Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Struggling with Self-Worthiness, and Plan to Get it Back

Hello, world! I spent this past weekend at Fitbloggin' in Indy, and while it was a smaller and more low-key conference than in the past, I still had a great time! I saw a bunch of old friends, made new ones, and drank quite a bit of craft beer. ;-)

I'll have a full recap later in the week, but there was something that this weekend made me dig a little deep into, and I wanted to get those thoughts out there first. This may not sound coherent, but here goes anyway.

I was meditating in the hotel pool on Friday and came to the revelation that over the last three or four months, I've been struggling to just "be Tracy."

First off, work. I was pretty much one foot out the door over there. Basically, I was miserable. I wasn't being given enough to do, was feeling unchallenged and unappreciated, and was ready to leave. However, a new general manager came in almost two months ago. Things turned around almost as fast as you can say "Hokey Pokey." I'm in it for the long haul now. Well, as long as they want me anyway. As a result, I was trying so hard to be picture perfect to try to impress her along with the district manager who came in back in March. Turns out, they both like me, but I lost myself in the process. I forgot about the bubbly, adorable rockstar that I was known for being in favor of being "Little Miss Perfect." After a semi-nervous breakdown at work two weeks ago, I got snapped back, and I'm back to my old self. That's really all I need to be. 

Second, I never have down time. Outside of work, I run three days a week (since the streak is long over) and spend most days in the gym too. The rest of the time is either spent with the family or sleeping. No wonder I constantly feel burned out. Not cool.

I've been reading a book called The Gifts of Imperfection by Brene Brown. In one of the early chapters, she wrote that most of us struggle with being worthy right now. She also mentioned that when we struggle with our self-worthiness, we basically have to beg for it. 


I am struggling with my own self-worthiness! 

Part of it has been being overweight for as long as I was, and not feeling good about myself. Part of it has to do with work, as I want to keep moving forward with the company. Part of it is wanting to be everything ALL the time. Finally, part of it is just me being a perfectionist. 

Time to let it all go. Don't sing it like Elsa. Frozen was so 2014. ;-)

The last presentation of Fitbloggin' was from Brooke Randolph, a therapist from the Indianapolis area. She spoke about emotionally healthy living, and a few points hit home for me big time, and decided I wanted to really focus on. These were also mentioned in the book, so I take it as a sign.

I need to stop thinking what others think of me and focus on myself. Time to own my story and rock it!

I can tell you right now that this will be a work in progress. Rome wasn't built in a day, so I can't undo years of self-neglect and negative thoughts in a day, either.

That being said, here's my plan:

1) Spend 15 minutes a day to myself. This can be reading, working on a hobby, or just quiet meditation. I don't think that this is being selfish. In fact, my friend Tamara wrote a post on self-care, and said that it's actually necessary. It reduces stress hormones and makes you a happier person to be with. =) She also said that like anything else, you have to MAKE time for self-care. I feel that these moments, while short, can be beneficial in the long run. Small choices add up too, right?

2) Write down one positive of the day. This won't be a social media post. It doesn't need to be. This is for ME, and as long as I can see it and own it, that's all that matters.

3) Stop trying to be EVERYTHING. I'm human. It is impossible for me to do it all. So I'm going to stop trying to. If my nephew wants to play or cuddle, and I have laundry to do, the laundry can wait. Okay, bad example, but you get the idea. Same goes for work. I don't need to be picture perfect to impress the boss. I just need to be the best version of ME in that moment, and I'll be fine. 

4) Block out what everyone else thinks. Okay, maybe not everyone. There are people who I need to take their thoughts into consideration, but for the most part, I don't need the validation of others. Going back to what I said earlier, I need to own my story. 

Whew! I know I wrote a lot, but I feel like this was all necessary. This was something that hit home this weekend, and I wanted to get it out there. I'm putting this plan into place already and I'm starting to feel better as a result. This will be a work in progress, but I know that I'm going in the right direction and can only get better from here. 

Thursday, July 14, 2016


What happens when you have crazy runner friends who do crazy things?

You get a little crazy and follow suit.

Okay, I may not be running two half marathons in two states in one day (Ala The We Run Social crew and Cali to Vegas), but I am doing something I have never done.

Two 5K's in one day. In the middle of August.

Oh yeah. Did I mention that they are both races I will be racing for the first time EVER? 

