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It’s Fun to Play ‘Butcher the Lyrics’

When I run, I prefer to tune out my ‘deep’ thoughts and tune in to my pretty amazing running playlist.  I plug those neon pink Yurbuds in my ears, crank up the music, and play a fun game I made up called “Butcher the Lyrics.”   It’s a game you play when you’re alone on a long run and need something to distract you to make your run go by super fast so you try to figure out the lyrics of each song.  Sure, my cool game may sound rather dull but for someone with hearing loss, deciphering lyrics is anything but boring.  It’s like solving a mystery or putting the pieces of a  puzzle together and I just LOVE puzzles….and mysteries!

Sometimes, when I think I have the lyrics all figured out, I Google the actual lyrics only to discover how deaf I really am.   Check out some of my recently butchered lyrics:

  • Cups by Anna Kendrick – There’s a verse in the chorus that I swear says:  WENDY’S LYRICS = “You’re gonna miss me by my walk.  You’re gonna miss me by my taco.  You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”  Now you know and I know she’s not talking about ‘missing her taco’.  REAL LYRICS =  “You’re gonna miss me by my walk.  You’re gonna miss me by my talk, oh.  You’re gonna miss me when I’m gone.”   Let’s face it, isn’t it more fun to sing “You’re gonna miss me by my taco?”
  • Blurred Lines by Robin Thicke  – I didn’t know “Blurred Lines” was the title of the song  for the longest time, which is why my interpretation of the lyrics is a little off.  WENDY’S LYRICS =  “I have these good times…..”  REAL LYRICS = “I hate these Blurred Lines….”
  • Brave by Sara Bareilles – Once again, not knowing the title of the song, I butchered the lyrics.  WENDY’S LYRICS = “Say what you wanna say, let the words fall out.  Honestly, I want to see you baby” (you have to stretch out the word “baby” so it sounds like “baybay”).  REAL LYRICS = “Say what you wanna say, let the words fall out.  Honestly, I want to see you be brave.”
  • Mirrors by Justin Timberlake – Ok so I couldn’t sing this song even with the lyrics in front of me because he sings so fast.  But the bridge is where I was thrown for a loop.   WENDY’S LYRICS = “Cause with your hand in my hand and a pocket full of soap, I can tell you there’s no place we could go.”  REAL LYRICS = “Cause with your hand in my hand and a pocket full of soul, I can tell you there’s no place we couldn’t go.”  Whatever JT.

I guess the one good thing about hearing loss is I have a new, fun game to play while running.   The bad thing is, when I do discover the REAL lyrics, I’m often disappointed and prefer my WENDY lyrics…they’re much more entertaining!  Wouldn’t YOU rather have a pocket full of soap than a pocket full of soul?!

Do you have any songs that you have butchered?  Did you ever find out the real lyrics?  Were you disappointed?

I Love Presents

Don’t you just love getting presents?  I do.  I signed up for subscription to StrideBox so that I could get a present in the mail every month.  It’s a present from me to me and for $15 a month, I’m all for it.

Stridebox is a company geared toward runners and each month they send you a box with various products geared toward running and fitness.  For those who have never heard of it, I’ll give you a run down of what happens when you get your StrideBox in the mail:

  • First, you go to the mailbox.   When you see your StrideBox box, you do a happy dance.

stridebox box

  • Second, you carefully open the box.

openstridebox

  • Third, you excitedly, but carefully, remove contents from the box and arrange them so they look pretty enough to photograph.

strideboxstuff

  • Fourth, you take everything out, examine it, read about it, add up the value of the StrideBox contents to see if your $15 was worth it, figure out what looks tasty and what looks not so tasty, then decide if you are going to share the energy foods with your spouse who is training for a century bike race.  Okay, maybe that last one is just for me but either way, you can decide if you are going to share with anyone or not.

strideboxgoodies

  • Fifth, start sampling the goods and take notes on items you would purchase in the future.

