Daily Chatter

Tuesday, July 31, 2012

An Obvious Analogy

You look at this photo and see a trail.  Maybe if you have been trail running you might a place you are not eager to return to.  I look at this photo and see an invitation.  I see a tempting stage set for my enjoyment.  I approached this scene yesterday with the excitement of a girl eager to explore.  I was eager to know the twists and turns in the trail.  I wanted to see how the trail rose and fell.  To see what places where wet and which were dry. 

At first it was awkward, it took some time for this trail and I to get to know each other. We fumbled a bit but in no time we were cruising along winded and sweaty. I took a few wrong turns but the trail helped get me back on track.  I just wanted to keep going as long as I possibly could.

But time ran out and I was left in a glorious satisfyingly sweaty mess.  Trail running draws analogy's from many other activities in life.  I'm sure you can see a few or have experienced the joy yourself.  But yesterday's run was a return to real trails after a much too long break.  I'm just happy that the trails are not a fickle lover.  Nature simply welcomed me back into the forest among the rocks, roots and streams. 

And the finish was amazing!

Monday, July 30, 2012

Everyone Eats a Little Dirt aka A County Fair

One week a year we press the

We stay up late.  We eat bad food.  We get dirty.  We get rained on. 
We give our time to our great rural home town tradition.

I volunteer with the Senior Arts division so that means lots of this

and this.

But it also means some of these

And some of these

And nightly turns at this

But a couple of days spent doing this.

and this

and this.

Every year we have some of this

We even had a little of this

And a dose of that

We had our turn at lots of this.

Then no fair would be complete without S'ghetti Girl's annual photo of this

It was a week of a lot of fun, togetherness and running.

and even a bit of the actual running kind.

Thursday, July 19, 2012


Yesterday's One Word Wednesday was the above photo and the word Reasons.
Every runner who laces their shoes or toes the line has a list of reason why. 
This would be a start to mine.

To be happy.
To get rid of stress.
To find amazing things that get over looked.
To see the neighbors.
To reach goals.
To show my kids that staying healthy takes effort.
To inspire others.
To make sure he doesn't trade me for two 20 year olds.
To allow my family to support me.
To maintain a healthy weight.
To get to pray.
To burn off those sweet tooth cave ins.
To get outside.
To get to play in the rain again.
To sweat.
To be able to keep up with my kids.
To talk with my niece.
To see just how well I can suffer.
To make time to think of others.
To get dirty.
To see the Christmas lights.
To make sure the jogging stroller is put to good use.
To make sure he still finds me sexy.
To explore a new area.
To set a healthy example. 
To be alone.
To make friends.
To help educate those who will listen.
To know what pushing myself feels like.
To know what success is.
To know what failure feels like.
To be able to say I did everything I could to stay around as long as I could when my children ask me on my death bed why I have to go.

When you consider all that, Why wouldn't I run?
What about you?

Friday, July 13, 2012

Taking Aim

This was the photo from this week's One Word Wednesday.  It inspired some interesting words.  Prof. Kitty gave a serious answer of "prepared", CJ made me laugh with "Baywatch", and a few readers; Jill, Jess and Shannon all agreed that this photo represented "fun".  There were lots of great takes on LBM's action shot.  They all reminded me that we each see things differently.
To me this photo shows determination.  LBM must have run through those squirters 25 times trying to land a foot on each one.  I told me he thought he could go fast enough to "squish" them all and keep them down so when he turned and looked back he would see them all still "squished".  Even though I knew that he probably wouldn't be successful in achieving his goal, I encouraged him to try his best and run super fast. 
That's the way ultra running can be.  There are times when I look back and feel as though I can't see the efforts of my hard work.  I look back and feel as though nothing has changed, like I haven't even left a mark.  Sounds a lot like parenting too.  I'm sure I'm not alone in feeling that way and yet we all stay at it.  We keep pushing towards that something that we took aim at.  Whether it be in running or raising our kids, we keep trying to get closer to that target. 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

One Word Wednesday


What one word does this photo say to you?

Friday, July 6, 2012

How'd June Go?

