Boot camp

If you want to know what it’s like to be human pogo stick, try a boot camp fitness class.

It will test your ability to bounce, and it’s fun in a “shoot-your-own- forehead-with-staples” kind of way.

By now, if you’ve read my blog often enough, you already know that I’m just that kind of person who would like that sort of thing.

Marathoners and endurance athletes usually are. Go figure.

Seriously, though, my training has felt stale lately, even before Charleston. A part of me has been craving something to shake it up. My solution last Friday was 5:30 a.m. boot camp class.

My goal for the next several weeks is to try something new and blog about it.

I had seen these boot camp classes before, for example, when I take “Jane” to swimming practice and I’ve wanted to try one. I usually have Tarzan with me so I can’t.

Right now I’m training for the Canyonland Half Marathon in Moab (Mar. 17). I already have a good base built, which frees up a little of my time to do some exploring.


Friday’s boot camp class consisted of a combo of drills — core and plyometric work, sandwiched in between running intervals, things such as jumping rope, push-ups, sit-ups, planks, burpees, frog jumps, step-ups, lungs, squats, side stepping and grapevines, hopping off and on a bosu ball with one foot.

Essentially we ran for about a quarter mile, then attacked a set of drills: 30 seconds of plank, 30 seconds of push-ups, 30 seconds of sit-ups. Then we repeated each of them for 60 seconds, and then did a final round for 90 seconds, followed by another quarter mile of sprinting.

That was an example of the one of the easier drills.

There was one drill where we combined burpees, squats, and side-stepping using an elastic band underneath us. By the time we got to the 90-second  portion I looked like my automatic garage door opener breaking down — no spring left in me.

The day after the class I was more sore in my glutes, hammies and triceps than after my recent marathon. I didn’t think that was possible. It seemed like I used every last leg muscle in me to cross the finish line in Charleston but apparently I didn’t. This class found stuff I wasn’t using yet.

I plan on going back. (Thank you, sir, can I have some more?)

I’m exploring these adventures in conjunction with my “running streak.”  To clarify I’m not running mega-mileage every day during my streak. Four days a week I’m keeping my mileage higher. On the other three days I’m running a minimum of a couple of miles a day. Those are the days I plan to try these new things.

I’m not sure what I will pick next week — maybe “yoga for athletes” or “muscle conditioning” class?

It depends on the offerings at my gym and what I can find.

Whatever it is, I’ll let you know how it goes.

Fasten your seat belts.


Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Mileage yesterday: 8; Mileage for 2012 thus far: 109.

Fun Fridays: An explanation of marathons for non-runners

This pretty much sums the exact conversations I have with non-runners about why I run marathons, what they are and how I train for them,  AND probably exactly what THEY think of my behavior, even if they don’t voice these thoughts out load.

 Enjoy some

Coming tomorrow on Boston or Botox: A summary of my first “boot camp” fitness class.


Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Mileage today: 2, plus “boot camp” boogie; Mileage for 2012 thus far: 99

All for Run, and Run for All: Running Clubs

There’s a quirky scene from the movie, “About a Boy” that reminds me of what it’s like to run with a new group.

It’s the part where Toni Collette’s character, a divorced mom, joins a single-parenting support group. The members end the meeting shouting the group’s motto in unison, “Single Parents Alone Together! (SPAT!)”

Although I’m thankfully not a single parent, I AM a busy parent and can relate to that funny scene in so many ways.

In both parenting and running you have to do the work yourself, BUT it sure feels better and goes a lot quicker when you do it surrounded by others like you.

Thank God for my mom friends AND my running partners.

What would I do without you?!

No Runner Left Behind …

Being with a great group made all the difference during my recent trip to Charleston.

I went with several of my Columbines friends. We got along well and helped each other  along the way — much like the spirit of our running club.

Our race trip came about because Carol, one of our friends, has a goal of running a half marathon in all 50 states, and she invited us to join her. We booked our flights together.

