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Archive for the ‘2014 Races’ Category

PostHeaderIcon The gifts of running

Oh what running can offer! 2014 race season done. Ran a 12k today with a big ol’ cold. Remains to be seen if that was a good idea or not. This year I finished 9 races: 7 half marathons, a 10k and a 12k. Very few went how I planned.

Long ago it ceased being about proving the doctors (pulmonologists, rheumatologists and cardiologists oh my!), and others, and that ghost wrong. Or proving that I was good enough, strong enough, tough enough. It’s not even about proving to myself any more that I can do it. I got that a while ago, that yes, I can run. I run because I can. I run because I get to.

And I run now because it’s *not* about being “tough enough” or proving a dang thing. Even today I wanted to give up & give in halfway through. So I had to dig deeper than I prepared myself to do even with a cold. And I knew, as I fought it as I did, that in that moment and each moment that followed I was growing. Expanding. And I was in the experience, messy and ungraceful, but I was there. Even in the awkwardness of it all. Owning it. And recognizing yet again that perhaps, at least during a race, and in the broader sense, we are not alone.

Because hooey, when I fall in this big thing called life, I fall-down-go-boom. Everything from the stumble I hope no one saw as I surreptitiously look around and hop up again, to the spectacular swan dives, both forwards willingly and eyes-closed backwards didn’t-see-that-coming. And of course the rabbit holes I try to avoid and swerve around and still occasionally fall bruisingly down, unable to grasp anything stable along the way. That’s gonna leave a mark. Crazy life metaphors, this running.

4.5 years.
35 half marathons + 2 10ks, 2 12ks.
485.8 miles or 781.9 kilometers raced.
2 countries, 13 states (ok, 12 & DC), 24 cities.
Countless, and still counting, training miles.
Thousands of people, hundreds of stories, endless vistas.

No one can takes those finish line moments – both the actual and the even more amazing ones along the path – away. I don’t know what comes next. I do know I’m still learning. I’m still evolving. And running keeps me curious and aware. Keeps me breathing. (And clearly keeps me honest and wearing this heart on my sleeve.) My goal is to mine the experience to keep that curiosity expanding. Maybe just maybe I am learning to trust myself again. And show compassion, grace, forgiveness for all the falls I’ve taken and the ones yet to come. This is why I keep running. Maybe I’m redefining what running means to me, and can mean to others. I am most definitely redefining resiliency. Got some big work to do going forward!

There’ve been people who’ve shared with me they believe running is bad because it gives you too much time to think.
I don’t run to think. I run to feel.
I run to breathe. And then to remember to breathe again.

Each race is for the experience.
Each run is a gift I give myself.
Each step is for my life.
I’ll be forever grateful I decided to go for a run to prove something, and found something so very much more.

PostHeaderIcon Frisco run

Ok, yes, you’re not really supposed to call San Francisco Frisco, but it’s fun to needle my SF friends who seem to take great offense at someone using the term. Ah, the sensitive progressive.

I found myself looking forward to the run in SF since January quite a bit. And as the date got closer, I found myself a bit nervous of the actual trip itself. Twas the first time I was going to my city by the bay in six months. And it still held such a beautiful big place in my heart. Which I happen to wear on my sleeve.

But the race itself did not disappoint. And was such a good push for me for where my running is now, the mental side of the training I’ve been doing. The course was absolutely stunning, as were the weather conditions of the day. Could not have asked for anything better. Being able to stay quiet in the city and have a little time to myself worked wonders. Funny enough, my stomach was bothering me a bit and couldn’t quite put my finger on why. It made me a bit nervous to attempt a run when feeling as I did. But. I really didn’t have a choice!

There was a bit of added stress the day before when coming back from a lovely and loving lunch with a friend I found myself stuck in traffic. For an hour and 15 minutes. While needed to get to the Expo to get my number. I left Oakland at 3:30 and parked on the street near Moscone Center at 4:45. It closed at 5pm. Needless to say, that rental car heard a lot of yelling and swearing and swearing and yelling. Yikes. But. I made it. I didn’t get to do my usual swing through row after row of inspiring booths but clearly I was not supposed to do more than grab a number, one or two products and get thee out.

