The Bull

There’s a song by [a band named] Atreyu called “Becoming the Bull,” where the lyrics say, “Grab the bull by the horns the old adage goes. Nobody tells you where to go from here.” While one could argue that its simply a line in a song and nothing more, it speaks to me as the whole song kind of does.

Atreyu “Becoming the Bull”

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Right. My drawing is still bad. Here’s “The Bull”

Recently, there was a medication adjustment for the teen. She was more angsty than ever and often verbally cruel. During one outburst, her phone was taken away. I decided to try to see if there was another problem that had bubbled up that she was not sharing with her father and I, so I started sifting through the many apps on the phone. That’s when I found the pics she had been struggling with since October. The ones I thought were taken candidly and without her knowledge that I’d mentioned in a previous post. I saw that they weren’t candid at all and I was disappointed that I’d been lied to so many times about the same thing by the same person. It doesn’t change the way I feel about the people who repost them and say despicable things to and about her in regards to the attempt at her life in November. A misstep is something everyone experiences in life. You try to move forward and past things and sometimes, people pick your rubbish from behind you on the path and bring it up to you waving it in your face to remind you of it. It doesn’t mean it isn’t rubbish and that it shouldn’t have been left behind. It means that someone wants people to lose focus of their own trash and they’ve picked up yours to distract from his/her own. It’s cruel and it isn’t right for people to do to one another. It just seems to be a way some people live.

I realized last weekend that I was signing up for a half marathon and was not taking the extra miles in to accomplish running 13.1 miles. I planned to run a few miles after our Saturday training run, but my husband mentioned feeling unwell, so I went home and planned to go later on. Instead, I headed out Sunday afternoon and ran 8 miles on the trail. My hands were freezing, but running seemed effortless once I got out and started. I really needed that time with my headphones on and my running shoes on to be outside and to have no other purpose than complete 8 miles. At first, my mind was consumed with all of the lists of things to do, bills to pay, accounts to reconcile, appointments to make, and other things that fall into the category of “very important for continuity of modern life,but not to enjoying this moment.” I started to think about more abstract subjects and realized that I was taking the hills without slowing and without panting once I reached the top. I was doing it with ease. I needed that long run and I needed to solitude. While I’ve been reluctant to train for anything while I’m mentoring people to run the 10k, I’m going to remember to keep up with the longer runs so it can be done with ease when the time comes. There’s always some push an pull involved in running. If you don’t keep up with distance, it becomes more difficult. If you don’t switch things up once in awhile, you don’t reap any benefits. Running can be a great example in other parts of life. The things that you nurture will become the things that do well. The things that you neglect are the things that are tougher to improve and take a little extra care when the time comes to put it into practice.

The weather is starting to get warmer. We have the threat of one more wintery storm in the coming day or so. Then, the winter will probably start to ease away into the spring. Running season is starting to peek through with races to sign up and train for. I’m excited for the races I’ve signed up for so far. I’m excited that I actually ran through the winter months and won’t have to feel like I’m starting over when the weather is finally warming up. I still have run each day this year at least 1 mile per day and every one of those miles has been outdoors. Mentoring has been great. We’re so close to the goal distance and I’m excited for the day we do a trial run of the course ahead of the race day. I can’t wait to see the people I’ve been running with realize their abilities! I plan to keep up the streak for the foreseeable future and hope to make it all 366 days of the year.

Do you take time where you’re alone with your thoughts and clear your mind? Do you have any races coming up? Any new goals yet?

Thanks for reading! Please feel free to drop me a comment or message. I love to hear from people reading my blog!

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I’m a planner

Well, then. I am sure I have something to write about, but I started this whole thing not knowing my direction. That’s highly unusual for me. I’m a planner. I usually have my days planned out and my routes planned for things in advance. No matter how often the daily scripture book I read tells me that not everything will go according to my plan and to take comfort in it, I freak out a little when things don’t go the way I plan.

This past weekend, I reserved a rental car to drive to see my friend that lives 200 miles away so we could exchange Christmas presents and I could pick up my birthday present. The family minivan is the safer of our two vehicles and the sedan isn’t exactly a reliable car anymore. I scheduled to pick up my car at 9:30. I got up in the morning pretty close to 7am, got dressed and rushed out of the house because I thought my training run started at 7:30am and the meeting place was clear across town. I was trying to get there earlier than the start time like I’m supposed to and I pulled in to a completely empty parking lot. I didn’t have my folder with me that had the meeting  places on a sheet of paper, so I sent a frantic text to a friend who is also in the program. She replied within a few minutes that I was actually really early and to wait there because she was on her way soon. So I was 30 minutes early because I thought I was running late. That’s actually par for the course for me because I try to never be late. I get annoyed when other people are late with me. So, I get to the rental place right before 9:30 to pick up my reserved car. There is already a woman at the counter who is asking a lot of questions and then gets her card declined, takes the time to get on her phone and make a credit card payment, ask the representative to try her card again after a couple of minutes, gets declined again, then asks to use another card. This whole thing took about 20 minutes and while she was apologetic, I was highly annoyed. I went as fast as I could to be on time for when I scheduled my pick up, skipping taking a shower and changing out of my sweaty running clothes to stand there and wait patiently for someone who was ill prepared for her pickup. I told my friend that I’d be on my way to her house by 10:30am, so I rushed home and took a shower and left my house right before 10:30am. Still on time…score! Yeah, that’s how I am. It didn’t matter to her that I left at that time, but to me, I was really counting on being gone by then. I even got home on Sunday in time to watch “the big game” on TV and squeeze in a mile right after halftime.

