Raising me up… Falling Waters

 

Falling Waters

Gate closed, no cars allowed
Running alone, no one around
Creek flowing, flowers growing
Heart beating faster I won’t be slowing


Cliffs above me towering strong
Soon I’ll be there, it won’t take long
Crunching, stepping, climbing higher
Life in mountains helps you feel lighter.

I hear the sound, a rumbling roar
Soon I see it, where eagles soar
Water falling, splashing below
Where only the strongest firs can grow

So clear, so cold
So many stories from glaciers old
I run to see you, to feel you, to listen
I run to breathe you in, to find that bit of ‘me’ within.

I found it yes, I always do.
Already can’t wait to return to you.

By Me



Today was a going back to a familiar place but it’s been awhile.  Since my running buddy Runninghood was teaching today, I figured I could at least explore so we could have a plan for a more epic day on the higher trails.  It reminded me how much I need this air, with the sounds of water falling all around me, beside me.  Snow still on the trails, light snow falling like a mist, tree fall to climb over, touching bark, jumping, slipping. Perfection. Just 8 miles but they were good ones.  I’d have to say “quality” miles.

Instead of writing my normal rambles I decided to try a little poem and posted it for Fb and IG, so might as well share it here today too, make it easier to keep track of too:-)

Day 13 of 50. Song “No Light No Light” by Florence and the Machine, ethereal and strong at the same time.  Older song but new to me today.

Life in Color

There is no greater agony than bearing an untold story inside you.  

Maya Angelou

Usually, when I sit down to write, I have had a profound flash of inspiration, a moment of clarity, a feeling, a something that I can hold onto long enough to put into words.

Today is not that day, today is writing for the sake of writing, tappy tappy tappy of the keys.  Writing because I have not had a sip of  “mommy” wine in 29 days.  My brain is actually turned back on I think.  Writing because I feel actually less apathetic about my own voice.  Writing because it snowed on my pretty pink flowering trees yesterday, big fluffy gorgeous life affirming snow and then it melted and today was insanely beautiful. Writing because 3 people I adore told me I should today.

I am going to use a challenge that my dear friend and deeply inspiring and insightful blogger Runninghood gave to herself, to write everyday for xx days.  38 was her number.  50 will be my number.  50 days until I turn 44, yes I had to calculate that a few times…44? really? 2016-1972, yep 44.  Next year 45-49 age group so that means I’m 44 this year.  That’s weird.  I feel 32 ish. Maybe 33.5.  I don’t feel in my 20’s at all.  Mostly because I didn’t have kids then and I can barely imagine myself without kids, and I don’t want to really.  Anyway, she had a few focuses to help her, I just need to freaking write, anything, so will be free flow for me.

I have done 100day photo challenges before, #100happydays, and it really worked.  I could NOT go to sleep without finding a happy thing to photograph and comment about, it became part of my soul, not even a chore.  Now I take pictures every single day that matter to me, even without the hashtag identifying it as such.  Photos are how I have been “writing” you could say.  When I take a picture on a run or a drive or a hike or as part of daily life as a mom and human, I get to express myself, as I let you see what I see, with some of the emotion that goes with it, funny, sad, overwhelming, peace, hope, struggle, or just the wow isn’t that pretty.  From the time I take a picture to the time I post it, edit (yes even enhance to the way i SEE it)  I can have myself an entire therapy session.  I thank my lucky stars for the beautiful convenience of the iphone.  If you want to see some of em feel free to follow me on IG @arbonnecorie

So 50 days.  I am excited to see if any floodgates open up or if I at least manage simple ponderings.

Today I had no profound awakenings.  I just had a really great run with Amanda, one I must say we dominated muahaha, a 9mile run with 4 solid race pace miles in the middle.  It is so very good to run with someone willing to go any pace I need to go, and able to go any pace I can or faster, someone you can wimper in the pain parts with, laugh at the drama that unfolds in your head as the body tries to rebel a little.  For someone who trains alone, so much, for years and years, runs like this breath life into me.  And it is also truly valuable to know that she is on a similar path with her running as I am, learning to be in the moment, takes runs as they come or sometimes don’t at all, taking new paths and trails and finding slower and stronger, and more freedom to just be a runner.  Not an elite runner, or a winning runner, or even an improving runner.  But just someone who is finding how extremely versatile her body really is, how incredible it is that it can still perform when called upon, with less “perfect” training.

