Monday, December 15, 2014

Topic 16: 20 Myths about a Marathon....Part I

Oh boy! A running topic!! This may actually be difficult because I don't really know too many myth about marathons! But I'll debunk a few that I can come up with.

Myth #1: I could never run a marathon

Bologna. Pronounced BULL LONEY. 

I am pretty sure anyone can complete a marathon, given they have proper training and are cleared by their doctor. 

Myth #2:  I can't do a marathon because I can't run the whole way. 

Bologna. Again. Pronounced. BULL LONEY. A marathon is 26.2 miles. Point A to Point B. You can get there running, walking, crawling, hoola hooping (as long as you're on your own two feet, I've seen it...for real), and any combination of these. I used to think it wouldn't count if I walked. But it totally counts. Run. Run/walk. Walk. Who cares?! You did it and it counts!

Myth #3:  My toenails will fall off. 

Maybe. Maybe not. I've never lost a toenail to the marathon. I have many friends who have many times. I think it comes down to your toenail genetics, shoes, socks, lubricated feet, and conditions on race day. If it's raining, like it did in Portland 2010 where is rained like 7 inched in 2 hours, your feet and socks WILL be wet which is very hard on the toenails. And you know what? So what if you do? It's a badge of courage and accomplishment. It is something that most everyone who experiences it brags about. It is a conversation piece. All the cool kids are doing it and it should not be your reason for not taking on the 26.2. 

Myth #4: Only crazy people do it.

Ok. Maybe so....but it's a good kinda crazy!

Myth #5:  I will have to train all the time and have no social life.

#truth

Ok, well 90% true. You do have to train. You have to stick to your plan if you want to finish the marathon with as little pain as possible (there will be pain, but following your training plan helps. Significantly.) But your social life becomes your training. Or your training becomes your social life. You will find that you start hanging out with your running buddies and instead of staying up late you go to bed early and get up early. And you run for miles then go out for a big fat burger and hot coffee. And that is fun! That becomes your social activities and you soon forget any other things you did and you wonder what on earth you did before you had kids you started training for a marathon!

Myth #6: I will get so skinny! 

#false

Sorry. Simply not true for 95% of us. The thing is this, running makes you hungry. And if you don't follow a strict diet (and I don't mean diet like restricting, i mean disciplined eating of healthy foods and a combination of protein, fat, and carb) you will eat your weight in junk and thus not lose any weight. You will certainly see changes in inches and tightening and moving around as body composition repositions but you most certainly will not lose copious amounts of weight....unless you don't eat. In which case you would not be able to cover the distance of 26.2 miles. You will need a lot of energy which as we all know comes in the form of FOOD. And no, not necessarily carbs....which brings me to my next myth....

Myth #7: I hate bread and pasta. I can't run a marathon because I hate carbs. Or I am Paleo....

So? Yes you can. Complex carbs are better anyway! Try beans, lentils, and peas! Green vegetables, oatmeal, potatoes and sweet potatoes! Pumpkin is a good source of complex carb as well.  Eat healthy and eat appropriate portions and you will do just fine. If you find yourself in a brain fog or a slump (often in the middle of a long run if you haven't eaten enough prior) then you readjust your diet before the next run. It is all a game of trial and error. Everyone must find the way their body responds and how best to fuel it. What works for me most certainly won't work for everyone.  But don't let this deter you!

Myth #8: I might get last. And that will be embarrassing.

Uhhh.....don't chose a tiny marathon full of elite athletes. Ok, really...some of these marathons are HUGE. Chances are you won't get last. But yes, I guess there is usually a last person to finish. But who cares! You did it!! 26.2 miles is a long way and a respectable distance! And you just did it! That is all that matters! Also have a running partner that matches you pretty well and run together. You both can be last together! Or you may surprise yourself and not get last at all! And really, in the end no one really cares, it is your race and yours alone. Who cares what those benchwarmers think? Let them lace up and try to run 26.2 miles....then they can say something.

This is getting really long. I think I will break it up into at least two posts. Do you have any marathon myths you'd like debunked? Let me know and I'll give you my 100% personal opinion.



Thursday, December 11, 2014

Swim, swim, swimming...

I'm taking a break from my previously scheudled blog topics to actually discuss something fitness related! Yay!! Swimming! 

