Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Monday Mashup

No big life lessons here.  Just a mashup of all my Monday randomness.

Monday's motivation looked like this:

Isn't it funny how all running lessons also apply to all aspects of real life?  I love that about running.

And then there was this:
Remember that wreck I told you about here?  Well, they totaled my car.  So, Monday morning I picked up this new beauty. 

I set out with the intention of 5 miles.  This is how it ended up:
I am the worst route planner.  I will have the greatest route all planned out in my head, only to realize once I'm in it that it's nowhere near the mileage I thought it was.  Last night, I ended up running circles around my house until it got too dark to finish.  On a side note - it's getting darker earlier.  I hate that!!  I know cooler temperatures are coming along with it, but I love my daylight well into the night.

On the run, I came across this totally normal and natural yard decoration:
Okay, so I have no idea what is going on with the doctor/patient bush animals, but I had fun for the next mile or two making up scenarios where this yard made any type of sense.

Post-run child's pose.  Although, I'm pretty sure taking selfies during child's pose is the exact antithesis of yoga's purpose.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Run 10 Feed 10 Race Recap - Just Another Run

It kills me to write this race recap.  I love races and I am always so thankful to the organizers and volunteers, so it I hate the idea of writing anything other than a glowing review.  But, I've promised to always be honest with you, so here goes...

First of all, it wasn't really a race.  The Houston Run 10 Feed 10 event was a fun run.  I knew this going in.  I knew there would be no timing chips and no awards.  I was fully prepared for the fact that it would not be a "race."  But, I guess I thought there would still be some typical race days aspects present.  Maybe a start line or some balloons or music or the national anthem...I don't know, something....anything!  I was definitely wrong.  There was nothing, apart from a sign-in table with a banner over it and a race-day bag, to distinguish this run from any other Saturday run.


How does he get to be so cute that early on a Saturday and I.....well....
The race was scheduled to start at 8:00 a.m., and The Hubs and I got to the start (a running store parking lot) at about 7:40.  I kept waiting for everyone to show up, but quickly realized the group was going to be very small (50, maybe).  As we signed in we were told that the race route had changed because the park wasn't going to allow the event (is it me or is this something that should be cleared well in advance??).  The fact that the route had changed in and of itself really wasn't that big of a deal.  I rarely study race routes and I certainly hadn't done much more than glace at the route as it was posted on the Run 10 Feed 10 website.  The problem was that the run felt half-assed and so poorly planned. We ended up running on sidewalks and across very busy streets with zero traffic assistance. At one point, I found myself stopped and waiting at a stoplight for several minutes. Which, is why I say this fun run was no different from any other weekend run. The two most disappointing parts of the run were: 1) no water stations, which I found kind of shocking for a 10k (luckily, there was one working water fountain on the route), and 2) zero route direction. I had my Garmin on, so I could run exactly to 3.1 miles and turn around. I can't say the same for most of the people on the run.  They were turning around in all kinds of different spots, just guessing at 3.1 miles.  I understand that there was a last minute route change, but I was shocked that the organizers didn't at least have someone standing at the 3.1 mark to tell people turn around. Like I said, just another run. 
 
Maybe the problem was just that I had my expectations way too high.  This run had so much national attention and publicity (it was even on the morning shows!), that I was super excited about it and really had my hopes up for a big event.  Maybe if I had known what to expect, I wouldn't have wanted anything more.  They say, "Disappointment comes easily to those who expect too much."
 
Okay, time to look on the bright side.  Finishing 6.2 miles on a Saturday morning is always a good thing.  This was Paul's first 10k and, of course, he killed it.  He was the third person to finish and it seemed like he made some runner friends on the way.  That, I would say, was the biggest highlight of the event - the other runners.  Everyone was so sweet and friendly.  Have I ever mentioned before that I love other runners?  Well, I love other runners.  Also, the run swag was pretty good.  The Run 10 Feed 10 bag we all got after the run is very nice. 
 
The best thing about the Fun 10 Feed 10 run was that it supported a great cause.  With just our registrations alone, Paul and I provided 20 meals to those going hungry in our area.  That's huge!  Sometimes you aren't sure how much of a difference your race registrations actually make, but with Run 10 Feed 10, it's very clear.  For every runner who signs up to run a 10k, 10 meals are provided to those who need it.  However disappointed I might have been in the organization, I could not be more proud to have been a part of such a good cause.   Check it out!  http://run10feed10.com/home/#!/about

Thursday, September 25, 2014

Doing It Again (and taking donations)

You may remember that last year I participated in the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure in honor of my friend Denise (read about it here and here).  Well, I've decided to do it again.  Turns out I'm not done giving breast cancer the big FU.


