Sunday, March 28, 2010
Yesterday I finished a 5K that I have been looking forward to and training for for several weeks. My SparkFriend, Judy(SEKSUNSHINE), came up Friday evening, and we had a lot of fun getting ready for the big event.
We left earlier than necessary, but we didn't have any trouble finding a parking spot, and although it was cold and windy, it didn't feel too bad sitting in the car for a little while. We realized that we should have dressed warmer/drier, but at least I had a couple of oversize fleece jackets in the back seat of my car. Not ideal, but kept us from freezing, at least. We met up with a friend and former co-worker of mine who is also now a SparkFriend, Donnel (TIME2PANIC) for a few minutes until time for him to line up for his 10K, which started 15 mins. prior to the 5K.
I had been taking it pretty easy on my knee all last week, after hurting it last Sunday, but it was feeling okay. I wore my neoprene wrap, and I changed my mind half a dozen times up until the start about whether to run or walk. But as soon as the horn sounded, I knew I had to at least jog part of it. The first mile was great, and I was keeping a better pace than I had hoped for. There was a light rain coming down, which I had not come prepared for (usually I over-prepare; this time, I guess I was just overly-optimistic). It felt good though. I was wearing my SparkPeople cap, which kept the rain out of my face, at least, and I pulled my oversize fleece jacket down, tied the sleeves around my waist, and started focusing on keeping a sensible pace up the long incline ahead. I realized my training had not been suffcient for the elevation, so I got over to the right edge of the road, and walked for a bit. I concentrated on keeping a long, strong stride, my breathing, abs in, shoulders back and down, enjoyed the encouragement of volunteers cheerfuly standing alongside the route under umbrellas, and soaked up the beauty of the neighborhood, the cool rain, and the pure joy of just being in that moment. I was thinking about the outdoor warm-up jog that I did with FITPRIS last Thursday and the steep hill that she's going to train me to conquer, in readiness for the next couple of races that I have planned. I watched young parents running with their babies in their jogging strollers and thought about how I would have loved having one of those when my oldest two children were little and I ran 10K's. I picked up speed on the downhill, and started watching for anyone I might know on the other side of the parkway. I thought about what a great course Ward Parkway provides for a race, and wondered why this was the first year for this event. I predict it will become an annual favorite. Thinking that next year I'll be so well-trained that I won't even have to slow down for these hills. Life is wonderful! It's a beautiful day! I love to run!
And then, right around the 2 mile point, my left knee started demanding my attention. In retrospect, it might have been nagging me a little before then, but I had been able to ignore it. I shifted my focus to how I was running. As I mentally checked off the list of things that I might be doing wrong, I couldn't identify any fault. I could feel the wrap getting tighter and tighter around my leg and I promised that knee I would ice it just as soon as I could, and that we were almost there, so if it would please cooperate, we could be finished faster. It wasn't buying it, so I finally decided to return to walking until the final approach to the finish line. I topped the last little hill before the finish line, I could hear the music, and runners passing me as they poured it on for a strong finish, but every time I tried to run again, it felt like I was landing with about 300 pounds of pressure on that left knee. I trying not to feel like a complete failure, but I would be lying if I didn't admit that my spirits were dampened.
Suddenly, I spotted Lauren(UGLYSHOES) and Josh(unofficially known as MRUGLYSHOES). They had finished the race and were ready to get out of the rain. It made my day to see them! Lauren is such an inspiration! She told me about an idea she had that morning of something fun to put on the back of her shirt that made me laugh. My spirits may not have been soaring, but that few seconds of connecting with another kindred spirit was enough to lift mine up out of the mud, I lifted my head, and jogged the last few yards across the finish line. The time on the clock was pitiful -- 42 mins., but so what? It's not like I barely missed winning the gold medal in an Olympic event. I walked around a little, stretched, made my way back to where I could see the finish line, stretched some more, and within just a couple of minutes, here came Judy! We made our way to the water and popcorn, and then on to more important things, like getting warm and dry. I spotted Christina(CONNEALS) just after she finished her 10K! She hadn't had time to cool down yet, so we didn't stand around chatting, but it was great to see her! Another SparkFriend inspiration! That makes 4 in one day (5, if it's ok to count MRUGLYSHOES too.) Add to that, all the people who check in online, and that's a lot of support!
Today is a new day, the beginning of a new week, and a new 4-week training period for my next planned race. Yesterday was a good day. I think the adage, "Into each life a little rain must fall", is fitting -- everything didn't go exactly the way I wanted in 'my perfect world', but in the grand scheme of things, I wouldn't go back and trade my hurt knee and my personal disappointment for the experience.
