Sunday, April 27, 2014

Weight Loss Tips #18: Be Your Own Cheerleader!

Yesterday, I ran the 2014 Walk of Life with some of my co-workers.  I ran it last year too.  Last year, I was in way better shape than I am this year, and I also had been running a lot prior to the race.  I had a stress fracture in my leg though and after the race I had to take some time off from running.  Part of me wanted to just stop running completely. 

I wanted to run the Walk of Life in 40 minutes or less.  The course was 3.25 miles long (so a bit longer than a 5K), and I completed it in 42 minutes 14 seconds.  I was bummed.  I was bummed I didn't reach my goal. I was bummed I walked part of the way.  I was bummed I didn't beat my time from last year (36 minutes), even though that wasn't my goal to begin with. 

And then I realized while I was beating myself up that I accomplished my goal of finishing the 5K.  I ran a large part of it, and I can train to beat my time next year. I can run more 5Ks for great causes and improve my time as I go.  Everyone around me was telling me what a great job I did, and all I was doing was making myself feel bad. 

Two words: STOP IT! 

Be your own cheerleader in order to go further, to lose weight, to run harder, and you will do better and feel better about it!  Similar to a positive thinking mentality.  Sometimes thinking negatively is a self-fulfilling prophecy. 

I think this is why so many people stop trying to win the battle of obesity and stop trying to lose weight when they have ONE bad day.  They beat themselves up!  Instead of telling yourself you can't lose those 5 pounds, start telling yourself you can.  Praise yourself when you lose 1 pound.  Pat yourself on your back when you run 1 mile, or heck, even a 1/2 mile!  All of these are accomplishments worth being proud of because they lead you to your ultimate goals.  Be your own biggest cheerleader and the weight will come off.  Revel in how you have taken control of your life and keep up the momentum by praising your own efforts.  Listen to people when they tell you you're doing a great job, because chances are they're telling you the truth.  Stop the negative thinking!

Here are a few people who have motivated me lately:
  • Listening to Other People's Stories: My sisters and the guy at Chappy's.  These people had some great advice for me on how to lose weight, how to keep going, and how to think positively while doing it. 
  • My friend Miranda Grace: She and I are taking this journey together.  It helps to have someone who can ground you.  She and I motivate each other, we hold each other accountable to exercising and eating right.  We compare food diaries on MFP.
  • My friend SB: He likes to say things like, you can run a half-marathon with me in October.  HA!  But seriously, having another person who THINKS you can achieve something that wild and crazy is motivating.
  • Seeing Other People Who've Been Through the Same Struggle: I love seeing people who've been in the same boat as me, who have struggled for so many years and have achieved their goals!  It's amazing, and it makes me want to get there again and keep it off for good!

Friday, April 25, 2014

Write, Run, Repeat

I’ve been MIA this past week because I had a lot going on. 

1)      My sisters came in town from their respective states, and I was surrounded by family: nieces, nephews, brother, sisters, kids, parents. We had a wonderful time, and I always feel like I fall into a bit of a funk when they leave.  The same feeling when you come back from your vacation, and you realize you actually have to live a productive life, instead of just sitting on the beach all day drinking and soaking in the sun.  Yeah, that feeling.  Bummer. 

2)      I’ve been exercising every morning.  Specifically, I’ve been running.  I am so SLOW.  Terrapin slow.  And I crap out around 2 miles.  But I’m making progress.  I have a 5K tomorrow for Walk of Life, and I’m hoping to run the whole 3.18 miles, but I haven’t done it in the last four weeks.  I printed off the map, and I’m going to MAPMYRUN tonight.  My team captain brought me the t-shirt, and its way cuter than last year.  Also it has a chip timer, like last year.  My time last year was 37 minutes or so.  This year I just want to finish in under 40.  I’ve been running consistently 13 minute miles.  (See—I said I was slow).  I can run 11 minute miles too, and I can run faster than that too, but I’m not thinking I will.  I want to focus on my breathing and pacing—focus on the uphill—and just get done with the whole race. 

