Tag Archives: life

Tired

yellow leaf

“Now I see the secret of making the best person: it is to grow in the open air and to eat and sleep with the earth.” ― Walt Whitman

I’ve been spending too much time on the internet lately and I feel saturated with it. Not just the overwhelm of constant sensory bombardment that it can provide (the internet being the equivalent of vegas packed into an 11X13 screen), it’s the snark.

I’m not saying anything new when I say this but more and more, we seem to talk AT each other, and not TO each other. We repost snide little quips meant to make the ‘other side’ (whichever side is the opposite of yours) look stupid. It’s always flat, easy answers when discussing politics and the middle east and religion and birth control. Ones that don’t see the complexity of human emotion and decision. It’s an addictive little ego game, one that my NEED TO BE RIGHT likes and that scares me. I don’t want to be snarky, snide or holier-than-thou. I want to be open and caring and compassionate but you know, sometimes it’s so easy to quip over a computer screen.

But I’m tired of it. I have running to thank for my impatience for the game that will never be won. Dirty, sweaty, smelly running that laughs at my ego and reminds me how small and insignificant I am. Thank God.

This all sounds so DRAMATIC as I type this. Nothing major happened. I didn’t get in the middle of some horrendous internet meltdown. It just seems like I’m seeing too much anger online and don’t like the part of myself that sometimes wants to dive into and add to it. All that says to me is it’s time to focus on other things (as I write this out on a internet medium. I know).

One thing that’s been itching at the back of my mind these days is to create more videos around running and the outdoors. I had sooooo much fun creating my (very rough) little ‘trailrunner’s life‘ video. And I see so much beauty out there-why not share it?

I have no idea what I’m doing in regards to filming anything but I get a ton of inspiration from other running/racing/outdoor videos I see online so when Jason and I go to Colorado (next week!!!!!!!), I think I’ll try to get some footage and put a little something together.

In other news, it’s not 100 degrees here. That in itself is a news worthy miracle. Hope ya’ll are having fun out there! Be safe-

Weekly recap 8.3-8.9

*It probably doesn’t really need to be said but I’ll say it anyway: I’m not affiliated with or being compensated by any brand/company that I mention/link to in this post. Just sharing some faves.

What I’m eating:

Lentil chips (that are so good, I buy multiple bags when I see them at the grocery store like a hoarder) and ‘guacamole’ (mashed avocado and salt) is pretty much my daily breakfast. And as you can see from the photo, occasionally I trade my morning dr. pepper for a peach iced tea. Because I’m healthy. And a grown up.

wr1

Another new fave is some Justin’s maple almond butter spread on a tortilla-it’s become my new pre-long run breakfast. It’s got a salty-sweet thing going and good texture-I wash it down with some kona cola nuun, which doesn’t taste like my beloved dr. pepper at all but is fizzy and sort of cola-y enough to convince me I’m having soda before I head out the door.

My mileage:

Approximately 21 miles, including two early morning runs in my neighborhood, a 40 minute round on the elliptical and a sweaty-ass 12 miler at my favorite northshore trails yesterday.

the sun just rising after finishing a run earlier this week

the sun just rising after finishing a run earlier this week

I love your, NS, even when you suck

I love your, NS, even when you suck

When I went to the doc about plantar fasciitis last fall, he insisted recommended a 3 day/week running regimen (two shorter runs during the week, a long run on the weekend) that I’ve stuck to pretty consistently. I’ve been wanting to add an extra day of running for awhile now but have been hesitant because I just DO NOT want to go down the PF path again.

The last few weeks, I’ve added a session of hiking up and down the hills in my neighborhood and didn’t seem to have too many issues so this week, I added the elliptical session as well. Unfortunately, I started to feel some twinges at the tail end of my long run yesterday. Ice and rest eliminated any symptoms but I’m backing off again and will only have either the hiking or elliptical session during the week-not both-until I see consistent weeks without any twinges or pain.

Extras sweating:

In addition to running/elliptical/hiking, I do one strength session per week and also do yoga a few days a week at home (for about 15 minutes/time) and this week was no different.

Yoga is something that is as much a part of my routine as brushing my teeth at this point. My body/brain/spirit feel more balanced/lighter/more at ease when I practice it and I don’t go too many days without a down dog.

sunset yoga

 

What I’m watching:

I’m such a trail nerd that even on my rest days (like today) when I’m not doing anything running related, I’m watching/reading something about running, specifically trail running. Today it was the Tracing the Edge series by Patagonia, which featured Krissy Moehl, a well accomplished ultra runner.

