Anniversaries

An anniversary is so much more than simply a date on the calendar and when I hear people say that they married their best friend I wonder.

I wonder how it is that one can be just a best friend to someone who sees you at your very worst and loves you even though it hurts. I wonder how it is that one can be just a best friend to someone who sees you at your very best and loves you beyond life long tests.

I used to be envious of those couples who seem so in love whenever I saw them out and about but then I remembered what goes on behind closed doors is shrouded in clouds.I wonder how someone can love me for who I really am, if even I don’t know who that person is. I wonder how someone can love me through the good and the bad, when sometimes it seems that bad is all there is to be had.

It seems to me that saying one is married to their best friend may be undercutting the height to which love transcends. Marriage must transcend it all through the thick and the thin; through the times of financial struggle and times of ease; through the times of illness and of health. Yet those are only words we speak because when the line is drawn in the proverbial sand, you have to make a choice as to which side of life you will stand.

There are no easy answers and no instructions to follow, whether you are flying high as an eagle or drowning in a pool of sorrow. How will you manage to hold true to your words when they’re left tasting bitter on your lips? Why would you want to leave the person who steadies your emotions with just a hand on your hip?

A decade plus of marriage surely must show you how much you truly do not know this person you have married for better or for worse. Almost two decades of communication between the two surely must indicate that there is so much left to learn. There are choices to be made daily. That’s right I said, there are choices that have to be made – daily. As a wise woman recently said, life is all about choices and when we fail to make a choice that is a choice in itself.

Being married to another person is a study in patience, understanding and stamina to name but a few. When I am out among the trees, I am reminded of the likeness between my love of running and that of marriage.

There are hills to climb and as my friend Doug once told me, you are fighting yourself climbing those hills. Just go with the flow, he said, in his infinite wisdom. Take smaller steps and don’t work so hard. Being married is that way when every step feels like quicksand trying to pull you under to flounder in your misery. Quicken your steps, lighten the load and before you know it you feel as though you are once again floating along effortlessly.

I ask God to help me bite my tongue and guide my words daily. You see, some degree of faith in a power greater than me is necessary to trudge my way through when times are tough and the going is slow. There are things in this world I believe that only He knows. We make the plans but he sets the path and once again this is similar to running a race. We make plans to complete this race or that. We follow our plans and aim for a successful conclusion but sometimes there are lessons to be learned in the falling down and failing.

Anniversary is but a simple word that really means so much more….

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Be Your Own Champion!

As I was grinding out 28 miles on the trail today I had an epiphany of sorts. This is often the case but usually by the time I get home and showered, I have forgotten what that AHA moment was. Today, I remember because this topic hits close to home.

For most of my younger years (20’s – late 30’s) I kept wondering why I felt unfulfilled much of the time. There were highs and of course, the inevitable lows but generally, I just felt like there was something missing from my life. The girls came along in my mid and late 30’s and things began to click in my mind I suppose. Now, with birthday 45 knocking on the door, only a month away, it’s fitting that I had a realization.

I have been looking for validation from OTHERS! I have been seeking someone to be my champion. A special kind of someone who knows me better than anyone else and has the ability to lift me up when I am down. This person would provide unconditional love and SUPPORT, regardless of whether they understand my crazy inner drive, or not. Unfortunately, while I was searching for this nonexistent person, life rolled on and the years have passed by.

Fortunately, today I came to the realization that I MUST be my own champion!! I have to be happy with my own inner voice and the support it provides. We cannot count on the support of others – not always. Even those of us who are in committed relationships (married or otherwise) need to be able to stand on our own two feet and know, without a doubt, that we are satisfied with who WE are as people. We cannot wait around for the applause of others because you know….we may be waiting with bated breath for that support and applause until the day we die because some people are unwilling or unable to provide what it is we seek.

Being married does not mean that your spouse really NEEDS to understand your drives, needs and desires, only that we wish they would. If they won’t or don’t know how then it is necessary to have enough BELIEF in oneself to carry on regardless of the fact that they have fallen below our expectations. You see, that’s really the crux of this whole issue of which I speak. Our expectations can be lousy little demons in our heads. They create this inner dialogue that tells us we should be unhappy with what we are receiving from our partner because they refuse to be our champion.

