15 Things Running Has Taught Me

IMG_4473It’s been nearly two years since I ventured into the world of running, but only recently that I’ve started to think of myself as a runner. In this time, I have learned:

1. If you look cute when you leave the house, great. If you look just as cute when you get home, you’re doing it wrong. 

2. Sweat is fat crying. Sweat hard, sweat often.

3. Listen to your body. Not that little voice in your head that tells you to slow down, or go home. Listen to your breath, FEEL your heartbeat. Fancy heart rate monitors are great, they’re also expensive and unnecessary. 

4. In your playlist, no song is stupid if it keeps you moving.

5. It’s okay to walk.

6. Learn to block out distractions. 

7. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable. Pain =Progress 

8. Don’t ever smell any of your clothing after a run. Trust me.

9. Don’t carry water or Gatorade if you’re not going to drink it.

10. Not everyone appreciates my rendition of “Sexy and I Know it,” especially at 5am.

11. Everything bounces and wiggles. E.V.E.R.Y.T.H.I.N.G. Get used to it.

12. Long sleeves make great tissues.

13. Protein. Protein. Protein.

14. Good form is better than being fast.

15. If you’re seeking perfection, you’ve picked the wrong sport. There will always be someone stronger and faster. Compete against yourself, not those around you. 

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A Pledge

I pledge allegiance to my mind, my body and my soul;
To take care of myself,
To  live, laugh and love.
To accept the things I cannot change, 
And to change the things I can.

I pledge to start right here, right now;
To make myself a priority,

To take my place in this beautiful Universe,
To act, and react, in a way that makes ME proud.

THIS is my pledge

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

Heaven’s Gonna Wait

As I set out for my morning run (a little later than I had planned), I threw on my headphones, hit shuffle and bolted for the door.
At this time of year, 5am looks like the dead of night, there aren’t too many stars to look at, since I live well inside the city limits.
And by 530, the sky is peeking with the pinks and blues of a late-summer sunrise.
Not THIS morning!
Hedley’s Heaven’s Gonna Wait is blissfully playing in my ears, I was literally stopped in my tracks AWESTRUCK.
As if waiting just for me, knowing I was running a little bit late:
The midnight black sky was twinkling with the brightest stars!
The little dipper winked at me, and the North Star guided my way.

Another sign of love from the Universe, and an amazing way to start the day!!

 

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox

Something to Think About…

Watch your thoughts, for they become words.
Watch your words, for they become actions.
Watch your actions, for they become…habits.
Watch your habits, for they become your character.
And watch your character, for it becomes your destiny!
What we think, we become.

— Margaret Thatcher

 

 

 

A meditation

“I will be generous with my love today. I will sprinkle compliments and uplifting words everywhere I go. I will do this knowing that my words are like seeds and when they fall on fertile soil, a reflection of those seeds will grow into something greater.”

Steve Maraboli 

Run, Mandi, Run

I found this during Monday's run. Someone left it just for me! ...or so I would like to believe

In the midst of training for the Bluenose Marathon in May, running has become a big part of my daily life. It seeps into conversations, keeps me up late at night on google, I’ve blogged about it several times, and someday’s, is plastered all over my Facebook news feed.

Everything I have done since January I have done for this race. Every morsel of food, every wink of sleep: fuel for my body.

Every ice pack, every day’s rest, every drop of sweat, bruise, pulled muscle, shin splint. Every setback, minor, moderate or severe, all of it, for the Bluenose. 

During today’s run (a new personal best, yaay me!), I had a moment. Some might call it an epiphany, but for now, let’s call it a moment. It was fleeting. Gone and over as quickly as it revealed itself.

I had just finished climbing a particularly challenging hill (at a brisk walk), and was getting set to run down it. I planned to slow back to a walk when I reached the bottom, but found I’d completely zoned out.

Something good was playing in my ears. My brain stopped whirling inside my head, replaying the days events. My breath was calm, my lungs did not ache. My body ceased to move forward, rather the ground below me began to move, carrying me forward. Somewhere along the way, I closed my eyes. A scary thought now, but it felt right in the moment. The calm washed over me. I breathed deep into my belly, and I felt renewed. 

Gone were the grueling hours at work today, my sore feet and aching back. Gone were the plans I was making and remaking in my head. Gone were my thoughts on tonight’s dinner, or did I have to pee, or maybe I should take it easy today since my leg was bothering me. It was all gone.

