Slump Bump

Ok, I’m admitting it! I’m in a running slump. Truthfully though, it’s only partially my lack of motivation. The other part is having 4 kids home for the summer. When they were in camp, I was able to fit in my weekly runs. But now that summer is winding down, they requested no camps in August so they can “relax” until school starts. Did you know that there is an inverse relationship between the amount of “relaxation” time kids have versus moms? 


The above is a picture my kids drew of me – yes, they know when I need a run!!

My saving grace has been my Saturday runs. These have been the most consistent mostly due to my Moms Run this Town group. These ladies are totally worth waking up early for!


The other part is being able to run without kids. I know some super women can push a triple stroller and break world records but at this point in my running life, that’s just not me!

Running has really become my time for reflection and reconnection with myself and my mother runner friends. As you can tell from some of my previous posts, there’s been a lot of things happening that has me doing a lot of thinking. And I know from the past that too much introspection is not good for my soul – I’m an extrovert at heart so I need to get out and be around people to find that balance, to do some reality testing and to regain my energy. So social running is a must for me!

How about you? What bumps you out of your slump? 

Sola 

My recent post about my self-professed “fish love of running” has stayed in my mind since I posted it. If you know me IRL, you know that I am not a natural runner. I only started running when I was 30 so it’s been only about 13 years since I laced up my first pair of running shoes. 

This week, I did a couple of quick miles while my girls were at their horse back riding lesson (yes, I am living vicariously through them – what little girl didn’t go through a horse obsession?). 

The spirit of grace and speed…oh yes, and there are horses in the picture too! 🤣

It was my first sola run in a long time, probably almost a year since we moved to our new locale. As much as I love running with my group #MRTT, having this time for myself was something I didn’t realize I was missing. 

When I first started running, I ran exclusively alone. I was worried about being slow and didn’t want anyone witnessing my walking or jiggly body parts. As I was able to run farther and faster and became more confident, I joined my local running group and realized the awesomeness that is the group run. Now, I usually always run with my MRTT group and do stuff like this:

#sportsbrasquad #mrttbodsquad

Running has definitely given me the gift of confidence not just in my body but in mind and spirit. 

And that’s something I really need right now. 

As lovely as the farmland surrounding me during this run, I couldn’t help but think of the people living in the area who might not welcome me running through, who would think of me as “other” and attribute any number of negative qualities based on my skin and facial features. Would they even see me as “just” a runner? I couldn’t decide whether I should try to run faster for safety or run slower to prove that I, too, deserve to be here. 

As my footsteps found their rhythm, my breathing became my focus and I was finally able to enjoy my run. This is the second best gift I have received from running: the ability to have a few moments of freedom. 

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© iiDo and iDoRun, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (written or pictorial/photographical) without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to iiDo and iDoRun with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Canadian vs American

I’m talking distance, folks! Not who has the better leader or the better health care system. This blog is about running after all (not politics – unless it’s politics as it relates this mother runner).

A few weeks ago my BRF (best running friend) asked me if I wanted to run “10 at 7”. This did not seem like an unreasonable request – we had just run a marathon a few weeks ago and even if I had only gone running twice, maybe three times, since then, I thought “What’s 10 miles, if we need to walk, we’ll walk but we will get it done!”  

That same weekend, another mother runner from our Moms RUN this Town (MRTT) chapter needed to run 20 miles. “Perfect!” I thought. “We can run half of her distance with her so she wouldn’t have to run all of it alone.”

I texted my BRF. 

Me: Would you mind if we did our 10 miles with this other friend who needs 20 this weekend?

BRF: 10 miles? I thought we were doing a 10k….

Me: Oh no!! I was totally thinking American miles and not Canadian miles…

BRF: Lol! No worries! We can do 10 American miles – if we have to walk, we’ll walk!

My BRF is the BESTEST!!! Despite being from Canada and having a skewed sense of distance….

So four fabulous mother runners went out and did 10 (American) miles on a beautiful Saturday morning (with one fierce mother runner going on to do 19). 

And then this happened…..


Aaaaaarrrgggghhhhh!!

Damn that American 0.1! 

I Fish Love Running

I recently saw a video from Rabbi Dr. Abraham Twerski about True Love.  He told the story of a man who said he “loves fish” and then he comments that this man loved fish so much that “he took the fish out of the water, killed it and ate it”.  The question: Is that True Love? The answer is “No” – if you love someone or something because of what it can give you, that isn’t True Love.  True Love is about giving to the other, not taking.  Mother Teresa seems to also agree.

