Wednesday, February 02, 2011
You can ask my brothers (who were usually the ones responsible) but I don't think I've ever shoveled a day in my life. What can I say - I got bored sitting at home and I needed to get some exercise today :) Also - I LOVE SNOW! It's the Canadian in me. I especially love the silence of snow - after it snows it gets all quiet outside. And today the sun came out after the crazy storm. Just beautiful!
I'm disappointed that I didn't take before pictures. It was pretty epic! Also that I didn't turn the camera around to get a shot of me after shoveling for an hour and a half - haha!
Tuesday, February 01, 2011
I didn't run this morning. Last night on Facebook I was all like "I don't care how much snow we get tomorrow, I'm going to run anyway." Well, the bed beat me again this morning and I stayed tucked in late enough that I should have just taken a day off instead of attempting to make it to work on time-ish. However, I did finally manage to rise, shower and get my butt out the door.
We got a BIT of snow overnight, certainly nothing to write home about, but the major dump was scheduled to show up this afternoon.
I should have gone running this morning. I should have stuck to my word and all my Facebook crowing. Because now the snow HAS come, and it's coming down hard, and I might just get out a quill and parchment and write home because it looks pretty bad out there. Doh!
I could suck it up and be a bad-ass and strap on my shoes and my YakTrax when I get home and go anyway. I could. But chances are PRETTY GOOD that's NOT going to happen. It's dark. It's REALLY snowing. Cars are sliding all over the street. I really don't want to put my cute hiney in the middle of all that mess and go face to face with a plow.
But I feel guilty so I'm writing this blog. Today will officially be the first day that I COULD have gotten out there and done something this morning and because I didn't, now have forfeited my chance to get my cardio in today. It's not going to kill me. But I actually feel bad about it. Today I let the weather, and the dreariness, and the winter get to me. And I thought I was above that.
Sigh. I might try and find a Spark video and do something at home, but it's just not the same. My bad-ass just got whooped. By a bunch of fluffy white stuff. How sad is that?
What does everyone else do when they're snowed in?
Sunday, January 30, 2011
I don't usually run on Sundays. I don't usually drink coffee. Today I did both.
Since I skipped my regular Friday long run and subbed in walking 2.5 miles to work instead, I was actually really craving a run today (Ok, maybe it's not the coffee - maybe I just AM a crazy person - did I just say I was "craving" a run? Woah). So the plan was to allow myself to sleep in for as long as possible (Mission Accomplished - I didn't wake up until noon today), have a sexy breakfast, and then head out for a nice long, leisurely jog to see if I could accomplish my 8K distance (5 miles).
It's a dark day here today - very overcast and threatening snow. We've already gotten a winter weather watch warning (how's that for alliteration?) in effect for Tuesday-Wednesday. They say we're in for a doozy of a snow storm again - lovely - so I best be getting a good run in today anyway since the conditions were pretty near perfect for running weather - 30 degrees, clear streets with only a few slushy patches, and overcast so there isn't glaring sun in your eyes - and it could be dicey over the next week. Maybe I'll finally get to used my YakTax.
Anyway - the cloudy skies allowed for a very late awakening this morning which was lovely. It's what's made it so hard to get out of bed during the week too. When my room is still dark, I think it's night - therefore, I continue to sleep! Haha. After finally rolling out of bed, I padded to the kitchen to make that sexy breakfast. Two toaster waffles - one with peanut butter, the other with Nutella, a tangelo orange, 6 strawberries and a large cup of coffee with a new skinny caramel macchiato creamer...mmmm. Even though I don't usually drink coffee, especially at home, I had a coupon for a free bottle and it looked delicious so I got it. I usually only get coffee one other time a week. On Wednesday afternoons before I go swimming, I get a decaf grande skinny latte from Starbucks. The warm milk tides me over for a late dinner post-swim and the little bit of caffeine gives me a boost to get through my tough workout after a full day at work. Since I feel a definite difference between when I do and don't "fuel" like this before I go to the pool at night, I decided to try it as well on my run today to see if it made a difference there too. Umm, yeah, it for sure did.
Firstly, running mid-afternoon after you've had a ton of sleep and a proper meal is way different than running first thing in the morning on only a banana - which is my usual routine. I noticed this on Christmas Day when I did a 5 mile walk/run down the lake and back. My energy was amazing that day as well, so I knew I was in for a good time today too.
