Slump Bump

Ok, I’m admitting it! I’m in a running slump. Truthfully though, it’s only partially my lack of motivation. The other part is having 4 kids home for the summer. When they were in camp, I was able to fit in my weekly runs. But now that summer is winding down, they requested no camps in August so they can “relax” until school starts. Did you know that there is an inverse relationship between the amount of “relaxation” time kids have versus moms? 


The above is a picture my kids drew of me – yes, they know when I need a run!!

My saving grace has been my Saturday runs. These have been the most consistent mostly due to my Moms Run this Town group. These ladies are totally worth waking up early for!


The other part is being able to run without kids. I know some super women can push a triple stroller and break world records but at this point in my running life, that’s just not me!

Running has really become my time for reflection and reconnection with myself and my mother runner friends. As you can tell from some of my previous posts, there’s been a lot of things happening that has me doing a lot of thinking. And I know from the past that too much introspection is not good for my soul – I’m an extrovert at heart so I need to get out and be around people to find that balance, to do some reality testing and to regain my energy. So social running is a must for me!

How about you? What bumps you out of your slump? 

Advertisements

I can see Canada from here…

I met my husband in the lovely city of Pittsburgh and assumed that he was a city boy. I grew up in New York City so city folk were all I knew.  Little did I know that my husband was really a country boy – a fishing, hunting, camping, growing his own food type of country boy.  When he brought me to his hometown of Erie, PA, I found out the depths of his country roots. 

Actually, I love going back to my husband’s hometown and visiting his parents.  Each visit brings new insights into why my honey is the way he is and why I love him – because of or despite of – these revelations. 
On this visit, I was able to run the trail on Presque Isle – a beautiful paved path along Lake Erie.

This was actually my first time running this trail. Usually we are visiting his parents during the holidays and winters in Erie are prettt cold and snowy – not my ideal running weather. 

I was amazed by the views on this trail. While that actually isn’t Canada across the water (it’s Erie), it did make me think of the differences between Canada and the US (check out this link for an opinion why). Especially since the last election, my view of the US as the “best nation in the world” has done a 180. As I am running along this beautiful trail, all I can think about as I look at the faces of people I am passing, is how many of these people voted for Trump. 

This thought made me both angry and afraid. I stopped smiling and making eye contact with the people going in the other direction. Most of them were older white people, a few were middle aged white people, some with kids. None of them threatened me in any obvious way – none wore MAGA hats or swastikas – but I did get stares and non-smiling faces. As if people were wondering what an Asian woman was doing running along Lake Erie. 

The experience of “otherness” is one I have been more acutely aware of in the past months. As a runner, I liked to think that other runners, other health minded people, were open minded in the same way that I was. However, I’ve learned the hard way that this way of thinking about runners and others in the health community is not always true. 

This realization sunk in deep during this run.  At least the beautiful scenery was a buoy to my sinking spirit. 

Sola 

My recent post about my self-professed “fish love of running” has stayed in my mind since I posted it. If you know me IRL, you know that I am not a natural runner. I only started running when I was 30 so it’s been only about 13 years since I laced up my first pair of running shoes. 

This week, I did a couple of quick miles while my girls were at their horse back riding lesson (yes, I am living vicariously through them – what little girl didn’t go through a horse obsession?). 

The spirit of grace and speed…oh yes, and there are horses in the picture too! 🤣

It was my first sola run in a long time, probably almost a year since we moved to our new locale. As much as I love running with my group #MRTT, having this time for myself was something I didn’t realize I was missing. 

When I first started running, I ran exclusively alone. I was worried about being slow and didn’t want anyone witnessing my walking or jiggly body parts. As I was able to run farther and faster and became more confident, I joined my local running group and realized the awesomeness that is the group run. Now, I usually always run with my MRTT group and do stuff like this:

#sportsbrasquad #mrttbodsquad

Running has definitely given me the gift of confidence not just in my body but in mind and spirit. 

And that’s something I really need right now. 

As lovely as the farmland surrounding me during this run, I couldn’t help but think of the people living in the area who might not welcome me running through, who would think of me as “other” and attribute any number of negative qualities based on my skin and facial features. Would they even see me as “just” a runner? I couldn’t decide whether I should try to run faster for safety or run slower to prove that I, too, deserve to be here. 

As my footsteps found their rhythm, my breathing became my focus and I was finally able to enjoy my run. This is the second best gift I have received from running: the ability to have a few moments of freedom. 

**** **

© iiDo and iDoRun, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (written or pictorial/photographical) without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to iiDo and iDoRun with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

I Fish Love Running

I recently saw a video from Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski about True Love.  He told the story of a man who said he “loves fish” and then he comments that this man loved fish so much that “he took the fish out of the water, killed it and ate it”.  The question: Is that True Love? The answer is “No” – if you love someone or something because of what it can give you, that isn’t True Love.  True Love is about giving to the other, not taking.  Mother Teresa seems to also agree.

With all this evidence, I think I have to finally admit something….I don’t truly love running. I fish love running.  I love running because of what it can give me – muscular legs, smaller waistline, stronger heart and lungs, time for myself and time with other health-minded women.  Running gives me perspective – it clears my head and my heart.  When I run outside, running gives me the chance to enjoy the beauty of quiet rail trails and the hustle of city sidewalks.  Running on a treadmill gives me permission to use my imagination and make believe that running an incline of 4 is equal to running the Mount Washington Road Race.

