Archive | December, 2014

Traditions

30 Dec

Traditions are really important to me.  I guess maybe it’s just because I like to know what to expect and to be able to plan ahead…and traditions give me that.  But sometimes in life, traditions have to change.  As I’ve gotten older, I see that more and more.  And it’s hard at first, and it might hurt, but then you get used to it and you make new traditions.

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At the beginning of December, we started talking about Christmas plans and pretty quickly decided on a mini-vacation to Lake Placid.  I wasn’t really sure how it would work out, being away from family and the comfort of our own home.  I still remember my first (and only other) holiday spent away from family–when I was 19, living in Spain, sitting in the central park of Valencia with another American girlfriend, eating junk food to drown out my homesickness and depression of having a holiday chock full of traditions back home pass me by.

 

We had planned to hike a little bit on the way into the ADK, but I always forget how early it gets dark in the winter.  It didn’t help that it was overcast and drizzly the entire trip up, so by the time we got into town at 4:30, it was dark–no hiking for us.  We decided to just get to the hotel, check in and get situated with the dog.  We got in, unpacked the car, and laid around watching tv (Home Alone was on!) and drinking beer, letting the dog acclimate to the new home.

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Around 8, we went down to the pool area to check out the hot tub, which had been the deciding factor in which hotel to book.  We were pleasantly surprised to find ourselves alone in the area, and spent a long time down there, alternating between the pool and the hot tub.  It was so nice to just relax and hang out.  I would totally recommend this hotel–Comfort Inn Lake Placid.  It was clean, they had a huge continental breakfast, the pool/hot tub area are awesome, and it was super affordable.  We’re not big hotel-ers (because we’re normally camping), but this one was a good choice.

hot tub!

hot tub!

We got up the next morning to more rain–it was about 40 degrees, with some wind coming in.  Hooray–perfect hiking/climbing weather, as we’d had for most of our trips in 2014.  We packed up our gear anyway and set out to find the trailhead for Cascade Mountain.  The plan was to hike Cascade and Porter together, since they are so close.  We put on our new Tubbs Snowshoes, Mush Magic-ed Picasso’s paws, fashioned a make-shift rain coat for him out of an old poncho I found in the back of my car, and hit the trail.

nice coat

nice coat

About a half mile in, I started to notice a big hot spot on my right heel.  Another quarter mile, and both heels were stinging.  I was trying to be tough and not bitch, but I mentioned it finally at about 1.5 miles in.  Eric said we should stop to try to fix them, but I didn’t want to stop to take off my snowshoes, boots and socks, especially because we were sweaty from the climb/hike, wet from the constant rain, and the wind was already whipping like crazy. I didn’t want to get cold.  So we continued, but by this point, every step was painful, and I was slowing down considerably.

At least the trail was beautiful

At least the trail was beautiful

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About 2 miles in, I finally gave in.  We found a huge rock to sit on, and Eric helped me to remove by footwear and put Mush Magic on my already blistered heels.  We got back to the hike.  At the summit area, someone had hiked up a little Christmas tree, which had fallen over in the crazy wind up there.  Eric tried to stand it back up, but it kept falling over.

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We had a rough go of getting to the top–literally there were a few moments where the wind almost knocked me over.  We got up, then immediately turned back around to get back to some tree cover and out of the wind.  It sucked not to spend any time up top (which is normal) or to get a view, but it was cool to cross another 46er off the list, and say we’d done it in such terrible conditions.

 

We thought about doing Porter, but it had been raining the entire time we were hiking, so Picasso was completely soaking wet.  We were worried he’d be cold.  We were also concerned with my heels, which by this point were hurting pretty intensely.  I just wanted to get back to the car, take off all the footwear, and “air it out.” I also really wanted to be able to run the following day, which is our annual “holiday” tradition–a family jaunt through whatever neighborhood we happen to wake up in. Porter would, sadly, have to wait for another day.

 

By the time we got down to the bottom of the mountain, I could barely walk.  I was almost in tears.  I thought maybe I was just being a baby, but when we got everything off my feet, there were the blisters, to prove that yes, the pain was real and not imagined.  I was pissed that my feet were a mess and the weather sucked so much, because this was an incredibly easy hike/climb, and I wish I could’ve enjoyed it more.  On the flip side, we know it’s an easy hike, and I can’t wait to get back there to do Porter (and hopefully get a view from Cascade after)!

