Gratitude…

gratitude10Tomorrow is the biggest day of year that those of us in the United States hopefully spend some moments talking about what we are grateful for.  I say hopefully because sometimes I think we forget about what the holiday of thanksgiving is about.  Saying “thank you”, appreciating what you have been given and the little things in life.

This week I spent some time each day in my therapy groups, requiring each one of my group members to talk about what they are thankful for.  I challenged them to think deeper.  Look at the small things because sometimes it is the small things that are really the big things.

I love having this opportunity to challenge my clients and see how they respond, mainly because they inspire me.  I heard things from grateful for my sobriety, to having the trust back with family, to being happy about health and how well they feel today, as well as happy to be alive.

I also chatted with my clients to discuss how they felt after doing this activity.  My clients commented about how this made them feel and the general feeling was very good.  I asked them “why do you not do this more often, think about things that make your life great.”  That could not be answered but it became a challenge.  Why not do it every day?!  I talked to them about how I make a list every day of at least 3 things that I am grateful for and I don’t use the same things each week.  This is quite a challenge and really makes me think beyond the obvious.  gratitude11

This is my challenge for everyone.  Why wait for one day a year to be grateful?  Why not practice it each day?  I promise you, life will change for you, your outlook on things will change, and you will be more grateful for everyday life.

Rock and Roll Vegas Recap

IMG_0219Last Sunday was the Rock and Roll Vegas Marathon and Half Marathon.  I was excited to fly across the country to Vegas, see my sister (who I haven’t seen in 2 years) and of course run a race especially looking forward to running the Vegas Strip at night.

The first stop like always was the expo.  It was nice to walk around on Friday and take our time looking at things, believe me there were lots of things to look at!!!  Then I went back on Saturday with my sis to pick up her bib and it was overwhelmingly packed!!!  But I guess that is what happens when you have a huge race like this.

Expo fun with my sister.

Expo fun with my sister.

On Sunday we had all day to lay around and relax because the race didn’t start until 4:30 which would allow us to “run the strip at night”.  Or as RNR calls it “We run the night”.

The bad part of running at night is that it is cold in the dessert at night and oh yeah, I forgot to mention, it didn’t get out of the 40’s during the day.  Amazingly the only cold day they had in Vegas so far in November was on race day, Sunday and the winds were about 15-20 mph.

We waited until the latest possible to go down to the start but I was in Wave 4 so I wanted to get there at least 30 mins early.  My sis was in wave 36 so I didn’t get to see her until after she finished but that was fun cheering her on to the end!

More expo fun.  The agony and the ecstasy.

More expo fun. The agony and the ecstasy.

The race started on time and was fun.  We got a pep talk from Meb (Boston Marathon winner and 4th place in New York City) and then we started.  Each wave got a start of their own.  There were about 2 or 3 minutes between each wave and they made it special for each wave.

It was fun to run the strip and high five the thousands and thousands of people watching in front of the hotels but after you left the strip it got pretty quiet and dark.  I’m not really experienced running in the dark and found myself running very cautiously so I didn’t land in a pothole or turn my ankle (if it was gonna happen it was probably gonna happen to me!).    We made it down to Old Vegas and then the marathoners broke from us half marathoners and headed down Tremont Street.  I am sure it was cool to run through Tremont Street but I’m not sure the rest of it would have been that much fun.  I imagined the full marathon would have been out into very desolate areas of Vegas and I am pretty sure there were not many people cheering you on (mainly due to how cold it was). IMG_0231

As I headed back towards the strip for the finish I just tried to relax, have fun and keep focused on the Mirage in the distance which was near the finish line.  I was amazed to see how many runners where on the other side of the strip running towards me that were in the later waves.  I was glad to be done and very interested in warming up.

In the end, I would say it was a fun race, good for first timers which I feel that is what they appeal too but not really my favorite.  I wanted more bands along the routes and maybe a little more light in the sketchy areas so I wouldn’t have to run so tentatively.  I have stated that I have no interest in doing it again but it was definitely something I feel good about doing.  If you are interested in hanging out with about 30,000 runners and are okay with running in the dark at some points, give it a try!

And here are all the pics of event you have been waiting for: Enjoy!

My sis and I on the first night at dinner.  It was great to see her.

My sis and I on the first night at dinner. It was great to see her.

Dave and I in Venice, okay at the Venetian!

Dave and I in Venice, okay at the Venetian!

Family selfie!

Family selfie!

Nice view for Breakfast at the Hard Rock

Nice view for Breakfast at the Hard Rock

Pretty cool rubber ducky at the SLS hotel

Pretty cool rubber ducky at the SLS hotel

Race day!  Had shorts to wear but in the 40's went with the tights.

