August 9, 2012

A way to say goodbye

Remember that one time when I used to blog?
In fact, remember that one time when I use to run?

Obviously neither have been happening much lately.
I’m finishing up my summer classes, so I’ve been consuming books and writing papers.
And that whole running thing? The last time I ran was Sunday for 11 miles, and the last mile I practically walk/jogged, and even that was painful.

So this post isn’t a happy post. In more ways then one.
In fact, I’ve been doing a LOT of thinking lately, and talking with Music Man, and more thinking and I’m honestly not sure about the marathon anymore.

Last week, I struggled on my long run. Really struggled.
The first four miles I did myself, and the whole entire time my mind was consumed with negative thoughts about not being about to finish the race. My leg was hurting and all I could think about was the pain and hurting myself to the point of never running again. Then I picked up my run with a friend and by the time we hit mile 6 together (10 for me), my leg just stopped working. I dropped my pace tremendously and I don’t know, my leg hurt in places it had never hurt before. My IT band felt like it was pulling away from my hip. I had a sharp pain in my upper hamstring every time I took a step, and my inner thigh was just stiff.
So I hobbled the last mile home, sat in an ice bath, foam rolled and iced on and off all day, and by the time I got in bed, I could barely roll over because my leg was in so much pain and stiff.

I’m better now… just a small tingle in my hammie, but I also haven’t run for four days. I’m going to attempt a small run tomorrow, but if there’s any pain, then I’m done.
I’ll finish the marathon… I’ll at least run over the finish line, but I have a feeling it’s going to be more of a vacation weekend for Music Man and I, and I’ll be walk/jogging 26.2 miles.

I’m just not ready for it.
And in all truth, I may never be. 13.1 is a good distance. I enjoy it. I can do it.
But until I get my head back into the game, and this leg pain free, there is no way I can finish 26.2 by running the whole race.

It’s time to be smart. It’s time to step back.
It’s time to stop.

Bad news bears #1.

Now it’s time for #2.

I’m just going to come out and say it or I won’t.

I think it’s also time I let Enduring go dark.

It’s not that I don’t enjoy writing about running…. and I know that my writing, and my honesty, and my goofiness has inspired some of you.
But it’s not my passion.
At least not right now.
*see above*
I’ve lost something for running, and I think part of that is because I’m trying to write about it as it happens.
One of the best pieces of writing advice I’ve ever got from my CNF professor about trying to write nonfiction is that I need time away from it to make sense of it.

Sometimes I feel like I just word vomit without coherently piecing together an essay.
And I feel like my stream of consciousness/ Gonzo Journalistic style is eating into my brain cells.

I’m getting back into school and I’m trying to write academically again. I’m trying to find my scholarly voice. I’m also trying to find my protagonist’s voice for my novel… and I can’t do any of that because my blogging voice has consumed me.
It’s taken over my writing style, and it’s taken over my grammatical style.
And I also feel like I’m trying too hard to be the other runners I read about instead of being the me runner. Which is why I’m probably not a runner right now.

I’m not quitting writing though. It’s in my blood. I mean… I do have other projects I’m working on. I just need to focus on those.
I mean, I have tried for a good five years to blog about my life in different ways, and I’ve had probably three or four blogs in that time period, and none of them have been the right fit.
I’ve experimented, but I haven’t found my niche—the right thing for me to blog about anyway.

And this year I’ve finally figured out my passions: literature, kids, teaching.
And that’s what I want to chase. That’s me. That’s what I need to be writing about. I’m ready to be a scholar.
Maybe someday I’ll come back to Enduring. Maybe I’ll be one of those Moms Who Run bloggers. I don’t know.
Right now,I’m ready to run just to run. Not to write about it.

So thank you for reading. Thank you for running along with me.
Keep running friends. Seek Peace and Choose Joy.

Most of all, keep enduring.
Even if I’m not running now… I will be one day. I will finish that race.


July 30, 2012

Motivation Monday: Moments…and what happens when running won’t be in my near future

I have to remember this.

I have to remember this.

I have to remember this.


Running is simply blah for me.

Motivation is not happening for me.

And training for this marathon simply just sucks.

I have no idea what happened last week, but I completely feel off the bandwagon of the Abs Challenge. <<
My 27 mileage week turned into a 14 mile week.
And my IT Band practically ripped away from my femur.

So, needless to say, this past weekend include 0 miles of running / biking /anything workout related.

I prepped for five weeks to ease myself into this training plan, but I’m afraid it’s still too much running for my body.
I’m afraid my IT band issue is going to severely flair up with 5 days of running and the addition of miles.

