Sunday, September 30, 2012

Fall Running

As you all know, I have reset my mindset. I have hella work to do before Goofy. No joke. I know this. You know this. And whether you like it or not, I am going to take y'all along for the ride. I set out my steps to reach my goals. And this week I put this steps into full swing. I am already seeing results. Can you believe it?!
Step one was to listen to my trainer. We had some heart to hearts this week. And she basically, very nicely, slapped me upside the head and told me to trust her, she knew what she was doing. Yes ma'am. She told me obviously my way wasn't working, so I needed to trust her and do it her way. So like a beat dog, with my tail between my legs, I started listening to my trainer. Turns out she knows a bit more than I do about this whole fitness/nutrition thing. LOL.
Step Two was to stop half assing my workouts. Which meant to do my circuits for real, no resting between exercises, and 1 minute rests between circuits. That meant doing my HIIT sprints like I was supposed to. I even wore my heart rate monitor so I KNEW FOR SURE that I was working to the correct HR %. Every morning I woke up sore in a new place. That was new, and it felt good for a change.
Step three was to log my food. Along with this step was to follow the guidelines Kyra set for me. So far this has been the most challenging for me. I was averaging 1100 calories a day. That's it. She wants it between 1800-2000. It has been a challenge. It will involve more extensive meal planning, for sure. I am finding myself at supper time needing to consume 1000 more calories. Yikes. So this one is taking a bit longer to grab hold but I am doing better. And the calories that I do eat are coming from good, clean foods. VERY little processed foods and I am also converting most everything that Hayden eats to clean foods too, but its not that hard. If I let him, he would eat his weight in fruits and veggies, and that is NOT an exaggeration!
Step four was to drink my water. This is my water jug. It is omnipresent in my life.

I have at LEAST 3 of these a day. If I don't I get headaches and I am seriously parched. I know if I haven't had 3. I feel so much better now that I am drinking water again. Cleaner.
Today I went for a run. I am not in training mode yet so I had no "assigned" distance. I just went out and ran around town. I enjoyed the weather and the Fall foliage. The trees made for a very nice distraction so i just kept running. I ended up at 8 miles. It was nice. Somewhere in those 8 miles, I managed to run an 8.5 minute mile. Yes, you read that right, an 8.5 minute mile. I know when it was too. Around Mile 4, I honestly felt like I was flying. The breeze was to my back, my music was pumping, and I was flying. I didn't even know I could DO an 8.5m/m. LOL. It was a good run. Do you know what fueled that awesome run today? I lost 3 pounds this week. 3. By implementing this 4 little steps, I am already on my way to achieving the goals I have set for Goofy. That is a good feeling.
I can't change the things that brought me to this place of starting over, but I can change where I go from here. I will continue to work on my Nutrition. Like I said, it has proven to be my biggest challenge this week. I am excited to see what the next few weeks bring. My next "big" goal is to fit back into my old jeans by the end of November. It may not be a marathon, but it may end up being a bigger fight for the end! I am not looking for miracles and easy outs. I am building a sustainable lifestyle to carry me through. I know that I got results before, but it obviously wasn't something I could sustain. As Kyra said to me, "obviously, your way isn't working." And its not. I am going to fight to remain in that 2% that lost their weight and kept it off. And if I learned ANYTHING from AFM, its that I am a Fighter.
 I will leave you with some pictures of the leaves.
Until Next Time, Run On and Be Happy!


