Allowing Myself

…to feel, to love, to be.

Tag: running

Foggy Morning

Longer runs means more time on the beach path with this sack of potatoes. What a lug.

Taken on our Christmas Eve day morning run in the rain. Santa Monica pier in the fog.

 

Worth Something

The anxiety started yesterday – a combination of things. The over-stimulation of NYE, lack of sleep, moon in Leo, the holidays (and vacation) ending. But my schedule today wasn’t supposed to be crazy. I planned to ease back into things. So why did I feel so panicked?

I didn’t know. I could give you the above list and 10 more items, easily, but it wouldn’t change the fact that I felt anxious.

I talked it out: with my sister via text, my mom via phone and with H in person. And I gave myself a break. It wasn’t easy. I’d just spent 9 days at home, reading, sleeping, running, relaxing, so why on earth would I need another lee-way day, another nap, another hour of reading? Didn’t I have enough rest? Couldn’t I get my ass moving faster? Wasn’t there something I was supposed to be doing?!

But I gave in. Instead of dragging myself through errands, we went out to lunch. And when the taco place was closed, we ordered pizza. I was along for the ride, giving myself space to feel shitty.

And magically, I started to feel better.

Of course, these moods don’t go away with a snap of the fingers. I wasn’t surprised when that grey cloud was still following me around this morning, but I figured I’d go with it.

I stuck to my morning routine – vitamins, water, morning pages, and a run.

Since H is still on vacation, he could take care of the dog, giving me the morning to run alone. The schedule said 3 miles. I didn’t want to skimp, but last night I told H “I don’t have any idea how I’m going to run 3 miles tomorrow”. Bah. I felt tired, thought I’d eaten poorly and worried my feet would be a mess from wearing 4inch high heels for 8 hours on NYE.

But I wasn’t going to miss it. After 40 days of running, I’m addicted to that high again. In the entire span, Thanksgiving to today, I’ve never once regretted going out for a run, even if the run itself was shit.

In my morning pages, I wrote:

So many open loops, but I’m trying. Life is an open loop, but I’m making progress. I am ME. That’s all that matters. I’ll feel better after 40min of running, I’m sure. Life is good. I am blessed. But that doesn’t mean I can’t feel cranky. I can be as cranky as I want. I can feel what I feel – it’s all gray scale anyway, right? Excited and apprehensive about my run. Knowing that coffee with a friend this afternoon will make me feel good. Onward really – the days flowing by. I just need to float on, wade a little, and get those miles in. And as Patti Digh says: Lower the bar. You’ll feel better

So, I went out for my run.

And don’t you know, it was the best damn run of the last 41 days. It was chilly and bright, I was alone with my podcast and my feet pounding the pavement. I went a little bit more than 3 miles, feeling fucking amazing the entire time. I would’ve gone farther if I didn’t have work.

And after that I felt better. No more gray clouds, no more weepy feeling. In fact, the rest of the day I felt invincible, best I’ve felt in days. Unbelievable. You can blame runner’s high, I know, but I think what really did it was two things:

  1. Allowing myself to feel what I felt, no pressure or beating myself up to feel a specific way
  2. Keeping to my routine

This up and down of my moods is something that worried me in 2012 – leading to panic that something is wrong with me if I don’t feel awesome. But what I learned is that each day has it’s own reasons for being the way it is. I don’t need to understand that on a logical level. My job is not to analyze or perfect, it’s to live. And so much of life is a gray area, a mixture of feelings that is tightly knotted together to the point where we don’t know what we feel.

And then we worry what we’re feeling is wrong.

And then we think something is wrong with us.

Nothing if wrong with you. I repeat, nothing is wrong with you. You are allowed to feel what you feel, and feel it deeply. There are things in this world our brains can not possibly explain to ourselves the way our body or our feelings can.

If I learned anything in 2012, it’s to trust that what I’m feeling needs to be felt (not wallowed in or attacked), but just felt. And that what I feel is worth something.