July’s box was pretty cool and included:

  • A water bottle and samples of 6 different hydration drinks.
  • Sample of magic sports tape.  I’m totally intrigued about the magic part.
  • A full size PR Bar energy bar – apple pie style.
  • An energy gel.
  • An energy bar by Bearded Brothers.  Fabulous Ginger Peach…sounds tasty.

The subscription has been fun so far and if I get tired of it or can’t afford it, I can stop at any time.

I love presents which is awesome because July is my birthday month!  Yessssssss!

I Finished My Second 1/2 Marathon!

Last weekend I successfully completed my second 1/2 marathon and I had a blast!    Everything about this half marathon was different from my first half (well, the distance was the same).  The training methods I used, the actual race course, my goals, how I felt after…all different…and I think that’s a good thing!  So here’s a little recap about the differences between my first and second half marathons:

THE COURSE:

  • Half marathon #1 (HM1) was an unforgiving, hilly, exhausting, “why am I doing this to myself” kind of course.  It was all hills and yes, I am exaggerating but I spent a great deal of time walking up hills.
  • Half marathon #2 (HM2) was as flat as a delicious pancake dripping in syrupy yumminess.  Sounds appealing, huh?!  The course was new to me, which was a great distraction, the surroundings were beautiful, and did I mention it was flat…?

GOALS:

  • My goal for HM1 was to finish.  Plain and simple.  Finish it.  And I did.  My time was 2:49:28 but it didn’t matter and I didn’t care because my goal was to finish and I accomplished my goal!
  • My goal for HM2 was to finish it with a time of 2:30 or less.  Keep in mind, this was a lofty goal for me since I’m a slow runner.  That would mean I needed to run at an average pace of 11:27 per mile.  I was pretty sure I could do that.  At mile 1, my watch read 11 minutes.  Mile 2 = 22 minutes, mile 3 = 33 minutes, and it was like that until mile 7.  I was impressed with myself for being so consistent.  In mile 7, two things happened – the math got harder (77 minutes minus 60 = 17 minutes, carry the 1…and so goes my brain).  The other thing that happened is I had to pee.  I have a pretty strong bladder unless I’m bouncing up and down on it for 77 minutes (minus 60, carry the one = 1 hour 17 minutes).  So I waited in line at the porta-potty and used up 2 minutes and 12 seconds of precious time (yes, I actually timed it).  These minutes ended up mattering because my finish time was 2:32:58.  If I could have skipped the bathroom break, my time would have been 2:30:46…which is basically making my goal as far as I’m concerned…who cares about the pesky seconds anyway?!?
  • My other goal for HM2 was to have fun and enjoy the experience.  I accomplished that goal as well!

TRAINING:

  • HM1 training consisted of Jeff Galloway’s run/walk method.  I trained alone, mostly on my treadmill, and I stuck to my plan like nobody’s business.  Ultimately, I ended up doing 3 minutes running then 1 minute walking and that was my race  plan…except when there were  hills.  When I approached a hill, I walked up the hill then ran as fast as I could down the hill.
  • HM2 training consisted of joining a training group.  You can read about this bold decision here.  It turns out, this was a very wise decision.  I learned a great deal, like how to breathe, running form, speed work, all that good running stuff.  There were mentors who helped me along the way.  In fact, at around mile 12.75, I was SO hurting and wanted to walk even though the finish line was right there.  I started to walk and one of the mentors (who had already crossed the finish line) came up to me and said (encouragingly), “You can NOT stop running now.  Is your family at the finish line?”  I replied, “Yes.”  She said, “Then start running, you want them to see you finish strong!  Just follow me!”  So, I followed her and kept running.  That kind of encouragement and motivation is priceless and she really helped me finish strong.  Thank you Staci!
  • With HM2, I had a training plan but I didn’t stick with it as much as I did for HM1.  I did the weekly planned group runs (except for the 11 mile run) but didn’t do so well with cross-training.  This half marathon plan was not a ‘run/walk’ plan.  It was a ‘run/run’ plan so I ran the majority of the entire 13.1 miles…toward the end, I needed to take a few walk breaks because of my hips and knees, but other than that, I ran.