Race day! Had shorts to wear but in the 40’s went with the tights.

All done!

All done!

Our Cheering Squad

Our Cheering Squad

Final results.

Final results.

Headed home!

Headed home!

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!  🙂

 

2 months to go to reach all my running goals…

goalI took a few moments last night to look at my goals I set for the year in January here.  What I found out is that I’m not sure I was tough enough on myself.  I set a few challenges that I thought would be tough and they were a challenge but I stayed away from a mileage goal.  I was never sure really how far these two legs (and let’s confess sometimes hands when I had to crawl to get finished) could take me.

In the back of my mind I was thinking I could try to make a goal of 1200 miles in a year but I never wrote it down.  I guess you can say I just let things happen.  Well last night I took a look at my miles.  I was shocked.  I never thought I would run as far as I have.  As of today (after my 10 mile treadmill run at the gym because there was no way I was going to get outside in the cold, windy conditions) my grand total is 1054.59 miles.  Holy crap!  If I stay with the goal of 1200 miles, I should be able to actually hit that by the end of the month or close.  Then I can take next month off right?!  Well, we all know that will never happen!  Life is too busy and crazy for me to stop running!  How will I process all the crazy?  goal2

Here is how my goals have gone:

  1. Complete my first trilogy of half-marathons hosted by BA Events (already signed up for the first one in February.) – Completed it at the beginning of October! Can’t wait to get my “free” jacket in February.
  2. Run my second marathon and make it a much better marathon than my first in regards to preparation. – Well the second marathon was not so good and in fact it was my worse time ever but my 3rd marathon that I ran (and didn’t include in my goals because I didn’t plan on doing it until May) was my best marathon ever! So much fun, found a new friend and now I’ve signed up for OKC in April and hoping for an even better finish.
  3. Continue with my at least one race a month so I have a goal for each month to keep me motivated to run. – 3 more races planned – 2 for November and 1 for December.  I did pretty good with this.  I did not run a race in July or August due to how hot it was but I did 3 run/races in June and will still finish the year 14 races in the books!  I would say that’s pretty good and I am motivated to keep going.  Already looking for and signing up for races next year!
  4. Actively participate in my new running club (all signed up but haven’t done a run with them) – I did a few races with them this summer which is not great participation but I will keep my membership up and see if I can be involved with a few more next year.
  5. Enjoy running! – OH yes I do.  I am having a lot of fun, learning to relax at races and not take them so seriously and wonderful things are happening.  I love the running community!

I guess I will add on with number 6: 1200 miles for the year.  What a crazy number!  I wonder what next years will be?

Do you ever set running goals for the year?  Did you set some for 2014?  If so, how are you doing on them?goal1

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

 

Trying something new…

IMG_2749In previous posts, I have talked about my wonderful (add sarcasm here) leg cramps.  They were really troubling in my last marathon that you can read about here and here.  So I have been on a quest to figure out where the pain is coming from.  I have added magnesium to my diet, rolled a lot with the foam roller and the stick, and have scoured the internet looking for advice (because that is really what we do when we don’t have the answer right?!)

Last week I ordered some endurolytes powder  from Hammer Nutrition and today I got my box.  It was way larger than I thought and when I opened it I was delighted to find all kinds of presents.  IMG_2753[1]

I used the endurolytes powder today and mixed it with my water and it had no taste at all and mixed very nicely.  Maybe it was a little hopefulness and a lot of help from the powder, but I had no leg cramps and I felt pretty fast. IMG_2751

I also used one of the GU’s/gels that was included.  I needed the energy anyway and why not try a lot of things new, it was just a training run.  But it went great.  I had these results: IMG_2757[1]

So proud of them!

Then I came home and thought why not try the Recoverlite stuff they sent too, especially because I have an even longer run planned for  tomorrow.  It wasn’t the worst thing I have ever tasted and it actually was pretty good after I mixed it really good.  I was thinking if I try it again it would be in a smoothie or something like that.  I’m really weird with textures and powder in water is not always that great.  Anyway, I can say I have a lot of energy, not as tired as usual but tomorrows run will be the true test for the endurolyte. Meanwhile I will just hope and pray that it works.  Because I don’t know about you but runs with cramps tend to make me question things.  Runs like I had today made me realize why I keep going,  8 miles of hills and I felt stronger at the end than in the beginning!

How was your long run Saturday?  Ever try Hammer Nutrition products?

Oh, PS – Hammer Nutrition did not pay me to say these wonderful things about them.  I just found them on the internet and thought I would give it a try.  But if you know someone there who wants to give away free stuff, send it my way and I will give it a try.  😉