I accidentally ran one mile farther than I intended last week. Oops!
No worries, I made it up this week when I got out to the track yesterday morning and it was covered with two feet of snow.
Current Training Stats
Training mileage (since 2-4): 67 miles
Training shoes: Asics Speedstar 5
Long run distance: 8 miles
The Ugly Truth
I am going to be honest about my level of fitness, here, folks. This is not only for your benefit, but for my own. (I will be able to come back to this post at some point in the future and see how far I have come.)
I weigh 170 lbs. (Normal running weight is 140).
I am 5' 5" tall.
Do you know where that puts me on the BMI scale?
Your Calculated BMI is: 28.3
That puts me in the solidly overweight category.
I am overweight. A little bit too much holiday sugar + a lot of emotional turmoil
= I gained 25 lbs from September to January. I've held steady since.
It's hard to balance all the responsibilities in life, but I'm not going to let that fact turn into an excuse. Instead, I am considering it a challenge to do my best, no matter what gets thrown at me.
If I can do it, YOU can, too!!
I am not a naturally gifted athlete.
Every success I've had, every race I've finished has come out of sheer grit. I won't stop. I won't give up. Call it my mantra if you want.
The beautiful part of my success is that persistence is available to everyone. You just have to grow it.
I am going to continue to check in with my training progress.
I am going to run that 50k
. I won't stop. I won't give up.
I want to see YOU start running in 2013
It's always easier to start being healthier when you have support from your friends and family. But sometimes, they don't understand why you have goals that seem unreachable. As an overweight, exhausted mother training for an ultramarathon, I totally understand.
Physical health is a prime example of an area where it seems so difficult for many people to motivate themselves, especially when faced with a lack of support.
I am here to help you with your motivation. I've got a lot to give away.
I am going to make three custom 5k training plans. Free. If you complete your training, I will pay your race entry fee for your first 5k.
Here's the deal:
This is open to BEGINNING runners-people who have never entered a race.
No experience required. No age limits.
This offer ends on March 15, 2013.
Winners will be announced on March 22, 2013 and must enter a May or June race in 2013.
Odds of winning are determined by number of entries.
Value of prize (x3) is $25.
To enter, click on the "Contact Me" link on the bottom of the page and/or leave a comment telling me who or what is the biggest motivating factor in your life right now.
What does it...
- look like?
- smell like?
- taste like?
- sound like?
- feel like?
It's something we've never seen, smelled, tasted, heard, or touched before.
It's different. Sometimes we call it NEW! EXCITING! GENIUS!
Sometimes it just stays different.
Instead of proposing a formula for brain activity in connection with complex yoga poses and zen meditation, I have observed that most "creative" people have incorporated these five simple perspectives into their daily lives.
Hack #1: Understand the problem. Focus on the solution.
When I was in college, I worked on the landscaping crew. A couple of times a year, all the support staff would have to go to training sessions. In one particular session, we were split into teams and given pieces of PVC pipe. We were then given instructions to form this shape.
We all understood what the result should look like.
Now, if you've ever worked with PVC pipe (most support staff have) and you have some sort of dimensional imagination it doesn't take long to figure out the solution.
What happened? For a bit, everyone got stuck.
I was just sitting back on my haunches thinking about how my group was going to win this thing and letting my partners fiddle with putting the pieces together when I happened to see the solution. I wasn't the only one who figured it out, but I figured it out first.
Why was I first? Because I was not focused on the problem. I was focused on the solution.
The support staff who routinely work with PVC pipe figured it out second. They knew the qualities and abilities of PVC pipe. They knew how to put it together in ways that would probably blow our minds.
They were the experts in the field, but they still got sucked into focusing on the problem more than on the solution.
Hack #2: Get out of your own way.
"A genius looks at something that others are stuck on and gets the world unstuck."
The word genius originally referred to a spirit being that watched over a person. In this sense, a person was only capable of producing ingenious things when that spirit was feeling generous.
This idea is not smiled upon in the twenty-first century of computers and nanobots and Twitter. We've been taught that IQ is something that defines us; that it's something in our genetic makeup that makes us either smart or creative. You either have it or you don't. There's no ghoul involved.
Untrue. Stop listening to propaganda. They only use it to sell you things like toilet paper with grooves in it...or an over-priced hybrid car...or the fact that the end of the world is coming TOMORROW! (Buy our guide on how to survive it, only 3 easy payments of $29.99).
