Goals of the Superstitious Variety

Page Turner

After chatting with some pretty amazing trainers (courtesy of Anytime Fitness, of course) on the topic post-race season goals, I mentioned wanting to really focus on nutrition. With a propensity to not eat enough, I knew I would need a plan that encourages me to eat and build muscle.

So a new goal was born! Keto helped me regain confidence in my body after baby, but I know I can do more. I have a short torso and long legs. I know this means nothing to you. But every woman knows a postpartum body is much different than anything before. Things change. Add breastfeeding to that and whoa! In an attempt to be transparent (I hate that word, can we just say tell the truth?!), I believe some may think I’m training for a competition. To be wildly clear, I am definitely not. But I am fascinated about enticing my body to respond in that way.

The road sign of my life

Like everything, I’ll keep you all updated right here on this journey of lean body mass. So step aside naysayers! The only stage I’m rocking is the comedy club in my head!

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I ask you –

Goals? New or old?

Thoughts on competitive fitness?

Do you consider yourself superstitious?

My New Holiday Jingle!

I really do!

It’s the most runderful time of the year!

There will be Saturdays for sleeping

And friends for some meetings

Without having to go.

We can toast to a break

I promise I won’t make

Anymore plans with the excuse of FOMO!

With the treadmill off

No one will scoff

When I say it’s only 10 miles.

No more tales of the wall

And I can’t find my tension ball

My legs are now all smiles!

The long runs are over and the weather is colder and my family finally comes near!

It’s the most runderful time of the yearrrrrrrr!

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I ask you –

How long should I wait for a record deal?

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Aftermath / Letting the Dust Settle!

Day 1 Thoughts:

Wow! I certainly didn’t expect to achieve a new PR (personal record) and definitely not by 10 mins. Last November, I ran a 2:28 (again, that’s 2 hours and 28 mins) at the Norfolk Harbor Half Marathon in Norfolk, VA. On Saturday, I ran a 2:18! Before, I had a pacer and a whole group of people I was running alongside. This current race had no pacers, very little course support, and it’s a 3 mile loop – which means I am running the same route each loop. #boring

Prior to take off

But I felt good and was basically running off of pace versus staying tuned into my watch and monitoring every number. When I saw 2 hrs at almost 11.5 miles, I was tired, but I thought oh my, I could really PR today.

Overall, I’m sore. There is some hip pain and a large blister on my left foot, but I know, no matter the time, I can make it through tomorrow’s race. And even if I hate it, I have a shiny new PR as consolation!

Finish Face

Day 2 Thoughts:

When I woke up at 5am to eat my oatmeal, I wasn’t feeling it. My body was sore, the blister was looking particularly angry, and I had to give myself a long pep talk just to get out of bed. I told myself I at least had to try. It’s what I trained for. 18 weeks of training culminating in this weekend where I had two chances to prove to myself I can do it.

Completely fake smile

As I began running, seeing many of the same faces from yesterday, I started to loosen up. It got hot quick so I shed all the extra layers, including the Camelbak and ran until I was ready to either slow my pace or walk. After the first lap (remember each lap is a 5k aka 3 miles), I knew unless I broke something or was forced to stop, I would continue. Lap #3 was a philosophical turning point. I kept thinking about my Munchkin – the challenges she will face in her life and how I am preparing myself to be by her side. A thought that continues to stick with me is she is not my excuse to do hard things, sometimes she’s not even my reason. (It can be hard to convey what I mean here. Be open minded.) What she is to me is my audience. She’s always watching. And if she sees me sucking it up and and showing up every time, then perhaps those values will also translate to her own life. Time will tell.

Pain face

In saying all this, allow me to get to the point. You’re welcome! 2:27. I almost couldn’t believe it. To think I had to talk myself into getting started and these tired legs managed a what would have been a PR prior to the day before inspires confidence in a future marathon goal. I may not can walk much later – and definitely not tomorrow – but right now my smile speaks for itself.

Fritos, banana, and whatever else they’d let me eat

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I ask you –

What’s my chance of feeling 100% within 24 hours? – I know, I’m laughing, too

Daniel Tiger-style

The sign also flashes but I was standing in their yard and I didn’t want to be caught trespassing

“Rest is best, rest is best!” When I tried to find a photo of Daniel Tiger, a bottle of Jack Daniels popped up so maybe that’s the only sign you need.

