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The Good, the Bad & The Ugly

This picture of my dog, Theron, really sums up my feelings about these past several days…Tired, over it, sore, thankful, productive…all rolled into one.


The days have been filled with the Good, the Bad and the Ugly.

First, The Good:

  • I ran a 10k race and ended up with my best time ever.   Truth be told, my best time isn’t that impressive but I was pretty darn excited about it.  It was a very chilly day at 35 degrees with brisk, annoying winds.  The best part of the day, besides finishing the run, was getting into my car and blasting the heater!

 post race warmup

  • More good news!  I figured out how to breathe!  Ok, I know how to breathe, but I have learned how to breathe while running.  I’m currently reading “Chi Running” by Danny Dreyer and he reviews some very important information about breathing.  He states, “In running, as in all other types of aerobic exercise, the breath holds the key role of providing oxygen to help fuel active muscles.  If you don’t get enough oxygen to your muscles, they will be starved of the key component needed for burning fuel.  The more efficiently your body can extract oxygen from the air and transfer it to your muscles, the easier your running will feel at any speed.”  I learned that belly breathing is key.  It’s more important to get all of the air OUT of your lungs than it is to get air INTO your lungs.  I found that breathing in sync with my steps works for me… three breaths out, two belly breaths in.   I have been practicing breathing during every run and my thoughts are occupied with the task of counting…1, 2, 3, 1, 2, repeat over and over and over.  It’s mesmerizing and relaxing in a weird way.   Here’s a link to Danny Dreyer’s blog that explains belly breathing (item B – but the whole post is very informative).
  • I’m still running with my running group.  We have been practicing drills, working on cadence, breathing techniques, hill training, speed work, and all that great stuff.  On Saturdays we run on a beautiful paved trail  along the river so it’s just a lovely way to spend the morning.  Longest run so far has been 9 miles…this Saturday will be 10.  The half marathon we are training for takes place May 19th which is right around the corner.  Yikes.

riverview Beautiful vistas!

Now for The Bad:

Last week’s 9 mile run felt horrible.  You know how at the end of the run you say to yourself, “That was AWESOME!  I’m so glad I did that!”  Yeah, I wasn’t saying that.   I was so sore I felt like I was falling apart with every step I took past mile 8.  By mile 9 I kept thinking, “Oh my gosh, I will have to run 4 more miles at the half marathon…crap.  I don’t know how I’m going to do this.”  Then I told myself to shut up and run because I was fortunate and blessed that my body was capable of running.  My thoughts turned to the victims of the Boston Marathon tragedy and remembering that there are people out there who are feeling a greater physical and emotional pain than I will ever feel quickly shushed the negative banter and whining going on in my head.  

And finally, The Ugly:

I am a very, very, very organized person…or at least I like to think I am.  I disdain clutter and if my surroundings are cluttered, my head feels cluttered and if my head feels cluttered, I become a bit of a nut job.  However, if you made a surprise visit to my home you would probably not believe my claims because recently some of the rooms in my house were just plain messy and ugly.

Now I am going to show you a few photos, thanks for not judging.  If you are a true organization freak, you will curse me and call me a liar and say there’s no way someone who disdains clutter would let ANY room in her house get so messy.  Well, I did.  Take a look at the before and after pics of my closet and office:

Closet Collage       Office Collage

My closet got so out of hand, it seemed useless to even bother cleaning it.  It was so cluttered I did not want to go in there but all of my clean underwear and running clothes were in there.   Talk about a conundrum.   I also had the office situation to handle.  I stopped blogging for a bit because I could not stand to set foot in the office.  Both areas were horrendous.  After much sorting, tossing, cleaning and organizing, I was able to turn the closet and the office into happy places once again!

Now that the ugly in my house has been eliminated, my head is clearer.  Maybe with a clearer head I will be a better runner.  Or maybe being a better runner will give me a clearer head? 

Either way, some great lessons were learned: 

  • I’ve got to take the good with the bad with the ugly and figure out how to make it all great
  • Spend less time whining and more time being thankful
  • Relax and breathe!

About slowgirlfastdog

Hi! My name is Wendy and I'm the mom of a teenage boy, the wife of my college sweetheart and the owner of 2 lightning fast whippets. I recently took up running and found out that, unlike my dogs, I'm pretty slow. No biggie though, I'm slow at a lot of things like recognizing life's little lessons. Going forward I'll be paying more attention and with this blog I plan to share what lessons life throws my way.

9 responses »

  1. I am still on the “before” pictures — the clutter and piles reproduce when my back is turned! No worries about the lousy run — you always have a couple like that as you’re building that longer mileage, and if you can run 9 now, the excitement of race day will carry you through even if you didn’t run a longer run between now and then (although I always think there’s something magical about running at least 10 before the half, then you know you can do it, it’s “just” a 5K to finish it up!). Congrats on your 10K PR — you are cruising!

    • Thanks for your encouragement. During my run today I kept in mind what you said about it being normal to have a lousy run every once I awhile. I tried adjusting some things (hydration, food, attitude) and had a spectacular 10 mile run. My time was close to the 9 mile run but how I felt afterward was great!! That’s what was important for me today! :). Thanks for sharing your words of wisdom!

  2. Thank you so much for sharing three great lessons with the rest of us!

  3. That is awesome you figured out how to breathe (I totally know what you meant). I am still working on that. It is so, so hard for me to get into a conscious rhythm. I find when I pay attention to it I actually stop breathing, or it gets harder, so I don’t think about it much. But I like your tip of being sure to get all of the air out first. That might help.

    • I was stunned at how getting the air out first and taking belly breaths in helped with my breathing. The big problem I was dealing with was getting winded early (like at the start) of my run. Now, my legs tire out before my lungs do. I’m hoping all my counting will pay off and my body will learn to breathe in a nice rhythm without the need to count 1,2,3,1,2…. Good luck breathing!

  4. I stopped by here on the recommendation of Miss Harper Lee and I’ve enjoyed reading your blogs. Good to know about proper breathing incase I ever have to run.The dogs are beautiful! We are oppposite, I clean off my desk and I get writers block. I toss some paper around and the words flow like wine. Or maybe how I wished wine flowed. I can deal with the word “super” and even super duper if that is the way one wants to describe how they feel or an experience one has had. Super is great in front of nouns, superman, supergirl, super nova, super Tuesday, super majority, supercalifragilisticexpealidocious for example. I am at war “super” in front of adjectives; it’s super easy, super delicious, super beautiful . . . makes me want to pull my own teeth when I see super used in such a manner. Blame my dad, he left word and style usage books on the back of the toilet. I have greatly enjoyed your blog!

    • Thank you so much for reading my blog and your very kind words. If a little clutter helps you write, you would have been in writer’s heaven when my office was a wreck! Your blog name, “Shoeful of Drool” made me smile…I can’t wait to read it! Thanks again for your comment!


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