Monthly Archives: January 2013

What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays. So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

Dear Winter,

You and I have not seen eye to eye for some time now and I was under the impression we were on the outs. But then you go and throw me a bone like today and I am forced to rethink our entire relationship. Were you just toying with me, with your 60dF temps and sunny skies? Or was it an offering of peace, an acknowledgement that it is hard to survive your bitter days and that this brief respite will steal me for the weeks to come? Whatever the case may be, winter, I thank you for today’s gift. I soaked up every last minute of this glorious day and though I can’t pretend to understand you, I sure do love you on days like this:

For real!!

For real!!

They are working on updating a garage to become our new office. This will be the window I look out of one day soon (and I am using the government version of "soon" - we have already been waiting a "few months" to move in which was scheduled for August 2011)

They are working on updating a garage on our property to become our new office. This will be the window I look out of one day soon (and I am using the government definition of “soon” – we have already been waiting a “few months” to move in which was scheduled for August 2011).

A visor instead of 2 knit hats? Yes, please!

A visor instead of 2 knit hats? Yes, please!

Do you see that?? It's the liquid state of water!! No ice in sight!

Do you see that?? It’s the liquid state of water!! No ice in sight!

Time to turn around - Hurricane Sandy impacted Tuckahoe WMA impoundments. They are due to be fixed over the next few months, but the buck stops here for now.

Time to turn around – Hurricane Sandy impacted the Tuckahoe WMA impoundments. They are due to be fixed over the next few months, but the buck stops here for now.

Tuckahoe marsh. Feel the day's tension slipppppping away...

Tuckahoe marsh. Feel the day’s tension sliiiiiiping away…

What did you see on your run today?

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Runner’s World Review – New Year New You

I’m an avid Runner’s World reader and have been for many years. Each month I will pick one article from the magazine (suggestions welcome!) to discuss and we can kick around thoughts, opinions and reflections. We’ll stay one issue behind the most current so that non-subscriber’s can read along on the RW website. It’ll be like a book club, except less Jane Austen and more sweat. So grab a cup of Joe or tea (see, it is just like a book club!) and jump into the fray!

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January 2013- New Year New You

I know by the end of January most people have had it up to here with year lists, resolutions and proclamations of all kinds, so fear not, that is not actually the point if this post. Although it is a nice ‘lil article detailing specific things that you can do over the course if the year to improve your running and I do recommend it.

What this article sparked in me were thoughts about change- what precipitates it, how capable of it we are and how likely it is that we will.

As I’ve gotten older, I’ve tended to think that people just are who they are and that instead of trying to change someone, you should just accept them. It’s far easier to just let people fly their freak flags than try to convince them that they should swap it out for a  sensible decorative flag,  perhaps something with autumn leaves on it.

But the flip side of me thinks that no one should settle for an unsatisfying status quo, especially when there are so many resources at all of our fingertips to make those good changes- everything from therapists that can get you back on course to finding a support system that encourages positive changes to tiny things like having the luxury to go for a walk to calm your spirit.

The situation is made murkier by looking at my own life, where some things have remained the same and some have wildly fluctuated. Let me take you on a Kashi Tour of the last 20 years:

Age 15 – I am cheerful the vast majority of the time,  a runner who hates racing, someone who eats a  Honey Bun (or more often nothing) for breakfast,  with a messy bedroom and a pretty flexible attitude. I dream of a life outside of Elmer where I’ll be a businesswoman living in the city and  married by my late 20s to a man equally successful. No kids, thanks.

Age 25 – I am cheerful the vast majority of the time,  a runner who rarely races, someone who eats a honey granola or French toast bagel for breakfast,  who dreams of a full-time job as a biologist and can’t imagine living in a city.  No marriage or kids, thanks, career is where it is at!

Age 35 – I am cheerful the vast majority of the time,  a runner who now loves racing, someone who eats oatmeal for breakfast,  who is grateful for the life I have and dream of a day where GD and I live long and happy lives as snowbirds (I seriously cannot handle the cold anymore!) . No kids, thanks. I thrive on routine and get discombobulated when things go off kilter.  I prefer things neat as a pin, but there are exceptions in places like my office and my car’s trunk.  My marriage is the most important thing in my life.

