Hurry Up and … WAIT!

chickenpatienceToday is my day “off” (snicker… snort)!

No exercise (a good thing because it is raining cats and dogs), no “work” to speak of scheduled, but it is my errand day.

  • Food shopping
  • Bike Fitting Part II
  • Delivery service to daughter #2 at college
  • Oil change at BMW Service
  • Pick up Josh and take him to swim team
  • Grab some sundries at Target
  • Home to make dinner
  • Collapse!

Presently, I am hunkered down in the customer lounge at Fields BMW in Daytona Beach – and from the sounds of things, I will be here for quite a while.

Now this is not a complaint, it’s just a statement of fact, I really hate waiting on things – I am a completely impatient person (have I mentioned that before?).

I am most impatient with myself – always feeling like I should be progressing faster than I am.

I am REALLY impatient while I’m training… Well, if I just go faster, I’ll be finished sooner… often to my detriment.

My level of patience (or lack thereof) is one of Coach Pam’s biggest challenges with me.

I am forever receiving texts/emails like the one I got last night:

“Let me know how the 14 miler goes – good night champion! I know you will rock it and love it – coaching tip of the day… if you decide to skip intervals in the 14 miler – make it the final 6 not the first 6  🙂  Patience my little distance rocket!  and Pacing…”

She is so good to me!

14-mile-mapSo, tomorrow is my longest run to date – 14 miles! I have a hard time wrapping my head around that one – I’m running farther than I BIKED in the sprint triathlon last summer!!!

CRAZY!!!!

I’m psyched for it though, and I will do my very best to be patient – although I really do want to attempt to run the entire distance – at Pam’s pacing plan.  Hmmmmm, what to do?

The “Intuitive” Run

intuitionYesterday I was supposed to run 14 miles; however, upon careful examination of my schedule, there was no way in the world to shoehorn a run that would likely take me 2-1/2 -ish hours to complete into an already jam-packed work and family schedule.

I tried to finagle it, but it just wouldn’t work unless I ran in the dark, which I would do if the street were lit, but it’s not and I just feel creeped out by the idea of running when I can’t see what’s around me.

So, rationalizations aside, I DID run.  I just reconfigured my training around a crazy work week.

Instead of yesterday’s 14 mile run, I swapped in Friday’s “intuitive” 3 mile run.

Here were my instructions…  Program a workout with 3 1-mile intervals without a pace target.  Use your Garmin only for the beeps to tell you when the miles pass, DO NOT LOOK at the watch at all!  Listen to your body.  Run negative splits and keep the entire run at recovery pace – never uncomfortable or all out.

So, that’s what I did.  Having no clue how fast I was going, I just went a little bit faster each time the Garmin beeped.  I was always within my comfort zone – always feeling like I had lots more to give.

intuitive-splitsIt was fun, but really weird at the same time!!  I was shooting for 10 seconds faster on each mile.  I missed!  It was more like 30 seconds faster, but that was okay.

I find that I am VERY dependent on my Garmin.  I WANTED to look at it so bad!

I felt like I NEEDED its digital confirmation that I was doing the right thing.

Kinda silly when you think about it, huh?

The idea behind this workout, again, is for me to learn to run by feel, not by watch.

What would happen if I were so dependent on my electronics during a marathon and the battery died during the run?  What would I do then without my “plan?”

So, all-in-all a fine effort.  I give myself a B+!

P.S.  On day 2 of no complaining – YAY ME!  And no more chocolate binges – I have been very, very clean! 🙂

Confession Time

confession-pic1&$@#&%$$$!!!!!!  So, this morning I post about discipline and choosing between what you want now versus what you want most and all that, and this AFTERNOON, my eating plan completely goes off the rails in a  blaze of chocolate covered macadamia nut glory!

Curse you, Swiss Colony, CURSE YOU!!!

Isn’t self-sabotage an interesting thing?

I KNOW what I need to do and how I need to eat to achieve the physical goals I have set for myself – I KNOW IT ALL!  Hellfire, I even wrote it all down and had it published in a book!

