Accountability – A Running Update and Haiku

It’s been a while since I’ve done a post devoted solely to my running life. This year, I have some “lofty” goals for running. I pretty much took it easy last year – I only ran two races: The Love Run Half Marathon and the Hershey Half Marathon.

Despite the fabulous picture above, the Love Run was not a good run. It was my first race coming back from a serious health issue (it’s a woman thing, don’t ask unless you REALLY want the details) and I was not mentally prepared. Thank goodness for a wonderful running friend (shout out to Janelle!) who stayed by my side and helped me push through to the end. I seriously wouldn’t be running now without my running tribe at Moms Run this Town.

I LOVE these inspirational mother runners!

The Hershey Half Marathon was much better! I had a steady training partner (you know who you are…Michele, it’s you!) and we kept to our training plan pretty well. Race day was cold and windy but running with Michele and Heather was fantastic! You can read my race review here.

This year, I’m trying some new ways to meet my health goals. I am posting this for accountability.

Goal 1: Consistently meet my daily move goal on my Apple Watch. Right now, now it’s only set for 350 active calories daily and there are still some days when I don’t meet that goal! Unless I can learn how to type and walk, I’m really going to have to make the time to move during the day.

To help with this, my MRTT chapter is doing a “Step into the New Year” Challenge. We’re counting steps and seeing which team can get the most! Admittedly, I have napped the past two days so my step count is low but starting tomorrow….

Goal 2: Complete the Taji100 in February. My friend, Katie from Cali, has completed this challenge the past few years. I haven’t been able to do the miles because of one thing or another. But this is the 10th anniversary of this virtual challenge and the cause is so worthy that I am determined to get all those miles.

Goal 3: Complete an international race. Well, as international as Canada can be to the US. I’ve decided to sign up for the Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon in June.

Goal 3.5: Sign up for at least 2 races this year. Any suggestions for another race?

Goal 4: Incorporate weights and yoga into my workout routine. For the past several years, I’ve focused so much on running and not so much on cross training. Now that I am “middle aged”, I definitely see and feel the muscle loss and flexibility loss as I start down the “other side of the hill”.

To help with this, my lovely hubby gave me personal training sessions for Christmas. My first one is next week so hopefully that will jumpstart this goal.

So, that’s it! If you’ve read this, I’m hoping you will call me out and ask “Have you moved anything else besides your typing thumbs today?” I can’t have my thumbs be the only part of my body that is beach ready!

Finally, a haiku for this post:

Because I tell you

Accountability is

How you can help me

©️ iido 2019

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Bridge – A Tanka

You reach out to me

Beckoning across water

Pleading with your eyes

To bridge the gap of anger

But fog hides the other side

This prompt was written for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #167 – Bridges.

This picture is from a trail I ran about two years ago with one of my good running friends, Nada. It was a new trail that she wanted to check out so we decided to be adventurous on one of our long runs.

The trail was somewhat remote and followed the Susquehanna River. It meandered through corn fields then lush trees. At one point, train tracks followed parallel to the path. The trail abruptly ended at a hunting camp in a small town (that explained the gun fire we also heard along the path). We ran a few miles in the quiet town then headed back.

The bridge was a surprise when we came out of the corn fields and rounded a corner. The path was right against the river and went under the bridge. It was a beautiful sight, emerging from the mist!

I love runs like this! Good company makes the miles fly by! Connecting with people – bridging gaps – is one of the wonderful things about running. You really get to know someone after 15+ miles running along side them.

Maybe next time I’m having an argument with someone, I’ll invite them for a run….

©️ iido 2019

January Play Date – A Poem

Janus said, “Let’s go out and play!

I heard it was a holiday.”

Maybe it is for you, old foe,

But today, that is something I must forgo.

No time to play when I peruse my face

And see the lines that spell disgrace

Of worries and what could have been

There is no fun when I look within

But Janus, oh! that crafty man!

He looked ahead and had a plan,

“My friend, there’s nothing you can do.

What done is done! You’ve paid your due.

Look forward! See! The future’s bright!

Now is the time to do what’s right.

The past might mark your face with sorrow.

But you still control what happens tomorrow.”

I smiled at his two faced wisdom

It’s true that time rules this kingdom

No matter what path I chose to take

The fun of life are the decisions I make

Whether good or bad, hindsight will see

And foresight might prevent a tragedy

But to refuse to play is to die right then

We know it will happen just not when

So I say to Janus with a smile,

“You’re right, let’s play! I’ll stay awhile.

I won’t worry about the why and what if.

I’ll enjoy the present because…it’s a gift.”

This poem was written for d’Verse Poetics: Time and What If. Thank you, Merrill, for this timely prompt!

Time has always been my nemesis, being a chronic procrastinator. Maybe on some subconscious level, I think it has to do with my ambivalence towards change. Or maybe I am just lazy. Getting started or changing course has always been a struggle. But once I’m on that path, then I am fully committed and seldom have I strayed from the task.

I know these characteristics have their positives and negatives. For example, in the past, my focus on running has been all consuming to the detriment of spending time with family or self care. Since dealing with some medical issues, I’ve had to switch paths since I was not able to run as much. But now, I struggle with incorporating some running (or any exercise) in my daily life since my focus has shifted.

