Thursday, November 13, 2014

share the love

2007- my first 10k - my superfit friend who had encouraged me to run finished the race and came back to run me in and she was merciless..."pain is temporary- move your ass."
twinkle in your eye
sometimes you have the bare essence of desire, something you think about, but not too seriously because you're not really sure if it's attainable...sometimes it becomes a compulsion and you can't go ten minutes without thinking about it...

your desire quickens
i always wanted to be a runner. i looked like a runner and was asked if i ran all the time. i started working out at 27...finally at 37 I began to run. i needed a bigger fitness challenge. i picked running because it was honest and simple.there's really no way you can fake running 5k.

slow build-up
i hated running but fuck it - it was efficient. best way to burn calories and get fit. i got on the treadmill and ran for 13 minutes straight. that's it. 13. i was appalled...what? i can do 2 60 min spin classes back to back and i can only last 13 measly minutes on a treadmill...well the next day i did 14. and so it went to 60 min. enough was enough.

the joy and afterglow
the joy came when i took it outside. i felt free, light and just so grateful for my heart pumping, my legs moving, and to look all around me in the early morning and see the world wake up and come to life...and i basked in that sense of peace and optimism all day. i had found my reason for running.

passion endures
running has taken me to soaring heights and some pretty deep lows..passion is like that and i'd ride out even the worst knowing the high was there...in the end, running has been my steadfast companion and will always be there to remind me that life is good.even great. my blood rushes and my heart pounds, and I'm drenched in sweat - the visceral connection to life is a daily reminder of how much I have to celebrate and how little time there is.

share the love
when you see others along the same path of discovery with running, there's an instant affinity...you belong to a collective consciousness because every runner has been through the same process- each unique and yet each the same. you pass on what has worked and what hasn't and slowly people find their way.you never forgot those that gave you encouragement, a high five or a piece of advice about a race course you've never seen...and you pay it forward...

the kindness came full circle this evening...how cool is that?

 
  1. Strong 6 mile run today.
  2. nice work. Getting ready for CIM?
  3. I am training for and
  4. check.you. out. :) that is terrific!
  5. you are the reason I got here! You talked me through my first Half back in 2009 and I use your advice to this day. Thank you!


Monday, November 3, 2014

muscle memory

the body remembers...the scent, the touch, the embrace of another...the kick, the slap, the punch...it's never forgotten, long after its gone, the muscle memory of emotion cripples with the stifling grip of sadness

recovery
a long road awaits me. things aren't quick. i simply have to put one foot in front of the other and believe that the rest will fall into place.

'be patient' they say. "ok i will" i say.

yearning
i want to get back to running.it haunts me. i only remember the good stuff.even though pain is so real in the moment, afterwards the memory of it vanishes.

"you're back!" they say. "i hope so" i say.

resilience
every step i take is closer to when i can run again.i've started from zero fitness before so i know i'll get it all back. sweat equity doesn't frighten me.

"you can do it" they say. "i know it" i say.

sometimes the smile isn't there
brakes
then the pain comes again, from a different place, a different type of pain and it engulfs me and i can't breathe.i don't want to be in anyone's company and i think the world is better without me pulling it down.

"push through it" they say. "i hurt" ... i think.

resilience
slapped, punched, kicked...duck, hide, run...don't look back. that's what i'm made off. told i'm worthless more times than i can count...and when the pain comes, the memories come...and every time it gets harder to get back up.i don't have the bounce that i used to have.

doesn't matter what anyone says. i can't hear the good stuff.

anchors
i've dropped the disappointers, the whiners, the narcissists, the fairweather friends who bolt when i ask if maybe they want to cut me a bit of slack because i'm going through a rough patch. i attract people that are bad for me...i'm sure some shrink could figure that out...i don't need to. all i have to do is stay away from the ones that get off on hurting me, or turn away, and are simply cold and indifferent, weak and cowardly.

