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

Workout Recap, 8/19 to 8/25

It felt great to get back into routine this week! Work was crazy every day, and every day it was tempting to tell myself I “deserved” a rest day. I just kept reminding myself that being active is my way of de-stressing, and that I would feel better after getting started.

Monday: Easy recovery run, 2.19 miles at 11.14 avg pace. Dynamic warm-up, 10 min foam roll, hip strength 3 x 12 each move, clamshells 3 x 20 each side and bridges 3 x 20.

stank face

Tuesday: Strength workout. Two rounds for time:

  • 2.5 min jump rope
  • 25 squats (alternate 5 regular, 5 plyo)
  • 25 shuttle runs
  • 25 incline push-ups
  • 2.5 min jumping jacks
  • 25 tricep dips
  • 25 burpees

Round 1 – 13 min, 3 min break, Round 2 – 15 min

Wednesday: 3.98 mile run, forgot my watch! Was tempted to run nekkid, but ended up using My Tracks App on my phone to keep track of the stats. Not sure how my average speed ended up being faster than my average moving speed? Skipped foam rolling/hip strength in favor of quick rinse and food to my face. Was exhausted!

no watch

Thursday: off

Friday: Intended to go out for a nice, easy 3 miler, and it felt so good I turned it into 5.01! 10:56 average pace. And! Check out the pace times below. That’s one of the most consistent runs I’ve ever had pace wise! Stomach started getting a little sloshy around 4.25 miles. Dynamic warm-up, 10 min foam roll, hip strength 3 x 12 each move, clamshells 3 x 20 each side and bridges 3 x 20.

long run

Saturday: Strength workout. Switched up the order this go round to try to balance out arms and legs a little better. Two rounds for time:

  • 2.5 min jump rope
  • 25 incline push ups
  • 2.5 min jumping jacks
  • 25 squats (alternate 5 regular, 5 plyo)
  • 25 shuttle runs
  • 25 tricep dips
  • 25 burpees

Round 1 – 13 min, 3 min break, Round 2 – 16 min

Sunday: off

Run: 11.18 miles

Overall: A really strong, successful week. Increasing my mileage, and getting back to incorporating strength. Was going to get back to four days of running and get out there today in the misty morning, but my back was a little grumpy after a week of pushing hard so I decided to give it the extra rest day. This was one of my favorite strength workouts I’ve put together for myself, I was sweating buckets at the end. I look forward to coming back to it in a few weeks to see if my times improve and working up to completing three rounds.

Always, Sierra

What inspires your strength routines? I used to love keeping a folder of workouts from magazines and just randomly picking one whenever I felt things were getting stale.