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The Weekly Mile: Week 7 (Going The Distance, No Matter What)

Monday, May 28, 2012

I did it. I ran 13.1 miles. Well...sort of. But I've decided that I'm not allowed to get down on myself or upset about the fact that I walked about 1.5-2 miles of that run because of the following:

- I had a plan to run 2.25 miles and walk .25 miles all along
- I just wanted to get to the distance, and I did
- Even though it got REALLY hard at the end, I still ran the last .5 mile
- My goal was to finish with a run/walk pace of 2:45, and I finished with a run/walk pace of 2:45

So all in all - I set out to do EXACTLY what I did. Yey me!

Is it easy to get upset about the fact that at about mile 10 I slowed WAY down, walked a lot and thought about taking the bus home numerous times? Sure. But the fact of the matter is that I didn't - and really, my only goal in running this marathon (and any distance in between, for that matter) has been TO FINISH. And I finished. And my official race isn't even for another 4 weeks. I'm going to be fine.

Another thing that I am proud of is that I got up to run on a Saturday morning at 8am to beat the heat. I know that my race is going to be early morning, and I'm a night runner, so changing my body clock over to accept putting it through the motions at that time of day is impressive. I'm really not a morning person by any stretch of the imagination. I do all of my training runs at night - the other night I was out running at 11pm. So to be up and functioning at 8am is quite a feat for me. So as I treat, I bought myself a glow-in-the-dark racing tank at Kohl's yesterday for my finishing reward. It's bright yellow and awesome and it makes me feel shiny-happy. WINNING! :)

The harder lesson learned this weekend is in post-race gorging. My parents have been in town for the long weekend and have just come off of a European vacation where they have allowed themselves to eat and drink as much as they want, whenever they want. And as much as I tried NOT to follow suit this weekend, it was hard when every meal was eaten out and alcohol was re-introduced to my system after a number of weeks of being fairly "dry." Let's just put it this way - the result was NOT pretty. I was feeling not so bad on Saturday night after overeating at dinner, but being careful about choosing lighter options and splitting a whole margarita with my mom. I figured I was owed a little bit of indulgence after having burned my whole day's worth of calories before lunch. Yesterday, however, all bets were off and despite making a healthy omelet breakfast at home, we overshot on our shopping time and instead of making it back home for a quick healthy snack before heading out to catch a show, slammed a Costco hotdog each with a beer at the theater instead. Dinner was tapas and a pitcher of sangria - seemingly "light" fare because it's only a few little appetizers right? Wrong - that stuff packs a whopping caloric punch, not to mention all the extra bread on the table and the "wine that tastes like Koolaid going down the hatch" - oy vey. My tummy was NOT impressed. And proceeded to tell me so at 7am this morning. Twice. I hear ya body - loud and clear. You don't like the abuse. Trust me - neither do I. I never thought I'd be the person who couldn't wait until the long weekend was over, just so I can go back to healthier eating and feeling better about myself (and less bloated...way less bloated). I have dinner plans with friends tonight where I will attempt to make good choices. But there will be beer. Today is my last day of drinking for a long time. I'd like to try going dry for the entire month of June - we'll see how that goes.

I hope everyone is having a wonderful Memorial Day Weekend. Just remember - a small indulgence once in a while never hurts anybody. It's what you do tomorrow that matters the most. I hope to see you all back here and tracking and exercising and loving it! I was going to run today, but my stomach is too upset and it's 95 degrees outside - not a great combination. So I'm aiming to kick off this week with an early morning run before work tomorrow. See you out there!

Week 7 Schedule (Completed):

Mon - Rest
Tue - 7 miles
Wed - Swim
Thu - Rest
Fri - 3 miles (PRed by time!)
Sat - 13.1 miles (in 2:45 - run/walk)
Sun - Rest

Total Weekly Miles: 23.1
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 3885
Weekly Weigh-In: 184.2 (hurray! going down again, though I don't expect much from the scale this week)

Week 8 Schedule:

Mon - Rest
Tue - 3 miles
Wed - Rest
Thu - 7 miles
Fri - 4 miles
Sat - Rest (I'm going in for a minor procedure this day, so I'm going to have to put training on hold for a couple of days - hoping I get clearance to resume running by Monday or Tuesday next week)
Sun - Rest

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LOTUSFLOWER 6/2/2012 12:57PM

    How in the heck did I miss this blog!? Congrats you did awesome! I am so proud of you!!

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CALLIKIA 5/30/2012 3:58PM

    I'm hearting you so hard right now. I love people that can walk/run that fast! Even running the whole time I'm slower than poo! ;) Hope the procedure goes off without a hitch!

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SHELLYBABE2 5/30/2012 6:59AM

    emoticon You have every right to be proud of yourself!

