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I Love Yoga

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

So, after a week of feeling awful, exhausted, and sore, I finally decided to do some yoga. I've missed my usual class for the last 2 weeks and decided that a little more stretching would be helpful, and I was so grumpy this morning I knew I needed to do something to relax.

I had a million other things to do this morning, but I told myself to stop making excuses and popped in my Biggest Loser Yoga dvd. Half an hour later I was calmer, my muscles felt good, and my knee didn't hurt. My legs amazed me. I felt great. I could have gone for a run today and felt fine.

I'm apparently not stretching enough after my runs, and I need to start doing yoga daily. I think it will be key to surviving the last weeks of training. My husband is looking into whether our insurance covers massage, too. Hooray for loose, relaxed muscles! I feel like myself again. emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANGINGSAM 4/11/2012 12:02PM

    I love Yoga too! I am glad it was able to help!

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-LINDA_S 4/10/2012 2:52PM

    My yoga class was great today. I fear we'll have an awful sub again on Thursday, so I think I might skip it and do something else. I didn't even know Biggest Loser had a yoga DVD!

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GIANTMICROBE 4/10/2012 12:50PM

    Sometimes my stretching lasts longer than my workout, no lie!

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Hello, Rebellious Em

Monday, April 09, 2012

Confession: My body is tired. I'm into the long training runs, and it is a lot harder than I thought it would be. My rebellious side is showing up and whining a lot more. "I don't want to do all this running. I don't want to slack on my other workouts. I'm sick of carbs. I'm sick of not losing weight. I'm tired of giving up half of every weekend for pain. Etc."

Yeah, not fun to battle with this one.

I know I have to do this. I am 7 weeks away from the marathon, and I am equally terrified, glad I have more time to train, and burnt out and ready to do it and move on to the next goal. Training for a marathon is a full time job. It's not just the running - it's balancing my other activities so that I do not overtrain, it's making sure I am physically capable of teaching my classes, it's carb load days and eating for recovery, the feeling of never having enough to eat mixed in with the bloated, sick feeling from eating carbs. I'm kind of a mess right now.

But, I'll get through it. I have just a few more weeks to get myself ready, and then before I know it, it will be over. I'm scared and excited and - did I mention scared?

This weekend is going to be a tough one. On Saturday, I am attending my grandmother's funeral. It still seems so strange that she's gone. She was always my go-to person at large family functions. I loved spending time with her and listening to her somewhat crass humor. This will be the first family gathering without her, and I am still not sure how I will handle it. I really miss her.
On Sunday, I will be sorting out my emotions and thoughts on another 18 mile run - only this time my trainer wants me to hit the wall. You know - the thing most runners try to avoid? Yeah, I'm doing that on purpose this weekend. It makes sense. She wants me to experience running in that state because I will most likely be doing so on race day. Still, not looking forward to it. How do you make yourself hit the wall? My plan is to go for a 20 mile run - hopefully mile 19 will make me hit the wall, and I can stagger home while learning to run in a completely depleted state. I'm going to look at it as an experiment and an adventure. I'll let you know how it turns out.

This past weekend was Easter. We had a great weekend, and I was looking forward to a short, 10-mile run on Sunday. Of course, because it's a short run, I didn't prepare myself, and I ended up feeling terrible and only doing 6 miles. I didn't eat well. I didn't hydrate. I didn't feel like running. Hello, rebellious Em. I think the hardest part of training is the mental aspect. I am really struggling with it. It's scary to commit to something so completely. Every week I am in uncharted territory, and it's stressful.

This week I am focused on getting my head back into training. This is the point where I normally try to sabotage myself so that I do not achieve my goals, and that is not happening this time. Thinking about the race scares me, so I like to think about all the different stuff I get to do once it's over. Here's a few:

1. Do more ST - I love it.
2. Continue running 12 miles on weekends, so I can do a half in July
3. Go to other classes again and expand on my fitness
4. Learn new Zumba choreography
5. Clean/organize my house - it needs it badly
6. Focus on my diet and lose rest of the weight
7. Go hiking, camping, swimming w/ the family and relax a little more
8. Write! Start the new book, write a play

I am so looking forward to summer!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

APED7969 4/9/2012 5:21PM

    You're doing awesome! I think it is normal to feel scared and a bit stressed about everything. I'm sure 7 weeks will go by quickly and even though you won't feel ready you will be! Just be smart about your training and listen to your body. I must admit I did circuit class then an 8 mile run last week and then some kickboxing and now the back of my knee which has been fine for the entire training for this half is tight and sore and I'm running a half on Sunday! I knew I was doing a bit too much but did it anyway and now I'm regretting it! Great goals for when you're done!

