Anything for family …

Today was quite a day. I have been up since 4:15 this morning and I’m not sure how many miles I’ve driven today, but it was a lot. There was much to work through today and I’m utterly exhausted. But it was all worth it. So, so, so worth it. I’d do it all again, ten times over if need be. And then, another 1000 times more than that.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you would do anything for family!!!

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Don’t laugh at me …

While I was getting my miles in this morning I heard a familiar and pleasant noise but it didn’t know where it was coming from. I then saw a woman running after her dog. They stopped by a tree and her dog excitedly stood there looking up at a squirrel who had perched himself on a branch about 12 feet above them. Then I heard the noise again … and I couldn’t believe my ears! The woman and I just looked at each other. She must have seen the shock on my face because without even having to ask her, she confirmed that she was hearing the same thing that I was hearing. Now I will admit that I have been witness to a few strange animal encounters in my day, but all I could think was that THIS had to be the funniest one yet!

Well, I hope you all have a day where someone (or some creature) doesn’t laugh at you!!!

A runner’s paranoia …

I’m sure that most people who don’t run don’t have a clear understanding of the Marathon Training Taper. If you aren’t in a personal relationship (of any kind) with a runner during this time period, consider yourself lucky. If you are, know that I think you are one brave soul.

I’ve mentioned before that the actual taper involves a significant decrease in running miles so that legs have time to repair and get stronger. Again, there is a science to all of it. I don’t completely get it, but I believe in it.

There is a whole other aspect to tapering that is also coinciding with your muscles healing and getting stronger. To put it bluntly. Some of us runners lose our ever lovin’ minds.

It’s a time when the runner fear meter goes off the chart. Every ache and pain is a fracture. Every sniffle and sneeze is a life threatening illness. You are convinced that Mother Nature and her wicked weather patterns are clearly out to get you. You are sure alarm clocks won’t work, cars won’t start, Garmins will die and shoelaces will break. And you know that food poisoning is just one swallow away.

Yup. That pretty much sums it up. At least, for me.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you aren’t paranoid!!!

That hot, hilly, and windy 20-miler was so much fun (said no runner ever) …

Today I ran my 20-miler. I have been physically and mentally preparing for it all week. This is a big one. Huge. I couldn’t wait to get it under my (fuel) belt. And then I woke up.

I woke up to the sound of wind. As I started to get ready I realized the wind wasn’t letting up, so I checked the weather report. High wind advisory. SWELL. I already knew I would be racing against time to avoid the heat, which wouldn’t be an easy battle because I mapped out 10 miles of hills for myself. Wind was not going to make anything easier. Not. At. All. But I laced up and got out there anyway. Somehow I survived and lived to write about it. Here’s how it all went down:

Mile 1: The wind appears to have died down. Run woman run!

Miles 2: I was wrong … the wind did not die down.

Mile 3: Suspicious stranger sighting. I’m glad I have my pepper spray but with all the wind I figure using it could backfire. I determine I can out run him. My paranoia subsides.

Mile 4: My left hamstring woke up and is pissed we aren’t still in bed. I also come to the realization that everyone in my neighborhood is still asleep. I am overwhelmed with jealousy.

Mile 5: 10,000 steps. Whatever Fitbit, whatever.

Mile 6: Gusts. I hate them and all the debris that comes with them. Ouch.

Mile 7: I wonder why I didn’t register for the Donate Life 5k that is this weekend. It’s practically in my backyard. Then I realize I would have had to run it over 6 times to get all my miles in. I calculate 6 race entry fees. I am happy I can still do simple math. This skill will be dead to me soon.

Mile 8: Cyclists pass me. I notice all their butts. I conclude that my butt is too big to fit on a bike seat.

Mile 9: The downhill. This is just mind trickery to build my confidence … the REAL hills are coming.

Mile 10: I’m at the gates of Hell. Let the hill repeats begin.

Mile 11: Branches are falling from the trees. Sure let’s make this a terrifying obstacle course too. Because I obviously need THAT in my life.

Mile 12: Blood, sweat and gagging. I REALLY hate hills. Oh and MORE WIND.

Mile 13: If wind was a person I would call it a bad name … and punch it in the throat.

Mile 14: I’m pretty sure everything is chapped.

Mile 15: What fresh hell is this?

Mile 16: Pulling out the big guns. Electrolytes with extra caffeine. This will either get me to the end of this run or give me a heart attack. At this point I see it going either way. 

Mile 17: A brief encounter with feeling TOTALLY BITCHEN. In your face haters. I GOT THIS.

Mile 18: BITCHEN feeling gone. I start my run home. I remember that it’s uphill. I am running into the sun and have a constant headwind. I cry a little and question my sanity.

Mile 19: My ability to do simple math is gone. Everything hurts. I am pretty sure running is very bad for you.

Mile 20: DONE. Elated and thankful. It is over. I did it. And I am pretty sure that once the feeling of wanting to throw-up leaves my body I will want to eat my weight in donuts.

The 20 miler. Even under the best of circumstances I have never found this distance easy. Today was unbelievably hard. It beat my tush. But I have learned over the years that if I try hard enough I can find humor in even the most difficult runs. I gotta say, I like that about myself.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you laugh yourself through some tough times!!!

I can’t picture it any other way …

Twelve long hilly miles. A “Veggie Palooza” plant sale. A tennis match. A sunny nap. A taste of my early adulthood. Playing Barbies. This is a snapshot of a day in my life. It’s colorful and I love every crazy memory of it! 

Well, I hope you all have a day where you can’t picture life any other way!!!

10 miles better than before …

I had the privilege to run 10 miles this morning.

Privilege?

Yes. Privilege.

My training called for 10 miles but I still can’t wrap my head around the fact that I can run that far again. Seriously, every step is a gift, be it 1 or 15,000. They are all precious to me.

I absolutely love running 10 miles. That distance means something to me. I vividly remember the first time I ran 10 miles. I felt like I’d finally made it into the coveted roll of a distance runner. It was far and my body didn’t fail me. It was a monumental day for me. To this day I don’t like running long runs any less that that. It’s my “go to” distance when I’m not necessarily training for anything in particular. The last time I ran 10 miles was just a few days before I got sick. Earlier today I looked back at my run in October on my running app and I discovered something I didn’t expect to. I ran those 10 miles in October slower than I ran them today. WOW. I honestly couldn’t believe it. I have felt so “behind”. I have felt like I have been struggling to find my way back to the old me. I’ve been frustrated at times, wondering if I was ever going to be as strong as I once was. Is that even possible so soon after being that sick, if ever? Well, I guess I got my answer today.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are better than before!!!

Humbly and gratefully back at it …

After six weeks off of running I ran two miles today. It was probably the most emotional run I’ve ever had in my life. There were many times over the past six weeks that I really wondered if I would ever run again. I was physically miserable and the thought left me a crying mess. My friends and family urged me to be patient, that I would know when I was ready. I was skeptical at best.

But this morning I laced up and ran. It was wonderful. I capped myself at two miles. I figured that was a good place to start and I let my body decide my pace. It felt fantastic to be out there! I honestly could have run at least double what I did, but I am not pushing it. I am not risking injury or illness. No way! Not gunna happen. And I’ll be honest, I want to savor every minute of this “comeback”. I am not taking one step for granted. Each is truly a gift. I am so thankful to be given the opportunity to run once more. It is a joy I wasn’t sure I would ever feel again. I want to appreciate it. Feel it. Own it. No. I am not pushing or rushing any of this. I’m simply going to enjoy it.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are humbly and gratefully back at it!!!