Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Goodnight Sweetheart

I run tomorrow morning. 4:30 am - 6:30 am. If you never hear from me again, it was very nice knowing you. I haven't ran for two hours straight, at a pace below 11 min/mile.... well, ever.

So I'm going to bed. Think of something clever and inspiring for me this time!

In preparation,

Monday, August 30, 2010

And I thought it was me teaching him...

My son, Jack, went to his first Cross Country practice today. He has a bad cold and is on Benadryl. Last week, on Monday, he had his first blood sugar episode of the school year... on day two. He hasn't had the best health the past two weeks, but he went anyway. No question. No conversation. He wanted to go and didn't once ask to skip it. He finished the practice, worn down to the bone. He finished third from last, as he told me as soon as he entered the car, disappointment all over his face... I couldn't have been more proud. He showed up. He ran his ass off. And he didn't whine. He didn't go to the coaches and give excuses or ask for special treatment, or an easier day. He pushed harder than I've ever known anyone to push. He finished a hard hour and a half practice, no excuses. He did this with a body that isn't on board lately, and a fuel system in that body that doesn't burn as it should.

My son is amazing. He truly is amazing.

I reminded him that he wasn't 77th out of 80, but that he was 77th out of 400 kids in the school that were invited to try out today and...320 of them didn't even have the guts to show up. And tomorrow I'm certain his number will get better, as more and more won't have the determination to step out there again and push their way to the finish line, along with his own body adjusting to the work and taking him to his goal. I never excused any part of the effort for him. And he never did for himself... he just packed his bag for tomorrows practice and smiled.

In pride,

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Sometimes, it's everything.

I believe I can.

In training,

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Forever Young

It is hard to be aging so quickly. Of course, we all are, but in each of those 365 days, someone somewhere must be clipping hours while we sleep and laughing at our naivety... I feel it on my long runs like this morning. I use the streets as a therapist, working through the days dilemmas, getting back to good. And I realize that, despite my effort, I won't always be here, in this age and health. I won't always be able to jump out of bed at crazy early hours and steal the secrets of life from the fog. My body won't always be thankful for the miles of wear and tear that my mind demands. I appreciate every moment I get to do this. Even when it hurts, when I suck for air, in the end it is always a feeling of unwavering respect for the beating.

Today is my Grandmother's birthday. She would have been... I don't even know anymore. I remember her as clearly as if I saw her yesterday, but as I ran, I realized that every year the amount of memories fade.  Today is also the day my parents start moving out after a year in our home. I know this will probably be the last time my parents and I will live in the same house, at least with youth on our side. I am lucky to have had them here, in good health, able to enjoy time together. I head for a final morning shower to steal the hot water from my Dad's sleepy routine. And one last chance to go to the door and say, "Mom?", knowing she isn't awake, but innocently getting her up to keep me company at breakfast.

I miss my Grandmother and celebrate her today by sharing stories of her craziness with my kids. And I'll miss these few moments of youth I could reclaim with my parents. Although time has not been as graceful to my body, it has given me a beautiful grace to I appreciate this age in my life, where everything, and everyone, is good.

In this moment,

Thursday, August 26, 2010

A pretty cool thing

Two miles at at 10 min pace... on benadryl. It's like running in quicksand.

That's dedication. ANd it only happened because:
1) I touched mold and it destroyed my allergy barriers
2) My son asked me to take him on a run to practice for Cross Country

Since I don't trust my mental clarity after that, I'll just say my kids are awesome and I am so thankful for the training that prepared me to handle this day. To be there for my kids, when they need it, that's what matters.
To push beyond, and live to tell, that's a pretty cool thing (In my most elaborate words!).

In a haze,

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

The EX factor

I bet some of you jumped on her just to make sure it's not about you...

Luckily for you, this is in regards to the biggest X. It comes on strong. It stays... long past it's welcome. Kinda like some others...

It's hard to balance the nutrition, the cardio, the weights, the family, the time, the work, the friends... but we do. I do. Sometimes I get exhausted. And I always come back. I owe it to myself to not let ME fall to the end of the daily tasks. I owe it to myself to find time for what I love in everyday.

With all the ex's in my life, this one is the only one that continues to bring me down. When you just can't stand anymore, Army Crawl.

In bed,

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

My sleepy eyes.

