Running with No Music

Last week I forgot my iPod at work one day and I dislike listening to music on my phone, it drains the battery and since I also forgot my watch, it’s a trend here, I was going to have to rely on run-keeper and that is a huge battery suck. I decided to run without music.

Music is huge to me, I have written about it several times. It stems I believe from my days in Martial Arts and the competitive training that was always set to music. I have learned to lean on it while I run, if my pace is off a bit I can choose a song to boost me, or if I start to think way too much I can turn it up louder, I find my sing-a-long aids in the passage of miles and meanings to me behind the songs I choose are with purpose.

So what if I didn’t have any music, what if it was just me and my thoughts….and I had a movie flashback to What Women Want and that scene with Helen Hunt as she tries to develop a slogan for Nike…the woman’s feet hitting the pavement, her letting go of whatever weighed her down because for that next mile or hour it was just her, the shoes and the road.

What if I embodied that mentality and it was running for me? So I listened.

It was evening, and at my house that means, barn owls, bull frogs, crickets, coyotes, the soft rustle of wind through the trees, a diesel truck heading up the road, the heartbeat in my ears, the bellow of the cows in the pasture just a quarter-mile away; the aroma of the day ending, yes it has a smell, the heat of the sun softening as it set over the hill. My feet. My shoes. My run. For me. My tears, crying seems to be all I do with regularity these days.

I owned those miles, just two. My feet still very sore from the half, and upon returning home realizing that I was not healed enough to run just yet. When I stopped did running without music really impact me at all…my pace was exactly what it normally is.

So maybe as an intermediate runner, which I now consider myself to be, given that I know way more about shoes, socks, chaffing, hydration, and pacing; the run so much isn’t about the progress as it is the process. I know I am never going to be a top finisher, I never set out to be, my body is not built for that; but maybe just maybe music isn’t always what I need when I am out there, maybe its the moment, those few precious moments when it’s just me, my shoes, my footfall on pavement, me letting go of what holds me back, my confidence that I know I am what I need to be for me.

Columbus or BUST

Today begins the unofficial official training plan for my first marathon, I say first because I plan on more than one. I scoured the internet for plans, groups, teams, clubs and realized I am more a loner than a “group” runner. Groups bring out my competitve nature and I am the only competition I need at this stage in my life. So I borrowed bits of plans and made my own.  

 

I’m not one to tempo, or sprint, I am more of the tortise slow and steady, increases gradually, listening to bodily cues more than a “regime”. I am realistic and know that life is going to prevent some of these days from happening, and I may come to a point where I don’t wanna but I know me and know how to push myself. Along with this plan comes a rededication to clean eating, I feel so much better over time when I gift myself healthy meals than the temporary pleasure I get from indulgent items, not to say I wont have a beer now and then, and chocolate well no one wants to see that me. Day by day I will get closer to my goals:

* finish the marathon in under 6 hours (secretly hoping for 5.5)

* drop this last 30# I have been battling for 3 years

* live upto my new found motto Everything is beautiful, and nothing hurt.

With my family behind me, my heart and head on the right path, a clear and concise vision I have no doubt that come October I will have made great strides physically, emotionally and in my relationships.

  

Flying Pig Half-Marathon ….finally

It was 2013 I decided I wanted to do this event, inspired by the team running in honor of an Inspirational young man, the son of someone I went to High School with who needed a liver transplant and years later a team ran in his name to raise money for the COPA. I didn’t make it that first year but I was a member of Sparkpeople and it was my long term goal. 2014 I had just recovered from faciaitis and had the determination but not the time to prepare. 2015 was it. I signed up a few months ago with intent to best myself, 2:45 ish from the Queen Bee last fall. I signed up because I have been told so many times that I was not a runner, because I said I would do this someday. 