What an early start. I mean really. 6:30? But there I was, finding my parking lot spot somewhere in the Tenderloin at 6am and sauntering to the line in the Civic Center to get on a bus to take us to Ocean Beach. The last bus left at 5:45. This was all ridonkulously early. I think I ate yogurt at 3:30am and a half a banana. My body was so darn confused, it just gave up trying to fight it and actually I felt pretty supported, save for a wobbly stomach.

Talked with a sweet man on the bus, from SLO with his buddies who were from San Diego, they were doing this race along with a few other ones in CA. When they asked “is this your first?” and I sleepily shook my head. They said “Second?” I said no and before I could answer, one said “It’s my fifth!” and I said “congratulations!” They asked again and were incredulous when I said “it’s my 30th. In four years.” They loved it. It was super fun and got me a little more awake on the drive to Ocean Beach. We wished each other luck and waved as we all were swallowed up in the still dark morning sea of runners.

Had a super fun occurrence in having my dear friend Rich show up from down the street with his son Neil. They lived so close that they offered to come cheer me on at the start! I’d never had that before! What a fun way to start the race. I race over to find them and we got a few pictures together and they gave me a good pep talk. I like to think maybe a seed was planted in Neil that he might want to do events like that someday! Although, if he doesn’t become a MLB player, I’d be shocked…

At this point, I’m feeling pretty good actually. Excited even. No idea how the race will go, and know it will be hilly so as much as I’d like to do a quick speedy race, I’m also going to let myself enjoy this one and relax into the scenery of it all.

My corral finally goes (I held back to spend a few extra minutes with Rich and Neil) and we’re off. Not a couple hundred yards later we take a sharp right into the the outer Richmond and BAM! HILL! I mean, super hill. My music is on at this point but I hear all sorts of expletives around me. It’s like it was out of the blue and smacked right into us. It’s a plateauing hill, meaning there is a steep crest, then plateau, then steep crest, then plateau. Kind of like stair steps. Only you’re running each part of it. It’s pretty brutal. And to start so early with this. Hmmm. Thankfully, my legs are  bright since it’s early so I head up the hills pretty easily and feel good about it. There was a little mess up of the course at the top of the hill to take a left and suddenly a bunch of us were diverted to run further up the hill before taking a left to head into SeaCliff. It all worked out fine but definitely caused some confusion for a few minutes.

As we start heading downhill through Richmond toward Sea Cliff, the sun is really starting to rise. And it’s spectacular. Wow. Really stunning and FUN. We’re winding our way through a few narrow streets and suddenly there’s all these jam ups right and left and I’m trying to figure out what’s going on while not tripping myself or anyone else as we’re pouring through quiet neighborhoods.

Oh. Photographers. But I see those every race?!? Oh. It’s San Francisco. And I realize the jam ups are something I’ve never actually seen before – runners stopping in groups to actually pose in front of the camera man. No action shots, no candid, just straight up stop short (with no thought of who’s behind you or who’s behind them) and pose. Ah yes, is this the Twitter/Facebook/Instagram effect? A city of selfie-makers and takers must get all photos possible? Or just a terribly narcissistic town? More on that on the bridge…

Getting stride up under me and yet we’re still just about to hit mile three. That’s it so far. But WOW has it been beautiful! So far I’m really loving this race, even with that hill business in the beginning, and I can’t wait to get to the…UM, WHAT? What is that? Holy HILL! My word! It’s THAT hill. I remember this thing. Did it once in a race years ago. That thing is nasty. Wow. And we all gotta go up that? Did I train for THIS? Oy. Ok, let’s go. And I go. And I keep going. And suddenly I’m feeling actually pretty great, like, hey, this isn’t so bad. I like hills, which I do, and this one just keeps going. I get jammed up a couple times behind people who suddenly decide to walk (I get it, it’s a rough one) and have to bob and weave to one side to get around, so I don’t break momentum. This is key for getting all the way up this thing. But almost there, just rounding a corner, I’m sure this is the…CRAP that’s not the top. OMG we’re still heading up hill. And way up hill. Lord. Does this thing ever end? Never? I begin negotiating with myself about whether or not, hmm, a little walking never hurt anyone. No, I don’t want to break stride. I am actually doing well, a little delirious now but really feel strong, light, fleet of feet. I’m, gulp, enjoying this!

