Staying Motivated (with running)

IMG_0062This year I started a progress jar.  The goal was to add a quarter for every mile I ran and if I did some strength training as well as stretching and rolling I would add a quarter for that too.  The idea is to keep me motivated to keep going as well as save some money to do something special at the end of the 2017.

Well we are officially 3 months in and the pic shows the progress.  I do have to say that there are some flashy bills in there too buried at the bottom (okay the biggest one is a $20 but the quarters don’t tell the whole story).

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For a little perspective, here is a nice roll of quarters just waiting patiently to be added!

I have also committed to run with a running club that meets on Saturday mornings at 8:30am.  To me this is a very doable time.  I don’t mind getting up early during the week but really I want to sleep in a little on Saturday so this is a perfect time for me.  Plus the benefit of this club is that it is part of a running store which is good for several things:

  1. The quick bathroom break before you head out, which is always needed.
  2. Warm place to stretch when we finish and a place to change into warmer clothes instead of in my car.
  3. Oh and occasionally they bring in some guests on Saturdays like today where we got to do some strength training at the end of the run with two wonderful physical therapists.

I also joined the Run the year at the beginning of January.  So basically I have set myself up to run 2017 miles in 2017.  But really if you do the math it is about 39 miles a week, which when I put it that way seemed way more doable.  The progress on that is that I am close to staying on track.  Had a smaller than usual week when we went on vacation but know that when I am training for my next marathon (Marine Corps – Oct) I will be doing way more than 39 miles a week so I can make up for some smaller weeks.

Another motivation tool I use is telling others about this craziness and my running goals whether they want to hear them or not.  I talked about my next goal here so feel free to read it.  This is truly motivating because once you put it out there, unless something major happens, I have to get it done!

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Today’s freezing cold getting it done.  12 degrees with negative windchills btu 6.5 miles done!

Finally I have also been able to be a part of a women’s running group on facebook which is a great support system.  They are all local ladies who cheer each other on and hopefully this summer I will be able to do more with them.

So really it takes a lot to stay motivated. But it is worth it in the end to see those goals achieved.

Is there anything you do to stay motivated? 

Trying something different….

Okay, let’s be honest, it is probably not something different because it involves running (surprise, surprise) but I guess you could say I’m changing things up a little to spice up my running. Let me explain…. This year one of … Continue reading

Escaping

escapeI don’t know about you but I need one, an escape!  A time to get away from the world and just be.  I find myself right now just feeling extremely overwhelmed, whether it’s by life in general, political and media overload, work, or just the fact that we are leaving on vacation on Saturday and there is so much to do, it’s all a little much right now!

So how do you escape?  I run.  I know, shocker right?!  But really I think that is the only way I am keeping it together right now.  I am very thankful for my training plan.  It’s a constant.  The one thing that I don’t have to question, I can just read what it says and do it.  I unplug, put on my warm clothes, because hey we still are in New England and it’s cold, lace up the shoes and I’m off.  My long slow recovery runs are a pleasure instead of a curse.  It means more time outside and away!

Last night we tried something new because I had just had enough.  We didn’t turn on the television at all.  We just listened to music (the new alexa by amazon, love her), read and relaxed.  I have to say it was one of the most relaxing evenings I have had in a long time.  I’m starting to think maybe staying unplugged from the world could be a good thing.

I keep threatening to not come back from vacation.  One of the good things about being a therapist is that you can do it almost anywhere.  However, not sure that people who live in Grand Cayman (our vacation get away for 8 days very soon) need a therapist because what struggles do you have when you live in such a beautiful place?!

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Monday is over!

As much as I love my life, love my work, I think we all have those moments when we just need to escape!  I’m feeling it pretty strong and hopefully a week away from normal will help me escape.  Now to make it through the week, look outside, because I might be running by!

Ever felt like this?  What do you do to escape? 

Never gets easier….

So let’s try to get back into this blogging thing…

Tuesdays are kind of a dreaded day.  That’s positive and really makes me look forward to it each week (she says with much sarcasm!).  Well really it’s not the whole Tuesday, it’s the run on Tuesday (phew, you thought this would be a moan about the whole dreaded day, good thing I narrowed it down).  Anyway, Tuesday is Sprint day and most times it’s at the gym on the treadmill because until spring comes around, it gets dark early around here.

superwoman-1All I can say, is that it never gets easier.  I always think it is funny that when I am in a race holding a speed for a long amount of time seems doable but when you crank up that treadmill to an 8 and try to run for .25, I feel like I’m gonna die and I can’t stop looking at those numbers, which by the way seem to count slower when you look at them, so don’t do it!  I can tell you though at the end of speedwork, I feel like a badass!

So today I’m a 6 miles worth of sprints Superwoman!

Now to  collapse because, Phew, that was hard!

Is there a run or something you do that makes you dread but when you are done you feel stronger?

Motivated, not skinny!

Hi!  I didn’t forget about you even if you were thinking I did.  I just have been doing a lot and not had a lot to say but today I finally was motivated to blog because something was really getting under my skin and wondered if anyone else had the same issue or experience.

Let’s start with, let’s be nicer to each other.  I say this not directing it at anyone in particular but most of us have battles going on that no one else knows about or can see especially when it looks like we have it all together.  Sometimes that is just an illusion.

Now to what got under my skin….

I am skinny, I know it, but still have my own issues with areas of my body that I don’t like, especially with my abs.  I work hard on my core and for all the work I do, I want to see it better.  (But that is a talk for another day)  My main beef is that I get lots of people, women especially, say things like “I could never be skinny like you” or “of course you can eat anything, you are skinny.” dsc_0325

Well guess what peeps, I’m skinny because I dedicate a large part of my life trying to grow old gracefully.  For me this includes spending 5, 6, or even 7 days a week at the gym or running outside.  And these days are not just 20 mins on the treadmill, we are talking hours devoted at each session doing these things.