It amazes me how quickly our bodies get used to being healthy and protest when we go back to our indulgent ways - it's when it stops protesting that it should frighten us as that is when we've carried the indulgence on too long!

Keep up the great work & look forward to your next installment. :))

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MOCOHOLO 5/29/2012 10:02AM

    Way to go!!! You should be so proud of yourself!

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JENJESS48 5/29/2012 8:39AM

    You should be proud of yourself for meeting your goal and not worry about walking - you should be proud of listening to your body. Eating right and avoiding excessive alcohol can be so hard in social situations - especially with family. Sounds like you did pretty well and learned something, so it's not a total loss. :)

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SARAWALKS 5/29/2012 7:32AM

    Thanks for all your blogs on your HM, Jenn - I follow with interest though I don't always comment. Good to know that a bit of walking is OK - YAY YOU for switching to morning, that would be hard for me too. I am a late afternoon - early evening exerciser. and MAN, do I remember those hot Chicago summer days! Keep up the good stuff!
I'm also trying to go dry for most of the week and succeeding a fair amount of time. It feels good, go for it! emoticon

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LAURIETAIT 5/28/2012 11:46PM

    "around mile 10 I slowed way down" OMG did you ever think you would be capable of running 10 miles? You have come so far and done so much. You should be proud. I think you're amazing. I don't see myself ever running 10 miles. It's a stretch for me to walk/run 10K. I am definitely not a morning person either so I give you gigantic props for the long morning run. I agree. You are going to be fine. You go girl!
emoticon

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JEREMY723 5/28/2012 9:16PM

    Don't worry at all about walking. Lots of folk do run/walk intervals. Though not planned I walked a good 6 times or more during my first HM last week. I still beat my goal time so I'm not concerned in the least. It does leave some room to improve my time though:)

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The Weekly Mile: Week 6 (The Week That Wasn't)

Monday, May 21, 2012

This week was pretty much a training failure. I got some pretty terrible news on Thursday that I'm trying to deal with, but the combination of being emotionally exhausted and a sudden 90 degree weekend meant that my desire to try the 14 mile distance yesterday was pretty much rendered out of the question.

Running is an amazing tool for working through all kinds of emotional angst. But there comes a point when sometimes the turmoil and grief of a situation is too much for even a nice, long run to handle. Add to the craziness the fact that Nikhil (my ex boyfriend of 3 weeks) is back in my life as moral support for the time being. And while I appreciate his attention and his concern, it's doing nothing to solidify the break-up, so the weekend was also full of us talking about possibly rekindling the relationship. I feel both like kicking puppies and like a puppy that's been kicked repeatedly at the same time. And now I'm freaking out that I'm not going to be ready to run my Half in another month - which I know is crazy, but my emotions are running wild right now and I'm having trouble controlling the negative thoughts even on the good days.

Reading the above paragraph actually makes me ANGRY. I'm all of a sudden one of those girls that I hate. Drama, drama, drama. Thinking about getting back together with an ex-boyfriend when I would be the first person to tell anyone else to leave what's done alone. My life has become a soap opera in the last couple of weeks and I'm not at all proud of it. I pride myself on my emotional stability. I pride myself on my hard-ass, tough-as-nails, suck-it-up-Princess, and live your life mentality. I deal with stress through getting organized and kicking butt, not losing it in an emotional heap on the floor. This is not me. And yet, I am having the worst time finding the strength to do it any differently. I am feeling broken and beaten down, and these emotions directly contradict the attitude needed to train hard for a 26.2 mile race. What am I going to do?

On the positive side of things, I know I will make it through this. Whatever ends up happening with Nikhil, I will embrace - because I have to. I have to do this for me. And surprisingly, the one thing that I have been pretty consistent with this week is my desire to stay on track with my eating and eating healthy. Despite a couple of small binges here and there, I have done remarkably well for a person who solves her emotional issues with a ton of food. I knew it was too early to celebrate a breaking of the plateau since even with a relatively good week, I was unable to hang on to the loss from last week. But I promised that I would be honest with the scale and record the good and the bad so that I can get a more accurate picture of what the plateau looks like over the long haul. Maybe if I can zero in on a 3-4 week pattern, I can work on attempting to break that the next time around. I am still here. Despite hold-ups and a big dose of LIFE, I am still determined to see to my goals. Today is a new day, this is a new week. And all I can do is give it my best through all of the issues.

I want to try something new this week. It's going to require dedicating more time to my long run, but I think it will be worth it. I'm psyching myself out about the 13.1 distance since I have now attempted to do it two weekends in a row and failed both weekends. I'm obviously shorting out in the mental department, and that's likely not to change for the next few weeks, so I need to figure out how to get my confidence and my positivity back on track and I think I can do that with walking portions of my runs. Like training for my first 5K, I'm going to attempt a 14-15 miler this week with a .5 mile walk every 2 miles. It will serve to bring my heart rate down, conserve my leg energy, give me ample opportunity to hydrate and fuel properly, and prove that I can absolutely do the distance (even if it takes a little longer), hopefully regardless of the temperature outside.

