And it begins…

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Once, several years ago, I took a personality test.  It was in one of those corporate training sessions intended to help me learn about my personal style and how to work better with others.  I don’t remember much else from that course, but I do remember learning one seemingly important thing about myself.

I get more enjoyment/reward out of starting new things, than I do by completing them.

Ever since that day in training, I have over and over again seen this fact demonstrated.

Case in point: I have three knitting projects in process at the moment.  Scratch that.  Two.  I guess I did finish one last week.  Anyway, I keep finding myself looking at new projects I could start and wanting so badly to cast on a new one.  All while this blanket sits in a basket, taunting me with it’s semi-not-even-half-finished state.  I look at it and I just feel guilty for not wanting to work on it, although I do want it to be done.  It just seems like a never ending project – I know that I am not even halfway yet and already I am looking for something new to do.

Case in point #2: I just spent a half hour or more putting together a training plan for the Quad Cities Distance Classic in May.  I had no idea it was 12 weeks away exactly from today.  I have the plan all lined up, and will start tomorrow.  Right now I am excited about it and can’t wait to start.  I am definitely over-optimistic, and I know I probably have put together a much too aggressive plan.  I predict no more than 2 weeks before I miss a training day and start to feel burdened by the thought of following the plan for a full 12 weeks.  I completely wimped out this morning and didn’t go run with my friends.  On one hand I was feeling really guilty for not going (in my defense the windchills were -14 at 7 am this morning), on the other, now that I see this 12 week expanse of training I feel a bit justified in taking one more day off.  I see a lot of treadmill running in my future…and I dread treadmill running (Betty and I are not friends at the moment).  But I don’t know how else to do 400 m repeats in the dead of winter.  Almost all my favorite running spots are covered in snow or ice.  See?  I’m already questioning the sanity of the plan and I’ve only had it for an hour!

Oh, and let’s not go anywhere near the sanity of my goal to run 750 miles this year.  Let’s just not.  Perhaps in a few months I will be able to say I am on track.  Right now, not so much. And it’s only mid-February, there’s still time to correct, right?

How do you stay motivated to complete a long training plan or project?

Today’s run

I headed out for today’s run fully intending to come home, shower, and change before doing anything else for the day.

Oh, how plans change.

Instead, I’m sitting here 10 hours later still in my running clothes. I have been to a soccer game, the salon for a cut and color, and have been relaxing at home by the fire, working on my Snowy Owl afghan. All without showering. Or changing. And it feels great.

It was a tough 6.3 miles this morning. The five day old snow was crusty and had not had any traffic to pack it down. So things were a bit slow going. And I didn’t eat breakfast before heading out. So I needed my emergency gel 1.66 miles into the run. Good thing I had it stashed in my water bottle pocket. But, a bald eagle soared overhead at mile 4, and that was all I needed for a perfect run.

Anyway, it was a great run. And I saw my son’s soccer game, and I have a fresh cut and color on my head. Pretty perfect if you ask me.

IMG_0646Doesn’t everyone read Popular Science at the salon?

Week 3

It’s week three of the No Excuses challenge and this week the blog topic is to write about why I live with #NoExcuses.

Wow. That’s actually a bit hard to do because I feel like I have excuses all. the. time.  I actually feel like lately I have more excuses for why I can’t run than for why I can.  When in reality, I know that I could make the time, if it was really that important to me.

But that is part of why I joined this challenge. I wanted something to push me a bit, to motivate me to movement I’d rather curl up under a blanket with a book.

So for me, #NoExcuses means just that. Get it done. Make the effort. Bonus points if I do more, and blog or tweet about it. But what is important to me is that I do it.

So today, I did. 5 miles on the treadmill – after dinner and before bedtime stories and snuggles.

I did it. For me, for my health, and for my family.

Snowy owls, Sunday, and other ramblings

I am so glad for running friends.  I’ve said it before and I am sure this is not the last time I will say it, but there is no way I would be the runner I am today without having a few great friends to run with.

It also helps when one of those friends is training for a 100 mile race this spring.  With all the miles Josiah is putting in, I should never have an excuse for not having a running partner.

This morning he was intending for 3 hours on his feet, so Phil and I met him.  Phil was shooting for 1.5 hours, and I thought, “Maybe I could do two hours.”

2 hour run?  Nailed it.

2 hour run? Nailed it.

Turns out I did have a two hour run in me. Actually I had a 2.5 hour run in me.

It was a fantastic start to my week (plus having Monday off for MLK day is also going to be fantastic…).  Now if only I could sit, knit and watch TV for the rest of the day…but the kids are not going to allow that to happen.

I have been working on a new knitting project the last few weeks.  I cast on on New Year’s Day, and picked these colors to go with our new furniture (supposed to be delivered this week!  yay!).  What I would really love to do is sit and work on this all day, but I probably won’t quite get a chance to do that.  I’m calling this my Snowy Owl throw, because I decided to name all my projects after birds this year, and because – well, just look at my inspiration picture below!

