Thursday Thoughts – Gratitude



Too often it is too easy to get caught up in the hustle and bustle of life, the doing, the to do lists that we forget to stop, breathe and be grateful.

Too often it is too easy to get frustrated by what is not happening, than to relish in all that currently is.

Too often it is the large-scale happenings that cause us to pause and give thanks, instead of celebrating the many small daily occurrences that make life truly special.

Every evening before I go to sleep, I take time to reflect on at least 3 things that I’m grateful for from that day – I can always come up with more than three…and more often than not, it’s the little things that make the list. For me it’s a nice way to end each day…to put things into perspective.

Do you have a gratitude practice? What are you grateful for today?


Thursday Thoughts: From the track

Track shot


Observations from today’s attempt at speedwork:

Running intervals while anemic is a b#tch!

There may have been a little cursing…ok maybe a lot of cursing!

Sometimes a power song and mantra can help — today it was “Black Suits Comin'” by Will Smith and “you’re stronger than you think!”

Thank goodness tomorrow’s a rest day!

What’s your current power song or mantra?



Thursday Thoughts – Remembering



It’s hard to believe that it’s been 13 years since that day. I was living in New York City then…sometimes it feels like a lifetime ago and other times it feels so fresh and recent.

I still remember getting the first call from my husband J who worked so close to the Towers that he saw the second plane hit.

I still remember staring at the TV in disbelief watching the Towers fall.

I still remember frantically trying to track down friends, while trying hard not to think about where J was. I knew he and his office mates had left the building…cell phones were out…there was nothing to do be wait and watch the news. Somehow a call from a friend of mine got through – so we sat on the phone watching the news trying to make sense of what was happening.

I still remember my heart jumping when J finally walked though the door – like so many he had walked all the way home from lower Manhattan (we were on the upper west side). Only then did I start to cry.

I think of all of those lost and I think of their families….and I still have no words.



Stop Apologizing for Your Running

“I just a beginner”

“I only run 5Ks”

“No it was just a half (marathon)”

“Um I run but I’m really slow.”

Any of those phrases – or some version of them – sound familiar?

Why do so many of us feel

the need to apologize for our running?

Of late, when talking with other runners I feel like more and more people feel the need to explain/justify their runs. I caught myself doing it yesterday when someone asked me if I was running a half marathon this weekend and I answered “No just a five-miler.” –  Why the need for the “just?”

Bingham quote

If you have made a commitment to yourself to run – then you are a runner. Period. Celebrate your efforts and stop feeling the need to apologize!



Thursday Thoughts (aka 3 Things)

After being couch-bound yesterday trying to shake this crud/cold thing, I managed 4 very windy miles this morning. As long as my energy level holds up, I’m heading to my favorite 2 hour torture, er I mean, yoga class tonight.

It’s interesting to me how many people don’t walk in a straight line. While on my run, I passed 4 different walkers and as I was coming up behind each of them it was funny to watch them veering a little to the left, then a little to the right, then back again. Made me wonder if I do the same?

Why do some women insist on dousing themselves in perfume? I passed a woman today who seriously had a perfume cloud around her – it was not a pretty thing to be caught in!

What have you encountered on your runs lately?

My Run by the Numbers

Miles run — 11.11

Hills — 8

Times I cursed going uphill  — 4 (this could be an underestimation!)

Degrees out — 40 at the start

Layers of clothing shed — 1 (Thankfully my hubs and the boys drove by on their way home from hockey so I could hand off clothes and my handheld)

Short walk breaks because of my left knee — 3 (good thing I’m going back to Dr. Needles on Tuesday)

Runners I passed — 6

Runners too cool to say hi/wave/some form of acknowledgment — 2

Dogs as running buddies — 2

Drivers on their cell phones — 20+ (I stopped counting)

Negotiations (get to the next stop sign/mailbox/telephone pole, etc) — 4 usually while going uphill

Times I thought “What a great morning!” — too many to count!


Watch-less Runs

Despite the continuation of last week’s madness, I have logged two runs so far this week — both of them watch-less.

Yesterday my friend E, after listening to me describe the agony that is coordinating parent volunteers at our sons’ school, urged me to step away from edge..ur I mean laptop, and join her for a run. I usually run by myself so this was a really nice change of pace. Instead of worrying about my Garmin, I let E set the pace and just enjoyed chatting my way through our 4 mile loop. I returned to my laptop less stressed!

This morning the plan called for a tempo run – but having enjoyed not being a slave to my Garmin yesterday, I decided to just run on feel and see what happened. Now I must admit that I did wear my Garmin but I only glanced at it once at the 2 mile beep. And, when I saw that I was ahead of pace, instead of panicking and slowing down out of fear of burn-out before I finished (my usual M.O.), I just kept cruising along. The end result was I beat my target pace by 30 seconds. Hello!

The Garmin is a valuable tool, no doubt about it…but there’s a lot to be said for not letting the numbers rule every run.

So tell me, do you ever leave the watch at home?



Comfortably hard

“Comfortably hard” – if you look up the definition of a tempo run, you will inevitably find these words to help define the effort to put forward for these steady pace runs.

Well, the truth is comfortably hard is a moving target…depending on the day; what body parts are cooperating…or not; whether Mother Nature is cooperating…or not.
Some days, comfortably hard can feel like  you’re flying…working at it, but flying – firing on all cylinders. And, other days, comfortably hard is any movement after you drag yourself out of bed for your run.

Like so many aspects of running, what constitutes comfortably hard is relative. It varies from runner to runner, and for each runner it can vary from run to run. Sure you set out with a target pace in mind, but that pace is yours alone. And, sometimes you hit it consistently…enjoy it and take note of what worked. Other times you won’t – don’t beat yourself up over it…also take note of what didn’t work and accept that this was today’s definition of “comfortably hard.”


The little things…..

Some days it’s the little things that help get me through a run, especially when I’m not feeling it.

Sometimes it’s the right song that helps me pick up the pace (right now for me that song is Jay-Z’s “Run this town”).

Sometimes it’s seeing a friend along the route.

Sometimes it’s the policeman working a detail on my out and back who cheered me up the hill.

Sometimes it’s finding the right mantra (of late, I have two: “Fight through” and simply “Believe”).

Sometimes it’s the mental negotiations — “get past the next 3 telephone posts;” “ok, now get to that mailbox;” etc.

Sometimes it’s the realization of how close I am to a particular time goal if I just push a little.

Sometimes it’s my neighbor telling me how proud she is of the progress I’m making.

Sometimes it’s remembering another blogger’s post about a tough run/race and drawing a little inspiration.

The more I run, the more I marvel at how much of a mental sport running really is.



Lessons from Today’s Run

Today I learned:

  • I must pay more attention to what I eat the night before a long run. Note to self, no more Italian subs with hot peppers…’nuff said!
  • Seeing some friendly faces about half way through a long run gives me a great lift!
  • When negative thoughts start to creep in, I need to remind myself how far I’ve come in just a year of running.
  • Still trying to figure out mid-foot strike on hills – I think I’m up on my toes a lot, which makes my calves tire quickly.

It was beautiful weather for a run this morning, and with a busy weekend ahead it was great to get my 7 miles done. Just Pilates and strength training tomorrow and a short run on Sunday left on the plan for this week.

Happy Friday & 
Shout Outs to anyone racing this weekend!