January 2017: What if you simply devoted a year to loving yourself more?

I start things with great intention and life happens as it does to most; my personal testimonials and promises are quickly the thing I have to let go of. The end of 2016 was rough. From finding out I screwed up our taxes 3 years ago and now we are paying  back, Scott losing his job, among the other struggles we already felt (to each his own,its all relative to the life we live) we had a nice bag of shit to tote into the new year; a year so many hoped would be better than 2016.

Honestly  2016 isn’t  one I will look back with fondness but with the wide eyes of life education. 

I attended 14 funerals, 4 family and 10 from work. This alone was so mentally and emotionally painful it shut me down. 

I didn’t meet any goal I set for myself, in fact I shut that train of thought down in February after being told there wasn’t anything wrong with my ankle but there was also no hope of a marathon in my 2016. 

I witnessed families grieve, for a multitude of reasons and more than once I had an itty, bitty, pity party for poooorrrr me…oh and there ws me turning 40. 

Now one month into this new 2017 I look back and I feel the relief of 2016 being over. I have so many positives in front of me, maybe that struggle was for some greater purpose. I have a happiness in me I haven’t felt for a very long time; when hiccups arise I don’t feel like my world is at the brink of extinction. I wake up most mornings ready to kick some ass and live life to the fullest. I’m getting to experience my children daily, their laughter and tears (girls cry a lot who knew?!) their success and their struggles….

Caution Parental Honesty Ahead:

My Ailey whom gets the raves at school for straight A’s and exemplary behavior, my bookworm who reads like its going out of style, loves science, Star Wars, a good snuggle and oh my the creativity – she may look like her daddy but that child is me reborn…until faced with her sister and then watch out!

My Piper…oh that little girl. As hilarious as she is rotten, a very average student, a moderate behavior problem (honest parenting observation) spunky, independant and my word teenage years will be a challenge. At home she is loving, helpful, snuggly and everybit my baby. Her demeanor much like her daddy, “….don’t worry about a thing, cause every little thing is gonna be alright…” the victim of her sister’s agression, why we have no idea.  

I enjoy every moment, I felt like I had been missing that, I had really been feeling like being a parent wasn’t my calling. I make being mommy a priority now, as much as taking care of myself. We are all better for it.

Ready to run?!

 Heck yes I am. It is a slow, slow journey but I re-joined weight watchers at the end of December and gave myself one month to get practical eating under me, down 8.8#. Month two-  I am now adding in a running/walking/yoga plan. Excited that I have created a little yoga space at home with a heater (since I ūüíú hot yoga) my mat and I will meet before work and prepare me from the inside out for my day ahead. A personal challenge of a 5k a day for the next 30 days and perhaps the Heart Mini 15K if I can score a free entry. Mentally I am in the best state I have been in longer than I can remember. I am on the lowest dose of antidepressants,every-other-day in fact than I have  been in 6 years, this goes to show when you free yourself of the things you really cannot control and the toxic people in your life, the change that can manifest is liberating. 

Life for now 1/12 of the way through 2017 is good. It feels full and right, for me. There are challenges that exist, but I feel confident that I am equipped to face them and endure.

Running plan for 2017:

March: Heart Mini 15k (9ish miles)

May: Flying Pig Half 

July: 4th of July 5k – goal of a 34 min finish

September: Air Force Marathon 

October: Queen Bee half (long shot to squeeze this one in)

November: Honorrun Half 

Weight loss goal for 2017: 60#

What if you simply devoted this year to loving yourself more?


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How far is a marathon, really? 

On October 18,2015 it was 26.2 miles in reality that it the end of a journey that is a hell of a lot longer than 26.2 miles. Its more like 9+ months, three pairs of shoes, globs of vasoline, blisters, baths, sweat, miles driven dropping off water and hours planning training routes, its early mornings, running sore and tired, playlists and protein bars, not to mention  the drive to get to the race. It was almost a year of mental energy. It was more tears and soreness than I realized it would be. Thankful for the support I was blessed with: kids, husband, sisters, brother, friends, parents, in-laws, facebook family, co-workers and fellow race participants. 

On October 18 I completed the Columbus Marathon. I was so proud of myself…until I saw my time, until I saw the photos, until I saw official results; and then I was ashamed, depressed and deflated. I was the 56th last marathoner to finish with a time of 6:15. Third last in my age division. When I put all this together I pretty much decided to stop running, I cried for three days straight. This experience that should have been self affirming crushed me. (Add to that the hotel screwed up and overcharged me resulting in over $100 in overdraft charges, but thats another story.) 

