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Monday, June 27, 2011

My Hometown: Plaistow 5K Race Report

"Last night I sat him up behind the wheel and said son take a good look around.  This is your hometown."
-- Bruce Springsteen

On June 28, 2003, I ran my first ever road race:  The 23rd Annual Plaistow Old Home Day 5K.  My official time was 25:14.  I paced off of my friend, Sue Wentworth (who taught me an awful lot about running):

I received my first running trophy EVER at this race for 1st place NOVICE female.  Imagine that?  Not bad for a first timer.
I've done numerous 5K's, 5 milers, 1/2 marathons and marathons since that day.  This is the only race that I have done every year, without fail.  It's special for a couple of reasons.  First, it's the anniversary of my introduction into road racing.  Secondly, it's in Plaistow, NH, the place I have called home for over 17 years now.  But, it's not just about a 5K.  It is part of the Plaistow Old Home Days, which celebrates the town.  You can read more about it here:

It's like a slice of small-town America, which is really neat.  There is a parade that happens on Old Home Day, right around 2 p.m.  The route goes right by my street, so my neighbors and I always take chairs down to the end of the road and watch the fire trucks, police cars, Shriners and marching bands.  It lasts for about an hour and is always lots of fun.

The 5K was this past Saturday, 6/25/11.  My friends Gina, Christina, Matt and his sister, Jillian, joined me for the race this year (I like to travel with a posse).  The weather was very sketchy at first.  I awoke to the loud, booming sound of thunderstorms around 5:30 a.m.  I had heard we may have some wet weather, but that it should clear up enough by the time the gun went off at 9.  Everyone arrived at my house between 7:30 and 7:45.  The thunder and lightning had pretty much ceased, but the rain was still falling, moderately at times.  However, runners are a tough bunch.  It would take a lot more than a little rain to keep us from getting out there.

I live less than 1/2 mile from the finish line of the 5K, which is the location of the town hall.  We walked down to pick up our t-shirts & bibs.  The benefit of being so close is we could bring everything back to my place, take care of our last minute "bathroom business" and then leave from my house to do our warm-up.  Matt, Christina and I went out to run 16-18 easy minutes.  Gina and Jillian decided they'd just walk back down.  After our respective warm-ups, we met up at the starting line with about 10-15 minutes to spare.  As we all congregated at the start line, we were asking each other about time goals for the 5K.  I hadn't done a race this short in distance since July 2010.  I had done a couple high intensity track workouts with my friend, Leigh, prior to this weekend, but have been in total marathon mode, racking up 50 mile weeks and focusing on long runs.  Matt said he wanted to break 23 minutes so, in the back of my head, I figured I could use him as a pace car.

We wished each other well and got ready to run.  The gun went off at 9:02 and so did we.  Now, normally when I run, I do not pay attention.  I've done many races where people will ask me, "so what was the course like?"  And I just look at them, blankly, while shrugging my shoulders.  This is the one exception to the rule.  These are roads that I train on ALL the time.  I've run on them several times a week for the past 8.5 years.  I knew exactly what to expect and the nature of the course.  The first mile is flat to downhill, second mile is more uphill and the third mile is mostly flat to downhill.  I checked my split at the 1M marker:  7:05.  I was huffing and puffing, but my legs felt strong.  I could still see Matt, which was a relief.  As I mentioned, the middle mile is a bit challenging because it's a gradual incline that doesn't provide much in the way of recovery.  It's almost like a false flat at times.  You don't really SEE the hills, but you can FEEL them.  At the top of West Pine was the 2M marker:  7:09.  Only 1.1 miles to the finish.  I knew the first .2 of the last full mile was still a gradual climb, but that a .5 mile gradual downhill awaited me on the other side.  It was around this time that I closed the gap and ran slightly off of Matt's right shoulder.  Sensing my presence, he gave me a thumbs up.  I returned the gesture and focused on the task at hand:  getting to that finish line.

It couldn't have gone any better.  And the best part is, we didn't plan it that way at all.  I would edge out in front a bit, then he would take the lead for a little while.  We went back and forth this way until the last tenth of a mile.  We turned it on here as best we could and came through the corral.  High fiving each other, we walked it out for a bit, trying to catch our breath.  Christina, Jillian and Gina came in shortly afterward.  We all had pretty good days and, oddly enough, it ended up being near perfect running weather; cool and cloudy with a light mist/drizzle that fell in the first half mile.

