ninja skilz

i totally ran 5 miles on saturday.  it was great.   i wish i had some super cool trauma to report, but the morning was pretty calm. 

even though the run did not bring the drama, something did happened that was really random and just may be my undoing!  so, all of you that enjoy my suffering–  just wait.  it’s coming.

i reconnected with a peep  i met last summer on the trail. 

(when i say “met” i really mean “distracted” when i raised the roof and threw a few ooooo OOOOOO’s  her way every time we ran past each other). 

i was threading my car key through my shoelace when i spotted her–

i was all, “hi!  remember me?!”

and, she was all, “yeah!  you haven’t been here since last summer!”

and, i was all, “dude!  why you gotta call a sistah out like that, DANG!”

but, i let it go–   i understand that some running folks don’t fully embrace my philosophy of a six month rest period after a race.  whatever.

then she was all, “you’re tracey, right?”

i was all, “yeah!  WOW!  great memory!  and, your name is becky….. christy……”

and, she was all, “no.  i’m mary.”

then i lamely chuckled and said, “huh.  that was my next guess.”

but, she let it go.  because CLEARLY this woman has super ninja name-remembering skilz that i don’t possess–  how else would she  remember my name after  i yelled it out one time, 6 months ago, while i was running by her.   it’s pretty obvious i cannot be faulted for mary being a name ninja. 

after the total name fail i changed the subject real quick.  i asked her if she ran all year long.

SHE DOES.

she only STOPS  running  if the temperature drops below 20 degrees.

that is hardcore ‘skillets.  seriously.

then, i heard myself saying something INSANE.

i was all, “awesome!  do you think i could jump into your runs after the half marathon so i can stay on track?”

and, then the {name ninja/never takes a break girl} or ‘MARY’ was all, “sure.  but, what do i get out of the deal?”

then, no lie, i waved my hands all vanna white-style from the top of my head to my feet and said, “you get to run with all of this.”

thankfully, mary  let the comment slide, without pointing and laughing at me.

which made me think–  maybe i have ninja skilz of my own.

super-mad skilz that keep me from getting mocked when i make ridiculous statements.

but, seriously.  all ninja-ness aside.  let’s address the crazy situation my spontaneous response has gotten me into–  i’m now committed to running all year long.

dudes.

let the pain and suffering commence!

a bottle of wine and a full length mirror

i was suppose to run 5 miles saturday.  i planned on running outside and early.  instead, i ran 3 miles– late in the afternoon, on a treadmill.  i was foiled by a late night and a bottle of wine.

guess what— a night of wine consumption makes me sluggish, and it makes my head hurt, and it makes running not so fun.

so.  there i was.  nursing dehydration and slug-like tendencies.  i knew i had to get some kind of run in, but even thinking about running outside, in the sun, made me want to blow chunks.  which left me with no choice, i was gonna have to do a treadmill run–  in front of a WALL of mirror.

oh.joy.

i thought running was painful BEFORE??

guess what—  seeing my reflection added a new dimension to the trauma.

mirrors are mean. seriously.

i’ve decided mirrors are rude, and any mirror of a super-sized nature is NOT my homeskillet.  fo’ realz.

see.  that rude reflector of truth shattered my last shred of runner dignity.  it made it very clear i look completely wack when i run.

i mean, i don’t intentionally go for freaky, but  that mean mirror made it clear that the combination of my unique breathing technique to avoid the dreaded side-stitch, and the freestyle hand movements i use to punctuate the music piped in through my m&m ear-buds kinda keeps all potential cool points at bay.   (yes.  i have blue m&m ear-buds.  no.  they are NOT taking off cool points all by themselves.  seriously.)

here’s the thing–  when i run outside i can at least pretend i look cool.  in my head i look AWESOME.  i’m all hardcore and serious.  i am an athlete with athletic skills and stuff.  and with one run that darn mirror killed my dream.  that mirror is a dream killer.

i tried to tweak my moves — you know to match the dream with reality.  i pulled myself up straight–   to lessen the defeated, downtrodden look my normal posture portrays.  i tucked my arms in tight–  to lessen the bird flap quality i didn’t know existed until that mirror killed my fantasy.  i tried putting more of a bounce in my stride–  so i didn’t look so dejected.  also super cool— my wide head band made my head look incredibly tiny.  which made my body look freakishly off  balance.  awesome.

shrunken head syndrome.

not good.

just sayin’.

so.  the first attempt to get a long run in was a total fail.  but, i did learn an important lesson– a bottle of wine and a full length mirror should be cut completely out of my training regimen.

baby, i was born to run…

Oh honey, tramps like us
baby we were born to run

Come on with me, tramps like us
baby we were born to run

Ru-uh-uh-un
Mm-mm-mm-mm

bring on the pain

that’s right, homeskillets–  it’s time to start training for the half marathon.

it’s time to bring the pain for a t-shirt.

it’s time for the blisters.

and the tears.

and the trail.

and the possible potty mishap!

it’s time.  to RUN. 

and, to teach the road who’s BOSS….

