Thursday, August 24, 2017

Catching Up

I am persistent. As my husband likes to say "I'm like a dog with a bone..." Well, I'm back. More than a year, but still pushing to do my goal. It has been an intense time for me, but things have begun to settle down. I have spent the most recent past year: homeschooling my daughter (she hated it); and moving my parents from their remote ten-acre property of 20 years to a retirement community in a town with a hospital. 

Through all of it I ended up with a very intense allergy related rash. Also a very close friend died. But I am still standing and getting settled into my new home and town and this morning as I was journaling I thought "why not come back here to my blog?"

Under my doctor's care I have been keeping a food journal, which was very interesting, particularly in times of stress and also when it is hard to get good healthy food on the go. My food choices have aggravated my joints and so now in my new place I've been thinking that I need to do to some version of a Paleo diet as skipping most grains, corn, potatoes and dairy really keeps away the joint pain.

Along with the food allergy rash (connected to almonds and coconut) that I had last December and January (with few flare ups in the spring); I was also having heart palpitations and tested as borderline pre-diabetic. Ackkkkk!!!

Can we say "WAKE UP CALL!" And I did. Doctor's orders included walking, meditation and keeping a food journal. So that's why I thought maybe blogging would be helpful as I continue to re-focus myself on my health for the second act of my life. 

As an update: my rash is gone; and my heart palpitations have stopped. I will be checking my numbers regarding being pre-diabetic in another month or so.

Life is intense, but shifting in really good ways. My daughter will be starting at a really good charter school next week and can walk or bike to school, which she loves.

Yesterday, I did absolutely nothing to care for myself (see my list below) though I did watch hours of Graham Norton and laughed my head off. The Graham Norton show on the BBC is brilliant and I've taken to watching the tiny clips at night when I go to bed after really intense days just so that I can be smiling when I fall asleep. I think it's helped.

In the evening yesterday after an intense and heated conversation with my husband, Graham Norton clips couldn't save me, but getting dressed and eating out with a friend helped though I did get lost in talking about really negative old history.

But here it is: a new day and another chance to get it right or maybe just be gentle with myself. Hence the reason that I decided to make a list of things I like to do each day:
  • Each morning when I wake up before I get out of bed, I try to thank the universe for all that I am grateful to have in my life.
  • I like to have a large mug of warm lemon water first thing in the morning.
  • I like to oil pull and dry brush if possible before I shower or get dressed.
  • I feel really good when I journal for 30 minutes.
  • I am now meditating using the IAM program from Amma. I do it in a couple of different ways but I like the version with the stretches best.
  • I would like to go for a walk or run. This is the piece I really need to work on doing. In my new house, which is situated in a small town, everything I need is a walk-able distance. This lifestyle change feels like the best thing that could happen to me. My goal is to add running into my weekly routine and come back to my marathon goal.
Nothing like getting things down in black and white. I am feeling pretty thankful for being able to leave my car driving habits behind. Yippee. I think it's going to be a fun new journey of self discovery.  

And I will do a marathon in this lifetime because I am persistent that way.


Monday, March 14, 2016

Back At It...

So I am going for a smaller goal of running a half-marathon. No more reading books and pining about running a marathon. I am letting go of perfection. I need a goal to help me focus on my work tasks and so I decided to do a half-marathon.

Close to me here in Santa Fe is the 30th Annual Taos Marathon on June 5th. Three months out, that is a doable goal. Also I found on MORE Magazine's website a 12-week training program for running a half-marathon for those of us going from couch to half-marathon. Just what I need: a schedule and a clear plan.

My biggest goal for this project is to let go of perfection and just go for it. I really liked the WEEK 1 Schedule. Monday, today was cross training. The scheduling fits with my life. Today I just started with a walk and a bit of core training. Not as much as I wanted, but it's a start. I also I found a great running path not far from where I live and drove the length of it to get a mileage reading. The path is perfect in that on Sunday, I can have my girl ride her bike with me for my 3-mile day and since we are not on the road, it will actually be relaxing for me.

Check out my new training board. I decided to write the week out for myself so that I can see what I am doing instead of having things in a binder. Frankly, the whole point for me is to focus on a doable goal with benchmarks that don't break my back and in a time frame that is realistic, but close enough to feel like it's coming up quick. Hocus Pocus let us focus on our task right now. A line I used to say to my daughter when she was little. Oh how it rings true for me now.

Regarding this blog, I decided that I would write here on cross-training days so I wouldn't be overwhelmed, but I'd have some continuity to my process.

Final thought: still drinking hot lemon water in the mornings, but I have added lime and cucumber to the water I drink during the day (with no lemon). I am liking the taste and I seem to drink more of it, which is a good thing for hydration.

