"Will you take me running with you sometime?"
This question is something I am really trying to embrace....and it is so hard because to explain why I run alone without sounding like a complete douche bag is almost impossible. Trust me...I have tried...and I have tried really hard to not hurt feelings or make it seem like I am blowing people off...and I am pretty sure I have failed a couple of times.
So as you can imagine it totally sucked to hear this:
"Well...now....that really does not fit into the whole "trail running" concept now does it?"
That was literally all I could think as I stood there looking at the gentlemen who was assisting me in my quest to find more trail shoes. It all started when he asked me what group I ran with. When I told him I ran alone he began to go into how that was not what the sport was about. I then told him that I often run with a partner or group, but choose to separate myself from them right away so that I can run alone. Apparently I missed the official "how to run the trails" memo which involves running in a pack. Don't worry...he spent a good 2 minutes explaining to me how I was doing it all wrong....so I think I am set. If I ever see him on the trails I may b*tch slap him.
However, in all honesty I can see where he was coming from. Look in any Trail Runner magazine and you will see all sorts of pictures of people running together on the trails. There are even a ton of races and relays that involve teams. I get this and I can see why he thinks it should be that way. That seems to be the way many are "doing" it...but I am far from "many".
I feel very different when I am out running than when I am out and about or at home. When I am out in nature I feel very connected with everything. I feel connected to nature...to myself..and to those who I have lost who were very close to me. I guess you could say it is kind of like a "religion" to me. I feel more at ease in nature then I do in a church. That does not mean that I do not believe in a higher existence. It just means that for me...at this moment...that higher "sense" wants me to connect with everything created in nature...not sit in a church. But that is just me...and to be alone doing that is a wonderful thing. (I will now wait for a few friends to come around...)
But in all seriousness....I really do feel "connected". I allow myself to get lost in my music and I often find myself holding conversations in my head with lost friends and family. It may sound crazy to some...but I do not see how they can be totally gone. Energy cannot be created nor destroyed..so wouldn't that mean that there has to be some logic behind what I feel? It may just be me...but it works for me...and it is a very private and personal time. It is an emotional time and I don't think much fun would be had if the person running with me sees me tear up every now and then....
Another reason why I am hesitant to have people run with me is because I am really not that special. In all honestly...I am very ADD when running. I am like that dog on the movie UP. I can be running one minute and the next be like "SQUIRREL!". That is the reason why I don't enjoy races (yeah...RBG!)...I like to be able to stop and look at things. I don't want to have to keep a pace or meet a certain time. I guess I just don't think anyone would enjoy it as much as I do so I just do it on my own.
You can call it selfish....and I guess it kind of is. I am hesitant to share my little spots. The last time I hit the trails I was sitting in a little "nook" off the beaten path just enjoying the sights and sounds. It is marked by some ghetto bird houses and really does require some stomping of branches to get to. It is my perfect little place. I often take breaks and just sit and relax. I try to focus on everything around me and notice every little movement. Once again...it is my little place! So you can imagine my surprise when another woman my age came tromping thru with her dog. We did not exchange words...but you could just see it in her eyes...it was like of like she was saying "not a secret anymore...now is it?". I remember being so angry. I felt like my little area had been violated! Stopping in this place is one of the highlights of my runs and someone has just marched right thru it! It really bothered me...
The reason it bothered me was because I was being "watched"...and I don't like that. Perhaps that is what I feel like happens when I run in groups. I feel like everyone is looking at me. I do not have the perfect stride...and I do not have the perfect pace...and people all the time try to tell me to do "this" or "that" when I just want to run how I run. We are animals. Running is an instinct. I want to run the way my body runs. When I am alone I don't have to worry about this. I don't have to wonder what people think when they are around me. It is bad enough I worry about what you all think while reading my blog. The fact that I love to write kind of makes me not care that much....but I can see people "watching" this blog all the time. Some comment on my FB...or Twitter...or the blog itself and I love that. You would probably think it is stupid how excited I get. Others watch...which there is nothing wrong with that....there are days when the data brings a huge smile to my face. Plus, I am a smart girl...I can see quite a bit ;) . I try to share as much as I can for a reason. I am very personable. I love to interact with people....my feelings get hurt when I am ignored or criticized....and I guess since I can't wave thru the computer and be like "I see you...HI!" I just have to keep writing and sharing.
I hope you all enjoy the blog. I write like I talk (which is a lot apparently) and if you have taken the time to actually keep up with this....well then I consider you a friend. No need to be shy. Who knows...maybe hearing from more of you will bring me out of my running shell. Maybe I have just not found the right time to "share" the experience. Maybe I need to be a little selfish until the time is right. Keep asking and I will keep telling you "you really would not enjoy it"....who knows...one day I may turn around...look you dead in the eyes and say "let's go!" Until then...please don't think I am being rude or mean.......I really don't mean to....and it really does bother me if I think I have hurt your feelings. I never mean to do that. I love people too much!
And to the person who knows who they are:
(Hi! For the love of all that is holy....I see the page visits.......I'm not going first this time....I tried that already.)
Tuesday, March 19, 2013
"How Do You Do What You Do Everyday?" That was asked of me today :) I am proud.
You may have noticed that I have been quiet for a while (can we say almost a month?!). I have not been on the trails very much and for that reason have felt like there was not much to talk about. I gave my ankle some time to heal and have been gradually building her back up running in the "concrete jungle". I have a brace and some new shoes (Brooks Green Silence) for the road and I find that they are really helping. I still plan to run the Run The Bluegrass at the end of the month...so for the most part my training has been geared to that. Since the blog was started to share my adventures in trail running...I decided to wait until I had some semi-related topics to discuss.
