World’s Okayest Human

Personally, I’d like to think that the world is full of great people. But, maybe that’s not true. Perhaps, we’re just okay. It’s okay to be okay(!). Thinking only of myself, I would rather be something greater than okay but if someone looks at me and says, ahh, she’s okay. I’ll take it. That’s fine.

During the holidays, I promised my number one follower (okay, number three after my parents!) that I would keep writing. For days, I have started some really depressing posts. My mind is restless. It has been for a while, months really. Life will teach you about the ways of the world, about how we all cohabit this time and space, how we interact. For example, I have a weak heart–figuratively speaking. I love unconditionally and I don’t just turn it off. So, I struggled last year after I ended a relationship with a guy who I really loved, maybe I still do on some basic level. Somewhere, after the “I love yous” and the hopeful life discussions, he chose to stop talking to me. Here I was trying, stumbling, getting up, trying again, taking it easy, being patient, showing up, and he stopped noticing. I was in uncharted territory. Why was I showing up for someone who didn’t act like he cared? When I was looking back on this sad day, days later, I realized I believed that he would stand up and declare his love, he would change back into the guy who was committed to our relationship, he would realize I was what he wanted. That didn’t happen. He blamed his behavior on an array of possibilities never taking responsibility himself. And he shrugged. I cried. He shrugged.

Why am I telling you this? I don’t know. To explain my absence. Maybe. To realize I am a wreck for mentioning this months later. No.

I thought he was all that I wanted. All that I would ever want. He wasn’t. As I told myself then, he simply can’t be.

Here’s what I stopped caring about: running. I thought I would find a way to make it work. But I struggled. I tried to find peace in running but I have no control of my thoughts when I run, much like a dream-like state. I fail to realize I am frozen in my numbing thoughts until my running halts. It’s frustrating.

I stopped running since my mind couldn’t be trusted. So, I pulled my bike off the wall and put air in the tires but couldn’t get myself out the door. (I do still fear the fall, and I was trying to stay afloat.)

Last night, I found something–my own words. And, again, MONTHS have passed but aside from a few dates where I picked apart really nice guys, and have ignored seemingly kindhearted fellas, I haven’t move forward much. Then I remembered who I am. I don’t shrug when someone hurts, stranger or otherwise. I show up and outstretched in front of me is my heart.

Looking for a draft in my gmail account, I found a long email, long forgotten, I wrote just before my birthday when I felt dejected. One part made me think. “My sense of reflection is strong. I believe that as time passes, grace in situations should prevail and therefore reflection and growth are key….”

Those were my words to him but when I reread the draft I realized those words are for me. It’s time to find peace. It’s time to find my happy. It’s time to stop being “okay,” and become my best self.

So, I will start running again. More than that, I think I’ll start writing. I solve my own mysteries when I write. It’s my peace. More so than running. I am working on being something greater than okay. I’ll get there again. And, soon, I’ll be a runner once again.

Time heals all wounds. That’s what they say. Writing nurtures my soul. It awakens my mind. It soothes my heart. That’s what I say.

I guess I’m back. Here’s to a Happy New Year, Okayest and ALL.

Well, it’s been real…

And this was my view on the way home. A sign of good things to come. Absolutely. Rainbows after the storm.
And this was my view on the way home. A sign of good things to come. Absolutely. Rainbows after the storm.

I’m not sure where I’ve been but I was having a lot of fun. Which brings me to a “radical” understanding.

The truth.

I started this blog to talk about running and racing because let’s face it, some people don’t care. It’s true. Some of your friends are nodding and smiling while you drone on and on about your latest race. However, they are thinking, “I wish she would stop.” Okay. Well, that was happening to me. I quickly started noticing the glaze cover their eyes, the twitching at the corners of their mouth, as they desperately tried to keep the smile facade “real.” So, I started writing.

The truth.

I kept writing because I found myself in a sad place. I’m actually quite happy but even the very happy own sad feelings. As I would reflect–dwell–I would think that I am not doing what I want. I’m not where I want to be. So, I kept writing. I’m not sure that it necessarily helped me gain happiness but it did give my thoughts a place to fixate. Miles later. Races completed. I kept writing. Then, I decided I was going to hang up the dwelling. I was going to live in the present. It was great. And, it worked. For a little bit.

The truth.

I’m back. I’m sad. So, on the one hand, I run more often. As it turns out, my running can be defined as “running away.” That is where I find myself. I’m once again running away. The planner in me had so many great adventures planned for the summer and exploits for the greater future. It was a great dream while it lasted. Just like the flick of a light switch, the great guy that I was dating became a hollow man. And, when I felt completely neglected, I said goodbye.

The truth.

I run now so that I can try to forget that I said goodbye to a man I love. I am trying to forget that he may never reach out to me. He may never be the guy I once knew. I am running away.

The truth.

I’m running back to myself. I am training for the Wineglass Marathon. With each step, I realize the richness around me.

The truth.

I am beyond resilient. I have patience that is unappreciated. I am stronger than even I realize. I am surrounded by greatness. Unconditional love. People who listen to me and laugh with me.

The truth.

