I Said I’d Talk About Mental Health, So Here I Am

Quick recap. I have been diagnosed with post traumatic stress, major depressive disorder and generalized anxiety in the past. I have tried different medications and non prescription avenues to be cured of these illnesses to no avail. This year, I tried to go without medication and seek out an alternative treatment method. I believed that the medication was hindering my weight loss and I requested that I stop taking medication to see how I could manage without it and whether it affected my ability to lose weight.

The first month went fine and I began my alternative treatment using Nutrition Response Testing. Look it up if you would like because I’m just going to say that it didn’t work for me and it was not something I personally enjoyed doing.

I started having sleep disturbances first. I couldn’t sleep at night and that was when intrusive thoughts would creep in and I’d start to think I was going to die or that death would be the only way out of the anguish I was feeling. I understand how irrational that seems, but at the time, my brain was being a scumbag. My husband would hold me through the worst of it and stroke my hair until I stopped and went to sleep or crawled out of bed and went to another room so he could sleep. The nights I had to leave the room, my body would literally feel like it couldn’t sit still on its own. My joints would feel fluttery like I had to move them.

Also, I was crying over everything. I broke down in front of people more than once and couldn’t express that I was, in fact, crying over nothing at all. It just crept up on me and I couldn’t stop myself. I was embarrassed that I was too weak to control my tears. I have always seen emotion as a sign of weakness in myself and I never want to be weak or vulnerable in front of people. So, then I was angry with myself for showing weakness.

The worst was when I was nearing my half marathon. I was stressed out and sleep deprived from sleep disturbances. I couldn’t seem to accomplish the same things in a day that I once could. Things were slipping out of my reach. My husband was having to cook for the family after work because I couldn’t find the time or energy. I needed help with simple tasks including grocery shopping and laundry. I’m neat and I’m meticulous about it. This was not normal for me.

My husband was out of town on business the week before the half marathon. I was actually hesitant to let him go. I couldn’t bring myself to tell him I wasn’t quite myself and I didn’t know whether I wanted to live or not.

The final straw was after the anxiety/panic I had in the hotel in Detroit early in the AM. I decided when I asked my friend to take me home with her instead of waiting another day to go with other friends that I would spend my Monday trying to get help.

My doctor’s office took me in immediately and put me on new medicine after making sure that I was safe. The medicine works, guys. It’s been a little over a month and I’ve had very few anxiety attacks and none of them have completely sidelined me.

By the grace of God, I realized I needed help and I asked for it. I have long suffered from mental illness. I understand some people don’t believe in its existence. I also know that some believe that medication cannot cure it. It can’t cure everyone. It can treat it. I eat well and I exercise and I still have mental illness. That’s okay. Because my brain isn’t telling me that I don’t deserve to live another day for being broken. Don’t be afraid to ask for help because that’s how you’ll get better.

I still need to find talk therapy and work through some root causes of my panic and anxiety. I’m taking my medicine again, though. I’m still exercising and eating well. I am working against my brain being a scumbag.

Thank you for reading! I mostly write about my fitness experiences in addition to how I’m feeling mentally, but I felt compelled to dedicate a whole post to my experience this time. 

Detroit Race Recap

A couple days ago, I wrote about my trip to Detroit. Now, I want to talk about the actual Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon that I ran.

Sunday morning was 46 degrees and it was dark when the race began. I had a short sleeved shirt on with sleeves that were separate and removable. There was a sea of people in every direction. There were people in bathrobes. There were people in tank tops and shorts. Judy and I stood in our spot awaiting the start and agreed to run together as much as possible. There were speakers everywhere so the crowd could hear the announcer that was set up at the start line. Each corral was released a minute from the previous. Being in corral “L”, we started the race quite a bit after the “gun time”.

