Fin-Tastic! – A Race Review of the Mermaid Running Series 24 Hour Relay

It is 1:30 AM EST as I write this – I just completed my 30 minute “fin” (aka – leg, but we’re talking mermaid talk here) of the Mermaid Series 24 Hour Relay. I actually ran/walked for about an hour on the treadmill with my friend, Kristi, who was on her treadmill at her home. We did a video conference call while we did the same Peloton running workout on the TV.

This was a total first for me and I’m sure for Kristi and a lot of the other runners doing this relay. Here we are, in the middle of a pandemic, having to be physically distant from people, running a relay by ourselves and then virtually handing it off to people who are also running by themselves all over the country and the world (they have runners from Singapore, Australia, England and other parts of Europe).

This really speaks to the ingenuity of the human spirit when it comes to obtaining and maintaining connection. We are not meant to be solitary creatures.

The Mermaid Race series did a great job of keeping the continuity of the relay. They have race directors for each segment and also “run buddies” who are Mermaid Ambassadors who run each segment so that people didn’t feel like they were running alone. There were five runners in each relay “fin”. As I write this, there are still openings available for the 2:30 AM – 5 AM “fins” and then 5:30-6:30 AM “fins”. I am really tempted to keep running since I am still awake.

What is this need of mine to keep running in the middle of the night knowing that I have a big day of cooking tomorrow?

Maybe it’s the lure of being a part of something bigger than my little life? Maybe it’s the satisfaction of knowing I can do this? Maybe it’s late at night and I am delirious?

Whatever it is, I’m still awake at 2:45 EST so I’ll do another little run with these fun-loving Mermaids! Gimme a Fin-Five!!

Update at 4:30 AM – I walked another 2 “fins” while watching a stand up comedy routine by a hilarious and wise Latina. Not high mileage, but now I feel like I can sleep knowing I helped keep the relay going…

©️ 2020 iido

In a World Full of Maids, Choose to Be a MerMaid – A Running Update

I am a runner who loves FREE stuff so when I heard about a FREE race, I was all, “Where do I sign up?” When I heard that the race was a 24 hour relay hosted by the Mermaid Running Series (one of my favorite races when I was in San Jose, CA), I was even more excited! I am a night owl and now my nighttime wakefulness superpower can finally be put to good use!

Thank you to my friend and fellow MRTT/SRTT Chapter Leader, Katie for telling me about this run. Katie has run numerous Mermaid races out in CA. She also introduced me to the Taji 100. She doesn’t even have to “triple dog dare” me to get me to sign up for these awesome physical challenges. (Do you guys remember that TV show?)

I signed up for a slot after my friend, Kristi (who also completed the Taji 100 with me this past February). We’re going to run our miles “together”, meaning running separately in our own houses on our own treadmills while we video chat. I’ll be joining her for her “fin” (aka, leg) of the relay and she will be joining for my “fin”. We chose the 11:30-midnight, midnight-12:30 “fins” as we’ve never run “over two days” before! Haha! I’m so thankful for friends who are willing to join me on these crazy adventures!

I am also very appreciative of the 3rd hand treadmill we have at home. It is loud and it shakes if you run between 3.2-4.7 miles per hour. but it’s been keeping me moving during these days of shelter in place.

So, 1 hour of running at midnight…and maybe more, as they still need people for the slots between 12:30 AM – 6 AM EST….oh gosh, my brain is saying, “You’ll be awake anyway…” Should I sign up for another slot??

I’ll be back to give an update on this run! If you’re one of my readers who runs (especially if you’re international), please consider signing up and let me know if you do!

The relay starts at 8 AM PST (so 11 AM EST for me)…you can follow the race on their Facebook page and also check out other cool races they have including their FREE virtual on June 20th.

© 2020 iido

2.23 – A Tanaga

Sun shines on sweaty black skin

Running rhythm beats within

Happiness shot down, el fin

Racist men have no chagrin

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I ran 2.23 difficult miles today.

