Wednesday, February 1, 2023

January Wrap up 2023

 

END OF JANUARY

How freaking fast did THAT go??!!

Seriously. (or actually was it LONG, haha!) I love January- the new-ness- new goals and intentions, and I also DETEST January- the grey and cold.  It’s been a month. 

So, I’m asking myself to kind of come back here, to myself, to my honest place- this little space of writing which is really just enjoyment and accountability to myself.  I’m coming back here to ask myself- “DID YOU RISE?”

RISE is my “intention of the year/word of the year”. And so I should ask myself this once in awhile and readjust when necessary, be honest enough with myself to hold myself accountable.  I mean, if it matters to me, I should be able to be honest with myself.

Was it my best month?  NO.  I was down and frustrated.  My hip gave me trouble basically after the first week into January seemed to get worse.  My mood went right along with that and the weather and rain and cold and dreary air that looked like sad air to me.

Here is what I did.

For my hip:  I did not give up.  I kept going for chiro/went to my PT/ made an appointment now with ortho and I am sure after that I will get an MRI.  So the plan is in action for me to dive deeper and see where things are really standing with my hip.  I listened to it and did my best. I did all I could do.  I literally am unable to power through when my hip is not letting my leg work (often when I cannot run, I know it is TRIGGERED by what is going on in the hip, but the pain that makes me stop/ that I cannot push through has been in my calf/shin/ankle with some sort of pressure that flares and literally I think my leg will explode.  I cannot run through it).  2 weeks ago, my hip started giving out/ I couldn’t stand on it for a few days.  Then I couldn’t go UP the stairs.  Funny enough I could jog a little but just not go upstairs. And I would gasp doing little small steps randomly.  That week hurt so bad, and had my nervous system just ON FIRE with pain, so ….. there were tears.  I really hate being in nerve pain.  Luckily that seems to have dissipated to a great degree and probably as I write this it is about 5x/day maybe where my hip seems to “go out” and I catch myself with my other leg (yes, as I gasp… which I Really hate, but the searing pain just takes my breath away, does anyone else have this?)  That being said, I’ve now had a few days where I can run again?  I have no idea when I head out if I will be gone for 90 seconds or an hour.  So, I have mentally gotten myself to this place where I am just trying to roll with it and if I have to come back after 5 minutes, then I have to just get on my bike, do other stuff- drills, strength, movement that I CAN do.  This is not my favorite option, but it is reality.  So I’m just trying to both accept it, but not grow stagnant and let myself waddle into pitiful shape. I have been successful at daily doing the things I’ve asked myself to commit to that I know helps my hips:  rolling, trigger point, daily yoga and mobility.  I am doing all that I can.

Now, turning to my lack of love for this season:  I have an actual spreadsheet, guys.  And on my spreadsheet are my “tools” that I Use to keep me healthy and happy.  I’ve of course added drinking water to this because I just cannot do it without giving myself the pleasure of checking off a box at the end of the day… but- I have about 8 other tools that I have identified and I commit to as many of those things each day as I can to serve my mental health, joy, and prioritize staying on track.  I do these things knowing that they are little moments that I can claim for ME- that I am taking care of myself with being intentional. The day will GO BY without them, so I OWN that they are part of “my work”!  And yes, I call this RISING to take care of myself fully. 

A trick that I have used for years that I continue to use daily is the “Today, I GET TO” question.  Every morning, I ask myself 1-2-3 things that “I GET TO” do.  So often, I realize- the things that were weighing me down on my shoulders as things that I “have to” do….. are actually GET TO do things- I find that I really can see them as a privilege to do, a joy, an opportunity.  For me personally, this little reframing each morning can be the difference between a gloomy mindset and the start of a great day.

I am here at the end of January…. Not where I want to be yet, but on my way daily😊

FEBRUARY IS HERE-- 28 days.  4 weeks of DAILY OPPORTUNITY!

Sunday, January 1, 2023

RISE

 

2023 WORD and INTENTION.

Well, I cannot believe I’ve never used this as my “word” for the year previously since I love it so much…. So much that I used it long ago as part of my business name.

2023- year of RISE.

First though, why do I even choose a word?  Well, I believe strongly that our life tells a story and we get to really narrate that story, choose the direction, as well as live intentionally within and through that story.

