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Monday, December 29, 2014

Take Responsibility For Your Own Thoughts aka Own It aka 8 months of a quiet mind and now I think I have something worthy to say...

It is very easy to blame others
or life events
for stuff that happens to you
or near you 
or in your general vicinity....
maybe it just splats on your shoulder because someone else threw it out of their car window....
doesn't matter how it happened...
how it got there....
you are stuck with it....
So
Own it
only then can you find a way to get rid of it...

Blaming is a waste of time...
You have complete control over your life and your full of monkey poo if you say you don't...
The choices you make may end up hurting you...
So what?
Nothing
I mean nothing
Has the power to completely destroy you...
Even someone taking your life
In the final moment you can decide whether or not to be afraid
Whether or not to forgive
It is easy to give our control...
our power...
to others
because then we never have to take the blame
I want to take myself back...
No one has the power to hurt me...unless I give it to you...
And no one on this planet is worthy of wielding that power...because no individual is worth more to me
then me...
As it should be...
That does not mean I would not give my life for someone else....that is my choice
and it is
choice
as in CHOICE
that I am really speaking of....you do not have the power to make me choose a certain path...I will never give you that power again....
I will
look at my reflection and say:
you exist in your small corner of this universe
 and 
you do not matter in the grander scheme of things..
but by living  good life
once your gone
you
leave
no
ugly
scar
on the world
instead...
you leave 
only a memory....


Saturday, May 10, 2014

a day with Finny aka two steps forward one step back

alarms
I dislike them
3 am
yep
hate em
up
run my hand through my hair
brush my teeth
splash warm water on my face
did you know it is best  not to use any face cleanser  in the morning? 
just water
I didn't know
now
I do
just a bit of warm water...face serum and go
Finny is whining in her crate and May May is coiling herself around my legs while I pee..
feed us
give May May her shot
slip on my dirty pair of old Hokas
Finny and I are off..
driving to NH
we stopped in Groton when I realized I left my headlamp at home
I know the rail trail...12 miles out and back...almost marathon distance from Ayer to NH and back
I didn't need a headlamp
we just ran straight into the dark...
5 miles out and 5  miles back by then its light
I change into shorts
and
drop my jacket
plan to run 7 miles out and 7 miles back....
its starts to rain
a man on a bike rides by
otherwise its just Finny and I
it smells delicious
I can't breathe deep enough...
I want to fill all that is empty
4 miles out Finn is tired
I can tell
so we turn back..
18 miles
she needs a break
I feed her snacks
she falls asleep on her blue blanket
I drive to Hollis
to Beaver Brook
one of my magic places
I run a loop of the pond
while she naps..
I return she is awake smiling
at least I see it as a smile
lets run mummy
I put on my lighter weighted vest
we run
we hit the hills
the trails that are difficult
I run
feel strong
she is happy
she makes me happy
around 6 more miles..
almost a marathon now
we drive to Evans
she naps
I buy my Hokas for McNaughton
I have two pairs now
for 500 miles
I am happy..
I buy a caramel
I eat it slowly
Finny licks my mouth
I drive home
we go to Upton State Forest
heavy weighted vests
Finny is slower but still runs ahead and then hides bursts out of the leaves when called
another 5 miles
she is my wonder dog
or is she my underdog....
I am happy
KZ sends me Kerouac from a used book store
I sit outside
storm coming
wine
book
yoga magazine
Finn eats grass
it was a long day for her
Bob prepares for a presentation
lecture
talk
it is for a conference he has had to put together
he will be in Florida
while I try to finish my race
he will rush back the last night straight from the airport
it may be my last chance
there will be no excuses
there can't be the moment I doubt my courage
it cannot happen
no
close my eyes
taste what Willy calls the beautiful pain on my lips
relentless
smile when it hurts
laugh when I feel like I am dead 

some say death is easy compared to living
I think those who believe that have yet to face death...
I think quitting is easy
it takes just a moment to make that switch
but
regret is a wound
that never heals...

I am a hypocrite
I try not to be
I strive to be my real self and not a self I create to please those of you reading this
but
I am not quite sure who I am
you see me
in a way
wholly different
than
I
see
myself
like a hearing my voice on video
I ask
who the hell is that?
how can I hear my voice so differently?
it sounds nicer when I hear it filtered through my thoughts
so very harsh when it is played back
virtual Mish
not real time
as is the virtual self
the social self
the self we portray to please others..
I have always been at odds with this
the need to have two selves
I want my authentic self
the hell with the one you like better
you will never be in my shoes
you will never be able to be ME
when it hurts
or I am sad, afraid, lost
YOU
can't help me
so why in hell
would I be
what
YOU
want me to be?
still
hypocrite I am
as Yoda would say
because
I posted on FB
then got mad
when people ignored it
while people loved poop or nose picking posts
I posted snippets of my students videos...
I don't put any crap on FB about me really
No one knows when I run where I run or why I run
why should they give a care
but education
our children
they should CARE!
why?
because I am constantly telling my students one way to live their life
and they are suspect
because
many of my peers are bullies and asses
no wonder 12-14 year olds think we are full of it..
we are the worst offenders...
we control the media
that shapes and influences them
we should be held responsible for every horrendous thing they do
we taught them
through our actions
or lack thereof


I want to be a do as I doer
not a do as I sayer
so I went on FB to post my kids amazing videos
and I got angry
that no one was excited as I was about he videos
so I ranted..
and my FB running friend C bu it perfectly
when he responded to my rant
"I thought you were off FB?"
that response meant the same thing as
shut up u hypocritical ass
and he is right
and that
is where I am wrong
I am a hypocrite...
I am being a do as I doer but
through bullying and jeering those of you that don't want to be...

it is a hard path to be true to your authentic self..
it is the early morning just woken up with a head cold self
not the just had a facial and my hair done self...
sigh

It ain't easy being green








Monday, May 5, 2014

Monday musings....aka odds are no one gives a crap about me either so its all good...

