Saturday, March 05, 2011
Just a brief blog post today. I arrived late last night and am trying to catch up. I would have posted while at WDW, but the only internet connection was in my parents' bedroom. Didn't like that at all!
Anyway, I finished! My pace was really slow. And I mean, really slow. I was doing as well as I'd planned until I got to the Magic Kingdom. After that, all of my plans of ignoring the photo ops and just getting through to the finish line kind of blew up. I made so many stops for photos! I blame my three and a half hours plus finish on Captain Jack Sparrow. But at that point I realized that I was going to be able to finish and that was my only real goal, so I decided to have fun. Also, like a lot of runners- I suspect, I found the last three miles to be a bit of a killer. One huge banked turn, two moderate hills, and one small hill going into Epcot. All just when the temperature was rising.
My legs and feet are sore, but I think that's more from the five days of walking that followed the half, rather than the half itself. The muscle soreness from that wore off on Tuesday or Wednesday. My quads were still sore at that point.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
I'm about to skip out of work (not literally, despite yesterday's status update), but I wanted to write a blog post first. I have a ton of stuff left to do at home before I can call it good and go to sleep for a few hours. I have an early flight tomorrow. It's at 6:45, which I think qualifies as officially "pre-dawn." And as far as I'm concerned, it's not a moment too soon. We're getting another 3-6" of snow overnight. Ugh! Actually, it's supposed to snow from the time I go to bed until I arrive at the airport. So that snow should make the drive to the airport a fun trip! Luckily, I live pretty close to the airport. On a clear day, I can make it in 15 minutes. Tomorrow, I'm giving myself about an hour. I drive like a cranky old lady in a powder blue 70s Coupe de Ville in heavy snow and sleet. I probably swear a lot more than that old lady, though.
When I reach my destination, I'll be in sunny, gorgeous, and HOT Orlando, baby! 28 degrees and snowy to... okay, so sunny may be a stretch. Low clouds and fog for the next two days. I got the hot part right, though. It's supposed to be in the high 70s to high 80s all week.
When I arrive in Orlando, I'm heading straight to my hotel to meet my parents. After check-in and smoochies, I'll be heading over to the "Fit for a Princess" race expo. I'm bringing a cash allowance and hopefully, an attitude of shopping temperance. Last night I had a hard time opening the drawers where I store my exercise bottoms and tops and came to the conclusion that I own waaaay too many workout clothes! I'll have to combat my inner spoiled five year old ("But I neeeeeed it! Pleeeeeaase?") by strategically leaving any plastic in the room safe.
I'm trying not too think too much about that little event that will be taking up most of my pre-pool lounging time on Sunday morning. See how much I'm trying not to think about it? Rest assured, I feel pretty good right now. My joints are a little sore, but that's because I've been sitting at a desk all day and they haven't been exercised enough. I felt awesome while running last night. Well, maybe not physically awesome, but mentally, yes. FREAKIN' AWESOME! And I'm really looking forward to running outside. I hate that crowded, banked, tiny indoor track. I can't wait for daylight savings and the return of brighter evenings.
And now I suspect I'm putting off leaving work to tackle the final cleaning and mountain of packing I have left to do. But no. I will finish this up, hit the road, and get that stuff done by 8:20 so that I can watch "The Vampire Diaries" and go straight to bed.
I'm packing my netbook, so I'll be posting throughout my trip. I can't wait to login on Sunday to change my status update and enter 13.1 miles on my fitness tracker. WOO!
Sunday, February 20, 2011
But is it possible to be too careful?
So, it is exactly one week until Princess. In fact, if my predictions are right, I should be crossing the finish line right around now, give or take a half hour. (Not sure when my start time will be.) I'm not going to lie, I'm a little concerned.