And just when things are humming along and I think to myself , “I got this,” the evil Swiss Colony tin just happens to jump off the pantry shelf and dump itself down my throat!  W-T-F???

001491No, it wasn’t the entire tin, but it WAS probably TEN pieces of chocolate… REALLY???

As penance I shall eat salad for dinner and do an extra core set tomorrow!!!

I thought about just letting it slide… I thought about not confessing my chocolatey transgression… But accountability is one of the things that this blog is all about and if I’m not honest about things, what good is it?

And, yes I am very aware that I must now start my “No Complaining Challenge” over – AGAIN!!! 😦

What I Want Most

discipline1_largeIn my business we talk a lot about DISCIPLINE.  When we are working with people who are trying to kick their results up a notch or two (or 100), you just can’t get past the issue of changing habits, which requires the dreaded “D” word.

In my own life – post 2010 at any rate – I was NOT a disciplined person.

Oh sure, I had all the information and the knowledge I needed to do pretty much anything I wanted – lose weight, get in shape, make more money, have a better relationship with my then-husband, be a better Mom, a better friend, a better person – all that, but knowledge is never enough, there has to be action.

And taking the right actions until they become new habits is hard – especially under stress.  When you’re under stress, or have to “react” in the moment, your conditioning and old habits are going to be what comes out, not the new behavior you are trying to form into a new habit.

At its most basic level discipline is the choosing between what you want NOW and what you want MOST.  Seems simple enough, but it is obviously very difficult in practice or else there would be one hell of a lot more thin, fit, rich, happy people in the world.

This  morning I was in my karate class and Deb got real with me.  She said, “Angie, you are light years ahead of anyone – past or present – leading up to their black belt test in terms of your command of the “book” – you know the material cold. Congratulations.  But your fundamentals are sloppy.”

aristotleShe went on to share that during my upcoming test for black belt in July I won’t have a brain left at many different points, and what will come out during those times are the things I have practiced 10,000 times – right or wrong.  And if “wrong” comes out too many times  – in terms of basics and fundamentals of self-defense (like good covers and snapping up at the end of a move ready to fight and intensity of movement even at slow speed) then all hell will break loose in that testing room.

Brown Belt Promotion

My goal is to have one of the best black belt tests ever in the history of our school.  I want to walk out knowing that I gave everything I had and did the very best I am capable of, not that I just squeaked by, or God forbid, that I failed.

So, in front of God and the blogosphere, I, Angie Flynn, commit to having the self-discipline to work on the fundamentals of my sport each and every day.  It’s back to the basics for this girl – intensity, proper form, snapping techniques, following protocols, and more.

It is so easy to get free and loose during class with Deb and laugh and fool around, and that has it’s place, but not between now and July.  Because, again, in the heat of the moment, what I have done 10,000 times in class is what will show itself.  I’ve got work to do.

Knocked Out of My Comfort Zone

where-the-magic-happensWhen I decided to take on the challenge of training for a triathlon, I did so basically for 3 reasons:

1.  I wanted a training program that would challenge me because I wanted to release some extra weight;

2.  I love to bike; and

3.  I figured it would, one way or another, get me over my fear of the ocean.

The running part was not something I was looking forward to.  I’ve never been a runner, I didn’t want to be a runner, but if you want to race triathlon, it kinda comes with the package.

Fast-forward 8 months and running is my favorite of the three disciplines – I NEVER, EVER thought I would say that!!

Last week, Coach Pam gave me a fun training program for the month leading up to the Disney Princess Half Marathon and this week is kind of the climax of that program as far as volume goes:

  • Monday – 6 mile negative split run
  • Wednesday – 14 mile negative split run
  • Friday – 3 mile negative split (but I can’t look at my Garmin)
  • Saturday:  Brick – Bike 90 min/Run 15 min

So this week I am running just shy of a marathon!!  OMG!!

This morning’s run knocked me out of my comfort zone in a number of ways.

6-mileFirst, I run at about a 9:30 pace (Galloway run/walk intervals of 2 min/30 sec), today’s run was 6 miles at an average pace of 8:50 (Mile 1,2:  9:00/mi; Mile 3,4:  8:50/mi; Mile 5,6:  8:40/mi) so I knew it was going to be a little quicker than I’m used to, hence a bit uncomfortable.

