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Posts Tagged ‘running into the sun’

My speedy, singing cooking girl in Michigan inspired me. She photographed and cataloged her entire winter running wardrobe for her blog, revealing a serious diversity of gear and technical fabrics. It takes some special kind of cold weather to get me to put on a long-sleeved shirt for a run, but a week or so ago Sarah reminded me with a jolt to get my second season’s worth of running gear our of vacuum-packed storage (and tucked on top of photo albums from pre-Y2K). As I struggled to find a drawer in my bureau for everything (I threw away a garbage bag worth of single socks, old skivvies, lame-ass tees, and empty jewelry boxes), I decided it was time to part ways with a large part of my race t-shirts. The sorting rules were simple:

  • Tees from standing PR’s stayed in the drawer, as do technical tees (can you say Healthy Kidney?).
  • One tee per race (so, I can keep my Joe Kleinerman from 2006 OR 2007, but not both).
  • Sentimentality is not allowed, unless it’s a Run to Home Plate tee, or a marathon tee.
  • They must all fit in one drawer, short sleeves AND long (dimensions of said drawer: 5.5″x13″x16″).

And so, I readily tossed a whole pile of shirts, including last year’s Poland Springs Marathon Kickoff and both of my Emerald Nuts long sleeves. Man, did that feel good. Buh bye.

I still have room in my drawer, though. And I feel like engaging with you, my eleven faithful readers. So, I’m taking a poll. Well, two polls, actually, since it is the season for polls and voting. (This is the closest thing to a political comment you’ll ever get out of me on Pigtails, peeps.) I want to hear from you which t-shirts I should keep. Vote for your favorite in each category (short and long sleeves), and I’ll keep the winners and donate the rest. Or maybe I’ll turn then into stuffing for Matilda’s dog bed. Maybe then she’ll turn into a distance runner by osmosis. Oh, if only it were that easy.

Rock the vote! Etc.

  

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My long runs give rise to some of the strangest, most trite and–if I’m lucky–profound thoughts of the week. On this morning’s 12-miler, thoughts of every variety, for better and for worse, rose up to greet me from the depths (and the shallows) of my subconscious.

It was a beautiful run, a winner, despite my initial misgivings. It’s very hot and humid on the East Coast this weekend, so I set my alarm for 5:30 AM, in order to hit the road around 6:30 AM. I don’t mind doing this (in fact, I prefer it), except I slept terribly, laying awake for what felt like half the night, and when I finally did sleep, my dreams were of some wild party vacation on at a tropical island resort with people I didn’t know.  So: interesting, but not restful. Nevertheless, I woke up excited for my workout, even though I was afraid I’d poop out somewhere in the middle of it, from lack of sleep.

We’re in the Poconos this weekend (full disclosure: I was sorely tempted to cancel and stay in the city to work; to watch Deena, Magda and Blake run the Mini; to meet Kathy Switzer; and catch the prefontain classic on NBC), so today’s workout was an out-and-back along Route 940. The first four miles weren’t my favorite, as I got my engine running, and adjusted to the heat (at 7 AM it was already 80 degrees). But, I ran right on pace the whole way, clicking off steady 10-minute miles, right where I want to be for my long runs these days. Along the way, I waved at a packs of motorcyclists, a few police (they’re out because it’s the NASCAR Pocono 500 this weekend), whistled to a bounding deer, and passed a squashed frog (which made me think of my husband, because he would have been sad to see the amphibian roadkill).

For company on the run, I brought along Steve Runner, whose last two Phedippidations added up perfectly to two hours.  Listening to him talk about Dr. George Sheehan, and read the race reports of runners from across the country (including Sarah’s fantastic half-marathon PR–yay Sarah!), pulled me outside of myself just enough to not fret the hills too much.

When I finished my run, two hours and fourteen seconds later, I was proud. It didn’t have anything to do with the distance, since by now, for me, 12 miles isn’t a big deal. And I wasn’t proud in that egotistical way. Simply put, I was happy with who I was. It was one of those pure moments of being completely at ease with myself. This is starting to sound very Self-Help 101; and maybe this post is a little bit of that. But let’s be honest: who among us hasn’t lived through awkwardness, hesitancy, lack of confidence, or embarassment?  Sometimes I feel like I spend most of my day second-guessing my decisions and behavior, trying to communicate expectations, needs and dreams. But when I’m out on the road, getting in my miles, or even post-run, stretching & hydrating for recovery, I know exactly what I should be doing. I know who I am, and who I hope to be. I know what to expect, and even when things don’t go as planned I know how to adapt. Me, sweaty & stinky, panting, hair all matted, face flushed: I feel so cool, so right in my skin.

Chances are good this is old news to those of you who have been athletes all your life. Me, I’m an adult-onset athlete, who never expected to find peace with myself through physical activity. I give a lot of thought and effort towards being a loving wife, a kind daughter, a supportive sister, and loyal friend. My boss consistently gets my best work. And yet, nine times out of ten, it’s TK the Runner (not TK the marketing director, nor TK the wife, daughter, sister, friend) of whom I’m most proud to introduce to the rest of the world.

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Some bloggers very actively visit other blogs, posting comments and linking to them in their own blogs.  I am not one of those bloggers.  I have a few sites I love to visit, and I spend a lot of time on them.  However, when I heard about Running into the Sun on Phedippidations (listed in my Blogroll), I had to check it out. 

So, she’s faster, younger and skinnier than I am, but that just makes me love her and her blog even more, because she has worked so hard for that (well, not for the yonger part).  She started running about two years ago to recover her health, and ended up losing over 60 pounds and gaining an obsesion with running.  Anyone who admits to checking the local race calendars when she travels is my kind of girl.

My favorite post since I’ve started visiting Running into the Sun is about her longer-than-a-5k 5k race.  Check it out. 

Welcome to the Blogroll, Sarah!  And, I’m officially issuing you an open invitation to join me on a run or in a NYRR race if you ever find yourself in New York City.

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