Adventure run


So, I actually wrote this four weeks ago and realized a few days ago I never posted it. Whoops.

One of my favorite things to do when I get to a new place is to just take off for a run and get good and lost. It’s such a great way to see places, people, and things you can easily miss when you are driving in a new area. Tim and I have done it on several trips and always have a great time finding hidden treasures.

I decided to do that yesterday and took off in the general direction of Nakagusuku Castle, because what could be better than a morning run to a castle?

Initially, my plan worked beautifully. I ran streets that were right next to base and yet I had never explored before, stopping every once in a while to check my phone and make sure I was heading in the right general direction. At one point, at the bottom of the hill leading up to the castle (it was a rather large hill) I had a feeling I had taken a wrong turn and sure enough, I was right. I was about to turn around when I realized there was a large park in front of me, so I went to investigate. It was beautiful, and shared the name of the castle. Then I saw a wooden path/staircase on the opposite side of the park cutting through the dense brush up the hill. Could I have discovered a hidden path to the castle? It seemed too good to be true, but I started up it. My legs were screaming, but I was determined now. Plus, with views like this, who could complain?

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I kept going, alternately amazed by both the beauty of the forest and my fancy ninja moves as I got caught up in spider webs across the path. I came to a clearing and thought, ahh, finally  made it to the top.

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Nope.

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After all those stairs and all that anticipation of castle ruins appearing before me, imagine my surprise when I turned a corner and came across this sight instead…

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What could I do but laugh, shake my head, and make my way back down? On the plus side, I did get to see some areas I hadn’t seen before…and I can try again to make it to the castle!

 

 

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Katsuren Castle Ruins and a Run on Farm Roads


I had a great weekend. Now, if you were one of the people I spoke to yesterday when I was so very homesick you would never know that, but it’s true. I blame my family and friends for the homesickness. If they weren’t so wonderful, I wouldn’t miss them so much.

Anyway, onto the goodness. I have been craving pizza and beer something fierce, so Friday night I put on a baseball game, cooked a frozen pizza, and had a beer. Okay, it was two beers. It didn’t matter that it was a frozen pizza, or that I already knew the outcome of the game, it was wonderful.

Saturday morning I did my penance for the pizza and beer in the form of a trail run with the running group I have been meeting up with. The group is called WOOT, for Women on Okinawa Trails – there, now everyone knows the name of the group and I can stop saying “the trail running group I run with” every time. The trails were actually hilly dirt roads that run through a bunch of farms and it is like a maze back there! The group split up early and I ended up running with three other girls most of the time. Luckily one of them knew the roads well, because I would probably still be out there running otherwise. As it was, we went a little further than I planned on, but other than some tired legs it was a great run. Here’s a look at part of the “road” – now you know why they count it as a trail run!

imageI got back from the run just in time to catch the first pitch of the Braves game. This has become my favorite part of the week: I get home from the runs, make a pot of coffee and breakfast, and watch the baseball game. It makes for a great Saturday morning – even better this Saturday because the Braves got their first win of the season! Combine that little slice of heaven with the fact that I talked to my mom, Gram, and Kelsey while I was watching the game and you have yourself a happy Dawn!

After the game, I drove over to a place called American Village, which is a tourist area on the water. Although it is called American Village, it actually attracts many tourists from China and South Korea, and has lots of Japanese shops. I walked around for a while popping in and out of stores, finishing at the grocery store to pick up some produce. A quick stop at the commissary rounded out the shopping, and I spent the evening doing some cooking for the week. Then, I got to Skype with Tim! It was our first time Skyping and it was great to see his face – although it wasn’t until he showed me the dogs that I got teared up. Probably just a coincidence…

Sunday morning I had to head over to the hospital to shadow the Officer of the Day, or OOD. That is the duty I will stand while I am here, and you have to shadow three times before you stand your first watch. Luckily, none of them make you stick around for long, so I came back to the room and repeated the Saturday morning routine of Braves game and coffee. After I went back to the hospital one more time, I was free for the day so I decided to check out some castle ruins. I went back and forth between being productive and sightseeing, and I’m so glad I chose sightseeing! The drive out there alone was fantastic, and the ruins were breathtaking – the pictures don’t do it justice, but here are a few to give you an idea:

There were multiple levels, and these crazy stone stairs going up to each one. It’s mind blowing to realize the glory days of this castle were in the 1400’s – and the stairs are still there. Wow. You will also notice a picture of me, despite the fact that I went alone. That is because an extremely kind elderly gentleman got my attention and asked (via hand gestures) if I wanted a picture of myself in front of the ruins. I did not, but there was no way I was going to say no, so I gratefully accepted. He then proceeded to call his daughter (granddaughter?) over because it turns out he had no idea how to actually take the picture. For some reason it made his offer seem that much sweeter…and ten times funnier.

By the way, for those of you who are thinking wow, that looks kind of high, was Dawn nervous? The answer is yes. YES. I could barely hold on to my phone because my hands were so sweaty, and I’m sure everyone got a good chuckle out of the American girl walking down the stone steps holding on (with both hands) to the castle wall.

I ended my trip to the castle by poking my head in the little store across the street near the parking lot. Man, I love Japanese treats. I bought some homemade scones, Japanese sweet potato chips, and brown rice drink. The last one was a roll of the dice; curiosity just got the best of me. It is literally brown rice puree with brown sugar, “etc.” I put the etc. in quotation marks because that is literally what the description was. It actually tasted pretty good, but it was thick. And had small chunks. Luckily I’m not a texture person, and I was super thirsty so I chugged it down, but I could see how people would be turned off by it. It would also have to be ice cold – if it had warmed up even a degree or two I don’t think I could have done it.

I wasn’t back from my adventure to the ruins for long before I left once again for dinner with a friend, which would be a great way to end a day by itself – but I still get to talk to another great friend tonight! I will be chatting with Melani, live from Cuba, in just a little while. Now that is a good weekend 🙂

 

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Foodie Weekend!


I had some awesome food this weekend. Probably a little too much of it, but I couldn’t help myself. It was just so good.

Luckily I knew this was coming, so I was prepared to earn it. Saturday morning started with another great run. It was relatively short, only four miles, but a good portion of those miles were on the beach and up and down stairs. Although it increased the difficulty, it also made for a beautiful start to the day! The weather was perfect, sunny and already in the 60s (sorry to everyone getting snow right now!) when we started. We began and ended the run at a Starbucks and many of you know how near and dear to my heart this routine is! It was great to sit and drink coffee and talk with the ladies after we were done. Most of the women are either active duty or military spouses, but there are a few Okinawans in the group, as well, and the variety of backgrounds makes for such an interesting and diverse mix of people.

Saturday afternoon I ventured to the mall. It is massive, and very similar to American malls, but there is one thing they do far better here and that is their food court. There are over 40 restaurants to choose from, and they have all different types of food. There’s even a donut place, for those who have been horrified by my food selections thus far. After a lot of deliberation, I decided on a Korean place and tried bibimbap for the first time.

So. Good.

There are a few variations on the dish, but the one I tried is served in a hot stone bowl that contains rice, sautéed vegetables, marinated shaved beef, and a raw egg. You push the egg up against the bowl and the stone is so hot that it cooks the egg on contact. All bibimbap dishes are intended to be mixed together before you eat it, and with the stone dish, my rice got nice and crispy. What made it even better is the food court has an outdoor seating area that overlooks the water. Sounds too good to be true? I have photographic evidence:

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Admittedly, not my best photo, but I was trying to not look too much like the picture-taking American.

The rest of my weekend was pretty routine, so I’ll skip over that part and get straight to dinner on Sunday. I had mentioned I was craving sushi, so a girl from the running group took me to one of her favorite spots. It was a conveyor belt sushi restaurant, which I love because you don’t have to choose-you can have a little bit of everything. This makes my inner fat kid so very happy.

