Week 9 was alright

I have nothing clever to title my post this week. I barely have the words in my head to form anything worth reading this week. I’m not going to make an “at least I’m not,” statement because that would totally damn me for that thing to happen because that’s my luck lately. I had fun that didn’t involve running. I totally mommed like a pro (I know “mommed” isn’t a word, spell check). I accomplished running things I didn’t think I was going to. Overall…

Week 9 was alright. Tuesday was a hill workout. I was on time for the warm up, did my hill repeats, and ran the additional mileage to equal 5 miles total. I didn’t want to finish after the hill repeats, but it wasn’t physical pain, so I moved along. I was pleased with myself for actually pushing through the barrier and going for it. I was dealing with finding long term solution for my oldest child after her voluntary treatment stay.

Wednesday was actually pretty awesome because I went on a first grade field trip to the pumpkin patch with my youngest child. She learned, played, and picked out her very own pumpkin to take home. We played in a silo full of corn. Yes, WE. I climbed in and sunk down to my thighs in dry corn. No, I haven’t seen the movie “A Quiet Place,” yet. I am aware there is corn.

20180912_114434

Pumpkin Picking

I don’t even remember Thursday clearly. There were 6 miles on the plan. I’d announced to a friend that I was going to do 3 and call it a day, but I went out and ran 6 miles. It wasn’t pleasant, but I recalled that I didn’t want to do 5 miles on Tuesday and was still able to. I was fortunate enough to bump into a runner friend at one of the parks where I’d stopped for water. We chatted for a few minutes; Me declining her offers of NUUN electrolytes and an ice pop. I picked up the energy needed to take the 1.5 miles back home for 6 miles. Another run that was better after it was over.

garminconnect_20180913-1107231

Friday, I had a conversation with my teen that did not go well. She was not wanting to be in treatment due to other clients there. It was unpleasant and generally stressful to discuss. We hadn’t settled on a place for ongoing help and I was working on budget forms to determine the cost of one option. My husband and I agreed he would drive the couple of hours to pick her up on Saturday morning after my long run of 11 miles. I’d need to be finished by 10 am for him to leave on time, which shouldn’t have been a problem. It totally was Setback Saturday, I tell ya.

Saturday at 5 am, I began to consider just getting my run over with since I was already awake. I still considered a solo run when I arrived for the group before meeting time. Running felt crappy inside of the 2nd mile, but I was with the group that keeps me accountable. I stopped for a bathroom break at mile 6 and my wheels fell off. I found company in another miserable runner who needed to be finished at the same time. We ran, walked, and talked our way to finish 9.5 miles of our run. I said I’d make it up later, but I didn’t. I was frustrated with that.

Sunday, we went to church in the morning instead of our usual 5pm service. Our pastor talked about Joshua 24:15-16 and contemporary idols we enslave ourselves to. I actually thought of the Nine Inch Nails song where he refers to “God Money,” as the pastor spoke. This didn’t take away from the message, though. After, I was a volunteer at a benefit concert for a local animal rescue called My Loveable Angels. (I know about the spelling, guys). It was nice to be busy and have the distraction. Then, my phone started buzzing with messages from my husband. I decided to forgo fast food on the way so I could get home. I realized a contemporary idol of mine was food. Now that I’m aware of it, I have to make the right choice to lower food on my list of where I turn when I’m sad, lonely, happy, or confused. I’ve known for a long time it was a problem, but I hadn’t seen it as turning to something instead of prayer.

We have had so much support from family and friends through all of this stress. We have a more positive outlook for how things will be moving forward despite not being sure how we’re moving forward at times. I appreciate it, though and I want everyone who has reached out to know that I am so grateful and blessed to have this much support. Thank you!

20180912_1247361

Seriously….this corn. Every time I take the kids here, I’m in awe.

We, Kate….no, Week 8

My brand of humor could only be labeled generic if you meant that it’s weird and is not exactly everyone’s taste. Other than being a bit of a strange bird, I’m average. I’m mostly accepting of average unless I’m reading something where the hero emerges from ordinary life and does something extraordinary. Then, I dream a little bigger momentarily. I try to consistently set high goals.

This year, I set my eyes on beating my half marathon best time. I scheduled two half marathon races a month apart and signed up for training sessions that matched those goals. I completed week 8 of the first 12 week program. I’ve missed a lot of training runs over the past couple of weeks.

