Tag Archive | Motivation

It Is What It Is

Life is ever changing.   Life is all about new beginnings.    Often in life many of us focus too much on what is ending or changing and not what is beginning.   Yes, I do this way too often too.    It is easy to get stuck in the rut of what is missing, what is different, what will never be the same again.    I wonder if somehow that is a coping mechanism for many of us.  The way to hold onto what we are not ready to let go of or accept.   A way of tying us to the past.   In the end though all it does is keep us stagnant and does not free us up to confront the changes in life.

Life is ever changing.

Each day we must wake up and realize that it is a new beginning.   Yes, we may have the same routines but each day brings new hope.   New possibilities.   Maybe not a clean slate, but definitely a fresh start with unimaginable possibilities.

It is up to us to face this fresh start with a positive attitude which I wholeheartedly admit is not always easy.    While many of us try to decide if the glass half full or half empty,  we must remember how blessed we are to have a glass in the first place.   It may not be the size glass that we want, but we are blessed either way and there are countless others who wish they even had a glass.

We may not like change, but change is a fact of life.   Now, I am not going to say that every change in our life is good.   Some changes down right suck.    Some changes take getting used to and still suck.   Some changes we would not wish on our biggest enemy (although as an adult who really has enemies?).     All that being said, change is inevitable and we must learn to adapt, roll with it, and accept.

I’ve learned in life that you can really get through anything in life one you accept that this is the hand that life dealt you.    Acceptance does not mean that you are necessarily happy with the changes, but that you know those are the breaks.   One of my favorite quotes sums it all up.

it is what it isThis is where I am with a few things right now.

I will say that this is definitely where I am right now with the NJ Half which is less than two weeks away now.

I’m going into this SEVERELY under trained.    I’m going into this honestly wondering how I will finish it since I can’t remember the last time that I ran 10 miles let alone 13.  I’m going into this knowing that this is where I am at right now and no amount of running in the next two weeks will make it any easier.

It is what it is.

and

What ever shall be, shall be.

YUP

I have a plan for race day though.   I’m going to call my bluff.   I’m going to show up at the starting line with no plan.   With no expectations.   With the only thought of running till I can’t run.   Then walking.   Then with any luck some more running.  I’m going into this with the expectation of this being my slowest and hardest half ever.  Probably harder than when I ran my sub 2 NY Half.  This will be one that will leave me out of breathe and sore for days.

All that being said, I am also going into this knowing how lucky I will be to be at the Start line, let alone the finish line.

This will be my wake up call and it’s about time I pick up the phone.

Do The Right Thing

In Life many times, we wonder if we have made the right decision.   Sometimes we have regrets, but sometimes we can wholeheartedly know we made the right decision.   This is one of those times.

We need to embrace these times too.

Over the last week, I’ve had a few good runs.  I’ve been happy with where I am at.   I’ve started thinking about what I want to do this year.   My first event that I’m scheduled to run is the New Jersey Half Marathon.    Right now my goal is just to run it, but I wanted to look to see how my training has been overall.    When I was hard core training I used a program called Training Peaks.    When I thought I might run the NJ Marathon and not the half, I had bought a marathon training program to use with the program.   Yesterday, I logged on for the first time in probably a month.   This is when I realized that I had done the right thing.

According to the marathon training program, my mileage for the week should have been 32 with a long run of 16.

HA!

My total miles for the week were 13 with a long run of 6.5.

I don’t want to be running 32 miles right now.   Funny thing too is when I changed the training program to a half, it is right about where I am right now.   Better yet, it is right about where I want to be.

I am happy that I took the time that both my body and mind needed.    I’m happy that my running seems to be getting stronger.   I’m happy that i seem to be getting back into the rhythm of not just my running but my life.

I’m happy now:)

And that I will take over running a marathon any day.

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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.

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Be Nice

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I was talking to someone this week about my upcoming half this weekend.   Did I mention that I am running the NYC Half Marathon (13.1 miles) this weekend?    This is a goal race for me.   One that I’ve been training for.   One that I’ve thrown down the gauntlet and said I would like to run in sub 2 hours. I’ve been training, but I’m still doubtful.

I told my friend that I wasn’t sure how it would go.   I was nervous and hope that I didn’t choke under the pressure of it.  (Yes, there is pressure even for the middle of the packers).   Self imposed pressure maybe the worst.   Anyway, my friend shut me down.   She shut me down fast and with such a true and profound statement that I had couldn’t argue with.   What was so profound?

