Tag Archives: running

And it begins…

image credit: http://imgkid.com/

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?


yarn, needles, and great runs

So. Where have I been?

The same places as always. Home, work, running.

So, one might ask why haven’t I been blogging?

Honestly, I haven’t wanted to.  I haven’t had the drive to write. Sure, I find myself thinking of blog post topics.  All.  The.  Time.

But I haven’t been able to bring myself to sit down at the computer.

What’s been taking my time?  Well, the same stuff that I listed in my Christmas post. That and two of my favorite hobbies, resurrected.

What are they?  Knitting and reading.

I realized that I have been spending most of my free time knitting. Like a little old lady, I get in the recliner with a cup of hot tea, a blanket, and my yarn and needles. The hubby watches whatever he wants on tv, and I knit.

But on a running blog, you probably don’t want to hear about my recent socks. Or gloves. Or my cardigan that I have had to cast on at least two times.

So I haven’t been writing.

Today I did have an awesome 6 mile run in less than ideal conditions. Imagine rain on top of snow. Yeah, it turns into ice.  Slippery ice. We (a few friends and I) met at 6 am to run the bike path and quickly realized it was not going to work. None of us had brought our ice skates.

We decided to test the roads and they were much better so we moved to the roads. Luckily they weren’t too busy at 6 am. The few cars that were on the roads no doubt thought we were crazy.

But it was a great run anyway. I have really missed running with the guys. It is so much more fun.

Right now I’m sitting in the recliner while the boys watch a movie, and I’m counting down the minutes until I can send them to bed so I can, yep, you guessed it.

Curl up with a cup of hot tea, a blanket, and my needles and knit.

Have a great rest of your weekend, friends.
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reality: like a ton of bricks.

Do you ever have those moments when suddenly, your concerns and “problems” are exposed for what they are?  Insignificant blips in the reality of what goes on in the world every day?

I’m talking about the devastation that Typhoon Haiyan has caused in the Philippines.  It’s heart-wrenching.  So many lives lost, so many families torn apart.  People are dying from broken limbs – they have infections because their injuries have gone untreated for over a week.

This video, which I saw posted on Facebook, hit me hard this morning.  I’ll warn you, it’s emotional.

I know for some of you this may seem like old news.  The typhoon hit over a week ago.  But I don’t usually get the opportunity to watch the news.  Lately I have been running early, at 4:30 am, and I have turned on the TV to CNN to get a bit of the daily news.  Even that news is “light” and seems superficial.  Morning newscasts seem to be more about entertainment than in depth coverage.  So when I finally got a chance to see Anderson Cooper last night, and saw what is really happening there, I couldn’t help but start to feel like I should do something.

And then the video above, with those families that have lost their loved ones, mothers who have lost their children.  I couldn’t sit back and do nothing.

While trying to figure out what would be the best way to contribute, I learned that the Philippine government, with rampant corruption, may be taxing donations.  Taxing them.  The government is taking a cut of the money that is intended to help people.

So today, I made a donation to Doctors Without Borders.  This is an organization that can, and will, help the people of the Philippines. By helping them, I can help the people of the Philippines directly. Click here to see a CNN article about the organization.

I don’t want to tell you to donate.  That’s not my place.  But when I sat down to write about my run this morning, I just couldn’t bring myself do it.  My heart aches for the mothers searching for their children’s bodies.  My soul cries out for the children missing their mothers.

My run seems so trivial in comparison.


Dear Self: One Week of Motivation

I know I said I’d be back when I could. So consider this an update of sorts, but I’m not totally promising I’m going to be back to posting regularly.

So much has happened.  The summer was busy, the fall got even busier.  I had a huge project at work (HUGE) that ended up at the end of August.  About three weeks later I was asked to take a new job, and I LOVE it.  But, it required me to return to full time, and it is taking significantly more of my time.  It’s more of a leadership position, and so I have had a lot to learn and even more to try and accomplish.  It’s been about a month now, and I finally feel like I am starting to understand just what I need to do to be successful.

Throw in two boys on fall soccer teams, Lego League practices, and everything else, and I was one swamped lady.

So with all this going on, I wasn’t running much, and I wasn’t blogging at all.  I honestly found that in the evenings, if I was home, all I wanted to do was sit.

So I have been reevaluating some things.  I resigned from my writer’s position at the Quad City Moms Blog.  I had cut back my writing to only once every few months, but it was still causing me stress and it had stopped being fun.  I also was trying to figure out what other things I could remove from my list, things I could “not do” in order to help me stay sane.

Then, this last week, I figured out that there is something I CAN do to stay sane.  Something I haven’t been doing for a while.

RUN.

So on Sunday, at the urging of my husband, I headed out for a run.  It felt so good that when I got back I jumped on Facebook and posted this:

My letter to myself

My letter to myself

I remembered I have this practically new treadmill in the basement.  I have been ignoring Betty, and she’s been gathering dust.  Remember those evenings that I don’t want to do anything?  I realized that I am probably not going to change how I feel in the evenings.  After a full day of work, parenting, and everything else, I don’t want to head out for a run and I REALLY don’t want to go to the basement and run on the treadmill.

