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Ich Ein Marathoner December 29, 2009

Posted by wanderinggrizzly in 20 Something, Marathon Training.
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It feels good to be back in Raleigh. (Although it would feel a little bit better if on the drive down I hadn’t gained $160.00 in speeding fines ūüė¶ ). My mindset is completely different down here. I am so much more content and find that motivation and focus come much easier.

So finally I went running. ¬†My usual routes at my parents house were covered in snow, so the only exercise I did there was the NordicTrack (shout-out to 1990’s fitness) and walking the dog. ¬†It was only 4 days but it felt like an eternity. Now I have to amend my training plan a little. ¬†I am using “The Non-Runner’s Marathon Trainer” by Whitsett, Dolgener and Kile. ¬†They say it’s alright to miss a run now and then but this is the week where my long runs go up into the double digits and I’ll log over 20 miles total this week so I feel like this is an important week to do correctly. ¬†Also I started the 16-week plan about 19 weeks before the actual marathon in case of injuries or holidays etc, so I’ve got some wiggle room.

I’ve been listening (and belting along to) Defying Gravity from Wicked for the past two days. ¬†Actually, I think it was the only song I listened to on my 3-mile run today. ¬†I feel like such a teenage girl. ¬†Perhaps I’ll make it my anthem for 2010?

My long run is 10 miles this week for a total weekly mileage of 20.  Last week I was really nervous about 8 miles but it turned out to be fairly easy.  So far the most difficult part about this marathon training is figuring out the training routes.

Also this week I have to make two “mental highlight reels.” ¬†One should be about the best training run I’ve had. ¬†I’d say mine has to be the 7-mile run I did in Umstead State Park. ¬†I did not have the dog with me so that was one less thing I had to be concerned with. ¬†It was cold that day and it was the day of the big storm that snowed in the East Coast (well North of Raleigh anyway), so it smelled like snow and the air had that a velvety feel to it. ¬†The run was almost completely in the woods, it went along side a creek for aways. ¬†There was some tricky terrain I had to¬†maneuver¬†over, but I could tell my body liked running on the dirt much better than the asphalt I usually do. ¬†I had my ipod, mostly listened to Florence and the Machine’s “Lungs.” ¬†I wasn’t listening to it too loudly as I could still hear my breathing and the sound of my feet against the ground. ¬†I remember feeling so much lighter running in the park as opposed to the road or the trail in Apex. ¬†At the end of my run it was just starting to snow (the flakes didn’t last long) and even though I was tired I¬†immediately¬†felt rejuvenated. ¬†There is something about snow that activates child tendencies.

The second mental tape is off what we’d imagine it would be like to finish a marathon… what I will look like, the weather, who will be there, what I would say to them. ¬†I am signed up for the Virginia Creeper Marathon in Abingdon, Virginia on March 28th. ¬†Like most marathons it starts in the morning. ¬†March weather is kind of difficult to predict but I see it as being chilly and cloudy, overcast so I will want to wear brighter clothes, I see myself in running capris and some kind of bright top, I’m thinking like a rose color. ¬†(Looking at the pictures from previous years there doesn’t seem to be a ‘proper’ outfit. ¬†I’m thinking I’ll buy some new gear (some of mine is starting to wear out) at least a month before the marathon so I can ‘test drive’ it.) ¬†My face will be red but my eyes very bright. ¬†My parents will be there but I don’t think I’ll be saying much to them, I imagine I’ll be out of breath and relatively emotional. ¬†But I’ll thank them for coming.

What I like about this book is that it has a lot of mental exercises. ¬† (One of the techniques is to start identifying yourself as a marathoner even if you haven’t completed one yet – hence this post’s title). ¬†It covers the physical basics but the visualizations and other techniques are what really give you the belief that you can actually do this. ¬†The anecdotes of what people imagine while they’re running are really fun. ¬†I know I do my best thinking when running and after I’ve ‘solved’ all my problems my imagination runs wild with fantasies of running a marathon or running in the woods, becoming another person for a while or having crazy adventures.

So what about you other runners out there?  What do you think of when running?  Or do you not think at all?