Boardwalk by day, lighthouses by night! 6.2 epic miles!

Since you all know I never seem to tell the short version of anything, here's the very long version of how this happened.

I was toying with the idea of doing a race in the morning on April 30, since the NJ Marathon 5K got moved to 3:00 in the afternoon. Yeah, I never found a second race...

Around the same time, the George Sheehan Classic announced that they were merging with the Asbury Park 5K on August 13, resulting in only one race this year. Well, I didn't get revenge on Tower Hill after all. Oh well. At least I can say I did the last Red Bank run.

As many of you know, my birthday is August 7. My friend Carol's birthday is on August 15. So, I suggested that we do Asbury for our birthdays. She was totally on board. Well, there was one race at 8:30 in the morning and that was that.

Or so we thought.

Shortly after that, the Twin Lights Twilight Run in Highlands, which is usually at 6:30 on a Sunday night, announced that they would be moving that one to a Saturday this year. Guess the date on that.

Yup, August 13.

Being the crazy person that I am, I suggested to Carol that we do that one too. She was up for the challenge. 

So this is going to be a crazy, but epic race day! I know that this will be the biggest race day of my life. 6.2 awesome miles starting along the ocean and ending at 250 feet above sea level. 

Timing will be on our side for sure. Asbury Park starts at 8:30 in the morning, and even with some time to hang out at that after party, we will still get home with plenty of time to relax and reset for the Twin Lights Run at 6:30 that night. 

I've already decided that neither race will be a PR race. It will be way too hot, plus I need to have enough left in the tank after AP to get through the Twin Lights. This is more for the multi-race challenge and to celebrate two birthdays!

I plan on having a good time and conquer something that I never have before! I'll be 31 on August 7, and plan on using this to prove that 31 will be my year. Plus, you know, running 3.1 to celebrate 31. ;-) 

As for our "official" after party, that's probably going to be an on the fly thing. I want to go out and celebrate after, but nothing set yet. We'll see what happens.

Have you ever had a multi-race day? 

Friday, July 8, 2016

Recapping My 40 Day Run Streak

Hello, world! Hope everyone is doing well and staying cool on this hot July day! Well, it's hot and humid out here on the Jersey Shore. Such is expected though. That's what we get...haha.

I went for a run on May 29, but little did I know that it would be the start of a 40 day adventure. Otherwise known as a run streak.

Holmdel Park was where it all began, although I had no idea at the time.

If you follow me on Twitter and Instagram, you've probably seen all the posts about it. 

I know, I swore I would never attempt one, after the longest I went was three days. It wasn't for me, my body needed the rest, and so on.

However, Runner's World was running one from Memorial Day to the Fourth of July. So, I decided to hop on the train and make mine a plus one, since I ran the day before Memorial Day.

There were days I questioned it, and if I could actually do it. On one, my boss talked a lot of sense into me, basically saying not to because I worked so hard for it. On that day, I had my fastest pace EVER!

Yeah, that really happened. Thanks to my boss for talking sense into me! See, I do listen sometimes! ;-)

The streak hit its peak back on June 25, where this mother freakin' superstar took on Union Beach and came within 14 seconds of a PR on a hot and humid day. I truly believe that all the running outside, no matter how short the run was, helped me condition better for the weather. I was happy with the outcome and know that it can only get better.

On Monday, the last day of the Runner's World streak, I decided I wasn't ready for it to end just yet. I took it a little further and decided to see what would follow. 

Today was the day I decided that it was over. I ran a total of 40 days and 66.4 miles.

This week simply took a lot out of me with work, the weather, and getting back to a "normal" cross-training routine. Not to mention that I was feeling super sore and knew that my body was telling me "It's over."

Am I disappointed that it's over? A little. Who wouldn't be? I wanted to keep going, but know that in the long run (no pun intended), it would benefit me to go back to normal, and that includes rest days. 

However, I am super proud of myself for making it as far as I did. For a girl who swore she would never run, much less streak, I did pretty awesome! I proved to myself that I am stronger than I think I am, and that I am capable of anything (well, just about).

Will I attempt to streak again? Well, I would like to say "No," but I learned to never say never. I just want to go back to a normal routine for now, and see what happens. If I attempt it again, great. If not, then so be it. At least now I know it's possible.

Have you attempted a run streak before? If so, how long did it last?