So what do I do??

I imagined this scene the other day where I was at a dinner party and someone asked me ” So what do you do?”

In my somewhat twisted mind that is a bit of a loaded question. I could answer everything from “well I walk my dog everyday”  to “I’m a nurse” to  ( if I really feel like being a smart ass)  “I “do” lots of things like sleep, eat, drink, laundry, dishes……”  Yet I know in reality and in my imagined scene they were asking what I do for work and I reply “I am a writer”and this person says:

“Oh really?  And would I be familiar with any of your works?”  “What have you written?” Not that ANY of my friends talk like that and it was recently suggested to me that if they do I need to get new friends but lets move on.

Of course they are expecting me to name a book  they can find on Amazon or in their local Barnes & Noble, or a magazine article or some newspaper byline  but in reality my answer would be ( again with a touch of smart ass)  ” Well lets see I’ve written tons of grocery and to-do lists, papers for school, permission slips for kids and nurses notes but I doubt you would find any of those on Amazon

“Oh and I blog.”

Finally a somewhat plausible answer to that question. In reality the real answer is “I am a writer because I write.” I write for pleasure, for the joy of it,for personal soothing,as a release and because I love creating sentences out of words. Just because you can’t find me in Barnes & Noble doesn’t mean I am not a writer. I am a writer because I write. End of story….pun intended just so I can entertain myself!

It is the same with running (or whatever you favorite activity is). I am a runner because I run. When people ask me about a race as in “How did you do”  I use to think they were asking for my race results and I would hesitate and stumble over my answer and the words “slow” and “not very good” often punctuated the sentences I managed to form.

I quit doing that awhile back when I realized that my finishing time did NOT matter. What mattered was I did the race or the daily run and I was out there running. So the answer I always give now to “How was the race?” is “It was great! ” “I had a blast and I’m so glad I did it!” Sometimes people will clarify their question. “No I mean what was your finishing time?” And I say truthfully “I have no idea!” “I started, I finished and I had fun!” If they keep talking I keep walking!

So claim your answer to whatever it is you do! If you bike you are a cyclist, if you write you are a writer. Whatever it is you do that brings… Click To Tweet

Do fill your paper with the “breathings of your heart” or your belly if it is a grocery list..or fill the air with your beautiful music, or your soul with poetry…as Nike says “Just do it”

And don’t forget to have fun while you are doing it and above all else you have my permission to channel your inner smart ass when answering that question “What do you do?”

Now go out and tri!

 

 

Facebooktwittermail

In the midst of my year of running, life happened ..sadly!

After a long absence from running which I blamed on breaking my wrist a year ago ( lame excuse but an excuse) I started out the new year with high hopes to get back into running consistently and training for a local 10k on April 1st.  The irony of having my first race of 2017 on April Fools Day did  not escape me.

I was doing well but got discouraged.  Despite joining a training team and being more consistent I was  slow, tired and my legs ached all the time.  The slow part didn’t bother me as I have never been fast.  The fatigue and aching legs did concern me.

I took a break when we had a trip out West.  I planned to do a 5k trail run but it turned into a hike because the trail was uphill, full of big rocks and loose gravel and if it hadn’t been for the guys ( Go Navy!) I was with I would have face planted several times.  Still it was a workout.

Came home and I was on fire.  That little rest did me a world of good and just this past week I ran three times.  Here was my thought process after each run:

First run: “Wow that was great, I’ve got this..I think there is a marathon in my future

Second run:  ” That was challenging…man I hurt but hey I did it…not sure about a marathon”

Third run:  “I’m either going to puke or die right now”

I survived and as they say ( whoever “they” are) :

A bad run is just a bad run Click To Tweet

Except I ran all this mileage in three days and proceeded to perfect the fine art of tossing my cookies on run #3.

Not my best moment..not my worst but not my best.

Update:  I had no idea my worst moment was just on the horizon.

I wrote this the middle of  March.  It appeared that this would be my year for running.  I was excited about my consistency, my dedication and the irony that the 10k I had planned was on April 1st.  I even had several half marathons planned.

And yet as they say “Life happens” and on March 31st my worst moment came when my Dad suddenly died and my life got turned upside down.  He lived a good long life and was active up until the very last minute.  I miss him terribly and running is hard with a heavy heart but after 3 weeks it is time to get back into it because running is my therapy in motion.

Obviously I didn’t get to do the 10k but my Dad would want me to look forward not behind.  Not sure what races I will do but Dad will be cheering me on and he will be with me especially when it gets hard.