Back to Basics December 25, 2009

Posted by wanderinggrizzly in Uncategorized.
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Winter is a time of hibernation for the grizzly bear, but unlike my namesake I cannot curl up in a cozy den somewhere and dream away the chilly months. Instead of a literal hibernation, (being dormant does not sound so appealing actually) I can use this time to withdraw, reflect and regroup. With the New Year coming so closely to the Winter Solstice, it’s kind of hard to ignore the seasonal and cultural urgings to look inward. ¬†This is the literally the darkest time of the year, and while so often the dark encourages fear, I can rebel against this inclination and come out with the light in the spring stronger and happier. (I’m digging this website’s description of the winter solstice… pretty much everything I wanted to say)

While I’m no psychologist, my googleing led to a list of basic emotions that most psychologists seem to agree on. ¬†To help me cultivate resolutions for the New Year I am going to reflect on these six emotions and brainstorm what I can do to help me handle them.

  • Anger
  • Disgust
  • Fear
  • Happiness
  • Sadness
  • Surprise

Anger:

  1. Being Disrespected:  I am a soft-spoken blonde.  While I consider myself fairly intelligent, I prefer to be light-hearted then serious most of the time.  This combination often results in being taken advantage of and/or not taken seriously.
  2. Unfairness: ¬†One of the ‘aha grown up moments’ is when you realize life is not fair. ¬†Balance does not come by grace but by actions. ¬†So when I experience blatant perversions and manipulations of justice it makes me sick.

Disgust:

  1. Greed/Gluttony/Waste:  These are all kind of connected for me.  In my own life I hate wasting food (whether it be through overeating or going bad) and a little part of me cringes every time I throw something in the trash.

Fear:

  1. Failure
  2. Rejection
  3. Dissatisfaction: ¬†While the above pretty much speak for themselves, dissatisfaction is probably my greatest fear. ¬†I am terrified of looking back on my life and feeling as though I have accomplished nothing. ¬†In a lot of people’s opinion my life is somewhat accomplished, I have a degree, I’ve traveled, I’ve had different experiences. ¬†So I understand that this is a state of mind that I need to cultivate.

Happiness:

  1. Helping others: ¬†It’s a good kind of selfish ūüôā
  2. Loving:  I love being in love, and not necessarily just romantic love.  I love having strong connections with other people, activities etc.
  3. Sense of Accomplishment: ¬†The main reason I am training for a marathon. ¬†It’s also why I think I’ll be a life long student; despite the work and anguish nothing beats the feeling of handing in that last paper or finishing that final exam.

Sadness:

  1. Guilt:  Guilt for moving away from my family, guilt for not being a better friend, a better daughter, a better sister.   Guilt for not being a better part of society and doing all I can for humanity and the environment.
  2. Ineptitude:  Hmm, pretty much ties in with the above

Surprise: ¬†I’m going to leave this one open. ¬†Besides saying that I love surprises and am an enthusiastic supporter of¬†spontaneity.

Alright, I know this blog is been pretty mood and kind of a downer. ¬†I just have to get through this fundamental emotional stuff and then hopefully I’ll be a bit more light-hearted and jolly.

Living 50/50 December 20, 2009

Posted by wanderinggrizzly in 20 Something, Quarter-Life Crisis.
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In my search for like-minded 20-something protagonists who tend to identify more with the supporting character, I have found a lot of people willing to define the QLC as well as claim it as their own but I have yet to find anyone who really embraces it. ¬†While articles abound, no one is really digging into it, examining their situation and testifying with the witness of the internet. ¬†I see a lot of “OMG!!! this is exactly what I am going through!” and then he or she goes on to describe the shoes he or she bought that day.

I had high hopes for this blog http://www.tooprettyforthis.com/ and while well-written and entertaining, I haven’t felt much empathy towards the clever narrator. ¬†The following passage is from her abstract and summarizes the QLC…

“You were careful. You made good decisions. You were kind and trustworthy to other people, and responsible about your obligations. You worked hard, thinking things would work out because that’s what everyone told you.

