Tag Archives: 6-month run challenge

On any given run (with M).

On any given run (with M) inspired by one of my best runs in quite a long time (fitting given yesterday’s post, huh?). One of those could-run-forever runs. One of those, wow-my-legs-feel-awesome runs. One of those BUNNY SIGHTING runs! (given we live in ‘squirrel-ville <–M’s technical term for it – this was a rare, beautiful, fluffy, wanna-pat-it sighting!)

On any given run (with M)…

…he’ll probably hop like a gazelle over a branch or a curb and I’ll give him the ‘show-off’ evil-eye-glare (when really, I love that he runs so happy. I need to take a page from his book!)

…he’ll stop if I need to catch my breathe, but he’ll keep me going and push me when I want him to (and sometimes, even when I don’t).

…he may blame a fart on a duck quack (note: we don’t live near any ducks…#justsayin).

…he’ll sing songs, or make up a song, like ‘running with a backpack on….oooh oooh, running with a backpack on…’ <-backpack is code for ‘gotta go to the bathroom ifyaknowwhatimean (TMI alert!)

…he’ll make me laugh when I might struggle, recite the pledge of allegiance (complete with hand over heart), or just about anything to make me laugh and focus less.

…he’ll slow down to my pace when he starts creeping past me too far (even if I have to remind him sometimes)…and sometimes, I’ll attempt to race HIM at the end of our run (he loves that. Not.)

…he’ll ‘people watch’ and start looking to the left or the right at a house or a yard or whatever it may be and get so distracted that he almost twists his ankle. True story. Happens far too frequently, and he’s definitely rolled his ankle before this way! (I swear, he’s an 8 year-old boy at heart sometimes! So curious!)

…he’ll point out the houses he wants to buy, and we’ll daydream about our yard, and our porch, and having a drink on the patio (mind you, these houses are million dollar+ homes…as if *that’s* affordable…but that’s what daydreaming is for, right?!)

…he’ll run next to me and slide his hand over my butt and pretend he’s not copping a feel, just ‘pushing me along’ (smooth move, Paco).

…he’ll always run with me. Even if he was planning to go to the gym. My ever-loyal running partner that he is.

And no matter what? He runs happy. He runs with me. He runs for me more often than not (before we met, he wasn’t a runner, more of a walk/runner). He’s bloomed into a strong, speedy, happy runner before my eyes and I truly think he’s a natural. And I’m lucky enough to have him as my running partner, and my partner in life. What could be better than that? 

Happy weekend friends, make it a good one. Cheers!

My 6-month run challenge: a retrospective.

So, my 6-month run challenge came (quietly) to an end last week and I have been racking my brains on how I wanted to recap my journey. As I look through post after post of the last 6 months of running, I see a few common themes:  consistency, run-volutions and…as much as I hate to admit it, the frustrating head case that I *still* am from time to time whenever I run.

I do, however, think the biggest progress for me in this journey has been this: being at peace with running happy miles and not *for* mileage. Yeah, there are days that I wish I had the endurance and distance in me that I once did. Sure, my mind meanders to ‘what-if’ I try again (to work towards another half marathon). But at the end of the day, I really really still have a big issue with running a mental run. Even though I have improved substantially in not panicking, steadying my breathing and focusing on…less focus when I run, it still happens. It still rises up in me in certain instances (heat, and conversely, cold!), up hills, on longer runs, etc. And until I really beat that, I honestly think that running another half marathon will end up in the same result – frustrating, panicked and running a race I am not proud of.  Not that a half marathon is even my goal or end-all-be-all. Because it’s not. We all know racing is not for me. But it still is something I want to do. There, I said it. It is. I won’t deny it. But it’s not the main goal. The main goal remains…not to run a mental run.

So while I still have a problem with the mental (run) game, this challenge has done WONDERS for me, because I have finally gotten to a point where I embraced the dreadmill (in the winter), AND intervals (and rocked them several times), AND running outside IN the winter, AND sustaining some good mileage (5-7 mile range in the winter whereas previously, it would have been 3-4 – max). I am also finally at a point where I trust running to be my main cardio source (with a dash of spinning sometimes to mix it up), because not only do I truly LOVE it, it is ultimately the best workout for me and magic bullet with barre n9ne. 

