Saturday, September 28, 2019

The weekly long run, the battle between mind and body

Mind and the body.... who is in control?
The morning of a long run the body is screaming, 
"I cannot do this, let's just go back to bed and curl up and sleep."
The last hour of a long run my mind is triumphantly celebrating having proved the body wrong. 
Tomorrow I am hoping for it to be such a day...
I have 18 miles planned and who knows how this will get done but all arrangements will be made to get this in motion. 

Thursday, September 26, 2019

Doing the right thing is easy

                      Doing the right thing is easy and clear, when you don't make a decision filled with fear. I belong to too many teacher pages on FB and in one of them a woman posts a question. Should she report her coworker for verbally and physically abusing the kids they both care for and risk losing her job. Making this decision is super easy once you know how to make decisions. All decisions made out of fear are by nature, fogged. So one must put aside all fear to be able to clearly see what is the best decision for all situations. 

                      As a runner, I have experienced very little fear running alone in the dark mornings. In fact, I have always felt perfectly at home running, alone, as a woman. Now, the trails at night, that is another story. Yet, the other night, in an attempt to run 16 miles starting at 3:30pm, a friend and I got caught in the pitch darkness of the woods. With the exception of frogs suddenly filling in the trail as it began to cool, I felt perfectly fine running in the long as I was with someone. Whether or not I'd venture there, in the dark, on my own is another story. 

                         On that note, I am finishing my wine and heading off to bed to try to get a run before work in the morning. Happy runs!

Tuesday, September 24, 2019

Out and backs....and continuous loop races, my favorites...

             Yesterday, I ran 4 times around a four mile lake with a friend and it was emotionally very tough. What made it so tough was the anticipation of the rougher areas and some areas of steep hills and this got me thinking how much I miss my out and back long runs. I have also done a point-to-point race, like the Marine Corps Marathon, where no two places are the same (except for a few areas of intersection) and those too are tougher. But something about the out and back that makes it a lot less emotionally taxing. The only time I do not mind a continuous loop is when it's flat and when it's part of a race because after a while you don't know who is faster than who, and who is on what lap. The continuous loop race is a great equalizer... we are blind to who is fastest and with that piece of information missing we are suddenly all the same. 

              I am debating doing another attempt at the100K at the Pistol Ultra in Tennessee in 2021. The race is so well organized and I absolutely love the race directors there and the same people come every year to run it.... the environment is just the best.... part of the reason I am debating is because I have another larger goal in mind, working on my 50 states marathon membership and I already have the state of Tennessee under my belt, plus all the expenses to get there, get a hotel, and run it add up to quite a lot while not advancing my larger goal. But I have time to decide, it's not even 2020 yet. 

Sunday, September 22, 2019

Finding relationships that feed our soul.....

Finding new friendships is just like dating to find a partner. 
You try someone on and weigh the possibilities, will this person be a plus or a minus?
A plus is having a person beside you laughing at the same jokes
A plus is someone whose very presence makes up want to be better
A plus is ALWAYS someone we respect..... 
A plus is having someone on your side rooting for your success in whatever way they can.... 
A plus is someone who DOES NOT make YOU their obsession...
(stay clear of these clowns....nothing creepier that someone who thinks you complete them.......that is a PURE American lie/myth that leads you to burn and crash fast)
A plus is someone that is as passionate about ANYTHING (can be bugs for all I care, but it cannot be YOU). 

NOW, A minus is a person who feels life owes him/her and who very often has woven a whole complicated life narrative in which their actions are a direct warped response to all the hurt they've lived. RUN!! like NOW!!!
A minus is a person who acts like they know better than you (You can know more than me, but don't be a jerk; contempt is poison to all relationships). 
A minus is any behavior that is non-congruent to past behaviors. In English we know this as"sketchy". 
A minus is an uneven response to a tough situation....or even traffic. 

With rules so high and deep no wonder we have a hard time finding our tribe.... But once we do it's like butta'!  

Saturday, September 21, 2019

Hamstring Exercises and Stretches that work for me

                I have an injury and I've learned how to address it, on my own. Every time I'd sit for a long time I'd experience this dull pain in my hamstring and my upper back thigh of my right leg. 

           Two long runs ago, after 8 miles, I felt as if I ran any longer my hamstring would snap, and that is a scary feeling. I ended up walking the rest of that run. Then I remembered that this past year I had similar pain and it went away after I started stretching again. So, instead of running on one weekday runs I chose to go to the gym instead and after doing "arms" I did the hamstring machine:

and the squat machine to address this issue. 

