When our family went to bed last night the winds were gusting – the electricity went out – and the color of the sky was creepy.
Being raised in Kansas we are used to this stuff. Well, not quite what we went through last night – but we are the family that runs outside when we hear the tornado sirens instead of taking cover. We hope there is enough warning that we can see the massive funnel and still have time to take cover. So far, so good.
The storm quickly passed and we all fell asleep to the dog howling and crying because he’s terrified of thunder.
That storm brought some thick fog this morning. If you are new to running this might make you think “Scary. I can’t see where I’m going. Cars can’t see me. I better stay home.” If you have been running for sometime you think, “AWESOME! Fog means no wind! I better get out there before it burns off.” So I set out for 5 miles.
Mile 1: I headed up the bike path barely able to see the other side of the creek. The bike path is safe for running in fog. The only thing your bound to run across is a dog pile and at the start of a run I knew I would have many more miles to rid myself of the shit. Thankfully, all poo was avoided and I ran clean. My music was blaring and my pace was decent at 9:40 but my body was not interested in what my mind had decided. I began to have thoughts of cutting it short – slowing down – taking a detour into a friend’s business – but I ignored those thoughts and decided to press on.
Mile 2: As the thoughts were put to rest I relaxed into what was turning into a great run. My pace had picked up to a 9:25. My breathing was steady. No cars had pulled in front of me causing me to take a break. There was a small north breeze that dried the moisture that I was soaked in from the fog. It felt GOOD.
Mile 3: I wanted to ease up a bit – for training purposes. I knew I would have a long run tomorrow morning and I didn’t want to go all out on these five miles and have nothing to give tomorrow. I knew I had a good pace going though and my body has to work hard to keep the pace I want in order to reach my goals. During this mile I ran through a wooded trail – it runs next to homes and is well populated. Not a wee bit scary. Until I turned the corner and two men were walking toward me. One of them was older – like a grandpa. Other one was 40ish and creepy. I kept my eye on the grandpa – he looked safe and my body felt safe when I looked at him. As I passed them the younger of the men looked at my face and then right “down there” – ick. I have a pretty strong ’gut’ when it comes to recognizing safe and unsafe. The younger man was ‘unsafe’. Glad he was with the older man. Regardless, I ran a little faster but still stayed around 9:30.
Mile 4: I knew I was on the home-stretch. I knew I could pick up the pace a little and get that north breeze to do some of the work. BUT, I was out in the open. The fog was super thick. I was required to keep my head up, focus on what was coming and be prepared – because no car would be prepared for me. It was in this mile that I realized this run was imitating my life. That I was given an ability and it was my job to use it. Mile 1 represented the life that I lead – the shit I have to dodge to stay clean - feeling tired and wanting to quit – working hard to keep a goal within reach. Mile 2 represented the cleansing and drying of the tears (fog) – the strength that is required to keep pushing into a force that pushes back requiring me to stay focused. Mile 3 represented the relationships – the trauma – the importance of trusting my ‘gut’ – what I hear when I listen for the answers to what I’m asking. Mile 4 was about trusting and knowing that sometimes I will have to jump off the road toward my goal in order to protect it. I will have to be keenly aware of my purpose or I will get run over!
As my garmin chimed 4 miles I was at an intersection – ready to cross a highway – in dense fog. At this intersection I had to remove all distractions (Eminem was cussing in my ear at this point) and focus. I knew my last mile would be on a paved sidewalk. It would be away from traffic. There would be nothing to stop me from reaching my goal. Accomplishing my purpose. As I darted across the cloudy road I stared at the sidewalk in front of me – my goal. Safety. A well placed path. A path that has been there for me since I started my journey. I stuffed my ear buds back into my ears, cranked up Eminem’s “I’m not afraid” and booked it home with the north breeze encouraging me. My last mile was my fastest. My last mile was the easiest. Even my half mile cool-down was dreamy.
My journey was foggy, filled with dodging the shit, and scary at times. But in the end I reached the destination – Home.
Technology freaks me out! I don’t have facebook (too many skeletons) – I can text but never could figure out the email on my ‘smart’ phone – and setting up my new blog took nearly 6 months – but nothing could have prepared me for this:
I cannot believe it! I read your blog!! http://onebadrunner.wordpress.com/2010/06/05/the-real-me-part-4-just-perfect/
How are you? Where are you? What are you up to? (Besides running and writing blogs about our pen-pal-hood!) Are you still a toe cracker? Inquiring minds want to know~!
How sad! I had no idea my visit stirred so much performance anxiety for you- I thought you were the absolute coolest – you had real horses and I only had little plastic ones! Wow! What a kick! What a great way to kick off the new year, finding you! I hope you write back! Big love to you,
It’s my girl “Shwa”! The pen-pal from my high-anxiety days. Hope you don’t mind Sheva – I have to catch folks up.