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We went back to our hotel room, prepped beef stew for dinner, then watched a bunch of episodes of some HGTV show about waterfront property for cheap, discussing and dreaming of our “forever home.”  I got excited to give Eric his presents, so we caved and opened presents on Christmas Eve, which we NEVER do!  It was super fun to “break the rules” (maybe there is a rule-breaker/badass inside me just itching to get out).  We had dinner, then we decided to head into town to walk around and window shop.  Lake Placid is cool because there’s so much to do and see, and I am always a little in awe to think that we are walking where Olympians once walked.

dogs and bobsleds...a winning combination

dogs and bobsleds…a winning combination

We went back to our hotel and suited up for another round in the hot tub.  It hurt my poor torn up heels pretty bad, but once I got used to it, it wasn’t so bad, and I know from my days of lifeguarding that the chlorine would help heal them.  As we sat there, we both agreed that this was one of the best decisions we’d ever made, and that this would become a new Christmas tradition for our family–an out-of-town, probably ADK adventure to celebrate the holidays.

 

The next morning, we got up and I had already researched and planned out where we’d do our traditional family run.  But I couldn’t put shoes on my feet…it hurt too bad to have anything on that area.  😦  We grabbed some continental breakfast, packed up our crap, and just hit the road to head home.  We ended up going to Windjammers to celebrate Christmas with chicken wings and cheap beers, and it was the perfect end to Christmas for us.  The following day, we got up and headed into Buffalo for family time.

 

I’m not sure what the future holds for us or our immediate families.  I have no idea how traditions will change as both of our families change (because they are both changing, pretty significantly).  But I know that we have a new Shmeagan family tradition, and that no matter how it changes, spending time with Eric and Picasso–climbing mountains, watching cable tv, wandering around a little town, swimming and hot tubbing it–is a tradition that’s here to stay.  And really, what more could a girl want on Christmas then her best friends and some wide open spaces to play??

<3 this man

❤ this man

Placid

16 Dec

When I was in high school, I had crap taped all over my closet doors and the back of the door to my room.  It was a giant collage of “me.”  Mostly, it was words and phrases, with the occasional picture of a cute shirtless soccer player or Joshua Jackson.  My favorite, though, was my handwritten copy of Desiderata.  I don’t remember the first time I read it–I want to say it was related to HELP/Challenge camps, where I was a counselor.  I just remember falling in love the first time I read it–enough in love to handwrite the entire thing out in different colors and tape it to my wall, reading it every night, part of my bedtime prayers (back when I still did the whole bedtime prayer thing).

desiderata

I joke that Christmas Countdown is to de-Grinch-ify Eric, but the truth is that it is just as much for me.  Every year that we’ve been married, minus that first year when kids weren’t even on our radar, Christmas has lost some of its allure.  Growing up the oldest of 10 kids, I don’t know how to do Christmas as an adult, in an adult-only way.  I know visits to Santa, writing letters to him, decorating cookies with kids, stringing popcorn, children’s movies…I know Christmas for kids.  And every year that we have to do another holiday without kids (and seemingly further and further away from kids), especially one as kid-centric as Christmas, the more I just want to skip it all.  My parents’ split isn’t helping matters–I feel like every tradition that’s been important to me for my whole life is either gone because of them splitting or gone because we have no kids to share them with.  [And please don’t tell me we can share them with your kids…it’s so sweet of you…but I don’t want someone else’s kids…I want OUR kids…]
When we started doing injections, I started doing math and realized we’d be finding out either we were elated and spending our last holiday alone OR finding out we were devastated and spending ANOTHER holiday alone.  I realized it was time to flip Christmas on its head.  We talked and decided that this year, we were going to try a new Christmas tradition.  After some research, we decided we were going to Lake Placid in the Adirondacks.  Aptly chosen, a place with a name that means “calm”–something I haven’t been feeling much these days.  We booked our hotel pretty quickly and then waited to find out whether we’d be getting good news or bad news.  And we got bad news (again), sooner than expected, not even a week after we’d booked our hotel room.  And suddenly Placid seemed like the best idea we’d ever had–a chance to get away, just us, and enjoy the quiet beauty of the ADK in the winter.

 

In one week, we will already be checked into our hotel.  We will be out snowshoeing with Dog Dog.  We will probably be stopping by the Lake Placid Brewery, then we will be sitting in a hot tub. We will be far away from any of the stresses of “home.”  We will be making a new holiday tradition–one that doesn’t require kids.  One that’s just for us.  And I cannot wait.

