Final Shred Week

I keep referring to my shred as a “cut” and I wonder if people think I’ve lost my mind saying that I’m still cutting until Saturday, but I’ll have ham and casseroles on Sunday. I’ve been so busy through this process. I’ve hit the gym every other day during the week and I grocery shop more often for fresh items. I’m holding at 5 lbs lost so far, but I’ll see how that figures in fat loss at the final weigh in on Saturday. One thing I’ve noticed is that my wrist is smaller because one of my bracelets I was wearing daily slides all over the place now. It can be easily adjusted. I was impressed that it was noticeable and somewhat regretted not taking body measurements at the start.

I have been a bit cranky this week. Not unusual for this time of the month, if you know what I mean. (PMS, guys. I’m talking about PMS.) I’ve been emotional and depression creeps up on me out of nowhere. I was worried that the darkness would stick around after thinking about how my absence wouldn’t be more than an inconvenience for the people I’m closest to. Yeah, dark intrusive thoughts come by without warning and definitely no invitation.

Fortunately, I’ve had a couple of good days. I’ve enjoyed my workouts and made progress. My Tuesday run wasn’t fantastic because it felt difficult, but I needed the run and it did what I needed it to for my mental state.

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When I got to the gym on Wednesday, the coach was laying on the floor from the workout. My brain was instantly thinking that I should turn around and walk out because I couldn’t put up that kind of work and I’d just be embarrassing myself. On an overhead press, I completed one full set before failing to press the bar up beyond nose level for the rest of the time. I tried repeatedly and couldn’t break my mind of “I can’t do this.” We started another part of the workout that involved squats. While trying to improve my form, I lost my focus and fell on my butt with a bar overhead, but somehow was fine and it only made me try harder to get it right. I was exhausted, but I actually made it through that portion despite feeling like I couldn’t do another rep without falling over for most of the last portion where I had dumbbells to press.

Wednesday night, I had a trail run. My friend asked to ride with me, so I picked her up on the way. When I got lost, I was glad to have someone with me in the car. We were able to use trail shoes on loan from Saucony and go on a path Fleet Feet had marked out for us. It was muddy. There were hills and branches. When we hit 1.26 miles, I’d felt like I’d gone 3 miles and was feeling done with the experience. I was mostly hot because I’ve always taken a while to get used to changes in weather when I run. It was still fun, though. I got to chat with people I haven’t seen in awhile, splash in the mud, and give the shoes back to someone else to clean the mud off. I’d do it again even if my running partner for the evening would not. I also really liked the shoes I borrowed. They had a way to fasten them that made it easier to operate when they’re muddy and not have to tie them. The shoes were also not filled with water or mud despite the number of times I put my whole foot into the wet puddles. When I got home to clean up, I found a single thorn poking out of my knee and just laughed as I plucked it off. I required a bit of scrubbing to see the skin under all the mud I’d gotten on me.

All in all, this week has been ok. I am exhausted today and the gloomy skies don’t help that at all. I finished getting Easter items for my kids [and dogs]. This weekend is going to be busy, but I am excited to see my results from the shred as well as to watch my kids hunt for eggs stuffed with candy. I’m thankful for so many blessings and the ability to recognize them when I was feeling down.

 

Thanks for reading! I hope you have a great day!

Progress is Progress

This weekend was a blur. I weighed in on Saturday and I knew that I wasn’t down much in pounds, but I was disappointed to see the number on the scale that day. I started obsessing about getting my personalized report to see how much fat loss and muscle gain I’d experienced. GAINS! lol.

That board is always there, but this was special for Saturday’s event at the gym.

I considered skipping my Saturday cheat meal because I couldn’t land on one meal or cuisine in which I wanted to eat. I accidentally missed lunch by being busy and wound up eating a little bag of pistachios from a vending machine because it was the only ‘natural’ thing in there. I wanted to eat dinner somewhere that had draft beer. When my husband and I have gotten away for a meal together, we wound up at a local place called Flingers that had craft pizza and craft beer. I actually picked another local place before I changed my mind in the car to go to the pizza joint. No regrets there. My kids loved their meal and my husband and I had a bbq chicken pizza that was delicious. My beer tasted incredible. I ordered a skillet cookie and shared it, of course. I required some antacid later on, but I wasn’t sickly full. I didn’t binge on the food. I stopped when I was full and I was mindful about my bites.

I’m really digging the New England IPAs

Sunday, we went to church early for a meeting and breakfast where everything looked so tasty, but I only grabbed a small bite of their breakfast pizza and a large portion of fruit. My kids ate the pastries and donuts. The day was busy again and I simply didn’t feel like eating my lunch. My house was a zoo that day with kids coming in and out and I cleaned the floors before heading back to church for my evening volunteering.

