It’s amazing to me how one change or decision causes so many other changes. Both intentional and unintentional.
I made the final decision about a month ago to run the Dallas White Rock full Marathon and I was going to do it with Luke’s Locker Plano. I signed up for both on the same day – that way I was all in. I was scared and nervous not only about the marathon distance, but at the idea of running with a group of people I don’t know every week for 6 months. You see I usually run with my dog or alone. That’s what I’ve done for a year and that’s all I know.
The first week I met some awesome people who were easy to talk to. It made me feel at ease and it helped me get lost in the mileage. The second week was great, too. Not a fantastic run but got to meet someone else that supported me through the mileage and helped me push my pace but be consistent. Week three was fantastic. I met my group for the first time and my run felt awesome. I ran pretty good the first half and for the first time ever I was able to push the second half faster than the first – and it was all uphill on the way back! Woo hoo me! There is something to these group runs. I get excited and energized to go out and rock my run surrounded by other people trying to conquer their goals.
Historically I’ve tried to be consistent with my running but that didn’t always happen. Now that I am part of a group and I have a training plan, I feel a responsibility to myself and to my fellow group members (or Tribe if you will) to follow the training plan as much as possible. This means I’m running consistently. What a difference it has made. I’m running at a great pace for longer than I’ve been able to hold it before. And I’m having fun! I feel like such a nerd saying I can’t wait till 6am on Saturday to run with my people.
There has also been other changes. Last week I had a pretty tough week emotionally and physically. After a particularly hard day my husband brought me in a glass of red wine. Normally I’d gulp that baby down and ask for another. I couldn’t get through the glass. The wine tasted fine, I just didn’t want any. Come to think of it, the only alcoholic beverage that tastes good is beer – and a good craft beer, not this Bud Light crap. Even then I have one or two at the most and I’m done. I’d rather have a good iced tea or a gatorade, thank you. Because of this change, I’ve had more energy and I’m not consuming so many of those delicious but empty calories.
My eating has also changed. I’ve always tried to make fairly good decisions – but if I want it, I’ll eat it and get it out of my head. Lately the changes have been because I haven’t craved the bad or super sweet. Take Saturday for example. I did about 8 miles in 2 runs and all I wanted for lunch was something tasty and delicious but healthy and light. Hello Seasons52 goat cheese ravioli. Don’t get me wrong I still enjoy a good trip to a mexican restaurant and have a free for all on chips, salsa and my tacos, but overall I don’t crave it like I used to.
My new adventure is challenging my body in ways I don’t think it’s ever been challenged. Because of that, I want to fuel it better and I want to make sure I’m getting enough rest. If I don’t, it will come back on me, through injury, sickness or something else. I want to make sure I cross that finish line. Any changes along the way are cool perks.
I’ve been trying really hard in my life to be a more positive person. The last few weeks have been a huge challenge for me. I don’t want to use my blog or twitter to complain or vent. Since I haven’t had anything nice to say, I’ve tried to say nothing at all. I’m figuring things out and moving in the right direction.
After my half marathon a week and a half ago I had some major issues with running, well not running specifically but more my calves. I now understand what people mean when they say their calves are shredded. Normally I take a week or so off and maybe do one run to let my legs rest and recover. Since I’m with a marathon group I didn’t want to let the group or myself down so I wanted to do the workouts that have been laid out all week. I did take a break, but decided towards the end of the week to pick up the scheduled workouts. The Thursday following the run I just had a tough day all around. Work stressed me out, life stressed me out, so I was just really looking forward to a good run where I could clear my head. Apparently my body had other ideas. I was hoping for 3-4 miles after work (it was still around 95 degrees at 7pm so a shorter run was in order.) I had to call my husband for the first time ever to come and pick me up at mile 2. My calves were in such pain I wanted to cry. I’d never felt anything like it. I also felt like an epic failure. I couldn’t even run it out.
I was super worried for my Saturday group run. We were scheduled to run 4 miles and I didn’t know if I could do it. I was desperate Friday to figure out a way to get my calves better. I reached out to twitter and got some great advice. I picked up a pair of compression calf sleeves from CEP and a foam roller. I went home and started rolling. It hurt so good. I wanted to cry and my husband just looked at me like I was crazy – until he used the roller. I wore my compression sleeves all night and ran in them on Saturday for the first time. I made it through at a pretty steady pace. I’m super grateful to Sondra one of the coaches in our group who just ran with me and kept me steady. She was great company the whole time. She kept my mind off of the running and it was great to run with someone. I am beginning to understand the appeal of a running group. I seriously don’t think I could be nearly as successful with the marathon without the support of a group. I’m thankful for them.
I ran Monday for 2 miles with the dog so she could get out. For those who don’t know, she got hurt out on a long run with me about 2 months ago. She had done the distance before, but she just tweaked something on that particular run. Vet said bed rest and she should be back to normal. Well, she’s not. We think it might be hip dysplasia but that’s a genetic thing and for it to only start showing at 3 years old is concerning. I think we’ve kept her really fit and that has kept the issues away. So we’re running with her every day / every other day on short runs to help build her strength back. She’s actually a better runner than walker with her hip. She’s been really depressed lately because she’s been missing her runs and missing longer runs. Just this week is the first she’s shown us of her old self. She’s always been a pretty happy dog, but now she’s playing with her toys and being more playful with us. It makes my heart hurt for her just a little bit less.
I had a good run this morning. I’m trying really hard to stick to the workout schedule of my group. I’m not going to lie, it’s also been really nice not to have to figure out my workout schedule for the week, I just look at my calendar and do what it says. I worked hard on form as well as trying to keep a stead pace. I’m awful about pacing. I usually start at a good pace and end up struggling at the end. I sprinted the last .4 miles with a steady incline and it felt good to be able to push my pace at the end.
