Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Letting Go and Finding Peace in Where We Are. Right NOW.

I admit.  Since Boston, things have been a bit blurry. I haven't thought about or addressed as much about Boston as I know I have within me.  Lots of thoughts around this experience....my weeks leading up to Boston, the weekend, the bombings, the moments after the bombings, the news reports, etc. I do know that my heart hurts to think about it all.  My words the other day:

My heart is hurting for those that are hurting and breaking for broken people.  But so full of love and hope for a better tomorrow.  

After the news that the second bomber was caught, there was such a variety of responses from people.  We are all entitled to our own reactions.  For me, it was a very sober one:

Ah, it just isn't that simple.  Celebratory, joyful, cheerful..these emotions aren't even close to how I feel right now.  This isn't a movie or a sporting event.  So much more of a sober feeling for me.  Catching one person that we can punish or persecute is only part of this problem that reaches all of humanity.  So many human hearts involved here...all of them.  The victims on Monday, everyone that was in Boston on that day, the parents of the bombers, the bombers themselves...it's not that simple.  But it's a start.  Focusing on love and healing for Boston. For all of us. 

I'm still a mixed bag of emotions. Every story I read about the people who were part of this day has an impact on me.  So many stories of resilience and hope.  Inspiration.  And many that are heartbreaking.   I'm staying away from the news though.  This doesn't help me right now.  My kids don't know about what happened (we chose not to tell them) so having the news reports is no good anyway. My grandma told me a bit about what was going on.  When she told me that the bomber's dad was flying in from Russia to be with him, my hurt hurt even more.  I cried.  Again, broken people.  Compassion for all involved.  That dad...I don't know his story.  I don't know his heart but I do know the love we have for our children.  

After a bit over a week, I'm starting to come out of the numb that I've felt.  I'm starting to feel more normal.  Peaceful.  And well, just more like me.  After Boston, I think I just kind of went into this weird place where I stuffed a lot and went through the motions for a few days.  I know there are still some mixed feelings and emotions that I haven't addressed but for the most part I'm being conscious of letting go of the things that take away from my personal battery.  I'm making a choice to focus on more of the good things right now and letting go of the things I can't control or that are not worth worrying about.

 Letting go of:

  • worry
  • fear
  • trying too hard to be in control
  • feeling like everything has to be in "settled" mode. Moving across the country for a little over a year just for an adventure isn't about feeling "settled".  It's about adventure.  And with that will come a bit of feeling unsettled.  That's what I wanted so here we go...let's enjoy the ride Amanda!  
Letting go of these things is so much easier said than done.  Worry.  Panic.  Fear.  These aren't things we plan for.  They aren't things that we can always just turn off and on.  And having them in our life doesn't mean we aren't happy or living the life we want to live.  They are just part of the human psyche sometimes.  Especially with people who like to be in CONTROL.  Um, me.  What I can do to help keep myself calm and take control of myself (body, mind, spirit) is to be conscious of focusing on the things that are adding to my self battery and then do more of these things so that I can stay positively charged.  

So here are some things I'm focusing on:
  • Spending time with myself...journaling, reflecting, breathing, talking, checking in.  
  • Reminding myself that "All is Well".  
  • Breathing and meditation to help with relaxation when things feel stressful.
  • Being a tourist...really taking time to enjoy this North Carolina trip to the FULLEST.  Checking out all I can and trying to get a taste of everything I can...restaurants, breweries, art galleries, coffee shops, the coast, trails, running groups, social gatherings, etc. etc.  
  • Continuing to list gratitude daily.  
  • When things do get scary for me and I find myself being overcome with worry, thinking too much about Boston, dwelling on the feelings of being a little out of control, remind myself that this is part of life and try to be conscious of giving up the things I listed above.  Even if I have to write down some of my fears on strips of paper and physically rip them up...These things work for me!  
  • Allowing myself to just be still right now and truly be where I am RIGHT NOW.  Today that means taking a break from running, eating healthy, spending time with writing and more peaceful/quiet forms of exercise.  And when I do start running again....
  • Just run.  No training or specific goals.  Just run.  
  • Continue loving each day that I have in this city that I absolutely LOVE.  Gosh, I love it here.  Did I say I love it?  
Taking time for journal writing, reading, and meditation today was just what I needed.  Thanks to my friend AM for a great book to help with the relaxation and meditation.  

