Interruptions on the Run…

Someone very wise once told me that it is the spaces between the notes that truly makes the music.  I wonder if that holds true for interruptions on the run.  I don’t think so ..insert eye roll.

Way back when in 2017 I was on a serious running kick.  I was starting out with a 10k.  I had run this 10k many times and this year I trained hard and was ready to be better than ever.  Life changing interruption when my Dad passed away the day before the race and so did my mojo for making it my year to do all things running.  It’s way too hard to run with a heavy heart even though I tried.

Fast forward to 2019 and I made a serious effort to train for a marathon.  I struggled in the summer heat when I usually swim and bike instead of run but I was determined.  So determined in fact that when we were on the Eastern Shore celebrating our anniversary I decided to go for an early morning run to beat the July heat.  I was kicking it despite the rising temperature and enjoying the quiet of the small town and its classic old homes.  In the enthusiasm of the moment and giving myself a mental high five  I decided to double back and do one more circle around the block.  My toe caught the uneven sidewalk and I went flying.  Didn’t break anything but bruised my entire left side.  I think a break would have been less painful.   Also this made for a very romantic anniversary…NOT!

Running put on hold…so was walking and moving in general.

There must be something about “one last go around” because thats how I broke my wrist ice skating in 2015.

2020 was MY year.  Do you see a pattern here?   Not only did Covid happen but lots of things with my elderly mother that took up my time.   I did a lot of biking to relieve stress but not much running.  I did manage an 8k which along with a half marathon and a full marathon was open to do for 20 days in November on our beautiful Virginia Capitol to Capitol trail.  I was grateful they had managed to make it seem like a real race.  Well when I did it there were  3 of us out there but hey it is better than being alone.

 

                     An unusually warm day in November for the 8k       

 So here we are in 2021 and I sit in front of the computer writing this with ice on my foot.

Sigh

 Despite the setbacks and being an all together cranky-ass ( said it before and I will say it again..running is my prozac) I am persevering.  It is back to my original love which is triathlons.  So if I can’t run or bike I am in search of a pool to start swimming.

Did I mention this is my least favorite thing to do?

Did I mention that the last time I lugged my aging body to the pool I happened to pick the time that the high school was practicing with all those young bodies right in my face as I slowly…and I mean super slowly made my way across the pool?

And yet I can’t give up, I can NOT tri. 🙂

Also being the somewhat snarky person I am, I may have just muttered under my breath that those young swimmers will get old like the rest of us…jokes on them..as it was on me.

I am also buoyed by the fact that should I be lucky enough to get all the training in I am still game for a marathon..virtual style..why?  Lots of reasons.

I get to pick the date

I get to pick the weather 

I get to pick the color of shirt…not so important but still a plus!

I get to pick my prize.  I’m choosing a trip to Hawaii or a bottle of wine…or a trip to Italy..need to talk to the race sponsor..oh wait that is me.

I will be the winner no matter what.  The one and only race I won in my age group they stopped giving out prizes (bottles of  wine) at 40+.  I went home a very unhappy camper…who does that?

I can take as long as I want .  I seriously wanted to do the Honolulu Marathon held in December ( still do)  Not only for the obvious reasons but also because we used to live there AND there is no time limit on the race..it runs on Hawaii time..you got this brau!

So yes I am still an over 50 ( way over) triathlete and writer triing to make a difference.

I will be writing more frequently about all things running, biking, swimming plus life in general because ..well because it’s my blog.

See you on the road, on the bike, in the pool and laughing at life’s little and big absurdities.

As always..Keep Triing    Jennifer

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So what do I do??

I imagined this scene the other day where I was at a dinner party and someone asked me ” So what do you do?”

In my somewhat twisted mind that is a bit of a loaded question. I could answer everything from “well I walk my dog everyday”  to “I’m a nurse” to  ( if I really feel like being a smart ass)  “I “do” lots of things like sleep, eat, drink, laundry, dishes……”  Yet I know in reality and in my imagined scene they were asking what I do for work and I reply “I am a writer”and this person says:

“Oh really?  And would I be familiar with any of your works?”  “What have you written?” Not that ANY of my friends talk like that and it was recently suggested to me that if they do I need to get new friends but lets move on.

Of course they are expecting me to name a book  they can find on Amazon or in their local Barnes & Noble, or a magazine article or some newspaper byline  but in reality my answer would be ( again with a touch of smart ass)  ” Well lets see I’ve written tons of grocery and to-do lists, papers for school, permission slips for kids and nurses notes but I doubt you would find any of those on Amazon

“Oh and I blog.”

Finally a somewhat plausible answer to that question. In reality the real answer is “I am a writer other because I write.” I write for pleasure, for the joy of it,for personal soothing,as a release and because I love creating sentences out of words. Just because you can’t find me in Barnes & Noble doesn’t mean I am not a writer. I am a writer because I write. End of story….pun intended just so I can entertain myself!

It is the same with running (or whatever you favorite activity is). I am a runner because I run. When people ask me about a race as in “How did you do”  I use to think they were asking for my race results and I would hesitate and stumble over my answer and the words “slow” and “not very good” often punctuated the sentences I managed to form.