For those that aren’t familiar, you go to your table and a little conveyor belt runs right next to you (or in front of you, depending on the restaurant). The belt has small plates with all different types of sushi on them, and when you see something you want, you just grab the plate off the belt and enjoy! You pay per plate, and this restaurant was crazy cheap-100 yen per plate, which is less than a dollar, and each plate had two pieces of sushi. Don’t see anything you want? No problem-there’s a tablet you can scroll through and make a selection from dozens of different options. A few minutes later the second, faster conveyor belt zooms your food right to your table. Sadly, I forgot to take pictures to share, so I guess I’ll just have to go back. The things I do for you all 😉

I hope everyone had a great weekend!

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Running Myself Happy


Despite my best efforts, the inevitable happened on Friday…I got pouty. I didn’t have a great day – not bad, just not very good – and I was lonely. I’ve met a lot of great people here already, but I was craving that connection with the people I’m closest to, the connection that lets you just hang out with no effort required. I miss my husband, my family, and my friends and my thoughts were drifting to the “I don’t want to do this for three years” realm. I quickly decided this was unacceptable, and I needed 1) an attitude adjustment,  2) something to look forward to, and 3) to set myself up to meet as many people as possible. I decided to attempt this the only way I know how…through running.

I was already planning on running with the female trail running group that is here on the island Saturday morning, so I started with them. They are doing a pick-your-distance run up a mountain in northern Okinawa in June, so I signed up. It’s on a beach/mini resort area, and it’s about two hours away, so I decided to go all in-I reserved a hotel room up there for the weekend. Go big or go home, right? I figure worst case scenario, I get in a good workout and then sunbath on the China Sea for a weekend. Hard to find a downside there.Finally, one of the other running groups on the island was looking for volunteers to make posters for a race next weekend, so I offered to help them on Sunday.

Results? The trail run Saturday morning was amazing-great run, great people, and great views. Here are some pictures from the trail (please note, only the one from the stream is mine-the rest were pilfered from another runner’s Facebook page):

The volunteering also went well-there were about five other people there and they were really nice-despite the fact that I was the awkward run who wasn’t actually running the race we made signs for, nor had I run any of the group runs with them.

Also, in a tribute to the wonders of modern technology, I was able to talk to my husband, mom, sister, and grandmother all in one weekend. I truly have no idea how people did this before smart phones and the Internet, and I am so very grateful that I am able to keep in touch so regularly and reliably.

So, in closing, I still don’t really want to be here, but I am. So I’m going to have as much fun and meet as many people as I can, and I have no doubt I’ll end up having an amazing tour here in Okinawa. Even if that means getting a reputation for being the creepy person who just randomly shows up for things.

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Afternoon Trip to Onna, Okinawa


Today was absolutely beautiful here in Okinawa, mostly sunny with temps around 70 degrees, so I decided to head out for my first Japan adventure that didn’t involve food! I chose Onna as my destination because it is relatively close, described as a popular seaside resort town, and located on 58 – which is one of only two roads I know.

My initial plan was to get to Onna Village, park, and wander around a bit, but once I got there I hit horrible traffic and couldn’t read any of the signs (the further north you go, the less English you see). I was still driving around looking for a place to park when I saw a sign for Manzamo. I had read this is a popular sightseeing spot and has a view of a cliff that looks like an elephant’s trunk, so of course I had to stop. As promised, it really did look like an elephant’s trunk!

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As I followed the path along the cliff and glanced north, I thought I saw…wait…could it be?  An inflatable park in the water?? Why, yes it was! My first thought was, please let this be open to adults, and after a quick Google search when I got home I learned that it is! Guess who will be making a visit there this summer? (I know it is a little tricky to see, so here is a link if you want to see a close-up: http://www.japanupdate.com/2015/03/manza-beach-resort-offers-great-fun-for-everyone/).

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My next stop was Okashi Goten, which is advertised as one of the most famous souvenir shops on Okinawa. They specialize in sweets made with sweet purple potatoes, and since sweet potatoes and sugar are two of my favorite things, why not swing by?

