On the Other Side of Fear

You may remember that last August I started a fitness and health training program with a goal of becoming a certified personal trainer in mind.  At the time, I questioned my sanity.  I mean, I’ve invested 24 years into my nursing career.  I have a masters degree in nursing, for Pete’s sake!  Was I really thinking about throwing all that away to follow some hair brained scheme of becoming a personal trainer?

Now I’m one week away from finishing the classroom portion of the program.  One week!  And I’m swimming in fear.  As I’ve talked with career services at the school to make plans to begin my 180 hours of externship, the reality of the path I’m on hit me like a ton of bricks.  We’re talking waking up at night, doubts swirling in my mind, feelings of inadequacy ripping me apart.  Am I crazy?  I’m in my 40’s, well established in a steady career…and yet, here I am, hoping to launch my own business in a completely different field.  I really must be nuts.  What if it doesn’t take off?  What if I don’t know how to run a business?  What if I don’t know how to help my clients?  What if I can’t even get any clients?  What if…?

“What if” has been the bane of my existence for most of my life.  It’s that fear of failure, of caring more about what others think of me than of just trying.  It’s the fear that I’m not good enough.

So as I’m grappling with these feelings yet again (seriously, when will fear just leave me alone?), I find myself thinking about why my blog is titled On the Other Side of Fat, Fear, and Forty.  On the other side of fear…

On the other side of fear, there’s the risk of failure, for sure.  But there’s also the huge opportunity for growth in that failure.  And isn’t that what failure really is–just not learning from the experience?

On the other side of fear, there’s hope–hope for new beginnings, of living out a passion, of not just surviving but LIVING.

On the other side of fear, there’s faith.  Taking a step of faith has got to be one of the most uncomfortable and scary things ever, but trusting that God has my back works that faith muscle and makes it grow.

On the other side of fear, there’s endless possibility.  Who knows really what could happen?  Maybe what happens is something totally different than what I envisioned.

On the other side of fear, there’s peace.  Maybe things don’t pan out the way I’d hoped or expected, but at least I don’t have the regret of never knowing because I never tried.

On the other side of fear, there’s adventure!  I mean, I’m taking an untraveled path.  Whatever happens, it’s sure to be a new experience, and good or bad,  it’s bound to be an adventure.

So I’m buckling my seatbelt, preparing for the leap, and hoping my nerves don’t fail me!  Ready or not, here we go!!!

Talk to me:

What’s been the most scary thing you’ve ever done?

If you could do anything you wanted, knowing that you wouldn’t fail, what would it be?

Surviving Winter Running

I used to be a fair weather runner.  If it wasn’t sunny and 60 degrees, I probably wasn’t going to run outside.  I may run on the treadmill, but I just wasn’t into running in the rain and the cold and the snow…But then I started training with a group who are not JUST fair runner weathers (or fair weather runners, as the case may be!).  They run in all types of weather–hot, cold, rainy, windy, snowy.  The one condition that nixes an outside run, though, is lightning.  Safety first, above all else.

Oddly enough, over the years, I’ve discovered that I like running in the rain and the snow.  The elements add dimension and interest to running.  And I actually prefer running in the cold instead of the heat.  So yeah, I’ve become an all weather runner.  The run this past weekend cemented that.

This was the view outside on Saturday morning, the morning we had a 7 mile run planned.

IMG_1409The dread of Oklahoma winters–ice.  Thankfully, here in Tulsa, only elevated services got covered in ice.  The roads were wet but not slippery, so our run was a go!

Rain was pouring down, and temperatures were somewhere around the freezing mark when we began our run.  It was COLD!  Barely a minute into the run, I stepped in a puddle of water and soaked my feet.  So I stopped worrying about getting my feet wet.  It already happened.  I just settled into the pace and took in the beauty of ice-covered trees.

So I thought today I’d give you my tips on surviving a run in less than ideal conditions.

