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Archive for the ‘2016 races’ Category

PostHeaderIcon Ain’t nothing but a G-thang

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“It’s crossing those finish lines when times are tough, when you don’t even feel like trying, that’s a measure of your commitment and courage.” That’s the words my friend Joanna wrote to me when I shared with her how tough this last race was for me to find motivation to run it at all. I almost sub titled this post “broken hearted run” or “running at night is bizarre” but had to go with the Snoop theme…

And it’s helped ground how I will think about the 53rd half-marathon finish line I just crossed. The 10th of the year. How I was able to do that, I really can’t say right now. I ran 11 in 2011 and then no more than 8 since, usually 6 or 7. Somehow I gutted out 5 just since September 18. Things to remember and recall how strong my resilience, persistence, get-back-up-and-keep-going is.

Ran Vegas with a heavy heart and apparently that makes me run slower I guess? It wasn’t the finish time I hoped. Or even felt during the race I was going to end with. I mean, at one point I passed the 1:45 pacer so even though he was clearly struggling, I thought maybe? And in some ways, this being 5th in less than 2 months, I’m in the best shape of the year, and so I thought I’d finish with a strong time. But it was warm, and at night and had been in and out of casinos and lots of smoke for a couple days leading up. Plus I was wearing a Seahawks tank top so that should have made me run fast? Not so much.

Couple more things:
I’m a dork but I couldn’t help but think at least this race had a good omen since 5+3 = 8, one of my lucky numbers.

I have a whole new respect and understanding for athletes who have games in the afternoon or at night. To get up at a fairly normal time (as opposed to 4am to eat) was nice and odd. But then to have a normal morning, still knowing you have to prep and get race-ready later in the day… I tried to do a similar routine to my morning races but it didn’t work out quite the way I wanted. Felt suddenly frantic at the end and not well prepared. And mentally to stay with it through the day wasn’t easy and frankly, wasn’t into it. By the time mid day came around, I really didn’t want to run. I train a lot in the afternoon in the heat but those are short runs and not 13.1 miles – after being on my feet all day long (got my 11K steps in looooong before the race ever began.) Tired feet, legs, body before the 4:30 start. Again, whole new understanding and respect for what kind of training and aptitude it must take for athletes to stay in the zone and be game ready in the afternoon or evening.

Some things that helped were as I’m walking down the strip to get to the starting line: I call my friend Judy who’s also running the half and see where she’s at. She’s just leaving her room to make her way down – what hotel are you at I ask? She says Tropicana and I look up and that’s the hotel I”m staring at. So we met right outside and I had the lovely surprise and gift of walking into the runners start village with her. What a treat. And then, as I’m in my blue wave start and making my way to the corrals, I run into a fellow runner/blogger and start talking with him. He’s already run his 50th half and Vegas was a marathon for him. He and his girlfriend do a lot of these races together and I keep running into them. Being able to get in the zone and get excited for the course and the race by talking with him and having him share his experiences was super and truly helpful. Thank you Andrew.

In the elevator heading out of the hotel with my dear friends Dawn and Bill – fellow runners in the lift and one looks down and asks about the hospital ID bracelet. Quick share and they’re excited for me. I’m contemplating continuing to wear it for more races – it helps me appreciate my why. Bummer but Dawn, who was running the 10k, and Bill had to go to the opposite end of the strip to get to that starting line so we parted outside the hotel. Cool thing was, part way through my course the half met up with the 10k course and since she was long finished before me, multiple times I had the thought “Dawn ran here, Dawn saw this too!” That was fun.

Speaking of smoke – I’m still nursing a sore throat and lungs from three days in Vegas. I guess I just don’t go there enough to experience that but holy hell that was a lot!

Per the earlier post of meeting Meb – that was outstanding. It happened suddenly as I saw a small line of people at the expo and wondered what it was for. I looked up and realized people were waiting for Meb – to sign bibs, meet, take photos. I’ve always wanted to meet him and say thank you for being such a great ambassador to the sport of running. I stood in line and then started to feel nervous – partly cause I’m a fan and partly cause I didn’t know what exactly to say, other than thank you. I contemplated more than once getting out of line – oh what does it matter, he won’t care, I have nothing to offer him. But I knew I’d regret not taking the chance right in front of me. And I’m not a quitter. I felt the fear – really allowed myself to feel it, and did it anyway. And I may have been goofy and clumsy a bit, I am so glad I followed through and got the chance to meet the legend that is Meb. What an incredibly gracious, lovely, welcoming human.

Can we talk about Snoop Dogg being the pre-race headliner? I’ve never gotten that close to an artist before so that was incredible. And yes, I wonder if he runs. Somehow I doubt it. He definitely still has “it” in terms of swagger and talent and delighting the crowd. And, cough cough, never seen nor smelled that much weed before a race. Bizarre dichotomy for sure. (speaking of, did anyone get a photo of me using my inhaler as someone blew weed smoke in face?) But damn he was good. Just didn’t ever think I’d hear before a race, after playing Young & Wild & Free, “So much love in this crowd tonight, you guys are so great. So, I have just one thing to say: Go smoke some weed, motherf@#*ers!” Hahahaha. Lotta people were laughing. Still giggling over all the songs.

The cannons shooting fire off the start line – a first and awesome. I’d like someone to install those at my house to go off every time I step out the front door.

The amazing announcer Anne at the start line – I see her beautiful self and wave and as she is in game mode, announcing and getting the crowd ready with energy and stories, as I cross the start line and hear “And there goes our girl Gretchen, we’re moving her to Colorado!”

I forgot to play Gonna Fly Now from Rocky before I ran. Didn’t do much of my routine in my room for that matter. At about mile 3 I realize I didn’t do listen to my pre-race song. At mile 4 there was a performer on the side with the spectators playing the horn. And what was he playing loud and clear? Gonna Fly Now. Yup, that happened.

Another first for a race, other than being at night and the sensory deprivation of that – never seen so many drunk spectators! LOTS of drinks in hands and stumbling around. But damn they were cheery! And it was cool running down the strip with the overpasses full of people cheering runners. At one point I saw a huge group of Seahawks fans, including a 12 flag and ran over to point out my tank – they erupted in cheers and “GO HAWKS” which was an awesome boost.

One thing not cool: I saw a spectator sign I’ve not seen before. “Running is stupid.” Really? Even if it was a joke, really? It made me sad and mad at the same time. While running isn’t always easy, I work hard to look at it as something I get to do, that’s it’s a gift that keeps giving, not as something to hate or battle with or struggle about. Running isn’t stupid. Not for the people on that course that gave their all to cross a start line, and eventually a finish line. Even if it was a joke, it’s about perception and how we view things and seeing it as a chore or stupid or whatever isn’t going to make it more enjoyable or successful. And hating on running doesn’t make me a better runner.

