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Thoughts

I have so much internal dialogue, but much of it is mindless chatter. Not worth putting out there for the public. The cobwebs of the day at one time were lifted when I had my morning run, but when I began experiencing morning sickness in the early stages of pregnancy, the fire, that passion, that need, that persistence vanished along with it. In the meantime, I am left with the internal dialogue. Some of it comes in a negative form, which is a constant battle to overturn and create something positive.

On a different note, I know it will reappear after the arrival of our long awaited baby… a baby girl. I’m beginning to wonder if there will ever be a baby boy in our future. I feel like I’ve been pregnant FOREVER! I’m currently 32 weeks, so I basically have a month to go. It’s been a little rough. Sleeping at times feels nonexistent. She’s my fourth baby, so I do know what it’s like once the baby is out of my belly. We haven’t chosen a name yet, but here are a couple we have tossed around. There’s Brooke (meaning small stream) and Sasha (defender or helper of mankind). No other names have made the cut, so we are definitely open to suggestions.

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Thoughts of a Journal Hoarder

0924EB1C-3BB9-499E-9C64-AD72753743F0.jpegI surround myself with notebook after notebook. None seem to stick. I enjoy the newness of the pages. The cover of the journal and a hope that this time I’ll finish writing in every last page, but then another catches my attention.  All of those blank pages, inviting me, telling me, pleading with me to come and write my story among its pages. This time it will be satisfying. This time I will tell all my truths. This time someone will read my musings and see and feel the things that I said and did and make my journey a part of theirs.

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Passport Photo Woes…

First of all, I haven’t traveled over seas since I was 8 yrs old (Manila, Philippines). I had to update my passport…I’m not happy with the picture. With the new passport picture requirements, they need full facial recognition which requires you not to smile, hair tucked behind your ears and no low-cut shirts. I’m telling you this, because I stopped in to get my photo taken at Walgreen’s a couple months before Chile and they had me adjust everything on me. Mind you my shirt was not low-cut, but somehow showed my nude colored bra underneath my black scoop neck tee. The solution: grabbing the first shirt I could find in a pile of souvenir tees in an XL.

Picture this, the color of the tee shirt is Army green with Hernando County in bold white lettering and it’s way too big for me, so the collar was pulled to one side. It’s not a subtle look, because you can see my collar bone. It looks like I got shoved in front of the camera and then click, the picture has been taken.  There’s no, “Hey! Can I see that?” By the way, don’t ask the Walgreen’s photo specialist, if you look okay. They won’t tell you that you need to fix your borrowed shirt. I had my hair tucked behind my ears (I was also experiencing some weird allergic reaction on one of my ears, so it was red and felt like it was pulsating), add my non-smiling face … I look like the newest inmate at a women’s prison. No joke. I didn’t have time to retake, so here my picture sits for the next 10 years. Oh well…at least I can travel the world. ❤

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I Don’t Understand the Words Coming Out of Yo Mouth!

I remember going on trips to visit my cousins in Huntington Beach, CA, my birthplace, where they would gather together at my 2nd cousin’s house and eat lumpia, eat cow’s heart, ox tails and sticky rice wrapped in banana leaves. I’d go hang out with my cousin Norman and we would watch TV in the back room. There wasn’t anything we could go do and we didn’t have a lot in common. He understood Tagalog, but couldn’t speak it and I didn’t understand it or speak it. The only Tagalog my mom spoke was either in curse words or calling me anak (meaning my child).

My other cousins who were older, spoke fluently. They would ask me something in Tagalog and then I’d look at my mom with a blank stare. I don’t know why, but every visit was plagued with the question,”You didn’t teach her how to speak Tagalog?” They would sigh and revert back to English, just for my understanding pleasure.

