Training and Running Races—The Enticements of Who We Can Be

Today marks my first real,
Full day of knowing for sure
That I’m without—
Something that needed
To happen months ago—

So, Instead of delving into
Yet another rehash,
I vow to switch my focus and
Take time to consider
What in life I have
To look forward to.

I’m now officially in training
For the Chicago half marathon
On Sept 23, 2018
And I’m the leaner, stronger
And hungrier person for that.

I’ve upped my running this week
To what will be 18 miles
From the 15 that I had been doing
To maintain a base level of
Cardiovascular fitness
In between half marathon races.

I will increase the distance
To get up to a total
Of 25 miles, weekly, like I’ve done
For the 2 previous races.
That’s plenty.

I enter training this time
With a slightly different emphasis.
In being able to continue running,
I am aiming for my long term,
Recreational participation
In the sport while keeping myself
Injury free, as my top priority.

I’ve already previously proven
That I’m able to run 13.1 miles
In less than 2 hours—
A major accomplishment under my belt.

While still aware,
I am trying to get myself
To focus less on time and
More on keeping my body relaxed,
Happy and well oxygenated.

That means slowing
My pace down just a bit and
Consciously breathing deeply.

I may be able to actually enjoy
Some key Chicago sights,
Remember to smile and
Inhale the experience more fully
During this race.
I hope so.

Ramping mileage up
While becoming more toned
And ravenous in the process,
Booking flights,
Contacting and visiting relatives
And college friends who live there,
Researching enticing restaurants
And interesting places to visit
During our long weekend

Are definitely constructive projects
To keep me busy and
Help me move onward.

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/18/

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The Potential of Paths not Taken

My key, a copy and somehow always
Sticky, finally turns
To unlock the door to your place.

Inside is quiet and serene
As no one has been actively
Making life happen for themselves
Here in weeks, as you
Have been away traveling.

For there is salve in
Journeying and being in
A foreign country where you
Feel more alive while you
Meet new slender, “exotic” women
Fresh and eager for the
Potential to become close to
A dashing, generous American man—
Something you’re not discouraging.

They are, of course,
Blissfully ignorant of the
Nest of strings that
Choke up your life and
Would drag their spirits down
Making you less shiny
If they did know—but then again,
Their own desires for US immigration
Scream so loudly that
Maybe not then, even.

While you smile, ask questions and
Be such a warm, astute listener
(Never checking your phone,
No, of course not) at dinners
That crawl into late evening,
These women are definitely charmed
(And they have every reason to be).

They do not see, lurking behind you,
The high consumption physician Wife so often short money
Requiring you to pay her share
Of the myriad of
Adult children expenses

Of gale force temper
Of demanding emotional neediness
And high maintenance moodiness
Of mental forgetfulness
Of a dicey, tarnished romantic,
Professional and health histories.

This traveling apparently
Brings you so much joy and escape
From what you see as the drudgery
Of your own, real life
You have not made work for yourself
That your heart appears to
“Belong” in Asia now.

You told me you will
Continue traveling intensely and
Plan to return to visit people again
As soon as humanly possible.

My interpretation of what
I view as baffling manic behavior
(Where there’s no room left
On your bench for me to sit)
Is that in your search
For paradise and for the
Perfect person,

The world has become
Your global playground
Filled with new experiences and
Many, many women
Who just don’t know,
Or so is your reality
I have now constructed
In my imagination run wild—
Thoughts and hearts of which
I really need to release.

Before you were so set
On being absent 6 months out of 12,
Pots never simmered
Delicate steam fragrant with a
Promising a meal ahead anyway.
The apartment never did have
Homey, lived in scents
Like sautéed onions.

Instead, a stark spic and span
Sterility—a hopeful waiting
For the (domestic) One
To arrive to build a life with—
Marked the space.
I suppose I had been
That person, for awhile.

Even so, I do know that, back then,
The coffee machine brewed
A fresh, potent cup as I
Watched you dole out
Your daily medication doses
Followed by you mixing up
A protein shake—about the
Only concoction you made—
While we chatted before
Heading to the gym.

Kat, more social than many felines,
Lay next to my chair so she
Could be part of the conversation.

