Wednesday, May 23, 2018

Earthly connections 

    I was a cranky mess last night chasing my kids around to go to bed. I threatened, yelled, pleaded and was able to get to bed by 10pm. That is super early for a working mom. Normally I need this time to unwind, but I wanted to get a morning run in and what better way to succesfully get up for a morning run than to go to bed super early. I woke up at 4am and laid in bed for 20 minutes. Got up got ready and stepped outside. The smell of the morning was
almost as magical as the sounds of the dark morning. I put away my earphones after about a minute and chose to just enjoy the morning sounds instead. 

     It had rained the day before so all the tall grass on either side of the path I take were leaning over wetting my entire lower leg as I ran past them. I imagined they were nature fans, giving me gentle, wet high fives as I ran past them. I left the house at 5am, so around 5:35am I began to see the sky brighten up and was sad to see the darkness fade. There is a cozy annonimity about running in the dark. I quickly got over this as I welcomed the low laying fog that rose over the trees and were now visible thanks to the light. 

       I smirked thinking how few gifts a treadmill really had to offer. On a treadmill you will not have wet, tall grasses giving your legs soft high-fives, on a treadmill you would not have to maneuver around muddy puddles or get the full breadth of the morning smells and sounds. I feel so fotunate to be able to do this.....and to think I almost rolled over and went back to bed. 

Monday, May 21, 2018

Lazy late spring runs 

      Ask any runner and they'd tell you they love their legs. My legs make running possible. They are the most powerful part of me....then there are my trusty running stuff, such as these sneakers. These sneakers have gotten me through my most recent race, the 50 miler, all the training for it and probably several marathons. I wear out my sneakers pretty evenly so slowly they become 
minimalist sneakers. 

Sunday I woke up exhausted. I had a party in my home the day 
before and just could not get myself to go for a run. So I looked up at time the sun went down and chose to go at 6:30pm....I am in love with the trails.....everything about it makes me come alive, the smell, the sounds, the ground, the shade....the plants..even the way the sun peaks through the trees. 

By trail running you also get to know the seasons and how it related to nature....these flowers from the Tulip Tree fall to the ground about the same time my dahlia plants begin to nudge out from the winter ground....or about the time the rain comes for days and days at a time. During my run I thought about how time is seen differently when you run trails....time is attached to these small changes in nature and you begin to know when things happen in nature, in the right order. 

The sun peaking through the trees at 7pm.....sundown is at 8:10pm today. 
Just me and the and my breathing, just me and my sweat.....and water....oh, what a huge blessing. 

Just keep in moving...never give up.... my motto

Once out of the forest I catch a ladybug!

Runners would have an issue with this sign...."joggers!" seriously? 

Thursday, May 17, 2018

The GREAT Outdoors 

          4:30am, I wake up minutes before the alarm goes off. That is what happens when you know you've had a good night's sleep. Funny how the coziness of a warm bed can make one do ridiculous mental gymnastics just to squeeze out a reason to stay in bed. But I soon hit a wall, Luke has a game tonight, so I could talk myself into working out later instead. This was it, the only time I could work out today so I must get up, like it or not. I stand up, use the bathroom, boil some water for coffee. 5 minutes into it and I am fully up and awake, no turning back now. My two kids and my hubby are still in bed, deep in sleep. I open the front door to feel the weather and decide if I can run outdoors. It's warm, misty and a bit rainy. For a split second I thought, yes, treadmill at the gym it is! but then I remembered just how amazing running in the rain feels and how much more private it feels to run in the dark, and more importantly, how crappy it feels to run in a treadmill. I changed in my dining room, grabbed my house keys, a canister of pepper spray, my handheld waterbottle, took several sips of my warm coffee, and out the house I went. It took a total of 1 minute to adjust to being outdoors and I was on my way....No gym has ever felt this good, ever...... I am so thankful for spring for it's this weather that calls me outdoors....not sure what I will do once weather gets cold again, but I will tackle that in its own time. 

