Hyannis Half Marathon recap through thoughts!

Thoughts that run through my head (I hope you enjoy it!)

staying warm inside

staying warm inside

a new month has arrived and what do i find, my race this month is longer than last, 13.1 to be exact.

but i’m ready because i’ve been training so let’s hope for the best.

traveled south for two hours for the race weekend away, hydrating all the way.

first stop is race expo and see what we can find.

lots of cool stuff to buy but walk out only $12 poorer with a new fuel belt.

new friends bill rodgers and dick beardsley

new friends bill rodgers and dick beardsley

spend sometime chatting it up with marathon men, bill rodgers and dick beardsley, always nice to get some new advice!

after a nice dinner, dip in the hot tub, time to sleep but restless all night.

why such nerves, i’ve done this before?

breakfast is small and just plain oatmeal is served, or at least to me.

race time has arrived, i love towing the line with others joy and excitement to push ourselves to our fullest for the next few hours.

off we go on this beautiful day

faster than i want but i listen to the inner voice, the voice that is confident and assured so sub 8’s we go.

enjoying the weather, the breeze, the sun, the ocean. 

these rare days you get in new england in february!

DSC_0365

just a leisurely sunday run

i think i overdressed but i can handle it because i’m training, i’m learning what my body can take.

it’s just a run with 3000 of my closest running friends who enjoy doing crazy things like this.

settling in around mile 5 i see my partner cheering me on.  i love to see him in the crowd.

i’m lifted for the next miles to come.

fueled up and ready for more, settling for a solid pace right around 8 or 8:15.  

if my body will allow i can handle this and get a new pr.

mile 5 and still smiling

mile 5 and still smiling

chatted it up with a few people just relaxing and enjoying the time doing something so wonderful.

so thankful for the crowds that come out to cheer us on, thanking them as much as i can and lots of thumbs up if i can’t find my voice.

struggling now at mile 10, the wall has come, slowing down but knowing if i can just keep moving i will make it.

one foot in front of the other, step after step.

wait, there are the leg cramps, haven’t had those in a while but push through and remember the salt next time!

into mile 12, i can do anything for 1.1 more miles even if i have to crawl, okay not crawl but i will get that pr.

keep pushing, keep pushing.

oh look a downhill!

DSC_0379i can hear the end, the crowds are so loud.

music playing and voices blaring, here i come, here i come.

arms thrown up victorious, another battle won.

i made it and faster than i could ever think.

just like that it is over but the smile and time can not be erased.

love the finish line, the new bling, the cheers of the crowds, the knowledge it’s done.

lots of water and new sweaty fashion show with my bling

lots of water and new sweaty fashion show with my bling

time to rest, stretch and enjoy a great time by almost 5 minutes.

yippee

 

Official results:

New PR – 1:48:10 – 8:09 pace, 37 out of 336 in division, 727 out of 2983 racers

Garmin says the race was 13.26 long, instead of 13.1 but oh well, it was fun!

Here are a few more pics from this weekend.  Enjoy!

new reading material, my bib signed by dick and bill, my shirt to wear after completing the race

new reading material, my bib signed by dick and bill, my shirt to wear after completing the race

pretty cool medal to add to the collection

pretty cool medal to add to the collection

 

arriving on the cape, a beautiful day

arriving on the cape, a beautiful day

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!

2014

2014As I think about 2014 I start to wonder what I want to achieve in this new and upcoming year.  I keep telling people it is going to be a wonderful year!  I’m not quite sure why I think that, maybe because I am hopeful, optimistic or more than likely it is because I truly believe it.  2014 is going to be a great year.  It will be a year that has a lot of changes for the good and it will continue to be a year that pushes me out of my comfort zone.

