Unrelenting Blogging, Running and Courage: Six Year Anniversary!

Word Press informed me today it’s my six year anniversary as a blogger.

Hard to believe this chronicle of my life still stands– I attempted to erase it once. Exes had commented, past friends were keeping tabs on me, fellow bloggers encouraged me. Thank you to those who have subscribed, followed, commented and encouraged this unrelenting literary journey! Some have left, but most have stayed.  It’s edifying.

I went through a period of wanting my life without documentation.

My emerging narrative had no focus, I felt it was a waste  of time. But as events unfolded, I found this humble blog to be a refuge.

I would write what I want, without censor or error by editors. Without deadlines.

This journey began as a public vow of accountability during Lent, to uphold my Catholicism and Lenten promises. To challenge me.

Six years ago, I was searching for meaning in a relationship with a man. I thought that was the dream I should chase. I thought my treasure would be in another’s heart– in the reflection of what he loved in me.

Now I have accepted loss in relationships that haven’t lasted. I wrote about some dates, and the struggles to combat loneliness and failed compatibility. But I kept the details away, not wanting to jinx something still evolving, nor preserve details of suitors who did not work out.

Now I have accepted uncertainty and blog when I feel compelled.

I am still restless, but have re-directed my energy. Now the relationship I feed is that with myself– and running is the mechanism driving me forth.

Now I have races and goals for which to train! The joy I find is in surpassing my doubts.

I seek my own approval, reward myself with courage.

I’m making plans without fear.

I’m still Catholic, but now I forgive myself easier. I don’t depend on Lent to hold me accountable to my own promises.

I allow myself to be human, faults and mishaps included. I enjoy Mass but it’s not the center of my life as it once was.

I’ve chosen to build my life around developing a routine of running. I’m struggling with rising early and getting to sleep early enough to maintain that schedule. But already, it’s bringing me peace.

I’ve signed up for training classes for an upcoming race, my first 10k with lots of hills. I’ve joined the local run club in my community. I’ve attended group runs. I’ve enlisted a running buddy to start soon. I’ve purchased running gear necessary. I’m learning to layer properly in differing weather so I can persevere.

I’ve also failed twice this week on something I consider major: I missed my training class Thursday, and slept through a group run this morning.

I’m worried because my next race has a time limit for me to qualify as a finisher– I usually need 1 hour and 30 minutes to run five miles. This race requires 1 hour and fifteen. I felt intimidated— but signed up anyway. Now that fee has been paid! I want that finisher’s medal.

Today as I ran, I pushed myself. I knew I had to wean my mileage and maintain it below a 15 minute mile. And I did, except for two short bouts of walking. I noticed my knees hurting by the end, 3.16 miles. But I don’t normally feel that when I’m running regularly.

Tomorrow morning I’m meeting someone from our running group early. I’ll go faster.

I’ll be the runner I know is within me.

I think I’ve found something special with running.

And it’s in every road, every time I put on my shoes.

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Outta My Own Head: Running for Real

I’m struggling with running since I decided to get serious about it.

I signed up for a training class leading up to my first 10k race and also joined a local run club, to motivate me and better prepare.

I noticed that on days when there were group runs, I was stoked! One day last I even ran before AND after work.

These people are hardcore. There is a calendar of scheduled runs and races and they run no matter the elements! I love that. I’ve run in a thunderstorm once years ago, it was hella fun!

Adventure is in my soul, I just need to unleash it.

While it’s awesome to belong to a new organization, it’s also reminding me how much of a beginner I am. It’s good to be surrounded by such accomplished veterans, from whom I can learn so much. But it’s also hard to be the slowest kid in the pack.

Freshman year of high school, I gave up at this point. I gave up because I was the slowest. I also remember it was hell on my lungs. I tried out for a play and never played sports again… until I returned to running as an adult.

But there’s more motivation this time. Also, my body seems more resilient.

It’s not even just about wanting to be healthy and challenge myself physically and emotionally.

There are friendships to be made by doing this. These people are encouraging.

I can ask them all the questions I want. But I have to prove myself, too.

I set ambitious race goals for myself– my next three will all push me in a different way.