After Matt, Christina and I went on our cool-down run, the preliminary race results were posted.  Matt ran a 22:23 and I clocked in at 22:25, only four seconds slower than my 2010 Plaistow time.  Here is the link for the 2011 race results:
I was quite pleased, considering I really didn't know what to expect.  I had been in kind of a "racing funk" for a while.  Taking some time off and just focusing on training runs seemed to help.  Now, I'm excited about the summer racing season again and am already looking towards my next race; a 5K on Sunday, July 10th in Wakefield, MA.

It's always nice to run well and finish strong, no matter where I race, but when it's in your hometown, it's even more meaningful.  Since 2005, I've been able to finish in the top four of my age group.  This year, I placed 2nd in the F20-39 division.  I'll be turning 40 in December, so to celebrate my last year with an age group award was very special.  Another piece of hardware for the collection:

Thanks to my friends, Christina, Gina, Matt and Jillian, for sharing this special event with me, the Plaistow Lions Club for organizing this event and the Town of Plaistow, for all you do in making Old Home Days special and fun.

See you next the MASTERS DIVISION!!!!

Monday, June 20, 2011

Things I'd Say if I Was On Twitter

That's not entirely true.

Technically, I DO have a twitter account.  Someone must have sent me an invite to join at some point and I just said, "ah, what the hell." 

I can't tell you the last time I "tweeted".  In fact, it's been so long, I don't even think I remember my password.  I couldn't "tweet" if I wanted to, most likely.

But, every now and again, I'll get emails telling me that "so and so is following you" on Twitter.  Those poor bastards.  They must be SOOOOOOOOO bored with me.

However, facebook is a different story.  I've logged on to that site daily for, well, as long as I've had a page.  Like 40 is the new 20, facebook is the new myspace.  Seems like EVERYONE has their own facebook account now.  I used to be a rabid Mafia Wars player, so I spent a ton of time on there for that purpose.  Now, I just check in everyday to see what everyone is up to.  I'll post youtube vids, links I find useful and the occasional "what's on my mind".  At the risk of pissing off the +/- 400 friends that I have accumulated, I try to limit the status updates to 1-2x's a day, unless it's something that's WICKED important.  After all, I might be tickled about the cocoa krispies I had for breakfast but, quite frankly, I don't think anyone else really cares.

This is where the whole "tweeting" thing would come in handy.  If you're "following" me, then you must want to know what I'm up to.  The good, the bad AND the ugly.   The interesting and the mundane. 


Just today, I had a flood of one-three line phrases that just sailed in and out of my head.  We'll call them "the tweets that never were":

Confirmation that I'm not adopted:  Today I opened up my mouth and heard my mother.  It was like I was CHANNELING her.  Can you channel people who are still living?

I crack myself up all the time.  I don't think anyone else finds me as funny as I find myself.  Maybe that's the way it's supposed to be.

Today, I actually opted to listen to "Me and Julio Down By the Schoolyard" by Paul Simon instead of "All I Want is You" by U2 on my drive home.  I'm still not sure what that was about.

A breaker must have tripped over the weekend, resulting in the treadmill's built-in televisions not working.  This was for the first two hours we were open.  Major TRAUMA for the members.  People just don't how to walk, jog or run anymore unless they're watching VH1 or The Food Network.

No running for me since Mondays are my rest day.  At first I thought it was a waste to skip it on such a beautiful day.  Then, common sense took over and I decided sitting outside with a glass of wine would be just as good.  Plus, my mascara won't run.

I'd like to seamlessly transition from heartbreak to friendly appreciation without detouring down Apathy Avenue.  Hate gets a bad rap.  You don't "hate" someone that you still don't care for in some way.  It's impossible.  But, to not care if someone lives or dies is a completely different story. 

Two of the clients I trained today were men.  I crammed as much stuff as I possibly could into their 30 minute sessions, thinking I was doing them a favor.  Between the frequent water breaks, profuse sweating and pauses to catch their breath, I may have overdone it.  Just a wee bit.

One of our members, who is dealing with the onset of dementia, came out of the locker room today, asking my boss for help to turn the shower on.  After patiently explaining to him that she could not go in the men's locker room to turn it on for him, she found a male in the weightroom to help.  Hell, we're just glad he remembered to put his pants back on before he came out to ask.

