Tuesday, March 27, 2012
Runners often have emotional reactions when they participate in a race. Spectators, too. They break down at the finish, just completely exhausted, happy and yes even tears.
It's a tremendous release, relief. People are often understandably and justifiably overwhelmed by what they've accomplished. They've worked so hard, for so long, to achieve this one goal and now they have done it. They can finally let go.
Sometimes the tears aren't directly related to running, but rather to an unresolved issue in that runner's life. Perhaps a runner is in morning over a loss of a loved one. The runner expends so much energy in the race, the barriers come down. This allows the runner to release emotions and possibly even to let the healing process to begin.
There are lots of ways in which people find emotional release in their lives. Through church, through therapy. Others find the release they so need by a simple easy run through the woods at sunrise.
Whatever it is your handing on to, whatever weighs you down emotionally, whatever touches your heart with sadness running can help you with it. Run and just let go.
Running allows me to release my sadness and anger. It is the one place I can be mad at the world, I can cuss, I can scream and I can cry. There is no one out there to judge me. No one to tell me I am acting like a fool. If my emotions are on high or if I am confused with life, I just have to lace up my shoes and head out the door. I am always feel better and am less confused when I return. I am able to let go, really let go.
So if you are struggling with life or if you need sometime to just be alone, give running a try. If you are like me you will realize this is the one place where all emotions are okay. Let go! Be you!
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Every day we need to remind ourselves how awesomely powerful we are and can be...
We dream for a reason, dreams are not our accidents. I honestly believe that our dreams are what is meant to be...problem is so many people think dreams are just that, dreams. That is far from the truth, dreams can happen, we just have to learn to do our part.
There is nothing you CAN'T do, there is nothing you CAN'T have and nothing you CAN'T be. You have the power to control your world! The life that you desire can be won. If it exists in your mind, it is real, possible.. yours.
Every day you postpone your dreams, life moves faster. You forget about the life you dreamed of because the clouds move in. It gets foggy and you lose hope. So many people spend life wishing for things. Why spend time wishing? Just get busy working on getting the life that lives deep inside you.
I have three close friends that are actively living their dream. All three of these friends are training for their first half marathon. They didn't just sit on the sidelines and wait for the race to come to them. They are living in the moment, doing their part for their dreams to become a reality. It makes me smile, thinking that just a few months ago they only wished they could run/walk a half marathon some day. I am so happy to have the honor to run/walk with them on their first race. All it took for them was to take that first step, controlling their own lives.
It takes one step, one big step to reach that dream you might have. I am not saying the road will be easy but I am saying that YOU CAN DO ANYTHING! You have the POWER in you, the drive to achieve... so stop wasting another minute wishing and starting living your dream!
Thursday, March 22, 2012
Everyone remembers the classic Christmas movie where Flick gets dared to stick his tongue to the on freezing cold pole on the school playground. You know the scene right? You swore to yourself you would never try something so silly. I bet half of you have tried something similar to this story. Maybe it wasn't the freezing cold school playground pole but I bet it was something close. Why is the double dog dare so hard to walk away from? Temptation..maybe? Challenge..probably? Showing your friends that you are way to awesome to walk away from a double dog dare you..Absolutely!
I love a good challenge, a double dog dare you sort of speak. My first triathlon was done because a friend told me I couldn't do it. I smiled at him and said "Watch me." I got the best bike, best shoes and the best advice from friends who are true triathletes. I trained super hard, killed myself in fact. I wasn't going to let this friend of mine call me a wimp. I finished that triathlon, as well as the next triathlon he said I couldn't do. I have actually called out a double dog dare you to him, Olympic triathlon. Guess what? He didn't show on race day! He also didn't show up for the full Marathon, nor the Tough Mudder. I won the double dog dare you and I continue to win every time I finish a race without him being there. I will never let him forget it either!
I double dog dare myself every single morning I wake up. Everyone thinks it is easy for me to workout and eat healthy. Guess what? It is far from easy, in fact I struggle all the time. I work hard but I do fail sometimes. When i fall down I get back up every single time. So many people fall off the fitness and health wagon. The difference between them and me is I believe in myself enough to get back up. When I fall off I tell myself you will do it harder, faster and stronger next time. I dare myself to believe in the unbelievable.
Tonight, I double dog dare myself yet again. I have always been afraid of trying cross fit and Krav Mage because it is something that is out of the norm for me. I decided to go! It kicked my @ss, I wanted to die, puke and die again. But guess what? I smiled the whole class, as my body trembled in pain. Still two hours later my body is still trembling and I love it! If I didn't dare myself to step outside my box, I would not fallen in love with a new workout.
