|June 6, 2013||Posted by Lauren under LifeontheRun, Pregnancy|
Well…there’s something I need to confess to you.
I didn’t celebrate National Running Day. I didn’t even really acknowledge it.
I also haven’t really been running quite so much lately…or at least my overall mileage has decreased (by a lot).
And even though everything I told you in my post about not running Vermont City was true, I did leave out one little, but important detail.
The detail that explains why I started experiencing back pain on my runs. Why I lost motivation to train. And why (even though I was technically cleared) I decided it was best to sit out of VCM a couple of weekends ago.
Because at the moment — I’m focusing on a different type of training plan. One that’s longer than anything I’ve ever done. And instead of making me fitter and faster, it’ll ultimately make me gain weight and slow down.
A type of training that’s already proven harder than any marathon training plan I’ve ever taken on.
But it does come with a super sweet reward at the end…
Cheese Baby – coming December 2013*!
We’re kinda really excited…
*Yeah, I know it’s kind of early to announce this sort of thing, but I got tired of trying to hide it (aka just not blog ever). Also, it’s really tough to keep something this exciting a secret for so long!
More to come!
|May 31, 2013||Posted by Lauren under LifeontheRun, Running|
Today is our last day of Girls on the Run (GOTR). So we’re skipping the run part and having a little end of season party instead — with snacks, music, certificates, and time devoted to finishing up their community service project. In our case, handmade fleece blankets that the girls want to donate to Boston Children’s Hospital. When I look back over the past 10 weeks or so, I can’t believe how fast it’s all gone…and how quickly these girls touched my heart.
I wasn’t really planning on writing much about my experience with GOTR. I’m a first time coach, so admittedly don’t know as much about the organization as veterans. And I wasn’t sure people would be interested in hearing about it anyway. But, after receiving a few questions and thinking there was a chance others who might want to get involved would like to hear an honest review from someone participating in a rural community, I figured I might as well write something up. I promise that I won’t be offended if you simply “Mark as Read” and move on.
I’m also going to do my best to write this in broad terms so as to respect individual privacy (that also explains why I continue to publish only pictures of the girls’ backs…I just don’t feel right posting pictures of minors without their parents’ permission.
But first let me say — I’m not positive that my experience is completely typical. Vermont is a unique state (and I’m not just saying that because I think it’s one of the best places in the country!). Most of our communities are rural and our schools are small. In Southern Vermont, it’s not uncommon for classrooms to have 10 or fewer kids, or for schools to be regional instead of based in one community. There can also be a huge wealth disparity among kids that go to the same school. At least in my surrounding area, there is a lot of wealth and a lot of poverty — with very little in between. This leads to its own unique set of challenges — challenges that I do think the Vermont council has done an admirable job trying to overcome.
So in order to keep this from becoming a novel (you all know my penchant for wordiness), I’m going to try to present as much as I can in bullet/summary form.
First, some stats:
Program Length: 10 – 12 weeks
Although the standard length is 12 weeks, Vermont has depressingly long winters (not to mention a beautiful mud season) that makes it hard to start until mid/late March (and even then we still had to cancel once because of a snow storm). So we’re approved to hold a 10 week program. Honestly, this felt really short. Not only because of the lessons, but because it’s really hard to build girls up from barely running at all to 5K ready in only 10 weeks. I’m not sure if 4 more sessions would have made a big difference, but I guess there’s a chance…
Time Commitment: 2 days a week, 1.5 – 2 hours per day
Each lesson follows the same format, and it’s all pre-written for you (how closely you choose to stick to it, on the other hand, is up to you). We also had most basic materials provided for us. This means that the prep work outside of practices is pretty minimal, though obviously it does require some time to familiarize yourself with the lesson and tailor it to your unique group.
Lesson Content: daily themes with a run connected to a broader lesson
The GOTR program is designed to get girls active, but it’s about more than just running. So this isn’t really a program for someone interested solely in training. The curriculum focuses on the whole person — improving physical, emotional, mental, spiritual, and social health. Lessons are built around topics to improve the girls’ self-esteem as well as their relationships with others and their community as a whole. The run each day ties into the overarching theme.
I don’t want to get into the curriculum too much, but it does cover a fairly wide range of topics — everything from the importance of physical activity and good nutrition, to dealing with bullies, to overcoming peer pressure, and the importance of giving back to the community.
Observations: let’s start with the negative so we can finish off on a high note.
