Tag Archive | Motivation

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.

 

Keeping Up With the Joneses

We all do it. Whether it be on Facebook, Instagram or real life, we look at other people’s lives. We look to see what they are up to, how they look living their lives, and then we compare. Some people let it bother them. Others have a live and let live attitude and don’t really think about it. When it comes to real life issues, I don’t really care who has the bigger house, takes fabulous vacations, or what not. I pretty much have live and let live attitude and am not a jealous person when it comes to these things. Besides no matter how fabulous someone’s life is, I don’t know what it took to get them there. I also don’t know what struggles they have that they are not posting all over social media. Everyone has a battle they are fighting and not everyone needs to share their battle with you.

In running though, many times a runner will do this too. We look at peoples posts of their training runs. We look at their finish times. We look and we look and we look. And I will say, in running it is harder not to let it get to you. Even none runners have asked me when I’ve done a marathon, “Did you run the whole time or did you walk?” So many runners, running magazines, blogs, posts are about getting faster, PR’ing, and running further. It can be very motivating…… Right up until it’s not.

What if you will never PR again?

What if your not sure the distance your body can push?

What if you just want to run to run….. Race to race?

What if it’s not all about running faster or further?

What if you just want to run to run?

Is there a place for someone who just likes to head out the door?

YES!

The problem is that for many it doesn’t feel like there is a place. Most online groups only the fastest and further gets the accolades. What if it’s hard to share your accomplishment because you feel like in comparison to others, it isn’t worth sharing? And believe me it is hard and it’s not because it wouldn’t be well received (because at least for the groups I’m in it would be). It’s hard because sometimes you feel like your accomplishement isn’t worth celebrating.

What if your wrong?

Keeping up with the Joneses is too hard not just physically but mentally too. One of the reasons that I stopped running with people besides knowing everyone has their own training plan is………….

Wait for it…….

What if I was embarrassed with where I was physically. Embarassed of the extra weight. Embarassed because I was out of breath. Embarassed because my pace was “slow” even if I felt like I was pushing it. Embarassed because I thought I should be more. So I pulled back even if I wasn’t sure why I was pulling back. I stopped running with people and while some of it is due to scheduling, I’ve scheduled runs before. It’s hard to admit that you are not where you want to be. It’s hard to realize that you might not ever get where you want to be. What is harder though is feeling like you are giving up something that you realize that you miss…..

Now don’t get me wrong, I do like to run alone. When I was doing specific training, I needed to run alone. Also my schedule is wonky and sometimes I run when I can on the fly. For me, it clears my head. I like to be a solo runner, but I also LOVE to run with friends. As I said recently, running alone clears the mind; but running with friends is good for the sole.

Yesterday, I went out for a run with a friend. We ran. We walked. We chatted. I was supposed to only run 2. I looked down and realized that I was almost at 3. Whoops. The power of running with friends.

So this year as I am finding the joy in just running again, I also plan to find the joy in running with friends again. If I breath hard, if I need to walk, if it’s harder than it should be; it will be that much easier when chatting the miles away. Besides if I’m running with a friend, they won’t mind:) I’ve got some really good friends that way.

We all know the expression, if you run you are a runner. I think somewhere along the way I forgot that.

You Can’t Hide From You

We all do it. Have our moments when we are by ourselves and think…. No one is around. I can….. eat the cookie, drink from the cereal bowl, stay in my PJ’s all day, skip a workout, ect, ect…..

Most of the time what we do in private is our business and it doesn’t matter. That being said, often what we do when no one is watching is more imporatant than when you have an audience.

Easy case in points….. Making sure that someone notices you giving a big tip, doing a good deed but making sure everyone knows you did it, being an ass to someone who can’t say anything back because you can, playing the martyr to anyone willing to listen but leaving your part of the story out. This also holds true to training.

What we do in private is our own business. Everyone has their own thing. Focused on their own goals as it should be. Everyone has to stay true to themselves, their goals, their expectations and just focus on doing what they need to do. Just do it. Do what you can. What you’ve trained to do with no doubt.

The problem arises when people aren’t true to themselves or their training. Anyone can make a training run look spectacular if you stop your watch every time you stop, walk, or take a break. While the miles may get done, it does not give true sense of what you can do or prepare you for where you are going. For some this leads to pressure to perform on a given race day for a performance that you might not be ready for. For some this may lead them to cross lines that shouldn’t be crossed and cheat. In the end though, they really are only cheating themselves out of seeing what they really can do..

Training isn’t usually glamorous. Training isn’t usually all that fun. It is hard. It isn’t always easy and honestly if it’s easy then you aren’t training hard enough. Truth be told, sometimes you just don’t want to do it. (Sounds fun, right?) But the truth is that no one suffers from short changing your training than you. Only you can be honest with your effort, your outcome, and knowing if you pushed when you needed to push. Not your friends. Not your running group. Not the crowds. The only thing that can push you to both train and cross the finish line is you. It comes from a place deep inside. Internally. If you wait and need external motivation to get you there, you will fail.

