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I had a vivid dream last night. I was in a race. It was in a school. My parents were on the sidelines (that’s how you know it was a dream; they were there for every basketball game growing up, but races simply aren’t as fun). And I was flying. So fast, in fact, that my legs were outstretched fully in front with every stride – like a whippet, whipping around the track. I couldn’t be stopped. I couldn’t slow down. And then I got confused. Where did one lap end and another begin? Was I still on the course, or had I gone astray. What a waste of speed! What a waste of a race! What a waste, what a waste, what a waste!

Though I’m pro-therapy, I don’t need a shrink to tell me that my dream had to do with feelings of anxiety. This is old news. Kittens on windowsills give me anxiety. Getting engaged gave me anxiety. Everything gives me anxiety.

Unsurprisingly, this also isn’t the first time that an anxiety has manifested itself in the form of a dream or, specifically, in the form of a race. If wasn’t failure but rather confusion, dizziness and a general sense of being lost.

It’s funny, because this week, after several pretty tough ones — between work and a bit of stress over having to run 10 miles during the Broad Street race — I feel pretty damn good. Working long hours? Sure. Running every morning? More or less, save for a few inclement says on Monday and Tuesday. Noah and I even took a 12 mile bike ride on Saturday that was just lovely. It was under tree canopies, near the river, and alongside other bikers, runners and sun worshipers. Life doesn’t get much better than that.

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I choose not to overthink these dreams, but nevertheless find it ironic that it came back so colorfully while in the midst of this morning’s run, as I raced (much more slowly, mind you) along the Schuylkill River. Monday marked our one year anniversary since moving to Philadelphia, which means I’ve now been exploring this territory for an entire year. I may not be fast, but time sure does fly.

Screen Shot 2015-06-03 at 9.32.23 AMWednesday’s run was cool and crisp — much more early fall than late spring, with giant drops of last night’s rain falling down upon me from up above in the trees. It was perfect, albeit sluggish. I started in a sweatshirt and wound up in short sleeves, thinking about nothing and everything, planning my day, plotting my night, and contemplating the future. Who needs therapists when you have an hour of that, daily. Running may just be the greatest anxiety killer of them all.

Curious: Do you ever have weird running dreams that have nothing to do with running at all? 

8 Miles, Spring Blossoms, and Reflections

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Aside from being crazed on the professional front, the last few weeks were filled with a lot of milestones, all of them good. Let’s start with the running, given that this is a running blog and all.

Not long ago, I mentioned that I’d be running my very first race since moving to Philadelphia: the 10 mile Broad Street Run. I’ve heard there are a number of factors that make it a Philly “must,” from the roaring crowds to the largely downhill course.

Yet, while I’m excited to participate (albeit, less excited about waking up for an 8am start), committing to 10 miles also means committing to long-ish training runs. Could I cross the finish line without it? I mean… probably, yes. I logged 31 miles just a couple of weeks ago, so if I cut back on the week of the race, I can’t imagine I’d DNF. With that said though, I’ve never been one to half-ass anything. I may not be going for gold here, but what’s the point of signing up if I’m not going to give it my all?

So, on Saturday, I dedicated the first part of my morning to a lovely, sunny, and slightly too windy 8 miles.

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The morning itself was out of a movie. There were rowers out on the water; runners of all levels; and it seemed all of Philly had come out to spruce up the Schuylkill River trail.

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I had gone into the run accepting that the last 3 miles would be a push, as it had been a couple of months since I’d run more than 5. To my surprise, they were as easy as the first. In fact, dare I say, I could have gone a handful more.

Fortunately, I didn’t. My body, at that moment, felt fine to continue on, but if I’ve learned anything in my seven years of running it’s that the post-run recovery is often half the battle. After doing a bunch of errands and crossing things off the ol’ to-do, I got in bed at 4:00 and passed out until dinner. I woke up dehydrated from there, and then my dinner–relatively plain fish tacos–didn’t sit very well. Though of course, that could have been the two ginger margaritas that washed it all down.

On Sunday morning, I thought I’d skip my run and instead go to a new barre class near my apartment that I recently discovered and happen to love. I was powerless to Mother Nature though. Thinking with my heart, not my brain, I set out for a run.

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With Noah by my side, we kept it short; he’s still recovering from a marathon-induced knee injury and, having just finished PT, is limiting himself to 3 miles. In typical Stacy fashion, we picked a destination and ended our morning in the Italian market, picking up fresh mozzarella and homemade squid ink linguini to cook back at home.

Fortunately, beach season is still a few months away.

Anyway, spring has definitely arrived, and with it, has brought Noah’s and my first wedding anniversary. To be honest, we’ve never been one to celebrate lovey  occasions. In fact, if you promised me a million dollars if I could pinpoint our very first date, I still couldn’t figure it out.

Something about year one though, I found to be kind of special. In the week leading up to it, I became especially nostalgic — the week, and being surrounded by our closest family and friends in Brooklyn, was incredibly special. For a moment, I wanted to go back.

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Of course, we’ve moved forward–and quite a ways–since we said our vows. Now that spring’s here, I’m looking forward to happy races, spring blossoms, and a positive outlook for the future.

What are you looking forward to this spring? Do you have any races you’re currently training for?