People feel the need to justify why they "can't" do something.  Can't?  More like "won't".  You know, it's okay to just admit you either a) don't like it or b) have no interest in learning.  There is no reason to construct an elaborate scenario.  I've worked in fitness since 1993 and have tried everything from step to spinning.  However, you won't catch me in a Zumba class.  EVER.  No thanks.  Not interested.  End of story.

And, finally:

I had Cocoa Krispies for breakfast this morning.  They were DELICIOUS.

Friday, June 17, 2011

A little bit of this...a little bit of that

"You learn something every day if you pay attention." -- Ray LeBlond

Nothing feels as good as paying someone else a compliment.  I sent an email to two of my class participants this morning, letting them both know how proud I was of the progress they have made on their path to health and wellness.  I received a reply from one of them shortly after that was just GUSHING with appreciation.  People love compliments, especially when they're true.  But, the best part?  How you'll FEEL by making someone else's day.  You end up really making your own.  I'm still smiling.  :-)

Some of the best things in my life have come out of heartbreak and disappointment.  Remember when your first love broke your heart?  I know I do.  You swore you'd never get over it.  I know I did.  But you and I both did.  When you're in the midst of a very troubling and traumatic experience, it's practically impossible to know that this will turn out alright in the end.  But it does.  It always does.  When you are able to look back and bless the contrast instead of curse it, you will know it has served you well.

I love professional sports.  New England has been my place of residence since November 1979, so I'm a total homer:  New England Patriots, Boston Bruins, Boston Red Sox and Boston Celtics, in that order (Basketball just...doesn't really do it for me, I confess.  Plus everyone travels.  Just sayin'.).  So, you can imagine how excited I was to see the Boston Bruins win their FIRST Stanley Cup since 1972.  I am very happy the Bruins won.  However, I am NOT happy that the Vancouver Canucks lost, nor do I think it's right or fair to criticize the fans, some of whom decided to start rioting and acting destructive.  No one, or place, is immune to that kind of behavior.  Who is to say that some folks in and around Boston wouldn't have reacted similarly if we didn't have the best goaltender in the NHL?  I love my home, but I'm not going to hate on others.  I feel we can all benefit from practicing good sportsmanship by respecting your opponent.

Running has taught me so much.  It has taught me to pace myself on the road, but also in life.  I've learned, through this fine art of movement, to go with the flow and take what it, and life, gives me.  Running has also taught me to appreciate the underrated experience of SOLITUDE.  I'm an extroverted person, by nature, and always surrounded myself with people, in work and in play.  The more I got serious about my training, the more I found myself pounding the pavement alone.  Instead of feeling lonely, I felt rejuvenated and learned I really liked my own company; I began to look forward to my solo runs.  I still enjoy personal relationships and socializing with others.  But, I love my "me" time too.  It's become essential to my well-being.  

I believe it feels good to accept, appreciate and love.  It doesn't feel good to criticize, judge and condemn.  Does that mean I'm better, more enlightened or smarter than anyone else?  No.  It only means that I'm paying attention.  Not sure if you're saying or doing the "right thing"?  Stop for a moment.  How does it FEEL?  Does putting someone else down make you smile?  How about refusing to accept the choices someone makes?  Does that make your heart sing?  That's it.  That's all you need to do.  It's a lot easier than we think to be tuned in.  Let your emotions be your guide.

Being a chick can be fun.  I like getting all prettied up as much as the next person (hence my shoe posts on facebook), but I find I don't always make it a priority.  I get massages once a month and facials every twelve weeks, but those are more for therapeutic/medicinal purposes.  A full body 90 minute session with the MT really helps me stay injury free and relaxed, which is important when you train for marathons.  The facials are essential to keeping my skin healthy (I had cystic acne in high school and college, but you would never know it because my esthetician is just that AWESOME).  However, I haven't had my hair done since FEBRUARY.  It's now the middle of JUNE.  So, I decided to go all out and scheduled a hair appointment AND a pedicure for myself this Saturday.  That's....tomorrow.  Here's hoping all of my toenails have grown back in by then.
I like eating salad, drinking lots of water and exercising (obviously).  I also enjoy eating pizza, drinking wine and sitting on my a$$ watching football.  There is room for everything in life.  I think it's okay to be healthy by being a little "unhealthy" from time to time.  We have grown accustomed to conditions, limits and rules, to a fault.  The fitness industry is a great one in which to work, but I don't always align with it.  It can be preachy, judgmental and rigid, prone to an "all or nothing" mentality.  I wonder if sometimes, people NEED to be restricted and scared straight because they just don't trust themselves to do the "right" thing which, incidentally, will not be the same thing for everyone.  I don't want to beat people down and shame them into changing their behavior.  I just want to help people learn how to love movement and, well, just to feel good about who they are. 

