Anniversaries are on my mind. Fifteen years ago today, I trekked up Fifth Avenue, away from the rubble of the Twin Towers, to reunite with my roommates in Hells Kitchen. I will never forget those crystal blue skies. It was Election Day in New York.
Two weeks from tomorrow, I will celebrate my 10th anniversary at Ropes & Gray. T.S. Eliot wrote, “I have measured out my life with coffee spoons.” I have measured out mine in quarter hours, the standard billing increment at law firms around the world. Despite the painful cataloging of my time, the days and years have sped by because I love what I do with people I love.
This year also marks a running milestone. The weekend after the bar exam in July 2006, I ran my first half marathon through the hills of San Francisco. In the Bay Area this past week for work and to celebrate my brother’s 40th birthday, I remembered my first 13.1 with pride. I also recalled finishing the half and watching the marathoners soldier on, wondering how their bodies could cover that distance a second time.
I’m writing this post while flying home to Boston. It is a sunny Sunday across America. Over my left shoulder, I see the places I grew up– the Rockies, the Windy City, and the Indiana Sand Dunes. I have measured out my life with hikes through the aspens. I have measured out my life with Lake Michigan summers. I have measured out my life with school years completed, walks with Chloe, meals shared with friends, tears of laughter, sorrow, and regret, sermons that stir my soul, good days and bad, accomplishments and mistakes.
And, yes, I have measured out my life with miles under my sneakers. My last blog post was the morning of the Boston Marathon. I had decided not to run. My training hadn’t felt good, and I loathed poisoning a race I love so much with what I knew would be a painful slog. For much of the late spring and early summer, I thought I was mentally ready and continued to bike and swim to keep my fitness up. But every run felt like a battle. For the first time in my life, running had become a drag. Other than a birthday run, I pretty much went cold turkey until mid-August.
Since then, I’ve been slowly ramping up. I can feel that I’m getting my sea (road) legs back. How much I’ve missed it. I’ve missed Becca and our weekend runs together. I’ve missed the sense of accomplishment and deep sleep that comes from hard workouts. I’ve missed the routine of planning my days, nights and meals around my runs. And I’ve missed the time with my thoughts, the quiet time to reflect on all that has happened since the Twin Towers fell, since my first half marathon, since my days as a baby lawyer. I’m not far enough along to be confident I still have another marathon in me, but I committed to Becca I’d run another half late this fall. Gulp. My PR days seem gone, but maybe my goal will be to beat my 28-year-old self’s time. I liked that girl an awful lot. But I like this road-seasoned one even better.