Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Taking Choice out of the Equation

Yesterday I had a really tough time get motivated to run an easy 8 miles. Not sure if I was tired, having a serious case of the blahs, or the dreary & cold weather. I just keep procrastinating till it was now or never. I ran errands, went to yoga and when I was almost out of time before the kids got of the bus I drove to the Riverwalk trail and busted out a easy 8 miles in a mixture of pouring to drizzling rain before I made it home just in time to sweep the kids of the bus. Ah! Felt good to get over myself and get something done that didn't want to be accomplished.
I know me not wanting to run. Crazy! But there are times when running is the last thing I want to be doing. My friend & running partner Kim is always in a state of shock when I have a crappy attitude about running. If I am bitching and whining, she is sort like wtf is going on Jamie isn't super jazzed about running today! She did admit to me once that is was nice to see that I am not always on cloud 9 when it comes to running. Makes me human and normal :-)
How do I manage to run when I don't want to run? Like yesterday and that 22 miler on Sunday. I just take choice out of the equation. It isn't a matter of if I am going to run it is a matter of when I do it..yes, I may procrastinate it like I did yesterday but I know it is going to get done. Just lace up the shoes and get going.
Sometimes we have to run even if we don't feel like it. It is the only way to succeed. If you only did something when you felt like it you are going to failure.
The key to training, and life, is taking that first step. The first step is the best step; it’s where intent meets action. Don’t talk about it; be about it. When you don’t feel like doing what you know needs to be done, take the variable of “the choice” out of the equation. Shut the mind off and just begin. - Josh Cox

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Solitude is a gift & an achievement

Being solitary is being alone well: being alone luxuriously immersed
in doings of your own choice, aware of the fullness of your won presence rather
than of the absence of others. Because solitude is an achievement.
- Alice Koller
In my quest to reconnect with myself, I have created some boundaries with the world. Keeping to myself and my family, I have immersed myself into solitude.
I really think this solitude was needed and has been healing for me. Sometimes on my solo miles I have wished for my odd running buddies like Luci or new running friends like Kim to be joining me. In the end I know this is a solitary journey and know that in order to achieve both physically and mentally what I set out to do I have to be alone to sort out everything that goes through my mind.
For me and I think for most distance runners, running is 90% mental, yes it takes immense strength and aerobic capacity but in the end those are never a runners limiting factors. It is the mind which stops us from reaching our potential. The strength of the mind can only be truly cultivated in solitude. When one reaches beyond themselves by means of their own power can one truly build the mental strength to endure what needs to be endured.
My present state of solitude is a gift to myself.
Go into solitude or among strangers, so that the memory of your friends does not hinder you from being what you have become. - unknown author

Monday, November 28, 2011

Recover Run

After a 3 week hard training segment in prep for Houston, I was feeling a drained this AM during my recovery run. Hoping the recovery run would pep me and renew my spirit. It did for the most part but still am feeling a little blah and the ambition that was sorrowing through my soul last week is feeling blase at best. I think that hanging on for 22 miles @ my easy pace somewhat brought back the reality that this marathon effort is not going to be easy by any means. I am going to really have to tough it out no matter how fit I am going into it. I think a few good workouts can leave one overdosed on confidence and my 22 miler brought this confidence back down to earth. I think we all need these types of soul searching long runs that let you know you got more work to do and not to take your fitness for grant. 7 weeks to get stronger....

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Nothing like a 22 miler to make you question your sanity!!

