Hello, It’s Me.

HI.

It’s been a HOT MINUTE since I’ve last updated! I always feel so guilty when I haven’t updated in a while, but it’s not because lack of passion to write. It’s a lack of time. Since my last update after visiting Bucknell, things have gotten incredibly busy for me. I’ve struggled a bit, but have also had some amazing triumphs. It’s absolutely shocking to me it’s already August.

Since my last update, I’ve been in a funk of sorts. Leaving Bucknell, I felt empty. While it was so much fun returning to my “home away from home” and seeing so many friends and familiar faces, it also got me thinking.  It was amazing to hear all these stories of what other alumni were doing in their communities since graduating, but I also sat there wondering, what have I done? And I guess that’s sort of a complex right there, comparing your life to others, but I’m not afraid to admit I do it from time to time. It wasn’t a comparison like, oh I wish I was them, but more of a reflection on myself of the potential I have to also do amazing things. But as Erin and I drove away from Bucknell I couldn’t fathom how to change, make a difference, and most importantly, make things happen.

So, I fell into a dark place for a bit.  I stopped taking my supplements. I stopped cooking nutritious meals. I felt constantly tired, broken. When I made it out for my runs every step hurt and I couldn’t even fathom 57 miles, let alone the six I was supposed to do for the day. I slept a lot, and fell into a routine unbeneficial to me or those around me. Maybe my body needed it because of the Lyme, but I have a sneaking suspicion it was my mind needing it more.

And then Dave and I went to Washington state. Our trip was booked in a bit of a rush, because we thought Dave was starting a job in Ocean City at the end of July, but we still had great aspirations for the trip. I couldn’t wait to get out into the mountains. The mountains make me feel my happiest. It doesn’t matter the state or the mountain range – I love the feeling of how small they make you feel.  You feel insignificant, but at peace. You can finally realize what a great, big, BEAUTIFUL world it is out there, and how there is so much more to life than just trying to “get by” through your daily grind.

While in Washington we hiked almost every day once we left Seattle. We hiked through ancient forests, up steep mountain sides and along the magnificent Pacific Ocean. A lot of the times we were out there early in the morning before any of the tourists were awake, and we trudged along single track trails in silence, lost in thought. I worked so many problems out in my head as I hiked through Mt. Rainier National Park and Olympic National Park.

Life felt pure.

And now it’s mid August. Happily, I’m finally coming out of my funk and starting to really get after living life again. It’s no secret I’ve never really enjoyed living in the Washington, D.C., area, but I’m adamantly trying to find the beauty and fun in living here. For awhile, I let myself think I couldn’t have fun with my friends anymore because of my Lyme, and I thought I would never feel well enough to do all the things I used to. But after Washington, and hiking day after day and also running almost every day, I realized my body can do a lot more than I credited it for. Which is great because you know, I’ve got that whole 57 miles to run thing.

Last weekend I went out with Dave and our friends and it was the first time in a LONG time that I spent the day bar hopping (granted, I wasn’t drinking) and genuinely having a good time. I wasn’t drinking during the day because I actually signed up to run a beer mile that evening in Navy Yard. I’ve always wanted to do a beer mile since college, but after being diagnosed with Lyme, I wrote it off as one of those things I could never do. But then I did it anyways. And it was amazing. And better yet, I had such a great night with all my friends, I’m still smiling thinking back on that day. I am so glad I listened to my friends to sign up and stopped listening to all the fears and the “I can’ts” in my head.

20708318_10211161562618553_1431217417855596444_n

Now, back to that whole thing of it being August again. It’s August 12. I have less than 3 MONTHS until my 57 mile run from Penn State to Bucknell raising money for Global Lyme Alliance, to fund better research and awareness. It makes me a little nervous, because I know November 2, will be here before I know it. I’m trying my hardest to be ready and my runs have been steadily increasing. It’s taken a long time, but I can feel my fitness finally returning.

I’m still managing some aches and pains in my lower legs, and physical therapy has been pivotal at keeping the tendonitis manageable. After 10 days of hiking in Washington State, my left Achilles and bad knee were NOT having it, but the discomfort is slowly getting better. Luckily, I had a down week in my training cycle this week and it’s been amazing. My achilles is still being a little bitchy, but I’m thinking I may get a sports massage soon to help work out some of the knots.