Things I Didn’t Love
1.) The age difference
This is something unique to my program, but I do feel it deserves a mention. Although the GOTR program is designed for girls in 3rd – 5th grade (with Girls on Track tailored to middle school girls), the elementary school where I coached went up to 6th grade. And was super small. We couldn’t exclude one grade of girls — who would then have no access to another program, since there was no middle school in town. Unfortunately, there is a big difference between a girl in 3rd grade and one in 6th. Not necessarily in their ability (some of our 3rd graders were excellent athletes!), but in maturity levels and issues they deal with on a day-to-day basis. There were certain lessons that could have been easily derailed by our “constantly-needing-to-push-the-limits” 6th grade girls. And topics brought up that I wasn’t prepared to discuss…nor did I feel comfortable talking about in front of 8-year-old (and somehow I don’t think their parents would have appreciated it too much either).
2.) The curriculum
…seems super repetitive! Apparently there are several different formats of the curriculum that GOTRI rotates every year. However, from what I’ve experienced those curricula are not all that different. Not only do I say this because I had an old copy of a book used in a past year to look at (and the biggest difference was a revised workout for the same topic), but also because there were many times when we’d start to introduce a lesson and some of the girls who had been in GOTR before would say “Oh! I know what we’re doing today!!”
I’ll admit that this wasn’t always a bad thing. The girls love certain lessons and were excited for a chance to repeat them. But honestly — if you’re paying for your kid to participate in a program 3 years in a row, I think you’d want them to be exposed to unique lessons and topics. I also don’t know how coaches feel about presenting the same thing year after year, but I can imagine it would get old.
3.) The individual lessons
…can also be repetitive. Although each practice focused on a different topic, some of them (along with their corresponding activity) were incredibly similar. And I can tell you first hand that that doesn’t always hold a girl’s interest. Also, some of the workout activities just didn’t lend themselves to a longer run. The girls got bored quickly, causing us to improvise…or risk the entire practice falling apart.
Another note about the lessons — there were times that I thought certain topics weren’t quite age-appropriate. I don’t know, maybe I’m being naive here, but it didn’t seem right to me to talk about body image issues with 8 year olds (for example) who didn’t seem to have any sense of the concept yet. Why even put that idea in their heads?? Obviously this will vary based on your population, but we had to use some discretion in what was discussed.
4.) The workouts are built on the fact that girls will run laps around a track
But we didn’t have one. The nearest high school was 20 minutes away — not exactly a feasible option for a practice that lasts less than 2 hours. I understand the rational behind this — you can easily keep track of the girls and the distance they are running, but it’s just not realistic for small schools. Also, I can imagine that it would get pretty boring if that’s all you did, day after day.
5.) The program fees
I bring this up with one caveat — in my opinion, the Vermont council does an excellent job of trying to make the program affordable for all families, regardless of economic status. Particularly due to the issues I mentioned above. They subsidize the cost for all participants, and have a large scholarship program (funded by donors, statewide sponsors, and other fundraising efforts) that they’re proud of.
However — it’s not cheap to participate in GOTR. This isn’t an after school program designed to get at-risk/low-income youth involved in something positive. And I’m not sure how well each council fundraises and promotes the scholarship program. So I can see how it could be exclusionary in certain areas of the country.
That brings up another issue that I wish I knew more about — how the financial structure of GOTRI works. I don’t really want to speculate on this (but if anybody reading has more information I’d love if you shared!), but it seems as though each council must operate financially independent of the main Charlotte office. However, I know that councils have to pay a fee to GOTRI to be considered a part of the organization, and I don’t really know where that money goes…or what kind of support the individual councils get besides the curriculum.
Things I Did Love
1.) The focus on each girl moving at her own pace
Again, while it’s called Girls on the Run, this is not a strict running program (which may make it less appealing to some). We had girls at all different levels of fitness participate. A handful of them loved to run, but there were some who needed to be prodded quite a bit to move. One of our girls pretty much walked every single workout. But that was fine by us, as long as she kept moving and tried her hardest. In my mind, any program that encourages kids to be more physically active (no matter what level) is a success.
2.) The sense of pride in being a Girl on the Run
Despite the repetitive lessons and the fact that the girls clearly didn’t love every single activity/workout we had them do, it was clear how much they valued being a Girl on the Run. Most of our older girls had participated since they were in 3rd grade, and wore shirts from past years to almost every practice. They developed their own cheer unique to our group. Supported each other in ways that sometimes made me want to tear up. It was pretty incredible to see.
