Castle Island, South Boston, Autumn 2010. Loved the blue tones of the sky and water.

I remember our great plan for picking my brother out of the crowd the first time he ran the Boston Marathon. Just look for his yellow racing flats. They’d stick out because they were so bright, right?  Of course….  How little did we know, it was laughable.  Imagine our faces when we saw the lead pack with Kenyans and Ethiopians come flying through. In yellow racing flats.  And the first numbers of the 1000s and 2000s.  Many in yellow racing flats.  And my brother was right behind them, as he had started in the corral with the 3000s.  (The following year he moved up to the 2000s.)  Yep, the boy has some speed and endurance, that’s for sure.  (Speaking of speed, be sure to read his most recent blog post on Coaching, Training and Motivation. You’ll see what I mean.  Just goes to show how attitude can help you out so much, and hold you back.)

I used to always think that racing flats are only for the elites, or people like my brother. You know them. The Super-Fasties.  As I was running on the treadmill today, I thought that my shoes were feeling a bit heavy (the balls of my feet always hurt at 4 miles, so no matter if the display is covered, I know how far I’ve gone at that point) and that if I were racing, it might be good to have something a little bit lighter than my trainers. So, I’m hoping to get some advice from my brother as to what would be good for me to try.  I wouldn’t be using them for a marathon distance or anything, just 5Ks and 10Ks, so hopefully they wouldn’t help me incur injuries.  Who knows, maybe the lighter shoe will help me break into the 23 and 49 minute ranges this year? All I know is, I’m willing to give them a try. Any advice from any of  you out there for a good racing flat, if you’re usually a Brooks Adrenaline (stability) kind of girl??

My mainecoon, Chloe. Usually she looks pissed in pics because of her colors. In this one, she just looks, well, perplexed. 🙂

As to the other places I’m creating room for improvements in my life, well, this weekend I just felt like getting rid of a bunch of stuff.  The totally-dead sneakers I saved to use in the garden? GONE.  The “librarian skirts” my friend Liz (aka the Fashion Nazi) always didn’t want me to wear because she thought I looked like a moving piece of clothing (I thought they made me look thin if I wore a form fitting top with them)?  GONE. The two briefcases I had from when I was a law student and then lawyer (please don’t hate me)?  SOOOO GONE…….. My bar exam scores from Pennsylvania and from the CLE classes from New Jersey?  WILL BE GONE WITH THE SHREDDER AT WORK TOMORROW. And, some of my grandmother’s things with which I never had a connection, but always felt like I needed to hold onto them, because throwing them out=throwing her out?

That last part was definitely hard.  But, I realized, I’ve still got my memories of her, and no one can ever take those away. No one can ever take away that feeling of a special connection I always felt with her, and they can’t take away any dreams I occasionally have of her.  And, come to think of it, I still have the clothes she wore on that Easter Sunday which was the last day I saw her before her major stroke and heart attack. I don’t think anyone has ever known I’ve been holding onto them all this time. But I think it’s time to let them go too. They no longer smell like her, and they’re literally, just clothes.

Quite possibly, the largest flower I've ever seen. Grown across the street from where I work, August 2010.

One other place in my life I realize I need to declutter is all the guilt and self-loathing I’ve put on myself over the past 7 months. It’s not helped anything.

My therapist helped me realize last week that I tend to look for forgiveness from people but at the same time, keep jumping forward to take the blame for everything onto myself. When I start thinking that I’ve completely ruined Ruthie’s dad’s life, I start to make myself feel worse and worse. I need to remember my friend Lis’ advice (she’s always given me good advice since we trained for the marathon, even though I didn’t always agree with or listen to it at the time.)   She said that I did us both a favor last summer, and now he (Ruthie’s dad) can find someone else to be happy with, just like I can. 

Some people, like my mom, may never understand why we’re no longer together, or how some people can drift apart.  Sometimes it just happens.  Things change in a relationship and people may need different things. I’m not trying to sound cavalier at all – believe me, I’ve thought long and hard about it.

Ruthie’s dad has told me he is no longer mad at me, so I’m starting to not be angry with myself either.   Otherwise, I’m not going to move forward, and to stay in place is just not an option.  My running times are not the only thing that’s going to improve this year.

