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

Monday, November 13, 2017

Just getting it done, period

              This past weekend was a holiday weekend and I had 16 miles planned for yesterday, Sunday but my body said, "NO way". Now being 3 weeks away from marathon #9 I could not just NOT run! So I slept in, had a nice morning making myself new earrings, sipping coffee with my hubby and listening to him respond to every cool article he came across in the paper. The morning was glorious. After my kids sent off to bed I left the house and drove 5 minutes to the 24-hour gym I am a member of and ran for 4 hours until 1am. While running, I watched 3 or 4 episodes of Project Runway season 9 and then the newest episode of Walking Dead, which was heartbreaking and thank God it was hreathbreaking, cause it kept me awake and kept me from thinking how tired I was. I ran out of Gu  at home except for one yucky flavor and lost all my salt pills for some odd reason but had enough salt pills in a pill box I used for the last marathon, so I used those. So yes, I ran 4 hours and had 3 bottles of water, 4 salt pills total and only 1 yucky Gu. The gym has unlimited 10-minute hydro massage which I took full advantage of right after finishing and boy was it pure heaven....one can adjust the settings so I basically got a 10 minute bum massage, heaven!! 

                 I got home at 1:30am and made myself a quick and COLD burrito roll with cheese, chicken, and cream cheese, I know, disgusting. But it hit the spot. I took a hot, hot shower and was happy to learn that I had minimal chafing thanks to the KT take I had my 10-year old apply earlier in the night, she's a pro at applying this stuff, you'd think she's a PT. I put on a huge sweatshirt and placed a towel over my pillow and went to bed and slept with a huge smile on my face. I did it. By not making it such a huge thing in my head I managed to do something that if thought over too much would certainly seem crazy. By the end of the night I had burned 1,240 calories and I did not quite know how to put that into my MyFitnessPal app, a calorie/nutrition app I use to monitor what I eat. I chose to just give Sunday 3 hours and Monday 1 hour. The way MyFitnessPal works is that it gives back to you the calories you burned as allowance for more food. I felt this was a good solution for it only gave me 310 calories extra for the next day and the allowance for the Sunday I could not really use up seeing as all I wanted to do was go to bed. 

Wednesday, November 1, 2017

Alone, but never lonely

           I would rather be alone 100 times than be in with the wrong friends. This was not always the case with me; I use to want to be part of the crowd at all costs, despite characters involved, despite conversations that occur, in fact; nothing was more important to me than making sure I did not feel lonely. Back then, any friend was a good friend. Then, something curious happened, something quite liberating and empowering.... I started liking my own presence, a lot! I know this change has to do with the many hours I spend running on the weekends, alone, pepping myself to keep moving. Despite the pain and discomfort, these pep talks while running made me start liking this person who lives inside, I was essentially rooting for myself. Another 'side affects' of liking the person inside has been valuing time a lot more, and not seeking the company of just anybody. I have come to learn that some people, despite their proximity, can make one feel lonely.

          In long distance running you have to constantly check your body for pain, discomfort. Even the smallest twitch can mean something catastrophic in a few miles, therefore, you learn to really listen to your body's signals. You listen to your heart, your pain, your comfort level and any sign that may arise and immediately you make decisions, on the spot, that relate to these body signs. This form of intense listening has obviously now extended beyond my training and has applied itself to other aspects of my life. Also, as in running, comfort is now my ultimate goal every social situation. If something does not feel right in my heart, in my gut, I simply move away, no excuses needed, no apologies. I cannot express enough how liberating this has been for me. I say liberating because being accommodating at all costs had its price and it was exhausting. Liberating because I no longer exhaust myself. Now that the craziness has dropped away I can better see that love is, in fact, all around me, constantly filling me, providing for me in every way, even if I might not feel this at all times. 

        I hope to teach my children these lessons if not directly, then through osmosis. I hope they learn that being alone does not mean lonely. This is one of the best lessons a child can carry with them into adulthood, it allows you to be brave, stick to your convictions and to not compromise your ideals. I'd love for my kids to learn the idea that your body will always be much more honest than your mind and to therefore to follow it without question; those mammalian instincts are millions of years old, trust them. Trusting one's instincts and moving away from a hurtful friend or lover is a decisive, clear and definitive way of saying a big fat no to pain and suffering. I'd also love my kids to know that cultivating friendships that make you feel loved, wanted and cared for are worth their weight in gold and that they are worth good, solid friendships. Two great rules of thumb when it comes to relationships is, one, if you feel lonely in someone's presence, it's not for you.... run! Two, your body will always tell you when it's not right. 

         I feel so incredibly blessed. Love IS, in fact, all around me at all times. Love comes daily in the form of an unexpected hug, a warm text, a friendly gesture, a 'thank you', even a smile from a stranger can remind me of the love all around me. I have come a long way and I feel a tremendous sense of pride at all the work I've done to get here. Where a shy, apologetic and meek woman use to be now stands a confident, non-apologetic, brave, and fearless woman. Bring it.