Monday, March 16, 2015

Life Is Like A Helix

Today I went for a run. I like to say run, but really it was a walk/jog/run. It felt good. I know I will sleep much better than I did last week when I was shut in and sick.

So thoughts for today. I reread my old posts when I was doing my blog redesign and I wanted to share that I have simplified my liquids in take. Now every morning I have 32oz. of warm to hot water with a lemon slice before I eat anything. Some mornings if I get up early enough I drink it leisurely, other mornings it might be gulped. For pre-breakfast and what I run on I have a muffin tin frittata.* Now I'm drinking my second 32 oz. of lemon water and then I will have one more mini frittata.

Also today with my running I am also adding in doing the "plank." I happen to read about the plank last year and felt that core strengthening is something that I need. The first time I tried to do the plank I lasted about 15 seconds. Today I did it for 1 minute. By Wednesday I will really feel it in my abdomen, but I think that is good. (One can Google the plank and find out more about benefits and draw backs. The link above is just the one I picked to highlight the exercise.)
The Helix
After my run, I pulled out my training binder, which had my training dairy sheets in it. The top sheet was my best day way back in May 2013. That really put a smile on my face. So while I feel like I'm starting over, I'm not really. Once along time ago when I was complaining to a friend about starting something over, they said that I wasn't. Really instead of thinking that I was in loop or trapped in circle, the situation was like a helix. I may have circled around but I was higher. Opening my binder and seeing my previous accomplishment noted on a training dairy sheet felt good and helped me to see the helix of this moment.

Lastly, I got out my stickers. What is that? I have little stickers that I used to use to highlight all the tasks that my daughter had completed during the day. It was part of process that I called Operation Cooperation. I started it because one night when my daughter was in kindergarten she told me that all I ever do is tell her what she hasn't done. I felt really sad about that, so I figured out the list process so that we could both see all that had been accomplished in the day towards the formation of good habits.

Now today I am going to use the little stickers to put on my calendar when I run, do the plank, and write at this blog. That way on the days when life intervenes and things don't go quite as I planned, besides the training dairy, I will have visual record of what I am doing. It really helps to track the habit making process. My goal beyond doing a marathon and also a triathlon is to have the habit of exercise.

Here's to the helix and continuing my process.

*One can Google muffin tin frittata and find many variations. I follow the base of six eggs and 20 minutes of baking at 350ยบ F from the recipe link above, but after that I like to be creative. I make mine with broccoli and my daughter likes bacon and cheddar cheese. Room temperature or 20 seconds in the microwave make them great for traveling. I make up the tin and then refrigerate and eat them for the week. Also size-wise they are perfect for the whole family. For breakfast my daughter eats one, I sometimes eat two and my husband will have two to four. 

Friday, March 13, 2015

The Persistence Of Desire

 Persistence [noun]
1. the act or fact of persisting
2. the quality of being persistent: "You have persistence, I'll say that for you."
3. continued existence or occurrence: "the persistence of smallpox."
4. the continuance of an effect after its cause is removed.

It's late tonight and I thought my blog needed some love in the form of a design update and a new post. A great many ideas run through my head for this blog, but they don't often make it into fully articulated posts. 

A lot has happen since I started writing here. One thing that has not happened: I have not yet made my goal of running a marathon and my envisioned deadline has come and gone. BUT I am persistent. Since it's late I was double checking the spelling of the word persistence and I thought the four definitions above fit my situation perfectly. 

First, let me say that even though my stated goal of running a marathon has not yet happened, my secondary goal of changing my life has, but not necessarily as I had planned. Isn't that always the case. Number one: I don't live in Prescott, AZ anymore. And in changing my address I have traveled about with the family and had some great fun exploring the Southwest. Number two: my family and I downsized our life into a fifth wheel trailer, with just a footprint of stored things in a space that is 10' x 10' x 16'. When we left Goldwater Lake we had two storage units that were 10' x 20' x 12'. Basically, my husband, daughter and I got rid of a third our stuff, which turned out to be a six-month cathartic process. Clear Your Clutter With Feng Shui by Karen Kingston was the most helpful book in the process. In the clean out I did say good bye to my old "used" walking shoes that started me on my journey.

When my husband left his job we had ten days to vacate the residence that we had lived in for seven years. Needlessly to say it was really stressful. For the entire process my main goal was that it be a great adventure for my daughter (and that all the upheaval transform into fun for her). That did happen. The irony for me was that on the day that my life got thrown into the blender, I had my very best running day ever, which meant that I had run for nearly a continuous twenty minutes. I was pretty proud of myself. And then by the late afternoon of that day, life was suddenly like having everything thrown up in the air.

