Posts Tagged ‘running’
I can’t run right now. *growls* I mind and it matters.
The weather is perfect.
And up until last week, I was kicking milage butt. I was on track for one of my best months of running to date.
And now–not so much.
It started with some mild leg pain. But it wasn’t too bad, more like a sore muscle, so I was running through it. And it always felt better after the run. But even so, I started to notice my runs were getting slower. And instead of the leg warming up over the course of the run and feeling better, it began to hurt throughout the whole run. Clearly I was compensating for something wrong by changing my gait and now more of my leg was beginning to hurt. At this point I realized “running it out” wasn’t going to be the answer.
I was going to have to stop running and rest the leg, which means I need to find other ways to keep up with staying in shape and eating right. Exercise is essential, because I may be willing to count those calories and hold myself accountable, but I’m not capable of doing it without some extra calories providing me with real food in moderation.
But here’s the problem…running is the quickest, most efficient way I know of, to stay in shape. I’m not saying there aren’t others, but this is the one that works for me. So, this means I’m now stuck finding other ways–more time consuming ways–to get a somewhat comparable burn. And I also have to go to a podiatrist and get my inserts checked. *sigh* And all of this takes time. Time I need for my writing.
You see where this is going, right?
And while all the changes have been inconvenient, the truth is that I’ve committed to writing at least a little bit every day this month with #WriteDaily30 a challenge run by Linda Urban. And because I’ve eliminated my excuses and decided that a little is better than nothing at all–I’m making daily progress on my writing. Really good progress that makes me happy.
So, what I’m trying to tell you is that I’m really grumpy because I can’t run and my leg is being a pain in the leg. But I’m also really excited because I got retrained on the nautilus machines at the gym and some day I’m going to be kinda buff. And then the pup is dog-wagging excited that I’m taking him for longer walks. And despite it all, the writing is getting done because as I was recently reminded that it’s all about mind over matter…if you don’t mind being flexible, it won’t matter.
When has mind over matter worked for you? Have you had to cope with a running or sports injury? Were you climbing the walls?
Yesterday I headed to the gym to run on the treadmill. While I was there, I learned it was an advantage to know your process. I went to the gym, not because I hate running in the rain, I kind of like it actually. But I didn’t think I’d want to run in the rain AND THEN go back out and play ball IN THE RAIN with the dog. Plus, I may have wanted a strawberry smoothie with flax afterwards.
But, I digress.
As you may have heard me mention in the past, running on the treadmill is not ideal for me. Why?
- I get bored.
- I spend a large amount of my run trying to convince myself not to get off earlier than I should.
- I get a strawberry smoothie with flax afterwards. Yum! But let’s be honest, it’s not a lunch replacement.
Know your process. Running outside combats these three treadmill challenges rather nicely.
- Lots to see–nature and wildlife–never bored.
- If I run out as far as I can, I still have to come back. No one is going to give me a lift back home. I’ll get there quicker if I just run it out.
- After running, I’m way too lazy to make a smoothie. And the dog isn’t going to wait for more than a shower and pouring a cup of coffee to go out and play ball.
So, in general I’m aware of what works for me–I know my process. But sometimes, even when I know what’s good for me, I end up on the treadmill, despite my best intentions. As I listened to music I could barely hear in my broken headphones (asking for new ones for my birthday) while watching the really bizarre closed captioning that used to be so much better when humans did things, I realized that it helped to know my process in a different way. Or maybe the best way to phrase it is I needed to create a process for the situation I couldn’t avoid.
As I pushed myself through my treadmill run, I pictured my favorite outdoor run route–the one that I do so often I no longer need to hear a voice in my ears telling what mile I’m at. Envisioning this was helpful to me. Instead of selling myself on the benefits of getting off the treadmill, I over layed my outdoor run process, on top of the treadmill run I was struggling with. I knew When I hit the one mile mark I knew I’d only gotten to the top of the very first hill and quite honestly, I’ve never in my life run that route and turned around at that point. Or the two mile mark for that matter. Why would I do it now? There was no reason to stop running.
