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Thursday, November 08, 2012

It has been so flipping busy!! Holiday stuff coming up fast, working two jobs and having speeches and assignments due from students, grading, finals! Oh yeah, and two races in four weeks. Weee!!!

While I am not exactly training as I should I am doing very well running. With the times I get home (close to 6) and the sun going down before it fully hits the sky and weekends booked up, long runs have been really possible. I just can't seem to get up to get ready at 550am, get home at 6pm with no real lunch break besides driving in a car and then go out and run, in the dark for an hour and half before coming home to make dinner. My poor husband would have to wait until like 8pm to eat with me.

I am still getting in runs though. I ran the Hot Chocolate race this past Sunday and Personal Best-ed it! I did 9.3 miles in 1:32:44, so that is 9:58 mile! For 9 miles! While fighting throuogh literally thousands of people all the time. I am so proud. I am hoping for similat results in my half the weekend after thanksgiving. I am hoping to finish in 2:10 near abouts.

So running and I weren't talking for a while but now we seem pretty good. Run have felt better. I am still only running 2-3 times a week when I should be doing 4 at least for training but hey, this is working, my body says it is ok, we are going with it.

I amanged to sneak 20 minutes of workouts in my office this morning. I am feeling the evergy today. I was so tired yesterday. Tuesday is a day I don't get home until almost 10 most weeks so Wednesday is just a wash. So tired I can barely drag myself through that long day. I gave myself a break, didn't work out, bed early. Woke up this morning, awake! Ready to do a workout later. Unfortunately I con't run because, again, I am booked until about 630 tonight but I will have spots, like this morning, where I can get in about 20 minutes and it has felt great so far. I am looking forward to it which tells me I was right to take last night off.

Let's hope I can squeeze in a couple of long runs before the HM!


Old Friends and New Friends-exercise wise

Saturday, September 22, 2012

So I have been running distance for about 3 years now. I have completed 3 half marathons and a 10K and I coach Girls on the Run in Spring. I love telling people that I am a runner. I love shopping for exercise clothes and running shoes. I AM a runner. However. . . .running and I are a bit on the outs right now. We were doing great at the beginning of the year, we tore up the 10K without looking back, but then things got. . .difficult.
Suddenly, it got tough to tolerate running. I was all "It's not you! It's me. I don't want to hang out today, or tomorrow." I tried, though. I tried all summer to 'push through' this slump, this slow spot, this rough patch, but it didn't work. I had to admit I was deep into a running slump that wasn't getting better but getting worse. It was hard to admit that.

Running is now part of my identity, how I describe parts of myself. I take pride in how far I can run and the types of races I sign up for. I like having running shoes in the house. Unfortunately, this summer, while I still loved those things I pretty much hated the actual running. I believe their are several reasons for this. One reason was it was SO DANG HOT OUT! Every single day was upper 80s and 90s around here from end of June straight through July. I believe I heard on the radio that we had experienced more than 50 days of 90+ temps. Who wants to run in that? I would go out to run, not even that far, and get home soaked and dripping and take an hour to cool off. It was crummy weather and I didn't want to sweat that much. Also, I was super bored with all my options of places to run. I had run them to death. In town, trail running, bike path running, been there, done those miles, over and over again. I didn't want to see the same things again and again and again. New trails were a 30 minute drive or more. Not practical or economical with these gas prices.

I finally admitted to myself that I was in a slump, a deep one, and it was time to step away. I stopped running at all for a week. A whole week. The only time I have done this in 3 y ears is during times of injury when all activity had to grind to a stop. This time though, I could do different cardio, what a concept. I bellydanced on light days, pulled out my ski machine, did some kickboxing and focused on some weight lifting. It was weird but kinda fun. After I week I went for one run and then took some more time off.

This on and off has been going on for about a month. Running and I are carefully starting to see each other again, but with some parameters. I canceled the idea of an October half marathon. I just won't be in shape. I have two races I am looking to in November though. A 15K and a half, if I can get there. I figure the much cooler weather will help with the training. My work schedule is beyond full though so finding time to run will be tricky. For now, we are taking it easy, running and I. This week I ran once but did 6 miles. Last week I ran twice, a 5 and 3. I am doing what feels ok and we are starting to build that relationship again. Working up together, and that is nice.

