Monday, December 31, 2012

Bring it on, 2013!!

I am not big on New Year's Resolutions. My fail rate at them and any other kind of "life-changing" resolution is rather spectacular. I do think, though, that this is an ideal time to pause in life and take stock of how far I have come. 2012 was a year of discovery and continuing adjustment for my little household. We celebrated a few milestones.

My oldest daughter got engaged to a wonderful man, graduated college and moved to the opposite corner of my state. Thankfully technology lets us stay in close contact.

The good news is I still have a permanently designated driver as my 2nd daughter turned 16-years-old and is prepping to get her driver's license.
My youngest is enthusiastically learning to write in cursive. I remember loving 3rd grade and practicing cursive writing - which you would not be able to tell now by how atrocious my hand-writing is. 

And me - I am still running. That seems like a miracle in itself. And I met a guy who for some crazy reason seems to think he wants to stick around amidst the chaos that is my life. I am almost afraid to admit that out loud because he might actually read this and suddenly have the revelation that I am sure will come to him that he is out of his mind in taking on a single mom with three daughters, two dogs, a cockatiel and enough emotional baggage to fill a moving van. Let's just keep that between us - okay?

If I dare admit any dreams for 2013 it is to get some serious use out of my favorite Christmas present from 2012 which are these hot pink running shoes! Running has offered me nothing that isn't positive, so I plan to continue with it as long as absolutely possible. And, another cool thing - they were given to me by my Guy. And, an even cooler thing - he says that he plans to start running WITH ME!!! (Just between you and me - I find that totally hot!!) 

A friend of mine posted this list on Facebook of things to strive for in the New Year:

1. Be fully present.
2. Feel my heart.
3. Engage each moment without an agenda

I would add for Kathy - 
4. Continue to celebrate each and every blessing God has given me
5. Rejoice in every opportunity to encourage someone else
6. Stop over-thinking - go for it.

Happy New Year to Each and Every One of You!! I love you - I mean it!! Can't wait to see what 2013 has for us to experience.

Friday, October 12, 2012

Half is Twice as Cool

I have been toying with the idea of running a half-marathon. Now, if you are a seasoned runner and regularly do this sort of thing that may not seem like much of an admission. I, however, am NOT a seasoned anything - unless being middle-aged counts as seasoned, but let's not go there.......

Anyway, running has become something that I love and want to keep doing. It has been physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually good for me. But I admit that once I finally made it through the Bolder Boulder last May I lost my focus. I still ran - occasionally - through the summer. And I discovered I do NOT like running when it is hot. That was my excuse for being so erratic. And, I have done better since Fall hit and temps have cooled down. But I know that having something to train for and focus on is motivational for me. A friend told me about this race:

The course looks both exciting and terrifying! And it is close to  home and even IN Wyoming. Only if I do this race - I probably have to give up the Bolder Boulder this year because it is the day AFTER the Wyoming Marathon races. What to do? What to do? 

And being me I have THOSE 

****13.1 MILES - are you crazy????

****Where do I find/make the time to run for that long?

****Did I mention 13.1 MILES?????

****Why not just stick to nice short little jaunts - like a 5 or 10K??? You know you can do that.


****Just why do you think you need to do this? Really, what are you thinking?

****Are you listening? Not 3, not 6, not even 10 - but 13.1 miles????

****I am scared. There I said it. I am scared. Scared of failing. Scared of not living up to someone else's expectations of what a Half-Marathoner should look like, run like, act like. 

****But you know what I am even more scared of? Regret. The regret of choosing not to even try. Because I believe that to some extent we do get to choose what we will regret in life.

I went back and looked up what I posted on Facebook after the Bolder Boulder. It was my first "REALLY BIG RACE" and was AWESOME. And if I did a Half-marathon it would basically be like doing two 10Ks and a bit more. That might be twice as cool. 

Posted on Facebook: March 28, 2012

Had such a great time at the Bolder Boulder (50,000+ Runners) yesterday! Best part - making a goal and keeping it! The whole experience was just plain fun. Had never done a big race like this before so the whole thing was new: tons of people, bands playing along the way, took advantage of every water station, received free hugs and high fives, got a piece of watermelon, a piece of bacon (yes, baco
n!!!), a marshmallow, somehow missed the popsicles (darn it), and the chance to see all the runners from babies in backpacks to great-grand-parents and everything in between, and the different outfits & costumes, and the folks in the neighborhoods we ran through cheering us on and some even "watering the runners" with their sprinklers - lots of runners loved that!! Bottom line - it was awesome! Can't wait to do it again!!

Well, off to fret and ponder. And Google "Half-Marathon training schedules."

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Sock it to me!!

Some gals post photos of their shoes - I will share a photo of my socks - because, you know, I am hip like that. Today's sock pic is for Lynnette - and will hopefully make my 15yo, Kati, role her eyes at her mother.

My friend Lynette appreciates that matched socks are a rarity in our household and have been for years. She will also appreciate that this pair was purchased JUST LIKE YOU SEE THEM. Yes, they do NOT match on purpose. They are, however, complimentary. I point this out because that is not a requirement for pairs of socks, either.

Kati is to blame for socks no longer needing matching partners in the Sanford Girls household. Years ago she refused to wear socks that match and when her younger sister jumped on the same fashion band wagon Mom gave up even trying to bother matching socks anymore.

And, I will give my daughter Cody an honorable mention because these are fuzzy socks and it is Fall and we LOVE fuzzy socks to keep our feet warm.