And as I took another deep breath, I got excited. Was this it? Was this the moment I have so anxious and excitedly been working towards? Was this the moment I finally become a runner?

And then it was over. 

180 seconds of pure bliss, over in a flash… much like life.

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox 

An Influential March

March.
In like a lion, out like a lamb? In like a lamb, out like a lion?
The dreariest of months (in my opinion), inconsistencies of the weather alone are enough to break my heart. Grey skies, grey clouds, grey lawns, grey, grey, grey. One nice day, three snow days, two with rain; Spring so close by I can taste it, smell it, feel it in your bones! Only 31 (sometimes miserable) days until April.  

Here are four things that have influenced, inspired or kept me busy this past March:

Peace Flash (www.facebook.com/PeaceFlash)
I have always described myself as a quasi-hippie, a “moderate granola type,” toting my peace sign, and make-love-not-war attitude. So much so, that I can sometimes be heard telling others I was born in the wrong decade. The 60’s missed me, and I missed the 60’s!
Peace Flash pops up in my Facebook news feed about as often as I need a reality check (it’s not always about you, Mandi), reminding me that through sharing my personal peace, I can influence the daily lives of others. 

Soul Pancake (http://soulpancake.com/ & http://www.facebook.com/soulpancake)
Soul Pancake is a social media outlet for big thinkers, not unlike myself. It is a place to go where you can explore (and encourage others to as well) what it means to be human. Everyone has an inner philosopher, and Soul Pancake is the perfect place to explore that facet of yourself. 

Tracks by Linds (http://tracksbylinds.com/)
Former co-worker, traveller, fellow blogger, and friend, Lindsey writes all about her adventures “galavanting” with her husband-to-be for his medical school rotations across North America. Her posts are well written, thought provoking, and insightful. Not to mention the Sunday music recommendations! It was at Lindsey’s suggestion that I (finally) put my fingers to keyboard here at WordPress, and share my thoughts with the world. 

Running (https://outofsightonmymind.wordpress.com/2012/02/29/why-i-ran-from-my-troubles-today/)
There’s something both masochistic and zen about going for a run. Time alone with your thoughts, headphones on, the outside world melts away. At the  same time, it’s pure torture!!  Propelling your body forward as fast as you can, for as long as you can. The aches and pains of joints and muscles. And the cold, let’s not forget about the cold!

So why do I do it? To put it simply, I run because I can. I’m not terribly good at it. That bothers me, and so  I run to improve my form. It just so happens that as a side effect, it improves my health.

With 46 days left until the Bluenose Marathon, I am averaging a 9.5 minute kilometer (3.5 minutes above my ideal goal). I’ve had some setbacks with shin splints and knee pain since I began training in January, I’m still doing a combination walk/run during my 3 training runs each week, but I am still confident that not only will I finish again this year, I will be able to improve my finish time from 2011.

What’s kept you going this March?

Peace and Love,
Mandixoxox 

T.G.I.Disappointed

With James Taylor’s How Sweet it is (to be loved by you) playing in my ears, the full extent of my disappointment set in. A mere 14 minutes into my evening run, and I could not take another step. The obstacle this time? Not the anticipated icy sidewalks, not the blistering cold, but my body. A pain so excruciating in my shins. It paled in comparison to the dark cloud washing now over me.

In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fear of failure.     — Bill Cosby  

Do I want to fail?
That question floats on an endless loop in my head, even as I scream my reply: NOOOOO! I DOOOOOOOOOON’T!

I’ve become all too familiar with the concept of failure and disappointment in my twenty nine years. School, relationship, roommate, relationship, roommate, job, relationship. It seems life is an ceaseless series of failures and disappointments designed to test our character and resolve. 

Have I let any one of my previous failures or disappointments define my life? 
No

So what makes this one different?

Is there a discriminate difference between disappointments of the mind and failures of the body? Are the two mutually exclusive? Can we overcome one without acknowledging the existence of the other? 

The answer, quite simply, is no

Our minds see no difference in physical or physiological reasons not to carry on. Those that cannot walk don’t do so because they don’t want to – they can’t.
In order to overcome such mind/body barriers we must recognize that we are human, and that failures or disappointments are just another opportunity to learn, grow, and do better next time. 

If I am to meet with a disappointment, the sooner I know it, the more of life I shall have to wear it off.     — Thomas Jefferson

How will I mend my bruised pride?
A warm bath, ice for my shins, hot chocolate, and a prayer of thanks for all successes of the day. I’l
l try again on Monday 

Peace and Love
Mandixoxox