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?

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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!  🙂

 

Worst Best Marathon EVER! – Part 1

This title should give you a little hint about what happened this past Sunday.  The other title’s I threw around were, “Almost DNH (Did not Happen)” and “What the Hell was I thinking?!”

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Bill, Mark Bravo, Dick Beardsley and packet pick up!

Anyway, the days leading up to the marathon were filled with travel and anxiety.  After arriving late on Friday night, I struggled to sleep past 8 (I was too excited to sleep) so we were up and moving and headed to the Expo for bib pickup.  I was ignoring the weather because it was so iffy about what was happening.  The weather was nice, hot but nice, but that was supposed to change and here comes the anxiety.  I figured if I didn’t look it wouldn’t happen, right? Right!  Well, wrong! IMG_2083[1]

After spending a wonderful early evening carbo loading with my wonderful college friends of 20+ years, we called it a night.  I made it home (mom’s house), gathered all of my stuff for the race, and headed to bed because I needed to get up by 4:15 to make it down to the race for all the events by 5:30 (yes that is AM!).  I slept the majority of every hour from 10pm until alarm time (which never goes off but at least it is set).  I ate my oatmeal, gathered my stuff, and we were about to head out the door when it happened.  My stepfather said the horrible words no runner wants to hear, “Well the storms are firing up!”  I was hoping he was wrong, praying he was wrong, but as we approach downtown OKC, he became correct.  Little drops were falling on the windshield and there was lightening happening all around.  Nothing big but enough that I figured it would be a problem.  But onward we went, in hopes that it was going to pass by us.

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My crazy friends of 20+ years.

Dave and I dropped my mom off to meet a friend and we made our way over to the starting corrals via the port-a-potties cause if you run, you know before any race there is a need!  The rain became steadier and so we sought shelter in the 4 story parking garage right by the corrals.  We found an area in a reserved parking spot that we claimed as our own.  Little did we know that this spot would be ours for almost 2 hours.  Yep, that’s right, nothing like being ready to run, keyed up, excited that you have done all the training only to be told that they have to wait for the storms to pass.  We didn’t know it would be two hours from the start, it started as 30 mins and then an hour and then they had to check with the city of Oklahoma City to see if they could start the race after 8am.  Evidently they had a drop dead time of the race starting by 8am or it would not have happened.  So we sat… and sat…. and stressed that the race might not be run… and sat some more …. Oh and

Nothing like hanging out in the parking garage.

Nothing like hanging out in the parking garage.

the storms moved through.  It cooled off to low 60’s, hailed a little, rained a lot but we were protected.

Finally the word came down that the race would start at 8:20am.  They began all the prerace activities with the 168 seconds of silence for all the victims of the bombing, followed by the singing of the National Anthem and inside the parking garage we all hummed along until the last few lines that we all sang together (it was beautiful!).   We all reentered the corrals, cheered on the wheelchair start and then counted down to the beginning.  The horn sounded and we were off (okay it took me over 5 mins to cross the starting line but we were off)…….IMG_2094[1]

Practicing Acceptance

DSC_0415Yesterday was one of those days we long for in New England.  Snow on the ground, streets were mostly dry with some melting due to the temps being in the high 40’s low 50’s and the sun brilliantly shining.  It was one of those days that says, “Take advantage of me, GET OUTSIDE AND RUN!!”  So after letting it warm up, putting me starting at noon (which is okay by me) I was out, out in the fresh air (sorry treadmill), out stretching my legs, RUNNING!

It was slow!  I felt like the tortoise, slow and steady wins the race.  Now I know my slow is other peoples fast but for me it was strange.  I kept telling myself we are going for distance here not speed.  But yet every time Garmin chimed, I looked down and saw the pace and then the mental had to start again.  “Slow and steady is the training.  You will speed up in the marathon.  Leggy’s need to stretch and get their distance in!”  (Am I the only one who talks to themselves in 3rd person while I run or do anything for that matter?)

the beginning of an uphill section

the beginning of an uphill section

So on and on I plodded away at my favorite running place.  Sinking in to a comfortable pace and just trying to listen to what my body wanted to do today.  The sun felt great on my face and even gave me a little bit of tan between where my capri pants ended and my socks began. (Good thing I won’t be wearing shorts anytime soon because it does look a little odd)  I don’t run with music anymore but sometimes think I should again so instead I found myself thinking and singing songs in my head.  The song that went on and on for a little bit was “Oh what a beautiful morning, Oh what a beautiful day, I’ve got a beautiful feeling, everything’s going my way”  (PS – that’s all I know of it so it was just going through my head over and over).  Then of course there were some country songs going through the head to because I had just driven over to this place and that was what was on the radio.

