Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Goals for Next Year!

One of the things I like so much about being a runner is that every day is a new start.  This puts the pressure off at New Year's time, as I'm so used to setting little goals for myself throughout the year.
So, here they are for 2013:
I want to run more miles than in 2012.  Easy goal.  Achievable goal.  All I have to do is schedule time, stay healthy and get out for those runs.
I want to do more active things with friends.  That includes running the upcoming Big Bend Ultra 10K with Mary (see above, we're finishing this year's local Turkey Trot together), and seeking out friends for walks, bike rides, and hikes all year long.  Being active with friends is a great way to build a HABIT of getting exercise.  When you are reluctant to roll out of bed for an early morning jog, knowing your buddy is waiting for you is often all the extra motivation you need. Half of living an active life is being in the habit of doing it.  And while I'm comfortable hiking, running and cycling by myself, I cherish time with friends.
I want to schedule more time to be a kid.  There's no better tonic for grownup stress than hopping on a mountain bike around dinnertime. The decades peel back and I'm a little girl again, free and independent without a care in the world. In 2013, I'm going to seize more little-girl bike time, and wander aimlessly around town and head out to the mountains.
I'm enjoying being a Stonewear Designs Grassroots Ambassador, wearing their terrific activewear and travel clothes all across Far West Texas and the Texas Mountain Trail.  For the Turkey Trot, I wore Stonewear Design's Rockin' Jacket and Rockin' Capri, both soft and warm for workouts on chilly mornings.   I love, love, love the Jacket's foldback cuff, which reveals a neat paisley print. I never really figured myself as a "paisley girl," but I really like the looks of this print.  And I've had folks stop in mid-sentence to say, "that's a NICE jacket."  What could be better than that?!?!  I also like the thick knit of the Rockin' series, a breathable barrier against our cold winds.  And in my cycling photo (above, right), same goes for their Echo Top.  It is rugged enough for the trail, yet soft next to my skin. The princess seams flatter, and it is so cozy...perfect for our warm Texas Mountain winter days!   

Monday, December 3, 2012

Should I Show My Higgely-Jigglies?

Warm and comfy and allowing for some coverage,
Stonewear Designs headband, Rockin' Jacket and Capri
Starting out as a new runner takes all kind of courage....courage to get out of bed in the morning and face a cold  run, courage to keep running even when you don't feel like it, courage to set your life in a new direction.

There's one more area of courage we can't ignore:  the courage to show your sweating, non-perfect body in public.

Stonewear Design's Dryflex Double Cross Top
and Rockin' Short

Let's address this issue one step at a time.  Consider issue of "non-perfect."  Not so long ago, I was visiting with a beautiful young woman, an avid hiker who'd logged a thousand miles on the trail.  In the course of discussing her considerable achievements, she said, "I'm not wearing my perfect body yet."  Wow, what a universal statement!  I pose this question to her, and to you:  "Is ANYONE wearing their perfect body?"  I don't think so!!

I'm approaching a milestone birthday early in 2013...I'm turning 55.  Over the course of the past few years--even though I've kept a pretty regular fitness practice going--I've noticed some changes of age.  My thighs (always, shall we say "robustly sized" for my height) got increasingly rumply-looking, and some of the skin appeared tired.  Very tired.  And one night I turned over in bed and wondered, "what the heck is between my shoulder blades?"....and it turned out to be my own skin getting a bit loose back there.  Yep, things just don't hold as tightly on my frame as they used to.  Bummer.  My body is gaining higgley-jigglies..new little curiousities to mark my age.

So here's the dilemma and a decision facing new runners: How much skin should you show during your workouts, particularly on those hot sweaty runs?

You want to look GOOD, right?  You want to be comfortable, right?  You want your workouts to be all they can be, right?

Here's my answer:

Yes, wear the clothing that will help you achieve, wear clothes that make you feel great....but know this....people watching you will see your effort first.  They'll see a person working hard, working to do something great for herself.  And if they notice some rumpled skin, or bulges here or there, they'll think "GOOD for her, that's a woman I can admire.  And she's doing it no matter what."

Early morning run in a hotel fitness center
NOT a glamorous time, no makeup
but a good run!
I admit I choose new workout clothes that allow for some modesty...I was delighted to find that Stonewear Design's Rockin Shorts covers up the worst my thighs have to offer.  But if I'm running in 90 degree heat and I can't stand it any longer, I'll pull off my top and run in a (pretty) running bra, baring my imperfect midriff for all to see.

One of my fitness heroines is Sadie, who still runs long distances in her 80s.  Does she have the body of a 50 year old?  No.  But I look at her and I say, "So that's what an 80 year old woman can look like..if I keep running, maybe I'll look like her when I'm that age."

And what will people say when I whip off my shirt, and run in a bra?

They'll say, "Look at her, that's what 55 years old looks like."  And, "Good for her for just getting out and getting the job done."