Happy Friday

Haven't shared some of my flickr favs in a while.  Hope you all have a fantastic weekend.



Finding the beauty in running

I have REALLY felt like withdrawing from the marathon the last few days.  We didn't get our 17 miles in on Sunday because I was physically exhausted due to a certain 'thing' girls deal with every month.   My 'times of the month' are an absolute bitch for me (been to countless doctors) and I just couldn't deal with my worst of that, plus trying to get through the exhaustion of 17 miles.....it was just too much.  I panicked because we've only got 4 of the really long runs left (not including weekly runs) before we have to back off on our mileage.  The marathon is only 8 weeks away and I'm TERRIFIED.  I'm not sure if I feel ready for this. 

I'm scared of screwing this up and not completing it.  I'm finding it hard to trust that I can do it.  This is really like jumping off a cliff for me big time.  However, I've got to stop and just believe that no matter what happens if I do my best, its going to be OK.  If I finish then fantastic---I'm going to celebrate.  If I don't....I'm going to embrace that too and remember how far I've come. 

I have to remember that there's been world champion runners who haven't finished marathons before....people like Haile Gebrselassie and Paula Radcliffe.  If I don't finish.....I will just pick myself up and try again.  I hear the NYC marathon is in November?

I've been reading a book by Russell Simmons recently and he talks about how our lives are much richer if we focus on joy of the hard work/the process rather than the end result.  I mentioned this to James and he said that he sees this as one of the reasons why I get so unhappy with myself sometimes is that I'm too focused on ...oh things will be better for me when I lose this weight, or when I get a job, or when this happens or when that happens.  The fact is...I'm always chasing the future that hasn't come yet and I've got to find the beauty in the present moment.

So....... last nights run (2 1/2 hrs), I took a little backpack out with my camera wrapped all snug and cosy and every so often I'd stop and take a picture of something I thought was beautiful along the route, which is the pictures you see above .  It was my little exercise in trying to remind myself to enjoy this 'process' with all its ups and downs along the way.


P.S.  If you scroll down my side-bar you'll see a little 'Just Giving' button.  I'm trying to raise some money for the charity 'Room to Read' with my efforts in this marathon.  If you are interested in donating, I'd be grateful for the support.


Signs of Spring

taken today

Early Spring

Harshness vanished. A sudden softness
has replaced the meadows' wintry grey.
Little rivulets of water changed
their singing accents. Tendernesses,

hesitantly, reach toward the earth
from space, and country lanes are showing
these unexpected subtle risings
that find expression in the empty trees.



Soho, China Town and Trafalgar Square: at night

I took these on Friday evening when I had to pop into the city to go to Whole Foods.  London completely changes at night as most cities do.  The temperature was so mild I rather enjoyed wandering and taking pictures.

I'd love to see your city at night.  If you have nighttime pictures you'd like to share, please leave your link in the comments.


Happy Love Day

1- VDay weekend in Greenwich Market, 2- Prince Charming on a budget

My yoga teacher today said an interesting thing about Valentines Day, that its unfairly limited to 'couples' and how wonderful it could be if it was just a day that focused on being kinder and more compassionate to everyone we meet (including ourselves).  Sure this holiday is pretty schmaltzy and over commercialized but I like that idea of having a day to focus on love.  I wish every day was Love Day.

Sending you love this Valentines Day.


Fun VDay links:

Pablo Neruda love poetry
Stedman speaks!
How to Love yourself
PW Love photos
Lovebirds- Valentines Game
How to be alone
V-Day campaign
A Love sing along
There's nothing fluffy about Love
All you need is Love


Thursday inspiration

I'm feeling the need to share a bit of inspiration at the moment.  I've stumbled on quite a few new blogs that have pictures and words that really speak to me.  126 blogs are on my feed currently and every single one brightens my day.  I am so grateful for the internet and how the world doesn't seem so big anymore.  The pictures above are from some new blogs, some are old favorites.  Be sure to check them out and send them the love that they so deserve.  I love seeing other people's art.....it reminds me of what I can be capable of with my own.

Here they are:

1st picture:  Michael Morgan
2nd picture:  Elle at Diana Mini Love
3rd, 4th and 5th picture:  David and Sarah
6th picture:  Hilda Grahnat
7th:  Josh Goleman


Letting Go: lessons from running

I mentioned yesterday that on Friday James and I did a 15 mile run.  We're at a very critical point in our running.  Its over half-way to the 26.2 miles I'll need to get to come April and its where the running magazines say we need to be to do the marathon safely.    Apparently you need to be able to do 15 miles comfortably at least a month prior or you shouldn't be doing it.  Maybe there's hope for me to finish this thing after all.

I think the 'comfortable' part is going to be the hard part though.  Getting up to this mileage, I'm starting to feel every extra pound on my body that shouldn't be there.    The 70 lbs I need to lose aren't coming off easily which concerns me slightly.  Its hard enough being obese in a skinny world but its like every ounce is holding on for dear life.  My body is making me work for this and I'm finding it painful emotionally and physically. 

I know running as a metaphor for life has been written about to death but when you start running long distances....its true what they say that there's potential for you to heal yourself or at least learn a heck of a lot about how you deal with life. 

It's called 'the wall'.....its where your body just wont run anymore.  You are tired and your body starts feeling pain....but you have to keep running....because you're not done yet and there's a couple miles left.  The pain brings out floods of tears....some days its huge feelings of anger out of nowhere....but you keep running.   My breathing is fine up to this point....because its all familiar....but then its short and shallow.  I'm panicking because I've never gone this far.  I don't trust myself that I can do this.  My body tenses up and it makes the run harder.  I'm resisting every step.  I close my eyes briefly and I try to return to my breath.  In.  Out.   In.  Out.  I say out loud over and over and over.....let it go, let it go, Let it go Christine.  I feel my shoulders relaxing and slowly my breath returns to normal and I somehow make it home.

I put up so much resistance in other parts of my life....out of fear of the pain that usually accompanies it.  Maybe it I just let go more and more and knew that I could get through to the other side just like I have recently with running.  Trusting that the universe will help keep my legs moving through the pain when I feel like I can't do it myself any longer.

I'm starting to see why I'm supposed to do the marathon.   Its changing me in ways that I never imagined.


Birthday Weekend and Blackheath

Celebrated James' 36 birthday with a 15 mile run in the morning and birthday cake in the evening on Friday.....the rest of the weekend has been quiet.  We went out for a belated birthday lunch today in Blackheath, walking through Greenwich Park and the very windy/cold weather.  Might pull out a DVD later or curl up to one of my books.  Love Sundays for how quiet and restful they can be.


1 February

The shop fronts today in Greenwich heralded in a brand new month.    I love February...not for Valentines day but for the fact January is finally finished and spring is peeking round the corner.