Monday, December 22, 2014
A fellow Sparker is blessing me with a new pair of running shoes. I am so grateful to Kneemaker and his family. They will be coming sometime after Christmas. I am excited, and grateful!
That being said, a member of our running club invited me to run a marathon-length training run. There's a road heading north from our town that goes 24 miles to the next town in another county and he would leave 'aid' stations for us every five miles or so. Once you get to town, you cruise up and down another highway to make it 26.2 ending at the community center where a huge Christmas party awaits. What fun! I just had to do it, even in my old shoes.
Well, it was a long tough road and I was in a lot of pain by the end of it, but I did finish the whole thing. 7 hours 15 minutes. I did lose two more pieces of tread off the bottom of my shoe, but I made it! The cut off for my race in February is eight hours, so I am very encouraged by this. I can't wait to try out my new shoes. Last time I got new shoes, they shaved a whole minute from my mile pace.
I was in some pain still last night, but this morning I woke up pain free and ready to bounce! I have so much energy today, it is unreal! I am riding high because even though it doesn't count as an actual marathon on my stats, I KNOW I JUST RAN A MARATHON!! Folks, I just started running at all last February. Don't let any goal you have, no matter how lofty, intimidate you. Go after it and take it!
The guy who organized our run, had family members drive by and offer aid, food, water, even a ride to town if I wanted it. Funny story: I had just told someone I was good and watched them drive away because I knew I was within half a mile of the next aid station at mile twenty. Well, when I got there, the neighbor dog had eaten all our granola bars! There was one bottle of Gatorade untampered, and that was all! LOL. Never turn down aid when it's there!
I got a hero's welcome at the Christmas party. We had so much fun! I had sent a bag of clothes and wet ones wipes ahead of time, so I could change and feel half-way human. In the future, I would have put a phone charger in that bag, because my phone died at 19.5 miles and it would have been nice to get it going.
If you want to be a runner, do like I did: jog in place in your living room while you watch TV or something. When you can go an hour, take it outside and run a quarter mile, walk a quarter mile over and over. Pretty soon, you'll be signing up for your first 5K!
Merry Christmas Everyone! Have a safe and Happy Holiday Season!
Sunday, December 14, 2014
I desperately need new running shoes. They are flat, hurt to run in and have holes in them. I have to wait until I get gift cards at Christmas to afford new shoes. If it were not for my shoes going flat, I would not be having plantar fasciitis. But the doctor said I could keep running and that it would just hurt.
Also this week, I have been exhausted from work. It has been a difficult week at work to say the least. My boss makes me crazy. So I have felt run down every day this week.
So I got out there to nab another long run, and after just a measly three miles, my body said NO. My legs turned to jelly. I got nauseous. I couldn't run another step. My legs were leaden. There was no issue of willing myself through it. It simply could not happen. And since I was on the other side of the lake, I now had a three mile hike to get back to the car.
I was furious with myself.
And I was in terrible pain.
But it is not in my nature to give up without a fight. I am not quitting my marathon. So while I limped slowly out, I came up with a plan. First, it's obvious I need more rest. So for the next couple of weeks, I will go to bed an hour earlier. Also, I have been chasing these long runs week after week. It is time to give it a rest for two weeks and just do short runs every other day or every couple of days and do cross training the rest of the time. By the time Christmas rolls around and I get new shoes, I should be well rested and ready to try another long run. Maybe my plantar pain will be healed by then too.
I know that setbacks are part of growing. I know that nothing worthwhile comes easy.
I have so much to be thankful for. I finally got my head right about staying in my calories and eating healthier. I am on the right track. And I have proven to myself that I have the endurance to push myself. I am thankful that I have gotten healthy so I can do this. I am thankful that I can lose weight. I am thankful for second chances. And third, fourth and fifth chances! I am thankful for like-minded friends to share this with. I am thankful that I have the intelligence to problem solve. I am thankful for the progress I have made. I am thankful for the tools on this website. I am thankful so that I cannot remember what I was upset about.
