It’s not hard after it’s done- she says… 10 MILES LATER!!!

Dear Readers,

On Sunday, I ran a 10 mile race. It was harder than I thought and easier than I thought. It should be noted that like so many other things in life this is a baby step of many to get me to that marathon status which is down the road for me.

First of all, I should clarify something, up till Sunday, I had only done 5K’s but after Sunday, I have now done a 15K!!!!!!

a brief recap

Vern’s No Frills- January 18, 2014

Biggest Loser- March 29, 2014

Color Run- May 24, 2014

Casa 5K-September 21, 2014

Holiday 5K Zilker- December 6, 2014

Austin 1020- 10 Mile Run Walk– March 29, 2015

That is 6 different events spanned over several months.. but its worth mentioning that each time I ran (this weekend being no exception) it was different– Vern’s No Frills was crazy cold and and we walked more than we ran but, baby steps. The Biggest Loser was great weather and the run went really well, my partner Susie said she had NEVER seen me run that fast. The Color Run was a LOT of walking.. I just wasn’t in shape for that one.. It was tagged as a FUN run and that was more about me getting out of my comfort zone (see I hate being messy) than a run… CASA was crazy hot and the worst race conditions.. but it was my husband’s first run and super fun to have him there along with Jessica and Adam, Susie, Keely, Michael and CJ.. our team also raised a lot of money for CASA so it was lucrative in other ways. Holiday 5K was actually a 3K but I kept going to make it a full 5K, wasn’t ready for that one either and it was a pretty rough “trail run” and at night.. won’t be doing that again.

So, 10 miles — what can I say about that.. First, I found myself thinking pretty nasty thoughts about the runners ahead of me when I was on mile 4 and they were on mile 8…. ( I think its pretty natural to hate the runner ahead of you sorry but its true… ) Second, the people behind me, I felt pretty good I was ahead of them but was working on keeping myself motiviated.  Flashback to before the race, you know how when a big event is looming and you go back and forth between looking forward to it and dreading it/ getting nervous about it? What do you do about that?

I employed several devices. I asked for support from all my “fans” on facebook and twitter and asked some people for some support and motivational messages. It is HARD for me to ask for help but I really needed it. The response was overwhelming. I had people post to support me that I don’t even know that well and tell me how much what I was doing was inspiring them. It really helped drive home the fact that one person really does make a difference. I also drank water and made the decision that while it would be slow (turtle trudging through mud) I would do it and finish. It wasn’t an option to stop and it wasn’t an option to quit.I also had Susie and Jessica who kept encouraging me through the weeks before the race that I could and would in fact do it.

As I say so often, because it is so true, It is allllllll about the baby steps-

I compare it to our debt-free journey. We have been doing lots of things to get debt-free but there are no short-cuts and slow, plodding, step by baby step, dollar by dollar, mile by mile we WILL get there. At one point during the race, I thought to myself it is funny, when you are in it, it doesn’t seem that hard, but before it you build up all this anticipation about how hard it is GOING to be. Mental note to self- Think less, do more. The person who got me through it when the going got hardest was Jessica, she had a running commentary about how I was getting my money’s worth by taking it slowly and not “racing” to the finish. She joined me at mile 4.2 to keep me going, support me and NOT LET ME QUIT. She told me she was proud of me throughout and it really helped to move me through it. At the last mile, (she went above and beyond by pretending to be a cheetah coming to “get” gazelle me (with sound effects) which helped me put some extra bounce in my final steps. As they say, you want to run to the finish, not walk.

JMac finishes 10 miles!
JMac finishes 10 miles!

I told her I wanted to finish by myself and I did. It FELT INCREDIBLE to take that last stride and finish. I feel extremely accomplished but its important to note, I did not do this alone. I had support and that made all the difference.

Think about it……… and go support someone’s goal today. And if you are pursuing a goal, ASK for help! Sometimes that one encouraging word, phone call, or note can make the difference.

Why do we have to hear “good job” from someone else to believe it?

External validation. Likes on Facebook, but more importantly, comments on facebook and text messages (I hate them, but when they are encouraging its a little easier to swallow).

Case in point, my husband and I are both working very hard to eliminate our debt and I was feeling a little down about the (in my mind) small progress we have made since we started in August of 2012. Then in talking with a friend, she helped me see, well no, actually you have done amazing things in the last year and a half. I have successfully walked in 2 organized 5K events and have a big one coming up at the end of March. This is really helping me to stay focused and moving steadily towards the goal of more running and eating well.

Regarding my own personal weight loss goals, I have been feeling discouraged of late, but again, another supportive friend said, well, look at what you have done just over the last few months. I have committed to working out 3 times a week and for the last month and a half, I have done that. Yes, I have complained, and really struggled but I have still done it. So, I am taking a moment, today right now to recognize myself for a few things.

