Sunday, July 15, 2018

Taking Charge and Finding My Strong

This week, I decided that I was done fighting with my body. While running isn't my friend these days, there are lots of other things that I'm doing well and I decided to focus on that. I did run a bit, slowly, and my body seemed grateful that the pressure was off. Who knew that it was listening to me?

A few years ago, one of the fitness companies had a campaign that said: "Find Your Strong". That was my mantra for the week. By shifting my focus from the road, I found my strong in other places.


Running
On Monday and Wednesday, I did 4 miles, using run/walk intervals. I also slowed way down. My knees were bothering me and I wanted to keep them happy. Faster running=increased risk of injury and with a race in 10 days, I didn't want anything to happen that would keep me sidelined. The weather on those days was favorable for decent running, which reminded me that some of my issues are definitely weather related.


On Sunday, I knew I needed one more long run in the bank to help me feel confident going into next week's half marathon. I stepped out into the moist morning--the dew point was 73-- and thought to myself, no way. I took a deep breath and pushed start on the Garmin. I started off slow--my moving pace was over 10 m/m and did my 4:1 run/walk intervals. I planned on 8 but thought that if I felt bad, I'd turn around at 6. I drank a glass of Tailwind Nutrition before I went out and brought a handheld of Tailwind to sip on the run. At mile 3 I felt pretty good and decided to push to mile 4, where I would turn around and head back. I won't lie--even at my slow 10:31m/m average pace, this run was HARD. But I didn't feel like death and I knew I could have gone further if I had to. This is the run I needed.

I got this.

CrossFit
Thursday's session with Sammy Jo shifted focus a little bit. Instead of going for one rep PRs, she is having me do higher volume with lower weights. This week I did front squats, 85#, 8 reps x 3. I think I like this better. It was hard but in a different way than lifting super heavy. I was pleasantly sore (!) the next day. I like that feeling. For my EMOM, I did burpees alternating with body rows.


Steph and Sammy Jo talked me into coming to the Friday afternoon Bootcamp. After work, I walked into the box and was greeted with "I don't believe it!". Coach Sammy Jo told me she didn't think I'd come. We did a modified EMOM;  every 90 seconds for a total of 35 minutes work we did 12 plate hop burpees, 250m run, 30 double unders or 60 single jump ropes and 10 KB deadlifts, and 250m row. Since it was 95 degrees outside, she gave us a minute rest in between. We did this workout x 5 rounds. It.was.hard. But I didn't quit. Although I was exhausted and somewhat nauseous at the end of the workout, I realized that this is what I need to do to boost my endurance. I'll be back.


Yoga
I did 2 home practices this week. On Monday, I did Five Parks Yoga Deep Stretch for Athletes. I was feeling beat up from my long run on Saturday as well as Monday morning's short run, and this was a great total body stretch. During my run on Wednesday, I stopped to play in pinchamayurasana (forearm stand). I was pleasantly surprised how easily I was able to get into the pose. I held it for about 10 seconds which felt much longer. After my run, I kept the mood playful and chose FPY Yoga Playground class. It was a really fun class and the peak pose was Peacock, which I could not even come close to doing. There were plenty of modifications I could do and I felt great after this class.


Off the Road
I saw my rheumatologist on Thursday and had my knees injected with a corticosteroid. Fortunately, there was no fluid under the kneecaps. She used an ultrasound to guide the needle in from up above on my thigh. Crazy, right? No photos, guys. I kept my eyes closed during the entire procedure! I'm squeamish like that. It didn't hurt too badly. Right now, my knees feel pretty good. Fingers crossed that this lasts for a while.

Also on Thursday, Marcia and I met for lunch! It had been a while and it was great to catch up on life--on and off the road. We talked a lot about running and aging. It's nice to have a friend who gets it. Actually, I feel pretty lucky to have a peer group of active 50-something women who get it. After we met, I felt much better about where I'm at with running.


On Saturday, I attended a Performance Psychology Seminar at the CrossFit box. Perfect for the confidence-challenged athlete aka me. I'll be sharing more about that in Tuesday's post.

