Friday, March 27, 2009
Tomorrow is the BIG day--my first half marathon. It's been a long 4 months and now that it's here I have so many mixed emotions it's hard to keep them all in check. If you had asked me a year ago (when I ran my first 5K in 20+ years) if I would ever run 13.1 miles I would have looked at you like you were crazy--why would anyone in their right mind want to do such a thing.
But my endurance improved and I got caught up in all the excitement of Spark Friends & People as they posted about their races and training. And then one day in late November I heard myself say to a friend, "I'm going to run the Cook Forest Half Marathon in March 2009." I remember thinking -- OMG, I just spoke aloud and now I'm committed, or was that "I should be committed"?
Training has had its ups and downs. A pulled muscle set me back a couple of weeks in February. I'm not sure I got enough training in, but that's probably a common concern. I'm focusing on the positive and trying hard not to let any negative self-talk creep in. I firmly believe that what we think affects the outcome.
So, tonight I will go to bed with high expectations and anticipation. I will run strong, walk when I need a break, give support to anyone that might be struggling, accept support from anyone who offers it, and enjoy the experience.
Thanks to everyone who has shared their experience and given advice, and who has cheered me on.
This race will always be special--not because it's my first half marathon, but because I'm finally going to meet Brian36, who is also racing. We are going to cross that finish line at last!
Wednesday, March 25, 2009
My goal in 2009 is to drop 10 lbs. And I've done it!! The problem is, it's been the same one to two pounds lost 5 times (maybe even more--I've lost count)!! What fun!
I swear my fat cells have GPS embedded in them--they always know how to get back home.
Friday, March 20, 2009
Those Sparkpoints—they're great motivators! It may seem silly that a virtual reward has the power to influence our behavior. After all, we can't pay our bills with them, buy a new outfit, or spend them on a dream vacation.
So why do they work and how can we benefit even more from them? The points may not be real, but the people earning them are. The points represent the collective goodwill of a community larger than ourselves. They represent the efforts of millions of people trying to improve their lives through better habits. They represent the caring and support that SparkPeople give to one another. Every time we blog, share a recipe, or participate in a team forum, we have the potential to boost someone’s morale, make someone laugh, form a new friendship, educate someone, or motivate someone.
Okay, so now we have a gazillion points, and they have been motivating us to participate in the community, exercise more, eat more healthfully, and to continue learning about how to live a good life. 'Cause isn’t that what we are all ultimately trying to do?
The points sitting in our accounts have done a good job of motivating us, but they haven't been used to their full potential until they're spent. Unlike real cash, they’re not earning any interest (and real cash isn't earning much these days). And the coolest thing about SparkPoints is that when you spend them on a Goodie, they are not subtracted from your balance (try getting your bank to use this model).
So buck today's economic bad news and be a spendthrift with your points. Send your friends a SparkGoodie and let them know they are important to you. If you've read a good blog, gotten some good advice or support, or tried a new recipe, etc., send a Goodie to thank them for sharing or for inspiring you. If you receive a SparkGoodie, pay it forward and give a Goodie to someone else. I guarantee that SparkPoints will become even more valuable if you do.
Saturday, March 07, 2009
The odds of me racing in my first half marathon at the end of the month are looking better. The week of rest seems to have been helpful.
Last night I ran a slow, easy pace around the track and was surprised to get in over 4 miles without significant pain . . . really, no pain, just some discomfort. I took it very easy and walked a lap whenever I felt the strained muscles start to tighten. A quick stretching break provided some relief about mid-way.
The first thing I wanted to do when I got home was to log in and shout out that I was back in the race. Then I thought better of it; better to be cautiously optimistic and wait until this morning to see how I felt. Gingerly I rolled out of bed; no pain. Then I stretched a bit, pressing my ribs and testing the muscles. Still no pain!! Wow, the first day in almost a month that I haven't been hurting.
Until now I didn't realize how much I counted on the excitement and challenges of running to carry into other areas of my life. I was getting very discouraged and beginning to think that the injury was going to take months to heal. But I wasn't quite ready to give up my goal of running the half marathon.
The next two weeks will still be a challenge--when I was in pain, I knew I had to take it easy. That automatic governor is now gone, but I'll still have to restrain my natural tendency to try to make tremendous leaps in distance and speed. It's baby steps for me--running slow and easy every other day next week and then re-evaluate my progress.
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