Savasana Forever

How lovely and fortunate am I to be sitting on my porch at 8:00 p.m. outside, sans shoes or socks, listening to the water to my right and the street to my left.

Tonight I sit with a sense of calm. Since the race, a short two days, I’ve had the ability to choose what I want to do, when I want to do it. Once I committed to the run, it somehow took over my thoughts and existence. Scheduling in training time and sacrificing plans in order to meet the demands I set upon myself somehow wasn’t that much fun. In the mix and excitement of training for the race, I lost my passion and enthusiasm for running. What a hard pill to swallow.

Last night I went to yoga to zen out and clear my mind. I wanted to just melt into the floor and allow my body to just exist. Running is so physically strenuous and demanding that simply existing doesn’t happen with training. Now, this is part of what I love about running- it’s a challenge against myself. But, it’s also what I hate. Sometimes I just wanna be. And melt. And now, with the absence of a running schedule to follow, my life seems less controlled.

What it keeps coming back to is balance in life. Too much yoga, too much running, too much scheduling, and penciling in and I feel like I lose me. I lose my autonomy because I am suddenly controlled by expectations set to a timer in my cell phone of things to do and people to see.

Maybe I need to grow up and accept certain responsibilities, but I also want certain freedoms if I can maintain them. Last night as I laid in savasana, I disappeared in my brain to a far away place. The idea of getting out of savasana seemed like a cruel trick, just let me stay a little longer.

Go Home Excuses, You’re Drunk

Woke up and the roads were saying “don’t drive on me” so work was canceled. I was up, dressed, makeup ready, but what was I doing? Nothing. John and I decided to face the truest test- if you can make it to the gym in the snow, you can make it anytime. We passed our self inflicted test and headed out to the gym. This is particularly important to me because February is the official start of half marathon training. I began my Monday morning with a 5k in 28 minutes. I felt fabulous and powerful so I did 200 twist crunches with a medicine ball. At that point the sky was the limit so I did what anyone would do- I decided I earned the right to lay around all day.

Then I realized something pretty profound- it’s only snow and I live on a beach. It became mandatory that I suit up in my warmest gear and head down to the sand.

20140203-183414.jpg

20140203-183418.jpg

20140203-183424.jpg

20140203-183429.jpg

20140203-183438.jpg

20140203-183442.jpg
Remember that time, yesterday, when it was 50 outside and I was swimming in the ocean?! This is living. It’s days like today that I’m reminded that my disease does not define me, it does not control me, it’s just a part of me. I remember questioning if I would ever be able to enjoy my life following my diagnosis- the answer is an unequivocal yes.

Hurts so Good

Nike Fuel has this adorable little feature that allows you to set goals for yourself. Maybe you’ve figured this out, but I sort of love goals- hence this whole blog project. My first goal was to complete 52 miles per month, and though I no longer total out my months obsessively like I did when this whole shabang was started, I’m still doing my thing! So when I found out that my fuel band could create goals for me, I was psyched.

The first goal that was created was actually prompted by the App itself: Burn 16,000 Calories in 4 weeks. The time came and it was exciting to see my progress. The weeks kept me informed that I was on target in a vibrant green lettering. When the 4 weeks were over the screen let me know hey girl, you’re the best “goal accomplished.” At least it said some of that…There are few things more phenomenal in life than that feeling of hitting your goals. It makes me want to give myself a high five or a gold star. Now, as fun as it was to test myself, weight loss and calories has never been my true goal in this process- though it’s not a bad outcome either. This time I was determined to challenge myself because who doesn’t love creating external pressures on a regular basis, right?!

I tend to pile on work for myself in life. I recently joined a book club (hi ladies!) Of course, for some unnecessary reason, looking uncannily similar to high school and college, I saved reading the book for the week before club. I finished the book 10 minutes before leaving for Book Club. I’m embarassed by that statement- I know kids think it’s cool to brag about procrastination, but I’m slightly sickened by my underlying love of the stress associated with procrastination. It hurts so good. But I can’t help to feel that I thrive in these situations. So, in my everlasting need to increase challenges in my life I set out to complete a three week goal called “Run More Miles” and made my goal 17 miles per week. Ultimately, I do need to run more miles so I saw this as an opportunity to challenge myself and truthfully, this is mandatory if I’m in running this half because to be honest, I’m a slacker and running a race is nothing to procrastinate training for. I have these awful dreams:

Flash forward to my future: May 1st, 2014. I think I’m going to train starting now.  panting, sweating, dying, crawling towards the finish line. Shame on your family!

So, here I am, in an effort to get on the early train for training- I can’t put this one off. My Nike fuel plan was activated and the goal has been in effect for over 1 week. So, how am I doing?!

It turns out the notification is only in green when you’re on track to accomplish your goals. This time the goal was written out in yellow-orange- the color I associate with slamming on my breaks at lights so I don’t get those sneaky tickets from the light cameras. That’s how I feel about that color. My friends, I am not on track for my running goals and the truth hurts. Did I bite off more than I can chew? Was it too much too soon? Or am I not trying hard enough to obtain my goals?

The truth hurts, folks, and it’s time to be realistic in my expectations of myself. Maybe the pressure to succeed in these intense situations isn’t the best method despite the outcomes that I have historically had- success under pressure.

