Motivational Monday 2/29/16

Happy Monday!  Make the most of it especially since we were given this extra day.  🙂

motivational130

Advertisements

It’s here….

fall4Can you feel it?

Can you smell it?

I don’t know whether it is has reached your part of the world but up here in New England fall is finally starting to arrive.  I say starting to arrive because I don’t want to get my hopes up to much.  It has happened in the past that we have had these awesome cool days and then “bam” it’s 80 degrees again (sorry folks I don’t know this in Celsius but believe me it is warm!)

Last year's pic on Cape Cod in October.

Last year’s pic on Cape Cod in October.

Today I was so happy to be outside running.  It was in the high 60’s and it was the best track workout eva’ (that’s Boston for Ever!).  Okay so it wasn’t really the best but it was the coolest and it is coming down to my last sprint track workout for this training plan.  I am pleased to say that my 800’s were fast at the beginning, slower in the middle, and then the back half faster than the first half so overall good way to near the end.

Now back to fall…. Love it!!!  So ready for it.  One of my favoritiest seasons on earth.  I know no word like favoritiest and believe me spell check does not like it either but that is the best way I can describe it.  This summer has been humid and hot and really not ideal for training for a marathon but neither was winter with the quadrillion feet of snow we got.  Now I can barely wait to get out of work to get outside and enjoy the cooler temps.

fall6I don’t really have a favorite fall activity (besides running because who doesn’t love to hear the sound of leaves crunching beneath their feet and feeling energized with the cooler temps).  Oddly enough living in New England, I have never been Apple picking and we are surrounded by Orchards (oops).  Maybe we will do that this year.  I do love to take a drive and see all the trees changing colors.  The first year I lived up here I use to drive the same path which was always out of the way because it took me up a hill and I could see the leaves at different stages of color change.

Can you believe trees turn this color?  Neither can I!

Can you believe trees turn this color? Neither can I!

Since tomorrow is the first official day of fall, I think it is time to get out and enjoy the falling temps.  Dig out those sweatshirts and sweaters and spend some quality family time doing things outside because soon (if you are in New England) it will turn cold and the  4 letter “s” word will be falling from the sky and we will be locked inside spending quality time with our family members or getting cabin fever because we are locked inside together but I will save that post for a much later date.

Happy Fall Y’all!

What’s your favorite fall activity?

Here are a few more pics to enjoy!

Love the lakes region of New Hampshire.

Love the lakes region of New Hampshire.

From my favorite place in the world especially during the fall.  The family lake house.

From my favorite place in the world especially during the fall. The family lake house.

Slowing down and being resistant

resistanceI don’t know about you but slowing down is a struggle for me.  In everyday life, with everyday situations I work my hardest to get the outcome I want and know if I slow down I may not get it.  I work hard and want to reap the rewards.  But sometimes it takes slowing down to reap the rewards.

I know, I know, that does not make sense.  Here is my take on it.  We need to slow down to enjoy the journey.  We need to slow down and look around and appreciate what is there.  Appreciate what we are doing, the process.  Life is more about the journey than the end product.  And best of all I think the end product will be better because we have taken the time to enjoy the ride (Oh and life is a ride!).

Right now at our house there is a LOT of things up in the air.  One example is my house itself.  We are in the middle or mid beginning of remodeling.  Not quite sure how to describe it other than we have our living room floor in but plywood in the kitchen and bathroom, a toilet on our back porch and half my kitchen in my living room (which does make it easy to get a drink since the fridge is only 10 feet away from the couch!).   I want to speed this process up because it sucks to come home to chaos at the end of the day.  Also we have some transitions in jobs that are happening and that is a stressor I would much rather skip thank you very much!

IMG_1467

My local rail trail. What a beautiful place to run.

So how do I handle these things and not be so resistant to change, enjoy the change and the adventure.  Well for me, I try something new with running.  Why not?  It’s my stress reliever!  Today I began working on slowing down my running.  I know it sounds weird that I would try to slow down when most of the time we are all trying to speed up but I’ve been trying to figure out how to go father and keep a stronger pace.  All the stuff I have been reading has been talking about slowing down to be able to run further and actually in the end go faster.  I don’t know about you but I struggle to slow down and then by the end of my runs I am pushing myself to the extreme and then I am faster but at the expense of the rest of my body.  I’m exhausted, my old, tired body becomes more sore and struggles in the repair stage/rest stage.