After this weekend my mileage is going to climb pretty high and while I’m nervous, I’m also really excited. Long runs are my thing. I love going slow and steady and taking all the time I need to get through the miles. They’re challenging, but I always feel so amazing afterwards. With my mileage getting pretty high in the next few months I know my nutrition is going to need to be on point. I’ve been gluten free since my lyme doctor suggested it, but I’ve actually been playing around with a plant-based (basically vegan) diet and have been feeling worlds better. Now, I’ve been having small amounts of gluten here and there (I still eat a predominately gluten-free diet…but hello beer mile) and I feel absolutely fine. Taking dairy out has helped me feel more clear-headed, helped take away my every day headaches, and I do feel like I recover a little faster from my workouts.

I feel like this blog post has been all over the place, but that’s just how it goes when I haven’t updated in forever. I seriouslyyyyy am going to try and update more frequently from here on out, especially because we are in the final push to my 57 mile run. I don’t think I’ll actually do weekly recaps of my workouts because it kind of stresses me out, but I will try to do a better job of keeping you guys in the loop.

So, that’s it for now. If you have any interest in learning more about my 57 mile run from Penn State to Bucknell, you can check out my info page HERE. You can also donate to my run HERE. I really would like to meet my fundraising goal so any help is much appreciated, and anything helps!

 

 

 

Advertisements

Weekly Recap: April 3 – April 9

(I wanted to add photos but something is wrong with my phone and I can’t get them off onto my computer!!!)

It’s been awhile! I know I haven’t done a weekly update in a while – I have been completely OUT OF TIME. I’m not going to lie, I’ve been pretty stressed out and not been feeling the greatest, so this plays into my silence. But here I am now, and I wish I had this lovely update to give you about how great things are going, but I’m not going to sugarcoat things – I’m hurting. I’ve been struggling with some peroneal tendonitis since Ragnar and I finally doomed myself in last week with my long run.

Taking some time off to help the inflammation go down and hopefully I’ll be running by Friday for my long run. Lot’s of icing, stretching and rolling on the schedule, along with any pain-free cross training.

Monday, April 3: I ran a lot earlier in the morning because of a doctor appointment I had later. The weather was pretty nice – it’s finally spring – and I was really enjoying myself EXCEPT for my ankle. I wouldn’t call it pain I was feeling, but something definitely didn’t feel right. Every step my ankle felt weak and like the little bones in my foot were moving or something. I know it doesn’t make sense, but that’s what it felt like. I felt like my foot needed a good crack to make sure everything was in place.

Other than the weird ankle/foot sensations, the run was great. I ran along the Mt. Vernon Trail and went about 7 miles. My legs felt pretty fresh considering the week before was a recovery week and mileage was super low.

7 road miles – 7:55 min/mile pace

Tuesday, April 4: Decided to take a rest day because of ANOTHER doctor appointment. My lyme doctor is about 45 minutes from where I live so by the time I drive out there, have the appointment and drive back, my morning is pretty much shot. I was feeling the tightness in my peroneal this morning so I decided the rest would be my best bet.

Doctor appointment went fine – had more bloodwork done. When I got home I had a little bit of time before work so I decided to go for a nice walk instead. I walked along the Potomac for 2.3 miles just listening to music and thinking things through. Definitely needed it before work.

Rest Day
2.3 mile walk

Wednesday, April 5: Workout day! I wasn’t as excited about my tempo workout as I usually am because of the ankle pain. I decided to suck it up and hit up the treadmill anyways though, thinking the tendon would loosen up as I ran.

Once I got going on the treadmill though and started pumping some jams I felt okay. The peroneal was definitely tight and ached for most of the run, but the pain was manageable. I ended up being able to complete my entire workout – 7 X 5 min repeats with 1 min recovery in between – with my speed portions being between 6:30-6:05 min/mile pace. I did my cool down outside and ended the day with over 10 miles.