This past week, I didn't get in any solid runs. I went to run on Wednesday night, got about a half mile in and quit. I just didn't feel right. Knees were sore. Calves were tight. I was running on the indoor track, and I'm always quick to blame those banked corners when it doesn't feel right. I figured I would save it for my weekend run outdoors. I had a four mile run planned. The first two miles were... all right. I had the same issues with my knees and my ankle was starting to get a bit sore. And I was getting shin splints! I haven't had shin splints in months! They weren't severe, just a little, "Hey, don't you think you're overdoing it?" newsflash from my shins. I suspect the sudden reappearance of pain there is too much tension in my body. I think I'm guarding against pain in my knees and ankle so I'm doing wacky things with my stride. At any rate, I decided that pushing through my run when I wasn't feeling great one week before the race would be a monumentally bad idea, so I cut my run off. My Nike+ says I ran 2.9 miles, but that's not right. It's more like 2.75 according to the mapping feature. And that's fine. I guess.
So, I stopped off on my way home and ran into Dunham's for some KT Tape. I had spotted a bunch in there a few weeks ago. This time, there was one lonely roll of pink tape left. I watched the videos for application for my various issues online and I intend to wear it for this week while I do my daily activities and my PT and weekday half hour runs. I doubt I will tape my ankle for the race. In the past, my feet were very prone to blisters and I don't want to mess with what's working there. I ran for 12 miles in my Thorlos last Saturday and so far, so good with my feet. Depending on how the week goes, I may or may not tape my knees during the race. I'm leaning toward not at this point.
Let's see... I still need to pack and clean my house. I don't want to a) show up to WDW with a wardrobe consisting entirely of my half marathon outfit and a bathing suit; and b) return from my trip to find my petsitter has taken Dinah to some kind of Cat Protective Services because we live in squalor. Not really, but closer than I'm comfortable with. My room currently looks like a clothes tornado hit it. And my living room is still displaying signs of being used as a temporary workshop during my furniture building spree. I need to take my lumber and tools down to the basement, and re-hang my pictures. (I re-framed them but didn't hang them back up. Too many distractions!)
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
So, I'm having some family issues and have been struggling with them for a while. As many of you may know, my sister and her partner adopted two kids last fall. Their oldest, my niece, has had a history of mental illness dating back years. Because of a traumatic background with her biological parents, she has a laundry list of disorders and came to us with her very own psychiatric team. It's been an ongoing concern for our family, but never more so than it has been since about September of this year. She's just been gradually... unraveling is probably the best way to put it. Anyway, the week before Christmas, things progressed to the point that she had to be hospitalized. Since December 19, she's been out of the hospital about two weeks total. There's been a ton of blame, guilt, anger and frustration with just about everyone in my family ever since then.
It's my nature to try to be as supportive and positive as I can possibly be. Unfortunately, even I have my limits. And even more unfortunately, I'm expressing my own stress and unhappiness in stupid ways. I first put two and two together on Monday afternoon. I had brought in a chocolate cake for my coworkers as a Valentine's treat, and had a small piece myself. My sister called me and told me that my niece was back in the hospital and started talking to me about everything that led to that. After about half an hour, she got a call from my niece's new psychiatrist and had to take it. When we got off the phone, I had two more pieces of cake. I wanted to eat the last piece pretty badly and was contemplating throwing it away, when someone came and took it. Yesterday, I ate two leftover Valentine's cookies that were marked down in the little store here at work. I felt pretty awful about it and spent a bit of time thinking things through.
One of the things I've gotten pretty good at over the years is figuring out ways of dealing with issues before they get out of hand. In my younger years, I went through a couple of periods of depression because I let things just sort of steamroll me. One of the coping skills I developed as a response to that is recognizing the signs of an impending problem and dealing with it as soon as possible. I even have a five step plan for it.
1. Identify the problem. What behaviors am I doing that made me realize there was an issue? Why am I unhappy or angry? Am I angry at anyone in particular? In this case, I've been eating unhealthily since before Christmas. I got out of the habit of eating properly and never got back to it. It has led to me being unhappy with myself and my choices. And I am growing more and more impatient and angry with my family.