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

My 2013 Boston Marathon Reflections. Letting Go of FEAR.

Athlete's Village waiting for Boston Marathon to start. Calm, content with where I'm at with everything, alone, eating a banana, bundled up, empty bladder...all is good. Love this race! Love this day!

We all have stories to tell.  They are unique and significant.  Our stories are part of how we find meaning in this world.  Telling our stories allows us to process the many feelings that come with the highs and lows of life.  Our stories come as they do, and in addition to the peace we gain from telling them, others are often comforted in hearing them.  Especially when they are part of a bigger one that so many were part of.

As I sit here on my first "what would be normal" day after the Boston Marathon weekend, I'm feeling anything but normal.  Being away from my running community, close friends, and husband (at work), has brought with it a mixed bag of feelings.  Raw. Heavy.  Confused. Determined. Hopeful.  Even though I don't feel entirely ready to tell my 2013 Boston Marathon story (my race, what happened afterwards, and the feelings that come with that), I know that I need to. Such a loss of words but yet so many words.  It's hard to know where to start but I know that by telling my story, I will find a peace and comfort that only comes doing just that:  Telling MY Story. Letting it out and letting the healing continue.

So much that has been going on in my life leading up to Boston.  A move across the country, injury, a weak body, a disappointing marathon just weeks ago, etc.  There has been so much change in my world and with these changes (although mostly exciting and wonderful ones) has come stress and fear.  Fear of all sorts of things but mostly fear of losing control.  Fear of the unknown.  Fear of change.  I've suppressed much of this worry and fear but recently it has shown its ugly head with feelings of unexpected panic at times.  And I'm sure this fear/stress has had something to do with the physical symptoms I've been experiencing.  Whatever it has all been, I knew that I wanted Boston to be part of my process in taking this fear and stomping it to the ground.  I knew it was a process that I needed.  A closure.  A celebration.  A journey that would help me find that spirit within that keeps me climbing and rising above all the stress that life throws our way.  I knew that the Boston Marathon would be a perfect place to gather strength and recharge my own spirit by surrounding myself with the spirit of the marathon...a spirit unlike anything else.  
One that perseveres.  
One of resilience and strength.
One that gives back to the world. 
Again and again.  
By giving to itself.

Boston 2013 was a necessary journey for me in so many ways. It was my third Boston Marathon and certainly unlike any race I've ever run in all of my 20 plus years of racing.  I ran without any expectations other than to just BE as I was on that day.  Each step brought with it a release as I wrapped myself up in an incredible love and allowed myself to run with ease and be where I was at the moment.  I've never had so much love and gentleness with myself as I enjoyed my 26.2 mile fun run from Hopkinton to Boston. I remembered my Boston Goals that I wrote down two days before as clearly as if they were right in front of me, and as I was running, I realized that I was meeting



one of them with celebration.

They were more than goals.  They were needs that I was meeting for myself with gusto.

There was almost a sense of surrendering... A beautiful exhalation and realization that I was in control of getting rid of the fear that has been so present in my life lately as I make big life changes.  With each mile, I let go a little more. And in "letting go, I had more control over this life moment than I've ever experienced.  I found myself repeating so many things to myself during my 26.2 mile run. The words I remember repeating the most were:

"Leave fear on the course.  Let fear go with every step.  You are in control. You are where you are at this time and that's just where you need to be. All will be okay."

It is this very act of letting go of fear and replacing it with an incredible amount of self love that gave me peace and calm during those hours of tragedy that touched Boston at the finish line of one of the greatest human sporting events of history. It was those 26.2 miles of remembering myself and finding an Amanda that I'd never fully seen before that prepared me for what was to come and what is still here to process.  

