About Me

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What started as a little experiment in blogging has evolved into my renewed love for writing the raw, gritty truth. Running has always had so many parallels to life's ups and downs. As a new cancer survivor/fighter, running and writing has continued to be there for me in my quest to always move forward, always try to be better than yesterday. Find me: http://www.curetoday.com/community/kate or on facebook: running, cancer, and everything in between or on twitter: runliftbreathe

Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Breathe: The "It's NOT a New Year's Resolution"...Change

If the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results...then, call me crazy! But, how do you embrace change if you have had some really good rides along the way?

In running, family, and work, I've had a lot of laughs, a lot of fun, and a lot of kick-ass perserverance...I have, however, had my share of tears, frustration, & disappointment. The high of running a Boston-qualifying marathon, only to spend a year injured, rehabbing and resting....With my family, running around like a lunatic after work, sometimes trying to be everything to everyone and then, snapping at my children in a weak, tired moment because I simply cannot be it all, all the time. And then, in work, sometimes putting IT before my family...funneling all that high enthusiasm and positive energy there, while leaving nothing left for the people who love me and need me the most...and not letting go, always in the wings ready to rescue or help out....only to come home feeling tired, alone, cranky, and still hurting...with no run to solve all my problems.

In my life, I've probably had more ups than downs...but man, the downs hurt...they are hard, & they are never due to lack of effort...so perhaps that means it is time for a change. If I am to always grow, always improve...keep on moving forward...perhaps there is a better way.

I start training fairly soon for Boston. I've enlisted someone who will help me approach it so there will be life after the marathon. I was skeptical at first...plain old rebelling the second time...and now, realizing I have no other choice unless I want to end up with the same result...sidelined...I am ready to embrace it. Ankle mobility exercises...check...hip rotation drills...check...less running, more strength & mobility work...I'm starting to buy it.

And then, the juggle of family life...it has been as crazy and as sporadic as my injured running has been the past year. Faking it until I make it...going through the motions...but dead tired & lacking patience...this has to stop. If I am to survive three active young ladies during our first winter ski racing...I am going to have to come up with a new way of doing things...like the way I feel about running...remembering the joy and thrill of the moment with my family...not being so rigid...and saving some positive love and joy & "go get them" cheers for my people...the loves of my life.

Which leads me to where I spend the majority of my hours daily, at work. I cannot save everyone all of the time. I can't do it all, all of the time...and I am no less of a leader for asking for help and calling on my team to help me when I need it. And, most difficult but probably most important...learning to shut it off...the phone, the email, the calls of help when it's not an emergency...letting go and letting people learn how to figure it out.

I vow to do things different this time around...and while I will not call it a New Year's Resolution...I will resolve to change so that I can take care of myself, my family, and then, my work.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Runlift&breathe: Don't judge a book by its' cover

I have been passed by runners' half my size and twice my size...+ my age and half my age...doesn't matter...and I've surprised people with my own ability..."you're running Boston, as a charity number or qualified???" Yep, I take it personally...but that's because perhaps I've always been an underdog...your average experienced runner doesn't look at me and expect me to be able to do what I can do, most times he/she is surprised that I am even a runner...for me it's not a natural skill, just some training and a lot of mental toughness. When we underdogs are doubted, it only fuels our fire....

It's so cliché, but yet we have to do this time and time again. Do not judge a book by its' cover. I've had amazing life experiences with all types of athletes...playing with and coaching...and some of have been"drafted" athletes, decent full college scholarship athletes and even, just good athletes going to a decent college getting a chance to play...but the one I've met that is perhaps the most talented person/athlete yet...is not who you would expect him to be. He wasn't a college athlete as far as I know...but he's someone that is as fierce as any college athlete I have ever coached or played with...he's probably slower than most of the runners' I currently coach right now...but he is by far the most talented...the most talented athlete, runner, and human being....he doesn't talk loud, draw attention to himself...yet he has me captivated...

