Friday, September 30, 2011

"If you can fill the unforgiving minute with 60 seconds worth of distance run..."

To do: find a shirt that says this
In less than 48 hours I will run a marathon. After the stress and awfulness of this week, I feel totally unprepared for this race, mentally and physically. But I think a marathon is just what I need right now. Twenty six point two miles to work everything out and let it all go.

I don't even care about this race anymore. I am not running for time or any sort of goal. I am running just to run, because I need the motion and the feeling and the effort and the exhaustion. Because running makes me better and stronger. Because it makes me feel more like myself.

Sometimes there is no way to avoid heartache. Sometimes life hurts. But it always gets better. If I have learned anything from running, it is that when you feel tired and hurt, when you ache in places you didn't know existed, you just have to keep going. At any given point, you are mere steps away from awesomeness (and finish line snacks!).

I like to think that everything happens for a reason. I haven't figured out the reason for this yet, but I'm hoping for a sign to point me in the right direction.

Until then I'm going to crawl into The Pretenders' I'll Stand By You and live there for a while. Because it's the song equivalent of a hug. And the only place I want to be right now is inside of a hug.

Lyric of the moment: "When you're standing at the crossroads, and don't know which path to choose, let me come along 'cause even if you're wrong, I'll stand by you..."

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Super sad true story

I'm still trying to wrap my head around what happened at camp. It's a very unfortunate, very sad situation. I wish I could go back in time and prevent it from ever happening. But I am not Doc or McFly and I don't have a Delorian.

I am just a Robot. And sometimes that is not enough.

Lyric of the moment: "Once divided, nothing left to subtract. Some words when spoken can't be taken back..."

Thursday, September 22, 2011


Usually when I'm stressed out, I run. But that doesn't work when the thing I'm stressed out about is running, and I'm not supposed to be doing very much of that until the marathon. So I thought if I can't run as much, what else can I do? What else do I find relaxing? I was at a loss for answers. The problem is running always worked so well that I never bothered to develop any other coping mechanisms.

I used to think that inaction was a terrible, or at the very least, lazy solution to a problem. But sometimes inaction is actually the best course of action. Relax, meditate, rest - those are just fancy ways of saying don't do anything at all. But it is deceptively hard to do nothing. To simply be and not do.

I could pretend that I'm going to try meditation, but I know that would last all of 23 seconds. I can never manage to clear away all my thoughts. My brain is a 24 hour diner: it never closes and you never know what's going to walk through the door. A funny thing that happened 3 years ago. A quote from an old Simpson's episode. Trogdor (The Burninator). No, I need something else.

While I try to figure it out, I will drink Boost (hoping to cram extra vitamins and protein into my body before the race), listen to Frank Sinatra and Cole Porter music on Pandora (In no way would I describe myself as old-fashioned but I find old music oddly relaxing in a way. I guess sometimes you just need some cute, upbeat love songs), and remain open to any inspiration and motivation and/or hilarity that comes my way.

Read in a magazine:

"I have discovered what it feels like to do the unthinkable. The hard. The long.* The challenging. From now on, difficult will seem doable. I will see the impossible as simply not-yet-conquered." ~Outward Bound Advertisement

"We are made from stronger stuff than any of us knows. The number one thing is not even just to keep going but to trust that there's something more. Always." ~Nikki James

Junk e-mail I received today from some person called Al Amin Adulah:

"Can you hear what my heart is saying? It's so loud everyone can hear. It's shouting out to you I admire you very much! My heart is in this eCard I forwarded just for you." I did not click on your "eCard" because I'm sure it's a virus or porn or a scam to get my credit card information, but I still appreciate the thought, Mr. A.A.A. I admire your travel service and road side assistance very much!

Lyric of the moment: "Hey baby what's your hurry? Relax and don't you worry. We're gonna fall in love..."

*That's what she said

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Keep on sleeping on

Last week I made a new friend. His name is TylenolPM. He's like one of those guys you know you shouldn't date but do anyways. And it's fun at first but in the end only leaves you longing for the real thing. I woke up feeling sort of rested but also so groggy that I tried to put both contacts in the same eye. So TPM, it's been fun but you're not really what I'm looking for. I wish you all the best in your future endeavors. Someday you'll drug the person of your dreams.