First she told me to trust in my training and pointed out that I have been running my ass off.   (I would love it if it would also run my pouch off, but that’s different).    She then went on to say the profound part that I will paraphrase….

“Don’t allow your inner voice to speak to yourself in a way that you would not allow other people to speak to you.    Imagine if one of your friends was saying the things that your inner voice was saying?   Would they remain your friend?   Would you put up with that?”

Let that sink in for a moment.

Read it again.

“Don’t allow your inner voice to speak to yourself in a way that you would not allow other people to speak to you.    Imagine if one of your friends was saying the things that your inner voice was saying?   Would they remain your friend?   Would you put up with that?”

Right!

Mind Blown!

If one of my friends said the things that I say to myself, I would be livid.   I would not listen their crap.   So why do I listen to it form my inner voice?   Why is my inner voice so negative sometimes?

Such as…

I should have pushed harder

I was so slow

I’ll never be able to do it.

Why didn’t I hit my paces

Can I do it?

As with many things in running, this also carries over to our non running lives (yes, we have those).  We have to stop being our own worst critic.   We have to get our of our own way and side step the negativity.   Most importantly, we should be our biggest cheerleader.   Now, I’m not saying we should be arrogant or obnoxious.   I mean that we should be treat ourselves the way our Best Friends treat us which is usually pretty awesome.   We have to have faith in ourselves.

This does not mean that we will always succeed in everything we do, but as I tell my preschool gymnastics kids’  “You will never know if you can do something unless you try.   And if you don’t do it this time, we can try again another time.   All you can do is try, try, try.”

I think that I need to take my own advise.

I know that I have put in the many miles to train for tomorrow

I know that I have done the speed workouts required

I will give it all I have and that will be enough

I know that I have run these paces before

I know that I can do it!!!

So all I can do is try, try, try…..

NYC Half

 

 

Why Ask Why?

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I was recently asked why I would ever run a Marathon.   This person must not know that I actually signed up for a 50K, but that is a different story.   They were wondering why I would ever want to run a marathon especially a trail one where I ran over six and a half hours.   My answer is complicated and yet simple at the same time.

Let’s be honest, everyone has their thing.   Everyone has something that someone else might look at and question, “Why?”

Some don’t understand the drawl of Crossfit, Spinning, hot Yoga, biking, or the many other types of exercises available.   They might not be for you, but I bet they are for someone else.

So my question is why not?

What does it matter what someone wants to do?    They do not need our approval.   Probably aren’t even looking for it.   We are all grown ups here.  As long as we are not doing anything illegal or that is hurting someone,  to each their own I say.   This is one of the things that make the world so wonderful.   We are all different.   We all follow our own paths.   Even those of us with similar paths do not follow the same one.

Now sometimes people will ask why because they might not be able to wrap their head around why anyone would want to run for hours on end.   I will say that it is really not something that I can explain either.   I run these distances not only for the challenges of them, but also many other reasons.   The feeling of accomplishment afterwards is awesome, yet there is more to it than that.    I run them because I actually like to run them.   Yes, maybe not ever second of every run yet still….   There are times that you get into a rhythm with your feet, your breathing, your mind and you just keep going because it’s perfect.   There is truth in the runners high.  It is why we keep coming back for more.

Some things in life must be experienced to fully understand.   Like someone trying to explain to you what being a parent feels like.   It is something that is intangible till experienced.   I can tell you about the peace running brings me. The calmness felt after a good run.  The joy of crossing a finish line. The pride in having done something and many other things that running  brings no matter what the distance.   It still isn’t enough.   Some things in life must be felt to understand.   This is why runners as a whole usually stand (or run) together.

We know what most people won’t know until they experience it themselves is that

Running is Aweome

Amazing

Calming

and

Bad@ss!

So my question is not why?

My question is why not?

 

 

 

All By Myself…..

I’ve been bad.

I’ve been negligent.

I’ve fallen off the wagon.

I’ve eaten more cookies than one person has a right to eat.

I’m going to do better and get back into my routine.    I miss my routine.   I need it too.

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This recently became very apparent when due to not having an outlet for daily stress,  I just picked up and went for a 4 1/2 mile run.   Wouldn’t be out of the ordinary, but not only was it  pouring rain (not just rain, but pouring rain); it was also mid morning of Christmas Eve.  I could and should have been doing other things.   My body needed it and so did my mind.   I played no music as I had my phone wrapped up for it’s protection and just ran with my on thoughts.   I wonder how I processed things before I ran.   Maybe I never did.   Who knows?   Although my sister did say that I have become more insightful this past year.  I really do believe the running has helped.

