Do What You Fear!

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Now that I have returned to work, many of my blog posts begin on the football field sidelines.

I am sitting on the sidelines at my son’s football practice.  At 6:15 p.m., the current temp is 82 degrees.  I can still feel the sun on my back, but there’s a nice breeze. My tank is dry.  Unlike this afternoon…  After a brisk walk on the Atlantic City Boardwalk, I returned to the jury room with horizontal water stains lining the front and back of my tank top.

I am trying to constructively work through frustration this afternoon.   Jury Duty caused me to miss CrossFit today.  Once I realized I was going to miss the class, I hurried to Sports Authority to buy a new pair of Asics Gel Nimbus.   I really need a new pair.

My running sneaks were worn down more than I realized. The hint? An aching hip. After closely examining them, I realized they are badly worn on the outer heals of both sneaks. Running in worn sneakers is the worst thing you can do, at least if you’re over 40.

I found my sneaks, but they didn’t have my size. I was disappointed.  However, a friendly sales clerk saved me a few dollars and ordered them online for me.   I pray they are delivered to my home by Saturday morning.  I desperately NEED a long run.

Last Saturday, with two beautiful women supporting me, I conquered the bridge!!!!  And you know what? I stressed for nothing!!

The night before my walk, I tossed and turned a bit before falling to sleep. The morning before the walk, my nerves ran me to the bathroom several times.  I probably lost a pound or two before walking. LOL!

My fears were counterproductive.  In my mind, I knew that my fear of heights would paralyze me.  I was confident that my fear would overwhelm my spirit and possess me to grip the railings while sobbing all the way across the bridge.  I even thought I might even end up crawling to the other side.

Well…

I was incredibly wrong about crossing the OC bridge.  No crying.  No gripping the rails.  No heart palpitations.  Nothing whatsoever!!

My walk across the bridge was peaceful, pleasant, and breathtaking!  I am sorry that I haven’t walk the bridge sooner.  It was built with pedestrians in mind.

The bridge’s walkway is wide enough for at least four people to hold hands and stroll across.  At 8:00 a.m., the bridge had a steady flow of friendly walkers, runners, and bicyclist.

After the first quarter mile, I was relaxed and began to really enjoy the morning sun, the calm bay, and the great conversation.  I began to appreciate the beauty and the blessing of being on the bridge.

A visitor’s center and fishing pier is located half-way across the bridge. This is also where the urge to RUN set in.  I was dumbfounded that I was afraid of this beautiful and serene like place.

The state estimates that “during peak season, over 40,000 cars pass through each day,”  but somehow the sound of the roaring engines, and perhaps the elevation of the bridge faded deeply into the background.

I am grateful to my friends Nicole and Tara for making Saturday happen.  We walked across and back; five (5) miles total!  Thank you!!

I will be running this bridge in the very near future.

Do what you fear and fear disappears.

David Joseph Schwartz

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This picture was taken as we approached the bridge. Yes, I was still nervous!

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This picture was taken about a quarter-mile into our walk. This is not the highest point of the bridge.

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I was encouraged by my friend Nicole to take this picture as proof that I crossed the bridge. LOL!

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The Longest 1.6 Ever!

“Success seems to be connected with action. Successful people keep moving. They make mistakes, but they don’t quit.” ~ Conrad Hilton


TODAY’S STATS
:

Distance:     10:01 miles
Duration:     1:49:40
Pace:             10:57 min/miles
Calories:       1398

“Come on girl!  You’ve never been a quitter!  Don’t quit now!  Come on… get your a** in gear!!!”  Someone around 8.4 miles, my hamstrings and quadriceps felt weighted.  Those muscles felt like five pounds of weights were strapped to my thighs with heavy electrical tape.  The goal for today was 10 miles.  Typically 10 miles is cake for me, but I think running in the unexpected heat took a toll on my body. While I was well hydrated, the last time I ran in 85+ temps was probably Fall 2012.  I don’t know about other runners, but my body has to become conditioned and acclimated to the summer temps. In Jersey, we’ve gone from 70ish spring like weather to a four-day 90 degree heat wave.

