Thursday, February 24, 2011

My Blog Has Moved!

So sorry, my friends! A reader just contacted me and told me that this blog popped up when she was trying to find me. I should have left a post here telling you I have moved locations. :)

My new blog is at or

Thanks for reading and Happy Running!


Saturday, April 17, 2010

So many things going on! I know that is life, so I'm just trying to stay focused :) I am still running, even though I've had to put any definitive race plans on hold for the moment. This week has been good - lots of miles - although none of them were particularly fast. I'm still cooking like a woman possessed; tonight, sweet seared beef with roasted endive, red potato au gratin, and arugula. I think I use cooking as my relief from stress! Some people use running, but cooking works better for me.

We have been travelling every weekend, so today, since I was home, I have done almost nothing. I got up at 5:00, met my friends, did an 11 mile run, and then went home and went back to bed. It was heaven. I roused myself after an hour, because Top Chef Masters was on, and that was enough to make me go to the store for dinner ingredients. The boys are at the State Math competition, so Tim and I are on our own - a nice dinner seemed appropriate.

Tomorrow, another easy run with friends and then coffee - my favorite part of running! I should end up with 100 miles for the week.

Happy Running!

Friday, April 02, 2010

The point is to live everything - Rainer Maria Rilke

What a week! Crazy! But, oh so much fun! I told you about the boys getting braces - yikes! They were so excited about them, until they actually got them :) We have spent the last few days trying to find food that will fill up two teenage boys and not kill their teeth. It has been tough, but things are looking up. Yeah!

I've had some great runs this week, including a nice 15 miler yesterday morning followed by 5 miler in the afternoon. I don't usually do 15 at one time (unless it is a planned long run), but I slept in and needed to get the miles done. I was taking my wonderful mom out to lunch, and didn't want to have mileage hanging over my head. She has always been a solid support in my life and spending time with her has always been one of my favorite things. We went to Ripe and had Tortilla Soup, Cranberry Turkey Sandwiches, and Mediterranean Salads. Yum! Loved it!

Today, I woke up early (like 2 a.m. early - Hello!) and couldn't go back to sleep. I finally just got up at 4:00 and got on the treadmill, then went and met the group, giving me 12 for the morning. Another 8 later gave me my (OCD) 20, and all is right with the world :) Have I mentioned that I love to run? Funny, but my mom and I were talking about how, when I was little, I would spend hours working on the perfect back flip or cartwheel, etc. Because it was the '70's, she didn't worry (thankfully). Today, I'm sure they would have medicated me :)

Anyway, tomorrow morning, I'm meeting a great guy who is going to take pictures for my new website! Yeah! RunnerSusan is designing it for me (I've been a fan of her work and blog for a long time), but I didn't have any great photos. I never order photos and no one ever takes pictures of me, so I'm doing it tomorrow. Please stay posted to see the new and improved site. Because of my coaching, I needed something a little more informative and accessible than the blog. Susan is going to incorporate the blog into a bigger site so that I can include the coaching info.

Okay, Pizza Night at the Johnson Household. Hopefully, it will be soft enough to eat!

Happy Running!

Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Yesterday and today have been a little bit hectic. Spencer got his braces on yesterday, and Grant got his on today. Thus, we had two 2.5 hour appointments, and some very sore mouths. I have really had to wing it food-wise to make sure that Spencer got enough to eat yesterday (soft foods only) and Grant got enough today. We have been eating a lot of cream of asparagus soup (see last post), milkshakes (thin mint), and tuna. Hopefully, by this weekend, the boys will have adjusted enough so that they can partake in the annual ritual of eating the heads off their chocolate Easter Bunnies. If not, I will have to take up the cause :)

I am definitely ready for bed after another day of 20 miles, with a little bit of speed and weights thrown in for fun (not really, but I'm trying to sound positive :). I ran a little faster this morning with the group, nothing great, but just trying to get the feel for moving my legs faster than my normal "get 'er done," pace. The weather is phenomenal now (thank goodness), so I am trying to get all 20 miles done outside. Soon enough, I know I will have to head indoors for the midday run to avoid the El Paso sun, and unless daytime television has improved immensely since last summer, I know I will suffer :)

I will post my 2010 race schedule soon (yes, I have a loose schedule), but it will remain VERY flexible since I have no idea where I stand. I have never taken this long off, so I am just going day by day. I would like to run Nationals in October because I really miss my former team members, especially Debbie, Jamie, Annette, Phil, and Roy. I'm afraid if I don't show up again this year, I will never see them! I'm sad that I won't be heading to France with them this year, but such is life. Things always work out for the best. I just couldn't focus last year (or the beginning of this year). I am happy to be back training, but it is a long road back - yikes!

