Time Out

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My Facebook feed is filled with lots of pictures of friends running. Some are doing local races and others are down for the big Princess Marathon weekend at Disney. Looking at all the fun everyone is having makes me envious and makes me want to lace up my running shoes and start training again.

But I am in time out. And it is a much-needed time out.

I learned this lesson in my early twenties after I had ankle surgery and got back out on the volleyball court a little too soon. Of course being in my twenties I was in the indestructible phase of my life so I could play through the pain (or at least I thought I could).

Time out to recover doesn’t mean a time out from an active life. It’s just a different kind of active and on a much different scale. Of course it is frustrating not being able to play but over the years I have learned to appreciate giving my body a break. I’m hoping giving myself a long break now will keep me from breaking myself when I get back out there.

Good luck to everyone running this weekend. Can’t wait to get back on the road with you.

Danielle’s Perspective

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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.

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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.

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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.

RnR PVD

How Surfing Made Me a Better Mom

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Surfing and being a mom are two unrelated activities. While they aren’t really related, I realize I have learned a lot about being a mom from surfing.

Surfing is very much dependent upon Mother Nature. Her mood sets the tone for the waves. They range from calm and peaceful to turbulent and violent. My daughter Dominique has moods that can swing in much the same way. Some days she is sweet and charming other days, she is not. But the beauty with Mother Nature and with teens, there is a time and place for all moods. The violent waves will eventually subside in the same way the “I hate you moments” do. Eventually things will be calm and peaceful, even if it is just for a moment.

In the lineup you have to sit and wait for the next set of waves. In the moments you wait, you have to be patient. If you rush and paddle for something that isn’t a wave it can put you in the wrong spot when the real waves to come. As a mom I need patience too. Dominique acts like she isn’t interested in anything, she ignores pleas to do her homework, she forgets to do her chores, she has a messy room, she doesn’t always listen, she thinks she knows everything, she gets frustrated when we talk, she gets a D in chemistry………….the list could go on. In these moments I have to remain calm and have patience. If I overreact, she might shut down and not want to communicate with me at all. Instead I have to be present, be patient, and wait so when the really big issues come, she will come to me.

There are days when the waves are small and gentle and there are also days when the waves are much bigger. On the days that the waves are bigger, it is hard to paddle out. And when you do paddle out and hit the lineup the waves appear to tower over you like a skyscraper. It takes a lot of courage to go out when the waves are big. Parenting also takes a lot of courage, especially when you are raising a teenager. Over the past few years Dominique has put Jim and I through the ringer. We have faced her exploring her sexuality, being afraid to drive, watching her play sports where she can get hurt, watching her get hurt, flirting with boys, learning about Facebook, going to movies and dances by herself…………again the list could go on. But through it all you have to be courageous because she is learning to become and adult, she has to learn to explore the world without your guidance. It is terrifying, but it is part of being a parent.

When you surf you will wipe out. But when you wipe out, you have to get back up on the board and go out again. In order to surf you need to be resilient. In parenting you will sometimes fail. But you have to get back up and keep being a mom.

The most important thing, surfing is fun. Riding a wave is exhilarating. It makes me smile and fills me with joy. As a mom, I have to remember to have fun and enjoy it. It can be challenging and tough, but most days being a mom makes me smile and fills me with joy. There are few things as exhilarating as watching your baby girl grow up to a beautiful woman.

Thank you for being such a great kid Dominique.

DCIM100GOPRO

Happy Mother’s Day.

It’s not you, it’s me.

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The Princess Marathon was not part of my running plan until my friend Trish asked if I wanted to run it. My initial thought was no. I had just done my first half marathon and I didn’t see the point of doing another, but a few days later I signed up. I enjoyed the inaugural Princess Marathon so much; I did it again the next year.

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Running 5 consecutive Princess Runs never occurred to me until Jim and I went out to Disneyland for the half marathon. It was the 5th year for the race. Something during that weekend clicked. I made it a goal to run the first 5 Princess Marathons.

The 2013 Princess half was the 5th year of the race and I reached my goal. I am one of 324 runners deemed a perfect princess for running all 5 races. I’m not sure what I expected this year, but the magic that kept bringing me back to this race seems to have run out.

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This year the emphasis seemed much more on stuff and excess than on fitness and running. The expo was cram packed with people who needed to buy everything they could get their hands on. I freely admit my husband and I bought our max allowable Dooney & Bourke purses with the plan of keeping one and selling the rest. (However that plan changed when we sold one to a friend who didn’t get a chance to shop at the expo and gave one as a birthday gift.) And I bought the Disney Princess sweaty bands because sweaty bands are part of my race traditions. But watching people stand in excessively long lines for New Balance shoes, running to be first to get a purse, and grabbing handfuls of official race merchandise left me with an odd feeling.

Social media was the other big difference. I got the impression posting pictures to instagram, sending tweets, and updating facebook status during the expo and the race was a priority for many runners. The goal was less about running and more about documenting every step along the course. One of the perks of doing a RunDisney race is the entertainment and characters. I stopped twice during the run to take a photo with a character because there was no line and Mehgan didn’t get any pictures during the run last year. I guess I think the run should be the main attraction, instead of the entertainment being the main attraction.

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While the race has grown and evolved into something very different than just a celebration of women, fitness, and running, I recognize I have changed too. I am not the same runner who started doing this race series in 2009. The moment I recognized it was when I was really excited to see mile 7. We were no longer in the Magic Kingdom and we were on the road. In the past I dreaded the back half of the course because we left all the fun, but this year I felt like the fun was just about to happen.

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I didn’t PR this year, but it was one of the best races I’ve run. We managed negative 5k splits. I also helped Mehgan get a new PR.

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In a way this feels like a break up. The Princess Marathon Weekend was one of my first running loves. We grew together, but after all these years we ended up growing apart. I guess I always hoped it would last forever, but the magic is gone. I guess I’ve grown into a different kind of runner and the Princess Marathon has grown into a different kind of race. I really hope we can stay friends. It’s not you, it’s me.

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