I’m smiling again…

Rocks at Rockport, August 2010.

p.s. I did 9.01 miles on the treadmill earlier today. For what reason, you ask? Yeah, I have no idea other than now my slow but steady pace is in the high 8s or low 9s, and I wanted to see how long it could last.  I read through some old posts and saw how excited I used to get when I could run a whole *4 miles* at 9:30.   If you do put the hard work in, it really can change things, in more ways than one. 🙂

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Chestnut Hill Reservoir, with sun glare, even!!

I’m writing today just because I feel like it.  The pics I’m posting are to show why I love living where I live right now. I’ve got this beautiful piece of water so close to where I live, I am blessed.

All I can say is, I cannot WAIT to run outside again. I don’t care if it’s cold enough to make my eyes water and ears hurt, it’ll be nice to run on hills again, see the sunrise while I run, and generally have no fear of becoming human roadkill from slipping on ice just as a car rounds the corner. We all know how impossible it is for drivers to turn their head right when turning onto a road (of course, when I’m driving, that never, ever happens.)

I am still running inside, can’t believe it myself. I’ve become such a wimp. This afternoon, I took Ruthie for a walk and saw the hill I used to run every single morning, the one that would tell me how hard or easy the run would feel for the rest of the time.  It looked high/tall.  I really miss it, though. Running a “random hill” workout on a treadmill just isn’t the same.

So, I’ve been downloading lots of new music, and trying to distract myself as much as possible on the treadmill. I’ve been *trying* to do speed work on my trainer’s advice, basing it on time over distance, but might start doing some of my running club’s coaches workouts, because well, the ‘time” option is kinda boring.  I do a minute each at 7, 7.5, 8.0, 8.5, and 9.  When I’m feeling really daring, I kick it up to 9.5.  Of course this means I have to kick the incline down to 0. (Like I said, I’ve become a wimp. Go ahead, slap me.  I won’t even try to escape.)  When I tried running at 9.5 with the incline set to 1.0, I literally felt like I had to hold on for dear life, or the whole machine would go flying apart or shove me off the back.  And I figured I kinda looked like a jackass doing it, so I gave that up.  (Although it did make the 8.5 seed not seem so bad, and the 8.0 kinda manageable!)

What I wish the reservoir looked right now, because it'd be warm out!

I blame my wimpiness/aversion to the cold/ice running on the fact that I’ve not raced in about 2 months now, and on the really beautiful scenery at the gym.  (No, I will not elaborate, but I may giggle/smile a bit. Yes, I’m 14. Leave me alone. 🙂 Hey, I’d rather be smiling every day than feeling sad.)

My brother was here on New Year’s Eve and that was a late night at my older brother’s. So, yeah, the New Years Day race was soo not happening for us. Then I was signed up for a 10K on Super Bowl Sunday. With all the freaking snow we’ve had, the state police decided they wouldn’t allow the organizers to have the streets closed, and it was probably a field of a few thousand, so even after postponing it for another week, it just never happened. The kicker – no refunds, UNLESS you made a $20 donation to LiveStrong, to get your $30 back.  Yep. Supposedly we will be able to use our entry fee to run another race they host in December, but it’s only a 5K. Bleck.

Reservoir this morning in the sun, snow still covering the running path

I am planning on running the An Ras Mor race on St. Patty’s Day (it’s run by the Somerville Road Runners, my new group.) And the BAA 5K, because it’ll likely be my only opportunity ever to cross that finish line. (I’m not bummed personally about the Boston Marathon changes, I was never dreaming of qualifying anyway. I do think it sucks though for people who might work their ass off to qualify, only to still be shut out because they’re still not fast enough.)  After that I need to find some good 10Ks so I can measure my improvement from all this treadmill running.

I am also hoping to go on some runs with someone new pretty soon. He’s much faster than me, and really nice and laid back, so it’ll be great for me to run with him (emphasis on the phrase, “much faster.”)  We’ve both been kept captive inside on the treadmill and I don’t know about him, but I’m about ready to shoot myself soon from not running all my hills! I hope he just doesn’t die of boredom since my speed will be so slow for him.   I’d say he’s at least as fast as my brother, if not more so, for the shorter distances. So, I guess I will have to depend on my sparkly personality and wit to keep the coma look from crossing his face (I know, this is where you scratch your head and go, ‘um…should we tell her?  Should we tell her she doesn’t have any? Nah, her drugs seem to be working, just let her be….” 😉

Ruthie perfecting her "pathetic" look so I will pet her on the head. She was wagging her tail too.