Next weekend is the Wapack and Back ultra
I could care less that it is a "race"
I will run it as a sweep and pick up trash
I am just looking forward to being on those trails...

I lost something...
I am not sure where it went...
or why I just don't care anymore
but it is gone...
the need to prove stuff
the idea of a legacy...
it
 just
  doesn't
   matter
    to
      me

If someone wants my advice
I will give it
for free..

If someone thinks I have anything to offer up
they can ask
I will answer
and they can
take it
or
leave it

I no longer care what you think of me..
I used to
now
the hell with it..

I have wasted so much time
emotional energy...
heart
body
soul
giving a ....

caring what others think of me...
guess what...
look around you
what do you see?
odds are
glass...
a
 whole
  lotta  
    glass
best to keep your rocks hidden in your pocket

This is not me being negative...
interact with me in person
in REAL TIME
and I am all heart
be open
honest
have grace
have balls
have dignity
speak the truth
don't grovel
don't lie
don't cheat
don't be a fake
don't be a braggart

and we will get along just fine...

problem is
social media
is not a way I wish to know you...
or
have you know me

There is no real feeling on social media sites
it is only through interactions with people
face to face
we find real comfort

my true friends
I can count them on two hands...

I have acquaintances through endurance racing and FB who I really like..
and I imagine
they have their friends
that they can count on two hands...
and I am  98% of the time
not one of their fingers...

they like me when I am funny and silly and lighthearted
all of those things I am
I love kids, Legos, Star Trek, candy, and robots
but
I have another side
and this one is tired
tired of the BS
tired of the crap that
comes through the FB feed...
the amount of sweet cute posts are overshadowed by the vast majority of self congratulating posts
and the truth is
I don't give a crap how great YOU think you are
finishing a race and or doing a workout has nothing to do with who you are...
I can decide what I think of YOU all on my own thank you very much...
and it will have nothing to do with your max reps or PR

It is nothing personal
I hope when you RAN that race
or did that workout
while it happened you had fun
that you smiled
that your heart was filled with joy..
I just don't need to hear your excuse for not doing well or your false modesty when you do well...
I don't give a.....

Social media is making gods out of asses and goddesses out of hollow souled beauties...
I love many people who use social media to market themselves as athletes or trainers..
I love some of these people
but
they know how I feel about marketing the soul...
making a commodity of ultra running
it ain't my thing...
they are free to make money and fame from it
but
I am free to not like it
to remove myself from it..
I am finding that fewer and fewer people at races feel like I do...
maybe its time to go back to fast packing...



























Friday, May 2, 2014

carp or crap whatever

Just finished writing to my very first pen pal...R...
its funny cause I have been  following him for so long
at first because I, like him (or is it he?  awww who really cares)
have or has a special way of writing what we are musing on..
he and I or him and me...well we have vastly different styles...
he is far more literate and well more booked learned than me..
or at least he remembers what he has read
where most of the stuff i thought was gonna stay put
slips out of my noggin when I am sitting on the couch eating rice cakes  ...
I write with my heart
and he seems to write from his heart but by way of his head...
my head?
well is never where it should be to actually filter anything I write...
hence run-on blog posts with not much valuable content...

I like this man...
I respect him
not as a mentor exactly..
I consider Nipmuck Dave and  Bob Crowley running mentors
and
although they may be shocked to hear it.. Andy and Joe as mentors for fighting the good fight
but
R
not as a mentor
he is something else...
like someone I am supposed to meet
like
KZ, Julie, Doc, Margaret, Matt, Nick and Willy
I am lucky to meet other amazing people whom I adore and cherish their friendships
but
it was just a happy accident they are in my life
it wasn't meant
to
be...

so I have a pen pal
and its good.

Social media
I don't miss it
after the initial shock..
of going off FB
much like looking at my hair
while it was being attacked with
scissors and shears the other day
I felt
lighter
when
it was gone...

naked
but not afraid
stripped of any sort of daily affirmations
I don't spend any time living in the past or the future...
just in the now...
once it is over...
time to move on..
no one is there to prove
anything to...
its is pretty stinkin liberating..

I am present
in the moment
in the now
it keeps me honest..
it keeps me grounded
it keeps me out of trouble : )

Peak's coming up
I am not sure how I feel about it...
I want people I love to get lots of attention from PEAK
I want Andy and Joe to get recognition for this race
get more people here to try it
for Nick and Willy
to get the kudos they deserve..
but
that means
what I like about PEAK
will be lost
I liked running/hiking the trails for 10 days
pretty
much
alone
wrapped
in my own thoughts..
Julie said i would
probably go crazy
if I saw the PEAK FB page
and the
numerous
comments about gear, and training and
well
crap

I bought a new pair of Hokas
Margaret has an old pair she wore for I believe the Tough Mudder World series thingy ma bob
so I will show up
with
2 pairs of sneaks
old socks
trash bags
two pairs of long pants
5 pairs of shorts
5 shirts
5 tank tops
one handheld and one small hydration pack
poles
coconut water
bars (whatever was 10/10 at Stop and Shop)
water
Tang
rice cakes, pretzels and chips
ginger chews
I am hoping that someone brings me 2 giant boxes of chocolate
and
that is
it
oh wait
a toothbrush and tooth paste, wet wipes/hemorrhoid wipes
and a smile...
the smile is for Matt, Willy and Nick...

if Tupac was smart
he would stay
dead
and just enjoy the quiet....










Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Rapunzel aka its better to condition your heart my dear aka tangle free

My hair has always been my one vice..
it is or was the thing that I thought made me feminine...
when it started to thin and fall out the last time
I was horrified...
I told friends extensions were fun
and acted like they were not important to me
but
that was not true...
they were in fact
my armor
they made me feel like a woman
at a time
when just being a woman was making me sick..
but my hair
always blond
and in signature piggies or braids..
my hair defined my femininity...
so extensions did the trick
it allowed me to keep up the charade
that all was good...
I was pretty and happy
how can someone with such beautiful hair
who wears pink hot pants
be tired
scared
sick...
I was bouncy blond and bullet proof

but
they cost so much
they take so much
time and effort
they are
just
plain
silly

they defined me
all right
they defined me
as
vain..
my vanity
for all the world to see
in  golden braids....

so
it is time
to again
deal with my hair
but this time
I have decided
to show my femininity
through my greatest asset
my smile...

I am going to the barber
I will sit in his chair
I will smile and say
shave it all off...

when he is done
I will get up
brush myself off
walk out the door
no different then when I walked in
except
maybe
a little lighter...



Tuesday, April 15, 2014

less than two months aka friendship

Time on feet
that is first...

second
disconnect from pain
get your head on straight..

No ultra or AR event or DR will ever get you ready for the 500...
the only thing that gets you ready
is doing it
failing
learning
and heading back for more..

or if you are Willy
suffering
succeeding
and finding
it has grabbed hold of you...
and HAVING to come back for more

Nick and I
we feel the same
as Willy

few people 
get me...
Nick and Willy
they do.

We have been through something together
that has us
forever
entangled
in one another's 
lives
I am so very thankful
for this...

If I could have one wish
only one
I would hope for Nick to finish..
even if I don't
why?

I finally realized
what I love about competition
about pushing myself to my limit
it is the people...
the people you meet on the journey..

the people you connect with
on a level 
that only people who 
have been 
"in it" 
get it..

Your "in it"
may be beating cancer
it
may be having a baby
it 
may be finally letting go
it
may be losing weight
it
may be finding love
it
may be giving up everything
to find
the one
thing
that
really 
matters...

whatever it is...
your 
"in it"
there will be those people
who were there
experiencing it...
the connection
honor it
it is the real gift...






Sunday, April 6, 2014

Shutting up and stepping outside the black line

Finn makes me happy
she and I
we communicate though our bodies..
we run side by side with the occasional check in
eyes down to her...eyes up to mine...
She sits on my lap when I drive
she actually puts her rather large paws on my steering wheel
she turns her head to me
as if to say
I have got this mum
She chews on my ankles while I
drink wine
read
when
I do nothing
but look
out
at the water...
and well
I love her for this....

We never
Talk
and this
Makes
Me
Happy

Doc says I am on this quest....
It relates to
fairness..
It relates to
balance of power...
I
am
all
about
the
little
guy..
I am about the ones that fall through the cracks...
The ones on the edge
looking in
a circle
that has drawn
them
out....

Maybe it is because I am a middle school teacher,
I see and connect with children
that
don't
fit
in..
They don't fit in with most of their peers
even sadly their teachers...

they are ignored
or disliked
they are suspect
because they march to the beat of their own drum..
and some
to their own tuba...
when you are different
really different
people
get
nervous..
don't rock the boat
don't move to far to the left
or the right
don't turn upside down and look at things from that direction...
don't
question...
it is power
it is beauty
it is not necessarily brains..
but it is smarts
being smart enough
to know
you
don't
question
it has always been this way..
just take your square little peg and
by damn
shove it into this circle
and if it hurts
don't show it
just keep your mouth shut
smile
and
fake it...

It's fake
and to fit in
it requires you to be someone
You
Are
Not
and we'll
I suck at that....
it makes me angry
and so I lash out
don't tell me that I need
to
fit in
that I need to drink
the kool aid
BS
I hate artificial drinks

I want real interaction
Or
Like I used to be
No interaction

Caught up in so much
that does not matter
so much artificial sugary tooth rotting crap
I am so damn thirsty
I just want a glass of water
please

I am losing touch with what matters
Being
Quiet
Shutting my big mouth...
hearing myself
Breathe......
I have nothing to say that makes any damn difference
So my voice
Just adds
To the noise

Sigh

I feel like me
when I am with Doc, Finn and May
when I teach
run trails
climb mountains
do Bikram
hit the gym
hang with Jules and the fam
the Tuggers
run trail races and ultras
read A LOT

I like
MOTION
or absolute
STILLNESS
I am a river
in winter
frozen surface
look closely
torrent inches under..
that is me
and I am sick of apologizing for it
I take nothing from you
therefore I owe
nothing to you
most certainly not
my soul
it is all that really matters
the rest?
well
the rest
just rots...

There is beauty in
wrapping your arms around
the nothing
life is not real
nothing matters
but suffering
because
YOU
make your own suffering
you
embrace it..
let it in..
hold it close
close your eyes
while it
devours you..

instead
I choose
to stand tall

I say
STAND TALL
close your eyes
let it beat at you
scream in your ear
rip at your flesh
close your eyes
breathe
what is the worst it can do
kill you?

