Friday, January 23, 2015

what's up with 2015

Wow, time sure flies by! I can't believe we are nearing the end of January already!!  Yes, I've been running, and even doing some cross-training.  It's been a good month!  I've set some goals for myself, and also joined a few fun challenges.

First the challenges:
1. Run 50 miles during January.  I'm gearing up to begin marathon training the first week in February, so I started doing my base training in December.  But I'm lazy. So when I saw the Minneapolis Running January Miles Challenge I decided to join. Options were 50, 100 or 150.  I knew I wasn't up for a 100 mile month yet, but 50 was totally doable. I have just over 10 miles left to reach my goal. Easy peasy!

2. January Plank a Day challenge with Eat Drink and Be Skinny.  Front plank and two side planks each day.  Four levels of difficulty.  I'm a wuss and remain at level 2 BUT... I am now able to hold 60 second planks (for a total of 3 minutes!) AND I have done it every day so far!

3. Run 100 days in 2015 Challenge. I forget who it's with!! Anyway, I'm sure I can meet this challenge and just thought it would be a fun one to participate in. I know I signed up for it someplace - probably on that bookface thing - but frankly can't remember. You know I'm going to be 50 soon, right? Yeah. So I guess I have cut my aging brain some slack.

My gratitude jar
1. Practice gratitude.  I'm learning a lot about personal resiliency and how it affects day to day life.  One great tool to enhance resiliency is to practice gratitude.  I have a jar next to my bed, along with colored pens and paper. Each night, I write down things that happened during the day for which I am grateful.  Could be cooking a meal with the husband, sharing a laugh with one of the grunions, going for a run with a friend, seeing a beautiful sunrise...... whatever made me feel good that day.  The plan is to do that throughout the year, watch the notes pile up in the jar, and then on December 31, read and relive all the wonderful things I saw, did and experienced during 2015.

2. Take better care of myself. 2014 sucked, and I had a few stressful years before that.  I think my overall stress led to injury.  In 2015, my plan is to take better care of myself, mentally, physically and spiritually. Eat better, sleep better, nourish relationships..... you get the idea.  Not only can I help myself, but hopefully, I can do something good for others as well.

3. Run two marathons in 2015.  Because I'm turning 50! Grandma's in June, and if I can get in, Twin Cities in October.  Fingers crossed that the arthritis doesn't make training unbearable.  This is somewhat uncharted territory for me now.  I haven't run further than a half marathon in a couple of years, and I have to say, a couple of those were pretty damn painful. Of course, I wasn't training much either, but since I had signed up to run and if I was feeling pretty good that day, I figured what the hell, I may as well!  Probably not super smart on my part, but whatever. I like the mental challenge just as much as the physical.

So that's what's up for me so far for 2015.  I have a 10k race tomorrow (the Securian Winter Run) which I'm looking forward to.  I've done the 5k a couple of times. It's a nice hilly course in downtown St. Paul. Looks like the weather is going to be gorgeous too - 38 degrees!! Makes me wonder if I should wear capris...... I'm a Minnesota girl, ya know.  I'll run in shorts if it's over 45 degrees.  

I'll let you know how the race goes. If you're racing, or running, or setting goals or otherwise challenging yourself, tell me about it! I'd love to hear what others are up to.

Sunday, January 4, 2015

feels like starting over

Hi there peeps!  I bet you thought you were never going to hear from me again!   Am I right?

Despite not writing a single blog post in 2014, I never actually left, and I didn't stop running, I just wasn't documenting my running failures on the blogosphere for all to see.

2014 wasn't a great year for me personally.  Yep, I'm still dealing with my arthritis pain. In early 2014, I started having episodes of vertigo, and let me tell you, having the world spin around you can really screw things up! I have to say though, it can also make running a lot more interesting. The cause?  Could be hormonal, could be migraine related..... who knows?? I tried the PT route (hoping it was benign positional vertigo, but no such luck), had an MRI and am no closer to an answer. So now my world view is tilted from time to time.

But by far the worst and saddest thing that happened in 2014 was that my dad died.

My dad and me 1965.
It was a long summer for him, starting with a full cardiac arrest on July 15th. He recovered from that, but began a long downward spiral health-wise. 11 hospitalizations from July to October. It was a really tough time for him. His heart was not functioning well and he had other complications that proved impossible for his team of doctors to solve.

In late October, he, along with my mom, made the difficult decision to enter into hospice care, and he went home on October 30. He died 7 days later on November 6 at 6:45 a.m.  He spent the week surrounded by family and friends. Gracious, kind and loving until the end, he didn't complain at all about any of his pains or just the f-ing unfairness of it all.  I am so grateful that I was able to care for him during his final week and was with him when he died. It was such a gift to have that time with him. 
And here we are again! June 2014.

He was an amazing man and I'm lucky to have been his daughter.  I miss him every day.

But, back to the siren call of running (because that is the focus of this blog)..... Running was always waiting for me, making me feel envious when I saw people running, whispering to "C'mon out!"  It kept calling to me through the year. I ran when I could, but it certainly wasn't on a regular basis. I had signed up for races and ended up running them despite sometimes having done NO training runs at all. (Maybe I'll write about some of the races in upcoming posts.  I had some pretty great experiences and crossed paths with some fabulous fellow runners!)  Sometimes running brought a feeling of comfort, and other times it just felt really, really good to go out and make myself feel like crap.

Running is kind of like the old friend that you haven't seen for years and years, but when you get together, it's like you haven't spent a day apart (well, except for the wheezing from being so horrifically out of shape.)  I've missed my friend, and I'm ready to spend time with that friend again.  Like, on a regular basis. So I don't have to wheeze so much.

On another note, did I mention that I'm turning 50 this year? 
Five zero.
As in, fifty YEARS.

How the hell did THAT happen??
I know, I second at a time.

Anywhoo....... since I'm turning 50, I thought I'd scare myself a little. So I signed up for Grandma's again.  Then I thought I would scare myself more.  I'm signing up for the Twin Cities marathon when registration opens on February 3rd. Fingers crossed that I can get in!! If that doesn't work out for me, I'm going to find another fish to fry.  I'm going to try to keep up on my blog this year, if for no other reason than to document "The year that I turned 50!"  As part of my legacy, you know. (Cuz I'm sure that some day, my kids will be interested in my ongoing quest for the perfect sports bra...... how I perfected the snot rocket during the winter of 2015..... and other fascinating aspects of running while middle-aged.)  I'm also going to finds ways to honor my dad throughout the year. I may or may not document those activities here....

So that's where things are for me right now.  Hope you are all doing well.  Here's to a happy, healthy 2015.