async="src="/ Taking the Long Way Home: motivation
Showing posts with label motivation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label motivation. Show all posts

Friday, September 7, 2018

My Top 3 Moments of the Summer and a Momentum Wraps Giveaway!

Disclaimer: I was given the Momentum Wraps fall collection in exchange for this blog post. All opinions and content are mine.

Summer is winding down and fall is creeping in. It feels too soon, doesn't it? The arrival of Pumpkin Spice Lattes is a sure sign that fall is just around the corner. On our most recent trip to Wisconsin, we spied some trees with the leaves changing colors. Say it isn't so!

I had a great summer. I traveled, I ran, I spent a lot of time on the water. I made a lot of memories this summer. As I get older, collecting moments and memories means a lot more to me than collecting things. During our predictably cold, endless winter, I'll have a lot of warm weather fun to look back on!

For this post, I stopped by the water to do some yoga and reflect on what were my top 3 moments of the summer. It wasn't easy to narrow it down to just 3!



Tuesday, July 17, 2018

Giving a Runner a Pep Talk (and a giveaway!)

This post contains an affiliate link.

It's no secret to my regular readers that running has not been fun for me the past couple of months. In fact, running has pretty much sucked for me. There it is. I've said it.

Since my speedy 10 miler in April, it's like the pod people came in the night and sucked all the endurance out of me. I mean, how else can I explain my precipitous decline in my running times?

All joking aside, my ego has really taken a hit. Fortunately, there are people in my world who get it and give me a lift when I needed it. Funny how that happens, right? I wanted to share some of the tidbits that I picked up this week.



Friday, September 29, 2017

Runfessions for September

Already it's the end of September? That means it's time for Runfessions! The last Friday of the month is the day we running bloggers get to enter the runfessional and runfess all our running sins and mishaps. There's always something to runfess here at the old TTLWH. Sadly.

Do you have anything to runfess?

Let's get right to it!

I bonus runfess that Ioathe these flutter kicks. Even the sight of my beloved Inknburn shorts doesn't lessen the pain.

Friday, June 9, 2017

6 Effing Reasons You Should Run

Disclosure statement: this post was brought to you by the letter F. Rated G for Global Running Day.

In case you missed it, Wednesday was Global Running Day. Did you get your run in?

It seems as though there's a day for everything, isn't there? How did this even come about? For example, today is National Strawberry Rhubarb Day. I don't really care for rhubarb, but I can guarantee that my husband and his father would be all over this holiday. If only they knew that it existed!

Some might call it frivolous, but in this case, I'm glad there's a day to celebrate my favorite activity. Even though Global Running Day falls on a day that I don't normally run, I chose to commemorate this special day with a virtual 5k. My incentive? A free medal I received from I Love to Run that asks the question: Why do you run?

I might take that question a little bit further and ask: "why should you run?"



Friday, August 12, 2016

Book Review: Boston Bound

How many of us have that one pinnacle event, that must-do marathon, that bucket list race? For me, it was the Big Sur International Marathon. For Elizabeth Clor, that race was the Boston Marathon. But as many runners know, even if training runs are on the mark, qualifying isn't as easy as it would seem. In her memoir Boston Bound, Clor chronicles her journey through multiple marathons as she attempts to slay the demons that kept her from lining up at what most long distance runners consider to be the ultimate race of marathoning.




Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Empowered By The Miles: Global Running Day 2016

Today is Global Running Day, a day to celebrate running around the world. You many remember this day from the past as National Running Day, which started about 7 years ago as an informal day to celebrate all things running. The "day" has caught fire and is now a global holiday. This year, organizers want everyone to drop everything and go for a run. And if you aren't a runner, what better time to start than on a day that celebrates running?

I know, it seems like there's a day to celebrate everything, right? In case you were wondering, June 1 is also National Heimlich Maneuver Day. Not that we are all going to go around practicing the Heimlich Maneuver on Wednesday, but it is a good skill. You never know when it may come in handy. What if you come upon another runner choking on a gel--it could happen-- or a banana? Ask yourself this: would you be able or willing to help them?

June 1 is also National Say Something Nice Day. Don't be that runner who won't acknowledge another runner. You know who you are--I saw a few of you on the path on my bike ride this past weekend. Really, is it that hard to say hi or at least nod? Today's holiday is the perfect excuse to wish all your fellow runners a Happy Global Running Day--even if we are riding a bike! Although in my book, every day should be National Say Something Nice Day.