I’m hoping to run again with my friend Dan eventually, too, but he’s not been running much lately. Not even inside on the treadmill.  (WIMP!!! J/K, Dan.)  Last week, we agreed that right now, I might even be able to kick his ass. Happy Dance! Happy Dance! Nothing says an ego boost like being able to kick a natural fasties’ butt.  (Actually, wait, there are a few other things but I won’t elaborate.)

My first of four sessions with the trainer is tomorrow. I am hoping I feel really dead afterward, since I also plan on running long afterward, then probably taking Monday off, because yes, I have to work. Enjoy your day off for the rest of us if you are a lucky enough bastard to have it off.  (And don’t worry, that’s not jealousy you feel coming from me…not at all…)

Of course, I will then be taking off Patriots Day to watch the Boston Marathon while the rest of you can only dream of doing such a thing….(evil laugh.)

.

This post is actually two posts in one, which is why the title is so freaking long! The second post was promised to @mickdo100 on Twitter.  He’s been very good to me, and has always been able to read between the lines where my tweets are concerned, for which I am very grateful.

Yes, there really are two cars under there. I call them "car cocoons."

Since it’s been so nasty out, and I’ve not run a race in a while, please enjoy the photos spread throughout this post, again. I saw Ruthie the other night while her dad was out, and I had time before my board meeting. And I know you’re all dying to see how much snow we’ve got.  (Gee, thanks, Terri!)  The snow is part of the reason why I’ve been running inside so much lately.  (Plus, the “scenery” in a gym can be beautiful in a whole different way from a solo run outside in the elements. I think you know what I mean…)  But seriously, running inside also makes me feel like I’m not so alone with all these people working out around me, which is nice.

This photo was taken from inside my car. Notice how tall the snowbank is. This is in Ruthie's town.

Ok, so first part of this post:

One song that I listened to over and over toward the end of July last year was the song “It Is What It Is,” by Lifehouse.  I would go out on runs and literally listen to it over and over for the entire run, while I got lost in my head.   Physically, I would feel like some days I was flying, other days that I was really dragging, and then I’d look down at my Garmin to see that I was running paces in the low 8s. That’s what stress will do for you.

I hadn’t listened to the song a lot since, because it reminded me of that time when I was really hurting and really confused, and didn’t know if I was coming or going. I was crying just about every day.  Running allowed me an outlet in which to think all on my own, or to get out there and just not think about anything. I think those of you who are runners (past or present),  reading this, understand.

I've been trying to grow plants/herbs from seed inside. The plant lights really cheer up the place, and work!

Well, the other day it came on my ipod when I was on the treadmill. At first, I was going to turn it off, and then I thought to myself that I needed to change what thoughts came to my mind when I hear it. So, instead of thinking of how down and out I felt last summer, I thought of how much my life has changed since. I realized I’ve come a long way, and then I think I was smiling. (I’m sure that freaked out a few people around me, “what’s this weirdo girl doing, smiling at nothing?!)  Anyway, I listened to it a few times and realized I was saying to myself “you’ve come a long way, you know that? It’s been a lot of work and effort but it has been worth it, and now you are being true to yourself.”  (Luckily I wasn’t actually talking out loud, that would have been, well, kinda weird, don’t you think?)

This is quite a change from the last 6 months, when my self-talk (for lack of a better term) has been pretty harsh and judgmental. I am trying to let go of that. Lately, I’ve been feeling more of an urge to go back to that positive mindset I worked so hard to cultivate during my marathon training in ’08.  I’m really happy with that change.

Running Topless:

Ruthie with one of her many, many toys...

I mentioned this on twitter the other day, and it really got some people’s attention, LOL. My friend Bill  says that the phrase “running topless” definitely means something different to a guy than it does to a woman. Heh, Heh, Heh!

So, let me put it out there:  I’m thinking when a guy hears the phrase “running topless,” he thinks of boobs hanging out everywhere. A woman thinks, ok sans bra.  Note to guys out there – if you need to wear a running bra to cover up your man-boobs, um….yeah….we really don’t wanna see that!!!  EEWW A woman never wants her guy’s boobs to be bigger than hers, trust me on this. 🙂

On the other hand, if you’re a good looking guy and wanna go topless, by all means, go with that feeling!! Please!!  Tee hee.

