Monday, August 8, 2016

Race Report: 2016 Fred Meijer White Pine Trail 200 Mile Relay

2 vans.  12 friends.  38 hours and 6 minutes.  204.3 miles (16.3 were mine).  1 very cool teammate.  This isn't going to be my usual race report.  I experienced something very different with this year's Fred Relay.  
Team Screaming Thunderboxes at the start
I always have the best time on the Fred, if I didn't, I wouldn't have been back for round 3. But this year was different. I came into this knowing I was injured and horribly undertrained. I knew I wouldn't be running like I had the previous 2 years.   

I knew the night leg would be my favorite.  I don't run with a biker and this year I got to run the handoff leg around Lake Cadillac at midnight.  It was beautiful and my best run.  Something about running in the middle of the night and chicking a guy makes for a good time.
That's Mars in the sky!

Ready for bed!
I knew that the 3rd leg would be incredibly hard.  I wouldn't have been able to finish that 8.9 miles without Kaylee biking with me, being my water sherpa, and keeping me mentally strong. 
Very happy to check of that final run!
Van 1 DONE and ready to find beer (for at least 5 of the 6)
This year the Fred wasn't about me. It was about my girl. See that tall one in the picture up there?  She CRUSHED her first relay.  Being able to experience this race with Kaylee and watch her grow as a runner this year has been amazing. From her hating running, to having run a couple 5ks to sticking with a training plan while keeping up with her freshman year of college, to running her first 10k and then her first half and finally her first relay and covering almost 17 miles in a day and a half (faster than her predicted pace!) is what I will always remember from this summer and Fred 2016. Her other 10 teammates taking her under their wings and cheering her on was so fun to watch as well. 

I've always been proud of Kaylee - she makes it easy - but I'll never forget how blessed I am to experience things like this with her, not just as her mom but now also as her teammate.  The fun shirts, swag and bling are just icing on the cake.

Wednesday, July 13, 2016

Excellence vs Perfection

H. Jackson Brown, Jr, author of the book Life's Little Instruction Book, wrote, "Strive for excellence, not perfection."  That little quote has be thinking - thinking enough to write a blog post after staying away from here for the past two months.

I'm not gonna lie - running and me haven't exactly been getting along lately. It's been hard, it hurts (thanks to plantar fasciitis), and the heat + humidity of summer haven't helped. Constantly comparing myself to the runner I was a couple years ago also isn't doing me any favors.  However, I'm still plugging along & have decided to adopt the philosophy of Excellence vs Perfection. 

What is "excellence"?  Excellence means I'm doing the best I can in that moment. It is achievable with effort and planning and can result in a sense of accomplishment.  You are willing to be wrong and if you make mistakes, you can be accepting of those mistakes, determine  what you can change and what is out of your control, and what you can do differently in the future to achieve the excellence you seek. 

The idea of "perfection" implies there is nothing better & it's largely unattainable. Failure is inevitable and the belief that you'll never be good enough is a very real possibility.  News flash - I'm a perfectionist and my perfectionist tendencies have been doing a number on me in many areas of my life, not just my running.  I'm working hard to get past this.  It's not easy, believe me.

Today, focusing on the best I could do in that moment, resulted in 4 miles that finally showed some progress. I posted the insta with the hashtag #progressnotperfection because that's what today really was.  Maybe tomorrow or the next day the results will be different. In fact, they most likely will be. But in that 4 mile run this morning I worked toward achieving excellence & I'm happy with the result.

"Life doesn't require that we be the best, only that we try our best." - H. Jackson Brown, Jr.  For the foreseeable future, I am simply trying to do my best.  It's all I can ask of myself. 

Monday, May 23, 2016

Where I've been Lately

For some bizarre reason, I still have the Facebook page associated with this blog and over the past couple days, I've received a ton of notifications of new likes and view, so I thought I should probably post something.

For those of you new here - welcome.  For those of you who have managed to stick around - thanks.  In case you didn't notice, I've taken a bit of a break from blogging.  By my calculations (or that thingy on the side), I've posted 5 times in 2016 - 6 if you count this one.  I really haven't felt like I've had anything to say.  At least nothing positive.  When I've blogged in the past and voiced my frustrations or disappointment in myself, I've gotten slammed, so I decided it was best not to say anything.

Here's where I've been lately....

I started this blog almost 7 years ago, on June 23, 2009, as a weight loss blog.  I weighed in that day at 165.8.  Guess what I weighed this morning?  166.8.  In the past 7 years, I managed to get down to a pretty happy weight around 140.  I became a runner and completed a shit ton of races - including 2 marathons and 2 sprint triathlons.  But...
I'm now heavier than I was in 2009 and my running is pretty much in the toilet due to injuries and being fat.  I screwed up my shoulder and now I can't really lift or swim without that hurting too. I can't run without pain and my pace is closer to a 13 minute mile than the 10s and even 9s I'd worked myself down to.  I know a bunch of people are going to say that it doesn't matter.  That what matters is that I'm still out there.  Forward is better than nothing.  Some would give anything to be 167 pounds and run a 13 minute mile.  Blah blah blah.  Sorry, folks.  It matters to me and all I see is failure.  I worked really hard to lose 25+ pounds and become a sub-10 min mile runner.  Now I'm back where I started - or worse.

On a related note, I'm supposed to go to the Fitbloggin' conference in Indianapolis in July.  I was so excited when they chose a city in the Midwest.  Finally, I could attend without needing a plane ticket. I'd get to see my friends, but do I really want to be seen 25 pounds heavier than the last time I went to Fitbloggin? To still call myself a fitness blogger? Definitely not. I've paid my registration but I can't afford to stay on site.  Room plus parking (because I'd have a car) is over $200 a night.  Sure, I could room with someone to cut part of the room rate down, but that doesn't fix the extra $200 I'll have to pay to leave my car there.  $40 a day for a car??? I could stay at a Motel 6 for that - only not in Downtown Indy because everything is HELLA expensive.  I booked a room about 1/2 a mile away for a little less money and free parking, but to stay off-site means I lose out on a lot the conference has to offer.  I don't think it's worth the $500+ it will cost for me to attend when I could spend the same to go visit my daughter in Florida sometime during the winter when I'm really hating being in Michigan.  Sorry guys, but I'm 90% sure I'm staying home in July.  If anyone wants to drive 4.5 hours north after the conference ends and experience Beer City, USA and some gorgeous Lake Michigan beaches, let me know.

So there you have it...I haven't been blogging because there's really nothing good to say.  I'm feeling sorry for myself and whenever I voice that - either here or on Facebook or wherever - I get a bunch of shit about how I should love myself and accept where I am right now and all that other bullshit.  I really don't want to hear any of that so please just don't.  Not sure when I'll post again.  It could be tomorrow or it might be 6 months from now.  Either way, if you are just finding this space, I'm sorry that it's probably not what you were looking for.