Love you Dad

Miss you Dad

 

Facebooktwittermail

Trying to overcome my swimming anxiety…

Yes I have swimming anxiety.  Not the kind that makes me fearful to go into the water.  As a matter of fact I’ll be the first one to jump in the deep end with my grandkids and the last one to get out.

I love the water.

I hate the water.

Wait..what??  It’s true.  If you ask me to go swimming, go to the ocean or the lake I am there before you can finish inviting me.

Yet last year when it came to doing the one and only sprint triathlon I had signed up for I chickened out.  The anxiety about the swim part grabbed me and wouldn’t let go.

I had done this tri before so I knew the drill.  It was an outside pool swim and you were seeded according to your swim time.  The last time I did it I was the next to last to get in and  out of the pool and I barely made it.  I promised myself it would never happen again.

I have no problem being the last out of the pool. That’s okay but what I didn’t like was how I struggled with the swim.  I thought I had trained enough but obviously not.  I knew what I had to do.

So last year I signed up for it again knowing that I REALLY needed to practice, train and train some more.  And guess what I did?

I got a PhD in swim procrastination.  I did some training but by the time the triathlon was 10 days away I started to panic so I rationalized as to why it wasn’t a good idea to participate.  My lame reasons amuse me now but I remember waking up the morning of the tri and thinking “Wow that was such a good decision” and then a week later beating myself up for not at least giving it a go.

One of my main reasons ( aside from the lack of training) was the waiting by the pool for a good 2 hours before it was my turn.  Not only was it in the blazing sun but there were women  (it was a women’s only tri)  already crossing the finish line by the time I got in the pool.

An embarrassing, anxiety inducing, heat exhausting wait.  Nope wasn’t going to do it.

The joke was on me.  They used two pools this past year to avoid the wait.   Beat myself up some more upon hearing that.

So here it is January 2017.  There is 8 inches of snow on the ground and I am thinking about  wiggling and contorting my post Christmas, post birthday celebration body into a swimsuit and going for a swim.

Snow and swimsuits  brrrrr

Of course the main problem ( which I always blame my lack of training on) is there is no close by indoor pool   I have been patiently waiting for the one to be finished that is about 25 minutes away but it’s taking forever.

Wouldn’t you know as I was online checking on the pool construction status I find one on our local military base that is not only what I need but can use right now.  It’s a little farther away but doable for once or twice a week.

And my anxiety started simultaneously with the excuses as to why I couldn’t manage this. Everything from:

  • there will probably be all these fit young military people swimming there..how embarrassing to be the slow poke
  • to the old standby “I don’t have the time for this”

I got myself into such a state of anxiety I was starting to think about the leftover birthday cake downstairs that would taste so good with a hershey kiss chaser.  So far I am resisting…barely.

After a couple of deep breaths I made a decision!

I WILL swim this week Thursday* because despite all my reservations, all the silly excuses I make up,  all my anxiety over doing it, and not really wanting to put on my suit I KNOW that I will be so disappointed in myself it I don’t at least try..or should that be tri.

What will you Tri this week???

 

P.S. Its Thursday because it fits into my schedule but most of all the roads in my community won’t be iced over by then!

 

 

Facebooktwittermail

Before I could run I had to fall in love again…

I used to think a 5k was easy. Let me be honest.  I used to think a 5k was “too short” or in other words beneath me as I was a more “accomplished’ runner and did 10k’s and half marathons and had aspirations to do a full marathon.

And then I stopped running.

I stopped running for a variety of reasons.  It wasn’t intentional.  I broke my wrist in April when I fell during my attempt to do a triple toe loop at the ice rink.  Translation: Tried to  complete the last lap around the rink after my lesson and lost my balance.

After that aside from the fact I really didn’t want to jostle my broken wrist I also had a great fear of falling and breaking it again although with a plate and 8 screws in it that was highly unlikely.

Then there was our incredibly hot summer.

I tried.  I went out for the occasional run and would start out like a shot and be winded halfway into the first quarter mile and feel discouraged and out of shape.

So I did other things like the elliptical, biking and hiking but I missed running.  I really did.

What stopped me in the summer ( the weather) has been calling to me on these bright fall mornings.img_1346

I went out this morning.  I ran but this time instead of starting out like a shot I decided to do an easy pace. Laughing I remembered a running shirt I saw that said “I run like a turtle, slow as shell”   Yup that would be me but it felt right and I quit beating myself up for not doing it faster or longer.

In the words of Forrest Gump: I just felt like running! Click To Tweet

It was a whopping 1.25 miles.

I’m proud of this “short” distance. I did it because I wanted to get out and celebrate the nice weather, get some exercise and find the joy in running again.  Not to train for a race, go faster, or even to check it off my daily to do list.