Anyway, I’ve definitely heard women talk about smaller women who “run topless” as well as write about it on their blogs. Um, and the commentary is not always so nice. Well, there may  be reasons they go topless.  They could either (1) sweat like a farm animal, or (2) actually be a farm animal, or (3) be trying to show off their body.  In my case, I’m in option 1.  Definitely. 

So, please, if you see a girl in the gym, and you’re pissed at her for being one of those “little girls wearing almost next to nothing,” well, maybe you should thank your lucky stars that you don’t sweat like she does. 🙂   And if she doesn’t put her top immediately back on when she’s all done running, you never know…she could be trying to cut down on laundry, not trying to show everyone what she’s got, boob-wise.  (Not that I would know about that…..LOL)  Also, be glad she doesn’t wink at you, as someone suggested I should react!

So, you may have guessed – I’m having a fling with the treadmill. Not sure if it’s a May-December kind of thing or not, but I’m just going to go with it for now and rack up as many miles as I can or want to do.  They are doing a spring challenge at my gym, and I didn’t start out being competitive, but so far, I’m in 11th place out of about 100. (The goal is to run/bike/elliptical 204 miles between MLK Day and opening day for the Red Sox, or the distance between the Bronx and Fenway.)  While I’ll not win it (the leaders are training for the Boston Marathon, so they’re putting in insane mileage right now), I’m paying more attention to how much I’m running and biking. I really want to be toward the front of the pack – this is one time where I’m not gonna settle for “middle of the pack girl.”

I’m sorry if my last few posts have made me sound like I’m self-absorbed. I’m just trying to work through a lot and my therapist thought it was a good sign that I’ve taken more to blogging lately than writing in my journal.  If you’ve read this far, thank you!

 

Chestnut Hill Reservoir after way too much snow. John Hancock and Prudential Towers are off in the distance.

Oh My God, Terri’s posting again! For the second time in less than two weeks!  What are we going to do?  whatever are we going to do??

Um, dramatic much, Terri?  Yeah…maybe just a little.

But isn’t that more interesting of an opening than just a post called “Goals?” Come on, admit it, it is.

Sigh.  Ok, maybe not, but here it goes anyway.

And by the way, in case you are one of those lucky bastards out there (ahem, Glenn, from the blog of The Running Fat Guy, or Jill from JillWillRun) (@gwjones00 and @jillwillrun on Twitter) who don’t usually see snow because of where they live (trust me, I know there are more of you out there), I am going to sprinkle pictures of the snow throughout this post.  There is something called the Shaq-O-Meter, and basically it measures the snowfall we’ve received, and compares it to Shaq of the Celtics. Let’s just say, right now, he can see over the snow banks, but not for long. If the snow were water, I’d already be treading water. And, I’m not a great swimmer. Yeah, I’d be drowning very soon. Middle-of-the-Pack Girl wuold then be known as Dead Girl Floating.

Ok, so where was I? One of my friends who has read my blog for a very long time told me last week that he liked how the tone of my posts over the past few ones have started to become more like when he first started reading my blog. I’m going to treasure that email from him.

Ruthie, very sleepy after a long night walk. It goes without saying, I will continue showering her with lots of love and attention. 🙂

Lately, I have been feeling more like writing. That’s why I think my anti-depressants are working. I’m starting to take joy in more lately.  For many months, I’ve not wanted to write much, even in (or is it on?) this blog.  I’ve really begun to love reading again. For several months, I couldn’t even get through a magazine.

So, as I  mentioned in my last post, I’m carving $ out of my budget to meet with a trainer a few times. We met for the first time this past Saturday for about 45 minutes (thankfully he won’t charge me for the full hour we’d originally planned on), and well, yeah…I have weak triceps.  I know this because they are the one part of me that is still sore.  He basically ran me through a lot of full-body workout exercises, so we could focus on building strength and flexibility, and on my brother’s advice, how to strengthen my inner core muscles. I understand that these are lower in your core than your 6-pack muscles. While my abs are getting more defined, I have no idea what a six pack on a woman looks like. So, if I ever get there, I’ll let you know.

As I said to a few of my coworkers who were saying they were unhappy about the way they look today after kids, I am actually happy with the way I look now. It’s taken me a lot of work to get there, and I reminded them of my weight loss plan: “stress, and getting divorced.” Not necessarily something you want to go through to lose weight.  I only lost 11 pounds, but I’m on the smaller side to begin with (ok, I’m a midget, or almost one, at 5 feet, and a quarter inch.)

