Friday, October 23, 2009
That's pretty much what my brain looks like right now.
I'm not sure if this qualifies as psyching myself UP or psyching myself OUT at this point -- I think I'm vascillating between the two.
But hey! Distraction!!!
Some stupid people decided to diss slow runners in an article from the NY Times.
Right now I'm reading through some comments so not sure if this link will lead to the article, but I'm sure you can find it from here:
What really ticks me off is that this is essentially dismissing the marathon finishes of my dear friends - SP_COACH_NANCY, KEAKMAN, MISSJCISRUNNING, KASHMIR, and more, who have worked DARN HARD through their training process to achieve their dream goal of running a marathon. Thankfully it seems that most of those commenting on the article agree with me. :P
Considering I fully expect to run somewhere between 5-6hrs and maybe more... this article had me a bit chafed, angry and sad all at the same time. But reading the comments I'm glad to know that there are seemingly far more people out there who have respect and acceptance for those who take a lot longer to finish.
One of the commenters ticked me off and he even left a link to his blog but I'm too much of a nice person to rant on his personal blog space, because his overall comment wasn't that evil... just this one part:
"Perhaps my personal experience is getting in they way of looking at the issue rationally. For example, I got up yesterday morning at 5:30am and ran 19 miles before work (training for Philadelphia in November). I have worked very hard for months so I can finish the race in 4 hours or less, a respectable time for a 41 year old with a full-time job and 2 kids under 5. So, when I pass some fat dude who looks to be gearing up for a 7 hour finish I get a little annoyed at the fact that he's even there-because its obvious he hasn't spent too much time in training."
At least he admits he might not be rational -- BUT HEY!! If that guy is currently overweight, it doesn't mean that he hasn't lost some weight training for this marathon, it definitely probably is contributing to his slower speed, and there's NOTHING to say HE didn't get up at 5:30AM, might also have a full time job and 2 kids (or more) under 5. I hate how people think that just because a runner is overweight and/or slow, that must mean that they don't try.
Some of us are not gifted or haven't been running LONG enough to develop that kind of speed. I'm not overweight. I'm fit and healthy and I've been running in preparation of this marathon all year, and specifically training for it for the past 9.5 weeks. I'm still slow. I hope that my race time might pick up from my attempts to take my current training runs at an EASY pace, but I still expect a long time. But in the realm of all the runners out there -- I'm inexperienced and slow. Maybe years from now I'll be on my 20th marathon and kicking speedy tail. (Somehow I'm not really expecting this, and I'm ok with that! HAHA)
But I'm still putting in the work, I'm still trying my best, and I'm still paying for my race entry. I specifically looked for a race that was allowing of a longer finish time -- those speedy runners who are looking for honor and respect that they don't feel is achieved when running alongside someone like me can get their buzz when they run Boston. Or Ultras as someone suggested in the NYTimes comments. Or even more serious marathons like Atlanta's Thanksgiving Day race which cuts OFF at 5hrs. That might be a bit long for some of the snobs in this article, but it definitely cuts out the audience they're griping about.
Sooooooo there's that. :) Wish me luck this weekend and let the running gods be with me!
Wednesday, October 21, 2009
So, I'm blogging. :) I'll probably blog again later today.
Stuff that's been on my mind lately....
A couple of my SparkFriends have mentioned that they're previewing The Spark right now, so I guess it's ok for ME to tell you that I AM, too. :) And I'm reallllllly loving it so far. It's definitely not just about losing weight and eating right, let me tell you that.
It actually prompted my new and improved collage that I shared with you! So on my mind lately are those big longer term goals -- how I see my dream life in the future.
So I'm trying to think about those goals each day.
I've been on track tracking my food again this week and staying within range. It's been really satisfying to do that but the BIGGEST thing has been I'm tracking my water again.
Yeah -- somehow I've REALLY slacked on this!!!!! I guess I find it tough to drink enough water when I'm cold... so yesterday I tracked for the first time in a while and I just BARELY made it to 8... (I didn't even put it in the tracker yet I don't think, but I was paying attention!). Today so far I've had like... 1 cup. I'm working on it!!! I got down to 1 bottle of water at work instead of the two I alternated between because my stupid work threw away my lunch AND my water AND my bottle of salad dressing when cleaning out the fridge - gRR! Luckily it was just a plastic waterbottle and not my SparkPeople Water Bottle... which I have now brought to work and will guard with my life.
Hopefully that will help me since I will always have a bottle on my desk...
Also... I think I'm gonna try to run today.
Sunday - SO hurting and sore.
Monday - SORE.
Tuesday - not too bad, feeling pretty normal
Today - Feeling pretty good and normal.
SO! I'm going to give it a go assuming I still feel good come 4PM. :) haha. The route here is pretty flat and an evenly paved path so it's giving me the best options. If I feel like I should stop, I'll stop. I won't push through. I will turn around and give it a rest. I do not want to risk injury just to get in some mileage. That would be DUMB - RIGHT??? :D
Bummer - I left me HRM strap at my in-laws house apparently. LAME. :( I hope they are able to find it. But I will definitely be without it until at least Halloween, since we will see them then. If it is not found (or if the doggies found it and chewed it to death first PLEASE NO), then I'll have to replace it and that will SUCK. $40. boo.