When I signed up I had a plan in mind, I already knew I could do the distance t was just getting in the training. I didn’t. I let everything else be priority. Counting today I have run 53 miles today…who goes out and runs a half marathon with 40 miles of “training”. My expectatio lowerd, let’s finish, under 3 hours 13mi/hr pace. I started in the back as usual, repeating to mysel over and over, slow, steady…my first mile over 13 mins, I knew mile 6-8 were Eden park – hills upon hills. Mile 8.27 Here Comes the Sun, here came the tears, thankyou to the woman who walked into a crowd of runners to hug me – I don’t know your name but you saved that mile. Thank you to Barb, who ran miles 10-12 besife me and helped me at my hurdle monent. Ididn’t  walk other than the water stops until mile 11.75 and I could feel the blisters that adorned both feet, to finish now was the challenge.  I reminded myself there was a time when I couldn’t run a mile, and here I had just over a mile to finish. Mile 12 to the finish I ran, tears streaming down my face, shirtless and didn’t care it was warm.

My watch: 2:53:19 13:00 pace. 

Running for me is is personal, I can dedicate myself to an intention, a goal, a promise, I can feed an emotion, resolve a hurt – when its done, when my foot hits the mat, my watch stopped its gone. It’s behind me. A memory or new goal. I let go today of something I have harboured for too long and resolve to make myself stronger from it. My goal: Columbus 10/18/2015, finish in under 6 hours. Did I just say that??? Yes. I will finish a marathon.

Thankyou to my mother, my husband, Scott, my beautiful daughters, Ailey and Piper for all being as close to the finish as they could be. For all those who texted and facebooked words of encouragement that I saw when I was done; you will never understand how incredible it was to see.

 

Course Map

  

My pre-race ritual photo.

    

Official results

 

March 11: Physical and Mental Health

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Today is the first run in, dam I had to look since January 25. No wonder I have been so cranky! I have been getting my yoga in and my failed attempt at Body Beast (still hate it). I could list a bunch of excuses, and while we did have two snow falls of more than 5″ in those weeks the other weeks I was just flat-out lazy. My personal life has been full of turmoil and I am a this or that, meaning balls to the wall binge run or sloth. This time I opted for sloth.

This morning when I got up I packed my bag, be it all inspired for the 15K Heart-Mini I am participating in on Saturday, I packed it and at 11:30 I changed and out the door I went. It was a rather refreshing two miles (yeah only two, so how on Earth will I do 9+ in just 3 days?!), 45 degrees, sun shining, short sleeves, IT FELT LIKE HOME. I was reminded why I love it, because my body says no and stop but my head tells it to shut up and I go. Everything ached, my knees, hips, ankle, my chest burned and my head throbbed, but I did it. No less rewarding than 13 miles its all about accomplishment. It’s about putting one more foot forward and knowing I can do it, it’s knowing that in a few weeks 6 miles will feel good and then another week or two later 10 will be tolerable and by May I will take 13 in stride as I inch closer to the goal of the year – completing the Columbus Marathon.

My weight which is usually my focus, the number, I have been a lot better at looking at from a “How does it fit?” stance. I was able to buy pants for work a size smaller than I thought I was, and even they were wee bit big but I didn’t want to push it, next fall they will be too big. I was able to buy jeans a size smaller as well and if not for my damn calves (which I will openly admit here don’t look as bad as they used to) were also smaller, the waist is too big but they have to fit the whole leg. I have hope that I will be able to wear shorts this summer, something I have not done since 2008.

MENTAL HEALTHimages

I have spent most of 2015 so far in reflection.

How lucky I am to have a body that cooperates, to have a support system to back me when times are tough, to realize that counseling has led me to know what I need from life and which things I can release from. How blessed I am to have reunited a friendship that means the world to me, and though it is not the same, as things rarely stay the same, it is just as good and just as valued as it was before. I am thankful to have a job that I enjoy 99% of the time, children who are learning what a happy mother looks like and a spirit that is unstoppable.

