Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Just Do It

The slogan writers for Nike are genius. Those 3 words encapsulate it all: Just. Do. It.

When I began running this fall for the Aruna 5K I realized that running wasn't as complicated as I thought it was. Of course you want to have decent form and know how to stretch properly to prevent injury, but overall there are few (if any) rules to follow. No strategy. No special equipment. No boundaries. Ya just do it.

Some sweet women I'm surrounded by have convinced me to run the Glass City Marathon on a relay team next month. We started training in January and two and a half months later, on the days I run I still have to tell myself:
 Just do it, Sara. Just get out of bed and Just do it.
And while I'm running:
 Just do it Sara. You tell you body what to do. JUST FRIGGIN DO IT. Finish strong and just do it.

It might not be complicated, but it IS mental.

About 6 weeks into my training I emailed the numerous ladies who are training for this race about the mental aspect of running and what to do about it??? Here are some of the responses I got:

-Set small goals. I will make it to the pine tree... the fifth driveway... the turnoff and focus on those rather than the length of the whole run.

- My best advice is to run with a friend. I ran by myself for years -- decades, really! -- and running with a friend these past 2 years has changed what i can do. She's an accountability partner without even knowing it b/c she is running beside me i can keep going!

- Pray for everyone you know. Seriously.....out loud if you need to. It crowds out all of those other annoying thoughts.

- Sometimes I run in intervals to try and break up the time on longer runs...... like I'll run a 5-10 minute warm-up,  then 2  minutes hard then 4 minutes easy and and then repeat 3-4 times. Doing intervals mentally breaks up the time for me!

- I focus on why am I running. I want to be healthy and I want my mind to be fresh (running helps with that). I try to pay attention to my body rather than the run... attempt to feel what I am doing that I could not have done a year ago.

- Take time before your run to really thank God for your ability to run, and then carry that attitude through your run. For example, instead of thinking about how many miles you have to go, focus on how many you GET to go. And say those thankful prayers out loud if you need to while you run until those thoughts crowd out the bad. 

This last point was particularly helpful. Not only can I praise God for the ability to run but for the fact that I can MOVE in general. I can grasp with my fingers. Wiggle my toes. Blink my eyes and see color and detail. Pucker my lips to give and receive kisses. Lift my children with my arms.

Gratitude changes everything. And its certainly changed my running.

What are your running tips and tricks?

Monday, March 11, 2013

Bright Sadness

I miss writing. This blog is an outlet. A release to my soul. Whether it's something profound (which it usually isn't) or the latest craft I've been working on, I like to share. I don't consider myself to be a particularly great writer. But I am an open book.

It's been a dark winter in my soul. I've always been a glass-half-full kinda gal. Optimistic to say the least. Mostly unlikely to be bent toward depression. But I've really struggled with sadness in my heart in recent days. Anger at times. Mostly just blah. It's unfamiliar territory, which is the hardest part of all.

But amidst the gloominess in my heart and in the outdoors, there is the hope and joy of spring. The days are becoming brighter, warmer. The dust and dinginess within me is yearning for the celebration of Easter- the great reminder of what God has done to restore my heart, my soul, my mind. All of me. A true occasion to celebrate.

And so I wait in this bright sadness. I embrace the reality of the less-than-beautiful outside and my less-than-beautiful inside. I open my heart to the one who created the outdoors and who knit me together inside my mother's womb. The one who will make things new again. Beautiful again. Soon.