Monday, September 24, 2012

Running Alone and Getting Motivation from Others

Great running clothes! Stonewear
Designs Olympia Tank, Rockin' Short
Click to get a closer view!
Sometimes it is helpful to take a look back, so I'm posting this October 27, 2008 entry from an early, early, early blog of mine.  At this point, I'd been running about five years....and so much has changed since then!

Instead of running in Van Horn's incredibly special cemetery, I now run on a protected ranch road.  And I often run with Monte, since he moved from Houston to live in Marfa.

And since we lost my friend Iris last week in a cycling accident, I've added her name to the short list:  Dara Torres, Dr. Charlie, Sadie of Houston of names I chant to motivate myself during the hard runs.

October 27, 2008
"Today was a banner day. I topped my 2007 mileage total by passing 700 miles, so the rest of the year I'm marking virgin territory. Even though I tend to log the miles by myself, I'm usually not alone when I run.

There are people I tug along with me, people who inspire me to keep running:

Sometimes I chant with each footstep: Da-ra Tor-res, Da-ra Tor-res, Da-ra Tor-res, for the 41 year old swimmer who, when interviewed after winning a team gold at the Olympics said, "never put an age limit on your dreams." Yes, exactly.

Sometimes I conjure up the image of Dr. Charlie from Fitness Camp, the 91 year old--yes, that's right--cyclist donning his helmet and getting on his bike. This year, instead of sleeping in his little tent as he had in every previous year, he'd sleep in the bunkhouse with the younger guys.

Then there is the seemingly indefatigable Sadie, the 70+ year old marathoner in Houston, who is always out at Memorial Park.

Monte is a good coach when we run together and when we're apart, too. When I'm feeling a bit lazy and say I'm taking an extra day off, a simple "huh" over the phone will sometimes motivate me to get out there anyway.

But lately, there have been two older guys out at the cemetery watching me get my mileage in. I don't know their names, but they're friendly and we sometimes stop and talk a bit.

On weekends, a portly guy brings Pepita, his honey colored Pomeranian for a walk through the cemetery. On our first meeting, Pepita is happy to see me, running to me to catch a pet and listen to a bit of sweet talk. But this little pumpkinseed is serious about her walks. On the second round she won't stop, determined to keep up the pace, eager to keep her little legs in a blur.
She clearly has work to do. Her owner mostly keeps up with her; he's working off the extra pounds at Pepita's pace.

I came to know the other guy, also an older Hispanic gentleman, when I admired his family plot. It is well groomed, and I asked about the handmade cement planters and benches and the paintjob on the concrete curbing around it. He startled me a few months ago, when I heard a painful wailing across the cemetery. At first, I thought he was in trouble, or crying, as he was shuffling slowly and then I realized he was singing. I could pick out one word, "corazon" or "heart," so maybe it was a sad song of unrequited love. Since then we've talked, or tried to. I can't quite understand him as he lisps, has just a few teeth and a very small English vocabulary. But he's warm and happy to see me. And when I'm back from traveling, he comments that I've been away. Now I smile when I hear him sing."

Do you like the Stonewear running clothes?  They're great...and they're letting me try part of their winter line as a Stonewear Grassroots Ambassador this year. 

Pictured is the Olympia Tank (enough support for me, but suggested for yoga and walking) which I've actually worn to some laidback business meetings--yes, it is that stylish--over a nice skirt or their Liberty Skort.  I really like the princess seams and the detail at the neckline.  This top is a hard worker, yet graceful and feminine.  And the Rockin' Short is the perfect weight for fall weather, when you want something substantial as a bottom, but wearing pants might get too warm. 

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