Persistent vs. Stubborn

Sunday’s sermon at church was about persistent vs. stubborn. It was a really great sermon, as many of Pastor Mark’s sermons do it spoke to real life issues. He has that knack of being able to speak about something that is ruminating in my brain without realizing it.

Being persistent usually has a positive connotation while being referred to as stubborn usually has a pejorative meaning. Interestingly the phrase has been used interchangeably to describe me throughout my life. I have worn the badge of stubbornness with pride.

The sermon was timely given that the day before I had done the practice fitness test to horrible results. My “sprint” was nothing more than a fast jog. My legs were heavy and I just couldn’t make my body go any faster. It literally hurt to move my legs any faster. My hip flexors were screaming at the strain and as a result my knee and hamstrings would not cooperate. It was beyond frustrating and bordered on heart breaking.

However, I suppose there is slight humor in the situation. For six years I have been forcing myself to move from a sprinters mentality to a distance runner mentality. It has been a true struggle to get my brain to stop thinking in meters and instead think in miles. Literally this year I finally get in the zone of being a distance runner and then suddenly find myself having to flip the switch back the other way….with less than two weeks before the marathon no less. It is definitely a crazy situation to be in.

I struggled the rest of the afternoon on Saturday, emotionally fighting and railing about how I have fought so hard to get here only to fall short of the physical requirements. I rambled off all my accomplishments and how it seemed patently unfair that I could get this far and fall short. I was angry that I had allowed my marathon training to take over my PFT training. I muttered about all the time I wasted “studying” or “sitting at the office.”

During what could really only be described as a pity party,  Jesi reminded me that I am persistent. I have never given up, in the five years I have working towards my dream goal of being a federal agent I have never given up. I always step back and regroup and then find another way. She reminded me that through it all I have never, ever given up or even thought about giving up so I shouldn’t start now.

Jesi’s reminder could also be applied to my running. Numerous times in my life I have been told that I would never physically be able to lead an active life or that I would never walk again. I have been told that running a marathon would not be in my best interest. Despite that I have continued to persevere and achieve that medal at the end of the race. Each successive race seems to have some improvement, maybe not necessarily finish time but something about the process improves.

I guess the sermon made me wonder am I persistent or am I stubborn? Or am I both? I have to be persistent in achieving my goals. I have to continue to fight and change those things that need improvement. And I have to be stubborn in my execution of that. Stubborn to the point of nearsightedness. Stubborn to the point of throwing caution and the naysayers to the wind.

On the persistent side I reached out to Regina and asked if we could do some sprinting practice in addition to some distance….low and behold with an adjusted mindset and some insight from Regina I managed to shave nearly 11 seconds off my  sprinting time. I kept chanting “sprinter” as I took the laps around the track.On the stubborn side, I refuse to give up until someone says that you are done. You can not go any further in this process.

Being persistent is great and despite the negative connotation that goes with being stubborn, I think there needs to be a grain of stubbornness included in the mix in order to achieve anything that you are striving for.

On an actually running/training note, I have been keeping up with my training plan. I have been juggling a crazy class schedule with training and have been so focused on that I often forget to blog. Well not often, I do forget to blog. During my runs I think of all the insightful things I will share when I boot up my computer but then I usually roll or hit the books and my blog thoughts go by the wayside.

I think that is a side effect of the taper. Things are going well but I am tired. My taper week will look a little different since I am now having to refocus on my PFT which occurs 48 hours before the marathon. It is an interesting exercise (literal and mental) in juggling two incredibly important things, the give and take has been a true test of my persistent stubbornness.

How is your training going? Leave a comment below and let me know!

Happy Running (or sprinting)!

Sometimes You Have To Rest

Monday was not suppose to be my rest day especially given my hectic class schedule. However, the day at the office was emotionally draining and my Sunday sleep was just not wonderful. Also I was still feeling some soreness in my calves from my lack of hydration this weekend.

I was self-talking myself in every possible to talk myself into going out running. But the feeling of overwhelming, out of nowhere exhaustion, just kept pulling me back. I used the “I only have a few weeks left” and the “I need to run because I can’t run again until Wednesday” and even went so far as to say “SUCK IT UP BUTTERCUP” The capital letters weren’t for visually dramatic effect, I actually said it loudly and authoritatively, sadly (or humorously) it was said while Jesi was driving so there is a slight possibility that I scared the lights out of her.

