Commitment.

October 27, 2013

Since I began running in 2010 it was mostly to see if I could.  I chose to do something I had never enjoyed nor was good at, because I like a challenge I suppose?  Maybe it was because I lived in an adorable, progressive town with lovely trails within walking distance?  Whatever the reason, I needed to make some drastic changes in my life. I didn’t have a gym membership at the time, so it was a free way to get out and move that required nothing more than some running shoes and work out clothes.  I took a try at it; it was hard.  I got discouraged and fell back into bad habits. Then in January 2011 I decided to start my weight loss efforts for the very last time.  43 pounds and two years later, I run 4 miles in 40 minutes as I am training for my first 10k…which is also my first race.

I have been running around 3 miles consistently for the better part of this year, so I decided to go a bit bigger for my first race.  I’m so excited about it, I am already considering signing up for the  2014 Air Force Half Marathon.  I have a few months to decide, since registration doesn’t open until January 1st, but I’m already about 90% sure.  The 2014 Air Force Marathon falls on my 30th birthday.  It feels like I HAVE to do it because really, how many people get to say I ran a half marathon on my 30th Birthday?!

***

I was visiting with my 86 year old Grandma a few days ago, lamenting about how I’m going to navigate potty breaks, if I’ll even need one, in the middle of the 10k.  She told me,

“Sara Beth (that’s what she calls me) stop and go to the bathroom, they will have porta Johns!”

to which I replied,

“But then I’ll have to to stop!  If I am RUNNING a 10k, Grandma, I have to RUN the entire time!  If I am going to do something, I have to DO it right.”  Which in my mind is as close to perfect as possible.

She then told me that sounded pretty familiar and she wonders where I get that from with a definite twinkle in her eye.

***

When I do something in life, especially something I am passionate about and voluntarily doing, I’m going all in.  Running has given me so much in the past few years.  It is my time alone.  It is something I can control at least a little bit, when things feel so completely out of hand with everything else in life.  It has shown me it’s okay to change your mind about things.  People change and grow and that is a good thing.  It has given me confidence and shown me I can live a balanced healthy life, which in turn, has completely squashed my biggest fears of becoming a mother…..Okay, wait, now how did we get here?  Let me digress…

Being an overweight child was extremely hard for me.  I remember being 13 or 14 (or whatever age girls start talking about marriage and babies?  I truly don’t remember.) and swearing to myself to never bring a child into this world, for fear that they would suffer the same cruel combination of genetics, slow metabolism and sedentary lifestyle that I did.  I didn’t want another child to feel like I did all those years.  I may have been extra sensitive, but years of bullying, name calling and self loathing sort of sticks with a person, no matter how “thick” your skin is.  Mine was paper thin, so I promised myself this “no babies” rule all those years ago, and if I am anything, I am stubborn.

Looking back, it was so naive, but so “me” to make such a gigantic life decision as a teenager and stick to it for more than 10 years.

Now that I am 29 years old, with two amazing step-daughters in my life, (who have shown me I can definitely navigate parenting reasonably well? Step-parenting is a whole other story for another time.) I truly think I can make the informed, grown up, decision that I have changed my mind on babies.  I want to have one.

Hmmm, look at that, people can change, it just takes some of us more miles to get there.  For me, it’s been about 260 over the past 2 years.

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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.

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.

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!!