We may walk on different paths, but we follow the same footprints.
This year I'm focusing on improving my running and overall health by taking the 2017 Mile Challenge and seeing where the journey takes me. I'm also revisiting the Monthly Challenge started by Nephew Jason in 2009.
I'll try to post something every day. It may be a short inspirational quote or a longer narrative. Please join me......
And four days later from my last post, my husband was diagnosed with esophageal cancer.......
Talk about life spin, change focus, emotional steamroller, roller coaster, ............. and yet I'm staying strong............... a facade of confidence, hiding behind a mask of adultness that I am not sure I know how to wear.............????
I'll figure this all out I'm sure, but in the meant time.... Continue to embrace this fragile life
I read a very interesting article in Runner's World this morning on the subject of running's positive effects on managing depression. This article hit home. Depression is one of the least understood, but most common experience in the human population. Depression is something swept under the rug, shrugged off, something that is more common but rarely talked about, something to get over, something to deal with, something to hide from others.
Depression is real. Thought I'd share this article with you this morning.
Running puts everyone in a better mood. But for some of us, our miles are key to managing depression and anxiety.
BY SCOTT DOUGLAS
OST TUESDAYS, I RUN EARLY in the morning with a woman named Meredith. For such close friends, we’re quite different. Meredith is a voluble social worker who draws energy from crowds. I’m an introverted editor who works from home. Meredith runs her best in large races and loves training with big groups. I’ve set PRs in solo time trials and tend to bail when a run’s head count gets above five. Meredith is a worrier, beset by regrets and anticipated outcomes, who has sought treatment for anxiety. I have dysthymia, or chronic low-grade depression. We like to joke that Meredith stays up late as a way of avoiding the next day, whereas I go to bed early to speed the arrival of a better tomorrow.
We do have one key thing in common: Meredith and I run primarily to bolster our mental health. Like all runners, we relish the short-term experience of finishing our run feeling like we’ve hit reset and can better handle the rest of the day. What’s not universal is our recognition that, without regular running, the underlying fabric of our lives—our friendships, our marriages, our careers, our odds of being something other than miserable most of the time—will fray. For those of us with depression or anxiety, we need running like a diabetic needs insulin.
Meredith and I discovered this decades ago, and now researchers and practitioners are starting to catch up. Studies show that aerobic exercise can be as effective as anti-depressants in treating mild to moderate depression (and with side effects like improved health and weight management rather than bloating and sexual dysfunction). In countries such as Australia, United Kingdom, and the Netherlands, official guidelines include exercise as a first-line treatment for depression. Although U.S. guidelines have yet to change, at least one psychotherapist, Sepideh Saremi in Los Angeles, California, conducts on-the-run sessions with willing patients.
How does moving the body change the mind? A growing body of work—both in the lab and with patients—shows that there’s more to it than endorphins, the well-known opioid the body produces during certain activities, including exercise. The emerging, more sophisticated view of running to improve mental health also takes into account long-term structural changes in the brain as well as subjective states like mood and cognition. Science continues working to explain the theory behind what we runners already know from practice.
NLIKE MANY WITH THE CONDITION, I’ve never been majorly incapacitated by depression. Most people would consider me productive, accomplished, perhaps even energetic, given that my lifetime running odometer is past 110,000 miles. My dysthymia has two main components: weltschmerz, a German word meaning sadness about how reality doesn’t live up to one’s hopes, and anhedonia, a diminished ability to experience pleasure. Life often feels like waiting out a series of not-horrible, not-fun obligations. Things sometimes seem so pointless that I watch myself not caring that I don’t care. For example, I once received a group email that a book I’d coauthored had made TheNew York Times best seller list. That’s a big deal in publishing. As if from outside, I observed myself writing an exclamation-point-filled reply-all response thanking and congratulating those of us who worked on the book. As I typed I thought, “Yeah, fine, whatever. Is this really going to lift life above 2 p.m. on a gray Tuesday in March?”
