if you want what you used to have…

My life is in a really bizarre spot right now. I’ve never been busier, but I’ve also never been happier.

Right about the time I finally decided not to run the marathon, I was in a very anxious place. Everything seemed just too overwhelming. Working full time + run group + part time coaching gig + part time school + running on the regular just seemed like too much. I had let my health slide, just because I was choosing convenience over the big picture. And I didn’t see any way out of that.

Now that classes have started (which I am totally in love with), I know exactly what I am up against. Having all the information has helped me to feel like things are manageable. I can plan, I can create structure, I can get myself together.

And I have. I’ve got a plan. I’ve got a structure. I have everything written out on my calendar nicely for the next 8 weeks. It feels good.

But what doesn’t feel good? My clothes. I can tell that I’ve put on 15 pounds. And I have gone from a place of being okay with that to wanting them gone.

A few weeks back, we were sitting in church listening to a sermon on romantic relationships. He talked about how easily we drift away from the good times without even noticing it. And then he said this:

“If you want what you used to have, do what you used to do.”

He was talking about flowers and notes and attention. But I took that comment through the lens of my health.

If I want what I used to have – comfy 10s (even that one pair of 8s), contentment in the mirror, flexibility in yoga, ease in running, just being comfortable in my skin – I have to do what I used to do.

And, for the first time in months, that thought didn’t exhaust me or put me into panic. Instead it was like a rally, a battle cry. Weight loss went from something that was overwhelming and scary to something that I was like “pssssh. I know how to do that!”

I’ve started small. I backed off running last week and did some cross-training. (That is the total key to weight loss for me.) I haven’t been paying attention to my calories, but I am focusing on healthy foods. I feel like a store with a soft opening. I’m not shocking myself. I’m easing back into what I used to be.

I’m not going to make some big “I’M BACK!” cry because, please, I’ve been there before. All I’m saying is that I’m ready. There’s room in my life now. I have things I want to accomplish that will be easier if there’s less of me. Even if I just get back to where I was in the fall, I’ll be content. I mean, I’d love to see my goal weight by July, but I’ll be content just being at my lowest adult weight.

March is utter pandemonium. Utter. There is a race – and hence a huge social aspect – every weekend in March. We are going to Asheville this weekend. Then Erin and Levi will be here for a few days. And then Erin and Brenna will be here for the half-marathon. I’m starting to promote a few new business ventures. I’m in class two nights a week. But it is also a big chance for me to prove to myself that I can make a commitment like this. If I can do it now, it’ll be cake when things settle down.

I’m making a workout plan. I’m making menus and grocery lists to have at the ready. I’m doing everything I can to recreate the lifestyle I had last summer and fall.

Because it works. I’m just gonna do what I used to do.

a marathon decision

I need to give y’all an update, don’t I? I tell you that I’m torn and then I disappear.

Sorry.

It’s kinda a funny story, though.

First, I totally expected you guys to tell me to buck up and just do it already. Completely. I am honored that you guys understood my thought process and that you know me well enough to tell me what I needed to hear. My heart was speaking very loud, I was just afraid of being judged.

I still haven’t talked about it here, but I totally loved Danielle LaPorte’s The Desire Map. I spent significant time figuring out my core desired feelings. And I’m pretty good at using them as a decision filter. For career. For money. For opportunities that arise. I’m able to take these 5 words and let them guide my decisions.

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But for some reason, I hadn’t even thought about using this decision filter with the marathon decision. I have focused for so long on marathon = powerful. That’s what got me through the 12-miler on the treadmill. That’s what got me through the white-knuckle long runs. I was working toward feeling powerful.

Over the past few weeks, that has completely changed. So I sat down with my list of desired feelings and did a serious, honest inventory the feelings I have surrounding the marathon.

When I think of running a marathon in 12 days, do I feel powerful?

No. I feel weak, defeated, and not in control.

When I think of running a marathon in 12 days, do I feel thankful?

No. I feel discouraged, frustrated, and bitter.

When I think of running a marathon in 12 days, do I feel nourishment?

No. I feel drained, empty, and lonely.

When I think of running a marathon in 12 days, do I feel freedom?

No. I feel burdened, afraid, and unfocused.