In the meantime, I am totally cheating on running with a new love. . . Rock Climbing! There is an indoor place about 45 minutes from our house. This is a sport my husband has long wanted to try out. We went once in a gym on a vacation and like it a lot but never followed through when at home. Finally one day I just said, that's it, we are going to try it. My husband was thrilled, we went, we loved it. Almost as soon as we got home my husband started to look up equipment online. How cute. In the month and a half that we have been going we have gone about once a week, bought shoes and harnesses and a membership.

It is so much fun! It is a full body workout without feeling like a bootcamp class. There are nice breaks in between but each climb engages every muscle in my body. I know I am getting a great upper body workout and hitting places that just weights won't get to as much. We are both pushing ourselves, our limits and having fun the entire time. We climb for about 2 hours before our grips totally give out and we can no longer cling to the wall. Then, smiling and happy, we go home or out to grab a quick snack. We are totally worn out by the end, a little sweaty and many times shaking in various muscles, but we are smiling!

I have always wanted my husband to be part of my workout life. When you spend at least 3 hours a week (more like 5) doing something that you enjoy it makes sense to want to share that with someone important. Unfortunately my husband doesn't run, doesn't do videos, won't yoga, and her certainly is not going to bellydance with me. This has been a new bonding experience for us. We go and it relieves stress together, instead of us going to separate corners of the house to decompress. We have even started to draw friends into the mix and spread the love. I think one of our "couple" friends has been bitten. We took them last week and they are already talking gear and classes. We are meeting them tomorrow to climb in the afternoon.

For my husband's birthday I am going to give him some gear and get us a private lesson so we can learn to belay for each other. Maybe next spring we will try the great outdoors. Running and I will always be tight, I hope desperately that our relationship heals quickly and I can do my races and enjoy them. Rock Climbing is my new love and I hope it gives me as much long term enjoyment and health as running has, for me and my husband both.

Int he future: See you on the trails or on the wall. emoticon emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SKINICOOK 9/22/2012 7:27PM

    It's really great that you found something that both you and your husband love. Maybe like you say, it's best to cut down on the running for a while and do some things that you enjoy. You don't have to cut it out altogether, just scale back. You are still a runner, now you just have other fun things to look forward to.

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Self reflection, Change for the better.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

It has been SO LONG since I have written on here! I was keeping track of working out on SP but just not feeling the blogging. This is a blog entry I have wanted to write for a while now and tonight, just having finished a workout, enjoying a glass of wine, and having the house to myself it seems like the right time. (Forgive grammar and comma splices, plz)

I have reached an amazing realization and it is something that would not have happened (at all, or maybe as soon) without SparkPeople. I was always pretty thin growing up and could eat whatever I wanted. Getting older, college, grad school, thought I could do the same thing and not be worried. As many people have found, that causes weight gain. Half-hearted attempts to workout/diet never worked. I always opted for easy, quick fix, deprivation type gimmicks.
I grew more dissatisfied with my weight and body. Continued to try things like Atkins, and pills in order to lose weight. I just wanted LESS, NOW!!! So badly. It didn't work. I complained and cried and went clothes shopping less, stopped wearing swim suits, or shopping for them only wearing hand me downs from friends. I threw up and cried and wailed when I ate too much (which was often). My amazing boyfriend listened and didn't comment.
Those commercials would come on to tv: Are you overweight? Do you have excess fat? Do you want to lose weight now? Yes! I would think desperately! Yes, I do! I NEED to lose weight! Tell me how! I would get anxious and watch with rapt attention to the insane claims that I could eat whatever I wanted and take a pill and look awesome with a six pack. And it never worked.
Then my boyfriend proposed and I bought a scale. And I cried some more. A tv show came on and SparkPeople was featured. I went to the page, made an account. In my mind I thought it was another "lose weight now! Quick!" sort of thing which was why I was drawn to it. Of course, I was wrong. But I stayed and looked around. That moment was the beginning of my real journey.

