Tuesday, September 04, 2012
I feel better today...I suppose I couldn't get too much worse from where I was 2 days ago. I'm still not completely resolved with the work issue but I did talk to hubby and feel a little better. I want to make training my occupation and I know the obstacles. It's just a matter of tackling them...studying and passing my test, carving out the time to create new classes at the gym, finding ways to get clients at the gym, creating routines that are engaging and will make people work and keep coming back for more, and the most challenging of all is continuing to step out of my comfort zone of follower and grasp the leadership role. All of these things, in action or even just the thought of doing them, bring out the emotional eating monster that I thought I'd buried in the spring. Overconfidence, much? Here, I was running and thereby fueling my body with the right foods. I was not concerned with studying and training, I was happy and losing inches and pounds. Summer hit...I stopped running, I stopped eating as well as I was, I started teaching kickboxing at the gym and creating my own routines, I subbed for kids day camp with the boys in tow, and I started gaining inches and pounds back.
The core of this all is my emotional eating. The roller-coaster high and the spiral are both to be warned against. I know finding my even keel will help me succeed in all of this. It is hard to believe that I committed to the healthy lifestyle almost 3 years ago. A lot has changed and nothing has changed. I know what I must to do make my goals. It's a matter of practicing it daily. It's obvious that sparking and support hasn't changed...when I include both, I'm more successful. With all of this mind, here are a few goals for the rest of the month and the rest of the year.
At least a short blog or board post when I log onto SP
Conquer chapter one and chapter two of my ACE Exercise Science book
Pick up where I left off on my "Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat" book
Run 3x a week
Mindful eating...no tracking yet, just self-checking before I take a bite of anything
By December 4...three months from now AND my 38th birthday:
Have my ACE test scheduled
Run sub-12 minute mile while passing a talk test
Drop back comfortably into my size 12s
Start my plan of attack for races in 2013...I want to at least do a Run For Your Life (zombie obstacle course race) and maybe one other obstacle course race. I want to be able to do the monkey bars/wall climb and I know I'll need a combination of weight loss and upper body strength work. Will re-evaluate where I am weight/strength wise, and figure out what I can do over the winter to plan for the spring.
The major question mark in all of these goals is my attitude. Can I remain optimistic and realistic? Can I ride the lows, enjoy the highs, and keep my goals in mind all at once? I've practiced one bite at a time before and became food obsessed. If I can find the middle ground and forgive myself more easily I can do this.
Monday, September 03, 2012
Still studying for my ACE group fitness certification. Still on chapter 1 of the exercise science book and struggling to get through the anatomy and memorization stuff. Still emotionally eating...badly in the last few weeks, as my boys are now both in school, I am home with just the dogs, and hubby is harping on me to find paid work. I see his point and know we need the income, but I don't know where to start and don't want to give up full time homemaking, even though you can say I dropped the M off of the SAHM status. I'm no longer subbing for our pilates/yoga class as I'm running boys to soccer practice...my idea, and I get the "I told you I didn't want to tie up our nights" so it is my responsibility. Still teaching kickboxing 2x a week, but that is it for my physical fitness. Struggling to get back into running...struggling to eat right and stay away from boredom-stress-emotional eating. Not succeeding. I know what I should be doing. I have healthy options in my refrigerator. But...but there are all sorts of processed snacks from my dad and mom for the boys and I know I can't stuff my emotions with food, but I'm trying anyways, and obviously failing. It's so hard. You know that and I know that and I hate feeling whiney, but damn, this is hard. And I know I will be alright. I will make my way out of this pit of guilt and pity and I will restart this journey and I will tell myself it will be the last time because I'm sick of starting over and it gets harder each time. Tomorrow is a new day right? :)
Sunday, July 22, 2012
I realize it's been another month and half since I last blogged...my time on spark has not been frequent. It has been another busy summer and I can't believe that the boys will be in school this time next month! I have not done any running since my half, but am keeping myself busy teaching kickboxing twice a week. My group is tiny...I usually have 3 people, but sometimes just 1! It has been fun though as I'm designing my own routines and honing my skills as an instructor. It is truly a different world up front! I hate to admit that I was a typical gym rat student, thinking I could do as good a job as my cardio teachers. I've officially been set in my place LOL! I'm also subbing occasionally for the pilates and yoga classes which has also been equal parts nerve-wracking and fantastic. My group there is forgiving though and willing to try some of the different balancing poses that I've offered as a change of pace from the regular routine. We dropped our evening childcare which I'm sure didn't help any potential moms this summer, but hopefully as the weather turns and kids are back on a set schedule, I can get some more people into my classes. My study materials finally came in and I'm struggling through my exercise science book. I'm planning on taking my ACE certified group trainer exam using their three month time line, and the anatomy stuff is intimidating but I will get there. I'm still doing some summer fitness day camp with the boys at the gym, but not being in charge this year has been a weight off my shoulders. We've enjoyed the crafts and activities a lot more than last year :)
With all of the craziness, I have slipped quite a bit on my eating. I've put on some vacation weight and some of my jean shorts are getting a little too tight for my comfort. I'm using my phone tracker again though, and will slowly babystep back into proper habits. The food is here. I just need to choose my fruit and veggie options over the processed junk that my dad likes to send my boys. That's about it for me...hope this finds my SP friends happy, healthy and enjoying the rest of July!!
