Quit your whining. Move.

Running. Trying to run.

Gasping. Stopping. Whining

Two weeks off.

A trip.

Of gastronomic proportions.

Eating. It all.

Jet lag.

No movement.

One with the couch.

Gasping. Last one in at run’s end.

Feeling bitchy about how easy it doesn’t feel.

Round the corner.

Head down. Eyes to the ground.

Almost.

There.

Glint. In my eye.

A car. Parked. The door opens.

Eyes still down, in view are two rubber stoppers.

Those things at the bottom. Bottom of crutches.

Two stoppers. One shoe.

Shit.

I have two legs.

Shit.

Run. Run. Run.

Dig deep, woman.

YOU.Can.Run.

Heart rate picks up. Pace picks up.

Momentum surges.

Still last runner in.

Still gasping.

But running.

On two legs.

Quit your whining.

Move.

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This memory, from a few months back upon returning from our Paris trip, is still SO vivid in my mind, in ME, and was triggered by yet another  lapse in momentum.

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Happy Hues

Over a year ago, I learned about The Color Run, and I was hooked, immediately!  I started following the Facebook feed for The Color Run and when I saw that it was coming to the city where I live, I sent out an email to several of my friends, saying, “We should do this! Who’s in?  A few responses later and a few of us had signed up.  Well, months later when the day arrived, one of us had moved out of town, one was on vacation, and the other, well her husband broke his leg while taking their kids ice skating.  That left me and one other, who now had a back injury. Getting old is not for the weak!

So, my friend T and I made it and we are now Color Runners!  She was a total trooper and rode her bike to save her back;  I ran and we successfully matched our pace and had a colorful great time.  The Color Run is billed as “The happiest 5k on earth” and I believe it! It was a great experience and when people are expected to be happy, and covered in color and surrounded by fantastic music, well, it just brings out HAPPY!

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A very happy experience!

The Color Run is an event series and 5k paint race that takes place in United States, South America, Europe and Australia. The untimed event has no winners or prizes, but runners are showered with colored powder at stations along the run. It has therefore become the largest five-kilometer event series in the United States. In 2013,  The Color Run will hold events in over 130 cities in the United States, South America, Europe and Australia.  Runners begin dressed in clean white t-shirts, and pass through a color station once every kilometer. Each color station is associated with a different color, with volunteers blasting the runners with dyed cornstarch out of spray bottles. Runners complete the course covered in the safe and colorful powder. At the finish line following the run, there are typically celebrations featuring a dance party .

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T & I and thousands of our happiest closest friends, ready to get the party, um, race, started!

The people watching was off-the-charts fun! The hair. The socks. The shoes. The tu-tus. Oh the tu-tus! I think I love a man who can rock a tu-tu. Even if just on his socks!

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I loved the color stations, where as you run through, race volunteers bombard each runner with color. There is a haze of blue, orange, yellow, pink and with each station, each runner is painted in more and more color. It’s just fun!

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Bizarre and fun.

yellow

I overheard one guy say, ‘they should flavor this suff!’

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This felt like being on the moon. Because, of course I know what that’s like!

But the most fun?

The finish festival.

Happy People.

Great Music.

A race completed.

Color. Loads of Color.

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What you won’t see are the photos of T and I at the very end; we looked like we had been through a war zone. We stopped at a Starbucks on the way home, and lets just say that being covered in paint is a great conversation starter!  A 35 minute power shower and an afternoon nap later, I was quite happy!

Put some color into your life…today!  What’s your color? Me? Hands down, it’s orange!

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Kindness in 30/20 vision

Today I ran to ‘church’.

And I listened to this. And prayed for everybody.

And in case you are wondering, because I think some of you might, yes, I sang. Out loud.

I figured the forest would forgive me; after all, isn’t that part of what going to church is about, forgiveness?

Though, I must confess, singing and running at the same time, at elev. 6500 is not pretty (#gasp).

