Mindset Moves

Long term readers of my blog know that I’ve worked hard to have a positive mindset about myself and my abilities to reclaim my health.  I’ve read and learned a lot and really strive to live mindfully, despite serious injuries and setbacks along the way.  I’ve rebuilt my base more than I care to think about, yet here I am rebuilding it once again.  It’s just the cycle of my life, which flows in ebbs and tides and I’ve learned to ride the waves.

Along this journey, I’ve shared many of my mindset struggles – negative self talk, wallowing in pity following injury, why me mentality, and the list goes on and on.  It’s once again time to pull myself up by my bootstraps and get focused on what I am trying to accomplish.  It has been a life goal to complete the NYC Marathon and I am once again working towards this goal.  I am way behind where I was this time last year in my training, but my mindset is in a good space.  I am most definitely NOT pushing myself to do more than my body is ready for and will NOT suffer another injury doing so.  I will admit to thinking about how I should be running longer by now, but won’t allow myself to go there.  I know that my body is NOT ready for the work and if I push beyond my ability right now I will get injured again.  I also know that my goal is to finish the marathon, no matter how long it takes!

I’ve dialed in my nutrition and really taken the time to learn about the role nutrition plays in reclaiming my health.  I’ve taken an online course to learn about different types of eating (tracking macros, KETO, plant based) to see which best meets my body’s current needs and my goals.   I highly recommend going through this online course at least one time to experiment and track your body’s responses.  I learned a lot about myself in the process and not only related to diet.  Here is the link to this community for anyone interested in learning more – One 3 One  Now that I’ve cycled through this course twice, I am moving on to my next steps.  I signed up for a cooking course to learn how to cook more plant based dishes.  As you know, I love to cook but have been a self proclaimed vegetable hater for far too long.  I hope to learn more  about cooking plant based meals to expand my menu planning.  Here is the link to this online platform – Rouxbe Online Platform   You will find many options there for cooking courses that may appeal more to you.  I signed up for the Rouxbe Membership which will allow me to work through these courses at my own pace.

Working at my own pace is where I’d like to end today.  As an educator, I know that children come to us at all different stages of development.  I know that there are modifications available to meet the needs of each of them.  I also know that sometimes people have implicit bias that shape how they plan and react to certain individuals.  Sometimes, as educators, we offer modifications before we allow students to try the unmodified task.  Sometimes we predetermine and decide that the student needs the modification.  What that does, in my humble opinion, is send the message that we don’t believe in their ability to complete the task as is.  What that does is take away the opportunity for the student to engage in the given task with feedback and modification AS NEEDED along the way.  Truly, it’s the same thing when we engage in exercise.  As a middle aged woman, I know that I am not seen as someone who can do most athletic challenges and I likely can’t at this point in time.  But, there is nothing more disheartening than someone else predetermining that you can’t, before you even try.  I’d like to publicly thank my CrossFit Freshkills coaches, for believing in me and not making me ever feel like I can’t.  Today I’d like to thank Coach Libby Elias, a fellow educator, for her belief that I could indeed complete the four rounds required without a modification.  Her belief was inspirational as I worked through the tough workout.  So, in the spirit of mindset moves, I’d like to ask that we all adopt the mindset of “maybe they can” and not rush to provide a modification before allowing them to try.  Perhaps our students, including middle aged women like me, might just surprise you.  What we say and do matter so much and can have lasting implications on other people’s mindsets, so let’s try to be more mindful of that.

Here’s the link to a few posts I’ve written on this topic:

Mindset Matters

There’s Always Tomorrow

Want to Know a Truth…

On the Road Again

Always happy to connect with readers, so feel free to drop me a line in the comments below.

 

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Try Something New

If you want a different result, try something new.  What have you got to lose?  These are the thoughts that were swimming around in my head as I began this marathon training cycle yet again.  This is my third attempt at making it to the starting line of the NYC Marathon.  Last year, I made it all the way up to two weeks before the race when I fell at work and broke 3 toes.  It didn’t really matter though, as I also was diagnosed with a second femoral stress fracture ending my hopes of running.  The toes were literally the final straw that made me defer my race to November 2018.ef56444d-d07e-4014-b44b-08dabcb5fdfc.png

As I begin training again, I am cautiously optimistic that this time will be the time I make it to the starting line.  I have learned from my mistakes and am trying to get my training plan right.  I’m working hard to improve my functional strength through more cross training.  I’ve returned to yoga class and can already feel a difference in my legs when I run.

