Wednesday, January 29, 2014

I've Got a Destination

Yes, I have a destination in mind, but I'm having problems following the plan on how to get there.  I've drawn my road map, but for some reason, I keep missing my next direction.  It's really my own fault, I've somewhat lost my focus.

I suppose I could blame the chaos that is my life; but the reality is, I've lived in nothing but chaos for the last nine years.  I thought it would slow down a bit after my mother passed away, but it really hasn't, the drama and unexpected interruptions are coming from random different events.  I had actually started to feel like I had it together for a few months in 2013 until I got food poisoning and then my Dad's near death complication from antibiotic resistant Strep B, subsequent 15 day hospital stay and 3 emergency surgeries, my busted ankles, my Dad's car accident, and it goes on and on...

Really busting my ankles when I was in such tip top shape took it all out of me.  I was laid up non-weight bearing for 6 weeks and then it took another good 2 months to start running.  Seven months later my running is consistent, but the weight lifting is dead in the tracks.

I've lost my road map and stopped at a few pity parties along the way and took my time recovering from them.   I have no one to blame but myself, and if I miss my destination and have to delay the trip for another time, it's my own damn fault!!

So what is the destination??  Well there are a few actually...

First and foremost, I want a BQ marathon.  I really have no business running a marathon in 6 1/2 weeks, but I'm going to do it...  I've put in about 90% of the mileage and maybe about 60% of the speed work...  Unfortunately I've totally bailed on the endurance stabilization and strength building exercises...  I figure I've got 4 weeks to build and 2 weeks to maintain in my Hail Mary Pass.  In the meantime, I'd better put down the glass of wine, chocolate covered almonds, and remaining junk food and clean it up!

Secondly I'd like to get sculpted again, or at least look defined by April 28th...  After the marathon I'll go heaving on the weights and incorporate TRX and continue with the clean eating at least 90% of the time.

Finally, I'd like to find my self discipline again and lose the catastrophic thinking.  Really, this step should be tool I use to successfully navigate to the first two destinations.  Hmm, I hope that memory will pull me through until I learn to read the right street signs and ignore the unimportant ones.

I think I've lost my way a bit because I started looking at the wrong road map and didn't realize it.  Funny thing is that was just pointed out to me at church on Sunday.  If you notice, attitude and distractions, basically loss of focus and faith have been what strayed me and presented me the wrong map to follow.

As with all things related to HIM, perfect timing opened the door in a language I speak very well.... CHALLENGE; a 21 day exchange where I make some “exchanges” in thoughts, attitudes and behaviors that are holding me back spiritually.  I've always found that when I'm stalled spiritually, I lose focus on the destination and get caught up in all the nonsense around me.

Ironically when I opened my bible app, the book of the day was Ephesians 4, how appropriate, a reminder of what my true destination is, and directions to help me get there.

So I've loaded up my iPod with my Worship music and I've said bye bye to Facebook for 21 days (only able to check it for 5 minutes after 9:00 PM) exchanging it with reading the Word or journalling.  I've exchanged the couch potato workout for anything that involves moving and finally, I've exchanged food indulgences music, dance, and snuggles with my girls to boost my mood.  If it's after 9:00, the bed will be just fine!

Wish me luck, it's day one and I missed my TRX workout but I hit my steady state run.
I exchanged the couch and TV for a bath, Ephesians 4, and another attempt at this blog!

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

"Hello My Name Is Regret"

I love that song, it is my new mantra!  

I've tried so many times to chronicle my "road to recovery" but I'm not that witty with words, and frankly, I'm not as organized as I once thought I was.  Becoming a mother, shot to hell all the things I thought myself of being good at.  

Clean and tidy house.... Ha, that happens right before guest arrive and ends when they walk out the door.

Organized office, daily blogs, current emails.... I balance the time it takes for these things against a snuggle with my husband or a run, and frankly they take the back seat.

But here I am struggling to overcome a ridiculously stupid injury I got while doing front flips on a trampoline with my nieces, on my birthday no less...  Anyways, after 4 weeks in a cast and a few more weeks of limping around, I finally made a run.  Oh, by the way, did I mention that this injury came on the heals of Cyclospora which I contracted in early April after a horrific asthma attack at the Eugene marathon that put me into pulmonary distress.  I pushed my way through a few triathlons, early in the summer, but the Cyclospora left me wiped out and sidelined for a good month.  My runs were just starting to get back to normal when the accident happened.  So really we're talking a good 4 month hiatus.

At first I was depressed, okay, so in reality the depression lasted the entire time I was in the cast.  Did I mention I was non-weight bearing and it was my right ankle, yup, no driving, in the last 4 weeks of Texas summer....  managed to get the girls into 2 weeks of half day camp, but at this point all camps were booked, so I was stuck at home with my kids in Summer in Texas with no way to drive and to hot to shove them out the back door.  Needles to say, wine, chocolate covered almonds and blueberries became my best friends!

So really, here I am struggling to overcome YET another injury and lose fat on top of it! Now here I am at 137lbs. with major muscle atropy, flabby old women cellulite legs that jiggle and wiggle when I run, and a messed up ankle that has left me with a lopsided shortened stride.  The asthma attacks, and lack of cardio has left me panting and heaving, so not only do I look like a recovering stroke victim but I sound like an dying cow too!

So where does this leave me???  In a dark and dreary place.  I feel like I'm NEVER going to get my body back, the boat has sailed, it was nice while it lasted, but cellulite, wiggle, and jiggle has set in and I'm left longing for yesterday!

You see, what I've realized is the older I get, the tougher it is to shape up, because my body and my fat have become such good friends, and who wants to break up a good friendship???

The truth is, I know I'm not "fat" but I'm certainly not lean, and I like being fit and fierce, and right now I'm not either.  I'm focusing on the fatness mainly because it is so painful to do certain exercises and so downright discouraging to realize how much fitness I've lost.  

I realize that some people look at me and think I'm crazy, what they don't seem to realize is I'm not comparing myself to anybody, I'm only comparing myself to me.  I have no one to blame but myself.  I fully admit and realize that I chose to feel sorry for myself and in weakness I turned to instant gratification..... and that is what troubles me.  How easy I just gave up!

It has me questioning my ability to overcome and to succeed and I have realized I just can't accept that I am not going to run a sub 3:40 marathon and make it to Boston.  It also has me questioning why I feel closest to the Lord when I run and so far away when I can't run....

Is my worth based upon my abilities or my actions?  If I believe everyone is gauging my worthiness by my looks and my abilities, then what does that say about me?  Why do I have so little faith in people? In my worthiness??

Again, the lyrics speak to me:
"Hello, my name is regretI'm pretty sure we have metEvery single day of your lifeI'm the whisper insideThat won't let you forget"

So there are still some lessons I'm to be learning.  I'd like to be able to draw close to the Lord on this journey and celebrate the struggles, but I'm finding my human nature is often getting the best of me.  So I'm trying to set myself up for success, I've got the quotes set out to inspire me, and I need to pray on them, meditate on them, and thank God every day that I still have the ability to struggle back to normal again....

Psalm 27:14:  Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD.

Isaiah 41:10:  Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.'

Jeremiah 29:11-13:  For I know the plans that I have for you,' declares the LORD, 'plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. 'Then you will call upon Me and come and pray to Me, and I will listen to you. 'And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.

Maybe the new song I need to adopt for my mantra is Chris Tomlin's Our God
And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop usAnd if our God is with us, then what can stand against?And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop usAnd if our God is with us, then what can stand against?What can stand against?

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Progress & Faith

Wow!  Been a long time since I've blogged.  I'm working on it... My new goal is once every two weeks.  In defense, I have been busy!  Started my own business:  Transform Your Life!  Nutrition and Fitness.  I abbreviated it to TYL Nutrition.  Also standing for Test Your Limits!  One of my clients picked the name.  It was very touching as she chose the name because working with me Transformed Her Life through healthy nutritional practices and mindful behaviors.  Anyways, that is for another blog in itself.

I have made it to my goal weight of 136lbs.  Actually this morning I weighed in at 135.7 lbs.  I will no longer be stepping on the scale.  My running seems to have responded.  Today I ran 6.2 miles in 50 minutes and a very comfortable pace.  It was a hilly course I ran on, so even more to be pleased with.  Even with the steep uphills, my pace continued to steadily drop each mile by about 10 seconds.  My feet felt light.  It was one of those times when you are so relaxed you can check your form.  I concentrated on short stride and quick feet on the hills, and it worked!  I had so much more control and comfort running down hills.  It also seemed to take the tension out of my shoulders.

Of course the weather was perfect 57 degrees with a slight breeze.  Don't you wish every race could be under those conditions?  I feel so blessed and awestruck by the amazement of our Lord's creations on mornings like these.  I have a lot to be thankful for.

I am a bit concerned about running to fast.  I mean honestly, who wants to leave their PR on the training course?!  I certainly don't want my PR to be on the quiet and lonely streets of Cedar Park!!

Although today felt super comfortable, and with less effort than some previous runs, I am having calf twinges.  Eugene is 6 weeks out, and I am concerned about peaking early or wearing out my calf.  I just have to keep moving mindfully forward and have faith in myself and comfort in the knowledge that this is part of a planned journey meant to teach me something to move forward with in life.

I am tracking for a comfortable sub 3:40 marathon, and am hopeful.  My spirit remains upbeat, and running still remains a source of prayer, dedication, and thankfulness for me and not a task to achieve.

I hope you are all tracking along in good speed!

Happy Running,

Thursday, February 21, 2013

The Head Games Begin!

I am having a problem with my paces.  I haven't run a half marathon in about 3 years and the last marathon I ran was at the end of Ironman Arizona, which was not my best showing.  A year ago I ran the Austin marathon, and just missed my goal.  For some reason I have it in my mind that I always have to push, push, push.  The first 4-6 miles always feels like a struggle and because of this, I have a hard time finding my pace in shorter distances.  Apparently on pace training runs too.

I've been running with a new running group this season because I am doing a later marathon.  It has been different, educational, and challenging.  I've met a some very cool people, and it has been an awesome experience.  The coach gives me daily feed back, advice, and contacts me regularly via email.  It is turning into quite the learning experience.

So far I've found out that when I hear pace, on runs shorter than 8 miles, I automatically think push it until it hurts.  I'm running like 10K pace all the time, when I should be running marathon pace.  My coach keeps telling me to slow down or I'm going to leave my PR on the streets of Cedar Park.  He looked at me on Tuesday morning and said, you have a high tech Garmin, use it!!  Why don't you look at it and slow down your pace.

So why don't I use my Garmin during a 5:30 am run???

  • Because I can't get the light to turn on.  
  • I am afraid of failing.  
  • I think each run has to be better than the last. 
  • I have that old school mentality, "Harder, Longer, Stronger"
  • I'm afraid of quitting!

I program in workouts in my Garmin all the time, so why not use it to watch my pace?  I got home and figured out some cool things, I love this gadget!!

I programmed pace times in my Garmin and run workouts.  I now have a workout program for all of my runs, and the light goes off when I'm out of goal range.  This should help me with those paces.  I'm hoping that this will help me to learn the feel of the paces on my body with better confidence.

I'm taking a leap of faith here and actually trying to implement my own advice and the advice I've heard all the time, train smarter, not harder!

Am I the only one out there that struggles with the Harder, Longer, Stronger mentality???

Happy Running!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Rest Day!

Tomorrow is a rest day; and I'm taking it!!  Been burning the candle the last two weeks.  I've lost 2 pounds and I expect to be down again on Saturday :).  My arms are again looking lean and mean, it's just to bad that I hold all my weight from the belly button below.

I can tell that I've lost some weight because my CW-X tights are much easier to get on and comfortable to run in again.  I got me some cool new running shoes.  They are Adidas, which I've never run in before.  They do have a flash of yellow on the bottom, but they are grey and white.  Kind of a nice throwback to the neutral colored shoes.  Balances me out from the neon Mizuno's I have.

I was playing with my Garmin yesterday, running fun reports to see if I've improved since I started training again.  Since January 1, 2013 I have run: 158.46 miles in 23:07:06 at an average speed of 6.9 MPH (~8:40 pace) with an average HR of 140 and burned an estimated 15,420 calories.  Pretty cool.  Interesting to note that in a month and a half I've spent almost one day hitting the pavement.  

I still have problems with my pace.  I find it very difficult in the first 6 miles of any run to accurately determine if I am running at my goal.  I find that I am often running to fast at the end.  Is that because in my mind running a fast marathon is going to be so hard that I need to somewhat push myself?  Or is it that I'm pushing myself because I think the first 6 miles are so hard?  In either case, I need to figure it out and get my pacing down a bit better.

I'm so excited for my rest day tomorrow, I've got it all planned out!  I'm not getting out of bed until it's time to get the girls up for school, then I'm getting back in bed until I have to get up and go to the Dermatologist appointment.  Then I'm having lunch with an old co-worker, and then it is leftovers and Friday night movie night!!  

I'm excited for all the runners in Austin on Sunday.  I've got a few friends that have been training hard for this event.  It is a great course and an awesome marathon to run.  Looking forward to supporting the runners this year.  Always fun to give back.

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Grandma Shoes!

I've had a full week of quality workouts and TRX now for 2 weeks.  I've hit everyone of my workouts, except one, in which case I could only do an easy 3 recovery run because I had my girls with me while school was out.

My body has been paying for it!  I had a massage on Wednesday!  Kristen Tagle at Heart and Sole Massage is awesome.  I was so tight, from the tip of my head to the bottom of my feet.  Girl she said, what have you been doing??  You are tighter and more knotty than you were throughout all your IM training!

Needless to say, the massage was delirious torture!  I have never winced when someone massaged my feet, but they hurt!!  I knew they were tired and sore, but I didn't realize just how much so until she began to work on them.  "Girl, you need to take care of these feet! It's a wonder you can walk, let alone run with all these cables and adhesions down here" she said.  She said a lot more too!  When I left, indeed I felt much looser, but oh, could I feel the work she had done on me.  It hurt to put my shoes back on, and I realized it's time for Grandma Shoes!

I went home and I looked online for some comfort sandals.  In the winter, I always wear Dansko and Clarks and Born, they have great fashionable boots and the shoes are so comfy, but summertime sandals leave a bit to be desired.  I've had a few cute summer Dansko Clogs and Indigo and Born heeled sandals, but what I need now were flats, comfy flats.  It is just to darn hot in Texas to wear sneakers in the summer!!

I found some that I thought were reasonably cute for flat comfort based sandals.  I found 2 pairs of clarks on sale and one pair of Danskos!  $135.00 later, (can you say steal?) and two days later my husband opens the box and looks at me.  He says, "I was expecting something with a little more pizzaz!"

I excitedly grabbed the boxes and put on my new sandals.  "They look comfy." he says.  Which translates to "I don't like!"

But they feel like heaven on my feet!  I love these sandals!  Yes, I will wear my old lady Mommy shoes with comfort and joy, then I'll rock my run clothes!  After all, that is what Lulu is for!

Happy Running!

Thursday, January 31, 2013

Trust, Strength, and Perseverance

I expected perfection and achievement of myself daily, but I hate repeated struggle, and I hate pain, especially the self-induced kind!  When a workout gets hard and painful, I struggle with continuing, can I succeed at this?  Did I really try hard enough?  Is it this hard for everyone?

Therefor, I really hate speed workouts and sharing my goals.  What if I don't reach them?  What if I don't have it in me to do the workout?  Which of course is why I announce them.  I need the accountability because without the accountability, I would never, never push myself this hard.

This morning was a struggle.  1) it was cold, and 2) Hill Repeats!  The training agenda was 2 mile WU followed by 6 X 400 hill repeats.  This is not just any hill either, it's a steep one.  56 ft elevation gain in 400 meters with a 3% average grade.  It qualifies as a category 5 hill, so a pretty good one.

I am an endurance athlete, I like it long and steady and below the level of pain.  Sprinting just hurts, and then you add hills, talk about insult to injury!  As I am running up those hills and feeling my legs burn, a different thought went through my mind on each 400:

1) This is working that saggy butt area, wow, you are out of shape!
2) Trust yourself, you can do this, you will not die!
3) I hate this, how much more to go?
4) My constant running verse:  Philippians 4:13, I can do all things through Jesus Christ, who gives me strength.
5) Nope, no wine tonight.  Think of how much easier this will be in -5lbs!
6) You did it, way to be strong, finish hard, finish hard, love the pain!

On the run back, in the 35 degree wind, my mind was kind of drifting off in thoughts, and wondering how my legs were going to feel at TRX, and hating the fact that I would be drinking a smoothie when I got home to maximize recovery versus a nice hot bowl of steel cut oats or creamy buckwheat.  

All in All, it was great, smoothie tasted awesome and I was warmed up enough that the coldness didn't bother me.  My 400's were all below my LT, which means I could have pushed it a bit harder, my heart rate remained in zone 3, almost zone 4, but still zone 3.  This tells me that I need to reset my parameters of what pain is and it gives me a whole new respect for sprinters!  My time for all 6 hill repeats were within 4 minutes of each other, and the last one was as fast as the first and they were all faster than my MGP.  This is good news since there will be minimal hills in Eugene!  

As I review my run, I realize it didn't seem as hard afterwards as when I was doing it.  Somehow, I seem to be saying that a lot lately in other areas of my life.  When did I lose my mental edge and that can do attitude?  When it comes down to it, maybe I need to look at my attitude, have a little more trust in myself, and push through the pain with more praise and less complaints; and maybe I need to apply that in more areas of my life than just running.  There is hope, optimism, rewards, respect, and appreciation through pain and challenges.  

MMM, weight loss, and marathon training....  Is there something I need to remember?  Funny, the verse I found today:

John 16:33 I have told you these things so that you would find comfort in Me. In this world, you will suffer; but be courageous, for I have overcome the world!

Happy Running,

Favorite Recovery Smoothie:
1 cup frozen blueberries (antioxidants and quick digesting carbs)
1 cup Almond milk (Calcium, phosphorus, sodium, and easy digesting carbs)
1 scoop Whey Protein (quick digesting BCAA ~ 10g protein)
1 Tbs. activated Chia Seeds
Blend and enjoy!