Phunt 50k 2021

 It is amazing to me that my last blog entry was Phunt 50k from last year.   Although, I have run multiple ultras this past year, allowing me to surpass my 100th all time ultra-distance, I have not been moved to blog.   But, then, there is Phunt.   This is a race like no other, even in the virtual world.  You see, I was driving to Phunt on the day my brother passed away.  I've always felt a kindred connection between this race and Rick, and the prevalence of PBR on the swag, only deepens that connection. Phunt was my litmus.   I came back last year and ran with all my heart.   I ran for me.  I ran for time.  I ran for the adventure.   What I didn't know, was that I was running in-person for the last time.   For the race this year, which was virtual, I toed the line of my one mile cemetery loop.  This loop and I have become quite close this year.  On Saturday, I ran around that dang thing 31 times.  It took me nearly 7 hours and I used my car as my personal aid station.     I

Phunt 50k

It’s never expected when it happens.  I’ll never know why that moment has embedded itself.  The memory is vivid and it is my barometer. Rick and I are in the backseat of my mom’s green Chevy Nova.  It’s way too early in the morning. Rick will head to Hobomock Rink 1, and I’ll be in two.   Hockey for him. “Patch” workout for me. I’m in my homemade floral skating dress. I’ll spend hours working the nuances of circles exactly three times my height.  The true origin of figure skating. It was these early mornings that taught me endurance, precision, diligence and perseverance. And, it is without a doubt, where my mind takes me when I am in my happy place. I’ll be going about my business, and BAM!  I’m in that rink. I can re-capture the smells.  The music. The scuffs on the boards. The tone of my coach chiding me when I wobble.   It is a reminder to me that I am right where I need to be in my life. I am centered. I am filled with pursuits I find fulfilling.  I am loved.

Goodbye 2019

For as long as we have been together, Mark and I give each other “wish gifts” for Christmas.   They are small tokens, used to represent our wish for the other during the coming year.    This year, Mark gave me a brown haired barbie doll ...covered in bandages.    “She represents everywhere you were hurt this year.  My wish is that you heal”. Not going to lie.  2019 put me through my paces.   It challenged me in ways I never could have imagined. I have always considered myself to be a strong woman, I realized, my strength is irrelevant if I am not challenged to use it.   I am honored to say...I used it. I did not shy away. I met each obstacle head on, and I did my level best. I grumbled. I cried. But, I never stopped my relentless forward progress. Looking back, I am thankful with how I traversed this year. I am proud of me. I had a true moment of clarity during a sunrise run in Arizona.   I felt light and free. I was empowered. For the very first time in my

Making Strides

Making Strides When, I lined up at the starting line for my brother's 5k, in September, I took a private moment. “Rick”, I said, “I did it.  I picked up the load you left me. I did what needed to be done. Now, I need your help to get me back”.  And, we were off.   And, the pain was excruciating.   Within 0.25 miles, that familiar electric charge, that radiates up my leg, was back.  The charge, I've tried to deafen with inserts, cortisone shots and surgery aimed at melting the culprit. I've tried changing shoes, pace, gait and terrain.  I've iced, rolled and elevated. I've given up racing, and was ready to give up running altogether. (Get ready yoga, you’re up). I felt as if I'd exhausted all options, all to no avail. At that moment, however, I tried one more thing.  I enjoyed some time with Rick’s four year old granddaughter, Ella.   Ella, and I would run from signpost to signpost, racing and giggling, the whole way.   The

Gratitude and Running Shoes

My running shoes have been with me, near me, available to me, for a very long time now.   I’ve turned to them when I need to process life’s ups downs and turns. For a few months now, my running seemed forced.  It was much easier to sit at home vs. lace them up. I allowed other priorities to take over the time I used to dedicate to myself.   I justified in my own head that I didn’t “need” to run...I had nothing to prove. I let races I signed up for, come and go. More often than not, I missed my weekly running goals. My endurance suffered. Running felt like just one more thing on the list. And, then one day, I just started again. I drove to Connecticut the day after school let out and toed the line for a timed race.   I ran in the heat and the mud and honestly, I let a lot of my life just settle where it was.   I took control back of me. I felt a sense of gratitude. Fast forward a week, to a yoga conference in Arizona.   Still not adjusted to the timezone, I woke

Confessions of a Busy Woman

Confessions of a Busy Woman Ok, here goes… I’m a wife. I’m the mother of an adult son, who is moving to Mississippi in a few days. I’m the mother of a daughter finishing her junior year, beginning her first job, and getting ready to fill out college applications. I’m teaching her to drive (Lord, help me) I work full time as a special education teacher, working across a very wide range of disabilities. For those in the know, I am CT, RR, 15:1 content specialist. With 6 contact periods. I give up my planning periods to cover other teacher’s classes. I coach Cross Country. I’m a graduate student working on my second Master’s Degree I teach summer school I pick up hours in our ASAP (After School Alternative Program). I have a dog I bake from scratch I build things. I’m an ultrarunner. I train for ultra runs. I travel to ultra runs. I train others to run. I am working on my NYS Coaching Certification I have CE credits to maintain in Personal Traini

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 more 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.