topics jotted on a piece of notepaper right next to my lappy where I can look at them every day and feel vaguely guilty.
Anyway, none of those posts are going to be written tonight, either. Tonight I'm going to write abut something that has nothing whatsoever to do with motherhood.
I went out to a "Moms' Night Out" last night at a pub with a couple women I've met at various mom groups. We had a FANTASTIC time. However, we found it nearly impossible to talk about anything other than our babies. Every time we started a conversation on another topic ("What do you do?") it quickly devolved ("It was a great job to have when I was pregnant because I wasn't on my feet"). As a result, I still know very little about these women other than the fact that they are mommies. I know many, many little facts about their kids - birth weight, birth stories, whether he/she had colic, sleep habits, eating habits, and so on - but it's hard to get to know the woman behind the mother.
So I think once a week I will try to post something *not* relating to Gwen or motherhood. Which is sort of the opposite of what I had in mind with "Blogging for Two", but too bad. I'll try it out and see how it works. Anyway, I hope you enjoyed that incredibly wordy introduction, because NOW I'm going to start the post proper.
Today, I walked 16 kilometres!
You see, in 2005 I walked a marathon. That was awesome. Last year I decided that I wanted to walk the half-marathon at the Royal Victoria Marathon, which happens to be next weekend. I wanted to think about something, plan something, have a goal that wasn't all about the pregnancy/the baby/impending motherhood. So I registered for the event, and for the past few months I've been training in earnest.
Sundays are the days when the training schedule prescribes a long walk. And 16km is definitely a long walk - it took me 3.5 hours, made even longer and more monotonous by the fact that my mp3 player died about half an hour after I started (boo!). I reminisced on the fact that in 2005 when I went to Rome for my first marathon, my mp3 player (which had cost me over $100) was one of the most valuable things I had, and I was terrified of losing it. Nowadays, with iPods and nanos and so on, my silly little mp3 player is gruesomely obsolete, and probably worth about 50cents, yet I keep using it. I'm either cheap, or stubborn, or woefully ignorant about new technology ... or all three.
So I walked on, music-less, thinking about all manner of things, and thinking sometimes about nothing at all. I was walking around Westwood Lake, a local lake that is 6km in perimeter. There was obviously a storm there in the last couple of days, because there was a lot of debris on the ground, and even a tree across the path at one point. For the most part, though, the path was carpeted with richly coloured leaves and foliage: reds, oranges, green, deep browns. You could hardly even see the dirt beneath.
Even though today was a gloomy, gray day, the lake trail was quite busy. I probably greeted over a hundred people on my journey. Some had kids, some had strollers, some had dogs, some had bikes. Some were couples, some were families, some were lone joggers panting so hard they could barely return my "good morning". Almost all were faster than I was, and I tried not to care about that.
The lake was still and silent, but for a few fishermen in boats floating on the surface. I also spotted a duck and a few Canadian geese. I've seen heron there before, but not today.
I did a lot of training at this lake for my first marathon, and I've done a fair bit there this time around as well. I've walked there with many friends, and I reflected on those walks and the conversations I'd had. Edd and Mogg; Mike and Zoe; Lisa and Janice; even Chris, a few rare times. I also thought about the future, about how I want physical exercise to be a habit for my daughter (see how hard it is to leave her entirely out of the equation?). I thought about creating a Sunday routine where we would go to church, then out for a walk.
Today was my last long training walk. The half-marathon is next Sunday, and between now and then I have only short walks (30 minutes or less). It's likely I will not be back to the lake until next Spring. Knowing this kept me motivated to complete the walk, despite boredom and a growing fatigue. "It's my last lake walk, I might as well complete it." The scenery looked so dull to me, as I've seen it so many times, but I tried to see it with new eyes, to imagine how I would describe it here, and to remember it through the winter.
The race, as I said, is next Sunday. I'll be walking 21km, and I will have a time limit of six hours to do so. I'll also have my friend Lisa by my side to keep me company and stave off the boredom. And after the race, I get to have Thanksgiving dinner with my best friend and his family - a fitting reward. One week from tonight, I'll be stuffing my face with delicious food and bragging about my shiny new medal. Wish me luck!