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It turned out to be a pretty cool store, and the best part was they had samples out for most of their treats! They sure know how to win me over. I figured it was only right to buy something since I basically had a second lunch on the samples, so I settled on purple sweet potato chips (delicious), brown sugar and coconut milk covered macadamia nuts (different – I’m still undecided), and a pound of an Okinawa-roasted coffee (TBD – I’ll let you know tomorrow morning!). They also had several pieces of Ryukyu glass. The art of glass-making is very popular on Okinawa, and I have quickly fallen in love with the locally made products! I was tempted to grab a piece or two while I was there, but want to wait until I go somewhere that specializes in glass and has more selection so I resisted.

I was completely caught up in my tastings and Ryukyu glass and somehow I almost missed the best part of the store – the view! I looked up from one of the displays to see this…

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Stunning, and way too hard for me to resist, so after I paid for my stuff I wandered down to the beach. I kicked off my shoes and dipped my toes in the water, but despite what I had been told about year-round warm water, it was freezing. I quickly aborted that mission. From the beach, I was able to see the cafe that is also run by the shop. They had both indoor and outdoor seating overlooking the water – I was so sad I had already eaten lunch!

I decided it was time to head back, but as I was heading south I saw a sign for the Ryukyu Glass Factory. What?? It was like it was fate, and who am I to question fate? I flipped a quick U-turn and went in. Oh my. Absolutely beautiful. Once again, I was tempted, but I decided to wait and look around. It’s not outrageously priced, but it’s not cheap either, so I figure I should wait for Tim to get here and get his thoughts.

I made it back to my room without any more detours, and am now watching a rerun of one of the basketball games. I had a great time exploring today, but I was out of my comfort zone for quite a while and it is nice to be back somewhere familiar!

 

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Adventures in Okinawa – Part 1


I am finally in Okinawa after a long, but blessedly uneventful, trip! Day 1 consisted of getting to Seattle, which turned out to be the most difficult part thanks to nasty weather up and down the east coast. Once I finally arrived in Seattle, I paid for a cheap hotel room so I could catch less than three hours of sleep. It was worth every penny. The next morning I made my way to the airport with my 135 pounds of luggage and my only thought was, I can’t wait until I don’t have to carry this stuff around anymore! I didn’t feel much of anything emotionally at the airport – I have a tendency to shut down when I get overwhelmed with too many emotions – but reality was slowly setting in, and I thought several times “huh…I guess I’m actually moving to Japan.” I’m quick like that.

The trip over here was smooth. They fed us regularly, and anyone who knows me realizes how key this is to my overall happiness (and the happiness of those around me). We stopped a couple of times and I was able to see the dogs being transported over on our flight. Even though my heart broke a little every time I saw them in their kennels, it was reassuring to have a better understanding of what our dogs will be going through in a few months. My sponsor was at the airport to pick me up when we arrived in Okinawa. Our first stop was food, and that’s when I decided he’s one of the coolest people I know (please reference statement above). He brought me to my room where I will be living until Tim arrives. It is pretty bare-bone (they left me less than half a roll of toilet paper) but there was a bed, so I was happy.

I got a decent sleep that first night, but was up at 4:30 am. I got up at 5:00 am and after finding myself bored by 5:05 am I realized how dependent on technology I am for entertainment. There is no television and no internet in the room. This realization sent me into a state of depression, and I found myself rocking in a corner sucking my thumb wondering how my life had come to this. Okay, not really, but there was a moment… I actually starting playing some music and unpacking, which seemed more productive than the whole thumb-sucking scenario. I went running as soon as the sun came up so I could see the rest of the base. Holy hills, I have been living at sea level for a long time. I got back and showered, dried myself off with a cotton sundress (I forgot a towel), and figured out how to call home. I was on cloud nine after getting the chance to talk to everyone. Texting is great, but sometimes you just need to hear the voices of the people you love most in life.

