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Mar. 13th, 2015

blue phoenix

Um. Awkward Hello.

So I haven't checked LiveJournal since November. Because honestly... I totally forgot about it. I'm terrible.

But here I am. Not much to say right now. What I have to say are all travel and running-related. So we'll start there.

We ran NOLA in January, so one half marathon is down and done. Awesome weather, but I was poorly trained for it and my time was less than stellar.

Next long race is the Navy Nautical 10 Miler in June (11.8-ish miles) locally. I did this one last year and had fun. There were horses running in a field, so it was pretty. Not so pretty was the long wait for the port-o-potty at Mile 4 because some poor woman's compression shorts wouldn't roll up due to the sweat.

I accidentally signed up for the Disneyland Half in September. Honestly. My finger slipped on the "Pay Now" button. We're keeping the trip a surprise for the kids and seeing how far we can get there before they figure it out. My goal is to walk onto Disneyland property with them thinking we can't go. They might kill us, though.

Disneyland will be followed by the Greenline half in Memphis in October, which will be followed by the Space Coast half in November in Cocoa Beach, FL.

It's fun combining my two favorite hobbies - travel and running :)

Nov. 2nd, 2014

blue phoenix

legs still workin'!

1 Nautical 10 miles
3 5ks
1 4 miler
2 5 milers
1 8 mile trail run
2 10ks
2 10 milers
1 half marathon (1 more to go)

Total race mileage so far: 88.6

Hmmm. That doesn't sound like a lot...

Apr. 5th, 2014

blue phoenix

(no subject)

We planted things in our flower bed! Two bushes, some shrubs, ground cover and a meadow sage. We also put a tomato plant in a pot and some dill and sage. Because I have the black thumb of death, I didn't go all out until I see whether these take. I hope they do. I'm tired of our yard looking like a third world country. And honestly, if we decide to move in a few years (possible another city, possibly in town for a better middle school), we need a little curb appeal.

I hope I can make these things grow.

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Feb. 14th, 2014

blue phoenix

Take risks and raise good leaders

In a discussion on Facebook recently, a friend shared an op-ed about raising children to be risk-takers and great leaders. I shared a lot of the author's opinions about letting children take risks and get hurt or fail, and turning those into life lessons. The premise of the article was that children become leaders by learning that taking risk is acceptable, and that you might fail, but that's okay. Pick yourself back up and try, try again.

Of course, the responses to the article ranged from "I do this," to "I don't, because..." to "I should and I'll try." Every parent has their reasons for raising their child the way they do, and I respect that.

Then one response caught my eye: "Why all this focus on leadership? Not everyone can be a great leader and it's unrealistic to teach our kids that. I just want my child to be a good collaborator."

I was startled by her statement. What parent wouldn't want to raise their child into a leader? Then it dawned on me that her definition of a leader is the very traditional sense: Someone who manages others.

Leadership isn't always about being the CEO of a company or the General in an army. It isn't about being a manager or supervisor. Leadership is your ability to collaborate and influence, standing up for your own beliefts, and standing up for others when necessary. It's your circle of influence, and how well you play with others, and how well you work in groups.

You might call it "being a good collaborator" but all good collaborators lead in their own way. You might not be the one leading the group to accomplishing their goal, but you might be the one helping a group member work through some personal issues, which in turn makes them a more productive group member. Or you might be the one helping the quieter group members be heard by remembering that they also have an opinion and asking them for it.

I hope one day to raise my children to be good leaders, whether that's President of the United States, the next Steve Jobs or Bill Gates, or a contributing member of society focused on helping others in any way possible. And I hope they take risks, and realize that failure is simply a learning moment. ​
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Jan. 27th, 2014

blue phoenix

I can't quit you!

Oh, hello! Have I met you before? I suppose I have, and I've simply been avoiding telling anyone anything here.

I was mulling over my experiences over the last few years with running and staying fit and healthy. The first years I started running were easy. Easy in the sense that I enjoyed it, despite sweating, aching and wondering if I'd ever break the 3 mile barrier. Training for my first half was fun and I wasn't very stressed. The actual half itself was grueling and lonely, as I ran it alone and I was pregnant at the time.

Then Helena came, and I took a year off and started on a slow crawl back to running. And this time it was... just horrible. I had moments where it was fun and joyful, and I cranked back up to speed and distance a lot faster than being a beginner starting from scratch.

But I didn't enjoy the training as much. I've pinned it down to a general sense of feeling like I really shouldn't be committing the time to doing this, that I was abandoning my family, and that everyone resented the time training took me away. As a result, I didn't train as well as I should have, and I didn't perform as well as I'd like at Myrtle Beach.

Afterwards, I decided to take a few months off, and I hate it. I want to be out there again, running and training for the next thing. I miss it like I'd miss my lungs, but when I think about starting to get out there again for 2-3 days a week, I don't feel like I'm allowed the time to do it and that it's a huge inconvenience to everyone.