Now I’m not saying that external forces can not be motivating, because they can be. The crowds of NY can carry you in ways that someone who has never experienced running a marathon can never understand. That being said, when you are out running a 50K in the woods, there tends to not be any crowds to carry you and even during a road race there are solitary places. There certainly aren’t any crowds to carry you through training. This is why every runner, every athlete, needs to find their inner voice. They need to find their why?

Everyone has their own why. Everyone has their own reasons. Some have more than one reason.

When you push yourself to run when you don’t feel like it….To run faster, farther, and for longer than you want without the crowd, without the finish line, without the medal; you are better for it. You are a better runner. You erase doubts. You gain confidence in yourself and your abilities. Because the biggest truth is if you can’t do it when no one is looking, it will be almost impossible when everyone is.

So find your Why? Find your inner voice. Do what you know not only needs to be done, but what you know you can do if you allow yourself to do it. When I started training this cycle, I had my doubts. I had trouble completing 3 miles. I’ve been plugging away. Then last night, I noticed something. I ran my 5 miles and could have kept going. I felt good. I felt confident. This is what training does not just to the body, but to the mind.

Keep doing you.

Getting Back into Step


As you know for months now I have said that I am getting back to basics.   I took my running back to square one.   I did the same with my non running workouts.   In January with a friend, I started going to a beginner core class.   It has been good offering a good core workout with a combo of stretching and balance.    My friend and I maybe the younger ones in the class which at my age is nice.   Don’t let that fool you, these grandmas have better abs them me.   I’m still working on finding mine which I’m working on.

Now that we have done this class for a while, we thought we would take it up a notch by adding a class before it.    We added a Step Class.   Yes, your read that right.   So not only am I taking my workout back to the basics, I am taking it back to the 80’s!    Although I realize that I might not be as coordinated as I was back then!    This class also utilizes some weights for a nice full body workout.

It’s funny because years ago when I was doing Crossfit, I would have laughed if you told me that I was going to be doing a step class and low impact ab class.   You know what?    I like it.    I have no desire right now to do the hard core workouts of Crossfit.   I am more concerned with getting a good workout it and make no mistake a step class is a good workout.   I know that some might think it’s a dated workout, but like jumping rope and basic push-ups, what works works.   Bigger and better is not always required or even better.

Again my mindset of what I am looking for is different now.    I have nothing to prove.   I have no need to explain (although isn’t that the point of my blog).    My goal now has become to be well balanced.    I do not need to go from zero to 60.   I just need a good cruising speed to keep me active, use my muscles in a different way than running, and maybe fit in my jeans better or in some cases just in them.     I think for now these classes will help with that.   We all know that core and glutes  are important to running.   These are things that I’ve ignored.   I don’t need to be able to deadlift or squat huge amounts of weights to do that.

My goal going forward is going to try to be more balanced.   Balanced in my workouts.   Balanced in my running.   Balanced with my family, friends and life.    Life that is not balanced can leave you feeling dizzy.   As with all things, it is a work in progress and as long as I’m moving forward; I’m ok with that.

I’ve learned that it is very easy to let things fall out of balance. You give to much with not anything in return. You push too hard without allowing downtime. You listen without being able to talk or the opposite can be true. Sometimes it is necessary to take inventory of where things are and adjust because if it’s one thing about balance….. If you don’t find it, you will surly fall.

Do you have balance and how do you maintain it?

Finding the Joy

It’s the end of the year which means that many people are accessing how they reached their goals for the year, setting new goals for next year, or just counting the miles. This time of year can make you both sad or happy depending upon where you are with you goals. Then there is me who is ambivalent. It is what it is and kind of where I expected.

According to m Garmin, I was at 392 miles for the year. While I do know there were some runs that weren’t calculated due to not wearing watch, it’s probably not too far off.

There is a saying…

Here is another thing.

Sometimes that isn’t even true. I’m not even in competition with myself. I just am at the point where I want to find the joy in running again. I’m working on it too.

How am I doing that?

I stopped running. As I’ve said before I have not run since I completed the NYC Marathon. I’m glad that I haven’t. I have thought about it, but that is as far as it went because I’ve taken it off the table. I have had no real desire to run. Nope. Nadda. I see you out there running and think, “that’s nice” not “I wish I was out there.” Even on these perfect December running days

Now this does not mean I’m done. It just means that I wanted to be able to put my energy into Christmas. Being a frequent napper already, I don’t think I would have been able to do it all and everything would have suffered. There would be no joy. I want the joy. I want to feel like running is my release and not a job.

So here is how I plan to find the joy……. I’m going back to basics. Come January, I am starting the Couch to 5K. Now I realize that I ran a marathon in November and I really don’t need to go back to this because it’s only been 2 months, I want to find the joy. I don’t want to feel like I should be doing more. I want to just take it back to square one where I fell in love with all that running brought me. I don’t want the pressure (that I put on myself) that I should be doing more. Follow the program and call it a day.