There are more than a few ways to skin a cat. And this kitten still has more than a few lives left. Back on the prowl, right now.

Week 6 Schedule (Completed):

Mon - Rest (work event)
Tue - 3 miles
Wed - Rest (work event)
Thu - 7 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - 10 mile bike ride, 2 mile walk
Sun - Rest

Total Weekly Miles: 20 (with the 10 from last Sunday - I'm going to switch up my schedule this week to make Monday "Day 1" from now on)
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 3663
Weekly Weigh-In: 185.4

Week 7 Schedule:

Mon - Rest
Tue - 7 miles
Wed - Swim
Thu - 3 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - 14 miles
Sun - Rest

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SHELLYBABE2 5/23/2012 6:51AM

    I always read your blogs, I don't always comment, but always find them inspiring and reassuring. Even though life is tough, and this life and spark journey is about the ups and downs and getting on and dealing with whatever life and the scales throw at us, you've shown me that we are all human and each of these moments whether sad, happy, successful, flagging etc they all pass and are just part of said journey. I love that you have come so far and have shared your struggles with us, you are human even though at first when I started reading your blogs you seemed super human to me to have come so far, to be so balanced to be getting it all right for what seemed like all of the time & to be honest I identified and even liked you more once you weren't quite so perfect.

I just hate to think that you are classing yourself as having "failed" to be quite where you wanted to be right at this moment with your running and your life, you haven't (failed that is) it's just a wee set back & you will get back on track & I just wanted to tell you that you are such a success even if you aren't at goal or getting that long run in. I know it's how you feel right now & tbh I've learnt not to judge through my journey here. Like you I was always the one who with the stiff upper lip got on with things always had to be together and expected others to do the same until I fell apart and became "weak" or acted in the way that I would find I disliked with my "dramas" - I acted human with vulnerbility and that is all you are doing now. Life isn't always clean and clear.

Whatever happens with your ex I wish you much happiness, I loved reading the unfolding of your romance, but only you know how it feels and what went on and you have to be the one who lives with your decisions so there's nothing wrong with figuring out whether your decisions are right or wrong. Whatever your bad news you will come through it you have no choice that's life but I hope it turns out ok for you without too much personal suffering/pain. :)

I don't always word myself well, but wanted to be able to give you that virtual emoticon and whether it matters or not or whether all your comments are read or not, I support you and wish you well and wish that you weren't so hard on yourself! If you have one aim this week it should be to be as kind to yourself as you are to others and remember how far you have come because it's so easy to lose sight of that and how positive you are under the negative feelings - you are doing good girl and are more together than you think!

Might as well tell you now since I've let my tongue run away with me lol and you're thinking oh weirdo alert lol but I've been so inspired by you, I've now taken up running - well it's probably more like jogging on the treadmill and am slowly, slowly building my distance up but that is major for me -the fat girl who never ran is now running.


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SLFRISBEY 5/22/2012 9:36PM

    First off, you rock! I am still working on making my first mile jog! I am sorry that things are hard but you're tackling it like a champ. You can do it I am certain of it!

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LOTUSFLOWER 5/22/2012 5:43PM

    I am always amazed by you, Jenn. By your honesty, by your strength. You are going through other things that life is throwing at you, but you are still keeping on with your goal to run a half and train for the marathon. Do you know how many people would just stop? Lots. If I looked up "perseverance" in the dictionary I am certain there is a picture of you. I know you will break the plateau, and I love your idea to walk some of the run to get the distance in so you mentally know you can do it. I can't wait to hear how you do! You've GOT this, girl!

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SPUNKYDUCKY 5/22/2012 5:21PM

    I know it is a rough feeling to usually feel in control and then feel like things are chaos suddenly! It is great that you are altering your plans to try to accommodate for life in general and be accepting of things not being as orderly as possible.

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JTAYLOR2011 5/22/2012 6:52AM

    One step at a time, one day at at time... you've got this! Looks like you've got a great plan to get 'er done.

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LAURIETAIT 5/21/2012 8:06PM

    We can't all be tough all the time. Every once in a while we all need to lean on someone. Once you come to terms with the bad news and your grief you'll be your hard-ass self again. Over coming the obstacles along the way will make your success at the end that much sweeter.
emoticon Hope life improves soon.

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PJH2028 5/21/2012 5:15PM

    Hey beautiful. I love the long-view that you are taking. Resonates with me! Creatures of pattern all... I too am looking for the rhythms so I can love myself over and through the hurdles -- the dramas life brings and also the ebb/flow of my diet/exercise/energy flows.

