Tuesday, September 1, 2015

WOULDN'T IT BE AWESOME IF...?


Most of you already know this, but in case you are just tuning in, I am currently in the process of training for my 12th marathon which, barring any major issues, I'm planning to run in October.  And, this time around, I'm doing my damndest not to complain about summer weather as I train.  I like to...okay fine...my coach advises me to run a minimum of four 20+ milers during each marathon training cycle and today was my second of 4.  I woke up to a beautiful morning.  A little warm, but not too humid.  My dear, sweet husband agreed to drop our kids off at camp so I could get going early, bless him.  I had plenty of fuel both pre-run and in my pockets for mid-run.  I even thought to put $5 in my shorts in case I needed anything extra.  I had absolutely nothing to groan about except the fact that I would be on the road, solo, for over 3 hours.  But, given that I choose to run marathons, I no longer allow myself to complain about any element of the training, at least out loud or to others, as I know absolutely everything that I am getting myself into each time I do it.  So, off I went, trying to be positive and just enjoy the ride.  But then, you have to do something on your long runs to keep from dying of boredom, right?  So, I started to play the game Wouldn't it be awesome if...?  But, here's the thing.  I couldn't just say something like, Wouldn't it be awesome if there was water available for me at every mile?  Don't get me wrong.  That would be amazing.  But, that is way too easy to dream up and gets a zero for creativity.  My game.  My rules.  No, I was going to have to come up with something that was a bit more farfetched than easy access to water.  For example, one of the first ones I thought of today was Wouldn't it be awesome if AWOLNATION was riding along side me on a flatbed truck and rocking out for the entire 3 hours that I was running?  Now that would be insane.  Just thinking about it as I write this makes me smile, so imagine what it did for me at mile 4 when I had 18 more miles to go.  We do what we have to do to get through these challenging elements of training.  After having done 11 marathons, I've decided bitching and moaning is overrated and a complete waste of time and energy.  Having fun is truly what it's all about it.  How you do that is up to you.  Here's a few of the gems that I dreamed up while I was on the road this morning.  Fair warning, they are pretty out there.

WOULDN'T IT BE AWESOME IF...


~ My 10 year old could drive and this was legal.  Oh, the possibilities.  First, and foremost, she could get her and her sister home from camp today.  Maybe they could stop by the grocery store on their way to get a few items that I'd forgotten yesterday.  They could even grab me an iced mocha from Starbucks.  Of course, they could treat themselves, too.  I buy. They fly.

~ My dogs could walk themselves.  In Lucy's case (age 14), she'd just need to do a few laps around the block when she felt like it.  In Clover's case (age 1), she could head out for a 3-5 mile run a couple times a day.  This way, neither of them would need anything from me beyond food and a few belly rubs.  

~ There was a beautiful, cold river, like the Deschutes in OR, that flowed from Winchester to Lexington and I could float over to XC practice on an innertube.  Yes, this one is kind of weird.  I was pretty parched when I drummed it up.

~ Wilco was playing down at the Blackhorse Tavern tonight.  But, they'd start early, like 7:00pm, so I could jam out for a few hours and then still get to bed at a reasonable hour.  Jeff Tweedy can't be that busy, right?  

~ I had superpowers just for one day.  Oh man, this one killed at least 3 miles as I debated with myself over which one to choose....to be invisible, to be able to fly, or to have elasticity.  I ended up picking flight.  Then I could go visit my friends Molly and Dina who I haven't seen in way too long.

~ All of my favorite bands released new albums this week.  After giving it some thought, I decided this was totally off the wall and narrowed it down to just three.  Because that seemed so much more reasonable.  Then, I spent a couple miles choosing who I'd pick.  I ended up with Sleigh Bells, Santigold and Robyn.

~ I could string up a hammock between the gazebo and a tree at XC practice and nap while the girls went on their recovery run today.  This one actually seemed doable at mile 18.  Not so much anymore.

Clearly, none of these things will ever happen.  But my run went a hell of a lot quicker just in thinking about them.  That was awesome.