Does time only allow us to focus on one thing at a time? Research on attention point out that multi-tasking is a myth and that people are really only meant to focus on one thing at a time. So those of us who suffer from FOMO and procrastination are in a double bind.

I don’t have a solution to this quandary despite finding myself in the midst of it for most of my adult life. I’ve come to accept that it’s ok to miss out on some things as long as what I am focusing on is important to me or important to someone I love (that’s the mom listening for hours about trains and pandas and other things instead of cleaning the bathroom). So yes, I chose play over work (to my hubby’s dismay). And I try not to let those what ifs creep in.

©️ iido 2019

After – A Quadrille

After the pebble has surfaced skipped

And the ripples have waved goodbye

After the bell has chimed

And it’s somber note has reached the sky

After the warmth from your arms

Has faded with a sigh

I wait

Eyes closed

Breath held

Welcoming

Stillness

It’s been a while since I’ve written a Quadrille (my wordiness always gets in the way!). This one was written for Patrick Jennings’ Pic and A Word Challenge #167 – Stillness.

It’s been a busy travel filled holiday so those moments of stillness have been few and far between. As 2019 fast approaches, I am thinking of changes, improvements to work on in the new year. I know this blog has evolved and it’s become less about running and more poetry based. Maybe it’s because I have been doing more writing than running these days, but that’s going to change in 2019 too! Thoughts? Please let me know in the comments.

©️ iido 2018

Nativity with Textures – A Cascade Poem

Scratchy hay tickles your toes

My blue woolen mantle, your warm protection for now

The texture of your life doesn’t yet know the sting of the whip or the rough hewn cross.

Rough wood cradles your newborn form

Gossamer starshine sprinkles your face

Scratchy hay tickles your toes

The slippery lowing of cattle slides in your ear

Your soft essence belies your strength

My blue woolen mantle, your warm protection for now

Your velvet touch sets my heart ablaze

Yet my goose bumped flesh shivers sadness within that love

The texture of your life doesn’t yet know the sting of the whip or the rough hewn cross.

This cascade poem was written for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #166 – Texture. I used the lyrics from the Christmas song, “Away in a Manger” to compose this cascade poem. It’s one of my favorite songs for this season.

Wishing all those who celebrate a Merry Christmas!

©️ iido 2018

Bed and Breakfast – A Haibun

The blue sky smelled of manure. Even the allure of coffee and raw milk, homemade bread with rhubarb jam and omelets plucked from their mother just that morning couldn’t overcome the scent that distinctly said, “You’re on a working farm.”

The distinct sound of a tractor pulled up to the farmhouse door. The farmer offered us a hay ride around the farm and explained the difference between hay and straw, silo versus barn. The farmer named each machine and it’s purpose, but not the animals.

That night, I briefly wondered if the chicken that gave her life for our pot pie dinner also sacrificed her progeny for our breakfast. And if the rooster that would wake us in the morning, knew what happened to his family.

Plastic and foam trays

Deception and protection

Farmers eat the truth

Yes, that’s me on a tractor – picture courtesy of one of my sorority sisters who posted some “throwback pictures” of a reunion we had a bed and breakfast in the Pennsylvania countryside a few years after we graduated college. I don’t think the tractor was actually moving for the picture, but it was a first for this city girl!

Coincidentally, Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing prompt requested: This week share poem/s out of your own nostalgia, experience, impressions, gratitude, concerns, or convictions about farms, farming, or farm policy. Despite now living in “farm country”, I still don’t know about farming although I do appreciate the numerous farmers markets in our area.

One thing I do know: I am very appreciative of the men and women who work on farms because I know I don’t have the constitution or inclination to grow things or kill things to eat. Maybe because living in cities, I was never exposed to that reality and thus my aversion to being close to the true source of what I/we eat. Food came in a package and didn’t have faces. Maybe if more people were aware of the reality of farming, there would be less food waste and a better understanding of the need to conserve and protect the environment/nature and animals as finite resources. But what do I know…I’m just a city girl…

©️ iido 2018

Jack and Rose in the Snow – A Triolet

On our snowy first date

We had our first fight

Your snowball making skills made me deliberate

On our snowy first date

Your phone booth kissing skills made me abdicate

Our Titanic re-enactment increased the Fahrenheit

On our snowy first date

We had our first fight

This triolet is in response to Hélène’s “What do you see?” Weekly Photo Prompt Challenge. If you squint really hard, you can make out figures in the phone booth (or that might just be my imagination!). I don’t know if any phone booths like this exist anymore – I do remember seeing them when I lived in England as a child. And then in NYC – although those weren’t red – I remember trying to fit as many friends as we could into a phone booth and still get the door closed! The things today’s youth will never know the pleasure of!

The triolet form I found by chance perusing other blogs and stumbling across an old dVerse Poetics post about repeating poetry forms. I like the challenge of following a form although I feel I could have challenged myself more by using different rhymes (I took the easy route with the ones I chose) and paying more attention to the meter. Oh well, I’m sure there will be another triolet in the future!