The race was scheduled for Saturday. We traveled on Thursday. We were supposed to take a connecting flight through Chicago and arrive in Charleston by 5:30 p.m.

When we got to O’Hare our southbound flight to Charleston got canceled due to a snow storm in Chicago. We spent several hours stuck at O’Hare before we could fly out again.

Oh No, Oh Hell, O’Hare

My friends and I worked as a team, re-booking our flights and mapping out the logistics together. We got into Charleston during the wee hours of Thursday night/early Friday morning. We rested on Friday, bought groceries, cooked together and planned out how to get the race start the next day.

Not All Running Clubs Are Created Equal …

I have belonged to other running clubs throughout the years and I’ve learned this: Not all running groups are created equal.

Here’s the irony: Although no one can run for you, we’re still social creatures. Most of us seek the company of others when we do it.


Different runners are motivated for different reasons but many of us prefer a shared experience and it’s more fun than going at it alone. We bond and form friendships with others during our group runs. I know that is especially true with female runners.

Also, I know if I am looking to run harder or faster I’m more likely to do it with a running partner or group than when I try alone.

For new runners a group can help you get started or keep you going.

Here are several DOs and DON’Ts that make running clubs successful in my view:

DO listen to members and their needs, especially if you are a club leader. Have a variety of runs and events to meet various people’s interests.

DO encourage people of all paces and abilities to join, and make sure they have people to run with them. DON’T let cliques or only the speedsters dominate. This will turn people away.

DO have a welcoming or mentoring group within your club. This can make a HUGE difference. Imagine how you would feel if you showed up at a run for the first time and no one said hello, or talked to you, or ran with you. Would you go again or join?

DO make sure all your runners get back safely if you’re having a group run. DON’T  assume anything.

DO mix it up — offer fun runs, clinics, social outings, and races for people to participate in if they want. Again, different people are motivated for different reasons, and give them choices and options.

You get the gist. Now get out there, yourself, and have FUN.

Some Mea Culpas and My New “Streak”
The other day in my post, “Strange Brew” I wrote about drinking and running. I want to offer an apology to my friend Pam. I didn’t mean to mislead or misrepresent her in my writing. My point was to illustrate that different runners have different strengths and what works for one person may not work for another. Sorry Pam!!

Also, I didn’t mean to sound negative in my Charleston race report about my finishing time. What frustrated me at the end of that race was not feeling my best, not the numbers on the clock. Every marathon finish, in the end, is a good finish, regardless of how fast or slow one does it. It ALL counts.

Last, I want to share my newest goal with you: “Streaking.”

Starting Jan. 14, the day I ran the Charleston Marathon, I began my “running streak.” My goal is to run EVERY DAY for the next year — until Jan. 14, 2013.

So far I’ve run 12 days in a row.

That’s all for tonight. I’m working on some new Boston or Botox profiles and hope to deliver them soon.

Until then, bueno bye and keep it moving forward, all.

“Striding Partners Alone Together!”



Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Mileage today: 6; Mileage for 2012 thus far: 98.3.

“Wall” You Need is Love: Tebowing in Charleston

Please, someone give me an electrolyte sledgehammer!

I’m tired of hitting “the Wall” during my marathons, as was the case in Charleston last weekend.

I trained so hard, for so long, and I thought I worked out all my nutritional bugs.

Apparently I was wrong, very wrong.

It was as if someone dropped a concrete barricade in front of me around mile 17 — not the biggest or worst “Wall” I’ve ever hit, but still “The Wall.”

I hate “the Wall.”

“Wall” is a four-letter word that inspires a slew of other four-letter words in me. 

If you want to see me transformed from my normally mild-mannered self into “psycho crazy runner-bitch” give me “the WALL.”

I become a garbage pit of obscenities.

It ain’t pretty, not like this funky, cool wall we saw along the beach in Charleston …

“Wall you need is love”

My marathon”Wall” gave me NO  LOVE and it totally blind-sided me as they often can — never saw it coming and never expected it.