My sponsor, his wife, and their two kids then took me to the exchange and the commissary to buy food and necessities for the room. Their kindness and generosity has been mind-blowing. We got back around 1:30 in the afternoon and I got to cleaning, something that apparently went against the core beliefs of the person who lived here before me. Once I finished cleaning, I was able to unpack and finally feel settled. I fought the STRONG urge to take a nap and waited for my sponsor to pick me up once again, this time to go to dinner with a couple of his friends and their kids. We went to a yakiniku restaurant, which is Japanese barbeque. I thought of it as a combination of Brazilian and Korean barbeque. We paid a (very reasonable) flat rate when we got there and then used the tablet at the table to order anything and everything we wanted. There all different kinds of marinated raw meat to choose from, and they bring your selections to your table. There is an open flame with a grated cover in the middle of the table so you can cook the meat. You can order vegetables, rice, Japanese naan, and other things I can’t even remember to go with the barbeque. They will bring out as much as you want, but you have to eat everything you order or they will charge you. I love this rule! I ordered two plates of vegetables to grill and ended up eating both of them because everyone at the table thought eating vegetables was a sin with so much meat available. Needless to say, I left in a food coma. I managed to stay up for about 15 minutes after we got home, fell into bed, and got the first solid sleep I’ve had in almost a week. All in all, a successful start to the trip!

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Bel Monte 50K Recap


The 2015 Bel Monte 50K was my second ultramarathon, and I went into it with a fair amount of confidence. Even though I hadn’t gotten as many miles in as I would have liked, my long runs were strong, I had been working on balance and mobility, and I already had one 50K under my belt. That being said, it didn’t go as well as I had hoped, as evidenced by my results (these are according to my Garmin):

Total distance – 34.86 miles

Time – 10:00 hours (pretty close anyway – my Garmin died about 7 minutes before I crossed the finish line)

Total elevation gain – 4,894 feet (plus whatever I climbed in the last 7 minutes)

Average pace – 16:56 min/mi including stops at aid stations

Let me preface this report with two points: one, I hurt my IT band and had to walk the last 12 miles, causing me to miss the cut off time, so you’re not getting an elite perspective here. Two, I’m terrified of heights, so my opinion of these races is strongly influenced by how many times I was incapacitated by fear. In this case it was only twice, so already a fan.

Anyway, our adventure started on Friday. Tom, Joe, and I got on the road at about 1:00 pm. Tom was using the race as a training run for an upcoming 100-miler and Joe was attempting his first ultra, although he has an impressive marathon resume. My amazing husband Tim was flying in from a business trip Friday afternoon and drove out by himself to meet up with us later that evening. In a stroke of genius, they held the packet pick-up at Devil’s Backbone Brewery, so we stopped there to pick up our packets and do a little carb loading before we headed down the road to Wintergreen, where we stayed for the night. Once Tim made it to the condo, we went for some dinner, did some last minute prepping for the next day, and tried to get some sleep.

We made it to the start at Royal Oaks Lodge with no problems the next morning. I had my usual pre-race jitters and was grateful I had people there to distract me.

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We started pretty close to on time and started down the Blue Ridge Parkway as the sun started to come up. We were on the road for about 2.5 miles, downhill most of the way. It was quiet and peaceful once everyone settled in to their pace, with only the sounds of water sloshing in hydration packs and grumbling about having to run back up the road at the end of the race breaking the silence.

I think we were all grateful when we turned on to the trail off of the concrete, and were greeted by a soft trail and more downhill running. After hopping over a small stream at the bottom of the hill, we started to climb. And then kept climbing. It was a decent switchback and I was afraid the fear of heights was going to kick in before I had even made it four miles, but with the exception of some tense muscles and exaggerated leans into the hill I did okay. I cruised along pretty well for a while until we got to Torry Ridge Trail. That had some no-joke steep sections and it felt like it went on forever. This section was complicated by the fist-sized rocks that littered the trial. After a while I started to view them as little hands reaching out of the ground trying to grab my ankles and face plant me into the trail. Once we finally made it to the top, we were rewarded with a short, easy section of a Jeep road and an aid station manned by Marty Roddy.

