Monday, January 14, 2019

Coffee Milk Week 4: Right Down the Line

Some weeks, the unintentional act of bravery is simply in survival.  After the crazy high of last weeks 14 miler, I understandably started the week off a bit slow - Monday was a recovery day, and the week, while fully hitting all target goals until Sunday, seemed to be a bit of a struggle.

Perhaps I bit off more than I can chew.  Perhaps trying to get back on the bike 3 days a week, while training to PR a marathon, swim twice a week, and do all those crazy life requirements like being a mom, wife, boss, co-worker, friend and juggling all that boring adult bullshit was a bit of a stretch.

Perhaps.

It was time to revisit the ole "why".  When setting frightful goals, your "why am I doing this" is really the be all end all of everything.  No matter what you set out to do - pay down debt, lose 10 pounds, run a 5k, or get over your childish fear of a bike you've raced for 15 years (I'm just randomly picking goals, people) there are gonna be days.  Or weeks.  Where its easy to buy the latte.  To eat the cake.  Or to convince yourself off your second workout of the day or that it's really no big deal if you do your 7 mile tempo run.  

Oddly enough, or perhaps not, in the context of most of my chosen blog titles lately, it was music that saved me.  2019 has been a weird music year for me - I would never consider myself any type of genre girl, or any type of expert on anything that constitutes decent music.  To be fair, most music connoisseurs would shudder at my playlist.  Portugal the Man.  Followed by Def Leppard.  Followed by Meghan Trainor.  Followed by Imagine Dragons.  Then a little Meatloaf to round things out. Clearly I not only have bad taste, but its diversified bad taste.  And a horrible habit of singing loudly during my runs in a voice that could kindly be called a shower voice.  

I change up my playlist every few months with whatever strikes my fancy, and its not abnormal that my kids dictate at least part of my play list (as in, this song is on my play list.  For real.  Thank my son, the budding Astronomer who is apparently bilingual.  OMG.  You do have to admit , though, Jupiter is pretty gangsta).  

This week, it seemed a one song in particular followed me wherever I went.  My husband testing out our new speakers for the entertainment center.  As I drove into the office.  On a spotify playlist.  Background music to a video someone sent me.  I've never cared much one way or the other about Gerry Rafferty, but this somehow became the theme song for the week.  So I stuck it on my playlist.  And found myself starting every run with the song.  And singing.  Even during my weekly swim, the song came on as part of the cool down and I sang (sorry to my fellow Y members).  And it made me smile.  Every. Time.  

Everything is wrong with the song.  It's not fast.  The BPM (beats per minute) at 128 were much better suited for walking.  Yet I found myself, ponytail bouncing, smiling and running an 8 minute mile easily while singing along....

"I know how much I lean on you
Only you can see
The changes that I've been through
Have left a mark on me
You've been as constant as a Northern Star
The brightest light that shines"



And I could just feel the love for the run, the swim, or even the bike (Oh my god I said it).  The lyrics spoke to me, and probably not in the way Rafferty wrong the song for - I felt a presence of my why - my journey as a runner and a triathlete and the joy it's brought me and why the 6am runs, lunchtime spins, and Friday "happy hour" swims were totally worth it.

Which is a damn good thing.  Because my long run day, at a high of 12 outside - tested me.  I have Reynaud's, which means frozen fingers and toes are a real thing for me.  Usually, I would bail out and do a treadmill run.  With the love of facebook and Gerry, I headed out and killed the run.


Or when my 5 year old came home with god knows what disease from school and spent 24 hours projectile vomiting Saturday night until this morning, while I simultaneously swallowed a filling at 3am on a Sunday morning when not a dentist was open for another 29 hours.  


Breathe.  I did what any good mother would do - I got him resting comfortably on the couch Sunday morning with ginger ale, The Emoji movie and a garbage can, tossed in the 3rd load of throw up clothes (yuck), and turned my PM bike into an AM spin, and my AM swim into a 4 mile run at tempo pace on a run rest day once reinforcements got home. (oops).  


Survival.  Sanity in key places.  And a makeup swim on Tuesday this week makes it all good.  Thankfully, after 24 hours of very colorful ejections, Rob is better, no one else got the bug, and my tooth is set to be fixed Wednesday (thank god its a back molar).  We'll fix it one step at a time....it'll be all good.....right down the line :)


And with that, ends athe first 4 week block of training.  


