When is the last time you sang the body electric?

Why am I on this journey? Why do I run? Whatever has possessed me to dream of drumming my feet for hours across the expanse of 26 miles?

Because my body and my spirit are capable; they are an incredible force. I run for the feeling of my pulse beating through every tendon; every cell. I run to encase myself in the crust of salt; the minerals purged through my skin. I run to notice, while driving in my car, that the distance from here to there was one I did on foot; that I am intimately familiar with every sidewalk in my neighborhood to the last puddle and crack.

I run because it’s difficult sometimes and I feel like vomiting or crying, but I always make it home.

I run to find The Zone and drink up inner peace and silence.

I run because it connects me to friends, new and old; a special kismet, a unique bond.

I run because one mile is always one mile, and distance and time are mirrors of honesty.

I run because it’s simple–all I need are two shoes and the outdoors.

But most of all I run because it teaches me to love and respect my being for everything that it is; every line, every curve, every doubt and every hope. The next run is what I make it; my life is what I make it. Each day a new day.

Advertisements

Hump Day Head Cold

I tried out an all-paces run last night that is a weekly gathering hosted by a local running shop. It was really fun, and I felt proud of myself for getting out in the rain and running approximately four miles when I wasn’t feeling very well. Despite tons of intentional hydration, rest, chicken soup, and charging through a run, I woke up with quite the head cold. And after rushing into work this morning to solve a technology crisis in my sweats (good news: problem solved), I am back on the couch next to my trusty box of tissues facing another day at home.

No running tonight, I am thinking, but I still hope to complete an 8-9 mile run on Friday.

Anna

Stupid tonsils

Con: I am at home today alternating between the couch and the bed trying to beat a cold.

Pro: First sick day to myself since having a baby (usually I am sick and taking care of a sick kid!).

I am cautiously optimistic–if I don’t feel any worse by the evening, I will probably go for a run anyway, because exercise does make me feel better when I am trying to kick some crud to the curb.

Hoping to feel much better soon!

And now, to enjoy my agenda for the day…

Watch Chinatown and drink endless mugs of Gypsy Cold Care tea.

Posted in Me

Hey there typical PNW weather…

I was starting to think you had left Bellingham and decided not to return! We’ve had quite the dry/cold snap, and it came to an end. Bring on the rainy day gear and tolerance for grey skies…

I went for an awesome run on Friday night. It ended up totaling at 8.5 miles–but here’s the thing, I could have kept going. I only went home because I needed to spend some time with my kiddo and help out with dinner preparation. After a lighter week of running, it felt amazing to run more than 10K without incident.

I was not able to make the yoga class on Saturday, but I did enjoy a nice walk. I am going to try to make room for either yoga or a hike this Saturday. Yesterday I went for a run with no destination; the goal was to explore trails and greenbelts a bit north of where I live. I ended up running about 6 miles, and I had so much fun trying out a new route. I do so much running in the dark that I almost always have a crystal clear route, for safety’s sake, mostly. Yesterday I was able to enjoy a daytime run (what?) and I even got some coastal time to enjoy a stormy harbor (above).

I hope to tick up my mileage a bit this week.

Happy Monday!

Week in review

Sunday- 6 miles

Monday- 3 miles

Tuesday- Zumba

Wednesday- REST + core strengthening

Thursday- REST

Friday- 8 miles

Total mileage: 17 miles

This week ends up a bit lighter than the last, but I am feeling rested and ready for a nice long run tonight. I am planning to do a long run on Sunday, but have not yet selected a location or route. I am waiting to see what the weather is like.

Barbershop singing was an amazing experience; I am so glad that I will be able to spend my Thursday evenings having a blast with a fantastic group of women. Yes, my running buddy and I are the youngest members by quite a few decades, but you wouldn’t know it. The members of this group are so young at heart, and have such sass and wit that I spent almost as much time laughing as singing. A good reminder that trying something new often amounts to an unexpectedly wonderful adventure.

Happy Friday! Happy weekend running!

Double Rest Day

1_23_B

Thursday is a day for consuming generous amounts of coffee.

Well, I did not end up running yesterday. I was really tired and feeling generally under the weather by the time I got home from work. I put on my running clothes, kept thinking about how I could shorten the distance or somehow trick myself into doing it, and realized that I was not listening to my body. I was tired. I needed a day off. So I opted for a few sets of sit-ups, push-ups, and burpees, gave myself ample time to stretch and called it good. I went to bed early, slept quite well, and feel so much better today. Tonight will also be without running because I am starting a new a capella singing class with a few other women that will meet weekly for the next few months. Though I have always enjoyed singing and music, I am excited to learn some new skills and get the chance to sing with others. I think my ability to stay in tune with my breath through my running practice will help me during my singing lessons!

Friday will be an 8 mile run, the middle portion of it with buddies. It helps to have the company and the incentive to show up somewhere by a certain time. The first part of that run is always a little challenging, because there is a long uphill fairly early on and I am usually very tired from the work week, but by the time I get home, I am always rejuvenated. I am grateful I feel well and that my throat is no longer scratchy and my body is comfortable. I am a goal-oriented person who thrives on routine. It is so easy for me to overlook the importance of pausing, listening to my body, and following those cues. But, as Judy Brown would say, it’s the spaces in between the logs that help the fire grow. And therefore, it is the days of intentional rest that are equally as important as the days of running many miles to reaching the final goal.

