I’ve been watching the TB12 mini documentary series on Tom Brady. I pretty much drop everything when the latest comes out to see what the new topic is. These short 15 minute videos each have a theme to them. They define how he takes on every part of his life and the focus he has at each level. The physical game, mental game, social game and the emotional game. Each level has an entire methodology surrounding it. Tom Brady is fiercely focused which is why he is the Greatest Of All Time. Each day I think about Tom Brady and I think about what he does to achieve so much. I think about how much less I am striving for and how what I do is so much less intense than his world. That thought drives me to try each day to push through and achieve something physical to stay above the health / sickness line that people my age tend to fall under as they age. I want to try harder and do more to be ahead of average. I really want to focus this year on strength training. Training for this race in March is bothering me because I’m behind in training, I haven’t put nearly enough focus on strength training because I’ve been sick. I haven’t been running much because I’ve been sick. Sick sick sick! WWTD? What Would Tom Do? Well truthfully he is immersed in a world of heathy thinking, healthy eating, heathy fitness that keeps him doing the right things 24/7. I don’t have that luxury. I have work, kids, money challenges that take my focus on the level of dedication I can give to what I want. If I workout, something waits. Dishes, laundry, rest, cooking. All these things are things that TB12 does not have to worry about doing because someone else has that job. His job is fitness and football and that’s what he does all day every day. If I could do the same and had people to do the rest, I too could get to my pipedream goals. I am a normal human with normal responsibilities and work which alter what is actually achievable at my level. I know this even though my brain is fighting me. I don’t know who I’m trying to impress and why I push so hard but deep down in my soul I have TB12 fire that makes me keep going, keep striving for more and I like that. Even though I’m behind in training and overweight in places and not tight like my head wants to be, I just keep doing something as many days as I can. It’s ok. I’m ok. I’m human and something is better than nothing. I want to feel ok in a bikini this summer. I want to look good overall and continue to feel like 48 is great. I’ll be 49 this year and I feel like I’m a better 49 than I would have been 7 years ago if I had stayed that path. Try and do your best is my daily mantra. I think about TB12 and try to incorporate that into each day even if each day isn’t perfect. As long as my fire burns in my soul and I have the want to and try to mentality I keep moving in the right direction. Tom Brady is one of my heros. I want to give my all as he does every day that I can to be my best. Shouldn’t we all? If you haven’t seen Tom vs. Time I recommend that you watch it and find where it applies in your own life. Click the image above to start watching Tom vs. Time E1 – E4
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!
So these days I look forward to runs because I’m not in training. I can run whatever I want and mostly I choose to run 3 miles because it’s fast, easy and enough to make me feel like I did something. Today it was 25 degrees so I layered up probably just shy of too many layers but it was ok. I headed out knowing they were running the Frosty Half Marathon which goes right past the end of my neighborhood on two sides. I wasn’t sure I’d see the beginning or any runners at all since it was past 8 o’clock. When I got to the end of my street one of the race volunteers laughed and told me to join the race and run in the other direction. I giggled and told her I would be first….yeah for about 5 minutes until they caught up to me! So down the road I go and there are cop cars with their lights on which tells me they haven’t started yet. BONUS! I’ll see the beginning of the race and maybe i’ll stop to cheer. When I see the first runner I decide I’m not stopping to cheer…. I”m running right through the crowd of runners cheering and hollering and giving high 5’s to everyone and that is exactly what I did! It was so much fun! Everyone smiled and gave me a high 5 back and I like to think I helped start their race off on the right foot. The penalty for screaming and running and high fiving is that I lost my breath control for most of the rest of the way home, but it was worth it! I wish I had my Frosty Half hat on today because then it would have at least told them that I was a fellow Frosty alum but no one cares anyway so it’s all good fun. I can’t help myself when it comes to being excited and animated. I’m not very grown up for my age but I wouldn’t change a thing. My son tells me that I need to tone it down at his wrestling matches too. I’m not real good at being quiet but why should I be? I’m animated and loud and sarcastic and funny and that’s what I like best about me. I’ve passed the time where I care what people think of me. I’m past trying to make other people happy all the time. I’ve learned to love life, people and the moments in life, like today, that become something you hold on to. If you get the chance, run through a pack of runners in a race cheering. It’s a refreshing and somewhat exhilarating experience that shakes out the ordinary in a day.
