More on Me

It’s been awhile since I have posted, I know. Life gets in the way, posting becomes infrequent and finding a time to write becomes more and more difficult and farther down on the list of things To Do. It’s not that I don’t have anything to say and it’s not that nothing has been going on.  In fact, it’s times like this I wish I was better organized and had my content planned out better, but I also believe there is something to be said for writing from the heart and that is what this is. Here’s more on me – writing, remembering and [not really] running.

…On Writing

You won’t know it just by looking, but Words to Run By got a makeover thanks to Ryan and his team over at WP Site Care (check them out, they are rolling out some new features right now). If you are new to blogging or have no idea how to start using (or no idea how to use) WordPress, Ryan can help you. Words to Run By is now hosted at SiteGround, and I have high hopes that this is a beneficial and hopefully long-lasting transition to a permanent home for this site’s needs. Previously, I was hosted with Dreamhost since I made the move to self-hosted WordPress (best move ever by the way!) about two years ago; and while Dreamhost was great for a beginning blog and offered phenomenal pricing, I was really feeling like they could no longer meet the demands of my websites without a steadily rising cost. I also noticed the customer service started to diminish over the last several months (as my problems seemed to increase). Dreamhost was a great place for me to start, but I needed to move on as my site has continued to grow. Lesson learned? Do your hosting research ahead of time. While Ryan and the team at WP Site Care moved my website and ensured a solid hosting foundation over at SiteGround with no hassle to me, it does cost money to have your website(s) moved and it was not without a whole lot of worrying (okay, I might have panicked a time or two, sorry, Ryan) for me.

With SiteGround, I hope to deliver more up-time, faster page loading times and a friendlier user experience all-around. Behind the scenes I am looking forward to 24/7 live technical support if I need it, increased site speed and especially enhanced site security. I am to get back to the business of blogging without having to worry about my hosting provider anymore.

…On Remembering

April 21 marked the third year since my mother passed away. On one hand, I can’t believe it has only been that long since I saw her, talked to her, hugged her or ran with her. On the other hand, it seems like an entire lifetime since I saw her, talked to her, hugged her or ran with her.

Losing my mom does not get any easier. It just gets different. The pain I feel today is not the same pain as I felt the day it happened, the weeks or months since that day or even the anniversary of her passing last year. There have been so many times I have wanted to talk to her, to ask her something or tell her something. I’ve missed her advice, her shoulder to cry on and her undeniable support of me and my endeavors. While I don’t pick up the phone to call her anymore and her face is no longer in my phone, I think of her in different ways or at different times. When I am shopping and see something she would like or when the sun is shining and I know she would be out enjoying the weather, the first in our family to wear shorts in the spring.  I think of her when I eat strawberries because she loved them, when I write a new post because she was the first to read it and when I cry because she never told me not to.

My heart will never be the same and I’ve come to realize, maybe it isn’t supposed to be. I just hope I can convey the love she had for me through the love I have to share with others and in that way, a piece of her love will always live on.

…On [Not really] Running

I can’t remember the last time I ran. The need that I used to feel to run, just isn’t there since the blood clot nearly two years ago. That brings great concern for me as the writer of a blog called Words to Run By. I love blogging, I love writing, and I used to love running just as much, but it’s been hard for me to feel that love again. Running is tied to things that make me very sad – losing my mother, nearly losing my own life and having my self-confidence shattered to the core as it has never been in the past. It is harder and harder for me to remember the positive memories and things that running has brought to me life. It is strange to me the things I associate with running and the things that I don’t. Right now the negative associations far outweigh the positive and that is something that I hope will only take time to work through.