I've been swimming with the Masters swim team lately and it's going swimmingly. It is hard to make the time, but that's just it, I HAVE to make the time. Practice is from 8-9 PM and by the end of the day I am wiped out. But it is so worth it to just suck it up and go. I have yet to regret going, only regrets are the times I have not gone. 

Here is our 2000 meter workout from Monday. The workout Tuesday night was 2300 meters but I gran out of time and had to call it a day at 2000m. But I am ok with that.


Isn't it beautiful? I love pools. It just looks so calm and inviting!


I am trying to go three times a week in preparation for an actual swim meet end of January. I have verbally committed to swimming the mile. YIKES!!  When I swam 1.2 miles in my 70.3 my time was 42 minutes, I think. I know in the swim meet, in the pool, the times will be much MUCH faster. I know I will be destroyed. I know I won't win. I just hope it doesn't take me 40 minutes! Everyone would be watching me finish! One of my teammates told me her time in the last meet was about 21 minutes and most of the others were around 18 or 19 minutes. Ummm..... Say whaaaa?! Ok. I am not scared though...ok so I AM scared but not scared off... I will try. That is all I can do. Try. Wait, but like Yoda says, there is no try. Only do or do not....And I will do it. If I can get my time under 30 minutes I would be thrilled! I have about  month and a half to get ready for this....Given my first day day in the pool after being released from the surgeon for my shoulder I swam a mile. I know I can cover the distance. I just don't know how fast. Or how graceful. And my turns....oh. my. goodness....my turns are not pretty. But I'm not asking for pretty. I'm asking for completion. And maybe completion in a decent time. Under 40 minutes. Or under 30 minutes. Ok really all I am asking is to finish and to not throw up in the pool. That would not be cool. 

And just throwing this out there....I'm kicking around the idea of a Ragnar Relay in Florida. Just kicking it around. If I can work it into my schedule and figure out the logistics it just might happen. 

Friday, December 5, 2014

Topic 15: 20 Quick Tips About Health....

Health is multifaceted so here are 20 tips for health that encompass all facets of life:

1.  Get plenty of sleep. 
2.  Drink lots of water. 
3.  Eat less sugar. 
4.  Eat more whole foods. 
5.  Sweat. Daily. 
6.  Don't be lazy when you are parking. Don't be that annoying person who waits for four minutes to get the closer spot. You could have parked and walked in already! And gotten a few extra steps in. 
7.  Laugh often. 
8.  Don't be angry. Let things go. 
9.  Don't drink soda. 
10. Cut back on coffee. 
11.  Get a pet and snuggle with it. 
12.  Play with your kids. 
13.  Invest in yourself. Take "me" time and stop making "I'm a busy mom" excuse. You matter. A lot. 
14.  Talk about it. If not to a close friend find a therapist and work through it. 
15.  Drive slow. 
16.  Wake up early and don't be in a rush so that you CAN drive slow. 
17.  Vow to make your house a "Non-Yelling House". There is no need for it and it can cause anxiety in some kids. Even if it's not angry yelling. 
18.  Try yoga or at least meditation and/or mindfulness. 
19.  Count your blessings weekly. 
20.  Dare to day dream and begin to make those dreams a reality....


Do you have anything to add to my list? 


Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Topic 14: The Best Moment of my Life...

Wow, this is tough. I've had a lot of awesome moments. But here are two...

1. When LB was born I got a glimpse of him then he was whisked away to the NICU. About two hours later I was finally able to see him. That very first moment I got to hold LB and look at his perfect little Elmer Fud face....Best. Moment. Ever.

2. The Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon in 2010. The entire 4 hours 9 minutes of it was awesome. But specifically the final 100 yards and the few minutes thereafter are the absolute best memory ever....I had run an excellent race. I saw my family waving and cheering me on around mile 21. Only a few miles to go. When I finally came within eyeshot of the finish line I knew I was going to do it. I was going to win! Win MY race! I heard my name being called and I looked to my left to see my dad and LB! Dad was running along beside me, on the backside of the fans camped out to cheer their runners in. My dad was finishing with me....with the biggest smile across his face, in his cowboy boots.


