Tag Archives: Goals

7 Things I Learned from My Year of Training

“Let me start by saying I hated running, and I wasn’t good at it.”
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I started out running a few 5K’s these last couple of years and they were fun, but I wanted to accomplish something more. Last year I was sitting on the couch feeling like crap due to a night of drinking and eating when I turned on the TV and started watching the Broad Street Run (one of the oldest & largest races in Philly). I was amazed by the energy and excitement of everyone out there, actually so amazed that I decided I was going to do it. Why not? 10 miles – no big deal. Actually I knew it WAS A BIG DEAL – for me.

There were a couple of reasons I signed up. First, I wanted to see the city – mindfully. I’ve traveled down Broad St many times, rushing to class at Temple, going out for dinner and drinks, or hanging at a friend’s place. But usually that was flying down this major artery into the city trying to make every green light all while bypassing neighborhoods and dismissing all of the historic richness and hidden treasures of the city. My second reason was to accomplish something great, running 10 miles with 40,000 people through the City of Brotherly Love. So I gave myself one year to train and here are some things I’ve learned along the way.

1. Give yourself time/Go at your own pace

I started out barely running a quarter mile before I was out of breath, taking my inhaler and walking for the next half minute. I knew I had time so I took it one day, one step at a time. At first it hurt, my breathing, my calves, my shins, it was painful some days but the pain passed quickly after the run. I read up on tips to see if it was normal and slowly pushed forward. Don’t compare!  Just go at your pace, you’ll get there and there’s plenty of advice out there if you need it.

2. You can push further than you think

For a while I was doing about a mile and a half and then would stop to walk, then run again. It seemed like I couldn’t push further than that mile, until one day I did. You can do it, you just have to push a little. BUT make sure sure it’s little by little. You can’t go from running 1 mile to 5 or you may get hurt, slowly increase distance. And remember it’s ok to walk too, but breaking the mental barrier is huge. And for me I noticed once I got past the first 2.5 miles it seemed a little easier, I settled into my pace. For me I know that the first 1.5 is harder than the 4th or 5th. Take notice each step of the way.

3. Cut down/out bad habits

About 6 months into my training, I hit a plateau and most of my issues were around breathing. I knew what I had to do! The day I signed up for the race I quit smoking. I was a one-a-day smoker but still a smoker. Quitting helped me add more distance onto my runs and after 1 week I noticed a huge difference in breathing and endurance. Another change I made was to drink more water. I was still having calf pain so I tried to be more conscious of water intake as well as less alcohol consumption when training for those long  weekend runs.

4. You will have cheerleaders but not everyone is team YOU

This one is interesting because I was feeling good about my progress and dedication, and some people are with you on that. But you’ll have others who mock it and they may be joking but there’s truth behind every joke. Some people would poke fun, make comments or snarky remarks, but I just brushed it off. There is always a green eye in the crowd just remember you’re doing it for you.

5. The pain DOES go away

It seemed like forever – months, but the shin and calf pain does go away. Just make sure you have rest days and keep it up.

6. You will feel better

For the longest time, I hated the run but loved the feeling after I ran, so much so that I felt bad on days I didn’t run. My initial goal was to complete the race not to lose weight but during training I lost a little. However losing weight or not overall I felt better and that’s what keeps me going – even now.

7. You gain freedom

This one came towards the end. It was like an epiphany. The last couple of weeks in training, I actually started to enjoy running and it was at this same time, and maybe had something to do with it, but I felt a sense of freedom. Working out or going for a run was my time. I stepped out the door, put my headphones in and it was just me, myself and I.

 

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New Year New Things (To Try)

We’re a couple of weeks into the new year and I’m still compiling a list of what I would like to accomplish this year. I figure I will write them down here, and then next year look back and check off what I did do and what I can repeat for the following year. So here it is:

Photo Manipulation based on a quote of finding yourself vs. creating yourself

1. De-clutter / Organize (this is a repeat one and will be next year)

This goes from emails, clothes, kids toys, anything in the home that is collecting dust. I feel like this one is and should be ongoing because it not only takes time but you constantly have a shift of out with the old and in with the new!

2. Brew my own Hard Cider – I love cider and a case of it is pretty expensive, I want to try to brew my own and see how it measures up to the ones I buy. Just for fun and for spirit!

3. Drop those few extra pounds + gain more energy – This is a typical one and hopefully I will stick with it

4. Save Save Save – It’s hard to save and pay off bills but I started doing it last year and although it was a small amount, it really made me feel good. It’s nice to see that you have some money at the end of the month when you’re working day after day, week after week. This was one I struggled with before because I thought oh it should go towards the credit card or a bill etc…but in reality that little extra is not making a huge difference to those bills but after months of saving, it becomes a big chunk of change that can make a difference somewhere and improve your happiness (at least it did mine)

5. Run 2 5K’s – I’ve been running about one a yr so why not up it to two?!

6. Knit – Maybe a scarf of something, but just to learn it and try once! Maybe I’ll like it and develop a new hobby.

7. Become more fluent in Spanish

The Design Process for Everyday Life

Taking the Design Process and Applying it to Everyday Life

I recently had a phone interview for a job that I really, really wanted. It’s known to be the Google of the East Coast. I haven’t had an interview in about two years and I’ve never had a phone interview. I didn’t know what to expect. It was with an in-house recruiter, not someone from the team whom I would be working with, or the creative director.

I know now, to expect it to be more of an introduction – less scary. Questions focused on my background, their background etc. Unfortunately, the interview stopped there, either I answered a question in a way that was not to the liking, or I didn’t have the right “field degree”, or maybe my portfolio was not up to par with others. Anyway, that is not going to stop me from pushing forward.

One of the questions stood out to me, “how would I describe my design process?” I think this question I might have slipped up on, and honestly, it’s not completely my fault. Every company works differently, and develops their own road map and ways to get there. We did follow this design process BUT some of the initial decisions [Identify the problem] [Design Constraints] were made before it hit my hands. Hence, me answering in the way that I did.

After I hung up the phone, I decided to do some research and then the ah-ha moment. This is it, the design process, maybe why I had so much rework at my old position.

Here is a flow chart of the basic design process. There’s different variations, but basically the flow is the same. And this is the process that you can use in your everyday life to maximize success and reach your goals. Everything is a work in progress.

(image via colemandesigngroup)

Think about it

“8-step process to succeed in hitting your goal”:

  1. Identify the goal. (Specific)What you want to achieve.
  2. Identify the the constraints/challenges and measures.
  3. Develop possible solutions (lists).
  4. Select the best possible solutions.
  5. Create a conceptual plan.
  6. Evaluate your solution (Did the plan meet the measures? Overcome the challenges and take you further towards reaching the goal?)
  7. Communicate with yourself and others.
  8. Refine your goal or plan. Are you closer? Are their changes to to be made to achieve your goal.

This process will not only allow you to see the big picture and guide you through, but will help you measure success along the way and solve some challenges you might be facing.

Hitting your goals gives you a spiritual lift – you find your happy place.