Today I'm 're-booting' my attitude. I don't know if I may have to make some changes to some of my plans, but I have options. Stopping is not one of them; going back is not one of them; and going around in circles isn't my goal, either. I will keep moving forward, maybe more slowly that I want, maybe on a bicycle, but happy and grateful to have the friendship and support of SparkFriends!
Tortoise and the Hare, before the race with TIME2PANIC
Connecting with friends brings joy.
Life goes on.
Sunday, March 21, 2010
Due to the return of winter, I opted to do my training run on the treadmill today, and I'm glad I did. I was feeling great as I passed the two-mile point, when suddenly felt a sharp pain in my left knee. I slowed way down, and finished 3.75 of the 4 miles I had planned to do alternating between walking and an easy jog.
I have stretched, elevated, iced, and wrapped, and now I'll just have to see how the week goes to know whether I will be running my 5K next Saturday, or walking it. I have high hopes that this is just a minor bump in my race training road.
Thursday, March 04, 2010
In the grand scheme of things, 12 pounds really doesn't sound like much at all. I don't have much more than that left to lose to get to my goal, and honestly, at this point, it sometimes almost doesn't seem like enough to worry too much about.
Today, I got outside for a walk in the sunshine and decided to add 12 pounds to a backpack. It felt really light when I first put it on, and I debated whether I should increase it to 16 pounds instead, but decided to err on the side of caution, just to see how it felt. I am happy to report that I really could tell it, and that 12 pounds didn't exactly feel insignifcant by the end of four miles. I might even have a few sore muscles as a reminder tomorrow.
It made me think a little more seriously about visualizing that next 12 pounds that I need to lose. I've lost the equivalent of one of the little hand weights in the past couple of weeks. Somehow that seems more 'real' than a mere 3 pounds on the scale, which, of course, doesn't magically disappear from one area, and therefore, is a little harder to actually notice on the old body.
I've been trying to decide what my goals will be for an upcoming Spark team challenge, which runs Mar. 8 - Apr. 8. I think I might just have to focus on losing the equivalent of my medicine ball during that month.
One thing I am sure of -- I would much rather carry an extra 12 pounds in a backpack than inside my skin!
Well, phooey! I took a pic of the 6 lb. medicine ball and two 3-pound dumbbells that I used to weight my backpack, but I can't get it uploaded.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
Finding a swimsuit last summer was such a huge hassle, I seriously considered just giving up. But vacation plans included water, so I shopped and shopped and shopped and shopped until I finally came up with two pieces that I could stand to wear. My hope has been that all my hard work this winter would result in me being able to find something I like better this year, preferably in a one-piece. To my very pleasant surprise, I found one on my very first try! That is definitely going to help keep me motivated!
Monday, March 01, 2010
I just realized that I have let a lot of time slip by since I last posted a blog entry of any kind. Thinking back over the past few weeks, it seems like a blur of activity, but I have also been watching the Olympics almost every evening that I've been at home while they were on. That adds up to a whole lot more tv time than I'm used to, so I think I'll blame my lack of blogging on the Olympics. Now I want to learn to cross-country ski even more than I already did!
I have been off work since Feb. 6, and one of the best things has been having my personal training sessions in the morning rather than late in the evening for the past 3 weeks. It's always fun to see what new challenges will be in store for me each week. Thank goodness my sessions are always at a time when there aren't a lot of other people around, because I know there are times when I look like the biggest klutz in the world when I first try something new. I have been known to just laugh at PRIS when she demonstrates something I've never tried before and says I'm going to do it. If I were doing that at home with a video, I would probably just fast forward right on through, thinking I couldn't do it. There's no getting off the hook that easily with PRIS though, and I love the feeling of accomplishment that I have after I get through our sessions, even if I don't completely master every new move. She sees to it that I get a great new workout every week, and I love the results!
Speaking of results, I went shopping a few days ago for a few new springier tops, and discovered a whole new size (for me). I had recently placed an on-line order for a few tops, but I received them, only about half of them fit well. The others were too big. That's a good problem, so I blocked off plenty of time one afternoon and headed to the local store to return them and find replacements. To my dismay, however, it seemed that all the tops I liked best were too big in medium, but small was too small. I was pshyched up to not leave the store empty-handed that day, unlike too many shopping trips to mention in the past several years that I would just give up after trying on one or two things that were too small, and end up feeling utterly discouraged and disgusted with myself. So, I actually enlisted the dressing room attendant's help, and she brought some petite mediums for me to try, and, ta dah! They fit perfectly! I am looking forward to going back to work in a couple of weeks more than ever now.
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