halfmarathonmedal

HOW I FELT THROUGHOUT THE RACE:

  • HM1 was kind of intimidating because it was my first half, I didn’t know what I was in for, I saw a couple familiar faces before the race but not one familiar face was to be seen for the duration of the run.  I felt excited on one hand, but as mentioned above, the course was hilly which really took a toll on me toward the end.  I think in my focus shifted from, ‘Wow, look what I’m doing’ to ‘I’m so uncomfortable, why am I doing this?’  When it was over, I was sore but recovered rapidly and felt great the next day.
  • HM2 I had a mission to “Run the mile I was in”.  I read a great post by Wise Running that talked about just enjoying the mile you are in…don’t focus on what you’ve done or need to do, just focus on the present mile.  I thought of that over and over, I focused on breathing and counting (it relaxed me), and I thought of how fortunate I am to be able to run.  Keeping my mind focused on those things kept me moving.  I felt super throughout the run.  Well, except  when my hips and knees started hurting.  At that point I needed some walk breaks.  After the run, my knee was really hurting and it took a couple of days before I was able to wake up and not feel like my legs took a beating.

BEST RACE MOMENT:

  • HM1’s best moment was finishing the half marathon.  I was very proud to finish, to remain uninjured and to walk away knowing I wanted to do another half marathon…just not THAT particular half marathon!
  • HM2’s best moments were:   Finishing, of course, and doing so in a time I was proud of (and setting a personal record, to boot).  I loved the fact that I saw familiar faces all throughout the run.  I saw runners from my training group, I saw the coaches cheering us on, I saw my BFF and her family on the course since they were race volunteers.  And best of all, I saw my family at the finish line.  My son was in the crowd running along with me for the last couple hundred feet.  I yelled out to him, “Keep running with me, you’re keeping me motivated!!”  When I crossed the finish line and met my husband and son there, I said to my son, “Thank you so much for running with me!”  He said in his matter of fact tone, “Mom, I was just walking.”  Oh, ok…so if he was walking, and I felt like I was sprinting, I guess reality lies somewhere in the middle 🙂

Thank you to my family and friends for all your support during my training and my second half marathon!  Sometimes it takes a village 😉

postracedogkisses My family provided me with post-race Krispy Kreme donuts, an ice pack and some ibuprofen.  Finn provided me with dog kisses.

halfmarathon post pic

Has running taught you any great lessons?

Sometimes You Gotta Ditch the Plan

GASP!  You read correctly.  Slow Girl (the control freak, the planner to a fault, the one who should take a chill pill already), says, “Sometimes, you gotta ditch the plan.”  I never ditch the plan.  I make the plan, baby.  But a couple of weekends ago, I ditched the plan like one bad-ass plan ditcher.

You see, my half marathon is coming up this Sunday (as in three days from now) and I haven’t been following my training plan like a good obsessive planner would do.  It’s my second half marathon so it’s not like I haven’t run 13.1 miles before.  I’m sure I can do it even if  I’ve missed several mid-week runs, skipped a dozen or so cross-training workouts and missed just one long slow distance run.  Sure, it was the longest run of the training program that I missed but whatever…it was just 11 miles.  Besides, it’s not like I sat around on my butt that weekend and did nothing at all.  I did something just as challenging and strenuous as an 11 mile run.  I had a family dance off, yo!

A couple of weekends ago my youngest sister, Amy, graduated WITH HONORS from college.  Impressive, I know.  I flew to California and met up with my younger sister, Andrea, my mom, my step dad and my niece, Angela.  Since we live in different states, it’s a pretty special occasion when we are all under the same roof.  Throw in a college graduation and a good time is guaranteed!  Spending time with my family always brings me great joy and this trip did not disappoint!

