Snow And Learning To Be Lazy

Happy Monday!  I can honestly say that this time around, I am actually happy for the weekend to be over.  It was an adventure, to say the least.

On Thursday, I dropped Mary off at her childcare and headed to Traverse City a bit before work.  It had started to snow and one of the perks of working at a gym is free membership.  So I got a quick 7 miles in on the treadmill and then headed over to Lowe’s for sandbags.  We were predicted to get up to 14 inches and I wanted to make sure my evening commute wasn’t too treacherous.

If you recall a few weeks ago, I drove home after work in a scary winter storm.  We got 11 inches that night and I was pretty certain that this couldn’t possibly be a repeat of that event.

When I left work, the snow wasn’t too horrible but the roads were covered in ice.  I drove 15 mph most of the way and saw multiple accidents along my slippery commute.

The snow set in that night as I once again got my car stuck in the driveway (sorry Rock).  I woke up to a winter wonderland.  The plows were no where to be found and schools were closed.  We were stuck inside!  I had to call into work and let them know I wouldn’t be able to make it.  To be honest, I was happy to avoid driving in that mess again.  The previous night had been rather scary.

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We snow blowed the driveway but it wasn’t until after 1:00pm that the plows finally made it to our road.  By then Mary was down for her nap and the driveway was full again.  To avoid waking her up, I shoveled our entire driveway and walkways.  I couldn’t believe it only took me an hour and a half.  Later, we made it out to get groceries. That was the extent of our adventures.

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Can you believe there was grass on the ground on Thursday and I was running in shorts all last week?!

Weather reports showed that we didn’t get the predicted 14 inches.  Instead we were nailed with 22 inches of fluff!

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By Saturday I was getting stir crazy and Mary had woken up not feeling like herself.  After another plowing of the driveway, we made it to my parents where I was able to ride their stationary bike for an hour and a half while the little one napped.  After feeling like I was trapped inside for days, it felt great to break a sweat.

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This bad boy is old, but it still does the trick!

Meanwhile, Miss Mary started to come down with a hefty bug and we found ourselves at Urgent Care later that night with an ear infection.   My little girl is just like her parents, she doesn’t sit still very well.  So when she only wants to be held and can’t stop crying, we know something isn’t right.

She ended up sleeping most of the night with us and woke up a little bit better.  We ended up back at my parents for another epic stationary bike ride.  Let me be real honest and say that as a runner, the stationary bike doesn’t really do much for me.  I just don’t feel like I can get the sweat I do when I am running.  But it felt great to move a bit and I am forever grateful to my parents for letting us crash for a few hours so I can sweat out my cabin fever.

We headed back home where Mary and I laid on the couch all afternoon watching cooking shows on PBS.  I love that she enjoys Martha Stewart and Julia Child as much as her mom does.  Having a sick little girl was a lesson in learning to relax for me.  I often feel guilty if I lay down or am not doing something, especially with the holidays approaching.  But our little girl was a great excuse to just sit back and snuggle the day away.

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Checking out some PBS with mom!

Fingers are crossed that it finally stops snowing sometime soon.  We have been on a storm warning since Thursday evening and it hasn’t stopped yet.

In the meantime, the moral of this story is…..we seriously need a treadmill!  We are officially in winter in Northern Michigan and it isn’t even truly winter yet!

How was your weekend?  Did you receive some epic snow?

 

 

A Room Full of Men in Tights

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“I’ve never been in a room full of so many men in tights,” my husband whispered to me on Saturday morning. No we weren’t at the Nutcracker. We were packed with about 100 other people at Fleet Feet in Chicago to hear esteemed writer and athlete Matt Fitzgerald speak about brain training. I had to chuckle. Almost everyone in the room (including us of course) was in running clothes. They had either run to the meeting or were running home after, heck some probably did both.  Who wouldn’t want to leave a toasty room to run 8 miles in 10 degree weather along Lake Michigan?!

First off I have to say that Matt Fitzgerald gave an excellent talk. He was very engaging and incredibly informative.

He spent the majority of the session discussing motivation and how it differs from discipline. Runners are pretty disciplined, but at times lack motivation. This time of the year is one of the hardest times for us to get motivated whether it be to go for a run or even the most simple workout. For most of us it is cold and dark out, and we are bogged down with our careers, family, and holiday craziness. It is often difficult to get the motivation to go for a run and rather easy to make excuses about why we can’t run in the first place.

Fitzgerald offered a few ideas for how to get yourself over the motivation hurdle and I would like to share a few that I found might be helpful for those of us needing a shove off of the couch and a kick out the door in the early morning hours.

Chose a goal and make it something that excites you.  All fall I had been “training” for a trail race after Thanksgiving with a few family members.  I wasn’t training for a PR or trying to hit any particular time, but I was training all the same so that I could make it through the race and feel a sense of accomplishment.  It made me want to get up in the morning and finish whatever runs or workouts I had planned for that day.

If you need motivation, go seek it out with some inspiration. There are a few running books and movies I have watched that made me feel like I was ready to take on the world. I watched “The Spirit of the Marathon” during my marathon training and I spent an entire 18 mile long run thinking about the movie and wondering/imagining what it would be like to have the film crew following me. After I finished Matt Long’s “The Long Run” I wanted more than ever to embrace my ability and love for running. I could go on for hours on this one, perhaps for another post.

Track your progress. I have gotten lazy in this department, but when I first ran I started keeping track of how many miles I ran each day and what other workouts I added. By keeping track of what you are doing, you are providing yourself with some feedback. When I started to see that I could do 3 miles consistently, it was easier to challenge myself to go to 5 miles and beyond.

And my favorite recommendation…buy something cool.  If you are lacking motivation, here is your excuse to say that all you need is that new running outfit you’ve had your eyes on. In all seriousness I think everyone can agree that sometimes having that new hat, jacket, pair of running tights, etc. has made your next few runs exciting and worth looking forward to. You could make it a double whammy and create a challenge for yourself, such as promising yourself that reflective running jacket you’ve been drooling over, if you run 4 days a week for a month.

We are all different and our reasons for lacking motivation are also different. Look within yourself and find creative ways to encourage yourself to get those runs in. Remind yourself of how great you will feel once you have gotten it over with and remember anything is better than nothing.

You can read about these and lots of other awesome running and training tips from Matt Fitzgerald’s books “Racing Weight”, “Iron War”, “The Runners Body”, and several others.