With all this evidence, I think I have to finally admit something….I don’t truly love running. I fish love running.  I love running because of what it can give me – muscular legs, smaller waistline, stronger heart and lungs, time for myself and time with other health-minded women.  Running gives me perspective – it clears my head and my heart.  When I run outside, running gives me the chance to enjoy the beauty of quiet rail trails and the hustle of city sidewalks.  Running on a treadmill gives me permission to use my imagination and make believe that running an incline of 4 is equal to running the Mount Washington Road Race.

What have I given to running? Hundreds of old sneakers (which I usually donate to the Nike Reuse-a-shoe Program)…smelly sports bras and running capris….OK – I do give up time with my family but honestly, I don’t mind because I need that time away.  I’ve also given up time from other activities like eating, reading, pooping, watching TV, but it’s not like I’ve given up chocolate or midnight mint mocha frappuccinos.

I’ve tried to do my part in giving back to the running community. I’ve volunteered at races and I’ve devoted numerous hours to my Moms RUN this Town (MRTT) chapter.  And this year, I coordinated the first Healthy Kids Running Series (HKRS) in my new hometown, a program that promotes the running lifestyle to kids age 2-13.  But does that truly show my love of running or does it show that I just love to get free shirts?

fish at long pk

In my opinion, all these activities have given back to me in more ways than I’ve given to them.  Joining MRTT was my way of getting to know other women in my new area. Starting HKRS gave me an outlet for my energy and creativity since I had 3 out of 4 kids at school this past year.

Are you keeping score of who truly loves who? Well, you shouldn’t! True love doesn’t work that way!

I just have to accept it – running truly loves me while I only fish love running.  At least for now.  Maybe the next race will be the one to prove that I really, truly do love running.

But I wouldn’t hold my breath…

 

 

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© iiDo and iDoRun, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material (written or pictorial/photographical) without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to iiDo and iDoRun with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

Frozen

My heartbeat slowed

But didn’t stop

You made my heart Brake

And Break

Shattered and frozen

Because you couldn’t…wouldn’t….didn’t

So I pick up the pieces

And pick up the pace

You’re on your own now.

snow tree

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Hello! It’s been a long time….

It’s seemed like a very long winter for many reasons…yet, all seasons must come to an end and I randomly decided that today was the day for this particular season to end for me. Today is Mother’s Day 2017 – a day of significance for women who may be celebrating or grieving, answering their call to action or acknowledging that mothering comes in many forms.

I have “mothered” since I was a young child: helping out around the house by doing laundry, the dishes, watching my younger siblings. I was the “listening ear” and “shoulder to cry on” for my friends. I was responsible and dependable.  I have always been a caretaker in some form or another.  I even entered a profession based on care taking.

Yet, being a mother is something that, I still feel, doesn’t come naturally to me.  In the same way, that running doesn’t come naturally to me. What does come naturally to me is sleeping, eating, snuggling in a warm bed, and reading books for hours.  However, none of those things can get you medals on a regular basis.

But being an AWESOME MOTHER RUNNER does!!

awesome MR picThanks to the wonderful folks at Gone for a Run and of course, my fantastic Moms RUN this Town Chapter, I got a 5K run done on this Mother’s Day Weekend.  (Thanks to my husband and kids, the laundry got folded and I did not touch one pan this entire weekend!)

This run gave me some time to think about my relationship with my other female friends, most of whom are moms in one way or another.  I used to think that being a mom automatically made us “simpatica” – the shared understanding of the push and pull that comes with being responsible for these little bundles of energy and love.

However, these past few months has taught me the difficult truth that this isn’t always true – there may be a time and place, that another woman and I might connect but then later, in different circumstances, that connection becomes broken and may even become irreparably severed.

At times, I’ve felt that way about running, too – that running and I had reached a point where we weren’t on the same wavelength. More specifically, running wanted to keep me moving forward, while my body, heart and/or mind wanted to keep me firmly on the couch.  These impasses have always been difficult for me to navigate, yet in the end, moving forward always wins and I put my running shoes on.

So, that’s what I’m doing today. Because staying frozen is really not an option.  I’m ready to “let it go” (haha, of course! Insert eye roll here) and start moving forward again.

 

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© iiDo and iDoRun, 2017. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s author and/or owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to iiDo and iDoRun with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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.

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.