I spent the rest of Saturday watching my youngest play rugby 7s with his team for the very last time. This was the state championship tournament and I am so proud to say that they won! What a fantastic note on which to end his high school rugby career. I've said it before and I'll say it now if you're looking for inspiration, look no further than youth sports. The pride and determination are incredible!


And that's a wrap! I don't know if it was the boot camp, the inspiration from watching the boys win the tournament, or what but I'm happy to have found my strong again this week. Have you ever mentally stumbled and needed to find your way back? What did you do? How do you stay strong when running isn't giving you what you need?

Welcome to the Weekly Wrap! This is the place where all the cool fitness bloggers hang out and lift each other up. Need a lift? Lift another runner or 2 or 3 by commenting on their posts! Don't forget to link back to the hosts, Holly and me. Thanks for supporting the Weekly Wrap!




87 comments :

  1. I think everyone needs to find their strong every once in a while. We all have weeks (or months) where nothing feels good, and we question why we are working so hard for such little to show for it. Then something wonderful happens (like this week for you), and we have our mojo back again.

    I am so glad for my group of running friends too. They are inspiring and fun. Always a pick-me-up! :)

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    1. I think my mojo will mostly reappear this fall when the temperatures cool off. But I'll take whatever I can get. And the bootcamp may be just what I need.

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  2. The temps were brutal this week and I totally agree that even a 10:30 pace felt like a struggle.

    I like how you are finding your strong in other areas even when running is not agreeing with you. I think adjusting our "goals" as far as what we want to get out of running, every once in a while is a good thing. I will have days where I know I can't run like I use to so I adjust accordingly, but then I'll have a really good run or race that makes me think I CAN get back to where I was and that gives me more confidence!

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    1. Bootcamp really was a kick in the pants--it was so hard and I felt like I was going to pass out or throw up, but I didn't want to quit. I need to get back in that "get comfortable with feeling uncomfortable" mindset. I think that class set my head right and that's why my run was decent today. I'm going to keep bootcamp on my schedule!

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  3. Because I'm quite a bit older than most of my running friends, I love having online friends who are at least in their 50's and understand the effects of aging on our performance.

    Congrats to your son's team! That's quite an accomplishment and the perfect way to end his high school rugby career!

    As always, thanks for the linkup!

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    1. As much as all our runner friends are peers, we mature runners have certain issues that only we understand. It's really great to have a peer group that gets it!

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  4. You are one of the most active and fit over-50 women I know! You're an inspiration and I hope to be as active as you when I am in my 50's. Keep inspiring :)

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    1. You know you will be, my friend! You inspire me. Your comeback has been remarkable!

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  5. I'm glad you're finding your strong again and that you have your peers. If I didn't have my fellow sedate ladies (check out my linked post for what happens when there are infinite outfits but two of your friends manage to come to your run as twins!) I don't know where I'd be! And you are so inspiring me with your weight and strength training.

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    1. I loved your twinning friends! LOL! Runners--we get each other, right?

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  6. Glad to hear your knees are feeling better. Woo hoo for your son and his team. Definitely fabulous to end the season on a high note. Running and I are having similar struggles at the moment. I do need to remind myself as well of all of the other activities I can do. It's easy to focus on the things that we can't.

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    1. You are killing it in the gym. I needed to realize that myself. That really helped get my head right. That and that crazy bootcamp! I'll be back!

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  7. What a great outlook! Reminds of something we learned in leadership training -- it's usually more productive to focus on developing someone's strong points even more than trying to address their weak points. Congrats to your son's team! I love my Facebook memories from my son's tournament days.

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    1. I'm happy with finding my strong in other areas--it's going to influence my running, right?

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  8. Congrats to the kid on the championship. I agree, watching kids (little or big)rise to a challenge is very inspiring. Those injections sound scary. Good call on the not looking. LOL. I second what Jessie said up there (except I'm already 50). I think we get entirely too hard on ourselves sometimes. Running, CrossFit, life -- all of it has an ebb and flow. I have no doubt you'll be back.

