Sunday, April 13, 2014

Sunday Inspiration

What room does fear have?

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Covenant Health Knoxville Marathon (half) recap #5 out of 14

Before the race I wrote this post about letting go of my expectations and last year after the half I wrote these posts that outlined 13 lessons learned from my first half: Part 1; Part 2; and Part 3.  I am not going to repeat those lessons but I want to share a few things that I didn't share before.

This year was the 10th year for the CHKM and my second year running it.  It also became my third half and as I stated last week I had no expectations going into this race- my goal was to finish and finish strong!  I did well for the first 8 -9 miles and then the heel pain flared up and I ended up having to walk WAY more than I planned (plus I had to make an extra stop at the porta potties).  BUT, when I hit that downhill that takes you into the stadium- oh my the tears popped to my eyes and I just kept pushing.  To run into the stadium and see that finish line on the 50 yard line and hear your name called out as a finisher and then get that finisher medal was the icing on the cake.

Can I tell you what the best part was though (besides finishing of course)?  I took a personal day on Monday and when I went back to school on Tuesday I took my medal with me so I could show it to the kids.  I decided to take their picture of them wearing the medal.  One of my sweet 4 year olds looked at me after I put it away and said, "Ms. Grandi, I am going to get me one of those medals." Me, "You are?" Her, "Yes, I am going to run a really long race when I get big so I can have one of those!"  Me, "I bet you will!"  and I gave her a high five.  Made all of the torture (ha), lack of training, pain, and tears worth it.  Even when I feel like I have failed because I didn't meet my goal- or I didn't do as well as I wanted- I haven't failed- not at all because in the end- maybe, just maybe, I have inspired someone to go out and be strong.

Oh, and my finish time- it was 3:04 on the dot.  Not as good as last year but many lessons learned…

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Lucky Kidney Run Recap

So, I am a little behind on my recaps.  I have three to get caught up on this week plus part 2 of my stress post as well as some random thoughts going through my head (which may be kind of scary!)

Back on March 8th I participated in the Lucky Kidney Run- I wrote this post here that explained what led to me wanting to participate.  I had the chance to work with a friend of mine who works for Donate Life and was putting together the team.  This was a 6K and for me- was race number 4.  This race took place downtown and started on Gay Street.  The route took us through some beautiful neighborhoods- oh and guess what- it had hills LOL :)  Anyway- this is the only 6K that I have ever run so of course it was a PR :)  My time was 45:32 and as I said this was number 4 out of 14.  The "after race" had door prizes and a photo booth (which had props for St. Patrick's Day).  The best part was hanging around the photo booth and taking pictures with friends!  Fun times!

On a side note- if you have not considered organ donation (or if you have not made your feelings known to your loved ones) might I encourage you to do so.  What an amazing gift to give someone- giving another the gift of life/health.

*I know this is not much of a recap- but it is what it is and actually don't have a lot to say about this one.

Monday, April 7, 2014

Hot Chocolate 5K #3 out of 14

The day after Valentine's Day there was a run that benefitted a local runner who was raising funds for Team in Training.  I signed up quite a while before that when the race came open and was so excited for it- the funny thing is I couldn't partake in the post-race goodies- it was a Hot Chocolate/Chocolate Lover's 5K.  This race took place at a local park on a greenway- it was an out and back.  My training "plan" that day had me running 7 miles so I went early and ran 2 to start out and then the 5K (3.1) and then planned to finish out with another 2 BUT, once again, we had been in the throes of a Polar Vortex and had about 8 inches of snow on the Thursday before (but it was gone by that night- that's East TN for you) so I got my first 5 and then ended up coming home and doing the final two on the treadmill.  I have run this particular route in a previous race so was familiar with it.  It's a pretty route- the greenways here are (for the most part) amazing!  However, there are some that I won't run on by myself because they go through some secluded areas.  This one is one that is busy enough on those nice days I would feel okay with it.  It is an out and back which means I knew the hills I would face on my way back but after the 2 mile warm up my legs felt really good.  I think it actually came in a little short of 3.1 (at least according to my gps which I seriously question after my half) but I did do well- my official time was: 34:24.  That's the best time I have had in a long time (and one that I have yet to surpass or even get close to again LOL).  It was another run that I did with several friends and that always makes it lots of fun :)

This was a fun race and I look forward to doing it again!

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Sunday Inspiration

I may have shared this before but I love the message it sends and needed it this weekend.  It is an amazing reminder that someone loves me unconditionally and my worth is based solely on that and that alone!

*I am working on some posts to go up this week- I have three race recaps to write!

Friday, March 28, 2014

Letting Go of Expectations and #livelikewill

This post has been in the works for a while- but I finally have a few moments to put "pen to paper" (so to speak) and get it out there.