  1.  Wear a waterproof jacket.  I’m learning that there is a difference between waterproof and water-resistant.  Water-resistant gear repels water but won’t necessarily keep you dry.  Waterproof gear is supposed to keep you dry.  My NorthFace waterproof jacket held up beautifully on our 7 mile run in full on rain and drizzle.  I didn’t get wet at all.  The only IMG_1405downside to waterproof/resistant gear is that it tends not to be very breathable.  It can get really hot underneath there, so you may not need as many layers on the top as you normally would.  With near freezing temps, I was plenty warm with just a long sleeve technical tee and my jacket.
  2. Wear a hat with a bill.  When I’m running in precipitation, a hat with a bill is a must.  I wear glasses, can’t see a thing without them, and would be in big trouble if the lenses became occluded with water.  Think of how hard it is to see through a windshield in the rain with no windshield wipers.  But whether you wear glasses or not, a hat with a bill keeps the rain or snow out of your face and eyes.  For warmth, I like to wear a headband that covers my ears and my hat over my headband.  I am a fan of Headsweats hats.  They are lightweight, breathable, and easy to adjust for size.IMG_0332
  3. Layer up those gloves!  My hands get miserably cold in the winter.  There are hand warmers that you can use, but I landed on a solution that works great for me.  First, I put on a lightweight pair of moisture wicking gloves.  Next, I put on a pair of just regular knit gloves.  On top of that I put a sock on each hand.  Yes, I said socks.  They act as mittens, keeping your fingers together for warmth.  Through 7 miles in cold rain, my hands stayed nice and warm!IMG_0333
  4. Dress in layers on the bottom.  Some guys on our run Saturday were dressed in shorts.  Maybe I’m a weenie, but I need something to cover my legs when it’s wet and cold outside.  But I don’t want bulky clothing.  I like to wear a pair of running tights and put on a lightweight pair of wind pants on top of them.  The tights provide warmth and the wind pants really block the chill of the wind but don’t add any bulk or weight.  Plus, they protected my legs from the splashing water as we ran through puddles.
  5. Socks–wear them.  I’ve discovered that my favorite running socks, Feetures, tend to dry quickly, or at least don’t feel wet, when they do get wet.  As I mentioned, my feet got soaked early in the run.  My feet initially felt wet and cold, but after just a few minutes, I didn’t notice the IMG_0334wetness any more.  When I got home and took off my shoes and socks, I discovered that my socks were pretty much soaked, although I couldn’t tell.  I am a Feetures fan, so I haven’t tried any other running socks to compare them to, but I was happy with the way Feetures performed in the rain.
  6. Be safe!  Above all, think safety.  If it’s a foggy, gray day, remember your lights.  Let drivers know you’re sharing the streets with them.  Slow your pace.  Wet streets can turn slippery quick whether there’s ice on them or not.  And obviously, if there’s lightning in them thar clouds, stay inside!  No run’s worth getting zapped for.

So don’t let the elements deter you!  Snowy runs have been some of my best runs.  The cold is invigorating, on top of exercise that is also invigorating!

Talk to me:

What kind of outdoor activities do you enjoy in winter?

I’d love to see photos of how you keep on the move in winter.  Leave a comment with your photo attached.

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It’s a Cat’s Life

Hi, humans!  Sunny, the cat, here.  My human is tired and ignoring me today, so I’ve decided to hijack its blog and give y’all something really interesting to read…instead of all that running dribble.  Bleh.

You know what my human does.  It wakes up and runs or does this thing called CrossFit.  Whatever.  I don’t get it when there are so many more fun things to do.  Like catching wrinkles.  Now that’s a fun way to start the day!  Jump up on the bed when your human is trying to straighten the covers and try to catch those wrinkles.  Don’t be deceived!  Wrinkles are ornery little buggers, and catching them is harder than you think!IMG_1398Or–human feet.  They make for great entertainment.  Just hold onto that thing and thump it with your hind legs.  It can be quite a match, but I usually win.IMG_1404You do have to be careful when you live with a human, though.  There are so many things that make really bad noises.  Like this guy with green hair.  All I did was rub my back against its legs, and it just laid down and yelled at me.  That’s when catching wrinkles and wrestling with feet come in handy.  It keeps you strong so you can run quickly away from angry things.IMG_1388Something I try to do every day is to make sure everything is as it should be.  I try to get up as high as I can to make sure no funny business is going on.  Thankfully, my human doesn’t change things up much so most days everything is just fine.  I still like to be on the lookout, though.  IMG_1389Last but not least, even though my human ignores me sometimes, I try to get in some snuggle time every day.  In the end, I really like my human.  It scratches my head and makes sure I have food in my bowl.  In fact, I kind of have my human trained.  All I have to do is meow and start walking towards my food bowl, and it follows me and puts food in it.  Now that’s a good human and one worth cuddling with!IMG_1410Now, I know that had to be way more interesting than reading about running.  You can leave a comment here if you like what I have to say and maybe my human will actually let me write more often instead of just making me take over when it’s too tired to care.

