Sunday, January 29, 2012

Two Cars

You've heard of people who watch 'guilty pleasure' television shows. Mine is A&E's Intervention. This morning I watched a sad story about a son who was an addict and a father who had been supporting him. When it came to the intervention the producers had positioned a police officer in the room because the son had made death threats to them. The son repeatedly refused the treatment they were offering so they left the father and son alone in the room.

The father looked at the son and said, "You're going to leave here in a car. The producers have a car, and the police officer has a car. Which one are you going to get into?"

Wow. It makes so much sense. At any point of your day you have two choices:

a. Breakfast: Eggs and toast? Or donuts and coffee?
b. Pre-work: Read the paper? Or do a short workout?
c. Lunch: What's to eat?
d. Post-work: Relax with television? Walk 30 minutes?
e. Evening: Late-night snack or go to bed early?

Time is passing. You're getting in one car or another. It's happening. Right now, as you sit at the computer, you're in a car. Which one is it? Is it the one that's taking you to health and wellness? Or the one that's keeping your status-quo?

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Combination Platter

(this one is for you, Peg!!)

Two things happened at the same time last week. 1. a friend lent me a workout DVD that requires about a 30 day commitment. Plus I ramped up the running so I can train like a big girl for the Soldier Field 10 Mile. 2. I took a 180 question re-certification test through the Healing Touch Program.

On today's run I decided to find a way to combine these two loves: energy work and running. There has to be a way to relate the total relaxation and self-healing of Healing Touch to the sweat, grunting, and pushing of Training. They seem so opposite from the outside. In one, you lay on a table under a soft blanket while a loving soul carefully moulds herself around your heart to protect you from the world while your body and mind take stock and begin healing.

In the other, you pull yourself off of a comfortable couch and head out alone. Discomfort is a welcome friend. The mantras are about pain, dedication, hard work, strength, and perseverance. It's hard, and the harder the workout the more accomplished you feel.

Both actions touch your core. Both seek to extract the best person you can be out of your body. Both are healthy. Both are vital in the way that vital comes from Vitality.

But that's as far as I got. Oh, I did come up with a title for the magazine article I will write:
5k Ground, 10k Center, 13.1m Attune, 26.2 Heal.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

And then... I was Flying!

My runs have not been awesome this winter. It was exciting when it got cold and I could actually run instead of just get geared up and have to walk home. But I was stuck at 12:25 minute miles. That's slow. That's slower than 5 miles per hour. Many people can walk 4 miles per hour, so what I was doing was just slightly faster than walking.

Until this week.

The American Cancer Society includes access to a great training website that tracks my routes and workouts. I finally accessed the site and realized that my iPod wasn't calibrated correctly. I'd been running 11 minute miles! So exciting!!

Then today... knowing that the iPod wasn't correct I just poured everything I had into the run. I just wanted to find out what I could do when I wasn't keeping track of it. And when I got home?


Yeah baby. That's faster than a 10 minute mile. The "10 minute mile" was the "C" grade in grade school. Kids who are normal should be able to run a 10 minute mile without much effort. It took me 20 years to get here, but HERE I AM!!!!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Adding a Little Balance

In addition to slowly building back up to 20 mile weeks (I'm up to 12 this week), I've added in 6 days a week of strength training. I'll let you know how that's going as soon as my deltoids stop shaking.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

People in my Neighborhood

4 miles today. 12 degrees Fahrenheit, -3 windchill. It was one of those awful runs where all I could think of was how I could justify heading in early.

I thought about a person I know who just finished her chemo treatments. She told me she tried to run 4 miles but she didn't have the strength yet. So I kept going.

I passed an old man trying to walk three tiny dogs. They kept tangling in his feet and he looked miserable. So I kept going.

I passed a woman in a full burka getting into a car. I know it's her choice in this country, but still... I kept going.

I passed a house where a man with one artificial leg is living with his mother. I turned around there and ran home.

When I got home I couldn't feel the skin on my legs. My face mask was covered in ice. It was a good run.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Not Quite what Pink Floyd had in Mind...

Runners World magazine often features media stars who happen to be runners. This month's is Ben Gibbard, the lead singer in the band Death Cab for Cutie (a band I actually have on my Run playlist!). The last quote of the article is this:

"How you transcend the wall, as a runner or a musician, defines who you are."

Wow. "As a runner or a musician..." or a mom, or an employee, or a student or a whatever-you-are. The Wall, it's not just for running.

The Wall, in running, is a physical or mental point in your workout or race where you have to stop. Either your body has run out of glycogen to burn for fuel, or your brain has decided that running is no longer on the schedule for today. I'm familiar with the Wall. It usually comes 2 miles before I'm done. Even if it's a 3 mile run, the 2-till-done mark almost always hits me. Unfortunately for Nashville, I hit it early (at mile 11 of the 26.2).

But I hit it in life too. Some days the Wall comes about an hour before bedtime when the only thing I can handle is putting on a movie and staring at the toddler. Sometimes it's cleaning and the dishes sit for one more night in the sink. Sometimes it's scheduling and that trip to the bank just won't happen today.

I know a racer who hits the wall the moment her foot crosses the START line. Obviously it's a mental wall more than a physical wall, but it's a wall nonetheless. And it's been transcended many times already. Today I'm thinking about what all my walls are, and that HOW I transcend them means something. Do I ask for help over it? Do I quit and sit down? Do I try to push the wall over, climb it, burn it, go around it? Or do I just trust that I'll transcend it, and look over my shoulder once I have?

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Da da da DAAAAAHHH!!!

I did it. I signed up for the American Cancer Society's DetermiNATION program. Stephan bought me an entrance into the Soldier Field 10 mile run in May, and we both decided to run it to raise money.

It's a LONG way away, and the distance isn't all that challenging.

What IS challenging is reliving the whole, 'holy crap I have cancer' part of my life. I think it hits me every winter when I used to indulge in a few sessions in the tanning booth to ward off the winter blah's. Just to freak myself out I wikipedia'd Melanoma again. I should have just watched the Exorcist or something. Once again I saw that the Clark Level II has a 5 year survival rate of 85%-100%. Obviously I'm doing amazing and I'm not worried about 'surviving' but it does send a few chills to see those stats. It will be 4 years this May for me.

Because so many people who love me are generous and amazing, I hit my goal of raising $400 in less than a day. I'll be upping the goal in the next few days, and until then you can check out my fundraising page here:

Click to see cute pictures of Anna running!

Stephan has his own deal so I'll let him pimp himself one day soon.