3.) The increases in self-esteem and confidence as the season went on
Although most of the girls knew each other before joining GOTR (since the school is so small), there were some who were very shy at the beginning of the season. It was wonderful to see them come out of their shells over the course of the past 10 weeks. And I loved watching their confidence blossom — in themselves and their ability to accomplish anything. Girls who had a hard time running at the beginning (or at least had difficulty motivating themselves to do so) surprised themselves by how much they were able to run during the 5K. One of our younger girls told us that the 5K was “life changing” for her — it made her feel good about what she could accomplish and has inspired her to run more.
Another thing that I found particularly noteworthy was the fact that several of our 6th graders were very self-conscious at the beginning (as most 6th graders are). They embarrassed easily, and didn’t want people outside of GOTR to see them doing some of the activities/stretches. But at the end of the season, these same girls rocked their unicorn hats at the 5K with pride.
4.) The focus on the whole person
This goes along with what I said above, but I do appreciate GOTR’s efforts to focus on more than just physical activity. This is such an impressionable time for many girls, and it was wonderful to provide them with a positive space where they were free to be themselves without judgement. We celebrated the unique, encouraged them to find their strength, and always made them feel supported. I hope that the program has a lasting impact on all our girls.
5.) Certain lessons
I know I complained a bit about the lessons above, but there were some lessons that I really loved. Sometimes the girls had so much fun with them it was hard not to. And other times I just loved the overall message. On Wednesday, as a way to wrap up the end of the year, we did a lesson around celebrating each girl’s unique gifts. In the warm up activity, one girl sat in a chair with her back to the group. One at a time, each girl ran up to the one in the chair and told her something she appreciated/admired/liked about that girl. Everyone got a chance to sit in the chair and hear their teammates say nice things about them. It was so wonderful to see the bounce in each girl’s step as she returned from the chair. Seriously — smiling from ear to ear and filled with confidence. At the very end, the coaches got to take a turn in the chair, and the things some of the girls told me brought tears to my eyes. As far as activities meant to build people up go, this was one of my favorites.
6.) The creativity and flexibility of my co-coach
Obviously this varies from program to program, but I was thankful that my co-coach wasn’t a stickler about the lessons. She’s been doing this for years and I was lucky to be able to learn from a program veteran. Sometimes we were forced to tweak the workout a bit because of our location. Since we didn’t have a track, we ran laps around the school or village, did out and back loops on the walking trails through town, and got in a couple of trail runs (which the girls loved more than anything). Other times, we improvised based on our group and how we thought the lesson would go over. If you ever coach GOTR, you get to know the dynamics of your group pretty quickly. You generally know what will hold their attention and what workouts they will be able to handle. If you’re willing to be flexible and go off book a bit, I think you’ll have greater success…and ultimately have more fun with it. (Although maybe GOTRI would disagree…haha).
7.) The 5K
I talked about this in my last post, so won’t elaborate too much. But the final event was so well-organized. Every single girl had a blast running, and I loved that I was able to run with them (which, as I learned from Gabby, is apparently not true of all programs).
Well, that ended up being a lot longer than I had intended…and yet I still feel like I’m leaving things out!
In summary, I’m very thankful to have been able to volunteer with GOTR and hope to stay involved with the organization. Despite my reservations (which really aren’t all that huge), the most important thing about the program is its impact on the girls who participate. I have firsthand experience with the incredibly positive impact running can have on a young girl’s life, and I loved being a part of something that shares that with other girls. It was clear that our girls loved being involved and grew both as individuals and as a group over the course of the season. I’m definitely interested to see if anything is different next year as a return coach, and/or if some of my perspectives change.
I’d love to know if you have more specific questions/input! I know my experience may be different from coaches in other states, but I can at least give you my honest opinion on things.
|April 23, 2013||Posted by Lauren under LifeontheRun|
It’s only Tuesday, but this week has already felt so long. I guess when you compare it to the never-ending horror of the week before it shouldn’t feel that way at all. But truthfully, between everything that happened — the bombing, the explosion in West Texas, the devastating earthquake in China, and the tense manhunt on Friday — I only just now feel like I’m coming up for air (I’m sure many others feel the same).
It doesn’t help that we’re moving on Saturday and still have a ton left to do. And on top of all that, I’m currently trying to cut back on my caffeine intake (no, I have nothing against caffeine. But I think drinking less of it every single day can ultimately help my running. More on that later…). Probably not the best time to start this ridiculous challenge. But whatever, I’m already committed.
