Growing Up, and Apart.

Four years ago at this time I was dancing to the best cover band in Cleveland, wearing a long white dress and forgetting to eat dinner (even though I swore I wouldn’t), surrounded by my closest friends and family.

Tonight I’m sitting in the Bend riverfront apartment my husband and I planned to live out the next chapter of our lives in, wearing a backwards hat and no pants, still slightly hungover from last night’s therapeutic consumption, alone. I did remember to eat dinner this time, at least.

There won’t be any anniversary celebrations, nostalgic trips down memory lane, or jokes about “that time we got dressed up and threw a really awesome, really expensive party!” like the past few years. Instead I spent the day tying up loose ends (updating insurance policies, splitting joint accounts, boxing up little mementos from the “Sarah and Brian” era) and signing a new lease for a new apartment, one that’s just mine.

It’s easy to see now that we were both too busy growing up to realize we were growing apart. Slowly, starting whoever-knows-how-long-ago, we stopped being lovers and started being people who just loved each other. That might sound stupid, but it’s the best way to explain it. It was so gradual neither of us saw it happening, and by the time we realized how far we’d drifted from each other we were (figuratively and literally) hundreds of miles away. It was somehow an equally anti-climactic and tragic ending.

Even though we mutually and amicably decided to end our marriage, it’s still been a roller coaster of emotions, even for someone who’s alarmingly vacant in the feelings department. Loss, anger, betrayal, inconvenience, relief… all have come and gone in various forms and in a wide range of severity. But the hardest part has been finding a balance between appreciating the 10 years of memories and wanting to erase everything and start over. I suspect I’ll battle with that for a long time, and that a lot of things will forever remain bittersweet.

The move to Oregon afforded a clean break and a fresh start, and for that I’m really grateful. Going through a breakup without bumping into mutual friends, having to avoid old haunts, or worrying what’s spreading through the gossip mill makes this process infinitely easier. Most people here don’t know this past chapter from my story, and they don’t have to if I don’t want them to.

It’s been six months since Brian left. I’m very clearly still working through some things, including learning how to live a life that’s solely mine.

I’m really excited to see what that turns out to be.

IMG_1092

“You can’t change the fruit without changing the root.” – Stephen R. Covey

A lot has changed around here. Actually, “a lot” might be an understatement. Some I’ve wanted to share, some I haven’t, and somewhere in that limbo I decided on complete radio silence here. Despite that, I’ve actually opened up and been much more forthcoming with my feelings in the last few months, both to myself and others. It’s been a scarily vulnerable, but massively worthwhile process for someone who’s either bottled everything up or had the security of planning, proofreading, editing, and delivering my thoughts through the safety of a computer screen. Handing someone your rawest thoughts with your bare hands while they look you in the eyes is just a wee bit different than through their inbox.

But something I have always been comfortable sharing with the internet is running. (Also because talking for 15 minutes about a 40 minute trail run is a bit of a snoozer bar story.) Even the incredulous misadventures and embarrassing tales have found their unashamed way into the world through OUaL, and I’m ready to open that door again. For humor and connection, creative liberty and therapeutic keyboard banging. There are an insane amount of parallels in running and in life, and maybe you’ll find something between the lines that’s more meaningful to you than mile splits and trail poops.

I definitely have.

Saturday I ran my first 25k, a real life rough-and-tumble trail race. It was equal parts painfully incredible and incredibly painful, and I had the most fun I have in a long time with a number pinned to my shirt shorts. Working on a race recap now, promise not to make you wait too long.

(^ relative, in Sarah posting time)

Until then, hi, again. It’s good to be back.

The Long Road

This weekend I drove over the mountains to Eugene, where equally large amounts of running and beering were promised by Emily. I’ve been in Oregon almost three months and hadn’t made the trip to her turf yet, even though it’s an easy (and crazy beautiful) 2.5 hour drive and she’s been to Bend like 5 times. Oops, bad friend alert.

Anyway, I’ve also been feeling a lot better running-wise, so the time finally felt right to go capitalize on exploring the Eug trails on foot.

(And capitalizing on plenty of liquid carbs in preparation, obviously.)

Mckenzie River Trail

totally stolen from sweatonceaday

I asked for “longish” and “unpaved” and “not up a fucking mountain, you ultra billy goat”, which was a perfect recipe for the Mckenzie River Trail, an hour or so out of town. Also ideal because it gave time for my IPAmigraine to wear off by the time we finally got to the trailhead.

“My watch is almost dead, are you running with yours?”

“I didn’t even bring one.” – the moment I officially relinquished my title of Type A Run Data Diva

We took off at a speed I’m glad I don’t know, and by the first pee break Emily’s watch had indeed, already died. I mean truthfully a year ago this would’ve sent me retreating straight back to the car, waving a little white flag from my middle finger, cursing at technology and vowing to run it the next day. I was a real data whore back in those days, huh? Why didn’t anyone tell me to lighten up a bit?!

Already too trail drunk on the views and extra oxygen (there’s really only a 2,000 ft difference from Bend, but it felt like a million,) I said I just wanted to run until I was tired and then run back. Who gives a fuck over the numbers! The extra oxygen would make up for any fitness downfalls. Right? Totally logical.

Mckenzie River Trail run

a Fern Gully OUaL collage for your mantle or to use as a “it’s still disgusting winter where I am, you dirty Oregon skank” dartboard cover

The base of the MRT is pretty easy terrain, with enough rocks and roots you could definitely wipe out if you didn’t try not to, but not technical enough to take a ton of extra energy. I didn’t even wear trail shoes – just my regular ol’ Launches. It was plush ground and constantly changing views, and only one or two hills that were steep or long enough for me to curse out loud over. There were shockingly few times I caught myself thinking “Is it time to turn around yet?” and after an hour or so we finally did. It was just such a nice day, we weren’t in a hurry to get back to town, and Emily doesn’t make me try to talk while we run. Plus we got to stop a few times to take pics and pet an extraordinarily fluffy dog, which increases my enjoyment of any activity at least three-fold.

Based on a triangulation of spacial reasoning, Emily’s familiarity with the trail, and what time we thought it was when we left, we figured it’d been 13ish miles. I’m just not even going to spaz out over the lack of accuracy, and wrote “12-14″ with a big stupid smiley face next to it in my log. It was the all-around best-feeling run I’ve had in absolutely forever, and that’s really all that matters.

And maybe finding out what kind of dog it was we saw.

And how to make my butt un-sore.

Sarah OUaL

In case you’re wondering, yes, I do run in that jacket all the time. It has literally appeared in 100% of my posts so far in 2015. (shhh I know there have only been two…) It’s the Oiselle Flyer Jacket and the saddest part about it is that I lived in SoCal for so long where it went totally unappreciated.