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We ran the streets of Detroit approaching the Ambassador Bridge that leads into Windsor, ON [Canada]. Finally reaching the bridge, Judy and I ran for awhile. We looked down at the Detroit River and the sights surrounding it. There were Canadian border agents on the sides and a few people were stopped to have their race packs inspected. The bridge was a mile of steady incline and I realized that it was not very far into the race and was pushing myself too soon. Judy agreed to walk the hill. Other race participants stopped and took selfies on the bridge. One guy stopped in the middle of the path for a selfie. We crossed over into Windsor and got high fives from border agents as we crossed through the lanes meant for cars.

Windsor was a nice city with a path along the river that had sculptures along the side. Judy spotted dog pulling a man with rollerblades at what looked like a pretty quick pace. It was so odd and funny. There were crowds along the road cheering and holding signs. Soon, we were nearly halfway through the race and entering the tunnel back to the US. It was a mile underwater. People were shouting and making all kinds of noise through the tunnel. It was hot in there. I was breaking a sweat. The end was an incline that I think was made more difficult by feeling so hot. Then, high fives to US border agents and smiling for the camera to catch a photo of us just after a “Welcome to the USA,” banner.

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We ran together, walked the hills and the water stops, kept up conversation, and took in all that was around. Toward the last mile, Judy still had plenty of energy and started to get out ahead of me. I offered, “run YOUR race,” as my nod to go ahead. She reassured me that I could finish and she went along at her pace.

At first, I turned on my music. I’d had my headphones on pause the entire time so I had music if I wound up alone. I paused it and I prayed. I was so grateful that I’d enjoyed the race and I felt good. I praised God and I decided I’d finish the race showing appreciation. I resumed my music, paused a moment to drink from my water bottle, and took off toward the finish. I started to pass people and I realized that I felt good. As I crossed the finish, I pointed above to praise God, like many athletes before me have done. I was so pleased that my finisher photo captured that.

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I met up with Judy at the finish after gathering my medal.

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We got our snacks and went to the after party. There was a beer tent there that said “Save a cat/dog. Buy a beer.” So I HAD to buy a beer and socialize a bit. Then, Judy went back to her hotel to get cleaned up. I ran into more friends and hung out a little longer at the after party before walking back to the hotel and gathering my things to go. I started to walk to where Judy and I were going to meet and I couldn’t get around the race. We came up with a new plan and she parked on the road I was on as close as she could near a barricade. I walked 6 blocks with my bags feeling heavier with each block. I switched around a few times and I set my things down for a breather a few.  While I loaded my things to the car, the police lifted the barricades. That figures, right?

We rode out of the city and stopped for lunch before leaving Michigan. I had my first meal at Texas Roadhouse. Not bad. I took a photo on the way home of the sunset. Because Judy and I had spent so much time together that day, we saw the sunrise together and the sunset.

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I didn’t get a personal best or even come close at this race. I had a great time, though. There wasn’t a nagging injury or the feeling that I couldn’t finish. I got to have my first view of Detroit, Michigan. I got to go into Canada for the first time. I got to cross the border running while giving high fives to border agents both ways. I’d say that was an experience that I’ll never forget and one that many people are unlikely to have.

Thanks for reading! I actually have some stuff to say about mental health soon, so I’ll be back for that.

Detroit Race Recap (The Trip)

I’ve been meaning to write here about the Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon from October 20th. I have had very little time to sit down and write something out. I have so much to say about it, though. This post just covers the trip and the next, I’ll talk about the race.

The week leading up to the race, my husband was out of town on business. I was not mentally well and had considered canceling my trip to Detroit. My travel plans meant that I would miss my husband returning from his trip and much of my relaxation comes from talking to and being with him. He convinced me to go and enjoy a girls’ weekend with my friends. I convinced myself on my last pre-race run that it would be okay.

