Flushed – A Quadrille and April Runfession #9

My face flushed from this furious run 

My eyes reddened by saline streaming south 

My tongue tastes salt from sweaty tears or tearful sweat 

My shoulders alternate between tensely touching my ears and depressingly drooping

Hamster wheel running provides the only approved escape route

img_4889

April is coming to an end. It’s been a month since the shelter in place order has been in effect in our area. That’s a month of not being able to physically be in school, get together with friends, go on a group run. That’s a month of virtual learning or cyber learning or distancing learning or not learning. That’s a month of missed birthdays, missed trips to the play ground, missed races.  April is coming to an end when it seems like it never even got started. 

Forgive me, Nike, for I have sinned….

Ma Irma

 

I runfess…I have not been “just doing it”. If you look at my mileage for March and April, it is quite pitiful compared to the strong start I had in January and February. I think I’ve been in “shock” even though everyone else in the family seems to have adjusted to the shelter in place order.  I was trying really hard to get the kids to do their school work, make home made healthy meals every day, stay on top of laundry and cleaning  – basically, being all “Little House on the Prairie” . I never saw Ma needing a run because she needed a break from Pa and Laura and Mary and Baby Carrie and the cooking and cleaning on the farmstead.

I runfess…I’m no Ma Ingalls! I need to workout to keep my sanity while doing all those other things. So, I’ve slowly been getting back into a regular running schedule. Since I’m not morning person, this has meant going to bed really, really, really late. By the time the kids are in bed, the dishes done, the house cleaned up and things prepped for the next day (plus logging onto WordPress and getting some writing in), I’m not heading down to the treadmill until around 11 PM.  I don’t think I’ve been able to get to bed before 1 AM the past few days!

(This picture on the right is from when I visited the Laura Ingalls Wilder Museum in Walnut Grove, MN.  I loved watching Little House on the Prairie growing up so this was a highlight on our cross-country trip. But as you can see, frontier life is not for me! If the bonnet doesn’t fit….)

 

On the positive side though – I’ve reached 200 miles this year for the Run The Year Challenge! Realistically, I probably won’t be able to finish 2020 miles this year, but I’m going to see how many miles I can get in. Not having my SRTT/MRTT group to run with has been so hard…but seeing their posts about their sola runs have continued to be inspiring and motivating! IMG_5821

I runfess…I’ve been crying after my runs (the inspiration for my poem which was written for Mish at dVerse Quadrille #102 – Flush). I’ve been keeping it together during the day with the kids but these nightly runs and crying sessions have been very cathartic. It’s like the feeling I get after I’ve finished a particularly grueling race or run. This shelter in place has felt like running a marathon very day for the last 35 days…except my butt seems to be growing instead of shrinking….

Not a very upbeat or inspirational runfession for this month but an honest one – isn’t that what runfessions are for? Thanks for this forum, Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice!

Until next time….I’m still writing and running and raising these kids the best I can…plus, my jeans do still fit….

 

© 2020 iido

WOMAN – An Acrostic Poem

Waters of life connect us
Over millennia, we birth and love,
we cry and learn,
we bleed and live
Mother to daughter and mother 
to daughter and mother
to daughter
Awash in power and persistence
Now let us open the floodgates!

Yesterday was International Women’s Day. I wanted to write a poem to celebrate the great accomplishments of women in the world, historically and more recently, as well as acknowledging the women in my life who are great, accomplished women. This includes:

  • my mother
  • all the wonderful women here in the WordPress blogosphere (Gina, Punam, Kate, Mich, Jamie, Jane, just to name a few)
  • my running tribe (Michele, Nada, everyone in MRTT/SRTT, of course)
  • my west coast fam (Karla, Ellen, Jane, Henny, Trucs, you know who you are – don’t make me call you out!)
  • my east coast fam (yes, that includes you if you’re reading this!!)

I know the “water is wide” with regards to how far women still need to go to achieve true equality…it would help if women were (at least) met half way, don’t you think? Still, we have moved forward and hopefully, together, we will continue to do so.

* The link above is to a song by Joan Baez called “The Water is Wide”. I wasn’t able to embed the video in the post. I love the first verse of this song (it always makes me teary) and thought it went well with the poem. The verses after…eh…

This acrostic poem is also linked to Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #222 – Connections and to Punam’s Saturday Ragtag Community Daily Prompt – Water.

©️ 2020 iido

Valentine’s Day – A Poem in the Style of a One Line Story

I am digging through the trash

For the tiny red heart you

Drew on a post it note right before

The marker dropped from your hand

And the line made that annoying long beep sound

And the doctors and nurses rushed in

And pushed me out

But not before I saw them toss

Your heart in the trash

And CLEAR it, CLEAR it out of the way

So they can see the clock

That records the Time

And now I’m left looking for it

In the pile of this is unfair bullshit garbage.

