I have already set my 2018 fitness schedule through March. I have a half marathon on the books for March so my plan goes to there. I have set a weight goal that I would like to hit either by my half or by my birthday in May. Seventeen pounds that I want to shed is a little harder now that I’m older and doing some weight training to tone. I seem to hover around 165 these days which in my pants feels great but my eyes are still from the old school that start the name calling when I look in the mirror and still see cellulite on my legs and ass that make me wonder if I’ll ever get rid of that. Better happy and healthy and hovering at a healthy heavier weight than to be deeply depressed and either 200 lbs or 150 heading to very bad places. That was my swing not long ago. I’ve pretty much made peace with my current weight but I fight old demons that lurk in the mirror every day.
I have a meal plan of sorts in my head for this year one month at a time. ( THIS IS NOT ME BTW but I’d like it to be LOL!)
When I say meal plan I mean less sweets, more protein and less snacking. I want to up my effort in the weight training arena to really put in a full body effort with more focus on toning to try to cut just a little more body fat. My husband keeps saying I’m tight but when you’re feeling my ribs, OF COURSE, I’m tight. Not much fat there at all. LOL. I don’t really argue with him because it makes me feel good that that is the picture he sees of me and not the one I see in the mirror. I am going to try overnight oats this coming year to see if I can stomach them. They look awesome but something about oats that sat overnight kind of boges me out.
In terms of running, I don’t think this year will be as full as last year. I believe I’ll fall somewhere between 3-4 races not the 7 I did this year. One for me, one with my friend and one with my Bad Ass B’s for sure. Maybe one other but I would like to focus on strength training this year more than running to see what I have in me and how “tight” I can actually make this old body. I want to be amazing at 50 which is my 2019 birthday number. One reason I want to take it easy on the running THIS year is because I want to run a full marathon next year for my 50th. That goal scares the shit out of me because it’s bigger than I’ve ever attempted. It’s overwhelmingly ginormous and intimidating but it’s on my mind. I think even if I DNF (WHICH I HAVE NEVER EVER DONE BTW) I will have attempted what in my mind is the coo de ta of races. Can I do it? I do believe I can and I want to push myself to see if I can. So this year I’ll focus on strength to prepare for the BIG ONE next year. Get ready B’s because I’m going to need you there when I make that attempt. I’ll need my girls to help me get there and to be at the finish line with hopefully one or all of my kids cheering me to the finish. It will be a year of preparation and focus one month at a time. Watch out 2019 because this girl is coming for you with a vengeance. This girl is going to be ready when you arrive!
Here’s to the next 367 days until 2019 gets here!
I ran Falmouth again this year. This is the second time I’ve run this one. I don’t run it for the medal because they don’t give medals usually as I learned the hard way last year. Come to find out they give medals at this race every 5 years. This year was the 45th running of this bucket list race so guess what I got! Yep a medal! It’s beautiful and so worth the 7 mile struggle over hills in the heat.
ANYWAY… Today was many things. It was definitely all about the bling and the experience. As those of you who know me well understand, I love me a good medal! The race itself is always a hot one which makes it harder than other races. IT took us 25 or so minutes to actually walk from where we hit the main drag TO the starting line because in this race they do a pulse start which just means we set of in groups of like 50 at a time then they wait a minute and send the next group. It spaces us out and helps keep things moving. Even this small detail is just one of the many things that make this my all time favorite race ever! I wasn’t sure my race would be a good one because of the time of month it was. I’m always slow just before the blessed event so I was expecting it to be hard, but went into it just wanting to have fun at the very least. That I did achieve with no problem whatsoever. I wanted to beat my 1:18:15 time from last year and amazingly I did!!! I finished unofficially at 1:15:51! I believe 100% that that accomplishment is directly attributed to all the core workouts I have been doing. It definitely paid off because the hills were a bitch, especially the one at the very end that made 7.1 miles feel like 13.1. Over the 7 .1 miles I was perpetually stuck in a large group of runners the entire way so it was nearly impossible to run swiftly when you’re crowded in. I was grateful that that I couldn’t “take off” because it forced me to run a better more controlled race. Probably why I finished two minutes faster than last year. The feeling of struggling for 7 hilly hot miles seems to fade away as you give that last and final ounce of energy to push up that last horrible hill. When you crest it you can see the gigantic American flag that is hoisted above the finish line by a crane just a hundred yards below. You somehow find strength as people are cheering and shouting and you see the Jumbotron with the life finish line stream for those waiting for their loved ones to cross. The air is electric with excitement and you run to that beautiful painted word on the street “FINISH” that sits under the banner just above that signals the end of your 7 mile journey marked by a stomp on the timing mat to seal your race time. You can’t explain how it feels, you have to experience it yourself.