So I decided to try it.  I set the alarm clock for 4:30.  And on Monday, I got up and ran.  Then I did it again on Tuesday.  And Wednesday.  Thursday morning, I decided to sleep in.  And on Thursday, I felt worse all day than I had felt all week.  So on Friday, I got up early and ran again.  Then I ran outside yesterday, and today.  Six out of seven days.  Seven out of eight if you count the run I took last Sunday.

I haven't run this many times in a week in months.  Maybe not in the last year.

I haven’t run this many times in a week in months. Maybe not in the last year.

I have no idea if this motivation will continue, but I know that when I wake up at 4:30 and run on the treadmill, even if it’s just for 20 minutes, I feel better all day.  And I’m not overly tired at night.  So I am going to ride this wave of motivation as long as I can, because now that it’s getting colder and darker, my motivation to run in the evenings is going to get smaller and smaller.


I’ll see you when I see you.

I know my posts are few and far between, and I decided today that I’m just going to embrace that and live with it.  I am not a professional writer, and I just don’t have the time to do this more often.  So, although I’d love to post weekly, or even more than once a week, I just have to realize that at this point in my life I am not able to sit down and type at the computer “for fun” even once a week.

When life gets busy, my running and my blogging suffer.  And, at this point, life is ALWAYS busy.  I’m hoping things slow down around October.  (2020)

Today I headed out for a run, and felt awesome in the first mile.  Then the lack of much extensive running these past few weeks took hold, and I got more and more tired.  I still managed 5 miles, but I had to take several walk breaks.  I’m not frustrated by this.  I’m actually okay with it.  I think I would have felt worse about it if I had stopped at 3 miles and called it good.  But I decided that even with walk breaks, I wanted to do 5 miles so that I would feel I had accomplished something.  And I realized, this is what happens when you push running to the back burner to deal with life.  But struggling to complete 5 miles is a hard thing to accept when you are used to expecting so much more.  A month ago I ran two half marathons in two weeks, and 10 miles the next weekend.  Of course I came home after that 10 mile run and spent the day sick in bed…whether that was the run or not I don’t know.

But, in the end, what I am doing is spending the time on things that mean more to me.  My kids, my family, and work.  (yeah, work).  I love running, and I love it even more when it’s effortless and rewarding.  And right now it’s not very rewarding – it’s frustrating.  But I also know that this is only a phase, and I’ll get back into it when it makes more sense.  I’m done promising myself that soon things will slow down and I will have more time.

It makes me wonder how others squeeze it all in.  I can’t even fathom training for another marathon right now when I’m hardly getting in a few miles a few times a week.  And some people hit the gym daily?  And cook dinner for their family?  And play catch in the back yard?  And clean the house? And go swimming?  And play at the park?  My head is spinning just thinking about all the things we AREN’T doing.

 

I need to relax.  We’re taking some vacation time in the next few weeks, and I need that desperately.  I may post more if I have time, but then again, I may not.  And I’m going to be okay with that.

 

So, as someone once said to me, “I’ll see you when I see you.”  Seems appropriate.

 


I stink.

I feel gross.

I got out for a 6 mile run this morning. Thanks to my mother-in-law, our two older boys were having a sleepover with their cousins, so I also took an opportunity to sleep in. (Until 7:30!)

When I walked in the door all sweaty and gross, and realized my husband wasn’t home, (he had gone to the grocery store with our youngest), I quickly had to adjust my plans – which had included a nice hot shower. I knew that my kids were supposed to be home very soon.

It’s a good thing I didn’t shower. Sure enough, within 10 minutes she pulled up with a carload of cousins.

All the kids thundered into the house and into the basement to play, and after about 10 minutes I realized that my shower plans had been derailed. It just wasn’t going to happen.

At this point, I only had a short window of time (5 minutes) before we had to leave for my 6 year old’s baseball game. I quickly threw on some pants and washed my face so I wouldn’t look quite so, well, “post-run.”

Why pants? Well, this morning I went out for a run in a very short running skirt. Fine for a run, but not fine for an hour sitting in the bleachers with a bunch of other parents.

After the game we came home, ate lunch, and my husband took the two older boys fishing. Yes! Time for a shower!

Just as they pulled out of the driveway, the 2 year old woke up, ready for lunch and playtime.

Rats! Foiled again.

I’ll shower sometime today.

But for now, I still feel gross.


Coming Soon: Grandmother Power

A week or so ago I mentioned how I have been using Tara Mohr’s 10 Rules for Brilliant Women.  Also a few weeks ago, I subscribed to her email list.  In one of the first emails she sent, she challenged bloggers everywhere to join in to the “Grandmother Power” blogging campaign.

I didn’t really need much time to decide to join.  Let’s see…I have struggled to write, sometimes I need an idea for a post, and this gives me both a deadline and a topic.  Win-win!

And then I have put it off all week as the chaos of the kids’ sporting activities took over – we’ve had at least one activity every night this week, and when I get home and get the boys into bed, the last thing I’ve wanted to do was sit down and write.  Usually I want to eat some dinner and go to bed…yes, at 7:45 pm.

So today, during my youngest’s nap, after scrambling to address invitations for my oldest’s upcoming birthday party (they had to be mailed today), and going for a quick treadmill run and a shower, I am now sitting down to write my post.  Wish me luck.  I think I may have about 20 minutes before he wakes up…

I’ll come back and add a link to the post here when I get it written…here it is: https://runningunplugged.wordpress.com/2013/05/10/empowering-for-innovation/


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