My Boston Marathon 2013 experience was so much of what I needed:

  • I had a couple of nights preceding the race where I was with people that mean so much to me and that love me so much. 
  • I slept the night before and I was in a very peaceful place before I started.  As I waited in Athlete's Village alone, I was filled with such a sense of contentment and peace.
  • I smiled.  
  • I noticed the faces of the people cheering all around us.  
  • I wrapped myself up in love and reminded myself how worthy I am of all the love I have been given in life.  
  • My body spoke to me and when it said "Yes!", I listened and I ran faster.  And when it said to slow, I heard and I slowed my pace.  
  • I told myself that it was okay to run this race in whatever way I needed.  I noticed my watch but I didn't let it own me.  I was in control.  I was in control.  
  • When fear would start to creep in just a tad, I recognized it, dismissed it and replaced it with love and self confidence.  
  • I thought of all the people that I love the most.  I thought of my new move to North Carolina and how exciting it all was.  I thought of my life and all the happiest moments that are happening now.  
  • I marveled at how easy this run felt and how joyful it was to just run for fun instead of racing a clock.  
  • I looked forward to mile 19 where I would see my love and two of my dearest girlfriends (one of them who ran with me last year from mile 19 to the finish and the other one who was with me  so deeply in spirit last Boston and in all of my races since I've known her).  
  • I let the cheers of the spectators wash over me so fully and wonderfully.  Their smiles, signs, slices of oranges, music, hugs, waves of joy and excitement...I embraced all of this.  I inhaled it deeply.  I soaked it up.  I allowed it to be part of my surrender.  I used it.  I smiled with it.  It was beyond powerful.  
  • I had FUN! I danced with the pack of runners as we passed tunes coming from the sidelines.  A chorus of YMCAs, hands in the air and people laughing.  This race was our reward.  We were here sharing our spirit and taking in the spirit of all that Boston is to the marathon world.  This was our celebration.  
  • I let go of the clock without letting go of control.  I knew I wanted to run just fast enough without pushing my body hard so that I could requalify for Boston 2014 and be there with my friends (and I did by 5 minutes).   And now, in light of what happened, I know even more that I will be there again if my 5 minute cushion gets me in to this race next year.  
  • I embraced the "terribly" happy feeling that has been in my heart so much lately.  
  • I didn't over think.  I RAN.  It was the easiest and most victorious marathons I've ever run.  I didn't run a PR by any means.  But Boston 2013 will go down as my greatest marathon so far.  My most memorable.  The one that I am MOST proud of.  It is the first race in my life where I had positive self-talk and love with every. single. step.  
  • After the race and during such a devastating experience, I have never experienced such an outpouring of love and support from friends, family, and people near and far.  
Approaching mile 20.  So happy and full of love and peace.  At this point I had my best friends and my husband with me for about a half mile.  

What started as an easy run where I felt great with every step, changed for me after mile 20.  This is to be expected with a marathon but this was something I hadn't ever experienced.  It wasn't just my body giving out.  I was just taken over with a feeling like I was going to faint.  This is one of the scariest feelings for me because it isn't something I know exactly how to deal with.  All I could do was slow down, breathe, take in fluids, and focus on each step as it came.  I put my head down and talked to myself out loud with such love and gentleness.  I reassured myself that I would get to the finish line.  I told myself that it was only a 3 mile and then 2 mile and then 1 mile run through Boston.  I looked around me and noticed the people running next to me that were struggling too and together, we proved that we are stronger than we think.

After crossing the finish line, so many tears came.  I cried because of the incredible amount of physical pain that I was feeling in my back and pelvic bone but I also cried out of Joy.  I cried because I was proud of myself.  I cried at feeling victorious in letting go of so much and gaining so much in the process.  I cried because of how good it felt to finish and be surrounded by such beautiful energy. The volunteers, the spectators, the fellow runners, the cheers of celebration...so much good...so much beauty to be found in the human spirit that was alive on this Patriot's Day.

When I went over to get my medal, I cried some more.  As I took the medal to walk away so that I could find relief from the pain I felt, the volunteer gestured me back to her with kind words, "Let me put it on you...you earned this moment."  More tears.

Making it from the finish line to the buses felt like such a long walk even though it was all right there.  I would have been to my gear bag and back to the finish or to some other area of the city to meet up with friends long before the horrible explosions came if I hadn't been in the medical tent for a bit.  The pain in my back and pelvic bone was just too much to not get looked at but after getting my vitals checked and having a chance to ice and rest, I knew I was okay to leave.  As I made my way to the bus where my gear bag was, I couldn't stop thinking about how badly I wanted to be warm and with my husband and friends.  When I got to my bag, I sat down right there by the bus and wrapped myself up in my warm clothes.  I spoke briefly to my coach to tell him how things went and to let him know I was okay. I told him about how this marathon was such a journey of love and letting go of fear for me. I took for granted that I would be seeing my husband in just minutes.  I had no doubts at the time that he'd be the first person that I would hug and celebrate with.
No doubts until I heard the explosions. One after the other.
No doubts until I saw the people running with looks of terror on their faces.
No doubts until I couldn't get through to my love on my cell phone.
No doubts until confusion washed over the streets of Boston as we all wondered what was happening on this day that should be nothing but celebration.