I sound like a foreigner to what seems by looking at me should be a natural thing. You’re Filipina? So, you speak Tagalog.  No, I wish I did. When she came to America, she wanted to have a daughter who spoke American English without an accent. Coming from a mother who speaks five languages, it kind of makes me angry. I’ve tried taking the “bull by the horns” and learning it through Rosetta Stone, but I think I need to make more Filipino/Filipina friends, so I can converse with them. How does one even do that? Hey, can you be my friend? I want to learn my peoples language.

I’ve tried this with my mom, but she just cackles at me. Yeah, not very encouraging. Hopefully somebody in my blogosphere will read this. I’m interested, so please help a sista out!

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You Know My Name, But Not My Story

Did I get your attention? I heard the title of this post from my nearly 14 yr old daughter a few months ago for the first time. She says it to me every once in a while, to stop me from going all Mominator on her. She knows it makes me laugh and she starts/finishes her chores without complaints.

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Do you see some people you know? This is my other family. It’s my ultra tribe (not all of them are pictured here). The term family extends beyond my immediate one. And I will tear up anytime I think of them, don’t worry they are all happy tears. They have all completed ultra events. Ultras are not to be confused with marathons. They are distances from 50k-100 miles +.  There is a transcendent effect that reaches the spiritual. but it’s something that can only be experienced in those magical miles. 50 miles is where mine took place and went even further after completing 100 miles. Again, the journey doesn’t stop there. Once you run 100 miles, you’ll want to run another and once that happens, you can never go back. You won’t want to or rather you’ll want to but there’s not denying that feeling of Zen. 

You want to learn about yourself? Run 100 miles. 

Here’s a brief timeline when it occurred. I was new to running, training for my first marathon (on a training plan), reading everything I could find on running, form, nutrition, and gear, when I came across Ultramarathon Man by Dean Karnazes. 50 miles? 100 miles? What the freak? I wanted to know more. I watched “Running on the Sun” and read Pam Reed’s The Extra Mile. I was hungry.

In 2008, after my first marathon, I went to my running sage, Paul (owner of Fleet Feet in Bonney Lake and Tacoma) and talked to him about Karnazes. He stopped me and said, “But have you heard of Scott Jurek?” Nope I hadn’t. Most importantly I wanted to run my first ultra.

You can run Chuckanut Mountain Race. That’s next month. If you can do a marathon you do this. 

I ran it in 6:45. I went back to the store after a few days, (4 miles of an unforgiving downhill left me hurting as I crawled up and down our two-story home).

So, when can I run 50 miles?

I’m putting together a 50 mile event from the base of Mt. Rainier to Ruston in Tacoma. You can run that. 

I looked at him like he had horns growing out of his head.

You’ll be fine. If you can run a 50k you can run 50 miles. It’s all mental. 

It’s all mental.

I have taken his words to heart and shared them with many who have begun their new life in the ultra world, which include my husband. Sometimes he listens, but most times he learns from experience, which has been the best teacher. I have had my share of humble pie and have watched others who come back to earth after a DNF. It’s tough, but we learn and grow. It has shaped me into the person I’m still becoming.

With all that said, I’m wanting to start a blog series on some of the living legends, who have taught me a thing or two about ultras. I’ll be reaching out to Amy Costa, Terri Hayes, George Maxwell, Matt Mahoney, Jim Schroeder, Dan Miller, Gary Griffin, Stephanie Miller, Bernadette DuBois and the young and talented Andy Matthews. I have many other folks in mind, so continue to stay tuned. I hope they accept my invitation. I’m not sure on the frequency, but I know it will all come together.  If you have suggestions of other living legends that you’ve shared some miles with, let me know. In the mean time, happy running!

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Hold Captive Your Thoughts

Today’s run started off with doubts about certain aspects in my life… but usually I think of all the people in my life. I begin with my immediate family and then my mind wanders to my friends that are like family (I’m an only child, but not the kind you have pictured in your head).

