This last week has been absolutely amazing! Seeing as though I had not seen much of my family since Christmas time, I missed them quite a bit. Living in the Burlington area is great and I love it, but… my family lives in different parts of the state so I don’t get to see them as often as I would like. Thus, on the first Saturday of break I made the decision to go and see them immediately.
It started at a basketball game in the small town of Cornish, NH where I went and watched Trystan, my nephew, play a basketball game for his school. I swear he gets better every single time I see him play! I played basketball in high school and it was really neat to see him wearing my old 32 jersey. He was trying to impress me as I watched him play but it was hardly necessary, he played great! He is going to be one heck of an athlete; I just hope he is slightly less competitive than his Uncle!
Watching my nephew’s basketball game was really awesome, but it was as equally entertaining to hang out with Addyson, my niece, while he played. She loves just ‘monkey-ing’ around’ with Uncle Shane and the amusement is not one sided. She gets bigger and smarter every single time I see her. She is the sweetest, cutest little girl ever, but I suppose I am slightly biased! My sister-in-law told me a funny story about my niece: she was recently trying to move something and, upon finding it to be too heavy, said something along the lines of, “I need to start working out like Uncle Shane!” That made my day!
After basketball and goofing around we went to a local pizza place and followed it up with a trip to an ice cream shop. I managed to resist the urge to get pizza and ordered a huge salad instead. However, I could not say no to ice cream with my niece and nephew, now could I? Fortunately I was smart about it and only had a small ice cream. We then went to the local recreation center where I sometimes still work and where I’d spent countless hours while growing up in the small town of Windsor, VT. We had a great time. Addyson goofed around in a bouncy castle and got excited for every shot she made while playing basketball (it was so cute!) while Trystan and I played an intense game of 1 on 1. I’m so competitive… I absolutely abhor losing. I let my nephew beat me once in 1 on 1 and I’ve never heard the end of it. I wanted to beat him, but I realize that winning would mean more to him-since he really looks up to me-than it would to me. Yes, it has taken 26 years to realize that it is OKAY to lose from time to time! Haha! it was an amazing time with those two.
My niece and nephew are actually part of the reason I decided to lose weight and go on this life-long transformation (I say life-long because I don’t ever plan on stopping as it relates to being healthy and fit). I realized that I was on track to-as hard as it is to say-die younger than I should. I realized how much I would be depriving myself of; I wouldn’t be there for my niece and nephew, nor would I be able to have a family and kids of my own someday. They are a huge motivation for me, and I love them so much!
While out of the Burlington area I also tried a couple different things: I did hot yoga (it was like 85 degrees and it should be impossible for someone to sweat as much as I did during that class) and I also went snow-shoeing. I did this in replace of my long run (no worries, my long run was only 6 miles and I did it the following day so I didn’t miss it completely!) and I went with two very important people to me, Gus and Dani. I’ve learned to appreciate experiences like these, as you never know how many of them you will get in your life. A year ago I might have started to worry if I missed a scheduled run, but I’ve learned that there is SO much more to life…most importantly, family! Gus and I went on a trip later in the week (he travels for work) down towards the Atlantic Ocean. It was so beautiful. We talked about anything and everything for over six hours. I have learned to really cherish moments like these.
During my vacation I also got to visit my Mom and stepdad. It was much needed and much enjoyed excursion, seeing as though I hadn’t been home since Christmas day, and even though I was only there for a little while it was time well spent. I got to see my Mom’s dogs and had an amazing dinner of fish, potatoes, and carrots. It was delicious, and oh so healthy! Unfortunately, I had to get my Tuesday run in before dinner. I did NOT want to run. It was cold (about 10 degrees with wind) and I was tired, sore (from yoga and snowshoeing) and had no motivation. But eventually I stopped making excuses and I got my run done. It was fhttp://www.runvermont.org/therundown/?p=8122&preview=truear from the ‘best’ run I’ve ever completed, but it might be the run I’m most proud of. There’s such a sense of accomplishment when you dig deep within yourself and do something despite not wanting to do it- I was very proud of myself!
I’m back in the Burlington area now and am going back to work on Wednesday. The training is picking up. The long runs are getting longer, as are the mid-week runs. Pretty soon 10 miles will seem like ‘only 10 miles’ as I build up to longer distances. Honestly it’s not the distance that is tough for me, it’s the pacing that I struggle with. When I run I want to get it done ASAP. Furthermore, I often compete with myself when running. If i ran 3 miles in 24 minutes one day… I want to do it in 23:59 the next day. It’s incredibly hard to prevent myself from doing it because competition is in my nature. For lack of a better term, I have to swallow my ego. I need to tone it down. I absolutely cannot compete with anyone-especially myself-during the marathon. I could do serious damage if I let my ego take over while running 26.2 miles-I need to be smart about it. That’s why, as tough as it has been, I have been working incredibly hard to pace myself and to ‘train smarter, not harder.’ I’m not there (yet) but I will get there!
Last Wednesday I was fortunate enough to attend a Marathon 101 class that talked about sports nutrition, mainly as it relates to training for a marathon. I already know a lot of the stuff that was presented in class because I have become very attentive to research concerning diet and exercise. I have people that I rely on for nutritional advice, therefore a lot of what was presented I already knew. However, it was great to see it framed specifically towards marathon training. I ‘winged it’ (no food-related pun intended) with half-marathon training last year, but I can’t do that with marathon training. 26.2 miles is a completely different beast, and if I don’t eat properly there could be some rough consequences.
I’ve been thinking a lot about this quote recently: “I go to bed with one question on my mind: ‘Did I do something today to make myself better tomorrow?’ If I did, I go to sleep. If I didn’t, it’s not time for bed.” What are you doing to make yourself better? It doesn’t have to be anything big, anything huge. It can be something small, something minor. You can do something for yourself, or for someone else. Either way, if you’re not doing something to make yourself better, you are merely existing. Don’t get complacent, don’t just exist-don’t be happy with the status quo. There’s always time to sleep (it’s very important), but there’s even more time to make yourself better. Challenge yourself, push yourself, and strive to make yourself better!