Here I am again. I am not sure how long I’ll stay but I do have a lot of adventures ahead. Miles to run, mountains to hike. A longing to outlast.

The truth.

One of my friends at work told me yesterday that love is right around the corner. Then today, another friend provided this fortune.

let’s celebrate…

Blog_35in35_InstaQuote

You may be surprised to know that I have been running during these pre-training weeks! Ahh, don’t worry. I’ve got this. Training for the Wineglass Marathon begins soon!

Today is my birthday. From the outside, you probably wouldn’t know it. I look as young as I did five years ago! And, I have ZERO plans. Just relaxing to calm my nerves and bring my blood pressure down! This aging thing is tough.

It’s about that time to unveil my “not quite ready” list of things I’d like to do during my 35th year. Yes, I am turning 35 today. (I would like to thank my colleagues who guessed my age as 26. Clearly math isn’t their strong suit, or they think I started my career at 15.)

In no particular order and with odd categorizations:

Be Fit
1. Run hurdles (this is where “35in35” all started)
2. Run a distance greater than a marathon
3. Complete a century cycling venture
4. Attend a barre class
5. Choose a month to run everyday of that month
6. Try a different class at the gym (not spin or yoga!)
7. PR at a marathon (yikes!)~okay, PR at any distance

Be Happy
8. Witness a Flash Mob
9. Visit the top of the Washington Monument
10. Take a dance class
11. Go Cowgirl!
12. See a show at the Kennedy Center or Ford’s Theatre
13. Attend a ball (!)–who can make this happen?!?
14.

Be Brave
15. Try a new food each month during the year
16. Ask a guy out (likely not to happen)
17. Dance in public
18. Go parasailing (or paddle boarding…)
19. Zipline through the trees!
20.
21.

Be Wise
22. Learn a new language
23. Take a photography, or other art, class
24. Declutter my mind, soul, and place
25. Take a cooking class
26. Help an adult learn to read
27.
28.

Be Game for something different (!)
29. Attend the Roller Derby
30. Go to a United Game
31. Attend an improv show
32. Sew an outfit (or costume) and wear it
33. Hike part of the Appalachian trail
34. Learn to Ice Skate (or just ice skate, fall, get up, shimmy)
35.

My friends also suggested feeding an exotic animal and be an extra in a movie or tv show. Both interestingly fun ideas…but I wasn’t sure I could make those happen. But, if I can, we’ll call those “bonuses!” As you can see, I still have a little work to do. Six more adventures to add. And, with that, I just need to rally up my friends and family to make these things happen. You didn’t think I was doing this by myself, did you?

Train Like a Champion…

IMG_0614

Wow! I’m not sure where I’ve been but I’ve definitely NOT been running. And, now everything is rough. And tough. I’m painfully slow. So slow, in fact, I ran a half marathon and cried at the end. Not because I was in pain. But because of my time. That’s when I realized I have no right to pity myself and cry about something that is MY FAULT. I haven’t been running. I haven’t been training.

I was convinced that it wouldn’t take long to get back to my happy pace. As it turns out, it takes time and I am low on patience. Very. Very low. Barely any patience left.

So, then I had to come to terms with this most unfortunate fact. I am starting over. Starting at the beginning. I am pleased when I run 3 miles without walking. That’s my celebration right now.

That’s where I am for another 3 more weeks. One little jaunt after another. Pride in any accomplishment no matter how small. Celebrating the journeys one at a time.

Then, the REAL running begins…I hope. That’s when I start to train like a champion. I will train for another marathon. Wineglass Marathon. To be a champion, you have to train like one, right?! In my case, I’ll be a champion when I actually to train.

Here’s goes nothing everything!

run for something greater than the race itself…

You may already know the name of my FAVORITE race. In case you’re unaware, I LOVE the Marine Corps Marathon! I think it will always be my favorite marathon. You know how first loves are…they remain in your heart forever!

This year, I have decided to run for the Semper Fi Fund. I gained my entry into my first marathon (MCM) by raising money for the SFF two years ago. I will do the same this year.

My goal is to raise $1000 by July 31st for the SFF cause, knowing that every dollar given helps to provide immediate financial assistance and lifetime support to injured and critically ill members of the U.S. Armed Forces and their families. The need to help our heroes continues to intensify with the severity of injury, illness, and post-traumatic stress due to the length of war on terrorism. Everyone has the power to make a real difference, no matter the contribution.

The SFF embodies the Marine Corps motto, Semper Fidelis, “always faithful,” as they are faithfully committed to helping Heroes in need. Please consider joining  them in their mission to transform the lives of thousands of wounded service members and their families by making a contribution to the Semper Fi Fund team at:  http://www.active.com/donate/semperfifundmcm2014/SFFMeganS

In October, I won’t just be running to find the finish line. I’ll be running for something greater. I’ll be running for someone who needs support. Someone who needs us.

thank you from the bottom of my heart! (as the granddaughter of a marine and the friend of many amazing marines, I thank you!)
thank you from the bottom of my heart! (as the granddaughter of a marine and the friend of many amazing marines, I thank you!)

race recap: reston 10-miler (a.k.a. how to NOT train for a race, and live to tell the tale)

2014_March 02_Reston Ten-Miler_4
Participant shirt and finishers medal for the Reston 10-Miler.