I am going to use the word RISE to remind me to daily, even moment to moment, RISE to be who it is that I want to be.  *By saying this, I’m no way saying that “I’m not enough” etc …. But I believe if we are given this precious opportunity in life, it is on our shoulders and heart to be IN THE ARENA, IN THE WORK, of being aware and intentional in the pursuit of fulfilling our potential.

I want to RISE to the goals that I have already chosen for this year, as well as RISE above the challenges and roadblocks that I find in the way.  Nothing will happen without RISING TO IT.

I want to RISE to do the things that are HARD for me (even if this includes drinking water), but other things I’m working on that I have to remind myself to do: take time to walk the dogs, even when my body is tired, take time to roll/trigger point for my joints/muscles, to rise to do the SMALL things that support the bigger things.  I believe that our proudest moments in life happen from things that maybe kicked us in the rear, spat in our face, knocked us off a cliff…… and then we RISE AGAIN.  (Let it be said that I really am not asking to be kicked/spat on/thrown off cliff… I actually have had a lot of these experiences already…. Just saying that I am committing to RISE in the face of adversity (not that I’m ASKING for adversity😊!)

I want to RISE above my fears that maybe say I don’t have it in me to achieve some of my BIG GOALS that maybe I’m not even sure if I can do.  This will be the year I rise to work on them.  And yes, I have specific goals that I have maybe given into fear and not fully pursued and kept on the back burner.  I’m coming for you…

RISE above distractions- I’m holding myself accountable to my TIME.  Obviously, we each have limited time.  I won’t be scrolling away my goals and pursuits.  I have decided I’ll stay “on” social media in some ways, but also have set very clear for myself what this will look like in order to not cave into mindless numbing distraction.  I’ll also rise above distractions of what doesn’t serve me- I have honestly limited energy- I GIVE too much energy in all the things I love, it is my life blood.  It also really fatigues me by the end of the day and week.  It is on ME, no one else, to RISE above the distraction of giving into wonder and worrying about cares and ruminating about things that aren’t serving me well.

This word for the year, RISE, also reminds me and challenges me to go FURTHER AND HIGHER, to not limit myself with my thoughts.  I can with confidence rise to who I fully am, who I will fully grow into this year, as I day by day work towards being my best version of myself.

I want to share this beautiful sentiment with you that I read:  Either way, it’s wise to understand how our aims for the future relate to our path in the past. Goals and New Year’s resolutions don’t have to be isolated aspirations, failed and forgotten. Instead, they can contribute to crafting a life theme and an identity that endure.~Kira Newman, Berkeley’s Greater Good Science Center.

Friday, December 30, 2022

2022 WRAP UP...

 

2022 IN REVIEW

 

Anything worth doing is worth taking the time to be intentional, so here I sit, wrapping up another year.  I always try to look critically, but also positively at everything that led me to the place I find myself at the end of the year.  It is what it is, so I want to LEARN and move forward better, with a plan coming from both the positives and negatives of this past year.

I started off the yar with my big theme of “ALL IN”.  I wanted to be “all in” for my goals.  If I was going to say something, then I would make it happen with attention, a narrow focus on the small things, as well as a broad focus on the big picture.

My first big goal of going “all in” was in doing Shamrock Marathon in March.  I wanted to do a new to me race- even though this race has gone on for years and I know people who have gone down to do it, for me, I’ve just never considered going to the ocean in the winter😊  But this year, I wanted to commit myself to a new race- walking into something I didn’t know about, and make it happen.  I’m really glad I did that.  I love that I have a bunch of “favorite” races (Eagleman, Annapolis/luray), but it’s good to go somewhere and be a bit scared of the unknown.  My goal was to qualify for Boston in this marathon, and I did. I am overall happy with that- was the race a perfect success?  No, I definitely had to work so hard and had doubts and fears (and mostly feel irritated at my GI system issues in this race) but I had the GRIT, I was ALL IN in not giving up during this race.  I proved to myself that I still had the deep core WILLpower to get through.  To mentally persevere.  As I’ve gotten older, I wasn’t sure if I had lost that, and I honestly love that I found it within myself to channel my no quitting fire.

My next goal was Eagleman 70.3. 

The “why” behind this race was because, even though I’ve done it about 10x, my last was a DNF.  It was a year that I just lost my mental mojo, maybe overtrained?  Or maybe just lost a bit of my spark?  But, I literally walked off the course back to my car during the run course.  I literally just didn’t feel like running that day.  So, I needed to get back and to FINISH Eagleman again.  I did.  The goal was to finish, and I did.  Would I have liked a faster time, yes, but I came to this race, and did what I set out to do. 