This challenge…is not over. I am still a work in progress. But I am okay with that, because a physical challenge should always be just that: a challenge. It should never get ‘easy’ and it should also push me out of my comfort zone. Thus why I love to run. And thus why I *will* rock the mental game too.

Thank you for all of your support, friends, I have loved sharing this journey with you all, even if you aren’t a runner, because I truly think some of the messages and learnings here are universal. Now I think I will pick myself up and dust myself off and go for a kick ass run tomorrow, with M by my side. Pushing myself just a little bit farther.

 

Running happy miles…as my 6 month run challenge nears an end.

I have one week left of my 6 month run challenge and it couldn’t be more fitting for this fabulous Friday to share that I finally – finally – feel as though I ran *all* happy miles this week. Every. single. run. Awesome. Each in different ways. I’ve come to realize that this run challenge has come down to exactly that: happy running. notsomuch about miles. notsomuch about getting back to thinking about running another half marathon.

Nope.

Just. Running. Happy.

I’m writing this after one of my best runs in quite awhile. With M by my side. And this was even after teaching a 6 am barre n9ne class (back-to-back with teaching two classes yesterday, too).

See? Happy Miles Faces!

The difference? I told myself I would ‘do’ as little as possible in class (save for upper body and ab work) and it worked out so well because a) I had a bigger than usual morning class so there was naturally more opportunity to walk around and correct and b) I am learning more and more my stride for teaching smaller classes where I ‘do’ bits and pieces but focus more on form corrections and motivation.

So, while I taught 5 classes this week, I strategically planned my runs to either not follow directly after teaching or taking a barre n9ne class, or on an ‘off’ day completely from barre n9ne. And it worked. Finally. It worked.

Sunday, I ran with M (about 4 miles) before I taught at 10 am. Tuesday, I ran 6 killer miles of intervals. And rocked them. Wednesday, I took b9 fusion class in the morning and met bestie Steph for a quick and speedy 3.6 miler by a nearby lake. Humid. But awesome. And today, 5ish (5.4 maybe??) miles with M where my legs didn’t feel heavy, even though it was my last run of the week and I expected them to feel a little lead-like at first. Nope. Felt strong, yet light.

This week I ran happy miles. And as I look to next week, where I set out for Costa Mesa bright and early on Monday morning (coming home Thursday night), I am confident and even a little excited to finally get a chance to run outside before work a few days next week. It’s going to be awesome. (did I just say that?!)

Happy weekend, friends. do something happy, will ya? I sure as hell plan to do the same :-)

My 6-month run challenge (weeks 20-22): on run-volutions and ruminations

We are nearing the end of my 6-month run challenge, and as I recap the past few weeks, I’m purposely trying to save my final thoughts under the ‘official’ 6-month mark, because I think the next couple week’s worth of running will still give me plenty more to ruminate over.

However.

After declaring that I am running less for mileage and more for joy, and doing a run-speriment to purposely try and run on the freshest legs I can, whenever possible, I have noticed a difference in my runs and a release in my brain (yet again) of the pressure I self-inflict on myself to perform. This run-speriment and run challenge overall has nothing to do with performance. Why? Because I am not performing against anyone or anything. I am simply running for me, and seeing what I can do to refocus my mind on the enjoyment of the run, on focused, calm breathing, and on steady, happy, consistent runs, as much as possible. 

It’s when I slide into worry about a bad run, or that I’m struggling more than I think I should, or when I get frustrated that running just doesn’t come as naturally to me as I would like it to, that I start to allow the overthinking to creep in. The overthinking that I’ve worked so damn hard to break away from.

But lately? I’ve reallyreallyreally shut my brain off, not thought about how many runs I want to get into a given week (until that week starts), nor thought about mileage as much. I’ve simply run to run, to move, to sweat, and to enjoy each run as much as possible.

It is starting to feel like a run-volution (<–like that? a riff on ‘evolution?’ Ok I am a dork, what can I say?) of sorts. And I am really digging it. I actually caught myself smiling as I ran with M yesterday. And realized my mind was wandering on things other than my run. Gasp! Is it really working? Am I really running for fun and actually *having* fun?

I do believe I am.

And I sure as hell hope this continues. Because as my mind wanders, it starts to go back to the ‘what-if’s’ – the what if ‘this sticks’ and what if I naturally start to again want to run longer, explore my limits again? Well, my friends, the sky is the limit. And I will always be the first one to say ‘never say never’ to any of that. 