My results came in after dinner Sunday night. I was down 3 pounds, gained 1 pound of muscle and lost 1% fat over the first two weeks of the program. While I know I should have been proud of myself, I felt like my hard work should have resulted in more. What’s up with that? “MORE!” There is always room for it.

And when you ask them, “How much should we give?”
Ooh, they only answer “More! More! More!”

Fortunate Son by Creedence Clearwater Revival

Progress is progress and not being happy that I’ve made some in the right direction is nonsense. I still have two weeks to go and the main idea is to get fit and stay that way instead of starting over and over. Monday at the gym, the coaches were surprised that I wasn’t more pleased with my results and reminded me that I’m putting in the hard work and doing it the right way. I left the gym energized and went to tackle the rest of my day with a little more positivity than I’d started it.

I have a physical therapy evaluation today. This time a women’s health PT. Fortunately, I am not experiencing pelvic prolapse again. My ob/gyn has noticed some ligament issues that have causes me a lot of lower abdominal and back pain that have been annoying to say the least. My foot pain that was in the metatarsal region has nagged off and on lately and I’ve been trying to do all the exercises from that therapy so I don’t have to go back to the podiatrist. I’m not even old yet and I can’t stay away from the doctor for aches and pains.

Thanks for reading! I’ve felt higher energy levels since starting to eat better and exercise more regularly. My depression isn’t gone and obviously had to rear its ugly head on my weigh in results. It helps that I can have outdoor time without a coat lately. I’ve been running less than 10 miles a week, but it’ll pick up when the weather is consistently warm. Today, I ran with Aurora for 3 miles and she was nuts. I think she really had fun and we’re slowly learning how to use the running leash. She looked tired for the picture, but after some water and ice cubes, she bolted around the house like a herd of cattle were coming through.

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.

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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.

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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?

Fra-gee-lee

This past Saturday, I ran the 45th annual Steamboat Classic in Peoria, Illinois. While I’d signed up for the 15 k race a few months ago and worked hard to get myself up to the over 9 miles that the race would require of me, I dropped to the 4 mile race when I went to packet pickup. I didn’t take the decision lightly. There was already a heat advisory for the weekend when I ran 3 miles on the Wednesday prior to the race. The humidity was oppressive for each of my runs leading up to the Friday pickup. I checked with my [best] friend, Liz who would be running the race with me, and we agreed that 4 miles was just a better idea since she hadn’t trained for the distance and I wanted to be healthy for my fall half marathons instead of nursing injuries (again). What also helped was that my 4 mile best time was pretty close to my 5 mile time on Athlinks because last year’s Steamboat was tough on the injury I’d been nursing. I knew I could beat that 4 mile time, but my best 15k comes from 2016, which was the year I was in the best shape of my life.

At packet pickup, I asked to join the Athena class for female athletes over 180 lbs. I hopped on the scale and pushed that baby close to the 200 lbs mark. I didn’t try to cover it up from those waiting in line behind the scale. I didn’t insist I take my shoes off. I wasn’t surprised by my weight, either. Prior to my injury, I’d weighed 170 lbs. At the end of 2017, I was tipping the scales closer to 215 lbs. It was so hard to be heavy and to get motivated to try hard again. I’ve worked to lose over 20 lbs over the last 6 months and I’m still working hard at it. I gave it a lot of thought over the weekend and even discussed with my best friend about how there is a difference between saying that I’m proud of my weight and accepting it for what it is. I’m disappointed that it got so far. I wish I was the same size I was when I was 150 lbs and trying to lose weight. I wasn’t strong then. I didn’t run. I smoked cigarettes and I ate crappy food. There is no pride in the sizes that I have been no matter how small or large. The size I am right now, I’ve worked to get to and I continue to work to be a healthier, stronger woman. It’s what I have and I’m working with it. I will always be a work in progress and I’ve accepted that. I’m currently on a 1 mile or more a day streak and it is helping me stay active when I don’t want to be.

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Liz and I post run

I ran a 4 mile race. For the first time in a race we’ve done together I told Liz to slow down at the start of a race and hold a pace and I kept reminding us to hold it. I tried to keep up conversation even when the heat was taking its toll on our bodies. I also felt good about the race, though. I wasn’t slowing down. I checked the statistics from the timing mats. Liz and I moved ahead of 144 people from the 1 mile mark to the finish. We held our pace knowing that it wasn’t a day for negative splits or a PR.