I ended up agreeing with Jesi that if I had to fight that HARD to motivate myself and that the exhaustion was so deep that I should listen to my body and just take a rest day unexpectedly. While I do need to get the miles in and there really are only a few weeks, I won’t get to race day if I run myself into the ground now.

Even though I haven’t always hit the exact miles I need through this training plan, I still continue to go out and train and get in what I can. Jesi gently reminded me that this is the most consistent and focused I have been in the six years that I have done marathons.

I feel like I am vacillating between accepting that I needed a rest day and fighting the feeling that I am making excuses because I didn’t want to run. It is a struggle, especially with less than a month to go. I am finding the mental struggle is becoming more of an issue than the muscle soreness that is beginning to set in.

For the next few weeks, I am going to work on my mental strength as well as my running strength. I’m going to work on finding that place deep inside that will help me push through the dark places that creep up when I am tired and feeling like a petulant two year old.

Have you ever had those days were you felt like a toddler needing a nap? How did you push through? Share in the comments below.

Happy Running!

Sunday Run Day

I still felt gnarly on Sunday. Not AS gnarly as Saturday but I still didn’t feel 100% better. But I pushed through choir (a heavy polyester robe is bad on a cool day but when the church is hot and I don’t feel well I was fanning myself like a little old church lady) and the task force meeting. Interestingly or ironically enough we had pizza at our meeting. Jesi and I giggled that we could have waited a few more hours and our pizza craving would have been fulfilled and with far superior pizza.

But despite not feeling the grandest of grand, I struck out on my run. The temperatures were cool and there was some sun but some clouds so it wasn’t a horribly warm day or particularly cool. It was like Baby Bear’s bed, just right.

One thing that I am finding most exciting about my long runs, or really my runs in generally, is that I am going for longer distances without stopping. I still have the desire to stop and walk but I find that I either slow my running pace down a little bit and push through or manage to walk for much shorter periods when running is no feels longer possible. It is exciting that I can go miles without stopping where I use to focus on minutes running versus walking.

I struck out on a different route towards the Mt. Olivet cemetery. I incorporated last weekend’s long run with the route Becky and I took on Thursday. It was a great course that mixed some flat spots and some increasing elevation. By the time I got to the cemetery I had almost half my run done, I stopped and tinkled and decided that I would go visit my friend Sara’s memorial marker.

One thing I did not share on my September 11th blog, was that this year also marked the one year anniversary of the passing of our best friend Sara. After a three year fight she lost  the battle with beast cancer. At 37 she was a force of positivity and love. She was a true hero and warrior, both as a cancer fighter and as a Sergeant in the sheriff’s department. Her loss has left a huge irreparable hole in the hearts of all that knew her, but especially the heart of her “best friend” Noah.

Noah is the son of Sara’s life long best friend, he always saw his Aunt Sara has an overly tall 3, 4 or 5 year old. He just assumed that Sara was his best friend and his age. The loss has been particularly hard on him because he doesn’t quite understand why Sara no longer comes over. He often asks when Sara will come back from heaven.Navigating grief is hard enough at any age, but it is especially hard for someone so young.

On the anniversary of Sara’s passing, Noah and his parents and younger brother made the trip to the cemetery. While Sara is not physically laid to rest at Mt. Olivet there is a memorial marker placed there. Noah picked out the most beautiful flowers he thought Aunt Sara would like; a fun and patriotic mix of red, white and blue flowers. He also picked out his most favorite photo of he and Sara together. Noah and his mom carefully put the photo in a couple of plastic bags to protect it from the elements and then carefully adhered it to the lower corner of the marker.

Tara (Noah’s mom) shared the story on Facebook. I replied that when I run I always visit Sara so I will always make sure that Noah’s photo is in place. Since this was the first day I had a true long run, it was the first time I had visited Sara in a few weeks. I was sadden to see that the flowers and picture were gone. And then angered when I found them in the trash. The photo crumbled in the bag and the tape removed. The flowers split apart.

I’m not quite sure what led me to the trash can, though in my heart I could hear Sara guiding me to save Noah’s carefully crafted offerings. Initially I thought it was the wind/Mother Nature. However knowing a bit of the back story of her familial dynamics and seeing the condition of the  items I had a hard time blaming  Mother Nature.

I put the flowers back as best I could and safely tucked the photo away in my running pouch. And for the 6 plus miles home I seethed. I was so angry that I actually texted Jesi, something I rarely do when running so that I can concentrate on training. I texted her a picture of the trash can and incredulously texted what I presumed had happened.

