Moving On

It has been a month since I heard the news. It’s been a month of doing absolutely nothing. By choice. But, But. but! Isn’t that what they say? The choice to do nothing is still doing something? I chose to ignore.

In truth I ran in purple this weekend with you in mind. Doesn’t that contradict everything I said I feel? Nothing I said I would do? A prince’s power to make me think of you. A Purple Reign. The night before I got the word. You are still a heartbeat; alive and kicking they say. You just don’t have as much to say. Duly noted. I won’t say it either.
But, let me back up and just say “But, I ran.” I know I will sound like someone else when I offer up excuses, but they are all true. I wasn’t feeling well before the Purple Run. I was tempted to turn a ten into a five and call it good. No. I could only tell myself came here to run. Not make my excuses. The temptation was fleeting and gone before I could really chew on it. Instead I threw up.

This was a good run, all things considered. A solid sub ten minute mile the entire way. Through crowds of meandering families strolling with their strollers and dogs I managed to break an hour. Boston in my ear, telling me he’s going to buy me a beer…right after a run to the Dunk. It’s only an app but it had me giggling. I like my Boston.

I have moved on from this. I’m setting my sights on a half. My first since September. I have moved on.

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Amnesia Worth Remembering

Here’s the trouble with self induced amnesia: when you want to remember you are not even sure you can. Maybe you no longer have the permission. The knowing is lost for always.

When I try to remember the you I wanted to forget I am cursed with the insecurity of believing I’m no longer allowed. I am the one who said Done with You, my unfriend. Off with your head I cried! But. But! But, the curse upon hearing my words, instead decided upon your mind.
Every time I think of you the corners of my mind are crowded with uninvited ghosts. The self destruction. The frantic come-now-go behavior. The confusion and the breaking of hearts. I walked away to save my selfish self but in doing so I lost the right to ask you about you. Does that mean I lost the right to care?
I am now reduced to friends of friends texting. The sly begging for slivers of information. The trepidation of being shut out. The potential to be shunned because I’m the one who shut down. Or, was that you? Chronologically, you did it first. You’ll do it last, thanks to the danger that curls around your curls.
Do I deserve to ask? Do I deserve to know? No. I know I can’t know. I stumbled and staggered away because you pushed. Now I miss you without having the right to say the words outloud. I’m so nobody that there is no one who will think to think of me. Maybe Seriously should know is not a decision anyone deems significant enough to decide.

Confessional: I tapped a friend on the shoulder and whispered Should I know? behind your back. I think I only want permission to stay gone without guilt. If granted I shall sink back into the primordial unknowing and pretend I never heard. This girl can go back to faking amnesia with a callous air of disregard.
“…wishing she had never spoken your name; had never known your name.”

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Words to Live By

This is not about running. This is about realizations. There is a saying I tend to parrot from time to time, “if you want it bad enough you will make it happen.” I’ve said it many, many times to Kisa. I’ve said it to myself from time to time. It’s true. The drive to do something is hidden in the desire.

Case in point. The 1000km challenge. I finished it. I. Finished. It. 1001 kilometers to be precise. Despite a bad cough and a burning need to be anywhere else I found myself pounding out the last mile on New Year’s Eve. I’m happy I did it, but not happy about the way it ended. Each run was getting more and more difficult. Yes, I could run nine miles but I needed to start at a pace of 12 minute miles and I was never faster than 10.54 at the end. My quads would burn at the beginning of the run and not the end. I can’t imagine running St. Pat’s right now. But, I finished the challenge because I said I would.

Since I’m not running, here are the things I have taken up to occupy my time. These are my words to live by:

  1. Yoga. Not just the kind for runners
  2. Books. Science fiction (Hyperion)
  3. Movies. See every Academy award winning movie (best picture, documentary and animation). Blogs coming soon.
  4. Strong…as in…wait for it…weight training. A friend of mine is hitting it hard in the gym. I can’t bench press 150 like she can, but let’s see how strong this grace can be.
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Final Countdown

Well. Not final. To be fair, I might write again before all this is over. I just realized it’s been a few days since my last confession. So, here it it: 12 days to go. 33 miles to run. 2.75 miles a day if I wanted to run every single day. And I want to. But, I have obligations. For starters, I have a date with a certain New England football team on 12/24 in Foxborough. Could you see it? Excuse me, Mr. Brady, but I need to run around your football field 4+ times. Can you delay the game if I get a quad cramp? Um. No.
So, here is the plan:
12/21 6.5 miles
12/22 2.5 miles
12/23 6 miles
12/25 5? I’ll be at my sister-in-law’s for an all day brunch. Think they’ll miss me for an hour or so?
12/26 3
12/27 5
12/28 3
12/29 2

I am still (still!) telling myself I can’t do this. I am still waiting for the epic fail. My legs have been holding up and. And! And, I registered for St. Pat’s! So, there’s that. The game plan after 2016 is this: rest for a solid two weeks. In that time, develop a new yoga & strength training routine. Gradually add the run back into the mix. Sometime in late January-early February start training for Holyoke’s notorious hills. This year I have Millz by my side (aka speedy because he finished the Safe Passage 5k in 16 minutes. Yikes!). He’s never run longer than 3.1 miles and I don’t know his hill strategy, but I do know he’s fast!

