Monthly Archives: June 2015

There IS crying in running.

crying-running-ecard

No, I’m not talking about the crying that comes with the pain (or elation) from training/racing.

Does anyone else ever experience this — there you are, running along, listening and singing along to your running playlist (well, I actually sign along in my head because I can’t run, sing and breathe at the same time), and all of a sudden one of THOSE songs come on.  You know what I mean, the song that, even though it has a great beat to run to, makes you start thinking.  Thinking beyond the run, to people and places that stir up emotions from deep within.  And then, you cry.  While you are running.  Tears streaming down your face, nose a sloppy mess.  (Thank goodness for my Runningluv.)

I guess I have come to find that no matter if I am running solo or in a race with thousands of people, I am a solitary runner.  I let the music from my playlist guide my feet, my head, and my heart.  The rest of my life is full – of family, work, friends, pets and all the usual day to day stuff that always has me thinking, what do I have to do next?  When I head out the door with just myself and my music, I’m away from all that.  I can block it out.  No texts, no calls.  Just music.  And I can actually listen to each word.  And when I listen to each word, I infer a meaning.  Even if the song was not written as a “sad” song, it can remind me of people, of  things, of defining events in my life that maybe are pushed out of the day-to-day craziness, but are always in the back of my mind because of their importance to me.

Right now I have three songs on my playlist that make me cry, because they remind me of people who were taken from me way too soon, and no matter how much time passes, the pain will always linger: my mom, who died unexpectedly when I was 24; my dad, who died unexpectedly when I was 29; and my sister/best friend Ann, who died after battling breast cancer when she was 35 and I was 33.

Why do I keep these songs on my playlist, if they cause me to cry?  Because these are good tears.  Sad tears, but strong tears, because every step I take I am doing in memory of these three people, trying to make them proud.  These tears propel me forward.  These are cleansing tears.  My soul aches but my heart opens with these tears. At the end of my run, when the tears are all gone, I feel empty and full at the same time.  I guess that is balance; balance is what I need.  Along with my running shoes, my playlist, and my tears.

These are my three songs, I hope you enjoy them.

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Feet, don’t fail me now!

I guess you could say I’m “all in” when it comes to trying to run 50 half marathons in 50 states.  My original goal was to run 50 races (any length) in 50 states, but then I found the 50 States Half Marathon Club and the Half Fanatics, and I changed my goal!  Unfortunately, that means I am going to have to re-run a couple states but hey, that just means more vacations!

I admit I am an impatient person.  When I start something, I want to get it done.  Running 50 half marathons in 50 states is not easy to do quickly but, starting at my late age, I worry about finishing the task.  I’m trying to convince myself that finishing will be so much sweeter if I have taken the time to enjoy the journey.  A lot of goal runners enter races in different states on consecutive days, even up to 7!  I give them a lot of credit and I guess that would be a good way to cross off 7 states, but I don’t think I would feel the whole half marathon spirit and would almost feel like I was cheating myself because I surely would not be doing any running in some of those races.

So now I think I have the right mindset, but what about the rest of me?  Can my 50+ body that just started running three years ago withstand all this running?  Honestly, I don’t know.  I certainly hope so, but I’ve already had some injuries and my podiatrist calls my feet “deformed from the trauma of running.”  Yikes!  At least he said to keep going until I can’t.  But I wonder when that will be…