On my run home, I felt the anger bubble inside. I was angry that someone would be so callous towards a small child. I was angry that someone was attempting to control others outward expression of grief and love. I was angry that Sara had been taken far too soon.

Through the anger came the feeling of gratitude. I was grateful that I had decided to stop at Sara’s site. I was grateful that I had been lead to the trash can to retrieve Noah’s precious picture.

Grief comes at you strange ways and in strange moments. It rears it head at moments when you least expect it and in ways you never thought imaginable. And I was reminded that grief was part of the reason I began running. I was trying to figure out a way to work through my grief at losing the life I thought I had built with a woman who threw it all away. The life that I thought was waiting for me six years ago was merely an illusion at that moment in time. I am grateful for those moments of grief because it opened the way for something more beautiful and special. In that those moments spent thinking of grief and loss, I ended up running a negative split home.

I used the fire that burned to drive my legs home. The exhaustion and dread I felt early seemed to have evaporated. I felt lighter and more surefooted. My stride picked up and the miles home seem to melt away. I ended up running 12.25 miles in 2 hours and 30 minutes. I had hoped to finish a bit quicker, but taking into consideration how sick I felt Saturday and that I had a full stomach of food I don’t typically eat before a run I was pleased. Mostly I was pleased that I ran more than I walked and that my walk breaks really were just brief interludes designed to help me catch my breath, recenter myself and begin again in a more consistent stride.

After an email exchange with Noah’s mom, we decided that the best course of action was for me to carry Noah’s photo with me. Since I run by Sara’s memorial marker every week I promised to take Noah’s photo by for visit; while we are both trying desperately to convince ourselves that it was nature NOT something else we both feel that rehanging the photo is the best course of action. I have placed the precious photo securely in my hydration pack and will lovingly and protectively carry it with me.

This blog didn’t quite go the way I thought it would. But as with life I can plan my blog but I can’t always plan how it will turn out. My run on Sunday started out as a simple run but turned into a wacky, wild mess of emotions, thoughts and discovery. But that is running and I wouldn’t change a damn thing about it.

Happy Running!

 

 

Well That Didn’t Go As Planned

It wasn’t the food, I swear. Or the adult beverage. Or the adorable cats and visiting. I woke up Saturday ready to tackle my 12 miles, possibly more. However when I got up I felt kind of nauseous and light headed. I felt like my stomach was rebelling against me in all means possible. Despite feeling crappy I decided to get up and move around a little bit thinking I would be ok in a minute. I assumed that whatever it was would of course be cured in one minute.

I made my pre-run oatmeal but the more that I moved around the more fuzzy and sick I felt. What was one minute turned into ten and the feeling wasn’t getting any better. I ended up curling back up in bed after eating what I thought would be a magically restorative bowl of oatmeal, but when I woke again to strike out for a run I realized that it wasn’t at all a good idea.

I honestly couldn’t tell if sudden movement was going to make me vomit or the other end. Sorry for the TMI!! Deciding that I didn’t want to strike out and possibly shat my pantaloons or yak in front of traffic, I thought postponing until Sunday would be a better option.

It was a very strange feeling, I was nauseous and gassy and my head felt kind of heavy. I’m not sure if there was too much sodium in my meal or if there was some ingredient in my meal that hadn’t been there before that was interacting oddly with my system. My whiskey sour wasn’t particularly potent and I spent a couple hours nursing it between sips of water. But whatever the reason I ended up spending the day under the covers in my pajamas.

Jesi was kind enough to make me soup and for some strange reason, by the evening I was craving pizza. We ordered Pizza Hut and it was the most delicious pizza I have ever eaten. Jesi was excited because she had never, in her recollection, ever had delivery pizza. Again, I’m not sure why I was craving it or why it was so delicious.

As frustrated as I was that I was unable to run, I did some time thinking of my training route for Sunday. I thought about the best route to tackle for the training that wouldn’t be able to commence until the afternoon; between choir responsibilities and our church’s O&A task force meeting afterward I knew that I wouldn’t be starting until mid afternoon. I tried to think of how I wanted to frame my training. I wanted to make sure that I didn’t have as many hills as I have in previous weeks. I began to visualize the route that I would take and how I was going to feel. I visualized how that route would correspond with the actual marathon course. I tried to figure out how to incorporate the new route that Becky and I had discovered on Thursday. I really analyzed my options all while trying to keep the world from spinning.