It’s okay!! They no longer have the responsibility of being your champion if you do it yourself!! See how easy that is? Believe in yourself so you can make yourself happy with what is going on in your life. You make the decisions to make your life happen in the way that creates YOUR kind of happiness and then they will do the same. We cannot change anyone and we should  not expect them to be what they are obviously NOT. Allow them the space to be what they are without an expectation that they were created to fulfill you. They were NOT!

Ask God for guidance and follow your dreams….Be your own CHAMPION!!

Until next time!

Peace

~TLT

Commitment to Your Cause…..

I have been thinking for a few weeks about this post, trying to decide which way to go with it. Some days I think I have nothing much to say and yet my mind is absolutely running wild with all these ideas, thoughts and considerations. Other days, there is so much to say that it would take me all day to blog! HAH!

I knew from a fairly early age that I wanted to be a mother. There was only a question of how many children I would have and as each one came, the number changed. Funny how that happened….7 babies later it was decided there would be no more from this body. Although being a mother is something I am fairly adequate at, it is not all encompassing for me. For example, I know women who thrive on the daily joys of being a wife and mother and have no desire or drive to do anything other than that.

It just is not that way for me. By the time our youngest daughter was born 7 years ago, there was an inner burn to do SOMETHING more or different. The few memories I have of my nana and grandmother are bittersweet. Not because of the memories themselves, but because as I look back with my adult eyes I realize that those women who were so instrumental in my childhood were just going through the motions. They were doing what they were told they were supposed to do. They went through their lives doing what they thought they were SUPPOSED to do rather than that which they desired to do.

Of course, part and parcel of being an adult means that there are things we do because we are supposed to do them. I ask you though, is that all there is? Are you willing to simply go through the motions of your life until you are dead? I am not! I think that we are here for some reason. To touch another life, to make a difference and bottom line – we are here to LIVE life not just walk through life doing what we are supposed to do. There must be a fire within! There has to be a reason to keep walking this bumpy road we call life.

I admire those women (and now even a handful of men) who feel it is their calling to dedicate their lives to the complete fulfillment of another human being. They rise and grind every single day in an effort to make the lives of their children easy and as close to perfect as possible. I ADMIRE them…….but I don’t wish to emulate them. The women who drive me, who make me want to be more and inspire me to work harder are the women who have a commitment to their own cause. These women are not satisfied with the status quo and have no compunction to sit idly by while life carries on and they remain stagnant.

This is a choice we make, to live our lives rather than walk mindlessly through it like we are robots. It takes a certain kind of commitment to NOT live up to the status quo. Find what drives you and then work for that hobby/mission or cause until either you can no longer do so or until that particular thing no longer drives you – and then find something else that motivates you! That’s my goal. Run it until the wheels fall off! Literally, run until I no longer can physically or mentally. This is my cause right now which means that I have a commitment to doing everything I can to be better.

Sometimes to be better we have to fall down and take some time away. This was what happened to me at Brazos Bend 100 four months ago. I was injured and had to step away from my passion for about 7 WEEKS. It wasn’t that long really but it felt like an eternity to me at the time. Now, I am back to training and you know what?! I LOVE and enjoy it even more than I did before. I relish the moments I can sneak away to the trail, listen to the birds chirping in the trees and smell the strong scent of an imminent rain. I began implementing some strength training again and started doing weekly tire drags. What an experience THAT is!

While I am usually sneaking away from my life, that is not to say that I am running from it. In actuality, the running adds balance to my crazy life and helps soothe the savage soul within me. Running long distances (as in over 20 miles) has taught me to slow down, and how important it is to be patient – even beyond the point where one believes they cannot possibly take anymore aggravation. It has taught me to listen to my body and heed its warning signs. This is part of being committed to a cause. When you are committed you will do whatever it takes.

What is your cause? What is the passion you have always been afraid to pursue? You will not know how good it can be if you never take the chance and begin….Take the chance, step outside of your comfort zone! Put one foot in front of the other and before you know it you will have traveled further than you ever thought possible.

Until next time…

Peace….

Identification

During this time off from all the running I tend to do, there has been a lot of time for me to THINK….about running! Hah! Funny isn’t it? Anyhow, I realized the other day after several conversations with other friends who run – WE ARE RUNNERS. Seems simple right? There is more to it than that however.