Morning always comes. No matter what happened today, no matter what time I go to bed. No matter what temperature, what month, what season. It shows up... it starts me over again. I may have ran around the world twice today, but when it comes down to it, what happens tomorrow matters just as much. When morning comes, it brings no memory of today. No bonus points, no carryover, no extension. The only thing I can do today is make tomorrow easier. It will come, the morning sun will rise, and I will once again have to choose...  and my sleepy eyes will open.

In health,

Monday, August 23, 2010

Size matters most

If you have been lucky enough to be slender all your life, then you may not be as lucky as you think. I used to think I would never, ever let myself be overweight. NOT POSSIBLE! I judged all those Moms out there that had trouble getting into their MiniVan and wore elastic waist pants... okay, elastic waists may be asking for it a bit, but anyway... I would never be them. Just like some of you think. Not that I'm saying you will be overweight someday, I'm just saying it isn't what you think. There are many ways and many reasons obesity is an epidemic in this country. Some comes from pure laziness, some does not. But if you've never had to work for a healthy body, be it skinny or not, then you can never appreciate your gift. You may think you do, but it isn't the same.

To be able to push a body that resists you, to be able to fight your own DNA, your own weaknesses, in public... and lose time and time again. You build character. Depression and heartache too, but character. When you've given everything you have to just get to the starting line, you never lose again. The weight loss becomes a gain of self. Last place is the first time to cross the line. The daily mile is ultimate success. Walking past the bakery becomes heroic. Standing up to a lifetime of wrong and choosing better, comes from a deep rooted courage. Working out, overweight, in a room full of toothpicks, is the ultimate bravery. And every moment of it is aware, intentional, and powerful.

I may have thought I'd never be there, but I was... to an extent I am. But my slipping into a size 12 is the sexiest thing in the world. And still your nightmare.

In the new jeans without laying down,

Sunday, August 22, 2010

Running never fails...

The road is patient, the night is kind.
It does not envy.
My power is never boastful, nor conceited, nor rude;
I am not self-seeking, nor easily angered.
I keep no more record of wrongdoings.
I do not delight in the epic failures,
But rejoice in my determined effort.
A night sky always protects, trusts, hopes, and preserves.
There is nothing I cannot face;
There is no limit to my faith, hope, and endurance.
In a word, the running high doesn't last forever:
Nor the pain, fatigue, or speed;
But the greatest gift of the run is a life I love.

In love,

Wednesday, August 18, 2010

What about me

If you've made a promise to someone, you hold to it. What kind of a man does not honor his word?

If you've committed to someone, you hold to it. You didn't have to commit, it was your choice.

If you've mastered an art, use it. You don't waste a gift.

If you have a job to do, do it. Twenty other people are outside your door waiting for their chance.

If you offer to help, follow through.
If you believe it to be, then it is.
If you want it to be, then make it happen.

If you'd never think of ignoring, abusing, wasting, cheating, hurting, or abandoning someone else, then give yourself the same respect.

Pay attention to what your body needs.
Take care of yourself.
Believe in yourself.
Stay with it.
Get the job done.

In focus,

Sunday, August 15, 2010


I'm going to be who I set out to be. It isn't easy to stay on the right road. It isn't easy to take a stand, to be different. But I am no longer doing what's easy... I am doing what is necessary.

Our family, my family, has horrible eating habits. I've grown up with overweight parents, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents... I have struggled with my weight for 10 years. I feel too often that I am alone in this. I've been down this road so many times. I just can't keep living this weigh (yes, weigh).. I'm breaking free of the cage of this body. It's my choice, for me. I'm handling my responsibility. I'm strong enough to do this. And I am... but I still feel it's not enough.

I sat at a family dinner tonight. I loved it, don't get me wrong. Twenty five of us at a restaurant. Food and stories and laughter and love... just the most beautiful time. The deep fried foods passed up and down the table; the mounding desserts after excessive dinners. Courses of food for everyone and portions large enough for ten for each individual. And it was hard. This is what we do. It's how we celebrate; it's how we mourn. It's how we slowly kill ourselves in indulgence. To mention the danger, the disgust, the wrong in this, would be to hang your own noose. I'm certain that writing this now will piss of some people I love to the point that this week will be miserable. This year could be miserable, all because I think it needs to be said and what I say, in this world, is unspeakable.

Being silent is laying my finger on the trigger. It's time to change. It's time to go down this road together. I was able to enjoy tonight, with a small salad and baked potato. A few bites of the indulgences but of reasonable foods, in reasonable amounts. And it was enough. The family is filling. The food wasn't necessary, but it is a part of us, and the enjoyment of sharing a meal would be deeply missed. Just a change in the foods we share, and the amounts we consume. A change in the push to eat as a way of expressing our love for each other and the acceptance of the food no longer representing an acceptance of that love.

