the good, the bad, the ugly

When I started running, I promised myself I would not complain on this blog about it. When I started writing (or at least starting writing a novel), I promised myself I would also not complain about it.

I realized, though, that it gives the illusion that these things are easy and come easy and cause absolutely no pain.

Nothing could be further from the truth.

Both are a personal, mental, physical, spiritual and emotional struggle. Every. Single. Day.

And it’s funny because they hit the exact same sore spots inside of me. The same self-doubts and the same struggles.

I had lunch with a friend a few days ago, and she said something that has made me think. You have to give honor to the pain. She went on to say that she knows that I just want to push forward to forget about it.

Keep moving has been my slogan for about a year and a half.

But I’m not super-human and these things are not easy. So, I want to give myself the space to honor the pain and to be completely honest about how hard these things are.

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on running: the baseball on my table

Someone asked me the other day why there’s a baseball on my dining room table. I need it to run. And the conversation went on from there, so I didn’t really get to explain why.

But there’s a very simple explanation.

As I sit at the table, I put the baseball on the floor and use it to massage the bottom of my feet. I read somewhere to use a golf ball, but I don’t have golf balls lying around my house. Baseballs, though. I have plenty of. When I started running with the Frees, I was a little concerned about the lack of arch support.

The baseball is a great way to relax those muscles, though. To stretch them out. And it feels really good after a run.

So…that’s why there’s a baseball on my dining room table.

new obsessions

I’m not a name-brand person. I hate clothes and I hate shoes. My general goal is to shop for either of these things in the easiest, fastest, cheapest way possible. So, I’m a little surprised that I’m absolutely obsessed with Nike. First, their stuff (especially their shoes) is ridiculously expensive (at least to me). I have been lucky enough to have gift cards for all of my purchases thus far. The thing is I went into a Footlocker and tried on the Nike Free Trainers and absolutely fell in love. I was hesitant at first to buy Frees because they have very little support, and I read that it could cause some damage to leg muscles. Not only has it not done that, but my running stride has improved dramatically along with my running times. Add to that, their Dry-Fit clothing, and I’m absolutely in heaven.

My other current obsession is also a surprise to me. I am a coffee addict. I absolutely love it. I like the caffeine. And I like coffee itself. The taste. The smell. About a week ago, I bought a box of Yerba Mate. And I don’t think I’ve brewed a pot of coffee since that moment. It’s probably all in my mind, but it doesn’t feel nearly as harsh to my body, and I get the same caffeine lift. I’m eagerly awaiting the loose leaf that I ordered.

goals

I have 75 days off. Seriously. And I’m so excited about it, I quite literally can’t stand it. And because I believe that time is an incredible gift, I am intent upon not squandering it. I was making a mental list of all the things I want to accomplish in that time, but I realized they all point back to two major goals:

1. Write

The major goal is to finish the draft of the novel I’m working on right now. (That really fell to the wayside as I worked way too much.) Under that goal is to read. Really read. Fiction. Books on writing. Anything that will make me better. Under that goal is to write shorter stories and nonfiction (i.e. this blog and my baseball blog) just to keep the words flowing.

2. Run

The major goal on this one is to be prepared for a half-marathon in November. The really twisted, crazy part of me wants to do this at an 8:30 minute pace. I know it’s totally ridiculous considering I only started running two years ago, so I’m fully prepared to modify the goal if it seems impossible four months from now. Under that goal is to eat properly. Seriously. My eating habits in the past two months have been ridiculous. Not even junk food, but just not enough food. And under that is to sleep properly, which I think won’t be a problem once I really start to train and completely exhaust myself.

Simple enough, I think.