Lots of changes and no telling when that’s going to stop…

change3Sometimes I feel like I continue to apologize for not blogging very often and then other times I think to myself that I will blog when I’m ready.  I guess you can say I’m ready…. I don’t know….. Maybe I’m not…. Okay maybe I am a little bit.  😉

There has been a lot going on besides training for my 5th marathon which I think that alone is pretty taxing on ones time but no that is never enough for me….

We are still in the middle of our remodel on our home that started in April, I guess this is what happens when you only hire professionals for the big stuff and we say to ourselves with confidence that we can do the rest.  Well I guess you can tell how that is going or maybe you can’t because you can’t see it but it is going very slow.  We have a bathroom that is small and almost completely done and then the one that has the shower that only has flooring, shower and a toilet (it’s all the essentials, right!).  Good news is that our kitchen is no longer in our living room and our house is very liveable and we could even invite people over if we were ever home to do so and we would only be apologizing for a few things undone.  So those are some good changes…

We are both changing jobs in the same month which I am sure will not cause to much stress (insert sarcasm here)!  Mine is at least with the same company but a new role with about a ton more responsibilities because it is running a new facility.  I can do this (at least that is what I keep telling myself).  I also tell myself that the people who hired me think I can do this which does help too!  So tomorrow is my last day in my very familiar, somewhat comfortable role as a clinician and on monday I begin to take on the responsibilities of program director very close to home.  I sometimes feel like that this is the moment that all my other jobs created me for (I hope that makes sense).  It’s the role that without the other jobs in my life I don’t think I could handle but now seems to be a good time to try something new.change4

My other half will be taking on a new challenging role in an established company about 40 mins away from home.  We are very hopeful that this will be the last transition he makes in his career.  It seems over the past 5 years the companies he has gone to work for have not turned out so well and have eventually closed their doors which is very stressful on my end but we are pretty sure this place has some long term stability.  Yeah!!!! So another good set of changes…..

Now on to the running part (I know you thought I would never get there!)  This seems to be changing too for the better.  I am doing the same running plan as my last marathon but added an extra day and the exciting part is that I am not having to do it all on the treadmill like I did for the spring marathon (I never want to do that again!).  Today I went for an eight mile pace run and I neglected to look at my training plan before I went out and thought I remembered it saying 1 mile easy, 6 miles at 8:38 pace, 1 mile easy.  So that is what I tried to do.  I struggled at first and had trouble getting into the pace but then just decided to relax.  When that happened I began to get faster and in the end my last two miles were 7:57 and 7:49 and they felt pretty easy.  I don’t know how that happened but I think it comes from all the crazy track workouts and sprints I have been doing in the insane heat and humidity.  So once again some changes…..

Really our whole life is about change, isn’t it?  I feel like if I don’t learn something new each day or challenge myself in some way each day I am not making the necessary changes in my life to be a better person and/or a better runner.  I really do want to be the best me I can be!  (sounds very crazy but it’s true)  I want to get the most out of my life because as I tell my clients, “We are never promised another day and we should really live in the moment and that is why it is called the present, it is a gift.”

change5So there are lots of changes going on in my life and as much as I am resistant to those changes because of the anxiety they create, I also want to welcome them with open arms because without them I will not grow, progress or change and I need to do that to live!

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Preparation…

Are you ready?Is there anything that really prepares you for change?

That is the question that is on my mind right now.  As I have started my new job I began to second guess my strengths mainly because I haven’t used them in this role just yet.  I haven’t really been challenged (which is good I need to learn how everything runs first) but I begin to wonder if I am ready and how do you know you are ready?  I guess my answer at this very moment is … you don’t.

Or maybe I should change that to “I don’t”.

So what does someone do who is not sure if they are ready, they jump in with faith and trust.  Faith they know what to do and trust that the others will believe in them enough to give them a chance.   There is also that piece of past history meaning I have changed things in the past and they have worked so I should believe that it will happen again.  preparation1

Then there is the running piece… I prepare by working out, doing lots of core work, eating better, and putting lots and lots of miles under my feet to prepare for a race.  Not so I will win (okay there are probably some of those unrealistic thoughts out there but really my winning is doing my best and hitting my goals) but so I can have that accomplishment under my belt.  But oddly enough when each race comes around (especially for longer distances) I begin to ask myself, am I prepared?  Did I do enough?  Should I take one more run just to be ready?  I guess the answer here is “no”.  Don’t second guess all the things I have done to prepare.  One of my favorite signs from my marathon was “Trust your training”.  I think this applies to real life too.

