Monthly Archives: March 2009

Cold March Morning

The house was warm enough this morning when I got up so I put on my capri leggings and a T-shirt and headed out on my run.  Becuase it was pager duty weekend, and becuase the pager whined all night long, I ran later.  That meant I could run in the daylight and change my route.  I love to run the new route, but it is not well lighted enough for me to run comfortably that way at 5am.  I learned to trust my instincts… so I don’t go that way that early in the morning alone.

What did I find when I went outside?  I found frost on the grass, on the rooves of the houses and on the cars.

I learned that when it is really cold my scar on my arm itches really badly.

I leaned that even wearing leggings and a t-shirt, when it is freezing, I can sweat and when I get in the house the heat (even when the heat isn’t on) is amazing.

A hot bath after a chilly run feels FANTASTIC.

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Feeling Like a Loser

Been reading forums and blogs the last couple of days, and most of them are done by people who have run marathons and half marathons and 20 races in 2 years and who are SO much further down this trail than I am.  People who run and run and run and run.  People who have pretty places to take their run.  People who are lean and healthy and will probably live forever.

Today, I’m feeling like a loser.  I feel like I’m really doing something by running my intervals.  I feel like a champion when I can run a mile or two in a run walk run walk run walk pattern.  I’m not even going to try a half marathon until I think I can make 13 miles in under 3.5 hours and these people are talking bout finishing a marathon in like 3 hours.  I’m up to running for 30 min off and on run walk.  Lord, I’m feeling like a loser… and not really like the  Biggest Loser on TV…

I know this is a feeling that I will get over… I’ve been here before and it usually helps if I just don’t read those blogs and forums for a while and just focus on the path I’m on.  If I focus on my own race, I don’t notice so much what a loser I am compared to other people.  That is one reason that I took up running… I have to compete against myself and beat my own best.  I don’t have to worry about anyone else so much.

Everything I’ve read say that you should find a running buddy… that you should get in a group for the camaraderie and accountability.  I don’t really do well with a bunch of other people.  I don’t do group exercise classes or organized sports or maybe rather team sports.  I don’t like having to rely on someone else for my ability to get my job done.  I can do team player, but I don’t thrive on relying on other people to get things done.  So running (and now adding weights and jumping rope) are ideal for me.

Running on a Foggy Friday Morning

It was mildly foggy this morning when I went out for my run. It wasn’t bad, but bad enough that, had I not had a baggy over my pager, I would have been in trouble for getting it wet. While that isn’t as bad as having it call 911 for me while I’m running and then having them call me back because one bounce of the fanny pack dials emergency and the next hangs up, it is bad enough. There is little difference in the humbling feeling that you get from having an operator ask you if you are sure you are just running for fun and you really don’t need a fire truck or police car and having to grovel to the management where you work for messing up their fairly expensive toys.

I took a step back today… back to First day to 5k week 1. I needed to have the reassurance that I can do it after the biggest part of a week feeling like a failure (didn’t make it to the bathroom for lunch let alone to the gym and I only ran one morning after a week of stomach aches). I did the run and actually felt like I could have kept going, which bolstered my ego just a bit.

Now, I’m sitting listening to folk music (which, when it is instrumental, is a great way to relax at the end of a day) waiting for the kids to call so I can walk over and walk them home. Since it is pager week, I will have to be careful of what I might miss during that walk, but it is such a pretty day. The walk tonight will call for a hoody since it is really chilly coming in the window, and the dog will have to stay out of the water, but it will be a good thing. I took five dollars and bought a weighted jump rope today.

The wind is strong enough that I really can’t be jumping rope outside and the dog loves the novelty of it so inside today isn’t an option… but that is my next version of cross training… jumping rope. That probably isn’t optimal becuase it uses a lot of the same muscles, but it taxes my breathing and my heart rate more than I thought it would, so this is actually a good thing.

Not Running THIS Morning

Spent most of the night sick.  So this morning, I slept in a bit (dog decided I needed to get up becuase she needed to pee) and now am just sitting here listening to the sounds of the trains floating in through the window on the breeze.  It would have been a fabulous day to run, too but I know that if I had tried, I would have ended up somewhere down the road sick again and that would not have been pleasant becuase I’m not sure I could have guaged where I was going to be when I got sick and in someone’s yard would have not been neighborly.

