the unpredictable journey

Just Keep Swimming (Dory Style)

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.

Sour Cream

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…

Why I Run

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.

Distractions

I’ve been distracted lately. I’d like to say it’s not because I’ve been lazy, but I think that is probably part of it. Here’s my excuses/reasons why.

 About 2 weeks ago I took my dog on a long training run. It was a little warm outside but nothing we haven’t done before. I initially thought about an 7-8 mile run, but it felt so good to be out there that we went for 11. At about 9 miles she really started to slow down. That’s when I know I’ve typically worn her out. She caught back up to me and kept pace pretty good. I made sure I was stopping enough to give her water to keep her cool. That night she was a little out of it and a little shaky, so we decided to keep out eye on her. Come Monday morning she was shaking pretty bad so we decided first thing to take her to the vet to get checked out. Long story short that was a nightmare that ended up wasting 2 hours of our morning and we didn’t even get to see a vet. I went to work and my husband stayed home. Kai didn’t get any better so my husband took her to a closer vet and got her checked out. Nothing major wrong, just probably a running injury. Anti inflamatories were prescribed as well as bed rest for 7-10 days. It broke my heart, running is her favorite activity and I feel like I pushed her too far. We’d done over 11 miles before, but I still feel like it’s my fault. For a week she needed help getting around and she certainly couldn’t jump on the bed to sleep with us, so we had to help her. Poor kid, you could just feel that she was feeling awful. I wanted to make sure we were keeping her company, but I also felt like I was cheating her by running without her. She’s been on bed rest before from a prior surgery and it was the saddest thing having to look her in the eyes when I went out on a run. She knew and it made her sad that she couldn’t go with me. So I took the week off to rest (I’d been having a tender right achilles anyway.)

Finally when she started coming around I got really sick. I tried to fight it for several days before I caved and went to the doctor. Speaking of, I’ve been here for 4 years now and really need to invest in finding a real general practitioner for myself. I went to and Urgent Care facility and got a whole 2 minutes with the doctor. I walked out with 4 (!) prescriptions and one of them was for symptoms I didn’t even have. I’m a few days into the meds and they are really helping me. For the first time I woke up able to breathe, which in my book is a great thing. But so far that has kept me from running too.

I’m just really worried with my basically two weeks off I’m not going to have that great run I was hoping for in my Wounded Warrior half marathon in a few weeks. I’m really bummed out about it. Hopefully I can log some miles this weekend and feel like I can take on the race with confidence. I really want to get a sub 2 hour half this year, I know I have it in me, but I don’t think this is the race I’m going to do it. And I can’t wait to get my running buddy back. I know she’s itching to get out there, but I want to make sure she’s completely healed before I turn her loose.

Complacency

Oh complacency, how you love to sneak up and bite me in the butt. Lately I’ve been working out and doing okay at it. I’ve been balancing my work, home life and active life pretty well. We’ve been doing a lot of yard work which in my book isn’t a typical workout, but a great one to work muscles I don’t get to on a regular basis. I sure feel it the next day.

 Last week I participated in my first social run. I went in a little nervous, as when we’ve gone into the store that was hosting it, they tend to look at us like we aren’t runners and treat us along the same lines. I was pleasantly surprised that everyone was so nice and had a great run. I ran with a new friend April who kept a good fast pace for me (I hope it was a good run for her, too!) We came back to the store with chips, salsa, beer and margaritas waiting. What a great Cinco de Mayo treat. The run got me thinking, I train a few times a week and on my long runs I run a slower pace because I know I’m doing distance, but why aren’t I working harder during my shorter weekday runs? Complacency folks.

So this morning I got up and got out for a run. I started at a great pace. I recently watched a short clip on Ryan Hall’s form and they pointed out about his forefoot strike and high knees. I’ve been all about trying to improve my form lately and I belive in barefoot running. I’ve got the forefoot thing down, but I was working on getting my knees higher and I’ll be damned if that didn’t quicken my pace pretty easily. Don’t get me wrong, I pushed through and had to convince myself I could finish it out and I had to keep yelling in my head RUN FASTER, but I made it. And impressive time for me. 5 miles even at a moving pace of 46:29 or an average mile of 9:17. Wowza.

I can remember last year when my goal was to run a mile under 10 minutes. Look at me now. I can run as fast as I push myself – yet it never ceases to amaze me with a little determination and work, I can break through whatever I’m asking my body to.

Here’s to pushing yourself and creating new goals!

Also, I love judging my running by how tired my dog is afterwards. This folks, is success 🙂