Kia is nearing the end of her high school sports career. We are in the middle of the basketball season which means track season is right around the corner.
Graduating high school signifies not only the end of Kia playing sports but the end of being a spectator at her games.
Like many seniors Kia has no idea what she wants to do next year. We are encouraging her to go to school, somewhere. The thought of college sports was far from our minds until about two weeks ago.
Leah (the head coach for the MHS volleyball team) arranged a meeting between some of the seniors and the head coach from the Community College of Rhode Island volleyball team. The meeting resulted in Kia and one of the other girls going up for a try out. Coach liked what she saw and she is ready to recruit some Islanders.
This means not only will Kia get a chance to continue playing sports in college, but Jim and I will get a chance to keep on cheering for our girl!
This morning was a crisp 18 degrees, a little cooler with the wind chill. After loading up the car I headed to the beach to check out the waves. They were in rare form, nice size and not close outs. As I looked at the water and the surfers in the lineup I was not sure that I wanted to suit up. There was no other way to describe the weather except with words like frigid, freezing, Jack Frost’s backyard, or whoa why on earth am I outside today? While I was sitting in the car pondering I realized that much like in running, what you wear matters.
I’ve gone out running in some pretty brutal weather. My personal weather restrictions are lightening, ice, and wind- lots of wind. I do have a limit on air temperature, but that is subjective. My decision to run when it is cold depends most on how I feel that day.
Fashion is forgotten when you run in extreme weather. The goal is to put on enough clothes to stay warm while not wearing so much that you overheat. Finding the right balance is not easy especially if your running route takes you far from your start point. When find that perfect level of layering it makes running in cold weather tolerable.
Surfing isn’t much different. With the right equipment it isn’t so bad. So after a few minutes of debate I climbed into the back of the truck to get dressed. And layering doesn’t just work well in running, I use it in surfing too. Smartwool socks and gloves fit nicely under my wetsuit and they help to keep me toasty warm.
Although for me, it was a frustrating day of surfing I was really happy to be out in the water. And despite the cool temps I never really felt cold, until I got out of the water.
For me there wasn’t much running in 2014. Getting injured early in the year can put a damper on any plans for running. And getting a really fun injury does more than put a damper on running it puts a cloud like the one that hangs over Eeyore on your running plans.
Last year my friends participated in a wide variety of races. And it looked amazing. There was the Ragnar, Marine Corps Marathon, Newport 10 Miler, tons of races in VA Beach and Florida. As I looked at the pics on social media I was a little envious because everyone was having so much fun.
So now that we are onto a new year I decided I need to find a realistic goal. My race calendar is currently very wide open and I plan to keep it that way for quite some time. And while I would love to have some grand goal of getting a PR in a 10k or running another half marathon my goal is much milder.
This year I have one very simple goal, I want to run a 5k. I want to be able to run all 3.1 miles. And I want to do it without really hurting myself.
To my friends who are onto big races, good luck. I will see you at the finish line.
My friend Danielle is training for the big race, 26.2 miles. Over the past few years she has run a few 10 milers and half marathons. Before we met she never considered herself a distance runner but now she has embraced the runner lifestyle.
After one of her training runs Danielle made a post on Facebook saying that she dedicated the run to me. Reading her words really moved me; she said that I had helped to encourage her to do her first half marathon. It never occurred to me that I helped to inspire anyone to run.
As I read her post I was moved to the point of wanting to go out for a run. And that is when I had my other epiphany, running is hurting me.
One of the things an athlete has to learn is the difference between good pain and bad pain. Good pain is when muscles get sore and ache, the burn. Bad pain is when you risk agitating and re-injuring yourself.
When I read Danielle’s post it clicked, I would be running right now if my body would let me. I’ve battled with and overcome the mental issues associated with returning from an injury but now it is the physical issues that I need to deal with. My peroneal tendon gets aggravated every time I run and sometimes when I walk.
With 2014 closing and a new year a few days away I realize it is time to rethink my relationship with running. I can’t say that I will never be able to run again, but I have to be realistic, running right now does more harm than good. It is time to focus on the things I can do and not the things I can’t do. So that means more yoga and surfing. Maybe one day I will be able to lace up my shoes and hit the pavement, but today is not that day.
Thank you Danielle for your kind words. Even though I can’t be out there with you, I will gladly cheer you on and help you celebrate your running accomplishments.
Most people when they think of yoga picture meditation, breathing, and chanting “OM”. It is the picture of peacefulness and calm. Nothing dangerous or risky about it.
And it can be.
But yoga can be risky, dangerous, and make face your fears.
How you might ask?
There is a risk of falling on your face, literally. (And by the use of the word literally I mean it. If you fall on your face in yoga the rest of your body lands on your face. If it gets recorded you not only risk physical injury but emotional injury because you could be on an episode of MTVs Ridiculousness.)
For years I avoided the more challenging yoga poses. But one day I picked up a book that explains the anatomy of the body in a yoga pose. Of course I haven’t read the whole book but I looked at a lot of the pictures and found inspiration, I wanted to do a headstand and some of those poses where you support your body on your arms.
Those poses not only look cool but they are also a little dangerous. In order to do these poses you have to be able to focus all of your energy and attention on the task at hand. You have to be willing to face the fear of falling and go for it anyway.
A few weeks ago I started running again. Now running is a slow and painful process. I am in the same spot as anyone new to running. Each time I go out now it’s just a mile.
Just a mile is a phrase that used to mean something very different than it does today. To a distance runner just a mile is a short distance, something close to a sprint. Today just a mile is a restriction, the distance I need to start with to build up strength in my legs and feet.
Today thousands of runners will pound the pavement along the streets of New York City. I will be watching the race on television, trying to find some running inspiration. I’m still unsure about my running future. But as I watch the race I will remember that each one of those runners (even the elite ones) had to start somewhere. It was probably with just a mile. I guess that’s not a bad place to start.