I was fortunate to be welcome in a group that were going up in the mid morning. I was concerned that I’d be driving on my own when my original group said they were leaving before I would have my kids off to school. I was able to get my kids off to school, head to the gym to complete workout 20.2 of the open, and get in a shower before meeting up with my group.  The car ride was more than 5 hours, but it went by quickly with four of us chatting the time away. We arrived in time to check in to the hotel, get our race packets from the expo, and arrive to a dinner event we’d signed up for in advance.

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I met up with Maureen, Jane, and Kristen. These would be the friends I was sharing a hotel room with and I’d originally planned to travel with. I trained for my first marathon with Jane and Maureen in 2016 and I hadn’t seen them as much in subsequent training seasons since then. I was excited to catch up.

That night, I found myself unable to sleep. Upon the realization that I wasn’t sleeping, I began to feel anxious. Then, I began to feel trapped. I started feeling intensely afraid and the realization hit me that I could not get any fresh air without stepping out of the safety of the hotel room. I started looking up flights home because I was certain my heart would explode if I didn’t go home soon and I didn’t think I could wait another car ride. Flights were all over $300. When I noticed Kristen starting to stir, I texted that I needed to leave the room. We went to the hotel lobby and sat near the door until the breakfast room opened. At breakfast, I got teary eyed. I went alone back to the room to shower and get ready for the day.

I took a dose of my anxiety medicine. It was prescribed to me to take twice a day, but I’d been only taking once a day after the doctor told me that it was okay to use the AM dose on an “as needed” basis. I messaged my friend Judy asking if I could ride home with her on Sunday instead of waiting until Monday like most of the others on the trip. She agreed and that took a lot of the anxiety away. I spent the rest of the day too busy to work myself into any frenzy. Maureen, Jane, and I walked around Detroit. Upon searching for a place to eat, we encountered Mr. Monopoly from a bank promotion. We were given coupons for a free food bowl from a nearby food truck. We had a delicious meal of pork, cole slaw, and cornbread. We went on to walk to the Detroit Institute of Arts Museum while stopping at places along the way for photos. I really enjoyed seeing where the Lions, Tigers, and Redwings all played. The museum was lovely and I enjoyed learning a few new things. I also really enjoyed some of the displays. We used their QLine trolley to save the return walk to the hotel. It was clean and really comfortable. We found a bar/restaurant and had a meal and drinks before heading back. We ran into Judy with some friends there and I confirmed we were in the same corral at the race. Once back at the hotel and full of food and extra sure I was hydrated, I put my race day clothes and accessories together in a single bag. I double checked everything to try to settle any future anxiety.  At bedtime, I was too tired to keep my eyes open and I dozed off while my roommates were quietly winding down. I know I heard someone talking when I realized I was too sleepy to understand.

The alarm went off in what seemed like moments later, but it was race day. When I looked out the hotel window down to the street, I could see all the people with their race bibs. I saw buses filling with people to be driven out to their relay locations. We got ready for the race and walked down onto the street and towards our corrals. I said goodbye to my friends and hugged them. It was cold and dark outside, but there was noise and people in every direction. Mentally, I prepared for escape from the fencing without a reason or specific fear. Kristen was nervous about the pressure she’d put on herself to run a new PR. Her parents were there to support and cheer her on. They helped Judy find us in the crowd.  When Judy showed up in the corral, I knew that we were going to be running together and I was excited about the experience and having someone to share it with at the same time.

Next post, hopefully tomorrow, will be about the race. Jane and Maureen gave me crap about writing about them in my blog. So I’m specifically mentioning that they wanted to know what I was going to write about them.

Race Weekend is SO CLOSE

The Detroit Free Press races are this weekend and I am PUMPED. I had my final run before race day today and it was amazing. I saw myself run a pace I hadn’t seen in a very long time and I sustained it.

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So, what about the other runs? The 12 mile one I was so worried about in my last post? The taper week short run? They were alright.

