Saturday, November 19, 2011

Whose your hero?

Does a hero know he’s a hero if no one tells him? Do you know a hero no one else knows? A hero doesn’t have to save a busload of school kids from certain disaster. Or score the winning point in the big game. A hero can be anyone who inspires you, anyone you look up to, anyone who cheers you on, makes you better than you were before – just as they made themselves better than they were before. Do you know a hero? Tell him. Then tell everyone. – Nike 

When I am running, I often go through a lot of emotions. Sometimes, I feel so strong when I catch a glimpse of my shadow going strong weaving through the streets. Other times, I am over whelmed with emotion and have to stop to cry because I feel like I am not tough enough or good enough to keep going. Most of the time however, I feel good and its a sense of therapy I feel blessed to be able to take part in. I feel lucky to have legs that can carry my body however far I choose, I feel strength in moving myself forward and working toward a long term goal. Lately, running has become more of a pressure and a daunting task. It has turned into something that I stress about, hoping that I have what it takes to make it. My good friend Jen, always says, don't worry about the finish you will always finish. Its true, at some point you will finish. It seems as though the journey to the finish is what its all about. Through this experience I've learned a lot about my self, I 've seen strength I didn't know I had. I've been lucky enough to watch my friends win races, bask in the joy of running, and laugh at races along my side. I've seen Hans excel in something that I am sure he never knew he would be so great at.  He makes it seem so easy that its hard not to be proud of him and just want him to win every race.Watching him, gives me strength. My beautiful cousin, who has been by my side this whole way willing to take time off work to run Disney with me, makes me so happy. Helping each other on days when we would rather be sleeping in or wanting to have ran farther then we did but just couldnt that day.  I feel blessed for all of those people who support me and have faith that I sometimes lose while I am out there. Above all, running reminds me of the real reason this whole dream started. My father, my hero. Talking to my Uncle Phil years ago, he told me about running a marathon for a friend of his that had passed away. After that conversation, I knew, that ONE DAY I was going to do the same and dedicate a marathon to my hero. Marathons test your, sanity, your love your inner strength and prowess. So naturally lazy and afraid, I put my marathon pipe dream on the back burner and  years passed like they often do, with no marathon. Life got in the way, excuses got in the way. This year was going to be different. I didn't need a come back tour to do this, I just needed to get off of ass and get over my fears. It started with a 5K, then an 8 miler, onto a half marathon. Never in my life will I have to dig deeper for something to come to light. As I count down the days to Disney,I am reignited with a sense of vigor and prowess. I am running myself, with my own legs but all the hard work, dedication and the finish are dedicated my hero, to the greatest man I've ever known, my dad. This one is for you. All the victories, tears, chafing and smiles, the medals, the research, and the water bottle fanny pack, all for you. I might not see you at the finish, but I know you will be watching and right by my side the entire time. I am excited to make this dream a reality. My dad is my hero, and I want everyone to know it. 

Watch out, Smith's back and she's going to be kicking some major ass and tearing up the streets the next 2 months. 

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Do Life

Tonight, I am not blogging about running, because quite frankly I dont want to... I watched the sun set tonight from my patio and the sky overlooking the mountain was illuminated with shades of pink and purple. It was beautiful, and made me think about, well, life. People go through things at different points in their lives. Times when they think that things will never get better, and that theres not much to look forward to. These times, pass as they often do, but never quickly. Going though them, makes you a different person, whether it be stronger, or wiser, but they are never easy. When I reflect on my own life, Ive been around for some tough times. Family and friends dealing with loves lost, loved ones who have passed far too soon, and the general struggle to find ourselves.  There is however, a common bond that connects us all. The thing that never fails , the spirit that lies in each of us. No matter how dark the time, or how horrible the circumstance, people are strong. They dig deep and find strength in themselves, and in each other. Its easy to focus on the negative sometimes and think of all the bad things happening around us but for all the bad, theres just as much good. No matter how bad things get, they will always get better. Simple things, like that sunset give me hope for tomorrow and a sense of peace during a seemingly otherwise hectic time. Shine on, and tomorrow hope for better, its coming. It always does. 

Saturday, November 12, 2011

This morning, I woke up and ate an apple.