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CHANGINGSAM 4/9/2012 3:08PM

    I'm sorry that you are so scared and stressed. However, you are an inspiration to me because of the distances you run. You have to push yourself through it even if you don't want to because in the end, you are going to look back on training, and you are going to be amazed. You are going to finish training strong. You are going to finish this marathon strong. You know how badly you want to complete it. So, remember that when things get tough.

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Shout Out To My Hubby

Wednesday, April 04, 2012

Sometimes I am so focused on my own journey and struggles that I don't notice the effect it is having on the people around me. Lately, though I've been noticing changes in friends and family members that I know have been sparked by my own actions. It feels good. It is that feeling that makes me love being a Zumba instructor and really look forward to getting my ACE certification.

My biggest success has definitely been my husband. He grew up in a household where exercise and nutrition were a joke and never considered necessary. He was the most active member of his family because he played outside as a kid and rode his bike. The rest of them were completely sedentary. When we first met this baffled me. I was always the most un-athletic of an extremely athletic family. We played sports (on teams and just at family gatherings or outside after dinner), and my parents took us for walks after dinner almost every night. Our nutrition wasn't the greatest, but we were always active.

Needless to say, my hubby HATED exercise. Still does. He doesn't like being uncomfortable, doesn't want to push himself, and doesn't have a competitive bone in his body. He's active. He likes hiking and going for walks, but for a long time this was all I could get him to do. And, that was fine with me until I started getting healthy.

I felt so much better once I was exercising regularly, and I wanted him to feel good, too. Still, I knew I couldn't push him, and that he would have to decide when he was ready. We walked more and hiked, and we were eating better, so he started losing weight. He felt better but still could not shed his hatred of exercise.

But, he couldn't ignore what I was doing, and the more I did the more he felt pressured to do something. I didn't say anything or put any pressure on him. He just felt guilty. I organized a fun run 5k for my job, and he decided to run it. He did not train for it. He ran for a mile on our treadmill once, and that was it. But, he managed to run the whole thing and did pretty well, too. He's so much faster than me!

Every once in a while he would join me for a workout. He sprinted with me once (he's super fast), and last June he walked in the local Milk Run/Walk - a yearly 10k that I've run the last 2 years. After seeing how fast some of the ladies walked it, he decided he might as well run it this year. I was thrilled.

But, he still didn't want to train for it. Consistency is really where he needs to improve. He'll workout, but never on a regular basis. So, about a month ago, he decided he wanted to go for a run with me. The kids were visiting their grandparents, so it was the perfect time. We went for a 3 mile run, and he did great. He was pretty happy with how it had gone, and i was so happy he'd done it.

I thought that would be it for a while, but the next weekend, he went out again. He did another 3 miles all on his own. After that we set up a schedule. I do my long run one day and he runs the other - every weekend. He tried a 5 mile run one weekend and has done another couple 3 milers since then. He looks forward to his run every week and is proud of his consistency. So am I.

He feels prepared for the Milk Run, and I can't wait to cheer him on! (I'm not doing it this year b/c it falls on the weekend after the marathon).

On top of all of this progress, he's already chosen his next race. A few months ago, I found a link to Run For Your Lives - a race where you run through obstacles and try to avoid zombies. I shared it with him, and he was actually really interested in it. There was one in Boston (which is the closest one to us), but it fell during my tough marathon training, and I was not going to risk getting hurt right before my 26.2.

I figured maybe next year, but not my hubby. He was looking into other locations near us and has decided that we will either be running for our lives in Pennsylvania or Maryland this fall. I am psyched. It sounds like so much fun, and it will be our first race together.

He's stopped hating exercise. Maybe while he's doing it, he still feels that way, but he feels great when he's done and willing to do it again. He's starting to see the improvements he is making physically. I see it in his attitude. So proud of him.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RUBY_TUESDAY21 4/5/2012 8:00AM

    Fitness is contagious! I caught it from my husband when we moved in together. Nothing like a few zombies to get the guys' interest...

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CHANGINGSAM 4/4/2012 4:23PM

    emoticon

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BLACKROSE_222 4/4/2012 2:02PM

    What a great thing to share, and your hubbie sounds like mine - he is still slogging through his runs, and I don't pressure him... but I hope one day he starts to enjoy it as well.

Zombie run sounds AMAZING!!!

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ALLIEALLIE2 4/4/2012 12:49PM

    emoticon

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PIGSOFGREEN 4/4/2012 12:43PM

    Two things:

1) SO awesome to see how he's become inspired and started running! That's so very cool!

2) I just googled the zombie run, and that's my new goal. Working up to running so I can do this race because OMG NOW I MUST SEE IF I CAN SURVIVE!!!

sorry, got a little excited there.

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MY4DOGS2580 4/4/2012 12:04PM

    it's great hear you can workout together. my hubby would love to run with but he has planters issues. I hope you both have a great time running for your lives.

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KJDOESLIFE 4/4/2012 11:54AM

    Yay! That's awesome!

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GOLOPTIOUS 4/4/2012 11:30AM

    Not gonna lie, running while avoiding zombies sounds like a lot of fun.

It's amazing what a few changes we make in our lives does for other people, huh? Good job!

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Too Many Hills And A Confession

Tuesday, April 03, 2012

I did my 18 mile run on Sunday, and it was tough. I chose a route that was probably 75% uphill. After my initial 3 miles of hills, I was in the zone and ready to go. It was a pretty run, past a lot of farms. The weather was cool but dry - no rain or snow, yay! I climbed a steep hill that went right past a farm that had 4 peacocks. They are gorgeous birds, but I had never heard them make noise. One of them was completely fanned out and screaming at me. It was a strange sound that definitely pushed me up the hill a little faster.
That was the beginning of State Park Rd. A road that I used to like. It's pretty. Lots of farms and a great view of the lake. It was peaceful with very few cars. It would have been perfect - except that it climbs up hill for 6 miles.

6 miles.

Some sections were steep, and some were long, steady climbs. At the time, I didn't really mind them. I feel stronger climbing hills. I'm getting faster at them, and I find that I dread them less than the downhills now. Downhills are hard on my knees, and one of them was acting up badly.

I stopped a couple times to put my legs up and drink some Gatorade (which I carried the whole time - bad idea). I walked one huge downhill and a little bit at the end when my husband and kids met me on the trail, but I did it. I completed 18 miles, and though I was sore and tired, I felt pretty confident that I could do the whole marathon. It will be painful, but I can do it. I think I could have run the whole thing if I had chosen a route will less hills. The marathon route has one big hill in it, but the rest looks pretty mild. I think I will definitely be ready by May 27th.

Confession time.

Last week, I barely exercised. I had overtrained the week before, which made me nervous. I don't want to get hurt this far into training. I also had stitches in my shoulder and upper back and needed to limit my arm movements. This turned into me taking it way too easy. I only taught 2 Zumba classes (which I did at 1/2 effort) and did nothing else. I really need to work on my "all or nothing" attitude.

Honestly, it was probably good for my body. I was rested and ready to go for my run, but it definitely took a toll on my mental state. I need my daily endorphin rush, and when I don't get it, I get cranky. I also felt like a slacker in front of my classes, but I knew I couldn't tear my stitches. I felt awful all week. Luckily, I kept my diet in check. That's an accomplishment. I've been having a hard time with my eating lately, but I was determined this time to stick to my healthy eating even though I felt terrible.

I spent most of my run thinking about the past week. It felt like a battle between the old me and the new me. And, since I was out running 18 miles, I'd say new Em wins :) I thought a lot about when I was my most unhealthy and could barely waddle a 1/4 of a mile. When 15 minutes of exercise was a lot - almost too much. I ran for 4 hours on Sunday and felt pretty amazing afterward (except for the knee pain). I thought about my plans for the future and how amazed I am that I actually have a plan and am still on course.

Running is so much more than exercise, and I learn something new each time I go out. It's nice to have a healthy addiction that improves me instead of ruins me. Completing this run made me proud. I usually have a hard time with being proud of anything I do, and there were several things I could have been hard on myself about. But, not this time. I am proud of myself, and I am confident in my abilities - for the marathon and the future.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KELLEY106 4/3/2012 6:32PM

    Good Job.
I'm old and overweight and have had booth my knees replaced.
Someone told me years ago that walking downhill was so much harder on your knees then going upgill or stairs. My doc agreeded. Suggested that I treverse the downhills. What a difference. May or may not be any good for runners.
I enjoy your blogs.

