#runnarounddrunsdisney training week four.

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.

Week One // Week Two // Week Three

This one’s about the long run. Well, the lack thereof. The missed miles. The fall-shorts.

9/19-9/25

believe-training-journal-marathon-training

One month down! I really can’t believe we’re already one month into marathon training. I jumped back to my fourth marathon training post from last year to see what kind of headspace I was in; to see how I was feeling compared to this year. I wrote:

“Last week I questioned my emotional investment a handful of times because I’m scared of not making it to the finish line. But when it comes down to it, I just need to woman-up and do the damn thing.”

Wow. Nailed it. Lindsay from a year ago was so wise—and brutal. Lindsay from a year ago also didn’t really know what she was getting herself into. She knew the runs were going to get longer and harder, but she didn’t know quite how long and hard it was going to feel to train for a marathon with Dystonia. The only thing she knew was she CHOSE this race. She picked her pain, and she had to get the damn thing done every single day.

trail-running-mizuno

Lindsay from this year needs to take notes from Lindsay from last year. 

Because this weekend I didn’t do the damn miles. I gave up on the damn miles. I let those miles run me. Not cool. 

I had 10 miles planned. I cycled 50 miles the day before but still felt fresh. I already spilled my feelings about this run. But when I got home and sulked about my sub-stellar run, it only made me more motivated to get myself on track to hit miles like I should.

So. The rundown:
Four runs.
Two bike rides.
One and a half HIIT workouts.
One rest day.

Proud of that. We. Are. Doing this!

choosing how to suffer.

I can’t quite remember how it goes, but Lauren Fleshman said something fantastic about running and suffering: It is a privilege to choose our own pain.

10/10 she said it better than that, but that’s the gist of it. If we get to choose how we want to suffer, we’re doing alright.

This marathon thing is totally self-inflicted. I could sleep in every day, make coffee and watch the news, head to work, sit at a desk, go home, have dinner, get in bed and do it all over again. No pain. No pressure. No suffering. No also no growth, right?

I don’t feel lucky that I have Dystonia. I hate that it makes this marathon journey feel impossible most days. But I am VERY lucky that my brain and my heart still want this race. I’m happy that I let the training beat me down most days, mentally and physically. I’m allowing the suffering to push me and teach me about myself and what I’m capable of achieving.

Saturday morning I chose to suffer on the BIKE.

I woke up with a monster headache; my eyeballs felt like they were in a lemon juicer. I did not sign up for THAT sufferfest. I can run in that kind of pain so I popped a few Tylenol and got on my bike.

ale-cycling

I needed to get the blood flowing, plus a little fresh air. I told myself to try for an hour. That’s all. Eighteen to 20 miles, tops. No need to push it. I had a long run to do the next day, anyway.

After two podcasts I realized I was about 35 miles in. The time flew! I stopped for a cold brew coffee, hoping a little caffeine would help the headache. We checked Insta, then got back in the bike.

The break and liquid jolt felt GREAT. So great, in fact, I stopped for another at mile 42. Hi, it’s me. Creamy. Delicious. Is it just me or does cold brew coffee taste…chocolatey? I always get that hint of mocha…weird.

Forty two miles in…that’s damn close to 50. So I went for it. I got back in the saddle and looped around until my Garmin beeped at me.

HALF OF A CENTURY LATER, I was home and I didn’t even know what day it was. My final time was 2 hours 46 minutes. Shit. I went from barely being able to put on my helmet and shorts to crushing 50 miles. It’s not a PR, but it is in the last 8 months!

Sunday morning I chose to suffer on the RUN.

I had 10 miles on the plan but…well…we didn’t quite hit that. I was VERY over running the paved roads near me, so I headed about 20 minutes away to trails I used to run every single weekend in college.

It’s been months since I’ve been here (BAD), but I can confirm I still know every twist and turn of the main trail.

trout-wilderness-state-park-tampa

The run started out great. My legs weren’t tired at all from the 50-mile ride on Saturday. It was hot, but not too humid, and the trees blocked any intense heat and sun.

At about halfway my mind was done with the run. I wanted to take it in—this familiar place let me come back to dry trails and no snakes—I wanted to wave to all the other hikers and bikers, but I couldn’t.

Long story short: I made it to 8, not 10. I totally gave up. I could’ve kept going, but I just gave up. I HATE that I did that. Nothing hurt save for my pride and ego. I can’t move my legs like normal runners can and I let that beat me down, two miles short of my goal. I really, really hate that I did that.

trail-running
The only thing I was excited about on Sunday: my neon-ness.

I’ve picked this pain. I need to live with it. I need to let it hurt me sometimes and get back up. We’ll get ’em next weekend. We are doing this.

What pain do you pick?

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.

Week One // Week Two

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.

Week One

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

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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.

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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).