As far as stretches, I love doing the hamstring stretch using a counter. 

and.....I also love the bend-over stretch using the same counter. 

I am very sure there are hundreds that address these issues but these are MY go-tos when this pain resurfaces. 

Thursday, September 19, 2019

Why I prefer to run alone....

            Does everyone's imagination fly during their runs? I find such deep comfort in my own mind while running, especially my during long runs. There is something about having to only pay attention to the few steps before you, or the possible tiny ache that might turn into a huge injury, or watching out for that pebble over there....(and then doing that for hours and hours) that makes one dig real deep into a world all your own. As Seth Godin describes marathoners, "they find someplace to put the pain." I put the pain aside and get busy with my imagination. Yes, I feel bad always shunning group runs and invitation to run with friends, because ultimately, all I want to do is run alone... not because I don't like the company, (I love my friends) but because I much more prefer my own company, always. 

A few years back I could have not written these words, "I prefer my own company. " or much less, believed them. A few years back I desperately sought self value from outside of me and needed a buttload of external validation everywhere I turned and all the time. I wanted to run with others for the wrong reason, for validation. I wanted to share my journey, again, for the wrong reasons, for validation. Now, I feel I am enough....enough to be my own company, enough to find myself thoroughly entertaining, enough to love myself...... On a long run, there are no thoughts too racy, no emotions too "    wrong", no scenarios too far off base ...During a long run, and in the privacy of my mind, all thoughts are welcomed, nurtured, accepted, savored. And since I am a slower runner, I have a lot more time to myself overall. I can best describe this feeling feeling of quiet joy as a type of intimacy one might share with a close friend, a lover or a spouse, but in this case, simply with oneself. 

         I have decided long ago, after reading a ton of Dyer-type books that the purpose of this particular reincarnation for me is to develop self-worth. Made total sense to come to come to that conclusion; having had it tough (an understatement) as an adolescent and having had zero control over what happens to my own body during that time did some serious damage to my self worth. Yet, turning all that pain into fodder through the power of running has been a lifesaver. Turns out all those years of suffering has allowed me to become an expert on putting the pain elsewhere and getting the work done. Even on my worse days now I think, "girl, you've walked through fire, this ain't nothin'". Running has also allowed me to rebuild myself from the inside out and has given me purpose, strength, pride and the will and fight live and love again. Life is good. 

Wednesday, September 18, 2019

You know you are ready for a marathon when ....

You know you are close to being ready for a marathon when you think, "ONLY 5 more miles". Yesterday, I was completing my long run of 14 miles on a treadmill and I thought those very words.... "I -ONLY-have-5-more-miles."

Now, I do not use the words "5 miles" in connection with the word "ONLY" for much of the year...but when I do refer to five miles in more diminutive terms I know something is changing within my body, ...I am feeling more and more ready. 

I'm sure in real life, outside of the running world, there are parallel connections, parallel situations in which all of the sudden we get a ever so subtle clue that something is, and has been, slowly changing.  For example, "You know you are ready for a new job when you begin to look at the the time more". "You know you are ready to break up from a relationship when you begin tasting every aspect of what your freedom would feel like", or "You know you are ready to write a blog post when the ideas practically write themselves in your head." 

what lies do you get that things are about to change?

Sunday, September 15, 2019

The instinct to trust or not to trust....

                I have been thinking a lot about trust and instinct lately, and their connection to one another . I sat watching the Democratic debate two days ago and realized there were two parts of me hearing the debate. There was the logical part of me and then there was the instinctual part of me. Since I have been placing a lot more credence on instincts I naturally trusted some candidates over others purely for how genuine they sounded to me. The morning after the debate I shared these thoughts with my husband and we both came to the conclusion that some of the candidates simple listen to their consultants way too much...listening and surrounding oneself by too many consultant is like having way too many cooks in the kitchen, it's a recipe for disaster. There is a difference between robotically following what a consultant tells you to do and what you KNOW to be true. Some of these candidates have let fear get in their hearts and are now operating on someone else's fear, on top of their own. Genuineness is something one instinctually feels. The older I get the more I value how I feel around someone.  
             What does trust have to do with it? Trust makes all the amazing things in the world happen. When two individual come together to make an amazing business or marriage or friendship, trust is the glue that secures relationships. Yet, in 100% trusting our instincts (which essentially is trusting yourself) do we begin to even have the chance of truly knowing how to choose the right people to trust with our lives. Trust and instinct are like guardian angels, here to help us navigate life more safely with the right people by our side.