When we are running we are thinking or talking about running and other facets of our lives that pertain to running or training for this event or another; we are speaking in short sentences about what kinds of foods we eat to make us better runners (we hope); we are laughing about the most recent escapade we encountered on the trail when we ate something in the previous 24 hours that we really should NOT have; we are planning out loud or with our running friends the events we are signed up to run next or those which we would give a leg or at least a few toenails TO run…

We are not thinking about the bills that need paying, the kids that won’t stop crying or stomping on our very last nerve; the car that needs repairs, the assignment for school or work that needs completion……or perhaps we are thinking of these aspects of our running lives but if so it is taking place behind the lines of all the stuff going on inside our brains that pertains to running. Sometimes, all I can think about is the next breath, the next step, watch that nasty trail troll  – you know it’s going to try to trip you; don’t run so closely to ND’s heels; don’t run too far behind – you will never catch up. Most recently running solo the thoughts are mostly – arrrgh this sucks getting back the base I lost from NOT running due to injury.

What does this have to do with the title: identification? Great question! We ARE runners….5K’s, 10K’s, half-marathon, full marathon, 50K, 100K…and 100 milers, plus – we run. That is not only WHAT we do but is also one way we identify WHO we are. I’ve truly enjoyed this sense of belonging to a community of brethren I’ve not really experienced since I left the military over a decade ago. These people, runners, are a different lot – especially those who tend to run the trails rather than the road. What a great breed of people!! Most of them are truly in touch with their person-hood and who they ARE as people. They will give you the shirt off their backs, sometimes literally…it’s a brotherhood I identify with to a great deal!

For someone who has always and forever felt like an outsider looking in at all the other so called, “normal” people, it’s been a relief to feel as though I belong somewhere! Unfortunately, the last (almost) 6 weeks has left me bereft of their company – this family of runners! I’ve been out of the game due to an injury that truly began about 5 weeks prior to the start of the 100 mile run I completed on December 14 and was further exacerbated during that particular expedition into another realm of my psyche.

This absence from my ‘tribe’ of other runners has left me feeling backwards in more ways than I care to recount! When you start feeling like you are important, meaningful in this life and your head swells a bit because of your success…….take a 6 week break away from that ONE thing that makes you feel FREE. Take 6 weeks away from friends who are oftentimes more like distant siblings and only converse with them half a dozen times over the course of those 6 long weeks – mostly via electronic communication with very little actual ‘face’ time. Tell me how you feel then!

I can tell you it has left me with a changed perspective! It has also made me realize how much I identify myself with all those folks in my tribe…..as RUNNERS. It is not only what I do but it is part of who I am. It is not another hat I wear like: teacher, trainer, accountant, housekeeper, mother….etc., rather it is a part of who I AM. This body that has always felt too heavy, too ‘thick’, too big…..too slow….to be a runner – fits into this tribe just fine as who I AM as a runner…and as a person. A person who also happens to be a runner and a mother, wife and all those other titles life throws at us….

Be careful with how much you identify with any one thing in life for it will define who you are unless you define yourself…..WHO ARE YOU?

My, not so random, thoughts for the day! Until next time….

Peace

Let it go

Life has a way of throwing some pretty vicious blows our way and sometimes we escape pretty well unscathed and unmarked. As a survivor of some life altering viciousness, I have to tell you about an unexpected side effect – my brain does not allow painful experiences, conflicting emotions and even anger, to remain at the forefront of my mind. Sometimes I even forget important dates, conversations and fragments of ideas! This can be humorous at times because it means that sometimes, my daughters escape any sort of extended period of discipline for acts that deserve such. If I tell them that they are on restriction for a week for one infraction or another, I’d better write it down or tell their dad. If I do not write it down – it will be forgotten!

It is one reason why I stick to a pretty regimented schedule of my days, the reason I write down my thoughts and feelings and use a daily calendar to manage my time. If I did not do so I would inevitably forget even the most important of tasks. Sometimes, I am lucky and the act of writing down a conversation or writing a date on the calendar means it will stick in my brain but this is not always the case. It’s a great aspect of my brain because painful experiences like childbirth, verbal unpleasantness with others and even the experience of running 100 miles only a month ago…..disappear from memory. The disappearance of pieces of my life can be an asset or a distinct disadvantage.

