A month until race day

So, here’s the deal folks. I’ve been lazy.

Now, I’m not talking about missing one run or going short on a long day. I mean lazy.

I’ve skipped weekday runs, weekend runs……whole weeks of runs.

Basically, unless I get my act together, I’ll never PR in Groton next month.

Now, I haven’t quite decided on whether or not I’m upset by this. I really did want that PR. But, I’ve also enjoyed being able to skip a run if there’s a Nor’easter or I’m not feeling well.

This is uncharted territory for the normal crazy-motivated me who regularly writes this blog. I’ve always been super driven and dedicated to goals I set forth for myself.

I think the problem lately is that the goal isn’t important enough to me. Life has gotten in the way and, to be completely honest,  running hasn’t been high enough on the list to warrant me getting out of bed and changing up my schedule.

IMG_3222.jpgBut I’m going to make a promise right now. I will not skip the next 3 runs. I know. I KNOW. That just seems silly. Such a big goal of running 3 straight times. But I have to start somewhere, and at least it’s a small enough goal that I can stick to.

And with only a month left until the 1 year anniversary of my first marathon, I am feeling more like a lump of lard than ever. I went from doing 20-mile runs to skipping out on 1-mile pursuits.

So here’s to getting back on the road and making the best of the short training time I have left!

 

Posted in Training | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Inspiration

ff8.jpg

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

An open letter to Dear Evan Hansen

Dear Evan Hansen,

Today is going to be a good day and here’s why.

You changed my life.

Though it is nearly impossible to put into words what your show has done for my life, I’m going to try anyway. I lost someone very special to me unexpectedly almost a year ago. The effect that loss had on me is unexplainable. I existed for months as a shell of myself – living inside my own head and the anxieties that ran rampant within.

I fought the demons for months. Hiding away the deepest anguish I felt from everybody – looking forward to my moments alone where I could let the demons out and try to put out of the fires. I was fighting a losing battle every single day and when I thought I had beaten one, more popped up in their place.

And then I heard Waving Through A Window.

I had never experienced a song that described how I felt to a point that each and every lyric related to me. I was hooked. I played the song on repeat at work, in the car, in the shower – literally everywhere I went.

It helped me prepare to fight the demons. And I let the demons out. I fought them. I FINALLY allowed myself to feel what I needed to feel.

But little did I know, Dear Evan Hansen wasn’t done changing my life. When they released You Will Be Found ahead of the Cast Recording release, I found myself sobbing at my desk.

“Have you ever felt like nobody was there? Have you ever felt forgotten in the middle of nowhere? Have you ever felt like you could disappear?
Like you could fall and no one would hear?”

The message of the song is so overwhelming for anybody who feels like they may have either lost themselves, or been losing themselves over a period of time – like I had been. It’s now my go-to song before any big meeting or life event where I need to remember that no matter how nervous or lost I feel in the moment, I can keep going – there is a reason to believe I’ll be OK.

So, thank you. THANK YOU! To every single member of the creative team and cast of this beautiful life-changing piece of theater. I can’t wait for May 12 when I get to see the music that changed my life performed in NYC.

You saved me while I was falling in a forest of my own thoughts. If it wasn’t for you, Dear Evan Hansen, I would still be falling today.

Sincerely,
MeIMG_3147

Posted in Inspiration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Snow running

Winter finally arrived in New Hampshire a few weeks ago, and since I needed to start training for the upcoming 10K, I decided I would brave the snowstorm and run anyway.

People may have looked at me like I was crazy at work as I made trip down the stairs to go out in the middle of the onslaught. I may not have wanted to go out in the cold and snow.

But I’m glad I did.

img_3012This might be hard to believe, but I enjoyed that one-mile run more than any run in my entire life. I wanted to keep going, but it was really cold and snow hurt my face.

I enjoyed the challenge of dodging the small snow banks that had started collecting, and making the first prints in fresh snow. There was something absolutely liberating about running and having the snow hit my face.

