Tuesday, December 31, 2013

New Year's Guidelines

It's New Year's Eve. I didn't have any goals for this year, so I can't do my usual report card. And that's okay. I'm not "into" objective measures right now anyway. But while I was out running this morning, I came to the realization that instead of making resolutions for myself in 2014, I would instead come up with Guidelines. Instead of resolving myself to doing (or not doing) something, or reaching for some, let's face it, arbitrary goals, I would instead come up with guidelines for myself for the new year.  Things that, if I follow them, will help my life be more full, more complete, and more satisfying than if I don't.  Things that will help me to be a better version of myself. As with everything I do, these are subject to change, but right now, sitting on my couch with a cat in my lap and my Christmas tree still up, these guidelines represent priorities in my life at this moment, and represent what I think will be important to me 365 days from now.

  1. Continue to strive for balance in my life and in my recreation. I used to be so defined by labels I put on myself - mother, runner, wife - that I would crowd out other things, other possibilities. I am a mother, a wife, a runner, a friend, a daughter, a business analyst - all roles that I love and that I want to fill well. But I am none of these things exclusively. Some roles may take more energy during different timeframes throughout the year, and that's okay, but I can't let one take long-term precedence over the other roles, not at the expense of the others. 
  2. Shepherd my children while I help them foster their independence. They are young men now, more cognizant of cause and effect, of the consequences of their actions, of the responsibilities and privileges of being active members of our home and of society. I want to continue to nurture them while giving them freedom to make the choices that are right for them while maintaining the security of a loving family and the value that we hold important. 
  3. Avoid sabotaging myself, with my words and with my deeds. I know how to reach the goals that I have set forth, and I also have historically done a fine job of getting in my own way. I need to stop doing that, both mentally and physically. I need to be as supportive and encouraging to myself as I am to others. 
  4. Support my husband in his running and fitness goals without imposing my own. I love that he has become a runner, that he has expressed interest in racing, in pushing his own physical boundaries. I need to encourage that without pushing my own expectations on him. I have experience that I can share, and I anticipate bringing him more into the fun and happiness that I find in running. But I need to do that on his timeframe, at his comfort level, not on mine. 
  5. Surround myself with people who bring me joy.  I am blessed with many friendships and deep meaningful relationships that make my life fuller and challenge me to reach further, think harder, and do more than I would have otherwise considered. They are a source of camaraderie, of fun, and of mutual support when things are rough.  I need to continue to foster these relationships not only because of the adventures we have, but because I feel like I am living deeply when I do so. 
  6. Dig more deeply into my photography. I am very fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants when it comes to my camera and what I choose to capture. I would like to refresh myself on the technical aspects of photography, things I learned 25 years ago in my intro RTF classes, and learn more about new technologies. I want to explore what I can do to help me transcend from a shutterbug to a more serious artist. 
  7. Document things more completely. Whether it's in this blog, in a journal, or through photography, I want to keep a more permanent record of things in 2014. Time is so fleeting, and I not only want to live in the moment as they are happening, but I truly want to capture them, so that I can look back and reflect and treasure the memories that I have created. 
The road behind me. What's in front? Let's find out! 

What's on your list of things to do in 2014?

Monday, December 30, 2013

Week One

Or is it Week 18? 

Do you start with one and count up to race day? Or start with 18 and count down? The count down seems to make more sense... 

In any case, the weekly runs were all hit, on the scheduled day no less, and I felt solidly capable for all of them. Which is to say at no point during any of my runs did I think to myself "oh my sweet baby Heyzeus what have I done?" That, friends and neighbors, is what we call a rousing success in these parts. 

Plan the work, work the plan. 

Marathon training, y'all. It's not for the weak but it's not limited to just elites either. 

Week 18: 31.75 miles total. Included 5k race, trail hike & park miles with my sweet baboo plus 8-mile long run. 

Friday, December 27, 2013

Trail Therapy

I didn't even know I needed it. Until I got out there. Funny how that works out. 

Thursday, December 26, 2013

Plan the Work

and then work the plan.

One day at a time.

Get the miles done. Today's miles get done today. We worry about tomorrow's then.

Today's miles were 4 easy, around the park, some paved path, some hiking around the frisbee golf range. Nice cold but brilliantly sunny afternoon.

I have forgotten what day of the week it is. Just enjoying time with my boys, time with my sweet baboo, time to get my work done.

15 miles closer to OKC this week.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

Merry Christmas!

From my family to yours!

I heard a song today that made me smile, laugh, and then cry just a bit. The opening lyrics made me realize that my life is moving so fast, and the years are slipping away, and they seem to be getting better and better, and I'm starting to make sense of things, and understanding what's important, and what matters. And I want it to slow down, so I can breathe it all in, and do all the things, with all the people in my life that make me the best that I can be.
It used to seem to me
That my life ran on too fast
And I had to take it slowly
Just to make the good parts last. 
- Steve Winwood, Back in the Highlife 
There is so much goodness in my life right now. No, not anywhere close to perfect, but the good parts are amazing, and they make me forget the rest, or at least give me the strength and the resilience to deal with the rest. I love my life and I wouldn't trade it for the world. It's not perfect, but all the pieces of my life fit together perfectly for me.

I wish you and yours the blessings and joy of the holidays. 
And that you can take it slowly, and make the good parts last.  

A Journey of a Thousand Miles

starts with the first step. 

OKC training began with today's 2.5 mile run through the neighborhood. I felt great, it was cold, and I loved every step. 

