Posts filed under ‘fear’

accountability

it’s time to come back. to here and to the run. and since the two have always gone hand-in-hand, it’s my last ditch effort on accountability before i admit defeat. i have forgotten that i am an athlete. sure, i run. sometimes. a few miles here. 15 miles there. it’s inconsistent at best and i’m no longer ok with it.

back in january. good god it’s been that long since i’ve written. i ran the croom zoom 100 miler. correction, i attempted to run the croom zoom 100. i try not to call that day a failure. i made it further than the body had ever allowed. 62 miles. but i didn’t make it the 100 i had set out for and in my mind, the means i failed.

my knee was shot. i mean SHOT. and after a few weeks down i did the obligatory X-ray that found arthritis. bone on bone. minor but enough that i had to consider options. after months of insurance company battles that option ended up being a series of injections of a joint lubricant. since then i’ve struggled. physically i’ve been ok. not 100 percent but good enough. but mentally i’ve yet to regain what i lost.

but i’m ready. not sure exactly what for yet. i toy with the idea that i still want to do a full iron man. but i hate that i have yet to check the 100 off my bucket list. then there’s still that pesky sub-4 marathon. do i dare leave the comfort and security of the woods and hit the road again in quest of speed?

but i’ve waffled over the debate for too long. so a few days ago i made a commitment. a small one. just a sprint tri in october. but a commitment nonetheless. yesterday i got back on the bike for the first ride in more than a year. and this week comes the water. i’m also on the waiting list for AO. a 100 mile race in december. that one is a “we’ll see” at best. it’s a free race and i can say no at any time so no skin off my back to stay wait listed as long as i need to decide.

hopefully i can commit to things. the races and the words. i miss both.

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July 24, 2016 at 6:38 am Leave a comment

that’s all she wrote

100 training week three: lose the boy. find the run.

focus is back on what i know best; running away from everything towards nothing.

August 25, 2014 at 2:01 pm 3 comments

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August 14, 2013 at 8:42 pm Enter your password to view comments.

helpless

this past friday afternoon my mom got her test results. the expected confirmation of a stage one simple procedure became stage four follicular lymphoma. the Cancer is in her bone marrow. in her liver. in her spleen. i’ve been in a bit of a fog since. trying to come to grips with exactly what this means.

though “stage four” sounds particularly ominous there are things to try and remain positive about. there may not be a cure for follicular lymphoma but it’s slow growing. and relatively new treatment options have increased expected life expectancy after diagnosis. and chemo isn’t in her treatment plan ~ for now ~ so hopefully her quality of life won’t diminish too drastically.

but yesterday was treatment number one and she had a reaction to the drugs, couldn’t breathe and had to put on oxygen. twice. and when i say increased life expectancy the doctor is still putting a number on things. five to six years. and that’s simply not long enough. not long enough to see mini-me get married someday. not long enough for my nephew ~ her brand new little grandson ~ to really get to know his gamma. not long enough for my other brother’s kids ~ my niece and nephew that she is helping to raise ~ to become strong enough adults to not have her as their rock.

i can’t think about it right now. but i also know i can’t avoid reality. i feel so helpless.

February 27, 2013 at 1:02 pm 5 comments

50 miles to hell

seems lately most of my posts have taken a far more personal turn. there’s been a few things going on that i’ve needed to share and get some advice on. but i realized this morning that i’ve written few to no updates on where i am in my running comeback. maybe i’m scared to jinx it. maybe i don’t feel like it’s worthy of sharing yet. but it helps me see the strides i make by writing about it.

i’ve been back running for seven weeks now. it was a slow tentative start. there were, and honestly still are, days where i’m not completely convinced that the fracture is fully healed. though there’s no sharp pain like before, there is often discomfort and sometimes i put on a pair of shoes and am clearly reminded that the foot is still swollen. maybe it will never be the same. maybe i just need to be patient. but regardless i feel little to no discomfort when actually running so i’m not sitting around waiting. i can’t!

i’ve made reference to it in a couple posts but i haven’t really gone into detail about my next challenge. on april 6 i will be doing my first ultramarathon. ultras are defined as anything over the marathon distance of 26.2 and typically start at the 50k distance. true to my nature, i opted to forgo the 50k distance (that’s barely longer than a marathon! geesh!) and skip straight to a 50 mile … on trails … with pretty major hills.

i honestly never thought i would consider an ultra. not just because running anything that far is damn insane but because ultra runners are a different breed and i never thought i was that kind of runner. there are no crowds. no street lined spectatorship. no expo event excitement. and though there is a very strong bond amongst ultra runners, it’s also a far lonelier run. solo. internal. deep.

somewhere in the past year or so i’ve felt a shift in who i am both as a runner and a person. though years ago i found self-confidence and security in who i am i also still relished a social acceptance that i tried to define and strive for. running with a group, in more popular large scale events, gave me everything i thought i wanted. support, friendship, understanding, ways to fill the voids. and though i love my running family, i’m coming to realize that the emptiness and insecurity that lingers is masked by never allowing myself to face what i think i fear most; myself.

