Just keep Running

I’ve managed to run every other day for the last week and a half; some days are much better than others. As I am exploring this thing called recovery I am also learning about proper stretching, tape, and patience, LOTS of patience. Everytime I lace up husband asks me, “How far ya gonna go?” Confidently I tell him, “2-4″ and some runs I do just that, and feel accomplished. Tonight was not one of those runs, my planned 2-3 ended up bein 1.14. I cut back on the tape and realize I cannot wear heels to work anymore if I am going to run like I expect myself to; practical flats it is wah, wah, wahhhhhh but it is the right thing to do for my feets health. 

It wasnt until I rounded the corner of the street that housed my very first apartment, which happens to be the street next to my second apartment and around the circle from my little house (I one day will not live in this neighborhood) I had a remembery (this is what Piper calls a memory). Its been 4 years since I started running. FOUR?!?! I recall the time when I walked out the door of my apartment and wanted to be able to walk to the mailbox and back, a little less than a mile, and then to be able to walk to the top of the hill and back about a mile and a quarter, then I was doing the entire neighborhood, to the gas station to buy a newspaper, to the water district to pay my bill and then I recalled the day I ran my first mile, then three, five and ten. I thought about how I have said countless times when asked how far I ran on a given day replying, ” Only six miles.” And getting a weird look. Ok I realize I’m never gonna this olympic athlete, or finish anything first, but I also know what its like to think, to the mailbox and back. 

Recovery is a lot like that first walk, taking it little by little, learning what I want to do and what I should do, yes there is a difference. I believe I will get back to running longer distances; I will get closer to my goal each day as long as I remembery why I started, why I continue and why I never give up.

“A quitter never wins, a winner never quits.” My dad has this under the glass of his desk, I’ve read it and touched it hundreds of times….because I never quit.

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……

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! 

 

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.

Running with No Music

Last week I forgot my iPod at work one day and I dislike listening to music on my phone, it drains the battery and since I also forgot my watch, it’s a trend here, I was going to have to rely on run-keeper and that is a huge battery suck. I decided to run without music.

Music is huge to me, I have written about it several times. It stems I believe from my days in Martial Arts and the competitive training that was always set to music. I have learned to lean on it while I run, if my pace is off a bit I can choose a song to boost me, or if I start to think way too much I can turn it up louder, I find my sing-a-long aids in the passage of miles and meanings to me behind the songs I choose are with purpose.

So what if I didn’t have any music, what if it was just me and my thoughts….and I had a movie flashback to What Women Want and that scene with Helen Hunt as she tries to develop a slogan for Nike…the woman’s feet hitting the pavement, her letting go of whatever weighed her down because for that next mile or hour it was just her, the shoes and the road.

What if I embodied that mentality and it was running for me? So I listened.

It was evening, and at my house that means, barn owls, bull frogs, crickets, coyotes, the soft rustle of wind through the trees, a diesel truck heading up the road, the heartbeat in my ears, the bellow of the cows in the pasture just a quarter-mile away; the aroma of the day ending, yes it has a smell, the heat of the sun softening as it set over the hill. My feet. My shoes. My run. For me. My tears, crying seems to be all I do with regularity these days.

I owned those miles, just two. My feet still very sore from the half, and upon returning home realizing that I was not healed enough to run just yet. When I stopped did running without music really impact me at all…my pace was exactly what it normally is.

So maybe as an intermediate runner, which I now consider myself to be, given that I know way more about shoes, socks, chaffing, hydration, and pacing; the run so much isn’t about the progress as it is the process. I know I am never going to be a top finisher, I never set out to be, my body is not built for that; but maybe just maybe music isn’t always what I need when I am out there, maybe its the moment, those few precious moments when it’s just me, my shoes, my footfall on pavement, me letting go of what holds me back, my confidence that I know I am what I need to be for me.