Once I finished and got a hamburger, chocolate milk, some cookies, a banana, an orange, some water, and more chocolate milk I made my way out of the athlete finish area and over to my dad and LB. The photo above is one of my all time favorites. I was so proud of myself, LB was obviously proud too...and my dad, he was proud of me. I could just see it in his face and eyes...he was proud of me. 

That photo was taken only weeks before he was diagnosed with Pancreatic Cancer. The thing about our Best Moments Ever is that you rarely ever know at the exact time it is actually happening that it is in fact THE BEST MOMENT OF YOUR LIFE....



Monday, December 1, 2014

Topic 13: Write a Letter to Someone I Need to Forgive...

One thing I know for sure is that forgiveness often is something that is done for yourself. Carrying hurt, resentment, and anger is exhausting and really does no one any good at all. I'd like to think that I'm pretty good about forgiving people. I don't carry a lot around with me. I can't. It's too much.  When you forgive someone you certainly are not excusing the behavior or saying what they did was ok or acceptable. When you forgive them you are doing so so that their behavior does not destroy your own heart.

Here it goes...

An open letter to the person who hurt my feelings,

Dearest,
I have a tendency of putting my head in the sand. It helps me get through the tough times. I push things away, pretend they aren't really happening, or just straight up shove them aside so that I don't have to acknowledge it. Often times I distance myself from others when I am hurting. And then I find that the one who hurt me is no longer there, mysteriously, or maybe conveniently, having bowed out. Disappeared. Ducked out while I was ducked under. I don't know where you are, how you are, what you are up to. You unfriended me on Facebook, remember that?  So this is the only way I can get you a message, not that you read my blog though. 
The thing is I have always been nice. Really nice. Sometimes people mistake my niceness for naivety or being oblivious.  But I can assure you I am neither. I notice things going on around me and I take note. I often catch discrepancies and they sometimes hit me in the face like frying pans.  But I rarely confront. I like to wait and see....watch what happens. Then I can decide what to do. Do you know what it feels like to be told you are awesome, or "amazing"?  Completely unprompted? Let me try to express to you the hope and loyalty that is instilled inside of a girl who has the Great Wall of China built up inside. It may have taken a few months but the most amazing thing is the moment I realized that the wall had been peacefully torn down, so peacefully that I didn't even realize until I was left wide open, vulnerable. I don't think I will ever understand why someone takes such pleasure in being a Knight in Shining Armor just to turn around and be the villain. Why take the time to carefully and gently tear down a wall, brick by brick, so delicately that there is nary an indication it was ever there, just to plummet through the once barricaded boundary and kill the unsuspecting fledgling heart? The only thing I can compare it to is working months and months to earn the trust of a stray dog, a stray who is doing just fine on it's own mind you. Who has found a nice warm shelter under a shed, where it's cozy and safe.  And it has found a place where it can eat every single day, without fail, and in general has found a way of life that works and is just fine. It has other doggie friends it plays with, and even gets handouts from random animal lovers consistently.  But one day a man comes and sees this dog and says, "Wow, what a great dog! I can't believe no one else wants it! It's so fluffy and cute! Such an amazing dog! I need to take care of this dog."  He just has to convince this stray dog to eat out of his hands. Eventually this dog's go-to food sources quit watching and waiting for it. It's friends stopped coming around because it was always with the kind man. And being with him is what it loved! After all he always gave it raw hides and treats, he even put a flea collar on it! He made the dog feel special! He took extra care to not scare it and to make sure it was taken care of in every way. He ran off bully dogs who wanted to steal it's spot under the shed. He eventually led it to his house where it had warm blankets and an amazing doggie bed....they play fetch and went on doggy walks to the lake. They did thing together that dogs dream of doing with their human......You get the drift. Then BAM. One day the man was gone. He didn't even say good bye. No more food, no more treats, no more petting or attention. No more doggie bed.  He just simply decided that this poor stray dog was no longer worth his time.  Or maybe he had to go and couldn't take the dog. Either way he didn't even say goodbye to the dog, gave no indication that he wouldn't be back. The dog sat, patiently waiting for him to return, to hear his whistle or his voice. Surely he wouldn't just leave me here, it thought. He wanted me! He worked so hard to get me to come to here, and now that I have there is no way he doesn't want me anymore....Why would he bother to do this for me if he didn't really want me? I can't believe that he would do that. Maybe something awful happened? Maybe I did something wrong? Maybe there is something wrong with me? 
