You’re Not Getting Any Younger…

Are you self-conscious?

Do you regularly worry what other people will think about you?
Do you think you’re fat, ugly, or some other negative, debilitating term?
If you answered yes to any of these questions, allow me to help you change your perspective.
You’re not getting any younger. And, unfortunately, gravity, time and environmental contaminants are NOT on your side.
That’s right. In addition to gravity slowly pulling down your skin, your body’s failing collagen production and the natural aging process, you need to contend with a host of environmental factors which are seemingly determined to destroy any remaining modicum of youth you may still possess.
Don’t believe me? Google the effect air pollution can have on your skin. Try not to freak out… Or quit your job and move out to the country.
Now that I’ve sufficiently freaked you out about the future, take a moment to look back on those old facebook photos and instagram posts. Whip out a photo album if you’re feeling nostalgic. Chances are, you looked pretty damn good. Gorgeous, in fact. Slim, trim, fit and hopefully, happy.
And guess what? When you took those photos, you probably felt equally as awful, worried or self-conscious as you do now.
Have you caught on to where I’m headed here?
So take a deep breath. Take a look in the mirror. Focus on every single positive quality and thing you love about yourself. Be it the gorgeous color of your eyes, the great hair day you’re having or maybe the way your jeans happily hug your curves.
Because tomorrow, you’re going to be one day older. And then another. And then another.
Don’t waste your youth. Enjoy it. Wear that tight dress out to dinner. Throw on a pair of heels. Sport the bikini. Run in your sports bra. And relish EVERY. SINGLE. MINUTE.
Take the photos. Smile. Enjoy your body while you have it. You’re not always going to look like this. And one day, when you’re old, saggy and grey, you too can point to old photos of yourself and brag to your grandchildren about how hot you were when you were younger. Here’s looking at you Grams (she turns 90 this September).
Still not happy with where you’re at? Figure out why. Chances are, you’re engaging in self-destructive behavior because of some unresolved emotions from your past. Seek out a qualified therapist who can help you sort through your issues. Because you’re worth the extra time and attention. Once you process and let go of the negativity in your life, you’ll notice positive changes all around.
Have you ever felt self-conscious before? What do YOU love about you? What’s YOUR favorite quality? Tell me all of the good things about your life; it makes me so happy to see other people happy.
Much Love,
Stephanie

It’s Time to Think About Being Selfish

 

 

People-pleasing is a vicious societal norm which women have somehow been bullied into since I don’t even know when.

Women should be gracious. They should NOT rock the boat. They should worry extensively about the well-being of those around them. Sacrifice everything and anything for anyone else.

You know, that same old crap. Yes, it’s the 21st century, we should move on. BUT, it’s nearly impossible to do when we look to our mothers and grandmothers, and watch them live their lives, conforming to this antiquated ideal.

It took my grandmother 85 years and a hearing impairment before she began shamelessly speaking her mind. She no longer cares about her image and consequently will gleefully order what she wants at restaurants, will take the last cookie, or share her deepest wishes.

I want to be more like my grandmother. But I’m scared.

I’m scared that people won’t like me anymore. I’m scared that I will offend someone and they might say something mean to me. And I’m also scared I might lose some friends.

But then again, I might actually feel more liberated. More relaxed. Happier.

I felt boxed in the other night. I felt bullied. I blamed my partner for making decisions without my consent. I held him accountable while he looked at me, genuinely puzzled.

And then I realized that I had done exactly what millions of other women around me have been doing for generations. I blindly allowed him to make major life decisions for us and complacently followed along until I snapped. I told him so. He panicked for a moment, before taking a deep breath and asking me how to fix it.

He didn’t run out on me. He didn’t stop loving me. Yes, he was a little annoyed, but to my legitimate surprise, he wants me to be happy too.

Shocking, right?

We ALL deserve people in our lives who want us to be happy. We ALL deserve to be around people who will let us speak our minds. And in turn, we NEED to speak up.

The time is now ladies. And men.

So I encourage all of you to speak your mind. To stand your ground. To share your feelings and to shamelessly shrug off the desperation to be liked and wanted.

I can promise that your honesty will endear you to the people who truly want to be around you. And you’ll be much happier in the long run.

