Sunday, June 28, 2015

continuing on the theme of.....NEVER GIVE UP.....

           The funny thing about being a runner is that you don't feel like one unless you've run a respectable distance (whatever that is for you) within any given week. I could take 2-3 days off running and all of the sudden feel like the Slob of the Universe. Only running anything over 4 miles again can bring me back to feeling good about myself as a runner. 

           Running has been quite a struggle lately. It actually should be a lot easier seeing as I am a teacher on summer vacation, but, it's not. Being a stay-at-home-mom seems like a piece of cake until you do it. Kids are ALWAYS hungry, always fighting with each other, requiring some kind of maternal intervention; If one gets any rest, it's a COMPLETE miracle. 

         Great news! Today I went to the runner store in Rockville, MD, called RoadRunner, and bought tons of new running gear. I bought myself a killer Moving Comfort  Rebound Racer running bra, a black Nike tech T-shirt, a cool, strappy, RoadRunner blue tank and a pair of black 8" RoadRunner shorts. My bottoms are always an XL, and my tops are always L.....finding anything XL in the running store was not easy, but I tried not to lose my patience and kept on looking and telling myself that despite the fact that most items did not come in my size, I belonged there. After 45 minutes of trying thing on in the dressing room, I felt happy with all my purchases. I turn 42 in a month today.....and frankly, I deserve it!

            More great news....we are closing on a house July 15th and negotiations, which were grueling and stressful, ended yesterday, another reason why I am celebrating with some wine. The whole week I have been using my runs as stress relievers. Now, I can use my runs to purely daydream about my new running trails around the lake that's about 2 blocks from our new home, or how I can now get my kids bikes so they can use them to accompany me on my runs, around the lake....

           I am in week 3 of my marathon training for the fall. Needless to say, I am making sure no matter how much I skimp on my weekly runs, to not skimp on my long runs. I feel myself getting stronger as a runner and it's reassuring to feel myself meet each challenge with some struggle but not anything I can't handle. Marine Corps and NYC Marathon, here I come. 

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Morning runs, less stress on the body

                 I experience more stress on the days I don't run in the morning and then try, the entire day, to figure out a way to squeeze it in later. In essence, missing my morning run causes huge, I mean HUGE stress in my life. There, yet another reason why running in the morning is, in essence, 'more bang for your buck'. But as we all have experienced, waking up early to run is like walking a fine line. On one side is cozy bed, sleep, comfort, warmth, on the other is a great feeling throughout the day, and a free evening, both weight fairly equal until you throw in stress..... Now, this one last reason above makes all the difference in tipping the scale towards morning runs. Yes, I hold no doubt, morning runs are WAY more beneficial all around than even afternoon runs of the same length and/or intensity because with morning runs I carry less stress throughout the day. Of course, that does not help getting up at 5am every morning any easier. The alarm sounds and each time it's a tough mental battle to even remove the covers and sit up, yet, that discomfort only lasts at most half an hour....much better than the discomfort of NOT running and being stressed all day about whether or not I will be too tired after work to get a run in....not worth the aggravation.....as cozy as that bed seems I now know which decision brings me the most comfort. 

Sunday, March 1, 2015

5 miles on ice



             This was the MOST icy run I have ever had and I had a blast!!!! The sidewalks were long stretches of ice sheets. Rain came down and felt amazing against my skin but also kept adding layers and layers of ice to everything, leaves, barks, grass, sidewalk. I started off wearing a warm hat but took it off after mile 1 and the rain felt totally refreshing, just what I have been needing all day! On this day I decided it might be wise to wear my Yaktrax, one of those seemingly totally useless purchases all runners make when they first start running. In fact, I have worn the Yaktrax only once last year, and back then, I felt it was totally useless for the amount of snow that had fallen and never once thought about it until this day. On THIS day, I could not have made it 10 feet without it. 

            One amusing aspect of running with the Yaktrax was that people all around were walking as if they just woke up and had a severe leg injury....at least, that is how I walk when I have an injury. I could not believe how reliable these things were. At first, I was a bit apprehensive and could not totally relax into each step thinking I might still slide, or slip or fall, bit no, I did not slip once! I started to feel more confident as mile 1 came to an end and from then on it felt great. It get EVEN better knowing at the end of my run that I did not see one other soul out there running in the entire hour and 20 minutes I was out there. On most days like this I will see one, maybe two people out facing the elements, but not today.

