Tag Archives: ambassador

Sweating pink and re-evaluating goals

NEW-SPA-badge

Because positivity is one of my top 5 strengths, I’ll start by sharing some happy news … I’ve been named a Sweat Pink Ambassador! The SPA program is run by the good folks at Fit Approach, and it’s another example of using social media for good in encouraging women to stay active and fit. (Guys, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the tips too!)

It was good timing for this to happen as I’ve needed a push to refocus on fitness. That was apparent on my run this morning with Fort Bend Fit. I’ve been following the “Little Half” program, designed to get those of us who started in the summer with the marathon trainers, but have been sidetracked, to catch back up.

I showed up for Little Half 2 weeks ago for a great 2 mile run. I felt optimistic about running a half marathon in late January with 16 weeks to train. And then last weekend, first I didn’t feel well on Saturday, and my sweet furchild Ava got sick and that ditched the plans to make up my run Sunday.

So, today’s 4 miles wasn’t pretty. I did my usual 1/1 run/walk for 24 minutes, and noticed a slight ache in my calf…and switched to walking for fear the dreaded hamstring injury was rearing its head (remember my injury went into the insertion point in my calf). I walked for 12 minutes, then ran/walked again for another 8, then walked again until running 2 minutes at the “finish line.”

IT. WAS. TOUGH. And it made me realize a few things:

  1. Only working out once a week isn’t working for me.The last 2 months of my life have been a roller coaster. A big project at work, and beginning to prep for a move when my house build is completed have been taking up time. Plus still staying active as a presenter in my industry…and I haven’t had as much free time. I know that making time, even 10 minutes a day, for more activity will help me tackle all this more easily, and I just need to DO IT.
  2. Fitness is lost fast, and it affects me more than when I was younger.Even just 4 years makes a difference. Because 4 years ago, I was only running once a week as I was navigating a separation and divorce. But I was still able to train for that first half. But 4 years older, that’s just not hacking it for me. I can no longer scrape by with one super workout a week.
  3. I may need a new, short term fitness goal. This is the biggie … realizing that right now, with all the other factors in my life, a half marathon may not be the right goal for me. As much as I want to do a third half, so I can pursue a full before I turn 40 in less than 2 years, this may not be the time for that. Since I’ve gotten so far off track in my programming, it might make more sense to run a series of 5k to 10k distances in the coming months. That gives me smaller goals that work better with a crunched schedule, and keeps me running. I really hate to give up on my training program, but it doesn’t make sense to keep after something and take the joy out of it because I’m struggling.

I want to hear from you … when have you re-evaluated a goal, and how did this turn out for you?

Not what I expected…

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This was not the result I was hoping for when I registered for Sunday’s half marathon last spring. That’s a DNF (did not finish)…or more accurately, a DNS (did not start). If you’ve been following along, you already knew I made the tough choice to sit out the race following my injury flaring back up in November.

I’ve had to work through some emotions during that time, and the past few weeks were pretty tough watching everyone else get excited about their races. It felt like when you got passed up by the cool kids in middle school. I wanted to be happy for all my friends, but I’ll be honest that some days, I had to work at it more than others.

I began to wonder if this was a sign that my days of longer distance running were over. “Maybe I should stick to 5k and 10k races,” I thought. This was the result of having a challenging training season prior to the injury’s re-emergence. I was doing well until October, when I had all the car drama. That took me away from the Houston Fit group on Saturdays as I was consumed with selling the old car and buying a new one. Solo runs on Sunday felt harder. I tried to follow the plan of running without music, but that is hard on your own, and without the neat routes they select for us. By the time I got through that, the injury flare popped up.

And then this weekend happened. Thanks to all the activities I was still a part of due to my Ambassador duties. I felt a part of the running world again. It started with hearing Meb Keflezighi share how hard it was for him to sit out of a race when he was injured, and using that to come back (and then having him tell me personally that I would come back…and to focus on my cross training and what I could while I heal).

