crazy but good.

Man. It’s been a week. I actually looked at my bed this morning before I left for work and said, “Bye. I’ll miss you.”

I miss this space, too. Sad face.

I want to be here more often. There are three “almost” posts sitting in my drafts folder; half-thoughts half-written, fully out of date by now. Who decided 24 hours in one day was enough?

But in a weird way everything sort of aligned this week. I caught up on some sleep, got my workouts in, ate really well, finished a book (oh. we will get to that) and stayed inspired in work and life.

Let’s catch up on the good good.

green-tea
Green tea. It’s growing on me.

TRAINING. Marathon training is going really well this week. Better than the last two weeks. Update on Tuesday, per usual. I’m loving the bike, too. Per usual. I went for a slow pedal on Monday evening and could’ve stayed out there all night.

tampa-cycling

READING. Most people would be ashamed to admit they read and enjoyed Khloe Kardashian’s book. I am not one of them. I think she’s smart, strong, and I’m always entertained by her and her family. Just like the rest of America.

81l4omskil

NOSHING. Vegetables, LOL. Does this surprise anyone? My favorite way to enjoy them is to stir fry a mountain of them in coconut oil, mix it with jasmine rice and add three or five or eight globs of roasted red pepper hummus on top. It’s heaven. I hear angels.

stir-fry-vegan

DIGESTING. There’s no other account on the internet that speaks truth like minfulmft. I read this during a hard day after a particularly brutal run, and now I think this might go on my wall or fridge or mirror—anywhere where I’ll see it every single day.

mindfulmft-instagram

RISING. Early. So, so early to put in the miles. Worth it for this.

tampa-sunrise

CRUSHING. I have such a girl crush on Tina Muir. Hands in the air if you’re tired of hearing me talk about her. I can’t stop. Not only is Tina a fantastic podcaster, but she writes a blog, too. Where does she find the time to write, podcast, train as a pro and be a wife? I mean, I’m super pumped when I put my laundry away the week I do it. I guess she MAKES time, right? It’s easy to see she just really loves what she does. Have you found that yet—a job that’s also your biggest passion?

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More notables from this week: I biked to work all week, bought tickets to Mickey’s Not So Scary Halloween Party at Disney World for next Friday (SQUEEEEE), I totally know what my next tattoo will be (hi, mom. hi, dad. how much do you love me?), and I’m going to be an auntie SO SOON. My sister is about to pop.❤

Hope you had a great week. Friday. Bless. 

#runnarounddrunsdisney training week three.

Each Tuesday I’ll be sharing marathon training wrap-ups, so if you’re into this sorta thing, these will be the days! Also make sure to follow #RunnarounddRunsDisney on social feeds for more sweat.

What to say about week three… it was better than week two? Barely?

9/12-9/18

believe-training-journal-2016

I didn’t hit all of my runs, but I don’t think it was a total fail. Because a total fail would’ve been bagging the whole week. I really tried. And in between feeling sick and dealing with Dystonia, I did my long run, which is the absolute backbone of marathon training. Yeah, peanut butter and Body Glide (funny how it’s kind of cause and effect there…) are also two very important pillars of marathon training, but getting in that long run is what keeps things moving along. And we did it!

running-tampa-fl

The rundown:
Three and a half runs.
One HIIT workout.
Two bike rides.
One rest day.

I could be mad that I didn’t hit my mileage or that the long run was Suck Fest 2016. I could be upset with myself for not pushing intensity or stretching as much as I should. But I’m not getting that time back; I don’t get a redo. So we’re moving forward and using that energy to stick as close to the plan as possible. Again, the long runs are the major key here.

We have to keep going. Let’s do this.

What’s the “backbone” of training for you?

how i got through sunday’s long run, 9/18/16.

There’s a lot of merit in pushing our bodies and our minds through hard things. When we cross a big finish line or finish a project we’ve been working on for what feels like forever we should be able to take a lot of pride in those things because facing those big, hard, scary things isn’t something we practice doing every day. It never gets easy, is what I’m trying to say.