I’m learning to give myself some grace when a run goes bad, starts bad, ends bad, or the days I just want to take pictures and sit on a rock by the river before jogging home.   On Monday I actually cried, hard, during a slow easy run.. why? not sure? it sucked… I got emotional.  I blame the meds from the weekend for allergies/cold.   I don’t have run pity parties typically, it is silly to feel THAT bad on a run, I mean, geez, I’m RUNNING!  in Bend!  Ok I also blame hormones, they don’t care where you live.  Whatever happened, I sure feel better now.  I must have needed it.  Something about having a cry that actually makes your eyes red and puffy that is good, so I won’t question it again, and I will avoid Benadryl.

I’m learning to go really soooper fast when the mood strikes, because what if that was my last chance to feel THAT?!  I’m learning that no run is worth NOT allowing a stop mid – interval to stare in awe at a mountain, or set of rapids on a river, or find where the sound of the baby osprey is coming from.  I want the FULL experience.  I can run and train and be IN my world.  Not running to check out, but to check in.

SO there day 1 of 50.  For those of you who made it to this point I give you a song recommendation, lucky dogs!

A song I have been listening to on repeat for a few days has filled me so much with what I feel about it all right now.  Life In Color by One Republic.. check it out!  so bright, so happy.

… This is life in color, today feels like no other, and the darkest grays, the sun bursts, clouds break …. this is life in motion, and just when I could run this race no more, the sun bursts, clouds break, this is life in color.  THIS IS LIFE IN COLOR.

 

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To become a mountain goat, runner of Mountains, seeker of new Heights

“Mountains are not Stadiums where I satisfy my ambition to achieve, they are the cathedrals where I practice my religion.”
― Anatoli Boukreev“

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Broken Top as seen from Green Lakes, turnaround point of my run today

There has been a large lull in my writing.  As glorious of a year as it has been living and growing and learning and thriving in Bend, there have also been some challenges to work through that at at times consumed me, and even left me unable to do what I love, namely running and triathlon.  When your body doesn’t want to let you perform, along with the mental downward spiral that can go with that, well… I surely wasn’t in a place to write.  On a daily basis I found the lovliness in my life to hold onto, abandoned self pity and used all my tricks to get to the next step in getting back to me.  I’ve learned so much about other people struggling daily with real problems much more serious than any discomforts I was facing.  I learned compassion I don’t think I’ve had before, as I tried to talk to myself like I would to a friend, but that is easier said than done. Now I have a better understanding of how anyone else on any given day might not be able to just “snap out of it”.

I fill my day with gratitude for so many things, but even that at times isn’t quite enough to cover that feeling that you aren’t yourself, or at least not getting to do the things I defined my “self” as.  I learned to be patient with me, be patient with my energy, my goals, shoot, I even stopped making any goals whatsover, just do the day, look at my kids, as in really SEE them, enjoy the house, take pictures anywhere and everywhere I went, share beautiful things with people I’m only connected to anymore via this silly computer.  Open up to new friends.  I found a dear friend to share life with, our families with, one I can escape to the woods with and just be me, and our kids and husbands feel the same,  April, my Utah transplant who has my heart.  So thankful for the forced “break” that let me do that, gave me space and time to take time to share that part of me and us.  So It has to be a great thing, coming from years of so much focus on achieving big milestones, maybe it was just the thing I needed.  Maybe it was perfect timing, maybe it was the lack of frenzied focus I could use really tune into what was calling me again, not just do what I do because that’s what I do?

A friend told me also that this first year after a move was a BIG adjustment.  I don’t think I fully ever gave it credit…Shoot, Had we even given the year 2013 credit? 2014 was a delicious cake walk compared!   The list of things that happened in that one year alone… huh. I may need a post about that!   We just stepped right into an amazing new life, got going and haven’t looked back.  Not realizing maybe the actual drain that it had taken? Once I acknowledged that, and decided this entire spring, was perfect.  And now I feel free, and now somehow my body is cooperating again, coincidence? hmm:-)

One thing for sure that has awakened me, (not from enjoying this gift of Central Oregon, which is impossible to not be in awe that WE LIVE HERE!!!!)  but back into my nature as an athlete and teacher of sorts, is a friend literally jumping into triathlon, tackling a new challenge and piece of it each day, flying in the face of her comfort zone of running, learning what she can to do her first Olympic tri in less than a month from now!   Running is a lifelong gift for her, that she has most definitely embraced and shared and challenged herself with, and used it to parallel life and motherhood. She’s helped countless others with her stories and musings on life as a mom and wife and athlete. (If you don’t already, you need to follow her blog, Runninghood, always entertaining, always real, and from the heart and always gives me perspective with my own family and endeavors (and btw totally responsible for getting me to write again)

Watching Amanda abandon that comfort zone,  freely do the uncomfortable and humbly seek help, has really renewed my sense of passion for swim bike and run, and inspired me to do things I typically avoid. like RUN mountains ha. (camping and hiking is a different world, physical yes, but not the same) We share an understanding of wanting to openly share who we are whether or not anyone cares lol, at the same time as just wanting to live as much life as we can possibly squeeze in, and I can’t wait to see how we move forward in our new lives here, how our kids find themselves, and I’m assuming, will become great friends once they go on a few adventures together.