And we finally see the top. We as in me and the others gasping as we make our way up up up. There it is, the beautiful glorious top of the hill, when you know it’s downhill and weaving your way to the Glorious Golden Gate Bridge. Wow. Stunning. Truly perfect day for running this race, this course, this city. And I’m pulling up to the top of the course and suddenly I feel and rumbling in my stomach, reaching my chest and bottom of my throat…uh oh…

 

Part 2 coming up!

PostHeaderIcon SUNday SUNday SUNday!

A week from today, I will be running in my 30th half marathon. What? How is that even possible? What the what?

Wow.

What is it that I know I need to do today?  I need to do some core work, some strength work. And I need to get one last endurance run in. But I’ve decided to have a quiet morning before my once-in-a-blue-moon trip to Unity. There’s a guest speaker I’m curious about and so, let’s go. Always willing to hear someone new. And. I do sometimes wonder, is it good to be this curious? Meaning, curiosity is, to me, critical for a life well=lived. Not exploring, not expanding, not staying curious means not evolving and I certainly am not fully evolved and don’t really trust a lack of attempt to evolve. And, I sometimes feeling like I keep searching, like THIS one will give the answer, THIS one be THE one that illuminates THE turning thought for me etc.

That said, I want to see what he has to say. It definitely is key to “stay in the study” of this work. Really, if you go to a gym and work on your biceps, after a month do you go “ok, I’m good, they’ll look and feel like this forever now!” Ha, sounds absurd, doesn’t it? Same thing on personal development and self-growth – it’s not a one and done, it’s a continual study and advancing exploration.

Anyway, I know that I have the ability to have a day out, fully showered and made up and dressed up, and come home to do a run and/or a good workout. And, to be sure, it’s also much easier to ixnay it, delay or dismiss all together when all put together because the effort, OH GOD, the effort (tongue in cheek) of shifting gears mentally and clothing-ly is such a pain! 😉

So, I trust that I will get the run in, the last endurance run before the big race. Placing a time limit on how long to be out, the latest I will be home is 3:30. Well, things shift and decisions made and I’m actually home before 2pm. Even time to get a wee nap in (been doing that again a lot lately) before truly committing to the run.

And I do, I time it right and plan it right and even though it does take a little oomph on my part to get me moving, I get out the door. I just want to be out there for a while. And, I’ve planned it to be able to take the dog on a nice long brisk walk afterwards, keep my heart rate up and legs moving. Almost like doing the elliptical after an intense treadmill session to mimic the amount of time my body is working in a half marathon.

And it all happens. The eight-mile run. The three plus mile brisk walk following and some core work. I don’t feel amazing, I know I’m dragging a bit, BUT again, I did it, cleared my head and got ‘er done.

The dog provides awesome motivation to get out now that the weather seems to be a little less aggressive. The very act of getting ready for a run these last few days has fantastically coincided with the sun breaking through. I’m happy with the last four days of taking care of myself and prepping for this half. The nerves for being in SF haven’t helped the fueling of my body, but I can point to the effort made and achieved in keeping the momentum going and feeling decent about this upcoming race!

PostHeaderIcon Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, Saturday, Saturday (Elton John?)

Saturday’s training! It was a well-intentioned day, for sure. And, a rainy day. Of course. That’s the pattern the Northwest is in right now. Did you know March 2014 is THE rainiest March on record around here? Yikes. At least I’m not crazy for being so frustrated about it. But, I did get a lot more done that day. It started out not great, as some work I’d contracted out, thinking I’d get highly professional work returned was way way off and pissed me off beyond belief.

Was I overreacting? Was my reaction justified? Well, I sent it out to a number of people I trust and respect and they all had the same remarks – amateur and no, you cannot put your name to it. At least my judgment was on target. My standards aren’t too high, the work was sub par. As I got stirred up as the day went along, I found myself burning through hours of time, getting further away from getting a quick run in (the endurance run Thursday, and hill repeats Friday, I need just a short run and some core work today!) Sure, I do an hour of yard work, which does a fair bit of work on my whole body, what with everything being heavier from a week of rain.