Upon coming in now,
Kat greets me with almost a
Frantic eagerness for company.
There is a paid sitter, but
She isn’t overly fond of cats
And so mostly comes over just
To feed and water twice a day.
Thus, Kat has basically
Been left alone for weeks to
Survive on the silence of toys.

Kat, with dull, unremarkable
Gray fur, is a sweet creature.
She lays on her obese squishy side
Now as I brush her
Pulling tuft after tuft of loose
Oily yet dry fur from her.

Starved for touch,
She even rolls on her back
While purring with abandon.
I spend time laying hands on her
But have my own business
To accomplish here and so
Get up and begin dismantling.

I go through the apartment
To collect my things.
I fill my bag up with what was
To be my life with you—
A puzzle, extra running shoes,
Swim stuff and
A few pieces of beautiful clothing
You gave me.

There is more—
Comfy fancy booties, for one.
Some of the nicest things I own
Were gifts from you.
I’ll have to come back again
Before you return in a few days.

Finished for now,
I put my shoes on to leave.
Kat looks longingly at me,
But I have to go.
While I love other people’s pets,
I have none of my own for a reason.
I don’t want the responsibility.

You told me you may have to
Look for a different loving home
For Kat because you will
Be gone so much.
While I feel badly,
I don’t offer to take her,
Hell no.

Instead, Kat and I have become
Two lost girls wandering in the
Blinding blizzard storm
Of your whirlwind travel,
Who will disappear from your life,
Never to be seen or heard from again.

Such are the ways of choices
And of self determination
We humans make
Though pets don’t have that power
To decide and have
Disposable lives and fates,
In accordance with
What works for us,
That can thrown into the “toss” pile
Without a word of say.

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/17/potential/

Leaping from a Woebegone Sinking Ship—Moving Forward, Trudging On

The week opens
Tip toe door creak
Into uncharted hallways
Stories, untold
A revealing of roadmaps
Fold by fold
Reaching out to people
I’ve liked in the past but
Haven’t seen or interacted with
In too long.

Why not?

I’ve been too caught up in
A jacking up of sorts—
What became emotional acrobatics
To fit my hexagon personality
Into someone else’s
Octagon requirements, no more.

An alteration occurs
A letting out of seams
To breathe deeply and
To move away from squeezing
My hoofed self back inside
Pinching pointy toe, high heeled
Formats to please you
To that degree ever again.

But, with most gains and
Forging ahead with new beginnings,
There’s also an undeniable sorrow
And loss in endings.

I believe I know this trail and
Foresee wallowing ache for
A resplendent beauty that
Truly existed and will likely
Never be rediscovered
Or replaced in quite
The same lithe way

The longing for which will
Slam me down, face first,
During interminable nights when
I’m most vulnerable to
Indulging myself down useless,
Woebegone self pity paths.

Even so, an overarching point
Arrives after certain events
That cause something definite and
Resolute inside you to break—
A spinal cord snapping—
Leaving my crumpled body
Limp,
Unwilling and unable to rise
And utterly sapped of desire
To continue to keep trying
To get up and race again.

My emotion sits paralyzed
Unmoving,
Devoid of intentioned structure
And without sensation of feeling
Towards you, towards us

So much that my heart knows that
We will never again be able to
Walk hand in hand down
A sunny beach of melded dreams,
Sweet wishes and united future plans
(If we ever really were
On the same page there).

So, in efforts to increase my speed
Towards improving my own wellness,
I have reached in and refound
Self discipline and have
Stopped communicating.

I have left you behind
Cut you off and out of my life
Once and for all
Not because I hate you or that
You’ve done something so wrong
But because I needed to.

Thus far, I had been stymied
Procrastinating,
Prolonging our wounded dynamic
To delay fence building
I’ve known inside are
Boundaries necessary to erect
To promote mutual moving forward.

I have thrown no more angry, hurt
Blaming spikes your way, and have
Stopped feeding you with
Long explanations or musings
About choices, past events or
Anything else.

Instead, I have withdrawn contact,
Communicating a neutral nothing.

I had to.

Maybe, while you’ve been away
Celebrating other versions of life
In Asia seeing wondrous sights
Meeting willing women
You’re fine with this leave taking
And have been able to just
Emotionally shrug your shoulders
In your frenetic business

To enjoy the present escape.
I don’t know.

