“Those eagle eggs are a LIE!”


I watched a ridiculous movie a while back. I mean RIDICULOUS! A few of my friends and even my husband had been quoting the movie so they thought it prudent to educate me. And ‘educate’ is a word I loosely use here. In it, two wrestlers try to become stronger by eating eagle’s eggs.

Why am I bringing this up —

Recently I’ve been re-examining things. It’s a good thing to do – some things stay, some things go. It’s why my favorite color is no longer pink, and I don’t want to be a ballerina. Lately my love for motivational posters came across the chopping block. You know them, they’re plastered over all social media:

Like this one:

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Or….

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Or one I always get a kick out of:

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These were all great when I was starting out as a runner 3 years ago. But I’ve come to realize, those eagle eggs are a LIE! They give me no NUTRIENTS! (I’m quoting the movie now – Good Glory!!)

Motivation is supposed to make me feel like doing something. Therein is the problem! If I conducted my life based on my FEELINGS we’d all be in a whole lot of trouble! I don’t want to do many things I know I should.

How do I get them done then? No eagle eggs, but by determination.

Determination is a decision not based on transient conditions, like feeling or weather. Less susceptible to excuses and hard to reason out of. Determination makes a way.

All that being said, don’t be stupid! This is a bad time to be stubborn about going for run:

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and so it this —

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Take care of yourself and those who need you. I hope that goes without saying! But at the same time, quit with the wishy-washy feelings and just decide! (I’m preaching to myself here). Quit looking for eagle eggs to give you powers! Decide and do!

I have so much I want to do, it’s unreal! I’ve started blogging about it here. But none if it will get done if I don’t decide I’m doing it. That 2015 Half Marathon? It won’t happen if I don’t decide.

I wonder if I’d get a lot further if instead of making yet another resolution (at New Year’s or otherwise), I pull out my chopping block instead? Get rid of the clutter, focus and go!

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I was rescued by a tall dark, handsome man!

I love to run and have recently fell in love with half marathons. Having a troubled past, I got the idea to return to my old stomping ground, Calgary Alberta, to run their Scotia Bank Half Marathon. I wanted to conquer it, to show myself strong. In your face cow-town! I left beaten, but I’m going to return a champion! No sweat! All I would need to do is save a lot of money, train very hard for months, displace my children & husband, fly out with a enough time to acclimatise, lodging, car rental, and away I go – on my way to proving myself to….. to who???

Riding in on a stallion, my husband saves the day! He breaks the spell when he casually suggested that this was one of those things that I think I need to do, until I get there and realize it’s not as important as I thought. He was SO right! I don’t need to run through my past – I’ve already won that race! I see a gold metal every time I look in the mirror and a healthy vibrant woman looks back at me. I’m running into my future, not looping my past! I’m strong, I’m healthy, I’m happy and sexy! LOL 🙂 And best of all, I got to realize this without airfare!

Now I’m at liberty to pursue the things I actually want, not self-imposed neeeeed! I should hop on the scale – I wonder if I’ve actually lost the weight I feel lifted off my shoulders?!

Go out there with your head held high for the ground you’ve already covered – and the fabulous road ahead! You foxy thing you!

At a Puppy’s Pace

Deer Run Road is covered in ice and snow. I remember last year priding myself in running outside through a very harsh winter. And harsh it was! But this year, the mildest I’ve seen in ages, I’ve not laced up.

One thing I’ve learned is to watch how you describe something – because that’s how you’ll treat it. If I say, “I’m not running” then guess what – I’m not going to. I know it’s all a mental game, but it’s true. So let me state to myself and the world – I’m still running (it’s just been a few weeks). I get in 12-20k a week walking my to-be-running partner Charley, so I’m out there – just at a puppy’s pace.

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Truth is, I have plans for my 2015 race calendar: I’ve set my eyes on Le Chocolat Half Marathon, A 10k, at least one 5k, and cap the season off with Run for Heroes Half Marathon (or full, but shhhhhh – I don’t want to freak my husband out yet).

Sometimes things start with gusto then fizzle out (most things). But there are a few trending characteristics in things that start well, and continue strong: Things like,

1. You look for an opportunity to do it because you like it, as opposed to making time because it’s a chore.

2. You are your motivation. No friend or foe will convince you otherwise.

3. It’s important to you. You have specific reasons, all surpassing feeling or mood.

4. You want to tell others about it. Very few of us find a gem and hoard it all to ourselves. And…

5. Your description of it has crossed the border between “seeing how it goes” to “it’s a part of who I am”

You have to realize of course, that I completely made up that list just now. But I find each point to be true. There are so many things I start with gusto, then they flop, and yet there are a few things, like running, that once I start, I can’t let go if I tried. I’m particularly proud of those things. My faith is one of those. My marriage another. I don’t think I’ll ever stop reading. Or learning something new. It’s a part of who I am and can’t be convinced otherwise. Even during those seasons I find myself at a puppy’s pace.

New Running Partner… Eventually!

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His name is Charley. I know, such an adorable face! One day he will be my running partner, he’s already my accountability partner! Puppies don’t have snooze buttons at 6am! Vacation’s over sleepy head!

His presence on my runs has been long considered. It started last spring when my easy-runs turned into sprints because of unleashed beasts chasing me. I don’t exaggerate, but I am thrown into a frenzy from the time I hear barking up ahead, until they let me pass. I think they’re just trying to have a little fun with me! One upping each other on who can make me run fastest. I get their game. And this spring I come armed! Can’t you tell he’s going to be fierce!

IMG_2202Ok – maybe he’s more cuddly than a well trained athletic security dog. But he’ll get there one day. I look forward to a lot of work, discipline with patience and love, and a great companion. He looks forward to a large country yard, loving family, and daily runs. I think we’re going to be good for one another!