I'll drink to that.

"I have found that if you love life, life will love you back." -- Arthur Rubinstein

Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Cyndi Springford's Top Ten

"Music is what feelings sound like." -- Author Unknown

I can't imagine a day without music.  It's been a part of my daily life for as long as I can remember. 

Music can transport you back to a moment in time, like magic.  Ever heard a song that reminded you of something or someone?  All of a sudden, you smell the smells, you feel the feelings, and you experience it again.

Pretty powerful stuff. 

One of the best inventions, IMHO, is the iPod.  I have an old school 8GB Nano that I use for classes, running and hanging around the house.  According to my iTunes library, I have 12 days worth of music.  I can listen to music for about 288 consecutive hours and not hear the same song twice.

Yes, I'm a bit of a fanatic.

Aside from using playlists for certain occasions, like spinning or muscle classes, I enjoy just putting the iPod on shuffle and letting the chips, or songs, fall as they may.  It's a random kind of thing.

Or IS it???

Sometimes, I think the iPod has a mind and a personality of its own.  It definitely seems to have it's own "go to" list of songs it likes to pick out.  Then again, there are other times, when it seems to zone in on my own brainwaves and selects the tunes that speak to my mood.  Thanks to modern technology, I can actually go into my iTunes Library and see how many times each song was played. 

So, without further ado, I give you Cyndi Springford's Top Ten iPod Songs:

10)  Smack My B***h Up -- Prodigy.  Okay, so they say a bad word.  Or maybe they're just talking about a female dog.  But, I doubt it.  Every now and again, I try to sneak it into one of my classes to see if anyone notices what they're saying.  I like the aggressive, techno beat a LOT.  So does my iPod.  It's been played 128 times. 

09)  Sound of Settling -- Death Cab For Cutie.  Talk about musical whiplash, going from Prodigy to this.  But, then again, variety is the spice of life.  Benjamin Gibbard's voice is smooth as silk (and he's a sub 4 hour marathoner, just in case you didn't know).  This jaunty lil' nugget is only two minutes and 17 seconds long, but it's pure perfection.  I can't stop bouncing up and down whenever I hear it.  And, according to Apple, I've also heard this tune 128 times.
08)  Pump It Up -- Elvis Costello.  I think Elvis (aka Declan McManus) and I were lovers in a previous life.  Or maybe I'm just obsessed.  Who says women don't make passes at men who wear glasses???  His songs always "get me right here", whether it be his upbeat, angst ridden compositions or the heartwrenching ballads he's so adept at crafting.  Cyndilou's iPod has selected this anthem 136 times.  I have no doubt I can listen to it 136 times more.
07)  What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love and Undestanding -- Elvis Costello.  After my declaration of undying devotion, are you REALLY surprised that EC is doing double duty in my Top Ten?  I should say not.  This is my FAVORITE Elvis song.  Kind of ironic, since it was written by Nick Lowe.  But, I think this is the version that everyone knows best.  And I know it alright.  Like "Pump It Up", I've heard it 136 times. 
06)  Bang On! -- The Propellerheads.  This is a GREAT tune to run, spin, and lift weights to and, well, I guess just about anything else that gets your heart rate up and blood pumping.  I heard this song in my friend, Ned's, spinning class years ago and loved it instantly.  It's got a good driving beat.  I don't have an extensive electronic collection, but if this is any representation of the genre, I just might expand it some.  The iPod likes this enough to play it 147 times.  Well, we both do.
05)  Bled For Days -- Static-X.  I know it's hard to believe that a petite, delicate flower such as myself would like something as down and dirty as this, but I do (hope you got your boots on, 'cause I'm layin' it on pretty thick here).  I love the guitars.  I love the screaming.  I love the rapid fire spewing forth of lyrics.  153 times and counting.  Fasten your seat belt, folks. 
04)  Starlight -- Muse.  These guys formed their band back in 1994, but it seems like they really burst on the scene just a few short years ago.  And in those few short years, they have taken the music world by storm.  This is a perfect example of music's power to transport you back in time.  Whenever I hear it, I'm reminded of a time in my life where I was just starting to come into my own.  It's also a beautiful song that the iPod and I have enjoyed 155 times.
03)  Hip Hop (Rock Remix) -- Static-X.  The wild and crazy guys are back at it again, bringing us rap and rock fusion at its finest.  161 glorious eargasms here.  I have to stifle a giggle when I look at the genre that Apple has assigned to this tune:  Power Ballad.  Not exactly what I'd call it, but what do I know?  What do you think?

