Well, it was quite a weekend.
Actually, it started last Wednesday evening, when the power went out as a result of the massive ice storm that swept across Michigan. And even worse – the Internet went down!
With the help of a generator I was able to continue the vital functions needed to sustain life, like making coffee, and pack for our South Carolina trip that weekend. And then, half an hour on our way, I realized I had left my computer behind. Which meant I’d be out of touch with work, and couldn’t edit my novel or write a blog post. But with another six hours to drive just to get to our first destination, I did not feel like adding another by turning around for it.
So I made an executive decision. For this trip, I would liberate myself from my laptop. I would not diligently peruse my emails, or do research for my novel, or spend any time on social media. And from my training plan, too. With our travel schedule compressed and long drives each day, I would not strive to do any running. This weekend I would relax, get lots of sleep, and otherwise enjoy myself.
For, after all, our trip was to visit my Aunt Micki, who turned 100 this weekend, and her son, my cousin Phil, was hosting a party for her. Her extended family came from all over the U.S. and even Germany, to see her, eat cake, and catch up with everyone else. I saw people there I hadn’t seen in nearly 40 years, and many for the first time. That was pretty special.
Now for some perspective. In 1923, when my aunt was born, the first general-purpose digital computer was 22 years in the future, and it would take up a huge room and use vacuum tubes to do the number crunching. Today’s smartphones are orders of magnitude more powerful. And she was in her seventies when the Internet arrived, something kids today have never been without. She married my uncle during WWII (he survived the war), they raised four kids, and were together 77 years, until he passed at age 95. That’s a pretty full life, if you ask me. And most of it without a computer.
And running? Back then, most people considered the marathon to be the limit of human endurance, and women weren’t allowed to compete in most of them. Last year, it’s estimated that over one million people, of all genders, completed one. And in many of the trail ultras I run, a marathon isn’t even the halfway mark. (I’m not sure which generation is wiser.)
So how did my weekend go? Great. Didn’t miss my computer one bit. And while I suppose I should feel at least a little guilty about abandoning training for a few days, I don’t. I mean, heck, if I’m going to match my aunt, that’s at least another 39 years, so I think I can make up for it.