Headgames.

October 12, 2013

I have began training for my first real race, the Thanksgiving Day Turkey Trot in Cincinnati, and because I am crazy like that, my first race is not a 5k, but a 10k.  I have been running 5k’s like it’s nothing for quite some time, but was having a hard time pressing farther than about 3 and a half miles, so I took a break and then decided to begin training for this upcoming 10k.

Today was my first 3 mile run and I took a route I have run more times than I can count but after I hit mile 2, it was a struggle.  I was totally in my head and already thinking about how in the world I am going to be able to press on thru 6.2 miles in a little over a month.

You see, I have been saying it since I began running, it is SO much mental, almost more so for me at this point, than physical.  I get in my head and start saying things like “this is the worst thing and there’s no way I’m going to continue running the entire time and I’ll never be ready in time and ugh I can’t breathe right anymore” then I hit 3 miles and I’m done.  Just like that.  Today after what felt like the slowest and longest 3 miles I have ever ran I averaged out at 9:56 min/mi.  It was one of my best 3 mile times in quite a while.

I blame a lack of new music…because when I keep the playlists fresh, I trot along and get lost in the music and then I’m done and I feel like a million bucks.  So.  Long story short, I need to invest in some iTunes cards to combat the headgames I’m playing with myself because I know I can do this, and the fact that I ran so quickly this morning shows this training program I’m following (its a mix of comfortable running, cross training days and a once a week tempo run with mileage increasing each week) is definitely working.

Happy weekend, and happy running.

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Time.

August 28, 2013

It really does make fools of us all.

Time feels like it is rushing forward lately.  It feels as if it has no concern for how I need things to slow down.  I turn 29 in less than a month.  When the hell did that happen?  My little step-daughters went back to school in grades 6 and 2.  They aren’t so little anymore.

Regardless of the passage of time, I’m slowly progressing on my weight loss.  After gaining and losing what felt like the same 5 pounds, I weighed in last Friday at 180.  I am a mere 13 pounds from the initial goal I set 3 years ago in January of 167, which is the uppermost healthy weight for a lady standing 5’8″ according to the CDC Body Mass Index chart.

I feel healthier than I have in my entire life; I’m sure I am healthier right now than I have been in my entire life.  Two weeks ago I celebrated one entire year smoke-free.  I am at my lowest weight since my wedding in 2009.  I bought a pair of size 12 pants for the first time in 4 years last week. I am so proud of myself.

And I am so scared. I know I can do this, but there is this huge milestone looming ahead. I have never pushed my body past this current weight.  Even losing 1 pound, pushing myself to 179 will be amazing.  I don’t work well under pressure.

*

We almost bought a house.  Then, last week it fell through.  That was a giant disappointment.  I tried very hard to not comfort with food.  Instead I listened to music (much too loudly for my age) in the car.  I ran on a sore Achilles much too hard for my own good.  (It is still a bit sore, but it has gotten both too dark to run before work, and too hot to run after so I have been hitting the gym instead and spending more time running intervals instead of steady miles)  I let myself feel the feelings and be sad about it.  I did not let myself eat whatever I wanted in an effort to feel better because all that does it makes me feel worse about letting myself do so.

The old Sara would have used this bump in the road as an excuse to completely fall apart emotionally which would have lead to eating anything and everything that I know I shouldn’t and eating it all in excess.  I can’t let that happen.  That is where new Sara steps in and changes things.

While it feels like a new and exciting chapter of my life is being delayed, again, I am attempting to focus on my health and fitness just a little bit harder, in an effort to push through this last 13 pounds and finally be at a healthy weight for me for the first time in way too many years.

I have let life, once again, allow me to neglect this space.  My love affair with fitness has only grown in the time since I last wrote here.

I have never written in depth about how I feel about exercise. I repeat how much I am a happier person because of it ad naseaum, but that only scratches the surface. The gratification it provides to my soul is astounding.  I epitomize the saying “Learn to love the burn.”  My day doesn’t feel quite right on rests days, or days where life happens and workouts don’t, although those have become few and far between lately.  I make the time.  I get up earlier, stay up later to get my heart rate up.  It makes me feel like I have tiny bit of control of things and for a perfectionist control freak, that goes a long way.

So isn’t it ironic (dontcha think?) that the chubby child turned teen turned young adult (who spent WAY too many years feeling inadequate and awkward and everything else you can feel when you don’t look like how everyone thinks you should look) is now obsessed with fitness?  Then again, it sort of makes sense.  I started this journey because of simple vanity.  I weighed 218 pounds in January of 2012.  I wanted to change that number so I moved more, tracked my meals, joined a gym and made fitness a part of my every day routine.  It has been hard, but I now weigh 185 pounds.  I look forward to the most active part of my day.  I live for it.

I just announced my highest weight and my current weight to the internet.  Wow, that is liberating. There’s something I never thought I would do.  It has become so much more than numbers to me; numbers I have been obsessing over for practically my entire life don’t control me anymore.  It has taken me 20 years to figure this out and truly understand it.

I have discovered it is so much more than lowering numbers on a scale.  It has become my life and how I spend my time.  It’s how I manage the stress and cut through the crap and the mundane days and sleepless nights and everything in between.  It is setting goals and meeting them, and creating new ones.  It’s going from being a kid who dreaded running the mile in gym class to being a woman who voluntarily runs, sometimes as fast as a 10 minute mile, sometimes before the sun is up because it feels amazing.  It’s letting my inner 6 year old (who desperately wanted to be a ballerina) shine every time I step into Pure Barre class.  That sense of accomplishment is worth every cent.  I can’t imagine living my life any other way from this point on.  Whenever life takes me away from my usual active routine it shows.  I get cranky and restless and then I remember I call the shots.  I make the time for running, or going to the gym, or going hiking or trying a new class.  It’s all up to me.