Military Cemetary I run by.

Military Cemetary I run by.

As I got through the early miles, I had become okay with just doing this for distance.  When I got to around mile 8, I felt great.  I started thinking, this is my favorite mile.  I even smiled and it made it feel better.  I thought this is what running is about, this enjoyment right here!  It carried on through miles 9 and 10 and I kept thinking, wow, I’m halfway done with my goal today, which was 20 miles.

Then the tires starting coming off, okay it was the mind taking over again and I couldn’t figure out how to shut down.  I made it to mile 12 and then looked up, the hill!  There was no way around it.  I had to go up.  I set myself up for it too.  I had planned this.  Why, because I’m crazy, oh and there are quite a few hills in the last part of my marathon so this was supposed to help me train.  (I’m not sure I mentioned but this course I run for training seems to be nothing but hills which I hope will translate into being ready)  Mentally, I decided, don’t look at your watch, just one foot in front of the other and do it.  So on I went more plodding.  Making it to the top in what seemed like hours but really was about 3 miles of reminding myself why I’m doing this and saying, it’s not really that bad (oh the things we tell ourselves).

There I was 15 miles in, took my last fuel and said, Yeah, only 5 more miles to go (another trick I tell myself, break it down into chunks and I’d already run 15 miles so what is 5 more!).

Seems like everything is uphill!

Seems like everything is uphill!

Fortunately I got to go down so it felt great, okay not great but doable, little slower than I wanted but doable.  At mile 17 I got that side cramp, you know the one, the one your body says, “Walk” but your mind says “just breath you can do this”, then your body wins because after all it is the one who is doing the work.  Not wanting to give in completely because again the goal is 20 miles not 17.5 or 18, you try the walk, jog method only to be beaten down by the body again, yelling this time because obviously you weren’t listening, “Stop, I’m done this is not a race this is training and I want to go home!  Forget that it is a beautiful morning, forget that it is a beautiful day!”

Some new territory that I haven't run through.

Some new territory that I haven’t run through.

So I listened (only after I pushed it to 18 miles) but I listened.  I stopped, well I had to walk the half mile to my car after I stopped but I stopped.  Then I began the beating myself up.  You know the one, the one where you say, “Yeah you made it to 18 but you missed your goal!”  I hate that talk.  I tried what I tell all my clients to do, the reframing thing which would sound like this, “You just ran 18 miles on a beautiful day and enjoyed most of it!  You just got outside and stretched your legs and completed the most miles you ever had in a week.”  (I might have added, so shut up and suck it up buttercup right there at the end but it was my motivation talk and I think it is working today and it did work yesterday too.)

I need to find less hilly places to run but it is just so pretty!

I need to find less hilly places to run but it is just so pretty!

All of this to say we are hard on ourselves and I don’t just mean us runners, I mean us humans.  The expectations we have are great because that is what keeps us moving forward and achieving new things.  But how you move past disappointment really creates true character.  I like to set another goal, rethink what I could have done differently (only to help me prepare better, not to beat myself up), look at the highlights within the adventure (loved miles 8-10), plan for another day and my word of the year, acceptance.  I have to accept that this was the best I could do today and be glad that I got to do it!

One of my favorite slogans is “When you know better, you do better” and I think this really does apply to life.  We make better choices with more knowledge.  We speak to ourselves kinder if we realize we did the best we could today.

So my body wants to rest today due to being pushed beyond its limits yesterday and guess what, that is what it gets!

Happy Sunday!

Crying on the Treadmill…..

oklahom6I was on the treadmill this afternoon running my long run, staring aimlessly outside at what looked like a beautiful day but was really just another cold day in New England, when I felt them.  Tears not gushing ugly tears but emotional tears like when someone tells you something and it hits that emotional spot in your heart.  Well I don’t just usually start crying at the drop of a hat (contrary to what people might tell you) okay maybe I do cry easily but it is usually for something good.  And this was.

