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!

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July Runfession…My first! A Running Update

I originally started this blog to document my running adventures. However, due to Life, this blog has evolved and now includes poetry sometimes about running, more often about my non-running life. This mirrors changes in my own life. While running was so central to who I was for so many years, now that’s shifted and other activities are center stage. But I want to bring running back into limelight hence this new feature called “Runfessions”!

I found out about Runfessions through two running blogs that I follow, Confessions of a Mother Runner and Meditations in Motion. They link up with Marcia’s Healthy Slice (the originator of the Runfession), so that’s what I’m doing too! I’ve always enjoyed reading about other runners and reading about what other runners are thinking and writing about – especially if they are women, mothers, and/or people of color. When I first started running, it was rare to find articles written for or by women, POC, mothers and now there is a lot more!

So here goes…my first Runfession Session!

Forgive me Saucony, for I have sinned….

I Runfess…. that I haven’t been running as much this summer and have missed several group runs. The reasons aren’t that important (basically, kids not being in school) but I haven’t been making it a priority. But that is about to change!

I Runfess….I signed up for two more races! The Hershey Half Marathon in October and the Hot Chocolate 15K in April 2020. Time to get going on my training plan!

I Runfess….I don’t have a training plan! I’m relying on my BRF, Michele, to keep me on target. She’s been doing great with her training. I’m pretty sure she’s going to beat her PR at Hershey this year.

Is that enough? My running sole (see what I did there?) is feeling lighter already!!

©️ iido 2019

Preflight Checklist – A Poem

I am poised
At the edge of beginning
Unable to unclasp my hands
From behind the back of mundane
To grasp the infinitesimal potential before me.

I am afraid
Of the miracle that might happen
If I topple over the edge of the wall
Will I fall and shatter?
Will I be caught by others who know that I matter?

I am trusting
In the stars that spell my name
That my purpose will be revealed
Like wings unfurled catching the breath
Of the true spirit

I am accepting
Of the cuts upon my skin
The bruises of learning
Stamped with the names of experience
Rubbed with an ointment of love

I am ready
To fly

This poem was inspired by Hélène’s “What do you see?” Picture prompt and also incorporates Devereaux’s Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Prompt to write a poem about flying.

Taking that first step has always been difficult for me, especially if it’s in a direction that is different and/or difficult. I know some people love a challenge, love to embark on adventures and they do it without excessive worrying or fearful procrastination. I am like the figure in the picture: seeing the beauty and potential but afraid of grasping the wall, swinging my leg over and dropping onto the other side.

I’m learning that to truly fly in this world, I can’t overthink, I just have to do it (as the slogan goes). Think it – Say it – Do it – Be it – then Take Off!

©️ iido 2019

Ode to the Taji100 – A Quadrille and Running Update

Dawn’s light blush appears

As I sip this bitter brew

Trying to feel connected

To the desert and to you

Soft heat on my tongue

Lacks sandy grit and dirt

My eyes closed in prayer

As yours stay alert

My peace

For your hurt

This Quadrille includes prompts from Mish at dVerse, Quadrille #74 – Sip and from Beth Amanda at the Go Dog Go Cafe Tuesday Writing Prompt – Light.

Another serendipitous meeting of prompts that helped me to express my thoughts about completing the Taji100. “Complete” might be too strong of a word since I am no where near the 100 miles I was supposed to run for this challenge during February. Between snow days and hubby traveling, finding the time to run was more difficult that usual. Coupled with freezing weather, I just couldn’t bring myself to run with the stroller either – Mommy guilt: it’s ok if I’m running in the freezing cold but I don’t want to put my child through that.

Still, I think about all the men and women in the military who suffer in heat and cold and other uncomfortable (to put it mildly) situations all over the world. I know my difficulties are nothing compared to the trials of being active military.

I asked one of my friends who was in the Army how he can run so fast. His answer was, “You learn to run fast when someone is shooting at you.”

My personal goal now is to run 50 miles before February 28. Yes, I know that’s tomorrow…I’m going out for a 10-15 mile run right after I post this. It’s 25 degrees out but at least there aren’t snipers in my neighborhood.

