Tuesday, May 07, 2013
I just had this amazing long weekend, with the centerpiece being an athletic event. What have I LEARNED to take with me back to work?
1. I have learned that there *is* something to residual fitness, and one doesn't have to train in the extreme to be able to meet goals.
2. I have learned (re-learned, re-confirmed) the importance of never giving up, of putting my health first, of standing firm in my commitment to taking care of me.
And what have I RESOLVED for the next six months?
Resolved that: My love for my work and my obsession with it shall NOT be allowed to steal my athleticism from me. The glow that comes, the happiness from being active is too vital to my identity to go back into the shell of self-punishment in the guise of "treat" eating and self-pity.
In that light, and in search of balance, today's reminders:
* Drink that water!
* Eat what's in the bag, it's healthy, and that's why you packed it!
* Take those break walks, even if they aren't at the "normal" time.
* Let yourself go for that swim after work! Leave work in time to allow for it.
* And remember, it will all be there tomorrow... stand firm.
Spark a great day, my friends! WE are worth it. LIFE is good, every person I meet who is surviving whatever challenges they have been handed reminds me of this anew. Every loved one I know, every stranger who has departed reminds me of this as well.
Today I shall honor them all by LIVING life, a moment at a time, and appreciating how wonderful it is.
Monday, May 06, 2013
"to your regular programme. This has been a special endorphin bubble."
So, following the high, finding the balance point, that's the regular programme. But with just a little lingering over savoring why I still do these things.
My kid sis, SPINNINGJW, dropped over this morning and we went for a gentle walk through the neighborhood. As has become my habit, I took the day after the marathon as vacation, same as I take the Friday before. It keeps the focus on the specialness of this event in my heart.
At noon, I donated blood. Successfully. This says I have been hydrating appropriately. It flowed smoothly, and she got the stick on the first try, which is sometimes a problem with my rolling veins. I bubbled all over the crew there, then took my celebration with me to my JC center, where I bubbled all over the staff, and showed off the finishers medal and bragged on my PR.
Now it's time to come back to earth. But first a word from my alternate sponsor... I signed on for a 10K on June 1st, just to keep myself in the game. This week, in my mind, is the opening week of triathlon training. Today is a rest day.
I have come to believe that to keep my balance at work, I have to have these events as rewards. Anyway, that's the way it's going to be... sunshine and running shoes.
Sunday, May 05, 2013
After all that whining and moaning (which obviously I tend to do, along with the second guessing about whether I've trained well enough), I reached the point of "what will be, will be". Those of you who asked what my target time was? I was rebelling against setting one... but in my little heart of hearts, I could not resist wanting to shave a couple of minutes off my best time, and with humorous intent, had a fellow racer snap my photo with the "dream" time pacers, before the race.
I was chatting before start time with a lovely lady named Dora... we picked each other up on the way from where we parked our cars to the start line, and became immediate buddies, the way one does on race day. She's a breast cancer survivor, having just been cleared about a month ago to start exercising again, and GET THIS... had not specifically trained for this race at all, but since she'd already signed up for it, there she was. She would walk it, and her goal was under 4 hours.
We encouraged one another and said farewell at the start line. Most important item of the day: I did NOT trip this year on country club hill, so do not anticipate losing a toenail like I did last year. Most fun visual was on the drive home, which I deliberately took along the route of the full marathon... seeing the 4 hour marathon pace group passing the 5 hour marathon pace group... 4 hours were on their way back, 5 hours still on the way out to the turnaround point.
But I digress: back to how the race went. Weather report. I felt COLD before the start. I never got overheated, even though I was wearing three layers on top, including "sleeves" and two pair of gloves. OK, I did take off the outer pair at about mile 4, and never put them back on.
Fun bits: as always the spectators... it was COLD for them, but with their blankies and coats they came out, as they always do. And since our names are on our bibs the past couple of years, they could actually cheer you on by name... so totally cool to have someone you don't even know shout your name & say "you're looking good" or "strong" or, the funniest one: "Look at Barb, she's walking faster than some of these runners". The illusion of intervals. He happened to see me in one of my walk intervals.
When I realized I was running really really well: at about mile 5 - 6, when Runkeeper kept telling me I was on a 10 minute mile pace. That's a minute slower than my 5 mile Buffalo run last September, but VERY fast for a HM for me. Another "a-hah" moment that told me I'm in better shape than I thought, was when on the bike path I kept jogging rather than using those walk intervals "so I don't block the folks who want to jog who are behind me". And had the gas to do so.