Second, I programmed the workout into my Garmin, but when I started to clock, the only parameters showing on my screen were Distance and Pace – there was no timer, so I had no idea when my run/walk intervals were coming.  I was already heading out the door late, and I didn’t want to take the time to reconfigure the screen, so I just decided to run and see how far I could go without any walk breaks. That decision was VERY uncomfortable.

BUT, I ran the entire 6 miles (except for about 10 steps of walking to make my pacing work out on Mile 3 and stopping for traffic to cross the street at about 5-3/4 miles) and I exceeded my pacing targets every single interval!!

6-mile-splitsI am soooo excited!!  I really like Galloway running and I know so many people who have run marathons using the walk/run method, but I can’t help feel like I’m gaming the system.  I want to be one of those runners who can head out the door and pop off a marathon without walking.

I don’t know if I’ll ever get to that point, but I will take a non-stop 6 mile run at a 8:45 pace as a damned fine start!!

If is quite phenomenal to look back and see how far I have come in just a few short months.

Thank GOD for Coach Pam (who I think I heard shriek with delight across the river as she read my text) who pushes me out of my comfort zone – where the magic can happen!!

The Brick That Wasn’t

BrickSigh…  I was supposed to do a bike/run brick this morning (75 min bike/20 min run)…

And I actually WANT to do it, but alas, my bike is still in the shop after being reconfigured to fit me better.

Michael texted me on Friday that it was ready – right on time, just as he promised (I can’t wait to see the pretty red tape on the new bars!!!); however, a cram-packed work schedule will not allow me the half-day to drive over to Lake Mary, finish the fitting, and drive home until next Friday…

I am JONESING for a bike ride – even if it is a bit brisk outside.

So, I ran for an hour and a half on the elliptical since it is still quite dark outside.

Oh, I’m just full of excuses, aren’t I?  No bike… It’s dark… 😉

relaxWhy is it bothering me so much that I have to alter my plan?

(Because you are an OCD basket case??)

Here is exactly why…

I have a plan that Coach Pam emailed me.  It SAYS to ride for 75 minutes and run for 20 minutes.  It’s the training PLAN.  It’s the BIBLE.  It’s in black and white on a piece of paper.  It’s my accountability!

Left to my own devices, I would have absolutely no issue with changing the workout – no problem at all.

But when I am following a system/procedure/process/program/plan that has been given to me, I do tend to be more than a little bit obsessive about following it to the letter.

Am I alone here?  Anyone else flying that particular OCD freak-flag?

10 Tips To Create Time

affirmationOne of my life mantras is: “I am so happy and grateful that I always have time for the people and things that are important to me.”

Whenever I start getting overwhelmed by my life and my schedule (not surprisingly, this happens … oh, daily), I close my eyes and repeat this affirmation and it calms me down.

I have an incredibly busy life – I run our business, I manage our household, I have a very active 11-1/2 year old, I am training for a karate black belt and endurance events, I have a relationship, friendships, and once in a while I like to devote a moment or two just to ME!  And yet, like everyone else out there, I only get 24 hours in each day.

So how do you create the time in each day to accommodate the things you have to do, the things you should do, PLUS the things you want to do?

Of course, there is no “one size fits all” answer to this question, but here are my…