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I really struggled with my trigger foods. And I still do, but I wanted to share some thoughts that have helped me. For a few months, I didn't really lose or gain. I bounced around in a five pound range gaining and then losing the same weight over and over. Honestly, it was probably water weight. I ate MOSTLY good and a little bad. I MOSTLY stayed in my calorie range, but slipped over just often enough to not see results. I could be good for four or five days and then undo a week's work in a single night. Here's where my fear was: who wants to give up everything fun and then not see results! But I wasn't seeing results anyway! Frustrating. Well, what I had to do was figure out a calories in and calories out template, that would generate a certain weight loss each week and then decide what foods I would eat to fill those calories. And what foods do I want to say no to. I had to really specifically write it all out. I had to have a solid plan. I couldn't leave anything to chance. So then it comes down to this: stay on the plan, see results OR step out of the plan, and don't. The first week was so hard because until weigh in at the end of the first week, I wasn't sure it would work. Mathematically it would work but would it? After the first weigh in, my confidence soared. Now when temptations crop up, it is easier to just decide: do I want to see a weight loss this week? But that's only part of it.
Here's where it really comes down in my mind. When I was eating food with sugar or heaven forbid, high fructose corn syrup, my cravings were out of control. If someone brought in chocolate, I was powerless to say no. I had to both eliminate those types of foods but also find substitutes that wouldn't derail my effort or cause cravings, but would satisfy my need for something sweet. Mostly fresh fruit. After a week of clean eating, I stopped having so many cravings. Now it is getting easier for me to decide I don't want a particular food, simply because I don't want those cravings to come back. I don't want to have to start over because it was not an easy thing to do in the first place.
Now I'm able to focus on my mental problems with food. I know that sounds funny but I don't know how else to say it. Obesity for me, is a mind problem. Sometimes I get it in my head that I haven't eaten enough for the day and I'm afraid I will go to bed hungry. The reality is that I've eaten exactly what I should. Now I can deal with changing these thought patterns. When I was at the mercy of my cravings, this kind of processing of my thought patterns was not possible. It's like pealing off layers of an onion. As we get through all the mental baggage we carry around about eating, we get closer to the core of how we should think, by knocking down these old ideas. We have to challenge our beliefs about eating, why we eat, and what we eat. And we can only do it one layer at a time.
Whatever stage you are at, I hope this gives you some inspiration to bring it to the next level. Push yourself. Fight for what you want. I wish you all a great week ahead!!
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
As I've started just weighing in once a week, I am always looking for NSVs. So I was kicking around the house Sunday, sore as all get-out from a six hour workout on Saturday, and I ventured into he back closet. I had forgotten a friend had given me a bunch of different size clothes and I had put a bunch of size 14's away. So I got them out to try them on. Well, all my weight is in my hips and butt so when I saw they were all pants and skirts, I wasn't so sure. They looked tiny. I was shocked when 1) I could fit in them 2) I could zip and button them 3) I could sit down, squat, bend without ripping a seam! I was so excited!
So a couple of weeks ago, with a lot of support from you Sparkfriends and a phone call to my mom, I got my head straight about the food. I finally decided what I really wanted. So up to Sunday, I was doing great on the food and then Monday (after the NSV) it was the darndest thing: I had all kinds of crazy cravings for food I knew I shouldn't have. Well, I got on Spark, called my mom, rallied my husband and got through it without giving in. I did buy something chocolate at the store, but before I decided to eat it, I gave it away at the neighbors house. Waste of three dollars but lesson learned and feeling strong. So Monday, too, I stayed in my calories! And again today! And I am still back on track.
I am enjoying my running and still chasing a twenty mile run. I had been running a 13.5 mile loop around the lake with my car being a resupply point at the start and finish, but I was running out of water at 10 miles and then by the time I got to the car, I really had tanked and so as I took off again, could only make a few more miles. So I decided I am going to stick to the inner trail which also goes around the lake but is a 6.8 mile loop. If I do three of these, I get to stop at the car more often to restock, never run out of water, keep the cramps at bay. Plus I keep Gatorade in the trunk! I am going after three loops this weekend: 20.4 miles--with little breaks. So far the most I got done was 17.5 mi but that was the week my plantar fasciitis flared up. But I went to the podiatrist and he said I can keep running, it will heal on the run. I have a frozen bottle of water that I roll under the arch to ice and stretch it afterward. It was great, my husband was sitting right there with me expecting me to be benched and the doctor said Keep Running! I was on cloud Nine. That and a cortisone shot and I feel a whole lot better! Oh and I'm going to stretch really good this weekend!!