Instead, you landed in a hot pile of MESS. Crazy people and even crazier roadblocks jumped in your way, leaving you to wonder what you did wrong or what red flag you missed.”

While I can relate to the first paragraph; I was careful, I made the ‘right’ decisions, ¬† I went to a good college, got a degree in four years while working and interning, got a job etc etc, I cannot commit to the feeling of her second thought. ¬†I do not believe I am in a hot mess, nor do I think there were crazy roadblocks and crazier people who diverted me here. ¬†There is only one reason I am where I am and that is the decisions that I made. ¬†Where I think I went wrong was I let everyone else determine what was the right decision. ¬†I do not regret college, I do not regret the major I chose nor the decisions I made following graduation. ¬†What I regret are the reasons that I made those decisions. ¬†Up to recently I feel like I’ve been living my life around 50/50… living 50% on my own accord and the other 50% by allowing other people’s influence to govern my choices.

It has only been recently that I feel I’ve been changing this momentum. ¬†I moved across the country (only temporary) for a job that probably hurt my chances on the career track I was on, but was so fun. ¬†I ended a 2 1/2 year relationship and made the decision to stay single for a while. ¬†I also made immature decisions to unnecessarily tap into savings and be leisurely about finding new employment. ¬†Now the thoughts I have before I drift off to sleep are about if I can stay out of debt or will I have to move back with my parents? ¬†Have I doomed myself to be eternally single? ¬†I have to remind myself that I wanted this situation. ¬†I have felt I have never really earned anything, never had to pull myself up. ¬†I can think of no hardships or ‘roadblocks’ that have ¬†required real strength to overcome. ¬†And I wanted to know can I do it? ¬†Can I create a life totally of my own?

Do I sound bitter? ¬†As I traverse the internet I am nurturing¬†voyeuristic¬†tendencies¬†I am embarrassed to admit that I have. ¬†I can’t get enough of post secret and enjoy exploring other blogs as well as FB. ¬†The emotion that I seem to run across the most is dissatisfaction. ¬†Most of the time it is blatant but it’s also in between the lines of those excited “new shoe” testimonies. ¬†This worries me, for out of everything I could want; wealth, happiness, a family, health, a sense of personal satisfaction and comfort is what I want the most. ¬†I know what makes me happy. ¬†Things that allow me to live only in the moment, running, riding, yoga, an especially well written book. ¬†My trouble is to find a way to connect those moments so that in the idle space in between where anxiety and worry often grows, I can fill with comfort and peace.

The Begining Growl December 18, 2009

Posted by wanderinggrizzly in 20 Something, Miscellaneous, Quarter-Life Crisis.
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Alright I know, worst blog name ever but I wasn’t really feeling up to spending an¬†atrocious¬†amount of time coming up with something that was clever or eloquent when it would most likely come out as pretentious. ¬†So why ‘wandering grizzly’? ¬†I like that the latin name for grizzly literally means ‘horrible bear.’ ¬†I think that grizzly bears picked an awesome habitat to live in. ¬†I like that they are typically not social but can be. ¬†I like that they eat people and are big and smelly and¬†basically¬†bad-ass. ¬†And as for wandering… as an unemployed, not quite homeless 20 something whose biggest¬†aspiration¬†is self-realization I feel like wandering is a pretty adept one-word description of my life.

So why blogging? ¬†Why join the millions of ‘writers’ contribution to the abundance unasked for and unwanted opinions that is the internet? ¬†I suppose it’s because for the past year I have been in the throes of what has been dubbed a “Quarter-Life Crisis.” ¬†After scouring the internet for some guidance and¬†camaraderie during this period I was unsatisfied. ¬†¬†The thoughts in my head need someplace to go, and by making them public I hope to avoid the melodrama and melancholy that often goes with journal writing. ¬†Because I miss beautiful language and proper grammar. ¬†Because I need something ‘constructive’ to do as I fret over my ‘life path.’

So dear reader, I hope it was not some misfortune that sent you stumbling onto my little nest of mediocrity and ego.  If you decide to stay and visit I hope you find some sort of entertainment or maybe even inspiration in my humble words and that you offer some of your own.