New Gear For The Recovery :)
One thing I have been doing since the last post is maintaining a meatless diet. I cannot believe what a difference that has made in my running! I noticed it the other night as I was just cruising along in the sleet and rain. My body felt amazing. My legs felt so light. My pace was consistent. It has to be the best thing I have done in terms of improving my overall performance! This is something I can see doing for the long haul. I do not miss meat at all!
I have also been focusing on quite a bit of cross training. With the weather in Kentucky being so bipolar it has been hard to get in steady trail running. One day it is 64 and the ground is perfect and the next day it is 28 and the mud is all iced over...which makes me very hesitant to get out and run them. It is kind of disappointing but I have been keeping myself very busy and on the road to what I hope is an awesome 2013 which includes a trip to Pikes Peak (no...not to run Pikes Peak Marathon....but to run the physical Pikes Peak).
So with that...let's review what I have been up to!
So...as you all know, downhill skiing was to be my winter cross training adventure. I was so excited and literally drove you all nuts talking about how wonderful it was going to be. I was going to give it a try...naturally master it due to my awesomeness... and spend the rest of my time on the slopes looking like someone off the X-Games. I even had really cute outfits lined up for purchase...because looking cute on the slopes is very important. Turns out, it has to be the most terrifying thing I have ever done. Words cannot express how anxious I was the whole entire time. At one point I screamed like a little girl. I felt like I had no control over my body and it just made me want to cry. It was not a good scene.
What was so depressing about this was that I love the mountains. I love to walk in them...to run in them...to climb in them....hell...I will do just about anything in the mountains BUT downhill ski. Even if they are covered in snow...I still want to be in them. Shit, I will go to the top of the mountain with you...but you had better believe my ass is walking down it. I just don't see myself getting back on them any time soon. Luckily, my group of friends realized that you don't all have to enjoy and excel at the same things to have fun and positively impact each others lives...and they have kept me in the group. For that I am thankful.
If I am correct....take that back...if Google is correct...the average human is about 60% water. That is a pretty good amount unless you are me and can go a whole day without taking in much more than coffee for hydration. Combine that with 90 minutes of yoga in a 105 degree room at 40% humidity and you have an interesting practice.
Hot Yoga is great. It literally works every muscle in your body and you sweat out a good 30% of your 60% body water (no...not really). You feel amazing after doing it. I loved it...but after a few classes it started to get hot. It started to get really hot and even drinking 64 ounces of H20 during it did not really help. This is a practice that is not for the faint of heart in my opinion. If you love to sweat like I do...and love to feel that your body is a machine then go for it. I have laid off it for now...but I plan to keep it in my rotation.
*sigh*...not the proper hydration after hot yoga
So once I felt like I had once again evolved from a sponge after hot yoga, I decided it was time to start back at the brew yoga (yoga at the brewery here in town.) I was pretty excited to get back to AnneDean and my running ladies and really did not think anything of the FB status that placed my beloved instructor in Chicago my first night back. What was waiting for me was a sub....and a doozy. If your class ever begins with your friend looking at you and saying "B*tch gonna kill us" just get up and walk out. I did not...and I regretted it for a good few days.
If this every happens and you don't want your practice to change...do not...and I repeat....do not tell your instructor how "intense" her sub was while she was gone. She will just smile and turn up the intensity on you...I promise....you will feel it...but you will LOVE it. She is taking us to a new level and it is friggin awesome. I am keeping this in my weekly "day off" rotation as I find it helps both my body (can anyone say hamstrings) and my mind!
WTF?! I really could end this whole thing with those 3 words.
I decided to give Zumba a try since my running group was doing it and it was "Cosmic Zumba". I figured you could not go wrong dancing in the dark with glow sticks. After all, this was a large part of my college career and I thought I was pretty damn good at it (I hear my father now calling UK and asking for his money back.) Turns out I was wrong. I often wondered what my mother's nationality was (she was adopted) and I can confidently say that no member of her family ever had "relations" with anyone of Latin, Spanish, Caribbean, or any other background where moving your hips in a seductive manner is genetically passed from generation to generation. It was horrible. Now...it was a great workout and we were all soaked when we were done...but I just don't know. I will just let your imagination run wild with this one...unless you were there...then you know.
Hell yes. This is it. I have found the one thing that has the extreme core focus that every runner needs. Like it sounds...it is a surf board set up on an air cushion type platform. The entire time you are doing it you are "engaged" since the board literally moves like it would on the water under your weight. It is all about balance...core...cardio and strength. As I type, my arms are literally still like jello from doing planks on the board while balancing. It makes slack lining look like nothing. Well...maybe not...but still...it is amazing. There were no mirrors so I cannot report back onto how it looked...but I felt pretty damn good!
Now you may be asking....what is next? Well...there are a few more months until Spring trail season here and I have a few more ideas. If anyone wants to join me just let me know!
1. Self Defense Class
Lord knows I need this with my love of night running. A friend is taking the class right now and is going to report back on how awesome it is. Once she does that...I will join.
2. Cycle You
Intense indoor cycling with strength training and yoga. Hell yeah.
3. Pole Dancing
I swear...this was mentioned tonight and turns out it is an amazing workout. Hell....it may even make Zumba easy.
The friggin pool needs to open.
Once I am in my new house I will have those amazing trees...which made me choose that lot...for the sole purpose of putting up my slackline.
Well...that about sums it up. With the ankle getting stronger and stronger I am really looking forward to the trails. Since my new home is only a few miles away from my favorite place to run (Raven Run) I will be able to get some awesome training in soon. While it sucks that I am being a "fair weather" trail runner right now...I think it is in the overall best interest of my body....since I am giving my ankle time to heal and the UPS man time for my Mantras to arrive :)
Oh...and my calf muscles are in :) I am very proud and treating them well!
Lots of Love!