I suck it up and get through a couple hours of work. At this point, as an entrepreneur, you work weekends. You own it. It’s 24/7 really. I can’t take a weekend off and not get some things done, check email or move projects forward. Doesn’t work that way. It’s almost funny to me, I spent so many years creating, crafting and enforcing boundaries of work and life balance in my schedule and it’s really gone out the window. Sure, technology and the ability and subsequent expectation that you can be reached any time and should respond at all times shifted that. And, solopreneuring means always “on.”

Including sometimes connecting with work projects not just on the interwebs but also in phone calls. Asking to talk, I agree and get on the phone to get a “brief” rundown of the issues with the project. Brief turns into an hour. Suddenly, I realize if I’m holding true to my goals, and myself I’ve got to get a run in. I excuse myself, confess knowing I’ll get full support that I need to get a run in, and get ready for one in about five minutes.

As I’m getting ready, the sun starts to peak through some parting clouds, beckoning me to get thee out there.

Just the act of doing so, my mood lifts considerably. And sun forces open more clouds, the ground still soaked from another day’s rainstorm. I’m a little discombobulated from my day and from not great sleep, but…I’m out here. I’m getting it done. I’m making it happen. And following through on my internal goal.

It’s not the prettiest run, nor the fastest. But I know it’s an “every little bit counts” kind of day. And a race in a week, there’s a motivation that’s pretty strong. The exhaustion I feel from a long week and adjusting body doesn’t compare to the exhilaration from finally being out here today.

Feet feel not so great. Tight in my shoes. I don’t get it but it’s a short run I’m getting in, just three or so miles. Still. They don’t feel good. New shoes, I think. But. I’ve run in them twice already, they didn’t feel like this before? As I start my return on this out and back loop, I think, hmmm, did I through the insoles into these and didn’t need to? I do recall taking them out of another pair and putting them in here, but I could’ve sworn I’d done that before and/or noticed that I’d taken the manufacturer’s insoles out already.

About a quarter back on the back half, I stop. I’m just gonna check. See if I’m doing a run with double inserts. I burst out laughing, my left foot resting on a mail box, nice bonus quad stretch occurring as I stick my hand down by my arch to feel, yup, two inserts. “Dummy” I whisper to myself. No, I take that back. But “silly” yes.

I stand like a flamingo on my right leg as I wrestle the top insert out of the left shoe and shove it in my jacket pocket. I grasp the mail box as I slip my left foot in again and switch over, left foot balancing as I slide out the right shoes insert, socked right foot resting on my inside left thigh, pseudo tree pose.

Suddenly there’s SO much room in my shoes it almost feels funnily vacant. I lace up and tighten again so take off for a last bit of the run, heading home feeling pretty good about the effort made to get this little run in. It would’ve been SO easy to let it go, slough it off, postpone it and find another way to distress from the project. BUT I did not, I followed my own advice and used the run itself to distress, clear my mind and rebalance.

Oh, running. What you do for me.

PostHeaderIcon Oh hello there!

No, no April Fool’s joke. This was real. Suddenly, last night, without warning, nerves!

Nerves for the upcoming race. Nerves about have I run enough, am I lean enough to run how I like to run (or moreover, clean enough – is my system clean enough to take on the endurance aspect or have I used too much sugar, not enough real nutrients…) Nerves for how it will feel doing the hills that are inevitable in San Francisco. Nerves about being in San Francisco. First time in six months, first time since all my stuff moved to a 10×8 storage unit. Nerves.

Not that nerves are all bad. Funny enough, I told my mom “oh, wow, I think I have nerves about the race! they just showed up!” and she replied “well, isn’t that a good thing? don’t you find that works for you?”

