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Finish lines: what to do while thinking about the next goal

Thursday, May 05, 2011

So... here it is, four days later. We crossed the finish line. We got that tremendous rush of accomplishment. I celebrated, and I got back on my program. But... I'm not training for a half marathon any more. I'm thinking about "what's next."

There are some things that are constants:
1) I will keep taking my stress-busting walking breaks at work. This is something that continues to serve me well, and in more areas than physical fitness. They help my mind work better. They give me time to think, to reason away any anxiety that may be arising from the work day, any pressure or stresses. emoticon

2) I will continue my nutritious eating plan. Because I just plain feel better when eating well. emoticon

3) I have started increasing my strength training, which had kind of taken a lesser role while training for that half. I'm feeling the need. emoticon


4) I'm cherishing the many possibilities:

Will my next training effort involve a bicycle? emoticon I started pumping up the tires.

Will it involve a "nesting" - something around the house or yard? A lot of things have been neglected while I spent time training... but I need something that will inspire me... my eyes wander over my home, seeking, seeking. emoticon

Whatever it is, right now I feel good about it... it's out there somewhere... the next dream.

5) And there WILL be a reward. I've promised myself a trail ride, and several work mates have said they'll go with me. Yes, on horses!

Spark on, my friends... the journey is not over just because one crosses a finish line!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CALEMAIRE2011 5/8/2011 12:36AM

    Congratulations!! And, thanks for the inspiration! emoticon

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SUEAZZI 5/6/2011 11:04AM

    Follow your dreams! Congrats on crossing the finish line!

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HOT4FITNESS 5/6/2011 7:58AM

    A trail ride sound like a marvelous reward for a job well done. You trained hard, You had a strong finish! Pamper yourself with something nice. Onward to the next task, the next dream. I look forward to hearing about it!

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KSHAGGY 5/5/2011 10:38PM

    Congrats on making your latest goal & I know you will reach the next one too!

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SUNNY1432 5/5/2011 9:50PM

    Great Goals!! You are still so very focused! emoticon

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MTULLY 5/5/2011 11:51AM

    Congratulations! You are amazing! Not surprisingly, your success in reaching this goal motivates you even more. Best of luck on your next challenge!

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MARVEEME 5/5/2011 9:26AM

    Mull it over, you'll focus quickly, but SPARK ON!

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DEBRA0818 5/5/2011 9:04AM

    Sounds good, Barb. Is this a trail ride where you go from inn to inn over a week or just a day's excursion? I had once thought of doing an inn to inn ride in Ireland but I understand it's pretty demanding physically. Any old way, sounds like a true reward to me!


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DAISY443 5/5/2011 8:59AM

    Excellent goals! Plan your work and work your plan!

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SUNNY332 5/5/2011 8:33AM

    Endings to create new beginnings. Best wishes on whatever you decide.

Sounds exciting to me!


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MSLZZY 5/5/2011 8:07AM

    So true! Time to focus on a new goal-whatever that may be-hugs!

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Would you believe for some folks feeling this way is normal?

Wednesday, May 04, 2011

Some days I wake up and don't want to: this morning was one of them. I used this analogy of walking at the bottom of a swimming pool, as I'm impeded by what my body is doing to deal with "the aliens". Yes, those allergens that populate the world. They are cumulative.

This morning at 4, my 24 hour meds that I took yesterday morning at 6 had clearly been overwhelmed. So, I went through several stages of "jollying myself along". You see, one advantage of being more mature (read older) is that you do kind of know what's coming next with things you've lived with for a while. What I do is I start thinking of what is on my work agenda.

Usually I conclude that it's too important to shrug that off. I may stay in bed a couple of snoozes worth, but then I go into the routine: acting as if I didn't feel like this. Because I know that if I do that for a while, I might stop feeling like this. I move at a much slower pace, and allow myself to do so... I jolly myself into the shower. I take a headache pill, and the allergy pill when the 24 hours is up. I jolly myself into preparing my lunch. I jolly myself into fixing breakfast. By the time I finish breakfast (now)... I'm feeling better. The meds have kicked in, the hot shower has helped, and thinking about the good things I wish to accomplish today has helped, too.

