Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Turn turn turn...

Why is it so hard to follow through with your commitments after a long day of work?  I start off the day so excited to get to the gym and run or have a good, hard work out but after a long day at work, I get into my car and go back and forth between deciding if I'm going to go to the gym or not.  Recently, more often than not, I make it to the turn and I head off to do something else instead.  Why is this?  I wish I knew...

One thing that helps me is to keep inspirational quotes and pictures and memories around me.  One person that has inspired me recently is Courtney on the newest season of Biggest Loser.  Maybe it's because I can relate so much to her as she lost 100 pounds on her own before joining the show or maybe it's because I love her work ethic.  No matter what kind of challenge is thrown at her, she remains positive, does everything that's asked of her, doesn't complain - she just wants to be an example and an inspiration to the thousands of people watching.  And I truly think she is.  So how can I use this to make a goal?  When I'm wavering between going to the gym or going out to do something else, remember the struggle I've faced and remember the positive, can-do, don't take anyone's crap and stop making excuses attitude of Courtney.  What are you inspired by?

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

Changing of the Tides

"You won't make your decisions easier just by putting them off until later. When a decision is called for, go ahead and make it.  If you keep your options open for too long, those options will no longer be available to you. Choose one option based on your best information, and go with it.  Give sufficient thought and consideration to your decisions, but don't drag them on endlessly. The sooner you get started implementing a decision, the more effective you'll be.  Accept the fact that you won't make a perfect decision every time. And remember that you'll have opportunities to adjust your approach if things don't work out the way you planned.  You cannot predict the future yet there is much you can do to intelligently and effectively prepare for it. Instead of agonizing over what might or might not happen, get busy creating value that will be there no matter what happens.  Go ahead and decide. The sooner you decide, the more time and energy you'll have to make the decision work out the way you intended."
-- Ralph Marston

I came across this quote in an email reminding me to apply for grad school before the cutoff date.  I think it is a great quote that can be applied to so many different areas of your life.  While change can be scary, sometimes change is exactly what's needed...and while it can be scary, that's what makes life so exciting!  I'm not saying I'm a huge proponent of making gigantic life decisions on a whim...these things should be thought through and options examined but once you feel that it's the right decision, you should start making plans and arrangements to get the change under way.  I am definitely feeling convicted by the quote because there are a few things going on in my life right now where I have been sitting on the fence, not making a huge move either way.  Now is the time to make those decisions and move full steam ahead.  Oh, and if you're afraid of failure when you're making a change - don't be.  Failure is just an opportunity looking to be turned on its head into success.  What you see as failure can actually be the road to a new adventure.  I'll keep you up to date as my decisions, and the changes that come with those decisions, unfold.  Join me?  Make a change!

Sunday, January 9, 2011

Starting over kinda sucks

Today was my first run for the year...and my first run in quite a few weeks.  Wow am I out of shape.  It's really frustrating starting over because I know where I have been and where I should be and I want to be able to jump back in to 6 mile short runs and 10 mile long runs.  Let's just say I have a battle to get there but that's all a part of starting over.  I did find an interesting article in Runner's World magazine about starting/re-starting running and I thought I'd post the parts I found particularly helpful.

"Whether you're returning to the sport after taking time off or you're just starting out, the mental and physiological barriers that stand between you and your inner runner may seem insurmountable....It takes time for blood vessels to respond, for your heart to get bigger and stronger, to add mitochondria to your muscles," he says. "But the good news is that our bodies are incredibly adaptive."

They also list strategies to overcome common early frustrations:
-"The second week feels harder than the first. Feeling a little stiffness a week into an exercise routine is normal.
-Three miles is still hard
-Even a short run leaves me incredibly sore.
-Other runners chat, but I'm out of breath.  Slow down.  There's a level that's comfortable for everyone - some runners might be able to talk while doing an 8 minute mile, others might be at a 12 minute mile."

One last tidbit:  Focus on time, not distance.  Especially when you're starting back or first starting.  The mileage will come in time, but focusing on the time rather than how far you've gone keeps you from getting disheartened by how slow you're running or how long it's taking you to cover a certain difference.

Remember it's hard to start something new, but you feel better once you're done and/or completed your goal.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Family and a challenge....accepted.

I absolutely love Christmas time - people are nicer, all the lights and decorations are beautiful and it typically means time with my family.  This year, my Christmas plans changed due to the snow storm that hit the east coast.  Instead of going to Savannah, I stayed here and my brother, sister-in-law and niece drove up to stay with my parents.  It was wonderful having them here for a whole week!  My niece got her first snow and it was SO fun to see her react to the snow and the cold.

My brother, Jason, found out there is a half marathon in Atlanta over Thanksgiving this year and asked if I would run it with him.  I looked up the course and it follows part of the Olympic marathon course run in 1996...which means there are hills.  Those of you who know me and my running, know I absolutely despise running hills and pretty much only run them when I'm forced.  Knowing this, I was not thrilled about the half marathon, however I think it would be fun to run a race with my brother.  So this is my way of saying, it's time to get back in half marathon shape! 

I have signed up for the Monument Avenue 10k in April.  I ran this race for the first time 2 years ago in 1 hr 15 minutes.  My goal is to complete it in the same amount of time...especially since I was coming back from an injury at the time.  My "cherry on top" for the race would be to run it in under 60 minutes.  I like to say 'go big or go home' so that's what I'm doing.  After the race, I plan on concentrating on gradually adding mileage however concentrating on speed and the dreaded hill work.  So, if you are in Atlanta and see Jason - be sure to ask him how his training for the half marathon is going.  He also has no idea I'm blogging about him, so this should be fun. =)  If you're in Richmond and want to go for a run or train for the 10k with me, or even run the race with me - lets do it!  It's always more fun with friends!  Grab your running shoes and start your adventure with me as I aim to get back in half marathon shape and absolutely DEMOLISH my previous half marathon time.