2. Identify the root cause of the problem. Did the behavior start at any specific time? Did anything else happen at that time? If I'm angry or unhappy with someone in particular, what's going on in their life and how is it effecting me? It took me a long time, but it wasn't until my sister asked me to babysit my nephew tonight during a family meeting at the hospital and my reaction was anger, guilt and then a desire to eat something that I figured things out. It's my nature to help people. I've spent months being the most supportive, positive and helpful sister I can be. I babysit my nephew whenever they have a crisis with my niece. I serve as a sounding board for my sister and her partner. I try to keep my Mom's reaction to this on an even keel. I almost never respond to "Can you?" with "no," even when it means canceling or rearranging my plans, or giving up hours of my pretty limited free time. I didn't realize how resentful it was making me until I realized that I was angry at my niece and how much that shocked me.
3. Can I figure out the solution on my own? If so, work out a plan to correct the situation.
4. Do I need to ask for help? Then do so. Besides saying no to a request for help, asking for help is one of the hardest things for me to do. I hate admitting that I can't do something on my own. Sometimes, all I really need to do is talk to someone about what's going on with me. Sometimes, their ear and their opinion is all I really need. Sometimes, I need more than that.
5. If I can't figure it out and no one else can either, is it something I can learn to live with? As hard as it is, sometimes the best solution is to just accept that something is not fixable, and then move on.
So, the solution to my current situation is to be honest with my sister about not being able to help her. I have a lot to do between now and February 25 and not much time to do it. I need every moment I can get. I'm exhausted and stressed and I need to focus on my own issues. As hard as it was to do so, I asked her to find another solution to needing child care tonight. I have 4-5 opportunities for physical therapy between now and the half marathon and I need to do that tonight. I also need to run, do dishes, clean, do laundry, and do other household chores. The other thing I need to do is take my health in hand and recommit myself to healthful eating, at least between now and my trip. I tried to do this once before and failed. Now that I know why I'm stress-eating, I think I'll have better luck. No sweet baked goods. No Tootsie Rolls. No diet soda. No alcohol. I may choose to have one meal out that will be the exception to these rules. But that one meal and one exception will not become the rule. And when I come back from my vacation, I will come up with an approach to this that is workable long-term.
Other things I will be just as strict with myself about: I will do at least four PT sessions at their office between now and my trip. My therapist noticed that my ankle has gotten weaker again. I will also make a concerted effort to do the most helpful stretches (calf, hamstring, hip flexor) on days when I'm not at PT. I will log in to SP every day and honestly enter what I eat and what I do. And finally, I will be in bed by 11:00 PM every night. I've had it up to here with the whole falling asleep on the sofa thing.
I need to control the things I *can* control. It will make dealing with the things I *can't* control so much easier.
Monday, February 14, 2011
Many, many years ago, I started treating myself to little presents for Valentine's Day. It started with a rose and a box of half-priced chocolates when I was in college. The next year, it was pajamas from Victoria's Secret. Eventually, I came up with a new name for February 14: Selfish Day. Over the years, I have treated myself to countless fancy dinners, bottles of champagne (non-vintage, but still the real stuff), frivolous shoes, video games, office chairs. I even bought my car the day before Selfish Day.
The intent behind Selfish Day is pretty simple: whatever you do that day, make yourself happy. The way I see it, you have one guaranteed lifetime relationship. There is only one person in your life who you know will be with you from cradle to grave. If you haven't figured it out already, that person is you. Therefore, I believe that you have to love yourself as much or more than you love anyone else. And if you love yourself, why wouldn't you want to make yourself happy?
The truly lovely thing about celebrating Selfish Day instead of Valentine's Day is that you'll never be disappointed that your Valentine didn't get you what you wanted. If you want flowers, buy them for yourself, just because they are pretty and they make you happy. Flowers don't have to symbolize anything other than the joy of something beautiful, even on Valentine's Day. The same thing can be true of jewelry, lingerie, or even a single gorgeous piece of chocolate. Why wait for someone else to make you happy, when you can do it yourself?
So many of us feel unlovable or somehow worth less when we are overweight or obese. That is something that never fails to make me sad. I know that the root of that lies in not loving ourselves. If you don't love yourself, you'll never truly believe that anyone else can. When someone says, "I love you," you'll always think, "Why?" Stop doing that. Stop it right now. Instead, acknowledge what a beautiful and lovable person you are.
Trust me when I say that if you make yourself your Valentine, it will make this the best February 14th ever.
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