What good is starting tomorrow when you can stop being lazy and start today?
Since this blog is in part a leadership blog (Isn’t that obvious from all of my food pictures I post?), I thought that I would spend today sharing with you some of the deep thoughts I have been thinking over the course of my last several runs. Spending hours alone with nothing but the birds, the pollen, your tennis shoes, and a little bit of concrete separating you from your brain creates a magical place where genius is born.
Yesterday I ran 3.25 miles followed by strength training and weights (The Kettle Bell DOMS never kicked in so I ramped it up even more. I’m in total post half marathon beast mode), and today I did a nice, breezy 6 mile run.
I’m feeling like my glycogen stores are stocked up adequately for a coast to coast non stop run. I even said no to cake at a community event I attended Thursday night because at some point the party has to stop. It is always a delicate balance to eat enough to build and maintain muscle, keep a healthy metabolism, fight off the scary runners appetite from increased mileage, and maintain weight loss. My weight hovers in a 3-4 pound range that I like to keep it at to feel strong, fit, and healthy. On any given week I will hit both the bottom and top of the range and this is perfectly normal based on hydration, digestion, activity, hormones, and a whole host of other things like if I ate an entire gallon of ice cream or not the night before or whether I ran 18 miles or 8 the previous day. (I don’t see how it is possible to keep your weight identical, so I have established a range and I WORK to stay within it. It does not just magically happen. I established a range so 1-2 pounds of water weight or life issues won’t freak me out. It is when I get out of that little perfect range that I freak out and do an intervention.)
Deep Thought #1:
- The weather in Cleveland is not like the weather in Southern California
In typical Cleveland fashion, we got amnesia about what it is really like here and got too comfortable with the amazing weather spell we have had. I stepped outside this morning almost regretting my short sleeves when I noticed the sun was not coming out today and that we were sitting in the 40 degree Fahrenheit range. It’s a good thing that I’m such a salty runner. I managed to get in a good sweat even in short sleeves today. I need to quit following running bloggers in LA. It is just depressing to see the sunshine they “endure” on a daily basis.
Deep thought #2
- Know your strength zone and stay in that zone.
Reese wanted Chick Fil A as the last stop on his birthday week tour today. The birthday week has to end because tomorrow is Mother’s Day, and therefore, the party is all about me again. (Who am I kidding? It’s about my mom. Nobody cares about me. Once you reach 60+ I guess you’ve earned the right to pick the restaurant.) Our local Chick Fil A has updated their menu to include the nutritional information right on the board in compliance with all these new Anti-Obesity laws Michelle Obama has been pushing. The greatest thing to come from these new menus is the realization that it is better for me to eat 2 Spicy Chicken Sandwiches instead of having a milkshake. Jonathan and I were extra starving today for some reason and so we both caved and ate a second sandwich. I am only admitting this publicly because I was able to get my vegetable servings in with the extra pickles I ordered on BOTH of my sandwiches. I guess it’s a good thing I have eaten numerous super foods today as well and that I ran 6 miles.
Side Note: Truett Cathy knew his strength zone. Instead of a career in modeling, he pursued business ownership. Think of how different the world would’ve been if he had chased a dream out of his skill set.
Deep Thought #3:
- Not all diet books are good for you
I’m a pretty big fan of Jillian Michaels, Bob Harper, and the mission of the Biggest Loser Crowd. In fact, I have read numerous Jillian books and Bob Harper’s book “Skinny Rules” really impacted me. I now drink my coffee black because that is a skinny rule (I don’t even know how I stomached cream before. Now that I’ve gone black I’ll never go back) However, I do not recommend Bob’s new book “Jumpstart to Skinny”. I got it at the library excited to learn a few new tips for my arsenal and was completely off put by it. He advocates full blown dieting and we all know that does not work. It is just a temporary fix. The only thing in that book that will change your life is to increase your water intake. Oftentimes dehydration masks itself as false hunger. Guzzle water all day long and just taper back some near bed time so you don’t have a miserable night clubbing in the WC. In fact, I just stopped mid sentence and got a glass of water just so I could practice what I preach. you will never find me being hypocritical on water intake. I have always been a huge drinker. I come from a long line of super thirsty folks, but I never paid attention to how different my body felt and looked when I drank lots of water versus when I was drinking illegal amounts of Diet Soda, Crystal Light, and any other zero calorie beverage. (If it has zero calories it must be healthy in ocean size doses correct?) So now, especially in light of the runstreak, I make an effort to get most of my liquid intake from water (with or without lemon, but preferably ice cold).
As a weight loss success story myself, I can’t even imagine following his advice of eating only 800 calories a day. I eat that for one snack (joking). I do realize that with my runstreak and various races that I exercise more than your average gal. In fact, I have to have a take no prisoners approach to stay fitting my size 6’s, but I feel drastically better eating a clean, balanced, hearty diet combined with exercise. I have done calorie restriction and it was a losing battle for me. It never lasted, I always felt lethargic, and I would gain the weight back in the form of fat. Even when I was “dieting” in a sense to lose my 55 pounds to get where I’m at now, I still ate around 1,800 calories a day because I was changing my lifestyle, not “jumpstarting” myself to being skinny for 5 minutes just to yo-yo back. Bob, I know you mention exercise and I know you emphasize fruits and veggies and water and all of that is good, but other aspects of this book should be titled “Jumpstart to Starvation and Anger”.
Deep Thought #4:
- Running is a great way to multi-task
Many people do not exercise because they don’t have time for it. I propose that if you have even 20 minutes to watch TV, read this blog, check your twitter/Facebook, or get a second helping of dinner, you have time to break a sweat. Now, it may be true that you don’t want to make time to workout 7 days a week, so just start with 3. Regardless, before you know it, you will crave exercise and you will start sacrificing other things in life to make time for it.
I do a lot of my personal growth and development when I run. I listen to leadership podcasts, sermons, lengthy passages of bible reading (the YouVersion app will read to you), and I get to work on our worship songs for Sunday. I know our Worship/Creative guy probably won’t read this, so I will tell you that he’s quite the vigilante on getting everything just so. I am sure my neighbors appreciate hearing me practice all the lyrics and my alto part loudly while I run. This is good training for my lungs too. I can do speedwork, memorize lyrics, bust out a crazy praise, and work on harmonies all at the same time.
In full disclosure, sometimes I like to run with no iPhone/ear buds and sometimes I have to have tunes that really pump me up, so I need some Pop Fitness Radio. I don’t suppose you can fit my habits in a box. I like to spice it up.
While these songs are not in the Pop Fitness category and are a tad on the slow side for an epic run, I do appreciate the mind, body, spirit fuel that they provide for a great workout and I’m going to be prepared like a boss for worship service tomorrow.
Deep Thought #5:
- I found a dollar on the ground on my run
Very few things will get me to slow down or come to a near halt on a run. Once I lose my rhythm, it takes me a while to get back into it and it is like starting all over again. However, I found a dollar on the ground covered in ants and stopped to pick it up and blow all the ants of. If a penny saved is a penny earned, then I just saved 100 cents! This my friends, is deep. Who says it doesn’t pay to run?
Happy Mother’s Day to all the ladies out there this weekend. Mother’s Day can be a mixed bag for a lot of people. Grief, death, betrayal, loneliness, insecurities, abuse, abandonment, abortion, adoption, dysfunction, and unmet expectations can cloud the day, but remember there is healing and hope!
What are you doing to celebrate mother’s day?
What are some of the deep things of life that have been heavy on your mind?
What do you listen to when you run?