Holding on to long…

let-go-3First let me say that this is not something I’m struggling with personally right now but something I was thinking about.

Anyway, I was thinking that we tend to hold on to things too long.  Sometimes its jobs, sometimes its friendships, sometimes its other relationships.  Then I started to think about why.  Why do we hold on to things even when we are not happy?  Why hold on even though we know there are better things out there or at least we hope there is?  Why do we get stuck in the same routine and not push ourselves to change?  And most of all why do we hold on when the only emotional gain is only one of knowing you have the security but is that how you really want to live?

I feel like the biggest factor that keeps us stuck or holding on and unwilling to change is FEAR.  We are scared of the unknown.  We are scared of change.  We are fearful of how life will be if we let go and move on. let go

I have had many times in my life where I have had to face fears and brave the unknown.  Sometimes it went well, other times it was okay but most of all, it was never as bad as I made it in my head.  In my head I could imagine the worst possible thing and just knew it was going to happen.  But really much to my surprise it was never as bad as what I thought it would be.

In my work we have anagrams for the letters of FEAR

F**K

Everything

And

Run

Or

Face

Everything

And

Recover

I think you can use the word recover to mean lots of things.  Recover from the emotional loss you have from hanging on to long, recover and figure out what you want from life, and recover spiritually and mentally in your life to make the most of what you have.  We are all on this planet for way to short a time to be stuck in fear and not learning to let go and move forward.  It’s time to make the changes you want to make in your life even if it means leaping out of your comfort zone to do it.  Believe me, it will be worth it.

How do you let go?  Sometimes it happens slowly by making small changes while others you will be thrown into the need to change by life.  But as much as you can, don’t be fearful, be planful (new word I just made up).  Take a deep breath, decide what you want, and make a plan on how to get from point A to B.  You might need options of C,D, or E but know that you have control and can make it work.  I didn’t learn how to run a marathon all at once and even still after running three and many miles under my feet am I even beginning to understand how to do things.  But I have a plan and I’m facing that fear very planfully!

Take the leap to let go and give a new plan a try.

let go1

I broke my promise…

promisesI broke my promise to myself that I would not run for the week after the marathon.  Well, today I broke it!  And you know what?  I’m okay with it.  I just did a very slow dreadmill run of 4 miles and then lots of stretching when I was done.  I think I broke down because Sunday’s marathon was so good, my recovery has gone well with just a few aches and pains (which the massage helped) and I just wanted to get back to something I love (oh and there is the pesky half marathon I have on November 16th that is on my mind too).

I was reading a lot of posts about marathon recovery (after all it is marathon season so there are lots of people writing about it).  I read that you are supposed to wait a day for every mile you run.  26 days!  What!  I don’t think I could not run for 26 days!  Really I thought I was doing good to not run until 4 days after.  I do however promise to take it easy.  I know I have the conditioning to run, feel pretty ready for Vegas on the 16th but I have to do something!

I have been looking at some core workouts to start doing.  I really feel like this is a weakness that I have.  I work on my core most of the time but for the past month leading up to the marathon I was slacking to get the miles in.  Anyone have any good core workouts they do?  Also I think I am going to continue to focus on my hips and stretching.  They have been a little achy since the marathon but really I am in pretty good shape.

So in all… promise broken but really have no issue with it.  Still in recovery mode, taking it easy and will probably not run again until Saturday or Sunday and hopefully those miles will be outside.

Please feel free to provide me with some great core workouts or other stretching exercises that you love and think I should try.

A Great Day to run a Marathon

Sorry for my absence… I’ve been stressing about my marathon that happened today so I have not felt like writing.  But as I often promise, I will try to get a little better.  I know, I know… as a therapist  I should follow my own advice but believe me when I say (and have said before) I am my own worst therapist.  I do pretty good most of the time but become overwhelmed when it’s something like a marathon.

Today being overwhelmed actually helped.  I went into the race telling myself to slow down and just enjoy the race and shockingly that is what I did.  I had a great first half and in the second half battled with some leg spasms but slowed down, hydrated, and kept on pushing.

Then I met a new friend, Judy.  I thought she was struggling around mile 22 so I turned around and told her, “you got this”.  (Turns out she was on the phone and was saying “okay, okay”)  Anyway, I had started to walk a little and she came up and grabbed my arm and said, “we got this”.  We spent the next 4 miles, running and walking and talking.  It was the best.  She tried to push me at the end to go on and I said, “No way, we are doing this together.”  At that point she put her arm around me and I did the same and we ran across the finish line as the announcer said our names.  It was incredible.