Also crappy -- another neighbor got their door kicked in. It was across the parking lot, a woman was home alone and heard her door get kicked in and screamed. They left apparently (THANK GOD), but still... I can't believe my neighbor across the hall got a brick thrown through their window and now people's doors are getting kicked in again... even more incentive for us to get the heck out of Dodge.
We're checking out an apt on Sunday that is a possible sublease for us (good option since we're only gonna be here through the Spring) and hopefully that works out... it's going to be a serious downsize, but we have a lot of furniture and other belongings that we don't care to keep once we leave this town anyway so it'll allow us to go ahead and shed the extra STUFF.
Really I posted about a lot of downers in this blog, but I'm actually feeling very optimistic and positive today. :)
I will check in after lunch to report on my run!
Also so far today - 1 set of tricep dips. Will do more at night after lunch!
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
This is my entry for the SparkPeople/TurboKick.com Fitness Story Contest.
My fitness story began in January of 2007. Prior to that, I never intentionally exercised outside of Phys Ed class. Who wants to be sweaty and feel winded??? NOT ME.
I grew up as an overweight and obese child, teenager, and young adult. Finally, nearing the end of 2006 I felt so uncomfortable in my skin I started to consider what it would take for me to really try to be a healthier individual. Then I visited a Dr. and saw a reading of 294lbs on the scale and vowed never to see a 3 at the beginning of my weight! I discussed it with my husband and proposed a gym membership.
I figured that if we spend the money to get me a membership and then I didn't use it, I'd never hear the end of it so it provided an additional motivation.
I WAS TERRIFIED.
I had never been in a gym before, I had no idea how the whole "locker room" scenario worked, how to use any of the machines, and I was embarrassed to try working out in front of a bunch of fit people. Luckily, I did have a friend who went to the gym I joined and I recruited her to go with me on my first visit and show me how to use a treadmill.
I started by walking 30 minutes 3 times a week. I believe that first day I had the incline set at 2 and the mileage set at 2.5-3 -- walking 3 miles per hour at a slight incline was really challenging for me at that time and I had to drop it down to 2.5 after a short time. After I got off the machine, I nearly fell!!! I felt so disoriented leaving the moving track that although I do not drink, I guessed that might be what it felt like to be drunk. I was feeling the buzz of endorphins and my confused body did not know what to make of the solid non-moving ground.
After the second session the sensation of disorientation was lessened, but the feel-good feeling kept coming. So I continued -- and bumped up my Saturday sessions to 45 minutes. I gradually lengthened every session to 45 minutes and was able to increase my speed and incline as well. After around 5-6 months I had met my first major milestone of losing 50lbs, and I celebrated by getting fitted for some running shoes.
As a child, I would start that required mile run huffing and puffing and end it walking and crying. I figured I was not meant to be an athlete. I focused on music and art and built a lot of confidence in myself in any other area I could.
But I wanted to run. I had a roommate in college that would go out and run for hours. HOURS. I couldn't even imagine running for 5 minutes. She would also run every year with her family in the local Turkey Trot.
I researched and found the Couch to 5K training program and it seemed do-able -- even for me. So I started gradually integrating short running bouts into my walking. I was able to build up and then complete my first 5K at the Turkey Trot while on vacation with my in-laws. I completed that race in 40:20 and I did not walk the entire time. I was SO PROUD of myself for running in a race and finding that dream of a family 5K.
Since then I have continued to run, and reduced my 5K Personal Record to under 30 minutes. When I visited San Diego, CA I found a race to run while I was there. I am currently training to run my first marathon on December 5th. Never in a million years would I have expected to be going out and doing 14 and 16 mile training runs on my own!
Not only have I continued to run, but I have found strength and fulfillment in taking on other fitness challenges.
I have taken hip hop, funk, and other dance aerobics classes at my gym, water aerobics, spin class, a strength and toning class, and pilates. I have conquered my fear of the Strength Training Floor and lifted weights and worked the cable machines with the burly men.
My most recent fitness adventure took me out of the gym and into the outdoors again with rowing. A SparkFriend inquired if I knew anything about a local Rowing Club and while I did now anything about it at the time -- I found out fast! They were having a Learn to Row Camp within a couple of weeks so I suggested we take it together.
I persevered through the embarrassing swim test (I had worked on swimming directionally, but never learned how to tread water somehow...), and the camp and found a new fitness passion! It is so peaceful to be out on the water as the sun is rising and propelling yourself across the water with your teammates.
Last weekend I achieved something I could have never anticipated for myself a few years ago -- I earned my first ever athletic MEDAL in a ROWING COMPETITION!!!!
My teammates and I won first place in our event at a regional regatta and I am still on cloud nine.
By making those tiny steps in the beginning, I was able to show myself what I am truly capable of and now looking back I feel I can accomplish anything I set my mind to.
BRING IT ON, MARATHON.
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