Despite the fearful situation that was taking place, my marathon experience gave me a sense of calm that I wouldn't have had otherwise.  I was able to reach my husband who was waiting for my call.  Just minutes before, he and my friends had been by the finish line where the explosions were.  They were cold and decided to step into a soup place to wait for me.  It is hard not to think of the "what ifs" as I process this story.  If I had called sooner...If I hadn't gone to the medical tent first...If I had walked to meet them at the finish.  So many "what ifs" but I'm taking the first step of my journey away from the "what ifs" and I'm going to focus on the fact that my husband and friends met me safely on Boylston and Arlington with big hugs and smiles.  Big sighs of relief that we were all together and okay.

As I waited for my husband and friends to come to me,  I remember hearing sirens and seeing police cars and ambulances rush by.  I saw people in panic running away from the area.  Couples found each other and embraced with tears, worry and sighs of relief.  I saw strangers comforting each other and sharing information. Time felt like it was in slow motion for me as I waited to hug my husband.

After meeting up with my loved ones, there was still so much confusion as to what was happening.  We couldn't get service on our phones and we weren't near a television so we didn't know what had just happened.  It wasn't until after stepping into a restaurant to get warm and find focus, that we saw the media coverage.  So shocking.

I'm still in shock.  Things still seem so hard to process.  My heart hurts for those that were killed, injured, and so close to the finish line.  My heart hurts for the runners that didn't get to finish their marathon.  My heart just kind of hurts today as I sit with things. An it will for a bit. But then we move onward.

So many things could have happened on this Patriot's Day. But things happened as they did.  I'm choosing to focus on the spirit that rises above this tragedy.  The spirit of the marathon and those that run, volunteer for, and support this sport.  A spirit that rises above and doesn't let fear win.  I choose to focus on the love and comfort that was with me every step of my 26.2 mile journey on Monday.  A journey where, for the first time in a long time, I took control and

And today, I will continue to do this.

I'll see you next year Beautiful Boston. And our spirits will be STRONGER.  They already are.  Fear doesn't win.


Tuesday, April 16, 2013

A Spirit That Doesn't Die...Those Who Lost Their Finish... And More Boston Processing to Come

So many thoughts I'm processing.  Thoughts about the people hurt and killed, where I was when this awful tragedy occurred, the "what-ifs", my loved ones, my race, and what I've taken away from all of this.  I think it is important for me to process my feelings through writing and telling my story and so I will...soon...maybe tonight. I also think that sharing our stories with each other is one way to to bring peace, healing and strength to our community.  For now, here are some thoughts I posted earlier on Facebook in thinking about those runners that didn't get to finish before the explosions. They have a story of their own to tell as they experience the grief over this senseless violence in addition to not being able to finish their 26.2 mile journey from Hopkinton to the finish line in Boston.  One they worked so hard for.

"So much goes into training for a marathon. So much. Time, heart, goals, dreams, personal battles, emotional struggles...training for and finishing our marathons brings personal growth, therapy, joy, and so so much. We often experience pain and struggle in addition to the feelings of accomplishment but all of these things go into teaching us something about life and ourselves. We always walk away from the marathon with a new sense of life, self, hope, and about what is most important to us. Our marathons carry over to our every day, and make us stronger. Whether we have a good race or a crummy one...a PR or a personal worst...running with injury or running whole...we ALWAYS have something to process. Our experience often sits with us for many days as we process our race residue. But finishing our marathons brings with it a closure of sorts. Getting our medals and crossing that finish line is something that only those that have done it can understand completely. It is part of why we do it again and again and again...that feeling that comes from training for and completing our race. In light of the Boston tragedy, this marathon is especially hard to process for all of us. In addition to feeling such compassion and pain for those who lost their life, were injured, or had loved ones affected, my heart goes out to those of you that didn't get to finish your Boston Marathon (for many of you, it was your first). Such a loss in itself...I hope you allow yourself to feel that grief and acknowledge the lack of closure you have in addition to the terrible tragedy you are processing along with all of us. The spirit of the running community is incredible. We will all persevere just as we have learned to do through the sport we love the most. It is a spirit that doesn't die but only gets stronger. Love to all of you."


