About SoWhatIRun

Among other things, I run. :)

Thoughts on the Camino – Seven Percent

“Make the most of your regrets; never smother your sorrow, but tend and cherish it till it comes to have a separate and integral interest. To regret deeply is to live afresh.”  ~Henry David Thoreau

There are many things that go through your mind when walking the Camino. It’s part of the purpose making a pilgrimage…searching your soul and finding answers from within. I do this often during my runs, and I hope that by the time I finish the Camino, I will lay to rest some unfinished business within my heart. One of them is having a family of my own.

Not so long ago I heard these words from my doctor, “you probably have a 7% to 10% chance of conceiving and having a baby.” Of course my mind stopped at the words seven percent and I head nothing else after.

I always thought I’d have a family of my own and I always thought I had plenty of time. Having children was something that my ex-husband and I never agreed on, but he made a promise that we would try for a short period of time at some point in our marriage and if it didn’t happen, I promised I would let it go. At the time I thought it was a good compromise. I was wrong.

Ten years into our marriage, I brought it up. For me, it was time. For him, it would never be the time. And when he said no, in that instant I saw the family that I thought I’d have one day die in the midst of my tears. I picked up the pieces of my broken heart and convinced myself it was better this way. My life was too busy and I wouldn’t have time. I was happy with what I had, but really, I wasn’t. Fast forward 4 years and the divorce came and went and there are new possibilities to be had.

I figured, there is plenty of time. Women have beautiful healthy children into their 40’s all the time, why not me? Then I did the research and was blown away by statistics. I consulted with my doctor and we had a very serious conversation and that’s when he dropped the seven percent bomb on me. He knew my history and we both knew that conceiving would be something that would probably need some type of medical intervention, but I didn’t know how low my chances were. It was quite shocking really.

Having a family to call my own is one of the many things that occupy my mind when I run. I go out there and run and face those demons over and over again. Sure, there are many options and there are many options I’m considering. I have more appointments ahead of me to see what is best for me, and in my heart there is hope.

But…

I still can’t help but feel robbed of the opportunity when my body was more capable and my chances were greater. I feel that the choice was taken from me and I was blindsided by someone who once meant the world to me, and I can’t help but harbor some anger and resentment over it.

But I have to let it go.

I love the life I have and I’m grateful for every breath I take and I can’t continue to let this linger in my heart. And while I know it will be a long time before I can fully let it go, I know that someday I will find a way, whether or not it’s on the Camino.

There still many unanswered questions and many possibilities ahead, and I will exhaust every avenue I find. I believe in the Universe and that there is a plan but no matter what happens, I still have hope.

And on the Camino, I walk and I think,

And I walk and I grieve,

And I walk and I mourn for a family I felt I lost.

And seven percent echos in my head,

over and over and over again,

Seven percent, seven percent, seven percent…

Seven percent.

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Three Days into the Camino

It’s been three days since we started our journey on the Camino and I must say, this is probably one of the most breathtaking, and quite interesting, journeys I have ever made….and we still have 10 more days on the Camino left in store. We had the choice of three routes, the coastal, central, or the scenic route through the mountains. Originally, we planned on going the scenic route, but were quickly convinced that the coastal route from Portual to Spain was the way to go. Reluctantly, we decide to go with the masses and take the Coastal route. We started in the town of Viana do Castelo and ended up in Caminha. By the end of day one, we were regretting that decision.  We were only supposed walk 17 miles and ended up at 21 in pouring down rain with very brief moments of sun.  This section of the Camino was not well marked and we kept getting lost. We had several people who recognized us as pilgrims stop us to let us know that we were on the wrong road, but when we followed their directions, we ended up more lost than before. Everything was lost in translation. Continue reading

Camino de Santiago – Getting Here

I was invited by my friend Michele to walk a portion of the Camino de Santiago with her and I said, sure, why not? I’m always up for an adventure. After watching the movie The Way, my friend Michele became a little obsessed with making this pilgrimage. She also found out about and partially funded a documentary “Life in the Walk” which was about a father and son who walked the Camino together. Continue reading

Lost Boys – My Tribe

There was a time when I was alone
Nowhere to go and no place to call home
My only friend was the man in the moon
And even sometimes he would go away, too

I’ve always been the black sheep of the family, marching to the beat of my own drum, never coloring between the lines….all the clichés that describe that person who refuses to conform to fit in. Even now, my family doesn’t quite get me. There’s always the passive aggressive guilt-trips that they try to put on me about how I live my life. I suspect that’s the same with many people. It used to bother me a lot, but now, it bothers me a little. And while I’ve always felt like a little bit of an outcast, I figured that I was just unique in my way of thinking. But, I’m not. Continue reading

North Face 50-Miler – Freedom Run

“She was born to be free, let her run wild in her own way and you will never lose her.” ― Nikki Rowe

On Saturday, April 9th, I ran my 4th 50-miler in DC. This was my 3rd time running the DC North Face Endurance Challenge. And for the first time in a very long time, I went into a race without a goal. As I started running ultras, I became more and more focused on goals (if that’s even possible for my obsessive brain) and the pressure of meeting these self-imposed goals started to get to me. Race after race, I would put myself through moments of despair and self loathing that I would come out wondering, why am I so mean to myself? I was afraid that I was heading towards being burnt out so I re-evaluated my goals for the year and frankly, they are pretty aggressive. After taking a look at the big picture, I realized that I needed a freedom run. I needed to toss out the goal of setting a PR and let my spirit and my heart run free. And so I did. Continue reading

Be Inspired

Last week I had a little bit of writers block. I needed inspiration. And who better to turn to inspiration than my readers. I sent out a request for your favorite inspirational quotes and compiled them right here. So if there’s ever a day when you need a little lift, bookmark this page so you can come back and be inspired. Enjoy! Continue reading

2016 HAT Run 50K Race Recap – Chasing Seven

There are several races that I have scheduled this year where I have set a goal to achieve. The 2016 HAT Run 50k was one of them. My goal was to run this course in under 7 hours. Specifically, I wanted to do it in 6 hours 50 minutes. I had PRd this course last year when the course was in one of it’s worst conditions by 47 minutes from 7:59:29 in 2014 to 7:04:52 in 2015. Surely I was ready break 7 hours. Continue reading

The Story Behind the Necklace

Not running related, but I figured I’d write about this anyway. It’s funny how many comments I’ve had over the year about my little ol’ necklace. I guess people have noticed it in all of my bazillion running selfies. I wear it everywhere, day and night, during training, in races, in the shower, and in bed. In fact, it’s actually tied to my neck with a silk cord (probably not safe…don’t get me psycho killer) and I’ve only taken it off a few times to clean and polish the silver around the stones. The stones are not turquoise as some believe, but instead, it’s Larimar. Continue reading

Redemption Run

There’s nothing more glorious than a redemption run after having the confidence knocked out of you. And today was redemption day.

We headed out to my happy place at Gunpowder Falls for 12 miles. We took the pink trail which starts with a climb. I settled in with my mid-pack but then something happened at about mile 2 or 3. It clicked. Continue reading

When Your Best Isn’t Good Enough

On Saturday, when I realized as I was driving to meet my friends to carpool to our 22 mile run that I still had my slippers on, I knew it was going to be one of those days. I made a quick call and sent a messages to my crew that I had to turn around. We had planned on meeting at 6:45 am, but they were kind enough to wait for me and I’m glad they did.

I woke up feeling great. I got enough sleep…although wearing my slippers out the door has me questioning that…and my mental game was on. As we started running, I quickly settled in the middle. Once again, I tried my best to keep up with the fast kids, but I just couldn’t keep up. Continue reading