Thursday, September 8, 2011

Good Morning!

I have officially started training for my Half Marathon. My mileage is low, but I'm mixing it up with some cardio classes for right now. Don't worry, I'm going to start bumping up the mileage when I return from a backpacking trip next week.

This morning, I ran a couple of miles then I took my first pilates class. This was my first time taking pilates and it was AMAZING!!! It was like meditating and exercising at the same time. It was challenging, but since my focus was on my form and breathing, I didn't think too much about anything else. When I did lose focus, I would think about how it was my first time and would start negative self-talk, such as "I have no idea what I'm doing" and "This teacher probably thinks I'm an idiot". That voice came and went a couple of times throughout the hour, but I think I did a good job refocusing on my breathing and form. When I was fully focused in the class, the voice would go away. Realizing this now is going to benefit me greatly when I start getting into my longer runs and other difficult parts of my training. In addition to my physical training, I need to be just as dedicated to my mental training. This means finding a focus/refocus plan that works for me and practicing it every time I exercise.

Thursday, September 1, 2011

New Goals

I was feeling pretty impulsive this past Sunday and made it my goal to find a 1/2 Marathon to run before the end of the year. I started my search in Northern California, but there was nowhere that I was interested in running...not as my first 1/2 anyway. My options were Livermore (NO THANK YOU), Petaluma (I'll be out of town for that one), and Lake Tahoe (beautiful, but I think adding altitude to my first 1/2 would be a bit much). I was getting discouraged, but still determined to find a run before 2012. Searching...searching...searching...Las Vegas Rock N' Roll 1/2 Marathon on Dec 4, 2011!!! I couldn't think of a better race for my first 1/2. I looked into the details of the run and I got even more excited. The race starts at 5:30pm and the course runs along Las Vegas Blvd. From Mandalay Bay down to the Golden Nugget and back. This means I will be running under the lights on the strip! Oh, and live music every about some motivation.

I took about 30 minutes to decide if this was something I was ready to commit to and before I knew it, I was paying for my registration! It took me even less time to book flights, which I'm a little less excited about...Spirit Airlines? Really?

I have wanted to run a Marathon for years, but have always been too scared to commit to it. A couple of months ago, a friend of mine was going through a difficult time in her life and I told her I would run a Marathon with her in October...well, we never signed up and we both ended up slacking off on the training and wouldn't you know it, October is just around the corner. I started thinking about how to set myself up to succeed rather than to fail. This is when I decided that it would be more beneficial for me to start out running a 1/2 Marathon before I double that mileage. With that, I believe I've set myself up for a physical and mental challenge that will make me stronger. These next 3 months are going to be difficult with training, but I'm ready for it. I started this week and have slowly been getting myself back in shape (I haven't ran since I left Boston...2 months ago!). I've done incline walking intervals, light jogs, and a spin class this morning. So far, so good. I'm taking this week to get my body used to moving again and next week I start racking up the mileage. I will be posting as often as I can to document my training process.

Stay tuned...

Monday, July 25, 2011


Balance is tough for me right now...well, not only right now, but always. With most things, I start out at full speed and with the best of intentions, but if something doesn't go according to plan, it's difficult for me to get back on track without over analyzing each piece and eventually just turns into a lot of negative self-talk. I understand these setbacks are only opportunities to learn and will make me stronger in my task the next time I am challenged with it, but I really let them get to me. To me they are mistakes, not learning opportunities. I feel embarrassed when I make a mistake, yet I understand completely when this happens to others. It seems as if I have a lack of compassion toward myself. Well, not as if...I do.
It is difficult to go any other speed than TURBO...if I go slow, I want to go faster or do more, push myself. Balance. I will find balance. I will be nicer to myself (I've mentioned this before) and allow myself some wiggle room with my goals. If there is a setback, I will only go back one step not the entire journey. I will TRY to be honest with my self-talk and not so critical. I will see learning opportunities for myself as I do with others. If I am not able to do all of these things, I will come back and read this entry and remind myself that it is not a brick wall that I have run into, but only a small bump in the road.

Thursday, July 7, 2011

Clarity 2.0

Over the past couple of days, I've started running again and eating when and how I should. No more eating out nearly every meal, no more bagel sandwiches for breakfast, fried foods, and a pint of delicious beer with every meal (that part I miss the most). As I've been getting back into my routine, my thoughts have become more rational and realistic and not so emotional. I have thought a lot about my last post and re-read it a number of times and realized I portrayed my situation a lot more negative than it actually is. There is so much positive in where I am and what I'm doing with my life and at my job. I'm not going to list off all the reasons, but I know I'm doing meaningful, purposeful work and with the most supportive team that I have ever known. No, it's not what I set out to do, but I will be much happier if I look at my life with a different perspective. I also know that in order to get everything I want, I will have to work harder to make it happen and I am already making changes and prepared for what's to come.

When I return to work on Monday, I will continue to give my all just as I always have, but I will also give full focus to making fitness training and mental skills training a bigger part of my life.