On a more positive note, I can see through it. I can see myself getting past the pain I feel when it comes to lacing up my shoes, but I don’t know how to do that just yet. For starters, I am getting out and walking with my dogs and my husband at least twice a week. Compared to training, this feels like nothing, but I can’t discount that. I’ve fought too hard to even get to where I am today. The truth is? I am walking when I can. I am trying to be smarter about what I eat. I am conscious of the changes I need to make to ensure a healthy lifestyle (if the weight comes off, then it does; but it is no longer my sole motivator for diet and exercise). Sometimes I think the universe had a grand design to encourage me to take a break from running and maybe this is all part of that break. Only time will tell. I know there is a future for me in running again and I am hoping in time I will see it. Until that time, I’m hanging on and don’t have any plans to pack up and move out of blogland.

Tell me about you. What have you been up to for the last few weeks? Have you written a fantastic post I need to read? Have you celebrated a life event or the memory of one? Have you run a race or are you preparing for a race? Do you get in a blogging rut or run out of time to post? Tell me in the comments!

Until the next mile marker,

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Comments

  1. I wish I could hug you right now! I’m so sorry to hear the joy of running is still eluding you. I know how that feels. Sometimes the simple act of putting frustrations and fears into words can lessen them. I hope that’s true for you. Huge kudos to you for being honest and open. That’s so hard to do. It’s even harder when so many of your friends are runners and keep hitting PR’s and conquering new distances. You just want to shout, “WHAT ABOUT ME?! Why can’t I do that?!” Or at least that’s how I feel. 🙂

    Know we all love you and are cheering for you. Every step is a victory. Even if it is a “walked” step. It’s a step you are fighting to take. And it is worth celebrating!

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says:

      Hi, Lisa! Thanks so much for your thoughts and encouragement, I really appreciate it. I do keep up with everyone’s running and am so glad for the ones that are succeeding and achieving new goals. I think what bothers me most is that no, I don’t think “What about me?! or Why can’t I do that?!” The desire just isn’t there for me right now. I felt that way when I was waiting out running injuries, but this has been really different. I know you understand how it feels to be away from running and I hope you are doing well yourself.

      Thanks again for reading and leaving a note too. It’s great to hear from you! 🙂

  2. Thanks for the update. I’m sorry to hear about the anniversary of your mom passing. I like how you just describe it as “different”. That’s a great way to put it.

    I wouldn’t worry about the running. Maybe you just haven’t found your next passion yet.

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says:

      Aw, Courtney, you always bring a smile to my face with the simplest things you say. Thank you for that! And thank you for your thoughts. I like the sound of that 0 “my next passion.” I can’t wait to see what it might be after the ride running has been for me! I know I will find passion again and until then, I’ll keep talking about and connecting with the community I love so much. Thanks for being a part of that.

  3. Carolyn Sharp says:

    I really enjoy your blog, probably because I struggle daily with the same things. I lost my dad 9 years ago, 6 months after my DVT/PE. The best way I know to honor him is to sort of “live forward” the positive things. I have adopted some of his sayings as my own, for example, “I may have to get older, but I don’t have to grow up.” I still miss him, but I’m passing on his wisdom to others, so his mark is still being left. I think the same is true of you and your mom. As you adopt and pass on the things she taught you, you are leaving not only your mark but hers. There is a lot of positive in that.

    As for running (or anything else), everyone goes through “seasons.” It’s biblical, spiritual, musical (thanks to The Byrds :)) and physical. I really only found the joy of running last year, so I’m still a Noob in the Springtime of my new hobby. I’d run before, and years ago, much better, but I never enjoyed it. I’m not sure what changed, and I had runs that were horribly hard and left me in tears last year, but somehow, someway, I saw the joy in the journey. I liked it so much I’m signed up for 3 half marathons this year, the first of which is in 3 weeks. However, with the ugly winter weather and a very recent diagnosis of breast cancer with 2 surgeries, my training is way behind. I’m determined there is still going to be joy in the journey even if my result isn’t a PR and I have to walk a few times. I like spring time. 🙂

