The time I wanted to run a marathon

marathon chicIn the beginning of 2013 I jumped on the running band wagon and decided I was going to run a 5K by April. I froze my butt off getting up super early before work, in the dark, to run on icy snow covered side walks. I bought a pair of $120 custom fit running shoes and started the couch to 5k program. I didn’t think I was out of shape by any means. I go to the gym on a regular basis and lifted weights. I’m not the fittest person, but I am in okay shape. When it came to running though I discovered I was a beginner. Nothing AND I MEAN NOTHING for me was harder then running. The Couch to 5k program was amazing as it slowly pushed me to run more and more not too quickly. Investing in a foam roller was the best thing I could have done as I was sore ALL of the time. After a few weeks I built up my stamina and started pushing myself. I averaged a little over 11 miles a limit, but for me that was good enough. My goal was to run a 5k and try to keep it under 30 minutes. My husband and I signed up for the Zombie Run in Philadelphia in April of 2013. Basically, you run through a course trying to avoid zombie that are trying to steal and pop balloons tied to your waist.

So for 4 months I busted my butt and was finally able to run a full 30 minutes, slowly but, I could do it. I won’t like, I HATED running. Yet, once I started I felt unstoppable. It hurt (in a good way) but it felt so good to push myself. If I had a crappy day at work I’d put on my running shoes and run it out. Afterwards I felt absolutely exhausted physically, but so much better emotionally.

We ran the 5k and I came in a little over 30 minutes. I had a hard time pacing myself since it was a bit hard to dodge zombies and run in a group of a few hundred people. I tended to try to keep up with others who ran faster then myself. Regardless, I ran the full race and was incredibly happy with myself.

Next, I wanted to tackle a 10k and then my goal was to run a marathon by the time I was 35. I thought 5 years was a reasonable amount of time to train.

Then this happened…

leg

Minor foot fracture as well as some torn muscle in my ankle. I was in a bit of pain before I gave up and went to the doctor. I decided to “run” through it. Bad idea. I blamed it on my shoes or the fact that I was running too much on pavement and tried to cut back as much as I could. Eventually the pain was so unbearable. After three MRI’s 2 doctors, I was put into a boot air cast and prescribed physical therapy. To this day my ankle does not feel right. I stretch, ice, and massage it but the lump above my ankle does not seem to go away. I think it may be scar tissue. It bothers me from time to time when I go for a brisk walk or use the elliptical for a long period of time, but I just deal. I’ve come to the conclusion it will never be 100% and most likely my “running days” are over. It saddens me as I never felt so physically challenged before. I imagined time and time again crossing the marathon finish line, exhausted, in pain, all while shedding tears of happiness.

In order to keep myself motivated I save several quotes that got me through those tough times, so I thought I’d share them. They can be applied to anything, running, life, or just achieving any goal.

a8d158d7f4212ea25aab73d541391f10

7ba1e6a2be0397b0f6a4f5b6cbc6b085

5303f2fa06a672f21c9b489dffe25f75sincerelysignature

Friday Favorites September 19th

ff

1. OPI Nail Polish in Lucky Lucky Lavender In my opinion, this color looks more like a darker pink rather then lavender. When I picked it up I thought it looked like a bubble gum pink. After applying a few coats it is a shade or two darker then bubble gum pink. With my favorite combination of  Gelous Nail Gel Base Coat and Seche Vite Top Coat, I was able to keep this polish on for almost an entire week!

2. Alba Botanica Even Advanced Deep Sea Facial Mask I randomly picked this up at Target a few weeks ago on a quest to try inexpensive face masks. This one in particular is supposed to aid in evening out skin-tones. The texture is thick and creamy, but just a small amount goes a long way. I put a thing layer on around my face and waited until it dried (about 10 minutes) to wash off. Immediately, I felt a tingly sensation on my skin once it was applied. Since it is not a typical face cleanser, I used a warm wash cloth to wipe it off my face. It left my skin feeling clean and very soft. After a few uses I have not had a problem yet with break outs from using this product. This product is $6 at Target and definitely worth trying.

3. Make Up For Ever HD Microfinish Powder After running out of this powder that I’ve been lucky enough to use one jar in the course of 5 years, I was so hesitant to buy it because of it’s $34 price tag. It worked wonderfully, but I still wanted to try to find something a bit cheaper. I purchased Elf’s High Def. Powder for $6 at Target. The results weren’t very favorable as I felt like I was applying talcum powder to my face. Rather then setting in, this stuff just laid on my skin and made my face appear white. I didn’t use anymore then I did with the MUFE powder. So, I just bit the bullet and picked up MUFE HD powder. Again, this is a case of “you get what you pay for.” On the Elf site their powder gets great reviews but, it just didn’t work well with my skin.

4. Stories Seldom Fold Boot from Modcloth Although I do not own a pair of these fold over boots, I LOVE the look of them. Modcloth has several different styles and different colors but, they do not carry something similar in black. With fall steadily approaching I need to start searching for a reasonably priced boot.

