You Choose

Like most people, I try to start the New Year off on a good foot.  Take this morning- I began by whipping up a green smoothie.  I then walked to Starbucks (because coffee is one of my resolutions every year, thank you very much). As I enjoyed them both, I thought about what I want the next 365 days to look like.  With this in mind, I headed to a hot yoga class at 9:30 a.m., my mind swirling with good intentions and thoughts.  

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Goodnight Agenda

Does anyone else think about going to bed midway through their day? Somewhere around 1:30, I usually get to the point where I’d give anything for a 12 minute siesta. Piggy bank contents, retirement savings, first born if I hand one… whatever.

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Clean in 2016

We're a few weeks into the New Year. Remember those resolutions made on January 1? Yeah, me too. I had a few resolutions that I was absolutely going to stick to.  My "no sugar in 2016" lasted until 10:00 a.m. on January 1 when the chocolate covered pretzels won. Similarly, I haven't exactly been getting up to write each day as I planned. (As is obvious by this post 12 days into the New Year.)

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What do you see when you're not looking?

I'm a creature of habit in many things I do. I eat two waffles with almond butter and blackberries every day. I get a "venti with room" at Starbucks four days a week. I brush my teeth when I get to work, after lunch, and about 3 more times each day. When I go on vacation, I like to go to the exact same places.   Similarly, when I run, my routines and routes are very predictable. I am, perhaps, the most interesting person one could meet…not. For example, my "Starbucks Route" takes me past... Starbucks, if you can believe that.  My "Sears Route" takes me to the Sears store and back. I'm guessing it would be difficult to find a more predictable human than me.

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Every Day is a Marathon

The day started out like any other marathon day. I woke up early, after sleeping maybe a total of 20 minutes. Fumbling around my hotel room, I pinned my race number to my shirt, got dressed, ate a little something, and packed clothes in my gear bag to wear after the run. All normal pre-run preparations that I'd done many times before and could do in my sleep, which it actually felt like I was sleeping since my friend and I left our room at 5:15 a.m. As we made our way to the subway, buses, and finally the Athlete's Village, we were anxious to run. We had both worked hard and waited a long time to get to this event.

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The "Thing" about my "Thing"

Over the years, people have asked me why I run. They’ve also asked me why I run so much, and so far. Further, they've tried to get to the bottom of the conditions under which I run... rain, snow, sleet, ice, and in the summer, heat and humidity.  Am I nuts?  Furthermore, they wonder, just what sane person gets up at 5:30 a.m. on Saturdays, and spends the first few hours in perpetual motion?  

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Five Things Marathon Training Has Taught Me

I've been running marathons since 2003. When you factor in training runs and the marathons themselves, that's a lot of miles.  It's a good thing my knees aren't being interviewed for this piece, I'm sure they'd have something to say. (Mainly, "What the hell have you done to me all these years?")  At any rate, I've learned some simple truths about marathons and life along the way.

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Comfort Zone

It's easy to live within our comfort zones, and get used to the "status quo."  This state usually means we're comfortable with how things are, so much so that we lack the motivation or interest to make any changes - big or small.  Things are officially "okay" in our lives; there's no harm in smooth sailing and familiar routines. Yet the problem with comfort zones is that they're well… maybe a bit too comfortable.  What happens while we simply go about our business and not rock the boat is that we're not exactly growing or expanding our lives.  What also may happen is that this state of automatic pilot puts us in a place where we fail to notice how good we've got it. Here we risk taking it all for granted, thinking things will always be the way they are.

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Defensive Running

I first heard the term in the late 80's. It was 7th hour, fourth quarter of my sophomore year, and I was ecstatic to be sitting in my first Driver's Ed class.  That day, I sort of listened to the instructor, but mostly was thinking about driving. Somewhere in the midst of a dream sequence that had me getting a convertible VW Bug for my upcoming birthday (nope, didn't happen, drove my mom's mini van instead), I was startled as the instructor wrote defensive driving on the board in big, bold letters. I jotted this down, thinking it might be on the test, but wasn't really all that interested in his definition.  I thought defensive driving meant being ready to flip off anyone who offended me while driving. You know, a defend my honor kind of thing.  Or maybe, I thought it meant to tear away from a speedster tailing me on the expressway.

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