Tag Archive | inspiration

Youth is wasted on the Young – not

They say that “Youth is wasted on the young” and that “you don’t know what you’ve got till it’s gone.”   Now I’m not really sure who says these things but they are actually pretty right.

Seriously.

Think about it.

Think back (for me way back) to when you were a carefree kid.   When I was a kid I had extremely low confidence and body image.   Now when I look back on pictures from when I was a kid, I wonder what I was thinking of.   It took many years and really a lot of therapy to get to where I am today but I’m straying.

Youth is wasted on the young…..

I’ve been lucky enough recently to work on a elementary youth track program.   It’s a basic program as we do not have access to a track.   Plus the kids are only 9 and 10.   So really it’s about teaching them the fundamentals and encourage them to enjoy running.   I mean who doesn’t enjoy running?

At the same time I’m watching some of these kids discover that they actually enjoy running and can run fast, I read an article about “older runners.   It went onto say that after 50 it is harder to reach a PR (obviously), your body requires more recovery time, and apparently you just shrivel up.   So I may be stretching that last one a bit, but not much.    Apparently I’ve got 2 years to make the magic happen or call it a day.   Hmmm…

Now I’m not disputing these facts.   Running with 9 and 10 year olds that can whip out a 8 minute pace and then ask if that is good makes you scratch your head.   No pulled muscles.   No worries.   No recover.   Just run your mile and still have energy for a hearty game of tag.

They also don’t have the mental game.   The no overthinking.   No plotting.   No strategy.   Just run for the sake of running.

There is actually a lot of beauty in that.

Maybe we all need this simpler time.   This way when we are older and all the pressures of the world are right there, we can think back to a time when there was not thinking.

Just fun.

Just Run!

The Little Runner that Could

One of my boys favorite books when they were little was The Little Engine That Could.   That feel good story about a little train who knew he could get over the mountain and did.   We can all learn from that little blue train.

little-engineSeriously.

How many times do we talk ourselves out of something before we even attempt it?   Believing you can do something will push you to at least try.   Doubting that you can do it will make you say, “What is the point?”    We need to take a lesson from the little blue engine.   Now I’m not saying just because I start chanting, “I think I can.   I think I can.” am I going to  be able to run a sub 3 marathon.   What it does mean though is that if I set a somewhat realistic goal like a sub 4:30, I might be able to do it with lots of hard work.   It’s all abut knowing where you are and pushing yourself to do the things that might be just a little bit hard.

It’s about going out of your comfort zone.

Today I pushed myself out of the relatively comfy running I’ve been doing.   I decided that I needed to push myself from where I am today not 4 months ago.

You know what?

It was a good run.

I had a plan.   I wanted to do 5 miles.   I wanted to push myself to run faster than I have been lately which has been in the mid 11’s.   I also wanted to get back to controlling my pace and not letting it control me.

5-miles

It might not look like it, but I felt like I took control back today.   My goal was a warm up mile, 2 miles at 10:30, 1 at 10:15 and 1 at 10:00.   Then I came home and took the dog for a mile walk to cool down.   So I actually got in 6 miles today!

What was different about today’s run.   I went into in knowing it was going to be hard.   It was hard.   What surprised me though is that after I started running I actually tweaked my plan to these paces shaving off 10 seconds for each mile.    Even then I did feel like I had to hold back and I had to keep myself in check.   Overall it was a good run and it was a good confidence booster.

It might have been just what I needed.

I think I can.

I think I can.

I will.

A Storm Settles In

I try to keep this blog drama free if you will.

  I try to keep it sole focus on my fitness journey, but as I’ve said a time ore two before..

Running does not take place in a bubble

The outside world has a real effect not just on our time, but it effects us mentally too.       Running is usually a way to release tension, give time to think, and often time to get away from thinking.  It is time that I admit that part of my lack of wanting to run is not physical but mental.  Same reason I’ve been ignoring my blog because that means that I have to think about all that is keeping me from getting out the door.

What happens when you feel like none of it matters?    What is the point of running XYZ race?   What happens when you have no desire to push it because you think , “What is the point?”

I’m not sure.

stephen-fry-quote-on-mood

There is just so much rain right now.    I’ve been in worse weather and survived.  I have no doubt that I am strong enough to survive this one too, but I’m drenched right now.   This is just a thunderstorm and I’m trying to figure out how to open my umbrella when the reality is that I need a raincoat.

I keep reminding myself that the only thing that anyone has control over is themselves and how they react to the world and people around them.   It is with this knowledge that I am pushing forward.   People will never be who you want them to be.   The world will never be the way you think it should be.   This is the reality of the world.   This is the reality of my life.

I can’t let these things stop me from my journey.   I can’t keep these things from finding joy in things that I found joy in before.

Right now I don’t want to do anything.   I really don’t.   I also don’t like that feeling.   I miss wanting to wake up and push myself to go for a run.   To push my body.    To push my limits.   I miss it.   I want it back.

Right now though I don’t have the fire that I had.   So what I am going to push myself to do is something that I really am not a fan of.

I’m going streaking.

I think this is what I need right now.

I will do it my own way as always.   I am going to go a minimum of a mile every day.   I will even count a mile walk, but a mile it must be.   My goal is for at least a month.   I will let you know how it goes.

This is more than just reclaiming my fitness too.   It is reclaiming a part of me that has gone missing.

Running does not take place in a bubble.

Life does not take place in a bubble.

Embrace it all.

Accept it all.

Go.

FREEDOM!!!

A funny thing happened after I switched my registration from the NJ Marathon to the NJ Half.    As I said before, I felt a sense of relief and a weight off my shoulder.   More impotantly, I felt such a sense of freedom.   I don’t mean freedom to sit on my bottom, I mean a sense of freedom to run.

Seriously.

It was like I was inspired to start running.   You would think it would have the opposite effect, but nope.   It made me want to get out the door again.   Last night I even went to Honey Stinger Website and ordered a bunch of yummy protein bars, gels, and gummys.  (Have I mentioned that I became a Honey Stinger Ambassador this year?)    I can’t wait for them to arrive and incorporate them into my training.

A friend of mine summed it up perfectly…

I thinking signing up for the marathon helped get you moving after you recovery, but doing the half will probably help your running more.

Exactly!

I really think that if I hadn’t initially registered for the marathon, I would not have been pushing myself to start running again after my surgery.   That being said, going from the NY Marathon to surgery.  Then recovery from thyroid surgery and then jumping back into marathon training really did not give me a break.   It was too much.   Now without the marathon looming over me weighing me down, I don’t feel the pressure to train.   I can run just to run which is just what I did today.

7 miles today.

It felt great.   Now I don’t mean great in the sense that it was easy.   It was not.   I was huffing and puffing more than Lady Gaga at the Superbowl last night.   It was great because I was out with friends.   It was a beautiful day for running and there was no “I have to do this run.”   It was, “I want to do this run.”

I will also like to add that this is the furthest I have run since my surgery.  Yeah, me:)

So the lesson of the day…

Do what makes you happy:)

berry-break-131

Pushing on

Starting is hard.   Starting over is just as hard.

Really.

Yes, the first time you try something it is hard.   But the beauty is that there are no expectations.   Your going to give it a shot and see what happens.   Your expectations are just to do the best you can and get the job done.   It is hard.  It is painful.   There are doubts.   The trick is just to keep pushing on.

The problem with coming back from an injury or a break is that you have expectations.   You know what your body is or was capable of doing.   You remember how something that is so difficult now was easy just a few months ago.   It is hard.   It is painful.   There are doubts.   The trick is just to keep pushing on.

It’s been a few weeks now.    It is amazing to me how quickly the body falls apart (ok not really, but it feels that way).   It is amazing how something that took years to develop can feel like it disappears in a matter of months.    I’ve been happy that I have been getting out and getting some runs in.I’ve been steady.   I’ve been lucky that I’ve got a great group of friends to get out the door with.  I will say that I that my goal for right now is just to slowly and steadily build up.   Yes, I know that technically I am in marathon training now, BUT….

My goal right now is just to start back strong.    To come back smart.   The longest run I’ve done yet this year is 5 miles and I’ve only had one of them.   I walk when I feel I need to, but even then I keep the watch going.   I want to keep track of my real progress.   You know what?   Considering I’m coming back from 2 months of no running or any activity, I think I’m doing ok.   As of now, I am not putting any pressure on for the NJ Marathon.   I am happy that I am registered, because that is helping to get me out the door.   Come April I will be ready.   I may not be ready for the elusive 4:30, but I will be able to get the job done.

Right now, my goal is to run 4 days a week with 2 cross training days and one full sit on my behind rest day.   I’m still working out the schedule, but that seems like a good enough plan for right now.   As the weeks go by and I regain some of my former aerobic level and don’t feel like I’m not going to die while I’m out for a run then it will be time to revisit and revise.   This seems like a reasonable goal and plan.   Each run sucks just a little less and I actually did do one 3 mile run at a brisk pace.   So I’ll take it.

I think the trick weather your just starting out, coming back, or just going through a rough patch is just to keep pushing through.   Really what choice do you have?    If you stop then what are you left with?   Regrets and we all know how much they suck.  So I guess that means I will just keep on pushing on.

fit-stop-giving-up

What is the longest break you had before coming back?

 

Let The Games Begin

Next week at this time I will hopefully be putting the final touches on what I will need for the NYC Marathon.    Hopefully, I will even be getting ready to sit down to a nice carb loading dinner too.

I’ve finally decided to take my head out of the sand and actually it has been very good.   All this talk about not being excited and admitting the truth of how I’m feeling has been freeing.   Dare I say it, it is even getting my a little excited.

I’m an avoider by nature.   I like to bury my head in the sand and not deal with things.   It’s often my way of dealing with things.    Dealing with things is messy, complicated, and means you actually have to face things.    So by pretending the marathon wasn’t happening, I could just go about my business.

BUT

When I pulled back the curtain, I got wise words of advise and incite from friends.   One friend really knows me well and she may have put the final nail in the coffin why I was feeling the way I was feeling.    It was the real thing that I was avoiding which was NOT the marathon….

My surgery.   See the way, I spoke about my upcoming surgery (getting my thyroid removed) was it’s after the marathon.   So if the marathon happens, by default that means then so is my surgery.    Yes all the other reasons for my non marathon excitement are true, but this was true.    When she asked me about it, it really was like a door was opened.   I heard and knew the truth of her words.    I will have to deal with this, BUT FIRST THE MARATHON.

Then another thing happened, in talking with my coach and friends we started talking about my training and goals.  My one running mama pointed out that the if I want to see the sites of NY, we can take a short road trip to see this and that I can run this race.   I realized something.   I think I actually want to run this thing.   I mean not all out I’m going to die run this thing, but I want to run this and I want to run this well.

I’ve got a lot coming up, but it’s time to be a grown up and face them.    I realize that I want this (the marathon not surgery silly).    I want it bad.    I want to hobble from the finish line of the NYCM knowing that I ran a smart race.   That I ran it to the best of my ability.    That my training was not just to get to the start line, but get my ass to the finish line too.

I’ve got this now.

And thank you to all my real life in person friends who have given me encouragement, kick in the behind, and your wonderful incites.   You are amazing and I’m so lucky to have all of you.

fd0282994ece078d885b3af9e1b58726

 

How About Them Apples!

I went for a run today.   I know that is just shocking!   The thing is today’s run was actually a thing of beauty.   Now, I don’t mean that I looked spectacular while running because I’m pretty sure that never happens as the below is probably closer to the truth.

running

What I mean is that there are runs where everything just seems to come together and it is a thing of beauty.   Today was such a day.    To be honest, today was the type of run that I needed.   We all know that I had let the doubts creep in, but this last week I’ve seem to push them aside.   I’ve had a couple of good runs, but today was the money shot.   Today was the all feared, all dreaded cut-down.   The bane of my existence.   A run that if I flubbed again would get inside my head.

I was ready for it.   I kept reading my coaches email with words of encouragement.   I read and reread a blog post she did called One Bad Apple.   That post really helped because it made me realize that I was not the only one who did this and that it was up to me to remember the good runs.

I went into this run prepared.

I went into this run with the confidence.

I went into this run knowing that I could do this.

  I remembered all the good runs that I had leading up to it.   I knew that I could do it.   I knew that I had done it in the past.   I knew in this instance the only one holding me back was me.   I also knew that I would need to change the way that I was going into these runs.    I had to stop psyching myself out and instead look at them as the challenge they are supposed to be.   Life without challenges would be boring.   You may be shaking your head no, but think about it.   What happens when things become to easy, you get bored and move onto something else.    So I needed to take this challenge and go with it.   I needed to steer into the skid and just enjoy the ride.

cut-downNot only did I hit all the paces that I wanted to, but I did them while feeling great doing so.    Some runs you may hit your target pace, but it just feels so hard it makes you wonder why you are even doing it.   Some runs, you do let it get to you making you doubt yourself.   Then some runs the stars align and it all just seems to come together to remind you that this is what it is all about.   These are the runs that must be held onto when the doubts creep in.   These are the runs that we should remember.   No not every run is going to give you the “runners high,” but you need to hold onto it.   You need to internalize it.    You need to remember.

It really is easy to let one bad apple spoil the bunch.

apple

I found it more than a little poetic that I literately came across this apple towards the end of today’s run.   It was almost like the universe was giving me a sign.  It may have just been an apple that someone threw out their car window, but either way it was a reminder that are a whole lot more good apples waiting to be had as long as you don’t give up.apple2

I’m not fooling myself into thinking that just because I had a great run today that my training is going to be easy or that every run is going to feel this way.   I’m pretty sure that after my 16 miles tomorrow, I won’t be feeling so good BUT

I will remember

and

if by some chance I forget;

I know there will be people there to remind me.

Do you remember your good runs or your bad runs?

I

Friday Five – Sharing the Running Love!

Friday Five Link-up with by Eat, Pray, Run DC,   Mar on the Run, and You Signed Up for What?

Today’s Theme

5 Ways to Share the Running Love

To me these transfer to life too!

1.   Be Inspiring – What I mean by this is just do the best that you can on any given day.   The best way to inspire people is to walk the walk or in this case Run the Run.   Be it a run around the park, a 5K, a 10K, a Half, a Full.   What ever it is make it the best run you can have.

2.   Be Authentic –  Don’t try to be anyone else.   The world is full of other people.  What the world needs is you to be you.   If you are a fast runner, run fast.   If you are a slow runner, run slow.   If you are in between, that’s fine too!   Life would be boring if we were all the same.   Running would be boring if we all ran the same race.    Be who you were meant to be and that is inspiring enough.

3.  Be Happy –  Yes, I know that there are things in life that are sad, depressing, and sometimes things don’t work out.   Yes, I know that there are runs that are sad, depressing, and sometimes don’t work out.   That being said, everyday is a gift.   Every run is a gift.    There are things in life and running that we just can’t change.   Don’t focus on those things.   Focus on the positive things, embrace them, and Be Happy.

be-happy-quotes

4. Encourage Others –   There is a saying about strong women building each other up.   It’s true.   Another woman’s success does not take away from your accomplishments.   We are all in this together and should have each others backs!   You never know what your encouraging word can do to inspire someone.   Besides there is too much negativity in the world without adding to it!

build-each-other-up

5.  Be Proud of your Accomplishments –  Now, I don’t mean walk around with your medals all the time.   Although, I will admit that I will bring them to school pick-up after a big event to show my friends.   I don’t mean brag about it to every person you see either, although that is sometimes tempting.   I mean let your light shine.

Sing it with me now,

This little light of mine, I’m going to let it shine

let it shine

let it shine

(Admit it, you sang it)

How can we inspire others if we hid away what we are doing?  You can’t.   So be proud of your hard work.  Share your hard won accomplishments, your goals, and what you are doing.

Now, your turn…

   I’m going to ask you to share the Running Love with me now too:)

  I wrote about this is my Blog Post Dreaming The Dream Until I can’t Dream It Anymore.   I’m not your typical runner.   I don’t have the runner’s body (what ever that is).   I wasn’t athletic ever, but I’ve become a runner along the way.  I have a passion for it.   I have a need for it.   I love to share it.   So I think to myself, why couldn’t I win to be on the cover of Runner’s World.   Wouldn’t it be cool if just your average running mom made the cover?    So, please vote for me here.

I’ve come a Long Way Baby

Quote 5

As I am preparing my goals for 2015, I have been looking back at all I’ve done in 2014.   Wow.   It is hard to believe that I have only started on this journey because a friend wanted me to do one race in September of 2013.    It was going to be a one shot deal,   We were doing the Iron Girl Sprint to prove that we could (or at least that was my reason).   To prove that just because I was getting older that didn’t mean it was over.

One and done.

Who knew where that would take me?

I sure didn’t.

Then somehow I kept going and by the end of 2014, I have an impressive tally is if I do say so myself (and I do)

St Barts 5K    3/22  27:17.6    Age 8/72     Average Pace 8:46

Superhero Half    5/18/14     2:09:24     897/1633  Average Pace 9:52

NJ State Sprint Tri      7/18/14   01:43:50     swim  15:36      bike 50:44       Run  31:17    Place 1099

5K Run & Pizza      7/23/14  (5 days after Tri)     30:44       422/1105       Average Pace  9:53

Iron Girl Sandy Hook Sprint    7/7/14       01:53:13   swim  20:03  bike 1:01:34    Run    27.54   356/833

Grete’s Great Gallop       10/5/14    02:20:04   Average Pace      10:42

Hat Trick

5K     10/18/14      29:39         793/1595     Average Pace  9:31

10K    10/18/14    57:19          605/1635     Average Pace  9:13

Half   10/19/14     2:06:08       1206/2311    Average Pace  9:53

 Philadelphia Marathon            11/23/14      4:46:20   7600/10335  Average Pace 10:55

Now I didn’t post this to brag.

ok, maybe a little.

That being said, I still can’t believe that this Mama who never did anything is suddenly doing it all.   But I do need to sometimes step back and  look at how far I’ve come to appreciate it.   I’ve said before how I am a goal orientated person and I am.  I just never want to forget to  just enjoy the ride too.

I think that this is how many people go through life.   I admit that I tend to do this sometimes too, but I am trying to get better.   It’s kind of like Christmas.   Many people are so focused on “getting ready” for Christmas that they miss the beauty of the preparation for it.   Yes, Christmas brings many “tasks” from decorating the tree, shopping, to sending out Christmas Cards.   These tasks should be enjoyed and appreciated because there are many people who would LOVE to have to deal with the self imposed stress of the Season, but for various reasons can’t.     If you are always focused on the end results, you miss the beauty of the journey.

The same can be said with Fitness Goals, Races, and self imposed challenges.   As hard as they get, there are people who would love to be able to do what I do on my worst day (which really isn’t that spectacular even on my best day).   I know that I am nor will I ever be an elite athlete and I’m ok with that.   I appreciate that I have the ability to get out there and swim, bike, or run if I want.   I have a brother-in-law who is in a wheelchair due to Cerebral Palsy.    He is the happiest guy I know.   He goes through life doing what he can and never complains nor does he show any indication that he wants to complain.   Yet many of us who have no reason to complain often do.   I am reminded often how blessed that I am.   How even on my worst day, I’ve got it good.

So as I go about setting both my fitness and personal goals for next year, I want to remind myself to never forget that the journey is just as important as where I will end up.

Why Not?

The night before the Philadelphia Marathon one of my MRTT Mama’s asked me,

“How did you decide that Philly would be your first marathon?”

To be honest, I really never put any thought into it.   I, actually, thought that maybe one day since I’m so close to NY that my big moment would be the NYC Marathon.   If you remember my musings in my post You Can’t Always Get What You Want, I really thought and planned to run my first full in 2015.    Then a funny thing happened.    I finished my Hat Trick and Philly which was in the far recess of my mind moved front and center.   Then I thought about it.   Took a long training run and jumped right in.   As much as a planner I am, this seems to be how I end up at the starting line more times than not.    I hear about something.   I think to myself that sounds like a fun challenge.

  I think, “Why not” and dive right in.

Why_Not

Before I even went to Philly though, I had already decided that I would try to do the 9 + 1 in 2015 which would guarantee me entry in 2016.  For those who were like me and didn’t know, the NYC Marathon is not a race you can just sign up for and it is not an easy road to get into it.

For normal people like me, you have 3 options.

  1. Be very lucky enough to win entrance through the lottery
  2. Do the 9 + 1 Plan (run 9 NYRR qualifying race and volunteer at 1 or raise $1K)
  3. Run for charity and raise a specific amount which is usually a decent amount

That’s it.   Unless you are an elite athlete which I am obviously not.   There is no gauarnteed entry to a Soccer Mom which is kind of sad as we are the ones who really have to juggle it all to get to the starting line.   Now my running cohort did complete the 9 + 1 in 2014, so she is guaranteed entry to 2015 marathon.   Yeah, Dawn!   I came to the party late.   Very late.   So I set my goals on running 2016 and just being a supportive friend in 2015.

Then a funny thing happened on Thanksgiving.   Over dinner, I was talking with my parents and hubby about Philly.    Someone made mention of me running the NYC marathon one day.   I had to explain the process of getting into the marathon and how you couldn’t just sign up.   When I said the only way to get in for next year was to raise money for charity.  NO one seemed to think that would be a problem   They all thought and said, “You could do that!”   So now the seed has been planted.   This one may not go further than the seed, but I have been looking online for charity options which will be posted in January.  This one I don’t think I can just dive right in as normal.

So only time will tell.

I will run NY one day.

I just don’t know when that day will be.

Either way, it will be a fun ride till I get there.

Either way, I still think it would be fun to run the 9 + 1 races next year too.