Thursday, October 27, 2011

Back to Basics

This past week has taught me quite a bit.

Most importantly: in order to keep my crazy life from overwhelming me, I need to focus on the simple things. The basics. Because worrying about whether or not I can reach an impossible deadline or run a marathon next November is not going to help me accomplish either. But making sure I get those 30 minutes of exercise in - that will help me do both.

I didn't get my long run in this week. In fact, the longest run I got in was only three miles. And calling it a run really does require quite a stretch of one's imagination. And its not because I'm not motivated. I am. I think a big part of it is that I haven't found a route I'm comfortable running. I recently moved and my new neighborhood is not nearly as well lit as my former one. I'm on a cul-de-sac with lots of wooded areas. The kids enjoy it. But it just freaks me out. We all know how well I deal with strange noises and shadowy figures. I'm a wuss. I really took for granted how I could walk out the front door of my old house and run for 1, 3, 5, or 8 miles without too much effort put into the thought of where to go. Any route I take from this house puts me on dark streets and past creepy woods, without a sidewalk in sight. And, oh yea, there's a cemetery too. Maybe its just because its Halloween and I HATE Halloween. Yep, I said it. I hate it. Its the worst time of the year for me. I can't wait until November 1st when I can start decorating for Thanksgiving and Christmas, planning menus, and enjoying much merriment without passing houses decked out in orange lights and spider webs.

Also, since I'm basically starting over after a long running hiatus, I'm more self-conscious about running. I miss the solitude of my old running trail. Running there really helped me focus on the run and not worry about who was peeking out their window and whether or not the tech fabric was doing its job of containing the jiggle. So that is the excuse I have for not putting as much effort into the "runs" this past week. I'm really not so far from that trail. I may just have to get in my car and drive there, at least for the longer runs.

So getting my 30 minutes of "other" exercise in each day has helped me feel a little better about the measly number of miles I've logged. And cutting up all those veggies instead of throwing them out at the end of the week - I feel good about that. I also realized I haven't been drinking the amount of water I should be. So I got back into the habit of filling up a half gallon container and drinking that each day. We forget about those little things once we've been running awhile. We get more concerned about the stats on the Garmin, or whether or not those compression socks come in the right color to match that cute running skirt, or if the awesome Bondi Band people will be at the next expo....and so on. But I had to remind myself that, when it comes right down to it, its the basics that really matter.

Move more, eat the right fuel, drink lots of water, and get enough rest.

I'll let the professional runners worry about negative splits right now. I just need to find a running route that keeps me safe from zombies, town gossips, and my overactive imagination.

Thursday, October 20, 2011


You would think good health and a personal sense of accomplishment would be incentive enough to stick with an exercise plan, right? But, I suppose if that were that case we would all have a lot more company out there on the trails and in the gyms. Truth is, I just don't do much unless there is something in it for me....or if there is something painfully horrible that will happen if I don't.

So I'm being very conscious this go-round about keeping myself on track. I'm using rewards, reminders, and any sort of motivator I can think of as I embark on my next round of training.

Races. I love races. So each time I finish one race I will allow myself to sign up for one or two more.

Clothes. I don't even have to buy many. I have so many cute clothes I bought last year that I can't fit into right now - so I can pretty much just shop in my basement as I lose weight.

Running Gear. There are some items I've really been wanting to buy. So I put together a little list of these "prizes" that I will allow myself to indulge on as I hit certain goals.

Vacation Planning. I love me a good vacation! And, if I could, I would spend all day, every day planning them out. So now I'm using it as a reward. On Sunday nights, if I have completed all my training for the week I will sit down in front of the computer with a drink and celebrate with a new destination :) I have a few trips in the works to spend the time on too. I suspect by the time November 2012 rolls around, my little trip to Tulsa for the marathon may just turn into a two week romp along Route 66.

Training Schedule. I plastered all eight pages of Jeff Galloway's training plan for the Tinkerbell Half on my bedroom door. I can't go anywhere or do anything without seeing it staring me right in the face.