Giving myself permission to move slower today, to listen to the body's needs, respect them, but not blow them out of proportion, is vital. For some people, moving slow is EVERY day. I think of people I know who deal with long-term illnesses or disabilities. For me, it's just during some intervals. If they can keep on keeping on, so can I.

I can live and enjoy even days walking at the bottom of the swimming pool, with gratitude.

emoticon Turtle on, people!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

REJ7777 5/5/2011 6:27AM

    I wish you a jolly good day, in spite of the allergens! emoticon

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SUNNY1432 5/4/2011 10:13PM

    Wonderful Perspective on dealing with a "minor" health inconvenience. I hope tomorrow is a less sluggish. emoticon

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MSLZZY 5/4/2011 3:26PM

    A very different way of looking at things but it makes perfect sense. Thanks for sharing.

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_LINDA 5/4/2011 11:09AM

    Sorry you are having such a horrible day :(( Good for you for pushing on through it, but with caution and respect of your body's limits!
Do you think this might be a residual effect of your race Barb? Hope not.
Here is to soldiering on. If I stayed in bed the way I feel, I would never be getting out of it LOL.

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DAISY443 5/4/2011 10:43AM

    Becoming more "mature" has also taught me the lessons you describe so aptly! emoticon

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DEBRA0818 5/4/2011 10:18AM

    I read an article once where someone was comparing the Eastern way to the Western way of thinking in regard to feelings. In the East, they said, feelings are acknowledged but not relied upon as indicators for what one should do -- duty does that. In the West, feelings are frequently touted as the ultimate guide to how one should direct oneself. So, in the East, one would say I don't feel like getting up and going to work but go anyway. In the West, one would say I don't feel like getting up and going to work and pull the covers over one's head, or go into work and complain all day. I think I prefer the Eastern method! Go Barb!


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MOMAAGAINX2 5/4/2011 9:54AM

    Wow maybe I should let myself move slower too. What a wonderful attitude. emoticon

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SUNNY332 5/4/2011 9:06AM

    Great attitude.

I do relate and understand. Here is to taking it slower when we need too.

Hugs, Sunny

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SHARON2014 5/4/2011 8:35AM

    You are so right - I'm experiencing this with stiffer muscles and joints as I ease toward the mid-60's. I wake up with thanksgiving to live to see another day. As I've heard it said, I can walk, talk, and I'm on the green side of the grass! emoticon Every day, even every moment is truly a gift. emoticon

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46SHADOW 5/4/2011 8:14AM

    Love your attitude. emoticon emoticon sorry you have to go through this though.

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    I'm proud to be a Turtle!

Slogging Onward!!

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Celebrations and recovery

Tuesday, May 03, 2011

One thing that some folks will warn you about is that after a large athletic effort, you WILL be hungry. That's why they feed folks right after an event... be it a 5K, 10K, Half or Full marathon... there is always food... simple carbs a lot of times, fruit, milk, and lots of water.

These things are important because your body has been burning fuel and needs to replace it. As in SOON, before it starts tearing down muscle cells. Because your body will use what it has available.

What often surprises me is the day after munchies! Yesterday I let myself be guided by that... I was ravenous at 5 a.m. Still ravenous at 8 a.m. I was going through my meal plan a couple of hours ahead of schedule. In the end, I just let myself eat. I even let myself have some things I don't normally... including some candy. I went to the grocery store and make a conscious decision about what and how much, but it's not something I do regularly.

I took it easy in terms of exercise... it was a rest day and I got up and moved around pretty gently at regular intervals. No treadmill. No walking for transportation. Just taking it easy... under 5,000 steps.

And then I slept... brief naps through the day, into bed at 9, and a wonderfully sound night's sleep. This morning, I feel great, I'm ready to be fully back on program... and thinking about what's next. I'll let that soak for a while... don't want to over-commit too soon.