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placid

placid

<3 this man

❤ this man so much

 

“With all its sham drudgery and broken dreams, the world is still a beautiful place.”

 

0 Degree Post-Race Recap

14 Dec

Yesterdayday was our 2nd Annual #TrailsRoc 0 Degree Winter Trail Festival.  Pre-race, I always have a little bit of anxiety–will everything go all right??  Will people have fun??? Will everything go smoothly????  And every time, I leave feeling so incredibly rewarded, inspired and content (plus a touch exhausted ha).

 

1.  We owe a HUGE thank you and shout out to our amazing volunteers.  You guys were amazing, from the crew who stood out at the aid station in the cold, helping watch for traffic, directing runners, cheering them on and being timbits pushers (or so I heard…) to the crew in the lodge prepping warm soup and getting post-race food ready and keeping it stocked to the guys out there with cameras capturing so many amazing, gorgeous moments.  You guys are the crux of our races, and we absolutely could NOT do it without you!!

 

2.  To an amazing community of runners who consistently puts their faith into us by coming to our events, we owe you indefinite amounts of gratitude.  You are incredible.  That course, which is brutal normally, was extremely challenging yesterday.  But you came through smiling, laughing and making it look…easy.  Wow!  At one point, someone was running up and I was like, “Does she have a mouth guard in???”  The person I was talking to said, “No she’s just smiling–those are her teeth!”  (And to you, perfect white teeth lady, how do you do it???? And please don’t tell me it’s by avoiding red wine (oh the horror)!!!)

 

3.  To the amazing board–for hearing crazy race ideas and saying “why the hell not?” and then giving up time with your families and runs of your own to show up to set up courses, time, and take down courses.  We are coming together as a well-oiled machine…it’s kind of hard to believe this was only our 7th race!!!

 

4.  To whomever we owe for the most amazing parks system with the most beautiful trails…Every time Eric and I talk about leaving Rochester, the talk stops abruptly when we realize NO other place has parks like ours.  Kudos, Rochester, for caring about the environment and providing people with beautiful places to hike, run and play.

 

5.  Butt sliding down a hill today as I was sweeping the course, I was caught by a moment of panic, and then a moment of sheer joy.  Laugh-out-loud-even-though-no-one-is-around-so-I-look-crazy joy.   This is why, I’ve decided, so many people come to the trails.  Because you can be a kid again.  Mud puddles?  Splash in ’em!  Big hill that seems dangerous to go down???? Meh, go with it!!  Huge mountain-like hill to climb up???? You’re gonna get to come down it again!!!  The parks are like a giant adult playground!!!  Who doesn’t love playgrounds??? (Of course, there’s also that whole peace and serenity in the woods thing if you’re looking for that, too!)

 

6.  Course sweeping is hard work.  Particularly when, in the course of one mile, you have not one but THREE near-heart attacks.  The first one came climbing ski hill, the part where you can’t actually see over the bump, as a downhill skier actually came flying over, straight at me, saw me and shouted for me to look out.  I cautiously resumed my climb, only to have a kid come at me on a sled.  Yikes.  Another one came, and I was like, OK are you the last one??  I didn’t think anyone used that hill at all.  So be forewarned if you’re out there for a run or hike that you might not be the only one, and things could get dangerous…

I kept plugging away.  At the bottom of the loop, I turned to look back at the hill and noticed a small body, lying half-under a huge downed tree.  It was not moving, so I had to do a double-take, but nope…it was a kid, with a sled half under, face down on the side of the hill.  I traipsed over to him, calling the whole time, but there was no response.  As I got closer, I got out my phone, sure the kid was either paralyzed or worse.  I got there, and apparently he was OK–I made sure he could wiggle arms and legs (while his dad and siblings came down the hill and kept saying how he was fine).  Then I kept going.

As I was walking back down the end of the hill, I hear a sliding sound behind me and turn as the downhill skier literally is JUST turning his skis so he doesn’t hit me.  It was a serious close call, and my heart was in my throat the rest of the way to the parking lot/road crossing as I kept looking over my shoulder for more danger.  The short story is to be safe when on that part of the course/in that part of Powder Mills because people do crazy things there and might kill you if you’re not careful.