Greys and orange.  I love how modern this is looking.

Snowy owl. See the orange eyes?

back from the depths…

Wow.  I have read blogs where someone says “I’m back, sorry for the break!” and thought, they were gone a really long time.

Yeah, not quite like this.

I am not sure exactly what I am doing back here, typing up into WordPress, but I think it’s a good thing.  I have been missing this outlet for my writing.  But I haven’t missed spending a ton of time on the computer.  Because, you see, I felt overwhelmed with life in general, and so to cope I pulled back.  Way back.  I stopped blogging.  I stopped tweeting.  I stopped posting on my personal Facebook.  I cancelled this blog’s Facebook page.  I needed to have some air.

And do you know what?  It didn’t really help.  I mean, not checking Facebook was (and still is) a great relief.  I like people a whole lot more when I am not reading the minutiae of their every waking hour.  And I liked finally not feeling obligated to post, or comment, or tweet.

So why am I back?

Well, it’s 2015.  I need a bit of a fitness “push” – and so when I saw there was a new online challenge, I decided to give it a shot.  I mean, I already have a blog, I have a Twitter account, so I figured it wouldn’t take much more for me to join a challenge for some accountability.

So here goes.

I’ve joined the Fit Approach #NoExcuses challenge.  Maybe it will work, maybe not.  Either way I hope that I will enjoy getting back into a tiny online presence, without it sucking up too much of my time or energy.  My friend Paula did this MadLib and I thought it was cute, so here goes my version!

  • Hey 2015, it’s me RunningUnplugged (nickname, spirit animal, real name, blog name)

    This year I would like to run 1000 miles (I ran 774 last year), minimize stress, and enjoy life.

    It would also be super duper awesome if I also spend more time playing with my kids this year. It’s not a resolution, though, just a reminder to myself to try and have the best year yet because who doesn’t want the best year yet?

    The thing I am looking forward to most this year is celebrating our 15th wedding anniversary with my husband.

    I’ll use the one thing that truly gets me out of bed in the morning which is coffee to help me get up, get running (verb) and get after my #NoExcuses 2015.

    Speaking of excuses (ahem), my very favorite excuse is I am too tired, I just want to chill and I have used it to get out of doing anything but knitting and reading on more than 999 (number) occasions.

    I vow to move my body and be more healthy this year even if it means I have to get up early or work out after the kids go to bed.

    Even if my alarm clock gets eaten by the dog in the middle of the night, I’ll still wonder how a dog got into our house.

    I will stop blaming the aliens [ex: kids, dog, husband] for eating the rest of the chocolate when everyone knows it was really me.

    My family [job, hair, car, husband, kids] are not the reason I make excuses. I will show my family [same as before] who’s boss this year and get my run [type of sweaty activity] on.

    I know that Pilates [type of workout] is better than chocolate (but it’s really close)  [noun]

    I will reward myself by sleeping in on Saturdays (when there’s no soccer, baseball, or other kids’ activities…)

    Want to join the fun? It’s easy, just…

Glorious Spring

58 degrees and a beautiful Easter Sunday, perfect for a run.

Hope you’re enjoying the warm weather! Finally, spring has sprung!The turtles were enjoying the sun also.


Social running

I don’t have anything earth shaking to share this morning. Just some random thoughts that I felt like getting out of my head.

First of all, I am a social runner. It is made more clear every Saturday morning. Either I get up early and run with a group, or I sleep in and have to go it alone. I can easily run 25% (or more) farther with the group than I do alone. And if those solitary miles have to be on the treadmill, maybe the number is cut in half.

I do still have room in my heart to love the long solo run.  But it’s been so long since I did one that I’m not sure I remember how. And I don’t know if I can spend that much time alone with only the voices in my head to keep me company.  Although, a “lock-in” with that inner critic might do me some good. Perhaps I could finally put her in her place. She does seem to quiet down after 3-4 miles.

Second, I don’t understand (well, I probably do) why more people don’t get out on a beautiful, albeit frigid, morning like today. The snow was lightly falling, it was quiet and peaceful. Usually on the bike path there are other runners. Today it was only the three of us, and one guy and his dog. Totally quiet and relaxing.

Third, I need to reconsider my cold weather running wardrobe. My rear and thighs were red from the cold and it took a half hour before I could feel the seat heater.  Plus, as I warmed up on the almost 40 minute drive home, I started to violently shiver. A hot shower, pancakes, and two cups of coffee later, I finally am starting to feel warm.

And on a non-running note, I finished a crochet project this week. My niece has to wear double casts for a few weeks so I made her some slippers to wear when she is in the house. She was having a hard time walking on the hard floors, so these will help her not slide. Plus, she can put them on herself and they fit over the casts. I had to take a free pattern and do a lot of customizing to get these to work, but they fit perfectly and she loves them. And the supplies were less than $10 from Wal-Mart.  I’m pretty proud of these! And they only took a few nights to make.


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