A food evolution ‘moment’

So I’ve been waiting for that spark to return…y’know the one I’m talking about: that blogging spark. The inspiration to jot down my thoughts on my own little corner of the Internet. Something I haven’t done in over a week. And quite honestly, something I thought might never return: the spark.

But alas — it’s back, after a really, REALLY great break from the plugged-in world, being as present as possible.
…and loving every last second of it.

And it was during that unplugged time that I hit a pretty big breakthrough, personally. A food evolution ‘moment’ of sorts.
…ironically it happened during one of the biggest eating holidays of the year: Thanksgiving.

I’ve made it no secret that I’ve not always had the best relationship with food. I’ve battled my fair share of emotional moments with food, of that up-and-down ‘being good’ during the week only to blow it WAY out of the water on the weekends, because I felt justified after restricting myself all week long. It wasn’t until I started my personal barre n9ne journey last May that things really changed for me. I started logging food (and still do). I started to make that connection between hunger cues versus mindless munching cues. But most of all, I started to gravitate more and more towards fueling foods — lots of whole foods, real, nourishing, naturally grown foods. And it wasn’t until recently that I came to the conclusion that I’d finally learned how to be an intuitive eater. Sort of the be-all-end-all (for me at least) — learning to listen to my body, feeding it when it’s hungry, skipping the munching if it’s not hungry. And learning when to stop eating, what my portions should look (and FEEL) like, etc.

But this weekend I hit on something else: I recognized that my body now fully knows and LOVES the ‘number’ I feed it every single day. It’s become second nature. Even on a huuuuuge eating holiday like Thanksgiving I still managed to feed my body in a way that was still VERY satisfying (hello two kinds of stuffing on Thanksgiving, yes please!! my biggest weakness…), without stuffing (no pun intended) myself silly, or filling it with empty calories (like bread, crackers, fillers like that). I didn’t even have to think about it, or get anxious that there would be too many temptations and I’d never be able to resist, quickly falling back into old habits (i.e. ‘it’s the holidays,  you ‘deserve’ to eat everything in sight’).

The best part though? Not that I stuck to my guns and I’m sitting here patting myself on the back for it, but that after all this time, it finally feels fairly effortless — truly intuitive, and mindful (something my sister just touched on over at the barre n9ne blog, actually). Sure, I COULD have gone for seconds of stuffing, or had a bigger piece of chocolate cake for dessert (you guys, my mom’s boyfriend makes an UNREAL super-stacked chocolate cake with the most delicious vanilla frosting…I had to go for the cake vs. the pie, just HAD to). But I didn’t want to…nor did my body scream: feed meeee. It was satisfied. 

And that’s the big difference here: I’m satisfied — mind, body and soul. No anxiety, no fear that I’ll slide back into old bad habits, no worry that I wasn’t perfect.’ I’m finally at a point where I can ‘just be.’

Even though I view healthy, intuitive eating as a continuous journey through and through — this past weekend was certainly a pretty awesome breakthrough for me and although it took me a few days to process that, I’m celebrating it now. I think we all ought to celebrate our personal journeys and successes even more openly than we all probably do right now. I don’t look at it as showing off or vanity or anything, I view it as a positive reminder to ALL of us that you can do and be whoever you want to be if you want it badly enough. And guess what? You may surprise yourself and realize that who you wanted to be all along was right there the whole time, just itching to peek out if you gave her the right tools to do so.

So go on — celebrate your successes, big or small,  I’m listening. 😉

Live your dream, not ‘the’ dream.

On Monday night, while teaching my third barre n9ne class of the day (which firmly makes Monday my new favorite day of the week, no lie), I took a moment to look around the room at one point towards the latter half of class. It was our signature long and lean legs class and one that I have always loved to take since joining the studio last May, but now I have the opportunity to teach it every single Monday night — LOVE.  As I looked around the room at the women working so hard to get through the set, their legs shaking, their focus intent — I had this rush of total joy. And no, not because I was inflicting pain on them (!) but because I was in my element, doing something that I *love* to do more and more every single day.

I was living my dream. 