In these types of situations I always think I need to be the one to get me through it. Like, it won’t mean as much unless I’m the driver. Self-motivated or BUST.

And during this weekend’s long run I realized it’s totally OK to not be motivated by your own self and your own training at times. We’re with ourselves and in our own heads all day every day, so when we’re in tough spots (in my case, around mile 4), it can be helpful to feed off someone or something else.

Let me tell you how I got here.

running

At mile 4 yesterday morning I hit a mental wall. I wanted to be done before I had even started…so things weren’t going too well.

Physically, it wasn’t the worst. My Dystonia symptoms were making my legs feel out of whack, but that’s nothing new. It was hot but there was still a breeze. The Bay didn’t stink like it normally does during low tide. But I wasn’t into it. I wasn’t into any of it.

The second before I was about to put my ass on the pavement in the middle of a busy sidewalk I saw her. “Her.” She’s a super-athlete whom everyone in Tampa’s endurance community knows or recognizes. They call her Iron Anne. On any given Saturday you can find her circling Davis Islands on her tri bike like it’s nothing. She’s an Ironman and she was wearing her Ironman hat. Hell, if I did an Ironman I’d wear that hat to sleep. 

In that awful, bonking, big-fat-wall moment I knew I just needed to keep going—one foot in front of the other—because I want that.

First I want a second marathon, but then I want that hat and everything that comes with it. I want the long training sessions, early mornings, bloody blisters, armpit chafe, next-level suffering, race-day nerves. And then I want to cross the finish line and put on that hat.

It’s OK during the really hard moments when you feel like you have nothing left to take inspiration from others. You’re out there for a reason, and don’t worry if you need to use someone else’s sweaty hat to remind you why.

Speaking of motivation. Around mile 5 I called my mom and made her talk to me until I finished. Bless her soul. 

That’s when you know I’m in the low low. I didn’t even want to stand at that point, but the distraction was exactly what I needed.

Who or what motivates you to keep going?

the best advice from julia’s last episode.

Yesterday I listened to Julia Hanlon‘s last podcast. Ever.

She’s been one of my favorites the past three years and yesterday she announced to her listeners that #220 would be her last episode. She’s pursuing new goals, finding a new path, and taking a break from social media.

Breaking that news broke my heart a little. I feel like I’m going through a messy breakup. She has gotten me through a lot, especially during my first marathon.

morning-coffee-and-blogging

Her final podcast interview was a Real Talk Reflection episode with another one of my spirit guides, Nicole Antoinette. Nicole is just one week removed from hiking the Oregon section of the PCT. #BADASS

They talked about what she learned, her struggles, her triumphs, any come-to-Jesus moments, and how to poop in the woods. Naturally. It was great. Especially when Nicole said something I’ll never forget (which I think originally came from Lauren Fleshman’s brain):

Your situation isn’t what’s holding you back, it’s your resistance to it.

*Talks to self* Avoiding the messy things is what makes getting through them so difficult. Not our situation, but our response to it.

And of course I heard this on a run—the place I most needed to hear it. In that moment I was in a bad place. The run was sucking especially bad. I was getting down on the situation I couldn’t control. WHY ME popped in and out of my head a few thousand times.

I tried to resist just feeling the feelings I was having instead of accepting them as a way to work through all that pent-up woe-is-me BS.

The fact of the matter is that with Dystonia, the run will ALWAYS be hard. This disease I have will ALWAYS hold me back from feeling good on a run. It will ALWAYS feel like a big fat road block. That’s my situation, but resisting it will only make every step 100x worse.

You feel me? 

I found this quote while scrolling mindlessly through Instagram and, well, it’s perfect. I hope you pin the crap out of it.

ijeoma-umebinyuo

Have a fantastic weekend. 

#runnarounddrunsdisney training week two.

Each Tuesday I’ll be sharing marathon training wrap-ups, so if you’re into this sorta thing, these will be the days! Also make sure to follow #RunnarounddRunsDisney on social feeds for more sweat.

This series really should be called “Runnaroundd Is Going To Try Really Hard To Run Disney In 2017 But Nature Is Very Much Against It.” Too long?

