September: Attitude of Gratitude

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Most days I write down up to five things I am grateful for, big or small, subtle or apparent. I archive and post the list monthly. This is September 2014.

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a Labour day at home — going out for another group trail run — assessing where I am, not where I would wish/hope to be — my son’s help with snipping and raking up garden brush — clean sheets — going to bed early.

green lights in traffic — my daughter’s care and consideration when making a burial plot for our departed hamster — that kids soccer starts this week — remembering to do what I’d forgotten to do (in a timely way).

first soccer practice for my son — sunshine — white wine.

my son for watering the garden — fresh tomatoes from the garden — yummy greens and kale salad — decadent coffee.

sleep — having a sense of what “normal” feels like to me.

my mom coming to visit — that she is so self sufficient — that traffic was light on my drive out to the airport — taking the day off from running.

managing to make it through another long(er) run — feeling good after my run — ice bath for my foot — chocolate/pumpkin seed bark.

burgers —  that the restaurant texted us when our table was ready — a burger place that has fresh salad and delicious burgers — finally buying a new broom.

my mom taking care of the kids this week.

my mom cleaning up after me (and the rest of my family) — getting to the gym — that we managed to make it to the beach — that my son and mom went for a swim — that we did manage to get home and get to soccer practice.

finishing a good book (The signature of all things)

starting a new book —  having a meal together — seeing how little things are important.

helping out with the aid station at the race — enjoying the sunshine — dressing up — going out for a quick bite with my Sweet — easy parking for the music festival.

taking care of my foot instead of running — learning that I am not the only injured runner in the world — that pain means something — drinking extra coffee — taking a nap.

that summer is still hanging around — reading other bloggers (you guys are good!) — the feeling of warm air in the evening — fresh kale salad.

more fiction — being able to renew my Library book — that Netflix will exist even if I am not watching it — texting.

registering for new classes that stretch my comfort level — my physiotherapist — making time to make time.

being able to send the kids home early from day camp — leftovers for lunch — kind neighbours — wine.

a walk before dinner — the fine weather — feeling content.

the short cycle on the washing machine — watching kids play soccer — the smell of fall — the goldening of leaves.

going to the intermediate class of yoga — stretching myself (mentally and physically) — an afternoon rest — doing groceries when there was no one in the store.

that school has finally started — the kids excitement — new adventures — new schools and teachers.

the kids making their own lunches — starting new schedules — soccer practice — tomatoes from the garden.

being back in the pool after over a year — realizing that although my fitness is different, I can still manage to swim laps — being away from running and realizing how much it means to me.

hearing that other injured runners are running — magnesium — bananas — the extra parking spot no one else saw — my daughter’s care, patience, and kindness.

the washing machine — cold water laundry soap — realizing that in people years our cat is 88 years old — my son going to bed without a fuss, as though it was the most normal, everyday thing to do.

watching soccer in the early morning in a t-shirt — the sunshine for sticking around — coffee and cookies after soccer — making morning rituals.

trying out inverted poses at yoga — the kids being able to stay home alone (the house was still standing) — going to the pool and doing my water run — time alone at home.

sunshine — feeling refreshed for a new week — not having to do anything — spending time with my son in a coffee shop doing homework.

being able to take a detour through traffic — only being a few minutes late for soccer practice — getting to my class on time — doing less.

The day I took a DNS

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Signing up, training for, and getting to the start line of a race is an accomplishment in itself. Managing weeks or months of training (injury free) can make the race feel like a completely different entity. It is a finish line beyond a start line.

I ran a fun summer half-marathon. I signed up for the half-marathon when I was full of gusto and inspiration. I was losing a bit of motivation (and speed) by the time the race day came around, but surprised myself by almost running a PB (personal best). I thank the two km’s of downhill along the course for that.

After that I kept running. As usual after a race, my coach ensured I had fun, easy, inspiring, no-time-goal runs. I was reminded of why I love to run.

One day my foot hurt. It was a strange pain under the arch of my toes, like my metatarsal bones were suddenly squished. I stopped, loosened my laces, massaged my foot. It was sore, but I finished the half hour run home.

For the next weeks, between visits to physiotherapy and massage, I kept running. I limped when I wasn’t running. My foot caused me a lot of pain, but in my runner-brain I figured it wasn’t broken so I could probably keep going.

(runningonpb.com)

(runningonpb.com)

I had a marathon planned in six weeks. My mileage was not increasing. I decided that if I could work up to run three hours without altering my stride to compensate for pain, I would run the race. I was currently topped out at two hours and was (literally) limping from a standstill. (Momentum and adrenaline (and sheer stupidity) helped a lot with keeping me going).

Diagnoses were varied as I could never express my symptoms in the same way twice. It was hard to distinguish root causes from deferred pain. The top of my foot would swell (tendonitis) and the side of my foot was sore (stress fracture) and I would get pain under my toes (intermetatarsal neuroma).

