Luck Be a Lady

My recent string of luck has me thinking it might be time to play the lottery.

I will make you mine.

I will make you mine.

Last month, I won a gift certificate to a home fitness store that basically will buy me a treadmill. I think. I’ve picked up the certificate (from the radio station that held the contest), but haven’t been into the store as of yet, but the prices they have online make me think it won’t be too far off. There may not be any real place to put it in my condo that currently houses two adults, two dogs and all of our stuff, but that is not the point and for the convenience of having a treadmill at home, I will work it out! Gosh, I hope I actually use it!

Then, last week, I won a trip for two to Myrtle Beach for a private concert from Dan + Shay. They are a newish country duo that has a song called 19 You + Me:

If you didn’t listen, the first line is, “It was our first week, Myrtle Beach, where it all began…” Get it?

hoffman-inventory-trends-myrtle-beach-grand-strandAnd gosh how I need a beach vacation. It used to irritate me when people who were no longer in school used the term Spring Break. I was all, “When you’re an adult, it’s called vacation” and now I’m all, “I’m going on Spring Break y’all!” Currently the weather calls for cool temps and rain, but there will be ocean and it will be amazing. And I will meet the babies named Dan and Shay and they’ll be like, “Sweet, a cougar.”

Both of the contests were held by different local radio stations (sports and country, duh), but no, I don’t have impeccable timing to be the 10th caller or anything, they were online entries. I had an unofficial goal for the year to win something. Unofficial because it’s silly and also because it’s not really something I can control beyond entering and thinking positively, but…check!

Believe it or not, my luck didn’t stop at awesome contest prizes…also last week, I got notice that my job had been eliminated. No, that wasn’t the sound of a record scratching to a stop, it was actually a good thing. Without too much detail, it is the best case scenario and I’ve happily accepted a new position already, about a week after getting the notice, which has to be some kind of luck too. I mean, I know I’m awesome and got it because I’m qualified and will kick booty there, but how was this wonderfully matched position available exactly when I needed it?!

If the universe could give you something you really need in your life right now, what would it be? I think I got mine (times three), but if there’s anything else in store, I’m game! Keep the positivity coming!

The Fastest Half-Mile in the West

Rabbit, rabbit, rabbit. I actually said it today because as much as I love my birthday month of August, I’m happy to see September and I’ve got some high hopes! But first, to finish August, in addition to my hot yoga sesh last night, I had one more little thing to do …

In July, I had no running goals..honestly, no real fitness goals at all except to take the pup for a long walk every morning or evening when it was cooler (you know, like 95 degrees) and get to the gym three times a week. In July I ran all of TWO miles. In August, it was time to get a little more serious and since I was starting up running again, I decided 35 miles was a good place to start.

Rigs takes after me in this sense…he must have gotten his run-like-the-wind gene elsewhere!

Running was not on my schedule for yesterday, but I added up my miles and was at 34.5! That’s just too close to not actually get there! And, yeah, I really did just run a half-mile, BUT I came home from yoga and my dog was being a crazypants, so even though it was still really hot and sunny out, I decided he could come along AND he picked the pace.

He runs like it’s the best and easiest thing in the world, so it was a tough half-mile (for me). And yes, I realize that not only are there athletes able to run a whole mile in the amount of time it took me to run my half, but there are super athletes who can run 26 consecutive miles at just about that my-half-mile-is-their-full-mile pace, but damn if it didn’t feel like a full-on sprint to me (3:56 for anyone keeping track)! A little butt-kicking every now and then is a good thing to remind myself what I’m capable of if I don’t let the mind games take over.

One of my high hopes for September is to get back in official training mode to help me prepare for my upcoming races – four 5Ks, one 10-miler and one half-marathon all before the end of the year! – so I joined the September Miles Madness Challenge! Ashley (She Runs Strong) and Cait (The Arty Runner Chick) made a bet to see whose team could run the most miles in September. All the runners have to do is pick a side and run their little hearts out!

I’m sure Cait is great, but Ashley is a Phoenix-area running and lifestyle coach and very involved with Girls on the Run Maricopa County…no contest! I’ve got a lot of miles on my training plan this month, plus I’m a smidge competitive, so…Go Team!

Are you running in September? Join me! Or join Team Cait and let’s get ready to rumble!

