"Its not what you look at, its what you see" Thoreau

"Its not what you look at, its what you see" Thoreau

Saturday, December 8, 2012

Soul to Sole to Soul....

"There is nothing permanent except change"  Heraclitus
2013 I am on the Montrail Team!  4 years lucky! An amazing team with good souls and ROCKIN SOLES! I will be sharing soon about Montrails amazing selection of shoes to fit your sole wherever your soul may take you (mine would be single track, technical, in the middle of nowhere roads...but thats another upcoming story...maybe some deep water crossing too...). In addition, Mountain Hardwear continues to get better and better with their gear - for most of us women we are drawn to the awesome color selections....but don't let the awesome looks be how you choose - the power behind the material and performance is what makes their gear above and beyond ....and I am speaking from many who have given me their feedback. So, the looks grab you, the performance is what keeps you - and that is speaking for shoes, and gear and all the amazing people who are working behind the scenes to give you the best!

The 2012 year was a true soul to sole year for me...whoa is the word.  My soul and sole worked alot together to do some challenging stuff which I will leave just at that.  But as in nature and seasons, all is changing and temporary.  
Below I am sharing a journal that reminds me especially as one year goes and another year begins, to remember my passion. I read often and keeps me to "keep on keeping"

I am all about the journey.  The journey of the 100 mile runs is such a metaphor and teacher for my daily life.  Enjoy the process, not the finish line.  To me, there never is a finish line.  These long journeys are a meditation to bring me into myself, my heart and soul.  I love the two spectrums of being alone for hours and miles to being surrounded by my active kids and my busy life of activities.  The two keep me in check and balance.  They both help me appreciate the other and how fortunate I am to have both, I never take that for granted.

I love that I have to focus on mile 1 when there is 99 to go – to be in the now, to not think nor worry about what the darkness will bring. To take in the surroundings and the peace and the beauty of so much ground that is unknown and never been seen to my eyes.  It is a mystery and wonder to what the next mile will bring – that is what keeps me going.  This again, helps me focus on my life at home – to be in the now of my day and not the worry of all that is to come.  Life, it is a mystery no matter how much control we think we have – it’s a wake up to “God, give me this day” and be surprised.  Trails, to me, are the same feeling and surprise. You truly never know what will happen, but you do the best now and be the best now to the next now, and the next now.  That’s all you can be, is your best.  Challenge yourself, and the growth happens in a way you would never imagine if you didn’t take it on.

I love nature, the colors, the smells of the trees, the feeling of the earth – right under you, running on the earth…this big big ball and feeling so small and insignificant.  When out West, everything is so much bigger and you are swallowed by the forest around you.  The thought of who and how many have been on this earth where I briefly planted my foot – no sidewalks replaced, just a ground that is moving, adjusting and adapting to the steps it is enduring from all who have been there – history of feet.  Not at all like a sidewalk that has been replaced over and over.  

I am not a creature of habit and trails help me change things up.  Nature alone is such a wonderful process of dying and rebirth.  Even though I truly love running through new ground, the same ground is different every day, every season.  It dyes and rebirths year after year.  It is truly cleansing to my soul and exercise to my eyes.

I love at night, when the world is asleep (most of the world that is!) running in the woods and hearing the night sounds – the sounds that get my heart racing and my feet to keep moving! Who are those eyes that glow through the bushes and wonder who I may be? We both may be thinking the same thoughts.

My imagination is never so vivid as running in the woods.  I dream, I pretend, I make up songs, I talk out loud, I act silly …. I dare to be different.  I want to be different.  The questions of who am I come up often and with a smile – to answer, I am me and I am here and here is where I want to be – in the trails.  100 mile races are a retreat for my soul and rejuvenate me to return to my other wonderful life of kids which I am glad we all together can enjoy the gift of the woods ...and it is a gift, and a mystery, and a continuous journey....
2013 bring it on....and lets see some greatness out there!!!

"You must be the change you wish to see in this world" Ghandi



Friday, January 27, 2012

So you don't have time to fit it in?

It has been a common complaint about time - never enough - if we only had more. As a dear friend of mine mentions and I try to remember the exact quote..."work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion" ....and how do I translate that? I can never have enough time because even if there is one thing on the list, that will take up my whole day of time. Another quote is something about "if you want to get a job done ask a busy person. The more things you do, the more things you can do." I translate that to, " you can do more than you think you can" . So....where is this going?

One of the girls I train was saying to me on the trails that someone saw her running and came up to her later "How do you get to fit in running? You must be so organized and together" - and she thought, if I was so organized and together, I would never fit this in!

Another lady came and said she could have easily skipped running that day with my group, but decided to come because she was in "a mood" ...when she left, she was very happy...and I am sure many benefited from that!

The "to do" lists will never go away, so why not put yourself on the "to do" list. As another dear friend said to me "running is not my everything, but it is the anchor that holds everything together"...that just sums it up for me! And now lets tie all of this in together..............

