Friday, April 30, 2010

Given to Fly

I think Rob Lowe is helping me train for my Half Marathon. This week, I bought the Nike-Plus-iPod-thingamajig to help me train for it. I had read mixed reviews about it. For very serious runners, a GPS watch might be better. Since I’m just really starting my running ‘career’, the iPod gadget was perfect for me. I do need to calibrate it since there is no way on God’s green earth I’m chugging a 9:48 mile at 5:30am. When setting up my new toy, I chose the male voice. For whatever reason, I always trend towards the male trainer. On my Wii fitness games, my trainers are 95% male (except for Biggest Loser – I cannot cheat on Jillian). Now while I’m running, I envision a little bubble with Rob Lowe speaking to me over my head – telling me I have only 200 meters to go.

I have to say that despite it’s knack for clocking me much faster than I am, I really like Nike Plus. It’s nice to have a virtual view of your run. I created a little Mini-me that looks more like my daughter than me. I have fun watching her jump around excited for a good run. We’ll see how I feel about it once I calibrate it more to my running ability. I don’t think it’s off more than 30 seconds – but for now I am enjoying being Speedy Gonzales.

Okay, back to that half marathon thing. I will admit that I am totally ill-prepared for this undertaking. Most training programs for beginners are 12 weeks. I made the decision to do one with 5 weeks to go. Even as I hit the ‘submit’ button on the registration, I thought to myself – Good God woman – what are you doing?? I’ve never been an overly ambitious person. This is why I have a job, not a career. It doesn’t mean I haven’t dreamed about the day that work would leave me feeling fulfilled. I considered meteorology, psychology, writing, and even the less flashy computer programming. Three of those options would take school and money. And once I matriculated – it wouldn’t guarantee a job that would afford me my lush lifestyle of paying bills and having a wee bit money left over. While I was single, I poured myself into writing. That was something I could do after my job and kept my lonely mind busy. I’ve been starting stories since I was 8. I have yet to finish one. Starting them – wonderful. I’m filled with possibility and life. Then I spin a simple story into an epic Lord of the Rings trilogy before I get the first chapter done. I still enjoy writing but it is not conducive to my lifestyle. To really get going, you need 4 hours to set aside without interruption. I have a husband and little girl. I need to workout at least 5-6 times a week or I will be living in maternity clothes. This does not mean I will never finish a chapter or a thought. I just don’t see it happening this week.

So running – I started it for weight loss. I started it late in life – 34. I restarted it after my daughter was 8 months old – I was now 37 and 35 pounds over my pre-Grace weight. I decided to register for my first 5K at 38. Before I go off on another tangent – what I like about running and racing – is that there is a beginning and an end. The task of going back to school or writing a book seems so infinite. There is no end in sight. Running a race is finite. And it gives me a feeling that I had been chasing for years but was always elusive – accomplishment. I’m good at following through on the little day-today things. However something larger, not so much. I’m happy to be happy – to not push beyond my comfort zone. Running replaces that complacency with ambition and competitive nature. Those are 2 words I would have never put near me. I haven’t given up going back to school. I am thinking about something do with fitness and nutrition. And I’ll never give up writing. I may pare down that 16 volume epic story though. I’ll start with a blog.

I run to be healthy. I run to be sane. I run to give Grace a well-balanced mommy. I run to be fit for my husband and inspire him – hopefully. I run to show everyone that you can teach an old dog new tricks.

Given to Fly - Pearl Jam

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Running to Stand Still

There is nothing more demoralizing and ego-busting as seeing yourself lumber by at the end of your first 10K clad in spandex on video. This wasn’t the way I wanted to introduce you to my new world of running. However, I just viewed my 1378 finish in my first ever 10K race. I guess I envisioned myself something more gazelle like – or at least less donkey like. In fact, donkeys are faster and have more grace. Yet, there I am tagged for all my friends to see me hobble across the finish line. Pop! There goes my fantasy of a svelte me gliding by with my perfect hair flowing in the wind behind me. Instead, I looked as though some shot me in one leg.

When I thought about this post, I had picked out the song ‘Running to Stand Still’. I was going to joke that most of the running songs were too cliché – like Born to Run. And songs like Running on Empty or Keeps You Running were featured in Forest Gump. How I began running is more like Forest Gump so I didn’t need to go there. I was going to get all deep about how running – in a sense – made me feel still and deep and filled me with Zen. Then I saw a video of me running and the title took on a whole new meaning. I barely look like I’m running. At that point, I was probably running a good 6 to 6.5 mph.

I will save the story of how a runner was born for another day. All you need to know is that I am a runner (beginner or novice) and it has become a pretty big slice of my life.

Monday, April 26, 2010

Life and How to Live it

Does the world need another freakin' blog? Apparently I think so. And I guess I have something important to say. I'll start with the name of my blog. It is the name of my favorite REM song. If you look up the lyrics, you won't find a deep meaning that will help you understand who I am. In fact as far as I can tell, the lyrics only make sense to Michael Stipe. I've read them over and over - and they are pretty nonsensical. But it is a very bouncy song that makes me happy. And it features the best line ever - "if I were to write a book it would be called Life and How to Live it".

I love music. I mean I
love music. I listen to it on the T and at work. I listen to it when I work out and I will plug my iPod in for 15 minute drive. So, you may notice that I will be using lyrics or song titles for my posts.

Now, what am I going to write about? This blog is about being a mom, staying young, getting fit, finding direction, losing control, running, loving, helping, failing, overcoming and everything in-between.