Sweet is the simple sugar that you gift yourself.
Sunday, April 19, 2015
There you go, then.
Present for The Kid. Every morning brings breakfast together at the dining table. We each have a placemat. I enjoy a cup of black coffee, and she gets whatever creation I muster. I make sure she has a neatly folded napkin and a little jelly jar of juice. God, I love this.
The recipes I've studied for years, and some new ventures, have found their way to reality in my kitchen. I cook, clean, plant veggies, and exercise.
I'm living the best life I could ever ask for.
I know deep down it's not forever sustainable. My finances are not unlimited. My daughter will seek her own best life. I may always have an adventurous craving deep in my bones for independence. Forever is not the point.
Right now, right here, I'm the happiest I've ever been. Love.
My friend Laura planted some of my Gramma's cannas. Now they live in Austin. My Gramma would think this is super cool.
Another love. This is my sole nutrition during my runs. One every 45 minutes, but if I run over 3 hours, I start taking them every 30 mins.
By then, I can barely do the math in my head.
I'm the slowest member of our group. I'm ok with that because I know how much I'm giving it.
The first bluebonnet of the year. Hello, honey.
Yes, it's a loaf of bread. Yes, it's weeping.
No need to laugh, thank you.
The Kid. :)
Saturday morning's run. Since we traveled to Grapevine (near Ft. Worth) for the formal, I thought I'd get in an interesting long run. The forecast had promised a chilly start, so I added a couple hours sleep to my plan and headed out well rested.
At least I'm experienced enough to apply sunscreen in spite of predictions. As soon as I saw the bright, sunny skies, I knew this would be no brisk trot. I immediately ventured off my prepared intricately detailed, hand-written map within the first quarter mile. My new plan suddenly became, follow the sidewalk for half my water supply and then turn back.
Along the way, I found a trailhead off the road with a water fountain, so I took a break to hydrate and rest. The trail was paved and an elderly couple passed by. Perfect. New plan, follow trail for half my water supply and then turn back.
Finally, the trail came out of the woods and I had to decide whether to continue along the sunny pavement, or go ahead and turn. I let my ego push me forward. Two ladies wearing too much perfume pushed on ahead of me with terrible running form; I sure as hell wasn't going to quit. Hot sun. Eyes sting with sweat.
I looked up, and this beautiful lake arose in my view. To my left, a couple of men were getting out of their car and into wheelchairs. I felt embarrassed that I could run. I wished I was doing worse, or better, or whatever would help them somehow. An empty dock beckoned, and I ran hard.
Wednesday, March 18, 2015
I gave notice at my job.
I've climbed as high as I can go here, complete with the suite and a view of the UT tower and stadium. How lovely.
These come at a price. Though I can see the weather, I don't have time to step outside for a breath. My commute is dreadful. I won't go on.
I'm choosing to rely on the other man for financial security for awhile, as opposed to The Man. I have some projects up my sleeve that can provide additional compensation, but my primary duties for the next few years will be home-based.
I love my girl, and I'll never regret being present for her high school years. She is happy with the upcoming changes.
It's all for her, and it always has been.
March 27 sounds like a mighty fine day.
Saturday, March 7, 2015
I've been dreading this race. Terribly. I'm not so typically affected.
Since I got my coach I've been working harder on the sport that brings out my deepest fears/abandonment issues. Let's do it and not discuss further.
Let me back up. I got a coach for a reason. Goal setting. Accountability.
I think I need these things because I start strong in races, then at some point I realize it's so freaking hard and there's still some distance to go.
My coach fixed this. My ass is whipped into shape. Today's half marathon taught me that.
I still have a lot of work to do so that I can be "fast". For example, my friend won the half marathon. And I'm the slowest one in my training group. Nobody makes me feel bad about myself, and I just pretend to keep up. This must be working, because I am stronger.
So what happened today? Do you remember the post from a few years ago where I was sitting in my car post race and being all hysterical? Yeah, today was the same course. My fourth time here.
I warm up hard so the pack start would feel easy. We take off at sputtering paces, sometimes too fast, and sometimes halting to a walk. We jockey for positions on the single track trail. Mile 1 passes and I score my first twisted ankle. Ladies start taking Gu and it slows them down. I wait on mine and take the pass. Mile 2 twisting that ankle and wondering what the rules are for dropping to the 10k. I get a side stitch. Breathe. Run in a way that my legs move but my upper body doesn't. Squash the stitch. Awesome. Go. Run. My coach appears out of nowhere, calls my name and tells me to pace myself.