It is all a lie
an illusion
once you accept this
as truth
you
find that
you
just
don't care
and
it is at this point
you can
commit your life...
to what really matters
commit yourself
to others
to those who do not have the strength
to stand tall...
you stand in front of them
you take the brunt of the beating
what IS real
is giving yourself
to another
knowing
you
do
so
not
for
recognition

STOP!
please
just
stop
letting us all know
just how
good a human
you are...
you
who
stands on the MOUNTAIN
and screams
 for all to hear...

I
AM
SELFLESS
LOVE 

ME


I realize
I cannot
force others
to see what I see
I have
no control over you....
that was my problem
why I have come to this point
why I need to shut up and step back outside...
I can't change anyone
I can only choose
to
live
by
my code
my ACTIONS
not
my WORDS

so
I will
simplify....
focus only on
what I have control over
me
and in a way
my students
every
single
one
I can show them
through my own actions
it is not the  accolades
of others that defines you...

spend more time
looking in the mirror
than looking out the window
or
looking at the tiny screen
waiting for
a sound
that you have come to crave
much
like Pavlov's dog
to salivate
when you hear
ping...
oh 
I am loved.....










Monday, March 31, 2014

Rumble Ramble Bumble Bamble

so many thoughts floating around in my head that I have not been able to unite any of them to write up a cohesive blog post...so instead I will just spit out some musings of mine since my last post.......
I find that I am often a lone dissenter about certain things on FB so I wonder if I am wrong and that my thoughts on certain things are just so beyond the norm that I am actually so far beyond left field I am in the car driving away...it seems as if everyone really loves people that post selfies and hourly updates on their work outs...
it seems like I am the naysayer 
the poo pooer 
the spoil sport 
the grouchy old lady that hands out toothbrushes for Halloween..

why does it bug me enough to comment on it?
some people will say
"she is probably jealous she is old and slow and smelly and wrinkly and blah blah blah.....
nah..I am all those things for sure
but I am not jealous...
I just think it is 
well
stupid
: )
and I think I think that because
well
it is inherently
stupid
its not me calling something a square peg when it is a round one...
nope
I am calling a square peg a square peg and it seems as if everyone else just likes the idea of it being round
far
better..
so I guess
I am the minority
and 
people don't like negative me
they prefer positive happy squirrel queen me

I like her too
but
I will always
be
the queen of never not broken..
so 
I can't change who I am
I will always
at times to my detriment
be the one to notice
and call out
the elephant in the room
and 
well
I better come to terms with that
and not be hurt
when people disagree 
or think
I am a grouchy old donkey's behind...

another thought I have had lately is
yes
trail running and
ultras 
have 
changed
and my personal belief is...
not always for the better
in my years of running all the WMAC club races there was only one time there was ever a negative thing said about a trail race...some guy that won a trail race coming from road running blasted how a trail race ran...
ummm
people were like
no poop
it's a trail race
totally different animal then a road race dude
you don't like it 
stick to roads...
that is it...for all the years I was Stone Head champ...I was often never in the top 3 sometimes but usually in the top 10 or 20 for women...I won because I ran every single race pretty much lol
I ran because I LOVED it 
because
no one complained EVER about slow runners or people walking races or whatever..
there was no litter on the course..
not like I see today..
the races were so cheap and most had day of race sign up...
you knew EVERYONE there...Nipmuck and Stone cat were like old home days...
I was a newbie to the scene in 2006...Nipmuck Dave was my mentor and I met all my Tuggers....the best times of my life were those first few years...
now most of the Tuggers are RD's of these races...
and I wonder what they think?
the majority of races 
are filled with good will
but lately I have sen some blog posts on the TARC website and through other peoples FB posts where they are bad mouthing the fact that trail races and trail ultras have slow runners or even 
GASP
walkers?!?
dear god what is the world coming too..
now the majority of these when you look at the blog author's picture or FB pages 
are well
young pups
so 
truth is
they don't know any better...
so I will forgive them their youth 
one day
they won't be the young ones winning
one day they may have a major injury and have to
yep
walk a few of those hills
they used to power up...
and then they too 
will have to witness the errant enthusiasm of young pups
complaining about us old folk blocking their trails...

Sponsorship
hmmmm
what exactly is it?  If you are a sponsored athlete...
someone gives you money
or stuff
and you thank those people for getting you across the finish line of a race..

baloney..

if you want it bad enough you can run an ultra or finish DR or a Tough Mudder or a survival run with clothes bought from Walmart, a freebie bag from the local library, a bottle of water from 7 Eleven and a bag of pretzels and gorp...you can run it barefoot or in sandals or in cheap sneakers...
just bring some Dollar Store sunblock, Vaseline and Gold Bond generic brand...and a few large trash bags...maybe some duct tape
and 
you
are 
good 
to go

I brought so many drop bags for my first 100...
I did not use any of them...
I was so sick to my stomach I did not eat
it got really cold at night and KZ lent me his super long t shirt and beanie hat..
I never touched a bag filled with GU and EFS and salt pills and electrolyte drinks and extra socks and extra shoes and extra clothes....
I wore the same shoes and socks the entire time..
was it easy?
no
was I smiling?
no 
at times I was on the verge of blowing chunks...Emmy and Kev had to cajole me over the last few miles to get a 27 hour finish...
would any sponsored crap you buy from REI or online gotten me a faster finish?
nope..
I got myself across that finish line because I wanted it...
why did I finish in 27 and not buckle?
cuz I wasn't good enough at that time to do so...
but 
I WANTED TO FINISH
so 
I FINISHED
regardless of the gear I could have grabbed...

