I got cabin fever…and the only prescription is getting the eff out of the house!
2016 has gotten off to a pretty dull start for me. With the exception of running the Dopey Challenge the first weekend of the year, I spent the rest of January indoors coping with a two-week long bout with the flu (which hurt far worse than any marathon I have ever run) and then Washington, DC got hit with a massive snowstorm that buried us under 2+ feet of snow. Both of these events lined up in sequence, which meant that I literally only left my house twice in eight days: once to go get my flu diagnosis and a strict order to sleep from the doctor (I wasn’t even allowed to crochet) and the other time to stock up on storm supplies. Hauling a case of water up to your apartment when you are sick and achy is a real bitch, by the way.
Honestly, though, I was sort of okay with my mini-house arrest. The past few months have taken a lot of energy from me in dealing with personal and work life and not having my usual outlet of exercise to relieve stress. I sort of took the double whammy of the flu and blizzard as God’s way of forcing me to slow down.
Fast forward three weeks to President’s Day weekend when I am not sick anymore; however, right now, we are all forced to stay indoors as the air outside is literally colder than my freezer and the winds are nearing 50+ mph gusts. I don’t even want to leave my apartment to get groceries, which is more of my personal affront to dealing with the annoyance of polar winds in your face than the cold itself. I will never understand God’s creation of wind.
I haven’t posted anything since November. Frankly, things have been up in the air for me since the end of my fall marathon training season. As in, literally the moment it ended. I crossed the finish line of the Marine Corps Marathon around 1:30PM on Sunday, October 25, 2015. I’d just run the Baltimore Marathon 8 days earlier and finished Marine Corps about 10 minutes slower than Baltimore. I’d run a ridiculously consistent marathon. I was trying not to be a superhero– all I wanted was to finish what I had started. Unfortunately, mind and body is sometimes a two-party system that does not want to compromise. Continue reading “Where Have I Been?”
Last week, I decided to take the plunge and register to run the 40th annual Marine Corps Marathon. I’m running as a member of Team TAPS to raise funds to provide grief counseling resources to the families of our nation’s fallen heroes. I’m so honored that my training will mean something of this magnitude, but I need your help.
Who I am Running For
I live really close to Arlington Cemetery and the Marine Corps Memorial in Arlington, Virginia. When you’ve lived in Washington, DC for 6 full years, it’s easy to get desensitized to the grandeur of the memorials and monuments here, but I really haven’t. Somehow, I always keep in mind that those monuments were built and those memorials constructed for the sole purpose of honoring those whose sacrifices have made our country great.
Any runner knows that the running community is a social media community. Running and training equals hours of our lives on beautiful trails where we feel at our best, so it’s only natural for us to want to showcase what we are doing out there with a few selfies and photos of our favorite trails. In turn, we runners get motivated and inspiration from seeing what other runners are going through and we want to pass that along.
Last week, I was in DC visiting friends and interviewing for new opportunities when, as I was lacing up for an early morning run, I realized that I didn’t have very many photos of myself running along the National Mall or any of the other trails where I had spent hours of my life training to run the 2011 Marine Corps Marathon, 2013 Goofy Challenge, and 2013 Rock ‘n Roll USA Marathon. I can still remember my best training runs on the National Mall– the spot in front of the Hirshorn Museum where I cried upon finishing my first 18-mile training run or, at that time, the furthest I had ever run, looping my fifth time around the tree-lined path off the Reflecting Pool by the Lincoln Monument on a chilly 10-miler and getting a solid second wind upon seeing a strong 8:31 split. I saw countless hazy amber sunsets, dodged thousands of tourists (the spot in front of the National Air and Space Museum is a total bottle-neck), and felt the weight of realization that I was blessed to have a place to train that most would consider a bucket list run. It’s true that you have to connect with your trail to be successful as a runner, and while I have those memories of some amazing runs, I had only a few photos that documented my runs there. I felt like this had to change, so I grabbed my Panasonic Lumix camera with its self-timer and 14 megapixels, and headed out the door. Continue reading “But First…”
I haven’t been on my blog as much as I have wanted to lately for a variety of reasons; chief among them that I am not currently training for anything yet. Well, not officially anyway– officially being defined as me having sat down in front of a 20-row Word spreadsheet copying and pasting one of Hal Higdon’s or the Hanson brother’s training plans into the rows, planning out the next 18 weeks of my life, sitting back in my chair staring at it and wondering if I was going to be in over my head. Continue reading “Updates”
What is it about those fleeting minutes of sleep that make the difference between getting in a solid run and staying in bed? They literally always get me. The alarm goes off and, even when I’m at the point at which I absolutely NEED to get up, I still would rather stay in bed. Some might think I’m lazy, but really, mornings are not my thing.
For those who know me best, I am a notorious night owl. If I could stay up until the wee hours, I would. I have been an evening runner for as long as I can remember. I’m at my best at 5PM when I can instantly put a long day of work behind me with a hard run during which I can be alone with my thoughts. Running in the evenings has been my great divide between work and life. Tacking a run onto the end of my day puts something between my day at the office and the four hours I have to myself before I crawl into bed for the night. If I run in the mornings, it feels like my day just got longer and I carry my problems at work home with me to mull over when it’s time to go home. Continue reading “Morning Runners Unite! This Evening!”
I have one of those jobs that comes with the added benefit of traveling. And while I’m obviously not visiting cities big and small for the sheer joy of traveling and seeing new places– meaning, I’m not there on a vacation where I can explore and mill around leisurely and I usually have about a million things to do to get ready for my meetings on top of staying on top of the usual blizzard of emails that come through while I am physically out of the office– I’m naturally curious, so I try to take some time to explore the places I go.
Last week, work took me to New England starting first with a fly-in to New York City followed by a 3.5-hour drive north to Eastern Massachusetts. Logistically, I knew this trip was coming so I had some time to look up the area where I would be to find anything interesting to visit while I was there, and it just so happened that I was about a 15-minute drive away from Hopkinton, Massachusetts. My heart soared– I had to see the little town where the greatest race on Earth began. I had to make that happen. Continue reading “That Time I Visited Hopkinton…”
January has been kind of a quiet month on the running front. I can count on my hands how many times I have gone for a run and I can count on my other hand how many miles I have run on each of those runs. My motivation has been lagging a lot. I blame it partially on the rough Nebraska winter weather– as I write this, I can hear the wind blowing a sustained 22 mph outside my window and, even though it is somewhere around 50 degrees, in a matter of hours, the wind chill will be 20 below zero and snow flakes will be dizzily whirling around. That’s the Midwest for you. But I also realize that I am walking the fine line of burnout. Continue reading “You Deserve to Run”
I have a confession: with the exception of a treadmill 3-miler turned 1.5-miler when I realized that my very sunny gym was over 70 degrees and I was getting dizzy, I haven’t run for almost 3 weeks. My last marathon was 3 weeks ago, and it was an exhausting one. It was also at the pinnacle of a very exhausting year– not to mention I was training during the holiday season and in bitter cold winter temps that I haven’t been exposed to in five years. Overall, I think my emotions were split all over the place. It’s not that I’m a basket case– running is as mental and emotional as it is physical, and I just couldn’t focus on running when I’d have rather been still and quiet to absorb the shock from a crazy year without trying to cover things up with a Band-Aid 5-miler. I needed to hear myself think without counting cadences or monitoring my breathing. Continue reading “Taking a Break From Running”