This week was a challenge. Work has been stoopid busy - I got a proposal all wrapped up and out the door (and couriered in on time!), managed to pass off one crazy-urgent-on-fire project to a coworker, and have made progress on the other big structural design project I'm working on. (Complex seismic design and soil-structure interaction are still pretty new to me... it's big and imposing and REALLY IMPORTANT I don't screw it up! I don't understand why engineers don't make as much money as doctors... it's about responsibility level, right? if a doctor screws up, one person dies. If an engineer screws up... a whole building can fall down! But let's not think about it.) Anyway. Work has been stressful lately, but I think it's getting better. I was in really bad shape a couple of weeks ago, when my jaw was out of alignment (due to neck/shoulder tension and overnight teeth-clenching). Every red flag that my body could wave was waving, with big banners printed with "I'm overstressed!" flying. Heart palpitations? Oh yes, so many more than usual. Headaches? Brutal. Neck and shoulder tension? Heck yeah. Cranky? Well, of course. It sucked.
But it's getting better. In fact, yesterday I felt high as a kite after my run - I did a fartlek run on the seawall, just picking up the pace and running til the next bend in the seawall, or to the concession stand on the beach, or the lamp post. (I kept it just shy of an all-out sprint, as I'm a little out of shape for that kind of speedwork out of nowhere!) It was exhausting and probably a little over the top, as I was a little light-headed on the way back to the office, but I felt so HAPPY. I was smiling walking around the office after. It was great.
It makes me want to run again. Really run. I bought new shoes a couple of days ago, too, so now I have a good current pair at work and at home, and I just have to remember to bring my orthotics back and forth for my lunch-time runs and my... yes... weekend runs! I'm planning to go either tomorrow or Sunday morning and start working my way back up to longer runs. I'm really only doing about 4k on my weekday runs, which seems so short when I used to do 20k and still have pep in my step after, but it's okay. We all run our own race, and right now, I'm just pleased that I've built up some consistency again, and my body is over that learn-to-run adaptation hump. My bunions still hurt sometimes, but I kind of think it may always be that way. At least the kinesiologist who sold me my new shoes independently confirmed that the last pair I got was working really well for me, and I ended up with the newer version of those. (Just as chunky-looking, with solid granny-sneaker soles. Sooooo not sexy. But they allow me to run, and that's really all I need! Minimalist shoes are for chumps anyway.)
Along with running, I'm also going to get back into strength training. For now, I'm going to start with my physio exercises and lots of stretching. I am going to get my back and shoulders back into shape (heh, "back" into shape) which will help fix the muscular imbalance, ease my tension headaches and allow my tight neck and shoulders to loosen up. I'm also working on my hips, getting my glutes to start working better and my sticky joints to scour out. It will take time, and I understand that, but I've gotten strong before and I can do it again... and perhaps I'll learn my lesson and be better about maintaining my strength and not quitting on my physio "homework" again!
The added bonus is that I'm ready to lose some weight and see a body shape that I like again... my sloppy upper arms in particular are starting to piss me off, and strength training will do both of those things! Or, if it doesn't affect the scale as much as my food choices will, it will make me look smaller. If there's one thing I learned last year, it was that strength training (with heavy weights) makes your body change in ways that dieting, cardio, and less-challenging weights never can!
So here we go. For the past couple of months, I've been running two days a week at lunch (about 35-40 minutes each including walking) and doing yoga one day a week. I've also been doing random bits of activity like paddling, housecleaning, and yardwork as the opportunities/necessities presented themselves. For the past week, I've been increasing the amount of water I drink and tracking my calories.
This coming week I am going to do all of the above, plus go for at least one run from home, being a slightly longer one, and I'm going to strength train focusing on my physio exercises at least three nights (shoulders/pecs, hips/glutes, some runner's strengthening, plus some core work).
Oh - it's also our one year anniversary on Sunday, so I may put on my wedding dress and eat a lot of currently-thawing wedding cake. I pulled the carefully-wrapped top layer out of the freezer tonight (it's a full 8-inch layer cake, three tiers tall, dark chocolate and cappuccino layers with dark chocolate ganachey-buttercream and latte buttercream under yummy fondant which my maid of honour beautifully decorated with royal icing. Nom nom nom!!! I can't wait to make one for that maid of honour's wedding next year!
I may not have reached my goal of fitting back into my wedding dress (by any stretch of the imagination) but I'm making progress: I've been back down to 163.0 for the last two days. That's very good news! Another half pound and the little fishie on my tracker will be 1/4 of the way! I just have to keep that fishie in mind when I'm faced with all this cake... mmmm.