Exercise goal for the day: I will run at least 5 miles.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Do what you like, like what you do

It's been over 2 months since I've written in my "journal". I stopped writing when things were going really well for me. I was running and exercising consistently and I guess I just didn't think I needed to write about things when they were positive. But, when I started working more hours to prepare for my vacation (~60/week), I stopped being consistent with my exercise routine and I didn't want to document that either. Part of the reason I started this blog is to be real with myself about the ups and downs of being consistent. So now a couple of months later, I'm being real with myself about my feelings of physical fitness and it's priority in my life.

Most recently I gave myself the excuse that I didn't have the time to exercise (or to write), all I had time to do was to work. I'd physically work during the day and I'd come home and think about it during the evening, then on top of that, I'd dream about it at night. I knew that I needed to make time to exercise to help let go of some of the chaos, but I was just too tired. I was mentally exhausted. Fast forward to my 3 week vacation...

My first day in Boston, we go into the Life Is Good store. What a great store, by the way. Filled with one line cliches about what we all need to remember and be appreciative for. I'm walking around and feeling optimistic (I even bought a bumper sticker to let people know I'm "powered by optimism") when I saw a coffee cup that reads "do what you like, like what you do". Since then, I've been thinking about my current job and trying my best to be honest with myself about my happiness there. Once again, it's been taking over and mentally exhausting me, except this time I have been making time to exercise and in doing this I had a lot of time to think clearly. It really didn't take me long to realize that I already know that what really makes me happy. It's what I went to school for...exercise science and sport psychology.

Wednesday, April 27, 2011


It is so frustrating to work so hard at something and not see any rewards. Delayed gratification is overrated. I want instant gratification. I am tired of working and working and working at something and not being compensated...financially, emotionally, physically. I have taken incredible steps toward accomplishing my goals and it seems like something is always there to push me back. I feel like my life is a representation of perseverance and adversity. I want to know that my work is being seen and heard. I know that I need to be happy with what I have and there are less fortunate people out's difficult. I have goals that I want to achieve and I work hard toward them. Nothing is happening. I am sick of having to work harder...I am sick of doing these things alone. Three different areas of my life are at a stand still right now and I need to make things move. I am not seeing any weight loss and I have been giving incredible efforts, I have a personal relationship that has so much tension that I've created and brought to the surface again, and I don't feel I will ever make the amount of money that I deserve or am worth. I am constantly trying to find ways to make these things better and just seem to be spinning my wheels. Maybe I feel the need to try and fix everything, like these things need to be fixed. In my opinion, they do. I need to fix the way I see myself, I need to fix an important relationship, and I need to fix my financial situation. Yes, I'm a fixer. I want to make things better now!!!
This brings me to my battle with what I can control and what I cannot. I cannot control the other end of the relationship. I have put out what I had to say and I was honest with my feelings. Whether it was accepted, heard, or understood is not on me anymore. I need to do more work with accepting myself and the way I see myself and although I think that physically changing will increase positive thoughts, it's not the only thing I can do to feel better about myself. As far as my financial aspirations...well, I feel hopeless. There are some things that I can do and am doing to make things easier for myself, but they aren't moving as fast as I'd like them to...wait, I'M not moving as fast as I'd like to. I'm trying to figure out a balance between giving my all and feeling like I always could have given more. Because if I always give my all, I have nowhere to grow and can feel like a failure if something is not achieved. If I always feel like I could have given more, I will feel like I never reach my goals and again, feel like a failure.
I worked out yesterday with the intent to change my mind/body state and it did very little, although there was a some change. I usually feel a bigger difference after I workout. Not yesterday...this stuff is weighing on me pretty heavy right now and all I want is for things to be a little easier.
Positively, I will not let these things get me down. I will continue to work hard no matter what the outcome. I am very determined and I will make sure that I will do what is in my control. I can still go to the gym, I can still be open if my mother ever chooses to speak to me again, and I can continue to work hard for a better financial future. I will continue to be positive even though things are rough. There are learning opportunities here and I will choose to see them. I am stronger now than I was when I began writing this...for that, I am proud.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

What to DO?

Yesterday was a bit difficult. After a long day at work, I wanted to go home. I had almost talked myself out of going to the gym (it's too late, I haven't eaten, I'm not going to have enough time, I'll do double tomorrow, etc.) when I knew that I had to go. I was not happy about it, it's not what I wanted to do. I wanted to think about it at home, but I knew I was dealing with a pattern of mine, Thinking instead of Doing. I chose to DO.
I remember in grad school having to write a reflection paper on DOcisions, a corny word representing turning one's decisions into action. The doing. I have lots of things that run through my head that I rarely act on or are consistent with. PhD programs, completing a 1/2 marathon, completing a full marathon, losing weight and embracing a healthier lifestyle, making brochures and building a website for my consulting services, all of which would benefit me greatly but I don't DO I think. Last night I DOcided to go to the gym, even if it was only for 30 minutes. When I completed my measly 30 minutes, I felt a lot better than I know I would have if I had not gone at all.
Today I have an appointment with my personal trainer. 1 full hour of strength training preceded by 1/2 hour of cardio. I can't wait!!!