I made it to 6.3 miles by knowing my successful outdoor process and using it to inform my treadmill process. Hey–whatever gets it done, right?
Additionally, part of my process when I’m running outside is to think. I realized I could still do that if I stopped some of the noise pollution around me, like the Live with Kelly and Michael Show subtitles which looked something like this…
Kelly: That tat two back is Adam Levine.
Michael: 6 mthdsa….hurt…xdhxdnl
Kelly: Never had–
Kelly: Yeah, Buddy–childbirth! yahdl.,,sxsss
You get the picture. Or maybe you don’t. Instead of trying to follow the Adam Levine, tattoo, childbirth indecipherable subtitled conversation, I started planning this blog post. And the more I thought about my running process, the more I also thought about my writing process. How could I carry over the idea of…know your process…from one activity to another.
Here’s the facts. I’ve heard hundreds of authors, more experienced than me, talk about how every book is hard in it’s own way. I believe that.
We all struggle at some point–or at many points in the journey.
But I also think that if you know your process–your writing process–you have a template you can use to help get you through any manuscript. It’s all about being aware of your mile markers. Do you struggle with getting started? Do middles make you mad? Is the wrap-up your biggest hurdle? Is character development killing you? Or maybe the plot fairy never shows up to your house. Knowing what obstacles make you want to get off the writing treadmill isn’t a quick fix for your speed bumps, you’ll have to put in the work in the area that challenges you, but it is still helpful. The more you know about where you get stuck, why you get stuck and how you got unstuck in the past–the more likely you are to keep pushing through the miles of drafting and revision you have ahead of you–no matter how much they make you feel like a turkey on a treadmill…
Do you know your process? How does it help you through the tough spots? Is your process always evolving? How does it change with each manuscript you write? Any runners in the house? Treadmill or open road? And by the way, who likes strawberry smoothies????
Woo Hoo!!!! On Sunday (January 31, 2016) I hit a HUGE running milestone. I’ve officially traveled over 2,000 miles since I started running. I’m probably irrationally proud of this feat, but I don’t care. If you’re a runner you probably understand, but if you’re not, I’ll try to show you how epic this felt to me.
First off, I didn’t start running until May 21, 2010, which means that I didn’t start until I was 40 years old. So, yes–you CAN teach an old dog new tricks. Over the years I’ve grown as a runner, and my runs now are much longer than they were in the early years (especially when my kids were younger–#runlikeamother) but ultimately I reached this goal in 403 runs and averaged 4.9 miles in the approximate 6 years and 8 months that it took me to do it. This was something I’ve stuck with, even when it was hard and it often was. Sometimes it still is.
I was also able to learn some other interesting things about my almost 7 years of running…
*I wasn’t fast, but I wasn’t slow either–averaging 10’15” miles.
*I burned a grand total of 204,241 calories which was still not the right amount according to my butt and my fascination with chocolate.
*I’ve run on every single day of the week, but Monday is my get it done day. And I don’t have a graphic for it, but I believe I’ve run more outside miles than treadmill miles.
*I’ve also become a morning runner which was not what I preferred when I first started. Now it’s how I like to start off my day, especially in the hotter months.
And the big question…how far would running 2,000 miles actually get me???
The closest match I could find would be an epic run from New York’s Empire State Building to Albuquerque, New Mexico which means that I could have passed out after getting a high five from my fellow writer/runner bud Caroline Starr Rose <3 How awesome is that????
And since I’m still having fun and don’t plan to stop, here are my future running goals…
*It’s 326 miles to the 2nd and my next Purple Milestone.
*It’s less than 1,000 miles until I hit 3,000!!!! Hopefully it won’t take me 3 plus years to get there.
*It’s 1,103 miles until I hit the black level on Nike+running.
*It’s another 3,106 miles until I hit VOLT status. *shakes with intimidation*
But what the heck–I’m planning on giving it a shot. If you had once asked me if I could run 2,000 miles I would have said you’re out of your mind. But I did it. So, I’ll keep shaking those rocks out of my socks and keep on moving. I wonder where it will take me next…
As most of you might remember, I run outside whenever I get the chance. And because I live in a wooded area, it’s not unusual for me to cross paths with a variety of wild life, including deer, wild turkeys, squirrels, chipmunks, wood chucks, ducks, hawks and even eagles. Yesterday’s run will be one I never forget.