In the months that ensued over this past year and half, I doggedly kept trying to keep up my marathon goal. In fits and spurts, which I logged here I kept "trying to run." I did two races with my daughter.

Left is evidence from my very first race. I was just happy to finish. I did it with my friend Gina and her daughter (and her husband, the runner who was really off running). Gina's husband has been a great encourager for me. They moved  to Oregon last year.

Then my daughter and I did another race with Gina and her daughter and her running husband, which I am proud of doing because it was in Groom Creek at 7000 ft. and hilly. I finished and really got a sense of the fun and excitement generated around runners. A few people I know from my past regularly post running/marathon race pictures and now I get why. It is fun to race and to finish.
H. was into playing around as we got ready for the Groom Creek race. It has been great to have her in the races with me. She loves to run and I hope that by racing in the same races she gets that running is for a lifetime.
Last August we landed in Santa Fe and decided to hang out and have H. go to a private school we really wanted her to experience. Just before school started, the school sponsored a race, which H. and I did participated in, but my heart was not in it. It had been a year of upheaval and traveling and I just couldn't get into a rhythm of running. I kept trying, but trying is the key word. Finally, I just sort of gave up. My back was bothering me and the habit of running nor the need to run didn't seem to be completely gelled in me.

In November my husband's trucking job finally settled down and now he works for long stretches at a time in North Dakota. H. and I live across the street from her school, which has been lovely. For the fall we biked to school and through this winter we have walked.

Another of my goals when I started this blog was to develop my writing. Again I imagined it would happen mainly through this blog, but instead it has developed in other ways and through other endeavors particularly related to my filmmaking passions, which continue to be developed and move out into the world. I admit I miss the beauty of my office, but have to say that the need to write did take hold. I no longer need "my office" to really write. I can write anywhere anytime. That feels great. And that is my goal for my running, which brings me up to date.

Some time in January I woke up mentally to the fact that where I live—just beyond H.'s school—is an amazing place to run and start my training again. So I started walking everyday after I dropped off my daughter in the mornings. That felt good. I started sleeping better, which meant that my back started feeling a whole lot better and then at the end of February I decided to pull out my running shoes and gear and really go for it. Once I got started I realized that maybe running wasn't so foreign to me after all. I had two weeks that started my training, which felt great. Then I got a cold this past week, but by this Monday I should be back to normal. 

I feel excited. I feel like my best quality is my persistence, which has served me well in every undertaking I have pursued. Now my task is to sign up for some races. Half-marathon I am coming for you this summer!

Friday, September 27, 2013

Down But Not Out

Okay, so I know that it has been months since I have written a post here...major life changes have happened, but I have finally settled into a new semi-normal situation. I have never been able to write through a crisis. I need a lot of processing time to absorb what is going on. So while more changes are coming, for now things are good and somewhat calm. There is much drama to report and I will get back to it, but today I am wearing new running shoes and damn, I am happy. I am smiling. Can we say happy feet?

And here they are with my dry, slightly hairy legs. My wonderful husband bought them for me today. I had put them on layaway so long ago that I had given up hope of ever actually owning them. I bought them here in Prescott at Manzanita Outfitters. (Check them out also on Facebook...Manzanita Outfitters.)

I went in one day to daydream about investing in my first pair of new running shoes and Dani Layne (who has finicky feet) ended up helping me so much: figuring out what I wanted and basically teaching me about shoes, my feet and how to wear and tie my shoes so that my finicky feet would feel good. I went crazy and put them on layaway even though I didn't really have the money for that kind of investment. Weekly, I would pine for them and mostly just felt embarrassed about the whole money situation. With this hubbie visit and finances better I asked my man to buy them for me so that I could wear them tomorrow in a race that I signed up to do for both my daughter and myself. It is my second 2 mile walk/run with her and another mother/daughter duo. I am getting pumped up. I think I can run a marathon now. Let's put it this way, my desire has been rekindled. So much of this process is mental. Two months until my birthday and it's hard to imagine making my goal, but if nothing else, I am persistent, which my husband describe as similar to a Chihuahua, a rabid Chihuahua. At times this can be a good quality, but for my poor husband is it usually distressing. 

Anyway, back to these great shoes. I love the color and now I love Dani. So here's what I learned from this fabulous gal: 1.) I am not the only person who does not like a tight toe-box.
2.) With a special tying method I can keep my toe-box loose and tighten the laces at the top.
3.) There are running shoes with high arches.

4.) The bottom treads on these shoes will be great for my favorite running location: the Peavine Trail.

And I got some new socks thanks to Dani. (On sale when one buys a pair of shoes. Oh how I do love a bargain.) And, what I love about sports gear today is that it can be cute. Thirty years ago everything just looked ugly and for me with boobs I looked fat in all the very unflattering boy gear. Today my socks have flowers and I must confess will match my pullover.