Ruthie's mailbox: please note that the snow is a few feet higher, and it's Jonly an. 31st.

So, the flattering part was when he had me do some bicep curls, and a few other things with free weights, he said that I was already strong, but we’ll work on toning and building more lean body mass (or was it muscle mass?)  Yay, a trainer thinks I’m strong!  (Believe me, this guy is strong but not in a “I eat steroids for breakfast and drink creotene” way, so I was very flattered.)

By the way, in case you are in the Boston area, the trainer’s name is Rich Rowland, and he works out of the Boston Sports Club in Watertown. I definitely recommend this guy, and that club in general. It’s run very professionally and efficiently from what I can tell.

So, my goals, not necessarily in any specific order.

  1. Get into the best freaking shape of my life.
  2. Build speed from last year (ok, get it back), and break into the 23 range (even if 23:59) at the 5K distance, and break 50, (again, even if 49:59) for the 10K distance. My PRs are currently 24:45, and 50:56 (for 6.29 per my Garmin).
  3. Really work on my diet and make sure I am eating healthy.  (This means continuing to use my blender on a regular basis. More to be said on that later.)
  4. Return to the attitude of “food as fuel.”  In so doing, waste less of it. If I don’t want to eat it, I can always blend it into a smoothie. Also, continue eating veggies, especially spinach.  (Never as a child did I ever think I’d say that!)
  5. Try to return to that positive mindset I had when training for the marathon. It helped me to run better and have a better outlook on life in general. I’m getting there now. Still a work in progress.
  6. Continue to put myself out there and try to make friends who I feel really comfortable around, as well as strengthen the friendships I already have. This is hard for me to do because I am so afraid of being rejected by others right now, and my self-esteem has been ebbing and flowing. There are definitely days where I don’t feel like I deserve someone being nice to me or showing that they care about me. Another work in progress.
  7. Gain as much knowledge as I can from books such as Body for Life for Women: A Woman’s Plan for Physical and Mental Transformation, which was recommended to me by my trainer. (Will let you know what I think of it when I’m done.)
  8. Continue working on healing myself by working through things with both my therapist, and my doctor who have my best interests at heart.

Last goal, but it’s definitely not least. If I can afford it, I’d like to go through the RRCA coaching certification program. Because I am also saving to go and watch my brother, Jim (also a running coach with a blog called Coaching, Training and Motivation) run the Leadville 100 this August, I need to do it in an economical way. And hopefully meet some of you in person FINALLY!  (Already planning onvisiting Fern, known as @sitbones on Twitter.)

And oh yeah… get better with time management so I can read more of your blogs on a regular basis like when I first started blogging a few years ago.

And oh yeah…have my credit card balance paid off by August. When with Bill, we paid it off every month. I don’t like having that hanging over my head. At all. It’s doable if I budget smartly, and continue saving at the same time.

Wow, wordy post. Maybe I should add “gain self control and preciseness” into my list of goals?

Thanks for reading.  I’ve got to head for bed so I can get up and run/bike tomorrow morning. While I’ve not loved the treadmill in the past, right now, it’s much safer than running down the middle of the streets just to avoid falling on ice. It kind of increases your chances of being human roadkill, know what I mean?

What I wished we had as a view right now. Photo taken last fall, looking toward Boston from Castle Island in Southie

I know, everyone. Don’t faint. Yes, I’m posting again.  I have been meaning to post for some time, but work has been extremely busy. And, to be honest, until a little while ago, I was in a rut.

Boston’s winter has not been kind, and we still have a long way to go til it’s over. We already have about 3 1/2 times as much snow as we normally do for this time of year. I’ve not run outside in over a week, basically because my options include (a) running on very slippery, uneven sidewalks, if they are even shoveled  or (b) running down the middle of the right hand lane on my street, which, by the way, is a major road in Boston. So, this week, I once again (gulp, heavy swallow) embraced the treadmill once again. And the Escalator-to-Nowhere stairclimber. Tomorrow, I’ll be hugging the recumbent bike again.  It’ll be nice to see my long lost friend again.

I’ve now been on Prozac for something like 2 or 3 months. I can honestly say that it is making a huge difference. I’m very glad I finally decided to start taking it.  My doctor said we’ll know I’m at the right dosage, when I don’t feel just “better” but “normal.”  We recently upped my dosage and right now I feel like I am at that level of “normal.” Yes, sometimes I feel a bit sad, and sometimes lonely, but those times are becoming fewer and farther in between.

