Saturday, December 30, 2017

Do Epic Sh*t

I think it's a good idea to make your kids do things they don't want to do. It builds character.

For example, make them clean up all the dog poop and if they don't, make them eat it (jk). Make them work and make their own money and budget. Make them talk to their own teachers and advocate for themselves without you stepping in to save them. Make them write thank you notes. Oh, and make them climb this.

Related image
This used to be a cable car track (1900s) that took material up to Pike's Peak for the pipeline.
The railroad ties now make up this massive staircase, climbing 2,000 feet in less than a mile.

I didn't ask for a lot for Christmas (my list was so random - 8 lb hand weights, Run Fat East Slow Cookbook and a fleece pullover from Yo Colorado.  And, one other thing - for our family to do the Manitou Incline. Ken and I had actually been wanting to do this for awhile - the kids not so much. It sucks to have parents who actually like to be outside doing things. 

Sam: So, let me get this straight. We're going to drive two hours to be tortured then drive two hours home?

Basically. Kids are such turds.

I picked the warmest day of the week because on top of all the bitching the kids might do about the climb, I did not also want them bitching about the cold.

As we were driving towards the trail, I could see the incline from the car window. I pointed it out and got a lovely response from the 20 year old in the backseat. Something like, "Oh, eff me!"

10:00 a.m. and right on schedule - we started our ascent. I tried not to recall a statistic I had read about the number of steps to the top (2,744). I also tried not to look up (something I learned while doing the TransRockies Run. The most hell fire way to psych yourself out is to look WAY up to where you need to go).

Emma (16) started strong until the 10th step. Then she said she didn't feel good and couldn't breathe. This wasn't starting out so well. Sam and Ken went ahead. I did my best to provide MC (Mom Coaching) in the least annoying way possible.

As people went by us, every single one sounded like they were going to puke and die. "See?" I said to Emma. "This is hard for every single person, not just us." Then I threw in some words of wisdom like, "No pain, no gain" and "When you're done you'll have bragging rights forever!" <- Not annoying at all to a 16 year old.

She seems to be giving me the finger. MC definitely working.

Emma got teary eyed - psyching herself out. That's when I told her I did not care how many breaks we took, but we weren't going to stand around complaining or she could go back to the car (Shut up and climb 2,744 steps!) At that point I brought out the SMV (Stern Mom Voice) and things seemed to improve.

Emma is the type of girl who sometimes needs to get behind herself. I mean, don't we all? I could see on her face how much her brain was messing with her every single time she looked at the 2,000+ stairs and the steep incline that lay ahead. There is so much value in realizing in those moments that simply moving forward, no matter how slow, is true progress. These socks help

Emma and I have been in this spot together many times. There have been several 10ks that she desperately wanted to do then basically gave up before she went .25 miles (but did finish). You can read one of these stories HERE. Then there was that time we climbed our first 14,000 foot mountain. This was also something she wanted to do, but lost her gusto about a mile before the summit (she did finish that, too). You can read that story HERE.

My point in this is that Emma represents a bit of all of us. We doubt ourselves. We psych ourselves out. We think we can't do hard things. We think we're not worthy or that everyone else is better than we are. Until we prove ourselves wrong. And, with each time we prove ourselves wrong, we get just a bit more behind ourselves.

In the end we made it. Of course we did. One mile may have taken 1.5 hours, but she/we fought hard for it and the victory was sweet.

We are all a bit sore today (because who normally climbs a 2.744 step stairway?). I love that Emma told me this morning - "I keep looking at pictures of the incline because I can't believe I did it."

Overall my kids never want to do that again. That's okay. I know they'll never forget it. As for me - I can't wait to see how fast I can do it (Apollo Ono did it in 17 minutes, so my goal is obviously 16:59).


Thursday, December 7, 2017

Currently...(Running Edition) and Why This Morning Sucked

This morning has started out beautifully! I overslept because I wore earplugs last night and was completely dead to the world as I dreamed about being in Costa Rica and at the same time hating my car insurance carrier (weird how dreams mix all kinds of shit up that just DOES NOT go together).

