How did that happen?

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In retrospect… I may have been jerk.  I’ve seen posts on forums and Facebook about people forgetting their shoes when traveling to a race.

‘haha, how stupid’

‘how could anyone forget only the MOST IMPORTANT THING’

 

Until it happened to me.

I kid you not.  I had my shoes packed.  PACKED.  They were right in my carry on.  A last minute weather check revealed chances of thunderstorms.  No big deal, right? I’ll just pack my tiny little Salomon rain jacket.  This is where it goes all wrong, so pay attention.

I took my shoes out.

Put my rain jacket in and then continued the morning routine.

Did you catch it?

I never put the shoes back!  Fuck!  So off to Chicago I go.  la la la.  I was there three days before I realized my mistake.  The day before the race I went to put the timing gizmo into the laces… ut oh… what laces.

Phone call.

Me: Hey, can you do me a favor?

Alex: yeah

Me: Can you see if my shoes are upstairs in the bedroom

Alex: The purple ones, yeah they are here

Me: well shit.  I forgot my shoes.

 

And so… I became one of them.  One of the ‘silly’ ‘stupid’ ones.

Luckily I can just go out and buy a new pair no problem and go.

 

Thank you to Geneva Running Outfitters for getting me set up with a new pair of shoes the night before the race.

Fox Valley Marathon 2016

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This race went far from what I thought I was capable of.  Not in the good way.  I am humbled and happy with how it turned out.

I signed up with about 8.5 weeks to train for this.  The last “race” I did was Zion 100 back in April.  I figured that the shortest race of my “race” year would be a piece of cake.  Good lord was I wrong, was I ever wrong.

I forgot how different road running and trail running is.  I didn’t follow Rachel’s awesome plan for me like I wanted to. Instead I let my happy/sad/lazy little heart decide what I wanted/needed.  I really just needed a kick in the ass this time around.

However… I am glad it went how it did.  My  heart rate did not want to keep calm.  It wanted to go fast and zoom around in my chest.  My body glide didn’t really work for some reason.  I got to say hello to people I missed.  I walked and smiled and was very happy.  I had a few low spots examining what business I had out there.

Plain and simple… I did not do the work.  I let go of any attachment to the outcome and was happy there after.

I smiled at people and they smiled back.  I took my time.  I caught up with another runner who was struggling.  We got to talking.  He was just like me!  A former ultra runner, who’s lost his way, and some of the fitness went with it.

Bill was great company .  We chatted and planned and came up with a strategy to get shit done.  And done was the shit. We finished.

Not only did I make a new friend… Alex’s mom also came out and rode her bicycle beside us as we ran/walked it in.  It was so nice to have her company.  My grandma, aunt brother and Mom all came out to cheer me on at the race.

Of all the races I have ever run… this was my slowest marathon, and by far my favorite.  I was able to see  (most) the important people in my life.

Strava race data:  https://www.strava.com/activities/717056844

I think the HR data is wrong, especially since I eventually took the monitor off because it was causing pain.

 

 

Side note:  If you are in need of a coach, Rachel is a great coach and I would highly recommend her!  http://www.newageathlete.com

 

FVM

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When I signed up for this race I knew what I was getting into.  Sure, plan a cross country trip and throw in a marathon for good measure while your life is falling apart around you.  Yes.  That $100 is worth it.  Money well spent.

Well… there are some things that I knew were falling apart when I planned this.  I didn’t realize all the changes that would be happening this month. I just needed something good to look forward to.

As race and travel dates approach I am feeling so stressed.  Stressed I’ll forget things, general anxiety associated with travel. Traveling back to IL for New Years was nice, Alex was there and there were very few expectations.

I feel overwhelmed at times.  I set little goals for myself.  It kind of helps.

That being aired… I am still happy to be doing this race.  The Fox Valley Marathon is the course where I learned to run, and love running, and the camaraderie that comes with it.

I loved, cried and sweat all over those trails/streets/sidewalks.  So I am eager to go back and just be there.  I have completed the FVM before.  I was not a happy camper.  I was struggling with personal issues, but I am happy to go back.

I had good intentions.  I got myself fit with a good coach, and a good plan.  All of my good intentions crashed and burned in a pity party.  I’ve let go of any goals or plans I had for this race.  Instead I just want to go and enjoy it.

 

I’m bib # 1671.  If you see me, please say hello.

 

Nowhere Near First by Cory Reese

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Disclaimer:  I think Cory Reese is an amazing human and my book review is 100% biased.  Also, I’m only on page 121 so far.

I love this book.  Why? I love this sport, and I love the people who participate.  Cory Reese’s story is one of many, and I love all of those stories too.

I’ve loosely known Cory for about three years.  I say loosely because he’s like a ghost.  He’s here, he’s there, and you know he’s around.. but he’s hard to catch.  I’ve never seen him out running, except at a race.  ( let’s not bring up the fact I haven’t been running much, Ok?)

He’s been kind to share invaluable information with me about trying to conquer 100 miles.  I’ve followed along like the rest of the fan girls in the flock.  Studying his Fast Cory blog, and Facebook. He has an amazing wife and family, and some very cool dogs too.

