Monday, October 31, 2011

Hi there...

Hi blog. I miss you. I am woefully behind. Life has exploded around me, in good ways. I owe you a couple of race reports, a rant on "running" as an Athena or Clydesdale, probably pictures, even though I stepped on my camera at PDC (oh, NOES!!). But, like I said, life is a little crazy. I've gotten older, had Dreadpirate DinoBoy (aka Thing 2) get a year older on me, too (funny how that happens on my birthday every year!). The hockey player nearly scrambled his head again, so we had an enforced break from practice & playing although we still went to cheer on & support the team.  Mom is here for a while, which is good news as well. Because she can help with the kitchen remodeling I decided to undertake in lieu of going to a World Series game.  Oh, and, yeah, three races in the next 4 weeks. Really looking forward to those, I am. Lots to be excited about for all of them.

So, there. Too much about what is going on, but not enough info about any of it, really!! Sigh. One day, I will be all caught up, here and in life... Today is not the day... Maybe tomorrow? ;)

Monday, October 17, 2011

I crack myself up sometimes...

So I get here, mostly prepared to do another verbal vomit post about what I thought was a spectacular flop at Palo Duro 50K tihs weekend (get yer bucket ready, watch yer shoes!), and the first thing I see in my last post?  This:
Life is too short to overthink it, to analyze, to miss out on the fun because we might not do well, or because we might not meet the expectations that we set for ourselves. Sometimes, it's better to choose to shoot high and fail miserably (in our own eyes, not in anyone else's) than to sit by and not even try. That's why I'm still doing PDC & Rocky. That's why I'm still doing Wild Hare. I am going to channel my inner Cub Scout and "Do My Best." and if it's not enough? Then I get up, dust off and try again. 

HA! I'm smarter than I think I am. Why don't I remember this stuff from day to day?  Wow. There will be much more to come soon enough about all this, but for now, you can put the bucket away, because you know what? I shot high, I failed, but only in my own eyes, and only momentarily. I made the right decision to drop after 18 miles, and I get to get up, dust off that red dirt from my shoes, and try again. I had an amazing time on the trip from beginning to end, experiencing new things like camping for the first time. I got to spend time in the car getting to know two awesome inspiring women in Drum & Erin. I got to see my dear friend Julie & meet Vickie for the first time, and I had a blast hanging out in the shade with Cherry, Psycho, PeePaw & a bunch of other crazy runner folks. How is that not fun? 

Guess what, y'all? The sun rose again, even though I didn't finish the race. My frunners still love me. My kids weren't crushed that I didn't finish - they were just glad I came home safely (NOTE TO SELF: This trumps ALL). 

I need to remember not to take this shit too seriously. It's supposed to be fun. I won't forget it again. 

So glad I got to travel with these chicks!
THIS is what it's all about!

Friday, October 07, 2011

Friday Five: The Frunner Edition

Because I can't let that whiny, "wah-wah-wah" post from last night live at the top of this page for too long... We have the Friday Five, today focused on Things My Frunners Have Taught Me:

  1. Life is a series of choices. We make those choices as best we can, with the information we have in front of us. Sometimes. Sometimes we say "What the fuck ever" and dive right in anyway. I tend to believe that since turning 40, and since experiencing some pretty heavy stuff in my relationships and my world in the past year, that I am leaning more and more toward saying WTFE and just going for it. Life is too short to overthink it, to analyze, to miss out on the fun because we might not do well, or because we might not meet the expectations that we set for ourselves. Sometimes, it's better to choose to shoot high and fail miserably (in our own eyes, not in anyone else's) than to sit by and not even try. That's why I'm still doing PDC & Rocky. That's why I'm still doing Wild Hare. I am going to channel my inner Cub Scout and "Do My Best." and if it's not enough? Then I get up, dust off and try again. 
  2. The goals I set, and the effort I put into reaching those goals, are up to me. I don't go after them for anyone else on this entire planet. The effort I put into those goals is directly determined by how much energy and time I have to devote to it, and is completely dependent on the choices I make. I cannot compare my training schedule, nutrition, paces, or results to anyone else, because my life is not like anyone else's. And when I make the choices I make, I am the one who gets to live with the consequences. It's all about cost-benefit, and what I'm willing to pay and where I draw the line. I need to remember that.  
  3. We are our own harshest critics. We need to learn to shut up, get out from between our ears, and get out of our own way.
  4. True Frunners don't care what your pace is, or your PR, or even if you ever run another step in your life. They care what shoes you have (because most good Frunners are bonafide shoe HOES! enthusiasts and want to know if they are pretty, visible from space, and if they'll cut 10 second off their 5k PR), and they care whether you will be there are the start, finish and midway through races, and if so, would you save them a beer? They care if you get a butt shot or a white girl gangster shot of them at the Lake. They care about your well-being, and your emotional health. They care about you
  5. It's perfectly acceptable to have "Have Fun" and "Finish the Damn Thing" as goals. 
White Rock Lake Girl FRUNNERS
MORE Trail FRUNNERS! Wait, mostly the same Frunners!

Middle of the Night Frunners

Freezy cold Frunners

Bubble of Love Frunners

Thursday, October 06, 2011

Well, hell...

NOTE: This is basically verbal vomit. Careful with your shoes, I"m sure it splattered everywhere. I also probably am going to include a lot of language that I typically try to filter out here on the blog (even though I'm known to be pretty liberal with the f-bomb in particular in real life...). I just need to get his out of my head, and it's going to be messy and it's going to be ugly, and I can't promise it will make any sense at all. I can't help that, I just need to express it. Sorry. 

