Monday, January 28, 2013

Ways to change part 2

Yesterday I talked about the first three ways I can change my life.  Reality check on today: it was mostly a fail on the exercise front.  However, we all get a new day and Tuesday will be a better day.  The three points I mentioned yesterday were : Take action TODAYSchedule your habits and do you really want it?   Truth is that my actions showed that I did not "really want" it enough today.  I remember waking up and still feeling sore from my 11 mile run convince myself that I needed another day off (I had Sunday off already at this point).  

The next point is 
4.  Schedule your day: Write a to-do list each evening before going to bed.  While you're sleeping your brain will prepare itself for the tasks the next morning and you will be ready to jump right into it first thing.  
- I did this at work.  Before I left today I made sure I had all my tasks scheduled.  I know that as I mentioned in point 2 that I must workout in the morning before work.  Get up at 4:30am and make sure I'm absolutely at the gym by 6am (I MUST leave by 5am, but I want to leave earlier so that I can get a longer workout accomplished BEFORE I get to work).  I work 40 miles away from home so I joined a  gym near work, in Shippensburg, so then I have a very short drive to work.

5.  Do not participate in negativity.  Every second you spend entertaining the negativity of others or participating in gossip is wasting precious time you could be using for positive activities.  When you feel yourself being sucked into the negative vibes, remove yourself and get back to work on your to-do list.
- I hear a LOT of negativity at work as I work in the substance abuse field as a counselor.  It is very hard to leave work at work, but it is a must for me.  I know that on particularly challenging days it is difficult for me to make it to the gym the next day.  I recognize that it is important for me to take care of my emotions not just with running, but also making sure all of my other needs are being met and that I'm having meaningful conversations with those who are important in my life.

6.  Be you.  Rather than confirming to those around you, focus on the strengths and abilities you bring to the table.  You are a worthwhile human being, don't mask that by acting like someone you are not.
- I think I do a decent job at this.  I most feel like myself when I am running with my team in training buddies and we are chatting and enjoying being together.  As time goes on I know I will want to work on this and to become more secure in who I am and not feel a need to impress anyone.

Ideas borrowed from 

My thought is that if I share them maybe I will think more about these points.  Many of them I'm already doing, but I figure if I go through this slowly that I will learn more about how to make significant change in my life.

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Ways to change pt 1 of many

I found this and I thought it would be helpful if I typed it out and put in my own thoughts.

101 Ways to Change your Life Compiled by Early to Rise Editor, Craig Ballantyne

Here are the first few reasons and I will continue to go through this list and share it with you.

1.     Take action TODAY. – “The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago.  The next best time is now.”  Don’t wait another second to get started on whatever it is you want to accomplish, today is the day to take action.
-       What this means for me:  The item I want to accomplish is to be more fit and to live a life of fitness rather that just run to compete in races.  My goal is to get up each morning Monday through Friday and go to the gym.  My desire is that this would be automatic as it is to go to work.
2.     Schedule your habits – by scheduling your day, including your habits you will take control of them, rather than letting them control you.  If you know what to expect each day, it will be much easier to handle obstacles as they arise.
a.     For me this means: Scheduling the next day before leaving work as best as I am able.  Scheduling my running/exercise before work rather than attempting to get it in after work.
3.     Do you really want it?  - When you decide you are ready to change, make sure you really want to loose those pounds or get out of debt, because unless you really want it, you will not be able to overcome the pitfalls and obstacles.  Motivation is the key to your success.
a.     For me this means: Yes I really want to be more fit and to have a lifestyle of fitness rather than just running races or just going through the motions of running on Saturdays.  I want to loose about 20 pounds (that will get me to about 175 pounds) and that will make me feel and be healthier.  No I’m not obsessed with this, but it sure would be nice to loose some weight.

Saturday, January 26, 2013

1.26.13 HACC 11 mile run

Today I had a difficult 11 mile run.  I started out at HACC and ran 5 miles before my TNT friends arrived for their 6 mile run.  My initial 5 mile run was uneventful.  The purpose of this run is to get the miles in, but not to worry too much about how fast I was going.  The second part of my run was the fun part.  I decided before the run started that I would try to run with at least one new TNT member.  I met two new participants.  I hope that I was able to motivate and let them know that "if I can do it they can as well." 

The most notable thing about the run the last 2 miles.  I only "needed" to do 9 miles today, but I had planned to do 11.  At about 9 miles I was starting to think about cutting the run short.  I wasn't physically feeling any pain or anything and I really didn't have any legitimate reason to stop.  Fortunately I was with my coach and we were able to walk for about a minute or so (maybe longer) and that gave me enough energy to finish the run.  I would not consider what I did "finishing strong," but I finished and I didn't give up on myself.

I am thankful for running and how it provides the strength to get through difficult times.  I'm also thankful for being able to finish the run today and not "give up."  I know that this run was difficult because of the weather, but I also know that getting to the gym only once this week didn't help.

Next week I plan to do 10 miles (I think) and I hope to run stronger than this week.

