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 💜 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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Setting Goals

2016 is more than half over. I haven’t achieved much in respect to physical improvements. I’ve run 58 miles this year and I’ve gained 20#. I have had little to no motivation. But that ends here today. Ok, I’ve made this claim repeatedly but I have set my sights on running Columbus again next fall, it will be our 10th anniversary weekend away, we are budgeting now so we don’t have to stress about it. 

The ultimate goal is to finish in 5:30 or less. I know if I put my mind to it, follow my plan, I know this is doable.

Nana also said, “Yard by yard life is hard, but inch by inch life is a sinch.”  So here goes:

Marathon planning Inch by Inch:

8/21/16: Today begings focus on water. I need to drink 110 oz of water a day. For the next seven days that is what I will concentrate on. Run 2 miles a day.

8/28/16: Menu planning and actually sticking to that menu planning. Clean healthy meals 6 days a week with one indulgence a week. Run 2 miles a day. Drink 110 oz water a day.  

September: running goal 50 miles for the month

9/4/16: Continue meal planning, 110 oz water daily, resume half training plan running a min of 2 miles a day 5-6 days a Eeek 

9/11/16: Meal planning, water consumption, running plan – reward self with a hot yoga class this week! 

I’m trying shorter goals. Saying I want to lose 50# is a great goal, but thats a huge goal, its an endurance goal and for now I need a sprint goal, something I can realistically do in a short amountn of time that is beneficial, can be added to, and isnt overwhelming. 

Weigh in days will be Mondays and I will try really hard to not be a daily scale fanatic. 

Reuniting with Writing & Running

Well lookie here, I had lost all hope of being able to log in to this blog again, but I decided yesterday during a really looooooooooong meeting to check and BAZINGA! it worked.  So since my last entry what have I been doing…hummmmmm…not much. I finally decided to see an orthopedist regarding my ankle and guess what? After an MRI the results show nothing is wrong, which is frustrating because it hurt like hell. I went to 2 PT sessions and then received the bill for said MRI and knew I couldn’t continue on at the cost I would incur; and then I got to thinking since when did I need someone to tell me what I needed to do to reach a goal, and isn’t running pain free a goal?

So I took the exercises the therapist gave me and I have been doing them at my desk, I have cautiously been running intervals and last weekend I was able to complete, running the entire distance, the Redlegs 5K. It may not sound that impressive, and my time was far from what I want, but the fact is I was able to run it pain free, and be pain free the next day. Memorial Day weekend brings the Run N’ Slug which I will not officially be participating in, but I will go and run the 4 mile leg, I have done the 8 mile run the past two years, I know I am not ready for 8 but soon I will be and I feel 4 is very doable.

This down time has been very hard on me not only physically but emotionally, I have fed and fed the depression and as a result I am 10# heavier and everything is soft. I am seeking the motivation to get my feet moving again, I am tempted to sign up for a run to force me back out on a regular schedule….maybe I will.

 

TBC……

29 days later…

I ran my first “recovery” mile. The ankle injury the gp and podotrist say didn’t exist feeling significantly better, the faciatis is what it is, I can handle that. It was Sunday morning, 60 degrees in December and my head needed it far  more than my body; though 29 days without running my weight is no different but my body is, I feel thick and full, I hate it. I decided to try just one mile, not pushing too hard, being conscious to how I felt physically as opposed to how well I thought I was doing. I stayed on a very flat path and after a few minutes of brisk walking I upped the pace. Finishing my lone mile in 12:15. That for me, is decent. Returning home I stretched a littleand  washed up; as the day wore on my foot was tender but the ankle felt great. 

The plan is to easily put myself back into full on marathon training for the Flying Pig May 1st. Officially I won’t begin a regime until January 3rd but this prep work will hopefully make my transition an easy one. The lessons I learened from my Columbus experience:

1) pick a plan and stick to it

2) cross training is VERY important

3) a healthy eating plan is equally important

So as I engage in this I am reviewing countless free plans and desigining something I know will follow these lessons and fit in with my family; they have been extremely supportive of this and I could not do it without them. My New Year’s intentions begin a little before the new year sets in but 2015 has without a doubt been the most physically demanding, emotionally challenging and educational year of my life. There are things I am going to dedicate myself to, things I am in the process of letting go, goals I have in motion and I know the destination I must stay focused on that with these other objectives in mind. 

I wil not be flooding facebook with posts about every mile I run, every race I complete, every goal I meet. As I approach, 40 I am realizing that not everyone needs to know all my business and most people dont care about it anyhow. This 2016 that is just heartbeats away is my year of putting me back together, the physical and mental; its about personal growth and strength. 

Running and yoga are two things that make me feel really good. 

I long for a love I can believe in. 

I want my daughters to see me as stronger and confident. 

I want to feel good.

Pretty simple… 

 

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. 
   
    
    
 

My Why…30 Days 

  I joined this challenge group on facebook led by a friend I made while working at a previous job, oddly enough our first conversation was about Tough Mudder as I was days away from mine and he had done one recently. From then on we had a friendship. He is a Team Beachbody coach, a very successful one at that; it’s ironic because a Beachbody infomercial is the whole reason I started this blog. So fasrforward two years and he invites people monthly to take part in a challenge group, I have seen them monthly and wanted to join but hesitated, this month I am in! As part of this group we had a homework as to our Why? I havent thought about my why in a while. As much as I love to write it took me all morning and I still wasn’t happy with what I put down but it was a start.
Why am I on this journey?