Finally having that outlet to fuel my passion for fitness has been an incredible blessing. Especially since I’m feeding that passion at barre n9ne — a place that has utterly transformed my life in the year-and-a-half that I’ve been a regular client and, now, instructor. Paying it forward as an instructor — yes, please. And thank you.

So where am I going with this? (I swear, I do have a point.)

I urge you each to live your dream, not ‘the’ dream. 

In other words: find your passion, your dream, your ‘happy place’ — and make it yours. Carve your own destiny — even if that destiny seems like such a far off trek. Trust me, it’s worth it. I’m thinking about this in the broader context of this season — not just Thanksgiving coming up tomorrow where we have an opportunity to really sit back and show gratitude — but in this season called life. Making the most of every single day, even the days that aren’t ‘dream-filled’ and finding a way to make it a good day, no matter what.

And in between all of that? Live your dream, express gratitude, and shower your family and friends with love and adoration. As often as possible — not just in the Thanksgiving spirit.

So that’s what I intend to do, especially during these next few days while off from work. Be present. Disconnect from the plugged-in world (which I’ve been doing a LOT of lately, I’m sure you’ve noticed). Live my dream. In whatever shape or form it takes.

#gratitudeIsbeautiful

When the “Universe” speaks.

I find it really ironic that my last post talked about my inability to embrace downtime. Since I wrote that post, I’ve had legit zero downtime. Just a crazy, crazy week on all fronts – work, barre n9ne, social time at night. All very WORTH IT activities in my days, but just entirely jammed into my week this week for some reason. Sort of like world’s colliding or something.

And the more I thought about it, the more I realized something:

The “Universe” spoke to me.
(and by “Universe” I really mean “God”)

Man, He has quite the sense of humor, I must say.

I do believe He’s using this crazy busy week to force me to stay ‘in’ the moment AND to remind me just how valuable (and rare) downtime is.

So that’s what I’m doing over here.  I’m staying ‘in’ the moment.

#everytime I teach a barre n9ne class – I’m staying ‘in’ that moment, making sure my clients get the best workout possible.

Every moment spent with the cutest niece ever and my two sisters during ‘sister dinner’ last night – I sat back and tried to relish those moments vs. rushing through them or allowing myself to get distracted, worrying that I ‘should’ be using the hours after work more ‘wisely.’ (i.e. doing chores and things around the house that have been neglected the past few days.) 

(side note: This was probably the most memorable sister dinner yet, Isabel is the most loving, cuddly, kind and fun little girl ever. I adore her, everything about her…but especially how she says “hi aunTIE” (with a cute lilt to her voice) when she sees me.)

Every ‘me’ workout I can (safely) fit in this week, I’m making it count. Intervals one day, a 6 miler on the treadmill the next day (where I pushed it for that last mile, knowing I had it in me to go just a wee bit farther — and stepped off that treadmill proud, and very sweaty). Embracing the miles versus dreading them or forcing them. #makeitcount

The spare minutes I’ve had with Scott this week – and remembering to hug him just a little bit tighter this week, since our ‘us’ time has been extremely minimal (which all changes tonight during our midweek ‘date night’ – I’m sensing an epic ‘rummy wars’ battle on the agenda…along with ample amounts of wine).

Disconnecting – and not worrying that I’m ‘missing out’ on something. I have barely read a single blog post this week.
…and I’m not apologizing for that.

Because guess what? When the “Universe” speaks…it’s time to listen.

I don’t know how.

So I realized something this weekend.

I don’t know how to relax. 

Like at. all.

I found myself with the morning and part of the afternoon on Sunday with absolutely nothing on the agenda. Instead of settling into a nice, chill Sunday with Scott, I found myself in a giant funk.

“I should wash the windows, they are all gritty,” I thought. (to which Scott scoffed and told me to chill…)

“I should make my lunch for tomorrow and get myself organized for work this week,” I also thought. (and did)

“I should go for a run, it’s a beautiful day,” I thought (and didn’t do…but felt super guilty about, ugh).

“I really need to write a blog….but don’t have a topic in mind,” I considered (and alas, this blog post was born).

But why, why, why was I playing this game with myself, the “I should…” game?

Why don’t I know how to embrace downtime? I never have hours of downtime at once, least of all during the chaos of the work week. Yet here I was, with a bundle of downtime and I was fighting it. My brain immediately turns to “I should…” instead of just being in the moment.

