Grit.

grit-meme

Last week I finished a 10K and a half marathon. 19.3 miles in less than 36 hours with a broken foot. A fractured third metatarsal to be specific. I believe I re-broke it around mile 6 of the half marathon, when I started jogging to stay ahead of the people in last. I know for sure (judging by the pain) it was re-broken during a sprint at mile 9 and again at mile 11 to stay ahead of the sweepers (the people who take you off the course because you are not going fast enough)…I was about 90 seconds from my worst nightmare, being taken off the course because I was too slow. I just could not limp along fast enough. So I ground my teeth and I sprinted.

And I finished that half marathon.

But I wasn’t proud of it.

Wait. What?

Nope. I was not proud. I berated myself for being so stubborn that I would limp 19.3 miles, reinjuring my foot and not making the right decision, which was to quit. I should have quit. I had half a dozen blisters, shin pain, knee pain…all ramifications of limping for almost twenty miles. I had a scary moment later when I was laying on the bathroom floor, overcome with nausea from the pain. My perseverance had made me literally sick. An even scarier moment later when discussing the final hours of the race with my fellow runners and realizing just how out of my mind I was – I never realized it was hot. Never for one minute did I feel the heat or sun that everyone else was saying tormented them in the final miles. I don’t remember ever even thinking it was hot. And not because it wasn’t hot. So at the end of the weekend, I was mostly disappointed in myself for lacking the wisdom to know when to stop.

And here we are, a week later, and I’m ready to find some of the positives in this poor choice I made. I am impressed with my tenacity.  I am grateful to my dedication to training and cross training that kept me in shape (and many thanks to my friend Brian for his training ideas and rehab advice) enough to even walk 19 miles. I am no longer afraid of a marathon – I mean, I’m not signing up tomorrow…but I truly feel like if I could finish those races, I can do anything.

And thus the moral of this story: Grit. In psychology, grit is “a positive, non-cognitive trait based on an individual’s passion for a particular long-term goal or end state, coupled with a powerful motivation to achieve their respective objective.” It’s courage in the face of adversity. Resolve. Backbone. Pluck. Bravery. Spirit.

Grit is an awesome attribute to have. And I’ve got it.

And I know what that sounds like – it sounds like I’m bragging, and maybe I am? Or maybe I just have no problem owning both the positives and negatives of who I am. There is power in knowing your own strengths. And your own flaws. Grit is a double-edged sword that it took me until this weekend to see just how deep it can cut.

So my many thanks to Kate and Sarah Beth for their support and strength, but especially thanks for pushing me around in a wheelchair for a few days.  And I am so grateful to Josh, family, and friends who checked in on me and supported me throughout. It was a battle, and I survived, leaving with something much more precious than these medals – lessons learned.

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Now its time to put my feet up and rest and really heal – because I’m coming for you Glass Slipper Challenge 2017…and I’m going to run.

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Have you ever finished something and thought “I should have quit”?

Tell me about it in the comments!

Friday Five – May 8, 2015

Friday Five

1. Hug it out!

The world waited for years to see Floyd Mayweather and Manny Pacquiao hug for a half hour rather than actually box. Mayweather is known for his defense (and his numerous offenses against women), while Pacquiao apparently had an injured shoulder before the fight. So basically it was just really boring. Below is my favorite take on the fight!

2. Universal Studios Meets Mario

Universal Studios announced the Nintendo characters and games are coming to their theme parks! Um, I can’t even contain myself. My lifelong dream of playing actual Mario Kart could come true!! Dream photo op: Finding the Princess in another castle… Hogwarts Castle!

mario kart

Kristin, we are so ready.

3. Flat Friend Visit

My friend Mary is working with a group of second graders and needed someone to be a pen pal to a child and have a Flat Friend visit. For those not in the know, Flat Stanley is a character in a series of books who goes on adventures and the Flat Stanley Project helps encourage literacy through letter-writing. So I got my own Flat Friend in the mail, along with a letter from a second grader. The one question my second grader asks me? “Is it true that Virginia had slaves?” …Sigh. Of COURSE I got the kid who wants to ask about slavery. Why don’t I go ahead and clear up some questions about religion or politics too? Anyways, I have taken my Flat Friend on a run, to the store, the post office. It’s been unreasonably fun for me.