Trail shoes are fricken expensive so if you are sponsored and get free shoes...cool
but if you weren't sponsored would you still finish races?  If you DNF is it because you did not bring your super special sneaks or your special balm for your bum bum or your special drink you bought at GNC?
NO
you don't finish races
because of
YOU
not your gear
not other people
not even because your  sick
I have finished races sick
you finish stuff..
when you want it bad enough...

sooo 
many will say
well she is just a grouchy old slow runner who is
jealous of those that are sponsored
nope
not true
not jealous
I just think
some of it is
well
stupid
it is about marketing
and not about being a true athlete or being a role model
is it about selling yourself...
if you can sell yourself
you get sponsored
end of story
can't sell yourself
or don't want to
you probably won't....

I know an athlete 
yep she is a great athlete 
but she is kind of whiney and kind of mean to other women and kind of uses her beauty to get stuff and will say she is hurt before races just in case she gets beat by someone she will have an excuse why she didn't win

I have witnessed many of these things first hand so I speak only about what I have seen myself..
this is not not gossip
this is truth

She also cheated
as did many others
at a race I did
I was one of the few who did not cheat...
I was in last place cuz of it : )
I ended up quitting the race and DNFing and she finished...
why?
well
she wanted it more then me..
but..
for the first 24 hours I was tortured and had to work harder than anyone else..
I never complained I shut my mouth and did what I was told..I watched her complain about
well 
nothing worth complaining about
I saw her cheat
I was in last place
I did not cheat
and when the entire group was given a choice of suffering if the cheaters did not come forward..
she was next to me
and I said
"If you cheated and I end up in the lake you will totally regret it you ____"
: )
you see
I don't like water

She cried and I felt nothing
no empathy at all...
you don't cheat 
end of story

I ended up quitting
because

Was
Tired...
I did not want it bad enough...

She paid her penalty for cheating and finished...
good on her
not taking any of that away from her
but
when it comes to being a face of a sport or a role model to people..
nope..
she does not deserve that
many will disagree with me
and many will know whom I am speaking about
and many will judge me for putting this out there
and well
I don't care
because
I am speaking the truth
the truth
I am saying what many people already know
sure
she would probably beat my tush in a spartan beast...
and yet
I would do ok...
the difference?
I would stop and help a person who was hurt
I would not complain or cry in anger cause things aren't fair
I would not put winning above my honor
my integrity
and most importantly
grace...

I am too old and been through too much to care about speaking my mind
so elephant
I see you
stop pooping on the patio...
people will say you are jealous cuz she is so pretty and young and so good at racing
yep
all of those are true
she is not just pretty
she is beautiful
and she is tough
and a good athlete
but
in my world I would sponsor
other amazing female athletes who
are women that..
If I had to have my children look up to someone..
it would be one of them...

just my opinion..
it's my blog
so I get to put it out there..
feel free to bad mouth me in your blog..
: )
I can take it...
I already know I am old
smelly
wrinkly
slow
and a bit of a mess 
: )
yep
I am not perfect...
but
I am
HONEST...
I can look in the mirror and say that
of course
my hair will be greasy
and my wrinkles will show
but such is life....

Promises
these are things I keep
when all is said and done and I leave this earth 
all I leave behind is what people remember about me..
all I want people to say..
is
she had integrity

If you make a promise
you keep it..
end
of 
story
there is NEVER an excuse to go back on a promise
if you do
you are
a
coward
a liar
and 
pretty much a pathetic human being...
just saying..

Once I make someone my friend
they will always be in my heart
the only people I have kicked out
cheated or lied
I can't stand either...
both are deal breakers...
they can be hot messes
they can be goofballs
they can be someone who is all over the place
they can be someone who takes more than they can give...
no worries
I have a place for you...
I will not judge
I know what it is like to be judged because you are different..
but liars
cheats
nope
never an excuse for either

just my rumblings ramblings, bumblings and bamblings














Tuesday, March 4, 2014

PEAK 100 Snowshoe Race aka big puff saves the day

This past weekend was the 100 mile snowshoe race in Pittsfield VT on the Green Mountain Trail System lovingly shepherded by my friend Matt Batz and home to some of my favorites races put on by PEAK "people inspiring people" Andy Wineberg's gift to those of us who like a little crazy thrown into our soup.  

This is my 4th time doing this race and every year I DNF..this year was no different in that I did not finish the 100, then again no one did, but I did come in first among my fellow dnfers
 : )  11 out of 15 laps completed each lap 6.5 miles so 71.5 miles on snowshoes in 28 hours taint so bad.  The race went from 8 am Friday until 5 pm Saturday, but I stopped at 11 loops at noon Saturday to just hang with people and eat really yummy soup at the finish..  I knew I would not be able to get the 4 laps done in the time left and I still felt good so I made the choice not to knock myself out for a 13 lap dnf : )  Truth is so many awesome people had traveled to the race (many fellows death racers) that I wanted to just go hang out at The Clear and eat lots of chicken wings : )

I never have an issue DNFing at a PEAK race because they are so hard...the odds of finishing are often slim to nil.  Last year I tied for the DNF first at the snowshoe with 12 laps...I felt this year was a far more difficult course, and the overnight temperature pummeled to minus 7 causing every racer but myself to hide away in the unheated pony barn.  I don't have an issue with cold...I have an issue with cold and WET...I can suffer through cold temperatures as long as I am moving and dry...I don't like getting sopping wet and then having to sit around suffering...my body just can't handle that....
At the start with Don, Doc and Robin (I think that was Robin)

I decided after my first loop that for this race I was in a very good place...  I started off second to last as I always start off races in the back.  I NEVER "go out strong" as they say...I am like a little mole popping its head out from the ground and tentatively sniffing around to make sure an owl does not bite it off...

