What’s the point of doing something without having a long-term goal in mind?
As a striver in recovery, I struggle with this question a LOT.
On the one hand, I strive with a goal for my efforts in mind. It’s where I shine!
On the other hand, I can get pretty controlling with my training. A bit obsessive. Ok, maybe more than a bit obsessive.
Controlling things was an area of both strength and weakness I found when I was working on the 12 steps of ACA (Adult Children of Alcoholics and Dysfunctional Families).
The thing about recovery for me is learning to face some of my demons in a more balanced way.
One challenge for me here will be getting ready for trail race, for sure.
There’s an added challenge for me now being in recovery. Before, I would’ve gone out, done the training and gone beyond what the training program stipulated. Overworked out depending on what was going on in my life.
So, this race means more in a way than races I did before because there’s now an extra layer of an additional challenge of trying to make sure I stay in balance with myself and not overdo the training.
I’ll be doing the training during a typically difficult time of year for me: the holidays. Thanksgiving and Christmas. This is an incredibly difficult time of year for me. While I can’t predict how I will feel this year, I do anticipate feeling some anxiety and sadness over not hearing from my mother. I’ve invited her to Thanksgiving dinner, and I doubt she will even get back to me on whether or not she can make it. I will also be dealing with the anticipation of my in-laws. There’s also my in-laws. There’s usually some kind of drama or flair-up there as well that causes some discomfort over the holidays.
One of my past ways of being was to take out my anxiety on my body and my training, even if I wasn’t training for anything.
The good things in my favor:
Having a targeted race and specific training plan to follow so that I can stay balanced, try to follow the program and not overdo it. I feel the training program is suitable for my body and level of activity so I am not at risk of overtraining and burning out.
This race means a lot to me. Seeing I can run a 5k trail race is something I’ve been wanting to do, especially seeing if I can do it coming off of such a horrible back injury.
I’m very aware of my tendency to overdo it. I’ve been facing my demons of exercise bulimia and overworking out/overtraining, and I’ve been ok so far. Part of recovery for me has been learning to face my old demons in a balanced way because while the are “demons”, they also make me who I am. Demons represent what makes me me and sometimes the “demons” get me through hard times and are part of my greatest struggles.
I have a recovery coach who I see once a week to help me through my recovery process. When I see my coach weekly, it’s a chance to check-in and hold me accountable. I already talked to my coach about my issues with working out and that I was starting a new training program for a 5k trail race as one of my smaller goals to lead to my main goal which is a 50k trail race.
The bad things that don’t seem like they are in my favor:
The holidays, stress and relapsing into old ways of controlling my emotions by taking my anxieties over family out on my body. Exercise bulimia and overtraining are not new to me.
Being in recovery and in 12 step has made me more aware of my old ways, and I’ve had to learn to confront them and deal with my old ways and form new habits that are more balanced and aligned with the person I’ve become. I can easily slip into old ways of being, but I have support around me to hold me accountable. Based on my list above, the good far outweighs the bad. I’m pretty sure I’ll be ok with the support I have around me. I believe I can do this in a balanced and healthy way. I think, in some ways, the severe lower back injury was good for me because it showed me how out of balance I was in my life and that I needed to come back into balance with my life in all aspects, not just fitness.
Here’s a link to the race if you are interested in signing up and doing it with me:
It felt awesome, a little uncomfortable and fears bubbled up.
I was stronger than I thought.
I was able to run further than I thought.
My body remembered what running felt like after 8 years of NOT running.
My expectations were so low for myself that I wasn’t sure I would be able to do the workout or not. I underestimated myself. Years of low self-esteem was detrimental to myself.
I need better support for my girls. This was probably the most uncomfortable part of the run for me.
Zone 1 training matters. I didn’t realize what a base I’d built for running. Activities like weight training, cleaning, hiking, easy cycling, walking on the beach, you name it, that I did as Zone 1 helped me build up basic fitness and a very good base for starting a beginner trail walking/running program.
This was only one run. Now, I have to get through the next run.
I did something I thought I couldn’t do.