It wasn’t difficult because I don’t like stopping at odd numbers. (Don’t tell me I’m the only one who will walk back and forth at the end of a run if I still need .01 to get to a nice, round number…)

It wasn’t difficult because it was 11:47 PM on a Friday night. (I am a night owl so running just before midnight is not out of the ordinary for me.)

It wasn’t difficult because it was a treadmill run. (Although, I am not a big fan of treadmill running, it’s how I’m getting most of my runs during this shelter in place.)

It was difficult because another young black man, Ahmaud Arbery, was killed for doing something that most other people could do without fear – he was going out for a run.

As an Asian, female running in the United States of America, this is what keeps me up at night. Racism is alive and well here. It is more apparent and more prevalent since it’s been given the “all clear” from the highest office in our country.  While the white men, a Father/Son duo, who shot Ahmaud were arrested, they live in an area where they (the two white men who shot an unarmed black man) are well connected with law enforcement and the legal system. Will Ahmaud get justice?  FYI – there are no hate crime laws in Georgia….

This tanaga (while not written in Filipino) is my way of raising consciousness about the unconscionable. #irunwithMaud #blacklivesmatter

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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

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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

Running Under Quarantine – A Quadrille

Running under quarantine,

Masked,

Alone

Like a thief who didn’t

Get away with

Anything.

I pass

Closed parks,

Closed shops,

Closed hearts.

I pass

Suspicious eyes

Above smiley face emoji masks.

I return home relieved

Not refreshed.

I can’t run away

From racism’s virus.

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I’ve been missing poetry prompt deadlines on WordPress because…coronavirus…what else is there to blame all the ills of world on?  Even though some of those ills have been going on for generations…

This quadrille was written for De Jackson at dVerse’s Quadrille #101 – Close and also incorporates Patrick’s Pic and a Word Challenge #226 – Running and #227 – Running (I’m late for one, but “early” for the other…what is this world coming to?? =). Seriously though, if you get a chance to read Patrick’s musing on this post about social distancing, please do. His melancholy acceptance makes so much sense.

I, on the other hand, have not yet reached that point. I am still grieving and shaking my fist at the air, asking “Why? Why? Why?” I am also shaking my fist at the news and giving a one finger salute whenever a specific person and/or his “loyal followers”  minimizes the impact of this pandemic. So, despite trying to do all the “right” things to come to terms with current situation, the struggle continues.

Running does help, as does any physical activity, especially outside.  This week, the kids and I have gone on scavenger hunts, had two dance parties and taken walks (can you guess which are outside versus inside activities?).  I’ve done most of my running on the treadmill, though, as the kids haven’t wanted to venture out too far on our walks. I fear that I have put the fear of the virus in them, and they are worried about venturing too far from home.

While this virus is a “new” real threat, it does feel like the “old” real threat of racism which has been a pandemic in the USA since the Pilgrims set foot in the “New World”. Since the first reported outbreak of the coronavirus, there has been a correlated increase in the incidents of hate crimes against Asians and Asian-Americans. Racism in the USA can also be blamed for why people of color (especially Black men) might not be comfortable wearing masks at this time, and also why more people of color are dying from COVID-19 relative to the number of people in the general population. Disparities in all aspects of US society are being laid bare by this pandemic (read more about this here, here and here).

So, I too, worry about running outside alone, with or without a mask. The threat is real as evidence by the data – that’s true whether it’s racism or COVID-19.

 

(c) 2020 iido

Saturday – An Acrostic Poem and March Runfession #8

Saturday mornings begin best with

Awakening while the sun still sleeps, dressing then

Trotting down the stairs with sneakers in hand, quietly making a PB and J yet

Ultimately waking the youngest ones with the coffee pot’s final hiss,

Rushing to get them back to bed then, quickly into the car, fueling and hydrating

(me not the car)

Driving to a favorite trail, late, but relieved that my tribe waited for me to

Arrive before starting on our group run. 

Yes, this is the best way to begin a Saturday. 

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I wrote this poem last week for Jamie Dedes’ Wednesday Writing Prompt (you can read responses to her prompt HERE), but I wanted to save this poem for the March Runfession. So without further ado….

Forgive me Nike for I have sinned….