It's also National Go Barefoot Day. If you are so inclined, you can take your run sans shoes, killing two birds with one stone. Barefoot running was a thing a few years ago, remember?


Believe it or not, I'm not running today. Crazy, right? But I've got a sore paw from my race Sunday and I'm really trying to take it easy on my feet so that I can keep on running. Today I am doing yoga, which is a recovery activity for me. In the spirit of the holiday, I am linking this post with Kristen of Jonesin' for a Run, who is hosting a Global Running Day blog link up. She sent us a list of questions and I think it will be fun to read the answers everyone posts!


Why do you run? I started running 25 years ago as a way to manage stress and anxiety which were threatening to take over my life. That probably is still the #1 reason I run. But after all this time, running has become part of who I am. I can't imagine my life without running. Running centers me, running keeps me calm, running empowers me.

How do you plan to celebrate National Running Day? Although I don't have plans to run today, I plan on spreading the word about running as so many of us runners do. Realistically, do runners ever not talk about running? Today we have a legitimate excuse. I'm also publishing this blog post and sharing my passion for this life-changing activity via social media.

How many miles have you run so far this year? Do you have a mileage goal for the year? So far this year, I've run 385 miles. On the road, that is. I'm not sure how many miles I logged in the pool this spring with my "aqua jogging". I've had to take a lot of time off for injury, including during training for the Big Sur Marathon. I don't have a mileage goal for this year. Instead, my goal is to stay healthy enough to keep running. If that means low mileage, I'm ok with that.

What big events do you have on the race calendar so far this year? I had 2 bucket list races on my calendar for the spring, which I am happy to have completed in spite of injury. I ran the Sarasota Half Marathon in March, a race that I had to defer from 2015 due to family issues. I'm not a runner who takes a DNS very well, so I was thrilled to be able to finally get to run that race. I ran the Big Sur Marathon in April, which was a lifetime bucket list race. It's hard to find anything to get excited about after that, but I'm trying! I'm looking at a few halfs for the rest of the year: RockNRoll Chicago, which I haven't yet signed up for; an October half TBD; and the Panama City Beach Half Marathon in December, which will be run with several other bloggers. I'm really excited for that one.

Before I leave for a run I must have: For any run, I always bring my phone. I carry it in a SpiBelt and I like to have it for safety reasons. I also listen to music and take pictures, so there's that. You know, if you don't put it on social media, it didn't happen, right? On long runs, I bring fuel. I use Tailwind Nutrition in a handheld water bottle. I also bring wipes because you don't always know what's going to happen on the run. Just sayin'.

Do you track your runs? If so what do you use? I always track my runs. Even though right now I say I'm running "free", I still track my runs. I use a Garmin Forerunner 10. It's nothing fancy, but it gives me that stats I want: pace, splits, and distance. I like the Garmin Connect app, which shows me my route and elevation. I don't really need anything more than that.

Who is your favorite running partner? I don't run with a partner, although at Big Sur, I ran with my friend Kristina, who I met through her FB page, Live Laugh Love Run. We really got to know each other virtually, and when we met, it was like we knew each other forever. Big Sur is a great race to do with a friend because it's so hard, and you need someone to keep you going. It's also an amazing experience, and it was great to have someone to share that with.

If you have to give someone one piece of advice about running, what would it be? I always tell new runners to be patient. Start out slow. There is no shame in walking when you get tired. Pacing yourself comes with time and experience. And be realistic. Don't set lofty goals for yourself. Be content with finishing a race, no matter what your finish time is. Have fun. Running is fun.

Describe your relationship with running in one word: Empowering. This past weekend, I ran a 10k and achieved a PR, which is pretty amazing to me after 25 years of running. It was hard to maintain the pace I was at and I wanted to quit. But I shut down those voices in my head that told me to slow down and pushed hard to the finish. This willingness to push through the pain and outside of my comfort zone has spread to all areas of my life. I truly believe that running and chasing and achieving goals has made me stronger as a person. That's empowering.

A tough race, a PR
Relief at being finished
"You've always had the power, my dear. You just had to learn it for yourself." -Glenda the Good Witch from The Wizard of Oz

What are you doing to celebrate Global Running Day? Answer one of the questions in the comments below!

Besides Kristen's link up, I'm linking up with DebRuns for Wednesday Word. Today's word is Empower.












