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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Running in Snowmageddon 2014

So I think I mentioned we are having less than a southern winter. Today was positively ridiculous.  There were all kinds of indications that  we would have snow today, and everyone knows we don't know how to handle that.  Did we call school?  Of course not.  Instead when it snowed, surprise  surprise! we decided to send the kids home at noon.  Well many of the businesses released their folks at noon too.  The temps were in the 20's, snow, ice, Atlanta Traffic, and I still have an employee on the road 5 hours after she left work.  I am waiting for her to text me she is home.  None of that stopped hubby and I from getting in our 1 mile it was part run part snow shoe experience.

Also I have set my habit master app to track strength training on Tues, Thursday, Saturday and Sunday.  I got all of that done today in the snow.  The roads are icy and will be even worse tomorrow. I have already decided to tell work I won't be in tomorrow.  The roads are a solid sheet of ice.  My road is currently barricaded because of the extreme hill and the ice.  We have been watching cars slide down it since we got home.  Tomorrow we will get our run in and get some packing done for the move this weekend.  It was fun to run   in the snow and I have to say some of my colleagues are stuck at work.  I feel bad for them but I am glad to be home with my husband and kitties.  Planning to have a little wine ad relax.  Hopefully tomorrow we can get a little longer run accomplished.

Today I have never been so grateful to get home and see my husband waiting for me and my cats safe and warm.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

MIA - Moving and Running in a Polar Vortex

Okay so we haven't had snow, but seriously, I live in Georgia someone needs to tell Mother Nature to pay the heating bill.  This is getting ridiculous and stretching the limits of my winter running wardrobe.  I would not want to be the tights that had to make a third run this week.  I only have 3 pairs of full tights and 7 days of running.  you do the math when we don't break 30 degrees. So no I haven't not been blogging, but yes, layered up like the Pillsbury Doughboy, I have been running. 

This is actually the screenshot from my phone...really what does 0 feel like?  Cold, too cold for GEORGIA!  What I have discovered is my wardrobe was not prepared for a polar vortex.  I was actually running with my headband over my nose and mouth last week.  It is really fashion forward I recommend it.  Especially if yours is a tasteful burgundy tartan design in fleece.

My New Year's Goal was to run everyday unless I am sick or injured.  So far I have not been sick or injured, so I run.  As for not blogging, we are in the middle of the move that was driven by the two robberies we have experienced in 3 months.  I am big into karmic signs and that seemed like a big one.  We have a found a new place and we are excited.  Of course excited has to be tempered with all the work involved in moving. It will all be over next weekend.  We are taking Friday off to move and the movers are coming Saturday.  The best part about our new neighborhood is there is an entrance to Silver Comet running trail right at the corner of our neighborhood.  This happens to be our favorite place to run.

I promise once the move is over I will be back at more regular blogging, even if my hands still have Polar Vortex frostbite.  For all my friends who run in Canada, New Hampshire, Wisconsin, etc. no offense, but you won't see me visiting your beautiful area until Spring.  By the way as a little tease today was beautiful, sunny and 55, just had to enjoy with a 5 miler and light clothing that actually allowed a normal range of motion.  Tuesday back in the teens and we have the threat of an ice storm, really?

How are you keeping warm?  If you are normally in the sunny south does your running wardrobe hold out?

Sunday, January 19, 2014

Time for Reflection #Megsmiles

For a whole day #megsmiles was trending on all social media.  The running community as whole was embracing the family of Meg Cross Menzies.  What was Meg doing when a drunk driver ensured her husband and three kids would not see her again?  Just doing what I do and many of you do everyday.  She was out for a pre-dawn run.  Following the best practices, running against traffic.  You have to stay alert out there.  It seems crazy and senseless.  In that senseless act we are shown again the inherent strength and solidarity of the running community.

Dailymile, Facebook, and Twitter were teaming with #megsmiles dedicated runs.  Until Monday you can record your megsmiles and a note on this special Google form.  I hope that one day that is something her children can look at and think "for a whole day thousands of runners were out braving the cold or tired legs to run for my mom."

For me as I looked to my side and saw my hubby, and favorite training partner,  felt the cool air (around 26 for us yesterday), felt the beautiful sun and the wind; I thought how lucky am I?  I hope you all got to run for Meg. I hope we all take a little more time at an intersection, turn the music off, and pay attention to our surroundings, because it is clear the people on the road aren't looking out for us. 

Today I am grateful we found a new place to live, for the chance to run, and of course for the best partner a girl could ask for running through this life right alongside me. 