Before and during the race I drank and ate everything that normally works for me on long training runs and it failed.

That’s dialogue for a future post.

My troubles began around mile 17. I dropped my iPod accidentally. I wore capri tights, a tank top and arm warmers for racing. It was in the 30s at the start and it warmed up to about 50 degrees by the finish. The wind was brutal the whole time we were in Charleston. It sucked on race day. It didn’t matter which way we turned, it was relentless.

I went to adjust my arm warmers. My iPod flew off and hit the ground several feet behind me. (I normally don’t wear music but I had my iPod, just in case, for a boost the last few miles.)

I ran back to where my iPod was, reached down to grab it and my entire midsection began to cramp and spasm.

Cramping is a classic sign of dehydration and electrolyte imbalance — we learned this in my RRCA coaching training.

I knew then and there my race in terms of my goal pace and time was probably over.

From that point forward my body kept breaking down and my breathing was labored.

I continued to take Gatorade and water at all the aid stations and ate my last PowerGel, but it made no difference. I fought the cramping the rest of the way.

A Southern drawl of a race … full of twists and turns, looooonng on charm …

I took advantage of my iPod and it helped some.

If I had planned better I should have added some Southern-fried music like Leonard Skynyrd to my mix. After all, they service shrimp and grits at the finish of the Charleston Marathon.

(“Give me three steps, give me steps (toward the finish) and you won’t see me no mo’.”)

The course itself was pretty good — fast and mostly scenic. It started in the downtown and wound through the shopping district. You saw nice neighborhood at the beginning and as you continued some not-so-monied areas, too.

There was one single, little climb, over a bridge at mile 7. The course turned many times and eventually headed toward the city’s naval yard where it finished.

A treat from home: A Colorado Columbines friend, Tookie, has family in the Charleston area and she arranged to have Columbines signs cheering us on placed throughout the course. That was awesome!

This was the second year the organizers have staged it. Overall it was well done — plenty of volunteers and people and supplies at aid stations.

I honestly only have a few criticisms: One, the course twisted and turned a lot, which I don’t care for and makes for a little slower running and finish times; and two, the last six miles by the naval yard sucked. If anything needs to be changed, it’s that section.

You run the last six miles out by the seaport, not able to see where you will turn around and then you go back the same way. You can see people who’ve already turned back and it feels like you are on the stretch forever. It’s demoralizing and boring.

Also, that last stretch is full or potholes and uneven footing. I think all of us from our group who finished the marathon felt knee pains from it. You have to make two turns the last half mile to finish — not ideal.

Right around mile 20 I saw a man wearing a shirt with these words written on the back, “I have fought the good fight. I have finished the course. I have kept the faith.” (New American Standard Bible, 2 Timothy 4:7)

Repeating those words, my own mantras, and my willpower pushed me to the finish. I never walked. I never gave up and it was painful.

I finished. I’ll take that.

A few days later when I posted my race time (4:13) on Facebook one friend commented that this race was “my Tebow moment.”

That made me cry because it was true. This race, and forces that were out of my control, sought to bring me to my knees, just like “Tebowing.” It took drive and faith to not let it get the better of me.

I’m not a huge football or Broncos fan but even with your head buried under a rock you can’t ignore Tim Tebow these days.

More than his “Tebowing” bow before of the world, I admire Tim Tebow’s humility — the way he seems to accept his fate whether he wins or loses. (I hope fame and cynicism never steal that quality from him.)

That’s why I think people either love or loathe Tebow. They are drawn to his light. He inspires many and irks the cynics or those who are jealous.

I draw this analogy because running is a spiritual path for me. The hardest thing isn’t hitting the wall but acceptance of it — keeping the faith — whether the race turns out the way I hoped and planned, or not.

Isn’t that the way many true tests are in life — running and otherwise?

In that respect I don’t think it matters if you are Christian or not — fate always finds ways to test us and our moxie.

At Charleston I can say I never gave up.

