Once a week I subject myself to the ugliest run possible. I hit the gnarliest trail I know in all its mountainous, muddy, rutty, rocky, ankle breaking glory. And it is awful. I call this my hate run, because quite frankly it is fucking terrible. It doesn’t leave me joyful and optimistic. It doesn’t get easier, even after 6 months of practice, and I haven’t even shaved time off my miles on it. It’s not even fun. While I’m running it I hate every minute.
When I’m finished I feel broken, angry, and frustrated. It makes me want to quit running forever. People always say you should do what you love, I am even guilty of saying that at times, but that’s kind of a misleading concept.
If everyone only did what they loved, we would all find something else to bitch about. Born out of these bouts of running with hatred though are the really really good times. And I think if I ditched my hate run in favor of continual happy sunshine I would definitely take those good times for granted. I don’t know if this weekly ritual has had any play in making me better at running. I don’t even know if it’s just a masochistic endeavor that will end in injury someday. But for now hate running remains on my to do list. I guess what it all boils down to is that I don’t think there is such a thing as being over-prepared. Brace yourself for the worst, expect the worst, and maybe you will come out pleasantly surprised, in running and in life
Who are we really trying to kid here? Reason number 7 that I love to run was something I discovered this weekend at the Lee Foster Memorial 5 Mile Run in Saint Marys (being the 7th race of my life – and my quest to 30, I thought it was fitting). Let me start this recap by saying in the days leading up to this race, my motivation to go run it tanked dramatically. I don’t know why, but I was extremely nervous for this one.
I knew it was just a flat out and back, I knew I could run 5 miles (seriously, I just ran 10 the Monday before, and it wasn’t a flat out and back!), but for some reason, I thought I was going to choke. Like straight up get to mile 2, fall on my face, and die alone on the street everyone would make fun of me. I even enlisted my mother in law to ride along so that I couldn’t back out last minute. I don’t know how I could come off of just completing a Tough Mudder and get intimidated by a little local race, but it happened.
I’m so glad I got over it, because this race was really a blast. I ran without my GPS and put on one of my favorite Clutch albums for tunes, and just dropped the hammer. I soon found my pace with a girl close to my age and a man who was in his 70’s, but they both were keeping about 10 seconds faster per mile than I could.
Tonight I went to a neighborhood party and it was actually fun! Nothing crazy happened. We ate, drank, talked and laughed. Neither of the boys had any kind of meltdown, they both ate something and neither of them got into any kind of scuffle with any of the other dozen or so toddlers at the party.
They’re just getting to that age when the two of them can each play and have enough direction from us to be “good” boys (or at least have the potential to be).
So I’m happy. I’m just happy that we could be at a social gathering, that I could talk to a few people without interruption, that my boys played by themselves a little without any controversy or tears, and that my husband was so helpful. It may not seem like much to some but to me, it was a monumental evening. It’s the little things that make me happy these days.
I felt really free today. One day of vacation with my husband at a hotel in a fun city. We’re going back home tomorrow. One day is perfect! I could enjoy it without guilt. We stayed late at dinner with friends. In fact, we talked until after MIDNIGHT, which is way later than our usual bedtime!
I didn’t think once about what time it was or about having to rush home to the babysitter. But I’m also so happy to go back tomorrow to see the kids. I think that long vacations are totally overrated. One good day is much better than a full week of vacation.
There are all these great benefits to having a good one-day “power” vacation (like a power lunch but longer):
1) It’s so much cheaper than a long vacation.
2) You can splurge on whatever you want to do (again because it’s probably going to be cheaper than if you had stayed longer).
3) It’s less time away from your kids…ergo less guilt and MORE fun.
4) Because you know it’s going to end soon, you savor each moment: Every ray of sunshine, every bite of delicious food, every step of a casual walk, every deep relaxed breath. And finally, one day means less packing, less carrying, and less unpacking!
Oliver started with a cold this weekend and coupled with the giant boulders he’s cutting, he’s been quite crabby at times. The thing with him, though, is that even though he’s a right stinker when he’s in a pissy mood, he’s so bloody cute that it’s hard not to want to fold him up in your arms and smother him with slobbery kisses, even after he’s walked up to you and spontaneously punched the mug you were cradling, knocking coffee all over you.
