Getting the itch back….

So due to all the snow we’ve been getting recently, work has been closed, the gym has been closed, the roads are horrible due to our lack of sufficient snow handling equipment…and I am just not getting workouts in.  Yes, I know that we aren’t getting near the amount of snow as my friends in the northeast…but here, its bad because we simply don’t have the snow removal equipment necessary.  We also have terrible drivers.  And we are gonna get more snow tonight.

But I digress.

The cool thing is that while I’ve been enjoying all the rest and relaxation… I’m actually getting the itch back to run.  After a less than motivated fall and winter, I’m starting to want to run again.  Not that I’m ready to tackle a half marathon or anything, but I’d love to lace up my sneakers and hit the pavement.

This may seem insignificant to most of you…but its a big deal for me.  I’ve been falling out of running, and I’m finally feeling the love again.

I’m not really excited about my normal workouts (sorry Danny) probably because I’ve been doing them consistantly. I’m thinking about mixing it up some soon and getting back in the pool and doing more cross training as I try to get my conditioning a little stronger in preparation for getting back into some running.

Also, its helped by staying caught up on what all of you are accomplishing.  Nothing makes me want to get back out there more than seeing you guys PR, reach goals, run your goal races, enjoy a fun race, travel, etc.

Have you been in a running slump? Can you handle the snow where you are?

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(Lack of) Motivation & Losing a Trainer

Prepare thy-selves for a pity party. I’m really good at them!

I’ve become painfully aware of the fact that I haven’t posted much outside of my weekly updates recently.  I’ve been in a funk with my workouts & my motivation, and as a result, I don’t have a lot to talk about.

I have Shamrock in two months and I’m not on any type of running schedule.  I’m way behind and I know it.  Sometimes that motivates me, but right now, its seeming to paralyze me.  My workouts have been hard and frustrating (more so than they should be).

I’m quite sure that I’m in this funk due to the weather and the general cold and yuckiness.  The other thing is that my trainer is going to leave me.  (Throws pity party for myself) Danny and I have been working together for two years.  He’s not just my trainer, he’s my friend.  He motivates me, teaches me, listens to me, counsels me, frustrates me, encourages me….and pretty soon, that’s going to be gone.  He’s moving on to better and brighter things after graduating college in the spring.  I know, I know, I’m spending a lot of time worrying about what is going to happen months from now.  I’m thrilled at what he is going to go out and accomplish.  He has to much to teach, so much to bring to the world….and he is going to flourish.  I’m just upset at my personal loss.  I realize that is selfish of me, but hey…I’m human.

don't leave

This is all of Danny’s clients…

 

Any motivational quotes for me? Have you ever had a trainer/coach leave you?

Half Marathons, supporting a friend + challenging yourself

I felt compelled to write something about how I feel about the half marathon I have this weekend, but honestly, as I’m trying to write it, my thoughts are completely all over the place.  This may not make any sense, but I need to get the thoughts out of my head.

Before I start my whining/complaining/pity party, etc, I wanted to thank you guys for coming along with me on my journey.  Thank you for all of the encouragement along the way.  You have given me valuable advice that I really cherish and you have been a support when I choose not to follow your advice 🙂

So the Harbor Lights Half Marathon is this Sunday.  I’d be lying if I said I felt prepared.

My friend Diane is running it too – its her first half marathon.  She is going to do AWESOME.  She had logged some really solid training runs and I bet she’ll finish under 2:45.  She wants to start with the 2:45 pace group – yay for slow(ish) paces groups! I told her that she should attempt to stay ahead of them.  I will start with her and the 2:45 pace group, but I wouldn’t be surprised if they pull away from me, and that’s ok.  I want to try my hardest to keep up with them, if only for her.

I knew after my performance at Crawlin Crab and with all my silly feet issues that Harbor Lights was not going to be a stellar race for me.  I’d like to finish faster than I did at Crawlin Crab.

However, my goal is to finish and to finish healthy.  A few posts ago I talked about refocusing my running goals for next year. I really feel that half marathons should be a rare race distance for me, something that I do maybe once a year.  I have to recommit to the training for that distance. I’m very much looking forward to next year.

But I need to finish what I started this year.  I have contemplated not running Harbor Lights, but I know for me…I have to do it.  I told you guys about a really encouraging conversation I had with Danny about my “why.”  Why do I run? I run because its a challenge.  I want to do what I never used to be able to do.

Harbor Lights represents that “why” for me.  Its a challenge because I haven’t trained like I should (but don’t worry, my fitness level is safe for me to run it), its a challenge because I’m having feet issues, its a challenge because its a new race course…I will not be satisfied with myself if I don’t accept this challenge.

Most of all, I want to have FUN! I want to enjoy the course, I want to enjoy the weather (why is it going to be in the 60s, I want cold!!!!), I want to high-five every little kid on the course, and I want to thank and smile at every volunteer.  Races are about community – and running is one of the best communities I’ve ever been a part of.

Why do you run? What is your favorite part of a race?

Do you have any advice I can share with my friend Diane for her first half?

