The little things …

Tomorrow I will be running in my first race since the LA Marathon.

It’s not a marathon. It’s not a half marathon. It’s a 10K.

6.2 miles.

6.2 miles that mean the world to me.

I have only run one 10K since I started racing. It was the second stepping stone in achieving my almost life long dream, to run a marathon.

For some crazy reason I needed to go in order. 5K, 10K, half marathon, marathon.

I never cared if I did another official 10K in my life. What I wanted was distance, and once I got there, I never looked back.

Starting over this training has taught me A LOT. I have always felt running was a gift. But now I know running DISTANCE is an even greater gift. I don’t think I ever took it for granted. I know I have been VERY lucky to have done what I have at my age. But I did lose track of the importance of the small steps that I took that got me to where I have always wanted to be. This training has taught me that the basics always remain the most important part of reaching any goal, no matter how many times you achieve that goal. This is something I have taken very seriously this time around.

Running is such a journey … one I learn from every day. I can’t think of anything I’ve ever done, where I’ve leaned more about myself than in the setbacks I have had in my running shoes.

So, tomorrow with great anticipation I will run my second official 10K at the Vista Strawberry Festival. I am trained and ready. I will do the very best I can … and I will humbly appreciate every little step that gets me to that finish line … and I will know in my heart that every step I take is moving me closer to achieving my dream.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you appreciate the little things!!!

Never a DULL moment …

My day started early as usual and was filled with all the things typically found in my day. Kids. Running. Therapy. School stuff. There were fun things. Hair appointment. Shopping. And a quiet tea. Then there was the unexpected good things. Seeing old friends. Catching up. Connecting. Lastly, there was the odd. People. Places. Things. And the circumstances that surrounded them.

What would life be, if it wasn’t all of this?

Well, I hope you all had a day that wasn’t DULL!!!

My legs and a glimmer of hope …

I have always had low muscle tone. It’s probably a little genetic, a little life circumstance and diet. Whatever the reasons, I have it.

At the end of a marathon training I am always amazed at the muscles in my legs. Not that I could necessary see them, but I can certainly feel them. Not by touch but by strength. And also in the security of knowing they couldn’t be any more conditioned to get me to the finish line then they were at that very moment.

Almost immediately after the 5 marathons I have completed I noticed that I begin to lose the tone I gained durning training. Even if I kept running 25 miles a week and cross trained, I still felt and saw subtle changes.

As you can imagine, this was intensified after the LA Marathon when I wasn’t allowed to do anything for two weeks and no running for four! I noticed every change. Although I new I was getting stronger and healing from my injury my legs just didn’t seem like mine.

And it really bothered me.

I tried to push the thought out of my head and focus on what was important. Healing.

But it was hard.

I am now into my fifth week of training for my next marathon. I have had a few high points and a lot of lows. I just haven’t felt consistently like I am back to myself. This doesn’t do much for my running confidence.

At. All.

But today I had a turning point. I was at the gym and I was almost ready to head home when I realized this abs torture device was free. A rarity.

As I got on this medieval method of destruction I happened to look down … and there they were. My legs.

But not just MY legs, MY RUNNER LEGS! I just about burst into tears. The last time I saw them was about 4 days after LA sitting in Dr. Ironman’s exam room. When I left there they were officially damaged and on hiatus. As the days passed I noticed the physical changes. My hard work was disappearing … and so was my confidence in them … and in me.

Although I am not where I was, not where I want to be and NO WHERE near where I need to be, I am thankful for what appeared before my eyes today. You see, today I got a glimpse of what could be … what might happen … and of what I really really want … really really happening.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you see a GLIMMER OF HOPE!!!

Making peace with the suckiness of a marathon …

I should have finished the LA Marathon in 4:10.

YEEEEES, I know I’ve already written about what happened to me that day. And trust me, I am very proud of my 4:30:06 finishing time.

But.

I should have been faster.

If I hadn’t still been recovering from my second bout of the plague and coughing my head off throughout the race; if the heat hadn’t been brutal; and yes, if I didn’t run like a crazy fool, weaving in and out of the crowds and jumping on and off curbs injuring my leg at mile 10 and adding almost another mile of running … I would have finished a lot faster.

OH and did I mention that I started my period that morning too?!?! No, I didn’t. Only my closest friends knew that personal battle was added into the already ugly mix the day had thrown at me. OK fine, that was TMI, but bear with me people, I’m processing a lot here today.

Anyway, today on my hideous 8 miler, that was riddled with little hills, heat, wind, temperature drops and fartleks, I had an epiphany.

Marathons suck.

Why? Because you can’t immediately “right” the emotional wrongs you experience on a marathon race course. It’s not like you can just go out and run another marathon the next weekend and make things all rosy in your head and heart.

It takes a long time to train properly for a marathon. It’s about putting in lots of long runs and months of hard work to get your desired results. Which STINKS when you have had a “bad” race or a race that didn’t go down how you had hoped.

So, you are left waiting.

And training.

For that moment when you get to humbly stand at a new start line with a shot at doing it all again … finishing it the way you had hoped … and facing the demons that followed you since your last race.

BIG SIGH.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you begin to make peace!!!

That thing bit my boob …

We had a nice day at the Strawberry Festival in Oxnard yesterday. The weather was beautiful. Again, a wonderful reminder that summer is near. I really enjoyed the bands and walking through all the venders. Of course the kids had fun on the rides. OK fine, and I ate LIKE A PIG. I ate things I would never put in my mouth on a normal day. Things like a BRICK (no joke) of French fries with a side of chili and cheese. And there was strawberry EVERYTHING. I had the best strawberry smoothie in my life yesterday. Although the strawberry popcorn (no shame here) is not anything I ever need to have again.

My favorite indulgence yesterday was a kabob of deep fried strawberries. They were battered and covered in cinnamon and sugar. Very donut-esque but like nothing I’ve ever had before. DELICIOUS!

While we were snacking on our goodies Libs sat down on a curb. I bent down to offer her a deep fried strawberry and all of a sudden something flew down my tank top. It instantly hurt and I quickly, yet discreetly, tried to dig whatever it was out of my tank.

I found nothing.

I figured whatever it was that flew in, must have flown out fast. The pain lingered for about 30 seconds and then I proceeded to forget about the whole experience … until a jumped in the shower last night … and I just about screamed when the water hit me. OUCHIE! I looked in the mirror to see what could have possibly caused all the pain I was in.

And THERE IT WAS …

Well, I hope you all have a day where nothing bites you on the boob!!!

BERRY special …

I AM SO FREAKIN’ EXCITED!!! We are headed to the Oxnard Strawberry Festival today.

SIMPLY. THE. BEST.

We had the opportunity to live in this wonderful little seaside community and it still holds the key to my heart for so many emotionally charged reasons. Oxnard Shores is also where I decided to give running a chance again.

Correction.

ME a chance at running again.

LIFE CHANGING!!!

Well, I hope you all have a day that is BERRY (yep, I went THERE) special!!!