I fought the good fight. I finished the race. I kept the faith.

With faith and grace (and continued training), there will be other races and perhaps another “Tebow touchdown moment” or two left in me.

I have no regrets. Charleston and her pretty seaside treated us well.

My friends and I visited Fort Sumter and took in some American Civil War history. We shopped downtown at the famous marketplace and Broad Street. We ate good seafood. We stayed at a beach house and walked along the sandy shores.

Life was good the four days we were there.

I have more to share, including my newest goal, but I will stop here today.

One hint: I’m “streaking.” (Mind out of the gutter, folks; I’m keeping my clothes for this “running streak.”)

Thank you Charleston. You were good to us.

It’s great to be home again.


“Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!”

Mileage yesterday: 3.1 Mileage for 2012 so far: 75.3

Dead crab run in Charleston

You win some; you lose some; and then you just finish some.

That’s how the Charleston Marathon turned out for me.

It wasn’t my best race or my worst ever but I learned from it. There’s always a silver lining, even when things don’t go as planned.

This was not an easy race for me to finish but I did.

I earned warrior points for that.

A detailed race report will follow in the coming days. In short I experienced some fueling and hydration problems, which surprised me because I was doing everything I did in training yet my body cramped and broke down during the race and I never recovered.

That’s the bad news.

Now for the good news. I was hoping to finish under four hours and still got 4 hours 13 minutes. That’s actually not too bad, all things considered. I never gave and I never walked, and I finished.

Marathon #8 completed: I will take that and use it toward my motivation and strength for next time.

And there will be next time. I’m no quitter.

The even better news … I got to spend a great weekend with my friends and training partners, the Distance Divas (pictured below).

Charleston is a gorgeous seaside city. Here we enjoyed the smell of salty air and the lull of crashing waves outside our beach house we rented.

We ran past quaint streets in this Southern Belle of a city with its many fun shops, restaurants and artists galleries, and in the days following our race took them in a second go.

What’s not to like about that?

My race may not have turned out as I hoped but at least it didn’t go as badly as it did for this poor guy.

We found this dead crab on the beach our first day here. I joked about not wanting to finish feeling like him — not thinking it actually would happen to me. Ironically it did.

It happened. I dealt with it. Now I am moving on.

I even ran two miles this morning on the beach and it wasn’t bad at all.

No more dead crabs or dead legs for me …


Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Mileage today: 2; Mileage yesterday: 26.2; Mileage for 2012: 65

Strange brew

Beer … it does a body good.

Drinking beer can help you if you are a female runner.

That’s what I read into this recent article, “Beer Run,” Runner’s World (Feb. 2012).

The article focused on how drinking beer after running affects both men and women. The goal of their study was to get the runners’ blood alcohol level to .07 and see how well the runners performed the next day.

The results?

Female runners did better on beer when they ran the next day. Men did worse.

This article piqued my interest because about two years ago, nearly the same time I qualified for Boston, I started my own beer-drinking ritual before racing.

I suffer from insomnia off and on, and I get it especially bad the night before a big race.

I was going through a particularly bad stretch of sleeplessness when I decided on a fluke to drink a Coors Light with my dinner one night. (This was a departure for me. Unlike my college-excess days I’m mostly a teetotaler now.)

Lo and behold I slept deep for the first time literally in weeks.

A few weeks later I decided to try my experiment again the night before a long-distance training run.

To my surprise my one Coors Light worked its magic — quelling my nerves and allowing me decent sleep. Even better though I found out it didn’t hurt my running or seem to dehydrate me.

On a few occasions I’ve tried having a glass of wine or other alcoholic drinks, like a margarita, the night before a big run, especially if I’m eating out with friends or family and want to be social.  Those drinks have the opposite effect. My sleep and running becomes sloppy.

Some people can drink alcohol and still run very well. I can’t.