So I am hanging my own noose and saying what we don't say: this is enough. We are enough. Please.

In firing range,

Friday, August 13, 2010

My morning run

I run so early in the morning that the sun doesn't even come up by the time I finish. It is darkness, but a fresh new darkness sweetened by the morning dew and lifting the fog of the past. It is a beautiful time, although lonely and terrifying. My own resilience is all I have to keep me going, to keep on the path. I suffer through the fog that remains, as it takes a piece of each labored breath. It clouds the road ahead of me and I trust each step in strength, believing the road will rise to meet me, knowing my steps are solid. The sweetness of the dew cools my sweaty brow, it lessens the furrow and eases the earned lines on my face. A sweet, fresh chill of the new day renews my drive, hydrates my soul. I push through the darkness, through the heat, through the fatigue. I do not rest. I do not stay. Each morning I face the darkness so I may live in the each day in the light.

In strength,

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

I'm not afraid

I'm not afraid to take a stand
Everybody come take my hand
We'll walk this road together, through the storm
Whatever weather, cold or warm
Just let you know that, you're not alone
Holla if you feel that you've been down the same road

Yeah, It's been a ride...
I guess I had to go to that place to get to this one
Now some of you might still be in that place
If you're trying to get out, just follow me
I'll get you there 

In spired,

Monday, August 9, 2010

Mirror mirror on the wall...

How much of ourselves would we change if we were walking/ running/ eating/ talking in front of a mirror all day long? What if we were televised to our friends and family all day long? How about to a gorgeous stranger?

Enough said.

Just be better, people.

In the mirror,

One more day

I'm still on vacation, since Thursday. Today is our last day. And I have managed to work out and run every day so far....

until today.

I am up. I am going. I am going. I am going.

I can do this.

In Chicago,

Wednesday, August 4, 2010

You give me reason to live

I get to run with my husband again!!! He is finally back after ACL surgery and I am finally able to run with him, the whole distance. Some people have movie night, some couples cook... I have a wonderful man who loves to run as much as I do. Our special days involve a trip to three running stores checking out shoes. I am so glad we're back on track with the stresses of the last few months. I am so glad, that no matter where our paths lead us, they keep coming back together. It's better to run on that wide path side by side... it's easier to breathe with him around.

In happiness,

Monday, August 2, 2010

Where there's a will

Ha ha! 4 miles before the sunrise the morning. Only 68 degrees, no humidity. Love my sleep, but love my cool breeze run on a heat warning day even better!!

Suck it midwest misery. This world owes me a break, at least I can have my run. Try and break me down some more. I'll find a way. 110 heat index? Bring it. 2 am sounds perfect.

In the nightlife,

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Ebb tide

My attention span is short, not that I need ADHD drugs or anything. I just have this unstoppable desire to discover and try and, well, be. Change is good. New is exciting. Different is better. I love being this way, but it tends to sometimes leave a trail of chaos behind me. I do feel badly for the young men that ever thought to love me. I only found one man in my life to ever love enough to stay. And perhaps his secret was to never let on all the way as to how much he has me figured out... and how much he challenges me in return. I do feel badly for the employers that I would stay forever. My jobs change by the months, at most the year, never by the decade. With the exception of training or coaching, everything else has short lifespans in between. Running is my best way to express my desire to be free, and to change. Every step changes me inside and out. I have transformed a dozen times on these streets, and who I am is not entirely discovered yet. I look forward to many more changes, new adventures, and the thrill of the unknown. My attention span has found something to steady it's pace, something to remain after every blink. I love my children, my husband, and my running. I do see them in all that I do. Everything else comes and goes with the tide of my mind.

I don't know what I want tomorrow to bring; I only know I want to be open to it.

In focus,

Remember the Name

I ran in the heat. I pushed and pushed and pushed just to get three miles. And when I hit the three, I only had a half mile left on the route. The original plan was to go twice, but I was simply grateful for getting through once. But as I approached my house, Remember the Name came on my ipod - which I hadn't even worn on a run in a month! And I was inspired. I was re-energized. I was better. I remembered suddenly why I do this and what it is that gives me the strength. If you don't have the song, get it. Put it as your Push song... Around the route I went, twice. I'm no quitter... sometimes I just need to be reminded.

Thanks for the push "shuffle" ipod Gods...

In heat exhaustion,