I always thought of myself as being so tough. People relied on me. I prided myself on that. I don't feel at all tough anymore. Part of the body change... the availability of my spirit and electrical currents to the atmosphere. It's a different kind of strength now. People still comment on my stability, on my wisdom or what have you... and I feel more fragile in it.

ALL OF THE ABOVE
Let Love Shine Through
and Keep those boundaries too.

xxo

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CALLIKIA 5/21/2012 4:52PM

    Big *hugs* for you. And everybody falls apart just a little bit now and again. I love that you're trying to revamp your mental take on the long distance so you can find a way to beat it. I still remember the day I beat my 5 mile mental block...it was the BEST feeling in the world even though I doubted myself until about mile 4.5. :) Chase the high and adapt whatever mental attitude you need to survive and pull through.

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VICKYMARIEC 5/21/2012 4:49PM

    I hope that life gets better for you soon. It's hard when you have a breakup. I think it's even harder when the ex is still in your life. You know what you are doing, even with the emotions over-flowing. Just keep being honest with yourself and stick to your gut. HUGS girlie!

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JENJESS48 5/21/2012 4:47PM

    Aw hon, I'm sorry life kicked you in butt. But you're right: you're a fighter and you'll get back in mental shape. And finish your half mara strong!

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The Weekly Mile: Week 5 (How Heat and Hormones Can Hinder a Half)

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

I now know how the 2007 Chicago Marathoners felt after a month of training in 45 degree weather when on the first weekend of October it suddenly ascended to a hot and humid 86 degrees. We go through months of putting our bodies through every kind of imaginable torture leading up to the big day, but the pain and suffering of training can only feel like a walk on the beach when compared to Mother Nature throwing a weather curve ball on race day.

This weekend was my first attempt at running 13.1 miles. I was pumped to meet my goal. It was a beautiful day and I was looking forward to spending 2.5 hours out in the sunshine seeing all the parts of my city at their finest on foot. I had my route mapped out, my podcasts picked. I was geared up for success.

Well...I got about 6.2 miles from home - and totally tanked. I panicked. I had no idea what was wrong, but I just knew that my legs didn't want to work and my brain was even worse. The defeatist self-talk came on hard and fast and soon it was drowning out my Radiolab podcast, telling me that there was no way I was going to make it today. I kept trying to push further, but the harder I pushed, the harder my body resisted. I finally made a deal with myself to slow down and walk a half mile to see how I felt. My mouth was so dry I could hardly breathe. Every time I would stop at a light, I was fighting dizzy spells. I deaked into a Starbucks bathroom and stuck my head under the tap, drinking up the cold water. I felt good enough to try running again, so I headed back out. Only made it another half mile before having to stop again. I was still 6 miles from home.

After a stop in a park for some more water, I walked another mile, then ran/walked two. By the time I reached 3 miles from home, I collapsed on a bench and decided to wait for the bus. I was done. Once aboard the bus, whether it was the crowd or the sway or the lack of a seat, I don't know. But what I did know from having experienced it enough times, was that if I didn't get low to the ground with my head between my knees, my body was going to do it for me, so I sat down on the floor of the bus while everyone just stared at me and let the cold sweats pass over me. I finally got up and got off at my stop, thankful to be back home.

The moral of the story is this: Just because I didn't complete the distance I set out to do, doesn't mean I didn't train just as hard. There are lessons to be gleaned from every experience on the road, and the following is a list of things that I learned about long distance running this weekend.

#1 - Springtime running is hard. Fall running will be just as hard. Clothing choices are very important during these switch seasons, but when you're already wearing shorts and a tank, there isn't much more you can take off when the temperature goes from 65-78 degrees during the course of one run. Slow down, take your time.

#2 - The weather that will sock you fastest on a run is warm & windy. It will dry you out like the Sahara Desert. So know where your sources of water are even if you don't think you're going to need them. And it's probably important to start taking water along on long runs. Just sayin - figure out how to carry it.

#3 - Probably also important to start looking at fueling mid-run. I thought I could make it to the Half distance before having to worry about fueling, but despite a PBJ before my run, I just felt like I had no gas left in the tank. I'm going to have to start dealing with it at some point, may as well gel up.

#4 - I am a runner. I am also a woman. And as female runners, sometimes our biological schedules can either help or seriously hinder a long run. I switched pills a month ago and all of a sudden I'm having fainting spells again the week before my period. My doctor knows about them. It's nothing serious - just hormonal - but I haven't had them in a long time and apparently I need to start worrying about them again. My doctor also told me to cut back on the long runs in the week before my cycle. I didn't listen and I paid for it. Such being the case, I may have to do some creative scheduling or doubling up on pill packs to make sure that I'm at my optimal menstrual timing for race day. I can't risk dizzy spells running 26.2 miles.

