Motivation Monday

“What distinguishes those of us at the starting line from those of us on the couch is that we learn through running to take what the days gives us, what our body will allow us, and what our will can tolerate.”

 -John Bingham, running writer and speaker

Biting off more than I can chew…

“The hard worker.” That’s what my dad called me when I was growing up. Looking back, I see that I have a long history of biting off more than I can chew. I don’t know why I lack the ability to say “no,” but it’s bitten me in the tush this time. I swear, it doesn’t happen all at once.  It’s like the old saying – put a frog in a pot of boiling water and he’ll jump out, put him in a pot of regular water and slowly let it come to a boil and he will cook.  I’m cooking now.

It started off innocently enough with taking a labor-intensive board position with my running club as the volunteer director. The individual I was replacing made it look really easy, but it’s turning into an almost full-time job to keep up with the rigorous schedule.  Post the link for volunteers for the race in four weeks, constant drumming up of volunteers for water stops, last minute assignment of volunteers, Friday Night Load-In, race day, hold a drawing for volunteer prizes, send out thank you emails, follow up to make sure they are received, prepare the expense report, go to the board meeting, drum up volunteers for Shoreline SpruceUp, darn it – forgot to post the link to the next race for sign ups, drum up volunteers… see, this is a vicious cycle. I was pretty much getting the hang of it all and starting to really do well – calendar

But I couldn’t leave well enough alone. The high school band needs help? Sure, I’ll help.  Offering to help out on occasion somehow led to me being the treasurer of the band boosters.  Dang! That’s a big job, too! Learn Quickbooks on the fly, process payments as they are received, drum up ideas to fundraise because we can’t collect activity fees from most of the kids, beg, plead, start over. Quickly run this report that you can’t figure out.  Yet another vicious cycle of silliness that I have gotten myself into.

“But wait – there’s more!”  Let’s continue training for a marathon!

And to top it all off, let’s have the 16-year-old FINALLY ask for help with school.  I spent three nights this week working on homework and teaching him how to study for an AP test til after 11pm.  I LOVE the fact that he came to me and I am so happy to help him, but I am so phenomenally behind in everything I have committed to.  I feel like I am in a reactionary hamster wheel.  Marathon training is still hanging on by a thread.  Surprisingly, I have kept up with the runs, but started slacking on strength training because of my work obligations (also affectionately called, New York doesn’t respect my lunch hour and thinks it is perfectly acceptable to schedule every meeting between 11 and 2).

I know these days because I have lived them before, each time swearing I wouldn’t get myself into this mess again.  These are the days that we get late notices for the utilities, not because we don’t have the money to pay them, but because I forgot to pay them and I look up and realize a WHOLE MONTH has passed since I paid bills last. So, I bought a planner a couple of months ago to try to keep everything straight.  So far, it’s been OK.  Not great, but it’s sort of starting to work.  The thing I can’t get away from is my “to do” lists.  I finally realized yesterday that the to do list was merely me keeping track of all the stuff that was slipping through the cracks rather than letting me live in my deluded little world that everything is roses and unicorns.

There isn’t an option for me to get out of this mess I am in, other than letting it run its course and holding on for dear life. Last night, I stayed home and did not go to the high school football game to watch the boy perform. I spent the entire evening catching up on a month’s worth of administrative crap. I also went to get a much-needed pedicure. It’s amazing how much work you can get done on a laptop in a nail salon. Do I want a manicure too? I have a laptop and a bag full of stuff I think I’m getting done, does it look like I can do without my hands for an hour?

  Does anyone else do this? How do you learn to moderate the crazy?  What are your tricks for getting it all done?

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My first training run back after injury

145 days til race day!!

The aggressive physical therapy paid off!!!  I allowed my PT to do all sorts of unspeakable things to me like dry needling (who thought of that???) and exercises I hated, but sucking it up and doing what I had to do allowed me to successfully join my training group for the first run of the season!  I took the run pretty easy and enjoyed just being there with my running buddies and made some new ones and I was rewarded with that crazy tired, can’t-keep-my-eyes-open-another-minute afternoon nap.  I was most surprised that I felt like I had been beaten with a baseball ball all along my back and butt.  I guess that’s what happens when you change your running form and quit relying 100% on your quads to do all the work.  Luckily, the soreness was gone the next morning.

Fitivity’s Marathon Strength and Conditioning App

I’ve struggled with injuries for six months now with my running and it’s been traced back, thanks to a phenomenal physical therapist, to a musculature imbalance between my quads and my glutes/hamstrings. fitivityWhile researching exercises that I could complete, I found an app for my iPhone called Fitivity Maraton Strength and Conditioning.  It gives you a 30-45 minute workout two days per week and shows you how to do the exercises.  It didn’t cost anything up front, but there is an in-app purchase of maybe $10 when I get about 13 weeks in to unlock the higher levels.  I’m pretty fortunate in that my office building has a small gym available to me for free as a tenant.  It’s certainly serviceable with treadmills, ellipticals, stationary bikes, stability balls and dumbbells.  I decided to throw caution to the wind and give the app a go.

This week I did the workouts for level 1, week 1 and I’ve been really happy with it.  I wouldn’t go so far as to say that I notice muscles poking out from the fat, but I feel like I am already stronger.  The workouts are as tough as you choose to make them by using a different weight.  Even better is that you can complete the entire workout in 30 minutes, so it’s perfect for lunchtime.  I’m pretty sure I looked like an idiot doing exercises that most people would see as easy, but I can assure you that they weren’t easy and I need to get over it.  Besides, I have a rockin’ PR I am shooting for in December and if this is what it’s going to take to get me there, you’re dog gone right I’m doing it! 

That New Season Smell…

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No, it’s not the smell of a crazy humid July day in Texas, it’s the smell of a new training season.  I just received my training plan for the fall marathon season and I’m positively giddy.  Only twice a year do I get to experience this excitement.  Like the smell of a new car or the feel of the shiny new binder for a brand-new school year, the new training plan lets you start over.  A clean slate.  The promise of a PR is right there for the taking.  You aren’t trying to catch up from missing runs.  We are all on “Day 1.”

I’m literally chomping at the bit to write all of my runs into my calendar and get to work.  I was only cleared to run by my orthopedist a week ago, so this day is particularly sweet.  I can’t wait to get out there on Saturday for the first group training run with my running friends.  May we all have a stellar season… 🙂