Getting My Plow On

This is happening…

But, also this…

One of my original resolutions of sorts was to deepen my yoga practice with a few poses that have eluded me since I started my journey, specifically plow (I’ve never realized how kind of creepy this pose is until I saw a whole Google image search page of it):

and standing leg balance:

My tight hammies have kept me in the beginner’s option for both of these, so I was pleasantly surprised when my little tootsies actually touched down on the floor above my head in plow.

Having specific goals for poses, so far, has encouraged me to keep challenging myself during classes – taking the more advanced options, trying the tricky stuff during playtime when child’s pose is offered and might be easier.  If each class feels the same, I’d probably get bored pretty quickly, which is why I didn’t really like Bikram.

Today was my third class in as many days (I’m usually a four-days-a-week, every-other-day type) and I can’t help wondering what my body could do at the end of 30 days.  I’m kind of thinking maybe it’s a good start to another goal I set for this year – to do a 30-day yoga challenge.

BUT, my half-marathon is coming up sooner than I’m ready for and I do need to turn my focus there, but I’m at least going to keep up the yoga for this week and see where it goes.  Thirty days can seem intimidating, but one day at a time isn’t so bad.  That’s how good habits are made after all, right?  One day at a time, one good choice after another.

My revised mantras/intentions/goals are still in the works (latest inspiration: I LOVE this idea of twelve intentions and the beautiful vision board that goes along with it) and probably will be all year, which is how it should be…I heard recently that yoga is about being not as strong as a tree, which doesn’t move, but as a blade of grass, which is strong enough to stand tall, but flexible enough to move with the wind.

(Wow, yoga has turned me totally crunchy.)

Are there any yoga poses were you really happy to get in? Or that you’re working on?

The Battle of 1000 Miles

Sometimes I’m quite stubborn – my relentless pursuit of seven in seven five made that painfully (to my booty) obvious – and sometimes I’m totally easy going. There’s really no telling which Meg is going to show up to the party. Case in point, in January, I got the brilliant idea to run 1000 miles in 2011. As of January 1, that’s totally reasonable, just under 20 miles a week!

But, then I had to take time off after both my half-marathon and Pat’s Run for injuries (yet, I had only a day of recover post-tri…thank you, yoga!), not to mention training for race season left me burnt out, it was hot as hell for the last five months. 

I could go on with the excuses if you need me to, but it comes down to the fact that halfway through October I’m at 593 miles and I don’t really care.

With two-and-a-half months left, it’s just not going to happen. Sure, I could run five miles.  Literally every single day.  For the rest of the year.  But, I guess I’m just being realistic.

Plus, my athletic priorities have changed. I still really enjoy running, but even in training for three different distance races in November, December and January, I don’t plan on running much more than three times a week. I don’t want to get injured and I want to have time to enjoy other things.

So, easy-going Meg won the Battle of 1000 Miles, but I’m sure there are plenty of other things for stubborn Meg to get uptight about right around the corner.  Plus, there’s always 2012!

Manifesting 27

Inspired by Amber (and a little in awe of how together she has it at just 23…girl is wise beyond her years), I started to make a list of the things I accomplished while I was 26.  Looking back is a nice reminder to be grateful for the good that comes with the bad (and while you’re at it, to be grateful for the bad, even if it takes you a while to get there).

It’s a lovely list, really, but then I decided to focus on manifesting 27 with a list of what I want to say upon turning 28. I’m a little late to that party, so with about 11 months left, here’s what I want to do:

Buy and decorate my first home. Complete my first sprint tri. PR a 10K (and maybe a half-marathon…I can’t decide what role running will have in my life coming up). Coach a Girls on the Run group. Start freelancing and expand my design and HTML experience. Write to my little heart’s content. Get a dog. Take an awesome trip. Top off my emergency fund. 

————————

So, I wrote all that, but just saved it as a draft, thinking I might not actually publish it.  Honestly, four of those things are already in the works so they almost feel like cheats. A fifth is pretty much in the bag considering I ran my first and only 10K hungover. 

But, then I went to my reader and found And Then She Saved’s recent post and this image:

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Dear Universe, I get it.

Part of the reason I considered censoring was because life has been whispering a few different things at me lately. 