I runfess…I really, really, really, really, really miss Saturday morning group runs! Yes, even waking up at 5 or 6 AM. I miss the quiet companionship of the thumping of sneakers on packed dirt, the cool early morning mist and the laughter of bada$$ mother runners.

I runfess…my new sneakers (that arrived just a week before we knew what the term “social distancing” meant) have been very committed to being 6 feet away from people, specifically me! Despite having more time at home, the “extra time” that could have gone into running has not made an appearance.  I blame it on homeschooling, but really it’s probably the stress of what’s going on that has defeated my motivation.

I runfess….in an effort to get out of the pandemic funk, I signed up to Run the Year.  That’s right, I plan to run 2020 miles this year (or part of that if I can get a team together…Bueller? Bueller?).  Because what better way to combat stress and pressure than to commit myself to running a ridiculous number of miles when I have never even gotten close to running before?? I blame the high of finishing the Taji 100 for this one…

I runfess…I’ve also signed up for the March Madness Challenge through Team RWB (Red, White and Blue). Team RWB is a group that supports active military and veterans through physical activity.  Even though I have not been in the military (aka, a civilian), I have a nephew in active duty and numerous friends who have been or are active military.  The concept of staying active for a larger cause resonates with me. I may not be able to help in a tangible way, but this act of solidarity speaks to my social soul.

Well, there you have it…March has definitely come in like a lion this year…here’s to hoping that lamb comes soon and brings toilet paper and hand sanitizer….

 

(c) 2020 iido

 

Runfession #7 – February 2020

February 2020 has come to an end with the bonus “Leap Year” day this past Saturday. Having an “extra” day made me think I had “extra” time to catch up on chores and start our spring cleaning project, maybe run an extra mile or two or 10, however that was not case. But actually, not being able to do those things didn’t stop February from being a Fabulous Month! Thank you to Kate from Aroused by Arête for the “fabulous” prompt for this week!

Forgive me Brooks for I have sinned….

I runfess…I am so so so very very very proud that I was able to complete the Taji 100 this year! I ended up with 103 miles for the month (I was going to do more, but this week was just too busy to get extra miles in). I never would have finished these miles without the support of and group runs with She RUNS this Town/Moms RUN this Town! My running tribe is so totally awesome and truly FABULOUS!

A special THANK YOU goes out to Kristi who started the Taji with me by running 8 miles on the first day. FYI – Kristi only re-started running last fall and had only run 4-5 miles before this inaugural 8-miler. We were doing great this entire month, finishing miles ahead of schedule until Kristi got injured the week before we were to finish our miles. In a true testament to her perseverance and intestinal fortitude, Kristi dug deep and took a lot of advil and we were able to finish the final 2 miles of the Taji 100 together last Sunday.

Shout out to Katie in CA who first introduced me to the Taji 100. She finished her 100 miles just today despite dealing with all sorts of distractions between family, work, house projects, and illness. I never doubted that she wouldn’t get it done!

I runfess…our SRTT/MRTT Cupid Shuffle Step Challenge has also ended. Our team, “Shot Steppers” were in 1st place the first two weeks, but we dropped down to 2nd place last week. Our fearless leader is in Hawaii this week so I’m still waiting to get our grand total for this week. Hopefully we regained our 1st place standing! Not that I’m competitive or anything..oh wait, I runfessed to that last month, didn’t I? Ok, fine – I hope we win because that would be just FABULOUS!!!

I runfess…now, I’m feeling a bit bereft without having a fitness goal for this month. Any suggestions? Drop me a comment!

I runfess…I am going to buy new running shoes. The ones I have can probably last a few more months, but the weather is starting to get warmer and I need new running shoes! (I know that wasn’t really logical, but do I really need an excuse to buy some new running shoes?) Right now, I’m wearing the Brooks Ghost 11 (my 2nd pair). I’ve been happy with this brand and style however I do like checking out the competition! Plus, I have a coupon! All the signs point to the running store this week…

I runfess…as the weather is getting warmer and I’m thinking of doing more running outside, I am actually really glad that we moved to this part of the country. Spring may not smell too good (ask the Amish farmers why) but there is nothing like running on trails and noticing buds on the trees and sprouts coming up from the ground. This time of year is holds so much promise!