Listen to this:
Stars - The Suits or listen w/ 

Friday, August 28, 2015

DO WHAT YOU LOVE

"Do what you love. Know your own bone; gnaw at it, bury it, 
unearth it, and gnaw it still."
~ Henry David Thoreau


Last Saturday night I was having a deep conversation with a friend of mine over a hamburger.  We were talking about his dad, who is over 70,  still working full time, and loving every minute of it.  Here's how our conversation played out:

Dayton: Yea, my dad has absolutely no intention of retiring any time soon.
Me:  No kidding?  That's impressive.  And that's not too much of a physical or mental drain for him?
Dayton: Nope.  He's still traveling, managing a bunch of people, doing presentations, all of it, really.
Me: Wow.  My dad doesn't do much more than take a walk around the hood and the NY Times crossword puzzle these days.  I'm surprised your dad still has enough energy for such a demanding schedule.
Dayton: Yeah, well, as I said, he still really loves what he does.  It sounds weird, but it's almost like he gets a high from it.  People always ask him why he hasn't stopped working.  But, why would he stop if it still makes him happy, you know?
Me: Yea. I do know.  It makes perfect sense.  That's awesome.  More power to him.

Later that night, when I gave it some more thought, I realized that Dayton's dads' situation with work is not much different from my own with running.  His dad doesn't need to work, at least not from a financial standpoint.  His kids are all grown up and out of the house.  He could easily just chill out and do whatever it is retired people do these days.  But he chooses to work.  Why?  Maybe because he likes the challenge and craves the intellectual stimulation.  Or perhaps it's because he's good at it and he has fun doing it.  Maybe it's all of these factors.  But the bottom line is, he wants to work and he still can.  So, why wouldn't he?  I'm not 70.  But, in the runner's world, at age 40, I'm considered an older runner.  Do I need to run?  No.  Do I want to run?  Hell yes.  And to my good fortune, I still can.  I'm not a professional athlete.  I'm not making money from training and racing.  My kids aren't going to starve if I hang up my shoes.  There is absolutely no pressure on me to run day after day, year after year.  And yet, still after having run eleven marathons and countless miles on the road, much like Dayton's dad likely does every time he leaves for work, I still get a little giddy every single time I lace up my kicks.  Marathon training is incredibly rewarding for me, regardless of the outcome of the race.  When things don't go well, it makes me want to work even harder the next time around.  I am constantly learning, improving, making mistakes and starting again.  And I'm not even close to being done.  I can't tell you how many people give me looks of disbelief or confusion when I tell them I'm still running marathons. Some of the responses I get are even better.  Things like:
~ No way.  Really?  Marathons?  
~ Isn't that hard on your body at your age?
~ Wait, you like to run?
~ Why would you put yourself through all that torture?
and then my all time favorite
~ So, like, you're still living the dream or something?
Yes, yes and yes.  The dream is mine and, yes, I'm still living it.  Running makes me happy.  It gets me high.  I can still do it and I want to.  And my age has nothing to do with it.  Maybe one day, Dayton's dad won't want to work anymore.  Or maybe he won't be able to.  But, clearly, that day isn't coming any time soon.  Not by a long shot.  The same goes for me with running and for all the rest of us who continue to do what we love.  Aren't we the lucky ones?

Listen to this:
Amadeus - Family And Friends or listen w/

Monday, August 24, 2015

LONG RUN MADNESS:A TOP 10 LIST


As you may know, after all the bitching and moaning I did last winter, I'm trying very hard not to complain about the summer and all it's related challenges in regards to marathon training.  That said, summer long runs are tough.  They just are.  And no matter what kind of shape I’m in, if I’m out on the road for over 2 hours, I typically start to get a little loco.  Any combination of heat, lack of fuel, dehydration and/or exhaustion and my mind starts to cloud over with some crazy ass thoughts.  Take yesterday, for example, when I was about 10 miles into a 20 miler.  It was drizzling, so the temp wasn't too bad, but the humidity was in full force.  Just as I was thinking about how heavy my legs felt, I looked up to see a very large wild turkey in someone's driveway.  He was just staring at me, almost daring me to do something.  I felt like saying, "what the hell are YOU looking at."  And, if I'm being totally honest here, I entertained the idea of giving him a swift kick to the gut.  Though, not to worry, I did not do either of these things.  It did, however, make me laugh...at myself.  Turns out, most of these wild thoughts that I have are not even remotely socially acceptable.  But, I'm guessing (hoping), many of them will likely be understood by my fellow runners.  Maybe?  Regardless, as you're reading through my latest and greatest list of things I've considered and, in some cases, come very close to doing during my long runs, but didn't (I swear), feel free to laugh with me, laugh at me, whatever.  And, at the very least, if you see me cracking up on the road....to myself...you now know why.  The mind works in mysterious ways.  Especially for runners.  What are you gonna do?