As we get closer to the race, I notice that I visual the course more and more. While there were some changes made to the course there are still aspects of the course that have remained unchanged through my 5 years running. It is those unchanged portions that I often find myself struggling with. I try to emulate those sections, whether it be in elevation (why I typically plan for a steep hill by mile one) or a particularly mentally challenging part (the Blue Mile on Haines point leads me to make sure I have a portion of my run that is isolated and flat with nothing to visually distract me).

For the next few weeks I am going to select my routes with a little more focus and care, ensuring that I hit all the points that I struggle with so that my body and brain are use to them and can easily push through them.

I still wish I knew what exactly it was that invaded my stomach but I guess I will never know. On the upside I got pizza AND a well planned out training route.

Happy Running!

 

Friday Fun-day

This has been a week for sure, I have had some rather roller coaster cranky moments; see the graphic in yesterday’s post.  I have been feeling overwhelmed trying to juggle the myriad of responsibilities I have chosen to get myself involved in. Mostly though I haven’t been sleeping particularly well which like a toddler impacts my sunny disposition.

At work, things have been a little frustrating and disheartening. To be honest I really don’t fit in with the vast majority of my coworkers. I have always kind of the quiet, hard working odd duck to those around me. I feel that an office is a professional place that deserves a certain level of professionalism in behavior. When my wife was summarily fired for reasons that were not her fault, my solitude at work increased. This week that sense of isolation increased as I was left out of the loop of a few important events.

With the added class impacting my training it has made me a little frustrated. I am sure that much of that frustration is based solely on the fact that it is nearly “marathon month.” The last few weeks I am constantly thinking of ways to improve and what things I do to fix/tweak issues. It’s an end game run in my brain that is constantly going, which is pretty exhausting.

On a happier note, went to dinner with a college friend of mine at a local restaurant. It’s always a challenge balancing a social life and training, especially when the fun-day occurs the day before a long run. BUT I was excited to hang out and catch up. The advantage of the Main Cup is that we have gone to the restaurant before so I know what to expect and I know what they offer menu wise. That is something that is always challenging when going out to eat because I always worry that something is going to set me back nutritionally.

I did enjoy an adult beverage, which is a little out of the norm for me. But I had decided to not be quite as strict about that aspect of training this year. In years past I do not partake in adult beverages for the entirety of training, but I found this year that being a little more lax has made me not quite so stressed out. I find it enjoyable to treat myself every once in a while. I balanced the whiskey sour with quite a bit of water to ensure that I am properly hydrated.

It was a fun evening filled with laughs and catching up on our lives the last few years. It was an early night, something that the four of us laughed about. We giggled that calling it a night 9 PM was such weak sauce when we had all spent most of our early adult years STARTING our night at 9 PM.

Even though going out the night before a long run isn’t ideal, I was looking forward to the camaraderie and fun-ness that will ultimately help me relax after such a long stressful week. It is just what I need to drain the stress away so I can approach my long run with a clear and positive mind.

Happy Running!

 

Beach Day

Sleeping in has never felt so great! The last few days of sleeping past 8 AM after going to bed at a reasonable hour has been so incredibly rejuvenating. I made the conscious decision not to run today. My legs are feeling heavy and tired from the standing and walking from our time at the parks, and tomorrow will provide to be equally as long.

Jesi seemed when surprised when I said no to running because we are going to the beach. As a New Englander, her experience with beach waves is pretty limited. The Cape never sees the huge swells that are common in southern beaches. I knew that our time at the beach and in the water would be spent body surfing and fighting the waves as they came rolling in.

We both spent significant time spewing salty water out of lips and and equal amount standing back up after being knocked down. Particularly humorous was when Jesi for some reason decided to punch the wave in frustration and was then promptly knocked on her butt by the wave that came from her left. In my defense, she was laughing before I was.

I’m finding the time away from running is making me equal parts anxious and relieved. Anxious because the marathon is mere weeks away and I need to get the miles in. My body needs the miles and the practice and consistency. But at the same time there is a bit of relief because I am so focused and concentrated on the goal. It’s ironic that the thing that makes me anxious is the same thing that I find relieving, two sides of the same coin for lack of a better term.