9/5-9/11

believe-training-journal-marathon-training

Week two beat week one, but week two was still not a great week. I’m so ready for GREAT weeks. A great week for me means completing all the workouts I had planned. I don’t care if they suck. I don’t care if they’re painful or hot. I just want them to HAPPEN. But at least we got really close!

The rundown:
Four(ish) runs.
Two(ish) HIIT workouts.
Two bike rides.

A couple “ishes.” Merp. We did well, but we could’ve done better. And that’s something to keep in mind: things can always be better during training.

If we’re not satisfied, things can be better. We could always get more sleep, fuel smarter, stress less, push harder. When I feel myself getting to this frustrated, unsatisfied place, I flip it: things could be worse.

I could be injured or sick(er) or completely apathetic. Week two included a few missed and modified workouts. It could’ve been better, but nothing could’ve gone right at all and that would have been much worse.

Perspective.

Moving on. Here are a few things that got me through last week:

Do You Know What to Do if Your Life is in Danger When You are on a Run? with Todd Williams

The Long Run: A New York City Firefighter’s Triumphant Comeback from Crash Victim to Elite Athlete

Buzzfeed’s Instagram feed. It’s fantastic.

Neal Barnard, M.D. On The Power Of Nutrition To Prevent & Reverse Heart Disease, Diabetes & Alzheimer’s

Cal Fussman – The Master Storyteller Returns

Golden. Again. Always.

Good dreams.

These beautiful pieces of heaven.

Week three. Here we go.

giphy

weekend life by the bay.

Bet you didn’t know I’m a closet ping pong player. I am. 

ping-pong

For much of my high school and college life I played in a league in New Jersey. Every summer growing up I stayed at my grandparents’ house on Estling Lake in Denville, NJ. I enjoyed summers there with family and friends, I lifeguarded, delivered mail, even worked as a janitor, which was actually a lot of fun. In between the work and sunbathing I played on sports teams that competed against other lakes in the area: swimming, volleyball, and table tennis.

When I heard Tampa was hosting a ping pong tournament in Hyde Park this weekend it brought back all sorts of memories. I was the first one to sign up, and I brought my own paddle. #PRO

screen-shot-2016-09-12-at-4-38-24-pm

This awesome event was put on by Urban Conga. They promote community activities (ping pong), create interactive installations (coloring walls), and encourage PLAY and FUN. Two of my favorite things.

ping-pong-tournament-hyde-park-tampa

Urban Conga is a local company but they’re branching out in North Carolina, which is pretty awesome. I love their mission, and was happy I got to chat with one of the founders, Ryan Swanson, at the tournament. A real kid at heart.

Aside from kicking ass in the first two rounds then getting knocked out HARD in the third, I had a blast. I hope they do it again soon!

Some more fun weekend scenes included: SUN! BIKES! COFFEE! That’s kind of my life on the weekends with some running thrown in.

tampa-convention-center
Tampa Bae.

There’s just no such thing as too much of a good thing around here. Tampa is my place. The dolphins are my people. The coffee shops are my church. I don’t live ON the water but if I walk a block and turn the corner, I’m there. It’s paradise.

davis-islands
Got to Davis Islands just in time for the most perfect sunset.

starbucks-coffee-foam
My go-to order: Venti blonde roast with steamed soy milk and two Splenda.

target-doormat
My new doormat: Donde está la biblioteca? NAME THAT MOVIE.

weekend-biking
LIFE MOTTO.

I try my hardest not to take this place for granted because it’s so fantastically special. Living by the bay has helped me get through a lot—and continues to. Because when you’re surrounded by a MASSIVE body of water, it puts things into perspective real quick.

How was your weekend? Do you have any hidden talents?

what i dream about when i dream about running.

Have you read Haruki Murakami’s book, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running? It’s slow and fast and then slow and then fast again, but it’s still on my recommendation list. It’s an interesting exploration into the intersection of running and writing.

