Saturday, December 31, 2011

taking a step backward in order to leap forward

2011 was AMAZING! Much better than the prior few years.. I made many new friends in 2011 and two of those significantly positively improved my life. I've had many more ups than downs.. I ran farther and faster, lost weight, explored new adventures and have been happier than I have been in years. But with all ups, come downs.. I'm not going to dwell on the downs though. For the first year in forever, I'm not going to make a specific New Year's resolution such as lose weight, run 1000 miles, etc. I'm simply striving to make 2012 more adventurous/fun than 2011. I'm bored with marathon training so I did something crazy and registered for a few triathlons in 2012. This will be a first for me. At least now, cross training will feel more like it has purpose in my life!

I'm going to take a step back.. by replacing some of my runs with swimming and cycling instead. It's going to be hard, mentally, because running has always been a huge part of my life, but I'm fairly certain that this will result in a leap forward for progression and new challenges and therefore, new thrills. The most important lesson I learned in 2011 was to strive for what you desire and be open to new possibilities because they may just turn out to be a highlight in your life.

My hope for you is that you embrace life's adventures, live life to the fullest, and choose to be happy each and every day!

Saturday, December 24, 2011

silly boys.. make life so much more fun!

I ran on cruise-control along my favorite trail this morning, but it just wasn't the same.. My mind was cycling through the disappointments of the work week instead of focusing on the tranquility and joy that this trail typically evokes. I was stuck in a mental and emotional black hole until..

backtrack: On most Saturday mornings, there is a group of 6 or more young men that run in a pack (or two) on the Yellow River Park trail. I assume they are high school (possibly college) cross country runners since they disappeared during cross country season and I've occassionally overheard their conversations about their running successes. One day I'm going to work up the nerve and talk to one or more of them as they stretch in the parking lot..

Anyway.. so I'm used to seeing this pack of varying young lean bodies running in the opposite direction as me on many Saturday mornings. Most of the time they are considerate gentleman. More times than not the "leader" will say, "Excuse us" as they approach/pass. This morning I noticed that they were exceptionally louder than usual; I could hear them long before I saw them. Since they are fast, I was grateful for the advanced warning of their approach on the single-track parts of the trail. As we spotted each other approaching for the 3rd time this morning, the black guy that was 2nd in line chasing the faster white guy yelled, "STOP HIM! HE STOLE MY WALLET!" I laughed SO HARD at the reverse stereotypical image as they throttled past me.. If I didn't know better, I would have believed that he and the other white guys behind him were truly chasing a guy that stole the dude's wallet! This took me out of my mental/emotional black hole and brought me back to the joy that this trail always leaves me with! These "kids"/young men were smiling and joking as they trained. Which is the way life should be.. Live more, laugh more, let the worries float away and RUN FOR FUN!

Friday, December 23, 2011


Scary.. right? I probably had the same terrorized expression on my face after yesterday's trail run when I did the math and found out that I will have to run 7.66 miles per day, every day for the rest of December, to meet my goal of 1,000 miles in 2011. And considering how little I've run this month, that most likely would have 2012 starting off with an injury. It's still possible that I can hit 1,000 miles, since I'm taking a few days of stay-cation, but how important is this number, really? I've already exceeded my 2010 accomplishments.. I've ran more miles, ran more days, ran my fastest marathon ever, found a nearby trail that I LOVE, had more FUN, met a few exceptional athletes that have enriched my life, and lost 20 pounds! I'm HAPPY!

Sunday, December 4, 2011

2012 new challenge? fastest pace on this route this year!

I've known for months, if not longer, that I need a new challenge for 2012.. An ultra? a triathlon? an adventure race? On Friday I received an email about the Beach to Battleship triathlon. It will be on my mom's birthday in October 2012; if she were still alive it would be her 70th. I've spent a lot of time in Wilmington and know the area well; I consider it my home-away-from-home. So my mind starts churning.. Now the bigger question is whether to attempt the full Ironman distance or the half? I put the question out on Daily Mile and received support as well as input that training for a 70.3 is a little more challenging than for a marathon, but training for the Ironman is a huge time and energy commitment. I looked at registration fees and time results from last years race at this same location. The half is much more affordable $185 vs $390, and based on finish times, it looks like the half would take me longer to finish than a marathon, and it would be a first, which both equal a new challenge.. so I'm leaning towards that.

I mentioned it to the guy that I'm dating and he's so excited about it! He's a cyclist and wants to help me train for the cycling portion, which is my weakest link. Friday night we talked about going to Stone Mountain this morning and me running 5 miles while he cycles and then me hopping on a bike and riding with him as far as I feel like. But that didn't work out.. We talked early this morning and he said he was going elsewhere to ride with his friend that he hasn't ridden with in a long time. My main focus now is training for my March marathon, so it didn't bother me too much because I felt the need to run ~10 miles today. I have plenty of time to kill before seriously starting to train for an October 2012 triathlon.

I had planned to run an easy 10 miles this morning. But as I was getting ready to leave to go to Stone Mountain to run, I received a text from a friend inviting us to go see a movie at 2 p.m. Which meant I must run harder than "easy" in order to do both. Since I was such a running slacker this week, and felt great this morning, I started a little harder than easy and then began to push the pace on the second 5-mile loop. I ran the entire way, with the exception of stopping to talk with Ron (aka @losttrailrunner) and his daughter, Laura. He asked about my shoes, saying they looked like the kind that triathlete's wear and that further put the bug in my brain to try a tri next year. For probably the first time ever, I passed a male runner! Of course several males passed me, but I was thrilled to pass at least one! I was shocked at my overall pace (10:58 min/mi for 9.75 miles) which is much faster than I've run on this route all year! And it was an even bigger shock because I honestly didn't feel like I was pushing extremely hard. Loving the progress!

I've met some of my goals for 2011 already.. achieved a marathon PR; lost weight; run more miles than last year.. but still have 88.64 miles more to go to achieve my big goal of 1,000 miles. I know it's achievable, barring major injury or illness, since I ran more than that many miles for 4 of the past 11 months. But it also means no slacking.. maybe this big goal will keep the mojo flowing :)

Friday, December 2, 2011

lost my mojo, hopefully only temporarily

It's been a busy week.. I worked long hours on Wednesday and skipped that day's run.. Was busy on Thursday and skipped that run too. Was determined to run today, and actually wanted to, but just couldn't get into it. Usually the first mile is gruelsome but then I get into the groove and don't want to stop.. But that didn't happen today. Not sure what my problem was.. I was low on energy, but not bonking.. I decided that rather than force myself through the planned five miles, I would stop at 2 miles and just enjoy the hike back to the car and snag a few scenic photos since my motto is "run for fun" and the fun was missing today.