Saturday, November 29, 2008

One week to Jingle Bell Run!

I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving! Ours was hilarious thanks to the turkey catching on fire, but it was tender and juicy on the inside so the meal was complete and delicious :-)

My 5K Jingle Bell run is sneaking up on me fast! Thanks to an infection and nasty antibiotics, I haven't run much lately, but I did get out for a good 5K run today and finished in 35 minutes so I'm hoping race day adrenaline will kick in and give me a new PR. I just hope the weather is good, I'm not keen on running in a freezing rain, but I will if that is what we get.

Other than running, I've been good about cardio and I'm also finally lifting weights again. It is pretty pitiful though, I can only bench press 45lbs. for 3 sets of 6, LOL. My upper body needs a lot of work and I really want to increase, or at least hold on to, my bone density. I'm also fighting my toes lately. They seem to want to take off in different directions and are waking me up 2 or 3 times a night. At least they don't bother me while I'm running! I'm thinking poor circulation may be the culprit as I've tried every dietary change I can think of, bananas, V-8, calcium, magnesium.......I'll find something eventually.

So my Jingle Bell goal is still 30 minutes and I'm determined to do it!

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Excuses give you nothing but more excuses

If we all did the things we are capable of, we would astound ourselves.

**Thomas Edison**

Doubt and fear of failure, isn't that the biggest obstacle we all face? Learning to ignore the doubts and fears is probably the biggest single factor in becoming a runner. "I'll look like an idiot running, it is too hard for me, I wouldn't ever win a race, I might get hurt, I might get attacked, I can't run another mile, I could never run for an hour, 2 hours, 3 hours...." Learning to turn that voice around and make it nag you in the opposite direction is the key, "No one cares what I look like running, It will get easier, winning isn't the point, I can protect myself in many ways, I can run one more mile, I can run for an hour, 2 hours, 3 hours..." My friend Jeri, who started running in her late 40's after over 2 decades of battling RA, keeps this quote on her web page, "She woke up one morning and threw away all her excuses" We are all capable of SO much, we just have to stop limiting ourselves by listening to the negative voices in our heads, and the naysayers in our lives.

I've been tagged!
7 random facts about me:

- I'm a 4th generation Californian.

- My favorite food is coffee, but I can only drink one cup a day.

- I was a Navy Corpsman for 8 years.

- My husband and I were engaged after 2 1/2 weeks of dating, (I turned him down for dates for 2 months because I knew if I went out with him, I'd marry him. March 19th will be our 20th anniversary, and I'd do it all over again.)

- I was a Boy Scout for 4 years.

- I've crossed the Catalina Channel from Long Beach to Catalina Island in a 12 foot inflatable Zodiac, and lived to tell about it.

- I met my best and dearest friend walking to kindergarten, 34 years ago.
...."Any homie who is interested, consider yourselves tagged."

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Giving life by living life

Every day that I get out and run, or otherwise work out, sends a message to my children. When I don't want to workout, feel lazy, or am busy, it sends and even stronger message about what kind of things should take priority in life. It is a weighty responsibility. So much of their future depends on the example I set with what I DO not just what I SAY. Becuase of this, I'm honest with my kids. Some days I whine all the way out the door about not wanting to run or exercise, because we all have days when we do what we should instead of what we want, but I make sure they know why I go anyway and how much better I feel for having gone.
For this same reason, I know I have to reach and take chances. Soon I will register for my next race. I haven't decided yet if it will be a half marathon, or a three race series, (6k, 7K, 8K,) but either way I will be showing my kids that it is worth taking chances to push yourself to new limits. Maybe I won't be able to meet the challenge, maybe something else will happen to keep me from training or running the race, maybe I should just give up. Then I think about the message that would send to my kids, and to my own psyche, and I push forward again.
This is what I want my kids see when they look at me; a fighter, someone that doesn't give up, somone that may have to take a step back from time to time, but who will raise to the challenge again as soon as she can fight her way back to the starting point. I've asked them about what they remember as kids, specifically if they remember when Mommy was so sick. Amazingly, they have no recolection. My little one does not remember me falling asleep while she played Barbies next to me in bed because I was too sick to get up. My older one does not remember having to help me get dressed it the morning before dressing herself for school, or having to give up her favored ponytail for a while because mom couldn't manage a rubber band. So many things broke my heart at the time because I thought they were missing out on a whole mommy, and that it would leave them feeling deprived forever. I was so wrong. They don't remember it, but it gave them compassion and independance that I'm sure they would not have learned as well if I hadn't been through such a rough patch.
Many children have parents with dissabilities or challenges, but it isn't what you actually do each day that matters, it is your attitude as you go about your day. If you live life as fully as possible, they will learn to live life too. If you give up and let life pass you by, the first time they hit a bump in the road, they will follow your example.