The weather was cool, in the 60’s and it had begun to rain. I was running on an unpaved road and I was enjoying the texture of damp rocks and earth beneath my feet while I was listening to Bill Bryson’s I’m a Stranger Here Myself. I was about 4 miles into my route and even though the sky was looking like it was going to truly open up any minute, I had all my big hills behind me and was headed back.
Rounding a small corner, I came to an abrupt stop. No more than 15 feet away from me was the tiniest baby fawn I’d ever seen, just standing there on the side of the road. Mom wasn’t more than ten feet away from her little one, but she was positioned in a way that a wire fence and brush were between her and her babe. My plan was to stay quiet and watch. Maybe even get a picture to show the boys if I could get my phone out of my belt without alarming them.
That’s when it happened…the already large eyes of the fawn lit up. I’m not kidding. This itty, bitty creature, not much taller than my thigh, grew excited at the sight of me and toddled over on wobbly legs. It’s poor mother was having a heart attack. I prayed Mama wouldn’t jump the fence and land on me as her little one then came up and put his or her nose against my hand. I’m sure I would have been privileged to pet the little one, if at that moment, the near hysterical mother hadn’t given a loud snort of warning and chastisement to her child. Once again the fawns face changed–registering that it had possibly made a huge mistake. On pencil thin legs, it turned away from me and teetered into the woods on the other side of the road. Mom was out of the meadow and after it before I could blink. And then they were gone.
With a huge smile on my face, I ran on with Bill Bryson in my ear phones. He was talking about the ever growing, weird phenomenon of people living their lives in temperature controlled houses, malls and cars. I listened to his humorous, but sadly true observations on how we’ve become a society of people who find it too easy to remove ourselves from nature and the connections it has to offer. It felt incredibly timely and ironic all in the same breath.
But that wasn’t my only deep thought as I moved down the road. As my mind replayed this once in a life time experience over and over again, I also couldn’t help but think about how the littlest creatures of the world, animal or human, seem to be born without prejudice. Even now, I keep seeing those eyes and that moment when a fawn looked excited to see me. I’ve never felt so connected to an animal in the wild before. It gave me a flush of hope for bigger things–kinder things.
It also made me so glad I’d stopped everything to enjoy that particular moment–instead of trying to capture it with a camera. I love taking incredible pictures, but some experiences are meant to be lived instead of captured. And perhaps if I’d had a picture, I would have posted that, instead of taking the time to paint you one with my words. Writing this down was it’s own kind of pleasure.
I can’t wait to go running again…
Have you ever had a moment like this? You must tell me about it.
I read for 10 miles yesterday!!! Wait that sounds a little weird. Let me clarify–I ran my longest run ever and the whole time I was running I was listening to a really awesome audiobook!!!!!! There are not enough exclamation points for a sentence like that. LOL! And it gets even better because I’ve acclimated to having a brain where half my attention is completely absorbed in the awesomeness of the story, but the other half is studying writing technique. *fist pump*
So, if I wasn’t clear about the awesomeness of what was going on, I spent about two hours of my busy day multitasking in the best of ways. I got to exercise while being simultaneously entertained and educated. And the bonus plan was that I didn’t have to feel bad about my Wednesday night bowl of ice cream because I burned 1,000 calories on that run. The only thing that was kinda tough was staying awake long enough to get my own writing done for the day–especially when everything (including my fingers) hurt LOL! I think today I’ll read the old fashioned way…snuggled up on the couch.
Anyone else reading for distance? Any audiobook lovers in the crowd? They are great in the car (can still be measured in miles) LOL! And they also make folding laundry a much better experience. Any guess about what book I finished on my run? I’ll give you a hint…it’s an adult apocalyptic novel getting a lot of well earned buzz. I really loved it.
Ohhhhh! Bright and shiny and new! Isn’t that how things always start off?
