Running the Ragged Edge – A Haiku and Running Memory

Ragged points abound

Softened by mist and lush greens

The edge, not the end

Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #215 – Point included a poem and picture of one of my favorite places in the world: Big Sur, specifically the Pacific Coast Highway which runs along cliffs that overlook the Pacific Ocean. It truly is the ragged edge of the United States or “the Western World” as the annual international marathon states.

I ran the Big Sur International Marathon in 2016. It was my “Farewell to California Race” since it was the last race I did before we moved. When we lived in CA, we visited Big Sur, Capitola, Santa Cruz and Monterrey often. That area embodies my idea of California with its contrasts of rust colored, sharp pointed cliffs, golden sands, verdant grasses and redwood forests all shaped by the deep blue waves of the Pacific Ocean. The vibe is relaxed and eclectic – the perfect get away from the hustle and bustle of Silicon Valley.

When I ran the BSIM, I was 1 year post-partum with my youngest. I had to defer the race from 2015 since I was having the baby then, so I was really excited for the opportunity to run this race. Despite not having lost all the baby weight and not training as well as I could have (I was still nursing then as well), I felt strong and capable. I had trained with some fantastic members from the San Jose Chapter of Moms RUN this Town who had also thrown a goodbye party for me a few weeks before. It was really a wonderful race to end one chapter of my life and begin another.

©️ 2020 iido

Runfession #5, November 2019 – Gobble Gobble!

Back on track with the November Runfession!! Check out some other Runfessions at Marcia’s Healthy Slice!

Forgive me ASICS for I have sinned…

I runfess that November was actually not a bad running month for me. This was probably due to my extremely low running standards. I ended running outside at least once a week and then doing weights at least once a week. This did not lead to any weight loss or any significant gains in running fitness. On the flip side, I didn’t gain weight or felt like I lost any running stamina.

I runfess that I didn’t enjoy the Girls on the Run (GOTR) race this year. My daughter couldn’t do the program so we registered as community runners. I don’t know if it was our school program or the GOTR program in general, but they really were not very welcoming to girls who were community runners. My daughter trained by herself to get ready for the race. I did run with her a few times but she took it upon herself to run when her siblings were at other activities. Her initiative and determination are qualities that GOTR is supposed to admire however at the race, she didn’t get a medal and was snubbed by the leaders of the GOTR team for pictures. I was proud of my girl and I know she was proud too however I know that being left out was difficult for her.

I runfess that I ran on thanksgiving day, my own personal turkey trot and got this little but of recognition from my Apple Watch, and was so taken by my own awesomeness that I signed up for a SPARTAN STADION RACE!!

I know. I feel a little crazy. I’ve only done one obstacle race before and it was a girls weekend doing the Warrior Dash which is a bit “fluffy” compared to other obstacle races (like Tough Mudder). The Spartan is a step up from Warrior Dash and doesn’t come with a cute Viking hat. At least the one I signed up for isn’t muddy since it’s being held at a stadium but the obstacles still look daunting.

So, this is what happens when I run alone and get to thinking about what things I want to change or do differently for next year.

I’m glad I got all that off my chest! Bring it on December!

©️ iido 2019

Gratitude Gestures – A Haibun

In the chilly autumn evening, deep contented sighs battle with the hum of heated air wafting from the grate. The food has disappeared but the smell of fullness lingers: the tart scent of oranges in the cranberry sauce, the savory thyme lining the turkey’s moist cavity, the sweet butter hiding in the mashed potatoes.

Unsaid words also hide in the small gestures of family. “I love you” is plated with each dish on the table. “Take care of yourself” is served with second helpings. All desserts come with a side of “glad you decided to spend this holiday with us this year”. “Thank you’s” are coded in each utensil that is washed.

Gratitude gestures

With knives and forks and drink toasts

Autumn’s chill dissolves

I’m coming out of my food coma and wrote this haibun for Frank Tassone’s gratitude themed Haibun Monday at d’Verse and Go Dog Go’s Tuesday writing prompt themed “Thanksgiving”.

We had a traditional American Thanksgiving meal at my in-laws. I was looking forward to Thanksgiving with a Vietnamese twist however there was no turkey pho or banh mi with cranberry relish. The food was still delicious and watching the cousins play together made the occasion even more special.

I have a lot to be thankful for this year – for not only my family (immediate and extended) but also for the family of friends I have been blessed with here on WP, as well as, in real life, at school, church and my running group. The saying “many hands make light work” come to mind in terms of the many hands that touch my life and make light work of and support the improvements I need to do to become a better version of myself.

As this holiday season gets underway, I hope we all get a chance to pause and appreciate the people, things and activities that bring joy to our lives.

©️ iido 2019

A Crack in the Track – My October Runfession

I missed the October Runfession so I’m doing it now before it’s time for November’s. I’ve written this Runfession in poem form:

The Crack in the Track
(The non-Thomas the Train version)

I had it all planned
In my one track mind
The route with the hills
The sun beaming on determined faces
Shiny with chocolate infused sweat

Instead, the dark clouds cried
Spurring some to run faster
To get out of the wet
While others wept along with
Exertion and exhaustion

A crack in my plan!
My plan is off track!
Is that a thunder crack I hear?
I’m off my intervals and
Walking up hills and down

I still crossed the finish line
I still got the bling
But my body hurts
And my soul
My soul
Is still walking
This crack it still stings.

This poem is part of my catching up with Patrick’s Pic and Word Challenge #204 – Walking and #205 – Crack. I was on a streak (and I confess, this is probably not one of my best poems) – I’m hoping this make up counts!

