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What have I got myself into?

Friday, January 07, 2011

Ever notice when you impulsively set a goal, start making your determination to chase a dream more real... there is an initial excitement that sees you through the first few days. And then, the reaction hits: "What have I got myself into?"

It's kind of like the ancient FedEx commercial: "I can do that. I can do that. I can do that.... How am I gonna DO that?" At least, in my experience.

So it is with this "speed walk a half-marathon May 1st" goal. Thank goodness today is a rest day on the schedule. I will try to get in some strength training emoticon this evening. I am having to make adjustments because all this pre-training and training takes up a resource that is NOT expandable: time. emoticon

What am I willing to change to make room for it? I have already made a few adjustments: the aforementioned strength training has dropped to the two "off" days from the mileage walking days. It looks as though training to WALK emoticon a half marathon is going to take more of a time commitment than training to RUN emoticon one. Doh! emoticon

I made it through the first three days, treadmill walking. Today is an off day. Tomorrow and Sunday will tell the tale of how well this works in with snow shoveling. The next couple of weeks will reveal how well it works with travel days thrown in. And so on. This is a long-term thing.

I expect it will eat in to my Spark time, somewhat. (The travel days for sure will!) If I disappear off and on, to pop back up and say "I'm still here", don't be surprised. That's what happens with time... and "doing it" is a higher priority than writing about it. emoticon

All that said, I still firmly believe that one can stay fit without doing things like walking a half marathon. But for some of us, the carrot of the goal is what keeps us moving!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 1/8/2011 7:50AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 1/7/2011 6:21PM

    You express your 'dilemma' very eloquently Barb and I hear what you are saying about the choices. You know what will give you the most satisfaction and will make you feel that you have had a good day on your new scale. If you're MIA because you're 'doing it' rather than 'writing about it' then it would be a healthy call on your part. I would miss your blogs very much if that's what you decide but a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do and we would understand. On the other hand, if you think that implementing your plan in full might be too stressful then there's no shame in keeping things manageable. You know how far you can stretch your time without moving from motivation to emotional burn-out.

Whatever you decide I'm sure that you will have given careful thought to your plan and so your decision will be the right one for you.


Comment edited on: 1/7/2011 6:22:14 PM

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ANDI571 1/7/2011 4:05PM

    You are so awesome. I give up after walking up and down the steps twice. As soon as I get winded I quit. You are quite a woman.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/7/2011 1:02PM

    As long as you continue to work towards the goal, that's what counts. And, I think as time goes on, you may find that your schedule rearranges itself to make room for the training time. You'll adjust other areas of your life (like sparking) to make it work. You can do it!

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BUGGYS 1/7/2011 12:11PM

    Walking and training for a marathon and the time it requires is so much more important than being on the computer...I haven't quite figured out how I can exercise and spark at the same time! emoticon

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SLENDERELLA61 1/7/2011 11:03AM

    Barb, great goal! You can do it!! I bet you will find it is worth it. Thanks for sharing your observations on the stages of adapting a goal. Very insightful!!

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HOT4FITNESS 1/7/2011 9:23AM

    Don't sweat it! Remember we are not racing, so we finish when we finish. Are we crazy? Of course. I agree that we can definitly stay fit without walking any marathons or any road races for that matter. It is the sense of accomplishment, when all is said and done. Train as you can and do what you can. But make sure you have "me" time in there to. Taking care of our spiritual selves is just as important as the physical. Training will be take some work, but the reward is so worth it!!

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SUNNY332 1/7/2011 9:16AM

    You will do it and you will do it in style. That emoticon is yours for the taking.

I have confidence you will figure it out and be there to collect your reward as planned.

You inspire me - always.


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DEBRITA01 1/7/2011 9:08AM

    emoticon Time is precious and there never seems to be enough hours in one day. You will prioritize and find the balance that works for you.