Oh honey, tramps like us
baby we were born to run

Come on with me, tramps like us
baby we were born to run

Ru-uh-uh-un
Mm-mm-mm-mm
Uh-uh-uh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Ru-uh-uh-uh-un
Mm-mm-mm-mm
Whoa-oh-oh-oh
Whoa-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh-oh
Ru-uh-uh-un

the day of turkey and pumpkin pie is upon us…

 

here's the word-- tom's a bird!!!!

and with said day about a week away i feel it’s appropriate to make a list of some of the things i’m thankful for:

  1. we are all made for a certain time and purpose.

    i am thankful for vacuums, washing machines, in-door plumbing, and central heat and air.  i took a bible study last summer on the book of Esther and i came away KNOWING each of us is born at the appropriate time to MAKE A DIFFERENCE in our world–  still not sure what my role for Christ looks like, but God knew i’d need some plumbing and air conditioning to get the job done.  pioneer woman i am not.  can i get a HOLLA??!!

  2. i am thankful for random moments of clarity during my stint as a mommy.  most of the time i have no idea what i’m doing and i’m amazed that i’ve kept 2 helpless humans alive for 7 and 3 1/2 year respectively (with the help of a wonderful wingman, of course)–  but, there are brief moments when God clears away my self-centered fog and shows me HOW BLESSED i am.  He has allowed me the opportunity to encourage and love 2 awesome boys, and He covers my mistakes by reminding me i’m not suppose to do this thing called “motherhood” exactly right— because if i did my boys wouldn’t need HIM.
  3. worth the pain

    i am thankful for running, super-fit ‘skillets, mile markers, stinky shoes, weird trail people, and a finish line.  i completed a half marathon in october, and i am so glad i did!  it was the most taxing thing i’ve ever willingly put my body through–  i mean i VOLUNTARILY ran a very long way for a t-shirt.  that.ain’t.right. but, i learned so much just by getting up and putting one foot in front of the other– i learned  i am only as strong as i believe i am,  i’m only as capable as i believe i am, and the Lord is always with me cheering me on.  i also learned i’m a very, very, very slooooooow ‘skilletHOLLA!!

  4. i am thankful for a super bad haircut–  a haircut SOOOOOOO bad  it sent me into a funk.  that’s right.  the hairs on my head were cut into an unflattering fashion recently–  and, this upset my delicate nature.  that’s how deep i am.  jealous? here’s the thing–  bad haircuts have happened in the past, but this one really got to me.  i thought i clearly communicated the hair style  i wanted, but walked out of the salon looking

    picture these bangs with a carol brady flip... awesome.

    like a cross between jim carrey in dumb and dumber and carol brady from the brady bunch—  surprisingly, not a good look for me.  i left  feeling unattractive–  and, more importantly out of control that scared me.   i realized i have control over nothing—  not even the hairs on my head.   i say i get this.   i say i believe and trust in The One who knows the number of hairs on my head and holds me in the palm of His hand–  but, it took an unfortunate mullet to make me understand there are areas in my life  I haven’t fully given over to Christ. clearly, this homeskillet has a lot to learn–   i’m very thankful my teacher is patient!

the happy hour phenomenon

so.  this saturday i ran 4 miles.

do whatcha gotta do

i really wish i could have ran with my super-fit skillets–  they participated in a 10k.  but, due to financial difficulties–  i had to sit out.

a morning with no skillets equaled putting on my big girl panties, and heading out for a solo run.  the good news– i’m getting better with the idea of being solo on the trail.

(LOOK!  i’m maturing and stuff!)

since i was footloose and skillet-free– i got up a little later than usual, and i was surprised at the difference an hour makes in the peeps partaking of the trail.

super cool phenom!

i have decided to call it the happy hour phenomenon.

first of all– everyone is AWAKE (evidently an extra hour of sleep makes a big difference when it comes to this).  i bet they totally had a cup of coffee before leaving the house.  they definitely looked caffienated.

just one of the super slow pairs i smoked

secondly– no one walks alone during happy hour. i saw husbands and wives, young, peppy cheerleaders, old friends, new friends, dogs and their humans– all different ages, and sizes.

these peeps were just out on a beautiful morning–  sharing time and moving their bodies.  there was definitely less walking and more talking going on.

