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!!!

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Beat …

I had a great day today! I got a ton of things done and I was somehow able to squeeze in yoga this morning, some much needed gardening in the afternoon and another workout with speedwork tonight. I’m not sure how, but it all seemed to flow together effortlessly. I love it when that happens! But holy moly, a day like this will take its toll at some point. And I am definitely at that point, HA!

Well, I hope you all had a day were you feel beat!!!

Everything hurts and I’m dying (I’m so extra) …

This morning I ran an easy 3-miler. It will be the last time I run until race day. You would think this “easy” run would, in fact, be EASY. But it’s not. These last few miles I have come to call the “hypochondria miles”. The last of my tapering drama insanity nutso-ness is summed up in what are truly the final steps of my marathon training. I worry about every feeling I … um … feel.

Why does my Achilles feel that way? OH MY GOD IT MUST BE A TEAR!

Why am I breathing like that? MY LUNG MUST HAVE COLLAPSED.

Does my heart usually do that? YES, YES IT BEATS.

Is this harder than it should be? MY GOD ITS ONLY 3 MILES! HOW CAN I POSSIBLY MAKE IT ANOTHER 23.2?!?!

Good Lordy, I literally have to tell myself to SHUT UP and just RUN.

Well, I hope you all have a day where everything doesn’t hurt and you don’t think you’re dying!!!

Celebrating 18 awful miles and I yelled at a squirrel …

Long runs are hard. Some are easier than others but even when they are easy they are still hard. This morning I dragged my body to the curb for one of my last long runs before race day. I wasn’t feeling IT to say the least. My body is tired. Accumulative fatigue is REAL and I am riddled with it, HA! Anyway, because I wasn’t feeling IT I did everything I could think of to make sure I set up a good fueling station for myself. On my long runs I often loop back by my house where I can easily grab the fuel I need so I don’t have to carry it all with me. My supplies usually include water, Gu, granola bars, half sandwiches, fruit, whatever I feel I may need or want. It’s so helpful … usually. Today I don’t know how much worse my run could have been without it. Seriously, I was dragging. On top of that just as I was leaving my house I reached into my purse to grab my pepper spray and got one of the worst paper cuts of my life. This thing goes across the whole tip of my index finger. And despite being covered with a bandage it burned from my salty sweat. UGH.

So between my feet feeling like they were covered in concrete blocks and the pain in my finger I was pretty miserable out there. All of this misery didn’t make me immune to the other issues that come up during long runs either. Like the nuttiness. That was alive and well. Simple math was out the window. And I yelled at a squirrel. Yup, you read that right. I yelled at it. I came across a particularly spry little squirrel this morning. Not unusual, but this one just seemed a little sassier than the rest. This is the long run talking here. He was so fast and flitting all across the street. Then he stopped and looked at me. Like I wasn’t running fast enough to scare him. Good grief! It was at this point I lost my grip on reality and told him out loud that he was being a little show off. Yes, I scolded a squirrel. Not my prettiest (or sanest) moment that’s for sure.

I finished my run over 30 minutes later than I predicted I would. It was THAT bad! But despite all of the yuck and the fact that I yelled at a wild animal, I couldn’t be happier with myself. It’s taken a lot for me to get back to running this kind of distance. It’s been a tough and emotional road. But I’m doing it. Again. And I couldn’t be more grateful. Running, even on my worst of days, is still a gift that I will never take for granted. Not ever.

Well, I hope you all have a day where you look past all the bad and see only the good!!!

Hell hath no fury like a runner disappointed in themselves …

I did my long run yesterday … and it was horrific. I was looking forward to it and had no reservations about getting it done, but it got ugly. REAL UGLY.

The first six miles were fine. Completely uneventful. But by mile 8 I wanted the ground to open up and swallow me. The miles that followed were even worse. The word NASTY describes it about as good as “ice cube” describes an iceberg. Yep, it was THAT BAD. It was honestly one of the toughest training runs I’ve ever had. Don’t get me wrong I have experienced these awful miles before. Some runs just SUCK. And this one SUCKED HUGE.

