Sunday, November 09, 2008
I am a transplanted southerner and hate cold weather.
The midwest has been my home for 18 years. I'm not sure why it's called the midwest because I am pretty far north and nowhere near anything in the middle. But here I am.
Every fall I get antsy because I know winter is just around the bend. The days get shorter and I begin lamenting the end of warm weather which means layers. Layers mean it takes more time and energy to get anywhere. And it means being cold. Real cold.
But today marks a new era.
It was 30 degrees this morning but the wind-chill put the temp at 19. Yikes! I was due for my long run and had zero motivation, especially given the temperature and brisk wind. However, after talking to my sister-in-law who recently lost 30 lbs. I decided "I want to try this." I put Cuddle Duds on top and bottom, followed with running pants, shirt and vest overtop, and then donned gloves, hat and a windbreaker. Chap-stick was the finishing touch. I warmed up with lots of stretches, more than usual. Then I was out the door.
You know what? I wasn't as cold as I thought I would be. I was actually comfortable the whole time. I thought the cold and wind would compromise my cardio but it didn't! Usually the first mile is difficult. Not today. Usually by mile four I am ready to give up. Not today. It was such a high! Dare I say it? It seemed easier to run in the cold.
Around mile five my knee started to hurt. I probably should have stopped but I didn't. That's something I need to work on, listening to my body. But I was so content with how my my lungs were responding to the cold that I kept going. In the end, I ran 6.5 miles and if it wasn't for my knee and that little voice inside my head, I would have gone further. Hopefully that little voice will continue to keep me injury-free.
I am not a fast runner. My time was 1:25 (and 19 seconds) which averages to 13 minutes per mile. But I have discovered today that there is a reason to like cold weather after all. It makes me enjoy running. Go figure.
Sunday, August 31, 2008
I heard "I'm One' by The Who this week. I hadn't heard it in years. It put me right back in those pre-teen years - the angst, anxiety, awkwardness.
My son starts middle school this week. He's extremely bright, has a great sense of humor and a big heart. But, he's also small for his age, younger than most of the kids in his grade, not into sports and he's sometimes a target for bullies. I worry about him.
I've finally figured out that I want him to have a middle school experience that doesn't exist. I want him to breeze through his days, to be confident and cool and to be liked and appreciated by everybody. Not judged.
But that experience doesn't exist.
I started this journey with Spark back in January. I felt like a loser. Those first few weeks were tough as I wanted to eat everything in sight and exercise was torture. As the weeks went by I started to feel better and began to figure out who I wanted to be: a healthy, active, calm, confident, competent - and present - woman.
It wasn't easy and it involved a lot of trial and error. Just like middle school.
I worried in the beginning what everybody thought of me. I agonized over photos and how to best present myself. But now, in the words of The Who,
"And I can see,
"This is me
"And I will be"
And so I realize my son "will be." He'll figure it out. My job is to let him go and let him be.
I'm One (The Who)
Every year is the same
And I feel it again,
I'm a loser - no chance to win.
Leaves start falling,
Come down is calling,
Loneliness starts sinking in.
But I'm one.
I am one.
And I can see
That this is me,
And I will be,
You'll all see
I'm the one.
Where do you get
Those blue blue jeans
Faded patched secret so tight.
Where do you get
That walk oh so lean
Your shoes and your shirts
All just right.
But I'm one.
I got a Gibson
Without a case
But I can't get that even tanned look on my face.
Ill fitting clothes
I blend in the crowd,
Fingers so clumsy
Voice too loud.
But I'm one.
Friday, July 04, 2008
My father talked me into doing the Killer Dunes run. It's a two mile footrace on Jockey's Ridge in the Outer Banks, NC - UP two big dunes and running ALL ON SAND. At one point in the race, it was a straight upward climb. The race is put on by a serious running club. There were about 120 people who participated.
Me, my dad, mom, son, daughter and nephew participated. Three generations. It was tough but we earned our t-shirts. It was hot, hilly, sandy and nothing any of us had ever done before. Everybody got a ribbon except me (too many 40-somethings in my age group!) My mom and dad both got first place (the only ones in their age group). My daughter got first (the only one in her age group). And my son and nephew took fifth and fourth place in their age group. It was such a fun time.
I learned that I have come a long way since January. I actually held back because my mom was having trouble along the way. I stayed with her instead of running ahead. We were dead last with a time of 48 min. but we did it. She was probably seriously dehydrated. She claims she will "never do THAT" again. I can't wait to do it again.
I learned my kids are resourceful. My daughter got lost (trail was pooly marked in one area) but luckily she knew to stay with a group of people. They were all lost but they eventually figured out where the course was. She stuck with them. She didn't finish ahead of me and mom but she should have. She did a three mile killer dune run instead of the required two miles.
I learned that my dad is quite an athlete - and a gentleman. He could have run circles around all of us but he stayed with the boys. He was so happy that we were all there together; his personal race meant nothing to him.
I learned that my running shoes can collect a lot of sand in a short amount of time.
See that dune in the background of the above photo? See the tiny people on top of the hill just above my daughter's head? It's a BIG dune. We ran up and over two of those, and more hills along the way. And I didn't die. I didn't even feel like I was going to die.
Can't wait to do it again.
I've come a long way.
And I didn't do it alone. Thanks Sparkbuds. You know who you are!
Thursday, June 12, 2008
You would have been 45 today. Still the big brother.
Mom had a tough morning. Dad didn't say anything. Karen's having a tough month. In between your birthday and Father's Day, June is the pits. The kids are fine but I suppose that hole will always be there, the absence of you. Everybody's fine but these anniversaries remind us of how everything has changed.
Each year I try to do something special on your birthday (and the anniv. of your death), something that honors your memory and that brightens someone else's day. I did something a little different this time. It's something you needed years ago but couldn't give yourself. So I give it in your name to someone else.
So that's my gift to you today.
We miss you terribly.
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