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Runnng its Own Reward?

Do you run for fun?  I mean when you are planning out the perfect day does  it include a run in your favorite spot?  Or does your perfect day mean you don't have to run.  I have friends that fall into both of those camps. Most every non-runner I meet when they find out I run, says something profound like "why?" In the spirit of full disclosure I can fully recognize that cognitive concern for my mental health, because 3 years ago I was the one asking that.  I had the same look of concern you give a doddering old loved one, when I asked it too.  But three years ago I did not run. That may be an understatement.  Three years ago I could not imagine the gravity shifting, climatic sea change the Earth would have to undergo before I would run anywhere, for any reason, up to and including self-preservation. 

Now when non-runners ask me why I run, I pause.  I try to process everything I know about them.  Do they really want to know?  Do they really want to hear that the absolute best way to experience a new place is to put on a pair of running shoes and get to know its twists, turns, bends, bumps, scars, and triumphs intimately on a little 6 mile run.  Do they really want to know that running in absolute silence under the stars watching your breath at 4:30 AM on a winter morning is like a spiritual experience I get to have everyday, before most people even think of starting their day? Do they want to know that I am actually a better, more centered, and stronger person because even though I wanted to stay in bed and skip my run; I looked at my running shoes already laid out and up to my tights sitting there waiting and got out the door instead?

The resounding answer is no.  The answer is no, not because they are or aren't good friends the answer is no, because they don't run.  Not a good or bad judgment, just a realization that if you haven't had that special relationship with running yet, none of those answers will make sense.  So what to say to the cosmic question, lest we think I am too philosophical. When asked why I run I usually say "bagels."  Now that's an answer we can all understand!

Sunday, January 12, 2014

When The Going Gets Tough...Get Running

This has been quite a week! Polar vortex, torrential thunderstorms, and oh yeah the criminals who robbed us three months ago came back to get everything we replaced, and see if we got some nice Christmas gifts they might want.  Needless to say we are so MOVING!  In fact the process of finding a new place to live and all the associated stuff involved after a robbery has taken me away from my blog.  Though I hope it never happens to any of you, I am now kind of an expert on navigating police reports, inventories, and insurance paperwork.

Though it took me away from my blog it has not taken me away from running.  In fact running has been a great way to relieve stress and get a break from the non-stop to do lists associated with the robbery.  All that being said it is a little harder to feel motivated.  I don't just spring out of bed thinking about my run.  It takes a little more mental toughness and dedication to get out there.  There is a feeling of being overwhelmed by it all, and a general kind of sadness and frustration that this keeps happening.  Not to mention that creepy feeling that these guys were casing our house waiting for us to return to work.  At least again we were fortunate enough to have all of our kitties safe and we weren't home so nothing that isn't replaceable has been lost, except maybe a sense of security.  Fortunately, I had a meeting that day and I had my Surface Tablet at work.  Hubby was not as lucky and his new Mac Air was taken again.  Both of our TVs were taken and we don't really plan to replace anything until we have a new place. 

Putting both feet in front of the other for a run has been a great distraction and has also helped to mitigate the stress.  I am also using the Habit Master App to track my fitness related New year Goals.  It is motivating to see the little reminder number of my daily tasks each day when I turn on my phone.  I am hardly going to let 6 remain there all day.  When I feel overwhelmed there is that little accountability pushing me on to keep at it.  Hope your new year is starting off better than mine.

Gratitude: I am grateful it was just stuff and both of us and our furry family members are okay. 

Monday, January 6, 2014

Cold Today- Pushing Past Limits

So is this really the sunny south?  Today was one of those days that gave me an opportunity to push past my comfort zone.  It was predicted that we would have ice and snow this am.  I decided it was not smart to run with potential black ice in the dark.  Hubby and I decided to run together after work. It is a big help to have hubby when I am thinking I can't do this.

So first of all I am not great running after work.  Also today was one of those days where we hit the balmy high of 28 this morning and it dropped like a rock all day with a strong wind and dropping wind chill.  When hubby and I got out to run it was 18 degrees with a wind chill of 1 degree.  The head wind on the second half was ridiculous.  Really, I live in Atlanta!!!! I really did feel this run.  I have asthma so running in this cold is a challenge.  Running at a less than optimal time is a challenge.  I am happy to say I persevered.   I finished and I felt pretty good.  I had on a pair of yoga pants over my tights, a long sleeve shirt and a hoodie from the Hot Chocolate Race last year.  I wore two pair of gloves and two pair of socks.  Of course around mile 2 I could not feel my lips anymore.  We did three then headed home for a meatless Monday veggie pasta and some wine. 

