Janvier 20, 2018. Dans ma tête, je suis! Mais, dans le miroir… In my head, I am! But, in the mirror… AND a good example from across the pond.

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Dans Ma tête 

Dans ma tête:  I’m BRISK, I’m active, I’m fast, and energetic.  I’m young, I’m limber, I’m awake.

Dans ma tête – I’m all these things.

In the mirror:  I’m slow, I’m idle, I’m listless, and tired.  I’m old, I’m stiff, I’m always falling asleep.

In the mirror – I’m all these things.

Je Suis Qui ?

Je suis moi! 

Je suis BRISK et actif, et rapide. 

Je suis aussi – fatigué… PARFOIS.  

Je suis qui?  Je suis moi.

C’est moi!

Mais, Je ne suis pas une vieille dame

Je suis jeune! Je suis jeune! JE CRIE!  Dans ma tête je suis jeune.

Pourquoi pas je dis.  Pourquoi pas!

Parce que tout est dans la tête – n’est-ce pas!

Mais, bien sûr! 

Supplémentaire – Elle est une bonne exemple (She is a good example)

When I think of how I want to be when I get old (older).  I think of her.

I think of how she appreciates the years and looks back on the smiles, the lessons, and the tears – but never the fears.

How she aims to share it with us all and hopes we never fall.

She is always by our side – there’s just a big ole lake – l’Atlantique, it’s so wide.

I want her grace and courage, her strength and drive.

Today, I run because I can

I run to feel the air so deep within my breath – beneath.

Suz

 

 

 

Janvier 16, 2018. Mot de la semaine or Word of the week: Fort, Forte / Strong.

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Sometimes things come out of the blue.  They don’t care for the plans you have or the dreams you dream.  They just want you.

This thing can’t have you!

It can’t have you – you are stronger than this thing.  It has no idea what it is up against.  Mon amie – tu est très forte.

Le mot de la semaine est FORT / FORTE.

Mon amie est très jolie and très gentille – ELLE est forte aussi!  

Elle s’appelle Coco.  J’aime beaucoup Coco.  Elle parles anglais avec moi and français avec tout le monde. 

Tu es forte Coco.  Tu es très forte.  Elle est à femme forte.  

My friend Coco is one of the strongest women I know.

She is strong and fierce like the winter wind.

She won’t let this stop her.  She will fight for herself.  She will fight for her children and grand children.

She will fight for her life!

Knowing we are here and she is there is the hard part.

As you start your journey this week, please know we love you!

Be strong as you PAUSE momentarily to get well.

Have FAITH that you will get well.

And KNOW that you are loved.

J’aime beaucoup mon amie Coco!

Love Suz

 

 

 

Janvier 2, 2018. Mot de la semaine or Word of the week: Espérer / To hope.

IMG_4665.JPGBonne année mes amis!  Quoi de neuf?

Aujourd’hui est le deuxième jour de janvier.  Cette année j’ai beaucoup à faire et à apprendre.  Alors, j’ai besoin de continuer mes études de français.

En 2017,  j’ai beaucoup couru et j’ai étudié le français un peu. En 2018, je vais travailler dur pour apprendre le français et courir un peu.

I haven’t sorted out my running goals for the year but am leaning toward shorter distances with focus on speed.  After last years 50 miler, my body needs to relearn to run shorter distances.  It’s a whole different game.

Thriving on change, I’m so excited as we enter the new year.  My new books have arrived and I have a sense of clarity I haven’t felt in years.

New this year will be the mid-week blog post focusing on the word of the week relevant to the month or season.

An opportunity to work on vocabulary and sentence structure while attempting to be creative.

J’espère apprendre beaucoup de français cette année.

Bonne Année,

Suz

 

 

 

 

Décembre 20, 2017. Big blue ball in the sky, one ticket one ride. One round on this round.

IMG_4530.JPGDay 21 –

Bonjour!

Big blue ball in the sky.  One ticket, one ride.

One round on this round.

21 days ago I left my job, my routine, my security, my norm.

I’m a little afraid.

It was a really good job!

I quit my job to change my life as it became more than a job – it became my life.  I was totally out of balance.

We’ve all heard the phrase – Americans live to work, whereas the French work to live.

This resonates deep with me.

