Monday, April 15, 2013

Mastering Body: Races Galore!

Since I last wrote, I’ve run 3 races of all different distances.  March 24 I ran my first of (at least 4) half marathons this year, the Chi-Town Half.  April 7 I ran the famous Shamrock Shuffle and this past Saturday, April 13 I ran the Just Move it Challenge 5k.

Running these races in rapid succession has proved a very good thing for me, because I’m currently super jazzed about running.  I’m loving each and every run and have been looking forward to planning my runs appropriately to maximize results.  Right now, I’m just super excited to run and train all summer.

But also running these races ended up being big physical and mental victories for me.  I’ll talk about the mental victories in Friday’s Mastering Mind post.  So, today, let’s take a look at the awesome physical accomplishments that occurred during these 3 races!

  1. The Chi-Town half marathon was much more a mental victory than a physical one, but something physically great did occur.  While my time was 2:21:52, well shy of my PR, I am able to recognize one major accomplishment.  This was the first half marathon in which I ran the whole time.  My previous 2 half marathons both contained very short walks somewhere in the 11th mile.  So, although I was a bit slowed down, I ran the whole time which was a huge accomplishment for me.
  2. The Shamrock Shuffle was not a planned running event this year.  I came by an entry 4 days before the race and jumped at the opportunity to do it.  I had no expectations, in fact I couldn’t even remember the last 8k I ran, so I didn’t know what a decent time goal would be.  Until that morning and I just woke up knowing that I could run a 9:45 pace.  Turns out, I was right.  I actually ran 9:39 and PRed with a time of 47:56.  After looking it up, I beat my old 8k PR by about 5 minutes!!!
  3. This weekend’s 5k was a great surprise!  While I run 3 miles all the time, I’ve done nothing recently to work on my speed at that distance, because I’ve been too busy enduring longer runs.  So, I just thought I was going to use the race as an excuse to get my 3 miles in for the day, nothing major or noteworthy about it.  UNTIL I PRed in that race too!!!  I ran the 5k in 28:02 (a 9:03 pace) and beat my previous PR by 40 seconds!

Running consistently obviously pays off!!!

Friday, April 12, 2013

Mastering Mind: Returning from Vacation

So in truth, I returned from St. Thomas early in the morning April 3.  However, I seem to have had a very slow transitions out of vacation mode.  I had no intention of taking any time off from the blog during vacation.  I have every intention of pre-writing and scheduling the blog posts for while I was gone.  However, as you know, planning is not my forte and I totally and extremely dropped the ball.  For that, dear reader(s), I apologize.

Vacation didn’t end up being relaxing as I had hoped.  But it definitely served a different (perhaps life altering) purpose.  I was afforded the opportunity for a lot of soul searching and personal reflection and decided it was time to perhaps make some changes.  If these changes come true or prove successful, I will share them on the blog.

But for right now, I wanted to stop by, tell you hello and I’m alive.  I will resume regular blogging on Monday with a new Mastering Body Post.

Until then, I encourage you all to take whatever opportunity presents itself!  Go on the vacation.  Run the race without training.  Become reflective when the mood strikes.  Apply for the dream job.  Reconnect with the old friend.  Forgive yourself for past mistakes.

Carpe Diem!

Friday, March 22, 2013

Mastering Mind: Embracing Vacation Opportunities

The title of this post implies that I have trouble going on vacation and the truth is, I do.  I have the difficulty for 2 reasons. One, with my independent contractor status at work; if I don’t work, I don’t get paid.  Two, I worry about leaving my clients for a week.

However, this new year and the Pilot’s new job has offered vacation opportunities that have just been too good to pass up.  So I’ve had to challenge myself to embrace these fun opportunities in appropriate and responsible ways.

In January, the Pilot was training in a new airplane for 3 weeks in Teterboro, NJ.  This presented the opportunity to fly to visit him in the middle of his trip and go across the river into New York (where I’ve never been).  This trip ended up being a long weekend trip from Saturday to Tuesday and because of the way my schedule works, I only missed one day of work!

