Half Marathon #3: Rush Creek Stampede

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Saturday I got up at 5:20 (FIVE TWENTY!!) for a two hour drive into the mountains for half marathon number three, Rush Creek Stampede.  Which, let’s be honest, was more of a plod then stampede! But you know, whatever.

Plodding aside, this race was my jam.  I had my doubts going into it but I shouldn’t have worried.  It was exactly the kind of race I like.  The City of Trees half marathon was noisy, crowded and stressful for me, the girl who prefers running solo down sleepy, quiet streets over crowds, traffic and group running.  This one was the exact opposite and so, so good.

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Rush Creek Stampede started off foggy and chilly, everything has this misty eery feel to it, but as we got to higher elevations the fog started to melt away and it was absolutely gorgeous.  Oh my goodness.

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These views fed my soul.  Last week was full and busy and a little overwhelming but getting to step away and run down wide open back country roads was so life giving.  I’ve been reading about the importance of self care and this was it.  Everything smelled good, like damp leaves and fireplace smoke and woods.  And it was quiet.  Dead quiet.  I felt like I could breathe deep again.

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If you are just tuning in and have no idea why I am describing a race, well, here ya go:  I am on a team of over 150 other people who are running four half marathons in 30 days to raise support for a group of orphanages in India.  These “Homes of Hope” specifically care for kids affected by HIV/AIDS, giving them a safe place to live and thrive but and also an honorable place to die, if they are too sick.  Every dollar we raise goes directly to these orphanages to fund things like medical care, education, meals and more.

We have one more race to go.  ONE MORE!  So basically, if you want to help support these orphanages, here is your chance!  Simply click here, make a donation (even if it’s only five bucks!) and as a huge THANK YOU you can chose one of these prints for your own.  Just send me a note to let me know you contributed and tell me which print you would like then I will send a PDF file of that print your way!

Thanks so much for following along with me!  If you are tired of hearing me yak about running, no worries it’s almost over. :)

Day 23 // Tomorrow Is A New Day

This is the final post of the 31 Thoughts on Running Your Race.  Oh, it’s only October 23  you say?  Yes, it’s true.  However, the next few weeks are full to the very brim with other projects and obligations in my life outside this blog and more than anything I want to give my energy to those important things.
I’m wrapping up this series with one of my favorite quotes by the great Ralph Waldo Emerson.  It’s quirky humor gentle reminder to not take things to seriously.  Every day is a fresh start.  But the past behind you and focus on what is in front of you.

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A to the men, right?
Enjoy your weekend, you guys!

Day 21 // Excess

 

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This post is part of a 31 day series, Thoughts on Running Your Race.  You can find all the posts in the series here.

Excess.

Plenty.  More than enough.  Above and beyond the necessary.

My husband and I are not rich by any stretch of the imagination. But take a quick glance around our home and you know we have enough.  We have the essentials and then some.

Some days I wonder how I got so lucky to be allowed all this goodness.  I am so privileged and I did nothing to earn it.  I could have just as easily been born into poverty and grown up among the millions of people who lack the daily essentials like clean water or food or a job.

But I wasn’t.  I was born into excess.   If you are reading this you probably are in a similar place.  We live in the reality of having more than we need.  And with that privilege I believe comes some responsibility.  I love that quote from Gandhi: live simply so that others may simply live.  What if we chose gratefulness and lived in a way that brought life to others? Instead of spending to add to our excess, what if we gave more away?  There are so many ways to do this and that is another post for another day but today just think on this:

You have enough. Scratch that, you have MORE than enough. What are you going to do about it?

Reads & Recommends

Happy weekend, y’all!  Here are a few of my favorite things from around the internet this week:

I really enjoyed this podcast of the Jess Lively show.  She interviews Caroline of Un-Fancy and they talk all about building a capsule wardrobe and building a life that is focused on enough and being enough.

Andrea at Intentional Jane has a great new series about How to Evaluate Retailers & Shop Responsibly.

So random but Fall is hands down my favorite season.  And this is my new favorite poem.

Did you know it’s Fair Trade month?  Yup!  To celebrate, Mata Traders is giving away something from their collection to a lucky winner every week this month.  Find out all the details here.

Focus // Day 17

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This post is part of the series, 31 Thoughts on Running Your Race.  Find all the posts in the series here.  

When I first started running I read several books about running and talked to a few friends who had ran races before because I was a complete newb.  One thing I heard several times was that running well has a lot to do with your mental attitude and staying focused.

