Saturday, April 18, 2015

Winning at Life and being a Galactic Badass

A Mother Runner’s Guide to Winning at Life and being a Galactic Badass


Sh*t I just came up with on the fly.

I was chatting with another working mom the other day and she asked my opinion on training for a fall marathon.  She has twin babies, a job, a husband, and all the responsibilities that go with the above.  Oh, and most importantly, before kids she was a badass mother runner of marathons.

So what did I tell her?

You grew a human being out of two cells; you can f*cking do anything you want in life. Including train for and run a marathon while being the proud owner of babies, a job, a husband, and all that rot. Avoid putting limits on what you can do. The example you will set for your children when you do this is extraordinary. I speak from experience. My kids are a trio of galactic badasses.

When you start drinking alone before the sun comes up, people worry; this will also apply to running. Get used to it. If you’re going to do a fall marathon and juggle life, it’s going to take some pre-dawn running.

Respect the distance. You didn't grow the baby in three weeks. Your fitness isn't going to return in three weeks. Savor the work you put in, and on the days that suck, on the days where if feels like you will never get there from here, look at that hard work and see how far you've come.

Your stroller is a rolling sag wagon. Use this fact to bribe or beg your friends to run with you. You can carry the water, gu, babies, snacks, TV, kitchen sink, and extra body glide. The best way to run with a BOB is to have buddies who have no strollers of their own who are wiling to share your load. Consider it a public service to your friends. Their training will be greatly improved by the resistance. It’s like running on hills... all the fecking time. Amiright?  With additional help pushing, the over all pace of the group will be faster, and everyone will be happier, including the babies.

Face it; you’re not the only one. Moms run. They train. There is a community of support out there.  Find your people. Maybe you need physical runners to join you – great – find a running club and join a group run. Perhaps you thrive in an online community of thousands of women who support each other. Perfect, find the Another Mother Runner Facebook group. Just whatever you do, find your people.

You will never be good enough. You will always work harder than you ever worked before babies, because you will always be striving for better and more. Maybe this is because you have these babies that you want to instill your values into, or maybe this is just because mothers are all pretty badass, but whatever it is, your standards for yourself will be different from now on. Goals that seemed impossible before will be broken, and rewritten to reflect new “unreachable” goals. You’ll realize that it never gets easier, you just get faster.  Or stronger. Or more.

~savor the run~

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Another Freaking bestdayEVER

Everything is easier when you are happy.

Whether it's losing weight, pushing through the hard 20 miles on the back of a 50 mile bike ride, running further than you've run in this training cycle... Everything is easier when you're happy.

It is easier to forgive myself for yesterday's mistakes, or embracing tomorrow's adventures... both are lightened by the lightness I feel in my heart.

Yes, sad things happen, and in those moments it's odd... I guess I still feel happy at my core. Even when tears are falling, there isn't a hopelessness blanketed over me.

What I've learned this week... month... the last 12 months... is that when I am happy with myself I am able to forgive myself. I am able to capture today as the most important day, to live with joy, to savor the run...

I'm able to respect the distance and appreciate how FREAKING FAR I've come.

I remember what it means to live with the FISH philosophy.  I remember that it's easy to make someone else's day when you wake up and feel that your day is made. It's a pleasant experience to look around and think, if today was "it" and I never had anything else, I could be happy with "this".

There are no "if only" regrets clogging my heart today because today is the bestdayever.

And that probably makes me a really f*cking irritating companion to hang with...

But that's Okay too.

~ respect the distance ~

Sunday, April 12, 2015

it's not a giant metal chicken

sometimes it's important to remember that things that seem like a big deal today, are probably not a big deal at all...

And that Giant Metal Chickens are #FirstWorldProblems

And an unplanned restday is a GOOD THING.

Perspective. Now you have it.

Thursday, April 9, 2015

Fear and Adventure

We’re in Buxton. It’s a tiny village, and the lack of human presence on a cold spring night is palatable.  The tourists don’t venture this far south for spring break. Mostly there are just a handful of dedicated surfers and fishers and us.

On a cloudless night the sky is illuminated by the light of countless stars, but tonight the rain soaked ground is steamy. A thick haze coats the air, dimming the human experience, cuing an ethereal quality. No human presence disrupts the spell, save one; The false white beam of the Cape Hatteras light house beacon slices through the inky sky.

A na├»ve puppy strains at his leash as we walk in the black. He doesn’t know what the darkness holds. He just wants to run. Let me RUN! he shouts with his desperate puppy legs.

The dark is scary though. There are hidden dangers he cannot understand. Even the grass, innocent in its appearance, holds a dark secret. Prickly burrs are nested among the blades.

