Tag Archives: run sherpa

#10forNala (and Kayla).

Today, M and I ran our #10forNala tribute run and it was cathartic, emotional, and challenging, all rolled into one.

I woke up feeling a bit exhausted and wondering if we would actually complete the 10 miles today or cut it short. I had posted about running our 10 miles earlier this week, against my usual MO, which is to do it, then talk about it (I fear jinxing myself, having a bad run, etc. and would rather do it quietly, then discuss. But I digress), because I was proud of what we were about to accomplish and, truthfully, was actually confident in this run and our ability to do it justice.

And do it justice we did.

We ran mostly in silence, with some ‘jukebox M’ along the way in his ever present ‘sherpa’ ways, random song outbursts that came right at a time where I’d struggle or start to tire. And M’s latest thing? To change lyrics in songs to something dirty…and it’s hilarious. He’ll just slide something in in place of a different word or phrase and change the tone of the song he’s singing entirely. My husband is hilarious, I must admit 🙂

And when there were moments of struggle, I’d think of Nala, and I’d think of Kayla, sitting at home, awaiting our return, ready to come down and trill her ever cute ‘mewww?’ that greets us as we enter now (and it’s the most adorable voice ever). I’d see a squirrel (aka bunny fake-out) and its fur would remind me of Nala, or I’d see her fur coloring in the leaves that have fallen from the trees, or be reminded of her cute little paws that would tap my face when she’d wake me up at dark thirty for breakfast. And I’d smile. And the struggle in my legs – or my mind – would wane and I’d run happily again.

We finished our run, breathed a sigh of relief, M held my hand, and said ‘we did it. Nala would be proud.’ And he’s right. She would be. And she is. And so is Kayla. Because we weren’t running just for Nala, but for Kayla as well.

As I wrote on instagram this morning: #10fornala completed this morning, #teampeixoto style. It may have been tough, but it was equally worth it and cathartic. I miss her more than anything but as tough as these last few weeks have been, we’re moving forward. And? Ms Kayla couldn’t me cuter, more loving and more ‘there’ for us, as we are trying to be for her. Onward. Sweet Nala. #runsherpa #fursherpa

8.26.03 – 9.25.13

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A story of sisterhood.

Growing up as a triplet is a unique experience in so many ways. It’s truly so hard to explain to those that are only children or have older or younger siblings, especially because being a triplet is all I have ever known (especially since we don’t have any other siblings).

I think the biggest thing about being a triplet is the role it plays in our lives, from childhood to adulthood in terms of stepping back and ‘who’s on first’ (for lack of a better term).

This may sound pretty obvious, but as triplets, there is an inherent urge to ‘compete’ and ‘be on first’ since there is naturally much less of an ability for that, growing up exactly the same age, doing exactly the same things at exactly the same time.

But there are just times when you need to step back. Take the backseat and let one (or both) of your sisters shine. Be ‘on first.’  And ultimately, to be the proud sister supporting, quietly, strong. There.

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There are two distinct examples of this in recent years. The first one is when my sister Jen had my niece Isabel two years ago. As the first to bring a child into this world, naturally, the focus was on her, and my niece. But as there were some major complications with my niece’s birth and several months of health issues to follow for my sister, life became all hands on deck, supporting her, helping get her back to health and help take care of our beautiful niece. It was honestly a very scary time, my fear that my sister was…well, very ill, was one of the scariest feelings. And I just wanted to take it all away for her and carry some of that physical burden. And then…she recovered. She grew stronger. We banded together and supported.

And from that point forward, seeing my sister flourish as a mother, getting through an extremely difficult and traumatic health experience and stepping into the role of mother has been one of the proudest times for me as a sister. As she experienced something neither Jess or I ever have, and had, for the first time, experienced something completely different than either Jess or I had. She is a shining example of what I hope to ever achieve as a mother one day, the devotion, love, and strength she carries for my niece is incredible.

And while this experience, to this day, signaled the first time we were going through a life experience differently, separately…not the same (as our lives had paralleled in so many ways all the way through life)…the one common factor in all of this?

Support.

Stepping back.

Allowing her to ‘be on first’ and supporting her throughout as much as we possibly could. And from that experience onward? I don’t think our bond as sisters could be much stronger than it is now. Even though we are now living our lives differently, in so many ways. We still share the common bond, the sisterhood, the support, and the love that is indescribable.

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The second example of this is this weekend. My sister Jess’s first marathon. While I won’t detail anything about the race itself, since she will do that herself and do it plenty more justice than I ever could, watching it all unfold was simply one of the proudest moments for me as a sister. The outpouring of support. Twitter, Facebook, emails, texts, phone calls. Support, support, support. 

