after my first & ONLY race.
As we’ve previously established I’m not really a runner.
Sure if you wanna play a game of BADMINTON or KICKBALL Im your woman—-but regular, traditional, non-tutu’ed running? Not so much for me.
always up for MarshmallowGunChase!
Yes if you wanna hold my hand & pull me along there’s a *chance* Ill follow and run behind you.
Traditional running was not so much for me—–until it was.
Recent life changes (Coop! Coop!) coupled with cooler climes (yay OAKtown!) have sparked this misfit to wonder (again) about exploring the joy of the run.
Even though in my new ‘hood it will look more like *this* than the comparatively flat streets of Austin:
ahhh hilly goodness.
I cant seem to shake the notion running seems the natural progress of things (my whining about not getting in enough steps coupled with a happy new canine companion)—yet there’s one facet which feels completely UNNATURAL to me:
How on earth do I train Coop to lollop happpily beside me?
- I watch some runners virtually dragging their canine behind them (given Coop’s energy I doubt this will be my problem).
- I see some runners essentially being *dragged* along by their dog (given Coop’s energy this could, in fact, be me).
- I spy some runners with canines at their side until said dog spies a rat (it IS Oakland) & then all well-behaved bets are off.
As a result, before I even attempt, I knew I had to look to those wiser and more experienced than I.
What are *your* tips for teaching/training my lovable bundle of boundless boxer energy to best run beside me?
My office. No.Cal.branch
Ive missed our coffee dates.
It’s time for us to hang, chat *and* get all kinds of BLUNT & over-share’y.
This time, however, we’re heading to my new (fingerquote) office (unFQ).
My Oakland coffee-version of Cheers and, if youre not a coffee lover as am I, you can even choose to get Kombucha (!)
If we had coffee I’d drag you outside to one of the cafe tables & my yammering would commence.
Id tell you how Im an Orange Rhino. Id share, while Im not a yeller (I learned early the *power* of silence when people anticipate a rant), I wanna set myself up for success this summer. Patience isnt my strong suit and neither is the ability to *hide* impatience from showing on my face. Id reveal Im 14 days in and am doing….so-so. Id make you oooooh & aaaahhh at my homemade Orange Rhino manicure reminder.
Id stop & look around my new ‘hood. Id say again I *love* the people here. Id laugh and share how a few weeks ago I saw the most interesting and *random* of interactions. I watched as a homeless man struggled to navigate the sidewalk on his bike. His bike STACKED & LADEN with collapsed/twined, dirty, empty boxes. A few moments later I saw a woman run up to him & ask prices for various sizes of boxes. A short negotiation later the man easily biked away—now free of his cargo and money in his pocket.
Id check my watch, let you know I was listening but could *not* to be late for camp pick-up. Id laugh and say I adore how kids think & how free and creative they are. Id grab my phone and show you what the Tornado wore yesterday. Id pause (and giggle) as I recalled what she’d said to me this morning about her attire.
You know how I had my black and yellow overalls on yesterday? Bees communicated with me!
Id look down at my orange fingernail for a moment. Id share with you how the constant chatter can at times make me crazy—but I know if I dont STOP and listen to the small stuff….the bee stuff…she wont bring me the bigger, more scary ‘stuff’ down the road.
We’d sit in comfortable, companionable silence and Id break it by telling you how lonely I felt. Id share how it’s a weird loneliness. One born out of being around people who’ve known each other forever and still being kinda new to the party. Id laugh and say how the Tornado talks about comfy and not-yet-comfy friends and how that extends to us adult types too. Id ramble about an article I read recently about making friends a priority and tell you I KNOW I need to get better about doing that in my new neighborhood. And how it all feels like dating. Telling my history again. Sharing my likes and dislikes. And how somehow it just feels tiring.
Id grow suddenly animated and shout oooh I didnt want to forget to tell you this! Id remind you I lost my mind when Disney attempted to revamp and SEX UP Merida from Brave. Id say I “got it” when people said: She’s just a Disney character. Whats the big deal? but to me it was much more than that. A feeling I couldnt put into words until an encounter I *had* to share. One afternoon as I walked to pick up the child I made small talk with a neighbor. I told him about rescuing Coop & he joked how noble and Californian the rescuing-thing was. Having not much else to say I responded: I know! I keep waiting for someone to rescue *me!* To which my male neighbor replied in a very serious voice:
Ive seen your house. Ive seen your car. I think youve already been rescued.
Apparently he doesnt know me. (Or the old Merida.)
Id then notice you were sneaking glances at your now empty cup.
empty = sad
Id realize it was almost camp pick-up time, too.
Id share how I was *just* finding my summer groove—but we *had* to plan our next meet up ASAP.