On Saturday night, after all of the graduation festivities, Angela and Amy suggested we play a fun game called, “Just Dance 4.”  What?  You’ve heard of it before?  Well, apparently everyone in the universe has heard of it except for me.  It’s a Wii game and you follow the dance moves of the pretend dancer on the screen.  The better you follow the moves (using the remote thingy) the more points you get.  I’m not a dancer.  I have no rhythm, no groove, no grace, no nothing.  But when challenged to a dance off by my little sister and niece, I said, “Bring it on, you little whippersnappers.”  And so the evening began.  A snap shot of the night:

justdancedontpeepants Amy is on the left, she’s the one actually dancing.  I’m on the right, trying to not pee my pants from laughing so hard.  That was my second dance outfit of the evening.  Lesson:  Don’t ‘Just Dance’ after drinking a ton of water all day….jumping up and down does not mix well with hard-core laughter.

justdance I pulled myself together, put on my game face and danced to this fun song, “Call me Maybe.”  I lost but was given bonus points for best facial expressions.  Yay me.

justdancesister $h!t got real when the song, “Moves Like Jagger” came on.  A little dance off with Andrea was underway…I wanted to win SO bad.  I didn’t.

So you see…sometimes when you ditch the plan, there is a WAAAY better plan out there.  For me, it was dancing like a dork with my family all night long.  Did I deviate from my training plan and miss my 11 mile run?  Yep.   Did it really matter in the grand scheme of things?  Nope.  Was I sorry that my family made me laugh so hard  I peed my pants?  Not really.  Am I going to buy my own Just Dance game so I can secretly practice my moves for the next reunion/Dance Off?  Hell yeah!

As for my half marathon that’s coming up in three days…I’m feeling fine physically and great mentally/emotionally.  My head’s in a good place, I feel like I’m going to kill it.  I’ve completed a 10 mile run during my training so what’s a few more miles?  Honestly, I think spending time dancing with my family was more beneficial to my race preparation than running my scheduled 11 miles all alone.

To Sunday’s Half Marathon:  Ready or not, here I come!

Does emotional/mental preparation play a role in your training?  Do you freak if you deviate from your training plan?

We Should Use the Word “Super” More Often

I never hear anyone use the word “super.”  When I ask someone how they are doing, they never say, “I’m doing super!!”  No one ever says, “This froyo is super,” or, “I saw a super movie last night.”  I don’t know why…It’s a great word (even if it is a little on the dorky side).   It’s positive, fun to say, and you can make it sound better by adding “duper” at the end.  All I know is I’m going to start saying “super” more often and I’m starting now.

Supersource

I had a super duper 10 mile run yesterday!  Last week’s 9 mile run was bad and I whined about it in my last post.  I’m glad I whined about it because Kat from Travel. Garden. Eat reminded me that occasionally, a bad run is going to happen while training for a half marathon and she is right.  I did not want a repeat of my bad 9 mile run so I adjusted a few things to make sure my 10 mile run was…say it with me…super:

  • Hydration – 9 mile run:  I did not hydrate the days leading up to the run.  10 mile run:  I made sure to drink plenty of water all week long…which I should do anyway.
  • Food the night before – 9 mile run:  Pizza for dinner and a couple glasses of wine.  10 mile run:  Teriyaki chicken and rice and no tasty alcoholic beverages.  Just water.
  • Food the morning of – 9 mile run:  I tried out a new oatmeal.  It was a sample that we received in the mail…who knows how old it was or where it came from.  I think it had a bunch of sugary junk in it and it was a bad breakfast choice.  I knew better than to try something new the morning of a long run (yes, 9 miles is a long run for me).  10 mile run:  Toast with peanut butter and bananas plus a cup of coffee.  This is a breakfast I can count on.
  • Attitude – 9 mile run:  My attitude was fine until my hips and feet started to hurt.  At that point, my head just wasn’t in a good place, I didn’t feel great about the run and I was focused on the wrong things.  10 mile run:  I made sure any chatter going on in my head was positive.  I had some upbeat songs on my playlist, and when things started to hurt I just focused on putting one foot in front of the other.  I reminded myself that this is not rocket science…I am certainly capable of moving my body from Point A to Point B.
  • Post run thoughts – 9 mile run:  “This sucks.  How will I be able to continue for 4 more miles?  I’m sore.  Somebody call me a “wambulance.”  (Any Modern Family fans out there?)  10 mile run:  “This rocks!  I did great!  I feel great!  3 more miles will be a breeze!  I have enough energy to run to my car!”