Tuesday was speed work. It was a one mile run followed by 6 repeats of 200 meters picking up speed and 200 meters fast running followed by 400 meters of recovery. Then, there was the mile back for cool down. I went all out until my nagging foot pain returned and I decided to cut one repeat from the program and just wait and run the mile back. I realized on my drive home that while I didn’t do the full workout, I’d spent all of my energy out on the trail. I’d worked harder than I had and I was proud of my hard work instead of disappointed in my early stopping. My best pace was actually really impressive and I only shorted myself 3/4 of a mile in the end.

garminconnect_20180904-190646

I missed cross training on Wednesday and my Thursday run. I’ve been physically exhausted from emotional hardship. Friday, my oldest child turned 18. I make birthdays special by cooking or buying a favorite meal, making a cake of choice, and gift giving. None of that happened Friday. I tried to find comfort in knowing that at least she was still alive and that addiction and/or mental illness hadn’t taken her life. I quietly mourned, praised God, and asked Him that she one day understands the things she resented the most were the things we did from love. A friend took my two younger kids out with her kids in the evening for some bounce house activities, so my husband and I had dinner and drinks out together. That was good for both of us on a rough day.

Saturday morning was chilly and there was a steady light rain falling. I had an 8 mile group run planned. I showed up hoping I’d be able to run unlike the previous week where I’d stopped short of 8 miles on a 10 mile run. The cooler weather worked wonders for the way I felt on the run. I not only ran 8 miles, but I held a pace close to my race goal pace for the majority of my run. It was so exciting! I got into my head and thought I couldn’t finish my run or that I should give up and stop trying to get a personal best time. What I realized is the goal and it isn’t over if I don’t reach it this year. I’m doing the best I can with what I have right now and that’s impressive. I’m really kicking my butt out there and I’m grateful.

Sunday, I went to church. The praise and worship, the message, and the time of reflection at communion seemed to fill the void I’d felt when struggling with the sadness surrounding the situation with my daughter. Some days, I get more out than I put in and I find that encouraging and comforting.

Are you chasing a goal? Can you accept that sometimes, all of your hard work will require more hard work before you can meet it? Do you stop to appreciate the progress along the way?

September 10th is World Suicide Prevention Day. Please check in on your friends and loved ones and let them know that they matter and that you want them to see tomorrow and the next day and so on. Heck, tell a stranger something positive you see in them. You never know when your kindness could save a life.

20180825_201852

 

 

Wonderfully Misunderstood [and week 7]

This week sucked. I thought last week did, but this week was the ‘challenge accepted’ week for “could shit get worse”. Much of the story belongs to my teen and I can’t go too far into it because it’s really for her to face and come to terms with. My teen daughter relapsed in her addiction and ran away when we confronted the issue and offered to get professional help.

Tuesday morning, she had been missing since the evening before. I was pouring through comments, messages, and information to attempt to locate. I messaged my friend, Jess and said that I didn’t know how I was going to fit 5 miles into the day with everything going on. She lives over 20 minutes away, but told me she hadn’t completed her own run for the day and that we’d meet me so we could go together. We knocked out 5 miles in the humidity and heat. I felt better after taking some time away and I was happy to have someone care enough to take time out to help me.

My teen turned up less than 36 hours later in an emergency room unwilling to talk to her father or me. She’s now in competent care that meets her needs. She will be 18 this week and this is an attempt to help while we still can in this capacity. Finding her in the state she was in brought a level of stress and lack of sleep that carried over into the rest of my life. Mental exhaustion carried into my physical being with brute force. I found myself tired from taking the stairs instead of the elevator and forgetting the day of the week. I was neglecting to eat meals because I was tired and trying to catch naps when I had time where I was without kids. Friday, I had no appetite and I forced myself to eat an apple and cheese stick for dinner despite knowing I had a training run the next morning.

Saturday morning sucked. I had a 10 mile run in store. It was humid outside and I wasn’t paying enough attention to drinking water. I took my electrolyte pills at 4 miles and my drink had a mix in it for electrolyte replacement, but I was hit with muscle soreness and exhaustion of not being properly hydrated. I stopped my run before hitting 8 miles. I wanted to cry, but I had a lot of reassurance that people understood I was exhausted. From what I’ve learned about hydration, my pee was indicative that I should have had more to drink on my run and that I actually knew better than to ignore when I’m sweating heavily. I attribute it to the other things on my mind keeping me from operating normally.