Last year at this time, I was NOT exercising at all and just starting to explore a healthier diet. This year, I am working out three times a week and eating healthy. Last year, I was working out maybe once a week and that was a big maybe. Today when I worked out, I ran/walked a mile in under 20 minutes. In just a month, that number has gone from 20 minutes to 18 minutes. Today, when I worked out, I did not have any chafing because my body is getting used to working out and that’s a big win as far as I am concerned. Today, when I worked out, it sucked a little less. I may never get to the point that I like it but I do like how it makes me feel to finish and picturing all the people who love and support me really helps me get to minute 60 of my workout. (You know who you are!)

So I have resolved to be okay with the fact that I need the outside support, and welcome it. I am further resolved to recognize my own achievements and really rejoice in the incremental victories. For instance, today I did not want to workout AT ALL but I got up and did and I am glad because it inspired this post and I feel energized and ready to tackle the day.

Think about who you can reach out and support with a phone call or email or encouraging comment on Facebook or Twitter. You may not realize it, but you could be the voice they need to hear to push them to their next milestone.

Think about it!

 

Debt and Life-Balance- Guest Post by Sunny!

Today’s Guest Poster is Sunny!

She blogs about living on a budget and getting out of debt with the help of Dave Ramsey* at http://www.debteliminationexperiment.blogspot.com/.

My husband and I have been on the Dave Ramsey plan since the summer of 2012, we got married in April of 2012 and were doing well budgeting but wanted some insight into paying off our loans quickly. If we had not taken student loans we wouldn’t have any debt because otherwise we live very frugally. On the flip side, if we hadn’t taken out student loans we would probably be working minimum wage jobs for the rest of our lives. We are from a small mining town in Missouri where there are more people than jobs.

He moved to Chicago to study Computer Programming and Design, I moved to Tennessee to study Sign Language and Theatre. We now reside in Knoxville, TN.           

We bought into the notion that “student loan is good debt, it’s an investment in your future.” Which I guess is partly true but we “did stupid” in that we chose to go to private (very expensive) colleges. We both worked a few hours a week while in college but not nearly enough to offset our student loans.

We are now living like no one else, in a tiny ugly apartment, driving 2 cars that are old enough to be in high school, and throwing 45% of our monthly income towards our debt. That is unless Murphy comes knocking!

Sometimes we don’t follow the program exactly, we did go on vacation this year. It’s going to take us 3 years to get these loans paid off so we budgeted one of our snowballs to go to the beach. Since we have such a long time to go we don’t want to get burnt out and just give up entirely.

Overall on the program we’ve learned a lot and still have a lot of learning to do I suppose! Our families think we are weird, I bring my lunch to work in my Doctor Who lunchbox almost every day. I’d say we’re moving in the right direction!

Like this post? Sunny blogs at: http://www.debteliminationexperiment.blogspot.com/

*Dave Ramsey is the national talk show host who talks about “Common Sense for your Dollars and Cents-

Want to know more about him or getting out of debt?

http://www.daveramsey.com/home/

Your time is valuable. What are you doing with it?

Hello dear readers. First of all, thank you for reading my blog, I know it takes valuable time out of your day to read it. I recently realized how much I was actually doing in a given week and said, “whoa!” and it made me think, how many other people are doing this and not aware of it.

What you care about shows up in your checkbook and your calendar. When I look at my checkbook, always a fun topic that everyone is willing to discuss, right? (wink) I see that most of our financial portfolio is tied up in food and shelter and debt repayment which I guess is normal and its not forever. We are actively paying down our debt and will be out of debt in three years (hopefully less) but I digress.

What I really needed to look at was my calendar and take stock there. I made several goals this year to work on my face to face time with friends, read more books and work on coaching and speaking as it is something I feel I am meant to do. So to that end, I was doing the following:

1. I was going to Toastmasters every week and speaking there about once a month.

2. I was seeing friends about once a week.

3. I was working two jobs, really three with the coaching.

What is missing? I wasn’t doing anything for my marriage.  Sad to say it is true, and while it was pride swallowing to admit, I actively started to make plans with my husband first and everyone else second and third and fourth and so on. So far its working for me and my hope is that if you are reading this, you don’t need this wake up call, but then again maybe you do.

I would love to say I just woke up and figured it out one day but it was actually another blog I read about “Intentional Marriage Method” not her words but mine after reading her post “4 Ways to Fall Asleep More In Love”.
http://thenewwifestyle.com/?s=4+ways+to+fall+asleep+more

We are all busy, the question is what are you busy doing?