If you have read my blog for very long you know that I don’t set a lot of long term goals I tend to find words and incorporate them in my year.  In 2012 it was the word “gratitude”.  I used this word in my daily life by keeping a gratitude journal.  Each day I would spend a few moments writing down 3 things I was grateful for and never writing the same thing in the same week.  (Let me tell you that makes you really look at the small things in your life.)  I enjoyed this so much I continued to do that into 2013 and I am sure I will continue this practice until I don’t feel like I need daily reminders of the wonderful things in my life (which at this point will probably be never).

In 2013 my word was “cherish”.  I incorporated a cherish jar into the family life and would write down events and moments that I cherished.  We have plans to read all of the things that were written on them either New Year’s Eve or New Year’s Day.  I can’t wait to relive these moments with the family.  I am already thinking about keeping this activity going in 2014.

So what is my word in 2014?  Great question!  I’m not sure yet but I am leaning towards a word that keeps popping into view, Acceptance.  I’m still not convinced this is the word but I’ve been thinking about the power behind this word and how I could utilize it in my day to day life.  I don’t want it to be in a negative way of “just accept where you are because that is where you will always be”.  I want it to be a motivator/stay out of your head sort of way.  “Accept the things I cannot change” and move on.  Accept that it takes time for some things to happen but you don’t have to just sit idly by and wait.  You can do things to better yourself while you wait.  Accept the fact you can’t change others but how can you change your thoughts to make your interactions with others better.  Accept that I have the power to make my life different.  As I said earlier, I’m not sure this is THE word for the year but I know that I do need it to be part of my year in 2014. acceptance

I do have a few running goals for 2014:

  1. Complete my first trilogy of half-marathons hosted by BA Events (already signed up for the first one in February.)
  2. Run my second marathon and make it a much better marathon than my first in regards to preparation.
  3. Continue with my at least one race a month so I have a goal for each month to keep me motivated to run.
  4. Actively participate in my new running club (all signed up but haven’t done a run with them)
  5. Enjoy running! 

I’m looking forward to what 2014 is going to bring and can’t wait to share it with you.  Thanks for reading and Happy 2014!acceptance1

Tunes, ooh how much I need them!!!

musicToday’s daily prompt is asks: What role does music play in your life? 

For me music is needed on a daily basis.  If I am hearing the upbeat music, with my earbuds that means I am getting a run/workout in (which also means that I will be a happier person after I am done.)  If I am listening to music during the day, it usually means I am taking a break between clients.  Some of the other clinicians I work with listen to NPR, I however don’t want to listen to anything that makes me think.  I want to get out of my head whether it is a quick 5 mins between clients or as much as 1 hour between clients.  I just want to relax.

While in a session with a client recently we were talking about his coping skills he uses when he gets overwhelmed.  He suffers from an ear issue with creates vertigo very easily and creates a lot of anxiety for him because he is always concerned about how things will affect him.  Anyway, he reported that he has found instrumental music played at a low volume, very peaceful and calming.  I think the only reason I found this a little odd because I was concerned that due to his vertigo that he would find music overwhelming but good news, that is not the case.  Proof that music can be a good coping skill hence the reason us therapist recommend it! music1

I also find music makes me cry.  Most of the time because I am reminiscing about the moment I heard the song or it is a story I can relate to.  Some of the songs that make me cry the most are songs like any version of Amazing Grace, Halleluiah, Rascal Flats “My Wish”, Martina McBride’s “Teenage Daughters”, and that is just to name a few.

In saying all this, the role music plays in my life is huge.  It is included daily.  Sometimes it makes me cry, sometimes it makes me smile (most songs by Brad Paisley), sometimes it gives me energy to run a little farther, and other times it just helps take my mind off of things and relax.  