The Falmouth Road Race organizers, volunteers & medics are outstanding! They should get their own medal for the perfected work of making this race such a smooth well oiled event! I’m not kidding you, it is so well organized, you don’t have to search for porto o potties because there are literally about a hundred in the waiting area. Medics were visible with clearly marked signs at several points along the way ready to help those who needed it,. The police rode bikes along the route to ensure things moved along nicely. The people of Falmouth and friends / family of runners literally just line the streets cheering for you, soaking you with their hoses, giving you oranges and ice and 5 bands set up along the route and played music for us as we passed. There weren’t just a few… there were people that in some places were several rows deep just watching us come through. Some gave high fives (the little kids are my favorites to high five. They are wonderful cheerers!) Many blasted the radio, some had cow bells and others had horns. There were so many this year, more than last I thought. Any time I thought I might do some walking beyond just stopping for water I just couldn’t do it because the excitement of being there was compelling. I just cannot say enough good things about this wonderful race.
When you use the word Chaos mostly you think of confusion and craziness that leaves a bad taste in your mouth. The gathering spot after the race can only be described as chaos. I’ve never seen or experienced organized chaos until I ran Falmouth. So many people all in the same spot but it’s oddly and strangely organized. From the pick up letters at the back of the field where families go to meet runners to the guys handing out the Yasso bars by the way, is by far the best at the end of a hard race! The band and the tent volunteers handing out post race goodies somehow swiftly corral all those people through with no waiting line. The whole race was start to finish amazing and something that you should do if you want to see how a good race is run. I can’t wait for next year!!
One of my favorite parts of my experience lies outside the race itself. I run this race with my friend Barbara and we stay with our friends Gary and Gail who live in Falmouth. Staying with friends who give you a ride to the busses and fight the crowd to pick you up from the finish line, who feed you and give you a place to lay your head for free absolutely makes the experience just that much better. Running this race with my friend, even though we don’t run together, is the BEST! knowing that I’m sharing something amazing with her is special. Taking selfies and pictures throughout our days there are memories that I cherish. Having someone to share what will become a tall tale that I tell my grandchildren later in life is one of those things that money can’t buy! I really love my running friend(s). This part of the experience and not having to worry about crowded restaurants, overbooked hotels, driving to the start or finding parking or worrying about my belongings while I’m racing turns what could be a crazy stressful weekend into a wonderful weekend of memories instead!
So my friends and I finished the “Run The Year” challenge yesterday. We did all the miles on our own mostly although cumulatively we did some together in race miles and some fun miles too. The last 12 miles we did as a group and it was just great! It was 3 easy miles at breathing pace so we could talk and laugh and just make the most of something fun that we did together. When we finished we took a picture with our medals and felt accomplished and good about ourselves as individuals and as a new group of friends who most definitely will do other things together. We went to dinner, laughed and shared stories and future goals and had ourselves a little celebration of ourselves.