I love the running community!  We go out as strangers doing something we love together and we push and encourage each other to finish. There were so many times along this course that I was able to run with others, encourage others and be the one that others encouraged.  I am so thankful that I have been given the ability to run as well as the desire to push myself.  I am sure I will do another marathon eventually but have decided that I really enjoy the Half marathon the most (okay other short races are pretty good too).  Today just reminded me that I can set some lofty goals and achieve them if I just put my mind to it (okay now I sound like my motivational Monday quotes, but it is true)!

I hope if you ran this weekend, you met or exceeded your goals.  And remember sometimes the goal is just about getting out there.  I did something I never thought I would be able to do…I had a great time running a marathon, met a new friend, got a PR of 4:34:46, and I’m able to walk today with little difficulty (we will see about tomorrow).

As always, enjoy the pics and have a wonderful week:

 

Very cold and windy at the in the corral.

Very cold and windy at the beginning in the corral.

I don't want to take off the sweatshirt!

I don’t want to take off the sweatshirt!

Here we go!

Here we go!

At mile 13, coming down the hill listening to the crowd and music.  (excuse the big headed man who decided to photobomb my pic)

At mile 13, coming down the hill listening to the crowd and music. (excuse the big headed man who decided to photobomb my pic)

Only 13 more to go!

Only 13 more to go!

Me and my new friend Judy!

Me and my new friend Judy!

DSC_0260

We look so good wrapped in foil!

We look so good wrapped in foil!

The new PR

The new PR

Stick a fork in me, I'm done!!!

Stick a fork in me, I’m done!!!

 

Race Recap: Harwich Half Marathon and a little self-doubt!

photo (8)Well, I finished!  It wasn’t my best time and it wasn’t my worst time but it was an accomplishment.  With this race I was able to finish The Cape Trilogy for the first time.  It was fun to be a part of these three races and I am glad I did it.  I think next year I will move on to some other races since there are a lot of races that occur at the same times as the trilogy races that sound like fun too.

But now back to the race.  The course is a beautiful, hilly course along the cranberry bogs and the ocean on Cape Cod.  I ran the course last year and I kept telling myself that there is a hill at mile 9 so be ready for it.  But I apparently forgot about all the hills in between and also got the number wrong.   It’s not mile 9, it’s mile 11.  Oh well.  I was hurting way before mile 9 or 11.  By this point, so much doubt had crept in about my marathon in 2 weeks, that I wanted to make the call from my phone at the finish line and see if I can defer until next year.  Why you ask?  Well I had some pain in my knee starting at mile 5 and it lasted until mile 8.  So the good news is that it stopped hurting or I just got use to the pain, I’m not sure.

So the finish was a relief.  It was also a relief that I finished in less than two hours.  That was my goal.  The official time was 1:54:56 and I was 22/97 in my age group (wow those women over 40 are fast!).  Anyway, I spent today in doubt too.  I’m headed to my running store tomorrow after work to have a chat.  I think I need new shoes and I’m scared to do too much before the 19th because I want to run the marathon.  I think I will ease off some of my taper miles, concentrate on strength building and stretching.  I am just a lot overwhelmed and trying to stay out of my head, which means I have to replace running with doing something so I feel like I don’t lose my fitness before the marathon.

The good news is, if you want to run a fun trilogy that is small, easy parking, and fast, The Cape Cod Trilogy is the place.  (I can’t wait to get my “free” jacket in February for completing the trilogy.  Dave says it’s not free because of all the money we spent staying on the cape and the amount of training I put in.  I disagree.  I would have spent that money on races anyway so this is an extra piece of running clothing I get for “free”.)

The bad news is, I struggle to get out of my head and I’m overwhelmed with a possible injury after working so hard to get to the start line of my next marathon, but I’m working on staying calm, getting out of my head and figuring out how I can still make it to the starting line.  I haven’t given up just yet!

Have you had these self doubt moments?  How did you get out of them?

Here are some pics to end this blog with happy moments…..

The bridge to the Cape the day before.  The conditions were perfect for the race the next day.

The bridge to the Cape the day before. The conditions were perfect for the race the next day.

The fancy shirt.  Never really a fan of light blue but it's not to bad.