Saturday, September 29, 2012

Air Force Marathon

There are things that we just don't ever see ourselves doing. It isn't because we don't have the ability or the ambition, its just so out of the realm of regular, every day thinking that you just don't see it. It is something that is so out of your 'normal' concept of you, that it doesn't even appear on your radar. That was what the marathon was for me, once upon a time. Then, one day, it became a blip on my radar. A way off goal that maybe, possibly some day I might attempt to think about doing. One day I mentioned to a fellow Sparker, someone that I admire and respect greatly, (thanks, John) that I was thinking about training for a Full. He told me to do it. He told me that he had no doubt that I could do it. Still I held my thoughts in the back of my head. Not telling anyone, not even my Running Partner, that I was have inklings of running a Full. I imagine Laurie probably already had her own suspicions about my intentions, but it wasn't until she had decided that she was going to start training for her own first Full, do I reveal that I was thinking about doing a Full, too. We could train together.  It seemed like a natural evolution. It was time. Time to take the next step.  I thought I would make the Quad Cities Marathon my first. It was a week after Air Force which Laurie was already registered for as a Marathon runner. I was registered for the Half and would be running it with Matthew. After a long talk with Matthew, I, for sure, decided that I would begin training. It is a decision that we both had to be 100% part of because it would be a time commitment for him as well. Still, something was off. Something just didn't FEEL right. I realized that after all of this time, I couldn't possibly do my first Marathon without Laurie, and conversely, it seemed wrong to let her do her first without me. Another discussion with Matthew later, I was upgrading my Half registration to a Full. Suddenly, what started out as a barely visible blip on my radar had become a space station!

Several months and LOTS of training miles later, the time had come for the big day. I was feeling so good. My training runs had gone so well, despite the intense heat of the summer. The added stress of the longer miles hadn't seemed to effect my body as I had feared. I felt strong. I felt ready. Tapering sucked. I had full blown taper madness, doubting my abilities, my readiness. Then came the day I feared more than anything. The night my 4 year old woke up in the middle of the night. The night Matthew came in and woke me up because he doesn't deal with puke. Yep. Hayden had the stomach flu. I couldn't NOT take care of the little guy. The whole time I was on my hands and knees scrubbing what I assumed used to be chili out of his carpet, all I could think about was the following weekend. This was my weekend. I had dedicated that last 5 months of my life to this one day, and the stomach flu was in my own house. A couple days later, Matthew got it. It seemed to move through you fast, but I suppose when all liquids in your body escapes out both ends it will move quickly. A day later, I had it. Yep. 3 1/2 days before my marathon and I cant keep solid foods in my body and I am losing fluids faster than I could replace them. We were leaving for Ohio on Friday. Thursday I sat at my desk at work trying to drink as much fluid as I could, just praying that it would pass as quickly. It did, but I was worse for the wear. I had trouble keeping solid, quality food in my stomach, even though I knew that the food I ate that week would be imperative come Saturday. I did my best. Friday I was feeling better. I ate what I could, but I knew I was still dehydrated and underfed. A whole day of driving did little to help, but I did sleep most of thr 8 hour drive. So at least I was well resteed. Nothing, NOTHING, was going to stand in my way.

Saturday I was anxious. I felt good, not great, but good. My legs felt good. We met up with a bunch of Sparkers, took pictures, tried to stay warm. I wish I could tell you what we talked about but I honestly don't remember. Actually, there are large parts that are a complete blur. Soon we were standing at the Start line, watching the fly over... The big show had started. Catherine, Cindy and Wendy rounded out our usual twosome and I was happy for the distraction. The first half went very quickly and I was feeling really good. I was in my zone. Happy running and listening to the girls talk. I don't like to talk that much when I run (That's what I have Laurie for!!!), but I liked listening to the conversation. Then around mile 16 something started to happen. Something not good.

It was taking more focus than it should have to keep my rhythm. Something was off. Mile 18 seemed to last an eternity. No, this was NOT happening! I wasn't going to stop. I was going to fight through this. You know, I have never hit a wall before that point. I knew that's what it was. This was NOT how I had pictured my first Marathon. This is NOT how my training runs had gone. We spent, what felt like forever, running an airfield whichmeant no shade and the temps were raising. By Mile 20 I was done. I had nothing left. Well, I shouldn't say nothing because I kept going. The lack of food and fluids and fuel... I didn't know how I could go on except to fight. I had to walk it. I don't even know how far we ended up walking at the end. I wanted to tell them to go on without me. I knew they wouldn't leave me behind. I kept telling myself "If you sit down, they have to come get you. You could just quit, but you aren't going to. You aren't going to quit." And I just repeated that over and over and over again.