Jeep Road - photo courtesy of the Bad to the Bone Facebook page

Marty was awesome – apparently he volunteers to go out and man an aid station every year, and he was there all day. It was hot. And buggy. He is a saint.

Once you leave Camp Marty, you immediately start down a mile and a half switchback, and it was steep. I was able to run the entire thing and had the benefit of having people in front of me and behind me, making it easier to ignore the sharp drop off to my right. The pucker factor did go up a few times when the 25K runners were coming back up and we were sharing the trail. It wasn’t really designed to be two wide. At the bottom of the switchback was Mill Creek Trail, which was mercifully flat for 6 miles. Or so I thought, until we turned around and came back. Turns out it was a very gradual downhill…who knew? As I came to the end of the trail and approached the third aid station, I was feeling really good and was super excited to see Tim at the halfway point…but as I came up on the aid station, there he was! I was so excited to see him. It had been seven miles since the Camp Marty, so I was also so excited to see peanut M&Ms. I chatted with him for a few minutes while I refilled by hydration pack and it gave me a great energy boost. This is also where I found out that Joe decided he felt great, and was going to do the 50 miler instead of the 50K. I just shook my head. Anyway, Tim drove the 3.5 miles up the gravel road to the halfway point and I took off behind him. It was uphill most of the way, but knowing the turnaround was at the end made it easier.

I was still feeling great at the turnaround and chatted for a few more minutes while I refueled. I decided not to change any of my clothing out, and because of that Tim decided to go back to the previous aid station in case I changed my mind. I didn’t change my mind about the clothes, but…I felt my IT band tweak as I made my way back down the road. Dang it. My IT bands have been the bane of my running existence from the start. Once I got to the aid station, I grabbed my lacrosse ball out of my bag and tormented myself for a few minutes trying to loosen up the TFL. Tim had been planning on heading back to the finish, but decided to meet me at Camp Marty in case I had too much trouble. I took off and thought I was going to be fine – the lacrosse ball had helped, and my IT band flared up around the same time in the first 50K I had done. I had to walk the last three miles of that race because it was all downhill but was fine for the rest, and I figured this would be more of the same. Wrong. It started to hurt again at about mile 21, and by 22 I couldn’t run anymore. My walking pace was a full minute per mile faster than my running pace…so I walked. Forever. I only bumped into one other person the entire stretch, and in addition to feeling low because I couldn’t run, boredom set in. I was so happy to see the bottom of the switchback because I knew Camp Marty was at the top. There was one part on the way back up that I panicked due to the heights and I froze for a few minutes. I was starting to hyperventilate, couldn’t seem to move, and didn’t know what to do. Then I came to the same conclusion I always come to in those situations. Just keep moving – there really isn’t an option B. That thing was steep. I couldn’t even walk it without stopping to catch my breath three times along the way. By the time I got to the top and made it to Camp Marty, I was completely demoralized. I looked around for Tim and didn’t see him, so I asked if crew was allowed at the station. Sure enough, the answer was no. Looked like I was doing some more walking. I was not a happy camper.

By the time I made it to the next aid station, which was just a lookout point along the Blue Ridge Parkway with some water stationed there, I was ready to throw in the towel so I called Tim. Or tried to, anyway. I had no cell service. Tried texting him…message failed. I tried to call Tom, since I knew he would have finished by then. Nope, couldn’t get him either. I almost cried thinking of walking for several more hours, but took off. Once again, there wasn’t an option B. I was walking along, alternately feeling sorry for myself and being mad at myself for pouting, and then…Tim was there. Standing on the trail in the middle of the woods. He figured I would be struggling, so when he found out he couldn’t get to Camp Marty, he hiked 2 miles into the trail and waited for two hours (because I wasn’t really setting speed records) so he could walk out with me and keep me company. I rewarded his amazing effort by immediately bursting into tears. I was so happy to see him and so amazed by what he had done. His plan worked, and I walked happily along with him for the next two miles, talking the whole way. We made it out to the Blue Ridge Parkway where Tim had parked the truck. I said goodbye and started the trek up the road with a smile on my face. I tried to run for a minute, laughed at myself, and resigned myself to walking. I didn’t want to walk across the finish line, so as I made the left turn into the Royal Oaks campground I started to “run.” I crossed at almost exactly 10 hours with Tim and Tom waiting for me. I felt a crazy mix of emotions because even though I was really disappointed I hadn’t been able to run like I wanted to, what Tim had done made it impossible to be too upset. Plus, after being back for a while, I found out Tom had placed third among the men! He’s ridiculously good. The three of us spent the next couple of hours waiting for Joe, alternately worrying about him and discussing how crazy he is. He made it back in one piece, able to cross finishing a 50 mile race off his bucket list!