My first order of business must be to get this extra weight I’m carrying off.  I have been taking nutritional courses and learning about how to best fuel my body for running.  I learned so much about the foods that support and don’t support my goals.  As I experimented with different types of eating, I opened myself up to trying new foods that I usually avoid and have come to find I actually enjoy them.  I decided to apply this open mindedness to my exercise selection as well.  Rather than doing the same things over and over again, I decided to try different types of exercise and see what works best for my body and life.  It’s interesting to see how my tastes in exercise have started to shift as well. Running has always been my first choice of exercise since I was young.  I’ve significantly modified my running this spring and have been using intervals to build my stamina back up slowly.  I truly feel the time goes by faster when I run intervals and it is a great workout.  When I finish a long interval run, I’m not totally exhausted and still have energy to go about my day.  I’m super excited to feel like I WILL complete this marathon using this strategy.

Since I cut down on the amount of time I spend running, I knew I needed to cross train with intentionality.  I began looking around for something that would both strengthen and build my stamina.  I kept thinking about trying Crossfit but had some serious fear of walking in issues.  Friends of mine go to a local Crossfit and kept encouraging me to try a class.  They’d send me selfies in the morning from the class and finally I decided to take the plunge.50A50725-0939-43AC-88CC-19D1B25CE577.jpeg

I’m not going to lie and say it’s an easy workout, because it most definitely is not.  But, I am going to say that I believe it may help me finish this marathon.  The class is well organized and all moves can be done on some level. There are modifications available to make this practice available to all fitness levels.  I feel these workouts could help me develop the strength, stamina and mental toughness I will need to run 26.2 miles.  I leave this class dripping with sweat, yet invigorated and looking forward to the next.  I’m going to continue to go to the classes three times a week and cut my running down to twice a week for now.  Seriously, what have I got to lose except perhaps an injury and some pounds.

When you find yourself in a rut and can’t seem to snap out of it, try something new.  Step outside your comfort zone and you may be surprised by how it rekindles your workout motivation.  I felt better this week than I have in a long while.  I think it’s the combination of trying new things and being around people.  I am looking forward to this week’s workouts and will continue my climb back from the long winter of broken bones.

What have you done this week to step outside your comfort zone?  How has it helped rekindle your motivation?  Be sure to leave your comments below.  I look forward to reading them.

 

Shrimp & Sausage Skillet

They say the third time is a charm.  I sure hope that’s true as I’m starting my marathon training for a third time next Saturday.  I hope that this time I can make it to the starting and finish lines.  I’ve been working hard on my functional strength training to avoid injury and on my nutrition.  I am full of optimism but won’t lie that my nerves are getting the best of me most days.  I’ve lost ten pounds to date, but need to lose a bit more to be back at my comfortable running weight.  I’ve been taking an online nutrition course and have been learning a lot about how my body responds to certain foods.  These past two weeks of eating plant based meals, with one to two animal based protein choices, has been interesting to say the least.  The one thing I’ve enjoyed most is learning how to cook new meals and the fact that the plant based versions take far less time to prepare than my normal fare.

Today is Sunday and generally we eat Sunday Sauce in one of its many versions.  Since I haven’t had any animal based protein today, I decided to have a shrimp dish I found on a paleo recipe site.  I’m super excited that I have all the ingredients and am ready to cook without a trip to the market.  Today’s Sunday dinner is just for my husband and I, as we saw the family yesterday at my future daughter in law’s birthday party.  Gracie and my son Stephen have known each other since they were freshmen in high school.  When he first brought her home back then, I knew she was the perfect girl for him.  She has those qualities our family looks for – funny, kind, down to earth and honest.  She’s also a great match for my son Stephen. We are more than thrilled that they were engaged at Christmas and are looking forward to a May 2019 wedding.A3ECB322-39C1-4651-83DB-7170B9B8DA5F.jpeg

