The funk is lifting

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Everyday my knee feels stronger, not completely pain free but definitely stronger. I realize I am at a point where I can either find a way to work with my pain or I sideline myself from the things I love to do.

 

To lift the funk and test the knee it is time to push my limits and try some new things.

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Since my injury I returned to yoga. My practice is solid and steady. But I wanted more. It started with picking up a book about Yoga and anatomy. Then it turned to me looking at pictures of poses thinking to myself, hey I can do that. With a little help from Youtube, I ventured into a new pose and my garage, literally. (Make sure the wall you use to support yourself when trying a headstand is not a door that opens to the garage.)

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For me Yoga is a very personal practice, I rarely do Yoga in a classroom setting, but this time I decided to do it in the mall. Athleta was offering a free Yoga class (free except for the running pants and new swimsuit bottom I picked up after the class) with Yogi Dawn Souza. I tried it and it was great breaking free from my normal routine and doing something different.

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My final funk lifting move was getting back out in the water. Not being in the water has been plaguing me for quite some time. In order to surf again I have to learn a new stance, which I am okay with. But because it is winter here in lovely Rhode Island the water is cold and learning something new means a lot of falling. Today was a mild winter day and the water was flat, so I took the SUP out for a short paddle. Yes I did fall in the water, yes I did have a tough time figuring out which foot would step back if I did catch a wave, and yes I did get a micro ride into shore.

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This isn’t big stuff, but it finally feels like I am moving forward and the funk is lifting.

Five perfect races

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Last year Jim and I flew down to Orlando so I could run my fifth and final Princess Marathon. For a few days we escaped the bitter cold of New England and lived like royalty in the 3-bedroom Grand Villa at Bay Lake Towers.  The weekend was bittersweet because I knew once I crossed that finish line I would no longer be able to call myself a perfect princess.

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We lived large enjoying the parks, watching Wishes from the top of the Bay Lake, and running both the 5k and the half marathon. It was a great way to finish .

 

The first race was so small. I even got a bib for Corral A. My friend Trish (who thankfully convinced me to run the Princess) and I wandered all the way up to the start line. We stood a few feet away from the elite racers. Once the gun went off it felt like we were passed by everyone.

 

I was wearing my ears and mouseketeer costume, a stark contrast from all the people dressed up like princesses. Having my name across my chest was great because people all along the course yelled “Darcy”. But it wasn’t until mile 12 when I came up to the fairies that one of them yelled “A mousketeer!” That made my race.

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Every year we dressed up, but I never went as a princess. Year 2 the Evil Queen, year 3 the Frog Prince (Jim was the princess), year 4 the Queen of Hearts, and last year Dory (Jim was Marlin). While we never did run into Nemo, we did reach our goal of running the first 5 races.

 

This is the first year where I am sitting out of this race. My friends Meghan and Faye are down in Orlando for race weekend. Faye is doing the inaugural 10k and Meghan is running her third princess marathon. Last night as I read their posts on Facebook about this weekend’s run I got teary. This race was such a big part of my life for so many years. But it was time to say goodbye.

 

Thank you for 5 amazing races.

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The love of the games

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If you walked into our house right now you have a really good chance of finding us watching the Olympics. I have no idea when my love affair with the Olympics began but every two years now (I remember when it was every four) we get excited about the competition of nations.

 

There is something magical about watching athletes who prepare for this one moment. For some athletes competing in the Olympics is a once in a lifetime opportunity. For others they come to redeem themselves after a poor performance. And there are the athletes trying to defend their medal.

 

While we get swept up in the medal count I suspect the reason I am so enamored with the games is the stories. The athletes have such amazing stories. Stories of dedication, stories of courage, stories of inspiration.

 

In our house we will continue to watch the games and be awed by the athletes and their families. Oh and we will keep watching curling, one of our favorite sports in the winter games, and we can’t forget about Johnny Weir!

Oh I look good

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I’m not sure what sparked this thought. It may have been the Title Nine catalogue I got in the mail. It may have been my new Athleta swimsuits (yes I am gearing up for spring and summer surf). It may have been when I was at the gym riding the stationary bike. I’m not sure when it was but at some point I began to ponder women and athletic fashion.

 

Athletic apparel is big business. It is expected to grow to a $180.9 billion business by 2018. Women are major consumers. Retailers like Gap, Target, Lululemon, and Title Nine are doing more than tracking this trend. Each of these companies has a share of the athletic apparel market, especially the one geared toward women.

 

The clothes are super cute. Yoga pants, running pants, sports bras, and dry wicking shirts that have a cute saying. I admit when I walk into sports authority I am drawn to the fashion. I imagine how stylish I will look running down the street in some new gear. My fantasy is disrupted when I peek at the price tag and realize I don’t really need a new $55.00 pair of running pants. My dresser drawer is already exploding with dry wicking shirts I’ve gotten in my swag bag at races and I already own more than enough shorts to get me through about a month of running in the summer without wearing any repeats.

 

All of the fashion made me wonder: are we losing sight of the real reason for working out? The clothes are great. And they have gotten so much more functional then they were years ago. The days of wearing a heavy sweaty cotton t-shirt is a thing of the past. But buying cute yoga pants don’t do much for your health and well-being unless you plan on doing yoga in them. Picking up a new pair of running sneakers won’t get your heart rate up unless you lace them up and go for a run or walk. Fashion is great. And if looking cute helps get you motivated to work out that is awesome. But remember wearing athletic gear to casually walk on the treadmill or to sip an energy drink at Starbucks is no substitute for a real sweaty hard core work out done in a cotton t-shirt and a pair of shorts.

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To Team in Training?????

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This week I tried a few new things. One was pretty simple; I finally used the fitness center on base and took advantage of one of the free classes. It was fun; sans the 5:15 wake up to make it to class by the start time. (I could sleep in a little later but I have certain pre-work out rituals I like to follow, like pooping).

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The other new thing I did was attend a Team in Training meeting. For years I’ve seen them at races and race expos. I’ve talked to them. I’ve learned about the organization. But the most commitment I’ve done is give them my address and email.

I’ve received countless invites to informational meetings. My email inbox is full of races that Team in Training participates in.

Team in Training does great events and they raise money for such a great cause. Unlike some people who are motivated by the training program, I have already proven to myself I can manage running a distance race.

The main reason I have never done a Team in Training event is………I am afraid of the fundraising.

For those of you who don’t know when you sign up to run for Team in Training you commit to a fundraising commitment. Different races have different commitments. Team in Training covers things like hotel, dinner, and race fees. So it isn’t a bad deal, if you can fundraise.

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Don’t get me wrong, I have no problem fundraising. When we were in Miami, Team Run Fat Boy Run would raise money for the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure. On a good event I would raise $300. (The team total was always higher.)

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I’ve been assured by numerous people that the fundraising really isn’t that bad. And I want to believe them. But my fundraising track record is not that great.

What do you think? Have you done Team in Training?