Intertwined

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

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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

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It’s official…

Merry Christmas everyone! And Happy Chanukah to all my Jewish friends!

This post was supposed to go out in October however it didn’t. Blame it on my continued issue with being distracted (also called “4 kids syndrome”). Blame it on the outcome of the presidential election (also called “proud to be a snowflake because it means I am a caring human being” syndrome). It’s been an exhausting two months and running with my MRTT group has been one of the few things that has helped recharge me. 

As the new year approaches, I am again re-committing to practicing self-care through running and writing/blogging.  No more hiding out and using other people’s words to speak my truth. 

It’s official….
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I ran my first race in PA last weekend (*meaning back on October 16, 2016) – the Hershey Half Marathon. That means I am officially a Pensylvanian Runner!


It was a hilly course, but getting to run through Hersheypark and having kids from the Milton Hershey School cheer us on was totally worth it.


I wasn’t too fond of the sections where we ran through the parking lot around the stadium (especially towards the end – that was like the Sahara Desert of parking lot runs!). But overall the course and the course support was pretty good. 

I did 2:1 intervals the entire race and it felt really good! I have become a true interval convert – I haven’t been injured since doing interval running and I feel great and energized at the end instead of feeling like I am dying! That’s a good thing right? 



The one disappointment at the end was the non-chocolate chip cookie. We got a great lunch bag with other goodies, but when I bit into the cookie and realized it was oatmeal raisin – what the what??!!  This is HERSHEY – the chocolate capital of the world! I don’t care if oatmeal raisin is a better “recovery cookie”….I want my chocolate!! Maybe next year they can make it chocolate chip oatmeal raisin? 

Pretty please with a Hershey kiss on top? 


(Above image from Quotesgram.) 

Cookie blood

No worries – this isn’t one of those gross posts…it’s my attempt at explaining why I haven’t been posting…or running…

I started this blog because running had become such an integral part of my life in CA…I thought running was in my blood but what I really have in my blood is this:


And now this:


Yes, I am cooking periogies with chopsticks….

We’ve been here a little over a month and are mostly unpacked. The “We just moved here” excuse is wearing thin.

It’s been hot and humid here, but I just moved from CA where hot is the norm so that excuse is wearing thin.

We live in a low traffic neighborhood and I’ve found a couple of places that seem safe to run so the “I don’t have any place to run” excuse is wearing thin.

The only thing not “wearing thin” (as in my “skinny” clothes) is me.

I have connected with my local Moms RUN this Town chapter and have posted runs. I’ve even gone out on one run with a lovely mother runner last the Sunday and have gone on two run/walks this week – but consistent running love has been elusive.

I’ve lost my identity/passion as a mother runner in the almost two months since I’ve gone for a run. The idea of running as a “must” for me has gone out the window – or windows as seems to be the case when I gaze through these lovelies in our new home, safely ensconced in air conditioning with cookies baking in our open concept kitchen, thinking of running but not even wearing workout clothes or sneakers.


Yes – I am “safely ensconced”. I don’t have to deal with the fear of wondering how fast I can run or how long I can run. I don’t have to deal with the worries of how I compare to other women who run and have kids (and even have jobs outside the home). I don’t have to worry about sweating or having to push a ridiculously heavy double stroller. I don’t have to worry about pushing  myself out of my comfort zone or out of these comfortable elastic waistband pants.

Another cookie will help with every day stress…not a run though…nope, I’m not making the time to do something that should only be done if you’re running late or being chased.

I’m kidding, of course! Kinda…

These are just some of the excuses that run through my brain on a daily basis that have held me back from lacing up my sneakers and going for a run.

But the recent news about women being attacked and killed while running has me thinking. Despite all the advances women have made in this world, there is still a lot of sexism and other barriers that women have to deal with and fear. It isn’t fair. It isn’t right.

Maybe going for a run is more than just about getting back into my “pre-preggo” jeans. Maybe there is more meaning behind it than just selfishly wanting to look better and be healthier.

Putting on a running bra is going to be my version of bra burning
I’m getting out back there. I am going to post my runs on the MRTT FB and stay accountable. I am going to fall back in love with running and regain the feelings of strength and calmness it give me. I am going to love the sweat and the stink and show kiddies how their mom perseveres and accomplishes her goals.  I am going to start putting that one foot in front of the other…

…right after I finish this cookie.

Rest Area Food Rant

Lessons – A haiku

Amidst the Beauty
Stomach turning grease and fat
Next time, bring picnic 


The poem above was inspired by the 10 lbs I gained on this road trip and the Pic and Word Challenge #43 by @pixtowords. 

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We are almost to our destination – I can’t believe we’ve been driving and living out of our minivan for the past 2 weeks. It’s been quite an adventure – one that I am so glad we took as a family. The kids were great at keeping themselves entertained without electronics for about 95% of the trip – thank goodness for friends who supplied us with car games and books and a hubby who made a playlist from all the National Lampoon movie soundtracks. (Holiday Road, anyone?). Hubby and I also had some great conversations during our drive – driving great distances, like running great distances, has a way of opening up and connecting hearts and minds. 

Here are our collection of “Welcome” State signs – I missed a few since we were driving as I was trying to snap a picture. Can you figure out which states we drove through that we don’t have a picture of? 

Line

The quickest way

     Between two points

     Between you and me

Supposedly. 

But it's taken years

     Of squiggles

     Of zig-zags

     Of stops and turn-arounds

     Of detours - intentional and sadly, unintentional

To get to this point

That is not you or me. 

This point called We.

     The intersection of our lives

     The intertwining

     The becoming

A line so strong and sure of
     Its Path

An asymptote that finally enjoys
     The Journey. 

©IIDo, 2016

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Driving across the country, we have encountered a fair share of straight drives (the inspiration for this post). But unlike the dreaded I-5, these drives seemed more interesting. Maybe it’s because we had never driven these roads before or maybe because this trip is more about the journey and not so much the destination – whatever the reason, this road trip has been pretty awesome so far. 

In CA/NV:

In UT/ID:

In MT/WY:

In SD:

Reality

At the end of our tour of Lehman Caves at the Great Basin National Park, Ranger Mark asked, “What do caves protect you from?”  Some responses included: the sun/heat, earthquakes and tornados, the zombie apocalypse. Ranger Mark mentioned that in the past few weeks he had children tell him that caves can protect them from “bullies” and “reality”. 

In the wake of the tragedies in Orlando, I realize that the problems we encounter during our trip – kids crying in the car, speeding tickets, lost souvenirs, white hairs – are minuscule compared to the struggles of others dealing with pain and death, discrimination and hate. 

This trip is our “cave” – protecting us from the reality of bullies and other ignorant and entitled people. I’m hoping the beauty and generosity of the landscape will be enough to keep our spirits resilient. 


Theories

Driving across the country and visiting national parks is fun

In theory

Running in every state we pass through is motivating

In theory

Being in the car for 8 hours a day with 4 children is doable 

In theory

Living for two weeks out of one suitcase for 6 people is expedient

In theory

Surviving this road trip without stress eating (me) and tantrums (everyone else)…..

Let the experiment begin!!!
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Some pictures from Yosemite – I can’t believe we only came here now. Words can’t begin to describe how breathtaking the scenery is. What a wonderful way to start our trip and have this as one of our last memories of our time in CA. 

We also visited this oasis of caffeinated deliciousness – the only Dunkin’ Donuts in CA!