When 2011 began, I made a commitment to write a weekly blog, no matter how short, poorly worded or insignificant, for the sheer practice of writing. But in recent weeks I’ve failed.

Sure, I’ve been busy (like everyone else on the planet) but the real reason I haven’t blogged is because I felt that anything I wrote following my last post would seem trivial.

How could I write goofy little stories about my life when something so tragic had happened?

And besides, some of my thoughts and feelings are better inked on the worn leather journal on my nightstand.

For all the honesty I strive for on this blog, there are a handful of things that belong to me alone or can only be shared when there is someone to embrace while sobbing.

But I couldn’t abandon my sweet little blog entirely.

Over the past few weeks, it has occurred to me that while matters of death trump most things, matters of life are equally important. We have to continue in these roles the Author has sketched out for us. And I do hold to the belief that the things we do here on earth, every seemingly insignificant thing we do, matters in the long run.

So forgive this somewhat inelegant segue from matters of dying, to matters of living. While tears are still shed here in Germany for my aunt, it’s time to get back to the important little things that make up this incredible big thing called life.

As Aunt Kathy wrote to me in an email once:  Go, Keri! Go! Go! Go!

Matters of running

Believe it or not, I HAVE continued with my marathon training during the past couple of months. I’ve been very faithful to it, mostly out of necessity. Without it, I’m a big, unusable ball of stress. With it, life seems like something I can work with.

If I looked through my archives, I think I would only find a time or maybe two over the past six months where I had to work out on the treadmill or elliptical. I’ve been outside rain or shine for the majority of my runs—and I’m stronger for it.

I did take a week off while traveling across the pond because it seemed more important to linger over coffee with Grandma, or even to sit and watch Grandpa fall asleep at the kitchen table, than to run off on my own.  It was time well spent.

I came back from my trip re-energized, re-focused, and determined to do my best. When I arrived back, I did a run of 18 miles, which made me feel the American food and all that Starbucks didn’t do much harm.

Last week we had a spontaneous road trip to Italy, where I managed to stick with my training schedule.

It’s easy to get up early when the sun is shining, the streets are lined with flower bushes taller than you, and your path takes you around a sky-colored lake.

If Dorothy had landed in Italia instead of Munchkinland, she never would have sought Kansas again.

Once we left the lake and went to the city, I didn’t run, but during those three days, the kids and I logged over 30 miles of walking. It exhausted me for two whole days when we got back. And yet, I still did my last long run—20 miles.

The Italian food and cappuccino hadn’t done any harm either!

The 20-miler was the best run I’ve had thus far. Though I had some knee pain the last 3 miles (because of not properly warming up), I still beat my goal time.

I have some issues to work out with food. Because I can’t have gluten (which often comes in the form of modified food starch) and because artificial sweeteners give me stomach cramps, many of the brand name energy goodies are off limits.

For now, apple slices and chia jelled with juice seems to be good enough. Last year, the marathon had cokes available along the way, so that might suffice for a little caffeine kick.

I know I am physically ready for the marathon, but when I recall there are only 9 days left, my stomach lurches. I am re-reading the book Born to Run for inspiration, but still…

I seriously, seriously ask myself: What am I doing?

The only answer to float across my brain is:

Living life, I guess.