A Gathering of Women.

Almost six years ago, I traveled to Whidbey Island for the first time to participate in a writing circle of strangers. That week, I made some dear friends who picked me up when I was hurting and helped me to work through some of the pain. Last week, three of those women – Bridget, Janis and Lynn –  traveled to Texas to spend nearly six days in the hill country with me. For five nights, we stayed in an old rock house on property owned by my parents and previously occupied only by cows. They opted not to leave the house except on Sunday, when we ventured to the LBJ Ranch. Mostly, we wrote and talked. Continue reading

The Dangers of Being a Sherpa.

I’m in Louisville, Kentucky, acting as a sherpa for my sister’s first Ironman. It’s hard not to get wrapped up in the whole Ironman thing. I see the lean and strong people around me who will get to race on Sunday, and I want to be one of them. I see people going on pre-race runs, and while I’m running too, I know our intensity is different, and part of me really wants their intensity – the focus you experience in the days leading up to a big race. I’m watching my sister as she preps, and while there’s a part of me that is relieved that I don’t have to swim in the Ohio River this weekend, there’s another part of me that is so envious that she’s just days away from the Ironman finish line. That’s one of my favorite places on earth. Continue reading

Trail Running.

I’m still riding this wave of training for fun and not because I have a race coming up. I do have some races coming up, but they are runs, not triathlons, and with my Ironman experiences, I pretty much feel like I can up and do damn near any race distance on just a base level of fitness. That sounds arrogant, I know, but I’ve learned that racing is largely mental, and my head has carried me through quite a few times. To push myself a bit this winter, I’ve signed up for a 50K trail race. That’s a whole new playing field for me, and it will be a challenge even if I’m at my fittest. Between the uneven surface and it being the longest distance I will ever have done on foot, I’ll need to be ready mentally and physically. To me, that’s super exciting. Continue reading

To Want to Train.

I hadn’t been on my bike since May. Once I hurt my hip, I quit trying to ride at all, much less get in any long rides. So when my friend Emily asked me to help her get back on her bike for the first time in years, I took the invitation as the opportunity to get back out on mine. Long story short, an easy and fun 6-mile ride with her during the week prompted me to ride again on Sunday morning. I hopped out of bed, threw on my biking clothes, and went for a solo ride down Creek Road in Dripping Springs. It was beautiful and so much fun. The best part was that I craved a ride. I didn’t do it because I had to. I did it because I wanted to. Continue reading