Missed all the relatives who were trying to chase me down, but saw a few folks I work with that I didn't realize lived "there" along the route.
And in the end, as I was turning onto Stadium drive, a whole slew of full marathoners were finishing same time I was finishing the half. The gun clock read 3:01 as I passed under it. My official time? 2:19:17. I am in awe... I left it out there on the course. I have become willing to do so.
If I never run another step, I think I have turned a mental corner: I AM a runner! And what's really amazing is that when I write those words, I tear up. Carol, this one's for you. Kathy, this one's for you. Anybody who really CANNOT run, this one is for you.
I run because I can. I run for those who cannot. And God willing, I shall continue to run, for as long as I can.
Saturday, May 04, 2013
Gotta love "Star Wars Day". We have so many quirky days on the calendar... year after next we'll get an extended "Pi Day" on 3.14.15, going to have to take note of the time 9:2... something.
Yes, the pre-race mild insanity goes on. But it's really not that different from my every day geeky mild insanity, is it?
Yesterday's version brought not just the going in to work (and yes, I did have them modify my vacation request to allow for the fact that I was in the office for 3 hours, since my particular employer does allow taking "hours" of vacation, not just full days). Other insanity yesterday found me loading the non-working lawn mower into the back of my little Honda Fit and taking it to a repair shop. If they can get it working, I might just fire the lawn service and mow for myself this year, changing directions from athletic events to bonding with my yard again.
In that same line of mild insanity, I also stopped at a hardware store to get: Sprinkler hose! Remember this stuff? It's flat with pinholes along its length? My dad used to use this to water the lawn, back in the day. I figure, for 15 bucks (as opposed to hundreds for the "irrigation system") I can do what needs doing to maintain the investment in seed.
And... today is the Marathon Expo, when I get to go drool over vendor offerings related to athletics. Just to keep my now TOTALLY splits in personality confused. Work... athletics... nesting... let's see if we can get a realistic balance in 2013.
Today's pep talk:
* Toe the line with food... enough, not too much!
* Keep yourself loose... maybe a short swim?
* Prepare yours "stuff" for tomorrow morning and lay it out. Remember the enhanced security at the event, and make things easy on yourself and others by packing light.
Hope everyone has a great today! Because LIFE is good. Spark on!
Friday, May 03, 2013
Sometimes stress comes out in snapping at folks, sometimes in hasty decisions, sometimes in giggles... and sometimes on the racecourse. Sometimes it comes out in bad behavior with food. So far this week not... because I know I have to go those 13.1 miles come Sunday, no matter what!
So... it leaked out in other ways. Since I couldn't snap at folks, I decided to relieve my stress by working more not less. It all started when mother nature refused to cooperate with my grand plan to get my air conditioning "Spring check" done today, when I had a planned vacation day. I got the phone call at work yesterday that the weather just wasn't going to do it for the company that does this work, and they needed to reschedule. So much for THAT use for my vacation day.
I already knew there was a work meeting this morning that I really did *not* want to miss and I had been grumpy about missing it because without a technical voice in the room, business people too far away from the process can really get weird expectations of what "the system" can do for them and "when"... (you've all seen the cartoon, I'm sure). I had one more set of contract folks coming to the house today... to look at my "irrigation" system (read as the broken underground sprinkler system).
Well, since I first set that appointment, I've been thinking and totting up my budget and becoming more and more rebellious about the whole idea of wasting my resources on the grass. And that's how it came out: I called and canceled this appointment. I'm just NOT going to do that this year. Doesn't mean some year I won't succumb to the perceived social pressure to maintain a better lawn. Doesn't mean I won't put a little more effort into manual watering this year. But it does mean, NO! I will NOT do this just to employ more lawn services!
When I got home and found the bill for the "overseeding" in my mailbox, I felt justified. Enough is enough. Before:
So, there is visible progress. And today, on my planned vacation day, I shall sneak into work for that meeting. I forewarned the meeting holder and my boss... and at least I'll have ears in the meeting. Then I shall leave and go do my pre-HM "stuff" and get my mind better suited.
It is a slight insanity. But it is NOT going to be buried under inappropriate types and volumes of food. Not this time!
Pep talk reminders:
* HYDRATE, already, the race is two days away.
* Eat what's in the bag, it's why you packed it.
* Remember to breathe
* Walk gently throughout the day
* Be true to yourself, as Shakespeare wrote, for thus you cannot be false to any man. (We won't go into the use of irony here... it's good advice whoever gave it out...)
LIFE is good. Spark on!
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