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Relentless Starts

Every day...every moment.  There is no laurel resting.  There is no credit for past accomplishments. It’s all about taking steps.  It’s about what is in this very moment. Facing what needs to be faced, and doing what needs to be done.   One more mile...one more re-group...one more “let’s do this”. Continually asking, Is this useful?  Is this moving me forward? Am I doing what needs to be done?  Is this the best use of my time? it’s about millions of mini goals and letting go of expectations and accepting reality.  It's about knowing where I want to go, and driving hard to get there. It’s about starting over and over and over again.

I’m huge on lists.  Making one is the very first thing I do each day and I work relentlessly on completing it.  I schedule, reschedule. I adjust. I start. I do. I get stuff done.

And, sometimes, it’s too much.  

I have to look at priorities and respond to what I can handle.  Sometimes I drop a spinning plate...most times, I don’t. It’s okay when…

Setting an Intention...On a Fat Ass

Fat Ass racing is fun.   They don’t usually cost much, if anything...in this case, $15 and a jug of water.  The return, however, is priceless. A day spent on a fabulously muddy trail, with wildflowers, warm air (I wore SHORTS!!), and fantastic views.   Just what a soul needs to smile!

I’ve been working on getting my 200- hour yoga certification.  It’s been a process that started in my head when I began Cross Country coaching.   Taking that job opened up avenues that, I was unaware existed. Although I have been a personal trainer, who refuses to accept payment, for several years; I did not fully embrace my ability to be of service to others, or for that matter, fully benefiting from the service of others.  

I start every yoga class I teach by asking my students to set an intention for their practice.   I will not guide or alter these intentions, I only ask two things: They are present tense. When I challenge them, I want them to mentally refer back to that  intention.

Last week, I was ho…

Into the Darkness

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In 2019, my self-wish is to take my running somewhere different.  I thrive on challenges and making memories. I want to get dirty.  I want to get uncomfortable. I want to walk funny for days after. I want to hurt, and know that I’ll survive.   Screw playing it safe. I want to set myself up to fail, and see where that happens. I want to succeed, and see where it went well.   I vow that I will not give the end more power, than the start and middle of a race.

And, so I began, with some back to back 50’s.

The 50/50, was light and bright.   The mood was carefree and there was no doubt at the start, that I would find the finish.  It was utterly unmemorable, but gave me nice tired legs to work with.

Fast forward to the Greenbrier 50 miler.   Not only right after the 50k, but run directly after 10 hours of yoga training.  

Heres, the twist….the race started at midnight.  (Rog, I finally did one of these!!!!). I literally only got to the park about an hour before the start.  The race and…

What Goes Down Can Come Back Up. Beast of Burden 50

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“I think I might be done”.   “I just don’t feel it anymore” “I haven’t trained” “I don’t know if I want to do it” “I’m not sure it’s my happy anymore” I spouted all of this and more to Mark the night before the Beast.   He knew it wasn’t typical pre-race insanity. He knew I meant it.

“Well, there’s yoga” he encouraged.

I lost my brother a month ago.   One minute his blood was pumping through his body the way it was supposed to.  The next, it took a different path, and took him with it. Gone. Just. Like. That.

I tried, I really tried to be me, but I was pretending.  I was listening to my excuses. OMG! Was I listening to my own excuses!  I wasn’t finding restorative sleep. I wasn’t taking care of me, and my body was letting me know it.  I wasn’t as alive as I could be.

At the starting line, which is never a healthy place for me, I envisioned just not running.  Just simply letting the herd go by, and going off to find somewhere that I could hang out. I almost did it.  I swear, I could s…

Be Not Afraid: Across the Years

If you can’t beat fear….just start scared.  

Being afraid is a natural instinct.  Its an evolutionary protection that that steers us away from dangerous situations.  

I start each race with fear.  At the beginning the fear is of the known.  I’ve been at these races, and I very much know the  world of hurt I’m about to put my body and mind through.   I know I will face hardships, and I very clearly know that I may not make it to the finish line.

That fear dissipates when I get to put my feet to the course.   It’s funny how, almost in revelation form, I let that feeling of fear grow into a feeling of gratitude.   Incrementally, I begin to realize that I’m somewhere beautiful. I recognize that I am strong, and that my endless training has kept me competitive in this sport for over a decade.    I learn to accept my here and now and, to deal with what is put in front of me.

I drop my effin excuses, and realize that is all fear is.  

A few days after Christmas, I flew out to Arizona to take o…

Finding My Way Back

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It’s been two months since I’ve raced. Two months since I’ve felt words bubbling up so much I couldn’t wait to write them down. Two months since I’ve felt that raw openness that only ultra-running can give me. Two months since I’ve been so physically depleted, that I become primal. Two months since I’ve been able to silence the to-do lists and responsibilities and let my mind wander to where it really needs to go. Two months since I’ve really felt like me.

I found me again on the trail this weekend. I found rain and mud and cold and solitude.   I found deep connections and a recognition of what is really important. I found the re-living of memorable encounters. I found where I truly can make a difference.

I discovered that I was making excuses. I discovered I was hiding from the trails  and playing it safe. I discovered that my comfort zone is in NOT playing it safe. I discovered that I have more to give, even when I think I don't. I discovered that I can be there more strongly for others, when…

Eagleton Trail Ultra---Finding My Heartbeat

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“I’m going to run a 50k on Sunday”, I told Mark.
He gave me that look.   That look that I know immediately means he’s running through schedules and commitments.   “You’re kinda running on empty. Are you sure?”, he said.
“I’m a little lost.  I need to find my way.  I need my heart to beat”.
And, with that, I set off to Pennsylvania for the 50k.
My only goal in this race was to find a new normal with my nutrition, which has taken a knock with a new little body glitch.  That task actually proved pretty easy to manage. All I had to do is stop looking at what I could NOT do, and focus on what was still available to me.  True, I had to open my mind to food choices I had not previously accepted, but, all in all, the process was not the roadblock I had expected it to be.
The real change hit me when I hit the first hill in the course.   My heart was beating out of my chest. I actually stopped to feel it.    I took my mind out of the experience, and decided to just feel.
I felt so alive!  
My he…