Mileage:


Running: 45 miles

Swimming: 2400 m (1.5 miles)
Biking: 37 miles


Bring it, Coffee Milk.  Bring it, Barrelman.  I'm Hungry Like the Wolf.  OMG, Rae... STAHHHP.  

Monday, January 7, 2019

Coffee Milk Week 3: It's a Good Day to PR

Well, here we are in the full swing of things in 2019....all the leftovers are gone, back to work and school, and it seems we are finally getting some bonafide NY winter weather (yuck).  We are now in the season of diametrically opposing sides - we are broke and want to save money, we are over sugared from the season and want to get in shape....all during the crappiest, coldest and unmotivating month of the year where all we want to do is watch netflix and spend money on a beach vacation.  (Fair confession - Greg and I did the latter and will be going on an all inclusive to Jamaica at the end of the month...our first actual vacation since 2012.  You can stop sending me hate mail now).

I'm always impressed with those that start the month out with a bang (that's what she said?) and go forth with the intent to be the best version of themselves.  This year, for me, its to go outside the box (really, knock it off.  Come on).  To do something every day that scares me.  To go beyond my comfort level and go after those crazy big reach goals that I know I can do.  Today, it was all about work - I had a meeting with our state funders and instead of passively taking notes and interjecting, I made my thoughts and observations known throughout the whole call.  I'm not quite sure how they feel about me now, but I was polite, direct, and I feel pretty accomplished and think together we have some pretty great plans on tap for my program for the year.

Yesterday's big reach was all about the run.  As you recall on my last update, I've decided to get social with some of my runs this year for a few reasons  - there are quite a few cool Roc runners I don't ever get to chat with, it's a nice recovery to run with people that pace themselves slower than I, a great reach for me to run with the speedy folks to get even faster, and there are some mighty fine men in the area that look really lot in lycra  I am trying to expand my social network.  I didn't say that.  Who put that there??

This week was a little nuts, even by my standards.  It started out with a simple text to one of my speedy friends for a relaxed-run-for-him and a tempo run for me proposal.  That turned into a long run of 12 miles at an 8:30 pace which is about 25 seconds faster than my goal long run pace.  Which then turned into an invite to run with the Irondequoit Bay Runners who run around Irondequoit bay (they have such a deep, thought provoking name) each Sunday at 7am for fun.  Challenge issued.  Never mind that some of these dudes run a sub 3 marathon.  It was a good day to die.

I secured mommy break permission from Greg (he got to sleep in till 10am Saturday, do not feel bad for him), and was out the door by 6:15 Sunday, in the wind and the rain.  Oh perfect. The trick was...I never gave myself a back out.  Packed my clothes.  My breakfast.  Set up the coffee maker the night before.  And just did it.  I met up with seven other people at o dark thirty, and we were off.

I was way out of my league.  As we headed up a 150 foot ascent in the first half mile at an 8 minute mile and proceeded to clock off 4 sub 8 miles in the first 6 miles of the run....it was like falling off a cliff in slow motion.  I had the option to turn back at mile 4 with the sole woman of the group (who is running Boston, lest you think she was any slower) and decided...screw it.  It was windy.  It was hilly.  And god love my buddy Ken who stayed with me at a slower than normal pace for him but a faster than promised pace for me the whole time.  When we hit mile 12 at 1:38 I realized, and laughingly told him, that my half marathon PR was a 1:49:30.  And even at mile 13.1, halfway up a hill, we hit it at 1:48:11.  A PR.  On a random Sunday with a course that had close to 1000 ft elevation gain, no training, no taper, nothing but ego and 6 other guys on a mission.  The victory was sweet.  The downhill to finish the 14 miles in 1:55 was even sweeter.  I felt like a million bucks.

And then I went off to swim, my second workout of the morning.  I'm not that bright.  But even though it was not the swim dreams were made of, it helped flush out the crap in my legs so I can walk today.  I even ran.  So success #2.

And I feel good.  My buddy texted me last night that if i ran like that in April, the BQ was in the bag.  I'm not ready to take it that far, but holding an 8:15 pace for 14 hilly miles was a giant boon to my 2019 goals.  Game on baby.  And it all started as something that terrified me.  As Mark Twain said "(Twenty Years from now) you'll be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do.  So throw off the sails".  Carpe diem, baby. I'm on a mission.

