Saturday, November 28, 2009
I ran my first "real" race on Thanksgiving this year with my friend Julie. It was a five mile turkey trot. I'd been training for it for about two and a half months, and I felt relatively confident that I'd finish in about an hour and fifteen/twenty minutes or so, and do so without being in severe pain. :)
Now I'm new to jogging - I'm more of a biker, having done several long bike tours in the past (the longest was 70 miles) - but I was ready to cover some ground on foot. I enjoyed being in the crowd and really fed off the energy and adrenaline that was flying around that morning. My boyfriend Matt helped me stretch, gave me non-stop pep-talks and was there to capture the moment in pictures. Julie was convinced that I'd do this thing in an hour or less. Well, considering that my training miles were typically around 13/14/15 minutes, I was less confident.
At the gun we took off, and it was really exciting to push off with all of those other runners/joggers. YES there is a difference between the two (and I'm a jogger)! I felt good and Matt got a shot of us just as we started (see below). I just went with the crowd and found my own pace. AT the first checkpoint my first mile was 12:20, and that really blew me away. I thought at that point that I could pull off an hour run if I just maintained my speed! But wow, it would be a challenge. So be it! :)
Mile two was 24:13 - oh yeah! I couldn't believe it. I really thought that I would have been much slower on my second mile! Go me! I settled in and kept up the pace for the most part, with two minute race-walk "breaks" at the start of each new mile. I was sweating, breathing hard and really working, but I kept it moving. I was kicking butt! And then the three mile mark popped up. I was sure I was pushing closer to a 40 minute time, but the time-keeper called out 35:20! Whoa! I couldn't believe it! How the hell had I had an even faster mile at that point??? At that very moment I decided that I was going to bring it in under an hour. I don't know how I got the nerve to do that, but I did. It helped that people who lived along the route were blasting music from their houses and/or cars. One guy was playing "Born to Run" by Bruce Springsteen, another was playing the Chariots of Fire song, another was playing some old disco, and LOUD! It all worked for me and got me pumped up!
As a new runner, I had always thought that I was "doing it wrong," or had "bad form," or was clueless in some other way, looked stupid, etc. WELL, that day I realized that I was just like almost everyone else (with the exception of the strongest runners of course). People were sweating, heaving, choking, grunting, groaning, stopping a lot, really pushing themselves - they were all working really hard! OH the humanity! So why did I think this run would only be hard for ME? How silly. Jogging five miles is a test for the human body no matter who you are, and I realized that and felt so much better and stronger. Woo hoo!
Heading for mile four the course passed close by the finish line area, and I saw runners coming in and finishing. At that point I saw my boyfriend again and he got a shot of me with a thumbs up and a smile. I look at the shot now and think "how the hell did I manage to look happy and somewhat together at close to the four mile mark?" Well, I think it's because I was whupping *ss and I knew it! :) What a feeling.
At the fourth mile the guy called out 47:40, and I was like WOW, I have a chance to do this in under an hour!!!! PUUUUSSH! People were lining the streets in some places, and I remember a funny sign that someone was holding that said "Run Like You Have Warrants!" about 250 yards from the finish line. I thought that was hysterical and I wanted to stop and high-five the lady holding it, but I just refocused and pushed on. When I turned to the run-up to the finish-line, I saw the clock and it said 58:32, and I felt a rush of excitement knowing that I'd cross under it before it hit the 60 minute mark. AND I DID! I pulled in an official time of 59:05!!! My boyfriend got my photo as I crossed (there's a girl in a blue t-shirt right in front of me - darn!)and I'm looking down at my feet but there's a smile on my face because I was truly happy and felt amazing. :0) I didn't break any official records but I did so much better than I ever have and that is such an accomplishment! Matt hugged me and he was tearing up just like me. It was a wonderful moment. We waited for my friend Julie to finish (she came in at 1:01) and we all just hugged and celebrated and then munched on free mini bagels.
I look forward to my next race, a 5K on December 5th. Oh I can't wait! :)
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
What a great way to start the day - being thankful!
Living and working in NYC, I usually start my day being pissed off and annoyed at the freaks on the subway that ride in with me so early in the morning. Some of them smell, some look at me funny, some refuse to take their feet/bags/six-packs off of the seat next to them so that I (or someone else) can sit down, etc. Oh the joys of commuting via subway. HowI miss the days of living on Long Island and commuting in my car, with my own thoughts, music, NO bad odors, etc. T hank goodness I have an Ipod that I use to blast the strange ones out of my consciousness. It really is a survival tool at this point. I've left my apartment in the morning and hit the train, and then gone right back home to get my Ipod if I've forgotten it. I just won't ride the train without it.
And then there's today! Smooth ride, but I'm always waiting for the shoe to drop, or the passenger to drop - I've seen a guy collapse on the train like a bag of bricks, ending up with his head on my foot. Today was quiet, but I'm very distrustful of my fellow passengers, and it results in constant, low-level stress. I need to rethink my commute, approach it differently.
Instead, I need to think about being thankful that I am able-bodied, working and motivated enough to be up early and going to the gym. I should also chill out and "thank" my fellow riders - they are weird but they are generally well-behaved and pretty sleepy that early in the morning (4:30-5:00am), actually, which makes for a mellow ride most mornings. :) The majority of them are every day people like me, up early to get the day started, tired but purposeful and in the zone. I'm not so different from them. Except for the smells of course.
Sometimes it's all about reframing one's thoughts, and if I take the time to poke around the site, SP helps me do that most days. So, thanks SP and everyone here. Have a gorgeous day, and happy commuting!