No one is creative all the time. If you think creativity is important, you will practice habits that foster it. If you don't, you won't. Look at your habits. What do they tell you?
If you like art, you have probably spent a lot of time looking at it, making it, enjoying it. People tag you as #cre8tive #likestopaint on Instagram. But the fact is, you have invested a lot of time and energy into doing something you love. This is the same principle if you take pictures or fix dishwashers.
Immerse yourself in things you love. Study them. Try them. Fail and then try them again. Stop feeling bad because you don't "feel" creative. Start looking at something outside yourself. That genius may show up to help you solve problems that other people have been stuck on for centuries.
Hack #3: Outsource ideas.
You don't have all the answers. You never will.
Other people can help you. Don't be afraid to ask for help, especially where ideas are concerned. Ideas are not real
, but neither is the money in your bank account. That doesn't mean they aren't valuable or that you don't need many of them.
If you went over to the main branch of your local lending institution and demanded to see the tiny vault with all $365.39 of your assets, you would be laughed out of the building. However, the instant you stepped into Ikea and bought a new piece of flat-pack furniture, that "not real" money would be gone!
Collect ideas. Share them with other people. Use them to build relationships and to try new things.
Ideas are the currency of creativity. Keep them flowing.
Hack #4: Sleep on it. Figuratively and literally.
If that solution to your problem keeps evading you, go take a nap. Give your brain a rest. You may be trying too hard.
Maybe you're not trying hard enough! Maybe you need to sleep in the studio/shop/office to get the work accomplished.
How do you know which technique to choose?
You don't have to know. Sometimes creative people just guess. Sometimes they have a gut feeling. Sometimes they choose the wrong option and have to go back to square one.
Just like you.
Keep sleeping on it, even if you have to climb on top of it with your pillow and blankie.
I was a botany major in college. My first class was awesomely tough. Sometimes I dreamt I was studying. I don't know how I managed to do that, but it was a great tool for remembering all the knowledge I was acquiring.
Sleep is an amazing thing. It is a powerful tool for unlocking your hidden creativity.
Hack #5: Start hacking!!
Creative people can't wait to get to work. They know the value of putting action to the myriad of ideas that they have collected.
They don't collect underpants.
Instead, they try new things.
- Do you like to read blogs? Maybe you should start one!
- Do you like to run? Maybe you should sign up for a race!
- Do you want to go ziplining in Costa Rica? Start a savings account and set a date for your vacation!
Creative people have a lot of stories because they make experience a priority. They don't live vicariously through other people.
Creative people are willing to scare themselves in order to gain experience.
Creative people are valuable because they have the ability to change the perspective of the world.
One of my main interests is creativity.
How do you define it?
How do you cultivate it?
How do you utilize it?
These are all questions that are pertinent to every person on the planet at any given moment. Talk about a broad category of interest! Yet, few people actually take the time to inspect and/or understand it.
Over the course of the next month or so, I will be taking an in-depth look at several aspects of the creative process.
Here is the rough outline I will be using:
5 Creativity Hacks
Use Your Intuition to Enhance Your Creativity
How to End Perfectionism and Take Charge of Your Confidence
The Creative Secret No Artist Wants to Share
If that sounds like a heady subject, don't despair! I, too, come to the internet for weather information and controversial Facebook status updates. I will try to keep the tone seriously lighthearted and thoughtful...I'd hate to overdose anyone with my odd (creative?) thoughts.
Now I'm off to observe Snowpocalypse 2013, which is just getting underway in NW MO!
City league basketball
is drawing to a close. We only have one week of regular season play ahead of us and then a tournament.
We have a 10-0 record despite playing all of our games as Monday night doubleheaders. Let me tell you, I can run in one direction pretty well, but darting all over a basketball court when you haven't moved laterally in about ten years is almost completely debilitating. Then you do that twice in one night.
After the first two weeks, our team of seven was reduced to five. Now we have no substitutes. Every single one of us has to fight for the entire eighty minutes. We. Are. Gassed. After. Every. Game.
But we are still here. We have the league championship all tied up. Nobody else is even close to our record and we have built up a definite advantage over the last month. I can feel my body adapting to the stress of competing regularly. The legs are a little stronger; I don't get as sore afterward; the swelling in my knees has gone down; the bruises are fading.
