May 18th, 2013
I had a wild experience, similar to this one, earlier this week. I went to my first acupuncture/TCM(Traditional Chinese Medicine) appointment here in Milwaukee. I haven’t been in a few months with the move and all so I knew there was some energy locked up that would get moving. What I didn’t know was that I wasn’t even going to need needles to do that. Seriously. I got onto the table and before she even started with the needles I become a hot pile of emotions and tears. I let the lady know how I was feeling and she was very sweet and listened and wiped my tears. She has some BIG shoes to fill…
A little backstory. In 2010, my wonderful midwife suggested I get acupuncture in my third trimester and referenced a study that proved it makes labor shorter and easier. I went with her recommendation. She referred me to a woman I grew to admire and love greatly, Genevieve Sprinkle. It was my first venture into this modality and at the time I was still a pretty mainstream person. Gen has this way of reading people and she made me very comfortable from the start. Little did I know that she would soon become a mentor to me. I fell in love with acupuncture and Gen immediately. It melted away all the stresses of the time and I left feeling less wound up, more balanced and refreshed. Gen is so full of knowledge and shares that knowledge in a loving way. I learned something at every session. Sometimes it was just opening my eyes to things I didn’t know existed in the world, like Burning Man. Or that there are options other than a baptism to welcome your child into the world. We shared bits of our lives during the past two years and she even taught me lessons I wasn’t even aware of until after the fact. One big one stands out for me right now. She taught me that you can be vulnerable AND strong and modeled what that looks like. Was that a lesson she was trying to teach me? No. She was just living her life and I happened to be in the right place at the right time. And let me tell you, that is just the lesson this fierce mama needed.
So, the emotion and tears were partly me missing the mentoring relationship I had with Gen. (do you see how much of a writer I am *not* here? Words are not my forte.) I can only hope that I will find that again. It enriched my life greatly. On top of that I was having a big realization. I’ve known since I left my job at Dell that if/when I go back to work that it will not be in a soul sucking job like that. Did I make a lot of dough? Yes. But dough is not what makes happiness. What I didn’t know was what I would do instead. I’m totally intrigued by all the different modalities for self care but had no idea which one I might pursue. Laying on that table it hit me. Acupuncture/TCM. Bam. How could I not have realized that? It has had such a profound impact on my life and I strongly believe in its ability to help our bodies heal themselves. So, there you have it. I don’t know when or how or any of that. I’m not worried about it just yet. I’ll know when the time is right to dig into details. Right now I’m simmering on the possibility of the upcoming re-education of Ali. And I’m so thankful that I have a husband who embraces and supports this. Sometimes when I dive into a new layer of crunchy, I’m sure he’s going to lose it. But he doesn’t. He just smiles that smile that says I am crazy and keeps on loving me.
This week I am grateful for Gen’s presence and impact on my life and a hubby who loves and supports me as I grow and change.
May 13th, 2013
This year for my birthday I wanted to run a race. It was the Fifth Third River Bank 25K in Grand Rapids, Michigan. My mom got the weekend off and was able to come down and spend it with us. It was an emotional race because it’s the first time I’ve spent a birthday or Mother’s Day with my mom in over a decade. And it was my birthday and I’m just such a lucky girl and am so grateful for it.
Training for the race wasn’t always great. It included some failure. I did it all solo, which is a first for me. While I didn’t get to do it with people, I did get to do it along Lake Michigan which I am really drawn to. The week of the race I felt awful. Wildly tired every single day. I even had two headaches which are rare for me. A wise mama from Austin posted some words that resonated with me, though they were referring to her own race which was near mine. She said she was just going to run the race she had in her. Priceless advice. I simmered on it and made it my mantra. I would do the same.