Today I worked on trying to stay in a low intensity state of mind and time by running at what I thought was a low intensity.  You are supposed to do this with a heart rate monitor but I forgot mine so I went by feel.  I figured that if I went at least a minute slower than what I thought, I would be about 80% of my effort and hopefully in the low intensity area.  Not sure where I got a minute from but when I read about elite athletes they mentioned running some runs 2 mins slower than their actual race pace.  Since I am a weekend warrior, I figured one minute would be good.  The whole philosophy is to run most of your training runs at low intensity effort and the other 20% at high or moderate intensity.  Here is a link for a better description from Running Times.

I’m hoping it works.  Today it felt pretty good.

That brings me back to slowing down…

IMG_1475At first it was hard.  It was hard to wrap my head around being outside doing the 10 mile distance and it taking longer than usual.  It was hard to keep a slower pace.  It was hard to hold back.  But I started to get out of my head, look around a little more, just enjoy the fact I was doing something I really enjoy and feel each step.  It began to get easier, I started saying “Hi” to everyone on the trail, smiled a little more, and enjoyed the breeze at my back (then hitting me in the face on the return).  The benefit was that I enjoyed the journey.  When I got done, I was ready to be done, but I wasn’t hurting from pushing too hard, I wasn’t upset that it was in the 80’s and I should have gone out earlier, I was relaxed.  I felt like I listened to my body and my head was in a better place.  Overall I would say it was a success and I am looking forward to training for my next marathon this way and hoping that it will work.  And as far as slowing down and enjoying my everyday life journey, that still needs work but I think I learned some things to help:

1) Quit being resistant!

2) Change is okay and necessary.

3) I need to smile more and enjoy the journey.

4) Stay in the present moment embrace what is going on maybe even finding solace in the chaos.

5) The change will make you better and stronger!

It’s amazing what a good long run will do for your brain!  🙂  Happy Running!

 Anyone ever tried this plan?  Did it work for you?  How about slowing down in general, do you struggle with this as much as I do?

Quick snack after the run.  Cold pizza and a protein drink.  Probably should work on my diet next!  :-)

Quick snack after the run. Cold pizza and a protein drink. Probably should work on my diet next! 🙂

 

2014, was a good year!

20141Well let’s recap 2014 which for me was a great year.  I hope you had a wonderful year too.

My running goals that I set last year were:

  1. Complete my first trilogy of half-marathons hosted by BA Events Completed! Get my free jacket at my next half marathon in February!  Yeah!!!!  Achieved!!
  2. Run my second marathon and make it a much better marathon than my first in regards to preparation. – Well that one did not go as planned due to a 2 hour rain delay but I did run a 3rd marathon and set a new PR and met a new friend. Achieved!!
  3. Continue with my at least one race a month so I have a goal for each month to keep me motivated to run. – Ran a total of 14 races this year. Achieved!!!
  4. Actively participate in my new running club (all signed up but haven’t done a run with them) – Ran with my new club through the spring and summer and stopped while training for my fall marathon. I will get back involved starting the spring this year.  Achieved!!!

    All the bling from the year but not all the races that I ran.  Love the medals.

    All the bling from the year but not all the races that I ran. Love the medals.

  5. Enjoy running! – Doing good with this one so I would say Achieved!!!
  6. New goal but think it is worth talking about since it was unplanned: Completed a total of 1197.59 miles this year, went through 4 pairs of running shoes and stayed uninjured and mostly interested in running. (PS – I was trying to figure out how I could finish the last few miles to hit 1200 but Wednesday is a rest day so just gonna have to settle and make it a new goal for 2015)
Home Sweet Home

Home Sweet Home

There were some things that happened throughout the year that did not involve running, believe it or not.  I bought my first house and good news is that I already live here so didn’t have to move.  I’d say that is a win.  Also I got a new job in February and I love it even after almost my first full year.  Never gets old!

One of the biggest things that happened was getting my Mental Health Counselor’s License.  This is such a process that doesn’t even happen until at least 2 years after grad school and I am so happy to be done with it.  Oh and with it came a great raise which made me love my job even more (wink, wink)!