My life is filled with different “me’s” peeking out at each corner.  You can always count on me to be enthusiastic and supportive, which has never changed, but I have gotten more rigid as the years have passed (perhaps that is why I have remained so cheerful – the rigid side of me respects and maintains the consistency, lol). I feel that I have to constantly work on that side of myself so I don’t go full-on robot. It’s as if over time, my personality traits (for better or worse) just get more entrenched and harder to change.

Which is why I am always so taken with stories of people who break their mental bonds and come out on the other side more closely resembling the person they want to be. People change careers, lose weight, start running, stop smoking, beat depression and anxiety every day. But what makes the day they decide to do it become the day they do do it?

I really don’t know and your thoughts on this are what I am interested in hearing. I have gone through different changes in my life, but they generally happened organically, over time. There are not too many instances where I can point to and say “that was the moment and here is why”. The ones I can identify are often on the heels of feeling like “enough is enough, time for a change!”

So tell me, have you undergone major changes? Know people that have? What gets them cranking? Is it a something small like a RW article or a big epiphany?

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On The Road Back…

This time last week I was in a warm paradise, content as could be that I had run pain-free. This time this week finds me freezing whatever-the-lady-version-of-cojones-is off! My leg is feeling really good and I am optimistic that I am on the up and up. My worrywart side won’t let me totally relax and likely will not until I start logging some consistent mileage, but the glass half full side of me will no longer be put off in planning the 2013 race season. So knocking wood (and by this I mean taking one of those giant foam hands seen at football games and banging it against a sequoia tree, just to be on the safe side), here are my thoughts for the upcoming year:

HIT LIST (definitely committing to these races)

  • Spring 10k, May/June – I plan to return to speed and tempo work slowly and have not raced a 10k in a few years, so this seems like a safe bet to get me back in action. Gonna take February easy-peasy, then get serious about training in March. Any recommendations for a race?
  • Midnight Madness Run, 7/21/2013 (GD’s bday!) – With the Lady Runners of Parvins, yay!
  • Schalick Alumni 5k Run, 8/10/2013 – The next few months will be spent getting this run up and going, so stay tuned for details, dig out your green and gold and save the date!!
  • Marine Corps Marathon, 10/27/2013 – 60 days til registration! Hope we all get in!!!
  • Philadelphia Marathon, 11/24/2013 – Running Momma’s first marathon! Planning on pacing her 🙂

WISH LIST (If all goes well, some and hopefully most of this will happen)

  • 5 new-to-me races – They can be near or far, any distance, but have to be ones I have never done before. Share with me your favorites!
  • More states for the run list – I already checked a new country off the run list (thank you, beautiful Bahamas) but still need some states – I might be able to get South Carolina on a March work trip (if I get travel approval, a very big IF <– you can tell it is big, just check out the capitalization!) and some Gulf coast states if a sister trip works out.
  • A race in Massachusetts – planning a pseudo-work/fun trip to MA in August, so would love to link it with a race.
  •  A relay – I have been hankering to do a longer one ever since we tackled the 44-mile Cape 2 Gate a few years ago and the New Balance Reach The Beach might do the trick! It is a bit close to MCM (10/18-19) to be really smart to do, but looks so fun and is right in our backyard. Any takers?? I’d also love to do a Ragnar Relay, always hear good things about them. Many of them are too hilly for me, but the Key West one sounds perfect-o!
  • Girls running trip – Not sure where or when or how long, but am always so green when ladies go one these types of trips! I wanna go on one too 🙂
  • Just for fun runs – I like the scavenger style races (like Great Urban Race) and would like to do more. I also enjoy running tours, like the ones from City Running Tours, and plan on doing some of them (foreshadowing alert for CIR – might be leading some Cape May based ones too! More details over the next month or so).
  • Organize CIR social runs. Mug Runs were a hit last year so that will be back, plus we’ll cook up some other themed ones are knocking around in my head.

WIN THE LOTTERY LIST ( I think you can sort this one out without an explanation but I did not want it to feel left out when the other two lists got parens) (oh, wait, I thought of an actual parens – this is only a short list of what I’d do if I won the lottery – there would also be running marathons in all the states, in tons of countries and all sorts of other nonsense that would be added!)

So there ya have it – my 2013 will likely include a lot less running than in 2012, but I think that is a good thing. One article that has stayed with me that I read while I was convalescing (I like that this makes it sounds like I was shipped off to fresh air and calm environs, circa 1800s) was the one Amby Burfoot wrote in RW about the secrets to longevity in running. I really do want to run ’til my time runs out so I am taking the word of a man who has managed it for the majority of his 66 years that you have to be smart about it. Between the ultra and the PR marathon last year, I gave it to myself pretty good. 2013 is a year for recovery, fun and sharing the open road with you all. Let’s do it!!