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    1. Well, us type A people always want to be on top of our game!

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  9. Glad you found your STRONG back (although most of us knew it was there all along...sorry, I sound like Glenda, the Good Witch LOL). I have a lot of running friends who are faster than me, and I have finally accepted that I cannot change any of my genetics. I'm not gonna be a sub-8 runner (for any length further than a mile), but I have a lot of endurance and physical strength. I'm good with that. Keep that chin up ;-)

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  10. Yay! Glad you are feeling better mentally. The strong is always there. It just manifests in different ways. Congrats to Matt's team. How great to go out as champions!

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    1. What an amazing experience for him (and us!!!). I'm just sad it's over!

      Thanks for the pep talk!

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  11. Love your mantra! I feel like I've been on a similar road lately - do what you can, when you can. Is corticosteroid the same as cortisone? I had cortisone shots in my bad knee every few months before having surgery. They really did help...temporarily.

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    1. Cortisone is kind of a nickname for corticosteroid. Same thing. I'm ok with what ever it brings me. I was just miserable.

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  12. It hurts my heart whenever I read that you are feeling low and/or losing you confidence because you are losing some ground. A post like today's is incredibly joyful.

    That said, you are among the strongest women I "know" [I hope someday to make that a real "know" with a face to face meeting], not only physically, but mentally and emotionally. Facing the downturns and disappointments with grace and dignity (So, okay, you shed some tears and utter a few curse worse on the inside, and maybe on the outside, too, but you deal, my friend, you deal).

    As we get older, and you know I am more than a decade ahead of you in years, we adjust and live with our new normal. We may not like that we cannot do what we did last year, two years ago, or ten years ago, but we rediscover our mojos and move ahead. Smaller steps forward perhaps, sometimes standing a little bit still, but never stopping, never giving up.

    I personally do not have one iota of the physical stamina that you do, but I find comfort in my own new normal.

    As the years advance, we, you, will adjust. With your strength and determination, you will not only survive, you will prevail. I salute you and once again thank you for you constant, amazing inspiration.

    And oh, yes, congratulations to your son and his team. What a way to end his high school career. I can only imagine how proud you and his Dad are. Kudos to all.

    Sending love from the East Coast.

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    1. You always lift me up with your kind words and understanding. I felt very joyful today after my run. Slow for sure, but I didn't feel that desperation that has been so pervasive in my running lately. I always say finishing is winning and today I totally owned that mantra. <3

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  13. I think everyone mentally stumbles once in a while. That's why I love running...no matter how much of a break you take, its always there waiting for you to come back. I really hope you get your running mojo back, but definitely have faith that it WILL come back!

    I never got the hang of double unders. I don't think I ever will haha.

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    1. Me either! I did the 60 singles jumps and even then I tripped over the rope a few times. I'm hopeless!

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  14. I look forward to reading your post about the performance psychology! I got injured this week for the first time ever... and did not handle it very well. So I will be taking your mantra of Find Your Strong in other areas of my life!

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    1. I've had multiple injuries over my 30-odd years of running and I never handle it well. The best advice I can give is to find another activity as a backup plan so you feel like you're doing something. Hang in there!

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  15. I totally agree re: finding your strong: I think each person's strong is different and each person's strong is different week to week. ANd I know well that didn't die/could do more feeling.
    I was so distracted while rowing today: man doing amazing cross fit/yoga hybrid. Such wonderful scenery. Good luck with your race!

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    1. Eye candy while rowing is a nice thing. I bet that got your heart beating!

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    2. indeed! Handstands on short benches just wow me.

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  16. Having a mantra=great. Yours is so meaningful, too! I need to do that. And yay for your son!!
    Good luck on race day!

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    1. I love this mantra and it just fits me right now!

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  17. I know I'm always looking for my strong. After a great race last weekend, I felt the wind ripped out of my sails when my foot started bothering me mid week. Womp womp womp. Just like you, I'll be fine and will find a way.

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    1. I hope that nasty PF stays away!!! Just when you get in a groove...

