Be Kind To Yourself- Running Edition

We have one big rule in our house.  “Be Kind.”  We emphasize this rule with each other, when we are heading to school or the sitters, and even when we watch TV.  As parents, our biggest goal is to raise kind human beings.  I truly believe that the world could use a lot more kindness, and I hope to start by helping my two little ones to learn to treat others with love.

Several of my friends are training for the Boston Marathon and I have been enjoying watching their progress on social media.  One of my friends mentioned how she had been really struggling with her training but on one particular run, she embraced being kind to herself.  She mentioned that she had forgotten this important rule for running and by bringing this back into her training, everything changed.

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I discuss this a lot.  It isn’t something revolutionary.  We all know that running is hard.  Many people don’t run because it can be difficult.  Even seasoned runners have moments of struggle.  This is an essential part of the sport.  To become a distance runner you have to embrace these struggles.

If you choose to be negative, your runs will likely be hard.  Negativity will also impact your perceived exertion.

On the flip side, when we become kind and positive minded runners, everything gets a little better.  Perceived exertion lessens and longer runs can feel less daunting.

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Can you imagine spending a long run beating yourself up?  I certainly would want to quit after a few miles of contemplating all that was going wrong.  But with endorphins from exercise pumping through your body and some kind thoughts about yourself and your activity, time spent running can actually be enjoyable.

Even better, the feeling lasts beyond your run.  When you spend miles thinking positive thoughts and keeping a kind inner dialogue, you will leave the run with a positive outlook.  More endorphins and happy feelings will carry you through the day and even into the night.

It is so great to think that even when the world can be less than kind, you can take positive action and be kind to yourself on a run.  The kindness will pour over into the rest of your day and it might just rub off on those around you.

Tourists In Our Part-Time City

Who stole our spring?  Last weekend we had wonderful temperatures in the 80’s and this weekend it was chilly and even rainy.  I want my warm spring back!

Friday was a total wash out.  We were stuck inside due to the weather and when it finally passed, Mary put on her rain boots and jacket and went for some splashing in puddles.  To say she loved it would be an understatement.  Fortunately, Rock planned ahead with a full set of extra clothes.  By the time she was done, we had to dump water out of her boots and wring her clothes!

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It rained so hard, part of the promenade along the East River where I run, collapsed!

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Saturday was at least a little sunny and I overdressed for a 7 mile run.  Does it bug anyone else when you wear sleeves and then end up out in sunny weather?  I prefer running without sleeves.  Back when I was a competitive figure skater, I never wore dresses with any type of arms attached.  I prefer bare arms.

It ended up being a really nice run and I was grateful for the sweat.  If I was a better blogger, I would have taken a picture, but this weekend I only snapped pics of the little girl.

I even had a celebrity sighting in Central Park. I walked past Ryan Seacrest and actually recognized him.  This is rare as I would normally not be able to pick a celeb out of a lineup.  Why I noticed him of all people, is beyond me.

After nap time, I woke up inspired to try something new.  We headed to Central Park and went to the Tisch Children’s Zoo.  This is part of the Central Park Zoo and I thought they might have a reduced rate for the smaller portion.  I was wrong.  But when I went to pay, Mary’s admission was free and mine was only $12.

My plan was just to take her to the children’s portion because I figured she was too young and wild to appreciate all of the other animals.  But as soon as we stepped inside, I knew we were going to check out everything.

At the children’s portion she loved the farm animals.  She ran in and cried, “Sheep!”  We’ve been working on animals with her and their sounds, so this was a perfect opportunity to see everything.

It is hard to believe that I have lived in NYC to some extent for 15 years, and I have never once set foot in the Central Park Zoo.  I walk through the gates almost daily and worked next to it for over a decade.  I have to say that I really have missed out.  This zoo is far nicer and bigger than I had realized.  However, I think I had a far greater appreciation seeing it from this 21 month old’s eyes.

We had fun walking through the tropical room full of birds and flora.  Mary loved watching the monkeys jump around all of the rocks. The snow leopards stayed hidden, but she loved looking for them.  The bears would have kept her interested for an hour if I had let her.  She adored the seals and sea lions and once she got over her fear of the dark room where the penguins and puffins were, she was mystified.

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For $12, it was an afternoon well spent.  We finished it off in true tourist style by grabbing a pretzel and a churro from a cart outside and parked ourselves on a bench for a little bit.

The zoo was absolutely the highlight of our weekend, our week, and our stay so far this spring.  I am almost certain we will be back again in the next few days.  I don’t think I can keep her away!

How was your weekend?  Do you or your kids enjoy the zoo?