Running, Body Beast & Yoga

New years bring zillions of resolutions, which I don’t believe in because statistics tell us no one keeps them; I set goals. When I set a goal it drives me to meet the goal, I love accountability. My big 2015 goals are to drop this last 25# and run the Columbus Marathon in October (foreshadowing of what I will be talking about most of the year). We have really tried to make an effort to adhere to our clean eating initiative and I think we are roughly 85% successful in that. Evidence? There is zero crap food in our house. Nowwww it’s no secret that I will run anywhere and usually in any condition, except freezing cold, this week I have been blessed with two warm sunny days, warm being a relative term since 35 isnt really warm but the sun makes all the difference. Donning my brand new Omni’s

2015/01/img_5103-0.jpg aren’t they pretty? Three mile runs twice this week invigorated me and reignited my love for footfall on pavement and I am itching to sign up for the Heart Mini in March but my funds for entry fees are limited to two events only this year, The Pig Half and the afore mentioned full in October, at least one more pair of shoes and pants, unless I find a generous sponsor which is unlikely. Cross training is important to running because strength and flexibility aid in endurance, how on a limited budget can I do that? Body Beast was a Christmas gift to us and we are in week one and loving every minute of it. I have to admit I didn’t think Scott would make it through the first workout, we shall see how abs and cardio are on him. I have had zero soreness, thank you yoga after the workout and knowing what poses stretch out those muscles who worked hard for 40-60 minutes. Here we are (a cold for Scott set us back a week). I will post 30, 60 and 90 day progress shots! Super excited to see how we approach spring with bodies that are actually ready for bathing soups! (Piperism)

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2015: Goals

The end of 2014 was a success, I survived another holiday, and this year I did not gain but lost 3# back to my lowest of the year, best present ever. My mileage topped out at 405 miles, less than my goal but I grew so much this past 12 months I am satisfied with it. The month of December was lacking as a horrid cold and a cough that wouldn’t stop prevented me from running more days than not, as January has now arrived I am still battling the cough, the temps have dropped so impatiently I wait knowing that everyday I don’t run I lose stamina and strength. So how do I combat some of that? Yoga and Body Beast it
arrived today and I cannot wait to get started!

My plan is to document my transformation over the 90 days via pictures and posts. The bestest (yes I said bestest) part is the husband has agreed to do it with me and fingers crossed he will let me do pictures of him as well!

2015 Goals:
1) Complete the Body Beast 90 day plan (no supplements)
2) Run 600 miles
3) Run the Flying Pig half, finally – a goal set 2 years ago
4) Run the Columbus Marathon
5) Encourage my husband to do a 5k with me
6) Meet my goal weight – 175#
7) Emotionally – keep myself in check
8) Plan and eat a 90% clean diet
9) Wear short for the first time in 6 years outside of the house
10) Keep in mind that life is about progress not perfection.

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

 

 

 

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.

 

 

 

 

Hudepohl 14K Brewery Run

The Hudepohl 14K is the third leg in the Brew Hog series promoted by the Flying Pig marathon group here in Cincinnati. The 8.8 miles takes the runner past the historic sites of the breweries that once filled our city. Starting near the Ohio River behind the Christian Moreline Lager House and wrapping up behind Great American Ballpark.

I was blessed with a very mild morning, in Cincinnati, roughly 65 degrees at start time on the river. I had decided that this event I would try something new, I was going to start at the back of the pack instead of the middle. I find the enthusiasm and motivation of the middle of the pack intoxicating but to my own detriment as I try to keep up with that group, burn up the first mile or two and end up exhausted before I reach the end. By placing myself at the rear of the field I gave myself the chance to come out at a slower pace, one that I can maintain saving my energy for the last mile; to my credit this worked beautifully. At each mile marker I glanced at my watch to see that I was where I wanted to be, not knowing the elevation of course ahead of time I only had one mile that was over my desired pace and it was pretty much all uphill, but I didn’t stop I pushed myself and was ever so thankful when I reached the top. As the playlist, thoughts of my daughters, and my self-love pushed me to the finish, I stopped my watch as I crossed the finish mat as I usually do with tears in my eyes, 1:45:16. My goal was to run the distance and for my pace to be under 12/mile. Done and done.

Three weeks until the Queen Bee, this next Saturday will be my final long run as I being to taper after that. My body feels good, aside from needing a shower, breakfast and a nap Saturday I didn’t have any pain or discomfort. I have prepared for this all summer and I CANNOT WAIT!!!IMG_2822

 

 

 

 

 

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