I am trying to focus on my friends, and meeting new ones too.  At my request, my mom and I have taken a bit of a break from each other. At least where I am concerned, and I know this may sound harsh, this is for the better. I am not sure when I will reinitiate contact, it’s one of those things I think I will know the time is right, when the time has come.  And, in case you are wondering, she no longer reads my blog. She said she stopped when I started using abbreviations (you know, such as WTH? or WTF?) And, I don’t think she understands or thinks anti-depressants or medication actually help.

Until then, I greatly appreciate the support of my friends, both those I see in person, and those I talk to online. I also love my doctor and therapist. Both of them have been wonderful, and have been asking all good questions (not always the easiest to answer, but that’s ok, to get better is to go through some hard stuff occasionally.)

Also, things between Bill and I are good. They are very civil. I think we are both moving forward with our lives. It really doesn’t help to be caught up in the past. I find that if I think about the past, it only makes me sad, by and large. I’m not trying to not think about it, but to focus on good stuff.  It’s taken a while to get to this point with us, but I am glad that we are in this place now. He’ll always have played a big part in my life, and I hope to be friends with him in the future. I’m just going to keep moving forward.

My gym is running a Spring Challenge, where you have 204 miles to go as a goal between MLK Day and Patriots Day. I figure I can do that as long as I don’t have any injuries, because you can accrue miles by running/walking/biking/elliptical.  Nope, unfortunately the Esclator-to-Nowhere doesn’t count, but the trainer who runs the program told me she’s thinking of challenges that involve it. I understand that participants may get some perks, and they will likely put together some group runs, and maybe have us run some 5Ks and/or 10K races. I told the trainer in charge of the program about the 10K I will be doing on Super Bowl Sunday, which is supposed to be fast and flat, and along the water. It also has a 5K option for those who so choose, which would be good for newer runners, so she is going to check it out. I offered to help her find some good races – whether or not she takes me up on it, is fine. It’ll be nice to meet more runners, and especially if some of them are new to the sport, I feel like I can offer a lot.

Today I ran 6.27 miles on the treadmill, starting at 6.7 as the speed, increasing up to 6.9. I was pleased to see my average pace overall was 8:49 because it felt nice and easy, very aerobic. I’ve been working on my abs and doing some strength training too. Today, I held a plank for 6:10, my longest time ever!!! And that was at the end of my workout, when I usually feel like I am going to turn to jello!

And, here’s my big news: I am going to start working with Rich, who is a Master Trainer at the gym, next week. My first session will be an hour long, and then after that, I will likely go down to half hour sessions (just because they are a bit more affordable.) Rates for Master Trainers are a bit higher than for personal trainers, but I really like this guy. He’s very down to earth, and encouraging, and friendly, and I don’t worry that he will be texting someone else while he’s working with me. I did a free session with him a few months ago when I first joined the gym, and I really liked his style of coaching. So, wish me luck–when I asked him if I should work out the day before our first session, he laughed and said “I wouldn’t…” LOL 

And yes, ladies, in case you are wondering, he is very cute.   Hey, I would have to be lying down in a coffin, 6 feet underground to not notice! I am sure that women throw themselves at him all the time, and that he’s perfected the “I’m gonna act oblivious act to avoid an AWKWARD situtation” act out of necessity.  (To be honest, I consider this a good, healthy sign that I’m even noticing things like that.)  Yeah…never been a problem I’ve had to deal with, LOL.

Needless to say, I am ready and willing to have my butt kicked. Changing up my routine has been good, and gotten me out of a rut that I badly wanted and needed to be out of. And my weight as of today was 110, which has me very psyched!

I realize some of these pics that I have included in this post, you may have seen before through Twitter, but what’s a blog post without some pics of my animals? The cats even seem to be getting along better, “sharing” each other’s food. (Um…yeah…it’s more like “stealing” each other’s food, but hey it’s only semantics.)  So, the move has been good for them, and even while it has meant going through a lot of pain to get here, I think things are starting to become good for me too.

Thank you to everyone for all the amazing support these last several months. I hope that by writing this positive post, you can see how much I appreciate it and value it.

Onward, and upward.

Image from Boston Volvo 5K race website

I’ve had this post written, but as usual, I’ve been disorganized and not actually published it!

