Archive for life

Strength is a Choice, Not a Situation

Posted in Training, Uncategorized with tags , , , on June 11, 2017 by activerunner

Screenshot 2017-06-11 22.38.52I am the kind of person that gets bored easily.  It’s only been 4 days since school ended for the summer and already boredom is setting in.  Saying I enjoy being active is a humungous understatement.  Of course I want to be fit and healthy, but I also simply enjoy doing different activities that challenge me and open my eyes to something new, rather than just chilling on the couch watching Netflix, which don’t get me wrong…. I’ve done a lot of.  Becoming fit and healthy can be done in so many different ways.  The one thing it should never become is boring and monotonous.   If it is…. you are doing it wrong.  There are endless active opportunities to participate in.  It’s ridiculous!  And to say that you don’t enjoy exercise just means you haven’t found a passion yet.  So keep looking.

I have ADD when it comes to exercise.  My exercise regime is impulsive and sporadic, but guess what?  That is not necessarily a bad thing.  Having all your balls in one court, makes you an expert on that court and that court alone.  Sure, you’re an expert and also quite comfortable but strength comes from discomfort.  Once you have reached a high comfort level, it is time to reach for something else.  The more you do, the better you will become.  “The purpose of training is to tighten the slack, toughen the body, and polish the spirit.”  Do you do that by doing pushups or sit-ups? Neither.  You dothis by trying, failing, and mastering multiple exercises and activities.  There is no secret formula that will make you an epitome of health.  The best part is that you get to choose the kind of strength you have.  You decide what you can and can’t do, what you’ll try and what you won’t, also what you achieve and HOW you fail.

There will be many times when you don’t feel like you accomplished anything.  And there will be things you simply cannot do.  You may have no way of succeeding.  The point is that you tried and that yougave everything to become something you can’t.  My husband and I are struggling with Infertility.  I’m not sure if I will ever have children… but it won’t be for lack of trying.  And I will go through Hell if only to try.  And I will be stronger for it.  Because other wise my “strength” is in something I already know I can do.  So here’s to the one thing you haven’t accomplished yet.  Go for it!  And don’t make excuses.  After all is said and done and you still couldn’t achieve, at least you will know you went as far as you personally could.  Your strength may not go as far as someone else’s.  To that,I’d say it’s a good thing you didn’t put all your balls in one court.

Perception

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 7, 2013 by activerunner

An individual’s personal perception of life is unlike anyone else’s.  This individual has her own way of looking at and seeing things.  She has her own opinions, attitudes, and challenges and may go through the same challenges as others, but will perceive and react differently.  A life enveloping catastrophe to her, may be a mere bump in the road to another.  Her attitude towards specific occurences becomes self fulfilling.

variances in opinion are all due to perception.  Those who don’t see running as something worthwhile are obviously not looking at it through my eyes.  But challenges can influence and change perception.   I have recently been diagnosed with Anemia, making running difficult and not so pleasant.  Anemia is a condition in which there is not enough iron in the blood.  Iron is important because It produces healthy red blood cells in the body, which transport oxygen to organs.  Because running is an aerobic exercise, oxygen is kind of important. I mean, oxygen is kind of important period!  So, because of this health problem I have had to force myself to finish workouts that would otherwise be relatively simple.

My perception of running has changed.  I despise pushing myself through pain that I shouldn’t feel during a short, simple run.  I get angry at myself, feeling that I should be at a certain level, but am falling short.  So I didn’t run today.  I did nothing, unless you count mowing the lawn as a workout.  Instead I read a book called Unbroken, which actually helped me see more clearly.  I read all morning long about Louie Zamperini, who was infact a runner, a world record runner to be exact, and a WWII survivor.  He was drafted into the war, and became a B-24 Air Force Bomber.  But he, along with his crew crashed in the ocean.  Only three members of the crew survived the crash and were forced to wait for days on a raft, in the Ocean, for rescue.  Louie was among those three.  The two other men with him were Mac and Phil.

Louie, while starving and drifting in the Ocean, remembered an article about a survivor in their same situation.  The article had reported that the crew members who didn’t survive went insane from dehydration and had wild hallucinations. So Louie and Phil decided they needed to keep their minds sharp.  So, they quizzed each other and discussed memories, life events, and the future.  They taught one another lyrics to songs and did everything they could to keep their minds in tact.  Mac, however did not participate much and many times went through mini freak out sessions.

“though all three men faced the same hardship, their differing perceptions of it appeared to be shaping their fates.  Louie and Phil’s hope displaced their fear and inspired them to work toward their survival, and each success renewed their physical and emotional vigor.  mac’s resignation seemed to paralyze him, and the less he participated in their efforts to survive, the more he slipped.  though he did the least, as the days passed, it was he who faded the most.  Louie and Phil’s optimism, and Mac’s hopelessness, were becoming self-fulfilling.”