I found several keto and paleo recipe websites and I’ve been selecting things that I want to cook.  Today’s recipe is a paleo based recipe I found at paleonewbie.com, but I modified it to fit the ingredients I had on hand in my home as tomorrow is my shopping day.  It had a great flavor and one of the spices is a favorite – Old Bay.   In under 30 minutes I had dinner on the table.  That is so far removed from the hours I generally spend on Sunday gravy. Most meals so far have been so easy and quick, that I don’t need to spend my Sundays meal prepping.  Maybe we will go for a nice walk outside today with the time saved.  (Disclaimer here – I still love my Sunday sauce recipe found here – Sunday Gravy )  I’ve just learned that I can eat a variety of other foods that may better fuel my training right now.

Shrimp & Sausage Skillet

Ingredients

  • 1 lb of medium or large shrimp (peeled and deveined)
  • 6 oz of Hot Italian turkey sausage, sliced
  • 2 sliced red bell peppers
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 1/4 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup artichoke hearts
  • 2 garlic cloves, diced
  • Salt & pepper to taste
  • Pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 2 tsp Old Bay Seasoning
  • Olive oil or unsalted butter

Directions:

  1. Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat with some olive oil or unsalted butter
  2. Season shrimp with Old Bay SeasoningC1EABF88-31F8-4959-8C94-CF215439F957.jpeg
  3. Cook shrimp about 3-4 minutes until opaque – remove and set aside
  4. Cook onions and bell peppers in skillet with 2 Tbsp of olive oil or unsalted butter for about 4 minutes418C087F-4295-42B3-82F0-160592401093.jpeg
  5. Add sausage and zucchini to the skillet, cook another 5 minutes
  6. Put cooked shrimp back into skillet along with the garlic, and cook everything for about 5 minutes
  7. Pour chicken stock into pan and mix through
  8. Add salt, ground pepper, and red pepper flakes to taste
  9. Serve immediately

We ate ours plain, but you could serve this over salad, or zucchini squash.  It has a beautiful flavor and I bet will taste delicious tomorrow for lunch.67F21806-9752-42ED-AD56-4FD29BE52F43.jpeg

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Take it Personally

Most of you know I have been training for the NYC Marathon for a few years now.  I’ve had ankle tendon surgery and two stress fractures as a result and haven’t toed the line yet.  This week, I received my acceptance to run the 2018 New York City Marathon.  I’ve been resting, cross training and working on my strength as I recover from the femoral stress fracture that resulted from last year’s attempt.  Suddenly, March has arrived and it’s time for me to begin running again.  I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t nervous about it, especially since I’m carrying an extra twenty or so pounds right now.  But, March is the target month to begin running as I’m healed.  Currently, I am 43 days into an 80 day strength training program and feeling stronger each day.  Tomorrow morning it’s me and the road, or treadmill, depending on the weather.

My nutrition needs to change when I am running and in training.  I’m not quite as free with my choices and very focused on using food to fuel me, rather than soothe me.  This requires both soul searching and action.  The switch also requires mental focus and tenacity, especially on days when I just want to eat and drink a glass of wine.  I am aware of what is making me stress eat and know what I need to do about it.  Taking a page out of my favorite reread – The Four Agreements, I’m plan to take control of my thoughts and get back to focusing on me.

I have written about the Four Agreements several times already, but here is my original post, from 2016, that describes what the agreements are  –  Life Change .

Specifically, at this point in time, I need to work harder on these two agreements:

  1. Don’t take anything personally; and
  2. Don’t make assumptions

Both of these are very hard considering my career is one in which everyone feels they have the right to make judgements about me.  Every decision I make, every word I say is looked at and scrutinized.  But, at the end of the day, my decisions are connected to me and other’s are connected to them.  My decisions are not personal, they are always made in the best interest of those I represent – children, parents and teachers.  I need to continue to remind myself that responses to these decisions, should also not be taken personally.  These are two agreements I work hard on each and every day, as I’m sure many people do.