The problem is, the world doesn’t seem quite so bright without my beloved caffeine coursing through my veins (…sign of a true addict…).
So today’s post is brought to you in bullet form.
- It was really moving to see the way that runners from all over the country came together and participated in various #BostonStrong events last night. You’ll be surprised to hear that there wasn’t an official run in “The Middle of Nowhere” Vermont, so I went out on a little Boston run of my own…decked out in my lovely bright yellow shirt from 2009. Not quite the same, but it was nice to take time to reflect on the events of the past week. I know it’ll be a long road ahead, but I pray that the people of Boston are healing.
There are many ways you can help the victims of Monday’s bombings, including making a donation to the The One Fund Boston
- Training is….still going. Last week’s runs were kind of a free-for-all. Despite trying several times, I just couldn’t muster up the motivation to get through any speed work. So I scrapped any plans to run fast and simply focused on running. I’m not going to lie — it felt good not to worry about my pace at all for a few days. Plus, last week just seemed to call for difficulty in the form of tackling hills, not mile repeats.
- We’ll be one month out from Vermont City Marathon this weekend. I cannot believe it’s coming so fast. I can’t say that I feel truly ready yet, but here’s hoping a few hard weeks of training changes that.
- Last Saturday I came downstairs, looked around, and was hit by the realization that we were moving in exactly one week and had absolutely nothing packed. I swore to myself I wasn’t going to procrastinate this time around, but here we are…down to the last days and scrambling to finish. The pressure is on — we have some very official movers coming on Saturday (aka the in-laws) and I’m not so sure Evan’s mom will be thrilled at the prospect of packing up our bedrooms for us.
- I have moved almost every year since college. In case you’re wondering, that adds up to…a lot of moves. All of these moves have been done sans movers – just myself and whatever unlucky friends/family we’ve been able to recruit with the promise of free pizza and beer. You’d think that after all this time I’d have basically become a professional. But nope. My hatred for packing burns stronger than ever.
- Evan sat me down this weekend to make a list of “packing tasks.” He wanted to assign one room to each day in order to make packing up an entire house seem a little more manageable.
Or at least that’s what I’m assuming he was doing. I was too busy trying to escape.
- It’s not just packing for moves, mind you. Whenever I have to pack to go anywhere, I’m scrambling at the last minute…throwing whatever I can into the suitcase (because who knows what you might need!).
This…every single time.
- I’m trying to take a more organized approach this time around, but I just know that Friday night is going to roll around and all hell will break loose. I’ll be throwing everything that’s left into the same box. Good luck trying to find the kitchen stuff later.
- I am really really going to miss our tiny little town. The sadness has hit me more than once in the past week. Don’t get me wrong — I’m excited to get into our new house. And to live in a place with just a few more people that are actually in town year-round. But I’m going to miss the quaintness. The trails that are basically right out our back door. The views. And of course, the easy access to the best cheese in the entire world.
Koli reflects on his time here
- Fortunately we aren’t moving all that far away. A half hour is easy driving distance anywhere — in Vermont, that’s basically your standard trip to the grocery store.
Green is finally returning to the Green Mountain State
Good luck to everyone racing this weekend! I’ll be thinking of you while I’m having the best time lugging boxes up and down the stairs.
|April 2, 2013||Posted by Lauren under LifeontheRun|
A brain dump update. Because life lately has been filled with more ‘living’ than blogging.
And life lately…
Has been changing. Maybe not as quickly (or as much!) as I would like, but it’s happening. And that’s a good thing. I love the feeling of forward progress. Of taking concrete steps toward a goal. This winter I felt a little like I was stuck in limbo. It’s nice to be walking forward again. I’m sure it helps that I can finally feel the season changing around me (despite the current sub-freezing temperatures and high winds).
Celebrating spring…and birthdays!
Evan and I are moving at the end of this month. We aren’t going far, but I’m anticipating the move with that strange mix of dread and excitement that happens when you have a lot of unpleasant tasks to complete before you get to a really exciting outcome. I love the tiny touristy town in Southern Vermont that we’ve called home for the past year. It’s the town that inspired our move north, the town where we were married, where we had (have) our first house together…where we fuel our addiction to cheddar cheese and McNeill’s beer. The village is quiet and quaint and truly everything you would picture a Vermont postcard to be. With white houses, covered bridges, a stately inn, a post office that also serves as the town hall right in the center, and a handful of residents that know everything about everybody else. It’s been a fun retreat, but we’re ready for a change.
