Repeating, directing and stressing

As a co-race director of a 1000 person event that happens on Superbowl Sunday, the time after Christmas is not as relaxing for me as it is for others. The planning gets ramped up, the lists are made, the unchecked boxes stare at me. I want the race to be awesome. I want to be the best RD I can be, thinking about the details that I wish others would at their races, setting an example for the rest of the MTC, living up to the great heritage of a 32 year old race. While this happens, I disappear into phone calls, spreadsheets and emails. It’s one decision after another, and with a full time job, it edges out some personal time.

Usually I turn to running to have “me time”. To remind myself why I spend so many hours on the running community. To get out the stress, flesh out the ideas, keep myself healthy, and grounded, I “lace up”. Thinking about the upcoming snowshoe races, I’ve been trying to get out there more. If I can’t train on snow shows, I can at least get my mileage in. But I’ve been a woman without a training plan, and a long to-do list for the race.

Good news: The race is over! It was great, in my opinion, and the feedback has been mostly positive. I’m mad I missed a few details, I’m upset at some interactions I had with people who weren’t nice, and I’m sad we ran out of shirts. No one was hurt, no major issues. I haven’t heard about anyone going off course. We didn’t run out of pizza or coffee. We had the largest field of finishers in 32 years, and it was 40 degrees. I’ll take that, with a huge smile on my face. There are things to improve for 2015. The water line, the shirts, the cannon, the awards being sooner, and more. The other thing to improve for 2015 is my running along side the race planning. 

If one gives, the other suffers, and I’m responsible for getting myself out there. I feel better when it happens, healthier, and more in control. So it’s been SUPER cold – not an excuse. 

Ian said something to me right before the Turkey Trot – “there are hills, but not hills that a trail monster would consider a hill”. That might not be exactly what he said, but it’s how I remember it. I’m applying it here. There are many things to do (what others would consider to be a hill), but not such a big hill (to do list) that I can’t get up it, and think it’s easy. 

Race is over, stress has dissipated, running is ramping up, and it’s snowing. A good day. Hill repeats tomorrow, and maybe a snowy run tonight.

Still without a training plan… definitely need one … suggestions welcomed 🙂

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REdoing, REadjusting, REstrapping

Race report: Brabury Squall

An amazing day, the snow got all prettied by Mother Nature, who, surprise surprise, sometimes answers to Mr. Snowman himself.

confused? sorry.

It was lovely. The branches were heavy with new snow. The tap of my snow shoes along the ice reminded me to pay attention. The hills were minimal, the speed was slower than I wanted. The air was fresh, I WAS OUTSIDE, and I couldn’t see my computer. All in All, a great day.

The straps on my snowshoes slipped over the top of my shoes. EVERY SINGLE STEP. They rubbed my achilles, they pressed their miserable plasticness into my happy smart wool. They screamed “PAY MORE ATTENTION TO ME”. They demanded I stop, adjust, wiggle, shove my foot forward. I’d stand, sigh in relief, gasp for oxygen (snowshoe race!) and then run. I was free, I was playing in the snow, I was running, it was WONDERF_STRAP STRAP STRAP STRAP…. You see the point.

I realized i was way behind the goal, decided I’d just put a bunch of bandaids on after the race, and then started booking it. AND THEN the DEMAND won. Repeat, until about 2.5 miles, when I just had enough of fixing them, accepted in, and ran with the pain. I caught up to and passed a few people, but ran out of course to make my time closer to what I wanted. I wish I had reached that “F it” point earlier in the race.

A great day, filled with seeing all my TMR buddies, which was wonderful after the night before seeing all my MTC buddies. 

 

picking, running, pushing up

The ladies have chosen a 50-push up a day challenge, and I’m in.  Doing 50 push ups a day requires some planning, because I can’t do them all at the same time (yet), and when I get that close to the floor, I think about napping.  It’s interesting. It’s satisfying to complete each day, a check mark, a crossed out line of success. And 6 days in, my arms are tired, but I feel it other places too. 

After a wonderful snowshoe walk (with some sprints away and back to the group), I found myself standing by the side of the road, on a sunny day with my snow shoes on. I wanted to jump, so I did. Such fun, to just jump really high in snow shoes. E(l)liot laughed a bunch, and it lifted my spirits even more than where they were.

Life is a verb was my 2013 (and maybe 2012) theme. It will continue in 2014, and I’m thinking to sign up for the TARC half at the end of April. 

More speed, more strength, more distance – that’s what I’m after this year.

Banjo lessons started this weekend. Practicing is like running, but with your fingers. focus on the goal, go as fast as you can, with the fewest mistakes/ fumbles/ trips.

Reflecting, training, tracking

Obligatory reflection sentence: It’s been about a year since I started this blog. Is it what I wanted, how I planned it? It could be more, it could be better. Can’t most things?

Christmas morning, in the city I grew up in, I left the house, thinking it was going to be warmer than home. It wasn’t. I picked a simple loop. Past a house that my 10th grade boyfriend lived in. Past the tree that I hit when I flipped over my bike handles. Past the fire hydrant I backed into, past where my first kiss was. It was cold, and Christmas. A city, normally filled with people, was empty. It was cold, and early. I saw no other runners, no people rushing to the train for work, no cars at the convenance store. I’m running more in the cold, and without headphones. I listen to my breath. I listen to my feet, I listen to the gasping, and the squeaking, and, on this particular day, the stream of memories. The ox and lamb kept time.