Saturday’s EXPO reinforced this. Seeing the joy of so many people gearing up to race the next day began to give me hope that I could be among them. A quick spin around the booths led me to find a race in Galveston in April that not only looks like a lot of fun, but has a 5k option.

So I thought, “Hey, I can do that. Even if I don’t start training in earnest until Charity Ball is done in 3 weeks, that’s about the same amount of time I trained for my very first 5k.” And the bonus? I have running experience I didn’t have 7 years ago. I have the backing of all I learned in physical therapy to improve my form and work to prevent further injuries.

But it was today, race day, which really brought me back to thinking I could do longer distances again. I decided to cheer from the finish line, instead of sitting at home and moping (Thank you Eileen for the pass!) To see the runners crossing the finish line took me back … to my first half here in Houston 3 years ago, and even to my second in Galveston 2 years ago. The sense of accomplishment, mixed with exhaustion and all kinds of other feelings, is just awesome.

And I want to feel that again. And I will.

Church tonight reinforced it. This week’s readings included the ones where we are told our bodies are not our own, and that they are a temple. I felt it was God’s way of telling me that I need to do all I can with the body I have been given, while I’m young and healthy enough to do it!

Other than the 5k in three months, I’m not sure when or where I’ll attempt a half, or maybe even (gasp!) a full. Houston is high on my list…you can’t beat running in your town with friends to cheer you on. But I’ll have to see how my return to running goes. When I’m closer to getting ready, I’ll make a decision … but it would be great to be running one of those distances a year from now.

Sounds like I may have just come up with my first Before 40 bucket list item.

I’ve fallen in love again…

…with running! I have to admit, I had burned out on running after 2 Januaries in a row of half marathons. The spark was gone. Instead of excitement, a look at my sneakers or the thought of miles brought me dread. 

So I took a break for most of 2013. I took dance classes. I became a Zumba instructor (though I am still mainly in student mode). I kept up some fitness, but I didn’t really run. I didn’t race. 

With true love, absence makes the heart grow fonder. I ran on Thanksgiving morning, and really enjoyed it (the scenery at Terry Hershey does not hurt!). But I had moved into my new place 3 days before. The time wasn’t right to get back together. But the possibility of a reunion was there. I felt hope.

I began to daydream about a goal that would spark my return to running. And then, 2 random sightings led me back to my love. First was a post within our AFP International Conference app … another attendee posted about a half marathon the opening day of conference. I knew I wasn’t in shape for a half (plus didn’t want to miss the morning session), but saw there was a 5k option. Better yet, my fellow AFPeep Paola (the Peeps are a flock of social media mavens deputized to spread the association and conference love!) was willing to run it with me. And there were donuts at the finish line. SOLD.

The race was lots of fun, and I had my best 5k time in a while, just under 42 minutes. (Here’s me and Paola after the race having a little fun in front of the Alamo.)

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Around the same time, I happened to see a Tweet from the Chevron Houston Marathon promoting the ambassador program. If my application was selected, I would be part of a team of runners who agree to promote the races through blogs and other social media. I love using social media for good. And for someone who presents on social media (including the latest presentation with AFPeep Dave featuring a baker’s dozen of up and coming apps!), it seemed like I’d be a fool not to apply. So I did.

And here I am, an official ambassador for 2015! I like to think it’s a blend of fate and faith that has brought me back to my love. They say if you love something, set it free…if it comes back, it’s yours.

On my run this past weekend, it felt like everything just clicked. Sure, it was hot out. It wasn’t my best 4 mile time. But it just FELT right … especially those moments when I could feel all the muscles I’ve been working so hard in personal training sessions the past 3 months starting to collaborate. 

I’m not the fastest runner. I take walk breaks. But I give it my all. And that’s all you can ask for in love, to give it your best shot and know that this is what matters.

I look forward to sharing the courtship in the coming months leading up to the big race!