I write this the night before the race. I picked up my bib today knowing that tomorrow will be my first DNS (did not start). It happens, certainly. When I talk to other runners they all have a story of the race -usually races- that they had every intention of running, but didn’t. Such is the nature of sport, and life.

Consequently, I have not spent the last week checking the weather every 15 min.

I do not have three different outfits laid out depending on how I may feel in the morning. I am not wondering how many grams of carbs and protein I am eating. I am not strategizing the least amount of time needed to optimally get to both gear check and the port-o-potty in the morning before the start. I am not counting how many hours of sleep I could get tonight. Or how many I got last night, the more important night of rest.

I am still getting up early. I plan to go and watch friends run and take in the atmosphere. I will cheer on their efforts and applaud their dedication and determination. I will embrace the DNS in a new way: as a Daring New Spectator.

August: Attitude of Gratitude

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Most days I write down up to five things I am grateful for, big or small, subtle or apparent. I archive and post the list monthly. This is August 2014.

*

 a planned mommy-daughter outing — that my foot will feel better — my well-timed physio appt next week — avocados — the realization that when we are separated from some thing and don’t really miss it, it’s not as sentimentally important as I had thought.

“you don’t know how good yoga is for you until you stop doing it” — the ice I had for my sore foot before my run — making it through my run intact and no worse off — seeing old friends — coffee in the sunshine.

 the quiet and sunshine and creek on our trail run — my daughter getting ready for her camping — my son’s enthusiasm for his garden — having dinner together — being in a crowd, but also being able to get away from it.

the drive to take my daughter to camp — her quiet confidence — ch00sing not to stop for a morning coffee, but coming home and making chocolate cake instead — taking a “do nothing” day — still getting loads of laundry done (with my husband’s help).

old friends coming back to work — only one kid to get ready in the morning — the serendipity of getting a B12 shot — my naturopath’s kindness and energy — remembering to return Library books and DVDs.

making the decision not to run — still being able to go to the gym — a workout that made me weak in my knees (in a good way) — fresh kale from the garden (this never gets old) — watch tennis with my son from the comforts of the couch.

 finally!  a physio appt — finally! some relief for my foot — going to the gym and feeling better after — being able to go to a great vegan restaurant for lunch — my husband finding a cheaper and realiable and decent plumber.

my last day of work before holidays — thinking about packing/planning/prep for holidays in small increments — icing my foot — sorting lights from darks — that there is still so much sunshine.

packing in advance — Cookies — good neighbours — time off from work — that the Cat is not really phased much by us leaving (although she knows!)

my mom — running with my hubby — the kids being entertained by in-laws — going to bed early — a good read (Indian Horse / Richard Wagamese).

in-laws — change of scenery — time (alone) with my hubby — a beautiful resort with 3 nights booked — doing nothing — no expectations or obligations.

coffee dates — going to the gym — fresh towels — another day! — reading a book that reminds me of how precious the present is (February / Lisa Moore).

bike rides — run dates — lazy mornings — not having to drive 4 hours to retrieve the kids — being prepared for another adventure.

having all our gear/camping stuff/food fit in the car — good directions — sunny weather — camping with more family — seeing cousins for the first time in 15 years.

camping coffee — extra blankets — lifejackets — kayaks — beer.

communal meals — camping chairs — clean showers — still being able to run — bats.

not losing anything when packing up — shorter than expected drives — time to myself — hot showers — running.

making the trip home in shorter stages — encouragement from my hubby to get another run in — the feeling after the run — that the hotel had a pool — that the hotel was across from a Starbucks.

changing plans with ease (bribing kids!) — not spending too much money at IKEA — being inspired to do more at home — the benefits of mid-week travel: catching the ferry when only waiting 15 min (instead of the usual 1.5 hours) — being home in daylight.

waking up at home — get up before anyone else — an emergency physio appt – that my physio made me feel better — running.

days off during the week — not doing more than we wanted to — zucchini — the cheap and friendly reno guy — getting the kids newspaper route done with ease.

trail running — that my foot was more cooperative than I expected — chai latte — napping — meals together.

managing to start and finish another longish run — the reminder that the mind can be weaker than the body — the perfectly placed water fountain on my run route — the kids being excited for soccer camp.

sunny weather — still summer days — the leftover bits from holiday that give you a bit of energy to get back to work.

free coffee — dark and spicy chocolate.

being able to stay home when my mind was elsewhere — finally getting to the gym — a good distraction a workout can provide — a good grounding a workout can provide — zucchini.

taking the day off from running — watching a marathon tennis game — being excited for someone else’s success — the kids appreciation of dinner together.

getting out for coffee — that it didn’t hurt my foot quite as much to walk — that my new barista comically unintentionally still gets my drink order wrong — new fiction to read (The signature of all things / Elizabeth Gilbert).

Saturday morning run — the beautiful views despite the fog — running with others — a restorative and quiet afternoon — no expectations.

a long Sunday run on a new route — that my foot was feeling so much better that I could actually mostly run — the simplicity of enjoying my run — the satiated feeling of exhaustion and completion and fulfillment — going out for brunch.