A lesson I keep learning over and over again

Went for a run today and I killed it! No Garmin so no temptation to check my watch every few minutes to see how far I had left or what pace I was maintaining. Just cloudy, drizzly weather and fresh legs to keep me going.

always sierra end of run

That’s what sweaty happiness looks like!

I’ve been facing the motivation blues lately. A physically challenging run is hard enough; but when my mind gets in the way even “easy” runs feel impossible. When this happens, my instinct is to power through the run. (Actually, that’s pretty much my instinct in life too!) Thing is, I can only keep that up for 26.2 miles five minutes before that whole pesky need to breathe thing hits.

Of course, stopping to breathe just opens up an endless loop of failure. (That’s right, failure…forget that whole grateful to be alive business!) Not only am I stuck in a crappy run but I can’t even get through to the end because I can’t run for more than five minutes without having to stop! The endless cycle of can’t can’t can’t starts and I’m doomed!

Eventually, one run later or five runs later, my mind steps out of the way and I shake off the blahs. I remember that a bad run is not the end of the world. That the sun will still rise regardless if I hit 3 miles or 6. That my dog and cat will only judge me if I forget to feed them and not because I can’t hit a 10 minute mile every.single.mile.every.single.run. every.single.day.

Yes, it’s true, I once again come to terms with the fact that I am not a professional athlete whose livelihood depends on running. Hard to believe, right?

My legs take over, business as usual, and I get lost in the rhythm. Faster doesn’t matter, harder doesn’t matter, longer doesn’t matter. The rhythm matters. And once more I find the fun.

Today I found the fun, and it was glorious.

Pillsbury Red Velvet Cookies

I also found these cookies – so delicious hot from the oven! And they’re not just cookies…they’re BIG cookies! 

If you’re having a rough run, having a rough day, having a rough week, it’s okay. Let yourself have it, re-focus, and know that you’ll find your rhythm again.

Always, Sierra

P.S. Can’t front –  I totally used my phone to track my run because I’m addicted like that, but I didn’t check for number’s once while I was running. 3.04 miles in 30.24 minutes…whaaaaaaat! (Did this post just lose all validity?!)

P.P.S. This is my 100th post! Crazy, right?! A shout out to my readers…you deserve more consistent posting and we both deserve to win the lottery…let’s see how that goes shall we?

Check out how it all started, and looking forward to the next hundred!

 

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Motivation Monday: Miracle on Ice

This weekend I caught the 2004 Disney film, Miracle, and pretty much loved it. Sure, it’s a cheesy Disney film where the underdog comes out on top, but it actually went down like that in real life, and I love when life gets cheesy. Have you seen it?

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The movie’s about the hockey showdown between the USA and Russian teams in the 1980 Olympics at Lake Placid. Team Russia had consistently won world and National championships since the mid-1950’s. Nobody expected that to change, especially after Russia trounced USA in the exhibition game, 10-3. USA went into the Olympics as a serious underdog, and the rivalry was only increased by the long Cold War.

But one man thought it could be different. Herb Brooks.

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What Herb recognized was that Team USA couldn’t win the games playing the same way it had always played. To change the outcome, it’s necessary to change your approach. And that meant he had to find a new style of coaching Team USA.

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So that’s what he did. He taught his team a style of play that incorporated European techniques. His focus was on building stamina and physicality so they could go hockey stick to hockey stick with the highly physical Team Russia. He was confrontational, constantly goading them into doing more, being more, giving more. And, maybe most importantly, he formed them into one cohesive team, Team USA. 

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The game came down to the last five seconds, and the announcer, Al Michaels, asked the crowd, “Do you believe in miracles?!” Herb Brooks believed in miracles, and he ensured his team put in the work and dedication to make it possible.

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Herb Brooks died before he was able to see the movie completed. The dedication at the end of the film is, “He never saw it. He lived it.”

Live your miracle.

Always, Sierra

 

 

Happy New Year’s Eve!

I started the last day of 2013 putting my body through the paces with an early morning strength workout. There’s something special about waking up before the rest of the house/world and getting your sweat on.

New Year's Eve workout

I’m hanging out now in our breakfast nook, AKA my new favorite spot, taking a little time for a hot toddy and reflecting on the year past.

hot toddy reflections

2013 was a big year for me: multiple career moves, moving to a new house, new animal, focusing on healthy living, new blog, travelling to new destinations, and handling my dad’s passing to name a few. It’s not hard to see how it all passed so quickly.

I went into the year without any resolutions, and I haven’t decided yet if I’ll be making a resolution for 2014. I used go into every new year with a laundry list of things to change and improve. Fact of the matter was, not keeping them also used to be my thing. As optimistic and shiny as the clean start of January 1st seems, we can choose that clean start for ourselves at anytime. It can be January 1st…or March 8th…or November 26th. Making small changes along the way is much more doable then picking 10 things to change at the start of a New Year.

Oprah Winfrey Quote, Cheers to a New Year

Still, whether or not there’s a resolution to be put in place, there is value on taking time to reflect on where you’ve been, and where you’d like to go. Here are a few of my favorite blog posts over the past couple days, I hope you find them as motivating as I did.

Wishing you a Happy New Year’s Eve, and safe celebrations. See you in 2014!

Always, Sierra

Motivation Monday

Gibson’s Daily Running Quotes is one of my favorite sources for motivation! (Follow on Facebook.)

“This past weekend I ran my first 5K of the season… I looked at all of the ladies and realized that they all looked like what you expect runners to look like. They were all compact and muscular, with flat stomachs, visible abs, sinewy thighs. Probably they all had body-fat percentages in the teens.And then there was me.

I don’t look like a runner… I look solid and sturdy and thick. I’m tall – taller than most women and even most men. My stomach isn’t flat. It hasn’t been since…actually, I don’t think it ever has been flat. My thighs are muscular but not lean. And ‘compact’ is a word that describes my car, not my body. When I sign up for races, I qualify for the Bonnydale or Athena weight divisions – the female athletes who weigh over 150 pounds.

I don’t look like a runner.

And yet there I was, the third woman across the finish line. My body was slick with sweat, my face red with exertion, my feet barely touching the ground because I was running so f****** hard. I may not look like a runner, but I am one – a good one, too. And I’m only going to get better…

When I thought about the results of the race, I had to laugh because it all seemed so ridiculous. ‘I’m like walking proof that you don’t have to have visible abs to be fast,’ I said.

The more I thought about this, the more pleased I was. I hoped other women saw me and thought that they didn’t have to look like ripped fitness models to run fast. I hoped they understood that having a flat stomach or fat-free thighs were not a prerequisite for speed.

We need to talk about how the world is filled with runners who do not ‘look like runners.’ There are triathletes who do not ‘look like triathletes.’ There are dancers who do not ‘look like dancers.’ And yet we’re all out here, running and competing and dancing and doing all kinds of things with our bodies, things our bodies look like they should not be capable of doing, and yet there we are, doing them.

I don’t look like I should be a fast runner, and yet I am.

It’s not about what we look like. It’s what we do that counts.”

-Caitlin Constantine, Fit and Feminist

 
I am definitely solid and sturdy and thick…and short! I will never be tall and lean and 10% body fat. But I am a runner, and I will be faster, because I love it and I work at it, and I will continue to do so.
 
if you have a body, you are an athlete
 
Always, Sierra