Monday, February 19, 2018

Beautiful Life----

                         My physical therapist was very interested in my running and asked several questions not usual for doctors, but he was very friendly so I obliged. The two questions I remember were, "Do you get obsessed with things a lot?" and "Do you kids have the same level of energy as you do?". Oh, and I just remember one more, "What does your husband think of all your running." Each question was answered clearly, but each question revealed more about him than me. The more I get into my world of running the more I forget how much a visual disconnect my presentation must be to a casual observer. Here I am, a middle-aged woman with some extra weight on her claiming she ran for 8 hours, while injured with an upper back injury no less. I have long ago dropped the wonderings of whether or not I am believed so it took a bit to fully grasp why all the questions. I answered each question with a smile and quiet joy. 

               Today I covered 16 miles. I have decided to do another 16 miles tomorrow night in order to do a back-to-back run. I felt very stiff before the run, warmed up by mile 3 and at mile 13 I was so excited to almost be done that I ran faster than the first 12 miles. Next week I will try two 20's in a row and one more weeks of that and I will be ready for this least mentally I will be ready. 

                I heard an Oprah interview with Amy Purdy and my life changed. A few takeaways from the interview that will stay with me forever. When she clinically died the Spirit told her to not be afraid and that it will all make sense in the end. I have been through a lot in my life and these two messages make me fear future tribulations less, but also make me think that all I've been through is part of the bigger picture. A lot of learning lately it seems. I have also been reading Maya Angelou's last published book, Mom & Me and Mom. As the author has shown in her story, LOVE is the most powerful energy we have. Love can make anything possible; all one has to do is read her life story to know just how powerful and life-changing LOVE has been in her life. 


                  Right now I am listening to an library-borrowed audiobook of Tom Sawyer. Both children fully enjoying the story and it tickles me to see them chuckle loudly at parts of the story. 

Monday, February 12, 2018

30 miles baby!!!

I did it.....Just another proof that maybe, just maybe I will finish this 50 miler in March. Most of my training now is keeping my mental game tight. The image above is of me getting home from the gym at 4:30am after doing my 30. I have 18 hours to finish the race and for the 30 I averaged 3.75 miles an hour, which means my race time could be anywhere between 13.3 hours to 14.6 hours, judging from my time run. This morning I was a bit sore, I took some Advil and headed off to work. 

Monday, February 5, 2018

Maybe, just maybe 

        Maybe, just maybe I can imagine myself doing this 50 miler race. Two weeks of no or minimal running due to back pain and I come back to this, a 20 miler done effortlessly. What a surprise to get to 13 miles and feel as strong as if I've just begun. The next day I run 8 with my new running buddy, Willie. 28 freaking miles in 2 I can allow myself to again envision that finish line. 

Monday, January 22, 2018

The Injury Obstacle

                      Nothing like an injury to put your whole life into a new focus. It began in the middle of the night. I got up to use the bathroom and I felt a stabbing pain in my right scapula. I could not find any standing, sitting or laying position in which I did not feel the deep pain. It's important to add that I am no stranger to pain. I have run many races with pain running right there beside me. Additionally, with both my kids I labored over 24 hours each during their birth. But something about this new pain made it feel terrifying and much worse. Having a tired brain the first thought I grabbed on to was that I felt betrayed. Betrayed by my body, by this body I felt I knew way too well. Just a day ago I had covered 16 miles and now this! I did not understand. At two am, what slowly began to come to me what I had done with my body two days ago. Two days ago, I had cleaned all three bathtubs in my home to prepare for my sister's visit that weekend. That is where I hurt myself.
So, it turns out my deal ol' body did not betray me after all. I simply forgot two very important facts about the human body, and that is that it remembers all exertion you make, but way later. Second rule, no body pain experienced is EVER just random, EVERY pain, every twitch has a reason. The human body does not make mistakes. 

             I have been mentally debating whether to drop out of the 50 mile race this March and running the 50K instead but something in me still holds hope. Deep inside, I know that I can do a 50 mile race but in order to do it I have to want it bad enough to actually cross that finish line. Not only that but I have to seal shut any doubts I may have about not making it somewhere deep underground.....Another part of me is not yet sure if I am willing to put in the level of commitment required to cross that finish line. I am terrified and ever so slowly crawling to fearlessness.....

             more to come.....

Thursday, January 11, 2018

Who are you without that race shirt?

           Who are you without that race shirt?
I have been tossing around the idea of how some athletes, including myself, might at some point use our race gear to hide or to feel more emboldened in areas where we might feel a bit shy. Now hear me out. I find it perfectly okay when I see runners proudly display their gear. I myself cannot live without wearing my race tops everywhere. They are like a sweet reminder of badassery activity from the not-so-distant past. Yet, could there be such as thing as doing it for the wrong reasons? I fear that maybe the answer is 'sometimes'. For example, I myself, have often veered towards using a race shirt, to the gym, for example, especially on my 'feeling-less-than-confident' days. Wearing a top earned at my favorite race, for example, absolutely adds a little more confidence, especially when I might not be quite feeling it that day. In addition, as a Buddhist who is always trying to let go of all types of inner fears and always practicing deeper and deeper levels of self-acceptance, I do not like this occasional dependence I feel to wear a race shirt to feel better. IF I WERE to need to hide behind a race shirt that I then should work on not needing this so much. The worry comes from the idea that If wearing that shirt becomes a total dire necessity, not just a simple adornment, then what does that say about who we think we really are beneath all that gear? Byron Katie, a self-help guru whose books I adore, always asks the poignant question, "Who would you be without your story?". In asking us that question she pushes us to really question who we think we are behind all the narrative, all the medals, all the labels, whatever it is that we use to define ourselves to the external world. In a perfect world I should not feel the need to flaunt my accomplishments so externally, or so intensely or even all the time in order for my essence to come across clearly to others. In a perfect world I would very much hope that my own personality would stand on its own, without the need to embellish it with anything extra. And of course, I want to wear that shirt, display the 26.2 stickers and show off the my medals but not if without it I really think I'm nothing.

Thursday, January 4, 2018

That’s a wrap!!!

This is me a day back into school....not feeling this new year....but trying to stay positive. 

Finally some snow!! 

Finished at 948 miles.......okay so it's not 1000 but it's higher than last 2 years...

The Cutelis family....

Jenna-- made these amazing cookies....lots of amazing food this holiday....

And lots of hugs and love.....feeling so blessed!!

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

A glimpse into a busy working mom's winter workouts

                     I was just too tired this morning to go to the gym. After all these years of running I know very well the difference between tired and simply lazy. This was not lazy, I was honest to goodness tired. My throat was tight and dry and I have not had much sleep the day before and every part of me was still asleep when the alarm went off at 4am, so I allowed myself to not go and sleep for another 2 hours.  Now it's 7pm on that same day and everyone in my home has been fed and are now off working on their own projects. I came home straight from work and experimented on making a Mexican vegan quinoa recipe I found online. Dinner is over and sweet hubby is now reading, Luke is doing homework, Nora is sneaking a quick video game an I am warm and cozy in bed typing, beside me is my parrot on a stand enjoying the electric heater I plugged in for extra heat. But at 9pm, when the kids are getting ready for bed I will inhale some hot coffee, warm-up my car and head to the local 24-hour gym with my earphones and a fully charged iPad and maybe run for 1 hour as I binge watch new episodes of Black Mirror on Netflix and do weights for another hour and for a special treat to yours truly I plan to cap off the night with a free 10-minute water massage the gym offers. I could sit here and feel bad that I am not out there facing the elements but these days it's more important just to get the workout done.