So there’s that. And. It’s true. It means I do, in fact, still care. There is no boredom, no weariness, no over-it-ness. True, it’s been 2.5 months since my last race, and I don’t always think that’s a good thing. I like have a strong race season to plan for and through. Keeps me on it. But. I also think a bit of a break after an October-November-December-January race is a very good thing. So, we’ll see. We’ll see how this race goes. I’m definitely not where I want to be clean system wise or strength wise. And I have big plans to get ready for a May 18 race.

But until then. I will embrace and enjoy these nerves for Sunday’s race. I have a packed schedule to see friends while in the Bay Area AND I will make time to rest and reflect to ensure an awesome race experience.

PostHeaderIcon The commitment pays off

So there is Friday. A day after I pleasantly surprised myself running my endurance run and enjoying it for the most part. Still not up to par with the way I’d like to be eating. (see upcoming post Sabotage) But. In the busy-ness of Friday and frankly, feeling pretty much awful all day. (see upcoming post The Factor) Really. Awful. And extremely tired. In fact, I cancelled all my afternoon calls as I pretty much was hardly able to put together a coherent thought much less spoken sentence.

All the while, knowing full well I needed to get a run in. Rather, a hill repeat run in. Running in SF is no walk in the park, and the hills are no joke. The neighborhood I’m currently in does have hills but not like I recall in SF. So, I’ve spotted some super duper steep puppies nearby. I could do a warm up run to it and then down and up and repeat a few times. Or, with it continuing to downpour, I could drive.

Works out great, since I have a few errands to do in the stores nearby. As I’m driving back up to park at the bottom of said steep hill, I pass a woman, slightly bigger, who’s walking towards the stores as I drive away. I don’t know particularly why I notice her, I just do. She seems like she’s got good energy about her but other than that, nothing specifically catches my eye.

I easily find a space to park and gear myself up for this run. I mean, this is steep. And, new. Which I’m finding right now seems to really help the training and workouts, throwing a new set or routine or route in seems to keep me a little more engaged. And right now, I’m happy that I’m doing two days in a row like I committed.

Starting out, I immediately stomp my foot into a sloshy wet muddy puddle. Awesome. Wet left foot. Good thing I made a point to put some beat up old running shoes on. With it raining as bad as it has been, some extreme down pours and it still sprinkling, it was a good call.

Ok, this is not easy. Lungs are searing and body is almost rejecting the idea. But I remember the mind gives up before the body does, so I keep going. Wow. This is no joke. It’s steep. The incline is impressive. And my hamstrings are engaging in a way more intense than normal and my calves are already screaming. Fine. I stop about two thirds up, maybe a little further. I’d already made a deal with myself that if I did just one of the three planned sequences, I’d be fine. So stopping on this one ain’t so bad. Plus I have no idea what to expect so it’s a smart move.

I walk from one mailbox to another and start to run again, to the stop sign. Wow, lungs on fire. The downhill should be interesting. I take off and find that just cause it’s downhill doesn’t mean it’s super easy. It’s long, you need some control, and it’s slippery.

But then, something awesome happens. The rain stops. Completely. And even starts to try to clear the sky a bit. Ok, that’s cool. And that’s two days in a row of the weather clearing after I’ve made the decision and taken the action to run. Instead of me waiting for the weather to clear to go, I go and the weather clears. Not bad.

At the near bottom, I pass a guy and his dog, noting the very slow pace they’re enjoying. A part of me is almost envious but I am starting to get into this and am technically already a third done!

Rounding back up the street where I started and taking a short quick walk break, I give myself credit for getting out here. It’s after 6pm, I could’ve easily found an excuse to stay in, stay dry, not run. But. I  know so full well the benefit mentally and spiritually for me to follow through with this, and was curious that I could do it so I did and now I’m here, out here making it happen.

I gear up for the second one and unsurprisingly, it’s actually harder. I don’t make it two thirds up this time, more like half. What? But, shorter walk break and I pick up the running at a steep point to get moving again. Ok. That’s interesting. Sure, part of me is thinking OH now I have no choice but to make the last one the full run up, but ok. But this one, this was tough. Started getting a little light headed so time to reign it in.