I felt unsteady in my running shoes on the trail. I ran in a pair of trainers with barely any support. I tried on my old trail shoes when I got home (yes I know that sounds weird), and I realized how different any sneaker feels compared to minimal-like trainers. I wear No Bull trainers for gym workouts. I think I might try a pair of Vivobarefoot trail shoes. I don’t want to go back to super-padded running shoes. I might try to keep running in the trainers I have, order a pair of Vivos and gradually build up my foot strength that way with running in my trainers and starting to wear Vivos for everyday use to build up foot strength and then eventually transfer that to the gym and the trails.
I felt scared being all alone as a female on the trails. I didn’t feel that way when I ran on the roads in populated places. The siren feature on the Apple Watch Ultra didn’t make me feel safer because I doubt anyone would be able to hear it where I was at. I think the siren would be great for a woman being alone in Chicago if I felt unsafe, and maybe as a woman on the road, but I don’t think it’s helpful on the trails.
I questioned myself as to why I stopped running. I don’t know the answer even now.
It felt so good to be outdoors on the trails. I could’ve gone further, but I didn’t.
I didn’t respect the time of the workout. I went further. I’m a striver. Of course I went further and didn’t respect the time.
Training based on time vs. distance feels different. Anything I’ve ever trained for in endurance has been based on mileage. The training program I’m doing is based on time spent running and is not focused on distance.
I ran fasted, and it was perfect for me. I’ve been doing intermittent fasting to help me lose weight. I ran fasted, and it went well. I felt good. As I grow my mileage/time base, I’ll eventually need to add a nutrition and hydration component, and I’m not sure what that will look like on a lower carb lifestyle.
I need to learn how to use my Apple Watch Ultra. I don’t have a clue how to use any of the fancy features it comes with. So, I need to do some research to see how to actually use the trail GPS features for longer runs. Better to learn how to use it first on shorter runs so that I’m used to using it for when I do go on longer runs.
I depend on my husband to lead me around the trails when we go hiking. I’m afraid to go on trails I haven’t been on before because I feel that I have no sense of direction. I don’t know if that’s actually true or if it’s a left-over story I tell myself from a trauma of being lost somewhere at some point in time. But my husband wasn’t there to lead me around today. I took a trail we’d hiked before so I knew my way, and I didn’t get lost. I am afraid of being someplace I don’t know and getting lost.
I want to build a community of runners, walkers and hikers. I never appreciated the last time I had friends was based around like-minded activities. I miss that, but I don’t see a big trail running/hiking/walking community in my local area. So, I’m going to find those friends and build a community of runners, walkers and hikers.
I probably will never be fast. I’ve never been fast. I’m strong and resilient as ever, and I know I will try my darnedest to cross the finish line.
I need to pick a goal trail 5k race so I have something to shoot for and a goal to achieve with the trail running program I’m doing. I always do better with a goal to achieve in my life.
I’m coming back from a pretty big-for-me injury. I injured my lower back in February 2021. The pain first started with swimming. Then it went away after a few weeks. I thought I’d just thrown my back out from too much stress. Then, in March 2021, I was doing a resistance band workout and my lower back went to the point of pain that I’d never felt before.
In all my years of activity, I’ve never had an injury that took my breath away, caused me so much pain and incapacitated me for a year to where I was afraid to move because I was in so much pain.
I stopped moving for a year because I was so afraid of this pain. I did everything the medical professionals told me to do: physical therapy, get an x-ray, get 2 MRIs, get two steroid shots, stop moving, start moving again and lose weight.
I just couldn’t understand why my body betrayed me after being active for years and only ever suffering from three injuries and only one of those three injuries was extremely painful.