That it’s possible to be outwardly active but internally askew can mask just how common depression and anxiety are. In any one year, about 10 percent of the U.S. population would meet the diagnostic criteria for depression, and about 20 percent for anxiety. (The two often coexist.) The incidence of those conditions in the running population is probably similar; a 2017 review of research published in the British Journal of Sports Medicine found no difference in depressive symptoms between what the researchers called “high-performance athletes” and nonathletes. All levels of runners are affected, with elites such as Olympian Adam Goucher and Western States 100-mile champions Rob Krar and Nikki Kimball having spoken publicly about their depression.
Of course, everybody gets sad and worried at times. What distinguishes those feelings from clinical depression and anxiety? In the short term, therapists often look for significant changes in emotions, behavior, and psychological functioning. They also focus on how symptoms such as feeling agitated, threatened, and uncomfortable (for anxiety) or joyless, lethargic, and apathetic (for depression) interfere with people’s everyday functioning. “I look at how these things affect activities of daily living, like sleeping, going to work, interpersonal relationships,” says Franklin Brooks, Ph.D., a clinical social worker in Portland, Maine. “There’s a profound difference between ‘I’m having a bad day at work’ and ‘I’m having a bad day at work and I’m not going to get out of bed tomorrow because of it.’”
That classic depiction of depression sounds like what Amelia Gapin, 34, a software engineer and marathoner from Jersey City, New Jersey, has experienced. “I’ve had episodes where, for six weeks, two months, I couldn’t even get myself out of bed,” she says. “During the weekends it was wake up and take a couple hours to move myself to the couch.”
Ian Kellogg, 22, a 14:43 PR 5K college runner at Otterbein University in Westerville, Ohio, says, “When I fall into depression, I more often than not don’t run. I can’t find the energy or willpower to get out the door, even though I know my training is suffering and that just half an hour will make me feel better.”
Pati Haaz, 42, also knows this form of depression but was able to use running to overcome it. In June 2015, the finance professional from Kendall Park, New Jersey, had a miscarriage while two months pregnant. She became severely depressed and started missing work. “I didn’t want to get out of bed, I didn’t want to go out of my house,” she says. “It was that feeling that there’s no point in continuing. I had no motivation to do anything other than take care of my kids, which was more an automatic duty.” Guilt over being depressed—“feeling like I’m the worst mother in the world”—compounded the situation.
“When I’m running, the thoughts come in and out, and I’m not worried.”
Haaz started seeing a therapist who asked about Haaz’s pre-depression hobbies. Haaz said that she was a runner who, before becoming pregnant, had planned to run her first marathon that fall in New York City. The therapist encouraged her to resume running. Haaz decided she needed the goal of finishing a marathon to overcome the inertia that depression had introduced to her life.
She found that marathon training helped in two key ways. “If I was running for the sake of running, I would have stopped with my normal six-mile run,” Haaz says. “But I was doing 16, 18, 20 miles, things I’d never done before. I was able to carry this sense of accomplishment into other areas.”
Even her shortest runs helped Haaz think differently. “If I was driving or working or waking up in the middle of the night and thinking about the things that were making me sad, it would just make things worse—it would become like a spiral, and there was no end to it. But when I was running, I would think about those same things, and somehow I was able to process them differently. I would start my run with all these negative thoughts, and after a mile or two, they were gone.” Five months after her miscarriage, Haaz finished New York City in 6:38.
Reframing ruminations—thinking differently about hashed-over topics—is one of the main appeals of running for those of us with mental health issues. Cecilia Bidwell, 42, an attorney from Tampa, Florida, who has anxiety, puts it this way: “When I’m running, the thoughts come in and out, and I’m not worried,” she says. “I can think about things objectively. I realize that things that I’m thinking are a huge deal aren’t a big deal in the scheme of things.” The effect carries through Bidwell’s stressful work days. “When I’ve gone for a good run in the morning, if things are going haywire at 2 p.m. I’m handling them a lot better. I’m not creating crises and wondering, ‘Why am I here?’”
The more-immediate cognitive focus of a typical run also contributes to its efficacy. “When we’re overwhelmed with anxiety and depression, shifting from the big picture—all the frustrations, worst-case scenario thinking—to the small, in-the-moment task of doing something that approaches a goal, like running a four-mile loop with two hills, will kick off a positive feedback loop that continues throughout the run and takes our thinking and emotions out of the trench of negativity,” says Laura Fredendall, Psy.D.