The Bank of America Shamrock Shuffle has a time limit– my first of that type. If I don’t finish in 1 hour and 15 minutes, I don’t count as a finisher. I typically need 1 hour 30 minutes for five miles– the length of this race. (It’s called an 8k.)

But instead of backing out, I doubled-down and registered. I will do it!

Most other members are running this race as well and I’m on a team within the club!

I WANT this. I will make it happen. And hey, I’m Irish! That’s gotta help. 🙂

I’ve received nothing but encouragement. But I can’t psych myself out.

I just haven’t wanted to get up and GO this week. But if I make weather excuses now, it will be no different this summer when it gets humid and hot.

I want to run farther, faster. I want to run with strategy and goals.

The only one who can do that is me.

No one else is going to make me faster. Only I can push myself to run farther.

Until now I’ve just raced to complete them and have fun. But now it’s a new level.

And I need to become accountable to myself– not just a class or a group run.

I will keep going! But I also need to be less harsh on myself.

This is a big lifestyle change for me, transitioning to early morning runs rather than afternoon and evening runs when it’s convenient.

I haven’t missed a class– that’s something.

I also need to learn to eat better, for fuel and so I can achieve my goals.

But one thing at a time!

Getting my feelings out and admitting them IS accountability. I’ll blog myself through it.

Goodbye, Excuses!!

Just got back from my first synced-up run with Eleise, week 2!!

We are getting better.

Tonight I really felt like I was on my game, because I downloaded a Nike app to sync up with Eleise, who also has it. We mostly figured it out, and I loved that it tracked our progress and even motivates us!

Tonight it was hot but I just spritzed ample OFF! And we ran as scheduled. And for the first time, I really broke a sweat! And we changed up our route– thus far, we make small changes each time.

Tonight we ran on concrete, asphalt, grass, a trail– and it just got easier.

She’s the music supply on her phone, always ’80s. We were both cracking up when “Thriller,” came on just as we were about hit a trail through some woods.

I’ve come so far since I first tried running, two years ago this spring. The main problems I had were that I had no place to store my keys and phone whilst running, and thus used a purse I could sling over my shoulder. It was light so it worked fine but it was still kind of annoying and bulky.

Now I have this neato stretchy zippered belt contraption, which houses my keys, phone, and cash or ID if I need. It’s adjustable and once I close it up, I forget about it. It doesn’t get in my way, I can’t even feel it! Amazing.

Also, last time I had no way to track my progress. Without some type of app or device measuring my results, I quickly lost motivation.

Now I have both an accountability partner in Eleise AND and new app to coordinate!!

We’re also catching up and just plain having FUN! We’re motivated, but not competitive.

YET. I’m sure that day will arrive!

She’s talking about doing a 5k. I threw up an automatic wall at first because it just seemed like too much– but I like that she’s always thinking ahead and looking to set goals. I’m considering it!

Tonight we ran 3.14 miles, though did walk a bit of it. But baby steps, right?!

We had a blast tagging each other on Facebook in our runs and even took a post-run selfie— mind you, in the the pitch dark! I turned the flashlight on my phone, and she took it with hers.

THIS IS SO FUN. I know I’m going to sleep great tonight!

Also, I noticed I wasn’t getting winded tonight. Already, my breathing is getting better.

I walked 4.1 miles yesterday and my legs weren’t even sore!

I’m going to learn all about this sport and how to get in the best shape and health of my life.

Just A Little Patience

God is so frustrating !!!

You think you know what you’re doing, and then get a heaping reminder from Him that you don’t.

I think maybe He is trying to teach me patience.

I make no apologies for expressing my opinions and needs, because I feel that’s healthy and necessary. But I also admit that I can be impatient. The glory of being single is that you can always have it your way. But yes, it does get old after awhile.

It’s a mighty struggle to discern His will. That’s why we pray incessantly.

He wants us to talk to him. He wants to be part of the conversation of our lives.

It is a constant struggle to cultivate humility and yet persevere with our decisions and goals. I don’t always feel strong enough to take the path that it seems God wants me to take. I’ve always been a big subscriber of the “signs” idea. The only pervasive answer I can find to questions I ask about where to go is an intense, persistent desire to do something.

That’s where our faith becomes mandatory. That’s why we need faith.

God does not give up just because we feel hesitant or blatantly reject the idea.

He is more patient than any of us.