Oddly, all three injuries were on the right side of my body. My first injury was the ball of my right foot mostly near my big toe. I was doing a Jive exercise and I slammed my foot into the ground at the suggestion of my coach, and boom – injury. It made it hard to walk and to teach for a while. The injury was around for about a year, but it healed and it was gone. Second major injury was on my right calf and lower leg. I injured it running. It went away after about 6 months. The current injury has lasted over a year, but I’ve seen the pain reduce since the last steroid shot in December 2021. The injury is still there. My body can feel it in my lower back. I’m never comfortable sitting. This injury is something I’ve learned that I must accept and live with. I hope it will heal, but no one has given me a good outlook on that. The last doctor I saw was in March 2022 who told me I’d need a spinal fusion. He said we’d have to work on pain management and trying to make me as comfortable as possible. He recommended I start exercising again and lose 20 pounds.
I was 5 feet tall and 198 pounds at that point. Hearing I might need a spinal fusion got me moving again. Slowly I’ve built fitness back up, and every day I go a little further than before and I surprise myself. I still have the discomfort of the pain and the fear of the pain coming back at the intensity it was at. That shooting pain down my right leg was too much, and my body remembers that pain.
To build myself back up, I started vlogging for one of my YouTube channels with a little vlogger kit and my phone at a local park. The terrain was soft, it got me outside, it got me talking and being creative while I was “exercising.” I put exercising in quotes because it didn’t feel like exercise. I started doing it in March and it lasted until it got too hot outside for me to want to keep doing it. Eighty degrees is too hot for me, and in NWI, that means I stopped vlogging outside around the end of June.
The next step to rebuilding my fitness was going for walks along the beach with my husband. Sand was a soft terrain for me but it helped build up my core and leg strength without impact on my joints. We also started going into the water in July when the weather got warm. I would aqua jog in Lake Michigan or we’d take a walk along the beach where the ambient temperature was generally cooler than it was in the park.
I found my way to twelve step in all of this towards the end of July 2022. I started going to my recovery center and participating in their programs in very early August 2022. They had an outdoor cycling program going on, and I decided I’d try it. I was terrified of the back pain and potential discomfort, not to mention I hadn’t been on my road bike in years.
Cycling turned out to be a blast. I missed two rides between when I started in August and the last ride of the year which was end-of-October 2022.
Cycling didn’t bother my back too much the same way aqua jogging and walking on soft surfaces in the park or beach walking didn’t bother it too much either. In fact, cycling seemed to help it.
I started doing yoga again as well on Apple Fitness + in August. I started to build myself a workout routine that was low impact and had cardio and core and some easy strength.
In September 2022, I did a duathlon. It was supposed to be run-bike-run, and I thought I couldn’t run at the time. I knew I could bike the distance of the race: 12 miles. I also knew I could walk the run portions of the race. The first leg of walking was 1.5 miles. The last leg of the walking was 3 miles. I knew I could do all three things, so I challenged myself and signed myself and my husband up for the duathlon. We did it! We crossed the finish line together. We were the last finishers. That didn’t matter to me. I’ve been the last place finisher at many, many, many races back when I participated in running races, triathlons, and cycling events.
I was so excited to see myself progress and cross the finish line nearly pain free, that I used it as motivation and kept on going.
My recovery center has a gym with dumbbells, kettlebells, TRXs, boxing bag, barbell weights and some cardio machines like ellipticals, rowers, stationary bikes, and treadmills.
The first workout I did was mix of boxing and TRX. I walked out after my first workout with very little pain. Workouts have increased in intensity and I have added resistance training to my workout with dumbbells. I even jump sometimes.
Impact. Jumping. I had to stop doing anything like after I first injured my back.
Jumping got me thinking about running again.
I asked myself if I could run again?
In October my husband and I started going for hikes and they have increased with distance and intensity.
This got me thinking even more and I asked myself if maybe I could run again, but do it it on the trails this time. Running is high impact, but it would be much softer to do on the trails.
Then I bought Apple Watch Ultra to challenge myself. If I bought this watch, could I train to do an ultra trail race, like a 50k?
I bet I could.
The watch came in and we’ve been getting used to one another.
This whole time, I’ve been avoiding running.
That fear of the old pain is still there.
This blog keeps me accountable. If I put out into the world that I’m doing X thing, then I tend to keep showing up and doing X thing.
