April: stop putting it off.

The documented plan on our Challenge List for April was about doing projects that are always being put off. Specifically, I had two projects in mind:

1) A massage stack of photos of mini Chick and her first year of life (She’s now 18 months old)

2) A giant banker box filled with recipes that needs to be separated and organized.

Now it’s April 15; ½ way through the month of “Stop putting it off.” I have not even put a dent into these project. They sit there watching me.

Isn’t that the theme of my life…what am I filling my day with if I always feel like I put everything off?

On March 31 I did commit to saying more NO. Specifically, saying no to everything and anything that got in the way of running and my “Declare it Day” Commitment schedule. 15 days into the month and I’m feeling good. I have not specifically tracked how many times I’ve said no…but I’m feeling it. And isn’t that feeling a good indicator of progress.

 

I’ve been coaching several of my students on long and short term goal setting. I find it ironic that I sit here writing this post struggling with long and short term goal planning. It’s easy to dream lofty ideas; it’s another story to break that dream down into smaller tasks that can be managed daily. But in the end, each daily goal will add up into a larger collection that leads to a finish product.

 

The next 15 days….keep saying no. And figure out what I’m doing with my time that makes me feel like I’m not getting what I want done.

 

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Declare it Day (February 1, 2014)

I have been planning on posting this since February 1. And I’ve been working on it for the last two month, but between the hustle of work and the ugly Midwest winter, the posting to the blog gets lost in the whirl wind of day to day. Never fear! I have been working on this posting…in paper…in my head…with my buddy….full force. And boy is it hard to find 6 days a week workout (see declare it day background below). I’m not sure how others make the workout a priority. Here is a list of what I do with my time (not in order of importance): 1)Work

2) Sleep

3) Mini Chick

4) Hubby

5) other stuff like book clubs, gardening, housework crap

6) Cook and eat meals

That is quite a list of things to do in one day AND find 1 or more hours to move my body. I have been quite proud of my 3/7 day workouts. This is a statistical increase in movements. But still below what I want. The question now becomes: If working out 6/7 days of the week is impossible for me, what is possible and also satisfactory? I do not have the answer to this…yet.

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Declare it Day (February 1, 2014)

For many years it’s been marathon this or ½ marathon that. For a while now I have not been feeling the long distance. The weekly rat race of getting a 15 month old off to school plus getting me off to school is a daily adventure. Sleeping in on Saturday mornings has been a treat that I’m not willing to give up. But I sure love to run. And I love road tripping to runs. In December, I signed up for the Bayshore 10k. This will be the 6th Annual Trip to Traverse City for the Ladies Only Running Weekend. For the past six to nine months, I’ve been floating on a sea of “what am I going to do?” Thank you Fellow Flowers! The Declare it Day event started me thinking about a specific goal that could get me focused on a plan. A plan for a more moving me. A more physically active me. A stronger me. But what to declare? As I sat with my gal pals and started to really get the ideas flowing I thought “What is it that I want?” I mean “What is it that I really want?” My first thought was to keep it simple. A manageable goal makes for an obtainable goal. Next I thought I want a commitment that won’t break the bank. And that’s when I said it, “I want to follow a training schedule for a 10k.” I mean really follow a schedule. Simple…I know. And the ladies at the table sort of said “What…you’ve never followed a schedule? No, I have not. I just sort of do long runs and speed runs and then any other runs I can fit in but I never really track the mileage or say no to other things to make running a priority.

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/Purple/ No more excuses flower.

 

So I declare it: I will follow a 10k training program.

Why: I need to stop making excuses and move my body daily.

Step One: Bought turquoise flower for my running buddy and myself

Step Two: Research and find a training program. I’ve been reading plans on Pinterest.

Step Three: Buy new running shoes.

Step Four: Start running March 1

grace with flower

Update note: all the things on this 4 step plan have been done.

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Gazelle Girl Half Marathon Recap

The first race of 2014 is officially in the books.

I have given up on ranking races. I feel like every race I run, I say it was the best race ever.

As I continue to train for triathlons as my goal races, the races I run just because are getting better and better. Kind of like an extra bonus. This awesome racing streak might come to an end at some time, but till then I will soak in every ounce of happy racing, PR’ing and floating experience.

Going into Gazelle Girl I had no expectations. No specific time goal. No nutrition plan (shh, I tried totally new nutrition during the race). Nothing except wanting to run below a 9:30 long run pace.

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After 12 weeks of half-ironman training I have gotten use to training on tried legs. The first few miles of every run my legs feel heavy. Every bike ride my quads ache the first 10 minutes. Then everything loosens up and I am ready to go. I decided that I would give myself 2 low training days leading up to Sunday. Friday I swam an easy 2,500 yards and Saturday I ran an easy 4 miles.

Sunday morning I woke up to thunder and rain, which made me want to just stay in bed, drink coffee and read. None the less I got out of bed and went through my morning routine still half asleep. With coffee and toast in hand I was out the door by 6:45am.

Parking, bag check, and porta-potty lines were a breeze. So quick and simple. I was heading to the start corral with 10 minutes to spare.

On my way to the start corral a friend told me that she knew I would be running under a 2 hour half marathon. I immediately got excited and questioned her sanity. I had thought about what it would take to run a 1:59:59 half marathon, but did not really think about it. I settled myself in between the 9:00 min and 9:30 min pacers. I was running the race as a long run and would see what happened.

The gun went off and I started running and never stopped.

When I crossed the 5 mile mark at 0:47:00 I got excited. I turned up my music and kept running comfortably.

Mile 7 I started eating a chocolate peanut butter rice cake (Feedzone for Athletes).

