Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Still Here...

So it has been an intense few weeks. First, the fighting: for some reason at the onset of Thanksgiving my husband and I start fighting pretty much all the time over everything, which is such a drag. I know it's stress, anxiety about his annual December hunting trip, family drama, lack of money, etc., etc. etc. Need I say more? Mid-November till early January is the most stressful time at my home. I just endeavor to muddle through. Regarding my marathon training, I failed miserably and could only get out for a 27 minute walk on the Tuesday before Thanksgiving. This of course depressed me. I was really in the headspace of giving up. The whole "I am such a fool, who do I think I am kidding: run a marathon, yeah right" tape was blaring as loud as it could. I survived. I decided to do the 27 minute week again. I had planned on blogging, but then I was overtaken by fear of moving into my new office. Same basic tape was playing in my head with a slightly different refrain: "you are so going to fail." I survived.

Okay, good news. I am writing this blog from my new office and it is looking pretty amazing. The picture is the corner of my desk. I will finish getting the last of my things here tomorrow, before my mother comes for a visit. Nothing like a little motivation from The Mother. The thing that is so cool is that the furniture I bought myself two years when I won a screenwriting award for my short film looks amazing in here. (Anyone who wants to check out my film can go to my FB page: A Blue Uncertain Buzz.) My laptop is perfect, which I also bought about two years ago. Really, I have been working toward this point for awhile. Today I decided I will make a little tour movie of the space when I am completely done: art up and the like.

What I am really liking about this blog, highlighting my marathon goal and my new office space is that the task of changing my life is seeping into me. I want to put in my time for training. And even though, because of the stress, my back is so unhappy and hurting it really feels better mentally, which helps the back when I take the time to do my training. Interestingly, the marathon training also has been a big help in making this change toward my writing. It's the little bites, the creating a habit that is sustainable, the slow build up, all of it that is helping me walk through the fire of my fears. It's a raging inferno in my brain, but nibble, nibble, nibble, I am making it.

Now for the GREAT news. My fanny is getting smaller. Today I am wearing jeans I bought four years ago after I had done a weight loss program. Yeah they fit, comfortably, so even though when I look in the mirror and I see the muffin-top, something is happening. Also I have these skirts—that I bought after I left New York and changed my wardrobe from the requisite black to jeans for the Arizona living (prebaby)—that I can now zip and button, still a little too tight for wearing, but I am getting close. Something is happening. It is the weekly training walk, but I also think it is my tea consumption. I simplified my drink to just peppermint iced tea, which I drink about two quarts a day of. I also eat a very light meal for dinner. And I have started making more food that I really like for myself everyday. I know it seems so simple and it once was when I was single, but the wife/mother mode has really consumed me for the last seven years. It has been almost impossible to take care of myself. I am getting the hang of it now.

Monday, November 12, 2012

Making Happiness

Lost my calendar book on my desk again. Did my first 24 minute walk today. I wanted to run, but my back is really hurting, top to bottom. My legs feel great as does my neck and shoulders. At times like this, usually because of stress and diet, my back just hurts. I am not taking Ibuprofen these days because I want to have a good read of what's going on in my body. I just keep telling myself that if I take it slow I am going to get over the "sore back" hurtle and I will be able to start running. It's the bounce that is unbearable.

So this morning I found a great quote. It really articulates what is going on for me right now. Sometimes I just type phrases into the Google bar and see what comes back. I was looking for TV work and then I typed something about happiness. Here's what I found.

Finding happiness is like finding yourself. You don’t find happiness, you make happiness. You choose happiness. Self-actualization is a process of discovering who you are, who you want to be and paving the way to happiness by doing what brings YOU the most meaning and contentment to your life over the long run.
David Leonhardt

This is from a site called Half heartedly. I really liked it. There were a number of interesting things on the site. This though, really spoke to me. As I was walking I thought I am making happiness. That made me smile.