When I think of running a marathon in 12 days, do I feel momentum?

No. I feel trapped, flailing, and stuck.

So there you go, friends. It is that easy.

This marathon is not going to happen. I won’t have a sense of dread for the next week and a half.

But what will happen?

I’m going to have an awesome trip to Asheville. I’ll spend the evening before not worrying about what I’m eating and drinking. I’ll see my friends and my love off from the start line. Then maybe Toa, Kelly, and I will take a run around pieces of the course while we’re waiting to see our marathoners again. And then I’ll cheer with Toa, Kelly, and my family as Nathan, Christie, Brooke, and Judy accomplish a major feat. And then I’ll spend the rest of the weekend celebrating with them. I will get to enjoy one of my favorite places in the world with people who don’t know it well.

I am setting myself free from fear, discomfort, and all the other crap that surrounds my head with this race.

Thank you all for standing by me. It means so much.

marathon update

There’s not easy way to say this, so I’m just gonna say it.

I’m 99% sure I am not going to run the marathon in 2 weeks.

The strange thing? I say this with 99% confidence and assurance.

This is my third cycle of marathon training. The first cycle was difficult but manageable. The weather at the actual race was frighteningly hot so the race wasn’t what I expected. But I walked away from that race as a marathoner. And that can’t be taken away from my.

My second cycle of marathon training was a mix of amazing and discouraging. I hate to say this, but I almost cruised through 75% of the training cycle. I was running up to 10 mile mid-week runs. I was consistently surprised by my pace. The only walk breaks I took on the 20-miler was to fuel. I felt incredible. Solid. Strong. Capable. But then tendonitis came along and I was sidelined. I had trained so hard, felt so strong, but knew that it was best for my body to sit that one out.

As soon as my foot was completely back to normal (about 3 weeks), I eased back into marathon training. Looking back, I still feel great about it. I was smart about my build. I feel like I did everything right.

I haven’t missed a long run. I’ve missed very few runs period. I’ve been eating okay. I’ve been sleeping well. This has been my most consistent training cycle so far. My mid-week runs are solid. I’m loving pushing my pace. I’m loving running with my friends.

But my long runs have been terrible. I fall apart at 15 miles in. My 16, 18, 20, and 18 (supposed to be 22) mile runs have left me feeling broken and discouraged. They have made me wonder why I run and why I even try, to be honest. It doesn’t matter if I’m alone or with someone. It doesn’t matter if it is warm or chilly. It doesn’t matter if it is a hilly course or a flat course. I have no specific pain. It isn’t a fuel issue. I just fall apart. At 15ish miles, I’m just done. It is almost like a switch is thrown. I am just done.

I have a lot going on right now. I work full time (and there have been a lot of new responsibilities there). I coach part-time. I coordinate a running group. I’m getting ready to start classes. I have an amazing social life. I am pulled really thin right now. And I think that my body/mind/spirit just cannot handle running for more than three hours. I think that is where everything that I don’t have control of just draws the line.

And I don’t know if I have it in me right now to fight that. It would be different if this was my first training cycle, if I didn’t know any better. But I do know better. It is supposed to be hard, but it isn’t supposed to be THIS hard.

I have ran a marathon before. I will run another someday. I just don’t know if March 3rd is that day.

I have two options:

1) I can run the marathon. I will be nervous between now and then. I don’t know that I’ll look forward to it at all. I will sleep fitfully at my favorite bed and breakfast and then dread running in my most favorite city in the world. I can go up to that line, wearing my bib, and realistically not know if I have it in my heart to finish. I can have a great three hours and then struggle through three more hours. I was unable – and I do mean unable – to finish my 22 miler. I shut down mentally. And I know this is 90% mental. I just don’t know if I have that.

2) I can not run the marathon. I can stop worrying about it. I can just make that decision. I can spend those same hours on race day standing on the sidelines. I can spend that time with some of the people I love the most – my Mom, Dad, Niece, Kelly and Toa – cheering for other people that I love so so dearly. I can let all of this fear and anxiety and disappointment go. I can release it. And I can enjoy Asheville and my family.