Realistically, we all have to work.  Nothing is free.  I of course will work again – but I needed to come up for air, look around a bit and focus on what’s real.

It was a choice I made after a LONG think.  A choice I’m still sifting through and a choice I’m slowly moving through.

I remind myself that if you want change – you have to change.  That change won’t come by thoughts alone – it takes action.

For over a year I tried to change without changing.  I thought about changing every day.  But nothing changed.  So one day without thinking too much – I abruptly changed.

Now, moving through the change, I try not to look back.  I try not to fear and I try not to second guess.

Sometimes you have to step back before you can step forward.

Day 21 –

I think I’m ready to step forward.  Not into into what will be – but forward into the change – into the process.

Here’s to coupon cutting, simpler days and homemade meals.  Here’s to conscious living and feeling life.  Here’s to a new year, a new start and changing my life.

Big blue ball in the sky. One ticket, one ride.

One round on this round.

Today I take the  first step.  Slowly but with intention and with a smile.

Feeling blessed to have this choice.

Suz

 

Décembre 1, 2017. Leaving this space to fill another. Dots on a line. And moving forward with new French themes.

IMG_4445.JPGBonjour!  C’est un nouveau mois et je commence un nouveau chapitre de ma vie!

Leaving this space –

My life thus far has been broken up into segments of time I call – dots; little pockets of places and time on a line.

Each dot or space of time on the line is a significant point in my life.  Births, graduations, marriages, deaths, moves, relationships, jobs etc…

The line includes places I’ve lived, worked, visited.  All chronologically recorded.  It’s quite simple – this line.  And just like everyone’s line, there is an end that we can’t see.  But we continue along the line with faith.

Soon I’ll be leaving a dot that I’ve occupied for 10 years.  A space that’s been very good to me, professionally and personally.

And I don’t yet have another dot to occupy.

Like a scene from a science-fiction movie, I can see the space – the dot on the line that I’ve rested at for the last ten years slowly filling itself in.

Gradually, the big fat sharpie of life gently colors in the dot, signifying that one space of time is closing and another should begin.

Another dot waiting to emerge –

I can see in the distance, the new dot forming – it starts with an arc over the line.  It’s an excited little arc of energy, full of potential, adventure and experiences.

It’s up to me if I chose to roll with this arc of what if.  But why now?  This space is good.  I’m content.  It’s simple enough.  So why am I leaving it?  And why do I feel so strongly that I need to move on?

I have no idea.  Do I thrive on change?  Is it time to learn something new, slow down or mix it up?  Is this the time to count my blessings, to smell those roses?

Whatever it is, I’m walking through the door.  I always do.  I’m going to make it a great dot.  I’m going to live like it’s the last dot YET, I hope I have many more.

We never know how long our dots will last.  Some find fullness in many dots, some find it in one big dot.  On the time line in my head, I have several more arcs waiting like the sun on the horizon at sunrise – peeping eagerly and excitedly for their turn.

Trust.

New French themes –

2017 saw me enhancing my French language skills and running a 50 mile ultra marathon.

2018 will see me continuing to enhance my French language skills and contintinuig to run – possibly a 100 K AND drum roll please…I hope to host a French exchange student.

I’ve wanted to do this for years, but never had the time.  This year, I’ll have the time.

We live in a beautiful area of the U.S., close to several larger cities and intersting Amercian attractions.  I’m excited to host a student and share our amazing America.

Suz

 

 

Novembre 13, 2017. J’ai Couru 50 Miles! C’est Fini. I Did It!

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I ran 50 miles in 11 hours and 30 minutes –

C’est fini!  Je suis très heureux.  Mais, je ne peux pas parler français.

Intesting enough, I could not remember much of anything while I was running let alone French.  I actually resorted to singing 99 bottles of beer on the wall, which actually worked quite well.

The first 5 miles I ran with two friends.  Then both of my knees started to hurt.  Thinking that maybe I was not relaxed enough, I decided to run on my own so I could run at a more relaxed natural gait (not adjusting to their rhythms and cadence).

For the next 32 miles I stuck to a 4 minute run, 1 minute walk routine.  I had a lot of knee pain. On a scale of 1 to 10, it was at a 7.