I wasn't planning on doing it again.  Sure, I'd seen the Susan G. Komen e-mails flooding my inbox in the last few months, but I'd absentmindedly deleted them all as they came in.  It was nothing personal, but running the Race For the Cure just wasn't in the forefront of my mind. 

Then, I opened the mailbox last week and found this:
No runner turns down a free race bib.
The Race For the Cure group sent me a race bib for my fundraising last year.  And, that's when it hit me like a ton of bricks: How could I not be running?!?!  How could I not be fundraising?!?!  How in the time span of just one year could I have let something so important to me slip so far out of my mind?!?  How could I have forgotten?!?
 
This is how:  DENISE IS HEALTHY!  In the time span of one year my friend has been diagnosed, fought, and eliminated breast cancer!  What I realized upon opening that envelope was that I have been taking her health (and the health of all my lady loves) for granted.  But, that's exactly why I need to run and raise.  Because these treatments DO work.  Because these treatments SAVE LIVES.  Because the money I can raise will go towards making sure many more people can take their health for granted.  I need to run and raise to make sure that there are  more survival stories like Denise's.  I want to make sure that people who face this disease have the resources and treatments they need to be cancer free a year later.  I need to run and raise to do my part in eliminating this disease all together.  I want us all to take our health and the health of our loved ones for granted. 
 
Here is what I'm asking:
1. Please donate!!  And, please donate right away.  I know our normal inclination is to think, "yeah, I should do that," close the page with all intentions of donating later, and forget about it.  The race is in two weeks, so I don't have time to be forgotten.  Donate anything, $1, $10, $100.  Just please donate.
2.  Pass this on.  Pass it on to as many people as you know.  Together we can make a difference. 
 

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Things I Have and Have Not Done

Things that I have done recently:

Just the other day I did this -




It's official.  I am registered to run the Scott & White BCS Half Marathon in December.  This race will take place in the town where I went to college and, I think, even go through a part of my campus.  As soon as I stumbled on this race I knew I wanted to run it.  This race is the highest ranked Texas marathon according to marathonguide.com (according to the race website), which is the first thing that sparked my interest.  No, the location first sparked my interest, then the idea of participating in a highly ranked race.  Visiting my alma mater is always fun.  Although, I am pretty sure my husband would prefer there be a football game going on while we were there.


And then today I did this-


 
Now this one I haven't been able to find much info on, so I was a little hesitant.  But, it is part of a race series that I have heard of, so that convinced me to pull the trigger.  Actually, what really convinced me is the date of the race.  I've been bitten by the race bug recently and I didn't want to wait until December to run.  So, I looked at where I am currently long run mileage-wise and it fell pretty perfectly on the weekend I should be ready to run a half marathon.  Plus, the race isn't too far from my parents' house, so maybe I can convince them to come cheer me on.  That said, judging by the start time listed, I might not be able to convince anyone to show up at that ungodly hour just to watch me run by and wave.
 

So, you know I had to do this:



 
Look, a new training program just calls for new running shoes.  Period.  Bottom line.  End of Story.  But does it call for two pairs??  Because I'm kind of thinking it does....

Things I haven't done:

This - 

 

 
We have been having incredible morning weather in Houston this week and I am dying to get out and run in it.  But, because of my work schedule and after-work schedule, I haven't been able to get outside and run.  It's been 5:00 a.m. trips to the gym for me so far this week (I've gotten kind of funny lately about running outside in the pitch black of the early mornings).  It's killing me not to be taking advantage of this rare weather.
 