I felt really secure in my decision not to run when I started typing this out, but now I’m on the fence again. Now I feel – again – like a disappointment and a quitter. Like I’m letting everyone down, including myself. That I trained too hard and too long to just pull out because I’m scared. What started as a declaration of freedom from this race is now a tearful, prideful, fearful question mark.

I’m going to follow the training plan through the taper. I’m going to go pick up my packet. I’m going to see how I feel. And I’ll deal with the aftermath either way.

I want to ask for words of wisdom, but I’m afraid things will just get more cloudy. And things feel very cloudy.

Screw that. You all know me. Thoughts?

goodbye, ponytail

I’ve given up some pretty difficult stuff for lent. Meat. Caffeine. Spending. (We’re also doing No-Spend Lent again this year, but I know it is doable, and we’re doing it as a family, so that’s not the piece that I’m writing about.)

This year, unless I’m working out or lounging at home, I’m giving up the ponytail.

Really, Krissie? That’s it?

Yup. That’s it. And it is going to be really difficult for me.

Lots of days, I run in the evening. I shower, go to bed on a wet head, and rock a sloppy ponytail or bun the next day.

No more.

I’ve learned that the ponytail represents some not-so-great things that I feel about myself.

First, I think I go to the ponytail so often because it isn’t “pretty.” And I don’t feel pretty much anymore. The ponytail also shows my lack of interest in presenting myself that way right now.

The ponytail is also lazy. It is me not putting the effort in to look my best. Or even look like I care. Just lazy.

I think it is also a manifestation of my perfection tendencies/fears. In a perfect world, my hair would be straight. I would take the time to straighten it. So the ponytail hides that it is a big, fuzzy mess. If I won’t put 100% into it, then I just put 0% into it. All or nothing. Black or white. I need to get cozy in the grey. Accept my hair for what it is. And do what I can with it.

So there it is. No ponytail outside the house unless I’m engaged in a fitness activity.

This makes me nervous.

Let’s do this, Lent.

I could see peace.

Today’s May Cause Miracles (http://www.amazon.com/gp/aw/d/0307986934)
affirmation:

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I needed this today.

I am reminded that I can see peace. Not that I should, but that i could. Not that it is a switch I can just flip or a turn I have to make. Peace is a choice that I could possibly make.

Crazy work expectations causing stress and drama?

I could see peace instead of this.

A huge run tomorrow that terrifies me?

I could see peace instead of this.

Feeling that I am neglecting my husband and family by focusing so much on growing my coaching business?

I could see peace instead of this.

Worrying about how I am going to pay for everything I feel like I want to do?

I could see peace instead of this.

The never-ending internal judgement over putting on ten pounds and feelings of physical inadequacies?

I could see peace instead of this.

Not that I must. Or that I should. Just that peace is possible. I don’t have to throw open the door and let peace flood over all of my stresses. (Because, really, how realistic is that?)

All I have to do is crack the door a little, see what may be on the other side, and let the light of peace start trickling in.

I could see peace instead of this.

***

If you are interested in working through May Cause Miracles during Lent or learning more about what I am offering, click over to my coaching website for Lent Challenge details (http://committedcoaching.com/2013/02/02/lent-challenge/). Registration closes Monday evening!

May Cause Miracles – my thoughts (so far)

“Your task is not to seek for love, but merely to seek and find all the barriers within yourself that you have built against it.” A Course in Miracles

I’m a huge fan of Danielle Laporte. (Note to self: Write up Desire Map review.) So when DeeLaP (that’s what all her friends call her, right?) recommended Gabrielle Bernstein’s May Cause Miracles, I had to jump at the book. I was looking for something to work through. I am at a point in my life where I can fall prey to anxiety and overwhelm, but at the same time I feel like the things that are happening in my life are magical and methodical.  So, yeah. I have room for more miracles in my life.

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I wasn’t sure how I’d feel about the book once I got it. I flipped through and thought, “Uh oh. This feels kinda woo-woo.” And, as touchy-feely-all-about-feelings as I am, I don’t appreciate out-right woo-woo. I typically don’t like the God/Universe/~ish/Higher Power lump either. So I had to make the decision to edit as I was reading and note-taking. That really helped. Otherwise, I just put my judgment aside and decided to jump in with both feet.