Back to the good parts: the moon. Oh my God the MOON! It was gorgeous and full and bright and so very close. I don’t run with a phone or camera so I got no photos but running down the strip with it rising up on the right was just so spectacular and awesome. That alone was wroth the entire run. Supermoon indeed.
Whoever the Cher impersonator was early on the course on a small stage was incredibly talented. WOW!
It was an odd course in that it was at night. Some parts I felt good, some I was quite tired, some I felt like I passed a lot of people, some I felt like I was running in molasses, some miles went far faster than others. Very interesting how everything I thought I knew was upended. At least I did see a heads-up penny at mile 9 to give me a smile and a boost. And yes, I saw many Penske trucks along the course and exactly when I needed to – thank you Chris.

One thing that gave me a big burst was the last few miles coming back down the strip towards the finish line at the Mirage. Along the side of the building is a big advertisement for their Cirque du Soleil show about the Beatles. It’s called Love. So there was a big sign in my line of vision for the last few miles that was lit up in the words LOVE. It’s hard for me to believe in love sometimes, but seeing it all around me at the course, in couples, friends and in human interactions, seeing that giant neon sign shouting LOVE was a beautiful thing and brought a light energy lift for me to run in.

At the finish line, I met a nice older gentleman who congratulated me on my 10th race of the year. You see, I got an extra bib to wear on my back that is a “gold medal” bib for running 10. I said thank you and noticed he had one too, only it said 22. Holy crap! He’s run both halfs and fulls to get that in one year. I remembered there was another older guy on the course wearing one that said 24 – I’d seen him in LA too and had tried in vain to not compare myself as ‘haven’t done that many’ – and suddenly he comes walking over to his friend I was talking to. We all introduce ourselves and one guy explains he’s run 134 marathons in his life. 134. Wow. I said goodness, I can’t compare to you two even in this one calendar year. His friend who first congratulated me says, oh no, you’ve done a great job! And then asks his friend of the 134 marathons he’s run, how many halfs has he run. And he says “oh, I don’t count, or I mean, keep track of the half marathons.” And my heart sank. We continued a brief conversation, I congratulated them both on their finish lines for this half and said thank you and that I look forward to seeing them at another race soon. And as I walked away I thought about that. How many accomplishments do we not count or keep track of, and by not doing so, diminish or minimize the accomplishment?

Then I thought, I’m proud of my halfs. All of them. The weird ones, the strong ones, the hard ones, the cold ones, the hot ones, the intense ones, the slow ones, the fast ones, the fun ones, the surprising ones, the meaningful ones, the goofy ones, the ones I bounce back from, the ones I struggle in recovery from, the ones I’m prepared for, the ones I am not, the ones I do solo, the ones I have support for, the ones I wish I could do again, the ones I never want to do again, the ones I barely got up for, the ones I leapt out of bed for, the ones that dismay me, the ones that inspire me. I draw inspiration, courage and appreciation from ALL of them. All 53 in 6.5 years. The 5, 6, 7, 8, 10 or 11 in one year. All of them are worth it. Goal is to stay open and curious as throughout these runs and the training for them; I am always learning, always growing. Grateful.

Ain’t nothing but a G-thing.

PostHeaderIcon All Hallow’s Eve Run in LA

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Calling this an experiment gone way better than expected. Still more than a little fried physically and mentally but feeling pretty good about it all. And LA did not disappoint in terms of s cast of characters!
First, having this race in the middle of LA’s ComiCon and right around Halloween makes for a pretty entertaining course. I saw lots of superheroes, people dressed as tacos and pizza, chickens and Big Bird, a mom runner dressed as a cop and her spectator husband and kids dressed as prisoners, a guy running with a Yoda backpack (somehow that worked), Thing 1 and 2, a number for Where’s Waldo (including an itty bitty little boy spectator, he and his dad dressed both as WW – so cute!) and a couple of zombie stations at mile 6 and 8. I do not like zombies and let’s just say they’re glad they didn’t try to mess with me like they did with a few other runners. There’s a few things I can’t unsee: the guy in only a leopard print bikini bottom and the other guy in a loin cloth, running, with nothing underneath. Yep. Or the barefoot Elvis runner who was also Cap’n Jack Sparrow. Say what? And my particular favorite – the grim reaper. He ran past me and I didn’t see him again so there’s that. And of course, my favorite for the race itself – and I only saw one of each of these: a Forest Gump and Richard Simmons. Both perfect costumes.

Happily I saw my Chris-sign early in a Penske truck in mile 1. Then mile 2, I saw a sign that my amazing friends from Ottawa who’d I’d just spent a couple incredible days with were there too – I took a left where I’ve run before and saw for the first time a giant concrete FROG! 😉 This one I’m still trying to wrap my head around: at mile 3 there was a band, the enlisted Navy band. In uniform. Playing “Cake by the Ocean” Which just seemed odd in their jazzy version of it.

Really impressed with the police presence everywhere – friendly, helpful (including with downed runners), supportive – and saw lots of runners heading to them to give a high five.
Anyone else ever thought of the Expo as adult trick-or-treating?

Favorite sign this race? “When you can no longer run with your legs, run with your heart!” I get that. Was pleasantly surprised that I had relaxed legs for a lot of the race, but still felt like I had to push hard breathing and moving and don’t know if that was travel fatigue or ?

Again a meaningful experience shared with my friend Judy. Got to see her right before we started, big hugs and smiles and encouragement. Then, along the course, as I’m crossing 11 or 12 and it’s an out an back, this gorgeous, vibrant, jumping for joy Wonder Woman comes towards me and I realize it’s Judy, having the best race of her life, so excited to see each other! Yay! You totally gave me a burst of energy up that last hill – what an awesome surprise. And then to get to cheer her in and meet her family and deliver the news that she surpassed her PR goal by more than 4 minutes was incredible. You rock Judy, can’t wait to see you again in Vegas!

There was a guy who paced me up that last couple hills, between mile 10 through mile 11.5. He had on bright pink knee socks and glasses. We kept interchanging running next to each other or pulling the other along. He helped me immensely that last bit as I was struggling to maintain my breath. And this time, I got to run into someone who helped me along the course after the finish and thank him properly for being on the course and being an inspiration to me. He lit up knowing that he’d been able to be such an encouragement.