I felt like this bodily ability to adapt was a great characteristic that we would do well to impart to other areas of our lives (mental/emotional/relational) because it provides us with a few advantages.
We are forced to change
Our doubleheader schedule was chosen because some of our players are grad assistants with the basketball team. They have to travel with the team, and Monday nights are the most convenient times for them to play. We knew it would be tough to play two back-to-back games for six weeks in a row. We accepted the fact that it would be painful and we agreed to do it anyway.
We don't have to think about adaptation. The simplicity of our decision to play doubleheaders forced us to experience games more intensely than our competitors because we play every Monday night to exhaustion. Without substitutes there is no way to hold anything back. We are forced to give our all.
In life, we often hold way too many things back. We don't really want to change anything. Even if we don't like our current situation, it is at least familiar. Change is scary. The unknown is scary.
Do you play your best game every day? Or do you sit on the bench and watch other people struggle?
We change faster
Jason Fitzgerald over at Strength Running
wrote a post earlier this week about finding that point in your training that is "Just Right."
He emphasizes the fact that if we overtrain to injury (2/7 of our team) then we negate any progress we have made. However, the opposite is also true. If the training stimulus is too easy (our opponents) then our body doesn't adapt as fast to the stimulus and we don't gain fitness as quickly as we could.
In effect, we have pushed ourselves to endure eighty minutes of random sprinting, jumping, and elbowing each other at a time. Our opponents have only been playing forty minutes at a time. In a tournament situation, this gives us a huge advantage. If we are again forced to play a doubleheader, we will be trained. We will be ready. This is what we have been doing for the last five weeks. Our opponents, however, have not been doing this on a consistent schedule. They aren't used to playing while tired.
Look again at your life. Do you have some circumstances that are making things difficult for you right now? I know I certainly do. My youngest daughter hasn't slept a night through for three months. This makes six hours of sleep in a row look like heaven. I have learned to run more efficiently on much less sleep. I am stoked about what I will be able to accomplish in the future when she goes back to sleeping at night. I will be unstoppable.
Those difficulties (if approached as training) can actually improve your performance in life by forcing you to change faster than you would choose to change on your own. Accept them. No, embrace them. You will change faster.
We change together
One of the greatest things about torturing ourselves on Monday nights is the moaning and groaning about all the aches and pains that surface on Tuesday morning. We are all hurting, even the young pups. We have other people to commiserate with; friends to assess our injuries and get us ready to fight (play) again. This adaptation doesn't happen in a vacuum.
We are often tempted to suffer alone, to hide ourselves and our flaws from other people. If we choose this route, we sacrifice the great reward of relationships. Sports shows us that it is great to suffer for a cause (winning a cheap trophy) together.
Who is on your team? What is your cause?
What areas in your life could use a little adaptation?
If you are reading this post, you are reading a sort of journal. Blogs were designed to be online versions of paper journals, where you could read other people's thoughts, feelings, accomplishments, and disappointments. They were a way of sharing yourself with the online "community"--a term which still creeps me out a little.
When I was a little girl, my cousins and siblings used to spend a week with my maternal grandparents in the summer. One of the mandatory exercises (my grandmother
was a teacher) was writing in our journals. We had to sit at the kitchen table after we ate dinner and write for 15-20 minutes. This was not my favorite exercise. I would much rather have been running around outside.
None of those journals remain, unfortunately. I have no written record of those formative years. However, I have retained the habit of journaling, and I even preach regularly the importance of writing things down. Here's why I think it's a great habit to cultivate in your life, even if you have no desire to do any other writing.
Thoughts are not real. Words are real.
Here's a profound question:
How do you communicate with yourself?
Think about that for a second. See? You think. This is how you function on a daily basis. A few people talk to themselves regularly, and that is a questionably better method of conversation, but I am here to posit that you cannot clearly communicate to yourself unless you write real words down on paper. Or, in this day and age, type words out on your iphone, if that's more your style.
The dirty little secret: A thought never accomplishes anything.
Can you see a thought? NO
Can you hear a thought? MAYBE
Can you taste, touch, or smell a thought? I didn't think so.
Are thoughts important? YES!
Then how are you going to get that little thought out of your head and make it a reality?
WRITE IT DOWN. Ha. That's it. That's how journaling will set you apart from your peers--because in this age of social media and global connectivity, you have to be unique. Don't just be a Facebook profile.Learn to be a doer and not a spectator in your own life.