Similar to what this beautiful friend of mine posted about this weekend, my soul has been needing some ‘fitness’ and I’ve been ignoring it. Big time. I’ve been too busy cramming as much into every hour of every day that I missed the big picture. My soul was screaming at me to chill, slow down, embrace.

Source: oprah.com via Jess on Pinterest

 

I mean, really. I have a BIG week ahead of me. After coming down from an equally big week last week. I taught ten barre n9ne classes last week. Ten. Loved every minute but yes, it wiped me out by the end of it all. I also worked my day job all week per the usual and managed to cram in erranding, a few #runsimply runs and other shiz last week too. I probably sat on the couch for a total of an hour or two at most. And this week will be similar. Teaching seven classes this week (some in the new room too, yay!). Hoping to fit in three solid runs this week (would’ve been four if I had forced that run yesterday…glad I opted against, big picture, big picture, big picture). And plans almost every night this week after work, including Friday (barre n9ne ‘closet sharing party’ and a wine tasting courtesy of me and Jo, woohoo). Lots of GOOD. Lots of FUN. But lots of a LOT.

So this is my forced note to self: Slow down. Grab that downtime and give it a giant bear hug. Quit railing against it already. 

Ruminations (#1 of…)

So I’m titling this post ‘Ruminations (#1 of…) for a specific reason (you know me, I always do things with intention, right??).
…I’m leaving myself room to expand on this into a series if I so choose.

You see, lately I’ve been struggling to collect my thoughts, to find focus. There are many reasons for that, none of which I care to dive into here. Generally speaking, you all know pretty much why that is. Why I’ve been so focused on simplifying, finding or re-creating a new sense of balance, etc. So while I’m figuring out my flow over here, I didn’t want to just plain stop blogging entirely. I have lots of thoughts going on, none all that cohesive per se, but some that are totally worth sharing here, in rumination format instead of my usual ‘themed’ posts.

(wow was that a long preamble to today’s post! Man.)

Ruminations (#1 of…)

Seeing this girl absolutely CRUSH 50 miles on Saturday was an honor and a privilege.  Other than inspiring the hell outta me, she also restored my faith in running joyfully, because you LOVE it, above all else. This girl absolutely lives and breathes running…and I adore that in her.

#runsherpa duties are no joke. I mean, seriously — it was *such* hard work passing time in between Meaghan’s 12.5 mile loops by basically bar hopping in between loops three and four. <wipes sweat from brow> But seriously, it was SO much fun seeing her pass each loop, giving her whatever she needed in the way of support — healthy bites (fueled by Healthy Bites woo!), gummy bears (so glad I packed those from Scott’s secret stash!), refilling her gatorade, handing her love notes to read along the course and shouting words of encouragement as she jetted off for the next go-round. Jo and I were seriously working hard as can be in this pic, hmm? (note the photo bomb by a certain #teamsutera member…)

It similar running related news — I’m scarily excited to run intervals tomorrow morning. Now that I’ve gone into totally unstructured territory with  my running, and because I have much less time to dedicate to running lately, I gotta make every single one count (#makeitcount!). Plus, I’ve neglected speed work for so long that it’s oddly fun to get to that puketastic/sweatastic point. While I DO miss endurance running, I know I’ll get back to that in a couple weeks once things settle down at the Sutera Manor (more on this later), for now — quick and dirty is the way to go (TWSS). Let’s hope I feel this way post-workout in the am. 😉 (I’ll report back, don’t you worry)

Speaking of endurance…ya’ll have to quit running marathons and writing such inspiring race day recaps. It’s making me want to run another marathon. Wait, I didn’t say that…ohhhh but I did. NO news (yet) buuuut #teamsutera is definitely mulling it over just a teensy bit. Not gonna lie. #arewecrazy #maybebutwhatelseisnew #notcommitting #runsimplyisourmantra

“Me dinner” nights are frickin’ tasty occurrences up in here. Tonight’s dinner was jammed full of veggies, apparently my body was majorly craving them given this ‘kitchen sink’ style stir fry I whipped up. In it you’ll spy: mushrooms, summer squash, yellow beans, tomatoes, chicken sausage (woops, that’s not a veggie) and mashed sweet potato with plain greek yogurt stirred in. I’m pretty sure as soon as I took this pic, my plate was clean. #hungryhorrors up in here.