Now don’t get me wrong, I enjoy it and I do see results which keeps me motivated to keeping doing it but I feel each time someone makes one of these comments to me it just puts me on the defensive trying to justify why I look the way I do and really makes me feel self-conscious.  I work hard to look this way because I want to.  I am motivated and driven to do these things because of how they make me feel and the results.  I love to set goals and achieve them, surpass them or even fail at them because that is when I learn the best.  I run races because I like the bling but they are also very motivating.  I have a wall in my house that is not out in the public spaces that is dedicated to “living Large”  (a play on my last name “Large).  It’s a place where I hang all my medals and bibs and I can see it every day to motivate me to go that extra mile or extra miles! img_5283

In 2016 I ran 2075 miles which is more than twice as many miles as I did in 2015 and this year I have set a goal to run 2017 miles in 2017 (that number is even scary after I ran all the miles I ran this year).  Also this past year, I was able to complete two marathons (Vermont City and NYC Marathon) and half marathons number 13, 14, 15, and 16.  I set a new half PR and a new 10K PR.  These are huge accomplishments but I got them not from being skinny.  I got them from being motivated and dedicated. motivational139

So if you want to say “of course you did that because you are dedicated or motivated and I could never do that” then say it but don’t say it’s because I’m skinny.  I can help you with motivation!

My body is a result of how I live my life not because of some blessing of waking up daily and being skinny.  Believe me if that was the answer and all it took,  I would take it (but I would probably still run because I like the bling!)  🙂

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The Perfect Storm

 

According to Wikipedia, doesn’t every great blogger refer to Wikipedia when they need information, a perfect storm is “a confluence of events that drastically aggravates a situation.”  Or as a person who was raised in Oklahoma and have been around when the weathermen begin to go crazy weeks before storms come into the state, I begin to think of those moments when all the right things are happening to create a big weather event a perfect storm.

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Looking good for 44!  Happy Birthday to me!

Now I am not saying that this week was a “perfect storm” in the form of a weather event but more of a “perfect storm” for many moments of melt down in my life.  Okay maybe that is a little much but it was a tough week and this was the only way I could think of it.  (If you can’t handle any whining now might be the time to step away and come back tomorrow for motivational Monday! 😉  Don’t say I didn’t warn you.)

As many of you know I am training for my 6th marathon and have tried a new training plan.  This one had me doing up to 70 miles in one week.  I have worked harder than ever before to get better at this crazy marathon thing.  I have felt pretty good the whole time and have completed more miles in a short amount of time than ever before.  For the month of April alone I ran 286.17 miles.  That is more miles than I even drive in a month.

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My 16 mile bike ride from this week.

Anyway, things have been going well and I have felt very confident that this was going to be my best marathon ever!  Then on Monday morning of this week (the day after my last 20 miler) I woke up with so much calf pain in my left leg, I struggled to walk and my mind took over.  I started to doubt I could complete my marathon in 3 short weeks, I started to count my dreams out of ever getting a Boston Qualifying time.  (Can you say, Drama queen much, I know!)

This was one ingredient to my “perfect storm”.  In fact here are all the “confluence of events” that made this week my perfect storm.  One: calf pain, Two: taper time – basically time to reduce the amount of running to prepare for my marathon.  During this time I am usually very anxious because I start to visual the race and how I am going to handle it all and my expectations begin to really come into play.  Third: hormones!  For those that don’t have it, that time of the month is no cakewalk and for me I tend to be even more emotional during it.  Four: added work stressors, really no need to explain that one, we all have them.  Five: Turning a year older.  Not really that stressful but I thought I would throw it in because it was an added event that happened this week.  All the ingredients were present for the “perfect storm” in my mind this week.

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14 miles almost all pain free!

I am happy to report that I survived it!  I didn’t get the t-shirt but I made it through.  Thank goodness I work really hard to stay motivated and in the present moment. Here are some tips for how I survived:

  1. Slowed things down and tried even harder to stay in the present moment. Taking a deep breath when I felt overwhelmed with not only the pain but moments at work when I thought I couldn’t handle anything else.
  2. Went for a massage! I highly recommend them.  I go at least once a month so my therapist knows me pretty well and she was able to really work my legs and hips so I felt so much better.
  3. Spent time doing other things with my family. You know those people you don’t see when you are running 70 miles a week and working a full time job.  I find it is so much better to stay busy than sitting around feeling bad for myself.
  4. Slowly easing back into running and riding my bike more. Even though the plan called for a certain amount of runs and mileage, I was able to not run as much and realize that all my training will not go away if I take some time off or take things a little slower.  In fact, I might even feel better and more prepared for the race.  Plus I was able to take my bike out and go for a nice relaxing 16 mile bike ride, which I have not done in forever!
  5. Finally, looking at my last plans and results. I know this sounds weird but for me I was able to look through my running journal and my tracking miles and realize that I am farther along than I have ever been before and I am prepared (well as long as I don’t just sit on my butt for the next 2 weeks).  It was a great boost of confidence.
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Stretching and rolling while being protected from the winds and cold and happy that “I got this!” feeling is back!

So I guess what I am saying is that when faced with the perfect storm, if you are prepared you can make it through.  Your family me get tired of you for the week because there might be some whining, but if take a breath, take control of your mind, you can make it through.

Anyone else ever struggle with this?  How did you make it through your taper time?