So, this dream I had. I heard from someone somewhere (no details left behind, eh?) that we only dream about people we’ve seen before. The premise is that even if these dream people seem unfamiliar, we must have caught a glimpse of their face somewhere even for just a split second; whoever he or she is we’ve seem those people before sometime somewhere. That’s what I like to believe anyway. Do you think that also applies to places? Can we only dream about places we’ve seen or visited?

I think a lot of us have recurring dreams. Mine—ones that have to do with running—are always the same. The thread that sews them together is this: I’m always a healthy runner. What I dream about when I dream about running is a body loosed from the grips of Dystonia. I fly. And I swear that the first few seconds after I wake up I still feel it. I get goosebumps. Every run dream is a good one.

running 2

Someone somewhere at some other time said something about how our dreams are the reality of our subconscious; the things we want, the secrets we keep, the feelings we hope to feel. I bet my subconscious is humming with running thoughts all day long. I bet that’s how it’s still operating. Because when I’m not actively thinking about running the way I want to so badly, the inner-workings of my brain are turned on and tuned in. I can only imagine the absolute zoo it is up there.

The way I run so freely in my dreams is the way I want to run in reality. I guess that’s why they call it a dream.

This running dream I had a few days ago was beautiful. I was so happy. I remember that.

I was on a trail, I think. I was running into the bright sunshine behind a group of other runners. And then it ended. It looked like this place. 

honeymoon island beach path

And a little bit like this place. 

fsu-cross-country-course

A mash-up of Honeymoon Island State Park and one of the many FSU cross country trails I ran in college. I think it’s all the off road-ness.

I wonder what dream time is? Was it 10 minutes? Ninety? Four hours? Three? I try to keep dreams like these alive in my real memory for as long as possible because it’s the closest I get to running without the absolute agony that is Dystonia.

The morning after these dreams I always wish one thing: they were real.

In college during XC I’d dream that I had already done the hard workout for the day, and then I’d wake up and realize those 1200s weren’t going to run themselves in my dreams. I always wished away running in those days when it was overwhelming and hard. And now? I’d give anything ANYTHING ANYTHING ANYTHING to hurt like that again. 

And while I know that even with Dystonia I’m still fortunate to run the little bit that I can and that others are so much worse off than me, this is what I dream about when I dream about running. 

Now, let’s hear from you:

-what do you usually dream about?
-do you have recurring dreams?
-do you dream in black and white or in color?

#runnarounddrunsdisney training week one.

Each Tuesday I’ll be sharing marathon training wrap-ups, so if you’re into this sorta thing, these will be the days! Also make sure to follow #RunnarounddRunsDisney on social feeds for more sweat.

It’s here! Marathon weekly training recaps are back for the next four months—and with a brand spanking new hashtag.Woo! My social media nerd is showing. This means Tuesdays are once again dedicated to reviewing the previous week’s workouts; my wins, fails, feelings, sweat, blood and, hello, tears. It’s real.

Should we get started?

8/29-9/4

believe-training-journal-runnarounddrunsdisney

As much as I wanted my first week to be a win, it so wasn’t. It was half a disaster. But not a full-blown catastrophe either. The sun came out at the end of the week.

I deemed this week a false start. I wanted a redo. But it kind of worked out because I built a buffer into the plan. I started a week or two earlier than I needed just in case something like this happened. And it happened.

The rundown:
Two runs.
Two rest days.
Two bike rides.
One HIIT workout.

Not terrible, but also not the plan. I think one of the most exciting things about a training plan is filling in those little squares every day in my Believe Training Journal; accomplishing mini goals along the way toward one huge, crazy one.

That feeling. It’s intoxicating. Especially when the miles get big. The payoff is even bigger.

We’re doing this (again). 

your dreams don’t have to make sense on paper.

Sunday morning started out like Saturday morning should’ve. 

Running was the plan for Saturday. Sunday, a riding day. Last year during marathon training I learned that my legs couldn’t take a long ride the day before a long run, so I carried those learnings into this year’s plan: Saturdays are for runs and Sundays are for easy recovery rides.