My mantra is and always will be:
slow and steady wins the race...
well 

maybe not wins the race, 
but slow and steady helps you to finish the race

In the case of PEAK races I do believe it is the person who runs a solid pace throughout that does well in relation to a person who goes out on fire...they usually peter out pretty quickly and then get discouraged when their lap times get slower and slower.  My first lap is always my slowest and then I get the mental boost of negative splits compared to my first and second loops.   I find that passing other runners on the second and or third loops makes you feel really strong..it is not a competitive thing it is just it FEELS good to FEEL strong enough to pass someone.  So all of the guys who went out faster than me I ended up passing or they quit because they burned themselves out quickly.  It is hard for many competitive people to start out so slow...to be the person "turtling" up that first hill just after the RD yells go...
Obviously early on in the race note big smile

Me....
I could give a flying spider monkey
I run my own race in 90% of races..the other 10% I let people get into my head....but that is for another blog







The temperature was on the cold side for Friday but not unbearable.  I wore a Smartwool long sleeve as a base layer and then a second layer topped by a light weight down jacket.  I wore gloves and a neck thingy which ended up being a hat as my bangs kept on getting into my eyes and I couldn't see where I was going...for my bottom silk undies and then a pair of warm tights.  last year I had destroyed myself on the first lap wearing Catalyst snowshoes instead of my Dions, and wearing low back trail runners instead of high backed lightweight boots...I had a blister that was horrific on the back on my right heel that made the entire race excruciatingly painful.  This year we went to REI Thursday night and Doc bought me a pair of Asolo(sp?) hiking boots and these ended up being my saving grace...so lightweight and comfy I had zero blisters and absolutely no foot pain throughput the race.

I will bring these to Peak 500 for the rainy muddy early days and for overnights as they are really easy to run in but give me the support I need.  

One issue I did have  was with my bladder hose freezing up on the first loop.  I could not get any water for the first 6.5 miles.  When I got back to the gear bin Doc was doing timing so I just threw off my bladder and grabbed a free Zico chocolate coconut water off the aid table and a bar and put the coconut water down my shirt and the bar in a pocket and I was off.  The key to this race is to take as little time as possible in transitions..you need to get in and out as every second counts.  To finish this race you must do each loop in 2:18 and that includes water, food, bathroom and clothes change breaks...6.5 miles with that elevation...well the 34 hour cut off is pretty difficult to achieve for 15 laps...
I spent less then 3 minutes at my bin between loops for the first 8 loops.  I came in after the second loop and got a Gatorade bottle half filled with water half with orange Gatorade and another bar..shoved the Gatorade down the front of my shirt...it was heavy so I tucked my base layer into my pants and the bottle just kinda stayed stuck there...when I needed a drink I had to reach down the front of my shirt and grab out the bottle..not ideal in the least, but I only brought a pack and no handheld water bottles so I had no other choice.  

By the 5th lap I had passed everyone
except for Courtenay and Eric who were both ahead of me.  I felt strong and happy and was glad for the flu the week before as it made me rest up. I went into the race doing nothing for like 10 days.  After the 5th or 6th loop Doc had bought me a hamburger from the General Store so I changed out my Gatorade bottle for another one and grabbed the burger and was right back out.  I could only eat half of the burger while I climbed that first steep section to the Mtn Bike cabin as the Gatorade was effecting my tummy ....I was starting to fell nauseous.  With about 2 miles left of that loop I was very sick to my stomach and was happy to suddenly need to stop and throw up all the Gatorade and burger.  When i finished this loop I said "ugh no more Gatorade just water please!!!!.  

The overnight started and the temperatures fell as I turned on my headlamp. I would see lights in the distance but they turned out to be car headlights or house lights from the valley below...I noted no other people on the course.  I found out later I was alone for the night.  Courtenay and Eric both dropped after their 7th lap and  Courtenay was really cold and wet and in trouble.  Doc helped get him out of wet clothes and into his sleeping bag in the pony barn where all the runners bedded down for the overnight or those that had dropped were warming up.  When I came in from my 7th lap Doc said how proud he was of me and I headed right back out.  

The night was gorgeous and I was super happy.  The sky was so clear and the stars looked close enough to touch.  I spent a majority of the overnight just breathing in the cold air and trying to relax my mind and just pick up a rhythm to my running.  Everything for this race came together for me, and I wondered if I had finally moved completely beyond all the pain of the past 4 years.  Clarity has come to me in Bikram, but it had never seemed so close at hand when running....this was the first time in a long while where I felt...

This is where I belong

I came in for the 8th loop and still felt great I was even a bit warm in big puff.  I changed into Doc's wool gloves and headed right back out.  I normally don't drink a lot of water and this race wasn't very different.  I would drink about 1/2 to 3/4 of a Gatorade bottle for every loop.  I ate pretzels and sucked some ginger and hard candy but I did not feel hungry during the overnight.  When I came off the mtn and saw the truck ahead it was so inviting.  Eric was with Doc in the truck gabbing and Finn was snuggling in the back.  Even though it looked warm and toasty I had no desire to stop.  I quickly got my stuff together and headed back out for my tenth loop.  The picture below is me at the finish of that loop.  

Big puff was my savior on the overnight



I had severe pain in my lower back earlier in the race during the second lap I had started hemorrhaging and I was not supposed to get my period so it was a bit shocking to be peeing blood.  I had told Doc early on and said I would keep an eye on it and quit if it got too bad.  This was the first time in the race where I felt like "wow I am in serious pain" and it had nothing to do with my feet or legs...my kidneys hurt.  I stopped and Doc got me in the truck to warm up and put heating pads on my back.  This was around 8 am I had just missed the start of the other race.  I relaxed for about 60 minutes in the truck before I headed back out for my next loop.  Doc gave me two Aleve which in hindsight I should have started taking earlier as a "just in case" kind of thing...2 miles into this lap I felt great.  

