I'm not sure if my Twitter feed shows it or not, (I think the Nike+ software/site upgrade messed with that) but I've been running lots of miles the past week or so. I think last week was 36, and this week looks to be creeping close to 40 when it's all said and done.
There's two reasons for that.
One, I'm at the point in my Marathon training where the mileage starts to ramp up - and two would be the fact that right now, running is what's keeping me sane.
There's been some stuff going on with my parent's health that has made life a bit of a chaotic jumble lately. It's manageable, but at times it's a bit overwhelming and organization is critical.
Of all the bouncing back and forth from hospital, home, work, and my parent's place, having that morning run - that time of the day when it's just me, my shoes, and my thoughts means more than ever.
Knowing that no matter what - whatever prognosis, whatever comes up, the pressures of work or the schedule juggling at home - tomorrow at 5:30 am, there's a run waiting for me.
4 miles, 6 miles, intervals, hills, and the always-loved Long Run - those aren't just numbers on a program - they're my salvation.
I can sweat away my frustrations and clear my head for organizing what the day will bring. I can finish the run with a stretch, a shower, and a coffee - and believe me, the day looks infinitely more manageable when your view is from the right side of the coffee mug.
After I get off work today, I'm heading to the hospital, then out to check on my Dad, and then eventually to home.
When I get there, I'm going to come through the front door and see my shoes, sitting where they always are, ready for tomorrow's run.
And that's when I know everything's going to be okay.