Niagara’s Gift – An Etheree

You opened the door to a darkened room

Only the colored waters tumbling,

Like my heart for your thoughtful gift,

Into the steamy cauldron

Of sacrifice, support

Commitment and strength

Only with you

Life’s barrels

Withstand

Falls

This etheree was inspired by Hélène’s “What do you see?” Picture Prompt of a beautifully wrapped gift. Gifts can come in many types – some are concrete objects, others are experiences, while still others are words or emotions. Gifts are usually given for special occasions but the best ones, I think, are the ones given “just because”.

The other picture is the view from our hotel room this weekend – a gift from my loving, supportive hubby who also drove us all the way to Niagara Falls so I could run the the Niagara Falls International Women’s Half Marathon. The race will start in just 7 hours but I am awake with nervous energy. I did not train very well for this race and I just got a new shoes two days ago (since my old pair were completely destroyed) so I am not setting the bar too high on my finish time.

I did get to meet the trailblazing Katherine Switzer who is as lovely and kind as she is inspirational! She is 72 and still so vibrant! She told me that her ancestors were Germans who settled in the Lancaster, PA area and became known as the Pennsylvania Dutch. Who knew?

I’m also starting the race with a group of wonderful women from Moms RUN this Town, not to mention the hundreds of other fabulous women who are running this race. So, I know that no matter my time tomorrow – I’m going to finish and feel accomplished!

But I also know I wouldn’t be here this weekend without the gift of my family supporting this crazy obsession of mine to run. So this race is for them…although I’m still keeping the medal all to myself.

©️ iido 2019

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Quiet Run – A Double Nonet

Crash boom ba dum ba dum ba dum boom

Drum practice or brothers wrestling?

Vroom vroom whee-ooo whee-ooo waah!

It’s mine! I got it first!

Stop annoying me!

Sister slams door

I tie shoes

Bye Hun

I

Run

Away

Quietly

Footsteps shushing

Faster to capture

The scent of mowed, mulched lawn

The feel of sunset’s soft breath

The taste of silent sanity

Glistening saltily on my cheek

This double nonet incorporates Patrick’s Pic and a Word Weekly Challenge #189 – Quiet and also Jamie’s Wednesday Writing Prompt to write about any sport that engages me.

I have never been a “sporty” person – I was usually one of the last people picked for teams and I was definitely the last person to finish the mile run in high school (collapsing at the end just to prove how unsporty I was!). I didn’t even know my high school had a football team until I started dating one of the players. And I only learned about the rules of the game when I started watching football in college.

My first foray into sports was running which I discovered in my early 30’s. I figured if I could walk, then I could run since putting one foot in front of the other didn’t seem to require that much coordination or other athletic ability. Yeah, right. Still, I was smitten by the race medals and the opportunity to have some “quiet me time” when I ran. As my family can attest – I am a much nicer person after a run!

©️ iido 2019

Heaven Sent Group Run – A Lai Poem and Running Update

Eyes up to heaven

Running mile seven

I’m tired

My legs feel deaden

“Come on,” you beckon

Perspired

Running moms hearten

Together driven

Inspired

Another Lai Poem for D’Verse. The topic for this one uses the prompt from Patrick’s Pic and a Word #185 – Heavens. I’ve been on a streak with Patrick’s wonderful prompts! Head on over and see the lovely photos and words he uses for his weekly challenge. Patrick’s photos and poems from his recent travels are magnificent!!

While I didn’t get to actually run my seven miles this weekend like I was supposed to (rain and family obligations had me cutting it short), I was very grateful for the women who joined me from my local Moms Run This Town chapter. I was running short intervals while two other mamas were running longer intervals and our speedster mama was just running. We would leapfrog each other on the out and back trail, coming back when we would get too far out.

Even though I was running by myself at my own pace for most of this group run, just knowing my running friends were ahead of me or behind me made me happy and kept my motivation high. That’s running heaven!

Edited to add: I’ve also submitted this for Jamie’s Wednesday Writing prompt on The Poet by Day to write about friends. Is it weird that most of my friends are runners or writers?

©️ iido 2019

Soul Fertilizer – A Haibun and Running Update

The packed, gravel path crunches like my favorite candy bar beneath my feet.  The smell is not delicious chocolate but cow patties, liquified and repurposed. The steam from this concoction rises from the turned earth like the steam from my body on this 6 mile run. The smells are similar but mine reeks of determination and accomplishment. Each run is risky – maybe if I was more consistent, I would know what to expect, I would know that I wouldn’t fail, that I would keep going and not give up.  But I don’t, except for today – today, my run wasn’t shit, but it did fertilize my soul.

Risk in every step

But I’m not going gently

In that fading light

This haibun was written for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #183 – Risk and also incorporates Beth’s Tuesday Writing Prompt at the Go Dog Go Cafe to use the phrase “fading light”.