I quit doing that awhile back when I realized that my finishing time did NOT matter. What mattered was I did the race or the daily run and I was out there running. So the answer I always give now to “How was the race?” is “It was great! ” “I had a blast and I’m so glad I did it!” Sometimes people will clarify their question. “No I mean what was your finishing time?” And I say truthfully “I have no idea!” “I started, I finished and I had fun!” If they keep talking I keep walking!

So claim your answer to whatever it is you do! If you bike you are a cyclist, if you write you are a writer. Whatever it is you do that brings you joy please claim it. Click To Tweet

Do fill your paper with the “breathings of your heart” or your belly if it is a grocery list..or fill the air with your beautiful music, or your soul with poetry…as Nike says “Just do it”

And don’t forget to have fun while you are doing it and above all else you have my permission to channel your inner smart ass when answering that question “What do you do?”

Now go out and tri!

 

 

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In the midst of my year of running, life happened ..sadly!

After a long absence from running which I blamed on breaking my wrist a year ago ( lame excuse but an excuse) I started out the new year with high hopes to get back into running consistently and training for a local 10k on April 1st.  The irony of having my first race of 2017 on April Fools Day did  not escape me.

I was doing well but got discouraged.  Despite joining a training team and being more consistent I was  slow, tired and my legs ached all the time.  The slow part didn’t bother me as I have never been fast.  The fatigue and aching legs did concern me.

I took a break when we had a trip out West.  I planned to do a 5k trail run but it turned into a hike because the trail was uphill, full of big rocks and loose gravel and if it hadn’t been for the guys ( Go Navy!) I was with I would have face planted several times.  Still it was a workout.

Came home and I was on fire.  That little rest did me a world of good and just this past week I ran three times.  Here was my thought process after each run:

First run: “Wow that was great, I’ve got this..I think there is a marathon in my future

Second run:  ” That was challenging…man I hurt but hey I did it…not sure about a marathon”

Third run:  “I’m either premier-pharmacy.com going to puke or die right now”

I survived and as they say ( whoever “they” are) :

A bad run is just a bad run Click To Tweet

Except I ran all this mileage in three days and proceeded to perfect the fine art of tossing my cookies on run #3.

Not my best moment..not my worst but not my best.

Update:  I had no idea my worst moment was just on the horizon.

I wrote this the middle of  March.  It appeared that this would be my year for running.  I was excited about my consistency, my dedication and the irony that the 10k I had planned was on April 1st.  I even had several half marathons planned.

And yet as they say “Life happens” and on March 31st my worst moment came when my Dad suddenly died and my life got turned upside down.  He lived a good long life and was active up until the very last minute.  I miss him terribly and running is hard with a heavy heart but after 3 weeks it is time to get back into it because running is my therapy in motion.

Obviously I didn’t get to do the 10k but my Dad would want me to look forward not behind.  Not sure what races I will do but Dad will be cheering me on and he will be with me especially when it gets hard.

Love you Dad

Miss you Dad

 

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Before I could run I had to fall in love again…

I used to think a 5k was easy. Let me be honest.  I used to think a 5k was “too short” or in other words beneath me as I was a more “accomplished’ runner and did 10k’s and half marathons and had aspirations to do a full marathon.

And then I stopped running.

I stopped running for a variety of reasons.  It wasn’t intentional.  I broke my wrist in April when I fell during my attempt to do a triple toe loop at the ice rink.  Translation: Tried to  complete the last lap around the rink after my lesson and lost my balance.

After that aside from the fact I really didn’t want to jostle my broken wrist I also had a great fear of falling and breaking it again although with a plate and 8 screws in it that was highly unlikely.

Then there was our incredibly hot summer.

I tried.  I went out for the occasional run and would start out like a shot and be winded halfway into the first quarter mile and feel discouraged and out of shape.

So I did other things like the elliptical, biking and hiking but I missed running.  I really did.

What stopped me in the summer ( the weather) has been calling to me on these bright fall mornings.img_1346

I went out this morning.  I ran but this time instead of starting out like a shot I decided to do an easy pace. Laughing I remembered a running shirt I saw that said “I run like a turtle, slow as shell”   Yup that would be me but it felt right and I quit beating myself up for not doing it faster or longer.

In the words of Forrest Gump: I just felt like running! Click To Tweet

It was a whopping 1.25 miles.

I’m proud of this “short” distance. I did it because I wanted to get out and celebrate the nice weather, get some exercise and find the joy in running again.  Not to train for a race, go faster, or even to check it off my daily to do list.

I can’t even remember why I started running but somehow the pleasure of just being out there got lost in the “shoulds”.  You should do a faster pace, you should do a longer run, you should push yourself.

All those “shouldings” on myself sucked  the pleasure out of running and made it another chore on my “to do” list.

The other “aha” I am having is that I need and want to do this for myself.  Just me.  I will still do some “races”.  I love to be with the other runners and its a bonus if there is some “bling” at the end but I only do the ones that I find fun.

Say “Hi” if you do see me at a race..I’ll be the one the one with the big grin on my face because I fell in love again with running.

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