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  18. It's never easy when you struggle with something that once came easily. I'm glad you had a confidence building last long run (me too!) -- that definitely always helps. I hope you get great weather next sat (which is race day for me, too!).

    Life has been handing me some lemons lately, but running, thankfully, has been going well.

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    1. Sorry about the lemons! Running always helps when things aren't going well. I hope your time away is good for you too.

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  19. I'm so glad you found your strong. I've had my challenges over the years...you can't run for 30 years without a few bumps in the road...but thankfully it eventually passes. Hopefully my strong is on a mini vacation.

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    1. I hope my strong sticks around for a while. Slowing down sure seemed to help me.

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  20. Congrats to your son! Sounds like a great week of workouts! I'm impressed with your crossfit and boot camp workouts! Hope your race goes well!

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  21. I'm so glad you have found your strong! You are doing a great job getting all of your workouts in. My mom is such a trooper - she gets knee AND hip injections every three months. Congrats to your son on the rugby championship. How exciting!

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    1. I'm sure that I'll be on the frequent injection plan myself. Hey, whatever it takes!

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  22. I'm so glad this was a better week for you! Sometimes I feel like when I'm struggling if I step back and accept where my body is, I start to feel better. You had great workouts all around this week!

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    1. You know I'm not good at that but it is definitely what I need to do!

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  23. Congrats to your Son!
    I'm so glad you got in a good run this week before your race. I'm running 4:1 intervals right now too. It's really helping!

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    1. As much as I love to hate on the run/walk intervals, they are the key to getting the long run done!

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  24. Yes, I get it too. I’m glad you had a strong week. That boot camp would put me under and that was just one of your workouts! Keep the faith! I hope your knees respond well to the steroids.

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    1. I had a little knee pain today but hopefully it was just a fluke!

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  25. I really love that mantra so much. We can really find our strong in a bunch of different ways.

    Congrats to your son's rugby team!

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    1. It was the right mantra for my current situation!!!

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  26. Yes to finding your strong again!! And love that you do CrossFit too. How are your knees feeling now after the rheumatologist?

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    1. So far so good and I have my fingers and toes crossed!

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  27. You had a strong week of workouts - it sounds like focusing on finding your strong helped. That long run will be a great confidence boost before the half. I hope your knees continue to feel better!

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    1. I just need them to hold up through the race. I think this is going to be an ongoing issue for me, sadly.

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  28. I would've kept my eyes closed during that procedure. I keep my eyes closed at acupuncture when she's putting needs in my sinuses. I don't want to see any of that! I hope it helps your knees, and you have a great race this weekend!

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    1. It just seemed to hurt less if I didn't watch...

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  29. I think finishing a tough run (or bootcamp) can feel more rewarding than the type of run where everything "just clicks". And it definitely helps with the mental game!

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    1. 100% agree. Doing that bootcamp really turned my head around and set it right again. I can't wait to go back!

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  30. Sounds like the week was what you needed! I'm glad you had a couple good runs and shifting focus to some other things helped. I would have kept my eyes closed during the knee procedure too. I'm squeamish about that type of thing as well.

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    1. It was just so creepy, the needle going in under the kneecap. As if my imagination couldn't freak me out enough...

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  31. You can be strong in so many different ways so I think a lot of finding your strong is being brave enough to try. When I start feeling weak, I take a deep breath, remember why I started and switch something small up so if I'm getting burned out I can find new drive.

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    1. 100% agree. It's amazing what can happen when you try something new!

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  32. I hear you on the ups and downs of running! Isn't it funny how much it throws us off when we can't run? There are so many other ways to maintain good fitness but there is somethings about running that feels hard to replace. I love that you and Marcia could meet up and encourage one another!

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    1. Marcia has been my best cheerleader all along!

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  33. Love this! Sometimes just taking a step back, doing something new, or taking a rest day gets me feeling back on track! Thanks for sharing!

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    1. When things aren't going well, it's always good to mix it up a bit!