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signs are everywhere

So today I ran a trail that I had only previously hiked and trudged and done short attempts in the snow.  It is a trail that is a moderately challenging hike, with great footing on the well worn trail, with many parts that are a tiring at a walk.  For a year I’ve seen photos and heard about runners running it routinely, even loops of it, so it has been on my list as a “run to do”. Still, with all of these trails around here, I’ve never run any of them that are a pretty much constant upward grind into alpine territory. So I’ve hesitated, certainly not wanting to run it with anyone who knows what they’re doing.  And I know, if I ever want to do any of the real mountain races or ultras, well, I need to become a mountain goat of sorts.  Shoot, I don’t care if I even race, I just want to be up there, where most people don’t want to go on their own feet.

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Creek flowing down from Green Lake beside an Obsidian lava flow. Yeah it’s not bad

So Cheesy but So in love with being out here

So Cheesy but So in love with being out here

When I looked at the Garmin results, and saw 1325 feet of climbing, not including about 10 it missed when i had shut off, I was happy, as I don’t think I’ve ever RUN that much climbing before.  Then I realized, some of my friends get in 10-20,000 on a training day lol.   Of course I don’t need that for what I want to do, but dang, and ouch.  Ok ok, I’ll stop comparing, I’m happy with that and it’s just the beginning!  And I did it with hacking chest congestion and allergy nose, so I am excited to see what I can do with full access to my lungs.

It’s just the beginning, because my piriformis/sciatica felt fine until about last 2 miles of 9, and then it was very subtle. Yesterday’s 5 mile run I didn’t feel it at all. After really bad week of self pity a bit ago,  I’ve really upped my game in self care/rehab with everything I can think to do mobility, smashing and strength and activation to combat the nagging pain I’ve had to run with for almost 2 years.  So hopefully it isn’t a fluke, hopefully it is a result of my diligence, if so I can keep at it.

One thing I do know, I’m going to STOP being jealous of people doing more than I can right now,  I’m going to focus on my cans,  I CAN BIKE, I CAN SWIM, I CAN RUN (some) and I CAN CLIMB and I CAN BREATHE, and I CAN SMILE and I CAN SHARE. and thanks to my mahvelous iphone6, I can document what I see along the way.

South Sister. I cannot explain how much this mountain stirs my soul!  Seriously.

South Sister. I cannot explain how much this mountain stirs my soul! Seriously.

The Investment of Appreciation and it’s Generous Return

“Dwell on the beauty of life. Watch the stars, and see yourself running with them.”
— Marcus Aurelius (Meditations)

Oh the glorious mystery of appreciation!  I have found that is it a strange affliction, almost out of control and expanding with no end in sight.

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Leaves in Transition…

Over the years as I learned to deliberate focus and education and practice, to appreciate small, benign almost insignificant things around me, my appreciation muscle has grown.  It became normal for me to see wonder and beautiful nature in the falling down wire fence and overgrown weeds, perhaps mixed with flowers, along my runs and bike rides in Oklahoma.  To find joy in the expanse of skies and parched red earth and south wind that blew freely, shaping the trees in that familiar lean towards the north.  Piles of junk in country acreage, that actually tells some sort of story of the midwest.  Much not impressive at first glance, but when you APPRECIATE, and feel it in your bones, the world becomes beautiful.  The way the clouds and light interact… In Oklahoma the leaves don’t offer much change before the winter north wind sweeps them away, but with APPRECIATION you can see every subtle shade and contrast with sky and earth.  My love of Oklahoma skies and vistas though could not have prepared me for what gifts awaited our arrival in Bend.

