Why is it so hard to get your shit together, but so easy for it all to fall apart?
I’ve been plugging along. Seems like what I do. Just enough to keep moving. Just enough when things fall apart to use the excuse that I’m not prepared. Just enough to still get out the door, but not enough to push the envelope.
Tuesday of this week, without training other than a run here and there, I ran a 5K in town. My plan was just to run it to see how I did and felt. I met a friend and her friend on the course. I ran the last 2 miles with them. I finished. I finished in a respectable time. I finished with a big sprint at the end. I finished pushing it, but knowing that I could have kept going (slower but still going) which is good because I’m running a 10K Saturday.
I think I need to go back to the fake it till you feel it mantra. I keep signing up to do things because I want to do the event, but training isn’t high on priority list. Seeing as I signed up for a Sprint Triathlon for September and don’t want to drown, I better get a plan together. Plus I decided to do another big fall event virtually which will require it’s own post….. until then, it’s really time to get going.
I think I’ve just been so unmotivated for multiple reasons. Dealing with pinched nerve in neck. Working… Baking….. unmotivated…. then even more unmotivated… finally extremely unmotivated.
Al I keep going back to is if without training I can run a 5K in 35:11 and not die, what would happen if I actually got my head out of the sand and trained?
Often when you read about how to be healthier or loose weight, it is all about food choices and exercise. Now OBVIOUSLY those two are what is necessary to maintain a healthy lifestyle, weight, and effect our health the most. What I keep finding though is that what is often missed in these discussions is the MONEY and the TIME it takes to eat healthy. Now studies have shown that obesity and poverty are associated. I am not going down that rabbit whole today. If you are uncertainty of that correlation, there are many valid peer reviewed studies on it.
This post is about me (as most of them are) and those that can relate. This is about those of us who do not fall into the above mentioned category of poverty but still struggle. Yes, it is diet and exercise. Yes, I can choose to have a healthy salad for lunch instead of quickly throwing together a PB&J sandwich or going through a drive through. I know that. I can eat a well balanced home cooked salmon dinner instead of ordering a pizza…….but I’m tired.
Let’s face it…. It is hard to eat healthy. It shouldn’t be, but it is.
Why? Oh why?
Yes….. It’s Money!!!
I have been starting my day off with a healthy smoothie for a while now. Do you know the cost of good fruit? Even frozen. Then you add in the yogurt, protein powders and such and it all adds up. And I am bot even talking about going organic because thats a rich mans game for family. And this is only breakfast. Why is a healthy salad or salmon dinner more expensive than picking up a burger or a bowl of pasta? Then we are not even getting into snacks……
Yes…… It’s Time!
We are all going a million directions where as they say time is money. I have my morning smoothie game down pat where it doesn’t take me a long time now but that being said, I also don’t have a 9 to 5 job. Luckily for me, I don’t go into work until 1:00 affording me time in the morning to have my smoothie and if I plan a healthy lunch. Dinner though is another thing when I am getting home tire at 6:30. It really is much easier and faster to throw something together processed and filled with carbs than cutting fresh ingredients. Also lets not forget that the fresh ingredients are more expensive. Honestly cooking healthy meals is more time consuming than opening a box and we can all agree with that
With all this being said…..
For me since my kids are older giving me more time……..
For me since I can afford to make the healthier choices without effecting my bottom line for the most part…
It honestly and 100% comes down to will. Some days I have it. Some days I don’t. Some days I am just tired. Some days I just want to spend time cooking a healthy meal Some days it’s a mixed bag much like my entire life.
Here is the thing too. I am not striving for perfection. I know I will go through cycles where I follow a plan and some days I won’t. I also know that in the end all I can do is make the best choices on any given day. Some days that will mean a instagram worthy smoothie, salad, or healthy dinner. Some days it will mean eating fries out of a bag while downing an impossible burger.
Because as I’ve said before – None of us are getting out of here alive and we need to stop beating ourselves up over things that don’t really matter.
Because I know that I am lucky to be able to do what I can
Tip for the day
Stop beating yourself up because there are enough people in the world that will do it for you. Be your own BFF and have your own back knowing that you are doing the best you can
It’s been a rough few weeks. The ups and downs have been real……
Mama is recovering from being in the hospital after her fall and blood clots. She has many doctors appointments in her future, but she if recovering at my sister’s in California. As a friend said, there are worst places to recover in. As an added bonus, she will have more time with her granddaughter and her new grandson. She is in good hands and is on the road to recovery even if the time it takes is longer than we would like. That being said, she is already baking cookies with granddaughter with help from other grandma.
So that is a huge stress relief and blessing.
Then we have also been dealing with family member who was battling Covid. Sadly the decision to place him in comfort care was the correct one and had the outcome everyone expected, but no one wanted. There is no positive to this story other than he is finally at peace and no longer suffering. Sometimes that is all there can be.
So with all of these stressors, it has been a lot.
Work = stress
Home = stress
Starting home baking business = stress
Life = stress
It was time to do something fun. Something stupid. Something just for me for no other reason than I wanted to do it….. And I did!
Months ago, I had signed up for a winter trail 5K. This event is just a silly fun event that also raises money for good cause.. The Squatchy Onesie Fest is just what it sounds like….. We ran in onesies! Now I will say that it was unseasonable warm which did make for a hotter run than it should be. The ground was muddy, icy, and fun to run all at the same time. I will also say the day after this event, we had a beautiful light snow which is how I initially envisioned this event when I signed up, but it was still perfect just the way it was.
It was just stupid hard fun that I didn’t think about and just enjoyed.
Just what I needed!
Case in point…
I will also say that every time I run the trails, I am reminded how much I really love running them and wish that I had more time to run them. I really need to do both more trails and more stupid just for fun events.
I was also reminded to not take everything so seriously. Just to let go. Have fun and not afraid to look stupid because in the end….. no one will remember your PR time, but they will remember your journey.
2022 has been a year……. And it has only been a month………
January was not the year for running. I looked at my stats and I ran a total of 15 miles. Yes, you read that right. 15 whole miles. So, with out a doubt, not a stellar month for running. I am trying to get back into my training as I would like to comfortably finish the NYC Half. Not looking to run a sub 2 like I did the last time I ran it, but looking to at least enjoy it like I did last time too. I had fun. Running a sub 2 I still managed to take amazing photos and fun selfies while zipping through the city. I want to be able to have that same fun at a different pace.
So I have been trying to get back to my training…..
But it’s hard.
It is so hard.
Again January has been a year….. Like any year, some good. Some bad. Let’s break it down.
My state of NJ has finally come out of the dark ages and allowed home bakers to legally bake from home with a permit. So beginning of month, I was working on getting all permits and paperwork. Then I was off to the races baking. More truthfully, off to the oven. It has been a whirlwind of testing recipes, filling orders and trying to figure out marketing/required labels. But I have loved it all because to me baking is one of my Happy Places.
So I will share some of my happy moments with you!
While doing this, I am still working my 30 plus normal job, pretending to take care of the house and not letting anything on the home front slide. To say it’s been a lot might be an understatement but I am not complaining because I have a goal.
Then the flip side of the month has brought a lot of different emotion.
A family member has been dealing with the demons of Covid. Watching in slow motion from afar the stories you have watched on the news play out in real time with more than likely the same outcome. This story is still playing out but leaves raw emotions especially for loved ones who you are supporting. So many emotions…. The ONLY thing I will say is …… please get vaccinated. If not for you, for your loved ones.
Then there was/is a health scare with my own mom. She is visiting sister in California and Monday morning fainted falling face first full force on a tile floor breaking her nose in 3 places. After a ride to ER, it was determined that she had a Saddle Pulmonary Embolism which basically is a massive clot in her lungs. They found a second one in her leg. It was a week…… Up and down… Up and down….. Things move quickly in the medical field though (at least in this case). 2 days in ICU. Another 2 in regular room and by Friday in a rehab facility to get strength/confidence back. Hopefully this is a short stay as my sister can’t wait to have her back in her home.
Isn’t she cute? She has some work ahead of her, but outcome is good.
Again, so many emotions all in one week.
All this emotion gets you thinking what does everything mean. I’ve had these conversations/thoughts before. I am having them again.
I admit that I have a problem with balance. It might be one of the things that works in my favor when it comes to getting shit done. It also might be one of the things that works against me when it comes to getting shit done. The all or nothing approach comes at a cost.
We can’t start eating healthy because it’s just to hard to give everything up.
We can’t start working out because we don’t have time to commit
We can’t because of this or that or this or that……
But what if instead of thinking we have to commit 110% percent…… What if we just realized that just doing something is better than doing nothing.
What if instead of going gang busters on a new diet plan that we know long term we won’t stick to, we decide that we look at where and how we can make even what might appear to be small changes?
What if instead of waking up at 5:00 AM (you know I’m never doing that) to squeeze in our workout/run in, we just look at what we can do and give that time..
What if instead of thinking that we need to run as fast as we can for what we deem is necessary distance, we just decide to give what we are able to give.
What if instead of sitting on the couch binging Yellowstone (highly recommend), we do it from the treadmill or stationary bike?
There are ways to make what might appear to be small changes….. some might even say insignificant changes……. in a way that are not only sustainable but together can bring big change.
Here is the bottom line…… If you continue to do the same thing, nothing changes. If you start with small changes over time, they will lead to big changes.
So start where you are!
Do what you can!
Most of all be kind to yourself in the process, because you are worth it:)
Why are we also perpetually putting our happiness in the waiting room?
I will be happier when I get a new job….
I will be happier when I’m single/married…..
I will be happier when I can fit into a size x again….
I will be happier when I loose X number of pounds…..
I will be happier when I can hit X pace, PR, finish a certain event…..
I will be……
What if we just focus on the will be and see where that takes us?
What if instead of putting our happiness in the waiting room, we focus on what we can do to be happy where we are?
Easier said than done and we all know that.
We live in a society where we are always looking for the next shiny object that is supposed to make us happier. Supposed to make us feel complete. We live in a society that also knows that the discontent makes money.
Now it may seem like I am saying not to have goals…. not to strive for things…… Not to look forward but thats not what I’m saying at all. I am saying we must learn to embrace where we are, what we have, and what we can do in our lives who anything we do will never be good enough.
It also doesn’t help that many of us feel like we are in a holding pattern since the beginning of the Covid Pandemic. NO LIFE DIDN’T STOP even if it is not the same but in many ways a lot is still on hold.
When I was in top form chasing sub 2 half marathons (check), 25 minute 5K (never got it only hit 26 minutes) and a 4:30 half (another miss); these goals kept me motivated. They inspired me to push, but the chase is what made me happy. The disappoints may have been real in not hitting goals, but they also weren’t life changing when I didn’t reach them just as they weren’t when I did.
I was happy with the chase and any goals achieved were the cherry on top.
Right now, I am trying to motivate myself for just the chase. So much to be done and not enough time to do it is keeping the motivation at bay. Many of us are in the same boat because of jobs, family responsibilities, and just the day to day of life. Right now I keep waiting for the motivation to find me, but what I have to do is find the motivation. I’m looking…… I’m really looking…….
If you seek, you will find…..
Motivation…… I’m coming for you…… Is that considered motivation? lol
If you continue on the same path, you will never go anywhere different.
Familiar is comforting. Same ole same ole is still the same. Same isn’t worse but it will most definitely get old, stale and boring. Why do you think the best marketing strategy is ”new and improved” because marketers know that we get tired of the same ole same ole.
Familiar is comforting but it will never get you anything different. Sometimes that is why we stay with it….. Change is hard. Change is scary. Familiar may not be what we want but if we dare ourselves to think about something different than that means that we have to do something different. You can’t follow the same ole path expecting different results because that is crazy, but….. but…. if we identify what we want different and don’t do anything about it…….. that is a sign of fear. So sometimes we dont even allow these thoughts…
Sometimes we don’t even allow ourselves to fully think about veering off the path because if we do than we know that we need to change course. Just the act of thinking about change is scary. Thinking about what goals would be and more importantly why is an act of revolt. Act of courage.
It is time to be brave. To recognize that failure is not missing a goal, but not actually creating them. To stand still while not striving for anything is failure.
Time to be brave.
Failure is an option, but the biggest failure is never actually reaching for what you want. Even worse never dreaming what you want.
So after NYCM, I said that I didn’t want to run anymore marathons. I meant it. I meant it for several reasons. One, honestly, is that I was getting bored of running. I vividly remember going for a training run one day. I was running fine. I wasn’t tired. I was running/walking fine but I was bored. Now part of it is because I mostly train on my own, but I seriously just was tired of running. Not tired from running, but of running.
I don’t even know if I have run since the marathon which better change as I did sign up for the Fred Lebow half marathon in January.
I will also admit that I have been thinking about triathlons again. My very first race that I ever did before getting off the couch that got me to where I am now was a Sprint Triathlon. It was a big motivator. It also great at making me cross train because it wasn’t really cross training but training. I had one thought that kept me motivated to train especially the swim….
With the Run, you can walk
With the bike, you can coast
With the swim, you will drown….
I am excited about this. This is truly going back to square one.
Train some more.
Most of all, I am feeling a sense of excitement as this will be all new again. I haven’t done a Triathlon since 2016 and never with Hypopara. I may be 100% wrong, but for some reason I think this will be less stress on my body. I also think that with transitions it might be easier to decide when and where to add calcium during training.
Now while this may really feel like it has come out of left field, it has not. I have been mulling over the thought of a triathlon for a while. It’s been in the back of my mind festering. And like all things that fester, eventually you have to do something.
So here I am. Signed up and trying to drag as many of my friends down the crazy train with me…….. This is something all good friends do!
Day 4 and besides the healing blister on my foot I feel normal.
I guess that is what successful training is all about.
It’s funny as a runner when you run a marathon, you know recovery is a real thing. You know you have pushed your body to and past the limit, yet some how it’s annoying when you don’t just spring out of bed the next day. When I ran my first marathon, the next day I literally was wearing heals and seriously felt normal. As the years pass…… As the training is not as stellar…… As my feet begin to have issues…… As my body changes………. those days are long gone! I would have cried if I had to put on heals the next day. I switched back between my OOFAS clogs and flip flops for 3 days.
Yesterday, was the first day that I really felt normal. Getting up and down at circle time (remember I work in preschool) with ease. Bouncing up and down stairs like nothing. I only have residual tightness in my hamstrings and honestly it might be because I need to do some rolling. Really not a bad recovery.
Funny thing is that when non runners see you even in midst of recovery they are amazed. Several times I have heard things like…..
If I ran a marathon, I wouldn’t move for a month.
The fact that you are still moving amazes me.
I don’t even like walking to my car, I can’t believe you ran 26 miles.
It used to be only 1% of people have run a marathon. I recently heard that it is up to 2%. Still a small amount. Something that everyone who has ever crossed a marathon finish can take pride in. There is pride in time but there is also pride in the finish.
So I have decided to deconstruct the marathon backwards starting with the finish line…….
In the dark…. 6 hours and 3 minutes 49 seconds after crossing the start line, i crossed the finish line. Pure joy, exhaustion and triumph rolled into one.
I am thankful to the spectators who were playing Eye of the Tiger from a boom box in Central Park. They literally got me up that hill! you think you are done when you turn into the park, but there is still more for the marathon to take and for you to give.
When running a marathon, the finish line seems so far away. The longer you run, the farther it feels or maybe that is just me. For New York though, you know you are ”getting closer,” when you turn down 5th Avenue. In the past, 5th Avenue is wall to wall people cheering you on. It’s heart pumping. It is exhilarating. It is amazing. Often you will see people with their medals and ponchos in the crowd. It gets you up the Avenue into the park.
I will say starting in the the last coral of the last wave, running 5th Avenue was slightly different. Yes, there were crowds on some sections, but it was not wall to wall people. There were not people lining the entire avenue. To be honest by the time that I hit the Avenue, they were already in process of rolling up the NYRR banners. It did not have that heart pumping, energy inducing motivation to run or walk a little faster. I was at the point in the marathon where I was trying to decide if it was more painful to walk or run. So I kept on walking….
Often when people talk, think, or even run a marathon; we focus of how long did it take. The elites finish in a shorter time than most people run their half marathons. They are amazing. Then you see the times of celebrities who finish the elusive 4 hour marathon. They train for it. They earn it as much as the non celebrities we know. They are also amazing. As our the people in our circle who fly like gazelles hitting paces for mile after mile crossing the finish line in times that make our jaws drop. They are amazing! Then there are people like me, who have to answer No to people who ask, ”Did you run the whole thing?”
WE ARE ALSO AMAZING!
There is something about having the grit and determination to get to the finish line while they are rolling up the carpets so to speak. When the crowds are sparse…… When the sun is setting…….. When it is dark in the park……. When you have to be your own cheerleader……. When you have to dig in deep to find your own grit and determination because you are the reason you are there in the first place and you will be the reason that you get to the finish line. There are no massive crowds to carry you to the finish line, but those that are there know how much that you need them. I was lucky to have a friend cheering on 5th Avenue. I almost missed her but she strained your voice to scream my name loud enough that I turned to see her………. It was perfect
As was knowing that I had 2 friends who were volunteering at water station around mile 19. It is no exaggeration that I was pushing to get to them before their shift ended at 5:00 PM. I made it in time. I found them and gave them sweaty hugs stealing energy from them to keep going. Once the goal to reach them was achieved then I could tell myself that the finish line was not so far away. I like to count down the miles which doesn’t work for everyone but it works for me!
Before the water stop, my goal was to find my Sandy Hook Promise Team at 87th and 1rst Avenue. I missed them the first year that I ran for them and am thankful these last 2 times that I have not missed them. They not only give you energy but they give you a reason to keep running….. to keep pushing…… to know that giving up is not an option. They are an amazing team and while they support me during the marathon, they will always have my support running or not running.
I have never been a spectator at any marathon let alone the NYCM and I really think that would be an amazing thing to do. I think spectators underestimate how much energy they give to those running the coarse. I plan to be a spectator in the future and I know that when I do it will be the back in the pack runner that I will be saving energy to give to because we may need it more than those that are flying to the finish.
And yes…… There is more, but for today this is enough especially as I need to get to work:)
I will be the first to admit that I am not perfect. I am far from it. I have many faults but I really don’t feel the need to list them. I also have many positive traits that I don’t feel the need to list. All that being said, we all know those that put forth the ”perfect life.” They have the perfect home. The perfect style. The perfect this the perfect that….. Blah…. Blah…. Blah….
Let’s be real, there is not such thing as perfect in the real world. Usually when you peel back the mask of perfection, you will see how imperfect it all is. The problem is that often no one bothers to look past the initial layer to see the reality of what striving for perfection cost. Perfection is an unattainable goal and often leads to frustration, giving up, or in some cases drastic measures (think of those celebs who went one cosmetic procedure to far).
In our workout routine or diet, the strive for perfection often leads to people walking away feeling like a failure. We think that we have to follow a strict diet and if we don’t follow to the letter T that we cant do it. Many times people who decide to get fit go gang busters…. Going to gym every day. Starting strong as they say. Then they get sore. They miss a workout. They can’t hit a pace in a run. They feel like they are too slow. That why bother because we just aren’t good enough. The strive for perfection often sets us up for failure.
I am to the point that I am realizing that striving towards “perfection,” towards unattainable goals, to comparing myself to not others but old versions fo me were setting me up for failure. My goal is no longer perfection, but only to be better and the best version of me. A realistic version. A version that I can live with. A version that is sustainable. A version that will never be perfect, never be more than it can be, and one that I can say I did my best.
I’ve been thinking along these lines with my nutrition. I have always said that my problem with diets is that if I get hit by a bus that I don’t want my last meal to be celery. Not that there is anything wrong with celery as I actually had it for snack last night, but you understand. I do not want to live my life feeling deprived. Striving for things that long term will not keep. So as I started thinking about my nutrition, I’ve realized that sometimes change while hard doesn’t always mean depriving myself. I want to develop a nutritional plan that I can live with, feel good about, that is healthy, and most of all sustainable. Also I know for a fact that I am not going to be giving up certain things and that is ok. Embracing the imperfection of moderation.
So far. So good.
The morning smoothies are still a thing and one that hubby and I look forward to. The thinking about what I am eating, when I am eating and why I am eating has been helpful. To be honest, the cravings for certain foods is lessoning. My boss gave me 2 caramel chocolate bars 2 weeks ago that are still uneaten. Not because I am depriving myself but because i just dont want them. That would be unheard of before. My morning coffee is now filled with an almond creamer instead of half and half or such. If you know me, you know I take my coffee seriously so this was a big step. But once I took that step, I realized that it was more in my mind than in the cup because my morning coffee still tastes like my morning coffee. This past week, I also made homemade cinnamon rolls for my family. They are delicious but I didn’t have one because I really didn’t want one. On the other hand, when I made Pumpkin donuts I did eat one. Just one and that was enough. No shame. No Guilt….. Balance.
I have also been taking this approach to my running. I have continued to walk the first few miles of my long run and the first of pretty much all. Then my goal is to keep the pace in the 12’s because that is where I realistically am. In being real with what I can do, how fast I can run, and what my body can do; I have actually been able to run better Striving for unattainable goals has been my downfall with my running. Working towards being the best I can be on each run has been making running both enjoyable and sustainable.
To be the best version you can be on any given day either in your nutrition, in your running or in your life will change day to day. The trick is to give yourself the grace you need to be that version. Accept the version that you are today and if it doesn’t live up to your expectations know that tomorrow is another day!