This Grateful Season – The Coolest

Thankful for having such an amazing life. Whether I’m up or I’m down, I know I am blessed. Went out last night with my husband and sister for drinks. Enjoyed their company and watched them party (designated driver). Then got up early this AM for a 5k run with some awesome girls on the beach strand.

If you had told me, even three years ago, that this would be my life, I would’ve balked. I’d carried around so much pressure, baggage, crap, self-abuse and perfectionism I couldn’t see past getting up in the mornings and slogging through a day. Sure, I had people who loved me and good times and laughter, but it wasn’t like this.

And a friend said that now that I’m on the other side of it, I can see it clearer, but I realized this week it’s more than that. I’m on the other side of that journey, those lessons, but life’s path seems to be a spiral and I’m working through the same issues all of the time, just at a new level.

The past 8 weeks have been bleached out, void of color or the brilliance I’ve come to know and love. When I treat myself well, I thrive. When I beat myself up, I falter. It seems to be that simple, and yet, it’s a lesson I need to keep learning. Practicing.

We’re here to love one another and shine our goodness all around. Many thanks to those who love me and let me shine. I am so grateful for this life. It’s the coolest.

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For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

This Grateful Season – Running

Today I went out for a short, slow 2 miles with the dog. I mean, with him dragging along behind me, I’m lucky to hit 12min / mile. It’s kind of pathetic – and yet, I feel so awesome when I’m done.

Running is, for me, one of the best releases of energy and anxiety. I started running back in 2007 with just a website training schedule and Nike sneakers. No music, water bottles or running gear. I trained for a 10k and connected with a friend who started running with me. But, I’ve told this story before.

What I want to write about now is how grateful I am to my body for holding weight as I’ve aged, for my muscle tone, for my ability to go out and jog 2 miles after not exercising for over three weeks.

I’ve tossed around the idea of training for a 1/2 marathon over the years, though I haven’t raced since that 10k in 2007. The farthest I’ve gone recently is 4 miles, and by recently, I mean in 2012. But over the past week the urge is creeping in.

When else will my life perfectly support 1/2 marathon training? We have cooler weather, flat land, beach paths, H is busy and I can bring the pup to a dog park on running days. Plus, I have no major demands on my time and my work schedule is flexible. If I started now, I could run a 1/2 in April 2013.

I am not training just yet, but my new shoes (pink & green!!) arrived in the mail today and I can’t wait to get out tomorrow and try ’em out.

Read about another friend’s 10k she just ran – go Katie!

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For the month of November, I write each day about something I’m grateful for and call it Grateful Season. It’s my way of reviewing the amazing year I’ve had and helps me focus on blogging during the crazy holiday season uptick. Feel free to join me – just make sure you let me know!

Cooler Air Run

As this is going up, I’m hosting an event for work. Details that feel like drive-me-insane open loops are settling in day by day. While I am not 100%, at least I don’t feel as crappy as I did the past few days.

Started the day off right with a fast 3mile run with this cutie above. He was trucking along too, needing the exercise and fresh air as much as I do. We tried out a new leash that clips around my waist. Besides almost tripping twice, and being catapulted by a squirrel chase once, we did alright.

It was cooler than usual this morning. We slept with the door open and the fan on, but cuddled deep under our comforter, heavier now with a coverlet on top. I am craving crisp air and duller sunlight. While we’re still weeks away from that here in LA, my hope is our little trip East will give me just enough of a taste to hold me over.

Own Your Dog

“This is where you own your dog” ~Kim, trainer at PetSmart talking about asking your dog to sit and stay before being greeted by another person. “The outside world”

The idea that we all need to “own our dog” whether it’s our art, our opinions, our family, our self-worth… to feel comfortable saying to someone else “I’m sorry. You’re crossing a boundary. Here is what I’d like you to do instead…”

This is where I could go into details about how much my dog is teaching me in the 8 weeks we’ve had him… getting up out of bed to walk in the morning, the calmness you need to control your dog and the company the little booger provides.

I’m learning to own my own dog.