The next Sunday as Asics so kindly told me it was time for recovery run one, 20 minute jog. I had ZERO desire to run, but I did. And I cried. My legs rejoiced in the burn and stretch, I really wanted more than 20 minutes but the program was laid out that way for a reason. Traveling last week I got in two 3 milers on the treadmill. I got over my sadness, I’m still not satisfied with my performance BUT the only redemption, is to train harder and do it again.

So 2016 here is the plan: 

March – Heart Mini  15K

May – Flying Pig full

June – Tough Mudder KY

July – Edgewood 5k

August* – Redlegs 10k date is tbd

October – Columbus full

November – Honor Half & Thanksgiving Day 10k

There is no honor in quitting, only on persevering. 
   
    
    
 

Close to Columbus….maybe

It’s been a short summer, I have enjoyed my kids, yoga and running of course. Back to school hit so quickly and we are well into our routein. I heavy heartedly continue to train for Columbus, but I don’t think I will actually get to go. Our dedication to our kids attening parochial schools has left our budget so tight that spending money on a hotel seems selfish and irresponsible, yet I train on. Even if I can’t make the event I will run the distance that morning. Today I headed out at 4:30 am to beat the heat and finished 18 miles in 3:43. I oddly am less sore than when I did 15 two weeks ago. My heel/ankle are killing me, I am very thankful that the x-rays were negative for a stress fracture.  


My new Tomtom, a birthday gift!

   
About halfway through my run! 

Runaversary: Three Years of Running

  
2013 I signed up for my first 5k, the Edgewood Fourth of July event I did it to push myself to do something I wasn’t built to do, now I realize that running can be for any build, age, and level of fitness; it’s more mind over body than anything. 

In three years I have logged over 1,000 miles, worn out 6 pairs of shoes, learned about KT tape, hydration, pacing myself, the power of the playlist, the pain/frustration of injury and me. 

That is what I have learned the most about: me.

I am far from perfect in every aspect, I fail as much as I succeed, from each of those I learn something; but when I go out for every run, even the ones I have to push myself to begin, at the end I feel accomplished. Its when I run I can really let go, I can cry or scream, run as fast as I can and then walk, I can stop and admire where I am at, I can push myself to go just a little further than I planned and accept sometimes cutting it short is ok as well. I highly doubt that I will ever win an event, but having finished events last is humbling, the greatest reward is knowing I did it, and each personal voictory is for me. I don’t run to please anyone, to boast or  prove a point (anymore), I run because I need to. I love the way my body transforms by the end of the season, even though I am thick I am leaner and more tone, I am sun kissed and firm. I really love my body. 

I can’t imagine my life now without it and I realize that tons of people run, run more than myself, faster and with more grace, kudos to them, I hope they get from it what I do. I realize that its a very popular thing to participate in now, I also have many people tell me how much they hate it and guess what that’s ok as well. To each his or her own.

The things we are passionate are not random, they are our calling. I believe I started running when I needed to and now it’s part of who I am.
  

Run N Slug ’15 and Thyroid Strikes Back

Memorial Day Run and Slug 13k

This is the second time I have run this event, thought the course very familiar  as I use it as a training location because of its location and distance. I treated myself to a new shirt that will remain a thought in my head this summer and beyond, “Progress not Perfection”. My goal this year was to better my time from last year. My momma as always was there to wish me luck and off we went. The entire run was into a rather strong wind for here and I was very thankful for the water stops, at least the first lap around, they were non-existant the second time around, had I known I would have been prepared by dropping my own bottles. As I turned the corner heading up Ewing Fight Song came on and I began to cry, it’s been a really long, hard, emotional week for me and the words just pushed me. I felt pretty good, tired but I could see the stop light at the top of the hill and then I saw him. My dad. He’s never been to see me finish, and today he was there to see me finish, last again. 1:42:27, three minutes better than last year – however I think if I had, had water between miles 2.5 and 8 I would have done better. I own it. I’m good with it, it was progress and family made it perfection.

  
Thyroid Strikes Back...

