Tuesday, February 19, 2013

Three Down, Nine to Go

     Three weeks in and where does it get me? 40 miles farther, 1/2 minute faster, and flopsy's on the ropes.  I see this race and my preparatory training as the past, present, and future me.  In 2000, I took on a similar challenge, but back then boy was I naive.  Running wasn't something I did, I knew nothing about pacing, intervals, body glide, gel, cross training.  Exercise came in the form of 45 minutes classes in brightly lit gyms, with trendy music and fairly attractive middle aged men.  But for some reason I woke up and decided it was time for me to run a marathon.  3 1/2 months later I crossed the finished and ran to the edge of the Pacific in awe of what I achieved.

     To this day, I believe finishing that race was my greatest personal accomplishment.  So each day I lace up my shoes, pull up my running pants, and head out the door.  I understand how addicts can live their lives believing next time it'll feel as good as it did the first time.  I believe it, as my tracker ticks away the miles, one at a time. In a way I'm chasing my own high, struggling for my next win, hunting down success, whatever you want to call it...

     It's week three and I have a long way to go but I'm not stopping until I reach the waters edge, smell the sea spray and feel the warmth of the ocean breeze across my face....or something like that.

...and yes, the really dark chick on the right is me

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Be My Valentine

The happiest day of the year?  Hell yeah!  In keeping with my plan to engage life whistling Dixie and shooting sunshine I’m declaring my new found love of Valentine’s Day.  While I may not have a boyfriend, I do have a Valentine – ME!
Today I’m sporting a 500 watt smile, my favorite pink pants and sweater, drinking my favorite coffee, and for lunch I’m declaring anything goes.  If I haven’t said it before, I’m saying it now, I love my life.  Sure, it’s a little left of what I’d envisioned as a feisty seven year old in New Orleans, but who’s life isn’t?  What it is, is a tapestry of colorful, dynamic, strong, and confident friends, a challenging and thoroughly rewarding career serving a population I admire and respect, and a hopeful and enticing future that is sure to surprise me.
For all my friends looking for a Valentine or if you’re a little disillusioned with the Valentine you’ve got, I offer today's meditation (see below).
Happy Valentine’s Day to all my loves!!!
½ Marathon Training Update
As week 2 comes to a close I’ve learned a couple of things:
·         New Balance socks work wonders with my Asics (thanks Jennifer!)
·         Running at a constant race pace is easier to establish on the road versus a treadmill
·         Pilates is the lower back’s savior
·         Running more miles = more poop
A question for my runners – When you use body glide between your chest and your heart monitor to reduce chaffing how you stop slippage?

Today’s meditation…    

Ensure you won’t be disturbed – so the universe knows ‘this time is yours’. I suggest laying or sitting to start with, (but if it works for you a few times, try it walking or washing the dishes).

Have some ambient relaxation music in the background. This meditation will work best without a guide, as the journey will be unique to you.

Take a few full breaths and then find a natural and relaxed rhythm, slow and deep. Scan your body from tip to toe to let go of muscle tension and physical stress.

Say something similar to, “I use this time to appreciate the joy in my life. I give thanks for the people, places and things that make me smile.” Then, if you haven’t already, gently turn up the corners of your mouth.

It should feel natural. If it feels forced, back off and wait for thoughts and joyful feelings to energize it before you continue.

Don’t “hunt down” things you “think” should make you happy, or that you ‘should’ be thankful for. Relax, let go, sink into the intent you set, and see what comes. Let go of needing to have control.

Think of your thoughts as clouds. In a massive sky full of clouds, gently let your gaze focus on one. Look at it, feel it, draw from it, but don’t connect so much that the other clouds in the sky disappear. Don’t crave attachment to it. Just know that as one cloud passes, another will arrive, and another.

The arrival and departure of your thoughts in meditation should be effortless. No expectation – or hanging on.

And as these clouds continue to pass by, connect to the Energy of your Smile. Feel it. Experience it. Be it. And then see what happens. 

 10 to 15 minutes is enough for this meditation … The smile, scientists have proven, is chemically beneficial and I’m sure you can draw from experience of your own. Smiling is good for you.

Meditation by Nigel Coates of Explore Meditation

Wednesday, February 13, 2013

Back in the Saddle...

On a clear day rise and look around you and you'll see who you are.  On a clear day how it will astound you that the glow of your being outshines every star.  You’ll feel part of every mountain sea and shore…” Frank Sinatra

That’s right folks C-dub is taking a trip to the bright side.  I’m super excited to be headed on my very first introspective, self empowering journey as I train for the Nike Women’s ½ Marathon, being held here in Washington, DC.  Over the next 3 months I plan to prepare not only my body but also my spirit. 
P-shaw, what’s that you say “Negative Nellie”, “She Who Encounters All Things Hard” you’re making a change?  But don’t you say that every year around this same time?  Umm, you got me there folks, funny how the date of my race and my inherent need to make changes coincides with the Lenten season.  Well maybe it isn’t as funny as much as it’s convenient.  Either way, I’ll take it.
My plan is to commit to my running/training schedule and document all the fun and hilarity that ensues (trust me, if it happens to me, you’ll find it funny).  Interspersed between my oooohhh so exciting training notes will be my thoughts on steps I take to make myself happy.  This might come in the form of seminars, activities, discussions, books, or music…whatever I can find and wherever I find it.  It's gonna happy days, happy times, happiness all around.  Rainbows will be birthing butterflies, puppies will be bathing with pandas, babies will be helping the homeless - madness, madness I tell ya!  Keep in mind, whatever I post is out there to help me grow so if you have an opinion feel free to share it; it’s all part of the process…
Doggone it Frank, I’m ready for some positivity, happiness, and all around bright and sunny days you had Barbara singing about.  Who’s with me?