14 Sleeps Till Go Time

This past Saturday I set out on my last long run before the trifecta I have my self set up for. It was an emotional morning as I did not want to get out of bed, I did not want to run. I have been extremely tired and in general not feeling well. Most days it’s all I can do to pull myself together. But, mind over matter I got dressed and headed to my newly custom designed 13 mile course. The goal for the day was to complete the distance with as little walking as possible, I allow myself to walk through my water stops but that’s it.  I recall thinking on a right turn down Main Street in Florence only 4.5 miles to go, and I digested that thought. There was a time when I couldn’t run a mile, let alone fathom 13, and in this moment I was encouraged by having so little left ahead of me. The final incline proved to be the killer, driving up it I never realized it was so steep. But 2:40 after I started I was done, 13 miles in the log. Admittedly I was exhausted, I cried, I celebrated…alone.

This next two weeks is comprised of 4 short runs (4-5 miles each) and one 8 miler on Saturday, two yoga classes and a cycle class “if” I don’t have an interview (I hope I have an interview). The on the night of my 14th sleep I will pick up my race packet and I will accomplish one task I set out to, early last year. It’s been a long journey, one filled with many lessons:

shoes and socks are more than shoes and socks

regardless if I finish first or last, I am miles ahead of those who dare not take a step at all

sometimes I cry the whole route, and when I finish I am spent and revived

music (for me) makes all the difference in the world

I will never be the best or worst

injury can affect a person in many ways, but the choices available are: give in or let it make you stronger – faciaitis, runners knee, shin splints, aching knumb toes, several hamstring & groin pulls – stronger I am

and most importantly never saying never. Because I was the fat, ugly, slow kid who had a philosophy of hit the ball long and hard, so I didn’t have to run fast and slide. I am still not fast, but I have endurance and a heart that never gives up.

 

 

 

 

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12 miles and Sliding into Om

Saturday 4 am, pull self from warm cozy bed.

12 miles planned, a daunting thought to me. I have done 10 several times this year, but 12 seems like so much more. I decided on this early run time because the humidity has been so thick, I can handle the heat, I love to feel “hot” but hot and damp is just brutal. It was cool as I deposited water at my two-mile markers and started out the first lap of 3. The first 4 miles I felt really slow but when I made it back to the beginning I was very pleased with just a touch over 44 minutes, as much as I’d like it to be closer to 40 I know if I push it too hard I will injure myself or leave nothing for the last few miles; I felt good. The second 4 miles I did two out and two back just to make it a little different and add in more hills, a pit stop at the Speedway and I hit a wall. 8 miles in and I wanted to be done. I knew at that point I had two choices, run the opposite direction of my car forcing myself to finish or toward my car and potentially giving up when I got to it in lieu of going one more lap. Opposite it was. I headed down HWY 18 following what I know will be part of the Honor half marathon in November, taking a couple of loops around the mall and then heading back, my watch died so I had to use Runkeeper on my phone for the last bit but I know I was within .1 of the 12 miles. Feeling accomplished and proud that I didn’t give up, my reward was heading down to Great American Ballpark where I participated in their “Sliding into Om” promotional event.

It’s no secret that I love baseball, it’s a very special part of my life and my relationship with my father so when I learned photo 1of this oppophoto 2rtunity I had to do it! Admittedly it was a little emotional, I have been on the field before but only the warning track and in the dugout. The view from the field is almost as amazing as from the stands. I unrolled my mat and slipped off my shoes, my feet so tired. Clenching the grass with my toes I could feel the dampness that still clung to the thick, sturdy blades and the  clean smell I associate with grass. People trailed in up until the last moment and then we spread out and the class began.  A new instructor brings a new perspective on my practice. There was music in the background and I felt the benefit of this post-run. My hamstring tenderness was eased as did the tension I have been having in my right shoulder. I got a glimpse of myself on the big screen; before I knew it the hour was up. Next year I will take the girls with me, there were several littles in attendance and I think they would have really enjoyed it.

 

Preparedness for a Lifestyle Change

One of the most difficult things for me is being prepared for success.

It’s so very easy to stop at Little Caesar’s and grab $10.00 worth of pizza, or make a box of mac and cheese for the kids and just “finish what’s left”. Those two actions set me up to fail. Pizza alone is not filling, and cheap pizza is not tasty, if I am going to waste calories I should at least like what I am eating, and box-o’ mac-n-cheese is the same demon – it doesn’t taste good at all.

So preparation for a healthy food lifestyle is incredibly important.

This week I remembered when I had my initial success at WW in 2003 the number one thing I did was have a variety of go to options ready when I had the urge to snack. I know myself, my attitude  my emotions – I know I have not conquered not feeding them, but I can feed them in a more healthy way until I have taught myself some other coping mechanism.

 

Sunday (yesterday) I went to the grocery store prepared. I had a list and a purpose in shopping. I got the following for the week:

 

pistachios

apples

bananas

sugar free cherry and lime jello

light Reddi Whip

Wasa crackers

veggie cream cheese

celery

peppers

yogurt

 salad fixins

cucumbers

tomatoes

 

I spent most of the morning prep-ping everything; washed, cut up, eye level when the fridge is opened. I made breakfast sandwiches for the whole family, mine and Scott’s with egg, half a slice of cheese as opposed to the normal full slice and half a slice of ham, instead of sausage, on a reduced fat biscuit (English muffin or 100 calorie bagel would be a better choice, but the biscuit allows me to grab and go).

Part of my shopping strategy was to exclude things that I always say I won’t eat because they are not for me, but eat anyhow; the junkiest snack we have is Cheez-its and Goldfish Pretzels, neither of which are terrible nor a favorite of mine so I know if I resort to them I must have issue at hand that I need to deal with.

I baked this weekend and remembered the value of a can of pumpkin! This time of year a very nostalgic flavour and when used in baking to substitute the eggs and oil, omit frosting and feel little guilt about eating my own Pumpkin Cupcakes – typically a heavy substitution I added 7-up in lieu of the water to give the batter a lift and it’s only 100 calories for the 8 oz, divided into the 19 cupcakes less than 5 calories to each and no added fat, I think it’s a doable change.

So my lesson to myself is take time to be prepared. Preparation equals success against snacking, easy dinners with fewer steps because the work is half done and feeling satisfied by the meal I have made both physically and emotionally.

 

It’s time to elliptical! After a week of being sick and unable to breathe I am ready to get back on track in that realm as well.

 

9 weeks down 41 to go

2 pounds down 50 to go!!

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