It means that although I KNOW I had particular experiences, I know I birthed seven babies; I know when and where I was married; I know the youngest boy graduated from high school etc., etc., I have very few specific or vivid recollections in my memory of these events or hundred of others. It means that if I have a disagreement today, I may or may not remember the specifics of that disagreement a day or a week from today. My brain chooses which nuggets of my life to hold onto and which to let go. It’s almost like amnesia but it’s very selective and there are times that happen out of the blue when I will have a flashback of something that was said or done – but just as quick it’s all gone again.

This aspect of my psyche can also be a bit of an aggravation because I do not remember what was said. Once words leave my mouth and the thought behind them is no longer at the forefront – I have virtually NO recollection of what was said. Especially if they were words spoken in a heated manner, as in an argument or disagreement. Ironically, as my brain forgets some words and deeds – it has a clear recollection of others and usually they are the painful ones created by others. Some words stick inside my head like a tape stuck on repeat so over and over….and over they play inside my brain. Rattling around inside my head like so much broken glass.

There is a biological explanation for this odd aspect of my brain. When the human psyche is placed under a stress load, over and over again in a fright, flight, or fight situation the brain pushes out several very specific chemicals. Now, if you have ONE traumatic experience these chemicals are essentially (usually) washed away down the drain and all is well. However, if this type of situation occurs repeatedly, the brain is continuously under the stress of the situation and added to that is this cascade of neuro-chemicals. The parts of the brain that regulate memories are eventually poisoned in a way from the chemicals that were produced to protect the psyche from further harm. Ironic isn’t it? The very mechanism used to protect it, with repeated dumping into the body, actually causes damage.

The good news for me is that it means I am an expert at letting go of garbage that occurs in my life. Stuff happens, I get angry, upset, hurt….etc and within a week or two have very little recollection of what was said or done. That’s not to say that I don’t KNOW on some level that some mess went down – only that it no longer sits at the forefront of my brain. Some people cannot let go. They allow their emotions to sit and stew, they continually stuff their emotions down and down until it all bubbles over like a volcano in a violent explosion, causing casualties all over the place. Yet, even then, even when they explode causing chaos and the situation is discussed ad nauseam this is not enough for them to say – the situation has been resolved.

This type of person hangs onto that anger or pain etc and allows it to stew and marinate even further, then adds any further perceived injury or insult to what has already occurred….in a perpetual cycle of hurt. I say – LET IT GO. This is an unhealthy cycle that needs severing like a diseased limb. When people hurt you, they apologize and attempt to resolve the issue with conversation and changing the behaviors that caused the issue to begin with – LET IT GO. The person you cause more injury to by holding onto noisiness in your own mind is Y-O-U.

If I held onto every perceived or real injury thrown my way by others, or even caused by my own human stupidity, I would be a mess. Forgiveness of the mistakes of others truly is NOT about making them feel better, rather it is a healthy response that is necessary to keep peace within your own heart and mind. Holding onto anger, disappointment and resentment causes health issues as well as more relationship issues than you already have. Forgive mistakes and move on. We all change and grow and forgiveness is part of this process.

While you are busy holding onto the hurt and using it as ammunition for future situations – imagine if the shoe was on the other foot and all of your mistakes and bad behaviors were thrown back at you…..I say LET IT GO

Until next time my friends….

Peace

Brazos Bend 100 mile race….through my eyes the first 50 miles

The alarms were set in 5 minute increments between 3:15 and 3:30 Saturday morning and I woke up at 1:45 unable to go back to sleep no matter what I did. It’s RACE DAY MORNING peeps!! I meditated and tried to doze all to no avail. At 2:30 or so T2 woke also – having to pee is a great motivator to wake up and hit the bathroom!! Since neither of us could sleep we do what most females do in the absence of anything else – we talked. We brought a new meaning to the phrase ‘pillow talk’…ha ha ha! I crack myself up! I won’t bore you with the details….It was a new day…RACE DAY and it began at 3:30 telling N.D it was time to get up! That was funny!

The IMPORTANT PEK!

The IMPORTANT PEK!

The morning didn’t really go to plan exactly because we ran a bit later than intended but being flexible is important so I just rolled with it. The important part was getting in the line with that mass of humanity of the other runners at 5:58 after we had said a prayer of safety, guidance and strength! Here we were! Oh my GOSH! 6 months of planning, training and so many early mornings and some late nights too and it all came down to this very moment – or so I thought at that very sliver of time. There used to be a soap opera that began with an hourglass tipped up so the sand was running out – that image has new meaning to me now!

We're here!!