And the unfortunate truth about it all is this: no place on this earth is as perfect as the pictures make it seem. When you live in a teeny tiny picturesque place for awhile, some of the magic starts to wear off. And you start discovering layers and politics that you wish you never knew. This place will forever be one of my favorites on this earth…but some of the shine has worn off (if that makes sense). Which is totally fine and expected, but I’m ready to move to a community with just a few more people.
I won’t be leaving this town behind completely though, because Girls on the Run is starting this week! We’re a little late to start in Southern VT, but you can blame all the snow for that. I’ve been wanting to get involved in the program for a long time, and started the process of becoming a coach as soon as we moved to Vermont last summer. This will be my first year coaching and I really can’t wait. It’s going to be a fun couple of months.
In other running news…
Training finally feels like it’s coming together. I’m not at the downhill section yet, but I’d like to think that I’m getting closer and closer to the top of that hill. I finally came to the obvious and important realization that the biggest thing holding me back this training cycle was my mental game…not my lack of physical strength. This is not rocket science or a new discovery, but it’s really a game changer when you finally accept it. More about that later though.
That being said, it’s not always a steady climb. Last week I had the best long run of this training cycle – 18 strong and hilly miles that I was able to finish fast and with energy left in the tank. The kind of long run that gets you excited about marathon training and does wonders for your confidence.
This was sandwiched in between two of the best workouts I’ve had in a long time – a tempo run where I felt like I could run faster and go forever, and a fast hill workout that gave me the type of runner’s high usually only reserved for a goal race.
But then, because running isn’t always easy (and sometimes the universe is cruel), I was hit by a nasty cold that just about knocked me out at the end of last week. This happens fairly often around the time the seasons change, but that doesn’t make it any easier to handle. I know the standard advice is to run when the sickness is above the neck and rest when it’s below but seriously — it’s hard to run long when you can’t breathe. So between that and a packed Easter weekend with my visiting parents, I turned this last week into a cutback week. The goal was to run 14 – 15 easy miles. 10.6 miles of struggle later, I deemed it a “super cutback” and called it a day. Sure, I maybe could have pushed through for a few more miles (or at least another 0.4 to make it an even 11), but to what end? Although my legs felt okay, everything else just felt really off and I spent the entire run counting down the miles until it was over. Sometimes you gotta know when to fold them. This weekend I’ve got 20 miles on the schedule — time to look ahead and focus on that.
Even with this little setback, I find myself excited to really dig in to these next few weeks of training. That’s how I know that things have really turned around. I’ve got a few hard weeks coming up, including my first race of 2013 (finally!!) sandwiched in between two 20-milers. It’ll be tough, but I find myself eager to tackle it (instead of being swallowed by fear and dread). I’m ready to push my body. I’m ready to feel the fatigue of heavy marathon training. And most of all, I’m ready to race again. I can’t wait to feel the pain (and that is how you know that running has made you insane…)
I’ll be running the Half Marathon Unplugged on April 13th – the same weekend many of you will be heading to Boston. It’s a relatively small race and promises to be both scenic and flat. While I’m not really expecting to be PR-ready, I am excited to put my training to the test. I wanna make it hurt.
Plus, you really can’t beat a $30 entry fee for a half marathon.
8 weeks until VCM. Let’s do this.
|March 18, 2013||Posted by Lauren under LifeontheRun|
The snow is melting, the rivers are thawing, and puddles of mud are forming everywhere I look.
Spring is finally coming.
Or at least that’s what they tell me. The current temperature and winter storm warming in Vermont sort of suggests otherwise…
But I’ve got to believe that change is in the air. And I am slowly making my way out of the internet hibernation I’ve been hiding in these past couple of weeks. When I posted about going to Florida, I didn’t actually mean for that to signify that I was leaving the entire internets behind for awhile. But truthfully, sometimes a break from it all feels really good. The best thing about having a blog that’s only a hobby is that there’s never any real pressure to post. So I just kept waiting until I actually had the urge to write something. Which just so happens to be today (aren’t you all lucky?)
Whenever there’s been any sort of significant break, it feels kind of weird to jump right back in with some post about whatever running rambles are in my head at the moment. So instead, here’s a brief update about what I’ve been up to. You know, all those things that only my family and I actually care about, but I take time to blog about anyway…
I spent a week getting a glimpse at life as a stay-at-home Mom. Parts of it were incredibly fun, but other parts…not so much (you know, like dealing with home renovation fiascoes in my sister’s new house for two days and being stuck at home while things are getting installed). And it gave me an even greater respect for mothers who somehow manage to work out regularly on top of getting a bunch of real tasks accomplished in one day. It’s amazing how fast a day can pass with a baby and you’ve got nothing to show for it.