I haven’t done an update on my training for the Niagara Falls International Women’s Half Marathon that I am training for – maybe it’s because I really haven’t been consistent with my training at all. With sick kids and spring break and other obligations, running has definitely taken a back seat except for this past weekend when I was able to get a run in with a local friend of mine who is also part of Moms RUN this Town.

Danielle was one of the first running moms I met when we moved to PA. She recently had an adorable baby boy and is training for the same half marathon in Niagara as I am (she was the one who actually told me about this race). Danielle is one of the most kind, energetic and determined women that I have met here.  Being a local, she taught me so much about this area (like how to pronounce certain words, introducing me to the local farmers’ market) when I first arrived.  Running with Danielle is always fun and this run was no exception. We were even able to see the Easter Bunny at the end of our run!

After this spring break week, I am getting back into a regular schedule with running so be ready for more sweaty pictures of me!

©️ iido 2019

Ode to the Taji100 – A Quadrille and Running Update

Dawn’s light blush appears

As I sip this bitter brew

Trying to feel connected

To the desert and to you

Soft heat on my tongue

Lacks sandy grit and dirt

My eyes closed in prayer

As yours stay alert

My peace

For your hurt

This Quadrille includes prompts from Mish at dVerse, Quadrille #74 – Sip and from Beth Amanda at the Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Prompt – Light.

Another serendipitous meeting of prompts that helped me to express my thoughts about completing the Taji100. “Complete” might be too strong of a word since I am no where near the 100 miles I was supposed to run for this challenge during February. Between snow days and hubby traveling, finding the time to run was more difficult that usual. Coupled with freezing weather, I just couldn’t bring myself to run with the stroller either – Mommy guilt: it’s ok if I’m running in the freezing cold but I don’t want to put my child through that.

Still, I think about all the men and women in the military who suffer in heat and cold and other uncomfortable (to put it mildly) situations all over the world. I know my difficulties are nothing compared to the trials of being active military.

I asked one of my friends who was in the Army how he can run so fast. His answer was, “You learn to run fast when someone is shooting at you.”

My personal goal now is to run 50 miles before February 28. Yes, I know that’s tomorrow…I’m going out for a 10-15 mile run right after I post this. It’s 25 degrees out but at least there aren’t snipers in my neighborhood.

©️ iido 2019

Why Run? – A Sonnet and Running Update

If ever there was a reason to run

Just pick one, or more, that gets you to start

Run from the weather – snow, rain or the sun

Run from the pain of a broken up heart

Take one step, then two, and three leads to four

Fast steps or slow steps, or even combine

Just moving forward can settle the score

The gift of running can lead you to shine

Not just with sweat but with thoughts that bring peace

The clarity comes with each passing mile

Arms pumping like flying that brings release

When you’re done hyperventilating – smile

Running from means you’re also running to

Does the Why matter? Just Run. Run for you.

This sonnet was my attempt to join in the fun with Björn at dVerse. I am a tad late with this entry and Mr Linky is closed but if you happen upon this post, and have some thoughts, I would love the feedback! I always feel like my sonnets are too “campy, nursery rhyme-ish”. Maybe it’s the meter or the rhyme, but I feel like I can’t write a grown up sonnet. I bet Shakespeare never felt that way…

Usually sonnets are written about love so this one is about something that I love – running. As with any love story, the longer the relationship, the more ebb and flow in feelings, but for the most part, running has remained a constant in my life where the highs outweigh the lows.

Today, February 1, 2019 starts the Taji100 challenge where I will attempt to run/walk/crawl 100 miles in 28 days. Doing that math, that means about 25 miles a week or about 3.6 miles a day. Being that today brought snow and icy conditions that prevented me from running (and alas, no treadmill at home), I am already behind. I have plans tomorrow to make up some miles though!

I think that is one of the greatest gifts of running – perseverance. Another mile, another two minutes, another 10 steps, run until the next light post. Little victories, little defeats, but in the end…that sense of accomplishment…smile….

Change Scale – A Quadrille and Running Update

I stare at you

And wiggle my toes

Willing you to change

With my mind

While my body remains

On the Couch

Softly spreading

Creaking with complaints

I finally get up to walk

To the fridge

for a cold beverage.

Change is thirsty work.

De Jackson hosts the 2019’s first Quadrille Monday at dVerse (#71) with the theme: Change. Another apropos theme for the start of the year. Thank you De Jackson!

As with a lot of people, I posted last week my health goals for the year. So despite the 30 degree weather, I went for a short run by myself while my kids were at their horse riding lessons. It was so cold that my breath never warmed up enough for me to see it, but I did feel pretty bada$$ running in the cold. Like I was a real runner and nothing was going to stop me from a run.

Of course, I am a “real runner” but my recent spate of not prioritizing running has made me feel somewhat of an imposter. I mean, isn’t family supposed to come before running? And what about my passion of writing? What I’m really striving for is balance! Not the sometimes elusive scale balance (holding an ice cream cone in each hand does not a balanced scale make!) but the even more rare, life balance. Where, oh where, is that life balance? Maybe it’s hiding under the running shoes….

©️ iido 2019