 

In any event, yesterday was amazingly fun, and I’ve said it before, but I’ll say it again.  The hard work and exhaustion of putting on a race is totally worth it for the stories and smiles after the race is over and knowing that we at #TrailsRoc helped to create something so amazing.  So THANK YOU to anyone who was played a hand in what happened yesterday.  It was an incredible day, and I can’t wait for the next one!

 

Photos from Ron Heerkens, Jr. (from the start/finish line area)

More photos from Mike Lesher.  (from on the course!)

so now what?

7 Dec

Since my appointment on Wednesday, I’ve been reeling from this:

photo

I’ve written before about the dreaded “here are our next options” talk (which ALWAYS happens when I have a doctor’s appointment) and how much I loathe watching her flip my papers over to scribble out what are inevitably always shitty next steps.

 

One of the things that is killing me the  most is the first word on the page…”failed.”  I do not fail (except for about a billion pregnancy tests).  The last time I failed something, I was in 4th grade and couldn’t for the life of me figure out how multiplication worked.  By high school, I got that straightened out, getting a 5 on my AP Calc exam.  Maybe all of this hatred of failing dates back to my academic life experiences–honors program in school, graduating number 2 in my class, great scholarship to college, honors program while there, kicking ass in grad school and even winning a framed-by-them award for my work (framed makes it way more legit).  I am not a failure. I don’t need that stupid piece of paper/note to remind me that I’ve failed.  I am well aware of my body’s failure.  And it’s really hard not to take it personally.  But we’ll come back to that a little later on…

 

The other thing that is killing me about this is that basically all that scribbling means nothing good.  We can pick from 2 options that are both crappy–going back on the oral medication that hasn’t done anything except make me crazy(er) (possibly supplementing with injections as needed) or try a different injectable (the one that hurts) because it’s kind of different from the one I was on, so I might have a different reaction.  Boiled down, though, her recommendation seemed to be IVF.  And we will never do IVF, for a variety of financial, emotional and physical reasons.  The only good news of this appointment was that we could stop the nightly injections effective immediately.  I almost joked that we were going to have to find a new type of foreplay if we weren’t going to be playing doctor anymore, but I was kind of stunned by the “end of the road” that we have seemed to reach.

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Or “what does it look like to live childless-ly?”

 

why can't the options include a shot of extreme sexiness???

why can’t the options on that stupid paper include a shot of extreme sexiness???

So we’ve started talking again about what’s next.  Living childless, adopting, just trucking on with these awful medications on the off-chance that something might randomly work…they all have their pros and so, so many cons to talk about.  And it hurts to have to talk about any of them when all we want is to fill this house with kids to “raise right” and add to the laughter and love that’s already here.  But we know that the possibility of that slips further and further away with every doctor appointment and every failure.

it sucks

it sucks

I put a lot of personal shit out here, and I know some people disagree with my choice to do so. The good news is, those people can decide to keep their personal shit private, and that’s totally cool.  I think I’ve already written a bit about my decision to share so much, but I feel the need to elaborate further tonight…or maybe I just find the writing a bit therapeutic.  I’m not very eloquent when I speak, and right now my mind is a whirl of dark, nasty thoughts, so writing helps me to sort through a lot of them.  So without further ado, my reasons to write about our battle with infertility:

1. This journey sucks.  I am terrified my sisters are headed for this same terrible journey, since PCOS is hereditary.  More and more, I feel like this is becoming the “norm”–needing help to get knocked up.  I know several other women who have needed medical interventions (granted all but one has become pregnant, and on much less invasive treatments that took much less time to work).  I never pictured getting pregnant was going to involve anything more than some wine and candles.  A doctor, an intern, the nurses, Mr. Ultra Sound Wand, needles and cervical catheters?  Totally upped the sexy factor there.  I mean, Marvin Gaye should’ve probably wrote a song about all of this…

This journey is unbelievably lonely–even with an amazing husband and support from family and friends.  It’s weird to be surrounded by so much good but still feel so complete alone at the same time.  It makes me feel slightly better to read other women’s (and the occasional man’s) thoughts and experiences.  Recently, I’ve even been able to talk to other people about everything–for a long time, I didn’t talk about it at all verbally, because talking meant crying–the horrible, ugly crying that makes what I have to say unintelligible anyway.  So I’ve read so much from so many different women.  If I can add to those voices to let someone else know she’s not alone…or that these awful negative feelings are ok and normal…or to see what someone else’s experiences were, what medications were used, how long it took to get pregnant or decide to seek other options…well then I’ll do that.