30 Minutes a Day. Jeff Galloway's plan only calls for three days of running a week, so I'm also including an additional 30 minutes of walking or cross-training each day. This is on my daily To Do List and seems pretty easy to accomplish since I don't call it "training" :) I track this, along with other daily chores, at a Its amazing how important it is for me to get to give myself a little stamp each day. Its like I'm five - but it works.

Mastermind Group. I have started including my fitness goals, along with my business goals, when participating in my mastermind group. Knowing that I will have to report the following week on my progress keeps me accountable.

101 Kicks in the Butt. I printed out this article from Runner's World and I have it in a document holder on my desk. So if I ever feel sluggish I can just scan it and pick out a tip that works for me that day.

Seeing Myself on Video. I have to put together some videos in the upcoming months. And while I think I look a supermodel, its apparent that YouTube does not share the same perspective.

This Blog. The comments I get here and the people I meet through this blog have given me more inspiration and motivation than I ever imagined. I seriously think you guys know more about me and understand me better than people I talk with in person every day. So I'm going to be more diligent about posting - at least three times a week.

Route 66 Marathon. This is a HUGE motivator for me. I had hoped to do it last year. I realized over the summer that I was nowhere near where I needed to be in order to participate. This year I will not allow myself to back down from the challenge. I even have people who will be there to cheer me on next year - which makes me think it was just meant to be to happen in 2012!

Monday, October 17, 2011

Training for 2012

I miss my bloggy friends! I'm so thankful I'm friends with some of you on Facebook so that I could at least keep up with all the fun stuff you are doing. I didn't consciously intend on taking this long of a break, but it happened. Things got overwhelming for me. I moved, started school, dealt with a death in my family, and I'm launching a new business. It took some serious fortitude to just get through some of those days. But now I've just returned from a two week vacation in Florida, which was exactly what I needed!

As much as I gripe about training, every time I take a break from running I realize that I miss it. So I've signed up for a couple races and climbed back on the wagon.

I was supposed to have run Disney's Wine and Dine Half Marathon on October 1st. But plans changed when my teenage son realized Homecoming was that weekend. We butted heads about the vacation for a couple weeks and then I realized that I needed to back down for this particular battle. I didn't want to take the boy kicking and screaming, and I tried to remember what it was like to be 15 and in the midst of your first real relationship. I soon realized that we could compromise on the vacation. So we left a couple days later and stayed a few days longer. It all worked out. The boy had a fantastic night, I still got my Disney fix, and no one was emotionally scarred in the process.

The biggest casualty of this compromise was the race. I didn't arrive in Orlando until the wee hours of the morning on October 3rd. So, even though both my son and I were signed up to run the half - it just wasn't in the cards. And, truthfully, I was so ill-prepared that I can't imagine I would've had a good race. I did, however, have an amazing vacation! I just love Disney World during the Food and Wine Festival! Its my favorite time to visit. And I do believe next year I will be taking my first solo trip to Disney World so that my two teenagers don't miss out on all the happenings that became an issue this year.

I kind of feel like I'm starting from scratch here. I'm armed with all sorts of great information I've learned over the past year, but my body is back at square one. And that's okay. I will own it, take my baby steps, and work towards my next half in January!

I updated my race schedule to include the races I'm planning on for next year. I'm most excited for the Tinkerbell! I just can't wait for that one. Have you seen that medal? Its awesome.

And the Tinkerbell in the middle spins....and it says Inaugural on it. I'm a sucker for any "special" medal that you can only get that year. And when the marketing folks put the words "Special Commemorative Medal" together - well, I usually just sign up right then and there. That's what they did over at the Boston Athletic Association with the new Distance Medley they created. You run the 5k in April, the 10k in June, and then the Half in October. You get medals for each of those races and then a "Special Commemorative Medal" if you run all three. I'm already planning on the 5k, so I'm seriously considering those other two. Its only two more flights to Boston, right? I mean, you get an extra medal. It makes perfect sense, doesn't it?

Here is another medal I'm gonna travel for:

Its big. It has moving parts. AND it lights up. Yes, please!

Next year will also be the year for my first full marathon. I've decided it will happen at the Route 66 Marathon in Tulsa, guessed it! They give a special medal for first-timers there. Its perfect for me. I'm scared, but I'm starting my training right now!