15 min. w.u., 7X5 min up-tempo, 1 min recovery in-between – 8.3 miles, 6:53 min/mile
2.1 mile c.d. – 18:09 mins, 8:28 min/mile pace

Thursday, April 6: ANOTHER rest day. I didn’t intend on resting today, but once I got home from work I couldn’t get myself to go and cross train like I was supposed to. I definitely didn’t want to run because of my ankle and I was trying to get ready for the next day’s long run, but I couldn’t get my butt onto my bike. So I ended up laying on my couch not doing anything. Womp wompppppp.

Rest Day

Friday, April 7: LONG RUN. What an adventure this run ended up turning into once out on the trail. The day before it POURED and we had storms and crazy wind, and it really messed up the trail. When I was driving out to Great Falls Park, I noticed how swollen the Potomac was and I knew the trail was going to be an epic mess. The wind was still very bad and I started getting nervous about falling tree branches and such, but I forced myself to keep driving.

My ankle was pretty sore this morning, even though I took Thursday off. When I first started running my ankle almost gave out with my first step, and I knew it probably wasn’t a good omen. Once I got going on the trail and relaxed, the pain pretty much disappeared.

The trail was flooded in a lot of places and the thick mud made me turn my ankle a few times, unfortunately. There were A LOT of huge trees down and it made me so paranoid to have to run off the trail and around. For once, I forgot to spray myself with bug spray before I started and all I could think about were ticks! Every time I had to jump off trail or a branch brushed up against my side I stopped and checked myself for freaking ticks. So as you can imagine, I stopped a lot on this run.

I wasn’t able to make it out as far as I wanted on the heritage trail because of fallen trees so I turned back early and ran some trails in Great Falls I’ve never went out on before. They were so nice and even though I was tired as the miles racked up, I was having a freaking blast out there. I think this is the first run where my nutrition and hydration were on point. I was eating every 40 minutes and drinking my tailwind from my hydration vest and I actually felt pretty good.

By the time I was done with 20 miles I was definitely tired, but honestly, if I had to go further I knew I could. This was a good feeling to have, especially struggling with the tendonitis. I’ve never done two 20 mile runs (and a 36 mile ragnar) in one training cycle, so to finish this run up made me feel really good and confident.

As soon as I got home I stretched and iced my ankle and it felt pretty good. It wasn’t until I tried to get up from the couch a few hours later I realized how much pain my peroneal was in. Dave and I decided to walk to Crystal City to see a friend at the 5k Fridays and during the 1 mile walk I felt my peroneal loosen up again. Honestly, I thought I would be okay for my 10 miler the next day.

20.1 trail miles – 9:12 min/mile pace

Saturday, April 8: I woke up early for an event I was holding at the store, and immediately I knew I was in trouble. I woke up several times during the night and every time I moved around I could feel the pain in my peroneal. When I got out of bed the pain walking was intense, and I knew I wasn’t going to be able to run. It immediately put me into a pisser.

It didn’t help when I went to drive to my event that my car wouldn’t start. I felt like everything was going wrong for me and immediately I felt myself shift into a negative attitude about everything. I was upset about my car, upset about going to work on my day off (even though I had volunteered) and upset my “training was going to shit.” It’s absolutely incredible what missing a run can do to someone who is used to running all the time.

After the event I went home and cleaned up around the apartment before getting a new battery in my car. I had plans that evening to go out with friends to the pub, but immediately I cancelled. I felt myself retreating into that dark place where I didn’t want to see or be near anyone. I was sure I ruined myself for my 50k I’ve been training forever for and I was so mad at myself.

Later in the afternoon I took myself to a massage appointment with great hopes it would be a fix-all. I told her about the tendonitis and she focused on that ankle for a lot of the appointment and HOLY CRAP DID IT HURT. I feel like my ankle is still a little bruised from her digging in there. But I was able to walk normally when I stood up after the appointment, and the pain was cut by about 70%. As much as I wanted to push it and try and run, I told myself no and rested on the couch for the rest of the evening.

I iced a lot, cooked up some veggie chili, and watched some documentaries until it was time for bed. I was still feeling pretty mad at myself about the tendonitis and for letting it affect my entire day, but I took some Advil, put on some anti-inflammatory cream and went to bed.

