Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays: The Ledge

You survived Monday. Hooray! And Tuesday. Woohoo!

This is how I feel when Monday rolls around. Not because I really hate mornings but am not a fan of Mondays at school.

This is how I feel when Monday rolls around. Not because I really hate mornings but am not a fan of Mondays at school. 11 hours in class will do that to you.

So welcome to Better Than the Alternative Tuesdays where we remind ourselves why is really so much better to be here, no matter what kind of crap we’re dealing with, than not. This idea came about from something Obi-wan (my Dad, not THE Obi-wan Kanobi) has said for years in response to the lemons life has thrown him/us, “Hey, it beats the alternative.”

And it does.

More and more I find myself out on The Ledge. In running, in school, in life. Just…out on there on The Ledge without a parachute, looking down and not knowing whether or not I’m going to fall to my eventual demise or into something better than I could ever have imagined.

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So, I guess I’ve been building my wings.

I went out on The Ledge and got into my dream school.

I went out on The Ledge and had one of the worst marathons of my career.

I went out on The Ledge and had major surgery to take back my life.

I went out on The Ledge and got told “no”. A lot.

I went out on The Ledge and made a friend.

I went out on The Ledge and got burned by people I misjudged. Again. And again.

I went out on The Ledge and met others with my disease.

I went out on The Ledge and true friends came to my aid.

I went out on The Ledge and found that a friend was not there with me.

I went out on The Ledge and found my husband there, right beside me, ready to take a leap with me, pushing me holding my hand.

Always holding my hand.

Always holding my hand.

The Ledge is a scary place. A place where you sink or swim. And for me it means that once I’m out there, someone else knows about it ‘cuz I’m a chatty one. So then I have someone who will know if I back out. Accountability insurance, I suppose?

Maybe I’m just a chatterbox.

Take this Virtual 5K. I put it out there and now have over 100 supporters, more than 20 raffle prizes, and people all over the world coming out of the wood work to help me meet my goal of $20,000. I didn’t sandbag my goal. I stepped onto The Ledge and look what happened.

Awesomeness happened.

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Holy awesome! Keep those donations coming, guys! I’m 1/4 of the way to my goal!

I’m learning to trust that regardless of whether or not I’m successful in these endeavors, I’m better for having tried. Yes, it’s lonely and terrifying to put yourself, your ideas, your beliefs, and even your health out there on The Ledge for others to ignore or ridicule.

 

But when you succeed, when you leap and find yourself somewhere better than you were before, even if it’s only once, it’s worth it. And so much better than the alternative.

Whoever thought "Doctor" would ever be in front of MY name? Not me.

Whoever thought “Doctor” would ever be in front of MY name? Not me.

 

Life is nothing without taking chances. Walk out on The Ledge every now and again, friends. The view is spectacular.

Now go out and run.

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Train Fast to Race Fast

I’m really pumped that y’all have helped me raise over $3500 for Team Challenge already. And we still have a week to register for my Virtual 5K benefitting the Crohn’s and Colitis Foundation of America and win fabulous raffle prizes.

Do you like prizes? Yes? Then sign up for the 5K!

Do you like prizes? Yes? Then sign up for the 5K!

There’s also a chance a new prize will be added sometime this week. You definitely won’t want to miss a chance at this one!

You guys have all been so awesome at donating, I’m kinda feelin the pressure to PR so I don’t embarrass myself. Confession: I don’t link my timing chip to either my Facebook or Twitter account because I’m afraid I will jinx myself and have a totally terrible race and then everyone will know.

I’m such a chicken.

But I’ve been training smart and training hard. Long runs? Yeah, they happen. But “long” running for a half is nothing like long running for a full. Two hour runs are waaaaaaaaay easier than three and a half hour runs.

Truth be told, I’ve been running hard and {relatively} short distances. Cuz I wanna race fast.

There’s a weird rumor in the running community that if you just run a lot of miles you’ll get fast. That’s kinda only half true. Maybe one quarter true.

Sometimes you gotta talk yourself into doing what you don't wanna do.

Sometimes you gotta talk yourself into doing what you don’t wanna do.

If you’re working on your overall aerobic fitness or ability to hang in there for long miles or trying to amp up your mileage, then adding on longer, slower miles will help. However, if your goal is to run faster, long runs are not specifically your jam.

You need speed.

You need hard.

You need workouts that are well below your race pace that challenge your body in order to make that race pace feel like a cake walk.

Me? I’m gonna hit up some 400s and 200s on the track this week. Doesn’t mean I don’t get the mileage in because I’m going to warm up for two miles and then let the beast out and race like an animal.

Only the cool kids talk in meters and kilometers.

Only the cool kids talk in meters and kilometers.

It’s the simplest thing in the world and one of the primary principles of exercise: SPECIFICITY in training. You gotta run and you gotta run FAST. It’s that simple and there’s no way round it.