Some people meditate.

Some people do Yoga.

I apparently Run.

All By Myself.

There is something to be said to taking time for yourself not just for exercise but to be alone with your thoughts. To carve out a part of the day, just for yourself.   It’s not selfish either. Sometimes it makes or breaks your day.   This is not to say that every run needs to be a meditative run if you will, but when you need time with your thoughts there is no better way that I know to work it out.   Pounding the pavement doesn’t hurt either.

So I need to get back to my routine.   Maybe even figuring out what that will be would be helpful.

The funny thing though is that once other people start to identify you as a runner,  they will expect you to run.   If they are a runner too, they might even expect you to run with them leading to more running.   When my sister used to come to town from California, she would ask to go out to breakfast or visit the local downtown.   Now she informs me that we need to go running as it’s my fault I talked her into signing up for a half.    Not me?    I would never do something like that.

Oh wait, I do that all the time.

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And since I’ve already poured some kool aid for myself thinking that I might be in for the NYRR 9 plus 1 next year, it’s time to get myself on a schedule and out the door again.  Besides now that both my body and mind are used to the running time, they don’t function as well without it.

Break time’s over.

Holding It Together

So there is a heavyness that it starting to press on my chest.   It started this morning as this is the day I am planning to get all my sh*t together.   Ok, I will never have it all together, but this is the day that I plan to get all my gear together for this weekend.   I need to start getting it together today as tomorrow and Saturday morning is just going to be crazy as normal in my house.

Tomorrow night we are going out with my Middle Guy’s soccer team to celebrate them winning their league championship.

Yeah Middle Guy~

  Then Saturday morning I have to wake up early and take Big Guy and Little Guy to pick up their Scouting for Food Bags.   Shortly after that I’m off to Philly.

I admit it.   I’m nervous.   I’m nervous more than I thought I would be.   I can’t really put my finger on it either.   I’m not nervous about finishing as I think I will.   I’m not worried about my time as that will be irrelevant to me as long as I finish.   What I’m really most nervous about is how I am going to feel afterwards.   One of my running friends told me that she doesn’t think that she will ever do a Marathon because someone she knows did one injuring herself and now can’t run.   That thought actually never occurred to me (until now).

Yes, I’m expecting blisters.

I’m expecting pain.

I’m expecting sore muscles like never before.

Why am I doing this again?  lol

What never occurred to me though is that I could injure myself and not be able to run again.

You know I worry about my foot.

Now, I know that I am being silly because I know  A LOT of 1 percenters.

Not the rich 1%, but the 1% of the population that has run marathons.

None of them has ever been permanently sidelined.

So I need to stop freaking myself out.

I need to start focusing on the important things, like

What to wear?

Yes, that is always important.   Seems like the weather is going to cooperate!

But since I won’t be home, I do need to make sure that I take extra just in case the weather forecast is wrong

because we all know that never happens:)

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Looking Forward Not Back

It’s funny the things that a person can find inspiration in.    I was reading to my son before bed.   We were reading Geronimo Stilton A Very Merry Christmas because you know it’s Christmas time already.  (Yes, we have jumped the shark a little, but don’t worry I don’t have my decorations up yet).   Anyway as I’m reading, this jumped out at me.

“I didn’t know if I could go on. I was exhausted.  But I couldn’t give up now. I had to prove to myself.”

No I am not a mouse on an adventure in New York City, but these words jumped off the page at me.   I thought immediately that this is probably how I am going to feel on Sunday.   Hopefully I won’t feel this way till well after mile 20, but one never knows.  I need to remember these words.  When I think of the actually number of miles that I will be running on Sunday, it boggles my mind.  So I try not to think of it.   It’s just another long run with lots of people in a big city.  I wonder why not only am I doing it, but why I’m paying good money to do it.    It really is a strange concept but to know that I will be willingly pushing myself to the limit as never before  is both exciting and scary.

I have been inspired by many Mama runners some that I know personally and some that I only know from what they share on their blogs.   They push themselves inspiring me to push myself like never before.   Because of them, I believe that I can do things that were unimaginable to me before.   It’s a beautiful thing when instead of constantly telling yourself that you can’t do something that you start to asking yourself,

“Why Not?”

Honestly,

Why Not?