Why are you here?

Why are you here?

For my running/fitness bloggers – Why are you running? Why are you doing yoga? Why are you trying to eat healthy? Why are you _______?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always think about that.  And even if I think about it, I definitely don’t know how to answer it.  And even if I answer it, its probably not honest.

Saturday’s nutrition panel for OneLife’s FIT360 program was very different this week.  My trainer, Danny and several other wonderful trainers lead the program.  Danny is getting frustrated (and rightfully so) when they put together material for the class and other PT clients, and they don’t listen, they don’t absorb.  And I’m included among those people.  My nutrition is not where it should be and I know it.  And I don’t change.

So he had something different for us on Saturday.  He wanted to know why we were there.  And it was not in an accusatory way, but a thought provoking way.  Every one’s “why” is different.

While these are good reasons, they are very superficial:

– I want to lose weight

– I want to be healthier

– I don’t want to get diabetes

– I want to get stronger

C’mon.  Those are reasons, but those aren’t the core of the issue.  I commit to personal training and exercise in general for a variety of reasons…some good, some bad, some stupid. We are so afraid to show our true selves and our true “why.” I think some people feel that if they show their true selves and true motivations than they will be perceived as weak.  I think its actually the opposite. It takes a much stronger person to be honest.

If we are truly honest with ourselves, our why looks more like this:

– My parent/grandparent/etc died of diabetes and I’m terrified that I’ll get it and be sick like them

-I don’t like the way I look, I feel fat

-People don’t judge me as much when I’m heavy because they know I work out

-I want to be a good example for my kids and I don’t want them to be embarrassed of me

When people are truly honest with themselves and others about their “why,” something really incredible happens.  People share that they feel the same way.  They find camaraderie.  Your story may touch someone else so deeply and affect them so much, but they’ll never know if you don’t share it.

Danny spent some time asking around the room why people where there.  I suspect that he knew most of our answers before we even did.  He’s pretty perceptive. Some people were refreshingly honest.

One person chimed in and asked why Danny was there.  His answer could have been simple, like, “Because I like helping people.” Or, “because this job pays well.”

His answer? “Because I’m not supposed to be here.”  Danny is a survivor of suicide.  He has found a renewed purpose in helping others in their journey to health and that is what drives him.  He’s been given a second chance at life, and he pours everything he can into being a great trainer and support system for his clients. I can say personally that he’s challenged me in ways I wouldn’t have challenged myself.

I hope that sharing his deepest “why” was a liberating experience for him.  And you know what? No one judged him.  He received nothing back but support. And I’m quite sure that he touched and affected at least one life in that room.

Ladies and gentlemen, that is what I love so much about this community of bloggers. Everyone is so supportive and encouraging.  Feel comfortable in sharing your struggles.  Feel comfortable in being honest.

So why am I here?

– I do yoga because I want to become more flexible….and because it keeps my (sometimes horrible) anxiety at bay.

-I run because I like the challenge….. And because people in my life think I can’t. And sometimes I don’t like it.

-I (sometimes) eat healthy because I know it will fuel my physical activity…and because I feel guilty and feel like I should.

– I workout with a trainer because I like the structured workouts….and because I’m afraid I’ll lose motivation without that accountability.

Why are you here? What’s your “why”?

Is it too early for New Year’s Resolutions?

Thanks for letting me whine the past few days.  This community is so wonderful and so supportive.  After much counseling from you all and from my trainer, I think I’ve got a game plan for next year that’ll make me happy, not burn me out, and hopefully keep me injury free.

So, I’ve been doing some reflecting on the races that I choose.  I’ve come to learn that as much as I love the challenge of a half-marathon, I don’t know that I’m meant to do a lot of them (at least at this time).  I remember a post from my friend Lee when he talked about being a 5k-er.  That is HIS distance.  Sure, he can do half marathons and marathons (and is a total beast at them!) but in his heart of hearts, he loves a 5k.

I don’t know that I feel a strong pull toward any one distance, but I do know that I’m not defined by the distance that I do/do not run.  Any distance at all makes me a runner.  I just have to decide what keeps me happy AND healthy.

So, I think my strategy at this time will be to do no more than 2 half-marathon’s a year, and stick with shorter distances.  I’d like to do a spring half and a fall half.  But if I only want to do one, it’ll be the spring half (Shamrock!).  It was my first half, I love it, and I’ve already signed up for it 🙂 There are so many good short distance races in the fall, and I’d like to be able to do more of them.

This is what a dream schedule (not necessarily actual) would look like for me:

March: Shamrock Dolphin Challenge (8k and Half) *signed up already

May: Chickfila 5k or 10k

Maybe something in June/July/August?

September: Rock N Roll 5k

Early October: Crawlin Crab 5k

Late October: Wicked 10k

Early November: CNU Alumni 5k

Late November: Harbor Lights 5k or Half

Early December: ChristmasTown 8k

Late December: Surfin Santa 5 miler

I think I’d like to stick with 10k or under.  I want to end up with more quality races than quantity. I think I can do 5k’s more frequently if I’m doing far fewer long distance races.  My fall would be pretty race heavy, but if I drop the half and just do the shorter distances, I think I’ll be ok.

