A Gentle Guide

This blog has morphed. I started writing for The Sole Search in the winter of 2011 with the intent to discover new cities, towns and countryside via running. I was going to run and discover cute coffee shops and book stores and then visit them after a shower and tell you all about them. The original plan was to propose a TV show idea to the Travel Channel. Obviously, that idea only lasted for a short time.

            But I continued to run, and write and write about running and my triumphs and struggles not only with running, but with it’s community, and other sports too. As I discovered my love for trails, my passion for finding myself out there, doors opened and ideas flowed. She’s there somewhere, I’m just on the hunt for who she is…who she’s turning into. Because, let’s be honest, the only constant is change so we may as well embrace it.

 

“Believe those who are seeking the truth. Doubt those who find it” –Andre Gide

 

The tag line for The Sole Search has turned into my life’s desire. Searching for my soul via my soles. I’m always looking. Whether or not it’s while I run, (which I honestly haven’t done in a long time, and I am finding peace with that) riding my bike, working at a bar, pumping away at the elliptical, sitting on my deck with a book and a glass of wine or swimming endless laps in a pool as I prepare to do 1/3 of a triathlon this fall—I’m searching, I think we all are.

 

People who love me have accepted my flighty lifestyle. They know that I [runaway] move around a lot. They embrace it and know that I’ll come back around to where they are eventually. They remind me that I have friends all over the world. I’m the one that has not accepted this. I’m working at allowing myself to be okay with this. It’s hard. I have a hard time staying put, relaxing and being somewhere. It’s not that I don’t want to but that I think when I know where/with whom I want that with I’ll know. Or maybe I won’t—

Convo with my Mother

Convo with my Mother

 

So for now I search. For now I travel seeking, learning and embracing life as it comes at me. On this path I’m reading and learning and discovering all the people I can learn from along the way. Instead of discovering a coffee shop while on a run, I will sit in that coffee shop and write and read and ponder.

 

My newest venture to the Yoga Ashram is one way that I am being proactive in finding comfort somewhere. Life is going to happen no matter what. We can sit back and assume it’s going to be awesome, or we can take it by the reins, grip tightly and gently direct it toward something awesome.

 

That’s my plan.

 

Join me if you will, I’d love to have you along for the ride.

You Gotta Listen!

I feel like life is a series of us asking ourselves a long list of questions. Questions that we never really get definitive answers to. These questions, when you’re a kid, seem like the biggest issues that you’ll ever have to face. Like, who do you invite to your party? Or, chocolate or vanilla? Even questions like where to sit in math class—you don’t want to sit in the back and be associated with those kids, but you also don’t want to sit right up from and be a teacher’s pet, ewww.

As we grow up questions are a bit more important, ones like where to go to college, or do you drive after that last beer?… all of these decisions impact our lives in one way or another. Same as they did when we were younger, we had to ask ourselves these questions and ultimately the final decision came down to what we wanted, what your heart and head thought was right for you not anyone else.

 

So, where am I going with this!? What on earth could this possibly have to do with running? Per my last post, you must know that my bum hurts, bad. My (amazing) roommate (who is basically a Doctor) helped me figure out what is probably wrong, however—I haven’t been able to run for two solid weeks. My relationship with the elliptical is bordering on inappropriate. Not only am I sick of starring at the TV while I crank away on the machine—I’m mentally tired and missing my daily run, daily does of vitamin D and daily sightings on the road.

I’ve been asking myself a series of questions: does it realllly hurt that bad? (Yes.) Can I cross-train hard enough to finish this race that I planned on for April? (Probably.) Do I want to hinder my recovery just to do the race? (Hinder my ability to run? HELLZ NO!!!)

I want to recover as soon as possible. I want to enjoy this summer on my feet, in the trails and with my running group. I emailed my training buddy the other day telling him my qualms and booty pains, he confessed his running hasn’t been going well either. He’s older, a seasoned runner, an Ironman veteran, and knows that there are other races, other events to train for. He’s decided to listen to his body and pull the plug on the race.

In turn, I’m pulling the plug too. I’m being forced to listen to my body, (something I know I’m not good at, I tend to get stubborn and ignore key factors, my heart wins, my head is shut out and I don’t give my body the time of day to speak up)

I’m ready to train so that I can train for a race again. No more questions, just an answer. I have to admit that I can’t do this race and that’s okay. I’m going to sit in the middle of the classroom, I’m going to swirl chocolate and vanilla because they’re both so dang good, and I’m not driving after that last beer—I don’t want to risk it! One race isn’t worth my running “career”.

A few things found in DE.

 

Like I’ve said in previous posts, I basically travel for a living. This past week I was in Rehoboth Beach, Delaware.  This was as far east as I’ve ever been in Delaware and had been excited about heading that direction all week. Because it’s February and off-season in a beach town, hotel rooms on the beach are super duper cheap—so I took full advantage!

Arriving early evening on Wednesday, I took myself for a drive along the coast and around the town, I got a little lost and found myself and finally checked into The Breakers Hotel and took a stroll around Rehoboth beach on foot. Of course I’d done research and knew that Dogfish Head Brewpub was stumbling…I mean walking distance from my hotel. I had made plans to meet friends the following evening at the brewery for a tour and tasting session. But the Brewpub serves local beer, local food and local charm.

Tasty

My first dinner at a bar—alone. I ordered a 90 minute IPA and a club sandwich and looked around, trying to appear less awkward than I felt. I pulled out my book, (Going Long: The Best Stories from Runner\’s World) and pretended to read. Sip. Glance around. Sip. Sip. Food. My new distraction! The bar wasn’t busy, but busy enough to people watch, read every sign hanging on the walls and enjoy every bite of my meal.

The next thing I know a man in his 50’s sits two stools down from my and asked me about my book, asks me if I’ve read Born to Run (uhh, duh, yes!) This led to another beer and more conversation about running, training, life on the road, dinners alone, more running and finally the exchange of cards and the promise to keep in touch and maybe get a run in in the future if our traveling lives pass again on the road. Successful solo dinner!

Lunch at the Boardwalk

The next day I woke to a 50-degree morning, sunny with a slight wind off the ocean. I took off with no other idea than the one that I needed to run for about 50 minutes. I ran down Second St, where the road wound through neighborhoods, across a couple bridges and into Dewy Beach. The storefronts abandoned in October when the tourist left, neon signs flash vacancy, or signs taped to the door reading Thanks for a great season! See you in March! A ghost town on the beach.

 

Retracing my steps, I turn right after the last bridge to get closer to the water. I’d heard that there was a mile long boardwalk: wooden planks AKA: my favorite running surface of all time! The next mile I looked and listened to the waves, heard every footfall on the wood below me and felt a soft, oddly warm February breeze on my face. Bliss. I’d found, great conversation, great beer, a great run and bliss in Delaware.