As is our custom for the past 4 years, my brother Jim and I ran together on Thanksgiving.  The first year we ran together, we did the Feaster Five 5K. The second and third years, we ran the Feaster Five 5 Miler.  This year, I meant for us to run with the Somerville Road Runners and their Gobble 3X, but I didn’t have my act together enough to get us signed up in time, and the race closed out with 2600 runners. I wanted to volunteer, but that would have meant we couldn’t run together, and I knew my brother would be disappointed (as would I.)  At one point, I thought of volunteering and asked my brother if he would mind also doing it, but he said there aren’t many days he gets to sleep in, so he felt bad saying it, but he wanted to be lazy.  Honestly, I can’t say as I blame the guy.  He got in at 12:30 in the night on Tuesday evening, and he caught a  6 a.m. bus back to NYC on Friday (he had to work that day at 11.)

Anyway, my brother hadn’t run much since his 100 mile trail race in October.  He had planned to take 4 weeks off anyway, so it was easy for him to obey the doc’s orders after he ruptured a tendon behind  his right knee. You can read his race report here. So, when it came time to pack running clothes, he didn’t think about packing pants, just shorts.  Those of you who live or have lived in New England know how strange the weather can be here around this time of year. I ran in shorts on Tuesday morning, but on Thanksgiving, it was long tights, winter hat, gloves, and two-layers-on-top weather, with temps in the 20s, and some pretty good winds. So yeah, he was a **wee** bit cold that morning!

Anyway, we got our bibs, kept warm in the car as long as we could, and visited the porta pottie lines (which were surprisingly not bad…) For the race start, it was just, well, as my brother called it, a “moving herd.”  No gun or anything.  We had the disposable ChronoTrack timing chips, but there was no mat at the beginning, so we had no idea where the actual start line was. But hey, it was only $20, and we were just there to enjoy ourselves. As my brother said, we were like a “moving herd” – we all just kind of started moving forward, even without any gun or horn that we could hear, to get us started.

That was literally our only plan – to just have fun and talk the whole way. Imagine, then, my surprise when I realized we did an awesome progression run.

Stats:

  • First mile: 8:35
  • Second mile: 8:15
  • Third mile: 7:55
  • Last .13: 7:05 pace
  • Overall time on Garmin: 25:39 (again, didn’t know when to start it!)
  • Overall official time: 25:59
  • Place overall: 312/1181 (Top 26%)
  • Place in sex: 98/658 (Top 15%)
  • Place in division, F30-39: 31/196 (Top 16%)

There were definitely a few hills in this course, especially during the first mile. My brother said his legs felt a bit tight, so I really didn’t want him to hurt himself any further. It’s funny but toward the end of mile 3, he said “you want to kick it in?”  And then in a few seconds, “you want to sprint to the end?”  To which my answer was, “I am sprinting already! That last mile was under 8!” It might have just been the cold, but I could definitely feel my lungs getting ready for an asthma attack at the end, but I didn’t want to slow down to take out the inhaler (which I usually run with nowadays.)

Anyway, it felt awesome to run with my brother again. He’s been a role model to me when it comes to running, and now with his redesigned blog, I hope, to many more.  Please check out his blog, it’s called “Coaching, Training and Motivation.”

I hope that the way I say this won’t sound trite, and comes through in the way I truly mean it. After my last post, all I can say is thank you. So many of you left supportive comments, and others of you emailed or DM’ed me privately. Some emails and comments made me cry, but in a good way.

I am amazed at how kind people can be to someone that they have never met, or they’ve only spoken to on the phone, or met once.  Some of you shared personal experiences with me that made me feel less alone.  One person said to me that a person’s essence can really come through electronically sometimes. Well, I would like to say that back to so many of you.

Some of you are my friends that I am lucky to see in person more than once.  For that, I am grateful.

The shame I’ve felt at taking medication has been lessened somewhat by all of your kind words.  I’ve heard it said that what I’m going through with the ending of a marriage is kind of like experiencing a death, and it’s a grieving process of sorts.  Very, very true.  Some days are definitely better than others.   (Since this is a running blog, I’ll say it’s kind of like running, but on a much different level.)

I will try to be, again, the optimistic person you’ve come to know on this blog – it’s just going to take a bit of time to get back to that. And a whole lot of work. On my run on Sunday along the Esplanade, I repeated to myself several times  “it will get better, it will get better.”

Again, thank you.