Wednesday, January 27, 2016

Pessimism vs. Optimism

It's so easy to get caught up in a cycle of negativity. Trust me on this one. I've got the DNA for negativity. But the first step towards improvement is awareness, right? I've had a lot of practice, and once I realize my mindset is heading south, I'm pretty good at turning my thinking around.


I've had some help too. My coach Becky refuses to let me complain or even apologize for a less than stellar effort. In fact, if I utter a negative thought, it's burpees for me. You can't make a runner run for punishment, right? Don't tell her this, but while I don't know that I'll ever love burpees, I'm minding them less. I've gotten stronger and they aren't as hard as they used to be for me.

Maybe that's all part of her plan?

Anyways, life has tried its hardest to drag me down these last couple of weeks. As Cousin Eddie would say, "shitter's full".
Sorry for the crude reference.
From National Lampoon's Christmas Vacation
Enough's enough. When Deb gave this week's Wednesday Word prompt, the word optimism, at first, I thought, what do I have to say about being optimistic? Life hasn't exactly been a bowl of cherries lately.

As it turns out, I have a whole lot to say. I recently wrote that post about training in the winter. I'm going to expand these thoughts to running in general. Maybe even life in general.

Clearly, I need this. Let's break it down:

-The pessimist just complains or whines. It feels good at the time but gets you nothing.
-The optimist acknowledges the issue, but turns their thoughts around to a positive mindset. If you struggle with this, like I do, then maybe you need an extra push over to positivity.
-I've included mantras to repeat to yourself when you're feeling particularly negative.
-And because I'm a goofball, there's the jokester's perspective, which just basically makes fun of everything. I do that too. Because sometimes the only thing you can do is laugh.

Don't roll your eyes. It really works.

Meet the Pessimist, the Optimist, and the Jokester and their approach to the run:

Pessimist: It's cold, it's dark, it's hot, it's raining (whatever).
Optimist: Wow, -2F! That's pretty cold. But the sun is out. I've done this before. I can do this. I can do hard things. I'll need to layer up. OR Yes, it's raining. It can't always be sunny when I run. Running in the rain can feel good.
Jokester: Free shower!
Mantra: If we waited for perfect conditions, we'd never get anything done.

Embrace the conditions.
Pessimist: Man, this run sucks. I feel horrible. I'm a sloth. I give up. I'm going home.
Optimist: I do feel tired today. Not every run is a good one. But I told myself I'd get 4 miles in today, and I'm going to do that. No matter what it takes. I'll feel so much better for finishing.
Jokester: There's pie at home!
Mantra: Not every run may be good, but there's something good in every run.

There's something good in every run. This was my first speedwork session last summer while training for Chicago. The good thing? I finished.
Pessimist: I loathe the treadmill. I feel like a hamster on a wheel. This sucks. I hate this.
Optimist: I don't like running on the treadmill. How can I make the most of this workout? Intervals? Speedwork? I've got a great playlist to help push me.
Jokester: (singing) "I'm on the road to nowhere..."
Mantra: Every step takes me closer to my goal.

I do loathe the treadmill. It's a necessary evil. Every step takes me closer to my goal.
Pessimist: I don't want to run 20 miles. It's too far!
Optimist: 20 miles is really far! I'm going to feel so much more ready for my marathon after tackling that distance!
Jokester: Chuck Norris never ran a marathon.
Mantra: I can and I will.

Last long run before Chicago. I can and I will.
Pessimist: Running is hard.
Optimist: Running isn't easy, but I'm getting stronger with each run.
Jokester: Run? I thought you said rum.
Mantra: The body achieves what the mind believes.


This was a great exercise for me. Forcing myself to write about optimism actually helped me feel more optimistic as I look forward to February and starting my marathon training cycle. I'm sure I'll be coming back to this post to remind myself to always look on the bright side!
"Imagine something good about every race you run, and learn to be an optimist."-Jack Daniels

What to do you do to turn those negative thoughts around? Are you naturally an optimist? A pessimist? A jokester? What's your favorite mantra?

I have a new one after Monday's yoga class: Chill Out or Burn Out.  Best advice I've gotten lately.

I'm linking up with DebRuns at Wednesday Word. Check out what all the optimists are saying!

Friday, January 22, 2016

5 new songs that will ROCK YOUR RUN!

