It’s that time again

Time for another episode of Getting Real. I struggled with this one. Shoot…what am I not struggling with these days?

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I don’t like admitting failure, but I guess if I were perfect, I wouldn’t need things like goals, accountability, or this blog for that matter. Did you see that? I admitted I wasn’t perfect. I thought about editing that part out at least 5,000 times already today. Nope. Going to leave it. This is about Getting Real, right? And perfect? I’m far from it.

So what happened? Well it’s the last day of February, and unless I ran a 50K today, there’s no way I’m going to hit my mileage goal for the month.

Excuses:
I was sick.
And tired.
And sick and tired of being sick and tired.
Truth is, it doesn’t really matter. I failed.

The good news is I was pretty close to another milestone…100mi…and I decided that would be just fine with me. After my 30min scheduled trainer ride, I knocked out a 5K on the treadmill. That brought me within 5 miles of my new goal. And I had a feeling the girls would be headed to “Turtle Thursday.” I know it sounds slow, but with these girls, it never is. They were planning 5 miles…perfect!

Now, sitting here after yet another excellent Northstar burger, a hot shower, kids tucked safely in bed, and a call from my favorite guy, I’m content with my 100 miles.
Not content.

Happy.

And none of that fake-it-’till-you-make-it “I chose to be happy” garbage.

Really happy. Smiling. And tired.

Good night!

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January by the Numbers…and February Challenges

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January totals:
Running: 125.06mi
Cycling: 96mi

Total: 233.96mi

Percentage of annual goal: 9%
(You may have noticed I increased my total miles for the year. 2013 just didn’t seem like enough of a challenge. So I’ve increased it to 2500.)

Calories burned: 10,989
Total Time: 29:33:14

New in February:

I have some new challenges for February. In addition to my 125mi running scheduled for the month, a few friends on Twitter and Facebook have inspired me to pick up some additional craziness fun!

Check out @socialshark‘s #Virtual401KRun. The challenge is to run 401K (249.2mi) by 4/1. That’s two months. And since I’m committed to running 125/mo anyway…why not?

Next up was @runningmom2boys#FitFebruary challenge. This one can be found through an app called @ChallengeLoop. It only requires you add two workouts a week, and they can be anything. I’ll be following the 100pushup program and doing those 3x week. We’re posting two photos per week using the app to be eligible for fun prizes!

Back again this year is the #lovemyabs challenge sponsored by @denisrmt and @JennyMetamorfit. This was a favorite for me last February, and what got me started on this abs kick. You can also join this one via Facebook. Start with 100 abdominal exercises in week one, and add 20 reps each week. By the end of the month, you’ve done a minimum of 3000 exercises! Take before and after picture to really see the difference!

My last fitness related challenge for this month is Kim‘s February 2013 Plank Challenge on Facebook. One plank per day is all it takes, and you’re only competing with yourself. The only goal here is to be stronger at the end of the month. Can’t go wrong there!

And one more…a blogging challenge. I’ve joined the #28DBC again through @ChallengeLoop and led by @kwidrick. Little changes make a big difference, and hopefully you’ll notice some around here this month.

Please join me in any or all of these challenges. It’s all about making changes this year.

Tomorrow’s news: Too much to do, too little time

The Next Mile

You’re standing at the crossroads. The race is so close you can taste it. The work is done. You’ve already won.

It’s time to look to the horizon. What’s next?

Since I started running, I’ve followed an unwritten rule:

Always set the next goal before you complete this one.

It seems counterintuitive, I know. Finish what you’ve started, right? But failing to set that new goal can set you up for disaster. Without a run or race on your calendar you’re likely to take a break…for far too long.

Don’t misread me. Take time off after a difficult race. Rest. Recover. Rebuild. Put that on your calendar too. But always know when training resumes. Otherwise you’ll sit right back on the couch.

The Goofy Challenge is this weekend. Wow…that’s tough to say. My next goal race is the Xenia Half Marathon in early April. I have a few other races here and there, including two trail races in February and March.

There. I said it.

Crossroads

My life is at the crossroads. Big changes have come and big decisions are still looming. One thing stands true. I’ve never smiled more that I have in the last month.

I know I’m headed the right way. And now it’s time to see what’s around that next corner.

Tomorrow’s news: Orlando or Bust!

Measuring Success

When I was a kid, success was an easy thing to measure. You got an A. Usually that meant you understood the material as it was taught, or at the very least, could regurgitate it for the test. Your team won. You got a trophy, a fancy certificate, a pat on the back.

Things have changed. I look at my son’s report card, and I need to consult the legend to figure out what all these letters mean. Every time. And he’s in 3rd grade. You’d think I’d get it by now, but it just doesn’t make sense to me.

Why can’t we give a kid an “A” anymore? Why does everyone get a trophy? Everyone wins? I don’t think so.

Life isn’t fair. Sometimes you lose. You’re going to fail. Over and over. That’s how you learn.

But I digress…

As adults, how do we know when we’ve “arrived?” Do you judge success by how many Facebook friends you have, or how many people favorite your tweets? Does your annual salary count for anything? The car you drive? What you did last Friday night?

Does it really matter what anyone else thinks?

Of course the easy answer is no. And we’d like to believe that. The truth is, we do care what other people think. And it’s a shame. Do you even like those people? Why are we so concerned with what total strangers think of us?

Here’s how I judge success:

I set goals. I do my best to achieve them. I fail. I get back up and I do it again.

Did you see anyone else’s opinion in there? Nope! Because the only person’s opinion that really matters is mine.

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It seems every time I go out for a long run, I come back with a word…well a few of them actually. Call it whatever you want.

A message from God. A revelation. Deep thoughts. I’m not looking to get into a spiritual discussion here.

It’s never anything terribly profound. I’m not solving the world’s problems or anything. But it’s always something I need to hear at that moment. And, although I’ll likely forget all the other things I thought about during the miles, it is the one thing I can recall. Word for word.

I NEVER share these. I’m not that person standing on the street corner handing out pamphlets about the end-times. The only reason I’m sharing this one is that I need your help with it. So here we go.

Two weeks ago I ran a 50k. For training fun. My schedule called for the same mileage over the course of the weekend, so I figured I’d just knock it all out at once.

Yes. I know how crazy that sounds. I’m OK with it.

At mile 20, I was struck with this:

The only thing coming between you and success is your own pride.

Get out of the way.

And it’s true. I am both a perfectionist and a procrastinator. Great combo. If I can’t do something “right,” I’ll just stall until either I can, or I’ve run out of time to do any better and I live with the sub-par result. My pride always gets in the way. I don’t want anyone to see me vulnerable. It stresses me out to no end.

Well it’s time to build a bridge and get over it.┬áTime to be content with just being me. Because by my measure, I’m successful.

And that’s the only one that matters.

Tomorrow’s news: Finding Inspiration