Sunday, April 9: I woke up ready to be in a better mood. I made myself coffee, relaxed and enjoyed myself before I had to go into work. Sometimes, I feel like it’s okay to have one of those days where you kinda wallow and feel angry at the world (as long as you don’t let it consume you and continue for a long time). What I felt Saturday was completely normal. It was frustration, anger, and sadness about my injury. And it’s ok. But I was ready to leave it behind.

I KNOW you can’t lose fitness by taking 1-2 weeks off. When people come to me for running advice, especially if they’re hurting with an injury, I preach this all. the. time., but it’s hard to take your own advice.

I believe in myself. I reminded myself to stop comparing my training to anybody else’s, because every person is different. I reminded myself I was able to complete both marathons I’ve done in the past off less than 30 mile/week mileage. I reminded myself just how strong I am physically and mentally – and I felt happy.

It was a beautiful day so I decided to ride my bike to work. It’s been awhile since I’ve gotten in the saddle and I had so much fun riding to the store. It’s less than 3 miles so it was super quick, but it was enough to get those endorphins flowing. Work ended up being so busy I didn’t even have time to think about my tendonitis because I was running all over the place like a crazy person – definitely my workout for the day.

After I rode home I immediately ate dinner because I was unable to eat all day at work. Now that the days are longer, there was still some sunlight after I finished, so dave and I went for a little walk. We ended at the grocery store so I could pick up a few things for the week and when we got back to the apartment, I went down to the gym to see if any cross training didn’t hurt. I rowed for about 10 minutes (and felt great) but because there were a few twinges in the ankle I decided to stop. I hopped on the elliptical and that wasn’t great so I left and went back to the apartment to ice, roll and stretch.

WEEKLY MILEAGE: 37.5 Miles

THOUGHTS ON THE WEEK: Obviously not the mileage I wanted to hit this week. I’m about 13-14 miles short of what I wanted, but it’s okay. I’m in the final stretch here, and it’s about making it to the start line, not pushing myself through painful miles. I’m happy I got the 20 miler in even though I know I would have felt a little more confident having the 10 miler the day after as well. But I’ve already done that once in my training and I’ve only gotten stronger since then, so I think all will be okay.

I’m going to keep stretching, icing and rolling and hopefully I’ll be okay for 15 miles this Friday and maybe 7 or so on Saturday. I’m not going to push or force anything. Maybe this injury is an opportunity for me to get back into cross training/strengthening so I can better incorporate it into my 57 miler training this summer. It’s going to be so important!

I picked up some anti-inflammatory juices to try this week as well and I’m going to try and really clean up my diet. I’ve been eating a lot of processed crap and it’s not doing me any favors.

Here we go! IT’S THE FINAL COUNT DOWNNNNNNNN.

Chasing my 57 mile dream

This week I finally took some steps toward making my 57 mile charity run from Penn State to Bucknell REAL.  I created my charity page!  For whatever reason, I was so nervous about creating it and pushing it out to my family and friends, but I think my anxieties over it shows just how important it is to me.  Lyme has been kicking my ass these past few days, so it feels good fighting back.

If you’d like to check out my charity page, you can find it HERE.  I’ve set a $5,000 goal, but I’ve also never done this before, and I’d like to dream bigger and raise more money.  But we’ll see how it goes! There’s still plenty of time – 9 months of training here I come.

If you want to read more about my story and why I decided to do this charity run (and why Penn State to Bucknell??) you can check out my page HERE.  I go a little bit more into my background with Lyme and why I’ve chosen this particular run.

That’s it for now…just wanted to send out this quick update since I feel like I’ve been so busy over the past few days getting everything ready.  If you have any questions, you can always reach out to me through the contact page.  I’ll also have a “real” blog post coming soon.  I’m hoping by Friday so look out for it :).

And as always – thank you for your support.  It means so much to me, I can’t even explain. I’m not very good at showing my emotions, but I received my first few donations yesterday and I actually teared up.  This run is extremely important to me and I am extremely determined to get to that Penn State track come November.

Mountains and Ironmans

It is dark but I feel the mountains around me.  The highway is still quiet at this early morning hour and the headlights illuminate glimpses of rock faces on the road edge.  As the sky turns from black to gray more comes to life around me.  A smile creeps across my face and I can’t control it.  Whenever I feel lost the mountains ground me.  Full of wisdom and older than I can imagine, I feel safe in their presence.  They’ve seen it all.