 

 

Now I sort of want to go climb a mountain.

One Thing Wednesday (OTW):

If you follow me on IG you’ve already seen this but I was able to give two big bags of clothes to CPS (Child Protective Services). A coworker’s sister works for the organization and apparently, they have something they call the ‘rainbow room’ for kids coming into the system. They try to keep it stocked with clothes and school supplies and the like because many of the kids entering their fold have nothing-literally NOTHING-but the clothes on their back. Can you imagine? You are going through hell and you don’t even have basic comforts.

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Jason and I cleaned out our closets and shared what we could with my coworker’s sister. I find more and more with this project that these acts may be small, but because they are direct actions in my community, they seem to be more meaningful. We can’t fix anything for these kids, we can’t take away whatever they went through to land them in the system, but we can provide a little comfort and that is something.

I keep thinking I’d like to create a facebook page or website that focuses exclusively on this little project of mine to see if it can grow..I dunno. To be determined.

What I’m listening to:

Jason turned me on to this group and I love the sort of island-y, sort of reggae vibe. Very mellow. Perfect for car trips or breezy, relaxed runs.

This is on your running playlist too, don’t even lie.

What I’m dreaming of:

Pretty much all my focus is on the Rockledge Rumble 50K-my first ultra race-coming up in November. I’m doing a lot of positive visualization, to the point of creating an inspiration wall in my cube at work that has quotes, images of runners I admire, the course map, time goals, etc.

But…occasionally I let my mind stray from that date and focus on other things. Like running in more states! The hubs and I are going to Colorado in September for our anniversary and I can’t wait to get out on a trail there. And I’d still like to see trails in at least one other state this fall when it gets cooler.

And that’s sort of my week. Now I’m off to read what ya’ll have been up to. Happy running, folks!

What’s next

I feel like I’ve been in a training cycle since I started running a little over a year ago mostly because, uh, I have.

The minute I started running in March 2013, I started training for longer and longer races, with the goal that I would run a marathon within that first year. And let me tell you, ramping up your distance during a Texas summer to prepare for your first half marathon in early September is super fun. Plantar Fasciitis sidelined me for a little bit over the winter so my training became about recovery and getting stronger, always with the goal to ramp up again for my recent 20 mile trail race for a good cause.

This summer will not be about training.

summer1

So what if it’s not white sand and turquoise water? Still a pretty great view at Lake Grapevine.

Every time we go on vacation somewhere by the ocean, I tell Jason how much I wish we could live near a body of water and how I would never take it for granted, swimming and running along the beach and exploring. Which would be all boo-hoo for me except we do-we live 5 minutes from a lake with beaches and trails and marina’s and parks that I have barely explored.

This is the summer that changes.

Wild flowers running riot at Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve.

Wild flowers running riot at Cedar Ridge Nature Preserve.

I want to keep my weekly mileage somewhere near where it was a few weeks prior to this recent race-about 15-20mi/week but that is my only guideline.

This summer is about adventure. A lot of my adventures will involve running (and hopefully getting out on to new trails) but I also want to hike, to swim, to walk along the edge of the water, to learn how to SUP.

I still have some big running goals-as I mentioned in my last post, an ultra is on my radar-but for this summer, it won’t be about training and racing (unless I want to), it will just be about fun.

I’ve already gotten started.

A year of running

I realized on my long run this weekend that I haven’t acknowledged a pretty important milestone: March was my one year running anniversary.

I’m not sure what day but I know it was mid to late March-in fact, I probably ran the Mesquite Canyon half marathon at pretty much the year mark.

And I’ve learned a lot in that last year. Lessons like:

1. Don’t do it if it’s not fun. 

I’m not saying that there won’t be challenges or low points but anytime I started to view running as a chore, I’m missing the point. Because running IS challenging and it can be hard and if I can’t remember what I love about it and what I find fun about it, then I see no point in putting myself through pain or struggle out of obligation.

Photo credit: Moving pictures

Photo credit: Movin pictures

2. Nature is it’s own reward.

Being out on the trail first thing in the morning when the light is filtering through the trees, watching a butterfly pass by, the way water sounds as it scrambles over rocks-these are just some of the many reasons that trail running has captures my heart. Being part of the larger, wilder world puts us in touch with our soul, at least in my opinion, and reminds me that miracles are much more common than we think. I mean have you ever stopped to consider how amazing it is that water can smooth down a rock without using force? The intricacy of a flower or the art of a butterfly’s wing? Nature is the most epic art project ever and when I’m out running, I get to be part of it. That is pretty cool.

trail run 4-26 1 trail run 4-26

3. Pain is temporary.

The tough parts don’t last. The blisters, the stomach issues, the dehydration headaches-none of these discomforts are permanent. Which leads me to my next lesson:

10 miles 1

4. Pain is worth it.

I am most definitely NOT advocating continuing to run when injured or when your body just can’t get past the heat or cold and is telling you to stop. There are limits and they are different for every person. But anytime I’ve kept going, even when it was tough for whatever reason, the sense of accomplishment has been so much sweeter.

