Autumn Leaves are Turning

As the election day grows closer and our national political scene becomes absurdly outrageous, I find myself turning to what I know is real and worth fighting for. I know that the love and respect I have in my marriage, the way I’ve raised Ballet Boy to be a caring, sensitive young man and spending time with friends and family make the world a better place. I know my vote will count, and more importantly, I trust America to select a leader that will represent our core values of respect, tolerance and freedom for all. And if we don’t elect that person, winter will be hard and long, but will eventually come to an end.

The seasons are very prominent in the midwest, reminding us that all things come to an end, but are part of a bigger cycle of life. Fall is here in Iowa; the leaves are turning to gorgeous red and orange hues, nights are cool and all my squash is ripe. According to my weather app, it is perfect running weather…

The last pick from my garden; butternut and spaghetti squash, pumpkins, tomatoes, peppers

So why haven’t I been out there running? A memory came up on Facebook today that reminded me that a few years ago I had run ten miles this day in training for my first half marathon. Where did that woman go?

Sometimes I feel that since my Hashimoto’s diagnosis I’ve become lazy. I’ve wallowed in exhaustion and self-pity, and my drive to run, swim and bike is just disappearing altogether. But then I remind myself that I went through a necessary period of destressing; focusing on yoga, getting more sleep and meditation.

There has to be a balance of the two. I know that running gives me a high and that I feel much better about myself when I’m running several times a week. Right now I feel sluggish and out of shape, and that is never a good feeling. In spite of avoiding sugar, rarely eating grains and walking my dog almost two miles every day, I am gaining weight and feeling down.

So today I came out of ballet and told myself to seize the moment; my legs were warmed up and we had stretched out our feet by rolling them on golf balls. I came home, downed a glass of water, and told myself that I just had to run one mile. I ended up jogging two miles. I let myself walk up two hills, and just congratulated myself for getting out and trying.

Oops, I did it again!

After my jog I went straight to my computer and signed up for a 5k that is only one week away. Will I be able to run 3 miles by then? Probably not. Signing up for a race took a great amount of self-humility today, as I know that I will be far from my 5k PR that I set on this same course. I will be lucky to run 11 minute miles, and I don’t really care. I know that in order to motivate myself to train more regularly, I need a goal. This race is for a great cause–our local schools–and is a fairly flat course. The weather should be great. I promise to let you all know how that goes.

Here’s to a great fall! Last night the Brewmaster and I made spaghetti squash from our own garden with tomato sauce and goat’s cheese. We’ve been enjoying drinking hard cider and cooking things from our garden. Tonight I will stuff one of the huge zucchinis that grew to gigantic proportions when I forgot to check on my garden for a whole week; I’m thinking organic sausage and grass-fed hamburger would pair well with it. In the meantime, this pumpkin-chia-almond milk smoothie is the best post-run concoction to come out of my Vitamix yet! Think liquid pumpkin pie with a lot of protein.img_6496

And I will use this lovely weather to get back out there, and feel thankful for all the love and respect I have on the homefront. Winter is coming, and it may not be a gentle one.





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