Sunday, December 22, 2013

Bring it

18 weeks. 

Starts tomorrow. 

I'm ready mentally. Physically? Not quite there but I'm on my way. Hell or high water (or lightning & hail, as the case may be), I will return to 26.2.

know what to do. I know how to execute the plan. I know it won't be easy but it will be worth it. 

Let's do this.

Saturday, December 21, 2013

Festivus for the Rest of Us

Our third annual Frunner Festivus. Who knew you could cram so much laughter that your face hurts, so many bad #TWSSs & so much love for my friends into 3 hours? 

Wednesday, December 18, 2013


It's the holidays, a time of year I mostly love. What I don't like about this time of the year is the frenzy, and the bustling, and the anxiety that it causes in so many people. At some point along the way, we get all tied up in expectations of the perfect experience, and instead of creating this Norman Rockwellian holiday, we end up with panic attacks, meltdowns in the mall, and overextending our credit limits. And really, is it all worth it?

I say no. I am not going to say that I haven't, and sometimes still don't, fall into the trap. I mean, after all, who doesn't want to forge an amazing holiday for themselves and their family? I would love to, but I also have realized over the years that we very rarely remember the material parts of the holiday, what was under the tree. As I've talked about before, I'm really big on traditions, and in this year of transition, I find myself yearning more than ever for time with the people in my life that I treasure most. So what I am really looking forward to this holiday season is spending lots of time with my boys and enjoying our traditions together, and maybe crafting some new ones.

With some of the losses we have had in our family over the past few years, we have scaled back our celebrations significantly, and I don't feel like we have lost out on the meaningfulness of the holiday. Instead of drowning in so many gifts that we lose track of who gave who what, we focus on spending time together. We do a white elephant exchange, which makes the most sense for us, since for the most part, if any of us wants something throughout the year, we can usually just buy it for ourselves. Not putting extra pressure on ourselves to find the "perfect" gift for everyone is our gift to each other. It works.

So my message to you, as we go into the next few days before Christmas, is to simplify. Stop and think about what you are doing and why. Are you under some artificial obligation to overextend yourself or do you you truly want to do all the things on your list? What could you do differently that will still express your love and caring for those around you without making you a hot mess, or without creating resentment and bad feelings? What should you focus on that will truly represent the sentiment of the season?

We definitely take time to do family activities together during the holidays, now more than ever. 
Frunner Festivus! I GOT A PROBLEM WITH YOU PEOPLE! (not really, I love you all!)
Running plus Christmas?  Oh, yes, please! 
Hopefully the start of a new tradition: scarf exchange with FIGJAM girls!
As long as I get my stair photo, the rest is cake. 

Tuesday, December 17, 2013

Trail Tuesday

I took the afternoon off work to play in the dirt at Eagle Mountain Lake. It was perfect. 

A couple of hours of sunlight - so crucial now that it's dark when I leave for work and dark when I get home - coupled with a picnic lunch made for a great day. I saw only four other people out there, and it was perfectly quiet except for the birds, the rustling of chubby armadillos in the leaves, and the sound of the crunching of my shoes on the path. 

Winter Storm Cleon still has a slight grip on a few of the paths, those in the shade, but 90 percent of the trail was dry and perfect. I hit the south side of the park, on the trails we didn't get to the last time we had Trail Day out here. Definitely worth multiple return visits. 

It's pretty amazing what a few miles in the woods, along the shore, through a prairie will do for my soul. I think I need to start a habit of playing hooky from work one weekday afternoon a month, just so I can refresh my brain and my psyche. 

Sunday, December 15, 2013

My Heart & My Home

Are happy and full of love & joy. 

Took a while but Christmas is finally here. 

Saturday, December 14, 2013

Nice little Saturday

Santa Run. Check. 
Brunch & scarf exchange with most of my FIGJAM girls. Check. 
Afternoon nap with my sweet baboo. Check. 
Pizza & family time laughing with my boys. Check. 

This is how you do Saturday. 

My life kinda rocks, y'all. 

Thursday, December 12, 2013

Thursday 13: The Randomness Returns

13.  This run streak is killing me. I've been doing the bare minimum more days than not. I hate that, but I'm glad I'm getting something done.
12. There are not enough race funds in the race budget to do all the races that I want to do.
11. I love having my boy home.
10. He and his brother are getting along fabulously, and it makes me really happy to come home from work and find them hanging out together, playing video games and watching movies.
9. I really like my job. I like my work colleagues. I don't like that my office has no hot water, a dim light in the single unisex bathroom, and yesterday the heater didn't work.
8. If I am actually going to do all these races, I should probably be running more than a mile a day. Sigh.
7. I am in serious love with scarves this season, so much so that I want to fly to Manhattan so I can buy a dozen off the street vendors in Times Square.
6. I also just very much want to go to Manhattan. So pretty in the city at Christmas-time.
5. Our consultants left the office today and said "See you next year!"  Yikes, that makes it real.
4. We need to do our gingerbread house and decorate our tree. Not sure when this is going to happen.
3. We may do this after our 5k on Saturday. We are doing the Santa Run! Can't wait!
2. This ice storm affected people's ability to drive. Three days after the ice melted with dry roads, people are still going 15 miles an hour over the bridges.
1. Thirteen things is a lot of stuff to come up with...

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

The Sisters We Choose

"We may have met because of running, but it's not why we are friends."  

I love these women. 

That is all.