Luckily, I would see my husband (sweetest, most supportive guy ever) about every 10 miles while filling up my water bottle and grabbing pretzels and oranges from the aide stations.  His gentle kisses and encouraging words helped so much.  Oh and popping a few pain relievers – didn’t hurt either.

At mile 37 I knew I could finish but I was in a lot of pain, but still a level 7.  The pain was bad but it was not getting worse.  Each mile I would say “ok, it’s not worsening – keep moving.”

I walked the last 13 miles!  Oddly enough, at that point, I was able to walk faster than I could run.  I walked the last 13 miles at a 15:30 minute per mile pace singing 99, 98, 97, 96 etc…bottles of beer on the wall.

As the sun set I put on my headlamp to light the now dark trail, and focused all my energy into a driven march forward.  I knew I’d finish the race and I couldn’t wait to do so.

So many emotions to explore and so much time alone to do so.  Yet as I marched, all I thought about were those darn bottles of beer on the wall.  All the while asking God over and over to help me finish the run.  Quite the mental contrast.

I tried to speak French dans ma tête. Mais, c’était trop difficile.  I can never remember how to say the number 14 in French.

Oh – quick side note…remember my period that was due on Saturday, the day of the race, It held off till Sunday morning – is that luck or what!  And drum roll please, NO STOMACH ISSUES.

Today, aside from being unable to bend my knees fully, I am fine.  I have a few blisters on the tips of my toes – but otherwise, I feel great.

I will honestly say that my French studies suffered over the last 3 months.  I’m not sure learning French while running works for me.

I want to thank you.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Thank you for the encouragement and support!  I thought about you while I was running – and how I did not want to let you down.  You kept me accountable and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.

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50.47 miles in 11 hours 30 minutes and 47 seconds.  Average pace of 13:41 minutes per mile.  5167 calories used.

It was quite the adventure.  It was a beautiful day, about 47 degrees Fahrenheit and sunny.  No rain, no wind.  A perfect day, full of happiness and friendship. The trail was amazing, rock walls and fallen leaves, wooden bridges and old train tunnels.

Now, I need to put some energy into French.  Not sure where I’ll go from here – probably the 100 K.  But for the next few weeks – I’ll be working on the knees and dreaming of returning to France late next year.

Life is beautiful.

Merci Beaucoup Mes Amis.

Suz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Novembre 5, 2017. How Did I Get Here And Where Am I Going? C’est la vie!

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How did I get here and where am I going –

In about 6 days – I’ll be standing at the start line of the 50 mile trail run.

The trail is actually an old converted rail line in Illinois.  They say if you are going to attempt the 50 miler, this is the place to do it.

It’s a flat trail that winds through a beautiful area.  No tree roots, no elevation, really not any terrain at all – just 50 miles of finally crushed gravel.

It’s been a rough year for my knee and lower back.  I had no choice but to pull back and not log the long miles.  Which worries me as I watched my friends do their 25 and 30 mile runs.  I did one 26 mile run back in July.  Since then just middle distance runs between 8 and 13 miles.

A family emergency kept me from running this weekend.  It’s just been a challenging 6 months.  This is life.  You can plan all you want but life will happen.

It is what it is!  My knee cap hurts all the time.  I had an xray on it and it’s not broke…  Most likely runners knee or a tendon / ligament issue.  If I can keep it tracking I should be good for 26 miles.  This is the farthest I’ve tested it this year.  After that – mile by mile.  One step at a time.

I also have arthritis in the lumbar region of my back.  This makes me very stiff and sore.  It stinks getting older.  But it beats the alternative – right!

I am also praying that I don’t have my period as this will make for the most un pleasant day EVER.  It’s due the week of the 50 miler.  I pray that it stays away or comes early.  And seriously  – I will pray about this to God.

How did I get here –

In a moment of weakness and utter ignorance – I registered for this race.

Why – because I want to be part of the 50 miler group.  I want the bad ass badge.  And I like to feel alive!

Where am I going –

Hopefully not to the doctor’s office

It’s going to take 52 years of experiences to get this done – and 12 hours of good knee form.

I’m prepared for the physical pain – it’s the mental strain that I’ll meditate on this week.

You can do this Suz! You have all the strength to do this – trust that you do.  God is great and He wants to carry YOU through.

C’est la vie!

Suz –