The next night I decided to take a bath before bed. A bath is supposed to be relaxing. But I found it mostly uncomfortable. Like President Taft, I am too big for my bathtub. Either my knees were sticking up out of the water or my feet and shoulders were. I wasn't sure what I was supposed to be doing in there. Do I read? Just sit there? Eyes open or eyes closed? And I kept thinking about that CSI episode where someone died in the bathtub and wasn't found for days and had dissolved into some kind of disgusting human soup. I think I'm more of a shower person.

Maybe I will try chamomile tea instead.

For me the problem is not in falling asleep, but staying there. I usually fall asleep easily, but then I wake up too early and can't get back to sleep. Like some kind of sleep bouncer is cutting me off. And I really want to get back in that club.

Lyric of the moment: "Last week I had the strangest dream where everything was exactly how it seemed..." (I heart The Postal Service)

Sunday, September 18, 2011

We look better from behind

We ran our (very nice) asses off today!

Today Mike (aka Superman), Sheila (aka Wonder Woman), Eric (aka Green Lantern) and I (aka The Flash) ran the Rochester Marathon Relay. We wore sweet superhero t-shirts and our team name was 'We look better from behind.' Relays are so much fun and I hope to do more of them in the future.

I ran the first leg (6.5 miles) and finished in 45:31. That's a faster pace than I ran my last 10K, and I think the first 3 miles of that was also the fastest I've run lately so I'm pretty happy with that. Then I took off my race number and ran along with Mike for his leg (6 miles). He ran his leg in just over an hour, which is his fastest 6 miles ever, faster even than the pace he ran in the ER 5K! He is doing so well, especially since he's only been running for a few months. Sheila ran the third and longest leg (7.5 miles) and she was super fast at an average of 9:15 minute mile pace! Eric ran the last 6 and change miles in a strong sub 8 minute mile pace, bringing us to a finish of 3:46:45. Way to go team!
And we definitely had the coolest shirts and team name!

It was a beautiful day for a run: a little cold this morning but 60's and sunny by the end. I was planning to run hard for my leg and I definitely felt like I did that. Mike said I didn't look good when I got to him, but I'm glad I kept going. I recovered quickly and felt really good for the rest of Mike's leg. Part of me wished I was running a full marathon today, so that seems like a good sign, since 2 weeks from today I will be.

No matter how I run at Wineglass, I will have at least 3 awesome reasons to celebrate afterwards: Mike finishing his first half marathon, Sheila kicking ass in her first marathon, and Eric running his fastest half ever. Hopefully I will also have a good race, but I can't wait to see my friends achieve their goals!

Lyric of the moment: "From tree to tree, from you to me. Traveling twice as fast as on any freeway. Every single dream, wrapped up in the scheme.They all get carried on the relay..."

Thursday, September 15, 2011


I haven't been very good at sleeping lately. I am restless, I toss and turn, I wake up in the middle of the night and lay there (lay? lie? I never get that right). I have dreams about chasing something or being chased. I'm not scared, but there is a sense of urgency, like I need to keep moving. I get up early and run because I don't know what else to do. Maybe my unconscious is trying to tell me something that I haven't figured out yet.
Use your words, Brain. I don't understand you.

I ran 18 miles on Saturday, 11 on Sunday, 5 on Tuesday, 5 on Wednesday, 3 very early this morning. It feels like a lot and not enough at the same time.

I am almost 30 years old. That seems like a lot of time, like I should have more to show for 3 decades of life, like I should be better at everything than I am now, like I should have finally outgrown that awkward phase.
There is a part of me that is always pushing for more. It's good to have some sort of drive, but I know that more isn't necessarily better. Many of our problems are caused by that constant desire for more. We eat too much, we lounge too much, we spend too much, we want too much (This is turning into a Dave Matthew's song).

I find it hard to balance my desire for self improvement with my desire to be more in-the-moment and content with what I have. How can I slow down and savor the moments of my life but also cram in as much living and doing and improving as I can?

How much is enough?

Lyric of the moment: "I hate to turn up out of the blue uninvited, but I couldn't stay away, I couldn't fight it..." (I love Adele but wish she had happier things to sing about.)

