Saturday, December 9, 2017

FEAR

            Fears, we all have them, and they present themselves in so many different ways. The other night I was listening to my 10 year-old daughter soulfully signing 'Someone Like You' from Adele from another room. It was just THE BEST sound in the Universe, but almost instantly after that, I felt that all-familiar tug of fear creep in. Fear that I'd lose her, and God, what if this or that happens to her, what would I ever do without this entity of pure love in my life? It was relentless, and sadly, it happens every time I feel blessed. The fear  creeps in and dampens every feeling of joy that exists and stains it red, with terror.  

               Over the years and after living the basic Buddhist tenets of "not believing in your thoughts" I have managed to keep these annoying and obtrusive fears at bay. I have faced many fears and after going through the same motions several times I came to realize that most of these fears are just harmless mirages. In 2013 when I ran my first long race I. WAS.TERRIFIED! The whole process from driving there, to the dark ascent to the mountain top, to seeing how such few runners there actually running the race and  all the way to seeing how much like a non-runner I looked (in comparison to the other runners) all filled me with sheer, sheer terror. BUT, I was there and forward was the only way to go. 

             Running fears are very different from regular life fears. We choose them, we pay for them, they are, in essence, artificially created fears placed by us in order for us to systematically uncover and reveal a source of strength we did not know we had. Fortunately, the lessons from these 'artificially' placed fears do translate their valuable lessons to real life. I know so much more about myself now. I know that no matter how tired I am I still have several hours' worth of energy stored within me, which can be tapped into anytime, all you have to do is believe it. I have also learned to shut off my self-conscious-speak, like when I might be feeling particularly vulnerable about the way I look in my running outfit, and instead just depend on a more nurturing and positive inner-voice to help keep focused and moving. I have also learned to love my own company. To be alone anywhere is a gift, I get to read think, make art, ponder, plan, reflect. This is a far cry from the insecure girl who would prefer anyone's company over the silence of her own head. Strength is the treasure found on the other side of fear and my life has changed drastically the minute I refused to let my fears dictate my actions or my words. 

            Next, comes my first 50-miler in March of 2018, which, as you may imagine, fills me with sheer terror. Not one day goes by in which I do not work at this goal emotionally, if not physically. I am slowly breaking this fear down bit by bit. The first tactical approach is the training, if you don't train for it, your confidence will not be where it should be and you won't feel prepared. Second, I imagine that finish line every chance I get. It's a pretty vivid narrative too, I pass that line, I am crying, I am exhausted, thankful, just wow!!! Third, and also super essential, I fill my mind up with stories of people that have done it. I scour everywhere for these stories and devour them all. I look at Facebook running pages, read blogs, watch YouTube videos of long races, I read race recaps, books, speak to people, ask questions. Last, I imagine myself at age 90, surrounded by grandchildren calling their grandma a "badass". Mental preparation is almost more than half the battle.  Convincing my brain to truly believe that IT IS possible is what's going to bring me that extra fighting power to bring me across that finish line. I have two and half months to get my body and my mind where they need to be so that I can conquer this fear.  

Monday, December 4, 2017

Cool Podcasts to Listen to While Running (If you must listen to something)



True Crime podcast

John O’Leary
Super Soul Sunday
Dear Sugar
Runners connect
Ordinary Marathoner
The Human Race,

Marathon Training Academy
300 pound and Running
Another Mother Runner
Running for Real
The Runner's World 
Personal Best
Running stupid



Gift Guide for the Runner in Your Life (2017-18 Holiday Season)

          I have made a list here of basically things I personally would love. But to give further background; I did not put sneakers here because that is a purchase I do myself and myself only. Second, I am not a huge gift giver or receiver. I usually buy myself everything I need so these are items I could not have enough of or maybe even not feel I could splurge on getting more than a few....but would love to....

        I love fleece hats. I cannot have enough of them for I am always losing them. So therefore, having new ones as gifts is always a win, win. 




     Sweaty Bands never get old. Yet, I stick to the thicker versions. 


DO NOT bother getting a distance runner cheap socks. They are often too thick and most of them sold in bulk are often all cotton. Smartwoold and Swiftwick are two brands I use and trust. My socks are like gold. I am still mourning the half a pair I eft behind at the hotel dryer in Miami two years ago...that is how much I value them. 