The best thing about this blog is the encouragement. Thank you to everyone sending comments here and on Facebook. I had hoped that having this blog and really naming my goal would be like something that happened for me when I was on my high school swim team. I wanted to do the 100 meter butterfly at event we were having at the school pool. Can I just say that I know how to do the stroke, and that's about it. At the time I did not have the stamina for it. Anyway the coach said I could, so I went for it. I was hurting after the first two laps (four total for 100 meters). At the third lap I felt like quitting. After the turn into the fourth lap, I could see the other swimmers were getting out of the pool. And I will admit, I was ready to give up, but then my teammates were cheering me on. It was some serious burn down that final length and I kept thinking that I could just stand up, but then I would take a breath and see my teammates cheering. I managed to finish and in the end it was the cheering for me that really kept me going. Right now it's that same moment. Life, running, making changes, it's all hard, but the kind words and encouragement really help.

Awakening Joy quote: Feel your feelings (without getting lost in the story).

Friday, November 9, 2012

Dedication Building...

Today I think I have moved into a new place mentally and physically. I have rented an office space...yes, personal validation that I could be a writer! A smokin' deal at $125 per month with WiFi access. This is a place that I found out about after the other place, but I digress.

So this morning while I was thinking about my day and planning when I would be painting my new office space and I was also wondering when I would do my 21 minutes. Snow is expected and even as I write this it's now raining again.

Then I thought: I should do my 21 minutes first, even though it's nasty out. Wow, now that is a change. The process is starting to feed me. Today is day three of my training for the week and my goal was to do all three days and not whanny out. I did it!

So a few pictures from my walk. I just made it back, it's really raining now. My finger with the stormy sky above Goldwater Lake. Sadie, my happy dog. I decided I need to start training her to be on a leash with me, so that on those dark cold mornings I can take her with me and I won't be afraid. Usually we take a hike in the Prescott National Forest and she is off-leash beyond our backyard. Since she is just over two she really has the energy for running. I think she will be a big incentive on the coming cold mornings of long training.

And finally me in front of our new porch, which is in the process of getting painted. See the scary steps from before and now the lovely porch. Life is really quite wonderful.

The other thing that is so cool about today: I blogged right after I did the 21 minutes and now I am heading to my office (to paint it). Next week I plan to be writing in my office. Other good stuff: I found and wore a pair of running pants that I had bought for my marathon process nine years ago. One less thing I need. Life is good.

Awakening Joy quote: Mindfulness is the art of appreciating the moment just as it is.

Friday, November 2, 2012

Flounder Is That Really Just A Fish?

Not sure what day I am on. I need to find my book. So a brief check in...

Flounder it's what 's for dinner. Monday found out a friend had died unexpectedly and worried all day about other friends in the path of Sandy. Could not quite figure it out to get in my 18 minute walk. 

On Tuesday went to the Peavine Trail and walked two miles. Relaxed and got myself back on track.

Wednesday did my 18 minutes and found out when the memorial for my friend was. Also called about office space. Something I have been dreaming of for quite sometime. Made an appointment to see the space.

Thursday went to see the office space. Loved it and can afford it once I have some writing gigs. Went to the memorial. Read my email and found out that two big jobs I have applied for...well let's just say I am not a contender. Talked to hubbie about the office space. Cried some too. Boohoo life is hard. Maybe we can squeezed out the money to get me going in the office space. It's pretty tight right now. $180 is a lot for us. Frankly, I could use a little hope and total quiet. The dishes that need washing just outside the door of the shared office I have with my husband are making it impossible to write or think. I really need to GO TO WORK, as in go to an office, as in get dressed, make a lunch and leave my home EVERYDAY (Monday thru Friday). 

Friday, today trying to figure out how to grow up. I did walk 18 minutes around the park here at Goldwater Lake (where I live) and then up the hill. I was definitely huffing and puffing, but felt mentally well. I have to say that Prescott, AZ is a great place to train for a marathon. There are so many trails and great places to walk and run. And at 5000 to 6500 feet the lungs are getting a serious workout. 

