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This Week’s Mileage: 26.5 January 17, 2010

Posted by wanderinggrizzly in 20 Something, Life, Marathon Training, Quarter-Life Crisis, yoga.
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I’ve decided to dedicate this blog to my marathon training.  I started it because I was frustrated I could find no one to commiserate with about my quarter-life crisis.  Now I realize it’s kind of hard to blog about being 20-something and aimless without sounding… petulant?  self-absorbed?  melodramatic?  Besides what is a marathon but a metaphor for life?  Running is one of the best things in my life right now, one of the most reliable and most rewarding.  This is a time where I need to focus on the positive.  Training for this marathon isn’t about being able to complete 26.2 miles.  It’s about changing my life.  Not to say an entry on work or finances or any other aspect of my life won’t slip in, but just like my life this blog needs a focus and the finish line is as good a place as any.

This week I tried to start training for a marathon in more aspects than just the actually few hours a week spent running.  While I haven’t been doing as much as I could it’s a start.  Unfortunately I gained three pounds but I think part of that is I wasn’t properly hydrated when I weighed myself in previous weeks and I was PMSing this week.  What does PMSing mean for me?  All I think about is food, and I cannot stop myself from eating.  When I wake up I immediately head for the kitchen, after breakfast I start thinking about what I’ll have for lunch, any advertisement for food makes me hungry, any moment my brain isn’t active on something I think about food, when I’m one heartbeat a way from calling a psychiatrist my uterus releases and I feel much better about myself and my sanity.

The day before my long run I carbo-loaded.  A lot of pasta and vegetables, I tried to limit dairy and caffeine and was mindful of hydration.  The result?  Well the first three miles I felt pretty tight.  Perhaps the Reebok Easy-Tone sneakers I’ve been wearing to my waitressing job are having more of an impact than I thought.  However I was able to relax and the second and third 3-mile laps were probably the best.  There is one street that is almost entirely an incline and on my second run up it I passed three people who were walking it and that felt pretty good, especially since I knew I was going to run it two more times!  I passed my apt every three miles where I rehydrated as directed and picked up the dog for the last three miles.  She is good encouragement for ‘speed’ intervals as when her adolescent attention wanes I just run a little faster.  Running the same route a few times in a row really alerts you to inclines you didn’t realize were there before.  While my pace was really slow (11:30/mile including hydration and traffic breaks) I still feel pretty good about the run and am only feeling a little sore the next day.

On my shorter runs (two of 4.25 miles and one of 6 miles) I tried to up the pace.  While I was able to I still feel as I can do better.  What surprises me is that while I was able to do it, it is so mental.  I know I can go faster still but it takes a lot more concentration than I am used to.

So what have I learned from running this week?  Now instead of feeling guilty and discouraged that I could ‘do better’ after finishing something I am excited for future opportunities to improve.

For next week I will continue to be mindful of what and when I am eating.  I will utilize more mental techniques.  Also I want to increase my strength training.  I actually have my first yoga instructor training at the end of this month and I’ve designed a few routines already.  I’ll do my ‘running’ practices on my shorter distance days as it focuses on the building strength in the legs and I’ll do my core/upper body practices on my medium and longer days, as they focus on strengthening the core as well as stretching the legs.

2010 Invitations January 9, 2010

Posted by wanderinggrizzly in 20 Something, Quarter-Life Crisis, yoga.
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Here I am being all mopey and low.  Trying to figure out if the way I am handling life is the right thing to do or just the easiest.  Fighting the ‘flight’ instinct as hard as I can.  Feeling betrayed by one closest to me and not being able to turn to anyone else as my social web is almost entirely entwined… when out from Cyberspace I suddenly get a bundle of good tidings.  Some from strangers, some from acquaintances of varying degrees.  They all immensely cheered me up.  Granted it’s sometimes easier to be kinder to a total stranger than a loved one but it reminded me that sometimes when all you really want to do is shut down you should open yourself up to the universe and good things will come in.  So this gave me a new idea on how to frame my 2010 resolutions.  Instead of resolving to change things (the ‘re’ of resolve kind of bothers me, since it means ‘again’ which implies trying again, or having to try again when what I want it a fresh start), I am going to invite those attributes that I want into my life.  So hear they are, Grizzly’s invitations for 2010.

I invite Connections:  People are important to me.  While I am introverted I still love talking and learning from others.  I also realize networking is more important than ever in our society.  I am going to make more of an effort to cultivate the relationships in my life.  I’m planning on doing it the old fashioned way; Letter-writing.  I’ll set up a facebook status inviting anyone who wants to receive a lovely handwritten letter from me should send me their address.  Hopefully I’ll have some takers and who knows perhaps it could turn into something really big like Person A wants a job and Person B knows someone hiring etc etc.

I invite Health.  I want to continue to nurture my body.  Through just 5 weeks of training for a marathon I’m already amazed at what I am accomplishing.  I’d like to run 3 marathons in 2010.  I also just signed up for my first Yogafit instructor training session.  Beyond that I want to keep testing my physical abilities, hike more, try rock climbing, learn how to rope.

I invite Fight: This one sounds negative but it’s not so much conflict as it is bravery.  I am passive aggressive.  I want to encourage myself to be more assertive, to stand up for myself when patronized and call someone out when they are bullshitting.  Yogajournal did a great article on Warrior Pose a few months ago.  I’ll start exploring the different variations in my own yoga practice and find out what kind of ‘warrior’ I am supposed to be.

I invite Openness: This is probably my overall theme for 2010.  I want to be open to new experiences, new relationships, new ideas.  I don’t want to be afraid of them anymore.  At least once a month I’ll seek out a new experience and/or do something I am scared of.  Anyone have any life changing experiences they want to offer?

I invite Release:  I can forgive but I can never forget.  My life has been beautiful but I carry around so much unnecessary baggage.  I want to let go of these things.  I will start a daily meditation practice and hopefully this will help me drop some of this weight I’ve been carrying.  One of my favorite songs is “Dog Days Are Over” by Florence and the Machine.  One of the lines go “Leave all your love and your loving behind you, you can’t carry it with you if you want to survive.”