Thursday, January 22, 2009
Hereís a basic fact that Iíve learned about myself: if Iím hungry Iím hungry, and I must feed my body. I have learned to listen to my body, and in thinking back to my pre-weight loss days, I have to say that I donít recall feeling hungry that much, at least in my adult life. Why? Because I always had food in my stomach! I was always eating, overeating, actually, always filling myself up, always noshing, drinking, snacking, picking, and flooding my body with calories. So this hunger thing is a relatively new thing to me, and itís a sign that Iím doing something right.
What I do when I feel that hunger is important. Eating Doritos, cookies, ice cream or those confounded Snyders Honey Mustard pretzel bits is not about feeding my body; it's more about habit, boredom and satisfying a craving. This is different than feeding my body. I now understand the difference! Go me.
I typically plan to give myself a small amount of calories in the evening so that I can eat something if I get hungry at home. I usually am hungry in the evening, but not always, amazingly. Because I usually am, I avoid having tempting things like the aforementioned items in my house because I usually overdo it with those things. This way, if I need something, my choices are healthy and not likely to be a disaster. I need to NOT have the tempting stuff that leads me to overeat in the house, period.
The funny thing is, even though I don't have this stuff in the house, I sometimes get hungry and lose my mind a little bit. I get up and hunt through the cupboards or fridge for a "forgotten" pint of Ben & Jerry's or a mystery sleeve of Oreos. I root around thinking that thereís got to be something that I overlooked, that I donít remember even buying, just waiting for me to discover and devour. Even when I totally, positively KNOW beyond the shadow of a doubt that they are just not there I still look for them, out of habit. If I just move that pesky box of whole wheat pasta out of the way thereís GOTTA be a canister of Slim Jims there waiting for me Ė aaggghhh! As if! I spent years doing the open fridge gaze and the drooling cabinet scan, and so the actions are very well ingrained and they feel so natural, but now I donít follow up by eating something that is not on my plan. I even do this at the fridge at work in the afternoons, knowing that there is nothing even worth a binge in there, even when Iím NOT hungry and Iím just bored or stressed, and this proves to me that my fridge/cupboard visits are just habits, meaningless actions that used to get me in tons of trouble, back before I used to listen to my body and think of the future. So, when it dawns on me that the Slim Jims are a figment of my imagination and I am just going through the motions, I normally curse a little to pretend that Iím really pissed that I canít have a fat fix, get over it quick and then reach for something healthy. I then satisfy my hunger, and my craving is totally forgotten.
It takes practice, but the habit of ďsnackingĒ - actually, itís bingeing - on unhealthy stuff can be trashed by planning (on NOT having the foods there in the first place), refocusing the behavior (letting yourself hunt around for that sweet treat, and then steering yourself towards the healthy foods) and listening to your body. It will require a change in behavior, and a true consideration of whether youíre really hungry or not at every turn, but it's something that can be done - if I can do it, anyone on the planet can.
Just for the record, I do have my ďtreatsĒ once in a while, on weigh-in days. I stick to one of them, and I just donít eat tonnage anymore! ;)
Monday, January 19, 2009
It's not chocolate, or ice cream, or even Doritos. It's not potato chips, Smirnoff Ice or Snyder's honey mustard pretzel pieces. It's not even a food! It's my COUCH.
I worked out today, did a killer workout on the elliptical at the gym this morning. I felt great, sweated gallons of liquid, and really pushed myself. I was psyched because I was riding a bit of a high - the gym was empty, and I felt better than all of those lazy people sleeping in on a holiday. What lightweights!
After the gym I went to the bookstore, bought a couple of things, then walked to Macy's. I bought some pantyhose, no big whoop. Then I hit Modell's and bought some new running sneakers - they were BADLY needed. I felt great! I had a workout in, had some new sneakers, and I was looking forward to a nice relaxing day at home. Well, as relaxing as doing chores can get me, that is. I live in an apartment with my boyfriend, and I tend to take over the bulk of the daily chores - dishes, mopping floors, taking out the garbage and recyclables, making the bed, etc. That's okay, I do it all better than he does anyway. :)
So. I got home, had a healthy lunch, and sat down with my sippy cup filled to the brim with cold water. Aaah. I'll just kick back for a little bit on our lovely $200, sage green Ikea couch that Matt and I carried up five flights of stairs two years ago when we bought it. It was one inch too big to cram into the elevator, so we broke our backs getting it up five flights without getting it dirty. It was a bonafide miracle. Anyway, it's a beautiful, roomy, comfy couch. I'm tall and it's long enough to allow me to stretch out my legs without touching the other arm. Fun! So I sat back, cracked open my new book, and promptly fell asleep. ZZZZZZzzzz
I woke up three hours later, shocked and cranky! How does this couch do it? How does it just knock me out like that? It's sooo comfy and welcoming, and I swear it calls to me when I'm sitting elsewhere in the apartment, calling me to "come relax, come take a load off, come check out the insides of your eyelids...." It really is my kryptonite. It has power over me that I don't understand!
Already-long story short, I love this couch. My body is tired, therefore I should sleep, right? I really did kill myself this morning, and I needed to replenish my muscles, my mind, my psyche. It really does have power over me, and I have to accept it before I can conquer it. The trick, I suspect, would be to not lie down on it - just sit up straight like a normal person. I swear, getting horizontal on that baby is one a way ticket to la la land. I guess I should be happy that I have a way to get sleepy that doesn't involve a prescription. ;)
Thanks for reading. Anyone want to buy a couch? :)))
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