"leave me alone" they say. "ok i will" i reply.

healing
the body has far more resilience than our minds.personal loss - the wound no one sees still bleeds.dark days.a finality.a hollowness.there's no rehabbing, no rebuilding, no getting it back.

"time heals all wounds" they say. i say nothing.no more words left.

recovery
i surround myself with the warmth of caring people and i start to see a life worth holding onto.my close friends and family remind me how to smile when i need it. i have a coach who understands i'm a little cracked and getting back my physical strength is only a small part of the larger battle. i'm not letting go of life. too much that i cherish. i just need to put one foot in front of the other and the rest will fall into place...

pain. the body forgets but the mind remembers.
somehow we keep going anyway...embrace our frailty.



Thursday, September 18, 2014

crawl


2009-first marathon, first BQ...yeah
you have to crawl before you can walk...

july
i crawled. for a week i lay on my back barely able to get up without the use of my abs. i couldn't stand straight. when the pain was bad, i used ice or medicated. i got past it.

august
i walked. i walked as often as i could. to and from work and with the dog around the block. even then, there were days when i couldn't understand the exhaustion. i got past it.

september
i ran. it's not pretty. it's not fast. it's likely not even dainty. but i am out there again. i need encouragement.i'm tired. drained. defeated? sometimes. can't rest on my "used to be" glory. it's gone.

i'm back to the pre-runner me. it happened so quickly. i weigh more than i've weighed in years. i feel it when i run. i see it in the clothes i wear. so i can make a choice to sit around and wallow in what i used to be...

instead i've chosen to STFU and do something. i can be even better than i used to be. now, that's a goal worth having...

every adventure begins with the first step...

Thursday, July 3, 2014

bone deep

the lump is out.(read previous blog)
here's a funny story for you -- the only context i can give you is that my surgeon used to run and knows i do.

Pre-op
Nurse - so you run?
me - yeah i run, not much lately
Nurse - i should run
me - sure 
nurse - why running instead of anything else?
me - it was the most efficient way to burn calories, to get in shape and i could control when i did it
nurse - it's so hard to find the motivation but it feels great afterwards. 
me - you got it 
nurse - yeah, i should run

Operating room
loud nurse -- so you run major marathons? 
me: yeah i run marathons
loud nurse: but you run the MAJOR marathons? like Boston?
me: yep, i've run boston
loud nurse to anesthesiologist and every one else: she runs MAJOR marathons
*lights out*

Post-op recovery room
nurse 3 - do you remember waking up?
me: no
nurse 3 - you don't know what you said?
me: nope, can't remember a thing
nurse 3 - the first thing you asked was when you could run, and then you asked when you could lift weights
me - so what did the doctor say 
nurse 3 - minimum 6wks of low activity, and after that he'll let you know.

call for follow-up appointment with surgeon
me: hi, i'd like to book a follow-up appointment
receptionist: sure ok. i bet you want to know when you can run again
me: exactly

it's what i do, it's how i see the world, it's who i am 
running goes bone deep with me. as much as i may take a break to lift weights and do other things, it's inevitable that i'll go back to running.i think about the races, i think about where i'd like to run next. i look at the weather as a runner, i look at hills as a runner. i look at the seasons as a runner. 

simply put - i'm a runner through and through.it's how people see me and how i see myself.i always envied runners and now i'm one of them. unconditionally. i love it.

so tomorrow, i'll share some pics of some of my favourite runs over the past few years since i became a runner. here's an amuse-bouche to whet your appetite.

*andrew, if you're reading this, i'll get to BTR. i promised.