Standing at the start, in the corral, in the dark, next to a guy dressed as Superman. At one point he stretches his arms up and out and almost clotheslines me. He apologizes and I say, no worries, you’re prepping to fly, Superman! 😉 (I’m a dork) We are standing there, and he then taps me on the shoulder and says “I see a hospital ID bracelet on your shoe…what?” And so I briefly explain to him the “why” I run and what this race is (and the concern I have being that I just flew across the country the day before.) He tells me he hasn’t trained at all for this race, doesn’t know how it will go. We talk about how the fact that he will cross the finish line in some fashion and that will be his to claim, and he says thank you. I guess you could say Superman validated me a bit and I got to give some support and perspective to him as well. Speaking of that, a ran (no pun) into a woman walking back to the hotel and we were wearing the same tank top and so we got to talking about the race and I asked her about her experience. She said it was her worst race ever. I asked her “did you cross the finish line?” She said “yes…” And I reminded her what a rock star she is, that no matter how she crossed it, she did and she got her medal and it’s hers no matter what. She grabbed my arm and thanked me for reminding her what the accomplishment really was for her.

Here is another piece on the opposite side (could do well to take my own advice above): feeling pretty good, rather happy actually about my 1:49 finish time – after a lot of travel, I had no idea how fast I would/wouldn’t run. Ran into Richard Simmons and as we were talking, asked him about his finish time. He stated he did much more poorly than he wanted, ran too slow, far off his goal. He was quite disappointed. I asked him his time and he says “1:49.” Oh. Wow. Talk about a difference in perspectives. I hid my own disappointment in a gulp of reality of my own time, encouraged him to not be too down on himself, that he still had Vegas to run fast. I can’t help but think about this and the danger of comparison. The thief of joy indeed.

So, this is the fourth time I’ve run Rock n Roll LA. Haven’t run it in a few years. The course is a little different. And it’s the fastest I’ve run it. In fact I broke 1:50 for the first time here (sneaked in with 1:49:55 officially.) Maybe it’s a different course so it’s faster. Maybe it’s a different runner. Maybe it’s both. But the experiment worked, even if I’m a more little disheveled than usual. The experiment was worth it to be able to experience all of what the last 36 hours involved. Including working out in the hotel gym with some Phoenix Suns players this morning and one of them saying “Damn Girl!” after I finished one of my circuits. So there’s that. One more for the year to go!

And yes, I took a two hour ‘nap’ post race. No choice and glad I did!

PostHeaderIcon How to motivate for #51…

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Did you think I would stop running? 🙂

Must admit – this was one of the hardest races I’ve run. Ugliest in multiple ways. Both the parts I ran and the parts I walked. I mean, I definitely wondered about what my motivation would be now that the 50th is just barely in the rearview mirror. Fearful that it was gone, what is my reason, where do I find new purpose. Was happy to find it still relatively easy to get up early and get into my routine and eventually get excited. And then nerves set in. A lot of them. My stomach was wrecked, my heart pounding and my limbs shaking. I wasn’t cold, but everything was trembling.

The race started and I looked forward to shaking it out and settling into the run. Surprised at not being overly sore from Brooklyn just one week prior and enjoying being out on the course. I will say, aside from the altitude, Rock n Roll Denver is one of the prettiest courses in the series. A well planned course for runners.

But then the wheels really fell off. In fact, I don’t remember much of the race. I began wheezing around mile 5 and it turned into a desperate gasp for air (the first of four or five attacks), thank you to the girls at the water station who gently patted my back as I held onto my knees and leaned over trying to not let it turn into an anxiety attack. I got back into running and immediately felt the weakness in my legs, that I rarely if ever feel. Like the muscles and blood pumping through them leaked out and disappeared somewhere. As I came around the corner and looked up the hill, I opted to walk. It wasn’t an option really. It was necessary. I normally love hills because I power past a lot of people when running, but something told me to pull up and not push.

Don’t recall much between that and the next few miles, other than starting to allow myself to take it one mile at a time, not think of the whole race cause this was going to be slow and slogging. And at the beginning of every mile, I walked. And started to notice something that scared me. I was becoming the wobbly runner that bobs and weaves along the side that I see at nearly every race. The one who is steps away from falling down. The disoriented person without a clue of where they are. I felt incredibly weak and on the verge and yet every time I passed a medical tent, I was feeling moderate, and every time I would’ve stumbled into one, they weren’t around. It was a weird juxtaposition.

Throughout all this, I wasn’t tracking much, I was merely concentrating on looking straight ahead and one foot in front of the other.

And so I made a deliberate choice – walk as much as I needed to or keep running and be scraped off the street on a stretcher. Now, I know some people see that as “leaving it all out on the course” but I don’t. When I think about having no regrets, it’s not that. I would regret the damage I would do to both my body and heart if I pushed it to that extent. I would not regret being thoughtful about taking care of myself. Yes I can dig deeper when I think I can’t, and find out what I’m capable of – and I did by doing it this way.

In the walking, I met up with the kind of runners I think/hope I’ve been before – the one who slows up beside and says some encouraging words or gives an encouraging smile or thumbs up. Again, I don’t remember much, they’re a blur of humans and miles and trees. One I recall vividly and wish with everything I could’ve gotten his name. A much older gentleman who when I started to walk at mile 10, ran slowly beside me and said “you got this, you’re almost there my dear, you can do it.” And I smiled weakly and nodded and began to run a minute later. When I hit mile 11 and had already been walking up a hill and decided to use the mile marker as a ‘start running’ cue, guess who I found beside me again? There he was, telling me we were at mile 11 and a quarter. So close. Keep going my dear. We are almost there. I know he said some other beautiful words but I don’t remember them. I would like to tell you that I waited for him at the finish line to shake his hand and thank him, but I did not. Because my body shut down once I crossed the finish line, the finish line I tunnel visioned across.

My head exploded in pain and I couldn’t track anything or anyone. I did somehow get my medal and waters to drink. And then I stood there. Staring at the ground. Unable to move. Organizers yelling into megaphones for runners to keep moving to keep the area clear. I stayed put, rooted to the ground. And scared of how my body was reacting. Eventually I blinked and walked forward, drinking water and wanting to get away from people and crowds. And then I saw my crew, family and friends and tearily fell into their arms. I don’t remember how I got to the grass but they all worked together to get a blanket down, me on the ground on my back and then I tried not to pass out or worse. Had they not been there taking my pulse, calming my body down, I would’ve found my way into a medical tent, like I did in Maui 2011 where I passed out to awaken to an IV of help. I knew they would take good care of me and eventually I stopped being on the verge of whatever weakness was threatening to take me down and was able to begin to sort of track activity around me.