I’m relieved that running is not just something I used to know;  today I found this spot and  when I returned home to count my miles, I realized that I completed my goal to log 30 miles in 30 days, and realized that instead, I did it in 20 days! Yeah!

I guess it is time to dream a little bigger longer.

I was not alone in this beautiful place [don’t worry, they didn’t hear me singing!] – I wouldn’t have entered the forest, if it hadn’t been for these folks. They live just a house or two from where the sidewalk ends and the forest begins and this is literally their back yard. Can you just imagine…

Not only did they graciously let me run around and play in their ‘yard’, they kindly showed me how to navigate the intersecting trails so I could find my way home.  They took the time to ask where I am from, shared about living so near that forest when it was engulfed in flames just a few years ago and the lasting effects that has. They took the time to ask my name, and we talked about our dogs.  Strangers one minute; kind folks the next.

“I have always depended on the kindness of strangers.”

Tennessee Williams, A Streetcar Named Desire

 

I ran around like a kid at Christmas, and then brought my husband and son back here for a bike ride before the sun went down on our day.

As you probably know, attending ‘church’ also usually includes a sermon of some kind, a lesson, an important message to reflect upon.  I got one. I do believe I needed one.

Sometimes, I hate to admit, I get the wrong idea about someone, and my brain shrinks to the size of a pea and gets carried away before I can remind myself that I’m most likely wrong and most definitely ill informed. That was the case today with a particular person that caught my attention while sitting lakeside. I should have just been enjoying the view, or my book, or both. But instead, I felt myself slipping down a slippery slope and engaged in a ridiculous swirl of self chatter trying to get myself back on the positivity track, (somehow my train jumped the tracks?) – and I knew I needed to climb back up to higher ground.

I scrambled my way out of that mess, and thank goodness, I got there. Because, before I  I knew it, this person was kindly offering the use of her paddle board to my son, [unbeknownst to me, she had noticed him eyeing it and asking us if we could rent one…] and casually telling us some of the history of the area; she even divulged some personal details…just like that, nice as pie.

Perhaps metaphorically, a pie in my face?

I realize in retrospect that my brain shrinks to the size of a pea when I feel small, or insignificant, or insecure.  Even when my big girl head says ‘don’t do that, you know better…”

Those uncomfortable, but all too human emotions…the choices are many and varied for each of us. This woman was my preacher today, and she gave the perfect sermon. She reminded me of an  important message, and trust me, I’ve been reflecting on it, but at the end of this beautiful day…

…I’m so glad I went ran to ‘church’  🙂

Humbled by the stunning beauty all around, both in nature and in people, and inspired by the kindness of strangers, all of which makes me smile.

“No act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.”

AESOP, The Lion and the Mouse

Run Like the Wind :: Treasury Thursday

About a week ago, I admitted that I had given up on running some time ago, only to find that I really miss it and that I am making it my mission to see if I have any of the run left in me.

I’ve made good on my end of the deal and I have to say, it feels as good as I remembered. I will never qualify as a stand in for The Flash, but neither will I be representing the tortoise when he goes up against the hare.  I’ve always been a middle of the pack runner and I think it’s safe to say that some things never change.

I am completely ok with this undeniable truth.

My goal is 30 miles in 30 days; I am a firm believer that if you want to add something healthy, something positive, into your life, do it for at least 21 days and it becomes a habit, or at least not such a struggle. On the flip side, if there is something you want to take out of your life [Cheez-Its perhaps?], stop doing that behavior for at least 21 days. By the way, I haven’t had one single Cheez-It since the middle of May. Honest.  What Cheez-Its?  You mean the little crunchy, crispy, salty yummy, cheesy little scary orange crackers? Oh, right, those.

So, my theory is that if I can churn out 30 miles in 30 days, running might actually become a habit again.

You, my dear bleeps, are here to help hold me accountable. Look for this little update in posts now and then. I am 7 days into my challenge so far and here is my update:

So far, so good. I am on track but the best part is that it feels good, I end my little runs looking forward to the next one. The early summer mornings are cool, crisp and fresh and that fresh start helps me get through the rest of the day.

