Do you see this bright red face covered in well-earned sweat? This is the face of someone who ran around Donner Lake twice! Now let's play a game. Guess which one of these excuses I actually tried to use to STOP myself from running today:
ALL OF THEM! I'm not really sure where my head was in the beginning of this run but I had so many excuses for not running and then had a minor meltdown when I realized my water bottle had leaked all my icy cold water all over my butt. It's incredible to me that I would be fully dressed, with water and fuel, and literally be STANDING ON MY RUN ROUTE and still find about a dozen reasons why I shouldn't run. It's awful what tricks your head can play on you if you let it win.
I'm SO GLAD I did this today. It was a gorgeous morning and I got up early enough for it to still be in the 60s when I started. Here's the scene of the meltdown. *retrospect cringe* Only 107 days until California International Marathon so I need to stick with these long runs since we're down to the nitty gritty of the training.
I felt strong today once I hit mile four and I remember Hungry Runner Girl saying in a post that she knows she's meant to be a distance runner because she doesn't really hit her stride until after miles 4-5. I'm starting to feel more comfortable at mile eight than I am at mile two so I consider that progress.
Today I really focused in on the muscles in my legs and I kept thinking about how strong they are and sometimes I even look down at them as I'm running to see the muscles. It's not a vanity thing, it's to remind me how many hours those legs have biked or run or done yoga or hiked or whatever. Then I started thinking about this picture Jon took of me yesterday at the beach. It was so hot and I said, "take a picture of me jumping in!" Yes, I jump like a 5-year-old with one hand up in the air (? not sure why) and the other holding my nose. But what stood out to me immediately was how unimpressed I was with my shape.
It's funny you think you have an idea of how you look and then you see a photo and you say whoa is that really me?! I thought that way when I saw this pic. But as I was running this morning over these pretty darn difficult hills and the miles were stacking up, I scolded myself for reacting like that. What is the shame here, I ask myself? So this or that doesn't look exactly the way I would like it to. Is that really what I value in life? Cosmetic perfection? It's not. I know what I value and it has so much more to do with being healthy for my children and wanting to live a long life full of awesome experiences while bringing joy to other people's lives.
I run because I like to feel strong. I like to be in control of my body. I don't smoke or drink alcohol. I eat generally really healthy foods and I exercise many times a week. Do you know what that adds up to? I'M HEALTHY!!! That's right. This is the body of a healthy person! With hips and red cheeks and big calves (big calves because I work them!). I'm tired of being down on my body. I'm tired of feeling insecure around other people. Those days are done. I'm over it! My hope for all of you reading this out there who are younger than me is that you learn this much earlier than I did. Don't live your life for other people and stop trying to mold yourself into a shape that isn't possible. Then you can really enjoy life...although I'm not really feeling too happy in this pic below. It's around mile 11 and at the start of a hill.
I remember a talk I was having with my friend Dave a few years ago when he was trying to lose weight before his wedding and I had my own fitness goals. We both said that when we run we worry about what our muffin tops look like or if our bellies are hanging out over our running shorts. Then we both started laughing because we said how ridiculous it is. Think about the last time you looked at someone running outside and thought, "oh my that person has the nerve to run looking like THAT?!" Never happens. Even when I see someone overweight who is running, my only thought is if they are doing it, what excuse do I have not to?
My pace was way slower than I'd like but the long runs are more about slow and steady for me. It ended up being a little over 13 miles but I forgot to hit un-pause for some of it.
Of course the best part of running that many miles is eating a decadent meal that day! We took the kids out to eat at this cute looking diner restaurant. I ordered the eggplant parmesan but it was not sitting well with me. The flavor of the pasta was a little off and I'm not sure why. I had a the eggplant and the garlic bread. (Don't worry I more than made up for it after we stopped for groceries on the way home!) Jon enjoyed his meatloaf and the boys had pasta with parmesan and fruit salads. Then Jon mentioned there was a candy store a few blocks away and with good behavior we would make a stop on the way to the car.
Someone -- and I won't name names -- almost blew the candy opportunity but he pulled it together at the end of dinner. And a good thing because this candy place was a must see. It's called Sweets Handmade Candies and my eye immediately found the caramel apples in the window. Man almighty how those take me back to my childhood. Though when I was little we made the kind with the kit you bought at the store with the sticks you poked in the apple and the caramel flattened in a circle between waxed paper. There are so many things that taste good on apples - chocolate, peanut butter, marshmallow, caramel, cinnamon. I'm a big apple fan.
The walk there was pretty and there are all these cute shops in historic Truckee. I'm hoping to sneak away tomorrow to hit them up -- I'll have to exhaust the boys down at the beach first because I'd rather poke hot needles in my eyes than shop with those cuties. I let them each pick out two pieces to eat. The Dude picked a s'mores bite and a chocolate covered Oreo. Croc picked a key lime pie truffle and a caramel. Jon and I grabbed some bags of gourmet popcorn and brittle for our coworkers back home.
Tomorrow is our last full day here. It's been such a blessing to have this time together with no interruptions. I feel so much closer to these little stinkeroos, and both Jon and I feel a lot more relaxed than when we left the city. Oh and we saw four deer and one bunny! The deer walked right past Jon and me this morning in the backyard. It was surreal.
Vacations are always time for me to reflect on big things, and usually a time for me to re-think long term goals. If I tried to do this thinking at night in my "real" life, it probably wouldn't result in very aspirational goals!
Back to school madness begins in just over 48 hours and I'm going to soak in the last few hours of our summer!
What was your best memory of summer?
What food brings back your childhood the most?