My Latest Running Gadget

I started running in October 2013 by simply running.  I got a pair of running shoes and hit the road.  I didn’t know about running gear, moisture wicking clothes, Body Glide, headbands…all things that I find essential to a good run now.  Funny how that works, right?  But after being blinded by sweat in the eyes and cotton T-shirts vacuum stuck to the torso after a hot run, I learned that there are products out there to make running so much more comfortable.

So over the years I’ve developed a preference for certain types of running clothing, shoes, socks, headbands, phone holders, running belts, and water bottles.  But one thing that I was still searching for was wireless earbuds.

As my runs and races got longer the flapping wire of my earbuds plugged into my phone really got on my nerves.  I’d get tangled in the wire and yank a bud out of my ear or the wire would catch on something and just tug at the bud.  And the set of earbuds that I was using would slide out of my ears when the sweat started pouring.  I was constantly readjusting my earbuds.  I love listening to music when I run, but my earbud issues made the whole listening to music thing a little less enjoyable.  Am I the only one that’s ever had these issues?

So one of my goals as I was preparing for my last marathon was to find a remedy to this problem.  I asked my running buddies about wireless earbuds.  Had they used them?  What kind did they use?  What did they like or not like about them?  And I read reviews of various brands of wireless earbuds on Amazon.  I actually find that a very helpful way to decide if a purchase would be a wise one for me.  I generally find that if a product has been reviewed many times, if there’s an issue, it will come up consistently in the reviews.

That was certainly true for wireless earbuds.  I had narrowed down my img_1383list to somewhere around 3 or 4 based on price and an internet search and comparison.  But after reading the reviews, I decided to go with JBL Bluetooth Wireless Headphones…and I couldn’t be happier!  They made my last marathon even better!

This is what I like about my JBLs:

  1.  They are very light weight.  Sometimes I forget that I have them in.
  2.  The sound quality is great.  My music comes though clear as a bell.
  3.  The earbuds are comfortable.  My old buds made my ears hurt after a long run.  That’s never been a problem with my JBLs, even after a marathon.
  4.  They stay put.  The earbuds come with “wings” that hold the earbuds in place.  I’ve worn these earphones in super windy weather, through img_1387miserably hot runs where I produced enough sweat to water my lawn, and through a marathon, and I never had to readjust them even once.
  5.  They keep a charge.  I can run for a week with only one charge of my earphones.  I think I remember reading that these earphones hold a charge for about 8 hours.
  6. They were not super expensive.  I was looking for a quality product that wouldn’t cost me an arm and a leg.  These were in the mid-range at about $100 and have been worth every penny to me.
  7. They don’t block out all the sound.  This may be a negative to some people, but as a city runner where I need to constantly be aware of traffic and my surroundings, I like that I can have both earbuds in and still hear a car coming behind me (true, I keep my music low enough to allow the other noises to come through purposefully).  And when I’m running with a group, I can still participate in the conversation.  It’s the best of both worlds for me.

Is there anything I don’t like about my JBLs, you ask?  Not really!  The only kind of negative thing to me is that the earphones stick out from my ears a good bit.  That’s such a minor thing, though, that with all the img_1381positives I pop them in and quite literally forget about them.  The protrusion from my ears only bothers me if I look at myself in the mirror and that’s the last thing I’m doing during a run!  And as  you can tell by this photo, I’m not terribly concerned about looks during a run!

I also don’t know about range.  I only use them when I’m running, and since I always have my phone on me when I’m running, range has never been a problem.

So if you’re looking for wireless headphones, I give these a hearty thumbs up!  I love running with them.  And no, nobody’s paying me for my opinion :).

Talk to me:

Do you like to run or exercise with music?

How do you listen to music when you’re on the move?