Race day came and somehow I felt great. The energy at the starting line was strong. I got into line and a few minutes later, we were off. I spent the first 6 miles running with my head. I was trying not to get swept up in the folks surging past me. I had some lovely conversations with a few folks but I had to end it because I knew I needed to start off easy. I thought a lot about my Rogue Mamas back in Austin and the great races I had with Lauren. I thought about how great it was to be doing something I love on my birthday. I thought about how I was spending my first birthday and Mother’s Day with my mom for over 10 years. I thought about how much I love my hubs & kiddo and how could I have ever lived without them. I started to cry a few times, but the good kind of cry, of course. I broke my rule and peeked at my Garmin regularly. Which is a good thing because I was always going too fast. It is not easy to run based on effort level when you’re pumped full of excitement. I did a good job though because I ran those first 7 miles at about a 10:30 pace, which was my race pace from the Rogue 30K, so a good time for me. Miles 8 & 9 were a bit slower at 10:40. They included some small hills. At mile 10 I remember hitting my groove. This is where I started to run with my heart. This was where my smile got big and took over my face. From there on out I felt like I was flying. High fives were had all over the place. And the smile never left my face. Mile 10 is also the place where I started to notice that instead of people passing me, I was passing them. I noticed people walking up the tiny hills. Ya’ll, it feels GOOD to pass people on hills. It also feels good to pass people who passed you earlier in the race! At mile 12 I started picking people off like Sarah taught me in the 30K. That part was fun too
Mile 10 – 10:13
Mile 11 – 10:01
Mile 12 – 9:50
Mile 13 – 9:38
Mile 14 – 9:42
Mile 15 – 9:28
Mile 16 – (really only a half mile) 9:16
My Official time was 2:40:04 putting me at a 10:20 pace. I think if I had planned in advance how to run this race, this is exactly how it would look. But I would never do that because it’s just not how I run. I didn’t leave any gas in the tank at this race. It was my day is all. My race. And now I will be ready for the next one to really kick my bum because that has got to be coming after the last few great races I have had. And I will take the bum kicking with a smile!
May 7th, 2013
I’m a runner. I one for one reason only. Joy. I run for joy! I just love doing it. I also like goals and picked out a few races to partake in over the next few months. Between you and I, I think calling them races is silly. There can be up to thousands of participants and only one winner. And let’s get real, I am not ever going to win a race. But outside of that whole coming in first thing, there’s so much joy at races. People cheering, the energy and the people who might meet along the course. They are just plain fun! I picked a 15.5 mile race in May, a half marathon in June and a 10 miler in July. Because I live up north now and I can! There are no races after April except 5K’s in Texas. And even those are few and far between. So I am taking advantage of the longer racing season.
Saturdays are long run days and most of the time they go off without a hitch. One of my runs in the past month was not one of those runs. I had to stop and walk FOUR times within the first two miles because of one hell of a stitch. I could not make it go away. Then I just gave up. I literally said out loud, “I give up.” But I pulled it back together after turning around to head back home and was finally free from the stitch from hell. By then I had hosed my route plan and decided to go down a section of trail that I hadn’t run since before the snow melted. We just had a full week of rain but I thought nothing of it. I ran into lake after lake across the trail. I had to crawl along the edges, over stumps, around trees and brush to try to keep my feet dry. And I still got soaked. At lake number three or four I was all done. I scrambled up a chest high cement wall, then up a ravine to get out of the trail area and into a neighborhood. I started running and soon came to a donut shop. I ordered some mini doughnuts and watched as they were cooked in front of me and tossed in powdered sugar and cinnamon. Then it started to really snow. Except it wasn’t nice fluffy flakes, it was tiny little snowballs. I grabbed my bag of warm doughnuts and ran the rest of the way home while getting pelted in the face with thousands of tiny snowballs. I drowned my long run fail sorrows in my bag of donuts which surprisingly were still warm once I arrived home. They were quite tasty I got in 6 miles and had planned for 11. Ouch. I reached out to my Rogue Mamas for advice. They said, “Just be glad it happened today and not on race day.” They were right. Since then, I’ve had two more long runs, both of which were greater distances. They went off without a hitch. The moral of the story? It’s ok to fail. Failure happens to everyone. It is in no way indicative of your results on the big day or in life.
Care to share a recent fail in your world?