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!

 

The Banishment of Just

I’m working hard to eliminate the word “just” from my vocabulary.

Not “just” in the sense of what is fair and equitable, but “just” in the minimizing sense, the one that depletes the value of everything that comes before or after.

As in “I just want to tell you something …” or “I just think that …”

Adding “just” feels apologetic, as if the contribution somehow isn’t worthy without qualification.

And that’s not how I feel about what I have to say.

As a runner I sometimes hear that word used in reference to shorter races, e.g. “It’s just a 5k.”

This great post sums it up well: It’s not JUST a 5k.

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Via Fellow Flowers

A few days before going to a running retreat held last weekend, I broke my toe – for at least the third time.

Let me repeat: I was headed to a RUNNING retreat. With a broken toe.

Visions of long miles were quashed every time I even thought about my bruised, swollen toe. Running seemed out of the question.

On the final day of the retreat there was a 5k run, strictly for fun and not meant to be competitive. I gingerly tested my toe and discovered that it hurt, but I could run, and that was enough.

With gratitude, I finished that 5k.

Nothing “just” about it.

 

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.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Four Tips for Motivation

There were so many races happening last weekend.

Our city held its 20th annual marathon, plus the town where Spouse and I went to college held similar events.

Since he usually heads back there to run a half-marathon with his buddies, I already knew that the kids and I would be holding down the home fort.

Double whammy: I was also on call, which precluded a solid race plan even back at home.

Sitting on the sidelines, though, gave me an opportunity to plan for what’s next.

I also had time to catch up on back issues of Women’s Running magazine, which is typically a great inspiration for me.

These four motivational tips for reinvigorating your running struck a chord:

  • Sign up for a race
  • Buy new (cute) running clothes
  • Try a new route
  • Make a new running playlist

Any one of these would do the trick for me.

Especially this GapFit neon double pink tank or this one from Athleta:

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Love that hot pink!

Pixie Dust Challenge Recap

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Yesterday – Mother’s Day – I completed the inaugural Pixie Dust Challenge, a two-day, 19.3 mile event from Run Disney.

Event one was a 10k on Saturday morning, followed by a half-marathon on Sunday.

Earlier this year (February, to be exact), I did a similar thing in Florida, so I felt like I had the drill down.

Just like Florida, Saturday was colder than Sunday, less crowded, and overall, I liked the 10k courses better than the half-marathons.

It’s easy to see why, though: by the time you realize you’re running, you’re well into the 10k, and then it’s over before you know it. Since the course is shorter, there’s also much more running time within the theme parks than in the surrounding streets, which of course is a lot of fun and a great distraction.

I didn’t check my official time yet, but my watch said my 10k time was 57:29, which is pretty typical for me. I could have gone a bit faster, but I was nervous that I could flame out on Sunday if I went out too hard on Saturday, so I held back a bit.

Here’s a shot from the starting area at 5:30 AM Saturday, plus a post-race nap I took in front of a fire in the lobby of the Grand Californian hotel (20 minutes of heaven).

 

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On Sunday, I felt better than I expected. The course is honestly a bit boring in the middle and I’d planned to take a short walk break around mile 8 if I needed it, but I didn’t.

Soon I saw miles 8, 9 and 10 tick away. When I got to 11, I knew I would be done in less than twenty minutes, so I kept moving forward.

Again, I didn’t check my official time, but my watch said 2:05 when I crossed the finish line. I felt strong.

And on to the bling!

I actually got four medals this weekend, but you can only see three above. I left the 10k one in my hotel room. After finishing the half-marathon, I got the medal for that (far left), one for the Pixie Dust Cahllenge (middle), and then a Coast to Coast one (pink, on right), for completing half-marathons in both Florida and California in the same calendar year. The middle one was my favorite!

But, the truth is that while I loved participating in these races and felt strong – which I think is really critical to share with my kids – I missed them terribly. I made a mistake in not bringing them with me, especially since it was Morher’s Day. That fact was poignant and I was envious of other women whose kids were cheering for them and hugging them in the reunion area. I’d like to rectify this next year, if possible.

I couldn’t get home fast enough.

P.S. I bought this rainbow unicorn hoodie from Raw Threads because, well, it’s a rainbow unicorn and totally hilarious. Also, I was cold!

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