Supremely resourceful, nimble
And capable, what I do know
Is that I don’t have to
Worry about you being able to
Recover and find your romantic way,
Quickly, easily,
Immediately.

“I’ll survive,”
You’ve said before.

As we go our separate ways
Unknown to each other now
To migrate to warmer waters
Spreading sore wings,
Hollowed bones in flight
To soar high above rutted valleys
Rusted crags, damp caves
To locate and partake in
Different, alternative sustenance,

I know you absolutely will
If you haven’t already.

So too shall I
Yes, I will.

Let the healing process begin
Rounding out 2018 with
A forging ahead with
Intellectual, professional,
Artistic and emotional
Fulfillment
On my own terms.

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/15/woebegone/

Cursory Glances—Temporary Roadblocks in Life

A virus surges
Infiltrating my stomach
A mysterious ache now
Sapping me of life force
Energy and optimism

Finding myself in bed during the day
Seeing my lustrous golden brown tan
Acquired in Mexico start to fade,
Just fond seaside memories now.

Today my day has morphed
From keeping up my running
Training schedule coupled with
Swimming and then
“Gathering myself up” to
Work a shift capped off with
Trying out a new restaurant the hip,
“Lower Highlands” neighborhood

Into an open deluge of
Staying still inside my house
And within myself.
I hate to miss work and
More importantly, working out,
A cornerstone to my well being.

But there comes a point
Of dragging place
Where exertion does not appear
To make sense because doing so
Will only slow recovery
And cause more delay
Getting back to riding
Health’s rippling horse
To the hilt.

Armed with the positive effects
Of taking vitamin C for
The last year+, I’m pleased
To report, overall, I’ve stayed as
Strong as an ox with only
The most minor interruptions
In vibrancy and resilience.

If I have caught anything,
The afflictions have been
Cursory glances at best
Before just disappearing.

While vitamin C benefits may remain
Scientifically unproven, I can say
My immunity has improved noticeably
From taking 1000 mgs daily
So I’m sticking to the regimen,
However dubious.

Even so, a cold can still
Rear its ugly head up, occasionally,
Halting my active world
To a standstill
As bedrooms, bedcovers
And hot fluids reign supreme
Even in sweltering summer’s heat.

I’m frustrated by being stymied
But know that this can just be
The way of things, now and then

And that soon enough,
I’ll be my peppy energetic self
Once again
Able to focus on moving
Minuscule emotional mountains
I had been working on…

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/07/14/fowc-with-fandango-cursory/

Abundance Within a Meditative Existence

So much time alone.
Older teens now have work,
Social plans, meals out
And hikes with friends—
They spread their wings and
Leave me often,
Though for the summer,
They return home at
The day’s end, at least.

An introvert, you’d think
The expanse of space
Would feel gloriously freeing
As I provide some of my best,
Most reliable company.
Often this solitude
Does soothe me, but not today.

Somehow, I feel impoverished inside
A drying up of tear ducts
Fragile membraned sanity
So easily torn
Thrown down into a bed of sorrow.

Not every company provides
A dream job—quite the opposite.

Not every personal relationship
However filled with genuine
Feeling (or not really)
However meaningful, lengthy
Or brief and superficial
Lasts forever or was meant to be.

Some aspects in life
Fall away and crumble to dust
In your palm before
Being blown away into nothing—

The disappearance of
What was
Makes me feel hollow
Numb to abundance
That already exists in my life
And in life in general if I’d just
Use softer focus to see
Opportunity and new beginnings
Possible only from
Failure and endings

To not only ease the blows
But to embrace a
Loose graveled gratitude
Difficult to hold
Easy to slip through my grasp.

I know an inspired life
Lies waiting out there for me
To etch out—
A caring attitude,
A willingness to learn and
Finding my own style
Of optimism to cultivate.

Like training for a running race,
These accomplishments take
Consistent work and practice. Different from running though,
These outlooks apparently
Also take “unwork” of meditation.

The concept of specifically
Focusing on “being” and just
Noticing the sound of your
Exhaled breath versus “doing”
(Such as counting while you exhale)
Is new to my goal driven self.