I also have been completely obsessed with this new musical “Dear Evan Hansen.” Seriously, if you haven’t heard of it, go listen to the cast recording. LISTEN RIGHT NOW.

I have been limiting myself to only a select number of songs, because we’re taking a trip to NYC and seeing the show.

There happens to be a song that reminds me of my friends that I miss very much because they are in Pennsylvania. But there’s a point in the song where the music swells and the lyrics take you on this emotional upward climb.

Because fate is sometimes too awesome, I happened to have had the sun hit my face, just as the corresponding lyrics played. For a total music nerd, it just doesn’t get any better than that.

If you’re not afraid to feel, and to get lost in an incredible show, take a listen to a song that inspires me every time I hear it, and a show that has changed my life forever – and I haven’t even seen it yet.

Posted in Training | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Inspiration

francisofassisi121023.jpg

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Looking back at the #CosmoButtChallenge

I am happy to say that I officially finished the Cosmo Butt Challenge. 28 (29 actually because I skipped a day in the middle by accident) of ass-shrinking exercises and lunges that seemed to never end.

Before I dig into the results, I have to give a huge shout-out to my Husband for keeping me going and being my timer throughout the month – I wouldn’t have been as motivated without him.

Also want to give a shout-out to YouTube, because the plethora of Ben Platt singing videos helped give me some sweet rifts to take my mind off the aching legs at the end of the reps. Seriously, this dude can sing!

Now with that out of the way, let’s break down the challenge.

For 28 days, you do the same 5 exercises for 8 minutes a night – don’t worry there were 4 rest days included. The exercises consisted of squats, lunges, kickbacks, dead lifts, and bridges. Do those in a circuit, 15 reps total or 15 per leg (depending on exercise), and rest for 30 seconds between each complete circuit.

Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch. Ouch.

At the beginning, the exercises hurt, but it takes time to do 30 lunges when you’re first starting out. I figured that it would get better as I went along – as many programs normally do as your body builds muscle memory.

But the PAIN.

Yeah, my body built that muscle memory up so well that toward the end of the 28 days I was making it through two whole circuits on a regular basis. If you’re not keeping count – that’s 30 total squats and 60 total lunges – SIXTY.

But it was worth it. In the strength department at least.

I had this grandiose image of a perfectly molded booty awaiting me at the end. Instead, my butt SHRUNK.

Is it molded – yes. But it’s SMALLER.

Everybody has things about their body that they would change in a heartbeat if they could – thanks to Photoshop and unrealistic body images we are shown every day.  I’ve always liked my butt – the size that it was.

But looking for the positives in this now smaller-butt world, I’m excited for the power my running will have, thanks to the activated glute muscles. In every negative, if you look hard enough, there is a positive. It might be super tiny (like my new butt) and mostly made up – but it’s there.

Now, onto the next challenge!

Posted in Workouts | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Inspiration

ff9.jpg

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The running begins

Today is the day! I’m off to great places, I’m off and away!

OK, all Dr. Seuss references aside – I’m getting out on the road today!

I’m excited to start hitting the pavement again with my brand-spanking, new running shoes. After spending the entire month getting stronger I thought it was time to get out there and start training again. My first race is in just 89 days.  (yes I’m already counting)

img_2949I don’t have a lot of expectations for the race at this point, mostly because I don’t know how my training is going to go. Would I love to PR as I return to this course after a year off – absolutely. Do I think that’s a possibility – yes.

The rolling hills of Groton provide the perfect landscape for me to return to racing to try and “beat” myself in a race. The area around my house should be perfect for this with the country landscape and back roads. With the race being at the end of April, I have plenty of time to get myself back into running form.

By the end of February, I’m planning to be back to running at least 3-4 miles on the weekends and running twice a week at lunch. I’m planning to keep with my interval training as I had last year for the races, but I’m going to try and bump up the ratio to 4:1 (four-minute run, one-minute walk). This should get me to a good pace to be able to run the entire 10k through without walk breaks.