Mile 8 I thought about if I would see my family. They had talked about coming down to the race, but I had urged them to not come because it was supposed to rain and I was not really racing.

Mile 8.5 I hear “here she comes” and look up to see my family. My heart soared! I was so happy.

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Mile 10 I did some math and determined I only had 27 minutesish left of running. I smiled

Mile 12 I cursed to myself as I approached an over pass.

Mile 12.10 I repeated “you are strong” over and over

Mile 12.25 I took a deep breath at the top of the hill and relaxed going down the other side

Mile 13 I could not contain my excitement

Mile 13.1 I spotted 01:58:48 on the clock.

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I cried.

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I hugged a friend with all my might as we shared our racing excitement together.

I had worn the blue Fellow Flower for the race. Yet I did not truly believe in my potential.

On April 24, 2010 when I ran my first half marathon I did not believe I could ever runner faster than a 2:22 half marathon. At the end of that first 13.1 mile I thought I would die.

Now on April 13, 2014 when I ran a 1:58:17 half marathon I still had a little squirt of  juice in the tank.

It is time for me to start believing in my fullest potential.

Believe. To look within, to overcome. Loving myself enough. I have the will, the determination and the courage to defy the odds…and inspire. My challenges have made me a fighter – a survivor. They will not define me or confine me. I will run my own race. Different, beautiful and all my own. I believe in me and my potential. And I’m going to succeed because I’m brave enough to think I can~ Fellow Flower

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A huge thank-you goes out to my friends and family for always supporting me during training and racing. 

Congratulations to all Gazelle Girls! You rock! 

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Who am I kidding?

My first race of 2014 racing year is just 4 days away.

When planning my racing year back in December, I had no plans to race till my number one goal race on June 8th.

Then last-minute I signed up for the Gazelle Girl Half Marathon for a fun “long run” that came with an adorable Michigan charm.

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Who was I kidding? I knew I could never run Gazelle Girl Half Marathon as a fun “long run”. Especially after last years killer PR at the race. The solid 12 weeks of half-ironman training under my belt this year is making me itch to run fast.

I have fully embraced the idea that I will be racing Gazelle Girl Half on Sunday.

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No pace has been decided. No time goal.

I will run the race with everything in me. I will have fun. I will be thankful for the opportunity to run with 2,000+ other women.

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Friday Happenings

Life has been crazy busy lately.

I have been enjoying the slower moments to their fullest potential.

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I am enjoying adventures and memory making with the #miyata.

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I tried Hot Yoga and survived. Actually, I really enjoyed Hot Yoga.

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It took till April 1, 2014 to be able to run in shorts this year. Since I have ran in shorts twice.

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Reading cookbooks, and drinking coffee

Even when life is busy and you feel pulled in so many directions take a moment to relax, enjoy the small things in life, be thankful for the time and opportunities you do have.

Enjoy life to the fullest.

Happy Weekend! 

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Stop Saying and Start Doing

I am an expert when it comes to saying I am going to do something new, but then I don’t actually ever do that “something new” activity.

I do not want to be that person who says things, but never does.

I want to step out of my comfort zone.

I want to experience new experiences.

I want to grow as an individual.

I enlisted the 3 ladies who I knew would be up for a fun, adventures time.

and…

we went to hot yoga.

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This was my first hot yoga class. I have not tried hot yoga till last night, because I thought 1) I would drown in my own sweat (I sweat a LOT) 2) I would not be able to breathe in such a hot room 3) hot yoga is totally out of my comfort zone

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Aleksandra (an amazing yoga instructor herself) practices regularly at Yoga Heat, so she assured me that I would full heatedly enjoy Yoga Heat.

Aleksandra was right!

I only thought about the amount of sweat I had pouring out of me once.

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I was relaxed.

I realized once again that my hips are too tight.

I enjoyed hot yoga.

I am thankful for friends, yoga and a new experience.

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Do you practice yoga regularly? 

What is something new you want to do? 

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It could be Spring in Michigan

In 2 1/2 hours it will be April 1.

The very last day of March 2014, it finally warmed up enough in the Mitten to go outside without a down parka on. It went from being 20 degrees, to 64 degrees over night. It is amazing I tell you!

According to Vinny the Vibe it was 64 degrees today!

According to Vinny the Vibe it was 64 degrees today!

Today I sat on my favorite park bench and read. I went for a walk to my favorite bike shop and had one fabulous run with a co-worker.

Today on the very last day of March 2014 I was reminded as to why I still call Michigan home.

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Lake Macatawa is still ice-covered

With only 2 1/2 hours left of March this also means that March’s challenge of no more electronics in bed will no longer be the monthly challenge. I didn’t blog so much about my lack of technology in bed, but I am so grateful that I cut the awful habit cold turkey. My sleep has greatly improved, in the sense that when I am in bed, I am reading or sleeping. For the first time since January, was able to read not 1 book, but 2 books by simple putting down the phone and laptop and picking up a physical book to read. March is coming to a close, but the new rule of no electronics in bed is staying put.

April’s challenge is the challenge that is not very fun, but really rewarding at the end- tackle the clutter and projects that are always on the to-do list. Amy-Lynn has started the 40 bags in 40 days challenge already. I have started the process of de-cluttering, but have not been diligent about it.

My April de-cluttering/projects are:

1) Clean off the book shelve

2) Sort through baking/cooking gadgets that never get used

3) Clean out my childhood locker at my parents house. (Each family member had their own locker that was supposed to hold all our sports gear, shoes, and junk. I haven’t lived at my parents house in a good 6 years, and my locker is still full of crap)

4) Organize my paper billing system

4 weeks in April = 4 projects

Happy Spring!

What is on your to-do list week after week? 

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