Saturday, January 7, 2023

Heather…

It doesn’t seem real and yet I know this is how life is… filled with unexpected heartbreak. 

Heather and Kyle, welcomed me into their homes and lives when I was in Indiana. We spent many nights around the Table sharing our stories, our hopes, fears, joys, and pain. Shared fellowship with eight strangers who quickly became friends. Individuals who saw me more authentically than many (most) of the people I worked with daily at the hospital. We ate together, marched together, socially distanced together. 


Heather, my dear friend, you opened your home, your arms, and your heart when I was most vulnerable. Stood beside me when I was angry and determined to be a part of the change. Listened, understood, and cried with me when I realized leaving was the only choice I had. Our paths were intertwined closely for two short years, but my heart will be broken forever.



So often the plans for life get derailed by unexpected news. I’ve spent the last week worried but prayerfully hopeful. Then spent yesterday sad and heartbroken. Today’s workout, initially planned as a run turned into a walk and an opportunity to find stillness while watching the sunrise. I’ve been on this running journey long enough to know there will always be the moments when what’s needed more than a run is flexibility and grace. Grace is what my heart needed today. 


Tomorrow will hopefully bring another opportunity to get out there and get back on track; and I’m ok with that.

Saturday, December 31, 2022

My id decided to start running (and blogging?) again...

It's been several years since running became more than a conceptual desire. For the past few years it's been a lot of "I want to start running again" or "I need to start running again" but no actual running (not in a real sense). There have been the occasional walks that led to short busts of running. And by short I mean very short and by running I mean I was probably just walking faster. 

Then a few months ago I made the decision that 2023 was the year of the return to running and signed up for a half marathon in June 2023. I figured five months of training would be sufficient once I conditioned my legs and body again. 

Is it possible running got harder in my three years away? I do not remember it being this hard. But I attempted a gradual build up to my run:walk routine and made it to longer running than walking intervals before back-to-back trips put a pause on the process. 

As with anything it seems only fitting that I just wait until tomorrow to restart because no one restarts things on December 31st right? Well, except for me... and this blog.

I've moved past the phase of New Years resolutions in my life. Mainly because I usually stop by May and because I hate New Years (eve and day) and would really rather be sleeping from December 30th to January 2nd. Instead of resolutions I just focus on goals (and yes I know it's essentially the same thing 😉).


2023 Running (and blogging?) Goals

1. Run a half marathon (or two) by the end of the year

2. Maintain a consistent running routine

3. Cross train with spinning, swimming, and/or resistance training

4. Blog about it?

5. Travel more (to run and just for fun)


If I stick to #4 you'll get to follow along as I complete all the others 🙂. Here's to successfully completing all my 2023 goals! 


Sunday, October 18, 2020

My $24 Motivation

I've renewed the annual subscription for my blog page twice since my last post. Since I really dislike wasting money (even if it's only $12 a year) I figured I would use the $24 as my motivation to post an update. It would be great if running was my motivation but alas... it is not.

Since my London Marathon recap (posted in May last year) I moved from Florida to Indiana. I'm about to head into my second winter in the Midwest and the teenager is making her way through her second year of university... 


Since I've been here I stopped loving running (or maybe it stopped loving me?). To be honest, the issue isn't that I don't love it anymore... it just got hard. And so I stopped running as much as I used to, and it gets harder to go back to it the longer I've been away.

I came here for a great job opportunity and the thrill of experiencing all four seasons. The job is stressful but (most of) the people are great and the four seasons (especially winter) are amazing... 


There isn't much going on in the college town where I live (apart from the fact that it is a "college town"). I'm not a college football fan so nothing about the university here really impresses me... but I guess that would be true anywhere. I spend most of my weekends with my BF exploring a variety of things the Midwest has to offer (as much as the pandemic allows) and, now that the season is here, reading & relaxing while he watches college football.

I still try and spin on occasion. I don't have a Cycle Bar close to me but fortunately my complex gym has a spin room...