Wednesday, June 18, 2014

giddy up


Texas, baby! if we ever meet, i'll have to tell you the story of how i learned to line dance. that trip was a blast and i loved every minute and have stories galore. isn't that what it's all about?
pain
on june 30, i'm having surgery on a lump that's been bugging me for years...it's nothing too bad the surgeon says. probably just a lump of scar tissue from an old incision. he doesn't know how deep he'll have to go to cut it out.but, it's time for it to go. when i run too hard, laugh too much, scream too loudly,it shrieks in pain and knifes my ovary.

cut it out
it will take time to heal, it's best to get rid of it. it doesn't stretch, it doesn't have resilience. it tears, bleeds and hurts. i have no time to be slowed down by it...sometimes people don't come back from hospitals...so i'm nervous

live big
i'm scared to die. i've come too close to death too many times so maybe that's why i am so aware of how short life is. i want to live.live big. live deeply. live love. i want to look back at my life and have no regrets knowing i seized and squeezed all the happy i could and held onto it anyway i could.

there's always so much to do...how do you fit it all in?

find the good stuff
running, unfettered by the self-induced pressure of doing better, fixing my form or any of that garbage, has always made me feel great. truly deeply alive. so visceral with each breath and each heart beat. even now, i don't have a way to fit in my weights with all the work travel, but when i find a place for running, that little bit of time brightens my day.

go the extra mile
fitting in the good stuff takes effort, especially since there are so many things on the "must do" list. but, it's always worth it. many runners go that extra mile.that extra bit of effort, that's the magic. it comes from a passion to push your limits - to simply just see, to discover, to delight in the keener sense of life.i gladly give up sleep or routine to make room for late night conversations, early morning runs, visits with friends.

hold on tight
it's so easy for me to slip away into the bleakness and dark.when i'm melancholy, i feel hollow. that's why i jam in things that matter to me. it makes for a full day, and it fills the emptiness i often feel. when i find the light from people i'm with or something that i do or an experience that's happened,i hold onto that brightness. even if it's just a glimmer at times, i don't lose site of it. i need it.sometimes i'll be disappointed and things aren't as great as i'd hoped for, but i don't regret giving life a shot.it's always worth it.

now, giddy the fuck up
it's really simple. you make space for the stuff that matters, for the stuff that makes you happy. you find ways to fit it in and hold onto it. if stuff doesn't add to your day, if it's always a burden, then cut it out and move on. as the saying goes, life is too short.

Wednesday, March 26, 2014

beautiful pain

standing in the flames
it's a beautiful kind of pain
setting fire to yesterday
find the light.find the light.find the light...(eminem w sia)

the paradox of strength is that you have to be vulnerable to achieve it. you're stronger where you were once broken...not just true for bones.

i dropped the pretense of being whole and now i find myself more whole than ever. how does that even work. i always thought i'm so fucked up and carried it around. i thought my pain was invisible but it wasn't. my negativity, my depression - it was visible to everyone. when i told people that i struggle with how i see myself, i don't always love myself, and sometimes the days are too dark to get out of bed and the tears just stream down my face, i had the strangest response. no one rejected me or shunned me for it. i found the open arms of compassion and empathy...and i let myself be as i was, with no pretense. in the place of my self-imposed isolation, i found freedom and self-acceptance.

this paradox true even with my fitness - of strength being born through weakness. everything contradicts the way i'm used to thinking. i need to eat more so i can be more lean. i need to gain weight to be stronger. i weigh more but i'm thinner? ultimately muscle is stronger than scar tissue and so that's what i'm building in my mind and in my body. as i lift heavier weights, my mind is letting go of some of the heaviness.

everyone has something...i joined my coach's facebook group a few days ago.people are so candid and open with their thoughts and what they're working to overcome.i'm only as alone as i make myself. the stories of triumph over adversity make me wonder what the fuck i was worried about to begin with?

i still have tough days like this morning when i woke up crying because i didn't like what the scale had to say...the love and compassion shown by friends gets me through the sad days...those friendships have become stronger through my vulnerability. they're the keepers.


Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Bootylicious

i had a butt lift... :)
but no one added any silicone to my derriere. :) ... here's the report i sent to my coach about the good news this week's observations brought me. i had a slump in february, travelled a lot, and then solo-parented for ten days without a kitchen (renos). so...now i'm back in the saddle...

but before we get to the report and the pix...
it's not all rainbows and unicorns for me...you know i think too much...here's what's been in my head.

i'm 45. weight lifting now. am i cliche? i hope not. most of my body looks better than it did when i was 25. but that spectre of aging is always with me.i have friends that are easily 10 years younger or more than i am and the age difference may not cross their minds but it is with me sometimes as i wonder how ridiculous i might seem to them. i wait for them to scoff at me as the young do to the old and frail; for them to gloat with their vitality and resilience.

i told my shrink that if i didn't find a way to deal with the ugliness of getting older, i wasn't going to be around in 10 years. there's no point in hiding that i'm vain, and i'm scared as fuck of becoming faceless, nameless and just an old lady that is invisible.

i've had it good. i've often fed off of the attention that vanity needs for sustenance to boost a flagging self-esteem and a voice that often used to say i'll never be good enough. fuck that voice though and fuck what anyone thinks about me. i'm stronger than anyone who mocks me with their self-centred arrogance. i've survived through a fuck tonne of awful stuff and i will never give in to being some kind of victim-even to aging.

this new found delight when i see how my body is getting stronger in places and ways it's never been before - that's motivating. i'm sure i'll get the crepy skin, the age spots, and the dangling tits that all women have as they age. (i hear labia dangle too. hey do you think women of a certain age and means get labia lifts along with a batch for their snatch?(hairdye folks))

but that's not the point for me - the feeling of strength - of lifting heavier and heavier weights with more fluid motion, it has been very insightful for me. it's given me a different way to fight my fears and to feel like i can be whole. that physical strength gives me inner strength and confidence i've rarely felt. it's so odd. just as i see flab give way to muscle, i'm seeing that despair i've had so often, lift. confidence is with me again and i wonder if i should even say that knowing how hard it has been to escape the darkness...but... fuck it. i'm taking the moment for what it is. life is for living and i'm not into regrets. not now. not ever...and yet, there are only three ppl i'd ever show these weekly pix to.still not there...but on the path...doesn't mean i'll be taking up twerking tho...in case you wondered.

ok, enough...pass the chicken please. i still haven't had enough protein and it's almost 10:30 pm. :)

Report to my coach...
Hi
Are you still down under? Are you competing? Thanks for the FB link. I'll get on there this week. We still have 2 feet of snow and even though it got up to 50F today, there's a snow storm on the way. Never move here Paul. I think you knew that already though. 

First the good news. As much as I hate having those pix taken, when i compare the side view of Dec 10 to March 10...i can see i have a butt and it got higher so my legs look longer...that's so crazy (in a good way) and I was completely surprised to see it. Now...more good news. I wore a fitted suit jacket yesterday. I've had it for 10 yrs and it fits my shoulders and chest and back but the middle was ridiculously loose. I could grab at least three inches of it...it didn't look goofy but i was really surprised. also, i have a waist now. it goes in. like other people. it doesn't just go straight from my ribs to my hips. it dips in. i don't think i've ever had a skinnier waist... as well, my booty shorts which fit me at 105-my race weight -they now are looser than before...but i'm heavier than i've ever been and that freaks me out. So does the fat on my back under my shoulder blades...at least, unlike winter around here, there are some changes that make me optimistic. 

i see the changes when i'm lifting because certain muscles are starting to show up. I also see the weights getting a little heavier each week. On my detailed report you can see how much more weight I can lift now than I did at the start. I feel strong. 

Diet - well - i do have my kitchen now. haven't moved everything back into it but it is it ever nice to cook again. So...I'm a bit off esp w 2 extra grams a fat a day this past week. The carbs are low but the days were wonky from day to day. This week I'm aiming for that level consistency again. I've changed the workout week so Day 1 is Monday so I can take Sunday off because I have trouble getting out of bed on Sunday mornings. lazy ass



Booty call
finally-- the pix...can you see my butt lift? it's awesome. i might start twerking any minute now...
nov 9                                               dec 10               mar 10