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The look on my face says it all…

At the finish line, a tall woman ran ahead of me. A silent agreement between Liz and I had us separating at points if we needed to during races we’ve run together. I took off assuming she might be part of the Athena class and that I’d need to beat her if I wanted to get an award. All the way up through the finish, it was a race. She came in 2 strides ahead of me and I was pissed when I saw that I was 2nd in the Athena class. I was so mad at myself that I didn’t pull those couple of strides out of my pocket and come in ahead. Later on, Liz would pull up the finish line photos and the stats on the Athena class winner. The 1st place Athena had come in 3 minutes prior to me. That woman I had such an intense race with had nothing to do with my 2nd place award. She also had started ahead of me, so her chip finish was a tiny bit after mine.

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Athena Class award

 

So, I won an award that clearly says on it that I weighed more than 180 lbs when I won. It doesn’t have to mean I’m proud of my weight or that I’m promoting obesity. I’m aware of those people who say those things to heavy women. Although, I did carry that weight across 4 miles in some intense heat and I’m pretty sure some people lighter than me couldn’t do that. I actually got my best 4 mile time. Athena. It’s pretty cool if you think about it.

Time to train for my fall half marathons. The heat has been intense. I’m finally able to feel good in the hotter runs, though. It took me a couple of years to get faster after I started to run. I’ve been out of physical therapy for less than a year. I need to continue to have self discipline, but realize that progress is progress no matter how small. I hope I can run a 5 k in less than 29 minutes again one day. I hope I can weigh 25 or more lbs less one day. It doesn’t happen overnight and working toward it is something to be proud of.

Do you know where the title “Fra-gee-lee” came from? I won a “major award”, you know. There’s probably a movie reference there.

I love comments! Please let me know if you have something you want me to write about. Good luck on your journey!

 

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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Strong means…

Strong. I think of strong as something a person works toward. Strength doesn’t come naturally, but is acquired through work and perseverance. Strong isn’t a size or a specific shape.

I read an article by a runner where she claimed that people use strong as a sleight toward people who are not of a thin build. I was surprised that someone would think that and I could not disagree with her more.

One of my running friends is fast and she works hard for her body. She also has struggled with eating disorders and a negative body image. Strong is the best way to describe her because skinny is commenting on her physique instead of her effort. She works hard for her build. She naturally carries a small frame. Strong is in no way in reference to her size or comparison of her size.

I don’t want people to take “strong” away from us women when we’re supporting one another. I hope to be strong. I strive for it. I want to be a strong runner and I don’t want others to think that they’re being called something when they hear people tell them they are strong.

Strength comes from within and if we’re going to keep telling everyone that what is on the inside matters, then that is one perfect way to describe another person. Remember that there are going to be times where you feel like people notice something about you that you’re more attuned to than anyone else. Most of the time, those people are too wrapped up in the things that they are preoccupied by to notice the things you’re insecure about.

I’m encouraging everyone to proceed with strength. Do that thing you want to do, but feel too intimidated by what others will think. Find out if you enjoy it. Then, nothing should stop you from doing it. *I’m talking about fitness and sports, not hopping in to a bear’s cage in hopes of becoming lifelong pals.

Please, if you see someone do something that inspires you, let them know you see their strength.

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Quick update

By: Jenn M

It’s November 5th. Actually it’s the 6th. Dang it. So I don’t know the date. No biggie. I have some things running around in my head and I haven’t updated my blog since my interesting experience at the Chicago Marathon about a month ago.  Yes, I want a rematch with 26.2 eventually.

I have been extremely aware of and self conscious about my weight gain. I put on around 25 lbs and allowed myself to put weight loss on the back burner during marathon training. I decided upon ‘no weight gain’ during training to ensure I was properly fueling. I actually succeeded at the plateau. I didn’t gain anything training, but I’m still disappointed in my appearance. I know I’m more jiggly and wide than I want to be. I’m not happy that I bought new clothes to wear this winter because nothing fits.

I got a new swimsuit to wear to the gym because the old one is simply too revealing with my new curves [mine are rolls, not curves]. I am really hard on myself and my husband would probably be the first to say so. He tells me every time I have a clothing catastrophe and resulting breakdown in my closet.  The good part is that I’m actually thinking about and starting to plan going to the gym. I haven’t had the energy or the courage to step out and do something about my weight.  I get so caught up in wondering why I should try to hard to just be average.

I am trying to get back to where I was before my injury and hopefully make it stick this time. I want to enjoy working out and look forward to it. I know that the energy comes from exercise and I have to get started to want to continue. This isn’t new to me. I never thought I’d be back at this size or have slipped this far back in my fitness routine. What I know is that I don’t like the results I’m getting from being inactive and lazy about my health. Laziness comes in so many forms and in excuses. My depression is better when I’m eating right and working out. I feel more confident when I’m healthy. I want that back and I have to work for it instead of whining for it. Fortunately, I joined a program that will at least get me into the gym once a week and running once a week. It’s up to me to do the rest.

Do you feel like you let yourself slip up? Do you have something that motivates you when you feel like you want to give up?

