Tuesday, March 9, 2010

dreaming, changing and shifting goals

  I think about running all the time. I love to run and even  when  I do stop, when it feels like I can't take another step,  I am sad that it is over with and immediately start thinking about the next run.
I imagine myself as an old woman still running strong and all the races I will run on all the different terrains..The comradery as well as solidtude I will find along the way.
Lately I have lost site of why I do it and what I want out of it. The simple love of putting one foot in front of the other, going faster and longer just for the sake of it.

I started running to stave off stress and quiet the loud voices of anxiety. To find that place of zen when I can think clearly and when energy is burned and there is nothing but my thoughts and my breath.
To dig deep and see what I find.
   Someday I want to run here and there and everywhere...

 Before a race I struggle with stress of the unknown, the pressure of performance, fear of injury if I go all out, the crowds and attention barefoot running will bring. Its always tempting to hold back since failure is certain and known almost less scary. Then there is the fear of going out into the world alone on any day I train which also adds a bit of stress that over time seems to accumulate.  I manage to get out there time and time again because I am well taken care of and my other needs are met.  I have to work at it. Its easy to dream big safely running on the treadmill in my basement watching people stranded on an island while it snows here in Des Moines and confines me to my bubble. (I have been watching Lost lately on hulu :)

After races have been ran there is a whole different set of issues to work through.
  There are the crappy races when I was so disappointed with myself and then the crash after a great race high.  This too challenges me in the fundamental ways that I took up running in order to deal with in the first place.  Its a learning experience that seeps into all aspects of my life. There is the mental and emotional side that is not the usual focus when I am thinking about time and distance and my legs and bare feet.

 My dear one especially has to work hard to help me deal with said stress. He is so good at getting me to talk and see what I am not wanting to look at. He asks the right questions and pushes at the right times and gently persuades when needed.  Many, many times, countless even he has saved me from myself.    He sees when my eyes are bigger than my stomach both literally and figuratively! I am not afraid to jump right on in when I feel the moxie but the planning part....well, not so good at it!

Lofty goals were set at the new year I like goals and love a good list however they were going to come at a high cost.
First and foremost I am a wife and mother.  I have young children that I want to be around and took on the responsibility to raise them myself. In order to run the kind of miles I have in my dreams I would have to sacrifice time that is alloted to my spawn and partner. We don't have family to watch the kids for us while we go for a run and its not fair to Jaymon to get stuck with the kids for more than I he already does. Its easier and more enjoyable to parent when there are two of you. Besides I like being around those crazy people I share a house with.
I was dreaming of running the way I dream of gardening while looking out the window at snow and dreariness. In reality I will have a simple garden that feeds the family and not the elaborate master garden that I hope to have someday down the road when there are not kids and pets to trample the flowers.

Last year I improved in many ways. I opened my mind and my ears and finally listened to Jaymon and tried barefoot running. I fell in love with it and so far see no boundaries other than time and prior commitments where as before I crammed myself  into a little proverbial shoe box feeling like I was broken and weak. Soon I discovered that less is in fact more and  it was just the shoes and the bad form that they encouraged. In fact I was not broken and in all actuality made to run. So I climbed out of my shoe box and stretched and slowly but surely beat my 5k shod time and also my 20k time with a half marathon time that was about 25 minutes faster than I had hoped for.
I also fell in love with off road running!  I discovered the joys of running through the woods and crossing creeks and climbing up steep unfriendly hills with precarious footing all with a huge smile on my face. Unless I was grimacing from excretion and then I was still smiling on the inside!

The goals I see now are similar to what I had before with less stress and a more reasonable amount of time to train which means my odds of injury will go down as well. I have a comfortable cushion of miles in my 1000 miles in 2010 goal and if it keeps going the way it has been so far then I should be  a couple of hundred miles over.
Instead of running a 50k in July I will run one on my own on a combination of trails and roads on my home turf. No traveling and sleeping in a strange bed or worse on the floor or couch. I will set a date to do it in the fall when the weather will be on my side.  I set the course and plan it out and train for it. I have my whole life to participate in organized ultras and my age group is the most competitive and more so in the next five to six years.  Who knows where and what I will be doing by then and my children will be grown to where I won't be needed on such a fundamental level as I am now.

I am going to plan on running the Des Moines Marathon in October and do well.  I will of course run it barefoot and I think I should shoot for a four hour marathon. Maybe even a sub 4.....Before I thought I would be happy just to finish but I think I can do better than that.

I want to PR in all the races that I ran in last year and maybe a few more here and there just for shits and giggles and a new t-shirt!

I just got the flier today for the Childserve 5k and have talked one friend into doing the couch to 5k on a whim and run the 5k too. Another seems interested in running barefoot.  The childserve 5k was the first race I did here in Des Moines last year. I came in 4th in my age group. This year I want one of those trophies so I am going to try and knock some time off of my 5k and cross that line with my soles on fire!

Thinking, planning, learning, loving, regenerating, breathing, growing, and happy.