We got some sustenance in me and eventually I could rise and walk again. But I was definitely shaken (still am a bit, if I’m honest) and not able to take a lot of care in, where someone’s best intentions of helping to stabilize you aren’t as well received as when you’re not acutely unstable. And I understand cause I was still a wobbly walker at that point. Thank you thank you thank you, all of you, for your encouragement, care, and support – I can’t imagine that race without you.

Here’s what I know from this run – first, a really crappy victory lap for the achievement of #50. Ha! Seriously, maybe the major activity before during and after Brooklyn was still taking it’s toll. Maybe it was the altitude, even through I have a routine to deal with this kind of elevation and the toll it takes on my body. Maybe I won’t know and don’t need to know and just need to see it this way: I crossed another finish line of a beautiful course. With slow but determined perseverance. Every step counted, even the wobbly ones. I’m also proud that I took in the information my body was giving me on this one (getting better at this and trusting it all) and paid attention enough to not end up with far more serious problems or injuries. That I get to try again and do this again soon. I mean, I have had a few bad races, with tough finishes that weren’t intentional (sometimes a slower race is very on purpose) and this is top three for sure. And in the scope of 51 (so far) starts and courses and finish lines, if three or four are brutal and inspire some reassessment or new curiosity – I think that’s pretty damn good. No matter the experience, I’m always appreciative for the opportunity to be able to do this at all.

And one of the lessons from this – it may not go how I want it to or how I imagined, and it may take a little longer, but one step in front of the other (no matter how clumsy) and I will still get to the goal. Perfectly imperfect.

So, I am fine now, recovering, still in the post-race few days of recalibrating my brain and body back to baseline strength. And grateful for the care I received from people who love me, that I didn’t have to go through all that alone, and for the community I am continuing to expand in this little world I run in. #wontstoprunning

PostHeaderIcon Going for gold for race #50

Surreal. It is still so very surreal. That I just ran the 50th half of the last 6.5 years of this crazy journey. Me. I did this. I’ve crossed 50 fricking finish lines. And it feels, um, surreal? Admittedly I have hesitated to write this all up and post it. I don’t know exactly why. Maybe I don’t want it to be over. Want some time to take it in. What it means/doesn’t mean. (thank you to those who tell me to keep celebrating and carry this with me) Maybe I’m afraid it’s too long and/or I won’t capture it all. But…here goes one part of it:
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Absolutely blown away (in fact tearing up writing those words) by the love and support I was surrounded by for this millstone, this mile marker. The efforts made by so many to be part of this (and Dawn for recognizing the significance and being organizer extraordinaire), to make me feel like this was special, to help me to know I “got this.” My word, how lucky and blessed am I to have these kinds of friends, humans in my life. Gobsmacked really. I keep pinching myself. And so many didn’t know each other ahead of time but it felt, at least to me, seamless, and then to have so many make a point to say about the other “I love your friends!” is a testament to how fricking cool everyone is.

Even the bib was gold (50.) My shoes, the color of the bib too? What are the odds? Signs I love.
To be tweeted at by the band A Great Big World. Um. Wow. Pretty much turned me into a giddy school girl/fangirl. Means the world to me, kindred spirit in some way.

Trust your training. That might be one of my favorite signs along a course. There’s an exhale the occurs in my system when I see that. Permission to let it all be okay. And that my body and I have a good enough relationship to be able to know when to pull back and when to push forward. I did take a moment at mile 12 to walk, to take this all in, and that’s when a whole lotta tears came up.

50. There will never be another 50th race. It was beyond special and somewhat different than what I expected. Some of that is due to the course and the narrow, closed off finish. For the last year or so on probably 80% of the runs I’ve taken, I’ve imagined or pictured various scenarios of the finish line. The finish line moment. Now granted, it’s New York and lots of security so it’s a far more restricted access for spectators. And still, I missed leaping into the arms of my friends. And. It also felt appropriate to see them right before the chute where I crossed the finish line and then had quiet (well aside from being surrounded by hundreds of fellow runners) time for me in the finishers chute, getting water and medal and chocolate milk, wandering slightly wobbly on my own.

When I saw this crew at mile 11, it lifted me beyond what I could’ve predicted. For me? These people are here for me? How special!!! It was loud, and boisterous and happy. And then again at nearly the finish. It was an instant boost that leapt me through the finish line FAR stronger than I had felt for much of the race. (side note – bad NY air quality plus humid start make for a struggly kind of race)

The t shirts – of course that made it easy to spot the crew from just about anywhere. And. They were awesome shirts. Still smiling at those.

Saying the serenity prayer at the beginning of the race, and also explaining it helps. Letting go of things I can’t control (security lines, humidity/weather, past training) and things I can (how fast/slow to run, how to hydrate, when to push) and wisdom to know the difference. Still working on the last part… 😉
Wrote a couple things on my hands for this race – “No regrets” on my left index finger and “Don’t give up” on my right. Places I could easily spot and be reminded while running. Been reading a bit about sports psychology and wanted to allow the possibility that it might work, despite so much experience. And it did – it made me a much more thoughtful runner and in the moment as well as helped me push when I wanted to.
Question I get asked a lot: Why? One of the reasons: Because one of the most powerful motivating forces I’ve found is realizing I can, despite evidence to the contrary. Therefore I. Must. Keep. Going.

When you live with a ghost, or ghost(s) there is something about the doing this now that feels important. To be honest, I sometimes feel like I’m living on borrowed time or at least my body is. I wonder sometimes how long I can feel strong and/or bounce back from another setback. That maybe the next time will be more devastating or debilitating. Or that it could take me out. Or that it could be something I don’t actually know how to get through, heal from, be stronger because of. And so, I want to do this now. Before it’s too late. And maybe it never will be, maybe I will always have a chance to come through any health adversity. But it’s not a chance I’m willing to take – therefore, it’s time to take the steps now.

What now? Is it over? Hardly. Right? I don’t want it to be over. Not by a long shot. I will keep running. I get to. I want to. It’s my pleasure. In fact, even in the run up (no pun intended) to Saturday morning, as I occasionally felt overwhelmed by my emotions or the activity around me, I would blurt out to someone, anyone, “all I want to really do is be on the course on Saturday morning, I want to go for my run, I want to feel what it is that got me started doing any of this in the first place.”

