Monthly Archives: March 2016

Are You Committed or Interested?

interest commitment

It is not always easy to figure out what we are merely interested in, and what we are committed to. I think of this quote often, when I’m trying to figure it out.  It’s been helpful to me in not just running, but in other areas of life too.

I know without a doubt, I’m committed to running, because I do not accept excuses or reasons not to run.  I also want the results.  I know if everything stopped tomorrow, I’d still run.

One reason I like to run, is because it’s consistent and no matter what else is going on in my life, I know it’s there. It’s the one thing, I’m 100% in charge of- there isn’t anyone else to factor in.  I run, I put in the work, the training, the commitment, and I achieve results.

This holds true with anything and in reverse too.  I have yet to see a person who says they are committed to something, sit back, do the opposite of what they want, and have the results they are seeking.

I think the beauty in finding something you really want to commit to, is this quote becomes true and it becomes second nature, because it is something you are willing to do most of the time.

So how do you get from point A to B, if you are trying to vamp up your fitness and you just aren’t committed to it, and end up making more excuses than having results?

My answer is, you are doing the wrong thing.  🙂  There are some activities I can not find any motivation to do at all.  Like Warrior Dash Races. I know many people love them, and if you are doing them- great- that is your thing.  But I just can’t get interested, let alone commit, to running an obstacle course.

So if you think you “should” be a runner, but hate it, than find something else.  Biking, hiking, yoga, swimming- something that motivates you to continue to improve and stay with your commitment.

When you have found what you love, then the next step becomes, sticking with it- even when it is hard, or doesn’t always go like you want or thought it would.  Many sports come with injuries, set backs, and mental blocks.  No one has finished a mile, a race, a marathon, won a sports game, or climbed a mountain, who stopped with a set back or a difficulty.

Challenges like this, show you what you are made of.  It shows you, your weaknesses- just like snow blowing across the face of a mountain, leaving it raw and exposed.

You can choose at this point to quit.  Run away, back off, and stop saying, “this is the end of my commitment.”  Or you regroup, take stock of what is holding you back, think about it, work at what it is you need, and bounce back stronger than ever.

Commitments aren’t born overnight. Nor do they just happen. They evolve.  From starting out fun, wonderful, easy, to having some setbacks, problems, pushing through, and coming out stronger and better than you were before, on the other side- with your results in tow. It’s easy to stop. It takes character and a commitment to keep going.

I see many people start their goals and give up.  I see many people push through countless issues so they can achieve what they have committed to do.

The difference is you.  Is is worth it to you? Do you want to see what you can do, or do you want to give up, never reaching what you set out to accomplish?

The final piece in this, as I’ve discovered is your attitude. That is what decides if you are at the finish line, or drop out.

Something I like to do is a mental exercise where I envision what it will feel like when I accomplish my goal.

I’ve done this numerous times, to hit certain running goals.  In those moments-when I want to back off or ease up, I draw on that. I’ve already imagined what it will feel like in my mind, I have no choice but to keep going because I want that result- in real life. When your mind can imagine the result, it can override the body, to keep going until you finish your goal.

There is nothing wrong with interests though either. They can help launch us into a commitment.

To be interested in something, it holds your attention for a while, but you can take it or leave it.  When you are committed, suddenly you want to keep getting better.  You have to get better.  You are driven and passionate about improving.  You want this more than anything and you find it in you, to push on, work it out, keep going, and keep trying. You won’t settle for anything less than your goal.

Have you experienced a true commitment? Do you want to, and if so what are you willing to do to achieve it?

I can promise you it’s worth it.  It’s like nothing else in the world.  The best days I’ve ever had, after giving birth to my children, have been days, when I pushed myself beyond what I ever thought I could do.  It’s been thrilling, fun, exhausting, and exhillirating all rolled up into one. And when the dust settles.  The thing is over, and the only thing that is left is you and your results.  It strikes you- you did it.  You just did the thing you set out to do – no one can ever take that from you- not even yourself.