There were some  big differences between my two runs and I now understand I cannot underestimate the importance of my food, water and attitude choices…especially as race day nears.  I have a feeling that May 19th is going to be a SUPER day!

Inspiring & Versatile

I am very flattered that two of my favorite bloggers nominated me for two separate blogging awards.  An embarrassingly long time ago, dailyspro nominated me for the Very Inspiring Blogger Award.  I was so flattered because I love reading dailyspro’s blog and always look forward to her new posts.  She is a lover of dogs (and all four-legged furry pets) and shares her heartwarming experiences that any pet owner would appreciate.  You really should check out her blog!

Awww shucks - thanks!

I was again honored and flattered when Miss Harper Lee, Golden Retriever Extraordinaire, nominated me for the Versatile Blogger Award.  Miss Harper Lee writes a fun, witty, entertaining blog, http://thek9harperlee.wordpress.com/, and she always includes fabulous photographs of herself.  What a beauty!  Go see for yourself!

As with all blogging awards, there are some rules to follow.  Since the Very Inspiring Blogger Award and the Versatile Blogger Award have the same rules, I decided to post them once:

1.) Display the award logos on your blog.  Check. Check.
2.) Link back to the person who nominated you. Check.  Check.
3.) State 7 things about yourself.  Check.
4.) Nominate 15 bloggers for this award.  Check, but I cheated on this.
5.) Notify those bloggers of the nomination by linking to one of their specific posts so that they get notified by ping back.  Check.  Check.

7 Things About Myself

  1. I am not a fan of handshaking.  Whenever I shake someone’s hand, all I can think about is getting to the nearest sink and washing my hands.  I just obsess over the germ factor.
  2. I hate clutter.  I can’t stand it when a room or work space is cluttered.  In fact, I did not set foot into our home office for over a month because it was so cluttered.
  3. I will not set foot into a dark room.  It freaks me out.
  4. I love laughing.  I like it when I laugh so hard I cry, but I don’t like it when I laugh so hard I pee my pants. 
  5. I like cream cheese SO much, I spread it on bread to make a cream cheese sandwich.  Yum.
  6. I’m a terrible cook.  There are certain things I can make, but only if I follow the recipe PRECISELY.  If a picture is not included in the recipe, I’m doomed (or at least my dish is doomed).
  7. Most of my cursing takes place in the kitchen (see number 6)

Nominate 15 bloggers for this award

I cheated on this a little.  I’m not sure if I’ll get kicked out of the blogosphere or what, but I only nominated 6 for each award which equals 12 bloggers which is really close to 15!

The Very Inspiring Blogger Award

The Versatile Blogger Award

These blogs are fantastic so be sure to check them out!!

Thank you again dailyspro and thek9harperlee for your nominations!

Two Weeks of Running “Firsts”

These last two weeks of running have been filled with many firsts and it’s refreshing to know that even at the tender age of 45, opportunities for “firsts” are abundant!

Here’s my first “first”:

I am participating in a group training program. I recently posted about joining a training group which was a pretty big deal for me (issues folks, I have issues).   I was worried about being the slowest one (I’m not).  I was worried about getting separated from the group and never finding my way back (hasn’t happened…yet).  I was anxious about talking to people during a run because A) I wouldn’t be able to breathe while talking and B) I would not hear a word they were saying because of my hearing.  Turns out, when someone talks to me, I can just smile and throw in a couple of “uh-huh’s” and “really’s” and call it good.  No one needs to know.  Other than faking conversations, my group training experience has been great!  The mentors are full of helpful advice and it’s great to run with an energetic, supportive group.