Matthew met us at the last half mile or so. I don't know if I had ever been so happy to see someone in all my life. I needed him. He brought me in to the finish. He got me to run into the finish. I finished. I did NOT quit. And while it may not have been the way I had pictured it in my head, it was my first Marathon and I finished it. When I was getting my post race massage, the massage therapist was actually very worried about me because she said my muscles when 'rebelling.' She said I had lost too many electrolytes and I was shivering uncontrollably on the table. Stupid stomach flu. I was probably low to begin with because I had 2 cups of Gatorade at every water stop. They made me drink an entire bottle before they allowed me to go to the medical tent to hitch a ride back to our car. I was a bit of a mess.

While there are so many things I wish had gone differently, there were so many more wonderful things that I got from this race. The friendship and the support that I got from Laurie, Catherine, Cindy and Wendy...I will NEVER forget that feeling. I laughed and smiled my way through most of those 26.2 miles. It was really just the last 6.2 that were the hardest. I know that I was putting this shame and guilt on  myself for feeling like I was holding everyone back, but I know that was just in my own head. I know they don't feel that way. Wishes and regrets aren't going to change the outcome, but I don't know that I would want to change it. I took away a lot more than a medal from this race.  I am stronger than I ever thought. There is a time in my life when I would have decided going on would have just been too hard, so I would have quit. I didn't. I fought. I fought harder for that finish than I have ever fought before.

I was so emotional when I crossed that finish line, mainly, because I didn't quit. I didn't stop until that medal was around my neck. I did what I said I was going to do. I met my goal. It wasn't ideal, but I did it.

That is how I know the next one, yes there WILL be another one, will be everything I expect it to be, all the while knowing that you can't expect anything because anything can happen, because I know I will fight for it. I will fight. I will fight to get myself back into shape. I am fighting now because I have gained a faith in myself that I have never had before. Never. I set out to do something that, once upon a time, would have been next to impossible to do, and I did it. It wasn't pretty, but looking back now I realize that it didn't have to be. Not this time. I just needed to do it. I needed to find out what I was made of... deep down inside. 

I am a fighter. I am strong. I'm not that person I used to be. I need to focus on the person I am now. I am not 300 pounds anymore. I not lazy and inactive. I don't sit and eat pints of ice cream at a time. I'm not that person anymore. I am a freaking Marathoner. NOTHING can take that away from me. I can set new goals. I can work to improve my time and my performance, but at the end of the day I am a Marathoner. Do I want that magical run when all the pieces fall perfectly into place? Yes. Do I want my storybook race ending? Yes. Do those desires diminish what I accomplished? Not in the least. If I didn't have the constant desire to outdo myself, then I might as well sit down with that ice cream because that means that I have given up on myself, and that is NOT going to happen!!

Until Next time, My Friends, Run On and Be Happy!

Monday, September 24, 2012

So...What now?

