16 juin, 2018. Feliz cumpleaños! LET GO. Living Alive. Where you go and what you do, may only make sense to you. To Dream – Rêver…

Rappelez-vous quand – 

Remember the time, we just LET GO.

In a few weeks we will set out to just LET GO, we have no plans – just a northern destination.  We are excited at what will be.  We will however, plan to bring sunscreen and bug spray.

Otherwise, we plan to LET GO.  Even though we have no plans, ironically, we do have plans to just LET GO.  

We plan to head north – to Quebec and speak French.  HOW EXCITED am I to speak French?  You have no idea.

No itinerary, just a destination.

And of course we plan to enjoy what we enjoy most – EACH OTHER!

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Remember the time we stumbled onto this….

Because of you I live a life in which I hope it last –

A cause de toi je vis une vie dans laquelle j’espere qu’ell durera.

Bonjour mes amies.  Comment ca va?  C’est juin. Ou est le mois de mai?  C’est fini.  Et maintenat l’ete est presque la.  Presque…

Live Alive – 

I want to live ALIVE.  I want to feel alive.  I love the newness of life, I love firsts.  I thrive on first days at work and truly enjoy meeting people for the first time.  Oddly enough, I even enjoy job interviews.

I described this oddity in my “Jack of all trade-ness, master of none-ness” blog:  July 14, 2017. Can I learn French AND simultaneously Train for a 50 mile ultra marathon? Oui! Bien sûr, Pourquoi pas?  

I noted how I dabble, rather than master.  And, I’m super cool with this.  However, I do admire those with longevity, whether it be career or hobby.  Yet for me, just call me JACK or JACQUES.  

To Dream / Rêver  

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I dream of here…

I’m a dreamer.  And I often remind myself to stop dreaming and just live.  Stop planning and just be.

Over planning can sometimes cause me to spin in place – where nothing gets done.  Hence the LET GO theme of our vacation. 

I try to live my dreams into life, into being.  And frequently, I do.  BUT what if we just lived life – for the mystery of it.  What if we just let the IT (life) be.

What if we stopped thinking about what’s around the corner, and we just turned the corner.

Avez-vous un rêve?  J’en ai beaucoup.  De quoi rêver-vous?

S’il vous plait dires-moi.

P.S.

Aujourd’hui, c’est l’anniversaire de mon ami. Joyeux anniversaire, Mon ami têtu. July 19, 2017. What’s a French word for Stubborn? Tête de mule. A secret running tale.

If you see this post, Feliz cumpleaños

I hope you have a wonderful, healthy year.  Thank you for being my WE.  I can always count on you.  Looking forward to our half marathon in September.

Suz

 

 

 

 

Mai 24, 2018. A Moroccan tajine finds a new home in KY. RUNNING with JOY at 52. Keeping the half marathon under 2 hours. BIGGEST medal on earth! GEIST Half Marathon Review.

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The gift of the tajine

Warning:  I use the word JOY a lot in this post.  As it perfectly describes my friends and my weekend run.

The gift of the tajine –

I watched as my two friends (one lives in Morocco and one lives in Paris) prepared our noon meal in my Kentucky kitchen in MY new tajine, hand carried all the way from Morocco.  I  watched as they carefully cleaned and chopped the fresh ingredients, all with JOY.  As they laughed and smiled, I was transported to Morocco.

The aromas – out of this world!

And the JOY they shared in preparing this meal – amazing.  From turmeric to saffron, my kitchen was alive.

The gift of the tajine made me feel so special.  What a sweet and thoughtful gift.  Hand carried and delivered with love.  These moments are the moments that make my life rich and full.

Here’s to one of the best meals I’ve had in my life And here’s to good friends who live life with JOY filled hearts – CHEERS!

Running with JOY and keeping the pace at 52.

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Ginormous Medal

Ninety-nine bottles of beer on the wall, Ninety-nine bottles of beer…  My go-to running song.  I sing to distract my self from the distance.

