Thursday, September 27, 2012

This is it...

I'm leaving tonight for Saratoga.  My team starts our Ragnar legs at 8am tomorrow.  To say I'm freaking out is an understatement.  I have reached the point in my nervousness where I am questioning why I ever signed up for this in the first place.  I'm also trying to find any reason to drop out.  But, I have 11 other people relying on me, so I can't.  I guess I just have to get through it.  I hope it ends up being a good event.  It doesn't help that they're calling for rain both days.  Oh well, it is what it is.

I'll see you on the other side...

Sunday, September 16, 2012

Just Run

“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.”
                                                                                           ~John Bingham                                                                                                                               

Sometimes, I need to remember this.  I have been struggling with running lately.  Not because it has been hard, but because I have felt unmotivated.  I have actually been doing really well this summer.  My pace has improved and I am a stronger runner than I was last year.  But, I'm in the midst of a blah phase.  It's not surprising.  That's the thing about running.  It isn't always wonderful.  Every run isn't enjoyable.  Sometimes there are phases when running just sucks.  But, there are also times when running is amazing.  When you can feel your feet flying beneath you and you feel invincible.  When you can't imagine doing anything else.  I have been running long enough to know that the lows are always replaced with highs.  The crappy runs are always overshadowed by incredible, perfect, magical runs.  Those of us who run do so because we're always striving for that perfect run.  The one that clears your head and makes sense of the world. The run that grounds you.  The run that makes you feel superhuman.  It doesn't happen often, but when it does, it makes all the crappy runs worth it.  

Today, I had one of those runs.  It didn't start out great, but I quickly settled into it and my legs started working independent of my head.  I just let myself go and surrendered to the road, and it was great.  I ran 9 miles with an average pace of 9:04.  That's not a great pace for fast runners, but for me it's awesome.  It was exactly what I needed as I prepare to run Ragnar at the end of the month and a half marathon two weeks later.  It's what I needed to move past my negative running phase.  It's just what I needed.

Today, I didn't worry about my pace or my training or how far I had to go.  Today, I just ran, and it made all the difference.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

I'm not afraid

Consistently Inconsistent.  That's me...or at least my blogging.  But, unlike before, I'm not going to fret about it.  I have lots to say, and I'm going to put it out there for you to read.  But, I can't commit to a schedule and that's OK.  Posts will appear as I have the time/energy/motivation to write them.  This is my "crazy"time at work, and I'm definitely feeling it.  Which means some of the other things in my life will receive less attention.  Since I'm not willing to allow that to be my children or husband or my own health and fitness, things like blogging and TV watching are the logical victims.  I'm still eating healthy and exercising, and I have a lot of posts half-written in my head.  Soon enough, I'll commit them to paper screen.  On the plus side, I'll have a ton of posts in October when I finally begin catching up :)

The big fitness focus right now is training for Ragnar.  I suddenly realized it is only two weeks away, and I'm starting to feel that familiar anxious feeling I get whenever an event gets close.  Do you guys get that too?  I know that I'll be able to physically do it, but I'm still a ball of nerves and anticipation.  This event is a big "out of my comfort zone" event, and I know it will result in some sort of personal growth.  But, with growth comes fear.  Honestly, I'm more worried about the in-between stuff than I am about the three runs I have to do.  I know I can handle those.  What I'm concerned about is how I will handle sharing space with six other people during the 30 hour time frame.  I don't think I have ever mentioned it on here, but I have an intense fear of other people throwing up.  I know it's weird, but it's true.  I totally panic and freak out.  So, I'm already nervous that someone in my group will get sick in the van...seriously, I'm so nervous that it is something I'm thinking about each day.  So, for me, this part of the event is much more challenging than the running part.  But, as one of my favorite people once said:

Do one thing every day that scares you
                                      -Eleanor Roosevelt

So, I'm embracing my fear and using Ragnar as an opportunity to grow.  I know there will be scary and intense moments that take me out of my comfort zone, and that's exactly what I need.  There is always opportunity for personal growth, and we need to seize those opportunities.  So, I'm seizing mine.  Let's just hope I continue to remember that as I wait for September 28th to get here.

So, what are you going to do today that scares you?

Friday, September 7, 2012

A Friendly Reminder

I just read this fabulous and honest post from Ms. Smart of The Smart Kitchen.   As I'm trying to find my blogging mojo and figure out how to fit blogging into my already chaotic life, it's posts like these that help me realize that blogging should be fun and enjoyable, not obligatory and forced.  I LOVE writing, and if I had it my way, I would write all the place of my "real" job.  Unfortunately, at this point in my life, I don't have that option (luxury?).  So, I have to find ways to write in between all of the other awesome things that make up my life.  I'm no longer in graduate school, so I'm not writing numerous research papers, or that pesky thesis (which I LOVED).  So, I need to get my writing fix elsewhere.  That is one of the reasons I started this blog.  I want to research and write about interesting health and fitness topics.  I want to improve my "informal" writing skills.  I'm so used to writing very structured research papers, and blogging allows me the opportunity to improve my creative writing skills.  But, most of all, I just want a place where I can put pen to paper or, more accurately, fingers to keys :)

However, in the past couple of months, as life has gotten busier, I found myself stressing over my blog.  I felt guilty if I didn't post at least three times a week, and in the evenings I began to see blogging as an obligation keeping me from other fun things.  Honestly, I don't really have any readers, so there's no reason for me to feel pressured to keep up with an "appropriate" writing schedule.  There isn't really anyone to notice if I slack off.  But, that's the thing.  I began to feel pressured to gain readers.  See, I've had this blog for a year now.  I know I don't put in a ton of effort commenting on other people's blogs and such to develop a strong readership, but I was hoping to gain a few readers.  Since my numbers have remained small, I began to put pressure on myself to blog more, comment more, join more blog events, etc. so that I would establish my blog.  But, more than that, I just wanted to be part of the blogging community. 

Well, you know what, I just don't think it's in the stars.  I don't have the time to devote to blogging all the time, and I'm OK with that.  Because, when it's all said and done, I'm really blogging for myself.  I just want a place to write, and if no one else reads it, then that's OK.  The words are still there.  And, really, I am part of the community.  It doesn't matter how many people read my blog, it just matters that I show up and much as I feel capable of.  I'm still planning to move forward with this blog because I love it. I'm just going to make sure I stop putting pressure on myself as I do.

So, Ms. Smart, thank you for those words of wisdom.  They helped me refocus and reprioritize, which is just what I needed.