I had the usual disagreement with myself this morning that I have every off season. My brain said do more and go for 5-6 miles but I interrupted myself and reminded me that it’s off season. Off season is meant for rest from mostly running and more of stuff like my bike and swimming and weight training. I wanted to keep one day where my miles are up but what heppens when I don’t? Nothing, that’s what. I’ve had a week away from VT and that hellacious hill and still my legs are flipping me off when I head out on the most flat 3 mile course comparedly. My legs are pissed at me! As I headed out to beat the rain that’s coming in I just kept telling myself that 3 was good and the standard 3 miles is what it’s pretty much what my runs are going to be for at least a couple of weeks. It’s funny how during training I complain about the long runs and sometimes even dread them and when I have the opportunity to keep it light, I’m arguing with myself about keeping it low because all I want to do is put up some digits. It seems as though I’m never happy. I never want to rest, sit still or keep it light. When I do I’m beating myself up to try harder and not get lazy and I’m always pushing myself. In a way I do like being my own motivator. Mike & Mike actually talked about that today detailing how some players in the NFL think it’s the coaches job to motivate them. I couldn’t disagree more. I think when a player / runner / athlete needs it, that a “coach” should step in and give them a pep talk but for the most part, that player /runner /athlete’s job is to motivate themselves. I never look to anyone to motivate me except the old me. The fat lazy depressed person who tried to take my cookies and make me quit. The girl that’s always behind me as a reminder from where I came and where I do NOT want to go back to. Whatever makes you go is fine. You should be self motivated and never being happy with where you’re at is ok as long as you aren’t doing so much that you make yourself sick or injure yourself. I may never be happy but I belive I have the right mix for me to keep striving for more. Be the best me I can be and enjoy it along the way until the day where I decide that it’s time to stop, if I get to that point. I may never be perfectly satisfied & happy with what I’m doing, but I’m happy where I am. The point it that I’m happy never being happy because being unhappy with where I’m at is what motivates me to do more, be more, strive for more and THAT makes me very happy!
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!
There’s just something peaceful about morning running. Maybe it’s the quiet of the day or the darkness that hasn’t quite conceded to the bright glow of the majestic day ahead. There are not many cars around nor other runners where I am or even people walking dogs. It’s just quiet almost to the point that I can hear my thoughts out loud. I love that first breath in of fresh crisp air that purges my lungs of night air and fills my soul with brightness. It calls me to it, envelops me and makes me its own for 30 minutes of bliss. I can see the glow of a dawning day in the windows of my neighbors and see those who have started their day. I can smell those ambitious enough to cook something that appeals to my palette as I run on an empty stomach thinking about the pancakes and eggs I’ll make when I return. As dawn lights my way, revealing my form I realize this is the best run that I’ve had in many days. I enjoyed it a lot and am happy I didn’t wait until tonight to go. When I run in the morning I have no worries, no problems, no distractions. My phone isn’t ringing, I’m not tied to the internet and I’m not trying to organize anything. It’s just me, in the dark blending in with what remains of the night. Free as a bird and not weighted down by life at this very moment.
Today as I make my way through my neighborhood wondering who knows I’m passing by, my mind is on my race on Sunday. I’m running The Falmouth Road Race and thinking about how the race will go and whether it will be my race. It may not be. Because of the time of the month it may have to just be fun. I’m not expecting it to be a stellar race because I just don’t do well a few days before I get my period. 2-4 days prior, my legs are heavy, it’s hard for me to breathe and it’s just a struggle. Even if it’s a struggle, I’d like to beat last years 1:18. I’m much stronger this year in my core than last year which will be helpful. Nonetheless, if I go into it not expecting too much and not trying to be faster than last year I think it will be fine. Slow it down and I’ll have more fun. My friend who runs this race with me might like company for the entire 7 miles rather than being dumped at the starting line like I usually do. I well know how not fun running alone is so that might be the way to go I think. It’s all about the fun and the experience.