I love to listen to music when I run. Back in the olden days, before there were iPods and iPhones and digital downloads, I rarely listened to music on the run. It simply wasn't convenient. I had a handheld Sony cassette walkman that I would run with at the gym. But when I ran outside, it was just me and nature. Sometimes it was really hard to finish a run with nothing to listen to but my ragged breathing.

Thankfully, that has all changed. Spotify has transformed my runs. Instead of having to listen to a whole album or making a mixtape, I can change songs on my playlist in the blink of an eye! And running is so much easier with tunes to push me. Music is the great motivator. I found this great article on Runners Connect, which cites the connection between running and music. If safety is a concern and you don't want to run with music, there's a benefit to listening to high tempo music before you run as well!



What kind of music do you listen to? One of the studies cited in the article above found that louder and faster music predictably made runners run faster. But according to one expert, who was interviewed for Women's Running, the effect of music on running wanes over time. This is because the brain adapts to the stimulus, the music. He recommended running 2 days with music and one without. He also recommended changing your playlist frequently.

Which is something I do on a regular basis. There are always a few songs that stay on my playlist forever and ever. Songs like Tom Petty's Running Down A Dream, which bring me memories of great runs from the past. There are a few other songs that when I hear them, put a little extra pep in my step, based on the success I had while listening to them in the past.

The research doesn't recommend one particular genre of music. Music choice is highly personal. But when I'm looking for new songs to add to my playlists, most of the recommendations I receive are pop songs or dance songs, genres which are not my favorites. When I need a push, I listen to rock or rap. It's loud, it's fast, and it's the perfect prescription for a long run.

Either that or more cowbell...
Here are 5 new rock songs that are pumping me up with great beats and motivating lyrics:

Halestorm I am the Fire



"I am the fire, I am burning brighter, roaring like a storm, and I am the one I am waiting for, screaming like a siren, alive and burning brighter..."

Coldplay Adventure of a Lifetime
(author's note: I hadn't seen the video until I wrote this post. I wasn't expecting the dancing apes...now I have to get that image out of my head...)



"Turn your magic on, um she'd say, everything you want's a dream away and we are legends every day..."

Cage the Elephant Mess Around



"...she'll show you what she's made of, yeah she's comin' for ya, she's gonna try to break you, yeah she's comin' for ya, no she don't mess around..."

Tame Impala Let it Happen


"It's all around me, all this noise, but not really as loud as the voice saying let it happen, let it happen (its gonna feel so good)..."

X Ambassadors Superpower



"...today I'm gonna superpower, it's a bird, it's a plane, Clark Kent, Bruce Wayne, I got that, I got that, I got that superpower..." 

Are you on Spotify? I'd love to follow you! You can connect with me here.

What's your favorite genre to run to? What songs are you loving lately? Got any recommendations?

I'm linking up with the DC Trifecta for Friday Five aka Courtney, Mar, and Cynthia! It's free Friday and I was thrilled to share my music faves. Check out what everyone else is fiving!




Sunday, January 17, 2016

Moving forward

The mental funk has lifted. What a wacky, stressful couple of weeks it has been. I feel sufficiently recovered from the holidays and am ready to roll! January, you got nothing on me!


My big news is, and I've got a few bits of news to share, that this week I finished working on my Big Sur Marathon training plan! For Big Sur, Becky isn't writing a training plan. She told me this race is all about fun. I agree 100%, but I think most of you would understand that I need the security of a training plan for a marathon. I can wing it with a half marathon, but a full? Not so much. I'm glad I have the experience of 3 marathons--that gives me the confidence to do the planning on my own. It's not as if I have to start from scratch.

I sat down on Thursday and reviewed the 2 plans she made for me in the past. I stuck with most of what she had done because hey, why fix something that isn't broken? Because this is Big Sur and there is a 2000 ft net gain and loss, I have to do hill training. Since I only run 4 days/week, I mixed those hill days with speed work. Living in the flatlands of northern Illinois, I've never trained for hills before. For Big Sur, I need to train not only uphills but also downhills, and the treadmill isn't going to be a great option for that. Keep in mind that Becky's kicking me in the glutes and that will help me a lot with those hills.

Wearing my deadlift socks! My running shoes are too cushy for these weights.
Since I don't have a specific time goal for this race, I feel confident with this plan and excited now that I have something on paper. I've made a 12 week training plan. I officially start training on January 31. The next two weeks will be spent ramping back up again after my two weeks off running to rest my foot. Oh, and by the way, I've included one day of cycling each week. I told Becky and she looked surprised!

