Find Your Happy

This is how I feel about running.

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Five Things to Focus on Next Week

As a new week begins, I have decided to start posting five things that I want to focus on for the upcoming week.  Hopefully by sharing them with you, I can get a better grip on getting them done.

1. Eating Healthy

Ever since I began marathon training, I have been torching some serious calories.  All of these calories, however, has led me to eating a lot of the wrong things.  Instead of filling up on carrots at dinner, I allow myself cake, because I burned so many calories I feel like I earned it.  But, that is wrong.  I need to eat healthy so that my body can work at its peak performance.  I won’t be able to run fast if I’m fueling my body with junk!  So this week I will focus on making healthy choices at every meal and not falling too far off the wagon.

2. Strength Train

I have been so focused on running that I have let my strength training plan fall away.  So this week I will focus on completing my strength training; arms, legs, and abs, except for on days when I do my long runs.  I want to be building a better body and the only way to do that is with a comprehensive, full-body approach.

3. Drinking Enough Water

Sometimes I am terrible at drinking enough water.  This is awful for my body because now, more than ever, my muscles need the hydration.  I need to stay well hydrated so that I can be at peak performance.

4. Balancing My Schedule

This week I procrastinated on everything in my life except running.  I put homework aside, work aside, and important articles aside so that I could relax with Netflix and junk food after a long day of running and running around doing errands.  I need to balance my work with my training schedule and all my activities so that my life works well and is comfortable without being too stressful.

5. Blog About It

Blogging makes me so happy, and lately I haven’t been doing enough of it.  I am going to focus on trying to write at least one blog post a day this week.  Hopefully that will help place me in a better headspace as well.

Well, those are my five focus points for the week!  I’ll keep you updated on what goes well and what falls apart!

Marathon Training: Week Two

As my second week of marathon training comes to a close I find myself thoroughly enjoying the process.

I enjoy the long runs where I can lose myself and chunks of my day while also feeling a pull and a stability within that moment in time.  I like how it feels when I run, I feel free.

Something that is also wonderful about training outdoors is that it means that I am truly doing it for me.  I never went to the gym so that people would see me there and be impressed, but it certainly helped when people I found impressive or attractive saw me kicking ass at the gym.  But now, it is all for me.

When I run, I run for me.  I do it for myself so that I can win the fight to achieve this goal.  I do it so that I can better myself and give myself time that is just for me.

I run for myself.  I run for the goals that I want to achieve, and I never want to stop running.

This week I fought a tight hip flexor, strong winds, and a full, face-first fall while on my ten miler, and I didn’t quit.  I wanted to keep running and keep fighting for the me that I want to be.  Every week that I train, I become stronger and better, and that makes me so thankful to be a runner.

Try Embracing Yourself

On Monday I had a total breakdown.  My meltdown had absolutely nothing to do with my marathon training.  It in fact, came from a whole other monster.  It came from the scale.

After weeks of staying away from the scale in an attempt to not define myself by a number, I hopped back on.  Much to my dismay I had not lost weight, but rather gained a few pounds.  Now this weight could be added muscle, or simply a weight fluctuation, but I took it to heart.

I let the scale dictate my happiness, and thus I immediately fell into depression.  I cried.  I stood in my room, and cried because I had come to the conclusion that I would never have the body that I desired.  I realized that I may never reach my goal weight and I immediately allowed for the word FAT to sneak back into my mindset and my vocabulary.

I let it get to me.  I let the weight define me, again.  I let it destroy my confidence and my self-esteem.  It was truly awful.  I was distraught and crying and hating myself.

But why?  Why was I defining myself with a number?  I am not a number, and I know that, but my whole life I have allowed society to tell me what perfect and thin and attractive is, and when I look in the mirror, I don’t think that I am any of those things.

So I torment myself, and put myself down, and look in the mirror and cry because I don’t look like how I think I should look based upon society’s standards, and that is awful.

But, yesterday morning was different.  Yesterday I woke up, after a day of hatred and was suddenly accepting.  I was accepting of my curves and my stomach and the state of my body. It was like something suddenly snapped inside me that told me that I was sexy and desirable, and perfect just the way I am.

So I am letting it go.  I am letting the weight go, and refusing to define myself by it.  Today, and from now on, I am embracing me, embracing me just the way I am.

Marathon Training Week One: COMPLETE!

So I did it.  I have officially completed one full week of my marathon training plan.

This week I logged 43.3 miles.  I ran every single day this week, including a ten mile run this morning.  A run that kept with my goal pace of 8 minute miles.  A run that I completed at a pace that would easily beat my first half marathon time.

I was very proud when I completed my run this morning.  I was proud that I did it and that not once, not for a single second during my run did I consider stopping.

I have been a runner for many years.  I have always run and trained and worked hard, but I have also always quit on myself.  I have always done that.  I have always let my mind beat me into stopping and walking.  I have always quit on my body and on myself, but not today, and not ever again.

This week I learned a very valuable lesson about myself.

I am better.  I am better then I used to be.  I am a better runner.  I am a better person.  I am doing a better job at loving and believing in myself.  Running makes me better.

This week I learned what it means to commit to something.  I’ve never been in a serious relationship, I am a serial dieter and diet-breaker with the best of them, so I guess you could say, the only thing I’ve ever really been committed to was fitness.

I have always run.  I have always played sports, I have always been an athlete.  But this week, I put my runs, and more importantly, my goals, above everyone else’s.  This week I made, at least part of my life, completely about me.  I ran for me.  Every day I ran for myself and my goals and that was what was most rewarding about this week.

Yes, I am sore. My knees don’t want to ever talk to me again, and my left foot enjoys reminding me of its unhappiness every time I walk in unsupportive shoes, but, I am happy.  Exhausted, yes, but happy nonetheless.

I am better because of the 43.3 miles I traveled this week.  I am better because of the hours I spent on the streets hustling my booty off.  I am better because I did it for me, and that is a magical and beautiful thing that I will take into my next marathon training week.

Finding Myself Through Running

I think we lose ourselves sometimes.  We lose ourselves in the responsibilities of life and the duties that we obligate ourselves to.  We lose ourselves amongst the hustle and bustle of the world and the flow of life.

I have lost myself.  I have lost myself in jobs and work and applying for internships.  I have lost myself in the desire to build a good resume and to impress those around me.  I have lost myself.

I am finding myself again through running.  Marathon training is allowing me to find myself again.  Every day I get up and I do something for me.  I wake up and I run.  I run 5 miles, 3 miles, 7 miles, 10 miles.  I run miles, upon miles, upon miles, all for my own goal.

I have a goal.  Not a dream, not an aspiration, not a hope, I have a goal.  A goal that I know I can achieve.  A goal that I am fully capable of completing.  A goal that I can taste.  It is tangible to me, and I know that when the day comes, I will cross that finish line and be proud of what I’ve done.

So today I train.  Tomorrow I train.  And yes, I let myself get lost in work and school and planning my future but then I come back and find myself.  I find myself in a daily run and in the name of training for my goal.

I want to run this marathon more than I want to fall in love or graduate from college or find the perfect job.  I want to set this goal and accomplish it, and be so proud of myself, purely for the fact that I did it just for me.

Every day I do something for myself, and that is run.  Every day I run, because it is for me and I need it, I love it, I crave it.