Or this - 


I have yet to download or start following a training schedule.  I don't know if it's denial, or what, but I have been doing my own thing running-wise lately.  I have had no interest in following a schedule.  A wise man recently told me (and by wise man, I mean complete stranger on twitter), "Sometimes the training program needs to follow the runner and not the other way around,"  I'm really feeling that advice.  Two reasons: 1) I have done this enough to know how much/many I need to do to make it 13.1 miles, and 2) Listening to my mind/body is the only way I'm going to keep myself in condition to run back to back monthly half marathons.  I may pay for it come race day, but mentally, I'm just not ready to fully commit to a strict schedule.  For now, I'm enjoying changing it up with my runs and listening to myself instead of following someone else's instructions.  I often get caught up in trying to improve my times and step up training to get better results, but for now, what I'm really interested in is just running and racing more miles.  I don't have a huge desire to beat any PR's.  I'm sure that that competitive spirit will reignite soon, but for now, I just want to run how I want to run. 

Saturday, September 20, 2014

7 and 7

Seven totally random thoughts for seven long run miles. 

1. Seven miles isn't easy. It's shocking how quickly your mileage goes when you stop putting in those weekly long runs. I remember when, not so long ago, seven miles was an easy, after work run. Not the case right now. That's the thing about running though, the more you did it the better you'll get. 

Let's face it, this is what running really looks like.  At least when I do it.
 
2.  I forgot I was planning a long run for today and might have (read: totally did) accidentally shared a bottle or two of wine with my husband and dad last night. Oops!  Think I need to revisit this post...

3.  Stroller pushers.  Seriously??  How do you do it?  And two-seater stroller pushers, you must have super human parent strength. I am in awe. 

4.  Running couples. You people fascinate me. How is it that you both run instep so well together?  My husband and I went running together this morning. And by "went running together," what I really mean is that we drove to the same trail together, kissed each other goodbye, and took off in the same direction. That's the end of the togetherness for us. It takes about 45 seconds for Paul to pull so far ahead that I can't even see him on the horizon. This would be totally deflating for me if it weren't for the fact that I can out-miles him, even if he out-sprints me. 

5.  I am very thankful for public water fountains. And public restrooms. 

6. There are a lot of people in really great shape out there running. I can't tell you how many runners I saw this morning with their six packs hanging out. I was not one of them. 

7.  One of the best things about early morning long runs: two breakfasts!  One pre-run fuel (a piece of toast and Luna Bar) and a post-run indulgence!
Honestly, there may not be anything better in the world than an everything bagel after a long run.





Friday, September 19, 2014

It's Your Choice

I think I have told you all before that I like to spend the first few minutes of my mornings reading motivational quotes. Sometimes they are about running (especially on those dark, early mornings when I can't seem to make myself put on those dang running shoes).  But, sometimes they are just about life. I thought I would share the one that really spoke to me this morning:


This is such a hard lesson to learn, but something that I have spent a lot of time working on. 

You know, not that long ago life was very hard for me. It felt like the world had dumped a really heavy weight on my shoulders and I found myself drowning in the "unfairness" of it all. I spent many days (and many wine-soaked nights) wallowing in my bad luck. But, I started noticing that there were days where I wasn't so sad.  There were days or brief periods of days or even large groups of days together when I was really happy. Now, nothing in my situation had changed. The world had definitely still dumped that heavy load on me.  But during those times, I was happy, truly happy. And, in thinking on that, I realized it was because in those moments, I was choosing to be happy. Just as much as in those wallow-y periods I was choosing misery. 

Think about that. We have the power to CHOOSE how we feel. There is nothing that anyone can say to you or that the world can throw at you that can take away your power to choose how you react to it. Only you can give away that power by giving into your circumstances.  

Now, I am not saying that there aren't some really crappy things out there that might happen to you where you aren't every bit justified in choosing to be sad. Life is hard and we go through sad times and I don't want to discount the importance of that emotion. I'm also not saying, and I want to be very clear on this, that if you have a mental illness that is causing you to have those deep down dark feelings that the answer is as simple as choosing to be happy. No, if that is the case I only ask that you choose to try. Try by seeking help for your illness. 

But what I am trying to tell you is that in our day to day lives, we have a choice. I'm going to repeat that: we have a choice. We can choose our response. We can choose happiness over sadness. We can choose understanding over anger. We can choose tolerance over fear.  We can choose light instead of the dark. We are not powerless to our emotions, we are powerful. Use that power to make yourself happy. It's your choice. 

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Wow Is Me

Today's short and sweet lesson comes courtesy of the Apple iPhone.  

Earlier today I was texting with one of my sweet friends and during the conversation, I typed, "woe is me."  Before hitting send, I looked down and realized the iphone autocorrected my sentence to read, "wow is me."  Yes!!  Thank you, Apple!  I needed the reminder. Wow is me!