My friend, Judy invited me to run with her and others when I needed a 12 mile run. They weren’t going as far, but Judy ran with me and we finished strong. I was so happy to have company again, but I was also impressed with how I was able to make it 12 even after feeling a bit of hesitation in my 10th mile. I made a mental note that I probably needed to take an additional gel or some type of nutrition along next time. Judy is encouraging and always has something positive to say. Despite our run being together, she said that I did great.

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This past weekend, I was camping with scouts Friday night into Sunday morning. That was a whole different kind of endurance. It left me mentally exhausted to a point where I was not well. Sunday, upon returning home, I was having trouble not crying over every little thing and I was physically exhausted to the point I couldn’t function at my normal capacity. Monday, my family was off of work and school. I went to a 9am conditioning class in the morning. I talked to Judy there and told her I needed my run and that I wasn’t quite myself. I [embarrassingly] broke into tears for no reason. She offered to run with me even though she’d had her 8 mile run over the weekend. At first, I held back and said I’d think about it. I honestly didn’t want to burden anyone, but I knew I needed to run and that I needed accountability. She met up with me for 8 miles after I messaged her. I don’t know that I would have done it on my own or just found reasons not to go. I left our run feeling relief. I wasn’t crying every moment I was alone with my thoughts.

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I look like any other day, but I was deep into some dark thoughts.

My husband has been on a business trip this week and I almost asked him to cancel because of my mental illness. I was going to cancel my trip to Detroit because I didn’t believe I was well enough to go anywhere. I had one episode of anxiety that was pure terror. I take anxiety medicine and something so intense doesn’t happen often. I waited for my husband to be off of work then told him about it and talked it out. He’s messaged me through each day with reminders that he loves me and that I’m strong. I’m sure he’ll be encouraging me to get help once he can talk to me in person. I’m open to it. Just not happy about it.

I have spent time listening to praise songs and praying. I’ve tried to stay positive. I’m actually more oriented toward there being a future than I was the other day.

Today’s run was a HUGE help. I had told Judy that the paces I used to run at felt effortless and that was what I’d missed most about running before my injury and all the secondary ones from the rehab. Today, I was faster and it felt effortless. I savored every moment. It made me actually start getting my things ready for Detroit. Because I’m going and I’m going to finish another half marathon. I get to go to Canada for the first time. I haven’t even been to Michigan before. I actually can’t wait.

I have some amazing people around me that encourage me and lift me up when I need it. I just hope I can do the same for them if and when they need me. I really hope I can do it for anyone that I can help.

Thanks for reading! I can’t wait to write a race recap. I hope I get pictures. I am usually really caught up in stuff and forget the pics.

 

 

Weighty Issue

In my last post, I said I had something less running related that I wanted to write about soon. Today is that day.

At my heaviest, I weighed around 215 lbs on my 5 foot 6 inch frame. When I started the fat loss challenge at my gym, I weighed 205.

I have been working out 3-5 days a week and running 3-4 times a week. I’ve been eating better by incorporating more fresh and whole foods into my daily diet. I’ve experienced considerably fewer binge eating episodes. I still want chocolate and salty snacks when I’m getting ready to have my period [most women understand]. I am by no means perfect with my diet and I honestly don’t have much faith in myself that I’ll ever be great at nutrition. I’m well aware that most of the magic happens in what I eat and not in how much I exercise. My biggest effort goes into making many of my meals from scratch instead of processed foods, but we enjoy an “out” meal every weekend.

I often wish my progress was rapid and that I could look the way I feel I should. I don’t like that people are surprised when I tell them that I run and do high intensity fitness and weight training. I understand that people put in years of effort for that, but I actually have been trying for years, sooooo….still knocking on that door to get my fit body.

When I started at my current gym, I had a weigh in that measured my body fat and muscle. I often have those measurements re-taken. I know that I started at 205 lbs with 108.9 lbs of lean body mass and 96.6 lbs of body fat mass. My most recent weigh in was 196.7 lbs with 113.8 lbs of lean and 82.9 lbs of fat. Where I only see 9 lbs on a scale, I actually lost 13.7 and I gained almost 5 lbs of muscle. I’m proud of that.

