13.1 Thoughts

Last December on a whim I decided to enter the Amica Newport Half Marathon. It was held yesterday and yes I ran and completed it, here are my thoughts on that run.

Mile one; December of 2016 reading through my emails I notice one from Grey Matter Marketing announcing the Amica Newport Marathon. Deciding this would be an interesting goal for turning 60 I registered. No where in my wildest dreams did I realize what a profound effect this would have on my life.

Mile two; Shortly after registering for the race I happened upon a Facebook ad for MyIntent.org and their bracelets. They ask you for one word to put on the bracelet and I chose INSPIRE I wanted this to be a year where I was inspired and could inspire others.

Mile three; In February my mother hit a speed bump she had a heart attack and required four stents. At the time I was also contemplating training for my seventh dan in martial arts. I decided to table that to be a larger presence in my mother’s life and to focus my energies on the half. My mother’s illness also brought into focus my less than ideal physical state. I was nearly ten pounds overweight and out of my customary shape. I know a few of you may find being ten pounds over weight hardly out of shape. Those ten extra pounds on my small frame would make running difficult. I increased my cardio at the gym and started using the Lose It ap.

Mile four; I turned 60 on March 24th, part of my birthday celebration was to head to Arizona visit my brother and sister-in-law, where we’d also road trip it to LasVegas. While in Pheonix I got in my first outdoor tun of 2017. The half marathon was over six months away but this is where it started to become real.

Mile five; Zeal by Zurvita became my go to training and life supplement, if you’re unfamiliar with this great product go to my web site zurvita/va02885.com and check out the great benefits of this amazing product. I use it everyday most days twice a day. It was also a part of my long run regime and had a bottle with me at the half.

Mile six; Chi Running by Danny Dreyer; I knew if I was to run a half marathon my body wouldn’t be able to endure the way I had run in the past. It was time to seek a new way. I had taken a mini course of sorts on Chi Running several years ago at the karate studio of a former training partner. I was intrigued to say the least but didn’t pursue any further training because I was only doing one or two 5k’s a year, but a half marathon would require longer and more training runs. I bought Chi Marathon and downloaded Chi Walk/Run from the Chi running web site. I used these valuable tools to set up my training and to get reacquainted with running.

Mile seven; On the road again, armed with my sixteen week Chi half marathon training guide, now eight pounds lighter I took to the roads and to the track to practice. Believe me running or slogging with a metronome is no easy feat, when you’re rhythmically challenged! However I persevered and found an ap for a running metronome that played behind the music in my headphones – Which also alleviated the strange stare I got from people who heard me beeping as I ran.

Mile eight; Running longer and further than I’ve ever ran before. The first time I ran more than eight miles I though I’d die. I was in the heat of August and I’d run a hilly course. It was one of the few times I had a twinge of doubt regarding my goal.

Mile nine; Learning about running shoes and choosing the right one for me. The great thing about running is it doesn’t require much equipment. The bad thing is the equipment required has to be good or you’re toast! After reading Chi Running and understanding how the body works, I wanted to be sure I was wearing the best possible shoe for me and my goal. I had run in a stability shoe that was recommended for me for over ten years, but after investigating my foot, reviewing my wear patterns and assessing my hip discomfort I found out these shoes were wrong. I went to Brooks and did their shoe finder and found the perfect shoe. My runs are smooth with very little discomfort during or afterwards.

Mile ten; having friends, coworkers, and family members support your mission. I can’t tell you how important it’s been to have people ask about my training and encourage my slog posts on Facebook. Knowing you have people who believe in you or that you inspire makes those Sunday morning training runs so much easier.