Wednesday, June 06, 2012
Well, I did it! I survived my first half marathon and it was one of the best experiences I've ever had.
We arrived in South Bend, Indiana late Friday afternoon after dealing with a lot of interstate traffic. Packet pick up at the College Football Hall of Fame was cold and drizzly wet...I was praying the weathermen would have more accuracy with race day! Checked into our hotel and met up with Bill, a friend who was also running the half and acting as moral support for me. Carbed up at Fazolli's (I forgot how much I loved the breadstick lady!!), and did a little swimming with the boys before bed. Wake up was at 5:30...that came after a very restless night's sleep. I drank my water, had my homemade protein bar and banana, and brought my coffee along with. Minus the killer charlie horse I'd had on Friday morning, I was feeling great...it was certainly now or never.
The sky was clear and the weather crisp in the high 40's. Perfect!!! We made it downtown and parked a block from the CF HoF, used the restrooms and did some light calisthenics and dynamic stretching. There were so many people! I was grinning ear to ear between my clattering teeth. Months of training was boiling down to this moment! We saw the 5k'ers off and it was time for the half marathoners to line up...that was me!! I couldn't believe it was time...I was so nervous and excited I could cry!! I parted ways with Bill as he packed in with the 9 minute pace racers and I made my way to the back of the pack with the 12's. There were all ages and sizes there, and I settled in comfortably :) Before I could overthink things, the National Anthem was over and the starting gun went off!!! I tried to start my Garmin as I crossed the start line, but I'm sure I was a little early as 13.1 came before I crossed the finish line. Still, it was absolutely perfect...I saw my Dad, hubby and boys on the sidewalk and gave my little cheerleaders high fives as I passed them. That kept me going for a loooong time!
The run downtown had fantastic coverage by the police with a lot of spectators and even a bag piper. It was fast and flat and I knew I'd started faster than I'd planned but I decided I didn't care. I wanted a 13 minute pace but I was around 11:45...I was going to ride this for what it was worth and reign it in if I needed to after the half-way point. After downtown we ran through several neighborhoods and hit a couple of hills. I talked with other runners and volunteers and I tried to thank everyone that gave me water/gatorade/gu/and most importantly their support! Passed my buddy on one of our out and backs around mile 4 (what was his mile 5.5 or so) and we tried to slap 5 as we passed :) It chokes me up all over again to think of the little kids waving at us, the ladies with signs and music, the sidewalk chalk drawings on the road encouraging us to do our best , the sprinklers along the curbs, the guys by the river that talked in Shakespeare, and the medics ready to help with any aid they could give, especially the one that pointed me in the right direction after I nearly veered off course! Minus my little town's 5k, this was my first big race, and with the excellent organization and support, I already felt as though I'd picked a perfect one.
The run up and down the St. Joseph River was beautiful...It was so peaceful and the sun playing off the water was almost surreal. The running path was curvy but mostly flat and I almost talked myself out of believing that there was a monstrous hill coming up on mile 11! Turning away from the river path after the 8th mile was kinda sad, but also encouraging. I joked with some fellow runners that all we had left was a 5k! I started looking for the Dome Touchdown Jesus at the library and campus, but had no idea when I'd see anything, and as it turned out with all the trees and campus buildings I didn't catch sight of them until I was right by the stadium.
It was a loooooong hike between that 8th mile and the monstrous hill at mile 11. More neighborhoods but fewer water stations, and I was beginning to feel the run catching up to me. My walk breaks were happening a little more frequently and I was starting to feel all those little aches and pains. Was I going to finish this thing or what? Some photographers caught me around mile 10 so I certainly couldn't walk through that. Besides, they made me smile...why not snap me at my most exhausted state, no...couldn't be when I was fresh and smiley around mile 3, right? LOL I turned the next block and heard shouting...shouting from one particular woman as she prepped us for 'Hallelujah Hill' It was a beast too! We had a good laugh as the girl in front of me zoned out the shouting and almost kept running straight down our flat section of road. Our cheerleader said NO--TURN HERE! and then just kept shouting, "you got this, you are looking strong, keep going hard, don't give up now!!!" I commented that straight ahead looked much better :D And it would have been...oh my goodness...one steep hill followed by a flat curve and another steep hill...who dreams up this torture so close to the end? Still, her words egged me up on and I was once again grateful for the support of complete strangers that felt like friends!
I carried on and did a slow jog trying to tell myself that the faster I made it up the faster it would be behind me. It kinda worked...man I was sore and that Charlie horse the morning before was acting up. How was I going to get that last two miles in? That mind game you play with yourself where you start questioning your sanity for attempting something like this started setting in, but somehow I managed. Even with marathoners from the 6 a.m. start time passing me, I was making my way from the last neighborhood to Eddy Street Commons. Came up to another group of cheerleaders holding a .87 mile sign up...I laughed and pointed saying it was the best sign I'd seen all day. The girl sitting in a wheelchair was yelling everyone's shirt colors with an encouraging remark. It was the pick me up I needed to keep going! I thought about the Memorial Children's Hospital and where my race registration was going to and I discovered another level of inner strength and resolve.