Much conversation exists on the power of rest. Mental, physical, spiritual – rest binds us. It replenishes our entire body; burning the candle at both ends has been shown to decrease productivity and your ability to fight disease, among many other awful side effects.

You may have nutrition down to a science and you regularly work out, but aren’t seeing the results you deserve. Check your sleep patterns. I often encounter men and women who tell me they sleep, on average, 4 hours or less per night. WHAT?! When I recover from my shock, which has ceased because I hear this response a lot now, I ask what the reasons behind not sleeping are. Work. Family. Stress. Life. Stress about all of the above. So you’re telling me you’re stressed and not sleeping stresses you out even more so the cycle continues? Pretty much.

A common misconception is the ability to “make up” sleep. I’m guilty of this, too. As a teenager, out all night doing things we shouldn’t discuss, I figured it was okay because I could just take a long nap on Sunday and be caught up for the new week! Yeah right. Once the sleep schedule is disrupted and you’re consistently not getting enough sleep (recommended 7-8 hours nightly) then it’s gone. There’s no make up day to this portion of the test. We have failed. The only way to recover is to establish a sleep routine and stick with it.

Time refuses to stand still

As it always goes, this is easier said than done. I firmly believe some people are night owls and some of us are destined for early mornings and 8pm bedtimes. If you can’t see me waving my hands in the air, look closer. I really wish I understood this mystery. BUT – I think clocks can be reset with dedication and commitment. Perhaps the addition of a very loud alarm clock helps. In any case, losing sleep is nothing good.

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I ask you –

How much sleep do you typically receive?

Are you a night owl or an early riser?

List some barriers to getting a good nights’ sleep. – Caffeine, a full stomach…

Tis the Season – Meet the Family

For all the ways it could have gone, there were no fistfights, duels, or police presence so that’s saying something. Tell me you have similar fears when your family gets together. Humor me. I had a recurring dream of this very scenario, but what was most telling was the fact I washed my hands of the situation and didn’t engage. This boundary training is going semi-well.

Group photo. Many of these family members I have not seen in over 10 years or more. It was by sheer amazement so many were able to be here this Thanksgiving. Definitely owe it to my beautiful, inspiring Aunt Mary Catherine – she’s the ring leader.

It only took 16 tries

My siblings and I. Long story short, my brother and I haven’t had the most solid relationship and repair is difficult. However, this photo means so much to me.

buncha’ clowns

My sweet girls. These two have made my whole life complete. I treasure every minute they can spend together. Once Munchkin was able to wrap her mind around the truth she shares her name with her great great aunt, it got much easier! They even have the same birth month. Mind boggling, I know.

Piano sold separately

Lastly, this simple photo of Aunt Mary Catherine and I. She’s 92 years of joy with the heart and soul of a woman who mixes wisdom with the patience of a saint. I can only hope I am a small vision of her selflessness.

The saint and I

Overall, this family “reunion” of sorts was comforting to my mind. It can be so hard to juggle time with family, work, keeping in touch, etc etc etc – some things tend to fall away. I love hearing the stories and seeing the new faces. Much like the fitness industry, things change so quickly…yet everything stays the same. We all want to be heard, seen. And re-charging the batteries in my heart starts right here.

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I ask you –

Share the juiciest details of your family gatherings. Any shockers?!

What family member are you closest to?

Are you re-charged after family holidays? Or more in distress than ever? – it depends on the family, if you ask me!

Mood(y)

Sometimes I refuse to allow myself to cry because eye cream is expensive and I already have forehead wrinkles. Considering trying collagen to alleviate the roadmap that is my skin. According to modern research, women should look at their mothers to determine how they will age. This isn’t going to end well, if that’s the case.

Roadmap to the stars

Also, as I have a large forehead (a fivehead, if you will) I expect to pay more over the lifetime of face lotion and sunscreen because I will use more. This is crap. And over the weekend, my naturally long eye lashes scratched my eyeball. If that’s not a first world problem, I don’t know what is!