I was watching the Ellen interview with Meryl Streep from late February (oh yes while watching aimlessly out the window.  I’m a multitasker!) and she was talking about her film August: Osage County which was filmed in my home state of Oklahoma.  I haven’t seen the film yet but now I’m thinking I might actually rent it (can you do that anymore?)  Anyway, Ellen asked her about Oklahoma and she replied:oklahom5

“Oklahoma is a surprise because it is so shockingly beautiful.  You think it is going to be flat and dry but it’s varied and mysterious, all the Native American feeling and the sky is huge and it is kind of beautiful, spiritually beautiful.”

I saw in my mind and felt in my heart what she was talking about and then I felt on my face the tears.  Recollections of wonderful things is so powerful and it probably helped that I’m training for that OKC marathon and I visualized some of the places I run through and how they feel.

Ever since I made the choice to live in the present moment, I have found that I have more moments like this in my life and I am so grateful for them.

oklahom3Shortly after I finished my 8.5 mile run I stepped off my treadmill to a woman who was staring at my treadmill and what I had just completed.  She said, “You were on that for 70 minutes!  Oh my gosh.  You should be so proud of yourself.”  Once again insert a few tears and a very nice yet sweaty “thank you”.  I never thought about it like that.  I usually get off the treadmill happy that I completed it but never, “I’m proud of what I just did” because really for me it is just another training run.  But yet it was something to cherish. oklahom1

Just like my memories of my home state are moments to cherish so are these everyday moments like my feet and body carrying me to my goal set for the day, whatever it might be.  This is a wonderful way to live in the moment and sometimes it even brings some tears.

OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERADo you ever have these moments (with or without tears)?  How do you keep yourself living in the present moment?

Oh, by the way, I cleaned up the tears off the treadmill, just in case you were wondering.  🙂

Hope you enjoyed the varying landscapes of Oklahoma!

How to say “Goodbye” & Janathon 30/31

goodbye1If you follow my blog you have probably caught on that recently I accepted a job with a new company and over the past two weeks I have had the constant daily torture of saying goodbye.  It has been exhausting!

For most people who work in offices and deal with people maybe through customer service, saying goodbye is exciting.  It means you are moving on to new opportunities and hopefully a pay raise if you do it right!

Well I am moving on to new opportunities and a pay raise but my saying goodbye is a little more upsetting.  Most of my clients I have had for a while (at least 6 months) so they have told me those things that bother them and we have worked together to come up with a way to make these things better.  I have never thought they rely on me and in fact I don’t want that to be true.  I want them to realize they are the ones who have made the changes, I am just the one across the table they are trusting to help them.  And therein lies the problem. goodbye

The trust!

I love that they trust me.  I love that I can build such a bond with them, but I want them to be able to move on too.  I want them to believe in themselves and that they can have the confidence to continue to work through their problems with another therapist sitting across from them because they are ready to do it.  This is the message that I have said over 40 times in the past two weeks.  Some believe me and buy into it, while others just look at me with tearful eyes that I am abandoning them and they will never be able to make it.

Well this has taken its toll on this therapist.  So much so that at the end of the day today, I came home and took a nap.  I’ve been sleeping well and exercising but the mental exhaustion that comes from saying goodbye is overwhelming.

I would love to come up with 5 simple steps to say goodbye and then utilize that but it’s not there right now.  I guess the best advice to saying goodbye would be these:

  1. Be real and genuine.
  2. Don’t promise you will see them again but maybe say something like “our paths may cross again”
  3. If a therapist or mentor role, I have found it helpful in exploring the things the person has learned and the progress they have made since you started with them.
  4. Let the other person express their goodbye too
  5. A smile and a warm touch (on the back) has been the most successful finish to a relationship.

So I guess that is my ways to say goodbye.

Tomorrow is my last day and there are just a few people left on my caseload.  I am looking forward to my week off to recoup after such a trying time but really I have grown.  I have learned better ways to word things, how to process this with clients, and I know that I need to plan lots of exercise to de-stress if I ever have to do this again!

As far as the exercise goes it was not much after yesterday’s triumphant 100 mile completion in fact it was absolutely none (well there is the regular day to day stuff like taking the stairs at work and standing while I eat but not sure those count) until I decided to just throw down a couple of 1 minute planks and some stretching just to help the legs feel better after yesterday’s run.

Look out Janathon, tomorrow you end but I feel like I have successfully completed you!!!!

Happy 30th day of January/Janathon!goodbye2

Stuck

Sometimes I feel like this!  Stuck!

Sometimes I feel like this! Stuck!

 

I’m stuck.  Or is it fear?  Probably both.  Maybe even lack of motivation!  Why don’t we throw in all kinds of stuff to describe where I am right now.  I haven’t really had a blog entry in a little while because of all of these emotions.  So I am hoping that by writing about it I can let it go and it can be cured by this simple processing act (afterall, I ask my clients to do it!). 

Here is the situation… I’m not is great space and I think it is a multitude of things.

  1. It’s the holidays and all though I enjoy them, they are stressful and expensive.  Not to mention my job gets really hard during this time of year so I have to work extra hard to not let others issues get in my space (which believe me is VERY difficult).
  2.  My runs are not going well (which doesn’t help #1).  When I ran the Turkey trot and got my new PR I noticed my right hip/top part of my hamstring has been hurting and I can’t figure out how to make it feel better.  My runs have been at the gym (except for one or two outside when I got done with work early) and I haven’t been able to run more than an hour and last night I could only run 3 miles.  I am hoping this is only a bad run night and I am hoping by taking today off that I can get a better run in tomorrow (maybe even a 10 miler).
  3. I need to take my licensure exam for my profession and it scares the pants off me!  Okay maybe my pants are staying on, but I don’t like to take tests.  I like the idea that I am helpful and I think I’m pretty good at what I do (that’s very hard to say but I’m getting more confident) and I understand why they have to test but can’t I just get a waiver for good behavior!  So I’ve printed out the form to sign up for the test (which by the way takes 4 weeks for them to process the paperwork to get you signed up for a test date of about 3-4 months away), I’ve filled it out but I’m not ready to write the expensive check and mail it.  (maybe that brings us back to the holidays and how things begin to add up quick during them!)  (Can someone show me how to make more money so I don’t have to worry about money anymore?! Please!!) 
  4. I’m starting to think I am complaining to much so really number 4 is just me saying maybe it is time to just “suck it up and become unstuck!” 

What’s the plan to get unstuck?  Well if I was my client (we all know that I am my own worst client), I would ask myself to pick one of the 3 things I listed (remember #4 doesn’t count) and work on it!  I guess I will do number 3 because really that is the one that I have some control over.  #2 I just need to listen to my body and let it happen and not push too hard because I have a lot of time until that marathon in April.  #1 is a little out of my control too.  My clients are doing pretty well right now and I can only help them one day at a time and as far as the expense of the holidays I think I just need to suck it up.  We always spend too much so this should not surprise me and be glad that it only happens once a year! christmas tree

The good news is that at least by writing this I was able to process being stuck and I think tomorrow I will begin my unsticking.  Tonight,however, I will enjoy my glass of wine, relax by the Christmas tree, and dream of warmer weather to run in!

Anticipation

anticipationAnticipation also sometimes interpreted as anxiety.  Well whatever it is, I’ve got it!  I think it is anticipation though.  Tomorrow is my favorite race, the Lone Gull 10K and why wouldn’t I like it.  It was the first real race I ran as a distance runner, it is along the ocean and every time I have run it I have had wonderful weather and wonderful people there to support me.  This year will be no different. 

The course has not changed and since this is my third year I have a really good feeling about it.  The weather is supposed to be beautiful with the race temp being in the 60’s.  I have also got a few more miles under my belt as well as a few more races so I finally feel like I can relax in a race.

My goal is similar to last years which was ”run it in under 50 mins”, last year I missed by 15 seconds.  Here is hoping that that is not the case this year.  Something really fun about this race (other than we run along the ocean at 9am in the morning and it is beautiful) is that the amount of people registered to run is twice as many as usual.  I think that is awesome.  I am so glad for the organizers that they have been able to grow this wonderful race (so now I will be running with 1000 of my closests friends!).

Early morning at the Lone Gull in 2012

Early morning at the Lone Gull in 2012

Now what to do with all this anticipation/anxiety and how to turn this blog post into a little something more than me talking about a race….