         She's gotta know something.....she ate this way and won the NYC Marathon....so, it's worth a look.




       Best gift I have ever gotten has been a gift certificate to a local running store. You cannot go wrong with this one. 



        Choose any workout gear from a race she once ran. Make sure the right year is on there and make sure, most importantly, that you have the size down. 


Medals pilling up? get a new rack? Etsy has a ton of styles at affordable prices. 


A running magnet for her car!! If she's already got all her #'s on there, choose a funny one....


This is gold. They seem very much behind the scenes until once day you need them and don't have them. 



Most likely she already had Runner's World. Yet, Trail Runner has the most beautiful pictures and amazing articles inside. 


Sunday, December 3, 2017

Second Rehoboth Matathon

Nothing is more exciting than Rehoboth, Rehoboth during marathon day! First, Rehoboth is a fun, magical place. Perhaps it's because I have memories of partying here as a young 20 something, or perhaps it's just that in fact, it is just a magical place, period. 


The marathon here is small, small enough you can park and run. race starts at 7am and is super relaxed. I got a ride there an hour early, picked up my race packet and walked to Dunkin Donuts to buy a coffee and warm up. It was not that cold but I tend to be cold. In line at Dunkin Donuts I met another runner who had driven from Pittsburg and was there to run her second full. We had so much in common and it reminded me how runners always click no matter how little they know about each other. She was a lovely person. 






I felt very fortunate to be here....

      My time was 13 minutes faster than my last marathon and I was super happy with the results. My goal for this marathon was to try my best to run the whole thing and I did just that with the exception of 2 quick bathroom breaks. To know that you just ran for 6 and a half hours straight without stopping is quite something. I use to be embarrassed about my long times but for someone like myself, who is already carrying lots of extra weight, it's quite a good time. I dare any 150 lbs. woman to carry maybe 50 extra pounds in a backpack and not do similar times as me....it's a physics. I know this, because despite my time, I know I gave my all there Saturday and in the end, that is all that matters. 















     This is the only marathon my family participates in with me. Most of them are logistically impossible and I personally feel better not having the extra hassle of planning when and where. But since the race has a great after party with THREE free beers per runner (and paid adult guest) the family comes every year. This year we stayed at the AmericInn Lodge & Suites Rehoboth Beach at 36012 Airport Road, Rehoboth Beach, DE  and I think this will be out go to hotel for the race from now on. It was an awesome hotel to stay at. First, the place is like a storybook lodge, the personnel is super friendly, lots of runners everyewhere. The decor is cozy and very much dressed for the holidays, the free breakfast is yummy, and......and.....(drum roll) it has a hot tub and pool opened from 9am-10pm, with an 11am check out. Last, they accept dogs at $25/day. So bring your family, your dog, your bathing suit....and make sure you stay an extra night so you can explore the local restaurants and the shopping. 

The best feeling in the world is laying down in bed, after a marathon and having showered and changed........nothing in the world like this feeling, nothing. I call it, "being on the other end of the marathon."...


Tuesday, November 28, 2017

I am becoming a woman who....

           I have been turning around this idea of a new female for some time now. Not a feminist, not a woman as opposite a man, not a manly woman, not a strong do-it-all woman, not a "lady" or even a badass, but simply a new woman, undefined by any conventions. The more I follow this running journey I have come to discover this new woman, whom I feel very fond of, when I catch a glimpse of her once in a while. 

I am becoming a woman who..
I am becoming a woman who speaks with compassion, directness, fearlessness
I care not to change others, yet,  sway closer or further, depending on the tides of life
Long gone are the days of fearing misread intentions 
Extra sweetness, extra accolades, extra fluff are unnecessary 
I will not sweeten my tone of voice 
I will not paint on a smile to seem meeker, softer, smaller, less threatening, more ladylike.... it's not worth the bother
My presence IS my gift to you
I speak to you, share parts of me with you, listen....
It's a sign of utmost trust and admiration to hold one space, together
Unbound by all labels, I toast with all 
Your status, your possessions, your financial situation are trumped by your words...

