Friday, January 06, 2012
Hello friends, how are you doing?
Me? Meh. I'm currently chasing my runny nose as I slave over this keyboard with enough tissues to deplete Costco’s international inventory, all the while pitifully trying to convince myself that my plans for the January 15th Half Marathon will still happen after barely squeaking out 3 of the planned 12 miles today. How is a girl to pick up the devastated pieces of herself after a disastrous end to 2011 and beginning of 2012?
Here is my recap:
The first three weeks of December 2011 were strong after a kick butt November. I was strong, healthy and optimistic. I ran 11 beautiful miles without a break (whilst mastering the art of drinking - and not wearing! - water while running), I completed 44 miles - my longest - on my bike, and happily shunning cupcakes left and right without a blink. Work sucked any and all free time I could dedicate to SP, but I still felt balanced and my focus unwavering. Really, I was at a point where you could starve me in the Sahara Desert for a week and I would still snub my nose at a 7-layer chocolate cake topped with scoops of Häagen-Dazs. I mean, I was so ON IT enough to make Jillian Michaels look like SHE needs to go on The Biggest Loser as a contestant. No lie, folks.
But then a little thing called New York happened.
Friends, I had every intention of working out in New York. After all, I did lug my gear 3000 miles and thus paid quite the handsome ransom (aka "baggage fees") American Airlines lashed on my credit card at the airport for it. I even picked a hotel with a supposedly amazing gym and planned my mischievous methods fanagle access to it for free. I also mapped out the exact route I would take through Central Park to fulfill my secret fantasy of being Paula Radcliffe for a brief 6 miles. I even went out of my way to almost make friends with a drunk girl at this bar who discussed running Central Park with me until I realized that with the amount of vodka she was drinking, the only running she'll be doing is towards the toilet with a mean hangover. So did I make good on my intentions?
I ran ZERO miles and worked out exactly 0.00000 times. I suppose if you got technical/literal, you could consider the 4-6+ miles I walked every day as exercise because – as I quickly learned – I WILL walk whatever distance it takes to grace my mouth with the likes of bake shops and juicy sandwiches. I worked my jaw HARD on all those goodies. No silky cheesecake, buttery golden cake with chocolate buttercream frosting, super moist cupcake, refreshing Baked Alaska, decadent Buche de Noel, sneaky mini candy bars, pillow-like pancakes, life-changing biscuits, addictive sugar coated bacon, perfect golden French fries, flaky chocolate croissants nor devilishly multiple-layered chocolate cakes were safe from my ambitiously grubby paws. When it came to gorging into all the stuff that takes me back to my old self, I was two steps past ridiculous. As a result, my waistline poofed towards the end of the trip, resulting in an initial four pound gain according to my ex-best friend aka the scale.
(On the bright side, all that extra sugar/fat did help me with constipation issues.)
(Hotel Gym Sidenote: I still have no idea what the hotel gym looked like. Don't even *try* to ask me where it was located.)
But friends, the story does not end there:
Right when I got back, as I whined about getting back into my workouts, I discovered that I caught a little bug from NY that showed its full-fledged self the day after I got back, thus taking me out of commission for another week. Folks, that's now TWO weeks of zero workouts. OMG! I was so severely exhausted, I could not walk 2 steps out the door to do a thing. And to make matters worse, I was experiencing/fighting EXTREME cravings for any and all sugary things that begin with C! (cupcakes, cakes, chocolate, croissants etc.) This comes after the hard work I put in the latter part of last year to wean myself off of sugar cravings and reprogram my inners to crave fruits instead. NOT HAPPY.
To finally top it all off, I finally went on my first real workout today, as it was the first day I felt human since I got back. Yes, a 12-miler does seem like a *terrible* idea after two weeks of no running. Yes, 70+ degrees here at the beach means I should be more realistic about my pace (but thank you sore throat for keeping me constantly hydrated over the past week). And yes, since I am still congested, I should lessen my intensity. All those ideas are rational ideas for a non-desperate well-thinking individual, but my problem today is that I am currently an irrational *desperate* human being with a half marathon looming in the near future - like TEN days near, ack! (Plus, I was on DayQuil*, which by all means should excuse me from all forms of irrational thinking.)