I really like running with friends and feel like I could do so much more with them than I could alone. One of us is a super athlete having run marathons, triathlons, iron man races, brave unique races and just some crazy things. She makes me feel bold and is the reason I consider running something further than a half marathon. Another of us used to smoke like a chimney and has come back from ill health to someone who reminds me that I can achieve anything I set my mind to do. The last of our quartet is someone who makes reminds me that no one can take my cookies away from me and that I deserve to do anything I want to do because this is my life. You see my friends, although they may not know it, are the glue and strength in my everyday life. Each day I know them I realize how fun life can be and how much I have needed friends. These ladies are my special friends and my crazy friends and my supportive friends. They make me strong, make me laugh, keep me realistic but brave and are the piece to my puzzle that has been missing. I love my girls because I am a better person because I know them.
We are the Bad Ass B’s!
Either I’m getting better at running faster or I’m just in better shape. Either way, I have been able to pull off a few miles under 9:00 which I haven’t seen in a LOOOOOONG time. I feel awesome just because I always do when I’m running but this last week I feel fast like a cheetah hitting sub 9’s. I imaging, knowing it’s just in my head, that the drivers that pass turn their head to look at me and think to themselves “wow, look at that girl go!” It’s probably more like “hey she’s running funny. Is she ok?” I have what my kids refer to as the BRENNA WOBBLE. Yep I am a category! That’s ok, I think it’s cute that they have a name for it. They can actually pick me out of a crowd of many many people just by the way I move. It amuses me.
Maybe hitting those times (8:53 mile 4 today) is because in the back of my mind I want it more and more. I think about improved times during every run and try to get at least one mile that skirts the nine minute mark. I think once you set your mind to something it just happens. I’m not one for excuses, in fact I hate people that just find one for everything. When I hear “I can’t” and I know that you in fact CAN but just don’t want to it makes me insane! Just who I am. What will be interesting to see is what some speed workouts do for hitting those marks. We’ll see.
What are some goals you’ve been surprised that you hit? Did it drive you to set bigger goals or keep pushing to hit it consistently?
Today I ran 5 miles …5 miles on a Wed now that’s awesome, but I digress. As I ran I saw a beautiful sunrise, some money on the ground, lots of people headed out to whatever their day may bring and other things I see all the time. Toward the end of my run I ran past (actually over) a dead grasshopper and after being grossed out I thought to myself thank goodness that he was dead already and I wasn’t the one to kill him. Then as my strange mind does I somehow transposed that to something else to ponder as I moved along. A running lesson if you will. That poor dead animal made me think about goals and how there are goal crushers out there that want nothing more to do but to tell you that you can’t and to see you fail. I thought that I was glad that poor grasshopper was dead because what if he was trying to cross the road to fulfill his life goal of living on the other side or crossing to reunite with his grasshopper family. What if I crushed him and all his aspirations of fulfilling that goal like someone who quits running before they even get a chance to begin. But then I thought about the fact that even if someone quits on a goal, we should not stomp all over those goals for what if that person wants to try again and doesn’t because you or I stompled what they wanted? What if it wasn’t a quitting moment but a pausing moment for them? How would that feel to be the asshole of the year? I personally wouldn’t want to be responsible for that kind of goal crushing even if it isn’t a current goal.
The lesson here is that we should always encourage people to go for it and reach for their stars. We don’t know what we’re truly capable of until we step out of our comfort zone and try. Had that grasshopper actually started crossing when he was crushed? What happens if someone crushes another’s goal just as they begin it? Worse yet, what if they quit because your big mouth splurted out negativities all over them discouraging their efforts making them believe they can’t. How would you like to live with that? I for one would not be that goal crusher because I was the person who was unsure of myself and so insecure when I began this journey that naysayers, had they attacked me, would have ended my journey before it began. It would have ended poorly and quite sadly. So I for one choose to be an encouraging force to everyone trying anything in their life because everyone needs a beacon of hope! Be the reason someone keeps going because there’s just too much negativity in the world as it is. You can do it!
What lessons have you learned while running?