I can’t say there haven’t been downer days, that I haven’t hurt, cried and been downright miserable but the silver lining is that all things are pointing in a positive direction. (I consulted a Magic 8 ball and it concurred). I have love and richness in my life that is only measured by the scale in my head, an outlook on myself that is renewed and positive, and lastly the knowledge that my future is really up to me.

“Sometimes you have to be strong for yourself. You have to know that you are a good person and a good friend. What’s meant to be will end up good and what’s not – won’t. Love is worth fighting for, but sometimes you can’t be the only one fighting. At times, people need to fight for you. If they don’t you just have to move on and realize what you gave them was more than they were willing to give you. Hopefully, people realize great things when they come around and don’t lose something real. Always fight, until you can’t anymore, and then be fought for.”

Body Beast: Week 3 and Making Grown-up Decisions

BODY BEAST

Three weeks in and I have to admit, I hate it. I guess I should have done more research, this was the wrong program for me. I love the cardio and abs day but the rest, meh. The leader is incredibly annoying, and there is so much down time I spend more of the workout waiting for the next set to begin that I feel guilty counting it as exercise. That being said I will complete the program because a quitter I am not. Thanks, Dad.

The husband loves it and says he feels like it’s a good workout for him, and I can tell there is a difference. The first time we did the cardio he couldn’t finish it and now he’s right there with me.

I am suffering through the cold streak and haven’t been running because it is so cold, if the sun would just come out! I want to go so badly and then I open the door and say hells no. (yes it’s an excuse) I was given a week where it was warm and went out three of the days at lunch and got in three miles on each of them, and the next few days it’s supposed to be above 20.

MAKING GROWN-UP DECISIONS

The biggest decision I have had to make right now is that I will not be doing any paid events this year, with exception to the Fourth of July 5K. After looking at our budget and the reality that we will not be able to afford to send our children to the school we want to, because the aftercare is SO expensive that we are going to have to move to a school district that I do find acceptable; I rethought my race schedule and how selfish it is of me to take money from our budget for racing. Mentally and emotionally this is extremely difficult for me; this one thing, running timed events has been the motivator for me pushing myself the last two years, and now I have lost that as well. I have 5 passes left for yoga that I paid for last fall and then I will lose that as well. I know there is sidewalk everywhere and yoga on you-tube but it’s not the same. There is no run I can do alone that gives me the same satisfaction as an official time (crazy I know for someone who will never win anything); there is no online video that is the same as sharing space with people doing their practice, have you ever tried trying to do yoga in a full house with no space and a dog who must be up your rear all the time? It’s not calming at all.

Wow, what a poor-me post. Can’t help it, it’s where I am right now. No sugar-coating, no hiding. I want to feel like it’s going to turn around, that we will find a way to make it all work, but right now in this moment, the cloud is hanging awfully low.

I will post 4 week BB pics and stats, maybe it is working and I just don’t feel it.

Running, Body Beast & Yoga

New years bring zillions of resolutions, which I don’t believe in because statistics tell us no one keeps them; I set goals. When I set a goal it drives me to meet the goal, I love accountability. My big 2015 goals are to drop this last 25# and run the Columbus Marathon in October (foreshadowing of what I will be talking about most of the year). We have really tried to make an effort to adhere to our clean eating initiative and I think we are roughly 85% successful in that. Evidence? There is zero crap food in our house. Nowwww it’s no secret that I will run anywhere and usually in any condition, except freezing cold, this week I have been blessed with two warm sunny days, warm being a relative term since 35 isnt really warm but the sun makes all the difference. Donning my brand new Omni’s

2015/01/img_5103-0.jpg aren’t they pretty? Three mile runs twice this week invigorated me and reignited my love for footfall on pavement and I am itching to sign up for the Heart Mini in March but my funds for entry fees are limited to two events only this year, The Pig Half and the afore mentioned full in October, at least one more pair of shoes and pants, unless I find a generous sponsor which is unlikely. Cross training is important to running because strength and flexibility aid in endurance, how on a limited budget can I do that? Body Beast was a Christmas gift to us and we are in week one and loving every minute of it. I have to admit I didn’t think Scott would make it through the first workout, we shall see how abs and cardio are on him. I have had zero soreness, thank you yoga after the workout and knowing what poses stretch out those muscles who worked hard for 40-60 minutes. Here we are (a cold for Scott set us back a week). I will post 30, 60 and 90 day progress shots! Super excited to see how we approach spring with bodies that are actually ready for bathing soups! (Piperism)

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2015: Goals

The end of 2014 was a success, I survived another holiday, and this year I did not gain but lost 3# back to my lowest of the year, best present ever. My mileage topped out at 405 miles, less than my goal but I grew so much this past 12 months I am satisfied with it. The month of December was lacking as a horrid cold and a cough that wouldn’t stop prevented me from running more days than not, as January has now arrived I am still battling the cough, the temps have dropped so impatiently I wait knowing that everyday I don’t run I lose stamina and strength. So how do I combat some of that? Yoga and Body Beast it
arrived today and I cannot wait to get started!

My plan is to document my transformation over the 90 days via pictures and posts. The bestest (yes I said bestest) part is the husband has agreed to do it with me and fingers crossed he will let me do pictures of him as well!

2015 Goals:
1) Complete the Body Beast 90 day plan (no supplements)
2) Run 600 miles
3) Run the Flying Pig half, finally – a goal set 2 years ago
4) Run the Columbus Marathon
5) Encourage my husband to do a 5k with me
6) Meet my goal weight – 175#
7) Emotionally – keep myself in check
8) Plan and eat a 90% clean diet
9) Wear short for the first time in 6 years outside of the house
10) Keep in mind that life is about progress not perfection.

Honor Half Marathon Y’all 11/15/2014

It’s been a long 5 weeks in my world.

24d

I changed jobs, and had a huge emotional shift regarding that upheaval. Great news is that I love, love, love my new job.

I have kept up with running and yoga classes and on Saturday morning I started the day with my traditional breakfast of chocolate milk and zingers (I know super healthy right?) Sitting in the car freezing, I only turned the heat up enough to defrost, not wanting to warm myself too much. Yahoo weather was kind enough to tell me that it was 16 degrees – I don’t care where you live that’s freaking cold. I told my parents and husband to stay home, had I not paid for this I would have still be at home in bed. However anyone who knows me knows that the word “quit” does not exist in my vocabulary.

The beginning of the event was under the water tower at the Florence Mall, the sun just barely making its presence known. The principal of Cooper High School sang the National Anthem and the mayor of Florence shared a few words of thanks and encouragement. All 1,100 participants lined up, “Survivor” from the Rocky movie was their choice for a starting song, ironically it was the same song I had selected, after that it was up to the ipod shuffle gods. Mile one looped around the mall, it was strange to run so many miles in an area that I have called home all my life. The third song “Here Comes The Sun” once again started just as the sun came up 7:21 I was .75 miles in, ironic? Kismet? It was from that point on that I knew I was going to run a good event. The course was much harder than the Queen Bee, that event the hills were out-of-the-way in the first 4 miles, this event the hills were constants.  It was a steady challenge and this time I made it 8 miles before I took a little walk break, I didn’t drop my first 13+ mile until mile 10 and the second one was mile 11 but I really had to make a pit stop. Mile 12 was tough and mostly uphill before a slight slope down and circling back to where we started. I finished less than one minute slower than previously, all things considered I was really pleased.

At the finish line I wrapped up and walked to get a drink, water wasn’t appealing on the course so my intake was very little, however I was parched once I stopped. Pulling my phone from my pocket I had wishes of luck from my parents, my sister, my husband and children, I smiled and then read the text from my mom that she along with my niece and nephew were at the finish! Finding them made the day complete. Hugs and support, nothing better when one has met a goal.

