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.
I don't believe I've ever seen so many cops in Austin. I had to be on my best behavior during this morning's commute. Go home, Mr. Pres. We know you're just here to raise your $$.
J has been gone three full weeks. That's it?? Surely I'm counting wrong. While she's gone, I drink too much coffee, push harder in every workout, and loudly bitch about the cellulite on my ass.
The truth is, I miss my girl.
Wednesday, June 18, 2014
Florida, I hope you feel blessed! My girl flew away from this land of Texas on a big jet airliner yesterday. I know she's in for a lot of fun. She lives life in a grand way!
C and I took the week off before she left to give her some serious attention. We made sure she was full of parent time before she went packing. I can never get enough. She is my breath. No matter how well I'm breathing on my own, I look at her and it only gets better.
After she left, I tried desperately for some retail therapy. Oh no! My favorite store went out of business?!?! And the little shops nearby were also empty. There was one left in the little strip mall that looked promising, but the power was out, and they weren't allowing customers in. Powers That Be, you defy my desperation! Even the sporting goods store around the corner was without electricity.
I went home. I ran.
C grilled up some chicken and made our house smell yummy. There are still good things.
I miss her.
Monday, June 9, 2014
And I had fun!
I won't go into too much detail about the event itself. I'm happy to have earned my triathlete label after so much training. Accomplishments are always a mixed bag, a sense of pride combined with a restlessness because I don't want it to be over. I'll definitely do this again.
First things first; my right hand needs some attention. I got my MRI Friday and the doc expects to put me into a fiberglass cast tomorrow. I'm glad it will begin to hurt less.
Thursday, May 29, 2014
Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Since I posted such a yummy-disgusting lunch, I'm following up with my yummy-health dinner.
That meatloaf filled my belly all the way to cycling practice this evening. I didn't need a preworkout snack at all, so that pb&j will go in my daughter's lunch tomorrow. I had no digestive problems from the greasy slab of meat, just a few burps...
Cycling training is awesome. I'm only with this group one more week. I'll miss the coaches and the varied workouts. I've met some neat people, and ran my brick while chatting with another girl this evening. Lone runner no more. I'm really going to miss everyone.
Cheers to a sense of community, bricking, and good choices.
I left my food at home. Normally, I'd have oatmeal with coconut shavings and honey. I've taken to drinking coffee again, which my stomach doesn't like due to the acidity.
So I skipped breakfast and had a heavy lunch. As I walked to the cafeteria in my building, I thought of good choices like a turkey pita for lunch and a pb&j for a pre-cycling snack after work.
I scanned the menu board as I walked in and discounted the hot selections as unhealthy. They almost always are. I went straight for the pb&j. Success! Then... things took a turn for the worse. I saw the coffee area. I doubled back to get a tray to carry the pb&j and a coffee. The trays were by the hot food, and dang it if there wasn't a big slab of meatloaf staring at me, and no line waiting. Fried okra? The only good side this cafeteria makes. Right next to the mashed potatoes.
In an effort for accountability, and so I remember exactly why I have to walk a bit at mile 2 at this weekend's trail race at Reveille, I'm posting this:
We'll see how bike training goes this evening. That double brick workout may end up feeling like a couple bricks in my stomach.
Cheers to good health!
Monday, May 26, 2014
My J girl turned 13. Wowza. She is beautiful, weird, smart, and more than labels. She is obsessed with Dr. Who, puns, and her friends. She loves me. :)
I'm still training for my triathlon June 8. Swimming has been the hardest sport for me, though I have no fear of the water. I had to learn freestyle, become "swim fit" make time for team training and self practice, and make friends with cold, sight-rendering lake water.
Cycling is fun and I'm strong on my cheap bike wearing running shoes. I have good balance and can power out the hills. Team training is after work, so getting organized in the morning with all my gear has been an exercise in itself. My right hand is fractured- I fell on my side at Hell's Hills trail run in March. Steering sharp curves, managing water bottles, and general time spent on the bike keeps it sore. So does opening door handles at work and holding the steering wheel in my car. MRI after June 8 if it still hurts by then.