Week 3 (December 31-January 6)
Running Mileage:  49 miles
Bike Mileage:  43 miles
Swim Mileage:  2.5 miles

Observations:  Terrifying things can be fun.  Swimming after a tough workout seems foolish, but can actually help.  Eat more post run or you might die (my lonely larabar post 14 miles did not cut it.  I need more snacks.  Bike shorts are smart on the bike (I'll leave that one there and move on).  2019 is gonna be the year!


Tuesday, January 1, 2019

2019: A Fresh Perspective

Such a beautiful thing - the start of a New Year.  It reminds me of back to school for adults - the promise and start of something new, full of good intentions and energy.  Here I am world, ready to be a "better person".  Bring it.

But what does that actually mean?  Does it mean you weren't a decent person to begin with?  That you need fixing?  That you weren't good enough as you were?  It's a slippery slope.  Over the past week, I've been off from work and have had the opportunity to connect with several family members and friends that I don't usually see - whether it be distance or time the factor.  It's been amazing to catch up with people that I don't get to interact with every day - to learn what's happening in their lives since I've seen them last - to hear all about their hopes, dreams, and what they wish for in 2019.

It's mostly the normal stuff:  save money, lose weight, be a better parent, friend, fill in the blank.  All laudable goals.  I've had three requests for training plans - ranging from a 10k plan to a half marathon plan - and two more requests for a financial and/or couponing 101 ways to save money and pay down debt.

I'm flattered.  But I also walk away from these conversations with the feeling that my friends and family don't see themselves the way I do - as the funny, amazing, fantastic people that they are.  That they don't need to "fix" themselves.  That they are pretty great just the way they are.

But we are all about self improvement.  And I think that's pretty great - as long as we recognize that there is nothing lacking with who we went into 2019 as.  We just want to keep growing and realizing different ways we can reach above and beyond every day.  If we have a day that we don't do quite as well, there is always a new day to start fresh.
Source

I think the real truth to these "resolutions" boils down to one thing - your comfort zone.  I'll admit it - I am a pretty boring person.  I live off of a schedule of sleep, workouts, meals, family time, friends time, work time and me time with pretty decent regularity. I hate when things disrupt my routine.  I like doing what I'm good at, and will generally find any excuse to avoid doing what I suck at or don't like doing.

Then I watch the people that I look up to.  And they are constantly going outside their "routines" and doing scary things - things that they might not excel at.  Things that they don't do as part of a routine.  Things they might fail at.  And I'm in awe.  I want to be those people.  But...I also know that there's a pretty decent me under all that that I have no intention of losing sight of.

So, for 2019, it's all about a fresh perspective.  About first finding the good in who you are and who those around you are.  About not looking for where we are "lacking", but embracing the pretty awesome person that you are and the people you surround yourself with.

And when you're drinking your morning coffee and staring at the sunrise - dreaming of your big, scary goals that you want to accomplish - realizing that these goals are an extension of the fabulous person that you are - and taking a leap.  Of doing things that scare you.  Of doing things you might fail at.  And just going for it.

And so is my intent for 2019.  To recognize all of the wonderful people in my life and how they enrich it every day.  Of appreciating the good parts and letting go of the bad.  And to always come back to myself and ask - what are my goals to make my life even more amazing?  Have I done something today to make that happen?  Oddly enough, my friends and family have already helped me with their requests for my help, as I've defined one big scary goal for 2019 - but more on that one later.

I've always been a bit leery of January 1 resolutions.  To be fair and honest, I think that setting goals requires definition and detail that after a night of bad food, little sleep and drinking, I'm not quite ready for.  So, as history goes, I pretty much soak in the New Year, recover, take deep breaths, and go after it with gusto on January 2.  (Holy cow,  I just reread my inaugural post.  How has so much changed in 8 years??)

2019.  It's the year for big things.  And starting with the right frame of mind is half the battle.  Let's do this!


Sunday, December 30, 2018

Coffee Milk Training Recap - Weeks 1 and 2

You would think after 14 years of racing triathlon and 10 years of distance running (albeit with 2 years relatively dormant due to baby carrying) that I would have it all figured out in terms of training.  I don't.  I've played with several different  plans, each tailored to my individual needs and whimsy.  For triathlon, I've settled on a nice bastardized version of the half iron or full iron tri-geek training plan, with a bit of Friel's Training Bible thrown in there.  It's worked pretty well in the past, though with my dismal performance in the 2018 tri season, it might be time for a new plan.  Stay tuned for that one - I have until April to figure it out.