What have I given to running? Hundreds of old sneakers (which I usually donate to the Nike Reuse-a-shoe Program)…smelly sports bras and running capris….OK – I do give up time with my family but honestly, I don’t mind because I need that time away.  I’ve also given up time from other activities like eating, reading, pooping, watching TV, but it’s not like I’ve given up chocolate or midnight mint mocha frappuccinos.

I’ve tried to do my part in giving back to the running community. I’ve volunteered at races and I’ve devoted numerous hours to my Moms RUN this Town (MRTT) chapter.  And this year, I coordinated the first Healthy Kids Running Series (HKRS) in my new hometown, a program that promotes the running lifestyle to kids age 2-13.  But does that truly show my love of running or does it show that I just love to get free shirts?

fish at long pk

In my opinion, all these activities have given back to me in more ways than I’ve given to them.  Joining MRTT was my way of getting to know other women in my new area. Starting HKRS gave me an outlet for my energy and creativity since I had 3 out of 4 kids at school this past year.

Are you keeping score of who truly loves who? Well, you shouldn’t! True love doesn’t work that way!

I just have to accept it – running truly loves me while I only fish love running.  At least for now.  Maybe the next race will be the one to prove that I really, truly do love running.

But I wouldn’t hold my breath…

 

 

*****************

© iiDo and iDoRun, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (written or pictorial/photographical) without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to iiDo and iDoRun with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Frozen

My heartbeat slowed

But didn’t stop

You made my heart Brake

And Break

Shattered and frozen

Because you couldn’t…wouldn’t….didn’t

So I pick up the pieces

And pick up the pace

You’re on your own now.

snow tree

*****************************************************

Hello! It’s been a long time….

It’s seemed like a very long winter for many reasons…yet, all seasons must come to an end and I randomly decided that today was the day for this particular season to end for me. Today is Mother’s Day 2017 – a day of significance for women who may be celebrating or grieving, answering their call to action or acknowledging that mothering comes in many forms.

I have “mothered” since I was a young child: helping out around the house by doing laundry, the dishes, watching my younger siblings. I was the “listening ear” and “shoulder to cry on” for my friends. I was responsible and dependable.  I have always been a caretaker in some form or another.  I even entered a profession based on care taking.

Yet, being a mother is something that, I still feel, doesn’t come naturally to me.  In the same way, that running doesn’t come naturally to me. What does come naturally to me is sleeping, eating, snuggling in a warm bed, and reading books for hours.  However, none of those things can get you medals on a regular basis.

But being an AWESOME MOTHER RUNNER does!!

awesome MR picThanks to the wonderful folks at Gone for a Run and of course, my fantastic Moms RUN this Town Chapter, I got a 5K run done on this Mother’s Day Weekend.  (Thanks to my husband and kids, the laundry got folded and I did not touch one pan this entire weekend!)

This run gave me some time to think about my relationship with my other female friends, most of whom are moms in one way or another.  I used to think that being a mom automatically made us “simpatica” – the shared understanding of the push and pull that comes with being responsible for these little bundles of energy and love.

However, these past few months has taught me the difficult truth that this isn’t always true – there may be a time and place, that another woman and I might connect but then later, in different circumstances, that connection becomes broken and may even become irreparably severed.

At times, I’ve felt that way about running, too – that running and I had reached a point where we weren’t on the same wavelength. More specifically, running wanted to keep me moving forward, while my body, heart and/or mind wanted to keep me firmly on the couch.  These impasses have always been difficult for me to navigate, yet in the end, moving forward always wins and I put my running shoes on.

So, that’s what I’m doing today. Because staying frozen is really not an option.  I’m ready to “let it go” (haha, of course! Insert eye roll here) and start moving forward again.

 

*********************************

© iiDo and iDoRun, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to iiDo and iDoRun with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Intertwined

(Written in response to the #PicandaWord weekly challenge prompt, from Pix to Words, 12/25/16.)

***********
The woman I am

Is the woman I was

The quiet one

The smart one

The bookworm

The one who ran a high school mile in 20 minutes 

The woman I am

Is the woman I was

The hands in my back pocket, 

I can conquer the world,

Let the party begin,

I can pull off an A paper in 4 hours Co-ed

Who wasn’t self aware enough

Who wasn’t practiced enough

To know alcoholic lies 

The woman I am

Is the woman I was

The trusting in a good world 

How did this happen to me

Despite my negative words

Against my feminist will

It must be my fault

Forgive me, understand me lover. 

The woman I am

Is the woman I was

The grieving mother

The don’t get too close so it doesn’t hurt mother

The oh it could be fun and easy mother

The I didn’t realize boys were so different mother

The stay my baby a little a lot longer mother

The woman I am

Is the woman I was

Angry and hurt

Confused yet hopeful

Spurned into action

Despite fears of rejection

I am the intersection of

My gender

My ethnicity

My religion

My race

The intertwining of identity and history

The woman I am

Is the woman I was

Is the woman I will become
©iido, 2016