The above was written May 29th 2010 – over two years ago. To this day I think about how much owning a dog has taught me to be a better person in the world. And I don’t mean one of those sappy lists of learning to appreciate a scratch on the back or the joy of napping in the sunlight. All good things, but I actually mean what I’ve learned by being his person.

It is so important to think about the entirety of what I’d like him to do. In my head, I go over what actions and words he already knows. I string those together in learnable steps. I am clear with my commands. I use only positive reinforcement. We stop before he gets tired. I am highly aware of how my own attitude affects his reactions. I wait until he’s ready. I am gentle. I come from a place of love.

Now doesn’t that sound like expert advice on communicating with other humans?

But more so, because of training my dog, I now understand how much responsibility I have to take for my presence in a situation. Note that I didn’t say “control”. Carter Cash is very much in control of himself, I am not making him do anything. I am asking him directly and providing a treat when he gets it right. A lot of the time he doesn’t get what I’m asking and then he’s frustrated. So then we take a break and come back to it later.

He’s taught me how important positive feedback is when trying to get the results I want. One morning we were out for a run and he was dragging. He didn’t seem fatigued or in pain but he just wouldn’t keep up. It was making me so aggravated I was talking to myself out loud: “I’d be happy to run alone, but you need the exercise” and “I knew 3 miles would be too far” (I didn’t say I was sane)

Then a thought popped into my head. “What if I encouraged him to keep up with me?”

So I switched my tone to one you’d use for a kid. “Woo! You’re doing great. Yay! Let’s run!”

Immediately he started to gallop next to me, his slumping steps revving up to a trot. He seemed to finally be interested in running with me, instead of dragging behind. I felt much better too.

And I realized that he was probably feeding off my body language and tone of voice the entire time. When I was forceful, cranky and unhappy-sounding, he probably didn’t want to run with me, so he was dragging behind to do just that. I mean, who would want to keep up with someone who’s giving out back vibes??

Turns out, he’s a smarty pants.

Once my demeanor changed, he was all for running right along with me, a happy little pack-of-two.

You could say it’s luck, but this is my go-to method for getting his little butt moving right along side me on most of our morning runs. And it works. Every time.

I could go more into the metaphor of the whole thing – how I’ve learned to own my place in my world – to hold myself in higher esteem – to not be bat-shit crazy in my own head – but I think you catch my drift. We adopted Carter 2 weeks before I started therapy with my first therapist, the beginning of this journey where I’ve learned to be nicer to myself, more confident and happier.

And I don’t think that’s a coincidence at all.

…In With The New

These are my old Kayano-17s. I’ve been running in them since November, purchased after I had the first running injury of my quiet little running hobby. It was no fun. In fact, it was the start of my weight gain and by weight gain, I mean being completely and utterly out of shape.

These puppies are completely beat up, yet if I didn’t need the extra cushioning run that they provide, I could probably get another month out of them. Still, 6 months should be the marker. I’ve been running more the past 2 months and did a few hikes. After my neck started to twinge and my knees ached, it was time.

(Thank you tax refund and Road Runner Sports VIP discounts)

These beauties are the new ones. Asics Kayano-18s and in PINK and BLACK. Not normally my colors, but they looked so rad, I couldn’t pass them up.

Today was my first run in them, and while I was slogging, they were rock solid. My feet, knees, and neck were grateful. Excited to get another run in this weekend.

Surprise: I like to run

The weekend flew by. We did a lot – went out to see Gustavo Galindo play, saw Super8, went to a wedding and a birthday party. Considering I’ll be traveling soon, it was sad that my days off went so quickly, but I’m hoping to find some quiet space this week.

Skipping Saturday’s prompt. Again, I understand Emerson focuses on trusting yourself and I love the quotes, but the prompts are getting a big redundant. Maybe I’m just not feeling creative with them…

June 12th’s prompt: Surprise 

When I think about being surprised, impressed and proud of myself, I think about the 10K I ran in 2007. At the time, I was working with an awesome woman who trains for half-marathons. She and her husband race 2-4x per year. This was crazy to me. I’d never been around someone who runs daily, especially someone who was specific and focused on her training schedule. I was inspired.