That was early June and I had planned to then recover/ I knew I had travel with my daughter for a big vball tournament, and I would take that time to recover.  She ended up getting Covid and getting it BAD, and we ended up in the Emergency room, and it definitely took some wind out of my “life sails” for maybe a month after that.  I Just felt like I daily was just reliving the sight of her passing out/ not being able to stand, and I just lost some interest in pushing to my deepest levels.  It was time for me to take a few weeks and just enjoy breathing.

I got back into my efforts to get ready for end of season races:  Luray Triathlon- one of my favorites.  I came to this race to race with everything that I had, and I did.  It was a disaster the night before the race with pre-race anxiety like I’ve never had ever, and it showed me that I definitely have had some years off and have some mental skills to work at, but this was GOOD.  (The fact of showing up was even good after that night!)  I ended up 3rd overall woman, and obviously was really happy with that.  Not only that, but I just felt STRONG, FIT and doing the thing I Love to do.  Nothing better. 

One week later, I was at another fave:  Annapolis 10 Miler.  I’ll be honest- looking at this race- I didn’t have as much of a strong “why”---- it’s just because it’s what I do the last weekend in August!  I do enjoy it, but I realize now, I might not have had a solid enough why, as well as well defined GOALS.  I did well in the race, am happy overall with how I did, but it was a DARN HOT HUMID morning and whoa, it was one of the hardest A10’s I’ve ever completed.  There were times I was like how am I going to get to the finish of this thing.  So, again, I’m glad I gritted it out, proved to myself that I still have some fire in me, some grit and finishing power.  I look back and wish I had maybe been more “numbers oriented” with this race- trying to actual HIT a certain time, rather than just go and “run strong and solid.”  I feel like maybe that was a bit of a cop out that I didn’t even know I was doing?  I feel like this maybe wasn’t “all in” during the prep.

With that race finished, I had one more race on my schedule:  Amelia Island ½ Marathon in October- again – an effort to do something NEW (as well as get myself to the OCEAN!! HAHA!)  My original idea was go and have fun- then hop in the ocean after!  However, once I started really feeling like I was holding some good paces, PLUS this race would be relatively flat, I started realizing, I am close to the qualifying time for NYC marathon (and I keep not getting in off of the lottery)…. So I decided to go for it!  I had some really awesome and strong training, and was frankly LOVING IT.  Then about 3 weeks before race, I got sick.  I had 2 weeks of not feeling well, missed training both of those weeks. (allergies, got 2 infections). I thought that maybe it would just be an interesting taper, tried to get some intense shorter workouts the week before the race in an effort to still pull together my goal, but it didn’t happen.  I still loved this new race, I feel like I definitely learned from it (yes one thing being that a 2 week sickness prior to a half marathon (clearly this was not an actual taper) does not work well for my body!! I did not qualify for NYC marathon, (but I WILL.).

Somehow, this race kicked me in the ass- my calves were super sore and I knew that even DURING the race.  The weird thing was that when I traveled home, it wasn’t my calves, but my hamstrings and hip that were KILLING me, and… long story short:  I did’t run for 2 months.  I tried.  I came home literally in tears.  My leg did not WORK.  It wasn’t just sore.  I couldn’t move it.  I couldn’t run.  I would get to the next driveway and be all funky and couldn’t even figure out how to land on my foot- the whole nerve down to my foot was just pissed off and not working. 

This taught me a bit.

I hadn’t been hydrating well.  I hadn’t been taking care of my muscles in a way that an athlete would.  If I am going to go for big goals, I need to hydrate, roll, take care of things in a deeper way that addresses the fact that I’ve got some underlying body “issues.”

And I WILL.  I already have a bit of a new daily plan and am working to keep at it and hydrate, and continue an anti-inflammatory diet, and do all the “non trainining- training things”!  does that make sense?  It’s like I can do the workouts, the physical training, the strength, but if my tissues, body, muscles aren’t overall healthy, it won’t result in success.

So, this is kind of my year in review of RACING.  Of course, that is not my whole me.