 

Next time you want to base progress on what the scale says, remember that there are other ways to identify progress. Also, remember that your weight is never the whole picture. I feel better when I’m consistently getting exercise and eating well. My energy levels are better. I can run up and down the steps and not feel winded. There’s progress. It is going to be hard to identify in the mirror if you’re critical on yourself. I know I am. That’s why this type of weigh in helps me along with measurements around my waist and hips.

If you are harsh on yourself, like me, you might never see the progress you’re making. Just because I don’t look the way I want to and I think my progress is slow, I have evidence that I’m moving forward. Even without the fancy measurements. I can lift heavier at the gym. I can run further without stopping. I can stop when I’m done eating even with food still in front of me. I’m healthier and stronger. I’m enjoying and using the body that God made for me in HIS image. Isn’t that really what my goal was at the very core? YES!

Thanks for reading! I hope you got something more than knowing how much I weigh out of this post. If not, maybe next time….

Changing Up The Run

It’s October! So there is not much time left until the Detroit Free Press International Half Marathon that I’m training for.

I had a 10 mile run where my headphones died 3 miles in and I chose a route that was in the full sun for what seemed like eternity with no music or company. The following week, I just wasn’t feeling the run and I’d decided I wanted to reduce 11 miles to 8 or 9. I realized that 8 miles was actually on my training plan. I ran in a misting rain for 8 miles. It wasn’t amazing, but I actually had a lot of clarity in my thoughts during the run and I felt at peace when it was done. The rain had unfortunately left me with chafe under both arms, though.

Last week, I did a Fleet Feet pub run at Lil Beaver Brewery and ran 3 miles with my friend, Shelly. With her, I ran 3 miles at a better pace than I have been on my solo runs. I posted a request for running company for the weekend long run to a Facebook group of runners. Someone gave me a time and place for a group that had been training together and I showed up. It was humid and not really pleasant outside. I still enjoyed it more than I had my solo 10 mile run 2 weeks prior.

I’m looking forward to the race despite knowing my PR is out of reach. What helped was  I realized that I was still capable of running a little faster. Time spent running with people not as concerned about making a time also helped. This weekend’s 12 miles is going to get done, I’m going to have my week of taper, and then I’m going to finish my 9th half marathon.

I missed my planed run time today because one of my kids came home from school sick. Don’t worry. He’s already asked to go hang out with friends. I’ll fit a run in even though I’ve been outside and the humidity isn’t going to be “run friendly” at any point today.

I still want to PR my half marathon time and think I might keep my weekend long runs up through the winter. I’m grateful that I’ve been well through this training session.

My mental health has been less than stellar. I’m currently too sensitive to go into detail about it. I get peeved when people use “I don’t need my meds anymore,” as a sign of their physical fitness success. I don’t want to go back on mine, but the natural way I tried did not serve me well. Holding me back are the feelings that medication is a step backwards in being able to say I’m healthy.

I often get anxiety that makes my body feel like it can’t stop moving. My thoughts become intrusive and sleep will completely elude me for most of the night. I can’t understand why the world is so unkind and self serving and it bothers me to the point where I just sit and try to figure out the solution to the millions of problems. That doesn’t even scratch the surface of the thoughts that go through my mind.

I think about the things people said to me years ago about my intelligence or my sensitivity and I wonder if maybe I never have been very bright and if my emotions make me weak. I think of the compliments people gave to other people while I stood there and I wonder why I wasn’t worthy. I think about every conversation after I’ve had it and hope I was honest and kind. I think about the people who said I’ve been mean and wonder how they could see me that way. I pray for people and I hope good things for people even when I know they wouldn’t do the same for me. I feel the weight of the words and thoughts that fly through my head and I just wish I could be normal despite the fact that mediocrity used to be what I worked hard against. I pray, run, work out, read, and I keep myself busy and the thoughts still come and my emotions are still affected by them. I outwardly do the best I can to be normal despite the fact that the overwhelming thoughts in my head make me sometimes behave differently.