Running is a way of life in my eyes, and I hope it is in the eyes of all those that I train. Sure, we train for races, we have goals, milestones to meet, but to keep running in your life, it should be looked at as a journey. A journey of health, of the mind, of exercise for the eyes, the soul....it solves problems, organizes the day, gives peace, heals, inspires, joins friends, gets the endorphins going. So it is a necessity to me and is put on my TO DO LIST schedule. The time that I use to run, is added time to my life, and gives the will and the energy to get the other stuff done in my life.

So....yes, you can fill up TIME with many things....but I can pretty much bet most...if you make the time for your health, you will be more efficient and have more time in your future. And why not add the years on now?

"Nothing happens until something moves" Albert Einstein

Saturday, December 31, 2011

Consistency, Endurance, Speed...

"Make everything as simple as possible, but not simpler" Albert Einstein

I do not like to make training complicating - mainly because I personally do not work that way. Its definitely how you work and what works for you and what will get you to work. I have to have fun, change things up, so that I can keep in tune with myself. What does this mean?

This means to learn how to run and understand heart rate, pace, fueling all on perceived exertion - something I learned way back when I started running marathons before all the "gadgets" were out.... you learned how to learn yourself, something we all strive for. And that is the experiment of one which can not be found on any manual but your personal "drive". And to me, this is fascinating and takes the unnecessary work out of training on the "things".

So.....the three keys that I contribute to success in running and put me back in gear, are these: consistency, endurance, speed. Simple and changing...changing as the "machine" learns and relearns. And here is my brief description of each and how I use it.

Consistency: Purpose, to develop the habit and the desire. This is most important when starting out a new "something", in this case its running! If you are a beginner runner, it is better to get out 15 minutes everyday than 1 hour twice a week. Develop a routine that is set in your day that you have no excuse. For me, the morning run is a time that is my habit and gets me out. This can also be carried over in to so many other things in life and a way to see success start to develop.

Endurance: Take a couple of those consistent runs and drag them a little longer. This is much easier to do after consistency as well as changing it up a bit. I look forward to endurance runs (and the word "endurance is different in everyones vocabulary huh?). These are my building runs, thinking runs, runs where I like to explore a new area, new trail. Runs where I learn my fueling, my mind, my true strengths and weaknesses.

Speed: When the body is strong and built up, time to break it down with speed to build stronger. Speed for me ranges to so many different things - 800 repeats, 20 second repeats, fartlek- speed play to pick up whenever I want, however long I feel. I keep speed to a couple times a week due to the tasking it can take on my body.

Three things, all important, all powerful to building a stronger you. And the you is different everyday - the goal is to learn where you are when you are at it and what is needed to make you stronger, that day. Sometimes, stronger can be not doing...and sometimes, its a full "bring it on".

You are the gadget - keep learning how to press your "buttons".

"Make the most of yourself, for that all there is of you" Ralph Waldo Emerson

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

A Time to Rest and a Time to RUN - Bring it ON!

"There are two ways to face the future. One way is with apprehension. The other is with anticipation" Jim Rohn

Riding the wave....choosing the low to anticipate the high is such a good feeling! My month of December of rest is coming to an end, and it feels so good to have had some "zen" runs as some of us call it (Karen!) , or a WoaNellie(Ann!)- to let go of the watch, time, when I run, if I run, how I feel when I run, on and on....a month of if or if not doesn't matter. Getting in to thoughts of where I am and where I want to be. Looking in can now be activated to the OUT....and time to get OUT! Time to set goals and have a plan.

So, January is the common time for looking at the past and planning for the future. It is a continous of a nonstop journey of growing and learning, of falling and getting up, of moving forward and stepping back, pausing and pursuing. Looking back at your goals of 2011 - how many were achieved? How about goals that were never thought of accomplishing were pushed beyond to bigger goals? How about goals that were put on the backburner? You are your best experiment and your best teacher.

What amazes me is all that can be accomplished in a years time. All that can change. So now we are almost at the beginning of 2012. What do you see for this next year? As in races, I like to have the 1,2,3 method or the A, B, C (backwards from grading!) A- achievable B -beyond imagined and then there is C- courage-super strength.

"You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream" C. S. Lewis

One thing we have absolutely no control of is TIME - and it ticks away...if you want to do something, start now - if you don't start your "journey" you will never see all the side trails that may come out from the main roads. And side trail, single tracks...are my favorite.

"Success is not final, failure is not fatal, it is the courage to continue that counts" Winston Churchill

What goals are awaiting you?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


"Always do your best. What you plant now, you will harvest later."
Og Mandino

The thought of resting and taking a break sounds heavenly. But how many of us do it on our own free will....and how many of us have been thrown a circumstance to where we have no choice?

Thankfully, I have had years free of injuries. The beginning of this year was a rough start, but the second half has been a mental strength of strong running. It has been good. Racing has been good with the desire to keep getting out there, exploring, learning, challenging.

