For those who know me or know my writing, you understand that, for me, running is equal parts about the sport and about the journey. So while I will write about the race – the course, the spectators, the City, and everything that made the Chicago Marathon such an exceptional event – this is not that post. Because, in my mind, it is impossible to do justice to the race without also acknowledging this: 26.2 miles is a friggin’ long way to go. It is hard. Sunday's race tested me and tested my emotions, and that is exactly what made it so impactful.Read More
I am (overly) cautious and a worrier by nature. Always have been. With a truly overactive imagination, in any given situation I can come up with a dozen ways that things could go horribly wrong, and then preoccupy myself with thoughts about how best to avert disaster. My family knows this and, my son especially, will exploit it for his own entertainment (“Look Mom – no hands!” … and then watch as my freak out begins and I turn fifty shades of pale.)Read More
If distance running was a product, it would come with the following prominently written on the label: WARNING – You WILL get injured. Every runner I know who has been at it awhile has a war story - hamstring injuries, plantar fasciitis, shin splints, knee pain. True devotees to the sport seem to spend equal parts time training and trying to keep their bodies healthy. Because of this, when I started my training for Chicago I was alert to the possibility that at some point my body might call an injury timeout. What I did not expect was that the injury would come not from running, but from a game of hopscotch.Read More
This summer, we had the chance to babysit our nephew for a couple of days while his parents took a well-earned, albeit brief, mini-vacation. With our kids now well into their teens, it has been a solid 13 years since we last had a toddler in the house. God bless them, my brother and his wife managed to look past this and trusted me when I told them that “we’ve got this,” pointing to our 19-year track record of parenting, my husband’s M.D., and 4-on-1 defense with two teenagers on hand to help us corral a toddler and keep him entertained, safe, and happy while his parents were away. And we did all right … aided in no small part by the fact that my 2-year old nephew sensed our lack of recent toddler experience like an animal smells fear, and drew on every “big boy” ability he had at his disposal to rise to the occasion. In short: The kid went easy on us.Read More
I am a list maker and a planner. A habitual rule-follower, most of my life has been spent traveling a straight and narrow path and trying to avoid temptations to stray outside of the lines. While constraining in other contexts, these Type A tendencies have served me particularly well in training. With a well-vetted marathon plan in hand, I plunge ahead with a good deal of confidence that if I check all of the boxes, if I hit all of my runs and paces, then come race day I will be prepared for the task at hand. In week 8 of training, I had every intention of drawing on this compulsive desire (need?) to click off all of the workouts, and to stay entirely on point, to avoid otherwise inevitable vacation detours.Read More
Marathon training this time around is different. Getting into the New York City Marathon was a surprise, and my expectations going into it principally involved two objectives: (1) finish the race with my dignity in tact and (2) soak in what surely would be an epic experience. I started the training fitter than I had been in years, and every long run was a new milestone, reinforcing feelings of accomplishment and strength. Now, one year later, training for Chicago and training for a cause, I have every reason to feel confident and emboldened. And yet here I am, five weeks in, still waiting to hit my stride mentally and physically.Read More
Growing up, I LOVED the countdown to the start of a new school year. It came with the emotional bundle of apprehension, optimism, excitement, and nervous anticipation. Fresh school supplies, a first day of school outfit, a finely tuned new organization plan, and a hopeful vision for what surely would be a perfect year. A little nerdy and unrealistic? Sure. But apparently not much has changed because my build up to the start of Chicago Marathon training played out much the same way.Read More
June is a month littered with milestones. It marks the end of the school year for some, graduation for others, and a big month for exchanging vows. In our family, the first week in June included ninth grade graduation from middle school for our son, and moving our daughter out of her dorm room marking the end of her first year of college. Those doors were barely closed behind them before they started to move on to what is next.Read More
It was a slow start when I returned to running after a years-long hiatus. Literally. A two to three mile run-walk (or, more accurately, walk-jog) left me breathless and struggling to remember why, again, was I doing this? After a few months, the pieces started to come together and while I was by no means fast, at age 44 I was posting life-long personal bests in middle distance races, and I came to view every run as a new opportunity to see whether I could eke out a slightly faster time. That game ended when I started to train for the marathon, and I was instructed to slow down – way down – and to learn to train at my marathon pace.Read More