But as much as I loathe these trying runs, I have also grown to appreciate them. Not at the time, of course! At the time I’m too wrapped up in the misery to see anything good. I wonder why I continue to subject myself to the disappointment. I wonder if my body was ever meant for distance. I berate myself with all sorts of negatives! The appreciation I have for tough runs comes later when I realize that I can suffer greatly and still somehow manage to survive. There is something in this realization that gives me strength. Knowing that I can push myself mind, body and soul is empowering. It’s hell, but it’s empowering!

Thankfully by the next day, the memory of my terrible run fades and I begin to think about my next long run. One that I envision will be better. WAY BETTER. The best part of this is that my mind believes it’s possible. Somehow my feelings of defeat morph into determination. FIERCE determination! And it gets me back out there, HAPPILY, week after grueling training week. To try to explain this roller coaster of emotions and self-inflicted physical torment sounds insane even to me. But I guess that’s why they say runners are crazy, HA!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you can’t wait to do it all over again!!!

Judgmental …

I try very hard to mind my own business. I don’t like getting sucked into anything that isn’t mine to own. Nor do I like to draw conclusions on partial information or observations. It can lead to assumptions that are altogether inaccurate. I like to believe I’m more compassionate than that. So, I try not to go there.

That being said …

I had to get my car serviced today. I also had a long run that I needed to get done. So I combined the two. I dropped off my car, declined the loaner car and said I’d be back in a few hours after I was done running. Two birds. One stone. Perfect!

As I was situating myself for my run I overheard a man on his phone. He was upset about how some home improvements were being handled and was attempting to contact the person who such complaints would be reported to. I was taken back by a few words he used to describe his situation. Not bad words, just BIG words to describe things that seemed to overly exaggerate his circumstance. But I STOPPED myself right THERE. Who was I to think such things? I don’t know his whole situation. He could be having 20 other things going on right now that made everything he described seem (or be) justified. Basically I said to myself, “Look here woman, you just lace up YOUR shoes and don’t give this man another thought until you have walked a mile in HIS shoes.” Oh yes, I gave myself a talking to! And off I went on my run.

I was fairly limited on where I could run waiting for my car. I didn’t want to keep getting stuck at street signals so I mapped out a 1.40 mile loop of sorts that I could do over and over again without having to stop. This loop brought me back past the dealership quite a few times. Boring views, to say the least!

Anyway, on about my forth pass by the dealership I came to the main driveway and saw a car approaching the street. I could tell the person driving was not looking in my direction. Even worse, the whole way up to the street, stopped at the street to turn and finally in making their turn out of the driveway, they never once looked in my direction. NOT. ONCE. I stopped next to them hoping to make eye contact them so I would know that it was safe for me to pass. But that never happened. I was standing there so long that I even thought of gently knocking on their window to let them know that I was there. But when I realized who was driving, I decided not to. It was the man I mentioned earlier. He was on his phone. Holding it too, which is a BIG NO NO in California. He was talking up a storm. I waited patiently for him to go. And he did so without ever seeing me standing inches from his car. Ugh. Needless to say, I could no longer remain on higher ground. I could no longer give him the benefit of the doubt nor did I want to. I didn’t care what was going on with him. I was upset that he was so distracted that he didn’t notice me, literally standing right next to him. Oy. THANK GOD I was paying attention because CLEARLY Mr. Big Word Complain-y Pants wasn’t. So much for staying compassionate. BIG sigh …

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

Up and at it at undead hours …

I woke up at 4 a.m. today. I was WIDE awake but I decided to stay in bed until it was an acceptable hour to run. I’ve mentioned before that my neighborhood wakes fairly early. I am often the first one out there, but it’s usually within a few minutes of running that “Good Mornings” are exchanged with neighbors who are also out starting their day. Four in the morning, however, is pushing it. As understanding and supportive my neighbors may be of my running and training, no one wants their light sensors triggered and dogs barking that early. Unless of course it was a real threat of vampires and werewolves in the area, HA!

Well, I hope you all have a day where you are up and at it at undead hours!!!