To Amby, With Gratitude

Burfoot_Amby-FifthAveAmby Burfoot is a legend in the running world. Not only did he win the Boston Marathon in 1968 (2:22:17), he remained one of our nation’s top runners for many years, if not decades. Amby was also the Editor-in-Chief of Runner’s World for eons, and was inducted into the National Distance Running Hall of Fame in 2008. Today he continues to run, write, and work as Editor-at Large for the magazine.

Putting all his running and writing accomplishments aside, here’s why Amby Burfoot is legend in my mind: his kindness and generosity.

You see, Amby was the first person to ever “officially” hire me as a writer. I had just run my first marathon and felt compelled to write a story about what it meant to run through the streets of New York City in honor of my dad, who had died of cancer when I was 18.

I pounded out a query email to him outlining my story idea, agonizing over every word, comma and format detail. Eventually, I built up my nerve, took a deep breath, and hit the SEND button. Less than five minutes later I heard the magic ding of an incoming email. The message simply said, Continue reading

December Monday Motivation–Week #5

Here’s to finishing December strong and reminding ourselves why fitness is so fundamental to who we are. After all, aren’t we better versions of ourselves when our bodies are in motion, sweating, and flying high on endorphins than when we’re sedentary, working too many hours or simply managing our daily lives? I know I am. I’m more patient, grounded, focused, optimistic, and energetic. That’s why no matter how crazy life gets, I will always carve out time for exercise.

For fun this Monday morning, care to join me in doing all five of these December 5-minute work-outs in a row? There’s nothing like finishing strong! Start on Week #5 and work backward (the other links are below). Go!!!! Then swing back and tell me how you did.

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Monday Motivation Week #4
Monday Motivation Week #3
Monday Motivation Week #2
Monday Motivation Week #1

December Monday Motivation–Week #4

December is turning into one big, beautiful blur of holiday cheer…something I love, yet also struggle with as I battle to maintain health and fitness in the midst of all this “special-ness.” Special food, special parties, special “secret shopping errands”…the list goes on and the hours in the day never grown any longer. Here’s to making fitness just as special as all the other “special-ness” and carving out time to fit it in…NO.MATTER.WHAT.

MondayMotivation4


I‘d love to know how you are all managing this time of year! Are you thriving? 

The Simple Gift of Running

Gliding along, an hour away from

sniffles, laundry and an endless To Do List.

MtDriveRunFeet stepping in perfect rhythm to music

inspiring them to move faster and lighter.

December air surging through my lungs,

a view so mesmerizing, it’s pulled right back out.

Endorphins buzzing, bouncing, richocheting,

reminding me once again why I run.

I am whole again and ready to return home and be

all the things I’m meant to be in this amazing life I’ve been given.

A life I wouldn’t trade for anything…because I run.

Running Partners

Running partners come in all shapes and sizes, as you know. Here’s to the four-legged ones who get us out the door and inspire us even when it’s raining buckets. xox

RunningPartnerDoodles

This is my big (95 pounds) Snuffleupagus, Doodles. He was a rock star today on our romp through the woods near our house. Thanks to him I got in an awesome morning run before my spinning class. Double fun. Double workouts!

 

Tell me about your running partner(s)…human or otherwise. How do they inspire you?

 

December Monday Motivation Week #3

If you’re like me, you find “The Most Wonderful Time of the Year” so packed with “wonderful-ness” that you find it hard to squeeze in your workouts. I’ve decided to keep it simple this year to take the stress out of it and focus instead on making it all about fun. After all, no matter how much you know you need to sweat in order to be a better mom and all-around person, if it feels too epic to get out the door on an already crazy-busy day, most likely you’ll bag it and work on your To Do List.

Here’s to keeping it simple, getting it done and making Monday marvelous! You go!

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What makes you feel happy and whole during the holidays?

December Monday Motivation Week #2

Being consistent and making fitness a priority during this time of year can be a challenge (to say the least), but it’s also a great opportunity to change it up a little and focus on fundamentals. Keeping it short and sweet and making it doable will not only add freshness, but fun. Most of all, it’s important to find balance so you have time to savor the holidays instead of just survive them, and still feel good because you haven’t completely neglected your health.

I’ve decided to keep it simple and do what I can, when I can, this month and celebrate each little victory along the way. In between taxi’ing my daughter to all her Nutcracker ballet rehearsals, coaching, shopping, party-planning, house-decorating and occasionally donning my domestic goddess hat, I’m simply squeezing in 3-6 mile runs (or cross-training equivalents) every other day and throwing in some weights and 5-minute work-outs along the way, like the one below. So far, the balance feels right.

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How are you staying on track this month? What are your go-to work-outs? And how do you like these 5-minute work-outs?

Fueling Setbacks with Gratitude

NiteMovesJune2514It has been a SERIOUSLY fun year of running for me—pushing myself out my comfort zone, competing, playing, connecting with new people, doing new events.

Each week I’ve gotten stronger, faster and more confident as I’ve worked at getting back into shape.

By late August, I had logged well over a dozen races—many of which I’d run slightly faster than the one before. It was exhilarating.