and, to my delight–  i found when caffeinated people pair up and talk–  their gabbing slows them down immensely and i can pass them ALL.

i felt very cool– like a total runner.

numero trois —  EVERYONE is really chipper during happy hour! every peep i passed had time to say, “holla”,  wave, or give the tiny head nod that is also acceptable passing etiquette on the trail.  it was great to have so much interaction!

i mean, don’t get me wrong–   i’ve got my skillets that throw out an occasional “ooo OOO”—  but on the whole everyone is doin’ their thing.  tryin’ to reach their goal.  they’re serious.  the trail is serious.

slow and steady-- enjoys the journey

the happy hour peeps are MUCH more relaxed. in all honesty–   fitness goals didn’t seem high on their agenda–  neither was exertion or sweat.

from what i saw– these peeps were pretty much wandering around with water bottles with no real purpose or plan–  and, they were totally okay with that.  they were truly just in the moment, and really proud of the fact they had decided to start their day in the sunshine– moving.

it made me realize– i might finish the race faster, but the happy hour crowd has something i’ve been missing since i started running.

joy in the moment.

by slowing down and sharing their lives– the happy hour peeps understand what’s GREAT about the trail– it’s the journey.

waiting for me

so.   i finished 9 miles–  and i’m happy to report God gave me just enough strength to have a tear-free experience.

God’s strength came in the form of a shiny, new homeskillet.  she deserves a great big holla for my positive experience.

this new ‘skillet was invited to join our running posse at the last minute–and even though we are strangers–  i have been praying for her to join us since the day training started.

i’m used to my super-fit ‘skillets being waaaaaay out in front of me–  and at times i lose sight of them on the trail.  this is expected–  they are faster. watching them move on without me has been a challenge, but i know they’re always waiting for me at the end of the run.

at the end i have my ‘skillets–  but in the middle there’s just me.

alone.

ALL ALONE.

it’s kinda not fun running alone.

see–  i’m a girl who loooooves her some ‘skillet time–  talking to my girls gives me energy.

so.  i’ve been praying for God to bring someone alongside me–

“i can’t do this alone, Lord.  i NEED to talk, Lord.  i mean, have you met me!!??   of course you have–  you made me this way.  you know what i need.

what i need is to be in bed.

it’s early, LORD.   sooooooo stinkin’ early in the a.m. — i mean really.   dear Lord.  i haven’t had coffee or a sugary substance of any kind.  sweet Lord. could you PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE help a sista out–  and, throw a slow ‘skillet my way?”

God heard my selfish plea, and He could have answered at any time.

i forget sometimes....

but,  He waited for me to understand and appreciate the TRUTH–   if i’m His,  i’m never alone.

every time i’ve stepped foot on the trail–  He’s been there.

i’ve shared moments with Him these past weeks that have made me KNOW He is real.  through solitude and pain–  He prepared my heart and my eyes to see Him more and more clearly.

and, only after i had time to get closer to Him–  did He answer my prayer.

He brought me a new ‘skillet that runs my speed,  stays at my tempo, and matches my stride.   just like God’s timing– it’s a perfect fit.

AND I LOVE HIM FOR THAT! (throwing up God-lovin’ *spirit sprinkles*)

i believe He waited to bring this sweet, slow-paced skillet into the mix for HIS GLORY.

i see this new ‘skillet as a gift — like He’s  saying,  “i see you.  i love you.  and i am here with you.”

here’s the thing.

if this homeskillet had joined us at the beginning of our training session– i would have appreciated her.  i would have been grateful for a new friend.  grateful for a running partner.  grateful for someone to make the mornings easier for me.

but, where’s God in that scenario?

well.  of course, He’s still there– i just would have been too blind and too focused on myself to see Him.  to appreciate Him.  to love Him for loving me.

having this blessing of a girl join our group after the devastating run i had last week makes me appreciate and love God more.

with each new day and with each new challenge i understand and BELIEVE:

He wants to help me through the rough spots.

He wants to give me strength.

He wants to heal my hurts.

He’s just waiting for me.

and, step by step.

at a slow-‘skillet pace– i know i’m getting closer to Him.

waiting for me...

good days and bad days

who is the ant? I AM THE ANT.

this week’s long run bullied me.  it kicked me down, spat in my face, slammed my name all over the place.  the 8 mile run took my lunch money and made me cry like a girl.  just like a bully– it lured me into a false sense of security before it lowered the boom.

i had a great front half and was feeling kinda special.  i stayed with my homeskillets for most of the first 4 miles and saw my regular bunch of characters while i was running.

can't look.....