TOP 10 THINGS I'VE THOUGHT ABOUT DOING 
(BUT DIDN'T) 
ON MY SUMMER LONG RUNS


1. Taken off my shoes and socks and jumped in a stranger's swimming pool.
2. Stuck my head in a puddle.

3. Walked into a Dunkin Donuts and offered the cashier my Garmin in exchange for a Coolatta.  
4. Spoken to and then kicked a wild turkey.
5. Picked up an abandoned drink by a park bench and finished it.
6. Asked a stranger for money so I could buy a water.
7. Walked into someone's yard and turned on their hose to take a drink and wet my head.  Though I completely understood why my running partner, Kirsten, broke down and did this last week because if I had been home, I would have been right there with her.
8. Veered off the bike path and laid down in the grass.  Just for a little while.
9. Picked up a duckling and pet it.  They look so soft.
10.  Stuck my thumb out and hitchhiked home.

Listen to this:
Hard Time - Seinabo Sey or listen w/  

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

BIRDCAMP 2015:THE NUMBERS


As many of you know, I just spent five days out in Leavenworth, WA with my Oiselle teammates. A little background info...Oiselle is a fresh, fierce and fabulous women's running apparel company.  The word Oiselle is French and, loosely translated, means female bird.  Thus, the best way to describe this vacation/retreat/bootcamp/lovefest that we all just took part in is simply BIRDCAMP.  I have had the privilege of being a team member/ambassador for the brand since 2011 and this is our second annual bird camp gathering.  I know several of my fellow birds, along with the company itself, will likely post blog entries with detailed descriptions of all of our goings on.  Thus, I have tried to spin it a bit differently here.  I am going to attempt to break the whole thing down for you in numbers.  It's hard to put in words the experience that I just had with my birdfamily.  So, I'm feeling like this is going to do the trick.  For you and for me.  Flock on.

BIRDCAMP: THE BREAKDOWN IN NUMBERS



90 women
18 professional athletes
1 former Olympic athlete (Regina Joyce)
2 Bro-birds (Daniel & David)
64 songs or 4 hrs 14 mins
200 pairs of sneakers (at least, probably more)

My own sneaks on day 5. Time for new ones.

hugely anticipated reunion w/ Ashley & Nicole
8 meals in the Kingfisher dining room
5 yoga sessions w/ Bree from Jasyoga
1 morning meditation (also w/ Bree)

#BIRDSISTERS

50 pounds of food (at least, probably more)
*Including but not limited to:
1 - 5 lb of chocolate chips (yes, they were ALL eaten)
Thousands of jellybeans
Hundreds of ounces of coffee
Hundreds of gallons of water
Hundreds of tubes of NUUN
5 lbs of pretzels
150 bagels
200 apples
* thx for the data JJ

Pre-race w/ Nicole & Holly

1 5K w/ the team
2 wrong turns (definitely NOT KMet's fault)
1 bear sighting (didn't get a photo)
7 high fives (that I was part of, I'm sure there were more)

Pre run w/ Kimmie, Tammie, Ellen, Christy & Sheila
note: we had NO idea what we were about to tackle.

16 Mile Run
1 accidental port-o-potty walk-in (He didn't lock the door. Come ON.)
3-4 stops for water & fuel
2 major hills...er...mountains

The Strava breakdown

2,512 feet of elevation gain
4-5 'F' bombs
2 twisted ankles
1 contact lense removal (due to dust)
several words of encouragement from Tammie (bless her)
3-4 tears of joy shed when we finished

Taking it all in mid-hike

2 popped tires (one elliptigo & one bike)
1 dead car battery (sorry Mel)
1 insanely beautiful & challenging 9 mile hike
2 lakes (though, I only saw one)

LAKE COLCHUCK

1 float down the Wenatchee River
67 tubes
7 paddle boards
2 kayaks
dozens of Bavarian pretzels (though, I think Sydney ate several of them)

#FLOATIN'

6 lectures (including, but not limited to)
~ Physical Therapy/injury prevention w/ Jay Dicharry
~ Goal setting w/ sport psychologist Adrienne Langelier
~ Design process w/ Oiselle owner Sally Bergesen
~ USATF politics w/ pro-athlete Lauren Fleshman
breakout sessions
1 Jungle Chicken Presentation (I'm not going to be able to explain this one)

Erin Block (aka Jungle Chicken)

3 birthdays (including Penelope's 1st)
5 injured birds
5 little birds (children of mama birds)

Penelope & Sarah Mac

30 miles (my own mileage for the trip)
2 very early wake ups (thx for the ride JJ)
200 hugs (probably more)
shit ton of swag


#BIRDSWAG

And a partridge in a pear tree.....

Sleeping Lady gardens

.....or something like that.

Listen to this:
RADIO - SANTIGOLD or listen w/