Thursday, December 29, 2016

That Time I had to Bribe Myself for 13.1 Miles

Once upon a time, I missed running Disney Races.  Over the course of my running years, I had run the Princes Half, and the Tower of Terror races, and of course, the epic "completed while pregnant" Mickey's Marathon.  I freaking LOVED Disney Races.

Apparently I had belly-ached about my longing to complete another Disney race loud enough for someone to notice.  And so, for my birthday, I was surprised with the gift of entry for the Wine and Dine Half Marathon, Lumiere's Challenge:  6.2 on Friday and 13.1 on Saturday.

Friday's race went off without a hitch, I felt great, and was totes jazzed for Saturday's run.

And then I woke up on Saturday like this:

Eff this Shit.  I have ZERO desire to run.

But whatever, I've felt that at 3 a.m. plenty of times, I thought I would rally while waiting for 3 hours in the start corrals, hanging with other runners can make you feel more excited, right?  There were fireworks, and loud music, and we were OFF to the races.

Within the first mile I was like this:

Eff this Shit.  I have ZERO desire to run.

But whatever, I've felt that way at mile 1 plenty of times.  I'll warm up, I'll get excited to see characters, and I'll feel better.  I cranked up my music and thought Flo Rida would rock my running world. I took pictures and was excited to show the family these things.  And by mile 3 I was truly feeling like:

Eff this Shit.  I STILL have ZERO desire to run.

But whatever, I have 10 more miles to go.  So it is at this part of the race I thanked GOD for my degree in behavior science and my skills as a coach.  
"If you can make it to mile 7, I will let you walk until mile 10."  And that is what I focused on.  Running to mile 7.  I figured, If I could tune out the noise and make it to 7, I would be good to go.  But at mile 7, I was still feeling like:

Eff this Shit.  I want to die.

But whatever, if I walk now, I got 6.2 miles to keep my ass walking, and I PROMISED the family that we would be AT Animal Kingdom NO LATER than 10 a.m. for our reservations.  Mama ain't got TIME to walk.  And so, I bribed myself to "Just run to mile 10, please, you can do it.  If you run to mile 10, you can walk the rest of the way and STILL MAKE it to Animal Kingdom."  I was still feeling like:

                              Eff this Shit.  I want to die.

But whatever, I have run 26.2 damn miles pregnant.  I've run 13.1 miles on broken foot.  I've run 20 miles pushing a baby stroller.  I can actually DO this.  And so I bribed myself hard, hard, hard core.
"If you run the rest of the race and finish under X amount of time, you can eat as many Mickey's Magic Bars as you please today."

It was HOT.  We were running directly into the sun on a Florida highway.  The conditions sucked.  My hip killed, but, bribery aside, I wanted to finish this race RUNNING, because it could very well be my last 13.1 ever.  

I envisioned Luke out in front of me, pulling me along.  After all, it had been quite some time since I had run WITHOUT him out there in front.  I cranked up some really disgusting music, and I talked to myself.  People may have thought I was nuts, but I didn't care.  I dug in and cranked it out.  

Eff that shit.  I am done.  
The face of a tired MotherRunner

I've really never been more proud of myself during a race.  It was in no way a PR, but it was a definite display of mind over matter, and that, my friends, is really what distance running is all about. When we've trained our bodies to accomplish the miles, it really about working our minds.  Convincing ourselves that our bodies are capable of doing this, and being okay with the discomfort and pain.  This is why distance running is crazy, and amazing.  It's a total mind over matter game.  

Which is great, because Disney doesn't even MAKE Mickey's Magic Bars I basically bribed myself with nothing.  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

And When We Are Stressed We Play in the Woods...

When I first moved back to New York, I was warned by the locals:  Find a way to embrace the winter months.  I laughed, because the major reason I left New York all those years ago was:  It's too damn cold. "I'll NEVER learn to embrace the winter, these people are nuts," I thought.

And then we had last winter, which was probably the warmest Western NY winter ever.  It was beautiful!  I think it snowed twice and we rarely had below 35 degree temps.  I came out of it thinking, "This winter stuff's not so bad, I got this!"

That idea worked until Mother Nature reminded me of the reality that is Western New York in the winter.  This year.  It is only December 27th and we've already had many days below 35 and some snowy days, as well.  And because it is quite possibly my last year of running, I'm making the attempt to truly #EmbraceTheSuck of winter weather.

I am an outdoorsy girl.  Being in the woods is a comfort to me, and it's where I can often be found, seeking solace.  So when the going got rough (living with teenagers isn't always a picnic) last weekend, and the winter weather wasn't *so bad* I killed two birds with one stone:  Embrace the suck of winter, and get the hell out of MomLife.  I stowed my camera away at the start of the trail, and we did a run out, run back, and then some camera play.

