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

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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! ❤️

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!

******

“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

Taking advantage of Newton’s 1st Law

If you need a physics refresher, go here.

I’m on a roll this week…

I wrote three posts this weekend (two in one day – this one is my fourth!) and am working on one more post for this week. I’ve also crossed of half my weekly to do list AND my kitchen island has remained clutter free since Tuesday (that is a significant feat!). I’ve also started going through my kids’ clothes to sell at the Just Between Friends Consignment Event next month.

I’m pretty sure this spate of energy and motivation came from my sola 5 mile run this past weekend. There were several excuses that I could have used to not do this planned run:

-it was supposed to thunderstorm that morning

-my group run got cancelled because of this

-I overslept my planned start time by two hours

-by the time I got out, the humidity was so high because the storm hadn’t come yet, that I looked like it had rained on me (and only me) after a mile of running.

And yes, I am calling them by their rightful name, EXCUSES, and not reasons, because those items (individually or together) should not have been a factor in my decision to run or not.

Even though I did less mileage than I had originally planned, just the fact that I got out there was enough to make me realize a few things:

1. Even if I don’t really wanting to do something, if I have to do it, I should still do it (or at least make a good attempt to do it).

2. Even if I have excuses for not doing something, if I have to do it, I should still do it.

3. I need to stop thinking about the action/activity and just get it done.

4. The sense of accomplishment and bad-assery that comes after doing 1 and 2 (above) is immense and continues for numerous days after the deed is done.

I’m calling those Irma’s Laws for Getting Shit Done.

Now, I know, that what I’ve just written above is nothing new. I’m sure you type A personalities are thinking, “I’ve known that since I was 5!” Well, if you know me IRL, you know that I am not so much a type A or even a type B. If there was a type L (for people who want to get things done with the least amount of effort – you know, leisurely type people, not lazy!) or a type P (for people who procrastinate then run around crazy trying to do things last minute and still manage to pull it off even if it’s not their best work at least it’s done), that would probably be more like me.

I joke with my kids that I’m not a “Tiger Mom”; I’m more like a “Panda Mom” (FYI – I just googled that phase, totally thinking I was making it up but I didn’t! Panda moms are real!!) I am pretty relaxed about most things which works for me as a parent and partner (even as a therapist), but maybe not so much as a runner or a writer.

So, I’m going to keep rolling with this bit of insight and see how long it will last. I’ve discovered I love making little boxes next to my to do items and checking them off. Whether I love having a little more structure and discipline in my life is still up in the air….