Being very much like her in personality, and needing something to fill my time after work, I began running. Never in a million years did I think of myself as a “runner”. In fact, it was only a few years prior that I even allowed myself to use the words “enjoy” and “working out” in the same sentence. Remember when we had to run 1 mile in gym class for the “physical fitness test”? I distinctly remember being told to run it again Junior year because I didn’t finish the first round in under 10 minutes. Pretty sure I’d rebelliously walked it, but still, it didn’t make me feel physically fit at all.

My co-worker helped me find a good schedule – this one worked for me – and another friend caught the bug with me. We started running together a few times a week and did our long runs Saturday mornings.

At first, I couldn’t trudge through 3 miles without stopping. My only rule was to “cover the mileage”. It didn’t matter if I walked, ran, sprinted, or crawled, each day I laced my sneakers and went for it. Cup of yogurt, slug of water, sneakers on, out the door.

I ran pretty much the same street, out and back, every day. I ran in Nike’s that someone had given me for free. No music. I ran to silence, the noise in my head, and the afternoon traffic.

I signed up for an easy 10K and gave myself 3 months to train for it. Pretty sure I didn’t miss a day. The routine became an anchor for me as I was in a new city, with a new job, and lived alone. I had something to fill my time, no thinking required.

The long run before the race went terribly. I was 3 miles from home when my whole abdomen cramped up. I limped back. Anticipation for race day grew. Total bundle of nerves. I made the mistake of eating way too much pasta the night before the run, and that glass of red wine was a poor choice too. Sleep was spotty and poor.

The morning of the race I felt dehydrated, heavy and way too nervous for what I was embarking on. My stomach was doing flips, my head pounding. It felt silly – All I’m doing is running a 3 mile loop 2x in Brentwood! – but it was real.

The race went fine. Thank goodness for my friend who lagged back to run with me. In an effort to take my mind off the anxiety, pain and competitiveness, I asked him to tell me about his home town, so a lot of the race is a blur of information about Rhode Island. It was a weird experience, but I’m so glad I did it.

I haven’t trained for a race since, but I do play with the idea. It’s so amazing to have a goal, a plan, and commit. It taught me a lot about practicing, giving yourself room to grown, and long-term commitment. And as someone who never thought they were a runner at all, it taught me that I can work to become more of who I want to be.

Running is now part of my workout culture – it’s something I do when I want and I really enjoy it. The next goal would be to run a half-marathon, and I’m seriously considering the one in Vegas in December, but we’ll see.

To respond to the prompt – this week I will surprise myself by taking time for me in the busyness leading up to my traveling.

I Just Want To Care

Today was difficult.

This morning as I walked the dog, I could feel the weight of panic press down, all those competing thoughts arguing in my head. After morning pages and some email, I felt better. Then, I caught a mistake. Kind of a huge mistake – one that involved coordinating two other people and a delivery to fix. (Damn you Mercury Retrograde!!) Amazingly, I didn’t panic. I even joked that I should screw up my job more often because putting out this fire took up most of my day. Like, I should create problems just to solve them.

Because I want something that will make me feel important that badly.

I continued on, doing what I could and waiting to address the big blunder. Boyfriend and I skated with the dog over to Jamba Juice for a mid-day snack – perfect break. Later on, I ate lunch and chatted with my sister. All the pieces fell into place and magically crises were averted (so far at least)…and I still felt good.

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Going along with the present reality…

Last week I had plans with a newer friend to meet at the beach for a workout. In typical worrier fashion, I fretted about traffic, parking and what we’d do once there. But in a conscious effort to “have more fun”, I committed to the workout date and told myself to chill out.

A text came in around the time I planned to leave, pushing back our meeting time. I lingered on the couch a bit longer, arguing with my anxiety if I “should just leave now and get there” or wait it out. I left later. Then plans switched back to the original time. Now I was late. Also, I was stuck in horrible traffic (harr-ah-bull Mom’s favorite adjective for traffic). Late + traffic usually equals a pretty stressed out me. But, I had been going with the flow and I was still determined to.

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