Marathon Training

It’s almost here. My second marathon. Honestly, never thought I’d be here. Actually, never thought I’d be at the first marathon. Which by the way, I did approach mostly with confidence..but left a bit broken and defeated, crossing the finish line much later than anticipated. However, with reflection, realized in hindsight what an incredible day it had been. So this year….it’s about “setting the record straight.”

And then came my 20 mile run last Saturday. Ugh. I was perfect, in the groove until about mile 16. The humidity was high, the temperature and dew point combined was not ideal. I had fuel, water, change of socks, support (D!). But I faded. And it brought back a bit of fear and anxiety – I don’t want to feel this again the day of the race as I reach these impending miles. I will have a chance to run the 20 miles again and have some tweaks to my nutrition that I intend on making. However, it’s my mindset, my Self that I know I need to tweak just as much if not more. And this is the real challenge. Ironically, it’s the long runs I have come to really enjoy. I have a comfortable pace, my breathing is so rhythmic, my feet supported by what feels like clouds (I LOVE my Brooks!), and I’m in my mind for a longer time. Just me. The shorter runs have become a bit more intimidating as I feel I need to push a bit harder, my breathing is more pressed, my mind a bit scattered. I suppose I feel less in control?

And maybe that’s a metaphor for my life right now. As I feel overwhelmed, pushed, compressed in a way, definitely scattered and certainly on many levels alone, I move quickly but not in a way that benefits my mind..or my body. When I take pause, literal deep breaths, read, practice yoga..when I am moving at a comfortable, yet conscious pace, I am more at peace.

What is it that makes you more at peace? Gives you peace? Fosters peace inside of you?

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Messages

I once wrote about wishing I could go forward in time to see my boys okay – as a way of giving me peace today. Having a knowledge that in the end, it will all be okay. Lately, I have been having discussions with T, in response to his observations about his father, about life really and people. Truthfully, I have found it somewhat difficult walking a fine line between speaking negatively about his father’s actions/words and providing some clarification and lessons. As T gets older and starts to understand more I’d like to be able to offer positive words to ignite a knowingness in T that he does not have to follow his father’s path. And I speak specifically of T simply because of his recent conversations with me, but hope D hears me as well. At the moment D is muddled in between being a 17 year old, stubborn, on-the-verge-of-fleeing-the-nest-but-keeping-one-foot-cautiously-in-the-door, defiant, and yet loving and happy young man. He knows his father, but he so desperately wants his father – on the surface I don’t think D is even aware of this feeling – consciously anyway. I, as his mom, am left in a challenging corner that I have been arduously working to maneuver. Which leads me to the purpose of this post. There have been so many messages I have hoped my boys receive from me and understand and keep with them as they grow.

  1. Always hold the door open for others – not just women, but everyone. A small gesture of kindness truly can spark a light of hope in someone’s day.
  2. Be unselfish in your life. The world is bigger than you and I. Know when you do for others, you actually benefit just as much.
  3. But..remember to take care of your self. When you grow your being in a positive light, when you feed your own soul, when you treat your mind, body, and spirit as the temple it is, you will evoke happy energy.
  4. Your past does not define your future. Every single day you have a choice.
  5. Exercise. It not only strengthens your muscles, it strengthens your mind.
  6. Volunteer. Give to charity. Make a difference. And don’t forget the Starfish Story.
  7. Respect your partner. Take a deep breath and please think before you speak. Words can’t be taken back. YOU own your actions and your words.
  8. Family. Don’t ever give up on family.
  9. Truth. In your life, be truth. Speak it, show it, and model it.
  10. Be kind. Remember you have no idea what someone has gone through, what they have endured or experienced.
  11. Don’t forget to respect others and yourself. We are all human beings existing in a shared space.
  12. Don’t get caught up in the small details so much so that you lose sight of the bigger picture.
  13. Someday if you have you own children, relish in each moment, every stage of their life, plant seeds of confidence, and self-worth, and love in their hearts with your words and your actions.
  14. Go to bed every night saying “Good Night, I love You” to at least one person.

I am sure I could add more to this list and maybe someday I will. But know my beautiful boys, I love you with all my heart. Everything I am and everything I do, is because of both of you. You are my heart. You are my soul. You are my breath. Please forgive me for the mistakes I have made as your mom, but know I have tried and will always try to do and be my best for you. You are my reason.

To Be…Not

Sometimes when you are in pain, in that moment, in that timeframe, you think it could not hurt anymore. But I discovered that is so wrong. Like being kicked when you are down. This is what I have felt for the past week. It has been a wave of constant hurt continuously smacking me against the rocky, sharp, unforgiving wall. I am left in-between this blockade and the thrashing, intensity of the waves…waiting for it all to stop.

