First Snow of the Year

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It snowed last Friday.

I’m not sure why it always takes me by surprise, but winter’s on its way.

I’d planned to go for a medium-ish long run that morning but after peeking out the window, I reconsidered that decision.

Coffee seemed appealing.

Howling winds and blowing snow did not.

I surprised myself by going, particularly since my comfort zone is approximately 71-73 degrees Fahrenheit (Spouse corrected me when I told him this, saying it’s not a zone when it’s really more of a singular point, specifically 72 degrees F).

Not every moment of this run was pleasant, but I ticked past one, two and then three miles. Four and five came next, and by mile six I had turned a corner into a tailwind that took me the last half mile home.

As part of my running group, Fellow Flowers, I had planned to use this run to complete a virtual challenge called the Joy Run.

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Mission accomplished.

 

 

Declare It Day 2017

Declare It Day 2017 is in the books!

Knock on wood, my running’s been going well lately and I’ve been kicking around the idea of a fall marathon, most likely the Twin Cities Medtronic Marathon given that the course is  going to be (practically) in our new neighborhood and it’s a course I’ve run four times already.

This will also be my tenth marathon, which seems like a cool milestone.

Putting something out there for everyone to see has usually been an effective motivator for me in the past, so here’s my Declare It Day goal for 2017:

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And yes, I want to go for a PR!

 

This Girl

Spending last weekend with my Fellow Flowers crew at Rock Retreat Run made me think – hard – about This Girl:

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Trixie, age 1, circa Summer 2010 in her Pirate Fascinator

My daughter’s seven now, too old to be that tiny pirate, but she’s also still too young (I hope, oh god, I hope) to have internalized society’s messages about how she *should* look/act/feel/be.

There are so many things I wish for her: authenticity, strength, resiliency, kindness, bravery, intelligence and unwavering friendships.

And of course I still want her to be a kick-ass pirate.

This weekend also made me think of This Girl:

Tiny Jani

Me, age 3-ish, circa Let’s-Not-Go-There

This Girl still struggles with all of the things on that list above, although she’s figuring it out with a little help from her friends.

What I just wish for my daughter is that she could find a like-minded tribe at seven, not at 41, because I think the key to survival is knowing that while You’ve Got This, your tribe Has Your Back in case you fall.

And that’s a message we can’t ever hear enough.

For now, Trixie just learned to ride her bike and I’m there – literally – in case she falls, but 99% of the time she doesn’t need me. It’s the other 1% that matters the most, though, so I’ll do my best to pick her up when she falls and find others to join her on the ride.

Biking Trixie

Rising

And … I’m back.

Sorry for the radio silence. I didn’t mean it to be that way, I swear.

A lot of things happened, but I didn’t feel like talking about any of them.

Until now.

Something happened and I don’t want to stay quiet.

Or perhaps better said: I found my voice again.

I’ve written about my love for Fellow Flowers before. After discovering the group in 2014, I was all in.

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I wanted – needed – to be part of a community of women runners that is about so much more than running.

Last weekend I attended Rock Retreat Run, where nearly 250 like-minded Flowers were ALL IN for three transformative days of dreaming, connecting, laughing, sobbing (yes), and undergoing personal development (although to call it “personal development” is to practically belittle how important this felt).

Spiritual Gangsters in running shoes, y’all.

My BFF T. came along, and I was so glad to have her there as a witness. Two minds now blown.

There were so many Big and Small Moments over the course of the weekend, but a few particularly stood out.

One Big Idea was to figure out what it would take to lead a life you love, one filled with passion and purpose, and then find your First Step.

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Except.

The First Step can seem really, really scary. Paralyzingly so.

And then one brave, eloquent woman stood up and talked about the concept of Summiting. (Flower Friend, thank you for these words. You don’t know how they hit me). 

I’m paraphrasing, but this is the gist:

When mountain climbers get to the top of a mountain, they don’t stay there. They get to the top of Mount Everest and then they get the hell out of there, because it can be cold and dangerous at the top. And staying at the top of the mountain isn’t the point, anyway. The point is to Summit, to take it as far as you can go and then head down to complete the expedition and move on to the next adventure.

The thing is, Summiting exists in real life. There are some things we can take so far and then they’re done; we’ve Summited. 

Without too many details, lately a part of my life feels like I Summited, fell right off the damn mountain, and now I’m lying there busted up at the bottom of the valley.

But like Glennon Doyle Melton told us on Friday, the valley is where the rivers and the fields are. Rivers and fields give us tools to make energy. Being in the valley makes us stronger, and we can Summit higher the next time.

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Now I’m ready to Rise.

Thank you, Fellow Flowers.

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A Small-But-Awesome Moment: T. and I celebrating the Flower 5k finish.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Declare It Day 2015

I love the message and mission behind Fellow Flowers, an inspirational women’s running movement.

And the most fitspirational moment of all is Declare It Day, where women everywhere are encouraged “to put words and dreams into action and declare a goal they are committed to working toward and achieving.”

Intrigued? Want to set a goal of your own? 

Learn more here.

Declare It Day is February 7th, 2015. I’ll be there.

One More Thing, #19

Yesterday I posted a picture of an inspirational t shirt I bought from Fellow Flowers.

Yet I neglected to mention this: They also had shirts in kid sizes.

To be more specific, girl sizes.

I bought this for Trixie:

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I usually don’t get too worked up with stuff like this (Hear me roar!), but something happened over the weekend that really brought this message home.

I had just finished running nearly 20 miles of races over two days and headed back to my hotel for a much-needed shower and an obligatory nap.

When I got there, I discovered that the resort was also hosting a “modeling competition.”

There were hundreds of coltish, teenaged (Pre-teen? I can’t even tell anymore) waifs tottering about in shoes that they had no business wearing.

And I felt sad.

The dichotomy of going from one event that was so empowering to one that seemed to be the polar opposite was hard to handle.

I’m going to make Trixie wear this shirt until it’s in tatters.

Because I Get To

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Check out the bling! 

This is the end result of the races I did this weekend.

Conditions were great for the 10k on Saturday. The course was quick, interesting, and I felt strong.

Sunday, well, Sunday was a slightly different story.

The humidity was almost 100%, temps were in the 70s at the start and this was the first time I’d done back-to-back races.

By Mile 2, I was dripping sweat.

By Mile 4 – about a third of the way done – I started bargaining with myself.

My hip was tight. I was wearing the wrong clothes. I had new shoes that were untested. I had run too fast yesterday. I started too fast today. I hadn’t trained enough in the last month.

Conversation in my head: Just go to one more water stop and then you can run and walk. Now this is something I’ve never done, but I was giving it serious consideration.

And then something else happened.

All I could think is this: I run because I get to.

I saw this phrase recently and it really resonated with me. Suddenly it also seemed to follow me everywhere.

At the Running Expo two days prior, I bought this shirt:

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(It’s from Fellow Flowers, and if you aren’t feeling particularly authentic, perhaps you are filled with strength, gratitude, courage, hope, or just feeling worthy. Check them out).

I thought about my Dad, who inspired my love of running and would have loved to be there.

I run because I get to.

And then I ran past a group of spectators who were more than happy to give me high fives. My energy surged.

I run because I get to.

And then – get your tissues – I ran past a group of children in wheelchairs, cheering on the runners.

I run because I get to.

Suddenly, 13.1 miles didn’t seem so far.

I run because I get to.

My time was far, far from a personal best: 2:07:31.

I was #1207 out of 19,294 finishers.

But I did it, and it was awesome.

I run because I get to.