We’re here!!

Mile one we ran with several other runners and I kept slowing myself down because the pace was far, far too fast. We’d been training at 14 minutes per mile except on fast days when we’d drop it down to 11 minute miles and the first 4 miles we ranged between a 12:01 and 12:45 or so! Waaaaay too fast for the 100 miles in front of us that was all unknown. Here we go with the plan – which was for us to stick together for 50 miles then N.D would take her pacers and go kick some tail. I needed to slow us down and I did. The key for me really is if I don’t feel like talking because I am focused on just breathing we are going too fast. So, anytime there was a conversation taking place around me and my overactive brain didn’t feel like participating, I told Norma we need to slow down. Miles 5-7 were respectable 14’s and then we were caught by some other folks we know and our pace went back up to an 11:18. Ironic as I look back! In order to participate in a conversation I have to run slower but whenever we run with other people it makes me run FASTER! Silly….

This was at the very start of the race! Look how HAPPY we were!!

This was at the very start of the race! Look how HAPPY we were!!

The first loop was fantastic! Seamless almost. We ran, we talked and laughed and we ate whatever we felt like eating – crackers mostly for me. My stomach is a finicky piece of work and I worked at NOT eating anything that could possibly upset it. About 90 minutes into the first loop the sun came up and we could see it poking its rays through the beautiful trees as we ran eastward on the perfectly manicured trail.

Oh yeah, I didn’t mention that! This trail we ran on was almost perfect for running! There were sections of pavement that I later cussed and at the end of the race was painfully looking forward to. Other sections were made of gravel that was probably one of the primary reasons I am in the situation I am in at this moment with my feet. Other parts of the trail were comprised of packed earth with crispy leaves overlaid, some with intermittent trail trolls aka tree roots and there were also some wooden pedestrian bridges going over the tops of bogs where the gators roamed. Like I said, almost perfect trails for running! Oh, and the trees….WOW! I cannot describe these stunningly beautiful trees in enough detail and do them any justice at all. Tall, majestic healthy trees with a circumference I cannot possible guess at times. Along with the trees there were the already mentioned stinky bogs, a tunnel of trees that seemed to stretch for miles, Some of the trees had spanish moss hanging from them which really accentuated the feel of the entire park. Okay, I digressed……

We hit the halfway point – or so – Brazos aid station in about 2 1/2 hours so we had covered 13 miles in that amount of time. I was happy! N.D was happy and all was well with the world! Then….we hit this awful, terrible sticky mud mess. Ugh! There’s Murphy with his ugly head! We had to sort of scamper through this because it was a combination of sticky mud and slimy mud and it made running hazardous. Well that sounds silly for a trail runner to say! Ha ha! But there are some hazards worth taking for newbie 100 mile runners and other hazards that are simply NOT worth it and this one was not worth the risk – so we scampered – running when we could and walking when we had to. We still made great time!

Like I said, the first loop was fabulous and we came in to start the second after 5:45 or so. Perfect timing and EXACTLY to plan with the exception that I was having tech issues and didn’t feel like fighting with my headphones and ipod for the next 75 miles so I dropped all tech at that point. A FIRST! I did mention to my crew that I had a hot spot on the ball of my left foot so we had to take some time to deal with that. Added some body glide and turned my compression sock inside out thinking the threading was causing the issue. In hindsight it was a combination of issues that caused the blisters I believe but we aren’t there yet. I honestly already do not remember what I ate at that stop. It took 10 minutes because we were unsure what to do about the hot spot on my left foot.

Hot spot repair

Hot spot repair

Back out on the trail for our second loop and we walked a bit at first because we had both grabbed something for food and were eating it while we walked. I was also trying to get the watch I borrowed from another friend to pick up signal to track the second loop…and it wouldn’t so I just forgot about it. So important to keep that forward motion and momentum going!! A truly valuable lesson to learn first hand! You can read it, hear it, etc, but until you have to live with your consequences…you don’t really KNOW. The second loop was not quite as festive but it was still a great run we felt like we were making great time. Our drop boxes were perfectly placed in the front half of the course so we were able to eat early and often. The minute my belly started remotely telling me it was hungry I made sure to have something to dump in. I have to say that ritz crackers and those squeezable fruit purees are a real blessing! The good thing was I didn’t eat too much of any one texture or flavor – except maybe the crackers – so it’s unlikely an aversion to a certain food will arise from this fabulous path we traveled!