Preparing to run sherpa their race, I knew this weekend was going to be incredible. A blur. And, honestly? Work. I knew it would take a lot of support, planning and running around to help make this happen for her. To help keep her calm (even with a near-Healthy Bites disaster!!). To make sure she felt ready. To carry her big ass bag of post-race needs as M and I hoofed it miles and miles and more miles to the start, mile 8, mile 15 and mile 26.2 to run sherpa our asses off (and freeze them off too!!). And to allow her to ‘be on first.’ 

Not once did I feel like I wish I was out there running with her (okay, maybe once, when I realized I could have planned to hop in for a few miles to run alongside her! Hindsight.). Not once did I feel sad that we weren’t sharing this together. (because we were, truthfully!) I just felt pride, joy and happiness. Tweeting out updates left and right. Fielding texts and emails for updates and requests for pictures all morning long….gave me joy. I loved seeing her ‘on first’ and getting all of the support and love that she deserves.

And when she crossed that finish line, I think I may have rivaled how proud they both felt. As tears rolled down my cheeks and I shakily tweeted “Ahhhh there they go! Hand in hand!!!! #teamsutera #finish #runsherpa”, I was happy. Simply happy beyond words. And I still am.

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I share this story because it has been a time of reflection for me lately. Thinking about my tendencies as a sister and the shift I have really worked hard at in terms of the comparison trap, the competing for ‘being on first’ that has inherently been a part of our lives our entire lives. I no longer get the urge to want to do what my sisters do simply because they are doing them and I want to do it together. I just find ways to share in their separate joys with them, my way.

For Jen, it was stepping into backup mom role with midnight feedings when she was ill, and taking her to doctor’s appointments (as tough as those appointments could be sometimes, I, to this day, look at them fondly as sister days, where Jen and I grew closer than ever. I am pretty sure she is thinking of the very same appointment I am, as she reads this!). And it is working on being the best aunt I can be, spending time with my niece, learning from her, teaching her. <–I am still really working on this, and finding more time to spend together. It is my vow, sis!

For Jess, it has been finding my role in supporting her training for a marathon. When she first decided she wanted to do a marathon, my first thought was ‘I wish I wanted to run a marathon’ and as much as I tried to want it…I just didn’t. And that was okay. It was a turning point for me in realizing I don’t have to do what either of my sisters does. And writing this down and admitting that I used to feel that way, while hard, feels triumphant.

Because now? I am the proudest sister on the planet, of both of my sisters and their different paths, while I create my own path and life in this world that is truly me and mine.  

I love you sisters, and I am truly thankful for you each and every day. ❤

12 redeeming miles.

Yesterday was yet another ‘sherpa run’ – at the tune of 12 miles.

I let it ‘marinate’ overnight before posting today, and just let the joy sink in.

For the very first time, I loved every single mile. I felt strong. I felt fast (for me!). I felt confident. I event caught myself smiling as we ran.

Smiling.

I never smile.

People walking their dogs or jogging past us probably think I’m either a) a huge bitch (even though I always wave and say good morning!) b) that I hate life or c) that there’s a bear chasing me and that’s the only reason I’m running.

Because I can imagine I look miserable.

But truthfully, I just am focused on my breathing, and ‘listening’ to my body, seeing how it feels, and well, running.

But yesterday? I could feel redemption almost from mile 1 (and mile 1 is ALWAYS my worst mile).

It was ‘chilly’ comparatively speaking to last week’s dreadful mental 11 miles, all of 50 degrees and I wore crops for the first time, rather than shorts. My hands were even pretty icy feeling at the start of it! But the air was thin, cool and absolutely perfect.

And the route tweaks were also worth doing. Rather than one long continuous route (which, as you know, I tend to favor over the same route looped!), I mashed together two different routes so the only ‘repeat’ road was one mile long (though the turn where we usually head back to our apartment complex was REALLY tough not to take!!), and that proved successful!

Fueling was also much better. I brought some honey stingers this time (thanks sis!) and my trusty healthy bites (thanks Lindsay!) and we brought two water bottles this time. Perfect.

I ran free, I ran joyously and I run-sherpa’d my heart out. M run sherpa’d ME perfectly too. He kept pushing me, told me how great we were doing, how we were pacing really well and to keep going, don’t stop, and charge up that mofo hill I hate. And I did. I hit every hill and didn’t stop. 

When we set foot at our complex, 12 miles later and in about 2 hours (!), though I was hurting and exhausted, I was thrilled.

We did it. Again. And redemption? Is so very sweet.

Next up…I think you know what, by now. Next week’s run is the milestone. And I can honestly say I can’t wait to tackle it.