This book introduced me to aspects of Cory I would NEVER EVER have guessed.  Honestly… you wouldn’t ever have to guess, he’s so friendly you could just ask him.  Really.  He’s that friendly.

Cory’s book  Nowhere near first: Ultramarathon Adventures from the back of the pack made me cry, it made me smile.  We’ve got some shared experiences and I know so many of the trails he talks about.  This book feels like home – to me at least.

 

Thank you for your vulnerability and willingness to be a real human Cory.

 

If you’re in the St. George area tonight stop by the St. George Running center for a presentation  and book signing with Cory! 

So many secrets.

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I guess it’s time to clean house in here.  I have a lot of news. going on in my head.  I also have a lot of changes that have happened in the past few months.

 

  1. The place I was (usually) happily living here in St. George decided to terminate our month-to-month lease.  We had 30 days to move out. We are temporarily living in a pet-friendly house thanks to a generous friend.
  2.  I lost a job I had for three months, that I had hoped to be my main source of income. Sad  I had to go, but understand and respect the reasons why.   This was the universe helping things move in a direction.  *hint hint*
  3. Alex and I are moving to Oregon!  I lost my main job Saturday.  I was aid-station captioning at the Ultra Adventures Tussahs race with some great friends. Alex, the dogs and I decided to head back Saturday night and I received the text.  Obviously first I felt sad and confused.  Then mildly panicked.  I also happened to be driving… I was almost run off the high way by someone else not paying attention while merging.  They got a heavy dose of horn. Oh yeah… ok.  So then  Alex asked if I wanted to head to Oregon during the week for a job interview he had set up.  I realized this was the Universe saying  ‘go for it!’
  4. In losing this job I had some thoughts.
    1. I don’t want to rely on outside work for all of my income.
    2. I would like to be my own boss, even if just some of the time.
    3. I am capable of so much more than what I’ve been doing.

So… the last three months have been quite stressful.  Losing a house, and a job are not easy.  I have good friends who have checked in with me, and offered support and  I am SO thankful for it.  I have been very reflective, sometimes too much.  Sometimes I get lost in my own head, despair and the feelings of helplessness haunt me.  I remember to put one step in front of the other.  Create goals, and do what I can in THAT moment to reach them.

 

Sometimes my goals are simple.  Some days are one baby step at a time.  Other days fly by full on confidence and vigor.

Just get out of bed.

Just sit up, lean against the wall if you have to and breathe for 4, 5, 6 minutes.

Eat something healthy.

Don’t forget to drink water.

It’s ok to say no, and it’s ok to do what you feel like you need to.  It might be sobbing, laughing, dancing, or laying on the floor. Whatever is calling to you – do that.

The universe wanted me to stop in my tracks and slow down.  Look around.  It’s not pretty, but it’s what it is.  I have to be OK with that.  I will know where I came from.

I went for a run.

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I did.  I went for a run.  I was a little bored, and a little frustrated.  So off I went.  It was warm in the sun and it soon got difficult.  So I stopped and took a break in the shade.  I grabbed a drink from the fountain.  I greeted two friendly older men with four dogs between them.  Both agreed, great morning for a run.

 

They are right.  it IS a great morning for a run I thought.  My garmin thought otherwise.  Not even a mile in and the watch was reporting my current condition as Fair  -2.  I don’t even know what that means.  I made it home, woo hoo!  Stopped the watch, looked down, 41 hours recovery recommended for a 1.54 mile run.  Yikes.

I wil try again.

 

Panic shuffle

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A “run” in which I panic, shutdown, get too hot and go home.  I re-considered my whole existence.

15 minutes of ‘what in the hell’.

It reminded me of the last moments I spent in Zion 100 2016 last month.  I had some deep clarity.  It felt good to feel that kind of raw honesty inside myself.

I want to be a beginner again.  I don’t want expectations, or the performance stress.  When I was a beginner everything was a PR.  Every run was a success.  I want to get back to that.

I want to run joyful again.  Not because I have an agenda for the run.  I want to run just because.  Sure I will still keep track of things, just because I can ( I paid for that damn watch, so I better well use it!).

I want to take cues from the dogs, they just go because they can go.  Not because I tell them to (lets be honest, who’s telling who here) but because they have the ability.

Today’s morning “run” felt SO hard.  I knew if I just hung in there I could keep it up, but I turned around and came home.  I need to go slow.  I need to work myself into it. Like running 4play.

Running should not feel like a chore. Better to follow the light than pout in shadows.  I will remind myself to be grateful for what I CAN run, rather than what I did not run.

Last month I tackled 100 miles.  I made it through 73.

This morning I did a a mile and a half, and it felt like 73.

Go figure🙂

Sorting, always sorting.

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Us humans like things categorized, sorted and filed.

I’m still trying to find words for Zion 100, or Zion 73 for me.  I’ve been a quiet sourpuss.  I decided I needed to do more disconnecting.  Or maybe it happened despite my decision.