Happy Running!

Monday, March 29, 2010

So, today was a typical training day for me, which is both good and bad. Good, because I feel happy to be back. Bad, because I feel like most traditional coaches (except maybe RayK) would scoff at my training practices. For whatever reason, I feel the need to run 20 miles a day. I always have, and probably always will. I know that my 20 miles are filled with "junk miles," but I like them. They make me feel strong, and when the going gets tough in a 24 hour race, I know that I have lots of miles logged. But, that doesn't help me be fast, now does it? Basically, my motto is, if you only have time for one, pick mileage. You will naturally get faster, but speedwork will not give you endurance. Make sense?

So, now I am adding speedwork. I have had a big base for 4 years, so I feel safe adding some speed. My problem: I really don't like speed. But such is life. I have to suck it up and add it to my training. I have been comfortable cruising 3:30 training marathons where I can run before and after to get a nice 50 miler, but it is time to suck it up and RUN. Yikes! Slow and long is my specialty. Fast and short is, well...uncomfortable. And I hate being uncomfortable. I hate that feeling in my stomach that says "This sucks!". But I am bored with LSD (long slow distance). And I don't want to quit running. I just want to try something new. But I also don't want any of any of my new runners to take this as an endorsement of speed over distance. You really can't add speed until you have the requisite distance in place. Distance always trumps speedwork in ultrarunning.

Food: Cream of Asparagus soup (recipe adapted from the Silver Palate Cookbook), chicken salad, and green salad with sunflower seeds and dressing.

Happy Running!

Thursday, March 25, 2010

I am so happy to be back training! I still haven't picked specific races, but it is fun to run with a purpose. I am a little sore though, so I know I need to be patient and build back up slowly. I always push others to take it easy, but find it hard to do it myself. I just want to get busy!

Anyway, I'm looking for some fun races this spring/summer, if anyone has any ideas. I'd like to do a couple of marathons and a couple of 50 milers. I don't think I will try to do more than 50s until the fall.

On the food front, I was absolutely craving Chinese Chicken Salad after my second run, so I had to head straight to the store and buy the ingredients - cabbage, green onions, chicken, almonds, and sesame ginger dressing. Totally easy and totally delicious! Then I ate a Blue Bell Chocolate Covered Cherry Ice Cream Bar - Oh my gosh! Unbelievable. I think I will probably dream about it tonight, it was that good!

Happy Running!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I had a wonderful run this morning with the group. Usually, I hang at the back, knowing I have a couple more workouts in my day. But this morning, I really wanted to catch up with my 3:00 hour-ish marathoning - friend, Angie, so I had no choice but to pick up the pace. And what fun it was! We did a quick 6 miler, and then finished it off with an easy 2 mile cool down. I haven't done any focused running in months, so it was a real treat to feel like a runner again. Later in the day, I made it to the gym for 7 more miles on the treadmill and some weights. Fun day!

I have picked up a few more coaching clients, and instead of feeling overwhelmed, I really feel inspired by them. It is so fun to talk to someone really jazzed by the prospect of breaking 3:00 hours, or running their first 50, or qualifying for Boston. The enthusiasm is infectious! I am already making plans for my racing season. I guess sometimes we need to just get out of our heads and see that there is a whole lot going on besides what it happening in front of us.

On a semi-related note, tonight they are voting on the nominees to the Sports Hall of Fame. I was nominated in the Athlete category, and I was so stunned and honored, that I could hardly believe it. I have to say, though I don't think I will get in, I am totally grateful that anyone would consider me. Anyway, I will keep you posted. **Update, I didn't get into the Hall of Fame, but that is okay. It really was nice to be nominated.