Trust your abilities, trust your preparation!  (That is my slogan over the next few weeks in running and at work!)

Gotta love self-doubt!  Anyone else ever experience this and how do you overcome it?

Acceptance

acceptance2A common theme of my work is “accepting the things you cannot change, the courage to change the things you can and the wisdom to know the difference”.

But how do we know?  How do we know what to accept and what we can change?  I guess that is the wisdom piece but as humans we tend to second guess ourselves even if we have all the wisdom in the world.

I’m no guru on how to make this happen but I know how this works in my life (or at least I work on this acceptance piece a lot in my life).

Recently I knew I needed a change in my career path, I was unsure when, where, why or how but I knew a difference would help me.  So I accepted this fact and I began to look.  I was fortunate enough to get some immediate interviews and options and realized that indeed this was going to happen.  Then acceptance once again, change is hard but necessary in order to grow.

For me this is where the courage part had to step in and take over.  I spent two weeks saying “Goodbye” to my clients.  It was hard and I fortunately was able to write about it here.  It took courage to meet with each client each day and process with them their next step while really the only thing I wanted to do was run (I’m not a huge fan of confrontation and having to do it 40 times in two weeks was overwhelming).

Now I am two days in to my new adventure and I am accepting the change and becoming overwhelmed with all the new knowledge I must take on to do the job successfully.  I am however fortunate enough to be surrounded by wonderful people who are encouraging and calming.  Some of the best advice I have gotten from a fellow employee is to give it time (hey isn’t that acceptance?!) because you don’t learn this overnight but you will learn it.  I am confident that I know what I am doing because it is still therapy it just comes down to the paperwork and reporting aspect which is always different at every agency.

For me, I have and still remind myself each day to accept the things I cannot change, having the courage to change the things I can and using my knowledge and wisdom to know the difference. acceptance3

Oh and did I mention that acceptance is my word for the year!  So what a great way to get it started with “acceptance” happening at the beginning of the year!

Are there things you need to accept and things you need to change?

Counting down to the end of several things (Janathon 23/31)

rough dayToday was a rough day.  It wasn’t rough because it was bad, it was rough because I am having to do something over and over that hurts.  It not only hurts me but it hurts the other person I am doing it to.  No matter how I do it, it hurts and as I try and try it is not getting any easier.  But as I do this I am counting down.  I am counting down to the 31st.  I am excited about what this day will bring but I am also sad about what this date means.

Have you figured it out…..

It is not that it will be the end of Janathon on the 31st even though it is.  I am looking forward to regaining my fun blogs of insightful therapy things and not giving you the latest update on my work-out (because truly it begins to feel like I am bragging about my very boring training I am doing right now.)  But I will miss daily blogging so maybe I can figure out a way to incorporate the philosophy of blogging daily with some fun stuff.

So the bigger thing I am counting down the end to is my job.  I will be changing jobs at the end of the month (the 31st is my last day and then I’m taking a week vacation to relax before the next one starts).  I am excited about the new challenges, the new company and the new experiences but yet leaving my clients is overwhelmingly hard.  I have loved working with each and every one of them and unfortunately they are not ready to be discharged so they are still in the “I need help” stage.  I get that.  I want to leave them with security that I believe in what they have learned already, they will be okay, and really they are the ones who are doing all the work I have just been there to guide them along the way.  It doesn’t seem to be working.  I mean it is working for some who are farther along but others have struggled to process this and one actually told me, “I’m following you to your next place.”  Unfortunately that is not an option, if it were, I would take them all!  A good thing is that I begin to feel really valued by my clients and all those days that I felt as if I struggled to help them make connections, they really were listening!rough day1

So I am counting down to the fact I only have to do this (say Goodbye) about 20 more times between now and next Friday and of course with all this discomfort I am more focused on getting to the gym and going for a run.   Here is my Janathon update for 23/31:

8.5 miles at 8:34 pace

105 squats

90 crunches

90 side crunches

Planks and side planks

Sexy Arm workout (because I’m gonna get those arms!)

20 minutes with my BFF – foam roller

Happy 23rd day of January/Janathon!

Janathon 7/31 & How did I get here?!

Or the longer title “How did I get here and is this where I want to be?!”

Thank you Dove for wonderful chocolate and deep thoughts!

Thank you Dove for wonderful chocolate and deep thoughts!