I also invested in my own spin bike because I know once winter hits leaving the warmth of my apartment to workout decreases in probability. I've loved winter so far... but heading out at 0500 in negative degree weather to workout is just insane. 

I also hope to resuscitate my running regime next year. I have a few things I want to do fitness-wise before I get back into the stress and expense of marathon training. I also want to see how things unfold for bigger races next year. Until then I'm focusing on increasing my baseline fitness level from disastrous to decent.

As for blogging... I'm going to do my best. I've missed posting and interacting with readers and other bloggers. But I would be lying if I didn't acknowledge the peace associated with being off of most social media platforms. This year has been difficult and posts/news/updates have been challenging to view. Being able to stay disconnected in many ways was a gift, and being able to selectively resurface/reconnect was a blessing. 

Who knows what the next 2.5 months of the year will bring. I hope if you're reading this it will bring you health and safety. And, if I don't post again before then, I'll see you (maybe at a race?) in 2021.




Saturday, May 4, 2019

More Than I Ever Imagined {London Marathon Race Recap}

As race mornings go I woke up relatively late, which isn't to say I was rested since I tossed and turned for most of the night. But once I was up I got dressed quickly and then Sanya (my twin sister) and I were out the door.

We walked to Westminster station and took the tube and then the train to Greenwich station...

Then we commenced the walk to the start....

Which was longer than I thought it would be...

And then a little longer than that...

By the time we got to the Red start zone I was already tired (but still smiling)...

San wished me luck and I headed into the start area, found a patch of grass that wasn't damp to sit on and tried to "rest" my legs while I watched the elites take off...

But while I was there it started to drizzle cold rain and I immediately regretted giving San my rain jacket to hold. Fortunately San called me before it got to be too miserable and said she would meet me back at the Red start if I wanted the jacket. She was a total life saver! So I headed back and we stayed there for a few minutes until my start zone opened up...

Then it was time to go...

Once back inside the Red start I lined up with my fellow runners and we walked a bit and stood around some more while waiting to make our way to the start line. A lot of people were running for different charities and many people were decked out in costumes... some of which were more interesting than others...

As we got closer to the start I found the 6 hour pacers...

And the other 6 hour runners and I discussed the plan for the race with the pacers while we waited to walk the final stretch to the start...

My plan was to stick with or stay ahead of the 6 hour pacing group. I had an interval strategy in mind but it was a bit different from what the pacers were doing. I figured I could adjust my strategy to fit theirs as long as it would get me across the finish line in under 6 hours.

About two miles into the race I realized I was wrong. The pacers were running a bit faster between the inclines so that they could walk up the inclines (yes there ARE hills in the London Marathon). Other walk breaks were thrown in as well but they were not (or at least they didn't seem to be) very structured, so it was throwing me off. I'm usually pretty steady with my pace/mile so I decided to abandon the "stick with the pacing group" idea and just try to stay ahead of them.

San and I planned to meet at the NSPCC cheer points along the course so the first time I saw her was around mile 6...

I was feeling pretty good at that point (still able to smile) so after a quick picture I headed off again. Meeting up at the NSPCC cheer points didn't work out exactly as planned so the next meet up was planned for mile 13 at Tower Bridge. As I approached the half marathon mark blisters were really starting to bother me and I felt like I was struggling a bit... not how you want to feel with another half marathon to go. But the crowd build up as I approached Tower Bridge was great...

I saw San as I approached the top of the bridge...

Stopped for more pictures...

And to spray Biofreeze on my knee...

Then I took a cereal bar from her and headed off again. I was in pain (the blisters mostly but my left knee was also mildly tight), and tired, and hungry, and had no idea how I was going to make through the second half of the course.

Most of the second half was a blur. I saw San again at around mile 19 but I was so close to tears that I didn't stop. San asked "what do you need?" and all I could think of was "I just need to finish".

If you've run a marathon before you know that it's more a mental game than anything else at this point. I had already seen the 6 hour pacer pass me, I had dropped my intervals to very short run:walk durations, and I was struggling not to cry. 