“They will hurt the tender pads of your paws if you step on them”, I caution.

He can’t hear me though, so determined he is for adventure. So I protect him with a thin lime green leash.

One day I hope he can run without getting hurt by some prick hidden in the grass. I hope that he can look for adventure with confidence, instead being over sheltered by my fear.

I mostly hope that there is no pain to take away the joy of his adventure.

Of course, I worry I’m holding him back. I wonder if I could just let him go.... Would he run as fast and far as he wanted?  Would his successes be extraordinary? Would he exceed all the expectations laid before him, simply because he was able to run without a thin leash?

And of course, would his stories always start with “Remember that time...”?

~ savor the run ~

Thursday, April 2, 2015

Peace and a 10K

Here is a 2015 Monument Ave 10K Race Recap... sort of.

For Richmonders there are few things more fantastic than running Richmond. We have a strong running community, well organized and friendly to both the veterans and the noobs. Every year we have a 10K that attracts 30K participants, both running and walking their way for 6.2 miles down the avenue of Civil War statues that slices through the west side of town.

Tree lined streets and a grassy park down the center of the road make this flat fast out and back pretty enough to enjoy without being distracting.

At the last minute I signed up to run it.  I know, it’s “The Year of The 5K”, but the 10K is like twice the Fun and if I’m anything it’s a sucker for Fun Things.

Thus – I’m not short – I’m FUN SIZED.

Saturday I ran with my 30K BRFs

I made a goal – run sub 8’s, listen to your body, be in the moment, run your own race, trust yourself, fight every step of the run for a PR because you’re almost fit enough to do that.... Oh, and above all - look like a sexy beast.

I’d like to say it was the #bestdayever.  I’d like to say I owned the course and that the masses parted and my lungs were clear and I ran sub 8’s and got a PR and my hamstring didn’t complain once and I looked like a sexy beast...

But wha’ hada happen’d wuz...

My hamstring was achy and tired feeling during the warm up, and my chest was tight while I was waiting for the race to start. I hit my inhaler, which makes my heart race. Once again I mildly underdressed, which was intentional, but I wished for more Throw Away clothes as I stood in my corral. I did not run sub 8’s for the whole way.

My name is a little ways down this list.
But for the record:
My name is a little ways down this list.
I ran a 7:56 on mile one, and even though it was a sub 8, I knew my shot at a PR was pretty much over.  Nothing should FEEL THAT HARD at mile 1 that’s what she said.

Mile one was brutal. I also knew, however, that I could still break 50 minutes if I worked hard.

At least I looked like a sexy beast...

I chased down another runner with a blond ponytail, pushed someone else, was pulled at the end, and ran a 49:46.  I crossed the finish line and collapsed into the arms of Coach Black for a deeply satisfying hug.

I knew that my finish time was probably not quite good enough for a place in the TOP 100 in my AG, but ultimately I accepted that it was a completely respectable time. There were 1871 women in my AG at this event. I would later learn I had placed 78th.  I’ll take it.

As I made my way through the gates and corrals and water lines and photographer, I thought about my performance.  There was a point in my life when a sub 50 minute 10K would have been as unattainable as winning a race. I’ve done both those things twice now. What other “unattainables” are on my “list” that shouldn’t be there?

And they’re going to need to GO.

I didn’t linger at the finish. I was instantly cold. So I went back to around the mile 5 marker and found my friend Dimples. She lent me a jacket so we could spectate together before she sent me back to her house with a key so I could shower and warm up and beer.

Now, here’s the thing. I was a mile from her house... so I ran back through the city with my medal tucked in my bra and my phone in my hand. It felt good to run.

Isn't that silly? I had just finished a race...  

I was on the sidewalk parallel to the course, and there were thousands of runners making their way to the finish.

I was easily on my 8th mile of the day when you combine the race and the warm up.  But I wasn’t really dead on my feet... I was just enjoying a chilly run through the city... It felt easy. I was completely relaxed and at peace.

The sun dappled through the tree branches, the sidewalk was chipped and crooked, the spectators were teasing me that I was running the wrong way...  my stride was light, and I felt like a beast.

A beast who could fucking run.

Saturday, in that moment, is when I realized how ready I am to run again. I mean, really run again, for me. I want to Run Richmond. I want to be in the city, winding my way down cobblestones to the river, cutting through the museum district, crossing flood walls and embracing this place I love so much. 

I want to run again. Not because I have to, or because someone else tells me to, but because I MUST run in order to be true to ME. 

And in that truth, I will find peace.

~savor the run~