So there are things along this journey to being fitter that are kind of like milestones for me. One is pulling on clothes that I like in a size that makes me smile. Another is when your friends or co-workers tell you that you look good which is always nice. One of my favorite all time motivational smile-infusing happiness-creating things that have happened to me is when my kids tell me nice things without trying to make me feel good. Let me explain what I mean by that.
I know that I look good. Good compared to my old self and the healthiest that I’ve ever been. Good is relative I realize because I understand that I am not shaped like Barbie or the tall and skinnies of the world and that is just fine with me. I am happy with the 161 average weight that I seem to hover over these days because I’m muscular and in fact also shorter at 5′ 4″ tall. This means that I tend to grow out instead of up or evenly distributing my ever fluctuating weight because that’s the law of physics. I will never be Jessica Rabbit or have Heidi Klum’s legs sadly. I’m me and I know my boundaries and I’m fine with them. My job is managing all of that within the confines of the fitness routine I put in and keeping it all in check to stay between 150-165 roughly. I am always striving to get to the bottom of that range but truthfully I don’t care if I never see the big one-five-oh again. I work out and I work out pretty regularly, by choice and sometimes twice a day. It’s a little bit of an addiction and definitely a habit for sure. Something I’m just always working on like Mr. Holland’s Opus, just not ever done. I want to live to the crazy age of 96 so this is a good path to help me get there.
Now nothing and I mean nothing means more to me in this world than my kids. It is super important that they are proud of me and want to be with me and talk to me and hug me and hopefully always like my kisses! I hope they always tell me about their days be it good or crappy. I would die if I couldn’t be with and around them. They are just awesome! So, in the flow of two conversations recently, one with each son (19 and 17 respectively), we were discussing super skinny something or other and I said to one son that if whatever the statement were, was true I’d be super skinny. His answer melted me to pause my thought and compose my fast melting self. He said “You are super skinny Mom.” and he kept moving on with his thoughts about whatever it was that we were talking about. He wasn’t looking for accolades or a hug or even a response. It was his honest opinion. PAUSE: my son thinks I’m super skinny! woo hoo! On another day not long thereafter I was talking to the other son about something weight related (not necessarily mine) and whatever I said it prompted him to say “well it’s harder to get any smaller than you Mom, you work out all the time.” and he too proceeded to add to the conversation as if he had just said “the sky is blue”.
There it was again from a different source. From the one who wouldn’t sugar coat something to make you feel good (that’s his father in him). They both simply had said what they believed to be true which was like getting the best race bling ever! For those of you who do not know I am a medal whore. I Race for the prize because why should I not be rewarded for running for 2+ hours right? As I reflected on these thoughts that my sons had about me, it occurred to me that I have reached a personal milestone in my healthy lifestyle endeavor in this life. I have achieved the admiration of my kids who are proud of me for all this crazy hard work that I do. It’s become so much a part of who I now am that they don’t question it as being Mom’s new workout habit but more like part of what their Mom does. Some mom’s garden (I do that too) and some Moms do crafts and some Moms drive trucks. My kid’s Mom cooks great meals, sings new words to old songs, runs in the rain, would do anything for her kids to be happy and she also does fitness and that’s cool to them. I couldn’t have gotten two better compliments in the world than those two matter of fact statements made in passing by my sons.
Well, that was longer than expected but sometimes they are. Remember that there are those moments that tell you that you’ve arrived that you have to cherish and lock away for the days where you feel like you aren’t doing anything right. They are the moments that motivate us and push us to strive for more every day.