June 2012

Monthly Miles Ran: 283 (Year total: 1811  Year average: 10/day)
8.3 miles/day ~ 58. miles/week
Highest Mileage Week: 6/4- 6/10 (DM Weeks) 84 miles

Rest Days Taken: 0
The Streak: June 30th was Day # 783 of the streak ~ 6,683.2 miles
Runs ~ ave. 8.5 miles per day/ 59.7 miles per week

Laurel Highlands Ultra

Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:
Murphy's Pizza Burgers
They remind me of being a kid at my gram's

Non-food Current Shame-Inducing Guilty Pleasure:
Living in the swimming pool

Which Outfit did I Wear the Most 

What We Are Watching:
With the Kiddos:
all things Nickelodeon

My Viewing:

When in VA I am too busy for much tv viewing 
but in PA on the mill I started watching 
Switched at Birth
What can I say, I am easily entertained thanks the Netflix streaming 

Funniest/Best Kid Quote:
With the much feared awaited move, I was so happy when after we had finished chores and were swimming in the pool S'ghetti girl looked at me and said, "Mom.  This is the life!"

You know what?  It might be.

Current Triumph:
1. Getting closer to a daily routine in VA.
2. Not flipping out about still not having a treadmill in VA
and the lower mileage that creates.

Current Goals
To have the house set up and organized before school starts
To continue cross training and keep my eye on the A Prize
Current Blessing:
Every single day in my life. A gift.
Current Excitement:
Being together every single day
and no one has strangled anyone
Getting more involved with the local running groups

Current Concern:
Figuring out how I ever did it all and worked full time!
Getting LBM excited about sleeping in his own bed
Getting a treadmill in VA
Planning my late summer/fall/winter racing
Setting a plan for spring 2013

How did your June days add up?

Eye Opening

What Mizuno has to say:

The Mezamashii Run Project is an effort by Mizuno to help create a more euphoric running experience — a more "brilliant" run — for more runners everywhere. The word "mezamashii" means "eye-opening" or "brilliant" in Japanese — it’s a word that captures the euphoric feeling of a brilliant run.
Mizuno believes their shoes can help runners achieve this mezamashii feeling more often, so they’re inviting thousands of runners to receive a free pair of shoes and join their quest for the brilliant run.

I like that translation; eye-opening.  Now that I think about it, my running could be boiled down to that word.  My eyes have been opened more to the world around me.  I see and appreciate life, nature and people in a deeper way as my running has evolved.  My eyes are open to just how blessed I am in this life.  My eyes are open to how wonderfully different everyone is and just so much the same.  My eyes have been open to how the small action can have the biggest impact.  My eyes were opened to how losing myself on a run could help me come back to those around me more myself than I was before. 
Yes, I'd say that running is eye-opening.  So promoting a company who believes that the pursuit of that euphoric feeling is worth giving away thousands of shoes just to prove that their shoes can help get you there, is something I can do.  So this nearly lifelong brand loyal girl is about to lace up a different shoe and I invite you to do the same.
Another great runners who have joined the pursuit of a brilliant run:

Thursday, July 5, 2012

A few F words

What fourth of July would be complete without a few F words?

My fourth started with a longish run across some gorgeous fields.  I didn't get up early enough to beat the heat but with Hubbs at home with the kids I wasn't running from behind the jogger so I was free to run where ever my feet wanted to go.  And I was in search of shade.  So I ran across fields, under trees, along creeks as much as possible to get my miles in before breakfast.

Then is was Family time!  We spent time together enjoying a big breakfast and just hanging out at the house.  The boys played video games while the girls some chatter and a recorded tv show we enjoy a bit more than the boys.  (aka The Bachlorette)

After a few chores because there are things to be done every day, we were off to the pool for some fun.  Nothing beats a game of ball in the pool on a very hot afternoon!

All too soon the splashing was over and we were off to the Park for some more family fun.  LBM was most excited for all the inflatables!  We went down the line until he found his favorite; the inflatable obstacle course.  He attacked it!  Over and over again.

S'ghetti girl and the hubbs were off sampling some tasty treats while LBM and I enjoyed ourselves.  Thankfully the evening had cooled a bit and the snow cones helped to keep us cool too.

It couldn't come fast enough for S'ghetti girl.  The main event.  FIREWORKS!

We spread our blanket in the field and lay back to watch the show.

The moon was still just a small orange ball low on the horizon as we ooohed and aaaaahed.

The view doesn't get much better than this!