I am finding that even when I am not running I am thinking about. The time spent relaxing, I was reading and watching videos and learning new things. There is always comfort in my geekyness. It helps to settle my nerves. I’m also relieved because even though I have taken a slight step back during a crucial time, I recognize that this time off is important on some levels.

I have a tendency to become addicted to things rather easily whether they be good, bad or in between. For me to be able to take a step back for just a brief time and recenter myself and re-balance myself with the rest of my life is a huge help. My addictive tendency drives me for both good and bad reasons. Taking a little time off and refocusing my attention on my wife and just reconnecting has been an even bigger help than the miles that I am missing.

Setting aside the philosophical, I knew that to do ten miles and then go battle the waves after walking some distance on the sand would only end up shredding my legs; potentially injuring myself. In the end my greatest fear is that I will get injured during such an amazingly productive training time. History has proven that I am prone to tendinitis as well as issues with my knees and hips. Part of my acceptance of my rest is an overall fear that I will be injured if I continue forward in such a no-holds bar focused manner. The goal for me is to actually get to the start line and then make it to the finish.

All in all, it was a great day. Super fun day at the beach that is heralded as the Shark Bite capital of the world. Thankfully I neither spotted sharks or was bitten by one so I would say that the day was a win-win. Besides I got some cross training in and spent time with the family.

Happy Running!

 

 

Where Were You?

After a couple days hitting the parks, Saturday was spent relaxing. We slept late and had a hardy breakfast. We all enjoyed some quiet time at home just reading and relaxing and visiting. Our trip to the pool was cancelled due to a thunderstorm that never materialized. But by the time the clouds cleared and we realized the storm had blown past, it was dinner time.

While my blog posts typically run the day behind with today’s blog usually being about the previous days events but  I feel remiss not acknowledging that today is September 11th. In fact it is the 15th anniversary of September 11th. The news has been filled with stories and retrospectives. The children of those lost are now beginning high school. Monuments and memorials are being built. Documentaries are being made that further expand on the events to include the events in Pennsylvania and at the Pentagon. A generation of children are beginning school that will learn about the events of that day because they weren’t born yet.

It is an emotional day for our country. Personally, the day holds its own set of emotions. Those emotions heightened by the fact that the family we were staying with lost a family member and quite a few friends on that day. When discussion September 11th the question that is always posed, in some way or another is: “Where were you?”

Everyone that answered has such clarity of detail. They remember the day in such minute detail as if it was just yesterday. I am one of those people. I can’t remember what I wore but I remember that I was in geography class. I had arrived on campus and made it to class; my fellow classmates were all whispering about the news huddled together. We started to talk thinking for sure that class would be canceled. Classmates were calling parents and friends that worked in New York.

Surprisingly enough our professor did not cancel class. I like to think that it wasn’t any ill will but rather just a complete and utter lack of comprehension of the magnitude of what had happened. Perhaps because we had all lived through the bombing in 1993. And the bombing in Oklahoma. While those were tragic events and rocked the nation, they were no where near the scale of the events of that morning. There was no realization that the world as we all knew it was irrevocably changed.

At the exact moment the second tower was hit we were beginning the lesson on San Paulo and South America. I often wonder what that day would have been like if cellphones were as much a part of our being as they are now. Would we have known sooner what had happened? Would the images that so horrified us as we gathered after class in the student center been seen sooner? Would there have been tweets and posts and status updates? Instagram photos with filters?

What would the experience been like other than a group of 15 girls anxiously awaiting the end of a laboriously long lesson so that we could get to our friends and talk about what happened. While we didn’t know exactly what had happened, we sensed that this time was different. We were frustrated that our professor didn’t feel that same sense of urgency.

When class ended we quickly left the classroom and found a large group in the auditorium that was down the hall from our class. On the large screen was projected CNN. The room was packed with all seats and floor space taken up. There were silent tears and loud sobs. But in that moment there was a closeness. A camaraderie. I had never been so grateful to attend a small college. It was in the shared spaced that we learned that there had  also been other planes.

There was fear that there were more. There was fear that the military base that is located near the college would be a target. As a tactical location for communications and biological warfare, the base was a possible target.

That year my Mom and I had moved from our long time home after a painful divorce and taken a small apartment down the street from the college. Between the apartment and the campus was my mom’s job. I left campus and made my way to the store where Mom worked. I spent an hour as the entire staff huddled around a radio listening to the horrified news. They had yet to see the images that I had seen on the news.

