Glenda the Good Witch was right….

glenda the good witchWe all know Dorothy from the Wizard of Oz.  Glenda the Good Witch told her to “follow the yellow brick road” which Dorothy did for the most part with a few detours along the way.  After surviving the wicked witch , the flying monkeys and picking up a few hitchhikers along the way ( the know it all, the drama queen, and the emotional one) she finally made it to Oz.

And then, after all that, Glenda the Good Witch informed her she had the power all along to go home again.  I often wonder if they edited out the part where Dorothy says:

“That would have been good info to have BEFORE the flying monkeys!!”

Glenda the Good Witch was right of course.  We all have the power and wisdom within us to do what we know to be the “best” thing for us.

In the spirit of true confessions I will admit that I have often disregarded my inner wisdom because what it was telling me to do was not popular, in style or often done.   I will also confess that most of those decisions weren’t my best.

The best decisions came from my Gut, that all knowing place that told me it was what was best for me.

One of those was marrying my husband despite the fact that during our dating  relationship we had not spent more than 4 consecutive days together in our less than 2 years of dating.   Three children, 5 grandchildren and 32 years later I am so glad I trusted my Gut !

If you have read this far you are probably wondering what this has to do with triathlons, marathons or life in general.

By the way..notice this falling on Monday so it IS a Monday Marathon post.

The good news is I am officially registered for the Marine Corps Marathon!  Registration opened at noon on Feb 23rd and I was registered by 12:05.  Good thing too because the race filled in record time.

The trusting my Gut part comes as I train for my first marathon.  I have done 5ks, 8ks, 10ks and 2 half marathons so training for a race is not unfamiliar territory.  Yet this one is different.  My Gut tells me there is no wiggle room in the training, no cliffs notes, no all nighters, no cramming the training in a ridiculous short amount of time.

And my Gut is right.  My inner procrastinator must take a permanent hike, never to be seen again ( at least in regards to my running)

My Gut is also telling me to train smart and run smart.  Enter a gem of a book I found called ” Marathoning for Mortals”.  Unlike most running books it is written with humor, honesty and real life examples of  what not to do.

I have been run/walking in my training so far.  Running 3 minutes, walking 1 minute, repeat.  A good way to get back into it after several setbacks this fall and winter.   My original plan was to progress towards all running.  Maybe not.

The “MM” book has 4 training plans and one is the run/walk for marathons.  Really???  I mean really??

Can I get past the “shoulds” or what people will think if I run/walk this marathon?   No decisions yet..possibilities , options but no final decisions.  Still having conversations with my Gut and my body, which sometimes says “enough already”!

Where is Glenda when you need her?  Oh and does anyone know where I can get a pair of ruby running shoes??   Stay tuned!

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Time to put on my “big girl” panties and hit the reset button on my running!

Well faithful readers I am getting closer to posting on a Monday ( today is Tuesday for the calendar impaired)   perhaps I will hit it next week but I am offering no guarantees.

January is almost over and I spent most of it hitting the reset button, slowing down and reading directions (what a concept)!

I wonder if this will be a recurring theme over the entire year?

Just this morning I spent about an hour running up and down the stairs convinced if I unplugged the phones and repeatedly turned them on and off I would get them to work.  My husband insisted that I should try resetting the modem ( everything is tied into that blasted thing and I am convinced it is run by little gremlins who like to make it malfunction  when I need it the most)  I resisted and kept trying to make it work by turning it on and off and perhaps a bit of the “think” method ( remember that from “The Music Man”)

Maybe I just didn’t want Paul to be right AGAIN. It was the modem.  On the positive side I got lots of exercise running up and down stairs.

Other things I have had to slow down and read the directions for include my Ipod, my new digital recorder, my jupiter jack and my bed.

Yes my bed. Is that indicative of how we as humans have evolved?   I now need to read directions on how to operate my mattress.

More than several years ago we bought a sleep number mattress.  In the beginning it was great but lately not so much.  We even added a memory foam pillow top and yet I was waking up like I had an elephant sitting on my back all night.

So the thrifty cheap part of me DID NOT not want to replace this mattress.   Finally the  light bulb went off and I  pumped up the number on my side  and BINGO no more back pain.  Yet another semi blonde  moment ( semi because my blonde comes from my hairdresser)

As for my running not only am I setting the reset button but eating a bit of running humble pie.

My run outside last week on our one glorious day of sun and 50 degree weather was horrible.  It was just not one of those occasional bad runs. It was time to listen to my body AND redo my training plan and hit the reset button and start back at the beginning.

  • Yes I took time off when I had a severe cough, and then got busy with the holidays.
  • Yes I did the elliptical and the treadmill..inconsistently.
  • Yes I thought I could pick up where I left off since I am a runner, triathlete , cyclist.
  • NOT

Not only did my body hurt last week from running but my ego was a little bruised as well.