    I hit winter in another sport though. I’ve been a bowler since I was 4 years old (really!). My mom has been running 2 or 3 bowling leagues since before I was born. I pretty much came out of the womb with colorful, slidy shoes on. I was in two leagues with an average in the 200’s, but I was constantly battling myself. If I shot 180 I was mad. If I missed a 10-pin in the 10th frame I felt like I was letting down my team (and told so, at times). Having a couple beers was the only way I could make it through the night. I felt pressured. Other women with high averages were catty and unpleasant. Here I was, a pretty damn good bowler, not enjoying anything but the beer and the fried mushrooms from the snack bar. I was winning enough money in jackpots to pay for my season, but it was little consolation. So, I quit. 4 years ago now. I went out with a 206 average. At first I was disappointed in myself for not going back to a sport I was clearly good at, but happiness is important. I’ve open-bowled a few times since then and really enjoyed myself. No pressure, no competition, no snarky, back-handed compliments, no one to make me feel as if I’m wasting my life if I don’t bowl in 4 leagues or place in a tournament. I’m coming out of that winter now, but I’m still not ready to slide (no pun intended) back into league bowling. I need to make sure I come back on my terms. This is all just to say I can relate. (:

    So your blog is called “Words to Run By?” Other runners will struggle through this too, so don’t think it’s not a relevant title. We all have ups and downs and your blog just may help out folks who are really struggling. Sometimes, just knowing someone else can relate is all someone needs to reverse the cycle. Keep blogging, and keep moving forward however fast you want to. If you want to sit down on a park bench for a little while, that’s okay too. Most importantly, do what is right for you, not for anyone else. Thanks for having the courage to blog about yourself and your life experiences. It’s still motivating to many of your virtual friends in cyberspace. 🙂

    {{Hugs}}

    Carolyn

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says:

      Hi Carolyn! Okay, this comment is coming out on the printer and hanging up for next time I’m feeling down! I can’t thank you enough. This is so encouraging, motivating and heartfelt to me. I can’t describe how you have really validated my feelings and my writing about this when I wasn’t even sure if I should/would/could. I am so grateful for your thoughts, for you sharing your stories and for that validation.

      As you can tell, I struggle a lot with the name of my blog and not feeling like “a runner.” I’ve even thought about getting rid of it all simply because I don’t run right now. I don’t know why I think I am the only runner who is facing that – you know I’m not, I know I’m not and yes, our struggles as runners and as human beings ARE what brings us together, maybe even more than the actual running. I know there were many times in running that without going through the hardship (of training, of a bad run, of injury, etc.) you can’t truly appreciate the victory (of crossing the finish line, of succeeding in spite of injury, of succeeding when others said you would fail, etc.) I don’t know why I forget this exact same scenario applies to LIFE as well and maybe my struggles both as a runner and not, as you say, can help motivate, inspire and even comfort another person.

      I am in admiration of your training, racing goals and that you are battling breast cancer after having survived a PE. You are one amazing lady and a testament to the strength of the human spirit if anyone is. I did not know about your recent diagnosis, but I do what you to know I will keep you in my thoughts and I want to know how your races go! You are an inspiration just by sharing these things with me because it gives me hope that I WILL run again and yes it might be hard and I might struggle but if you can do it, so can I! And that is what I love so much about the running community – once you think all hope is lost, someone is there to tell you it’s not and help see you through. You are one of those people. And, yes, my cyberspace friends become my friends and I feel that we are all together in this journey – computer or not – together. we connect with people for a reason; I really believe that, and I believe our stories are shared for a reason.

      I am grateful to you because, above all else, you have reminded me of why I started writing this blog in the first place, Carolyn. And no, it’s not a waste, it’s not meaningless and look – I do have people who stop in and read and say hello! 😉 But, above all of that – maybe I can help someone else through sharing what I have been through and what has helped me – talking about it and working through the difficult days. After all, you have done just that by sharing with me!

      Thank you so, so much. I know I sound like over-emotional (as usual?!) sap, but I cannot thank you enough for the clarity and hope you’ve given me on these matters. Thank you! Keep in touch, let me know how you are and how running is going.

