Monday, September 23, 2013

Autumn and why I love it

I have,  obviously,  decided to write this post about my favorite season: autumn. 

To begin,  tonight. I went for a run through some of my favorite trails on post.  For the entire day I was thinking about how much I wanted to run.  Naturally,  by the time I actually get to the end of the day,  I am not feeling it... especially because the temps had dropped,  the sun was starting to go down,  and... well... I rarely feel like doing much of anything after work besides vegging out and watching some show on Netflix (lately it has been the entire Greg's Anatomy series), having a glass of wine,  and contemplating the universe.  Well,  okay,  usually I do homework,  but I rarely ever WANT to open my books and sit in front of my computer after I have been doing that the entire day (even now I am in bed writing with my tablet).  I prefer this type of writing :)

So,  back on topic.  I didn't feel like running, but I was lazy yesterday and ended up NOT running,  and anyone who know me knows I don't like taking more than one day off of running in a row.  I told myself just a short run as we have a 9 - 10 mile tempo run in the morning (ugghhh)  for the ten miler team. It is probably good I started a bit late, otherwise my short run would have turned much longer.  Not only did I feel AMAZING and I had that floating feeling I get sometimes during runs (unfortunately that usually means I forgot my seizure meds which was the case today,  but the feeling was still pretty awesome) , but the scenery was beautiful.  Since it gets quite chilly in the North Country early in the year,  we get awesome foliage quickly.

Right now we are only in the beginning, but I am already excited. During my run some of the trails were ready softer due to fallen leaves,  and in some spots the leaves were quite colorful.  At the end of the run I stopped and stretched near the water,  which was awesome.  The sun was setting,  the water was clear,  and the reflection from the sunset and colorful leaves was absolutely gorgeous.  A beautiful way to end the day!  I got to follow that by some wine,  naturally. ;)

That whole narrative was just to demonstrate some of the many things I adore about fall.  Crisp weather that isn't quite cold,  hot apple cider,  colorful leaves... oh,  and let's not forget how much I love fall fashions.  Sweater dresses and fall colors are probably my favorite things to wear.  And somehow it always seems there is a feeling of... how do I say this... newness?  I know  that is supposed to be spring,  and maybe I feel this way because when I was I school fall was always associated with the newness of a new school year.  I wrote a poem about this once,  and maybe I will post it when I am not on my tablet. 

Anyways, these are a few reasons why I always look forward to this change of season.... now... I do NOT like the NEXT change of season around here... but I am sure all my readers will hear about that one during another post!

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Why I Love Running - especially long distances (even though I'm not super fast)

Yay, another post in two days!  I used to write a lot, and it would seem I am in one of my writing phases, so don't be surprised if you see quite a few of these... at least... for the next week or two :)  I guess it also doesn't help that I finally had a couple of regular cups of coffee, which is the most coffee I have had in awhile.  Most mornings I haven't even been finishing a cup, or I've been drinking some half-caff.  It would seem I am sort of weaning myself off of caffeine!!!  I never thought that would happen, and this wasn't even on purpose... anyway, it has left me in a state of being a bit hyper - mostly in a good way.  Mostly. 

Anyways, onto my main topic... As I was on my run this morning, I started thinking about why I love running so much... I know, who thinks about running while running, right?!?  Totally just kidding, but anyway...  I think it is really the mental aspect of running that I like, because let's be honest here, I have a lot of crappy runs, and at those times I wonder why I am running. Honestly, before I took pretty much all of last week off, I was questioning my love of running.  I mean... I wasn't trained for that ultra at all, and had never in my entire live done something that far, nonetheless doing it for around eight hours (yes, I was very slow - my goal was only to finish!)  The hardest part was the mental aspect of the last seven miles, which were pretty much all uphill, with some rocky portions, and stream crossings, and it was all cool, but it seemed to go on FOREVER.  Now, once I've had time to recover, all of my runs have been pretty much awesome... well, all two of them :)  My five miles fast yesterday felt amazing, and my run today felt pretty darn good.   I think it kind of goes to show how good it can feel to see hard work pay off.  I even look at myself now versus two months ago, and I have already improved quite a bit.  Granted, I was still kind of getting back in shape from my stress fracture - and any other number of random things that were popping up at that time, so I was sort of in the getting back to where I was phase.  But with speed work and tempo runs, and some longer runs (or races!), I have definitely improved beyond where I was.  I actually think I'm probably in the best running shape ever, and that's a good feeling... assuming I don't jinx myself and hurt myself again.