Does anyone else struggle with these sorts of things?! Or am I the only one creating their own crazy?!

The Seven Minute Leap

Three months ago I allowed myself to slowly acclimate to a new lifestyle which included running. Personally, I have never been too fond of allowing myself to grow into anything. Instead, I crave immediate satisfaction, something that has stifled personal growth.

The first time I ran three miles was while visiting my grandparents this summer. (Throw back Sunday! Click me!)
I felt the same pride that I felt after getting my ass to the boardwalk for the first time. I allowed myself to go slowly, and I recognized that if I was going to make this a lifestyle choice I had to let time take over.

I ran three miles for the first time in 35 minutes. The time actually didn’t matter at all- I rushed back to my grandparents to tell my grandfather, I’m proud of you kid.

That’s been a driving force for me in a lot of ways. When I can’t get myself out the door, there is my grandpa in the back of my head, I’m proud of you.

But the truth is, following that day I have avoided running 3 miles- it’s hard!

I found it difficult to be inspired to run more than 2 miles- until this week. As John and I have made the transfer to the gym world, he has been killing it. Truth be told, I’m slightly competitive. If he can do it, I can do it. And if all of you wonderful bloggers I follow can do it, I can do it. And then I thought to myself- no, no, no, if I can do it, I can do it. I can do it- if there is one thing I’ve learned, running is all mental.

Tuesday- two miles
Thursday- three miles
Friday- three miles
Saturday- three miles
Sunday- three miles

I can now clearly say from the time that I’ve started running- I have made progress.

20131117-175850.jpg
Guys. That’s a seven minute difference. And as this registered, I stood there in shock, by myself, smiling like a lunatic. Can I dance about this?! I kind of want to.

20131117-184516.jpg
So thank you, thank you, to all of you inspiring people. And you know who you are, but so many of you keep me motivated, and it’s you that don’t allow me to stop. And I feel pumped. Because I know I’m not done yet, I feel like it’s all getting started.

Swan Run

I wanted to give this post a graceful name, but since I’m not too graceful I could only envision a swan. Hence, Swan Run.

Now that I think about it swans are terrible creatures

Image

click on the image and read about the deadly water fowl.

Clearly I’m off track.

Back on track.

I had the most graceful run last night.  Why was it graceful?  It required no heavy breathing and no forced running.  I decided to take my time and enjoy my run on a easy, breezy, beautiful 75° night.  My knee was acting up but I still felt like running *mom if you’re reading this no lectures.

It could have gone south, I could have forced the run and pushed myself.  Instead I zoned out to the soothing notes of musical classics like Love in This Club and Black and Yellow.  I was in this trance like state where nothing bothered me and I was literally smirking to myself.

It was then that I saw five high school age girls.  There they were, sitting in a circle on the boardwalk, talking and laughing.  This is their last week before school begins and they were enjoying a perfect night.  I had this unreal moment of nostalgia.  I wanted to be a high school student- and believe me, I don’t think those will go down as being my glory days.

I just spent the weekend with three of my closest high school friends so I guess the emotions are a little raw.  I began to think about the nights we would lay out on driveways and talk for hours looking at the stars, times we attempted to get lost in our hometown, going to the haunted part of town, parking the car, and telling urban legends. I began to miss diners at 2 a.m. with french fries, melted mozzarella, honey mustard with a side of coffee.  Or the nights we just got coffee and the waitresses hated us.  I missed sleepovers, inside jokes, and dreaming about our futures.

I have spent a lot of time wishing for the weekend because they are an escape from the responsibilities of life.  Weekends are the times we turn off our minds and relax. How many days did I lose by living like this?  Sometimes it’s tough to live in the moment, but as I was running last night I was doing it.  I was right there appreciating everything.

I was smelling the crisp ocean air

I dodged a cute little boy with a cute little afro

I smiled at the man running with his spotted dog

I felt happiness for a flirty twosome, maybe on their second date

I saw two women, good friends, walking together.  Three girls walked, smoking cigarettes.  People were smoking pot and laughing.  Two guys skateboarded by me.  A young married couple pushed a stroller with a tiny newborn baby.  I was taking it all in and not focused on the run itself at all.  This is a first for me. Usually I’m so focused on the end of the run and my breathing that nothing else really comes into my mind.  Life was good until suddenly my nose got a little stuffy.

Great.  I’m about to TMI you so stop reading now if you want to keep a perfect image of me in your head.  I could not breath from my nose at this point in the run, and I still had half a mile to go.  There is no mouth breathing allowed in this household, so it appeared that I only had one choice.  It was then that I decided my best option was to blow my nose into my shirt.

I’m going to wash this shirt anyways.  Must not stop running.  Who cares what people think.  I am absolutely disgusting.  That person is looking at me, they know I just blew my nose into my shirt.

It was pretty gnarly, but that’s how into my run I was.  It was a necessity at that point, and the opinions of others just did not matter.  Nothing was going to ruin my perfect run.  Now, at the start of this post you may recall that I told you I wasn’t a graceful person.  I felt it was only right to leave you with the truth.  The total, 100%, unfortunate, truth.  I finished my run in 22 minutes, 11 minutes/mile.  I felt good about the pace considering my objective and good about the fact that I’m starting to get a handle on this whole running thang.  And apparently I just don’t care what people think as much as I used to… that’s nice too.