We all have a part of us that we aren’t too proud of, and that part of me was frustrated that I had fallen short of my goal while my two friends blew theirs out of the water. Luckily, it’s a small part of me and the larger part of me squashed that very quickly and was overcome with pride for Tom and Joe, who worked so hard for their accomplishments.

Everyone needs that voice that comes out of nowhere, and seems to appear exactly when you need it. It knows exactly what to say to make you laugh through the tears, feel strong when seconds ago you were feeling weak, and determined and capable when all you want to do is quit. I am working on developing that voice within myself, but until I am able to do so, I will simply remain unspeakably grateful that Tim is in my life to provide that voice for me. I will also change up my training strategy, keep lacing up my shoes, and try again next year!

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Relatively healthy drink for the holidays!


A pomegranate and lime light white wine spritzer for when we want to keep it classy…I don’t think any of us need help on the days we don’t… 😉

 

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Inspiration is temporary; dedication is forever


I hear a lot of people say they are looking for inspiration or motivation; whether to eat better, exercise more or both. I think “inspiration” as we currently view it is a myth, one which I am probably guilty of both buying in to and contributing to. For those who are regularly looking for inspiration, I would like to pose the question (in all seriousness) what exactly are you looking for? A quote, story, or new workout or diet plan that will get you moving and eating healthy?

I contend that no matter how long you look or where you look, you are not going to find it. Sure a great story can inspire you to set a goal. But that’s the easy part anyway. There is no quote you can read that will pull back the covers and drag you out of bed to run at 5AM, or walk past your car to your bicycle to run errands. The adorable little 8 year old boy who overcame cancer and now does triathlons is amazing, but he is not going to steer your car to the gym after work instead of heading straight home. Only you can do that. I am not motivated, strong or inspired when I get up to exercise before I go to work in the morning. I’m usually just cranky. But I do it anyway. I don’t give myself a choice. So the next time those negative thoughts enter your head…the won’t, can’t and I-don’t-wannas…that just means you have to move faster. I promise you-PROMISE-that the longer you think about something the stronger the negative thoughts will get. The negative thoughts feed off of hesitation. So the next time you think “I can’t stop eating this (insert junk food here)”, stop right then, right at that second. When your alarm goes off and you think “I’ll just work out after work today”, get out of bed. You know and I know you will have come up with a million great reasons to not work out by the time 4:30 rolls around.

My point is, stop looking for other people to do it for you, whatever “it” is in your world. You have to do it, and you can do it. I believe it was the great Swoosh that said…Just do it.

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Be thankful…


It’s too easy to lose perspective. We are truly blessed. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Things to Be Thankful For

  • Be thankful for the clothes that fit a little too tightly, because it means you have enough to eat.
  • Be thankful for the mess you clean up after a party, because it means you have been surrounded by friends and family.
  • Be thankful that your lawn needs mowing and your windows need fixing, because it means you have a home.
  • Be thankful for your heating bill, because it means you are warm.
  • Be thankful for the dirty laundry, because it means you have clothes to wear.
  • Be thankful for the space you find at the far end of the parking lot, because it means you have a car to drive.
  • Be thankful for the lady who sings off-key behind you at your place of worship, because it means you can hear.
  • Be thankful when people complain about the government, because it means we have freedom of speech.

This is totally stolen from someone by the way. I would cite them, but I don’t know who it is…

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