That quote was taken from the book, Unbroken.  It illustrates how critical perception is, and not just with running.  Those who preceive pain as a moment to overcome, overcome and look back at a bump in the road.  Others let pain follow them, allowing it to envelope their lives.  Envelopment is hard to get away from.

Endurance

Posted in Races with tags , , on January 19, 2013 by activerunner

According to Webster’s Dictionary, to Endure means to remain firm under suffering or misfortune without yielding.  You must develop that quality if you want to become a successful distance runner.  But endurance does not just pertain to running.  You must have endurance through out life.   This gift isn’t something you are just born with.  One thing I’ve learned from running is that Endurance is built gradually, you’ve just got to keep running.

Most people can’t just wake up one day and decide to run a marathon.  At least I don’t know of any.  It takes months of training, especially if you want to do well.  To take on a long distance race, you need rigorous training.  Sometimes you’ve got to suffer in order to get better.  If it’s easy, there is no improvement.  But after a few weeks of difficult training, the next few weeks become easier and easier.  And when that happens, you know you are improving.  But the suffering never ends.  If you continue running, you will continue to face challenges; hills, injuries, set backs, etc.  But you’ll continue to improve as long as you remain firm.

Life is the longest distance race we’ll ever have to endure.  It takes years and years to find success and before that happens we have to go through many trials, misfortunes, and failures.  But moments of clarity come at certain points in the race and you remember what you are running for.  Thats why its important you run for something worth while.  We may start down one path only to turn around and start another.  We may choose paths that lead to dead ends, but we must keep running.  The only way to build endurance is to keep going, You’ll get there slowly but surely.  Life is after all an endurance race.

Life is a Race

Posted in Races with tags , , , on May 11, 2012 by activerunner

 Life is a race…

its about the good miles and the bad miles.

Its about going up hill and down hill.

It’s about being ahead and being behind.

It’s about falling, and getting back up.

It’s about doing what you hate, and doing what you love.

It’s about learning strengths and learning weaknesses.

It’s about fast paces and slow paces.

It’s about feeling pain and feeling  joy.

It’s about winning.

It’s about losing.

Its about reaching your destination.

Its about finishing stronger than when you started.

Life is a race…. Endure.

Path of Least resistance

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on April 1, 2012 by activerunner

I am a fitness runner.  I run to stay fit, to stay strong, to stay competitive, and to stay healthy.  I do not run for the fun of it, although I do enjoy running, I run to improve.  I’m the kind of person who always wants to be the best at what I do.  As impossible as that is, there is a path one must take in order to improve.   I won’t even come close to my goals by taking the path of least resistance.  And how boring would that be anyway?  Resistance is the cause of motivation.

here you are running along when suddenly you come to a fork in the road.  Which path will you take??

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The sunny path looks friendly,but maybe, just once, you should try taking a different road, a road that may challenge you.  Taking a harder path may not always be enjoyable but it’s definitely a lot more exciting.  Believe me I know! Last year while training to do a half marathon, despite my earlier premise to never run a race loner than 6 miles, I decided to add some hill work to my training. There is an over pass by my house that I like to run up and down when I am feeling overly motivated.  So there I was… running up and up.  Once I made it to the top I tripped over a metal wired ring I thought might be fun to step in.  Next thing i know, I’m skidding down the hill on my hands and knees.  First thing I do once I came to a stop is look around to see if anyone saw me fall ever so gracefully.  Next, I looked down at my hands and couldn’t believe what I was seeing!

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This is a picture the damage after i scrubbed the rocks out of my hand.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

So as I said, the path of resistance may not be enjoyable but hey, it can make for a good story as well as experiences that you won’t get anywhere else.  Try something challenging, test what you are made of.  You might surprise yourself or learn what you need to work on.  I can definitely say I learned to be more careful running down hills.  And I can proudly say I have run up and down that hill many times since then without falling!  But the main thing I learned is to get back up.  I did not let that exciting experience keep me away from running that hill again.  If you face a challenge and fail the first time, keep trying.  You can succeed and conquer no matter how steep the hill, no matter how big the fall.

Prove to yourself that you can handle resistance. Choose the path that will lead to your goals.  When at a fork between the hill and the sun, I’ll take the hill.  I’m sure the view is a lot better from there anyway.

The Benefits of Laziness

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on March 21, 2012 by activerunner

Laziness… we all have characteristics of laziness.  Some, more than others.  Whether you’ve slept in past noon, skipped class to play video games, or slacked off at track practice, I hate to tell you this, but you are guilty of being lazy.  I’ll be the first to admit I’m guilty of all three of these examples.  Good thing there are many, many benefits of laziness. 

If you agreed with that last statement… I would like you to name one.   Unfortunately a lot of people feel that way or in my opinion are just trying to justify themselves.  I recently read an article on the benefits of being lazy and procrastination. The Amazing Benefits of Procrastination.