02)  Machete -- Moby.  Speaking of electronic, I bow to the greatness that is Moby.  I actually won tickets to see him perform at the House of Blues in Boston a couple of years ago.  I liked him before, but loved him after.  He is a musical genius:  sings and plays keyboard, guitar, bass guitar and drums.  Talk about a one man band.  I love this song for spinning and 5K's.  I guess I run and spin an lot.  167 listens for song number two.

Now, the moment you've been waiting for...

The NUMBER ONE iPod SONG, with 172 plays IS:

01)  Snap Your Fingers, Snap Your Neck -- Prong.  You may not know this about me, but I was a TOTAL metalhead in high school.  Those of you who are friends with me on facebook have seen my wild and crazy 80's outfits, with all the bandanas, leather boots and jacket and big hair.  My outfits were a hybrid of Fredericks' of Hollywood and Motortrend.  Okay, maybe I exaggerate a little.  Let me say that you can take the girl out of the teen metal years, but you can't take the teen metal years out of the girl.  I pride myself on diversity, but there's just something about a song that just makes you wanna jump around like an escaped mental patient. 
What are YOUR Top Ten Songs?
"Life is one grand, sweet song, so start the music." -- Ronald Reagan

Friday, June 10, 2011

Touched By a Patriot: The 2011 Community MVP Luncheon at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA

Remember when I told you that running for a charity totally rocks?

Well, let me refresh your memory.

Because I was a member of the NE Patriots Charitable Foundation Boston Marathon Team, I received an invite for myself and a guest to attend the 2011 Community MVP Luncheon at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, MA, home of the three-time Superbowl Champion New England Patriots (like I even needed to say that).  The luncheon also included a tribute to the outstanding contribution of the Foundation's Community MVP Winners.  Grand prize, Runners-Up and Finalist placements would be announced after lunch.

All of this sounds pretty good, right?

Well, let me tell you, good doesn't even begin to cover it.

I invited my friend, Kate, to come along with me.  She and I have known each other since the third grade, which is pretty awesome.  Not only did she have her fair share of "seniority", but Kate also happens to be one of the biggest female sports fans I know.  Plus, she is a Patriots season ticket holder and I figured she would get a huge kick out of going.

We arrived a few minutes past noon and immediately found one of my marathon teammates, Joe, who came with his girlfriend, Jessica.  After exchanging pleasantries, we headed on up to the North East Lounge and found a table.  I'm not sure which was better, the menu (spinach salad, stuffed chicken breast with rice and asparagus and chocolate lava cake with fresh whipped cream and berries) or the conversation.  We sat with one of the runners-up for the MVP award, who does some work for Marguerite's Place in Nashua, NH, and his guests.  To spend time with people who give their heart and soul to help those less fortunate is such a positive and uplifting experience.  It was also great to chat with a couple of my teammates to find out how their post-marathon recovery went.

Once everyone finished lunch, we made our way on the other side of the function room to see the awards presentation.  As Joshua Kraft, son of Patriots owner, Robert Kraft, introduced each individual that was being recognized, my friend, Kate, actually got a little teary eyed (or maybe because she was in the presence of such football greatness).  In all seriousness, it did kind of make you go "awwwww" and put a big smile on your face.  There can never be enough reminders of how much goodness there is in the world.

After the closing remarks and applause, we got up and started walking out, thinking we were going to leave.  But, we had a couple of surprises waiting for us.  First, Patriots Kicker, Stephen Gostkowski, was autographing Patriots Pennants for everyone.  Secondly, the marathon team got introduced to Stephen AND Mr. Robert Kraft himself.