Well, this might have been the most FABULOUS February that I have had in a long time! Will it be Marvelous March, next?

UPDATE:

My team “Shot Steppers” won our SRTT Step Challenge!! Woohoo!! February Fabulousness has been Finalized!!!

One “fabulous fail” though, I missed the link up to Marcia’s Healthy Slice with the other Runfessions. <sigh> Oh well, one can’t be too perfect! Keeping grounded and more aware of the date for March…

©️ 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

Runfession #6 – January 2020 – Ragnar 31 Day Challenge Review

Happy New Year, my dear friends in the Blogosphere! The end of the year always seems to go so fast, hence my reason for missing the December 2019 Runfession. That just means there is SO MUCH MORE I have to runfess this time! Check out more January runfessions at Marcia’s Healthy Slice!

Forgive me Saucony for I have sinned….

I runfess…January has always been a hard time for me to run or workout. When I lived in New Hampshire, I would usually hibernate from November until March, storing fat and sleeping, until the weather got warm enough for outdoor runs. I would usually gain a pound or two or ten but that would usually come off when I got back into my regular running routine. When I was living in California, it never got cold enough to hibernate so my workouts were pretty consistent throughout the year.

We’ve since moved back to the East Coast and have enjoyed having seasons again. However, since getting older, I’ve found that my body really can’t hibernate from running and working out anymore. My metabolism has definitely slowed down and the weight has been clinging to my frame like a baby monkey on it’s mother’s back (or her ass and thighs).

So, I was really excited when my women’s running group joined with Ragnar for the Ragnar 31 Day Challenge for the month of January. We joined as a chapter with a lot of other chapters and other running groups throughout the USA and logged all our workouts for the entire month. If you log in a certain amount, you got certain perks from Ragnar.

My running chapter had 29 participants and we logged 532 activities for the entire month of January! Not bad for a bunch of women, mostly moms, who deal with sick kids, sick partners, snow days, and other calamities that always seem to cluster around cold weather holidays.

Ragnar also provided us with some goodies for a special cross training event. We had ours on January 25, since we got dumped with snow on our original date of January 18th. However, January 25th wasn’t any better. It was a cold and rainy morning and windy, you know the kind that makes the rain come in sideways? We had a lot of cancelations that day, however four of our members braved the weather and we had a fabulous workout! Ragnar provided us with a pair of dice – one that had different types of workouts on it and the other with the number of repetitions of that workout that we needed to do. They took pity on on and let us divide the number of repetitions among the number of people in each group. This was key since I know I would have died doing 80 burpees in a row!

We held the Ragnar event in a parking garage and made use of the ramps for some hill work along with the cross-training challenge. We would run up and down the ramps, head back to the start, roll the dice, do the workout indicated by the dice then head back out to run up and down the ramps again. Overall, we did a 5K and I don’t even know how many jumping jacks, squat jumps, and mountain climbers. Ironically, no one rolled burpees as one of the workouts!

Ragnar really knows how to jump start the new year! I’m so glad my running group partnered with them for this challenge!

I runfess…I am competitive. There I said it. I usually act like I’m not since I’m afraid of failure but I love being pushed past my limits. So I was very excited to have two challenges for February!

First, is the Taji 100. This is my 2nd year seriously doing this challenge. I have my friend, Katie Y in CA, to thank for introducing me to this challenge and keeping me accountable! One hundred miles in the month of February seemed like such a daunting task last year, but this year, it seems more within reach.

Second, is our chapter’s own Cupid Shuffle, put together by one of our chapter leaders, Meghan. This is a team endeavor where groups of 4 keep track of their step count for the month. The team with the most steps for the month win bragging rights!

Logging more miles this month will translate into more steps so for me it will be a win-win. The trick will be finding a balance between getting in miles/steps and keeping up with other obligations (like cleaning, laundry, etc.) ‘cuz if I had a choice between working out and cleaning the bathroom, well, I runfess that the bathroom will lose every time!

©️ 2020 iido