Monday, December 30, 2013

And Just Like That, 2013 Is On Its Way Out

What a year huh?
 
I know I didn't write a whole lot, and that's probably not going to change much.  Its certainly not a goal, much less a resolution.  e.g. 79 total posts this year compared to 196 in 2012, and boy 2010 and 2011 were BIG years for me blogging, but those were BIG years for me with running, racing, and life.
 
If you know me at all IRL, or just by reading the past few years, you know I don't do resolutions.
 
I do set goals, but that is not year to year specific; that is how I live my life.  If I want something, whether tangible or not, I figure out a way to either get it or achieve it.
 
Honestly.  And if there is one thing you can count on with me is honesty (read my comments on some blogs and you will see)...is that I get SOOOOOO tired of reading on ALL social media, including blogs about how this is going to be the year I ________________.
 
What. The. Fuck. Ever.
 
But hey, if you are one of the few that can actually power through, good for you!  Maybe THIS will be the year you _________________.
 
At the end of the day though it just doesn't happen quite the way you/we think it will be in our heads.  Even a small percentage of success though is good right?
 
Eh.  I'm not so sure I am on that bandwagon.
 
I mean sure I also want to:
  1. Lose 10 lbs
  2. Get organized
  3. Run 13 marathons (1 a month)   Umm...NOT.
  4. Save more
  5. Spend less
  6. Read a book a day
  7. Eat NO JUNK FOOD EVER EVER EVER
  8. Lose 20 lbs
  9. Meet a man
  10. Get married
  11. Have children
  12. Save the world
  13. Watch less TV
  14. Unplug
  15. Go to bed early
  16. Exercise more
  17. Cook more, eat out less
  18.  
 
Seriously?  People are SO Gdamned stupid.
But I will say that some of other peoples "resolutions" are the way I already live.  Those are just some that I see if not every year, I have seen so far this year.
 
Its not rocket science people.  If its important to you, you'll succeed, if not, you won't.  Its about as simple as 1+1

At least here, in this small town, while I do expect to see more people at our little gym it won't be like what bigger cities experience this time of year i.e. parks over-crowded, gyms over-crowded etc.  Here no one really just starts going to the gym, they are members, just don't work out hardly at all, but will try again...come the 1st of January and by Valentines Day, they'll be gone. 

Heck as far as that goes, every Monday is like January 1st here :O)
 
I have one goal in 2014 and one goal only.  At least I have something to strive for right? 
 
Oh and to just continue to do as I have been doing.  It all seems to be working out for me:  I am a healthy, thriving, and happy human being.
 
Can't ask for much more now can I?

Friday, December 20, 2013

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Currently.....

Here is a little peek into my world as it is currently:
 
Loving
The fact that we've had 4 days now of warmer weather so I can run outside!!
Its been in the 50's and 60's; and even though by the time I run and its dark out (the temps drop like a rock as soon as the sun is setting), its still in the high 30's or maybe 40.  Last night with our run club, we had our last group run of the year and it was pretty darn cold;  We don't start until 6pm and the feels like was 19.  Holy shit I was freezing :)

Although today it all ends and single digit, sub-zero wind chills, snow and ice start again tomorrow.  It was rare for December in Nebraska but man did my mood perk up over the past few days ;)
 
Watching
Scandal!
 

 
I just started Season 2.  I never had any interest in this show, which is still on regular TV, but after seeing a lot of hoopla on FB and Twitter I figured I would give it a go.  VERY good!  Its keeping me interested while waiting for House of Cards, OITNB and the last 8 episodes of Breaking Bad to hit Netflix.  I have a lot of other series in my queue, but I can only watch one at a time ;)
 
Reading
Still reading Revenge Wears Prada.  I haven't been reading on my iPad quite as near as I should be, but I'm determined hopefully to finish it by year end so I can start the Divergent series.

 
 
Eating
Well it is the holidays but I've been good.  I am still eating 95% vegetables, but I did roast a chicken for Thanksgiving and I had a hamburger at Sonic last weekend when I drove down to Sterling, CO.


 
 
I do eat fish about once or twice a week, depending on if I've gone to Ft. Collins or Cheyenne which is where I have to go to get decent seafood.
 
Right this second though, I'm eating a banana ;o)

Don't fret, I'm enjoying a holiday cookie, cake or snacks at least once a day ;)
 
Sipping
Water, water, water.
Coffee, coffee, coffee.
 
I've given up Diet Coke; for the most part.  I guess on average I am still having 1-2 a week.
 
 
Listening
Nothing really.  I don't listen to music much anymore, except when I am running, so whatever is popular on the radio that is catchy and I like to run to, thats what I am listening to.  I did purchase 2 Christmas albums this holiday season and I've listened to those: Harry Connick Jr and the Glee Christmas one as well.
 
 
Anticipating
Duh.  Going home for Christmas!!!


 
 
Thinking About
My thoughts lately, the deeper ones are about the fact that someone I thought I would always be able to have some sort of friendship with, isn't responsive.  I guess I was wrong.  One email and then never anything again.  While this person was never good enough for me, other than a friend, and did hurt me a time or two, I still wish sometimes that I had a 'pen pal' in someone that once was a significant part of my life.
 
 
Wishing
That the next few months go by swiftly so I can begin a new chapter in my life.


 
Planning
Nothing concrete or laid out, but in my head I am planning those months in the Spring when I can being a new chapter in my life.


*************************************



I hope that everyone has a blessed holiday with your families and those that you love like family!


 
 


Monday, December 16, 2013

Christmas Movies (do not) = Real Life

I know the last few posts about Christmas ghosts for the most part were major downers, but guess what?  Life is not perfect and I don't believe anyone out there lives in a Christmas snow globe right?  Do you even KNOW anyone that does?  Sure I bet you know some that WANT you to believe they do...

Anyway...
 
It was important to me to write some of that..to even share it to anyone out there still reading; or who might just happen upon this blog somehow.
 
I still have a lot to write about, and even over the weekend I realized I needed to post an entry about the GREAT part of my childhood, and maybe even if you can believe it, something just as bad and traumatic as sexual abuse: bullying.
 
But today's post came to me over the weekend as I was relaxing, of course watching a few Christmas movies.  I've done that off and on since Thanksgiving, they are indeed one of my guiltiest pleasures after all.
 
At some point, Lord only knows through which one it was, that I said out loud, in an empty house sans one furry snowball of a cat, Ha! I don't know a single person EVER that has the life led in a Christmas movie.  Maybe at that one point in each of them that seems to have the main character struggling because they are emotionally lost and on the verge of the worst life ever moment..but then somehow, out of nowhere either an angel, Santa himself, or some unbelievable family member, man or woman come in and save the day and they all live happily ever after.
 

 
I mean that totally happens every single day right?
 
Oy.
 
But yet, as I stated, definitely one of my guiltiest pleasures every year and while yes I cry like a 6 year old girl who can't find her prized Barbie, I at least, for the most part don't feel that my life is so awful because it isn't like what I see on TV.
 
I have heard some say and even announce after watching any of these that they feel awful, like major depression, and I don't understand that?
 
You cannot honestly think that that really exists right?
That would be like believing the covers and insides of magazines that so and so is THAT thin and has NO pores.

 Seriously, please tell me who all know this is NOT REAL?

Seriously just google Before and After Photoshop images to see what I am talking about.

Mind-blowing.

Actually its done a great deal of good for me since I struggle (still) from time to time of triggers with the perfect persona that society would like for us all to believe is real life.

Just like the movies do sometimes.

And healthy living blog(gers).  That's another thing that use to be demoralizing to me; sparking triggers, my ED to go into overdrive, not to mention trying to run a bazillion miles a week and feel rotten to my core because I couldn't do what they do.

Oh wait...they don't have jobs.  Or a lot of things it seems; and talk about eating disorders!  Took me forever to figure how why my issues skyrocketed during a time where I read them faithfully.

So again... Christmas movies (and a LOT of other things) are NOT real life.

Its OK to be sad.
Its OK to eat.
Its even OK to eat something bad for you.
(Can we just STOP already with all the Survive the Holidays!  Exercise More So You Don't Gain the Holiday 10! or whatever...types of posts on Facebook, Twitter, and every single place I seem to look these days!?!?!?)

Its OK that you can't run faster than a speeding bullet, or even a fat chihuahau.
Its OK that you aren't married.
Its OK that you don't have kids.

ITS OK! OK! OK!



 


Friday, December 13, 2013

Ghost of Christmas Future

 
I think, while watching the movie, this is where I really began to think about the whole past, present, and future thing.
 
Also I know I mentioned this in one of the previous posts, but when I signed on to move to Nebraska, I guess I thought I would feel the same way as I did when I left TX for NV all those years ago.
 
I couldn't wait to get out of TX back then and honestly I was definitely ready for a change when I decided to move to Nebraska, for a few reasons, but within the first 6 months a lot of what I thought it was gonna be, turned out not to be.
 
But being the person that I am, I've made it work, made the best out of those changes and for the most part, thrived.
 
But I'm not gonna lie, I'm miserable.  It was better when it was Summer (for a whole 3 months), but now Winter has settled in big time and I just hate it.
 
Living in Texas you think, oh goodness what I wouldnt give to live somewhere cold.
 
Um, no.  Or maybe...but not me.
 
Don't get me wrong, I like, even love cold, but not so cold that you have to wear 4 layers up top, 2 on bottom, to run outside, or that you have to have 4 blankets on your bed...or I guess you could just have 1 and pay an enormous gas bill, but you get my point.
 