While I was at the gym completing my Janathon miles this evening I had quite a bit of time to think about this.  The question is not meant to be negative as much it is meant to spark reflection.  I have found recently that my clients who are ready and willing to make changes have been asking themselves this question (or maybe I ask it of them but until they are ready to answer it they don’t actually hear the question.)

So it made me reflect and think (which is not always a good thing!)

How did I get here and is this where I want to be?

How did I get to be a runner and have runner’s thoughts like this evening when I knew I had to go faster and thought “crank that puppy up to 7.5 mph I only have 1 mile left and I can do anything for that amount of time!”

How did I get to be a person who has to do some sort of workout each evening/day even when I am tired and oddly enough it gives me more energy?!

How did I get to be a person who owns more running clothes than I do work clothes, not to mention my willingness to spend way more on running clothes than I would ever spend on work clothes.

How did I get to be a person whose idea of a trip out of town includes a race and an extra day to recover if it is a long one!

How did I get to be a person who sits across from people and helps them connect thoughts, actions, dreams and goals?

Finally, is this where I want to be?  On most days the answer is “yes”, on hard days the answer is “I’m not sure” and any days in between the answer is “do I really have a choice”?!  I am reminded that where you are is exactly where you are supposed to be at that moment.  You do have choices.  Choices to change things to step out of your comfort zone or choices to stay, stay where you are. be

 

I would never be a marathon runner had it not been for stepping out and taking the challenge to go just a little bit further and try a little bit harder.  I would never be a therapist if I hadn’t taken the challenge to listen, provide empathy and help others make the changes they need for a better life.

So I guess the answer to my original question is “through hard work and dedication I got to where I am at this moment in time”.  I’m not completely satisfied with where I am at the moment but I am working on stepping out of that comfort zone to make some changes.

How about you?  How did you get here and is there where you want to be?  No?  What are you going to change?

Janathon 7/31 – 5.5 miles at 46:32 at the gym on the dreadmill with lots of rolling and a few leg and foot cramps to work through for the rest of the evening.

Happy 7th day of January!

Motivational Monday 10/28/13

When I found this I thought it would be a perfect way to start off the month of November.  Well since November is at the end of the week and this is “Motivational Monday” you will have plenty of time to make your list of three things and come up with a plan.

motivational30

Learn to pace…

pace1As always I had a longer title to better describe this post, it was something like this, “Learning to pace yourself, making choices and being happy with them”.  Sounds like a great title for a self-help book or a speech, don’t you think!

Today I had a lot of time to think and it really was interesting.  I went out for a run and what was gonna be 10 miles turned into 14 miles.  The weather was beautiful so I couldn’t resist staying out a little longer (my legs weren’t as happy with me but they will get over it, I’m sitting now to write this post so they can relax!)

When I turned around at mile 7 (because it was an out and back trail run so I had to get back to the car) I was on track for a pretty good pace about 8:35 – 8:40 per mile but finished with a 9:00 per mile pace.  Then it happened, it wasn’t a wall it was just a slow down.  I began to wonder if I had gone out to fast because that is what I usually do.  I am never really good at pacing myself.  I just kept telling myself today that it is all about the distance and not about the pace but did I really believe what I was telling myself.  I did begin to think, what is it going to take to learn how to pace myself and not just in the running world.  I tend to go all in on everything I do and sometimes sign up for things or commit to things without really figuring out how it will fit in my life.  Then my pace becomes all off.  I feel like I’m running around like a chicken with my head cut off (nice visual right).

So I have to learn to pace myself.  I have to make some choices and I have to live with those choices which is sometimes harder because I begin to think we are in a world that expects us to keep going, be involved in everything because that is where you find value.  But guess what, it is not true.  I find more value in doing less things but being better at them.  (At least that is what I am telling myself)  How much better is it to do something really well then do a lot of things okay.  I would never be happy with that!

The good news is I have already made a choice in my daily life to let something go that I could not do to the best of my ability.  Oddly it felt pretty good.  Now I’m taking a step back to figure out where I am, what I’m doing and what I want from this time in my life as well as what will make my life richer.  (Haven’t figured everything out but I’m working on it.) pace

As far as the running is concerned, I think it comes with time.  I’ve been thinking about buying the garmin watch so I can see how my pace goes up and down and what I really need to work on.  But until that happens, I’ll do some research about working on my pace and keep running (or in finding Nemo terms, “just keep swimming!”)

