I confess. I have no athletic goals for 2014. Well, that’s not exactly true. I’ve signed up for some things, but I haven’t been “training” specifically for anything. Nada. Nil. Nothing. Honestly, after leaving Ride The Rockies early last summer due to my mom’s battle with Multiple Myeloma, I’ve been slightly distracted. It’s amazing what happens when a family member takes ill. Everything else falls by the wayside, including caring for myself. Last fall, when my mom was hospitalized, I had been running 7 miles and had signed up for the Soldier Field 10 Mile Race for May 2014 and hoped to beat my last run from 2011. Well, I’m currently building my base back up at 2-3 miles because I haven’t run regularly since October. Everyone says you have to take care of yourself when you’re in a crisis mode for someone else, but that is easier said than done. I could not even think about myself when my mom was in the hospital. It felt selfish and a waste of time since I could be with her and talk to doctors. But it’s true. You have to take care of yourself because you need to be strong for the person you’re caring for. In December, I started riding on the trainer indoors and running on the treadmill but nowhere near the amount or regularity one needs to adequately participate in an race.
So what did I do? I signed up with my husband to ride a century for Tour de Cure for the American Diabetes Foundation. I get an early season goal to achieve and raise money for a good cause that effects 26 million people. SO—if you’d like to contribute to Tour De Cure please follow this link http://tour.diabetes.org/site/TR?px=9905620&pg=personal&fr_id=9382&s_src=email_tour&s_subsrc=autoresponder-forward. I truly appreciate it.
Today I went a little out of my box and am the better person for it. I got an email about Danny Abshire running a workshop at a local Tri shop near my house. Ok, the truth is you could win a free pair of Newton running shoes, and I thought, well gee whiz, I could use a new pair of those! Anyway, I wear Newtons, and I like them very much. So I figured, what they hey? Why not go check it out.
Although I didn’t know anyone and kinda felt like an awkward 13 year old walking into a new school, I forced myself to make small talk and hoped the shmoozing would be quick. Danny was extremely friendly and really talked about the basics of foot strike, gait and running form. Honestly, I’ve never had anyone assess my form in person, so I was curious as to getting a professional opinion. We all sampled the 2013 Newton Gravity shoes which had a different feel than my 2011 Newton stability shoes. I was pleased when one of his assistants inspected the bottoms of my shoes and said I must have great form since I’m running them down in all the right places.
There were about 25 people and he took us outside to a parking lot to teach us a few drills focusing on form and efficient running. I know I have a mid-foot strike, but I’ll tell you, to hear how great my form is from professional kinda validates me. I never thought about running at 180 beats per minute and coordinating the timing with drills was easier than I expected. It was also VERY effective. I can be a shuffler at times, and as soon as he said lift up my knees just a half inch, it made all the difference in the world.
Although I didn’t even win a visor not to mention the swanky sneaks, the drills were invaluable, and it was nice to get out of my daily routine and try something different. I even went home and ran outside which I haven’t done the entire winter. Better late then not at all!
Last week on a run, I decided to take pictures using Instagram. I’m amazed at the high quality of photos people take using it and the subtle use of filters can really enhance a photograph. Anyway, I wanted to take pictures of beautiful flowers because as a person with a brown thumb, I am always impressed with anyone who gardens or grows something beautiful when I usually kill stuff.
A clear, sunny day, I turned onto a street that I usually pass. I’m so glad I did because I came across a yard that was definitely worth checking out. I asked the elderly gentleman if he’d mind if I took some photos of his beautiful garden. He unlatched the gate, invited me in, and walked me around pointing out different flowers, how he acquired them, and how unenthusiastic he was about tending such a glorious place since losing his wife six weeks ago.
He told me he’s had several people stop by to admire it, so I’m hoping he doesn’t give up. He told me to stop by again and if there are tools out, get some work done. I warned him of my brown thumb, but he didn’t seem to think I’d be too dangerous.
My pictures don’t do these beauties justice, but just knowing they’re close by and on my run path, makes me want to keep running, and possibly pull some weeds.