To be honest when I saw the letters “TBH” on my daughter’s Facebook page I didn’t know what it meant so I had to Google it. Afterwards I was a little put off by some of the things that kids say to each other. I really hate back-handed compliments and the TBH thing seems to perpetuate those, at least on teenage girls FB pages.
However, I began to think of all the things I say that begin with the words “To be honest….” and there were quite a few of them. Most pertained to running, our farm and just life in general. But to truly be honest, hard-core, down deep honest with myself, that’s scary. I started asking myself some harder questions.
Why has it been so hard to get back to running? That question just keeps coming up. I have friends & family asking me all the time if I’m “still running” and it irritates me sometimes. . I have to say though; there are many more people who are asking because they genuinely care about me. The fellow runners who want to know how I am & how far I’m going. Runners talk in miles & I love that! But the people who ask me with a smirk, who wonder why I ever ran to begin with, those with the “If you don’t win races, then why put yourself through the training?” mentality, those people irritate me. Why? I feel like they never wanted to hear that running simply made me happy. Like there has to be an ulterior motive behind it. Honestly running just made me happy. Did you catch that? Made, not makes. Scary stuff there. I have had a very hard time starting over. I didn’t really want to delve into the reasons, it scared me. I see things in bullets, so here is a list of things I ponder on my daily walks to feed the animals. Question: Why don’t you want to run? Why don’t you “like” running now?
- I will never run another marathon because I don’t have it in me.
- I just don’t like running anymore, it’s just too hard
- I don’t have time to run now (even though I create all the things around me that deter me from running.
- I have gained weight & I don’t want anyone to see me running
- Starting over sucks too much
- My feet hurt
- I never was a “good runner”, so why bother
- I AM AFRAID
Not sure what I’m afraid of, but to be honest, that was the most common thought that came to my mind when I pondered this subject. Fear. Have I turned into a coward? Is it true that I just don’t have it in me? The joy of running has left me? I don’t know why this rebound/reset in running has been so difficult for me. I don’t know why, but I can physically feel the power/pressure of the situation. Every time a friend asks me how I’m doing & how many miles I’m getting in, I feel it. It’s close to a panic. I don’t know why, but it’s very present & very real.
Each day that I run I try to examine how I’m feeling. Each day, little by little, when I’m running my smile gets broader, my joy is coming back & my fears are fleeing. I still have my doubts and negative feelings, but they are not always present. They are losing the battle with my positive and happy thoughts. Happiness is like raising rabbits, if you let it, it will multiply. I am breeding happiness each day with every run and every health conscious decision I make.
Above all, be honest with yourself-on where you are as a runner. Don’t try to please others, just please yourself. So just get out there, run and smile like you mean it!
Posted in Like it or not I'm a Runner | Tagged fear, happiness, Health, healthy living, honesty, mental-health, running, rut, TBH | Leave a Comment »
I had an epiphany today during a particularly difficult run on the treadmill. I have lots of epiphanies when I run, usually on the road, but today was exceptionally grueling for me & my mind started grasping for ways to cope. That is how I operate. I get delirious and the most amazing ideas pop in my head. Yes, I know how that sounds. Today when I was running & simultaneously wishing that the treadmill would sling a belt & I would go flying off backwards just for a few moments so I could catch my breath, I thought of how my lungs were burning. I have said this before & I’ll say it again, “starting over sucks!” So today while my face pouring sweat & so red I looked like a fresh washed tomato, I recalled advice I have given many a newbie. When asked about the pain of running my first question was always “Is it your lungs or your legs?” If they replied lungs, I had little sympathy. I’m not trying to be callous, but lungs you can work through. Lungs you can push through. When your lungs feel like all the air has been squeezed out with a ringer type washer and set on fire, just keep going. Maybe slow down a little, maybe, but keep going! If it’s leg, feet or other pain, carefully assess the situation. Many a full-blown injury has occurred from someone trying to push past that pain. I don’t recommend it.
