Radiance Running – A Haiku and Race Review of the Niagara Falls International Half Marathon

Grey clouds have no chance

When radiance runs with heart

Summer sun follows

On Sunday, June 2, 2019, I ran the 8th Annual Niagara Falls International Women’s Half Marathon and 5K. I signed up because a good friend of mine, Danielle had signed up for it and I wanted to run an “international race”. Niagara Falls is a few hours drive from my in-laws’ house so we were able to see them on the way to and from the race – bonus!!

Read my pre-race ramblings here!

If you’ve never visited Niagara Falls on the Canadian side, then you are truly missing out on an awesome sight. The majesty and power of water as it rushes over the rocks is truly humbling. You can hear its roar and see its misty beauty from the walkway next to it or a boat ride (for an up close and personal view) or even overhead on zip lines.

The morning of the race was cold and grey. The forecast said rain later in the day but obviously the weather did not get that memo. It started to rain as I waited for Danielle to pick me up at my hotel and the rain would continue on and off during the race.

As if the rain wasn’t enough of an ominous start to the race, Danielle arrived frazzled – she had left her running belt at home and her lucky sunglasses had broken that morning. She also just had a baby a year ago so her First Big Race after the baby. But, Danielle is one determined woman who doesn’t give up with or without her lucky sunglasses. She joked that as long as her pants didn’t fall down, she was going to run this race!

When we got to the race site, Danielle’s friends, Tiffany and Angie, were already there. This was Tiffany’s first half marathon. Angie was coming back from an injury as well. If there ever was a tougher group of mother runners, this was it! Check out the awesome shirts they had especially made for this race just to show how truly kicka$$ they are!

There was some music and a tent at the start of the race but not much else. There were a few moments of heavy rain that stopped just as were starting – the sun showed its face for a brief second before it became overcast again. Perfect running weather in my opinion!

One cool thing that Danielle reminded us when we were lining up was that when the announcer was saying that there were so many other countries represented at the race, that those “other countries” included us. We were Americans in Canada so that made us one of those “other countries” running the race. This is what it’s like running my first INTERNATIONAL race! Mind blown!

The course started out by Marineland, went out towards the Rainbow bridge then back on the same street, past the start area and then further down the other side of the falls along the Niagara river. This was a pretty flat course on streets right by the water. The course formed a “lopsided bow tie” shape. While the first loop was beautiful and had some people cheering, the second loop was almost devoid of spectators – not even the people who’s houses we passed, opened up the front door to cheer us on. Maybe it was the rain at the start of the race that kept the spectators away?

It didn’t keep Katherine Switzer away though! That woman is simply amazing and so full of energy and positivity!

The four of us started out together before Tiffany went ahead. This was her first half marathon and she totally ROCKED this race finishing about an hour before Danielle, Angie and I did. While this race wasn’t the my fastest, it was full of great moments like this one

and this one

and of course, this one!

At the end of the race we were treated to cold towels, which was perfect for cooling off from that final sprint. There wasn’t much in terms of post race festivities. Maybe it was because of the rain and/or because we were towards the back of the pack? There were still a lot of ladies left so this was somewhat disappointing (don’t they know the back is where the cool kids are??).

Still, I couldn’t have asked for a better first race of the year! Thank you, Danielle for telling me about this race and training with me. Thank you Danielle, Angie and Tiffany for some wonderful memories!

©️ iido 2019

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Being – A Haiku

Beneath the oak tree

Tender green limbs announce

A new being born

A haiku for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #191 – Being. I am always amazed at some of the places that trees and other vegetation have taken root. This little guy came into being despite the tight space and being under the shade of this lovely oak tree. I wonder it’s one of its progeny either dropped into this crevice on a windy day or hidden there by an enterprising squirrel.

This prompt also reminded me of a wonderful writer who I have lost touch with (sincerest apologies!) with all the goings on of life. We have a project that has been on the back burner that I am firing up again. Take a visit on Rylan’s blog, The Doing Being when you can! You won’t be disappointed!

©️ iido 2019

Disconnected – A Haiku

I haven’t read yours

Disconnected from WordPress

I hate crashing apps

This haiku was written for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #184 – Disconnect.

I want to thank all of you who are reading my blog and to also apologize for not reading, commenting on yours for the past weeks. WordPress has been crashing on me – either through the app or the internet. This frustration coupled with other family going ons has made me a bit of a hermit.

I’m ready to emerge from my self imposed exile and re-connect, re-engage with all of you! I have missed reading about your lives and your thoughts.

WordPress people – if you read this – please fix the bugs! A writer can only take so much crashing and freezing before thinking you’re trying to tell her something!

Update – After I originally posted this, I saw on my notifications that today is my 3 year bloggiversary! Irony – it does exist!

©️ iido 2019

Explicit Emotion – A Haiku

Their eyes conveying

The explicit emotion

Rising in their pants

Another “two for one”! Devereaux Frazier and Beth Amanda at the Go Dog Go Cafe challenged us to use the phrase “explicit emotion” in a poem. When I saw Hélène’s “What Do You See!” Picture prompt – I knew the two were meant to be together!

We recently saw an exhibit on mythical creatures and one of those creatures was the mermaid. I learned about Mami Wata, a water goddess with origins in pre-colonized Africa that brings good fortune.

There was also the Feejee Mermaid, a hoax perpetuated by PT Barnum.

The allure of women with fish tails is a long standing myth. What is it about mermaids that inspires songs and stories? Especially since most of the stories (at least the non-Disney ones) are about mermaids luring sailors to a watery death. Is beauty and “explicit emotion” enough to disregard danger?

©️ iido 2019

Picket Fences – A Haiku

Instead of the wood

Focus on the space between

That is where hope lives

This haiku was written for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #173 – Fences. There has been lots of talk about fences and other barriers being built to keep “other people” out. But, as Patrick’s poem alluded to, it also keeps us in. Unless we go through (or over or under or around) the fence, we would never know who or what is on the other side and whether we like them or not.But no matter which side of the fence you might be on, I bet you always look through the spaces between.

Shallow Souls – 2 Haikus

To see within shallow

Souls don’t need to stretch beyond

Low lying mirrors

Walking on wet street

Pools of shallow souls writhing

Worms gasp their last breath

It’s Tuesday and I was able to create these two haikus for Devereaux and Beth’s Tuesday Writing Prompt at the Go Dog Go Cafe. Finally on time for this prompt! Their request: Write a haiku using the words “shallow souls”. While the pictures don’t totally match the words (and not to imply that pigs or worms have shallow souls), the juxtaposition made me smile.

©️ iido 2019

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