I am so glad I did.

The basic premise (which sounds basic but is so hard to implement) is that in every situation, you have two options: to see love or to see fear. To see an obstacle or to see an opportunity. Choosing fear creates all kinds of negative emotions. Choosing love (or sometimes I interchange love with grace) creates peace and connects us to God (however you define God), our internal truth, and the world around us.

Something she wrote early on smacked me in the face something fierce. She writes about the importance of self-love and self-acceptance as an altruistic measure. She says that by showing love and acceptance to ourselves, we create an internal environment that leads to projecting love and acceptance to the world around us. How can we expect to be successful members of a well-functioning society when we aren’t able to be kind to ourselves? I can’t tell you how far my stomach dropped when I read that. So it isn’t realistic for me to expect that I can best help others when I have a negative self-talk loop in my head, is it? That called me to the carpet and made total sense to me. I will be better able to help others become focused and peaceful as I become focused and peaceful. Wow. Boom.

And that is just the groundwork for working through daily projects. Each morning starts with a daily reflection and affirmation. I set an alarm on my phone for every two hours throughout the day to remind me of my daily affirmation. In the evening, there are some follow-up questions and an evening meditation. (Again, I am not woo-woo and I am enjoying these.)

The daily tasks are organized in weekly topics: identify fear, self-love, food/body image, relationships, finances, and being a miracle worker in the world. I have just started the relationships chapter, but am already looking forward to going back and spending more time in the body image material when I complete the program.

Because I feel this book is so challenging, I knew right away that I wanted to use it as the text in a group coaching setting, but I wasn’t sure at what point. I thought I would at least finish the book first. But as I started thinking what I wanted to do for a Lent challenge, this book just kept creeping back up. It challenges your perception of the world, both internal and external. It encourages connection to whatever version of God/Universe/Higher Power/~ing you identify with (if any at all). It is just very well suited for Lent.

So that’s what I’m doing over at Committed Coaching. It shakes out like this:

  • Challengers will work through May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein as a group. You will be able to discuss and work through the book on a private facebook page, which I will moderate and participate in.
  • You will receive a weekly reflections newsletter to tie up the end of each section of the book (on Sundays). I will offer additional insights and challenges on each topic in the book (general outlook, self-talk, body image, relationships, finances, serving others).
  • You will receive a printable to track your progress on your Lenten promise. (It is designed by my sweet friend Retta and it is bee-you-tee-full.)
  • Those registering for the full experience will receive frequent texts from me (3-4 times a week, if not more often) to hold you accountable to your Lenten promise, to process any feelings uncovered by the text, and to provide feedback on the reflections.

Details of the challenge:

  • The challenge will begin on February 13th and end on March 31.
  •  Registration will close February 11 to allow time for us to discuss your Lenten promise.
  • You will be required to purchase May Cause Miracles by Gabrielle Bernstein (it is currently $12.99 at Amazon). I will not be sending the affirmations, reflections, or meditations from the book in any format. This is like the text book for a class. One that you will really have to read. You will need to have your book in hand and ready to roll on February 17.
  • I am limiting the number of participants in this challenge to promote positive life fit for me. The challenge may close before February 11 if the course is full, so register early.
  • The cost of the full challenge is $150. This is the typical cost of my accountability coaching alone for six weeks, to which you are additionally receiving newsletters, group interactions, and a printable.
  • The reflection/printable/facebook only option for $75. You will not receive accountability coaching. Fill out the registration form below and I will invoice you through PayPal. Please let me know what questions you have. I look forward to working through Lent with you.

Feel free to comment here with any questions. You can click here to register.

I am so excited about this. And excited to watch my friends grow. And to check off days on the beautiful printable. Good times all around!

leap of faith

I had a great lunch with my girl Ann today, and it got me thinking about no longer being a roadblock. About not letting fear stand between me and whatever the universe is trying to make happen for me.

So I’m taking a leap.

Making a huge investment in myself and my dream.

Spending money I don’t have in my hand just yet.

Doing what seems like the next logical step.

 

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Now I’m going to go have dinner with Holli and let her talk me down from the panic. Happy Friday, sweet friends.