My friend Pam, who ran Boston with me, for instance, has an iron gut. She can drink a couple of glasses of wine before a race. Neither she nor her running suffers

I also remember a passage from the book, “Born to Run” where the author talks about this young couple who were both ultra-racing phenoms. On the way to Mexico to race the Tarahumara the two of them get as trashed as Lindsay Lohan on a weekend spree. Getting blottoed, however, doesn’t stop them from kicking some serious ultra-running ass in Mexico.

For me? No way … ix nay especially on the vino. It gives me a headache.

That’s why my Coors Light trick shocked me when I stumbled upon it.

Maybe it’s because the beer relaxes me to sleep or maybe it’s because the beer has carbs, but whatever the reason one Coors Light the night before a race works and I run better.

I did my ritual — drank my one light beer with dinner — the night before I qualified for Boston at the California International Marathon in Sacramento. It worked.

I’ve sworn by it ever since. It’s become part of what I do before every big race, like laying out my gear and getting my race tag ready.

One cold Coors Light with a carb-load dinner.

I plan to do it again this weekend in Charleston.



Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Mileage today: 2; Mileage for 2012: 37.

“C stands for champion”

“C stands for champion.

That’s one of my mantras for the Charleston Marathon next weekend (Jan. 14.)

Here’s a link to a Runner’s World article that talks about how running mantras work.

As part of my goal setting for 2012 I’m looking at better ways to apply mantras to the rest of my life, too.

I’m re-reading a book called “The Artist’s Way: A Spiritual Path to Creativity” by Julia Cameron. When I lived in Santa Fe I picked  up a copy of it after hearing her speak at a local book store.

“The Artist’s Way” outlines a 12-week program for jump-starting your creativity. Each chapter suggests exercises for how to do it. One section explores creative allies — people who nurture our creativity, and creative monsters — people who squelch it, knowingly or unknowingly.

Cameron suggests using positive affirmations, or mantras, among other tools, to make peace with our demons.

I also remember reading somewhere that for each piece of
criticism a young child receives it takes about five positive statements
to counteract the negative effects. After observing my own two children I believe it.

“Every child is an artist. The problem is how to remain an artist once he grows up. ”
— Pablo Picasso

I came up with”C stands for champion” because of “Sally,” a boogieman from my past. Sally and I once worked together.

I remember one day at work a few of us were at my desk talking about the baseball play-offs that year. The San Francisco Giants, the local team, and the Chicago Cubs, my favorite team, were playing each other. We were having a spirited discussion but no one was hitting below the belt.

Sally walked by, saw the Cubs paperweight on my desk and said, “Well, you know what the ‘C’ stands for, don’t you? ‘C’ stands for choke!”

Now granted the Chicago Cubs are the only team in sports history I know of that can snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.  (I’ll give her that.)

Sally’s comment by itself was benign, but Sally’s reputation as a workplace bully, not just to me, preceded her. By the time she left no one was sorry to see her go.

I sometimes think of Sally now when I’m feeling short-tempered with my children. She reminds me of how NOT to be. That’s how I came up with “C stands for champion.”

The saying may ever not apply to the Chicago Cubs. God knows I love ’em despite how many times they’ve broken my heart. Someday I hope they prove Sally wrong.

Borrowing from “The Artist’s Way,” however, “C” does not stand for “choke.”

“C stands for Charleston.”

“C stands for countdown,” as in six more days until the Charleston Marathon.

“C stands for Columbines” — I could not ask for a better group of friends or positive running partners in my life.

“C stands for champion.”

You can borrow that one if you like, and run with it, too.


Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Little boy blue

Thomas the Tank Engine ain’t “The Man” in our household anymore.

Tarzan won’t play with his Thomas trains. Austin, one of Tarzan’s kindergarten buddies, doesn’t like Thomas and exerted some peer pressure.

I’m not keen on the whole “gotta-be-like-Austin thing,” but I’m also relieved. Tarzan’s world was T-H-O-M-A-S for the longest time, and I’m diggin’ the flamin’ guitar in the Power Rangers’ theme song (his new phase). I think it might have 180 bpm for running.