But then I saw some of the messages that my family and friends had been sending me. Those messages honestly gave me the extra push I needed... and then I caught up to the 6 hour pacer!

When the pacer saw me he said "I knew you could do it! Keep going and stay ahead of me!" so that's exactly what I did. 

The NSPCC charity I given me grandstand tickets for the finish line so Sanya was there waiting for me...

And I made it through the finish in my sub-6 hour goal time...

Despite the blisters and the mid-race periods of discouragement, London was a pretty amazing marathon experience (nothing has topped Chicago so far, but it's pretty hard to beat running in the city that I love the most).

I made it through the race without injuries (just a few blisters), I ran for a charity that I love, and I'm absolutely proud of my sub-6 hour finish!

San met me at the family meet up area and we slowly walked towards Westminster station and back to the flat where we were staying.

After a long shower and gingerly tending to my poor blistered feet, we went out for a celebration dinner at Dishoom Indian restaurant... the perfect cuisine to end an amazing day!

Overall my London Marathon experience was incredible, more than I ever imagined it would be. I would do this race again for sure. In fact, if I could, I would do the London Marathon every Spring and the Chicago Marathon every Fall! But until life can accommodate that it's time to plan for the rest of the year. Up next... the 2019 Marine Corps Marathon!

Thursday, April 18, 2019

London prep (and other life drama)...


So the London Marathon is in 10 days and training for it is pretty much done. I have one tapered long run left but at this point if I'm not ready I will never be ready so mentally I'm feeling ok. I definitely do NOT feel overtrained and I'm not dealing with any nagging injuries or lingering pain/discomfort (which I think is a great place to be going into race week next week). My flights are booked, accommodations are set, and I have a list of activities for the "touristy" side of the trip.

On a non-running related note... two days before the marathon I'm presenting at an international trauma conference...
(I'm really excited about the opportunity to present a keynote lecture!)

So apart from wrapping up my training, preparing for all aspects of my trip and my presentation for next week, I've been spending a lot of time juggling various other life things. My baby turned 18 so I'm officially the mother of an adult. It's freaking me out a bit because time has really flown by quickly. She's off to college this Summer and I'm both excited for her and sad for me (it's going to be hard not having her around).

In anticipation of my impending empty nest syndrome I've been trying to plan the next few years of my life. I spent the past two years wasting my time and emotional energy. And then the past two months dealing with the emotions of that relationship coming to an end. So recently (after considering feedback from family and friends) I decided to dabble in the world of online dating.

So here's the thing about me and online dating:
- I'm not looking for a hook-up so the "tinder" type sites were a definite NO.
- I hate paying for things that don't provide a guaranteed return on my investment, so I avoided sites with a subscription fee that rivaled a monthly car payment.
- I have already found the process to be exhausting and tedious.

Anyway, I signed up for a site that claims to "cater to professionals" and filled out a lengthy profile. After my profile details were reviewed and approved by the site administrators I started to get "matched" with men who were (apparently) an ideal fit for me.

Well. By the time I deleted the men who:
  1. Had several grammatical errors on their profiles
  2. Had profile pictures that were not oriented correctly (it's not that hard people!)
  3. Answered yes, definitely to the "children in the future?" question
  4. Had profile (or gallery) pictures with other women (it could be their sister but how am I supposed to know that?!)
  5. Looked like serial killers...
...there might have been about five potential "matches" left. I'm almost tempted to delete the account and request a full refund. However, I was advised that I need to "be more patient it's only been a few days". So instead I updated my profile a bit to provide a little more clarity...

I've already given up hope that this particular approach is going to result in anything meaningful but no one can ever say that I'm not clear about what I want.

Apart from my initial online dating disaster, life has also been busy with job hunting and binge watching Dexter on Netflix.

Next week this time I will be in London (maybe a guy worthy of me will be there), and a week from Sunday I will be finishing my 4th Marathon Major, and 5th full marathon!

Have you ever tried online dating? (share your good and bad stories!)

What's the #1 tourist thing I should do in London next week?