Time zone and zoned out? Get in the zone!

Hello Sacramento! It’s nice to meet you. Be nice to me these next few days. Thank you Sunday! I’m having a great day.

I was writing this on the plane from Dallas, Texas to Sacramento, California, inspired by my day.

Earlier, I had Sunday brunch with my trio of dear friends, ladies I met 4 yrs ago, about a year after I had relocated from London, England to Dallas, Texas. We are Polish, Texan, British/Nigerian and Canadian/Sri Lankan (and Will, who we have conferred the title of “one of the ladies” and is privy to our most personal stories! Truly an honour bestowed upon him). We’ve been to Bahamas to celebrate a wedding, road tripped on July 4th weekend for a birthday and gone to Disney World for general bonding. One of the ladies was visiting from her Charlotte NC abode, where she’s been for 2 yrs so we laid out the red carpet, catching up, dressing up, hugging up and lifting each other up. So much love in one little morning I mused as I was headed to the airport. Client site here I come! I am in the zone.

zone ladies

I was recounting to the ladies that since launching my website www.smilefitnow.com on October 1st, I’ve struggled to find/carve out/create time to be immersed in my creative. I need to figure out why my mailchimp auto reply has not replied, work on a newsletter now that some people are expecting it (ok, Will), rebrand my “SMILE Guide”, design an update for said website, what about the smilefit t-shirts? I went on a litany. I know, I know….we all have the same 24 hrs, thank you. All this in addition to wondering why the orange light that just came up on my car dashboard can’t just tell me what it wants or wants me to do? Somethings are meant to try you. I’ve not even added the demands of work to the list. Or sleep. 

Last year my therapist told me I have “too many apps open”. Titi? Sort yourself out! Remember, one thing at a time. Writing is the one thing calms me, where I can focus and zone out. My happy place.

It is SEVEN DAYS TO THE MARINE CORPS MARATHON!!! October 28! Virginia baby!!! I’m excited, no you’re excited, yes I’M EXCITED!!

 But today, I’m in Sacremento for work, a 3 hr flight to a city that’s 2 hrs behind Dallas time. The United States has 6 time zones people. SIX. If I was on a plane from London for this amount of time I’d be in a “foreign” country relying on the kindness of google translate. I return to Dallas on Wednesday night then fly out on early Friday for the marathon on Sunday! Yikes! Not how I pictured the week to go, I wanted to minimise wear on tear on the body. But, the best laid plans…..sigh. Strength comes from how you deal with the unexpected. I trust in my training and I take care of my body, it knows how to dial it up when needed. That and electrolytes. Oh, and a cryotherapy session on Saturday!  My energy levels are trained to rev it up! They are zoned in!

zone cryo

Speaking of marathon training, I’m looking back on it and I’ wowed! As I countdown the days, permit me to share with you…..

….some of my most memorable runs and five things they taught me.

1. I can do much more with less 

zone 13 plus

13 miles and over runs. I don’t know which was the happiest, my first over half marathon run (17.5 miles) which gave me the courage to keep pushing, or my furthest of 25 miles which taught me I have much more potential than I thought I had. One of the pleasant surprises was what I used to “fuel” my runs – superhero muffins  (you can read that here in Super hero muffins……nom nom nom!), coconut water to replace lost electrolyte, tart cherry juice and then a green smoothie for recovery after. I wanted to understand what my body could do, to see what I could accomplish without “chemical manipulation” – the protein shakes, pre-workout, recovery supplements and all the various acronymed sports drinks laden with artificial ingredients. Yes, I could and I did! I couldn’t SMILE any bigger if I tried.

2. I have a new running benchmark and I like it!

zone 9

The 9, 10 and 12 miles run! This “tier” became the middle ground. If I was in a position where I couldn’t do a long 13+ miles, I would pick a number in this group depending on how much time I had. In July, when I was away on a family celebration weekend in Ohio, I did 9 miles with less than 4hrs of sleep. I did not want to miss a training run and I wasn’t sure how far I could go after partying all night! I used to have to think of my life and what it was worth before contemplating “let me go and run 10 miles”. Now it’s just life. My smilefit life. And it feels so good!

3. I’d rather run longer than shorter.

zone 3

The 3 mile fillers. The small miles are every much as important as the big miles. It’s the little things we do that add up, I always stress this. As much as I wanted to just do weekend long runs only (my short cut!), I knew I had to do these short bursts, they are the tune up. Sometimes I’d join my Thursday Night Social Run (aka TNSR”) for the extra motivation. I’ve discovered I prefer the longer runs, shocking I know! I tend to go at a steady (slower) pace. There’s enough pain after, I don’t need to feel pain during, lol! I always try to go faster on shorter runs. On long runs, I listen to an audio book or podcast and just go with the flow not worried about making a certain time. My pace is my pace, whatever pace that it is, and it depends on my mood, how energised I am etc etc. The 3 mile smile I call it.

4. Determination, Discipline and drive 

zone 4

4 miles is now my new 3 miles! I usually force myself to do 3 miles but 4 miles feels like I’m doing extra, it’s more than the “normal 3 miles”, I push a bit more and I feel like I’ve overachieved! It really is the little things. I honestly can’t believe how dedicated I’ve been since I signed up for the marathon in April to run for Team Girl Up. (I wrote about in What’s the 411 hun?). Training for the marathon, I was waking up at 4am to beat the Texans sunrise knowing I’d be outside for hours. The world is made up of morning and night people. I’m the latter.  I’ll just leave that here. 

5. I can strategise anything! 

I’ve always wanted to run a marathon but I was so SCARED of the training! 26.2 miles/42 km? HOW??? My ability to strategise went up a notch. I would device ways to trick my body and mind into doing more on each long run. How? By running one mile at a time! Some of my strategies included:

  • 6 miles + 1 water break + 6 miles = 12 miles
  • 5 + 6 + 7 + 5 + 2 = 25 miles (water breaks in between)
  • 4 miles + (break) + 6 miles + (break) + 6 miles = 16 miles
  • 5 x 4 miles with 5min rests + 1 mile for the push = 21 miles

I tested and trained my body in so many ways. How to run for longer periods without stopping for water. Eating real “whole foods” to see what works, what would get me in the zone. I’m not a big fan of gels and the like.

I’m sure there are others or where I could’ve phrased it better but it’s almost midnight…that means 2am in Dallas. So…..

Post script. I’m also working with another client based in New Jersey, on Eastern time! I’m truly time zoned, but I’m in the zone…..




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