#5 - I lost 4 pounds this week. Which is awesome. So I seem to have found that magic number for losing weight again. But that may not be the optimal number for training. I'm disappointed that I can't seem to have both right now. It seems to be that either I lose weight, or I fuel enough to train hard. I fought hunger pangs a lot this week because I have been eating so much lately, I knew it was going to take some time to shrink my stomach a little bit again. So I've been through the hard part, but now the question is whether or not I'm really getting enough to accomplish my marathon goals.

#6 - I ran 21 miles this week. That's a lot. So perhaps running another 13 so soon after that was not the best plan. Even though my weeks "end" on Saturday and "begin" on Sunday, my body only knows the number of recovery hours in between runs. So running an 8-5-8 with a mile swim in the middle is a lot of hard work for only a day and a half of recovery before attempting a Half Marathon. I took Friday off completely, but on Saturday I walked two miles because I thought it was gentle cross training. I won't say that it's the 2 mile walk that broke me, but more rest in my case has proven to be better over time. I need a solid taper to run long distances and clearly this week I did not have enough time to recover.

#7 - If at first you don't succeed...run 14 miles next weekend! And I will!

Week 5 Schedule (Completed):

Mon - 8 miles
Tue - 5 miles
Wed - Swim
Thu - 8 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - Walk
Sun - 10 miles (aimed for 13, completed 10 run/walk)

Total Weekly Miles: 21 (23 with walking)
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 3770
Weekly Weigh-In: 182.8 (BOOM! A 4 pound weight loss - finally!)

Week 6 Schedule:

Mon - Rest (work event)
Tue - 3 miles
Wed - Rest (work event)
Thu - 7 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - Rest
Sun - 14 miles (or 9 miles - I haven't decided on my week 7 schedule yet - might be a low week)

*P.S. I had this blog entirely written earlier in the day and it was erased. I liked my earlier blog better, but if I remember stuff from it that didn't make it in this one, I'll come back to update. Doh.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

LAURIETAIT 5/15/2012 10:38PM

    I think you're doing pretty amazing. I know you'll be great when race time arrives. BTW - I know where your 4 pounds went.
emoticon

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JEREMY723 5/15/2012 6:05PM

    I started running in mid-November and then was hurt and not running all of March. Now I'm running again and missed the hot warmup. I'm doing my first half on Sunday as scheduled back in January and it's 7am which is good as they're saying 80 degrees! Thankfully there's water every two miles. I've tried GU gel and I think it's helping on longer runs but I can't get my mileage up enough to be sure at 10-15% increase per week.

I hope that you're feeling better soon and hopefully with some changes won't repeat in the future

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-POOKIE- 5/15/2012 9:38AM

    ooo scary xx

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JTAYLOR2011 5/15/2012 7:30AM

    A basic hydration rule that I've adopted is any run over an hour water comes along for the ride. I bought a HUGE CamelBak once my runs started getting longer during the build up to my Half (see link below). I then went to the local bike/triathlete store where a formally ranked triathlete gave me the low down on sports nutrition during endurance training and events. Learned about electrolyte replacement, gels, post workout nutrition and more. It's been really helpful and has drastically changed the quality of athletic life while running and afterwards.

http://www.camel
bak.com/Sports-Recreation/Packs
/2012-Octane-XCT.aspx

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The Weekly Mile: Week 4 (Finding Inspiration in Adversity)

Monday, May 07, 2012

The rules that once seemed to apply to living life in your 30s don't seem to make sense anymore. To say that times have changed since my parents were in their 30s is an understatement indeed, and thus, it's hard to turn to them for advice these days because I'm feeling quite "on my own" in terms of making up the new rules as I go and learning how to live in this world of Generation Xers and Generation Nexters and yada, yada, yada.

Following up on the painful daily existence of last week, I think I have finally made a bit of a breakthrough and have garnered a new acceptance for just where, exactly, I am in life.

I am in my early 30s. The years my parents' generation devoted to having and raising children, setting down roots and generally, settling into the "long haul" of a picture perfect, little life in the suburbs for the next 60 years - if they were lucky enough to have them. All goals that I want for myself too. But the life and times in which I now live have shifted all those goals into the next decade, not this one. The 30s are now about the "Leap List" - the list of all the things that you MUST accomplish before taking the marriage & children leap and settling down. Running a marathon is definitely a Leap List item.

I have fought a desire to grow up too fast my entire life. It's not that I'm wishing my life away, it's just that I want so much, I'm afraid if I don't get it right now, that I'm going to run out of time. Despite everyone telling me I'm still very young, I don't feel young. I am still holding my parent's generation up to the light of example and basing my life progress on how well I'm doing compared to their timeline.