Saturday, December 06, 2014
Here's me in my kneepads. (The pictures blurry because my husband's hand shake really bad.)
It only took me an hour to get going this morning. So I went out to the park and ran from 9:50a to 2:30p. For the last two weekends, I wanted to do at least eighteen miles, if not twenty, but I felt really off my game both weekends. I'm stuck at seventeen. So I came home, cooked dinner for my husband and I, and then we had some errands to go run. So I'm at the store with my husband and my legs are sore and I'm thinking how everything is unusually tight. I try to stretch my legs a little to push out the soreness and that's when I realize that I have been forgetting to stretch! No wonder I'm hitting a wall! Before every long run, I ALWAYS stretch everything out for at least thirty minutes before I take off down the trail. How was I forgetting this? Sometimes I can be such a dork.
So I'm hoping that next weekend, my stretching routine gives me the edge I need to bust through that wall.
On the drive home from my run and in the shower, I was thinking over my training. In order to be at a marathon by Valentine's Day, I need to be at twenty-three miles by January 15th. Doubts began to nag at me, of whether or not I could do this. I decided right then, that it's okay to have a little doubt for a moment, but don't let it take hold in my mind. I believe I can do this. I believe that if I stick to my running, it will just happen. It will all fall into place. It may be at the last moment, but it has to happen if I stick to my schedule. I've got to keep the faith.
Today is day fourteen of staying on my diet. I've spent the last year figuring out what my trigger foods are. (And yes, they were delicious!) So I made a list of what I would and wouldn't eat. It has been fun to stick to it because there are so many good, low-cal foods that I really do like and I'm seeing results again. I am really enjoying just weighing in once a week. I didn't realize how weighing in every day was really hurting my motivation! It has made all the difference in the world!
One last note, why won't popcorn companies give it to you straight as to how many calories are actually in a popped bag of popcorn! OMG! Part of why I wasn't losing was because I had calculated this wrong and it was putting me over what I thought I was eating every day. (The other part was just that I was going over anyway and eating a lot of junk.) But seriously, do I need to know how many calories are in unpopped popcorn? Am I trying to break my teeth?
I'll leave you with a picture of two of my favorite people: my mom and my niece.
Friday, November 28, 2014
I forgot to take a picture of me in my new kneepads. And I'm not going to go through putting all THAT on again just to take one! We'll catch it next week. It takes me two hours to get ready for a long run in the morning. I have all the 'gear' to put on, the anti-chaffing layers, make sure I go to the bathroom, make sure I eat the right things, pack all the food and water I will need. It's a ritual.
And then I get out there and I have my route planned based on how many miles I'm going to lay down. And then I'm running.
I spend the first mile convincing myself that I'm not actually going to die. The first mile is the hardest because you are getting warmed up and finding your pace. I don't let myself think about the distance during the first mile because I would just want to quit.
Miles 2-4, I am dispelling my doubts and fears and by the end of that segment I'm in a place where I just feel I could go and go. I reason with myself based on pace, distance and terrain and convince myself that I can.
On the fifth and sixth miles, I get into a really happy state where I am reliving the finishes of past and future races over and over. I imagine how amazing it will be to finish at my first marathon. I am no longer aware of these miles, I am in my head at a happier place.
Between 7 and 15 miles, all kinds of craziness goes through my head. This is where I am learning to evaluate my pain. Just soreness? Not an injury? Use your mind to push it out of your body. My mind has gotten really strong like that because running is such a meditation anyway. Sometimes if a certain part of my leg hurts me, I can slightly shift my form and it goes away too. Sometimes I get to a place where I don't know where I was mentally, but I don't remember running the last mile because I was in a daydream about getting gored by a wild hog or falling and breaking my leg and dragging myself out of the woods or some kind of craziness like that. I daydream a lot when I run. I don't like to listen to music because I listen for bicyclists that want to run me over and other things on the trails. I listen to my breath and my feet crashing through the leaves and the wildlife that I startle.
After mile fifteen, I am just thinking "All the miles you just laid down brought you to this place so you can get these miles done, and wouldn't it be a shame to have come all this way and not do them, so you're doing it." And that gets me through.
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