These changes in mood and thinking are more accessible for runners. In a 2008 study published in the Archives of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation, ultramarathoners, moderate regular exercisers, and non-exercisers walked or ran for 30 minutes at a self-selected pace that felt somewhat hard. After the workout, everyone’s mood had improved, but that of the ultramarathoners and moderate exercisers did so about twice as much as that of the sedentary people. Also, the ultrarunners and regular exercisers reported greater vigor and less fatigue after the workout than before, while the non-exercisers felt the same.
The reason is that runners can hold a good pace for a long time without going anaerobic, and that allows the physiological processes that lead to improved mood, according to Panteleimon Ekkekakis, Ph.D., a professor at Iowa State University who is a leading figure in the field of exercise psychology. “In sedentary folks, their ventilatory threshold—the point where exercise is no longer purely aerobic—is very low,” he says. “So they get up off the couch, they take a few steps, they’re already above their ventilatory threshold. If you’re a regular runner, you have the cardiorespiratory fitness to sustain an exercise intensity that’s associated with a feel-better effect.”
MY CHEMICAL ROMANCE
HAT CAUSES THAT FEEL-BETTER EFFECT? Although the quick answer is usually endorphins, they’re not the only relevant aspect of brain chemistry. What’s more, focusing on the nebulous “runner’s high” ignores crucial changes in brain structure and thinking patterns that running can induce.
Endorphins entered the runner’s lexicon in the 1970s. That’s when it became known that these chemicals, which bind to neuron receptors in the brain, are released at higher levels during a run. Several studies found that higher blood levels of postrun endorphins correlated to improved mood. In terms of the brain, however, a strong correlation between endorphin levels and improved mood wasn’t demonstrated until 2008. German researchers used PET scans, an imaging study often used to check for cancer, on triathletes’ brains while the athletes ran for two hours. They found high levels of endorphins in the prefrontal cortex and other parts of the brain associated with mood, and that these levels aligned with the athletes’ reports of euphoria.
But endorphins aren’t everything. As part of his research into human evolution, David Raichlen, Ph.D., a professor of anthropology at the University of Arizona, has measured pre- and postrun endocannabinoid levels in runners, dogs, and ferrets. Endocannabinoids are substances that bind to the same receptors in the brain as THC, the primary substance responsible for a marijuana high.
Raichlen says there are two leading theories on why running causes increased levels of endorphins and endocannabinoids. First, when humans became hunter/gatherers close to 2 million years ago, they became more active; the release of these chemicals, which act as pain relievers, may have evolved to allow longer, faster movement. In this scenario, the feel-good aspect is a byproduct. Second, higher levels of these chemicals while active could have motivated continued movement, which would lead to getting more food and ultimately higher survival rates. Raichlen says the two mechanisms might have worked in tandem.
Regular running produces the same brain changes that are thought to be behind the effectiveness of anti-depressants.
Whatever the original mechanism for these evolutionary adaptations, they’re especially helpful for modern runners with mental-health issues. It’s nice to run for an hour and go from being in a good-enough mood to a better one. It’s a fundamental shift to go from being miserable to content, thanks to an infusion of feel-good substances. “I’ll finish a run and be like, ‘Wow, this is how most people feel all the time,’” Bidwell says.
A short-term mood boost thanks to endorphins and endocannibinoids is one thing. (Granted, one much-appreciated thing.) But where running really helps with mental health is over time, thanks to a change in brain structure. A review of research published in Clinical Psychology Review concluded “exercise training recruits a process which confers enduring resilience to stress.” This appears to occur because regular running produces the same two changes that are thought to be responsible for the effectiveness of anti-depressants: increased levels of the neurotransmitters serotonin and norepinephrine, and neurogenesis, or the creation of new neurons.
Neurogenesis occurs primarily due to a protein called brain-derived neurotrophic factor, which has been been called the Miracle-Gro of the brain. “It helps neurons fire and wire together,” Fredendall says. Much of this happens in the hippocampus, an area of the brain that’s often shrunken in people with depression. “MRI scans have shown that even after a six-month exercise intervention, there’s a visible increase in the size of the hippocampus,” Ekkekakis says.