This week’s Tuesday run was mostly uneventful. We had 4 miles to go for training. The windchill was -1 degree(s) and the temp was in the teens. There were some patches of slippery ice along the way, but we stayed upright and didn’t get windburn or frostbite. I think it would have been a very miserable 4 miles if I wasn’t running with another person. That’s a huge advantage to this group training. I have a history of quitting in the winter because it’s too cold and I get bored with the elliptical machine I have. I was quitting because of excuses. Running despite the cold is a wake up call that my dedication is stronger than my excuses this time.

This weekend will be 4 miles and I’m looking forward to running in the light of day again. I’m also looking forward to being there at the right time.  I have no real plans this weekend after the group run. Except I have to rush home because my  husband is going to be working this weekend since someone who normally does it had a loss in the family. I got everyone in my family, including myself, a little Valentine. We don’t go all out for it since we don’t place much value on the holiday.

I’m still running outside every day for at least a mile. Sometimes, I rib people who run inside instead of out. If I had a gym membership, I’d be indoors for many of these runs as well. Especially the 1 mile runs where I have to bundle up to run a quick jaunt around the block.

I’m still battling with depression. Some days, I feel so tired, I have to force myself to move. Yesterday was one of those days. I wound up running a mile and doing some weight training. I was still tired while I was doing it and after, but I made myself do it. I slept in a bit this morning and had a late start to my errands, but they’re done. Winter is tough on the mind. Sometimes, just being able to cope with it is a win.

I’m currently reading “The Terrible and Wonderful Reasons Why I Run Long Distances” by Matthew Inman/The Oatmeal. It was one of the gifts I got from my friend on my trip last weekend. So far, it is hilarious. I would highly recommend it to runners. The Oatmeal is one of my favorite writers, so it isn’t surprising that I’d like it. *Unpaid/unsolicited endorsement.

I’ll let you get back to your perusing the interwebs. Thanks for reading my blog this week despite my lack of direction. I think it worked out fine, though. Hope it did. Let me know if you have any questions or subjects you want me to talk about.

 

Still going strong

I ran outside every single day this year for at least 1 mile. Even when I wasn’t feeling well and even when the windchill was negative degrees Fahrenheit, I pulled on my shoes and did it.  I’m working on perseverance, I suppose. I thought after forcing myself to get out and run when I wasn’t feeling well, I’d give up the streak after a month of doing it. I was wrong. February 1st rolled around and I dutifully went out and ran my mile to ensure I didn’t break the streak.  I can’t just drop it after this long. That was the reason when I was sick at the end of January and that is the reason now. I’ve done it this long, so I might as well keep doing it until I literally cannot go on.

I’m in week 4 of my first experience in mentoring. I am in a group training to run a 10k. That’s a little more than 6 miles. Many of the participants have run a 5k before and are going to double their race distance now. I find that impressive and challenging. We have an evening group workout and a morning group workout each week in addition to individual training on other days/nights. This week, our evening workout was hills. We ran a course that involved 2 loops with hills on them and we ran the loop twice. I was worried that it would be rainy that night, but it turned out to be a dense fog where the night seemed eerie. It was warm, too. I’m pretty sure most of us out there broke a sweat. Only once did I feel like I screwed up and it was because I did. I told the people I was running with that we were turning left ahead, then wondered why they turned the opposite way from me when I went right. The correct direction was right. I tried to laugh it off, but I felt like a huge ditz mixing up my directions out loud. The people I ran with kept a really good pace despite having to climb the hills and I was impressed at how they kept it up and didn’t really complain. I probably complained quite a bit on my first hill workout in training. I know I did, actually. This weekend will be a progressive run where we warm up, get faster each mile, then cool down. I have been working on negative splits for months, so I’m ready to challenge other people to do it with  me.

 

I love running, so I thought mentoring was an obvious choice for running in a group while I’m not personally training for anything. So far, I’ve discovered that I’m always worried about whether I’m doing it right and I often ask other mentors who have experience if I’m doing things right. I am really enjoying doing it, though. I also enjoy pestering the people who organize our program because I’m a worrier. It is only week 4 and we have some time ahead. I keep reminding myself that this is my first time and I just have to be open to learning how to teach and remembering what I liked best about my training mentors.

Running totally burns off the crazy. Our problems with the teen are ongoing. Some have to do with people who want to insert themselves into the situation so others notice them. Some have to do with my daughter not being completely honest and being more of a ‘forgiveness instead of permission’ type of person. Then, more has to do with the fact that while everyone blames parents for everything their kids do, we don’t have the ability to be there 24/7 to monitor their behavior and they are individuals with their own minds and thoughts. We can teach, but we can’t decide what lesson the student ultimately gets from it.

So, I’ll keep on streaking with at least a mile a day. I’ll keep on training through the goal race at the end of week 11. I’ll keep on trying to become the best mentor that ever existed and being critical of myself about what I do during training. I’ll keep on parenting my teen and trying to instill good values and morals and hope she clings to them one day. I’ll continue to be a good example of it just in case that’s a better teacher, which I think it is.

Are you still working at your goals for this year? Are you aware that this is typically the week of the year when resolutions taper off? What are you going to do to not be in that statistic? I’d say not make a resolution, but it’s a little late if you already did. Are you your biggest critic? Do you try to be a fan of yourself once in awhile?

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Obviously, that’s me in the lead….misdirecting.