I am so behind on blogs it isn’t even funny. I thought I would get caught up on my training blogs before my actual marathon, but that didn’t happen. J Its ok, I think that I will still try to blog about at least the one 22 miler. It was a good run and reflects why I came away from the Marathon with the feelings that I did. Nothing went according to the vision/plan in my head when it came to the Marathon, but it was also more than I could have imagined in some other ways. I am still working on that post so you will have to wait a bit longer. (Was that a tease or what?) For now, this post is about one of the biggest things I brought away from that race: My body isn’t ready.
Now let me explain what I mean. I was trained. I was prepared mentally and physically. (SPOILER ALERT!) I, obviously, finished all 26.2 miles. What I mean is that I am carrying so much extra weight that it was more of a burden on my body than it needed to be. I had visions of losing weight and being lighter and freer, so to say, come marathon day, but that didn’t happen. I have been avoiding the scale for months now because I didn’t want to know what my pants were already telling me. I would rather live in an ignorant state of denial than admit that I have let myself backslide. I stepped on the scale today. No more hiding. No more pretending.  After AFM, its time to acknowledge that, yes, I have gained some of my weight back. I am tired of hiding it. Who am I protecting? Not myself. No matter how much I want to delude myself into thinking that way, I am doing nothing but prolonging the misery. It wasn’t as bad as I thought. It is frustrating as hell that I have to start over, that I have to lose weight that I have already lost, but I also know that the right mindset that has to be in place in order to do it. I have that mindset now.
Its not an easy thing for me to admit. I feel ashamed of myself. Its not something I take lightly, but over the last (not quite) year I have been lazy.  I got to where I wanted to be for my sister’s wedding, and my trip to WDW for SpaceCoast, and then after that…. I got complacent. And my weight kept creeping up and up and up again. . Its not like I didn’t KNOW it was happening, I just didn’t DO anything about and because I didn’t I now have 40 lbs to lose instead of 10 or 20.  It’s ok. It is. Why? Because my mind set is ready to do the work required to lose this weight again. AFM was my wake up call. It could have been so much more than it was… Please know my regrets about this marathon are VASTLY overshadowed by my joys, but it KILLS me that there have to be regrets at all. I had a wonderful, fantastic, uplifting, empowering experience, but I will not pretend that it was perfect. I will address all of that in my official marathon blog because some of those regrets stem factors completely out of my control.  My weight, however, is COMPLETELY with in my control. It is beyond frustrating, but the only way to fix it is to pull my head out of the sand, quit pretending that there isn’t a problem, and take the steps to fix it.
Step One: start listening to my trainer. I am paying her, you would think I would listen. From here on out, as long as I am paying for her advice, I will start taking it.
Step Two: No more half assing my workouts. I work out 6 days a week but MAYBE 2 of those are a true, 100% effort workout. Most of them, I just do and get them done with. Nope, not anymore. Again, I am paying for these workouts, I need to start getting my money’s worth. She gives them to me; I am going to start doing them, for real. Sweat dripping, muscles burning, and fat torching work outs. Everyday they are assigned to me. No excuses. No half assed effort.
Step Three: Food Log. It works. It is the difference between success and desperately trying to keep my head above water.  It is a lot of work and part of being lazy is that I don’t want to spend the time logging all my food. But truth be told, the real application in life, is that it is a real deterrent to eating excess food, because, quite frankly, I don’t want to log it.  This also goes back to my trainer because she has made up a meal plan for me too, but I have only been sort of using it. I will be revisiting it and  taking her suggestions and requirements to heart. I know I have a lot to learn when it comes to the nutrition aspect and its past time to learn.
Step Four: Water. I have fallen off the hydration wagon. All the severe headaches I have had should have been a MAJOR billboard sized sign that I have been dehydrated, but I wasn’t paying attention. No, truthfully, I just ignored it and popped a couple ibuprofen.  Problem "solved." Not any more. I will be drinking my minimum required amount of H2O EVERY day.
I feel like I am starting over. I guess I am. I have 111 days until WDW Marathon weekend where Laurie and I will be going Goofy. I know it’s a big goal, but I know that I am ready to do what it takes to get there. It will be my last big race for awhile and we are going to make it EPIC. Time isn’t a factor in that weekend, but the fun will be off the charts, but I don’t want a bunch of regrets and what ifs when it comes to Goofy. This may end up being my one opportunity to do it, and I will be doing everything I can between now and then to make the most of that experience. And that starts now. Today.
We have a few races between now and then, but for the most part I am done with running for the season. Just a couple HMs left and Race for the Cure. My focus is turned to training for Goofy, and the first major part of that is losing weight. Let the Goofy Training Begin!
Until Next time, Run On and Be Happy!