Sometimes Good Things Fall Apart So Better Things Can Fall Together

We have plans about our life. We have this vision about how things are supposed to turn out, and we are willing to work hard for them. And sometimes they don't.

Sometimes we do everything in our power—our best—and we still fail, and everything we know to be true, good and right isn't anymore. And it hurts.

Sometimes it helps to trust and believe that things happen for a reason—to teach us? To shape us? To make us better? Or maybe—just maybe—awful things happen just so other, better things could come along. With hope and confidence, you can hold your head up and take a step. And then another step forward.

Marilyn Monroe said it best: "I believe that everything happens for a reason. People change so that you can learn to let go, things go wrong so that you appreciate them when they're right, you believe lies so you eventually learn to trust no one but yourself, and sometimes good things fall apart so better things can fall together."

What happens to your body with little sleep?

"In short, nothing good," said Dr. William Barrett, Medical Director of the Barrett Cancer Center at UC. "One bad night can trigger many side effects."

• Mind
When it comes to the effects of acute sleep deprivation, the first signal that your body is overtired will be a sluggish mind.

• Heart
Your blood pressure rises over the course of the day, usually due to the physical and emotional stress. Every night while you sleep, your blood pressure and your heart rate drop back down. Without that daily reboot, things steadily rise and your risk of heart attack, stroke, and even long-term heart disease increases.

• Endocrine System
Sleep is vital for hormone production. If you're up for more than 18 hours, your testosterone will slowly deplete, affecting your energy levels.

• Performance
If the body malfunctions, your performance takes a hit as well. The effect is more mental than physical. Everything feels harder not because of physiological changes, but because your perception of effort has changed.

If you're having trouble waking up, should you set your alarm earlier so you can hit the snooze and wake up gradually?

Our bodies do better when they can get used to a single clear rule. Get out of bed the moment the alarm sounds. When we hit the snooze button, our bodies get a confused message. So just bite the bullet — it won't be fun in the beginning but it will get easier — and get out of bed when the alarm tells you to the first time. Do this faithfully for a few months and a wonderful habit should begin to form – Hello Morning! Better yet, plan to meet someone for a morning run. Accountability is a great wakeup call!

Why should you do the most important thing first every day?

Disorder and chaos tend to increase as the day goes on. At the same time, the decisions and choices we make throughout the day tend to drain our willpower. You're less likely to make a good decision at the end of the day than you are at the beginning.

If you do the most important thing first, each day will have more significance and be more productive — you'll always get something important done, even if everything doesn't go as planned. What simple strategy will save you from so many headaches? "Don't care about winning trivial arguments," said John Barrett, CEO of Western & Southern. "If someone says something you don't agree with, smile, nod, and move on to more important things."

"Life is too short to worry about having the last word," said Alvin Roehr, CEO of The Roehr Agency. "Most things just aren't worth your time and your heart."

What happens to your body with little sleep?

"In short, nothing good," said Dr. William Barrett, Medical Director of the Barrett Cancer Center. "One bad night can trigger many side effects."

• Mind
When it comes to the effects of acute sleep deprivation, the first signal that your body is overtired will be a sluggish mind.

• Heart
Your blood pressure rises over the course of the day, usually due to the physical and emotional stress. Every night while you sleep, your blood pressure and your heart rate drop back down. Without that daily reboot, things steadily rise and your risk of heart attack, stroke, and even long-term heart disease increases.

• Endocrine System
Sleep is vital for hormone production. If you're up for more than 18 hours, your testosterone will slowly deplete, affecting your energy levels.

• Performance
If the body malfunctions, your performance takes a hit as well. The effect is more mental than physical. Everything feels harder not because of physiological changes, but because your perception of effort has changed.

How can you stay motivated during tough times?

• Do something fun that makes you feel good.
— Organize an activity with friends/family that cheer you up (avoid negative people)
— Go for a long walk with a friend or take part in a charity run like Sophie's Run
— Take in a good book or movie
— Learn something new like photography, painting or PowerPoint
— Write a thank you note


• Ask for help.
No one is strong enough to go through all adversity alone. Sure, you might be strong enough to deal with the challenges of life, but there always comes a time when things become too much. Asking for help can bolster your ability to make it through.