This poem also runfesses the agony of my run at the 10th Annual Hershey Half Marathon which took place on October 20, 2019. I was not consistent with my training for this race and it showed. The weather was also miserable – cloudy and cold and then the clouds opened up! Most of the race was in the rain – I don’t think I’ve actually ran a half marathon in the pouring rain before. By the time I reached the half way mark, I was seriously considering exiting with the relay runners and calling it quits!

But I didn’t and I made it to the finish line a little shy of three hours. This was probably one of my slowest half marathon times but considering the weather and my inconsistent training, it was an accomplishment! Kudos to my BRF, Michele, who didn’t let the rain stop her and powered through for a PR at this race!

The other weird, awful thing that happened was my arm that was holding my water bottle and phone (in one of those hand held holder things) stiffened up and I could not move it after the race. I actually sat in the car and called my husband, worried about driving home because I could not move that arm without pain. It took a hot bath, Motrin and several days of rest before I got feeling and mobility back. It is still feeling weak and I am planning on seeing a doctor about in the near future.

Looking at the past few months, I am seeing a consistent pattern of inconsistency!! When I don’t schedule time to run or write, these activities easily get pushed to the side with other pressing priorities. Balancing my personal needs with those of my family has always been a struggle but I am hoping to do better! I’m back on track!

©️ iido 2019

Runfession #3, September 2019 – A Running Update

September has come to a close – just in time because I’ve been needing this Runfession! Thanks again to Marcia @Marcia’s Healthy Slice for this forum. Check out this link to read other fabulous Runfessions.

Forgive me Brooks for I have sinned….

I runfess…I only got in seven (7!!) runs this entire month! Between traveling to Texas to visit my cousin and having a sick kid who needed and emergency inhaler…oh, and school starting along with after school activities…oh, and hubby traveling…did I mention I was able to get in seven (7!!) runs despite all this?

I runfess…my 10 mile run this month was probably my best run despite my pace being slower than my average. We had a great group of women for that MRTT run! Michele and I ran for most of miles until the end when she sped ahead since she had to leave. Michele has been so consistent with her training and it showed in this run! I’m so proud of her! She definitely inspired me to finish my miles strong!

I runfess…that towards the end of my 10 mile run, two elderly people (with white hair and everything!) asked me if I was ok or if I needed help! Yes, that’s right. I must have looked particularly more sweaty than usual or maybe like I was going die at the end of this run. On the one hand, I am thankful that other runners and bikers are kind and willing to help someone in need. On the other hand, how bad did I look that these old people thought I needed help? Yikes!

Only two and a half weeks until my half marathon. We have relatives visiting from out of the country so I am aiming for 3 runs for the next two week since I am on hostess duty. I have a long run planned for this Sunday – don’t worry, I’ve already alerted the local nursing home to send out the “oldies but goodies search team” if not back by a certain time!

©️ iido 2019

What’s for Dinner? – A Metaphorical Poem

My body flops – fettuccine flat,

Limp from being over-cooked

In this marinade of

Too little thyme

Too much OregaYes

A large pinch from Rosemary’s Baby

I’m in hot water

Simmering

Waiting for the main ingredient

That chunk of meat

That should taste so good

Yet now is dead weight

The carcass of my life

Boiling over

Still, I have room for dessert

Hello! Hello! It’s been a while…I’ve been…”cooking”…the picture above is my version of Filipino Pancit Canton. My mom gave me a recipe but, like in life, I didn’t follow her directions exactly.

    I used the the noodles that were available in the (non-Asian) market by my house (since I wasn’t able to go to the Asian market – these weren’t the correct type of noodle but it tasted fine).
    I used leftover char sui (or red meat) as my kids like to call it) instead of chicken, although I did end up buying a rotisserie chicken to add for lunch the next day since we ran out of char sui.
    I used bok choy (instead of shredded cabbage) since a friend had given me a bunch from her CSA box that she didn’t know what to do this (I was surprised they even grew that around these parts!).

The improvised dish was a hit! Which was wonderful considering what a difficult week my kids and I have had. This weekend was the first time in the past few weeks where I felt I had enough time and enough head space to do some writing!

Coincidentally, this poem’s conception was parallel to Bjorn’s prompt at dVerse to write a metaphoric poem. Mr. Linky is closed but I think this poem still counts!

Here’s to a new week and being the cook instead of the meal!

©️ iido 2019

August Runfession #2 – A Running Update

I almost missed this month’s Runfessions – I think that’s the theme for this month…Running late!

Forgive me Hoka for I have sinned…

I runfess….I’m not keeping up with my training. Yes, I broke down (or got smart!) and looked up an 8-week training plan to get myself ready for the Hershey Half. It’s a pretty easy training plan, yet I’m struggling with the discipline of training.

I runfess…I’m jealous! I’m part of a wonderful group of running mamas – Moms RUN this Town (MRTT) – who are very active in their running and posting of their runs. I read about their runs and feel sad that I’m not running as much as they are, or going as far or as fast. But then I remind myself that we all have to “run our own race” and my race right now is to get myself to the start line and to finish without hurting myself.

I runfess…I’m looking forward to the 10 miler I’m running this weekend with my friend, Michele and my MRTT group. I’ll finally get to post a run! I may not be ready for this mileage jump (my longest has only been 4 miles so far), but I am needing the time to be outside and to move my body. Bonus for spending time with some cool mother runners!

This is my Runfession Reset! My running sole feels lighter already!