Monday, August 31, 2009

Nine. Now We're Talking!

Thanks Team Voicers! I did make it through nine miles on Sunday, and the peer pressure once again definitely helped keep me out there!

It was a beautiful day in Michigan for a run. Sunny, blue skies, puffy white clouds, 70s, brisk breeze. And my mental toughness is finally getting back to where it was by the end of my training last year.

I didn't have any "I'm just going to quit, I know I can finish the Half, so I don't really have to do nine miles" thoughts. Don't get me wrong, there were moments when I was slogging, instead of wogging or running! But mentally, it was a good day.

Rae also had a good day, I think, finishing first in her age group. You rock, Rae!!

Now I do have one more challenge left for August -- I've got to do 90 jumping jacks today to reach my goal for the month! I don't think that's going to be very fun -- I think I'll definitely need some mental toughness for it!!

Friday, August 28, 2009

Hold Me Accountable

Okay Team, it's the weekend again (in a few hours) and time for a long run. This weekend the goal is 9 miles, since next weekend is Labor Day and I want to hit 10 miles then. (I will ignore the fact that by Labor Day LAST year, I had run 12 twice and 13 once!)

Anyway, I expect it to be hard. And once again I will keep in the back of my head that you all are cheering me on, and probably out there working just as hard as various goals that are just as tough for you.

And Ironwoman Rae is in another race this weekend, Jonathan's prepping for DL, and Mike is working toward Mike-speed again, so it would be lame if I took the easy way out and quit before I reach the big 9.

Maybe I better tatoo this blog on my arm?!! (Okay, I think I'll print it and put it in my pocket.)

Monday, August 24, 2009

Even Tougher Than Last Week

This weekend's long run was EIGHT miles! And -- what a surprise -- it was tougher than last week!

It was tough physically, but that's okay, because the point of a long run is to get the feet and hips and ankles and shoulders and knees used to the pounding. And I did have a few minutes of runners high -- isn't it fun when that kicks in?!

But it was really tough mentally. At four miles, I was SOOOO close to quitting. But a few things happened. One, I had tweeted Rae before I started that I was going to do 8 -- and I didn't want to have to tell Ironwoman Rae that I had quit. (Thanks, Rae!)

Second, I got a few "signs" from my dad up in heaven. Even though he was probably on the sixth green of his morning golf game, he was still keeping tabs on me. The first sign was a runner that passed me wearing a tee shirt that said "Reach higher" -- funny, dad.

Second, one of my favorite songs about surviving cancer started playing. It's a great song, and of course reminded me how lucky I was to be healthy and able to run on a beautiful, green leafy park trail.

And right after that song was a song about a father who had been in war -- sounds depressing, but again, it's a very good song that reminds me of my dad. I can't imagine being 20 like he was, in the Army and living overseas, much less being a soldier today in war zones. How could I complain about having to run eight miles? In nice shoes, with an iPod, on a beautiful running trail?

So I laughed and thanked my dad, and told him to get back to his heavenly golf game. The rest of the run wasn't that much easier, but being open to some signs from heaven certainly got me through that bad mental patch.

The goal for next week is 8.50 miles. I really want to get to 10 miles this year by Labor Day. After that it gets a little chilly here in Michigan, and I do NOT run outside when it's cold. No icicles for me, Jeff W!

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Seven The Hard Way

My goal this past weekend was to run 7 miles. I really need to get up to 10 by Labor Day, before winter sets in up here in Michigan.

So I mentally prepared Friday night, but didn't have a good night's sleep. When I got up Saturday I really wanted to blow it off, but I didn't. Why? All week I had been visualizing getting the 7 miles done, as well as telling myself that this was really an exercise in mental toughness.

So off I went, about 30 minutes later than I planned, but I thought I could still get done before the heat got bad.

I did manage my 7 miles, and most of it was not too bad -- not much runner's high -- but not bad. My mental toughness was tested around mile four -- was all ready to quit, but didn't. And of course, that last mile seven was tough, but that's always the case for the last mile anyway!

So, the good news. I did it and it was a good mental workout. The bad news, this coming weekend I have to run 8!!

Thursday, August 13, 2009

425 To Go!

Ever since I started training last year for the race, I've been tracking my training data every day. And once I started tracking, it was natural to set some goals each month.

I track obvious things like total miles for the month (running, walking, biking, elliptical) and number of crunches. But I also track things like stairs walked up, calories burned and lunges/squats.

A few months ago, I started tracking Jumping Jacks. Yes, that oldie but goldie exercise that we all hated in grammar school!

It's still a really good exercise, and one of those that when I haven't done in a while, is really tough when I start them back up again.

This month's goal is 500! But so far I've only done 75! Ummmm, let's do the math ... 19 exercise days left in the month, 425 to go ... hey, that's only 22 a day ... piece of cake ... I mean piece of broccoli!

Try some JJs today yourself! How many can you get done before August is over?

Friday, August 7, 2009

New Realization

I've really been struggling with food lately -- and running hasn't been going that great, but that's for another blog.

Anyway, I've been on a weight plateau for quite a while, and just in the last month or so, have been eating a little too much, and too much of some bad things. A few months ago, I felt like I was actually making progress in my quest to eat better foods long-term -- to improve my diet and therefore my health. But then the junk food started coming back into my diet.

And that, of course, is depressing.

But yesterday, a realization hit. I probably won't ever reach the point where I'm eating perfect food 100% of the time -- I don't think my personality will allow it.

So these hills and valleys are going to be a normal part of my life. So when the valley hits, I've got to just work thru it and keep trying, and look forward to the hill! And remember that each morning I start a NEW DAY of food choices, and the climb up that hill might start that day.

I also realized, not for the first time, that exercise is the key for me. The exercise really is the foundation that has allowed me to improve my nutrition and change my life to the point I am today.

Anyway, I'm going to try and remember that the hills and valleys are normal for me, and not be surprised the next time I'm down in one!