When I think about parenting and motherhood, it conjures images of young families, and the frenetic joy and chaos that come with raising young kids. There is the side of parenting that makes me laugh and smile until my heart overflows with love, that exists with the other side of parenting that at times leaves me half-paralyzed by fear and insecurity. How do I keep them safe, especially when they start to test their wings and learn to fly? Where are my answers to the ever-evolving parenting questions when the issues (and the stakes) seem to get so much higher with each passing year? How do I stop time, because it is slipping away … as I know it must?Read More
Envy. One of the seven deadly sins. Our culture promotes it, and our conscience fights against it. But there are times when envy just sucks you in, and this week the Boston Marathon was my undoing. The more I read about it, watched coverage of it, and was pinged on social media with happy pictures of it, the more I wanted a piece of Boston for myself.Read More
It has been fifty years since Bobbi Gibb became the first woman to race the Boston Marathon, unbeknownst to the race organizers who did not realize that a woman covertly made her way to the start. Soon discovered, she shed a heavy sweatshirt and openly finished the race – to the sound of cheers – in a remarkable 3 hours 21 minutes. As she tells her story, the next two years she ran again (sans bib). Sara Mae Berman picked up the baton and ran in 1969, 1970 and 1971 until the Boston Marathon officially opened its race to women in 1972.Read More
Before we had children, if you would have asked what life skills I hoped to impart on our kids, somewhere on list probably would have been the ability to stick to their convictions and intelligently state the basis for their opinions. Now well into their teens, I can say that our children have all but mastered this. As an attorney, to hear the kids competently defend their positions is a point of pride. As their mother, at times it can be, well, a challenge.Read More
Searching for running goals to guide me through 2016 prompted some serious self-examination about what motivates me most. Especially coming off of last year, if I am going to commit to something beyond a local 10k, it needs to grab me and inspire me in a very real way. I set the bar high, looking for something I could commit to wholeheartedly and without a second thought.Read More
To most, Tuesday was just another average weekday. I, on the other hand, looked forward to Tuesday with all of the anxious anticipation of a small child counting the days until Christmas. Tuesday was the NYC Marathon lottery. I have been waiting for this day since the moment I crossed the 2015 finish line in Central Park, and by the time it finally arrived I had all but blocked out the possibility that I might not get lucky again this year. Simply, when you want something so badly, it is almost unfathomable to think that you might not get it.Read More
If you call a law firm, generally you will receive one of two greetings – either a generic “Law Offices” or the rattling off of two to six last names of partners in the firm. It is very business like. Always. Well, maybe not always. Several years ago as a young attorney I was asked to reach out to a lawyer with a solo practice in a small town in the Rocky Mountains. Instead of the expected generic greeting, he answered my call with a loud and enthusiastic: “It’s a great day to be alive!”Read More
Today, my husband celebrates a milestone birthday: 48. What qualifies it as a milestone you may wonder? After more than twenty-four years together, twenty-three of them as a married couple, this is the year that my husband and I officially have celebrated more birthdays together than apart. And that’s something.Read More
Saturday morning, this was the exchange in our family room:
Husband: What are you doing?
Me: Setting up the TV and DVR to watch the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials.
Me: Because I’m going to watch them. (Duh).
Husband: You are going to watch all of it?
Me: Yes. (Again, duh).
Husband: You are going to watch people run 26.2 miles?
Confession: I not only watched the full marathon coverage, I watched some of it twice.Read More
After much thought, I have concluded that there are two types of runners. There are those who have to run like they have to breathe. Whether it is 25 degrees and snowing or a sweltering 95 outside, they will figure out a way to get in their miles and beat their bests, motivated by the pure joy they derive from the sport. For them, running is an inseparable part of who they are and, absent injury, it seems to the outside observer that nothing will ever hold them back. Then there is a second class of runners who, for want of a better metaphor, need a carrot (or the promise of guilt-free chocolate) to entice them out the door.Read More
This country (or maybe it’s just California?) remains in the midst of this weird love affair with yoga. Yoga supposedly is transformative, and (if you believe the hype) will re-shape your body, mind, and entire outlook on life. I want to like yoga, I really do … but every time I try it I come away underwhelmed.Read More