Tonight was chicken fettucine with vodka sauce, a tossed salad, and chocolate covered strawberries (which Grant made). My kids just got spacers today (for braces), and they are in a little bit of pain, thus, dinner had to be soft and easily chewed. I had to sort of make up the recipe, so I can't post any guidelines. Basically, cook the chicken with olive oil and spices (garlic, oregano, onion, etc.) and then toss it with vodka sauce, cream, and butter (yes, I know, I know.).

Reading several good books - I will update later.

Happy Running!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Okay, since I'm still undecided on my racing plans for 2010, I have decided I will just keep blogging on other subjects :)

First, and most importantly, Food. I went and bought fresh green chile con queso tamales yesterday, and they were absolutely delicious! I'm not a big fan of regular red tamales, because the inside meat creeps me out. But chile con queso tamales, with fresh roasted green chiles? Oh my gosh! You can't beat them. We had them for dinner last night, with a salad, and then I had one again this morning for breakfast.

Second, Running. Or something like it. I ran an easy 3 miles around the neighborhood after sleeping in this morning. At 3:00 am, two ambulances careened into our neighborhood. I'm not sure what was going on, but it definitely got my adrenaline going. During my run, I did a quick sleuthing session to see if I could see what prompted their nocturnal visit, but nothing seemed amiss. I hope whomever they visited is okay.

Later in the morning, I did a 12 mile mountain bike ride on the river. It was such a nice ride - no wind, not too hot, not too cold. I don't ride to often, so it was a wonderful change of pace. My quads are even a little tight now :) This evening, I did another easy run just to loosen up my legs. Really, no significant miles were accumulated today, and that's okay. Well, sort of. I still feel guilty, but not guilty enough to go run some more.

Third. Okay, there really isn't a third, but I feel like no list is complete without a third. We had a great Spring Break in San Diego - weather was perfect. The boys were able to surf and boogie board, and I was able to run on the beach. Everyone was happy.

I read today that women tend to swing like a pendulum between depenndence and competition, and that they won't find true happiness until they find wholeness rather than the two extremes. Do you think that is true? And if it is true, how do you find wholeness?

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Fill your thoughts with what you want to create, and will have it. - Sanaya Roman

Okay, so obviously my thoughts have been on food, because it keeps appearing in my kitchen! I love to cook, but I have decided to try some new things for a couple of reasons:

1) I saw an Oprah episode where the guest basically said, "Eat whatever you want as long as you make it yourself." Makes total sense, because I don't know about you, but I don't have any sodium polyglutisorbinate in my cupboard! He claimed that all of our current ills (obesity, cancer, diabetes, heart disease, etc.) are a direct result of all the chemicals in our food - not the fat, sugar, etc. I agree. As runners, we know that we need sugar and fat. I really try not to limit any food group, but rather, eat everything in moderation according to what I am craving. I figure my body knows what it needs (and yes, I do crave vegetables!).

2) Because my mileage is still lower than normal while I am ramping back up, I have extra time. When I'm really training hard, I find that I don't have the time, energy, or patience to make complicated dishes. So, I realized, now's my chance.

Gatueax du Citron from Orangette - Molly Wizenberg

The only sad part about my whole little experiment is that it has rained all week - in El Paso! - so that we couldn't sit outside and enjoy any of the food.

Look how gray it is, and this is the Sun City!

Anyway, I hope to keep posting food items here, but no promises after I start training again! After all, this is supposed to be a (sort of) running blog!

Happy Running!

Monday, February 01, 2010

When I am bored, I am a thousand years old.
- CoCo Chanel

We all long to be engaged by life, with life, in life. But sometimes (like when we are resting!), we find that we are not so much engaged. Bored. Cranky. Out of sorts. I very much enjoyed my time off, but building back up is taking me a little longer than I expected, mostly because I can't pick a race. Having a race goal sort of dictates my training schedule. But when I am just running, well, I just run. And that isn't always a bad thing except that I have been doing it entirely too much, for too long. In fact, I think I have several posts about exactly this same issue. Yikes!

I am ready to try something new and different, but I have no idea what that should be. I've been reading everyone's blogs for inspiration, hoping that something will get me out of my rut. Everyone seems to be having such a good time that I am jealous, but I still can't get motivated to get out there! And I can't keep cooking and eating or I will be waddling instead of running!
I am doing a few runs here and there, plus some easy cross training, but nothing that justifies eating three pieces of cake a day. I don't run to stay thin, but with all the running I was doing the last few years, I adopted the eating style of an NFL linebacker.