Thanks for reading! I hope to come back before race day. I want to share with you my progress since beginning regular visits to the gym and having body composition measurements.

 

 

Five Weeks Left!

There is a little more than 5 weeks left until race day. I am not thinking I’ll get a PR this time, but I had a less crappy long run last weekend than the previous long run. I went over my intended mileage and probably could’ve gone further if not for fear of injury.

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I’ve been coming out of the funk that I got into. I haven’t been crying as easily. I’ve had some realizations about my self image. I am sensitive to the way people treat me and I think I often blame myself when they treat me poorly. Here are some things I’m trying to accept:

  • I won’t always get the validation in which I desire. People do that because of themselves, not me. 
  •  Sometimes, when I’m feeling left out, I have to realize that I’m probably not going to fit in everywhere and that’s more than okay. 
  • My openness is not an invitation for criticism from people even if they believe it is. Their criticism comes from their own insecurities.
  • People will talk about me behind my back and it won’t always be kind. I should still be kind to people even in my thoughts. 
  • While I don’t let my mood determine my manners, some people will and often do. Dismiss the rude.

That’s not all, but that’s as general as I can get without pointing out specific people or situations in my life. I was fortunate enough to have kept a list of positive things my friends said about me on a post I’d made and it really helped me develop that list above.

I am excited to run 10 miles this weekend. In my mind, I could already run 13.1 miles this week. I am hopeful and I’m actually optimistic. I’m not delusional. I’m worried about the humidity and when I’ll fit in my run time. I’m worried that I’ll let people and situations get under my skin and make me feel bad about myself. I’ve risen from the idea that I need to drop out of the race I’m training for.

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My new job is challenging. I work with elementary aged children supervising their recess and lunch times. Some kids that seem so ready to fight or argue with their peers are the most receptive to open arms for a hug. Some of the kids I think of as sweet can be cruel to their peers out of nowhere. Some days are really upsetting and I go back to realizing that how the kids behaved had very little to do with my interaction with them. I try to guide as best I can. Each day is hard in its own way. I’m learning. They’re learning.

I made the gym 4 out of 5 days this week. I’m loving it. Except that the first 3 days, I got up at 5am to make the 6am class. This coming week, I’m going to go the 9am class instead. This means I have to rush to work after a shower, but I actually have to do it because of my husband’s work schedule for the week. We’ll see which one I prefer after next week.

Thanks for reading! I hope I’m encouraging or at least interesting.

Mid Training

I have been away from my blog. I have good intentions of making weekly posts. Honestly, I can’t imagine how bored you’d get with my mundane moments.

I’ve been training for the Detroit Free Press half marathon that goes from Detroit into Windsor, Canada and back. I did my 8 mile run scheduled for last week on Monday of this week. It was not great. While I’ve been pretty hard on myself for not getting back to the pace where I was at the beginning of this year, my 8 mile run was even slower. I hit a point where my best effort got me to a 14 minute per mile pace. I walked, and my running was only hitting in the 12 minute pace after that. My 10 minutes and better pace has gone and shows very little signs that it will return before my race. I’m bored running alone, but I can’t subject anyone to my pace inconsistencies. I’m considering scratching the race altogether just to save myself from the inevitable beating I’ll give myself for not being good enough to PR like I’d planned. I already renewed my passport and paid my entry, though.

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I know how sad that sounds and I don’t want to be a downer. I also don’t want people to mistake my emotions as a sign of regressing into depression since my doctor and I stopped my medication. It’s been difficult to have the emotions turned back on after being absent for so long. I’ve always been a sensitive person and I work pretty hard to keep that in check so people don’t expose it as a weakness.