I recognize that I have no business offering any advice to…anyone. In recent weeks, I have come to realize that I didn’t really “train” for any races last year. Yes, I ran distances in races and I called that my marathon training. I didn’t really stick to any calendar. It’s a wonder I can still run. But, then again, I haven’t had a body replacement so this original model is well aware that the user is flawed. The user, again me, is abusive. At least, that’s how I would describe “running” a 20-miler “race” and calling it a training run. Unfortunately, I was so ill-prepared for that race and I came in third or fourth from last because I walked. My body wasn’t ready for it. I know what you’re thinking? “So, you learned your lesson, right?” Sadly, no.

And, that brings me to the Reston 10-Miler, which I ran on Sunday with Pam and Sandy. I ran 5 miles once this calendar year. I haven’t been running consistently at run club. Mostly, I have been staying inside cursing the white stuff that keeps falling from the sky.

When I met Pam, she shared a dreaded thought for any runner…. She left her bib number at home. What was she going to do? (Secretly, I thought we might have brunch early. If she couldn’t run, I wouldn’t. That’s what I was thinking.) On the way there, the GPS didn’t agree with my directions or perhaps the other way around. When we finally made it to the race, she jumped out to solve the case of the left-behind bib and I tried to look for a parking spot. Once parked, she called to say, she had a new bib number. So, I was going to run an ill-prepared ten miles….

with Pam and Sandy before the race...
with Pam and Sandy before the race…

It was about this time that I realized this race follows the same race route as the Perfect 10. Naturally, I became nervous about needing to use the facilities because I had already used a 7-Eleven at the Perfect 10. Luckily, I didn’t have a bathroom emergency on this course! Phew!

I made it…. My body didn’t stop working in violent protest. I’m aware that I am working on borrowed time and shouldn’t put my body through more of these longer distances without a commitment to training. It’s unwise. Do as I say, not as a do. I hope that I earn back my former pace. I’ve been feeling sluggish.

Acting like a sass.
Acting like a sass.
Post-race with Pam and Sandy.
Post-race with Pam and Sandy.

Thankfully, we were able to find some post-race brunch. I decided to skip the traditional post-race French toast for a Belgian waffle.

YUMMY! I may be a convert.
YUMMY! I may be a convert.

At this moment, while there is a lot of frozen ground outside my window, I am dreaming about spring…. More importantly, I am committed to training. You never know, amazing things could occur with sticking to a training plan. Apparently, while a great planner, I am not good with execution. Not with running, at least. But, that’s all about to change. I think….

Do yourself and run to prepare for your races...you don't want to look like this girl...
Do yourself a favor and run to prepare for your races…you don’t want to look like this girl…

NEXT UP: St. Patrick’s Day 8k
So, ready for this one…I mean I just ran 10 miles! :)

say it ain’t snow!

photo 1

Dreams do come true! I wished and hoped for snow. And it arrived. And then it snowed again. And again. And then it rained. l may have had my fill of snow for now. I’ll keep wishing for all my snow-loving friends!

Last weekend was most pleasant. Perfect for running a 5k which is exactly what Pam and I did. In keeping with my “not running races I’ve run before”* motto, I was intrigued with an email sent by TriItNow. I had run a little duathlon with them and knew it would be a well-organized race. The race was held in a “newish” part of Northern Virginia–the Mosaic District. I like how easy it is to get there and park. Pluses for a morning race!

As soon as we parked, Pam needed to visit a bathroom. Luckily one was in the building we were cutting through. While waiting, I stared out the glass doors and noticed a line of people across the street and a tent. It couldn’t be for the race. I wanted to ask the guy next to me but he had on these huge Bose headphones so I decided not to disturb him. When Pam approached, I asked her what she thought. I get fixated, people. I had to know. So, on the way to get our bibs I asked a kind race volunteer who told me.

photo 2

All those people were standing in line for the new Air Jordan shoes! What?! I quickly realized I am so many degrees from cool it isn’t funny. Utterly uncool.

While it was cold, it wasn’t so cold that the race would be brutal. We did, however, stay in the heat as long as possible giving us 5 minutes to find the start line which wasn’t where I thought it was…so, for the first time ever, I had a “warm-up run” before a race. I plan on NOT making this a habit.

Much of the race was a fun single-file journey on sidewalks. Not the most scenic of races but I still enjoyed it. I will say, I was constantly wondering where I was in the race. Not that I was planning on a PR, just a finish. And, of course, I didn’t start the Garmin. One day, I get use to wearing one again. But somewhere towards the end, we ran on frozen mud. Something I don’t recommend. With my lack of grace, it’s a wonder I made it without twisting an ankle. What can you do? It was in the 30s.

post-race brunch...traditionally french toast
post-race brunch…traditionally french toast

Post race brunch is always French toast and this day was no exception. Fun race!

All in all, fun race.

*which doesn’t include MCM or Ragnar Relay which I will gladly run any year!