Some people I’ve met in school, or at races, and others I’ve only had the pleasure of meeting through social media. I think of Jane in Australia and her take on tri and running… and her puppies. I think of Rose and check in to see what ultra she’s training for next. I think of Roberta in San Diego, pulling her tire and of Catra with her adorable doxie Truman…running her next ultra. If I mention everybody, you’ll all get bored and stop reading. Just know, I think of you.

I think about your struggles with health and others you hold dear. I get teary eyed at this point of a run and before my mind runs amuck, I have to take a deep breath and say, “God’s got this!”

Words have more power than you realize. So, before you open your mouth to speak words of fear, doubt, anxiety and any other negative thought, I have a little exercise I do in my head. I repeat the words “Hold captive your thoughts.” It stops me from all sorts of bad news thoughts even before I get out of bed. I’ve been practicing this for a month and then some. You wouldn’t believe how much my perspective on life has changed. Here’s just a few examples, but I’m sure you get the picture.

But…Hold Captive Your Thoughts

What if…Hold Captive Your Thoughts

I’m scared that…Hold Captive Your Thoughts

I’m not sure…Hold Captive Your Thoughts

I don’t know…Hold Captive Your Thoughts

Any uncertainties wash away and I’m left with a type of peace that consumes my soul because whether you like it or not God’s got this, but you have to do some work on your part as well and it begins with your thought life. You can start right now if you’re up to the challenge. Let me know how it goes!

 

 

 

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Thoughts on the Run

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Sunrise never gets old. 

4 miles: I’m definitely doing some yoga tomorrow.

4.2 miles: Is that a squirrel? Gummy bears. I need gummy bears!

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4.3 miles: Nope. It’s that plant. Gets me every time!

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4.5 miles: Yes to yoga, but first a 50k today!

5 miles: I really want to get my nose re-pierced. I should call Megan!

5.5 miles: I’m gonna do a 50k!

6 miles: Yeah, I’m only doing 20. This sand sucks!

6.2 miles: I love the sand! Especially on the down hill. I would totally do Wild Sebastian. Sand isn’t that bad.

6.3 miles: That is going to suck going back up. What is that awful smell? Landfill. Note to self: not running out this way again. Stinky and a little sketchy. I should have brought my pepper spray.

6.3-7 miles: What? I’ve only gone how far… C’mon! Ooh someone lost their keys to their four-wheeler. I’ll put that right up here.

7.5 miles: Yep. Definitely just 20 today. Would people just stop dumping their garbage out here!

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8 miles: I’m done with this area. I’m taking the rest of my miles to Suncoast Trail. I miss seeing people. Maybe I’ll finish my run out here and have Oscar pick me up in Brooksville…

10 miles: Yea, Suncoast Trail. Asphalt, I’ve never been this happy to see you!

 

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12 miles: Nope. I’m turning around. I’m tired of these cyclists and I don’t like running on asphalt. I miss my ultra tribe. Okay sand, I’m coming back for you.

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13 miles: Crossing Ponce de Leon is scary business.

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17 miles: Is that Oscar?

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17 miles: Yea, it is Oscar!!!!

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18 miles: Is that L?

18.5 miles: Yep, that’s her!

19 miles: C’mon L, you’ve gotta run! Walking will just keep you out here longer.

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She’s a speck in the background.

19.5 miles: I feel like Frodo running through the neighborhood after a big adventure on the trails.

20 miles: Glad I made the decision not to go run another 10ish miles. I’m good. I think I’ll go pick up L. She was walking a slugs pace out there.

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She was relieved to see me and caught off guard. She had just watched a CSI episode where a girl was kidnapped, because she was test driving some random guys vehicle. I asked her what she would you do in that situation? She says, “I’d kick and scream.” and I said, “How about not get in the car in the first place!”

More notes to self: Didn’t pack enough Skratch or Cytomax. Need to bring more water and pepper spray.

Happy Props: No chaffing (Thanks to Trail Toes), didn’t have to wear long spandex,  knees didn’t give me any grief. Glad I packed the Torins. And R&F sunscreen left me sunburnless. Thank you Megs!!