As Ekkekakis notes, you have to be fit to really get the daily benefits that can lead to structural changes. Of course, you also have to get yourself out the door, which can be especially difficult if you’re depressed. But success in running on an especially tough day makes it easier to get out the next time. And it can spur another key mental health benefit of running.
I THINK I CAN, I THINK I CAN
EVELS OF CHEMICALS IN THE brain are only part of your mental state. There’s also cognition, or mental processes. Cognition includes not just straightforward thinking (“I should run long today because a blizzard is coming tomorrow”) but also more involved phenomena, such as how you think about your thoughts.
A hallmark of depression is self-defeating, absolutist thinking—“everything is harder than it should be,” “there’s no pleasure in my life,” “it’s always going to be like this.” I’ve learned that lacing up and hitting the roads is my best way to break free from such thoughts. On a daily basis, running reminds me that I can overcome apathy and torpor. Seeing that small victory, I can convince myself that progress is possible on meeting professional goals, or not feeling lonely so often, or figuring out how to afford retirement. “The subjective experience of seeing yourself do something can make you feel better,” Fredendall says.
Ekkekakis says cognition is key to understanding another aspect of running’s effectiveness. “If you take anti-depressants and they make you feel better, the psychological attribution is external—the patients believe that the reason they get better is because of the drug they take,” he says. “With exercise, the attribution is internal—the reason I get better is that I’m doing this thing, I’m putting in the effort. That’s where perhaps the additional benefit of exercise compared to anti-depressants lies—that sense of empowerment, that sense that I’m taking control of my situation.”
YOU DON’T HEAR ABOUT THE GOLFER’S HIGH
s there something uniquely effective about running for managing mental health? Or can any form of exercise provide similar relief?
The short answer is nobody knows for sure, and definitive research comparing the mood-boosting properties of various ways of working out is unlikely. “Such a study would have multiple arms—optimal intensity, duration, or frequency of different forms of exercise—so you go from a study costing $1 million to $3 million,” Ekkekakis says. “The pharmaceutical companies fund their own studies, but who is going to fund the exercise studies? The amount of government funding available is simply not at that level.” (According to the World Health Organization, depression is the leading cause of disability and poor health worldwide, but on average only 3 percent of government health budgets is spent on mental-health issues.)
When I asked Raichlen about running compared to other activities, he began by citing more studies on endocannabinoids and talking about “mechanical pain” and “analgesic triggers.” Then the practical runner in him took over.
“It’s much easier to get yourself into a reasonable intensity compared to a lot of other sports,” he says. “It’s not too difficult to get in the right zone and stay there. You have a lot more control over your speed than even in something like cycling, where your effort level is more dictated by the topography or even stop lights.”
“I’ve dabbled with triathlons a little,” says Rich Harfst, 54, a federal government employee and marathoner from Annandale, Virginia, who was diagnosed with depression as a teenager. “I’ve done yoga, I’ve done cycling. Nothing is the same as running.” Ultrarunner Krar, who also mountain bikes and competes in ski mountaineering, says, “Running is that perfect balance where you can push yourself as hard as you like and more easily get in that flow state.” Bidwell says that when she doesn’t run, her anxiety puts her basic state at a 4 out of 10. “Running normally gets me to an 8,” she says. “When I’m hurt and swim instead, I’m at 6.”
That’s been my experience over the last nearly four decades. When I’ve been injured and switch to cycling or pool running, the workouts themselves are like proverbial castor oil—I do them because I know I need them, not because they’re enjoyable in themselves. The net that keeps me from plummeting starts to fray and sag.
But when running is going well, the net is taut and strong. A few times a month, usually while cruising along a wooded trail speckled with morning light, I’m overcome with a sensation best articulated as simply “yes.” Yes to the moment, yes to whatever is in store the rest of the day, yes to life itself. If I could bottle that feeling, I’d eventually forget what it’s like to be depressed.
WHEN RUNNING’S NOT ENOUGH
Exercise is one therapy, but don’t overlook other measures.