But I really want to run this marathon.

I’m struggling.

I’m almost burnt out on running. I’m almost burnt out on blogging.
And I just don’t know how to get back to those daily runs that make me enjoy life.

All I can think to do right now is ice, ice, ice, stretch, foam roll, ice, icy hot, and cut two of my running days a week for biking.

But… that little tiny pitter patter of running excitement is gone.

Have any of you ever struggled with this during training? Am I over training? Am I burnt out? Will I ever get it back?

I honestly think that my body is just simply tired from the last five years of running. Between pushing myself too much to not pushing myself at all—from ups and downs and highs and lows and crazy training cycles—to the stress of life and so much change—I think I’m just tired.

Which is probably why, if I make it through this marathon—which right now all time goals are out the window, I just want to finish—I’m going to take some time off.
And by time off, I mean severe time off.

A whole year.

I know. That sounds terrible. And frightening for me considering running helps me get through so much. But I don’t know how to get back to it the way I love it without stepping away for awhile.

I’m not going to go all sedentary and quite on you. I’ve still got my bike, which I really need to build a better relationship with, and the pool, and weight lifting—I’m going to hit this hardcore since my new dream is to become an Olympic Weightlifter.

But for now, I’m taking running one day, one step at a time. Like I said, I really want to conquer this marathon. If only to finish.
Forget the hardcore training, and the hills, and the tempo runs.
Maybe forget a sub-4 finish.

It’s about finding the moments that make me see how beautiful my life really is.

Passing the Baton: Seriously though…anyone ever really struggled with marathon training? What about IT band issues? How do you keep the pain at bay? How do you make it go away forever?!? Is that even possible?
Seek Peace. Choose Joy. Find Strong.

July 25, 2012

Wimpy Wednesday: Time to suck it up

My 6 miles of hills had a slight interruption this morning, and only resulted in about 1.5 miles.

That was after my alarm went off at 5 am, and I laid around for another 30 minutes.

Needless to say, I’ll be sucking it up this afternoon and hitting the treadmills at the gym so I can finish some hill work.
It’s supposed to be 103 by the time I’m out of class, so inside training it is.


This shall be short because I’m momentarily pausing from working on homework and some of my own writing.

I’m not sure what came over me yesterday, but this happened

That is indeed the start of my novel.

I’ve been letting my brain turn over ideas for weeks now, and yesterday, I just sat down and started typing.
Just one more thing I’ve got to suck it up too. I’ve started. Now I’ve got to finish.


Other than that, we’ve been doing the normal thing around here this week.
Drinking lots of coffee (my new favorite concoction: milk, coffee, caramel syrup, cocoa powder

Sleeping (he’s so weird)

Devouring books.
Anticipating the Olympics.
And prepping for Music Man to come home

Those are my famous Snickerdoodles. His other love.

Turns out he’s headed home tonight. His leaders were able to squeeze in his last evaluations this morning, and he’ll be catching a flight out late afternoon.
We’ve got a busy weekend ahead of us full of friends, family, sadness, and joy.
And hopefully some running.

Passing the baton: Anything on your plate this Wednesday? Or are you prepping for a busy weekend like me? Looking forward to the Olympics? Favorite sport/athlete? How’s your training going for whatever it is you’re training for?

July 23, 2012

Sometimes I don’t know how to move forward….

but I do.

As you could probably tell if you visited my blog today, I didn’t have any motivation  up for Monday.
Nor did I do a weekend update.

Don’t worry, I didn’t sit around in the dark the last three days and do nothing.
On the contrary, I was non-stop busy. Too busy for pictures, even.

I spent my weekend volunteering to help some dear friends in my life.

I directed my first 5k to help raise awareness and money for orphans.
I cooked vats of Japanese curry and served many to help my sweet sister raise money for her mission trip to Japan in less than a month.

I ran 12 miles this weekend.
I fell in to deep and much soul-needed conversation.
I met some *hopefully* new friends.

And just this evening, I got to deal with my first Army life crisis.

I received some sad news that there has been a death on Music Man’s side of the family, and it just so happens that he is training  in the field this week.

Which means no contact.

These are the times when it’s hard. When I get stressed because I don’t know who to call, or how to relay messages, or if I should burden him with the news right away for fear of him being pulled from the school. Or if it’s really better to wait.
I don’t know what the protocol is for this type of thing as I realize we don’t have a binder of emergency information or a phone tree.
I realize that it’s hard to be an army wife when you don’t have a support system like you do in an army community.

