Sunday, March 29, 2015

How do busy people do this?

I ran 6.3 miles last week! I'm awesome!

Seriously. How do busy people train for long races? Last week I had to travel to a city about an hour away twice. Leaving at 6:30 am each morning really cut into my run time. As a result. I did like zero miles almost.

So what did I do? I did some HIIT training and some other cardio based work outs, I did some push ups, some yoga...

Two things: this weather bouncing around between getting warmer and getting cold, it needs to stop. Second, I've got to start hitting higher miles.

But seriously. Busy people out there: how do you make time?

Monday, March 23, 2015

Keeping it (Mentally) Healthy

Last week I logged just over 37 miles, which was a great feeling.

I have a funny thing that happens: when I forget to be gentle or patient with myself, I see deer. Lots of deer. Deer when I drive, deer when I run, deer when I look out my backdoor. I haven't seen a lot of deer lately. One might argue that winter makes them more scarce, and the spring weather is encouraging them to emerge, but I feel like its an instantaneous form of feedback. If you look up deer as a spirit animal guide, you find they represent love, compassion, and gentleness, particularly toward the self. Tonight, as I sat here beating myself up about things beyond my control, the deer I had not seen in my backyard in ages just wandered through; it was an instant reminder that I deserve as much compassion as everyone else in my life.

Compassion and gentleness through this training process is the hardest part of the training. I used to be able to beat myself up, mentally and physically, in order to achieve my training goals. I can't do this any more.

Non-specific type eating disorders and exercise disorders are tricky and easy to disguise. I've told countless people over the years that my training requires a strict diet, a strict training program, a strict mindset. Half the time I wasn't training for anything, but if I told people I was, they wouldn't worry about my compulsive behaviors of tracking food and exercising to exhaustion. I've worked hard to stop these behaviors. So how do I know if I'm crossing the line back into to disordered habits and patterns?

I've learned a few things about my body: it often tells me what it needs if I shut my mind up and listen to it. My mind likes to should me: "You should run ten miles today because you ate rubens this weekend and someone asked if you were pregnant today (I'm not)" "You should eat only 1600 kcal a day" "You should lose weight to get faster"
My mind is actually a pretty boring place when I think about training. I know I'm approaching the line between healthy and disorder when I start listening too carefully to what my mind says. My mind thinks the only reason I run is to lose weight.

My body tells me so much more though. Like I ran 37 plus miles last week, and my body is a little tired this week, so maybe taking a few days to rest and do some restorative yoga might be a nice gift.
My body tells me how much I need to eat; it will gently prod me to notice I'm hungry. My body knows so much more about itself than my insistent mind. My body knows I run because I like the strength and the clarity that come with engaging in the sport.

Tonight, my deer reminded me that listening to my body and not my mind is what helps me keep this training healthy, and forgiveness, gentleness, and compassion for myself are the necessary tools for being ready to run this 50 miler in 5 months.

I am not perfect, but I am still worthy. I am not going to win this race, but I will finish it.

Monday, March 16, 2015

300 Miles

You know that accomplishment that you should celebrate, but you're just too overwhelmed to do anything about it?



I hit 300 miles for the year on Sunday. I think I hit that mark halfway through a nine and a half mile run.

This sense of missed accomplishment is a theme in my life right now. Like I'm hitting marks, but they are buried among other things, so I don't notice them until long after I've hit them.

There is a point in celebrating those marks though. I'm feeling blah about it this week, but I know once I settle back into my normal routine, I will shout my 300 miles from the mountain top.

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Outside... Finally!!!!

Friends: I'm way behind where I hoped I would be at this point. I'm at 259.35 miles for the year. Which if you think about it, we are only 8 days into March. That isn't too shabby.

Thing that make me crazy: My husband's dryer doesn't actually dry stuff. Which makes life a little difficult when you need your outdoor running jacket, and it is still damp, and now smells slightly funky because it was left damp overnight. I don't mind my own funk smell, but I hate damp laundry funk.

But you know... running jacket! Because we are finally getting some weather that will not cause me to die if I run outside in it!

So... while I'm waiting for my laundry to finish drying (and hopefully stop stinking), things to contemplate today:
I'm grateful for this shift in weather, and the time outside it brings
I'm grateful to be sharing this long run day with my husband
I'm grateful to see the sun shining
I'm grateful everyone has their puppy dogs out of the house and running

Thursday, March 5, 2015

March: No more passes

I'm logging my training miles, I promise. I just haven't bothered to count them up for the last week. I'm at like... 19 miles for the week or something. It's not great, but hey. I'm doing something.

Yesterday, I mentioned that since it is no longer February, I no longer get a pass at (insert what ever I was referring to here. Running, research, joy...), and the general consensus was that the weather still was crap, and what difference does it make that it isn't February.

It's MARCH. Simply put, even if it is only (barely) 5 degrees Fahrenheit this morning, it's NOT February. I even ran outside on Sunday because it was above single digits. I only made a few miles because I was still really effing cold, but I ran outside.

Even if the ice floe I've been stuck in hasn't started to break up and start moving yet, I'm feeling like the ice is starting to make those tell tale groans that indicate a breakthrough.

I was seriously considering giving this race up a week ago.  I couldn't see myself ever making it through. Maybe I still will. This is one of the nose-to-the-grindstone-est years of my program, and I'm supposed to start looking for a job, and I'm staring down the possibility of a relocation. At least I feel like maybe it's a possibility again, and the endless Michigan super cold winter will come to an end at last. With the end of February, and the possibility of spring, my optimism seems to have return as well.

Lovelies, I hope today brings as much success as it has promise (I'm proposing my thesis today, so wish me luck). It's March. No More Passes. Go out there and do something that scares the shit out of you.