So I ask you this..What can I dare you to do? Will it be to eat healthy for a week, try a new workout routine, get out of an unhealthy relationship, go on a date, chop off your hair..etc. It is worth it! It is worth challenging yourself. Maybe you will fall but I can promise you will get back up and you will have a story that you will remember for life!
Do something crazy.... I double dog dare you!
Wednesday, March 21, 2012
I am currently reading a book called Running the Edge. In this book it divides live into five stories: education, family, career, friendship and passion. Each of us live these five stories at all times. But each story is not the same. Some stories are stronger than the others. I find that to be the case in my life.
This book has pushed me to think to my edge in the last three days. It made me really look deep into myself and realize I am successful at three of my five stories. Every day I have the passion and the drive to make those stories extraordinary. I always give 150% in my passions, friendships and education. My actions and decisions in these three stories have not been easy, in fact sometimes the journey has been unbearable. But what is it about these three stories that I am able shake off a bad run, failed test or a huge fight with my best friend. Why am I able to move forward on my journey in these stories but not the others.
This book is making me evaluate my life, which I can tell you it not an easy thing to do. It is like a job interview on your own life. You have to figure out your flaws, evaluate your qualities and be honest with yourself. Just by reading this book I am confident that I have been my own demon in two of those stories.
When I talk about family I am not talking about my mom, dad, brothers or sisters. Sure I could give a little more in this story, but the story I am talking about is relationships. I suck at them, actually I don't do them. I push men away from me because I am so worried that I will lose myself. I been hurt but that doesn't give me the right to hurt others or to let someone in. I have done this to so many people in the past and I am finally realizing this is my biggest flaw. I deserve to be loved and I deserve to give someone my love, but why is it so hard for me to do that? I push a lot of people away who I know that can make a big impact on my life. This is part of my stories that I have to work on.
Another story in my life that I need to focus some of my energy on is my career. I have a great job, I have great students but that at times just isn't enough. My Dad doesn't understand how I can't be happy in my job. I am happy but I just don't feel fulfilled. I don't feel like I am doing what I was put on this earth to do. I know this but this is where the story starts to turn. I have already realized that I need a change but I continue to do nothing. Why? I am scared, afraid and nervous that I don't have the potential to do anything else. All I know and have known is how to teach. I continue to stay in my happy place, my true confront zone.
I don't want to live my life pushing people away and just living in my confront zone. The way I see it is I have two choices. I continue to live a normal life or I push myself to a new edge to live an extraordinary life. I can start a new journey of a life that I always dreamed about as a child. I can start making fewer mistakes, take more chances and start living my own pursuit of happiness.
We all have it in us to push ourselves to a new edge every day. We can change our ordinary normal lives into something powerful, amazing and live a life you can't wait to wake up to every day. We need to seize the day! Because tomorrow we could be gone. I plan on doing this, I plan on finding a new way to live. I plan on being excellent at all five of my stories of life and I hope to god you do too!
Please go out and get Running the Edge! Best book I have read to date!
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
On March 18th, 2012 I was out to achieve two things, to get a new personal record and to run a half marathon with my Father. I am happy to say I accomplished a new personal record and I beat my Dad. My Dad has beat me in every race we have ever ran together. He is fast for his age or I am slow for mine. I will never let him forget that I beat him!
It was a beautiful Sunday morning in St. Petersburgh, Florida. The temperature at the start was 69 degrees and that was at 7 AM. I was a little concern about the temperatures being so high since my body was use to 50 degrees. But I knew I wasn't going to let hot humid air stop me from accomplishing my goal that day.
I always love the start line at races. Runners talk about their goals, if this is their first race and how they hope they can finish strong. Many of the runners are strangers. If you are a runner you will understand this when I say this, no runner is a real stranger, we are all family. We are all there to reach the same goal to finish and look good doing it. We are connected by the road, our shoes and our hearts. No matter age, race or gender we all believe that no matter how exhausted we get, we will finish. You don't even have to talk to anyone at the starting line to get it, you can just feel it.
When in high school, the national anthem always gave me the chills. Today, as an adult, it mean so much more. I take that moment at every race to thank the men and women who have put their lives on the line. It puts me in a good place and allows me to remember no matter how hard the race might get I will push on for them. I always run my first mile for them.
When the shot gun went off, you could hear all the shoes hitting the pavement. I wished my Dad good luck and started to run. It is weird, I am always a talker but on this race I barely spoke. Many times during the race I would check to make sure my dad was doing okay. We would speak about the course but we had no real conversation. In our silence, I could actually hear my dad cheering me on and I am certain he could hear me as well. It is kind of funny how that works, because as I passed by people I could hear them too. Maybe I should stop talking and start listening to others it was peaceful, encouraging and gave me the power to move forward.