Secondly, the coffee just gave me a wicked boost of energy, and it was all I could do to keep telling my self to SLOW DOWN before I burned myself out after 2 miles.
I decided on a couple of different mantras before I left for my run that have been working for me lately. Besides "SLOW DOWN" which I actually use a lot on my long runs, today I also used "You Have All The Time In The World" and "Push It Through". "Push It Through" works really well for me if I'm feeling tired or if I'm having any pain. Whenever I say it I do that meditation technique of imagining a wave washing through your body from your head all the way down through your feet and out on to the ground. Usually this technique is done laying down, but I've been able to use it a lot on my runs as well. Every time my foot hits the ground I push a wave through my body and out onto the pavement. It's been extremely effective for pain in my legs. "Push It Through" and I can usually wash the pain or the tenseness or cramp out of my leg and out through my feet. "You Have All The Time In The World" was really nice today. Kind of like "SLOW DOWN", it reminded me that I was out to have fun today and relax and that I really wasn't trying to set any records (even though I did). And I could actually use it today and know that I was speaking the truth because I really don't have anything else to do today (except maybe a couple of loads of laundry) so I really didn't have to be in a rush, which I often am if I run before work. So that made a huge difference in knowing that I didn't have anywhere to be except right there doing what I was doing.
So of course you want to know how I did right? Haha. Well - I did what I set out to do. A full 8K, 5.02 miles in just over one hour, 1:02:50. BAM!!!
I got emotional again when I finally stopped running for the first time since I hit 5K for the first time back in November. That's an amazing feeling to have. When you accomplish something that is so huge, so life changing, that your emotions just let go and you cry like a baby in the middle of the street. I am changing my life. I have mantras for creeps sake. HAHA! What the heck is that? I've lost almost 80 pounds and I can run EIGHT FREAKING KILOMETRES!!! FIVE MILES. Holy crap. I am disciplined enough to run that far, to control my breathing and my body and my mind for five miles. Just a year ago I wasn't disciplined enough to press the power button on the remote control to turn off the television on a Sunday afternoon. THAT was the crazy person, not this. This person that I am now is FAR from crazy. This person is disciplined, and steadfast, and determined and beautiful. This person is the person I want to be, the person that I need to be.
I don't know that I want to pick up a coffee habit again just so I can run faster and longer, but at least it's worth it to know what it does for my training. I'll go back to my tea for the week I think, but I might make a treat of it on weekends as long as I'm running. It doesn't do much for my sleep (I'll have to see what happens tonight when I go to bed) but I'm hoping the strenuous exercise will counter-balance the caffeine consumption and I'll sleep like a baby. But for now I am just so proud of myself for what I was able to do today. And a full 3 months before I have to run my 8K Shamrock Shuffle too! It's my goal to be running at least a 10K by that point though, so that's the next goal. Now that I know I can run 5 miles, 6.2 will be a piece of cake right? Right?
Time to hit the showers. And maybe get to that laundry now. I have a BUNCH of sweaty running stuff to clean - and it's SO worth it!
Thursday, January 20, 2011
I've been having a lot of problems lately with obligations. You see, there are two different kinds of obligations - those that you agree to (dinner with a friend, showing up at work every day, scheduling a morning run or an evening zumba class, general housework, etc.) and those that you don't (a work project that is forced on you, drop in company on a Saturday afternoon, having to pay for an expensive car repair, you get the picture...).
While I tend to pack my life very full of obligations that I agree to, it has come to my attention in the past couple of months that there is a big imbalance in my life between welcome obligations and unwelcome ones, or things that people just expect of me without asking my permission about them. And that is NOT cool.
This imbalance is throwing me off my game. That big, fat "I Don't Wanna" hat that I've been sporting for the past couple of weeks is due to this imbalance. Since we tend to lump ALL obligations into the same category and since I am harbouring hatred in my life for all of the people and situations that have been put on me since I got back from Germany, I have confused my desirable obligations with the things at which I am truly angry. And this is helping no one. I don't want to run in the mornings because my boss expects me to finish a huge project by the end of January that is not in my job description. I don't want to leave my house to spend time with my friends because my staff called and woke me up early on Sunday morning (during my personal time) with an issue that needed to be fixed immediately. These two things have NOTHING to do with each other, but in my mind, they are all things that I HAVE to do, and because I am angry about one of them, I have therefore become angry about all of it. And when I'm angry I cover up the emotion with one of three things: food, sex or shopping - the Band-Aid vices to which I cling when I don't really want to feel what I'm really feeling.