My second “first”:

I ran my first night run.  I know, I lead such a sheltered life.  Last week, the training group went on a night time run and it was so amazing!  We ran downtown around the river and it was perfect.   Imagine my surprise when I finished the run in one piece…no kidnapping, no mugging.  It was a good night.

My third “first”:

OK, this is a biggie.  So, I’m a slow runner, and that’s just fine, but I am trying to improve my time from like a 12 minute mile to 11 minutes to 10 minutes…and let’s just stop there for now.  For the first time EVER, my time started with a 10.  It doesn’t matter that it was 10:45, I just like to focus on the 10 part.  I think the group runs keep me motivated.  At some point during the runs, it’s inevitable that I will get separated from the bulk of the group.  When that happens, I get nervous that something sinister will happen (I have an overactive imagination) so I move faster to keep up.  In fact, during this morning’s run I saw two homeless guys in the park.  One was sleeping while sitting up and the other one was passed out on the grass with an alarm clock right next to him.  I hope he wasn’t counting on the clock to wake him  up because, well, he was in a park with no outlets.  Anyway, I felt bad for those gents but I have to admit my pace picked up as I tried to run past them and catch up to the rest of the group.  Bottom line, my time is improving but really bizarre things motivate me. 

My fourth “first”:

I went running with my puppy, Finn, for the first time!  Normally I would say, “I took my dog for a run,” but in this case, 8 month old Finn took me for a run.  We did a quick two miles around the neighborhood and I cannot believe how great he did.  He was so focused, didn’t get distracted, didn’t trip me up and didn’t stop to pee on everything in sight.  He was great.  My favorite part was the way he would look at me while we were running.  I couldn’t tell if he was thinking, “You can do this!!” or if he was thinking, “You can do this??”  Running with a dog changes the dynamics of a run in a very wonderful way.  I am looking forward to more runs with Finn!

finn on a walk

While I’ve only been running a little over a  year, I love the fact that there is so much to learn and that I can look forward to many more “firsts” in my running adventures!

relaxingwithpups

Slow Girl relaxing with Fast Dogs!

Running Topless

Well…..I’m not talking about running topless like THAT!   Sheesh.  What kind of girl do you think I am?  Besides, it’s sooooo cold out there.  Speaking of brisk temperatures….

I recently joined a running group and they do crazy things like run outside when it’s cold.  I know, right?  Insanity.  I bet they even have some outrageous “rain or shine” policy, too.  Since I’m new to this running group thing as well as running in cold, hostile temps (low to mid-40’s…I can say that since I grew up in southern California, right?), I decided to purchase this cool-weather running accessory:  The thermal topless winter headband made by Headsweats purchased at Title Nine.

headband      headbands

Here’s what I love about this thermal topless winter headband:

  1. It has a fleece lining around the ear area so simply pull it over your ears and you have ear warmers.
  2. The front portion that covers your forehead is made of super absorbent, moisture wicking material so your sweat is absorbed but the headband does not feel drenched.
  3. It has a cool ponytail slot in the back…not sure if that’s the technical name for it.   If you have a ponytail, it can easily slip through the slot and your headband will stay in place while your hair stays out of your face.
  4. It’s machine washable.
  5. It’s cute.

I wore it during my first group run on Saturday morning and it was just perfect.  It kept my ears warm, my forehead dry, and since it was topless, I didn’t have to deal with excess head heat.  The cost was around $16-$18 (I threw the receipt away before I realized I loved it so much I would blog about it).  Normally I would think that was pricey for a headband but this one was well worth the money.

