Purple Haze

photo credit:  www.mymodernmet.com

Lavender: her favorite scent

    Soft, sensual, soothing

     When first they met

 he offered her its sweet gift

       A small token

He became heir apparent

  to her lifelong affection

Their affair is like a willow

        Easily bent

But with strong, long roots

His love for her plays like a flute

Tender, calming and gentle

     Almost like a whisper

For the first time and forever

She can bask in the warm glow

      of a healing heart

Another great Free Write Friday prompt from Kellie Elmore! This week we had a word bank: lavender, willow, sweet, bask, flute and heir.  http://kellieelmore.com/2013/05/31/fwf-free-write-friday-word-bank-7/

Race Day

photo credit:  fromthekitchentotheroad.wordpress.com

The forecast was ominous. Temps in the low fifties, rain and wind off the lake at twenty mph. Not great racing weather for the long distance runners who had trained hard for their marathon. Luckily, my fiance’ and I were sharing the length but we were still anxious about the predicted conditions.  Speaking for myself,  I found the forecast hard to believe because it had changed so quickly over a period of twenty- four hours.  I thought I was prepared enough with my gear; after all, I had run in much colder conditions. Long sleeves,  a layer of water proof on top and a pair of shorts seemed enough at packing time.

We could never have been so wrong!  As we drove the 200 miles north the day before the race, rain and wind pelted the car. When we arrived at the runner’s expo to pick up our numbers, we were assaulted by the cold, raw wind and plummeting temperatures. We needed to get more body protection for the starting line!  So we shopped a bit at the expo kiosks, finding hats for five dollars a piece. Everything else that we may have needed was severely overpriced (when did running become such a high-end fashion sport?) so we decided that a trip to a big  chain box store was in order. Well, this particular type of store is hard to come by in the state we were racing in ( in truth I like the idea) but luckily we were minutes from its location. We wanted cheap and “disposable” gear that we could peel off during the race. And we hit pay dirt-feeling relief that we would not freeze our arses off too much.

The night before a big race holds two important ingredients: a good meal along with a good night’s rest. We headed to the inn that was situated in the mountains.  As we ascended the mountain road, the precipitation increased and rapidly turned into snow! We were a little dismayed at the deteriorating conditions while still holding out hope that tomorrow would be a better day.  Dinner was delightful and we hit the sack early.

Race day arrived and greeted us with below freezing temps and enough snow that it stuck to the ground as well as our car. As we reached lower elevations and our destination, the snow disappeared and the temperature warmed a bit. We were grateful for our semi-toasty clothes but definitely not excited about the conditions! Actually, at one point -as my fiance’ and I huddled under the shared tent of our jackets- I said that we could change our minds and bag the whole thing. (My man had a cold and I didn’t want it to get worse).

In reality, when you train for an event of this nature you cannot back out unless you are injured or very, very ill. So, I assumed my place in the starting corral and began to feel a bit warmer from the body heat of the 4,999 other brave and crazy souls. And once the gun went off all thoughts of the discomfort from the adverse conditions exited from my brain. It was now up to me to navigate my way through the endless sea of humanity as well as the puddles and rushing water of the fine streets in Burlington, VT. By mile 1, my shoes were completely soaked and I feared I might blister. When I hit mile 5, I stripped myself of the cheap sweats and tossed them to the side of the road. My legs were warm and happy for the rest of the race! Yes, yes the wind whipped us about as we headed further north but the 12 piece percussion ensemble really revved us up.  By mile 8, the  country station truck was playing Miranda Lambert’s “Baggage Claim” and I  was so pumped that I high-fived the DJ!   For once in a race, I did not worry about pain nor pace; I was just running. By the time we circled back to the downtown area, the crowds were cheering loudly. Local drag queens strutted their stuff in support of us. Irish bands played on the corner. Then we headed south closer to the lake and even closer to the halfway point. Here the the race took on the zen-like quality that all runners experience.  I was in my own zone with just 5k to go and feeling no pain.

Things to Remember Redux*

          photo credit:www.masterpiece-beth.com

           Anger is a secondary emotion

And when directed at you is not about you

            Pain and Grief don’t last forever

But can give you strength to become a better person

             Shame and Fear can hold you hostage

But shedding these layers leads to enlightenment

                Joy can be found every day

And when experienced in small ways, multiplies

                   Trust is essential

And is the glue that holds all relationships together

                 Pride is sometimes helpful

But hubris can distance you from others

               Wonder and Anticipation can make you feel alive

And attracts others to your inner child

               Kindness and Patience are at times a challenge

But when practiced, lead to healthy relationships

            Hope is at once all we have and sometimes need

And the foundation for faith, peace and love

 

* Thanks to Kellie Elmore for the Free Write Friday Image Prompt: http://kellieelmore.com/2013/05/24/fwf-free-write-friday-image-prompt-8/

I took a lot of liberties with the image this week. It  reminded me that taking a road trip can be a solitary contemplative experience at times. I am heading out on one this weekend with loved ones. It is much needed after this week and even this past month !  And truly, I have used some of these recent experiences as fonder for the poem.