The sun yawns and stretches its rays up above the mountains and faint light wakes the trees.  I can see the fog nestled in the valleys like a cold blanket covering slumbering fields.  As we speed down Interstate 81 toward Chattanooga, Tennessee, I try to take everything in because my camera can’t do the scenery any justice.  In the rearview mirror I can see the sky on fire with stripes of orange, red, yellow and pink as the sun rises higher.  The world is finally awake.

14457506_10208426732529510_6762455939361635747_n

Dave and I are headed to Chattanooga to see Erin race her first Ironman.  As we roll up to the hotel a few hours later the atmosphere is laced with anticipation.  More and more athletes arrive as Dave and I unload the car and wait for Erin, and I watch triathletes roll their expensive bikes into the lobby.  I feel like I am caught up in another world, a world of organized chaos full of nervous energy shaking and rattling my psyche.  The calmness of the mountains is gone, evaporated into the sky like the morning fog I spied earlier floating across the landscape.

Race day calls for record high heat, yet I don’t feel nervous for Erin.  Not only has she been living in Texas all summer long, but when I hug her in the hotel lobby I sense a feeling of readiness.  She is an island of serenity in the sea of madness only an Ironman event can create.  She is my mountains – all knowing and calm.

On Saturday morning, the morning before the race, we head out for an easy bike ride and I follow cautiously behind Erin and her friend.  I’m riding her other triathlon bike and it’s so light I feel as if I might blow away in the next wind gust.  But as we ride out of downtown and into the countryside I can feel my confidence building.  I feel weightless and free speeding down the hills and I feed on the energy radiating from the green mountains around us.  It’s quiet enough I can hear the birds chirping in the trees and it reminds me of being a kid again in Robbinsville, NJ,  when Erin and I would wake early on muggy summer mornings and speed down the hills in our neighborhood on our matching bikes.

Race morning arrives before I know it and I spring out of bed at 3:50 AM like it’s actually a normal waking hour.  Everything is done in the dark: body marking, final checks of the bike, riding the bus to the swim start – and again I feel as if I am immersed in another world.  I’ve run hundreds of road races, a few triathlons, marathons, and championship races but nothing compares to the start of an Ironman.  I watch all the triathletes sitting around me waiting for the swim start and wonder what’s going on in their heads.  How does one prepare for a 2.4 mile swim, 116 mile bike ride (bike course was long in Chatt – it’s usually 112 miles) and then 26.2 miles afterwards?  They have to believe.  And as cheesy as it sounds, I knew before Erin even started she would finish, because she believed so deeply in herself.

Other than the finish, my favorite part of spectating Erin’s Ironman was the swim.  After they jumped into the river I ran down the river walk to get a good view of the water.  Separating myself from other spectators, I found myself surrounded in the beauty of a race unlike any other.  Hundreds of swimmers headed downstream in a wide line, and the sound of their arms hitting the water reminded me of the sound of delicate wings fluttering endlessly, softly dipping in and out of the water.  For a moment, I watched silently as the swimmers migrated downstream together under a watercolor sky.  Together they had one goal: to be an Ironman.  It sent chills down my spine.

14448797_10208426739209677_1524866355224375924_n

About 12 hours later I am standing at the finish line.  I’ve spent all day tracking the merciless sun across the sky and finally we are immersed in  a darkness bringing much welcomed coolness.  Erin will be finishing any minute and the announcer’s voice booms at the finish line as other athletes cross and throw their arms up in triumph.  Music blares and as each athlete passes we slap the cardboard signs tied to the barriers, screaming and creating a thunderous applause.

When Erin approaches I feel my heart skip a beat only to then beat what feels like a million times per minute.  As I scream, “you are an Ironman” a smile splits across her tired face and her eyes sparkle with happiness.  I feel tears well up in my own and my heart swells.  To stand at the finish line of an Ironman is to experience more emotion than I can usually muster up in a month.  Watching her run into the finish line spotlights I know I’ll remember this moment for the rest of my life.

14435073_10208427452067498_4588727426256904585_o

After the race we find Erin and walk away from the intense energy at the finish line.  Sitting on a bench in pseudo darkness – the glare of the finish line behind us, the announcer’s voice thundering through the air – my sisters, mom, husband, friends and I crack open a beer.  We drink slowly by the riverside as Erin tells us about the ups and downs of her race and I feel at peace even though we are surrounded by madness.