You'll be missed when away from SP, but we all understand and support you as you reach for that carrot! emoticon

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Bonus blog... clarification

Thursday, January 06, 2011

Mary pointed out that her intention was really one of tracking emotions, not that the emotions themselves were the goal... the idea being to surface and see the emotional landscape of the week:


Identify those you want to track, then make each a "goal" just so you have a track-able check box, and then you check which ones you had that day. Which is a little bit like what the "Wellness" measurements of "Energy Level", "Stress Level", "Self-Esteem Level" on the Spark Measurements page offers, but not quite!

In the interest of keeping it simple, I'll stick with my "have at least a good day" and track the assessment... partly because I know myself well enough to know I'll never invest the time to check off the emotion boxes, either because I won't remember the emotion, or I won't recognize it, and the perfectionist in me is going crazy even thinking about it.

Still, if someone wanted to truly analyze emotions versus cravings and urges, it might be a fine tool for self-learning.

So, for me for now, simplicity. And see if I'll even stick with that much... for the next few weeks, anyway.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MEDDYPEDDY 1/7/2011 2:29AM

    Interesting I will try to follow this to see what happens... I am not sure I quite get it.

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Emotions as goals?

Thursday, January 06, 2011

When I posted about my little "Majority Rule" experiment, Mary (CookMe123) responded with this thought:

"I wonder if you set various emotions as your personal goals -- then each day you could check the day that matched. Just a thought. "

In fact, I did set "Have at least a good day" as a goal 6 days a week, and this will help me track, but the very thought of an EMOTION as a goal, strikes me as being one of those things that sounds like a good idea, but really isn't.

One thing that hit me right between the eyes at one of my Army Yellow Ribbon events was a presentation related to PTSD. The presenter asked this question: "Can you stop a memory from coming to mind?" Whoa! Of course not. We have no control over when thoughts (or emotions) present themselves to us. BUT... we do have choices about what to do with them when they do show up. Do we try to flee from them? Or do we acknowledge them, sit with them for a while, and watch them lose their intensity, and fade, giving way to the next.

Even if I'm in a terrible mood, I can have an overall good day. And even if I'm in a great mood to start with, I can end up with a terrible day... I've watched it happen both ways. The emotion is not what I'm tracking... the end result and my assessment of it is.

That's why it must be one day at a time... because one day at a time, I can know that the emotions are fleeting, I can recognize them and consciously decide what to do with them.

Here's to "At least a good day... 6 days a week". Thanks for the suggestion, Mary!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 1/8/2011 7:52AM

    The choice is up to you!

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DEBRITA01 1/6/2011 9:04PM

    All comes down to choices, doesn't it...another good blog!

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WALKINGANNIE 1/6/2011 5:31PM

    Another blog that makes me think Barb.

I have found it helpful to focus on gratitude and contentment as much as possible. It's not always easy and I'm not exactly Pollyanna but there seems to be a cumulative effect.

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SUNNY332 1/6/2011 10:10AM

    You are so right - we can change how we react to our memories and emotions. We do not need to let them "rule" our day.

Take care and thanks for another great blog.


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WISEONE68 1/6/2011 9:20AM

    Good blog!! Yes, you are right...we can CHOOSE how we respond when a memory, emotion, idea, etc. comes to mind. We can also CHOOSE how we respond to other people's emotions, behaviors. That is very important as well.

We have all heard the saying, "One bad apple can spoil the whole bunch." Well, when someone comes into my office not "in a great mood", even if I am not 'feeling it' myself, I always get he/she focused on something positive. "God woke you up today--He must have something in mind for you today"; "Well, at least you have a job--many people do not have one these days!!"; "There is always someone worse off than you--be thankful for what you have/can do!!"

I try to do this myself and it really helps make the days a bit brighter!! count your blessings instead of focusing on the negatives...there are many once you start!!!

Blessings and peace, Friend!! Here's to MANY "good days" ahead for you!!!!!!!!!! emoticon

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KATHRYNLP 1/6/2011 8:35AM

    Great advice.. thanks.

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CHUBBYSELF 1/6/2011 8:14AM

    That is a phenomenal idea!!!