I think I stretched enough today.  Tomorrow early AM run on my treadmill in a tank top and shorts watching the frost through the window.  Hubby is sleeping in; school is called due to cold.  Sometimes you can push past your comfort zone.

Today I am grateful to head back to work and get back in the swing of things.

Saturday, January 4, 2014

Run with a Purpose

I am going to run.  It is by far my favorite form of exercise.  Recently I had two experiences that reminded me that while I am running I can actually help some charities I believe in.  The first I discovered reading my Women's Running magazine.  First of all, if you are a woman I highly recommend this magazine.  It has great tips, gear reviews and inspirational stories.  In the Running Geek article, who could resist, being both a geek and a runner, they were rating best running apps.  The choice that won best overall was not, as may would suspect, the one with the best options for tracking splits or creating training runs and virtual scenarios.  Instead it was the Charity Miles App.  This app is a GPS and accelerometer app that allows you to select a charity from an approved list and all of your mileage for that run equates into a donation to that charity.  I usually choose the ASPCA, what a huge surprise!  Sometimes I run for Feed America or The Nature Conservancy.  There are about 15 charities to choose from.  I love the app, because I am going to run anyway, now while I am doing something good for myself I am doing something good for others also. The app is paired up with corporate sponsors who have pledged to provide the equivalent donation.  I started sharing this via Facebook and several of my runner friends are now doing it.  Think of the compound factor if more of us downloaded the app and just went out and ran like we do anyway.  I highly recommend you check it out. 

The other experience happened today.  So we have a lighter race season because ATC really made some big changes. We did not have a planned race until February.  Then a friend messaged us on Dailymile and suggested we run a little local race about 150 people, The Wonderful Days of Winter 5K.  It is to benefit a pre-school for under privileged kids run by a large Marietta Church.  The race was close to home and only $15 without a shirt.  We don't need another shirt.  We agreed.  It was cold today, but the race was an incredibly warm experience.  It was all community folks and the pre-school students were there.  The HILLY course took us through Marietta's beautiful, historic, tree lined neighborhoods and past my old high school, now a middle school.  The race was not crowded and everyone volunteering felt so close to this charity you could tell their appreciation was genuine.  My husband teaches at an elementary school with an under privileged student body so we were passionate about this.  We usually run club races or really big local races and today was such a great experience it reminded me of how important it is to add these community races to our schedule, where you can really see the people you are helping.  It was a great race.  Hubby and I have not been training, really just running easy since November.  We ran together.  He finished 4th in his AG and I finished 3rd, but the race really wasn't about that.  I think this may be a regular for us. 

Today I am grateful that I rediscovered what it feels like to be a part of the community and give back.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

2014 - What's it Gonna Be

I really love a new year.  Maybe because I am really fond of new starts and clean slates, and I also like the idea that what happens next is really in your control. All the promise of change and transformation is a heady combination.  I did not rush my new year goal blog post because I really wanted to examine where I am and where I need to go.  I think I have it narrowed down to some key attainable goals.

1) Stretch past my self-imposed limits and boundaries - This means both physically and mentally.  Yesterday I started that by facing my fear of heights and hiking to the top of Stone Mountain.  If you have a fear of heights you know it is not the ascent, it is the idea of the descent from there. As much as I told my husband and myself I was fine going only 3/4 of the way up; he helped me and I made myself continue to the top.  I made it down without falling off the face of the mountain.  I hope to work on this in different areas of my life. 

2) Live my priorities - I have good intentions to say no to things that take me away from what is important and focus on things that matter but I don't always succeed.  I am going to start asking myself, is this in line with what I value, before I let someone convince or guilt me into doing something. 

3) Run Everyday that I am able - That means if I am not injured or sick, I run.  Even just a mile.  Hoping to crack the 1200 mile year this year.  No excuses like work or I am tired.  I have a treadmill, new Bluetooth Ear Buds, plenty of shoes, I mean come on.  No wussing out this year.

4) Practice gratitude - It is an act.  Whenever I think why me? or Why this or that?  I need to take a minute and find something I am grateful for.  I think I will start ending my blog with something I am grateful for each entry.  Then at least I will be consciously focusing on it a couple of times a week.

I think these are good goals for me this year.  They may not be too specific but I think they are good guiding principles.

Today I am grateful for the roof over my head since it is raining and cold outside. 

Hope you attain your goals this year!