Taking Time to Feed my Soul…


Some people run to get out of the rain.  Today I purposely ran for almost two hours in it. The temps were in the low 70’s and I was comfortable in a t-shirt, shorts, and hat to keep the rain from running into my face.  The trails provided a shelter at times from the rain, this is true, but half a mile in I was soaked and feeling an amazing connection to the dirt and mud under my feet.

Why I Love to Run in the Rain. . .

  • The glistening rocks and roots on the forest floor that I have to maneuver across, posing a new challenge, and keeping me focused on the moment I am in.
  • The overgrown tree limbs and blueberry bushes that brush against my skin leaving their wet, refreshing marks.
  •  The mossy and slippery footbridges that I have to carefully cross without my feet sliding out from beneath me.
  • All of this set in poetic motion to the sounds of pouring rain hitting the tree tops, the brim of my hat, and the earth around me.
  • The absence of others, as most people don’t tend to venture out on a day like today for a fun little hike. (Although I did see two other people out today!)

I guess in a way you have to be some kind of introvert in order to enjoy spending hours upon hours alone with your own thoughts and feelings as an ultrarunner.  As a Mom of two busy and active boys, and a teacher to about 100 middle school students, you can probably imagine why I crave and look forward to the solitude of my trail running.  Although for me it goes a little deeper.  I enjoy being alone with my thoughts, particularly in nature, moving freely through space and time with no one else to worry about.  No one needs anything from me during these times.  No one is asking me questions.   The due dates and daily demands of parenting and teaching disappear for these hours and it is just me, the earth, the sky, and the flora and fauna of the Pennsylvania trails.   It is rejuvenating and soul-filling in a way that I wish I could express more deeply to those of you who have yet to venture into this sport.

Sure I run to prepare myself for the next big race.  That’s a given.  I mean you don’t want your race to be a total suck-fest, right?   Setting huge, seemingly unattainable goals in the sport of ultrarunning can be scary, empowering, risky, and exhilarating all at the same time.  Working toward those goals, for me, is a gift.  It is a gift I give myself every time I lace up my Lone Peaks and head out to a trail head to log some miles.  It is a little slice of my day that I can look forward to and know that I am doing something to reach my goals, but even more importantly, I am doing something to feed my soul.

We all feed our stomachs, but when is the last time you thought about feeding your soul?

What is it that makes you feel the most like yourself?

 

Pics from today’s run….

Ridge Overlook

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Cameron/Masland Mansion at the top of the mountain in Kings Gap State Park.  I am forever running trails around it, but never stop to go through the grounds of the mansion during a run, so I decided to today because I was having so much fun.

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Built in 1908 by James McCormick Cameron as a summer home.  It has 32 rooms and is designed to look like an Italian Villa.  You can go inside for a tour on Sundays between 1-5:00.  We’ve done that and it’s pretty cool inside.

 

Kings Gap Water Tower

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Kings Gap Garden

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Today’s fuel of choice, which I enjoyed while sitting on a rock in the pouring rain at Scenic Vista Overlook.

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I know it looks like I jumped in a pool, but honestly I was the same amount of wet after my run two Saturday’s ago in sun, upper 80’s and ridiculous humidity.  I’ll take today’s conditions anytime!

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How do you feel about running in the rain?

 

Rainy Run & 3 Things I’m Loving Today


Today was 3.5 miles with a coworker.  Only two of us showed up for our club run, which is understandable, as temps were in the low 40’s and it was pouring!   There have been many times I have put off a run due to weather, but I feel like with ultra running I can’t make excuses.  I want to be prepared for my 50 mile race and numb to any weather conditions that I may have to battle on race day.  And I know that part of ultra running is adapting to the conditions, discomforts, pain, and tough times…and pushing through it all.  A little rain is good for the soul.  Plus, sometimes a rainy run is more fun!  We even decided that puddle jumping is good cross training.  Thanks, Carl for toughing it out with me!  It actually wasn’t too bad and I never regret a run.

So now it’s time for 3 things I was loving today.

#1:  Strawberry Basil Infused Water

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One of my goals is to cut back on Diet soda…probably the only thing not good for me I still allow myself to have once a day.  So I’m making infused water to replace my soda.  This is one of my absolute favorite flavors.  It is so refreshing and I didn’t even miss my lunchtime soda today.  I have some other favorite flavor combos that I will share later this week!

#2:  Sprouted Grain Bread

I have been buying the Aldi brand but was at a different store last night and found this one.  Very comparable in price and taste and I think I like this one better.  I have switched to sprouted grain over regular bread for a few reasons, mainly the health benefits!  Did you know that it is easier to digest and usually has more protein and fewer carbs than regular bread?   My favorite way to eat it is toasted with almond butter and a drizzle of honey.

 

#3:  Agnes & Dora Leggings

My quads were sore today from 12 miles on the road.  My body has adapted to long trail runs and the road miles left me feeling tired this morning.  Dressing comfy for the work day in these soft, buttery leggings really made the day more bearable.  Besides, they are cute!  Check out the shop site here:

Agnes & Dora by Krysti

Krysti is my sister-in-law and the clothes she has in her shop are cute, trendy, and comfortable.  My collection is already growing more than I planned!

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Do you like infused water?  Do you have a flavor combo I should try?

Am I the only one who likes almond butter and honey on my toast?

How do you feel about running in the rain?