The first is that I can’t possibly dream as big as the things that are actually in store for me anyway.  That doesn’t mean I believe in passively waiting for fate.  I believe in focusing on what I want while being open to receiving anything else that comes my way. Acceptance and openness have been my intentions during yoga practices lately, probably because I just heard this quote from Oprah:

When you’re open to receiving them, the possibilities just keep coming.

That’s kind of why I love Oprah. Because keeping that in mind, she also said:

You define your own life, don’t let other people write your script.

You CAN have it both ways.

The other thing life has been whispering, that maybe seems contradictory, but I see it as complementary, is that it has to fall apart so it can come together. Kind of a doomsday hope-for-the-best-prepare-for-the-worst-expect-surprises outlook. Or, the good with the bad, if you will. 

Since I started this post, new opportunities AND a little bit of the falling apart have come my way.  I guess life is over simply whispering at this point.  And I’m ready.

What has the universe been whispering to you lately?

Happy Training Kick-Off Day!

After my last race, I paused.  It was a combination of training burnout (I had been following – and loving – a training plan since the very beginning of December), my knee pain and a lack of focus. 

I kicked it back in gear with my weekend of hiking, then started back in with cross-training and got a real run in last Saturday

But, today…wonderful today…marks the official start of my training plan for my next race.  T-minus 47 days! 

My last two races had cross-the-finish-line goals.  For this next one, a 4.2 mile race, it’s all about speed.  This is the biggest race I’ve done – it actually has corrals! – and while my history with running told me to estimate a finish time of 42 minutes, my sense of pride landed on 38 because it was the slowest time the organizers still grouped with the “runners.”

I beg to differ, but I get it…your game, your rules.

So, please excuse me while I build my leg muscles, increase my stamina and break down the mental block of running, what I consider to be, fast.

The Fever

It happened.  I knew it would.  I got race fever. 

Race fever is why I signed up for my half after finishing my first 10K.  Race fever is planting the idea of a full marathon in my head, but I’m definitely in no rush.  Right now, I’m just excited to find races, train for them and challenge myself throughout the year.

So, yeah, it’s a little late, but I’m setting my race goals and calendar for 2011. 

This year, I will:

Set a legit 10K PR.
Complete  sub-2:00 half-marathon.
Find and participate in an out-of-area race.
Participate in a fun run (like a themed, dress-up-and-act-silly run).
Compete in my first triathlon. 
Volunteer at three races.

I only have two officially on my calendar.   I am volunteering at a charity race in the beginning of March and I’m participating in Pat’s Run (shameless link to my fundraising page, sorry!) in April, which really falls into none of these categories, but it’s a meaningful local race and I’m excited to be a part of it for the first time. 

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Post-April, it’s pretty much “don’t leave your house if you prefer your skin DOESN’T melt off your body” weather here in Arizona (take that snowmaggedon, we have the heatpocalypse EVERY SINGLE YEAR, rain or shine), but I’ll TM it up and be ready to rock come fall.

What races are on your hit list this year? 

New Month Resolutions

This blog was just a twinkle in my eye back around the beginning of the year so I was going to revisit my resolutions, but the truth is, I make lists of to-dos and goals ALL. THE. TIME.  Any day is a good day to decide to do something good for yourself, but I love the freshness of a new month. 

Over the weekend, I definitely fell into the trap of:
A.  I just ran a half-marathon, I deserve a break.
and
B.  I’ll get back on track in February.

Luckily for me, February was just around the corner, so I didn’t stray too far.  I love February because it’s just so little and cute!  Just 28 days, four even weeks.

What could you accomplish in just 28 days if you fully committed to it?

I’m taking a short pause from running, but plan to stay on track for my goal of 1000 miles this year, which means I’m going to log 43 miles.  This shouldn’t be too difficult considering I have four long runs of 8+ miles scheduled.  I really learned to love those during my half training and don’t want to lose that!

I’m going to climb the seven summits of Phoenix in seven days.

I’m going to focus on healthy eating, fresh foods and sensible portions.  I’m working on decreasing my body fat percentage and my body is too used to the amount of exercise I do, so I definitely have to pay more attention to how and what I eat.

I’m going to finish my January fiction book I never got through and my February fiction and non-fiction as well.  That’s a lot of reading!

I’m following a budget and contributing to my savings goals.  I’m going to write a short story.  I’m going to step outside of my comfort zone a little!

Welcome February, bring it on!