Letting go…

umass1Well it finally happened.  Last Friday I had to let my little girl go off to college or should I say we had to drop my little girl off at college.  I did pretty good or at least I thought I did good for me!

We had a nice easy drive of about 50-55 minutes to the western part of the state with our Dunkin Donuts in hand because around here, “You can’t do anything without Dunkins!”  As we approached I started to get butterflies because I kept thinking, this is it, or this is the beginning, you decide.  We followed their maze to check-in which if you have about 4500 college students moving in together a maze of cones and streamlined check-in away from dorms is the way to go.umass

Anyway it went so fast.  All of sudden we were unloading the car, carrying things (with the help of volunteers) up 7 flights of stairs (nothing but the penthouse for my kid!), and then setting up her room.  Then we were off to buy her books (good thing her major is dance so we spent less than $200).  After a quick dinner, it was time.  The time that I kept putting off but knew it would have to come.

The butterflies of earlier came back, the fears of leaving her at college began to overwhelm, but I knew with confidence she would be fine.  We said our “Goodbyes” and took the last pic and drove away.  That is when it began… the tears.  Hey, I made it out of the college driveway before they started but they started.  I was beginning to finally let go or have I really been letting go all these years and now the reality of it set in.

I think you start letting go once kids can do things on their own.  You let go of doing it for them, although there were times that it would have been easier to just do it for them!  You start letting go when they go to school and look back over their shoulder and smile and their little wave.  You are letting go when they spend the night at their friend’s house, go to summer camp, or spend a week with their grandparents.  These moments give you a glimpse of what the future might be (albeit a short lived one because it is usually only a week at a time).  You are letting go when you see them come mackout on stage all by themselves and dance their little hearts out always leaving you breathless and overwhelmed that you produced that beautiful being on stage.  You start letting go when they begin to drive and finally pass their driving test and then they are driving themselves everywhere with no help from mom or dad (well except for filling the gas tank).  You are letting go when they go out on a date or stay out late with friends and make it home before their curfew (which better happen if they know what is good for them!).

So I guess I didn’t really let go for the first but it might have been the final realization that I no longer have control.  I have worked hard for 19 years on this umass2project of creating a wonderful human being with morals, values, independence and many other incredible attributes who I am proud to say “I have no control over”.  She is a force to be reckoned with and will do well at everything she puts her mind too.  I now need to focus on what/who I am without her daily presence in my life.  Maybe that is the other part of letting go…the new creation of me.  Maybe that is what I’m scared of.  For 19 years I been identified as her mother, I had friends and acquaintances through her and because of her.  Now it’s time to really do this on my own.  Well this outta be fun……….umass3

Sunday Lovin’

I have retitled this blog name in my head about 100 times and this is what I decided on.  Sorry if it doesn’t fully describe what I’m gonna talk about but oh well, enjoy the blog anyway!

Today I’ve been an emotional roller coaster.  My daughter leaves for college on Friday and whenever I think about it my eyes begin to leak.  But I’ll save all that for another blog so you can skip it if you want to, but please don’t because if I am actually able to write it without my computer short circuiting from tears, I’m sure it will be good!

My new shoes!  Love them!

My new shoes! Love them!

While on this roller coaster, I went to one of my favorite places, my favorite running store to get my new shoes.  I know I have recommended being fitted for your running shoes but it is not just for shoes.  It is for knowledge!  I went in to get the shoes and then spent some quality time picking their brains.

Recently I’ve been struggling with my left foot, I seem to go through shoes faster on that side.  So we laced up my new shoes and went out for a run.  The salesperson (who remembers me each time but for the life of me I can’t remember his name) watched me on the first run out and then joined me to help me out.  He gave me some great advice which included shortening my stride, making sure I stay over my feet and continued to emphasize running my own race.

After completing the rest of the day’s errands I did what every runner would do, I went out for a run at a local rail trail to practice what I had just been taught.  I shortened my stride, stayed over my feet and it was incredible.  It felt different and felt like I was slower but in all actuality, I had more energy, and was faster.  I was even able to runner farther than I had planned and ran a half-marathon PR (1:55:00 almost 4 full minutes off of my first and best PR) which I hope counts or at least becomes a time to beat for my half-marathon race in October.

My local rail trail that I love and today was full of bikes too.  "On your left!"

My local rail trail that I love, looked just like this picture and today was full of bikes too. “On your left!”

What a great way to end a beautiful weekend and begin what I am sure will be a tough emotional week.