Inspiration

I’ve been settling into our family’s routine in our new house at the start of another school year. Over the past year, we have had 2 homes for a total of about 10 months. Moving is exhausting, which we have done twice in the past year, and so is caring for 2 properties. We handed over the townhouse a little over a week ago and it’s been a huge relief. Our new house checks all of our boxes and is just a few blocks from both of my sisters. We plan on staying here for awhile. As I’ve had a bit more time on my hands, I’ve been getting the itch to run more. I spent my run Monday morning chewing on my next steps. Often, a runner wants to go faster and farther. As I age and continue a lengthy running streak, I am well aware that these goals are an either/or for me, not a both/and. I can achieve them both over time but only while focusing on one at a time. I have decided to focus on speed first. I have been running slowly for a couple of years now since reading Primal Endurance and that slow pace has increased over time without much effort but I’m ready to put in more effort now. I pushed my pace on several runs this week and it felt great. I plan to spend a few weeks focusing on pace and then have an easy week before taking a few weeks to build distance. I will reassess in a couple of months and set more goals then. I’m headed out for a trail run this morning and am really looking forward to the solitude. I’ve run 1-2 miles every day this week and also added in pull-ups, dips, and a flip to a couple runs, yoga one day, and hip hop dance class another. It feels great to have more time and energy to invest into my exercise routine again. Motivation and discipline are rarely my issues. However, I’m not always inspired. It takes a lot to pull me out of the day to day routine and concerns of my family. However, my sister shared the video for the Oiselle brand relaunch and it is enough to pull me out of my own head. It’s truly inspirational. Have a look and see for yourself. If you are a female athlete or care about someone that is a female athlete, this video will be worth your time. This is a fantastic company committed to some amazing causes. They are inspirational. It’s a good week for me to have this video take my increased motivation and give it a kick of inspiration.

Balance

The past year has been a lesson in balance. Sometimes when I reflect, I think back to when my life really started feeling stressful. I usually get back to about 17 years ago when my twins were born. I was 21 and finding out I was having twins was quite a surprise. I have essentially battled balance my entire adult life. Sometimes I feel like I’m winning the battle and sometimes I don’t. This past year has been especially challenging. Not all of the challenges have been negative. For example, we just moved into a house that meets all of our family’s needs and wants but moving is still moving. I love having my streak to keep me active but I sometimes struggle with feeling disappointed that I’m not running more. I don’t think I would honestly be running any more than I am currently without my streak though, which is important to remember. Since returning from Florida, I have run at least a mile every day but the farthest I’ve run at one time is 2.5 miles. However, I have been doing more yoga, more hiking, and I’ve been riding my bike with my youngest every morning to take him to school. I also signed up for an adult hip hop class while my daughter takes her dance class. I’m feeling more balanced lately than I have in awhile. I eventually hope to build up my mileage again but for now, I’m enjoying more balance in my physical activity.

Technical difficulties

I’m still here and I’m still streaking!! My phone recently died and I started a new plan with a new provider so I had to get a new number. You might be surprised at the far reaching implications of this change. I continue to be surprised almost daily. Being unable to use the number to recover forgotten passwords has been one of the casualties. I’m back up and running now though! I had to set aside time on vacation to make sure I had the mental and emotional energy to tackle the task of password recovery. I’m in Florida with my family at an amazing stretch of private beach on the panhandle. If you ever have the opportunity to visit Cape San Blas, I highly recommend it. I’ve been coming to this area since I was in 5th grade and it has changed quite a bit in the last 25+ years. One of the fantastic changes is a bike/running/walking path along the one roadway that provides access to the cape. It’s over 8 miles long and provides a great alternative when the beach conditions aren’t optimal for running. Since I’ve been here, I have had 2 runs on the beach and 2 runs on the trail. On my first day running on the beach, I ran into my uncle and cousin. They were also out for a run and I joined them. It was a fantastic surprise. They are staying about 1.5 miles down the beach from where we are staying and cell coverage is spotty so it was great to happen to be running on the same stretch of beach at the same time. My other beach run was not quite as enjoyable. I ran a mile down the beach only to turn around into a terribly strong wind. It was a slow return mile for sure. The path has been a great alternative when I need a break from the variable conditions of beach running. I also have had to spend a considerable amount of time stretching. Long car rides tend to irritate my lower back and running on the sand has compounded the issue. Yesterday and today have been quite rainy but I’ve been able to get out between storms. The first few days here the water was calm and crystal clear. It was absolutely gorgeous.