• Write down your biggest fears.
"What's the worst thing(s) that can happen?" It's one of my favorite questions. Think about it and write it down. This exercise makes us aware of how irrational and potentially fearful we are.

• Create a plan.
Ask yourself — What am I going to do about it? Come up with a list of things you want to do and set some new goals. When you create a plan, you're looking at the future, and when we imagine a better future, you start feeling better. Most importantly, don't forget to enjoy the process of getting there.

What are some of the best running tips ever?

• Strengthen your whole body
Good runners condition their whole bodies. The arms drive the legs. Keep your upper body and core toned with a lot of push-ups, pull-ups, sit-ups, and back raises (don't forget that the back is part of the core). Stay away from machine weights and stick to Pilates, climbing, and dynamic flexibility work like yoga.

• Run lots of hills
One of the beauties of hills is that they really work on dynamic power, hip strength and hip mobility because you need to be able to go and drive those hips really high to get up.

• Quit trying to set your personal best
Be process oriented, not outcome oriented. Get a little better with each training session — a stronger run, a steeper hill, etc. Don't obsess about race day but instead focus on the journey.

• Drink up
Water is so important to every function of the body.

• Stretch and refuel after runs and races
There's a natural temptation to hurry about your day or rush to your next thing. Take the time to refresh, renew and reward your body by stretching after that workout.

• Find a balanced routine that works for you
The best plans are your plans. There's no question about when and how and why. It's built in to the process so you can focus on the work.

• Layer up when it's cold
It's easy to see the weather and darkness as a reason not to work out. Buy clothes like a moisture-wicking base layer, gloves, and a breathable wind-blocking top to make training outside a lot more enjoyable. It also gives you flexibility to remove layers as you heat up. A good rule of thumb is to dress for 20 degrees warmer than the outside temperature.

• You need to sprint more
Sprints should take up 5% of your total weekly mileage. Someone running 30 miles a week should run hill sprints for 1.5 of those miles.

• Patience is a virtue
In distance running, you've got to learn to love the process. Whether it's in training (it takes a lot of time to get better) or in racing (holding back for the first 20 miles of a marathon), patience is a virtue. There are no quick fixes. It's about believing in yourself and your plan.

• Take recovery days seriously
The day after a tough workout, the most you want to do is jog lightly or do some form of cross-training, like cycling, then take a nap. You need a recovery day after a hard day. No exceptions no matter your fitness level.

• Make it social
Get a group together, or join a local running club. When you're socially and emotionally invested in your workouts, it'll be harder for you to skip them. Having running friends will help keep you from burning out or slacking off.

• Don't pick just one running partner
One of the most basic ways to add a little variety to your running life is finding different running partners. You don't need to be monogamous about who you run with. The same principle applies for those who always run alone: Try joining a group for long weekend runs and (re)discover the joys of exercising with others.

• Get off your feet before a race
Take it easy the day and night prior to race day. Discipline yourself to keep activity to a minimum, making a conscious effort to sit and rest with your feet up as much as possible.

• Visualize success
You can even practice your finish line pose.

• Use technology (but not too much)
Apps from MapMyRun and the USATF can help you plot your training routes in less time (no more driving them beforehand). Garmin GPS watches track your distance and pace. But don't let your tools get in the way.

• Know when your running shoes are worn out
The typical lifespan of a shoe is between 300 and 600 miles. Shoes will start to feel a little different after about 200 miles — it's a depreciation curve. Each company has a different point at which their shoes will feel really flat, but it's important to know that shoes do have a lifespan. It might not be immediately clear when your shoes have bitten the dust, but there are a few indications that it's time to invest in a new pair.

• First, run easy
Once you can run easy, focus on running light. Once you get light, focus on running smooth. By the time you're easy, light, and smooth, you won't have to worry about getting fast — you will be.

• Don't run injured
It's hard to sit it out while waiting for an injury to heal. You risk setting back training and racing goals, not to mention losing a sweet endorphin rush. But whatever ails you will take longer to heal — or get worse — if you run through the pain.