There's a place for celebrations, and a place for routine. The human spirit needs challenges, and it needs the recognition of triumph, and it needs quiet routine and recovery from the highs and lows.

Here's to today... wherever it finds you in the cycle of challenge, victory/defeat, recovery or routine. May you find just what you need... for today.


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 5/4/2011 6:38AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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REJ7777 5/4/2011 6:01AM

    Great blog about balance!

I had noticed that after a day-long hike in the mountains, I often got the munchies the following day, but I never knew it happened to other people too. I just feel better knowing it happens to other people too.

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NEAN789 5/3/2011 8:02PM

  Very good perspective and advice.

Thank you! emoticon

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SUNNY332 5/3/2011 3:56PM

    GREAT post. Here is to you, emoticon for your huge accomplishment and now on to the next challenge.

Huggers, Sunny

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_LINDA 5/3/2011 10:59AM

    Good for you listening to your body and refueling when necessary, although I am sure some of that hunger might have been thirst as well, I can imagine all the moisture you lost in a race of that duration at a breakneck speed. Nice to hear you took it easy and even got naps in. Sleep is something still very elusive to me. If I have the time to nap, I sure feel better.
Keep up the great work!! Can't wait to hear what you next challenge down the road will be!
Have a terrific Tuesday!

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TURTLETALK 5/3/2011 10:31AM

    What a fabulous change in lifestyle, listening to what your body needs instead of what the mind wants.

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LJCANNON 5/3/2011 10:30AM

    emoticonHere's to You, Recovery, and The Next Challenge!!
emoticonWay To Go on listening to your body!!

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KALIGIRL 5/3/2011 8:46AM

    Sounds like you've learned to listen to your body and it's 'telling' you what it needs as opposed to you 'needing' to feed it something.
Sorry I didn't congratulate you sooner - job VERY well done!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/3/2011 8:47:12 AM

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DEBRA0818 5/3/2011 8:06AM

    The one thing I can say about your success, Barb, is that you seem to have become marvelously in tune with your body -- reading and reacting to cues for when, where and how much is the pathway to a lifetime of recovery and joy.


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The wider world

Monday, May 02, 2011

While we were doing our thing with the half marathon, the world had changed. Yesterday I was oblivious to all of this. I went to bed at 9 p.m., slept really well 'til about 1:45, then couldn't go back to sleep.

Of course, I puttered around and updated my Spark page, contemplating where my next phase of life will take me. Then I tripped over a bit of news, flipped on CNN and saw that the world has indeed changed. And I'm not sure how I feel. I'm not happy about the overt celebrations... this is a time for sober reflection, not celebration. Conflict in the world is a very complex thing: it isn't a football game. Yes, one clear enemy has been taken out. But the idea, the conflict, the struggle between ideologies has not ended.

I took today as vacation, figuring I'd need to put some space between the half marathon and my work week... figure I'll need to get up and move around gently at fairly frequent intervals. I do believe I'll be adding a few elements to my prayer list, too, though.

Praying for peace.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY1432 5/2/2011 10:06PM

    Peace is what the world needs. emoticon

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BUGGYS 5/2/2011 2:11PM

    I can't understand the celebration, either even though I had a friend who died on 9/11. We were able to achieve what we wanted to do but terrorist threats are far from over, I'm afraid and we need to keep the prayers and the hope for peace alive!!!

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_LINDA 5/2/2011 12:32PM

    You certainly have earned a rest day. I was not even aware of this news until someone blogged about it. I don't watch the news as I am tired of hearing of our poor soldiers being sent home in a box all the time because some religious fanatics think we are the devil. You can rest assured another fanatical prophet will take this one's place, if in fact he is truly dead. There have been so many false alarms in the past as this 'ghost' has been truly hard to kill.
Would love to have peace, but its an unrealistic dream when two sides or so diametrically opposed.
Hope your rest and recovery Monday is peaceful,

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ANDI571 5/2/2011 12:24PM

    I told D1 the same thing last night. We just go about our day not having a clue what is going on throughout the world. It just shows we need to keep that prayer life going.

