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Sunday, September 11, 2011

Mentally Scary

     530am comes quick. I woke up feeling great and actually looking forward to my LSD (Long, slow distance) run.
     Breakfast was simple: toast and a banana then GU (I tried the tri-berry today). I packed up my mid-run GU and started the mapmyrun app to keep track of me and for easy logging later.
     It's dark when I start around 615am and I've adjusted to that, though it wasn't that way about a month ago. When I head out I focus on mini goals to help me stay in a positive mindset. The first one is reaching "the traffic lights" That's the daylight point. But before I was out of my neighborhood, I was spooked. I swear everything was howling. Cats, dogs and even the chickens! I'm not kidding, the headphones have not been put on faster.
     With music playing I figured the scariness would lessen. Nope. With my ears plugged to the environment my eyes started noticing more..like the weird teenager out walking and the fact that it was darker than normal. With overcast blanketing the sky I had this lonely feeling that I would never see the sun. That is not a positive mantra.
     Just as a note there was a song that had lyrics saying "this doesn't get better" I was like "really??" I've never noticed those words in that song before, but of course they stuck out today.
     Crossing the main street I make it to the main trail. I love the trails because they are wide and the pavement is nice to run on with my Nike's. Then I start seeing, or in fact..not seeing because there aren't any streetlights or trail lights for the path. I was pissed that the cars that have headlights got all the luminescence on the road. It was creepy dark! I started thinking this is a crazy idea, running out here in the dark and without any one around..Plus there was this bird. Yes a bird that looked like a rock on the path..because it was so dark. As I approached the "rock" it flew up just passed my face and I had a freak-out jumping moment. Stupid bird.
     To keep my sanity, I took a walking break about 2 miles sooner than normal to adjust my mindset. I started telling myself that there were going to be others outside soon, then cars and finally the sun will start brightening the trail. I was wrong again.
     My first goal landmark arrived: the traffic lights. What happened? darkness..still. what..the..hell?!? All these events were less than motivating. I figured the happy daylight wasn't going to come anytime soon with the damn overcast. Damn you weather! Just another mental thing to overcome. I can do it.
     Another strange thing..there weren't any walkers, runners or bikers out doing their thing....hmm. I'm starting to feel like there was a memo that I just didn't get.
     Once I reached my second landmark I was super pissed. There's this fishing pond about 2.5 miles out and there's always people out fishing, walking (there's a trail head) or at least cars parked. Nothing. No one. It's still dark. That weird blue-toned light started about here. That does not count as daylight to me. I just figured that at this point there wasn't a happy ending. No sun until after I get home, no people to smile at while running on the trail and no funny people staring from their car.
Glimpse of Daylight-Hope

     Then on the positive side of things..what? there's a positive?!? Yes..positive. I took a look at my phone to see how I was doing. With all the creepy, negative things I was focused on during my run so far..I had not been paying attention to pace/distance..I was doing damn good.
     Jumping forward a mile, it was time for my mid-run GU (tried the mandarin orange). I took a walking break to ingest this stuff, ughalak! the texture makes me want to gag..but the taste actually isn't that bad (well..some of them) back to my light problem. The daylight started coming out and I was feeling great. Amazing how something simple as light can make such a mental difference.
Daylight!!