But I honestly think that a lot of times what stops us is discomfort, not actual pain. I know I want to stop if I have a headache or my blisters hurt or my stomach is upset but every time I don’t, I feel stronger, more resilient and more confident in who I am.

Photo credit Aravaipa Running

Photo credit Aravaipa Running

5. You will learn patience whether you like it or not.

Boy have I. When I was forced to rest because of injury. When the training plan didn’t go as planned. When I was at mile 10 of a 13 mile run and just want to be done. When it’s just a bad run and nothing is going right but I was determined to get through it. All of these things and more have taught me to keep going when there was no gratification or reward in sight and to trust that the gratification will come.

6. You can do way more than you think.

If you give it enough time and don’t push, the mileage you thought was crazy will become common place. The distance that scared you will become a training run. IT DOES GET EASIER. Your body can get used to just about anything with enough time and persistence.

7. The simple things are the best things.

It always amuses me how my priorities change when I’m out in the woods or in a race. In the ‘real’ world, I find myself getting frustrated if it’s too warm or cool in my office, getting impatient if I have to wait in line or if an app on my phone takes more than a minute to download. But out there? An actual bathroom that’s in a building with a sink is nirvana. And oranges slices at the aid station? PRAISE THE SWEET BABY JESUS. I am constantly reminded of what’s really important.

8. Runner brain.

I don’t know if anyone else calls it this but you know how after a long run in 90+ degree heat you can’t articulate to your husband what you’d like for lunch? How in the middle of a run you wonder what Scott Baio is doing these days? When you pass a vertical arrow on a course (pointing straight ahead) and you actually think that the arrow is pointing up and telling you that you’ll have to start climbing? I call this runner brain. It’s fun. :)

brain

9. It’s not all about running.

Weird, I know. But as my love and understanding of running has grown, running has opened me up to more in life that has nothing to do with running. Because of running, I’ve been inspired to get involved with the community more, to get back into something creative and to get more connected with my friends.

All in all, it’s been a fun year, one that has shown me so much of myself. I’m sure I can’t even imagine what the coming years will show me.

Now

Oh hey! Remember when I used to do a blog thing? Well it seems that I forgot about it for a while.

But hey, I’m back!

There is a lot to catch up on (like a trip to Palo Duro canyon for my birthday and running the Mesquite Canyon half marathon in Phoenix with the hubs) and I couldn’t possibly do it all in one post but I wanted to share what’s been happening with me right now.

spring walk1

Mainly because it’s finally feeling like spring around here and I finally have something to share other than holy crap it’s cold and I want to die.

spring walk3

I’ve been running in the morning during the week and it’s wonderful. WONDERFUL. It’s cool and brisk, dark and quiet, just me and my feet. Along with the running, I’ve now integrated strength training as a regular part of my routine and I feel like it’s made a difference.

Work, which I know I never talk about, is going really well with a recent promotion. I already love the people work with but moving into a new role has been really fun and I’m grateful.

I’ve even been playing around with clothes a little bit, actually.

A non running selfie. I know right?

A non running selfie. I know right?

Another reason I think I’ve been quiet lately is that at the beginning of the year I wrote down some ideals for the year and I’ve been integrating them more into my life. It’s felt like a mostly quiet process thus far but as more good things take hold, I find myself wanting to talk about them.

So you may notice a different direction on the blog. As you can see from the header alone, my focus is expanding beyond just running in the dirt to include a renewed interest in creativity (yes, I might be sharing some art *gulp*) and the adventures of my life in general.

There’s more to share, in much more detail but I wanted to say hi there and that I missed this place. Good to be back. :)

New year, new trail

For several years I chose a word for the new year or made a list of goals or intentions or tied notes to balloons and set them free.

Last year I did none of that. This time last year, I was feeling worn a little thin, feeling stagnant in my job and in life. No real direction I wanted to go or goals I wanted to pursue. If you had told me that I would discover trail running and it would become a passion, a way of life, I probably would have strained an eyeball rolling them at you.

