I think about running all the time. I love to run and even when I do stop, when it feels like I can't take another step, I am sad that it is over with and immediately start thinking about the next run.
I imagine myself as an old woman still running strong and all the races I will run on all the different terrains..The comradery as well as solidtude I will find along the way.
Lately I have lost site of why I do it and what I want out of it. The simple love of putting one foot in front of the other, going faster and longer just for the sake of it.
I started running to stave off stress and quiet the loud voices of anxiety. To find that place of zen when I can think clearly and when energy is burned and there is nothing but my thoughts and my breath.
To dig deep and see what I find.
Someday I want to run here and there and everywhere...
Before a race I struggle with stress of the unknown, the pressure of performance, fear of injury if I go all out, the crowds and attention barefoot running will bring. Its always tempting to hold back since failure is certain and known almost less scary. Then there is the fear of going out into the world alone on any day I train which also adds a bit of stress that over time seems to accumulate. I manage to get out there time and time again because I am well taken care of and my other needs are met. I have to work at it. Its easy to dream big safely running on the treadmill in my basement watching people stranded on an island while it snows here in Des Moines and confines me to my bubble. (I have been watching Lost lately on hulu :)
After races have been ran there is a whole different set of issues to work through.
There are the crappy races when I was so disappointed with myself and then the crash after a great race high. This too challenges me in the fundamental ways that I took up running in order to deal with in the first place. Its a learning experience that seeps into all aspects of my life. There is the mental and emotional side that is not the usual focus when I am thinking about time and distance and my legs and bare feet.
My dear one especially has to work hard to help me deal with said stress. He is so good at getting me to talk and see what I am not wanting to look at. He asks the right questions and pushes at the right times and gently persuades when needed. Many, many times, countless even he has saved me from myself. He sees when my eyes are bigger than my stomach both literally and figuratively! I am not afraid to jump right on in when I feel the moxie but the planning part....well, not so good at it!
Lofty goals were set at the new year I like goals and love a good list however they were going to come at a high cost.
First and foremost I am a wife and mother. I have young children that I want to be around and took on the responsibility to raise them myself. In order to run the kind of miles I have in my dreams I would have to sacrifice time that is alloted to my spawn and partner. We don't have family to watch the kids for us while we go for a run and its not fair to Jaymon to get stuck with the kids for more than I he already does. Its easier and more enjoyable to parent when there are two of you. Besides I like being around those crazy people I share a house with.
I was dreaming of running the way I dream of gardening while looking out the window at snow and dreariness. In reality I will have a simple garden that feeds the family and not the elaborate master garden that I hope to have someday down the road when there are not kids and pets to trample the flowers.
Last year I improved in many ways. I opened my mind and my ears and finally listened to Jaymon and tried barefoot running. I fell in love with it and so far see no boundaries other than time and prior commitments where as before I crammed myself into a little proverbial shoe box feeling like I was broken and weak. Soon I discovered that less is in fact more and it was just the shoes and the bad form that they encouraged. In fact I was not broken and in all actuality made to run. So I climbed out of my shoe box and stretched and slowly but surely beat my 5k shod time and also my 20k time with a half marathon time that was about 25 minutes faster than I had hoped for.
I also fell in love with off road running! I discovered the joys of running through the woods and crossing creeks and climbing up steep unfriendly hills with precarious footing all with a huge smile on my face. Unless I was grimacing from excretion and then I was still smiling on the inside!
The goals I see now are similar to what I had before with less stress and a more reasonable amount of time to train which means my odds of injury will go down as well. I have a comfortable cushion of miles in my 1000 miles in 2010 goal and if it keeps going the way it has been so far then I should be a couple of hundred miles over.
Instead of running a 50k in July I will run one on my own on a combination of trails and roads on my home turf. No traveling and sleeping in a strange bed or worse on the floor or couch. I will set a date to do it in the fall when the weather will be on my side. I set the course and plan it out and train for it. I have my whole life to participate in organized ultras and my age group is the most competitive and more so in the next five to six years. Who knows where and what I will be doing by then and my children will be grown to where I won't be needed on such a fundamental level as I am now.
I am going to plan on running the Des Moines Marathon in October and do well. I will of course run it barefoot and I think I should shoot for a four hour marathon. Maybe even a sub 4.....Before I thought I would be happy just to finish but I think I can do better than that.
I want to PR in all the races that I ran in last year and maybe a few more here and there just for shits and giggles and a new t-shirt!
I just got the flier today for the Childserve 5k and have talked one friend into doing the couch to 5k on a whim and run the 5k too. Another seems interested in running barefoot. The childserve 5k was the first race I did here in Des Moines last year. I came in 4th in my age group. This year I want one of those trophies so I am going to try and knock some time off of my 5k and cross that line with my soles on fire!
Thinking, planning, learning, loving, regenerating, breathing, growing, and happy.
I tried the citrus flavored nuun that I won in a giveaway and it rocked my socks! I liked it as much as the berry. I have had contact with a nuun marketing person and they are sending me some samples for a giveaway! Tonight I tried the lemon lime and was not disappointed. It has a fresh flavor and no after taste.
Need a road trip???? Head on over to Grand Rapids Michigan for the Fifth Third Riverbank Run. A bunch of barefoot runners are getting together to attempt a world record for the most barefoot runners at a race! Learn more about hit HERE!! The barefoot runners I know are the nicest most friendly and mellow folks ever! Go meet them and have a beer for me!!
Things change, I evolve and change my mind and refine what I want into a workable plan. Road trip coming up and a 6.66 "Global warming, my ass" virtual run to do. Been waiting for the perfect day but may need to just get out there!