When I finished my 11th lap it was close to noon.  There were so many people at the start/finish and hot soup and rolls.  Doc and Eric where there hanging out so I grabbed a cup and started to eat...I had 5 more hours to complete 26 miles...not possible, but I could get at least 2 more laps in.  Robin and Jack were up and heading back out for more loops..Dan and Stephanie had decided to stop she had a long drive and Dan was fine with what he had accomplished and was just enjoying himself at the finish.  Andy, and Peter asked if I was going to go back out and I said probably not I felt good and I was happy..Andy said take a medal, but I never did....I don't do races for the medal..I do them for experiences exactly like I was having...playing on a mtn all night long with people I love and admire, good hot soup and rolls, laughter, and the knowledge that in a few hours I would be sitting at The Clear ordering a glass of pinto and wings with so many amazing people!!!!

Highlights of this race was meeting Don's Lisa in person, meeting Jane's daughter, seeing Matt Batz whom I adore, spending time with Doc, going to The Clear with everyone, watching Doc and Eric Geek out and gaining a large adopted son in Eric...seeing Lisa L, Laura S, Dana W and Jane BC some of the toughest coolest women I know...meeting Chris's and Kevin's wives who were funny and sweet and down right as awesome as their hubbies...spending time at the General Store with Don and Doc talking about love and life..staying at Swiss Farm and seeing Roger and his wife...seeing Jack C, Robin C his gorgeous wife Melissa and Dan G(one of my fave people on the planet) on the trails...meeting Jack's adorable GF who was running the marathon..talking poop with Eric while the three of us bunked down at Swiss Farm..falling asleep at the restaurant and Kevin Lowe making me into a giant puppet..Kevin's "kitty sweaters" Owl Bars from the store, Seeing so many familiar wonderful local faces including Marian Dane Abrams who spent Saturday taking pictures of the race (these are her pictures I stole)...

Love
Pittsfield
it is like a second home
and it always feels good to come home....





















Tuesday, February 18, 2014

think on this

on vacation
Bikram
snowshoeing
running
treadmill
packing for move
gym
playing with Finn
chicken wings and Hemp frozen yogurt
wine and peaches
dreaming of our new home
thinking....
breathing...
lots and lots of reading
happy
a quiet vacation

Random thoughts:
why are we so afraid to fail that so many of us choose not to try?
I have been thinking...to fully commit myself to things such as Peak 100 snowshoe and Peak 500 as well as other endurance events like DR...
I must "engage my life with commitment".
I read an article by Deepak Chopra in Mantra..
and I found I connected to it and found some solace in his words
and what he was trying to share...
fear of failure...
embarrassment...
prior experiences of suffering in our past that we have never fully HEALED from
make us afraid of the pain that comes with this kind of commitment...
I have committed to many endurance events in the past
but
I was able to commit myself 100% because the experience was far better than the reality
I face when the race was done....
I can do DR...its easier than dealing with cancer
I can run an ultra... its easier than dealing with an eating disorder...
I was running away...
now
I am committed to healing my heart and mind
its hard to WANT the finish...
I mean I have achieved balance in so many ways...
I now have to find a reason to want to push my mind and body to the limit and endure
100 miles in snowshoes
500 miles of Joe's mtn...
3 days of a Death Race
I need to look forward and run
not
because I am afraid of what is behind
but
because
it
brings
me
joy...
through healing I realize I am not so averse to the
"possibilities of pain"
not if the pain
is from living life to the fullest
instead of
pain
that is manufactured to numb you to the realities you are facing...

why do female newscasters always look sexy?
This was a recent FB post and there were many comments made...
so I thought about it..
and
I realized
I don't care what they wear
I think women need to stop blaming "men" for making us
sexually exploited
nah
we do that to ourselves...
just fess up
when you are young you use your attributes of beauty
just like your
intelligence
your humor...
I have NEVER seen a guy
at the mall
forcing a woman
to try on
sexy clothes...
sigh
own it girls
it
is
of
our
own
making...


why are we so hard on our selves that we can't embrace our negative characteristics...they are  part of us....
those that are chosen to
sell us stuff
were at one time
mere mortals
they put their pant on
one
leg
at
a
time...

but then
they are
chosen
to represent
what we should aspire to be....

never forget
they
are
manufactured

so

of
course
their
weaknesses are hidden
they seem so perfect
but
no one
is without
baggage
when you look at the beautiful
perfect
young
athletic
professionally photographed
airbrushed
sponsored
slice
of
heaven
feel
compassion...
they
can't
show weakness
frailty
failure
that must feel like
having
constipation
24/7
I personally would not wish that on my worst enemy...
regularity is worth far more than fame...

why are we shamed by witnessing another person's weakness?
because deep down we see ourselves in our fellow man
it is easier to ignore
than to admit
it could easily
be
us...
sooo
my blog
I tell you all my
mistakes
foibles
embarrassments
pathetic attempts
to achieve enlightenment
with
humor
hopefully
with
grace
sometimes
neither..
regardless
if you start off
laughing at me

maybe

eventually

you will find yourself
laughing with me
and
as a result
no longer
fear
it happening to you
embrace
your
absurdity

how come I never know any of the gossip?  
does that mean I don't know half of the terrible things people say about me?