Sunrise earth is on tv.  That looks like a wonderful place to run… Point Reyes in California… purple wildflowers and queen annes’ lace, all to the sound of the sea.  Probably scare the elk, though.

Supposed to rain this afternoon… not sure about tomorrow morning.  I may have to dig out my waterproof bag again for my run tomorrow.  Then it is back to pager patrol.  Joy of Joys.  I think, though, that I might have a way to carry it now that doesn’t dial 911 every time I run… so I may have actually gotten past that issue.  I hope so, I really don’t want police and fire trucks coming after me when I’m out for a run just because they can’t make the stupid phone so it doesn’t dial emergency services by bouncing in a fanny pack.  EEsh.

200 days till the Run America Run half marathon.  I still think I can do this.  This morning, I think so with less confidence, but I think so.

Have a marvelously active day.  For me, today, activiety will probably be limited to the 3 or 4 flights of stairs that I go down and back up in the parking garage carrying two laptops.

My First Half Marathon?

Okay.  Today I made the decision on where/what my first half marathon is going to be… I hope I can get there from here.  I think I can, but I’m scared.

29 weeks.  That is a lot of weeks… That will let me prepare… I need to alter my strength training just a little… more about reps, less about how much I can move a few times.  Maybe I will start working just to increase the number of reps I do with the weight I’m at now for a few weeks and then increase the weight.

And it is close enough to home that I won’t be totally far away if for some reason I can’t actually do it… and if I wait to sign up, I won’t be out anything other than the humiliation of not being able to do it.  Now that I’m seeing my own improvements in my running (I’m going to start podrunner intervals day 1 to 5k week 2 tomorrow) I feel fairly confident that I should be able to maintain a 15 min mile by October.

Any one up for following the adventure that I’m going to try to undertake?  Anyone want to train with me virtually?

Today, the workout was yard work.  Did 3 hours of yard work early this morning.  Cooked dinner outside.

No new pounds, but inches are leaving

I can’t for the life of me get past this plateau.  The inches have (are still) fallen off, but I can’t get the next five pounds off and it is driving me crazy.  I try hard not to pay attention to what the scales say but it is really hard.  It doesn’t seem to matter how much exercise I get or how many times I work out with weights, the pounds stick fast.

I feel good that the inches are changing and in my head I understand that muscle weighs more than fat so the fact that the inches leave means I’m doing some of the right things anyway, but it is frustrating that I cant prove it on the scale.

Take Your Successes where you can get them

It was a fabulous run this morning.  I made it thought the ENTIRE podrunner interval day 1 to 5 k running every single beat of every single fast interval.

It was nice and cool out during my run and I feel fantastic after the run and I even managed to do 30 modified push ups.  I’m going to have to break down and start doing the NON-modified versions if my arm will tolerate them.  I drank 4 16 oz glasses of water… and 4 cups of lapsong suchong tea.  one egg with salsa and one slice of whole wheat toast.  lunch was a pot-pie (not so great… but protien) and now I’m sitting in the breeze in the back yard listening to Jimmy Buffett.

You take your successes where you can.

Today, it was finishing the entire run at the “right” pace.  It took me a couple weeks to get to where I didn’t slow down about interval 5 or 6… I guess now maybe I can actually say I’m a runner not just a race walker or extra fast walker…  That is a success today.

Taking Time to be with Family

One thing that bear does a lot is to walk nearly everywhere he can.  He walks every night… but I run early every morning (or every other morning) and to walk late and run early I would make myself sick quickly.

But today (comp time day) we needed bread and eggs, so it was a walk to HEB.  I didn’t HAVE to do anything else… I didn’t have to be on the computer, I didn’t have to be on the phone.  I got to take a long walk… it was great.  When I got back, I was tired… but it was nice to be able to walk and talk and ejoy the afternoon…

6 months ago, the walk would have been way harder… I would have been much more sore… I would have been way more tired… I would have wanted to sit down when i got to the store.  Not today.  It felt really good.  Different shoes would have proably made a big difference but I still felt great at the return end.