3)      I’ve been reading.  I just finished My Reading Life by Pat Conroy.  Underlining book titles reminds me of high school so much!  Anyway, My Reading Life is about books Mr. Conroy read that touched him and influenced his writing.  It’s about his writing life too, even though not titled as such.  There were some hilarious parts in the book, like when he is in Paris and talks about how he is normally a smiley guy, and he had to walk around pretending his mother had just died so he could mirror the French people’s faces.  I also love the part about the negative book rep, because Mr. Conroy didn’t let it bother him at all.  He just rolled with the punches.  Books like this are inspirational to me, as an aspiring writer.  I know I need to read a lot and write a lot to increase my skills, and reading about a famous author’s journey is motivating.  Authors motivate me and certain people motivate me to want to be a better writer.  I’m glad to have read this book, along with Steven King’s On Writing because I find similarities between how they think about writing and how I think about writing.  This gives me hope that one day I might achieve my dreams…er…goals.

4)      I’ve been writing this week—like mad.  I’ve actually written over 10,000 words on a story I started a year ago and never finished.  The funny thing is, working on this story actually makes me feel like I’m back in the past.  I’m not sure why I didn’t finish this one.  The story line is clear, and the plot is already outlined.  The characters seem palpable to me, complete with a jerky guy.  Oh—how I love writing about jerky men—cannot pull myself away from it, and I’m not sure why because I’ve always had great men in my life: my Dad, my husband, my guy friends—seriously, superb human beings.  The story is about a teenage girl, who moves from the North to the South, and she becomes involved with the wrong crowd, including Gideon, a mysterious boy, who tries not to become intimately involved with anyone, even Lana.  When I write I feel tied to my characters, like I’ve created them and the whole world they live in.  I feel they become an extension of me and often I can’t leave them alone until the story is told.  I often think about all the stories I left unfinished, and I wonder what the characters would have developed into if I had played them out.  I can’t fathom leaving any of the characters I’ve created in the last three years hanging out in “no man’s land.”  I have an intense need to tell their story, and then move on.  The only way I can describe it is a kind of magic.  Writing is the part I love—typing it all down, finishing the story, but that’s only part of the whole.  Proof-reading, re-writing, editing line by line, are all the aspects of writing I struggle with.  Sometimes after I’ve read through a story fifty times, still finding mistakes, I just want to shove it on the back of a hard drive and move on with my life.  I find the hardest writing work to be in the fine details.  I could compare it to cleaning up my house, something I’ve never had the desire to actually do.  


After this weekend, I plan to rest a bit, and to find a blogging schedule again.  I’m not sure blogging every day is realistic for me, as I try to focus on novel-writing and bigger picture items in my life.  However, I love the outlet of this blog and will continue to update it on an “as-can” basis.  I'm trying to develop purpose in my life and daily goals to live by: write, run, repeat. 

Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Through the Fog

I went running in the fog this morning.  A silken curtain of white dropped down from the sky.  When I was moving, my feet hitting the pavement, my breath coming in jagged little lines I hardly knew what was in front of me.  The fog was thick, and as I looked ahead it seemed like a solid mass that I wouldn't be able to penetrate.  And yet, I stepped right through and kept running until I couldn't run anymore.

When I was making my cool down walk home, I looked up and my heart starting pounding.  The mist had descended, heavy and low, and it looked like two plumes of smoke were rising directly above my house.  I thought about my family still tucked tightly in their beds, and I was scared they were stuck in a fiery house.  Until the illusion lifted, and I realized it was just the two trees standing next to each other in my backyard.