I got up 14 minutest late and took Heidi out back for her walk. Leaving our yard, the gate completely fell off its hinges, so I just propped it up, figuring someone would take care of it someday (best to ignore things and they go away).

Can anyone come over today and weld this for me? 

Heidi and I got out to the golf course where she left a humongous pile of poop. It was then I realized I forgot a doggie bag (I was still asleep when I left the house, basically). I was in full view of many houses and didn't want to just leave the poop at the tenth tee. So, I did what anyone in that situation does and got a stick and kebab-ed the poop and threw it in the creek. Fish food!

Never tell me I am not creative.

I came inside to Emma telling me it was hat day at school - she was wearing a Santa hat but there was a huge hole in it (yeah because I let Heidi carry it around and rip holes in it the other 11 months of the year). So, guess what? I sewed that shit up in about 5 minutes with my handy sewing kit I got the last time I stayed at the Wynn in Las Vegas. It is totally worth it to spend $400/night at a hotel because you get a sewing kit and can be your daughter's hero on the spot (I wish I had taken a picture of the sewing job before she left for school - it was really grotesque. I should be better as I used to work at a fabric store in high school and actually made some of my own clothes - why wasn't I more popular???)

All of this happened before 7:28 a.m. and now I'm exhausted. But there is this:

And, this because she is cute AF and I just got her a new collar. #therapydog!

How's your morning?

Wait! Is this a running blog? Yep, it is. Truth is, I've been running a fair amount and not blogging or social media-ing about it (that IS possible!!).

Here's the rundown of "Currently...."

Averaging: 25 to 30 miles per week. I'm running 5 days/week with at least one of those days doing a longer run on trails with elevation gain (1,000-2,000 feet). Here I am doing that:

Dreading: The fact that while it is eerily warm here right now, we will be getting into those 10 degree runs where my butt turns into an ass-icle and my snot freezes in place. It's just the Colorado way.

Planning: Trying to narrow down my races for next year. I wish I had more money. I know there will be a 50K or 50 miler in there (thinking about the Dirty Thirty 50K in June and the Crested Butte Ultra 55K in September).

Drinking: Weird, but I have found my pre-run secret sauce. I've always been a Nuun drinker (and a noon drinker, but that's a different story). I have been having 12 ounces of Nuun before my longer runs and it gives me super powers.

Image result for nuun
Strawberry Lemonade is the key to happiness (with vodka - that's noon drinking)

Racing: Not doing too much of that lately. But, guess what? I did a 10K Turkey Trot a couple of weeks ago and it was my third fastest 10K ever. And, I did this magic trick where I finished in 50:00:00 (fifty minutes, not hours) on the dot. I did that because I am 50. Or, because I got lucky.

Obnoxious Christmas ornament

Contemplating: This would be really f*cking stupid, but I a thinking of entering the lottery to do the Leadville 100 Run in August. I have no business doing that, but I have no business doing many of the things I do (remember how I picked up that poop today?)

Anticipating: Guess what?? Looks like I am going back to Nevis (British Virgin Islands) in March with the Tourism Board to do the Nevis to St. Kitts Channel Swim. It is a 2.5 mile swim from - you guessed it - Nevis to St. Kitts. I'm also hoping to climb Mt. Nevis while I'm there (3,500 feet).

Image result for nevis to st. kitts swim images

Reading: The Blue Zones. Probably why I dreamed about Costa Rica.  The book outlines how the author traveled to places in the world where higher percentages of people enjoy remarkably long, full lives and what the lifestyle choices/patterns are of those people. He considers things like climate, how often you're outside, if you own pets, diet, etc.

You can take the author's happiness test HERE. I am a B+ in happiness.

Image result for blue zones
Ken - why don't we live in Ikaria or Nicoya?? Then I'd be an A++++

Welp, that's all I got today!

What was your "grade" on the happiness test?

What job did you have in high school?

What's one race goal you have for 2018?