I cannot tell you exactly where it happened but at some point around 4 or 5 miles from the Brazos aid station I realized that I had missed an essential task before we left the hotel or the turn around point and it was now coming back to haunt me. Most runners know what I am speaking of. The reason why if we are going to eat before running we give our bodies plenty of time to do what it must before we start running. There was no choice but to walk. N.D could’ve gone on ahead but she chose to hang with me and try to take my mind off it. Sure, there were trees on both sides of the trail but we were in a wildlife preserve where wild animals live – including feral hogs I was later told AND the kicker for me was the possibility of meeting with a poisonous snake. The last thing I wanted was to meet one of them while in a exposed position……so I waited for the next porta-john and we walked.

N.D kept saying, ‘I’m sure it’s right around that bend in the trail up there’, and we made jokes about how the RD must’ve been playing a trick on the runners and making the porta-john move from where it was in a disappearing act! LOL What fun!! I told her, we can try to jog a bit and she laughed and told me another story – so we walked. What a great training friend, battle buddy and friend she has been! We sort of started this whole thing as a fluke almost. I am a firm believer in a couple things. The first is that people really do come into our lives either for a reason, a season or a lifetime and the second is that there is 2 types of karma and whatever goes around is like a boomerang and will come back around – you just don’t know how or when it will get you. N.D has been patient with my talkative nature and kind with my spirit. She has given when she had no responsibility to do so and persisted when she could have easily just went and did her own thing. I am truly grateful for this woman and the impact she’s had on my life!! I could say that there’s no way to repay her but to put a payment on her gift of friendship would cheapen the relationship we have and I would never desire to do that.

Alright….so the porta-john was at Brazos aid station so we were back to approximately halfway through our second loop. Gravy baby! Neither of us were really having any issues at this point that I recall. We went back through the icky, mucky, slimy bog oh and I failed to mention, after the bog there are 2 fields where apparently horses play football or something. There were divits in the trail that were horrible to navigate. I determined during the first loop that there were about 6 miles of bog/divits to slow us down on the backside of every loop. Ugh! At this point we were looking forward to picking up our pacers. KdlP was going to take N.D through 50-75 miles and M.A was going to pace me through the same stretch. For me it was a little intimidating to run with him. We’ve never ran together before which was a good thing because I knew I’d need him to push me some but he runs 100’s pretty often and is super good at it. Very fast and agile on the trail!

Somewhere at this tail end of the 2nd loop we ran into Tony C and he of course made a joke about how he only had 8 miles left to go since he was running the 50 rather than the 100. Ha ha HA Tony!! You got jokes! LOL! Speaking for myself, at this point I was really looking forward to picking M.A’s brain about a future 100…….wait, WHAT?!!!! A future 100? Really? Where the heck did that come from and why was I even THINKING that at that moment? Insanity must be the explanation! Through this section, we ran into Brittany C and she was hurting so I stopped and gave her some of my aleve and encouraging conversation. I wanted to help but not take too much time and lose my momentum so off I went – wishing her well. A few miles later I ran into Romero another runner I know by name and by his picture on social media…he was laying down on a bench trying to stretch so I stopped and offered my assistance to stretch his IT band and move on out. N.D had left me when I helped Brittany so I was solo at this point and that was okay with me.

Running with music in my ears is generally the way I tune out the pain in my body or the negative thoughts in my head but at this point I was music-less and it was not a big deal. The day was beautiful though a bit sticky and the scenery was breathtaking in spots. Plus, we kept playing leapfrog with the same people. They’d run and pass us while we were walking then we would pass them up again when we ran our 15 minutes of the Galloway split we were doing…..except at this point it was more of a run when we feel like it and walk when the body says to walk. I had some wonderful conversations or moments of conversation with a few people out there and those help keep you moving.

Came into the turn-around point and the 2nd loop took us approximately 45 minutes longer than the first but that was expected so it was around 6:30 or so when we got in. I had to sit down and take care of my feet at this point and N.D was picking up her pacer to take off on her own adventure. This was my first experiment in really popping my own blisters and it wasn’t as bad as I thought it was going to be…..I really had to talk positive to myself at this point. My feet hurt but other than that I felt great! Grabbed a double espresso shot – I was kinda sleepy and we headed out. I was a little upset because there was to be a turkey dinner for the runners and I had been looking forward to some real food. The crew informed me that there would be no turkey dinner for at least 30 minutes from the time I was leaving. Really?! Too fast or too slow I was…either way I was unhappy with that situation….