So, this week’s treasury is all run inspired. There are some fantastic and creative items out in Etsy-land for you runners or for the runner(s) you love.  Find the treasury in Etsy, or take an easy jog right here.

Run Like the Wind, Running Girl Necklace with Bead - ShineOnSportyGirl
Run Like the Wind, Running Girl Necklace with Bead

$21.00
Running Shirt - Keep Calm and Run On Shirt - Organic - 4 Colors Available - Womens Organic Bamboo and Cotton Shirt - Gift Friendly - redbrickwall
Running Shirt – Keep Calm and Run On Shirt – Organic – 4 Colors Available – W…

$28.00
A Race Bibs Holder that adds Style to your running Bibs - runningonthewall
A Race Bibs Holder that adds Style to your running Bibs

$28.00
The Running Chart - CatherineStones
The Running Chart

$55.00
Printable Orange Running Art - No One Ever Drowned in Sweat - ModernElements
Printable Orange Running Art – No One Ever Drowned in Sweat

$6.00
Card For Runners, Running Bug, PR023 - AsphaltAndMe
Card For Runners, Running Bug, PR023

$3.25
Running Workout Clothes RUNNING Cheaper than Therapy - Large - personTen
Running Workout Clothes RUNNING Cheaper than Therapy – Large

$30.00
Running Inspiration - No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everybody on the couch.  8 x 10 - anewhistory
Running Inspiration – No matter how slow you go, you are still lapping everyb…

$18.00
Running pendant - HelenODea
Running pendant

$39.00
I RUN BECAUSE...Wrap Bracelet - Running Jewelry - Motivational Jewelry -  Nickel Silver Pendant on 3 ft of Micro Fiber Suede - TheRunHome
I RUN BECAUSE…Wrap Bracelet – Running Jewelry – Motivational Jewelry – Nic…

$17.00
Running Buddy orange dog bandana - Give110
Running Buddy orange dog bandana

$18.00
RUN LIKE a MOTHER Necklace  - Running Mom Necklace on 18 inch gunmetal chain - Running Mom Jewelry - TheRunHome
RUN LIKE a MOTHER Necklace – Running Mom Necklace on 18 inch gunmetal chain …

$19.00
Black Flower Motif Fabric No Slip Headband - SlipNotHeadware
Black Flower Motif Fabric No Slip Headband

$12.00
Necklace - Gotta Run - Running Shoe - Heart - artbycherinda
Necklace – Gotta Run – Running Shoe – Heart

$20.00
my running shoes - claire
my running shoes

$15.00
Kisk ASSphalt women's running shirt - WulfsExpressions
Kisk ASSphalt women’s running shirt

$21.99

Treasury tool by StylishHome.

Something I Used to Know

There is a song on the radio these days, that just gets to me.  It’s called, Somebody That I Used to Know by Gotye. It’s got a unique sound and the lyrics just stick in my head. It makes me think of the 1960’s and has an unusual bohemian feel to it. And it is stuck in my brain.

The idea is that someone you knew well, is well, now, just someone you used to know. We all have people in our lives that were everything to us, we thought about them all the time, talked with them daily and couldn’t imagine life without them. Then, somehow, one of them moved on, moved over, got lost in the shuffle, hurt us (or us them).

I got to thinking, what if this ‘someone’ is instead a ‘something’?  Something we did every day, worked hard to improve and got something in return?  And then, for some reason, you stopped doing that thing. That thing you loved.

For me that was running. But first, you have to know that for my whole life I hated running. I refused to play basketball when I was a teenager because I hated running. News flash: I am 5′ 10″.  I was probably that height in high school! My best friend played for the school team; she’s about 5′ 6″. The coach would see me and look at me with confusion in his eyes and just shake his head at me. He finally gave up.