Over the last couple of weeks, I’ve noticed a big difference in Oliver, and I think part of it has to do with the fact that I have changed the way I react to him. I’ve tried to stop hovering over him and shadowing his every move in order to prevent him from hurting himself or making a catastrophic mess.
I realized that even though our house is sold and doesn’t need to be sparkling clean at all times, I was still walking around with the don’t make a mess! Mentality in full force, which made life pretty miserable for him at times. It hit me that he’s less baby and more boy now and that he deserves a bit of freedom, a bit of trust from me. I realized that I had to let go a little bit, loosen the reigns, I guess, and give him the benefit of the doubt more.
Almost two weeks of sheer bliss have gone by without hearing from my ex-boyfriend, but then I get a phone call from him today.
He called about some winter clothes that he says he has in my storage room, but I am pretty certain that he got all of his clothes when we broke up. It was just another excuse for him to try to cling on to a relationship that was over long before we broke up.
I asked him why he felt it necessary to call my father at work to “tell on me”. His only defense was that he was mad.
Well, no shit. I was mad too. Maybe I should have called up some of his family to tell them about his personal shit. Believe me, he has more to hide than I do.
After we discussed his clothes, he told me that he is getting daily phone calls from a collection agency regarding the apartment we were evicted from.
My 10-year old (soon to be 11 years old) is now a 6th Grader. I am so proud of him and yet I can’t help feeling sad. He is my little one! He is almost as tall as me and I am sure he will surpass me in height pretty soon. I have often imagined myself needing a stool to step up and talk to him as he is older. Still, he is my baby.
He is such a wonderful child. He finished 5th grade with a bang. Yesterday, they had their class picnic which is a great way to end the school year. I volunteered to help out at the class picnic. I signed up for bringing chilled water for the children. The entire organization was done by email. The organizer had to send out reminders to ensure that everyone knew their stations and what they were bringing.
Yesterday started off like any other. I woke up, wrangled the dogs for a little while, then laced up my Salamon’s for some backyard hill sprints. My current training program calls for track speed work today, but in the wonderful world of trail running, that’s about irrelevant right now, and the more proficient I get on these hills (both up and down) the better off I’m going to be. After about a million four of those, I did a quick Tough Mudder inspired strength finisher ala carrying logs.
There’s a quarter mile trail loop behind my house and I alternated 30 seconds overhead, 30 seconds out in front of me for a solid two loops with a chunk of log that probably weighs about 20 pounds. My abs and quads were both pretty trashed, but I definitely felt like a bad ass afterwards, so I did what any sane human being would in said circumstance… I busted out the old credit card, and actually signed up for the Green Monster trail 25k I have been halfway training for since the beginning of the month. At the very kindest, this race has been deemed a “suffer fest.” Decent finishing times are in the 3+ hour range. I obviously have my concerns, my friends and family do too, which is why I put off registering as long as I did.
1) I put on a pair of pants that I haven’t been able to stuff myself in to since college…and the fuckers fit! BOOYA!
2) I snagged a washer and dryer for $450. We included our washer/dryer in the sale of this house thinking that we’d buy a nice new set when we moved. After we found our new house, however, we decided to try and get the cheapest price we could for new appliances in order to have more money to do other, funner cosmetic things like painting and a funky backsplash for the kitchen and curtains and maybe some quality fake plantation shutters.
Dave sussed out a deal on a washer and dryer this weekend and although they’re not brand new, they’re in good shape, they have warranties and they were only $450. Including delivery. Not too shabby.
I know, I know, 2 race recaps in one week? But stick with me here, folks… I promise this will be worth it. I announced on Sunday my commitment to showing a little more love to myself this month, and being mindful of that topic, I wanted to address the issue of being honest, especially to oneself. Quite frankly, sometimes it hurts to admit that maybe things aren’t going your way, or maybe you have to switch paths, but taking those issues head on can really do wonders for your mental health.
Example 1: As Much as I love Powerlifting – it wasn’t in my cards.
I dedicated the past few years of my life to powerlifting. I was very anti-cardio, always followed a strict plan, and I really wasn’t terrible at it. Unfortunately, within my resources, I would never be able to thrive. My career doesn’t afford for me to travel for days at a time to go to meets, because my location is not necessarily a hotspot for power lifting in general. There are no decent coaches near me. There are no training facilities for me to work in. Basically it was just me, my barbell, and a dream.