When I was 22 I went through a period in life where I was thin without trying, hot all the time (99+), sleepless, a visible pounding chest, amid other symptons I didn’t give much attention to. I had to have a physical for new insurance so in I go la-tee-da and come out convinced I am going to die. Christmas Eve ’98 I learn I have Graves Disease, a hyperthyroid diagnosis. After two years of treatment I had to make the decision that I wanted to have kids and the medication I was on was on the pregnancy mom no list. So my first husband and I decided I would have I131 treatment, radioactive iodine. This was one of those things while it’s happening you think this is the stuff people fear…. a pill delivered by iron ball and a nurse wearing a hazmat suit, they open it up and hand you a plastic cup of water and expect you to take it barehanded – and then  the thought, s*** I have to swallow it.  It was too late so down the hatch. The next two weeks I avoided people like the plague – slept on cheap sheets we threw out, ate off paper plates, and even wiped the toilet clean after each use, why you ask? Because I was radiating!! That chemical was seeping out through my “secretions”. For another year I was on varying dosages of medication until I was diagnosed in remission!! With the advice that some day this would decline, as all functions do with age.

I went last year. .27-4.2 is the “normal range” mine, 4.2. I was concerned as I hadn’t been feeling my best, they didn’t do anything because it was normal, what they didn’t know is this was an increase from the previous result. Bring on fall…emotionally I begin to crumble, I want to run and can’t because I am so tired, start seeing a therapist because I feel like I am losing my mind….so last week my sister said, “how’s your thyroid?” I didn’t ever think this could have been a factor. Once a year to the Drz is a good idea anyhow, yeah I’m overweight, but my BP is normal, my RHR is lower than average, do you exercise? Ummm yeah training for a marathon and I love yoga. I mention to the Dr. the reason I am there and he orders bloodwork. Friday morning I get the results much sooner than I expected, 8.97 – WOAH right?! So what I suspected was happening happened, I now own the diagnosis of subclinical hypothyroidism. Medication for life. However in 6-8 weeks I should seee my symptoms begin to resolve. The thyroid controls all the endocrine system, it’s kinda a big deal.

 So life goes on, with a little relief that some of what I have been feeling isn’t just situational but based on a health warning issued 15 years ago.

Columbus or BUST

Today begins the unofficial official training plan for my first marathon, I say first because I plan on more than one. I scoured the internet for plans, groups, teams, clubs and realized I am more a loner than a “group” runner. Groups bring out my competitve nature and I am the only competition I need at this stage in my life. So I borrowed bits of plans and made my own.  

 

I’m not one to tempo, or sprint, I am more of the tortise slow and steady, increases gradually, listening to bodily cues more than a “regime”. I am realistic and know that life is going to prevent some of these days from happening, and I may come to a point where I don’t wanna but I know me and know how to push myself. Along with this plan comes a rededication to clean eating, I feel so much better over time when I gift myself healthy meals than the temporary pleasure I get from indulgent items, not to say I wont have a beer now and then, and chocolate well no one wants to see that me. Day by day I will get closer to my goals:

* finish the marathon in under 6 hours (secretly hoping for 5.5)

* drop this last 30# I have been battling for 3 years

* live upto my new found motto Everything is beautiful, and nothing hurt.

With my family behind me, my heart and head on the right path, a clear and concise vision I have no doubt that come October I will have made great strides physically, emotionally and in my relationships.

  

Flying Pig Half-Marathon ….finally

It was 2013 I decided I wanted to do this event, inspired by the team running in honor of an Inspirational young man, the son of someone I went to High School with who needed a liver transplant and years later a team ran in his name to raise money for the COPA. I didn’t make it that first year but I was a member of Sparkpeople and it was my long term goal. 2014 I had just recovered from faciaitis and had the determination but not the time to prepare. 2015 was it. I signed up a few months ago with intent to best myself, 2:45 ish from the Queen Bee last fall. I signed up because I have been told so many times that I was not a runner, because I said I would do this someday. 

When I signed up I had a plan in mind, I already knew I could do the distance t was just getting in the training. I didn’t. I let everything else be priority. Counting today I have run 53 miles today…who goes out and runs a half marathon with 40 miles of “training”. My expectatio lowerd, let’s finish, under 3 hours 13mi/hr pace. I started in the back as usual, repeating to mysel over and over, slow, steady…my first mile over 13 mins, I knew mile 6-8 were Eden park – hills upon hills. Mile 8.27 Here Comes the Sun, here came the tears, thankyou to the woman who walked into a crowd of runners to hug me – I don’t know your name but you saved that mile. Thank you to Barb, who ran miles 10-12 besife me and helped me at my hurdle monent. Ididn’t  walk other than the water stops until mile 11.75 and I could feel the blisters that adorned both feet, to finish now was the challenge.  I reminded myself there was a time when I couldn’t run a mile, and here I had just over a mile to finish. Mile 12 to the finish I ran, tears streaming down my face, shirtless and didn’t care it was warm.

