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Starting Over....Yet Again

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Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ugh...well, wouldn't you know it? The DAY after my last blog entry (you know...the one where I was super thrilled because I was two weeks into my half marathon training plan and so proud of myself for making it happen?) Yeah...that one. THE NEXT DAY...that little pain in my shin that I mentioned turned into a much bigger pain. A friend messaged after reading my blog and cautioned that the symptoms I described could possibly be a stress fracture, which can take months to heal. So, I immediately made an ortho appointment and got an MRI. As it turns out, I did NOT have a stress fracture....BUT there are levels of impact injuries that come BEFORE a stress fracture and I guess I was just one more level away from it becoming one. Sad face. No race.

But, I thought on the situation and I knew I couldn't skip the race entirely. My childhood best friend, who I have not seen in 22 years, and I have re-connected on Facebook and she is flying out for 4 days to hang out with me and run the Indy Mini. I couldn't just leave her to fend for herself! So, even though I couldn't run, I signed up to be a Race Volunteer and pass out pretzels and fruit at the finish line. I'm actually VERY excited about this development because I have never been on the volunteer side of things before. But, I tell you what...a runner sure does appreciate every single one of those volunteers during a race. I am ecstatic to be able to see every single one of my friends finish and to help hungry runners feel satisfied after a fun/exciting/difficult/painful
/perfect/record-setting race.

Truthfully, without running, I have been floundering. I took quite a bit of time just contemplating what I am going to do with all these injuries. It seems all of them have been brought about by my obesity and extra weight putting too much repetitive pressure on my bones and joints in my knees, shins and ankles. My ortho says I could correct a lot of it with proper running form and technique...and I have no doubt this is true. However, I've had to take a step back and re-evaluate my entire view of training and racing, Especially in light of my issues with time (or lack thereof).

I have come to a decision that might disappoint some...but it just feels right to me. I am stepping away from long distance running for awhile. Half marathon is not my distance right now. I'm going to focus on swimming, weight training and shorter races (10k being the longest I run...but mostly sticking to 5k). How long??? Well, until I am able to get rid of some more of this weight. I would like to lose about 30 lbs or more before I focus on long distances again. I really think it would make things much easier on my body and on my bones. And I will feel less disappointed in myself if I set more realistic goals for myself. With shorter distances (and swimming just for the fun of it), I feel like I would still have incentive to train, but not feel like I need to be so hardcore all the time. I need to make my workouts a regular routine fun part of my life, get my diet in order and get on the right track weight-wise before I plan any really difficult races.

As for the diet, that has slipped over the past few months...VERY BADLY. In fact, I will openly admit I've gained back 10 lbs. Ugh! But I am hoping to reverse this with the coming of Spring/Summer and weekly trips to the Farmer's Market. I also admitted to the fact that I need help with this area. I am the WORST when it comes to stopping for fast food or eating at restaurants when I don't feel like cooking. It's even worse now that I have weeks where I'm single. It isn't good for my budget, but I rationalize by saying, "I'm just one person. How expensive can it be to eat out by myself?" No more.

I found a Groupon for a site called eMeals.com. I guess it's pretty popular and Oprah has featured it on her show. The Groupon was $29 for 12 MONTHS of meal plans and grocery lists. That is 7 dinners per week planned out for you with recipes and a shopping list. That is PERFECT for me, a very busy single mom who works full-time. There are several plans you can choose from and I selected "Natural & Organic". I am going to take advantage of my Farmer's Market and my local co-op grocery membership. I am starting this week and I can't wait. It seems like a no-brainer, easy way for me to assure that at least ONE key meal per day is going to be healthy and good for me.

I have to believe that if I can find an exercise schedule that works and that I can replicate, and if I can stick to my meal plans, things are going to start moving in the right direction with my weight. I don't care how long it takes...I'm on this journey for life. I'm all about changing my habits right now...and actually making them habits. Eating for freshness and taste and exercising for fun, stress relief and enjoyment. And, really...if I never lose another ounce of weight, isn't that still a pretty great plan? Yeah...I think so too.
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