I had to talk.. more like yell at myself to keep going.  I swear there’s a beastly coach residing within me. She appears only when I am on the verge of quitting.  Her harsh and demonic like voice forces me to push myself beyond, what I think is my breaking point, to keep moving.  I stopped briefly only to take swags of water from my bottle or to douse my body with ice-cold water from neighbors sparsely running sprinklers.  Still the remaining 1.6 seemed like another eight miles down the road.  Mistakenly I listed to my MapMyRun voice update every .3 miles, which made the remaining distance feel even longer.   That was not smart.  Finally I did a quick body check:

Do my knees hurt?  No.  Cramps?  No.  Feel dizzy?  No.  Chest pains?  No.  Do I feel pain…anywhere?  No.  Then keep moving and stop looking for an excuse to stop!

The desire to quit is internal.  If we are not careful, external forces such as negative energy from those around us can trick us into giving up.  Just as Conrad Hilton affirms , Successful people keep moving.  They make mistakes, but they don’t quit. So there you have it…

Keep it movin and have a great weekend!


First Run in 2013

I have come to believe
that caring for myself is
 not-self indulgent.
Caring for myself is an act of survival.
Audre Lorde

Finally!!!   Today I completed my first run of 2013!   According to my MayMyRun application, my last run was on Thanksgiving last year.   My son would put me in the chair-of-shame!  Lol!!  The urge to run never left.  Procrastination, time, and the holiday season simply got in the way.  I’m not making excuses, because I love running, but once time permitted, the weather did not.  Okay, so enough with the excuses.

 

Distance:     7.41 Miles
Time:             1:13:50
Pace:             9:58 Min./Mil.
Calories:      1010

 

The past week my body has tried to fight off this nasty flu that has so many people sick.  Wednesday my body ached. An old fashion dose of warmed Cabernet and sugar (brown) did my body well.  I woke Thursday morning feeling refreshed.

Thursday… no aches, but later in the day a slight cough started and the throat tickled.  I repeated Wednesday nights treatment.  Friday afternoon (yesterday) the sniffles and occasional sneeze set in.  Last night I conceded and took official cold medicine.

Other then the sniffles, I felt half decent.  The temps were mild, for January, so I set out to run.  I ate so many oranges this week, my skin should have an orange undertone.  Lol!

Anyway.  Before running this morning, I knew that I need some good fuel.  I wasn’t hungry so I made a fabulous smoothie using a recipe I found on Pinterest on Dr. Patel’s Diet page.

 

Kiwi, mango, pineapple, banana, spinach, avacado, flax seed, water, and ice, all waiting to be blended!

Kiwi, mango, pineapple, banana, spinach, avocado, flax-seed, water, and ice, all waiting to be blended!

I filled up two very tall beer glasses with this delightful recipe!  Hubby and I enjoyed!

I filled up two very tall beer glasses with this delightful recipe! Hubby and I enjoyed!

This smoothie was refreshing!  I did not reveal the ingredients to hubby until he tasted and approved the drink.  Ha! Ha!  That’s the only way to get folks to try something “healthy.”  Anyway, the smoothie was packed with nutrients and provided the necessary fuel for my run.

I set out to run for an hour.  Given my two-month lapse in running, I figured I would complete 5 – 6 miles.  Although the temps were warmer than normal, there was still a bite in the air at 11:30 a.m.  But I settled into my run nicely.

No goals this morning…  I didn’t care about time, distance, or pace, I simply wanted to marvel at running outside and breathing in the crisp, cold, January fresh air.  I know the fresh air and the exercise would ultimately help my body.

Todays run was perfect and I look forward to another run tomorrow.  Sunday’s temps are forecasted at 56 degrees, which makes for out-door running.

I am a little stuffy now, but overall I feel well.  Tonight before bed I’ll take a cold remedy.  All I want to do is survive this nasty flu season.