Whatever the reason… I’ve been quiet.  I haven’t been nurturing much with in myself.  I’ve been trying to push myself out there.  Right out of my comfort zone and into vulnerability.  It’s scary.

The past two years I’ve worked for a great resort here in southern Utah.  I love my co-workers and that is what made it so hard to go.  But ultimately I did say goodbye.  I said goodbye to my fun city job and to the rest of my security.

This decision came through a lot of deliberation, and a lot of frustration.  Like I said… I loved the job, but the schedule was not conducive to me creating the life I wanted for myself.

I want to spend more time running.  Sure… I HAD time to run.  But I struggle in heat, southern Utah is a hot dry sunny place.  To me it feels like running under a magnifying glass.  That means I run early, or I run late.  My resort schedule did not allow for this.  Seasonal work is also hard to budget with.

Sorry, just justifying.  Anyhow I went onto craigslist and went through every category looking for something that might be interesting.  Lucky for me I found something!  I’ll leave that for another post.

It brings me back to why I wanted to write this.  I just wanted to say hi.

Hi.

 

 

Fundraising and Overnight Air

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This race has a lot of baggage for me.  I’ve got a good idea that I can do it.  I know I can do it.  I just… I don’t know.  It’s been hard to gather the effort to get myself into my shoes and out the door.  For those of you who follow my starva, my lack of training has been apparent.

I have been suffering from a lack of motivation for some time now and I don’t know why.  Lack of community maybe, or maybe its something else.  Maybe I’ve lost my love of running.  If that’s the case, I don’t really think I would get so excited by races, and following runners.

I think that is not the case.  I haven’t lost my love of running, races, the running community.  It’s something else.  It’s this place.  It’s just so hot, and it’s my jobs.  They have me up so early, that I miss the early morning running groups.

So this race has me on edge.  I’m just out of time.  I didn’t get everything I wanted to get done.  I’ve been feeling pressed for some time.  Something has to give, and it will NOT be what I love.

So… now this race.  I just want to get it done.  I’ve been hemming an drawing and looking at my schedule for weeks now.  It will be nice to get my reset under way.  I want to be a beginner again.  I want to find joy in the little things, the 5k’s, the morning training runs, my running family.   I’ve been suffering and it’s just unnecessary.

There have been some bright moments.  Oiselle is one of them.  I learned that the weather for the race will be cool and rainy.  I don’t feel entirely prepared for this.  I’ve run in rain and snow storms before… just never for this long.  I wanted to be prepared.  Wool!  Of course!  Wool stays warm when it’s wet.  Oh shit.  Less than 48 hours to start time.  So, I called the store, because the web site only had a contact email.  I called the store and begged to ask if they could hustle the warehouse to get my order into the hands of UPS ASAP.

That was just before noon yesterday. The box arrived just after 10 am today.  HOLY SHIP THATS FAST!  :D  HUGE thank you to Oiselle and UPS for keeping up their end of the bargain on my next day air shipping.  :)

Post-race rememberings

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So… it’s been a week today.  I have been thinking about a couple things.  Stuff I thought about during the race, things I tried, or would like to try again.  Things I don’t think will work.

 

This is just kind of jumbled up thoughts, so forget rhyme or reason here. I just want to get it out and let it go or learn and move forward.

  • I totally dig arm warmers.  I forgot to mention I used them on the run.  They were perfect for the chilly morning.  (I wish I had them today for the hike).  I also dig this hat.
  • I am disappointed the aid station ran out of pickles by noon.  They are my favorite and pickle juice has saved me a couple times.  I need to remember to include this on the post race survey.
  • I did not have enough time pre-race to get my shit together packing wise and drive time.  I need to ask for the time and not just expect or hope.  Use that voice!
  • People want to help, think of ways they can help.  It is hard to watch someone who needs help and not know what to do for them.  Make a list for Zion.
  • Pod casts are awesome!!!!  I need to start running with headphones more.  I am learning so much, but also being entertained.  Make a blog about some pod casts I like.
  • Keep in contact.  Don’t check out.
  • Eat more leaves. Not during the race.  Just in general, ya know?
  • It’s ok to be human.  It’s OK to have shitty days. But when you fall in a pile of shit, you don’t stay there.  You jump back out.
  • Answer those damn questions in Anatomy of the Spirit.  If you haven’t read this book, go for it.  It’s hard, parts are boring, inspiring, thought invoking and scary.  It could change your life, if you follow the instructions.
  • I loooooved having Cait and DJ help me thought the second to last stop through the 3 sisters aid station.
  • I discovered I need a post race check list.  I forgot my drop bag AGAIN.  Uhhhhh.  I almost lost those sweet arm warmers!
  • I should meditate more. Whatever happened to that Cafu pillow I liked.  Hmmmm.  I don’t need a pillow to meditate.  I can do it with out.
  • It is never as simple as put your shoes on and go, because I complicate it.
  • I need to come up with a plan.
  • I love the dogs.  They are so snuggly, even when they won’t snuggly.  They look snuggly to me.

Ok.  That is all.  Ramble over… for now.