I sweat a lot when I run so I love, love, love (need, need, need) headbands and this is my cold-weather fave.   If you run in cool temps and want to try going topless, this thermal topless winter headband is definitely worth checking out!

If There Was A Comfort Zone Cliff, I’d Be Jumping Off It Right Now

Like many humans this time of year, I have been battling a super annoying cold these last five days.  So what productive things have I done while lying around hacking and sneezing?  Well, I lathered myself up with some Vicks VapoRub, took a deep breath and did something out of character…I signed up for a training group to prep for an upcoming half marathon this May.

I know signing up for a training group isn’t earth shattering for most people but you have to understand that I am a loner runner.  I’m not a loner in other parts of my life…just running.   I have several concerns about running/training with a group:

  • I’m slow.  What if I’m the slowest one?   Who’s the poor person that is going to get stuck ‘mentoring’ me?  I know the slow pokes will be grouped together, but what if I’m the pokiest?   I just don’t want to be the one that everyone has to wait for…Please God, please have one other person there who is as slow as I am!
  • I don’t want to talk to anyone during a run.  Sounds anti-social but I need all the oxygen I can get and a casual conversation with a fellow runner could be disastrous for me during a run.  One of my biggest challenges when I run is getting winded quickly.   If I have to engage in polite conversation, I won’t be focusing on running…I’ll be focusing on trying to catch my breath (insert  Kelly Clarkson’s “Catch my Breath” song here).
  • This goes hand in hand with not wanting to converse while running – My hearing is HORRIBLE so I wear hearing aids…except when I run which means I really can’t hear jack $h!t when I’m running.  So, I must pray that there’s not a lot of running chit chat that takes place because I won’t hear it.  As a result of my hearing issue, a great deal of my focus is devoted to being visually aware of my surroundings.  I will wear my iPod while out on a run but being the deaf and paranoid person that I am, I spend a great deal of time checking things out.  I’m always asking myself if there are cars behind me, is anyone else out running, are there any suspicious deer hanging around, is anything out of the ordinary?   I suppose these are things all runners should take into consideration, hearing impaired or not.

On the flip side, I envision a lot of positive aspects to joining a running group:

  • I’ll be dealing with people who have a great deal of knowledge and insight.  These experienced runners will be able to coach me in a hands-on way that reading a book could never accomplish.
  • I will have regularly scheduled runs twice a week with the group.  This is a great way to stay motivated and hold myself accountable.
  • I will have the opportunity to enjoy outdoor runs.  Sometimes I’m too chicken to run outside alone so it will be wonderful to know I’m running with a group…safety in numbers!
  • I will be inspired by others’ successes.
  • I will enjoy the company of other runners, which can only be a good thing!
  • I plan to set and accomplish new goals that I may not have been able to accomplish on my own.

So there I go…..Weeeeeeee!   I put my insecurities aside and jumped off the comfort zone cliff.   If I can just get the trainers to talk REALLY loud during the instruction time and make sure I don’t have to converse with anyone during the run time, then I’ve got this in the bag!

comfortzonecliff

Have you jumped off your comfort zone cliff lately?  Did you land softly?

Side note:  I asked my son about the “artwork” above.  Conversation went like this:

  • Me:  “Does this look like someone jumping off a cliff?”
  • Son:  “Yes.  Who drew that?”
  • Me:  “I did.”
  • Son:  “You’re not thinking of suicide are you?”
  • Me:  “No, honey.  It’s a comfort zone cliff…I made it up.  Thanks for asking though.”

I thought it was sweet that he asked.  He was relieved that I wasn’t thinking about jumping off an actual cliff and I was relieved that the drawing was so amazing, he knew what it was.  Yes, I will keep my day job.

So You’re Going to Run a Half Marathon Part 4 – The Mental Stuff

Welcome to Part 4 of my posts about prepping for your first half marathon.  My youngest sister, Amy, will be running her first half this year so I’m offering her oodles of advice since I just ran my first half last October and everything is still fresh in my mind!  Over the last few weeks I’ve covered these topics:

  1. Researching your first half marathon
  2. Getting a training plan in place
  3. Acquiring the necessary gear

Thank you to all the runners who have commented with your additional advice.  It is very much appreciated and I learn so much from you!