This shift is sort of like when I cross mile markers with each marathon I do — they can sneak up on you. Suddenly my baby isn’t a baby anymore.

I was reminded of this yesterday when I found out a friend of mine adopted a baby boy. Her news made my day. I went out for a run later in the day and experienced a vicarious “baby high.”

Oh, to be holding a tiny, helpless being in my arms again — sweet and delicate, soft as the scent of Hershey’s Kisses.

That’s what I recall about the first newborn I ever held — my niece (my sister’s first child) — the tenderness. She was a half hour old when I got to the hospital.

A decade or so later I got to repeat that experience, twice, when my own two children were born. Of course the emotions were more potent.

Hershey’s Kisses overload?

Now before anyone gets the wrong idea — no, I don’t want anymore babies. I’m grateful for my two children, but for me that ship has sailed.

The good memories flooded back to me yesterday because of my friend’s happy news.

What I remembered most? In the beginning parenting was about “firsts”– a first smile, a first tooth, a first word, a first step, a first day of preschool, a first day of kindergarten …

as my children are growing up I’m starting to see that sequence shift. It’s not just about beginnings anymore but endings, too, like when Tarzan finished preschool, a caboose signaling the close of that era.

Another example — that first newborn I ever held — my niece? She’s now 21 years old now, graduating from college in the spring and starting her adult life soon.

That’s the far end of the spectrum obviously — like the finish line of a marathon.

Here is what has surprised about parenting: I thought I would breeze through my children’s milestones but I’m nostalgic with each one.

Maybe it shouldn’t surprise me though — it’s not like hitting marathon mile markers comes easily either.

God knows Tarzan and I have watched more Thomas videos and we’ve purchased more trains at our house than there are brain cells left in my head.

Yet here I am  … and I’m feeling slightly wistful now that the reign of the “little blue dictator” is over.

The only logic I can find behind my reaction is that beginnings are almost always exciting, and endings, even when we anticipate them, are bittersweet by nature. Once a stage of life is done you can’t get it back.

The other piece I think I’ve figured out? With both marathons and parenting you do all you can to prepare yourself for each stage, but you still can’t predict the outcomes. Just like each child’s personality is unique, each race and its challenges are different.

What CAN you do with all of that information?

You work ahead as much as is possible. That’s what I do when I run marathons. I train hard, and I plan and anticipate as much as I can. On race day I test it out and dig deep when I must.

My approach is similar with motherhood. I read parenting and advice books. I ask my children’s teachers and our pediatrician questions. I ask other parents, especially those with older children than mine, about their experiences and opinions. Then I do my best and I dig deep.

Parting with Thomas won’t be the last shift Tarzan and I make, I know. I’m sure there will be MANY, MANY more “phases” in our future.

Likewise I know my body and probably my running ability will change over the long haul as I age but I will adjust to keep going, just as we all must.

I would not want to go backward anyway. I believe there’s still A LOT of good things coming.

As for my friend with that beautiful new baby boy — I just might have a Thomas video or two to part with in the future if she needs it.


Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

My 2012 resolution: Bye-bye Cinderella complex


Have you ever wished you could do it with your life?

Stuck with a crappy boss or job? Ctrl-Alt-Delete.

In a bad relationship, getting divorced, wanting to forget someone or something that broke your heart?? Ctrl-Alt-Delete.

Ran a disappointing race? Got injured during training? Ctrl-Alt-Delete.

I’ve had my share of hurt and disappointments and wished for some Ctrl-Alt-Delete moments. That’s why I think New Year’s Resolutions are popular. We can’t “reboot our past” so we look to our future to change what we can within ourselves, within our world, within our reach.

Here is something interesting I learned from my cousin last night as we rang in the new year together. Ana was born in the old country like my mom. She told me she had never heard of “new year’s resolutions” until she got to America.

Is it just Americans who want to reinvent themselves each year? Are Europeans and other people around the world simply more accepting of themselves? Who knows?