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KERLESS 4/3/2012 3:37PM

    Keep up the great work! It is very impressive :)

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HEIDI-25 4/3/2012 2:11PM

    A huge accomplishment for you. You should be feeling very proud. I hope for continued success and great runs for you in the future. You will be successful on your marathon!! You have come far and you are smart at knowing when to push and when to pull back. Keep keeping on :)

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CHANGINGSAM 4/3/2012 9:35AM

    Even though last week wasn't the best, I am so proud of you for choosing to complete the 18-miler especially when it got hard (hills). I love reading your blogs as they always help to push me. Right now, I am doing C25K. I am only on Week 3, Day 1, and running three minutes is difficult. However, after reading this, you make me want to do it again. So, thank you for always posting as you are helping me to get through too.

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Frustrated

Thursday, March 29, 2012

This week has been annoying. After my last long run, I knew that I had overtrained and had to do something to help my legs before my next one. My trainer suggested cutting out extraneous workouts and going easy in my Zumba classes. I wasn't happy about it, but I did it.
On Monday, my knee was still a little sore - not like I hurt it but from going down some really big hills on Saturday - so, I took it easy. I was supposed to have my Zumba class that night, so I wasn't worried about not getting my exercise. But, only one person showed up, so I ended up training her instead. She's learning to run, and I have to avoid excess running, so I did nothing. It bugged me. I went home and went to bed.
Tuesday, my trainer wanted me to take a rest day. I knew she was right. I needed it. My legs still felt tired and worn out. It's amazing how easy it is to overtrain. I am definitely learning a lot from my marathon training. Still, another rest day was not good for me mentally. I felt really anxious all day. I'm an endorphin junkie. I admit it. It was also a good day to take off because I had to have a minor surgery Tuesday morning, and my shoulder and abdomen were sore.
Yesterday, I had my first GOTR practice, and it was awesome. We didn't do a lot of running the first day, but the girls' energy was amazing. I am so excited to be involved. I couldn't do my usual lifting afterward because of my shoulder, so I flew home to get my son and bring him to literacy night at his school, after which I had my Zumba class. People actually showed up this time, so we had a normal class. I was happy to move again, but found that my arm still hurt when I tried to lift it. Using one arm totally threw me off, and I had a pretty bad night. I hate teaching when that happens, but you have to just keep going and get through it. Luckily, my Zumba ladies understood.
Today, I have yoga and Pilates, and I'm not sure how much I will be able to do with my arm and abdomen the way they are. My legs are feeling much better. Back to normal and ready to run. I'm frustrated but trying to stay positive. I'm lucky. I caught myself before I really got hurt, and I should be back to my normal self by next week. I should also be completely fueled up and ready to go this weekend, and I'm doing what I need to do to get through the marathon safely. It's so much work. I feel like I've never had to focus on my fitness so intently, and there are definitely days when I just want to go back to exercising without a specific goal. But, I know I'll be glad I did it when I cross the finish line, so I'm focusing on that.
One other positive is that I have been doing really well with my eating, so my weight has not gone up. I haven't lost any since I started training and don't expect to, but I also do not want to gain. It's all going away as soon as my marathon is over!!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BLACKROSE_222 3/29/2012 11:02AM

    Your body is the ultimate 'scale' and you need to listen to it - those 'rest days' are the worst. When you KNOW you could be working out, but you KNOW you shouldn't. I'm with you, and take it easy - better to rest now for 2 days, then to have to take 2 weeks off later.

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CHANGINGSAM 3/29/2012 9:01AM

    Although I am sorry you are in so much pain, I am thankful that you caught yourself overtraining. I know it's difficult to take it easy, but it's better than an injury. So, just do the best you can.

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ILIKETOZUMBA 3/29/2012 8:10AM

    I hope you're feeling better soon! It sounds like you're doing a great job of working around obstacles and giving your body the break it sometimes just needs. I know it sucks and it must be unbelievably frustrating, but as they say, this too shall pass! And it'll pass all the more quickly because you've been taking care of yourself. :) As always, I'm amazed by your fitness badassery...you're so awesome!!

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STRONGMOMMA2014 3/29/2012 7:49AM

    Sorry to hear of your frustrations! I hope you heal up quickly and can get back to things you love the most.

Your dedication is inspiring!

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