A Day of Remembrance

Twenty five years ago today (April 19), Oklahoma City changed forever.  This is the day of terror that struck the city with the bombing of the Alfred P. Murrah Federal building.

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Although I was not in downtown OKC when the bomb went off, I was at home with a very young baby.  It shook my house and I knew right away something was wrong.

Today as I went for my morning run, I was brought back to that day.  I was telling my running friend all about where I was and what was going on.  I was also reminded that I would normally be preparing for the Run to Remember which is held at the end of April to commemorate this day.  Instead I was out for a normal Sunday run because during this time of social distancing, all races/runs have been postponed.  I was thinking instead about how lucky I was to be only minimally impacted by that event as well as this one.  How grateful I am that we made it through that challenging time and how we will make it through this one.

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The memorial is beautiful at night and during the day.

I am no longer in Oklahoma but I have family and friends who still live there.  Today I was able to watch a live stream broadcast of the memorial tribute which in years past has not been available, which again is something to be grateful for.

In 168 days (10/4/20) the Run to Remember will happen.  We will run to remember the 168 lives lost on that day as well as the many, many lives effected that changed this nation.  I am grateful and hopeful that we will be able to celebrate how far we have come as well.

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What are you grateful for today?

Click, Click, Click….

Dave and I have been together for quite a while and when things are getting crazy we can just look at each other and say, “click, click, click”.  It’s not weird couples speak or maybe it is.  We actually have a visual with it as well.  Imagine your hands up in the air and quite possibly screaming at the top of your lungs.

What is it you ask?

It’s an old wooden roller coaster.

Click, Click, Click… we are climbing up to the top of the first big hill before we are plunged down the other side for quite a ride.  Sometimes those rides are quick but most of the time those rides are crazy fast and can last for quite a while.  (Getting our monies worth maybe!)

As we take each day during this time, I kind of feel like that is how I am coping each day.  The I’m not okay day was definitely a plunge down the steepest part of the roller coaster.  And right now, I’m feeling like every day is a continuation of that roller coaster journey.

Maybe we are in the part of the old wooden coaster that is shaking back and forth, jarring you side to side, with a small rise and then your stomach drops as you plummet a little farther along the tracks.  I’ve probably still got my hands raised up in the air and I’m screaming but I am also confident that someday, hopefully soon, we will get to the end where the roller coaster slows.  Then ever so slowly you creep back into the station to safely disembark and go on about your normal activities.

I don’t know about you but I will be ever so thankful for the disembarkation of this roller coaster journey!

 

 

I’m not okay

IMG_7763Today, I’m not okay. Yesterday I was okay, last week I was doing pretty well, heck 6 weeks ago I was planning my wedding, working hard at my job, enjoying my runs and relaxing at home after a day at work.

But you know what, today I’m not okay. I thought I was when I went to work. I thought I was doing just fine. Another day of this new normal or new Norma (that is what we call it at office because when I introduced the new plan via email, I forgot the “l”. Hence the new Norma!). Anyway, it was just going to be another day at the office. I’m only there 2 days a week right now and then I’m working from home the rest of the time. But in the middle of the day something happened, something that made the day not my new Norma but a new, new Norma! I hope that makes sense.

Well what happened you ask?

It was something simple, something that others are already doing but to me it was something new.

I was asked to wear a mask while at the office. All of a sudden I felt off. I was confused. How did this safe space I have worked in through all of this, suddenly become unsafe now?! How did what I did 5 minutes ago become, not okay right now?!

I feel like that is what is happening each day. Each day we are asked to change something about our behaviors that will help to keep us safe. But it doesn’t feel that way.

It feels…. I don’t know uncomfortable….. bizarre…. weird.

I understand the logic behind it all. Believe me, as a Director of a program, I understand the desire to keep both my employees and my clients safe. I spend most of my days right now planning, brainstorming, and figuring out how we can be safe, yet still meet the needs of the population we work with.

But today…

Today I struggled and continue to struggle over making one more step on this safety protocol.

I don’t think any of us like to live in fear and today I think that is where I am. I’m questioning about whether I’m doing enough to keep my family safe. I’m questioning about whether I’m doing enough to keep my employees and clients safe. I’m questioning how long this will continue and when we will be able to resume living life. Also what will that life look like when we resume it?

I remember reading something recently, probably on Facebook because really that is where the best information comes from (just kidding) but it went something like this.

If you were diagnosed with Covid 19 and had to tell someone all the places you have been and who you might have exposed this to, would you be ashamed or okay with it?

Or as another friend put it, did you “do your part in this”?