I wrench my ankle hard. I cry out and my glorious pain echos through the Smithville, TX spicy pine tree forest. The potato shaped rocks bounce the sharp sound back at me as fiercely as my nerves shatter. I hang onto a sapling as I force air into my lungs. Jog. More. Go. Run. Nobody's here to carry me out and I'm no quitter. On this terrain, every 3 miles equals 43 minutes if I try really hard.
I trip over a root or a group or rocks, or both. Land like a frog fingers down, palms high, booty in the air. Cool, no damage. Jog. More. Go. Run. Shake out the neck and shoulders. Whiplash.
Dance on the rocks. Think of people I love. Only positive thoughts.
Please God, help me feel your presence. I don't doubt you're there. I just need help feeling you. I can't do this alone.
Last fall, face plant into a clump of dried grasses. A soft landing!! That prayer worked.
I think I may be the dragonfly.
The rest comes in time.
At the finish, a bunch of people are there cheering me on. I try to step aside and gather my thoughts, but I guess friends don't let you do that. Now I realize I wasn't running alone.
It's so easy to give love, but I have to learn to receive it.
Monday, February 16, 2015
I finally got it. Advice from a pro. No, I'm not mental enough to get a head shrink. ;) I signed up with a running coach, and I'm getting whipped into shape.
I didn't hit my time target for Houston, and I have plenty of reasons with even more excuses. Now that I'm on this training plan, I can see that I really wasn't putting in the time or effort that it takes to reach those goals. But man, it's hard.
I don't write here much, with the availability of Facebook and the lack of desire for anonymity. There aren't any secrets left.
Life has settled into the routine I'd hoped for, and now I watch time float by and my daughter earn her own life experiences. At 14, she is still so sweet that her openness stuns me at times.
I can't hope to capture these days, but only to love them.
Don't take it too seriously ;)
Wednesday, October 22, 2014
There you go, then.
I have a goal. I reach them once I set them. Commitment doesn't come easy.
I love my financial security, but it was never my dream to sit behind a desk. I love my big fat office with a view of the downtown museums, but I can't be chained to the window blinds.
J is with me for a minimum of four more years. I have an opportunity of a lifetime, and it had nothing to do with money.
I thought I wanted to play with the big digs, but they howl a song I've heard before.
I'm going after this dream with as much passion as I went after my career.
She's worth it.
So am I.
Friday, October 17, 2014
Damn this had been a tough few weeks.
My attitude sucks. I'm dressed for a run sitting in the lobby at the gym, ready to hit the downtown streets.
Frowny face girl, you were happy once upon a time.
I feel like the traffic-stuffed streets do. Overwhelmed, indifferent, an aging network of patched repairs.
I'm sorry to disappoint you.
Wednesday, October 15, 2014
I miss triathlon season.
Now that I'm running more, the loneliness has crept back in. Really, Mara? Must we sip again? Isn't your thirst ever quenched?
Sit and have tea once more. At least you are company, even if you ask the hard questions. Twist my words and accuse me of being legalistic. Tell me I'm not a good friend.
Maybe if you challenge me enough, I'll find my resilience.
Until then, I run for no reason.
Tuesday, October 7, 2014
Just one post in September?
So much is going on. There's that word again- "busy".
I finished my third triathlon in Kerrville, and I can't believe tri season is over. I can't believe I made it through one event, never mind and entire season to complete my goal of three. I wasn't sure I could finish since I sprained my ankle in August, but physical therapy does work. I'm sorry to see it end, but I'll be back next year. I'd like to do at least one Olympic distance race. (Isn't there always more to reach for??)
Marathon season has begun again, and I'm happy to focus on the run. No more sharing days with bike and/or swim. Just you and me, baby. PT also addressed my hip issues from last year, and I'll be released from that treatment next week. It's amazing to run without pain, and to not need extra recovery days that should have been running days. I can fly.
Happiness feels easy lately.
Monday, September 22, 2014
Friday, August 29, 2014
If the money is good, then why do I want something else? Is it just human nature to be dissatisfied?
I think they pay me a whole lot of money to use my brain and keep myself behind my desk. My eyes get tired of the pixels and my back hates the confinement.
Beach dreaming, yoga missing selfishness. I do play my flute. The notes sound so fat, and for once I don't want to be tied to the music. I let my fingers caress the keys and my breath linger wherever it pleases. I turn my back to the stand and stare out the window as the notes sing for me.
What have I given up in my ruthless quest for security and independence? Nobody hears the music because I only play when I feel free.
Thursday, August 28, 2014
Saturday, August 23, 2014
Not quite the end yet; I have two days to go. I fully realized this as I passed my director on the trail this morning.