Well, Hurricane Hermine came through all nasty-like this past week and part of the weekend and foiled almost an entire week of workouts. Biotch.

long run sunday
Not this weekend. But pretty much a carbon copy.

So, Sunday morning. I hit Bayshore like always and listened to a podcast. Like always. This time I went into Nicole Antoinette’s archives and downloaded her interview with Zach Davis: Zach Davis on Work/Life Balance and Hiking the Appalachian Trail.

From Nicole’s website: Zach Davis is a writer, backpacker, and dream chaser who thru-hiked the Appalachian Trail (which measures in at almost 2200 miles!) in 2011. In 2014, Zach was named the Top Hiking and Outdoor Blogger by USA TODAY, and his book, Appalachian Trials, helps prepare people to hike the AT themselves, with a specific focus on mental preparation for handling such a daunting challenge.

Toward the end of the interview they got into courage and going for goals that are big and crazy. The kind of goals that you’d only go for when you can’t imagine walking one more step on the path doesn’t doesn’t lead to that big, crazy goal.

Zach’s goal was to quit his job, hike the Appalachian Trail for six months and see where he ended up or if he have a plan to end up somewhere other than where he started. He hoped.

Three years after he hiked the AT he published a book, Appalachian Trials (word play; I dig it) and five years after, he is running a backpacking website.

The thing is, these goals—at the time—didn’t make any sense on paper. He could’ve finished the hike and gotten a job back in the corporate world, the place he despised the most. He could’ve never landed a job and gone broke. He didn’t. He took BIG risks for something he knew was going to make him happy.

I like Zach. And I really related to his story because this marathon training thing doesn’t make sense to anyone but me. 

On paper—on my medical records—I’m basically a running disaster. On paper, my times get slower every month, every year, every race. On paper, I get served inconclusive test results. On paper, I have a disease that only affects a teeny tiny percentage of the population. But in my HEART I know I want to still be out there for this marathon even if in real life I look like an idiot. And even if it’s my last one.

It’s OK if YOUR dreams don’t add up perfectly. You just have to want them bad enough to make them work out in the end.

I HIGHLY recommend listening to this interview, especially if you’re at a crossroads. Hope you had a fantastic weekend.

pros! they’re just like us.

Title inspired by those ridiculous features in Us Weekly Magazine where we find out that OMG Miranda Kerr knows how to walk a dog and buy groceries just like us! You know what I’m talking about.

There is a sliver of truth there, though. As it relates to running it’s easy to forget that professionals are humans, too; they’re living, breathing mortals just like us. Just because these runners move their bodies faster—and let’s be honest, more gracefully—from one point to another doesn’t make them any more or us any less, ya know? They put their spandex on just like we—the ones without sponsorships—do.

I think we also forget that even though they’re at the top of the running game, they still get inspired by others.

Yesterday Oiselle tweeted this.

oiselle tweet

And because I’m a huge Oiselle fangirl and sucker for free.99 I replied with a few amazing runners that inspire me every day. I could name 100 more but, well, the character count limit on Twitter is sort of a buzzkill. 

oiselle tweet 2

Sarah replied and basically made me cry all the happy tears… 

oiselle tweet 4

And then TINA MUIR replied. TINA MUIR, SAUCONY-SPONSORED ELITE RUNNER. Tina, host of The Runner’s Connect Run To The Top podcast, blogger, health and wellness advocate, badass marathoner, and so so much more.

oiselle tweet 3

My heart. It exploded into a million pieces and, like Us Weekly’s ridiculous column, I thought about how pros are just like everyone else. They’re even inspired by people like me, who struggle mentally just to get out the door and physically to put one foot in front of the other.

It’s so cool! And kinda well, duh when you think about it.

I guess through all this I think it’s really important to remember that all this running stuff and racing stuff and training stuff…what you’re doing MATTERS. Whether you’re setting an example for someone, inspiring a pro, or just making yourself proud. IT ALL MATTERS.

This marathon training cycle really matters to me, and we’re going to make a fresh start next week after a failed attempt this past week.

Have a happy weekend, friends. Do something awesome.