I am always surprised
by what
I don't know...
its true at work
I never know the gossip
I don't listen carefully
and honestly
I am forgetful
and truthfully
I don't even know all the new teachers names
I focus on what goes on in my shop
my CAD lab
I focus on
the
kids...
in terms of
ultra running
Death Race
I don't know
didley squat
I mean I know certain things
from being there
witnessing things first hand
or reading about it after the fact
on FB...
the thing is
when something I don't agree with happens
I address it right then and there
cheating
I know of 3 major cheating instances in DR or ultra running
and well I was never afraid to call a cheater out...
but
I guess others in the know
know
that
there is an undercurrent of cheating
and as a result
people are trying to make stronger rules
stronger sanctions for these sports...

I don't think that is the answer

for many people
cheating is the only way
to feel good about themselves
so lets address this...
why?
why does a skull define you?
a medal?
your name in a magazine
a sponsor
or worse
the title
of
bad ass
or
how many likes you get on FB
I saw a FB post that said
"I got First Place!"
it had 1.2k likes...
really???

I guess I just
don't
get
it
but
I think
this
is why
people cheat..
they want the 1.2k likes on FB
why else?
you have to LIVE with the fact that your a cheater
how can you look in the mirror???
it makes no sense to me
and I fear
it
never
will
but the FB adulation is a replacement
for
what
you
can't
find
within
yourself...
and
this makes me
sad....

then again what do I know
my FB posts usually get 7 to 23 likes








Monday, February 10, 2014

PEAK 100 & 500 one focused goal...aka lets finish this....

So I am in an excellent mindset in terms of training...my runs with Julie feel great...roads no issue...hills...np....feeling strong...I just need to gain weight...cause when you run 100 miles on snowshoes or 50 miles a day for 10 days...
you lose yourself...
literally...
last year I lost like 12 lbs after PEAK
but
I went in at 114
now
I am 105
ummmm
not good.

Last night I ate a lot
I mean
A LOT

but stuffing myself one time a week just results in
making myself feel bloated and sick...
nope
not good..
I need to
eat more
train more
and
focus...
so in terms of eating
A normal day looks like this:
Pre-breakfast 5 am
2 rice cakes with peanut butter and jelly to calm my stomach for morning medications
small coffee with almond milk and maple syrup
Breakfast 9-10 am
a smoothie with almond milk coconut water blueberries 1 tablespoon almond butter, 1 tablespoon each of flax, chia and hemp and 1 scoop RAW protein powder
Snack 10:30
apple
Lunch noon
turkey (2-3 slices) on bread with avocado
Afternoon snack
KIND protein bar
carrots
Dinner 5:30
meat (chicken, pork or steak organic grass fed)
with 2 vegetable sides glass of pinot with soda water and peaches
or soup and crackers if I am not too hungry
Snack 6:30
popcorn rice cakes

Asleep by 8 and alarm goes off a 4:45 am

So my workout schedule is as follows
gym workout at least 2x a week with a trainer for 90 minutes (she trains Bob and I together but doing different things now because he is in the boot)

sample workout legs
100 ft plate push
90 Russian twists touches with 10lbs
80 4-way lunge (10 full ea leg)
70 sec front bridge
60 x band walks 30 each way)
50 lat squats
40 seated rows
30 shoulder bridges
20 rotational push ups
10 BB roll outs

rest 60 seconds repeat 3x
then

lunge medley
-walking lunge d+b
-lateral lunge walk d+b
-45 degree lunge walk d+b
-duck walk d+b

Push up medley
12 to 1
evens wide stance
odds close

AB Pyramid do 8 to 1
straight leg sit up
bent leg sit upright leg straight sit up
left leg straight sit up
butterfly sit ups

shoulder 4 minute circuit of hell if you drop arms you start over..

It was awesome and I will do these 90 minute workouts Wednesdays and Sundays..
Saturdays are my long run day with Julie includes mtn and uber hilly course anywhere from 15 to 26 miles
I run weekday mornings 2x a week for 5 miles at 4:45 am
and at least one longer faster run at night 7 to 8 miles
and Bikram 3 times a week

when it gets warmer I will drop Bikram (March) and run after school every day and just add in a yoga class here or there not necessarily bikram)
I will ride my bike back and forth to work (16 miles total)
less gym and more outdoor workouts...

I will be running a race pretty much every weekend and pretty much back to back ultras every weekend for March through May...some I will run with log and some without and some I will start at night and run through to the morning and start it again with everyone else...I will also have one weekend a month training for Untamed New England AR with Team Hope and that will include all disciplines...

I feel good about my training plan because it really just includes things that make me HAPPY

but

when I read what I eat it doesn't look like a lot
but
I am not sure where to add in food as I am not hungry for more...
so
suggestions are welcome
where can I add in calories
more protein?
I don't like pasta or rice or bread...
I don't like most carbs and I am lactose intolerant so no dairy...
I love vegetables and fruits but crave more protein then fruit...love nut butters and
I am addicted to rice cakes : )

I think what my main issue is to get my weight p enough to go into PEAK with weight to lose
and I need to get my head on straight...and that I am taking care of : )

I want to be able to do other races and to travel...but I can't take any time away form school since I need ten days for the 500...I will always do peak races but the 100 is more doable time wise ; )

I would also like to one day go back to DR if I find myself in a different place...
I can't do both DR and these uber Ultra runs...and for now
ultra running is what i am focused on...
I am also interested in AR and if I love Untamed...I may not go back to DR...

I don't know...
I love DR
but
I don't like some of the changes...
sigh
you can't keep what you love unspoiled...
things change
you change...

I just want to do well at the things that are important to me...

and focus
but
eating issues are and always will be my biggest battle...
so
how do I MAKE
myself
eat?
it seems so simple...
sigh