More?

Yep.  I’ve been being able to go to the field meets to watch (and help) squirrel in her running.  I can tell her what is going to help her to recover.  I can tell her what not to stretch when she is at the end or the beginning becuase I’ve made a lot of the mistakes already that mean I hurt with the stretch (or lack of it)… what makes you feel better (and it doesn’t mean Dr Pepper).

I can spend more time with myself… and feeling good about me… but I can also spend more time with my family.

Making Yourself Important

I relized this morning that it really is only 30 minutes (right now…).  There are twenty four whole hours in a day and with the blog that I’m listening to when I run right now, it is only 30 minutes that I’m taking out of my day to spend on just me.  Okay a couple days a week I’ve added another 30… but that is still only an hour.

But it is amazing what making myself important enough to take those precious minutes to spend on me… to spend on making myself important enough to ‘waste’ the precious time on.

It really does make a huge difference to my day when I take this time for just me.  And I make the time that I take for me matter.  Sometimes it is nothing more than a walk… the days when alergies make me feel like my head is going to explode and I know that if I ran I would probably never make it.

It really doesn’t matter what YOU do.  Walk across the back yard.  Walk your dog three times around the yard… or take him once around the block.  Listen to music while you go or listen to the world around you.  I’m lucky… I have a kingfisher that lives in one of the trees by my house.  I get to hear her every morning on my way home.  Once in a while an owl keeps her company.  The trains are always there, right on time… at about 15 min past each hour.  Dogs making conversation with each other… Flowers that will soon be blooming or that already are.

Getting healthier is the “reason” I do this, but at the same time, realizing that I’ve made myself important enough to take the time to make myself better is making me mentally healthier too… improving my outlook on my day.  Brushing away all of the schmutz that was there from yesterday and clearing out the cobwebs that settled overnight.

Taking the time for me is making all the difference.

Believing you can do it

Once upon a time, I figured out that Big Brother Bill was a pretty smart guy.  He figured out how to push all the right buttons (in a good way) and get me to do all the things I thought I couldn’t do.  How?  He told me that I couldn’t do it…. plain and simple.  Once he did that, I set out to prove him wrong.  And I usually did because he usually knew exactly the things that I could do and picked those to tell me I couldn’t do.  He taught me to believe in myself.

In the last 30 years, I have discovered that I have to learn to do this all on my own… the finding the determination part of it, the figuring out what I can do and what my limitations are and I’ve had to learn to manufacture the determination to prove that I can do something and I have to prove it to no one but myself.  Fortunately, I have learned to do that to some degree.  Whenever I find myself at a challenge, at a cross roads, at a point where I have to push a little harder or dig a little deeper, I remember that I proved him wrong (or right as the case may be… since he knew I could all along) many times and I set out to prove that I can do it again.

Are there days when I have my doubts?  Sure there are.  Lots of times.

That is where I am at right now in a lot of ways.  I have started over with Podrunner Intervals doing the intervals at a jog rather than at a faster walk.  Having gone through them the first time slower walking then faster walking, I know that I can push myself to do it and that I CAN do it.  Now, it is a matter of just going through the motions again of doing it and getting faster and better as I do.  Every day I have to get myself up and convince myself that it is a thing worth doing (running… strength training… water instead of pop… the whole 9 yards) and then I lace up my shoes and just get my butt going and do it.

If I didn’t believe I could do it, that I could get my cholesterol numbers back under control, that I can ease up on some of my asthma meds and breath like a “normal” person, I would never get up and do it.

But I look back 6 months and realize that I started out walking just around the culdesac and feeling like I was going to die doing just that much.  Now I have gone through the first set of podcasts once and a chunk of the second set the first time.  Now I’m no the second lap of the same sets, no longer thinking I can’t be a ‘real’ runner because I’m too fat, too out of shape, too whatever.  Now I believe that, if I work at it… one day at a time… one step at a time every day… I can do it.  I have to do it becuase if I don’t, I’m letting myself down.