The fancy shirt. Never really a fan of light blue but it’s not to bad.

Before the race.  A little cool but ready.

Before the race. A little cool but ready.

Finished my 6th half marathon.  So happy to be done.

Finished my 6th half marathon. So happy to be done.

The lighthouse and view at the most southern point of the cape.  Never been here and it was beautiful

The lighthouse and view at the most southern point of the cape. Never been here and it was beautiful

 

Don’t let someone take your happy!

happy4Today I was standing in line at Walmart and the person in front of me was buying something to eat from the deli.  I am assuming it was his dinner.  Well his card was declined.  He asked the cashier to put the transaction on hold while he went to the ATM to check his account.  I was the next customer in line and the cashier was struggling with how to end the previous transaction.  That is when I told him to just put his purchase on my tab.  The cashier was confused but I said don’t worry about it, I don’t mind paying for it.  In fact for me, it was a great opportunity to “pay it forward”.

I’m not saying this to brag and say look at me.  I’m more telling you because I felt really good, really Happy after I did this simple thing and then it happened.  I was driving home and this person driving almost hit me and then came roaring up and around me honking.  I started to get really upset.  I was driving with the flow of traffic and I was just the one he chose to pick on.  And I let him almost take my happy. happy3

I think there are moments in our day when we let others affect us so much that our once happy moods can change quickly.  We give others the power to change our thoughts, our enjoyment.  But the good news is, we don’t have to.  We have the power to control our thoughts, our reactions to things/events.  We have the power to not let someone take our Happy!

Today I just thought about the moment at Walmart and put into perspective that maybe the person driving so crazy needed to be somewhere fast for an emergency (at least I hope it was one because he was driving like it!).  No one was going to take my Happy!happy2

 

Supposed to be 22 miles, then 20, but crawled to 16.75 miles done!

Have you ever had one of those runs where it doesn’t seem like anything is really going right?  Well that was today’s run.  I was set to do my last long run before my next marathon in October and I was planning a 22 miler.  Well you know when I start talking in past tense that it did not go well.

Our morning was thrown off a little when a meeting that was supposed to happen got canceled so instead of going right out and going for a run, I laid around for over an hour.  That was probably mistake number one.  Then once I did get started I tried a new training plan.  It’s called a 5-4-3-2-1 run where you run easy for 1-2 miles at the beginning and then 5 miles at race pace, then 1 mile easy and so on and so on until you finish with a 1 mile easy run.  I thought it would be good especially since it was cool outside.  You know, try something new.  5.5 miles in, my stomach said “hey, you need to make a stop”.  So off into the woods I went.  This has never happened to me during a training run.  But on I pushed (after the pit stop), I was determined to make today’s run good.

photo (7)

Beginning, during, and end!

As I got done with mile 9, I was thinking let’s turn this run into a 20 miler.  My body screamed “Yippee, that means we get to turn around soon”.  I made it to mile 10 and that is when my whole self said “this sucks! I hear it is better to undertrain than overtrain.”  I plodded along and talked to my other half who was biking next to me and made arrangements for him to go on ahead and bring the car a little closer than the 10 miles it was away.

Off he went to get the car and left me trudging along, now uphill, to our meeting point.  That is when my brain went into overdrive:

Why are you doing this?

You are never going to qualify for Boston!

Maybe you should just stick with 10K’s, you did great last weekend.

Time to walk

Burr, I’m cold

Can’t wait to get to that towel at the car so I can warm up

Maybe I should do more crunches.

Crunches really, you think that would help what is going on right now?

What is going on right now?

I think I see the car

Yippee we get to stop moving!

(There was lots more negative thoughts but don’t want to overwhelm you with how bad my thoughts were today!  What can I say, sometimes I am my own worst therapist.)

Now hours after making it home, a long shower, and refueling with dinner and an extra thick chocolate frappe, I continue to beat myself up about what went wrong.  Really I have no idea.  I just felt gross and Dave keeps telling me to chalk it up to a bad day because we all know that those happen.  So I’m working on that.  And I do remain hopeful that it was just one run and I can get out there tomorrow and complete the last few miles of the run and still have a weekend full of miles.  So right now that is the plan, at least 3.25 miles tomorrow to finish my 20 mile run and if it feels good maybe an extra 2 to get the 22 miles done!

Here’s to changing thoughts and to quit beating myself up!

Ever have a bad run?  What did you do to move on?