*Come fly with me*

As a young girl, I longed to be a part of the “in” crowd. Specifically, I wanted to be a part of a small group of girls that were the best of friends. We were all friends really and I got invited to their homes for sleepovers and birthday parties and such, but I always felt like I was slightly on the outside craving a deeper connection.

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#flystyle back in grade school!

This very much summarizes the way I have also felt in recent years watching the sisterhood of the Oiselle Volée team flourish. (In French,oiselle means female bird and volée means birds or a flock flying or in flight.) I’ve been in love with the company, and what they stand for, for a number of years now and have yearned to be a part of it even though I didn’t want to admit it. I am drawn to the comradery of the membership and to the endless amount of inspiration.

A few months ago, and I believe it is directly tied to my move and my desire to create new relationships with like-minded kindred spirits, that I decided I’d join the Volée team at the next opportunity. The timing could not have been better either. After coming down off of my marathon high last weekend, I was feeling really disoriented without having a goal to focus on and the uncertainty about where I’m heading next. This team is exactly what I need.

Whether it’s meeting other local runners, connecting online more broadly, or simply making a friend or two, the people we surround ourselves with weave into our beliefs of what we think is possible, and how we view ourselves and our potential. ~ Lauren Fleshman

This week, I became an official member of the Oiselle Volée Team and I’m so excited to get to know my fellow birds and fly with them!volee

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*Categorize under good life choices*

Current status:

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Dinner of champions: pancakes and wine.

It’s officially race weekend and I just nailed Friday night dinner! Blueberry, flax, protein pancakes with cashew butter and maple syrup accompanied by some Charles Shaw merlot in my fancy mason jar. Good life choices.

Seriously, though, I’ve been having a lot of conversations with myself (she’s a great listener and TOTALLY gets me) about the difference between reaching goals and something we hope works out well in our favor: EXPECTATIONS.

I’m notorious for setting my expectations too high. By definition, it’s a strong belief that something will happen or be achieved. The result when it doesn’t happen includes disappointment, self-doubt, and a slew of other negative emotions. I’ll share this example: as you may (or may not) know, for more than a year I’ve been working to build a small business offering writing services such as blogging, web copy, product descriptions and the like. When my family and I decided to finally make the big move to Los Angeles this past spring, it was my expectation that I would be able to build up enough clients and generate a decent enough income so that I would not have to find additional work. (Though I will note that my biggest motivator isn’t money… It’s freedom and flexibility… which isn’t always possible when you’re working for someone else, right?)

Reality set in about five weeks later. Do I still believe I can be successful as a writer and small business owner? In short, yes. However, I took a part-time job that has left me mentally exhausted at the end of the day with little desire to write or find jobs and clients. While that has been on hold for the past two months, I’m feeling a bit more settled now. I’m starting to think that I can allocate more time to my business and once again, begin working toward what I want to achieve by setting some new goals, while letting go of any expectation that I have about where I thought I’d be by now.

My point being is that the difference between expectations and goals lies in the effort. Goals require effort. Expectations don’t. Goals create direction and results while expectations are merely a belief that something could happen.

Why this? Now?

Because not only am I reevaluating what I want from my business, which wasn’t really the point of this post, is that I’m racing my first trail race this weekend and my first race in more than 7 months. I’ve decided that I’m going to run Sunday without any expectations other than running it to experience my first trail race and first race in my new city. Since I didn’t set any goals or put in any additional effort (training) for it either, it makes it easier to not fall into the trap of expecting a specific outcome.

I know the course is categorized as intermediate and challenging. I know that it is forecasted to be in the low 80’s Sunday but should be fairly cool for my 7 AM start. I know that I’m fueling myself like a champ with pancakes and cheap wine. I know that I’ll be happy to be surrounded by running community (because I’ve missed that a lot.) And I know that whatever the outcome, I’ll enjoy the experience without any expectations regarding performance. That statement, in and of itself, is a good life choice! Happy Friday!

*Mid-week pep talk (adopting a flexible mental mindset)*

When I was instructing yoga, I often had to correct would-be students’ misconception that physical flexibility was a prerequisite of being able to practice. However, I would immediately follow that up with “but you have to be mentally flexible”.

Flexibility of the mind is what allows us to overcome obstacles and challenges. It determines whether or not we see situations as an ordeal or an adventure. Sometimes, it also means that we need to lower our expectations of what we are capable of and/or choose to be kind to ourselves when those challenging occasions arise. It really comes down to perspective, does it not?