Think about back to school–everyone starts off perky and excited and about two weeks in the fluffy, fun, get-to-know you stuff is over and the focus is work. I’m not trying to say fun things won’t happen over the course of the school year–but lets be truthful–people are already posting on FB about having kids frustrated and in tears. Two weeks in and parents already need wine to get through their child’s homework challenges or to recover from the after school activity schedule. I know that even though mine are loving so much of what’s going on, they would trade it all in for homework free lazy summer days in a heart beat. And the novelty of making school lunches is sooooo over? Oh, wait–that was NEVER fun!
And then there’s running. I am determined to get back into shape and my best way of doing that is planning on running right after I get the kids off to school. Can’t go home until I’m put in some miles. (I don’t run everyday so this is a reasonable plan) And it’s been working. I’ve logged 33 miles so far this month when I only logged 7 in August! But let’s be honest, even though the more I run, the easier it gets physically, the more I run, the harder it gets because the first blush of young running love has turned into a kind of hum, drum begrudging relationship. *sigh* BUT once I start, I don’t feel that way. In fact, I feel great, but the starting–almost as bad as making lunches.
And let me tell you, the novelty of the 11yo’s fish tank has worn off completely. Now that I have two hamsters that are pretty low maintenance by comparison, I kind of wish that all the fish would peacefully die of old age in their sleep–tonight. Does that make me mean? Since all the fish are still alive, I prefer honest with the potential to write an aquatic thriller some day.
And speaking of writing. The novelty of a shiny new story ALWAYS wears off at some point in the process. But since I’m a more experienced writer than I used to be, I’ve also come to realize that the novelty of crying writer’s block has also worn off. I know too much to be able to shut myself down completely. So, here’s what I do when the novelty of a manuscript has worn off. These options may not be as good as writing 2,000 fresh and exciting words a day, but I think they are the bridges we use to carry us to the next high.
*Write at least a small amount of bad words even if you don’t want to. You might find something salvageable. You might jiggle loose a flood of good words. You never know. But at the very least, you’ll feel like you didn’t step away from the project for too long.
*Make a playlist, a Pinterest board, a map of your world, a character outline or take road trip to research something related to your manuscript. This is creative fuel for the road ahead and it helps to clarify your thoughts. It shines a light on your vision in a different way.
*Participate in mindless exercise and let your thoughts just float and see what happens. I’m a runner and this is a great brainstorming time for me. I never underestimate what comes out when I let my subconscious take the lead.
*Work on a different project. Be careful with this one. You can’t let the secondary project be a thing that allows you to never finish the original piece. But sometimes I find that I need to feel productive with something–any thing. And I do know that I will return to the MS at hand and get it finished. So I’ve been able to trust this method.
*Give yourself a break. Really. A day off here and there isn’t the end of the world. Just be working most of the time. Every once in awhile I notice that the dishes and laundry and all the other house and boy stuff has built up and it feels like Mt Everest is sitting on my chest. I’ve learned that taking a day off to right my world is better for my writing than trying to work while sitting in the shadow of a mountain of guilt.
*Be hard and flexible at the same time. Be tough–ask yourself to be professional and hard working and you’ll be happy you did. But don’t beat yourself up when something doesn’t go according to plan. It never does for ANYBODY. It’s never about always being right–doing things perfectly. It’s all about how you pick yourself up and drive forward, even when the novelty has worn off.
Got any other tips for what to do when the novelty wears off? Time to share–I can always use a few more.
Some days I don’t intend to write about what I write about, but everywhere I turn the same message is slapping me in the face, asking me to dig deeper. And the weird part is that the messages comes from very different, unrelated directions. I used to ignore these kinds of “coincidences” but I’ve learned to pay attention and listen to what the universe is telling me. It’s usually important.
This morning I stumbled across a very long and emotional FB post by a dear friend. She is an amazing person and mother, despite the challenges that have been thrown at her–things that might have broken someone else because of their weight. Today she was talking about running. Not just running for pleasure and exercise, which is something she does when life allows it. But she was talking about running away emotionally and the even harder thing to handle–not running away.