After hugging Mom and all her co-workers, because for some reason we all felt compelled to hug, I made my way to the apartment. I realized quickly that I should have walked since the half mile drive took me over two hours. The military base, which was literally feet past the entrance to our apartment complex, had put up a barricade which blocked the entrance to the apartment. The combination of the blockade and the base personnel that had been called into duty resulted in traffic that moved so incredibly slow. Though despite the waiting, everyone sat patiently. There was frustration but there was no horn honking or gestures. No yells of “hurry up”. None of the activities that one would expect during a traffic snarl of such magnitude.

I briefly thought of turning around and parking my car at mom’s store and then make the trip on foot but I realized the traffic on the other side of the road was almost as equally slow due to the major high being shut done. Frederick is situated literally in the middle of multiple military installations and roughly 45 minutes from Washington, DC and the White House. Also, we are a little less than an hour from the site of the Pennsylvania crash. Our little sleepy down was for lack of a better term on lock down.

bal-baltimore-9-11-lookback-pg-018Once I made it up to the barrier it took me an additional 15 minutes of explaining to the solider that I lived in the apartment complex they were currently blocking. It was only after showing my registration, licence, student ID and pointing to my balcony that overhung the street was I finally permitted to enter. Once in the apartment I stepped out on the balcony and waved to show the soldiers that I was in fact a resident. I will never forget the fear of seeing two tanks literally parked in front of my house manned by soldiers with large weapons.

I called Mom and said when her shift ended not to drive home that getting into the apartment was a nightmare. Even as a pedestrian she had to show an ID but it was less time and explanation to make her way in than driving. Our apartment manager tried in vain to have blockade moved back just the 5 feet needed to enter and exit; but due to safety protocol the blockade stayed in place for several days. It was frustrating but reassuring all at once.

Personally, I remember what a troubling time it was setting aside the events of that day. Mom and I had only been in the apartment for a couple weeks after having moved from a large home with a yard to a small urban apartment. Our lives were in such upheaval already that the events of the day added an even greater sense of fear of the unknown.

We also realized that sense of upheaval we were feeling when combing the days events with the previous personal events was so incredibly minute compared to the lives of thousands of others.

It is strange that after 15 years I can’t adequately put into words the feelings that day invoked, and continues to invoke. It was such a frightening time that was followed shortly by the Anthrax attacks. That was made even more unsettling because the originally accused scientist lived in the building next door to ours. After finally settling down and no longer having tanks in our front yard, we then had FBI agents going through trash and camped out in our parking lot. Additionally, the military base that ran the testing was the very same base that was outside of our apartment.

I believe the entire series of events shook the world I knew and felt safe in to the core. I think like the trauma of injuries, your brain never quite allows you to remember the incident, my brain has somehow protected me from fully delving into a place in time that was so fraught will pain and anxiety.

While my experience was so small compared to the rest of the world, but yet I still feel as if I may never fully be able to express the enormity of that time in our history and the events that followed, but it is a day that I will always remember the grief I felt for my country while also feeling pride that we joined together as a nation. I will always remember the fear that followed but also the strength the resulted. But most of all I will remember where I was and how grateful I was to be surrounded by so many friends.

Peace and Love,
JJ

 

 

 

 

Tickets to Hogwarts Express

Another fun day at the parks. This time we ventured away from Disney and went to Universal Studios. My all time favorite reading series is Harry Potter. I started reading it in college, initially I thought it was a kids series but quickly became enthralled in the story. I typically reread the series once a year. I must admit that I haven’t seen the final installment of the movie, I saw the first half of the final movie but have yet to watch the final, final episode. Part of me feels that watching it somehow means the magic is over.

Jesi isn’t really a reader, she prefers lighter fare than my usual academic type books. The size of the books alone made her flee from Harry Potter for our five years together. However this year she decided to pick them up and quickly fell in love. Her newly found love of reading is adorable. Part of the decision to get a two park pass for Universal was so that we could experience all of the majesty that is Harry Potter.

It was amazing. We bought wands. We went on rides. We looked at windows and shops and all kinds of things. And we walked, not quite as many miles as yesterday but still walked over six miles.

While we didn’t fall asleep in the car on the way home, we were still wiped from the sun and adventure and walking of the day. While Friday is typically my rest day, I used the 6.75 miles towards my training miles for the week.