Feelings of being overwhelmed followed by shock and sadness.

Strength found to be challenged again but with great force.

Some panic, some weakness, some all out craziness.

Again pure shock.

And then deep sadness and hurt and disbelief.

And I sat in this. All of it.

So twisted and surreal almost.

How ironic.

I lose myself from time to time. I get lost in the complexity and many paths. This past week, I lost all harmony.  Any sense of balance and peace was gone.

Maybe all these twists and turns is how I actually will find myself…….

 

Gone

Today I lost my childhood friend. In fact, he was my very first friend. 43 years old and now gone. I still have a cassette tape of him and I at age 5 singing our ABC’s. He always shy and me not so much in comparison. Despite decades of not really seeing each other, he always held a place in my heart. And today that was even more obvious. A tiny piece of my heart since truly the day I was born was held just for him and through all these years it remained just for him.

His mom last saw him reading a bedtime story to his daughter. My mom did always tell me his daughter was his everything, his life. Her words “he was a great dad.” His daughter found him this morning in bed. He wouldn’t wake up. Oh how my heart breaks for her. She can’t be more than 8 years old and has already experienced a traumatic loss.

As I remain in shock and so saddened, I pray that all of his wonderful qualities will live on through the love of his life.

Peace Johnny.

Renewal

In 2017 there will be a renewal of…

absolutely, positively hope. yes, a renewal of hope

love, love, love. you may have gone astray at times, but I challenge you, love, to a renewal

meditation. from the candle gazing ceremony last night where the flame represented change to the seconds of deep, conscious breaths, meditation is surely up for renewal

without a doubt motivation will stand strong. you have been by my side for as long as I can remember and 2017 will be no different

magnified compassion. pushing its limits. to overcome.

ADVENTURE. oh where did you go? Surely you must know you did not show up nearly enough in 2016!

and of course peace. peace within my heart. within my soul.

happiness. that radiates. that shines from my eyes and leaves a dusting. everywhere.

Are you ready 2017? I am!

 

50 Happy Things…and then some

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yoga, deep breaths, fall air, carved pumpkins

sleeping babies, running hugs from my nieces, smiles, holding hands

salads, pizza, hummus, chocolate chip banana pancakes

a wink, toes in the sand, surprises, a kiss on the forehead

fresh herbs, burnt marshmallows, a vase of just picked flowers, a thank you

dreaming, reading a good book, HGTV, learning

a strong run, a solid race finish, a good stretch, a massage

a passionate kiss, a beautiful love affair, a gaze, cuddling

a clean house, a trimmed lawn, hydrangeas, a sunset

ocean waves, salt air, meditation, heart shaped rocks

awakenings, opportunities, hope, peace

families, friends, carnivals, farmers markets

my boys, my boys, my boys, my boys

 

Sometimes it’s nice to notice all the wonderful, happy things in my life. What a nice way to start my day! Can you take a moment and notice all the positive things in your life? Positivity spreads…happy energy is contagious. Begin now.

 

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Sweet Treats

Oh how I love yummy treats! Yesterday we celebrated my father’s and my birthday with my family. My talented brother handcrafted an Italian versus Irish Cornhole game. A match quickly ensued…but I’m sorry to say my oldest son and I did not win. We did give it a good go however! Turkey burgers, steak, hot dogs, hamburgers, corn on the cob, potato salad, chips, fruit salad, and dips. Lacking for food, we were not. The smell of the grill, the cool breeze, the sun peaking around clouds, and the constant laughing of cousins running around was all so peaceful. Yet, it always hits me that I am “alone.” No one to steal a quick kiss from, no one to grab hold of their hand, no one to share a bite of my turkey burger. In these times, I don’t dwell on that thought – it passes through. The moments of being with my family, in that moment, are much too positive to allow any other feelings to bring me down. But it always makes an appearance.

Anyway, back to the yummy treats. My mom, in lieu of cake, purchased the most delicious looking cupcakes. One problem – I am currently following a low FODMAP diet. Ugh. So I happily wrapped up one of these beauties and placed it in the freezer to hopefully be enjoyed at a later date. I should have taken a picture of all of them – there was a variety. But the picture below is of me and my dad’s. The red candle is the one I made a wish upon just before I blew it out.

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Happy Birthday to me and my father!

My wishes tend to be the same from year to year. Intentions they are. Maybe this is the year. Maybe me blowing out a candle on a cupcake I have to patiently wait to eat, is simply a metaphor for my life right now. Be patient. The best is yet to come.