I know the truth though, the truth about that stray dog and about myself. There is nothing wrong with us. There is nothing wrong with me. Maybe I did do something wrong, or something not right enough.  But the fact of the matter is I forgive you. I know relationships happen and there  are only two endings: Together forever or break up. So there is no surprise there that the relationship ended. However the surprise is in the manner in which it ended. And that is what I forgive you for. I forgive you for slowly building my trust, slowing making me feel safe and happy. Slowly convincing me that I would not regret taking a chance on you....only for you to disappear like Houdini. I forgive you for not valuing me as a person, not recognizing that I am a human with thoughts, feelings and emotions. I forgive you for dehumanizing me and tossing me to the side like I didn't matter. Like I never did and I never will (to you anyway).  
You see, I know that people are going to hurt me. They have in the past and they will in the future. I don't want to continue on in life untrusting and waiting for the proverbial other shoe to drop. I don't want to rebuild my ginormous wall, the one that I now know really doesn't protect me at all. If it remains strong and tall I hurt, living a lonely life not connecting to others. Or I take it down and I am left wide open to hurt, pain and rejection. So either way I recognize that I won't actually be able to find true, strong love if I keep my wall up. And the only way to know is to let the wall down, invite them in and just wait and see...I do have a hopelessly optimistic view of people and I believe that not everyone is out to hurt me. In fact I don't believe you really intended to hurt me the way that you did. I don't believe that you meant to come in like a wrecking ball (wow, I thought Miley might come in handy for me one day) and completely ransack my chest cavity.  You see, I understand your struggles as well. That's a part of loving someone. You know, loving all their flaws in imperfections. I saw yours and I accepted them. But I didn't see the end coming. I had finally allowed myself to take a chance and think about the future....
One thing I have learned over the years is that you can love someone but that doesn't mean they are good for you. And just because someone hurts you doesn't mean you immediately stop loving them. What I have noticed is that long after the dust has settled and the scars have healed, even with the memory of the pain and the hurt, the love is still there. You don't just stop. It doesn't go away. Over the years I have come realized that once I love someone I always will. The capacity and intensity may change, but the love never dies. Many times I think long-after-the-fact love is often confused with hate, hatred, or anger. But I know that you cannot hate someone unless you  first love them...and even then you don't actually hate them. You love them. And they hurt you. And thus when you say you hate someone  what you are really saying is that you love them and they hurt you so badly that you are choosing not to recognize that love and you are renaming it: Hate.
I don't acknowledge hate, unless it is used in a sentence with spiders. Then I really believe in HATE, the hate that has nothing to do with love....But I digress....For me, love is a strong and necessary tool used in forgiveness. And love for myself is what allows me to continue to love and care for those who otherwise could not possibly care less for me. It allows me to see my own beauty and potential, even when and if they aren't recognized by others. Love is hope. For me it is hope in the future and it makes every morning as exciting as Christmas morning...what will I do today? Who will I meet today? Who will I hear from today? What will my heart experience today?  
Yes, you may have broken my heart, but you have not broken me or my ability to love. As for me, I will be OK because I have no other option. I chose love. And I chose to forgive. So don't worry about me. I hope you are doing well and I wish you love and happiness in the New Year.
Your's Truly,
A



P.S. I  am going to be SO happy to finish all these pre decided topics and get back to fitness blogging!!! 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

Topic 12: A Word That Means Something To Me...

Life. 

We only have one....and I don't want to squander it. I want to experience it!

I have realized that just waking up and living is not enough. I want to LIVE LIFE. I want to experience LIFE. I want to be an active participant in my LIFE. I want to make LIFE happen....I want to say "Yeah, I did that."

I want to live the LIFE I love.

