Friday, April 23, 2010

Running with a purpose

I'm running with a purpose now, no longer lost in my dabbling world of a 3 mile run here and there. I have a plan and, though I may deviate from the plan, there are a lot of goals in that thing! First off on the summer of racing (as I'm calling it starting right now) is a 5k on May 15 near my hometown. This will be my first official 5k. Then, I'm looking for another 5k to run in June. After that, I'm registered for the Bix7 in Davenport, IA, and then a 10k in September followed (hopefully) by my 1/2 marathon in Des Moines.

I know that I may not reach all of these goals. I will have to see, as the summer progresses, what I can and cannot do. I don't think the 10k or the Bix7 are out of reach, I've run right over 6 miles already, but as I'm building some mileage in the progressively warmer weather it's more of a chore! Put allergies on top of that and while I'm careful, a couple of my runs have not been the fun I remember from just a few short weeks ago. I'm hoping that being back on a steady plan and making sure I get my miles in for the week will have me back in form in no time.

I have a dream of running the IMT half marathon in Des Monies in October, but I may have to wait until next year to fulfill that dream if my running goes slower than expected. I have a good base, I have more than enough time to take my time with building my mileage. I have rest periods and lower-mileage weeks planned in, but, as I learned with what was supposed to be my first 5k, things don't always go as planned.

I hope that this summer I'll get to run all the races I want, but I know that even if I don't it will truly be a success. Heck, running my first 5k is a huge success in itself! There are goals that I will meet, goals that I will surpass, and goals I may fall a little short of, but I'm trying. I'm out there giving my all and by doing that I know I cannot fail!

Wednesday, April 14, 2010

Tired and renewed

Today I feel wiped out. I'm tired, though not cranky, thank goodness and I just don't know what to do with my time. Not at work, I'm almost always busy with work, but the rest of my time. I run, which I enjoy. I spend time with the SO, which I definitely enjoy, but at the same time there is not a lot of meaning in the rest of the hours that fill my day.

I feel like I am on the brink of an exciting discovery, that what awaits me tomorrow or the next day is amazing and anything is within my grasp. This feeling both scares and excites me. What if I am capable of anything? What if anything I choose for my life can happen? Whenever I feel this way (some psychologists label it 'manic' I believe) I think of one of my favorite quotes:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness, that frightens us most. We ask ourselves, 'Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, and famous?' Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There is nothing enlightened about shrinking so that people won't feel insecure around you. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in all of us. And when we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we are liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."
~ Maryanne Williamson

We are capable of amazing things. Our accomplishments probably would surprise us if we really put our minds to something, but, like many people out there, I continuously sell myself short. I can't run a half-marathon. Well I can and I will. I can't take on more at my job. Well, guess what, I can and I will. The work, the achievement, knowing I can do more than I ever set out to do pushes me, drives me forward. I can't lose ten more pounds. I can. And I will. Life is about choices for me. If I choose to do something then more often than not there is a way. There are excuses, there will be stumbling blocks and the going may be slower than I ever intended, but I can do it. And so can you.

Monday, April 12, 2010

Legs and The Skirt

We all have parts of our bodies we're not overly fond of. Mine: my legs. I love my eyes, I think my smile is friendly and I'm working on that belly of mine, but my legs? Not a fan. I honestly have not worn shorts out in public since high school. I have not worn a skirt that comes up to my knee in at least three years.

How sad is that? My legs get me where I need to go. They've carried me two hundred miles on runs in the last nine months. They've carried me everywhere I've needed to go for the last 26 (coming up on 27) years and, other than a torn ligament from basketball in the 8th grade and some sprained ankles from my own clumsiness, they've been very good to me. I've decided to embrace these legs of mine, faults and all. To best show off my legs, and to best show off some curves I'm also coming to embrace, I found a pencil skirt I love. I found it at Lane Bryant (they no longer have it, I checked) and I love the way it makes me feel and I love the way it looks.

I put on this skirt this morning and almost talked myself out of wearing it. I almost didn't let myself enjoy the newness, the freshness, and the exhilarating feeling of wearing this skirt. At work, people noticed. They definitely noticed and I got compliments left and right. I'm pretty sure this skirt is going to get worn again, along with another one I picked up at Old Navy while my family was here last weekend. Skirts, here I come. Shorts, you may not be far behind!

Thursday, April 1, 2010

The importance of thank you

Sometimes my life seems to be out of control. Other times it's stuck in a rut and nothing I do seems to shake it around. But no matter how my life is going, no matter how busy or bored or crazy I get, my family and friends stick around. I take them for granted. I assume that they'll always be there. Some people say you treat your family members and those who care about you worse than you would treat anyone else. How true that is and how sad.

It's terrible that those we love the most tend to be the first to get pushed aside. It's sad that we'd rather put on a happy face for people who don't even know us and don't give us a second thought and then get so stressed out, sometimes because of this wonderful facade, that when we walk through the door at home we can't even great our significant other or child or friend with a smile. How easily we forget how they comforted us with a hug, a caress or a helping hand when we were hurting. We shove aside the little things they do. A note on the mirror. Clearing away supper dishes. Picking up a treat, all just because. Sometimes, the easiest and most rewarding thing you can do for someone you love is to say thank you.

I learned that from my significant other. I barely noticed it when we started dating. But two words kept coming up. After a while I couldn't ignore it anymore and I had to start appreciating it. He says thank you. Thank you when I give him a five-second foot rub. Thank you when I unexpectedly give him a hug. Thank you sometimes when I just smile at him for no reason. Those two words can calm my soul. They can turn a bad day into a good day. They make me feel appreciated, respected and loved. And they make me want to give more to him, to make him happy and to make him feel the same way he makes me feel. He doesn't do this just for me. I see him say thank you to his father. To a server at a restaurant, to a friend and to a stranger. It's a measure of respect. And it's slowly becoming lost in society.

We may fight, we may blow up at each other (or I may blow up) over small and insignificant things. But I can't describe how amazing it makes me feel to hear two simple words, unsolicited, sometimes unwarranted, in my day-to-day life. It makes me realize that some things should never be taken for granted, no matter how much I love someone. If he clears my plate at supper every night for ten years it doesn't mean that he deserves a thank you any less. If he gives me a kiss when he comes home from work for 365 days straight it still matters. It makes me remember that I love him. It makes me appreciate other people more because I notice some small things they do. It makes me a better person, just by saying thank you.