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2.  We need all the support we can get.  We are lucky–we have an amazing support system.  Sometimes it makes all of this even more heartbreaking.  Our kids would have an awful lot of amazing people in their lives.  People can’t support you if they don’t know what you need or what you’re going through.  I often have to remind my second graders that they need to “use their words” so I can try to help them when they are having problems.  And that’s good advice for us, as adults, too.

3.  Most importantly, I write because I am sick to death of the comments that are most of the time completely innocent (or ignorant?), but still hurt beyond belief.  “Maybe God means for you to do something other than be a mom.”  “Be thankful for sleeping in and doing whatever you want.”  “You can have mine–they’re a pain in the ass anyway.” “You’ll see when you have kids.”  “If you just stopped XYZ you’d be able to get pregnant.”  “If you would just do XYZ you’d be able to get pregnant.”  “Just relax–you are too stressed about all of this.”

First of all, please stop offering me your “spawn of Satan” because they are inconveniencing you or reminding me how much you hate being a parent because you have to take into consideration someone else’s needs.  I am not really sure how a God can possibly exist that gives children to people who don’t want them or who are ill-equipped to actually parent.  If I had a faith crisis before, this has brought it all to a head.  There’s something out there (maybe), but the God of my childhood is dead.  An omniscient, omnipotent God would know who to give babies to.  Clearly, God is either not all of those things or just a giant a-hole.  And I don’t say that God’s being an a-hole because WE don’t get a baby, I say that because any God that would let innocent children be born to parents who don’t give a shit is an a-hole.

In the same vein, stop bitching about how pregnancy is ruining/has ruined your body.  Because I’d kill for some morning sickness and stretch marks.

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Which brings me to point number 2.  Your child is NOT a miracle or a gift from God.  Because if he or she is, then that means that God has been giving us the middle finger.  Every day.  For the past 3 and a half years.  That means God is giving that same “gift” to the 15 year old, the crack head, and the woman with babies who she already doesn’t take care of, while intentionally leaving us out.  I know that you want to believe that it’s a miracle or that God chose you.  Because that means that YOU did something great to earn it.  And it means that it’s entirely my fault that I can’t get pregnant.  We are being punished, because clearly we are just shitty people who doesn’t deserve a baby.  That’s easier to believe than to think that you got dealt a good hand and we got dealt a crappy one, and it was all entirely random and it could just as easily have been the reverse.

Which brings us to point number 3.  Please stop giving me/us advice on how to get pregnant.  Trust me.  We’ve heard it all/read it all/tried a lot of it already.  Telling me that something I AM doing or conversely that I am NOT doing is the reason we can’t have a baby makes me feel even shittier/more at fault than I already feel.  And that is the last thing I need.  As a recovering Catholic, I’ve got that whole guilt thing  down to a science. Guess what?

Women that drink/do drugs?  Get pregnant and have healthy babies (even the ones who drink through their whole pregnancy–which is astounding to me).

Women that run?  Get pregnant and have healthy babies.

Women that eat much, much crappier than me?  Get pregnant and have healthy babies.

Women with far more stressful jobs/lives?  Get pregnant and have healthy babies.

Women that DON’T want a baby/DON’T believe in God/AREN’T praying for a kid?  Get pregnant and have healthy babies.

Women that aren’t even TRYING to have a baby?  Get pregnant and have healthy babies.

At some point, all of this becomes totally random and you either get lucky or you don’t.

 

Does that mean that we haven’t/won’t continue to make changes to our lifestyle to see if anything works?  Of course not.  But I don’t need you to remind me of my body’s failure by pointing out (and judging) what you (with all of your expert medical training) think is the reason we can’t conceive.  I don’t need you to find extra fault in me…trust me, I’ve got plenty of self-guilt without you adding to it.

 

I’ve written in the past about why suggesting IVF should also be a no-no for “things to say to your infertile friends” and I’m currently too lazy to find the link.  But an additional blog about why you should stop suggesting adoption is coming as well.  It’s very easy for someone on the outside to say “it’s so easy” and just flippantly suggest IVF or adoption because that someone doesn’t understand the financial/emotional/physical ramifications of such a decision and/or will never have to face those ramifications and seriously consider them.

