Monday, April 30, 2012

and i'm even still optimistic

it started with a green light.

chiropractor told me to go ahead and train.  really train. 

and i threw myself into it.  and i've loved every second, every mile, of it.  even the seconds that weren't so great, or the miles that weren't so speedy, or were kind of painful.  i've loved it all.  and it's been working, this working hard.  not that i've magically recovered any pre-knee speed, but i have been feeling like myself again. 

it's funny, because the schedule i've kept over the past 10 weeks has been ridiculous.  quite literally i deal with my digestive system and knees, work, eat, train, and sleep.  i don't see anyone or go anywhere or do anything.  and yet, i'm happier than i've been in a long time.  hubby even commented that i'm acting like myself again (okay, what he really said was "it's good to see you get excited over runner clothes and water bottles and stuff like that again," but in decoded hubby speak, it's the same thing.).  and he's right. 

i have been happy.  maybe even bordering on optimistic.

all things considered, this training cycle has gone so well.  chiropractor actually said the words "you're doing everything right."  those are words no one has ever said to me before.

it's been so good.

now?  with four days until the big goal? with such a good training base?  having done everything right?  now that i went and got all optimistic?

i'm in the middle of one of my digestive episodes.  i'm starting to develop a cold.  and my knee is kind of swollen.



all day today, playing on this big loop in my head, has been "what do i do now?"

turns out i know the answer.

i'll run.  i'll get up on race morning (when the predicted high is 86.  we're not even talking about that.), and i'll line up.  and when the gun is fired, i'll run.  and, just like every other race i've ever run, i'll give it all i've got to give.  i'll leave it all out on the course.  and when i come to the finish, i'll know i've done the best i can do on that day.

so this week?  i'll do everything i've planned to do.  rest. eat.  run. pack.  rest. 

and come saturday morning?

i'll run.  because that's what i do.

and no matter what, that makes me happy. 

it makes me me.

stride on.

Monday, April 23, 2012

the sausage king of chicago

i believe it was ferris bueller who said

"life moves pretty fast...

if you don't stop and look around once in awhile,

you could miss it."

so one day, we stopped to look around.

after all,

we'd hate to miss anything.

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Sunday, April 15, 2012

chocolate, girl

just before easter, hubby asked me, all serious-like, if he could talk to me. he wanted to know what, exactly, i was wanting in my "easter basket." at first, i didn't understand what he was asking; or maybe why he was asking. this had never been a discussion before, let alone a "serious" discussion.

he told me that he got the impression this year that maybe i didn't really want a basket full of chocolate, which is generally what he's done for me on easters past.

that made me stop and think for a minute, because why wouldn't i want a basket full of chocolate? i mean, every year i give up chocolate for lent, and every easter i gorge on chocolate.

except that this year, i didn't want to do that. which shocked me a little bit.

maybe i'm getting older. maybe i'm getting wiser (okay, probably not). maybe i'm just learning to live in balance or moderation. whatever.

but what i apparently learned during lent is that i don't "need" chocolate the way i used to. i still love it. a lot. but i'm good with just a little. and just sometimes.

and that really, more than anything else, what i most prefer is some really, really good hot cocoa.

that makes me happier than any cookies, candy, ice cream, cake, brownie (except maybe those sea salt brownies from trader joe's. those are probably the single greatest, and most dangerous, food i have ever eaten ever) or anything else.

so in lieu of a basket full of candy, hubby got me a crocheted owl phone cover.

and a few evenings a week, when i'm sitting with ice on my knees, he heats me up some chocolate almond milk.

and it's all good.

(we'll see how long this lasts... i mean really, even i think this sounds implausible... but, hey, i'll go with it...)

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my strong

i just passed the one year anniversary of the single worst race i've ever run in my entire life. the race that snapped me out of my melancholy and made me want to start working again.

shortly after that race, i saw a running shoe advertisement in a magazine. the tag line was "find your strong." i started repeating that like a mantra, over and over, on every run. find your strong. find your strong. i figured that might push the other thoughts out of my head; the longing for what used to be, the sadness over what won't be. i figured it might crowd out my constant focus on the pain of the run; then maybe i could focus on something else again. because i figured i should start focusing on what could be and what would be, and if i kept reminding myself of what i was looking for, i had a much better chance of finding it.

so i dug in. i ran. and worked. and ran some more. and worked some more. i started to feel like me again. i started to feel whole again.

what a difference a year makes.

this year i toed the line at that same race, but trying out their new 10k offering instead of the 5k i usually run. ub was there with me, for the first time since november. he keeps up with how i'm doing, wants to know how things are going and if i'm following doctor's orders (i am. always.), but he hadn't seen me run in awhile.

and, for the first time in a long time, i felt good. i felt like i had put in the work. i felt ready to run.

when it came time for me to head to the line, he took my sweatshirt and gave me a big hug. he said "i'm really glad to be here with you, you know i love coming out to races with you. i'm really glad to be here."

and someone rang a bell, and i started to run. and it was wonderful. and as i hit the mid-point, ub was there. he yelled "stride on!" i gave him a peace sign. then i ran the second half. and it was wonderful. and then i was done. and ub said "good job, girl." and it was wonderful.

walking back to the car, ub and i were debriefing the race, as is our custom - the course, the organization, how i ran, everything. after we gripped about the things we weren't happy with, ub turned to me. he said "you did real good today. you ran good. you looked strong."

he made me teary.

because i realized that it had been a long time since i had told myself "find your strong." i actually couldn't remember the last time. and i realized that somewhere along the way, i quit needing to be reminded of what i was looking for.

somewhere along the way, i found it.

stride on.

Sunday, April 8, 2012

easter services

a lot of people that i know got up on easter morning, prettied themselves all up, and went to a church service of some kind.

i certainly do not begrudge anyone their faith practice. i figure, if it works for you, if you feel closer to god, i am happy for you. i am glad that you have that piece (peace) in your life.

me? i just couldn't see going to sit in a building and remembering miracles from long ago when there are so many miracles to see and take part in right here, right now.

this? this is a spiritual home for me. this place is so calm, so filled with goodwill. this is where god dwells. in each inhabitant, each visitor, each flower, each leaf, each wave that meets the shore.

this is my peace. this is my faith. this was my easter service.

heaven is under our feet as well as over our heads. - henry david thoreau

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Sunday, April 1, 2012

fantasy in white

i have this recurring fantasy where i live in the city.

in this fantasy, i am far more stylish and sophisticated and witty and pretty and thin and put-together, just because i live in the city. i have a fabulous apartment, decorated all shabby-chic, in a trendy neighborhood. there is probably a whole foods and a trader joe's nearby. everything is overly expensive, and sales tax is ridiculous, but i have a high-paying yet thoroughly fulfilling job, so it doesn't really matter.

for the record, i do not live in the city. i am a small-town girl. i have been a small-town girl my whole life. i have style all my own, although i probably lack a bit of sophistication (judging by the fact that i might have squealed a little bit last weekend when i saw a preview for breaking dawn part 2). witty and pretty and thin are open to interpretation and in the eye of the beholder. i have a fabulous house that is shabby-chic/eco-friendly/meditation friendly, with a yard and a garage and a basement. i have to drive for an hour to get to a whole foods or a trader joe's, but the local grocery seems to meet our needs (and we can make the trader joe's pilgrimage when we need to). the whole job fulfillment thing is a little fuzzy right now, but i'm working on it(still).

and my city fantasy? it will remain just that. a fantasy. i do love the city. i love to visit and walk and look and shop and pretend. but even more than that? i love to come home to my nice, quiet, (mostly) peaceful small-town life.

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