I am also doing this separately for work, family, life, and various categories of goals and intentions that I have for myself.  I am thankful that I feel I am in a place of balance with going only in hard in some categories as what allows me to maintain goals and expectations of myself in other “categories”.  Life is always pulling, and I want to make sure I live in alignment with my values.

Monday, December 12, 2022

INJURIES

I HATE INJURIES.

I ran Amelia Island ½ in October, and somehow during? After?  I got injured?

My good hamstring and hip became UNUSABLE.  I could not fire the leg, something on the nerve? The hamstring was just totally stuck and the line down the leg was unusable, I literally couldn’t run- pain, but also because it was like “funny running” like Phoebe on friends running.  I couldn’t get my body to go.

It has been 6 weeks.  I’m frustrated (but at the point I can see a glimmer of hope I think?)

But, I always think there are lessons learned.

I go back to try to discern WTF happened? I was really super fit a month before the race – aiming for my goal of qualifying for NYC marathon with a fast ½ time.  Then, 3 weeks before race, I got sick and my taper turned into….. basically sickness.  I wondered, “well maybe we can see what a really LAZY taper will do?” like maybe it would be ok?  I had a week before the race where I tried to do some runs/intervals to kind of get back up on my feet and pretend that maybe this experiment would work?

I arrived at the race and really thought I may be ok?  I started strong and legs died.  I thought I would be sore and recover.  Instead, my sore calves turned into injured hamstrings and hips?  FOR 6 weeks?  MY GOSH. Seriously. I can understand like 2 weeks, but then let’s get back. But NO: I would go out and “try” to run and literally within 60 seconds my run gait was a NO GO- things were not FIRING on the left side of my body- my hamstring was just JACKED and my calf on that side was feeling like it was going to BLOW UP and my foot felt like it didn’t know oddly how to even land.  I knew I was only doing more damage.  I was completely halted; there was NO DOUBT I could not run.

I hated this.  I wanted to have a season of easy, joyful running with just nothing but ease and gratitude and kind of a lazy mindset!  Instead, I had to get back on my trainer a bunch and get in some biking hours, walking (although I even felt it walking), ugh. Just didn’t feel good.

I spent a lot of time trying to do the maintenance, TOO LATE.

So, I learned… AGAIN… my lesson of not just trying to get fast and fit.  But taking CARE of the HEALTH OF THE MUSCLE TISSUE.  Like you cannot be 100% at peak performance without being HEALTHY.  Without doing the basic maintenance of rolling, maybe getting deep into problematic areas, using trigger point balls, maybe getting massages regularly which I haven’t prioritized.  I had noticed a huge right/left difference between hip flexors this past fall and…. You know what?  I noticed it, but didn’t really INVEST IN IT.  I admit.  I noticed it so much- when I would be training people I would ALWAYS show/demo things on my other side and realized how much I was favoring that side.  I got GREEDY.  I was greedy going for speed without doing the basic accounting of my body.

My physical therapist 4 years ago when I had to stop for a bit because of my opposite hip, told me that I had to “race at the level I was at”… which was so humbling and true.  Because I KNEW… oops!!!  I literally remember being on a race course saying to myself, I will win this thing even if it is above my level and I will just MAKE IT HAPPEN by WILL.  Ugh. Dumb.  And I paid the price.  GREEDY.

So, my mantra after that has been, “don’t get greedy for speed.” Just do what is truly yours.

I also had 2 races this past year where afterwards (I even wrote about it in 2 previous blogs)--- the thing that was getting me was this LEFT hip which is my GOOD hip????  Hmmmm.. and so it finally stopped giving me HINTS and gave me a big SHOUT OUT! 

OK, so let’s just get this wrapped up.  I am back to “jogging” (good grief running is FREAKING HARD when you haven’t been doing it- I used to go out for 15 mile run and just love it and n ow- 5 miles?  WHOAAAAA… feeling it, mentally and physically).  I may be back to jogging, but it will come back unless I do some BIG WORK AND COMMITMENTS.

What will I do going forward.

*DAILY CORE :  I need to make sure I keep some tough workouts going daily.  My core class is hard and challenging and I participate (plus do it all in advance to plan) BUT… I need to do more ON MY OWN ABS that are at the level of me so I am paying attention to MY BODY, not to the class.