One of the best parts about my time with my niece? A relaxing 10.5 mile run we took together. Well…I did the running while she took a good hard nap.
I love my sister’s Bob stroller, but it’s not easy to run pushing another person…even a mini-one! (Yes, I realize this is not news to anyone.) I have never been more thankful to run along completely flat roads (the wind in FL, however, is a completely different story!). And despite how tough/awkward the run felt at times, I actually really loved the company. It was kind of fun knowing I had someone along for the ride.
We introduced Leah to the joy that is self-serve Frozen Yogurt. She loved it…clearly
I somehow managed to get tendinitis in my elbow…or, you know, that tendon that connects your tricep to your elbow. As a result of this super fun injury, I spent over a week with an arm so swollen that I couldn’t even bend it enough to brush my own teeth.
How does a runner managed to injure her arm? Well…I don’t really want to talk about it. Okay, fine. I was stupid and stubborn. My sister somehow persuaded me to join her for a CrossFit class and I have way too much pride to give up on a workout that I know is probably just a little too much for the girl who begrudgingly lifts only twice a week. So yeah, CrossFit’s no joke. And you should probably take some legit introductory courses first. My sister just completed an 8-week CrossFit challenge and is seriously in the best shape of her life. It’s impressive. But I think I’ll stick to running for now.
One more picture because she’s just so stinkin’ cute…
Not only does this kid recognize herself in the iPhone camera, but she also knows how to take selfies. At 6 months old. Babies amaze me.
Speaking of which…running lately has had its ups and downs. Do you ever have a week when your legs just feel flat and your paces seem off? And no matter what you do, every run just seems way more difficult than it should be? Well, that was me this last week. Slow running, failed speed workouts, and lots of frustration. I’m trying not to get discouraged and just chalk it up to an “off” week. At least we had a few days of warmer temperatures and awesome running weather thrown in there amongst the wind and cold. Today marks the start of a new week, which means a chance to start fresh.
On a related note, I’m no longer running for Saucony. It’s not something I really want to go into at the moment, but I feel like in the interest of full disclosure, I should let you all know. Ultimately, it’s a good thing. I love Saucony products (and stand by my claim that the Mirage3s are the greatest shoes ever created), but this does give me a little more freedom in what I talk about on HOtR. In all honesty there are a lot of great running companies out there doing some really cool things. I’ve been sort of silently watching this past year as small companies like Oiselle have taken the social media/female running world by storm, creating a community of athletes that really seem to support each other. It’s cool to see that kind of thing between companies and their runners.
But I will miss wearing this uniform…
Winter in Vermont has kicked my butt. Figuratively, literally, physically, emotionally…and other kind of “ly” you can think of. I’m from New England. I’m used to snow and cold and ice and wind. But what I’m not used to is all of those things plus dreariness and isolation. To say that this past winter has been harder than expected would be an understatement.
HOWEVER – I survived (or am surviving. It’s not really over yet). And although I’m generations away from ever being considered a true Vermonter, surviving a winter here earns me some points in my Vermont cred, right? Maybe?
Plus, despite the difficulty of winter time, I have loved every single chance we’ve had to go skiing. I feel really lucky that I’ve gotten to ski more this past winter than I have in my entire adult life combined. And I’ll freely admit that this has taken a toll on my marathon training. I’ve sacrificed runs and fresh legs for another day on the slopes. I know full well that I could’ve worked harder this winter and that I willingly chose not to. But honestly – I don’t regret it in the least. It’s just where I am in life, I guess. Sometimes you want to put everything else on the sidelines for the sake of training and the pursuit of a goal. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with that. But other times, for whatever reason, it’s just not worth it. Skiing has really been the only thing that has gotten me through the cold dreary months up here. And the only thing I’ll miss once all the snow finally melts.
That being said, the season is coming to a close. And race season has officially begun. Hearing about everyone’s early spring races, watching runners I know and the women I coach improve by leaps and bounds, seeing the hard work so many have put in over these past few months finally pay off — well, that’s enough to give me the racing bug again. The itch to race is stronger than it’s been all year. And I hope to find myself on a starting line in the (very) near future.