Weight loss/healthy eating…that one is easy. I have my girls, I want to be a Nana one day. I want to live a long active life.  I have battled this since age 7 people 7! I have been fat for the better part of 32 years (geesh that’s a long time). I have been up and down more times than a yo-yo. I want that cycle to end. I want to have a relationship with food that is eating to live, not living to eat; to not look at food and crave it, to eat and not feel guilt or remorse.

Emotions: here’s my opinion on weight loss – it is FAR more emotional than physical. People say it all the time but its true. The mentaility is to see the fat, the flaws, an inability to accept compliments as valid, at times if the loss is that is significant. The change in shape and attention, our very place in space. The pressure of public eating ….its tough. I hope one day to not feel all of that.

Running: I started for a reason, and now I can’t imagine life without it. It is there I feel alive and myself. Its just me, my thoughts. Some runs I feel like I am untouchable and others a slug, but I own every step. I am pretty sure I look terrible doing it, and I have been ridiculed by passers by. I have a pretty thick skin and know that their comment is really a defense for some short coming they have in themselves. 

Why? My personal goal is to one day establish a program for young women to help them with lifestyle choices, nutrition and fitness. Its not only the overweight that need help. To reach out when they are young and creating habits. I try with my own kids. Our mantra of “Don’t put food in your mouth when you have food in your mouth.” Our lunch/snack boxes that I prep weekly, the push to get them outside as much as possible (ok sometimes I am beat and give in). Every choice I make now impacts them tomorrow; they need to know their choices do the same 

So why? Why not? Why not be part of something that gives me a chance to learn and grow? 

So challenge accepted! 

 

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! 

Adventures into the Whole30 Lifestyle

I love healthy foods and I am great at getting on a kick for a while, I see and feel progress and let myself “cheat” but my “cheats” are more than a slice of cake on my birthday or a special dinner out (which never happens); it’s days long of crap in, no wonder why I feel like crap when all I feed myself is garbage.

Food is my best friend and worst enemy. I am certain there are millions of people old and young who have that same relationship with food. It temporarily fixes what I feel or don’t feel . The last few months I have really struggled, I looked at my running record and I should be in the neighborhood of 200-300 miles by this time in the year and I am at less than 150. My weight has been steady but I attribute that to running just enough and balancing the crap just right. But I see it and feel it. I am flabbier than usual and feel physically terrible. Mentally, thank goodness I am thrilled to report I feel better than I have in a very long time and am (CHEER) anti-depressant free!!! My legs have felt heavy and I am so thirsty when I run, despite dropping water on my routes I can’t get enough, then feel sluggish. So I looked into heavy legs and running – ah-ha!!! Dehydration and a mineral deficiency are probable culprits.

How to remedy this?

I have seen countless friends post their self challenge of the Whole30.  There is no gimmick, no group to join (unless you want to), no pills, powders, supplements, shakes . It’s food. Real food, as minimally processed as possible, and NO SUGAR. That is the killer, label nazi is the title to bear. Scouring everything to make sure there is none, no pop, candy, juice-drinks, beer (sadface). Meat, veggies, fruits, healthy oils and portion control. So why not try it. The two people I know closely who have done this have experienced weight loss (already active people who changed their relationship with food), and I noticed their skin – glowing and not in that pregnant glow way. How can I not try this? It’s 30 days.

Day 1 measurements: (7/20/2015)

Hips 42.5″

Arms 15″

Chest 42″

Waist 36.75″

Calf 18.75″

Thigh 25″

Weight 212.6 (this made me way unhappy)

The goal is to detox from sugar, and reestablish healthy eating habits as far as content and portions, the site provides an excellent shopping list which I just printed and added my other items to. Pinterest is full of Whole30 food porn, I have pinned dozens of meals I am eager to try. This first week I am keeping it simple, things I know that I enjoy and are easily prepared. I can only look forward with optimism that this will boost me into a new stage in my relationship with food and one that I can stick to for a long time.

Day One Mood and Food:

MOOD: After the sad scale news I was ok, my attitude positive as I had planned to not let myself fail on this first day. I did have a headache that raged most of the day which I attribute to no caffeine or sugar at all. Exercise wise it was a rest day, but I did do about an hour of yard work. I did sleep rather well, better than I have in a while. So as this experiment goes on we shall see how I feel.

FOOD:

Breakfast 1.5 scrambled eggs, a few slices of steak, asparagus

10 am snack: nectarine

Lunch: was a fail – I had a salad and had purchased a dressing that was within the guidelines and it tasted of bitter water, so I added some cashews and ate what I could.

2 pm snack: 2 oz tuna

Dinner: 5 oz pot roast (very lean) roasted root veggies, roasted in chicken broth, topped with a little black pepper and a pinch of salt, steamed broccoli

Dessert: banana (I was hungry and banana’s give me heartburn but that with water gave me the full feeling I wanted)

Water intake:88 oz + 24 oz seltzer water (I crave bubbles)

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.

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