Tuesday, December 14, 2010

New "Rest" Day Activity

Every athlete knows there is really nothing as a "rest" day. One must keep moving somehow, some way. I used to use yoga as my rest day activity, but I find myself inching closer and closer to the more intense "power" yoga workouts rather than the actual relaxing yoga workouts. I need something to relax my body along with my mind.

Interest in Tai Chi started for me when I got my son involved in karate, but like his mother, he preferred more intense workouts. Therefore, my search for a Tai Chi routine waned and was politely shuffled to the back of the mind's shelf. This morning, in another early morning wake up call from the little one, I began scoping out my On Demand features. I found a Tai Chi routine...from at least the 80's. After I stopped myself from giggling at the Miami Vice hairstyles, I realized that over half the video was just talking and no instruction or routine. And my hunt begins again.

Do you know of any Tai Chi DVDs, websites, anything I can look into?

Monday, December 13, 2010

Revisiting 2010 Goals

Sometimes I dread the end of the year because I have to look back and see what I may or may not have accomplished, according to what I planned at the beginning of the year. This year, I met two of my seven goals. Looking back, they were pretty ambitious, but I was excited. I did run the Warrior Dash, which I am totally doing again at least once in 2011. I did also learn many ways to adjust my nutrition for workouts/games/races and recovery.

Surprisingly, I was not bothered at the fact that I did not meet most of my goals. The overachiever in me kept her mouth shut. Ha. The only one I was bummed about was my "10 races in 2010" goal. I ran two, but I told myself since I took a good six weeks off during my actual racing "season" to work on family issues, I still did pretty good. Two is better than none, right?

I realized, though, the reason I'm not bothered by meeting all my goals. I kicked ass this year. I ran every chance I got and could make myself get out there to hit the pavement. I ran my heart out during a very dark and hard year for me. I tried new things, such as new races and running with new people. I ran, and that is all that matters.

I'm proud of myself for this past year, even though I know I'm not the best runner out there. The better runners make me want to be a better runner and inspire me to keep getting out there. The better runners help me not to give up and rely on that inner strength that is getting stronger each and every day.

In my book...I totally rocked 2010.

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Running the Hard One

Today I ran the hardest run I've ever probably run thus far. Harder than fighting varying temps in Texas, harder than running injured, harder than that first run when I started running. Today was my tribute run for my step brother, J.J. Savage. It's been two years since he was killed in Iraq, and I felt that a longer run in the midst of my own personal roller coaster would be the only appropriate way to honor him today. I had planned out a 5 mile run for today on a new extended route bringing me into unfamiliar territory of both environment and endurance.

I started out just fine; glad of my decision to run today. My mind cleared as always and about mile 2, the emotions took over. I fought tears for a tenth of a mile and then crumbled, literally, on the side of the road. The feelings of loss and sadness for our family overtook me to a point to where I could not take yet another step. After wiping tears away and sitting in the sun, the wind whispered to me..."Get up. Get up and run."

And I did. I got up, took one step and another. I realized that with every step I ran, I embodied our family surviving, moving on despite the loss, despite the sadness. In a sense, this run was not just a tribute to him, his service, his courage. It was also a run to our family and every single person who knew and loved him that keep living life, just as he would want.

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Remembering Why

Over the last few months, I have neglected running (and writing) on a regular basis, making excuses and throwing self pity parties. This last week or two, I have eased back into running again. Fighting excuses daily; getting angry when I do not push myself beyond the mental wall. Yet, today, through a friendly "checking on you" text, I was abruptly reminded why I started running in the first place.

On December 4, 2008, my stepbrother, John Jared Savage was killed in Mosul, Iraq, just a mere four days before coming home for good. When we should have been celebrating, we were shedding tears of loss and grief. When we should have been hugging him and thanking God for his safe return, we were mourning over a closed casket and wondering why God let this happen.

His death happened to make us stronger people. His death made me a stronger person. His death has pushed me every step I have run since then. His death has made me prove to myself that I can do things I thought not possible. In a sense, his death gave me a way to find myself, find my life.