May 18, 2013 § Leave a Comment
On Monday, I checked my email in-box, and my heart jumped when I read the subject line of an email from my Grampa: “Fwd: St. George Marathon Lotto Results” … The results were in… I didn’t know if I was ready to know whether or not we were chosen, but I had to open the email.
“WooHoo!!!” read the first line. I knew what that meant. :)
We’re in. I’m excited! (and maybe just a little nervous)
On October 5th, 2013, I will be running the St. George Marathon with my Grandpa and 7,498 other runners. My first marathon, and a chance for Grampa to BQ.
I am incredibly lucky for a couple reasons:
1. I get to run the St. George Marathon! (I was chosen in the lottery and I am healthy enough to train and complete the run)
2. I have the great privilege of running with my Grampa!!!
How many thirty-something girls get to say that!?!
A big shout-out to Grampa and to Mom - Thank You both for being such inspiring athletes.
I hope to keep moving and meeting my goals as you have done throughout your years.
I’m one lucky girl.
And finally, words of wisdom to keep the head level, heart in-tune, and the mind in the joy of the present:
always lovin’ life.
April 30, 2013 § 6 Comments
At some point, it happens to all of us. We don’t think about it, we don’t plan for it, we get so used to going out and living our life in the routine we have developed that it doesn’t even cross our mind as a possibility. And then, inevitably, it happens when we are absolutely unaware of any chance of it occurring…
This Saturday, it happened to me.
I was out on a long run with a group of ladies, in a beautiful Portland neighborhood – great homes, a view of the forested hills and the river – I was putting my iPhone back in my belt pouch after taking the this photo:
When … Bam! I hit the ground. In less than a second, my position was changed from running to completely stopped after a very short slide onto concrete. After landing, I slowly came to the realization I was no longer in motion, I recall looking around, picking up my phone and bus pass that had been thrown from my waist belt in the sudden motion, when I recalled the unsettling crack sound my knee made when contacting the sidewalk. I was lying on my stomach, propped by my right hand, left arm outstretched, legs fully behind me… Yes, I fell. I fell while running. To my credit, it was not level ground; the sidewalk jutted up nearly three inches where my right toe made contact sending me flying Superman style before gravity brought my human body to the concrete Earth that was once below my feet.
As I slowly picked myself up from the ground, my running mates, who were all ahead of me and heard me fall, suddenly at my side, inquiring about my well-being.
“Are you ok?”
“Yeah, yeah, I’m fine”
“No, really are you ok? You fell pretty hard.”
“Yeah, I’m alright. [looks at knees] Well, mostly.”
“Your knee. It’s swelling. Why don’t we walk it back from here.”
I was trying to make sense of the mix of emotions running through my head. I couldn’t feel my knees. They were stinging a little but it wasn’t that bad. I ran through a list of positives. I was grateful for wearing capri pants rather than shorts, and my knee scrapes weren’t too bad. I was grateful for my hands being unscathed since I still had my gloves on, even though I was wearing a tank top. I was tremendously grateful for being out with my friends on this run. They were full of helpful information: remember to ice and take ibuprofen to reduce the swelling, I could sue the people who own that house with the tree-root induced bump (although this is not my intention or desire), and they were encouraging that it wasn’t my fault as my frustration with the fall turned to anger at myself and yes, I started to cry.
6.5 miles into an 8 mile run, and crash, boom, done. The negatives found their way in to my train of thought. Now I was making everyone else walk. And I would have to delay the start of my “serious” marathon training to heal. Not to mention the fact that I may have actually really done damage to my cartilage. I felt defeated, that I had stopped our forward motion, pissed that I had screwed up the rest of the workout. Why on Earth did I fall!?!?
I had experienced the runner’s worst nightmare: damaging my legs. Worse yet, my knees.
Fortunately for us, the weather was gorgeous, and the walk back to our starting location was a very nice distraction and an exercise in staying positive. I got to speak more with my running mates, observe the neighborhood, and we met this adorable puppy:
And it has been an interesting reminder to take better care of my body. I move more slowly. Tonight I took a bath to ease tight muscles. I choose clothes deliberately so there is less friction over my knee (I have learned I really like very long skirts… And I could really use one that stops above the knee!). And every night for the next month this is what the end of my evening will look like:
Well, minus the band-aid. The knee covered by ice is turning a lovely blue-purple, getting more colorful each day. This event has acted as a reminder that my “normal” condition – healthy, able-bodied, and active can be changed in a second has renewed my appreciation for how I am living.
Have you experienced set-backs in your work-out routine? Do you feel you have to back up your training schedule when something like this happens?
I am very grateful for being healthy and that my body will heal itself, and climbing up the four flights of stairs to my apartment will once again be easy in a few more days. With icing and taking care, there’s even a chance I’ll be running again in a couple of days.
And hopefully, I won’t try to fly like Superman again anytime soon on my outdoor adventures.
As always, with joy in running (even when we fall),
April 22, 2013 § 2 Comments
You may have noticed a rather dramatic decline in the quantity of pictures displayed post – run on this blog. I found myself meditating on this and attributing the lack of photo diary to the weather, but I know that is not true. Even when it is raining and gloomy, I always seem to find some spot of beauty to photograph and share with my friends.
And then it dawned on me. I am primarily running with friends, and while it’s true that I do not like to stop and get behind by taking pictures, I usually take the opportunity to pause and catch the perfect moment in time in nature on Instagram (find me @alainamaeve), followed by a sprint back to the group. Each time I head out on Saturday with these ladies, I am more present, having great conversation; I am connecting, paying attention to my running mates, rather than my surroundings.
