Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Putting on the big girl panties

It is official... I AM a Runner!  No more do I talk about going running and mean "running" as in I walk most of the way with a few short bursts of jogging.  No, now I can run for 20+ minutes straight with no walking in the middle.  AND I'm not winded doing it!  If you've spent much time with me on my blog you'll know that when I started down the running road I could barely run for 30 seconds at a time before I thought I'd die - literally.  If you would have told me then that I could or would be running for 20 minutes in a row and feel like I could go more I would have thought you were crazy, secretly hope it would happen and doubt it ever would.  Today, it is a reality and I love it!

So, how did I do it?  What made the difference?  I found a buddy who was exactly where I was - starting at the bottom and had never run a day in her life but wanted to.  We both got a Nike+ SportBand that comes with a coach feature.  We started a "Walk to Run" coaching program that walked us through every single day exactly what to do and followed it like our lives depended on it.  I'm only 8 weeks into that 12 week program and I'm running 2+ miles a day 6 days a week.  Yes, ME!

At the end of the 12 week program, we'll be running a 5K race.  This will not be my first 5K but it will be the first one I actually run the entire way and run to compete rather than just complete.

And in October, I'm running my first half marathon!  Yes, as in 13.1 miles of running.  How fitting - my first half marathon is called the Halloween Half and I get to run it in my Halloween costume on my favorite day of the year.  What could be better?  Um... having the first draft of my novel complete before then, too? 

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Feeling inadequate amidst success

I am an amazing woman who finds time to raise two young daughters and be a wife while working full time at my "real" job, train for my first half marathon in October, manage a family schedule going in at least three different ways daily AND write a book in my spare time while keeping up with my monthly reading for book club.  Yes, I'm exhausted just thinking about it!  So why is it that I feel inadequate?

I'm certain it is because I have not had a chance to write in several weeks and my resolve to live like a writer is failing as a test of character.  I know I am being super hard on myself but I'm also being honest at the moment.  I don't normally do guilt but lately I go to bed and feel guilty that amidst all the chaos of my life another day has gone by without writing.  I found time to run 3 miles tonight and I am willing myself to read a 1000 page book this month for book club that I'm hopefully on track to finish by the end of the week.  And yet, I can't find time in a day to write.  And even when I do, like now, I'm writing on my blog instead of my manuscript!

If I look at it objectively I can admit that I've been extremely busy the last three weeks.  My sister in law got married over the 4th of July weekend two states away (six-day road trip), Big Sister had a dance competition in Las Vegas two weeks before that (another road trip) and I didn't even have a moment to crack the laptop open on either trip.  When I got back the laundry had doubled in size and the time I normally would have spent writing I spent getting caught up on laundry and getting my house into a semblance of order again before we have to pack for the next big trip at the end of the month for my family reunion.  My running I can do at work at the gym and, with hubby working mostly night shifts lately, my evenings are devoted to dotting on my kids - not to mention the Dance Studio Shuttle Bus 4 days a week.  So it isn't like I don't have valid "reasons" to have little writing to show for the last months.  But that also isn't how I want to be - with a rational excuse/reason for not writing.  No, I want to be a writer, damn it!

In the end, I'm going to quit my bitching, acknowledge what an amazing feat surviving and staying on top of my life is, and vow to do better in the coming weeks.  It's like my hubby always says about the lottery:  you'll never win if you don't play.  The same can be said about writing: if you're not doing it every day, you'll never finish or get published.

I met a blogger (who I will keep anonymous to protect the innocent) a few weeks ago who has hundreds of followers and spouts advice to admiring fans everywhere and I learned that SHE. ISN'T. EVEN. PUBLISHED. YET.  If she can get that big of a following and talk that kind of talk having 'only' landed an agent, think about what I can do once I get my first novel under my belt.  I am recommitting myself starting now:  I will stop procrastinating and just write!