For me I burn anticipation/anxiety by redirecting my thoughts and keeping busy.  Today I spent some time doing some things for myself (got an unexpected manicure by a friend) as well as the normal Saturday errands including laundry and grocery shopping.  But the one thing that was missing on this beautiful day was a run.  And believe me that was hard because it was gorgeous outside.  (I try not to run the day before a race no matter how far the race is.)  But usually the best way for me to decrease my anxiety is go out for a run and not one with a determined amount of time.  I find that my body tells me how far it needs to go to help me feel better.  Just last weekend I went out for a run and what was gonna be a 10 mile run turned into a 14 mile run.  But in the end I knew I was able to think through my thoughts and I felt less anxious about beginning my work week the next day.

Some other good ways to decrease anxiety:

  1. Relaxation/Breathing exercises – for me yoga is good especially the low-impact type and breathing is vital to do this well.  Also breathing exercises can be done in a stressful situation to help you regain focus too.  Like today when the cashier at Wal-mart was a complete jerk to me and all I wanted to do was scream at her because she was so rude but instead I just looked at her and said to myself, “you will not still my joy and I will have a good day despite you!”
  2. Exercise – I know right, I keep coming back to this but when you are actively doing something you use that pent up energy and you concentrate more on the activity than the thoughts going on in your head.
  3. Write it down! – Sometimes when feeling anxious, it is a good idea to write down the thought.  Then look at it and see if you can reframe it into something different.  I call it restructuring your thoughts and my clients as well as myself, call it difficult but it does work.
  4. Distracting – all of these are forms of distractions.  But for this one I guess I mean consciously make the choice to finding something distracting.  I have a client who watches movies.  He tells me that he goes by the two hour rule, because that is how long most movies are.  At the end of the movie he takes a moment to reexamine himself and see where he is and if he can’t handle things, he pops another movie in.  This works for him because he has a lot of time on his hands but for others I tell them to try distracting themselves for 30 minutes then reexamine.  If 30 minutes is to long then how about 15 mins or maybe even 5 mins but be sure to reward yourself with positive thoughts after you make the time you have allotted for yourself because only by doing this will you get the confidence you need to continue.  

How do you deal with anxiety/anticipation? 

I’m off to bed early because I have an hour and 15 min drive in the morning to make it to my race and I want to feel rested so I can hit that goal!

Who wouldn't want to run along this scenery!

Who wouldn’t want to run along this scenery!

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.

Do you have it?

I’m searching, maybe you can help me.  I’m in search of something that helps me feel less anxious, helps me to remember all things will be fine, helps me see a brighter side, and helps me take criticism with a grain of salt.  I’m wondering if you have it?  I feel like I left mine somewhere recently and I have not been able to locate it.  I’ve run and looked down along the way to see if I dropped it.  I cleaned and looked in the cracks and crevices to see if it got pushed into the corner.  I’m getting really desperate.  I need it.  Without it, I am not a pleasant person to be around, I want to cry at the drop of the hat, and I am on that emotional roller coaster.  And probably the worst thing is that I’m not enjoying life.  I’m not cherishing like my word of the year has challenged me to do. 

What is it I’m looking for?

I call it my spirit, my happy, grateful me.  Someone I want to be around all the time.  I’m not sure how it got lost or where it went but I need it back.  I’m beginning to wonder whether I lent it to someone and forgot who.

This is how I want to feel again.  Like Spirit the horse!

This is how I want to feel again. Like Spirit the horse!

I’m wanting to go to sleep and wake up the next day and it be there but obviously it is not happening.

I’m wondering how it got to this point.  What made it disappear?  I think it comes with feeling too much.  Can that really happen?  I don’t know but again, remember I’m looking and trying to figure it out.  I also think it might have something to do with being overwhelmed in work and now teaching a grad school class for the next 3 weeks (it’s been 5 weeks total but we are already 2 weeks in).   Maybe it is just the stressors of life which I usually handle very well but right now, not so well.

With all that being said how do you continue on with this feeling?  I’m doing all my therapy work, reframing my thoughts, spending time in gratitude, and trying to stay positive.  I’m getting there.  But I, like everyone else, want it to be easy.  I want someone to just give it back!    I’ll keep you posted as to what it takes to get it back because I’m gonna find it!

How about you?  Does it happen to you?  How have you been able to make this past? (I would love to hear your thoughts) 

I’m hoping my upcoming vacation will help me with this issue and help me revive!  So let the countdown begin… 8 days and counting.