I “borrowed” this picture from my friend, Loriann B‘s FB page. I’m not sure if she took it or if it was from someone else. If this is your image, please let me know do I can give you proper attribution. Thank you!

This poem was written in a one sentence story style suggested by Amaya/Gospel Isoceles for her D’Verse MTB Challenge. It doesn’t truly meet the challenge because it doesn’t meet the parameter of the story to be odd/whimsical and true however I do think it describes an event that can be considered “the end of the world as we know it”. Alas, I missed the link up, however this was defiantly a challenge that I will try again.

I also missed Patrick’s prompt #218-Tiny for last week but am “early” for his deadline on prompt #219- Dig for this week. I am totally on a streak for Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge – I hope this one still counts! I really loved Patrick’s poem for “tiny” – he is truly a glorious writer and photographer!

I did not get to do any celebrating for Valentine’s Day unless you include being able to sleep without a sick child on your chest a celebration. Having all your kids sick on the same week is really hard! And they all had something different! Thank goodness for my parents who stayed to help me this week. Today, everyone was up and about so hoping we have seen the last of whatever nastiness invaded our home.

I was able to get a much needed 10 mile run in today! Not that I needed 10 miles, but I needed to get out of house and be with (healthy) adults. The ladies I was with from my She Runs this Town/Moms Run this Town chapter were totally cool and chill, like “Yeah, we’ll just run this trail back and forth a couple of times and yeah, we did 9, let’s round it out to 10!” Seriously – we just chatted and did our intervals and next thing you know…BOOM! 10 miles done!

Check out our strong legs and cute sneakers!

This brings me to 69 miles for the Taji100! And we are just starting week 3! Between being sleep deprived and covered in throw up and feverish kids, and having this awesome run and keeping up with my miles – this week actually wasn’t the “end of the world.”

©️ 2020 iido

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

Dearly Departed – A Reverse Nonet

I hold my friend’s quivering shoulders

Her arms hug this poor surrogate

For a vibrant, cherished soul

Who departed too soon

Our sobbing subsides

No words for Death’s

Kidnapping

Except

Why?

This reverse nonet was written for Patrick’s Pic and Word Challenge #208 – Departure and Punam’s Saturday Ragtag Daily Prompt – Hug.

My friend lost her two year old daughter to a rare form for liver cancer two weeks ago. Her daughter would have turned three on Friday, the day after Thanksgiving, this year. This poem is for her.

©️ iido 2019

Down a Dark Hall – A Poem

I wander down a dark hall

Peeking in this room

Throwing wide the doors in another

This door is locked

That door I quickly shut

One door leads me down a corridor/path that takes me a few hours to get through and back to where I was before

Now, I have to walk quickly

The light from my phone

Illuminating the way

I find a door and pull it

But it’s stuck

I jiggle it

I lean into it

I hip check it

I take a running start and slam into it

I slide down and sit

My back against it

It opens

And there sits my muse

She says, “Hello…Poet.”

I originally wrote this poem for Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt to “write about our own creative process”. You can read other responses to this prompt here.

I also incorporated Christine’s Brave and Reckless October Monster She Wrote challenge #9, Down a Dark Hall into this poem. That title pulled the poem together for me as my writing process is necessarily compartmentalized otherwise, I wouldn’t be able to complete my other obligations during the day.

I had several different endings to this poem – the version I posted for Jamie as well as a few others, but after reading the synopsis for the book, Down a Dark Hall, I felt I needed to change the ending to make it somewhat more ominous (even though my writing process is anything but ominous…despite doing most of my writing in the middle of night in a darkened house where I’m the only one awake and the wind is howling outside and the tree branches scratch scratch scratch the window pane…).

So I changed the punctuation! Oh the power of a three tiny dots! Scary, isn’t it?

©️ iido 2019

OctPoWriMo Day 9: Looking Away

Sometimes, I cannot look at you
Because your adoring eyes
See what I cannot
I’d rather gaze upon a light
That – though bright – cannot see
The real me
That only brightens with a flick
Of my finger
And not when I enter the room

Sometimes, I cannot look at you
Because your eyes might hold anger
Or worse – disappointment, disgust
I cannot swipe left to get rid of
How that would make me feel
There is no X-out
Or control-alt-delete
There is only “I’m sorry”
Which doesn’t erase the memory cache

Sometimes, I cannot look at you
So I train my gaze on
What I feel I can control

Finally joining in on OctPoWriMo (6th Annual October Poetry Writing Month)! It’s Day 9 and the prompt today is hosted by Michelle, the theme is seeing/perception.

This poem came to me as I glanced at my phone thinking of a poem while ignoring my kids. Yes, it happens – probably more than it should, although I am trying to be more mindful of my electronic device usage. The kids are watching!

©️ 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