Running Thoughts

IMG_3593I am not a runner. In fact, I despise it with everything in me. I have since I was younger. This coming from a woman who played both basketball and tennis, both of which involved quite a bit of running, especially in off-season and training. Many friends run, though. I live in a town known for it’s runners, it’s races and it’s trails. I even went so far as to do a 5K a couple of years ago with my friend Hanna (thank you by the way for that!), but it was more of a walking thing for us since it was the Color Run.

So I am not sure why but long about mid-April I took up running, intermittently mind you, while I tried different workouts in my normal cycle. Over the month of May I took on the challenge of logging 30 running miles in 30 days, and I am happy to brag that I finished that up three days early! That’s a huge thing for me because honestly as you’ve ascertained already I hate running. I used to joke that I would only do it if being chased.

Slowly over this last month it’s become more of a release for me, and a time where I can clear out some thoughts and often get re-focused on my life. Saturday morning I woke up at my normal workweek time (because that’s what inevitably happens on Saturdays, without an alarm) and decided to get in a run before it became unbearably hot and/or poured rain. While I am writing this it’s on downpour three of today and hence why I am not currently running. IMG_4131

I have been, for the last month, focused on the next step in front of me when I run. One foot in front of the other. Just keep it moving, even when my pace is an ungodly number…just take that next step. And so as I was on lap two in my normal run route I happened to look up, and look around. I caught this and honestly I had to stop and just take the photo.

In running, much like life, I tend to focus on the things right in front of me without much pausing. Without stopping or taking a moment to look around at where I am at, often finding I get in a place because I was too focused on the step rather than the path. As I continued on running I kept thinking on this thought, and how I don’t focus much when I run on the target ahead until I am right on it. Instead of pushing myself through, even praying through it, I just get that next step in.

While focusing on where and how we plant our feet is good, it can lead us to a habit of not focusing on the end goal, where we are striving to be. As I continued on my run Saturday morning I found I was very present and pushing to the distance rather than the step and debating on going another mile instead of focusing on the step in front of me. It allowed me to see that I can push farther when I am not as present-focused but future-minded.

While I am still not sold on this whole running bit, I am finding it is giving me new perspective on what I am capable of when I put my mind on the things ahead instead of what’s currently in front of me.

30 (plus) days later…

January 31st is here. We are 30 days from those resolutions we shouted out on New Year’s Day. What have you advanced on those resolutions? How have you lived into that One Word?

Instead of full blown resolutions for a year, I decided to pursue a change of course. Let’s be honest, 12 months with only four goals would get stale and boring. Hence why we typically don’t keep resolutions. So my commitment was for 30 days, and then after 30 days I would reassess, potentially getting rid of it or adding to it.

January’s 30 Days:New Image

1-Track my daily food and exercise regime. Prior to the holidays I wanted to join Weight Watchers in order to lose weight that I had tacked on since moving to Nashville. I also wanted to be more aware of what I ate, when I ate it, and why I ate it. Instead of forking over $64+ for three months, unsure of if I would stay with the tracking, I chose to use a free app on my phone to keep up with things. I researched calorie intake and set a daily goal. For the last thirty days I have tracked everything from a snack, to my cardio step class, to how many glasses of water I had a day. It’s an eye opener for sure.
Result: Realization of the fact I emotionally eat at times, and that I need to better educate myself about the calorie intake on foods I eat.
Next 30 days? Keep!

2-Workout more than half of the month. I had often defined workout as some three hour regime done in the morning. Then I understood that just being mobile and active for 30 minutes made all the difference. I tracked my habits on a calendar I keep on the fridge (also a deterrent to forage for food when you see that calendar). With one final day left, I have worked out 18 days this month! There were days I didn’t because I just didn’t feel like it, but I didn’t let that deter me from the next day. I took Saturdays off because I didn’t want to overwhelm or guilt myself. I had a motivator and encourager. Most of all, I dumped my gym (where it was easy to excuse not driving there) for the fitness center across from my office. It’s also free, bonus on saving $50 a month now!
Result: I have more energy and a better sleep regime on the days I work out. I have lost eight pounds over the last 30 days.
Next 30 days? Hit at least 20 days of workouts.

3-Pray and read my Bible. Talk about the most impactful of all commitments this month. God’s really used this daily time with me to teach me, discipline me, and encourage me. I was relatively good about having a daily time of reading Scripture or devotions. What I am horrible about is taking time to talk and listen to God each day. That’s where alot of my discipline and struggle come in with relation to God.
Result: I am being intentional in talking but also listening for Him even outside of the time in the mornings. I have come to understand the “Pray Continually” verse more and more.
Next 30 days? Keep, keep, keep!

4-Eat at least one meal, out, alone. While that used to not be a big deal, in Nashville it’s a bit daunting at times. Nashville is a connection city where people use meals out to group and fellowship, more than any city I have ever been to before. I had gotten into a funk of allowing fears to not let me experience great food just because no one wanted to go.
Result: So I went to breakfast on Saturday morning alone. It was this mom-and-pop place and I was encouraged to see many people eating solo there. Great food by the way too…
Next 30 days? Eat dinner out alone at a fine dining restaurant.

 

So what are some of your resolutions/goals for this year? Where are you at in those? What can you quit today (as Thursdays are great for quitting)? February is tomorrow…it brings newness and refreshing….start something tomorrow.

 

I am beyond excited about one of my February goals. I am still eight addresses shy of what I need to accomplish it…so if you’d like to help me out shoot me an email at sarabstacy (at) gmail (dot) com!