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LJCANNON 5/2/2011 10:08AM

    emoticonPraying with you.

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FITFABJENN 5/2/2011 8:39AM

    I agree. I'm also uncomfortable with the jubilant celebration. It's quite complicated.

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DEBRA0818 5/2/2011 7:34AM

    Agreed, Barbara. I have never understood the impulse to cheer in the street over the death of anyone. Sober reflection is a better start.

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REJ7777 5/2/2011 6:51AM

    I wanted to comment on Bin Laden's death, but it's too complicated. Let's just say that I agree with you.

We've got our elections today, here in Canada. I'm going to vote, and pray that God's will be done in the choice of a prime minister. I also pray for peace in our very troubled world.

Enjoy your well-deserved day off! I'm looking forward to reading about your next challenge and future plans! emoticon

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MSLZZY 5/2/2011 6:41AM

    I was trying to explain to DS that shouts of joy need to be tempered with the
thought that this was still a man who had a family. It was still a loss of life.
The threat from him is gone but there may be others to replace him. Mixed
feelings today but hoping for peace as well.

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DEBRITA01 5/2/2011 6:28AM

    emoticonPraying for peace also...

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Oh, what a feeling: Race Day!

Sunday, May 01, 2011

First off, I need to give credit where it is due. Today might never well have happened for me, were it not for a Sparkfriend, who challenged me, back at New Year's. Deanna, a.k.a. HOT4FITNESS, is a local Sparkler, and she was looking for someone else to step up to the challenge of the half marathon distance as a speed walker.

I did not figure my knees could take a jog longer than a 5K, and had almost given up hope of ever doing a half marathon, although in younger days I had those aspirations. Deanna didn't know what she was getting into, in all likelihood, but she triggered those desires in me again... and after all... we'd be WALKING! No big deal, right? emoticon

People, let me tell you, it is no small deal to walk 13.1 miles. Particularly if you have been unfit, particularly if you have been battling the bulge... you have to train. You just have to. It is not an option for a 50 something to "Bogart" a 13.1 mile race. If you were 18 or 19 and fit to begin with it's a challenge, but you could probably do it... but for us in the over 50 crowd... DO train, but DON'T think you can't do it!

I started upping my mileage and stopped jogging so much in preparation for this outing. I signed up in January, putting my money where my mouth was... and I'm glad I did, because I found others who waited until later in January and were locked out by the cap on number of runners.

There were 2,000 full marathon runners on the course today, and 8,000 of runners and walkers in the half marathon. It was a perfect day, in terms of weather: cold, but clear. Some wind in places. But gorgeous. We walked East into the sunshine, South past great old neighborhoods, West along the bike path, North back along the Country Club golf course, and then through downtown, and oh, my gosh, the last couple tenths of a mile to the tunnel walk music and into the huge football stadium to finish on the Husker Vision giant TV at mid-field. Except... I forgot to look!

Seriously, Deanna and I paced each other through 12 miles, then I lost her, weaving my way through some joggers, and I tried to slow a bit to catch up and my calves said, "don't... you... dare... slow down... or we will shut down!" So... my final mile was spent at a strong speed walk, and then, sorry, couldn't resist... broke into a jog on the ramp down to the field and across to the finish line. Woo-hoo!

Sadly, my son did not get to watch me cross the line. Why? One might well ask. Well, we kinda got drawn in by the adrenaline. I told him to show up and we'd finish between 10:45 and 11:15... oops. Actual finish time was about 10:28. He was still on his way to the stadium from his parking garage. Still, we linked up and celebrated... with him giving me the talk many parents give their kids: "I'm mad at you and proud of you at the same time" is the essential message. He woke up, checked the online tracker showing our pace, and said we were going faster at the end than the beginning... and in fact, that was kind of our pacing plan.