*Daily yoga with focus on:  TWISTS (I am like a rigid board in my back- always have been.)  I need to not push it, but daily do long easy twists once I’ve warmed.  Also: hip mobility, pigeon, some of my deeper favorites of low chair twist/ pigeon twist/ malasana with thoracic rotation.  And my NON FAVORITES:  such as eagle, (lunge twists), all the twists, reclining yin poses to RELEASE THINGS.

*ROLLING.  I need to roll hips/calves/quads and if I ever have the TV on, I better not have my ass planted on the couch.  I better have my muscles on the roller rolling.

*OUT LOUD:  hydration.  I truly believe this is part of it also.  It is my unhealthiest thing in THE WORLD.  I’m literally embarrassed.  I don’t drink water, I dislike it.  I try.  Every sip of water I take, it is intentional because I do NOT LIKE.  But I think this has negatively affected the health of my muscle tissue.  I’m learning.

I want to be back.

I want to be focused, in training, living my days as they give me HUGE JOY IN going after a GOAL!

I want to commit to the things I don’t love in order to DO THE THINGS I LOVE !!!


Sunday, November 13, 2022

When Things Don't Go To Plan.....

 

So, I’m writing this blog at the end of a racing/running season (for most).  More specifically, the day after a very difficult race for many- the Richmond marathon, which had very difficult hot and humid race conditions (at a time when the race can often be in the 20’s and 30’s).

This is a short post on....what I could write .... ohhhh so much more... maybe a book.

Sometimes I think the day AFTER the disappointment is the hardest.  Disappointments bring on so many other emotions: doubts, anger, frustration, shame, helplessness.  But as always, of course, it is because of these disappointments that we have our greatest ability to learn and rise.  That is so hard to taste the day after, though.

Let me backtrack first.  I must be honest.  I say and write these things because I know they are true.  But I am also someone who has and is spending all of my adult years so far truly trying to legitimately absorb this in my heart.  I have some major life failures that I spent far too long making a story about myself that these defined me.  They internally did, to some extent.  But I also worked a great deal to let them empower me in other ways.  I don’t mean to sound like this is easy, but it is worth the attention and work. 

This quote below from Maria Shriver touches me deeply.

There are many dreams that many of us will not achieve in our lifetime, but that doesn’t make us less than. It doesn’t make us a loser. We must widen our gaze and redefine what victory in defeat entails. We must pick words that inspire us forward. We must do the deep internal work of realizing that our worth comes not from a pundit or a snarky tweet or a moody boss or a parent trying to work out their own stuff in a messy way. It comes from God. It comes from within. It comes from us deciding we are worthy and enough. We can be victorious in the way we live our lives. ~Maria Shriver

 

Wow.  So, here we are.  The day after.  Yea, it’s a failure of the goal.  Let’s not say it isn’t. 

But it is not a big picture failure… unless we fail to find the successes and lessons. 

This is how we are empowered by these defeats.

So, what is the BIG PICTURE?

Were we BRAVE as anything to even THINK that we were worthy of our goals.  YES.

Did you show up EVERY DAY, darkest mornings, cold dreary mornings, hot muggy vacation runs, weary Wednesday hill runs doing the work.  Did you learn from the entirety of this season of work? And not just your body learning to push, but your mind learning what you were capable, growing in confidence, learning to feel intensities, to hold on, to push faster, to relax within the work, to soften to get stronger, to find your limits. 

Did you learn that rest and recovery does help this all become sustainable and progressive, week by week?

Were there lessons on patience, risk taking, backing off, balancing?  Were there lessons on swallowing frustration and keeping on?  Lessons on doing new things, different ways, fueling, adjusting and adapting.

I could go on and on.

It is always worth it.

We are always growing.

Every race, we are smarter, stronger, better.

Every training session, we are smarter, stronger, better.

If we are open to see.

As in most things, it may take some time, but there is always victory available within defeat.


Wednesday, October 19, 2022

AMELIA ISLAND HALF

 

AMELIA ISLAND ½:


It’s been a bit since I blogged.

This fall has been crazy.  Actually August through mid October= crazy.  Stress, sick, not feeling good, not sleeping (at all).  Some disasters happening, some miracles happening, good grief.  Living life.

I didn’t go on a getaway this past year, and I realized this spring that was just not smart.  I go too hard and need to exhale, then inhale.  And sometimes it takes a CUT to be away from the usual, routines, making (semi)dinners, barely juggling the balls…. And a bit of sunshine on the shoulders doesn’t hurt.  So I decided to do Amelia Island Half marathon- get away for a weekend in October and pray that there were no tropical storms in Florida. Luckily, I made it by 2 weeks and was on the opposite coast!