This person knows what it is like to be on the outside...he joined my group of crazy fit & experienced washed up athletes...he's a new runner...he's changing his life...he has goals...he's creating a new lifestyle....and he will run his first half marathon...and I am so privileged to have had the opportunity to coach him...why? Because he is tougher than any athlete I know....

Don't judge a book by its' cover...I've had my own experiences with this...how could a 5'10, 155lb broad shoulder washed up volleyball player who has all kinds of old mobility issues and injuries be capable of qualifying for Boston? I don't look pretty when I run...it doesn't look easy...I try to encourage all types of runners...because I too am not a beautiful one...don't judge a book by its' cover...

The thing is...usually the coach leads the pack...guiding the path, the pace, the ultimate goal...in my case, for the first time, I am the student...learning from my own...as he guides from the back of the pack...never giving up...going against all odds....defying all....I can learn from him also...to not give up, to keep persisting and not let the dream die...

Don't judge a book by its' cover...the toughest most amazing athletes, runners, human beings will be the ones you may miss if you do so....stop and take a look around. Who amazes you most? Is it the elite who finishes in the top 5? Or is it the person who defies all odds, despite the lack of support, keeps the eye on the prize....and finishes this race....don't judge a book by it's cover...the person with mental toughness may be someone you least expect....

Monday, September 15, 2014

Love, Boston, & a 2nd Date...

I hesitate to even go here...because as runners we are all a little superstious...We don't wear the race shirts during the race, we eat the exact, same breakfast that we have been eating for the past 500 miles...we wear the exact outfit we've already tried out on at least half a dozen long runs...but I'll take a leap of faith...and share this little tid bit about Boston...because my story is actually a love story.

It's about a girl who liked a boy...a lot...and for the first time learned how to experience joy...the joy in life, in sport, and in love....

18 years ago on Patriot's Day, a boy took a girl out on their first official date to the Boston Marathon. She was not a "real runner" other than the running conditioning  as a collegiate volleyball player. She knew of the Boston marathon but had no real emotional connection to it or running 26 miles.

But, this boy was different than any boy she had met...he was kind, funny, and opened up her eyes to experiences she never knew of...and she liked him a lot...so when he asked her to go on an official date (one that didn't involve 15 of her closest friends, or a frat party, or the same usual bar near campus) she agreed.

 She still remembers riding the train in and seeing the crowds lining up. It was like a scene from a movie, and it was a beautiful sunny day, not too warm...not too cold...and the energy....it was contagious. There were no words to describe the energy.

And so that boy walked her through the crowds after they hopped off the train...to find THE perfect viewing spot....at the 5 miler mark from the finish...one she would someday know oh too well in running that 1st marathon...21+miles in, the wall....

That girl fell in love that day....with a boy...she also fell in love with a new view of life and swore to herself that she would run that marathon someday....

13 years of marriage and 3 children later....last year, I signed up for my first full marathon with one intent...bold, sure.. egotistical, maybe...brazen, you bet your ass....I signed up to train for my 1st full marathon with only one goal in mind...to qualify for Boston.

With hard work & maybe a little luck of the Bostonian Irish...I did qualify for Boston...and last week when registration for 2015 officially opened, I got to sit there at my designated time & frantically wait, plug in my information & wait some more..until I could click that magic SUBMIT button.

I got my official acceptance over the weekend. And so I will get a chance at a second date...this time as a time qualifying runner. So much could happen between now and then, but I've got a 2nd date...and if all goes well between now and then, it will be as magical and memorable as the first one.  

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Breathe: Beautiful Girl, Beautiful Run

If beauty is in the eye of the beholder...then, I'm screwed & need to find away to get over myself. You would think that one approaching a milestone birthday would at this point in her life have made amends with her distorted image...but age doesn't always bring complete peace, & it most certainly doesn't equate to wisdom. For some of us, it's a long, slow battle that is always a work in progress...some days being better than others.