It's easy to get caught up in the exhaustion and stress of day to day life and indulge in woe-is-me thinking.  But instead of focusing in our woes, we need to focus on our wows. We are amazing, remarkable, and just plain wow.  I don't know why we lose sight of that fact. Why are we so absorbed in the woes that we forget about the wows?  

Let's do as Apple says, replace the woe with wow.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Be The Match 5k - Race Recap

Yesterday Paul and I ran the Be The Match 5k Walk/Run, which is a national series of races that raise money and awareness for the Be The Match Registry (a list of potential marrow donors). You can learn more about Be The Match here.
 
 
It was nice to start the racing season with a short run.  I didn't have to worry about being well trained enough to make it through.  I was able just to enjoy the process of racing.  I was also able to test my speed, which I haven't done in a very long time and that was really fun. I will start by saying this happened (and this never happens!!):
 
 
Of course, it was just my luck that they were only giving medals/awards for first place finishers.  I have to admit I was pretty bummed when I realized my second place finish wouldn't be winning me any race bling.
 
Here are my thoughts on the race:
 
This race was very small.  My last few races have been very large (thousands and thousands of runners), so it was a bit of a shock to pull up to this 5k and see how small it was (which explains my placement).  That said, sometimes the smaller races are the most important races.  These small races can make a huge difference in the funding of small, lesser known, but still incredibly important foundations.  To be honest with you, I'd never considered the importance of a bone marrow donor list.  I guess I'd always figured if someone I knew needed it, I'd be open to the idea of donating.  Saturday, I realized that I would be open to donating to anyone, whether I know them or not.  My husband and I both added our names to the list.  ***This is where I have to give a shout out to my husband.  He found this race, said it touched him, and signed us up.  He was also the first one to walk up to the registry table and add his name to the list.  I love being married to someone who makes me want to be a better person.***
 
The weather was pretty crappy.  Never a full downpour, but sprinkling and misty the entire time, which made full out sprinting a little scary, especially since the course was totally on paved parking lots and streets.  At the very end I was racing with another girl for the finish (she was very tall and nothing but legs, so not surprisingly, I lost.) and we were pushing each other pretty hard and I was legitimately terrified I was going to eat it.
 
Congratulations to my husband who ran crazy fast and placed 19th overall and 4th in his age group!  I love racing with him.  And by "with", I mean waaaaaay behind him.
 
 
THE GOOD:
1.  Awareness - From the registry tent to the numerous speakers, the purpose of the race was very clear.  Often times you can run an entire race and not really be sure what the foundation is you are supporting.  Be The Match was so well represented.  Before and after the race, even in the rain, there were numerous speakers giving testimonials about what the bone marrow donor list meant to them.  Hearing one woman describe have survived cancer because of an anonymous donor was very touching.
 
2.  The size - I can't lie, it was fun being in the front of the pack!

3.  Options - The race was extremely family friendly, with several options for participating.  There was a 5k timed run, 5k walk, 1k run, and a tot trot for kids.
 
THE BAD:
1.  Post race refreshment - Where was the water?!?!  Please have water available immediately at the finish.  I know 3k isn't that long, but when it's 100% humidity, dehydrating is easy and I don't want to have to walk around to find the waters.  We did eventually find a table full of waters and bananas, but they weren't near the finish line and we had to pass a table of muscle milk before finding it. 

Paul looking really sad because he had to walk around for minutes before finding a post-race water. 
 
2.  Garbage - This is our personal pet-peeve and it's true for many races.  PLEASE HAVE RECYCLING BINS AVAILABLE.  I can't tell you how disappointing it is to see regular garbage bins filled with plastic bottles.
 
Overall, it was great to be out racing again and I'm happy we started it with this race.  Getting a nice confidence boost as we head towards bigger and longer races was great. 

Friday, September 12, 2014

Eat your Beets (Beet Boxin')

Guys, you know how all I really want is for you all to be as healthy and happy as possible, right??  I mean, that's pretty much what this entire blog is about, finding the path to happiness and healthfulness (which, I believe, are really one in the same).  So, to all my Houston friends, I am about to let you in the a life-changing tip.  All my non-Houston friends, get down here to try this and the first one will be on me.

