I got over it!

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Approaching the finish line on Meeting Street

Yesterday — Saturday, April 5th — I participated in and successfully completed the 2014 Cooper River Bridge Run. It was my first time participating in anything like this. (The only thing that comes close was a very small 5K charity walk I did about five years ago.)

It was really, really fun. I’m already thinking about next year.

I accomplished my goal of finishing in under two hours. (My official time was 1:56:38.) My training walks were faster, but I didn’t plan for the “fun” factor — taking snapshots with my phone along the course to document the experience — nor did I factor in needing to use the porta-potties or the need to dodge people with strollers. But under two hours is under two hours and I was happy with my time.

My completely improvised training regimen seemed to have worked well, but in preparation for next year I plan to balance endurance/cardio with some additional strength training to better develop those muscles that are still screaming at me as I write this, a full 24 hours after I finished.

The best part of the day was seeing such a diverse crowd of people. People of all ages, races, fitness levels, and body sizes were participating in the event, and I have to say it was one of the only times I can say I felt completely at ease while being active in public.

It was an amazing day, and I’m really looking forward to next year.

My race packet came!

My race packet for the Cooper River Bridge Run arrived in yesterday’s mail.

***dies***

It’s really happening, you guys. On April 5, I’ll be participating in my first-ever 10K. Me.

***freaks out***

I’ve written before about my rather fraught relationship with things like exercise and body image, so the fact that I’m doing this race is an enormous personal milestone. I used to hate exercise because of some traumatic associations, and now I’m doing a 10K. I used to think I couldn’t do something like a 10K because I wasn’t “a runner,” but now I know that things like strength, fitness, and athleticism come in all shapes, sizes, and ability levels. (And indeed, I’m not a runner but rather a very happy distance walker, and there isn’t a damn thing wrong with that.)

Am I nervous? Sure. Excited? Totally. But most of all, I’m ready. I know I’ve got this. Except I’m not sure what to put in the bottle I’ll have strapped to my waist for hydration… plain water? Sports drink? Vodka? Beer?

Any and all suggestions are welcome.

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Walk this way

I’ve been walking a lot lately since I’m training for the Cooper River Bridge Run in early April, which is now less than two months away. Typically, I cover shorter distances during the week and get in a longer walk on the weekend if the weather cooperates. (The race itself is a 10K, or 6.2 miles.)

Back in December, I did a round-trip walk on the bridge and covered 6.2 miles in an hour and forty-three minutes. My initial goal was to complete the race in two hours, so I was happy that my first “dry run” was under that. Now I’ve got the wild idea of 6.2 miles in 90 minutes come race day. Maybe that’s too ambitious, but based on the paces I’ve been logging lately, I’m getting really close and that’s exciting.

One foot in front of the other…

Happy Thanksgiving

I’m not a very religious person, but I am spiritual… and I love the Thanksgiving blessing that Dear Abby always shares at this time of year, so I’ll quote it here:

Oh, Heavenly Father,

We thank Thee for food and remember the hungry.

We thank Thee for health and remember the sick.

We thank Thee for friends and remember the friendless.

We thank Thee for freedom and remember the enslaved.

May these remembrances stir us to service,

That Thy gifts to us may be used for others.

Amen.

Regardless of what your beliefs are, I think anybody can give thanks for what they have and remember those who have less. As someone who hopes to leave the world just a teeny bit better than I found it, these words definitely speak to me.

Happy Thanksgiving, my dears.

Getting back to yoga

I started doing yoga around 15 years ago. I’ve gone to several classes during that time, but I’ve built the majority of my practice on my own. I have a few favorite yoga DVDs and I also take advantage of a couple of the yoga channels on Hulu. My practice is pretty no-frills… I’m an Iyengar girl through and through. I love to concentrate on each posture and focus my breathing before moving out of the pose and setting up for the next one. Y’all can keep your Vinyasa and your hot yoga. My “flows” are more like hiccups, which is why Iyengar works for me. One asana at a time, kids… one asana at a time.

Wow, that would look great on a t-shirt.

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Now where’s your picket fence, love?

Everyone has their go-to recovery/courage/kicking ass and taking names songs. This past weekend, I made a playlist of just these kinds of songs to bolster my mood after receiving a highly useless email containing some very unwelcome news. The playlist contained a motley mix of songs by female country artists (Jo Dee Messina, Miranda Lambert, Lee Ann Womack), relatively recent pop hits, and some stuff by indie singer-songwriters. (I have eclectic musical tastes… guilty as charged.)

I put this song on the playlist, too. I love it to no end. It’s a valentine to courage, to making your own choices, and it delivers (at least in my opinion) a bigger “FUCK YOU” than Cee-Lo to those that have gotten in your way or otherwise caused you pain.

Enjoy.