Heart Day

I woke up this morning to a beautiful card that my husband made me and lots of hugs and kisses from my little girl. We all put on something red and went our various ways.

My figurative heart is full and well taken care of, and so I’d like to match that physically with a run tonight. My singing class isn’t meeting tonight, so I think I’ll get in a few miles. I swapped out yesterday as a rest day because I was inspired by too many cooking projects using the produce from our weekly bin.

I brought some treats in for the staff at work today, and I did enjoy an Old Fashioned, because that is my favorite kind of donut 🙂

A Happy Valentine’s Day to you!

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Back in the saddle

Ran 5 miles last night and it felt so good! When I got home, I enjoyed a croissant filled with roasted chicken, avocados (thank you, produce bin!), tomatoes, and cucumbers. By the time I went to sleep, my body, mind, and stomach were all immensely satisfied. To top it off, I enjoyed good sleep last night. Sometimes going for a run feels like pushing a giant “RESET” button and you wake up feeling like a new person. I’m a new woman today!

[Soapbox Warning]

One thing I love about my experience as a runner is that it frames a relationship with food in a very positive way. I feel like I am in the minority as a woman who does not have a single toe dipped into some diet or cleansing scheme (yes, I said scheme and I stand behind that). I am an active person, and I love and cherish that part of my life. Does it mean that I am gleeful each time I lace up my shoes and go out for a run? No, sometimes running is difficult and sometimes it is boring. But overall, I can say that the benefits of a consistent running practice elevate me so much closer to the person I aspire to be–there is this tangible ripple effect from running. I feel positive impacts from my work life to my relationships with my family members and friends. Which brings me back to diets… I scoff at them because I already feel fantastic and healthy–and because I run an average of 4 days a week, I generally don’t eat foods that are going to give my stomach hell. Additionally, I need to be fueled for a run. You just can’t make progress without the proper fuel.

To tell you the truth, I think our society’s obsession with dieting is a tragedy, particularly for girls and women. A sibling to that tragedy is this notion that exercise needs to be a brutal and compulsive chore that should make us “burn” and change certain body parts to look more like a patriarchal standard of beauty and sexuality. I mean, how often does a magazine boast a weight circuit for an idea bikini bottom? Conversely, how often does a magazine address the biology of good cardiovascular health? I am passionate about running because although it is an initially difficult practice to acquire, it also breaks so many barriers in terms of gender, age, health… When you are a runner, each day is an opportunity to engage the body and mind and marvel and their strength. When you are a runner with long term goals, holistic health is paramount. Each tool and support in your pocket must be sustainable.

Personally, running is a way I express respect for my body. It is a way that I nurture my whole health; my self concept. Running is a wonderful opportunity to model positive attitude for my daughter. And, of course, running is the perfect companion to healthy and adventurous eating.

[Steps off Soapbox]

I am looking forward to Zumba tonight! Happy Tuesday!

Hello to a new week

I am finally better! Yesterday morning I went on a celebratory hike alone through the woods. It was blissful and exactly what I needed to greet this new week. With 2 months to go until the Whidbey Island Half, it is time to resume my normal schedule. Nothing makes you more grateful for running than when you’ve had to take a break for health reasons. I also baked some delicious hamantaschen last night, making for a tasty finale to my weekend. I recommend this recipe if you’re interested. Neither healthy nor low-calorie… but we’re runners, so it’s all good!

The plan for this week is 5 miles tonight, Zumba tomorrow, 3-4 miles Wednesday, rest on Thursday, and 7-8 miles Friday. The upcoming holiday weekend should afford me at least one day for a solid long run. There is a “two for the road” 5K on Saturday morning hosted by the running club I belong to which I may do, depending on how the morning unfolds (we have friends staying with us this weekend). How do you make time for running when you are also hosting others?

Glad to be back, and super psyched for my run tonight!

Hello, tired legs, come run with me…

I finally got out for a run last night and completed around 6 miles. It was not easy; combination of no exercise for a few consecutive days and a lot of residual congestion. All that aside, I’m glad I followed through and logged some miles.

When anything becomes difficult, the temptation is to fight off the difficulty; to live in a state of denial. In many instances, this is a perceived solution for the short term, but it leads to suffering in the long term. Our fears grow to define us. Like a tree cut off from light or water, we begin to shrivel and stoop.

Fear, frustration, discomfort, anxiety–these are as much a part of our existence as laughter and happiness. I believe (and try to follow through with) the teaching that we must be compassionate with our whole self as part of the journey toward compassion for everything else and a well-rounded state of mindfulness. Reading the Nonrunner’s Marathon Trainer last night, I was struck by a excerpt which described the way that the marathoners-in-training greeted their obstacles. I use the verb “greet” because they did not shun them or try to sweep them under the rug. They acknowledged them like old friends. “Hello hills, come run with me,” was a mantra one contributor used when encountering elevation on the run.

“Hello, tired legs, come run with me,” I told myself last night. And sure enough, despite the challenges, my legs agreed to work with the rest of my body to complete a night’s training.

I have another 9 mile run planned for Friday night, and though I hope it will flow more easily than last night’s, I feel confident that I can show tenderness to the challenges should they emerge.

Kale chips I made yesterday evening. A surprisingly tasty snack!