Strength & Grace

I see a lot of people choosing a word to focus on for the year. We all know I have a stellar track record for streaks and making year long goals. (That was heavy sarcasm!)

I’ve chosen a word before. Don’t ask me what it was or what year I attempted this challenge. Challenge? Is that the right word? Activity? Goal? Whatever.

The word GRACE has been heavy in the front of my mind lately. I need to give myself grace. We all need to give ourselves grace. Empathy for our fellow humans and for ourselves. The world is hard right now. Getting up and setting a positive intention for the day despite all the obstacles and frustrations of the world is something most of us are facing.

I want to give myself grace. But I also want to build strength this year. That word popped into my head this morning during my treadmill run. I feel strong after just a week of refocusing on running AND XTing. I want to continue to feel strong.Strength of body. Strength of mind. STRENGTH.

So there ya go. Strength & Grace. 2022.

Let’s Get Vulnerable

I’m struggling. And I’ve been struggling for a while now. My fitness journey is not something I’m proud of anymore.

Even hitting 1000 miles running last year was a bit anticlimactic, because there was a dark cloud attached to it. (Yeah…I did it. 1000 miles in a year. *insert sarcastic woohoo here* I was going to blog about it, but I didn’t. Because mental health is weird and frustrating. I can’t even share the successes.)

I may catch some flack for this, because I’m going to talk about numbers and the “dreaded” scale. But for me, it’s a thing. I don’t play the muscle is more dense than fat card. I know I’ve lost muscle, because I can SEE it and I can FEEL it.

This is 2014/2015 Neon Runner Girl.

What does that Neon Runner Girl have that today’s doesn’t?

She only worked parttime. She had “more time.” But she also had little people which limited her time. Today’s NRG just has excuses.

She had less stress, depression, and anxiety. Her mother was still alive.

She had better control over her portions and cravings. She ate less processed food. She drank WAY less alcohol.

She’s really tan. Hello vitamin D!

She ran LESS. She did PiYo. She rode her road bike and loved it. She hopped in the pool and did an actual swim workout a few times per month.

She also weighted TWENTY…yes 2-0…pounds less.

I NEVER thought I would be able to weigh that much. I maintained (+/- 5lbs) for almost 3 years.

I actually said that number out loud recently to a friend who responded with shock. “Are you serious? Where on your body did you put on weight? You look the same.”

I used to tell myself that too. “You look the same.” I’m lying to myself. I don’t look the same. My arms lack tone. My belly is softer. My legs aren’t as lean. At my lowest weight, which was HEALTHY, I wore size 4. XS tops were loose. I was TINY. I was muscular. I was poised for a big PR in the half marathon.

So the questions now are what happened and what can I do to get back there?

What happened?

Life. Excuses. My mother’s death. Food sensitivities forcing me to change my diet.

What can I do to get back there?

PiYo. Bike. Swim. Control portions. Control cravings. No mindless snacking. No binge eating after dinner. More water. NO ALCOHOL. Move more. Meditate more.

I can do this. I can find that girl again.

It will be harder this time. But I think I’m ready for the challenge. Writing it all down publicly is something I’ve thought about, something I’ve tried to do in the last two years. But I’ve hid behind my perceived fitness. People think I’m fit, so I’m “ok” with my body. But I know I can do more. I can feel better. Because right now, I don’t feel good. I miss that girl.

Thanks for listening. Thanks for encouraging.

Are you surprised?

I got asked this question recently when discussing my boys’ success in cross country. For a moment, I had a negative thought and asked for clarification. “What do you mean ‘am I surprised’?”

Well…you and your husband are athletic. You run. Of course, your boys are following in your footsteps.

Full stop.

Yes, my husband is athletic. But he’s ball sport athletic…football, basketball, tennis, racketball, ultimate frisbee, softball, track (mostly throwing and fat man relays). He’s also one helluva a cyclist…a point he argues with me frequently. Running isn’t his favorite.

Me on the other hand…I was not athletic growing up. I got a black eye during coach pitch softball. I leaned into the pitch apparently. I went out for track in middle school and quit when the shin splints hurt too much. I was overweight nearly my entire adolescence and early adulthood. I didn’t letter in anything in high school…zero letters.

So, when my freshman son letters in his first high school activity…yeah…it’s a big deal to this mama who learned how to be athletic later in life. The mama who learned the value of a good sweat session and that running endless miles for fun can be incredibly therapeutic and in more ways than one literally saved my life.

So yeah…I’m surprised. And grateful. And happy. And proud. So proud.


154.28 miles left to run to hit 1000 miles run in 2021. 71 days left. Barring a complete and total disaster, I’d say I have it in the bag.

This is the 7th year I set the goal to run 1000 miles in 365 days. 6 failed attempts. I’d be lying if I said those six failures didn’t sting quite a bit. They sting a lot. I have so many running goals that are starting to feel more and more like pipe dreams. Unattainable.

Sub-2 hour half marathon.
A marathon time in the low 4:xx.
A sub-25 minute 5K.

Am I too old for these big time dreams? Have I peaked?

And then there’s the goals that I’ve been focusing on lately…
Running for 365 without injury.
Focusing on my mental health and finding where running.
Using running as a way to stay connected with my mother and process my grief.

And of course…there’s my coach work…which to me is a million times more rewarding than my own running.

I’ve got five athletes that look to me for guidance and direction. I may not have my own running figured out, but I love watching their training come together for PRs and smiles at the finish.

Stay Neon.

Can we start over?

Of course, I could be referring to so many things. The first thing that’s likely to come to your mind is this darn year. Is this cliche yet? To complain about 2020. But really…2020…I had such high hopes.

Anyway…I kind of want to start blogging over again.

I keep logging in to wordpress and feedly. I open a fresh blog page, type a couple of sentences (not dissimilar from these), and then close it. I scan feedly and become quickly overwhelmed by the dozens of posts that I’m behind on reading. I miss blogging, and I miss bloggers.

Why don’t I return to the blog and just start writing again? I think part of it is a fear of being inadequate. What do I really have to share? Does anyone really read this? Maybe another part is that I struggle so much with so many things. I’m imperfect. I see so many bloggers as having their perfect little brands and their message and their perfectly curated content, and I’m a little green with envy.

However, 2020 has definitely taught us that life isn’t perfect. It’s messy. It’s frustrating. But it’s also WORTH LIVING.

So here’s my life…one big, happy, frustrating, glorious mess. I’m living it, and I’m grateful. And I’m back to blogging. At least for today. We’ll see what tomorrow brings.