I ran with my hospital ID bracelet on my left shoe, timing chip on my right. Trippy to look down occasionally and see it there, reminding me of how very far I’ve come, and what this journey means and what I still can be challenged by. 10 years TO THE WEEK ITSELF I was in the hospital, I’m running #50. Holy Shit. It also did not escape me that the date on my hospital id bracelet from UCSF was October 5 2006 (via the ER to start an 8 day stint) which, unplanned, was the same day I flew from CA to NY for this 50th. 10 years apart. One was entering the hospital, one was flying out to a new next step.

Every time I felt anxiety or nerves before the race on Saturday, someone would say “you’ve done this 49 times before, you know how to do this!” And it would help me exhale.

My favorite number 8…the house number on the VRBO we rented in Brooklyn was 44. Added together is 8. So there’s that.

The lead singer at the post-race finish blurting out as we’re all standing there that really, it’s not half of anything. It’s a whole frickin distance, a whole race. It’s like he was reading my mind.
So much emotion that came through the lead up. Including joy, massive gratitude, sadness. And cried myself a bit to sleep the night before, tears streaming out the sides of my eyes and pooling in my ears. But it’s ok. I wanted to release that. And. The emotions of Saturday morning were nearly all pure joy, happiness, delight. I cried far less than I thought I would and stayed in the moment appreciating it all as much as I possibly could.

Had Dawn write HALF and #50 on my left and right calves – then when I had decided to walk for a bit, to take it in, slow it down, enjoy it, a runner passed by, gently clapped me on the left shoulder and said “you got this, almost there, go 50!”

Can’t lie – one of the smelliest race courses ever. And I don’t mean sweat. My fellow runners Sara and Jimmy mentioned it, unprompted, too. Also known as it smelled like poo for 70% of the race. If that doesn’t make you run faster, to get away from it, I don’t know what will.

Forgot to play “Gonna Fly Now” on the way in, distracted by so many awesome things. And somehow it worked, cause sitting in an Uber SUV with 6 of your friends and playing it in the car for all post-race made better sense.

Gonna say something that might make you roll your eyes or flip me off. I still don’t think of myself as a runner. That might sound crazy but it’s part of this journey that I bring with me. Sure, I’ve crossed 50 finish lines and I get the absurdity of that statement. And here’s what I was reminded of recently – comparison is the thief of joy. The reason I don’t think of myself as a runner is because I compare myself to the accomplishments of others. And then I feel like an imposter runner. She’s running 15 in one year. He’s run 47 in four years. She’s running fulls and halfs and ultras. He’s older and faster than me. They’ve run 100 marathons. And so much more that I’ve beat myself up about and allowed to diminish what I have done, how I have done it. But by sharing, and maybe normalizing it a bit, perhaps it releases.

I thought about Chris a lot, knowing that without a doubt, he too would’ve made the effort to be in NY for this milestone, to support and celebrate. And so when I saw more Penske trucks and vans than I’ve seen along a course, I knew he was there in his way. And my dad too – no doubt he was there with me, he is a big part of why I do what I do in the first place, having battled decades of his own autoimmunity.

Couldn’t help but laugh at the timing of my playlist – and a song that’s new to the queue. I’d toughed it out through about 8-9 miles and at the next water station I decided to pull up and walk through it while grabbing some water. As the song I was listening to wound down, right as I’m debating how much more to walk, “Won’t Stop Running” starts it’s very obvious-to-me beginning and I laugh out loud and thing “well, okay, guess it’s time to start running again right now!”

Lastly, I got to raise a good amount of money for Operation Shooting Star. Maybe it will make a real difference. And not only did I get to raise money, but connected with dynamic, strong, funny, fighter girl, ai warrior, badass Audrey. Who no doubt will be in my life going forward – I not only raised money but gained a friend and collaborator. Watch out world, this team is making a impact.

There’s more write up to come – I’ve been tracking all the life that happened and miles run and cities experienced in the 6.5 years, oh yeah, and am writing a book. And I’ll be answering a popular question – would I do this all again knowing what I know? And in case you were wondering – no, I won’t stop running.

PostHeaderIcon Running the 50th and support from Competitor.com

Another awesome article from Competitor.com and the lovely Don Norcross in advance of #50…

PostHeaderIcon On the way to finish line #50…

Just some of the things I’ve heard or been told, in no particular order:
“You’re crazy”
“You’ll hurt yourself”
“You think too much when running”
“You’ll exhaust yourself”
“You can’t”
“Perhaps too many?”
“You won’t”
“You shouldn’t”

My response, in order:
I’m quite sane, thank you and thanks to running
I’ll strengthen my body
I let go when I run
I’ll empower myself
I can
Watch me
I will
I am

Would love your support to help the AI community as a whole as I get ever closer to taking the first step over the start line on my way to crossing the 50th finish line – donate today!

https://www.crowdrise.com/50-x-50-for-finish-line-50/fundraiser/gretchenschoenstein

PostHeaderIcon How in the world…49? Yes, yes indeed. Finish line #49.

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So it happened, somehow, someway, I ran #49. And thanks to a little faith and a lot of love and support from friends and family, I ran better than I expected I would. Maybe it’s the listening of “Gonna Fly Now” on the way to the start line. Maybe it’s just being in Rocky’s hometown. Maybe it’s letting go of expectations and allowing the enjoyment of the experience to take center stage.

Found a heads-up penny in the airport shortly after I landed so I went with the omen of good luck no matter what. That and I looked fear in the face and said “care to dance?” #eyeofthetiger

It was humid and soupy and weird weather from the get go. When the weather says 70 degrees at 5am and 85% humidity, you know it’s definitely not the same as the cool, almost too cold, fast course of last year, when #RnRPhilly was on Halloween. Gonna sound weird but: I’m more grateful to the Pope even now for coming to town last September and forcing the date move. 😉

Also grateful to KT tape and getting both ankles taped up the day before. Too many ankle rolls and wanted to be preventative. It worked. They felt strong and supported while maintaining flexibility. Until…

Mile .25. As in we just started. A runner in front of me purposefully and knowingly tossed a small water bottle. Turned around and looked at it. Then in slow motion as I looked to see what he was looking at, stepped my left ankle right on it and felt it completely roll to the left. Saw stars. I swear. I am a stubborn little s@#* so I decided to try to run it off. And if I could catch the guy, I would…nah, I wouldn’t. (seriously, runners, remember there are other runners and their limbs behind you. you too selfie stick folks. I saw more than one person nearly get clocked with one.) And, I’m lucky cause I could run it off. AND I really think already having the KT tape on already helped. YAY!