So as my lungs were on fire & my left hand came up to slow down the treadmill I caught myself. Would I take my own advice and push on through? Or would I seek the easier way out & slow down and try better tomorrow? You guessed it, I pushed through. I am only doing a 5k (I don’t mean to sound like a snot, seriously a 5k is nothing to snub your nose at) which for me is a short distance, but I am starting over. To be smart about it, I have to work my way up just like any other newbie out there. I am earning my miles one stride at a time. The only way to suck less at running is to run more. You must never-ever give up.
So back to the epiphany, I thought today while I was hurting, pain is the body’s way of throwing a temper tantrum. You know the kind I’m talking about, the small child in the store whose legs are now like cooked spaghetti & try as he/she might the parent cannot convince this child that what he/she wants is not going in the cart. They scream, they cry, they try to pull the parent to the ground & they dig in their heels. I know as a parent you must choose your battles carefully. Today my screaming toddler, aka my lungs, lost the fight. I did not give in. I did not slow down. I pulled myself up with dignity and showed my lungs that crying, screaming and trying to stop functioning would not work. That doing those things will not bring relief to the situation. The last 4 minutes of the run I even kicked up the speed an extra half mile an hour, just cause I knew I could! And I lived through it just so I could write this post. When I looked down noticed only 47 seconds left in the run, I knew I had it. Ahh, that cool down walk was deserved and felt so nice. I felt like a runner again. After a long break it’s days like this that remind me why I run. The feeling of accomplishment I get after ordinary everyday runs, which makes me feel like a Kenyan again. So remember to take your own good advice. Remember that discipline is good not only for children, but for our grown up selves as well. Happy Running!
Posted in Like it or not I'm a Runner | Tagged 5k, burning lungs, determination, difficult run, Pain, running, sport, temper tantrum | Leave a Comment »
i have been fortunate enough to run the last two days. i am really proud of that. it seems that life has gotten out of control and i am lost in the chaos. i feel like clothes in a washing machine, i’m caught in the wash & the confusion that is life. luckily i carved out time for a run at the park yesterday while my daughter was at basketball practice. it was really cold, the 20 degree air burned through my unconditioned lungs and i had a cough the rest of the day. normally a run in the cold would be nothing, but due to my running break, it kicked my butt. i decided to walk a lap and then ran a lap, 6 all together totaled up to almost 3 miles. today i got 3 treadmill miles in before heading into town to run errands. when i do this, set aside this time, i feel so much better. i feel like me, i feel strong. i have two half marathons i am keeping my eyes on them both, unfortunately they are a week apart & i’m not sure that’s a great idea. i am excited, nervous, anxious and a hole mixture of other things, but more than anything i am determined. i intend to make this year, 2013, the year of redemption!
Posted in Like it or not I'm a Runner | Tagged half marathon, Races, running, treadmill | Leave a Comment »
wowser, life has been hectic lately. i have a new project that i have been putting a lot of myself into and unfortunately my running and my running blog have taken a backseat. i am taking our farm organic and making a lot of new & exciting changes. sometimes i feel like i’m caught in a washing machine. the new farm also has a new blog, www.ourgreenacre.com. there will lots of self-reliant, DIY, getting back to basics info on that new blog. some of the content from thefathlete will be listed there, all things essential oil and soap and that sort will be listed on the new blog. i will try to keep both updated better than i have been, but i will make no promises. my daughter’s basketball season is in full swing and honestly i don’t know what town we are playing in or have already played in. just running & running, and not on my own two feet! i did have several days of treadmill running and that went great. well as good as running indoors can be. today i am making soap for christmas gifts for all my friends & family. so i don’t see any miles being logged today. not much to say except i am still alive, i still love running and i hope you all are healthy, happy & running to your heart’s content! much love, the fathlete
Posted in Daily Life | Leave a Comment »
living life is about enjoying life. i get so caught up on what the number between my toes that i forget to celebrate my accomplishments. for instance, there is a cabinet at my house, inside it are all manner of candy bars, cookies, chips and other contraband. my husband and daughter buy the stuff, yes it would be easier if it weren’t in the house, but who likes easy? what war that was easily won is still talked about in history? true accomplishments should be enjoyed. accomplishments should be celebrated no matter how large or small. what is easy for you may be someone else’s most trying task. i stay out of that cabinet. when i find myself being drawn to it, i tell myself “there is nothing in there for you”. 99% of the time it works. i am eating healthier than ever before, i am finally feeling better, i have managed to lose some weight & am now close to my marathon weight, i am getting almost 8 hours of sleep each night and i am drinking lots of water. those are all things to celebrate. no i am not at my goal weight, i won’t be there tomorrow either, but i am still happy with where i am and how hard i have worked to get where i am now. those are major accomplishments for me.
