Back in the 2012 – 2013 school year, I took a year off. Various reasons led me to the decision to take a year off. Many things have come out of that year (well it was really 14 months). I spent a good portion of the year tearing down my old cottage and building a new one. I did it pretty much by myself. It seemed very unlikely that I had much of a chance to get this done. I would most likely find myself in a predicament with a half finished cottage with perhaps only part of a roof and no floor come the snows of Christmas . My best friend, Tim, just shook his head in mid september as we unloaded the last of my stuff from the moving van. He looked at the old rundown cottage and said ” I wouldn’t want to be you”. It was late in the year already and nights would be cold soon and days getting shorter. It was a year of tearing down and rebuilding in many ways. It also was a year of hardly any racing. I didn’t really race from September until Around the Bay in March. What I did do is run the sand dunes at my cottage every day, fall and winter. Long long runs of 20 K or more up and down the huge dunes which are found in the place most special in my heart, Sandbanks Provincial Park. I will upload some pictures soon. The dunes rise over hundred feet and are daunting to run up. In winter when the sand is frozen they can be near impossible. I found the solitude wonderful. I walked Maddie and ran the dunes. 8 or 10 hours of building each day and a 90 minute expedition through the sand was rebuilding me into the kind of runner and person I once was. There is a lot more to this story, as there is with many of the posts I put here. I will get into this deeper at some point I am sure. When I get asked, and I do get asked, how 1:15 halfs became 1:13 halfs and how I am getting faster even as I age, I know it was because I had tear myself down, take a break from racing and rebuild. As one of my favourite songs ( Call and Answer by the Barenaked Ladies) goes on, though completely out of context, ” Now you have come back here to rebuild, rebuild, rebuild rebuild…..” It was only through this year of hard work on myself that I am here. I am ready for the long run. I am happy. Sometimes you can take some time to rebuild yourself even if it is late in the year or even if it is late in your life.
Cheers and good luck in this final Boston week. It is a time to rest and Rebuild