I was stuck in a fog for a long time.  For most of my life, I've drudged slowly through, not knowing where I was going and what I've wanted to do.  I've mistaken one thing for another, only to realize it was something completely different.  I've been tricked by the illusion that I couldn't succeed or be who I wanted to be. 
For me, the fog was crippling.  I'd sit down instead of walking through it, looking at it as a barrier instead of just a temporary roadblock, a small inconvenience. I've lived a lot of my life thinking woe is me, if only I could do this or that, if only I could write, if only I could make something of myself.  I failed to see I could remove myself from the fog by acting instead of just writhing in the pain of my existence. 
For a long time, I had dreams.  I had dreams I felt were unattainable.  I was negative about not being able to write for a living and not having hair and not having enough money.  I was always focused on what I didn't have and not on what I do have.  I ALWAYS wanted more.  The fog of disbelief kept me from moving forward, from putting one foot in front of the other and removing myself from its heaviness. 
But I realized the only way to get where you want in life and to do what you want, to reach your dreams and to reach your goals, is to strive for them.  So many people walk through this life living in their dreams, but never TRY to achieve them. 
I'm finally seeing some results from my writing, because I write every day now.  I don't say I wish I was a writer and never write a sentence.  I say, I wish I was a writer and I have a goal to write every day. It's the same way with any goal in your life.  If you set goals and you start acting you can remove yourself from the dismalness of the fog too.  Even when it seems like nothing can change and everything is horrible baby steps will get you where you're going: into the light where nothing can hold you back.

Thursday, April 17, 2014

Number Two Turns Six!

Number Two's 6th birthday is tomorrow.  I sometimes wonder how six years went so fast.  I like to commemorate my children on this blog when their birthdays roll around each year.  Number Two is so sweet and funny.  He's generous, helpful and super imaginative.  He's my easiest, most laid back child, who has a booming loud voice when he wants to.  I often have to say, "A little bit quieter!" 

Yesterday, I was able to go on Number Two's Easter Egg hunt with school.  The children were told they could find 12 eggs.  They knew there were enough eggs for 12 each.  All the kids went in one direction, and Number Two went in the other direction.  He found almost all the eggs on top of the shrubs and on the bottom and mixed in, and pretty soon his basket was filled with about 30 eggs! 

Most of the kids found 12 eggs, but one of the teachers was doing a basket for a child who was out sick.  She said she only had 9.  Number Two promptly counted out three of his eggs, without even asking to give to the sick child.  He then walked around and looked in other children's baskets, and if they had a lot less than him he gave them out.  What a sweet, generous boy I have. 
Before Number Two was born, I was convinced he was going to have brown hair and brown eyes like me.  But, when he was born he had a sheen a fine blonde hair. The nurses used to sneak into my room just to rub his head.  He had chubby cheeks, and he looked like a little baby elf.  He was so quiet.  From day one, he slept well.  Out of all my children, he's the only one who has ALWAYS slept in his own bed.  He needs his rest, and he makes sure he receives it. 
Being a parent is the most amazing thing.  Sure, some days are hard with whiny kids, talking back, not going to sleep, but it's truly amazing to bring a baby into the world and watch as they turn into a fully functioning kid.  It's awesome to see how their personality develops.  To watch them develop strengths like Number Two has: kindness, imagination, mathematically-inclined, friendly, sweet, and grateful.
When Number Two was born, and the nurse placed him on my belly I cried.  I looked into his sweet face, and I saw all the possibilities of what he would become as he grew from a baby, to a toddler, to a boy and then to a man. 
I love you, my sweet white-headed boy, and I couldn't imagine my life without you!

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

A Runner's Diary

My compression sleeves came in yesterday, and I tried them out today.  I do have to say they really help the shin splints!  These things are comfortable too.  I don't know why, but the word compression made me think they'd be really tight. They're not.  They fit nicely over my calves and it's like having a second layer of skin.  Plus, they are the fashion statement of the century!  I mean, these things are stylish!!!

I only ran a measly 1.09 miles today.  I'm trying to build up this week.  1 today, 2 tomorrow, 3 Friday.  I'm working on pacing.  This weekend I went running and my pace was too fast and by 2.65 miles I couldn't run anymore.  I'm trying to get to the point where I can pace and run the whole thing without feeling completely worn out by the end.  Today my pace was 12 minutes 30 seconds.  That's pretty slow, but I don't really care because at that pace I could have gone another mile or two easily and possibly increased my 2nd mile pace and definitely increased my 3rd mile pace. 