Fast forward to today and Jason and I found ourselves at a new trail with the sun on us. This is the life I want now and I intend for this day-exploring somewhere new with this guy I like a lot, eating good food and laughing at each other-to be an example of the year to come.

sansom1sansom3

sansom2

Sansom trail is close to Ft. Worth, a fairly short drive for us in light traffic, and is holy crap scabbly and hilly. Or as Jason put it, that trail is a BEAST.

The area is actually a system of single track trails barely dug into the hills that all seem to be interlocking and looping into each other. They aren’t well marked and we basically stumbled around a couple of them, cobbling together for about 3 miles before we called it quits.

While more trips out there would get us more familiar with the trails and where they go, these are not trails that I could ever relax on. Too hilly, too technical, too steep, too rocky. Which is awesome-that is just the kind of practice I need. :)

After that little excursion, we went to Chuys to eat.

sansom4

I feel sorry for people who don’t live near a Chuy’s, myself included. I fell in love with their awesome mexican food when we lived in Dallas and there was a location 10 minutes away from us. Now that we live in the burbs, there is not one anywhere close to us (and what would be close to an hour drive in normal traffic puts a damper on things) so we don’t get to eat there very often.

In fact, Jason convinced me to try this trail by saying we could eat there for lunch afterwards.

SOLD.

Unlike last year, I have plans and dreams and goals for this year-things I can’t wait to do, that I’m anxious to get started on. I did choose a word for this year as unlike last year, I don’t feel unmoored and uninterested. Consistency-more of what I love, a life full of it.

What about you? Dreams for this year?

How I ran, week of 12/16

Monday-Upper body and core. Usually, I like to do this with several sets of free weights that we have as I watch reruns of NCIS. Big Bang Theory also works.

Tuesday-Stairs, stairs, stairs. I don’t like running stairs but I feel strong after running stairs so I suck it up.

Wednesday-a comfortable 4.5 mile run in the mid 60’s around my neighborhood.

Wait, what? It was daylight when I started running? It's a christmas miracle!

Wait, what? It was daylight when I started running? It’s a christmas miracle!

I started feeling a little of that twinge in my arch that I initially felt at Rugged and Raw and has led to weeks of decreased/no mileage and started to freak out a little bit. And then I remembered that I wasn’t in a race and trying to hit a certain time so I could take a walk break and it went away. Any time I felt even a hint of the twinge again, I simply walked for a few steps and then started up again and that seemed to work.

Thursday-Because of the twingey-ness (that’s a word), I took the day off to give my foot a full day of rest.

Friday-a shorter (2.5 mile), chilly run once again around my neighborhood. It was in the mid 60’s at lunch time and had dropped 20 degrees by the time I pulled on my running tights after work. Winter in Texas-FUN.

For some reason, running in the woods in the dark felt uncomfortable to me this week. I don’t know why-I’ve never had an issue when I do but I decided to trust my gut and just stick to the streets this week.

It’s okay though because so many of the houses have their Christmas lights up and I just love to see all the decorations and color.

week of 12-16-2

 

We also watched Desert Runners, a documentary that just came out this week. Have you seen it? It was so wonderful to watch. Yes, the running feats are amazing but what I loved most was the personal stories and transformations of the runners. I would absolutely recommend watching it and it’s only $10 on iTunes.

Saturday-I woke to rain and it continued throughout the day so we stayed inside and cuddled with the dogs. We did manage to get out that evening though to watch The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug. I liked it way more than the first Hobbit movie, which I thought drug on quite a bit. This movie is still over 2 1/2 hours so there are some draggy parts too, but over all, I thought the story really ramped up and the characters began to flesh out more.

Sunday (today)-I had planned on this being the one day I could get out on the trails this week but the incessant rain left the ground boggy still this morning so yet again, my run was done in my neighborhood. I haven’t done this much pavement running in I don’t know how long.

When I walked the dogs this morning, with temps in the mid/high 30’s, I saw a guy running in nothing but shorts and a jacket. I take a different approach to cold weather running:

week of 12-16-1

like approximately 14 layers of clothing

Five chilly, windy miles later, I felt sufficiently worn out and ready for the bliss of a hot shower.

I’ve started taking pre-emptive walk breaks and haven’t felt any of the twinges that I felt earlier in the week, thankfully. Keeping fingers crossed!

After the run and shower, I shoved as much food as I could down my pie-hole and took a nap. My favorite way to spend a Sunday. :)

How are you dealing with the cold temps? Favorite piece of cold weather gear? (no one ever answers my questions but I’m going to keep asking because I really would like to know).