I hit Eddy Street Commons and it was quiet save for a single bagpipper. I lost it and couldn't keep from crying. In fact, it was all I could do to keep from all out bawling. You see, I'd been talking to my Grandpa since the river, because it made me think of him fishing, and I especially asked for his help when I hit the hill. It's been just over a year since he passed and while I know he is with me always, I have my time with him mostly on my long runs. Well, when I heard the pipes, it was like my sign that he'd heard me. I was almost there, and he was going to stick with me until the end. It is a feeling I will never, ever forget. Before I knew it I was on campus and had the stadium in my sight. I knew I was struggling and considered walking until I turned the corner toward the tunnel and then jogging it in. Well, another sight inspired me to keep pushing...a marathoner just in front of me met up with his family. His wife was beaming and taking pictures and telling him how proud she was of him. And then his son started running with him. He was about the same age as my oldest, and it was just an amazing sight. I wasn't slowing down for nothing!
As I rounded the northwest corner of the stadium I glanced at my garmin. 13 miles! And then it rolled over to 13.1 miles!! I DID IT! I clicked it off and savored the end time. 2:43...well under the 3 hours I had generously set for myself! I hit the tunnel entrance and the speakers were playing the Notre Dame Victory March...I was grinning from ear to ear again. I could see the finish line ahead!!! I glanced up into the stands and my Dad was waving, hubby had the video going and my boys were jumping up and down. I waved and took those last few yards at a steady pace, just trying to feel it all, soreness included. I crossed and my clock end time was 2:45:46 but I really didn't care...all I could see in front of me was a boy with cold wet towels and a woman with the finisher's medals! And Bill! My friend was waiting for me on the field even though he'd finished 40 minutes before me. What a guy!! I gave him a sweaty hug and we walked, stretched, chatted and hit the water tent. I looked around me and marveled at it all...being on the field, enjoying the sun, and the pure joy of what I had accomplished. Months of training, of long runs and short runs and pace runs paid off in ways I hadn't imagined possible. I am a different person today, a better person, because all the time and effort I have put into running has paid me back tenfold. My first half-marathon is behind me...I don't know when I will run another race, but I look forward to finding a new challenge!
Monday, March 12, 2012
I can't believe I let a month slip by between blogs...it just seems like I haven't made much spark time lately :( A lot has happened since I last posted. I found out that the finish line for my first half marathon at Notre Dame was moved. I was devasted...finishing in the stadium was my whole incentive for signing up. I thought on it for about a week and decided I wasn't going to withdraw...I will run as planned and finishing on the soccer field will still be sweet. I'll just have to go back in a year or two and finish my MARATHON on the 50 yard line :) I am using Hal Higdon's novice 2 training schedule and slowly upping my miles each week. It is going well so far, but this week's 7 mile run will be furthest I've ever gone. I'm nervous and excited. Love using my Garmin outdoors...it is so helpful in pacing and tracking my distance. When I come home and plug in to the computer I can also see my heart rate and split times by half mile. I know it does so much more, but these are the setting I can get to the easiest..I know there is a virtual running partner you can use to keep on pace, and that will come in handy these next few weeks as I try to run more on pace and race pace outings. I can't imagine running without it now!
I have pretty much put a hold on my p90x workouts. It is just too intense for me to run in the mornings and then do these in the evening. I love it, and I know I am getting some fantastic upper body toning, but it sucks me dry physically. Maybe I will pick up on it again post-race. I know it was not giving me the same calorie burn as circuit training was and now that I am mostly running with a little ST thrown in, the scale is moving again. It helps that I am eating much better too :) I find that when I run consistently I eat better, because then I run better when I eat better!
I'm still working my way through Eat What You Love, Love What You Eat. I've also added 2 little apps on my phone that have helped tremendously in my struggle to make peace with food. They are My Diet Journal and My Diet Coach. Both were free, although the Coach one has the option of upgrading for a couple bucks. I think it works fine on it's own. I carry my phone in my jeans pocket and I have it set to vibrate every few hours to check if I'm hungry. I also have it set to vibrate late late in the afternoon to check if I am emotionally eating. When I click on the app, it brings up different reminders...some offer a healthy snack choice, some remind me that I'm strong and in charge, and others remind me that whatever not so great food choice I'm making will show somewhere undesirable later LOL. The journal is simple. No calorie tracking, just noting what I eat, when I eat it. I can set it to go off 3 hours between entries to remind me to eat. I'm also able to track my water, fruits, veggies, and vitamin in a separate area. All of these reminders might seem a bit silly, but they are really keeping me on track and accountable.
So that's all for now...spring break coming up and we'll be out and about more often. Hope everyone is off to a great Monday!!
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