I can’t even remember why I started running but somehow the pleasure of just being out there got lost in the “shoulds”.  You should do a faster pace, you should do a longer run, you should push yourself.

All those “shouldings” on myself sucked  the pleasure out of running and made it another chore on my “to do” list.

The other “aha” I am having is that I need and want to do this for myself.  Just me.  I will still do some “races”.  I love to be with the other runners and its a bonus if there is some “bling” at the end but I only do the ones that I find fun.

Say “Hi” if you do see me at a race..I’ll be the one the one with the big grin on my face because I fell in love again with running.

Facebooktwittermail

How I “became” a “real” runner on Saturday!

I recently read a comment from a fellow runner on another blog that said despite the fact she had run 20 marathons ( yes 20!) she still didn’t consider herself a “real” runner.

WHAT???    20 marathons is 524 miles….whoa.

It got me to thinking what makes someone feel like a “real” runner.  Obviously completing 20 marathons wasn’t enough for this woman.

OMG

I have never done a marathon.  I might never do one and yet I felt more like a “real” runner this past week-end than I ever have.   Before I tell you what happened I have to share a passage from a favorite book that has the best description of what it is to be “real”.

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’

‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

So for runners I would change that last line to:

“But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be slow, or last or not a good enough runner, except to people who don’t understand”

You are a real runner because you run nothing more, nothing less! Click To Tweet

As promised here is why I now feel like a “real” runner.

This past Saturday I ran an 8k (5 miles).  It was suppose to be a half marathon (13.1 miles) but my training went poorly so I changed to the 8k and wasn’t even sure I could that.

A couple of days before the race I decided that no matter how I felt I was going and I would run with joy and to have fun.  I was a little nervous especially since on Wednesday I had barely eeked out a mile, but I went.

It helped that the day was chilly but gorgeous.  I put a big grin on my face and just trusted that this would be okay.The first two miles were stop and go.  I had to stop and tie my shoe, then I had to stop to get a pebble out of my  other shoe.  As we approached Mile 2 it became evident that I needed a porta potty quick.  I gotta tell you seeing those line of porta potties at Mile 2 was a beautiful site.  I ran in, ran out and joined the race again.

It was all okay.  Never had to stop that many times in the first two miles but I didn’t stress about it.

I looked around at all the runners.

It reminded me of the old Oscar Meyer Weiner Commercial:

“Fat kids, skinny kids, kids that climb on rocks. Tall kids, short kids, kids that have the chicken pox”

Hopefully there was nobody there with the chicken pox!

The variety of ages and sizes was beautiful and we were all encouraging one another.

And I ran with joy and gratitude to just be out there.

That’s when it happened.  I became “real”  and I was surrounded by “real” runners because we were out there and we were doing it and we all had smiles on our faces and we were triumphant in the “doing”.

Wait there was one more “real” moment after I crossed the finish line when I turned to another woman runner around my age and said “Wow, what an awesome day and great race!”  and she asked “What was your time?”

My reply: ” I have absolutely no idea”

That is what sealed the deal and made me a “real” runner.  I ran with joy and because I could. IMG_2458

Facebooktwittermail

How my exercise “cheat” turned awesome

So I have to admit that this summer hasn’t been the best for me on consistency with my running or any kind of exercise.  Not that I haven’t been active.  Between hanging out with my very active 6 grandkids, running up and down the halls at the hospital, yard work and my dog I haven’t exactly been sitting on my keester.

HOWEVER…I did promise myself I would get more consistent with my running.  I even signed up for a marathon ( in a moment of weakness) which will now be a half marathon and if I don’t get myself out on the road it will be a very expensive 8k.

That alone will get me back on the road.

Well that and the better temps and lower humidity this fall. 🙂

IMG_3059

Still I didn’t want to be a total slacker. So one night around the beginning of July I was already in  in bed and realized I hadn’t kept the promise to do something everyday in the way of exercise.

I really wanted it to be something along the lines of running, or biking.  Something aerobic.  And well at 11 o’clock at night the thought of that was way too much..not going to happen. So….

I hopped out of bed and did 25 push ups.  Let me clear.  25 girly push ups.  Hey at least I did it.  AND I kept on doing it.  It was probably the easiest habit I started and kept!   EVER!  I have no idea why but it stuck.  Not that there weren’t more than several days where I forgot and had to hop out of bed to get them in but I did them.

I’m still doing them. Nobody is more surprised than me!

So it wasn’t what I thought I would be doing but it was a great compromise.

If you made a promise to yourself and it’s not “looking” like you thought it would it’s okay.  It’s more than okay if you found another way to get from here to there.