This week’s post is about the mental stuff.  This is the most intimidating topic for me because I don’t feel like a Mental Rock Star so this post will offer more perspective than advice.  I will save the advice for the pros whose accomplishments make them worthy of giving advice.  I’m just not there yet.  🙂

When you commit to running a half marathon, you have to mentally prepare and, like the physical preparation, it does not happen overnight.  When I decided to run a half marathon, I had a whole 2 weeks of running experience under my belt and I had to ask myself, “What is the longest race I can run that will not kill me?”  I thought that running  26.2 miles would for sure end in death so I decided not to die and went with running a half marathon.  I believed 13.1 miles surely wouldn’t kill me…and it didn’t.   So I made the decision, registered for the race, and committed to this thing called ‘training for a half marathon’. 

Truth be told, there were some things that I was not quite prepared for when it came to the mental components of my training:

  • Training time – I believe it’s very important to stick to your training schedule and sticking to a schedule takes time…A LOT of time.  It also takes a great deal of commitment so other things, like life, can get temporarily pushed aside.  Don’t get me wrong.  It’s not totally all-consuming but it can be if you let it.  Everyone’s priorities are different so before your training gets underway,  figure out how it will fit into your life and communicate that to your friends and family.  The last thing you want is for everyone to think you’re blowing them off.
  • Long runs and The Wall– As you continue to train, your long runs get…well, longer.  When I ran my first 11 mile long run there was a point when I actually wanted to stop and sit down and cry a little.  It was toward the end of the run, around mile 10, and I was ready to call it quits knowing I had only one mile to go.  I was doing okay physically but my mind kept whining, “This is hard.  I want a ride home.  I’m tired.  Why am I doing this?  This is stupid.  I’m dizzy.  My leg hurts.  I want to go home now.”   Maybe this is what ‘hitting the wall’ is about…when you get so tired and your body is so depleted of fuel that you feel like you can’t go on.   Here’s a great article from runnersworld.com titled, “Against the Wall – How to avoid hitting the notorious roadblock—and strategies for coping if you do.”  It offers some great advice on how to cope when you ‘hit the wall.’   I wish I had known this stuff before my half.  Keep in mind that there will be days when your runs are fantastic and there will be days when your runs just suck.  It’s ok to have a bad day.  It happens to everyone!  Just don’t get hung up on it.
  • Self-Talk – We all do it.  Talk to ourselves in our head.  Some of us, myself included, talk out loud to ourselves.  That’s ok too, although we may look a little on the crazy side….which is fine with me.  During my half marathon training, I would listen to a lot of music because I found that without any noise in my ears, I would do some self-talk that was counter-productive to accomplishing my running goal.  Some people thrive on visualization, meditation, mantras, etc. and that is what keeps them motivated during their runs.  Sadly, I am not one of those people and  I need distracters – music, audio books, a friend to run and talk with, those kinds of things.  Left alone in my own head, I start to complain to myself (see above example…“This is hard.  I want a ride home.  I’m tired….”).  I find this interesting because I’m not a complainer in “real life” so something about the physical/mental discomfort that comes with a long run makes me a whiner.  I figured out a solution though…I put things into perspective and remind myself that in the grand scheme of things, I should not be complaining about ANYTHING.  Life is good and I CAN run so I should be thankful and run like the wind, not like a whiney baby.  That usually does the trick.  Switch my mental focus to all things positive, not negative.

So, as far as mental stuff goes, be prepared to learn a few things about yourself and once you do, you’ll need to figure out what you’re going to do about it.  Surprisingly, this running thing can be just as mental as it is physical and it shouldn’t be any other way!

Runners, do you have any mental obstacles that you have learned to overcome?