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? 

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?

My second job…

 

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In the midst of my 18 miler a few weeks ago.

As I was leaving my work today and headed home to change for my workout/run the thought popped into my head that I was actually headed to my second job.  I don’t know about you but when you work hard all day the thought of going to your second job (that pays you but only with better performance and healthier life/not financially) I get a little overwhelmed because I’m tired.

I tried my best to change the thought, get excited about the 9 miles I had ahead of me but no matter how hard I tried it was just not happening.  I went to the gym and pounded out 3.5 miles on the treadmill and then the sun came out so I decided to jump off the mill and head home to complete the last 5.5 miles.  I even stopped 3 miles in and helped an elderly lady with her trash bins since tomorrow is trash day (she informed me).  Always glad to help and take a break.  She was very cute in asking me how far I was going and how wonderful that is for me.  If she only knew I was really just trying to avoid the run by helping her.  I probably would have cleaned her house if it would have qualified as my 9 mile run.

I know we all have bad runs and not every run is going to be a moment where I think, “woohoo, I can’t wait to work out this evening, let’s do this.”  Today was definitely not that moment!

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Recent recovery run through the woods

I remember when my friend Judy was doing this training plan for the first time and her and I were chatting.  She mentioned that she was feeling tired and ready for it to be over.

I don’t think I am there, yet.  I think I am ready for the race to be here, to put this training plan to the test.  After my 20 mile race I feel pretty good and last weekend’s 22 miler was strong.  I already feel ready for the marathon but know that these last 7 weeks are crucial to keep this all going and then of course the all-important taper.

Tomorrow I have a 14 miler on the plan and I really need to get out of the mode of thinking of this running as my 2nd job. I need to change the thoughts to a little more positive.  Like what a huge accomplishment I have already completed this month with 113 miles completed in only 12 days.  May not be an actual 2nd job but is sure does take up a lot of my evenings.

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This weekends 22 miler

So my thoughts now are how thankful I am that I get to do this.  That I do have the time in the evenings to put in the time, the mileage and the effort to all this training.  I can hardly wait to get to that moment in the marathon when I cross over that starting line and know I am prepared.  I have done everything I need to do to get there and it will be only 26.2 miles to complete this path (well until the training for the NYC marathon starts).  No longer my 2nd job but something I “get to do” because not everyone has these opportunities.

How is your training going?  Any struggles?  Feeling ready?