Yeah, I am a girlie girl in my secret heart of hearts. Check out these socks. Dani picked them. I will be thinking of her as a pivotal guide in my quest to run a marathon.

I hope to become to be as fast as my Cheetah girl, but until then I do feel as happy as she does with her face painted.

Hey, Brooks, if you want to be this old lady's sponsor, I wouldn't say no. I am going to need more shoes, gear etc. as I pursue my quest. And if you know of any great coaches in my area who want to take on a crazy project, well that recommendation would be great too. So read my blog and think about it. I could become an inspiring athlete if given a chance and support. I may not be your usual demographic, but there are a lot of women in the world like me. I'm just saying...

P.S. Brooks does not endorse this blog. 

Sunday, May 26, 2013

Marathon Runners Come In All Shapes And Sizes

As a task for a beginning running class, the instructor Pam suggested volunteering at a marathon. See my post Eating An Elephant. I decided to do just that for the Whiskey Row Marathon on Saturday, May 4th. As a volunteer my job was to stand near the finish line and direct runners into the final turn just before the finish. 

It was amazing to see all the different people with different goals doing that race. The Whiskey Row Marathon also has 5K, 10K and half-marathon components. I saw friends: moms with kids; moms and grandmothers alone running the 5K. I saw two friends running the half-marathon. I also saw a co-worker of my husband's who ran the half-marathon. Kids from my daughter's school ran the 10K. It was so exciting to see so many different ages, running levels and body types running the race. Not everyone had a rock hard skinny body. YEAH!!

Near the end, I got to see women, who were probably my age or so finishing the marathon. Some who did the early start time (two hours before the race began). I felt so encouraged and motivated. From my spot I could see the racers in the final stretch, who did not realize that they were almost done, then they turned the corner and seeing the FINISH sign, would do a final push to the end. Wow, it was inspiring. I am so glad I volunteered. 

It was wonderful to hear the announcer calling out names and what race the runner had competed in as they came across the finish line. I would like to hear my name. I want to run a marathon now more than ever. Pam's suggestion was true. Volunteering at a marathon really does spark one's inner runner.

Who Needs A Coach? I Do...

I am still wanting to catch up on April happenings. The most significant thing that happened in April beyond my marathon training involved getting a coach. No, I don't have personal trainer for my running, though I would like to find one. 

The coach I found was a personal "transformational life" coach. Fancy title, but a coach is a coach. By definition a coach, the noun: is a person who trains an athelte. Or the verb, to coach: to give instruction or advice in the capacity of a coach; to instruct. Thank you

As I was languishing in my beautiful office trying to actually complete just one idea and bring it to completion, I realized I needed a coach. I went for a couple of free visits to see a therapist (through a program from my husband's work), but in the end did not find what I was looking for. I really wanted cheerleading, handholding and accountability. 

At the NVC (Nonviolent Communication) group I attend once a week, the organizer happen to mention that she was working on her certificate to be a life coach. I asked if she needed any practice hours because I would love to be that person for her. She agreed to work with me (at no charge). Wow, was that the single most important thing that has happened in this crazy process of becoming a writer and running a marathon.

At the first visit, I knew I had found what I was looking for. Near the end of the session, she asked me what my goal was. I explained that I wanted to complete a treatment (an idea for a TV show) over the next two weeks and get it out into the world. She asked how much time would that take and I committed to three writing hours per day for two weeks. She said text me everyday at the end of the day with your status. ACCOUNTABILITY, thank you, thank you—now I had a deadline and a boss.

It took a little closer to three weeks, but I did finish the treatment and sent it to my scriptwriting mentor. The sessions with this amazing coach were so helpful in guiding me to see my writing blocks. Frankly, I didn't know how much I needed her till I started working with her. A person who trains someone is a coach. She trained me to move forward and step over my fear of being a writer. What was great, was that we didn't talk too much about "the why" of my fear, instead we just met it head on and pushed through it. 

The act of coaching involves instruction and this coach's instruction was the accountability factor. She was watching me and encouraging me. There were a number of tearful moments when I texted her and she texted me back with great quotes to motivate me, which propelled me forward. 

This process of becoming a writer is so parallel to becoming a runner and running a marathon. Slowly building stamina; gaining confidence that the task is even possible; embracing fear, but pushing through it; developing momentum that propels one forward—all of these things apply to both running and writing. 

I am at a point where my own momentum and accomplishment are starting to show results. Maybe I am not crazy after all. Maybe I just might be able to live my dreams. Maybe...I can run a marathon and support myself as a screenwriter.