Time to put on my big girl panties and go back to the beginning.  So I actually read several training plans, my Chi running book and several articles on ( gulp) beginning running.

AND I put each training step  in my calendar. It has actually been fun and refreshing to begin again.  Humble running pie  turned out to be quite tasty.

And those big girl panties fit just fine thank-you very much!   Anybody else ready to hit the reset button,  and join me?

I believe in do overs and new beginnings in EVERYTHING…jump in the water is fine!  OMG now I have to think about swimming…gulp!

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Marathon Monday : If life is a marathon I desperately need a rest stop.

Welcome to my Marathon Monday Posts.  Happy Monday.   While I am not officially registered for the Marine Corps Marathon I am already committed to it so starting today and every Monday until the marathon and possibly beyond that you will be seeing my “Monday Marathon ” posts.

These won’t always be about the actual marathon.   And they might not always make it here on a Monday.  Every Monday’s post will be a surprise, even to me!  Whatever pops up about the marathon or life in general is fair game.

If life is a marathon I  AM in desperate need of a rest  stop.  The vision of  that is so appealing.  I am working, working , working, cleaning up, cleaning out, cooking, running errands, my mind is going in a thousand different directions, phone calls, e-mails, paying bills, crossing off my things on my to-do list, adding things on my to-do list, adding things I have already done just so I can cross them off and then as I round the corner in my house…a rest stop.  Everything fades away and someone offers me a drink of water, an energy bar,  there is a place to sit and put my feet up, it is quiet, my breathing slows, my mind empties…a candle is lit.

Sounds great .  I was all ready to write about how this rest stop bit could be one of my New Years Resolutions but since its Jan 3rd that might be a problem.  I am already 3 days behind.  MMMM…not really, at least not for me.  My New Year always starts on the 4th of Jan.  Really..it truly is the start of a new year for me because ITS MY BIRTHDAY!!!

Feel free to send birthday wishes tomorrow…I will not grow old before my time so wait until tomorrow.

Today,however is my grandaughter, Summer’s  5th birthday.  She was my gift, a day early in 2006.  Best gift I ever got!!

I realized as I prepared for the holidays that I really do need to find a rest stop somewhere in my busy days.  I did take a day off after Christmas, stayed in my pajamas, read, lounged around, watched a movie.  You know what?  I discovered doing nothing is exhausting!  I enjoyed it however I have decided that if I kept that up I would be the living example of Newtons first law

“an object at rest stays at rest” ( thank-you Google!)

“Yup..there’s Mom.  She sat down one day and never got up.  Lately we’re having a hard time figuring out where she ends and the chair begins”

3787_picture_of_an_exhausted_woman_in_an_easychair
Okay..not that much rest.  Balance would be a better word.  With a sprinkle of “simplify”, “fun”, and “serenity”

Sounds great.  My resolution for 2011 is balance.  Where do I start?  mmmm  my mind is wandering already.   Balance is a great word for 2011 but it is  not quite doing it for me.

If you know me then you know I am not a one word kinda gal.  That would be my dear hubby who is quiet anyway and with me around, well, he is down to one word here and there.

A phrase for 2011 would suit me better.  So here it is!

“Anticipation of quiet creativity”

This is my rest stop.  This is what is getting me out of bed in the morning.   Huh?  Let me explain.

  • Anticipation…looking forward to.
  • Quiet….slowing down, centering,balance
  • Creativity…anything that gets my juices going..writing, reading, baking, scrap-booking….music, walks with my dog.  even running. Running doesn’t “slow” me down but it does pace me with a comforting rhythm.

The anticipation of being creative enough to fit this into each day is incredibly energizing.

So there you have it.  I found my rest stop.  Its up to me to keep it fully stocked and always available.  It is my respite.

You can do it too.  Its free, its fun, its essential.  Take one right now and promise to take one, two or three everyday.

You are so worth it!

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Semper Fi…the weather made me do it!

Sometimes I just know.   Its that feeling in my gut.  Intuition.  It feels right and I know I will regret it if  I don’t do it.

It can be about other people, family, friends, acquaintances or it can be about ME!!

The powerful ones are those that come to me and I think really?  No way!!

I shove it aside and it pops up again and I say…c’mon, really?

I shove it aside again but this time it doesn’t budge it stays put and says “I am here to stay, deal with me, make the decision and we both already know what it is.

I tried to ignore this last one.  I tried to tell myself that its only a maybe and I could wait until Feb 23rd to make a decision.

I really did try.

I knew I was in trouble when I started smiling about it, when I started visualizing how it could be…uh oh…this isn’t going to wait until Feb 23rd.