To give credit where credit is due….I know there is someone or something I am missing from this accounting but runners brain is in full effect and my brain happens to be rapidly erasing the painful memories…..and some of the good ones too…

Interested? Look for the next one (hopefully) by the end of the day. It’s pretty emotional so be prepared.

Until next time…
Peace

On NOT running……and feeling fluffy with a side of headache

Wednesday was my first day back running after 10 days off and there are a couple things I need to say about this self imposed time away from running. Not that any of you would expect me to have a lot to say or anything!! LOL

The reason for the time off was to sort out something that is going on with my feet/lower legs, particularly the left side. Apparently, the long-standing issue I have with my piriformis also affects my IT band…which then translates to angry tendons in my lower leg. All Greek to you? It was to me as well until I was attempting our Fat Ass 50 miler 2 weeks ago and my left foot decided that it no longer wanted to lift up. Not only did the foot NOT want to lift, it hurt quite a bit. I’m no baby when it comes to pain so I sucked it up and tried to make it to the 50 mile mark but fell short of the goal by about 18 miles.

My good friend and training partner ND told me that we should err on the side of caution and just call it a night rather than push through it and risk further injury. NOT pushing is not my strong suit but with my eye on the prize (my FIRST 100 mile event!) I called it a day and went home to lick my wounds. I think my pride was hurt more than my body! Saying “Uncle” is not something I am ever overly thrilled about!

I gathered information from reliable sources such as athletic coaches, PA’s who are also runners and a couple friends who have ran 100’s. The consensus was, take time off from running to heal the angry tendon while using as many alternative methods of healing as possible. I was not a happy camper but thought to myself, how hard can it be to take a week to ten days off from running. I can do some more strength training, some aqua jogging and get some rest. Hmph! Right!

The first few days were alright. I played in the pool w/the aqua belt, iced my leg and waited for the swelling to go down. On the third day the area around my ankle was still swollen and I had an “ah ha” moment. I remembered there were some compression socks hanging around in my training clothes! The compression socks were found and promptly worn and VOILA like magic when I took them off 7 hours later- the swelling was GONE! Okay, great the swelling was gone but the lower leg/ankle area was still a bit sore to the touch.

My fabulous friend PW offered to give me a massage! Ooops….our schedules didn’t mesh and I was about to go stir crazy. I was agitated and felt bored….and did I say AGITATED?!! I needed to go run! I told my friend that I was going to run on Thursday and she promptly told me to WAIT. ARGH! Again with the waiting!

Through the entire week I still ate basically what I eat any other time, but I did have some foods that are not normally on my menu like red meat, pizza and peanut butter. I didn’t go overboard or anything but man was I feeling fluffy by Sunday! Sunday…my friend PW told me she had time to give me a MASSAGE!! WONDERFUL! Yah…wonderful and painful and OUCH! Have you heard of Active Release Therapy? My friend uses some of these techniques while massaging the body and I have to tell you – IT HURTS. She has these crazy strong fingers for such a small lady!! LOL When I walked out from the massage I wasn’t exactly sure if I felt better or not! By Tuesday though, I could tell my body was healing!

Now it had been 9 days since I ran last! I could FEEL the agitation rising in my brain and I had a headache every single day that I did not run. Every.Single.Day. By Wednesday I could not take it anymore and headed out for a run. Granted, it was around 30 degrees outside with the windchill making it feel around 21 degrees, and I was running on the road – not on my trails – but I was HAPPY! No pain in my leg and an ache in my lungs….heaven on earth!

Then I made the mistake of stepping on the scale……Oh crap! REALLY?! According to that particular evil contraption I GAINED 5 pounds in the 10 days I did not run!! 5 pounds! What the……….? So, this brings me to my next topic that I will post later today or tomorrow – this fascination we have with trying to follow the eating habits of other people and jumping on every bandwagon that happens along telling us that we need to eat this, or not eat that…..or that we can eat whatever we want as long as it’s in moderation….

Until next time…..
Peace

Oh yeah….and the story that I began last time is still taking shape and will most likely appear in pieces like this until maybe one day when I can put all the pieces together to put Humpty Dumpty back together again! 🙂