I feel like I have grown so much as a human in the past year.  Instead of dwelling on the defeats of my past I look towards the successes of my future.  I know nothing in life worth having will come easy, that just isn’t my life and that’s okay because I can do pretty much anything if I want it bad enough.  And these are the thoughts I have from 20 pounds away from my goal weight.  That is the part that astounds me.  I haven’t even gotten there, but I know I will.  I haven’t been sure of too many things in this life thus far, but this one I am certain of: I will see myself at a healthy weight in the next year.

The bad days still happen.  The old, tired, negative voices that have held residence in my head for the majority of my life will not go silently into the night.  But with every step of a run they get quieter and the confident lady inside me is beginning to drown them out.

Changes.

March 3, 2013

Although I have been neglecting this space for the past month, I have not been neglecting my exercise time.  I have been slowly increasing my speed on the treadmill runs.  My goal is to run a 10 minute mile sometime in the near future.  Right now I’m sitting around 11:15 so I’m getting there.  Yet besides getting back into running more regularly, I had been feeling a bit bored with my gym routine.  I would do some sporadic strength training or ab work, but nothing consistent.

So last Saturday I tried a Pure Barre class at a studio recently opened near my house and I am totally hooked.  I was VERY nervous…I hadn’t done a workout class since I was a teenager but I just got back from my 4th class and I feel like I’m finally getting it.  I plan on trying to keep up 3 times a week for the next 2, and then see if I want to go on from there.  These classes are not cheap, but I’m really loving it and already seeing more definition in my arms.  It also seems to be improving my endurance for cardio as well.

So hurray for trying new things…tomorrow I may be singing a different tune…two days of class in a row may equal some very sore muscles but it is nothing I haven’t dealt with before.

Sidelined.

February 1, 2013

It has been 8 years since I have had anything close to the flu.  I was in my 3rd year of college and was hit hard with a 48 hour bug.  It was the first time I had been seriously sick since I moved out of my parents house.  It was awful.  I remember calling my mother asking her if she would come take care of me, and she laughed at me saying get some 7up and crackers and sleep it off.  

This time around was a little bit different.  Having a husband comes in handy from time to time.  He took good care of me.  And it was a much less dramatic sickness, without all the puking, just feeling like I could for almost 3 days straight.  I’m doing a bit better today, less nausea but still sort of weak and tired. 

Needless to say, I’m out of routine right now.  I was just coming off an 8 day streak of gym trips, and I’m starting to wonder if I was pushing a bit too hard.  I’m going to ease back into workouts, perhaps with a low intensity treadmill walk tomorrow morning.  That is, of course, depending on how I feel in the morning.

I’m taking this as a sign that I need to slow it down a bit.  Since my current approach wasn’t  really producing steady results, I may need to change things up anyways.  Sometimes you just need to take a cue from your body and give it the rest it needs.

Maintaining.

January 14, 2013

I fit in an outdoor run this weekend.  Ohio gave us an unseasonably warm 60 degree Saturday (at the cost of a 20 degree overnight drop that has left me with a gross sinus headache today) so I had to take advantage.  It was a bit slow going, being that I haven’t logged 2 miles at once since December, but it felt great to get out there.  Yesterday I stepped up my cardio by doing a 45 minute elliptical interval workout, followed by some yoga.  The gym is insanely crowded still, with all the resolutioners, but I’m hoping things to thin out in the following weeks.

I wasn’t the most stringent about eating through the weekend, so this morning when I weighed myself and saw I maintained from the previous week, I wasn’t surprised. I wasn’t upset either though.  The previous week’s 4 pound loss is the most I have lost in a week in a long time.  I was almost expecting a gain this morning, with a weekend that included a Chinese buffet dinner and movie theater popcorn (I passed on the butter and only got a small…but a small is still SIX cups of popcorn!) so when I saw I maintained, I was happy.

This week I am focusing on longer cardio workouts in the morning and doing some strength training in the evenings.

Hurray for fitness!

2013.

January 9, 2013

I have a short list of goals for 2013.  2012 was a great year for me but I want to make 2013 even better.

The top of my list is to consistently hold myself accountable for what I am eating.  So far so good on that front, and it has paid off with a 4 pound loss in the past week.  While I am eager for the weight loss aspect of my healthy living, another huge part is that I am trying to focus on the bigger picture and how the exercise/weight loss is only one aspect.  I feel great when I eat healthy things, and I feel like crap when I don’t.  I want to feel my best as often as I can. I am also too hard on myself when I am not losing….hell, I am too hard on myself 90% of the time when it comes to body image.  This year I want to change that.  No more self hate.

Tying into my overall healthy lifestyle, I want to spend more time doing things I love so I have decided to read at least 52 books this year.  I am blogging about that over at A Book a Week in 2013.  Reading has been something I have done excessively since I was 6 years old and got my first pair of glasses.  When in college, I did not have much reading for fun time, due to the reading for school, so I am making up for all that lost time (6 years during my undergrad then Master’s program) by taking up this challenge.

Lastly, I have decided this is the year we stamp out all of our petty credit card debt/have a year of nothing NEW on credit.  We began this year with a New Year’s Eve hotel stay at a Hilton, which is something I would have put on a credit card in the past but I decided we would not.  And we were still able to set back some monies from our last pay day as well.  So I have set a good model for the rest of year.

Here is to 2013 being as positive and productive as I can make it to be!!