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Gettin’ my arms back baby! 

      Women hardly ever get to feel strong. I have been lifting weights for about 3 to 4 times a week for 2 months now and it shows, finally. I absolutely love going to the gym for weigths. Lately, due to scheduling issues I go mostly in the evenings and find that tons of 20-year-olds hang there at nightnot necesarily to work out either. It's a 24-hour gym and once there, it's nice to know there is no rush to finish,time is lost. I don't do free weights. I know how to use free weights; I'm selft-taught and many, many times in the past I've done free weights from home, but I prefer the machines for now. Plus, at the gym there are only two benches which are usually taken up for 10 minutes at a time, so, that would not be an option anyway. Something odd about looking at yourself in a mirror while working out around 20-30 people, I'm not there yet. Also, working out at home is never an option. Most moms would understand; who wants to relax in a place you are likely to be asked for a sandwich? 
        Weight are one thing, but I stopped doing my runs at the gym. I use to watch whole movies as I ran on that treadmill, I find that I can no longer do this...for now. I know during the fall and winter I was doing ALL my long runs, as long as 20 to 22 miles at the gym, but I am totally burned out on that option. I am very much enjoying doing my runs outdoors, super early, before the sun comes up or in the early evening, soon after the sun has gone down. 
         Come June, I need to start long and longer runs to get ready for MCM again. As much as I am looking forward to more formal training runs, I am also enjoying the off-season, so relaxing. I have to confess, I am not really pumped up for the MCM as I have been in the past. This will be my 4th MCM, after the 5th I can get in any year so this race is working towards that goal of 5 mcm's, yet, I am not looking forward to the hurried nature of a huge race anymore. I feel I am emotionally transitioning to loving the ultra community more and more and may need to start doing 50K's just to be able to do trail races. Something about those races that feels much more like my tribe. Being surrounded by amazing, yet, super humble and supportive people really makes me love life even more and there is nothing else like it. 
         Which brings me to my goal of getting faster to the forefront. I need to start getting a bit faster if I want to do some of these races. I need to start working on speed, even if it's only once every 2 weeks. I must confess I hate, hate, hate speed work, I even hate hills, and I despise making my workouts super structured, totally. not. my. style. I know I am a workout rebel so I will continue to train as I please, listening only to my body and not giving up, anything beyond that, I cannot make any promises. Running is between my head and my body and for right now speed runs are a huge NO, regardless of how much I need to be getting faster.......I may change my mind later, but that's the beauty of being your own master, you get to choose. 

Thursday, May 10, 2018

Trust your training, trust your body

                Over a month ago I finished a 50-miler, yet, right now it feels like a struggle to run even 5, and that. is. okay. I now know my body enough to know that it all changes, all the time, nothing stays the same, ever. The minute one stops working out the body goes down, yet, on the flipside, the minute one begins working out again the body meets the challenge, so, healthy body changes happen, in both directions. When I was in my 20's I'd often suddenly realize I had not run for some time and to alleviate the guilt I'd go out and pump out 5 miles and then be totally debilitated the next day. So, I now know that my abilities are not gone when I change my workouts, that although it decreates, it does not disappear instatly,  it can only come back slowly, with deliberate and incremental changes to my running over time. Trust your training and your body. It all ultimately comes down to trust and trust only builds with experience. So yes, I will work my ass off to 'get it back'. Also, even though things seem less serious right now in my training, that is not the case; I am deliberately strengthening other parts of my body with weightlifting. Also, how amazing is this human body we live in? With every new challenge my body has risen to the occasion, never letting me down. I don't only need to get my body ready, my beliefs, my resolve, the images I place in my head all play a huge part in making everything fall into place in the end. In 10 months I would have been working my ass off to be ready to run 62 miles. I will aim to do prepare for this by first and foremost listening, respecting and properly pacing my body through the training.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Discovering trails around where I live....

                      I am trying to discover the trails by where I live..... the weather has been so nice-