I don't want to give up now. I've come such a long way from someone who said "Oh, I'd never be a runner! Are you kidding?!" to someone who has done several 10 milers, countless 5Ks and 2 half marathons. But I haven't yet finished a half marathon where I had that happy runner's high. I've felt... isolated and I've hurt and I've been sad at the end. I'm proud of my accomplishment, but it's like there's nothing else there and that this is my own selfish desire.
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Nov. 11th, 2013

blue phoenix

Strollers are not aerodynamic...

Especially when the wind blows against you.

Did you know if you bruise your butt falling down the stairs, then go run, it hurts? Because your butt jiggles. Yeah, I figured that out yesterday.

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Oct. 22nd, 2013

blue phoenix

Not quite toppling over

Yesterday I picked up both kids and came home to crash out. Couldn't stop shivering and shaking.

Today has been better. Still in bed, but when I forayed downstairs I didn't need to scoot on my rear down the stairs to make it down there. Bonus: Campbell's Chicken Noodle Soup cans have an easy-open lid, so I don't have to stress myself using a can opener to open it.

Proof I was sick? I watched Annie today and cried through the whole thing. I'm a baby like that.

Hoping tomorrow I'll be ready to return to work. That's the plan. I have so much to do, but did good at not doing anything the last two days. Refreshing. Just because I can work from home doesn't mean I should if I feel like crap, right? Right? I do feel a little guilty because I was supposed to facilitate a class tonight for the Embark program with New Memphis, but I have no voice and I'm all gross and stuff. Luckily, my co-facilitator managed to pick up the reins and do it. I owe her big. I am so blessed to work with amazingly professional and capable people. There was no guilt-tripping, no reluctant sighs. Just a "I've got it. Get some rest."

Oct. 13th, 2013

blue phoenix

Ready... set...

By this time next week I'll be unwinding with something to drink and lots of food, and possibly with ice on my legs in Myrtle Beach! Seven days to race day! I ran my last long run ("just" 8 miles) today, averaging an 11:09 minute mile, which is faster than my usual long-distance average. What can I say - great weather and I'm much stronger than when I first started this journey! And I was in a rush to meet Daniela at the 11-ish mile mark and run her the next mile near her finish. 11-12 miles is where a number of people hit their wall, and i wanted to motivate her to get over it and finish strong! So very proud of her with her first half - she planned on finishing in 3 hours, and finished in 2 hours 38 minutes. Rockin' it!

So I bandit the race a little and ran with her (confusing some people when I stopped and said I was done at the 12 mile mark :). I ran into alsafi's brother at the 12 mile water station. Awesomeness! Volunteers are great! I spent some time talking to another runner who was waiting for a friend and some U of M ROTC soldiers. The ROTC guys got into the cheering once we started hollering and yelling and clapping on the runners. Lots of fun - I need to plan on cheering on in all my friends' races. Hot dog guy was there with his Turbo Boost sign, too. Maybe I need a costume and sign.

After a few weeks of being down in the dumps for various personal reasons, it was great to get re-energized and motivated. Happy endorphins!
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Sep. 15th, 2013

blue phoenix

8 miles and symphony time

Ow. Owwwwww. Why is the last mile always the worst? However, taking advantage of the amazing weather and the crack that was Cliff Shot Blocks was a must. It was quite a lovely run, despite struggling the first two miles to pace myself properly. I ended up following behind a slower couple to get myself adjusted. After that I managed to keep myself at a nice 11:45-11:55 pace. Not as much walking as I thought I'd needed. And of course Mile 5 was freakin' amazing. Mile 8 was holy heck though trying not to walk too soon.

Next week, I conquer 9 miles.

Afterwards We went to Fresh Slices and I had a truly amazing blackened salmon sandwich. Alex ate a few bites and loved it. Glad I'm getting him to eat more fish. It was cooked perfectly, too.

The boys went to scouts, and I did laundry and then everyone rendezvoused at the Dixon for Symphony in the Gardens. I'm so glad to be able to reintroduce classical and orchestral performances back into my world. I hadn't realized how sorely lacking my soul felt without it. I miss performing and playing, and I miss just listening. Helena enjoyed the pieces played tonight, too. She's very auditory and musically inclined. Alex enjoyed a few of the livelier pieces but could have cared less over Debussey's Clair de Lune. Eduardo Lalo was a new composer to me. I'm going to look up the piece that was played. It was quite beautiful and spirited.

To bed now. It's been a full day! And tomorrow is the dreaded Monday.

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Sep. 14th, 2013

blue phoenix

I need a monocle

I am officially a mentor! I feel old, and as if I need a monocle. Or a toga. Today I attended the MILE Mentorship Orientation and met my protege, an MIS student. I'm quite intimidated in knowing I'm supposed to coach and guide this person for the next 8 months when I feel like I don't have a lot to offer. But I'll give it my best go. The program is awesome and I wish other university disciplines would implement something similar to give students applicable skills for the workforce.

I am 5 weeks to my half marathon and so I took an easy week this week to recenter myself. I'm tired and exhausted. Break badly needed! Back on track Sunday! Aiming for 8 miles.

We're going to Symphony in the Gardens tomorrow evening. It's a beautiful weekend and I can't wait! We had such fun last time!

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