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ALEXANDRA64 1/6/2011 8:13AM

    I decided a while ago to "choose" my day. I wake up and decide right off that bat that it is going to be a great day (even yesterday when I had to trot off to the emergency room at 230am). I look at everything as an adventure and with that perspective, no matter what happens, I am still the decision maker. It makes life so much more fun and isn't that what life is supposed to be? Basically, as simple as it sounds, I see everything in life as the result of a choice between whether it is something that will lead to happiness or something that will result in misery. I choose happiness no matter what and that, in itself, has created such an interesting life.

Sounds like you are totally on the right track recognizing that you can decide what to do with your emotions and thoughts. Yay! What an interesting blog post! Thanks for sharing!!

emoticon emoticon

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What is this pre-training thing?

Wednesday, January 05, 2011

I posted my status last night as starting my first week of half-marathon "pre-training". Turns out I found a half-marathon for beginners training plan:

I figure I can modify this plan as needed to allow for the intention to speed walk, not jog, to be easier on the knees. The program is 12 weeks long, and the half-Marathon is May 1st.

The first thing I noted was this part - "Finally, the pre-training schedule. You should be able to run this schedule for four to five weeks without much discomfort before starting the half marathon program. If not, give yourself some time to build up to that level gradually, or you may risk injury."

If you add that four to five weeks of pre-training to the 12 week training plan, and guess what? It's time to start! The pre-training should give me an idea of how ready I am to undertake this thing I already signed up for!

Monday - off
Tues - 3 miles
Wed - 4 miles
Thursday - 4 miles
Friday - off
Saturday - 3 miles
Sunday - 5 miles

The "long" runs on this plan are all on Sunday, which fits in to the race schedule... many marathons, including this one, are done on Sunday mornings. This week: no sweat, except possibly for the addition of snow shoveling (they are starting to talk about weekend white stuff). My challenge will be next week, when I will be "on the road" over that weekend... travel days on Friday and Monday (which are off days), but Saturday and Sunday in conferences, so I'll have to fit a 3-mile and a 5-mile walk into the schedule and in a strange (to me) place! I figure this is cool... gives me some structure to the conference days.

And... we're off. You know, I think there is a method to the marathon schedule that puts races at the beginning of the good weather season... it gives us the carrot to reach for through the dark cold training months!

emoticon Ready? Set? Pre-train!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MSLZZY 1/8/2011 7:52AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SUNNY1432 1/5/2011 10:37PM

    emoticon I love your No Fear approach!! Good luck! emoticon

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WALKINGANNIE 1/5/2011 6:41PM

    Don't you just love it when a plan comes together?

I'm nowhere near your league in terms of running but I've enjoyed fitting my brisk walking into 'working away days'. Sometimes I end up pacing about places that I would never have seen otherwise.

In the UK there is a useful website called that is billed as an 'urban walking map and route planner that helps you get around town on foot'. It covers all major UK cities. I'm sure that there must be a similar site for the US.

Good luck with you plans.

emoticon emoticon

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DEBRITA01 1/5/2011 6:32PM

    Wow, that is some challenge! I admire your determination...You will do it, without a doubt!
emoticon emoticon

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REJ7777 1/5/2011 3:56PM

    Whew! That's quite a challenge you're giving yourself! But I'm convinced you can, and will, do it. You are one determined woman! emoticon

Comment edited on: 1/5/2011 3:56:44 PM

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KALIGIRL 1/5/2011 1:07PM

    Sounds super.
I was hoping to join you, but may need to lurk in the shadows as you train.
Hope the white stuff holds off for you to get in your pre-training this weekend.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/5/2011 11:17AM

    Good luck -- I know you'll do well!

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SUNNY332 1/5/2011 9:26AM

    You go, girl! You will do awesome.


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BUGGYS 1/5/2011 8:56AM

    I so admire that you are really challenging yourself and knowing a little about your determination and attitude, your training will be a breeze! Good luck! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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Follow the bouncing brain

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Last year as I was doing my fast start in Spark, one of the early goals I set was to give myself pep talks each morning. And I did so mostly in my blogs. I'm doing this again this month because it is a particularly difficult time of year for me, as well as for many others:

1. It's dark and cold this time of year in my hemisphere. Dark and cold lead to thoughts of self-preservation by hibernating and building fat! It's genetic, and not always easy to combat.