If I don’t hit my Personal Best, I’m hoping to at least set a PR for the course, which would mean running under an hour. The last time I ran Groton in 2015, I shaved more than 3 minutes off my first time, so shaving off 37 seconds shouldn’t be too much of a challenge.

Time to go hit the pavement!

Posted in Training | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Friday Inspiration

ff12.jpg

Image | Posted on by | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

A Happiness Journey

I can’t believe it. We’re already halfway through the first month of 2017! I’m proud to say that even though I’ve wanted to give up and not stick to my daily training, that I have done it. It hasn’t been easy to convince myself, and without my husband I would have stopped six days in.

img_2873To start 2017, I decided that my Happiness was important. I started my own Happiness Project, with 12 Happiness Commandments that would guide me on my journey through this year.

1.Give with Grace

With so much selfishness in the world, I felt it was important to make sure I am able to give with grace. I foresee myself struggling the most with this one, as I work to put others above myself.

2. Talk less, Smile more

Taking a lesson from Aaron Burr in the Broadway Smash Hamilton, I’m going to try to talk less and smile more – meaning that I’m going to try and keep the negativity at bay and smile about the good things. As Burr says “Fools who run their mouths often wind up dead.”

3. Think Good Thoughts

Thoughts can destroy you – if you give them the power. I fight battles inside my own head so many times a day I’m often exhausted by the time I get home. So I’m going to make an honest effort to not give power to the bad thoughts, and instead take control with good, helpful, meaningful thoughts.

4. Forgive my misgivings

Learning for forgive is the hardest and most-complicated lesson in life. Forgiving someone else is often a long process of coming to terms with how that person may have harmed you or someone you love. But forgiving someone else is not nearly as hard as forgiving yourself.

5. Keep in contact

I’m horrible at keeping in touch. Despite my best efforts, and the promises I make to myself that I will be a better friend and reach out more – I don’t. It’s not that I don’t like my friends, because I cherish them deeply. I’m just a horrible introvert who has a hard time reaching out. So, I’m going to make sure that I make an effort to talk more, and talk often with the people I care about most.

6. Forget the phone

I’ll admit it – I’m a phone addict. So I’m making an effort to leave the phone behind and not be a slave to the screen. I have an hour of “no phone” where I put it down and I’m not allowed to look at it or respond. I also have started to leave it at my desk during office meetings so there is absolutely no temptation to look at it.

7. Expand my mind

This covers a few different areas. Devotion/Meditation and reading. Escape the world we live and discover a new world. This year I’m hoping to read four books and stay on top of my magazine subscriptions – so far, so good!

8. Create everyday

This has to do mostly with crafting, but it also applies to writing, or anything creative. I want to make sure I’m allowing myself to be free and create something that goes beyond my immediate self.

9. Let music live

Music has always been a major part of my life. I even ran my Marathon in the name of it. I’ve decided to spend more time at the piano in 2017, and try to learn three songs.

10. Run my race

I would be remiss if I didn’t add something running related. This is a reminder to myself that I need to run my race – and my life. I choose how I respond to the changes. I choose how to move forward.

11. Shine in the sunshine

I want to spend more time outside in 2017, enjoying the beautiful planet that we live on. This is a perfect Happiness Commandment, because it benefits not only my body, but also my mind as well.

12. Stretch my body

I couldn’t go without adding another workout-related commandment. Getting stronger overall is something that is very important to me this year. I want my whole body to be strong, not just my legs. I’ve started January with the #CosmoButtChallenge – and IT HURTS.

 

So far, I can report that I am feeling more positive and even happier than I did at the end of 2016. There’s still more work to do, but I’m confident that eventually I’ll be in a much better place at the end of this year than I was a few weeks ago.

If you want to get in on the fun – start by putting together your Happiness Commandments and get into the action on Instagram using the hashtag #Happier2017

Posted in Happiness Journey | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment