Sunday, February 26, 2012

Loyal

I am one of the most forgiving/loyal people you will ever find (at least I think so). There are only two instances that I can think of in life that have made me think twice about welcoming someone back in to my world. Both of those instances are from my high school or early college days so I like to think they don't count. I mean I was young and burned pretty badly in both situations. Through life I have been seriously hurt with the best of them. Some of the pain has come from being cut off by people I care about, stood up by friends/dates (ask me about my junior dance sometime, it is quite the story), stolen from and the list goes on. I have lost people that I have cared for and I have also loved without abandon; I have lived!!!

Over the past couple of months I have been challenged in ways I never imagined. I have slogged through sadness, frustration, confusion... If you have spent any time with me, though, you know that I have maintained a good attitude while cherishing what life has had to offer. I truly find the positive in difficult situations, but that hasn't come without some work. Most of that 'work' has been while logging miles on the trails...

You see, running is a metaphor for life. There are days you head out to run, not wanting to and have the best run of your life. Other days you might be longing for the run and find it to be the most challenging run you have had. Then you have the surprise run that includes unintended miles, a new course or finding a new friend along the way. If you are a runner, you understand what I am talking about. You never know what to expect when you go out for a run, but for me, no matter how challenging the run, I eventually find peace.

Similarly, in life, you never know what is around the next bend but you move forward and take what life has to throw at you. You have a choice when you encounter any situation, as you do with a run, you either wallow in the challenge or embrace it knowing that it is there to teach you something about yourself. You get to choose whether you will persevere or stand at the bend stubbornly waiting for life to resolve itself. I like to think that I persevere...

I have always dreamed that, in life, I would find something that would match the loyalty I extend to people who enter my life; never did I think it would be an activity that would prove to be that loyal companion I so deserve. Whenever I face something so challenging that I don't know whether to laugh or cry I find myself putting on my shoes to run through the emotions knowing peace would be there in the end. One of my favorite bloggers used the word panacea to describe what running is for her; the word I would use is loyal!

Here is a quick video: Runner's Creed - The Road to Peace


And of course a picture of my pup, the most loyal companion a person can find:







Sunday, February 19, 2012

Fall Back Weeks

I can be colorful with my language from time to time; I'm going to keep this one clean though.

If I knew my audience wouldn't be offended I would use my favorite phrase, right here, to explain what fall back weeks do to my mind... I should tell you that it is similar to how I felt while tapering for prior events. Some words I've used to express my feelings about fall back weeks include slothful, lazy, terrified, anxious and the list goes on.

This fall back week is no exception; but there were good outcomes too...

Here's the thing. The experts tell me that fall back weeks are essential to recovery and healing while training for any endurance event. OK, so I'm trying to trust the process. I think I have some trust issues though. I like racking up my miles, especially because I'm shooting for 1350 miles in 2012. I don't know how a fall back week is going to help my mileage goal!!!

Right now I have to consider what is more important. Is it more important that I run 1350 miles in one year or accomplish my event goals? Thirteen fifty miles is equivalent to running to and from work one hundred twelve times, my parents house approximately two times or to visit my brother once!

So what is really my point here?

I guess it was a good week for a fall back since I had to go to the Vet with Dukie five times for re-bandaging and a wound check. I was also blessed with a visit from my sister and her kiddos and was able to limit my running so I could maximize my time with them.

I also have to say that a fall back week, although hard on the mind, was great for teaching me a lesson on patience. It helped me reflect on the importance of my non-running life and the need to nurture that as well!

Here's to an eighteen, or so, mile week, good times with new friends and genuine smiles!!!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Moving through it Ice Road Trucker Style...

I typically like to have a true point before I start writing my post for the week. I am going to fail in that department today!!!

Here's the thing, I haven't had a chance to be very inspired this week. I hung out on my couch, knocked out with a cold for many, many hours, while logging other hours watching Ice Road Truckers. Man this show is fascinating.

My injured pup!
Dukie was attacked by another dog during a cool down walk on Friday. This incident required a trip to the emergency vet, sutures and lots of love an patience. As I write this he is still breathing kind of funny (I actually just took a break from writing and went to the Vet again). I now know the funny breathing was due to the red (now blue) head wrap that was too tight and the return of the cone. This poor pup is having a rough time... And on top of it he is crying a lot, or should I say constantly, because I don't think the pain killers are strong enough.

I got home from the vet fairly late on Friday night and was not convinced I would make it to MIT on Saturday morning. Much to my surprise I was able to drag myself out of bed at seven, after hitting my snooze alarm for an  hour. I made it to MIT and it was COLD; I'm not talking about 25 degrees and sunny cold, I am talking about the 14 degrees but feels like negative 5 degree kind of cold. It was somewhat blustery and I'm sure we all looked extremely attractive (or shall I say inspiring) in our gators/hats/scarves/bandanas/gloves, not to mention layers of clothing that we were hoping would keep us warm. I can tell you that at no point during this run was I ever warm. It was so cold my chocolate milk (which was in my car waiting to be consumed post run) was partially frozen when I got back to my car.

This was the Ice Road, and we were the truckers
I also have to mention that I have taken a liking to ice road truckers this week; I am glad because it taught me how to deal with the ice without using chains (or yaktraks). The road and trail were covered with ice and caused for a slick run especially up and down the hills we encounter on our Westerville route... I knew this show would come in handy at some point (thank you Netflix for having all 56 episodes in one convenient location).

Because of pure exhaustion from laying on the couch and taking care of Dukie, I anticipated only running 4 miles Saturday morning. My plan was to go out with my group and turn around with one of my running buddies for another two miles. Somehow I lost sight of her along the way. Next thing I know the pace coach asked us if we were willing to go out an additional half mile for a turn around at 4 miles instead of 3.5 miles. I guess that means we passed up my planned 2 mile turn around? I of course responded with an exuberant: 'Yup, sounds good to me.' So what was supposed to be a 4 mile cold run, instead turned into an 8 mile frigid run. Would I do it any differently? Sure, if I didn't lose my running buddy, I would have stuck to that plan but I didn't.

I have had plenty of time on my feet this week in spite of the challenges and around my time on the couch. To be more exact, I have logged five hours of running during the past seven days with approximately 25 miles logged for the week (short of my training plan by 6 miles, but who is counting).

Now I sit here comforting my ailing Dukie Man (aka my sweat pea) as I reflect on a somewhat uninspiring week of running, illness, aggressive dogs and extreme cold.

I guess you can say I figured out how to move through a week, even when times are tough....