Before we parted ways.
- If we could just HANG and have coffee—what would YOU tell ME?
I’m Kara from KaraRuns.com. Carla has graciously offered to let me guest post today to share something I’m extremely passionate about. Thanks so much, Carla!
I’ve decided to swim 2.4 miles, bike 112 miles, and run a marathon (that’s 26.2 miles) as a participant in Ironman Lake Placid on July 28th.
All in the same day. No naps in between. Yikes. WHY WOULD I EVER WANT TO DO THAT, you ask? As cliché and simple as it may be…because I can.
To create a platform to raise money for cancer research. To help improve the quality of life of cancer patients. I want to NEVER AGAIN hear that another person has been diagnosed with cancer.
So, hey, since I’m not becoming rich and famous anytime soon, an Ironman sounds like a great idea, right?! Plus, you get to do a lot of eating and carb-loading, which I don’t hate.
YAY! Carb loading!
While, yes, I’m very passionate about running and swimming and biking (well, not as much the swimming...tips for not drowning are welcome) the real reason I’m doing this is to raise $10,000 for the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society through their program called Team In Training.
I hope to wake up on my birthday, July 29th, as an official Ironman; knowing that I was able to raise 10,000 extra dollars that LLS didn’t have when I signed up.
And don’t think I’m some crazy, accomplished athlete; I hadn’t even done a sprint triathlon when I signed up (I’ve done two now).
If my past is any indication of my athletic ability, I shouldn’t be so confident.
However, evidently I believe I can do this. So here I am!
I ran my first half marathon in Disney World, and my first marathon in San Diego; both with Team In Training.
Each were equally life changing and catapulted to me where I am now.
This time around, I want to challenge myself even more. (I can only imagine what kinds of obscenities I’ll be uttering to myself on raceday. I’ll probably be cursing myself for not choosing a different challenge like a pie eating contest or something.)
When I ran the NYC Marathon in 2011, my mantra of sorts was…”keep going. This pain will end. I have a choice.”
I had the initials of one very special person on my hand as a reminder. Cancer patients don’t have a choice. This is why I run. And swim. And bike.
My first half marathon. (It was snowing. IN FLORIDA.)
I never got to meet my maternal grandmother.
I never got to meet the woman who raised my mother, the most amazing woman in the world.
I grew up hearing wonderful stories about how fabulous and hard-working she was. Stupid cancer took away someone who should have been one of the most important people in my life, 3 months before I was born.
That still makes me angry.
My grandma didn’t die from a blood cancer like leukemia, but LLS funded research teams have started to develop treatments for blood cancers that can be used in non-blood cancer cases as well. I have complete faith in LLS and the research they support and I truly believe that raising funds for them is the best thing I can do.
Fun fact: 28 out of 50 new cancer drugs (for all cancers) were first approved to treat a blood cancer. Why should we have to grow up in a world where cancer still steals some of the brightest and kindest people from us?
Someday, I want my grandchildren to look in an old textbook and wonder, “hey, what’s this leukemia thing?”
They will never have heard of lymphoma because it will be LONG GONE by then. I want to tell them about the wonderful things LLS did back when there were still horrible blood cancers in the world. But not anymore. Let’s make this happen in our lifetime, okay? Okay.
So now, I’m 5 months weeks into my training schedule.
I’ve been facing a lot of challenges (WHY DO I EAT SO MUCH!), but nothing I can’t handle.
Not once have I asked myself why I was running outside on a 10 degree night.
Why I opted for the cold park instead of my warm bed.
Why I stay in on Friday nights so I can ride my bike for 4 hours on a Saturday morning.
I plan to embrace this whole cycle for everyone who can’t; everyone who is fighting a much harder battle than I will. I want to be an Ironman, and I want to be a top fundraiser for LLS.
I want to make a difference in my life and the lives of others, and this is the beginning. It’s so wonderfully exciting and nerve-wracking.
In the words of the speaker at an “inspiration dinner” for Team In Training that I once attended; “if you ever get scared, just stop, be silent, and focus on the beating of your heart.”
“Bum bum. Bum bum. Bum bum. ‘Cause God, it’s great to be alive.”
Thanks so much for reading, and many thanks to Carla for letting me share my story. Here’s my fundraising website link if you would like to learn more, read some “mission moments”, or even make a tax-deductible donation from the comfortableness of your own home
The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society (LLS) is the world’s largest voluntary health agency dedicated to blood cancer. The LLS mission: Cure leukemia, lymphoma, Hodgkin’s disease and myeloma, and improve the quality of life of patients and their families. LLS funds lifesaving blood cancer research around the world and provides free information and support services.