Thursday, November 22, 2012

Thanksgiving Thanks

Happy Thanksgiving to everyone.  It is days like these that make us sit back and take stock of our lives.  I am thankful that I am healthy and happy.  It was nine years ago on Thanksgiving that I met my husband, Dan.  We have been married 7 years now and I am still completely smitten with him.  I am thankful he is patient and tolerant of my chaotic, frenetic life.  Do you have a special someone that inspires and keeps you young?  There are usually people in your life you keep around for a reason.  I like to call them, "The necessary ingredients".  These people add to your life in more ways than you can count.

I am also thankful for my kids.  Even though we are missing 2 of them today, I know my love for them transcends all distance and time.  I cherish their independent spirits and relish in their zest for life.  The world is their oyster and all of them are on great paths.

I am thankful I can run.  Running has been my best friend and my worst enemy.  It's finding the balance in the two that makes lacing up my shoelaces all the more worth it.  There is rarely a first mile of a run I enjoy.  There is rarely the last mile of a run I enjoy.  It's the comfortable middle where you are enpowered and feel like you are on top of the world.  It's finding that homeostatic space (yeah, pace would have probably been a better word) where you are feeling joy in the purest sense of the word. 

I am thankful for a bounty of fantastic friends.  I adore all of them.  I am lucky to be able to feel vulnerable with them. There is something so magical about being real and raw.  I hope everyone is fortunate to be able to connect with their friends today and tell them how much they mean to them.

Today is a lazy day for me.  I'm still recovering from the 75 mile adventure and I have probably taught too many BodyPump classes this week.  I'm going to walk the dogs after feasting from our Thanksgiving table.

From my home to yours....Happy Thanksgiving!
Hugs, Cindy

Monday, November 19, 2012

Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra

I was afraid to tell anyone my goal.  I didn't want to disappoint anyone, most of all myself.  I envisioned me accomplishing my goal but I had reservation because I wasn't sure if I would be recovered enough from racing in a half marathon the weekend before.  I finished in 1:30:42 and won my 45-49 age group at the Richmond American Family Fitness Half.  It wasn't a PR, but I felt like I ran pretty hard. After the half I had a full week with classes and clients and continually thought about my goal:  75 miles.  Seemed incredibly lofty since I quit after 56 laps last year.  Only a few friends knew the details because I was experiencing some fear of failure issues.  The more the week progressed the more I decided I was being silly and needed to articulate my race intentions.  I announced it to my noon class at the Yafter a vigorous BodyPump class on Thursday.  There...I said it, even explained how I was going to accomplish it.  I was going to walk more than I did the previous year.  My nervousness began to kick in.  I hate to disappoint people, especially myself.  To make matters worse, I intentionally started this blogsite the night before the event so I would have my intentions immortalized on the internet.  After writing the first entry I tried to go to sleep.  Sleep eluded me until almost midnight.  I woke up before my alarm at 6 and nervously gathered my belongings and got into my car.

I arrived and unloaded all my bags I thought I would need for the 24 hours.  Dena, my friend, and I brought way too much stuff last year when we participated in this race.  I am sheepishly admitting I brought just as much stuff, if not more.  This year I brought in addition to 2 big bags of clothes 2 yoga mats, sleeping bag, pillow etc.  I also brought tons of food that I did not eat because the organizers had a bountiful table filled with  pretzels, M&M's, grapes, raisins, bananas, cookies, burgers, soup, etc.  I was able to make it to the starting line with 10 seconds to spare and we all took off.

It was great running into several runners that I competed with last year.  Runners in ultra events are extremely friendly. There is nothing like a small loop and 24 hours to really get to know some of the people around you.  I was known as the smiling lady because even in the cold of night, I was thrilled to be where I was.

I'm sure I will blog about specific memories from this race, but for are some photos taken by the race director, Ricky Scott.  Who, may I add, was very inspirational to me and helpful when I started doubting myself.  Here are some photos
This is the one and only hill on the course.  This is early in the race....although I smile throughout the rest of the photos, I can assure you I truly  f e l t  the smile in this photo.  I felt great.  I felt great until about mile 31.  More on that later.
The temperatures were in the 30's to begin with and warmed up to 50 something and then got very, very cold at night.

It warmed up nicely in the afternoon, so I was able to take off layers.  Yes, I'm still smiling.  Let me leave you with 2 more photos.  First one is taken around 1am and I was freezing, shivering and trying to keep warm by the fire with help from Johnny and Gloria who bundled me up and brought me soup.  They thought I was done. 
I'm smiling, but this was because I was finally getting warm.  I had 4 layers of clothes on, 2 scarves, hat, and gloves with hot hands in them and I was still cold!  Here is the end of today's story:
The photo says 23 hours, 17 minutes and 26 seconds.  I can now say I'm an ultra runner, but I still feel like a miler :)

In health and wellness,

Friday, November 16, 2012

Starting at the very beginning

Well..hi there.  Welcome to health and wellness on the run.  Literally.  On the Run.  I'm a runner.  We are a diverse, interesting bunch of people.  I hope you will sit down and read a little, laugh a little and want to share some of your experiences here on this blog.
I am going to start by saying tomorrow I'm embarking on a physically grueling challenge.  I am participating in the Crooked Road 24 Hour Ultra.  I cannot say this is my first because I attempted this last year and when it got cold and dark I left after 10 hours and 53 miles.  I am excited about this endeavor because this year I am going solo.  Yup.  My incredibly patient and understanding husband, Dan, is away on a golf outing with some fraternity brothers in Pinehurst, NC.  Last year he never uttered any complaints, but I felt guilty about him sitting (freezing) there watching me go around and around (did I mention around) a .95 mile loop in a park in Rocky Mount, VA.  With him gone I am excited to push myself farther than I thought possible last year. 
Last year I did not use my Ipod at all.  This year I have charged up 3 Ipods and even downloaded an audiobook.  I packed my sleeping bag, pillow, foam roller, marathon stick and more simple carbs than you can imagine. 
Running has been my life since 7th grade when we had to do a mile for the Presidential Physical Fitness Award.  I knew I was an athletic soccer and basketball player but didn't know the world of running till I finished my first mile in 6:02.  I still don't know if running was an instantaneous love, or if beating the boys was more compelling.  30+ years later and I'm still running. 
Well...I am going to stop rambling and try to rest for my big event tomorrow.  I am lucky enough to have a great friend allow me to stay at her lakehouse to shorten my drive to the starting line.  I will definitely keep you posted!
In health and wellness,  Cindy