I had a sanity busting 22 miler today to top off the week. It really was a mile-by-mile effort to keep my sanity and goals in check. First off, this monster run was sitting on my schedule and to be honest I had been dreading it since my 20 miler last week. I keep trying to keep a positive outlook but than today came and I whinned all morning to my husband about having to do it. I even told my son - ugh! mommy has to do a 22 miler. His repsonse was mommy you can do anything. Ah, What a sweetie and his words came back to me to give some around mile 16. I just dreaded running for 3 + hours. I know, I know what a bad attitude. I keep trying to get my mind wrapped around it - go endure what needs to be endured, just get started so finally after 3 cups of coffee and breakfast digested. I took my first gel waited 15 minutes and got started. Mile 1-11 were sort of difficult cause I just had so many miles ahead but 11 was the turning point so I was able to take comfort in being half way there and then miles after that weren't so bad but around 18 mile I just started to feel sore everywhere. I know I was developing a fricking blister on one foot and I was trying not let it alter my gait but I must have been without being me aware cause that calf started to tighten up a bit. UGH - Mile 19 was the worst cause I was just sore and tired and knew I was still 3 miles from being done. Once I hit 20 though I felt so much better so I picked the pace (only slightly) I wanted to get this thing done. 3:23 minutes of running...
Ah! So 22 miles to cap off my highest mileage week - 65 MPW
M - 6 Recovery
T - 8 Easy
W 1 W/U, 2x6, 1 C/D
T - 6.5 Recovery
F - Off
S - 8.5 Easy
S - 22 @ 9:09
Next week is a cutback week with no long run!!! I survived 3 of the most grueling & intense training weeks ever!! Woo hoo :-)
I am looking forward to my massage on Tuesday from Katie to my legs recovery from the last 3 weeks. Onward and upward!!!!

10 Favorite Things

Christmas is coming and I thought about my 10 favorite things like Oprahs's year-end favorites....This things all make my running great and tools to help recover & keep my body healthy for the next run. They are in no specific order but rather a collection of what I use daily.
1. CEP Compression Socks
2. Endurox - Fruit Flavor
3. Acceralade Mountain Berry Favor
4. Yoga mat
5. Brooks Ghost 3s
6. Hammer Huckleberry Gel
7. Foam Roller
8. Ziploc Bags (double ziplock) for icing my legs
9. The Stick
10. Stretching Rope

Saturday, November 26, 2011

I own my Awesome!

I think that in this day in age if you feel awesome and not afraid to let your awesome spirit shine some people will begrudge you the happiness of feeling awesome. I decided that I will not others determine for me how much of my awesome I let shine. I know there is something very special inside of me and have always know it to some degree. I think from a very young age I knew of this special awesomeness. My dad nicknamed me sunshine for my ability to brighten his day and turn his worries into smiles. I have been able to bring this happiness into lives of my loved ones and friends that I cherish. I have always reveled in this awesome nature of mine but somewhere in the last couple of years I started to quash this awesome nature of mine in favor of shying away, being careful not to shine to brightly in the presence of others and conform to the standards of others. In this process, I lost very part of me that made me strong. I think this is one of the reasons I struggled so much with my running. Running for me is something that made me feel strong & happy and let me shine. When I started not wanting to seem awesome for fear that it would make others feel insecure around me. I was suppressing the very thing that made me special. We live in a culture where you are not suppose to feel special, but you are special, every living creature has unique energy that makes them special. Is it not special to see dolphins swim? They are just doing there thing but we sit back watching them in awh of their special nature! We should sit back in awh of our own special nature and unique energy when doing our thing whatever that thing may be dancing, running, writing, singing, creating...whatever is special in you let it shine.
In effort to recapture my awesomeness, I declare I own my awesome!!!
May you own your awesome and endeavor to never give it away!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Rest Day

Rest days make me antsy! Especially when I am not tired, sore or experiencing deadleg syndrome that can crop out in the midst of marathon training. I am feeling fresh and overall great. I guess high mileage suits me well. Yippee :-) It is really awesome to be recovering so quickly from long runs and quality works outs. This is one of the benefits of high mileage is that your body begins to adapt to the stress and recovers more quickly from the stressful workouts.
My quality workout for this week was a 2x6 @ 10-15 seconds faster than goal MP. Nailed them both beyond expectations. First set average 7:49 and than second set average 7:38 and came away not feeling depleted so I know that I held back just enough to get a good workout in without going to the bank.
At this point, I am not sure Jeff or myself have a good gauge on my goal MP. I think we are both sitting back to see what I do at Kiawah to make a final assesstment of I can accomplish in Houston. All signs are pointing to better than expected so I have to be patient these next couple of weeks and let all the training take hold. 7 weeks from this weekend!