Readers: Throw this girl a bone! If you run with a dog, or trained one to run with you, what should I know now at 8 weeks….?

How I sidestep regrets

I’ve had a particularly irritating day. One where I’d rather throw the dish than wash it – but thank God for running! Lacing up and pounding it out makes all the difference! I began sluggish and hurting, I finished strong and empowered!

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When I go out on days like today, I let the wind do all the pushing, the clouds do all the threatening, the asphalt receive the blows. In a strange way, all the storms that quietly rage during the 9-5 have a voice. I feel emptied after only a few miles. Add a long hot shower and I love the world again!

Dearest readers: What does running do for you?

They ask me, “Why do you run?”

It started in my kitchen. I am a great baker! Cookies, cakes, sweet breads – you name it! I have special pans, secret recipes and special requests. I take pride in my baking! I was never over weight, but I was uncomfortable in my skin. It came to head Christmas 2012 when I participated in a Cookie Exchange: the weekend I spent the kitchen baking so much that the sugar actually got in my pores and made me ill. Nothing could entice me to eat another cookie. I was done! I went to the cookie exchange craving spinach and a healthier life. I had only once in my life experienced a joy in running. An unplanned but unforgettable run years before. I wanted to feel that way again, not just once, but as a lifestyle; and I knew how to get it.

ladder to moonMy husband is amazing! If I said I hoped to reach the moon, he’d quietly start building a ladder. He saw me eying a treadmill at a local store, knew I was uncomfortable, and within a week was wheeling one of those machines into the house. It was winter and I’m sure I could have heated the house with that thing. Every day running. The speedometer climbed, the distance grew, and I quickly went from uncomfortable to astounding! Come spring, I was out the door touring my world. I’m smiling right now because this blog is named for the road I first and often have left my tread. Now every season finds me pounding it out.

Today I went for an 18k; my first long run after Half Marathon training. It was exhilarating! With the autumn colors waving at me from the tree tops, the cool breeze and threatening weather! I ran to the pier of a neighboring town and was blown away by the beauty of the crashing waves! Then I ventured to my first trail run, at a wooded conservation in full autumn bloom. Standing at the foot I heard “Why do you run?” I could only laugh and wonder why I would stay home, knowing and seeing and feeling this is here for grabs?! Don’t tell anyone, but I let myself raise my arms as a child who dreams of flying. I felt like I could, and was soaring. There I remembered that single run many years ago that drew me back. I don’t think I’ve reached that joy; I know I’ve far surpassed it!

Dear reader, never be afraid to reach for the moon! The journey’s amazing!

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Finishing is Greater than Starting

Have you ever wondered what it would be like to do something you once thought impossible? I can now say I know what it’s like. It comes with pride, relief, and a few days of useless legs! It’s about a week after my first Half Marathon, something I never thought possible; and I can tell I gave it my all by the unsure way I’ve had to descend stairs. My legs are like noodles, and my effort calculated!

I trained for what seemed like forever, and the day was on my mind so gonna-roll-down-the-stairs-like-a-bossmuch it almost lost it’s excitement. Almost! Something like that could never lose it’s luster. No way!

I have 3 simple goals:

To train smart.

To finish strong, and

To recover well.

I trained well enough for a rookie without a plan by picking up a few tid-bits from people smarter than me. 7 things like:

  1. Just cover the distance, even if you have to walk
  2. Rest more than you think you need to
  3. Now’s not the time to diet
  4. Do a dress rehearsal
  5. Work out a mid-race fuel plan
  6. Taper!
  7. Hydration, “carb loading” & getting enough sleep start when training starts, not 24hrs prior.

I approached race day well tapered, hydrated and rested; set 3 alarms through the house for a 4am wake-up call, but to no one’s real surprise, didn’t need one of them!

 

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It still leaves me with a feeling of awe being amongst throngs of athletes. It tickles me that no one recognizes this is the girl who was told she’d trip over a pencil line on the sidewalk! I guess they were wrong! 😀

 

The route was a lot of fun! I think I was on a runner’s high for most of it – high5ing kids on the sidewalk, hollering out jokes to spectators; it was a sight! There was a camera man around the 10k mark whose photos of me I refuse to take ownership, it was THAT awesome!

My training brought me along endless country roads, marked by fields of corn and soy, and ungodly humidity. I hated it! But quickly became thankful for it come the 18 or 19k mark, as that’s what we found ourselves in. Hot! Endless! Exhausting! I saw a good number of people taper off and heard a few comments of unequal training. That’s when I felt my pay off. I knew I could push through this tough spot, and I did!

finish lineGlorious was the finish line! In the moment I saw it, I felt a rush of joy and relief so deep that both laughter and tears burst out for a moment. The finish line of any race isn’t only about the race itself, but of all the prior efforts, failures, and successes coming to a head. This race is the biggest one I’ve run in my life to date, the effort being unmatched, the fears and setbacks vehement, the successes transforming. To cross that finish line made me a different person. The finish is greater than the start.

IMG_1663aIn a previous race, my 5 year old son stretched out his hand for a high5 and was elated with joy when his participation was satisfied. Not having the heart to drag my kids out of their beds 4am to join me this time, my husband gathered them and brought them to the race a couple hours later.

As I turned the final corner, there I saw my trio cheering me on! I should have anticipated my sons hopes for a high5 but it wasn’t until I had just passed them that I heard his “MOM!” and saw his little hand outstretched. I was feet from the finish line but couldn’t cross it leaving him hanging. So I went back! Don’t tell me I don’t sacrifice for you kid! LOL! Having filled his heart and mine, I finished in 2:21:14. A decent first effort that will be a memory of personal and parental best!