Did I mention I love running?

I’m going to sound like a broken record, but I truly absolutely and with all my heart love running!  After learning that we weren’t going to do Tough Mudder until next year, I realized I needed a goal to work towards, otherwise I could just see my workouts dying a slow death until I’m mummified on the couch, muscle melting away as I stuff ice cream and pizza into my mouth, perhaps simultaneously.  (Haha, I think my brain needs to spew some prose onto paper!)

I think I mentioned in a past post that I was going to run more, but I’m not sure I had a solid plan at that point.  I went online and did a little research and found a half marathon training schedule that I started two weeks ago.   I ended up running more in that first week than I’ve ever run before in my life – not all in one run, but added up I did 13 miles.  By the end of the week, I think I hated running… I was exhausted and the thought of just one more mile made me want to hurl.  However, that didn’t stop me and I started last week like a pro, intending to keep at it, even if it killed me.  It didn’t kill me, but my mind and body decided they needed a rest and without my consent, they decided to force a rest on me last week.  After running on Tuesday, I proceeded to take the rest of the week off to heal and rejuvenate, both from writing and running.  I think it did me a ton of good, once I let it be and just allowed it.

This week, I decided to start the whole process over again.  (Mainly because I am dreading running more than 4 miles at one time and the second week has a 5 mile run.)

I can’t say I was feeling fantastic yesterday and thoughts of giving up on the whole thing seriously ran around my brain… Do I love running this much?  What am I doing this for anyway?  Who cares if I take a week off? A month!  Hell, I’ll just take the rest of the year off!  It’s not like I’m doing anything this year anyway, so what’s the point?  Especially considering I don’t run for any type of “losing weight” thing.  I fell in love with running, not because it had health benefits, but because of how it made me feel.  (Which is weird considering the rants that happen inside my head while I’m running, most of which can seriously be construed as “I hate running!”)  It’s really those few blissful moments during a run when you feel like you could run forever.  I hate calling it runners high, but most people do.  It’s just a moment or two where you feel like you have the world in the palm of your hand and you can do anything and everything.  I also love the feeling of accomplishment when I finish three miles even after telling myself over and over again that I’m going to stop after the next hill or the next turn.

I started my run yesterday feeling pretty good and loving the clouds, the 60 degree temperature and the wind blowing in my face.  By the second mile, the wind was kicking my ass, the sun was beating down on me after the clouds had blown away and I was seriously considering stopping.  But I didn’t.  I finished 3 miles with an 11:38 per mile pace and I was exhilarated!  I did it, even after a week off!  And I plan to do it all over again tonight.  Because I love it.  It’s so hard to explain, but I’m sure all you runners out there who read my blog will understand what I mean.

I’m so happy I took up exercise in May and did it to a point that it became a habit.  I’m not sure I can even explain the difference in how I feel about slogging through four runs in one week, but there is a difference now than in past years.  A schedule helps a lot.  When I am not working a schedule, I am haphazard and all over the place.  I don’t even think I realized how habitual of a person I really am until I started the exercise program.  (Note to self: Apply this to writing, it could help a lot!)

So, here is my running schedule in case any of you are interested.  I found it here when I Googled ‘half marathon training’.

Half Marathon Training

I’m also posting it in multiple places so it’s that thing I do rather than that thing I just talk about and give it a halfhearted attempt.  Before you know it, I’ll be into those weeks 10, 11 and 12 and running 13 miles in one run, rather than 13 miles in one week.  Wish me luck!  I’m going to need it!

How about you?  What are you up to this week?

 

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Rediscovering Peace

socs-badge

This was written for Stream of Consciousness Saturday in which Linda prompted us with the prefix “re”.  This screamed for a poem and how many of those “re” words I could use without being completely ridiculous.  It’s startling what the mind comes up with when given so many different words and without having any solid direction.  Once this started, I realized it was a meditation of sorts, and it made it easier to find where it was going.

I think my subconscious is telling me to settle back into peace, no matter what life is throwing at me.  I hope you enjoy!

Rediscovering Peace

Relapsing into silence
The rejection of sound
Receding waves
Recoiling and churning back to
a reawakening

Rediscovering peaceful serenity
Regarding breathe
in and out
Reaching for unlimited
perception

Re-charting a path
Forward through darkness
Reconsidering moments
Thoughts re-sorted,
rearranged

Reapplied and rewoven
into
solemn clarity
Opening to limitless reception

Reading is just as good as writing, right?