All my life, I was typecast.   I allowed it to happen.   I’m breaking the mold now.   I’ve been doing it for a long time, but there has always been a part of me still stuck in the mold.  This is my time to prove to myself not to anyone else but myself that I can do anything I want.  Totally shattering the mold.   I am no longer the “fat kid” who when I look at pictures really wasn’t that fat.   I haven’t been that  person in a long time even before I started on this journey, but I always carried a small part of her with me.  A tinge of her doubts.  She has made me the person that I am today and I owe this to her.   I owe it to the strong determined woman that I am today.   I will push myself like I’ve never pushed before all the while knowing that there is no reason I can’t do it.

I’ve also been told by a few people recently that my journey is inspiring them to start on their own personal journey as each journey is unique and personal.   If you had ever told me that there would be a day that I would be inspiring other people, I would have flat out told you that you didn’t know what you were talking about.   There was a time that I couldn’t even inspire myself but those days are gone.  Long Gone.   It’s not that I am some super athlete because I’m not.   Not even close. It’s not because I am super knowledgeable about running because I’m still learning.  But I think I make up for not being a “traditional athlete” with sheer determination.   I’ve said it before, I can be one determined SOB.

Eye on the Prize.

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What Makes a Runner?

I will admit some people are literally born to run.  They have the long legs and lean shape that makes pushing through the wind an act of beauty and ease.   Now just as everyone who was given the God gift of a runners body does not like to run, many of us who are not so lucky also choose to run.

I am one such person who was not born with a runners body nor do I have any hope of developing one.  I am not even remotely close to being tall at my 5 foot 2 which may also be a slight exaggeration.   I have short legs and I do not have the lean physique of top runners.  You would never look at me and think, “Wow, she must be a runner!”    I will let you in on a little secret though.   I am still a runner.

The Webster definition of a runner is as follows:

run·ner

noun \ˈrə-nər\

: a person who runs as part of a sport, for exercise, or in a race

There is nothing in this defniton that says that says that I can’t be a runner.   I meet the criteria.  I run both for exercise and in races.  So check, I’m a runner.  I don’t even need to do the races and I still qualify.   I have the desire and heart to be a runner and that’s all it takes.   I may never (and there really is no may in this sentence) be more than a middle of the Pack runner and I’m ok with that.  I’m still a runner and that is all that matters.

I have even been told that I must look funny running fast (that being a relative term) because of how short I am.   Well I have never crossed a finish line where they asked for my height, so that really doesn’t matter to me.    And if you have seen some of the things that I’ve worn while running, you know that I really don’t care much about looking silly or others opinions too much.   I run for me and I hope that you have the confidence to run for you.

I think often we limit ourselves with thinking we can’t do something because maybe we don’t fit the traditional mold.   I hate molds.   I hate limits.   I like to push limits and prove that I can do things that both myself and others thought that I could never accomplish..   The worst thing that we can do in life is let others expectations and views define us.   We need to break the molds and be who we want to be letting no ones keep us from reaching for the stars.

Do you push your limits too?

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Suck it up, Buttercup!

Final Installment of Grete’s Gallop HM

So you’ve seen outfits.

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You’ve read about the  course.

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Now it’s time to get to the actual mechanics of the run.

I bet your ready to hear more about rainbows and sunshine.   Well your in for a real treat because the actual run kind of sucked!

Are you shocked that I said that?

Don’t be.

Yes, I ended up trudging through it which is what I needed to do.   It was a great training course with the rolling hills of the park.  This was the perfect course to prepare me for my Hat Trick.   To prove to myself that I could run it without stopping.

Yes, I finished in a decent time of 2:20:04.   You know what? It still sucked.

  Why?

Let’s see………

Around mile 3, I developed a muscle cramp

(AKA a charlie horse in my right calf)

Around mile 7, my damn toe and ball of my foot started to hurt.

Then there were the lies – This is the last hill.   It’s all down hill from here.   Your almost there.

But in the end it didn’t matter.

I crossed the finish line and although I didn’t forget any of the pain,

It was worth it.

I needed to know that I could push through the pain and finish.

I did.

Rule of the road when running in a tutu

You need to be able to back it up:)

I’m not sure if I would have finished as quickly though without friends to share the pain with.

One friend may have seen a different side of me as I may have been a bit of a sailor with my words to deal with the pain.

One friend was inspiring because she was dealing with her own pain from pushing herself to her limits and she kept going.

Even better,

We all smiled when we crossed the finish line together!

I will have to remind myself that I can do it, no matter what.

Right now, I’m focused on getting my legs and feet back in shape.

I’ve got 10 days to go till the Hat Trick.

If anything, this run taught me that sometimes you just have to suck it up and run through the pain

because

Pain really is temporary (in this case)

and

the felling of accomplishment will be forever.