YOU MUST VISIT BEET BOX BLEND BAR!! 
This place is actually amazing and sooo good for you.  Every blend (very similar to a smoothie) uses only whole, organic fruits and vegetables and other natural ingredients.  Every single ingredient is listed right there on the menu for you.  There are no artificial additives or mystery products.  And yet, they somehow still manage to make everything taste delicious (and trust me, if I can enjoy all of those whole fruits and veggies, anyone can).  Since it opened, I've been hitting up Beet Box at least 3 times a week.  It's the perfect way to refuel after my morning workouts.  After you wake up and put in hard work, it feels great to put something in your body that compliments that hard work.  By 7:30 a.m., I feel like I've really honored the temple that is my body (she says at 11:30 a.m. as she shovels M&Ms in her mouth - hey, we can't be perfect all day long).  Beet Box is like milk...does a body good!!  Except that Beet Box blends are dairy free.



And the best part?  The ownership!!  Remember Denise?  Well, guess who is now cancer free, or NED (No Evidence of Disease) as she likes to point out, and opening a business to try to help all of us get and stay healthy.  Vegetables can do great things like help prevent heart disease, hypertension, diabetes, and certain cancers.  Thank you Denise for taking care of us so well!

 
No, that's not a blend.  That's champagne.  But, this was the grand opening, so exceptions were made.
Guys, I really mean it.  You must try this place.  Doing good things for your body has never been easier. 



video
Could not think of a better reason to try to learn how to include a video in a post.






 
 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Runnin's Racin'

Fall is on it's way (I can tell by the incoming "cold" front this weekend with highs all the way down to the upper 80's). With Fall comes the start of Houston race season.  Training starts for the big races and small races start popping up everywhere.  I'm already feeling the racing itch.  I've got a 5k this weekend, a 10k later this month, and two half marathons in November and December.  I'm definitely ready to race.  And, that got me thinking...  Would I run without racing?  I think I would, just for the sake of running, but I really cannot imagine why I would ever give up racing.  After all, runnin' is racin.'


Okay, so that's not really what he said, but I will take any chance I can to reference Robert Duvall.


So, here is a list of why I race:
 
1.  Motivation - Let's face it, finding the motivation to get out there and run isn't always easy (have I mentioned that here before??).  Knowing you have a race coming up provides great motivation to lace up and go train.  Especially when you've already paid good money to participate and you know the results will be posted online for anyone to see. 
 
2.  It's a Test - If I'm going to be totally honest with you, and I am, I don't actually test my limits that often in running.  Sure, there are runs where I find myself on the edge and I have to push to keep going, but when you're running just to run, it's easy to let off the gas and slow down when you need to.  When I race, it's like the test of all of the work I have put in leading up to the race.  Racing is a way to see if my hard work is paying off.
 
3.  Medals - Medals are cool.  I don't know really what to do with them after the race, but there is no better feeling than walking around with one around your neck.
 
3.  Other Runners - Running, especially the way I do it (you know, alone), can be pretty solitary.  Races allow for the opportunity to do what you love doing with a bunch of people who also love it.  The facts are, we come in all kinds of shapes, sizes, ethnicities, economic backgrounds, etc., but we are all just alike in that we love to do this crazy thing called run.  And, it's fun to be around people that like the same thing you do.  Even if they do it a whole lot faster than you do...
 
4.  Free Stuff - Come on, who doesn't like free?  Race bags are full of free goodies, including t-shirts, coupons, food, and more.
 
5.  Karma - Registering for and fundraising through races are great ways to raise money for some pretty amazing causes.  I believe in putting a little good out there in order to get a little good back.  I have been able to fund raise for some causes that really mean a lot to me and it's meant even more to me to be able to do my part in making a difference in this world.  Sure, a $35 race registration isn't going to cure cancer, but every little bit counts.  The more you register for the more you raise and the more difference you can make.
 
6. Post-Race Parties - Post-race events are just fun.  Sometimes they even serve free beer!!



Monday, September 8, 2014

Changes

Change is good for all of us, right??