Anyway. That’s that.

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You aren’t going to believe this. I called it. Plantar fasciitis. In a nutshell. Strange because all the things to treat PF I already do. All the things to prevent PF I have been doing. Oh well. Silver lining: Just the fact that I have been given the all clear to run (with ice) is enough for me. Immediately after the verdict I raced home to New Guinea and ran 3.5

Moving forward here is what is on my plate for the rest of 2016: finish the 1000k challenge. I would have been in great shape had I ran at all last week or the week before or even finished the half I so wanted. But, I can’t waste breath bitching about the past. What’s done is done. Nothing left to do but salvage the rest of the challenge. For those of you keeping score, I am currently at 733k. I have 62 days left. Are you doing the math? It’s a little under three miles a day in order to complete the challenge. That sounds like nothing but we all know what happens when I run too many consecutive days so I’ll need to map this one out carefully. My off-the-cuff goal is five miles four times a week. You heard it here.

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What Not Now

I started this blog thinking about all the different things I could say. Thirty words into it I wanted out. My heart just isn’t into the details. I don’t want to write about the work renovation (behind schedule), the home renovation (ahead of schedule), the legal brouhaha (my sister will be named trustee), the family reunion (should I stay or should I go?), the overwhelming need to go home (not until 9/18) or even the Olympics which I am glued to every night (except to say I am proud of USA’s gymnastics team).

So I am left with this to say: ODAAT. Last night was a five minute drill – squats and pushups for five minutes. So, it works like this (so you can play along at home, but only if you want to). One squat, one full extension pushup. Two squats, two pushups, and so on and so forth. Ascending reps for five minutes. Stop after those five minutes and take note of your rep count. I only got to ten. But, it must be said – I’ve always refused to do pushups on my knees but after 55 reps my right elbow started to ache. It’ll be interesting to see what tomorrow’s ascension exercise will bring. Will the elbow stay quiet?
In other ODAAT news, I massaged with the stupid stick and did a Rebecca yoga routine that felt awesome. The end.

Today’s ODAAT – I’m shooting for an 8-miler tonight. I’ll do the same thing as Monday: extra warmup before I start really running, 12 minutes of nose-only breathing (an increase of 1 minute from Monday), and a decent recovery yoga routine afterwards. That’s it. Until tomorrow…Just breathe.

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Where Was I?

Blame it on the heat. Blame it on life. Blame it on the nonexistent rain for all I care. All I know is that this half mara training has derailed in more ways than I can count. To be fair, I haven’t entirely jumped the tracks. It’s not like I have skipped major runs or skimped on the maintenance runs. Nothing like that. Even in this heat I have managed to put in respectable time moving the feet. The truth is this: it’s more like I am lost. I don’t know what week of training this is supposed to be. I haven’t used the training calendar or journal in weeks. I can’t remember the last time I put in an honest hour long yoga or strength training session and, And. And! The diet? We won’t talk about that.

I wanted the September half mara to be special. I’m running for Make-A-Wish after all. On a personal level I wanted to be able to say in all honesty I did everything I could to prepare. Blah, blah, blah. I’m a skipping record. But, it’s true. Each day I literally look at my datebook, make a mental note of the mileage I am supposed to complete and then after a full day of work find a way to get it done. And I do get it done and then some. If I’m with New Guinea I always round up. Last night’s seven miles turned out to be 7.4 because I put in 75 minutes. With the heat I had no idea if I would run an eleven minute mile or what. I wasn’t worried about being exact.

Maybe that’s it. Worry. I skipped a monthly for two months and worried that my precarious health issues have finally lost their balance and tipped over. Still I ran. I continue to run and I guess, in the grand scheme of things, that’s all that matters.
But. But! But, in the interest of a clean slate on Monday I will renew my efforts to have a more complete training schedule. To hold myself accountable, here is August 1 – 7th:

  • Monday – 7 miles/recovery yoga (Rebecca)
  • Tuesday – Core yoga/core with Nicky
  • Wednesday – 8 miles/recovery yoga (Matt)
  • Thursday – Balance yoga/core with Nicky
  • Friday – 2 miles/refresh yoga (Christene)
  • Saturday – 9 miles/recovery yoga (Rebecca)
  • Sunday – Restoration yoga (Matt)

Total miles: 26. Note to self: you are seeing Pearl Jam at Fenway two different nights. That’s no excuse to skip a run or attack the Giffords ice cream man. [Although! Have you tried their blueberry pancake? To die for. All it needs is bacon. Without a doubt.]

