Sunday, February 27, 2011

Who Are You Spending Time With???

I was horribly frustrated this past week, not because I wasn't doing what I was supposed to be doing for myself, but because I was scared that at some point I would quit doing what is good for me. I ended up talking to my sister and she told me that we as individuals are an average of the five people we spend the most time with. She basically told me this theory to remind me to take a look around every once in a while to determine whether the five closest people to me are people I would want to be like.

After this conversation I quickly took inventory of the people I spend the most time with and of course googled this theory and here is what I found...

First I realized how lucky I am.  Yes there is always room for improvement however the five people I spend the most time with are pretty extraordinary. I try to keep positive, motivated, caring, friendly company that will make me better and when I realize I have a negative influence I try to rid my life of that influence. I also found this exercise on the personal excellence blog. After reading this blog I again looked at the people I surround myself with, thought about the people I most want to be like and tried to figure out how I could improve my chance of becoming the person I want to be.

You might be asking yourself how this topic relates to my 'Couch to Athlete' blog...

Well here is your answer. I want to be healthy, I want to spend more of my time on meaningful activities, I want to be a hippy (I know I know this is crazy but it is true), I want to be EXTRAORDINARY (ask me about this sometime), I want to be an athlete. OK so I did say Hippy and Athlete in the same sentence I guess that means I have Frisbee golf in my future??? Maybe not... Although I am good at frisbee golf...

In all seriousness though, I have to make sure all of the people I surround myself with have at least one of these attributes.  

I challenge you to think about who you want to become and look around to see if you have the right influences in your life to become the best you. I know I do!!!

Monday, February 21, 2011

We're Talking about Feet People...


You can have so many problems from running and so far I have been fairly lucky. I haven't had hamstring, knee, hip or shin problems; but rather enough foot problems to drive a woman crazy. I should mention that not all of these problems are even notable. In fact one of these problems is just a major nuisance in the grand scheme of things.

Before you read on please understand I am doing a lot of self diagnosis in life and in the remainder of this blog so BEWARE!!! Just because you might feel some of these problems in your feet you should probably not take my advice because wikipedia, the mayo clinic online and google have all been my doctor friends during this journey.

A newer problem occurs on the top of my right foot. I get a strange foot pain when I step where I believe the deltoid ligaments all attach in my foot. I've been shrugging it off because it only happens when I step in a funny way, wear heals or twist my foot. My cure for this problem is to wear very good supportive shoes when I run. So far this cure has been working well.

Additionally my plantar fascia is back. It is strange because I was explaining to someone this week that I only had major plantar fascia problems in the past when I was both running and cycling. I haven't started training for the century ride yet so was somewhat perplexed when I woke up a week ago and took that first painful step. You know the one, it happens when your heel hits the floor and you have splitting pains shoot into your heel, and if it is really bad makes you want to lay back down. As I was talking with, or I should say emailing back and forth with, this person who knows a lot more about being an athlete than me, she told me cycling really shouldn't bother your plantar fascia. I started reflecting back upon the last time I had plantar fascia problems and recognized the problems were not necessarily associated with the cycling but instead the crappy shoes I was wearing while running.

So what am I going to do to avoid the splitting pain every morning? I'm going to exchange my pennies for cash and run to Road Runner with my $25 coupon and replace my shoes. I am hoping that is the cure all for my problem. AND if that doesn't work I am going to buy those sleeping straps, stretch my feet in the morning and then hope and pray that I don't feel the daggers in my feet when I take my first step.

The last and probably most annoying yet inconsequential problem I have experienced involves my socks... You see it doesn't matter how short my toe nails are or how fancy my socks I manage to poke a hole in my socks during EVERY run. I can tell you there is not a more annoying and frustrating feeling than getting what I am calling a toe wedgie while running. The toe pokes the hole and then the sock slowly creeps up to the point that when I take off my shoes my big toe is fully exposed and the sock is hugging my entire toe.

I can not continue to replace my socks on a weekly basis so if you know of the indestructible sock please let me know.

*This photo is affectionately called 'Dirty Hippy Feet' and taken at a fantabulous music festival two years ago. Can you guess what foot belongs to me?

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Peer Pressure is Not ALWAYS Bad!


Yesterday while at a party I got the bug to get another person to join in on the running fun. My friend's friend seemed like the perfect target. I started out with a little nudging explaining that we run slow, would love an add on to our tiny little running group, and that it feels amazing when you finish a good run. The friend responded by covering her ears and saying "I heard about you and I'm not listening."

I saw a crack and wedged myself right in...

My friend and I started talking about how we first began together. I was training for the half marathon last year and my friend wanted to start running. I would run my first mile with my friend and then continue on to complete my 5-10 mile training run. We talked about how we move slowly, love company and enjoy the positive results from running.

At this point my friends friend repeated that she heard about me and wasn't buying it so my friend joined in with the reverse psychology tactic. Within minutes we had an addition to our group and we will be running together today. I think our final selling point was the story about the first 5k my friend and I ran together last year. We talked about our 50,000 friends at the starting line of the Race for the Cure, the bands that lined the race course and the positive vibe we felt through the entire race.

Peer pressure has a bit of a negative connotation as does contagious. If you have ever seen the movie Pay it Forward you will understand that I like to think of our behavior yesterday as Paying it Forward rather than peer pressure since the overall result is positive. My sisters/brother got me involved and ultimately changed my life. It is now my responsibility to do the same for others.
Now to see if the addition to our running group is going to act and join us today.

Monday, February 7, 2011

Facing Reality


I'm ready to face reality. I am adding two posts this week; one in which I am all uplifty and this one. I wrote the previous post in an attempt to hide the reality but I am human and I am finally facing reality. I have fallen OFF the wagon and in a terrible way.

This is my "Oh Shit" moment.

First for a very funny story that has to do with my healthy afternoon snack. My friend sent me an email to let me know it was her afternoon popcorn snack time. I sent her an email back and said "that is really funny I just popped mine." She sent me an email to tell me I was GROSS and then realized the email did NOT say "I just pooped mine." She seriously thought I sent her that email... I'm still laughing about that exchange.

(Pic posted for my big bro)
Anyway, I have been in an exercise funk. I've gotten out for runs but not as consistently I should be. How can I expect anyone to come along for the ride with me if I have gotten off the roller coaster of health??? Well let's face it I am human and screw up sometimes. I am taking the reigns and going to beat up my body tomorrow to realize what I have been missing out on. I am going to Weight Watchers tomorrow night to face my reality. I should mention I have not fallen off the weight watchers wagon totally. I still go every week but I know my food intake has been terrible.

I have been reluctant to tell this story because I feel like a failure but the reality is, how do you get people to join you if you can't admit your own failures in conjunction with the successes.

Anyway, yes I like posting about my inspirations but I want to be the inspiration. I can not guarantee there will be fewer quotes from the biggest loser, but I can promise there will be more stories and truth as it relates to my journey.

What are you going to do today???

We all make promises to ourselves that sometimes start with "Tomorrow I am going to... (insert goal/desire here)."

In my past I have stated the following:

Next week I am going to start running.
Tomorrow I am going to get back on track with weight watchers.
Next month I am going to start keeping my house clean.
Tonight I am going to wash my dishes.

Tonight, tomorrow, next week or next month comes and I have already forgotten my goal or I make an excuse as to why I can put it off another day. The only way I personally can ensure tonight comes without forgetting the stated goal is to begin now. I think the more reasonable our goals the easier it is to begin working toward those goals.