So what's my motivation to get out there on a very cold day like today? 
1.   Release the stress in my own life
2.  Running for those who can't (those with cancer or otherwise can't run).
3.  Running to show those who don't think that they can run (half or full marathons) that they really can if they pay the price of time, willingness to push and the patience to know when to back off.
4.  Since I knew I had people to run with it was easy to get out this afternoon.  I'm struggling with getting myself to the gym since no one really is watching whether or not I get there.  I want to make it so getting to the gym is a part of my routine where I don't need to even think about it, but I "just do it"
 and get it done.

I had a tough run this afternoon, but I'm thankful that I completed it.  I'm only about 6 weeks away from the Chambersburg Half Marathon and I know that it is important for me to do some hill work these next 4 weeks.

Sunday, January 20, 2013

Race report: Frozen Foot 2013 race 1

This is the second time that I've done the Frozen Foot series that starts and ends at Elizabethtown College.  This year I wanted to take it up several notches.  It is a 3 race series and by the end of it I had a goal of running the 5k in less than 30 minutes.  I thought I could do it today, but I wasn't sure because of the weather conditions.

Today was windy and I almost disregarded my goal of trying to get my PR of under 30 minutes.  However, I decided to do my best and see what would happen.  I had no idea that I was about to crush that goal by more than 3 minutes and run the entire race under 9 min/mi when my normal pace is a 10 min/mi.

I knew that I did not need a hat of any kind and I knew that even though it was windy I would get warm fairly quickly.  I realized about a mile in that that I had one too many layers, but that didn't impact me too much.  I did not wear any gloves either.  I did have my MCM jacket that I wore proudly :-).

I started out the first mile at 8:53.  This did not feel that hard and I felt like I was holding back.  That last statement seems crazy to me because I knew going into the race that if I ran at a 9:40 pace that I would accomplish my goal... I already had more than 40 seconds in the bank.  I then slowed down ever so slightly during mile 2 (which had slight "hills" - I like to think of them as ramps because they are nothing like the hills at Messiah College (AKA "Friends" as we like to call them).  Mile 2 I ran at a pace of 9:02 which was only slightly slower.  This was when I felt a little warmer, but I kept telling myself things like "I love hills," "I can do this," "I got this," "I'm going to crush my PR," "I feel good, I feel great," "I've run a marathon... this is easy."  I'm sure I told myself others and my mental chatter wasn't perfect, but it was very good for this race.  Mile 3 I ran faster than the other 2 miles at 8:48.  The coolest part about this is that I was not pushing hard at any point during this race.  I wasn't "comfortable" either, but I wasn't sprinting or doing anything foolish like trying to kick it into gear too soon.  Reality is I probably could have kicked it a little earlier, but I am SOOO happy with this race.  I had a specific person that I wanted to pass before the race was over and I did it at the end.  I passed at least 3-5 people right before the finish line.  I am amazed that this race went this well.  It just goes to show that as I'm working hard I'm getting faster.  I KNOW that I can get faster for those other two races.  Technically, I've already accomplished my initial goal for 5k's for 2013, but I'm going to raise the bar for the other races.  Not sure exactly what my goal will be, but I'll let you know before the race.

To make this PR even better I looked at my race time from last years race.  Jan 15, 2012 official time 33:37.2.  My unofficial time this year was 27:29.  Wow.... SIX whole minutes off my time last year.  I'm on cloud 9 right now.  I know I need to be reasonable with my goals for the rest of the year.  My most important goal is to get under 2 hours in the half marathon.  I know that I have what it takes... I just need to apply myself :-). 

Thanks for reading and remember that I run happy for those who can't run themselves. 

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Struggling with the gym in the AM

This post will be fairly short, but I had a few moments and I wanted to post some of my reflections about this past week.

1.  My motivation has been low this week, but it does not mean that it needs to stay that way.
2.  I will still accomplish my running and fitness goals for 4 workouts this week.
3.  I want more accountability on a daily basis for my workouts.  My plan is to get to the gym 4 of 5 days during the week.  I will do the treadmill twice and bike twice.  Having a choice whether I go to the gym has not worked for me.
4.  When I workout I feel amazing and to not forget that.
5.  Even if it's freezing outside I can still utilize the gym effectively.
6.  I have a 2 hour goal for the half marathon and even though I know I can run a half marathon it will still be a challenge to be accomplish that goal (not to forget this at 445am when I want to go back to bed).
7.  I need more accountability with this.  I'm thankful for what I have, but it's not enough at this point.
8.  Just do it!  As in point 3 I need to make it not an option and maybe even have a financial consequence if I don't go.  There is an app for that, but it only works with ios5 which I don't have for my ipod.

Tomorrow, I have the first race of the Frozen foot series.  I will post a race report here to update you on how this went.  My "A" goal is under 30 minutes.  My "B" goal is to beat my time from last year.

until next time... running happy for those who can't run!