Did I mention it was humid? Quite. As in already dripping in sweat before the race started. Which makes for a, um, whiffy race with everyone in close quarters. Those wicking shirts we all wear? Doesn’t translate for this weather. Also known as humidity + wicking material = whiffy.

Saw a sign saying “you can’t drown in sweat.” Well, today, Mr. Sign, I bet a few would beg to differ. I think my eyes came close.

Oh, that might be because I cried. A lot. On the walk down JFK to the start line. In the coral waiting to start. During the race when watching acts of humankindness and personal victories happen. At mile 12 because the last mile seemed redonkulously long. (pretty sure I said that last year. iwantomeasurethecourseagain) And right at the finish line. And again with the medal. And a couple solo moments afterwards. That I could do this, and that it’s been this kind of journey for six years, and that I’m thisclose to 50. That I get to be a part of any of this. Super grateful.

The last mile I ran for Greg Kenny Jr, the 18 year old who suffered a traumatic brain injury right at mile 12 of the RocknRoll Virginia half marathon in 2015. He’d been running with his dad Gregg and doctors don’t know what happened. His dad ran the Virginia half again this year, and Olympic Silver Medalist Jim Ryun (who I met in June in San Diego and couldn’t be more gracious, with his wife Anne) pushed Greg in a wheelchair in the 5k and Greg stood up to walk a few steps across the finish line. Praying this amazing kid keeps improving.

The humidity (are you getting it was humid?) – thank you to the RocknRoll organization for having many extra medical teams along the course and paramedics on bikes. For the amount of people I saw getting carted off in various states of distress throughout the course and at the finish, clearly you were needed and in the right place at the right time. You guys rock. (IF I had a goal besides crossing the finish line, it would be to not get carted off today.)

Also noticed extra police presence. No metal detectors but definitely a watchful eye in many places. Necessary given the last couple days.

I’m satisfied with my finish time (1:51:38) as sometimes you have a little left in the gas tank when you cross the finish line. Not this time. Tank was empty and on fumes.

Why do I always feel like playing Monopoly when I’m in Philadelphia? ;D

Speaking of Philly. I do love this city. And I love being able to claim being born here. Gave me a little cred a couple times last few days.

Really understanding the poison of comparison. Even though this is technically a ‘competition’ in that it is a race. Found myself knocking myself and my achievements down when seeing someone wearing a jersey or bib indicating they’d run 100 halfs or this was their 16 race of the year (it’s only September…) And then remembered my mom recently reminding me to a) knock it off (she said it much nicer) and b) cause look at what I have accomplished, and how, and in the face of. Everyone has their own journey, their own why, their own steps to take. Someone else’s grand accomplishments do not diminish mine.

Admittedly, didn’t feel great right after the race, a bit spacey too. And already quite sore too in a number of places. Took me a minute to get my bearings which doesn’t always happen. That and hours later, my lungs hurt like they’re in a vice grip. A molten vice grip. Hopefully chalking it up to efforting more than I expected and…wait for it…the humidity. (seriously, I squeezed water out of my ponytail post race. a lot.) Still: #showingmyautoimmunediseaseswhoisboss

To be able to stick around and track and then cheer my friend Judy in, running not only her 3rd half marathon but also running a PR – was incredible, inspiring and emotional. Found her right after she got her medal and over the railing, we collapsed into a happy, sweaty, sobbing hug. So so proud of you Judy. So grateful to share this experience with you. So excited you’re coming to Brooklyn!
Again, Judy, you are a #Badass! Celebrate this, own it, rock it! xo

Captured a number of runner stories, including a 70 year old who combats his heart disease by running. LOVE talking to other runners and hearing THEIR story (without sharing any of my details.)

And just in case I didn’t mention how emotional I am already – we did something I don’t know I’ve ever done. I’ve spent time cheering on a lot of runners over the last few years. But not sure I’ve ever cheered in the last runner. As in the last five and the actual last finisher. This stuff gets to me. Someone is out there, still getting after it, giving it everything they got to cross THEIR finish line, get their medal, complete their journey. It chokes me up. Ask Judy – I literally had tears streaming unchecked down my face clapping them in. So so appreciate all aspects of this running world.

So, gulp, less than 3 WEEKS to go until Brooklyn. #nosleeptillBrooklyn And numero 50. Some crazy cool experiences on the horizon, and so very excited to celebrate with a crew that I’m blown away at the effort being made to be a part of it all. Much more to come – #GonnaFlyNow

PostHeaderIcon The sweet sweet taste of #48

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Better late than never – a week ago right now, I ran half marathon #48. And here’s the fun part for me, and I cannot make this up: I ran it in 1…48. Yup. Didn’t mean to do that. I do NOT do math while I’m running so that’s a fun aspect to this race. Here’s a few other race observations:

Really, this is the best I’ve felt throughout a race in a while. There’s usually a breakdown or five here and there, but aside from a half mile stomach churning and a half mile where my right hip/glute/quad was tightening up, I’m really happy with how I felt, inside and out, throughout the race. So much so that I still had a smile on my face through the finish line – that’s unusual, usually I’m gutting it out by then. So to feel that good, smile at the end and run in the fastest ever-Seattle time? I will take that and more.

Yes, that’s the 6th time I’ve run a Seattle course. Fastest by nine minutes. Sure, the course was new, more downhills (still plenty of up, it’s Seattle) then I’ve done, but still – I kind of feel like I had a LOT of wind aka friends at my back, pushing me along. Thank you.

Couple firsts – kid in a Buzz Lightyear costume, his momma holding a sign that said “to infinity and beyond.” That was cuteness and beyond. Round mile 5 there was a pedestrian overpass with a full fledged Mariachi band playing over the top of us. They got a LOT of raise-the-roofs and cheers.

I wrote “Half” on my left calf and “#48” on my right calf, just cause. At the finish line, my momma is holding the well-traveled sign that notes “#48” in a post it note. There’s a gal standing next to her who did the 8k that morning. She asks about the sign, my mom tells her what I’m doing and she yelps “oh my gosh, I saw her, she ran past me! That’s so cool!” Made my mom smile pretty big from what I understand.

SO love the drummers the RocknRoll organization is able to get on nearly every course. They’re always so talented and it’s SO inspiring.

There’s a split at Seward Park where the marathoners go right, half go left. Then somehow they reconnect and are pushed to go down the I90 bridge to get their miles in. Driving home hours later, on the 90, I see so very many runners fighting their guts out for their marathon finish. Incredibly inspiring to see their not-quit spirit.