Coming up on the dude with the dog, I definitely have to keep it going. Staying with my pace, I hit the stop sign and turn right around, giving him a wave and heading down hill. Enjoying the respite in the rain and the growing control as I sprint downhill. Then I pass at the near bottom the lady I’d seen in my car as I started this little workout. Yes, it’s taking that long – this up hill is pretty long. A solid five plus minutes. May not sound long, but a five plus minute steep hill repeat is a solid workout. My guts are a little tense from the effort (I think) but for the most part, pushing my body in this way is going fairly well.

I do my turnaround in the side street again and mentally prepare myself for my last attempt at the hill. Feeling strong at this point, happy with the effort to get out here, looking forward to being done soon. I take off and really believe this could be the one. This time I see the dog dude on the left side of the street, silently thanking  him for not being an obstacle for me to jump in the main street to go around again. I get to the two thirds mark as I push myself up the hill, and as I’m starting to get a little wiggy again, I see the lady in her khaki shorts slowly making her way up the hills. Ugh, I feel stymied all of a sudden. She’s taken up the whole sidewalk with her gait and I’m not in enough control because of exertion to jump down the high curb and up again at this particular roll of the hill.

Take the sign to walk a bit I tell myself. I was almost there! Ok. I do. I walk fast, my gait still nearly a run. I’m frustrated at myself for the not fighting harder to keep the run going. But I also take the sign as something to pay attention to. For whatever reason, I was not supposed to keep running. Right before I come up on her from behind, I decide to run again. I was just far enough away that I could step down, start to run, and keep the momentum to step up again (you have no idea how steep this hill is until you run it, not just drive it.)

I pass her, run another 200-250 yards, hit the stop sign and turnaround. Feeling good, despite not one of the three attempts a full uninterrupted run. I start to pick up speed and as I’m coming up on her, to pass her and begin smiling as I do, she starts clapping, smiling and yelling “way to go!”

It jars me out of my delirious revelry of muscle confusion, exhausted exertion and mental fatigue. What? How COOL! What a beautiful smile she has, what genuine encouragement, what excited energy she has to share. With me! Wow. And just minutes before, I was “frustrated” with her for seemingly stopping my momentum. And here she is, from her perspective, having seen me coming down from one effort, be passed on this last one and now turned around and passing her as I go down my last hill.

First word that came to mind was “angel.” She was. Just when I needed it, and neither of us knowing I ‘needed’ it, she cheered me on. She was an outside reflection of the real me, supporting this effort no matter how messy or inglorious it was. For that brief few seconds, she was my champion. I nearly choked from gratitude.

And then I had a whole new burst of energy. I fuh-lew down that hill. I actually sprinted and held control too. Careful not to pitch too forward but also not dig my heels in, I let some of the uber control go and just enjoyed the almost little-kid feeling of being one with the hill instead of adversaries. My legs and lungs opened up and I flew. And it felt great.

I ended the whole episode very strong and wasting no time, got right in my car to head home and get warm. Wouldn’t you know, the rain just began to fall again as I walked toward my parked car. As I raced up the hill I just had my fun with, I looked for her everywhere. My hung was swiveling right to left, looking for her. Especially to my right, since that was the side of the street she was on, but also to the streets to the left. I wasn’t too far behind her but I couldn’t see her anywhere. She couldn’t have gotten that far. Really.

Perhaps she really was an angel. Perhaps she was a figment of my imagination, even from the moment I first saw her, something I drew in to cheer me on at the exact moment she did. I don’t know. It sounds weird, but I’ll take it, I’ll take the light energy she shared, wherever she came from.

Two days in a row. I’m on a roll? Well, perhaps. All I know is the commitment I made to myself is a conscious one and I’m grateful for following through again today. Hill repeats and all.

PostHeaderIcon Yes yes yes

Despite my rantings of the rain and feeling meh, I did in fact run after writing yesterday’s post. And my God it was glorious. It wasn’t particularly fast. But I was out there. And right before I decided to go, I also decided to go ahead and go for a seven mile run. I had the time, the weather seemed to be holding and I knew the feeling during and afterwards would be delicious.

So I did. I got myself ready and got myself out there. And wouldn’t you know, the sun began to shine as I did. Coincidence? I think not. I think beautifully timed. It was a little encouragement from Mother Nature or the Universe saying YES, you’re out here, here you go!