I’ve been going to the gym regularly for crossfit classes. I got a part time job. I am using alternative medicine for my chronic health issues. There’s change and adjustment going on and stressful would be an understatement of how it feels. With the new job, I work during school recess and lunch hours, so I can’t hit class at the gym at 9am. With the class schedule at the gym, my only other option is to take an early morning class. I’m waking up and hitting the gym before the chickens are awake. With nutrition response testing, I’m writing down everything I eat, every time I poop [the consistency of it], and taking vitamins multiple times a day. I am trying to remember that all these things are somehow for the greater good and once I get into it, things will be fine. My anxiety says otherwise and I often hit fight or flight mode when I seriously need to be doing something [like sleeping or cooking dinner].

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I ran 6.6k on Rt 66. Not a bad pace that day.

I’m writing this instead of running before the kids get home. I understand that some of the problem is I’m not managing my time efficiently. I haven’t found the balance of when to do what so I’m not rushing or stressing. Then, there’s regretting. I meant to go to the gym yesterday in the AM and I couldn’t get up. I wanted to make time, but there was not a time where it seemed like I could.

I’m trying to be a good Christian, a good wife, a good mom, and a healthy person so I can do the rest for longer. It seems simple enough when put into a short description. It is not simple. It certainly isn’t easy. I mostly just hope that I am doing a good job at the things I’m trying so hard to do. My husband likes to say I’m too hard on myself and I don’t give myself enough credit. I like to say that he just says that to make me stop being upset. I guess at least we’re well matched.

I’ll be back… and hopefully have some order restored in life.

Thanks for reading!

 

 

Hurdles, not Barriers

I have been sick this week. Monday, I started out feeling weak and feeling a little “off” from my usual. My cheeks were rosy all day.  Tuesday brought full blown body aches, sore throat, and chilly bumps. I did a few home remedies in addition to ibuprofen. I felt well enough on Wednesday to think I wouldn’t die if I ran the one mile fun run with the kids I’d coached the past few weeks in a running/physical activity program. I lived, but it was kind of a tough mile. I felt much better once I cooled down from the run and was so happy I got to see the race. My 9 year old son ran his first 5k and I was determined to see him finish.

I haven’t worked out or ran [over a mile] since Monday. I said I was feeling weak. I used a PVC pipe instead of a barbell for overhead squats during a workout. I had a good run, though. I went 4 miles even though at 3, I was convinced I could just stop there and walk home. Three different people cheered me on from their cars on the road. I felt like I could push myself the additional mile and used the cheers as fuel to actually do it.

I have not been feeling body positive. I haven’t been feeling that all the effort is worth the payout. I understand these things take time, but I’ve been doing it long enough to see better results. I’ve spent many days reflecting on whether I should continue my fitness journey or just scrap it. At the center of it all, I just wanted to avoid being fat and I am still obese. I understand that my body can do amazing things, but I’m told that most of the things I want to accomplish require a smaller person. I’m trying so hard to be lighter and I’m not. I’m trying to be more muscular and I’m just not.

Then, there’s issues at home. Mostly one person. I refuse to give it anymore than that much space on here.

I am going to take another day off from the gym, but I might need to do some running since I need some time to process and ask God what to do. He’s always faithful. I know that. He somehow keeps me from self destructing when I feel like I might implode.

Random thoughts: I’m never quite mentally sound when I’ve been physically sick. I get tired of being cooped up and unable to do everything I normally do. Even the things I don’t enjoy frustrate me when I can’t do them like when I feel well. I’ve been taking supplemental Omega 3 for my depression, but I honestly think much of what has been labelled depression in me is actually a result of hormonal fluctuations likely caused by external stressors.

My husband knew how terrible I was feeling and came home on his lunch break to talk me up and give me hugs and kisses. I actually already feel differently than when I was typing the above.

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Half Marathon/Cross Training

Things have been crazy. I feel like I never know what I’m doing from one day to the next, which is mostly true in the fitness aspect of my life.