Number One, the athlete in the family, told me the other day, "Mom, you should take your time running your first and second mile and then sprint the third.  If you do that, then you're sure to win, because most people run too fast in the 1st and 2nd mile and then are worn out by the end."

I'm part of the "most people" he's talking about.  I really do think the cross-training is helping though.  I've been cycling, doing Zumba, swimming, and I feel like it's helped me gain control of my breathing so when I run I don't generally feel like I'm going to have an asthma attack anymore.  My capacity for cardio has increased.  Weight training on the other hand...

Today, because it was unnecessarily cold (thank you Mother Nature for throwing that curve ball--it's almost May, don't ya know?) I kept coughing.  Running is the one sport where it's acceptable to wipe your snot on your sleeve and keep going.  I often think about things like that when my feet are pounding the pavement and also this: If you're running a marathon do you just pee in your pants?  I think I would.  I always have to pee and there's no way I could run that far without going.  There's no way I'll ever run that far anyway.  I'm not a long distance runner.  I want to be able to run 5 miles comfortably and just do it again and again and again, but I have absolutely no desire to torture my body and run 26.2 miles. 

I digress.  This week my challenge to myself is to maintain a 12 minute pace and run 2 and 3 miles tomorrow and Friday.  I also want to run the downtown route on Saturday, so I can work on hills for the 5k I'm running on the 26th. 

Let's get this party started!

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Finding Time to Write

I'm trying not to neglect this blog, but it's so hard to find the time to sit down and write right now.  We are beyond busy.  I always want to get on my knees and thank the Lord when gymnastics meet season is over, because I feel like it frees up so much time. 

Number One still has three days of gymnastics, Number Two and Darling Daughter are taking swimming lessons twice a week, and Number Two is also in the middle of soccer season.  We are busy.  Plus, I'm really trying to commit to working out five days a week.  I usually do that in the morning, aka blog time, so it limits my writing time.

Yes, I just gave you a bunch of excuses why I can't write.  Excuses are excuses, and I can be full of them sometimes!  I use excuses to excuse myself from working out too.  My shin is hurting, I didn't sleep enough last night, etc.  You can always find valid excuses when you're trying to avoid something or when you don't want to commit to something. 

But I have some good excuses too.  I've been trying to meat up a couple of stories to send away to a few contests on May 1st.  I have a deadline, and those are my first priority before blogging. My writing energy has been directed towards that purpose.  I still need an editor, or a circle of friends who is willing to be constructively critical.  I'll take just plain old criticism at this point: it doesn't even have to be constructive.  I edit my own works, over and over again, but sometimes having a fresh pair of eyes is what you need.  Where does one find a group of people who are willing to read your work for free and edit?  A group of people who has time on their hands?  I have no idea.  All my friends are in the same busy boat as I am, barely keeping it from sinking with everything going on in their lives. 

Sometimes I get so discouraged. I feel like I'll never make it as a writer if I can't devote my whole existence to it.  I read an encouraging blog the other day, and I wish I could remember the name, but it said this: Everyone's first draft sucks.  I liked that.  The blog also said you must devote one hour a day for the rest of your life to writing if you want to be heard, want to be published, want to get your name out there.  I'm not sure I even have one free hour now.  Somehow, I have to fit it in.  Fit it in between work, chauffeuring to swimming lessons, spin class, dinner time, bath time, and stick it into one of the two free bookend hours of my day before I go back to sleep.  I need to do it. I need to commit to it they way I've recommitted to exercise.  I need to realize everyone goes through rejection and everyone's first draft sucks.  Writing is about work and about dedication and about doing what I love.  Without that, I'd never be heard.

Friday, April 11, 2014


When I was a little, I used to live for Fridays.  I loved NBC's lineup of TGIF.  Step by Step and Boy Meets World, and whatever else used to come by.  I'd sit down on the couch and decompress while watching hours of television, and probably stuffing popcorn in my face too. 