And again, as always, that feeling came along. The one that is so much more pure ME. When I’m running, yes, I feel empowered, powerful, capable, light, engaged, excited, creative, happy. And more ME than anything else. It’s like I “met” me again. Again and again and again. Why would I ever not want that feeling? Why would I ever deny myself the beauteousness of that feeling? It was so clean, so pure, so incredible.

And I kept running. It was my endurance run, no speed work. And I committed to other things on the run. And thought about so many items in my current life’s iteration of activities. And felt inspired by a number of different things. And what’s cool is to bear witness to myself, to the journey that run in and of itself was. Where I was and what I was thinking and feeling at mile one was significantly different than at mile five. The energy, the thoughts, the ideas – all moving. Momentum.

Perhaps knowing the incredible nature of all that running brings, that’s why the frustration level when I don’t run, for whatever reason, can get so loud and boisterous. And I know that every run is unique, every run is special, every run is the only run like that. Just like I will never get today again, I’ll never get that run again, that feeling attached to that run exactly like that again.

That’s why I keep running, keeping the commitment as strong as I can, and the longing to always come back to that feeling because I know it’s all a gift and it’s my choice to keep the integrity of it all.

Re-inspired yet again to get out there. Despite feeling like hell, from a lady perspective, right now, I have a some gnar gnar hill repeats to go tackle, in the *pouring* rain, and this time, despite a couple incredibly good reasons to ixnay, based on yesterday’s run, I’m getting back out there.

PostHeaderIcon Vulnerability

One of the words I’m practicing deeper knowledge and awareness of. And that includes full honesty of training, impact, goals and more. And that means owning up to not holding myself where I planned to hold myself during these last two weeks before my 30th race. I planned to workout last night. I planned to have no glass of wine for two weeks. I planned to cut out sugar. All went buh bye last night.

Argh. Well I know it’s better to be real and straightforward. It’s hard for anyone else to relate if everything seems all-good on the outside. The reality is, life can come at us from strange directions even in the best of circumstances and with the best of intentions. I certainly had high quality intentions for myself. And. My excuse is that I was literally on the phone all day yesterday, and knocked loopy from it. So the voice in my head that said, ah, have a glass. And the voice that said, oh, skip the workout so you can eat earlier and get to bed earlier (which, did, in fact occur, so there’s some good outcome there.) And the voice that said a little sugar won’t hurt. All, really, true.

But. It still has an outcome. There’s the line I’m still learning of self-forgivness and sticking to my intentions and goals, especially when I know there’s a deadline or a better way of doing something. Meaning, I know full well with a race 10 days away cutting out energy zappers is a good thing and getting my last bit of training is critical – including not jamming it all in at the end. Done that before. Could barely get my calves to work for weeks. Funny thing is, if my race were a week ago, would be in AWESOME shape for it. Or two weeks ago. But as consistency is key, I’m a little frustrated that here it is 10 days out, a Thursday and I haven’t had a good push in a week and not only feel like I’m trying to right the nutrition ship at the moment, but actually undo some damage of indulgence the last few weeks. And when I had just so very recently felt like I’d shifted that relationship to a positive again.

The question now is – what can I do right now, with what I have, where I’m at? Right? Can’t undo. Can begin again. No regrets. And no beating myself up Sunday the 6th with “if I had…I would…” blah blah blah. How does that serve me? How does that help? How does that create a beautiful experience?

Doesn’t. IF my goal is to truly enjoy the race and that inludes a strong finish time, I begin again. Right now. That’s my gift to myself. That’s the inspiration for today. That’s the undoing of the crazy-making attempt. Begin again. Find that warrior within and ignite her fire.

Going. going. Out for a run!

PostHeaderIcon OH EM GEE RAIN!

Ok, really I guess I should be saying that to myself but for the LOVE OF GOD and ALL THINGS HOLY STOP RAINING!

This coming from the runner who not to long ago posted righteously about PNWers having no problem running in the rain. Maybe it’s the cleansing of my system that’s making me tired and unmotivated cause usually a race will motivate the heck out of me. Sure, I’m feeling slightly apprehensive about being in SF/Bay Area but that can’t be this, can it?