Overall I’m finally starting to feel like I’m getting back to me and being in balance. Although nothing’s been resolved, I’m happy with me and the way I’ve handled everything going on. I’m a passionate person with strong opinions and ideas. I’m working on really getting to know who I am and who I want to be. If that doesn’t work for you, friendship isn’t going to work for us. And that’s okay, not everyone has to get along, even if we’re family.
I’ve had a lot going on lately. Last Saturday I started my marathon training group for my first marathon in December. It was a 3 mile run to get pace groups. I ended up running faster than I should have but I was talking with other runners and sharing stories, so I lost track of how fast I was actually going. After that my group provided a trainer to help kick start our training by teaching us some crossfit techniques. It was super cool to do some stuff to get more overall fit. I’m getting running fit, but I’ve noticed in order to be lighter, quicker and faster, I need to work of my overall fitness to reach my goals. I didn’t do all of the exercises because I had a half marathon the next morning but I did enough to be sore by the afternoon.
Sunday morning was all about the half my husband, good friend and I did. It was the Wounded Warrior and it benefited the Semper Fi Fund and Reserve Aid. I’m a sucker for a good race cause and will sign up if it touches my heart. I think this cause is so important – there are so many soldiers who give everything for our safety and security and it’s hard to give back. It was a very tough race – we started at 7am and it was already 82 degrees (closer to 90 at the finish). The course was mostly flat with some hills and it wound in and out of the direct sun. It was hot and miserable and a sheer battle of mental toughness. I finished with my second best half time (I’ve done 4 now) but I think I really could have killed it with cooler weather. I’m happy to have finished and to have participated. A cool medal is always a plus.
We’re still working on our backyard, too. After taking down a 30ft tree and digging out and creating a paver patio we’re getting close but it also feels never ending. We just have to level everything out, put down sod, clean up a flower bed and really put in my garden. I keep telling myself that it’s not that much work but it feels so overwhelming with everything else and this stupid Texas heat. This week today is the 4th day it’s been 100 or higher. It’s June, not August. We’re all getting prepared for a very long, hot and miserable summer.
It’s the busy time for me at work as well and I’ve got some personal stuff going on. The combination of everything has just taken a toll on my body and my mind. I easily snap back at people, and quite honestly this week I’ve just been a bitch. I’ve been working really hard on being a better, more positive person towards myself and others. This week just feels like such a setback. Hopefully I can get my body and my mind back in balance and feel much more like myself. Until then, I’ll just keep swimming.
I was standing over the stove making dinner last night (mmm tacos) and I was thinking about how I need to post more. I started thinking about a new post, I looked over at the sour cream and it all came together.
I’m a fat kid when it comes to food. I try to work out to counteract that, but I’d rather have a little bit extra on me and enjoy a good meal that be overly strict and be super skinny. That’s just my preference. That’s not to say that I don’t question what I eat and decide to go in the healthier direction more often than not, it’s just when I really want something, I’ll eat it.
Back to tacos. I love sour cream. My husband thinks it’s a weird love. I don’t eat it on a lot of things, but I definitely put a lot on things like tacos and fajitas the lick the spoon clean before it goes in the dishwasher. And I’m okay with that. At the same time, because I sometimes choose food first, I’ve got a little bit of a belly. I’m sure it seems a lot bigger to me than someone off the street – in fact my fear is that if I’m slouching and not trying to suck it in, someone will ask me when I’m due (possible irrational fear, but still a fear.) I stood there staring at the sour cream thinking maybe if I use better portion control I could get in better shape. I don’t have to give up sour cream, but maybe if I used less it would make a difference.
As we assemble our tacos my husband opens up the first sour cream (we had two small containers in the fridge) it’s clearly spoiled and passed its expiration date. We try to do a good job of keeping the fridge clean but sometimes items slip through. But no big deal right cause there is another one with an expiration date of a month away, right? Heh. Wrong. There is barely any left in the container. Apparently instead of me trying to portion control on my own, the universe is sending me a message and doing it for me…
I went online to log my miles from this morning for National Running Day and Competitor.com. They asked for your name, city, email, miles for the day and why you run. I sat there stumped. Not because I don’t know why I run, but because I didn’t know which reason I wanted to list.
I run because it gets me outside my comfort zone and causes me to push myself. I run because I like to sweat it out. I run because it’s hard. I run because it’s fun. I run because it’s giving me the self-confidence to appreciate myself and what I can do. I run because someone once told me I couldn’t be dedicated enough. I run because I eat, a lot. I run because it makes me feel like part of a community. I run because I want to be healthy. I run because nothing makes me smile like running with my happy dog. I run because there is no imitation to crossing a finish line. I run because I want to continue to set new PR’s. I run because it’s a great thing to do with my husband. I run because I love being outside. I run because it’s helping me become who I want to be – inside and out. I run because it gives me purpose. I run to see how far I can go, then go farther. I run because it’s a stress reliever. I run because it quiets the world and clears my head. I run because I can.
These are just a few of the reasons I run. Today I sit in appreciation of something that has changed my life over the last year. My relationship with running started because I was tired of not fitting into my pants. I can now fit into them, but running has changed my life and my perspective. Thank you running, for taking me on, helping me become who I want to be and showing me that nothing is impossible with dedication and passion.
I also chose to celebrate today by signing up for my first marathon – the Dallas White Rock Marathon in December. I’m scared, anxious and excited. I know I will learn lessons and learn about myself during this process and I can’t wait to cross that finish line as a marathoner.