Don't believe the lie of perfection.
There is an epic struggle going on in my generation. We all want to be perfect. We want all the clothes in our closet to be color coordinated and fitted. We want to be athletic with model features and enough smarts to get us into the Ivy League. We want awesomeness every day. Ordinary isn't good enough.
Journaling falls victim to this mentality. Journaling is ordinary. I used to feel like I had to date every entry and write some deep revelation in the style of "Dear Diary....." After all, that is what keeping record of your thoughts is supposed
to look like, right?
I FAILED MISERABLY. I couldn't do it. It was just too ordinary for me. I got bored.
I could NOT write faithfully. It seemed like the simple act of making myself do something every day turned that thing into a repulsion. My mind would forget. I would lose my journal. I would get upset if I didn't have any deep revelations. Frustration would ensue. I would quit. I wasn't inspired by the ordinary.Close the gap between ordinary and extraordinary.
Find your "style."
You have a style. It might not be cool, it might not be hip, but it is you. Be comfortable with it.
Sometimes it takes a long time to discover your voice. See Grandma Moses
. It takes time to be comfortable with your style. I think this is often the case with artists. As a whole, we tend to be very self-conscious and perfectionistic. We are always examining our work and holding it under a microscope. We are too close to see its beauty. All we end up seeing are the ugly wrinkles.
Growing up, I never had a room of my own, I always had to share. I spent several years sleeping with my sister on the pull-out couch in our living room. When I finally got a place of my own, I discovered my style. Along with my clothing style (unassuming hobo chic
) I have a decorating style I like to call "eclectic vintage bohemian."
I perfected this style in the basement of one of my roommate's houses. I had a magenta bookcase, shag green carpet, a neon yellow-and-orange chair and a chartreuse ottoman. Strangely, it all worked. In fact, I'm not even sure of the magic that goes on when I start searching for furniture. I just know it when I see it. I had to learn to trust it.
My BRF (you mother-runners
be feelin' me here) runs in basketball shorts. She's endured questioning and teasing from all of us, but she still does it. Why? That's her style. She's cool with it. She trusts her shorts.
When you write, you will develop your own style. You might try mimicking other famous writers as a development exercise, but don't get discouraged when it just doesn't work the same way for you. You have your own style; it's just as unique as your fingerprints. Own it. Tweak it. Learn to trust it.
It took me a long time to realize that my style of writing is very visual-spatial
. Here is an example of a fairly neat journal entry--I am okay with being a slob in my journal, but I'm a little shy of just showing it to all the "community."
My family took a vacation to California the summer after seventh grade. My mom made me keep a journal for the trip, and I am glad she did because it was our only big family vacation. I did a great job of writing things down faithfully for the first week.
The second week, we found a kitten that was starving. His mom and two siblings were dead under a bouganvilla bush in my great-grandmother's backyard. We rescued him and played with him for several days. I fed him a lot of leftover deli ham and he sat in my lap while I read a few books. I wrote a lot about him. I was worried about how I was going to get him home, as the trip back was at least a three day journey in a mini-van with my parents, grandparents, and siblings. Not an ideal situation for dragging home a stray cat.
On the next to last day in California, my kitten disappeared. I thought the deranged neighbor kid came over and took him. In hindsight, my parents very well could have had a hand in his disappearance. Whatever happened to him, I was very upset and concerned about his welfare, actually, I was hysterical. My point?
I wrote all this down in my journal. I swore. I cried. I drew great big lines that were so hard that they ripped some of the paper. I abandoned all ideas I possessed about "formal journaling." I scribbled and I screamed.
Then we came back to Missouri. The trip was over. I didn't write in the journal any more, but I still have it. It is torn and smudged with my thirteen-year-old tears. My heart literally resides on those pages. They are valuable. They are priceless to me.
Journaling doesn't have to be pretty, it only has to be you.
To the little stray kitty in Modesto, California in May of 1996---
Finally got the cover design for my upcoming book done! I hope to have the content finished before G's second birthday (March 21). Perhaps by then she'll stay asleep when I get up to work on projects. She seems to have developed a sixth sense and whenever I get up super early she does, too. This makes work a whole lot harder!