 

Every time I see people complaining about things, I want to know “what can we do to make it better?”  So now that I’ve complained about all of the things that are on my mind, I offer this very simple suggestion for what is safe to say:  “I’m sorry you’re going through this.  It sucks.  It’s completely unfair.  If you need a shoulder, I’m here for you.”  On the flip side, you can just say nothing if it makes you uncomfortable.  I get that, too.  I’m not sharing to get advice.  I’m sharing because I need people to be gentle with me right now.   I’m hard enough on myself.  I need people to understand why what they think is “helpful” is actually bone-crushingly devastating.  And I need people to stop.

 

Tonight we were out for a good-bye party and then stopped by the mall.  It’s the first time we’ve been “out” in a non-running/non-running-friend way in a long time.  In the 2.5 hours we were out, we had 2 different “incidents” that made me almost cry.  On our way home, I asked Eric, “Is it ever going to get easier?  Will we ever hear ‘You don’t have kids? Smart.’ or ‘when are you going to have kids? Don’t you think it’s time?’ or ‘We’re pregnant!’ and not feel like someone has just sucker punched me?”  And we both agreed that it will probably always hurt and always bring up feelings of heart break and depression.  And that is the suckiest part of all of this is that it feels like it will never end.

 

 

 

 

why I run long

3 Dec

Monday night, I continued researching 50ks and 50 milers.  Sometimes I still don’t know why, and I have spent a lot of time thinking about what it is about a long run that has become so addicting for me.

 

This past weekend, I attempted my first double-digit long run since the Mendon 50k.  I’ve been taking it really easy running-wise.  Even though multiple doctors have said running will have no impact on our fertility treatments (and actually may help by keeping my stress levels in check), I figured I could cut back just a tad on miles (and give my body some rest, too, after 2 ultras in a year).

 

But I’ve been feeling a little stir crazy the past few days.  Nothing seems to be in my control right now, and I struggle with relinquishing control.  Running is something I can control.  And right now, I’m craving that.

 

So Saturday morning, I went with Eric and Todd to do some WTF loops.  It was maybe 20 degrees.  The course is pretty hilly.  My lungs were having none of it.  I had planned to do 2 loops for a total of 10 miles.  I struggled to make it to 5, and spent the rest of the day hacking and using my inhaler to no avail.  I was pissed at my body, thinking about how it can apparently do NOTHING I want it to do.

 

Sunday morning, we decided to give it another go.  It was 40ish when we started, and I felt good.  Shockingly good.  I took it SUPER easy, walked the major hills and made it through the first loop with no breathing issues (and hardly getting lost, which is maybe the bigger shock).  Sonia and I started the next loop together, we split off our separate ways around mile 6.  I cruised on, still feeling pretty great.  But by mile 8, I was tired.  I was hurting.  I got to Ski Hill and knew I had that and Hell on Roots (plus some other smaller mountains that aren’t worth naming) to go.  I considered going back to the car and calling it a day.  But then I realized–you’re just tired.  You don’t quit when you’re tired.  You walk the damn hill, run when you’re ready again, and just enjoy the nice day.

 

So there I am, hiking up Ski Hill, cursing my stupid brain for deciding to keep trucking.  I hit the top of the hill and “The Rock of Truth” is calling to me.  I was tired, so I sat down for a minute on top and just listened to my breathing and heart beat and thoughts.  I started to think about how people say this is crazy– these massive hills, running for hours on end, intentionally hurting…Why do we runners do this to ourselves?

The Rock of Truth

The Rock of Truth

And then a lyric from a Goo Goo Dolls song popped into my head:  “You bleed just to know you’re alive.”   Sometimes outside, visible marks and scars validate the internal, invisible ones.  Every little bruise on my body from a needle confirms that I’m not a baby–those shots are not pleasant, and I’ve got the physical marks to prove it.  Then I started thinking about how sometimes physical pain dulls emotional pain.  When I’m running and it starts to hurt or I start to get tired, that’s all I can think about–getting through that moment (because when you run long, you often have to deal with waves of bad feelings, and there’s nothing you can do but let them wash over you and recede again, just like real waves).  I love trail running because I can’t think much about “stuff” anyway–I have to focus on where I’m putting my feet, trail markers, and not quitting.  And that pain and exhaustion…it tells me I’m alive…and that I know that I can push through it to finish something I started…that I am in control of whether I gut it out or throw in the towel.

 

Running pain feels good in some way.  Because when you push through the pain, the feeling on the other side of it is indescribably amazing.  Turning my brain off when I run is invigorating.  Seeing that my body CAN do things is empowering.  So I’m researching 50ks and 50 milers.

run