Need for Speed

Am writing this while watching the Olympic hopefuls sail along rainy London streets on their bikes. The women are so fast. I love sports where you go fast, like skiing and biking.

The other day I was riding my bike to work and there was a woman running faster than I was riding on my bike. That was one fast runner.

There’s used to be a myth that only men liked the adrenaline rush of the high-speed chase. But women (and kids) do too. It’s a human instinct to push our physical limits and thrill with the ride. We were born to run.

And now that I’ve admitted my own need for speed, let me post a couple of pictures from my long walk in the Adirondacks.

While I love to run and ride and go fast, it’s easier to snap a pic when you walk and amble and go slow. It’s easier to savor the moment when you slow it all down.

To catch a good photo, you have to pause to frame it. To enjoy a moment, you have to stop and savor it. And any sport that you do outdoors, reminds you to love nature.

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Going Running

How do you psych yourself up to go for a run? I tell myself, “Come on, girl. You can do it.” I talk to my body like it were a beloved family horse. “Yes, get moving, Ole Paint. Get out of your easy chair.” (I know that’s a mixed metaphor: horses don’t sit in easy chairs! Hey, it’s my blog. Write your own blog and mix up your own metaphors!)

There are a million reasons NOT to run. Here are a few:

Florida flower1. My feet hurt.

2. I am slow.

3. No one else is running. (Everyone else is going out for breakfast, in fact.)

And here’s why:

1. It will feel good when you’re done.

2. You will see some new things.

3. You will model fitness for your kids.

4. When you’re done, you can have a big breakfast.

Maybe I’ll go wake up one of my kids and see if they want to go with me.

I am writing this from a rocking chair on the porch. The kids and I are on a four-day trip to Siesta Key, Florida. It is our third day and inertia has set in. After a few days of vacay, especially in a warm clime, inertia always sets in. I must beat back inertia as if it were a horse sitting in an easy chair. (That’s a horrible image. But there you have it. As I’ve said, inertia has set in and I am mentally lazy, can’t come up with a better image. I could, if I really tried. But I have to go running.)

Come on, girl. Let’s go.

Running on Marathon Weekend

I don’t want to make anyone feel bad, especially those sinew-y runner types getting all psyched up for Sunday’s marathon, but I ran today and I ran at a pace of 12:15 a mile. That’s right, beat that, suckers!

I am definitely in the slow lane. I don’t want to make excuses *much. But I have a foot problem… And I have other problems, but I can’t remember what they are at the moment, because I’m so dang exhausted and hungry for chocolate. But hey, I did it. I did something! I pushed myself away from the computer.

I ran with my friend, Liz, at a secret indoor track near work. And I’m not telling you where it is ’cause then it wouldn’t be secret.

Liz and I agreed that it’s way more fun to run with a friend and we wouldn’t have run without each other.

And I do LOVE going out with friends for breakfast, lunch, dinner, happy hour, etc., I also LOVE running and working out with friends. So anyone want to join me running someday? Then after our two and a half miles, you can sprint ahead of me like Liz did. That’s right. When you’re in the slow lane, you’re just happy to be in any lane at all.

All those people passing me? I celebrate them! I do! Especially all those runners I’ll see on Sunday afternoon, wearing silver blankets, looking fabulous and exhausted. I salute you!

Now, excuse me, I have to go and hunt for some Halloween chocolate. I think my kids still have some hidden somewhere.

Running Without a Soundtrack

The silence running in the country was deafening.

I could not find my head phones. I usually run with ear buds listening to Pandora and the Omar Shariff sound-alike who calculates the distance of my run on my Cardio Trainer app.

I like running to Britney Spears songs like Piece of Me or Pat Benatar’s Hit Me with Your Best Shot. I think, “Yay, world, hit me. Try getting a piece of this.”

I know, I know. I am delirious after just five minutes of running, wondering, Is it time to take that well-deserved water break or walk yet? The music keeps me going.

So running without Britney, Pat or Omar, I felt a twinge of loneliness. The steadiest sound was the scraping labor of my own breath. Then the silence came alive.

running on a country road

There was a cawing of a crow, an old Buick rounding a corner, the wind swishing the hay in the field, and in the mix, my breath.

My breath was just a speck on the country road. Running helps you figure out where you fit in, a small piece in a big picture.

For this epiphany I rewarded myself by slowing down and walking.

