Wednesday, May 18, 2016

The Adventure of the Transformation and the Girl in the Red Bug


a thorough or dramatic change in form or appearance

Transformations come in many shapes and forms (pun somewhat intended). They can be in, as the definition states, in form or appearance, but transformation can also occur in the heart, in the soul, in the very depth of your being. 

Often times, transformation can start out as one thing and somehow before you know it can, well.....transform into something else. This is what happened to me.

I have dabbled in running now, for years. I would start, not be consistent, stop, and start all over again. I registered and participated in 5ks, 10ks, and YES even a half marathon..half way train...or not train at all, then get frustrated, and pissed off, wondering why I struggled through the whole run. As I have written about previously, last year I experienced some wonderful highs; but with the highs came some of the lowest of lows. I struggled with the lows as I haven’t struggled before; those low moments really kicked my ass, but came running. Running became my saving grace; my safe place.

As I began to run through my sadness and struggles, or as I like to put it, “run my crazy off or out, transformation began. With each run, I cried a little less, I smiled a little more. I began to look at food not as an emotional comfort to rid me of my heartache, but as something that nourished my body for running. I began to organize my days around my running calendar. Transformation occurred in so many areas of my life, with just the simple act beginning to, and more importantly, dedicating myself to consistent running. Slowly, with each pound of the pavement, I was becoming the runner I had always wanted to be.

An added benefit of my emotional transformation, was in my physical appearance. I have struggled my whole adult life with my weight. I have tried every weight loss program, with no success. I have worked out with personal trainers, done boot name it, I have tried it, short of wiring my jaw shut..nothing worked. But, as I began to focus on healing my heart,  as I began focusing more on the run and properly fueling my body, transformation happened. I quit the body shaming and started to value and appreciate my body for its physical accomplishments. I began to love myself, just a little more.

Now, I would love to say that running has completely vanquished all my sadness and struggles, that the tears I cry now are only happy tears, that each run is better than the last run, and that I am a size 2, but we do live in reality after all...I have learned transformation is a slow process. Transformation is a marathon, not a sprint - it takes work, dedication, patience and self-love; somedays, it is two steps forward and then five steps back. Transformation can lift you high and then kind of stomp you into the ground, she is kind of a fickle bitch that way....but, transformation is completely worth it. I look at where I started, see where I am now and realize I am proud of my transformation. It excites me, and motivates me, to continue with the journey. I want my transformation to be thorough and dramatic, I want it to be who I am...part of my definition.

Below are some of transformation photos. The picture on the left, was taken at the 12ks of Christmas in 2014, the second photo is the 12ks of Christmas in 2015, and the third photo was taken in April 2016, at the Hollywood Half Marathon Expo (my second half marathon this year).

What are some ways you want to, or have transformed, yourself? Share your journey!

Until the next time,

The Girl in the Red Bug

Sunday, February 28, 2016

The Adventure of Priorities and the Girl in the Red Bug

Have you ever felt that you are less than a priority in someone’s life? I think if we are all honest, we have all had our “George Bailey” moment, at one time or another (excuse the It’s a Wonderful Life reference after Christmas has already passed). I know I certainly have! You know, those people that are kind enough to detail the list of where you fall in the priorities, or the ones that give you every excuse as to why you cannot possibly be a priority in their lives. I am assuming these people are trying to be kind in providing this level of information and not the a-hole that it appears they are, but it is truly hard to tell! 

I think when it all comes down to it, most of use want to feel important to others; like we matter, are a priority. But, how many of us lack that, or how many of us, perhaps, allow it ~ we willingly let others put us at the bottom of the list? Even further, how many of us put ourselves at the bottom of our own priority list? WHAT??!! Put ourselves at the bottom of our own priority list??? I would venture to say many of us do. 

So, if we are willing to put ourselves at the bottom of our own list of priorities, why do we think, or expect, someone else to rank us higher in their list? Now, when I say this I don’t mean we all need to become self-centered or narcissistic; but, if we consistently don’t put ourselves as a priority, we cannot expect others to.

Each of us should love and value ourselves enough to know that we should be a priority, not only to others, but more importantly to ourselves. I would encourage each of you to take a moment to reflect...when was the last time you made yourself a priority? If you have not done it recently (or for some, ever) make your fabulous, incredible selves a are worth it and deserve it!

