If May flew by in large part thanks to all the end-of-the-school-year stuff, June whooshed by even faster with the beginning of summer. For the past few years, since we moved west, we’ve come back to the midwest to visit family, usually for a few weeks at a time, in the summer. It’s obvious, but I often don’t fully realize or appreciate just how far away we are from family until we fly to them, and it takes all freaking day to get from one side of the country to the other. Thank god we live in an age when we can habitually video chat far-away family members because it has definitely diminished the distance, helping to give my kids (and me) a sense that their family is close at hand. Anyway, June came and went, kinder ended just as soon as it began, SF training intensified, and in the mix, we flew the coop to Ohio. In a nutshell, that was June.
I grew up in northeast Ohio, right outside Akron, and lived there until I graduated from high school (before then living in Chicago for a decade-plus and now, SJ). Even though I ran track in high school, I’ve spent very little time running in northeast Ohio, particularly because marathon training and endurance stuff wasn’t on my radar until after I had already left the state. Thus, I look forward to running in NE Ohio when I’m there visiting — despite the bitching I might do about the unforgiving humidity — because so much of it is still new to me.
One of the things that I really, really like about running is its portability and accessibility. Assuming your safety isn’t jeopardized, running is something that you can do just about anywhere and at just about any time. It doesn’t require much in terms of equipment, and it requires next-to-nothing when you compare it to other sports that necessitate specialized playing fields or courts, years of lessons, or any number of other accoutrements. Hell, if you want to, you can literally step out your front door and just do your thang. That’s pretty awesome in my book (and especially as a parent who’s always looking to minimize the timesuck in my running).
June was another high volume month that resulted in a new record — just shy of 252 miles — and one race, an inaugural half marathon in my hometown, wherein I physically didn’t fare too well and basically questioned everything related to my TSFM training. Writing about running, racing, and training is pretty effortless when you have a great race, training cycle, or whatever, but when things seem to go to hell in a handbasket — seem being the operative word here, because it’s all relative and based on how you quantify or qualify your success — it’s death by a thousand paper cuts. I wrote about the race ad nauseum, but the takeaway is that it was an excellent learning experience in mile-by-mile expectation adjusting. With running, the gods sometimes treat us to a perfectly textbook race day, but more often than not, something kinks it up. Adjusting attitudes and/or adjusting expectations mid-race can help us walk away from a race still grateful for and about happy the experience — if not also with some helpful new tools in our toolbox — instead of feeling bitter and angered about how we should have or could have performed. Do the very best that you can do, on that day, at that time — what I tell my little girls, FFS! — and that’s enough. Shit happens, right? The good stuff — where I think we can grow as athletes (or as humans, really) — is in how we navigate the kinks.
June was excellent in terms of QT with friends and kids (and sometimes friends’ kids!) on the run. I was fortunate to get in weekday miles with my kids in the stroller and on bike; with Meg and her kiddo in her stroller; and with Janet, my newly postpartum PT Wolfpack teammate who’s so intelligently scaling her postpartum running that I can’t encourage enough PP runners out there to follow her lead. Weekend LRs were often with my buddies in the thick of their IM Santa Rosa training, per yoosh, as well as with others in 50k training and SRM training, graciously making my inspiration well pretty full these days. My luck isn’t lost on me.
Finally, ICYMI, June also brought with it a cool partnership opportunity with BOB strollers, TSFM, #BOBTeamSF, and Olympian Alysia Montaño.
….aaaaaaaand I apparently threw away all my listening to, reading, watching, and the like June notes. Dammit. I remember that I mostly read a lot of NYT and Doree Shafrir’s Startup: A Novel (an enjoyable satire but not as biting as I would have liked).
Enjoy pics from Ohio instead. 🙂