Monday, April 15, 2013

Boston Tragedy Update

I've received e-mails from many of you in regards to this tragedy in Boston.  Wanted to type a quick update to let you all know that I am okay.  I was just picking up my bag from the buses when I heard the two explosions.  The explosions themselves were very scary but what was even scarier was seeing the reactions of the people around me.  Seeing people panic and run away definitely brought my fear to a new level.  The first thing everyone wanted to do was find their loved ones so it was hard to get through on our cell phones.  My heart goes out to all that have been hurt and killed.  This could have been any of us.  My husband and friends were just at the finish line minutes before the explosions.  They happened to walk into a soup shop around the time that they would have otherwise been right there.  We are now in our hotel room watching the news and staying out of the streets.  What was at first one of the happiest, most positive, fun,  and loving self-talk 26.2 runs with a BQ for next year has turned into one of the scariest and most confusing experiences I've ever had. Boston is a city full of chaos, confusion, shock and fear.  Along with plenty of love, tears, and gratitude at being okay.  Thank you for your love and concern.  More to come.  I will post updates on Facebook too.


Sunday, April 14, 2013

Boston 2013 Goals

Here we are again! Boston.  One of my favorite cities.  The weather is PERFECT for a marathon weekend.  The energy is high but the temps are cool.  I'm surrounded by friends and given an opportunity for a weekend away with my husband without the kids.  Life is good.  But it's also feeling a little stressful lately so I'm taking a moment to myself here to list some goals and intentions for this weekend. Intentions for this 26.2 mile run on Patriot's Day...Intentions for the memories I want to make on this gift of a weekend where I can just be with my friends during a time where the city is alive with a sport I love.

And since I seem to do so well with writing/talking to myself on this blog, I'll do this in letter form.

Dear Amanda,

What a crazy past few months. Moving your family across the country, finding a home, researching schools, nursing a broken down body,  trying to lay down some temporary roots, and planning for more travel to Boston has been quite stressful.  Exciting, yes.  But more stressful than you've even been aware of.  You're holding on to way too much.  All in trying to stay in control when many things around you feel out of control.  So, let's set some goals/intentions for this weekend and then get on with  enjoying a big day in Boston.

Goals for Boston 2013:

  • Acknowledge where you are at in life.  Right here.  Right now.  Acknowledge that your body isn't entirely whole and that you're stress level is high.  Just allow yourself to BE.  Where you are.  
  • Soak up the city!
  • Soak up the friends that are here with you.  Make the most of the short moments you have with those forever friends that you don't get to see very often.  
  • Have FUN!
  • Let go of the the clock.  Don't let pace define you tomorrow...truly allow yourself to use this as a training run.  A 26.2 mile run through Boston where you will be surrounded by cheerleaders every step of the way.  
  • Love yourself.
  • Look FEAR in the eyes. Recognize it.  Know that it is is there.  And then dismiss it the best you can.  Fear lies.  Fear holds us back.  Nothing to be scared of.  Change is GOOD. Scary sometimes.  But good.  Grow with it. Change with it.  Embrace it.  And know that you are loved.  All will unfold as it should.  
  • Use this 26.2 mile run to process life, let go of the stress/fear, and to remind yourself how strong you are.  
  • Remind yourself that you are in control. 
  • Embrace the terribly happy feeling that lives in your heart right now that comes with this move to a place that you love so so much, being in Boston, and having so much to look forward to in addition to being part of right. this. second.  
  • Look around you.  Notice things...other runners, buildings, signs, smiles, colors, people spectating, etc.  Sometimes it is too easy to go inside of yourself and get lost in your thoughts and then miss out on the things RIGHT in FRONT of YOU! 
  • Let your body tell you what to do tomorrow.  Go with it.  Don't OVER THINK.   Just Run.  Listen to your body.  

Here's to a great day in Boston! 


Thursday, April 11, 2013

Time to Find Some Doctors in Asheville

Gorgeous place to run.  I can only imagine this area in the fall.  