In terms of running, I'm totally in love with the Hanson marathon method.  I've talked about this one before - but in a nutshell, it's 6 runs a week - 3 of them easy easy paced - and 3 of them "SOS" runs (something of substance).  There is a tempo run that's about 20 seconds faster than MP (marathon pace), a long run that's 30 seconds slower than MP up to 16 miles, and a speed or strength repeat workout that extends from 400m-3 mile repeats.  The total weekly volume hovers between 40-50 miles per week and the idea is to learn how to run fast on tired legs.

I don't know if its circumstance of having a REALLY stressful 2018 or that my body finally adapted to running higher mileage, but I am obsessed with this plan.  I used it for the Green Mountain marathon and PRed on a hilly course, so naturally the words "BQ" are entering my mind wayyyy too often with relation to 2019.  It's still a moonshot- I need 18 minutes off my best - but I'm planning for a 10 minute PR in the spring and a BQ in the fall (race TBD), which I think is a solid goal.  I've chosen the Coffee Milk Marathon on April 7 in Rhode Island for my spring race - I have a pretty bad ass friend who has PRed with a 3:15 at Boston who offered to pace me, so the bar is set high!

In terms of "the plan" - I've used Hanson's and tweaked it to 16 weeks, adding in two 30-45 minute swims and three 30 minute bikes per week, as one of the big goals of 2019 is non tri suckage and this will give me a nice base.  With that being said, in the past, I've used some pretty high tech binders to track my workouts, nutrition, and perceived effort in the past (looking at these from 2008 is hilarious)...and that's it.  I have a Strava account I might resurrect, though I'm not sure I'm cool enough to be on Strava.  I also have a mapmyrun account I sporadically use, and a fabulous Garmin 935 that theoretically tracks metrics I have no concept of.  Basically, all you numbers people are shaking your head at me...I see it....and you're not wrong.  I suppose knowing my V02 max or figuring out what the hell training with power on the bike might help me at some point, and I'm learning.  What you have here is a slight neophyte in terms of technical anything who truly just loves to run (and sorta bike and swim)....so bear with me.

With that being said, it's always helped me in the past to reflect on my training weeks - so the grand prize for anyone that made it this far is....weekly training recap!    And since I still have a few crazy dedicated readers, you get to be my audience.  You're welcome. Get Excited.

Coffee Milk - weeks 1 and 2.

Week 1 (Dec 17-23)
Mileage:  38 miles

This week is sort of a blur, as I am a total nutcase around Christmas (yes, more than usual) and was stuck in baking, cooking, present wrapping holiday bullshit.  The plan called for 3 easy runs, which I ran too fast (easy pace is 9:15-9:30) a long run I nailed, and a tempo run I also ran too fast (I was watching swimmers at the Y flip turn way better than I ever could.  It was highly entertaining).  I left the week with the feeling that I was amped to be back, but how in the hell would I hold 8:15-8:30 pace for 26.2  15 weeks to figure that out.

Week 2 (Dec 24-30)
Mileage: 45 miles

Even with the melee of Christmas Eve and Christmas (which featured two dozen guests in my house - why am I crazy??  (Confession - I love it.)) this was a solid training week.  I had three easy runs of 6-7 miles, which I ran two of way too fast (more on that later), an 8 mile long run which I also ran way too fast (there's a theme here) and a speed work session that I slayed, averaging a 7:50 pace for 7.5 miles, which was super exciting. 

Due to the fact that I'll be running with someone for 26.2 miles and am trying to be less of a recluse more social, I've started doing a few runs with friends per week.  As a person that really enjoys running solo - with music du jour to tune out to and to unwind and de stress - this is a tall order for me.  This week I did part of my long run with Greg, and one easy run with a buddy from the gym.  The former worked well to slow me down...the latter did not, as I picked someone that is in reality a decent amount faster than me.  Or maybe we were just showing off.  Who knows.  Either way, both runs worked out super well - I saved my shitty 80's band singing for my run with Greg, which is definitely a good thing, (sorry babe) and if gym dude decides to run with that pesky chick who won't stop talking a super fun run buddy again, I'll make sure to slate him in for a tempo run next time.  It's a leap for me, but I had a good time on both runs, so if you live near me and run - watch out - I might be asking you out an a sweaty date in the future.  Humina humina.

