My personal life is a mess, my family life complicated, my work life is strife with all kinds of drama, but my running life has been comfortably boring because I haven't run a whole heck of a lot since the Mohican 50 miler just about a month ago. My longest weekend run was just 10 miles last Saturday with Debi and Bob before my first Match.com date, so I can't tell if I'm undertrained for the BT50K or maybe, just right, to have the best run of my life! I really can't tell. Physically, I feel good, but mentally, I'm feeling stressed, however, past experience has shown that I can have some of my best races when I'm feeling mentally unbalanced. A good long run is sometimes just what the Dr. ordered to iron out chaotic synaptic kinks. I take solace in running and being around runners. They're the only people I feel free to be me--until recently, that is.
Enter Maria--non runner. I've temporarily taken a break from the horror of Match.com to pursue, instead, my latest girl crush at the work cave. I'm a completely heterosexual woman, but too bad, cause I'd probably do better with the ladies. In an effort to figure out men, I've even checked out the next rendition of "Men are from Mars, Women from Venus," but it's going to sit on the shelf collecting fines while I get to know the exotic new creature in the work cave. I've never met a Maria, yet, I haven't liked--they're always vivacious. Have you ever known a boring Maria?
I just celebrated my 4 year anniversary in the work cave. Despite going full time in January, something kept me from shelling out the money to decorate my office. My boss complained: I told her my rich inner life more than made up for the bleakness of the walls, or I told her I didn't want to spend the money on it. Give me a budget, I said, and I'd go to town. Actually, deep inside, I've felt like I didn't belong, and therefore didn't feel the need to nest. I have casually strolled down the connecting corridors of the work cave, head up and shoulders back, like an empty repressed Avatar shell of my runner self these last four years and have yet to make a personal connection with anyone, other than my students. It's like during the week, the real me is left out on the trails, not to be picked up till the next long run. In the cave, I stay quiet, do my job, and emerge at days end back into the sun at at 4:30. I don't have this experience with runners. When I run, it's the real me, and the connections are many, rich, and something I wouldn't trade for the world. So, why are the connections so hard to breach when at work?
Than Maria, our new financial aid adviser. She's like a magnet. I look for excuses to go to her office. Her office is right down the hall from mine, across the waiting room. I can't resist stopping by. We giggle. We whisper and laugh like we're 16. She knows more about me in two weeks, and I about her, than any other human being I've worked with for the last 4 years. She says she is a good read of people, and I told her I'm a large print book, but so far, at work anyway, no one has bothered to pick up and read the book. I've been prone to girl crushes all my life..yet my last 4 girl crushes have all been with female runners. I thought running was the magic ingredient to precipitate something of substance. Yet Maria smokes and has beautiful curves. She doesn't run. I look at her and wonder if there's a runner trapped inside because she's just so freakin' cool. We're going shopping next week cause we're going to decorate my cave--make it less "cave-y".