Sunday, March 30, 2014

A Tribute to the Sun

I feel like most people are suffering from SAD. It's a real thing. Seriously, I have been in the doldrums all winter, and every time I think it is over, I cry a little inside because I wake up to snow the next day. Case in point... In the last week I was running in shorts and a t-shirt. I was very excited for my run on Saturday (yesterday) until I looked at the weather. 39 degrees and chance of snow. We started the run and got through 6 miles and then it started pouring and started getting colder, and colder, and colder. As I was driving home from my friend's house last night, ice started falling from the sky, and then I woke up to snow on the ground this morning AND had to scrape my windows.

WHEN WILL I BE ABLE TO RIDE MY BIKE AGAIN??????????

So upon further review of the weather forecast this week (I don't know why I bother), I found that the sun is officially going to appear. It surprised me today when it finally poured over me giving me a little taste of natural vitamin D.

So, this impacts my exercise, which impacts my mind, which impacts my eating, which impacts my desire to exercise, which impacts my mind, which impacts... I think you get the point. It is a vicious cycle. But in true Sarah fashion I continued to evaluate my attitude about the weather. I can often be heard saying, just because the last few things have been bad, doesn't mean the next thing has to be bad. With that said, I am experiencing that with the weather. Just because I got my hopes up 100 times this winter, I didn't give up totally and in turn am being rewarded with THE SUN!!!!!!!!

Forecast for tomorrow? 63 and mostly sunny. I think the weather gods are finally blessing me!!!

So to welcome the sun back into our lives, here is a little song by a little band that you may have heard of:

Here Comes The Sun - The Beatles


Sunday, March 16, 2014

Unconditional

Sticking my tongue out at running.
I'm not in the mood to blog today. I had a long day on Tuesday, preparing for Wednesday, which was also a long day. And then there was Thursday when I had NO interest in running (but I did), that led into the longest Friday... And then there was Saturday with a run in the morning, party prep and then company til 1 am. Followed by today that included painting.

So, what gets me through weeks like this?

Unconditional friends!

They rock... Do you have one?

I have a few unconditional friends and I also have an unconditional activity. Regardless of how much I hate running sometimes, it always makes me feel good at the end of the day. That is the true definition of an unconditional friend.

Try it some time!!!

Sunday, March 9, 2014

My Dukie

This is an instance in which taking a week off from talking 'athlete' is totally necessary.

I am devastated because I lost my greatest dog friend this week. Dukie has been my pal for years. I have so much to say about him, but the most important thing about him is he reminded me to love myself. He came to live with me at a particularly difficult time in my life. I was depressed for God knows why, and he woke me up. I remember when I first brought him to live with me in Columbus, my boss told me my life was about to change forever. She told me that having a dog was like having a child and my routine was going to drastically change. 

All of that was true, but it wasn't just my routine that changed. I changed... I woke up every morning for all the years he lived with me to a slobbery wet lick across the face. I came home and wacked him with the door, because he would lay behind it so he would know when I got home. He would lay on the couch with me, dance with me (no seriously, we would have dance party when I would clean my house), he would eat the ice cubes, hang out between my body and the cabinets whenever I cooked, he would follow me around the house. All those things were his loyalties at play... But the more important things is he would put his head on my shoulder when I would cry, and lick the tears away; his final gesture to me while I was laying on the floor with him at the vet was just that. He didn't like it when I was sad, and I didn't like it when he was sad. It gives me great comfort to know he isn't in any kind of pain anymore, but gives me great sadness to know he isn't here to cuddle anymore.

What did Dukie teach me about life? Well number one is he taught me that things are just that, things. He taught me to stop and look around and take pleasure in the little things, like naps in front of the fire place after a long run! He taught me how to be loyal even when you don't always get what you want. He taught me selflesness, basically to give up something that I may want because he needed something more. He taught me 100% unconditional love. I would scold him for getting in the garbage but he would never stay mad at me. He also taught me that it is important to take care of myself. Case in point he wouldn't let me leave the kitchen in the morning or evening until we BOTH took our medicine. He literally took care of me every day. 