(DayQuil Sidenote: NEVER buy CVS brand of DayQuil. As I found out in these past few days, the stuff works only at 70%-ish, which is about how much you pay in comparison to the real thing. Unless you're trying to get your germaphobic boss to send you home for the day, get the real deal people.)
And so I bolted out the door like a wild race horse out of the stall at Santa Anita racetrack. I barely finished 3 miles before I was hacking things up that should only stay within the body, all the while turning beet red and feeling the slight twinges of nausea. Defeated, I pulled out the white flag and shuffled home.
So where does that leave me with my plans?
I haven't a clue. All I can say is that it is definitely a strange and frustrating sensation to have my body rebel against my frequent requests. From what I can think of, I really have 4 choices:
1) Just sign up for the HM! Pros: I'll be done with this goal right away. Cons: What if I can't do it?
2) Postpone my HM plans for Feb 2012. Pros: Less pressure and I can work up to it. Cons: The Feb HM is really really REEEEEEEEALLY crowded and about 45 minutes’ drive away zero traffic, whereas the Jan 15 HM is 5 minute drive away
3) Try the run again tomorrow and go from there. Pros: Postpone my decision for another day. Cons: I hate not having resolve. Need. Solution. Now.
4) Do BOTH HM's. Pros: I can finally prove that I'm crazy. Cons: This means I really am crazy.
I am not one for yearly goals. Everything looks shiny, fun and doable on January 1st, but really anything and everything happens during the year that can easily derail plans and leave one angry at their January 1st self (i.e. long angry stretches of 90 degree heat, depressing injuries, time-sucking family issues, sick pets). But to keep with the "This is THE year!" feeling that is going strong around here in SP universe, I suppose I could whip up a few low-reaching goals. I have only four lowly goals for the year, but they definitely are things I will complete, thus pumping extra artificial glows into my self-esteem when I do complete them.
1) Maintain my weight. That is, after I lose my New York weight. After thinking about it, this should really be my only goal for this year, as I tend to always fail at the maintenance point. After eating to lose weight for so long, it’s just so hard to learn where that new line is drawn between “enough extra calories to sustain” and “earn yourself a few new spare tires” before strangers start patting your tummy and asking you when you're "due."
2) Do ONE half marathon this year. Hopefully I can still do the January 15th one and get it over with ASAP and not think about it again. I like to get the icky stuff out of the way.
3) Complete a half century on the bike. This is a no-brainer. With the exception of completely underestimating the fueling issue, my longest mileage at 44 miles went without problems, so what is just 6 miles more? Note to Self: BRING ENOUGH GRANOLA BARS TO FEED TWO VILLAGES!!!
4) Complete 20,000 fitness minutes. If I worked out 50 weeks of the year, that means I need to do a minimum of 6 hours a week. So freebishly doable. Will reassess in June or July and possibly up this number.
January 2012 GOALS
I will be taking it easy this month on any new goals and instead just focus on getting back on track.
1) Stay sober. It will be Month 6 on the 24th. Excited!!!
2) Get on SP every day starting today. I'll be chasing those extra spins, even if that stingy, greedy wheel refuses to grant me anything more than a two. ^%$&!
3) No sweets made from outside of my house until at least February. If I want sweets that bad, I will need to make it myself! (Thank you SkinnyTaste and Chocolate Covered Katie – MUAAAHAAHAAA)
Well that's it friends. I hope you are all doing well and wish you good health and generous spins of the SparkWheel.
P.S. I'm sorry about being MIA on all your blogs. Since business is back to being dreadfully slow, I will be using that work time to catch up you Sparkies. I live a dangerous life, I know.