Starting this practice
Ten minutes a day, I’m told,
Will help set me up for
More emotional balance,
More inner peace that I
So desperately need and want

So that when despair, anxiety
And other unwelcome negativity
Creep up on me, (and they will)
I will be better able to
Observe these reactions and
Release them versus holding on
And becoming entrenched
In age-old, habitual ruts.

I take instruction from someone who
Practices this lifestyle every day
And who is living proof that
Meditation can change
One’s internal emotional weather
To exhibit sunny skies and
Gentle seaside breezes
More often than
Raging tidal waves,
Dark clouds saturated and
Raining down anger.

Wanting to help pull myself
Out of this giant hole
I’ve fallen down into (again)
I almost have no choice
But to try this
Mental training plan.

I feel incipient tendrils of hope. Maybe there is a way
To become at least more well.
Maybe this is my time to finally
Begin to know, to be.

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/11/abundant/

Unbracketing Heart “Lessons”

Parachute floating high above the ocean
We sail into the sunny firmament
A silent billowing
Of expanded, oxygenated capacity,
Of altered trajectory
Into a new untimed, unlined space

Leaving “lessons” down below
Allowing heavy blanketed and
Drawn out articulations,
Gesticulations
Holding me down
Peeling me back, skinless
Wracking shallow breathed,
Sorrowful angst, hopeless

To dissipate.

Only fond memorabilia now—
Ribbons flapping, snapping
Weightlessly in the wind
Away

Letting go, releasing myself
From this gridlocked,
Whole other life
I was thinking of starting,
Of having

To begin anew…

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/07/09/fowc-with-fandango-lesson/

The Glow of Limerence–Emotional Leeching

I need for what’s been over
To be over
To have a physical endpoint
Of no communication,
At least for awhile
A sorrowful tomb peace
An inkblotted black hole of nothing
Even if my heart isn’t there yet,
Even if finishing the emotional process
Of letting go is excruciating,
Hurts–a lonely, repetitive stabbing–
This still needs to actually transpire.

I need to stop replaying, redoing “US”
Reconstituting limerence
Recasting for your approval
I still crave so badly

And start “ME”,
Sanity on my own terms,
In my best, long term interests.

Please, let me move on.
Let me recruit long lost discipline
I know I possess in other areas of life
To help me put down the phone
To stop explaining myself
Clarifying my last statement
Continuing contact in writing
Furthering discussion, on and on
That goes nowhere but has been
Something I’ve been doing anyway
Because the elongation still soothes
Like a happy hour drink
To ease and dull heart pain
Without solving anything
Or progressing
A single new positive development.

Stop checking for new messages
On glowing, energy sapping screens.
Cease trying to reinvigorate dead horses
By writing novella length messages
Of my own, all on my own.

Instead apply a bit of force to
Live in the present
Search and find people and events
To look forward to
Breathe in possibility
To create,
Stretch and absorb my mind,

Smile, just because.
Life is short!
Enjoy children home for the summer
Delight in art, up close, in-person
And often.
Enjoy cooking and eating once again.
Listen and laugh with friends
Become engrossed in as many books
As I can
Rich with detail, intricate plot,
Captivating descriptions.
I’m only the better for the learning.

Pump iron, swim, run.
Remain strong,
Take the additional time I now have
To do this work to become
Even stronger, faster, leaner.

Train
Travel
Race

Shine bright, burn hot
Even if inside
I feel raggedly dull
Dusty and depleted
In hopes that “doing”
Evolves into “becoming”.

\https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/06/10/

Amorous—Being in Love With Everyday Life

I am thrilled to say
Yesterday, my first full day
Home in Denver, was excellent—
Free of heavy blanketed “blues”
Dragging me down—a common
Post travel emotion for many
(Including me, at other points).

I returned from lavish,
Ocean and beach travels with
Multi-generational family to
Fall back in love—
A subdued amorous reunion—
With my quieter, regular life here.