But then I hit a speed bump.

Ventura Half Marathon MedalAfter running the Ventura Half Marathon in early September and then the She is Beautiful 5K a couple weeks later, with 18 and 20-mile runs in between, along with some tempo runs and track workouts, my body let me know that not only had I taken it too far, I had taken it for granted by ignoring its subtle, yet persistent warning signals.

Becky Aaronson 2014 She is BeautifulThe aches, “which every runner feels,” I told myself, were never “that bad.” But then those aches suddenly turned into ones that were that bad. With just six weeks to go until my target race—the Santa Barbara Veteran’s Day Marathon—I was forced to put on the brakes as I pushed my foot and back beyond their tipping points.

Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn. Damn.

Long story short (because I don’t want to bore you with a litany of injury details), the Santa Barbara Marathon did not happen for me. Disappointment doesn’t even begin to describe my frustration.

YOU IDIOT! I scolded myself, YOU KNOW BETTER! WHEN WILL YOU EVER LEARN?

After beating myself up, then administering several generous doses of chocolate and wine, I finally pulled myself together. I was determined to salvage this marathon, no matter what.

Thus began my 6-week “mega taper,” which involved a whole lot of rest, pool running, cryotherapy and compression sessions, nothing but uber healthy food, extra cushy Hoka shoes, then slowly easing back into short, easy runs on grass with Coach Nash’s guidance.

Cryotherapy at The LabNormaTec Compression PantsRun Be Run Green Smoothie
Hoka Huaka shoes

I tried to convince myself that by not stressing about it and embracing this “mega taper,” I’d at least get myself to the starting line. Eventually though, it became painfully obvious that attempting a full marathon would be stupid in my marginally healed state, and my marginally maintained fitness level. I might have been able to do it (ever so slooowwwly), but I didn’t want to just run another marathon; I wanted to race it.

But here’s the good news (the cup is half full, right?): although I didn’t run the full marathon, I did manage to salvage race day by at least participating in the half marathon. It was not fast (about 8-10 minutes off my goal time) or pretty, but I did get through it, on a very hot day no less, and did cross the finish line with a smile on my face.

Becky Aaronson Santa Barbara Half MarathonBecky Aaronson 2014 SB Half Marathon

That was three weeks ago. I know Continue reading

Monday Motivation: 5 Reasons to Just Do It

As if you need a reason to get out the door this Monday morning! But just in case your motivation is waining after a jam-packed weekend, here are five reasons to lace up your shoes and go:

  1. You won’t waste a precious minute of your day in the guilty “should” zone (as in “I should” go for a run). Just do it. Be done. Be happy.
  2. You won’t have to feel like dog doo for letting yourself down.
  3. You will be energized, more patient, positive and powerful.
  4. You will set the tone for the rest of your week, and you will know that anything and everything is doable by simply taking one step at at time.
  5. You will be able to refer to yourself as one badass super hero for the rest of the day.

PS: Then there’s always the coffee when you are done!

Photo source: @HealHead

Photo source: @HealHead

 

Tell me about your Monday! Feeling like a train wreck? Or a rock star? What’s on tap?

Stick a Sock in It, and Other Words of Advice for That Annoying Inner Critic

Dear Self,

Stick a sock in it, will ya?! That’s right, stop being so hard on yourself and start treating yourself like you treat everybody else.

You know how you practically hang out the car window cheering and ringing your imaginary cowbell for nearly every runner you see on the road–whether they’re blazing past or shuffling along?

Photo of giant cowbell

Photo source Google

Do that for yourself.

Instead of lamenting that you’re only running “so far” or “so fast,” ring your own damn cowbell. That’s right, ring it loud and ring it proud because you are out there, too, my friend.

Instead of criticizing yourself for not running as fast as you’d like, celebrate that you have the guts to set your goals high and the tenacity to chase after those big dreams.

Focus on being in the moment and running where you are, and not where you want to be. Keep working at it consistently, and have faith that you will get there. Because you WILL get there.

Instead of beating yourself up because you missed a workout, remember that while running is your passion, your joy, your everything, taking care of a sick child or elderly parent will always trump your tempo run. That’s what makes you human.

And because you missed your run yesterday, there’s no doubt you will make it happen today, even if you have to get up at o-dark-thirty. That’s what makes you a runner.

And one other thing, you know that extra little bit of…ahem…fluff, which loves you so much that it doesn’t want to let go? EMBRACE IT! It doesn’t define your athleticism or your will power or anything. It’s just one tiny part of your strong, beautiful body–the body that’s going to carry you through mile after mile and help you reach your big goals. When that fluff knows you’ve had enough, it will suddenly disappear and you probably won’t even notice it because you’ll be too busy focusing on more important things.

So listen up, Self: no matter what kind of day you’re having out there on the road, track or trail, no matter how tired or sore you are, no matter what your race pace or place, remember that you are a runner, and being a runner is a gift–an outrageous gift that deserves nothing but celebration.

‘Nuf said.

Love,
Me

What do you tell yourself, fitness friends, when self-doubt or negativity creeps into your mind? Do share! How do you tell yourself to “stick a sock in it?”