I ran my first 10k yesterday in the annual Sea Dog Dash for Independence in Brunswick, Maine. It was a cool and rainy morning—perfect for staying comfortable on a long run. My aim was to maintain something under 8:30 minutes per mile. For the first time, I raced with a gps watch, the Garmin Forerunner 10. I don’t see myself becoming an obsessive time/pace keeper, which I fear would distract from some of the joys of losing myself in running, but I am enjoying the gps function as a source of information. During the race, if I felt I was slowing down or going out too strong, I could have a quick look and adjust my pace as needed. I felt pretty comfortable with the 1oK, until the last mile, at which point I was whooped. I had to will my legs to keep up the rhythm to the finish. In the final stretch, I was passed by a guy I’d overtaken around mile 5. He clearly had a fan base, as he passed me to wild cheering from the crowd! I came in 27th out of 117 overall and 5th in my age group (40-49). I ran a 50:43, averaging 8:11s. It feels like I’m entering new running territory, and I’m excited to see what happens when I return to the weekly Back Cove 5K series this Wednesday.
Today I’ll loosen up with one of my favorite runs—a stunning run which leads through the woods to the ocean and back: Morse Mountain in Phippsburg. When I started running a few years ago, it was this hilly, 4 mile run that helped me realize that I was living according to false ideas about my physical abilities. I recall explaining that I could never jog more than 3 miles because of damage done to my knees as an athlete in high school. No doubt I have other such invented beliefs that hold me back, in running and elsewhere, and I’m on the lookout for them!
Continuing the theme of Firsts, I’ve also just concluded a two-person exhibit with John Jennison at Aucocisco Galleries.
The turnout for the show, part of the gallery’s Double Dozen series, was fabulous, and I had the opportunity, over the stretch of 3 days of gallery gatherings, to hear others’ thoughts on the work and to express what the work means to me. I had amazing conversations about the lure of the natural/animal world, the disheartening degradation of the environment, about my strategies for using narrative in my paintings, and I was able to discuss my interest combining representation (bird stacks and animals floating in space) with abstraction (earth, water, and other elements contained in cubes and rectangles). I feel inspired by the whole experience. Not to be reductive about my own work, but the abundance of dialogue about it was an opportunity to be concise, at least temporarily. This week I begin my collaboration with the Maine Farmland Trust, in which I’ll be combining my running and drawing work. More on that soon!
Love the paintings. Would like to hear more about them (without being reductionist!). Morse Mountain … The only thing that comes to mind when I think of it is black flies, which is a very good incentive to run. I had bad knees in college (on crutches a lot) but years of working out regularly with weight, stretching, etc., has made them strong. For me, and running, it’s my back. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. 😉