There have been a lot of reminders of this lesson throughout the week. I had set my expectations for training a little too high even though I knew family time would be my priority. For the first half of the week, even though I was really enjoying time with my boys, I was lagging a bit in the mornings and was a little mad at myself for slacking off on the mileage when I had just started to build some decent momentum.

Today was a turning point, though. As the negative mental chatter began to activate, I reminded myself of the need to be flexible (as I used to say to my yoga students, “on and off the mat”… meaning all of the time).

So my long run to work on building my mileage won’t happen this week… Big deal! I created a flexible training plan that allows space for me to adjust,as needed, due to illness, travels, or whatever else might be thrown my way. I have plenty of time to make up for it so it really is not a big deal.

So I won’t reach my target mileage for the week… Okay, that’s fine. There are a lot of great training weeks ahead and even though next week was scheduled as a light week, I essentially just switched them. That’s cool too.

So I splurged on a couple of dinners out and a little extra wine this week… good food and wine are a pleasurable part of life and should be enjoyed! I’m very attentive to making sure I’m fueling my body well 80% of the time so a couple of treats here and there won’t hurt.

So I’ll have to work harder next week… Sounds good! In fact, bring it on! It will be a good distraction as I adjust to a little wave of change for the next few weeks.

Sometimes, scratch that, ALL OF THE TIME, you’ve just gotta go with the flow and make the best out of whatever situation you’re faced with. By adopting a flexible mental mindset, you can overcome little setbacks while planning how you will transition to whatever is next. Like everything else, in order to get better at doing this, it takes repeated practice.

If you find that you beat yourself up for x, y, or z, take a moment to analyze the situation and see it if you can change your mental mindset to one that is a bit more flexible and forgiving.

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*Global Running Day*

Today is Global Running Day! Runners (and non-runners) around the world are encouraged to celebrate the joy of running by pledging to be active today.

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I started the day with November Project, running stairs and doing intermittent pushups for about 30 minutes followed by five minutes in various plank positions. Afterwards, to commemorate the Global Running Day movement, and to not break my (so far) three-day Runner’s World run streak, I logged another 2.25 miles.

Make some time today to get outside for physical activity. Even just a simple walk around the block is better than nothing!

*Great day for athletics*

Figuring it’s been a long time since I last posted a Fuel Friday post, I was planning on sharing a recipe for a carrot cake muffin that I made earlier this week. However, I spent too much time doing other things (mostly mindless perusing of random stuff online) and ran out of time so maybe I’ll save it for another day.

One of the distractions was the coverage of the CrossFit Regional events going on this weekend and I’ve gotta give a shout-out to all of the incredible athletes that competing at regional events this weekend. Even if CrossFit isn’t your thing, it certainly is inspiring to watch these amazing athletes leave it all on the floor after months of training.

In particular, I want to wish Carleen Matthews, who hails from my neck of the woods, the best of luck this weekend. She has been a super mentor to my daughter and is a one of the most dedicated and passionate athletes I’ve ever known. Last year, I was honored with the opportunity to accompany my daughter to the regional competition to watch Carleen work for a spot on the podium and that she did. She finished in second place and earned herself not only the opportunity to compete in the Games, but also the title as one of the 40 fittest women in the world!

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Team Carleen shirt from the 2015 Regionals.

 

(*Carleen had a rough start in the first event but WON the second, finishing the first day in third place, out of 40 competitors.)

True to my own passion, I switched gears and am now streaming a middle distance track meet. I’m equally inspired by the work that they’ve done to toe the line in hopes that they’ll be closer to earn a spot on the Olympic team.

What a great day for athletics!

 

*The self I like best*

Looking back over the past two months, I can clearly see where I began to struggle to keep my mileage up. It’s been no secret that the first quarter of the year (and now moving into the second quarter) has been quite a whirlwind for me and my family. To be honest, the dust hasn’t settled yet and things are still in a state of flux. In hindsight, I thought I’d get back into my groove once our feet were grounded. I sure as heck didn’t think it would take so long.

In the midst of all that, and I’m still battling it, I pulled back from some of the things I love and find comfort in (not all by choice). What I’ve discovered is that I feel completely disconnected from myself. Routines, dietary choices, sleep patterns, self-care… all the familiar rhythms that I’ve been accustomed to for the past X amount of years have been stripped away. On top of that, I’m in a new (and VERY large) city, 1000+ miles away from my daughter, family, and friends, haven’t yet been able to connect with any sort of new running friends or tribe, trying to organically build a business that generates sustainable income which is slow going, and generally feeling a little lost in space at the moment.