So, oh great muses of running, please send me some good vibes.

Happy running!

Wednesday, January 27, 2010

"No woman is required to build the world by destroying herself."
- Rabbi Sofer (I'm stealing this fantastic quote from Kathy Wing - it is on her blog, and I loved it!)

Okay, since I seem to be doing a lot more cooking than running, I thought it only appropriate to include photos. I never take my camera on a run, but I do always have a camera close to the kitchen! Tonight, I made bow tie pasta with oven roasted chicken, and mixed green salad with pears, gouda, caramleized pecans and vinaigrette. Oh, and yes, bread!

Yes, we're still practicing taking food pictures. It is actually quite difficult, believe it or not.

Anyway, I did have some good workouts today. I joined my friends for a quick 6 miler around the neighborhood. Then, later in the morning, I went to the gym and got on the treadmill and elliptical. I'm making a concerted effort to stay injury-free, and after a long hiatus, I tend to get injured if I start up too quickly. This afternoon, I did a quick session of low-impact aerobics while watching Oprah. She did a wonderful show on the importance of eating well. I loved it.

Tomorrow, back to Barnes and Noble. I am in desperate need of a new, great book. "A Homemade Life," proved to be a great book. I really, really enjoyed it! Now, the problem lies in finding something as appealing as it for my next selection. Any suggestions?

Tomorrow, 6 miles downtown with the group and then I will take it from there. With no race goals, I have no specific plan for the rest of the day. I will keep you posted.

Happy Running!

Friday, January 22, 2010

Happy Running, Happy Reading, Happy Cooking

We know we are shining, / Though we cannot see one another.
-James Wright (taken from "A Homemade Life," by Molly Wizenberg)

I know this blog tends to revolve around running, but since I'm really taking it easy these days, I thought I should attempt to include some of the "Read" element of the blog. Right now, I am reading another book I love, love, love! It is called "A Homemade Life," by Molly Wizenberg. Now, as odd as it sounds, I love to read cookbooks almost as much as I love to read memoirs. And, halleleuia, this book is both! Don't misunderstand me, I don't actually use the recipes in the cookbooks I read (I am way to ADD to follow a recipe), but I feel like I sort of absorb some of the information for later retrieval - kinda like watching a marathon on tv and counting it as training!

Anyway, this book is great! I want to try all of the recipes and I want to be Molly's friend. She is both clever and funny, a winning combination as far as I'm concerned. Before each recipe she puts in the book, she tells a family story about how she learned to cook the dish. Many of the stories are funny, but some will bring a tear to your eye.

In honor of, or as a result of, Molly's book, I have been very busy cooking this week. Last night, I made peppercorn crusted pork tender, au gratin potatoes, slow roasted tomatoes, and a bread salad. Because I am a freak about au gratin potatoes, I even ate them for breakfast after a hard hill run this morning! I think they are the perfect recovery food :) Tonight I am making an herb roasted chicken with Yukon Gold potatoes, and a mixed green salad with pears and blue cheese. Of course, it will all have to be served with some yummy bread because who can eat salad without bread?

It has been so great to take a break, but I am glad to be moving towards some serious running. I missed you, oh favorite sport of mine! As I said, I met my friends for an 8 mile hill run this morning and then had a second workout this afternoon of biking. I don't want to hit it too hard, too soon, because that is how I ended up hurt last year. I may go out after dinner for a walk, but I will see how things go - no promises.

Happy Running!

Monday, January 18, 2010

Good-bye 2009!

I hate to say this, but I am glad 2009 is over. It was a rather stressful year. I felt at loose ends the whole time, with several odd events occurring. On the running front, although I did manage to get first female (2nd overall) at Run With the Wind 6 Hour in Austin in December, it wasn't enough to get my mojo back. I went to Freedom Park to run the 24 Hour in hopes of re-qualifying for the US National Team, but quit after 12 hours. I just couldn't find any motivation. And 24 hours is a LONG time to run if you aren't feeling it! It was cold and drizzly the whole time, but honestly, I think I would have quit even if the weather was perfect. I just wasn't having any fun.