Many people can manage their depression or anxiety solely through running. But it’s neither a failure of running nor the runner to consider additional treatment. Just as a well-rounded training program includes elements that build on one another, some studies have found better outcomeswhen exercise is combined with traditional therapy, such as talk therapy or medication.
“I think it comes down to how well you’re functioning,” says psychiatrist Brian Vasey, M.D. “Are you able to do what you need to do and experience life to the depths that you would hope just with running?”
The best approach to treatment can change over time, especially in the context of life events. “If I’m having trouble with work and my mother just died and I’m not running because I have an injury, that could lead to brief periods of symptoms that might merit extra measures,” Vasey says.
If you’re considering medication, be aware that the intersection of running and anti-depressants is a complex topic. Studies on medication and exercise performance are usually short-term and often involve subjects who, in daily life, wouldn’t be prescribed anti-depressants. In general, the research finds no boost in or detriment to performance.
Anecdotally, runners report a range of responses, underlying the old experiment-of-one adage. I lost interest in pushing that last few percent in races after going on an anti-depressant; at this point in my running life, the tradeoff is worth it. Others find their running reborn, thanks to renewed energy and better overall functioning. Discuss side effects that could affect your running, such as weight gain or loss, dry mouth, and drowsiness, with your doctor.
Training through injury because you’re afraid of becoming depressed or anxious indicates that you’re overly reliant on running to manage your mental health, says psychiatrist Laura Fredendall. “That would be a sign that there’s something going on that’s worth looking at,” she says.
GET IN THE MOOD
Research and runners’ experiences offer guidance on how best to get a postrun boost.
DURATION: Most studies find significant mood boosts after 30 minutes of running. But any run is almost always better than no run; avoid all-or-nothing thinking. “In the past if I haven’t been able to get done exactly what I wanted to get done, I’d consider myself a failure,” says elite ultramarathoner Rob Krar. “Now I’m more willing to say, ‘I’m not going to be able to do that long run and I might miss my mileage for the week, but I’m going to get my ass out the door for a four-miler.’” On tough mental days, start your run with a flexible route that you can shorten or lengthen as feels best.
INTENSITY: Endocannabinoids are neurotransmitters associated with postrun mood improvements. When David Raichlen had runners do 30-minute workoutsat four effort levels, he found the greatest increase in endocannabinoid levels after runs at 70 percent of maximum heart rate (which translates to jogging pace) and 80 percent of heart rate max (running at a steady, conversational pace). Endocannabinoid levels decreased after Raichlen’s runners sustained 50 percent max heart rate (walking) or ran for half an hour at 90 percent of max heart rate (close to 5K race pace for many runners).
But as Raichlen himself says, “My biggest mood boosts are after tempo runs or intervals.” Remember that there’s more to mood than the levels of any one brain chemical. Pushing yourself through a hard workout can provide a needed sense of setting and accomplishing a goal. It’s then often possible to apply that mindset to other areas of your life when things feel overwhelming.
If you’re struggling to get out the door, give yourself permission to run as slowly as you want. A study published in Medicine & Science in Sports & Exercise found that symptoms of depression improved more when the subjects worked out at a self-selected intensity compared to exercising at a prescribed moderate intensity.
SETTING: A lot of research has been done in recent years on the psychological response to exercise in various environments—forests, urban parks, city streets, indoors, etc. “It appears that green spaces have a much more beneficial impact,” Raichlen says. Indeed, a study published in Social Science & Medicine found that people who were frequently active in forests had about half the risk of poor mental health as people who didn’t regularly play in the woods.
For any one run, people usually report better mood improvement (more tranquility, greater reduction in stress, anxiety, and depression) in natural settings compared to populated human-made environments. A review of research published in Environmental Science & Technology found that green-space boosts were even greater when there was a water view.
Another chit in nature’s favor: In one study, when cyclists rode a busy urban route with moderate air pollution, their levels of brain-derived neurotrophic factor (BDNF) didn’t rise, in contrast to when they rode in a nonpolluted setting. BDNF is a protein that’s associated with exercise-induced improvements in brain function.
Contributing editor Scott Douglas’s book Running Is My Therapy, which will be published in April, is available for pre-order.