In the name of continued growth, I've made a few changes to this blog. I hope you like them and find them helpful.  For over a year now, I've operated this blog on a very basic level (like our parents and IPhones - just enough to get by), so it was fun learning new tricks and making changes. Here's what I've done:

1. About Me - Well, this is probably a pretty self-explanatory page. A little about me and a little about the blog. 

2. Posts Worth Reading - Now this was the most fun to set up!  This page will take you to links for some of my most read, most favorite, or most special to me posts. I had such a good time going back through the years reading some of my favorite entries. All I can say is we've been through quite a bit on this road together. I hope to keep at it with you guys and I hope to keep adding to this section. If there is an entry that I didn't include that meant something to you, let me know. I will add it and maybe it will mean something to someone else. 

3.  Travel - I most look forward to adding to this one!!  This page contains links to posts about my runs on the road. Traveling is one of my very most favorite things to do. I have been very lucky to travel to some amazing places and even more lucky to run in them. In going back through my blog, I see I haven't done a great job of taking you along with me everywhere I've gone. That is going to change. Going forward, I will make sure to blog about all of the various places I am priveleged enough to run. 

4.  Race Recaps - Another pretty self-explanatory page and another thing I haven't been very good about doing in the past. Under race recaps, you will find entries about races I have run. I have several races coming up, so I will do a much better job of writing about them for you. 

5.  Twitter - I'm really excited about this one. I've put a link on the right  side of the blog homepage to the Long Run Lessons twitter account (handle: @longrunlessons). I will update this at least once a day with run/health/esteem quotes/pictures/thoughts. I will also update twitter on my runs and lessons that I want to share, but maybe don't deserve an entire blog post. I think this twitter account will be a lot of fun and a way to reach out and keep in touch a little more frequently. 

6. Badges - the running/blogging community is a huge and wonderful place. I am so glad to call myself a part of it. If you click on one of the badges on the right side of the blog homepage, you will be taken to some of the groups that I am priveleged enough to be a part of. There you will find links to many other blogs about running/fitness/health. I, of course, want to be your favorite blogger, but there are so many great runner, writers out there and I want you to enjoy them too. 

*** Edited to add that I'm now on Instagram too!  You can follow me at @longrunlessons

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Insulted

I planned on sitting down tonight and writing a completely different post, but then something happened today that really shook me and I feel like I need to write about it. 

I was insulted.  Maybe that sounds insignificant, but I was really insulted.  Someone looked directly into my face and said some pretty terrible things.  It's been a lot of years since someone has purposely and carelessly said mean things to me like that.  I guess that makes me really lucky.  But, it also made it that much more shocking.  It has be a long time since someone made me feel so small....or so large as the case may be today.
 
*** In full disclosure, I have gained some weight.  I am, at most 4 lbs heavier than when this person last saw me.  But, really!?!?  4 lbs!?!?  Is that really so much weight?!?
 
I am discovering that there are at least four phases of overcoming an insult:

1.  Disbelief - I tell you what, as soon as the words starting coming out of this person's mouth, my head went on a swivel looking for the hidden cameras.  I thought, "Surely this isn't real," and "maybe I'm on that 'What Would You Do' show."  I seriously started looking around for the ABC cameras.  When I concluded that there were no cameras around, I decided that the person must be kidding and I could react with only nervous laughter and a confused look on my face.

 
 

2. Anger - Okay, I'll admit it, once I realized this wasn't a joke or a prank TV show, I got pissed.  I was steaming at the thought that someone would be so careless with their words.  I had to walk away.  I removed myself from the situation and immediately started texting my friends who responded with the perfect amounts of "WTF!?!?!"  and "You are gorgeous, that person is crazy."  Thank you to my friends!  Once I was done talking to them, I felt most of the anger had passed.
 
 
3. Belief - This is probably where I have wallowed the longest today.  I have to be honest with you and admit that after the first two stages, I spent a good amount of time planning out next week's iceberg lettuce and water diet.  I started believing what they said.  I started thinking it was true and that I'd just been in denial this whole time thinking that I looked okay.  You see, and this might be something I've never mentioned before, but I spent quite a few years of my life believing all of the terrible things someone else told me.  During those years, I had no self-worth.  I valued myself only on how someone else told me I should be valued.  Today's comments took me right back to that spot.  Luckily, and thankfully, I've come a long way since those days.
 