After  numerous phone calls, tears, and advice, I tried going through the Red Cross in hopes that they could reach him.

Praise the Lord that Music Man came out of the field tonight and responded to my voice mail before the message was sent, so after all of the time spent on the phone with the Red Cross and not enough information anyway, I was able to  cancel the message.


But it’s times like these when, after the initial moment of shock or sadness or fleeting anxiety, I breathe and I’m not sure how to step forward.
Usually, I go and run.
To clear my head.
To pray.
To just step away from the issue at hand.

But my legs are still heavy from this weekend, and I do indeed need this rest day.

But to rest seems impossible.

This is the first person close to Music Man that he has lost, whereas I have already had the pain of losing several people I love over the years.
My heart hurts for him.
My heart aches for my younger sister-in-law who just lost her father well before he should have gone. I want to hold her and tell her it will be alright. Even if it may not be.
My heart yearns to start living in the moment as it always does when death happens so shockingly.
Fleetingly, I even think about how we should start having kids because I want our families to experience the joy of a newborn before anything happens again.
Because I know that this won’t be the first death of a loved one in our life.
This won’t be the first family crisis we have to deal with all too soon.

My mind feels numb. As if I am stuck in peanut butter, unable to even breathe or think about tomorrow.

And then suddenly,  I think of our initial plans for this coming weekend: the celebration of 50 years of a beautiful marriage.
Of joy.
Of love.

And how even though there is sadness, there is a sliver of light flickering in the distance, calling us to keep moving.

And I realize that hurt comes, and it rears it’s ugly head at the most unthinkable and unimaginable times.
But joy comes in the morning.

For no matter how ugly, and how unfathomable the hurt seems to be, when we lift our feet and begin to move forward, Grace will be there to carry us.

July 19, 2012

Thought for a Thursday: Gratitude and How Math Makes it Even Better

Oh, isn’t that the truth.

The last week has been another week of could-have-been-loneliness considering Music Man is off on another two week Army stint.

But besides class keeping me busy in the afternoons, it’s the things in my life that I’m thankful for that has gotten me through each day.


Like my best friend, Math Nerd, who made an out-of-the-way pit stop to visit me on her way to hometown shenanigans.
She’s a teacher in TN, so her summers are usually full of summer school, church youth trips, and time with her family. Of which she is spending for the next couple of weeks.
It’s been seven months since we’ve seen each other, and that’s the hard part of being so far away from friends.

I don’t get to see them every week like I’d love too.

I mean, I did live with this gal while I was in college, so now it’s like I don’t know what going on in her life half the time.

But I’m thankful for a fun time together last week right after Music Man left.


Friends are what get you through the hard times in life.
And the ones that are there for you when you decide to inflict pain upon yourself

Math Nerd’s father passed away last December and thanks to Pinterest, and a tattooing friend, I’m pretty sure she now has the coolest tattoo ever.
Yup. Totally his handwriting.
He was my dad away-from-home while I was at college, so the last time we saw each other wasn’t the easiest circumstances, but this time, we just got to relax and be lame together.

Goober JJ has also been a little bit more loveable with Music Man gone.

So, this might have been a night when he heard loud noises outside and got scared so he had to come and curl up in the corner of my bedroom, but still.
He has been sleeping on my floor every night.
It’s like he knows I need another heartbeat in the room to sleep well.

I’m also thankful for the goofy moments I get to hold onto.
Sure, 9 pm hit last night and I couldn’t remember for the life of me if I’d fed JJ supper, sometimes my memory is like that, but I can hold onto some things pretty well.
Like how a couple of days before Music Man left we went wish-listing (aka what we would buy when we strike it rich) for a new bed and pretty much just took afternoon naps on some amazingly comfortable beds.

This is usually what take 1-49 look like when I take photos of the two of us.

As an army wife, I’ve learned a few things over the last couple of years from experiences and friends.
It’s so easy to sit around and mope. To feel sorry for myself. To be lame (which I still am half the time). To forget.

But everyday there are so many good things to remember. To hold on to. To try. To be thankful for.

And even if I wasn’t an army wife or used to the military way of things, even if you aren’t, I still think that thought holds true.

If we count our the things we are thankful for, no matter how simple, or goofy, or ridiculous they seem, they are all important and beautiful.

They seem to multiply into life blessings, and I find myself reveling in the fact that my life is full of goodness.

Who knew math could ever make my life better?

Passing the Baton: What sort of little, simple, goofy things are you thankful for this week?
Choose Joy.

July 18, 2012

Featured Fitblogger!

Today marks some exciting news in my blog world.