What is one thing you can do to make yourself a priority to yourself?

Until the next time,

The Girl in the Red Bug

Monday, January 25, 2016

The Adventure of Letting that Sh#% Go and the Girl in the Red Bug

After two chiropractic appointments, one massage, and some very deep stretching, what it took to get relief for my back problem of last week, was letting some emotional shit, which I had been holding onto, go.

Our bodies are truly amazing, they are capable of things that we don’t even realize, often times, that we can do. But, I have found (more than once) with all the amazing feats that our bodies can accomplish and endure, stress or “emotional shit,” can cause a complete physical shut down, it will literally bring a relatively healthy, physically active person to their knees. Stress, or emotional shit, will eventually manifest in some way shape or form, if not dealt with in a healthy, constructive way. Some can take on a lot of emotional shit before the damn breaks, some cannot take as much before that break (I probably fall into the later category). The emotional shit manifestation can be something like I was experiencing with my back, it can lead to larger and more serious medical conditions (as studies have shown), it can impact personal and professional relationships; the negative ways we can be impacted are numerous.

Letting go is not easy for me. I, by nature, am an over thinker. I am also one of those people that when I care about something, someone, or a situation, I care deeply, often times too deeply. Those two personality traits, combined, can cause me to get stuck in the shit so to speak. But, Friday the most amazing thing happened, and it was nothing of my specific doing, I just felt an emotional shift occur, I was able to take a deep breath (something I had not been able to do for at least four months now and a constant complaint to my chiropractor) and let go, the pain in my back subsided. It was the most freeing feeling; and at that moment I had such clarity and confidence that although we all go through shit there is that bigger plan for each of us, and if we allow ourselves to be truly vulnerable and authentic, that plan will be revealed to us in time. My faith, was more clear than it has been in years. I can only contribute this shift to being a total God thing.

With all this being said, I know that no road is ever completely free of potholes, or rivets; being authentic and vulnerable are not easy; good days and bad days will still exist but with faith, and the ability to let go of the shit, the road will be a little more smooth.

So here is to hoping that we can each know, and be, our authentic selves, that we can show our vulnerability with an open heart and confidence that it’s OK. And above all else, let your faith (whatever that means to you) carry you through the shit.

Until the next time,
The Girl in the Red Bug

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

The Adventure of Training Interrupted and the Girl in the Red Bug

Week 7 of half marathon training is going rough....after an awesome 11-mile run on Sunday, Monday was a rest day, which was especially nice with the 3-day weekend. Yesterday, at some point, though I pulled something in my back and have struggled now with not only standing up, but also walking. The pain is terrible and I am extremely frustrated that it is interfering with my training plan.

I am trying everything to alleviate the pain; chiropractor, massage, some deep stretching. Here is a picture of what happens when you are doing "Legs on the Wall" and can't escape your dog bringing you her stuffed toy and laying it on you...I am sure she thought she was making me feel better.

Here's to hoping the stuff toy works and I am ready for my 12 mile run on Sunday! 18 days and counting...Surf City or bust!

Have you ever had your training program interrupted? What did you do to get back on track?

Until the next time,
The Girl in the Red Bug

Tuesday, January 19, 2016

The Adventure of The Surf City Half Training and the Girl in the Red Bug

Well, here we are starting Week 7 of the Surf City Half Marathon training, we are roughly 19 days away from the first half marathon of 2016. Yes, I did say the FIRST half marathon of 2016 (the magic half marathon goal for 2016, is completing SIX half marathons - more about this later). 

Training for the half has been...well...a learning experience. Which is why, I suppose, it is aptly called “training.” There is so much that goes into training, on top of the running piece. Running almost seems secondary at some points. 

I am learning a tremendous amount during this time. The first thing is how inadequately I trained for my first half marathon almost three years ago. It is amazing, looking back, that I actually completed it, with as little training as I did. A proper training plan, and dedicated training time, is imperative when training for any type of run.