Saturday, January 12, 2013

1/12/13 run

This week was week 1 of the 4 week challenge.  I completed it and I was able to be a little creative as well.  Tuesday morning I went to the gym for a treadmill workout.  Wednesday morning I slept in and had to be creative in the evening.  I decided that I would do 15 minutes of exercise with my daughter before Men's group and then use Wii Fit for the other 15 minutes once I arrived back from Men's group.  So the first 15 minutes is where I decided to run with Emma all around the house.  We'd go from the living room to the dinning room and go back and forth.  Then we ran up the stairs as well.  I also laid down and lifted her up in the air.  I think she had a great time... plus as an added bonus it made her tired :-).  So after that I kept doing the running around the house until Cindy came home and then we eat dinner.  Good times... and all that matters is that I was moving 30 minutes.  Obviously the gym is more difficult, but this was more fun and it fit in my schedule.  My philosophy for exercise has the long-term view that if I enjoy it then I'll do it.

Today, I decided that since the TNT run was going to start only about 5 miles from my house that I would run to the starting point and then run home (since I knew that was the route we were taking).  This worked really well except I did not start quite early enough, but fortunately I told my coach that this was what I was doing and he was able to pick me up after I ran about a 5k and take me to the start.  

Once we got to the start I was able to meet up with the rest of those TNT alumni that decided to run this morning.  I was able to run faster than my old normal today.  I had several miles that were under 10/minute miles.  Actually mile 3-8 were all 10:07 or faster... mile 7 and 8 were 9:17 and 9:37... I'm very pleased with this progress. 

I'm going to try some new things this week on the nutrition front so I'll let you know how that works :-)

My plans for next week include running the first 5K race in the Frozen Foot series at Etown College.  I did this last year to try to help motivate me to get out there and run.  I'm looking forward to it.  I have my times from last year that I believe if things line up I will be able to beat those times.  My goal for the 5K is to get under 30 minutes.

I will not be at the york run for TNT this week as I will be spending time with my buddies catching up with life.

Have a great week and remember to "run happy."

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Move for 30 minutes 4 days a week for 4 weeks

Somehow I was introduced to John Bigham and his 100 days challenge.  I'm not up for committing to do 100 days of exercise, but what I can commit to is moving for a least 30 minutes four days a week for four weeks.  This is my goal, but I haven't officially put it down on paper (or in my blog).

I have had an extremely hard time the past three weeks getting to the gym at all let alone 3 or 4 times.  Once I did 5 days in a row, but it's been hard since then.

Knowing that I have this extra level of accountability should help.  Speaking about accountability, I have had a few people offer to send me a text at around 5am to make sure I'm up and getting ready to leave.  This works for both of us because in order for them to send me a text they need to be up as well :-).  This has worked OK because our schedules don't always match.

Are you up at 5am for work?  or for the gym?  Let me know if you're open to send me a text a few days a week to help me accomplish these goals.

So what are my goals anyway?
- get under 30 minutes for an official 5k race (I'm very close)
- get under 2 hours in the Bird in Hand half marathon in September (this will be a stretch, but if I work hard this year).

This is not specifically related to running but I have started the process of writing a book that I hope will help at least one person.  I don't know if I'll ever make money from it, but I want to write about a tragedy that happened in my family and my response to it.  If you don't know what it is you can ask me when you run with me or you can wait for the book (or for future posts about it).  The reality is that this does not have anything to do with running except that through my running i will be able to accomplish this... without running this task is almost insurmountable.  Stay tuned for future updates.

Saturday, January 5, 2013

1.5.13 Negley Run

Today was my first official run for the New Year.  I did not make it to the gym or run outside this week until this morning.  There wasn't anything specifically organized so I decided to send an email to my TNT friends and a post on facebook.  We had a great group.  We saw several different groups out there either walking or running.

We met at City Island for loop of at least a 5 miles.  If someone wanted to go 7 then they would also run to Maclay and back.  If they were up for 9 miles then they would go to division and back in addition to the 5 mile loop.  I chose the 5 mile loop even though I had originally planed to do 9 miles.  Part of me felt like a slacker, but I was not feeling it and as I mentioned earlier I have not done much more than 3 miles for the last few weeks.  It probably would have caused me to hurt myself or just not enjoy it.  The point is that I am out there and that I run happy. 

I don't really make New Year's resolutions, but I do want to get a PR in both my 5K and half-marathon distances this year.  I also would like to get to the gym several times a week and make that automatic rather than it being such a struggle for me.  I'm still in process, but as I take "baby steps" and have accountability I plan to accomplish these goals.  I also think if I can officially register for the Chambersburg Half that it would give me the extra motivation.  Don't get me wrong I'm fully planning on doing this, but at this point I don't have any money on the line... which is a motivator.

At the end of my run I was talking about how not doing my runs this week has impacted me.  I KNOW this as I have experience this time and time again.  I know that my greatest stress relief is going for a run.  If I don't exercise I have more stress in my life.  This is a direct correlation.  Not necessarily a "cause and effect" but definitely a correlation.  If I run then I am generally a happier person and more productive worker and a more thoughtful husband/father.  Now, I just need to convince myself to get to bed earlier and get up when my alarm goes off.

I'm excited about a great year and that I won't allow anything to get in the way :-).

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

small steps

What small steps am I taking TODAY to achieve great things in my personal, professional and running life?