In other foodie news — pretty sure this will be happening shortly: a red velvet ‘cupcake’ made with red velvet cake mix and a can of pumpkin stirred in. Two ingredients — ridiculously tasty and equally ridiculously low calorie (approx. 150 cals in this sucker…a titch more if you add a tsp of melty nutella on top like mine will have tonight…). 

And because I can’t get enough of barre n9ne — my #b94lyf gush-fest of the night? I am way, way, way too excited to be teaching a heck of a lineup of classes this week due to some subbing I offered up, y’know because I’m such a team player and all. 😉 I’m in the studio every single day this week except for tomorrow. I kinda love it. (and don’t worry, I will not be running a lot this week; nor am I taking any classes this week — teaching a ton means pulling back in other areas so as not to burn myself out…remember: balance is good. I loooove balance.)

Hmm. Apparently I had more to say than I thought. This may not be the most organized or theme-driven posts of all but it still follows my blogging personality quite nicely — goofy, honest, real and still with intention, per the usual. 😉

(here’s to #1 of___ to come?)

Embracing simplicity.

Ever since we crossed that finish line in Chicago a few weeks ago, #teamsutera has been spending ample time thinking about how to simplify. It was a big focus of conversation in the Sutera Manor all weekend, in fact.

A couple of snippets from those conversations…:

On Friday night, instead of our usual dinner ‘date’ in, followed by snuggling on the couch catching up on DVR’d tv shows (we get wild and crazy on Friday nights, I tell ya lol), we chose a simpler route. We made dinner — the most ridiculously yummy steak tips salads ever — followed by hours of ‘rummy wars’ with pandora playing in the background. Yup, I got my butt kicked on almost every round, but it didn’t matter. We weren’t letting technology or anything else into our little cocoon on Friday night, it was just the two of us, sharing goofy conversation and playing some cards. Simply.

On Saturday, we made a real effort to not over-schedule or over-plan the morning. I taught a barre n9ne class (which was fabulous, I might add, hehe) and then we did something we rarely ever do. We went out to breakfast. A fun diner just opened near us and I’d been wanting to check it out. So that’s what we did. Breakfast together, me in my sweaty workout clothes and all — but again the details didn’t matter. It was delicious and fun and simple.

Later that day, I got antsy for some fresh air. I knew a run wasn’t smart — my knee is still a little bit cranky — but I wanted to get out and moving. So we went for a walk. In the beautiful sunshine-y fall air, we held hands and talked and talked. Unplanned, special and simple.

Our conversation during that walk covered all sorts of things. Running and racing plans for 2013 (we have some ideas, but not ready to share where #teamsutera is heading quite yet…). Daydreaming about fun trips we’d love to be able to take next year. And what we both envisioned for 2013 if we had the ability to look into the future.  My immediate response: “Can we please *not* change jobs at all next year?” After two job changes for me and the ups and downs of Scott’s job situation (following that dream continues to be the best decision he, and we, ever made…regardless of the ups and downs) — and we’re both very ready to feel more settled next year. A simple request, no?

And finally — we talked about how to avoid that jammed-up-weekends-for-months-on-end-when-can-we-fit-in-more-‘us-time-already? issue we’ve had the past few months. Don’t get me wrong — we’ve done lots of fun things in the past few months. It’s been awesome. I don’t take that for granted at all. But — it’s been a little bit too jammed, a little bit too planned, a little bit too chaotic. So we came up with a plan. I pulled out my iPhone (over impromptu drinks at a tavern nearby on Saturday afternoon, mind you!) and took a look at our ‘rummy wars’ tally on my notepad — we had a handful of wars that Scott ‘won’ but hadn’t cashed in on yet. So we started jotting down in my calendar when we’d be cashing in on Scott’s ‘winnings’. In case you’re curious, they include:

  • Dinner and a movie – Scott’s choice for both (for those of you who know me well, I’m so Type-A and like to be in charge of or at least share an opinion on where we go to dinner. And — actually GOING to a movie together? we haven’t done it in years. This should be a fun one to say the least. Scott is already plotting…)
  • Bowling and dinner/drinks at the sports bar across the street from the bowling alley near our house (I’m actually excited about this one…even though I definitely suck at bowling, Scott will be entertained by my skillz…and again, it gets me out of my comfort zone. Me — in a sports bar?? hehe)
  • A bar crawl for two — which involves spending the day checking out fun bars and restaurants in Salem which is a few towns over from us but has lots of great options. It’ll be a day-long event. Just the two of us. (this will most definitely lead to a hilarious blog post recap I’m sure)
  • A picnic in the living room – this one we’re saving for a rainy or snowy day. When we’re really missing the spring and summer where picnics were a regular occasion for us. ❤
  • An old school date night in: when we first started dating our favorite thing in the world was making homemade pizza, renting a movie and snuggling on the couch. While we’ve certainly had our fair share of pizza nights, it was mostly for training purposes (ha) and notsomuch ‘date night’ style. Another fun one we’re saving for a rainy day.

So what do these ‘war wins’ all have in common? They are simple. It involves just the two of us. Reconnecting in a way that requires lots of disconnecting from outside distractions. Something I know I need to continue to work on, big time. Presence and simplicity. The best gifts you could ever give a loved one. I’m convinced.

So this is me — and Scott and #teamsutera — embracing simplicity.
…and really looking forward to it.

What I’m loving lately – the barre n9ne edition

Remember how I talked about the ‘cycles’ my workouts tend to take?
(wow, this post on workout cycles was a long time ago…back when Group Kick was still in my life. That ‘life’ feels like a lifetime ago given where I am today. Interesting note.)

Well – you guessed it, I’m about to enter a new cycle.

Funny how just a few days ago, I was talking about simplifying, not jumping into anything (race-wise) now that the marathon is over, etc., and here I am already seeing the outline of this next cycle taking shape right before my eyes.  So interesting that our paths in life truly are right there if we just learn to settle back and have some faith. Noted.

Anyway – that new ‘cycle’ of mine? It revolves around something I am loving so much right now, more than ever – yup, you  guessed it: barre n9ne.

I mentioned fairly recently that the studio was expanding again. I am PSYCHED about this. We now have two locations – one near my sister and one near me (fitting, right??). In a couple of weeks the studio near me (the original location) is expanding to two separate studio rooms so that location can now hold two classes at (or around) the same time of day or night. This is HUGE from a growth perspective – there are so many clients who want to take classes that simply can’t get into some of the more popular time slots (particularly at night). I am so, so, so excited to see this happen – Tanya (the owner) is incredible. She has worked her butt off to make this dream of hers a reality. It’s seriously amazing just how much growth the studio has seen since my sis and I joined the studio last May. To think that it’ll basically be triple the size as it was then is just awesome. Talk about hard work paying off, huh?

The studio expansion obviously holds a special place in my heart since it’s been such a life-changing ‘home’ for me (and my sis) since we kicked off the 60-day challenge and fell deeply in love with all things barre. We are both so in love with teaching in the style that we adore, it’s ridiculous the amount of gushing we do – to anyone who will listen (and even if they don’t want to listen, we still babble on as you’ve no doubt seen on Facebook, Instagram, twitter…lol). Most of all – teaching and participating in the barre n9ne ‘family’ is all about paying it forward for both of us. It has changed our lives in ways that neither of us ever saw coming back then. ❤

 But back to that ‘cycle’ thing I was talking about.
(sorry, I digress a LOT lately when I write…such a spaz)

Now that the studio is thisclose to expanding, I’ll be teaching even more than I have been already. This excites me so very much. I love, love, love seeing clients ‘embrace the shake’ at the barre, hold on through a difficult arm series and to walk away from class feeling utterly ‘worked.’ Seriously nothing like it. Every single time a new 60-day challenge program kicks off, the energy of the room automatically kicks up a notch or two with both old and new challengers uber-motivated to give it their all. Love. It.

So more classes to teach, more opportunity to pay it forward? All awesome, awesome things in my book.

