Rewarding Myself with Self Praise

“I will never be good enough.”  “I can’t do this, it’s too hard.” “I’ll never be a runner, who am I kidding.”  Try as I might not to let it happen, so often those depressing, self-doubting thoughts echo in my head. It’s especially hard when I’ve had a particularly bad run when I felt like, for some reason, I just couldn’t pull it together – a day it seemed like I was particularly winded right from the start. I have come to realize just how important self-praise is to my success.  Sure it’s very easy to beat myself up, but where does that get me?  Sneakers packed away in the closet, stress-eating and low self-esteem?

As a Human Resources Manager, I laugh when I think of the advice I give applicants who interview for a job.  If you’re not going to toot your own horn, if you’re not going to believe in yourself, who will do it for you? I think the same applies while running.  If I don’t praise myself, if I don’t reward myself verbally, how will I ever succeed? I have to remember while I may not be the fastest, I am good enough. I may not be fast, but I am a runner – no matter how long it takes me to puff up that hill. I can do this.  If I tell myself this enough, I start to feel like the little engine that could. This time, however, it’s not “I think I can,” it’s “I know I can.”

Running 101 – Book Review

Yes, I’m a reader, so when I decided to start running, I had to read up on everything I could.  Yes, there is plenty available on the web, but I also like the feel of pages in my hand.  Running 101 – The Essentials For Success, by Joe Henderson is the first book I picked up to start filling up my running library (of course I already subscribe to Runner’s World Magazine).  I looked forward to the advice and tips the author offered.

Running 101 – Essential for Success is divided into three main categories including; starting to run, running for fitness and training to race.  These categories are definitely areas of interest for any beginning runner. The categories are then divided into 111 lessons, each designed to help the runner towards their running goal. How you progress through the lessons is definitely up to the discretion of the reader/runner.

Since I spent a great deal of time running on the treadmill (too cold, then too hot), I find Henderson’s take on treadmill running very interesting.  “Exercising indoors, and in place, is like watching the natural world pass through a car window.” While some may disagree, it’s definitely a very interesting analogy.  Personally, I would say that there are definitely pros and cons to running on the treadmill.

Ever wondered what training plans to put in place to run a 5K? What about a 10K?  Running 101 provides daily training plans to help readers figure out training plans to ensure success.  Training plans are also included the book.

Overall, Running 101 – Essentials for Success, provides a lot of great information for the novice runner.

Walk to Run – Don’t Let the Name Fool You

This grandma signed up for a Walk to Run class for a variety of reasons.  First, with a couple of health issues, I felt like I was starting back from the first marker since participating in the Disney Family 5K Marathon back at the end of February.  Second, even though I’ve participated in one other 5K since, I still felt like I was not hitting the stride that I should be hitting; making the times I should be making.  I decided, what better way to really get some help, build up my stamina, find some nearby running  buddies, then by joining the Walk to Run challenge at the local rec center.  After all I figured with two races under my belt, how hard could it possibly be? Do the words “wrong, again” ever ring in your ear?

The first week wasn’t so bad, it really wasn’t. It consisted of a few, run-a-few, walk-a-few. Easy? Too easy! After the workout, we got our homework which consisted of three runs and one brisk walk. After a week of workplace stress, a family funeral and a bit of travel, I was woefully unprepared for week two.  It’s not that running for three minutes is hard, it really isn’t. I’ve run much longer and much further. What I wasn’t prepared for, however, were running up steep hills AND through uncut grass in 85 degree heat. No water, no towel to wipe the sweat, just me and my running companions running on a course that we were in no way prepared for. All I could think of was “bootcamp”.

Fortunately, today’s particular brand of torture only lasted 30 minutes before we were allowed to go run back along the shady trail in the forest.  So what is the lesson here? While my initial thought was perhaps I am too old, I figured that really wasn’t the lesson here.  The lesson is that I need to stop running in the comfort of a treadmill and flat surfaces and venture out a bit. While self-doubt might have set in for a second it, in fact, only strengthened my resolve to get better at this.

Marathon here I come!!!

Monday is a Big Day for Grandma Running

Monday, May 13, 2013 is a big day. Usually I’m good with the weekend; content to spend the days running errands, relaxing with the family – generally just having a great time.  This weekend is a little different.  I’m actually looking forward to this coming Monday because it’s the start of two new endeavors designed to kick my… well you know…

First, I joined the Walk to Run Challenge at the recreation center. It’s a program to help participants run their first 5K. I know…I know…I’ve already done two 5K’s, but I must admit my time was horrible. I think the fastest runners could have run the race, come back for me at the starting line and ran it again, by the time I got to the first mile.  I’m determined to cut my time in half. 

Second, is the Fattymustrunmarathon Challenge.  This is a virtual group and our first “assignments” start on Monday.  This year long challenge is a serious of challenges and support from women all over the world. 

I think with the help of my virtual, in person support, AND my own will and determination,  I will be ready for my next 5K, the 10K I have yet to sign up for and the half marathon that is already on my horizon for February 2014. For the first time in a while, I’m feeling – Monday, bring it on!

Fattymustrun Marathon Challenge!

What? Are you kidding? Aren’t you insulted? Just some of the comments I first received when I mentioned joining this challenge.  “Heck, no!” was my immediate response. Just as quickly, the positive comments and support started to flow in. You can always count on family and good friends.

What’s in a name? Yes, I do need to lose weight; yes, I am running; and yes, I’m headed for the goal of running a half-marathon in February 2014. So I applied to join the small elite group and was so excited when I was accepted to join.

What is the Fattymustrun Marathon Challenge? There are fifteen phenomenal women – all with goals of running a marathon and losing weight, under the guidance our fearless leader, Julie. The fabulous 15 are made up of a truly representative bunch of women, in terms of age, current weight, ethnicity, location in the world and in our prior running experience, all joining together in a virtual buddy support system to help each and every one of us reach our goals.

Every goal starts with a hope and a dream; finding people to join you on the journey – priceless.  So call me whatever you want.  Next year, this time – you’ll be the one wishing you had started right along with me.  Thank you my FMRMC peeps!

So with a sense of challenge, and humor, we begin.

Healing When You Get Older – Don’t Give Up

How I sometimes envy youth and the powers of healing!  In the last month, I have been sidetracked, first with foot problems and most recently with a severe upper respiratory infection. How does this happen? I know part of it is from not taking better care of myself. But isn’t that why I’m running? Absolutely! 

The problem when you get older is the fact that your body doesn’t quite have the same magical healing powers as when you’re younger.  Not only that, but sometimes we tend to get hurt a little bit easier.  Our feet don’t quite spring off the ground with the jaunty step of youth.  It’s okay, I have learned to have a great appreciation of being well. 

I’m also not complaining. I feel fortunate to be able to get up every day and attempt this “running thing” that I’m learning to enjoy.  I’m up and about once again after a few mandatory days of bed rest, ready to get up and at ‘em. I know that I may injure quicker and heal slower, but I won’t let that stop me. Armed with the knowledge on the complexity of healing, I’m feeling even more determined to keep up my stride toward a healthy life style. 

What about you?