"You like the bike?!" she said, a little puzzled.

Hey, it's my marathon training plan, right?

Yep, I've fallen in love with my bike all over again. Who knew indoor riding could be so fun? In fact, I've enjoyed it so much that I invested in a Wahoo Blue SC device that measures speed and cadence. You know I love my gadgets. This device will help me make my indoor training even more effective than the heart rate training I've been doing. I'll be interested to see how I can make it useful when I ride outside as well. Any of my cycling/triathlete friends out there care to offer any advice my way? I'm open! I'll share more information on the Blue SC as I get used to it. I will comment already that the thing is really touchy. The magnets have to be thisclose.

Also, this week, I've had a blast with SweatPink/Fit Approach's #flexandflow yoga challenge. The poses have been fun, but I've really had a blast being creative with the pictures. If you don't follow me on IG, here are a couple that were reposted:

Twisted chair on my way to work
Camel pose in the studio
Frog pose on my way home from dropping my son off at school. 
The biggest news of all is that I'm back on the road! I was going to make Sunday my triumphant return to running, but the predicted high temperature was 8F. With -20-30F wind chills. I don't know about you, but that just didn't make me excited to start running again! Saturday morning was sunny and 30F. I took my run to my favorite bike path. One section was covered with ice, but I was able to take a little detour on the road. No need to break any bones.


It felt great to be out there in the sunshine and fresh air. I took it easy (average pace was 9:09m/m) and ran 6 miles. I'm trialing shoe inserts that I received from Align Footwear, which are supposed to help my PF. I liked that there is a heel cup on these, keeping my heels stable and lifting my arches. During my run my foot was pretty quiet, but when I got home, it was a little sore.

I still haven't made an appointment for ART. I'm a little scared. I hear it's quite painful. Wimpy? Sure. Let's see how things go the next week or so.

Moving forward feels good. I've never trained for a spring marathon before, but it is great to be back on a training plan again. There is no better way to lift yourself up than to have a plan with a goal, right?

Except for a sense of humor. Laughter is the best medicine.

And on that note, I wanted to share with you some wisdom from one of the spammers that I blocked this week:
"No matter if some one searches for his required thing, thus he/she desires to be available that in detail, therefore that thing is maintained over here."-Anonymous
I'm not sure what it means, but it sounds really deep and profound. I'm still thinking about it. This may be the best one I've gotten so far. I feel like it deserves it's own meme.

Have a great week!

How was your week? Are you participating in any yoga challenges? Any clever, profound messages you've received this week?

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for their Weekly Wrap. And anxiously awaiting their WDW marathon recaps!












I'm also linking up with a new linkup, Flecks of Lex's The Week Behind! Check it out!

Wednesday, January 13, 2016

The whiner's guide to staying accountable in the winter

What do you mean you don't want to go for a run?

"It's too coooollllld!"

"It's dark oooouuuut!"

"It's haaaaaaaaard!"

"Running suuuuuuuucks..."

Waa, waa, waa. I too speak whinese.



You call yourself a runner?

Whining never got anything done. Trust me. Sure, sometimes it feels good to whine. "I don't waaaaaant toooooo!" They don't call me Wendy Whiner for nothing. Oh wait, that wasn't me. That was an SNL character back in the day.

I won't deny it. I have done my share of whining. I have the whining gene in my DNA.

So how does a whiner shake off the funk and get out there in the cold?

Experience is the best teacher. And I've got a pep talk for you.



1. The first step to resolution is to acknowledge the problem. You're right, it's cold out. Yes, it's dark. The bed never felt so good. But remember this: you're awake now, so you may as well get up and go. You are a runner and that's what we do. We run. So suck it up.

2. Visualize yourself running. Wimps don't run in the cold and dark. Everyone else who's still in bed? Sloths. You are not a sloth. You are a beast. You are superhuman. You are a runner. And you're going to get it done before the sun. As my dad used to tell my sisters and me when we didn't want to do something, "it will put hair on your chest." Think about that as you're running around your neighborhood.

3. Think about the bragging rights you get for running outside in the winter. You can casually drop this little nugget at the water cooler:
"Yep, yep, heh, heh,  I got in 5 miles before I came into work today."
or
"The cold? What cold? I've got hair on my chest."
Your selfies will already have 100 likes on IG before anyone else even posts their run. Maybe you'll be called a badass mother runner. Maybe you'll be reposted. Maybe you'll be called crazy, which is a compliment in any runner's book.

