Life's little adventures, accompanied by a running watch

Saturday, November 24, 2018

A dose of mental training

I remember the first time I ran a double loop marathon.  I thought it would be hellish.  I remember when I ran my first ultra, Stonecat 50, comprised of four 12.5 mile loops in the woods.  And who could forget Ghost Train, where I ran/walked/slept-walked 100 miles via 6.6667 out-and-backs on an old rail bed.  Physical training is key, but mental strength is what I rely most on.

This morning, I decided to run my ten miles within the confines of my little community.  That meant loops.  Three loops to be exact.  I had that same hellish thought about running loops, but figured it could only help me continue to strengthen my mental toughness as I head to the Caloosahatchee Ultra (a three loop course) next week.

The transformation in my thoughts from the first loop through the third is pretty typical –

Loop 1:

- OMG, I suck
- And I call myself a runner
- I give up
- Why is this so hard
- And I have a race in one week

Loop "split": 

Stopped at my house, took a few moments, received encouraging words from Scott and a tail wag from Bella.  Time to get my body AND my mind in gear!

Loop 2:

- OK, nothing hurts so lock it up
- Whoa, this feels better
- GU & salt tabs are indeed magical
- Starting to feel strong again
- I may actually make ten miles afterall
- No I WILL make ten miles
- I’ve got this

Loop "split": 

When I returned home for the second time, Scott commented about my smile.  #thingsarelookingup

Loop 3:

- I can’t believe I feel so much better
- I’m so proud of turning this run around
- I'm so glad I pushed past the 3 mile mark
- Hm, pace feels comfy
- I could definitely go farther
- Can’t wait to rock tomorrow’s run
- Go me

Now if someone can just remind me next Saturday to skip right to Loop 3 thoughts, that'd be greatttttt!!!

Thursday, November 22, 2018

The power in "missing"

Sleeping in.  It’s finally cooled a bit in southwest Florida, but for a solid seven month stretch, if we weren’t out running by 6:00 am, game ovah.  And an extra long weekend provides that feeling of leisure.

Running.  This morning, we opted for a nice walk with Bella and will get out there again later.  We’ll give it hell tomorrow on the trails!

Chill.  When we headed out for our walk earlier, it was breezy and almost felt a bit chilly (my New England friends are likely rolling their collective eyes).  It’s nothing like the cold frigid temperatures they’re experiencing, but I enjoyed donning a long-sleeved shirt! 

Cooking Thanksgiving dinner.  We realized today that we haven’t cooked Thanksgiving dinner since we’ve known each other.  Gulp, that’s over thirty years!  We’ve always joined Scott’s brother and family for Thanksgiving.  I’ve always supplied the apple pie (mostly baked; sometimes bought).  We'll always be there for Thanksgiving, whether physically or in spirit.   

Family & Friends.  I’d give anything to be able to spend every day, not just holidays, close enough to see everyone anytime I wanted – from all my different lives.  I’m enjoying new friends but missing old friends.  When I do connect with family or old friends, it’s that much sweeter.

Listening to old songs.  While preparing our turkey and fixings today, we tuned into old Casey Kasem “countdown” of songs.  From 1972!  Here are some notables heard today:
  • “Sunshine go away today, I don’t feel much like smiling”
  • “Precious and few are the moments we two can share”
  • “Song sung blue, weeping like a willow”
  • “Been through the desert on a horse with no name”
  • “I’ve got a brand-new pair of roller skates, you got a brand-new key”
  • “Who can make the sun rise, sprinkle it with dew…the Candy man can”
  • “Bye, bye Miss American Pie, drove my Chevy to the levee but the levee was dry"

Dare I even say…cold/snowy weather.  I don’t miss that as much as the other things I’ve noted, but there is a certain vibe that only a cold and snowy winter day can provide.  Cranking up the pellet stove was one of my favorite moments during the winter months.  Applying and then peeling off multiple layers of running clothes go in the notsofavorite things during winter.   But the vibe?  It’s a combination of cozy/badass/harsh/peaceful.

My blog.  I’ve missed writing in my little corner of the blog-o-sphere!  I love to write in a way that entertains, makes people laugh, or even provides some piece of wisdom I’ve learned.  But simply, I love the act of writing (thanks Mom!).  I also love being able to look back occasionally to reflect on where I’ve been, what I’ve done, what I’ve learned…and how far I’ve come.

Missing all these things could and sometimes makes me sad, but the simple act of missing makes me appreciate them even more.  Even the cold.  OK, that might be a stretch.

Happy Thanksgiving to family, friends (old & new) and everyone in between!

Wednesday, November 21, 2018

Not bad, just different

Halloween decorations amidst the community we live in now was the first clue that holiday seasons would be very different in southwest Florida.  The pumpkin/witch/ghost decorations were typical but mixed with 80-90 degree temperatures wasn’t so typical.  Not bad, just different.

Next up:  Thanksgiving.  Fewer decorations, as most skipped right to Christmas decorations.  Not bad or different; as most people seem to start decorating for Christmas soon after Halloween.

We noticed our neighbors have already put up their Christmas tree.  Several homes have decorated with angels or lighting or Santa hats.  All the while, the fresh scent of recently spread bark mulch permeates the air.  And the grass continues to be mowed.  And we continue to apply sunscreen.  Not bad, just different.  REALLY different.

Over the last three years, we’ve embraced different.  Sometimes different feels hard, but it’s really just adjusting to where we came from.  We’re getting a lot better at recognizing that change is hard (even if it’s exciting change) and that our attitudes define whether the difference is good or bad.  We're choosing good.

There’s a lot of good we’ve experienced in this latest chapter of southwest Florida living.  There’s also a lot of missing of old friends and old running routes.  Grateful as hell that we’ve had lots of family and friends who have or will visit us in the coming months.  We give them a sunshine fix; they give us a ‘back home’ fix.  And those we haven’t seen yet, we’re lucky to live in this age of technology to stay connected until we do get to see each other again live.

Not bad, just different.  Not bad at all...