And that’s what I love most about running. The constant run-volution. The constant ‘why I run’ answer (it’s always evolving, er, run-volving, and I LOVE that, as my sis pointed out too!). The constant growth, change, motivation.

It’s why I never stop. It’s why I will keep forging on. It’s why I am always looking for that breakthrough moment. I feel it could very well be near. And I hope it is. Either way? I am running for fun. And it feels simply great.

~~

Well, friends, I am off to Atlanta today for the Digital Summit. A quick two-day trip, flying home Thursday night. These are the trips I like. Quick, same time zone, and about social media? Bring it on. AND as a huge bonus? I get to attend the conference WITH Lee from In My Tummy (who actually mentioned this conference to me, thank you!) and Tina from Best Body Fitness. I won’t lie…I am most excited about meeting them both, and a close second is actually attending the conference and social-media-geeking-out ;-)

Throwbacks on comparison and number fixation.

After a most perfect weekend of unplanned-ness, good, quality time with M, and the downtime I’ve been craving (like whoa), I sit here somewhat amazed at a few things I realized about my habits and how they’ve changed.

In particular? Comparison and number fixation. 

These are two things that have dogged me big time in the past year, where I allowed comparing myself to others, including my sister Jess and to well, just about anyone, and my fixation on numbers (namely – the scale) to drag me down and lose sight of my achievements and progress.

There were two instances where I had an amazing a-ha moment that made me realize that I’ve come a lot farther than I really even realized. So, I call this a ‘throwback’ of sorts because I recall it being just about this time last year where I was neck-deep in a downward spiral of self negativity with relation to comparison and number fixation.

The first instance? Running.

At this point last year, I was struggling to embrace running, to love it as much as I proclaimed. To want to run another half marathon. And while I did run another half marathon last year, it was also that experience that made me realize that I am NOT a racer. But deep down? I was comparing myself to my sister. And her amazing PR. And wondering ‘why not me?’ WHY can’t I do it? Why is she better than me?

Fast forward to this weekend. My sister and brother in law ran a kick-ass half marathon…another PR. And I don’t think I could have been prouder if I tried. I was beaming when she texted me her finish. I was excited and proud to see all of the congratulatory tweets and Facebook posts. I reveled in it. And I didn’t feel an ounce of jealousy, frustration or ‘why not me?’ moments. In fact, I channeled her ‘run happy’ mantra on my own run that morning with M, as we spontaneously decided to find a new route. And ya know what? I ran happy.

Compare THAT to last year? I can’t even describe how happy that makes me. I’m not comparing anymore. I’ve released myself of it. And instead? I’m proud of her, and happily running my own way.

~~

The second instance? I decided to weigh myself this weekend, after not weighing myself since December. I honestly had no idea what the scale would say. Of course, I hoped it would be lower than when I weighed in December, but told myself to only do it if I knew I could handle what it said.

So, as I waited to teach my barre n9ne class on Sunday, I stepped on the scale. And looked down. At first, I was happy. It was below my goal weight of that December timeframe. But then my mind automatically started to want to compare. At first, I did. And then I brushed it off. And then I did it again. I started to fixate. But it was half-hearted. I didn’t WANT to compare, or fixate, or obsess. I taught my class, I channeled my frustration (and probably killed my clients, hehe, but hey, what’s a little extra sweat on a Sunday Funday?!). I looked in the mirror. In my brand-new Lululemon outfit that I couldn’t believe I was wearing. Crops I never thought I could rock. And I smiled. I felt good. The number started not to matter so much, or rather, I started to own that number, to be proud of it, and not lose sight of all that I’ve accomplished in the ‘year of barre n9ne’.

On my drive home, I thought about it some more. And I realized something that really drove it home for me. A proportional loss that made me realize that I had, indeed, worked so hard, accomplishing a number that I wanted to own, rather than ‘wish away’ into a lower, phantom number, I embraced it. 100%. 

And that, my friends, are two examples of harnessing two very almost-paralyzing habits – comparison and number fixation – and instead, embracing and celebrating the change, the progress, and the determination that I’ve worked so hard for. There’s no such thing as comparison…to anyone but yourself. 

This one needs zero explanation. Zero.