Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Seeping Smiles

I like to smile, it makes me feel good and I like to think it makes others feel good. I feel a smile gives everyone that sees it license to enjoy the moment just a little more, and it becomes a contagious action that one is eager to repeat.

Yesterday I passed by a little boy pushing his own stroller. His height did not exceed that of the stroller which made it all the funnier seeing this seeming ghost stroller whipping my way. He was all over the place, the stroller moving wildly across the sidewalk as his mom watched him carefully. The whole scene warmed my heart and I couldn't help but exchange smiles with his mom, she surely appreciated his genius as well.

This morning while running in the park I passed 3 small dogs who had just been let off their leashes and immediately lunged atop a nearby stone wall. The scene is hard to describe but there were large barren prickly bushes on the other side of the wall spilling over, obviously unbeknownst to the dogs now lunging towards them. The first dog of the pack lucky enough to experience the small prick of that bush and jump back down almost to warn his buddies is what found me smiling once again. It was like I could picture him talking begging them to heed his warning.

And from that scene another smile grew immediately. It was a transfer of thoughts from this small pack of dogs to another [much missed] dog, Sage's Sky. Just as Sage had reported from her run yesterday, I smiled while envisioning Sky out on a run with Joe. I saw them leaping over those barren prickly bushes, getting a bit scraped up and maybe suffering a small tear in the BSOD (blue shorts of death for those of you not aware) but not slowing them down in the least bit.

Now go on, spread a smile!

Monday, January 25, 2010

It was a doozy

As suspected, last week was a whirlwind. Monday night after work I flew out to Austin for 3 days of jam packed meetings and while it was quite stressful in spots, we got through a lot of material and ended up very productive. The trip also gave me the chance to check out Austin more and try out some of the most excellent trails they have downtown along the water. So even if I do end up traveling back for more work stuffs I'll have that going for me. Gotta keep this project in perspective and stay positive as it has some major weight associated with it and can get unruly real quick like. I do like the feel of Austin, it's like a Colorado city stuck in Texas. The weather is sweet, the eats are good and the attitudes are relaxed and everything feels very outdoorsy. I can get behind that for sure!

Thursday night I traveled back to NYC and kicked off "The Great 12 Hour Turnaround". In the period of 12 hours I cabbed it home from JFK, unpacked, repacked, slept, ran my 17 mile LR and cabbed it to LGA. Friday was a work day off and I was heading out to hang with my girls in Kansas City. It was worth every bit of anxiety. What a fabulous weekend! These are girls I could have fun with in a cardboard box; they're genuine, funny and real. We have a large amount of history together and that helps too. They feel like home to me; perfect way to end a long week!!

It didn't hurt that I was able to get all my running in as well and continue to feel like a rock with regards to my training. Another week ending in 60 miles and all I want to do is run more, More, MORE!!! Today kicked off the last week in phase 1 for Illinois training, just one more workout of hill repeats and I cut the mileage a bit and add in intervals. Wheeee, cannot wait!

How is everyone's training going? Several of my siblings are also in the midst of training for various spring races, it's awesome to compare notes and see how everyone is feeling. Conga-rats to little bro for logging yet another PR in the HM!!

Saturday, January 16, 2010

A dip in the week

Was feeling majorly overwhelmed with work this past week. After flipping out about launching a couple products and gearing up for a trip to Austin next week to tackle another big one, I tried to figure out why I was letting this all "run me" like it was. The stress about the product launches was undoubtedly related to the amount of effort and time I had sunk into the project and the chaos surrounding some of my team. The trip to Austin, however, was another story. I took a step back and assessed. Yes, it'll be hectic. Yes, I'll need to adjust a few things in the coming week. Yes, it'll probably be this way for awhile longer. Yes, the timing of this trip and project aren't ideal. But none of that will be more than an inconvenience if I choose to keep it all in perspective. I'm alive, I'm having more fun running than ever. I'm going to see a bunch of my close STL friends in less than a week and so much more. I took a deep breathe and read over a piece of art I recently purchased. Chill.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Call me Sybil

Can you tell anything about a person strictly from their reading habits & subject matter? I mean reading can fulfill so many things, it can be for entertainment, for knowledge, for research purposes, to pass the time or just for curiosity's sake. Hell, you might pick up a book or mag truly for the cover! Is it possible to derive anything about one's character from the stack of books, magazines, articles that may appear beside their bed? I, for one, hope not. I do believe people would start thinking I have a multiple personality disorder ...although maybe that'd be a good thing? It could serve as reasoning for some of my moods. ha ha ha... However it might be a right-on assessment as well. I've never been one to completely and totally dive into a single thing, hold that single thing as my #1 focus, do absolutely nothing else but that thing. Sure, I come close but I like the variety, the balance, the mixed bag.

For me reading is like that. I jump from subject matter that I'm intensely interested in to referential information I need to perform better in my running or understand life just a little bit better. Sometimes it's reading one thing that will trigger an interest in something else or even watching or hearing of some subject that gets the spark -> flame -> fire going. Often a break from some particular subject will open up a world of lighter reading, fun stuff, nothing heavy. I'll tell you a little about what I've been reading if you'll do the same. Maybe we can help each other's inner-Sybil out?

Recently I've read Jon Krakauer's, Where Men Win Glory and really enjoyed it. Although I rather enjoy war history, I'm not much into books about the military, how they're run, policies, etc. However Krakauer is a superb author and in this particular book he explores the life of Pat Tillman, the life he had prior to when he was made a war hero by our gov't. I'm presently reading Candace Millard's, The River of Doubt, a fantastic book chronicling Teddy Roosevelt's journey into the Amazon after his failed attempt at a 3rd term in office. Add to that a sprinkling of Jonathan Safran Foer's Eating Animals - this guy is a big favorite of mine and I'm always eager to read more of what motivates individuals to eat/not eat animals & animal products. Michael Pollan and his books were a great intro into this thought process for me and I continue to enjoy the subject matter. Finally I've got the most recent issues of Running Times and Runner's World stuffed into my ginormous purse for subway reading.

Thinking about this post got me reflecting on what themes in other parts of my life have been lately. Lots and lots of running, some yoga, some cooking but not much exploring, not much swimming, not a whole lot of socializing and not a whole lot of travel. Time to shake things up!

Monday, January 4, 2010

2010 is off with a BANG!

First day of the year and I got to enjoy a fantastically sloppy run on the bridle path followed by hours of fun with this little dude while his dad treated us to majorly delicious eats.

Second day of the year and J & I traveled to Philadelphia to watch Kansas lay the beat-down on Temple, retaining both their #1 ranking and undefeated status. The Morris twins earned their home town game glory for sure too!

Third day of the year and I got to run with one of my most favorite people (Missy!), wrapping up a week of 56.3 miles and feeling fantastic. The day got even better when J & I shared dinner with his brother, SIL and their kiddos and finally got to see the kiddos open their gifts. I wish I had my camera out as Keaton played with his Busy Ball Popper

At one point when more than 3 balls came flying up outta this thing, Keaton remarked "balls tickling me". It was beyond adorable! I can only hope that these first few days of the year are representative of the rest.