Thanksgiving is now over. I did not eat as much as I thought I might. It sort of developed into a rest day because frankly I was just too tired to do anything by the time I had free time. I cooked all day, sat in the cold watching my son play football (and win) and then came home, pigged out, had a nap and then desserted and did nothing else. It was a long day like it always is but not one of gluttony as much as it was feasting. My son was home from college, something I look forward to more every time he has to leave me again. My daughter was here not rushing around in life as we all do. I see two of my three in passing now and that makes me sad. I miss them so much. So, according to the food index, Friday should have been a slower day on all fronts than Saturday was given the food that was consumed, but it was not to be so predicted. on Friday post-gluttony, I felt like and did 5 miles. I hit 2 and just felt like travelling on so I did. Saturday however, two days post feast, I ran just 3. Now I was super busy painting set pieces yesterday. I did nothing else but that pretty much. I started early and worked past lunch until it was time for me to take a needed break. I was starting to paint madly and that is usually an indication of break time. So I went out and I’m not sure if not wanting to, no oomph or being busy was responsible for my standard run completion but 3 and only 3 got done. I just don’t get why some days are so much better mentally and physically than others. I mean I understand it but it just makes me sort of sad that I don’t live up to my great day capability every day. I want to but it just doesn’t happen like I wanted or thought it should exactly when I wanted. I haven’t reached the days where I’m forced to say I can’t and for that I”m grateful. My hips get sore…more like the ball joint spot whatever that is. I just call it my hips. It hurts when I sleep on them for a long time too but there’s no meat there so who knows if it’s running, old age or just hypochondriatic disorder LOL. Anyway, getting 3 done is a blessing and still qualifies as big fat check mark in the getting it done list. For now we thumbs up and move on to tomorrow to see what I can get done. I’ll consider it a surprise that I look forward to unwrapping and putting in my daily scrapbook of “This is my life” because, well, this IS my life and I love it no matter what it brings me every day!
Some mornings nothing seems to go right. Today is working itself up to be one of those days. First I got up late….like a half hour late. I can’t be late because I make breakfast for my husband and son before my run can commence. A half hour isn’t conducive to being on time for work but neither is sitting here writing this blog at 7:03. I’ll have to make it brief. So I woke up late and made breakfast sort of dreading going for a run due to the time. Now I’m looking for my watch which I can’t find. Lordee this seems like an omen for not going out for a run. Found the watch, slap it on and head out. Not my best run but done just the same and I kept it under 10 minute miles for the most part. Mile two was slow but improved my mood a bit. Mile 3 was the fastest as it always is around 9:30 which is a good place to end. I didn’t really have a lot of energy. Today I’m tired which is probably why it’s kind of a funky morning. First I put my oatmeal in my coffee mug with my splenda…great! Take that out, put it in another cup, fix coffee cup and eat. Note to self, do NOT play with knives today under any circumstance! LOL Some days just might not be great and they may not go your way fully and that’s ok. I did get out for a run so even if nothing else goes right, I did manage something good today. It’s just the way it goes sometimes. Tomorrow is a new day!