Thursday, February 26, 2015

First visit to a nutritionist


              I did not think it would be so hard to visit a nutritionist. I think the hardest part was simply knowing that I needed help. It's always been so hard for me to even acknowledge that I need help. I have grown up with independently reading self-help books, always wisely choosing my path based on solid, on-my-own research. But this time I had no more solutions. I had gained weight and listening to too much advice from blogs to podcasts have gotten me confused. It went well. A few times I felt myself getting emotional and I had to catch myself from crying in the presence of this perfect stranger. Back in the car after the visit I had o explore why so emotional? why was this so tough? that was it, the lack of control I felt going in was not a typical place for me to be. Being on the receiving end of HELP was not comfortable...the whole thing felt awkward. The advice I walked away with on the first visit was three easy but at the same time, monumental tasks:

1. Plan your meals and snacks and 
2. Write down everything you eat
oooooh, and see you back in 1 month....

yes, nothing new....nothing I did not already know....nothing earth-shattering. But the last part...the 'meet you back in a month' part was the big catch....

....ACCOUNTABILITY was the fire I needed under my ass to get me moving the right direction. 

Below is my week's plan.....and below that my shopping list for today....lucky for me, today is a snow day at the school distrcit I work at, so, I will be out shopping for a new crockpot, tupperware at Bed Bath and Beyond and at the local grocer some healthier food options. 



Monday, February 23, 2015

Stress reducing run

                 Friday was hell day. Well, not so much. It was just one of those days that you had to get emotionally ready for days before. I had to get up early that day and drive to my mechanic's 45 minutes away and get some work done on my car. I had no idea how long they'd take or how expensive they'd be, so that alone is enough to stress anyone out. Immediately after I had to go to the DC inspection station and get my car inspected for the year and immediately after THAT I had to run over my daughter's class and help create their art project for their yearly auction project. So you see, this was a big day. Not one thing was allowed to take too long, or the rest of the day would be ruined. The most stressful part was waiting at the inspection station with 45 minutes to spare and wondering if I'd get to my daughter's class on time AND wanting to use the bathroom for the past hour as I sat in my car waiting. When I finally got home that day after all the activities, I was absolutely and positively spent. Every bone in my body hurt and my bed never looked better. I took a small nap, took a hot bath and ate some food. I knew I had to get some energy back in me in order to be able to do my night run. This was not an "I have to" kind if run, or an "I must" kind of run. This was a run I NEEDED to do for my sanity, to save my very soul!! As the evening progressed my hubby and my kids began to bug me more and more, so this was a sure cue I needed a mental break. About this time I also knew not to believe my thoughts about how just horribly messy my apartment was, or the thoughts about 'how come my 2 kids are constantly fighting?"....as I started slipping into fighting-the-small-stuff territory I knew it was time to fix things myself. This was a slow run, but it was mine. I was so happy the entire run. The cold air felt liberating and fresh and clean and every accepting. I drifted from one thought to the next without a care in the world. 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Time off due to injury

              I am taking some time away from running. This is a first since I started running 2 and half years ago. It's a week long rest, that's what I decided. A week of 'just' going to the gym and letting my feet rest and heal a bit, while my heart still gets a good workout. No need to tell you all, it's not the same obviously. The feeling of pure triumph I feel after running is missing. I could walk out of that gym every day dripping wet and exhausted and I still will not feel 'triumphant' as I would running 5 miles. 

             I guess I could have just kept going. I mean, that is what I did last time I had some plantar fasciitis issues with my other foot.  I just ran right through the pain and came out the other end, a few months later, just fine. Since I began running it's been mind over body. But this year I am trying to have a different relationship with my body where the body has equal say over the mind. This year I want to stop making my body do stuff whether it want to or not, and instead I want to try to let my body actually have a say as to whether or not 'we' are ready. What does my body need. My body is screaming, "give me a rest!", all my major muscles have been permanently achy, my feet will not heal, and no amount of rolling, icing, massaging as been successful at getting me back to my happy runs. hence the week 'off'. As much as it pains me to miss out on my feelings of triumph from my post runs, I believe in the long run this approach will be better for my mind and my body

          So far it's been manageable. I let my hubby put the kids down while I run to the gym in my apartment building and work out my heart on those gliding machines for an hour. Most days I don't get wireless reception so I'm left starring at the screen count down (or up) as I try to avoid any and all eye contact the other people working out very very close to me on some other machine. The gym is a tiny gym. Literally about 6 machines in a 13'x13' room. The days I do get reception is a lot more manageable for I can watch a movie and before I know it the hour has passed. 

           Not sure yet how long this break will be. I see people running and I just want to get out there, but I'm immediately reminded by some annoying ache that I am not ready.  The wiser side of me knows I need to wait until my feet feel normal again. Then again, trying to decide it all now is not advisable, seeing as I am likely to change my mind many times over. Would love to know anyone's experience in transitioning back to running after injury.