Thursday, May 14, 2020

Just when you need it most…. A perfect thing comes along.

Every race for the foreseeable future is canceled, which for a person like me that doesn’t actually DO many races, shouldn’t seem like a big deal. But for someone that uses a ton of vacation time every year to volunteer at races, it is. Spring normally brings with it horrible allergies and the start of my favorite season…. ULTRATEERING SEASON!

So, as the pandemic reality set in, it became obvious…. Everything will be different. I mean, duh…. Of course it will be. I mean, virtual races have been a thing for years and if that’s your jam, go for it. It really wasn’t mine because I didn’t much care about participating in real races anymore, so I had no need for virtual ones.

Enter the Head Goat 50k in May. One of my favorite racing companies Running Fit Events decided to put on a virtual race in May this year, because…. We got nothing else to do, right? But it’s a streaking event. Move a mile a day for the whole month of May and voila! You’ve done a 50k.
So, of course I signed up. And of course my knee and calf are messed up so it’s been mostly walking. But so far, it’s also been this magical, supportive, and perfect group with a goal that has kept my spirits up and a smile on my face. There’s themes for the day, bad jokes, terrible puns, inspiring stories, and just a ton of good people supporting and laughing and moving together/apart. It's a somewhat silly thing, but maybe I just needed a silly thing to focus on instead of all the terrifying awful things around me.

There’s this great line from the last season of The Office:

“I wish there was a way to know you’re in the good old days before you’ve actually left them.”

I am gratefully aware of this special moment I am in with these special people. AND I’ll even have a t-shirt from it. But for now…..I gotta get my mile in.

Monday, April 27, 2020

Running Goals? Strange times indeed....

I meant to keep this thing updated, or at least semi regularly updated. But then….. Life happened.

Then a pandemic happened.

Then I ran a half marathon in my neighborhood after the pandemic canceled my race.

And now my knee and calf are bothering me.

And that’s just where things are at.

I’m a stubborn gal, so when my race got canceled I decided I’d go ahead and do the virtual race in the dumbest way possible… one mile loops in my neighborhood. So on race day I got up and did the thing. I think it was maybe a blessing in disguise for me. I don’t love road races like I used to. So many people, so many…. Roads. It was cool to do the half marathon distance again, I can’t remember when I did that last, but it hurt…. Road running hurts. But it was nice to have a potty and water bottle every mile if I needed it. So, that happened.

And then the knee and calf pain also happened. It has still allowed me to walk (which has been key to stay at home order sanity for me), but I haven’t tried to force running. Just a little dabble here and there. The walking and running I have been able to do are a godsend, but I wasn’t interested in a new running goal….and then….

A group I do lots of volunteering with set up a virtual race/run/we are all just trying to get by where you run, walk, skip, bike, row a mile a day for the month of May. Do that, and you end up with a 50k.
So, now I oddly have another running goal in 2020? I thought I stopped making those years ago. Of course, I thought I stopped writing in the blog years ago too. I guess this weird reality calls for weird goals and life choices and I am IN!

JOIN IN THE FUN! Let’s make goals and see where it takes us!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

St Pats 24

I was never a person that always wanted to do the same races every year. I like trying out new things. What were different challenges? What did different trails look like? But for four years I always came back to st pats 24 hour.

Maybe it's the great food, maybe it was my friend Sherri that's always there, the camping onsite, the flushable toilets, the row of pine trees at the end of the loop, the glow sticks at night, the fact that it was a fundraiser? But every year, it felt like magic.

And this year was no different. 

I'm not much of a runner anymore, so why would I sign up for a 24 hr race? The main reason is that for 24 hours, I get to ignore everything else and just adventure. And whatever I accomplish during the race is a win. 

This year I went in with one ten mile walk and lots of ultrateering (time on feet) so my only expectation was to have fun. Mission accomplished times a million.

I made new friends, saw old friends, laughed until I almost cried, ate until I almost couldn't eat sugar anymore, walked, laughed, and walked some more. 

There's no standard race report here. It was a 3.1 mile loop, with .25 mile out and backs for the last half hour. I did 32 miles total. I slept for at least six hours and had a full day and night of time in nature. I feel rejuvenated and ready to face all the shit that comes next.

My feet hurt and they were mighty swollen when it was all said and done. I am currently a bit creaky and it takes me a minute or two to get moving. It was all so worth it. 

I guess this is one of the things I do miss from running races. That feeling that you participated in something magical. That time stopped for a bit and you could just focus on a goal even if the goal was to just stop time for a minute. And you can hold that magic with you when you face the real world garbage that hits you the next day.  

Monday, October 7, 2019

Defining and redefining

Defining yourself is a weird thing. Redefining yourself is even weirder. But just allowing yourself to be seems to be the most fun.

When I started this blog I was a runner. I obsessed about running, I had goals about running, I read about running, I talked about running, I lost sleep about running… well you get the idea. Then I had the great thyroid shit-out of 2015. I had multiple breakdowns that involved me screaming BUT IF I CAN’T RUN WHO AM I!?!?!? That’s not a great place to be for someone who has struggled with depression for as long as she can remember. It was terrifying. The thyroid shit-out forced me to slow down and reassess, which was super lame… but helpful.

Four years later, I really enjoy Olympic Weightlifting, I love hiking, I love walking, my shoes last for MONTHS, I read a lot of books, I enjoy doing puzzles (did I mention I’m a 100 year old lady), I see my husband more, I volunteer at races A LOT, and I still run. 

I didn’t run much at all for a year or so, but started doing it more this summer, just a mile here and there or a bit of jogging thrown into my walking. And the difference was, I was just doing it because I liked it. I do miss the feeling after a long trail run when I sit and space out with a travel mug of luke warm coffee. I don’t miss that it took my entire Saturday EVERY Saturday to get that feeling. But I love that now that I’m not training for a race constantly, I can just do whatever feels good. Some people can train that way, I never could. 

So, I don’t know if the bit of running I’ve been doing has gotten this blog back in my head or if I was just ready to publicly babble again. But I thought about the name…. and I guess it still fits. I’m still persistent about running, but I don’t define myself by it anymore, and so far that has been fun.