Altruism and Grace

I am going to forego my running updates (well at least in part, I will mention it in the end), to discuss giving and forgiving.

I had a situation this weekend where at some point I said to someone “Take off the saint hat, it does not fit”.  It was certainly a mean thing to say and I probably should have explained myself better.  So, that is going to come out here, today, in my blog.

When you choose to give, when you choose to forgive; you have to do both without expectation of something in return.  You have to decide to do each out of kindness, out of a sense of humanity, you have to be altruistic; you have to offer grace.  If that is not your intent going in, you will be disappointed.

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Altruism is about selflessness and grace about giving and forgiving without strings.  These are both hard, I think they must not come natural to a lot of people, they certainly do not come naturally to me, but every day I keep them in my mind so that I may grow into them.

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Now on to my running, something I do for myself.  I Did a couple of short runs this week and tomorrow my daughter and I are going to do a trial run on the hills that are part of the course for our race next week.  Next Saturday we run a 10-miler, the 3rd race in a three race series.

And what about altruism and grace in running?  I give my all to running, I do not expect to win every race, I do not expect to PR every time I go.  I go to give to myself and sometimes to forgive myself for that piece of cake I ate last night :).

 

The Fitness Track is Rickety and my Train Keeps Derailing

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In spite of successfully motivating myself to run the 10K this weekend, I am feeling like I cannot get back on track with the training I was doing before my half marathon.

The two races I have run since the Princess Half have both produced slower finish times than races of the same length that I ran last fall; when I was newer to this running thing than I am now.  That has to do with the fact that I have not been training well or eating right.  So, I have decided to affirm here today that I will clean up the wreckage from the derailment and get back on track!

I promised myself a year ago that I would go into 50 Fit and Fabulous; I am now in the one year countdown to that number so I cannot lose that dream now :).

Getting motivated to get started and dieting seem to be my biggest challenges.  I have dietary restrictions due to allergies so I tend to eat healthier foods, but my intake lately has been too high.

As far as motivation to get started, I am not sure why it is a problem.  Running has never let me down for what it can do for me mentally and physically, not sure why I do not jump up to do it every chance I get.  Every race I have participated in has left me feeling better than when I started.   Yet some mornings I just cannot get myself to go out there to train.

So today I say this as my affirmation of my ability and desire –

“I set goals and follow them. I set my sights, take the appropriate actions and achieve my goals.”

That felt good!  To confess and to affirm; thank you for reading!

My Race Moments

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I had a race this weekend and as I explained in yesterday’s entry I almost let my excuses talk me out of it.  Today I want to share some things that popped in my head, and not just yesterday but on other race days.  It is funny what you think when you are racing, or when you are prepping to race.  So, here are a few of my race day “moments”.

That Moment When…

  • The alarm goes off at 5:45 am…on your day off
  • You lay there for a second thinking, “I really could just go back to sleep”.
  • You get up telling yourself maybe; when you know that now that you are up, it is definitely a yes.
  • You are tying your shoes and you get all excited!
  • You are at the start line, waiting for the race to start and everything around you disappears.
  • You are 1-mile into the race and you wonder “why the hell am I doing this?”
  • You reach the half way mark and you KNOW why you are doing it.
  • You are still a mile and a half from the finish line and the elite runners have already finished and are going by you running the course backwards.
  • You cross the finish line and you think, “When is my next race?”

That pretty much sums up the thoughts from my doubt to a successful finish and why I love races.  It is a challenge; a challenge to overcome my own demons, my own voices telling me why I cannot do it.

What are your race or running “moments”?  Why do you run?

The 10K that almost wasn’t

I had a 10K race this morning; a race that almost did not happen, for me anyway.  I had a million excuses running through my head.  My race partner (my daughter) has the flu, my back has been hurting for about a week, in the past two weeks I have only run four times and one of those was a race I did two weeks ago.  These are just a few of the things I was trying to use as excuses.

The excuses did not win and I did finish the race.  Here is what got me out there today.

At 5:45 am my alarm started buzzing; I hit the snooze alarm and laid there running all of the excuses through my head.  I thought to myself, “well I am just going to get up and at least start the coffee”.  I got up, turned on the coffee maker and put on a pot of water for my oatmeal; I knew at that point I was at least considering the race.

As I was getting out my mug and bowl, etc and waiting for the water I looked up and on top of the fridge I saw my Runner Box (you can Google that later if you do not know what it is).  I reached up and took it down to see what was left inside.  I pulled out a few things and gathered some paperwork still in there to throw it away when I noticed writing on the lid and on the lid was a quote – “The task ahead of you is never greater than the strength within you.”

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And there it was; my decision.  How could I not run now?  My inner strength and desire to run was much stronger than any excuse I could put in front of myself.  I ate my oatmeal, had my half a cup of coffee, drank some water and took my vitamin.  Geared up; you know when you tie your shoelaces that is THE moment it all starts to feel absolutely right. And off I went to my race.

It was a good race and afterwards I rewarded myself with an awesome meal –

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Tomorrow I will share some of my race “moments”; funny what the mind thinks about when you are running.

And to end I would like to say that today is the 1-year + 1-week anniversary of my last cigarette!

Be a Crafty Runner

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So this weekend I ran my first race since the Half in Disney, and it was my birthday, and I got Bon Jovi tickets, and yesterday (Monday) was National Napping Day (which I celebrated in style).