Although I love to feel the miles, running 13.1 miles does takes a while.  And keeping it under 2 hours has been my mission.  I’ve completed numerous half marathons over the last 10 years, and only two have been over 2 hours.  The first and second were 2:05 and 2:02, since then I’ve been able to stay under 2 hours.  The fastest in 2013 at 1:53 and the latest, this past weekend at 1:58.

Having not run a half marathon in 18 months, I was afraid and anxious to take on last weekend’s race.  I was afraid of the distance / pace ratio, and I was afraid of what the last 18 months of age might have dealt me.

Not only have I aged (luckily as the alternative is…not aging), in 2016 and 2017 I took on the ultra run.  I ran a marathon, a 60K and a 50 Miler.  I also completed a half ironman (70.3 miles – swim, bike, and run).  These longer distances presented new challenges – but the challenges did not include speed.

Returning to shorter distance this year, I found myself with questions.  Could I maintain, a 9 minute per mile or less pace for 13.1 miles?  Could I still run fast (my fast, not your fast)?  And why is staying under 2 hours so important to me?

As I ran the Geist half marathon, I found myself running with JOY.  I simply ran and I felt good.  No aches and pains.  No knee pain for the first time in several years.  I was however – cognizant the entire time of the pace I needed to maintain in order to meet MY goal.

I stayed in the mile and I truly enjoyed each mile.  When I reached mile 11, I knew I was going to come in under 2 hours and I was SO relieved.

The course was hilly and I love hills.  None of the hills were horrible, and each hill climb was followed by a downhill.  Sweet rewards.

Why is staying under 2 hours important to me.  Is there really a difference in running a 1:59:59 versus a 2:00:00?  I have no profound answers, I just know that I feel better when I stay under 2 hours.

I’m not setting any land speed records.  For me, it’s just what motivates me – it’s what keeps me running.

I also can’t run a sub 1:50 (YET), goals people – we all need goals.

My current goal is to simply run each half marathon under 2 hours.

Does it matter?  Nope.  And what happens when I eventually go over 2 hours?  Life will go on.  C’est la vie.  

BIGGEST MEDAL EVER – Geist Half Marathon

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As I crossed the finish line and the sweet girl handed me the finishers medal, I hoped I wouldn’t fall over from the weight of the medal.  This medal is HUGE.  If you are into hardware – this is your medal.  It can also be used to serve tapas (small Spanish dishes, served at bars).  This medal is my all time favorite.  It’s pretty, it’s sparkly and  the back can double as a mirror (according to my grandaughter).

The Geist half marathon in Fishers, Indiana was simply amazing.  The course was beautiful as was the weather.  The logistics were well thought out and the volunteers were top-notch.  I rarely do a half marathon twice – this one, I look forward to doing again.

I met an angel at mile 11.  Thank you to the runner who ran the last 2 miles with me.  I know we helped each other meet our goals and that’s what the running community is all about.

For all I know you were a real angel sent to save my day.  If so, job well done.  If not, congrats on meeting your goal!  I however, prefer to remember you as an angel.  More fun this way!

Mon Amie –

Your visit brought JOY to my life and house.  Your laughter, kindness, and child like heart have taught me much.  You live life with such happiness.  I admire you.  And I seek to imitate you – as the highest form of compliment.

Your family is beautiful.  Your love for each other radiates.  YOU are always welcome.

Thank you for your patience as I spoke French.  And thank you for several new phrases – I’m looking forward to using them in France.

My brain was exhausted from speaking French, but in just a few days I improved so much.  Conversation is the key – I hope we have many more.

Until we meet again – on the trails in Morocco or in the streets of Paris.  I will practice LIVING.  I will seek out new trails, paths, streets and adventures.  I will focus on JOYFULL living and I will learn to use my tajine as a way to recall our time together.

