Thanks, guys. I’m pretty sore still from the Saturday run. Yesterday was hectic and I’m drained from all the socializing with relatives. I just want a nap. I’m deep cleaning the house while the kids do their schoolwork today. I usually feel in a better place mentally when my home is cleaner, so I’m trying to do that for me today.

It’s been such a stressful month.  After Wayne’s car wreck, we’ve had so many van repairs. We’ve had to tow the vehicle twice and Wayne’s taken 4 days off over this course of this month to repair the vehicle. I’m stressed. We’ve had mechanics look at it before (this particular problem happened before the wreck) and we spent hundreds of dollars only to find the problem still existing last year. Then, it was only randomly not starting, so we just dealt with it. My parents own a car-lot, so they’ve come to tow us two other times over the course of the last few months too. It’s embarrassing, frustrating and expensive. Our next door neighbor was a mechanic for five years and he’s been over to help Wayne in the last week – and they keep buying more and more parts and still finding the van won’t start. My dad and brother in law (who has managed my dad’s car lot for a decade) were helping yesterday for hours — it’s still not working. We have a vacation in two weeks out of state. I finally had to just reserve a van online today for that. I’m thankful I found a coupon code – but that’s another $325 we weren’t expecting to spend. At least we’ll have a reliable vehicle for that. Anyways…. it’ll be fine. Everything will work out. Wayne can ride the city bus to work and back. I’m only a mile and a half from a grocery store. I can ride my bike. I’m just a little cranky since Wayne and I haven’t had much down time the past couple of weeks.

The weekend was more stressful since we spent time with my parents and sister and her family. I love them all very much, but I feel pretty helpless listening to their current problems. After almost 40 years in business – my parents will have to close the doors of their car lot at the end of June. It’s been a tough economy for many small businesses — and I don’t think they are going to survive this.  I feel bad for them. Even their house payment is several months behind. My sister’s husband (my brother in law) works for them — so — my closest family members are all staring at huge financial problems and I feel so helpless since we dont’ have any savings either and can’t help them.

Emotionally I am so ready for this beach vacation. I just want to sit and listen to the waves and find a good place mentally again. I’m questioning myself as a runner. I sometimes think of myself as the “runt” pup amongst all of my friends. I feel I give it my all — but it’s just not enough to catch up to the rest of my pals.

Hearing you guys say it’s hard on a body to run long distances, not healthy, etc. just clashes with what I see with my own eyes amongst my friends. They’re amazing! Many are Moms just like me. The fastest one of us all is Julie the gal I ran with on Saturday. She’s 39. Her best 5k time was 20 min! Her best half was 1:46! I call her, “Super Julie.” She’s also the Mom of five kids and she’s logged amazing amounts of miles like 250 for Jan and 269 for February! I can’t even fathom that yet! She’s never even ran a marathon.

When she and I were talking about our frustrations as runners, it made me laugh a little to hear that she has on occasion lost first place in our age division when another Mom of five (around 38 years old) has beat her in local races. And here I was thinking being a running mom of so many was rare.  Apparently there’s a whole club of us! ha! And it also put things into perspective a bit. Here, I am admiring her like crazy for her speed and she was feeling frustrated that she’ll often come in 4th place overall for a race (she said it’s often men ahead of her.) I guess we all have our own battles to figure out in our minds when we go to the starting line.

Bertha can vouch for me that many of the ultrarunners we know are 50 + years old, totally in great health and have been running long distances for years! We met this wonderful older couple at the 50K who were 61 and 72. The 61 year old gal is the one who passed me halfway through the race! Her husband is the 72 year old and he’s done 100 mile races! Another gal we met that day, in her mid-50’s is named Jenny. She’s already gone on to run another, tougher, mountain 50K and she did fine last week! My cousin, Ben, who’s 26 and Mr Super Ultra dude, already did a marathon in 3:14 since that ultra and for fun ran the same 50K this past weekend with some friends as a training run. I think he’s gearing up for another one of his 100 mile races. My friend, Emily, has a Dad in his mid-late 50’s who’s one of the fastest long distance runners I know. He does ultras all the time. My buddies, Davina and Emily (both 31 and Moms of two), did the half and the ultra with me and are doing a 50 MILE mountain race in a couple of weeks!!!!! Davina homeschools too and she’s been remodeling her house the past few months. I’m just in awe.

You guys all know my amazing friend, Bertha.  I’m thrilled to bits that she’s now decided to train for the 50 Mile trail run in August. I know in my heart of hearts she’ll do amazing at it! 

There are more, but I think you guys get the point. Running long distances is common in my particular group of friends.  I just finished reading the Terry Fox book, too, which only confirmed that running long distances over and over – often makes you even stronger. That guy only had one good leg and it was in the early 80’s! His prosthetic leg was very low-tech and left him blistered often – but he kept running – doing a marathon a day on most days for months and months! If a man who’s recovered from cancer can do THAT — it’s doable. I know he died of cancer later on — but his story still inspires me. I think of ultrarunners as exceptional. They are my heroes. I’m not sure I’m built for this yet, but I’m not ready to throw in the towel either. Wayne reminded me that I’ve only been running 2 years – and three months of 2008 I was injured and didn’t run at all. I’m still learning. Still getting stronger. Still trying to learn from the others.

I’m scared about the race on Saturday. I don’t want to feel that way but I do. I’m aching from my 16 miler still. I am already accepting that there’s no way in heck I’m going to PR this one. I’ll just have to be happy with just finishing this time. I hope my stomach stays calm, that I can get enough food in me to keep going without bonking and that I can find my stride and enjoy it. I’m yearning for that feeling right now. I felt so out of kilter on Saturday after starting too fast (my buddy would have happily been running 7 min miles if I could have kept up! )

My foot’s ok. I was wearing new shoes. I’ve been saving them and thought that running in them a week before the marathon would give me a little edge. Instead, I accidentally pulled the laces across the top of my foot too tight and that’s why my right good was aching so much. Just one of those goofy things. My right hamstring is aching and I hope I didn’t pull a muscle, but it feels like a common recovery problem – nothing serious that rest and recovery shouldnt’ heal. Just not sure I’ll be ready to give it my all in a week. I’m not feeling it mentally or physically. I know I can finish (crossing fingers and toes and eyes), but I wish I could find my zone and my mental game. I seem to have misplaced it. Let me know if you see it around here anywhere.

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