Part me wants to go screaming into the world and just pick up life where it left off but then there is the smarter part that says; this is only a small sacrifice for an amount of time, the length of time we don’t know yet, but for a small amount of time compared to the larger picture and the larger amount of time I have lived (almost 48yrs to be exact). Don’t be a drama queen!  Go use some skills and move past this moment of fear. Go out and enjoy the fresh spring air. Look outside later tonight and see the full moon, look at the stars. Enjoy your dinner this evening, don’t rush through it to be on to the next thing. Play with your cats, spend time listening to music, maybe even figure out what this Tiger King show is that everyone is watching. (Really, I have no idea and I am from Oklahoma.)

We are in a time of slowing down, a time we can grow if we do it right. A time of reflection and maybe even deciding who we want to be when this is over.

For me, I think I want to be less fearful of situations like these but instead find how I can grow when being tested. In the end, that is what this is. A test, pass or fail, we will get through it and let’s help others get through it as well. “Do your part”, even if it makes you feel uncomfortable because through that uncomfortableness we grow!

Oh, by the way, I think I’m okay again.  Thanks for listening.  🙂

Trying something different….

Okay, let’s be honest, it is probably not something different because it involves running (surprise, surprise) but I guess you could say I’m changing things up a little to spice up my running. Let me explain…. This year one of … Continue reading

Escaping

escapeI don’t know about you but I need one, an escape!  A time to get away from the world and just be.  I find myself right now just feeling extremely overwhelmed, whether it’s by life in general, political and media overload, work, or just the fact that we are leaving on vacation on Saturday and there is so much to do, it’s all a little much right now!

So how do you escape?  I run.  I know, shocker right?!  But really I think that is the only way I am keeping it together right now.  I am very thankful for my training plan.  It’s a constant.  The one thing that I don’t have to question, I can just read what it says and do it.  I unplug, put on my warm clothes, because hey we still are in New England and it’s cold, lace up the shoes and I’m off.  My long slow recovery runs are a pleasure instead of a curse.  It means more time outside and away!

Last night we tried something new because I had just had enough.  We didn’t turn on the television at all.  We just listened to music (the new alexa by amazon, love her), read and relaxed.  I have to say it was one of the most relaxing evenings I have had in a long time.  I’m starting to think maybe staying unplugged from the world could be a good thing.

I keep threatening to not come back from vacation.  One of the good things about being a therapist is that you can do it almost anywhere.  However, not sure that people who live in Grand Cayman (our vacation get away for 8 days very soon) need a therapist because what struggles do you have when you live in such a beautiful place?!

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Monday is over!

As much as I love my life, love my work, I think we all have those moments when we just need to escape!  I’m feeling it pretty strong and hopefully a week away from normal will help me escape.  Now to make it through the week, look outside, because I might be running by!

Ever felt like this?  What do you do to escape? 

Motivated, not skinny!

Hi!  I didn’t forget about you even if you were thinking I did.  I just have been doing a lot and not had a lot to say but today I finally was motivated to blog because something was really getting under my skin and wondered if anyone else had the same issue or experience.

Let’s start with, let’s be nicer to each other.  I say this not directing it at anyone in particular but most of us have battles going on that no one else knows about or can see especially when it looks like we have it all together.  Sometimes that is just an illusion.

Now to what got under my skin….

I am skinny, I know it, but still have my own issues with areas of my body that I don’t like, especially with my abs.  I work hard on my core and for all the work I do, I want to see it better.  (But that is a talk for another day)  My main beef is that I get lots of people, women especially, say things like “I could never be skinny like you” or “of course you can eat anything, you are skinny.” dsc_0325

Well guess what peeps, I’m skinny because I dedicate a large part of my life trying to grow old gracefully.  For me this includes spending 5, 6, or even 7 days a week at the gym or running outside.  And these days are not just 20 mins on the treadmill, we are talking hours devoted at each session doing these things.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it and I do see results which keeps me motivated to keeping doing it but I feel each time someone makes one of these comments to me it just puts me on the defensive trying to justify why I look the way I do and really makes me feel self-conscious.  I work hard to look this way because I want to.  I am motivated and driven to do these things because of how they make me feel and the results.  I love to set goals and achieve them, surpass them or even fail at them because that is when I learn the best.  I run races because I like the bling but they are also very motivating.  I have a wall in my house that is not out in the public spaces that is dedicated to “living Large”  (a play on my last name “Large).  It’s a place where I hang all my medals and bibs and I can see it every day to motivate me to go that extra mile or extra miles! img_5283

In 2016 I ran 2075 miles which is more than twice as many miles as I did in 2015 and this year I have set a goal to run 2017 miles in 2017 (that number is even scary after I ran all the miles I ran this year).  Also this past year, I was able to complete two marathons (Vermont City and NYC Marathon) and half marathons number 13, 14, 15, and 16.  I set a new half PR and a new 10K PR.  These are huge accomplishments but I got them not from being skinny.  I got them from being motivated and dedicated. motivational139

So if you want to say “of course you did that because you are dedicated or motivated and I could never do that” then say it but don’t say it’s because I’m skinny.  I can help you with motivation!