Sunday, I set out to run after feeling irritable. I got out on the trail and I was running at a good pace. I enjoyed the run until my stomach gurgled and I felt the unmistakable need for a bathroom. I wasn’t on a part of the trial where bathrooms are near. I stopped running and sat along the side of the road. I messaged a friend who lived nearby, but she was not home. I assured her it was fine to laugh at my problem because I would’ve found it humorous, too. My husband picked me up with a plastic bag on his passenger seat as if it was already too late for a bathroom. Fortunately, I made it home and to the bathroom without any messes or need for plastic seat covers. My stomach was not having any more running for the day, though. I ate pretzels and napped. Then, I grumbled about how my runs were stupid this weekend.  This week, I didn’t run much and I seriously considered dropping the earlier of my two half marathons down to a 10k to lighten my load. I really want to PR my half marathon time, though.

Screenshot_20180902-204128_Connect.jpg

This could make me negative and want to sulk on the week past. I tend to go silent when I’m not feeling mentally healthy. I made a post to my Facebook on Saturday evening that said: “COMPLIMENT CHALLENGE Comment 👇👇 and I’m gonna tell you something positive that I like about you! Best challenge yet! We need positive energy in our lives.” Everyone started answering it with positive things ABOUT ME. It was heartening. I made sure to consider each person and highlight positive things I’d noticed about them. It was unexpected, but the timing was perfect. I still don’t feel well and things aren’t suddenly fixed. I had a shift in focus from the things influencing my feelings to view the way I influence others.  It is really something to have people say so many nice things.

Screenshot_20180902-203915_Drive.jpg

How is training going? Thank you for reading. Please feel free to comment and share. If you’re one of the people who gave me one of those positive remarks, THANK YOU! It touched my heart.

I hope you can find in yourself or have people who will point out the positive when you’re not seeing that light. I also hope you know that you’re here for a reason and that Tomorrow Needs You (please see: To Write Love on Her Arms Melbourne, Fl, USA).

 

 

Week 6 and Mental Fortitude

Not much is said in training about the mental toughness required to complete certain tasks including long distance running. Often, the thing that is preventing completion of a run or reaching a goal is mental. Of course injury and bodily pain and often hinder progress. More often, we find ourselves fighting something in our minds. This is the strength we’re finding when we ‘dig deep’.

I find it difficult to be mentally tough when I’m battling with stress in my life or a relapse in my major depressive disorder. This week was rough with getting the kids back to school and battling with my depression coming in a huge wave of exhaustion and feeling inadequate.

Tuesday was a speed workout with the group. It was humid outside and hotter than it had felt earlier in the day. My speed was declining within my repeats even with coming to a walk during cool down. I could sense that my body wasn’t up for the challenge. My legs never really loosened up and the pain in my foot was not lulling away as it usually has. I cut my own work out short by a mile. I wasn’t disappointed. I actually listened to my body and I didn’t give up because I thought I couldn’t. I stopped because I realized my body said I shouldn’t. How can I distinguish the two? I’ll get to that. I went and had dinner and a beer with a couple friends afterward and that was a good distraction.

Thursday’s plan said 8 progressive miles. I hit the trail heading east, circled a local park to add distance, and ran through a subdivision. I got to another park and had to use the porta potty with no soap for me to wash my hands. I couldn’t stop thinking about how germ filled my hands were using just the non alcohol hand foam. I went home, making my total 6 miles. I washed my hands and the mouth pieces on my hydration belt and added ice to my water. I could have just stopped and said that 6 was close enough. I knew I could get 2 more miles in, so I set back out and ran. My reason for stopping had nothing to do with listening to cues from my body. I needed to calm my mind to proceed and I did what I had to do and moved along. I was pleased with myself once I finished and realized how close I’d come to giving up.

Saturday, I ran a race along Old Route 66 from Funk’s Grove to McLean, Illinois. It was a 6.6 k, about 4.1 miles. I’d mistakenly thought it was 4.4 miles. Participants were offered a shot of sirup [that’s how they spell it] and a strong cup of cold brew coffee. Toward the end, as I was reaching the city limit of McLean, I saw a Blue Note painted on a pallet and I thought “Go Blues” feeling like the sign was just for me. The next pallet in their yard was the STL symbol for the St. Louis Cardinals. I felt like it was just the push I needed to finish strong. I ran the race averaging 10:45 per mile. That’s the pace I want to complete my upcoming half marathon. The post race food and entertainment were fun and it was quite the experience. I didn’t end up making up the miles to get in my 9 for the day and I didn’t end up doing it Sunday like I thought I would.

20180827_135929.jpg

Week 6 at a glance

I spent more time last week resting than I would have liked. I did things that were good for my soul, though. I started reading a book loaned to me by a friend. I spent more time praying and less time worrying. I confided in people that I wasn’t feeling well. I could have been a little harder on myself to complete my long miles, but I can’t change that.

I saw the podiatrist today. No cortisone shot, but I got a boot to help me with my achy foot. I also got orders for physical therapy. I miss the physical therapist there, so I hope I get to see her. We spent so much time together after the cast and boot came off last spring and again while I was marathon training last summer. Hang on….you have to see the contraption I’ll be sleeping in to stretch while I sleep:

20180827_122916

This should be interesting.

Thanks for reading! I appreciate your comments and suggestions. I am halfway through training for my first half marathon of the year and then I’ll have a second one just 4 weeks after that. I’m hoping to beat my best half marathon time at one of the two. Best of luck with your training and I hope you can identify when you need to push yourself and when you need to give yourself a break. Is there something that you say or do that helps you to go that additional bit you need to? Do you have a mantra that you use? Mine is that “Tough times don’t last. Tough people do.”

 

 

Week 5 in the books!

I’m done with week 5 and on to the halfway point for the first race! That’s awesome!

Also, I had a lunch date with my husband and he encouraged my lunch beers, so I’m in a more chipper mood than usual on a Sunday. Yes. This post is brought to you by craft beer and a delicious sandwich from a hollowed out loaf of bread (known as a BraiZito).

I had three runs this week, as planned. Tuesday was a 5 mile run near a Dawson Lake at  Moraine View State Park. I wasn’t feeling great, but the run started 30 minutes later than usual. I set out with good intent, but aware that this course was hilly for the region and that it was late enough in the day to provide plenty of summer humidity and bugs. Then, I started to fall into step with someone I’d run with as a mentor in the past. He was mentoring the 10k group at the time and he really let me know how much my mentoring had encouraged him in the past. I suppose hearing someone actually say it made an impact on me. I felt a tinge of value in my attempts at helping people by just being who I was and saying what I meant.

Thursday was kind of nuts. I had one of “those” runs. The things I worry most about going wrong. Those were the things that went wrong. I didn’t get enough sleep overnight, so I didn’t get to run in the early AM hours like I’d planned. Dinner was later than I’d intended, so I ran sooner after eating than I would have liked. My newer headphones weren’t cooperating with the Bluetooth on my phone. The music was skipping on my run. I had a pain that I’d written off as phantom after my first stop and discovered was a hair splinter at my second. Nearly halfway into my run, I needed to eliminate and was not close enough to any bathroom to make a stop. I wound up inside of a CVS pharmacy after a rather uncomfortable jog to the building and feeling obligated to make a purchase, shoving stretchy athletic tape into the pockets of my Lucy shorts while stashing everything else into my Amphipod hydration belt and refilling my hydration in their fountain. I’d been blessed to remember to bring along knuckle lights with me since darkness set in prior to my run home from the CVS. Lights in hand, I set out for the 2 miles home. Along the way, one knuckle light completely died, leaving me with my left side illuminated and my right much less lighted along the way. A few houses from my own, I’d hit the mark I’d aimed for and started to walk. I was so thankful I’d made it the planned mileage instead of having to cut it short. Somehow, completion made it all okay.  I felt more accomplished having overcome the obstacles than perhaps I had just completing the run.

Saturday was the 8 mile run that my mind was prepared for 7. I know I ran 7 last week, but my brain was not having that because I did that one on my own. The course was a 5 mile course (including the 10k group) followed by a 3 mile course.  I spent much of my first 5 miles running with people training for a 10k. It was encouraging and kept me mostly close to my goal pace. Once back at the starting point [Fleet Feet store] I refilled my hydration bottles and once my hips started to stiffen up, I set back out deciding that the others I’d intended to run with would catch up with me if I’d started another warm up. They did catch up and we had an amazing run. The mentor with us spoke encouraging words when I started to feel like falling back. I followed her to the point where I was matching her footfalls to stay in my desired pace. I was actually telling myself that I had to override my mind to take my body where I wanted it to go. It worked. We finished the run near the average I’ve been looking for and someone I’d run with is willing to do the goal race with me so we can hold each other accountable. Last year, I’d had trouble with a 12 minute pace. Now, I’m closer to 10 and that’s really exciting! Mile 6 is obviously where I stopped and refilled, walked as I pleased, and recharged.

screenshot_20180819-105751_connect

I left this week of training with hope. I’m picking up speed. I might actually PR in one of my Autumn races. I am feeling physically more able than I did in my training last year, which gives me more I  in each run. I also still get to see my friends and talk to people in my training.

My depression and anxiety are not in remission. It is annoying how often I feel like my heart is beating out of my chest or that no matter how hard I try, I’m not good enough. I bash myself more than anyone ever could. I assume the world is not meant for me sometimes. I have a few close friends and I’ve discovered that it is plenty.

Thank you for reading! Please share, comment, and suggest as you please. Remember, craft beer probably had a bit to do with my writing in this particular instance. I hope you try your local brewers and you like Hazy American Pale Ale.

See you next week!

 

 

 

Week 4 and challenges

I’ve completed week 4 of my training. I had speed work, an active vacation, and a visit with my podiatrist.

Tuesday was a speed workout with pick ups. Basically, we had to pick up speed from cone 1 to 2 and go “all out” from 2 to 3 and then cool down going back to cone 1. I was proud of that run. I had a great partner with me for the duration of the speed work and she really helped me rise to the challenge.

Thursday, I intended to wake early and run 7 miles, but I was struggling with some stress related exhaustion and I slept past the alarm.  I did 6 miles instead of the planned 7. I felt the need to slow down and I also just wanted to go home and get on the road for our vacation in Missouri. Trevor the dog was with a local friend. Aurora, my puppy was to stay with my friend, Liz. That meant I actually got to see her. I even ordered her a gift to show up on Thursday. The package arrived as I was talking to Liz. As in, not at her house, but at mine. I saw it on my front door cam. It’s the thought that counts, right?

Liz has a 95 lbs. dog named Buddy. Aurora took one look at Buddy, ran away, and pooped on Liz’s carpet. She finally got over her fear and they were friends over the few days she stayed there.

Screenshot_20180810-101600_Snapchat.jpg

That’s Aurora the puppy with Buddy the HUGE dog

Friday was our first full day at the cabin and it was great! It backed up to a small lake and was set back in the woods where we saw a lot of deer and I saw raccoon prints on the back steps. I got into a kayak for the first time and paddled around the lake. My 8 year old son was able to catch on to kayaking in the lake by himself [with flotation]. My kids, nieces, in laws, and I had a full day of play on the lake ending with a get together for my son’s recent birthday and s’mores by a fire after dark.

Saturday morning, I planned to run 7 progressive miles somewhere around the resort. I’d decided on a main road and estimated where the 3.5 mile mark would be for me to turn around. I was surprisingly close to accurate and turned around at 3.6 miles so I’d have less running on gravel than I had at the start. It was hilly. There were beautiful sights including deer so close I could’ve almost touched them and I felt guilty for disturbing them running by. The hills nearly did me in, though. I stopped and took a photo of a hill right before I attempted to surmount it. I made it partially up running, then fast walking, and then realizing walking was fine. That mile was still my fastest despite having walked up that hill. Nature apparently was a good run motivator for me.

20180811_084009.jpg

See the bluff? That hill was HUGE.

I made it back to the cabin where my mother in law had made my favorite breakfast of biscuits and gravy, which I ate gratefully. We all suited up and headed out on the lake for more fun. I took the kayak out further and tried going faster. I think I really got the confidence to be able to enjoy pedaling. After lake time, we went to the resort swimming pool in the afternoon and to an outdoor concert in the evening.

Sunday, it was time to go home. We spent time gathering our stuff and loading the vehicles for the trip. I was feeling pretty tired, but I think that was a bit of the introvert in me needing some rest after a social few days. We stopped back by Liz’s house and got Aurora, who had to gnaw on my ear and my ponytail as soon as I lifted her into my arms. The ride home was spend slipping in and out of sleep. When I got home, my neighbor delivered the box I’d meant to send to Liz. I opened it and sent her photos of what I’d bought for her. A 32 oz Blender Bottle with a Wonder Woman design and color scheme that I have since used for myself.

Podiatrist

I was supposed to see my podiatrist a couple of months ago for a checkup from when I tore my peroneus brevus tendon, sprained my ankle, and got tendinitis from running on it anyway [on the right foot] and he treated it. I started having pain in the ball of my left foot, so I thought it would be a good time to reunite with him despite not wanting to hear bad news. I described my pain and after an exam, he requested an x-ray. Soon after the x-ray, he said that there was a sesamoid bone that was in two pieces that shouldn’t be, but it looked like it had been that way awhile and the pain was located in the sesamoid bone opposite of that one. He mentioned that if I’d let it go on, he’d probably have immobilized [put a cast and boot on] my foot. We discussed treatment including him making adjustments to the inserts I use in my shoes and using anti inflammatory medicine. I have to be careful of which surfaces I run on. I have to go back in two weeks to have it looked at and possibly get a cortisone shot if it isn’t clearing up using the conservative methods. I didn’t want to go because I’d honestly assumed I’d broken it after getting my Google MD in the field of feet ouchies. I’m glad I actually went during training instead of spending my late autumn and early winter in a cast.

20180813_210826.jpg

I got this from the Dr. office. I must have seemed really confused about the name of the bones there.

How is your training going? Have you ever had an injury you didn’t want to know more about because of the fear of having to take time off? Tell me about it! Thank you for reading. I have a hill workout this Tuesday and an 8 mile run on Saturday. It looks like I’m staying at 3 days a week of running for now. Guess I’ll dust off my bike or maybe even go swim laps.

 

 

 

Week 3 of training

Hello! I didn’t forget to write last week. I realized I was writing my blog in the middle of training weeks, which are Monday thru Sunday.

I have completed week 3 of training. During week 2, I’d questioned my training program. It was adjusted and sent out during week two (not because of me). The program is more manageable and makes more sense than the one the group was given at the start. I’m still making Mondays optional as they have been in past training programs, but that’s for the sake of my ankles and feet.

The long run in week 2 was originally a 6 mile run. It was 5 in the new plan. I’d mentally prepared for 6, so 5 felt good afterward. I even went to brewery yoga which turned out to be barre and a little more challenging than the yoga I’m used to doing. I was sore on Monday.

Week 3

Tuesday, the group runs start at 5:30 pm. I hopped in the car believing I had until 6 pm and arrived at 5:45 pm. I arrived to see very few people, which I found odd. Two of my friends were there and informed me that my group had already taken off. I ran straight to the hill where we were going to be doing repeats after a 1 mile warmup. I arrived just as the first group of runners from my program were doing their first uphill. I was 1/2 mile behind the group by that point. I went down the hill 5 times and up the hill 4 and ran back with one of the last groups to complete their hill repeats. Fortunately, I only needed .3 of a mile when the group was finished and that was easily completed. I would have been sad to miss hills. I actually enjoy the challenge of that workout. Some people refer to Illinois residents as ‘flat landers’ due to the lack of hills or any actual inclines and there really aren’t many hills to train on in my area.

Wednesday was cross training day and my cross training was trying to find clothes for a job interview I’d secured with my kids in tow. I’ve been out of office working for 8 years. It was not a body positive day for me. I was disappointed when I tried on outfits at the store and they wouldn’t fit. I bought a bunch of dress clothes and brought them home only to feel like nothing looked right on me even with my shapewear pulling in the jiggle. I cried about it. I felt completely defeated and wondered why I even try to be healthy when I can’t look the way I want to.

Thursday was a 6 mile run and I needed to get up and run in the morning. My calendar was full and I am not an early riser. I ran faster than I’d expected or planned. I went into my interview that afternoon with a little extra energy. Immediately, the interviewer disarmed me from all of my worries I’d entered with. She asked me about my running I’d mentioned on my resume. The rest of the interview went well and I felt as if I’d just had a pleasant conversation with someone I’d just met. I’m expecting to find out about that some time this week, so I’ll probably mention it if I get the job and try to ignore that it happened if I don’t.

Friday was my son’s 8th birthday. He chose Chick Fil A for his birthday dinner. They were raising money for St. Jude with their cookie sales, so I bought 2 of the 6 packs and used those as birthday cake at home. He blew out his candles and we had delicious cookies for dessert. I hope it was memorable for him like I think it was for me.

Saturday morning, I showed up on time. I had managed to bruise my own eyelid by trying to rid myself of a facial blemish by pinching it. It wasn’t that type of blemish. Go figure. I had a good 6 mile run and was glad that I’d done a progressive run on Thursday so I could take it a little easier in the heat and humidity. I didn’t get in my Sunday recovery run. I’d missed out on sleep and I just wasn’t mentally in to running.

Today is the start of week 4 and I’m looking forward to my long run. There are only 2 more weeks of summer vacation for the kids before school. I think I’m ready for it this time.

Thanks for reading! I am in a 12 week program with an extension after for a second race. I’ll be doing Whiskeydaddle half marathon in Peoria and the Indy Monumental in Indianapolis this year. I’m striving to beat my 2:19 personal best time. Do you have a race goal you’re training for?

Week 2 of 2018 Training

I’ll try to keep up each week in training, but it won’t always be just about how training is going. Today, I’m nursing my leg from a middle of the night ‘Charley horse’ in my calf and I still have some training miles to knock out this evening. It’s been awhile since I’ve been awakened by a sudden muscle cramp. I’d forgotten how annoying it is.

This is week 2 of training for my fall half marathons. My training plan is much different from ones I’ve followed in the past and involves more miles than what I’d anticipated.  The plan I’d chosen was one to help myself run a ‘fast’ half marathon. While I’d normally insist that I follow a training plan to the letter, I’m concerned about injury from over training. I’ve cut an entire day out of the plan for the duration of my program. I won’t run on Mondays. I’ll cross train, of course. A well rounded athlete is more likely to avoid injury. In the past, Monday runs were marked “only if you feel good,” and I think that’s been an effective part of past training.

I find it odd to describe myself as an athlete. I am a runner and I do races. I train for my races and I try to ensure that my body is strong and healthy enough to perform. I’ve just got the “mom bod” going on and I’m not meeting my time goals. I want to beat my personal best at at least one of the two half marathons I have on my schedule for this fall. I have time to work on that and there’s no way I would beat the time if I didn’t actually put in the work. I’m also more concerned about what my body can accomplish than how it looks.

I’m gradually getting faster and running is feeling less tedious. I enjoy the couple of group runs each week. It helps me to socialize with other adults, which is totally important in parenting life. Running with the group helps me adjust my pace and try harder than I do running alone. Group running holds me accountable for running on days when I’d probably find an excuse not to run. I had a 4 mile ‘speed work’ run this Tuesday. While it wasn’t as I’d planned, I had a bit of faster running than I have recently.

As far as mental health, I’d be doing better if I were sleeping right. Increasing my activity to more days and miles a week makes it harder to sleep. I’m often awake in the wee hours [that are too early to actually get up for the day] feeling like I could get up and go run. Then, I get to overthink all of the things I did and said the previous day before I fall back to sleep. It isn’t unusual for me to have that for a few weeks starting out in training, but it is annoying.

This weekend calls for a 6 mile long run on Saturday. I’m looking forward to running this and each training run. I’m looking forward to trying to beat my personal best. I’m looking forward to proving once more that my body can do amazing things. I’m sure I won’t always feel optimistic, but today I do. That’s really all I need. One run at a time and one mile at a time.

Thanks for reading! I appreciate your comments and suggestions. Keep them coming!

Here’s a dog and puppy photo because I take a lot of them and I can’t wait until she can run with me. My older dog is getting used to her. I might even say he likes her.

20180721_213008

 

Another adventure begins

I call my blog, “Jenn’s Journey,” and I’m sure I’ve explained my reasoning in the past. I’m hoping to become more fit and healthy, but there isn’t necessarily a stopping point or single goal. The experiences leading up to something, also known as the journey, are more important than the destination.

Enough of that. I started training for my fall half marathons this week. It came at a great time. My anxiety turned on last week and would not shut off. I sought out friends to help me through it and I was so happy that I did. Being in ‘fight or flight’ mode for days is exhausting. I actually started to feel physically sick. My husband took a day off of work for me to rest because he saw the toll it was taking on me and how tired I was. Boy did I rest. I slept most of the day and got up to tidy the house before heading back to my room to lie down some more. Usually, I’d say I wasted so much time, but I don’t know that I needed anything more than to reset.

Saturday, I joined my training group for a kickoff meeting and run when the weather decided that there would be no run. We had lightning followed by a downpour that went on for quite awhile. I got to have a chat with friends at the nearby coffee chain. Later, I went to the local brewery for yoga class and beer with another friend. I had a relaxing day overall and I even watched a movie on my Prime.

snapchat-935349543

Indoor beer yoga due to weather

Sunday, my husband decided he was taking the kids to the pool and insisted that I stay home and enjoy some kid free time. Of course, I decided to hop into my running gear and hit the trail. It was so hot and humid, but I figured that I’m only at the start of training and some days will have weather that isn’t ideal. I had a great time running and even did my stretches outside of my house so my dogs could play a little while out there. The pooling of sweat on the concrete beneath me was a source of pride when I saw it.

garminconnect_20180715-135025

I could’ve just collapsed into the kiddie pool at that point.

I showered and we went to church that evening. The message was about….rest. About not forgetting to be still and relax. My pastor actually said that people are so wrapped up in being busy that they forget to not be busy. Message taken, sir. I took a few days to relax after pushing myself to do ‘it all’ for awhile.

I can’t be the polished mommy of the mom blog world. I don’t try to be. Parenting is hard and it isn’t always play dates and Pintrest worthy projects. So, I like to run. I like taking time to myself. It makes me better at what I do and makes the time I spend with them more enjoyable.

We still have the puppy we found and nursed to health. She’s sweet and funny. I’m totally mad at her for making me love her so much. Even my six year old ‘mutt’ named Trevor gets up and plays with her all of the time. It’s been a lot of work and I take it in stride. I think I might have a running buddy when this puppy gets older, though.

20180713_164127

Trevor is the lighter top dog. Aurora is the darker puppy.

Have you started training for a fall race yet? Which one? I’m doing Whiskeydaddle in Peoria and Indy Monumental in Indianapolis. I can’t wait to go for my next training run!

 

Running helps me

My depression and anxiety have been really annoying lately. I had a shaking anxiety attack that left me completely exhausted. My depression has been rather unkind in making me feel ‘not enough’ lately. It is tiring.

My running has taken a huge hit lately. I had intense hip pain that spread into my pubic bone. Stretching, ibuprofen, and Epsom salt baths were not helping at all. My runs were reduced to the minimum of 1 mile per day due to my reluctance to stop the running streak I started on Memorial Day. The runs became slow and were often more of a quick walk. Running is my outlet for my days spent “momming.” I listen to music, pray, and/or sometimes just relish in the fact that I’m not in the heavy air of conflict (with 2 kids 18 months apart and a teenager).  The mile breaks weren’t enough. I physically needed the rest, but I also mentally needed the outlet.

I visited the chiropractor, who needed to adjust my hips and the left side of my pubic bone. My husband encouraged me to go to a fun run that involved a visit to a brewery afterward for a social. I guess I’m a little insufferable when husband says: “get out of here awhile.” I went and planned to plod through my mile, and go have a beer and chat with other people who enjoy running that I don’t see as often as I used to.

I met up with people I hadn’t run with in awhile and they were doing run/walk intervals. I had such a good time talking to them and spending time out on the trail, I went 3 miles with just a little soreness and not the same pain I’d been having. It was a relief. Then, I got to talk to even more people after at the social. I actually stayed awhile and really enjoyed myself catching up with people and talking.

I had one more adjustment at the chiropractor to get the hip pain under control. I invited friends to join me at a pop up yoga class at a local brewery Saturday morning. The yoga instructor worked on hips at the request of a few people including me. It wound up being hot yoga because it was already in the 80’s and humid at 10 am. I think the session really helped my hips.

This weekend, I intended to knock out some miles to ensure I’d be ready for the 4th of July race that is 5 miles. Saturday night, my stomach wouldn’t behave and I had to stop in at my house at 3/4 of a mile to use the restroom. I made it another 3/4 of a mile before I had to go back home for the same reason. Sunday, I planned a visit to the gym. My stomach wasn’t agreeing with my plans. I took a nap and didn’t wake up until the evening when it was time to leave for our 5 pm service at church. While we were at church, a storm rolled in and the temperature dropped dramatically. After dinner, I was able to change into running gear and head out on a 3 mile run. It was still hot. The humidity was still there. I enjoyed it, though. I felt myself going faster than I had been. I glanced at my watch and saw the distance just pass by. I stopped running at the 3 mile mark and walked the remaining 1/2 mile home as a cool down. I took it all in. Finally. I got a run in.

I was exhausted after I did my hip exercises and stretches. I sat on the floor in my room and drank my electrolytes and played on my phone instead of hopping up to take a shower. It was tiring, after all.

garminconnect_20180701-202907

Almost a grin. I’m pleased with myself.

My running doesn’t miraculously heal my depression or my anxiety. I’ll admit that I’ve wanted it to. I thought if I could just go further, faster, or better that I’d be healed. While that’s not the case for me, it dramatically reduces the intensity of the symptoms.

garminconnect_20180629-204316

I wanted to go 3, but was happy with my 1.5 miles.

Do you feel like fitness helps you in another aspect of your life? Does it help your mental health?

Thanks for reading! I try to come back weekly with updates for you.