Peaks

First a haiku…inspired by Pic and a Word Challenge #145. Thank you, Patrick!

Running up and down

Should I welcome the plateau?

I have peaked too soon

And now, some thoughts….

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A serendipitous coincidence occurred while we were hiking the Shirley Canyon Trail: the Western States 100 Mile Endurance Run was taking place at Squaw Valley Resort that same weekend. The day before the actual race started, they held the Altra 6k Uphill Challenge and the route crossed the trail we were doing. (Um, running a race before the race? Seriously! These are some hard core runners!!)

I got really excited when I saw people with bib numbers on the trail. Of course I had to be all fan girl and clap and cheer for the runners I saw. It’s the closest I’ve been to seeing real live ultra runners in action and WOW! The grace and strength of their bodies coupled with the confidence of their strides – truly awe inspiring!!

While I probably will never run the Western States 100, I’ve still felt the excitement and anxiety of running such a challenging trail race. Have you ever had to step back and let your “little baby” climb up boulders on his own (or pour his own milk or walk down the hall to his classroom alone on the first day of school) because he is a big kid and wants to do it by himself? I’m pretty sure it’s that same feeling. It reinforces the truth that running (and parenting) is as much a mental activity as it is a physical one.

I’m an “advanced maternal age” runner so I haven’t been as prolific as runners who started earlier in life. I ran my first marathon at aged 40 and finished in 5:59 – one bucket list item checked off! But I haven’t been able to run a “sub-6 hour” marathon since. It’s still one of my running goals but as I get older, I wonder if I should keep it on my “list of things to do”.

Then, I see this:

Is there more than one peak in my life? Heck yeah!! At least, I hope so! Either way, I’m going to enjoy the journey as I find out. How about you?

Mountain Air Moving

(Haiku)

Mountain air moves me

Leaving city hurts behind

Nature heals my heart

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Trail Review: Shirley Canyon Trail, Tahoe-Truckee, CA

I had resolved to incorporate more physical activity in my daily life. I’ve come to realize that the “waiting for the perfect alignment of weather, schedules, and motivation” work out method was really NOT working for me – hence my weeks (months!) of not running.

I usually don’t get any workouts done on my vacations but I had planned ahead this time and made sure we had more than just restaurant reservations on our itinerary. While I don’t think the hikes and walks totally counteracted my indulgent eating, I did get to see some spectacular sights and I felt fantastic closing my circles!

The Tahoe-Truckee area has fabulous trails that wind up the majestic Sierra Nevada mountains. While beautiful to look at, the water was still freezing cold despite 70+ degree weather.

Climbing the hills above Donner Lake.

Climbing the hills above Donner Lake.

Hiking the Shirley Canyon Trail.

Hiking the Shirley Canyon Trail.

The Shirley Canyon Traila was a terrific trail for our group of 4 adults and 6 kids aged 12 to 3. We did a two mile out and back route on this trail due to the two sets of little legs we had with us. I have to say that both my 5 and 3 year old did terrific on this trail. There is a section where you basically have to climb over rocks to stay on the path. They clambered up those rocks like they were part mountain goat (must be on my hubby’s side!). We only had 1 serious scrape that needed first aid and minimal whining!

This trail is also very dog friendly. I was surprised by how many dogs were channeling their inner mountain goat on the rocks!

The trail had two waterfalls – one about a third of the way in and the other around the 0.8 mile mark. We turned back at that point but if we had continued we would have reached Shirley Lake (about 2.3 miles one way) and then eventually have reached High Camp, part of the Squaw Valley Ski Area (about 4.4 miles total one way). Once at High Camp, hikers can take the ski lift tram back to the bottom for free. Once my kiddos get older, we will definitely attempt to reach Shirley Lake and High Camp.

During this hike, I couldn’t help but think of the families who traverse the dangers of their country of origin and walk towards, what they believe, would be a better life in the United States, only to be torn apart at our southern border. As a mother and an immigrant, the anger and sadness of this injustice keeps me awake at night. While I cherished the time I get to spend with my kids before, during and after this hike, I mourn for the families who are separated due to the current US politics. Whatever side of the debate you’re on, if you are a parent and an American, I hope you realize that this is the antithesis of what our country, our flag and our Constitution stands for.

©️ iidorun 2018

Focus (A Poem)

It’s easy to lose it

And end up wandering

Or wondering

The shoes of my mind

Scattered

Like questions asked by a precious if not so precocious child

Why why why

Whispering like leaves caught underfoot

Who have no say

As to where they go

Running used to find it

Embody it

Relish in the discipline of it

Until the leaves got smashed

Surprisingly stuck to shoes

In my mind

Slipping

Scaring

Scarring

So that when it’s found again

(And it will be)

It will be changed

The path is the same

The leaves underfoot

The shoes

Now tied tight

As my breath

Held

Focus

Let go

And begin again.

Written in response to Pic and a Word Challenge #144.

©️iidorun 2018

Group Run EXTRA Love

We are vacationing this week and were able to stop in San Jose, the heart of Silicon Valley and my old running grounds. How I’ve missed these golden trails and the lovely women who helped shaped me as a runner (literally and figuratively)!

My 7 am Saturday morning run was one of my fastest – and most effortless – in recent months. Catching up with some awesome women is always a great way to distract my brain and body during a run.

Plus the views and the weather! Perfection!!

At this group run, we broke up into 3 groups – BAMRs who were running straight, middle of the packers who were doing 3:1 intervals and a couch to 5k group who were doing 1:1 intervals. Because this was an out and back course, we all got to see each other over the 4 miles and cheer each other on. Some of the moms were also running a virtual race for childhood cancer and had dressed up for our miles that morning.