J just walked in and asked permission to go on a road trip with her friend. The mom would drive, and it's STORMING out. Three cities away. THREE CITIES AWAY.
Monday, April 28, 2014
Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Life has just been rocking along!
My new, actually not-so-new, job has kept me quite busy. I have a lot of thoughts about "busy".
I'm still finding time to run, and recently celebrated the one-year anniversary of my hip fracture. I had hoped to work my way up to a marathon by the end of this season, but healing takes time. Things that are broken can't be forced back together. They choose their own pace and demand respect, no matter how much you may want otherwise. No marathons for me by the end of May. Perhaps this winter ;)
I have changed my gears a bit and I'm focusing on triathlon training. I never thought I'd be brave enough to tackle new sports, but here I am in week five, practicing six days a week. There are so many fears to face and self-talks along this journey. I live with a premise that I'm weak, easily broken by others, and I think that sports are my way of proving my worth to myself. When people ask why I workout, I can't say this- it's socially unacceptable! I say it's because I can't sit still. Will I actually sign up for a triathlon? Who knows... I do have my eye on a certain one in June. Right now, the training is enough. I love it.
Balance isn't easy. J is heading off to FL again this summer. I want to go with her. I want to quit my new fabulous job and laze and run in the sun. Last night I skipped swim practice to take her out to dinner. I want her to know that she comes first, and that training is NOT my life. I love her.
All is well in this ridiculous life. Some days are hard and lonely, but when I pause in those moments to question the truth of that, I find myself surrounded by unconditional friendship and love.
Thursday, March 13, 2014
I should have run this evening, but I have a long run in the morning. Sounds good and happy...
Except I don't feel like doing that particular long run. I'd hoped to shift my schedule a little, get into Austin early, run, shower, and get into work late. The effect: I'll work late, get home late, and see my daughter late without the option of changing my mind as the day wears on.
I wish I'd listened to my heart and my body today and headed out to my favorite trail. My kiddo was still on her Spring Break vacation, and I wouldn't have been missed. I could have run again tomorrow evening without too much psoas soreness if I kept both distances short.
Girl, are you learning anything yet?
Friday, February 14, 2014
The truck behind me with his brights on.
The guy in from of me using a Q-tip in his ear. Does he keep the fresh ones in his glove box for easy access? Where does he put the used ones?
The kid at the stoplight by IT opens his car door to lean out and spit on the pavement.
I am happy in my car. Sunglasses. Music. Coffee. Running late. Driving easy.
Friday, February 7, 2014
Whew, I can barely keep up with the busy-ness I've created! I tried to take my Christmas tree down this past weekend and got 75% of the way through the project. I have hopes for this weekend.
I adore my new job and my quiet office space. The lighting is just right and I have a bit more autonomy. It's also busier. Being new isn't easy, and the job itself is reactive to the needs that land themselves in my inbox. Now! Everyone needs this done now! So I do. Mistakes have been minimal and comraderie has been maximal! I like this play yard.
I'm not sure when my commute grew, but the hour drive in the morning has started to seem longer that the finite time that it actually is. Add a traffic accident, and it can take me two hours to get home. Cranky girl.
All is well, really. I haven't felt the need to write much because everything good or bad passes and I feel observant. I don't feel chatty on many subjects. If you talk too much, it blocks the view.
I love and live and laugh and cry. I'm experiencing life more and more thoroughly as I mature. Maybe I feel like I've lost the need to desperately grasp at life. Even the senseless pain that comes with this existence seems to belong somehow. I don't expect to understand.
Expectations cause problems. Observation is not necessarily inaction, but certainly prevents a lot of unnecessary reactivity.
Tuesday, January 14, 2014
That's how running is supposed to be! My left quad held out just fine, though I pulled my left glute in mile 6. I'm pretty sure it's psoas related, and I was able to manage it to finish out the next 9.5 miles.
