January 22, 2017

I came across a loveliness of ladybugs last weekend after popping up out of the drenched Palos Colorados creek canyon. There were hundreds of them on a west facing embankment clustered together amongst the low-lying greenery. A ladybug party where the main event just might have been the brief window of sunshine. Well, and the snuggling. But that’s what ladybugs do when they’re not flying or eating aphids.

A big shout out to Cassie Davis, Carolyn McNulty, Chris Evans, Elsa & TK, Laurel Hunter and Julie Malozzi for your much appreciated donations and your heartening encouragements. I carry the encouragements with me on every run, like the packages of cliff-shot gel blocks and picky bars. The good words fuel me quite often beyond the energy from the hi-tech foods.

It’s been a tough week, as I expected, though it started with a delightful surprise of having fleet-footed Cassie Davis along for an 8 miler. While I’ve embraced the solo training runs it has been getting a bit lonely, particularly as I reach the peak of the training period. My usual focus is fuzzing out as too many “concerns” flood my head. I realized today that one of the loudest stories churning up the mud in my skull is fear of failure when race day arrives. I wonder about the concerns, the fears and hopes filling the heads of the kids locked up in cement cells.

I have techniques that I can utilize when this familiar fear shows up. Some of them are plain ol’ dig deeper mental fortitude. And positive reinforcement. “Goooo Lisa!” Dorky, but it works. Others are in the mindfulness camp. I’ve used gratitude a lot over the entirety of this training period. Awe and wonder too. I’ve tapped into the larger energy of nature surrounding me and been able to see myself as simply a part of it all, no more, no less. Most of all, training with a larger purpose other than a race has been teaching me, growing me. And an interesting thing is happening, I’m more dedicated than ever.