This will go in line with my 2019 goals. No goals to PR. No goals for longer distance. Goals (for me) to just find the joy. I want to just run my town’s local 5K’s (for the fun of running in my town). I want to enjoy the experience of it.

I also plan to start cross training again. I miss that more than I miss running. I also feel like that would do me good. I’ve gained a lot of weight. I’m the heaviest of been without being pregnant and while I really don’t care about the number, I do think it’s not good for my health because I am no longer fit.

So fitness, fun and most of all joy will be my goal. Everyone has to chase a goal that works for them at where they are. For today, for this coming year, for me….. this is where and what I need.

What are your goals?

The Calm Before the Storm

I’ve recently been asked on more than one occasion and in more than one way,

“Are you ready?”

My response has been all over the place, but it really is a loaded question.

Am I ready?

Yes and No and everything in between.

I’ve done the training.   Not like training in the past but ultimately I do think that I’ve done enough to be ready.    I’ll be honest, for all the bluff about knowing I will get to the finish line; I do have some doubts.   Small doubts, but doubts just the same.  I actually think these doubts will work in my favor.

I know that I can run this distance.   I’ve done it before.   I’ve done it more than once.   Muscle memory aside, I’ve also know mentally what it takes to push through when you want to stop.   Who remembers me literally crying when running Chicago?   I still got to the finish line.

I also know that each race is different.   No two marathons are alike.   No two races are alike even if it is the same course.   With knowledge is power.   I have the knowledge of how hard this day will be.   I have the knowledge that it won’t be a walk in the park even if it ends in Central Park.  I have the knowledge that my body can go the distance.    I have the knowledge of knowing that no matter what I will continue to move forward to get the finish line.   Most of all, I have the knowledge to know how sweet it is to cross the finish line.

I think this knowledge is bringing a calmness to the preparation of the day.   I am looking forward it tremendously, but I am calm about it.   No nerves.   It  will be what it will be.   I think this will help me.   The no expectations.   The knowing what to expect.   These things will help me to keep myself in check.   EVERYONE is excited at the beginning of any race.   The trick is to know that what you feel like at mile one is definitely not what you will feel like at mile 20.    So the knowledge that I have in how hard the end of the race will be will keep me from not following the plan.   I t will keep me to be realistic in my pace, my expectations, and my finish time.    This will not be a BQ.    This will not be a PR.    This will be my slowest marathon.   I am ok with that. It is this knowledge and peace that will help me to keep my head on and my feet moving:)

effort

 

Run Where You Are

Less than 2 months now.

Wow.

Yikes.

Um…

I will say truthfully that I am feeling confidents in my mish mash of training.   I’m feeling strong.   Not strong like I am going to have an amazing race and PR.   I mean strong like I know that I can and will cross the finish line.   I actually feel quiet calm this go around.  Strange I know.

The other day I went out for just 3 miles.   Since it was a short run, I didn’t really watch pace.   I just let it go and I know that in the beginning I was running too fast, but again I knew it was a short run.    I also thought that even though I haven’t doing training this way, I would consider it a speed workout.   At least I was smart enough to continue the walk/run method.

Here is the thought that I had when out on this run and what I have decided will be my mantra for the beginning of the marathon.

RUN WHERE YOU ARE

NOT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE!

Seriously!  This is what I need to remember.   I was thinking about  when I ran the NYCM in 2016.   I was working with a coach.   I was trained.   I was ready.   I still crashed and burned (see the wall at mile 20)  because I ran the fist half like there was no second half.   I let the crowds carry me.   I let myself get swept up in the excitement of it all.   And let’s be clear, it is exciting.    I have run 5 marathons so far and while each one is special, there really is no bigger party than I have experienced than the NYC Marathon.   It is easy to get swept up which I allowed to happen last time.

 

RUN WHERE YOU ARE

NOT WHERE YOU WANT TO BE!

Here’s the thing, it is so easy to get caught up.   It is easy to tell yourself that you can…

  • Bank the time
  • You can do it
  • I’m not running too fast
  • It’s not a big deal

WRONG, WRONG, WRONG.

  • There is no banking time when you hit the wall.
  • Unless you’ve trained at paces, don’t use them in a marathon
  • See above
  • It is a big deal when you hit that wall.

So my objective, my goal, my mantra is to be realistic.   When I ran Chicago, in the back of my mind I was not realistic.   I was still trying to push paces that I was not able to maintain especially since it was a very hot marathon.   I am being real with myself.   I know that I can do this, if and only if I listen to my body.   I listen to the voice that is writing this post and tune out the other one that is not always thinking clearly:)

I will say that I am making a deal with that voice.   I’ve told her that if she lets me run a smart race, a race that I’ve trained for at a pace I’ve trained at; I will then be able to let her run the last few miles.   When at my peak I listened to the wrong voice, the last few miles were a beast.

Time to be smart.  Be ready and get it done.

MarathonMeme