I like resolving to change myself, especially when I recognize something I don’t like within me. I’m someone who strives to get better constantly.

I lived in New Agey, spiritual vortex Santa Fe, New Mexico, for more than a decade where self-examination was practically a requirement for residency.  I’m a fan of doing it not just on Jan. 1 but year round.

This is also one of the reasons why I like to run so much. It gives me time to myself to “reboot” my mind and feelings, especially when my emotions run amok.

If you are a runner does this work for you, too? I hope so. I find it invaluable.

After a run, especially when I feel stressed beforehand, I return to my life and responsibilities considerably less snarky and infinitely more human and kind to others. I’m sure the Dude, and Tarzan and Jane, would agree with me on that one.

I’m also a big believer in the mind-body-spirit connection when it comes to change and running. I don’t think you can resolve to lose weight or stop smoking, for example, without looking at the mental and spiritual junk that got you there in the first place.

That’s why my 2012 resolution is a biggie for me. I’m pledging to let go of my “Cinderella complex.”

What do I mean by that?

Cinderella, or “Cindy” is the nickname I’ve given to my “victim consciousness”  — the part of myself that wants to give up when I feel crappy, or depressed,  or helpless, and throw a PityPalooza for me, myself, and I.

She is the part of me that seeks to pout and cry when things don’t go my way. She is the part of me as a mother and wife that acts like a martyr, and as though I’m always put upon,  and says thing like, “Poor, poor me, I do so much for everyone else, and no one helps me.”

She is the part of me as a runner that wants to throw in the towel when it starts to suck and hurt like hell and say, “I can’t do it anymore. Rescue me, please. I’m a damsel in distress.”

She is the “small” part within my complex psyche, not the bigger part that shows her light. Unlike the Cinderella who gets a “happily ever after” this Cindy stays in her dungeon all day long, slumming it, wearing rags, no fairy godmother, prince or hope in sight …


All the feelings that come from my inner Cinderella, I believe, are genuine and real, for everyone, not just me. Hurt, pain, disappointment, anger — they all need to be aired and acknowledged when they arrive, like all parts of ourselves, good and bad.

Staying stuck on those feelings, however, is toxic. That is the part I resolve to change in 2012 — not letting Cindy’s rubbish get the better of me.

So how does one make peace with “Cindy” and resolve to change?

I think it helps to acknowledge the hard, uncomfortable feelings when they come up and not let them stew or get bigger than they should. A good run allows me to process the muck, then let it go.

It also helps to recognize that the muck is temporary and passes; or at least fortunately for me it does.

Third, it helps me to focus on gratitude, and that is incredibly empowering.

“Joy is what happens to us when we allow
ourselves to recognize how good things really are.” — Marianne

Fourth, it helps to know that, yes, if you resolve to change, you will be tested. Expect it.

God, the universe, karma, whatever you call it (for me, it’s God), will tap you on the shoulder to make sure you really mean it — that you truly want to change.

If you resolve to lose weight, for example, and sweets are your downfall, don’t be surprised if someone at work suddenly starts bringing donuts to the office every single day just as you are getting started on your quest. That is exactly what I mean.  It is if God (the universe, karma …)  is pushing your buttons to see how serious you are about your commitment.

Last night, for example, my mom and I started down the path of a spat that normally would bring “Cindy” courting me. I did not take the bait. I’m feel much better that I didn’t.

It wasn’t the first test I faced since I resolved to make this change nor will it be my last. I’m in it for the long haul.

Luckily I’m also a runner. I’m sure “Cindy” and I will put in a lot of miles together as I work through this one. She can go with me for the ride, but I am in the driver seat.

And I choose joy and gratitude.

As for the muck and rubbish? You guessed it: Ctrl-Alt-Delete.


Aging is inevitable, but growing old is a choice. Lace up your shoes, and let’s go!

Mileage on last day of 2011: 12; Total mileage for 2011: 1,771. Mileage since Boston: 1137.