like everything else in my world, i keep a very tight reign over my emotions. i’ve always joked that if i need a good cry, i pencil it in on my calendar. and yes pencil. never pen. because i certainly can’t break down on a night mini-me is home, nor can it be a night before a big meeting (my eyes swell so bad) and  i need to reserve the right to reschedule if something more important pops up. funny? yeah, sure. but sadly, pretty serious. i never saw any benefit to letting my emotions get the best of me.

but what i’ve come to see is that by denying myself the right to allow extreme lows, i’ve also denied myself the ability to feel extreme highs. and somehow i think reaching for the low will be easier than accepting the high. for me, i think this race will present me a physical need to reach deeper inside myself than i ever have, and will give me the most open honest opportunity to look myself in the eyes. i almost want this race to break me. not fully. i’ll be damned i want to finish and finish proud but i want to have to face and conquer inner demons and ghosts along the way.

wow. the intent of this post was to give a mileage break down. a week by week play of xyz miles at whatever pace. but somehow i went where i’ve been as of late. soul searching. i guess this is where i need to be right now.

as for the running update let’s just say i’m getting there. i’m settling into a good routine of days and times that just need to increase in distance. if all goes according to plan this week should be a weekly mileage total of 40 plus. not really even close to where every ultra training plan says i should be at this point but given i had to heal a broken foot i’m pretty content with where i am.

the next ten weeks may be my biggest life journey ever. physically and emotionally.

it may just be my fifty miles to hell.

January 30, 2013 at 8:59 pm 1 comment

the value of a bead

my talk of gasparilla is always of the run. it’s the best part. what gasparilla really means in my world. but there’s far more. street parades, an art fest, music and more. a city’s history and celebration of the mystical pirate jose gaspar.

yesterday was the big event. a mock pirate invasion as gaspar and his crew overtake the city. boats and beads and bootie. over the years this event has turned into quite the drunken street fest. picture jack sparrow meets mardi gras. it’s a fun time … if you’re a 20-something year old party type. but the NYC girl and i have found a way to still enjoy the fun but on a we’re-too-old-for-that-crap level. prior to the street parade, there’s a boat invasion and the boats all come down the channel that runs along our island, and directly in front of her house. so yesterday was our third annual boat invasion party. up and down the channel they run. throwing beads. taunting those on land as some throw water balloons and beads back. we drink, we eat, we celebrate a pirate’s life.

after the boat parade a few of us decided to walk down to the parade. every year i say i’m not going to yet every year i seem to find myself agreeing to with those that do. it was a small group this year. just me, harry (formerly known as the euro), the governor, her husband and their two little girls. we were a little leery at first. that kind of chaos is a bit overwhelming and having the girls there seemed weird but we eventually found a great spot. the girls were right up along the parade barrier where the governor stood watch and the guys and i sat back just enjoying the insanity.

we had been there for about 30 minutes when i started to notice some commotion on the parade route right in front of us. i heard talk of a seizure and a fallen woman but i wasn’t sure of the extent. i could see paramedics, parade police and more but i couldn’t process the situation. not long after i heard the governor tell the girls to get back. she handed them to me one by one and i sat them on the stone wall behind us. i had no idea of the scene they had witnessed but i could tell they were scared and upset. my focus quickly became them. “she’s ok” i kept repeating. “look at all those doctors with her. and look right behind us on the island … that building right there is the hospital.” they talked of shaking and blood from her head. and i told stories of my brothers three cracked skulls and stitches and how he’s fine and happy.

once i had them settled, i tried to see what i couldn’t. i bent down and found myself looking directly into her eyes. she was probably my age or a little younger. beautiful. and she was staring straight at me. and there was nothing. no movement, no eye flicker. nothing. i saw the looks on the paramedics faces. i saw the blood flowing next to her head. and i remember looking up at harry and saying “she’s dead. i think she’d dead”. all around us people screamed … for beads. all around her the parade went on. a hospital not a quarter-mile from us and i heard no attempt to stop the fun and let an ambulance through. i turned to the water and stared into nothing as i could feel the tears start streaming down my face. i didn’t want the girls to see me shaken. i had promised them she was ok and i couldn’t keep that promise. a few minutes later i heard harry say she was talking. her eyes were moving. she’s not ok. but she’s alive. i tried to find relief but i only found myself more upset. why wasn’t she on the way to the hospital. why were they just directing parade traffic around her body. why were people still screaming for beads instead of worrying about her.

we left then. we had to. for the girls. for all of us. there was no enjoyment left in our day. i carried the little one and tried to believe my own lies that the girl was already at the hospital and she was just fine. i’ll likely never know. but i hope i wan’t all lies. i hope she is ok. but regardless yesterday i lost a little faith in humanity. lost belief in the goodness of the human race. are we that cold and uncaring that a 5 cent string of beads holds more value that a human life? later that evening harry tried to rationalize it for me. people get caught up in things. they were drinking. the situation seemed surreal. most probably even had no idea it was going on. it helped, a little. i know it was out of place and a small part of the huge event around us. but i’m not sure i’ll ever be able to forget the emptiness i saw in her eyes staring back at me through the crowd.

January 27, 2013 at 8:47 am Leave a comment

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the best of times

5k pr ~ 24:23
10k pr ~ 52:49
half marathon pr ~ 1:55:10
marathon pr ~ 4:10:41
half ironman pr ~ 5:57:50
50k pr ~ 5:33:23
50-mile pr ~ 11:32:39

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