Dad and I ran a hard six miles together. I remember telling him that there was NO WAY I would be able to keep up the pace. He just encouraged me to continue and slow down when I needed too. But I never slowed down. When I looked down at my Garmin at the first 10K I was shocked to see what the time was. I had a new PR for my 10K and shaved 9 minutes off my time. I was amazed and honestly still am amazed how fast I ran the first 6 miles. 52:30!
I could tell around mile 6.5 Dad was struggling. I wanted to stay with him because I wanted to finish with him but the athlete in me wanted to continue on. I asked him what his deal was and if he would be okay if I continued my journey without him. If you know my Dad you would know he would never hold me back. He smiled and told me to go on without him and that he would catch up. I love him for that!
As I continued on it was just me, my heartbeat, my breath and the beautiful sun rise. I was in my own little heaven. I have had many moments like this. My mind shuts off and I can be at peace with the world that I am surrounded in. A lot of people will never have a moment like this because they are to busy to take life in. I had that moment around mile 8. Picture perfect sunrise, peaceful ocean and the air so still it felt like I was all alone.
Here is the picture of that moment.. well sort of! I didn't have my camera on my run but I made my Dad drive me to this spot so I could have it forever! What a sight!
The rest of the run was like that. I felt amazing, at peace. I welcomed the pain in my lower back and ask the pain to help me finish. My legs felt awful but it wasn't enough to make me stop. In fact the pain in my legs and my back pushed me forward. I could hear voices in my head of people that have made a large impact on my life. They encouraged me, inspired me and challenged me to get to that finish line faster than ever before.
So I did! I ran fast. I reached the finish line at 2:05. I shaved 13 whole minutes off my last PR. If you are a runner you understand that is something that is hard to do. I beat my Dad by 10 minutes.
Every single day is a gift. You can either take that gift and do something with it or do nothing. Every single day I plan on challenging myself more, reaching a new edge. I have exciting days and I have normal days but every day in my life is a little extraordinary. Running is one of the best things that has ever happened to me. It gives me moments where I feel at peace, makes me feel accomplish and challenges me to believe in the impossible dream. I hope that all of you can find something like this in your life, something that makes you feel that nothing can stop you.
St. Petersburg half marathon will be a race I will cherish forever. I got another great moment, a new PR and got to run with the person I been looking up to for years. No one can take that memory away.
So as John Bingham would say. Lace up those shoes, hit the road and create amazing memories. It doesn't matter if you run a mile or twenty miles. It doesn't matter if you come in first or last. We are family and that my friends is what running is all about!
Monday, March 19, 2012
Why do I run?
Runners run for different reasons. What ever the reason might be runners share the same passion and understanding. It is hard to explain to someone that doesn’t run.
In the book Running the Edge it talks about climbing a mounting and discovering a secret on the other side. You have to climb the mountain to see what the secret is all about. Running is like that! You can’t understand why runners run unless you experience it first hand.
Imagine for a moment that you are trying to get to the top of that mountain and learn the runner’s secret. You know climbing a mountain isn’t easy and when at the bottom it looks impossible to get to the top. But you start out because you want to so badly see what is on the other side. You need determination and commitment to reach the top. Sure getting to the top of that mountain may look easy to fit people but for most the top looks so unreachable.
Every step hurts. Every stride is painful. Your knees hurt. Lower back kills. You feel pressure in your chest. Your breathing is uncomfortable. Nothing is working. Muscles burn. After your run you count blisters and you feel like you could die. You start believing that the statement running is not fun maybe true. You start questioning why people do this and why the hell they think it is fun? But if you continue to run and resist to listen to those pains and logic to quit, one day, something magical happens. One day, while on a run you notice it doesn’t hurt anymore. Not only does it not hurt, it feels natural and it is sort of easy! You feel powerful, strong.
On that day, you have finally reached the top of that mountain and have discovered the secret. On that day you unlock the secret and have a new understanding. You have had an experience that can never be taken away. Finally, you get it. You finally understand why runners run.
Like an obsession, this feeling carries you now, back to the other side of the mountain. You developed a new passion and a new way of life emerges.
So to answer the question, why do I run? Running is my gift that I give myself. Like most things in life, running is hard. It is hard but it is worth it. I run because it brings my mind, body and world together in one moment. I discover a lot about myself in my running shoes. I challenge myself, push myself to the edge. Each time I run I get to discover more about myself and what I truly want in life.