With our 3-D glassed they looked like this.

It was a Fabulous Fun Fill Family Fourth!

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What everyone is talking about

If there were a water cooler it would be the hot topic; the heat.  Every one's talking about it.  I go to the store and the chit chat is not about the politics, not the weather, it's only about the heat.  How hot it was yesterday.  How hot it is today.  That it hasn't been this hot since...  You get the idea. 

They are right.   It's hot.  It gets hot early and it stays hot until late.  Since our treadmill adventure turned out to be a bust via Freecycle and no decision made about the options at Play It Again Sports, I am sans running options.  It's outside all the time everyday or night.  

Like many of you I am not at the mercy of the weather and elements.  While I know that I will get somewhat "used" to the higher temps here in Virginia, I know that I will rarely be able to simply walk out the door and run for an hour like I do in PA.  Now running takes a little more planning.  And sunscreen.  And hydration options.  And cell phones.  And usually jogging strollers.  Okay that last one isn't exactly new but pushing it in 100 degree weather is. 

Now I remember those new things before heading out the door.
How long will I be out?  If anything happens will I have enough fluids?
Suncreen? Even if I'm on the trails.
Cellphone?  If anything happens I can call for a ride back.
Leave a note? Or Tell someone where I'll be.
Listen to my body?  Know when enough is enough on those really tough days.

I could join the whiners and simply say it's just too hot.  Instead I have been looking at my run as if it were race day.  I've shown up and ran on race day in all kinds of weather!  Of course several times it did cross my mind to not race but I always toed the line.  That is my strategy with my daily running now; it's race day.  Just do it!

Do you have summer weather running tips?
Stay safe while you are staying active.

Monday, July 2, 2012

My scariest run ever

Back hom in PA they had hail

There are days when life and family come first and your run gets pushed farther and farther down the priority list.  That was the way my Friday played out and set the stage for one of the most frightening runs I have ever taken.  

I was sandblasted with dirt that had been blowing in the air

It started out routinely enough; I left the family in the pool.  They were cajoling me to stay and play while I knew that an hour alone would bring me back a much happier mom and wife.  So I laced the shoes, clicked on the headlight and off I went.

Back in PA luckily the only structural damage
 was to the dog enclosure.  Doggie was fine.

I planned to run 30 minutes out and then double back.  I was hoping that I could push my pace and get in about 7 miles and then jump into the pool.  I ran the first 2 miles uneventfully.  But it quickly became clear that I probably didn't have an hour before the storm that was pushing my direction would overtake me.  I've quickly learned that seeing a thunderstorm on the adjacent mountains is nothing unusual.  Quite often it will play it's self out long before getting to my house. 

24 hours after the storm there were trees still down

Friday evening was different.  The storm simply spread and kept growing with prolific lightning strikes.  I decided to turn around and head back but I was still thinking I could easily and safely make it back to the house.  Even though I did push my pace, I continued with the thought that I was completely safe until I turned onto "our" road.  Once I turned I was running in parallel to the storm instead of away from it and the wind that I hadn't even noticed before caught me. Instantly I could not stand straight up anymore, I had to almost squat to the ground to keep the wind from pushing me over. There was so much debris that I was being hit with a constant grit and leaves and branches were flying in the air. I started to run (as best I could double over) towards the nearest house when I heard the wind begin to sound like a train. All I could think was there must be a tornado and I HAD to get home. 

Tree hanging on electircal lines and into one lane of traffic

I cut across yards and fields to get closer to the house and as I did a giant flying object nearly knocked me over.  That object turned out to be our giant pool raft.  With debris hitting me and the blinding grit in the air, I chased down the raft and wedged it against me and the wind hoping I could use it to keep anything else from hitting me while I tried to call or text hubbs to come get me.  Yes, I had my phone the whole time.  As I was trying to text (I didn't think he would hear me over the wind), his truck drove by.  I tried to flash my headlamp at him but he did see.  I quickly sent a text that he ha just passed me and thankfully he got it, turned around and chuckled as I cling to that raft and wouldn't let it go until we had put it in the back of the truck. 

Back at the house the power was out which meant my only shower was with the water left in my handheld until the storm calmed and I jumped in the pool.  This will definitely go down as the scariest run I've ever!

Have a scary run story?  Think you've been though worse?
Please share.