Saturday, October 30, 2010

To Run

When planning my weekend long run, I began to question the need to go long at all, especially with no particular goal in mind. Why run long? Why do speed workouts? Frankly, why run at all. All these questions, this inner dialogue, began to make me think about my goals as a runner.

The conclusion I came to was quite obvious, actually. I don't run to race. I don't run to stay trim. I don't run to raise my heart rate. I run because I love it. I truly do. I love discovering a city through running, I love the simple chatter of other runners, I love feeling my body work hard, I love trying to keep myself in control.

So although I don't have a particular race in mind & although I don't feel in the best shape of my life, I am not going to simply let go of something that brings me so much joy. A joy that when I think about it actually is hard to contain.

So instead of staying out late, sleeping in, making, like most Saturdays, I got up & ran a gorgeous run through dozens of neighborhoods in Seattle. I met up with my current club, the East Side Runners to tackle 14 miles. We played games, we absorbed the fall colors that are simply amazing to take in & we kept plugging along even when the hills became endless. Not because we love each other, not because we love Seattle, but because we share the love of the run.

Distance: From a weekly view, increasing more & more
State of Mind: I guess joy is my state of mind

Monday, October 25, 2010

Lessons Learned

I typically hate the saying “lessons learned”, something that marketing has made a part of my sometimes daily vernacular. But when it comes to running, I did have a few of those lessons this last weekend. Both very different, but both very much the same. The run on Saturday in South Kirkland w/ ESR’s was very Pacific NW-esq. Full of rain, leaves & grey grey skies. And although weather is no match for determination, my legs were dead. Not from overtraining, not from a long Friday run, not from poor habits…but from the lack of training finally catching up with me. It was a sour pill to swallow, but one I am going to have to getting used, I suppose. And although it did make me feel quite alone as the men I was running with laughed at my pace, Sunday’s race made it all better.

On Sunday, I ran in the UW Dawg Dash 5K with Jesi & my uncles family. I decided early on to take it easy & not caring about the pace paid off because it allowed me to enjoy each step, share the experience my younger, extremely ambitious cousins & walk away feeling fulfilled.

This weekend taught me a lot about my attitude towards my passion for running. Hopefully I can find a better balance as 2010 comes to a close.

Distance: Maybe 14 for the weekend
State of Mind: Mind over matter…

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Power of Deduction

When it's hard, it's hard. I don't really no what else to say. Well, except...there is nothing like a speed workout to really put you in your place.

Tonight, at the ESR speed workout, we did 6x800's. I barely hung on for two, but kept at it for the remaining four while I dreamed of escaping to a place as beautiful as the sunset we were experiencing. Although my times were nothing be proud of, I was proud of myself for hanging on. After all, I am nothing but a glutton for punishment. Plus, the group I ran with tonight...mostly consisting of older men...made me realize that my youth really means nothing anymore.

On a lighter note, one of the best things about the speed workouts lately is the grandstand speakers that are turned on as the high school girls are playing their soccer games. For some ungodly reason, they really love love love Eminem. Which in all honesty, only helps my running. But if they are going to focus on that one artist, why not play Love the Way You Lie. Now that's a song. Take away the lyrics or Ri's outfit...I don't need any of that. It's just the pure passion & intensity of such a tragic love story that gets me. I miss that feeling of being so out-of-control that I once had. Sometimes memories of it are the only thing that bridge my day-to-day life together.

Distance: 6x800 with a half mile warmup & warmdown
State of Mind: My fitness is so transparent

Saturday, October 16, 2010

To-Do Lists

Sleeping in. Me? Never. It's a rare thing to find me in bed past 6am any day of the week. Well, that is until recently. My new frame of mind feels so foreign to me. Taking care of myself more, spending less time writing "to-do" lists, running less, sleeping more.

So where did this all come from? Well, to be more honest & vulnerable than I usually feel comfortable being, I think I was tired of pretending to be someone I was not. The idea of me being a relaxed, chill, free butterfly just wasn't true. Instead, I felt more like a stressed out ball of energy not completely knowing where the energy came from OR how to get rid of it. Instead of running it to the ground, my new approach is to try (try) to accept it & deal with it. To realize that each moment of each day doesn't have to be spent doing something, but rather maybe just maybe there are moments when there is nothing to be done.

Today, instead of going to the morning run with ESR, I ended up sleeping in & taking on the Paradise Valley trails with the hubs. I have to say, now don't be jealous, that I am loving the great outdoors of Seattle. Upon escaping to one of the hundreds of trails merely minutes away from where I live, I immediately feel my mind clear & focus like never before. What a truly amazing feeling.

Distance: 5-6 miles at Paradise Valley
State of Mind: Feeling more at peace.

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Something changed when I moved back to Seattle, I think it is what one calls maturing. No longer do I try to cast my spell out to a wide spectrum of crushes, I now only focus on selfish crushes. You know...the guy that can get you a discount on a new computer, the guy that can make you run faster, the guy that pays every moment of attention on you.

This new found freedom, if you will, has shown me how much time I have for other, maybe actually important, pursuits in my life. Like developing a deeper bond with my hubs, sleeping more & not being so self-concerned with my every need.

I don't think crushes will ever leave my life for good, but I am starting to enjoy the ones I have even more...since I only spend small, potent periods of time with them.

Tonight, was one of those potent times. My running crush may be too cute for me, but watching him pace tonight's workout was so inspiring. Each lap of the track, I was caught for a moment by his confidence & patient stride. I think I am starting to have a deeper understanding of that whole idea of quality over quantity.

Distance: 6-7 miles including 800 by 400 by 200 by 200 x 2
State of Mind: Seeing the future more clearly...

Saturday, October 9, 2010

Organic Yogurt

During a trail run this morning one of my new running friends Mark, apparently not such an uncommon name, asked if I was the "organic yogurt" type. Hmm, strange question to be asked at 7am in the morning as my stomach churned the half of bottle of red wine I inhaled the night before. I asked him to define the question a bit more & he said that he wanted to know up front if I was like the majority of the runners he meets that is obsessed with being perfect. You know the type...consuming a balanced diet of vegetables, fruit, grains, never missing a mile in a workout schedule & double, triple checking the time to ensure everything is on schedule.

Honestly, I had no idea how to answer the question. Sure I like yogurt. I don't particularly care if it's organic, but I do enjoy eating it. Especially Fage, as I have learned is pronounced "fa-yeh". But who doesn't like yogurt? Who doesn't strive to take care of themselves? Who doesn't try to challenge the common, yet disturbing, phrase "everything happens for a reason".

It is pretty obvious what Mark was asking. I didn't spend more than moment thinking about it after I huffed & puffed my way through a long trail run with the rest of the group...but it has haunted me the rest of the day.

State of Mind: Everything is changing around me, I want to change to...
Distance: Today, 10 hard trail miles