2. I've just been exposed to some dangerous triggering substances over the holidays, and need to "detox" from them. We are talking fat, salt, sugar, folks. Those of us who are compulsive eaters often have sensitivities to certain foods and after indulging have trouble stopping. It takes an extra measure of motivation to not just cave to the crave!

3. As a recovering perfectionist, it's easy to fall into the trap of beating up on myself for even starting down the road of #2. On the other hand, experience has taught me that if I don't plan at least a little "special" eating over the holidays, the rebel in me will be stronger in the aftermath!

It's a delicate path, recovery. And having been over-excited by those substances, the brain tends to bounce a bit. So forgive my blogs if they skip topics for a few days and don't have a consistent theme... that will return at some point!

For those of you who thought I was going to stop tracking foods when I started my "simple scale" for my majority rules experiment? Nope, the idea is to give myself a correlation between my behavior with food and exercise and my personal assessment of how my days, week, and month are going. I started a thread over on Team Jenny to track the "Majority Rules" measure, and it is my intent to go there to put in my assessments. I know there are some tracking things on the Spark Start, but they don't quite fit what I'm looking for. I'm not even sure I can articulate what I'm looking for! emoticon

And... I'm going to start looking for a training plan for the half marathon that I can adapt to the speed walking thing. Suggestions welcome!

One day at a time, people. Yesterday was a good day (and I tracked my food, drank my water, and exercised)... here's to making today a good one, too.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SUNNY1432 1/4/2011 8:35PM

    Tracking is the only way I can stay on top of my eating and stay honest with myself.
Good Luck with the 1/2 marathon and thanks for the great blog!! emoticon

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DEBRITA01 1/4/2011 7:03PM

    Great job with the tracking! I got away from it (deliberately, so I didn't have to be accountable) over the holiday and it got me into trouble. Monday I started back tracking and planning... and I feel more in control.

It's so true, how the brain needs to detox from all the sugars and other substances that are triggers...I'm almost there, but not quite...that's where the vigilance comes in.

You're so day at a time!


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ANDI571 1/4/2011 6:29PM

    I too have to track my food. If I quit tracking, I just seem to fall very quickly back into bad habits. I am having trouble getting back on track. It's an every other day thing right now, but I haven't quit. I will not quit, and I will get back to where I need to be.

We can and will do this.

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LOVE_2_LAUGH 1/4/2011 2:32PM

    It's always a challenge for us but, like you, if we continue to work on the things that are difficulty, eventually they'll be come somewhat easier. You're doing great. Keep up the good work!

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WALKINGANNIE 1/4/2011 1:03PM

    I nodded along as I read your blog and comments.

I guess that BUGGYS words give us the clues that we need - more active tracking and less being sidetracked. Or, as you put it so eloquently, not caving to the cravings....

Here's to another good day.


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KALIGIRL 1/4/2011 12:41PM

    Here's to one day @ a time!

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TURTLETALK 1/4/2011 12:37PM

    I am hearing you on the dangerous triggering substances. I am "coming down" from too much fat and sugar.

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WISEONE68 1/4/2011 9:30AM

    GREAT blog...recovery is difficult, but worth all the pain and strain. We become better--the "me God intends"...and, with your success/setbacks--you can help others!!

Hang in there--you are doing GREAT!!!

blessings and peace. emoticon

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SUNNY332 1/4/2011 9:22AM

    I know all about those obstacles - experienced them myself.

Awesome that your new goal is the half marathon. emoticon

Do have a great day and thanks for an awesome post this morning.


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BUGGYS 1/4/2011 7:43AM

    I have found that tracking is a must for me...I can get so sidetracked if I don't and I can also plan my days eating in advance. Yesterday was a good one for me...I am easing back into exercise and trying to find a happy medium. We are going to have a good day today as well! emoticon

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