Flat Friend 1

Fun Flat Stanley Fact: The Flat Stanley project has been around for ten years…there was even a Flat Stanley on the plane that landed in the Hudson. He was in a briefcase of the friend he was visiting.

4. Once Upon a Time Thoughts (skip if you don’t watch)

My favorite show is gearing up for its two hour season finale this week and I can’t wait. Season Thoughts:

  • Why must they turn Belle into an idiot? I mean really. She’s supposed to be smart. And this entire season they’ve been dumbing her down. So strange.
  • Love Regina’s full arc and path to redemption
  • Zelena is really starting to annoy me. I am not a fan. …and pregnant? I call shenanigans. Or at least I hope so.
  • The hair and makeup team has been doing a phenomenal job of making Emma look like she is becoming more of a villain every day. Her heart is going dark? More like those circles under her eyes! Throughout the season I have noticed she is less bright eyed and hero-esque and more pale and villain-esque. Do you think they are prepping us for Rumple to die…and Emma becomes the new Dark One?  <gasp> Or am I reaching because I just can’t understand why her makeup team has let her down?

5. Ya Burnt!

My favorite Seth Meyers skit is back! Royal baby, May Pac fight, Mother’s Day, ya burnt!

 

How was your week? Excited about Nintendo at Universal Studios? The Once Upon a Time finale? Comment below!

Friday Five – April 17, 2015

Friday Five

1. Dane Michael Stamper

Our Godson was born on Tuesday and we are SO excited. Greg and Brandy are going to be wonderful parents and we can’t wait to watch their bundle of joy grow up. I’m not going to lie – it’s my first time being a Godmother and I don’t think there’s enough fairy dust in the world to stop me from spoiling that little boy a ridiculous amount.

2. Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth won the Masters last weekend at 21 years old and broke quite a few Masters records along his way. And it was a wonderful sight to behold. Watching someone achieve their lifelong dream is what sports is really all about. If you don’t understand sports or why they can be important, here’s my advice: Watch someone reach the pinnacle of their sport after years of hard work. Envision the early mornings and hard workouts and Pop Warner games. And the blood and the sweat and the tears. And it all leads up to this one moment. Where their parents are crying, their high school coach is there, their siblings are bursting with pride. Heroes are born and somewhere an aspiring athlete is learning that hard work, works. It’s a beautiful thing.

jordan

3. Equal Pay Day

Equal Pay Day was April 14th. The day symbolizes how far into the new year the average woman would have to work in order to equal the pay of what the average man earned in the year prior. Women make about 78 cents to a man’s dollar when doing the same job with the same abilities, results and experience. That’s infuriating. And this problem follows women their entire lives – Women are almost twice as likely as men to retire in poverty. Change is necessary and it starts with us. We must change the “women are inferior” mindset on a ground level and it starts with women respecting themselves and their own capabilities. Which brings me to number 4 of my Friday Five 🙂

equal pay

4. Like a Girl

That ground level I spoke of? The Always company attempted to start there and explain the “like a girl” concept in a commercial last year in which they asked both teenage girls and young girls to “throw like a girl” or “run like a girl.” Young girls? Ran fast and threw with all their might. They didn’t perceive an insult because they have yet to realize the accepted notion that women are the weaker gender. Teenage girls pranced and threw funny. Our strength begins inside ourselves, and raising young women to continue to believe they are equals. Watch the full commercial below and let’s start making the phrase “like a girl” mean something amazing. Fun Cailyn Fact: I got in my first and only physical fight over this phrase. I was 8 and at recess. 

5. An Epic Sunday Run

The folks over at SoulPancake decided to observe April Fool’s Day by celebrating runners in the park with a fun surprise…and the result was amazing. If anyone wants to come cheer me on during my training run this weekend, please feel free to bring some water cups and “Go Cailyn” posters!

 How was your week? Which of my Five was your favorite?

Running Mix Tape

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I love making mix tapes. I realize they’re not tapes anymore – but a burned CD featuring a compilation of songs chosen by me…well that will forever be called a mix tape in my mind. I still make them all the time, and often give them away so I thought I’d share a few here on the blog. And of course I’ll be starting with my very eclectic Running Mix, featuring songs about running and movement…or just say the word “run” or “move” a lot.