Luke was overjoyed to hit the trails, as it had been a few weeks since he'd been able to RUN.

Everything on the trail looked monochrome.  What had once been a trail full of colors such as greens, yellows, reds, and purples, was now all one color:  brown.  Even Luke matched the scenery.  This, as much as the cold,  wears me down from winter.
 While most of the scenery blended in with one another, this rebel leaf caught my eye.  It apparently forgot to fall to it's snowy burial and remained stuck, in stark contrast to the rest of the forrest.

While on our run/camera play walk, Luke continuously enjoyed playing in the snow.  He would bury his head deep into the snow piles, and snort out, usually coming up with a few flakes still upon his snout.  For a southern born boy, he sure did enjoy this snow play...and that is why I will continue to Embrace the Suck that is winter.  Watching my boy run and enjoy the trail, despite it's depressing color scheme, was a true joy.  He runs about in a way that reminds me of my childhood days in the woods, when there weren't chores and to-do lists, when the cold didn't hurt the joints as much.  He is my very own Peter Pan.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016


"I'm just not cut out for this kind of weather."

That's the phrase all of my Yankee friends are probably sick of hearing me say.  But it's become painfully true within the last 24 hours.

I'm a Texas Girl.  Okay, so maybe I grew up in New York, but I left here and slowly migrated south over the last 20 years.  This level and duration of COLD isn't something I'm comfortable with.  The lack of sunshine takes a serious toll on a southern soul's sanity.

But nonetheless, I committed to moving here.  Which means as much as I love June-October, I've gotta put up with December-May.  So I invested in all of the winter running gear. 
Craft Storm Pants, check.
Saucony Nomad jacket, check.
Extra Adidas Response Boost trail shoes, check.
Smart Wool socks, check.
Buff, gloves...all the nonsense...check check check.

All of the above being said, I have still spent much of this (very mild so far) winter running on a treadmill.  Listen, I'm a wuss.  And really accident prone. 

But yesterday was so beautiful with the snow.  I had already been locked in the house for long enough and wanted the "experience" of "running" in 2 feet of snow.  So I bundled up, grabbed my dogs, and headed out to run/walk/climb trees through the (completely snowed over) trails in my woods

It was fun.  I really had a blast.  I even made SNOW ANGELS.  On the ground (holla! Craft Storm Pants, I stayed so warm!). 

And then came midnight.  Where I was in SO MUCH PAIN that I couldn't sleep.
 Y'all, running in the snow makes you use muscles you didn't KNOW existed. 

So after this Aleve (and coffee...lots and lots of coffee) kicks in, I'll get my butt back out there again.  Running and hiking in the snow has shown me that I've got a lot more muscles to work on because snow is probably a lot like the muck and mud I'll experience on this spring's trail runs. 

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Night Running is ME Time

The most challenging thing about my July Run Streak is time.  No excuses, seriously here.  There really aren't enough hours in the day to get everything done that a Type A Perfectionist needs to get done!
Most of my Run Streak runs have been done at night.  And we're talking, real night.  After the last of the dishes are washed, the baby's sound asleep, and the floor has been vacuumed is when I squeeze in my time.

The idea of heading out for a run at 10 pm sucked at first.  Really?  I can't just LAY IN BED and watch NETFLIX?  Come ooooon.  Plus, I am so used to running with a stroller, it felt sacrilegious to run without Isla.

But the more I sat on the couch procrastinating my run, the more I get this face...

...which always gets me up and going in a hurry.

Now that I've gotten into it, it's growing on me.  There's something pretty magical about being out there in the quiet of the night.  Less traffic.  Less chaos.  I don't HAVE to be back in time to rush anyone to soccer or a play date.  No one "needs a snack!"  It's just me and Luke, hitting the pavement.  It's been even more therapeutic to take that ME time.  This week we were treated to a pretty breathtaking moon on our night runs.  I hope you had a chance to run in this amazing moon light!

Monday, July 7, 2014

Excuse us While we STREAK... #EveryDayInJuly

As I've written about many times before, I am the Q U E E N of excuses.  I love running, but I love sitting my lazy ass on the couch too.  I love running marathons, but I also love Netflix marathons.

Because I'm a working mom of three crazy kids, who has really bad asthma and arthritis it's REALLY easy for me to come up with excuses.
"I'm tired"

"The House needs to be cleaned"
"My lungs feel wonky"
"Laundry needs to be done"
"I'm tired"
"My hips hurt"
"The baby needs to go to bed"
"My wrists hurt"
"It's too humid"
"I'm tired"
"My feet hurt"

Honestly, I really AM tired 99.9% of the time.  And my joints hurt most of the time.  But sitting on the couch has done ZERO to solve either of those problems over the last 30 years....In fact....sitting around makes me MORE tired and makes my joint pain WORSE.

