Sunday, January 31, 2016

Yellow Shoe Diaries: Worst. Training. Run. Ever.

Running is a humbling sport. 

Today I had my worst long run of this year. Maybe ever. I decided to share this not for sympathy or admiration but because I often look at old running posts when I need inspiration. And I am pretty sure future Allie needs to remember today. 

Mother Nature set the stage for a great 10 miles with gorgeous weather. Seriously is was like an Spring day in late March or early April, but in January. Of course to keep things interesting Mother Nature also threw in some awesome cramps. Every step it felt like I was being stabbed in the stomach with a knife. Sometimes being a girl really sucks. 

By mile 3 I considered calling it a day because I was so off pace and hurting badly. By the time I made it to mile 7 I was still moving slower than I needed but was starting to feel a little better. That was until a group of 7-8 year old boys started "cheering" me on by chanting "Run Fatty, Run!" 


I would be lying if I said I didn't want to flip them off or knock on their parents door. But then I started thinking how lots of kids learn their behavior from their parents and I was a little scared of what the response would be if I did knock on their door. I just kept going. I would also be lying if I said I didn't shed a tear or two over the next mile or so. I didn't cry because they hurt my feelings. I am fully aware I am a bigger girl. No one looks at me and says, "Oh that girl is totally a runner!" 
The tears that were falling were tears of pride. 

I had every reason to stay on the couch with a heating pad today, but I didn't. I had every reason to quit at mile 3 when Kipper offered to come get me if I was in too much pain, but I didn't. Today I dug deep, gave what I could and made it just over 9 miles. Today I am thankful for the reminder that in the long run of this journey, the accomplishments on my worst days are just as sweet (sometimes sweeter) than setting a PR on my best days.

Friday, January 15, 2016

Bold and Brave in 2016

I have been doing a lot of thinking on what my overall focus for myself would be for 2016. So much so that we are half way through January and I am just now ready to put this out there. Last year was all about breaking down walls and making myself uncomfortable. I still have some work to do in that area, but this year I want to build on that by being bold and brave.

You see I have always been a creative and used to think of myself as somewhat of a free spirit. The older I get the more I realize while I have been blessed with a creative mind that loves to day dream, but I am FAR from a free spirit. I tend to be practical and a worrier. I am a creature of habit. I over analyze things that really don't need that much thought. I started to realize this past year that often times my creativity and sense of adventure is muffled by my practical side. And fear.

Which brings me to the point of this post - living bold and brave in 2016! I have to stop muffling gifts God has given me because in my head things don't seem practical. Practical has become a new word for comfortable in my life. I read a blog post last year that I wish I could find because there was a paragraph that was amazing. It talked about how God doesn't call us to things that are easy or meant to be comfortable. Following His plan often means things might seem messy in our heads and won't neatly fit into our color coded planner. I am pretty sure the author was speaking directly to me.

Living bold and brave doesn't mean I am going to drop everything and run away with the circus. (although there is this awesome circus school in Dallas that looks like a blast!) Or suddenly lose all manners and tell everyone exactly what I think in that moment. Honestly I am not 100% sure what it will look like, but here is where I am starting.

1. Pray Boldly. Sometimes I find that there are things that I want to pray for but I hold back. I am not sure why, because my hesitation doesn't come from a doubt in Him. For some reason I feel more comfortable praying boldly for others situations, but not always for my own. When I do step out in faith and pray boldly the spiritual reward has been incredible. If this is something you struggle with you might be interested in this great blog post I read on Proverbs 31. It was incredibly helpful to me and said what I was feeling better than I could. 

2. Bravely Follow. In line with praying boldly, I have to be ready to bravely follow. I can recall several times in my life when God spoke to me, but I let fear hold me back. I am much better than I used to be at this but there is still so much room for growth. This means letting go of worry over what others will think. It means getting uncomfortable. It means a world of possibilities far more amazing than I could imagine. 

3. Boldly and Bravely Adventure. We aren't talking cliff diving or anything too crazy here. Last years goal of getting out of my comfort zone was really focused on my weight and working out. This year I want to keep that momentum going, but hitting all aspects of my life.  For starters I know as soon as Cowtown is over I am going to face my fear of taking my bike out on the trail. I have let the fear that has been building from my wreck keep me inside far too long. I  just want to wait till after I set a new PR at Cowtown just in case! (I told you I wasn't going to go too crazy!) Maybe I'll try a type of cuisine that I am pretty sure I will hate. Or finally put aside the fear of failure and start my Etsy shop back up. I don't quite know where this goal will take me, but I am excited to see.

Outside of these three key areas I still have other goals and areas I want to make sure I am always incorporating being bold and brave. Running, giving and saving are three that immediately come to mind.

Feel free to ask me periodically how things are going. I welcome the accountability. And if you have been feeling like you need a change - join me!!  How could stepping out of your comfort zone change you? Think about all the incredible things that could happen in 2016 if we are just bold enough to ask and brave enough to listen when He answers!

Sunday, January 3, 2016

Yellow Shoe Diaries: Titanic Kind of Day

Some runs I feel like I could fly. And some runs feel like I weigh 500 pounds and I am dragging the Titanic behind me. First long run of 2016 and it was a Titanic kind of day.

I walked in the door afterwards beating myself up about it. Then I realized something. I had three choices this morning: say screw it and go home, take the easy flat loop, or suck it up and run hills. Two years ago I would have gone home. A year ago I would have taken the easy route. Today I ran mile after mile of hills. I knew that my pace would be crap but I also knew in the long run time on those hills would make a bigger difference come race day than a faster pace on a random training run. Just took a little perspective to help me remember that some progress can't be seen in distance or pace.