Monday, September 26, 2016

Romance with running....Until death due us part....

              Without running I would be a depressed, miserable soul on the verge of suicide. When people boil down what I do as merely a means to an end, such as weight loss (gag), I cannot even begin to explain to them how far off mark they are, yet, I hardly ever correct them for others' experience of me rarely matter anymore (side affect of running). It would take way too much effort to even try to explain anyway, so I don't even bother. Besides, one of the most significant things running has taught me is that one's own understanding is quite enough most times.  

               When I was little, my mother would refer to education as something "no one can take away from you". Although I very much value my education and thanks to it I have a wonderful career I very much enjoy, etc, etc...but, to me, those words of my mom's best fit running...... The teachings and feelings I get from running, THOSE are what 'no one can take from me'. For example, the stunningly quietly rising sunrise I caught this Sunday, or the 5am streets that for miles and miles belong to only me or the hours I get to myself to ponder all my silly ideas, fantasies and current troubles. Now, those are the things no one can take from me. Most importantly, there is a pure joy I experience being out there and carrying my body over great distances. The unadulterated power that surges in after any run stays with me for many days ahead.  

             Yes, this sounds very much like a romance. There is not a day that goes by where I do not think of myself running, or in which I am not planning some new long run like a giddy teenager planning for a first date. In an odd sense it is very much a passionate romance, I even joke about "t'il death due us part". Also, as much as I love my hubby, I can survive quite well without him, but running, I cannot see myself living a happy life without running. 


Sunday, September 25, 2016

Week 11 done!!!

That look of uncertainty mixed with hope, I'm sure it's there before every single long run. I am super excited for my 17-miler this morning, again, set a new record for the half marathon distance, beating my average time from last week.  I know it's because I logged in less miles this week than last week leaving my legs to have extra rest......hmmmm....thinking of cutting down my runs to 3 runs a week....a mid-ling run Wednesdays, a short fast run after,and my long run on the weekend. 

              My route has a new feature and I googled to see if there was a death on this particular street and nothing. But it did make me shed a tear as I ran past it. I am also super proud that I tackled EACH hill with running and only maybe walked about 5 minutes total the whole day. 

First sight of the glorious sunrise. 

a quaint little trail on Zion Drive. 

Looped around and got to see the makeshift memorial for Kaila again, the time in full sunshine. Kaila was 3 when she died. Not sure yet if Kaila was a human baby or a pet, perhaps. 

My newest love (drum roll), ice baths! 15 minutes in cold-ish water in the bathtub. 

Sunday, September 18, 2016

Tears of joy

            Tears of pure joy!! 16 miles and fastest half marathon distance this year!! NEVER.GIVE.UP. This training season has been quite torturous. I have not been able to lose some of the weight I have put on since my last race (Nov. 2015) and therefore I automatically thought I would not be able to run the same pace as I have done before. Although that remains somewhat true, I have been getting faster little by little, week by week. After my 16 miler today I got this alert on my Garmin that I have 2 new records....Longest run and fastest half marathon distance!! wow. This one run today was very strong. I ran up most of the hills except the ones at the very end and the huge ones. 

Today was also a beautiful morning! The moon was out behind these ever so lightly breezy clouds, the air felt cool and fresh and new, even though the humidity, online,  said otherwise. Surprisingly, the humidity was still very high, 95%; this is even higher than it was last week!, luckily, it was a lot cooler than last week. 

I relaxed into my run listening to some new Bachata songs on Spotify. The pace of bachata matches my pace white well and the lyrics are always pretty entertaining, all about unrequited love and lovemaking, pretty amusing. Here is the view of my flashlight on the street before sunrise. This is one of the darkest streets I run on and there is this 1/4 mile wall on each side of the street. My amazing flashlight is able to illuminate the whole street and I feel quite safe and secure once I flash my lights all around once over and no one is on the street. 

The sun shows up behind the shadows. By mile 4 the sun starts to creep in, but seeing as it's cloudy, it's darker for much longer. Nevertheless I am always amazed at the many faces of the sky. This one id other-worldly. 
I finally put the flashlight away in my hydration pack pocket and I just LOVE this wide street....saw zero runners until about mile 7...