All in all, a great first few weeks - next week I expect to slow it down a bit more, as I return to work on Wednesday (boo), but I know that easy miles are important miles.  Repeat times a thousand.



Friday, December 21, 2018

Dear Santa (for triathletes)

Happy Winter Solstice!  In the spirit of true western NY, which is drunk half the time, we had a great fifty degree day that I celebrated with a beautiful run in shorts.  For a girl with Renaud's who is not a fan of winter outdoor running, this was a huge win.  And for the mom that spent 3 hours wrapping last night because the big man in the red suit won't do it for me (Lame, Greg, lame) it was a great break from the last minute Christmas that'll scrooge ya if you aren't careful.

As years go, this has been one of the biggest struggle fests to fit it all in in time for Christmas.  I finally have all my shopping done, save for a few stocking stuffers.  I haven't touched any baking yet, and who knows if my house will be clean for our annual dinner for twenty.  But, there's four days left, so I'm slightly optimistic. This year I've decided to put the important stuff first, like Christmas parties with friends, gingerbread houses with the kids, school parties, and the heck with it if I make 4 kinds of cookies instead of seven.  I had the kids and Greg pick out their fave kinds, so we have snickerdoodles, chocolate crinkle cookies and PBJ thumbprints on tap, and then the rest is a "we'll see".  If nothing, its kept me more realistic, sane, and less of a scrooge!

This week also started my 16 week marathon plan for Coffee Milk Marathon on April 7 - even though it seems odd to start a plan the week before Christmas, its worked out well for me to get out there and get it done.  While I had no break throughs other than the notice that I can't sing well (not a shocker) as I attempted some big hair crooning during my last recovery run with the hubs (he will probably never run with me again loved it) the fact that I'm on a training plan again makes this type A girl super happy.

Speaking of happy, if you still are shopping and a bit clueless about what to buy me that fabulous triathlete in your life, I'm here to help.  Every year my mom looks at me like I have two heads when I attempt to explain my training toys to her, so here goes....in no particular order....the 2018 triathlete wish list!

1.  Hanson Marathon Method: Run Your Best Marathon:  This book is epic.  I used it for my last
Not on the wish list.  At least for racing.
marathon and took over five minutes off my time on a hilly course.  I found that running 6 days a week made a huge difference in my ability to run tired and somewhat fast.  I also should probably return it to the person that let me borrow it.  Whoops.

2.  Swim Paddles/goggles - While running 6 days a week does wonders for your run skill, it does shit for your swim form. As we've noticed on this blog (and everywhere I go) I need to work on this.  It helps if you have toys to use for drills, and also if your goggles don't leak.  Apparently you need to replace the latter every few years....or probably more if you pretend you actually swim.  Which I don't, but hey, I'm trying. 

3. Running Shoes:  These guys need to be replaced every 300-400 miles, which for me is every two months.  I am in love with Saucony Ride 10s - I wore Saucony's in high school, broke up with them for Asics, and last year came groveling back to my long lost love.  They are comfy, last forever, and you don't even need socks with them.  Which is a hot button topic in the running world, but whatever.  No blisters = no socks.  Plus it makes transition a hell of a lot easier during tri's.  And it's a great lethal weapon if greg ever pisses me off.  Seriously.  Def con 5.

4.  Which leads to....Win detergent.  While laundry soap is decidedly un exciting, so is the stink of workout clothes after running a zillion miles in them.  And this stuff works.  It's also not a zillion dollars, though I would highly recommend the economy pack, especially if you're married to a crazy triathlete!

5.  Cool race wear - While I usually look like a homeless person or live in my running clothes (Hey at least I DO work out!), I oddly enough like to look put together while racing (which makes no sense, as you don't even want to talk about what happens during the swim portion of a tri).  Last year, Santa brought me a cool Betty tri kit, and I would love to accessorize with the matching bra and visor.  Black works, but my race color is pink (another oxymoron) so ya know, glam it up, girl.