So, I am ready for a new year, with new challenges and fun things to try. I don't know if I will continue to run 24 Hour events or if I will try something new. I don't know if I got burnt out on the event or just had such a weird year that the running piece became tedious instead of fun. We all know that this is a sport you really have to enjoy to make it worthwhile - it is too dang hard if you don't love it!

Don't get me wrong, I am totally psyched about the new year. I just haven't decided exactly what direction I'm going in with my running. I can't stop running - I dream about it, I love it - but I have to figure out how running is going to fit into my life. There are so many fun things to do, so many races to run, at the moment, I can't choose. But I'm reading, writing and running, so I know that I will figure it out soon.

Happy Running!

Tuesday, December 01, 2009

To wait for someone else, or to expect someone else to make my life richer, or fuller, or more satisfying, puts me in a constant state of suspension; and I miss all those moments that pass. They never come back to be experienced again.
----- Kathleen Tierney Crilly

Wouldn't it be so much easier if we could just relinquish the control of our lives to someone else? If we could make someone else take responsibility for our happiness? But we can't. We have to be responsible for our own choices, our own lives, our own happiness. And sometimes that isn't easy, or pleasant. And what makes us happy often makes others unhappy. And vice versa.

Choosing to be a long distance runner takes a certain level of commitment that many don't understand. We get up early, we run long, we miss things because we have to get our miles in. There appears to be no reward for the long hours on the road or trail, but we do it anyway. In the middle of typing this, I went over to check on my friends Olga and Lisa Bliss. If you get a chance, check out their blogs because they both explain it much better than I ever could. We run because we want to. It is a choice daily. I love every (okay, almost every) facet of my life. But running completes me. It is something that I long to do when I can't, something that makes me feel whole when I don't, makes me sane when I'm not. I understand that it is not for everyone, and at the level we do it, not for many, but it is truly a passion. There is no other way to explain it. I have met people that would never have been a part of my life but for running, and I am truly grateful for that. Running has expanded the universe of this housewife immensely, and I will forever be changed by it.

Happy Running!

Monday, November 16, 2009

People need joy. Quite as much as clothing. Some of them need it far more.
--- Margaret Collier Graham

The joy of running. The joy of Fall. The joy of love and laugther. The joy of a good book. Right now, I am experiencing all, and I feel very blessed. Nothing extraordinary or new is happening, just training and living, but it all feels joyful. Today is supposed to be a rest day, but I anticipate some schedule problems at the end of the week, so I'm doing an easy 6 just to put it in the bank - no OCD here! While I'm running on the treadmill, I have a brisket cooking, making me simultaneously want to eat and run at the same time!

Currently, I am reading "Lit," by Mary Karr. Now, if you read "The Liar's Club," you know that she had one totally messed up childhood. It was a great, albeit painful, memoir. Her new book is how, after the publication of her hugely successful memoir, she spiraled down into alcoholism and depression and then came back out. I just love a good memoir! I will keep you posted on how it is.

I'm really trying to ramp up my training in hopes of a good solid race in December. I haven't raced since the Worlds in Italy last May. Yikes! As you know, ramping up for me just means more miles. I just can't get excited about speedwork or trails. I ran 31 with my friend Jim at Javelina a few weeks ago, but that was the extent of my trail running. It was fun, but not what I love to do. I still love reading my friends' blogs who are trail runners, because I am in awe of them, but I go back to my road running. This week, I should have 125-130 miles, depending on what happens over the weekend. The end of the year is approaching, so I need to keep going!

Okay, back to it. Hope everyone is getting some good runs in!

Happy running!

Friday, November 13, 2009

If people only knew the healing power of laughter and joy, many of our fine doctors would be out of business. Joy is one of nature's greatest medicines. Joy is always healthy. A pleasant state of mind tends to bring abnormal conditions back to normal.
--- Catherine Ponder

I just got off the phone with my sister, Linda, and we had a such a wonderful conversation. I had been fidgeting with something since yesterday, trying to figure it out, journaling about it, but finding no relief. So, I did what I often do when I can't get rational about something, I called my big sis. We spent the first part of the conversation with me kvetching about the intolerable situation, and then moved onto what I should do about it. By the end we were both laughing at the absurdity of my "problem" and marveled at how easily we can let negativity turn something minor into something major. My sister helped me laugh at myself, which in turn, help me put the issue in perspective. Laugter, again and again, saves me. In fact, I believe that unconditional love and laughter are the only two things in life that really matter.

