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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Loving Surrender – A Haiku

Loving surrender

Means breaking the seed to grow

Life in all its forms.

The lovely picture above is from Hélène’s Picture Prompt, What Do You See? I love the saturated colors of this image which brings up thoughts of spring and the blossoming of Mother Earth.

As a mother, I am often reminded of how much motherhood demands of us in order to bring life and raise life in this world. I have often struggled with giving in to these demands – the fear of losing oneself is a real one. The term “loving surrender” is one I coined to help me “give in” to the demands of motherhood and family. It is a wonder how many things one can accomplish and endure if done with love!

©️ iido 2018

Giant – A haiku

Comparatively

I am just a clump of dirt

You should be in charge

I am back on the streak with Patrick Jennings’ Pic and a Word Prompt #158 – Giant. These giant trees can be found on one of my favorite routes to run in my area. The path is paved and stroller friendly. At the bottom is a pond and at the top is a playground for a quick break before turning back around. The trail is a gradual uphill for 1.5 miles – going up can be brutal but you can fly going down.

As a mother, I loved Patrick’s short story – what mother doesn’t think her child should rule the world? But it also made me think about HOW I would want my child to rule – by believing that everything in the world is there to “serve” him, for her to plunder and use without regard? Or by instilling in my children that they need to care for our earth and the animals and people living on it? Is it fair that we puny humans are in charge of such grandeur when we are like toddlers playing with a new toy and then discarding it when we are bored or destroying it without even thinking about our actions? Most times, I think it’s not.

©️ iido 2018

Limbs

Swaying in the breeze

My youth lives in your shadow

Sheltering my dreams

This has been a busy week – my running and my writing has suffered! So a haiku for the Pic and a Word Challenge #154 – Limbs. I love love love the poem Patrick wrote – so simple in its sincerity and sensuality….

Here’s hoping for some simplicity this week so I can get more running and writing done!

©️ iido 2018

Fighting Age

Brian at Vita Brevis has issued another haiku challenge competition which I couldn’t resist. Since my last few poems have been on the “heavier” side, this “lighter” haiku called to me. There is still time to enter your haiku – come join the fun!

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“Fighting Age”

Combing through darkness

Five stand, admitting defeat

Plucked out – victory!

I’ve written a lot of poetry lately, but I’ve also done a fair share of running this past week. Thursday’s short 4 mile run was so hot that I couldn’t even even run the last two miles of it. My head was pounding and I was starting to feel dizzy. I felt defeated and annoyed at my inability to do these minimal miles.

Saturday, I ran 11 miles in cool weather with a slight drizzle and I felt great! I felt like I could have finished another 2 miles for an impromptu half marathon (I didn’t though, as coffee and a bagel was calling my name). I felt elated and victorious, ready to conquer the rest of the day.

Poetry and running keep my soul from getting old and stagnant. I never know what to expect but the range of feelings I experience before, during and after every run is similar to my writing experience. What a blessing to have both in my life and to also have a community of wonderful people to share it with!

©️ iido 2018

Nature’s Gift – A Haiku

I almost missed this Wednesday Writing prompt by Jamie Dedes at The Poet by Day. Thank goodness for time zone differences! Her call to action this week:

What among nature’s gifts do you cherish, the free gifts of life that marketers don’t sully and that are ours for the taking. Tells us what, why, how and when in your own poem/s.

I enjoy reading and writing poetry about nature. Yet, writing something about nature that hasn’t been sullied by marketing was a tall order for me! Flowers, trees, mountains, lakes, sunsets, sunrises, beaches, sun, moon, stars, clouds, the air we breathe….is there nothing that hasn’t be co-opted by capitalism?

Then, I cane up with this:

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Shade

Building or tall tree

Nature’s coolness shared with me

A welcome reprieve

Yes, I know they sell parasols and “sunbrellas”, but nothing feels more like the world is loving you than a warm sunny day and some shady trees just waiting for you to sit and be.

Thank you for the prompt, Jamie! It was a good reminder for me to appreciate these gifts from nature.

©️iido 2018

Not a Humble Brag

Nope – we don’t play those games around here!

This post is about some pretty cool things that have recently happened…much cooler than keeping my kitchen island clean!

First, I recently received a “Notable Mention” on the nature themed haiku I submitted to Vita Brevis. I am over the moon about this because Vita Brevis showcases some really beautiful poetry. And to know that they actually thought my haiku deserved a shout out…I’m seriously so proud and honored!

I told my parents about the Notable Mention and my mom wrote back this haiku for me:

<tears> My mom was so proud of me that she wrote a beautiful haiku despite her admission that she doesn’t even like haikus.

<still crying here> <heart overflowing>

Second, I’ve admitted – out loud – several times – to different people that…I want to be a “real” writer. And by “real”, I mean someone who spends time during the day (or night) to write something, anything with purpose, and then sends it out into the world in hopes that at least one other person (who isn’t their mom or other family member) finds their writing worthy. And by “worthy”, I mean, that after reading it, the other person can say, “I’m glad I spent the time to read that”.

Hopefully, that’s what you, my dear readers, say to yourselves after reading my posts. Am I right? Can I get a “like” in here?!

Since making this admission, I’ve joined a writing group at my local library. I met with this lovely group of writers tonight and was blown away at the amount of knowledge and insightful critique imparted. While I throughly enjoy the connections I’ve made on the blogosphere, meeting other writers in real life is a necessary experience for me. It’s just like needing to meet other mother runners in real life to run or needing to drink coffee around 2 PM or always needing to get fries with that.

Thirdly, I finished typing up a “back to work” resume. It seems that being a mother runner writer is not really making the big bucks (note to self, if you’re thinking about that career choice). So, I’m in the market to do something where my interpersonal and creative skills, coupled with my expensive…I mean, intensive schooling, can make a difference in some type of (paying) organization. This is definitely one piece of writing that I hope someone will find worthy enough.

Lastly, I’d like to brag about my awesome family who has supported me and continue to support me through this chapter in my life. I realized after I wrote this last post, that I really would not have been able to get those things done without my husband watching the kids while I ran or my mom (who was visiting) helping to clean up after the kids or even my kids who have started to consistently bring out their dishes (it only took all summer to get into that habit!). I am surrounded by some super wonderful, loving people and I just want all of you to know that!

Well, that’s it. I’m turning off the spotlight and putting away my jazz hands…at least, for now.