Thanks to social media, we are in touch with everyone...I do really depend on it to share the growth & development of my family with all of my family members several miles away. How else would I know that Uncle Kent got voted to councilman or that my neighbor I grew up with is now married with children. It's also convenient and necessary to build a business, keep clients engaged...and so on.

And then, there are the countless check-ins, posts, & pictures of how fabulous everyone is all doing, which I do love to look at and read..and I am right there with the best of them...the difference maybe is that to the outside my life looks amazing (it really is, but maybe not quite what you think).

In a photo, it would appear that life is footloose and fancy free...but maybe things are not always what they seem. Which is what brought me to the conclusion, that apparently I have more work than I realize to do on the inside.

Rewind to a social media project I had been tagged in to complete..(no, not the ice bucket)...but to post 5 photos where you felt beautiful. A friend had just posted hers, & I just loved the idea, because I do really believe there are all kinds of beautiful...inside & out...so that should be easy, dig up some pictures of yourself with loved ones, special events, moments in your life where you felt beautiful... All these ideas ran through my head of trying to emulate that image of strength and confidence...and yet, I still can't manage to find 5...5 photos I feel beautiful inside and out...(please, don't give me that crap that it's on the inside is all that matters...it's Facebook,  you never not posted a picture because you were hideous or posted it because, well, it was not so bad or even better, flattering in all aspects)...so I thought, there must be a mix of photos where I feel beautiful inside because I"m with someone I love & maybe I just happen to look beautiful on the outside...

As the days passed & I still couldn't pull this together... it began to bother me even more that this fun little Facebook project was eating at my brain, ...so much so, that out on a run in the mountains, it's what I thought of as I ascended each hill...Am I worse off than I thought? What happened to being a work in progress? How could I not find 5 pictures of myself? Why am I zeroed in on if my thighs look too big, my shoulders too broad, & my face just not pretty...God, have I not grown at all? What kind of example am I for my girls?

After that run, in usual fashion, I found my girls playing with my phone...and once they saw how sweaty & red I was, they, of course, started snapping away. Later, looking at these pictures of myself after running out to Gunstock in the middle of the day, heat, hills, and everything in between...I realized that maybe I will be okay after all. A beauty queen I am not...and some of those photos...geez, straight to the trash can...but I am okay when I run and right after a run....I feel as good on the inside as a picture perfect photo might entail. That is it:  I do feel beautiful when I run...probably one of the few times,  inside and out...so for now I will hold on to that.

You won't find too many bikini shots of me, and you definitely will have to look hard for me in a dress, heels & a full face of makeup...but you might find some photos of me running or otherwise being active, surrounded by family and friends that have similar lifestyles...probably not looking very picture perfect or even pretty for that matter...but feeling stronger & more beautiful than ever. And maybe that is where beauty lies...

Friday, July 11, 2014

The Comeback

The sun does rise again after a sunset. The flowers do bloom after a long, cold winter. And life does go on after a death, illness, tragedy, or an oxygen depriving, blind-siding sucker punch to the gut…

In running and in my lifetime of sport, I have always wanted to be perfect…train exactly how I need to in order to get the result I am aiming to get. Like a simple math equation, if I do x and y then, I will get z…done. Of course, life and life as a runner, a mom, a wife…fully employed managing a health club while managing my own home life & our own rental properties…it never, ever goes as smoothly as that…but I have always managed to pull off exactly what I needed to do for my “win.”

The question remains…can I run a race knowing I am not 100%...knowing that I was asked with the intent of this being “fun” versus the last time we ran it to chase a prize…Is it possible to rise from the injured runner cemetery and train a short time to complete a race? Can I put my ego aside and just be…just run…that’s all I’m expected to do…complete it and have fun…

Sounds like a dream for someone trying to make a comeback…a nice way to ease back into the game…problem is, my all or nothing attitude…that attitude that has gotten me far in my athletic endeavors could hold me back and drown me this time around or hurt me. My all or nothing ego…has given me so many opportunities and experiences and yet, could hold me back in the blink of an eye.

