Space Within These Lines Not Dedicated

Today as I was walking to the bank during my lunch break, I looked down at the ground and saw something unusual.

space within
"Space within these lines not dedicated"

 

Embedded in the sidewalk right next to South Philadelphia High School, this right-angle metal plaque jumped out and grabbed my attention. Since I was in a rush to get to the bank, I snapped a few photos and went on my way.

Later on, I pondered the meaning behind the plaque in the ground. After doing some research, the plaque's meaning is as literal as it seems. These markers are placed all over Philly sidewalks to declare that the spaces behind them are not part of the public sidewalk.

Upon further reflection, I realized the plaque described the current state of my relationship with running. After taking a much needed, two-month break from running after my Laurel Highlands DNF, I feel lost and out of touch with myself. I am definitely not dedicated to taking care of myself lately. I don't want to give myself a hard time for taking a break, but part of me still feels missing when I'm not running.  I feel listless, like a boat drifting at sea without a steering wheel.

I realized over the last two months that while running is not an absolutely necessary part of my life, it is essential to help me be the best version of myself. I am a better wife, daughter, sister, and friend when I am regularly running. It is the best form of stress relief and fulfills me in ways that nothing else can.  I suppose sometimes it's necessary to take a step back in order to see the intangible benefits of running, and that it IS really worth it.

Having said that, I've decided to dedicate myself once again to this crazy sport of ours by signing up for a short trail race, just steps away from my new (surburban!) home.  It's 6.55 miles which is perfect for my fall running and racing plans. And while I'm at it, my fall plans are:

  1. Run fun, short trail races (Less than half marathon)
  2. PR in the 5k

My new backyard (more on the new house soon) will be backed up to one of my favorite trail systems in Greater Philadelphia, Pennypack Park, and I am SO excited to run trails more than once a week. And since I've run two 5ks without training and placed in both races, I figured why not try to get better at a distance I've never trained for. Plus there will be more public track access for speedwork in the 'burbs as well.

I feel renewed and excited just writing about my return to running, but I'm starting off slow so I don't get injured. I've started this week with a couple of 3-4 mile runs and even those short runs feel rejuvenating.  And while I'm not looking to run any ultras anytime soon, I'm definitely not ruling them out for 2016.

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