I'm convinced that I should never blog about how good, strong, and healthy I feel ever again.  At least not if I want to stay that way.  It's the curse of proclaiming that you are injury free and on the mend.  It's happened a few times now.  Goes something like this:

  • I'm injured or feeling run down.
  • I get quiet for awhile.
  • I start to feel better.
  • Still quiet...just in case.  
  • Have one amazing run where I feel 100%
  • I shout it from the rooftops.  
  • Next run brings with it problems again.  
  • GRRRRR  
Okay, so really, I'm not even sure what to think when it comes to my body.  Something is going on and I need to find a good team of doctors so that I can get it figured out.  I thought it was just from low iron and I definitely think that had something to do with my body tearing down.  Then when I continued to run on an "off" left leg, I wore it down even more and my recovery was slower because of the low iron count. 

So here I am again after my strong track workout the other day.... feeling "off".  It's only on the left side of my body.  I can't even explain it entirely.  Here are just a few things I notice:
  • weak left leg
  • dull pain in the quad area
  • slight limp when I try to run (making up for "off" leg)
  • tingling in left arm by armpit.  I know, that's really weird.  Actually, my left arm feels slightly tingly as I type even.  
  • leg warms up as I get into run.  The day before the Napa marathon, it actually had shooting pain when I'd walk but then when I started the marathon, I couldn't feel pain.  Just fatigue.
So, what's UP?!  For awhile, I was wondering if it was from stress or just in my head.  But at this point after experiencing these symptoms for a good two months or more.  Maybe three.  

I made a call to a chiropractor this morning and I hope to get in with a sports medicine doctor soon too. Running is such a treasure in my life so this is extremely important for me to figure out.  I don't necessarily care about racing all that much but I do want to run forever.  It is part of what makes my soul sing.  Life is just better with running.  And when I'm limp jogging instead of running when I'm four days out from attempting to run the Boston Marathon....Um, this is a huge CONCERN to me.  Ugg.  

It helps that there are so many things making me happy right now.  So much to be thankful for:
  • I got my son into a preschool 3 days a week from 9 to 1.  What's that I hear??  FREE TIME for MOMMY!  
  • So many of the moms dropping their kids off today were running mamas that looked just like me. Well, you know what I mean....they were in their running clothes and they looked like a runner! I smiled when I saw all the minivans with running stickers and moms with running shoes unstrapping their kids from the car.   I can see future morning workouts soon.  One of the moms even lives right near where we will live.  Well, they all do really.  This is exciting for me.  
  • It is absolutely GORGEOUS here!  The weather the past 2 days is a little hot for normal but spring has sprung!  Birds singing, buds budding, so many people out and about....love it! 
  • My girls are adjusting to school very nicely now that it is almost the end of their first full week.  


Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Adjusting to a New Place, Goals, Running and Boston in 5 Days!

Picking up and moving across the country with three kids in tow brings with it quite the mixed bag of emotions.  It is exhilarating, stressful and tiring.  So much work is involved.  So many decisions to make.  So many things to think about when considering places to live, schools to send our kids to, and how things work in a new place. My standards are high when it comes to my children and I have put lots of thought into finding a place to live that isn't suburbia (we wanted something different than we had at home) but that is still a fantastic community for our family.  We are slowly but surely putting down some temporary roots and it feels good to check things off the list.

All of this in the name of adventure, right? Ha!  Honestly, the major emotions right now are happiness and excitement.  I'm so glad we made this decision to see another part of the world and I'm feeling more and more settled as the days go by.  But it is kind of a roller coaster as I figure things out and get my kids adjusted to school.  I think a lot of the unsettled feelings come from just that...being unsettled.  We are still in an extended stay condo until May 7th.  Once we get into our new home and I have a chance to make it my own and have my first morning cup of coffee on my porch swing of my 1930's craftsman style home with my flower baskets and pots surrounding me as my Nora Jones streams through the screen door, I'll feel like I'm home.  Until then, I'm trying to make the best of each day.

