In the Meantime

It has been a month and a half since Zion 100K. I am still living in small ‘afterglow’ moments. When I take a bite of a hamburger, it reminds me of In-&-Out. When I watch the sunset, it is the same sun that warmed the red rocks and preceded the moon, while in Utah. When I talk to Kathy and when I run with Teresa, I recall the memories we made. SUH-WEEETT time there.

In the meantime. . .

Running-I have been running about 40 miles a week, mostly trail miles. I am not trying to run 40 mpw, it is just where my body has settled. I am working on shorter runs, under 8 miles, at faster, uncomfortable speeds. I LIKE it.

I just bought some new shoes for the trail, the HOKA Challenger ATRs. I must say that I do like them. I am not constantly raving about them, but I would buy them again. One of my fav parts about them is that I bought them in pink and black.

Racing-I am looking ahead to the San Diego Marathon on Sunday, May 31st. 6:15 am start time. I am excited. My plan is to run with the 4:45 or 5:00 pace group. I want to enjoy this race. I will not carry a water bottle or wear a fuel belt. I will drink what they provide, bring some good tunes on my shuffle and run for fun!

Reading-GREAT reading this time around. My first is FLOW IN SPORTS: The keys to optimal experiences and performances, Susan A. Jackson and Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi.

It is important to realize that what you believe you can do will determine your experience more than will your actual abilities.

More than actually being in control, it is knowing that if you try hard, you can be in control: you trust your skills and you know that the task is doable. The outcome of this knowledge is a sense of power, confidence, and calm.

The starting point of flow is likely to occur when challenges and skills go beyond a person’s average levels.

Practice the skills to the point that you can forget you have them. Then abandon yourself to the performance.

Generally, what is experienced in flow is a shortening of time, so that hours pass by like minutes, or minutes like seconds. . . that time will appear to lengthen in the flow state, providing a seemingly longer opportunity to respond in an appropriate fashion.

My second is THE WILLPOWER INSTINCT: How Self-Control Works, Why It Matters, and What You Can Do to Get More of It, by Kelly McGonigal, Ph.D. This book is a life changer, really.

Trying to keep track of your choices will also reduce the number of decisions you make while distracted–a guaranteed way to boost your willpower.

There is growing scientific evidence that you can train your brain to get better at self-control.

Anything that puts a stress on your mind or body can interfere with the physiology of self-control, and by extension, sabotage your willpower. Anxiety, anger, depression, and loneliness are all associated with lower heart rate variability and less self-control.

Anything you can do to reduce stress and take care of your health–exercise, get a good night’s sleep, eat better, spend quality time with friends and family, participate in a religious or spiritual practice–will improve your body’s willpower reserve.

Trying to control every aspect of your thoughts, emotions, and behavior is a toxic strategy. It is too big a burden for your biology.

It’s the habit of noticing what you are about to do, and choosing to do the more difficult thing instead of the easiest.

(Child) Rearing-My oldest daughter has just began calling me “mom” instead of “mommy”. BIG, subtle deal. My middle daughter just turned 16 10! My son is 7. This will be a busy summer. My job is to find time to challenge the minds of these future leaders, who are destined for greatness!

Relating-Self-control and willpower are huge challenges for me, mostly in the realm of eating. This is why I say to YOU that this book, WILLPOWER INSTINCT, is a life changer. The question remains for me. . . will I let it do some changing? If you feel controlled, trapped, exhausted by a particular struggle relating to willpower, read this book.

One suggestion, among many, in this book is to meditate. I laughed at the thought of meditating, sit still? lay still? when I am not sleeping? I decided to try it for 4 minutes. Here is how I did it.

1. Lay on the ground with my feet up on the bed. Arms down and out to my side with my palms up.

2. I decided that I was not going to spend the time praying for anyone. I was going to listen to the voice of Jesus. What did he want to say to me in the busy-ness of my life. I was hoping he would not ask me to do anything more.

3. (deep inhale) I repeated, “Jesus”/ (long exhale) “mercy”. I repeated this several times and then, I just remained still and listened, until my timer went off.

4. Some days, the timer could not come soon enough. Other days, the timer rang too soon.

Music-Leaving you with some lyrics from Colton Dixon’s song, “Through It All”.

I have won and I have lost.

I got it right sometimes

But sometimes I did not

Life’s been a journey

I’ve seen joy, I’ve seen regret

Oh and You have been my God through all of it.

2 thoughts on “In the Meantime

  1. jenchoosesjoy

    I’m trying to do the same thing and just listen to my body and let it dictate my mileage right now. It’s so freeing to not have a set training plan!!
    You’re going to have a great race in San Diego!!!
    And, I’m so impressed that you’re meditating. The thought of sitting still is intimidating to me.

  2. ooartist1234 Post author

    The meditating was a ‘tool’ to use for the brain, so help with willpower/self-control, from the WILLPOWER INSTINCT book. I am not sure that I would have randomly tried it. I did it twice last week. I will try for twice this week (baby steps).

    It is also important to me to meditate on a scripture or affirmation of “who I am in Christ” or just ‘mercy’ or ‘peace’ or ‘comfort’ from Jesus. There are MANY ways to meditate and MANY things to meditate on. This is the most meaningful and “life-connecting” to me. -Liz


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