Archive for June, 2012

Of all the things we pile into our days, why is it that finding time for exercise seems to be the most challenging? Want the inside scoop? It’s really not the hardest part of your day – in fact it’s more often than not, the easiest. We just tend to make such a big deal about that one hour in the morning we take for ourselves, before the children are up, before the rest of the world wakes up and demands so much from us, and before we start demanding more of ourselves. It’s that one quiet hour on the road where you can hear your own heart beating, your shoes hit the ground, and the rhythmic pulse as your chest rises and falls with each meditative breath.

There will be days when you will feel tired. You will feel worn and beat down. But even on these toughest days, this will be the easiest thing you do. This will not tell you that you can’t, that you won’t, or that you don’t deserve it. This will not challenge your patience, scream in your ears, or pull you in a hundred different directions at the same time. This will be the easiest part of your day. So get out and enjoy it, before the world wakes up, takes you on a whirlwind journey, and the sun sets.

This is your day.


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I’ve taken the week off from running to rest from last weekend’s San Diego 1/2. This leaves me with nothing notable to jot down about running, right? (You must not know me very well.) The past week has been a great week to take a break from running because life has come at us full force. We’ve rented our home (our new home won’t be finished for another 6-8 weeks), which leaves us a bit homeless for the next two months and moving twice. Amidst this chaos we’ve had sick children, pink eye, baseball tournaments, graduate coursework, and life in general. Needless to say, we’re running non-stop.

I found this at the race expo last week, and though I’m typically not one for all of the running clichés I found this quite humerous. Not because I run fast, but because life is running fast at me and I’ve found myself trying to keep up. It’s been a little tough, a little stressful, and a whole lot of sleepless nights. I’ve found myself getting sucked into the stress and losing sight in the humor of it all. Thanks to my kids who keep up the constant humor in the house, I realized I needed to take a step back in order to keep up.

Time to find the lighter side. It’s too easy to stumble and get lost in the dark.

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I headed to San Diego for the Rock ‘n’ Roll 1/2 Marathon this weekend. The weather was perfect with overcast skies and temps in the 60s. I had a great plan outlined by my coach, and felt I was ready to hit the course with one goal: stick to the plan.

My head has always been my biggest obstacle. I’ve never cared about where I place on race day, but that I beat my last time (this would be known as Mistake #1). That same self-competitive nature transcends into my training runs, which can lead to exhaustion and the loss of good, simple, basic runs. The night before race day I found myself up every half hour, easily. Before I went to bed I tried everything I could think of to clear my mind, but my thoughts took over and the alarm was a welcome sound at 3:30AM. I started thinking about how tired I was, what could go wrong during the race, and what if my muscles cramped at the start like they had in Nashville? Then, I thought about the plan my coach had given me. At that point, I decided nothing else mattered but my race plan and I focused all of my efforts on thinking solely on my pace per mile.

I started the race and quickly found my pace and stuck to it. I noticed a group of athletes running together and talking about pace, goals, etc. Come to find out, they were running the same pace I needed to run through mile 6, and the San Diego Track Team invited me to tag along. Great company and a nice easy pace to start made the first several miles fly by. In talking with one of the athletes, I found out he went to college in Denver and he joked that this race shouldn’t count because I was at sea level. This race counted – not because I PR’d, and not because it was at sea level, but because I followed my coach’s advice and executed the race I was supposed to.

As we parted ways at mile 6 I wished him well and invited him back to Denver for a little run at altitude. You know, because sea level doesn’t count.

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Dead End

It’s easier said than done; letting go, that is. I’ve never had anyone who’s cared about me as a runner before. I’ve always done my own thing and have never doubted my desire to always want to head out for a run. I’ve been raised with the scripting of “You get out of it what you put into it”. So, I’ve always put everything I’ve had into it…just like everything else in life. But how do you learn to put the breaks on when you need to slow down, or turn the corner?

Stop signs are placed to serve the purpose of stopping, but how many people roll right on through? Especially, when no one is looking? I’ve decided I need a dead end road. A place where I have to stop and conciously make a decision which direction I need to go. Notice I said need and not want. (Insert Coach)

Yes, I’m extremely stubborn, don’t like to be told what to do, don’t like to lose control, and always have to be in charge. Hey, what can I say? At least I’m willing to admit it. But now I’m at the point where I need to admit I need help. I need someone to tell me which direction to go, and most importantly I need to listen.

I’ve taken a few wrong turns, rolled through a few stop signs, and gone in the wrong direction. I’m learning. I still need my learner’s permit. I’ve got a long way to go before I’m ready to head out alone, and even when I am ready it’s always nice to have someone beside you.

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