Friday, September 9, 2011

In the future when everything is marvelous

Summer, while not officially over until September 23rd, sure seems to have left the building. I'm sad to say goodbye to summer and all its long days and warm nights, but fall is imminent. There's no use complaining about the inevitable, and I actually have a lot to look forward to in the next few months. An epic race. A milestone birthday. Parties and adventures. I'm still hoping for an Indian summer, but I know the cold is coming so I might as well embrace it instead of trying to fight it. Though I am rather scrappy, it's obvious that I would not win that fight. So it's time to put on more layers and focus on all the marvelous moments coming to a future near me.

In a way, I feel like each season is a bit of a fresh start. Another chance to be better than I was this time last year. I don't want to waste time complaining that it's too wet, too cold, too whatever. Whatever the day brings, I want to make the best of it. With rain comes the opportunity to wear galoshes and splash in puddles and have movie marathons. With snow comes the opportunity to wear my hat with the elephant on it and have snowball fights and drink hot chocolate and build forts out of blankets. I can't remember the last time I made a fort out of blankets. I am way overdue for some fort time.

And the best thing about the weather is that it's always changing. If you don't like today, just wait, tomorrow will be different. Tomorrow will be marvelous.

Lyric of the moment: "And I had a dream it blows the autumn through my head. It felt like the first day of school, but I was going to the moon instead..." (I wish!)

Monday, September 5, 2011

A bit of apprehen-shin

On Saturday morning I ran 20 miles out in Fairport with Dan. Even though I've run four 20 mile training runs this year, the thought of it is still daunting. It sounds so far, so intimidating. But you run 20 miles the same way you run one mile: one step at a time.

On Sunday morning I ran from my parents' house (where I am house sitting and dog sitting while they're out of town) to my house. It's about 6 miles. Not a very scenic route, but I'd never run from there to here before and now I can say I have. Sometimes it's nice to run as a means to actually get somewhere, instead of ending up in the same place I started.

My right shin has been bothering me for a few days. I don't know what I did to it, but evidently it wasn't very pleased. I've been icing and stretching it and so far it hasn't stopped me from running, but whatever's wrong, I hope it heals quickly. To be honest, I rarely think about my shins. The only reason I notice them now is that they hurt. Maybe they are feeling unappreciated. So shins, thanks for the almost 30 years of support, all that determina-shin and dedica-shin. You're the best shins a girl could ask for. And that's no exaggera-shin.

There are so many training plans out there, it's hard to know whose advice to follow. Am I running enough? Am I resting enough? Will I be ready for this marathon? I guess I won't know until the time comes. I do feel stronger this time around. After the long runs this summer I haven't been taking naps like I did in the spring and I haven't felt too tired or wiped out. Hopefully this is a good sign.

Lyric of the moment: "These are the days that make up the lifetimes..And this is the only thing I wanted more than anything."

Thursday, September 1, 2011

This random Wednesday

Yesterday, I was reading and I came across this sentence: "the moment is irretrievably, irrevocably, eternally gone." And I thought I'm never going to be in this moment again, I'm never going to live through August 31, 2011 again, I'm never going to be 10,904 days old again. This is it. These moments, these days. They're here and then they're gone. So what am I doing with them? Am I making the best of them? Did I live this August 31st, 2011 in the best way I could?

I went to work, ran some trails, ate dinner and spent time with my love, made delicious peanut butter and banana sundaes and went to sleep in my awesome bed. Nothing particularly earth shatering or life changing happened, but not bad for a random Wednesday. It was a nice, ordinary, happy day.

I want a life of monumental, jet-setting, volcano climbing, skydiving, marathon running, arms-are-for-hugging, non-stop laughing, unforgettable days. But I also want all the so-called 'ordinary' days in between. However many days and moments I have left, I want to enjoy all of them.

I'm going to try to put more extraordinary into every ordinary day.

Because, barring the invention of time travel or a severe disturbance in the space-time continuum, I'll never be back here again.

Lyric of the moment: "Day turns to night, night turns to whatever we want. We're young enough to say, oh this has gotta be the good life, this has gotta be the good life, this could really be a good, good life."