Sunday, November 26, 2017

20 miler while on Vacation

           I was in Long Island, New York with my family, staying at my mom's for Thanksgiving. It was also my weekend for a 20-miler. in preparation for the Rehoboth Beach Marathon next week (and no, I no longer taper two weeks anymore, but that is another whole post). Now, after having done several marathons the 20-miler takes on a much less scary feel, yet, I was a little bit stressed about going to the Planet Fitness by my mom's, they inconveniently have their bathrooms downstairs, a whole flight away from the treadmills and time is always an issue if you are a mom runner, every minute counts. 

           I set the alarm for 3:30am Saturday morning and got up, made coffee, and just out of curiosity decided to make sure that the Planet Fitness I belong to was indeed a 24 hr gym, as it is near my home. Turns out it's NOT!!!!! So, I not only got up, lubes up, tapes myself up, got all dressed, etc but also my poor mom got up with me and was chatting with me, keeping me company, so I felt extra guilty having woken her up and now the gym is not open until, what....7am!? I entertained for a split second going back to bed, in the end, that IS what my body really wanted after all, but before that thought took root, I quickly asked Siri on my iPhone for a list of all the 24 hr. gyms in my area and this place Synergy in Baldwin, NY pops up. I called them and blurt out if I could possibly come in and just try out the gym. I was too tired to make up some story and frankly I always get better results being totally honest. The male voice on the other end of the line said, "sure, just come in now." I drive up and it does not have the feel of a big gym, I start to drive away but again, no, I realized this might just work. I park, go in, and a young friendly man neither asks questions or for an ID and lets me come in. I was happy surprised to see that the treadmills were not only RIGHT NEXT to the bathrooms bu they were facing outwards towards the people and my ass would be facing the wall.....just a thing I believe most woman think about....the Feng Shui was right. I ran for 5 hours, took a few bathroom breaks, took 1 salt pill every hour and had 1 tablespoon total of the peanut butter I brought to replace GU. I am sitting here writing a day later and I am so glad I got this done. At any moment that day I could have convinced myself that I'd do it later and easily quit and gone to bed. 

               My legs felt strong and fresh, my lungs breathed smoothly and easy and my heart felt just fine. I felt I could have easily run another 6  miles that day (had I had to that is). I know I am ready for this marathon next weekend. The run was so easy, in fact, that I think to prepare for my 50-miler in march I will run a 20 every Saturday and in addition,  one Sundays maybe begin running a few extra miles (very slowly), then of course my usual few small runs during the work week. Whatever this training plan will be, I know it's going to fit my body....I just need to work on the miles numbers a bit more. In the meantime, after my marathon next week I plan to run a 20 the next weekend as well. By then, I should already have my 3 month plan figured out. No matter what it's going to be the plan will include less running than most plans dictate. As an older runner, I know for a fact that I personally do a lot better on less miles than on excessive amounts in one week.


me after the 20!!! yes!!! did it.


Saturday, November 18, 2017

Sports Movies Recommended in My Running Group

BBreaking Away

* Vision Quest!

*Remember The Titans

* Rudy.

* Blind Side is another good football movie

* Rocky

* Miracle

* The Rookie, 

* Million Dollar Arm, 

* Bull Durham 

* Pele Birth of a legend, 

* Race

* We are Marshall

* Invictus 

* Cool runnings

* McFarland

* The mighty ducks series

* Blind Side 

* We Are Marshall

* Made to be Broken.

* The Barkley Marathons documentary. 

* The Sandlot,

* We are Marshall, 

* Mighty ducks.

* Running the Sahara 

* Friday Night Lights

* Major League

* Any Given Sunday

* Karate Kid

* Happy Gilmore 

* Remember the Titans

* Blindside

* A League of Their Own

* Desert Runners 

* Angels In The Outfield 

* The Whole Shootin' Match

* Glory Road!!

* Bad News Bears

* The original

* The longest yard

* Eddy the Eagle!!  

* Invincible!! 

* Cinderella Man 

* Field of Dreams

* Chariots of Fire

* Hoosiers

* The World's Greatest Athlete

* McFarland USA.

* “Run Fatboy Run.”

* For Love of the Game

* Moneyball

* The Ringer

* Skid Row Marathon'

* GridIron Gang