Having goals, create bigger goals, and more goals, and ...... but sometimes, it is good to step back when all has been good and "going" to savor what has been done. As well as not getting caught in the cycle of doing too much or being out of balance. That is my month of December. Taking time to look where I've been, where I'm going - this involves stepping out of my own picture, story and looking in. As hard as it is in many ways, it is wonderful in so many more. The gift of time to rest, be silent and think. The Art of the Pause.

If there is ever a time that you may have this chance to step back, it may be the most rewarding gift to yourself. A time to rebuild the mind. Rebuild the mind, the body will follow. Look at all your reasons for doing what you do... Do you run for the health of it? For your mind? For the companionship of friends? The physical challenges? For yourself or others (hopefully yourself!)?Do you enjoy the process? Do you make goals that are too achievable or goals that are not? Why do you do what you do? I love that simple question which can be pertained to so many things - Why do you do what you do?

So the month of December, its "chill time", the month of January....time to bring it on. And biting at the bits to do it. But for now....its a nice "PAUSE".

Is there a time that you can purposely schedule a "break"?

"The mind is everything. What you think, you become" Buddha

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Glance back to see where you came from, then focus on ahead!

" No one can whistle a symphony, for it takes a whole orchestra to play it" Luccock

As the end of the year approaches, I challenge you to take a look at all that you have achieved. As I like to compare and metaphor my running to life - it is a wave, it is a hill, rolling hills of up and down...to achieve the easy run of the downhill, you need to be strong enough to make the uphill. The key is to go up the uphill and embrace the strength it brings you.
The Fall is ending and Winter is quickly approaching. And I believe, we are ready for that next challenge! We can look back at the seasons and all that was achieved, all that we persevered through. The trails are always changing, life is always changing, nothing stays the same, always progressing forward in a way that we sometimes have no control over it. But what you do have control over is your ATTITUDE to take it on.

Today as I challenged the girls on their hill workouts, I was laughing at the comments that were made back to me - comments like (from me as they were going down the hill) "Keep loose and bouncy" and back at me from the girls "That's all I am is loose and bouncy" or "I'm calling 911" or the random middle finger that goes up at me. Love it - love how everyone completes the run yet can bring some type of comedy in the toughness!!!

I always have the thought in my head before the group starts - I am going to make you do something that you wouldn't do on your own" and together this group pushes each other to achieve more.

So as the year ends, look back to see where you came from, how you've grown....and then, get excited to see where you can go, what you can do, achieve more than you think .....

"You must do the thing in which you think you cannot" Eleanor Roosevelt.

So, for the new year....what will it be????

Monday, November 14, 2011

A visit to Rockefeller Park for a run with the Westchester Group!

"If everyone is moving forward, then success takes care of itself" -

The Westchester Running group has a strong bond and a true feel of success!


It always amazes me how when we get outside our own nucleus of friends, runners, familiar trails...that there are other groups that exist and share such a common passion. How to get that feel is to meet with them in their territory, not in a race where people come from all around...but in their weekly get togethers and experience the commodare and bonds that create the successes.

I feel so fortunate to have been invited to the Westchester area to represent Montrail - being part of their group run and giving a talk to share my passion and experiences as well as the awesome Montrail team that I am on. Karen, one of my Whole Running girls traveled along with me and really made it extra special in many ways!

I was and always am excited to explore a new area, new trail as well as meet new friends who share stories that help build my own - I continue to learn from experiences. And this past weekend was a great experience!

Who would have guessed that right near NYC is a state park, Rockefeller State Park in which you can run miles and miles (I'm told easily over 40!) of well maintained trails! Little did John Rockefeller know that his miles would be used by such a variety of runners!

And so the morning began with a wonderful group run which Christy and Dean and others from the Westchester Running Group who put this together. The people that were there were amazing and had amazing stories to share.

My talk for the day was based on two main topics "You can do more than you think" and "Failures are opportunities in disguise" - John Rockefeller quotes "I always tried to turn every disaster into an opportunity" - and isn't that a great way to keep you moving? And the stories that were shared based on these topics were priceless. I will share one (of many) : The man in the picture with me above, has just recovered from cancer treatments. He has run many many marathons, New York City Marathon 19 times - this last one was his slowest but the most rewarding and memorable - he sees a deeper perspective. Not only that, but he has traded a job of a business of high end design in New York City (I believe architectual kitchens and such) to helping less fortunate people who could use the help. I love to hear stories of people who have been through super tough times, fought through it and come out with a stronger soul and a new way of looking at life. Those moments and meetings are such a gift to really grasp a reality of importance of life.

Taking a situation, problem and turning into an opportunity. This can be applied to so many things!

As we shared our stories, we often used metaphors to our running - on the trails and the roads.- We talked about how we can learn from our experiences and look to ourselves as the biggest lessons to learn from "the experiment of one". Try, try again!

After the talk we went over all the wonderful shoes that Montrail has to offer. Montrail has an amazing 2012 line that can accommodate a variety of runners.

It was a great day all around. I feel a connection and a strong desire to go back to Rockefeller Park , where the Sleepy Hollow legend was created! Hmmmm...maybe a night time Halloween run next year!

Thanks again Westchester, for letting me join in! Hope to meet again soon!