Running in the Rain

Running in the Rain

So tuned in was I already to the small beauties, that here, it is almost sensory overload.  Like a blind person who sees for the first time or a deaf person who hears for the first time….  I seriously can hardly breathe at times on a normal drive to the store, let alone when I am out on a run or on my bike truly feeling connected.  It is why I stop several times during each to take it in, or photograph it, why I go crazy when my phone is too full to capture the moment to share with you.  The appreciation I have nurtured is truly giving back to me exponentially.  The colors and scope and variety of plants and animals and water and landscapes and shapes of rocks and textures, and the Scents- oh my!  I say this not to make you wish you were here, but more to inspire you to consciously seek appreciation where YOU are. Deliberate, focused enjoyment of things that maybe the world doesn’t consider pretty or special.  Do it. It will enrich your life today and if you do venture to a new place, will make it that much more an extraordinary gift.

3 (Not Scientifically) Proven Ways to Get Faster

…”no matter – tomorrow we will run faster, stretch out our arms farther. . .” F. Scott Fitzgerald

Will keep this brief, since my goal is to offer you brief nuggets you can take and use to improve speed of the most important kind.  Running and Cycling.

1. The Time Crunch:  DO NOT leave enough time to do your session, run or bike.  Schedule some appointment daily, can even be the daily pickup/kid drop off kind of schedule.  Get yourself ready, bike, shoes, whatever it is you may require, be ready to go.  Now, do not go yet.  Still not yet.  How long do you think it will take?  2 hours?  Need to be somewhere by 10am? Okie dok, do not leave until 8:15 or 8:20, run or ride the same exact distance you were planning.  At the halfway point you may realize you are going to be late. No worries, just go HARD all the way home. You can do it!  Boom, you have just set a PR from point a to b and are now faster.

2. The Weather Threat:  very similar to #1.   First, do not look at weather forecast.  This one works best by looking outside.  When you see dark clouds you can get ready to go.  When you smell rain and hear thunder go ahead and start. Now ride or run TOWARDS or minimum along the edge of the darkest part.  Have an hour run? You guessed it, run your 30 min towards the storm. DO NOT CHICKEN OUT!  for this to work you need to commit.  Successfully making it towards halfway point while other wimpies are high tailing it home makes you some sort of something special, sure some may say stupid? maybe, but on your way home, at full speed not knowing where or when the sky is about to open, you WILL BE FASTER.  one seriously good interval of intense focus. Repeat as often as mother nature allows.

3.  The Chase and Tag:  This works great when you spy a draft group on a bike, but can be equally useful on the run.  Chase them down, simple, take your aim, and go.  You can get creative and give yourself points for passes, based on type of participant you just passed.  Pass the kid on the single speed, ok you can have a point… but Pass a Pro? hmm that is a lot of points.  No one needs to know that they were at the end of a 4 hr mountain day and you were just starting, you passed em, points for you! DISCLAIMER: I am not admitting to anything.  Oh yes, an important tip for this one is to be especially cordial and calm when passing.  a simple Howdy, how are you, have a great run, etc.. are a nice way to distract them from your true intentions;-)

Hope this helps your training when intervals by the clock aren’t enough.  Any other fun ways you have”proven” work to make you faster?

Really believing…

“Get away from what is realistic and consider the seemingly impossible possiblities.  Stop asking what a good goal would be and start asking God what your most magnificent goal should and could be.”

Tommy Newberry

Do I think God believes my most magnificent goal should be qualifying for Kona?  No, but I do think it is one of the goals I should accomplish on the way to seeing the bigger goals He has in store for me that I have yet to be totally clear on.  I don’t think we have just ONE ultimate goal. More

Feeling Lucky?!

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RunLucky for Leukemia!

Last Sunday I took my family to the 2nd Annual RunLucky 5K and MissionMile, in OKC.  My friends who work tirelessly for the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society have truly created an amazing platinum style event that already feels legendary!  It was a great chance to dress up with the kids and husband and spend a Sunday afternoon with a few thousand fellow greenies:-)  It is going to be a Young Family Irish tradition More

That is the Question….

A new friend of mine, and fellow triathlete asked a question on one of our group pages and I thought I share it, as well as my answer to her and encourage any comments you have that she might also learn from for her new blog coming soon (which I will share when it is ready)

She wanted to know how different endurance athletes view their experience (why they do it, what they get out of it, etc). from Lindsay- after a heated debate with her significant other:-), “I’m definitely on the side of “enjoying the journey” while he’s solidly on the side of “the only goal is to win.” I’d love to hear from any endurance athletes on the topic: Is the journey the fundamental point, or is the end result the main reason you train so hard – and why?”

My Response- (edited a touch for clarity)

The journey is part of the daily fix I need to feel healthy and motivated and strong and on the path to a better me. More

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