Wednesday, March 21, 2012

I Second That Emotion

I am a newbie when it comes to running. In fact I don't really think of myself as runner at all, really. More of a "jog/walker." I do try to walk quickly, though, when I take those breaks in my routes. I still am not sure what really finally got me out the door in my running shoes all those months ago - but I am becoming more and more glad that it happened.
I generally run in the mornings. I know myself well-enough to realize that once I am up and dressed in my work clothes the last thing that I am going to break away from my day to do is any kind of exercise. Basically I roll out of bed and into my sweats and running shoes and head out the door. Fortunately it is usually still pretty dark outside because I am sure I am rather scary looking. But like I mentioned in my earlier post "If You are Moving - You Win!!", as long as I am moving I have accomplished my main goal.
There are many things I am discovering I like about running. One of the biggest things that has surprised me is how well running handles pretty much any emotion I might be going through on a given morning. And I have run the gambit - anger, heartache, happiness, frustration, confusion, joy and so on. Running takes each emotion - puts it through it's paces and leaves me in a much better place when we are finished.
Anger was big early on for me. I pushed myself pretty hard on days when that was my driving emotion. The thing about anger, though, is that it requires energy. And, interestingly enough - so does running. After a morning of running I discovered that somewhere along the way my anger had petered out and I was in a better frame of mind to take on whatever awaited me that day.
Heartache and sadness are no match for running, either. I have done several morning runs with tears streaming down my cheeks and sobs forcing me to slow to a walk. Yet when I kept going eventually the tears and sobbing would run their course. The wind would dry my face and I could take a deep breath and begin my day with a renewed strength to carry on.
Running has allowed me the time to work through frustration and confusion in my life. It is dedicated time by myself where my mind can work through problems that I could not focus on any other time of day because life in general is too distracting. Often something that is disturbing or perplexing at the beginning of a run will be much more manageable by the end of it.
The best runs, though, have been happy or joyful runs. Those are the days when my attitude is good and I've had enough sleep. On those mornings my running stretches are longer, my walks are quickest, my mood is bright and the whole experience is just amazing. I love those runs. They don't happen every time I go out which makes them all the more precious when they do come.
So, I will keep running - loving the fact that no matter what I am feeling - running can handle it and I will be in better shape in more ways than one when I am done.

Monday, March 12, 2012

If You Are Moving - You Win!!

I used to be a couch potato. And I am not exaggerating. My life was, well, sedentary is the best word I can think of to describe it. Basically I sat - a lot. I sat at my desk at work. I sat in my car driving myself and my kids from A to B. I sat at home watching tv or 'working' on the computer. All the years I spent sitting around I THOUGHT about exercising more. I am an excellent thinker. Sitting, in fact, was very conducive to over-thinking. I worried about the shape I was in. I worried that I was gaining too much weight. I worried that I was not doing what I needed to combat the hypertension I had been diagnosed with several years ago. I worried about my cholesterol levels after a yearly physical. But that was all I did. Sit and worry. Worry and sit.
I blame my oldest daughter Cody for planting the nagging thought in my brain that started to change things. I have no idea how the conversation started or what made me agree to it. Over a year ago we somehow came up on the topic of the Bolder/Boulder 10K race and I found myself agreeing to run it with her. WTH? Who was I to think I could walk a mile without getting winded - much less get through something like the Bolder/Boulder? Well, as life would have it circumstances did not allow for us to participate last year. And with all that was taking place in my life I let the thought slide into happy oblivion with a profound sense of relief. Until Cody did it again. Out of the blue several months ago she asked me how I was doing getting ready for the Bolder/Boulder. Because THIS year we were doing it - no excuses. In my head I was screaming, "Are you kidding me? I thought we were done with that!!!" What I said to her was something like, "Oh, yeah, I guess I really need to start working on that, don't I?" And again in my head, "God, help me, what am I saying????"

Well, God did help me because only He could have led me to the two statements that helped get me up and moving. The first one is "No matter how fast or slow you are going, you are ahead of everyone still sitting on the couch." I don't consider myself terribly competitive, but that definitely encourages me. I may not be able to beat anyone else in the race, but I can certainly stay ahead of all those couch potatoes. And that statement also helped begin a significant change in my own thinking. I no longer count myself among those left behind on the couch.

The second statement is "If you are moving - you win!!" It fits perfectly with the first. Basically as long as I get up and get out my front door with my running shoes on - I've won. It doesn't matter if I walk the entire distance I am doing infinitely better than I was sitting on the couch all the time. And it doesn't matter if I walk/jog just around my block - I am moving, aren't I? Or if I walk jog a few miles - still moving!!! Heck, I can skip the whole way if want - doesn't matter. Moving = winning. Getting something in my head that gave me a sense of accomplishment was crucial to encouraging myself to not only get out the door, but to keep doing it the next day, and the next, and the next. You get the picture.

Along the way something amazing has happened. I started out running by myself - but I have acquired a few "friends in spirit" who looked at me and said, "If you are doing this - I want to, too!!" Other friends who are - shall we say, no longer spring chickens (seriously, when DID that happen???), and who, like me, were among the less than active members of society. Instead of just working towards the Bolder/Boulder with my daughter, I now have committed to running a 5K with my sister in Rifle, CO and another 5K with one of my bestest friends in Glenrock this summer. None of us lives in the same town, so my unofficial role has been chief encourager/nagger. I will text these gals regularly and ask for their latest walk/jog report. I love it when they write back and tell me they got out and moved!! Now when I run in the mornings I am not just doing it for me - I want to keep being able to encourage them as well.

So, here's to Cody, Jeanette, and Michele - thanks for joining me! Let's keep moving!!