1. Going the Distance – Cake  

Sample Lyric:

Reluctantly crouched at the starting line
Engines pumping and thumping in time
The green light flashes, the flags go up
Churning and burning, they yearn for the cup

2. Ready to Run – Dixie Chicks

Sample Lyric:

Oh yeah
Ready, ready, ready, ready, ready to run
All I’m ready to do is have some fun
What’s all this talk about love

3. Run the World (Girls) – Beyonce

Sample Lyric:

It’s hot up in here
DJ don’t be scared to run this, run this back
I’m repping for the girls who taking over the world
Have me raise a glass for the college grads

4. Run Around – Blues Traveler

Sample Lyric:

But you
Why you wanna give me a run-around
Is it a sure-fire way to speed things up
When all it does is slow me down

5. Run This Town – Jay-Z

Sample Lyric:

Victory’s within the mile
Almost there, don’t give up now
Only thing that’s on my mind
Is who’s gonna run this town tonight

6. Dog Days Are Over – Florence and the Machine

Sample Lyric:

Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father
Run for your children, for your sisters and brothers
Leave all your love and your longing behind
You can’t carry it with you if you want to survive

7. Run Rabbit Run – Eminem

Sample Lyric:

I found my niche, You gon’ hear my voice
‘Til you’re sick of it, you ain’t gonna have a choice
If I gotta scream ’til I have half a lung
If I have half a chance, I’ll grab it, Rabbit Run!

8. Move Along – All-American Rejects

Sample Lyric:

When all you got to keep is strong
Move along, move along like I know you do
And even when your hope is gone
Move along, move along just to make it through

9. Bust a Move – Young MC

Sample Lyric:

She’s dressed in yellow, she says “Hello,
Come sit next to me you fine fellow.”
You run over there without a second to lose
And what comes next hey bust a move

10. Pon De Replay – Rihanna

Sample Lyric:

Run, run, run, run
Everybody move run
Lemme see you move and
Rock it til the grooves done

Alright, there’s my 10 best running-themed songs… guaranteed to constantly remind you to keep moving while you’re working out!

Did I miss your favorite running-themed song? Anything you would add? 

2015 Goals

I prefer to call my resolutions “goals” and I usually keep them private. But this year I have a blog…which was on my goal list for last year! I also set up a plan with “due by” dates and chose times to check in on where I am with the goals. Concrete goals obviously work for me…so here goes! 

plan

1. Get organized

I  think I might already be more organized than the average person, but there’s room for improvement. I’m currently working on my Christmas decorations, gifts for next year, and wrapping supplies. I buy gifts all year round for budgeting reasons and I need to do a better job of keeping track of who I have bought for already – this year I accidentally WAY over bought for my niece and nephew and it was completely preventable if I had assessed what I had already bought them both in July. Side goal – write a blog post about How I Got Organized.

2. Budget

Speaking of budgeting, making a stricter one is on the To Do list as well. We recently talked with my Aunts and Uncle over Christmas about investments and savings and it reminded Josh and I that we need to assess our current long-term financial plans. Anyone have a budget system that they recommend?

3. Run faster

Ever since I started running, I have done longer races – half marathons, 10 milers, 10ks – and always focused on just getting the mileage in and making sure I could cover the distance. This year I want to concentrate on running, but increasing my speed. I may never run a 6 minute mile, but I’d settle for a 10!

goal to reach

4. Tamper unrealistic expectations

I need to consciously work on accepting people and situations for who and what they are. For instance, I often get disappointed when I go out of my way to send a card or package or pick out a gift…and the act goes unappreciated. This is on me. It makes ME happy to send mail or pick out the perfect gift, so when I am not thanked, I get sad but I really shouldn’t – I was happy to send it and happy to give it. So in 2015 I’ll tamper my unrealistic expectations as well as decide more carefully who I do such things for.

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5. Start an Etsy shop

This is HUGE and something I have been debating for several years now. It’s time to just dive in and be creative because it’s something I love. I’ll be working on this and will be sharing more with you all soon!

6. Continue to get healthy

I am running a DietBet that starts on Monday January 5th (but you can join through the 10th) and I challenge everyone to join! It’s an online weight loss system that challenges you to lose 4% of your weight in one month. Everyone bets $20 on themselves – and if you lose your 4%, you get your money back, plus whatever money is left in the pot from those that did not make their bet. You can read more about it here. And sign up for Cailyn’s DietBet here.

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What are your New Year’s resolutions or goals? Any organization or budgeting tips for me? Etsy shop name suggestions?