*As I write this, my sister and Scott are *still* running their 22 miles…so mind-boggling as we texted bright and early at 5:15 am, as I headed to the studio, and she headed for her run. That is a long-ass time to run, just saying. Go sis and Scott, go!!!*

 

11 mental miles.

By now, you’ve probably figured out that I have been quietly tacking on to my ‘virtual sherpa’ miles in support of my sister’s marathon next month. (and while I still refuse to say exactly where I’m going – proverbially and literally (!) speaking, I’ll share my goal when I reach it, mmk?)

So, this morning ended up being our ‘virtual sherpa’ run even though Jess isn’t planning to run her next long run (20 miles (!)) until Saturday (part of the reason for our ‘early’ sherpa’ing? It’s our two year anniversary  – yayyyyy – on Saturday and running 11 miles that morning did not seem to be the most romantic way to start it off, hehe).

11 miles was the plan.

I mapped out our route last night and unlike my sister, who, mentally, finds it easier to tackle longer distances by doing the same route several times (so, a 7 mile loop twice for 14 miles, for example) while for me, that would bore me to tears and also tempt me into stopping early. For me, a long loop the extent of the run just does it for me.

So. Our run took us 11 miles and almost entirely of one continuous route. The only change was one loop to get us to 11. And honestly, that loop played mental mind games with me. As we looped around, my legs were just beat up. (even though I intentionally gave myself a day between runs to let them rest a bit). They felt like I was at mile 9 or 10, not mile 5 and 6. Even M’s legs were tired prematurely.

We kept going and around mile 7, walked some and had some water and fuel (ala Healthy Bites, thank you Lindsay!!). I was SO thirsty for some reason, but only drank a little, given I always side cramp if I am not careful with water consumption. This is where I started to freak out a little. I was just.so.tired. We came up to a spot where we go left, and complete 11 miles, or go right (and a huge ass mofo of a hill, I might add) and shorten our run and go home. If this says anything about this run – I was thisclose to taking the shorter, yet, mofo-hill way. SOclose. 

And then M gave me some tough love. He said ‘look. I’m tired too. I don’t know what’s happening to us today, but we got up this morning to run 11 miles. We are going to run 11 miles.’

Me, using my inside voice: ‘sheesh. I love you too babe.’

😉

So, we kept going. And it was just labor. Torture. I am pretty sure I could not have been more miserable in these final 4 miles than I was (and I might add, not ONE BUNNY the entire run. That should have been a sign this run was going to be miserable!). At the only other super steep mofo-like hill, I just had to walk it. I tried to run, my legs were practically moving backwards (it’s that steep, I swear). So I stopped. And I felt the lump in my throat rising. The panic setting in. And I shed a couple of tears, but tried to hide them. We didn’t speak. Just breathed, held hands. 

And we took off once again and somehow, some way, managed to make it all 11 miles. It felt like 20. Truly. They felt almost entirely like dismal, awful, just downright angry miles. (except for the beautiful sunrise we witnessed during the first 3 miles of our run, the only good miles we ran, I do believe!).

So we made it. 11 mental miles. 

And when I head out for that redemption run on Saturday (a shorter one, of course) with M, on our two year anniversary, I’m going to turn those mental miles into happy miles. Channel the last two years. The best years of my life. 

On run sherpa’ing.

Today, I ran 9 miles with M.

9.

Suddenly, my mileage has crept up without even so much as planning, just quietly adding on to our usual route the past few weeks, one more mile each week.

And why? 

Because I quietly want to support my sister Jess and brother in law Scott, on their quest for 26.2.

So I anointed myself ‘virtual sherpa’ duties. To run ‘out of my comfort zone’ every Tuesday morning as they set out for their long runs, runs that each week set them out of their comfort zones into continued PDR territory. 16, 18 and today, 20 miles strong.

I’ve gotten up, laced up my sneakers and simply ran, these past few weeks, in particular, strong(er), happy, and sending as many vibes, strength and faith their way as they conquered more miles.

And unintentionally and unexpectedly, I’ve found myself embracing longer distances. Slowly ticking away. Gaining confidence. And wondering. How many more can I tack on? M and I ran quietly much of the time today, calling out bunnies (fewer and farther in between lately, sad face. But I told Jess I sent them her way this morning, as they saw NINE bunnies on their run. See? Even the bunnies are sherpa’ing!), and having my own personal jukebox as M sang out random tunes that were stuck in his head.

I ran proud. For my sister. For my brother in law. For M. And last but not least, for me

Quietly sherpa’ing. Quietly supporting. And being the proudest sister I think I have ever been. The spotlight’s on her, and I love it. I love every minute of it. No comparison games, no ‘wishing it was me,’ just support. And that feels incredibly rewarding in itself.