As a non-running aside, I ran into my ex. The heart break that resulted from that relationship started me on my fitness journey and eventually opened the way to my wife. It was incredibly jarring to run into someone you least expected to see, that you really never wanted to see again, in such a joyful and happy place. Her presence at the park did sit quietly in the back of my brain. Mostly because our paths kept crossing. We never actually interacted or spoke, but I would spot her and her family across a crowded shop or when exiting a ride.

For all of my irritation that she would be there, there was a small part of me that was glad that she saw me. Looking as healthy as I ever have. With a beautiful wife and having a good time with family. I don’t wish her any ill will, and truth be told I am now immensely grateful for her selfishness and dishonesty because without it I would not be where I am today.

I thought it was an interesting lesson to be presented with. I was gently reminded albeit in a slightly startling fashion that I have come a long way. That I have achieved much. That I have surpassed anyone, including my own, expectations of what was possible. And most importantly I found myself and a beautiful wife and best friend along the way.

Back to the regularly schedule running related blog…

While I didn’t get my miles in from running, I definitely got them in enjoying the adventure of Hogwarts. I promised Jesi that as soon as she finishes the books, we will go back so she can fully enjoy everything after having completed the total story. Not to mention we can take our wands with us and try them out, since we were total geeks and got the interactive “magic” wands.

How do you manage training on long vacations? What tips have you discovered for balancing vacation and training?

Happy Running!

Rest Day and Achieving the Impossible

I felt pretty good this morning. A little dull ache in my foot but nothing that seemed horrible or worrisome. However, since my training plan said rest day I decided to stick with the rest day so that my 11 miles tomorrow would be smooth and as successful as the last few long runs. Even though it’s a rest day I still took my lunch walk and got some time on my feet at a nice brisk pace.

When I got back to my desk I saw an article on Facebook book about a 5:19 marathon runner that won a marathon. The headline was of course eye catching, and being someone that would be thrilled with even a 5:19 finish time I decided to read the article.

It wasn’t an incredibly in depth article but it was a great read. Julie Jorgeneson’s story starts out like many of us that started running. And shared briefly as this mother of two progressed from an untrained marathoner to someone who now runs 50+ miles a week.

The article was perfect timing for me as I am coming out of my self pitying funk about my sore foot and will I ever achieve my goal of a sub 5 hour marathon. It was that gentle reminder from the Running Universe Gods that one should never give up. That seemingly impossible goal (whatever it might be) is possible to achieve. I’ll keep that motivation and thought in mind when I tackle 11 miles tomorrow.

Check out the article by clicking on the photo.

As always….Happy Running!

jorgensen1

Photo by Spenser Heaps, Desert News

 

 

When You Don’t Know What To Do….The Best Thing To Do Is Nothing

My foot was feeling a bit better last night when I left the office. On a scale of 1-horrifically painful 10, my foot was about a 1-ish; perhaps a .75. There was a slight twinge but nothing unbearable. However I wasn’t 100% about running. I was nervous that the moderately decent feeling would fade if I ran.

It was an internal battle of should I or shouldn’t I. There was the part of me knows that I NEED to get my miles in and was willing to throw caution to the wind. Then there was the part of me that knows I need the miles BUT I have such a short amount of time to train that an injury at this point would be disastrous.

I debated the entire car ride home…up the front walk…into the kitchen where I put my lunch box. The entire time vacillating back and forth and trying to figure out the best course of action. My poor wife must have suffered severe whip lash from the back and forth of my battle.

It wasn’t until I took my shoes off to climb the stairs and felt a twinge measure about a 3 on the twinge-o-meter scale that I decided that I would not run.

My mom has always said when you don’t know what to do the best thing to do is nothing. I used that philosophy when making my decision. It’s horrible and I hate not running, but the truth was after I made the decision I was more relaxed.

I spent the evening working on some Achilles stretches. I actually wore my Aircast for awhile, which seemed to help quite a bit. Whether it’s a placebo effect or an actual effect is  yet to be determined, but it brought some relief to my foot. As much as I dread taking three days off from training, taking a few days now will ensure that I can cover the important mileage in the weeks to come; or at least that’s what I keep telling myself as I put the zero mileage into my spreadsheet.

Truth be told there isn’t that much difference between where I am and where I should be mileage wise. And if I tap into the miles I walk at lunch during the week, I really am on point. Tonight! I will lace up my moonshoes and embark on a gentle run to get my body back into training. And then we will go from there.

Gotta stay positive. Gotta keep running.

Happy Running!