I have been uprooted.

My roots are dangling in the air.

Trying to find a stable home.

 

For the last 7 months, the longest consecutive period I have spent in a country is 21 days. The next longest period is 12 days. I have to admit, there are positives to this situation. I have a job I love, and I have been able to travel to some great cities. For this I am thankful.

The negative though is that I live out of a suitcase most days and my friends and family never know where I am. Even I sometimes lose track. Ha! It is hard enough to make plans with people when you are living in one city. It is definitely harder when you are living in several.

I have however had one constant through this journey. Running. For that, I am incredibly grateful. To be honest, I am not sure what I would do without it.

Training for races has been hard, if not almost impossible. It was especially difficult this past summer when I was training for CCC. A 101 km trail race in the Alps surrounding Mont Blanc with over 20,000 feet of elevation gain and over 20,000 feet of elevation loss. I found out about the promotion that would require me to move to NYC at about the same time as when my entry to this race was confirmed. It dawned on me quickly that I was not going to be able to reach the start line prepared and fit to conquer the mountains the way I intended to. There was no way with my travel schedule would accommodate the kind of mileage required, and my access to trails would be zero to none.

Despite that I decided I wasn’t going to let my busy work life get in the way of my dream race, which meant squeezing in a run wherever and whenever possible. A lot of run commutes, breaking up workouts or modifying them, doing 80% of my mileage over the weekend and the list goes on. It was not the traditional training block I am used to but looking back on it I can honestly say that I made the most out of every minute. I ended up running CCC, maybe not the way I originally intended, but maybe that’s part of made it special.

The beauty of running is that you can chose to forget the specifics of your training or goals and just simply lace up and run. Just run. Sounds simple, but what a difference that change in perspective is.

 

“My pace is my pace. My speed is my speed”

 

This resonates so strongly with me at this point in my life. My pace and speed fluctuate every day. In the past it was because of workouts, now it’s because of the unforeseen variables that come with living on the road. Whether I’m happy or sad, tired or rested, stressed or relaxed or simply jet lagged I get out and run. Until I start moving, I never know how my heart, lungs and legs will react or what speed they will allow for. So, for now, movement is all I have and again for that I am grateful.

Thank you running for being with me through it all.

For grounding me whenever I am.

 

P.s. I am now based primarily out of New York City and seeking local friends to do my favourite two things, run and eat.  Reach out on Instagram, @gemma.kitchen.   #everybodyrun

Photographs by Joel Clifton

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