Sunday, August 21, 2011


 Long Slow Distance is not unlike a porcupine. It is cute, and it has some points. LSD, as we call it, is supposed to give you a good aerobic base. It is supposed to burn fat, which sounds like a good idea. Maybe all of America should be doing LSD. It ramps up the mileage but in a controlled way. Those are points. The cuteness is a matter of perspective, but I do find it adorable to have to tell myself to slow down every 30 seconds.

The lavender was abloom today as I ran my 16 miles (slowly), with one field largely covered in purple, and the smell delicious as I ran by. This was accompanied by Lovely Songs Done by greats such as Flogging Molly, Nina Simone, Berlin and Bach. Sometimes I run in silence. Today I needed a soundtrack.

I was thinking how lucky I am, to be able to run. It is a luxury. This is well put by Yen Nguyen, who is about to run her 400th marathon. Now I am truly inspired. Only 397 to go.

The best part of today, aside from the:
1) run
2) the post-run chocolate milk
3) the lucky, lavender-scented, musical time with me, myself and I

was coming home to the Life Saving words of my Daughter: "Mom, can I make dinner tonight?"

Yes. Yes, you can.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

The Zone

As my daughter and I ran the trails of a Portland park this weekend, we did not talk a lot. There were navigation decisions to be made (this trail or that one?), and we spoke about that. There were beautiful things to comment upon. There were warnings about roots or horse poop mid trail. Horses are so prolific, I've noticed. But a lot of our time was in silence. The woods smelled nice, and looked different from our usual redwood run. The shade kept us comfortable. The hills challenged us.

We did have a brief talk about meditation. I am not very good at meditating, as it involves sitting still with my mind. Even sitting here writing that phrase makes me break out in a cold sweat. I have done retreats at lovely places to learn mindfulness. I believe it is a useful tool for health. It is well studied, even scientific. But I sort of stink at it. I meditate well when I run, but it takes me several miles to get into the zone. Which, I suppose, is why I am drawn to the marathon.

We ran 8 miles, winding about the trails of Portland. We have similar strides. We breathe in tandem. We are comfortable in silence. We get each others jokes and we know when the other is hurting. I did notice that toward the end of the run, my daughter started to surge, and she was about a half step in front of me. I sped up, but could feel her power. If this was a race, she would've won. When did that happen?

She was feeling good. I was too, even with my aged realization that she is the stronger one now. When we stopped running, she turned to me and said "Mom, when I was running I kept saying to myself 'I am doing awesome'. Mom, I was so in the zone."