I haven't posted in several days. It's not that I've been super busy, or out of touch with the world. Just taking a little break from writing. And, I guess that's not a bad thing.
Tony Garcia posted these two pieces yesterday and today - very share worthy.
Turn Down the Noise
The white noise in my life The endless chatter of my fears Filling the chambers of my mind Keeping me from spreading my wings
The white noise in my life The constant drone of my excuses Whispering "you cannot" in my ears Keeping me trapped where I am
The white noise in my life The echoes of my past Calling out failures and regrets Keeping me looking over my shoulder
The white noise in my life The doubts of false friends Hoping to see me stumble and fall Keeping me hesitant of step
The white noise in my life Keeping me from hearing The whispers from my heart But one thing left to do
Turn down the noise. ~G
This. A whisper from my heart.
The Noise: An Epilogue
The noise wants you to believe the risk is too high, the danger too great.
The noise wants you to conjure up all the reasons why you should not, all that could go wrong.
The noise wants you to turn butterflies into demons, dragons you cannot slay.
The noise wants you to imagine the impossibilities, the "this is not meant for you".
The noise wants you to fear the fall, to be afraid of your wings.
The noise wants you to never try, never seek, never dare.
The noise wants you not to move, so you never feel your chains.
But when you shut out the noise, you will hear the sound of your heart simply whisper, "Launch yourself". ~G
It has been my dream to pursue a career in art beyond the walls of my own house. Reading Tony's book Wanna Know a Truth, and posts that will be included in his second book - especially "The Noise" has given me the courage to launch. I've been afraid of the "toos" in my life - too late, too old, too little time, too little talent, too afraid of rejection, too many other great artists to compete with, too judgmental, too....... much noise. Today I am turning off the noise, listening to my heart, and launching myself into the uncharted waters of my dream. (as a post script - I am submitting a couple of paintings for consideration for the Art on Loan program to the offices of U.S. Colorado Senators Cory Gardner and Michael Bennet - it's a start)
Yesterday I had the opportunity to read "The Legend of Sleepy Hollow" to a group of 6th graders. The language of the original by Washington Irving provided much fodder for this month's challenge of learning a new word every day: supernumeracy, domiciliated, and many more. I'm sad that there wasn't more time, only 1 hour and 20 minutes to read this piece. The students were left with emotion and wonder. Next year I hope we can schedule at least 2 hours to include discussion and sharing.
In just two short months we will be saying goodbye to 2017. As I get older, I am realizing that time slips faster and faster - kinda like a long run. The first couple of miles seem like forever, then you get in a groove and before you know it six miles have passed, then another four. Your body aches, but you keep going. Mile after mile .................. why You say? JUST BECAUSE I say.
I'm looking out my window this morning as I write. The leaves still hanging on the apple tree are actually shivering in the cold and wind. I don't think I've ever seen or noticed that before. I'm sure it happens yearly, but I never took time to look. What else am I not seeing because I don't take the time?
Life is like that.......... Running is like that............ You do the same, see the same, but don't take time to just enjoy. A road run today is out of the question this morning with temps in the 20s and snow. And so, I leave you with a message from Mr. Tony Garcia
Sorry for not posting for the past several days. Our cousins from California came for a visit and stayed with us for a couple of days. We had a fabulous time!
Now, time to get back into the routine. I don't have much going on this week, so plan to log a few extra miles. Not sure if I'll hit 50, but it's a target to shoot for. I don't have any races scheduled for these last two months of 2017, but that doesn't mean that it's time to sit on the couch and take it easy for the rest of the year.
I love this time of year. Garden work is winding down. All that is left to do is harvest the rest of the carrots, dig some horseradish, and tidy-up a bit. I still have some apples to process into juice and apple butter, but after that, think I'm done for the year and mark this as a pretty productive gardening season.
I've been thinking about what it would take to run a full marathon. I've completed 9 half-marathons so far, and half-way seriously toying with the idea of running a full. I guess the only way to find out if I have what it takes is to start training. Think that is something I would really like to do ... for no one else, but for me.