Some big goals for me and things to remember right now:

  • Remember to focus on the things that are good and not on the things that are stressing me out. Daily Gratitude lists have been a MUST for me.  They really help when I get stressed and start worrying about things and wasting energy on things I can't control.  
  • Taking things one step at a time.  I'm not going to know all the parents, have my kids in sports/classes/and set up for play dates all in the first weeks.  Things take time.  
  • Be open minded and try not to judge too quickly.  
  • Make efforts to be social and reach out so that I can make new friends.
  • Be a tourist!  Don't rush so quickly in trying to get settled to the point that I miss out on this extended stay time where I also have the opportunity to just explore, visit new places, try new restaurants, take the kids to hot spots, etc.  
  • This is a temporary move (even though we really are in love and don't know how we will ever want to go back) so try not to put too much worry into making sure my kids are in the best of the best of the best schools.  I've got to remind myself of one of my greatest beliefs:  It's not all about WHAT YOU KNOW but that you KNOW HOW TO LEARN.  My kids can get this in many different schools.  This isn't where we will be settled forever (but then again maybe it is).  They are fortunate enough to have a mother and father that will be enriching their life in so many other ways than just what they get at public school:  family game nights, travel, enrichment activities, being in nature often, talking to them about many topics in the world, etc. etc.  
  • Give things more than one chance.  
  • Be open to LEARNING from experiences that seem bad at the time.  This happened to me recently in regards to a bad first impression I had with my daughters kinder class but it turned out to be a learning experience and I think I dealt with it in a way that will lead to a positive relationship between our family and the teacher.  I'm thankful for the way it all turned out.  And thankful that we are the kind of parents who are involved in our child's life in a balanced way without being overbearing.  
  • ENJOY This RIDE!  We are here for an adventure and that's what we are experiencing.  I'm so happy we decided to do this.  I haven't seen my husband this happy in a long long time.  And my kids seem to be thriving so far.  We have nature at our fingertips but also a city vibe that is SO FUN and right up our alley.  Asheville is a beautiful place to live...vibrant, organic, lively...  There seems to be a huge running community here.  I just need to get plugged in.  Slowly but surely. 
Random Bullet points:
  • Boston Marathon is this coming Monday!  I still can't remember my corral but I will look that up soon as I get ready to pack.  Honestly, I've been so laid back about the whole thing.  When I discovered that one of the reasons I was so sluggish and hurting towards the end of my Napa Valley training (and after) was because of low iron, I have just been devoting the last month or so to HEALING and RESTORATION.  I haven't stuck to a training plan and I've let go of big goals.  I said all along that Boston would be for fun but I hadn't expected to have such a bad race at Napa and I thought I'd be strong enough to train right up to Boston.  
  •  My main goal at Boston is to just RUN and enjoy it.  I have no specific goals other than that.  No time goal or pace strategy.  
  • My iron levels must be going up because after religiously taking iron supplements and a multivitamin for almost a month in addition to taking a good 5 days off running, I'm feeling strong again.  My left leg is still just a tad off but my body is in a place that I hardly recognize anymore.  I haven't felt this WHOLE since the middle of my Napa training. This makes me so happy.  
  • Yesterday, I had my first track workout in a loooong time.  It wasn't anything mind blowing in regards to difficulty but I was just excited to be out there in my PureFlow2s and feeling my body actually work without a limp.  I ran an 800, 1000, 1200, 1000, 800.  It was hard to hit the exact paces that my coach wrote down for me since I only had my watch and my internal clock.  ;)  After using your Garmin for so long and not having had hardly any speed work anytime soon, you just have to kind of go with how you feel.  My paces were all faster than they were written on paper (by a good 10 seconds) but I felt good and my first 800 and last 800 were the same splits.  This makes me kind of excited to do some speedier stuff this summer (maybe).  
  • I'm so excited to be in Boston.  It is one of my favorite cities and I get to see some of my favorite friends.  Not to mention having a weekend getaway with my hubby.  We need this!  I love how the entire city is just so energized during this weekend.  Third time is a charm, right?!  I think this will be my most memorable and enjoyable Boston.  I'm excited.  Did I say I was excited?  
  • I've never been so excited to drop my son off at preschool as I was yesterday when I found his new school.  I'm so so so grateful for this.  For him and for ME!  
The park down the street from our soon to be house

Felt so good to be on the track again!  And it was a hot day so I was happy to have my Nuun.  And happy to feel so good in my PureFlow2s

Exploring the waterfalls in the Pisgah National Forest

Our goal in moving here for an adventure was to live small so that we can live large (travel, exploring the east coast, etc.)  I've always wanted to live in an old home and this 1930's craftsman style home will be so fun to make my own (temporarily).  I can't wait to get flowers for the porch and enjoy the beautiful neighborhood.  It is also walk to coffee, library, restaurants, schools, etc.  I think we will be happy there.  It is pretty small though so thank Goodness for a basement and garage for extra space if we need storage, etc.  Even a place for the kids to put toys/build forts, etc.  

