Wednesday, November 02, 2011
I'm 33 today. I don't feel old or young or anything really significant about my age. I just feel content. I went to a 6 am yoga class this morning and it was the best gift to give myself. That hour of calm and quiet is exactly what I need in my life. I am a go, go, go person and I need to force myself to slow down. Yoga has helped with this. So have my Spark blogs. They make me reflect, which is important to do, but I rarely take the time for it. So this is me being calm and reflective.
One year ago I was overdue, crabby, exhausted, excited and anxious. Oh, and overweight. When I think about what has happened in the past 365 days I am overwhelmed with happiness. I could gush with cheesiness because I truly do feel that good. Running has strengthened my marriage in a way I never could have imagined. My energy bounces and I tumble & play with my kids in new ways everyday. I am joyful WITH them, not just by watching them. I feel active and alive.
When I got home from the gym my DH had a candle in my steel cut oats and the 3 of them sang to me wearing silly birthday hats. Is that not the cutest gift ever? And then we also had cupcakes. For breakfast! See? Life is good.
Before you eye roll and think: make me puke, she's one of those perky/happy/my life is perfect girls, please know that it hasn't always been this way. 3 years ago when I was pregnant with my daughter, we were living in a 1 bedroom condo with our dog. Units around the building were foreclosing. There was no way we could sell. It was financial hell and I cried a lot. I went to the gym a lot too, but I also ate tons of crappy diet food and ice cream. Not smart. I was not mentally or physically all that healthy.
10 years ago I was probably in a bar. I worked out then too. But I ate even more junk. Drank way too much and basically acted like I was still in college. I would have laughed if someone would've told me that I'd run a half marathon someday. In my early 20s I thought I had all the answers even though I was making horrible choices daily and involved in an abusive relationship.
And today, life still isn't perfect. I guess I have learned to roll with the imperfections and make the best of what I have right now. Of course, I have some stressful moments, but I tend to look at things as glass half full. I know I have it pretty good and I want to be mindful and grateful.
I am healthy. My family is healthy. I have finally figured out what a key role nutrition plays. I have found new ways to exercise and make it a part of daily life and something I can do with my whole family. All of these are factors in why my life is good today.
I hope I wake up and go to yoga when I'm 53 and 73. I want to run with my husband the day I turn 43. Possibly, I'll cuddle my own grandbabies in my 60s. Who knows? One thing I do know: life doesn't go according to plan. So I better me fit and ready for whatever lays ahead.
My wish for myself this year is to continue to make choices that are good for me. I want to challenge myself mentally and physically. An action research project, marathon training, and group fitness instructor training are all on the calendar. These will make me be a better person, a better mom, a better wife, friend, sister, teacher, etc.
Make a good choice for YOU today. It ripples onto everyone around you.
Sunday, October 30, 2011
It was a pretty good run for me. I definitely learned a lot. I continuously have to tell myself that I'm a runner. I still don't see myself as one. I feel like such a rookie and some of my choices yesterday prove that I AM a rookie. And that's OK.
My antibiotics had kicked in. The fever and body aches were gone, but I was still a little sore. I hadn't slept well all week, hadn't worked out all week, nor did I eat the greatest fuel foods the day before the race. Let's just say I was not in my best shape. I changed my outfit the morning of the race, I never made a race playlist and I didn't get around to making homemade protein bites for before the race. I was breaking cardinal racing rules all over the place and I paid for it.
Since I was sick and it had been a rough week, I knew that I should throw my goal time out the window. I ran the 10 miler in 87 minutes (8:44 pace). So my goal was to finish in under 2 hours. Ideally around 1:55. As my DH was driving me to the race he gave me a little pep talk and then asked about what I thought my time would be. I said, "You know I wanted under 2, but now I guess I don't care. I just want to finish." He laughed and told me I was lying. He was right. I still wanted under 2.
There weren't corrals for this race, just banners with pace times. I liked this better. I made my way up to the 9 min/mile banner and stood a little bit in front of it. I was surprised by how close this was to the start line. I was surprised by how fit and runneresque all the people around me looked. See? I still don't see myself as one of them. I was giddy and in awe. I hope I never lose that starting line feel.
I saw the 9:00 pacer. I told myself to stay in front of him for as long as I could. I thought that if he passed me I would do my best to keep up and that would get me a 2:00 time. I felt like it was a realistic goal since this was a speedy course. Mostly flat and lots of downhill.
It was a beautiful morning. We started at the Cathedral in St. Paul.
I am happy to say that I did not make the racing mistake of starting out too fast. I ran at a pace that was comfortable to me and tried not to let all the people passing get to me.
The first part was down Summit past all the old mansions. I felt great and had time to take in the gorgeous fall views.
After the initial high wore off, I missed running with my husband.Then my pants were starting to fall down, which didn't make sense because I was wearing my favorite running capris with a drawstring. Then I realized that the cute orange & black polka dot knee highs that I bought to be festive, were pulling my pants down!! No, I hadn't worn them running before. I planned to wear them on an easy run on Thursday, but I was sick. I knew better than to wear something new on race day, but I did it anyway. rookie mistake! I had to jump onto the curb at the first water station to pull the stupid socks down. And, duh!, Target knee-highs are not made with moisture wicking materials. So my feet were too hot and then too cold the entire race. And I got blisters, which has never happened before. I'm pretty sure I learned my lesson. I also had a little problem when I took off my throw away fleece and my ipod armband came off with it and everything got unplugged and tangled. Definition of hot mess right here!