Last winter. Me.
4. Then there's that whole zen thing to running outside in the winter. You get to be one with nature. The peace. The beauty. There's a pretty good chance that you will see the sun come up. A sunrise never gets old. You get to greet a new day. And you get to brag about it. See #3 above. Of course, you might see skunks or other wild animals, which will, besides giving you some good stories, will put an extra pep in your step.

5. Running first thing in the morning fires up your calorie burning furnace, no matter what time of year it is. You get to eat all the food. While your co-worker or friend is nibbling on an apple and a carton of yogurt, you get to gorge yourself on all the food. Pass the chocolate cake. Smiling like a runner.

6. If none of the above gets you going, remind yourself how bad you'll feel if you skip this run. Oh, trust me on this one. That extra sleep might seem so appealing, the warm bed so tempting, but as the day wears on, you'll kick yourself for skipping the run.And just try running after work. Sure, you can do it. Can you?



7. Remind yourself that this too will pass. Heck, it's already mid-January! Winter goes and spring races come. And guess who will be ready? You. Yep, winter running sucks. Spring is our reward. You have to earn it.

8. Of course, sometimes the weather is just too dicey for even the most die-hard runner. Icy conditions are dangerous, and no one wants to risk that. While there's no glory in running on the treadmill, sometimes a runner just has to. Badass in its own way, for a "real" runner, running on the treadmill is a special kind of torture. Although most non-runners don't quite see it that way, it's ok. You can whine all you want if you take it to the 'mill. A whiner's gotta do what a whiner's gotta do. Just do it.

Any more excuses?

I didn't think so.

Layer up, put on your YakTrax (affiliate link), and let's go! Remember, if running in the winter was easy, it would be called your mom...

The one sign I saw a million times at the marathon. Finally, I get it.
Do you run outside in the winter? (Florida and California residents need not apply.) What tips do you want to share? What pushes you out the door? How do you stay accountable?

I'm linking up with DebRuns and Wednesday Word. Today's word is accountable!











I'm also linking up with the FitFoodieMama, AngelenaMarie, FitfulFocus, and FruitionFitness for Wild Workout Wednesday! Have a wild workout!

Sunday, January 10, 2016

Loving/Not Loving/Winning

I could think of no better way to wrap up what has been a hellacious week than to try to put a humorous spin on things. You know me. Always trying to make light. The only thing I can say about this week is that things can't get much worse, right? Or can they?

You know what? Don't answer that. I do have 2 teenage sons, after all. And none of my grief this week has come from them. For that, I am grateful.

Hopefully, by the time you're reading this, I'm on a beach somewhere exotic, counting my winnings from the $1,000,000,000 Powerball drawing. That's a lot of zeros. Buh-bye.


Oh, wait. I'm still here. Crap! That means it rolled over. I'll win next week.

Sigh.

So hey! I got to ride with this guy, virtually. Let's talk about what I'm loving, not loving, and winning..
Your perky instructor on the GCN.
Loving: riding my trusty Trek bike indoors on the trainer. Thanks to the magic of YouTube, I've been able to enjoy some fun rides in Italy, France, and Australia.
Not loving: The interval/spin class that I did on Saturday was interrupted 3 times by ads. Seriously annoying. Who puts ads in the middle of a workout video? The ads aren't even targeted for this audience. Ads for whiskey? HIV testing? Too bad, because this was a great workout/ride and there are a ton of them on the GCN channel on YouTube. I thought I found my every ride right here. This was GREAT. Except for the damn ads. Even the soundtrack was good. Guess I'll have to suck it up and ride with my phone in hand so I can skip the ads.
Winning: For all of my rides, I wore my heart rate monitor and got myself in my training zone, guaranteeing an effective alternative to running.

Loving: The new look of my blog. I'm sure I'll keep tweaking things. But for now, I'm satisfied.
Not loving: The spam.is.out.of.control.
Winning: Comment moderation has helped keep most of the spam for my eyes only. Some of the comments are so bad, they're entertaining. But most don't even make sense. Some robot out there's got my number.



Loving: Time off my feet and use of my night splint has reduced my PF pain significantly.
Not loving: That I still have some pain.
Winning: I reached out to Align Footwear to see if they would let me trial their orthotics. They came yesterday and I'll be testing them once I'm back on the road. Stay tuned for a review.