Running for me isn’t about all the health benefits. It is my way to push myself, to believe in myself and to reach the top of that mountain. On the other side of my mountain is a person who will not give up, will not allow people to push me around. My view is much clearer on the other side and it all happens because I decide to lace up my shoes.
Wednesday, March 7, 2012
Remember grade school and the class project when you planned a seed into dirt? Every day you were to water that seed and hope that one day you would see a flower. I remember my grade school teach emphasizing that the lesson of watching the seed turn into a beautiful flower was symbolic of the transformation endured throughout one’s lifetime in the pursuit of anything worthwhile.
Of course, as a child I didn’t understand what the teacher was talking about and certain I didn’t care. All I wanted to see if I killed it or if I would have a flower at the end.
It is funny now that I look back on it. That lesson now means so much to me. I had to love and nurture the seed to become the beautiful flower in the end. If I didn’t water the seed it would surely die, as well if I watered it too much. I can take that lesson and turn it into so many things in my life. Isn’t amazing that we can carry lessons from grade school into adulthood?
Every single thing I do starts with a small seed. I have to commit to this seed or it will not grow. If I don’t commit to it, the seed will just remain a seed. I have to take the time to care for it, give it the proper sunlight, water and love it. Flowers do not grow over night. If you go back to grade school you might remember that everyone’s seeds grew at different times and some never even blossomed.
I sit here and laugh at the idea of it all. I can’t believe I am using a seed and a flower to inspire you all. But transformation takes time, love and patience. Sometimes transformation takes a team of people to help you get your flower. Just like in school I needed my teacher to help and teach me the proper ways to care for my seed, without her I know my seed would have never made it.
Whatever your transformation might be it will not blossom over night and it might take a team to help you get there. It also might take one or two seeds before your flower blossoms. Your friends’ flowers might grow before yours but remember we can’t all have the same results we are all different and unique.
I know my first seed in school never made it, I either watered the seed too much or I forgot about it all together. But my second seed I took the time to really care for it, my mom made sure I wasn’t killing it by too much water and most importantly I remembered that this seed would eventually grow into a flower but it wasn’t going to happen in just a week or two.
My transformation took a lot of time. I needed a team to encourage me and support me on that long road. They were the water that feed me and allowed me to grow into such an amazing flower. I have grown from something so small (seed) into something so beautiful, strong and powerful (flower).
I can’t stress enough a transformation can’t happen over night. If you are like me it might take years but it worth it. It is worth watching the little seed turn into someone so amazing. So do something, challenge yourself and watch your transformation happen before your eyes!
Many people think that you must always be at the beginning in order to begin. That's not true at all. You can make a fresh start even if you're almost at the end.
Let's say you're reading a book and get busy halfway through. Now, you may choose not to return to the book and finish it. But if you do choose to finish, you will have to pick up the book and make a fresh start at the point where you left off, in the middle. I doubt you would want to start back on page one..right?
When I go to conferences or even meeting it always gives me a clear mind, motivation and excitement to do something new. I don't start with my new ideas till the first day of school, I start in the middle.
A man is leading a 10K race and had done so from the very start. Then, with 1000 meters left, another runner overtakes him and goes into the lead. What should the former leader do? He must realize the circumstance have changed and make a new start, new decision. He can't start at the beginning to win this race can he? He must make a new start very nearly at the end of the race. If he doesn't, he has no chance of overtaking the new leader and winning the race.
Today may seem like the most ordinary of days. But it really isn't. Today is when you make a new beginning in whatever you are having trouble with. Can be running, work, nutrition, fitness or just life in general. Whether you're the beginner, the oldest and the veteran in the business or somewhere in between, a new beginning is needed at times. It's always possible to start afresh.
So here is to a new beginning, a fresh start. Just because your failed before does not mean we can take time off, just to start over again. Shake off the failure, clear your mind and start over in the middle.
Tuesday, March 6, 2012
As I was thinking about what to blog, it occurred to me that I spend most of my days trying to get people moving, but don’t think enough about those that move too much, that is, those that might be overtraining. I have done it because after all who thinking about overtraining.
While we always want to add more activity to improve our fitness level, we must be careful not to over train as that has consequences. So, how much is too much? Well, it depends on your body’s response to the demands you are putting on it. Be mindful of what you are asking of your body. I always follow the rule of progressive overload, that is adding on gradually. Use the 10% rule when adding to your current routine. For example, if you are doing 10 reps of an exercise and it is getting a little easy, add 10% (i.e. 1 rep) to your next workout. Or, for cardio exercise, if you were doing 30mins, your next increase should be to a max of 33 mins. Following this rule will help add challenge but keep you in a safe range.
