For Art Hop this year, my company put on a camouflage-themed gallery opening. It was based on the history of camouflage, and featured textile designs by Burton, camouflage in nature and a poster series by the creative team.
I was leaning heavily towards an animal-based poster, since I found camouflage in nature fascinating…but I didn’t really want it to feel too literal. Elephants have always been my favorite animal. Known for their incredible memories, human-like emotions, and intelligence, they have always been special to me. I liked their strong, recognizable profile, and I liked that elephants are kind of difficult to camouflage, and thought of the phrase, “You can’t hide the elephant in the room.” A quirky, somewhat humorous, animal-based poster was born.
Let’s wrap up this little series, shall we? In May, I ran my first marathon. It’s taken some time for me to process the accomplishment. It’s kind of like any other big milestone – graduation, marriage, etc in that (at least for me) it takes some distance to really gain perspective to figure out what it really meant. You can check out my other two posts about training here and here.
- It gets easier, but is still a challenge. What I mean is, making running a habit, and sticking to your training plan becomes easy. It’s just what you do. If you follow a typical 16-18 week training plan, your longest run before the race will be around 20 miles. Those last 6 miles on race day, even with the crowds and the support and the pace groups were absolutely killer for me. So even though fitting in running became easy, the race itself was still a challenge.
- Choosing a race close to home has both pros and cons. I signed up for the Vermont City Marathon thinking it would be much easier to run a course I could practice on. Although it was definitely mostly nice to know where I was going next and what sections of the course were tricky, I also knew which sections I couldn’t stand and dreaded (which, unluckily for me, was the part at the end that I could have really used some happy thoughts). I think that next time I might choose a race in a place I’ve never been…
- Your time matters wayyyy more to you than it does to anyone else. I was slightly disappointed with my final time, but anytime I mentioned this to someone, they looked at me like I had five eyeballs. The accomplishment of finishing a marathon, especially your first one, totally outweighs the amount of time it takes you to complete it.
- Rituals/habits are totally okay! It’s not OCD or anal retentive to do the same things over and over prior to raceday. I ate the same food before every long run, took the same amount of water, wore (pretty much) the same clothes. On race day, when your butterflies feel as big as birds and your emotions are running high, it’s really nice to not have to think about what you’ll wear, what to eat, how much to drink, etc. Knowing that everything was the same really helped me get into the zone and quieted the doubting voice in my head.
- You are capable of much more than you think you are. Every long run was a bit scary… but pushing through my doubts and fears and learning to quiet the negative voice in my head made me realize that I can do anything. Fear, although an awesome evolutionary tool, should not dictate all of our decisions. Overcoming my fears and anxieties about running has paved the way to being braver in “real life” (like starting this blog!).
*Photo from the marathon, taken by my husband, Casey. I was surprised to see how happy I looked!
Can you believe that the end of 2013 is rapidly approaching? I feel like as I get older, the Earth is spinning faster – years just fly by!
Last year, I ended the year with an Exerstreak, and aimed to run at least one mile a day from Thanksgiving to New Year’s day. I did pretty well, and definitely enjoyed being active during the holidays (aka the most fattening time of the year!).
This year, I decided to kick it up a notch by beginning my Exerstreak on Halloween instead of Thanksgiving. Halloween sort of kicks off a couple months of unhealthy eating for me, so it seemed like a great place to start. (You can read more about it here.)
Then, a couple of weeks ago, Elsie at A Beautiful Mess posted about setting and accomplishing four simple goals before 2014. I loved the idea of pushing myself just a little bit farther, and also, it’s a great excuse to accomplish a couple of things on my birthday list!
2013 has been a banner year. Here’s to ending it in the same way it began.
4 Mini Goals
- Run at least a mile everyday
- Eat something green everyday
- Get a haircut
- Quit my weekly Starbucks habit
So far, I’m doing pretty well! Aside from a couple of sick days (sinus infections are the worst!) I’ve been keeping up with the Exerstreak – you can follow along/join in by using #exerstreak2013 on Instagram! I’ve been pretty dedicated to the greens thing, which is making a huge difference mentally, at least. It’s funny how making a couple healthy decisions can make you feel so much less guilty when you just really want a piece of chocolate/ice cream/pie at the end of the day. I scheduled a haircut (this is a HUGE deal – it’s been over a year since I got a real haircut. I have struggled to find a salon/hairdresser I like since moving to Vermont 3 years ago). And my Starbucks habit is waning. I’m down to once a week or less, and if I do succumb to the urge, I order a tall, plain latte – nothing fancy, nothing huge. Baby steps!