Mile eleven; Having a bigger purpose than just running; Yes this was about seeing if I’d be able to complete the goal, get into shape and cross another thing off the bucket list, but to me it was more much more. I wanted to do something difficult and meaningful to celebrate my 60th year because so many friends, and family members weren’t lucky enough to reach 60 – Including my father. When it got hard to run up a hill or something hurt I’d remember the pain they all endured and I’d go on for them as much as for me, maybe more…

Mile twelve; pre-race doubt and some paranoia. To say I was a bit paranoid about getting sick before the race would be an understatement (to all who endured the nutty instructor, my apologies). Then there was the thought of horrendous weather or being unable to finish on time or at all. The pre-race insomnia (thankfully I had to be up at 4am so I didn’t have to toss and turn as long).

Mile thirteen; the race, let me begin by saying initially this was going to be a one off. Done box checked on to the next thing, but after experiencing the people and the event I’m hooked! I had the most amazing time! This was one of the best days of my life and I want to relive it again….

Point one; After crossing the finish line and spending the remainder of yesterday, reflecting on the incredible experience. I know these things to be true, I will do it again, it was one of the best things I’ve ever done for myself; I’m in better physical and emotional health than I’ve ever been. I will toast myself with the homemade beer given to me from one of my black belts and enjoy a Lean Cuisine pizza (don’t want to go too far off the rails).

On to the next thing,

Gin

 

 

 

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Past,Present,Future

Ever have one of those days when all aspects of “your” time on the planet align? The past 24 hours have been that way for me…

First the past, yesterday would’ve been my father’s 88th birthday — I spent the day remembering and celebrating him, first with a simple Facebook post acknowledging his birthday. Which he thanked me with a penny I found at the gym (1989 the year he passed.) Before heading for work I made my annual birthday beer visit to his grave. (You see before he passed while he was still lucid I asked him if he wanted me to remember him in a special way and he said on his birthday pour a beer on his grave.) I filled him in on the news: mom’s new living room furniture, my brother and sister-in-law’s recent visit and how the NY Giants suck at the moment. I also told him about my upcoming half marathon and asked for a little help (actually a lot of help). Then I poured the last can of Samuel Adams summer ale on his grave (very fitting as it was the last day of summer).

Present, I accomplished 365 consecutive days of meditating with my insight timer! I’m pretty jazzed about that goal, because I proved to myself I can go the distance. Which is important to my psyche with my 1/2 marathon just a few weeks away. In fact I did a little reconnaissance for the race. First I found where I’m to park for the shuttle on race day then I drove the route to evaluate the hills and to get an idea of where to go (as there will probably be no people running when I finish). I’m feeling ok about the hills the scary part or wild card is weather, wind will not be good. Much of the route is by the Atlantic ocean and a head wind could be brutal. Excessive heat or rain won’t be very welcome either – Keeping my fingers crossed…

Future; every Friday I do my assigned task in my book of Lists, today’s assignment was to list things that mattered 5 years ago that no longer have the same meaning. It was refreshing to see that I’ve grown less concerned with material things and prefer more spiritual pursuits. The second part of my task was to go onto the FutureMe.com site and write an email to myself to be sent sometime in the future I set my birthday 2020. I have my reasons for choosing that date and will share them at another time. I highly recommend you trying this assignment out, it was quite up lifting for me! It should be quite a surprise when I get the email as I’m sure I’ll forget I wrote it!

So there you have it past, present and future. I’ve been blessed. I am blessed and I’m sure I’ll be blessed!

How lucky can one ninja get?

Gin

Running Through “IT”

Today’s short training run felt like I was running in molasses – It’s been an extra long week at work and it was humid as hell… (come to think of it hell probably has a dry heat)

Anyway I digress, I’m sure everyone has had a day training or at work when you’re not at 100%. Today was the day for me, until it wasn’t. Allow me to explain. Like I said it’s been a long week of teaching karate classes and my usual Wednesday training run was put off for a few hours because of work commitments. I got out of my car at the park ready to get some form training done. I started down the trail and I felt like I had the wrong legs, mind you I’m not the most graceful runner I slog — But even my slog felt awkward, I thought about calling it a day then decided not to, after I hit mile one I still felt like a car stuck in first gear. Then my mind settled into the music (Neil Diamond can do that) and It became easy and peaceful.