I’ve been working out at the gym nearly daily with crossfit workouts. Fitting run time in has been difficult because there isn’t much to do with the kids during a run. I recruited a neighborhood teen last week for one of my runs because I needed to burn off the crazy. My husband was out of town on business and my kids had reached that point in summer break where they can’t be in close proximity without someone getting hurt [physically or emotionally and often both].

I had been off of my depression meds for a couple of weeks and had a day from hell Monday. I was set off by a bad weigh in. I started crying the moment I got back into my car with the kids in tow. Each tried to ask me what was wrong, but they’d been fighting during the weigh in and I’d grown weary of asking them to stop. I cried many more times and for long periods that day. I talked to my husband and to my best friend. I got my emotions under control. I spent the rest of the week very stressed out, but not feeling like my emotions were getting the best of me. I used to be easily driven to tears, but it has been a long time since I openly cried about anything.

Daily, I went to the gym and planned to run independently. I would stay in my workout clothes all day as a reminder that I still had something to do. A run didn’t happen until Thursday. I finally asked a friend if her teen could help me out. I took an hour to go on a very hot afternoon run. It was amazing, honestly. I had a new playlist. I had one of my water bottles frozen for my fuel belt. It was hot outside, but I was finally running faster than I have been lately. I was able to keep up the speed and I probably could have gone further had I not wanted to get back to the kids. Funny how I needed nothing more than to get away from them, but wanted to get back to them.

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Those are optishokz sunglasses/earphones…

Friday, I knew my husband was coming home from his business trip. I cleaned house most of the day so he’d come home to the house looking perfect. I had time for the gym and I went knowing he’d be home around the same time my workout was complete. That workout nearly broke me. Conditioning was simple. Squat cleans and push ups in varying reps that reduced in each set. Except, I couldn’t do a squat clean correctly and I was supposed to try to challenge myself from the push ups I normally did. My first round of push ups, I couldn’t do more than 3 in a row and my eyes filled with tears by the time I hit 10. I could not be seen crying, so I put my head down and kept trying. I had to bring my leg forward to get my body up a few more times. When I went back to the bar for the squat cleans, I slammed the weighted bar into my shoulder. I started thinking I couldn’t finish the workout and planning to quietly give up. I set down the bar and I stripped weights off of it and continued. I wound up going back to the pushups I normally do [with the plyo box set up at its tallest]. I finished the workout, cleaned up, and went home to my husband finally being back from his trip. I burst into tears instantly. Everything had been so hard all week and I finally got to see him, but I was mad and stinky. He insisted that I wasn’t bad at everything I tried athletically because most people wouldn’t even try. We scheduled me a massage to try to help me relieve the stress. I was still kinda pissed that I bruised myself again right after the Warrior Dash bruises faded.

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I need to accept that I just have bruises all the time.

I skipped Saturday morning gym time in favor of a visit to my local farmer’s market. I got my massage and went to a local restaurant for an old fashioned and a brie appetizer. I feel much less stressed. I don’t feel doomed to live my life in a loop like I did. I am still aware of the repetitive and often frustrating nature of life. I’m glad to admit that I typically don’t let my mood determine my manners and most people were probably unaware of my feelings unless I said something. If anything, I was the amusing kind of damaged person with the dark sense of humor. That seems to be my prevailing personality anyway.

Tomorrow, I run. I’m shooting for 5 miles. I don’t actually need to hit that distance for 2 more weeks, but I want to do it. Wish me luck and good training vibes. I don’t think I can PR the half in Detroit, but I want to get closer to it than I’ve been since my 2016 injury. I want to believe I’ll be in PR shape by October 20th. I’m still considering Indy in November. Gotta get the “N” medal now that I have the “I” and the “Y” is the year I turn 40…

Thanks for reading! I hope you’re having a great summer! The hot part is kind of just beginning in the Midwestern US, but it’ll be gone before race day, hopefully.