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

What a wonderful day to really sit back and give gratitude for all the wonderful things we are blessed with our life. I have so many people in my heart to be grateful for on this day!
I have the most loving and supportive husband that I share a wonderful life full of abundance. We have 2 beautiful children that are amazing people that enrich our lives and hearts every day.
I have a Dad that is my biggest fan and supporter in life who I have always drawn strength from. You are an amazing father with such deep capacity for love.
I have a Mom that is always there for me. She is always willing to listen to me and willing to come here to help me anytime I need her.
I have 2 sisters that will always be there for me through think and thin in life. Jodie is a pillar of strength and always looking for the best in people. One sister Jennifer who always understand me and I her deeper than anyone will get to know someone. The true acceptance in this relationship brings me so much peace to know you have someone that will love & accept you in all lifes ups & downs.
I have a brother that I don't get see or talk to very often but always know he is there for me. We have so much fun together when we get to spend time together. I will never forget his comment to me in my running journey - Never give up. Simple statement that has always stuck with me.
I have several close friends that I get to share my daily life and running adventures with. Love you girls Kim & Steph. If you gals happen to read this - I want you to know that I love you girls and thank you for caring for me as a friend. Sharing the highs and lows of life with people that don't judge but always press to understand and be there for you. Everyone should be so lucky to have friends like you gals!
I have a neighbor and friend that I have grown to love and admire - Angela. You may not know but I truly think you are a wonderful person that I admire for all your wonderful qualities. You have been a dear friend to me and I appreciate having you and getting to know you and your family.
And I so thankful for being able to pursue my dreams on a daily basis with all the love and support of my family & friends. I am thankful for every day that I am able to run. No run goes without gratitude because every day of health & happiness is a gift. Thank you to God & Universe for allowing me to live a life of abundant love.

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Houston Plans

I am so excited to have just purchases our airline tickets for Houston. We decided to take the kids with us. I think we'd be more stressed leaving them and worrying about them so really enjoy ourselves.
It all so exciting as the US Olympic Trails are on Saturday and than my open marathon on Sunday. My children are going to witness US top runners racing their hearts out!!!! I am just excited them. I have gone over with them already who mommy's favorites. They already are familiar with Ryan Hall. Funny in my household how my children are under the age of 10 and kno who the fastest American male runner is without me even saying so...hehehe For the men, I would love to see Ryan Hall, Josh Cox and Dathan Ritzehen will :-) And for the women Kara Goucher, Dessiree Davila and Shalane. Those are just my favorites..I am sure we are going to see some gutsy running in Houston in 8 weeks. Again it just so awesome to share with my children!!

Courage - A Runners Best Quality

Courage (also bravery, boldness, fearlessness, mettle, fortitude, or intrepidity) is the ability to confront fear, pain, danger, uncertainty, or intimidation.
Today I am thinking about how I will have to continue to summon my courage to confront doubts that arise in the next 8 weeks. Even with confidence growing day to day, there is still a voice that will say well what if this fitness is not there on race day. Jeff has been reassuring me that my fitness is "way ahead of schedule". So I have ultimately trust in him and draw strength from his belief in me. It will is take courage for me to continue to believe and use that courage to be fearless at Kiawah and than Houston. In Kiawah, I plan to push to the limits so that can practice this mental fortitude and courage for Houston. I want to prove to myself that I have greatness in me. I will confront race pain and see what I can do.
Gutsy Courage is what I need to develop in Kiawah.
We are what we repeatedly do. Excellence, then, is not an act, but a
habit. - Aristotle

Tuesday, November 22, 2011

Buddha Says: Little by Little

Day after day I run and not one run will make me a faster or stronger runner. It is all the runs as a whole, day after day, month after month, year after year.
A stonecutter hits a rock with his hammer. The stone splits. The casual observer sees this and thinks, “Wow. That guy is really strong. I can’t believe he broke that huge rock with a single blow!”The reality (obviously) is that the stonecutter didn’t break it in a single blow—he’d been hammering away at that rock for a long time. Many, many blows went into the rock before it finally split. Most people see someone who has achieved some level of success--whether it’s enlightenment or celebrity status or financial wealth--and think, “Wow, they sure must be lucky.” Obviously, the stonecutter isn’t strong enough to break a rock in one blow and no one is “lucky” enough to reach any level of excellence without an equally diligent and consistent effort.So, hit the rock Again. And again. And again.You will break the rock.
I love the story of the stonecutter. I feel so much draw to this story because much like the stonecutter quest to split his boulder, my own running journey in last few months has been just consistently hammering away mile by mile without apparent fitness gains. In August & September, after months of continuing and consistently hitting every mile, my fitness was still not showing any signs of coming around. With 2 months of speed work, not much to show for it terms of race times. Just keep hammering away and having faith that one day, my boulder will not just crack but split the F*** open!!! Excuse my language but I like swear when I am running :-)
Now I must go put some gradual pressure on my boulder!!!
Oh what happens when you split the boulder open - um! You line up another huge one to start hammering at......