Every generation has its own issues. My generation has witnessed the birth of the technological age and is now utterly dependent on that technology for daily existence; is the product of the women's movement and thus feels the responsibility to uphold those values and prove to the world that we can, in fact do it all and be everything that our mothers worked so hard to get for us; and has been thrust into the heart of absolute loneliness that all of the above means for a young woman in her 30s. Sure - you can want a great job, and great friends, and a great husband, and great kids, and a GREAT BIG savings account - but you can't want all of that at the same time because it seems virtually impossible to achieve. Life is now handled in segments, and you have to decide what order they go in. Career first, then matrimony, then family. The achievement of all of that is now the end product, not the thing to enjoy along the way. Any deviation from the above and you're seen as a martyr for the "old way of thinking" or as a system-deviant, set on doing things your own way and thus stuck out on a limb to sink or swim as you will. I know - those are a lot of feelings that I just threw on you there, but the heart isn't always willing to stick to the plan.

I thought I just might be able to accomplish a couple of list items at the same time. But it turns out that I can't. So I'm back to sticking to the plan until something else changes.

Like running the marathon - if I don't put in the work on the lower mileage days, I'm screwed when it comes to running the longer distances. I know this, and yet running those shorter distances is like pulling teeth some days. But all the wishing and hoping in the world is not going to change the facts. The hard work gets you to the finish line, time after time.

Breaking up is hard to do. There's a song that says so. But the other thing that has changed about my generation is that as you grow up and mature and really learn about relationships and how to have them properly, there is more room at the end of one to part amicably and maintain a friendship. I am lucky to have 2 very wonderful exes in my life. I have loved these men as my partners, but I continue to love them as important parts of my life, and constant reminders of how far I have come. Each relationship is different. But in each relationship I have grown immensely in who I am through being with another person. And hidden in there somewhere is my inspiration to keep pushing forward.

Every failure signifies growth of some sort. It's a way of spinning the negatives into positives. What it takes of a person to make it to a certain point - be it a decision, a destination, or any other turning point in life - is a series of steps. Those steps may not all be in the same direction. Some will be up, some will be down, some will be straight-forward. But you always end up somewhere. It may not be where you expected to go, but as long as you have learned lessons along the way, it's where you are supposed to be.

I kept saying that I felt like I needed more time for me. Now I have it. So I'm going to find my inspiration in that and do what I need to do to get to the next step. No one can tell the future - so for now, there's no point in rushing the present to get there too quickly. Because maybe there's something at this stage in the game that is meant to be discovered first.

Week 4 Schedule (Completed):

Sun - 3 miles
Mon - Rest
Tue - 12 miles
Wed - chiro & BMG
Thu - Rest
Fri - 5 miles
Sat - Walk

Total Weekly Miles: 20
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 2811
Weekly Weigh-In: 187.2 (not what I wanted to see, but down from last week)

Week 5 Schedule:

Sun - Rest
Mon - 8 miles
Tue - 5 miles
Wed - Swim
Thu - 8 miles
Fri - Rest
Sat - Zumba (if I feel like it, or a walk)
(Sun - 13.1 miles!!! HALF, here I come!)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TERESANAVARRO 5/9/2012 1:38PM

    Thank you so much for your blogs. I'm also training for my first marathon in September and feel really overwhelmed right now. I'm still overweight and the half I completed on April 28 left me with a sore hip, so there is some adjustment I need to make - just don't know what yet. I thought losing weight would make running easier, but the running does seem to make the losing weight harder!
I read your blogs at first just for the information on your training schedule, but am getting so much more. I tried to follow the accepted life schedule and ended up marrying the wrong man and ultimately raising 4 children completely on my own. It hasn't been easy, but I think it would have been easier if I had learned those lessons - that maybe the accepted plan shouldn't be MY plan - while I was younger. I'm mid-40s now and am finally doing what I want with the people I want to do it with. I'm not a stupid person, but it sure took me a long time to learn! But now that I look for the lesson, I feel like I'm where I'm supposed to be too.

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LAURIETAIT 5/8/2012 1:44PM

    I am someone whose 30's are a distant memory. My experience says the best thing you can do is plan for those things you want to accomplish and if you are lucky life doesn't mess with your goals too much. I think you are right to savour all the stages and not fall into the trap of chasing the future. You can only do what feels right and you have a pretty good handle on that. I wish I was together as you are in my 30's. I was just struggling to survive.