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Tale of Two Sixes

I can’t call week #2/3 of the training an epic fail when I had two really good runs. It all started with missing the boat to Monhegan. Yes, this island girl missed her boat. That’s what happens when you think 5.5 hours is enough time for a 4 hour trip but you forget it’s a Saturday, it’s a holiday weekend and, and. And! One word: Wiscassett. Or, to be more precise, not Wiscassett. More like Red’s. We missed boarding by 20 minutes. And I missed my long run of Week #2.
Bombing up the coast of Maine at breakneck speed is never fun, especially when there is one last boat we could potentially make. I had flashbacks to the woman who careened down to that same wharf three summers ago and ended up injuring three and killing a nine year old boy. We made it without striking anyone down. The point of this story is that we were three hours late getting onto the island and unpacked. I was supposed to run six miles that same day but I was stressed, exhausted and completely out of time. There was no way I would get in even the smallest of runs.

Week #3 started a day early with an early Sunday run. How can I explain this to anyone who hasn’t been there before? I had mentioned in an earlier post that I was interested in seeing if I could run a trail to the end. I ended up running two trails from my childhood so I got the best of everything: dirt roads, pine needle deep forest, salt air seaside cliffs, mossy rock and root trails and of course, the silent graveyard. No run is complete with a small stop to see dad.
This was the route in its entirety: Lobster to Wyeth, passing a gaggle of bird watchers. Casey’s to the Trailing Yew, the smell of fresh donuts in the air. Main road to both beaches, super high tides. Wharf hill to the school. I could hear a lecture as I passed the open windows. NEW: behind the school to the Ice Pond. Down the boardwalk to Pratt’s. Back out to Dead Man’s Cove and out to Black Head (yes, I made it all the way).  Up to the lighthouse and halfway to White Head (turned around because of three unleashed dogs). Detour to dad. Left a daisy. Horn’s Hill to the new turnaround. Music going up HH? Straight To Hell by the Clash. How perfect. Halfway to Burnt Head (stopped because I was nearly at mile 5). Down to Mostel’s turnaround and back up past the Yew. Now bacon instead of donuts. A nod to the still-closed brewery and home. 6.12 total.
Two days later I did the exact same route only going a little further on White Head and Burnt Head trails. Camp Kawanhee was in the ball field. Weird to run by their whispering tents and think of all that hormonal boy stuff that must be going on inside. A small smile and a great run: 6.36 total. Good to be home.

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Land of the Lumbering

Someone just informed me that George W. Bush ran seven minute miles during his Presidency. I have two comments. One: Random! and two, good for him. I mean that with all sincerity. I will never be about the seven minute mile. I will never be about even the nine minute mile. I am happy to be in the land of lumbering because, and this is very important, I can lumber far if I’m not fast. Far is far more important that fast.
Yes, it is true I have been talking about sub ten minute miles when it comes to 5ks but that’s only because I am running for charities and it’s not about me. Those runs don’t help me at all. Not in the least. I don’t get time to think. I barely have time to work up an appetite for a beer or a burger. I want the hunger after a good run.
So, having said all that – I have one more charity run this month – the Worcester Six; a 6k in memory of the six firefighters who lost their lives in that awful warehouse fire. After that, I have a week off and then, then! I begin training for a fall 13.1 (Saturday, September 10th). I am trying a completely different training plan. One that incorporates a better diet into the mix. Do I need to worry about what I eat? Being 112lbs on a bad day, no not really. I guess I’m playing mad scientist and seeing if it all really matters.
Last but not least, a burning question. My adopted home town is hosting a half mara six weeks after my Maple half in Manchester, Vermont. Should I do it? I don’t know why I’m on the fence. What’s not to love about an October 13.1? Should I?

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Four Minute Rule

I have exactly four minutes to say something, anything about the Memorial 5k I ran last weekend. In a word, quick. In two words, flat and fun.
This was part of a two-day festival, craft fair, parade, you name it, complete with a cannon blast signaling the start of a civil war reenactment. The run kicked off the whole affair at, wait for it, where else but the library. And talk about informal! No start line to speak of. No timer within sight. I joked about my bib number being the area code for Maine and no one got it (Hello? 207? Never mind). As I looked around I saw a bunch of fancy people with Garmin gear all warming up and feeling for pulses. Probably, I’d say, 70 people running. Total. All of them wealthy as fukc. I mean, who runs in diamonds? Who sweats with pearls? All in head to toe matching outfits. I knew my place immediately. Back of the lulumon pack. Seriously.
I ran a good run. 28 minutes flat according to MMR. I would have broken 28 except I stopped to help a girl who had fallen flat on her face right in front of me. She tripped over a pebble somewhere in the road and planted. Hard. I couldn’t just run by her. Could I? That would have been rude. Right?
After the run the church hosted a pretty decent pancake breakfast. Me, myself and moi, we like to eat, so you know what we were doing. 😉
So. That was the 5k. The end.

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