5. Things I’ve Learned from Dying The topic of this book is rather somber and although I am not finished with it yet, I can easily tell that it will be one of those books that will stay with me forever. This book is non-fiction and written by David Dow, a Texas state defense attorney. In this particular book, he is defending an inmate who is on death row. His goal is to keep this man alive. Dow incorporates this case along with his father in law who is dying of cancer and his dog who eventually also passes. As the title suggests, this book is about the journey that Dow takes through the deaths of those around him. Originally, I was not sure if I wanted to read this book because it sounded so heart wrenching. So far, the book has included some sullen moments but Dow’s writing is rather witty, which keeps the readers emotions at an even key. As I delve further into the book I am sure it will pull on my heart strings a bit more. The reality of it is dying is a natural part of life. Books like this teach us how appreciative we should be for our own lives and the lives of others we care about. What you have today may be gone tomorrow.

sincerelysignature

My Birthday & Thoughts About Getting Older

bday

This past Saturday I turned 32. I know, I know 32 is not really old, but still I feel ancient sometimes. Like I can’t believe I lived this long. Really, though I do not feel 32 or at least how I expected to feel at 32. When you are younger you have an idea of how you’d like your life to play out, but it never does. At least, I’ve never met a person who successfully obtained their ideal childhood dream life to a “T”.

Anyway, I planned on writing this big post about my Birthday and post a bunch of pictures but, the more I thought about it, I felt it was more important to focus on how life transitions unexpectedly. Life is all about experiences, whether they are good or bad, each molds us into who we are today and continues to do this for the rest of our lives.

We all tend to focus on the negative aspects of aging. Our bodies aren’t as strong, we have unexplained aches and pains, and the worst of all, wrinkles.  We try our hardest to avoid the realty that everything is going to change some day and by doing this we start to take people and things for granted. It is important to remind ourselves of the possibility that our lives may change in an instant and the most rewarding part of life is that we get to experience it.

I struggle with accepting change. Specifically, I have had so many people come in and out of my life that have changed me for the better. I get all nostalgic when thinking of them and wish that they were still apart of my life. Some have passed on, others have moved into a new chapter of their lives, and there are a few that I still speak to sporadically because we swore we’d keep in touch.

While I am saddened by the loss of some of them I am still very thankful. I am even thankful of those who were a part of negative chapters of my life.

Someone told me a saying that has stuck with me for years; “it is what it is.” Meaning, you just have to accept things for what they are worth. This is the most important thing I’ve learned in the past 32 years.

As Robert Frost said, “In three words I can sum up everything I’ve learned about life: it goes on.”

And, ending on a not so serious note, here are a few pictures from my Birthday weekend.

cheese

Husband said the magic word, “kitties!”

cake

The BEST chocolate peanut butter cake.

shoes

$70 shoes from DSW for $15. Yay for Birthday coupons!

purse

And yes, I did get my purse!

sincerelysignature

The art of giving ourselves credit for the smallest victories

As an “artist” I find that I constantly compare my work with other peoples. I put artist in quotation marks because I do not feel confident enough to call myself one. When I look at the amazing artwork of Mark Ryden or Tara Mcpherson I am mesmerized by the perfection of their pieces. Then I look at my work in comparison and see the sad realization that I will never be as good as them.

As the saying goes we are our own worst critics. By comparing ourselves to others we are actually judging ourselves. This leaves us full of self-doubt. We adopt the notion that we will never be good enough. Our motivation actually decreases when we are hard on ourselves.

So the question is how do we stop comparing ourselves? Rather then looking at the work of others, start looking at YOUR work. Pull out an old sketch book and compare it with some of your recent work. Look at your own progression as an artist. We are constantly becoming better at things as time goes on. We learn new techniques and with practice our potential is limitless.

When you start to really think about it comparing ourselves with others is actually illogical.
After all no two people are the same. Each of us posses unique experiences that influence our own person style. Take into account all the things we could learn or improve on if we see the work of other artists as inspiration rather then competition.

As an example I used to hate drawing hands and would try to avoid putting them in my work. Years later I learned a new technique and now I do not mind it as much. Actually I kind of like drawing them now. Look at my progression:

old hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Instead of drawing out fingers I decided to try to make them wrap around the subjects shoulder. You can barely tell they are fingers.

 

2014 hand

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is a quick sketch I did last night of a hand. It isn’t amazing but in comparison I have come very far from where I was years ago. The more often I practice the better I will become.

I remember seeing the phrase, “the art of giving ourselves credit for the smallest victories” somewhere online as I began to write this post. The statement really stood out to me. I believe it is important that we gives ourselves credit for our accomplishments no matter how big or how small.

signature

Nobody In The Boat – A Taoist parable

If a man is crossing a river
And an empty boat collides with his own skiff,
Even though he be a bad-tempered man
He will not become very angry.
But if he sees a man in the boat,
He will shout at him to steer clear.
If the shout is not heard, he will shout again,
And yet again, and begin cursing.
And all because there is somebody in the boat.
Yet if the boat were empty,
He would not be shouting, and not angry.

If you can empty your own boat
Crossing the river of the world,
No one will oppose you,
No one will seek to harm you.

I must remind myself of this while driving.