Don't believe me?  I have the pictures to prove it:
Pardon the flashiness in the corner.  From left to right:  Joe Sobalo, Mr. Robert Kraft, Susan Hurley and me.

From left to right:  Carol Crutchfield, me, Stephen Gostkowski, Susan Hurley and Joe Sobalo.

I can now go to my grave saying I was touched by a Patriots player.  Sigh....

But wait!  There's more.

All of the guests of the luncheon were allowed to walk down to the football field.  The field!  Where the Patriots play!  The real frickin' field!!!

Here I am with my excellent date, Kate.  Look at how green it is.

I never could resist a good photo op. 

Finally, we gathered our belongings, said our goodbyes, and got in the red car to head back north.  It was such an amazing experience and I'm still flying high from it.  Thanks so much to the New England Patriots Charitable Foundation for giving me one of the best days of my life.

Now, if they can just get that pesky owner/player deal worked out...

GO PATS!!!!!!!

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Walk...Are You Talking To Me?

"Everywhere is walking distance if you have the time." -- Steven Wright

Yesterday was a beautiful day here in New England.  It was warm and mostly sunny with temps in the low 70's.  That's pretty close to perfect, if you ask me.

Mondays are my rest day from running.  I've been doing my long runs on Sunday, so this makes perfect sense to me.  I have trained my body to run six days per week and think that's quite enough.  Even God rested on the seventh day.

But, I really wanted to be outside, to feel the sun on my face.  After the winter we had, I think I'm still in Vitamin D deficit.

So, I decided to go for a long walk around town.

It's been said that runners hate walking.  I don't know if that's true for others, but it's definitely not true for me.  I think it's like comparing apples to oranges.  I run to stay fit, to compete and, well, because I just really like doing it.  Walking is almost like meditation in motion.  It's not a workout, IMHO (no offense to those who walk to stay fit.  That is a perfectly good choice for some people).    In fact, when I went out yesterday, I didn't wear my Garmin, iPod or running sunglasses.  Time and pace was irrelevant.  I would walk for as long as I felt like. 

When I walk, I notice things that don't seem as readily apparent to me when I'm running.  Normally, I have an "agenda" when I'm running.  I'm focused on my breathing, my heart rate, and my pace/distance.  None of that applies to walking, for me.  I pay more attention to the sounds of the birds, the colors of the trees in full bloom, the sweet smell of flowers, etc.  (I know I sound like a dirt worshipping, birkenstock wearing, tree hugging hippie, but nature really is far out, man.)

You know what else I notice more when I walk?

The expressions on motorists faces.

There seem to be a lot of unhappy people out there, folks.  It didn't matter whether the person driving past me was in a BMW or a Chevy Citation with more rust than paint, which tells me that even a beautiful car can't make a person happy.  By and large, their lips were set in a rigid line, bordering on a frown.  The more I looked for it, the more I saw it.  Perhaps they are weary from their commute or toting their young kids from activity to activity.  I don't know.  But, I do know that I didn't see a lot of joy there. 

On the flip side, I saw cyclists, runners and other walkers out there with me, enjoying the day.  In fact, most of them smiled, waved or said hello to me.


Maybe we'd all feel a little bit better if we sat on our butt less and got up on our feet more. 

(No offense to the cyclists reading this blog post.  Hey, I try to be politically correct, here.)

"Above all, do not lose your desire to walk. Every day I walk myself into a state of well-being and walk away from every illness. I have walked myself into my best thoughts, and I know of no thought so burdensome that one cannot walk away from it." -- Soren Kierkegaard

Speaking of "Walk", it just so happens to be the name of one of my favorite songs to run to (and its lyrics inspired this blog title).  Please enjoy my heart pumping, adrenaline rushing Pantera clip.  (If you don't share my penchant for heavy metal, you might want to skip it.)


Friday, June 3, 2011

Holding On or Letting Go?

I have a tendency to be a pack rat; that is, I hold on to things.

For a long time. 

Sometimes, longer than is necessary or healthy.

Obviously, I recognize this or else I wouldn't be talking about it and have been aware of my "borderline hoarder" personality for some time.  It's a process, trying to keep it in check.  Thank God for cabinets/closets with ample room for storage.  It allows me to hide all of the miscellanous items that may or may not be useful anymore.