I think about a lot of things when I’m running. A lot of metaphors and life perspective comes to me. We had a lot of tunnels to run through in this race. A couple were pretty dark and steep and some were dark and seemed to last for a long time. Like, am I ever going to get out of here? The sound would change, the temperature changed. It became something to observe and something to get through. Every time I saw a literal light at the end of the tunnel, and started to feel a breeze stir the air again, and feel near sense of freedom and begin-again, I couldn’t help but think about how many times going through “stuff” in life feels a lot like that. And putting one step in front of the other does eventually lead to the light and new beginning.

Speaking of that, in the Competitor piece, I talked about how no one can take your finish line from you. It’s yours. I also thought of this – for me, the finish line is in a way, unconditional love. Me towards it and it towards me. It doesn’t care how I get to it – I could walk, run, jog, crawl, skip, limp, anything at all to move across it and as long as I try, it’s all mine. There’s no judgment, only celebration that I crossed it. And for me too – once I get across another finish line THAT’S what matters to me – not how fast I went or how great it felt (although those are fun aspects to the experiences) but that I did it at all. Simple as that.

Getting the irony of talking about that and now moving to this, I do get it, AND this is still fun numbers to run. This is the 10th time I’ve come in under 1:50 in 48 races. 3 of those have been in the last 8 months, the other 7 were way back in 2011. If anything, I’m just thinking I must be doing something well right now. And apparently, sadly because I love it so much, no sleep seems to be working.

My favorite Run to Remember group was lined up again through Seward Park. I chose to wear their blue tank with Wear Blue, Run to Remember on it. Being able to show solidarity with and support for them and the amazing work they do was incredibly emotional – I ugly cried a few times, cheered with all of them, waved, blew kisses, patted my heart all throughout seeing them. Even those volunteering at the water station after that section continued to yell “GO BLUE! THANK YOU!” Thank you, Run to Remember, for standing up for those who cannot.

Speaking of emotions, heard the National Anthem twice last Saturday. Once before the race and once after, the second by an active military serviceman. His voice was incredible. I’ve never seen a time where everyone seemed to stop and really respectfully listen to the Anthem. Maybe it was as Orlando just happened a week before or this election season, I don’t know. But even more so at the second time, everyone was super social and stopped what they were doing, stood up, hats off. Being part of all that was pretty powerful and I found a few tears streaming down my face. Well done, humans.

This was a fun race, for SO many reasons, of course the articles were a big part of it – incredibly grateful to Don Shelton of the Seattle Times for allowing me to share and Don Norcross (Competitor) for writing such a kind piece, and paying tribute to a city I dearly love and feeling so incredibly supported and inspired by so many of you, my friends. #49 won’t be for a few months, which leaves some good recovery time and some good training time. Just thinking about two more (oh no, I’m not done once I hit #50, oh HELL no) gets me a little choked up. Here we go, life, buckle up and let’s go!

PostHeaderIcon Calling #47, #47 are you there?

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Race recap for #47.
That almost sounds absurd. 47 finish lines I’ve crossed? I know for some who run 100 marathons or half marathons, it’s not that much overall but considering I never thought I could run let alone never planned to hit a goal of 50 of these, it’s still shocking in a fun way. And also in an emotional way – truth be told, I get choked up before every race. Sometimes it’s during the last training run I do at home, coming around the corner and slowing down to walk, finish up and I realize why I’m about to board a plane and I look up, tears blinding my eyes. Thanking the powers that be for the ability to do this. Sometimes it’s the morning of, as I’m up at some ungodly hour trying to eat something so I have time to digest and I have my moment to pause, get ready and they come then. Sometimes it’s the night before as I’m laying all my gear et al out, getting organized for the morning so I can sleep through the night without worrying. Sometimes it’s right in the corral, as they’re announcing various things, just minutes away from crossing the start line again, and my heart squeezes and the tears slide down the sides of my face, and I’m grateful I have wrap around sunglasses on. There’s always a moment that gets me, specific to “can’t believe I’m really doing this” – there’s many more times where I see victory, love and/or encouragement in other runners and spectators that gets me every time, emotional welling up, but I know there’s this specific one coming, to let me know I am far far far from taking any of this for granted. Ever.

For the runners/athletes and/or those that follow the Olympics, so this happened: long after I finished, I’m standing watching the headliner performer sing, and suddenly next to me facing the opposite direction is Meb. As in Meb Keflezighi the Olympic runner and incredible supporter of runners through Rock n Roll races. He looks up at me and sees my medal and reaches out his hand to shake mine, “Congratulations!” he says. I’m dumbstruck. I’m having a moment with him. I quickly thank him, and as he begins to step forward with his beautiful family, touch his shoulder and wish him luck in Rio. He could’ve walked right past me, but he didn’t, he pointedly stopped to make a connection. That was amazing. And no, I didn’t ask for a selfie, (and yes, it still happened), in that moment it wasn’t right. Thank you Meb!

I also met Jim Ryun, who won the silver medal in the 1500 meter in the 1968 Olympics. His lovely wife Anne I met in DC and she’s become a friend. Jim was also the first high school miler to break the four minute mark. I’ve now shook hands with two Olympic medal-winning runners! Woot!

Alright, the leg. Currently it is pretty ugly, looks slashed and angry where the 1st degree burns are and the 2nd degree burn wounds are, well, oozy (sorry TMI!) But, I tried to take good care. I made myself get in the ocean the day before – it stung but the consensus was it probably was good to clean it all out. Morning of the skin felt tight, which had been my concern, so a healthy dose of coconut oil loosened everything and made it so I could run. Didn’t feel the affects too badly while running, thankfully it wasn’t located in a way that got contact. But it was scare, and I’m also glad I didn’t let it derail me. It’s quite ugly at the moment, and I’m lucky as it could’ve been much worse.

There is NOTHING quite like getting the at-home support of friends for a race weekend. Holy moly. Thank you, dear Tracy, and Brady and Sage and Skye. Being there, instead of a hotel where yes, I can put my head down and focus but also feel quite alone, was divine. Tracy even graciously got up at 4:45am to drive me to the race start and kept up with me during the course so she and Skye could find me. When they missed me at mile 9 (by half a block!), they made the effort to find me at mile 12.5 which was an AWESOME surprise and then raced down to see me at the finish line. Who does that? That was amazing and I’m incredibly grateful for that and ALL the efforts made. And it all made this one of the most special races for me yet. To have Skye, my goddaughter, make a sign for me (the glitter!), wear the race t-shirt and be so enthusiastic and excited to cheer me on, even just writing that right now, brings happy tears to my eyes. Love you all.