So in an effort to prepare for the next stage of my running-life, I decided to EFF the excuses and make a commitment to RUN EVERY DAY IN JULY.

Now, it gets dicey since I'm going to be on a road trip for 4-5 days of the month, but...hey...NO EXCUSES.  Hotels have treadmills.

I just completed the 5th day and I'll tell ya...."I'm tired"  But my hip's holding up and I can see how necessary this challenge is for my mind!

Saturday, July 5, 2014

Taking Charge...Road ID Rocks for Runners

After our run in with a car I got smart.

I finally got myself a Road ID...

I've been running on the road for almost 7 years and for about 5 years I've been saying, "I should buy one of those ID bracelets..."  But because I abhor online shopping, I never bit the bullet and ordered one.

What a freaking brilliant product.  For just $20 a runner/hiker/cyclist, etc gets the peace of mind knowing that if anything happens to you while on a run, your medical information can be readily accessed by an EMT.  With just a simple phone call, paramedics can know what medications your on and who your emergency contacts are.  As a severely asthmatic runner, I think it's freaking stupid I ever ran without one.

I opted for the sport band style, but you can bet your booty I'll be trying the other styles, and buying one for my runner/hiker dad, running kids, and running friends.

Thursday, July 3, 2014

And Then it Got a Little Scary...

A few weeks ago I committed to something new and crazy (for me)...getting up at the crack ass of dawn and hitting the pavement to get in some miles before work.  I had been enjoying it, finding that it left me more focused and patient in my classroom the rest of the day.  Several weeks ago I headed out on a Tuesday morning around 6:50 a.m. (later than normal) for a run.   I had my posse with me; pushing Isla and towing Luke along.
About 3 miles into our run we had to navigate a double crosswalk.  Meaning, we had to cross one street, then immediately cross a second.  It was a four way stop, the first part across a four lane road.  When I was crossing that section of road, I saw a car stopped in front of the cross walk I would need to cross next.  As neared the sidewalk before the second crosswalk, I made eye contact with that driver, she nodded at me.  I slowed.  I stopped.  Before heading into the crosswalk, I looked at her again.  She was looking down, but still stopped.  I went.  About the time Luke and the stroller were 3/4 way across the front of her car I heard the engine go.  Her SUV rolled into us.  Luke was pushed into, then behind the stroller by her SUV.  I panicked.  I sped up, looked at her as I sprinted out of the intersection.

When I looked at her, from the safety of the opposite side of the road, I noticed she was on her....cell phone.  I also looked around and noticed the other horrified drivers in the intersection.

Luke, Isla, and I almost became a part of one of the awful growing statistics in our sport...runners hit while out for their morning jog.

The only casualty...the Bubba (Isla's original name)
plate that we've had attached to BOB since our first run ;-(

While Luke was technically hit- as he was pushed into the stroller, and the stroller was obviously hit, we all walked (okay ran) away from the incident unharmed, physically.  I have never felt more thankful in my entire life.  Especially in the wake of horrific stories like that of Meg Menzies, Jeffrey Prioitti, Jamie Rowley, and many more.

After our incident I was pretty messed up.  I practically sprinted the 2 miles home.  The accident shook me up for a few hours.  I was stuck in the what if mode.  I hadn't had my cell phone on me that morning...what if I had been badly hurt?  I felt scared and shaken.  What did I do wrong?  How could I have avoided putting my daughter and my dog at such incredible risk?

But after I got to work and talked it out, I got pissed off.  There was *nothing* I did wrong, as a runner that morning.  *I* did not put my kid nor my dog in a dangerous situation.  I crossed the crosswalk correctly.  The driver was on her phone, not paying attention, and hit the gas instead of the brake.  That's probably the reason more and more runners are getting hit...drivers AREN'T PAYING ATTENTION.

Thrilled baby at the police station....

After work I went to our police station.  I filed an incident report and got a lecture on never running without my cell phone again.  I also discussed the growing problem with the officer and urged him to watch that intersection for dangerous drivers.

But getting OVER the incident has proved to be a bit more difficult.  My mom gave me the old advice that my horseback riding instructor used to say when we'd been thrown from a horse, "JUST GET BACK ON THERE AND GO!"  But it was different this time.  This time my daughter had been put at risk.  Not just me.  The first run after our incident sucked.  I ended up in tears .3 miles away from home, where I had to navigate the first crosswalk since that Tuesday.  But after a few weeks I'm back out there on my runs, crossing crosswalks with no tears.

We always tend to think that bad things will never happen to us.  But now I know they they did.  The trick is to be proactive about our safety- make sure that we're doing everything possible we can to be safe and acknowledge that even if something bad happens, at least we were having fun....!