Special thanks to my sister-in-law Adrienne Christian for all her hard work helping me out on various projects. She came up with the design based on Facebook messages and a single phone call. She managed to do an awesome job despite our lack of communication time. She is a talented artist and graphic designer and you should check out her studio website at McTear Studio
Also, I am working on purchasing a used pottery wheel and kiln, so if any of you readers out there know of a sweet deal, please leave me a comment or an email.
Thanks, and here's to another awesome week...the best one of 2013 so far!
After giving you 4 Reasons Why You Should Have a Morning Routine
, I thought it would be a good idea if I shared a few of the tricks I've learned while creating my own morning routine. I've been out of it for a week or so due to sick children and I am sorely in need of some re-vamping myself!
In order to start your day off well, you need to find the point where your morning routine will end. For most of you, that will be going to work. For those who stay at home, you have a little more flexibility in choosing your ending point. Pick something you do every day. Don't cheat and say "eat lunch." The routine should end by 9 am at the latest (for most normal people).
So, pick the ending point for your day. My ending point is the time I need to leave the house to get to work. My office opens at 8:30 am, so I need to plan to be there a little bit early and I need to allow for driving time. Fortunately, it takes me five minutes tops to drive to work, but I don't always have the luxury of driving. I actually have three ways of getting to work. That means I have three different ending points depending on my mode of transportation for the day.
So, I figure out how I am getting to work for the day. Then, I decide when I need to leave the house. That is my ending point. That is a sacred time. You must never cross the boundary line for that time. It's like a fence. If you respect the boundary of your cutoff time, you will be golden.
- I drive. This only happens occasionally in the winter as we only have one car and my husband (who gets off earlier) usually drives it. Ending point: 8:15 am
- I walk. I walk to work during the more pleasant seasons of the year. Ending point: 8:00 am
- I hitch a ride with an awesome co-worker. She lives near me and just grabs me on her way to work. Ending point: 8:20 am
DO NOT cross the boundary of your cutoff time.
I don't recommend multiple ending times, it gets confusing and complicated. Stick to one if at all possible. I include my own personal example because it is possible to come up with more complicated solutions if necessary, but if it is simple, it will be easier to be consistent.
Pick THREE and prioritize
If you are trying to accomplish a few specific things by having a morning routine, then sit down with a piece of paper and write those things down. I suggest no more than three. Remember, this is morning. Coffee helps, but the more you can simplify your life, the easier it will be to succeed in implementing your plan.
For example, my three things currently include:
- Working out
- Working on artwork in the studio
If those three things don't get done in the morning before I go to work, then it's extremely difficult for me to fit them into the rest of my day. These are things that are important to me and that I find very difficult to do while running a household and working full time. This is how they came to be the big three in my morning routine.
Maybe you don't have three. That's okay too. In fact, that's a lot easier. If working out in the morning is your main priority, then you have less things to think about when you get up.
I say prioritize, because there will be days when your routine will be cut short. In those cases, perhaps you will only have time for one of those things on your priority list. That would be number one. If I don't have time to do anything else, I always choose working out. If necessary, I can write on my lunch break or work on artwork in the studio in the evening with my kids, but it's pretty near impossible to do any sort of working out in the evening when I'm already tired from the day. I don't have the motivation.
Start blocking time
At this point, I am assuming that most people who are reading this post already have a "routine" of some sort. You know, you eat (or don't eat) breakfast at about the same time of day. You shower and brush your teeth and get dressed in almost the same ways every day. That's just part of being an adult. It's called the "rut of security." Well, I want you to really examine your rut. Sit down with that list of priorities and that cutoff time and begin to work backward, penciling in the approximate times it takes you to do all the little morning tasks you have to accomplish.
Here's my rough outline:
8:10....................LEAVE FOR WORK (generally)
8:10-8:00.............Brush teeth, put on makeup
8:00-7:30.............Shower, get dressed
7:30-7:00.............Eat breakfast, read Bible, make lunch
7:00-6:30.............Get family ready for work/daycare
6:30-5:30.............Work out (weights or running)
5:30-3:00.............Wake up, have coffee, write, and work on art projects
Now you know my dirty little secret. I get up waaaay earlier than you do. I also go to bed with the chickens and have very little social life. These are the sacrifices one must make. I also take naps. Other people eat lunch, I take a nap, it's that simple.
