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.

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… 

 

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! 

 

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)

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.

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.”

The Daily Triple enters a new Century

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This past weekend I reached a huge milestone! I am in the one hundreds (by just a little for now) again after 6 years.   I amped up my running schedule and logged 87.5 miles in July, my first 9 and 10 miler of the season, I am well in to the 1/2 training plan I created for myself. I have to say some of the loss is attributed to the heat, I can’t eat when it’s hot out and I have no desire to eat after I run, I am getting plenty of water as I have finally figured out how to hydrate myself with ease when out.

I only have 29# more to go to reach my goal, coincidentally this milestone was reached on my 38th birthday – what a gift I gave myself!

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After a 4 mile run at my parents house – holy hilly difference!

New Dresses

This past weekend I went to Kohl’s, it’s the only store close by to shop at that isn’t the Wal *Mart, sometimes I just go to look around and have a little space from the kids. This particular trip I was actually going to the bank, my employer does not believe in Direct Deposit (what year is it???) Anyhow since I was so close, and I was kiddo free I figured it was worth a little lookie see.

I love dresses, almost as much as I love jeans. I pawed through every rack, strapless, sleeveless, short and long, tube top, racer back, fancy and casual; a plethora of colors and sizes and oh my patterns, somethings I will never be trendy enough for. I had my mind made up there wasn’t anything right for me today and that’s OK, while in loss mode I rarely buy something until it’s absolutely necessary, but then it caught my eye. Mint green and navy blue stripes! Contrary to popular belief stripes do not make me look wider; I frowned there was only
1 and it was a medium. Medium is the size I order at Dairy Queen, I’d really like a large and should order a mini…oh right the dress. There was a blue and black in large so I figured try that on and if I like it I can order it online. Much to my surprise it was too big! A large was too big!!! I slipped the medium on and it hugged me perfectly. My hips are wide, before kids and after, my shoulders broad, and I have a nice tan from my morning runs…I can’t remember the last time I smiled in a fitting room.

I wore it to work Monday and received many compliments, in fact I went back and got the blue and black also.

As a notorious “fatkid” I often forget that the right fit even on an imperfect body makes a HUGE impact.

A selfie of me in the blue and black and the ad for the other one…I’d wear them every day!

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It’s Official – Half Marathon Training Has Begun

Saturday I officially added a half marathon training program to my Run Keeper. When I signed up for the Queen Bee I counted the weeks I had until then and knew that the weekend of the 15th was the time to begin. It’s 16 weeks with 4 runs a week, I will probably still do my 5-6, I need that for my sanity.  The program has a lofty goal of completing this 13.1 mile journey in 2 hours and 15 minutes, I will be very happy with anything under 2-1/2 hours.

Sunday was designated as the first day, and a rest day at that, but I went out both Saturday and Sunday logging 10 miles, 7 of the 10 were under 12 minutes! I felt really good about that, it took me most of last year to get to 11:22 as my average pace, experience and passion has helped me get there a little quicker this year.

My feet feel good, my legs felt strong, I am not in love with my new shoes so there is research and fitting to be done on that front.

Yesterday was a rest day, I could feel that I needed it. I was in the Dollar Store getting ice, I had on this new dress I gifted myself (I will admit it looks dam good on me), she said:

Lady: “You must have been at the pool today!’

Me: “Um nope”

Laday: “Oh, tanning bed!”

Me: “Nope.”

Lady: “Well you are very tan.”

Me: ” Yes ma’am, I am a runner, I run a lot.”

Lady: “Oh that’s nice, I walk five miles a week! That’s a lot!”

Me: “That is and it’s so good for you! Congratulations. I run 20-25 miles a week.”

Lady: <silence>

I just smiled and she paid and left. I know by many runners what I log a week isn’t that much, for me it’s an accomplishment every day.

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