À bientôt,

Suz

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Mai 5, 2018. New Dots Emerging – Le Tri / To Sort. Learning To RUN Like No One Is Looking. Struggling With Old PRs.

Is that not the perfect picture?

Bonjour mes amies.  Comment allez vous!  Moi, ça va très bien.  Il fait chaud aujourd’hui ici et je cours finalement dans au soleil. J’aime le soleil.

Je aussi aime dire les mots en français commes –  tous les jours et finalement.

Le temps passe trop vite! L’annee derniere en France:

paris
Is that not the perfect picture?
charente maritime

Ile d’Oleron – Charente Maritime.  Deep tides mesmerize.

Emergent –

I see the new dots brightly flashing on the horizon. Each one enthusiastically waving “pick me, pick me.”

See previous post for more on these dots.

Mais, lequel choisir? Je ne sais pas!

Pour moi, pour la première fois, je suis arrêté et je sens les roses.

And it feels amazing!  I’ve never paused like this and once this pause ceases I most likely won’t pause again for another 10 years.

Est-ce que beaucoup de stress? Un peu. Parce que je n’ai jamais arrêté comme ça avant.

Donc, j’écris. L’écriture m’aide à faire le tri dans ma tête.

It’s actually quite euphoric, this pausing, once you let go and just be.  I’m excited for the future and what is yet to be.  Today, I live each day fully, slowly and with intention.

Forming new mental muscles, routines and habits.

Le Tri –

As I often do when I read, write, study French I once again stumble amongst the words.  This  time it’s the French word le tri that holds my gaze.  Le Tri, means to sort and I am suddenly reminded of my younger days as a army medic and the word triage.  I google triage and le tri and am once again lost in time – lost in reading – lost in discovery.

I use the word lost here in a positive way.  J’aime lire, mais – it is a time sucker.

Then I realize I am triaging my life right now. Sorting out what I want to keep and what I no longer need.

Determining what is most important – most vital.

Unconventional methods of learning French (writing) serve me best.  A planned vacation to Quebec this summer (super, super excited) should provide some much needed conversational / verbal practice.

And then it will be time for me to un-pause – peut être

Still holding out for that chance encounter and cool opportunity to travel and work abroad.  

Until then, to the emerging dots I say, “I see you and I am sorting through you, be patient.”  Smelling the roses, realigning  priorities, and triaging.

Courir-

Returning to my beloved running is also serving me well.  After a long winter, I am finally feeling half way decent about running.

I’m a solid month behind in training, but am running with a new sense of peace.

Still struggling with my speed after a few years of long distance running and now finding myself forgoing events because I don’t want others to see this slow down.

C’est la vie! C’est la vie! C’est vrai! C’est ce que c’est et c’est fantastique – cette vie!

The first half-marathon of the season (for me) is in two weeks.  I so want to be able to keep the pace under 9 minutes per mile.  I’m afraid of this pace for 13.1 miles – so starting today, it’s all visualization “I can run 13.1 miles at a 9 minute per mile pace!”

Oui je peux! Avec du café!

Gauging my strength at the moment I would say that I am too slow for an age group award 5K, not quite strong enough for a half marathon distance under 2 hours, but feeling 10K ready (where you can better balance the speed with the distance).  There is a 10K near by tomorrow, but I really need to run 12 to 13 miles so my body and my mind remembers what this particular distance feels like.

I’m also not ready for others to see me run.  I’m learning to run like no one is looking – with peace in my breath and joy in my heart.

I’m learning…I have not yet learned this.

Does anyone else struggle with keeping up with old PRs (Personal Records)? 

Au revoir pour maintenant mes amies.

Suz.

 

Mars 29, 2018. Mot de la semaine or Word of the week: Attendre / To wait. And waiting for God’s next move.

663E320B-FFC4-4FD3-8E3E-D14FCBAB116FBonjour mes amies – des fleurs pour vous.  Les fleurs sont un signe du printemps.

