What: Hallucination 12 Hour
When: Early February
Terrain: Mountain Bike Trails/Grass; course is a loop a little over two miles long
Weather: 30s – 50s; very comfortable
You’re allowed to change your mind.
Are you self-conscious?
People-pleasing is a vicious societal norm which women have somehow been bullied into since I don’t even know when.
Women should be gracious. They should NOT rock the boat. They should worry extensively about the well-being of those around them. Sacrifice everything and anything for anyone else.
You know, that same old crap. Yes, it’s the 21st century, we should move on. BUT, it’s nearly impossible to do when we look to our mothers and grandmothers, and watch them live their lives, conforming to this antiquated ideal.
It took my grandmother 85 years and a hearing impairment before she began shamelessly speaking her mind. She no longer cares about her image and consequently will gleefully order what she wants at restaurants, will take the last cookie, or share her deepest wishes.
I want to be more like my grandmother. But I’m scared.
I’m scared that people won’t like me anymore. I’m scared that I will offend someone and they might say something mean to me. And I’m also scared I might lose some friends.
But then again, I might actually feel more liberated. More relaxed. Happier.
I felt boxed in the other night. I felt bullied. I blamed my partner for making decisions without my consent. I held him accountable while he looked at me, genuinely puzzled.
And then I realized that I had done exactly what millions of other women around me have been doing for generations. I blindly allowed him to make major life decisions for us and complacently followed along until I snapped. I told him so. He panicked for a moment, before taking a deep breath and asking me how to fix it.
He didn’t run out on me. He didn’t stop loving me. Yes, he was a little annoyed, but to my legitimate surprise, he wants me to be happy too.
We ALL deserve people in our lives who want us to be happy. We ALL deserve to be around people who will let us speak our minds. And in turn, we NEED to speak up.
The time is now ladies. And men.
So I encourage all of you to speak your mind. To stand your ground. To share your feelings and to shamelessly shrug off the desperation to be liked and wanted.
I can promise that your honesty will endear you to the people who truly want to be around you. And you’ll be much happier in the long run.
Are YOU a people pleaser? Or do you shamelessly speak your mind? What tips do YOU have on how to speak up or stand up for yourself? I’d love to hear them.
I regularly rush through life.
Meals are consumed whilst working, driving, or while intermittently cooking for others. I’ll usually hop up from the table before anyone else is done so I can begin doing the dishes.
Work is a flurry of tasks. I dance from one task to the next without taking so much as a moment to take a breath.
And at home?
If I’m not running around, desperately planning a wedding, training for an event or cleaning like mad, I’m collapsing from exhaustion on the couch. It’s all I can do some nights to stare blankly at my partner and force a smile.
Does this sound familiar to you?
I’ve recently started to try to make a change in my life.
I set two alarms in the morning. I wake up with the first, by lie quietly until the second goes off, allowing myself a few moments of peace and solitude before the day begins.
At lunch, I step outside, and walk briefly around the parking lot. I take a deep breath, and then return to work.
I’ve changed my training from focusing solely on mileage and times to effort level.
I do yoga on my rest days to carve out more time for me.
And I’m a happier, more whole person for it.
I haven’t mastered the perfect system yet, but I know that I’ve started on a route that is much more sustainable than my former lifestyle.
Rather than racing around until I collapse each month, barely able to climb out of bed, I’m trying to live with more presence and mindfulness.
I still regularly mess it up, but then again, I’m human.
Do you rush through life? Are you trying to slow down and enjoy the process? I’d love to hear more. Share your thoughts below.
What: Catskill Mountain 100K
Where: Phoenicia, NY
When: Mid-August; annually
Options: 100K or Relay
Price: $75/individual, $175/relay
Aid: None; you need your own crew
Course: Roads, point to point
Elevation: ~7500 ft total change, largest climb between miles 20 – 25
Weather: Usually hot & humid
Register: Ultra Signup
This is the second year I’ve ran the Catskill Mountain 100K. It has the potential to be a very fast course.
Only 11 solo runners started the race this year (including myself); 10 finished in times ranging from ~8:15 to ~15:20.
That’s right. The winning time was ~8:15. I can hardly fathom running that fast for a 5K.
Fortunately, for the middle to back of packers, the cutoff is 15.5 hours. If you can move along at a 4 MPH pace, you have a good chance of finishing.
The Route is point to point. No aid stations are along the course; you will need a crew to start the event. Dial it back between Mile 15 and 25; this is one of the hardest sections of the course.
Bring ice. It will likely get hot.
Wear road shoes.
A relay also runs at the same time as the solo ultra. Try not to get angry as they pass you. Remember; they’re not running nearly as far as you are.
Unfortunately, rest rooms are few and far between along the course. Be mindful of this when nature calls.
Due to poor timing on my part and poor planning, I ended up having my period during the event. And running out of tampons. My lovely partner bought some for me and I had to make due on the side of the road.
Ladies, and perhaps gentlemen, please plan better than I do if you run this event.
At least I have a funny story now though.
Several concerned crews asked me if I was okay. I tried to pawn everything off as terrible chafing. I can laugh now, but at the time, it was a low key nightmare.
All in all; it is a swell event and race director Todd Jennings does a fabulous job. If you’re not up for the full 100K, give the relay a shot. The only draw back is that this event falls on a Sunday each year, so those with limited vacation time will have to explain why they’re hobbling around the office come Monday morning.
Just me? Okay then. 🙂
Check out the Race Director’s Report here.
Have YOU ran the Catskill Mountain 100K? What tips do YOU have on training? The event? I’d love to hear your thoughts.