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  34. Kudos to you for having the courage to find your strength in ways other than running. Sometimes when we aren't performing to the level that we want its hard to admit that a step back is necessary. Hopefully be alleviating some of the self-imposed pressure to run you'll be able to get back at it the way you want to after a short break.

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    1. I think stepping back from running so much and adding in another cardiovascular workout may be just the thing I need!

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  35. Sounds like a great week! I'm so impressed with how you adjusted your routine to meet your needs in the circumstances. It can be so easy to stubbornly stick to what has worked in the past.
    Congrats to your son as well! Rugby is such a fun sport, and I agree with you about youth sports and motivation!

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    1. I'm always open to trying something new if it could help my running!

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  36. Love the mantra! So glad you found your strong in other areas and got some decent miles to boot. There's a lot to be said for taking a step back sometimes.

    Congrats to your son! I love rugby - I played in college - such a fun sport!

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    1. I love that you played rugby! So fun. Looking forward to meeting you this weekend!

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  37. You are one of the strongest women I know.. Glad you were able to find your"strong."

    Heat has slowed me down but better than staying in my air conditioned house.

    Races help me find my strong. I have a 5k this Sat. Not sure how strong I feel.

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    1. Races scare me! LOL! So I have to dig really deep to find my strong. Anxious to see what I bring on Sunday.

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  38. While I love running, sometimes I just need a break for a while. Sounds like you needed one and will come back stronger than ever!

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  39. Congratulstions to your son! HOw amazing for him and his team!

    As for you, you are really incredible. I love reading how you are able to keep overcoming with so such good grace. You are such an inspiration to so many.

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    1. You are too kind. I just can't give up, but I sure am frustrated with my fitness right now!

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  40. "Find your strong" what a powerful motivator. It's funny how things of the past can help motivate us today. Way to conquer your goal Strong Lady.

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    1. I wasn't even searching for a mantra--this one just popped in my head. It fits my quest to a tee!

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  41. You definitely found your strong this week - you DO have this! It's funny you mentioned the pride and determination in youth sports as I just had this conversation with my husband. We were watching the Wimbledon's Finals. And after that they showed the Final of the Junior Boys. Can you believe we enjoyed the Boys Final more then the Men's Final. The Men's was great but the Boys had so much energy and passion and excitement - they threw caution to the wind, they were emotional - and I LOVED it!! And that's not to say there was no passion in the Men's Final but it was just so much more visible in the boys' and it left me feeling great. (Well done to your son - that photo is a keeper!) Shathiso @ www.thegaboronerunner.com

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    1. There are so many things to love about teenagers--I think we tend to focus on the bad--and their passion for sports and winning is one of them. Spending the day with the team once again made me appreciate their irreverent sense of humor. So many adults lose that and it's such a shame!

      Clearly, I haven't lost mine...;P

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  42. I feel like "Find Your Strong" is gonna have to be one of my mantras too! I'm kinda bad about listening to my body and giving it a break but it's definitely something I'm working on.

    Great job on your lifting! :]! I hope the steroid injection lasts for a while as well! I've been trying to do em' whenever I have patients who want them/have conditions appropriate for them so I can get more experience with em'!

    Congrats to your son and his team!! That's awesome! :]

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    1. I fear that the steroids are starting to wear off--I had a feeling that was going to happen. I just need to get through this race.

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  43. Congratulations to your son on the state championship! WOW - and congrats to you of course too - so much to be proud of as a mama!

    I like your mantra and I think it's important to find your strong in each season. It's not always running! In my roughest seasons (usually it's the first 2 months after having a baby...hehe), my "strong" includes just waking up in the morning, taking a shower and keeping a good attitude through the day. Sometimes yoga is my strong. Sometimes it's just walking with the kids. Find what you can do and enjoy that!

    And the needle procedure you described... I 100% don't blame you for not watching. I'm a big baby when it comes to needles, even if the procedure is painless I would still feel faint. :s

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    1. I agree with you that we need to find our strong in all kinds of activities. Yes, some days it's all about getting up and out of bed. Sometimes that's enough.

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