Friday, July 30, 2010

Trudging Along

Things are going better, sort of. I still haven't had the good run that I really need in order to start repairing some of my shaken confidence. BUT I have slept the past 3 nights in a row (ok, aided by a little Excedrin PM, but I had to do something) and so I'm feeling more human.
And last night I had 2 miles on the schedule, so 2 miles I ran. It was still 103 degrees at 8:30 last night with 89% humidity. So instead of just hitting the road, I decided to go to my local track. That way I could keep water right next to it when I needed some. I don't have a hydration belt, so I usually just drink water before my run and after. Heather came with me and she had the brilliant idea of bringing a bucket of ice water and some washcloths to douse ourselves in when we got too hot. All of this helped us to finish the 2 miles even though it was still really hard. I am proud to say that I ran the entire distance, but I did have to stop between laps in order to cool off and sip water.
It's hard to believe that a few weeks ago I was running 2 and 3 miles without stopping. Lately its just difficult to breathe in the heat and humidity. I get winded so much sooner, and it feels like I'm just learning how to run again. But instead of using the weather as an excuse to throw in the towel, I decided to just calm down and do what I could do in order to finish. For me, that meant stopping every 1-2 laps and taking a short hydration break and pouring cold water all over myself.
The race in October has really been psyching me out lately, so I'm choosing not to think about it anymore right now. I am following my chosen training schedule, and I'm only looking at the day that I'm on. No more peeking ahead, although I already know what it says. I may not be ready to run this half marathon by race day, but if I'm not, it won't be because I got too freaked out in the middle of the summer and talked myself into quitting.
So, anyway. Things still aren't going smoothly, but they are going. Finishing those 8 laps at the track last night was a big accomplishment. I suffered, and I adapted, and I finished. If I can just keep doing that, then I can continue my forward trudge.

Saturday, July 24, 2010

Running on Empty

Here we go again. This is really becoming not so much of a running blog as it is a place for me to complain. But I really need help this time, guys. I need somebody to tell me "Hey, I've been there, this is normal, you can move past it, and here are some killer tips to make everything perfect from here on out!" Can somebody PLEASE do that for me?
Week 1 of training complete. I found a training schedule that met up a lot closer with my current level of fitness than the one I posted on here earlier. Week 1 was supposed to be just three 2 mile runs. Piece of cake, right? Wrong. Every single time I have run for the past two weeks has just sucked. Its not enjoyable at all. Every step I take I am telling myself to quit. Motivation is gone!!!! The last 2 runs I haven't made it more than a mile before I had to stop and walk. I went 3 miles tonight and had to walk/run the last 2 miles. The positive thing is that I covered the ground I was supposed to cover.
I am so zapped. I have insomnia. Sometimes I don't sleep for the whole night, and then I have to get up and run...sometimes I go upwards of 30 hours without sleep. I don't know why. My body is tired but my brain won't shut down. I have probably slept a total of 12 hours in the last week, and it's only getting worse.
There are also some personal things going on with me that I'm trying to resolve.
I'm HOT. The heat and humidity down here is stifling, even early in the morning and late at night.
It is a conglomeration of a lot of things I suppose, not the least of which is that my motivation is just flat out diminished. I don't know how to get it back. I feel like I'm spiraling out of control!
I'm panicked. I can't think or write very well tonight. I don't know what to do, I keep picking myself back up, but I keep falling back down!
And I LOVE to read running blogs, by the way, but perhaps I need to stop. Nobody else seems to struggle with themselves so much! It seems like everyone else has a much easier time remaining consistent.
Maybe I'm just a loser.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


I haven't been blogging much, but I have been running. Last week I totaled 7 1/2 miles. That doesn't sound like much, but I did manage a long run of 3 miles and I am very proud of that. I also did my strength training as scheduled, cursing and moaning the entire way. I do NOT enjoy strength training.

Weight loss isn't happening. I'm staying steady at 215 and I'm actually back UP 1 1/2 inches in my waist to 37 1/2. Normally, I would be very discouraged by this and curse myself every time I look in the mirror and proceed to drown in an entire chocolate cake. I engage in a lot of negative self-talk, and don't usually hesitate to inform me of what a piece of shit I am...and how all anybody can see when they look at my face is blubber...and how I should be ashamed to go out in public because nobody wants to look at somebody like me...and how I've been trying SO HARD but it just doesn't matter because I'm always going to be a fat loser. When I go out in public and see thin people, my first impulse is always to apologize to them for having to look at me!! Which is TOTALLY ridiculous, because if nothing else, I am doing them a favor by increasing their own self esteem.

However, I have not had any of these reactions to this lack of weight loss. To be perfectly honest, it hasn't affected me very much. I do have to hang my head a little bit and admit to myself that I need to start taking my nutrition more seriously...running will only take a person so far, especially at the distances that I am currently running.
But get this.
I went to a water park last week with my husband and children. I was not about to be the only person sitting on the sidelines and watching everyone else have fun just because I didn't want to wear a swimsuit in public. I thoroughly expected to have a pretty rotten day though...because this water park is in a college town--need I say more? Skinny, wretched, college girls in sexy bikinis--ugh. But whatever, I was prepared to suck it up and try to enjoy myself regardless. And I did!! I strutted my little ass all over that damn park, went on all the rides, and turned into a giant kid again. I saw people that were a lot bigger than me, but I also saw people a lot smaller than me that I wasn't even jealous of. Here's a newsflash that floored me: I have a better body than a lot of thin people!
Did you people know that a lot of skinny girls have drooping, unattractive body parts? They look great in clothes, but put em in a bathing suit and most of them are just as flabby as the rest of us! I must have forgotten.
Granted, I'm heavy and I will be the first one to admit it. But my skin is tight and supple, and I have great proportions, and there were not too many women that I would have traded places with that day!
Wait. Did I just compliment myself? Yeah, I think I did. What's going on here?

I've thought about this a lot, and I have to conclude that it all comes down to respect. My body has consistently amazed me over the past three months. I went from gasping for breath after 60 seconds of running to being able to run for 3 miles continuously. My body runs in the heat or in the pouring rain, it doesn't matter. It also rallies nobly while I put it through push ups, planks, and lunges. It hiked for 5 continuous hours this Sunday when my family visited Cumberland Island. I just can't hate my body the way I used to because it has earned my respect.

This isn't the kind of progress that I imagined making. I thought I was going to begin running and POOF! The pounds and inches would melt away and the birds would sing and the orchestra would play and I would never have another problem in my life again! Er..well that didn't happen.

But this is the kind of progress that is life changing, I'm thinking. If I never lose another pound, I'm okay with that. Forget about running a half marathon--holding my head high and truly respecting myself for once in my life-now THAT'S something I never thought I would achieve!!

Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Defying Gravity

While in New York this March, I had the privilege of seeing Wicked live on Broadway. It was amazing!!! One of the songs particularly stood out to me, and still does. I draw on this song for inspiration all the time.

I won't go into the intricate details of the play, but suffice it to say that it centers around the life of the Wicked Witch of the West, who turns out is really just grossly misunderstood. This song is about when she realizes that the Wizard isn't the great guy she thought he was, and decides to strike out on her own and do the right thing, no matter what anybody says.

Nobody will ever be able to convince me that the person who wrote this song was NOT a runner! The beginning lyrics beautifully sum up my feelings about running, and about all of us who are using running to change our lives, and accomplish things we never thought possible. We are truly "Defying Gravity" every time we run just a little bit further, or faster, or longer than before.

Something has changed within me
Something is not the same
I'm through with playing by the rules
Of someone else's game
Too late for second-guessing
Too late to go back to sleep
It's time to trust my instincts
Close my eyes: and leap!

It's time to try
Defying gravity
I think I'll try
Defying gravity
And you can't pull me down!

Saturday, July 3, 2010

The Plan

Okay, as of today, I have exactly 16 weeks until the Augusta Half-Marathon. I have a great 14-week training plan in my awesome book, so that means that I have only 2 weeks left before I "go into training." In that time, I have to focus on expanding my running base to 3 miles, because that is where the training plan starts. Since right now I can only run about 1.5 miles comfortably, that's going to be a daunting job, but I'm not letting to it get to me. I'm confident that I can at least mostly run/walk 3 miles by the time this two weeks is over. Once I'm officially training, here is what my week is going to look like:

Sunday-Long Run (1st week is a 3 miler, next a 4 miler, and so on)
Monday-Short Run (stays 2 miles for pretty much the duration of the program)
Tuesday-Rest Day
Wednesday-Intervals (speed training)
Thursday-Short Run
Friday-Sometimes short run, sometimes intervals
Saturday-Rest Day

Doesn't this sound like FUN?!
In addition to all that, I will be doing strength-training twice a week on Tuesdays and Thursdays.
I'm also going to be very careful about nutrition and hydration and rest. Any tips in ANY area will be greatly appreciated. I'm really really going to need all the support I can get in the coming months.

Additional thoughts:
-My BFF Heather is going to be running this race with me! I was so elated when she told me. This is going to be the kind of amazing experience that you just HAVE to share with your best friend.
-You are only given three hours to run this race and I am a little petrified that I won't be able to do it in that time frame.
-I am worried about dumb things, like where do you get your number and the timing chip thingy?
-13.1 miles is a long damn way and I think I'm probably a little bit of a loon!

It is my sincere hope and belief that when I line up at the starting line for this half-marathon, I will be significantly slimmer than I am now. In good faith, I am putting up a picture of me taken yesterday before my run. And with un-Jennifer-like restraint, I am not even going to comment on how ugly and fat I am!

I cannot WAIT for the after pic!

Thursday, July 1, 2010

What did I just do?

Ok, so lately motivation has been diminishing and self-doubt has been surfacing more and more...I decided that I needed a swift kick in the pants to get me moving again. Sooooo...I just officially signed up for my first race...The Augusta Half-Marathon at the end of October.
Did I just bite off more than I can chew?
Screw that! I'm going to DO this!!
Hell, I've already spent the money.