However, it *does* mean that I’ll need to step back a teeny bit from running. But in a very good way, IMHO. Going back to the run #simply mentality – my running will wind up being a LOT less structured given I’ll have limited windows of time to run now (at most 3 opportunities per week). And I’m surprisingly really, really ok with this cycle shift. I LOVE to run. Don’t get me wrong. But I’m already looking forward to less structure, and more running joyful moments. Where I just get out there to sweat, move, breathe, and feel alive.

And in between that? I’ll be living and breathing the barre n9ne lifestyle in all that I do. As I’ve done faithfully since last May.

So this is me, looking forward to rocking lots of barre n9ne ‘high’s much like the one I rocked yesterday morning after an especially sweaty, energetic 6am class.  #b94lyf

 

“No Limits” — revisited

I’ve been meaning to write this post for a few days now — but only now am finding the right words, and the right time, to write it.
…remember back at the start of this year — when I proclaimed 2012 to be my year of ‘no limits’?

Let’s revisit that, shall we?

An excerpt from that post…

In looking forward to 2012, rather than listing out 3 or 4 resolutions or goals for 2012, I have made just one promise to myself.

To leap before looking.

Breaking free of any preconceived limitations or boundaries that maybe existed in my mind before.
26.2? Sure, let’s do it. 
…a new job? Lemme at it (a post for another day, promise). 
…seeing just how refined this body can becomebarre n9ne-style — All.Over.It. 
…harnessing my inner sponteneity, letting go of that pre-planned/go-go-go mentality…finding that Type B?I want it.

So this is me – staring down 2012 with a sparkle in my eye: I’m ready to leap without looking. I’m ready to have no limits today...everyday.

And now, it’s mid-October….10 months later — and I’m firmly entrenched in what I can only describe is the year where I crushed boundaries and harnessed that ‘no limits’ mantra in everything I’ve done.

 — 26.2? Done. Trained with all my heart, and ran my butt off with Scott, #teamsutera style all the way. Goal: crushed.

New job? Hi, let’s try two new jobs.

 — Barre n9ne and seeing how much more refinement I could eek out, post-60 day challenge? Refined…sure, but more than that? I’ve proudly transformed into an instructor this year. An instructor who *loves* this job more than ever (hmm…make that three new jobs this year…)

— Embracing sponteneity, tossing aside that Type A mentality a little bit this year? I’ve had no choice but to let go of structure and pre-conceived boundaries this year, like whoa. (Learning to roll with it as best as this Type A-er can ‘roll’ with anything)

On the one hand? I’m damn proud of what this year has evolved into for me.
…yet on the other? I’m damn tired.

Everyone keeps asking me what’s next, what’s next, what’s next for me, for us, for #teamsutera. Are we signing up for another 26.2? Are we tackling some new, as yet undefined challenge next? What are we gonna DO now that this marathon is behind us and this year of ‘no limits’ is quickly drawing to a close.

Honestly? I just want to be.
present.
…focused.
…centered.
me. 

(“just be…Jess” as Melissa told me in a note last night…boy did she hit the nail on the head or what?)

So what this means I’m not quite sure. I just know that I need to simplify my life. Somehow. Some way. I have no idea what this means yet. But you bet your ass it’s the only thing on my mind right now.

Simple.

Smarter not harder.

Striving for excellence not perfection. 

These are the phrases rolling around in my head.
…I’m not longer so focused on ‘no limits.’

…honestly, it’s time to just be. In whatever shape or form that takes. 

Oh, exhaustion.

I don’t know why, but for some reason I thought I’d enter my first week of taper with tons of energy, ready to tackle each of our remaining runs with happy running legs.

Um, notsomuch. 

At least not this week. I am just exhausted. 
…I guess my body finally caught up with all 40 miles we put in last week, huh? 

Reminder: I am not invincible.
(duh)

So this week has been a huge one for me in terms of truly and honestly listening to my body. I’m teaching a lot this week which I love — but it’s been adding to the exhaustion factor a bit. I suppose starting a new job can also lead to the exhaustion factor too, hmm? (a new job that’s going *really* well in case you’re wondering 😉 )

My plan for the remainder of the week is this: 

Teach my beloved 9am class today; get ready as fast as I can to hit the road into the office after class. Rock it out at the office (heh). Commute home. Put my game face on and get the 7 miles in that I didn’t get in this morning.
…but be ok with things if those 7 miles don’t happen for whatever reason tonight. Listening to my body.