What’s up next?

Well I am not a cold weather fan, I have the Thanksgiving Day 10K next week and that’s it for formal events, my wallet and shoes are worn out. I have an appointment to have my right foot finally taken care of and after 4-6 weeks of recovery I will begin training for the Flying Pig Half Marathon in May, and maybe just maybe we will talk Columbus full for my 39th birthday instead of my 40th. I will continue to run up until surgery day and as soon as I am medically cleared I will slowly get back up to speed, in the mean time I am absolutely in love with hot yoga and there is a new cycling bar in town that I am eager to give a try.

On the agenda for 2015:

May: Flying Pig Half Marathon, Cincinnati Reds 10K, Run & Slug 8 miler

July: Fourth of July 5K

August: Friendship City 5K (I am going to win my age division)

September: Hudy 14K

October: Columbus Marathon or Queen Bee Half Marathon

November: Honor Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 10K

 

 

 

Queen Bee Half-Marathon Playlist

1) Lose Yourself: Eminem

2) Believer: American Authors

3) Firework: Katy Perry

4) Wild, Wild Love: Pitbull

5) Raise Your Glass: Pink

6) Love Runs Out: One Republic

7) I Don’t Wanna Be In Love: Good Charlotte

8) Clarity: Zedd

9) Titanium: David Guetta

10) Daylight: Maroon Five

11) Don’t Stop Believin: Journey

12) Feel this Moment: Pitbull

13) Here Comes the Sun: The Beatles

14) Just Give Me a Reason: Pink

15) Low: Flo Rida

16) All About That Bass: Meghan Trainor

17) Shake it Off: Taylor Swift

18) Black Widow: Iggy Azaela

19) Cool Kids: Echosmith

20) Eye of the Tiger: Survivor

21) My Sharona: The Knack

22) Hey ya!: Outkast

23) How Far We’ve Come: Matchbox Twenty

24) I Write Sins Not Tragedies: Panic! At the Disco

25) Fighter: Christina Aguilera

 

 

 

14 Sleeps Till Go Time

This past Saturday I set out on my last long run before the trifecta I have my self set up for. It was an emotional morning as I did not want to get out of bed, I did not want to run. I have been extremely tired and in general not feeling well. Most days it’s all I can do to pull myself together. But, mind over matter I got dressed and headed to my newly custom designed 13 mile course. The goal for the day was to complete the distance with as little walking as possible, I allow myself to walk through my water stops but that’s it.  I recall thinking on a right turn down Main Street in Florence only 4.5 miles to go, and I digested that thought. There was a time when I couldn’t run a mile, let alone fathom 13, and in this moment I was encouraged by having so little left ahead of me. The final incline proved to be the killer, driving up it I never realized it was so steep. But 2:40 after I started I was done, 13 miles in the log. Admittedly I was exhausted, I cried, I celebrated…alone.

This next two weeks is comprised of 4 short runs (4-5 miles each) and one 8 miler on Saturday, two yoga classes and a cycle class “if” I don’t have an interview (I hope I have an interview). The on the night of my 14th sleep I will pick up my race packet and I will accomplish one task I set out to, early last year. It’s been a long journey, one filled with many lessons:

shoes and socks are more than shoes and socks

regardless if I finish first or last, I am miles ahead of those who dare not take a step at all

sometimes I cry the whole route, and when I finish I am spent and revived

music (for me) makes all the difference in the world

I will never be the best or worst

injury can affect a person in many ways, but the choices available are: give in or let it make you stronger – faciaitis, runners knee, shin splints, aching knumb toes, several hamstring & groin pulls – stronger I am

and most importantly never saying never. Because I was the fat, ugly, slow kid who had a philosophy of hit the ball long and hard, so I didn’t have to run fast and slide. I am still not fast, but I have endurance and a heart that never gives up.

 

 

 

 

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