I set a slightly unrealistic weight goal (weigh what I did in high school? Why not?!? never got there) and began. I bought fitness dvds and took an old ski machine off a relative and actually WORKED OUT. I began to SWEAT and get SORE and be TIRED and, yeah, cry a little more. I worked out 3 times a week for 30 minutes and hated each second of it. I ate better. I began to lose weight. I fought for every single pound I lost that first year. After my wedding, I kept at it.

Contrary to what this might look like so far it is not a travel log of my weight loss journey. This is a celebration of my arrival. I have NEVER achieved my goal weight of 125. I have dipped my toes into the 130 area a few times but never managed to stay. I now weigh between 135-138 depending on where things are in my training and life. So what is this all about? The fact that I AM OK WITH MY BODY! Not just OK, I ENJOY MY BODY! How many people can say that?

Three years into using SP and I am running half marathons and still working out. I am not always awesome at working out. These last few weeks have been tough and getting all my minutes has been tough. I haven't wanted to do it all the time (most of the time) but I have managed. Lately, I have been eating like the college students I teach. It happens. This is what I would term a rough spot in my health lifestyle. And guess what? I am ok with that. I am still happy with my body! It is not the way I like it right now but I know it looks good. I also know that I can get back on track and to looking "awesome" in the matter or a couple of weeks, because I know how.

Here is the big point: I was watching tv the other day and saw one of those weight loss pill commercials. Are you fat? (No.) Are you dissatisfied with your body? (No.) Do you need to lose 5 or more pounds? (No.) I watched the commercial and realized it had no affect on me. The anxiety, desperation, extreme/insane hope I used to feel is gone. I felt bad knowing that other people out there might feel that way watching this, that they might feel as I once did. Then, it slowly dawned on me, that I didn't feel that way anymore. For YEARS now I have worked hard to sculpt and train this body and this is the reward: contentment. I am happy with my body. Let's explore that in a totally self-indulgent manner.

I know how to keep my body in shape. Even if I fall off the wagon for periods of time (hello, holidays! Stress eating! Injury!) I KNOW for a FACT I can catch the wagon and get back on with a little effort.

I am keeping steady at a weight range without a whole lot of effort (besides a healthy lifestyle). I stopped using my scale because it made me crazy. I went to the doctor's office and found out I weighed less than I thought I did which was fun! I went home and had some cookies to balance things out! ;)

Working out has become a part of my LIFE. Keeping my body in shape is something I know I must work for, not something that comes from a bottle. I try for 4 days a week minimum and 5-6 when in training for a race. This is normal for me and now I look to workout when I travel.

I am constantly amazed at what my body can do! It can run so far! It can build muscle! It can move fast and dance and lunge and kickbox and so many other things! I enjoy trying new things for my body. I like trying new workouts (yoga, bootcamp, ballet, bellydancing, sculpting) and seeing where this amazing body can take me.

I no longer despair. Instead I think of what I want to work on, what I want to improve, because I know I can and I know how.

My body is not my enemy anymore. It is amazing, and strong (so strong, I never knew), and tough, and interesting! It fits into clothes I like to wear. No, not size 4. Never a size 4, my body would be unnatural at a size 4. It looks awesome in a size 8, sometimes a 6, sometimes a 10. That is all ok, because it looks good.

I no longer fight my body. We work together. We are comfortable together. Sure, I still suck it in in the mirror and have days I don't feel like a super model but I know this will pass and I know I am healthy and that my body is good.

Being freed from fighting my body has helped my mind as well. This is a bit of chicken or the egg but I have a calmness in my life. My life is not exactly what I imagined it to be but I am finding I am fulfilled. I began doing volunteer work and have discovered amazing things about who I can be as a person. I relate to my husband differently than before we were married. He no longer has to listen to me cry about my weight, instead he listens to me get antsy when I can't work out (when I was recovering from an injury was a tough time for the poor guy!). He gets to listen to me brag about needing 8 pound weights now, cause 5 just isn't enough (and 10 was a little too lofty). I am healthier and get sick less (knock on wood). My "winter blues" were very much diminished with a winter running routine.