I have avoided running lately. In the nearly 2 weeks since The Run for the Ducks, which was an incredible experience and deserves a long-overdue post of its own, I have put in a whopping 14 miles.  Three of those were on my own, and the other 11 were an LSD run around the lake with my girls last Sunday.

Why have I avoided it? Because I think when run. And there's been a lot of stuff going on in my head that I haven't wanted to think about. And so when I have found "opportunities" to belay my daily mileage, I've taken them. It's late, it's early, I'm recovering, I just ate, I haven't eaten, I'm tired, my knee hurts, it's too hot, it's too cold. Those are just excuses. Even worse, they are bad excuses. Bottom line, I am a fraud.

What does that mean?  It means that I haven't pushed myself as a runner since Cowtown. I put everything that I had on the streets of Fort Worth, and since then, I've run 3 more marathons and a half and a few 5ks and yet I haven't pushed myself to the limit since February. And even then, if not for my bubble of love I would have started walking a mile 19, when it got hard. What does that say? I've had "reasons" to take it easy, rationale for not going 110 percent, balls to the wall since then. For Grasslands, it was my Maniacs qualifier, so I just had to finish. So what did I do? I just finished. For Hells Yeah Hills, I paced Julie. And when things got tough, we walked a bit more than I needed to, because I didn't want to leave her. That was the right thing to do, don't get me wrong. But that race wasn't really difficult for me. It was a challenge, yes, don't get me wrong there. But I didn't come away from that race thinking, "wow, I can't go another step."  I had a blast. It was fun, which I guess is a good thing. But I didn't push. I played it safe.

Then there was Oklahoma City. Well, that one is a story all to itself. But because of the circumstances, again, not that I would do anything differently, but I didn't push myself then either. And I am okay with that. But, really, this is another prime example of how I've been allowed to get away with it. Races like OKC have actually perpetuated my tendency to just finish, to just get to the end. And that's been enough for me. But, really, should it be? Since when did I become OK with just finishing?

I actually caught myself on Twitter this week saying I was shooting for DFL. Who the fuck says that? Really? When did "just finishing" become enough for me? Am I self-sabotaging my best performance by bailing on my runs, by coming up with "rationales" for "resting," so that when I do finish dead last, if I even make the cutoffs, I can say, "ha, ha, told ya!"?  Really?  What is that about? Why am I not doing the work?  I know what it takes to finish a 50k.  I know it's not a foregone conclusion. So why am I not doing the work?  Is it to give myself an out?  Is it so that when I don't make the cutoff on November 19, I can say, well, I *did* just have surgery... it was crazy of me to try for 50 miles so soon. Is that my game?

What am I afraid of?  Is it that I can do the work and it still won't be enough?  Ever since the doctor told me that there is nothing wrong with me physically, and the nutritionist said she had nothing more to offer me except maybe I shouldn't eat lunch at my desk (???), I have not been doing the work.

I see my friends knocking out these amazing workouts day after day.  I see them doing back-to-back long runs, like what was on my plan that I haven't had the courage to open since Hottest Half. I see Drum waking up at 4 AM to do hot yoga, then hammering out a weights workout and a trail run. On a weekday. I see Libby kicking ass with 3 marathons in 70 days, working with a personal trainer to get all buff & stuff, and that's with a pre-schooler & an infant. I see people like Erin, who are struggling with injury but want nothing more than to go for a run. And here I am, sleeping in and putting off the morning run, and then finding a reason to not do it in the evening.  And then I think back on last fall, on how I missed ONE workout in the entire 18 week training plan for NYC.  And I wonder what happened to that person, to that runner who was so dedicated and so motivated and so freaking in love with running. Because she doesn't live here anymore. I don't know where she's gone.

I do like to run, I do. But it's hard these days. And the reality is, yes, I have had to start over since the surgery. From scratch. and that sucks. And I've had some heavy emotional stuff, dealing with my dad and then trying to help my mom cope. And as much as I can tell myself that it's a fresh start and I shouldn't, can't look at what I used to do, I can't help it. I compare myself today with what I used to be able to do. It's impossible not to. So is that what's holding me back from trying now? It doesn't make any sense that it's harder so I work less? I'm so screwed up right now. I don't have the answers. I don't know how to solve this, except to suck it up and deal and start running. Simple, right?

So what does this mean for the 125 miles of races I have in the next six weeks? culminating in that little 50-miler?  Well... I'm still doing them. I'm still committed. But I don't know that I'm content to "just finish" anymore. But it's kinda late to cram for a 50k. So what's the plan?  Get the weekday runs done, for one. No more excuses. No more "rationale" for why it's ok to skip them. Dial in the nutrition even tighter. Focus. It's no longer enough for me to show up with a camera and a smile and be content to just finish. I have to find my motivation again. I have to find my drive to do the training so that I set myself up a little bit better than what I've done so far. The training alone won't get it done when it gets hard, for that you need the mental part. I have that mental part down pat, I think, but I know I need to get the physical part down too. The mental part alone won't get it done, either.

I don't know if this post makes any sense. All I know is that these are the thoughts and the feelings and the fears that popped into my head as I made four really not very fun loops around my neighborhood tonight. What does it mean? I don't know. Am I really going to get off my ass & get some weekday runs done now? I don't know. I do know that I'm going to open up that Wild Hare training plan and take a look at it and see where I am and what I can do to finish the ramp up with a little more intensity and purposefulness than I've done in the last month. I do know that I'm going to go to Palo Duro Canyon next week and see what I can do with what I've got right now and make adjustments as needed. And I won't be content with just finishing.