The pressure has already been taken off by the team sponsor…but I’ve never been competitive with everyone else…I am competitive with myself…always trying to prove I am worthy, I am strong, I am smart, I am good…enough…

Nothing is a definite but when you know the expectations and you know you can meet them, then, really…you have got nothing to lose…Because maybe having an all or nothing attitude worked before, but maybe, just maybe…the time is right to learn how to ride the bumps without getting too excited or too deflated…to just show up and play for the sake of finishing. 

Maybe somewhere there is a shade of gray that I will learn to like…that I can meet in the middle. I might not be running my fastest, and I might not be taking one for the team…but maybe…just showing up, doing my part by participating is the “win”.

If there is one thing I have learned, in life, work, love, and running…it doesn’t always have to be perfect, and it doesn’t even have to be great…but making a comeback after the fall…making an attempt at a comeback, even if it’s awkward, uncomfortable and not always pretty, maybe that is what matters most of all…

Monday, July 7, 2014

Run, lift, breathe: Life in Between

Life in Between

I am an all or nothing kind of girl...for good and for bad.  When I am in training, it's all I think about, talk about & dream about...right down to what I eat, how I sleep, and everything else. If I take on a goal, there is nothing that will get in my way to not achieve it...I have tunnel vision, & I refuse to quit until I get there.

On the flip side...if I'm not "in it to win it", I just assume not participate or engage at all. Oh sure, there's a few things I can fake like the best of them...my morning time yoga while slurping on my bullet proof coffee (why of course I practice yoga, all runners should right...my version, totally faking it). But otherwise, if I'm not chasing it down, on the hunt...I"m not partaking in it.

I do just fine with this sort of attitude & approach to life...maybe sometimes I miss out by not being more in between, but I don't like to do things half-assed...partially in it...gray...can't stand that not completely committed feeling...it's kind of like being on a roller coaster but you never quite get to the good stuff...you're just riding along, slow and steady...never really taking the plunge or taking an upside down loop...

I guess to me...life in between is REALLY like riding a merry go round. You never really get nervous or scared, and you never really laugh so hard in pure adrenaline. You are safe, and sure, it may be enjoyable for a moment, but then, you find you aren't getting anywhere. And  you are just looking at the same thing, over and over again...life in between...I just assume not ride it.

My running life right now is life in between. I am not training for any race...I am just there. Running with no purpose. I am not resting my injury either. Just in between... plodding along...not pushing the limits, not going for it...

This is not an easy place for me to be...in fact, it's downright uncomfortable. I would rather die trying at just about anything than just coasting, doing absolutely nothing. Basically, that leaves me feeling a little irritable, grouchy, & like I'm walking around missing something...

It also means that as a coach & as a person participating in life, I can be disappointed...heart broken, crushed...that someone wasn't drinking the same Kool-Aid I was drinking...they were just living life in between...not fully committed...until they were just not committed at all....

Maybe there is a lesson in all this...for me, to learn that it does not always have to be all or nothing...or maybe that when I throw my all into something, someone, I should do it guarded and with less passion so that if I get let down, it's a little lighter and easier...less uncomfortable...

That leaves me with two choices...to be that overly passionate person...knowing I may be disappointed at times...Or be that person that plays it safe, just slow and steady...never getting hurt, but never getting anywhere...

For now, i only know one way...so I'll continue opting for the roller coaster of a ride...risking getting disappointed, rolling the dice hoping for doubles, and leaving it out there on the road and in life...I might cry sometimes, I might limp around...but you will never, ever doubt where my heart lies...right out there, in it to win it....

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Breathe: Tales from a Big Girl

  Big is one of those adjectives I try to avoid if at all possible. What does it mean really? A big serving of ice cream....a big house...a big idea...it could mean anything, everything, and nothing at all...and it means so many different things to so many different people. Everyone has their own perspective...And if you are a girl that is 5'10 and not Giselle-weight worthy or build, well...big, feels...well, big...& shitty...big girl, big bones, big in stature, big muscles...and for some reason, that doesn't translate to being pretty in a big girl's head.