As I enter this training cycle anew, I will once again reflect on the strong connections between the principles of exercise and education.  I’m looking forward to many long runs, which I find challenging, but therapeutic.  Today is my last supper in some ways, as it’s the last one outside the training window.  I have prepared three meals today that will get us through the week, but I will be focusing on a more balanced approach to eating.  My food choices have to be more about fueling and rebuilding this tired, yet capable body.

As I did my menu planning for the week, I was conscious of the days I will be running and what I plan to eat.  Tonight’s dinner for my husband and I will be Sunday Sauce, with homemade pasta, but I also prepared a healthy chicken dish that we will pick on during the week.  As I searched for some new recipes and inspiration, I came across the site – Laughingspatula.com.  There was a treasure trove of easy, quick and healthy meals for the week on the site, many Whole30 and Paleo friendly.  The chicken dish I cooked today comes from her collection, with some minor tweaks.

One Pan Roasted Chicken with  Sausage & Potatoes

Ingredients:

  • 2 chicken breasts, bone in
  • 1 pound small red potatoes halved 
  • 6 sweet Italian sausage links
  • 1 in large red onion cut large chunks
  • 1 bag baby carrots

Marinade

  • 1 large lemon – juiced
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 4 cloves large garlic – chopped
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 tsp red pepper chili flakes
  • salt & pepper to taste
  1. Pour a glass of Chardonnay and turn on Alexa for dancing in the kitchen.
  2. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Combine all marinade ingredients, stir and set aside.6672281C-F185-4AD3-9D7C-2F0620AD1B7B
  4. Brown sausage, then cut into pieces
  5. Arrange chicken, sausage, potatoes and onion in a 9 x 13 inch baking pan.A01574E7-F76D-4F54-A2E5-ECB7C00D0549
  6. Combine marinade ingredients in small bowl.
  7. Pour marinade over chicken and toss to coat.4B45B21F-2ED4-4CF1-8351-CCF7E26265A2
  8. Bake one hour or until chicken reaches 165 degrees and potatoes are tender.

Please let me know how you like this one pot meal; and if you have a recipe to share I ‘d love to try it out.  Your family recipe could be featured here on the blog, along with the story of your loved one.  Leave me a message below and I’ll get back to you.

We Can Rebuild Her…

Laura Kump, Principal

A runner broken down.

We can rebuild her.  We have the technology.  We can make her better than she was.  Better, stronger, faster.

I am a child of the 70s who grew up on corny television shows and slogans.  Truly, I can connect any situation to a jingle, slogan, opening song or quote.  It’s a slightly troubling habit I’ll admit, but one that helps me formulate leads when I write quite nicely.  Who can name the show this quote was taken from?

I am, as you know, injured and most likely missing the marathon I’ve trained for.  I haven’t pushed the defer button yet, because you know I’m still praying for a miracle.  If I can get this foot in a sneaker, I just may give it a go and walk/run the course.  If not, it’s over – likely it is over – but hey a girl can dream.

I’m once again planning to rebuild, learn from my mistakes and move forward toward NYC Marathon 2018.  Either way, if I make it this year or not, I’ll be there in 2018 because it’s not the experience I had in mind.  I spent my morning planning, that’s just what educators do, plan for success.  I’ve got my planning tools lined up, including my nutritionist, functional movement trainer, doctor’s orders (OK, I may not follow these exactly), books and nothing but time today to plan.  After spending some time working on planning for my job, I’ve now shifted to planning to rebuild me.

First order of business was to spend time on the phone with my nutritionist, chatting about ways to increase my intake of those pesky vegetables I love to hate and heal my broken bones.  I am going back to having a morning veggie drink in my trusty Vitamix starting Monday.  This will increase my intake of vegetables to ensure I am getting enough in my day.  I had on my to be read pile the book, The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan by Dr. David Perlmutter, a world renowned neurologist.  His work around the prevention of Alzheimer’s disease and other brain related diseases has become very personal to him following the death of his father.  He has dedicated his life to the effort to help others stay healthy through diet and lifestyle changes and I purchased his most recent book to continue my fight to reclaim my health and offset this disease.  Today, I finally opened the book and began reading.  The first quote really grabs you by the throat –

In the next eighteen minutes, four Americans will die from the food they eat.  That’s one person ever four and a half minutes.