Zion (below) is the most twisty and hilly street. I was getting pretty annoyed with how many roller coaster-like dips I had to run on.

Found a nice little side path on Zion. It was a really nice path with the exception of the highly uneven pavement covered with pine needles. 

            So week 10 is complete! 6 weeks to go....Although I am getting faster there is still a good chance that I might get pulled off the course for being below pace. I am trying to train without worrying about it, but I am also making sure that no matter what happens I will be okay....I have put blood, sweat and tears into this training and no one can take that away...Of course, I'd love a medal, but, nothing can take away the strength and power these weeks of training has brought me so far; and I have not even run my 20 miler yet. 

Perdona si te hago llorar
Perdona si te hago sufrir
Pero es que no esta en mis manos
Pero es que no esta en mis manos
Me he enamorado, me he enamorado
Me enamore
Perdona si te causo dolor
Perdona si te digo adiós
Como decirle que te amo
Como decirle que te amo
Si el ha preguntado
Le he dicho que no
Le he dicho que no
Soy honesta con el y contigo
A el lo quiero y a ti te he olvidado
Si tu quieres seremos amigos
Yo te ayudo a olvidar el pasado
No te aferres, no te aferres
A un imposible, ya no te hagas
Ni me hagas más daño, no
Tu bien sabes
Que no fue mi culpa
Tu te fuiste sin decirme nada
Y a pesar que llore como nunca
Yo seguía de ti enamorada
Pero te fuiste
Y que regresabas

Tuesday, September 13, 2016

Surviving the monotony of a treadmill.....

              I have a new secret to getting by those boring treadmill miles, Youtube music videos!! In my case I LOVE watching music videos of Joan Soriano singing bachata....... his voice is just the best sound I've heard in a long time and the lyrics are so rich and beautiful. See below for some samples of his work. Now I am going to teach myself to dance bachata like some of those dancers in the video....oh, and of course....we HAVE to go to The Dominican Republic sometime soon....

....get up and dance you.....

Me miras,
y el universo de tus ojos me lo cuenta todo.
Me hablas
y me preguntas al oido si te quiero un poco.
Me abrazas
y tus palabras son:
que pasar manaa cuando te hayas ido,
a quin podr contarle que te siento lejos.
se dormir el amor,
y guardar tus rosas para cuando brille
el sol.
Y yo te dir,
temblando la voz
el tempo va de prisa y ese dia que soamos vendr
Apaga la luz, la noche esta marchndose ya (2x)
y tu sonrisa que amanece lo lumina todo,
me besas
y las palomas de tus manos acarician todo,
y tus preguntas son:
que pasar maana cuando te hayas ido,
a quien podrá contarle que te siento lejos,
se dormir el amor
y guardar tu rosas para cuando brille
el sol.
Coro (3x)
(Si t te vas qu voy hacer)

Read more:  Joan Soriano - ¿Qué Pasará Mañana? Lyrics | MetroLyrics 

English translation: Joan Soriano - What Will Happen Tomorrow?
(Dominican Bachata)

You look at me
and the universe of your eyes tells me everything
You talk to me
And ask me softly if I love you a little bit
You embrace me
And your words are
“What will happen tomorrow when you have left?
To whom will I tell that you feel far away?”
Our love will sleep
and will save your roses for when shines
the sun

And I will tell you
with trembling voice
the time is passing quickly
and the day that we dream of will come
turn off the light, the night is already passing (x2)

Wake up,
and your rising smile lights everything for me
you kiss me
and the palms of your hands caress everything
you ask
and your questions are:
“What will happen tomorrow when you have left?
To whom will I tell that you feel far away?”
tomorrow our love will sleep
and will save your roses for when shines
the sun.

Chorus: (x3)
(if you leave, what will I do?)

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Week nine done!!