  When I was growing up & going through the painful awkwardness of puberty, I"m pretty sure none of my friends and I dreamed of being "big"...big boobs maybe, still waiting on that one...but that just wasn't something we aspired to be. I know I thought I would be happier if I just blended in...maybe not so tall,  not so skinny (at the time), & definitely not so flat-chested....I didn't dream of broad shoulders and strong quads...

  So why didn't I dream of big thighs that could carry me 26.2 miles in a race? Or a core that could challenge at least a few guys in a kettlebell workout? What distorted my view of myself so much back then, and how do I avoid it with my own girls?

 We have slowly made improvements at celebrating bodies of all shapes..a step up from the 80s and 90s...partially thanks to the American fascination with professional athletes. We've made some progress with some of the pictures of health on magazine covers...in college, for me, it was Gabrielle Reece (standing in at 6'2-6'3 with strong beach volleyball thighs & broad "big" girl shoulders)...though I still ended up a little scarred & had my own issues at one point (but that's for another blog entry)...she was also a model...and probably the first of her kind with an athletic build after a post-Kate Moss hangover. And, let's not forget the fascination with Jennifer Lopez' ass...girls with big asses and strong athletic asses are still thanking her for paving that path.

  My own girls today have an amazing variety of "women" other than their mom that they can look to for what healthy looks like...some of them even are friends of mine who do come in all kinds of healthy shapes and sizes, and some are of professional sport stature...Julia Mancuso, Mikaela Schriffin, Lindsay Vonn (yes, all skiers)...but in my family it works. There's also a good chance, they will have to embrace their strong thighs and broad shoulders based on their gentics and their intense love for sport.

  Maybe the whole problem with the word big is not the word itself but our warped view on it?

Sometimes it can mean a good thing, and sometimes it's heartbreaking. Certainly, we as a whole could probably be more articulate when we choose our adjectives to describe someone's living space, an overly generous portion of dessert or someone's strong and fit physique...or maybe we should get over it and stop being so sensitive about a silly little word. Either way, I know in my household, I choose to speak more descriptive and specific with my children in regards to portions and proportions because I would hate to have them label themselves or someone else and thus, pass on the trait of spending an adulthood battling a three letter word....

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

The "B Team"

I am officially designated to the "B team"...the nail that sealed it was tonight dropping off my child to the all school 4th & 5th grade chorus concert...in my workout clothes, disheveled, & not wearing the same painted, cheery, this is so great smile on my face. This pretty much sums up how I've been feeling with my running and my duties as a mother lately...demoted...kicked off the A team.

Right now, running wise...I'm nowhere near where I have been before. Rewind to a fall marathon that I  nailed including a BQ...my running life has gone down hill from there. Between a nagging injury that is holding me back and perhaps my sinking confidence, I've kicked myself off the "A team." I am no longer running with the group of ladies I have been the past 3 years...make no mistake, not because they wouldn't embrace the slower, hurting me...but because I'm just not ready for that pace of running...physically and mentally.

It has been a humbling experience for me...running alone, at a much slower pace, and nowhere near the weekly mileage I was putting in before. But I am doing the best I can & am slowly building up my strength. I have to remind myself that no one really cares about the pace I'm doing out there, it doesn't matter...the point is, I am out there...doing the best I can with what I have got right now. I'm still participating...

Then, take the sport of being a mother...shipping kids back & forth all day after school & after a 6-7 hour workday...and  trying to take care of myself also...I've about thrown the towel in. Teacher appreciation day? Sorry, no baked goods from me...bake sale for Girl Scouts...no can do. And tonight, the ultimate...I opted out of that concert...kissed my daughter, dropped her off & then, came home to pass the keys to my husband & tell him he would be the starter tonight...B team bring it on...