I haven’t run a regular 9:15 pace in some time. I’ve accepted that I’m 20 lbs heavier but 30 lbs lighter than my lowest and highest weight. I seem to average 9:30 – 9:45 pace these days and on a given day as long as I’m not purposely going super slow that is ok with me. I ran a 5 mile race yesterday one town over from my hometown. I know the area and it’s not super hilly which is good for me. I ran this one with a friend. I didn’t actually run with her but just in the same race. We don’t have the same pace so we don’t stay together generally. As I ran this race I picked two runners that were running together. They were much younger than I but were keeping a doable pace that I thought I could maintain so I stayed with them. Mile 1 was 9:06 which I haven’t seen in a really long time. Mile 2 was 18:42 or something which was still way below the pace I thought I was going to keep. I wasn’t overwhelmed or exhausted but could definitely feel that I was pushing myself within a comfortable and moderately elevated range. I figured I would keep up with them as long as I could and if I had to slow down I would. We kept going and hit mile 3 somewhere around the 28 minute mark which was great. I wanted to turn around and wait for my friend a few times just to have my own company to run with but I knew she would get mad because every runner should run their own race. I just get lonely out there all by myself all the time in my races. Anyway, we were just about at mile 4 and I told the girls (who I wasn’t actually running with, just behind) that we were doing great. They smiled and then moved over to let me pass. I guess they were creeped out or maybe just didn’t want a tail. Either way when I passed the 4 mile mark I kicked it into gear. I wanted to run a fast 5th mile at something faster than what I had been putting down. No real reason other than that but I just set in, turned it up and kicked it into gear for the last mile. At the last turn I really pushed hard, encouraging one of the girls that won one of the age brackets to push hard in the finish. Maybe I was responsible for her taking 3rd place. Maybe. I didn’t win a medal but I did win in my mind because that mile 5 turned out to be an 8:26 mile. WOO HOO!!! I did it! I was proud of me and I think I have those girls to thank for pacing me. They might not have known they paced me but they did and I had a really good race because of them. Thank you whomever you were for not getting bent out of shape that I was on your coattails for 5 miles. It might not have been a “big” race but it made my day and sometimes that’s all that we need. So whatever your reason is, wherever you are find the ones that will help get you there and don’t leave their side. Follow their example and don’t quit and you’ll be successful in all that you do.
Today I am grateful for this…my sons in my house. My oldest is on my couch and my other son is sitting hanging out . Johnny started college in September and lives away and I miss him a lot. James i get to see every day and that is wonderful. I took this picture initially because I was so happy to be able to see them together all comfy on my couches but then it dawned on me that I should be grateful for another reason on this day. It occurred to me that my son is home. He didn’t enlist so he was never really away but as I enjoy him being home and my other son sitting next to him some mothers don’t get that today. Some miss their sons as they are away and some miss their babies who gave the ultimate sacrifice. I am so lucky and so grateful. As I sit here eating my banana and drinking my coffee with the ability to do whatever I want today, I say Thank You to all the veterans alive today and those passed on for sacrificing so I may sit here enjoying my sons and the semblance of my normalcy and happiness in a free world of this great nation. As I ran today I ran further than my normal 3 miles as a little sacrifice. It was only 4 so nothing amazing but it was hilly so it felt like a sacrifice I guess. I thought about those who couldn’t run today and ran for them. I thought about those who make my world free and ran in thanks and smiled knowing that I was going home to see my sons and that freedom doesn’t come cheap to others who provide it to me. I am the luckiest person in the world right now.
Today I did not woos out of cold weather. I think when I looked it was something ridiculous like 30 or maybe even 28. I don’t have the luxury of running at lunch today or didn’t think so. I remembered after my warrior run that my son does not have school and can make dinner for us. Well it’s a good thing I didn’t remember that because I would have missed out on an enjoyable, technically freezing cold run. I didn’t mind the cold. I wore my lined pants that are all fuzzy and soft inside that I love wearing until I put them on and remember I have to keep yanking them up. No worries I put on long socks today so my ankles were warm and I didn’t have to yank up my drawers. LOL So out I went because I was determined to do so. Socks on my hands (couldn’t find my gloves) only lasted a mile, a hat on my head so my ears stayed warm, double layer thermal shirts all in the name of getting it done, and I did. I finished proud of myself for getting out there. There is something incredibly empowering about running in the freezing cold. It makes me feel like an invincible warrior more than any other type of run. So what does the invincible warrior princess do after a great ice run? She votes! Yep I did my duty and exercised my right to choose by voting. I hope you do too and I hope you get a run in today.