             Week nine is done!!! yes! I am finally showered and sitting in my comfy bed typing and the run is completed. I feel quite amazing thank you very much. I did not meet my time goal unfortunately, but I will chuck that up to 82% humidity at 5am. The minute I stepped out of my air-conditioned home the air felt heavy and I was sweating profusely for the entire run.


            Before every long run I always take a good look at my bare feet and jokingly ask them if they're ready. Getting up this morning was tough but from experience I know that if I wake for any reason at 4am and my alarm is set for 4:15, I am not going back to bed, so I got up and my feet got the question. "Nope, I am not ready", they answered me. 

I have this obsession with C9 undies from Target. They now made a much better version and I got two sets of three. They MUST say Seamless will not regret! They feel amazing!!

         I let go of my time goal from the very get go. I had a time goal last week and that was fine, but with the humidity I was not about to risk getting burned out too soon. I felt so happy being back on my dark streets with my trusty super-powerful flashlight in one hand and my pepper spray in the other. The minute the sun came up I put both away and enjoyed having nothing in my hands. The humidity level lowered around 7am to 46% and every once in a while there was a gust of wind. 

            No matter how slow I run, I love feeling my legs moving beneath me. 

               The image below was taken at mile 5. Just feeling so blessed the whole run. The lowered humidity helped me feel better and run faster. I listened to two shows on Marathon Training Academy podcast and the miles went by pretty fast. I normally don't put on music until the 2nd half of the run. 

Good-bye shadow from street lights, hello sun shadows. 

Mile 8....

My camera refused to focus on this huge spider and web that stood out on my run....I love spiders. 

And finally, the sun comes out in full dramatic fashion. I need to paint this...

Mile 11....finally on the trails. I was further slowed down by the pebbles that cover half the lake trails. The paved parts were heavenly but on pebbles my ankles were screaming. 

              These signs (below) were posted everywhere around Lake Accotink...once again, society is supposed to just blindly trust weapon holders. The "what ifs" are endless, but we are supposed to just believe that all hunters know what they're doing without a shadow of a doubt. Made me sad for I just witnessed a beautiful deer with her fawns a few days ago in this same park....will they be the innocent victims of some overzealous bow and arrow hunter?  Sorry, I just don't get it, never will.  

This image below is what I shared on my Instagram account. 

I got to my son's double header game at 9:37am....went into the ports-potty there and changed my bra and top and sat for 5 hours watching his games. The day was absolutely perfect!! Any day that ends with baseball is a wonderful day!

Saturday, September 10, 2016

Epic 16 Miler Planned for tomorrow's long run...battling fears

            I am getting ready for an epic 16-miler run for tomorrow through the towns of North Springfield, Burke, and Annandale. I will be running on three nature trails, Lake Accotink, Wakefield Park and Mill Creek Park. I cannot wait!! Seeing as I am staring before sunrise, there is one thing that's always a part of my planning, safety. I am pretty sure safety, in terms of rapes and abductions, is not an aspect most men have to consider much when planning their epic 16-miler, while for most pre-sunrise solo running female, this is a HUGE part of our planning. 
               I was telling my hubby just today that for some reason I feel much more unsafe here in the suburbs that I ever did running in Washington, DC. Perhaps it's my own bias; I may have seen too many horror movies, and in most of them random killers come from way out in the the suburbs or even further away from rural areas where they could easily shack up in a family member's basement, pay no rent and do their evil deeds in the total privacy of their secluded location. In the city, on the other hand, I have always believed, and maybe falsely, that it's merely impossible to just live in the city without a job, and anyone with a job therefore is less likely to abduct or rape random runners in secluded areas. I know, I know, all this ridiculousness is a huge absurd list of assumptions and fear all rolled into one. But, logic is a very weak opponent once fear has taken hold. 

       No matter what my fears tell me I have long ago chosen not to be dominated by my fears. The familiar quiet streets I now run on and the quiet dance of extended shadows of my slow moving body which accompany me on each pre-sunrise run are part of what makes this MY run.  One naturally develops a deep familiarity with the streets one most often runs on and that helps one feel more at ease, out there in the dark.