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JENJESS48 5/8/2012 10:15AM

    I totally understand the pressure to do and have it all. Our moms and aunts worked so hard to give us these opportunities and so our generation of women feels pressured to make good on that. But in the end we only harm ourselves - and ultimately compromise the vision they had of wide open choices - if we try to live by somebody else's timeline. Hard as it can be sometimes - I faced the auntie inquisition this weekend, so I feel ya - ultimately it's worth it to live our lives our own way. I never expected to be where I am but man, has the trip been worth it. You'll get to that point of acceptance, too, Jenn. I promise. emoticon

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LOTUSFLOWER 5/8/2012 10:11AM

    "Every failure signifies growth of some sort." This is so true Jenn. And while the relationship may have failed, it wasn't a failure, you learned from this , are growing from this, and will ultimately be the person you are meant to be through this all. Thank you for sharing your heart with us. I think we all struggle with society and family's expectations of us and where we should be by XX date. Even married with 2 kids I get it. We all need to live our own lives, on our own paths, on our own terms. And I love that you are not letting what anyone else may think, or expect, get in your way. You are such a strong, amazing woman and I am so proud of you for all that you have accomplished, and all that you will accomplish. Half marathon? Coming up. You truly rock and I am proud to call you friend. Love you!
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-POOKIE- 5/8/2012 9:27AM

    *hugs*

It is hard when you think about what you expect, or are expected to expect by others, and assess whats really going on and what you can achieve.

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LAKEGIRL76 5/8/2012 9:07AM

    You are an amazing writer! I hope this week is better than last!

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SOUTHPONDCAMP 5/8/2012 8:23AM

    Love your blogs, just went back and read the others in the "series"! Sorry about the breakup---but you are absolutely right--you learn things (good and bad) about yourself with each relationship or stage of your life. I bitterly regretted a lot of aspects of a 7 year dating relationship---but looking back I wouldn't be who I am today without that experience. Plus--If I hadn't ended things at what was apparently the right time in my personal storyline I wouldn't be with my amazing guy now! :) Timing and life experiences are funny things sometimes!

I dream of a marathon but the furthest I can manage right now is a 5K. I'm sticking with that for a little while as it isn't an easy run for me--I still have to walk a little bit and I'm turtleslow. Thanks for the motivation though!

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AGENTMNA 5/8/2012 4:30AM

    emoticon This blog was fantastic and right on time! The pressures we face as 30-something's to be "picture perfect"...wow. I definitely can relate!

Subscribed!

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JTAYLOR2011 5/7/2012 10:52PM

    I've got 21 weeks until my marathon. Your posts are incredible to read. Check subscribe? Yup! Thank you.

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TEENY_BIKINI 5/7/2012 10:26PM

    "But you always end up somewhere. It may not be where you expected to go, but as long as you have learned lessons along the way, it's where you are supposed to be. "

Amen to that, sister. Gosh, your words and insight are just so touching, so real.

Thank you.

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What a ride. Life, that is.

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PJH2028 5/7/2012 7:40PM

    emoticon
As always, you articulate so well so much. I am honored to hear the truth of your moment and your reflections. And I am grateful for the parts of me I see and hear in your truth, too.

I f'd up the order irrevocably. But that doesn't mean that I'm not in a good place!
Not necessarily.



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KITHKINCAID 5/7/2012 5:19PM

    I agree with you completely. I was married too - right on schedule with the old life plan. And then all of a sudden my life was completely uprooted and I got a very serious look at how different life really is supposed to be now. I mean - I wouldn't change any of those experiences for the world - but it's not the easiest position to be in. I weigh the idea of the amount of pain I would have had to endure staying in a loveless marriage vs. the horrid pain I have felt trying to figure out life on my own and what I really want. I don't know which is worse. But I'm glad to be where I am right now. I know that somewhere along the way, all of this is going to be worth it.

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SARAWALKS 5/7/2012 5:18PM

    "It may not be where you expected to go, but as long as you have learned lessons along the way, it's where you are supposed to be. "
Absolutely. Wise. It's taken me til my 60s to learn this so I think you are well ahead of schedule! emoticon emoticon

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VICKYMARIEC 5/7/2012 5:12PM

    You may think that you are just rambling, or throwing your heart upon us, but really...for some of us...like me...it's the exact words to something that was too difficult to verbalize. Being 35 i thought i would have it "all" by now. I was married. I did have the house. Then things got turned upside down and it was time to start all over. It's difficult and frustrating sometimes, but you learn and grow through it. Heck, i'm still learning and growing. Thanks for always being honest.

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The Weekly Mile: Week 3 (How Do You Run When Your Heart Is Broken?)

Monday, April 30, 2012

It's been coming for a few months now. But I've been in denial about it - trying to draw out the good stuff as long as possible. No time is a good time to break up with someone, but eventually it's only a matter of prolonging the inevitable, which only serves to make the bleed worse when it finally happens.

After a great vacation in Florida from Wednesday to Saturday where I spent time walking, swimming and sunning, I ripped off the relationship bandaid last night with my boyfriend of almost a year. It hurts like hell. And right now the wound is pretty gaping. It's going to take a long time to heal from this one.

Thank god I have running this week to keep me occupied. Although - it's also a lot of hours to think about what I've done while pounding out mile after painful mile.

This isn't a happy training blog today. But it's a blog about moving on. And knowing that I'm doing the absolute BEST thing for myself, regardless of how much it hurts.