What 2013 race are you most looking forward to?

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What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays. So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

In what I am hoping will be the last of my very loose interpretations of WISWIRW’s, today I am going to share some action shots from the Bahamas! It is wayyyyy too cold outside to even consider running (not for every human, as my friends Liz and Sean are demonstrating – they have been out running this week- but temps in the 20s with the howling wind is entirely too much for my wimpy constitution!) but after this I hope to make Wednesdays a regular run day again. Until then, I am going to go to my happy place and find serenity now by getting lost in these images. Please feel free to join me:

Hiking through the pinewood forest of Lucayan National Forest

Hiking through the pinewood forest of Lucayan National Forest

Hiking through water to get to plover flats.

Hiking through water to get to plover flats.

Cartwheels, the cornerstone of any fitness program.

Cartwheels, the cornerstone of any fitness program.

Tree climb! A must in tropical locales.

Tree climb! A must in tropical locales.

Sprints into the water

Sprints into the water.

Meditation

Meditation

Vertical jumps

Vertical jumps

Refueling

Refueling

What did you see on your run today?

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Bahamian Running Bud

If yesterday was a test by the running gods on the virtues of restraint, I admit that I failed miserably, but happily. After Friday’s successful outing, it probably would have been the smart thing to wait a bit before the next one, especially considering my groin was wonky on Saturday (I really do have a growing body of evidence that it gets tweaked while I sleep. Not sure how to solve that one!). I woke up Sunday morning in considerably better shape than Saturday night and told myself I would rest it that day. Of course, that thought was generated in the dark-curtained room I had been sleeping. The plan was not long for this world, however, and was abandoned about .21 seconds after I looked out the window and saw the day. Lil Sis’ recent email about not doing too much too soon flashed through my mind but was no match for this:

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I made my way outside and walked around the grounds a bit to see how my leg felt. A little tight for sure. As I was having an inner battle about the idiocy of wasting a day like this versus the idiocy of re-injuring myself, I was interrupted by this friendly fellow who was literally sprinting right at me:

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I don’t believe in signs unless they point in the direction I already want to go so the sight of this dog who was so joyful at the simple act of running set my course of action. Run! I figured if it hurt while I ran, I would stop. If it didn’t, I would have an amazing start to yet another perfect day in paradise.

I set out and was happy to see that my running bud seemed game. He had no collar and seemed to belong to no one so I felt comfortable with him coming along ( I’m no dognapper!). In both Puerto Rico and Costa Rica I had similar encounters with running dogs and was excited to see how this adventure would play out. It started out innocently enough:

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A little over a mile into the run, my bud and I stopped at this beautiful spot in Marsh Harbor on Abaco Island. I could not resist the hammock for a quick swing! My leg was tight, but ok and not getting worse.

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As I reluctantly got out of the hammock, I noticed my companion was standing alert and looking back at the road- I followed his gaze and saw a large dog. He wasn’t growling, but wasn’t wagging his tail either. Hmm. I have been in tight dog situations before and don’t especially like being in the middle of their “helloes”. There was no way out of this one though- the dog was running over to check us out. My buddy seemed friendly but cautious- I myself was bordering on panic. One large dog running at us, one medium dog taking refuge next to me. I jumped on top of a picnic table and hoped it would not come to blows.

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And it did, if by blows you mean two dogs playing an insane game of tag- it was suddenly clear to me that my bud must be a trained agility dog- he was so fast, could cut tight corners and easily lept over obstacles. He liked to run out and then zoom back to my side. The first time I saw him barreling towards me, I jumped out of the way and he collided with my leg, leaving me this keepsake:

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Once I understood that he knew what he was doing, it was really fun to watch him gleefully outpace the other dog as he whizzed past me on lap after lap.

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Eventually I needed to move on. After a few more chases, he came with me. It was then that I decided he needed a name and settled on Four Leaf, in honor of the fact he was my lucky running dog. In fact, the fear I felt during the doggie standoff was enough to completely distract me from any leg pain. It never returned for the remaining 2 miles or the rest of the day, which was significant since we spent a majority of it walking, including some hills. The brain is a mysterious and wonderful place.