Since it is near bed time… sweet dreams!


Have you exposed yourself to your deepest fear?

“Expose yourself to your deepest fear; after that, fear has no power, and the fear of freedom shrinks and vanishes.  You are free.”        -Jim Morrrison

Yesterday’s Stats (10/13/12)

Distance:    8.35 miles
Duration:    1:15;54
Pace:          9:05 Min/Mil (Average) –  5:19 Min/Mil (Max)
Calories:     1170

Arg!!   Grr!!  Immediately after I stopped running, I checked my stats.  I was off 6 seconds from breaking the 9-minute mile pace!  Honestly, this irks the mess out of me!  I know exactly where I blew the 6 seconds.  When I realized my pace was off, I wanted to turn around, walk down my driveway, and start run the route again.  I stood on the front porch loudly grumbling.

While running last weekend, I was frightened by a neighbor’s dog.  This dog is never allowed to roam the yard.   I always hear his bark from behind a wooden fence, but thankfully, until today, I have never seen the beast.

I knew I was in trouble when I came around the corner and the dog was using his hind legs, to ferociously kick dirt on his waste.  He scared the crap out of me.  I made the quickest U-Turn possible… heart pumping double time and all.

I’ve run twice since that day.  While I like my route that runs past this house, intense fear of being bitten by the dog has prevented me twice now from passing the house.

During my run I asked myself what else is FEAR preventing me from accomplishing.  I realize that a little fear keeps me from getting my best time.  Sounds crazy?

What’s my biggest fear? Dropping dead during or after an intense run from heart failure! Simply pushing myself too hard. Yeah, I’m fit.  I get a annual physical, but still.  We’ve all read or heard  stories of how top athletes have died after completing a marathon run or some other intense workout.

So today, I asked myself.  “Okay… so what if I died during or after a run?”

It would certainly be better than dyeing hooked up to tubes and breathing equipment squeezing out my last few breaths of life.   Heck, at least I would have checked out while doing something that I love and am extremely passionate about.  The fact is when our time is up, we can’t do a darn thing about it, and so as long as I’m taking care of myself and making smart decisions, my life is in God’s hands.

I didn’t spend a lot of time thinking about this fear. The tought was random. I did think about it long enough to inspire me to run harder today.  I ran harder, and it showed in my time.   Heeeey, I’m siked!


I run because it’s so symbolic of life

“I run because it’s so symbolic of life. You have to drive yourself to overcome the obstacles. You might feel that you can’t. But then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.”
–Arthur Blank

Today’s run…

7.51 Miles
1:12:22
9.37 Minute/Miles (Average)
5:54 Minute/Miles (Max)
780 Calories burned

Somewhere around mile five (5) or so, the rain continues; it has not stopped.  My ear buds are wet and continue to fall out of my ears.  Jill (Scott) bellows, “I’m magnificent” and I agree.  I feel free.  I’m wet but it doesn’t matter.  I don’t care.  I don’t care that my natural hair is drenched, I don’t care that my new sneaks are wet, and I certainly don’t give a damn that it’s 50 some degrees outside.  My heart beats at a steady velocity.

Closing my eyes, while moving forward I consume a huge batch of cool damp, yet refreshing air.  My lungs and my body approve.  Another favorite song blares in my ear.  Oh, this feels so good! I am so happy that I could literally shed tears of joy.  It is so hard to explain.  I am engrossed in an intoxicating moment.  Nothing matters.  Physically I feel boundless.  Spiritually I am blessed.  I cannot think of a single reason to complain.  The drama of an earlier week is miles behind me.

The previous week had been one of extreme highs and lows —all relative to parenting.

Committed and active parents recognize crucial and defining moments; times when the most painful and the most difficult decisions are made, all for the benefit of our children.