Enough about my wardrobe malfunctions. Back to the race. I usually hit a teeny wall around 6 and I thought about that after the 5 mile marker. Then all of a sudden I was at the mile 7 marker. Things were going well. Somewhere after that I started to get tired. I had noticed 2 girls in hot pink shirts awhile ago and was doing my best to keep up with them. There was A LOT of self talk going on at this point. The pink girls got way ahead of me at times, but I kept them in sight. This is a racing tip from my dad.
I did not eat enough calories on Friday night or Sat morning. I was hungry and feeling spent and we were only at mile 10. I took Powerade (which I hate) at a water station just to give myself something. Another racing no-no. Don't drink things your body isn't accostumed too. The last 3.1 was super tough for me. Every step was hard. I was pushing as hard as I could at mile 12 but I wasn't going any faster. I did manage to pass the pink girls, which felt great, but I couldn't sprint to the finish line. When I saw 1:57 on the clock I was overwhelmed with happiness and pride.
I never saw the 9:00 pacer. That meant I ran a consistent race at my pace. I don't have a Garmin (wish I did!) so throughout the race I had no idea what my time was. When I saw that finish clock, I felt amazing. I also felt awful. I was shaky and a little dizzy and immediately gobbled up a banana. My body was spent.
I am addicted to racing. There is a St. Patrick's Day HM that I will be signing up for. I love the energy of a race and the feeling of being part of a running community. I learn a lot with each race and know what I need to do so the next race goes better.
Chip time was 1:55:02. (8:47 pace) I am overjoyed. I cannot believe that I met my original goal after the craptastic week I had. I need to experiment with fuel during runs. I clearly needed something at mile 10. I'm not going to play the what if game with myself. Instead I am going to focus on what I can do to become a better runner and make sure my next race is even more enjoyable.
wow, this got long. I will reread this before my next race so I will never make the same mistakes again. And maybe someone else can learn something from this. If you're still reading, here's me in the ridiculous socks.
At least I can wear them to school tomorrow and the kindergarteners will love em. And that cutie is telling me to run like a witch!
Happy Halloween sparkers!
Thursday, October 20, 2011
I started running last Spring as a way to workout with my kids. I couldn't spend endless hours at the gym like I did pre-babies. I *could* push them in a double jogger and burn some major calories. I had no idea that such a love affair was growing.
I love that anyone can run. Sure, it can be a really expensive sport. But it doesn't have to be. I don't have a lot of gear. None of my running clothes match because I buy them on clearance. I have no idea what gus or gels or belts or compression socks work. I've never bought any. That doesn't mean I won't at some point...
Anyway, I love reading all the C25K blogs and status updates in the Spark universe. It's motivating and impressive. Anyone can run.
I love running with my husband. Our bodies don't look like this, but our smiles do. Our dates used to be about wine and food and bars. I would never have guessed that this is how we would spend our time together. If someone would have told me 5 years ago, (hell, ONE year ago!) that I'd be a runner, I would've rolled my eyes. phstttt.
I ran my first 5K in June. Next June I'll run my first marathon. I was in pretty good shape before I started running. It's not like I jumped off the couch and did all this. It's been a process and I know my process is faster than some. Some people have told me I'm taking on too much too fast. Disagree. I'll leave it at that.
The 10 mile race was so much fun. I immediately went home and looked up the Monster Dash half marathon at the end of the month. It's $80 times 2 for DH's entry fee and arranging for someone to take care of the kids and it was too much. I was bummed but decided to keep training like I had been. 3 runs a week: 1 long run of 8 -11 miles, 1 easy 5 mile, 1 hills 4-7 miles. My plan is to repeat through the winter (akkkkk!) and up training 4 months before the marathon.
I know that anyone can run a a marathon with the proper training.
This is Fauja Singh. He's 100 years old! He ran Toronto and it was his 8th marathon. Ah-maz-ing. He makes me happy to be healthy and alive. He reminds me:
Today I am going a run with a friend that is recently divorced. She's had a tough year. We will run together because we can. She may have lost a lot, but she has two strong legs and we will celebrate that today.
And now for the happy ending, I WILL be running that half marathon next Saturday. A gym friend gave me her bib because she is hardcore and is flying to DC to run the marathon. Good thing I kept up with my training, huh?
Sunday, October 16, 2011
I don't have much to say so I'll just dazzle you with pinterest.com pics
Isn't that the truth?
I used to say that my will power wasn't strong enough. We've all heard it a million times, "I don't have any will power." Yes, we do. We just choose to use it or not. Last night I exercised my will power. I ate one chocolate covered caramel that guests brought over and threw away the rest when they left. It was a conscious decision. That's will power. I could've done that a year ago, but I made the choice not to.
YES! I used to silently dream about being a runner. I listed lots of reasons why I couldn't. My silliest excuse was because I have a large chest. I know, that's ridiculous. But that's what I told myself. After years of quiet thoughts, I spent the money on a good sports bra and now I run 20 miles a week. OK, fine, sometimes only 12. But the point is I CAN RUN. and so can you.
I have 9 miles planned for today. I'll pretend I'm here:
That's Prague in case you're curious.
I keep making strength training goals/plans/little thoughts in my head about how I need to do more because you need ST and everyone on Sparkpeople is STing and it's the right thing to do and and and... but I just don't do it. I don't like weight lifting. I don't like the machines at the gym, I don't like free weights in my basement, I don't really enjoy Bodypump class. here's my thoughts on fitness: Find something you love and you'll stick with it. If you don't like it, it will not become part of your lifestyle. I need to admit to myself that weight lifting is not something I enjoy and THAT'S OK. There are other ways to tone and strengthen your body.
Yoga is my ST. I'm starting to really get into it. It reminds me of how I felt when I started to fall in love with running last Spring. And they seem to compliment each other.
Well, I guess I had a lot to say. Thanks for listening.
What works for YOU?
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