4. Acceptance - And, this is why I'm sharing all of this with you.  After spending a little time in that dark place, I remembered all of the things I've been working on and working for.  I decided to practice what I preach.  I chose to believe MYSELF and believe IN myself.  I know more about who I am and what I'm worth than anyone else.  No one else's comments can have any impact on me unless I let them.  I can now say that I accept what happened today as just what it was...a comment.  It was about 15 seconds of my life when someone else decided to say something about me.  Something that could only have power over me if I let it.  And I won't let it.  I've come too far.  I've learned too much about how strong I am and what I am capable to let someone else's opinions bring me down.
 
AMEN!!!
Plus, I like cookies too much to give them up to please someone else. 
 
 

Friday, September 5, 2014

Friday Happy Hour

This Friday's Happy Hour came around pretty early.  As in, 7:30 a.m. early.  And it wasn't all that happy, at least not until it was over.  But, it was an hour. 


I don't know about all this, but I do believe the more you tell yourself something, the more you'll believe it.
An hour of running.  That's probably the longest run I've done in several months.  Isn't that crazy?  An hour of running used to be nothing to me.  I used to think of it as the perfect daily workout.  Now it's my weekly long run.  How did that happen?!?  Oh yeah, summer hit and I retreated indoors to short treadmill workouts.  Guess I'm paying the price for that now.
 
There seems to be a theme going on with this blog lately and the theme is, "that run was hard and hot!"  The theme continues today.  Today's hour long run was hard and hot.  But, I am glad I did it.  It feels nice to start moving up again in distance.  And what I mean by, "feels nice," is it feels nice emotionally because physically, it really feels kinda crappy while it's happening. 
 
On the bright side, my weekly long run is already done and in the books, which means I am free to enjoy my second Friday Happy Hour of the day....
 
 
  
 

Me after an hour long run.  I never did find Channing at the end.  Big disappointment.

Thursday, September 4, 2014

Those Who Can, Do; Those Who Can't, Run.

Ever had insomnia?  Isn't it the worst?

 
After what felt like hours of laying wide awake (I refuse to look at the clock when I can't sleep because I know that will start the never-ending math calculations of how much sleep I could possibly get), I got out of bed at 4:00ish this morning and decided the only thing left to do was run.

I took myself to the gym (4:00 seemed too early for an outdoor run alone) and forced myself on to the treadmill. Lately, I just haven't had the willpower for early morning runs. Maybe it was the sheer delirium from lack of sleep, but this morning I finally felt ready to run. Run I did and it felt so good. I got in a lot of sprint work and by 5:30 am I was drenched in sweat and feeling great. Who needs sleep when you've got sweat?

***Please ignore any spelling mistakes, my eyes are half closed as I write. Turns out I need sleep and sweat. 



 

Monday, September 1, 2014

(NO)Labor Day

First off, let me wish you all a very happy Labor Day holiday! 
 
Now, guess what I did on this Labor Day......nothing!  I did absolutely no labor on this Labor Day.  For those of you who know me, this is very rare.  Taking a day off never happens.  I usually make sure to get at least some sort of workout in seven days a week.  Working out is just what I do and it's how I normally start my days.  I'm sure most of you runners can relate.  Taking days off isn't something that comes easily or happily for us.  We spend so much time telling ourselves to get up, get running, train hard, make the most of our time, and push on.  Rest days seem to just go against our nature.
 
 
 
But this morning, when I woke up and started to get out of bed with the plan of making up for my stalled run yesterday (see previous blog entry), a thought occurred to me.  That thought was, "Skipping this run will not be the end of the world.  I will not lose my fitness level.  I will not get fat.  I will enjoy the day."  And, with that thought, I laid right back down and snuggled up to my husband and enjoyed every second of sleeping in on this holiday.
 
Today is probably a good day to talk about why rest days, even though the are hard for us, are so good for us. 
 
 
Rest days are good for us physically (allow for muscle healing, prevent injuries from overuse, etc.), but I want to talk about how good for us they are mentally.  Life is exhausting, we cram so much into so little time.  We are obsessed with striving for perfection.  We have to be everything to everyone and all wrapped in a pretty/fit/well dressed package.  It's too hard.  All of this trying to do and be everything is exhausting.  Look, I'm guilty of it more than anyone.  I know it's hard to turn off that voice in your head saying, "get going, you have to get it all done, and done perfectly."  That little voice brings me to tears more often than I would like to admit.  That little voice keeps me up at night and wakes me up before dawn most mornings. 
 
But, today on this No-Labor Day, I told that little voice to STFU. 
 
This is how I spent my self-awarded rest day: