Tag Archive | inspiration

Just Show Up

So this post might be a little different, yet not.   So stick with me!

Something exciting happened recently that I have been waiting to share.   I’ve been waiting because I wanted to be able to actually see if I would it really was something that I could be excited about.   Since the mail arrived two days ago and I’ve done my own testing I can say that I’m excited.

So here is the thing….. I was recently asked (yes ASKED) to become a Pineapple Clothing Ambassador.    This was not something that I sought out, but through my Instagram account they reached out to me.   Now I will say, that I’ve gotten DM’s in the past but nothing like this.   Usually they are the random “How you doing today?’ messages where you immediately block them or the guy who liked EVERY one of my feet pics (you know as a runner, we do those things).    This DM was different though.

Anyway, they were reaching out to me to see if I was interested in becoming an Ambassador for their company.   Now who knows maybe they asked everyone, but you know it’s nice to be asked to the dance.   Plus I don’t know that ask everyone but either way I was flattered.   I’m really not going to lie, it was very flattering with all the content out their to be asked (so please don’t pop my bubble).

Here is the thing and these are the facts I know….. I am not a young woman, but I am not an old one either!  I do not have a traditional athletes body.    I will never have a traditional athletes body.   I’m just not built that way nor do I have the desire to do what it takes to get down to whatever size the world thinks I should be.    What I do have though is an athletes heart and will to push through challenges.    I may not be the picture that comes to mind of what an athlete is but make no mistake I am an athlete.    Many times athletes like me are under-represented but that is slowly changing.

This under representation of people who like me sometimes hold other people back from taking the first step for a positive change.    You look at yoga studio and it seems like everyone is under a size 4 and can bend themselves in a pretzel.   Me…. I am still working on not falling down and my balance.      You look at fitness blogs (obviously not mine) and you see the finished product.   I will never be that finished product.     When you look at ads for fitness and runners, you see the top athletes.   The thing is those are people at the top of their game while most of us are still deciding what we want to play.

We’ve all had a friend say or maybe we have even said it that before the great pause that they will start going to the gym/running/yoga/any group activity that they need to loose 20 (fill in blank) pounds FIRST.   That’s not the way it works.

works

We need to be willing to show up as we are today not as we want to be tomorrow.    If we can’t show up as we are we will never be happy even when we finally deem we are ready to show up.    Who we are is not determined by the size of our jeans or leggings.   It is not determined if we have the “perfect” body.   It is not determined by anything on the outside, but on what we carry on the inside.   You can never be happy with anything else unless you can love the inside. (yeah I know hokey expression but could not be more true).

This past year, someone I know who looked like they should have it all together fell apart.    They have the right look.   They appeared on the outside to have everything that should make them happy.    They weren’t and they hit rock bottom.   Someone made a comment about being surprised because she was the last person you would expect and their in lies the problem.   Often we focus on living how we think others think that we should live –   looking a certain way  — Being part of the “right” group —–  doing the “right” things  —- on and on it goes, when really all we need to focus on is who we are and what we need to make us happy because if you are not happy with that nothing else can fill that void for you.

Circling back……..

So when I was asked to be a Pineapple Clothing Ambassador and determined that their USA made products were something that I could endorse, I jumped in.

 

As I said in my Instagram post today:  Proof you don’t need a fancy workout space. You don’t need a size 6 body. You don’t need negativity. You just need to show up!

So I am showing up.   I am sharing my not ready for prime time shape.

Pineapple Clothing

Use code: chrcha for 20% off your order too!

 

The Ups and the Downs

If 2020 were an object, it would be a pile of dog poop.   You would be hard pressed to find anyone who would say as a whole this year doesn’t suck the big one.    For some it sucks more than others and it doesn’t even take into account the pandemic.

2020 is also the year that one by one major races and events were cancelled.   Boston while shocking was not unexpected since it was in the beginning of the pandemic.   One by one other large events fell to the wayside.   Many of the larger fall events have been holding out hope.  NYRR just announced that they were cancelling the  New York City Marathon.   Not unexpected but still sad.   For those that were planning to run they are giving great choices for deferment which also unheard of from NYRR.    I believe they did the right thing both in canceling it and before most people started training.

This is the years for runners to decide why they run.   This is the year for runners to decide weather they run only for the bling or if they run to run.   Now don’t get me wrong…… I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, LOVE my bling.

I get a lot out of running besides bling, but when you are not training for anything it does get easy not to stay motivated.   Not to get out the door.   Not to go for longer runs.   Not to push yourself.    One of the reasons, I have been doing the NJ Virtual Boardwalk challenge.    21 days left and more miles than I would like, but I will get it done.

So while 2020 has sucked and seems like is on the path to sucking till the bitter end, we need to regroup, refocus, and adjust.

What if we took this time as a gift.    What if we viewed everything not through the lenses of what has been taken from us, but what has been given.   What if instead of thinking of all we are missing, we embrace all the things that we have.

Time

I currently have no part time job.   I have no practices to run my son to.   I have no this or that to attend, but instead of thinking about all that I’m missing what if I view this time as a gift.

I now have the time to practice yoga.

I now have the time to go for runs/walks.    I have even started walking the dog with my oldest son just about every night.    This is a gift.

Races

I am missing the thrill of big events.   The fun of small events.   Missing my running crew.   Missing training (really).   Missing a lot…. BUT…….    every since my surgery left me with Hypoparathyroidism, I have continued to push myself.   I’ve continued to train, race, and while I have cut back on number events I was doing, I still kept pushing.   Doing a marathon ever year since surgery in 2016 (actually every year now since 2014).     Now, I have no choice though but to stop chasing events because even though I was realistic about them, I still pushed myself.   FOR ME – instead of being upset that I can’t run NY again, what if I use this time to reconnect.   Not just with running, but the way I need to run.   Think about what works best for me as far as miles, pace, and calcium instead of chasing distances and time.

From January even before Covid, this year has had a lot of downs.   Lots of things have gone wrong.   Lots of drama.   Lots of things that I wouldn’t wish to happen to anyone.   But with each of these events, there has been an upside.   Now don’t get me wrong, I would love to have gotten to the upside without the rollercoaster ride but that isn’t how life works.   Sometimes you have to let go of the handles, put your hands in the air, scream as the roller coaster is racing down the tracks and just be happy when you pull into the end.   You can’t enjoy the highs without the lows.

So while many of us our in lows now, we have no choice except to enjoy the ride as much as we can.

So for now…..

I will continue to run.   I will continue to see if maybe I need to do more power walking especially in the heat instead of running.   If maybe, I just keep moving that is enough and for the next 21 days, I have to not skip a beat and apparently I am a streaker.

 

 

 

Welcome to the Tribe

I tease my Mother that she is not a spring chicken anymore.   Truth of the matter is at 73 that she has more strength, endurance and will to push herself than most people half her age.   Some days even me.

She has fire.

My mother is inspiring for many reasons.   I would bet that she has no idea how many people in how many different ways are inspired by her.   By her love of family.   By her faith.   By the way she lives her life.    By the way she sees the best in people.    By the way she lives her life.    Like many, here life has not always been easy and it’s not my story to tell but through it all she has never given up and kept moving forward.

That is how she got running.

Moving forward.   Starting with one step at a time.   Starting with walking.   Then walking and running.    Then setting small goals turning into bigger goals and sticking to it even when it didn’t work out.   She is primed and ready for us to run her first 5K and she knows it won’t be any time soon now.   So rather than put her shoes away, she made a new goal.

She decided she wanted to run 5 miles.   Then she did.

Then she ran 7 miles by mistake the first time but has since done it again and again.

My mother calls me her coach although she doesn’t always listen.   She sometimes does her own thing without telling me till it’s too late, but that is a different story.    While that may be true, I am impressed with her stamina to keep pushing herself.    I give her lots of advice…. Make sure she stretches.   Make sure she rests.   Make sure she pays attention to time on her feet and recovery. Lots of advice that she listens to 80% of the time.

Right now I am actually trying to reign her in because although she is doing great, I do worry that she is going to injure herself as she jumped her miles too quickly (not my advice) and her longer runs can be almost 2 hours.

I need to pay attention to the advice that I give her too.   Although it is always so much easier to give advice than take it.

Anyway today on National Running Day, I wanted to celebrate a new member to the running tribe…. My Mom.

There is no test to take to be a runner.   There is no pace required to be a runner.   There is no distance required to be a runner.    No races that need to be run. The only thing required is that you run and YES… she runs. So I herby decree that she is the Accidentally Running Grandma:)

Running1

Out of Balance

amazing balance blur boulder

Photo by Nandhu Kumar on Pexels.com

I’ve been in better shape.

I’ve been in worse shape.

I’ve been stronger.

I’ve been weaker.

I’ve been in better shape.

I’ve been in worse shape (really).

I’ve been so many things and I will end up being so many more.  Things ebb and flow.   Up until a month ago, I seemed to be right on target for my Birthday Half Marathon right up until the world stopped.   Since then, training has not been training but getting a run in here and there as allowed.   Races right now are non existent.  Although, I think I might still try to do the  virtual run, but I don’t think I will run the full half.   Probably just the 8K.

Since formal training has come off the table and I have been trying to not loose my mojo.    Not just me but my whole household.   You know when you have nowhere to go and nothing to do, you really have time to squeeze in a workout.    We even cleaned out the garage.   Bought some equipment, mats for the floor and are in process of turning our garage into a home workout space.   It helps that many are sharing workouts online.   One that I have found that I like is the Nike Training App.   During the Stay at Home orders they are even allowing you to view workouts for free.   Yeah.

I even went so far as to dust off a no equipment workout from my CrossFit days.   Let me just say that while I did the workout, it was not pretty and it made me think.   I realized that while I’m not sure that I would want to be doing CrossFit now that I was in the best shape of my life when I was doing it.   The cross training was key.   I further realized that I gave my all to running and allowed everything else fall to the wayside.   Time was limited and I chose running over yoga, CrossFit, cross training, and everything else.  It seemed like a necessary tradeoff but it wasn’t a smart one.

On top of that I realized that by letting everything else go, I was missing out.   Now I realize that I am now in my early 50’s, but I have lost a lot of upper body strength.   A lot.  Yes, I can run marathons.   Yes, I have endurance.    Yes, I can get to the finish line.   All those things are true, but I lost balance.   Balance in life is good.   Balance in life brings harmony.   Balance is easy to loose.   I could still run a marathon but I had to push harder than I should because of all that I stopped doing.

When I had balance with running, biking, HIT workouts, weight lifting not only was I in great shape physically but I was also able to run faster and further without injury.   Now I realize that I am getting older by the day, so I may not get faster but I can certainly get stronger and find the balance that I lost.   And since I am getting “older,”  my body needs balance more than ever.  I also realized I missed it.   Yes, I’m a runner but I’m am more than legs especially at 5 foot 2.   In thinking about it to, saying I am a runner made it ok not to be anything else.    I used it as an excuse not to do other things even things that I enjoyed doing.

Often our lives become out of balance with out us even realizing it.   We take more responsibility at work, our families require more of our energy, volunteering for important causes takes time, pets, responsibilities and one and on it goes until we realize we don’t have time for “self care.”   We become out of balance without even paying attention or noticing.

Now some people hate the phrase “self care” or view it as hokey.   Some think it’s selfish. Some think that there is no time.   Some don’t understand that it doesn’t necessarily mean bubble baths, salon visits, or even running.   Self care is what is necessary in order to recharge your batteries what ever that may be for you.

Right now most of us have a lot of extra time.    There is no where to go.    There is no better time to give yourself some TLC because you deserve it.   Right now the world is raw, emotional, and tender.   Everyone is worried.   Everyone is stressed.   Everyone has their own baggage that most people have no clue about.    There is no better time to add balance and self care to your life because you can’t care for others if you don’t care for yourself.

So with that said,  I’m looking to control what I can in my life and bring balance to it where I can.    For now that means adding full body workouts.   Taking time to do more than just lace up my shoes.    And the good thing is that right now I have to the time to see where this will take me.   Hopefully it will take me to a more balanced approach to my running.

Do you have balance?

 

 

The Day the World Stopped

Busy-Calendar-600x250

 

We live in a faced paced world.   We live in a world with calendars filled in not by the day, but by the hour.  Color coded for family members and grids filled up.   We schedule play dates for our kids.   For many parents, their second job of being chauffer starts right when school gets out – practices, school events, music lessons, tutoring, etc, etc.  We even schedule our exercise and running.   Down to the last detail, our days are filled.

Filled with exactly what is the question?   Filled with things that bring us joy?    Filled with busy work?   Filled with things to keep our kids busy and off screens?   Filled…. Filled…. Filled.

What happens when those grids of activities, filled up calendars of events and appointment and expectations of places we “have to be at” come crashing down.   What happens when it seems like the world literally and figuratively comes to a stop?

That is when we realize what is important?   Will we be ok with the silence?    Are we happy with the people that we are surrounded with?   Can you take a moment to reflect if everything you think you should be doing are things that you actually need to do?

Every year since before I was married, I’ve taken a 2 to 3 week camping trip with my husband and his family.   We go to a lake near Canada where we basically remove yourself from day to day drama.   There is no cell reception at the lake and only wi-fi when you drive to town.   I always come back from that vacation feeling rejuvenated and refressed.

We can use this time to do the same.   Obviously this is very different circumstances.   Obviously and with good reason people are worried not just for themselves but their loved ones as well.  This is not a peaceful time in that sense because there is much to think about besides health.   Some people need to worry about financial strains too.  Some are just trying to find toilet paper.   As I said before, it’s getting real now.

While like others, I am disappointed in races being cancelled; I understand the reasoning and justification.   If there is one thing I am going to use this social distancing for is to get some reading in that I’ve been too “busy” to do.   I’m also planning to find time to hit the trails since I will have the time.   The trails are always a great place to run with others but also run alone.   The weather is turning for the better and  I can’t wait to lace up and get out on the trails this week.   Now is a great time to reflect on what we should fill our calendars with when the world starts back up again which it will.

What are you doing with your “social isolation” time?

It’s Serious Now

Closed

You know the sh*t is serious when they start cancelling races.   Big races.   Little races.  All races.   It usually takes an act of God for that to happen.   We are apparently there now.

Not shocking but somewhat since it’s a month away my Birthday Half Marathon is cancelled.    I am proud of these race organizers from NYRR to those organizing Boston Marathon for making these tough decisions.   While I know people are disappointed, it’s really just running.   It’s not life or death which is really what’s going on in the real world now.

Right now the real world is scary.   You can’t even escape to Disney World anymore because that is closed (not that I was going).  Go to a Broadway Show.  The show is not going on, so nope.   Can’t watch any sporting event (not that I would) because they are all cancelled.    Can’t run a race because that’s cancelled too.   You know what though….. None of that matters.

Seriously.

What matters in life is how you face disappointments.   How you deal with the world when the world is spinning out of control like it is right now.   And again, what is important is not just your health but the health of your loved ones friends, and neighbors.

For me, I’m still running.   I’m still going to follow my training plan.   I’m still preparing to run a half marathon that I won’t actually run, but I could.    For me this race was going to be a fun birthday run, but it was also a way for me to get back to running.   I don’t need to cross a finish line to do that.    All I need is to go out the door and run.

So I will continue to do what I’ve been doing.   I will get my runs in.   I will follow the plan.   I will do what I need to do for no other reason than that is what I want to do.    Isn’t that the reason I was doing this in the first place.   So even without crossing the finish line, it seems like I’ve already accomplished what I set out to do.

Find my joy in running again:)

So while the world is going crazy looking for toilet paper and hand sanitizer and everything is out of your control, remember that what is in your control is how you respond.   When you realize that, you realize that none of the other stuff matters because what happens in life even on a good day is never in your control.   So you just have to roll with it and make the best of it and if you can’t do that just accept it.   Once you can do that everything else will fall into place.

Control

Take the First Step

Getting off the couch is hard.

Staying on the couch is hard.

 If getting off the couch was easy, everyone would do it.    But sometimes, sometimes, sometimes it’s just so damn hard to get off the couch.   The couch is comfy.   The couch is safe.   The couch doesn’t disappoint.    Most of all the couch is what we know.   The couch is easy, safe and comfy.   Although that is a lie too.   The couch isn’t easy, it’s just what we are used to..

Sometimes though it’s not just about physically getting off the couch, but getting mentally off the couch too.   These things usually go hand in hand.  Sometimes you can go through the motions, but your mind just isn’t with you.   Motivation isn’t always there as much as you want it to be.   As much as you will it to be.   The lie your mind tells yourself that it just doesn’t matter.   It doesn’t matter if you go for a run.   It doesn’t matter if you stay.   Nothing matters.   So why bother.

It matters.

What we do in life matters.

How we show up in life matters.

I will say that for someone who has struggled in the past, I do know that how easy it is to listen to the voice that tells you it doesn’t matter.    It comes to you as a friend.   It comes to you as a reason for your struggles.   It comes to you wrapped in lies, but sounding so truthful.   That voice is a lie.   That voice is wrong.    That voice needs to be told to shut the (blank) up.

Easier said than done sometimes.

Taking that first step off the couch in life is hard, but the first of anything in hard.   Once up, you can see the sun shining.  You can feel the wind on your face.   You can see the buds on the trees.    You can see that all those things that told you to stay put, hide your head,  and listen to the lies was just that…… lies.

Take the first step.

You won’t regret it.

first step

 

 

Focus

It’s funny, I’ve noticed that I’ve gotten a few new followers recently.    I’ve got over 300 followers now.   Although truth be told, I would bet that maybe, just maybe, on a good post 5 to 10 people actually read it.    It’s ok, I don’t blame you because we all have busy, complicated lives.    Truth be told, I often write for me as like running it clears the mind.  I’m not sure that what I say is filled with any wisdom or helpful to anyone but me, but I write anyway.    For those who followed thinking they would get expert running advise, I’m sure they realized they came to the wrong blog.   Yet here we are.   You, me and maybe 2 other people.   It’s ok, it’s like meeting a friend for coffee except I’m still in my PJ’s with unkempt hair and slippers.

So often in life we focus on the wrong things and don’t even realize it.   At the time, they seem important and at the time they are, but then something happens in our lives to change that focus.   We focus on the size of our jeans, how fast we can finish a race, following our diets, and so many things that seem like the right thing to focus on……. Right up until we put our glasses on and what is really important comes into foucs.

We should be focusing on things like….. How do I feel in these jeans?    Did I fully enjoy the experience of the race to it’s fullest?    Am I happy with the outcome and if not, why?  Is what we our putting into our mouth nourishing our body and mind and do we full good about it?

Focus…..

Sometimes you are on the right path.   Sometimes the path is expected.   Most often we end up on a path that we never thought we would be on.   The path is hard.   The path is not where you expected to be, yet you are there.    You can stomp your feet and fight tooth and nail that you don’t belong on that path, but that changes nothing.   You can do everything right, but still end up in places that you never thought that you would be.

That is life.

There are no guarantees.

There are no promises.

There is only what is and the acceptance of it.

Fighting to be on a different path will not change the trajectory of the path you are on.    The only way through is to forge ahead.   To face the bumps, the bruises, and the obstacles that fall into your path.    Only then can you get to the other side and from there you can choose a new path to follow.

So to bring this back to my running………

I’ve hit some bumps in my training for my birthday half marathon (yes, that is what I am calling it from now on).   In the whole scheme of things, my training has come to the bottom of my to due list and I am ok with that.

Focus

So with that, I have been running but not necessarily to train but because it is what I needed to clear my mind.    I will get there in April as ready as I will be and I’m ok with that.   Besides, I’ve got time and I will be as ready as I will be and no more.   My goal for the day is to enjoy the day and I’m happy to report that it’s turning into a party as I’ve got some running mama friends joining in too!    This is why I fell in love with running….. Because of the peace of mind it gave me and the strong friendships bonded over the miles.

Focus

focus

 

Just Run

Life is messy.

Life is complicated.

Life has it ups.

It always has it’s downs, but with any luck they don’t last long.

It’s the little things in life that makes up the big things. Often we forget that. We forget that with friends. We forget that with family. We forget that with many things in life including our running. We focus so much on the big goals… The pace, the distance, the races that we forget the important reasons to run.

Going back to basics has been good for me. Not just with my running which has actually improved. Feeling better. Running negative splits not because I was watching the pace, but because my body naturally wanted to run them. Having no expectations and just enjoying running.

Taking this step back has also allowed me to reconnect not just with my body, but why I love running so much. For me, running is a place to clear my mind. To think. To spend time with friends chatting the miles away. I forgot all of that. I forgot that I didn’t start running because I wanted to PR, running set number of miles, or anything except that running was my happy place.

Sometimes you just need a happy place. A place to let your stress go. A place to let tears flow. A place to chat about unimportant and important things with a friend. A place to let your mind wander. Most of all it is supposed to be something that helps alleviate  your stress not add to it. If it adds to it, your doing something wrong.

I was doing it all wrong.

I’m happy to report that I am finally doing it right. I am looking forward to getting out the door again. I am making plans to run with friends again. I am allowing my running to help me destress and not stress me out. I may be running slower that I had been trying to run, but I am also running faster than I thought I would. That being said, I am NOT even remotely looking at my watch when I’m running. Time is not my goal right now. For now, I am running. I am running and that is enough. That is more than enough and all I want.

Life is filled with so much pressure. So much expectations. I am not an elite athlete. I’m never going to be on the podium. To be honest, for now, I have no desire to do more than what I am doing which is…..

To Run.

 

Restores the Soul

It’s funny how often in life as the saying goes, you don’t know what you have till it’s gone. It’s more than a silly cliché. It’s factual. Think of the people you know who….

Haven’t appreciated a spouce till after getting a divorce.

Didn’t truly appreciate a friendship until it’s too late.

Didn’t appreciate health until a diagnosis

Even the old…. Didn’t appreciate your youth until your too old.

All of these things and so much more is sadly true. Although sadly I think it might just be human nature that makes us this way. If your lucky though, you learn from each loss and appreciate the here and now. It’s a challenge though because it is so easy to fall into the trap again and again. This is why it is best to remind yourself to have a grateful heart. It’s not always easy to keep, but when you manage to do so life is so much better.

Today I did something that I have wanted to do for a long time. I hit the trails for a long run. I had wanted to do it last week after I saw my old running cohort post about meeting people for a trail run. I actually planned to surprise her, but it wasn’t in the cards. It was an “off” day for me and pushing to do the trails even if I had managed to make it off the couch would not have been good. And to be honest, I didn’t even make it off the couch that day. Unless you count when I went out to dinner that night. I guess we can count that and I am grateful that I did not need to worry about cooking dinner on that off day.

I’ll be honest, it took me a few days to get back to the swing of it all. Once I did, I really wanted to get to the trails. I used to run them all the time and can’t even remember the last time I made it to them. It’s been a while. Partly because it does require more time to run the trails. Partly because I wasn’t sure I was up for the trails. And partly because I’ve been nervous about hitting the trails again.

Today was the day to get out there. Weather was perfect. Been feeling good. Really was no excuse not to do it.

So I did.

When I pulled into the parking lot, I saw some of my Moms Run This Town Mamas getting ready to go out for their own trail run. It was nice to get a hug from them and see their smiling faces. I knew that I would not be at their pace, but I also knew that I really needed to do this on my own……

A friend texted me during the run asking how it was going. I texted back the first thing that came to mind.

It Restores the Soul

Truth. Running the trails again…… Something that I used to do all the time without a thought……. It was like taking back something that I felt was lost. I used to go out for training runs without a care. Now there is planning. When to take the Natpara. Do I take calcium before, during or after the run? How do I feel? It’s not just about grabbing some fuel, filling water bottles and going. I realize that one of the things that has kept me off the trails was fear. Fear of getting wonky on a run. Fear of not being able to do it. All kinds of crazy and some not so crazy fears, but if you let fear stop you from doing what you love then fear wins.

So while today’s run was not fast. While I acted like a tourist stopping to take pictures…… While I enjoyed the beauty of the trails….. While I soaked it all in……. While I just went out and did what I set out to do…… I had a heart of gratitude.

It Restores the Soul…..

I am so lucky for so many reasons. As I said in a Facebook post today, while the trail may be rocky; it is not impossible.

Things are only impossible if you let fear win. Fear did not win today and it has shown me that as always, it is a damn liar. So while I am still sore….. While I am tired…… While it was not easy…… It was also not hard and it was certainly not impossible.

I will be back and it’s nice to know while I was out running the trails alone today that I had support all along the way and I’ve also got some people who will make sure that next time I have company.

Trails and Friends…. Perfect together.