I was starting to feel like Kevin Costner in “The Field of Dreams” with the voices but instead of  saying “Build it and he will come”  mine would say:

“Do it because you can…now is the time”.

For me this is a big deal…because I have never wanted to do this before..nope not me..no way I want to do this.  Some of you reading this have already done this many times and it’s not a biggee.  But for me…  I can’t  believe I am even considering doing this but it feels right so I know I must.

I want, must, have to  run the Marine Corps Marathon.  For whatever reason this will not leave me.  And it can’t be any other marathon.  It has to be the Marine Corps Marathon.   So now that I am saying it I can quiet that inner voice.

So here is the question…can a woman who just started running about 6 years ago, train and run a marathon knowing arthritis that 2 short months later she will be having that double nickle birthday??  Am I crazy?  (Relatives and close friends may NOT answer that last question)

Part of me thinks this is about triumphing over the excuses I came up with this summer for not running.  Seems I have hooked into the weather like I am Sam Champion and use it as the perpetual excuse NOT to run.  It’s too hot, it’s too humid, it looks like rain, is that thunder I hear?  And as the weather turns colder..it’s too cold , windy, the wind chill makes it blah, blah blah.  Can anybody relate?

I just posted about what happened to me three weeks ago while running in the cold.   The Cliff Notes version is I ended up with a bad cough and pulled muscles from coughing.  Find the longer version here: Cough and Stand up Straight

By the way I DID do a short run on the treadmill today..felt good to get back into it.

So now that I have posted it here and told a few people, it is real.  My next step is to start training  AND register on Feb 23rd.

The actual marathon is not until Oct. 30th so 2011 will be a year of races and training .  I’ll keep you posted.

So what about you?   What is your GUT telling you…are you listening?

Take a moment, pay attention throughout the day.  Give yourself some quiet time…turn off the TV, the music, go for a walk.  Allow that inner voice to speak..give it some time. It will show up maybe not right away and certainly not everyday.  But its there.

It might be telling you to call someone, send a note, try something new, step out of your comfort zone.  Let me know what you hear or feel…especially if it tells you to run the Marine Corps Marathon..I could use a buddy..or at least a cheering section.

Hoora!  Semper Fi

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So which was it? Trip to the ER or a great idea?

You all might remember that back in January of this year I blogged about my upcoming adventure with my new clipless bike pedals.

If your memory is anything like mine (good but short) you might want to hit the link below and reread the original post.

A great idea or a trip to the ER?

So here is the scoop.  I did not meet my deadline of Feb 1st mainly because of the winter weather.

That’s my story and I’m sticking to it!

Honestly a little good ole procrastination and just plain fear also entered the deal.

Now my middle name lately could be “fearless” as I have swung on the trapeze and  rappelled off a 4 story building  and would love to do a tandem sky dive

SO why did falling off my bike make me shake in my boots?

Lets see..the trapeze had…

  • a HUGE safety net
  • a guided harness

The rappelling adventure had ..

  • a helmet
  • a safety harness
  • some really cute National Guardsman helping me (always a plus)
  • No net!!

The rappelling was a spontaneous adventure and my gray matter had no time to process what I was actually doing.

Somehow, somewhere, someone is going to ask me …

“So if you saw someone jump off a 4 story building, would you do it too???

“Why yes I would and here are the photos to prove it!”

Almost ready to jump

Almost ready to jump

"Jumping off a 4 story building"

"Jumping off a 4 story building"

Despite all this my fear was a hungry bear and it got busy feasting on:

  • Childhood memories of painful scabby knees and lost battles with the sidewalk
  • My husbands voice telling me “Your gonna breaka u face” ( thanks Paul)
  • All those friends with their wonderful bloody bike pedal disaster stories they delighted in telling!

I  reminded myself of the quote by Helen Keller:

” Life is either a great adventure or nothing”

Pushing the fear aside I started with one pedal, graduated to two…and I DID it without falling.  AND I did it just in time for my Sprint tri in June!

Bike pedal success!

Bike pedal succes

That is not quite the end of the story.  Spurred on by my success and getting a little cocky I fancied myself the master of the bike pedals.

Off I went  a few weeks later exploring a new bike path and down I went when I took a sharp turn and lost my balance.

And the pavement won!

At age 53 I sported a very scabby knee and a slightly bruised ego.

My scabby knee made for some interesting conversations especially since I took great pleasure in wearing Scooby Doo band-aids!

So I didn’t “break a my face” and I LOVE my bike pedals!

I know I have some more learning ahead of me, a few falls and maybe a scabby knee or two.

Still…I am so stinking proud of myself I may have to borrow Ava Grace’s  “I’m Kind of a Big Deal” shirt!

So my friends, face your fears, take a risk, fall down, get up, and do it again the next day…its all about the “trying”

Let me know what you’re up to so I can cheer you on!

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