Tag Archives: running

A New Voice

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I haven’t been running for months. Until this morning I had no motivation. There are many reasons for that, most of which I am working up the courage to share at a later date. Yesterday I determined that this morning was going to be Day One. I’m not quite ready to run – the altitude and being out of shape and practice make that a difficult task. Walking, however, I can do. It helps that my mom wanted to go with me. It’s great to have a walking or running buddy, someone to keep conversation flowing (though I am quite good at talking to myself) and motivate you to keep going when you would rather just quit.

I’ve written about running before, how I started several years ago and it became part of my life. I found my inner competitor, loved the challenge of races, and loved the health benefits. What I failed to confess is that I actually hate running too. Every time I lace up my shoes I have to give myself a pep talk. Running is mind over matter. Sure, there is a technique to it if you want to be faster and avoid injury. There are training schedules and running coaches. But the main challenge to overcome in running is yourself. I have a voice in my head that begs me to just go back to bed. It pleads with me to stop and walk. It groans at mile 2, pitches a fit at mile 4, and tries to convince me I may pass out just before I finish mile 6.

I decided to fight that voice this morning with another voice. I told myself it was time. I told my feet they were going to cooperate. I set out my running shoes, pants, and top last night. I set my alarm for 5:15am. I pointed to the spot at the top of the stairs where my mom and I were going to meet at 5:30 and head out the door. The new voice won. I walked.

The air was crisp this morning, a little breeze was blowing and I felt the goosebumps on my arms, despite my long sleeves. It was probably 60 degrees, about 15 degrees cooler than what is comfortable for me. The earaches came on fairly quickly, but I let that voice – the one that had already won the first argument – tell my ears it was going to be just fine. There were some hills, something I have to get used to here. I let the voice take over again and remind me that hills just make me stronger. My shoes are new, so I felt the blisters start to form on the bottom of my big toe. But the voice laughed and said, “You always get those and they go away quickly. Keep moving.” I’m not exactly sure how far we walked, but it was a couple of miles I think. No great feat, but no small task either. Not everyone has two healthy legs, after all. Not everyone has a strong heart and good lungs. I was thankful for all of those things this morning. The new voice said, “Nicely done. Day One finished!”

I am grateful that I listened to a new voice. Yes, I have voices in my head (if you are honest, so do you). Sometimes they tell me lies and try to defeat me, or laugh at the attempts I make in life. But there are quieter voices that have the ability to speak up and I’m hoping those voices will start having the courage to increase the volume and drown out the dissenting voices. My new running voice took a bold step and with practice it will get louder and motivate me to keep going. My alarm is set for 5:15am again. My running clothes are freshly washed and folded next to my shoes. The meeting spot is still at the top of the stairs. Tomorrow I’m listening to that wonderful new voice.

New Voices = Joy

A Reason to Run

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I’m not really a runner, but I claim to be. I am married to a runner. He’s the kind of runner who decided on a whim to do a half-marathon and had a week to prep for it. Then he did really well in it. Less than six months ago he ran a couple half-marathons. Not actual races, just 13.1 miles for fun. He doesn’t ever study how to do something, doesn’t take lessons, he just does cool and daring stuff.

Then, there’s me. I started running in 2008. We had signed up for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. About four weeks prior to the race Brian said, “Have you ever run a mile?” “Nope,” said I. He thought I should probably start so I’d be able to finish the 3.1 miles. So I began. I was very slow. I didn’t really like it. But I did the race and found an inner competitor who had been lying dormant. I then signed up for another race… and another… and another. I got faster and it got easier. I’m one of those who studies how to do things. I read Runner’s World magazine and a few books on running, changed my technique, and signed up for more races. I finally ran a half-marathon a couple years ago and it was hard, but I loved it, especially the last part when I rounded a corner and Brian was smiling at me. He had already crossed the finish line, but came back just to run with me. It was the River, Roots, and Ruts Half, a tough trail run.

When Brian started feeling sick I stopped running because my running partner couldn’t run any longer. I’m not self-motivated when it comes to running. I need someone to push me and to tell me I don’t need to quit. I need someone to be next to me and talk to me. Our normal run was a 6.6-mile route down McGregor Boulevard. We were regular enough that we had some fans who would honk and cheer when they saw us running down the palm tree-lined sidewalks.


I still have not been running, but I’ll admit I have missed it and it’s in my future. I’ve already looked up races in Colorado that support cancer research. I’ll have some work to do to get back into running shape and also adjust to a much higher altitude, but I’m ready to lace up my shoes and start hitting the streets and the trails. Running is not always fun, but it is cheaper and sometimes more effective than therapy. During some of my most difficult times I’ve run and with each step I left stress and trouble and hurt behind me on the pavement. When I start running again it will be with my running partner. He won’t be with me in body but he will be in spirit. He will still be telling me that I can keep going when I think I can’t. He will be reminding me that running is mostly in the mind. He will be the reason I run.

If I Hadn’t Married Him…

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Last night Brian had to call Hope Hospice and have a nurse come out to address the nausea that isn’t really nausea. After listening to the description of what’s been happening she thought perhaps he’d have some success with something that had worked with another patient, alternating the nausea medications and taking them more often. His oxygen saturation was also quite low, so he’s staying on oxygen 24/7 now. Out of a little bit of desperation, I turned to the App Store and downloaded RxmindMe so I could better control the daily flow of medication. Keeping a written record and trying to remember to watch the clock and look back over my notes was okay, but the app… ahhhh, much beter. Thank you, nurse. Thank you, oxygen molecules. Thank you, app developers. So far, the combo appears to be working!

Earlier today I posted the following message on Facebook: “This beautiful tribute was written by a real live honest-to-goodness fairy princess I’m proud to call friend. Like her page, buy her goodies, read her blog, pass it all on.”  be the breath

No one can ever say with certainty how life would be different had another choice been made or a different path followed. But I think that I would have missed some things had I not been sitting in front of Brian that second semester of high school.

If I had not married Brian…

  • I would not know that you can feed fireflies to frogs and watch them glow.
  • I would not know how to roof a house, build a garage, install windows and doors, put up field fence, dig post holes by hand, pour concrete, and know that a five-gallon bucket makes fine conversation seating in the garage beside a guy who works on honey-do lists.
  • I would not know strapping a 40-pound pack on your back and trekking 7 miles through the mountains to find a camping spot makes for a grand weekend.
  • I would not know that you can find snakes under almost any rock or fallen tree in the woods and that copperheads are (thankfully) docile when it’s cold outside.
  • I would not know that a 12-foot hammerhead shark next to me in the water is both terrifying and a thing of beauty.
  • I would not know that running a half-marathon is totally achievable, that Super Spartan races are the most fun 8 miles I’ll ever run, and that there is a little competitive athlete inside me.
  • I would not have owned 19 cars in 19 years, though I’m hesitant to count the minivan.
  • I would not know that moving so much would turn out to be spectacular because of all the friends we picked up along the way who have made our lives utterly fabulous.