For example, when we moved into our house in September 1996, my husband mentioned the fact, on his third or fourth trip from the apartment to the moving truck, that I had a lot of clothes and wanted to know why the @#$% I still had my prom dress, since I had graduated high school over six years ago.

Stuff like that.  And, by the way, thanks for the reminder, honey, that I'm much closer to 40 than 18.

Don't get me wrong, here.  There isn't anything wrong with nostalgia, necessarily.  I've mentioned more than once that I'm a total retro girl who LOVES classic television.  Give me an episode of "All in the Family" and I will laugh myself silly.  Sometimes, mementoes can transport us to a happy place in time that will raise our current vibration and lift our mood.  On the other hand, it can also keep us stuck.  Back "in the day", I dated a young man off and on from my early/mid teens until my early 20's.  In retrospect, I think the relationship was over long before it actually ended, but we just hung around anyway.  At the time, taking the path of least resistance just seemed to be the easier thing to do.

How often do we do this in our lives?  How much excess "stuff" do we hold on to longer than we should?  Are we afraid of what our world would be like with a little less baggage?  Is the "devil you know better than the devil you don't"?  Do we have "sellers remorse"?  After all, my parents always warned me about burning bridges.  How do you know it's time to let go?

We've all heard of the strategy of the pros and cons list.  Well, I"m not sure I agree with that tactic.  Have you ever had a minor issue that you weren't quite sure how to handle?  So you think about it.  And you think about it some more.  And it gets bigger.  Before you know it, your "minor issue" has become the mother of all crises.  What started off as a teeny, little thing has turned into a problem of epic proportions. 

Overthinking.  We've all done it.  The reason it doesn't work is because you are usually trying to solve your problem from a place of confusion and disconnection, not clarity.

Maybe it's time to try something else.

Ask yourself:  how does this make me FEEL?  How do I respond to this person, place or thing?  Does it/they uplift me or drag me down?  Do I smile or frown?  Are they happy tears or sad ones?  Does it inspire negative or positive emotion within me?

Once you have an answer to those questions, you'll know what to do with whatever it is you're conflicted about.  It'll take a lot less effort too.  Get out of your head space and into your heart space. 

Let's clean up our act a little.  Then, we can make room for NEW stuff.

“Change is never easy, you fight to hold on, and you fight to let go.” – The Wonder Years


Thursday, June 2, 2011

Ga Ga over Garmin

There is something to be said about running unencumbered, with the wind at your back, the ground beneath your feet and the sun on your face.

Then again, stats are pretty freakin' awesome.

This is May 2011:

Count: 26 Activities

Distance: 190.43 mi

Time: 29:52:54 h:m:s

Elevation Gain: 5,056 ft

Avg Speed: 6.4 mph

Avg HR: 153 bpm

Calories: 21,681 C

Avg Distance: 7.32 mi

Median Distance: 5.95 mi

Max Distance: 14.00 mi

Avg Time: 01:08:57 h:m:s

Median Time: 00:54:59 h:m:s

Max Time: 02:17:19 h:m:s

Avg Elevation Gain: 194 ft

Median Elevation Gain: 183 ft

Max Elevation Gain: 417 ft

Elevation Loss: 5,340 ft

Avg Elevation Loss: 205 ft

Median Elevation Loss: 206 ft

Max Elevation Loss: 416 ft

Max Avg Speed: 7.3 mph

Max Speed: 11.3 mph

Max Avg HR: 165 bpm

Max HR: 198 bpm

Mindblowing, isn't it?
Before I went out for my run yesterday, I put my Forerunner outside so it could "locate satellites".  My co-worker (who is 73) saw me doing this and didn't understand why I used it every time I went out for a run.
"Don't you know how far your running routes are by now?", he asked.
I explained the fun, techie aspect of the Garmin.  I went into detail about the elevation charts, the lap splits, the HR data, etc.
And then, with a shudder, I realized:  OMG, I'm starting to sound like one of THEM.
(THEM = the +/- 800 engineers that come to the fitness center where I work)
Who knew?
I guess I have new respect for geeks (no offense, folks).  I'm feeling pretty geeky myself these days.
It's all fun and games and it's good information.  It keeps me on track and shows how I am improving (or, in some cases, how I may be in need of a break from time to time).
If it ever interferes with the joy and abandon of the sport, perhaps I'll reevaluate my daily habit.
But, for now, I'm good with being ga ga over Garmin.