6.  Stocking stuffers - We athletes are super easy - gus, gum, travel sized stuff for our gym bags, chamois butter (well, I don't use it, but most sane people do), energy bars (larabars are yummy and don't melt) and, my fave, Epsom salt for recovery baths.

If in doubt....just do what my mom does.  Race entries and massages.  She is the best.  And does not understand my crazy, but loves me anyways :)

I know that ridiculous video is still in your head.  You're Welcome.

Merry Christmas and I hope Santa is good to you and you get everything on your list!

Thursday, November 29, 2018

Origins

So, I officially apologize for the cheese and w(h)ine fest last post.  I wrote this whole entry with (semi) decent points (it is me, after all) and for some reason, blogger got hungry and ate the post.  I figured this out a few days later and just could not re create the same black magic, hence, a more than normal half assed post that really didn't convey what I wanted it to.

Spoiler alert:  I'm not quitting the blog.  It was really nice to get some cheering from my dedicated readers (you DO exist!  Yay!)  No worries.  I'm not going anywhere anytime soon.

I just need a new direction.  What that is, I'm not quite sure yet.  I do know that I've been feeling out of sorts lately (well, no kidding) and as odd as it sounds, I think I've decided to get my mid life crisis right out of the way at the age of 36.  We all knew I was a bit of an over achiever, so why the hell not get a jump on it.  Lately, I'm not feeling quite right about a bunch of things, so rather than complaining, its about time to take some action.  But how?


Well, to borrow from one of my favorites, Dan Brown (really love his stuff - if you haven't moved beyond "The Davinci Code" - do it!), I'll start with the quintessential question: How do you know where you are going if you don't know where you are or where you came from?  (Actually, Maya Angelou really said it.  Dan Brown just wrote a whole book on it with respect to evolution.  So, it's all to scale.  Or however I decide to spin it.  My blog). 

 So, it was time for some soul searching.  As luck would have it, I had a long run on tap, it was 45 degrees out, and the kids spent the night at my mom's house.  What else could I do but take a nice longish run to my old stomping grounds in Webster?  Seems perfectly legitimate to think about how you've gotten here if you are running "home".  

And, as I usually find, my running becomes a microcosm for my life.  In those 11 miles, I hit several high and low points that seem to define perfectly my journey of self reflection....and I noticed several things worth considering.

1.  When leaving on an adventure, don't take the time to let it scare you.  When I left the house, it was 45, with a 50% of showers.  Usually I would bag a long run that wasn't looped with that type of radar screen.  I didn't.  As I pushed off, it was lightly misting.  By mile 3, it was decidedly raining.  Mile 7...it started to pour.  And by mile 10, I couldn't even take a step without audible shoe squishing.  And ya know what?  It was literally one of the best 11 mile runs I've had in awhile.  If I would have backed out due to over thinking, I would have stared at the wall in the basement for 90 minutes.  And I would have missed out.

2.  There will always be obstacles.  See above for the rain.  And the stupid driver that ran a stop sign and nearly hit me at mile 5.  And the asshole that aimed for a huge puddle on my side of the road at mile 8, splashing the hell out of me.  Idiots.  But depending on how hard you believe in your journey, these are merely asides, and no reason to derail your goal.


3.  Sometimes it gets worse before it gets better.  My mom's house is 11.5 miles from mine.  The first half of the run is hilly as hell, then it evens out toward mile 5.  This is my turnaround point, should I choose to bail.  After mile 5, the terrain gets significantly easier and it makes no sense to turn around.  As luck would have it, the rain started to significantly get worse at mile 4.5.  And the wind picked up.  I could have turned around.  But I didn't.  There was something about the run that I knew was charting a course for more than a semi decent workout.  And in life, I don't quit.  So I pressed on.

4.  When you least expect it, a helping hand emerges.  Notice it.  And appreciate it.  Even if you don't need it.  Before I left the house, I told Greg my route, and he went on his own 3 mile run.  As he got back home to shower, he noticed the shitty weather and wanted to make sure I was ok.  By then I was at 6.5 miles and I saw our Equinox drive by then pull a U turn.  My angel of a husband offered me a bail - which was awesome.  Did I need it?  Nope.  But it was a really sweet gesture I appreciated.  As he drove home to shower, he yelled out, "By the way, you're killin it!"  And yes, yes I was.