#oofos #feeturesPFcompressionsleeve #snoga #wheelpose #thesearenottheofficialhashtags
Loving: SweatPink has started a new daily yoga pose challenge on Instagram for January and February. You know I love me some yoga. I did this last year and it was fun to get creative with the poses. I was also able to hook a couple of friends into doing yoga, and now they've outdone me, continuing on a daily streak going on a year now. So proud. Like a mom.
Not lovingAll the hashtags required to participate for prizes. Seems like I'm always forgetting one of them. I'll never win! #toomanyhashtags #andthehashtagsarecumbersomelikethisone
Winning: I get to do yoga. #yogaeverydamnday #yesthisisoneofthehashtags

Loving: Remember those men's Vans I was sent by mistake instead of the boots I ordered? I finally returned them to the Amazon marketplace vendor. After many painful phone calls to Amazon customer service, shipping was reimbursed by Amazon.
Not loving: The vendor called me to tell me he sent me a prepaid shipping label. I never got it. He asked me to remove my claim on Amazon. I told him I would do that when he refunded my money. Stay tuned...
Winning: I found the boots half price on another website.

Loving: Betabrand. On recommendation from 2 of my colleagues, I bought a pair of these "dress" yoga pants. OMG. Stretchy, comfy, and stylish. The quality is top notch.
Not loving: The price. But there are coupons and discounts if you refer a friend. I reached out to the company and they don't partner with bloggers.
Winning: Wearing yoga pants to work.

So much win! 

How was your week? Any wins you want to share? Keeping it all positive!

I'm linking up with Tricia and Holly for their Weekly Wrap. By now, they are done running the WDW Marathon! Be sure to head over to their pages to link up and/or check out all the posts. And CONGRATULATE them both on completing their first marathons!



Monday, February 23, 2015

Motivation!

When everything hits the proverbial fan, it takes every ounce of resolve I have to lace up my running shoes, head out the door and go for a run. I actually consider just going back to bed and pulling the covers up over my head. Have you ever felt like that? It's a slippery slope towards depression, and I don't want to go there. After all, that's one of the reasons I started running 20 plus years ago. And that in and of itself is my biggest motivator to get out the door.

What else do I do to motivate myself to run?



If you don't want to race or if you need more goals, you can stay accountable by signing up for a virtual race or group. In 2015, I signed up with Run This Year. While no longer in operation, the goal of Run This Year was accountability. I always have a loose goal of running 100 miles per month, and I set a goal to run 2015 km in 2015 (which translates to 1251 miles. The organizers,had Instagram contests to keep participants motivated. They also encouraged participants to print out bibs every 100 miles and post a picture to the website. At the end of the year, I met my goal. What a great feeling!



Reading about running can be motivating! Shameless plug: as you may or may not know, I'm hosting a running book club right here on the blog! This is a great chance to read books that you might never have considered picking up! You can read more about the book club here. And if you are one of those people who don't read books--I don't understand you but I know you're out there--you can read magazines about running. There's a ton of websites with articles about running. And I know a few awesome blogs about running. Obviously, you do too....


Connect with other runners via social media. I cannot say enough how much having my virtual running friends helped me train for a successful Chicago Marathon last fall. It takes a village to train a runner, apparently. Just ask Jenny Hadfield! If you are a social runner, find a running group in your community. Be with your people. They get you and if your mojo is flagging, they can help you find it. I get by with a little help from my friends.



Adopt a mantra. I continue to use my "I can and I will" mantra to not only get me through my training but also through my mama drama. It sounds corny, but it really works. Music gets me moving too, and I've written plenty about how listening to motivating lyrics can really push me through a tough run. Some of my friends listen to podcasts.

I feel like the Yeti these days!
While it might seem superficial to some, having cute (or if you're a guy, cool) running clothes really is a great pick me up. You don't have to spend a lot of money to get some fun things to wear. TJMaxx and Marshall's is a great source of inexpensive, name brand gear. Target's C9 brand is high quality and fashion forward. Old Navy is another great source for cute running clothes. There are plenty of other options, but as they say, you don't have to spend a lot to look good. Sometimes just buying a few new items is enough to perk up even the most depressed winter runner. Clearly, though, I've been following this advice a little too closely. But do you want to be that runner wearing inappropriate clothing? I didn't think so.




How do you find your mojo?

