So critical

Yesterday was amazing! Some running friends invited me to fill in for one of their marathon relay teammates at the Illinois Marathon in Champaign. The weather was perfect for running. The people on my team were awesome!

Then, there was me. I’m still not back to being at the speed I wanted to be by now. I was running the last leg because it was the shortest distance of the relay, but I was going to kill their time by being so slow. I set my watch for intervals of 10 minutes running and 1 minute walking. The crowd was amazing! There were people lined along the route cheering. There were runners around me who were encouraging.

I kept having to tell myself that many of these people had run over 20 miles already that morning and I had so much less than that. I reassured myself that my teammates told me to run for fun and not worry about time. I looked at my watch as my pace slowed. I winced as my shins felt each foot strike on the ground. I stopped looking at my watch and started listening to the music coming through my headphones. I waved and smiled at each spectator as I passed them. I thanked people for encouragement. I got a little faster and felt a little more confidence. I followed my intervals and I finally met up with two of my teammates at mile 26 as we went to run into the the stadium together. At first, I didn’t feel like I could catch up with them a few steps ahead of me. We hit the turf for the field and the final stretch and I felt weightless running in. We finished together and got our medals. I even felt a renewed confidence that I could actually run another marathon one day despite my Chicago race. 

When I finally had a chance to look at the race photos, this one was in there:

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Ouch

I see every fat roll in my shirt, in my pants, and all of my chins. I see a fat person. I was sad and upset to see this version of me.

I had worked so hard in 2016 to accomplish my marathon goal and I’d been in amazing shape. I haven’t gotten that back since the injury and I want it badly. I feel completely drained most of the time. I showed the photo to my husband and told him that I hope this makes a good ‘before’ picture and that I don’t keep getting fatter. I honestly feel like I work harder than what shows on my body and trying isn’t good enough.

Things have been hard. I don’t want to look like this. I wish the effort I’d put into it was reflected on my appearance.

I’d like to be positive when I write here. Being under constant stress and feeling exhausted all of the time really shows on my body. I wish I had the answers that would make me not carry the weight of the depression and stress. I wish I wasn’t such a harsh critic of myself, but the truth is, I see and I judge myself more harshly than anyone else would think.

I am aware there isn’t a magic pill and I’m not looking for one. I’m not interested in buying the “latest and greatest” program. I’m not looking to buy anything.

Have you ever seen a photo of yourself that just floored you? Do you have comments or suggestions? Please let me know!

 

 

Certainly Uncertain

Certainly Uncertain

By Jenn M

Let me start by saying I started adding a “by line” to my posts because one of my fitness posts was translated into another language and posted to a website with no mention of my name. I went through the usual channels and had it removed, but I thought I’d make it more difficult to steal. Content creators know the feeling, I’m sure. This stuff takes time and thought, so seeing your name attached to it is its own reward.

Now, the reason I came to my blog today to chat with you. Things are never certain and that’s really the only thing that is for sure. I bought an outfit last year for triathlon training this year. I told everyone that was my next step after a marathon. It still could be the next thing I learn, but not this year. I’ve chosen to limit my races this year and avoiding burnout.

I swam some laps yesterday and it was difficult to get back into the groove of it. I should try to stay on top of my swimming so I can improve. I’m not sure I would have swam if nature hadn’t gone on vacation and turned off the sun. I haven’t wanted to run outside in the cold as often, but I have a poor relationship with the treadmill. I figured since I’d be at the gym for my kids to take swim lessons, I’d do laps while they learned. I’m glad I did it.

I’m still mad that the scale doesn’t move and I’m generally hungry and/or tired most days. I’m planning an overhaul of my nutrition yet again. I think I’ll need to work on my mental fortitude again. I do so well at controlling my eating when I’m training for a half marathon, so I should probably tell myself that I’m starting now for my October race. It is all about planning my meals for me. I get off track easily and I really like snacks that have chocolate in them. So when I stop for convenience, I pick up a dessert that I don’t really need. I am aware of these things. I know there’s no magic to be worked there. It is an attitude adjustment that I need. I tend to wax and wane with how I take care of myself.

My current goal is running in a marathon relay with a team at the end of this month. Wish me luck in running 1/4 of a marathon.

Thanks for reading! Do you have something that helps you stay on track? It could be a mantra or even a few words of wisdom. I like to remind myself not to quit because I hate starting over.

*Featured Image is my Garmin app. I had a goal to run 4 miles the other day. I got terribly bored after 3 treadmill miles, so I ran the rest on an indoor track. I still got my 4 in.

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Any day now, warm

By : Jenn M

I’m not sure how many of you are having the same experience with spring this year, but it hasn’t actually ‘sprung’ from what I can tell. I glance out my window and see the bright sunshine reflecting off of the snow that fell most of Easter Fools Day or just April 1st for those who don’t partake in the holidays.

Friday, the weather was nice. The sun was shining and going outside didn’t require a heavy coat or gloves. Saturday was race day. This was to be my first 5k of the year and the goal race for the people I’ve been training with for the past 10 weeks. Saturday’s weather involved chilly wind gusts and occasional chilly rain showers with momentary peeks of sun to remind us to miss it when it went back behind the clouds. That’s the bad kind of tease, sun.

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Under a dull, gray sky.

Prior to the race, I agreed to run with one of the people in the group. We both were congested. The weather and physical conditions weren’t ideal. We got warm enough during the run to each remove a layer that we’d started with.  My head got hot and I jammed my hat down the back of my shirt, which I have done in the past for practice runs, but this time, it was photographed. It looked just as weird as I thought it did. It is not a tumor.

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I’m that hunchback to your left.

This was not my best race as far as time goes, but I actually had to push myself. The person I ran it with got 1st place in her age group, though. I got 3rd place in mine. I got a little trophy and warm fuzzies knowing that I saw many of the people I’d been running with over the past few weeks finish the race. *Spellcheck hates the word ‘fuzzies’ and has it underlined both times I’ve used it.

I got that first race out of the way and a week off before the next group starts. I  intend to try and develop a plan to work out on a more regular basis. I thought after last year’s cast and boot experience, I’d get right back to running once I was able. I did get back in to running, but the marathon left me a little less fond of it until I ran my streak over the holidays. I was doing so well with keeping up my activity. Things in life get in the way sometimes. My husband and I have experienced a lot of stress in parenting. My body seems to have a lingering cough. The desire to work out is there, but the ability has lessened. I have less time and less energy to expend. Depression struck me hard and I was further debilitated and less able to use fitness as a tool for healing.

I think I’m at a point where I can do something about feeling down, which is a step in the right direction. I am not fond of how my body looks or feels lately. I was in the holding pattern where I started to think that the effort wasn’t worth the payoff because I wasn’t seeing any results form my work. I realized that this isn’t how I’ve succeeded in the past. I’ve seen results when I’m focused on challenging myself to meet goals that don’t involve body measurements. That’s where I need to put my focus. The weather getting a little less gloomy and a little more warm could go a long way for many people. I’m kind of solar powered.

Do you feel less motivated when the weather has been gloomy for awhile? Have you run or signed up for your first race of 2018 yet? Would that help with your motivation?

I love comments, suggestions, and shares! If you’ve made a suggestion recently, I am still working on ideas for a couple of them for what I want to say. Thank you for reading!