Apples are my go to snack. They’re full of fiber and they’re portable. These are Fuji apples, but I love golden delicious, honeycrisp, pink lady, and many other types.

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Adjust and carry on

The goal is 26.2 miles on October 8th at the Chicago Marathon. Training has begun and I have a calendar using a training plan I got from the coaches involved with Team Challenge. I even plugged it in to a calendar that accommodated my plan to have my long runs on Sunday morning. I have had trouble following it because I feel like I’m not getting adequate rest between runs.

Last weekend, I needed to do 9 miles, but I wasn’t returning from an out of town wedding until late Sunday afternoon. I was able to plan a run for Monday morning, but I didn’t want to get up early, so I scheduled an 8 am meeting time with a friend. I was positive talking the heck out of that run ahead of time. I kept telling myself it was going to be the best run since my boot and that it was going to be epic. In reality, it was hard to put one foot in front of the other for almost 6 miles. The conversation and adorable woodland creatures along the trail kept me moving forward for almost 6 miles. When she and I were done running, I decided to hop in the car and head home to get sunscreen before finishing the rest of my run. I wouldn’t have finished that first bit had I been alone. The second part was rough and it was solo. The heat and humidity were bearing down. I got one cheer from a car driving down the road and that was a nice distraction. I struggled to keep moving and was running on pure desire to get home. I went home and halfheartedly stretched so I could hit the shower. Little did I know that for the entire week following that run, I’d have a painful soreness in my right calf and my hamstring would be achy.

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9 hot and humid miles

My first run after that was Wednesday. It was tough, but it was like shaking off cobwebs. My legs were loosened up for the last half of the run. I was able to focus my attention on random things like, “Hey a White Castle box,” and “We don’t even have White Castle near here.” I looked around and took in the scenery and tried not to focus on any discomfort. I felt pretty good finishing up and I actually did my hip strengthening and stretching afterward. The soreness continued, so my next run was replaced with a session of runner’s yoga.

Saturday was my long run day this weekend due to social plans. I’d planned everything out ahead of time. I was going to ditch the camel bak hydration backpack I’d used in previous weeks and go back to the Amphipod brand hydration belt. I filled one bottle with my BCAA powder mixed with water and the other with just filtered water. I put a protein shake in a lunchbox cooler. I planned to meet the Saturday group at 6:30 am. I’d lost my Garmin watch and found it after a frantic search through my belongings. It was on the passenger seat of my minivan face down and the same color as the interior. My frozen water bottle was completely thawed, so my buffer from the heat wasn’t going to be there. I shook it all off, showed up at the meeting place at 6:45 with nobody else there, and I did a little arguing with my brain to take off on the run. My watch went off a few times for the 5 minute run, 1 minute walk intervals. I ignored the first 2, then I started walking quickly the 3rd time it went off. I wasn’t dropping too far below a 13 minute per mile pace with the walk breaks, so I just kept doing the intervals. I reserved water and gel breaks for walking intervals and it worked out well for mentally preparing. I passed people I knew periodically on the trail and felt encouraged to keep going. It was the epic run I’d wanted the previous week. Then, toward the end, my stomach. It was revolting. I didn’t #2 before leaving for my run. I was about 1/2 mile in either direction from a bathroom and both were portable bathrooms (porta potties). I opted for the direction of my car and ran/walked my way back trying to ensure that no accidents would happen to me. I was a tenth of a mile from the big 10. I had to go, though. I ran to the bathroom, went in, paused my watch, and used the porta potty. I made up the last .05 running from the bathroom box to my car to get hand sanitizer and get my yoga mat. I felt energized instead of exhausted.

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I will run for beer, guys….lol

I made the decision after running that if I was going to have good long runs,  I was going to need to adjust the plan. I read some articles in running magazines and websites about training and found that it is not unusual to have as few as 3 runs per week in training for a marathon (assuming other cardio and resistance is included in most other days). I invited myself to join some running buddies on their swim days and they welcomed me. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I’ll be joining my friends in the morning to swim. Wednesday and Thursday, I’ll run. Friday, I’ll get on the elliptical or have a instructor led cardio workout in addition to resistance. Saturday remains rest day so I can long run Sunday morning. Today, I did a resistance workout midday and realized that it has been too long since I’ve done my planks or burpees. Running can suffer from not keeping up strength in all areas. I’m changing my plan to prevent burnout and to prevent injury. I want to do this marathon. I wasn’t balancing my whole body fitness properly and it was affecting my running. Now we’re going to see how well this change of plan works and adjust as needed. I’m happy I can do that.

Also, I am fundraising for Crohn’s and Colitis through Team Challenge. I have 90 days until the marathon and I’d like to raise $2k by then. So far, I’m a little over $900. Consider helping? Thanks!  My Personal Fundraising Page