   I tried the citrus flavored nuun that I won in a giveaway and it rocked my socks!  I liked it as much as the berry.  I have had contact with a nuun  marketing  person and they are sending me some samples for a giveaway!  Tonight I tried the lemon lime and was not disappointed. It has a fresh flavor and no after taste.
Barefoot news,
 Need a road trip????  Head on over to Grand Rapids Michigan for the Fifth Third Riverbank Run.  A bunch of barefoot runners are getting together to attempt a world record for the most barefoot runners at a race!  Learn more about hit HERE!!  The barefoot runners I know are the nicest most friendly and mellow folks ever! Go meet them and have a beer for me!!

Things change, I evolve and change my mind and refine what I want into a workable plan.  Road trip coming up and a 6.66 "Global warming, my ass" virtual run to do. Been waiting for the perfect day but may need to just get out there!


AM! said...

I think this is your post that will define who you are and what you stand for in the bloggy world and beyond.
nicely written, and I am seriously contemplating trying out the barefoot gig on my next trip out to Muir Woods, Ca..;-)

Anonymous said...

Good luck on the 666 run. Although I hope you trip a few times so I have the fastest barefoot time!


weave said...

As always Annie, your posts leave me grinning and thinking.......... love them.........love you!!

Julie said...

Hi Angie,
This was a fantastic post and I agree with Anne Marie...it was very well written and shines with honesty:) I really, really enjoyed reading it. I just happen to think that you do have it all figured out...you have so many wonderful goals that I know you will be able to achieve! You inspire me:) It sounds like you have a great personal cheerleader who is always there for you:) We all need that!

Also, you had mentioned about how you would like to do the off road running and races. That reminds me of growing up in the country...I ran in our pasture almost every day in the summer. I was good at it and had crazy speed, balance and endurance:) Where and the hell did all of those things go? Ha ha! I could see myself doing the off road races too! It will bring out my inner child:)

Angie, I hope that you have a wonderful day! Happy barefoot running:)

Thompson said...

Thanks for the barefoot posts and links. I've started to go more barefoot, so I'm reading up on what others have done.

The Boring Runner said...

This was a cool post. Lots of things to comment on :)

So, first I love it when people call their kids spawn. Not sure why - it is just cool.

SEcond, I know a few people who are running DSM Marathon. Should be a really good race.

Finally, Have you ever met Rick the barefoot runner in KC? I ran the Olathe, KS marathon a while with him and was introduced to Barefoot running... Although it didn't totally "take" with me

misszippy said...

A great, soul (and sole!) bearing post. You are showing so much maturity and teaching a good lesson--it's something many a runner can learn from. Here's to a wonderful, rewarding year of running ahead!

ShellBell said...

You are a wise one, I agree! Making your own 50k sounds like fun and a great idea. Less planning and cost friendly :)

Unknown said...

Nice post, I enjoyed reading it :)

Looking forward to hearing about your 666 race! I wish I'd entered it in time!

Molly said...

I enjoyed reading this post, its always great to take a step back and evaluate where you are, where you've been, and where you're going.

Unknown said...

This was a very sincere post, thanks for speaking from the heart.

LMC said...

Your words provide the image of a strong woman, a loving mother, an unselfish partner and a fun barefoot runner. You must be all of those things, at least some times, to be able provide such an image and with such clarity. I enjoyed reading this post and all of the places that it took me and all the thoughts that it provoked. Thanks for sharing!

Hannah said...

I loved this post. I could relate so much to the parts about balancing running with spouse and young kids.

I am so intrigued by this barefoot running you do. How awesome!

Best of luck this year - in your goals, in life, family, etc. and of course I am wishing you healthy, happy balance of all of it.

Sherri said...

Am I allowed to post a DITTO on my blog and link it to yours?

You wrote that beautifully...I am not good at putting all my thoughts and feelings in writing. You nailed it! loved the post...your a true joy to running!
I can relate to every single part of your post! You should add KLOMPEN CLASSIC to your races it is May 5th and there is a kids run that the kids all love!

Oh I tried to run barefoot...but I picked the wrong surface.....treadmill (OUCH)...someday I will try it again!

The Merry said...

I hate to repeat what's already been said, but yes, that was beautifully written.

Adam Culp (Crazy Floridian) said...

Nice post. It is good to hear what barefoot runners are doing, and I am a bit envious. (Though not enough to go barefoot. I do enjoy my minimalist shoes.)

Shellyrm ~ just a country runner said...

I think I have read this post 4 times now. It's a lot to think about.

I just did my 50k in the woods. Technical trails. I don't think I can go back to the road. I completely felt like a kid again. Running through the pastures. That 'race' reminded me of all the things I love about running.

The Boring Runner said...

Ok, taking a bit of a risk here because I don't know your type of humor - but I know that this is MY type of humor :)


Ewa said...

I am finally catching up on reading my favorite blogs (that means you blog too). I love this post; it makes me want to slow down and think about who I am and what it is that I really want to do. I've been so far away from myself lately that I forgot to be me.
I love the idea of running a 50 by yourself. I might even steal it. :)

I provide Bradley Method childbirth education, doula, belly casting, placenta encapsulation, and post partum doula services.
I serve families in Kitsap County, Bainbridge Island, Poulsbo, Bremerton, Silverdale, Kingston, Port Townsend, Bremerton, Port Orchard, and the greater Seattle area. email me atangiebeehotz@gmail.com with any questions you might have
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