Add a couple weeks, and hello to the big four-oh.
Moms visit came and went, as did the family reunion. I especially appreciated my time with the oldest members of my family. I am loved for the best possible reasons, and I am overwhelmed with the deepest gratitude in return.
On turning forty, I'm pretty excited about my new decade. The last year was unbelievably wonderful. It felt like dreams that I'd been working towards finally came true. I made it out of my last job and into the one that I set my sights on years ago. I finished my yoga certification and my first two triathlons. My credit and finances are actually "good". I quit talking down to myself in the mirror. I healed and laughed and loved.
I have a couple small goals this coming year. I'll ride my first bike race and try to qualify for the 2016 Boston marathon. I'd like to give more time to my friends. It would also be nice to be a gentler, softer version of me, whatever that might mean. We'll find out ;)
I want to be the best mom for my kid. If that's the only goal I achieve this next year, I'll consider it a success.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Thursday, July 31, 2014
Just when you feel strong, you get shoved from behind. Maybe it's your own fault, maybe it's external, maybe all of the above.
Doubts, questions, fears.
I think I have moments of everything.
Peace, calm, acceptance.
I'm all over the place. I don't know whether I want to be left alone in a cocoon or if I need to be around my friends more. Something needs. Maybe something is too much.
I think I'm trying too hard, in any case.
Pre-race jitters? Definitely some of that.
Missing my kid? A lot of that.
Get yourself together, girl, cuz this is a mighty fine life. 39 is beautiful.
Wednesday, July 30, 2014
One morning this week, as I sat in my car at a traffic light, a man with a shopping cart full of trash bags loaded with cans pushed his way across the crosswalk in front of me. A lady who appeared to be in similar life circumstances followed him. As I noted her shabby top and wondered about her situation, she looked up, right into my eyes. I felt surprised, and a shock right to my heart. I felt sameness, difference, accusation, shame, compassion, and understanding. My outward reaction was a flash of a smile through my bright red lipstick. Then she was gone.
Another tri this weekend, this one a little longer than the last. It feels more real. I've been practicing my swim and run, and less on my bike. Balance does not come easily among the three sports.
I do feel balanced. I'm happy at work and I'm preparing for J's return home next weekend. We FaceTime a lot and I pretend to tickle her cheeks through the screen. She misses home and cuddling with her parents.
My love loves me.
I am content.
Friday, July 18, 2014
I came home from work today, ate, and went right to bed. Sometimes tired catches up and runs me right over!
Last Saturday I went for a long run, then took a rest day Sunday. Monday, I took a vacation day and went for my longest distance yet on bike. Hello, hip! Ouch! I was out for the next two days for recovery. I ran short yesterday and took today as another recovery day, to play safe. Ten road miles tomorrow, still playing it safe. I actually missed swimming this week, and this was not a good example of a good training week.
Also this week, I escaped to see a writer/poet/singer/friend perform some kickin live music at House Wine. On a weeknight!! Check out Jim's blog at http://jimtrainer.wordpress.com
I had to treadmill at the downtown Y to make this work for my schedule, and now I know why I love my home gym so much. The treadmills were so close to each other that I could reach out and touch the guy next to me, and he kept looking at my pace. Ugh! What do you care? My ego turned up the dial and chicked his ass. Damn I'm competitive. I noticed my ego, and I let it push me ahead. I used it.
Also, I had to shower and change there, which I'm starting to get used to but I'm a little high maintenance. It's not that I expect people to think highly of my appearance; I feel I'm doing the world a favor by putting on all this makeup. I keep working on this self esteem issue.
This week in pics:
Rainbow over downtown as I drove to work Wednesday.
Thursday, July 10, 2014
Repost- something didn't allow this to publish June 1.
I cycled the course for my triathlon, minus the swim and run component this morning. Turns out the cycling component is the same as what I've run as a half marathon for the last two Decembers at Decker. It looks so different on a bike!
Man, my hand hurts. Holding the handle and shifting gears is almost too much after a few miles. I don't let it slow me down. We'll get this fixed in a couple weeks, and worse than pain is taking time away from my sports. Grrr. I hate rest.
I have the last trail run of a series of three tomorrow at Reveille, the only DNF I have on my resumé. It's been a couple years since I've tried the course, but I feel ready and happy. This one is mine. The Houston Marathon lottery is June 4, so I've got distance on my mind this next season. Hopefully we can mix that with my new triathlon skills and start training for a big boy tri.
I have some other ideas for next year that aren't -shock- athletics related. I'm still gathering my thoughts, but these goals feel good and come from the depths of what makes me happy.