Realistically, if I need to cut down, I’ll just do the J&A Races: Shamrock, Crawlin Crab, Wicked, Surfin Santa.

I want to enjoy the run.  I want to stay healthy.  I want to do the races I love and not have the training kill me.  If I’m honest, I want to get back to my faster times.  The only way I’m going to get there (speaking for me personally) is if I stick with shorter distances.

Also, I want to try to keep some more consistent weekly mileage, even if its relatively low mileage.  I’m really enjoying all the other activities I’m doing, so I want to keep room for them.

I’m starting to have a sense of peace about this plan.  Its given me direction and focus to push through the end of the year with the promise of a new start.

Thank you guys for being so awesome.

Are you already thinking about new year’s resolutions? What race distances do you love? How do you find balance when planning a race schedule?

Reflections on my (lack of) Motivation

So, I’ve been doing a lot of thinking about my running recently, specifically my disappointment with how I performed at my last few races and how my body is feeling about running. This is just me having a pity party for myself and getting my thoughts down on “paper.” How I’m feeling is not particularly special.  I’m sure many of you have had similar thoughts to these at one point or another. I try as much as I can to blog for me, and right now, this is honestly how I’m feeling.  At least some of the time.  Sometimes I love running and I feel really good about it. I drafted this a few days ago when I was feeling pretty low – its gotten a bit better since then. But for posterity’s sake, I like to be honest about how I feel.

Since I think best in bullet points/numbers, that’s how I’m going to separate my thoughts so they become a little more coherent, instead of one big rambling paragraph.

1. I have not enjoyed/felt like running.  I haven’t stuck with a training plan because I don’t really enjoy running right now.  I really am enjoying my workouts with my trainer and I’ve really been enjoying yoga, but running is not really doing anything for me right now.

2. There is no sense of urgency with my training because I’m not doing unknown races distances.  I know I can do a half marathon now.  I think I was so committed to training for my first half because I was terrified of what would happen if I didn’t train well.  I’ve become complacent.  And guess what…it wasn’t hard because I actually did train!  When you don’t train well, its really freaking hard.

3.  My body hates me.  No, really. My scoliosis is really causing issues, and my back line is tight causing achilles pain and plantar fasciitis-like pain.  Who wants to run when you feel like that?

4. There are so many other things that are going on in my life…running is taking a back seat. I’m planning a wedding, the holidays are coming, and work is crazy.  Running is not the first thing on my mind.

5. My nutrition is slipping. I’m not eating as clean as I should be.  I am justifying my unhealthy eating or telling myself that it could be worse instead of acknowledging the problem.  I feel like I’ll be healthier and will enjoy exercising more if I’m fueling myself better for that activity.

6. I often feel like I lack support from my friends. Outside of my blogging community of course (I LOVE YOU GUYS – you are so awesome!!!).  I mean my friends that I see in the flesh all the time.  I don’t really choose to share my blog with many people from real life.  I think Hollie and Danny are the only ones who read this that I know from real life.  Non-runners aren’t always interested in my running highs/lows, or they simply can’t relate. And maybe I might be surprised if I share more with them, but I digress. I don’t have a running partner.  There are local running groups, but back to point 4….life is insane.

Since she’s the only one I really know IRL, I spent some time talking to Hollie about this the other day and she gave me some really good advice: ” Honestly, I think taking a break from running is the best thing you can do for yourself.  Don’t run until you feel like it.  When you start to crave a good run then run again.  You’ll just feel so much better.”

I don’t know what this means for the last two races I’ve signed up for this fall.  Do I take a break after them? Do I defer them? Will I just feel more defeated than I already am if I defer? These are things I need to work out for myself, no one else can really answer them for me.

Do you ever want to break up with running? What motivates you to keep going when its tough?

(Lack of) Motivation

I don’t know about you, but I’ve felt a complete lack of motivation to run recently.  I have tons of motivation to do yoga, to do my strength workouts with my trainer, but yet zero desire to run.

I take that back, I desire to run.  I’m looking forward to running Crawlin Crab Half Marathon.  I love the challenge of preparing for a race. But I just seriously lack any motivation.

I’m reminded of this cheesy song by Sum 41 (yeah yeah – I’m a highschooler at heart, I forever live in the early 2000s)

“Motivation such an aggravation,
Accusations don’t know how to take them.
Inspiration’s getting hard to fake it.
Concentration’s never hard to break it.
Situation never what you want it to be.”

I”m less than 12 weeks out and I’m not really running.  Now, that’s not to say I’m not staying active, but I need to be running. I’ve already decided that my training for my last half was a little too aggressive, and my running needed to be fewer miles on a more frequent basis.  I’m hoping the prospect of shorter runs will be the push I need.

This is NOT where I want to be. I need a serious kick.  In the rear.

How do you stay motivated? What inspires you to keep pushing even when you lack motivation?