we all have tools that help make life a little easier. a friend recommended an online activity/food tracker and that seems to help me a lot. i will admit my entries are sporadic at times. but i find when i use it, i see much better results. it’s easy to snack on something and forget all about it. with a tracker i am reminded of everything i have eaten/drank and how it effects my daily intake of carbs, calories, fat and protein. check it out, it might help you as well. i use the free version, but you can also pay a subscription and get more tools, but the free one works fine for me. it also tracks your activity, calories burned that sort. fabulous! http://www.tracker.dailyburn.com. i hope this helps you as much as it has me. please remember to celebrate your accomplishments, no matter the size and to love yourself and live your life, no matter your size.
Posted in Daily Life | Tagged activity, activity calories, celebrate, food, food tracker, Health, healthy lifestyle, healthy living, heathy eating, tracker | Leave a Comment »
my first reaction was that of a string of curse words. this is a censored blog, i try, so you can thank me later. about two days ago i felt something in the bottom of my right foot. the pain was horribly familiar and really scary. honestly it scared me so bad i broke down crying. i have re-injured my right foot, the plantar fascia is pulled. OH DEAR GOD I CAN”T SURVIVE THIS AGAIN! i can tell it is not as bad as before, but the progression scares me. my heart and mind can’t handle what is going on. i can feel my pulse in it. it throbs. i just want to curl up in a ball and cry. i had said before if i ever had this injury again i would stop running, but since i didn’t re-injure myself by running, i am undecided. i feel like it will never heal. it has been 1 1/2 years since the initial tear/fallen arches- since then i have trained for and ran a marathon, logging hundreds and hundreds of miles. when it was the worst (on that first injury) i couldn’t walk for a while, literally on the couch most of the day. today, i am able to get around, but i am being very careful. all of your prayers, good vibes and happy thoughts are much appreciated.
Anatomical diagrams illustrating the components of the plantar fascia. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Posted in Like it or not I'm a Runner | Tagged Health, mental-health, Plantar fascia, Plantar fasciitis, Podiatry, running | Leave a Comment »
three years ago i had an idea. i decided to organize a 5k that would be run near my home along the Buffalo River. the proceeds would be donated to Arkansas Children’s Hospital. that first year i was thrilled that we had more than 20 participants! the town of Ponca is the start & finish for the race and has a whopping population of 15! that first year we had 112 runners. last year we grew and there were 134 runners. this year we already have 170 pre-registered for the race. the weather looks fabulous. the details are mostly worked out. the only thing i can kind of compare this anxiousness to is the feeling that expectant fathers have while their partner gives birth to their first child. the feeling of being a little out of control, having to wait, even after all the planning worrying that it wasn’t enough. the response of runner has been so awesome. i am stunned. i am proud. i am nervous. most of all i am excited.
Posted in Like it or not I'm a Runner | Tagged Arkansas Children's Hospital, buffalo river, charity, race, running, running of the elk | 1 Comment »