Whatcha’ listening to?

My head is a bad neighborhood. When I go there alone, bad things happen. Thoughts like ‘I’m not worth this’ & ‘I hate pain’ plague me. If I choose, I can let intrusive thoughts derail my run. Worse, I leave myself unarmed against destructive behavior. Like, romancing the idea of a drink or a drug. Or self harm as a release. 

I’m mostly ok with how my alcoholic mind works. This kind of thinking is not uncommon in alcoholics & addicts in recovery. My active using provided temporary relief from this thinking. Drinking gave me a pause button to a brain that wanted out from an almost constant barrage of negative thoughts. At almost nine years sober, I have some tools to stay out of my head. Stress is a trigger to self imposed martyrdom. So much time in my head on a long run can be a funny place. 

Reading an article on iRunfar got me thinking about my use of headphones. For today, I don’t think I’ll be one of those people running ‘wireless’ & free in the woods. While the woods of Vermont are where I feel at peace, I use podcasts to stay out of my bad neighborhood. No one is there judging my use of headphones. I know that. Part of me wishes, though, I could be the author of that article. Running free of distraction. Listening to the animal & forest sounds. I do sometimes. Mostly, it’s me & Aggie dog & some soothing voice telling m their good story. Ted Talks, Fresh Air, Stuff You Should Know or Joe & Charlie tapes (sobriety stuff) are my favorites. 

This isn’t to say I could relapse if I don’t have my precious podcasts. It’s not that dramatic. Simply, I have a more enjoyable run with some company. My runs, nine weeks out from Umstead, are loooooong. This still slow scurrier has a 25 miler followed by a 16 this Friday & Saturday. A total of eight hours listening to my own shitty thinking makes for some baaad ideas. So, I choose to listen to someone else’s good ideas. 

What’s your favorite podcast? Please & thank you. 
Thanks for running with me,
Astrid

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Waiting, Celebrating and Sushi

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Nine days ’til my first ultra!
I’ve been in taper mode this week, with some easy short runs. I even missed a few scheduled runs cause I was downright lazy. I’m trying, on the whole, to not worry too much about it. At this point, I don’t think there’s much I can do to improve my running. It’s gonna be what it’s gonna be. It’ll probably take me a wretched 8 hours to finish it, and I’m going to keep reminding myself that it’s supposed to be an adventure, not a race. Okay?
I did do a 7 miler today. But that’s the longest I’ll go til after the 50k. I’m told I should simply ‘shake my legs out next week’. Go easy. Okay. Shouldn’t be a problem, til I start having panic attacks from lack of exercise.
I want to play it cool, but my closest friends know better. All I’ve talked about lately is all things trail running. My co workers hate me. Even they’re ready for this damn race to be over.
Hubs is shaking his head. He has the patience of a saint. Sorry guys, I can be a little obsessive.

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Any ho, I did my first race of the season last weekend. Meh. It was great to see folks I hadn’t seen since last fall. I had been hoping to be faster. I’ll blame it on my distance training since it was only a 5k. And I pretty much loathe trying to go fast. As the gun went off, I visualized myself toeing the line at the fifty and my heart beat wildly! I guess it was good to get a short race in before hand to get reacquainted with that feeling.

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This is an amazing time to be tapering. I have lots to celebrate these 10 days. Aggie became our girl two years ago this past Monday. I’ve been lavishing her with treats and extra snuggling all week. She is one of the lights of my life. Also, I’m celebrating 5 years sober today, my 40th is next Wednesday (which means an eagerly awaited sushi dinner), and a long weekend in Maine. Hubby and I will be flitting about nightly in honor of each occasion. I wish I was rich enough to have hamachi and maguro every night this week.
I will probably over pack for Pineland, since I’m not 100% sure what to bring or what the weather will be like for the run.
Anybody have some last minute advice for me? I would really appreciate feedback, mantras, google links, food favorites, songs, whatever you got. What are you long run favorites?

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Finally, I leave you with what I believe is some awesome poison ivy. It is everywhere here. It is truly spring.

Thanks for running with me,
Astrid