Every athlete has their own story.  Their own triumphs and failures.  The finish line means something different to each and everyone of them, and I feel blessed to have been able to experience Ironman Chattanooga as a spectator and see so many dreams fulfilled.  Erin has a story of resilience and determination, a story of never giving up no matter the hardship.

Watching Erin race made me think about my own story and where I’m headed.  As I sipped my beer riverside, I thought about how unclear everything seems.

I have dreams and aspirations I believe I can fulfill if only I could get my health settled.  My shin pain has come back full force and I’ve put a halt on all training to try and get the pain to go away.  I want to believe I can do amazing things but it’s hard to believe when I feel so broken.  I’ve spent a boatload of money on extensive lyme disease testing and I’m nervous to get the results in a few weeks.  I hope my injuries will resolve themselves because I refuse to let my story end on some shitty 5k I gave up halfway through.  Right now, I feel like I am in limbo, and I don’t know which way to go.

As I drove back to DC from Chattanooga, still high from Erin’s triumphant finish, I realized she has found her calling.  I’ve always known we are endurance athletes and after so many ups and downs in the running world I feel such a happiness knowing Erin has found what she truly loves to do.  But I don’t know what I’m meant to do yet.  But as I passed through the mountains one last time, their serenity quelled my feelings of doubt.  Because when I’m in nature, I know what I want.

And those mountains are calling, and somehow, I will go.

 

© Allison Donaghy 2016 All Rights Reserved

 

 

WHY IS IT ALREADY JULY?

I’ve been feeling super blah lately, so I’m very excited to be headed to Oregon next week for the Olympic Track & Field Trials.  It’s so nice for me to escape and try to forget everything going on for a little bit.  I’ll be seeing plenty of old friends from high school as we gather for this fantastic event, and some of my college friends are coming out to Oregon with us as well, so I know things are in the making for a great time.  I’m bringing my hoop, my running shoes, and my GoPro.  We’ll see what happens.

And about those test results.  My doctor called me back last week with my endoscopy biopsy results and I think I’m more confused than I was without her call.  The pathology report showed “chronic and focal acute inflammation and intestinal metaplasia.”

It’s the metaplasia bothering me.  Why are my cells changing?  How is it prevented?  Can we make it stop?  I asked all these questions but didn’t receive an answer.  Instead I felt chastised for not starting the medicine she gave me weeks ago for acid reflux (which I HARDLY ever get and why I did not start the medicine).  So she scared me into starting it and I can happily report so far, the medicine hasn’t done one. damn. thing.  And why would it?  But I’ll keep on swallowing those stupid pills until I see her in the end of July just for the sake of telling her I definitely tried, and it doesn’t work ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

My stomach has been particularly bitchy this week and the joint pain in my knees is ridiculous.  It’s making training a little difficult but I’m dealing.  I would have loved to go for a run this morning but not only is my stomach so upset I don’t dare step out onto the road, but my knees feel swollen and stiff.  I’m hoping I’ll feel better by the end of the day and I can go for a little run on the treadmill.

As for my training – I really need to start focusing on my Ragnar in August.  I racked up 17.5 miles of running last week and about 17 miles the week before so I’m well on my way of rebuilding my base.  I was around 35 miles a week before my injury and I’m definitely going to take it slow and focus on getting quality cross training in as supplement to my lack of mileage.  I’m hoping for right around 18 miles this week but I guess it all depends on if I can get out for a run today and one this weekend.

Right now, cross training for me looks like some longer rides on my bike, some shorter rides to and from work, hitting up the elliptical, and rowing on the erg.  I’ve been doing things sort of sporadically because I’ve been feeling so ill but if I have any hope for my fall racing season I really need to get things under control.  Fast.