This all goes up and down, of course. Sometimes I hate working out, but I do it anyway. Sometimes I feel awesome about running and sometimes I hate every step, but I keep doing it. Sometimes I get sore and don't want to try again, but I do. Sometimes, instead of working out, I sit on the couch and eat leftover halloween candy. It happens. There is always later, or tomorrow to make up for it because it just isn't a big deal. I know how to handle these situations and it has calmed me in a way I have not been in my life.

This is getting super long so I will wrap it up with this final thought: I am a different person than I ever was and than I ever expected to be.
My family sees it, my friends see it and I see it. My body and I are working together now more than ever before.

It is not my enemy. It is my friend. Even that pooch at the bottom of my belly.

I am PROUD of my BODY!!!


Swing one way and then another

Sunday, March 06, 2011

Eating right and keep up with exercise is a constant struggle for me. I will do great for a long time and then struggle to find motivation and/or time. It happens to us all.
So I have been struggling with some motivation, bad weather, family coming to town all that stuff. So this week I am finally back up to normal. After a couple of weeks of pretty much only running and no cross training I was feeling not great about my training.
So this week I had two days off and the rest of the week I did my running and cross training. I am proud of myself for this and plan on keeping it going this week. I ran 9.5 miles today and am going to try to do some cross training tomorrow. Just a quick 20 minute workout with weights, hopefully.

So just a yay me! I had an awesome week!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FITANDFIFTY2 3/6/2011 10:48PM

    emoticon Wow,, 9.5 miles,, that is amazing!! Congrats!!

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Thank goodness for work!

Monday, January 17, 2011

I know it sounds weird but I am glad to be going back to work this week! Let me explain. I teach college so I get like 5 weeks off in winter, pretty much the worst time ever to have time off. I am one of those people that needs to be forced into doing something to get the ball rolling. Get up early and workout on a saturday? In your dreams. Already getting up at 6am? Sure, I'll grudgingly get up earlier to workout if I have to. Fill out a bunch of new job applications? Boring! Big break between classes? Ok, Ill fill the things out. So if I have nothing to do over break, working out and eating right starts to slide.

Then. . . comes winter. I hate winter. I hate the cold. I get cabin fever. I stare longingly at garden catalogs. I get the winter blues pretty bad sometimes. If it is super cold (like it has been) and super snowy (like it has been) all motivation to do anything besides hide from the gray outside just leaves. I will only accomplish things i MUST MUST MUST get done and not much else.

So my running training has not gone well. The gym is packed with resolutionists who won't be there in March but in the mean time take up the tredmills and parking spaces. Can we talk about how frustrating it is to see, for instance, a pair of teenagers stroll into the gym in their brand new pink workout gear, and stroll out again less than 15 minutes later, not having broken a sweat, and chattering about their "workout"? I know everyone starts somewhere but you can tell the people who are taking it seriously. Ok, so bottom line is they gym is crowded and sometimes there are no tredmills when I need to train for my half marathon.
It is too cold out mostly to run. Or there is too much snow on the ground. Or there is too much ice on the sidewalks. Or too much wind. In short, dangerous conditions for a run, esp for someone nursing their knees.
I have worked out at home but not with as much effort (see, winter blues). And my eating has been insane! I have returned to munching and over doing dinner.

So, finally, back to work. With classes starting I will actually have structure in my life. I will have only a few times I can fit in working out, so I better get it done. I will have to wake up and get out of bed. I will have to think in advance about lunch and dinner and snacks and bring them with me to school. Big sigh.

No, I won't like getting up and going to work. Yes i will kick and cry and complain. And then I will get it done. Then, hopefully, the weeks will start to slide by and the weather will warm up and I will actually be ready for an early april half marathon.

Good luck everyone!


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