A Run through the Woods: Cesis ECO Trail 81K

IMG_4613If you can’t fly then run, if you can’t run then walk, if you can’t walk then crawl, but whatever you do you have to keep moving forward.

This quote, from Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., became my mantra yesterday as I navigated my way through Latvia’s beautiful Gauja National Park at the Cēsis ECO Trail 81K race. And though I could never fly, I ran as fast I could when I could and walked when I needed to. And, at times, I even crawled, just to keep moving forward to the finish line.  Continue reading →

New Year, Better Me

IMG_5280Standing in line at the grocery store checkout, I often peruse the magazine rack, mostly for fodder to contribute to conversations about celebrity gossip. I also look at the lifestyle magazines, in search of new recipes or fun-looking craft projects. At the end of the year, when the magazines put out their January issues, I can’t help but notice the frequency with which the words New Year, New You! are splashed across the covers, complete with flawless-looking models with perfect clothes and promises of weight-loss and money-saving secrets within the pages that follow. Even Runner’s World jumped on the New Year, New You bandwagon this time, punctuated with an exclamation mark to get us all excited. Continue Reading →

Musings of 2014

Shoes 2014I’ve always thought that you can learn a lot about someone by looking at their shoes, and that there’s a good story in every pair of running shoes: dirt that shows where we’ve been; a wear pattern that shows how we run, and often, where we hurt; and a smell that shows how hard we’ve worked. When I look at my running shoes from 2014, I see a lot: dust from Mexican trails, tears on the sides from bunions that insist on poking through, a tread worn from miles and miles run in thirteen states and two countries over the past twelve months. And the smell… well, I will spare you that. I like to think that my running shoes tell a story of joy, contemplation, adventure, determination, and hard work.  Continue reading →

Steamtown: The Best Midsize Marathon You’ll Ever Run

Finish lineThere are rare times in life when we plan and prepare and everything falls into place, just as we imagined. Then there are times when everything falls apart, no matter how much we have planned, often for reasons unexpected or beyond our control. And then still, there are times when we are our own adversary, allowing negative self-talk to get in the way of our success.

In running, I have experienced all three of the above over the years, and perhaps most frequently, the third scenario. Indeed, too often, I am my own worst enemy. This time, I wanted things to be different. I didn’t allow myself to sabotage my own race. I wanted to have a beautiful day, and that is exactly what happened. Continue reading →