This is the opening statement I heard recently on a TED talk given by Jamie Oliver.  He too has been leading a crusade against the use of processed foods in schools, linking it to higher than average obesity rates in children, and long term to chronic disease.   Reading this again reminded me of why I began this journey and helped to reel me in from my week of pity eating.  Lot’s of bad choices were made this week for sure.  Dr. Perlmutter states that, “You can choose your health destiny.”  This gives great hope and sense of purpose to those like me who by virtue of family history, have a higher risk for Alzheimer’s disease.  What goes into my mouth and body, along with other lifestyle choices, can greatly impact my physical well being.  I need to keep myself focused on that and move forward to the next chapter of my journey.

This weekend, I hope to put a shoe on my foot, a real shoe.  I’m tired of this broken toe version, though I did find I could run in it when needed this week at work.  I admit at that realization to thinking of buying a match for the other foot and running the marathon in them, but I’m thinking my feet would not appreciate that at all.  I hope to do some light rolling and stretching work and possibly take a nice slow walk.   That is my very short term exercise goal.  My nutritional goal is to plan my menu for the week, a habit I’ve shared in earlier posts, the only way I stay on track.  Tomorrow, I will cook at least three (3) meals that I will rotate for lunch and dinner all week.  I will do my food shopping for the week and plan for successful eating that curbs those junky pretzels I ate this week in place of food.

Finally, I hope to chat with my functional movement coach at some point this weekend to plan my long term recovery sessions.  I must allow some healing time for the stress fracture before getting back to Central Park, but there are always things we can do to rebuild this broken runner.  You can definitely say this woman is down, but not out.  I’m still on the road, just recalculating the road map.

I thank each and every one of you who took time to reach out to me following last week’s blog.  Your well wishes, jokes and love really were the best medicine.  Thank you for your continued support of my blog and mission.  I leave you with an exchange I had with a student yesterday that had me hysterically laughing – the best medicine of all.

Student: “What the heck did you do to your foot now.

Me: “This is the same injury I had when I saw you Monday.  You know what happened to me.”

Student: “Well, you just keep injuring that foot, don’t you.”

Me: “Guess so.”

Student: “Well, if you keep this up you know that foot may just fall off already.”

Me:  Laughing inside.  “Hope not!”

Here are some resources I’m spending time with this weekend:

Jamie Oliver’s TED talk

The Grain Brain Whole Life Plan
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Functional Movement Specialist 

Jessica Leggio, Run Pain Free

Free consultations are available (includes workout) when you mention my blog or name Laura Hess Kump.  Online option available if you can’t make the trip.  Worth the time – life changing stuff.

Always love connecting with readers of this blog for feedback and conversation.  Feel free to leave a comment below, or contact me directly.

Double Dose of No

Yesterday was one of those days where you realize that God has another plan for you than the one you want.  Sometimes, that’s just the way it is and has to be.  That truly doesn’t make it easy to accept and I will say it is quite the bitter pill for me to swallow right now.  I’ve been down this road one too many times and truly it is frustrating and heartbreaking to be two weeks out from my goal.  To have endured so much and given so much of my time and energy toward a dream goal and fall short so close really sucks.

You all know I’ve been struggling with pain in my right leg.  I knew instinctively it was a femoral stress fracture (round two) and tapered down in hopes of being able to still complete the marathon using intervals if necessary.  Heck, I was even willing to walk the darn thing after the injury was confirmed.  Maybe even sneak in some run sections, who cares I was still doing it.  Unfortunately, yesterday brought the crushing blow to the dream and the plans.  Yesterday, I fell on steps at work rushing to a classroom and broke my big toe at the joint on the right foot.  Yup, that was my luck.

The funny (half glass full girl here) part of this tale is that my school was in the middle of Day Two of its Quality Review (think audit).  When the reviewer, who was in a meeting, heard what happened when I hobbled in to the room she graciously offered to reschedule.  Are you kidding me, this lady doesn’t quit or go home until she finishes what she starts.  So I got a pair of sneakers out of my closet and gimped my way through the rest of the day.  I guess that was my “marathon” experience for this year and likely the reviewer’s first broken bone during a review.