21 days until the first snow shoe race, I’m signed up for all three.

15 races completed in 2013.

Bring on 2014!

racing, thanking, shifting

Race report, MTC Turkey Trot (presented by the maine running company) (cause sponsors are great!)

Started well. Cold. cold. then windy. Wished I had on warmer tights, or shorts over my tights, or my down comforter wrapped around me, as i read the latest Jack Reacher.

The horn blared. I hit start on my watch. it flashed 88:88:88, indicated that it thought it was January 1, 2006, and off we went. Ok. No watch for this one. Whatever. I’ll just run by feel (famous last words). Mile 1: oh, it’s over already? clock said 9:53. i’ll take it.

Girls with water — and spoons. Why spoons? oh, to break the ice, because it’s 20 degrees. great. Yes, I think I will stop and drink some ice, because i’ve run almost 1.5 miles, in 20 degree weather, and clearly it’s time for a break.

mile 2 – sign: there it is, now i know we’ll turn onto Scott Dyer, there will be a hill, and then it will be over. Race desires picking up, feel like shedding a layer. Will catch up with Tami, and cruise to a nice finish, and then i’ll go inside. Inside, where the wind is missing, and people will shower me with hot chocolate, and patagonia warmth. Wait. Running. Right! a nice chat with the brother in law of the race director (sorry, I forget your name). WIND, wind wind. I see the hill. Trail monsters don’t think that’s a hill. I laugh in the face of hills. A ha. I’m at the top of the hill. Thanks volunteers!

Nice job Paul as you pass me, yes, it’s chilly! Wait. What is this? Is this another hill? But i thought there was only one? ok. Trail monsters don’t think that’s a hill. I laugh in the face of hi… why am I standing still? Hey (she shouts to herself, in the middle of a race, on a small hill, in 20 degrees, as people stream by her) STOP standing still. GO RUN. Find the next gear. Shift it into the next gear. (i have standard automobile, it’s amazing how many times a day I shift). SHIFT.

Why aren’t I shifting? Check in time: Legs- ready to shift. Brain- ready to shift. Heart: Why didn’t we shift 15 minutes ago? Lungs: NO SHIFTING ALLOWED. TAKING IN COLD AIR. SHIFT VETO’D. Brain and Lungs went back and forth for a while, with brain trying to circumvent lungs, and speed up legs. Lungs won.

Then the jacket became the most annoying thing in all the land, and I had to unzip it, and tie it around my waist. Then around my neck like a cape, then in one hand, then in 2. then Ian was there, and sensed the annoyance, saw the pleading in my eyes as I “raced” towards him (think that scene in a Fish Called Wanda with the steam roller – you know the one that was moving .1 mile per hour). He took the jacket, and said something along the lines of SHIFT, but in a supportive way. Lungs still vetoed this plan. I couldn’t see the finish line. I didn’t know how long my last minute push could last, and if it ended 50 feet short of the finish line, I would be sad.

Then I high-fived Victoria, dressed as the turkey so I could have the racing time. Then I finished. It was glorious that the running was over.

teetering, dropping, rioting

Trying to capture the daylight by early morning walks seems to directly interfere with the inner voice constantly telling me to sleep through all alarms. Mid afternoon walk breaks from the desk aren’t enough, and morphed into the time I catch up on phone calls. Teetering on  screaming, or whining, or curling up for a nap. Restless to move to the next stage. of running, of career, of life. For the people to move into remission, for their chemo to end, their radiation to be over, their sickness to be done. 

I registered for the turkey trot and the thanksgiving 4 miler.

then I dropped a really heavy stainless steel garlic press on my foot. the center of my foot, where a bone protrudes. the bad foot, with the arch problems that I finally had a handle on.

so three weeks of walking with pain, a testing 15 minute run to confirm still pain, and a week of not running. With all of this time not running, combined with stress/frustration, I feel bad for the people I’m going to blow up at. I might just start rioting.

volunteering, dropping, seeing

I’ve spent the past month and a half focused on races and running for other people. I didn’t make it a priority for me. This year has been strange. I was gung ho, I was rocking, then I DNF’d, missed the bradbury trail series, DNS’d the Bruiser. 

I had a great (tiring) time volunteering for the marathon. I’d say it was about 15 hours of volunteering over the last 2 weeks before the race, and 25 on race weekend. 

And then we ramped up for the Farm to Farm. I’d say about 6 hours the week before, and 25 hours on race weekend

It’s always amazing to watch people conquer long distances, reach PRs, get it done, try something new. I love being at the finish line to cheer them on. I love being at registration and hearing their stories. I love cheering them on, and being part of a team to help. I love meeting people that love the same things I do. 

I need to run a few races now. I need to be on the running side. 

2 things that are conflicting on this right now – 

1. I dropped a very heavy thing on my foot this weekend.

2. I saw a very unflattering photo of myself this weekend.

registered for the thanksgiving 4 miler, and want to run the turkey trot.

goals:

Get back in running shape,

Keep it over the winter,

not lose myself in volunteering. 

(not quit blogging because wordpress is sooo slow – please forgive the formatting issues, I can’t deal with the delays to fix them.)