The rocky hills (mountains) were so steep sometimes that I actually felt my body pulling backwards and I had to quickly lean into the terrain to keep from tumbling back. On the descents, I learned to plant my feet at a 45 degree angle, lean back, and ski the dirt or skree (loose rocks) until I could get my feet running under me at a super shortened stride again. Wow.
My events lately have been the best of the best. Despite what you see in the picture, the journey has turned from lonely survival to meditative movement.
I am my truest possible self in these moments. There is no need for explanation.
Wednesday, January 8, 2014
Off-Road, really. The point is, I'm heading back to Bandera for a repeat of last year's 25k. This run last year was the beginning of a long stretch of health issues, a couple of which still plague me today.
This is the most difficult run I've ever done. I'm repeating the same mileage but this time I have the benefit of experience. I'll know where I am and what's ahead. I pray that my left quad holds strong, and pulling that muscle is my biggest fear this weekend. Fear is not my friend; it isn't a helpful tool in this case.
I'll run alone and finish alone. Maybe a few race organizers will give me a shout when I cross the final mat, but there will be no love or glory. The only warmth in that medal will be generated by my own body heat. Loneliness is not my friend; I accept that life moments can be fulfilling and relished in solitude.
The craggy rocks and insane cliff-like hills bring out the survivor in me. I love this sport because when there are miles of tough terrain to go, there is a sparkle of life inside me that will NOT QUIT. It surprises me every time because I still hold a deep belief that I am a fraud, a quitter, a loser, and I don't belong. My actions prove otherwise when push comes to shove.
You, who told me I was a nobody, and that I would never be anything, were wrong. I believed you. Your words still hurt me.
I am a finisher, a winner, and I belong. I smile at the girl in the mirror. She is me.
Saturday, December 14, 2013
I get to start my day with yoga!
Most of my days start with work, and my evenings are family and exercise time. Weekends and holidays spoil me rotten.
There's nothing I'd rather do today than dawn yoga in my quiet home until my sleepy girl wakes up.
I'm training for Bandera now, and that's a running term I'm trying to interpret more kindly than I have in the past. Bandera 2012 left me with pain; I taped the injuries in place and ran a half marathon event the following morning. My injuries progressed, followed by a lung infection. I think my training had a lot of influence on the concluding hip fracture.
New "training" has meant running appropriate amounts throughout the week but also including other types of exercise on my non-running days. It means proper recovery after events. I'll also need to taper the week before, which always leaves me feeling empty, cranky, useless, and fidgety.
By Christine Luff, About.com Guide
Definition: Tapering is the training phase right before a long distance event, such as a marathon, when a runner starts to cut back on his or her mileage. Marathoners typically start tapering 2-3 weeks before their race. This reduced training phase gives runners a chance to rest, recover, and mentally prepare for their race.
I've also learned that I'm more likely to injure myself in yoga if I'm taking a class, as opposed to following my own practice at home. I listen in better. My intuition somehow guides me to areas that need me, and away from areas that need rest. I can offer kindness to my body more specifically throughout my run, because I listened to it in yoga.
Today is Satuday. Yoga day.
Monday, December 9, 2013
I have no idea why I was doubting Decker. I postponed signup until the day before, and wasn't really thrilled to run it for any reason other than to keep up my training.
I seem to have a love/hate thing going on with events.
This one was only perfection.
I started easy, thinking I'd intentionally place late in the game. I just wanted to love the run and forget the clock. I wanted to yoga breathe my way through it. So many runs in the past have been riddled with negative emotion.
I truly stripped myself of all preconceived notion, and ran from my heart. What does than even mean? Give me better concrete language...
Inhale for two, exhale for three. Keep picking up my feet and setting them down, tap, tap, tap on the pavement. Open my stride and stretch into the downhills. Baby step the up hills and breathe just as easily to the top. Walk? I just didn't feel the need.
The mileage signs ticked away before my eyes. Another one? I'm not ready to be done. I'm here. I'm present.
I am me, undefined.
My time turned out to be just a few minutes off from my best record, before my hip fracture and lung infection. The biggest difference between then and now is that I'm no longer angry or depressed or alone or left behind.