I think the above mental challenge is also why I like distance running so much.  It really is quite a bit mental as opposed to just physical.  Physically, I think we are capable of quite a bit if we don't let our minds give out.  For example, that last part of that 50k was terrible mentally.  I just wanted it to be OVER... it felt as if it would never end.  And while it takes mental strength to keep running fast for a 5k or 10k, the physical definitely limits you more than the mental.  Your mental has to say keep fighting and don't give up, but when you are running fast, your legs can only handle so much... or your whole system, in my case, where I either a) feel like I am going to vomit, or b) do vomit.. distance is more strategy.  Perhaps because I am not a world class athlete who is accustomed to running long distances at an all-out paced, I have to figure out when to start speeding up and when to back off... and how to know the difference between my body hurting and my brain giving out.  I guess that is why I got so addicted to distance running; the whole feel of knowing that I pushed myself past the point where I didn't think I could keep going.  Of being tired and sore, but still going.

Of course, there is also the aspect of just the feeling of a nice run, particularly in the woods.  Even if it is a bit brisk outside, I love the rhythm of my feet and a light breeze.  It is meditative, and it makes you realize how little all of your problems are in the big picture. 

Sooo... these are the reasons I love running, though I'm not sure I can actually put it all into words.  There are too many reasons!  Alas, I think my coffee is wearing off and now I am starting to feel sleepy :( 


Sunday, September 15, 2013

Updates and Random Thoughts

I know I have not written in a very long time, but I can't find my journal and I have all sorts of thoughts! Which is actually kind of normal; hence, why I have a journal!  So for those of you who are not my Facebook friends, here is a very quick rundown on my life from the past... uh... four months? Or something along those lines.  Well, I started doubling up on my graduate classes, so I should be graduating two terms early: spring of 2014 instead of Fall term 2015. I will admit I am looking forward to graduating. I am actually kind of wanting to take some mote self development classes at the community college just to obtain some additional skill, or perhaps a certificate or to to make me more marketable, seeing that I have no medical experience, and I am getting my Masters in Health Administration.   I am looking to find a job close to home in the generous Portland area,  AND there are several health facilities in the area, so I think my chances are high. I spoke to my mom about it and she is confident, as she put it: " I have never met an Ivy league graduate who couldn't get a job." I suppose West Point qualifies and I shouldn't have issues getting a job; however, the trick lies in finding one I like!

So why am I talking so much about this? Well, my medical board paperwork was approved... but... I'm still waiting for the process to even begin. And on a positive note related to this whole epilepsy thing: I can drive again! For those of you who did NOT know, I have been unable to drive for the seventeen months. I finally got cleared the week before last, and it was such a great feeling. I also ran my first ultra Marathon, made the army ten miler team for this post, so I think running is going pretty well! I hope I didn't just jinx myself.

So, anyways, I completely ended up missing the whole reason I wanted to write, and writing about it now would make this post far too long. So I may need to save it for another day. As a preview, it was going to be a bit morbid.

 Something along the lines of would you rather die knowing you were going to die so you could do what you have wanted to do and have avoided doing it - to tell your loved ones what you have wanted to say.... or would you rather not know and die suddenly- quickly (well ... that might depend) but not be thinking about it before it happens. I won't go too deep into the inner workings of my brain, but I suppose I am interested to see what others think.

Alas, I will keep it at that for the evening.