After my son was born, I was desperate to lose the baby weight I had gained. It was A LOT.  As a new (working) mom, it’s hard to find the time to exercise so I figured I better find something I could do that did not require finding childcare or waiting until my husband got home, or it would never happen.

I took a running clinic through our locally owned running store and that was the best decision. The coaches taught me how to run. What? It’s not like riding a bike, or learning how to windsurf. You need someone to teach you how to RUN?  Yes. They taught me how to run successfully and in a way that left me wanting more each time I completed a training exercise. What I learned  transformed me from someone who hated to run into someone who learned how to run and finally into someone who loved to run. I didn’t think it was possible, I just figured it would be something I would just do. You know, channel the whole Nike spirit and just do it. Dig in, get disciplined and just do the work. Whether I liked it or not. So, I bought a jogging stroller, a pair of shoes and hit the road.

I started logging the miles and found it freeing, liberating and exciting when I could improve my time  or complete a new distance; and I still remember the first time I got ‘the runner’s high’. And I thought the whole thing was a myth!

Despite my protests, a friend of mine talked me into doing a race and you’d think we’d start with a 5k, but nope, we did a 12k. I thought I was going to collapse, but she stayed with me the whole time and we finished together. Not her best time, for sure! I got hooked and kept running, taking the kid along in the jogging stroller with me most days.  Looking back, I treasure our runs and the time we spent together out on the road; we logged a lot of miles together.  It was a sad day when it was time to pass on the jogging stroller.

I kept running and did more races; 5ks, 10ks, worked up to my first half marathon and ended up training along side the owner of our local running store, where it all started for me. That was exhilarating to know I could do that, that I had 13.1 miles in me. They weren’t the fastest miles, but they were all mine.  I still remember that day ever so clearly and coming in to the finish line, seeing my husband and my son and my best friend who made a comment about being inspired. She’s a runner to this day!

I loved what running gave me; early mornings, accomplishment, muscles, goals, strength, discipline. Completion. Ownership. A clearer mind. And yes, the baby weight came off. Slowly; I shed it one mile at a time.  I ran every race I could; 5ks, 10ks, 10 milers, more half marathons, a triathlon and eventually I completed two marathons. I cried during that first marathon; there was something about an accomplishment I had always envisioned as being beyond me.

I kept running and loved it. I scaled back on races – finding it more difficult to fit in the specific training programs with a full-time job and a kiddo with more and more activities and a husband with a crazy work schedule. But I kept running, enjoying the hard work and the payoff. And then somehow, at some point, I stopped. I can’t even say why. I can’t remember. I guess it’s like a friend that you just let slip away. One day becomes a week, one week becomes a year and so on and then it’s ‘just something you used to know”. I started working out with some friends at a boot camp and that became my go-to workout – which I still do and love it. I love the push, the intensity, the challenge and the camaraderie and the ever changing nature of it – it’s a different workout every time.

But I miss running.  I miss the one-on-one time. I miss the quiet conversation we had. I miss the time to reflect on my days. I miss the challenge. I miss the feeling, and I miss the relationship.  I don’t expect another notch in my marathon belt, but I don’t want running to just be something I used to know.

We went to a party last weekend, a celebration of 50 years of marriage.  50 years. But what has that got to do with running? The brothers of the couple got up to give a toast, just like they did at the wedding 50 years ago. The ‘bride and groom’ were praised for their steadfast love, for all they do for their whole family and the love the share. Memories were recounted and the ‘groom’ was applauded for his younger years and his stash of medals from his notorious track and field career.

I’m a Saucony girl

It sparked something in me and made me want to see if I still got a bit of the run. It’s time to lace up and hit the road, and my goal is to see if I can log 30 miles in 30 days.  I think the universe is nudging me…I was tagged today by a friend on his Facebook post about running, and my friend who got me to do the 12k just called out of the blue!

Run along with me – virtually is ok – and I will report back and tell you if I met my goal or need to set a new one!

What’s something you used to know that you wish you could get reacquainted with?