The American Calgarian

Tales of a Midwesterner transplanted in Western Canada

Archive for the month “March, 2013”

Mindset Shift

I picked my races for 2013.  This year I have done the Virtual Half Goofy Challenge, read about it <HERE> and will do Mother’s Day 5k – May 12, Color Me RAD 5k – June 29, Run Wild Missoula Marathon – July 14 and BMW Berlin Marathon – September 29.  And who knows?  Depending on the how my legs and spirit hold up, there may be room for another here and there.

The two biggies are the marathons in July and September.  I wrote out the training plan on the calendar a month or so ago, noting that I need to begin training this week in order to be ready for the marathon in Missoula on July 14.  Writing out the training is always terrifying.  When I sign up for a race I am excited about the place I will run, the gear I will need (shopping!!), the goal time for the race, all the fun stuff that goes along long distance running.  Then, I write it all down on the calendar, starting with race day and working my way backwards with mileage and hill runs and speedwork, usually 16 – 20 weeks prior to the race is the start of training.  You see, race day is exciting and full of adrenaline.  It’s the 4 months prior to race day on your first run where your commitment counts.  It’s the hill workout 10 weeks prior to race day where your endurance is tested.  It’s the speedwork 5 weeks before race day where your resolve will be tested.  It’s the peak mileage week just before the taper where you will wonder, why am I doing this again?  By the time race day arrives, you’ve passed all the tests and just need to run.

I run all year to keep in shape and stay sane, but when training starts, my mindset shifts.  Today was “Mindset Shift Day”.  The first run of training was on the calendar.  It was a beautiful day, warm, sunny and I would have run anyway because, like the hills calling Maria in The Sound of Music, the trails were beckoning me to come outside.  As I started out, the whole thing felt different.  Prior to today I would run through my neighborhood on a nice day because I wanted to or was meeting friends, with no particular goal in mind with regard to pace or distance.  Today training started.  Today its is prescribed.  Today, instead of thinking, “what a beautiful day, I would like to go for a run”, my thoughts are “I will run today, it says so right here on my calendar.”  And I thought about my pace, breathing, feelings in my legs.

The loop that I ran will be the base for my training over the next few months.  I incorporated a new part of the neighborhood trail to mix things up.  I noticed the condos that were just a pit in the ground last year at this time are almost complete and ready for people to move in.  I noticed how many people were out walking their dogs.  I love that it is lighter out later into the evening, as I don’t feel so rushed to get the run done during the day.

The first training run was a success.  My legs feel great and I am ready to take on the year.  Mindset has switched to training.  Let’s run!

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Nomination for a Woman Who Made America

There has been some talk lately about the Women Who Make America, due to a special on PBS. My mom has called me about it (a few times) and my twitter feed went bananas the first time the special was on. One of the tweets stated something like the real women that make America are pretty busy just getting sh*t done, so have no time to pause and congratulate themselves as part of a television special. These are the people who just do it, everyday, without recognition or accolades, because it (whatever it is), just needs to get done. It got me thinking..

My grandfather had a rural postal route many moons ago. When he decided to retire from his post, practice was that he would name the person to take his route. He decided that his daughter, Barbara, would take the post. She was interested in the job, qualified and looking for just a position. Her dad named her as his successor. This was met with a hearty “no thank you, what are you thinking appointing a woman to this job?” and “we’ll take it from here.” Undeterred, he took the request up the chain of command. When he did not get the answers he wanted, he sought legal help. No one was going to deny his daughter a job based on her gender. When it was made known that he had an attorney and was ready to fight for his appointment, the postal service relented and Barbara was awarded the position. She was one of the first women to hold a rural postal route. She faithfully (and successfully) carried out her duties with the postal service her entire career. Barbara left us last year after Alzheimer’s Disease took over her once very active brain. She was an excellent seamstress, postal worker, mother, grandmother and drove bus for the company that she owned.

My grandfather would not consider himself a political person. Barbara would not have considered herself a feminist. They were just two people who wanted to treated fairly and treated others in the same fashion. Barbara would have been too busy delivering the mail on her rural route to notice that PBS was doing a program about how women’s roles have changed and the women that were so instrumental in changing them. By doing her job well for so many years, she opened doors to other, qualified women that wanted to work in various positions in the postal service. This may not be newsworthy to many, but it is newsworthy to me. It shows that the people who make the United States a place where people are treated fairly and justly are not necessarily elected to high office, attend Ivy League schools or the like. It shows that people who make it a priority to do the right thing move our country forward.

Barbara is my nomination for the list of Women that Make America.

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