You may have noticed that the theme of many of these post lately have circled around choices and life and living....and future. I have really been doing a lot of soul-searching, self-work, and self-evaluation lately. I have noticed that I seem to find myself in the same situation, over and over and over....And it is time to change. Time to take a leap of faith and begin living LIFE. Whether I like it or not LIFE is happening and I don't want to be a bystander and just let it unravel, I want to be involved. I want to dream and make it happen the way I want! For so long I was along for the ride, living the LIFE of a military wife, tagging along on someone else's LIFE dream. I was not in control of anything in my LIFE, or at lease not much. I just had to hold on and say "Ok, I'm in. " I never dared dream of the LIFE I wanted because it seemed impossible and only left me with disappointment. My LIFE would begin after military time was done. I felt I had to chose between the LIFE I had as a military wife, a mom...and the LIFE I wanted. Don't get me wrong, I wanted to live LIFE as a wife and a mom, but I also wanted more....but being a military wife did not allow for my dreams of the future. So I gave up on that....I had no dreams beyond "tomorrow" or maybe "next year".

Fast forward to now and I am sitting here. Not a wife (and that's OK!).  I have a bucket full of dreams for my LIFE that I can make happen! I am ready to put a plan into action and begin seeing my dreams actually happen!

I am so excited! for once I have a very vivid picture of my future in my mind. It is amazing! It will take a lot of work and dedication but I can finally being living a purposeful LIFE with a goal....and LIFE is good....and exciting!

So how about you? What is a word that means something to you?

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Topic 11: Bad Hair Days....

I've had far too many bad hair days lately.

I made a very very bad decision....all because I am impatient. I have an awesome hair girl. I'm lucky to have found her within weeks of moving back to OK. BUT....as it is with all good hair people she is busy and often difficult to get in to unless I schedule far in advance. I don't plan. I'm a fly-by-the-seat-of-my-pants kind of girl. I hate plans. 

So one Saturday when LB was hanging out and playing with a friend I decided it was my chance to get my hair trimmed....I mean just a little trim, I'm talking a quarter inch off the ends. So I headed in to Super Cuts. I mean it's a trim for crying out loud. What could go wrong? It's just hair, it'll grow...Just a trim.

JUST A TRIM.

JUST A TRIM?

HOLY MOLY LADY WHAT ARE YOU DOING? 

IF YOU KEEP GOING IT'S GOING TO BE A MULLET! 

OK, THAT'S GOOD. I THINK WE'RE DONE HERE. 

I have no idea what happened. She put me in her chair. I told her I'm growing my hair out and want to keep it long but need just a trim off the ends to clean it up a bit. And a little trim on the bangs and to frame my face.  She started CHOPPING the sides. I said, "Whoa! If you keep going it's going to be a mullet!" Ugh. I stopped her and left. And now my left head hair is shorter than my right head hair. I'd show a picture but I'm at work and have figured out a way to mask it and make it somewhat disguised.

The worst part? The walk of shame into my old trusted salon to see my amazing girl. There is no denying the fact that I messed up. This is what I get for going outside of my circle of trust. I never should have done that and now I am paying the price. I have learned my lesson and will be planning my hair appointment.  6 weeks out......

Monday, November 24, 2014

Topic 10: Getting up in the Morning....

I don't like it.

But now that I've written that I realize that I should adjust my frame of mind, my negative thinking....I should be grateful for another beautiful morning that I get to rise and shine and live life.

But sometimes I feel like my life could be complete if I got to spend the entire morning in my bed, wrapped in my warm down comforter, snuggled up with Crazy Puppy and sometimes LB (he's almost too good of a cuddle bug, smothers me and somehow gets arms and legs all over the place all at once).

I've set my thermostat to be very low during the night and then warms to 70 at 6:30 AM. This helps me get up. I start to get pretty hot under all my blankets and then eventually I find myself rolling out of bed, grumbling.  I've always had a pretty comfortable bed but two years ago I got a new mattress, a cooling gel memory foam mattress, and it is Ahhhhhhhhhmaaaaaaaazzzzzzziiiiiing. Really it put an end to any early morning runs I have dreams of doing. Nothing it happing in the early morning except me laying, no more wallowing, in my bed, loving life....loving life snuggled in my bed.

Then.....BAM. The alarm.


Ugh.


I have to get up. I have to get LB up and around and ready for school. I have to get ready for work. And then I spend th rest of my day thinking about bed time. Wow. Maybe I have a problem? I bet if I had a rock hard bed I would be much more productive. I'd get up earlier and not go to bed so early.


But sleep is good. It is really important for a healthy lifestyle. Sleep hygiene is one of the most important factors for good mental health.  So yeah, never mind.....I'm going back to bed.....

Look at that face....

He's right in my spot....


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