Last Sunday was a perfect example of this.  Though I knew what my body could do and where I should be pacing myself,  it was hard seeing runners pass me, one after another. They got farther ahead, almost out of sight.  And then  they would disappear around the corner or over the hill.  All of a sudden would be just me.  All by myself and way behind everyone else.  It was discouraging and was enough to knock me out of my concentration.

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Our real life race is like that too, or at least it is for me.  It’s so easy to get distracted by what everyone else is doing that I forget to concentrate on what I am suppose to be doing.  Do you know the feeling?  I’m learning to practice focus in my running and focus in my life.  I can’t do everything that everyone else is doing.  I can only do what is in front of me to do and I need to do that well.  I have to forget the crowd.  Forget who is ahead of me, doing things better than me.  Just do what needs to be done as only I can do it.

This.  This is important.

Take A Breath // Day 16

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This post is part of the series 31 Thoughts on Running Your Race.  Find all the posts in this series here.

Well, this blog series is about real life and here’s some real life: the beginning of this week was rough.  A lot.  I was stressed and overwhelmed over so many things, particularly this series.  I am most comfortable writing instructional, factual type posts so this series has been a bit of a challenge and quite frankly, been shaking my self confidence.  I don’t know how I want to say things or what I should share or even how I am coming across to you guys.  I was so frustrated I started toying with the idea of quitting it all.   Quit the series.  Quit the blog.  Just be done with everything.  I was over so many things I couldn’t think straight anymore.

Then yesterday came in its wild, blustery fall-ish self.  I spent some time with a new friend and though getting together with someone new is scary for me, I rarely regret it.  It filled my soul.  And then this weather.  It was gorgeous, unruly weather – my very favorite kind.  Exactly like that Humbert Wolfe poem: “Listen!  The wind is rising, and the air is wild with leaves, we have had our summer evenings, now for October eves!”

Both these parts of Wednesday refreshed me.  I felt better because of them.  They fed my weary soul.  That time with a friend and a simple outdoor walk were enough to straighten out my perspective.  I could breathe again.  The world righted itself.

Sometimes you just need a break. A little encouragement. Some head straightening.  When it’s all feeling a little crazy the best thing you can do is just step back, take a breath and do something that gives you life again, whatever that may be.

I’m curious, how to you deal with stress and frustration?  What is your favorite way to take a break?

On Being Content With Your Life// Day 14

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This post is part of the series, 31 Thoughts on Running Your Race.  You can find all the posts here.

I’ve been down this path half a million times, comparing and analyzing.  Deciding how I stack up against those around me.  Tallying up all the things I dislike about myself, all the things I wish I could change.

If I could just be more outgoing.

I wish I had her personality.  Her sense of style.

It’s so hard for me to be caring and thoughtful, if only it came easier.

Who I am was never enough.  Still doesn’t always feel like enough.  BUT.  The sooner we accept who we are and focus on what we can do well (not what we are lacking) the sooner we can actually live in a way that means something.

There are some things about me that just will never change.  I will always be the quiet introvert.  I will always struggle with consistency in the daily things.  Hints of change and instability will always shake me up and make me nervous.  I have a choice, I can continue to negatively dwell on what I think are flaws, these unchanging parts of my personality that cause me so much struggle, or I can embrace them and figure out how to weave them in with my strengths.  I am choosing the latter.  Instead of wishing them away I am learning to work with them.  Who I am is important, who you are is important, and being content with our life, warts and all, is beautiful.

Half Marathon #2: City of Trees

This post is day 13 in the series, 31 Thoughts on Running Your Race.  Find all the posts here.

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Yesterday I finished the second of four half marathons with my Run 4 Heavens Gate team. Why am I running four half marathons? Find out all the details here!

Okay, this race.  I was really looking forward to it but it felt SO much harder than last week. I finished around the same time but the last mile or two seriously felt like they would never end.  I think one of the reasons why this race felt different was that last weekend there were only a few hundred runners running on open country roads. This week there were almost 1000 half marathoners and our course was along some of the busiest roads in Boise.  It was so much harder for me to concentrate and get in my groove with all the people passing me and traffic flying by.  But I made it.  And that is what counts.

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Post race with my baby. Can we just take a moment with that face? Too cute.  And here is  shot of the entire team (I’m right in the middle above the guy with the red hat):

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Now onto the 31 day series!  This week we are going to talk a lot about what is probably the hardest thing for me to learn: embracing your real life race (in all it’s messy wonderfulness) and accepting who you are.  Ready?  Meet you back here tomorrow!