Next week, I head to St. Thomas.  My father currently lives there, my Mom is down there visiting and the Pilot’s first flight at his new job is to (none other than) St. Thomas.  So I’m flying down there to join in the family fun.

I’ll be gone Tuesday to Tuesday, which is a full week of work, but if client’s want to see me next week they can squeeze themselves into my availability on Monday. 

I was also able to easily justify the cost of this trip; by traveling on off days (Tuesdays) and staying with the Pilot and then with my parents for free!!

Plus, I never took Spring Break vacations as a kid or in college, so why not embrace that idea now?!

Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Mastering Spirit: First Day of Spring Blues

I know that Spring doesn’t typically bring about melancholy feelings, but this year Spring is being brought in with unseasonably cold temperatures.  Like a wind chill in the single digits.

Today it is definitely challenging my spirit.  It’s hard to remain positive and motivated to do anything when winter just keeps holding on.

However, a couple of weeks ago, The Pilot and I came up with the perfect solution to keep my spirits high during this lengthy weather transition.

We booked a vacation to St. Thomas next week!!!  (The same site as our honeymoon)

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Monday, March 18, 2013

Mastering Body: I Want to Lose Weight

I know I’ve proclaimed this many times before.  And I also know that I’ve bragged about weight loss accomplishments.  However, the truth is, nothing seems to stick.  I count calories for awhile, then I stop. I cut out bread, or alcohol, or coffee and then I stop.  I try to add more fruit and vegetables and then I stop.

I am so used to eating what I like (which is rarely healthy), I can’t seem to stay away for very long.  And to be perfectly honest, I don’t understand it.

I am unhappy with the way my body looks (sorry to be a Debbie Downer and publically post negative self talk) and I have every reason to fight to be healthy.  My father is diabetic and has had open heart surgery. I know the consequences of my choices, yet I choose poorly anyway.

I often talk with client’s about how food is fulfilling some need within them, but I can’t for the life of me look inside and figure out what my psyche thinks I’m missing.  This is the one area where I really feel like my training failed me.  I really feel like I can’t fix me.

I know what I should be doing and I also know that I can do it (because I’ve done it before), but I just can’t seem to do it.  It’s very frustrating.

And for some reason, today, I can’t seem to focus on anything else.  So I had to share with you all;  I’m completely at a loss as to how to Master my Body.

Friday, March 15, 2013

Mastering Mind: Blogging on Time

I had another Mastering Mind post planned for today, but since I basically completely forgot to blog, I thought I would change it up.

This blog has lived various lives. But for the last 6 weeks or so, it has begun to live the life I’ve been envisioning for it; 3 blog posts a week, each one themed either Mind, Body or Spirit.  I’ve also been trying very hard to have the blogs post at the same time on each of those 3 days (I read somewhere, that in order to increase readership, consistency is key).

However, that task (posting at the same time) has proved to be way more difficult that I ever would have thought.  On any given week, I usually have an idea of what I want to blog.  But, just because I know what I want to write about, doesn’t mean that I do it in a timely fashion.  I wait until the last minute and slap something together.

Today is no different, I knew what I wanted to blog about, but when I sat down to do it the words weren’t flowing.  I looked at the clock and had plenty of time before post time so I decided to step away and get other things done.

Some laundry, a 6 mile run and a shower later, I look back at the clock and realize that I’ve completely missed my post time.  Without even once, thinking about the blog from the time I walked way to the time I realized I’d messed up.

Now, today’s post is late and not what I had originally planned to talk about. But, I think this a good time to publically proclaim that I will come up with a better blog writing plan.

Like writing all 3 blogs on one day and schedule them to post accordingly. While it’s true that the consistency of my blog posting has improved, I really want to challenge myself to have the quality of the posts improve as well.

The only way to do that is to make a better plan and not slap something together at the last minute.  Wish me luck as I continue to improve the quality of this blog.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Mastering Spirit: New Pope

I’m still sick and finding it extremely difficult to string coherent sentences together.  Luckily, this happened just in time to save me from posting something nonsensical today.

Once more information becomes available, I may share some more detailed thoughts.

But for now, I would just like to wish the Holy Father the best of luck. I’ll be praying for him.