I used to get up and work out first thing in the morning, but I found that it was much easier to be motivated by art and writing and a little "alone time" than by the pain and suffering of exercise. On the other hand, if I get up late, I still have time to work out. This makes me less inclined to just "skip it" if something keeps me up all night (ahem, two toddlers). These are the types of little experiments and adjustments you will have to keep making to get your morning routine just right.
Another example of tweaking our routine is breakfast. I am a big breakfast eater. Actually, I can eat breakfast two or three times in one morning, I'm just gifted in that area. On the other hand, my husband never eats breakfast. This led to a conundrum with our children. What would they do?
I originally began feeding K breakfast and then taking her to daycare, but we discovered that she threw a fit every time it was time to leave. We tried a lot of different things before we discovered that if we took her to daycare a little earlier and let her sit around the table and eat breakfast with the other kids she was perfectly content. On the weekends, I still make breakfast for everyone, but this simple adjustment added time to our morning and kept everyone's grumpiness at bay.
Tips and Tricks
- If you can't get out of bed in the morning, set multiple alarms. Use multiple clocks if necessary. Put them far from your bed so you have to get up.
- Experiment with getting up at different times. It's easier for me to get up at 2:30 am than to get up at 5:00 am. How do I know this? Trial and error and a lot of not getting out of bed.
- Find out what you're truly passionate about, what would make you give up sleep, then do that first thing in the morning.
- Set your clothes out the night before. This is especially important for workout clothes. Nothing is less motivating than having to dig through the laundry in the dark to find something to wear.
- Set your coffee pot timer so it will make your coffee (for you addicts out there) and let the smell waft through the house as your alarm is going off.
- Have simple, protein-rich breakfast options available. Pre-cook your bacon, boil some eggs, cook oatmeal on the stove and leave it for the morning, or even easier, microwave it. Buy some protein powder and make a smoothie. The only excuse for not having a decent breakfast in this day and age is lack of preparation.
- Don't forget seasonal considerations like warming up the car or scraping ice off the windshield.
- Scrutinize your morning habits. Where do you waste the most time? What could you do to prevent this? I'm not just talking about willpower, here. If you can't stop watching the morning news for an hour, then work it into the routine. You've obviously deemed it a priority. If you truly want to stop, then just don't turn the TV on in the first place. Cut off the bad habits before they even get to the point of temptation.
- Make yourself a morning "place." Go there immediately upon waking. Make it a habit to get up and go there. It's easier to get motivated when you're away from your warm, soft bed or your comfy couch.
- Have someone call you in the morning to hold you accountable.
- Keep track of your mornings on a calendar and reward yourself for a whole month of staying on routine. This is harder than it sounds!
- Educate yourself. Read motivational material or learn how others have successfully implemented strategies to help them become more productive. Steve Pavlina has some great articles on time management and productivity.
Whatever you do, don't give up!
You will not be able to stick to your routine every single day of your life. You must be flexible, but flexibility doesn't mean you don't have a plan. In fact, it means that you have planned to succeed and that you are willing to go outside the boundaries in order to find success.
This morning, G got up at 5 am. She entertained herself while I wrote this blog post and worked out. Then we went along with our routine as normal. Flexibility.
Perfectionism is the enemy of accomplishment. You won't get anything done if you think you need to do it perfectly. Just get going, do your best, and go make a morning routine!
If anyone has any other helpful or insightful advice, please post it in the comments section. I am always looking for new and creative ways to get stuff done!
I love city league hoops. It's a lot of fun. It's also killing me.
Injuries have taken their toll. Here are some interesting facts about our team:
- Two players (of seven) are out with knee injuries, so we have no subs.
- Three of the remaining five of us are over thirty.
- Two of the five of us haven't played competitive basketball since middle school (and we also happen to be over thirty).
- We have a 6-0 record.
- We only play doubleheaders on Monday nights. Can you imagine the carnage in the second half of the second game? It's bad. Perhaps middle school basketball is a good descriptor.
So, what is seemingly impossible here?
Remember folks, I am training for a 50k race
later in the year.
Today is the first day of February. I have run a measly 3 miles this week. THREE MILES! Why?
This is not how I wanted this to go down. I wanted my legs to hold up a little better. They just aren't used to all the lateral herky-jerky that goes on in a basketball game. Since we are out of subs, I have to play the full 80 minutes. EIGHTY MINUTES!!
- City League Hoops.
- Snow and -10 degree wind chill.