Are YOU a people pleaser? Or do you shamelessly speak your mind? What tips do YOU have on how to speak up or stand up for yourself? I’d love to hear them.

Much Love,

Stephanie

Rushing Through Life

I regularly rush through life.

Meals are consumed whilst working, driving, or while intermittently cooking for others. I’ll usually hop up from the table before anyone else is done so I can begin doing the dishes.

Work is a flurry of tasks. I dance from one task to the next without taking so much as a moment to take a breath.

And at home?

If I’m not running around, desperately planning a wedding, training for an event or cleaning like mad, I’m collapsing from exhaustion on the couch. It’s all I can do some nights to stare blankly at my partner and force a smile.

Does this sound familiar to you?

I’ve recently started to try to make a change in my life.

I set two alarms in the morning. I wake up with the first, by lie quietly until the second goes off, allowing myself a few moments of peace and solitude before the day begins.

At lunch, I step outside, and walk briefly around the parking lot. I take a deep breath, and then return to work.

I’ve changed my training from focusing solely on mileage and times to effort level.

I do yoga on my rest days to carve out more time for me.

And I’m a happier, more whole person for it.

I haven’t mastered the perfect system yet, but I know that I’ve started on a route that is much more sustainable than my former lifestyle.

Rather than racing around until I collapse each month, barely able to climb out of bed, I’m trying to live with more presence and mindfulness.

I still regularly mess it up, but then again, I’m human.

Do you rush through life? Are you trying to slow down and enjoy the process? I’d love to hear more. Share your thoughts below.

Much love,

S

Catskill Mountain 100K Race Report (2018)

What: Catskill Mountain 100K

Where: Phoenicia, NY

When: Mid-August; annually

Options: 100K or Relay

Price: $75/individual, $175/relay

Aid: None; you need your own crew

Course: Roads, point to point

Elevation: ~7500 ft total change, largest climb between miles 20 – 25

Weather: Usually hot & humid

Register: Ultra Signup

This is the second year I’ve ran the Catskill Mountain 100K. It has the potential to be a very fast course.

Only 11 solo runners started the race this year (including myself); 10 finished in times ranging from ~8:15 to ~15:20.

That’s right. The winning time was ~8:15. I can hardly fathom running that fast for a 5K.

Fortunately, for the middle to back of packers, the cutoff is 15.5 hours. If you can move along at a 4 MPH pace, you have a good chance of finishing.

The Route is point to point. No aid stations are along the course; you will need a crew to start the event. Dial it back between Mile 15 and 25; this is one of the hardest sections of the course.

Bring ice. It will likely get hot.

Wear road shoes.

A relay also runs at the same time as the solo ultra. Try not to get angry as they pass you. Remember; they’re not running nearly as far as you are.

Unfortunately, rest rooms are few and far between along the course. Be mindful of this when nature calls.

Due to poor timing on my part and poor planning, I ended up having my period during the event. And running out of tampons. My lovely partner bought some for me and I had to make due on the side of the road.

Ladies, and perhaps gentlemen, please plan better than I do if you run this event.

At least I have a funny story now though.

Several concerned crews asked me if I was okay. I tried to pawn everything off as terrible chafing. I can laugh now, but at the time, it was a low key nightmare.

All in all; it is a swell event and race director Todd Jennings does a fabulous job. If you’re not up for the full 100K, give the relay a shot. The only draw back is that this event falls on a Sunday each year, so those with limited vacation time will have to explain why they’re hobbling around the office come Monday morning.

Just me? Okay then. 🙂

Check out the Race Director’s Report here.

Have YOU ran the Catskill Mountain 100K? What tips do YOU have on training? The event? I’d love to hear your thoughts.

Much love,

-S

Welcome!

Hello! I’m Stephanie, a recovering perfectionist, former author of Trailblazing Toff.

I love to run really really far for really long periods of time.

I like to be mindful.

I like to be happy.

What about you?

Join me as I offer up rave reports, running tidbits, and positive affirmations.

I want to make the world a happier place.

I believe if we’re nice to each other, it’s an easy thing to do.

What do you think?

I’d love to hear your comments below.

Much love,

-S