My watch: 2:53:19 13:00 pace. 

Running for me is is personal, I can dedicate myself to an intention, a goal, a promise, I can feed an emotion, resolve a hurt – when its done, when my foot hits the mat, my watch stopped its gone. It’s behind me. A memory or new goal. I let go today of something I have harboured for too long and resolve to make myself stronger from it. My goal: Columbus 10/18/2015, finish in under 6 hours. Did I just say that??? Yes. I will finish a marathon.

Thankyou to my mother, my husband, Scott, my beautiful daughters, Ailey and Piper for all being as close to the finish as they could be. For all those who texted and facebooked words of encouragement that I saw when I was done; you will never understand how incredible it was to see.

 

Course Map

  

My pre-race ritual photo.

    

Official results

 

March 11: Physical and Mental Health

PHYSCAL HEALTHlarge

Today is the first run in, dam I had to look since January 25. No wonder I have been so cranky! I have been getting my yoga in and my failed attempt at Body Beast (still hate it). I could list a bunch of excuses, and while we did have two snow falls of more than 5″ in those weeks the other weeks I was just flat-out lazy. My personal life has been full of turmoil and I am a this or that, meaning balls to the wall binge run or sloth. This time I opted for sloth.

This morning when I got up I packed my bag, be it all inspired for the 15K Heart-Mini I am participating in on Saturday, I packed it and at 11:30 I changed and out the door I went. It was a rather refreshing two miles (yeah only two, so how on Earth will I do 9+ in just 3 days?!), 45 degrees, sun shining, short sleeves, IT FELT LIKE HOME. I was reminded why I love it, because my body says no and stop but my head tells it to shut up and I go. Everything ached, my knees, hips, ankle, my chest burned and my head throbbed, but I did it. No less rewarding than 13 miles its all about accomplishment. It’s about putting one more foot forward and knowing I can do it, it’s knowing that in a few weeks 6 miles will feel good and then another week or two later 10 will be tolerable and by May I will take 13 in stride as I inch closer to the goal of the year – completing the Columbus Marathon.

My weight which is usually my focus, the number, I have been a lot better at looking at from a “How does it fit?” stance. I was able to buy pants for work a size smaller than I thought I was, and even they were wee bit big but I didn’t want to push it, next fall they will be too big. I was able to buy jeans a size smaller as well and if not for my damn calves (which I will openly admit here don’t look as bad as they used to) were also smaller, the waist is too big but they have to fit the whole leg. I have hope that I will be able to wear shorts this summer, something I have not done since 2008.

MENTAL HEALTHimages

I have spent most of 2015 so far in reflection.

How lucky I am to have a body that cooperates, to have a support system to back me when times are tough, to realize that counseling has led me to know what I need from life and which things I can release from. How blessed I am to have reunited a friendship that means the world to me, and though it is not the same, as things rarely stay the same, it is just as good and just as valued as it was before. I am thankful to have a job that I enjoy 99% of the time, children who are learning what a happy mother looks like and a spirit that is unstoppable.

I can’t say there haven’t been downer days, that I haven’t hurt, cried and been downright miserable but the silver lining is that all things are pointing in a positive direction. (I consulted a Magic 8 ball and it concurred). I have love and richness in my life that is only measured by the scale in my head, an outlook on myself that is renewed and positive, and lastly the knowledge that my future is really up to me.

“Sometimes you have to be strong for yourself. You have to know that you are a good person and a good friend. What’s meant to be will end up good and what’s not – won’t. Love is worth fighting for, but sometimes you can’t be the only one fighting. At times, people need to fight for you. If they don’t you just have to move on and realize what you gave them was more than they were willing to give you. Hopefully, people realize great things when they come around and don’t lose something real. Always fight, until you can’t anymore, and then be fought for.”

Body Beast: Week 3 and Making Grown-up Decisions

BODY BEAST

Three weeks in and I have to admit, I hate it. I guess I should have done more research, this was the wrong program for me. I love the cardio and abs day but the rest, meh. The leader is incredibly annoying, and there is so much down time I spend more of the workout waiting for the next set to begin that I feel guilty counting it as exercise. That being said I will complete the program because a quitter I am not. Thanks, Dad.

The husband loves it and says he feels like it’s a good workout for him, and I can tell there is a difference. The first time we did the cardio he couldn’t finish it and now he’s right there with me.

I am suffering through the cold streak and haven’t been running because it is so cold, if the sun would just come out! I want to go so badly and then I open the door and say hells no. (yes it’s an excuse) I was given a week where it was warm and went out three of the days at lunch and got in three miles on each of them, and the next few days it’s supposed to be above 20.