But maybe there isn't anything wrong with being on the B team if  you are doing the best you can with what you have got at that moment...some days that "all" may land you a starting position on the A team...getting all the housework done, cooking a brilliantly healthy meal while sending in a fabulous treat for the class, all after running a PR in a race....and other days, shuffling your feet around trying to get back home and then, serving up another "breakfast for dinner"....

Maybe for now, the B team is where I belong, it sure beats being completely benched...after all, I am still participating, doing all the things I love to do...out on the road and at home with my family...even if it means the occasional PB&J post slow girl shuffle....

Friday, March 21, 2014

Walking the Line

In life and sport, there are those that stay within the perimeters of what is set, what is comfortable, and what is safe. In road races, these are the people that will start the race nice and easy to warm-up...they will probably gradually build to a steady pace that they will be able to finish in. They will probably never throw up after a race or pee themselves. They also will probably nevcr make a silly race mistake by testing the limits...meaning they won't ever fail, they won't hit the wall, and it also means, they probably won't have that one moment when they do something unbelievable-beyond what they really should be capable of..defying the odds of their ability.

I walk the line..sometimes coming too close & sometimes too aggressively. With running, I have made the mistake of bursting out at the start and failing miserably in the race later when I bonked. I've thrown up after, and most definitely peed as I sprinted across finish lines. I've also burst out & actually come out a winner, prize and all. And many times, I've ended up not happy with my time, knowing I might have had a little more in me. That is what can be difficult to  determine...where is that line? At what point is it too much, too reckless, too aggressive....

In my past self as a coach & as a player...I'v been carded, fouled out...spoken to by the powers that be...and also, complimented and praised for my intensity and drive by the very same people. I always have good intentions; Bobby Knight I am not...but yes, I've pushed my players and the players around me to be the best they could be...no different than the way I push myself.

I do struggle sometimes with knowing my boundary...how hard & how close can I get to the line to pull off the win, to be the best that I can be so that if I lose, I went down with a fight & if I win, I won and I am spent...

Sometimes, being this aggressive, is too close...red cards are handed out, people foul out, people get written up, pulled in for a talking to...you name it...and other times, it sets the tone for a W.

Last night, at my daughters' basketball game...it all started to make sense, in life and sport. One of my girls is just like me...a fierce competitor to the end.  She did walk the line last night...getting extremely physical, racked up a bunch of fouls...but no one scored on her...not on her watch. And at one point, she even took it too far & may have pushed someone incidently/accidently after being knocked down. I pulled her aside on the bench & encouraged her to keep up the intensity but I also gently reminded her of the rules...the perimeter...the line that she cannot cross...hoping this would not discourage her intensity & focus to pull off the win.

That's when it hit me...in life and in sport, I will always be the person that comes close to the line...I'm a competitor...I don't know how to soften up and just let things take their course naturally. I try to make things happen. I might occasionally need the slap on the wrist, the mid-race barf or the yellow card to remind me of that line... I will apologize if I cross the line and take it too far, but I won't apologize for being me...a competitor to the end.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Gym Mom

In a nutshell, my Wednesday looked like this: alarm goes off at 5:15am so that I can get to the gym and get a workout in (contrary to the belief, that those of us who work in the fitness industry, no we do NOT get to workout all day at work), then, come home shower and get ready for work.

By 7:30am, after I’ve dragged the trash and recycling out, made lunches all while shoving a veggie omelet in my mouth, I’m hollering up the stairs to my three girls because they are still not out of bed, dressed, and ready for school.

At 8:20am, I am dropping  them off to school and heading back to the gym to start my work day. Mid-morning, I get the call from the school nurse to come pick up my youngest who has a 102 fever and was she feeling okay this morning (I think so, she didn’t say she felt sick, wait, was that an accusation) ? And then, comes the friendly reminder that she would not be expected at school tomorrow because of the 24 hour fever policy (s**t! working mom and working out mom’s nightmare).