And here I sit missing his wet nose on my face, his halitosis wafting up to my nose because he wants to be pet, and his clicking through the house trying to find the last little crumb of food that was dropped by me. I also sit thinking about the joy he brought me all those years, and will honor him by remembering to experience the joy of life every day.

Dukie, I love you and will remember you always!!!

Scroll down for The Power of the Dog Poem.











The Power of the Dog

There is sorrow enough in the natural way
From men and women to fill our day;
And when we are certain of sorrow in store,
Why do we always arrange for more?
Brothers and Sisters, I bid you beware
Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.

Buy a pup and your money will buy
Love unflinching that cannot lie--
Perfect passion and worship fed
By a kick in the ribs or a pat on the head.
Nevertheless it is hardly fair
To risk your heart for a dog to tear.

When the fourteen years which Nature permits
Are closing in asthma, or tumour, or fits,
And the vet's unspoken prescription runs
To lethal chambers or loaded guns,
Then you will find--it's your own affair--
But...you've given your heart for a dog to tear.

When the body that lived at your single will,
With its whimper of welcome, is stilled (how still!);
When the spirit that answered your every mood
Is gone--wherever it goes--for good,
You will discover how much you care,
And will give your heart for the dog to tear.

We've sorrow enough in the natural way,
When it comes to burying Christian clay.
Our loves are not given, but only lent,
At compound interest of cent per cent.
Though it is not always the case, I believe,
That the longer we've kept 'em, the more do we grieve:
For, when debts are payable, right or wrong,
A short-time loan is as bad as a long--
So why in Heaven (before we are there)
Should we give our hearts to a dog to tear? 

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Take Pleasure

Have you ever been in a workout funk? I'm sure you have at some point if you are an avid runner or cyclist. It is one of those things that you typically can rest your way out of and come back like you never skipped a beat.

Have you ever been in a workout funk that you typically can snap out of, but for some reason, 'this time around', no such luck? No amount of rest, or telling yourself to buck up can make it easier.

I can honestly answer 'all of the above' on this one. 

Today I sit at the latter of the two above scenarios and I have NO clue what to do about it, but keep on keeping on. Sometimes telling yourself to 'snap out of it', simply isn't enough and it is SO discouraging. The only saving grace is that I have a friend who supports me and runs with me, even when I'm not my happy go lucky self on and off the trail. We meet on the trail and do our best to log some miles, for which we should always be proud...

Recently I have had a run of interesting luck in life. I don't want to call it bad luck because things could have been worse and I'm positive I have learned something about myself in all of this, but it has still been enough to drag me down a bit. The list includes leaky pipes, new refrigerators, emergency middle of the night plumbers, a leaky hot water heater, a busted kitchen faucet (from the cold). What typically snaps me out of my funk regarding non-workout related problems, is a good workout. That isn't working for me either.

So then what do you reach for to decrease the stress? I reach for the couch and cookies (did I mention my Girl Scout Cookies arrived this week?); both of which are counter intuitive to my desire to run this half marathon successfully this year. I also reach for my friends in the hopes that I don't overwhelm them with my discontent. And I'm lucky enough to say that the people who really matter always show up, no matter what.

I am coming to realize in all of this, is we sometimes need to accept where we are, because it is exactly where we are supposed to be in this moment. But we should strive to make improve things, if we aren't full satisfied with where we are in this moment. I also recognize that if I keep doing what I am doing, at some point it will all come back together again. I think I have said this before, and I truly believe it... Every step we take, even if it is two steps backwards, is a step that needs to be taken to reach our goals.

So rather than be frustrated I'm going to take Troy Dyer's advice from Reality Bites:
So I take pleasure in the details. You know... A Quarter-Punder with cheese, those are good, the sky about ten minutes before it starts to rain, the moment where your laughter becomes a cackle... And I, I sit back and I smoke my camel straights and I ride my own melt. 
And riding my own melt is exactly what I am going to do... After all, the moments I share, both on and off the trail, with my friends are the moments that give me pleasure, along with the long hard journey to the finish line...