I'll be honest - most of this has to do with some issues at work right now. But so much of my personal life overlaps with my work life that it is impossible for me to separate the two into two different issues. My "ME Project" is a full time job in and of itself. This journey for me is much deeper than what is spelled out here on Spark; in my blogs, on my page or on the message boards. In order to revamp my life, lose weight and become an overall healthier person inside and out, I am devoting a ton of time and attention to ME - my behavious, my interactions with people, my food, my exercise, my reactions to situations - I'm working on all of this all of the time, and so a lot of what I accomplish with regards to my "ME Project" just happens to be while I'm otherwise on the clock at work. Thankfully I have the perfect job to be able to devote time to both it and myself in a day. I love that. What I don't love is when work throws me a curve ball that opens up something new in my "ME Project" that I didn't know existed before but that becomes a huge issue in both worlds until it is addressed. If left unaddressed I start to resent my day job AND reach for the fast-food/sex/retail therapy fix - because two negatives make a positive right? Right? Not so much.
My other issue with unwanted obligations is that I tend to have a bit of a Wonder Woman complex. When something is broken, I have to fix it. It makes me feel important. But that can also backfire when the thing that you have to do doesn't have a sure-fire positive outcome. Superheroes aren't supposed to fail. And I'm not sure this time around that I will succeed. Big, stupid, Kryptonite curve ball.
The first step in figuring out this curve ball was in defining what in my life is a welcome obligation and what is not. I could point to the things that I wanted to do, and I could point just as easily to the things that I didn't want to do (which until today was pretty much everything). But it took some work to dig deep enough to find the true culprit of my anger which was causing this ripple effect of negativity through everything that I have on the schedule. Knowing what I'm really angry about is one thing, fixing it is quite another. It's going to involve work. But being able to understand the cause and effect in this case of my reasons for rejecting all of the good things that I've been putting into my life lately is a relief. Now comes the hard part of learning to accept and love and DO those healthy things again, whilst still being angry about this work situation and not letting one affect the other.
This is a pretty big step for me. This is the point at which I would have quit before. This is the place in the past where things would get too hard, too personal, too unmanageable and I would give up. Give in to the vices and throw my hands in the air. But not this time. I can see my anger this time and I'm not going to let it get the best of me. Yes, I am still obligated to do the thing I don't want to do. But there are ways around it and people who can help and I do not have to hold myself 100% accountable for the success or failure of this project. I am laying down the Wonder Woman cape. I do not have to save the day this time. I will do the best that I can with what I am being given and if I do fail I'll figure it out then.
In the mean time, my running schedule, healthy food prep and personal life shouldn't suffer. Wonder Woman needs to rock her Spandex suit!
*Pic courtesy of www.robertocampus.com
Monday, January 17, 2011
So I walked home tonight. Remind me not to do that again after a bout of freezing rain. In a 45 minute walk home I slipped and caught myself more times than I can count (throwing my back in about 100 different directions - and after I JUST had an adjustment on Friday) after actually falling once right outside the doors of my office. Whoops. I landed hard on my right knee, straining my right groin muscle on the way down, but oddly enough, though I can feel the bruise on that knee as I write this, it's my left knee that hurts. I must have twisted it trying to hold myself up as my body wrenched in the other direction. My physical pain will heal, my pride - maybe not so much. I HATE falling in public. Urgh. And I did it right in the middle of a busy street in front of a ton of cars and people. Oh well.
I think my decision to continue to walk home after that was pig headed at best. I was pissed and so I was going to beat that damn ice. Every time I slipped, I picked up and just kept going. At one point I started laughing out loud (after shouting profanities of course). People must have thought I was a crazy person. Haha.
Anyway - I'm recuperating now at home, listening to the rain continue to fall outside. I'm disappointed. This likely means I won't be able to run tomorrow morning unless it warms up a bit and melts the ice. Freezing rain of this kind that coats everything isn't something that even my YakTrax can handle.
But maybe, if I can't run tomorrow morning, I'll bring them with me to work and try that walk home again tomorrow night. And this time I'll stay on two feet!
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