Friday, January 2, 2015

Timing is everything

it's time
simply time to put away the old stuff and move on. i have a good running groove going and i plan to get stronger. there's nothing more to say really.

the used-to-be's
it's really easy to fall into the used-to-be trap. i think of it all the time  mostly in the context of "i used to be a lot faster"... well i used to be a lot of other stuff too. not all no more of that either. i am what i am today.

the here and now
i'm strong. healthy. content...i have plans and goals and i'm taking the steps to get there.

this year
2015 is about making the most of all i have. that part i can own. the crap life sends just that. i can choose what i make of won't own me anymore. done.

first milestone
this week i'll hit about 27 miles. the longest i've run in over 14 months. yeah. cheers to that, baby. happy fucking new year. :)

Mont Tremblant summit

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 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 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 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 cool is that?

  1. Strong 6 mile run today.
  2. nice work. Getting ready for CIM?
  3. I am training for and
  4. 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's never forgotten, long after its gone, the muscle memory of emotion cripples with the stifling grip of sadness

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.

i want to get back to 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.

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
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.

slapped, punched,, 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.

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.

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 more words left.

i surround myself with the warmth of caring people and i start to see a life worth holding 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


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

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.

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.

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.

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'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?
on june 30, i'm having surgery on a lump that's been bugging me for'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 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 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 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'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.