I get sick child settled on the couch, I wrestle down my husband (who happens to be home at the moment) to stay put.  I go pick up child number 2 from school at 3:15 and drop her off at the house. I, then,  zip over to the Pic-n-Pay for the Motrin, crackers, Gatorade and apple juice….and fly back home.

Now, it’s time to get child number 2 ready for indoor soccer and get sick child to take her medicine.

I’m out the door to bring #2 to soccer for 4:00pm so that I can go back to the school and pick up child number 3 from girl scouts at 4:30pm. Thank god, I arranged for a ride home from soccer for child #2, otherwise I’d be back on the other side of town for 5:15 soccer pickup…with child 3, and sick child.

Crap…what’s for dinner?

Sounds ridiculous right? This is just an ordinary day in the life of a working mother with multiple busy children. I’m not looking for a medal or sympathy, and I’m definitely not tooting my own horn.  There are mothers everywhere doing exactly the same thing also. This was a choice I made: to have three children and then, to go back to work so that I could provide more to the family including the soccer, lacrosse, basketball, ski racing, girl scouts…what have you, to give them experiences.

What I am asking for is a little less judgment.  You will come into my house at any given moment where the laundry is not complete, dishes may be in the sink…(insert gasp) the cleaner hasn’t shown up (note: I am the house cleaner).  I actually had someone recently suggest to me that, well, I could always do my housework in the early morning instead of running and working out.  That comment still stings, and I still resent it.

I choose an ungodly hour to have one hour to myself and I have to feel guilty over that too because I could be mopping, cleaning the toilet, or catching up on laundry/ dishes or planning the meals for the week???

I don’t need a girls vacation, a weekend at the spa, or a nanny.  I do it all and some days I do it just fine, but I do need something for myself. For me, that something is always going to be physical and it's going to be in gym or out on the road. I need this for my sanity. It is a part of my personality, and it’s what makes me a better mother, wife, friend.

So the next time I don’t get to every single email about the field trip, I’m late to rsvp, or my latest, completely forgetting about a  playdate & a birthday party, spare me and my fellow sisters the judgment. We are doing the best that we can. And if you think this is frazzled, imagine what we’re like without our workout…

Thursday, January 23, 2014


I am mourning my speed and my mileage. When I was marathon training, I could head out for miles on end, and what I found discouraging was that it took me forever to warm up, and my 5k-10k speed was long gone. I could no longer run a sub-7 5k, yet running a 10 miler felt awful. Where's the happy medium?

 I had heard this from my Ultra-friends before....I chalked it up to one too many ultras...they're just so use to running 5-6 hours on a mountainside trail that they probably just have no desire to go short & fast...it just doesn't give them that runner's high. I was wrong.

Fast forward to 5 weeks post marathon, I am still struggling to find my speed, but now I am not out running 20 milers either. And my casual runs are pathetic. My warm up mile is practically a crawl...my peak mile is slower than what my marathon race pace was...and when, I think I am picking it up, I'm not...just trotting along at a pace I would have warmed up at prior.

In desperation the other day, I hit the treadmill because I couldn't get out before my family's alarm clocks went off...so I decided to play...an old workout I use to do on a whim when I could run the a 6:30 pace 5k...some intervals mixed in with some kettlebell burpees, swings, & box jumps. It felt good to get my heart rate up...but this time, I could only hold a 6:50 pace for 3 minutes without feeling like I might fly off it.

So for now, I am kind of lost...I'm not running the mileage I was while marathon training, and I'm clearly not ready to run a 5k at a pace I'd like to. It's a double funeral for my mileage & my speed...and it's back to the drawing board for me. I'm not sure what I'm up for next...my Achilles injury has me somewhat limited and perhaps heading to PT.

For now, I will work on my strength, my flexibility, and hopefully, I will be back more resilient than ever. ...and the sun will shine once again...whether it's a 3 mile post-injury build up or a 30 miler ultra challenge...I will be back.