make-timeTop 10 Tips to Create Time in Your Day

  1. Turn off the TV!!  In my previous life, we had a 1500 square foot, 1-story house and there were FOUR televisions in it!!  One in the living room, one in the kitchen, one in our bedroom, and one in Josh’s bedroom… REALLY?  Yes, really!  And if anyone was home, one (or more) of them was on.  When I think back to how many hours I wasted in front of the Food Network, HGTV, and FoxNews, it really kinda makes me want to throw up!!  When I moved in with Deb and found out that she had disconnected the cable a few months prior because of the amount of time it sucked out of her  and the girls’ lives, I sorta hyperventilated for a moment.  What on earth?  But I was so surprised at how quickly I forgot about it.  We have televisions in our house, but we only use them to watch DVDs.  So, don’t ask me for my thoughts on the new season of American Idol because I do not have a clue!
  2. Automate your financesIf you have bills each month where the amount you pay is the same all the time (or even if they’re not), put them on auto-pilot and then just balance your checkbook once per month.  This saves me a TON of time every month since I don’t have to write the checks or go to the websites to make the payments.
  3. Turn off Facebook, Pinterest and Email.  GASP!!!!  I confess that I still struggle with this one, but I have gotten A LOT better!!  It is absolutely incredible to me how much of my day used to get sucked into the great void when I would sit down in front of Facebook and Pinterest!  Some people do the same thing with YouTube (now make sure you don’t unhook the cable and then replace TV time with YouTube time!!).  If you limit your social media time to 30 minutes in the morning and 30 minutes at night just think about how much extra time that will create.  Email is the same – 2 block of email checking and response time.
  4. Get Flexible.  Can you go from working (5) 8 hour days to working (4) 10 hour days?  Redistributing that 5th work day gives you an entire DAY in your week to do what you want to with!  VERY cool if you can swing it!
  5. Wake up early or stay up late.  I would never be able to stay up late – I’m just not a night owl, but I can easily get up at 4:00 a.m. a few times per week.  I find that I can often get as much accomplished between 4:00-6:30 a.m. (when the rest of the house wakes up) as I can the entire rest of the day!  Plus, those first hours of the morning a MY most creative, so I can get a lot of writing accomplished then.  Other people might find the same benefit by tacking on a couple of hours at the end of their day after everyone else has gone to bed.
  6. Learn to say “No”  “No” is a beautiful word.  I had a bad habit of trying to be all things to all people.  I tend toward being a “people pleaser,” and if someone would ask me to do something, especially at church, I would generally do it, regardless of how inconveniencing it may have been.  Once I learned the power of saying “No” to things that did not advance me in the direction I wanted to go and started valuing my own time, I found that others did too.
  7. Declutter and Organize!  Trying to find something in a cluttered, disorganized mess wastes a lot of time.  I found this to be the case in the kitchen and on my desk especially.  Over the holidays, I went through the kitchen and purged, re-arranged, and organized.  I alphabetized spices, categorized pantry shelves, rearranged the refrigerator (especially the out of control condiment shelves on the door), and just generally “Martha Stewart”ized.  It proved to be a major timesaver!  I probably save on average 15-20 minutes per day that I would have spent trying to find things (yeah, it was THAT bad).
  8. Systemize! Create systems that make life easier.  For instance, put your keys and your cellphone in the same place when you walk into the house.  They will never get lost again!  We have a spot on the kitchen counter just as we are heading to the garage where we aggregate things for errands.  On any given day you might find a shopping list, a check that needs to be deposited, the materials that we need to take to a meeting, Josh’s swim bag, etc.  Because they are in a central location and because we are training to look at that counter before we leave the house, it makes it easy to grab and go and remember the trivial things that might otherwise be forgotten.
  9. Break It Down.  I don’t know about you, but when I have a big project ahead of me, I tend to feel a bit daunted – ESPECIALLY when time is tight.  That daunted feeling kicks my procrastinator inclination into high gear.  Oh, I’ll do that this weekend when I have more time.  Yeah, right!!  But nearly every big project out there can be broken down into lots of LITTLE projects that don’t take much time at all.  If I see “Write for 30 minutes” or “Write about Commitment Sheet” on my to do list, I have a much easier time getting started than if “Write Next Book” was on my list!
  10. Use a Commitment Sheet.    This goes back nearly 100 years and is a technique used by lots of super successful people.  Each night, before you go to bed, but after the day is pretty much done, write down the 6 things you need to do the next day in order to advance you toward your goals in priority order.  Then the next day, work from #1 to #6 in order until all the tasks are complete.  This stupid, simple tool has skyrocked my own personal productivity and I’ll bet it will do the same for you!

If something is important to you, you always find the time for it.  I hope these ideas help you come up with some new ways to create time in your own life for whatever it is you want to do with it!