Entries in Reflections (11)


It is strange not to be running for a whole week!

After the Chicago Polar Dash last Saturday, I thought it would be beneficial (and perhaps a reward to myself) to take a little time off from all the physical activity this past year -- and especially these past two months -- and just relax. You know, getting more sleep (not getting up at 5-6am to run/workout), watching TV, getting up late on Saturday... doing what more 'normal' people get to do.

Well, I am on Day 5 of this 'rest week'. The first two days, Sunday and Monday, were great! The legs and feet were recovered from the race, I was just hangin' out! Watching the NFL Conference games with my wife on Sunday, and Criminal Mind reruns on Monday after work. I washed my run gear and didn't have to think about putting anything out for the Tuesday run. Good times!

Last night, I caught myself checking the morning weather for Thursday so I could pick out my gear for my run. Then I remembered! Oh yeah! I am not running this week! And then it kinda hit me.... I am not running this week! It occurred to me that the last time I went a full week without going out for a run was back in March 2011. If I look for the last time I did no physical activity at all for a full week (i.e. no gym workouts), it would be back in December 2010.

I feel so strange not actually "doing" anything this week. I think taking this time for recovery after running two Half Marathons is a good idea because it lets my legs and feet have plenty of time to get over the heavy demands placed upon them this month. But from a mental perspective, I feel like I should be doing something and by not doing it, I am missing out on something important.

I have really grown to appreciate and look forward to my runs and workouts throughout the week. Is it because of those endorphin 'highs'? Maybe. But mostly, I like carving out some time each day where I can go out, move my body, and have some "me time" to clear my head. Sometimes I get ideas and insights during a run. Other times, I just need to put the daily worries aside and enjoy a period of peace and quiet, or listen to music, or have some bonding time with my running buddy.

I will keep to my "week of Rest" decision for the remaining two days. During these next few days, I will work on my training schedule for 2012, which I think will be a bit complicated given my race schedule. And then next week, my work will begin anew. I relish getting "back in the running groove".


Think about how you can make 2012 'Awesome'!

About a week ago, I posted my goals for 2012 on my other blog "Random Musings". Some of you may not know about that blog, which covers a variety of topics that occasionally cross my mind (technology, spirituality, science fiction, books, family, whatever). So I decided I would highlight the two goals that focused on my staying active and healthy.

Lose another 50 pounds

In 2011, my weight loss efforts continued, bringing my total weight loss since May 2010 to over 110 pounds. This was very rewarding for me, seeing my shirt size go from a 4XL to just XL, my pants size go from a 58 to 44, and now being able to fit into clothes previously too small for me. I have given away tons of clothes to Good Will that are now way too big for me.

But, I am not done yet! My weight target is 190 pounds. I have 50 more pounds to lose and my goal is to lose them in 2012! The past few months have seen my weight loss stabilize -- no gaining but no losing either. I believe part of this is the result of my training for the Half Marathon, but another part of it is that I have become more lax in my tracking of what I eat.

So 2012, I re-dedicate myself to following my Weight Watchers PointsPLUS program more carefully, continue to eat healthy foods, and lose these last pounds and inches!

Maintaining a healthy, active lifestyle

This will be the year of the Half Marathon! I ran my first on January 7th at Disney World in Orlando FL. My second was on January 21st, when I ran the Polar Dash down Lake Shore Drive in Chicago where it was well below freezing and snowing for most of the race. I have three other Half Marathons scheduled between April and September. I also have three 5Ks (one was completed on January 6th) and one 10 Mile race scheduled.

In June, I will be participating in the AVON Walk for Breast Cancer Research. This is a two-day event where the first day is a 26.2 mile walk, followed by a 13.1 mile walk the following day. I will be doing this to raise awareness and funds to help in the fight to find a cure for this terrible disease that affects both men and women alike. More on this soon. I hope I can count on your support to help me in this fight!

My biggest athletic challenge for 2012 will be my first Full Marathon: The Chicago Marathon in October! I am very excited and intimidated by this one. I am putting together my training plan for this race now, so that I will be prepared.

Other than running and walking, I will also be working out at my health club, doing some biking and swimming and strength training. Not only do I want to lose weight, I want to build more lean muscle mass, strengthen my core, and make sure that I am losing fat, not muscle. I want to be a lean mean fighting machine!

So, what are YOU going to be focusing upon this new year? Looking to lose a few pounds or a few inches off your waist, thighs, chest, or butt? Desiring to increase your endurance, speed, agility, or mental toughness? Striving for a new Personal Record in races this year? Hoping to make a job change, get a raise, or perhaps find employment? Develop a deeper relationship with God or your Higher Power? Or maybe just to make more time for family and friends, or engage in a new hobby/activity to relieve stress and just have fun?

Is it one or more of these? Or do you have something that is deep in your heart that needs to be expressed/resolved this year? Whatever it is, make a commitment to yourself now that you will take your first step today -- think about it! Then write your goals down in your planner, your SmartPhone, your Task Manager, the palm of your hand. And for each goal, think of a couple of realistic steps you can take in the next 10 days to start your journey!

There is no time like the present to take a step into your new future! I cannot promise that it will be easy. But I can promise that the feeling of accomplishment and satisfaction when you reach your goal will make the effort totally worthwhile!

As Captain Jean Luc Picard of the Starship Enterprise would say, "Make it so!"