I typically END my training season at the end of August. (or when I was younger and more resilient in mid September!!)  So, this year was new to have an October race, and I was reminded why I do not like to do races in the fall.  Allergies just KNOCK me out and literally run me over.  I have been taking allergy medicine, but… still…. It isn’t me being lazy, I literally feel many/most days like I am carrying 4 tons on my back (and my eyelids). It is not conducive to giving my all, and it gets frustrating and then I make up stories and think, maybe I’m depressed.  Instead, I just simply have allergies.

ANYWAY:  I did my best and had great training going through the season…. Until 2 weeks before race day.  I had a week where I was sick- everyone in my house was getting sick, and I got some version of it, or maybe a light version but was so fighting it.  Had severe allergies where I had 3 days of literally no voice- just raspy air coming out, felt horrible…. Which then I think was the possible cause of an ear infection the WEEK OF RACE.  I lost hearing in one ear for 4 days, had to go on antibiotics, had a headache so severe one middle of the night that I thought I was going to have a stroke.   So…. Going into the half, I thought, well, I’ll either feel not fully trained, or maybe I can use this as a little experiment and see if maybe this type of taper of being COMPLETELY OFF MY LEGS works well for me?!!  I honestly though that maybe I could get lucky with it because on a normal week, I am usually on my legs for 12 hours, some of that being myself training, so by the end of the day and week my legs are just bottomed out.  I kept positive and was just looking forward to getting away.  But at the same time, I had MAJOR GUILT and feelings of selfishness.  Like, who am I?  who do I think I am just up and taking care of myself.  Serious feelings of me being selfish.

Ok, that went away honestly within 1.2 nanoseconds of arriving in Florida.  The sunshine on my shoulders was SO WARM, I could go on and on about the literal heavenly feeling of being able to FINALLY RELAX, but I’ll keep this about the race.  I’ll just say that I Haven’t even been able to relax in months, and it was noticeable to me that I was just at ease and calm.  I literally was like a freaking clown walking around with a smile.  I was just happy at birds, at dogs jumping in the waves of the ocean, of floating in the ocean myself!  Of every little thing! So thankful.