I’m back to running but still doing push ups.  The push ups are an added bonus.  Feel free to stop by and see the gun show…I am TOTALLY kidding on that one!!

As always…Keep Triing!  

Facebooktwittermail

Thoughtful Thursday??? In a backwards sort of way

If you follow my posts you know the hubs was home for a week. If you missed it you can read it here and if you are really curious how all that started you can read about it on this post.

He left me with a mowed lawn, a powered washed house and new tires ( out of necessity) on my car and a very quiet house full of ….dangerous food that is threatening to jump in my mouth every time I walk past it.  🙂  Well at least that is my story.

Seriously he left me with 1/2 gallon of vanilla ice cream and root beer.  Who can resist that?  Also a half eaten carton of rocky road ice cream, chocolate chip cookies and other various forms of food threatening to add to my girth with little effort on my part.

There is a reason I don’t keep that stuff here as in weak moments late at night.  If there is nothing here then  I am safe.

So as I am making my case for why this can’t happen again in our most recent phone call he agrees with me but then says ” Yes, I left you with all that junk food  BUT ( yup here it comes)  I also left you with a brand new treadmill.

Your welcome.

WHAT???? How thoughtful of him??

Truth be told he wanted the treadmill and when he found one on sale I agreed ONLY because I know he will use it (when he finally gets home) and seeing as how the elliptical has 600 miles on it and is about to wear out I knew it would get used…by him.  I will claim 100 miles of the elliptical but I’ll admit I am being generous with myself.

So the “dreadmill” kept staring me down as did the possibility of a HUGE root beer float.

Not a fan of the “dreadmill”  I much prefer to run outside.  Still I needed to try it out. So I did. It didn’t totally suck and given the fact it was raining and my granddaughter was visiting and still asleep when I wanted to go running…well I’m starting to see the advantages of having it here.

Except now I have no excuses left..kinda like the post office.  Rain, nor sleet nor dark of night will keep me from my workout…gee thanks???

So it’s a Thoughtful Thursday in a backwards sort of way.  I am hoping I will come to love to the “dreadmill” as much as a root beer float.

Rootbeer,treadmill photo

hahahaha  I crack myself up..as if!!  Now go make it a Thoughtful One!!

Facebooktwittermail

Running on Wisdom

So here is the best thing about running at my age.  I can run with wisdom.  I am not trying to be first, not trying to be the fastest, or do the longest run.  I am doing it because, well because I can.  As the saying goes ”

“Today I can run.  One of these days I will no longer be able to run.

Today is not that day”

So as I wrote earlier ( catch it here ) I had to start over with my running.  Well my running endurance and building up my distance.  Kinda bummed about it but it is what it is.

Yesterday I woke up after a very long day on Wednesday and a crappy nights sleep.  I wanted the number of the Mac truck that hit me.  I felt beat up.

So I gave myself a break and didn’t run.  No guilt. No “I should have gone running.”

Nope.  I just knew it was ok to take a day off.

WHAT??  ARE YOU KIDDING ME?

I know people that would think this is unthinkable and unacceptable.  You just have to get out there no matter what.

Too bad.  Would music be music without the spaces between the notes?  Would you be able to read this without the spaces between the words?

So it goes with running or anything else.  Rest is part of exercise. Rest is part of being able to do what we want to do.  Rest is as IMPORTANT as the activity.

OMG

Quick..some people are going to need CPR over this one.

Okay..yes someone famous said ( Einstein maybe?) “That an object at rest stays at rest”   So true.  I would add that an “Object in motion stays in motion until it runs out of energy or gets injured”

Listen to yourself, listen to your body.  It is YOUR body!!  You know it best.

This works except when one day off stretches into a week, stretches into a month.  I’ve done it so I know  🙂

So I went out today..did well, not far.  Maybe a little over a mile ( my Garmin needed a day off and a charge) so not sure how far I went.  It felt great.  And I was on my own to decide when to walk and when to run since Miss Garmin was resting.  Surprisingly  I ended up running more than walking!

And then I went to treat myself with a homemade chocolate chip cookie I had stashed in work bag.

I may be a little wiser when it comes to running but when it comes to cookies my dog, Max, is much smarter.  He was licking his chops when I got back and he wasn’t sorry in the least…well maybe a little but he rolled over for a belly rub so I am guessing he really wasn’t.

Max ate my cookie

Here’s to wisdom and chocolate chip cookies ( out of Max’s reach)!  Keep Triing!