In all seriousness, the holidays are emotionally draining to many – myself included. Frankly, I’m tired of holding people together. I once said “I’m so busy helping others when they fall apart, but when I fall apart, there’s no one there to catch me. When is my day?”. Guess that’s the trouble with being a rescuer, a fixer, an empath. Reaching out takes a toll on my sanity and my mental health.

So I’m stopping. There’s a handful of people I contact every single morning. I’m not anymore. If you want me in your life, you know where to find me. A million other people can reach out to me when they’re ready to have a two-sided conversation. I’m done trying to be everything to everyone. I owe it to myself.

But so this post doesn’t come across as selfish and (too) moody, being seen and acknowledged is most important. I see you. I acknowledge your struggles and that you may need to do things for yourself only. Totally get it. However, the doormat days are over and the door is slowly closing. In terms of fitness and physical health, the flip side of the coin is finding things you love to do and will sustain long term well-being. Running and exercise in general does that for most people. Keep it in mind as you traverse the holiday season.

Struggling

Lastly, a few members shared their thoughts about me and the words ‘customer service guru’ were thrown out there. I’ll take that as a win. Double lastly, I have a fear of dumpsters. Just leaving that here.

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I ask you –

How long do you think this mood will last? – copious amounts of Midol isn’t helping

Any suggestions on these wrinkles (nothing involving needles, please)?

Tell me a time when your personal resolution to yourself was successful.

When Life Goes Left – Harboring Disappointment in Others

Revenge is a dish best served cold.

Offhand I can’t think how revenge will fit into one of my posts, but I’m sure it will somewhere at some point. The word harboring led me down a path to the above quote about revenge. You know, in those moments of exhaustion and disappointment in dealing with people you have no control over, i.e. parents, relatives, etc. In life we do so much to please others, to accommodate them and their feelings, but we end up losing sight of what matters to us. Cue the disappointment.

Similar situation: you’ve worked your behind off in the gym, counted every calorie, drank nothing but water day in and day out ye still don’t see the results you know you deserve. Disappointment and self doubt set it. “Why are you even doing this? It would be easier to give up. Who really cares anyway?” All lines of self doubt. My personal favorite: “That’s what you get, Kel.” Damage is done when this crosses your lips. It must be stopped long before reaching the point of no return. But how?

Pre-gaming a run with a huge bucket of popcorn = never disappointing

By letting go of your expectations. Granted, expectations are wonderful to have. We have them of ourselves and of everyone around us. They’re truly useful! Until they’re not. Until they eat away, leaving you devoid of hope and gratitude. Expectations can even leave you feeling disappointed in the expectation itself! Who’s idea was this anyway?! The holidays always find a way to suck the life out of me. Expectations run high – I must juggle mommy life with work life with relative life with happy life. It’s no secret: I don’t love the holidays. News flash: sometimes I don’t like them at all. Because, as a child, they were a constant source of disappointment. Not like I didn’t get the toy I wanted for Christmas-type of disappointment. Much deeper. And as hard as I try to change the expectation each year, not being able to control how others impact my plans is tough.

When life takes you left, steer right. I was listening to this great podcast the other day (the name currently escapes me…standby) and the host said something to the effect of “balance is bullsh*t”. I’m paraphrasing, but she really did use those words. There’s no such thing as balance?! Wait a minute. From the time you were a small child, a life of balance has been openly discussed. If I don’t have balance, then what do I have? You have an expectation of balance, but balance isn’t real. Unless it’s what keeps you from tipping over whilst standing on 1 foot. The ideal 50/50 is unobtainable. Something in your life will always hold tight to a part of you, be it parenthood, your job, your commitment to yourself, whatever it is. May I say this awakened the part of me that always felt shame for not having it together? If I don’t have this so-called balance crap, but there’s no expectation to have it anyway, why am I wasting my time worrying about it?

Now…I’m not.

Chai has my heart – mostly for its relaxing effects

Mantra: At any moment, I will be pulled into thousands of different directions. I will do my best to navigate what is best for me and the people who depend on me. I am not tethered to my own expectations or those of anyone else. I am free of the balance construct. I will tilt, bend, and list to both port and starboard, but I will not break. I may feel disappointment in others and, whether justified or not, I am allowed to feel this way.

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I ask you –

Is this psychology degree paying off or what?!

What is your most prevalent emotion?

Tell me what in your life sucks the soul from you.