     After the GU I saw the first people since I left my house, the weird teenager didn't count; it was a couple walking with backpacks on. Then by the time I reached the fountain again I saw an old man sitting to tie his shoe, later another couple running with their dog...who looked like this >>
     Whether it was actually this or not, I have no idea. But you can imagine it put a smile on my face to see this thing with all its hairy goodness running with its tongue out. Glorious.
     Feeling mentally better than when I started, I just focused on getting the rest done, the last half. Of course, that wasn't going to be as easy as I was hoping. I had one of the most stubborn side stitches ever. Lame. I usually can get rid of one pretty quickly..but this one had no intention of letting me run. I was pissed..again. I had the energy to just shoot and I felt great, but then this little thing is stopping me.
     I hate when things are in my way. Eventually, I got the stubborn pain to lessen..but I couldn't get it to go away completely. You can imagine how that put a damper on my pace. Oh well. Getting out there and doing it, regardless of time or distance is the bigger picture for me.
     To sum this up, I want to tell you what helped make sense of most of my running events today..it was Sunday and I had no clue.
     Now is when you laugh at me. I usually run on a Saturday, which is why I'm used to all the activity going on around me. I don't know if the anniversary of 9/11 has people stay indoors as well to make it double-lonely on the road, but the roads and paths were definitely empty. I didn't realize it was Sunday until I got home and Daniel wasn't there....once he arrived I asked why he took so long to get home, wondering if it was another long day at work. He had the most confused face and tone in his voice..then he reminded me that it was Sunday. bam..the "OH" moment. Like a giant light lit a mental tunnel.
     The whole Sunday thing still doesn't fix the fact that it was creepy dark outside, but does make sense of other things. This was only 7 miles for me..it wasn't hard physically at all. Done this before, but it was just mentally challenging.
     Sorry for such a looong post, I just had to share. If you read through this whole thing you deserve a gold star!! Thanks a ton, you guys are champs =>

Saturday, September 10, 2011

Positive

     On the first week of classes I was mad because the professors got switched. I was only taking that class because of the original professor, so you can imagine my temptation to drop it when I found my reason was gone.
     I am super thrilled I didn't drop it!! The professor that took the class over is AMAZING! First, she showed us the "Brain in the Palm of your Hand" which I truly enjoyed, I will dig up the link of its source for you: here is the video of Dr. Dan Siegel showing you what I'm talking about; he does so in the sense of relating it to parenthood, but you can easily understand how this is used in every aspect of life.
    Then she gave us a quote to look into:
 "The mind can change the brain to change the mind.
     It's definitely a favorite of mine and I want it hung up on my wall somewhere. We had to find what it "defines" which wasn't hard. While looking it up I ran into a ton of info from Rick Hanson, who the quote is from. He has a lot of info on mindfulness, which I'm all about! I immediately signed up for his Just One Thing newsletter and rummaged through his Skillful Means wiki to find sources on meditation, psychological practices and more.
     During some recent digging I came across the "Three good things" exercise. I'm in love with this, it's simple and makes a difference in how you think throughout your day.
     Most of us are focused on the negative things going on around us. The idea of this exercise is to focus on the positive things. How do you do it?
1. at night before bed think of three positive things that happened that day.
2. write them down
3. this is important: write down why they were good, why were they positive for you. 
Keep in mind, he says that these things do not have to be huge amazing things, they can be anything from having great toast in the morning to running your first marathon. The reasons can be simple, too. Maybe the toast was so good for you because you bought different bread or a new jelly.
     When I started, on the second day I was thinking about the three things I was going to write about throughout my day. It was really amazing, as things happened I thought to myself, "Oooh! That will be one of my things!" hehe sounds silly, but try it and you'll see! =>

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Good People

     It never ceases to amaze me how just a couple of good people can make for great company.
     I had a Lia Sophia party tonight (for those that don't know, it's jewelry) and I sent out a facebook invite aaaand like a million postcard invites to people at college. Many saying they would come, though I didn't actually expect it to happen.
     When the party bell rang, there were only two guests: my sister-in-law Michelle and a really good friend in college, Lori. There is one other that was supposed to make it that had very good reason not to..she has be excused hehe =>
     My point of this is that as I was hoping for a big show, it was quite small....but the fun-o-meter went up just as high.
It's good to have good people in your life.
=>
     Aside from all that, if you want to check out the jewelry go here:
https://www.liasophia.com/sites/amymartin1/catalog-intro
and put Glady Dalton in the hostess lookup, you have until Friday the 9th!! =>
The Deal: by 2 get 3rd at half price....the MOST EXPENSIVE is your HALF-OFF piece!! =>