Last night when I finally got home at about 7:00, my husband helped me in the house and I had my ugly cry.  I had a tall drink and a personal pity party – heck I am human people.  It felt cleansing to me to have this personal time to just let go of all the emotion I’ve tried to work through during this long training cycle.  It also prepared me to start planning my journey to 2018.

This morning, many of my running friends have been offering me encouragement and love.  For that I am most grateful.  Many have shared their personal stories of walking similar walks. Some have stories far worse than mine – there always can be worse things in life.  Today, I have to push the button to defer my entry to the NYC Marathon.  I tried last night, but that led to the ugly cry and I just couldn’t do it.   Today, I will push the button as I know I now must.

For all who are out there towing the line this year, I will be cheering for you all loud and proud.  I know the hard work you put in to being there and the joy you will feel when it is DONE.  I will envision myself running beside you and see you all next year. #2018NYCM

 

Scaffolds

In education when a child is not quite ready for a task we offer them a scaffold.  If a math problem is too complex for them we break it into smaller, more manageable parts.   In reading, we offer them books at their independent reading level, rather than expecting them all to read the same book.  Yet, when it comes to exercise tasks we tend to reject all scaffolds offered.  We look at these scaffolds as a sign of weakness rather than what they truly are, a way to lift us up and enable us to finish the task.

On today’s run, I started to think about this connection and realized I’m just as guilty as anyone of rejecting scaffolds.  I like to say I’m stubborn, determined or a true warrior.   Somehow lately I’m realizing that I’m foolish and letting my ego guide me rather than my common sense.

Scaffolds for runners are meant to help, not hinder, their development.  If the body is not quite ready to do what you are asking of it, you could end up getting injured.  Trust me, this I know first hand!  Building and developing the right muscles for the activity you want to perform is not an option.  You must spend the time and do the work to have proper functionality.   If something along your muscular chain is weak, something else will become overloaded and injury could follow.  My coach has finally got that point seared in my stubborn, I mean foolish, brain. I have now added some scaffolding to my training to ensure that I make it not only to the starting line, but also to the finish.

Since my Achilles has been giving me trouble, I’ve added the scaffold of running intervals on my runs.  This scaffold builds breaks for this muscle into each run.  Without them the repetitive motion over three hours could really put a strain on my Achilles.   It’s also been allowing me to work more on my form, hopefully developing the right muscle groups.   Another scaffold I’m embracing is slowing my pace on long runs.   Long runs are meant to develop endurance, not pace, so I’ve given myself permission to turn off the app that tells me my pace as I’m running.  My friend who has run 7 marathons shared with me that you can never run too slow on a long run.  He said during his training for his first marathon he ran himself into the ground.   During that race he barely finished with anything left in his tank.   Sounds like I need to slow it down on those long runs immediately.

Finally, today I gave myself the accommodation of flexibility.   I’m a very schedule driven runner.   I like to run super early to avoid car traffic and heat.  If I don’t go by 6:00 AM, I start stressing and thinking about running another day.  I never sleep in on weekends either.   Today, after two exhausting days at work, I woke at 3:00 AM ready to get moving.  I came down, had a bowl of oatmeal and cup of coffee. I then walked right back up and got back in my bed. I turned on the hurricane reports and before I knew it I decided to go back to sleep thinking I’d run tomorrow instead.   I woke again at 8:00, got up and did my pre-run activation routine. Then I went out and did my scheduled long run.  Honestly, it felt good to not rush out to run.  Sometimes we need to give ourselves permission to change the plan, but not permission to skip it.

Scaffolds do not mean you’re any less or a runner than another.  They mean you are focused on completing your task.  Thanks coach Jessica for readjusting my perspective.

How are your workouts going?   Are you forcing yourself through them, or loving them?   If, like me you are running in pain, consider calling Jessica for a consultation.  She can truly help get you back on the road again.  Her site is https://www.runpainfreenow.com and her Twitter handle is #runpainfree .  Tell her Laura recommended you and get your consultation booked.  Let me know how it goes. It could be life changing.