Who Are You Running Against?

stopwatch-259375_1280

It has been so long since I have written a post that my blog page fell off my commonly clicked sites. Hmm…Time to write. My lack of writing has not meant lack of living, thinking, or cooking. Just distracted with new developments.

Recently we discovered that I am pregnant…again with our now third child. This has been an exciting curveball, as I also signed up for my first half marathon. My swollen feet will be lined up at the starting line in just 2 weeks, 6 days, 22 hours…etc. This is not how I imagined things would be happening, but here we are. It has been a real challenge to keep up my regimen for training. Honestly it has dwindled down to a few strength and agility exercises here and there, along with the occasional run. Never have I felt more disappointed in my efforts. What only helps is when my eyes pass over a story about a 9-month pregnant rock star who runs a marathon and delivers a few hours later. What human strength and perseverance!

Then something occurred to me. A new perspective was brought about after a recent 5k. The crowd was huge and people of all sorts of fitness levels came out for the fun run, but for me I pay to compete with myself. Or so I thought. All this time of training and years of hitting the pavement I have been comparing myself to the best I know. Their performances push me to achieve as good a performance. When I fall short of whatever unrealistic expectation I set, the belt tightens and more rigorous guidelines apply. Perfection has kind of always been something I knew I could never be. I’m too ____(You name it)___. However, I somehow deceived myself into thinking that if I were only ___(You name it)___ I would be able to meet these ridiculous goals.

Before you get worried that I am a highly demanding person, you have to know that I am only this way with myself. When it comes to others my eyes are pretty accurate and I tend to extend others far more grace. My husband says that when I look at myself it is like looking into a fun house mirror. The races I have been running up to this point have been races against myself by comparing myself to unrealistic expectations. For this race I decided to change my mentality. This race I accepted that I am pregnant and haven’t been at my best. The race I run needs to be against the self I am now and not the person I wish I could be.

Crossing the finish line of the 5k, an amazing feeling swept over me. My eyes glanced at the timer and it said a time of 23 minutes. This was not my fastest time, but somehow it was acceptable. The old me would reprimand myself all the way home and come up with a solution to fix it for next time. This time being healthy and carrying a baby was success enough.The other runners began to fade from my concern and being strong in the moment became at the forefront of my mind during the run.

One friend reminded me in a conversation recently that you never know how you will feel on race day, and that feeling is a big indicator of your time and performance. Sometimes training your mind is an important factor forgotten in race prep. To be healthfully competitive, you have to race against who you are today. Maybe in a session you had a 5:30 min/mile, but the day before the race you sprained a muscle or became ill. Is it fair to beat yourself up for not performing as well as your best training time? Think of the successful races as a reward for your training and not just what you run for.

No matter if you are running a race, striving for weight loss, or are working on other health-behavior changes, we all need to cut ourselves some realistic slack. When we beat ourselves up, we are not helping, but hurting progress. We all have a bad day or fail a meal (or several). It is not about where you messed up, fell short or even if you won. The important factor is how you ran towards your goal. So, be strong in the moment and hold on the best you can. Let less than perfect be okay. Each moment is a new opportunity to improve and enjoy the journey you are on. The end result will take care of itself.

Advertisements
Image

Crossing The Finish Line

Crossing The Finish Line

Today I finished the Color Me Rad 5K in Cincinnati with my best time ever! My time was 20:30 and it was not easy. The night before I hurt my foot and had to R.I.C.E. it all night. But with determination and prayer I got through it. If I can do it, you can too! It may not be a 5K, but whatever your goal is, you can reach it. Take the steps to get where you want to be. Trust me. It is worth the prize at the end!

Living In Good Taste

st. Jude

Please Support us as we race to raise money for an excellent cause! They help children in need get care. Any bit would help and you don’t even have to get muddy. Click the link below to make a donation or join our team.

https://waystohelp.stjude.org/sjVPortal/public/displayUserPage.do?programId=2252&userId=967993&eventId=334123

Health = Wealth

money2

So often we associate healthful living with a high price tag. Just the thought of paying for another gym membership, gear, healthy food, and so on can have us racking up numbers fast. Whatever motivation we had to change is going, going, gone. Well I am here to remove some of those barriers. Being healthy can shrink your bottom line and your waistline.

You do not need to have a gym membership to get healthy. You can join a class, as many local schools and churches offer them for only $5 a session. You don’t pay if you don’t go. You can always hire a personal trainer to visit you once in a while to create a program at home with what you have. At-home equipment can be inexpensive. Cardio can be as cheap as a pair of running shoes, dancing video game, or a $10 fitness video. Just keep moving. Strength training can be inexpensive too. Use your own body weight to lift and lower. You can use household products as weights (cans of soup, milk jugs, kids,  etc.). Be creative.

Making your free-time activities (as rare as they may seem) more about actually being active can save you money. Just think about the cost of a movie-night out. The toll can quickly turn into $25 a person if you get a small snack and drink. That doesn’t account for dinner. If you replace every 2 normal movie-night outs with watching the sunset as you walk at the park, heading up to a local gym for a round of racquetball (guest passes are usually available cheap),  stay in for a dance-a-thon, or play kinect/ Wii U active games against your buddies you could save quite a bit over the span of a year. Obstacle races are becoming popular, why not make your own mini-version? Imagination doesn’t have to be left in the school yard. Maybe even have a yoga night at home where you eat a light Indian dish and try new poses. Get creative and make sure it is something you will actually enjoy.

When it comes to healthy eating, it can seem impossible to cut costs. We all have heard that organic is healthier for you. The costs at the store can make your wallet want to duck and cover sometimes. There are good deals, and knowing where to get them is key. First you prioritize what is most important to buy organic. The fruits and veggies with a thin layer of skin are usually the top of the list. Plan some of your meals to be vegetarian to help lower costs elsewhere. You can also compare store prices against local farmers markets. Meat sources can be expensive and full of hormones, so limiting their amounts can help you cut costs. Try to make some dishes that normally call for cheese without it. Let the natural flavors shine. Take one white sugar product out a week and replace it with something fresh. Look in your pantry and see what you already have. Try to plan some meals with those items.

There are ways being healthy may seem to cost more upfront. In the end though investing in your health saves on other costs. Think about how many times you have to buy bigger clothes to accommodate your bigger size. After shopping you may go eat something to make you “feel better” and not cook what you already had planned. Then there are the medications, tests, and surgeries that you have to help pay for because of the symptoms of your lifestyle. They quickly add up! Also think about long-term care when you age. You can either have something to give those you love or need it to care for yourself. Without realizing it, you have robbed yourself and the people you care about of the best you there is. You are pretty stinking great, so don’t do that. 

   Fat-laden meals,  self-defeated attitudes, harmful relationships, sedentary lifestyles, stressful jobs will catch up with you eventually. Learning to limit or even eradicate these things from your life can improve your quality of life so greatly, you will wake up in the morning and go absolutely ape. When you allow these shadows to cloud your true self, it effects your back pocket as well. You can be healthier one choice at a time, and gain back the money you earn one dime at a time.