My body is a result of how I live my life not because of some blessing of waking up daily and being skinny.  Believe me if that was the answer and all it took,  I would take it (but I would probably still run because I like the bling!)  🙂

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The Perfect Storm

 

According to Wikipedia, doesn’t every great blogger refer to Wikipedia when they need information, a perfect storm is “a confluence of events that drastically aggravates a situation.”  Or as a person who was raised in Oklahoma and have been around when the weathermen begin to go crazy weeks before storms come into the state, I begin to think of those moments when all the right things are happening to create a big weather event a perfect storm.

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Looking good for 44!  Happy Birthday to me!

Now I am not saying that this week was a “perfect storm” in the form of a weather event but more of a “perfect storm” for many moments of melt down in my life.  Okay maybe that is a little much but it was a tough week and this was the only way I could think of it.  (If you can’t handle any whining now might be the time to step away and come back tomorrow for motivational Monday! 😉  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

As many of you know I am training for my 6th marathon and have tried a new training plan.  This one had me doing up to 70 miles in one week.  I have worked harder than ever before to get better at this crazy marathon thing.  I have felt pretty good the whole time and have completed more miles in a short amount of time than ever before.  For the month of April alone I ran 286.17 miles.  That is more miles than I even drive in a month.

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My 16 mile bike ride from this week.

Anyway, things have been going well and I have felt very confident that this was going to be my best marathon ever!  Then on Monday morning of this week (the day after my last 20 miler) I woke up with so much calf pain in my left leg, I struggled to walk and my mind took over.  I started to doubt I could complete my marathon in 3 short weeks, I started to count my dreams out of ever getting a Boston Qualifying time.  (Can you say, Drama queen much, I know!)

This was one ingredient to my “perfect storm”.  In fact here are all the “confluence of events” that made this week my perfect storm.  One: calf pain, Two: taper time – basically time to reduce the amount of running to prepare for my marathon.  During this time I am usually very anxious because I start to visual the race and how I am going to handle it all and my expectations begin to really come into play.  Third: hormones!  For those that don’t have it, that time of the month is no cakewalk and for me I tend to be even more emotional during it.  Four: added work stressors, really no need to explain that one, we all have them.  Five: Turning a year older.  Not really that stressful but I thought I would throw it in because it was an added event that happened this week.  All the ingredients were present for the “perfect storm” in my mind this week.

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14 miles almost all pain free!

I am happy to report that I survived it!  I didn’t get the t-shirt but I made it through.  Thank goodness I work really hard to stay motivated and in the present moment. Here are some tips for how I survived:

  1. Slowed things down and tried even harder to stay in the present moment. Taking a deep breath when I felt overwhelmed with not only the pain but moments at work when I thought I couldn’t handle anything else.
  2. Went for a massage! I highly recommend them.  I go at least once a month so my therapist knows me pretty well and she was able to really work my legs and hips so I felt so much better.
  3. Spent time doing other things with my family. You know those people you don’t see when you are running 70 miles a week and working a full time job.  I find it is so much better to stay busy than sitting around feeling bad for myself.
  4. Slowly easing back into running and riding my bike more. Even though the plan called for a certain amount of runs and mileage, I was able to not run as much and realize that all my training will not go away if I take some time off or take things a little slower.  In fact, I might even feel better and more prepared for the race.  Plus I was able to take my bike out and go for a nice relaxing 16 mile bike ride, which I have not done in forever!
  5. Finally, looking at my last plans and results. I know this sounds weird but for me I was able to look through my running journal and my tracking miles and realize that I am farther along than I have ever been before and I am prepared (well as long as I don’t just sit on my butt for the next 2 weeks).  It was a great boost of confidence.
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Stretching and rolling while being protected from the winds and cold and happy that “I got this!” feeling is back!

So I guess what I am saying is that when faced with the perfect storm, if you are prepared you can make it through.  Your family me get tired of you for the week because there might be some whining, but if take a breath, take control of your mind, you can make it through.

Anyone else ever struggle with this?  How did you make it through your taper time?