Enduring is the featured blog over at Fitblogger today!

I wanted to share my full post here. I think maybe I wrote too much for their site!

Anyway, make sure to check out Fitblogger (not just for me of course) but because it’s an awesome directory of fit bloggers, and there are so many talented and inspirational athletes out there!


When I think about running, I don’t think about negative splits, 7:30 minute miles, a closet full of fancy gadgets, 80 mileage weeks, sponsorship, or the perfect running body.

I choose my own joy  in running, and I think about finishing.

And in a nutshell, that’s my story and that’s what Enduring is all about.

I have had a passion for running since I was a kid, and my running story isn’t a fancy one.
I ran track in high school, and then when I got to college, I hit the 5k trainer on a treadmill one evening, and the rest is history.
I’m not a fast runner, and in fact, running is actually hard for me

But running simply keeps me sane, it helps me breathe, and it makes me who I am.
Enduring is a collection of my thoughts about life and running.
You won’t find a whole lot of tips and tricks because I’m not a certified anything, though I’m slowly integrating them (like how to hydrate in this crazy drought) and working on that whole certification thing.
And every once in a while I do talk about products I believe in.

But mostly, Enduring is a place where my my soles teach my soul.
Running is my metaphor, really.
If I can run 26.2, or train up and cross the finish line of a triathlon, or conquer my hardest hill workout ever, then I know that nothing in life is going to be impossible for me.
As I’ve spent the last five years building myself up to be a runner, I’ve discovered there are a lot of things to learn out on the road. More than just how to have the perfect form, or what shoes to wear for my feet, or what race is the best to run. I’ve learned that running takes more mental strength than physical strength; running isn’t something I always do for myself; and no matter what the circumstance, running heals.

My life is crazy, hectic, stressful, wonderful, blessed, and goofy, just like my running.
But I love it. Even if I’m enduring through some sort of hardship because that reminds me I’m still alive. And being alive is a joy.

I often talk about how running helps me just deal with being an army wife .

And my Mondays start like everyone else’s Mondays do, so I try to add in a little motivation . Because motivation is something that never lacks in running.
But one of my favorite days of the week to run is Thursday because those are the runs that lead me to gratitude .

Running helps me get that life is all about enduring.
Maybe someday I’ll have a Garmin watch, or I’ll cross the barrier of a 7:30 min/mile.
Maybe I’ll even run 100 marathons.
Or maybe I won’t ever do any of those things. But I do know one thing I will always do, no matter the amount of hills on my route.
I will always finish.

My hope is to inspire you in your journey of enduring and running and triathlon-ing and whatever else you're doing.
To help you throw off the things that hinder you, and encourage you to run with perseverance the race marked out for you.
Because really, life is a race. So why not discipline. 

July 17, 2012

Hello. My name is Big Booty Jooty: Tales and Tips for Running Safety

Or at least that’s what the car full of creeps called me one morning last week on my run.
I’m still not sure if I should feel offended or flattered, since having a big posterior is something we Runner’s should have.
Big as in full of muscle, big, of course.

Mostly, I think I just feel creepily violated.

Then today, I was out running at my favorite park (close to my home) and felt as if I was being followed in the woods the whole time.
I’m pretty sure it was just the herd of deer running around, but at 5:30 am, it’s still a creepy feeling.

This brings me to my Runner’s Safety List.
A few tips I’ve learned over the years to stay safe while running.

  • First and foremost, always run with your cell phone.

I don’t care if you don’t have pockets, or an arm band. Even if you have to carry it, TAKE IT WITH YOU. If you have kids and you run with kids, make sure you have your cell phone. Even if you’re running with a buddy, take your cell phone. And most importantly, if you’re by yourself, take it with you. I had a couple of runs during college where all of a sudden I had a major allergy attack, (hives, eyes swelling up, couldn’t breathe very well, and both times I didn’t have my cell phone with me so I had to run all the way back home before I could get ahold of my friends. Luckily, I wasn’t too far away at the time, but  I still learned my lesson. Plus, if you are being harassed by someone from afar, if you hold your cell phone up like you are taking a picture or video taping they might just back off.

I should really learn to listen to my own preaching because I don’t have an actual road ID, but I do still run with information. The Road ID comes in different forms (bracelet, slim bracelet, shoe tag, ankle id, shoe patch, dog tag, etc) and it carries your info and emergency information should anything happen to you while running. Now, I’m allergic to penicillin, and I have one of those red cross tags with my info on it, but I think it still has my maiden name so I really need to update. A Road ID could save your life though, and they are very affordable.