- Project deadline (which I met, yay!)
I need to get my mileage up. Running for 5+ hours is all about time on your feet, and the more time you can get under your soles, the better. With my legs all bummed up, that just isn't happening right now.
I am not despondent quite yet, but I could easily get there. Part of my morning is going to be spent trying to reassemble my running training plan to better correspond with the demands of playing a winter sport. Here is my best chance at salvaging my legs and staying fit for the month of February.
Incorporate more strength training.
I enjoy lifting weights. I have been struggling to get my twice-weekly sessions in due to time constraints. If I want to lift and run, then I have to start working out between 4:30 and 5:00 am to get it all in. Getting up isn't a problem, I am already awake. However, it's already tough to get time to work on my art and writing projects without sacrificing another hour to working out.
Strength training is much easier on my lower legs. I can control the force I put on the legs when I run solo, but getting out there and pounding away on the basketball court is eating away my shins. Of course, if I was a few pounds lighter, my legs would have an easier time as well.
Strength training also increases my flexibility and range of motion. If I had known this ten years ago, I would have been lifting weights all along. Somewhere along the way I got all seized up and stiff.
I am considering adding one more strength session (for a total of three per week) and whittling down to three days of running per week, at least while I'm playing basketball (which is 80 minutes of running, jumping, and elbowing your friends in the face). That means all of February I will only manage 12 days of running, but I will also have 12 days of strength training (and 4 days of rest).
This makes me slightly nervous. I will keep you up to date on how this works out.
In the meantime, the cat just tromped around on my painting project that has to be turned in today, so I'm going to go see what I can salvage!
What determines whether you have a bad day or a good day? I know that one of the best things I have done for myself has been to create a morning routine. This prevents me from wandering off outside like an Alzheimer's patient and never coming back. It has also helped me strengthen a few weak personal habits (always being late) and when I follow the routine, it seems that my days go by more smoothly.
The truth is, everybody HAS a morning routine, but many people are not intentional about creating a positive, effective routine that will help them grow as a person. Here are a few reasons why you should get out a sheet of paper and plan out the first two (if not more) hours of your day.
photo by Nellie Mitchell
Art is important. Art teachers are important.
I still remember my elementary art teacher: Jan Thorne. She was really skinny and she used to stand outside the art building and smoke a cigarette while we filed in for art class. She was really quiet, and I don't really remember much about those elementary school art years, but I wanted to grow up to be an artist. She must have been a good influence. Also, I won a disproportionate amount of poster contests, so something was working for me there.
Those cigarettes got her in the end. She passed away the summer between my third and fourth grade year. Then we had Mr. Wardlaw. His son was one of my best friends, so we got along well. He was famous for speaking so softly in class that we could barely hear him, but when we would get too rowdy he would yell at us in this HUGE bass voice. I remember thinking, "I hope his son doesn't get into too much trouble at home."
I fell in love with clay in his class. I remember being frustrated because I used an excessive amount of water in my quest for perfection. This caused my container to be flimsy and floppy. I made a cat vase. My mom still has it. (All those ancient pottery shards found in archaeological ruins: moms keeping their kids' pottery projects.)
Fast forward to high school. Once again, I was only able to fit in one art class due to the fact that I was on the high honors track (which meant I was taking 6 more science, English, and math courses than regular graduates). I was also an athlete, a member of the band, and I was in FFA. All these things took time out of my life; time which could have been spent doing art.
This art class was memorable, though. My best friend sat next to me and we joyfully spattered paint everywhere, making enormous messes and having a grand old time. I produced some fine works (now unavailable for print) and learned how to properly stipple
Today I wanted to let you know about the fine company I kept during those joyous "art class" moments of my life.
I went to high school with Nellie Mitchell. We had art class together. Now she's the teacher, and she's doing a great job of expanding and enriching children's lives with art.
She won the Missouri Art Education Association
award for outstanding Missouri art teacher of 2012.
photo by Nellie Mitchell
Check out Nellie's blog.
For awesome art ideas (especially for kids) check out her lesson plans blog
Here are some of the awesome projects she has done with her classes (available for viewing on her blog along with complete with tips and timelines). All photo credits go to Nellie, who just happens to be a fantastic photographer as well.
Nellie is a great example of an art teacher who is changing young lives with art.
I just want to take time today to say THANK YOU Nellie.
Thank you for inspiring all of