Saturday, June 28, 2014

Double Digit Long Run!

Today was the third long run of our training and the first to go into double digits. It was ten miles at a comfortable pace and it felt pretty great.

Ventura, here we come!

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

In Tough Negotiations, You Need An Ally.

Everyone knows, when you're in a tough spot, you're more likely to succeed if you have someone on your side. And that holds true for business dealings, buying a home, or even purchasing a car.

This summer, I am training for the Ventura Marathon on September 7th. That means early morning speed work, slower pace miles, and long runs on Saturdays. That means that several times each week, I'm going to face a tough negotiator.

"Let's sleep in today. We can run the miles tomorrow."
"Ugh, it's Friday. I deserve to go out tonight with friends. What's one long run, anyway?"
"It's only a five mile run. It doesn't matter if you skip it."

Yep, these negotiations will be tough. Fortunately, I've got someone on my side.

Meet my marathon training buddy, Sandy.

She and I have committed to a summer of training with each other, and we aren't cutting the other one any slack. We promise to run our three training runs each week, on pace and as scheduled.

And it's already making a difference for me. She and I are in our third week of training, and more than once I have completed my scheduled run only because I didn't want to have to text her and say, "I skipped it."

It's crazy, right? I'll be better to a buddy than I am to myself. But I think we're all like that in a way. So this works for me and I'm going to stick with it.

Sandy, my friend, thanks for already helping me improve as a runner. And come September, when you and I are flashing our beautiful, shiny new marathon finisher's medals, we'll both know that we made it together!

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Of Marines, Physical Fitness, and Art.

Wait, what? What kind of title is that for a blog post?

Trust me, it will make sense by the end.

Time and time again, I tell myself to focus on the positive and not be drawn into pointless political debates. Sometimes I remember, sometimes I forget. But it really is a self-perpetuating thing, where commenting on one thing leads to another and more back-and-forth and suddenly, I've been arguing for hours and accomplishing nothing.

But this is a new month and I am going to challenge myself to go all of June without a political post, comment, or discussion. When those kind of posts show up on my Facebook newsfeed, I'm going to do this:

And just like that, the temptation goes away. I mean, I can't comment on what I can't see, right?

Instead, I am going to focus on three things that do make a difference in my life:

Marines, because this month is my reunion in New Orleans and I will be sharing updates from the reunion and then memories afterwards.

Physical Fitness, because my 90 Day "Road to Ventura Marathon" challenge begins the day I return from New Orleans and I will be posting to keep myself accountable.

Art, because there are so many amazing and beautiful works of art out there (paintings, sculptures, books, etc), and I know so little about it. I want to feel like I have actually learned something, educated myself, and gained a greater appreciation for artists.

So, that's the blog title, "Of Marines, Physical Fitness, and Art." Because Spring is turning into Summer, and I would like to be a better me at the end of the month than I was when it started. And consciously choosing good things for my mind (and soul) will go a long way towards making that happen.

And you? What are your plans for June?