What else I am learning during training!?! 
  • Clothing (ok, clothing is pretty BIG in my book, anytime, nothing like a cute outfit!). What’s a gal to wear? Currently, I find if I am doing shorter runs, shorts are OK; longer runs I do better with capris or long running pants. And, I’m not going to lie, I have a slight obsession with cute running clothes. I would almost rather buy cute workout clothes than any other type of clothing. WHO AM I??
  • Temperature is a HUGE thing for me; this is an area I am still trying to “get it right.” What is the RIGHT amount of clothing to wear to accommodate temperature and body temperature changes during long runs, especially.
  • Hydration is another area that I haven’t quite figured out yet. Hydration is so much more than drinking water during the run; much of hydrating properly comes long before lacing up the running shoes and hitting the trail or pavement.
  • Fuel. Fuel, goes hand in hand with hydration. If you fill your diesel car with gasoline, it will not run properly, if at all; our bodies work the same way. Training has caused me to look more extensively at what I am putting into my body and how my body reacts to it. 

These are all valuable lessons that I am learning during my training; however, I have learned much larger lessons, than the mechanical parts of training for a half marathon. Lessons that I need to learn, or in some instances re-learn. 

Here are the BIG takeways for me,
  • Running with friends makes running fun and easier to do. We sing, we laugh, we vent! I can’t think of a better way to spend my time. 
  • Running groups ROCK! If you don’t have one find one, if you can’t find one, create one!
  • I AM capable of dedicating myself to something and following through with it.
  • The rewards of dedicating myself to this training have been tremendous...on every level. 
    • I love seeing the changes that are happening with my body; I am able to run longer, I have more overall energy, and YES! my clothes are fitting differently - and, if you know me at all, you know this has been a struggle for me for years now!
    • I love gaining new knowledge. I read, research, and experiment on things running related.
    • Emotionally, it clears my mind and opens my heart.
    • I am finally confident in saying, “I AM A RUNNER!”

Training for a half marathon may not be for everyone and that is OK. But, I would encourage each of you to find something that interests you...something that causes that little spark and let it ignite you, throw yourself into something outside of what you normally do and see where it takes you. I know that my little spark is taking me to Huntington Beach, in about 19 days, for a lovely run on the beach! WOW! I can’t wait!

Until the next time,
The Girl in the Red Bug

Sunday, January 17, 2016

The Adventure of the New Year’s Eve Tradition and the Girl in the Red Bug

How many of you have New Year’s Eve traditions? Several years ago, I decided to make a change in how I spent my New Year’s Eve. I had been in the routine of staying at home on New Year’s Eve, often times falling asleep without even knowing when the old year went out and the new year rang in! But, I didn’t want to fight the crowds at a club, go to a party, or potentially feel the effects of those choices for a day or two after. So, I decided to say goodbye to the current year, and ring in the new year in a healthy way...a 5k. 

Each year, I participate in the Midnight Madness 5K, located in Phoenix. I have loved doing this run since I started. I love the energy, love the people, love the joy of doing something some view as a little crazy when asked, “Hey! What are you doing on New Year’s Eve?”

This year, I added to the tradition...I also completed a 5k that started shortly after midnight, what a great way to say “Welcome 2016!” They say that whatever you are doing as the new year comes in, is what you will be doing in the new year! I love this! I love knowing that my year will be filled with running, with friendships, and new running locations. What a gift!

What are you looking forward to in 2016?

Until the next time,
The Girl in the Red Bug

Sunday, December 27, 2015

The Surf City Half Marathon Training and the Girl in the Red Bug

Today started Week 4 of my Surf City Half Marathon training, 8 miles in the books! This is the first time, in all of my running, that I feel really good about the training plan I have in place and the fact that I am actually using the training plan that I have in place. Amazing what that will do!

When I ran my first half marathon in 2013, I only half way trained, so I am very excited that I am sticking with the training plan this time and REALLY training. And, a difference that I am also seeing this time around, is that I look forward to my runs. It’s a time to catch up with my friend, and running partner, and also a time to clear my head of things that weigh me down. I love seeing the progress that comes as I complete each run. It is not only gratifying, but it inspires me and keeps me motivated for the next run.

I am looking forward to making running “stick” in 2016, and for the adventures that will come with it. More updates on Surf City Half and Hollywood Half training to come...stay tuned.

What is something you are going to make “stick” in 2016? 

I wanted to share one last thing with you, here is the view of part of my run today! I always love the view of this train track!