To all the people in our fair city who come out year after year to cheer the runners on (I know about the year after year, because that's normally my role for this event, as a cheering crowd member)... I have now experienced it from the inside, and it feels great. For each of you who put your boom box out with motivating music, for each one who yelled encouraging words, for each kid who lined the route and offered "free high-fives", for each sign to family members, we could imagine ourselves being that person. Those messages say "someone loves you". It was incredible.

Thanks to all my Spark friends who have put up with my training ups and downs... and a special thanks and congrats to Deanna. We did it, girl! We did it!

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHARON2014 5/3/2011 8:12PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

What a wonderful accomplishment!! I hope you know what a great inspiration you are to me!!


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JUST_TRI_IT 5/2/2011 11:31PM

    WOWZERS!!!!!! Congratulations on such a huge accomplishment. SO PROUD OF YOU! emoticon

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VTORIA3 5/2/2011 12:27PM

    Great accomplishment! You had someone to share this journey and success with too, sweet!

The farthest I have walked is 10K, which I'd been doing regularly until my knee and foot started to act up....fearing injury, it started to dash my hopes of ever completing a 15K and I have since cut way back. My mind is young, but my body is not on the same page.

Comment edited on: 5/2/2011 12:28:51 PM

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DARKTHOR 5/2/2011 10:58AM

    You are AWESOME!!!

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CONCHA77 5/2/2011 9:36AM

    What a accomplishment, Barb! emoticon
You made us proud!

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DEBRA0818 5/2/2011 7:37AM

    What a fabulous accomplishment and a great description of it! "Good for you" just doesn't even begin to cover the admiration I have for the verve and dedication it takes to do what you just did.

Cheers, Debra

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DEBRITA01 5/2/2011 6:32AM

    emoticon on your half-marathon. You're an inspiration! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 5/1/2011 7:43PM

    How exiting!! How impressive!! You are it!! I just love it!! Someday I just might tackle it myself!! -Marsha

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BUGGYS 5/1/2011 6:52PM

    You set a goal and went out and did it, Barb! I am so proud of you and the pace you kept was unbelievable. It's amazing what you can do when you put your mind to it. Thanks you for inspiring me to always do better!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LJCANNON 5/1/2011 6:18PM

    emoticon emoticonThose 18 and 19 year old 'Newbies' had better watch their backs!! This Over 50 Crowd is coming on STRONG!! Led by One Strong Kid's Mom!!
emoticonWay to Go, Barb!!!

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MSLZZY 5/1/2011 5:58PM

    SIL finished in 208th place, not sure how long it took him but it was better than
last year. Glad you did so well! HUGS!

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FITFABJENN 5/1/2011 5:51PM

    Woo hoo to YOU! You really are an inspiration!


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_LINDA 5/1/2011 5:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Am I to understand you had such a fast speed walking pace that you were actually passing people jogging? That is incredible!!
Very well done! You can be very proud of yourself, especially for finishing so strong! That is showing you still had gas left in the tank!!

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MNTWINSGAL 5/1/2011 5:19PM

    Bravo, Bravo! (Or is it Brava, Brava?) Who cares....WAY TO GO!! Congrats on a job well done, and one more thing checked off the bucket list. WooHoo!

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LINDAJOYWK 5/1/2011 4:54PM

    emoticonYou have certainly come a long way & yet you keep doing
more! emoticonyou have so much to be proud of!

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WATERMELLEN 5/1/2011 3:31PM

    Wow!! This is a very powerful blog: I can just feel your pleasure in your accomplishment!!

Yay you!! "Sing it out loud, you should be proud!!"

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REJ7777 5/1/2011 3:03PM

    You did it! You did it! emoticon emoticon (happy dance)
It sure is no small deal to walk/jog 13.1 miles! Thank you for representing the 50 and over crowd at the race! It's been a joy to see you plan and train for this half-marathon. I'm so proud of you!!! You did it!!! emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY1432 5/1/2011 2:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon
Truly Inspirational!! GREAT JOB!!!

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