What more could you ask for in a weekend?  At my age not much, it was a full and fun weekend!

The race was on Saturday morning, a local 5K, and the first in a 3-race series that takes place over the next month.  A 10K on the 23rd and then a 10-mile on April 6th will complete the series.  There is a local Half two weeks after that, I am still thinking about that one, not sure I am quite ready for another Half yet.  I really did enjoy the 5K; it was a fast and flat route which made it an amazing way to start a great weekend.  I will definitely not be giving up this running thing any time soon.

My daughter, who runs with me, had a great idea; she wanted to scrapbook all of our bibs, a way to save them and something fun to do.  So after the race we cleaned up and went to the craft store.  My other daughter decided she wanted to crochet again, they did a lot of crocheting with their Grandmother when they were little and thought it would be fun to start again.  We were already going to the craft store, so why not?

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At the store we picked up cute scrapbooks, scrapbook paper, stickers, glue, etc.  Then it was time to go get the crocheting stuff.  I should state that I know nothing about crocheting and the most creative thing I have done in a decade is buy a cute sparkle skirt and put it together with a t-shirt to make a costume for the Princess race.  That being said, there was a woman in the “Crocheting Department” more than willing to help.  She showed us which needles to buy and suggested some yarn.  Total, less than $10, for that price I can try anything…or so I thought.

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We came home from the store feeling all crafty and stuff, decided that the scrapbooking would be easier so we would save that for a Friday night dinner and wine evening and dove right into the crocheting.  We Googled You Tube videos to see how to start the yarn and the first stitches.  Let’s jump right to the end of this fiasco; the middle part of the story is painful.  By the end, my daughter, the one with the idea in the first place was cursing, I gave up, and my other daughter made a blanket while we were trying to figure out the slip knot (Not really but she definitely got it).  So this Friday will be a crocheting 101 tutorial taught by my daughter, wine, and scrapbooking.

Thankfully I have a long run planned for Saturday; it will give me a chance to relax.

Reblogging this today in honor of International Women’s Day.

From Here to Me

I truly believe this quote.  After finding myself almost ranting about women being oppressed at least twice in the past week, I feel the need to put this out here.  I am not a militant feminist or anything, I do not think any woman needs to be, we carry all of the power without so much as a raised hand or a voice above a whisper.

One of the things that made me think of this are the Ecards I often see on social networking sites like Facebook.  The cards with a picture of a women and it says something like – I am strong, I speak my mind, I am intelligent, etc “if that makes me a bitch so what”.  I often times find myself thinking, why does that make you a bitch?  Maybe you are just a bitch, because I am all of those things and I am not a…

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One more time for the Womankind

I truly believe this quote.  After finding myself almost ranting about women being oppressed at least twice in the past week, I feel the need to put this out here.  I am not a militant feminist or anything, I do not think any woman needs to be, we carry all of the power without so much as a raised hand or a voice above a whisper.

One of the things that made me think of this are the Ecards I often see on social networking sites like Facebook.  The cards with a picture of a women and it says something like – I am strong, I speak my mind, I am intelligent, etc “if that makes me a bitch so what”.  I often times find myself thinking, why does that make you a bitch?  Maybe you are just a bitch, because I am all of those things and I am not a bitch.  Ok, enough about that I have used that word too many times, on to the next item.

It is Women’s History Month

I often think of all of the women who have influenced me in my life; and the list is a long one.  Today I am going to pay tribute to as many of these women as I can, I am going to list them and a brief note on why they have influenced me or inspired me.  I am listing just first names, and hope that any who read this will know who they are.

We should all take inventory of those around us who bring good into our lives, these are the people we want to be with, or at the very least always remember.

Mary Ann – for being strong, whatever the reason or situation

Caitlin – for her courage and conviction; never has someone so stubborn been so beautiful

April – for being true to herself; every aspect of you is amazing

Jennifer W – for her butterfly like transformation to a beautiful young lady I am excited to know

Lurie – for being there at a time when I really needed her and for letting me back in after my less than graceful exit

Jennifer M – for being the most dynamic women I have ever met, for being the primary reason I decided to take my life and my health back into my control

Liz – for showing me that virtual strangers (or in this case “virtual” friends) can bring joy to your life and keep you going when you want to quit

Kelly – for being the keeper of at least one-third of my sanity, she is one of the two reasons I believe that people come into your life for a reason, there are no accidental meetings.  Without her I would not be complete

Colleen – for being the keeper of at least one-third of my sanity, she is the other of the two reasons I believe that people come into your life for a reason.  Without her I would not be complete.  I miss her every day and do not reach out to her enough

Jill – for showing me that being yourself is empowering; I like my life more because I crossed paths with her

Pam – real and refreshing and committed to doing good The Mother Teresa of New Jersey, the world needs many more of her

Shannon – she taught me so much, things I will realize in moments of clarity for years to come.  I am better for knowing her

Dawn – old friends are the best friends; and humor should never be underestimated in its ability to inspire.

Patsy – she taught me that being a friend means being a friend through thick and thin and that blood is NOT always thicker than water. Love you like a sister

Tia – I love her faith, she inspires me every day with her words and probably does not even know it

Stella – her gentle presence in my life was not as appreciated as it should have been.

There are so many more; moments that I refer to in my life randomly to make better decisions.  During Women’s History Month, and throughout the year, think about the women in your life that have a positive influence on you or have inspired you to do good.  Keep those women close at hand in your mind and in your heart.