the nearly nude was on the trail–  and he had a friend (who was also rocking the man boobs).  i want to say, “bravo to them”–  for being secure enough to run shirtless.  but, i have to confess– my eyes don’t know where to look and i get very uncomfortable.   so, the holla-fest running squad does not give shout-outs to nearly nudes.  (clearly–  i have issues with nudity i need to address)

i also saw my very favorite couple on the trail.  they hold hands and walk at a very leisurely pace, but they’re all decked out in sports gear–  like any minute may be THE MINUTE to start running.   they smile and raise the roof right back at me every time i see them.  they make me smile.

and, i made contact with one group of runners i’ve been encouraging for a while.   we gave each other hollas and fist pumps– and, as they passed me, the lead runner asked, “what IS your name?”

so.  i was feeling PRETTY GOOD as i entered in to mile 5.  i was super-sassy– throwing out little dance moves while listening to “body movin” by the beastie boys.  then it turned ugly.

holy cow!!!

my body started actin’ a fool–  my right knee started grumbling .   each step brought a stabbing pain– and, it stopped me cold (bright side– i think i’ve finally conquered the blisters) .

the 8 mile “run”  became a tough reminder–  life’s highs can be quickly followed by lows.

and just like in life– with the pain comes unavoidable truth.

i was gonna have a loooooong walk back to the car.

key to life

since choosing to run–  the word “choice” has been bouncing around in my head– during the 3 mile limp home, the word kept gnawing at me.

i choose to get up and meet my wonderful homeskillet.  i choose to face the long run.  i choose to finish the goal– a half marathon.

WHY??  WHY??  WHY??

this is not easy.  this is not fun.  all i’ll get at the end is a t-shirt.

so, why do i choose to drag myself out of bed to face a pain fest?

because there’s freedom in choice.  there’s direction in choice.  there’s consequence in choice.  this makes me think of the boo bah.

her choice has cut her freedom,  forced her into a certain direction– she’s facing the consequences of one choice.  i REALLY miss my sister.

for those who don’t know– my sweet sister is serving a 2 year prison sentence for a drunk driving accident she caused last september. thankfully, no one was killed– but she and the two people in the other vehicle (amanda and matthew) sustained serious injuries.

i think about erin, amanda, and matthew a lot on saturday mornings.  i’m so grateful God spared all three of them and allowed all of the families more time to love them and just be with them.

i think about how her choice to drive drunk changed them all for the rest of their lives.  i think about how i just want to hang out with boo bah and give her a big hug. i think about how life is a mash-up of one mess right after another–   and moments of rest, peace, and joy are true gifts not to be taken lightly.

go directly to jail-- do not collect $200

i also think about how EVERY song on my mp3 player reminds me of prison some how. there’s kelly clarkson’s “break away” — might as well be singin’ about a prison break,  christina aguilera’s “genie in a bottle” — just re-title that one “boobah in a jail cell”, and rod stewart’s mega-hit “if you think i’m sexy”– well,  let’s face it– rod should have been incarcerated for that skintight body suit he sported in the late ’70’s.  that look makes the nearly nudes seem prudish.

my mind is a weird place, peeps. but boo bah would understand.

because boo bah made a bad choice–  i’m left missing her, praying for her, and looking toward the day we’ll be back together to share our strange view of the world.

anyway.

these are heavy thoughts to have early in the morning time.

before coffee.

this saturday morning–  the combination of missing erin and the job of running 8 miles became too much.

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

i hit an emotional wall.

the pain, the sadness,  plus the walk– made me a little cranky.

SURPRISE! i get cranky.

in fact– i battled crankiness for 3 miles.

but,  i still tried to give an encouraging word to the other runners on the trail.

i threw out REALLY LAME ooo OOO’s and some SAD hollas.

it was easier to not dwell on the pain, on the sadness–   when i focused on others.

i think when the trail gets hard i have yet another choice to make.   i can choose to let the crankanoodle attitude take hold or i can deny it access to my heart and mind–  my thoughts, my day, my life.

am i sad?  yes.  do i hurt?  yes.

will i let the cranky change me?

no.

my HOPE won’t let it.

i wish i could say i finished the run strong–  that the decision to NOT be cranky was enough to fuel a super-strong moment of triumph.   and, God pulled out a miracle–  filling the air with music from chariots of fire as a show of support.

that didn’t happen.

instead, i rounded the bend– to see three of the most supportive ‘skillets i know– cheering me on as i limped towards the finish.

waaaaaaahhhhh

the closer i got– the more emotional i became.

in short– i was limping, whimpering, and my face was in the ugly cry.

those sweet ‘skillets met me with water, aspirin, and offered a piggyback ride.

no judgment.  just grace and support.

when it was all done– my super-fit homeskillet said, “there are good days and bad days on the trail”.

how true.  how true.