Falling for Running

I began running in the summer of 2011. I’d been a competitive cross-country skier in high school, and I realized that at age 46, it was time to see if my body could still be pushed. I’d jogged, skied, and hiked over the years, but running wasn’t really on my map. I didn’t believe I could run more than an easy 3 miles without getting knee pain, so I never considered taking it on. Last summer, inspired by enthusiastic friends, I decided to give it a shot. I built up slowly, running 5 or 6 times each week; after 8 weeks, I was shocked to realize that I was enjoying myself! I ran my first road race in Portland’s Annual Thanksgiving Day 4-Miler, coming in 846th overall with a 36:58. I was handily outrun by a pilgrim, among 846 other runners, but I was elated. The race was painful, unpleasant, and totally addictive. By my next race, Jimmy the Greek’s Frozen 4-Miler, I had taken a few minutes off my time, coming in with a 34:00 and just beating a runner dressed in purple streamers. Progress.

Why Write a Blog?

A few weeks ago, in the airspace between Detroit and Portland, I had an epiphany. I was on my way home from a professional conference, feeling blue with the realization that I’d developed a case of identity tunnel vision. My self worth had gotten bound up in collecting success chips. I’d somehow become so fixated on my progress as an artist and professor that I’d temporarily forgotten to trust my gut and let the experiences that light me up lead the way. Soaring at dusk between two layers of luminous clouds, I realized that running had permeated my imagination. It looks like this: I mull over past and future running adventures. I think about how to train, where to go, what gear to wear, and how to gather a posse. Anyone who runs knows that running is storytelling. I’ve decided to share some of my own tales–mostly about running, but as I’ve come to see, running doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Running will be the lens for this blog, and the stories will lead the way from there.

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About lucindasrunningblog

Lucinda is an artist and teacher whose work focused on landscape and place. Bliss currently serves as Dean of Graduate Studies at the New Hampshire Institute of Art.
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4 Responses to Falling for Running

  1. Rick says:

    Look forward to reading about your ups, downs, discoveries, and enlightenments.
    And can’t wait to read your accounts of your first “wicked” long run!
    See you at the races!!!

  2. I believe I can blame you, or thank you, for planting the seed of this obsession! And for pacing my first 8 minute mile 5K to the second.

  3. gee vine says:

    lucy bliss sounds like a beautifully wrought poem featuring redundancy….lucy means bliss —bliss means lucy—
    anyway, dearest lucinda…wow…whata generous blogstore—and now for my favorite moment. ”my painting is a narrative…” and that narrative quality is why i am drawn to it. As a writerly guy i needed to see you and found this bliss stuff quite by accident. I’m currently looking for a title to a narrative and i’m now thinking that A PRECARIOUS BALANCE has the sensibility i need to work on.
    i started out looking for essays on minnesota eagles.in my story which begins in 1961 in northern Minn. a third grade girl is daydreaming and looking out the classroom windows, watching a small drama unfold just beyond the playground between a teenage girl and boy in a letterman’s jacket. ‘i’ve cried at least once a day ever since’ she will say later in the narrative. she has seen the girl turn her back and walk away from the boy—who in a blink, is then transformed into a large eagle and flies off, heading away from her view and from the teenage girl —who having turned around is surprised: the boy has disappeared—but, how?
    the rest of the story A PRECARIOUS BALANCE refers to her life, post ‘seeing the impossible transformation’, the movement of a new species into new territory,[there are many obstacles to overcome….’bottlenecks’ is the word geneticists use. the population of eagles, incidently, since 1963, has grown to the point they are no longer on the endangered list.] and to the so called ‘golden ratio’ which is one of the ways astronomers refer to the fact of our being in a universe where a change of a trillionth to the tenth power in the structure of our universe would make our universe extinct.
    Also, since i am a fan of Sara Steele’s water colors—i am well aware now of your creating a special ‘narrative in watercolors.’
    thank you Lucinda for your beautiful work.

    I am Vince [oxpoet] in SantaBarbara

  4. gee vine says:

    i meant to say ‘alliance’ and instead wrote ‘balance’…oh well.

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