So, if this is your first time reading this blog (which isn’t technically happening anymore) – this will all be confusing. However, if you have read since May 2010 – you will love it.
Now, back to catching up with my pen-pal.
Hope everyone had a very Merry Christmas – or whatever you may celebrate.
So many folks get time off during this time of year and regardless of why, I hope you are enjoying a break.
Lot’s of you have followed me over the last year. I appreciate that.
Beginning January 1st I will have a new blog – one that focuses on what is most important to me and keeps my life busy.
Though running is a part of who I am, it is not necessarily what I am. Yes. I am a runner. And that will not change. Yes. I love every friend I’ve made along the way. And that will not change.
What will change is the blog focus. It will convey what flows easily from me and affects everyone around me.
Join me on the journey if you choose.
Love again ~ S
In preparation of school vacation and family visits I have decided to review my 2010 Goals and see how I managed.
1. Run 1,010 miles in 2010. - I have no clue how many miles I ran this year. Too many to keep track of, but I am thinking somewhere in the 800-900 range.
2. Pay off my credit card. - TWICE!!
3. Run a 1/2 in under 2 hours - came very close (2:02 at OKC) more than anything had fun trying.
4. Buy a running skirt – and race in it! August 28, 2010 – it was fine. Bought another one at the Women’s Half in AZ and HATED IT!! I’m such a follower. I knew better. So goes it. (Anyone want to buy a used-one-time running skirt?)
5. Memorize 10 Bible verses. - didn’t memorize any – but turned to many throughout the year to sustain me. Romans 12:2 (always) ~ 2 Cor 4:18 ~ James 4:7 ~ Gal. 5:6 (why would God give me another day if I am going to waste it?) ~ Gal. 6:10 ~ Eph. 4:12 ~ Phil 2:3-4 ~ Matt 5:9 ~ Eph. 4:2 ~ Eph. 4:22 (I like Ephesians – and 2′s)
6. Cut some bangs. - February ~ short lived. They drove me nuts when I ran. But they were cute.
7. Teach “Jett” (the turd eating super dog) to be a valiant running partner. March 2010 – if you missed that post HERE – it was a good one.
8. Climb another 14er – I miss ‘em. – tried. Access was closed. A week too late. oops.
9. Get another tatoo. November ~ just before FRF and I left for AZ we decided to get tattoos. I added my kids’ initials to the hubs’.
10. Tear down the wall between my kitchen and dining room! - the year isn’t over yet! oh how I wish the hubs read my blog.
So. That was it. It has been a great year. I have learned so much about myself, who I was created to be, and my purpose. Not too shabby.
Wishing each of you a Merry Christmas and Safe New Year!
Love ~ S
Here’s what has been going on lately:
Fun time. Loved every minute I spent with my FastRunnerFriend (FRF-remember her?).
After our first day of traveling we were sitting in the hotel bar sharing mutual admiration of each other and gushing over how relaxing it was to not have to do ANYTHING when we realized we were in the same town as the PHOENIX SUNS. We both L.O.V.E. Steve Nash so I decided to see where they were playing. THEY WERE HOME!! It was 6pm and the game started at 7pm. Talked to the bartender about the game. He assured us we could get tickets and even found us another couple to ride to the arena with (young & drunk). Bought tickets from “Kenny” who asked if we were married – which caused me to choke and laugh to tears (FRF is hott but I don’t swing that way). Then proceeded to watch the SUNS win in double overtime. Yay – I guess. Just wanted to see Nash.
The remainder of the trip was focused on finding my purpose – there just happened to be a half-marathon thrown in (2:07:18 – three walk breaks – dizzy at mile 9 – dehydration or something – on pace for a 1:55 before that – oh well – maybe next week). We both learned a lot about each other and I came away with some answers. The biggest one being I LOVE TO TALK to people. And that discussion has continued to bring things to my attention:
I remembered I was voted “Most Likely to Replace Oprah” when I was a senior in high school. Hmmm…I am searching for a new direction and she is leaving her show…. coincidence??
My husband flatly stated last night (after hearing yet another “this couple we met in AZ…” story) “you sure meet a lot of people when you travel”. Yes. Yes I do. It’s why I travel. Learn about people. Encourage them. Then head home.
This blog thing isn’t for me. Seriously. I type and type and type and get nothing. It doesn’t fulfill me. It doesn’t inspire me. Nothing. I’m more of a face-to-face gal. Email is nice but nothing like laughing until you pee a little – and that only comes when I’m in the presence of others. Lucky.
So. Here’s what I have to offer to you today. It’s a one-time offer so I hope you enjoy:
If you are a woman – you MUST run the Women’s Half. They put on the best races on the planet. Hands down. Best medal EV-ER!!