5.  When you are getting close....there is (almost always) one last obstacle.  At mile 11, I pass my old grammar school, which was fitting as I reached the end of my journey of self reflection.  The sidewalk diverges here and the shoulder of the road is super narrow...and there was a nice snowbank in my way.  I could either run in the road or jump the bank.  As there was traffic, I wisely chose the latter.  And, as I have no natural grace, I did a nice plant in the bank and got even colder and wetter than I already was.  After a second of hesitation, I laughed and went on my way.  After all, there is a stoplight right past my mom's house and I could SEE my goal.  And when you can finally see what you want, what can stop you?  NOTHING.

6.  You CAN go home. (Thanks Bon Jovi). Well, I literally was going home.  But as I stopped at my Mom's driveway (OK, just past it....I was at 11.47 miles and admittedly have runner OCD), I looked at my childhood home, knowing my mom and kids were inside, and took a moment to appreciate the juxtaposition of my past, present, and future...all inside the same house.  And I stopped my watch, relishing in the 8:19 pace I held for 11.5 miles, which is awesome for a long non race run for me...and went inside to what was most important.  

As odd as it may sound, this run gave me more peace than I have known in awhile.  Running by some of the places I grew up, in a semi meditative state of what was most important to me, what I value, and why, put me in a great spot to consider where I am now.  What got me to this point in life.  What I bring to the table as a person, and which parts I need to keep, and which parts I have outgrown.  And with those "origins" in mind, I know I can step into some of the new roles I see for myself in the future.  What are they?  I have some ideas.  And for some....I still have no answers.  But that's really definitive of life, isn't it?  And that's ok by me.

Friday, November 23, 2018

Friendsgiving

I have to say, when I started this blog 7 years ago (has it really been that long??)  I didn't give much thought to it, other than some kind of writing consistency.  The first two years, I posted nearly every day, whether it be a post  resembling something of substance, or mindless drivel (if you look back, I tried hard, but most of my posts are complete crap.  I know.  They aren't much better now.  There.  I said it).

Mom, what the hell are you talking about??
Post first child in 2013, my blogging became more sporadic, simply due to lack of time.  I was pretty awesome about posting weekly pregnancy updates and monthly kiddo/mom updates, but let's be real, beyond my mom (oh wait, even she doesn't read my crap)  no one cares about what fruit your kid resembles, except you.  Post Biz, I think I managed to get most of the same kid updates in (god forbid she goes to therapy for that) but again, 99% of the blog was parenting.

2016 and 2017 are a blur.  I think you got some race updates.  I'm pretty sure you know I like running and not my bike.  If you haven't read those years yet, don't bother.  You're all caught up.

As this year winds down, I've often thought about shutting the blog down.  I feel the need to post but most of the time feel pretty blocked of what I need to say.  Recipes are fun, but do they speak to anyone?  I also have about four posts started with different money saving tips that I think might be a useful tool for some readers during the holidays, but again, not calling to me.

In terms of running and triathlons, I obviously have hit my mid life crisis with respect to multi sport this year (then again, I'm not sure I plan to give it up when I turn 50, so I might need to revisit).  It's the part of blogging, aside from family talk, I think I like best, but it really reads more of a diary than anything of substance.

30 second life tip- Stoli raz and seltzer are delicious
in leftover gatorade endurance bottles. 
Take that, Ironman.  You're welcome/
It seems to boil down to two main thoughts for the blog - is this a blog to teach anyone anything (other than how insane I am) or is it a diary?  You would think that after 7 years and a thousand posts, I would have figured it out.

I still haven't.  And spoiler alert - I won't today, either.  As I sat down to write this post about the season of Thanksgiving (clearly I need a dictionary as well, as I must have heard "philosophy" as the main theme and interpreted it very badly).  Oddly enough, I had designs to talk about things like food and the concept of balance, which would be fitting....but then I actually lost the damned post, which might be the upper echelon of blogger telling me to stick with what I do, or jump ship.

Well, fine.  I'll do that.  A day late and a dollar short, Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  And Happy Friendsgiving - even if we've never met, I appreciate the heck out of all of you and when I finally figure out what the hell I'm doing - in terms of blogging, in terms of life, pick your poison - I promise, you'll be the first to know.