This Friday, I feel like I need a day like that.  My week has been crazy busy with lots of after-work activities.  Number Two and Darling Daughter started swimming lessons this week.  I had out of the house activities on Wednesday and Thursday nights: a dinner and then a baby shower.  And the whole work week has been a little chaotic as I settle back into my regular routine, since I finished up training another employee last week.  And this week, one of my co-workers who actually babysits for us has been struggling, because her father was hospitalized and in critical condition.  I've been worrying about her and thinking about her, and it's one of those times I wish I believed in something so I could pray for her and her father. 

I sometimes do pray, but I don't know who the prayers are offered up to, just to add my thoughts to the collective prayer.  And there is no question collective prayer works.  There have been studies on it, and people who are prayed for have a better outcome than people who aren't. 

I came home last night from the baby shower, after a long day, and my boys were on the couch.  Number One was reading the Bible to Number Two.

He came up and said, "Mommy--do you have a magnifying glass, because the words in this Bible are so small?" 

I laughed and said, "No, but you have good eyes!" 

I walked into the bathroom and Hubby followed me to ask me about my day.  I made a passing comment, "The boys are going to be so religious."

"So.  That could be a good thing, Lauren," Hubby said. 

I nodded, "Yes.  Maybe it'll give them some purpose.  Help them from being sad."

Sometimes, I feel like it would be so easy to be religious and just to BELIEVE.  I remember the wonder and joy as a child of believing in Santa Claus.  I remember going to church and BELIEVING Jesus could walk on water.  I'd love to have that belief re-instilled in me, to put aside all doubt, but my thinking mind won't let me.  My thinking mind questions why religions have to create hate, judgment and wars. My thinking mind likes the beliefs of love, society, togetherness, doing good to others, not judging others, and allowing everyone to have the same rights: happiness, marriage, children, enough food in their bellies, enough clean water to drink; without discrimination.  Human nature is to discriminate though, and I guess no matter what inequalities will never cease to exist.  We will play out the same wars over and over again, each time with new actors. 

But believing in someone who can save, and believing in someone who can take your prayers and heal, that has to be worth it to a lot of people. Having a guiding voice in your head who acts like a father figure and  you which path you should take: maybe this is the joy a lot of people receive from religion.  To me, because my brain won't stop, it's just another thing I question. 

And don't worry.  Number One is definitely being exposed to all sorts of religions.  The other day he offered up a prayer to Zeus, because he wanted the rain to stop.  That kid is currently obsessed with the Greek Gods.  Thanks Percy Jackson!

How's that for TGIF? A little too deep, I think.  Now I think I'll read a little chick lit before my day begins, and tonight I'll sit on the couch with some popcorn and a beer and catch up a little bit on House of Cards. 

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

The First Mile Is Always the Hardest

I ran a slow mile today, while my phone dictated again that I was Superwoman Fast.  I was not.  Something is wrong with my GPS--I'm sure.  I came home, and I downloaded MapMyRun to replace Endomondo, and I mapped out what I ran.  I did a lovely 2.13 miles in 25 minutes.  That's pretty darn slow! 

The first mile is always the hardest though.  The first few minutes with your feet hitting the pavement.  During that period of time, you tell yourself you want to quit.  It's the same with Spin.  It's the same with writing.  Heck, sometimes, it's the same with anything new you're trying.  That's why I like running--it's such a challenge. It makes me realize I can do something I never thought I'd be able to do.  I feel so good once I get through the first mile, and I know at that point I can make it to the second mile and so on.  But sometimes, I just stop.  I stop when I'm ahead, or when I don't think I can move another muscle. I stop when I'm behind or because I'm telling myself I can't keep going. Sometimes I stop, because I have a defeatist attitude. 

I've defeated myself so many times in my life.  I stopped writing for years, because I thought no one would like what I wrote.  I stopped exercising, because it got hard.  I basically stopped trying.  I want my kids to see my try and succeed.  I want to be a healthy influence on them, and I want to stop defeating myself. 