Do you find yourself more aware of your conversation or your surroundings while running with a group?
I am building better friendships with these people who share my interest in running, and to be honest, these women are worth more than a thousand photos.
I am so grateful for the group of fabulous women who get up early on sleep-in Saturday with me to run 8-12 miles. This run has become the kick-off to my weekend, and these women, my friends, a fantastic foundation of support helping me move forward to achieve my goals. I hope that I am able to be as great a companion and an inspiration for others, as they are for me.
With love and joy in running,
April 9, 2013 § 4 Comments
Today’s run took place after work; getting out to door early to run before the coffee had perked seemed a little too much effort today. Fortunately for me, as the day wore on, the weather improved, leaving me with party cloudy skies and a lovely 55 degrees outside. 5.65 miles later, this is what I have to show for my time outdoors:
I hope you enjoy my run as much as I did! It was the perfect route for testing my newest gear: New Balance Minimus WR00. A review will follow later…
What is your favorite time to get out and run? Are you a fan of pouring rain, bundled in layers, or do you lean toward tanks and sunshine? Morning or Night?
April 3, 2013 § 9 Comments
A couple of months ago, a weekend vacation was planned for some birthday celebrating among good friends. While on this vacation, a Saturday happened to pass. The day of the long run. Here is my (unforgivably belated) story of the long run exploration of Hood River countryside:
On a weekend excursion, some running buddies and I took to stomping some new trails out in Hood River. Usually, our group leader plans an out and back route, but this particular Saturday we decided to play it by ear and see which road caught our eye and called our feet. Our tentative plan was 8-10 miles… I was hoping for closer to eight, since I had missed the long run the previous weekend, but with no definitive plan, we were at the mercy of Hood River’s roads, our feet, and the willingness of legs to keep moving.
The landscape was breathtaking. The weather was Perfect. We could not have picked a better time to get out for a run.
And shortly after becoming only slightly lost trying to cross ravine, followed by a steep downhill, and a set of very long stairs, we were back at our starting point – and ready for brunch!
My friends will tell you that I do take in the atmosphere on our long runs; or rather that I become extremely goofy and the affect of endorphins on my system is like a kaleidoscope filter that makes even the most unappealing mud puddle a fantastically brilliant mirror of the gloriously colorful world around me. I am a snap-happy photographer on each and every run, with the most beautiful model ever; the landscape. I hope you enjoy the pictures; I take great pleasure in my on-the-go iPhoneography. :)
Do you find yourself marveling at the glory of the world after each run?
What is your “running filter” ?
With joy in Running (and taking photos!),
March 29, 2013 § Leave a Comment
As the end of March in the Pacific Northwest brings in a new season and runners rejoice in knowing they will no longer need to layer up to head outdoors, I remain hesitant, frequently checking the forecast prior to each outdoor adventure, unsure whether I will need to don my hat, long sleeve, pants and gloves.
Spring in Portland is rarely predictable. When I glanced at the temperature prior to yesterday’s after-work hike/run uphill I was a little shocked. 64 degrees … The first thought to pop into my mind, “Wool certainly is not necessary today.” I have become entirely dependent on my Icebreaker Wool long sleeve half-zips over the course of this chilly winter, and was rather dubious to think that I could get by without. In fact, I dared to go bare-armed in a tank top! Wind swept over my arms and brushed the hairs until they stood up, a phenomenal feeling I have not experienced during months of dark, damp, and cold.
Thursday evening was a beautiful time for a run. To tell you the truth, I have enjoyed running in the cold enormously! I did not know until this year how much fun I have while running. Nevertheless, photographs usually turn out better in Portland when there’s a little sunshine. :)
The Saturday long run is on the docket to tackle in the morning. The weather is supposed to be amazing, and we are starting from the Farmers market… Saturday is definitely getting a good start out the door on the right foot!
One last order of business: Marathon update! I am planning to run the St. George marathon with my Grampa this year, allowing that we both get in to the race (it is a lottery entry). Date set for October 5th, in Utah. Now I need to get serious about my training schedule…
March 10, 2013 § Leave a Comment
Yesterday’s long run was one I joyfully anticipated; after receiving a warning that this would be steep, this also indicated to me there would be great opportunities to satisfy my iPhoneography Instagram habit (ok… addiction). I was beyond pleased with the great company of eight ladies on this uphill trek, the phenomenally perfect weather (sunny and cool), and the spectacular views we were given on the hilly terrain of our 10 mile run up from the East side to Terwilliger.
I have long been afraid of running any extended distance downhill. A few years ago, after experiencing a great deal of pain in my left knee on a four mile downhill, I let the experience influence my decision to run based on ups and downs in elevation. This week, I consulted my running expert advisors (Mom and Grandpa) after experiencing some of this pain last week, and was advised by Grampa to run and walk the downhill distance.
Shout-out to Grampa – it worked, Thank you! I was able to comfortably move at a quick, gravity influenced downhill run, alternatively walking to rest the running muscles. I kept up with my run group by passing them at a run, they caught up while I walked, and finally, when the terrain levelled out, kept pace with the group.
As I sit here, pain-free in my neighborhood Coffeehouse, enjoying the warmth of the atmosphere, looking out on the cool, cloudy day, I am forever grateful for the day we were given yesterday full of sunshine, good conversation, and with great running buddies. Thanks gals!
with Joy in running,