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Title:MOJO Gaining Momentum (Salute 10K)
Date:Monday May 27th, 2013
Author:Juli Aistars
MOJO -- Motivation Overcoming Jinxing Obstacles

Happy Memorial Day to everyone!!!

Jinxing obstacles -- we have all been hindered by them and I love to hear the stories of ultrarunners coming back from injuries, illnesses, life events. If you want something, you have to do everything to make it happen. Unless you have exhausted all avenues or stopped wanting it, you don't give up.

In January of this year, I jumped into the Frozen Gnome 50K in IL, knowing I had a slim chance of finishing after being on the injured reserve list for 3 months. The race was a frozen tundra complete with a slide down a hill (the funnest part!) and I made it to 18 miles before I started limping and returned to the car where Val was trying to stay warm, patiently waiting for me to prove something. He has the patience of a saint :)

Then I went to RR100 and gave it in at 54 miles, limping and cold. I was frustrated, but I was not going to accept this. I was going to keep pushing. I was still dealing with the left forefoot pain that I had all last year, which I am beginning to think is metatarsalgia. I didn't want to get out the door to run with Spring late in coming, but I made myself do it. Sometimes, I didn't get out the door as intended. Sometimes I felt like a failure but tried I again the next day. I got on Daily Mile and seeing what friends were doing inspired me. Having to log my workouts made me do them sometimes. I started running with friends who I hadn't run with in the past because they ran a slower pace. I pushed them to meet their goals, and in the process, I got faster as well. I also got to know these friends better, to find out who they really are, what their goals are, what they deal with every day, like a mother with Alzheimer's, a difficult relationship or feeling alone...

Then I finished LOST 118, tied for last but done in the time limit. I attribute this finish in large part to some good advice from Joe and also to Jan's encouragement and crewing in the last 40 miles. Then I did a local 1/2 marathon, the Seneca Greenway Trail 34 mile and the Lakefront 50K in March. None of them were very good times, but I was improving.

I kept hearing about the New Leaf Daily MiIe Challenge. In April, I joined, running at least 1 mile every day since April 1st. I am not much of a FB person, but I also got to know these runners better, even just to read about their races and goals or things that happen in their lives. They inspire me, almost every day when I post my miles. I ran Umstead 100M (which was thrilling to log on the Challenge :)) and the Earth Day 50K and I was feeling more and more like it was possible to get back to where I was in 2011 in terms of speed and endurance. I ran a 5K at a cancer nursing convention at the end of April at a pace of 7:37. This motivated me to try to run faster at short distance and it made me believe I could.

Then I ran a PR at SJ 40 and I was thrilled. Then I ran an 8K last weekend at a 7:45 pace. I ran the Salute 10K yesterday with a goal of running the 8K pace for an additional 1.25 miles and I did it -- a 7:44 pace, just breaking 48 minutes. No PRs here yet, but getting closer... Speed seems important again (my version of speed that is) and I set another goal -- new PRs for 5 and 10K this year, going on 55 years old in October :). I have to get below 7:15 pace at 5K and below 7:30 pace at 10K. I don't know if I will, but I'm going to try. So I started speed training on Wednesdays 3 weeks ago, all in between working a lot and spending time with our grandson and fixing the house to get it ready for sale -- and dealing with menopause and running 10 miles a day :)

Just a few words about the veteran's memorial Salute 5/10K I ran yesterday, in it's 10th year in the quaint, tree-lined streets of Arlington Heights, IL. Governor Quinn spoke. Out of all cities and towns in IL, he chose to be here at this run for some reason. A veteran sang our national anthem, bringing tears to my eyes as it always does when it is sung with such heart... Some injured veterans participated in the walk, in their wheelchairs or using walkers, sometimes accompanied by family and friends. They were young and I wondered at the sense of it all but am grateful that some answer the call to duty and don't question the motives. I thought about their families and those who love them. The names of a few of the young Arlington Heights men killed in Iraq were announced -- they will never return to these tree-lined streets, to their families. Yes, it is all relative.

Back to less significant things... I changed my diet, using the paleo and Whole30 as a guide and lost my belly fat. My weight is right where it was in high school for the first time in years. Is it eating better or running more? I started taking Singulair for asthma and I am more inclined to use Ventolin before I run. It seems to make a difference -- my lung function is down 10-15% of where it should be because of restricted airways which I may have had all my life. I don't like taking medications but as I get older, I am more inclined to give things a try and evaluate the benefit against the risks.

I have taken on the Midwest Grandslam of Ultrarunning (Kettle, Mohican, Burning River, Hallucination), because it is a challenge closer to home, possibly within my abilities. That starts this next weekend with Kettle 100M. Two weeks later, Mohican 100. Maybe I will run a 5K in between? :)

I am sharing this just before Kettle to put more pressure on myself but also because it might be worth something to anyone who is struggling with their running right now, especially if she is a woman in her 50s :). I am thinking about Steve's 2 cups of expresso and a cig on race day morning... You gotta try things and see what happens... :)

I read the article about Shannon F-G, thinking there are much worse things to deal with in this life, like serious health problems such as MS and cancer and hard-core addictions. I fondly remembered Shannon giving me a pair of Moeben fire sleeves at the Western States training camp a few years back -- I think of her when I wear them. I thought about her when I read the article and her daily struggle for the past 7 years. Some of us have hip replacements like Fuzz, severe arthritis like Sue and a serious knee injury like Fred's. Loved ones are taken from us or they are seriously ill. We struggle with ourselves, with addictions, with relationships. But most of us persist and solve our issues, one at a time. We have choices, as long as we are here. When I hear of an untimely and sometimes senseless death, like that of the British soldier in the news, I think how sad it is that there are no more choices for that person. We are lucky we have choices.

I met one of my running acquaintances, Robin, at the 10K who had ACL surgery 7 weeks ago so she was there for her husband, unable to run yet. She's found other things to focus on while she can't run. Yesterday, she was supporting her husband in his 10K run, one week after he ran a marathon. These two, Tony and Robin, met because of running and they are a great couple. A lady who passed me in the last mile told me about her double mastectomy for breast cancer last year at age 46 so she could avoid chemo and radiation. She PRed today with a time 47:34. She apologized for passing me and I told her that is what she is supposed to do in a race. She motivated me to push a little harder when she passed. Without her, I would not have broken 48 minutes :).

We are all different and we all have different things to deal with, but they all can be dealt with, one way or another. We have choices...

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Posted:May 31st, 2013 9:50 am
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