Back to race, here we go: race morning, I have 2 miles to get to start, so I walk the first mile just warming up legs and drinking coffee.  Found a construction bin to dump my coffee cup in and do an easy jog the rest of the way (have backpack on).  Feels easy and good to get into a jog.  I do my bag check, watch the sunrise, then do some pickups along the straight of the start.  This was my first ZOOMA race- all (except a few) women, many beginners, and it is just free to do your own thing- your own pace- many walkers, all just fun, women getting together (there was a yoga on the beach and walk the day before).  Very NICE.  So, they called “under 2 hour runners line up at the front”… so 2 hours isn’t like extraordinarily fast, but there were like 10 of us that went up there!  My goal was 1:42- this would qualify me for NYC marathon, which I keep not getting into via the lottery.  My training had me really RIGHT ON THE VERGE OF THIS… until 2 weeks ago at least… but again, who knows- we show up and arrive with that electric feeling at the start line- no one knowing what their body has in store for them that day.  Here we are.  Nothing more, nothing less.  (I love saying that).  Anyway, so race STARTS.  There were like 5 women blasting off ahead of me and I’m in no rush and trying to not be stupid first mile, but also trying to not be slow the first mile.  This is a flat area, so I knew it wouldn’t be like running in reston.  First mile:  effort feels like I am 7.5/10- running strong, but not hard.  7:20.  I didn’t really want to be that fast first mile, but I knew the effort felt right.  I wanted to def. not go any faster than that the 2nd mile as my mental plan was first 4 just start solid strong and smart.  So, 2nd mile we went through some neighborhoods which were lined with beautiful trees.  I made sure to look around a little and enjoy the neighborhoods and explore, and be relaxed but hold my pace.  Felt 7.5 effort.  7:13. 3rd mile we go through the town and I’m trying to look around a little- we have some brick crosswalks to run over which I hate, all I need is to have a little ankle turn, but I’m watching and careful, it is starting to get pretty humid in the sun.  We go by the water by the intercoastal and it’s beautiful with lots of boats and I hadn’t seen this area.  Then there is a railroad crossing so again I’m trying to be careful with my foot placement somewhat.  Feel steady.  7:26.  Good – wanted to be trying to clock in some steady 7:30’s so this was closer.  4th mile same thing, really felt like I was easing in here, with it almost feeling more comfortable now that it wasn’t the initial miles and I felt on top of what I was doing 7:28.  We then come to a turn, I almost couldn’t see it because the sun was in my eyes and I decided to not wear sunglasses for this race (literally I’m not sure exactly why- I wear sunglasses in EVERY race… but was trying to only pack one pair), so anyway, I was kind of irritated here because I couldn’t quite tell if there was a sign with an arrow and the volunteers were just standing there having a conversation with themselves.  So, I turn and whaattttt????????  It goes onto a grassy/muddy/dirt packed trail…. And I’m like I had NO IDEA we weren’t on roads the whole time?  I’m thinking, ok, maybe this is just like 1 min to connect us to another road?  Because this was not mentioned.  (and I had emailed the race director earlier in the week to ask for a current map course because online the only thing I could keep getting was the 2016 version of the course and I wasn’t sure if it had changed).  Anyway….. So, there weren’t many women at the front and I could just see someone up in front of me….. We come to a T intersection and there isn’t really a marker??????  She had stopped and was kind of shuffling around going, what direction??!!   Then we saw people coming BACK- so we were like ok THIS WAY!  Well, at the same time I’m thinking… WE ARE IN FLORIDA AND THERE IS A CREEK BESIDES US AND NOT A LOT OF places to ZIGZAG if some chomper alligator comes out of there.  I’m not thrilled.  AT ALL.  I like roads.  I am not highly adventurous.  I’ll push myself to my max, but I do not like to risk being eaten and consumed by a reptile.  ALSO:  I had a major debate within my head for like 2 weeks before the race as to which of my current run shoes- I have altras which are more minimalist/ light and fast.  OR my heavier saucony run shoes which are definitely nearing the end of their mileage life.. (possibly PAST)…. But after I weighed it back and forth, I thought, it’s a race- go aggressive, wear the altras.. I would NOT have worn altras had I known we would be not on roads the entire time!!!  ANYWAY.

Needless to say we were on these trails (NEAR ALLIGATORS NO DOUBT) for around 3 miles.  We saw the girls coming the other way and one of them made a wrong turn onto the WRONG SIDE OF THE CREEK- the first place woman yelled at her to let her know…. So me and the girl in front of me knew that we had to keep our eyes open.  We couldn’t see anyone in front of us at one point and we came to a wide clearing.  There had been an arrow to go left at the beginning but at the other side were two options and NEITHER were marked.  Ugh. I was like please don’t make me do extra miles on this trail.  Luckily we went the correct way, although we honestly didn’t KNOW this until like a mile further when we went back onto the main road.  Never been so happy to see asphalt and houses and decreased chance of reptiles.

Mile 5:7:34, mile 6: 7:55, mile 7: 8:14.  I knew I had been slowing down, definitely due to trails and also the start of my legs and CALVES feeling like they were getting tight.  I was already taking in some stingers/water from the flask I carried.

Once we were on the roads again I knew I really wanted to find a bathroom.  (not wanted. Needed).  I WAS FAST.  But still took me maybe 30 seconds.  Mile 8: 8:30.  At this point I knew that mile split wasn’t the direction I wanted to go, but I actually thought maybe I’d start feeling better after taking maybe 30 seconds in the bathroom. 

We were supposed to be entering Fort Clinch State Park, and I was waiting to see a sign, but we were just on a regular road.  I felt like maybe I actually HADN’T looked at the race map?  But I knew I studied it.  Anyway, I didn’t know where the park was going to begin now, and we go up and over this big bridge over a marine- very pretty but I really started to DECLINE around this time- not knowing where we were, if I was in the correct race since this didn’t seem to be the map I had looked at?!  And just LEGS LEGS LEGS!  I knew I was slowing.  It was also in this mile that we began to pass the walkers for the 12 K course.  So, I love that they have an event for walkers, but I really was not loving that there would be groups of like 5-6 women spread out across the road, so I was now trying to weave in and out of walkers, and I wish that there had been an “inside lane” haha… for faster runners.  (see how my attitude was going now?  Started getting irritable here?)  Mile 9 8:03.