It is easier to “talk-the-talk” than it is to “walk-the-walk.  A critical juncture presented itself.  Hubby and I discussed the issue and made an extremely difficult but necessary parental decision.   Carrying out the decision took me to an ultimate low place where I never envisioned for myself.  Afterwards, I meditated. I prayed.

As parents, we would like to believe that 18+ years of sacrifice, good teaching, and committed parenting will result in young adults who make smart choices.  Not true. Our children stumble and make bad choices, as we once (and sometimes still do) did. Nevertheless, we are there for them and continue to guide and to support them.

However, there are moments when tough love is the best and only medicine to administer.  Tough love is painful for both parents and our children–We both learn from this experience.  This I know.

That same week, I experienced a supreme high.  My nine-year –old, who is the fastest player on his Pee Wee football team, scored his first official touchdown.  The touchdown came as a result of his intercepting an offensive pass.

Once I realized that he had possession of the ball, I was content.  I knew that no one could catch him.  He sprinted 30-40 yards hugging the football as if the ball was his Sony DSI game and a playmate was trying to steal it.  Although he is outrageously fast, the coaches rarely give him the ball to carry (that’s another story), but he was ready for the opportunity and convincingly delivered.

I don’t know which was best… the joy on my son’s face as he bumped chests of a teammate in the end one or my hubby’s elation as he literally jumped, screamed, and punched the air in excitement.   His team won the game, which made the touchdown all the better.

Runners experience similar highs and lows.  Highs—when we are healthy, strong, and meet or exceed our personal goals; Lows—when we’re injured, wounded, experience setbacks, or simply have bad days,

“…but then you find your inner strength, and realize you’re capable of so much more than you thought.”

The sentiment is true.  Regardless if you’re running, trying to make it through a tough day with the family, dealing with a challenging week at work or experiencing a problem in another area of your life, seek out your inner strength because you are capable of getting through the difficult time. This you must believe.


When everything feels especially good

“Me thinks that the moment my legs began to move, my thoughts began to flow.”
– Henry David Thoreau

Today’s workout of the day was a run

Distance:  12:00 miles
Duration:  2:03:03
Pace:        10:15 min/miles
Calories:  1206

Most distance runners will agree that once the body is physically warmed up, they get into a zone.  The zone is place where you forget about your distance goal for the day.  You stop thinking about your stride, your pace, and your mind freely wanders to unexpected pleasantries. Even if the mind is preoccupied by a legitimate pressing issue, the zone gently and magically thrusts the thoughts elsewhere deep into the brain.

When I’m in my zone, I feel like I am gliding through the air and everything feels especially good.

This morning I unknowingly startled a ginormous but beautiful black curly-haired dog.  He viciously barked and lunged at me, making serious attempts to get away from his owner.  A tight grip by his owner, kept the large beastly one from getting to me.

The incident abruptly took me right out of my zone.  My heart raced harder than any other parts of my run.  Stricken with fear for a moment or two, I felt flushed.  Several deep breaths calmed me.  But still, it took me about a half mile or so to get back into my zone.

“Come on girl!  Don’t let that darn dog mess you up! Relax!”  I said this to myself aloud several times.  I had to force myself to focus because I was wondering about other dogs that might come long this morning.

As I continued my run, I realized that although maybe not the exact scenario, but events occur during our workday or week that sometimes get us off track and cause us to lose focus. That loss of focus can lead to even greater distractions for longer periods of time. Hence, getting off track in our professional or personal lives, and not understanding the what’s or the why’s that occurred which put us in an unhappy place.

I am easily distracted.  The awareness helps me to overcome the challenge.  The awareness also motivates me to take preventive measures so that I can carry out goals and tasks.  Do I get it right all the time?  Nope, but I am work in progress for sure.

This is an example of one of the situations where an idea comes to mind while running and I try to apply it to other aspects of my life.

My run was fabulous this morning.  Initially I did not have a distance in mind.  About five miles into the run, I thought, “I should run this route twice today!”  So I did and it totaled 12 miles!!  Yay!!

Remember to Keep it movin and have a wonderful holiday weekend!