Grab a fast friend and try to keep up. Then watch the minutes melt away from your PR.

Now go out and run.

Blogger On the Run, Indeed

Welcome to all of you clicking over from Women’s Running Magazine! And thank you so much to Kara and WR for the featuring me as their Blogger On the Run. It’s an honor.

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If you haven’t seen it, you can click here. I thought long and hard about how graphic I would get while describing my experience at the Jersey Marathon. In the end, I decided to go for it and flat out say “diarrhea” because, hell, that’s what it was. Not “tummy trouble” or “bathroom stuff” dammit. It was diarrhea and it’s what people with IBD deal with every single day.

TMI? Maybe. Deal with it.

Finishing in Jersey. Feeling a whole lot better than I was at mile 15, obviously.

Finishing in Jersey. Feeling a whole lot better than I was at mile 15, obviously.

If you comment on the post over at Women’s Running, you will be automatically entered to win a 12-month subscription for the magazine. So go comment!

As a running blogger, I sometimes feel pressure to share my every workout, every run, everyday stuff the way that other bloggers do. But when I first started this blog, Obi-wan (my Dad) counseled me to focus on what I wanted to say and who I wanted to reach.

"Use the Force. Stretch out your feelings". Obi-wan's always so smart.

“Use the Force. Stretch out your feelings”. Obi-wan’s always so smart.

I didn’t want to be like the other bloggers. I wanted to share information, science-y stuff, and help runners run stronger and get smarter. Obviously, some stuff changed as I got sick. Like, I didn’t run as much and for a long time.

I didn't run so much as I laid around and shuffled up and down my block.

I didn’t run so much as I laid around and shuffled up and down my block.

But no matter the fact that I don’t blog 3 times a day or break down every mile of every run or didn’t run for weeks at a time or have tons and tons of giveaways or get invited to special events, I’m still a Blogger On the Run! Just a different kind of Blogger On the Run.

And I want to thank Women’s Running Magazine for recognizing that and inviting me to be a part of their feature.

And for those of you who haven’t heard yet, now that I’m all healed up and running again, I’m running for a cure for Crohn’s and Colitis! RUN WITH ME! Or cycle. Or swim. Or elliptical (is that a verb?). Or walk. Or hop.

Kick some ass with me, won't you?

Kick some ass with me, won’t you?

Here’s the gist:

  • Donate $15 to my fundraising page and you get one entry into the raffle.
  • For every $10 over the initial $15 that you donate, you get one more entry into the awesome raffle.
  • Email me the amount you donated: runstrongereveryday@gmail.com so I know how many raffle entries to mark down for you
  • Wear the bib I send you on April 9th (don’t forget to water proof it!) and take a picture
  • Rock your 5K and share your photos with me!

Thanks again for stopping by!

Now go out and run.

Pushing Limits

Thank you, thank you, thank you!!!!!!! to all of you who have already signed up for the Kick Ass Virtual 5K on Tuesday, April 9th. I reached over $1500 in donations as of today and am SUPER excited to share all the raffle prizes that have been rolling in.

Sneak peak and hoping to add more!!!

Sneak peak and hoping to add more!!!

If you or someone you know would like to donate a raffle item, contact me!!!! (runstrongereveryday@gmail.com) And don’t forget to sign up for the Kick Ass 5K! Or you can just donate to my page 🙂

This whole $20,000 goal is so far outside of my comfort zone, I can’t even tell you. I don’t really think I’m going to hit it. I know I should “believe” I will but I don’t. It’s a goal. It’s a very public goal. I’ll probably fail. It’s scary to fail so publicly to reach my goal.

On the track, in the gym, on the road, I’m pushing hard so that when I toe the half marathon line, I know I did my best to get there. Training is the easy part.

Running til I feel like this. I call it "Panting dog".

Running til I feel like this. I call it “Panting dog”.

It’s easy for me to push my body. It’s much more difficult for me to push my personal life goals. When my body gives out, there’s a reason I can trace back to fix and it’s not usually my fault. I like to push my body to the limit.

When I fail at a life goal, I feel like a total and complete FAILURE.

So I don’t push those limits. Well, I didn’t until the past few years. Putting together this Virtual 5K for (essentially) me makes me uncomfortable. I’d much rather just give them all of my money and not risk the failure.

I'd much rather run a 5K for something/someone else than for myself buuuuut, there are a lot of IBD-ers out there so I'll run for them!

I’d much rather run a 5K for something/someone else than for myself buuuuut, there are a lot of IBD-ers out there so I’ll run for them!

But there are kids with IBD. There are kids who will never know life as anything other than being the “sick”. There are people out there who live every day with pain and drugs and just the worst of the worst of it and I won’t be too chicken to set a $20,000 goal because I’m afraid I won’t meet it.

So here I am. Me and $18,500 more to raise. Watch me push that limit all the way til June 8th when I push my body in Chicago.

Gauntlet thrown.

Now go out and run!