Once I allowed my body to move without me thinking how beat my legs were or how humid it was. I was fine, I let go of my ego and just got lost in the movement, the moment and that’s when it hit me, I ran through “IT”.

Life is a lot like running, it’s hard to get started on a new project, job, diet, relationship, adventure — Until we let go of our egos preconceived ideas of how things should be and just let go. It’s then when we see our biggest growth.

The next time life bogs you down in molasses, just run through it! You’ll be the better for it…

Gin

 

Is The Question How, or Why?

People often ask me how do I stay/get into the shape I’m in — But most of the time my gut tells me they’re really asking why?  I say this because when I give a brief explanation of my workouts and diet their follow-up question is; “Isn’t that hard?” along with I could never do that!

The sad thing is most of these people are younger than I am and for the most part could very easily do what I do. They choose not too, because in their mind it’s hard to exercise, to not eat what they want when they want. They’ve settled for what they believe is their lot, destiny or genetics. Perhaps they’re waiting for a magic pill, app, exercise that will transform them into who they were 10, 15 or 20 years ago. This is why the diet and fitness industry rakes in billions every year from these individuals who want an easy way…

THERE IS NO EASY WAY! With that said here is the answer to why I do what I do; I was blessed with a healthy body, and a good mind.  I’m a believer in caring for everything that is mine and keeping it as close to the original condition as possible. Whether it is a car, running shoes, books, my business or my cats. So why wouldn’t I do that with my body? Exercising, eating healthy, meditation, yoga, getting out in nature, avoiding the news, and having goals are a few of the ways I get and try to keep myself fit and healthy.

Believe me I wish I could eat everything I fancied and sleep late on Sundays instead of running 10 miles. I also fall off the rails and indulge now and again. Take yesterday for instance; I went out to lunch with my brother and sister-in-law for chowder and clam-cakes while I enjoyed eating those three clam-cakes the result was I felt stuporous and bloated and required a nap. This morning I was a pound heavier. That was motivation to get back to the gym and to my healthy diet today!

Here is my why question to those who think they couldn’t do what I do ( assuming they are healthy enough) “are you worth it”?  I believe I am, I deserve to feel and look good to do what I enjoy free of knee and back pain caused by being over weight. I believe in preventing type two diabetes, high blood pressure, and the myriad of preventable disease conditions due to neglecting the care and maintenance of this 60 year old body. I believe in being in the best shape I can be if I should contract a disease I can’t prevent.

I’ll close with one more question, would you live in a toxic dump? Then why treat yourself like one?

Sorry to be so blunt but you sort of asked why?

Ginnie

 

Liar Liar…

We all hate being lied to — So why do we lie to ourselves?

My name is Ginnie and this is my latest confession; I lied to myself when I believed you got a puffy lower belly at a certain age. I deceived myself into thinking clothes sizes were running smaller. I told a whopper when I convinced my self walking on a treadmill and lifting twice a week was “working out”. I fooled myself into thinking just because I was in my normal weight range I was healthy… I LIED!

This realization happened yesterday when I ran to work from my mechanic’s, after dropping my car off — My employee said , “That was fast”. Then it hit me not only did I make this 2 mile – ish trek back in decent time It was fairly easy — Even with the large hills! Heck Sunday’s eight miles wasn’t nearly as bad as some 5k’s I ran last year. I’m fitting in my smallest sizes with ease. My body composition has changed and so has my mindset.

I can still push myself even at 60, slogging is far more productive for me than walking, watching what and when I eat matters! I’m getting into good shape at 60, with less hormones, less time and more responsibilities than I ever had before. Why I hear myself asking? Because on a whim in January I decided to do a half marathon in October. I set a goal and I’m following through with it I, may lie to myself but I don’t lie to others. I need to do what I said, slog the talk if you will.

I’m not writing this to boast, or to lecture, this is my journey, my discovery, my confession, but if the running shoe fits?

