1000 Days and 300 Miles

It’s been a milestone week for me. Not any of the big life events but those simple tasks that add up to a “Wow I did that” sort of milestones.

 

Gretchen Rubin of the Happiness Project and author of many wonderfully insightful books wrote; What you do every day matters more than what you do once in a while.” I believe this to be true, which is why I’m writing about these minor milestones. Let me begin by explaining that I recently discovered ironically from Gretchen Rubin’s latest book The Four Tendencies that I’m an upholder. Which according to Ms. Rubin means I meet both outer and inner expectations, so things like 1000 meditation days and 300 miles on a pair of running shoes are sort of built into my tendency.

I’m very regimented I love lists, and I love to do things that make me a better person, like meditating daily and running three times a week. You see what you do every day… Yes 1000 days or 2.79 years of daily meditation earned me a tiny gold star on my Insight App this morning. According to my activity app on my Apple Watch I’ve run 300 miles since the end of August or the equivalent of running to New York City and back. Little things add up!

It’s important to recognize our mini-milestones I believe these little everyday things are a  part of what I like to call the 1% better. Which is sort of a mantra of mine to be 1% better than I was yesterday – It’s something that I’ve shared with my staff and students. I believe we get too wrapped up in working on the big things which are often looked at as the BIG change that will make my life perfect, my dreams come true… (The perfect mate, home, career, family – life ) DON’T EXIST!

What does exist is the ability to be a better person; to be more centered, more compassionate, more engaged, more forgiving, more flexible, more healthy than we were yesterday and isn’t this what we should be teaching children? Just be better than yesterday is so much less stressful than being the best! In the long run the out comes are far healthier.

I do know I’m 15lbs lighter and far more centered, patient, healthier and disciplined than I was 1000 days and 300 miles ago!

Do your 1% best,

Ginnie

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Hills; The ones we run and the metaphorical ones that we run into…

I set out on my usual Wednesday 2 miler, looking forward to clearing my head, working up a sweat and trying to gain some perspective on what’s been a crazy start to 2018.

Running does all of the above, it’s my antidepressant, my fat burner, and my Gingko Biloba. Which is why most of these blogs are written soon after returning from my runs. Today’s hill thought is no exception. If you’ve been following my journey please excuse the next bit explaining how I started and where I am now (first I will be turning 61 in about six weeks, I’m a former nurse, who is a master teacher/owner of a martial arts school who decided to run a half marathon to celebrate her 60th year). I’ve run on and off since 1991 but didn’t become seriously committed to running until training for the half.

Now back  to the hills during my training and until very recently I walked slogged up most large hills. Then it occurred to me that I’m running six miles with relative ease the hills are no longer a physical but a mental challenge. That’s when I start using my soft eyes technique (borrowed from meditation). You simply direct your gaze to only a few feet in front of you. Focusing just a few feet kept me from seeing the size and steepness of the hill. I felt the shift in the incline much like on a treadmill but maintain my narrow focus to the task at hand running a few more feet. I’ve taken this lesson into my busy life, I try not to look at the enormity of a task or event, I maintain my focus on smaller tasks that will lead to completing or solving the challenge. Yes there are unexpected obstacles but just like the physical obstacles along my run I navigate them to the best of my ability and stay away from worry of completion just trusting that one step at a time will tackle any hill as long as I remain focused and committed…

Enjoy the process, the results are usually worth it!

Ginnie

Running through Winter…

I ran six miles today and it’s February 4th! That was my “Big Game”. To think a year ago I wouldn’t have entertained running in February – Maybe on a treadmill (then again this time last year it would have been 30 minutes of walking on a treadmill.)

Why is any of the above relevant? My point is no matter how old or where you are in you head-space you can change your thoughts. I hated winter and made all those around me fully aware of my feelings – I’d start whining in December and would continue to piss and moan through Easter. I would put on 5 to 10lbs every winter mostly through less exercise but also stress eating. I’d be checking the fifteen day forecast more often than a broker checks the market. My mood would be as cold as the weather.

What changed?  My attitude — I decided to run a half marathon. That goal got me to the gym and on the treadmill last winter and onto the roads this past spring and summer. I became a different person losing 15lbs, running more seriously 3 times per week; two shorter training runs and a long run on Sundays, getting to 12 miles before the half. I didn’t want to give up all that I gained so this year I got winter running gear.  I’ve been running when the weather or road conditions cooperate or hit the gym if the weather is bad. I’m still checking the 15 day forecast not so I can complain but so I can schedule my running. My attitude toward winter has changed, not that I love it but I found an appreciation for the rests it affords.

Winter teaches me that I’m not totally in control of what happens but I am in control of how I react to what happens.

I’ve taken advantage of the snow days and got a lot of paper work done, reading, listened to pod casts, watched Ted Talks. Things that I’d have less time to do in better weather. I’m finding more happiness in simple things like just sitting with my cat, building a puzzle with my 94 year-old neighbor, taking my mother to visit my aunt or sharing the bike path with a squirrel, sparrows, and a red tail hawk.

Dr Wayne Dyer was right “when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.”

What are you looking at now?

Gin

Recent Thoughts

I believe my last post was after my half marathon, it’s not that I haven’t been running or participating in races. I really have no explanation other than I’ve not been writing – I’ve composed a bunch of blogs in my head while running but they never made it to the computer.