What if you have progressed faster than the 10%? Being aware of the signs of overtraining can be very helpful to make sure you are staying safe. Check out the following signs:
-chronic muscle soreness (that is not related to an injury)
-increase incidents of colds and infection
-decrease in appetite
-increase in irritability
-increase in your resting heart rate-this is a significant sign and easy to measure. If you think you may be over training, chart your resting heart rate every morning when you wake (after you have recovered from the shock of your alarm!). Do this for a few weeks. As we become more fit, our resting heart rate should decrease, NOT increase. The increase is due to your body trying to continually recover from exercise and keep you moving through your day to day activities. Basically your body is telling you it can’t keep up with the demands.
So, if you suspect you are over training, what do you do? Decrease the volume and/or intensity of your work. Take a day off. I am this is very hard to do if you are training for an event but you really have to listen to your body. A few years ago I was working so hard doing two a days. I would do weights in the morning and cardio in the afternoon. When I noticed I was working super hard and my heart rate wouldn't go up I knew something was wrong. I was in fact overtraining and needed to cut it back. Doing to much is not a good thing, you could injure yourself. So listen to your body and find a good balance.
I had to take the morning off because of this issue! :) I tend to overtrain but now I know when to take a step back! Balance find it!
Friday, March 2, 2012
I don’t think I have to tell you how important water is. Water is the most abundant substance found in our body. You can only survive a few days without water, while you can go almost a month without food. It is quite simply one of the most important things you need to think about in your nutrition program.
Water as essential for an effective weight-loss regimen
Water speeds the metabolism causing the body to burn calories fasters, it helps breaks down food enabling it to digest better, it cleanses the colon of built-up waste allowing it to digest fat adequately and promotes regular bowel movements. This combination of attributes directly aid weight loss making water essential for an effective weight-loss regimen.
I am sure you have heard that drinking more water is a great way to kick off your weight loss attempt. You may know all the benefits of drinking more water: your metabolism shuts down if you aren’t drinking enough of it; drinking water aids in digestion; you will feel fuller if you drink more water and your body will retain less water the more you drink. But no matter how much you know about weight loss benefits of drinking more water, you struggle to guzzle it down, right? These tips will help make it easier for you to get enough water in your day and help shed those pounds!!
Keep it close
If you buy bottled water by the case, pop one if the fridge every time you take one out so you that you always have a chilled water bottle ready. Keep a bottle or a glass of water at your desk while you work. If you have a water cooler in your office, try keeping a cup on your desk and refill every time you drink the contents. Bring a big bottle or a travel mug full of ice water with you in the car, and sip away while driving. The point is, if you always have a bottle, mug or glass of water to drink nearby you’ll begin to reach for it without even realizing it.
Sip it up
How many times have you mindlessly sipped a drink through a straw, not realizing you were finished until you herd that slurping sound? Keep a package of drinking straws at home and/or at the office. You will be amazed at how easy it is to get the water in while sipping it away!
Make it fun
As with all your weight loss efforts, the more drinking your water feels like work, the less likely you are to do it, so do whatever you can to make it more fun! Sounds silly right, making water-drinking fun! Pick up a travel mug that is cute! Have a water challenge with someone at work to see who can drink the most water throughout the day.
Nothing taste as good as a crisp COLD glass of water on a hot day. Add flavor without adding inches to your waistline. Try low or no calorie additives such as a crystal light (5 calories), sugar free drink mixes, fresh fruit or cucumbers. I love adding cucumbers to my water during the summer. The drink is refreshing and it taste delicious!
Set short-term goals
Just like with your other weight loss efforts, the task of drinking more water will be less daunting if you set small, easy-to-reach goals. See if you can drink 20 ounces during your morning commute. Set out to drink a certain amount of water by lunchtime.
If you are guessing at how much water you’re drinking each day you may be underestimating and hindering your own weight loss! Don’t let that happen. Find an easy way to record how much you drink each day. Get a large mug that holds 30-40 ounces and fill it two or three times a day, depending on your daily goal. If you refill the same water bottle several times throughout the day, wrap an appropriate number of rubber bands around the bottle and each time you empty it remove a band. Who knows, you may be drinking more water than you imagined!
So give it a try! Add more water to your day. I drink a gallon of water a day and sometimes I will have a gallon in a half. Sounds crazy but my clean, hair and my body look better because of it. How do I track my water, simple! I carry around a gallon of water with me everywhere. I always know if I have reached my water goal for the day. I also add to crystal light packs in the gallon for extra flavor. I promise you this will make you feel better, make you go to the bathroom more (because you will pee a lot) and will help you feel full. So try it today!