I'm in love with my street!  And the neighborhood houses are so fun to run by.  A running friendly neighborhood!  Some of those old homes are just gorgeous and have so much character.  

I'm really looking forward to getting settled in our new home in May, reconnecting with myself and my friends, and just finding my new ground a bit more.  Until then, I'm enjoying the present ride even if it does get scary sometimes.  I can feel myself growing and learning.  I like this.

Here's to adventures to come,

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Seeing the Pieces Come Together

I never was much of a puzzle fan.  I usually lost interest after sitting for too long and the task of a jigsaw puzzle just seemed like too much.  However, when I did do a jigsaw puzzle (like one of those really big ones that took forever), there was always such a sense of excitement, peace and satisfaction that came when I started to see the pieces come together...when I started to see "The BIG picture".  It always seemed like SO MUCH at first... tedious.  And then at the end when there is only a small part to finish to make it all come together, it started to move so quickly and wonderfully!  That's how I'm feeling today.

It's been two weeks since we've moved out of our home in Oregon.  I admit, there has been some stress involved with the last two weeks.  Some tears, uncertainty, a bit of fear, but overall, a big bag of excitement and confidence in the good things to come.  And then, with making the decision to stop training and let go of the certainty of even running Boston, came such a sense of freedom and peace.  After making that decision, other things just started falling into place quickly.  That's usually when I know that I've made the right choice!  Or chosen the right selection of puzzle pieces that then unlock an entirely new section of puzzle.

Now here we are on day 9 of being in Asheville, NC and day 16 of being out of our home in Oregon and the I can see the puzzle starting to take such a recognizable form.  It's a tangible excitement.  With each new piece, more and more stress and uncertainty fades away and a beautiful vision comes into view.

Today we will see a house that I'm thinking might be the one.  It's been a hard decision and a CRAZY rental market out here. If we had planned to be here longer (which we might not be able to leave after loving it so much), we'd just buy a house but renting is a good start.   You really have to be ON THE BALL when a house comes up that you love.  The good ones go FAST!  We now have two really great homes to choose from.  Having two great choices to decide between is a good "dilemma" to have.  One is in town and walking distance to everything in the small town and the other is a little further out in the country with a deck and incredible views.  Either way, we've decided on the small town we will live in that is only a short drive from vibrant downtown Asheville.  We are excited and in love.

I love the feeling that comes from seeing the big picture come into view.  Thankful for this new puzzle to put together.  It is energizing and I'm loving the challenge it brings.  

Some goals and "to-dos":  

  • Register kids for school
  • Sign on the house so its official
  • Continue to make wise food choices and get my iron levels up
  • Find a doctor in the area.... A sports doc AND a family practice doc
  • Continue to be active and find ways to workout that don't involve running
  • Be PRESENT with my kids.  Now that things are falling into place with finding a home, I have less reason to be on this computer and MORE reason to just relax and enjoy my time with them.  Engage with them, have present conversations with them without being distracted, etc. etc.  I DO NOT want my kids to just remember me as always being on my phone and computer like I have been lately with getting things settled here in Asheville.  And once I get in the habit of being my computer and phone for important reasons, it becomes a bad habit and I tend to be on there too much for reasons that ARE NOT IMPORTANT.  I need to work on this.  And I will.  As with anything we want to accomplish, it takes being CONSCIOUS about this. 
Thankful for:
  • The opportunity to travel and move to a new place
  • The Boston Marathon in less than two weeks!  Whether I run or not, my husband and I will enjoy a trip to one of my favorite cities that is filled with AMAZING energy on marathon weekend.  
  • Getting to see some of my dearest friends in Boston.
  • A mother-in-law who is eager and willing to be here with the kids...flying all the way from Oregon and using her vacation time from work.  
  • The freedom that has come from listening to my body and giving it REST
  • Sunshine, creeks, forests, blue sky 
  • The puzzle coming together as it always does if we keep putting pieces together even when it gets tricky and tedious.  It is always worth it at the end of each puzzle to see everything fall into place.  

Happy Tuesday,