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.