Monday, January 19, 2015

Never give up

I just watched one of the most disappointing football games in recent memory. Now, before I go on, I want you to know that this post isn't about football. It's about winning. It's about finishing. It's about staying tough to the finish. It's about never giving up.

But I just watched the Green Bay Packers blow a 16-0 lead; by the 4th quarter, it was 16-9. Then the wheels came off the bus. An on-side kick bounced off one of the Packer player's helmet and the ball passed through his hands. A Seahawks player scooped up the ball and took possession. A few plays and a TD later, Russell Wilson passed the ball into the end zone for the extra points. A Packers defender, who had 2 interceptions earlier in the game, let the ball go by and the Seahawks scored on the 2 point conversion. The Packers, who had played so well the first 3 quarters, made it look so easy for the Seahawks to score and take control of the game.. It felt like the Packers just had given up by the 4th quarter. I don't know. Maybe they used up all that they had the first 3 quarters and couldn't bring it for 15 more minutes?

HaHa Clinton-Dix missing the interception...who's laughing now?
Can you say choke?

I'm a native Chicagoan, and I follow the Bears. I can tell you that as a Chicago fan (baseball and football), I'm used to disappointment. This game was more reminiscent of a Bears game than a Packers game. But I'm also a closet Packers fan. I know we're supposed to be mortal enemies--Bears and Packers. My son is a huge GB fan and so I've been along for the ride. I've been to Lambeau Field way more than I've ever been to Soldier Field. (The things we do for our kids!) The Packers are a fun team to watch. Aaron Rodgers was my fantasy QB last year, and I won the whole thing. I love his Discount Double Check Commercials. Today's game was a shocker. Watching the players on the sidelines, it didn't even seem that they were affected by the reversal of fortune. We even joked that maybe the players got their paycheck from the Seahawks right before the 4th quarter, because it sure looked like they threw the game.

"Row, row, row your boat, down the loser stream..."

Do you think that really happens in professional sports? I mean, those conspiracy theories always come up when a really good team loses. Maybe it happens in running too. We already have athletes in all sports using banned substances, all in the name of winning. But what about a team throwing a game? A runner throwing a race? Does it happen? Would someone do it, for money?

I do realize that there is a difference between team sports and individual achievement. Which makes this loss all the more puzzling. What about pride? What about knowing that you gave your best, even though the outcome wasn't a win?

I've heard of runners quitting a race before the finish line (Ryan Hall), realizing they're not going to make their goal time, whatever their excuse might be. Heck, I've been there--tempted to quit more than once. My first Chicago marathon? I hit the wall at mile 14. I can tell you how hard those last 12 miles were for me, knowing that I was not going to make even close to my goal time. I may have even called my husband at mile 18 to come pick me up. And he may even have told me to keep walking. Which I did. And there was last summer's Zooma race, where I felt awful starting at mile 4 and ready to quit at the 10k mark. But a dear friend came back to find me and ran with me for the rest of the race, making sure I crossed that finish line. That was a victory of a different sort, and one I will cherish forever.

Don't let that smile fool you. I was miserable. This girl got me to the finish line! 
I didn't quit. I finished. In both cases, it wasn't pretty, but I got it done. There's a certain pride in pushing through the pain and crossing that finish line! Not in the moment of course, but I'm so proud to look back and say I've never DNF'd a race. Of course, I'm not a professional athlete, and there's no money involved, unless you count my race entry fee. And I will admit, I do like getting that medal placed around my neck!

After that first marathon, I met a woman (at an Another Mother Runner house party) on crutches, who ran the same marathon I did. Slipped on a banana peel (yes, it happens!) at mile 22. Dislocated her hip and hurt her knee. She popped that hip back in and hobbled to the finish line. That had to be difficult. But she got it done. I don't know if you would call that foolish, but after 14+ weeks of training, I sure couldn't quit...


And so I ask you, if you trained for a race, crossed the start line, and then started to realize this wasn't going to be your race, would you quit? Or would you change your strategy? Maybe walking more than you wanted? But crossing that finish line, no matter what?  What would bring you to the breaking point?


Maybe instead of focusing on the failure of the Packers, I should be praising the Seahawks. Because they are the team that never gave up, even with that huge deficit and a less than stellar performance from their QB (hello, 4 interceptions?) But they believed they could and they did (I can and I will!). They capitalized on mistakes by the Packers in that last quarter and pulled out an improbable win. THAT is what I'm talking about. Believe and you can achieve. And never, ever give up.