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Colorado ❤️

My sister invited me on a quick trip to Colorado. She lived in Fort Collins a few years ago and wanted to go back to her favorite tattoo shop and visit her friends. I was pretty excited for the change of scenery. Before we left, I ran a mile Monday and Tuesday. On Wednesday, I ran 2 miles in our neighborhood while my yongest rode his bike. We left around 3 am Thursday morning and got to Fort Collins around 5:30 pm. We made great time. She found us an amazing Airbnb in Poudre Canyon where we could hear the water running with our windows open.

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It was a fantastic location. The only bummer was that the narrow road wasn’t very safe for running so we had to drive to run or hike. We certainly didn’t have to go far though. There was a fantastic 7 mile hike about a mile down the canyon highway. My sister had dinner plans Thursday night so I ran a mile from the restaurant in Old Town. It was a lovely run. I walked around and enjoyed the sites as I cooled down before joining my sister and her friends to eat.

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On Friday, we hiked Greyrock near our cabin. I was planning to do a little jogging on the trail but I grossly underestimated the difficulty of the hike. I quickly decided to enjoy the hike with my sister and run in Fort Collins again that evening. My legs are still sore from that hike. It was absolutely gorgeous and worth the pain though.

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I ran a mile later that day on the Poudre Bike Trail with heavy legs. On Saturday, my sister met a friend for another long hike at Lory State Park. I was in no condition to join them so I jogged 2 miles along the lower West Valley Trail to take it easy on my legs. I hiked a mile up the trail to hike out with them later that morning. It was absolutely stunning.

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Our last day in Colorado was stormy but we managed to sneak in a quick hike during a break in the weather. We hiked a couple of miles along Hewlett Gulch Trail. I jogged a mile of that hike since the trail wasn’t very technical. It was a great hike with several creek crossings. The sound was absolutely magical.

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We are driving back to Illinois now and I’ll need to run when I get home. I’m expecting significantly more humidity and significantly less senic views. I’m looking forward to my next trip to Colorado for sure.

Climbing back out of the hole. Again.

The past year has felt like one step forward and two steps back with my running fitness. I know that’s not entirely true because I have been able to maintain an awesome run streak but I sometimes feel really discouraged about my decrease in mileage. It really seems like every time I start climbing out of the hole something comes by and knocks me back into the hole again. Regardless, I’m climbing back out of the hole again. For the past week, I’ve been able to run 2 miles every other day and I’ve gotten back to my pull-ups, dips, and a flip routine as well. It feels good to get back to those activities that I consider basic for my overall fitness. It has been ridiculously hot out so I have tried to either run in the morning or right around sunset. Several evenings have still been into the 90s with the heat index. It’s been rather sweaty. I’m hoping for another week of 2 mile runs alternated with one mile runs before I bump a few runs up to 3 miles. Fingers crossed!

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Bronchitis

Bronchitis is no fun. Running with bronchitis is even less fun. I actually aspirated ice cream while celebrating my daughter’s 14th birthday and I must have aspirated some bacteria along with it. I’ve been sick for a week now. I’ve only run a mile each day for the last week. I’m trying hard to not get frustrated and impatient with myself. I’m ready to enjoy summer. At least I’ve had some great books to distract me while I’m spending extra time lounging. I’m hoping that having more down time this weekend will help kick the bacteria out of my lungs. It’s time for it to go for sure. The week prior to getting sick, I ran 2 or more miles 4 days out of the week. It is nice to have more time to focus on myself now that school is out. I’m ready to start building up my mileage again!

Relief

This past week has certainly been a whirlwind. The final results are in though and our family has one less house in our possession and one additional high school graduate! Both of my older boys set a goal for themselves to graduate from high school a year early. They have both had mental health struggles this year that threatened to derail their goals. We received word today that both boys passed all of their classes this semester, which means one of them will graduate Saturday and the other will graduate after completing a credit recovery program this summer! It looks like he should be done around June 11 so he won’t be far behind his brother in graduating. It’s a huge relief for all of us that their hard work has paid off for them. Also, our closing on our old house was finalized yesterday. We had to move the last of our items out of the house over the weekend and I was super sore for a couple of days afterward. We had left a few large items in the basement that were heavy and awkward to get up the stairs. I was thankful to still be able to run a mile each day despite the exhaustion and soreness. Today was the first day in quite awhile where I felt like I had the time to run as far as I wanted. I ran almost 2.5 miles to check out a nearby neighborhood with a couple of houses for sale. I also did some pull-ups, dips, and a flip on my way out. It was a great run. The only other day this week where I was able to run more than a mile was Monday evening. I ran just under 2 miles that day but it was broke up by a visit to a park with my youngest. Those are some of my favorite runs. I’m certainly ready to settle into a slower pace for summer and to have time to lengthen my runs when the mood strikes!