Action and reaction, ebb and flow, trial and error, change - this is the rhythm of living. Out of our over-confidence, fear; out of our fear, clearer vision, fresh hope. And out of hope, progress.
Bruce Barton

This morning, I woke up and ate an apple. Not very exciting stuff. Most days in life, aren't in fact, that exciting. Running like life, has its exciting moments but they often come at unexpected times in your training and during races when you are in survival mode. Personally, I've noticed that to be happy you need to follow through with the things that you want to do. By setting goals and achieving them, you make your own exciting stuff. There is no greater accomplishment then finishing something you set out to do. often times, its easy to shy away from going for goals out of fear, fear of change, fear of failure. Lately, I've been trying to stay busy by making goals no matter how small and focusing on things that Ive always wanted to do. I know what you are thinking, this girl is crazy and you cant just make a million goals and fulfill them all. Long term goals ie. running a marathon are one thing, but little day to day goals help you move through those parts of life that are not so exciting. Staying with the theme of following through and checking off things on my to do list, I decided today I would check off a more simple task on my list. Since Ive moved to my new apartment, Ive been wanting to run around Emmaus and just see the town more or less. When I drive home from work sometimes, I calculate milage and then plan to run it at some point during the week. Time usually gets in the way, or someone offers me a burrito and I forget about my goal. Today, I could have easily stayed in bed, ate my apple, watched action news and called it a morning but I refused to waste a  good oppurtunity to check off a goal. This morning, ( after my apple) I went out in my new cold weather swag and hit the streets. It was almost comical due to the amount of crap I did to prepare for the 37 degree morning air. I had my ear warmers, my compression pants, my long sleeve nike fleece and of course my baller sunglasses. I saw a few other runners, in shorts mind you and I felt mildly over dressed. It didnt matter though, because it was cold and I was warm. I got to see a lot of the neighborhoods that I hadnt had a chance too run through yet, and aside from a collie that tried to attack me, it was a good run. At one point I almost stopped to take a picture of the mountain view before me and the changing leaves. When I got back I felt accomplished for completing something I had on my things to do list. Tomorrow, I am going to check off another task. Not sure yet what it will be, but thats half the fun.  Maybe I will start with a banana for breakfast, and go from there :) 

Monday, November 7, 2011

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. Mother Teresa

Its funny sometimes how just a small thing can effect you in such a profound way. In times of despair its always interesting to get perspective from other people, and perspective is such an powerful thing. People around you come with wisdom, comfort and affection. They offer you a sense of peace during an otherwise turmoiled time. During these times, its easy to think back to accomplishments and failures. Smiling on the good times, and remembering the bad reflection helps us move forward and appreciate all the times that have passed. I would like to share with you one of my more memorable accomplishments, that also happens to be an on going one. Over the past year, I embarked on a journey of running. It was something that I always wanted to do, but never had the courage. I didn't think that I would be good enough, strong enough or fast enough. I had even signed up for races, and not gone out of fear. But on December 1st of last year, I signed up for a 5k in the parkway. At the time, I told Hans that it would be fun to do a 5k. We could train together and get to experience the thrill of a real race. With Hans by my side, we braved the rain and cold. At the time those 3.2 miles seemed like a million but we did it.   finishing with a meager time and a glove full of snot, I was proud. I did it. A small thing to some, big to me. With him by my side, I was able to put the faith in myself to finish.  He's been with me throughout my running journey ever since and even though it hasn't always been pretty he never went running ( get it running?) . From injuries to triumphs, heat, rain cold and pain he always had faith in me. He has pushed me along with gentle reminders to get off the couch and get out there. Always knowing that when I crossed the finish line, he would be there with a hug waiting and a high five right after. About a month ago, I received a gift with a note on one of my worst running days to date. So bad in fact, that I wanted to give up. Completely put it all behind me and spend my days as a lonely walker wondering what could have been. We all know that didn't happen but the gift, was something special. Small in size, big in meaning. Its rough around the edges, but gets the job done. I look at it daily and read the note that sits aside it. It reads " You can do it! I believe in you". Some days, strength lies deep within you. Today, it wasn't in me but in my cactus. When I look at it, it reminds me of how far Ive come and how much further I will be able to go. Its a prickly reminder that even when I don't have faith in myself, someone out there that loves me does and that's enough to lace up and hit the streets. In a few months, I will be in the happiest place on earth with the people who believe in me the most. I will be running hard, with my dad in my heart. All the while with that cactus on my mind, until I reach the finish line. Where I completely expect a hug and a high 5.