I want to tell myself these things: I can run a mile.  I can run 2 miles. I can run a 5K.  I can write a book.  I can get a book published.  I can do anything I want to do if I just round the corner and get past the first mile.  The first mile is always the hardest.  That's where your legs tweak, your breath catches, and you run into little roadblocks that can stop you if you let them.  I'm going to run around the roadblocks from now on.  I'm going to reach my goals: exercise, career, and life.  I'm not going to let the little things stop me from achieving what I want to do in life and from winning the race. 

If you quit in the middle, you never know how far you could have gone. 

Monday, April 7, 2014

Working Toward a Goal Again

It's raining cats and dogs here today.  Torrential rain accompanied by near-constant lightning and thunder. When I was little, I used to say God was having a bowling party, and that's what it sounds like outside. The thunder is so loud the glass in the window next to my chair just vibrated.  Oh I can't wait to do school drop-off in this weather and drive to work through sheets of rain.

Needless to say, I didn't run this morning.  This is our second day of rain, and I didn't run yesterday even though I should have.  The rain yesterday fell all day, but there wasn't a thunderstorm. 

I have decided I can't do three days in a row of running.  I know I've said before that "can't" is another four letter word, but the muscles in my legs hurt, especially around my previous injury and I worry and don't run efficiently.  I'm separating my running days by a rest day now, and I think it will really help.  I'm not just "resting" on my rest day.  I'm doing other activities: Zumba, Spin, or simply going to the gym to run the treadmill and lift weights.  Tonight, I'm going to Zumba.  I mainly feel silly doing Zumba, because I don't think I'm the best dancer but I like the exercise and the music!  It's fun, and before you know it--it's over. 

I had grand visions of beating my time in this 5K race I'm doing here in a few weeks, but I've decided that's not really important.  What's important is getting out there and doing it.  Training by body to run the whole way, and then doing another 5K in a month or so.  Just getting on the wagon and not falling off. 

I feel like last year I came so far.  I'd really made exercise part of my life.  I'd lost weight.  And then--somehow I gained part of it back.  I stopped working out as much.  I started eating more, and now it feels like there's a mountain in front of me to climb.  I know I can do it though.  I went back and read some of my weight loss posts from the last few years, and I can see how to succeed.  It's just getting there.  That's the hard part. 


Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fear: Just Another Four Letter Word

I didn't run this morning.  I woke up, and Skippy looked up at me with his big blue puppy dog eyes so I decided to take him for a walk instead.   He's not the best walker.  He stops and sniffs, then he runs, then he barks.  We're working on it.  He's in doggy discipline class.  I forgot the treats though, so I knew there was no way I was going to get anything close to 3 miles in.  I decided to just do a short walk, and I'll go running tonight after work.  I have to make myself accountable. 

Plus, I woke up wanting to work on my story.  Yesterday, I resurrected a Dystopian fantasy I'd started about six months ago.  I'd written almost 20,000 words on the thing and then just stopped.  I don't know why I stopped, because I think it has potential.  Sometimes I stop, because I realize what I've just written is crap, but sometimes I stop because life happens.  I found a short story contest I want to enter, so I'm in the process of paring down the 20,000 words to 5,000 and beefing up the beginning of the story to get it in shape.

I've decided, in order to become a full time writer, I have to be proactive.  I have to be okay sending out my work and getting rejections.  I have to enter contests.  I have to write articles.  In essence, I have to put myself out there.  If you've met me, you know I'm outgoing and you wouldn't think I'd have any problem with self-promotion.  In fact, you could say I am sometimes my own biggest fan.  But for some reason, letting others read my writing has always been SCARY to me, like I'm allowing them to peer inside and see my deepest darkest secrets.  I've broken out of the shell in the last few years, and I've been sending out my work.  I EVEN let my Dad read my unpublished novel.  I never thought in a million years I'd let my Dad read anything, because I worried about his criticism.  He was; however, very supportive and proud of me once I let him see the work shattering all of my unfounded fears. In the back of my mind, I think I knew he would be that way but I was basing my judgment of him on one random incident from childhood and holding onto a fear that I should have overcome a long time ago.   