“The certainty of this circumstance eliminates my usual option of running. If I can’t run from this inexpressible pain WHAT AM I SUPPOSED TO DO?!?”
That is an epic question.
And “coincidentally” another one of my very good friends (who doesn’t know my other friend–yet) unknowingly answered her so beautifully when she wrote a letter to her daughter. You Are Youer That You: A Letter to My Daughter.
If I were to take that amazing blog post and turn it into a mantra for my other friend it would go something like this…
Before you take flight…
Know I love you.
You ARE going to make mistakes.
These moments will require you to be brave.
Remember you are not alone.
Everyone is fighting a battle you know nothing about.
So be kind.
It will get harder as you get older, but remember…
Friends are the family you choose for yourself.
Give life everything you have and life will give you everything you need.
Embrace your past, but spread your wings.
And never forget to be patient with yourself.
And be patient with me.
Because the world is big.
And even though it’s hard, we must be brilliant.
No matter how old you are…
This is just the start of a journey.
The world needs you.
I need you.
Don’t forget that.
Should auld acquaintance be forgot, and never brought to mind ?
Lots to learn and fondly remember about those days gone by.
Let’s not dwell on it people. We’ve got a new year full of promise just waiting in the wings. So incredibly exciting. I love bringing new goals into focus.
Here’s some of the things I’m setting my sights on in 2014…
New Year’s Resolutions
*MOVING! I can not wait for this for a multitude of reasons. I’m super excited about our new home!!! I LOVE it and I’ll be sharing more of that with you as it happens. But I’m also stoked for the arrival of the day when I’m NOT MOVING ANYMORE! This process has officially eaten up most of 2013 and I’m ready to be done with it. Settled. Focusing on my other goals.
*Writing goals aplenty this year. I’m planning on selling book two, finishing book three and brainstorming book four. I’ve also got a little project that I’m dabbling with that I’d love to make more headway on. Getting all tingly for this writing year. NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month) showed me what I’m made of and I can’t wait to broaden my own horizons.
*I want to keep running. Last month I logged 49 miles of running and today I should break that number for the month of Dec. I’m pretty excited to be running more regularly. By doing that, I’m seeing my running improve and if I can run like that after the holiday season of gluttony is over, perhaps there will be a little less of my in 2014 LOL!
*Back to Workshop in 2014. This is my dance class and it’s way more than dancing, although we do plenty of that. My Tuesday nights are the BEST and I can’t wait to get back to our regular routine. I love my Yanni girls. <3 But why this gets a resolution shout-out is that, for the moment, the inflammation in my hamstrings isn’t bothering me as much as it has the last year, so perhaps I can get some of that lost flexibility back. *crosses fingers*
*I talked about the move, but deep within the move, is the opportunity for me to do a wee bit of clutter purging. As every year kicks off, I always clean and organize, but I am REALLY trying my best to straighten up, fly right and take advantage of this opportunity. I’m sure I’ll be writing more about this in the future too. Such a personal struggle. I blame my father for passing down his unorganized genes. *points accusing finger skyward*
*And lastly, I want to continue my journey of doing things that scare and challenge me. I’ve found that I LOVE what’s on the other side of the hard things I’ve faced. I am a happier and better person for tackling my fears. The only regrets I have are for the things I’m still too afraid to do. So, in 2014 I’ll continue to challenge myself to be brave and we shall see how that’s working for me a year from now.
Your turn. Tell me what you’re focusing on in 2014.
Happy New Year my friends <3
If you’re a runner, you’re probably well aware of the debate about running while listening to music. In truth, I think there are good arguments on both sides of the line. Sometimes it’s good to be alone in my head while watching the world around me. If I’m not listening to other things, I can be paying attention to my body as runners and my thoughts. But since I tend to only run without music or an audiobook about 1 out of every 25 runs, I obviously have a preference. I find the pacing of music to be very helpful, it feels like an extension of dance for me. And at the end of the day, I find certain songs to be very motivating. They make me keep running on those occasions where my head gives up long before my body actually does. It’s a tool I use to dig deep.