This Sunday that ticker to the right turns to 0 days because it's "Go Time".  This year of training has been rough (between a sprained foot, upper respiratory and sinus issues, schedule issues that just never seemed to change, and a winter that never seemed to end) and a little disappointing in that I realized that  physically I was not ready this year.  I never did a long run over 8 miles (which is usually a no-no).  When I signed up I originally had a goal of 2:30 for the half- that would give me a chance to beat my last year's run by 15 minutes.  However, after reviewing my last few months I realized that at some point I needed to do the following.

I needed to let go of my expectations- when I did that- I realized that mentally I was ready.  It doesn't matter if I end up running, walking, and crawling- the bottom line is that I WILL finish and that means I am further then I was just 2 years ago.

I need to enjoy the run.  I have a lot on my mind- with job, finances, family stuff, major decisions to be made and an upcoming sinus surgery (in two weeks- yikes) so this Sunday is all about enjoying the run- letting the road take away my worries, my stress, and my heartache.

and then finally- I need to #livelikeWill.  Will McKamey was a young man on the Navy football team.  Last Saturday he collapsed at a spring football practice and ended up having to have surgery on his brain to relieve a blood clot.  He ended up in a coma and passed away on Wednesday morning.  His mom posted this on her FB page: My dear friends and family, William Dean McKamey met his Lord and Savior this afternoon. There are no words to describe the pain our family feels right now, However we are rejoicing that Will is now on the fields of Heaven...running the football! I know that we were all praying for a miracle, and we were able to see the miracle of Will entering heaven today. My friends please focus your prayers now on Randy and I and our immediate family as we deal with the upcoming days. We love you all and we are overcome with the way you rallied behind us. Will was able to change the spirit of a community, a school and a Navy football team...without really saying a word. He led a wonderful Christian life and I'm so thankful that God chose me to be his mother for 19 years! #livelikewill

That hashtag took on a life of it's own and they are now working on setting up the Live Like Will Foundation.  From what I can gather this young man- who was only 19- loved life and lived for Christ. He was good friends with the son of a dear friend of mine and went to a local Christian school/local church.  There were numerous stories on him, the situation, and the family.  I heard that a local news station took a moment of silence in memory of him and his family.  This young man- in a short time- had a huge impact on a lot of people.  When I saw this hashtag I knew what I was going to do- I will putting the hashtag on my hand and arm on Sunday morning to remember that I have been given an amazing gift and opportunity and it's time to grab life fully and run!

So… here we go!  These next days will be crazy busy and I can't wait to share about it!

Monday, March 24, 2014

14 Ways to Beat Stress in 2014 (Part 1)

Today is part 1 (1-7) because otherwise it would be WAY too long for one post :)

1) Prep- do the prep work.  This could be anything from laying out your clothes the night before, planning out your schedule for the week, packing lunches the night before, or doing meal preparation on Sundays for the week ahead.  Preparation is the KEY!

2) Write it Down!  Make a list of things to do and don't worry about adding to it (aka making the list longer).  As you think of something write it down/make note of it immediately so that you won't forget to do it.  Then, as you do it- CROSS IT OFF!  Celebrate the fact that it's taken care of!  (and if it helps to write something down AFTER you do it then cross it off- then by all means- go for it LOL) :)  And writing it down goes for goals and dreams also.  Put it on paper- dream big!
(see I told you it was okay) LOL

3) Set Priorities- On that to-do list make stars or hearts or something beside the ones that MUST be done that day.  Organize them into Must-Do Today tasks and It's okay if ends up another day tasks and then be okay with that.

4) Say something nice.  Seriously- if you are stressed so are other people.  Sometimes, the best way to defuse a stressful situation or to calm yourself down is to look at the situation or person and say something nice/compliment them.  I guarantee it will make them feel better as well as making yourself feel better!

5) Take a bubble bath or a hot shower- just get away from the "real world" for a few minutes (or longer if needed).  Sometimes that's all it takes to gain a new perspective on things.  And even if not, you have had a chance to relax and unwind before approaching life again!

6) Dance- I am not a dancer and I don't pretend to be but I will say, there's just something about cutting loose in the privacy of your home (or car if you are brave) and just dancing around to a song that's playing.  My current song that makes me want to dance is "Happy".  You can't help but smile when you are dancing (especially if you can laugh at yourself!) 

7) Say hello to a stranger.  Runners are always really good at this- you might get a good morning or just a simple nod of acknowledgement but don't let it just be a runner.  There's the saying that your smile might be the only one someone sees that day.  There's numerous stories out there where a simple kind word from a stranger turns someone's day around.  You never know what your simple words to acknowledge the existence of someone can do!  Make a difference!

There's 1-7.  8-14 will be later this week, along with another post that I am cooking up (and maybe 2 more!)  You would think that I would have worked on these over spring break but nope- didn't happen :)  Oh, and these reminders are for myself as well ;)    Which one of these will you try today?  (in fact, there's 7- you can do at least one a day for the next week!)

*all of the graphics were located on pinterest and saved to the computer.  They were not altered in any way.