We had a FANTASTIC TIME visiting our daughter Jessica and her family in Salt Lake this past weekend. What a wonderful family!!! I had so much fun playing with Graycen and Wyatt!!! We went to the museum and saw dinosaurs, played on the playground, read books, played ball, got wamped playing connect four, watched movies, went to a pumpkin farm, carved jack-o-lanterns, watched football, ate fabulous food ... ... ... and had an overall great time!!! I was sad that the weekend went so fast.
I also ran the SoJo Half-Marathon Saturday. I am happy with how I did. If I could have shaved just 3 minutes off my time I would have come in 3rd. First place ran a time of 1:51:14.8, Second had a time of 2:03:03.1, and Third time was 2:08:00.6 My time for Fourth was 2:10:11.3 (I ran the Colfax Half in 2:09:53)
HALF F 55 TO 59
PEETZ CO USA
Now, it's time to relax after the long drive home.
Getting ready to start my day. Very excited to see our son and his family this weekend!!! Have quite a few things to check off my get-to-do list; make yogurt, bake crackers and bread, an apple pie, do a bit of garden clean-up, and a long run in preparation for the SoJo Half-Marathon next weekend.
Even though my team met the 2017 mile goal a couple of months ago, we are still logging our miles. My personal miles for the year = 1160 and a team total of 2223. My target is 1500 individual. I'm not sure that will happen, but will give it my best shot.
I subscribed to www.dictionary.com word of the day. It's pretty cool. Learning a new word every day (well, almost every day)
Yesterday I had a great workout. The six miles sped by at a mile pace of 8:46 min. I finished soaking wet with sweat, but it felt good and no stiff muscles this morning when I woke up. I've read several articles on the subject of improving speed and distance. The bottom line is - you have to run faster and farther. Have the motivation, the drive, the determination.
Today I get to sub for 7th grade science. What is on you "get to" list today?
In a world full of Snapchats I desire meaningful conversations
In a world limited to 140 characters I want my character to speak volumes
In a world of disappearing stories I hope to leave a lasting message
In a world filled with a negative newsfeed I will try to nourish the positive
In a world where darkness often falls I believe in standing as a light
In a world screaming, "I have the right to" I pray my rights never do another wrong
In a world making excuses for hatred I need no excuses for offering love
In a world...it only takes one to make a change. Let it be I. ~G
"In a world...it only takes one to make a change. Let it be I." As you start your day today, BE that light, that message, that change ... BE the one with character speaking with your actions not hateful words.
It's a beautiful morning. I started my day drying another batch of apples. Right now, the temp is 38 degrees and wind speed of 3 mph. I did a 6 mile run Monday, took yesterday off - didn't get a chance to squeeze in a run, and I'm OK with that. We had a lot of things that needed done. (license/registration of a new car, grocery shopping, bread baking, laundry, apple juicing...) Before I knew it, the day was gone and the run that was planned for late afternoon didn't happen. The "before you know it" time thing is another reason for running in the morning. And so, that is what I'm going to do right now. Lace up my shoes and
After last night's freeze, I'm afraid this year's gardening season has come to an end. We had some lovely weather, and now it's time to say goodbye to summer. I think the garden was pretty successful this year. I had a couple of fails - cantaloupe was blah, cucumbers didn't grow, and found out snow peas just aren't my thing. Other than that - potatoes were good, beans were fantastic, tomatoes and peppers did well, the onions and radishes were very nice, and the pumpkins and squash also did well. As far as fruit goes - I was very pleased with the peaches and apples.
On my "get-to-do" list today - I'm working on a painting and hope to have it finished by the end of the week, dry some more apples, and go for a treadmill run. Other than that, not much on my list.
Enjoy your day, and........... GET OUT THERE .... You have work to do!!!
We had our first snow of the season. I am guessing around 3-4 inches. Yesterday we picked the last of the garden produce that we knew wouldn't fair well with a freeze. Also picked about 6 bushels of apples. I think today is going to be a day spent sorting, juicing, drying, applesauce making etc.
I'm looking out my window at a blanket of newly fallen snow and more falling. Perched on the weather rock is what I think is a little prairie falcon. He looks kinda cold, but I'm sure he isn't. The humming bird I saw yesterday - now, that may be a different story. I hope he found some place warm to hunker down today.