Highlights include:

Reacquainting myself with
Espresso machine love—
Steaming coffee with plenty
Of hot milk when and
How I want

Reveling in cloud cover weather
Followed by brief, soft patter
Of a cool rain soak

Sporting a golden brown tan
While pumping iron at the gym—
Feeling the vitality of
Toned muscles and vibrant health
Surging through me

Touching base with a few friends
And being able to
Make tentative social plans

Our small family
Convening to celebrate
Son’s 17th birthday—
Complete with everyone being
Cold and fever free,
Trying a different,
Experimental kind of dinner
Containing “zoodles”—
Noodles made out of zucchini
Instead of wheat flour,
As well as a (new for us)
Chocolate Oreo cookies and cream
Ice cream cake from a local shop

And being lucky enough to catch
The very last showing in town
Of the movie, “Mary Shelley”,
A marvelous looking film
I had wanted to see and
Which did not disappoint!

Those experiences may seem dull.
They may seem small and
Insignificant compared to more
High flying, larger-than-life
Experiences like parasailing
Over the Atlantic we did
Just a few days ago—

Exhilarating with the
Warm sea breeze blowing
Through our hair
Intoxicating for the height
We scaled in the sky
Followed by harnessed descents
And then dips
Into warm, salty ocean water,

But I’m grateful for
Am fulfilled by and
Desire these everyday moments,
Nevertheless,
As much as, if not more.

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/07/06/amorous/

Continuing to Obsess Drains Me

My spirit skitters.
I hate myself for
Continuing communication
When I know a long term future
No longer makes sense for us.
We ought to agree to disagree,
Love the memories with a smile
And let go.

Ultimately, we’ve proven
We aren’t meant for a
Peaceful life together
Where we can grow,
Change and learn
Constructively as a couple.

But letting go of someone
Whose soul you’ve pried open,
Come to know—
Jeweled fogged mirrors
Glinting with captivating
Sheen and the particular
Beauty and style of your
Masculine essence

Someone who you’ve kissed
With tender abandon
And held like a baby
For what was to be forever
Sat beside to eat,
Drink coffee,
Talk while holding hands
Under the stars
All within the wondrous flow
Of familiarity
Of heart connection.

Takes practice.

I think I’m keeping you
Afloat during your 3-week
Vacation or something
So you don’t crash in paradise
And can keep touring, walking
Engaging with women on
Whatever level you choose
With whatever boundaries.
[EDIT]

For once, ignorance is bliss.
Knowing holds no relevance
Or interest, for that matter,
Anymore anyway.

This must be our tapering process,
A soft winding down we both need
Before the push of running
A new race that
True parting and moving on
With separate lives requires.

Already over months ago
This needs to formally end
Once and for all
But without an
Explosive argument blowout.

Let this be one such ending

For we had an amazing race
Filled with strong execution,
Worthwhile efforts to
Know and please each other
In ways no one else had.

Arms and legs pumping
We yielded an overall time
So respectable most others
Cannot even imagine
Or think they can achieve.
We should be satisfied and
Almost proud of what we had,
What we were able to be.

There is also wisdom in knowing
Not everything endures.
Not everything can be solved.

Upon my return to the US
In a couple of days,
I begin training for
My next half marathon in fall.
Let my heart start over too.

FOWC with Fandango — Continue

Suspecting When Quitting While Ahead is Best

Let me grateful for
Being on a sunny,
Beach vacation right now
Where the butter warm and
Slippery humid weather
Surrounding a lush resort
Help me emotionally change pace
And “forget”,

Where the beach is huge
And awaits with white sand
So fine and good to run in
Where gentle ocean waves
Welcome and lull me
Making daily swimming
Challenging but very possible

Where family is with me,
Alive and well
And in top shape health, mostly,
And available to
Sweat this climate out
While swimming, sailing,
Dining and kayaking
To drink with and
To order room service with
Because everyone found the time,
Space and resources
To travel to be here at all…

I know I’m lucky and
Truly appreciate the
Good in my life.

I was going to write more
But have decided
To cut myself off.

I suspect my post was
About to turn a corner with
A key “BUT” and begin to
Focus on less positive aspects
Such as the excessive food and
Drink consumption, weight gain,
Patchy service,
How I have and haven’t heard
From certain people, and more.

Sometimes quitting early,
While ahead, is the best option
And is one I ought to
Consider choosing more often.

FOWC with Fandango — Suspect