 

Facebooktwittermail

Finding joy in starting over…

I just went for a run.  The first in a very very long time.  The list of reasons is unbelievably long.  Everything from traveling, to bad weather, to hating the “dreadmill” to the simple “I don’t wanna do it”

Of course, when I decided enough was enough and it was time to get out there again I caught a nasty respiratory infection that sapped my energy.  I could barely walk the dog let alone run.

I was smart enough to take care of myself as I watched some glorious perfect running days ( 70’s, no humidiy, light breeze) pass me by and I proceeded to beat myself up for NOT running all the times I had the chance to run when I wasn’t coughing up a lung.

So today was the day to start over.  I knew I would pretty much be starting from scratch.  I set my Garmin to run 3 minutes, walk 1 and decided to do a whole mile.

HOWEVER  I also gave myself permission to let go of what could have been, all those missed running days, and all the running stamina I used to possess.  And most importantly I let go of my ego and gave myself permission to do what felt good.

I made it 2 minutes and decided I needed to walk.  I enjoyed the beautiful day.  I walked 2 minutes and then decided to try the run 3  walk 1 again.  It was amazing.  When my watch signaled it was time to walk I was surprised.

I did my mile ( well .95 of it according to Miss Garmin)  Makes no matter.  I did it.  You can too! It doesn’t have to be running.  Do what makes you feel good, walking, zumba, yoga, or biking.

Let go of the past and what could have been. Let go of what others think is a the “best” exercise, an impressive amount of miles, or time, or the best yoga poses or the hills you “have” to do to be considered a cyclist.

I have lots of running medals and yet today I feel more victorious than ever because I listened to myself and I did it just for me!

Find the joy in whatever you choose to do. It makes all the difference!

The courage to start

Keep Triing,

Facebooktwittermail

Good-bye old friend….

It’s that time of year again.  I have avoided it for several years but it is a must this year.  It’s time.  I have to say hello and good-bye and both will be painful in a way only women can understand.

My time came earlier than for most of you.

I have to …I have to..I have to find a new…..

SWIMSUIT

I heard the collective gasp, the memories of poorly lit dressing rooms with unforgiving mirrors in stores that are sometimes cruel enough to carry the latest  copy of Sports Illustrated Swim Suit Edition.

o-SWIMSUIT-SHOPPING-570

Seriously

I have been avoiding this for several years managing to eek out one more season from my ever faithful friend.  It has seen me through several sprint triathlons and tons of training ( well maybe not tons since swimming is still my worst sport) and great times with the grandkids at the pool and ocean.

It deserves a decent burial..the elastic is so gone it leaves black marks on my back.  A not so subtle plea to be replaced.

So I ventured out…well I ventured online to find another replacement hoping beyond hope that this same style was still available.

Yes I am a dreamer.

I surfed the net and even called TYR.  I sent them a photo and the very nice gal called me back and said  incredulously

“Did you buy this in Canada”  Uh..nooo  right here in the good ole USA.  “We ( TYR) don’t even make that style with that back”

mmmm..Well somebody there did because it has your logo monogramed on it.  What she meant to say was “You are out of luck”

As I started to surf again I wished that I could just plug in my dream suit into someplace like map quest and it would direct me to the exact suit I needed.  I guess that is what google is suppose to do but it misses the mark…alot.

Zappos was my online choice.  Love them.  I call them just so I can hear the joke of the day.  The gal was so helpful and my suit came the next day.  Loved the color, the feel of the fabric and then I noticed it was missing something.

The shelf bra.

Ugh  Double ugh.  It’s not that I even need it for support because the newer suits are so snug everything is smooshed anyway.  I want it for the extra lining because…how shall I say this….I would rather shiver to show I am cold than have my breasts tell the whole world “It’s a bit nipply in here”

As luck would have it I ended up near a sports store that specializes in triathlons.  Called ahead to see if they had suits which they did.  What the really nice guys failed to tell me was that ALL but two of the suits were size small.

One of the two looked like it would do.    It was lined, had a shelf bra ( yes) so I tried it on and… no, no and no.

So that is how I found myself having a conversation with a really cute guy about swimsuits and shelf bras.  Yep I had that conversation with a really cute guy. And yes at the beginning it was embarrassing ( we did not get into the nipply part but he got my drift)  I needed some answers and he ended up being very helpful.

Turns out the need for speed has ruled out the shelf bra in  99% of the kind of suits I like to wear.  Wow.  This turtle swimmer has no need for speed..just the need to finish without drowning.

So hello new TYR suit from Zappos..you must do as I have a swim training this week-end.  You fit fine..let’s just hope the “girls” behave, stay in place and decline to do any weather forecasting.  I’ll keep you all posted  or…. not!

Keep triing!

Related Posts with ThumbnailsFacebooktwittermail