Week 3 Schedule (Completed):

Sun - Rest (Benefit Event)
Mon - Rest (3 hours of heavy house cleaning)
Tue - Rest
Wed - Walked the airport between flights
Thu - Walk & Swim (30 minutes of each)
Fri - Walk & Swim (30 minutes of each)
Sat - Walk & Swim (30 minutes of each)

Total Weekly Miles: About 4 miles of walking only - but this was my week off!
Total Weekly Calories Burned: 1883
Weekly Weigh-In: 189.6

Week 4 Schedule:

Sun - 3 miles
Mon - Rest
Tue - 12 miles
Wed - chiro & swim
Thu - Rest
Fri - 5 miles
Sat - Zumba

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JUSTLIKEALICE 5/7/2012 10:39PM

    emoticon Take care of yourself right now. That's what is going to help the best. Sending good boogaboogas your way.

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TEENY_BIKINI 5/7/2012 10:20PM

    emoticon

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STEFFIROCKSIT 5/7/2012 7:23AM

    Sometimes in our lives we come to a point where we have to decide what's right and what's easy.

If you feel that you did the right thing for YOU - then everything will fall in place in time. It takes more courage to break up than to stay in an unhappy relationship.

Sending hugs your way! emoticon

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-POOKIE- 5/1/2012 8:44AM

    *tight hugs*

Im sorry, but if you are feeling deep down you have done the right thing... then twee as it sounds, only time will make things hurt less.

Take care of yourself xx

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STFRENCH 5/1/2012 7:32AM

    emoticon to hear this.

Sometimes, the right decision can be the hardest and most painful, and I speak from 1st hand experience, but I can also testify to the fact that, it will get better and time is a great healer (as cliché as it sounds)

Take care xx

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LAURIETAIT 4/30/2012 9:07PM

    I'm sorry the relationship didn't work out. Sometimes the right people come along at the wrong time. It is much easier to work on self improvement when there are only your needs to consider. Unfortunately doing what's right for you can still hurt.
Just go ahead and pound all that emotional detritus into the gound. I bet you break your plateau in no time.

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KRISKECK 4/30/2012 4:36PM

    So sorry to hear it, sweetheart. It hurts no matter what...

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SLFRISBEY 4/30/2012 4:24PM

    Ugh, breakups suck. I asm so sorry you have to go through all of it... Know that you aren't alone. There are TONS of sparkers here for you :)

(((hugs)))

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PJH2028 4/30/2012 4:18PM

    Bravo bravissima for your still solid strong and surely-yourself voice. One day at a time you will recognize your SELF and build your next world of happy joyful life. Relationship stuff is so f'g confounding. Indeed. So many delay making changes - especially endings or transitions - that are needed or inevitable. I applaud the strength to move forward, to move. And i LOVE that you ARE M O V I N G body mind and spirit. In your corner, here I be, Jenn. xxo

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CALLIKIA 4/30/2012 4:03PM

    *hugs* Hopefully the running will do more good than harm.

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JEREMY723 4/30/2012 2:28PM

    I remember your blogs of a year ago as well, so sorry...take your time emoticon

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MICHSTATE 4/30/2012 2:01PM

    I am sorry!!!! That is rough... I can't believe it has been almost a year!!! I remember when you blogged about him in the beginning. I hope your running helps you through this difficult time!!! (((hugs)))

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LOTUSFLOWER 4/30/2012 1:44PM

    emoticonSending hugs your way. You are a strong woman...I'm here for you. I'm sorry you are in pain. The great thing about running is it helps take stress away and I'm hoping it also works as a pain reliever for you, too. Hang in there.

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SARAWALKS 4/30/2012 1:27PM

    emoticon Sending emoticon
You are wise to face it. Seconding some of the other comments here. Running and even fast walking is how I have mentally processed so many bad experiences in my life. You'll get through but I'm so sorry you are in pain... emoticon

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MOCOHOLO 4/30/2012 1:17PM

    I'm sorry things didn't work out for you two. Congrats on keeping up with your training plans and giving your body a much needed rest!

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LAKEGIRL76 4/30/2012 1:06PM

    Sorry to hear about the breakup, they are never easy even when you know that it has to be done. Just concentrate on enjoying your life and great things will happen! I met my husband when I wasn't at all thinking of looking for someone. (I had been robbed the week before by an ex-boyfriend.) We couldn't be happier. It is interesting that you plateau in weight loss has been about the same time you have been dating him......



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JENJESS48 4/30/2012 12:33PM

    Aw, hon, I'm really sorry. Breakups always suck, even when they're both necessary and your idea. I hope it gets better soon! In the meantime, just focus on doing the needful and seek release in running. emoticon

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ANISSA331 4/30/2012 12:32PM

    time....its the only way to get past it emoticon

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RUNBAREFOOTMAMA 4/30/2012 12:30PM

    No words to help, but, I hope your heart feels better soon. emoticon

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