Finally we entered the park – we have 3 miles left and I’m thinking I am declining, although now writing this down, I see that I really wasn’t that far off still.  Yes, I had some splits in the wrong direction, but I was really holding my effort strong despite my legs being dead.  Mile 10 8:22. 

With 2 miles left, this was my hardest mile- physically and mentally.  I was frustrated and felt like crap and OH MY GOSH I WANTED TO WALK.  I did.  I wanted to walk.  It took everything of me to not walk.  I said to myself, YOU WILL NOT WALK.  Walking NEVER GOT SOMEONE THROUGH IT FASTER.  And I wanted to get done, even if it wasn’t my goal time.   Mile 11:  8:36

Mile 12:  more just honestly suffering.  Breathing fine.  Was hot and humid, but I was fine.  This was all legs.  All legs.  Killing me.  Like 9.9/10 done.  I think I ran this mile with my arms.  Mile 12: 8:46. Ughhhh… so I was officially out/ no way to get my goal time, BUT it wasn’t terrible and I thought ONE MILE GO GO GO.  So, I did, I tried my best.  I actually felt BETTER on this last mile but it wasn’t really reflected in the time too much with 8:39 but it was literally ALL I COULD MUSTER.  (I actually wonder if that mile was off because I was definitely picking up the pace, either way) I FINISHED AND THE OCEAN WAS RIGHT THERE AND I literally got my bag, ran to change into swimsuit and jogged down to the beach (yes, I was able to jog a little here- soft sand on my feet) and I just ran into the waves….. All is good.

I am more committed now than before to get this time.  Shamrock ½ marathon in March 2023- I’m going to make this my goal.  Moving on.  100% happy I did Amelia ½.  I love seeing new places, meeting new people, being in the environment that is all about finding and pushing limits. (1:45:23)

Monday, September 5, 2022

ROOT CHAKRA- beginning of fall yoga series

 

ROOT CHAKRA.

We start our journey through the chakras at first chakra, the root chakra.  This is the energy center located in the pelvis, and has to do with how you relate to your physical body and feelings of being settled and grounded and at home in our body.

This is the chakra and balance center of feeling safe and secure without fear.

I found it interesting as I started reviewing chakras for the fall season as I Knew that I wanted to go through week by week some chakra focus.  I had taken a week off of work and some day trips and time to relax and restore some energy at the end of the summer.  I expected this week to be such a relief and renewal, and instead I was completely unsettled, felt ungrounded, worried, not in a good place of being able to be where I am.  I felt guilty when I was away for a night, I didn’t feel like I had a right to be taking this time away, I was finding myself focused on the if’s of the future and the worries of my spiraling mental chatter. 

When I began reviewing the root chakra, I realized THIS IS IT!  I am so non rooted feeling right now, so this particularly spoke to me as something I really am spending time on this week is settling.

It has always been a challenge for me to first realize years ago, and continuously remind myself, to not apologize, that I have the right to take up space, the right to be fully in my body, and I like to say this in my yoga classes, the right to get big- to expand with breath- that is our body’s full right!  It is hard for me, and I am clearly in a time of honestly needing to balance myself here.

Some good yoga positions for this root chakra are any that we feel and notice ourself surrendering to gravity and feeling the solid, safe earth holding us up. 

*seated half lotus or cross leg position is a great place to start so that we feel our sit bones connecting with the ground, CHILD’s pose as well could be a great place to come to daily this week.

*mountain position is a great place and position to take that connection with the ground into the reality of our standing posture, and allow ourself to be both rooted in our feet, but rising through our whole space of our body.

*we are doing warrior 2’s and extended angle position this week as a way to also be firm in the foot foundation WHILE opening up hips and our whole space—Warrior 2 is a place to get both wide and tall :  wide through hips and ribs and shoulders and tall through our spine (core engages every time we think of getting tall).

*lizard is another nice root chakra position because it is after some work of opening our hips while we are low to the ground, hands can also be connected to the earth.

As we have a focus each week on the ascending chakras during our classes, if you want to spend some time daily breathing into these spaces in the body with intention, doing some of these poses with an awareness of grounding this week, it may guide you to a few extra stretches/positions during the week to go to.  As we connect to the earth in our root chakra, each day this week, spend some time outdoors, even doing a slow meditative walk, or just simply notice your body being in connection with nature.