I have two weeks until the SoJo half-marathon. This week is going to have to be on the treadmill, and that's ok. I don't mind. I'm not going to make a schedule, but make sure I can get in a couple of long runs this week.
A morning prayer. By Mr. Tony Garcia
May I take the tools I have been given to build a better little corner of my world. May I use the gifts I have been given to make the day brighter for another. May I remain present enough to count the grand blessings in my life instead of adding up the minor problems which might arise. May I patiently wait my turn as the day unfolds so others will not feel hurried or rushed. May I not cross paths with another without leaving them in a better place for having shared time with me. May I share the hope and love that exists in my heart so others may feel this in their day. May I choose to walk forward this day, even if my steps are small, slow, clumsy, or heavy. May I face the day full of wonder, willing to grow, accepting of what it brings, and ever grateful for the breaths it affords me. May I do all this knowing I am cared about, watched over, surrounded by and filled with love.
It's cloudy and drippy this morning. And so for your Wednesday listening enjoyment I thought I'd found something that fit the weather ... something a little different. Think I found a new favorite artist.
Yesterday I ran another solid 5 miles at just under a 9 min/mile pace. Today, the plan is to run my 6 miles at or around a 9 min/mile pace. Thursday and Friday will be easier 4 mile runs and finish the week with a long 14 mile run. That's the plan.......
On a running note: I signed up for the October 21, 2017 South Jordan, Utah, half-marathon. The nice thing is that the start is only 6 miles from my daughter's house. This is a relatively flat course with mostly a downhill slope. My strategy for the next 19 days.
1. Make smart beverage and food choices. Stay hydrated
2. Focus on speed. Today I ran 4 miles with an average pace of 8:42. I felt great after
3. Focus on distance. Long run this week of 14 miles scheduled for Saturday
4. Stay focused on the race. I don't want to sabotage it in any way. Know my limits.
Today's message from Mr. Tony Garcia, Wanna Know a Truth, pg 393
Teach all men to fish, but first teach all men to be fair. Take less, give more.
Give more of yourself, take less from the world. Nobody
owes you anything, you owe the world everything.
If given but one more breath, I would give it to you. So you may simply exhale. If given but one more wish, I would give it to you. So you may simply know someone wishes you joy. If given but one more heartbeat, I would give it to you. So you may simply feel an unconditional love. If given but one more smile, I would give it to you. So you may simply see how beautiful it looks on you. If given but one more moment, I would give it to you. So you may simply experience the gift of unhurried time. If given but one more sunrise, I would give it to you. So you may simply understand the endless possibilities before you. And if given all this, may you simply know a beautiful day.
And so, my friend, my prayer for You this day is that You know how beautiful and special You are. My prayer for You this day is that You believe in Your possibilities. My prayer for You this day is that You can and will make this a great day!
Ran the Platte-Valley Monument Half-Marathon in Gering/Scottsbluff, NE today. I placed 3rd out of 18 in my age group with a time of 2:17 an average pace of 10:20 min/m. Overall place of 95 out of 251 and gender position 49 out of 167. Very happy.
Received a beautifully framed photo of the Platte Valley at sunset for 3rd place in my age category.
It is difficult to soar to your destiny carrying the burden of doubt, impossible to soar to your destiny carrying the burden of fear, but conceivable to soar to your destiny carried by the wings of faith.
We all have a "something." What is that something you cannot stop thinking about? That you once never even imagined? What is that something you already miss? That you have never even had? What is that something you ache for? That you have never even felt? What is that something you reach for? That you have never even touched? What is that something you daydream about? That you have ever even seen? What is that something that calls your name? That you have never even spoken to? What is that something? It is your destiny. And you must go to it. It is waiting patiently for you to arrive.
Ok - I think this is telling me something this morning. I've always wanted to pursue a career in art. I've always wanted to paint and have my art enjoyed on the walls of others - not just on my own walls. I've always dreamed of having my paintings hanging in a gallery for others to fall in love with and take home. I've always dreamed of these things, but never thought I was good enough to chase this dream. I've always wanted ... but never acted. It's time to change the "always wanted" into "Today I will."