I did sign up for Bandera, 5 weeks away. I do have an ego, but I know I'm doing this next run for the right reasons.
Saturday, December 7, 2013
Baby, it's really cold out there. Motivation is the toughest layer! This is always a chilly, hilly street race. I'm well trained for this half marathon, and there's no reason to skip out tomorrow.
Today is the t-shirt cutoff deadline for Bandera. I thought I was solid on my plans, but today I'm rethinking. Life is funny that way.
Can I add five miles of crazy muddy, rocky terrain in a few weeks? Is it worth the travel and cost, especially given the holidays? Why am I suddenly feeling like accepting a challenge I had dismissed as unsafe for my body?
I've discovered a very gentle new stretch for my hip that has kept my soreness to an amazing minimum. I've also been avoiding yoga classes and doing my own practice, after noticing that my biggest pains came after attending classes.
There's also my ego's desire to push forward, prove that I'm something. I am here! See me! You can't dismiss me so easily! I run in the face of the deepest pain and refuse to feel it. Hmm.
The best of it is my heart's love for the sport, digging deep into my muscles and breath to feel something bigger than myself. Moving through the environment in which my body lives, in this primal form. Meeting others with their own motivations, missing limbs and still perservering towards their goals. All of us together, bruised, bleeding, crying tears of joy at the finish.
I acknowledge all these feelings, conflicting goals and desires. I have the day to decide, and even then, a t-shirt deadline doesn't govern me.
I love, I run, I am me, through it all.
Saturday, October 12, 2013
The smells of Texas remind me of my grandparents
In the end, I survive ***
I feel healthy afterwards
It makes my body look like a race car
I meet strong people
It keeps depression to minimum
I sweat like no other sport
I try harder to eat good nutrition
Helps me abstain from alcohol
It's ok not to be the best: good lesson to learn
My friends think I'm one of the strong people
Sometimes I actually feel like I belong
I believe humans should run
Excellent cross training
I never feel "good enough" ***
It brings up feelings of loneliness
I'll never be a contender
I have skin damage from sun ***
Gear and events are expensive
Takes time from family
Keeps me from other sports
I'm too competitive
I bring down other peoples runs w my complaining, panicking, and negative attitude ***
Injuries are serious ***
Friday, October 11, 2013
Pretending that hallways are fashion runways
Promotions and raises (thanks, Big Bro!)
Learning about different cultures
Cheese shops, and the word fromage
Unexpected days off
A sliver of a moon
Heated car seats
Knowing what I'm talking about
Neatly stacked towels
Sweet potato pie
Middle school choir concerts
Opening the sunroof on a pretty day
BFF's who say they love me
Heated car seats
Green traffic lights
Extra long hugs
Hot lunches in cold offices
Washing my feet
Monday, October 7, 2013
Washing my feet
Heated car seats on sore muscles
Slightly sunburned skin
Ice cream trucks
Finding lost things
A tall glass of water
Fresh picked warm tomatoes
Samba, bossa, and ipanema dreams
Running next to a train
Hips that don't hurt
Designing rooms indoors or out
Traffic that flows
Shoveling rocks and digging holes
Cutting my own bangs
Celebrating birthdays and silly holidays
Silly humor, always
Riding my daughter's bike
Finding contentment in the loneliness
Turning the radio waaaay up
Exploring new places
Letting go of anything useless
Taking pics like a tourist
Nag champa incense
Flipping crepes in the air
Swinging on playground swings
Neighborhood kids laughing
Swimming in natural bodies of water
Silent eating meditation
New spiral notebooks
Looking at photo albums
Time to myself
Friday, October 4, 2013
Things that always make my day:
Yoga, and yoga friends
Really good restaurant food
Cooking at home
Dancing in the kitchen
Long showers with nice soap
Anything about my daughter
A fresh can of tennis balls
Phone calls from friends
Sitting on my patio
Laying on the couch downstairs and listening to the house
Just enough wine
Walking to my car after work
People who come visit me at my desk
Peeling off wet, sweaty clothes and leaving them on the floor for C to step on
Ordering pizza with a coupon
Petting my pets
Going to bed after cleaning house all day
Thinking about my gramma
Listening to Tara Brach or Joyce Mayer
Playing my flute
Fresh sheets and pillowcases
Picking earrings in the morning
Jeans that hug real snug
Movie theaters that serve dinner
Kisses so soft they feel like shared breath
Buying flowers at the grocery store
Hand washing dishes
Bills with no amount due
Anything lemon flavored or scented
Ginger tea for one
Garlic beginning to waft from the oven
Cottage style gardens
Inspirational Facebook quotes
Money in the bank
Rainbows made from lawn sprinklers
Feeling cuddly in pajamas
No mail in the mailbox
My religious beliefs
Remembering trash day
Running for charities
Waking early on weekends
My favorite quilt
Sunbeams breaking through the clouds
Acceptance and openness to outcomes
Dawn's rosy fingers and any Homeric reference
Hot chocolate at the Driskill
Inside out underwear and backwards yoga pants
Making people feel happy
I dared to actually discuss my darker demons, and was called "fragile".
