Archive | February, 2012

Letting Go

19 Feb

I started out my run along the San Luis Ray River trail this morning feeling optimistic and full of energy. The weather was perfect, and I quickly settled into what I thought was a comfortably fast pace. My Garmin decided to tell me otherwise though, and when I looked down at my wrist, 8:40 min/mile glared back at me from the screen. This can’t be possible, I thought, so I broke into a semi-sprint. 8:20 min/mile. While this isn’t a slow pace by any means, it was considerably slower than I was used to, and I could feel myself getting frustrated. I pushed myself to an all-out effort, and yet my pace barely budged. Then it began jumping between 7:45 and 8:45. For the entire first half of the run, the pace seemed completely wrong, and no matter how many times I tried to adjust my speed and check again, I realized that either my watch or my body was way off. At the halfway point 7.5 miles into the run, I decided to take it off.

I felt incredibly strange at first. My Garmin has become my running partner, and I honestly can’t remember a time when it wasn’t strapped to my wrist. I kept looking down at my empty hand, and when I realized that I could no longer think about time, I suddenly felt light and free. It was as if a weight had been lifted off my shoulders (or in this case, my wrist), and everything began to change. I settled into my pace again, and this time I could feel it. I didn’t need a watch to tell me I was hauling. I needed to be watch-less, however, to enjoy the breeze at my back and the egret flying across the trail. I got lost in music and time and space, and I escaped myself.

It was such a simple thing, this little watch, but to me it was much more than that. It was the realization that sometimes it’s necessary to break down barriers, to let go of the things that confine and hold us back from truly enjoying life. My Garmin has taught me quite a lot over the years, like not going out to fast and holding a steady pace until the end, but I realized that these things are a part of me now. When I get out there, my legs will know what to do, and the rest of me can be fully present in the run and everything around me.

20

12 Feb

I listened to the waves mixing with the beat of my music and stared up at the sky, pretending I was running into the clouds…anything to distract me from the fact that my legs felt like lead weights. As I rounded the corner towards Dockweiler beach, I broke into a semi-sprint until I reached the rest stop and looked down at my watch. 20 miles. Success.

There is definitely something humbling about running 20 miles. No matter how many times I’ve run this distance, it always takes everything I have to finish the last few miles. The feeling is unmatched though (except for crossing the finish line of a marathon), and you are suddenly reminded that you really can do whatever you set your mind to do.

A few things I learned from today’s run…

  • Dates rolled in coconut beat out GU any day.
  • It’s a good idea to open your fruit snacks BEFORE you are hot, sweaty and in need of carbs NOW
  • Getting lost = discovering new places (and new hills)
  • New music can be just what you need to put a spring in your step at mile 16
  • Turning off the music and listening to the waves for a few minutes can remind you why you’re out there in the first place

Only one more really long run until the big 26.2…yikes!

Wishing everyone a great week 🙂 and a happy Valentine’s Day (or Singles Awareness Day…whichever you choose to celebrate)

6 Feb

Today’s run in a nutshell…

“Records are meant to be broken, but those moments are few and far between. Every adventure offers an opportunity to evolve, explore, and celebrate life.” – Coach Jenny Hadfield

It was one of those days when my legs just did not want to move. The scenery was beautiful, the weather was amazing, and the course was flat, but for some reason it was one of the toughest runs I’ve had in a while. I’ve been lucky to break my time records for almost every distance this season, but it wasn’t happening today. I was initially frustrated by my body’s lack of cooperation but eventually decided it would be better to soak up the sun and ocean breeze than worry about my pace.

We started out running south from Dockweiler beach, but it was our lucky day, and it turned out that our route was blocked off by the Redondo Beach 10k. Ooops. This meant that we had to run 6.5 miles south and back and then another 2.5 north and back to reach the full 18. Doubling back isn’t so terrible on a shorter run, but crossing home base after 13 miles definitely takes some serious mental stamina (which I happened to be lacking today). I had been running by myself for the majority of the time, but just before the last five miles, I ran into one of my teammates, who was also having an off day. I turned my ipod off, and we starting talking…about running at first, and then life, love, and everything in between. I honestly don’t know how I would have made it through those miles, but because of her, I can say that I finished 18 today.

AND, I experimented with vegan macaroni and cheese, which turned out to be amazing. Here’s the recipe if anyone’s feeling adventurous:

Vegan Macaroni and Cheeze

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat pasta
  • Fresh or frozen broccoli
  • 1/4 cup plain soymilk
  • 2 T. nutritional yeast
  • 1 T. Daiya vegan cheddar cheese

Directions:

  • Boil water and cook pasta according to directions. Throw in the broccoli during the last few minutes of cooking time.
  • When pasta is done, drain and return to pot.
  • Add soymilk, nutritional yeast, and Daiya, and mix until a “cheeze” sauce forms.
  • Season with salt and pepper.
  • Devour

Other news of the week…drank my first legal cocktail at Katsuya sushi restaurant. It was a grapefruit cosmo, and I am determined to learn how to make it.

Happy February everyone 🙂