 

Ginnie

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strides Down Memory Lane

Today’s long run took me to where it all began…

This morning I decided to head west out of my driveway toward the bike path (I’d grown weary of the hills of my usual run) and headed toward Barrington. I couldn’t help but laugh to myself and at myself while running behind the Barrington shopping center — You see this is where I first started to run.

Prior to 1991 the only running I did were “errands” and “late”. That all changed after I found out the third day of my black belt test would have a run. The run would start on the newly paved East Bay bike Path behind the shopping center to the Barrington YMCA then through the woods of Veterans Park. While running there would be obstacles and martial art techniques that had to be employed on hidden attackers. My friend and I would drive to Barrington several times a week to practice the route and to get into “running” shape!

After my black belt test I continued to run sporadically until I decided to run my first 5k. this happened in 2000 I remember training and hating every minute of it until the day of the race when I fell in love with the running community and its’ comradery and passion. I decided my next challenge was to be the Newport Pie Run, a 5 mile race. I bought a white long sleeve shirt and had all my martial art students sign it, to keep me from chickening out! I ran the Pie Run for about eight to ten years before I had to quit to help my mother with Thanksgiving preparations.

In 2010 I got a couple of friends and students to do the CVS 5k with me most of them quit running it years ago except for my friend Carol and me we’ve run/slogged/walked every year since! We both love it and celebrate it like a holiday. I’ve run a few other 5k’s each year but this year I’ve taken on the challenge of running a half marathon — Hence my long run training that brought me back to the beginning.

Martial art has changed my life in so many ways; Running is just one of them. Which is why I smiled and said a prayer of gratitude while running on the bike path toward the YMCA today, still making strides…

Ginnie

Steps I’ve Taken

Here are a few things I’ve tried, noticed and or other general observations during my first six weeks of half marathon training.

Let me begin by saying it’s been a good five to six years since I’ve done any “serious” running training. I’ve slogged a couple of miles a week and have run a few 5k’s a year — That was until I got the “bright idea” to run a half marathon at 60!

The first thing I did was to research how I could do this safely and with the least amount of stress to my body and have fun doing it. I found Chi Running by Danny Dreyer, and downloaded his Chi Walking and Running videos, and bought his  Chi Marathon book. While the transition from my former duck slogging style (I have a foot that splays out) to the Chi Walking and then Chi Running concepts have been an adjustment they are as advertised I’m up to seven miles with very little issues and I’m hoping to keep it that way. I’ll admit I’m walking as well as slogging, but my slogging is increasing – My goal isn’t to win the race but just to finish before the sun sets! I find the half marathon training regime to be easy to follow and not at all stressful. I’m able to maintain my martial arts and weight training regimes as well.

One of the items I’ve used in conjunction with the Chi Running/walking training is a metronome. I admit it wasn’t easy to use at first and it harkened me back to my traumatic band experience of trying to stay in step! That said it has helped me find a tempo that I can maintain without taxing my body. Another I can’t live without (okay I can live without it but would hate to) is my Apple Watch. I love the feed back while I’m working out it’s helped me maintain a good training heart rate so I’m not slogging at an anaerobic pace. Plus it logs all my stats. A new little item I’m using is the “Flip Belt” I love it. It carries my keys, phone, a water bottle and anything else I’ll need during training or in a race – You forget its there!

Nutritionally I’ve eliminated junk and have been eating clean, the least amount of processed food possible. One thing I highly recommend is Zeal by Zurvita an all in one nutritional drink that is a synergistic blend of whole food concentrates. It is Gluten free, Vegan and Kosher. I use Zeal twice a day and it helps energize me through my runs and refuels me mid afternoon. (Contact me for further information) If you are interested.

What’s changed? I’m down eight lbs I feel great my body is in the best shape it’s been in at 60! I love having a goal, and inspiring others. There are many more steps before this all culminates sometime on October 8th, my hope is that I continue to make progress, remain healthy, learn something while enjoying the process – Baby Steps…

Ginnie