I’m not sure what’s kept me from posting this week.  I’ve been thinking of ideas for posts all week, but just never took the time to sit down and write them out.  If I’m honest, I tend to do that thing where I beat myself up because I didn’t think of a story for this challenge or that challenge and I start to question whether or not I have “it”, even though I have plenty of proof through this here blog that I can and do write stories.  It’s been hard to come to terms with the fact that some challenges just do not inspire me to write – like I can’t even come up with an idea for a story to match the challenge.  Not that each time needs to come from inspiration.  There have been a few stories where I wrote something I pulled out of thin air and struggled to put it on paper, but I feel I’m better for having challenged myself and stepped outside my comfort zone.  Chuck Wendig posted something really amazing at the beginning of the week where he said you need to love what you write.  I loved him for that.  It really helped in what I was going through with his challenge, strangely enough, and I allowed myself to move on without writing a story.

I’ve decided that writing is a lot like acting.  I know that when actors give the performance of their life, they leave a little bit of themselves on the stage, as the saying goes.  I think writing is like that in so many ways.  So much of what I write comes from such a deeply personal space and each time its like opening my soul until I write the last word and hit publish and then I can close the door or am able to put it in a bubble and let it float away, or something equally like letting it go.  I think that’s why the bigger project scares me.  It is so much more than just 1,000 words or even 2,000 words. And then, once it’s written, you have the editing process where it will still be splayed open and haunting through the recesses of my mind.

Needless to say, I’ve been struggling this week.  But when I say struggling, it’s more like I just put it in a box and left it on the side of the road where I didn’t have to deal with it and I could lie and tell myself everything was okay, even though every time I logged on to read through all the amazing blog posts I follow, I knew it was there, staring at me.

The one thing I have been doing is reading.  (I should probably make this a separate blog post, but nah.)

There are some amazing books out there, and then there are some not so amazing books, but I enjoy the exploration no matter which category they fall into.  I read somewhere (I think it was Chuck, again) that we should read everything and anything.  Step outside your comfort zone and explore new things.  I didn’t really set out on a mission to do that, but I’ve actually done that a lot this year. Below is a list of the books I’ve read in the last few months.  (I only wish it was more, but there is only so much time in a day, damn it!)  I hope all the links work.  I chose to link each book to Amazon in case you want to check them out yourself.

Currently Reading:
The Bourne Identity by Robert Ludlum (I picked this up on a whim from the library intending to read way more than I did on my vacation.  I got through about one entire book – finishing one I was reading and making it most of the way through another – during my flights and the few hours I had alone in the hotel room.  I just started reading Bourne Identity this week and am enjoying it more than I thought I would, especially after reading a few not so good reviews on Goodreads.  I loved the movies but am enjoying the book even more!  And, it is way outside what I normally read!)

What I’ve read in the last three months:

The Ophelia Prophecy by Sharon Lynn Fisher (Loved the sci-fi aspect of this story, but didn’t really like the romance part of it, which is weird because I like a good romance.)
Dead Things by Stephen Blackmoore (Fantastic read if you like gritty, dark, awesome shit!)
The Alloy of Law by Brandon Sanderson (If you haven’t read the Mistborn Trilogy, I highly recommend it.  This one was not what I was expecting as an add-on to the series, but it was worth reading.)
The Cormorant by Chuck Wendig (Where do I even start?!  Loved, loved, loved this series!)
Citadels of Fire by L.K. Hill (My niece is a published author and I’m so proud of her.  That being said, this book was just too far outside what I normally like to read.  Straight historical fiction, Russian history no less, is just not my thing.  But I’m happy I read it and had it signed by her.)
Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig (See above where I am perfectly giddy over this series)
Shades of Milk and Honey by Mary Robinette Kowal (I read this because I saw it reviewed by Jim C. Hines.  I loved the glamour idea, I just wish it had gone further.  Maybe it will in the coming books.  I’m hoping it will and enjoyed this enough to pick up another one.)
Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig (Just, WOW!)

I’m really enjoying stepping outside my comfort zone and I’m finding I have a new favorite type of book to read.  Apparently I like gritty dark stories, if the Miriam Black series and Dead Things have anything to say about it, which they do.  Those have by far been my favorite books of the summer and I wish there were more of them to read, right this moment! (I do know that the 2nd book in Stephen Blackmoore’s series is out, Broken Souls, I just haven’t ordered it yet.  So YAY for new things to read in the near future!)

What about you?  What are you reading?  Have you read anything from my list?  What did you think of it?

I hope you all have a fabulous Friday!  Happy writing (and reading)!