My mantra these last few weeks has been "Don't think, do". It's gotten me through a couple of tough hill training sessions, tempo runs and yesterday's 34k. I'm amazed how effective it is. I suppose it's the simplicity of it. It's easy to say and doesn't remind me to do anything but keep going.
Yesterday's 34k felt a bit tough but, given that it came at the end of a long, hard week, that was to be expected. I didn't stop to take pictures but there was heaps of spring colour along the way - blooming bulbs, blushing azalea, glowing forsythia, creamy magnolia, and fresh green leaves. Lovely.
Even at the lowest points in my runs this week, it was easy to appreciate how lucky I am after watching the devastating reports from Alberta. The psychological, emotional, physical and financial impacts of the fires will be felt for a generation. I can't imagine how terrified residents of Fort McMurray must have been as they fled, or how exhausted fire fighters and other emergency workers must be now. I suspect many are repeating mantras similar to my own, reminding themselves to take it one minute, one shift, one day at a time to avoid being overwhelmed by the enormity of the tasks that lie ahead.
The miraculous thing is that, so far as we know at least, no one has died in the fire. It's a testament to the strength and courage of residents and emergency workers alike that affected communities were evacuated and re-evacuated so efficiently - even when the inferno raged mere metres from homes and roadways. It goes without saying that many will suffer after affects of the fear they held in check as they made harrowing journeys to safety.
Calgary is a long way from the fire but I expect people will be talking of little else when I'm there to run the marathon in a few weeks. The people of Fort McMurray and surrounding areas will be an inspiration for many toeing the start line - me included. No matter how painful the race, I won't be able to feel sorry for myself knowing what they've been through.
Signing off now to head to the beach for a mellow recovery run, and feeling very grateful for my life.
Happy running and writing, friends.