We returned back to the condo thoroughly satisfied (me) and with energy to burn (him). In between post-run fartleks, he did take a moment to bask in the moment. Smart dog.

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Today was a reminder that running buds of all species make good company. Four Leaf helped me to get outside my own fears of injuries and unknown situations and take it back to basics- a woman and a dog, out for a run in the sun. Nothing more, nothing less, nothing better.

Have you had running adventures with dogs?

Do you like to run with dogs?

Run on, (dog and people) friends!

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Bahamas Balm

BREAKING NEWS: I RAN!!!!!!!!!! And not just in my mind but for real with actual footsteps and heavy breathing and everything!!!

I am thinking I might need to change the name of the blog from Cape Island Runners to Island Runners since I have absolutely no interest in coming home (esp considering Tuesday’s high up north is 30dF). This place is amazing- the scenery is phenomenal and when you add plovers to the mix, you have a combination that just can’t be beat. Wednesday and Thursday were spent on Grand Bahama and we saw 41 plovers, including 2 banded ones! We sadly did not see Bahama Mama and I fear the worst since she was also not seen on the Christmas bird count. But hopefully she is just being extra elusive and will show up again in Jersey in the spring.

We started today with an early flight to Abaco- an eight seater plane was our mode of transport:

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The day was cloudy but it couldn’t dampen our spirits! While waiting for the right tide, I summoned the courage (and had very understanding travel mates) to give a run a whirl. Em came along as my running bud and emotional support in case the tropical atmosphere was not enough to buoy my spirits should the pain rear its ugly and unwelcome head. My heart was racing (for real, I checked; normal heart rate ~55 bpm, it was 78 just before we set out) and I was just a tad nervous:

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Garmy was raring to go (the watch said the date was Dec 6th before the satellites corrected that) but it’s been a long time since we danced together and he was afraid I had left him for a different partner. He saw the goggles and swim caps and wasn’t sure where all this was leading. But normalcy, and Garmsters, reigned king today!

I kept it slow and stayed anxious until mile .82, which is when the pain kicked in on my last run (44 days ago, not that I was counting). At .83, I started to relax. By 1.05, I was on Cloud 9- NO PAIN!!! Em got upgraded from staff psychologist to staff photographer when she captured these images. I think they speak for themselves:

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I felt like ME for 3 glorious miles . I worried that the pain might show up afterwards, but here we are 12 hours post-run and all is right with my right leg. Ummm, yes!!!!!

I think it is still too soon to say I am totally out of the woods but feel like I finally found the trail after wandering around the forest for awhile. My thoughts today are filled with relief, glee, and awe for the power of the human body to heal itself. This day will no doubt loom large in my catalog of runs in other countries. I have lots more to say on this whole topic, but will save it for future posts when my mind stops spinning.

Thanks so much to Em who was prepared to handle whatever came her way today. She’s a great friend and was worth her ( and about 50 other people’s) weight in gold today. Side note- I am so proud of her for sticking with running and look forward to many CIR runs this summer!!

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Still can’t believe this was me today 🙂

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What was a favorite post- injury run you have gone on?

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What I Saw When I Ran Wednesdays!

For those of you who read food blogs, you will often see a “What I Ate Wednesday” post. Same idea here, except it will be what I saw when I ran on Wednesdays. So take a peek at what my orbs observed and then add your own experience!

Today I am running- away from home that is!! Not sure what the internet connection will be like when we arrive, so posting early in this day ( although I have already been up 7 hrs, so there’s that). I am sitting with Tom in the lovely warmth that is the Ft Lauderdale airport. I’m in short sleeves and it is glorious!! Here is what I’ve seen so far today:
Pre-dawn drive in the cold and rain made it easy to say “later, Jersey!” Thanks GD for the ride!

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I’m like a toddler on a plane- give me some “O”‘s (as Zoe would say) and I’m a happy lady! Also already obsessed with Chrissie Wellington’s book. Sherry you must read this if you haven’t already!

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THE SUN!!

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Look who was on our flight!! Sure, Lil Sis and Kat can have their fun in MX but now it’s our turn to soak up some rays!!

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Tom Reed of “Tom Reads with Tom Reed” reads silently to himself for the duel purpose of practicing for his show and being ready to rumble with Bahamian bird ID.

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What did you see on your run today?

This is my first time blogging with the WP app, so apologies if anything funky, format-wise 🙂

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