Thursday, August 5, 2010

New Directions

As I alluded in my previous post, I've got some exciting stuff up my sleeve- blog-wise and life-wise. And as usual today, they go hand in hand :)

And so first I lay before you a "confession/failure-turned-exciting life & growth"-type of thing. Buckle up!

Confession: Some of you may remember how I created
a list of 2010 goals way back in January. And then, in June, I did a half year "report card", to evaluate where I was in terms of my goals. One of my 2010 life goals was to "fall in love with running again"-- and, as of June 4, I was earning a C, at best. So, deciding to take matters into my own hands and tackle the goal head on, I signed up for my 3rd half marathon-- and put into writing some fairly lofty goals.(Are you starting to see where this is headed?)

Now, for a few weeks, training was going meh okay-- I was begrudgingly getting my miles in-- and I figured I was well on my way to my goal. ...And then, I started skipping my long runs. I found all sorts of excuses (it's too hot, I'm too tired, I haven't let my breakfast/lunch/dinner digest long enough, my iPod isn't charged, I'd rather snuggle with Gracie, etc.)-- but the truth was, I just didn't want to do it. And I felt like a total failure.(Which, as I'm sure you can imagine, didn't help my running cause at all ...)
So, I bumbled along for another week or two... running a little... feeling guilty a lot... and then it hit me like a ton of bricks.

Even on the days when I wasn't running, I was walking 3 - 4 miles during my lunch hour.

Because I loved it.



Duh, Amy. Why not walk the 1/2 marathon?!

This is an example of what I have heard referred to as a 2x4 moment. You know-- when the universe whacks you upside the head with a 2x4 and says, "Helloooo, the answer's right in front of you!!" All this time I had been trying to love running, and well, maybe I didn't because something else is even more Amy. Maybe it's okay for me not to love running*. Maybe it's time for me to get out of my own way, and let myself fully love what I love.

I did my first long walk a couple weekends ago, and, oh bloggies-- it was amazing. It was hard, I was burned and sweaty and completely spent when I finished (note to self: put on more sun block at the 1/2 way point...)-- but more than that? I was empowered. I finished with (what I consider to be) a great time-- my splits were better than I had hoped for! I love really being able to spend time with myself-- I had 2+ hours of uninterrupted prayer, meditation and dreaming.

It. Was. Awesome.

Now (miracle of miracles!) I find myself not dreading the long milage days, but looking forward to them :) Some days I sneak in 2-a-days because I WANT to, and I love the way walking makes me feel. This was definitely my "exercise Aha! moment".

Although now I am anticipating a significantly slower time than I was 2 months ago, I am anticipating a PR :) I'm loving training (J is loving it, too, as it simultaneously gives me more energy and more patience!) I'm excited to push myself and see what this body can do for me. And that's an insanely exciting feeling.

*I'm not saying that I am giving up on running "cold turkey"... and I am definitely not giving up on the idea all together. I still dream of running 24 minute 5k's and sub-2 hour 1/2 marathons. Just not right now :)

Ah, and it's so good to have that off my chest! :)

Have you ever had any AHA! moments like this? Please share!

But wait-- I still need to tell you about the new and exciting blog directions :) It has come to my attention that, while I love reading pretty much everything (which is not at all an exageration)-- I find particular joy in reading blogs with pictures in them. Food pictures, people pictures, animal pictures, general real life pictures-- love, Love, LOVE.

It has also come to my attention that my blog does not often contain pictures.

I try... but I definitely have room to improve. And an area where I could use the most improvement is taking pictures of my everyday life. The everyday Good List worthy stuff. The stuff that I find myself bemoaning in the aftermath, saying, "Oh, how I wish I would have taken pictures of that." I used to make the excuse, "I'm too busy living it." ... But now to me that's just an excuse, and I'm tired of excuses. It's time for action.

Therefore, I am going to challenge myself, for the next 21 days (because I've heard that it takes 3 weeks to really form a habit and really get it to stick) I will be posting a picture a day. (Sometimes you may get lucky -- I might get camera happy & overzealous and give you more than 1 :) Some days it will be people, some days it will be nature, some days it will be, well... the other stuff. But it will all be GOOD STUFF.

I don't have a fancy camera (it's a Kodak 5 mp point and shoot-- or my iPhone), and I have nothing beyond basic photography skills (like, cough, point and shoot...), I know I am not the first (nor will I be the last, I'm sure) person to do something like this-- those are the disclaimers.
...And now that we've got the disclaimers out of the way, here's the promise: I'll give you a photo a day, and a real glimpse into my little world. I will not neglect my Good Lists each week, but rather, I will give you a little glimpse of the "good stuff" every day in addition to the lists. This means more posting-- which means more writing, and I am very much looking forward to that.

Is anyone with me?

I'll see you later this evening for this week's Good List and 1st installment of the challenge!