One of my newer songs on my running playlist is…
And as I was running and listening to HALL OF FAME by The Script, I realized that one of the things I love about the lyrics is that it gives so many options for being a winner. Translation–whatever you’re going to do–be good at it. If it’s worthy of your time, give it ALL your effort.
On the walls of the hall of fame
Be truth seekers
Standing in the hall of fame
And the world’s gonna know your name
Cause you burn with the brightest flame
My favorite “BE” is the one that always makes my feet fly a little faster…BE TRUTH SEEKERS. That’s what speaks to me. But whether your calling or your passion is “on” the Hall of Fame song list, YOU KNOW IT’S THERE. The purpose of this song is to remind you to BE SOMETHING.
Now tell me what Hall of Fame you’re standing in at the end of every day. What makes you burn with the brightest flame?
Merry Christmas. See you on the flip side.
Read more: Script – Hall Of Fame Lyrics | MetroLyrics
I hit a huge milestone yesterday. Since I started running on May 21, 2010…
I’ve run 1,000 miles!!!!!!
I’ve found it eerily appropriate that I was shooting for this goal while I was also writing my #NaNoWriMo words. While both activities are time consuming and challenging, I have a sneaky suspicion that they actually created a momentum that helped me to make both goals. (fingers crossed–I have plans to also cross that NaNoWriMo finish line by 11/30)
In case you’re wondering, there are many runners who’ve hit 1,000 miles a lot quicker than I did, but this in no way affects my enthusiasm for the accomplishment LOL! Prior to that day in May, I HATED running and I only did it when I was in a soccer game or being chased. Or maybe if I’d eaten way too much junk food and needed to sweat it out of my pours. And even then I only ran on the treadmill. But that day in May it was one of the first perfect spring days of the year. I’d decided to go for a walk and as the movement invigorated me, I had the urge to feel physically exhausted the way you do when you’re a kid and you play too hard. So I started to run. I went just over four miles. No lies it was awesome, but it was also freaking hard. I don’t really know what changed for me that day, but since then I’ve stuck with running. I’ve had periods where I’ve wanted to run and couldn’t. I’ve had sick kids at home or I’ve been injured. I’ve also had periods where I haven’t been very motivated to get out–too hot, too cold, too sick, too lazy, too busy making up excuses. But no matter how much I was running, I’d flipped a mental switch and now considered myself A RUNNER. Maybe a lazy runner on some days, but a runner none the less.
Here’s how it all went down as of yesterday…
*I’ve run 1,001 miles. Which means I ran far enough to go from New York City to St. Louis!!! Yes, it was a long way to travel because I’ve been doing it since May 21, 2010. Whatever. Stopped to see the sights. But hey–technically I ran to my niece and nephew’s house. I find that mind blowing since I would normally take a plane there.
*I’ve run those miles across 221 runs.
*This also means I’ve spent almost 164:46:10 hours of the last 3 1/2 years running. Kinda cool.
*I’ve burned 100,060 calories running. Most of those were chocolate–I can not lie.
*My average pace was 9 minutes and 53 seconds for each mile. I’ve had many slower, but I’ve also had some much faster.
*Only 160.91 of those miles were on the stupid treadmill. Hate running indoors, so I only use it when I have to because of the weather.
*75% of my runs took place in the morning.
*My longest run was 12.08 miles.
*I’ve never officially run in a race.
*I may be a feedback junkie, what do you think? *grin*
Can you tell I was excited to smash this run???
And yes, I look like a bank robber because it was 27 degrees LOL!
Thanks for letting me hog the blog for a glory moment.
Any runners in the audience? Any potential runners? Anyone who’s fallen into a passion they hadn’t expected? How did you get there? What keeps you doing it? What’s your biggest milestone been so far? How are all my #NaNoWriMo friends doing? I’m racing towards the finish line and plan to hit the 50,000 word mark no matter what. Keep it up everyone!!!!
Also, I’m doing Turkey Day at my house this year, so I won’t be running on Thursday or blogging. I’ll catch you on the flip side of the tryptophan on December 3rd. WHAT???? DECEMBER??? How did that happen????
Have a fabulous holiday with your friends and family.