UGH. This rain will not stop. And the few times it does is either right as I’m about to eat or done eating, meaning, no way can I go for a run then. Beyond frustrated and mad. Mad at the rain, made at myself, mad at some seriously bad timing on my part. Bad timing in my days to not get a run in (yes, I’m about to go workout like a fiend, in doors and dry, for an hour, but it is most definitely not the same nor what I need for 11 days before a race) and bad timing with a race around the corner.

Perhaps I should set some intentions. Before I fly to SF next Thursday, I will get two long runs in, at least two speed sessions in (can be included in long run), two hill repeat workouts and eight straight days of core and/or leg workout and/or arm/shoulder workout and/or run-supporting strength training. Today is Wednesday. This takes me to next Wednesday. I pledge to do these workouts in the rain, no matter what. And to plan my days to adjust for rainstorms and adjust schedules on the fly, which includes eating lighter until the run is in. This along with eating healthier and no sugar or alcohol has GOT to make the SF race enjoyable.

Right now, honestly? Can’t say I’m looking forward to it. That makes me sad. And it’s so not me. Especially now, with where I’m at. I need energy that infuses my confidence and enjoyability factor. Part of that is doing well and of course, feeling good throughout it. And that includes being able to prep effortlessly and ease-fully. And joyfully. I need a spark of inspiration and motivation – far too easy right now to hunker down to get calls, emails and work done. Thankfully it’s interesting and fun AND I NEED TIME in my day, that includes lack of or light rain to get my run in! Waaahaaaha.

This is how a runner whines. The whiner runner. Whiney runner. Boo hiss. Seriously, the whining is actually cracking me up right now as I write this. This too shall pass. It always certainly does. I know the ability to remain firm with my mind and my schedule rests with, well, me. And let’s all admit that the rain and therefore not running isn’t just what affects the mood, it’s also the rain itself and days on end of it and the gray. Psst, Sonoma, how’s it going???

So, here it is, 6:02pm on Wednesday. I’m going to workout. Work up a sweat. Let today’s run go. (argh, too many days in a row I’ve done that, which would normally be ok with me, but not 11 days out!) And reset, recommit and relaunch tomorrow with a run. Thank God I get up at 5am to get everything done in a day. Oh wait, I haven’t. Another day sans a run.

Ok, enough. Stop. If you truly believe everything happens for a reason, then this did or does too which means for whatever reason I am not supposed to go for a run today and tomorrow, yes, I can get my run on. Gonna happen. Trust. Faith in the system. Faith in myself. Faith in my body.

Rain rain go away…

PostHeaderIcon Adjust

So apparently it’s an adjustment for me from this sugar thing. No problem on ixnaying alcohol to purify the system before half #30. But sugar really is a craving that takes over. Oh, just finish that and then it won’t be in the house anymore. Right. Yeah, right, I crave salty things way more. Ok, I do crave salty food but clearly the sugar has got a hold of me.

And it’s SO bad for me! There’s the energy rush and crash. There’s also the inflammation from it all. My body does not respond well to inflammation and that’s a problem. Therefore, it’s not just a health thing for me to bad on sugar, it’s a quality of life issue too! I don’t know if it was because I know I’m giving it up or what, but wow, what a craving! Went through a bunch of sugar last night. But. The good news is, it’s out of the house and the motivation is in gear for this next race.

The route is so different from the last year, so at least there’s issue with boredom. Really, it will be about how well I’ve prepared both in physical training as well as nutrition. I want to really enjoy this race, and yes, partially that means having a strong race, a strong finish and awesome finish time. It also means enjoying it along the way, body strong and healthy and mind present and having fun in the moment. That’s key for me. I am over it being a push, a grind, a grit-it-out to show how tough I am. I’m blessedly tough, of that I am sure. And now, it’s time to enjoy these races in a different way. Cause I have a feeling that actually will shave time off on it’s own.

So again, sugar goes. As I’m writing today, it’s been a much better day. And every day you can begin again. So today, I begin again no sugar and plan to enjoy a good night’s sleep because of it.