Nothing has a stronger influence psychologically on their environment and especially on their children than the unlived life of the parent. **Carl Gustav Jung**

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Are you willing to crawl?

"It is not whether you're willing to take the next step in life to achieve your goals, but rather, are you willing to crawl?" **Brian Aanestad**

I want to take a moment to thank everyone that reads and comments on my blog. It means the world to me! When I'm feeling defeated, or lazy, you lift my spirits and remind me that life is better when you push the envelope. The people that support and feed your successes, and celebrate with you, are the best ones to surround yourself with!

I have to admit that I over did it with the 5 mile trail run . It is okay though, over did it still means DID IT! No injuries, just over tired, so I've taken it easy this week and hung out on the cardio eqpt. and will be ready to run tomorrow when the weather clears. I'm really looking forward to it! I have 4 weeks left before my 5K. 4 weeks to increase speed, build strength, and hopefully pull down a nice new PR!

Saturday, November 1, 2008

A New Direction

Limitations live only in our minds. But if we use our imaginations, our possibilities become limitless. - Jamie Paolinetti

So much of running is in your head. You have to believe you can meet your goal, get out there and do it, and not let doubt hold you back. The first time I ran a 5K, I had been running for about 3 months and had only worked up to running about 1 1/2 miles before needing to walk. I knew I needed a race to get me going so I signed up to run 5 kilometers in the August heat of Virginia, one week after getting off the plane moving home from Germany. Obviously I had lost my mind! My running stunk the week before the race, jet lag, sleeplessness, oppressive heat, and house hunting, were all conspiring against me. Fortunately, the morning of the run was shockingly cool and we were running through trees in the early morning. As I started the run I was immediately left in the dust by about 99% of the other runners, I thought, "Okay, I'll run for 1.5 miles and then take a walking break." As I approached that mark, I thought, "Well, I'm feeling good, not out of breath, I'll keep going to 2 miles." Every half mile I had the same conversation with myself until I suddenly realized 5K was within reach. I started thinking about how cool it would be to tell my family, who was waiting at the finish line, that I had run the whole thing, and that thought kept me going. I crossed the finish line in 33:43 , I was over the moon and hooked on racing. After that I knew I could run for 3 miles and no longer had an excuse to quit after 1.5 or 2 or 2.5. From then on adding miles was easier and I did, working all the way up to 7.5 before I had surgery.
Now I'm focused on getting back to that 7.5 miles. Again, the first few miles have been killer. I started October struggling to knock out 2 miles, stretched it to 3, took it back to 2 with extra speed, then back to 3, but I couldn't seem to break out. I guess I just needed a new month because I've celebrated November with a 5.3 mile trail run on my favorite route, the Nolan Trail. My Garmin beeped 5 miles well under an hour and I finished the 5.3 in 1 hour, 1 minute, and 42 seconds! Next time it will be faster! I have 2 more months until my birthday and I'm determined my gift to me will be to match that 7.5 mile run from nearly a year ago. I will, because I know I can!
Dealing with RA is no different. If you give in to the pain, it will take over and drain away all you will to move. It will convince you that you may be able to get through the required motions of the day, but that you can't possibly do more. The most important and hardest step is to decide to make moving and exercise, however basic, a top priority in life. You have to make it the first thing you do, and amazingly, the other things will still get done. Learning to overcome RA is what taught me to overcome many of my doubts, fears, and self-imposed limitations. Since being diagnosed with RA, I've finished my BA, home schooled, moved 3 times, traveled, camped, learned to run, discovered new hobbies, and held down the fort while my husband went off to fight a war. Despite the pain and endless shots, I truly believe RA has given me more than it has taken away. Someone said to me recently, "I pray God heals you." It is a nice thought, and I would surely be grateful, but I don't consider it a curse, merely a redirection.