I may have written about this before, but I believe in the power of “as if.” I believe in it so much that I’ve taught my child to use its power. She is even better at it than I.
Not confident? Just act as if you were confident and it’s almost as good.
Not happy? Act as if you were happy. Smile and laugh and tell jokes. No one can tell you aren’t happy. Maybe not even you.
Don’t know what you are doing? Just answer as if you are sure of yourself. Others will believe in you, follow your lead, and soon you will be sure.
Right now I’m not body positive at all. I’m feeling old and sore and worn down (especially last night). But I post as if I’m sure of what I’m doing and that I know it will turn out right. If I keep saying it, not only will you believe, but hopefully I will too.
This post marks 7 days in a row that I’ve posted. I admit I’m a bit rusty. Also it feels weird to be sharing my inner thoughts again. Luckily no one is reading this blog (except my mom) after being dormant for so long.
Today I got my walk in, but barely (10 days down; 20 to go). I had exactly 30 min between finishing work and the leaving for the movies. BF wasn’t too happy, but he got over it.
It was dark and drizzly and I didn’t have time to go to the gym. I strapped a light onto my knit hat and held a flashlight when oncoming cars would come. I’m supposed to avoid blacktop because it’s harsher on the heel pain, but sometimes you just have to make do.
It felt like the old days, before I ran a half marathon, before the chronic pain, when I was just trying to hit a million steps and would walk in all kinds of weather just to get those extra steps in. Before I had “friends” on my Fitbit app and I was the only person I knew who had a Fitbit. Before I turned 50, when I thought I’d never be a runner, or athletic, or fit. When all I wanted to do was be able to walk without huffing and puffing.
It was also a time when I obsessed about what I was eating, and how much, and when. And I was drinking coffee and diet soda (ok I had diet soda today, but just because we were out to dinner and there weren’t a lot of options. It really is a rare thing) and I was weighing myself obsessively.
This time I’m being really strict. Not only is there a no-scale rule and a no writing down everything you eat rule, but there is a don’t obsess about your food choices rule and a eat when you are hungry rule. There is also a don’t feel bad about what you ate rule. Sometimes I forget the rules a bit and have to remind myself… gently remind myself… kindly remind myself that the rules are there to protect me (from me). Then I pick myself up, dust myself off, and send me back into the world.
It feels pretty good.
Yesterday I almost didn’t get my 30 min walk in. The day got away from me so that the earliest I could get to it was 10 pm. It was rainy and icky out. I was really tired. But it’s only 30 min and I already brought my sneakers, I told myself.
Then I realized I had forgotten to pack up the most important thing: I carry a water bottle to the gym that has my Garmin watch, Bluetooth headphones, a sweat towel, and a scruncii to hold my glasses on. Could I really walk without these?
Yes, I thought:
- Listen to the rhythm of your breathing
- Enjoy the sweat as proof of your effort
- Repurpose your empty coffee thermos from this morning as a water bottle
- Rely on the treadmill to record your efforts
- Hold your head high so your glasses don’t fall off
It was a great moment in positive self talk. I found reasons to succeed instead of reasons to fail. I kept thinking if you let these little things defeat you now, how will you survive the big things?
On my way to the gym, with less than an hour before closing, my glasses broke. One of the temples (arms) fell off and into the abyss of my dark car. To keep driving (I am completely blind without my glasses) I had to hold them with one hand and drive with the other. I had no time to go home for a spare pair and still get my walk in.
Well, that’s it, I thought. I can’t see so I can’t walk. Just give up. This is a legit reason. More legit than no headphones and no water bottle.
But then I thought, Fuck It.
I want to get my walk in. Let’s see (hehe get it) what happens.
So I went to the gym and held my glasses with one hand to find the changing room and then dressed blind. Then I held my glasses to find the treadmill and to see which buttons to press. Once I got a good rhythm going I put the glasses into the empty cup holder (yeah, I left the coffee cup in the car after all that) and walked blind. I didn’t fall. I didn’t fail. I didn’t give up.
All in all it was a pretty great day.
I planned a long run today. I planned on getting up early to do it, but that didn’t happen. I spent several hours talking myself in and out of running at all. But finally I put on the gear, and that really is half the battle.
I’m really glad I did the full 3.5 miles. This is farther than I’ve been running, but not by so much that I’m overdoing it. I have a plan on MapMyRun that will slowly increase my distance over the next few months. I don’t have an end game right now. It might be 6 miles. It might be 10. If all goes well it might be more. I’m taking it cautiously and am cautiously optimistic as well.
The real test will be how I feel tomorrow.
My daughter used to say running was my drug of choice, and there was a certain truth to it. I loved getting that “runner’s high” and that kept me going. Signing up for longer runs, running faster, were just ways I chased better highs.