Thursday Morning

photo credit: www.steves-digicams.com

In the deep darkness just before dawn

She listens to the stone silence

by her bedroom window

The day slowly awakens along with her mind

Early drivers hum along quietly in the distance

Birds begin to chatter

The day shows no promise of sun

with the  misty gray sky standing in sharp contrast

To the deep, deep green of the oaks and maples

The grass is soaked with morning moisture

She breathes deeply

 She looks out from her perch

to the back forty

Two doe are breaking their fast

Tails twitching

Ears alert

Quickly, they stand at attention

Sensing danger, they seem to leap through the air

Seeking shelter and protection elsewhere

She wishes to stay here

away from the noise and clatter of her working day

This is her peace, her shelter, her nirvana

Another deep breath

Morning stretches

A cleansing run

She readies herself for a new day

10 Miles or 10 K?

“People sometimes sneer at those who run every day, claiming they’ll go to any length to live longer. But I don’t think that’s the reason most people run. Most runners run not because they want to live longer, but because they want to live life to the fullest. If you’re going to while away the years, it’s far better to live them with clear goals and fully alive then in a fog, and I believe running helps you to do that. Exerting yourself to the fullest within your individual limits: that’s the essence of running, and a metaphor for life — and for me, for writing as whole. I believe many runners would agree”
Haruki Murakami, What I Talk About When I Talk About Running

I am now in the last week of training for a partner’s marathon which is happening in six short days.  This past Sunday was to be my last longer run before the race. As I was sitting at the bonfire late Saturday night with friends, I was relaying the fact that I was scheduled for a 12 miler the next morning ( I was in fact just going for 10.5 since the course is outrageously hilly).  My friend Emily said “Twelve miles, after today’s events? You run a lot!”  My oldest, of course, had graduated from college that day and I had been up since 5 am and also spent the previous weeks preparing the house, working full-time and training extensively for the marathon. I knew she was right but I still went to bed -at midnight I might add and without much carbo loading that day-seriously considering one final assault on the course.

Well, morning broke early that’s for sure. I heard my dad get up at 3:30 am to leave for the airport. Then he texted me at 5:30 to say that he “had a ball” and for me to “go back to bed”. So I did; awakening again after 7 with a fatigue hangover.  The long run prospects were looking mighty dim at this point. Then I did what no runner ever usually does-I listened to my body!  I changed my plans and decided on a favorite 10k course that I had not run in a while.

My decision proved to be a smart one. I felt fantastic! In fact, I hope to feel this good during my half of the marathon this weekend.  Moreover, my decision to cut the run short got me contemplating the training program that I used for the race. Initially, I thought that I would use the advanced guide since I had used the intermediate one a few times before and I was in better shape this go ’round. However, it didn’t take too long for me to realize that it was killing me! Three weeks in and I was wiped and sore nearly constantly. I never run more than 3 days in a row and the program was requiring 4 days with longer runs plus two days of speed work mixed in. Plus, I had already been running extensively before the training started. So, I rebooted and went back to  the intermediate program with some of my own stuff (like 90 minutes of hot power yoga weekly-just the best!) in the mix.

Dedicated runners are remarkably adept at losing a few brain cells when it comes to training for races. On the one hand, you may have the competitive devil whispering fervently in one ear: “GO LONGER AND HARDER”; and on the other, the sensible angel sweetly saying: “USE YOUR COMMON SENSE.” Well, there is a time and place for everything and I do hope that I have approached my training with a mix of both-truth be told. I am in this sport because I love it; it is part of who I am and how I live my life.

In the end, I know that when I put my number on Sunday morning, I will be ready to give it my best knowing that I did my best to prepare for the race.  After all, my fiance’ will be out there at the halfway mark waiting for the hand off!

“Every morning in Africa, a gazelle wakes up, it knows it must outrun the fastest lion or it will be killed. Every morning in Africa, a lion wakes up. It knows it must run faster than the slowest gazelle, or it will starve. It doesn’t matter whether you’re the lion or a gazelle-when the sun comes up, you’d better be running.”
Christopher McDougall, Born to Run: A Hidden Tribe, Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen

Commence, Beloved.

Hi fellow bloggers!

Yesterday my oldest graduated from college. It was a beautiful spring Saturday full of life-long memories. We enjoyed a large party at the house with friends and family after the event. Festivities lasted until late in the night!

While we were waiting for graduation ceremony to start, his lovely girlfriend share a poem that she posted on her blog: JenniferAlyce.wordpress.com. The post, of course is about my son and it is an example of true love and just plain outstanding writing!

Please read it and try not to weep!

Jennifer Alyce & Her Musings

He walks fearlessly
Through a world that is not prepared
For the magnitude of him.

Clear eyes, with a heart so pure.
So pure that instinctual habits bred into
Him from a male half his caliber are
Thrown through the windows of his soul
In favor that which The Kind One has painted
Onto it.

His soul so old, ancient in his reasoning.
His future bursting with life because he wills it so.
Exploding in our irises as he outshines his peers.
Responsibility and joy wrapped into the cynicism of
His humor.

He walks fearlessly
Taking a walk that will be remarkably short
Yet four years in length.
No, twenty-two.
His journey from the boy I never knew
To the man I love with all my heart.
His battle to be better
Than the one who came before him.
He already is. He always has been.
The memory of another’s…

View original post 30 more words

Things To Remember

photo credit: www.flickr.com

A sunrise on a new day

The way my lover looks at me across the room

Celebrations big and small with friends and family

Eating a good meal every day

The love I feel for my sons

The passion I have for running

The healing that yoga brings me

Nights snuggled under the covers with a good book

The peace I feel in my heart

This week’s post  is inspired by Kellie Elmore’s Free Write Friday prompt:http://kellieelmore.com/2013/05/17/fwf-free-write-friday-image-prompt-7/