Although I was not going to run any races in February, a few fun runs have popped up that seem like they might keep my momentum going next month. One is a “two for the road” 5K around Valentine’s Day. I thought I could run it with Ellen in the stroller (we make a good pair). The other is a headlamp trail run at night with a dinner after. That seems like it could be a memorable experience. The local running shop is also doing a headlamp run one evening that I am planning on attending with one of my running buddies. Anybody else contemplating a fun run or race in the next month or so?

Well, ta-ta for now. Happy running, resting, drinking coffee, or whatever might be on your agenda this Thursday ­čÖé

1_23_A

I am wearing my favorite red heels today!

Happy Hump Day!

Here’s a Wednesday Funny for you.

I had fun at Zumba yesterday; it was good to have a day off from running. Tonight I will do a short run around the neighborhood–distance to be determined because it depends on how my calf muscles are feeling. I also have a scratchy throat this morning, so I am drinking a ton of Emergen-C and channeling optimism. Lots of germs floating around these days; several people around me have been down and out for awhile. Here’s to hoping that regular running will continue to boost my immune system enough to avoid the worst of it!

The 30 Day Challenge continues to be a successful motivator. I think I am going to try a yoga class this Saturday and expand my cross-training horizons. I am also looking forward to being home with virtually no plans this weekend so that I can do some cleaning and organizing. I feel like our house is still disheveled from the holidays. Also, decorating for Valentine’s Day is definitely in order. It is one of my favorite holidays; not really the romantic aspect, but the friendship/excuse to eat sweets/wear pink and red components!

Hope your Hump Day is easy peasy. Happy Running!

Five Dollar Dress

We stopped by a Gap Factory Outlet store yesterday to break up our long drive back home. The only clothing I’ve bought in the last six months, other than a coat, is running gear. So it was nice to look at some work clothes and the shopping gods clearly decided to bless me as I found two dresses for five dollars each and a skirt for two dollars. I am wearing one of the dresses today at work and I feel pretty darn put together. My co-worker said it reminded her of something Michelle Obama would wear. Score!

Is it just me, or does it feel so much better to wear a bargain find?

Tonight is Zumba, and I am ready to have some fun and enjoy myself. I will make sure to do some good yoga stretches (especially downward dogs!) this afternoon beforehand to loosen up the old calf muscles for good measure.

I didn’t have time to get a picture this morning, and a selfie won’t do it justice. But this is the dress I am wearing. It’s incredible.

Posted in Me

Home after a 3-day weekend

Confession: Running while on vacation with family in a warm house surrounded by countryside and filled with good food, drinks, and comfy sofas is really difficult. Nevertheless, I got my tuchas out in the cold January frost/fog (frog?) and ran a little over 6 miles yesterday. I ran at the local high school track (trails were icy and unpopulated), and thus it was a bit monotonous. I am (fortunately) not accustomed to repetitive scenery. I don’t ever use treadmills, so I realized how much I rely on destinations to keep things interesting. Since I was at a track, I decided to run a victory lap barefoot. One lap barefoot is just as challenging as four laps in trainers. I bow down to you, barefoot runners!

Tonight I went for what I had planned to be a 4 or 5 mile run but ended up being a neat 5K as the fog was very thick and my left calf was complaining quite a bit. Both of the calf muscles feel a tad tight. I reached down to rub them when I got back home and did not recognize the rock-solid hunks of flesh I found. Running is changing my body–despite the discomforts of tightness and soreness once in awhile, I feel very proud of my mind and my body and what we’ve accomplished together so far (especially lately).

Tomorrow is Zumba, and Wednesday┬á I will revisit that original 5 mile route. Friday will be the usual 6 or 7 miles, and perhaps I will try a yoga class on Saturday. I have not planned my long run for this Sunday yet, but I’d like to do something new with the route.

I saw my mom today and she made good on her goal; she walked a few miles to a track and jogged a bit. Way to go, Ma!

Back to the grind tomorrow…

Who has a killer remedy for tight calf muscles?

Perhaps more barefoot running in my future? Only time will tell…

WTF: Where’s The Food?

One of my favorite things about running is eating after the run! Eating food after a long and challenging run is like no other pleasure. I love the combination of elation and chewing that I get to experience when I hit up the trough after a race–even if it is just quartered bagels and peanut butter.

Last night I went for a 7 mile run; toward the end there was a lot of freezing fog, which looked like glitter streaming down under my head lamp. It was a fantastic way to finish off the week. I came home and made myself a BOWL of goodness. Spinach, cranberries, walnuts, feta, poppy seed dressing, chicken. Oh my, what a good nosh! I topped it off with a glass of Rioja and I was set.

Really, what is better than running, eating, a glass of wine, a hot shower, and some snuggles from my dear ones? Nothing, in this lady’s opinion.

Probably no running today as we’re venturing to visit family. I hope to get a trail run in tomorrow.