RBs always know how to make running more enjoyable – whether dressing up or playing running games or just being their fantastic selves and sharing conversation! Here we are “racing” to catch up to the other group. That’s Loriann (in her Superwoman costume – borrowed from her pup!) and Jamie (in her Cancer Mom Strong shirt) making way for Darlene and I as we show off our peak racing form!

Darlene and I were Chapter Leaders together and ironically, we were both from New England prior to moving to SJ. Being CLs had its ups and downs, but I’m sure Darlene will agree that the ups outweighed the downs. Since I first met Darlene, she has undergone a significant physical transformation and she is now one strong and speedy mother runner! Plus, she continues to encourage other moms to start or continue in their running journey. This Saturday, she brought a friend who ran her first 4 mile route that day. Darlene is the RB who will make the time to run with you when you really need the company.

Josephine is my Ate (that’s Big Sister in Tagalog) from another inay (mother). She is my “running goals inspiration”! For her last significant birthday (she turned 25…again!), she ran the Rome Marathon and now she is training for Chicago. She kept me going during our epically humid Maui Race and despite her claims of “I’m never racing in Hawaii ever again,” I know she’s gone back there to prove just how much of a BAMR she is!

The test of a true good RB is that even after months or years of not running together, once your feet start moving, it’s like no time has passed! And that’s why MRTT group runs always have a special place in my heart and in my life! ❤️

Group Run Love

I’ve written before about my wonderful running group, Moms RUN this Town – but I’m doing a special shout out to my local MRTT Chapter. These women get me out and push me to run stronger every time. And since most of them are moms – they don’t put up with complaining or whining or any other BS.

Case in point, yesterday I was supposed to go out for a run, however:

Excuse #1: forecast called for rain. The sky was cloudy and it had been raining on and off all morning. But my running buddy (RB), Michele, sent me texts showing where we were running was rain free for a couple of hours.

Excuse #2: my kids started to whine about the possibility of rain, that they were hungry, that they wanted to bring a different helmet, that they wanted their bike and not the scooter, that they were worried about slipping if the ground was wet…you get the picture, right? But my RB said to just come up, if it rains, we’ll have lunch instead!

Excuse #3: on the way to the run, I needed to stop for a kid potty break, which would make us 15 min late for our meet up. But my RB said, no worries, I’ll wait for you!

(Sigh) All my attempts for getting out of the run were thwarted!

And I am so glad!!

We had a great run with minimal whining (adults and kids) and no rain. We even did hill repeats to break up our usual routine.

If I was running by myself…well, let’s just say this post would NOT have been about running!

So here’s to all the beautiful women who make up MRTT! LOVE my BAMR RBs!!

❤️❤️❤️❤️

Happy Global Running Day!

I did it and everyone survived! Well, almost – my 8 year old did end up falling off her scooter and scrapping her knee and I ended up pushing her 50 lb self (plus the 35 lb 3 year old) up the hill for almost a mile) – but we ended up with 3 miles altogether and I couldn’t be happier!

Several things prevented this run from being a total “crying my eyes out from sheer frustration” disaster.

First, I ran with two awesome women from my MRTT running group who kept me sane and prevented me from turning back. They even offered to push the double stroller! They had bandaids and kind words and ran ahead with my other kids.

Second, my trusty BOB double stroller. I got this stroller 2nd hand for $250 and it’s the best investment I’ve made as a mother runner.

Third, is YOU – because I said I would run today and I know YOU will be wondering and holding me accountable. (You know who YOU are!).

So there it is!! A run and a blog post, oh -and a shower!! Happy Global Running Day!

(Yes, only 3 of those feet belong to grown ups!)

Opposite Day

Or “Opposite (almost) Year”!!!

This blog is supposed to be about running but my life has been the exact opposite the past few months. Hence, the lack of posts. And this flipped magnet.

Oh sure, I’ve been running here and there….I’ve even run a few races….but running’s role as one of my defining characteristics, as the sun at the center of my universe has shifted.

There are many reasons why (don’t worry, I’m sure I’ll write about them sooner or later). Some might even say that running shouldn’t be the center of my life, that it should be my family or career or God. Some might say that taking a break is good, that I’m redefining myself and my priorities in life.

But, the fact is, that running is what has kept me grounded and sane and less than 200 lbs.*. Without it, I’m kind of at a loss…and I’m kind of getting really out of shape.

So, I’m putting it out there to make it official: on Wednesday, June 6, 2018 which is Global Running Day, I am recommitting to Running (and blogging). It is January 25 no longer!

Now I’m off to eat some spaghetti and ice cream…calories don’t count on Opposite Day!

* I am trying to be mindful of fat shaming and don’t want people to think that I am using “200 lbs” to signify that anyone around or over that weight is unhealthy or needs to lose weight. According to my PCP, 200 lbs is not a healthy weight for me when I am not pregnant (actually it wasn’t healthy for me even when I was pregnant, but whatever – I was making a baby!!). My chances of becoming a diabetic who needs medication increases at that weight. I also feel more lethargic and grumpy and depressed, especially as my clothes start to get tight.

Everyone is different though. My “unhealthy weight” may be your “healthy weight” and vice versa. Feeling good about yourself and comfortable in your own skin, no matter your weight or size or body shape, is one message I wholeheartedly support. It’s just a number and that definitely shouldn’t be anyone’s defining characteristic.