I’ve been noticing lately that I don’t love running the way I used to and I’m starting to think it has to do with releases endorphins, or lack thereof.
Today I had the closest thing to a runners high. It showed up in the last half mile of a 2.5 mile run. It wasn’t enough to get me to extend the run. More like a runner’s hiccup rather than a runner’s high.
I’m not sure what exactly triggers runner’s high. It isn’t strictly a distance or pace thing. I know some runners who never get them (sorry mom). I just know that what flipped me from being someone who runs to a “runner” was largely based on those chemicals that literally make running worth the pain and effort.
So if you want to know what I’m chasing when you see me running, now you know. I’m chasing my runner’s high.
3 miles is better than 2
14:12 is better than 14:30
45 degrees is better than 34
3 runs this week is better than 1
Feeling that little, tiny flower of empowerment
rising in your gut through the ash of cynicism and self-doubt
Recovery has made wax poetic. Not sure why.
Today was better. My running was better. My emotions were better. My expectation that I might run again this week, that I can get past a “bad run” was better. Just knowing I can get through a bad run helps me get to the next one.
I’m sure I have many more bad runs in my future. But I also believe they will be followed by better runs. And maybe out there… way, way out there… are some good runs.
I’m not having the best week. Work is hard. Working out is hard. Food issues and body image issues that I thought were behind me are creeping up again. In general, life is hard.
But now I’m taking care of me for a few days. 3 vacation days (plus weekend). Starting now, I’m taking 5 full days where I’m turning off emails, politics, drama. I’m looking to feed my soul. I’m focusing on friends, loved ones, family.
We aren’t going anywhere. I’m not setting up a “to-do” list. I may or may not run. I may or may not sleep till noon. I plan on having a lot of sex and alcohol may or may not be involved.
Most of all, I’m taking a vacation from judging me. To celebrate, I’m taking a beautiful sunset walk. Lots of pics. Lots of rests. Lots ofcontemplation and introspection. No thoughts of shoulda, coulda, woulda.
For five days. Ready? Set. Go!
It’s too early.
I’m too sick.
It’s too cold.
too snowy. too icy.
I really dont want to.
OK, I’m dressed.
Are you happy now.
Wool socks. Gloves. Hat.
It’s still too cold.
That’s all I’m doing.
is that a cramp
How can I run?
…well it is pretty,
I’ll give you that.
But I’m too slow.
I look ridiculous.
Isn’t it supposed to get easier? I’m not having any fun.
One more mile.
I’m not kidding.
that’s it. I’m done. I…
huh? Look at that…
I guess it’s better than no run at all.
Does shoveling snow count as one of my weekly workouts? My fitness app doesn’t include it as a setting but I’m seriously counting it.
Thursday we got a huge snowfall that kept most sane people in-doors. I looked at the snow and decided to leave it right where it was. I was happy to use the day in the house as an excuse to take down my Christmas decorations (don’t judge, I’ve been busy).
Friday was really cold out. Most people managed to go back to work but I took advantage of my job that lets me work from home. I stayed indoors, drank waaaay too much coffee, and never made it out of the house. Every couple of hours I checked the weather app that assured me that Saturday would be much warmer, and thus a better day to get rid of the piles of snow. Maybe most of it would melt off. (Have I mentioned I really hate the cold?)
And I was right, mostly. It was much warmer yesterday so a lot of the snow melted. Also I was able to work without being so bundled up; I worked in just a sweater, no coat. Also, the ice was easier to dig up. On the other hand, the snow that was there was very wet and therefore very heavy.
At some point I picked up something the wrong way or moved the wrong way and pulled something. So now I have this sharp pins-and-needle feeling running from my lower back, down my leg, and into my heel. It is incredibly painful so I’m skipping my workout today which means I’m not meeting my weekly goal this week.
Next time I’m just going to let the snow melt naturally.
If I didn’t live near a beach, I most likely would never have started running. Running gives me an excuse to go to the beach in February.
I love running on boardwalk over pretty much any other surface. I love running in air that tastes salty. I love listening to the waves crash as I cool down and stretch.
Driving home from NYC after work can take anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hrs, depending on which part of the city I’m coming from, how early I get out, and general traffic conditions.
The beach is considerably colder than the mainland, and the sun sets very early in winter, so running on the beach is often a matter of timing and luck.
Even though I was cleared to run for a while, I didn’t get going as fast as I could have/should have. It has been months since the weather conditions and my own sense of timing provided me with the opportunity or inclination.
Today was the day, though. Weather was unseasonably warm, despite the fact that we are due for a blizzard tomorrow. I made it past the Queens border by 3, clearing my way to hit the beach before the sun went down.
And so I ran… for sheer joy it seems.