Overall doing pretty good on food consumption. At two parties this week ate a small amount of dairy (goat cheese my favorite and artichoke dip, help, it was just so yummy.) Today did some nibbling into my daughter's barbecue potato chips. Epiphany for the week: make up my favorite drink in mass quantity. Hardly drank at all on Tuesday and had a major headache. Hard to say why, but realized that I should make up three gallons of my special tea drink so I did. 

Other good news that keeps me going...had a friend tell me how he started running. It was helpful to realize that my lithe friend was once overweight, stressed out and a non-runner. Now the guy runs races regularly including half-marathons. It's that kind of story that keeps me going. The public form can be a great place to break one's interior bounds. That's the English teacher talking: blah, blah, blah. Now the other thing to keep in mind is that I want to be a writer and actually make a living doing it. It is possible. 


next week: 21 minutes of walking and more blogging, that's like jogging but without the boob bounce. And send a query for an article I want to do at the Smithsonian and apply for a freelance writing gig (that I have been afraid to follow up on...) and move into my own office space.

And now for a little levity: from my happy daughter.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Why Run A Marathon?

Day 8 – So here it is...the moment of follow through or moments I should say. Missed my weenie 15 minute task. Wallowed in self-pity for the lacks in my life. Tried to get focused, but stumbled. Didn't write yesterday, blah, blah, blah.

Okay good things to consider: 1.) I have cut out potatoes, dairy, wheat and flours of any kind from my diet. It's amazing how in less than a week I feel better physically. I know that stuff: a.) makes me fat and b.) makes me hurt, but having it in my house, cooking it and feeding it to my family can make it difficult to just say "NO!" When I lived alone, I just never had that stuff in my house.

So why a marathon? Having a goal that requires my body to really work at peak performance means that I feel more empowered to say no to those foods tempting though they may be. The real test will be in a party situation, which will be happening at my home over the weekend.

The other dietary change I have made is to eat a very small dinner meal and a good sized lunch. So far this may be helping me to sleep better at night. I also put a container of almonds in the car in the console and have been happily nibbling at them in a number of instances where I found myself sliding into low blood sugar. Did I mention that I was hypoglycemic? This has been with me for most of my life. I go through phases of not dealing with it so well. Again running a marathon, having a discernible goal that requires me to focus on this old body is quite helpful.

I think the other thing that is compelling about running a marathon is that it is very much like climbing a mountain, something I did in my 20s, though I think I didn't do it so successfully. Dreadfully, I am a very judgmental person. I don't feel successful on any front. I am hoping that I can really expand myself and work on leaving that behind. Frankly, judgmental people are hard to live with. Maybe somehow I can become gentler with myself as I push towards my goal. We'll see.

Awakening Joy quote: ". . . and I'm really blessed."

Monday, October 22, 2012

Avoiding Flameout...

Day 2 – Walked 3.72 miles and drank 3.5 quarts of my special tea drink.
Day 3 – Walked 1.72 miles and drank 2.5 quarts of special tea.
Day 4 – Walked at the Peavine Trail, 3.15 miles and drank 2.5 quarts of water / special tea. Read first  two chapters from Hal Higdon's book, Marathon, The Ultimate Training Guide. And no I am not completely crazy or alone in my desire to run a marathon at my age. I am not even the first. After reading Chapter 2, A Word To The Beginning Runner, realized I had fallen into the first trap of a beginner. In a word: flameout. Too much, too soon. So I decided to follow his sage advice start slow and do a prescribed formula of training then resting. If you are following me, you may want to consider buying his book.  This blog will not be a book report. I started a Pinterest Board: Running a Marathon at 50, where I am posting books and whatever I find that supports my quest.
Day 5 – RESTED (My back was really hurting. So glad to adjust my goal.)
Day 6 – Today's goal: 15 minute walk following Hal's plan. Drink 3.5 quarts of special tea.
Day 7 – Tuesday, tomorrow: more blogging about why I want to do a marathon, which Mr. Higdon captures so beautifully. I am setting up a schedule that has training days and then rest days, when I will blog. The whole endeavor is a major time management issue, which I really like.