MAKING GROWN-UP DECISIONS

The biggest decision I have had to make¬†right now is that I will not be doing any paid events this year, with exception to the Fourth of July 5K. After looking at our budget and the reality that we will not be able to afford to send our children to the school we want to, because the aftercare is SO expensive that we are going to have to move to a school district that I do find acceptable; I rethought my race schedule and how selfish it is of me to take money from our budget for racing. Mentally and emotionally this is extremely difficult for me; this one thing, running timed events has been the motivator for me pushing myself the last two years, and now I have lost that as well. I have 5 passes left for yoga that I paid for last fall and then I will lose that as well. I know there is sidewalk everywhere and yoga on you-tube but it’s not the same. There is no run I can do alone that gives me the same satisfaction as an official time (crazy I know for someone who will never win anything); there is no online video that is the same as sharing space with people doing their practice, have you ever tried trying to do yoga in a full house with no space and a dog who must be up your rear all the time? It’s not calming at all.

Wow, what a poor-me post. Can’t help it, it’s where I am right now. No sugar-coating, no hiding. I want to feel like it’s going to turn around, that we will find a way to make it all work, but right now in this moment, the cloud is hanging awfully low.

I will post 4 week BB pics and stats, maybe it is working and I just don’t feel it.

Honor Half Marathon Y’all 11/15/2014

It’s been a long 5 weeks in my world.

24d

I changed jobs, and had a huge emotional shift regarding that upheaval. Great news is that I love, love, love my new job.

I have kept up with running and yoga classes and on Saturday morning I started the day with my traditional breakfast of chocolate milk and zingers (I know super healthy right?) Sitting in the car freezing, I only turned the heat up enough to defrost, not wanting to warm myself too much. Yahoo weather was kind enough to tell me that it was 16 degrees – I don’t care where you live that’s freaking cold. I told my parents and husband to stay home, had I not paid for this I would have still be at home in bed. However anyone who knows me knows that the word “quit” does not exist in my vocabulary.

The beginning of the event was under the water tower at the Florence Mall, the sun just barely¬†making its¬†presence known. The principal of Cooper High School sang the National Anthem and the mayor of Florence shared a few words of thanks and encouragement. All 1,100 participants lined up, “Survivor” from the Rocky movie was their choice for a starting song, ironically it was the same song I had selected, after that it was up to the ipod shuffle gods. Mile one looped around the mall, it was strange to run so many miles in an area that I have called home all my life. The third song “Here Comes The Sun” once again started just as the sun came up 7:21 I was .75 miles in,¬†ironic? Kismet?¬†It was from that point on that I knew I was going to run a good event. The course was much harder than the Queen Bee, that event the hills were out-of-the-way in the first 4 miles, this event the hills were constants.¬† It was a steady challenge and this time I made it 8 miles before I took a little walk break, I didn’t drop my first 13+ mile until mile 10 and the second one was mile 11 but I really had to make a pit stop. Mile 12 was tough and mostly uphill before a slight slope down and circling back to where we started. I finished less than one minute slower than previously, all things considered I was really pleased.

At the finish line I wrapped up and walked to get a drink, water wasn’t appealing on the course so my intake was very little, however I was parched once I stopped. Pulling my phone from my pocket I had wishes of luck from my parents, my sister, my husband and children, I smiled and then read the text from my mom that she along with my niece and nephew were at the finish! Finding them made the day complete. Hugs and support, nothing better when one has met a goal.

What’s up next?

Well I am not a cold weather fan, I have the Thanksgiving Day 10K next week and that’s it for formal events, my wallet and shoes are worn out. I have an appointment to have my right foot finally taken care of and after 4-6 weeks of recovery I will begin training for the Flying Pig Half Marathon in May, and maybe just maybe we will talk Columbus full for my 39th birthday instead of my 40th. I will continue to run up until surgery day and as soon as I am medically cleared I will slowly get back up to speed, in the mean time I am absolutely in love with hot yoga and there is a new cycling bar in town that I am eager to give a try.

On the agenda for 2015:

May: Flying Pig Half Marathon, Cincinnati Reds 10K, Run & Slug 8 miler

July: Fourth of July 5K

August: Friendship City 5K (I am going to win my age division)

September: Hudy 14K

October: Columbus Marathon or Queen Bee Half Marathon

November: Honor Half Marathon and Thanksgiving Day 10K

 

 

 

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