Monday, November 21, 2011

Failure before Success

I have been doing lots of soul searching these past few months after a crummy 2010 running year. I have been on a roll in 2009 and starting to really reach my potential. Than 2010 came and my running just started to fall apart - 3 marathons in a row dismissal results and several shorter distance mediocre races with less than desirable results. I feel like I had worked as hard physically but nothing was coming together for me. I reached rock bottom at my June marathon when tummy troubles stuck me again around 15 miles and dashed my hopes of a PR. I cried for days and through my pain and tears, I emerged strong and more determined to conquer what need to be conquered - my mental attitude. I have spent the last 3-4 months getting mental fit for the distance. I plan to train my mind and I expect my body to follow.
Without all these failures, I would not emerged this strong and determined. I may have continued on just accepting small gains. I know longer have this attitude.
So I can look back on my failures and less than desirable results not with an ugh in my heart but gratitude for paving the way to my success!
Did you know that Michael Jordan was cut from his High School basketball team?
Did you know that The Beattles were told no by almost every recording company in their time?
Did you that Walt Disney was fired from his newspaper job because he lacked imagination?
If you never failed, than you have never lived!

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Nothing easy about 20 Miles

I wish I had something inspiring to say about my 20 miler today. Only thing I got is I survived! As many 20 milers that I logged in the last 3 years, I can't say they get easier at all. Nope they don't!
I had a killer block of workouts this weekend. 10 with 8 miles @ 7:59 average pace followed by 20 miles today with the last 4 miles 7:55, 7:55, 7:56, 7:43. Not 100% sure but I think Coach wanted me to run hard on fatigued legs which stimulate lag stage race fatigue. Legs were more fisty than fatigued but so ready to have a recovery day!!
Another tough week logged in the books! 64.5 Total which I think is a weekly mileage PR.
M - 9 Easy + Strides
T - 1 W/U, 3X3, 7:36, 7:33, 7:33 - 7:40, 7:36, 7:35 - 7:40, 7:35, 7:32 - 1 C/D = 11 miles
W - Off (first one in 13 days)
Th - 6 Easy
F - 8 Easy + Strides
S - 1.5 W/U, 8 @ MP 7:59, 1 C/D = 10.5
S - 20 with last 4 Hard Effort
Total Miles - 64.5

Thursday, November 17, 2011

Liberate from my Fear of Failure

Today I found myself chatting openly to someone about my dreams and gaint aspirations as a runner. I have tended to shy away from truly & openly discussing what I have hoped to accomplish as a runner. Mostly out of fear that if I don't achieve these goals those people I had shared with me would look down apond me and think or say I knew you couldn't to do it. So I have never openly discussed how truly & deeply I want to accomplish some amazing marathon times in the few years. Today without my normal inward tendencies I blurt out to someone that I hope to one day win a marathon. Wow! Did I say that?? Yep, I did. Now it is out there...I let the cat out of the bag. Now I know this is going to be long path and I don't have any thought of like winning Boston or Chicago or some mega marathon but a small town marathon - Yes, it is ambitious and will take a lot of work! Plus I think the journey and all the milestones in between will be amazing! First goal is run sub 3:35 at Houston marathon in 9 weeks. Than 3:20s in June in Charlevoix and just maybe a sub 3:20 in December 2012 - somewhere :-) I have all the tools now to go on this journey so why the heck not purse something truly great!! I deserve it :-) Right!!
I can say I no longer have a fear of the failure and can openly talk about my dreams. I have faith in my heart that one day I will accomplish all the dreams my heart and mind conceive.
When talking with this gal about my dreams, I remembered a poem a friend once shared with me. When you dream and shine your light, you unconciously allow others to believe in themselves and shine there light!
"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear in that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our Light, not our Darkness, that most frightens us.We ask ourselves, who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the World. There is nothing enlightening about shrinking so that other people won’t feel unsure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us.It is not just in some of us; it is in everyone. As we let our own Light shine, we consciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear ,our presence automatically liberates others."

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Dreaming Big & Chasing Big PRs in 2011

So I start thinking about what races I wanted to do after Houston. Yes, I know I should be solely focused on Houston but I think all runners dream long-term as was short-term. Thought about the Virginia Beach Marathon in March and Charlevoix in June. Coach nixed the idea of both in favor of my long term development as a runner rather the short-term excitement of competing in marathons so close together. So nixed the VB marathon idea in favor for doing another marathon build up which would bring me closer to a sub 3:30 marathon in June which would be amazing! I want redemption in Charlevoix! What better way to get redemption but run a crazy awesome time on this course and PR on the course by over 30 minutes. That sounds like so much fun and totally worth the work & effort it will take to get there.
Chasing your dreams ain't easy or everyone would be doing!! It takes passion and unyielding since of determination.
You need a lot of passion for what you're doing because its so hard. Without passion, any rational person would give up.So if youre not having fun doing it, if you dont absolutely love it, youre going to give up. And thats what happens to most people, actually.If you look at the ones that ended up being successful in the eyes of society, often times its the ones who love what they do, so they could persevere when it got really tough. And the ones that didnt love it, quit. Because theyre sane, right?Who would put up with this stuff if you dont love it?So its a lot of hard work and its a lot of worrying constantly.If you dont love it, youre going to fail. - Steve Jobs

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Patience is the road less taken

Yesterday, while excitedly driving to my recovery run destination. I was on my way to one of my favorite places to run the Winthrop Athletics Fields & Lake for a 6 mile recovery run. I was excited to get my run underway as it was a beautiful & warm fall afternoon. Well wouldn't you know it - I got behind someone who insisted on driving about 5 mph under the speed little which may not seem a lot but when one is anxious to arrive at their destination it makes you a little antsy behind the wheel. I kept reminding myself to have patience and remember that I will get to my destination exactly at the time I was predestine to be there. So I sat back and relaxed and was sort amused at how slow we were traveling along these 2 lane back road. Now I could get all upset honk, ride this guys tail and/or curse this driver but what difference is that going to make in the end. If I did this then I may end up not at my destination at all but on the side of the road getting a ticket for rear-ending someone. You get the gist of this..ahy?
Well this got me to thinking about how I need the same patience needed on this drive was the exercise in patience I need to have in my running & training. Have patience, even when fitness is slow going. Have the patience and resolve not to get to antsy with trying to force it but just allowing it to happen. Have with faith that I will arrive at my destination exactly when it is intended for me to arrive - huge marathon PR. If I tried to force training with antsy impatience, I would end up frustrated and probably with an injury.
So I sit back patiently and enjoy the ride! Good things happen for those who have patience.
- Patience, Believeth & Faith

My First Post

I am been trying to find away to get away from the Facebook world. Although I have to admit I loved reading FB to my coffee in the AM. I decide to ditch FB for some more positive and heathly reading matters while having my coffee. I recently started following some inspiring runners blogs. This sparked my interest in having were to write about my running aspirations and daily musings.
Here I go...
This the first week of a 3 week high mileage block! I completed it without issue or fatigue. Yeah!!!
My week looked like this -
M - 6 Easy
T - 8 Easy
W - 10 Easy
T - 2 W/U, 2X 3 - 7:36, 7:28, 7:31 & 7:29, 7:33, 7:31 - 1 C/D
F - 8 Easy
S - 16 Easy @ 9:22 Average
S - 6 Recovery
Total - 63 Miles
The only thing I am watching and taking care of is a funky hip on my left side. With seems to stem from some tightness in the hip flexor & quads. Taking care to stretch, stick and ice as well as getting some ART on it this week. Should be a blip to soon be over with some care. Best that I am healthy and feeling strong.
Trying to stay positive in all things not only in my running but mindful of the thoughts that cross my head. Remember at all times that what you think about, you bring about. Also, to think & talk about what I love in my life at all times. This takes lots of discipline and being mindful of what you let into your head takes immense amount of discipline and focus. It is way tougher than one would think! Mental toughness & discipline is the key to taking my running to the next level.