Thursday, October 18, 2012

Mini Personal Goals

DAY 2 – First Goal: do the walking I planned for myself, but have let slide. For the next 2 weeks I want to walk 3 miles per day, five days a week. November 1st, I'll start mapping out the marathon plan. I looked at all three books yesterday. Skimmed Marathon Training for Dummies. That will be the bible as it breaks everything down very simply. Tonight I want to begin reading Marathon, The Ultimate Training Guide so I can educate myself about this crazy, hugh endeavor.

I have to say that I feel hopeful this morning, which I haven't felt for along time. The other cool thing about running a marathon, it doesn't matter if I get a job, I can still go for it. I have a number of applications out so it's all about waiting on the academic world. Also I feel like I have taken control of my life. I'm not just waiting for something to happen. Regarding work and the application process, it's like the awful feeling of dating—just waiting for some dang guy to call—so much better to be off doing something one enjoys. Finally, I am doing one of the steps from the Awakening Joy course I am taking, which is to move everyday.

Yesterday I also remembered an article I read about skinny people. I looked it up and here is a brief overview from a Dr. Oz video (as picked up by Fashion, Fitness & Frank Talk). I didn't watch the video, but read an article when it first came out. Below is the essence. I love the internet, so many fitness folks out there and many picked up this list. I will Pin blogs, books, articles and general information I find on my Pinterest Board: Running a Marathon at 50.

1. Exercise in the morning [I remember this as exercise then eat a big breakfast, see 4.]
2. Eat smaller meals throughout the day
3.  Eat slower, savor food
4.  Don’t skip breakfast
5.  Better monitors of health (weighing yourself, tracking your food intake)
6.  Fitness hobbies outside of the gym (sports, swimming, yoga)
7.  Drink water

Second Goal: do number 7 on the above list. When I was pregnant I drank a gallon of water almost everyday. I had a thirst that couldn't be tamed. I, of course, stopped because I didn't feel so thirsty once my daughter was born. Anyway I want to up my water intake. I read somewhere that teas and lemon infused water counts. For some reason, I can get down more liquid in the herbal tea form.

Today's gallon concoction is: one raspberry leaf tea bag (good for female parts), four bags of peppermint tea (my favorite flavor), 1/4 cup organic lemon juice, and 1/8 cup raw agave. Mix together with added ice in a gallon container and go: my goal to drink it all today. Go, go, go...

Awakening Joy quote: Share your time and resources

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Inspired, maybe...

DAY 1 – Last night I watched Julie/Julia, the movie—based on Julie Powell's cooking and blogging adventure and Julia Child's memoir of her time in France. How many times have I watched it? I can't say, but I own it. Each time I am inspired, but I do nothing. Finally, last night I just decided I have to do something. I watched the featurette and Julie's words about changing her life in a year were a whack to the head, my head.

So this is my challenge: I want to run a marathon before my 50th birthday, which is December 31, 2013. This is not a new desire or goal. Notice the books. I bought them just before my 40th birthday. Poof...ten years flew by. I did a few things like have a baby, but now my daughter is seven. I made a film, but so what I haven't written the script for my feature-length film—a story I have been rewriting in my head for almost 20 years. I finished an MFA, but don't have a published book of poetry. I am floundering, drowning and a trying to gain focus. Gee is 50 the new 30? Scary!

And I want to be a writer. A real writer: as in I want to make a living writing and thinking. So the intersection of midlife crisis, writing and wanting to run a marathon have collided. Did I mention I am unemployed and I have a fabulous tire around my waist, the proverbially love handle. Basically, I don't have the body I had when I was 40 nor the career. Now how did that happen?

So what to do about it? I am going to start the training process for running a marathon and I will write about it everyday. Short posts, nibble, nibble, nibble: one bite at a time toward my goal of creating a writing career and running a marathon in December 2013.

Awakening Joy quote: Imagine that this day is the first and last of your life. How would you treasure it?