Blogging — Going A Different Way

On Faith

I love how easy it is to change directions on WordPress. I changed the name of A Church A Day blog to My Rules https://mbcoudal.wordpress.com/ when I realized visiting a church a day was too much of a commitment. (Although I just won a journalism award for that blog, so I will probably go back to A Church A Day when the kids go to camp this summer.) I also want to stick to My Rules because I want to be accountable to the 7 life rules I made up for myself.

On Fitness

I changed the focus of my running blog http://runningaground.wordpress.com/ to health when I found out I had basal cell cardinoma. But I still love the idea and name of Running Aground. I am logging, blogging, slogging my way to fitness.

On Writing

I changed this blog http://gettingmyessayspublished.wordpress.com/ to The Connected Life — a much better title than Getting My Essays Published. At first, this blog had a private setting because I wanted to keep track of where I was sending my essays and where they were, or were not, getting published. It seemed a personal and boring endeavor, the pursuit of publication. But then I wanted to comment on so many things about social media. I’m not really in love with this blog’s URL or the name. It’s kinda meh.

On NYC

My favorite of my blog titles is My Beautiful New York. This is the only title I haven’t changed since I started almost two years ago. I still love the name My Beautiful New York.

The title says what a blog title should say: Here’s something delicious. Here’s what I’m passionate about — or at least musing on. For a few months My Beautiful New York was mostly pictures downloaded from my phone.

When I post and want to refer back to an earlier post, I sometimes wonder Which blog did I write that for? Then I Google MBCoudal and a tag. 

And then there are times I wonder which blog to post on — should I post my musings on My Beautiful New York or My Rules? Like those several posts about the sidewalk art. They seemed like quintessential New York stories, but ultimately, I decided they had more to do with an epiphany or synchronicity. And that jibes more with My Rules.

Also there is this questing of PostADay2011, posting every day of 2011. The tag PostADay2011 is getting too big in my clouds. It’s dwarfing my other tags, so I’m going to have to untag PostADay2011.

I’d do it now, but I’m going to watch a movie with my kids. I love my kids even more than I love blogging. I do love blogging, especially because you can change their names. Kids? Not so much.

Loehmann’s Fitting Room

There’s nothing like a visit to Loehmann’s communal fitting room to motivate you to work out!

That’s what I was thinking last night  as I was trying on summer dresses, bras, and, bathing suits in Loehmann’s changing space — you can’t really call it a room. A room implies there are boundaries. And boundaries are in short supply.

At one point the friendly gal beside me reached over to straighten my twisted bra strap. That rattled me. But I laughed, “Gotta get a new sports bra ’cause after looking in the mirrors here, I gotta work out!”

“Oh, nothing new for me — I’ve had weight problems my whole life,” she told me. “I’m shopping for clothes for my new job. My first real job!”

“Congrats! Hey those are cute!” I pointed to her black pants.

That’s an unwritten rule in the communal fitting room — you can compliment an outfit, but  you can’t criticize it. And apparently you can straighten one another’s bra straps.

Although I was embarrassed by every one seeing every part of me, one consolation is that I can see every one too. (Not that I looked. I’m just sayin’!)

I tried to keep my eyes and my body to my little space, trying on four out of the five dresses hanging on the hook. All a bit snug.

I hope it’s not bragging to tell you that on most of my visits to the fitting room, just about every single item looks great on me. But not so last night.

Although the red dress, the last one, worked.

In the cashier line I barely recognized my fitting room mate with her clothes on.

I said, “Hey, I’m getting the red dress!”

“Great!” She smiled, happy for me. There’ s nothing like the banter about purchases and camaraderie between women who’ve been naked together.

“Good luck with your new job!”

“Good night!”

This morning I woke before the family and I ran for 18 minutes. I think I went a mile. Then I picked up bagels.

Am Running Today

This is my least favorite part of the day, waking the children. It’s drizzling and it’s Sunday. They’re not excited about today’s 5K at 9 am. A part of me does wonder, Why am I making them and myself run? It’s a huge hassle and I’d rather stay in bed with the New York Times.

I want us to run, because I know we will feel euphoric when we finish. We will have set and then exceeded some small goal. Life rarely offers opportunities to chart your progress.

I remember the first time I took my son ice skating in Central Park. The first time he went around the rink, he fell eight times. The second time around the rink, he fell two times. And after that, he hardly fell at all. That is how it goes. Take them out and let them fall. And soon they will stand and even skate and run on their own. And there’s some pride in that.

Wish me luck in waking my darlings, in finding running shoes, and in getting to the race on time. It’s not easy, but I believe, somehow, it will be worth it. If we just cross the finish line, we will have won.

http://www.nyrr.org/races/2010/r0307x00.asp