According to this article your body’s natural defense mechanisms are the ones telling you to procrastinate in order to avoid harm.  The author chooses sweating as her example… which I would say isn’t the best choice for her case.  Sweating is  a natural defense mechanism in the body allowing you to work, without overheating.  The body is built to work and to move, It is not built to sit idly in front of the television set.  We have defense mechanisms that adapt to whatever work we are doing.  If you work out in the sun all day, You body produces more of the chemical melanin which causes your skin to darken defending against burns.  If you shovel dirt or labor with your hands your body develops callouses defending against pain and discomfort.  weight lifters, your body recruits muscle fibers to strengthen muscles so you are able to lift weight that you were unable to lift the week before.  Your body adapts to the environment so you can work, it does not instill procrastination to avoid harm, that’s called laziness.

And laziness is in the mind, not the body.  Your body can handle a lot more stress than your mind thinks it can.  Take the Navy seals for example. It takes 30 months to train a navy seal in which they undertake grueling tasks.  In week 4 of phase 1 they  endure “Hell week.”  In this phase of their training the most important task is training the mind.  Trainees are constantly in motion, cold, hungry, and wet.  They are forced to run miles and miles, then swim in hypothermia inducing water, Roll in the sand, and start all over again.  They do all this for 5.5 days on 4 hours of sleep. 

according to the article http://usmilitary.about.com/od/navytrng/a/sealhellweek.htm;

“The belief that BUD/S is about physical strength is a common misconception. Actually, it’s 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical,” said a BUD/S instructor at the San Diego facility. “(Students) just decide that they are too cold, too sandy, too sore or too wet to go on. It’s their minds that give up on them, not their bodies.”

Physically the body adapts to all the obstacles thrown at the training navy seals making success possible.  It is the mind that fails them.

I’m not saying you can’t relax and take it easy. There is a time and place for Idleness, but just so my track runners know, this time is not at track practice.  If you choose to do something, do it whole heartedly, do it successfully.  You can handle it.  And don’t justify your laziness! The benefits of being lazy?? They’re aren’t any!

Change it Up

Posted in Training with tags , , , on March 16, 2012 by activerunner

Slow it Down, Change it Up.

Running can get monotonous sometimes.  My track runners always ask me, “what are we doing today?” “We’re going to run.. what did you think??”  Lets face it, in order to become a better runner, you’ve got to run! Go figure right? Each year towards the middle of the track season I can see that running is not as stimulating as it once was for my team.  Even I get sick of running every once is a while.  I mean, its the same thing every day.  Well it doesn’t have to be you can find ways to change it up.

I run track practice a little like this:

Monday is, Welcome back from the weekend, day.  I use this day to put in some distance.  We’ll run distances varying from 2.5 to 5 miles at a strong, challenging pace.  Yes, Welcome back team.  We are running far and we are running hard!

Tuesday is, Day before a meet, day.  basically this day is the same as monday, except with shorter distances and slower paces.  We won’t go any farther than 3 miles on this day.  The longest race in track is the 2 mile and I see no reason in making them run more than a mile farther than their longest race on the day before a meet.  The key here is to run at a controlled pace.  Runners should be able to have a conversation without getting a side ache.

Wednesday is meet day!  And hopefully everyone’s favorite day.  This day is different for every runner.  Some Runners have one event, others have two, and a few crazies have three or four! Usually with distance the event count stays relativlely low.  The 800, mile, and two mile are the three distance races in a meet.  Our first Meet is today at Kearns!  We have a weekend invitational so our schedule was a little messed up this week. Wish us luck.

Thursday is, wish it was the weekend, day.  This day is not for conversation.  The focus is on covering distance and becoming faster.  We do interval training, usually 4 rounds of 800’s or 1200’s.  the goal with interval training is to run each interval at the same pace.  The last Interval you run should be as fast as your first. This is extremely hard to do, but is effective when learning how to quicken your pace and keep it there.  Your pace is determined by what race you run.  If you run an 800, your pace should be quicker than someone running the two mile.    I also am planning on incorporating Hill training in which runners run up and down hills for a half hour.  Hill work is very effective in improving speed.  You have to work harder to get up a hill which causes running on flat srufaces easier, therefore increasing speed. 

Fun Friday is… well Fun friday.  I use this day to completely change it up.  The whole week has been dedicated to improvement in speed as well as endurance.  Whenever training for anything I believe you should take a day to change up your training routine.  Don’t get so stuck in doing the same thing over and over, this only causes monotony and dread.  This passed friday the team and I played Ultimate Frisbee.  This sport requires a lot of running, stop and go.  It’s a very good work out and yet different.  This gives runners the chance to take a break from running just to run.

There are many ways you can change up your routine, but sometimes you need to take a completely different route.  It doesn’t hurt to slow it down, change it up, completely forget about the routine and do something different, it can only help!  Do a little cross-training; go for a hike, ride a bike, take a swim, play a sport, get away from monotony.  some may think it impossible, but you can have fun and still get a great work out.