How about you?  Is music a vital part of your life?music2

8000 of my closest friends

IMG_0313Yesterday I went to the Massachusetts Conference for Women.  It was just a small convention with 8000 of my closest friends.  It was a great day filled with inspiring women empowering all of us to imagine a world and go out and act on our imaginations.  I was excited to meet two people who I have followed for years (one a few years more than the other but who is counting).   The only unfortunate part of my day was the three hours it took me to drive into Boston versus the hour it was supposed to take me but as I reflect on it, it was worth it.  Here is what I got from the day:

“Who I am is not a life sentence” – Delia Ephron (Nora Ephron’s sister)

“If we have the power to imagine anything, why not imagine the best?” – Arianna Huffington

A simple $250 investment, the willingness to work hard, and a clever new idea, can take you far. – Barbara Bradley, creator of Vera Bradley IMG_0322

What are you going to give back to the world? – Kristin Chenoweth

I wish I would have been able to hear more but again it comes back to the extra hours spent in the car just wanting to be there.  One of my favorite speakers, Brene’ Brown spoke about Vulnerability.  I was unable to hear her speak but was able to get her autograph and had someone take this very blurry picture and I should even add, unflattering! IMG_0312 If you haven’t heard her talks here is a good place to check them out.  It only takes a few minutes and her ideas and insights could change the way you think.

The luncheon was packed with guest speakers but of course one of my favorites was from my home state of Oklahoma, Kristin Chenoweth.  I was able to meet her too and have her sign my book as well as something for my daughter who just got accepted into OCU and a talent scholarship for dance.  It was awesome to share that with Kristin since she graduated from there.  I love to make that connection with people. IMG_0339

I guess what I am saying is that I will go back next year, plan my drive a little better, and I look forward to being inspired once again to dream and imagine big.

Preconceived Ideas

I’m gonna go out on a limb here and say, “most of us have preconceived ideas about how things are going to be”.  If it is not true for you than you can stop reading but if you find this true, I urge you to read on.

Today I had one of those moments.  One of those preconceived ideas and I should know better moments.  Here is the story… My other half bought me a groupon for a massage and paraffin wax of my feet and hands.  I thought what better time to treat myself than my last day of vacation before I start my new job.  So I called and scheduled an appointment earlier in the week for today.  When I made the appointment I talked to a man and that is where the preconceived ideas began.  “What a man giving me a massage?  I’m not sure about this.  I’m gonna go but if I don’t feel comfortable than I’m leaving!”

I guess I always thought men should massage men and women should massage women, wrong idea #1!  Since it seems like mostly women get massages how would these men who want to get into that profession ever have customers.  So think out of the box and try something new.

Then the location was attached to a craft mall (pretty good place to have a business if you mainly cater to women don’t you think!).  So wrong idea #2 came into my head that a massage therapy place should be attached to a spa or strip mall or something more professional, not sure I am going to like this!  (We later talked about the location and this works perfect for him other than he would like to move more towards the back so it is quieter and has a separate entrance.)

I met the man giving me the massage and was a little skeptical because of all my preconceived ideas but because I am a trooper and hey who doesn’t want a free massage (don’t worry, I tipped well) I laid down and let the massage happen.

Let me just tell you that it was one of the best massages of my life.  He got all my triggers points, was able to really work those tired running muscles and really took the full hour to give me a complete massage.  It was awesome.

When the massage was done, it was time for the paraffin wax which gave me plenty of time to talk to him.  I found out a lot about him and that this is his retirement.  He loves what he does and it shows.  I felt very well taken care of.

As for the preconceived ideas I had going in, I felt pretty bad about them.  Sometimes it is hard for us to not let our mind runaway with these ideas of how things should be.  Once I relaxed and got out of my head, I had a very relaxing time.  Just goes to show you that maybe hanging out in your mind all the time is not a good place to hang!

Ever had a preconceived idea about something that was later proved to be ridiculous?  Open up your mind to new things.

Kidnapped, but don’t worry it was by my family!!!

Don’t let the title shock you!  My family planned an event but they would not tell me where we were going.  The only info I had was that I had to wear shorts.  Well that’s kind of broad and it’s fall and cold so I had more questions of course.  What type of shorts?  Running, work out, jean?  Well the answer was something long.  What?  So after trying continuously to get info I had to settle on something tight fighting like biker shorts but not something airy like running shorts.  So there was my answer.  I could do that, biker shorts (the non padded kind, so I guess spandex shorts) was the answer.  Then comes the self-conscious me, “will others have spandex on”, “what exactly are we doing that I have to wear tight pants?”