So, I’m holding myself accountable today for trying to go outside and walk/run on a trail near my home. Want to join me virtually? I’m not sure exactly how virtual walk/run trail workouts work, but I do know that I can post my training plan on this blog, and people can follow me. I can share my workouts on here, and post my feelings and you can follow me here and on my social media platforms.
So, here is the first part of my recovery center building program planning and also the details on holding myself accountable for eventually running.
I’m starting with a trail walk/run because I think that will be easier for me than just flat out trying to run the whole time. I’m starting easy and will work my way up. I may not be near a 50k trail distance right now, and my plan is to walk/run that distance, but I hope I blow myself away with my strength and resilience like I have this entire back pain journey that’s been going on since February 2021 and is nearing the two year mark. Yuck.
I may have to live with the pain my body feels. However, if you made it to the end of this post, you will have read my physical recovery story of my body and see i’ve built my body back over time with various methods and that I’m going strong.
You’ll also be reading this line right here: I’m scared of the pain.
I’ve been saying for a week now that I’m going to do a trail walk/run race. My first goal race is a 5k walk/run. But I’ve yet to go out for the walk/run.
If you’d like to post virtually about your experience, email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and let me know you’re interested and I’ll create a space for other like minded people to join me.
Something else I’m very bad at is social media. It’s the social part of social media I don’t do so well with. But I’d love to build up a community of like-minded people who are interested in doing some group runs both in-person and virtually. If you live in Northwest Indiana, and you’re interested in guided trail walk/runs or hikes, email me and let me know.
I’ll build the space once I have interest both in-person and virtually.
My workout today is going to be walk 5 minutes and walk run 30 seconds for 5 intervals on the trails over by Bailly Homestead/Chelburg Farms in Porter, Indiana. I’m really scared of the running. But I’m going to try it and see how it goes. I’m hoping the pain won’t come back and be as bad as I fear it was in the beginning when I first injured myself.
Sometimes I wonder if my body holds onto the intensity of the pain to keep me from re-injuring myself. I remember how much pain I was in, and the fear of that pain holds me back. Yet, when I exercise, I don’t feel any pain at all. No shooting pain. Sure I’m a little stiff in my lower back, but nothing like before.
I’ll post tomorrow about how this goes. Worst case scenario is that I try running for 30 seconds, discover the pain, and I go back to my car and drive home. I can always stop and go home. I can always walk it if running is too much. I’ve got this, in some form. I have to get out and try though. I hope you’ll join me in person or virtually down the road!
Let’s build a recovery community of like-minded athletes!
Have a good run, walk, hike, bike ride, whatever you do. Get out there and move!
This month is a goal month. I’ve been in a season of rest and recovery for the past three months, and I’m ready for a season of work. More like, I’m ready to get back to work and I wanted to explore today what that will look like.
Yes, I need a three year goal, but I also just need to set some goals and see where I land. After doing the bare minimum to get by for the last three months so that I could spend the time I needed resting and rebuilding my life, I’m ready for a change.
The first day of any new month seems like a natural place to set new goals. I would say the same rule applies for a new week, new year, birthday, etc. There are natural breaking points within time, usually the first day or anniversary of an event, that leads to a natural break and time to restart and reset. It’s a natural time to assess where you’re going and where you want to go in the future.
I wanted to be open and transparent about my goals to help hold me accountable. Usually, if I write it down or post about my goal, I stay accountable to the goal. It’s like the world holds me accountable even though, at this point, I don’t even know if anyone reads these posts or not.
So, here are my November goals, remembering a few things: 1. I needed to restart somewhere. 2. These are likely going to last, in some form, longer than 30 days and are likely part of the bigger plan. 3. I’ve been off for three months doing the bare minimum to get by so that I could rest, therefore all of these goals might seem like a lot in one month. Guess I’m making up for lost time.
A striver making up for lost time? Never!
Find a trail 5k locally to run and sign up for the race.
Buy trail running shoes.
Find a free trail running plan for a 5k trail race.
Integrate the goal race and training plan into my current weight training plan so I can do both at once.
Clean out my closet in my room.
Have a truly happy Thanksgiving and figure out what that really means to me.