I also had a word of the year.  Last year’s was acceptance.  I think I put it into good practice.  When I struggled to finished the marathon in OKC, I accepted that it was going to take all I had to get to the end and practiced acceptance at how horrible it felt at the end.  In my work I accepted the fact that I could not control my day and had to learn to relax and let things happen (which is hard for a control freak by the way).  I also think that the word acceptance helped me to learn to take better care of myself.  I added a massage a month to my training plan and had to accept that it would be expensive but find it vital in keeping me relaxed and motivated (it might have to be more than once a month now that I started training for my next marathon but let’s not tell Dave.)

Stay tuned for goals for 2015 and really have to pick out a new word for the year, any suggestions?!  I’m really looking forward to 2015 how about you?

Letting go…

Last night we were off to see my daughter dance as a part of the University Dancers.  These are dance majors who try out to be in their dance teacher’s pieces.  Not everyone makes it but those that do, do a wonderful job.  My daughter was able to be a part of her Dean’s piece and to top it all off it was his last dance piece because he is leaving the University to be the Chair of the a dance department in Hong Kong (how cool is that!).

She made the program.  On the far left!  Too cool.

She made the program. On the far left! Too cool.

Anyway, it was this really cool piece where they had to dance with lights and spotlight themselves as they danced and also each other.  I loved the portrayal of connectedness in the universe.  We are all connected.  I have never really been a dancer (well I’ve been taking tap dancing for about 6 years but still learning) but I love art and art expression and to me most of these dance pieces touched me in one way or another.

What I really love is being able to watch my daughter dance and do something she loves.  You can just tell this is how she expresses herself.  I miss seeing this on an almost daily basis.  When she was growing up, I was always a part of her dance studio.  I was able to watch her pieces develop and then watch them be mastered and displayed on stage.  I miss that but I’m so glad she has found a place that fits her so well.

So now in her second year at college I find I am still adjusting to her being away.  I miss not being a part of her life every day.  I also miss watching her grow as a dancer and performer.  I do find it is easier than last year but it is strange raising a child and then letting them go to spread their wings.  I can honestly say it is not easy but I try to have confidence that because of her upbringing she will make good decisions.  So far so good!  I think I need to work a little more at letting go.  But really the only thing that helps someone when they are letting go is time.  No rush through time here!  I’m gonna cherish everything.

Motivational Monday 11/24/14

As we in the United States approach the biggest day of the year where we express our gratitude and thanks, I encourage you to not just live one day in gratitude but each day in gratitude.

Happy Monday!

grateful

Hug a Runner Day

Today is Hug a Runner Day!  I don’t know about you but the first thing I want after I finish a race or run is a nice hug.  I have had quite a few over the years.  Here is an example:

Runfie side hug of my biggest supporter on a cold New Years Day.

Runfie side hug of my biggest supporter on a cold New Years Day.

Hyannis Half with Bill Rogers and Dick Beardsley - nice fun hug at the expo

Hyannis Half with Bill Rogers and Dick Beardsley – nice fun hug at the expo

Bill, me and Mark Bravo at the OKC marathon expo in April

Bill, me and Mark Bravo at the OKC marathon expo in April

Me and Dick at the OKC expo

Me and Dick at the OKC expo

Marathon Scott who helped me across the finish line of the OKC marathon in April

Marathon Scott who helped me across the finish line of the OKC marathon in April

Me and Peggy at the OKC marathon in 2013 when I was able to cross by myself.

Me and Peggy at the OKC marathon in 2013 when I was able to cross by myself.

Me and Judy in October at my 2nd marathon of the year and her very first!  Love new running friends.

Me and Judy in October at my 2nd marathon of the year and her very first! Love new running friends.

My sis and me at the Rock and Roll Vegas Half this past Sunday!

My sis and me at the Rock and Roll Vegas Half this past Sunday!

My beautiful little girl after my first ever marathon.

My beautiful little girl after my first ever marathon.

But must end with my biggest supporter and love of my life, Dave.  He gives the best hugs!!!

But must end with my biggest supporter and love of my life, Dave. He gives the best hugs!!!

Now it is your job to go HUG A RUNNER!  I don’t care if they are sweaty!  Share the warmth!  🙂