©️ iido 2019

Why Run? – A Sonnet and Running Update

If ever there was a reason to run

Just pick one, or more, that gets you to start

Run from the weather – snow, rain or the sun

Run from the pain of a broken up heart

Take one step, then two, and three leads to four

Fast steps or slow steps, or even combine

Just moving forward can settle the score

The gift of running can lead you to shine

Not just with sweat but with thoughts that bring peace

The clarity comes with each passing mile

Arms pumping like flying that brings release

When you’re done hyperventilating – smile

Running from means you’re also running to

Does the Why matter? Just Run. Run for you.

This sonnet was my attempt to join in the fun with Björn at dVerse. I am a tad late with this entry and Mr Linky is closed but if you happen upon this post, and have some thoughts, I would love the feedback! I always feel like my sonnets are too “campy, nursery rhyme-ish”. Maybe it’s the meter or the rhyme, but I feel like I can’t write a grown up sonnet. I bet Shakespeare never felt that way…

Usually sonnets are written about love so this one is about something that I love – running. As with any love story, the longer the relationship, the more ebb and flow in feelings, but for the most part, running has remained a constant in my life where the highs outweigh the lows.

Today, February 1, 2019 starts the Taji100 challenge where I will attempt to run/walk/crawl 100 miles in 28 days. Doing that math, that means about 25 miles a week or about 3.6 miles a day. Being that today brought snow and icy conditions that prevented me from running (and alas, no treadmill at home), I am already behind. I have plans tomorrow to make up some miles though!

I think that is one of the greatest gifts of running – perseverance. Another mile, another two minutes, another 10 steps, run until the next light post. Little victories, little defeats, but in the end…that sense of accomplishment…smile….

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

The Hershey Half Marathon – A Haibun and Race Review

Race day was wear-pajamas-and-a-blanket-while-sipping-hot-cocoa-by-the-fire chilly. The first few miles felt like getting slapped by icy fingers. The middle miles were warmed by enthusiastic cheers and hills that heated legs. At the end of 13.1, the glow of accomplishment kept us warm while our friendship felt as heavy and solid as our medals.

Wind whispers “Give up”

The hill is steep, legs are tired

Friend shouts “Keep going”

The race begins! See how nice my hair looks…

A quick photo stop with my MRTT running buds, Heather and Michele.

At the end with my KitKat medal in front of Chocolate a World. Notice the hair – courtesy of wind and sweat!

The Hershey Half Marathon was held on a windy day in October this year. It was cold but warmed up a bit as the sun came up. I ran intervals with two wonderful women from my Moms Run this Town chapter, Michele and Heather. Our goal was 2:45 which we missed by 3 minutes. But that was ok. It was a PR for Michele and my best time coming back from health issues. Heather is a speedster but wanted to take it easy this race since she had other races coming up and didn’t get much running before this one.

This was one of those races where we all agreed it was about the journey and not the destination (time 😁). We were pretty consistent on the intervals – except for the part when, after cresting a very steep hill that had a DJ blasting “Cotton Eyed Joe” at the top, I decided to celebrate by breaking out my dance moves. That was a mistake although quite fun! I broke my stride, started to cramp in my calf and needed some extra walk breaks after that. Note to self – doing the “running man” does not count as a running interval!

Despite that running gaffe, the race itself was great! Michele and I had trained together for this one and we had all run it before so the hilly route was familiar. The wind was definitely a factor – I had to chase down my visor at one point after it blew away. They give out little Hershey chocolate bars in the last 2-3 miles of the race which is nice little treat. The one part of the course I don’t like is running through the empty parking lot as you head towards the stadium. The crowd support, especially around the Milton Hershey School, is excellent which is such a contrast to this desolate area that comes right at the end of race. Also disappointing this year was there was no cookie at the end!! Not that I needed a cookie but yes, I did need a cookie!!

I still don’t have any races scheduled for 2019…any suggestions, especially for races with great swag, are welcome! Lastly – a big shout out to MRTT and especially Heather and extra loud for Michele!! You ladies are in inspiration for my perspiration! ❤️