I can’t believe it’s July 1 today and I want to take some time to focus my goals.  If I can get a solid month of training in, I’ll feel way more ready for my ragnar relay, and then it’s on to focusing on some more speed for my fall half marathon and 10 miler.  I’ve let dealing with my health issues consume me, and since it seems I’ve hit another dead end I’m just going to push those worries to the side and start truly focusing on my running again.  So, for this month I’d love for my training to start looking something like this:

(1) Crosstrain 3X a week – one hard bike workout per week.
(2) Take one fantastical FULL rest day.  Don’t do a damn thing except enjoy myself.
(3) Run 4X a week.  (I’m not going to set any workout goals yet.  Don’t feel like destroying myself)
(4) Strengthen 2-3X a week.  I SO NEED TO DO THIS.  Core strength is so important for runners and I can’t remember the last time I even did a plank or a sit-up.  Strengthening will be important to keeping myself healthy.

I think this is an excellent recipe for success for me, but if not, I’m always willing to adjust.

Other than all of that…not much else going on.  After I finished one particularly difficult chapter I haven’t touched my writing again.  Frankly, I’m starting to piss myself off.  I’m going to get to it this weekend (I MUST) because I have nothing better to do.  I’ll just be working and writing.  That’s the dream.

Maybe I can pull together a more creative-writing-ish post soon.  I’m sure Oregon will be inspiring enough for me :).

 

An update of sorts.

As always, it’s been hard for me to put my thoughts into words.  I’ve been mulling over a post for days (WEEKS) but I can’t really find a focus.  It’s probably because I’ve felt so unfocused lately.  Every day I feel like I’m walking through a thick fog, just searching for some clarity.

Colorado was wonderful.  Rocky Mountain State Park is such a beautiful place and it was so easy to let go there.  I didn’t worry about my stress fracture, or running, or my health.  Every morning Erin and I woke up to hike a new trail and had one priority: enjoy nature. The sun was still low in the sky when we started our hikes but the mornings were still full of soft light and delicate silence.  I loved hearing the dirt trail crunch beneath my hiking boots and I loved how the mountains rose up all around us, cradling us in their valley.  Everything seemed so alive.

I’ve been home now for over a week.  If I had a choice I’d still be out in the mountains but home and work were calling.  I’ve started to incorporate runs again in my training but I’m constantly worried about the pain coming back.  With every ache I fear it is the stress fracture returning even though I gave it more than enough time to heal.  I worry about my bones and not absorbing enough calcium and vitamin D.  I worry my bones are soft and weak and as soon as I really start training again I will be broken.  I am so exhausted with being broken.  And the worst part is not letting myself down, it’s letting everyone else down believing in me.

As I was rowing on the erg this evening I realized I will never be fast again.  I row.  I bike.  I elliptical.  I do all these things to try and keep myself in some inkling of running shape, but when it comes down to it they’ll never turn me back into the runner I once was.  Sure, I can get into good shape and be competitive, but I don’t believe I will ever be able to train at a high caliber again and be fast in the shorter 5k, 10k distances.  I’m not sure of the runner I’m going to turn into once these injuries and health issues are settled, and even though I’m resigned to the fact I may be a mediocre runner for the rest of my life, I’m not giving up on myself.  I’m willing to see what type of runner I morph into.  The longer distances are calling my name.

I think that’s it for now.  I want to start writing here more but I keep getting in the way of myself.  Ideally, I would love to use this blog as a place I can just spit out ideas and thoughts I have during the day but I don’t trust myself enough to do so.  I won’t lie – I’m still petrified of sharing my thoughts and feelings and posting inconsistently is my way of taking baby steps.

I have finally started working on my piece again so that’s exciting.  Before I ended up taking such a long break I had the goal of finishing this summer but now it’s already the end of June and I’m not so sure.  I’ve been so wrapped up in my injury, my health, freelance writing and working at the running store I’ve forgotten about myself and personal goals.  So I’m hoping to get back into the habit of working on it in the morning and justttttt maybe I’ll share a few excerpts.

One of these days I’m going to spit out all these words in my head and share them freely.  But today is not that day.

 

© Allison Donaghy 2016 All Rights Reserved

Colorado Explorin’

I feel quite refreshed after my trip to Colorado last week.  Check out my video to see some pretty scenery and fun stuff from Boulder, Nederland and Rocky Mountain State Park.  I didn’t do any training/running…solely focused on having a wonderful time with my twin :).

Music is “Brand New” by Ben Rector.

I’ll have a real update soon!