  4. I love this. I love your honesty in the journey. I am lucky you are my friend. You get things no one else would. Proud of you….always! Love you!!!

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says:

      Ha! I am lucky you are MY friend – oh wise one! 😉 Seriously, you KNOW there are days I wouldn’t have made it through without you telling me that while I might not be okay, I was sane and I was normal. Thank you, friend, I love you too.

  5. Hi Sara – I love how honest and authentic you and your blogging are. And boy can I relate to the love hate relationship with running. I have been down that path myself more than once. The one thing I always keep in my mind during those times is that I used to love it and I just need to shake all the crap off the surface to uncover the love again. I start slow and build up very carefully to make sure I stay healthy (I would even suggest the run/walk method for a month or so) Then one day I am out for a typical hohum run and everything clicks and everything comes back to me. That is when I know I have removed all the layers of “why not run” and arrived at the core reasons “why I love to run.” The negative associations are replaced and embraced by positive ones.

    As for you blogging about running when you are not doing much yourself, well I think that is more important than ever! So many runners can relate even if they are not gifted word smiths to be able to express it themselves. Your journey is just as helpful when you are struggling through these times as they are when you are on top of the world.

    Keep it up Sara and keep giving all of us words to run by!

    Tim

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says:

      Hello Tim! It is really great (actually just plain awesome) to hear from you. I know it feels like forever since we met, at least for me. I re-read your book during my recovery from the PE and it helped me through some dark days, even though I struggled to remember what I read at the time, it made an impact.

      I have re-read your comment about 42 times now, and I just want you to know how much it really means to me. To hear you talk about your struggle with running as a runner that I admire greatly, just validates my feelings and my struggle and reminds me once again that I am not alone. Thank you so much for taking the time to share this with me. The run-walk method is one I really like and I do believe that is how I will get back to it when I am ready. I can feel something bubbling beneath the surface and while I won’t call it a “return to running” just yet, I know this is not the end for me and hearing what you have to say about the “why I love to run” coming back as aroused some very strong and positive feelings just thinking about it that I really do miss and long to feel again.

      I am so grateful to you for what you said about continuing to write ‘Words to Run By’ even when I feel like I don’t have any running to contribute! Thank you, thank you. I am going to keep your comment in front of my computer and when I feel like “what do I have to give that anyone cares to read?” I will remember there are other people out there who might be going through what I have/am and that is what this community is about – connecting to one another and helping each other through not only the good times, but the hard times too. We do it for one another during training and races and we will in life too.

      Thanks, Tim!! Talk to you soon and take care.

  6. HUGE HUGS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I have lost so many so I can definitely relate to your words about your mom. We never get over it & it does get “easier” not the best word but the pain is always there – the loss… HUGS!!!!

    On all else – I get it with time & all that stuff…. life can get in the way. I think I may be moving more to not writing as much vs. coming back.. 🙂

    I love the new look & yes, Ryan does a great job!!!!!
    Jody – Fit at 56 recently posted..Update on my Protein Bread; It’s OK to be NOT OKMy Profile

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says:

      Hi Jody!!!!!!!!!!! Thank you so, so much, lady! It is always a pleasure to hear from you and lightens my mood for the day. While I don’t always read/comment as much as I would like, I do value what you have to say on your blog and I hope even if you don’t write AS much, you still do once in awhile to share your wisdom and knowledge because you have a lot to share with the world!

      Have a great day and keep smiling. 🙂

    • here isa link to a stroke support group we are promoting stroke awareness
      http://www.strokesupportgroup.org/forums/

      thank you

  7. hey, Sara. Just stopping by with a big hug for you today. You are never far from my thoughts and of course I am always here cheering for you. I love the raw honesty of this post… you are so eloquent and share so openly. <3

    • Sara- Words to Run By Blog says:

      Hi My friend! It is so lovely to hear from you, and I hope all is well with you and The Captian. You guys cross my mind often. 🙂 Thank you for always supporting me. Talk to you soon!

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