So many new studies are coming out showing the benefit of laughter on both our physical, and mental, health. Seems that laughter can cure just about anything from depression to cancer. Amazing, huh?! There is something about changing your physical chemistry through laughter that acts like a potent medication. There is much anecdotal evidence of people cutting out negative input (the news, violent movies, depressing books, etc.) in their lives and only allowing positive images to enter their filter, who end up cured of all kinds of disease and mental illness. I find that fascinating. Norman Vincent Peale extolled the virtue of the power of positive thinking decades ago, and it seems like now, the research is supporting him. Cool!

So go out today and do something that makes you happy. Try to limit negative influences for just a day, and see if you feel the difference.

Happy running!

Wednesday, October 21, 2009

You don't get to choose how you're going to die. Or when. You can only decide how you are going to live. Now.
- Joan Baez

This past weekend, some friends and I went to Denver to visit a running buddy who recently relocated to the area. We decided to run the Denver Marathon for fun, and just have a relaxed, casual weekend. It just so happened that our buddy was also turning 50, so we made sure to have a special time full of laughter, exploration, eating and running. We had some wonderful meals in downtown Denver, went to a jazz club, ran trails, and finished it all up with grilled steaks at another friend's house after the marathon. The perfect weekend! The only glitch in the whole plan was that I came down with something and have been sick since Sunday - yuck! Whatever it is, my kids have it too, and it won't go away. Half of their school is out sick, with several kids in the hospital. They are saying it is the H1N1 virus, but who knows. We aren't that sick, just down and out a little bit.

Needless to say, I have not run since Sunday. And the weather is glorious right now, so I am staring out the window, pining away for a good run. I love Fall and I hate to miss a day outdoors. I may cheat and go for a walk in a little bit, even though I'm supposed to be in bed. I'm going crazy, so I figure that means I'm recovering. A little fresh air will do me good, right?

I was hoping to continue my increase in weekly mileage, but I guess it will have to wait until next week. Three days off are going to be hard to make up on the mileage tally. I'm also leaving town again this weekend, but hopefully will be able to get some miles in while I'm away. As I'm typing this, I realize I'm describing a recovery week. Not that I needed another one after my last few recovery months! You would think I would have been so well rested I wouldn't have gotten sick!

Happy running!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

In soloing - as in other activities - it is far easier to start something than it is to finish it.
- Amelia Earhart

Back to it - I'm lost without serious training. I love running, being outside, moving at my own pace under my own power. Sometimes fast, sometimes not. Tim had a serious heart to heart with me this week. He told me that I was going to regret giving up serious running if I gave it up for the wrong reasons - fear, guilt, peer pressure. He knows how much I love to run, how much I love to chase a goal. And I've been a little lost all year.

But the past few weeks, I've really been trying to decide what I wanted to do. Running 20 miles a day without a purpose is just work, grueling work. I told myself, there is no point in slogging out that kind of mileage if I wasn't going to continue to chase my dream. I need to either run for fun and fitness or get my courage back. Straddling both sides of the fence is no fun.

So, I've been putting in the miles, picking some races, readjusting goals, and reconnecting with my running friends. I've been doing some speed, some distance and some hills. And I've been happy. I've felt focused and energized. Even if I never race seriously again, even if I never win another race, it feels good to have not given up out of fear.

Thanks to everyone who sent such nice e-mails! It really meant a lot to me.

Happy running!

Saturday, September 26, 2009

The life of man is the true romance, which when it is valiantly conducted, will yield the imagination a higher joy than any fiction.
- Emerson

Wow! Crazy summer! As many of you have already heard, Tim had sudden cardiac arrest at mile 48 of the PCT 50. He had to be Lifeflighted to Portland, where he was treated for his heart issue and the head injury he sustained when he fell. It was unbelievably awful and scary, but thankfully, he is perfectly fine now. They believe his heart stopped because he is calcium deficient following a botched parathyroid surgery a couple of years back, and he had not taken his calcium during the race. Add to that, 14 hours of running, heat, etc. and he had a recipe for disaster. Luckily, it happened at a point in the race where we happened to be with him, so we could start CPR immediately. Our friend, Luis Zaragoza, was with us, and he and I managed to revive Tim - but it was very, very scary! We are so thankful to all our friends that helped at the time, and continued to support us when we got home.

