Category Archives: family

Out of the Woods, Into the Canyon

I’d be lying if I said this wasn’t written-while-jamming-to Tay. Converted. Not ashamed.

The MLK-weekend trip to Austin with my sister + SIL and was a grand ol’ time. It’s a quirky city with a lot to offer the outdoor enthusiast, foodie and music lover – or any combination of. We had some great recommendations for lodging, eats and walking/running trails that kept us busy for the 72-hour trip.

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The flight back to SFO on Monday afternoon marked my last airplane experience until the end of March, and my 14th flight in 15 weeks. So, yeah, I’m pretty f-ing pumped to be grounded for a little while.


NOW, for the first time in a few months, my Training Peaks schedule is filled with 7 days of real workouts. Not every run is “easy” with a side of “see how things feel” and a large dose of mental paranoia {about my knee}. Instead, I spend those 45-60 minutes more concerned about my heart rate and the prescribed workout for the day. It’s an odd bliss, I know. My brain remembers what it’s like to just run again. Maybe not entirely, ever, but for the most part, we’re out of the woods.

I am patient.
I am okay with going slow & steady, for now. (Rinse. Repeat.)

Adios, forest de injury! You’re not so fun to navigate, but you’re extremely satisfying to leave.

Now, I’m training to get back some fitness and prep for the Canyonlands Half-Marathon. We registered because it’s an excuse to travel through southern Utah (which needs no excuse) and some of the team will be there, too. Win, win!

What spring race(s) is/are on your agenda / radar?


Filed under about me, exercise, family

An Early Mother Runner

One of the 400 level writing classes I took in college focused on Sports Psychology, breaking the layers away from not only childhood sport experiences but also how athletes and everyday exercisers mentally develop from their surroundings. This field of thought was entirely new to me; as a 20 year old, my memories simply held onto the teams I was a part of and how to kick a ball up the field from defense.

The streets around the neighborhood that we still call “home” are familiar with my Mom’s running shoes. She never trained for a 10K or a marathon, instead running off of her own self-motivation (and likely a need for pure escape from 3 young children!). From what I can remember, she ran almost every day, solo. Sometimes my Dad would join her for a walk, and on a blue moon we’d join her on a bike for a little while. Either way, she got her run on.

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As Sports Psychology chapters argued nature vs. nurture, I had to give my votes to the latter. Suburban New Mexico was safe enough, and we had plenty of sandstone to climb for ‘backyard’ adventures; the “Outdoorsy” types are aplenty, but sports aren’t competitive and a true “natural” runner wouldn’t bloom out of pure luck.

The three of us grew up playing a variety of sports; I stuck to dance, soccer and tennis, strictly avoiding anything that revolved solely around running (ugh, how exhausting). My siblings’ stories are similar -we played what we wanted to (Soccer is the one common thread), our parents supported us in every way possible and encouragement was dished out generously.

{Insert an embarrassingly cute old-school photo of the three of us, decked out in our respectively ill-fitting jerseys, large socks and cleats.}

We never thought about not doing anything; of course our time should be spent on a team, running around, exerting our energy with some sort of direction and purpose. We may not have realized it then, but the examples had been set; every day involves physical activity, whether that’s coached, in the backyard or around the neighborhood.

I like to think of it this way – my Mom ran before it was “cool”, in her cotton t-shirts, aging shorts and whatever shoes happened to be by the front door. There were no local “5Ks” or Turkey Trots or group runs to meet up with. She ran to stay healthy, in shape, and sane. I don’t remember ever asking her why she did this; really, I don’t remember questioning it at all. Of course she ran, and of course I would, too.

All three of us have maintained a level of physical activity, in every year of our lives. My brother & sister played intramural sports in college, went on hikes outside of their southern desert campus and live for the first snowfall of the season so they can dust off the snowboards. Now, we all run, too.

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Mom, we did all of these things because you (and Dad!) set the example. You showed us it was okay to sweat, take 30 minutes of the day for yourself, and spend a few extra dollars on running/soccer shoes, ski gear, hiking boots, and eventually a race fee. You keep yourself healthy, and we never questioned why someone would make an effort to do so. You do something for you, and we’re better for it.

Happy {early} Mother’s Day, to my favorite Mother Runner!
Love you, Mom.


Luckily, these days, there are quite a few Mother Runners! Thanks to Dimity McDowell & Sarah Bowen Shea, a community has formed and these mother runners are encouraged and supported by each other every day. Kudos to you all, and happy Mother’s day to you, too! Enjoy the miles.


Filed under family, running