Deep shit, I know.

A few days ago I realized that my life is so much richer with running in it and when I’m taking care of my whole self. Mind, body, and spirit. So I went for a short run. The following day I went for another one. I’ve now run four days in a row, although I will admit, I have not run more than three miles at a time. Accepting where I’m at, and fully understanding that it will take some time to build myself, distance, and pace, back up to where I prefer to be will not happen overnight. Mentally, I’m starting to feel it again. Physically, and no thanks to the heat, it’s a work in progress.

Timely enough, I saw this quote posted on Facebook earlier and I couldn’t agree more!

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“or at least I feel like the self I like best”… well said, Bart!

I never posted my weekly mileage for the week of March 21-27. Because I was in the middle of packing, I didn’t record all of the few runs I did and lost the info on my Garmin for one of them so I am not including that in the total. For that week, I ran 7.5 miles bringing my March total to 62.25 (I’m certain it’s my lowest monthly mileage in three years. That is until this month which will likely be less than that!) and my YTD total to 304 miles.

I’m a big believer in accountability. Sharing this here is more for my benefit than anyone else’s but it does provide me with the space to hold myself accountable and acknowledge my own truth. And that truth is, I do feel that the self I like best is the one that runs!

*Falling off the wagon*

Legend has it that there are occurrences in one’s life that leads them to fall off the wagon. I had heard of such things but never in a million years believed that I would be susceptible to it. (Injury, illness, marriage, divorce, babies, school, MOVING, etc.)
Several weeks ago, I mentioned to an acquaintance that my running was suffering. My family was preparing to move and I was under a ton of stress. I had recently been sick with a sinus infection and suffering from symptoms that I’m fairly certain are the result of adrenal fatigue. His response to my comment was “well, it just proves that you are human.”
Indeed.
Running has been such a huge part of my life for so many years. I never imagined that I’d find myself in the position in which the last thing I desired to do is run. Worse has been the reality I’ve faced; it has probably been really good for me.
Immediately after arriving in Southern California, our new home, I caught another head cold. The fifth cold I’ve had in less than 6 months. Transitioning into a new area, a new life if you will, creates its own challenges and with that, comes more stress. I’m either wired and on the edge of my seat or exhausted. Then wake up at 3 AM only to lay in bed for hours with my mind swirling with concerns about finances, uncertain about how to make the vision I have for my/our life in my head a reality, and worry about how my son will adapt and whether or not we are completely fucking up his life.
So now, about two weeks since my last run, which was a measly 2.75 miles, I understand the true meaning of falling off the wagon.
Despite my own consciousness about the situation and choosing to not run (although I’ve been hiking/walking here and there), the knife to the heart is seeing the hullabaloo over the upcoming Boston Marathon next week and the destructive self-comparison I find myself making to where I was a year ago versus now.
It’s not that I don’t want to run. I do! But I also feel that some time off is a good thing. I’m a firm believer in exercise for stress reduction. However, it has been my experience that placing a lot of pressure on one’s self (and I’m talking about me here), can create stress on the body. I’m electing to take one of the few things I can off of my plate for the moment to allow myself to adapt to my new environment and hopefully give my body a break. Because I’m certainly not done with running!

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If you want to change your life…

The upside, because there is always an upside, is that I’ve really enjoyed the hilly hikes I’ve taken. While I have yet to actually unroll my yoga mat, I’m feeling VERY drawn to reignite my yoga practice. I also find myself looking forward to more strength training and, don’t laugh, hula hooping. I’ve struggled with cross training the past few years so having a desire to be active outside of running is a refreshing feeling.
My final confession is this: last week this website domain was set to expire and I came very close to not renewing it. Given the circumstances, I didn’t feel worthy of owning a blog that has been, first and foremost, a running blog. Hours before it expired, I had a change of heart. I know that I would have been devastated at losing Wasn’t Just the Wine Talking as this space has given me my voice as a runner and writer. It has taken me a week to get the courage to write and post this because I’ve been feeling very critical of the situation. As always, though, I know that I’m not alone in my struggles and I find solace in knowing there are others out there that can identify with what I’m going through. For that, I’m so grateful.
While running might be on hiatus, I vow to find my way back to this space and continue to share my passion with anyone and everyone that is willing to listen.
xo