After my half-marathon in October I continued to train and ran four more races two virtual runs and two local races the last being a new favorite the Jingle Bell 5k in down town Providence. The fact that I’m still running at the end of December in Rhode Island is a bit of a Christmas miracle.  Prior to this year I was a fair weather runner, running only when the temps where 55 degrees and above, along with clean dry streets and side walks (I have an issue about getting my shoes dirty). My entire mindset has changed toward running, before training for the half it was just another aspect of conditioning – Now it’s a necessary part of my life. I’m running in the cold, on wet sandy sidewalks! As long as the temps are above 25 with little or no wind and clear side walks and streets I’m running.

I’m not sure when the transition occured? Going from someone who ocassionaly ran into someone who “runs/slogs” .  I do know it was during my long runs when I found a sense of freedom, peace, serentity that I’ve never found anywhere else – Not sitting in meditation, not in yoga not even in martial arts and especially not sitting in church. Believe me noone is more suprised by this revelation than me!

My best guess is that running provides me with what I’ve always known about myself that in order for me to be truly at peace I need to be engaged mentally spiritually and physically. Which is why just sitting in meditation or in church does’nt fill my soul. Martial arts and yoga require paying attention to movements too mental. Running requires putting one foot in front of the other nothing more. It’s the perfect balance of physical and mental creating a wonderful spiritual experience. It has changed me and the way I view life. I’m more in tunned with my body, (in the best shape of my life). I handle stress better, sleep better, eat more mindfuly and it has made me appreciate nature and where I live. What a gift!

Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

Gin

 

Running Because I Can…

First let me begin by explaining I use the term “running” vey loosely – I’m more of a Slogger (a sloth that jogs). However I enjoy participating in 5K events. The people and the atmosphere are so welcoming.  5K races were Planet Fitness before there was a Planet Fitness… Everyone goes at their own pace and will eventually finish! There’s no intimidation especially in the charity runs. After all we’re all trying to do our best to support the cause…

Which is why I run these  5Ks Be “cause” I can… Next Saturday I will be strapping on the Brooks and hitting the pavement for the MS Run. Multiple Sclerosis has been in my life in more ways than I can count. One of my first patients as a nursing assistant was afflicted with MS. She taught me to never take my health and physical abilities for granted. I also have friends, and family members who are affected and one dear cousin who lost her battle with MS. (Ironically today would have been Rita’s 61st Birthday) So,pushing myself to run after what looks to be a crazy final week before vacation at work — No matter how hot it’s going to be or how many annoying mosquitos there’ll be — Is still going to be a breeze compared to what someone who suffers from MS goes through each and every day. Which is why when things get a little rough I accept the challenge with gratitude and remind myself keep running because I can… 

The Rhode Island MS run is Saturday August 20th at 6pm, in Bristol RI, for more information check out the Rhode Island Multiple Sclerosis Society’s web site or support me by going to my link on my Facebook Page!

Truly Blessed,

G

Back With Both Feet

I haven’t disappeared completely out of the blog -a-sphere – I’ve been blogging fairly regularly on 60newthings (my attempt at trying 60 different things before turning 60). With that said the thought occurred to me yesterday (ironically while running on the treadmill) that I haven’t posted anything here in quite sometime — 15 months to be exact. So I decided to jump back in with both feet! I redid the place what do you think? I love the lovely header photo. Don’t you just want to run on this beach? What about the new warm color scheme? I may use this scheme at my martial art school… Enough about the site’s face lift now its time to give you a few of my thoughts from my treadmill jaunt…

First let me begin by saying over the past year or so there hasn’t been a whole lot of running — Just running around. We’ve all been there, work, family, commitments, and more of the same… I’ve continued to work out during this time at gyms, cross training with cycling, yoga and of course my bread and butter martial arts. I did one 5k last year the CVS in Providence (an awesome event try and run it or walk it one day). However steady running wasn’t in the cards. I’m hoping to turn the page. I’m finally 100% okay 95%… No upper respiratory issues, no hip impingement, no back problems ect , ect…

Since I joined Planet Fitness this past April I feel excited about getting into not just maintaining physical shape. The atmosphere at the Somerset Ma, facility is uplifting and inviting. In fact so much so that it inspired me to blog about it and to do it here! I love that there are people of all ages and in various stages of fitness, that everyone is willing to encourage each other — There are some gym rat  body builder guys but they are kept on a short leash with the lunk alarm! Everyone gets along to move along (maybe the conventions should’ve been held at a gym) . I digress.  These past months I’ve been inspired to challenge my self with new workout routines, using new cardio equipment, being more diligent about stretching, I’ve started to gain muscle mass along with more flexibility therefore more running stamina. I’ve taken new steps toward losing a few unwanted pounds using the Pro Tracker app, which is a very cheap version of WW! I’ve lost 2.5 lbs in a week. I’m looking at apps to start training for longer distances and registering for a couple of more races. I’m not trying out for the Olympics but I’m hoping one of my 60 new things might be a run longer than a 5k and I live to write about it!

So my advice to you is don’t wait to get fit, everyday counts, you’ll feel better, look better and hopefully inspire others to do the same!

Great to be back, gotta run!

Gin

2013 Marathon

This blog often uses running as a metaphor for life – Such is the case for this entry.

Races have distances; 5k, 10k 10miler, 1/2 marathons and marathons. Time has measurements too; seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months and years. So it sort of makes sense (to me) to compare a year (2013) to a marathon.

Distance running is about endurance, struggling through the first mile, trying to establish a rhythm the ebb and flow of endorphins and pain. Getting through a year is about day to day struggles, establishing routines, living through the good times and struggling through the difficult times.

Running teaches us commitment, focus, how to deal with pain, and how to revel in the small victories as well as the big wins, but mostly it teaches us about Life…

Here’s wishing everyone a good RUN in the 2014 Marathon…