  • Run against  traffic.

This is really a standard “runner’s rule” but I’m usually amazed at how many runner’s don’t follow it. If you are a road runner, you want to run against traffic that way you can see cars coming at you instead of them sneaking up behind you. Face it. there are a lot of bad drivers out there and if they aren’t paying attention to you running, at least you’re paying attention to them and if you’re running at them, then you’re more likely able to run off the side of the road out of the way than if they come up behind you.

  • If you run in the dark morning or at night, try not to  run alone. Also wear reflective gear

I usually wait until the sun has come up a little bit before I head out in the morning (5:30ish) and yes, lately I’ve been running by myself. But, I’m working on finding some new running buddies. It’s great to be able to go out by yourself and run in solitude, and sometimes running by ourselves is the only option we have, but should you have a friend or spouse who likes to run, if you want to head out early in the morning or late at night, try to take them with you (especially the ladies). And if you’re out before/after the sun, wear reflective gear. I tend to run on the road, so my neon yellow shirts are my best friends. Plus, I commandeered my husband’s PT belt since it’s reflective.

  • If by chance you are yelled at (…my day last week), followed, etc, DO NOT acknowledge or talk to them.

Even if you want to flip them off or yell that you’ll remember their license plate number long after they forget the sight of your butt. Just ignore them. I’ve done this since the beginning. When I was in college, I used to run a lot around town, and let’s just say my college town was full of classy people. Ahem. Anyway, I would get honked at a lot, or acknowledged by the classy gentlemen, and I can’t tell you how many times I wanted to acknowledge them back with some smart aleck remark or a nice gesture. But, Wonder Woman taught me to never talk too or acknowledge strangers, and it’s one thing I’ve taken to heart. Dorothy over at Mile Posts has a really scary but good story about this type of situation and some tips she learned form that day<<.

  • If  you find yourself being followed, don’t run into your house.

Last week on my run as the car full of “gentlemen” howled at me, I ran up a driveway to get off the road and on the sidewalk and they yelled that that “wasn’t my driveway.” It could have been (it wasn’t), but I wasn’t going to let them know that. Just keep running down the block, or cut through some neighbor’s yards to get to the next block over, or if you’re close to one, duck into a gas station. I think this is one of those things I also picked up from working in a bank. They always told us that if we found ourselves being followed home from work, don’t go home. Go to a store, or a public place. Essentially, you don’t want to let the creep(s) know where you live. Plus, I have this ridiculously vivid imagination, and so if I picture myself being followed, I suddenly see myself leaping over bushes, hurdling fences, and getting s sudden burst of lightening speed so I’m able to duck around houses and outrun them. Hey. Adrenaline does crazy thing to your body in the moment.

  • Vary your route(s) a little bit.

RB and I used to run the same 4 mile look three days a week. Now that I’m by myself, I have about four different routes I like, and so I’ve been switching off every day or so. One route for my easy run; one route for my hills; one route for my long run, etc

  • And if you’re going on a long run, don’t go by yourself.

I’ve also switched up my training days so I can do my long run on Sundays and run it with the running club so I’m not by myself; however, if I do feel like a long, solitude-filled run, I might have Music Man either bike with me, or drive me to a spot, drop me off, then follow behind me in the car as I run back to town. Long runs, no matter how decent of shape you are in, can deplete you, and if you’re 8 miles from home and suddenly can run any further, you’re stuck. If you’re with other people, they can at least wait with you until a ride comes so you aren’t alone. (Because you know you took your cell phone with you so you can call someone!)

  • If you’re a music listener, don’t turn the jams up so loud you can’t hear outside you. Let the music be background to everything going on around you.

I haven’t been a music runner for a couple of years now, but I’m thinking about trying it again or maybe podcasts since the majority of this marathon training will be by myself. But, the idea it to still know what’s going on around me. if you turn your ear buds up so loud you can’t hear outside, you might not hear a car if it swerves on the road and comes up behind you, or if another runner or cyclist wants to pass you, or if someone has been following you. Music is fine to run too, just don’t keep it too loud.

  • Lastly, carry pepper spray with you.

Now, you don’t need a big, honking can of it, but one of those little keychain cans will work. There have been too many disappearances of runner’s (especially women runner’s) lately, and something like pepper spray could at least by you time or maybe even save your life. It’s just one of those protective precautions to always think about.


Passing the Baton: These are just some of the things I’ve learned/picked up on over the last couple of years running. But what do you guys think? Do you have any other safety suggestions while running? Any scary stories where you had to implement these things?