I think someone who faces their issues and triumphs time after time is actually stronger than someone who leads a charmed life and never has the opportunity to succeed in the battlefield of their own mind.
My dragons breathe fire. I feel their heat and take the burn.
I live. Every time.
That makes me pretty fucking strong.
Fragile my ass.
Wednesday, September 25, 2013
I hate having salad for dinner!!! I made it as "special" as possible, but let's get real. Salad is salad. My salmon burger patty on the side was blah but I focused on feeling gratitude for the food in front of me, and the company next to me. Sans salt, artificial ingredients, cheese, or alcohol, my meal was fulfilling in other ways.
The payoff continued through this morning when I stepped on my scale. Oh sweet numbers, you are being kind to me. The truth is, I'm working hard for you. Five more to go until I see my previous running weight. Thirty days doesn't feel long yet.
I have a long run tonight, a short run tomorrow, and a 5k for a worthy cause on Saturday in Dallas. Some of those runs will rock, some will roll, and some will roll me over! You never know, when it comes to this extreme sport. I must be dedicated, or I wouldn't be inspired to make these health changes. I must really want it.
All signs point to yes.
Tuesday, September 24, 2013
Going for thirty. I won't only blog about that topic, but I don't feel like I can shout it out, either. I'll mention it once in awhile. If it gets hard, I'll cry about it then bitch here. ;)
I haven't been going overboard, but for general health reasons, I'm quitting any beer/vino/anything else I get desperate to guzzle for thirty days.
In other news, my garden is undergoing a mega overhaul this week. My backyard is suffering a serious case of bindweed, and rather than battle that another season, I am removing the veggies and installing some hardy Texas perennials. It will be much less work and exercise every week, and certainly less nutrition. No less joy. After the major work is done, I'll consider a container veggie garden, but no promises there.
The job front looks amazing, assuming I want to stay full time and at this particular organization. There are two positions open, and one of those I really like. I got a call about the superstar position Thursday, and again today. I don't want to discuss the other since I'm focusing on the one.
Teaching yoga... I've lost faith in my abilities to teach. I also don't think the timing is right financially. Even if those things aren't true, my perspective doesn't allow them to be true right now. I haven't been able to work on my self-study, and tying it to running was a terrible choice. All I feel today is stress about the project. It's really more important that I love my own yoga practice, and I do.
I might get to see my Dom this weekend, or my Lisa. I love my friends :) though it sometimes feels that the only unedited outlet I really have is this blog. Facebook is hardly a place to let anything real out! Here, I can say anything I want without hoping for a reply. I don't care if I offend, because this is my home, and my place to be raw, ugly, and beautiful. Judge if you please and I don't have to care.
I'll send some pics from the State Fair.
Sober fun ;)
Oh yeah, I almost forgot... I logged 21.58 miles last week. That was really nice. I'm so happy to be taking control of my health again. No more than 23 this week!