Some days it isn’t really motivation that gets you out the door as much as it is just kicking your own ass to get it done no matter what. Today was one of those days. I woosed out of 36 degrees this morning and opted for a Runch. The time came and I was absolutely dreading it. Not one bone in my body wanted to go for a run today and join my brain in the festivities. My brain was the only logical section of me that wanted to go, probably because it would go against the routine to not do so on a day that all body parts had not agreed was a rest day. I hated the thought of running today but knew when lunch came that I was going to kick my ass out into the cold and go because I’m not a quitter. I am not a quitter and I don’t want those around me to think that I am either. you can’t miss my workout bag. It’s not like it’s black or a color that blends in….OH NO! My bag is not only bright orange, it’s camo print bright orange so when I’m going for a workout at lunch everyone knows it when I walk in the door. No getting out of the message I send when I get to work that I am determined and focused to work out. There’s pressure that I intentionally put on myself there so that I don’t in fact wimp out. I have once or twice wimped out and gone home to run or maybe once just not gone at all. Rare is that day now. So I put my feet in motion, changed and practically launched myself outside into the crisp November air. I can’t really complain because it’s warm for November. 46 is a gift and by far not the coldest I’ve ever run in.
Every step I take is begrudging to myself but I settle into what seems like a slow pace just to get it done. I’m familiar with the road I’m on because I run it all the time at lunch. It’s a busy road with a wide side lane that I usually can be found in. Every step is a relief because I’m one step closer to being done. That’s all I want today is to be done. I get to the mile mark a half mile short of my turn around point and my Garmin tells me that I’m on my regular pace. Not quite 9:30 but not 10 either. Not bad for a piss poor attitude on autopilot. At the half way mark I don’t stop except to yank up my pants and turn around. I’m not tired, I just don’t want to be out here. At 2 miles I am still on a decent pace and happy to be on my way back nearly finished and when I’m done I stop my watch and give myself a mental pat on the back for not quitting or turning around before I was done.
Some days even when it’s respectable you just call it done and call it a day. You won’t be into every workout every day and that’s ok but you need the self discipline to get it done on the days when you just feel blah or meh about a workout. Some days you have to take a day off, some days you need to take on and some days you just want one. Accept those days as part of the process of fitness but don’t let them be a regular distraction because that’s how we fall off the wagon and as we know, the wagon is a hard thing to get back on once we fall off. So today is done and I’m happy. Happy that I did it, happy I had the discipline to get out there even with a half hearted attitude. Happy that I can say I did it. Today is done and tomorrow is not yet written. I’ll tackle tomorrow when it gets here, till then…
Sometimes life is so simple that when you have these moments of realization amidst the challenges that we face and the day to day tasks we take on, it stops us in our tracks. I saw a video of at an awards ceremony recently and his little 3 minute speech was one of those moments for me. I stopped to think about it. In life there are 3 things that motivate him which we all should give thought to and define for ourselves.
- We should have someone to look up to
- We should have something to look forward to
- We should have someone to chase (who is your hero)
These things seem so simple yet they are probably the three things we think about least. Life is truly very simple when we step away from the craziness that we invoke upon ourselves each day. We must work to eat and pay bills. We have children who have the luxury of doing a million things that add to the busy life we call hectic. Those activities inevitably cost money and our hysterically boisterous commotion of a life just keeps going in circles while we wonder why we don’t have what we want. Step away from that and define these three things for yourself and suddenly what you “need” will rise to the surface and lay a much more clear path to getting it. There are nice to have’s and need to have’s and as a people we misclassify wants as needs, getting lost in a process the is superfluous at best. Why do we refocus when people die using phrases like “life is short” or “I wish I had”? If we define our 3 things there will be less use of these statements because our focus will be much clearer.
These three things in part are what I think about when I run. The road is a place for me to work shit out. To think about my life and where I am going and how I am getting there. I think a lot about priorities and try to de-clutter my mind with woulda coulda shoulda or things I don’t have to focus on what I do have. I think a lot about what if I chased what I don’t have, would the grass really be greener or would I just realize that the sun was shining brighter at that moment over the fence. Most likely the latter is true and I come back to center to appreciate all I have remembering what is really important in my life. Running has been good to me in many ways. It has reshaped a misshapen me in mind, body and spirit. It has been my amazing therapist, councilor and friend in good and bad times and I owe my life to running quite literally.
Whether you run or not doesn’t matter. Yes, I think everyone should have some level of fitness, however the more important thing is finding your 3 things and simplifying your life. Life is short and you should appreciate and enjoy it not just on occasion but every single day and give thanks for all you have. Today is a great day to begin anew. You just need to take the first step.