Teach tomorrow at 6am and 5:30pm and work my bum off in between at the home office. Focus on lots of fueling foods, good hydration and be ready to carb up (yay pizza!) tomorrow night in preparation for Saturday’s long run.

Saturday: long run day (whee! yes I still get excited about these, who knew?!). We’re aiming for 15 miles. And I kind of love that 15 miles doesn’t feel quite so daunting anymore. (especially when I know I taper even more the week after this!). 

Oh, exhaustion? I feel ya, I do. But guess what? I’m not gonna let you do me in this week. Nope. I allowed it this morning. I finally got a restful night’s sleep after two back-to-back nights of tossing and turning and restlessness. Today? After a glorious NINE hours of sleep (yes NINE), I am back on my game. I feel ‘me’ again and that’s what matters.

Because guess what? In 17 (!) days: I’m gonna be a marathoner. Why yes I am. 😉

Goals vs. Rules — there *is* a difference

So I kind of had an epiphany recently.  Remember OATT Syndrome and that god-awful case of it I had a few months back? Well, I’ve kept it at bay recently (mostly, anyway) and I think it’s because I’ve figured out that there is a difference (and a big one) between goals and rules.

For me, goals are milestones I set for myself — something to work towards, to reach for, to strive for.
Rules become mandates or things I must do, must tick off my list, must abide by.

For awhile, the line between my goals and my rules were blurring, overlapping — becoming one and the same.
…which is why I had a hard time embracing rest days.
…and struggled with being ok with adjustments in my workout ‘plan’ for the week (OMG I had to move a planned run from a Monday to a Wednesday, NO WAY)
…and was obsessed with being so goddamn perfect all the time (which clearly nobody can be) instead of striving for excellence instead.

The whole concept of rules vs. goals came into play recently with marathon training too — at the very beginning I was so fixated on my training plan and making sure I got EVERY mile of EVERY run in. But guess what? “LIFE” happens. Sometimes those running plans change — you’re super tired and can’t eek out that run, or at least not the run distance you planned on. Or you have to work late and can’t get the run in the way you want to. Or you have to sub an extra class at the studio which messes with your training schedule that week. Instead of letting it roll off my back, I’d get so frustrated, I’d OATT over my training plan until my sister told me to walk away from it, and it was getting a little bit ridiculous, quite honestly. I was stealing the joy right out of the process. 

But recently, something changed.

I realize that my training plan is just that — a plan. It’s not a mandate, not set in stone, not a must-do-or-die sort of thing. I mean really, we’re not talking life or death here.

I also trust my training a heck of a lot more now. I realize that if I don’t get one of my shorter runs in, or in the way I had planned (i.e. 8 miles vs. 10 or 7 vs. 9), I’m not going to crash and burn on race day. One run is not going to make or break me on October 7. I truly think our 20-miler last week is what sealed the deal for me. I know I can tackle 26.2 now, thanks to that 20 miler. But back to my real point here — my training plan is a plan, and I trust it, I trust that process.

I also realize that life isn’t a matter of a set of rules to live by, or mandates — it’s about living each day as best as you can, reaching for your goals and doing your darn best. It’s as simple as that.

…and it kinda goes back to the whole “just be” mantra, too.
(in a big way, actually)

So next time I start going into OATT mode over some silly ‘change’ in my day, my routine, my structure, my ‘norm’ — I’m going to refer back to this post (and if I don’t, someone PLEASE play the tough love game with me and use my words against me!!). It’s the reminder I need now as we head into the final weeks (!) of training, but also after the marathon, when I can settle back and revisit my life, setting a new ‘normal’ for myself all over again. (which I’ll definitely need to do given some other big changes in life for me…something I’ll share with you guys soon, I promise)

So now I ask you — do you see a big difference between goals and rules or do they blur a lot for you, too (for better or worse)?

<<And PS apologies in advance for such a serious post for a Friday…and for a Friday before a long weekend in fact. Geez 😉 >>