I'm afraid of heights  I always have been.  And sometimes when you have a huge fear, the best thing you can do is take steps to overcome it.  As a child, I used to push myself to ride roller coasters.  I went zip-lining.  I even tried to rappel once (it did not happen!).  I would climb to the top of mountains and peer over the edge, ignoring the feeling of my heart beating out of my chest.  And that's the same thing I need to do with my writing.  I need to get over this irrational fear of being criticized and being rejected.  Both have already happened, and what happened to me?  Absolutely nothing! I'm still writing.  I'm still pushing forward, and the only way I'm going to get there is to know I can do it and to empower myself.   Send out my work.  Read each rejection and learn something from it, and keep pushing forward--keep promoting myself until I eventually get there.  That's what successful people do.  They propel themselves forward, and they act like they're not afraid even when they're terrified. 

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

I'm Superwoman Fast!

I went out running this morning, just me and the pollen whooping it up!  Either I've gotten really fast, or my GPS messed up.  I completed my first mile in 8 minutes 29 seconds, although I think it was really about 10 minutes 29 seconds by the time I made a mile.  And I completed my second mile in record time: 6 minutes and 21 seconds.  I've gone from turtle slow to Superwoman Fast!  Or--my GPS stunk today and couldn't figure out where the heck I was going. 

I'll go with Superwoman fast, because I'm always an optimist and rarely a realist.  Today was my Challenge day to run 2 miles and according to Endomondo I ran 2.65 miles in 21 minutes and 21 seconds. I'm thinking I ran about 2 miles in that time, but who knows.  I'm just glad I got out there and ran. 

Running is such a challenge for me every time I do it.  I have my breathing on track, which is half the battle.   I don't feel like I'm huffing and puffing or dying, but most of the time one of my muscles in my legs or calves start to tweak, and I want to stop.  Today, I felt the best I ever had running.  I let my mind run through the list of items I had on tap for today.  I worked on plotting out a story in my head, and at one point it didn't feel like I was running at all, it just felt like I was going somewhere. 

I really do think the key to running is to get your mind out of it.  Release yourself and your tension, the way you do with Yoga.   You have to find a way to not realize what you're doing while you're doing it.  Make it second nature, like the words flowing out of your mouth when you're speaking your naturally-born language. 

I've been there before, and I'm going to get there again: this time without injuring myself!

Tuesday, April 1, 2014

If It Doesn't Challenge You, Then It Doesn't Change You

Today was my run day.  I didn't go. Instead, I decided to take a rest day and move my run days to Wednesday through Friday of this week.  I went to Spin yesterday and Zumba on Sunday, and the backs of my thighs are sore, plus my lats and my back muscles.   It's a good kind of pain though. The meaningful kind that tells you you're making progress. 

In Spin, I like to close my eyes and pretend I'm riding out in the middle of the country.  I can see the grass swaying in the breeze and out in the distance is a red barn.  In the class, I'm always working to reach that red barn.  I have no idea what my instructor thinks when I close my eyes.  It helps though, for whatever reason, to remove yourself from the here and now and pretend you're somewhere else.  It always allows me to spin faster and forget about the pain.  My RPMs jump up and sometimes I can increase the tension on the bike, getting a better workout.  

I'd like to do that while I'm running, but let's face it, running with your eyes closed is simply not a good idea!  I'd probably fall in a hole.   For me, exercise is not fun.  I always enjoy it AFTERWARDS.  Afterwards, I say to myself that I'm so glad I went, that I love the way I feel energized and the way my body aches.  During exercise, I'm always hating it, unless I can pretend I'm somewhere else or really just get into the song and then it's easier.  Yesterday, Charles played some oldies but goodies, and I sang along like you only sing in the shower.   Release your inhibitions and just go for it. 

My challenge for the rest of this week is to run the next three days, 2 miles tomorrow, 3 miles Thursday and 4 miles on Friday.  Friday will be tough, as I haven't done a four mile run in over a year.  I'll do my best to meet the goal though, and if I fail then at least I know I tried. 

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