Nous attendons le printemps.  Nous attendons l’ete.  Nous attendons l’automne.  Nous attendons l’hiver.  Nous attendons et nous attendons et nous attendons.  

Nous sommes simples.  Nous sommes minuscules.  Nos esprits sont petits

Arreter!  Vous perdez votre temps.

Waiting on God’s next move –

We are all so simple, all so small – if only we could comprehend Your magnitude.

Attendre / To wait –

The French verb that means to wait for or to await.

It is one of those false friends as it does not mean to attend – but looks like it should.  And is derived from the Latin (vulgar versus the classical) word Attendō.

French / attendre.  Italian / attendere.  Spanish / attender.  All derived from the same vulgar Latin word.

Always fascinated with languages and more so word origins, it’s difficult for me to read.

When I read (especially in French), I frequently stop on a word – examine it’s structure and think about its possible origin.  Happening upon words and losing myself in their thoughts.

According to the website wordsense.eu, the alternative (vulgar) Latin form of attendo is adtendo and its origin and history derive from ad + tendo (meaning to stretch and extend).

As stated on the website, the word was used in relation to the stretching of a bow, when taking aim at a target.

I can see this bow in my mind, wait for it…wait for it…  I think as the string is pulled back and the arrow released…  Attendo…Attendo… as the arrow flies through the air…bull’s-eye!

Many times I’ve heard the word of the week (attendre) used in France.  Mostly when someone is aggravated or they need someone to stop doing something quickly.  Oh and always while entering a Rond Point.

Here’s a ramble for you –

To focus on living in the present – we must wait.  And while we wait – we must live.  And while we live – we must not focus on the wait.  Round and round we go in this circle.

Recently, I remarked to my sister how I’ve stopped planning and am just waiting for God’s next move.  I then continued by saying how even though I was waiting for God’s next move, I was silently waiting for his move to include sunshine and exciting cool people who speak French.

As I spoke the above, I was immediately struck by how ignorant I am.  I say I trust God, but I silently wish.  This is so bizarre.  Is my simple and small human brain trying to manipulate God?  Then I hear Him, and He reminds me that He is so much bigger than I can comprehend.  And that I’m okay and it’s okay if I wish (or better yet pray).  Because as He explains, He’s got it.  He’s got it all.  He’s that BIG.  And I should seriously relax.

As I continue to let go of my worries, I find a calm that I welcome.  A freeing sense of peace.  And at the same time an excitement at what He has in store next for me.

And yes, I still hope it includes sunshine and exciting cool people who speak French.

Suz learns French while she runs –

This week’s running went… I simply ran.

I ran after not running for 2 weeks.  I was able to hold a 9 minute pace for 3 miles.  But can I do this for 13.1 miles?

My goal is to run each half marathon under 2 hours.  The last half marathon I ran – I pushed that limit and ran a 1:58.  Cutting it close.

And now, I have less than 2 months to get in shape as I attempt to stay under two hours.

This is the my personal benchmark.  And it’s what I strive for, but as I age, should I cut myself some slack?  I may need to come May.  But I will try to stay under 2 hours.

I have 2 major events planned for May and after a long winter, I have a lot of catching up to do.

As I run, my thoughts are only on my breath – no French is spoken as I gasped for air.  My face is red, the others asked me if I am okay.  “I’m okay, I’ve just not been running like I should,”  I respond.  I’ve been waiting for the rain to stop and the sun to shine.

When the sun finally shows its face – the green will be so green and the blue will be so blue.

No more waiting.  Juste be – OH AND RUN so you can meet your personal goal.

Attendre – 

Nous attendons le printemps. Nous attendons l’ete. Nous attendons l’automne. Nous attendons l’hiver. Nous attendons et nous attendons et nous attendons.

Nous sommes simples. Nous sommes minuscules. Nos esprits sont petits

Arreter! Vous perdez votre temps. 

Suz

 

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

 

 

 

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