So I quit asking and put on my biker shorts and we were off.  After a 40 minute drive we turned down this muddy road in the center of a nearby town and my daughter says, “Oh we are taking you out to kill you.”  To which I respond, “don’t worry I posted that I was with my family so others might come looking for me if I never returned and they know where to start!”  (Gotta love facebook, keeping your family and friends informed of your whereabouts since 2009, or at least then for me!)

I was surprised to see this sign at the end of this road:

Now this is something I had never done and really before now probably would never try due to the lack of being in shape.  But lucky for me I have been hanging from ropes for some time now (at least a month anyway).  Remember this?

Anyway, we had our 20 minute lesson and we were off.  Hanging from ropes and scaling walls like Spiderman.  Or at least that is how I felt going up.  Coming down is a little different.  You are totally relying on someone to keep from falling fast to the ground.  In this case it was Dave and he did a great job supporting me or else this post would be very different!  🙂

I wanted to post this because for me this was trust or as my sister calls me a “control freak” and I need to relax a little bit.  It’s hard to give up control.  I am usually the one planning things and I am a big fan of having a pretty good understanding of what is going to happen.  I guess that is kind of the definition of control.  Oh well.  I am learning to let go. 

Over the past years I have been learning to give up control.  Especially over things I cannot possibly ever take control of.  Really the only things I have control of are my reactions to things, my thoughts, and most of my emotions.  (Remember: crazy mom with a graduating senior who cries at the drop of a hat right now!)

I also learned something else today and that was that I really am in great shape thanks to all that running, weights, and TRX training.  Everyone was getting tired after about two hours and I still wanted to keep going.  I made them wait just a few more times for me to scale the wall and then gave into the hunger whining of the girls.  Next time we feed them before we go.  Oh wait, I didn’t know what I was doing so next time they need to take responsibility for eating if they decide to kidnap me to a place that does not have a snack bar!

Courage

“Courage is doing what you’re afraid to do. There can be no courage unless you’re scared.”

I find this quote very inspiring. How many times have you gone out of your comfort zone and tried something new?  I can say over the past few years I have exceeded my comfort zone by what feels a million miles and with that, I have been scared to death.

When I entered grad school I had an idea of what I might want to do, be an academic advisor for a local college and maybe, eventually, teach in a community college.  I had tried to get a job being an academic advisor for years.  Applied at all the local colleges and community colleges and even went on an interview.  It felt like that was where I was supposed to be, but it was not happening.  So why not go to grad school and have better credentials where I would hopefully be offered a job.  Sounded like a good plan or at least I thought.

For me my comfort zone was/is definitely school.  I have been in it on and off since 1990 which doing all the math, that’s a lot years!  So my quest began, mental health counseling and then I will be an academic advisor.

Let’s just start by saying that every class was out of my comfort zone.  Having never worked in the field before I went off to school, I now found myself surrounded by people who were working in the field and working on getting a promotion with more education and a better role within their company.  I was so scared!  But I plugged onward.

When it came time for internship (one year working for free), I found myself working in substance abuse treatment, running groups, individual sessions and just in a field I did not imagine when I started.  Then came the job offer.  Is this what I want to do?  Did I want to continue to work in this field?  I was so out of my comfort zone but I took it.  I was off on my new career, which has also recently included being a special guest instructor for my grad school (somewhat close to the path I planned but still not an academic advisor.)

So this is where you find me now.  Working way out of my comfort zone on a daily basis, hoping I can contribute to someone’s life and make it just a little bit better.  I have gotten use to being scared, if that is even possible.  I am hoping this is courage or it could be just craziness.

To me courage has been and will forever be doing what I am afraid to do, facing things head on with a little flutter in my stomach asking, “Seriously!  Seriously!!  You want me to do what!”