After the unfortunate incident, I really scaled back on my training. It was just beyond awful to watch my son screaming as his dad lay lifeless on the ground during a race. I'm still having a hard time getting my head around the risk I am taking every time I do a race. I know that life is full of risks, but some of the pure joy of running as been sucked out by the trauma. I know I will come to terms with it, and my family still wants me to race, but I am just running casually for the time being. Without the motivation, it is hard to push myself - and it has been wonderful to sleep in!

So, for now, my life is a little less hectic. I'm running with the group a few days a week - probably averaging about 80 - 90 miles a week, very easily. I'm running a couple of marathons for fun with my friends, going for coffee after the runs, and eating lots of cupcakes. As you see from my last post, I was already at a crossroads in my life before Portland, and now I am really trying to get some clarity. I know I want to keep racing, but I will probably just focus on the races I really like, rather than the ones I feel like I "should" do. Racing has only worked for me when it has been pursued by passion, not pressure. And on the road, I hope to rekindle that passion, not just for running, but for life.

Happy life!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

At fifteen, life had taught me undeniably that surrender, in its place, was as honorable as resistance, especially if one had no choice. - Maya Angelou

I don't really know how I feel about this quote, but it hit a nerve, so I decided to use it. I haven't blogged since January because... well, I just didn't feel up to it. I wasn't sure what I wanted this blog to be. I got bored when I only posted about running, but I was embarrassed about putting too much of myself out there. After my achilles injury, I was very unsure how I would do at the 24 Hour World Cup in May. I couldn't race all spring, so I went into the event "cold," hoping I'd done enough training and that I was healthy. I'd also been in a slump personally, trying to decide where to go with my running and my other career (practicing law), since my kids were becoming teenagers. How serious of a runner did I want to be? Did I want to practice law again? Or did I want to do something else, and if so, what? I just couldn't get myself to post all of this angst on this blog.

So, the World Cup is over, and we had a great time - US Women took the silver medal - and I almost PR'd (126.25). Italy was beautiful and we loved being with the team, both before and during the race. It is a great group of people. I won't bore you with a race report because several months have passed and several good reports have already been published elsewhere. Suffice it to say, it was a wonderful experience!

I really thought once the pressure of Worlds was over, I would get out of my rut and get clear on what I want to do. But it didn't happen. I've struggled all summer with motivation and the desire to make the "right" decision. I just don't know what that is. It is a very uncomfortable place to be. As runners, we are used to taking the bull by the horns, and solving a problem with sheer determination and will. We know that we can withstand a lot of discomfort and pain, and that if we are focused, we will succeed. But that isn't happening this time. My sister told me I was becoming "frantic" worrying about my unresolved life. I don't necessarily feel frantic, but I do feel confused, and frankly, a little bit sad. I want to be driven and focused. That is what I am comfortable with. I don't do well with shades of gray that require me to sit back, wait, and see how things turn out. I want Action, Strength, Courage, and all the other adjectives favored by members of the Coast Guard. But the universe seems to be asking me to chill, and that, I am not good at.

On the home front, we had a wonderful Sunday. I slept in, then did an easy 10 miles alone on the river. It was a little bit overcast, so I didn't suffer too much for waiting until the sun came up to run. After a quick shower, we headed to a new outdoor cafe and had a delicious brunch. I had egg, spinach, red peppers, goat cheese, and aoli sauce on foccaccia and tons of coffee. Yum! After we finished, we went on a two hour hike in the Franklin Mountains. It was beautiful! We've had lots of rain, so everything was really green. We hiked a trail I'd never done, so we had fun scouting the area. With temperatures over 100 degrees, we were all thrilled to jump in the pool when we were done! I pool ran for another 30 minutes while Tim and the boys rough housed, and then we all sat on the side like turtles soaking up the end of the day's rays (don't tell my dermatologist). After showers, we are going to have homemade lasagna for dinner and then watch a movie. I'm tired, but satisfied.

I hope everyone had a great weekend!