Art journal everyday with watercolor journal or a digital art app like Procreate. Post the art online somewhere, like Facebook, blog, Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, anywhere and be consistent with posting everyday.
Write a blog post 4 times a week.
Meditate for one minute or do a meditate activity where I breathe deeply for one minute the first day and add a minute to each day so I meditate for thirty minutes at the end of the month. Compounding breaths should equal a calmer me by December 1st!
Practice Italian every day on DuoLingo.
Monetize my life and see how it goes.
Do Gordo Byrn’s version of journaling in the morning and evening from 10/31/22 post so that I write less and check in with myself more often.
Clean out my car.
Film and post 4 YouTube videos.
Do the Authority Accelerator course and finish the first step of the course: Hero’s Journey and the Niche Down to Blow Up spreadsheet. Speak to 20 ideal clients to see what they have to say, OR jump into building the course since I am around my ideal client and I already am my ideal client and see how it goes.
Purchase Apple Watch Ultra and live only on the Apple Watch for 30 days.
Set goals with real numbers for The Rare Plant Haus.
Bake and sell baked goods on Facebook in the Chesterton Happenings Facebook page.
Sell stuff on Facebook Marketplace: plants, old stuff I want to get rid of as I declutter and try to make money out of my old junk I no longer want and money out of plants I can’t sell in my store because they are too big to ship or I just don’t want to carry that plant in my future lineups anymore.
Get rid of the stuff that is hard to get rid of by playing the Minimalism game.
Clean out all of the hiding places stuff builds up in the house like in the closets, pantry, basement, drawers and dressers and do it daily, i.e. a little every day.
Simplify the plant room and what I sell and pitch or sell off the rest on Facebook marketplace or somewhere, doesn’t matter where.
Eliminate personal plant collection and sell those plants off that I no longer want to keep in my personal plant collection. Sell it off as part of the store and keep only the plants that hold meaning to me.
Buy LECA for the plant shop to propagate with going forwards.
Figure out how to fertilize with roots growing in LECA.
Sell five plants on www.therareplanthaus.com and get off of Etsy and slowly transition back to my Shopify store that is currently on pause. Stop giving money to Etsy and put it back in my plant shop’s pockets.
Align multiple businesses under one large brand with one greater message.
Do one cleaning activity every day so I don’t have to do big pushes anymore in the house. Clean as I go so the house is always clean.
Read a few pages of a book every day or a chapter of a book once a day so that I get into the habit of reading.
Be outside everyday somehow, even if it’s just opening the window.
Leave the house everyday.
Go the library and sit and read the newspaper and magazines at least once this month. This will help me with getting out of the house everyday.
Go on some artists dates, once a week, to start building new interests and hobbies that I can start to nurture over the next decade.
No mindless Facebook scrolling. If I find myself scrolling, then stop scrolling and switch to something else.
Check emails, orders and messages only once a day.
Live life on my watch as much as possible and stop carrying my phone around unless absolutely necessary.
Wear my contacts 15 days out of 30 days this month. Wear glasses less often.
Shower less often to help build up body microbiome.
Only go to recovery center activities that I want to attend, and stop shaming myself and feeling guilty for not wanting to attend all of the activities they offer.
Do one cycling workout a week, indoors or outdoors, to keep my butt in shape so I don’t lose the progress I’ve made. Keep my butt used to the saddle so I’m ready for spring riding in 2023!
Ok, so will I accomplish all of these? Is 41 goals too much for 30 days? Aren’t you supposed to pull back and rest during the holidays? I don’t know what the right answers are to any of those questions. But I trust that I’m where I need to be and that life is happening for me and not to me, and that I am on the right track. We will see where I land in 30 days.
Yes, there is crossover in my personal goals and business goals. You can see that I want to make business and personal cross in my goal that is monetize my life. I want to integrate business with personal so I can live more and work less. So that work is my passion and my passion is my work.
This gives me something to shoot for and keeps me accountable. It gives me something to write about on this blog and what to post about on social media.
Remember, these are my own goals and they may only make sense to me. Your goals will naturally be different than mine because we are two different people.