And, to Dawn and Bill who “follow” me online as I’m running – do you know how cool that is to know you are? It makes me not only feel supported but also inspires me to step it up sometimes, cause I know you’re there!

Alright, so Italy. Yep, an international trip 2.5 weeks before a race, landing home 8 days before and attempting to recover jet lag – the most brutal I’ve had (jumping 9 time zones plus 28+ hours of flying time and 7+ hours of solo driving navigation in a foreign country will do that) plus (thankfully) being fully in the moment while in Tuscany, eating and drinking and laughing and spending brilliant time with dear friends, is not on anyone’s training plan. That and I attempted to mitigate it a bit by doing three two-a-days in the days leading to this race which would normally be a taper week. Had a friend try to tell me the trip was my taper but, um, not so much. Sure, I ran couple times while there (thank you Alanna, so glad we explored together!), but again, not what I would normally do. And here’s the thing – NOT ONE OUNCE of it would I trade. I made a conscious decision months ago in the booking of everything, knowing full well. And I enjoyed every minute I was in Italy (including feeling like a bit of a badass driving around by myself on the autostrada!) Thank you Phil and Alanna. Endless gratitude. It was a deliberate trade off. And yup, I felt every bottle of wine, every plate of food, every four hour meal in each mile I ran. And oh my goodness was it worth it, I actually used the race to review and enjoy the trip all over again. I’d plan it exactly this way again, because it’s not often you get the chance for the kind of trip I was lucky enough to enjoy and still follow through with my goal and journey. Every sip, bite and conversation was bellisimo. (that and wine is kind of like water over there, in it’s ubiquitousness, so really I was hydrating with fruit?)
(it’s time we recognize the honest exhaustions that come from travel, and perhaps not eating 100% healthy as well as running – I attempt to pretend that travel for a race doesn’t affect my running and that the race doesn’t need time afterwards, physically AND mentally to recover. Not true. I’m owning that.)

First few miles I actually felt pretty good, better than some other starts. Legs, feet, body overall. Then I remembered I used the pre-race porta potty nearly 30 minutes before I started running. And I realized I needed to find another one. Too much water I guess. I negotiated with myself as to if I could run without stopping (I can and have before) but then remembered I want to enjoy these races, my finish time is, yes, a goal and also not the only thing that’s important. So I passed the line of porta potties at mile 1. And another at mile 2, attempting to see how far I could push. Then I decided I should use the next set of them I see, cause no one seems to be standing in line with how many are out here. So at mile 3 I pull up as I see one. One. Not 8. One. And there’s a line. Again, a deliberate tradeoff, I decided to give up a super fast time (cause honestly, I was feeling positive about it, aside from a full bladder) and wait. And wait some more. And more. Three people in front of me. Probably ended up using nearly 2 or more minutes for the whole thing. So there’s that. Note to self – go earlier and make sure there’s more than one. In the end it was worth it, as I ran much happier.

Mile 5. Oh my, if you don’t feel some sort of emotion running the Wear Blue to Remember section, something’s off. They’re the group that has photos of all the military members fallen. Or in their words: wear blue: run to remember exists of the fallen, for the fighting and for the families. First you run through photos of men and women who sacrificed their lives, one after another, right and left. No way to capture it all. And then their families members on either side, each one holding an American flag. It’s incredibly powerful and I swear I saw more than ever, both in photos and family members, than any race where I’ve seen them before. Sure enough, I teared up, pretty much the ugly cry face and tears streaming down out my glasses. That wasn’t sweat. I’m glad they’re out there, it’s beautiful and powerful and good to remember. See you all in Seattle along Seward Park.
And right after that? A house with shots of tequila being served on a silver tray. And about half a block down from him? A guy in a kilt serving shots of whiskey. I didn’t see too many people grabbing drinks, nor did I, but I got a kick out of it and gave me a good smile – and curiosity about who does in fact grab a shot during a race?

One of these days I’m going to bring my phone on a course and just snap pictures of some of the hilarious signs I see. Some clever, some silly, some shocking – all awesome.
New post race pastime – I laid on the grass after I got my gear bag. For an hour. Chilling out. That was nice.

Ended up walking about five or so times (bathroom wait not included) and given the kind of funky cloudy humidity it was a good thing for me to do, not being fully ready/prepared for the race. And the cool reality of it is – had I not walked when I did, for the 5-10 seconds I did here and there, I would’ve missed Tracy and Skye when I saw them. And that, that is 1000% worth it.

So here’s the deal – I’m feeling fairly ready for Seattle. I’ve got some work to do between now and June 18 to take good care of myself. And I’m recommitting myself to my race weekend routines and set up, even if there’s something fun to do or see – I’m still curious about potential. I’m super happy with the time I finished in, and when I calculate the walks and the bathroom break out, I would’ve run it super fast which given all the travel and lack of training, is fascinating to me. Or maybe Seattle will be a playful race and #49 (I don’t know where that is yet) will be head-down-focus kind of race. I don’t know yet, we’ll see how recovery goes and what the hills (I love you hills!) are like in Seattle. Either way, I’m overflowing with gratitude for San Diego, the Davis family, the ability to run, an amazing trip to Italy and all that I continue to learn and embrace along this incredible and generative journey that unfolds in such cool ways.

PostHeaderIcon Unstoppable

Sia Lyrics

All smiles, I know what it takes to fool this town
I’ll do it ’til the sun goes down and all through the night time
Oh yeah, oh yeah, I’ll tell you what you wanna hear
Leave my sunglasses on while I shed a tear
It’s never the right time, yeah, yeah

I put my armor on, show you how strong how I am
I put my armor on, I’ll show you that I am

I’m unstoppable
I’m a Porsche with no brakes
I’m invincible
Yeah, I win every single game
I’m so powerful
I don’t need batteries to play
I’m so confident, yeah, I’m unstoppable today
Unstoppable today, unstoppable today
Unstoppable today, I’m unstoppable today

Break down, only alone I will cry out now
You’ll never see what’s hiding out
Hiding out deep down, yeah, yeah
I know, I’ve heard that to let your feelings show
Is the only way to make friendships grow
But I’m too afraid now, yeah, yeah

I put my armor on, show you how strong how I am
I put my armor on, I’ll show you that I am

I’m unstoppable
I’m a Porsche with no brakes
I’m invincible
Yeah, I win every single game
I’m so powerful
I don’t need batteries to play
I’m so confident, yeah, I’m unstoppable today
Unstoppable today, unstoppable today