That is true commitment.

What are you committed to?

Running Free Blog is Back!

I’m back! 🙂  I wasn’t really gone-just insanely busy at work, as it goes as an accountant in the first quarter of a year.

Even though I didn’t have time to write and blog the past few months, I was still running.  To date, I have almost 150 miles logged in my barefoot running shoes. I run some days without them, if it’s too cold, or snowy.

Running this way has exceeded my expectations, as it’s been over 6 months, and I’ve had no injuries.

My reoccurring hip pain from before, still flares up from time to time, for a day or two, but nothing like where I could barely walk for days, or unable to run for weeks. I had a massage a few weeks ago and the therapist worked on that area and I could feel the tension melting.  It has stayed very lose since. The massage therapist recommended yoga or pilates to keep it loose and strengthen the muscles.  That is next up on my list to try to make time for.

The other constant reoccurring injury I could never avoid running the traditional way, no matter what stretches I did, shoes I bought, surfaces I ran on, were shin splints.  I probably had a new bout with them once every two months- sometimes minor, sometimes severe, where I’d be forced to stop running while they healed.  Sometimes I’d even get weird ones along my ankles- where it felt like a shin splint, but the pain was in the ankle.  Nothing worked to stop these, except to stop running.

Since I started running the barefoot method, I’ve not had one even hint of shin pain, splint, or ankle or any other type of pain.  I’ve run on all surfaces too.  Trail, cement, road, snow, grass, and I never have any pain no matter what surface I run on.

I can run longer distances too, where before, I’d feel it the next day.  Now it feels after these distances, I hadn’t even been running the day before.  Not to say I don’t have an occasional ache or pain, but nothing that is in constant pain, debilitating, or causing me to stop running.  The biggest factor in preventing me from running these past few months has been my job- not injuries, which is something I thought I’d never say!  I would have never have believed it.

With the longer daylight now (I love it when daylight savings starts) more and warmer days here in Colorado, and my job slowing down, I’m excited I’ll have more time to run and blog.

Another benefit I’m seeing from running this way, is I’m running faster.  I use my Garmin and look at it afterwards. Many times during the run, I feel like I’m running slow and easy, but when I download the time and compare- I’m actually running faster.

I have seen my calf muscles define and be built up, over the months from this running method. I had a pair of “skinny jeans” with narrow leg openings, and before they slid right on. Now my muscles are too big for them, which is another benefit.  One, because I never had defined leg muscles, and two, for the real reason, running this way builds your calf muscles to take much of the impact on running, instead of your shins. The calves are much stronger muscles than your shins. So it’s why I think, I’ve not had any shin pain at all.

Traditional running with traditional shoes, usually forces your foot to land on a mid or heel strike. You may not even realize you are running this way. As a result your shins have to take the brunt of impact, instead of your calves.  But when you land on your forefoot, the stress is taken by your calves and your foot, as it was designed to do. The shins were never desired to be able to withstand the constant pressure on them for running. Your forefoot is, with help from the calves.

I’ve learned a lot in the past 6 months and keep learning too. I love it.  It’s like I’m able to combine the love of running and improve my running, instead of holding back, and being worried about overdoing it and getting hurt, or being hurt, and having to stop while I heal and lose the momentum.

I am still aiming for a marathon. I am confident I’ll be able to do it this year, but don’t want to say when yet.  But that is still my goal.

I’ve been thinking about running a 5K race too, just for fun. I’m within 3 minutes right now, of my fastest ever 5K time from several years ago. I’m not running anymore for fast speeds, but I love the 5K distance and have been thinking it would be fun to see how I’d run in a 5K with the barefoot method.

I have lots of blog posts I’ve been thinking about over the months, so there will definitely be new content coming more regularly about running, motivation, and achieving your goals. I’ll be updating the Facebook page more too, so stay tuned!