This below zero BS is not even the least bit funny.
 
And then the snow and ice?  Ugh.
 
Additionally I guess as I said, I grossly underestimated how badly I would miss the conveniences of a city, my friends, my family.
 
So my future, first and foremost is to get back to civilization.  Now whether or not that ends up being Houston, I don't know.  Maybe Austin, Dallas?
 
But additionally my future, regardless of where I end up will be that I spend more time enjoying the life that I had there before and didn't take advantage of.

Too many times, as I am at my core, an introvert, would stay in my own little world, rarely venturing out to do this or that.  Sometimes, but not often.

Well I should say not often enough.

Given the opportunity I want to be more involved with races, volunteering, not just running.  And I want to run MORE races.  I had stopped for budgeting reasons, but its just silly.  Now that I dont have the options, I know what a privilege it was to have races around me all the time.

With real live timing.  And not the same 3 miles every single time.  Here they have a 5K ever so often, but its the same. 3. miles. every. single. time.  On a paved trail.

Blech.

Also would spend more time with my non-running friends.  Man I miss them SO SO SO SO SO SO SO SO much!

Thats the biggest thing right there.  While my social life was minimal man, I am so gonna do that differently in the future once I can get out of dodge.

Seriously I thought this was going to be the answer to so many things, but really its only answered the $ question, and really looking back...how important is that?  Eh, really its been a godsend, and I'm thankful now that I did make the best decision for me at the time.

It also answered the question, although I never knew the question existed, was what was missing from my life.  Only until I left to find that, did I realize I was leaving it all behind.

Hindsight.

Obviously spend a LOOOOOOOOOOT more time with family; now that my niece has moved closer into Htown proper, it would be easier.

Also continue with my fitness journey OUTSIDE of running.  I am really loving all the new things I am trying now that marathon training has gone bye-bye for good ;o)

So much to do, so little time...

Now onwards and upwards!!!!!!!!!!



Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Ghosts of Christmas Present

 
And so we have Christmas Present.
Or in my case, I would say the past decade.  That along with now, thats my 'present'.
 
Its the time where I began to heal, even through the times of loss, confusion, and tribulation.  I began dealing with the highs, and certainly the lows through new eyes, a new head and certainly a new spirit.
 
Part of me wonders if I would have begun to come into my own had I not gotten sick, quit drinking, and started running?
 
Who knows, but I do believe that everything happens for a reason and for me that reason was a renewed sense of life.
 
In watching Scrooged, during the visit of Christmas present, I had to look inside, and while not anywhere near the despair that Francis had in the movie, there are certainly parts of my present that are not ideal.
 
My present is primarily awesome.  I am closer than ever to my family, even though I live so far away.  We have a new bundle of joy coming in just a couple of months.  I have a great job.  I make a lot of money.  I have a great house even though its drafty which makes for some cursing when I have to get up in the morning and its negative a billion degrees outside ;)
 
I have only 3 years left before I am completely debt free, including student loans!

So yeah, my Christmas present is a-ok.

Except that I completely misjudged this whole moving away from 'home' thing.

Last time I did that I was 25 and couldn't wait to get away from my life there; past relationships, mom and dad..everything.  A new adventure.  And it was wonderful.

But I was 25.

This time around I was 49.  Things in the couple of years leading up to that weren't great, still running from a relationship that left me feeling less than whole.  While I was doing OK, a little distance would even be better right?

Yeah.  And no.

The lure of an adventure, away from the suffocating heat of Texas, what was a dead end job, making a lot less than I had for years..and this job with its reputation as a company, signing bonus, moving me...a 2 year contract...how bad can it be?

Well while it is not 'bad', I miss home something awful.  I mean like AWFUL AWFUL.

I miss shopping, movies, any kind of food you can long for.  I miss being able to wear shorts to run in 365 days a year; or at least 360 days a year ;)

I miss my family being an hour away.  I miss my friends, both running and non-running.  I miss my running group.  Those early Saturday morning long runs.

Races with actual timing.
Whataburger.

The weather here is brutal.  While yes, the no humidity thing is a godsend, the rest of it just sucks.  Wind, wind and more wind.  SO COLD 9 months out of the year. 

Sure the money is awesome, but I now often wonder, how important is that in life?  Yes I have socked away a lot...I don't long for anything that I may want or need.  Its going to look great on my resume...how important is that anyway at my age???

So my present, while I am SO much better off than I have ever been in all the ways that count, I am not happy.

I thought I might try and get my re-do on my failed 'last' marathon ever in 2014, but it cannot be my focus.  My focus on 2014 is to get back to where I am happiest.  The last place I thought that might actually be:

Texas.




Monday, December 9, 2013

Ghosts of Christmas Past

 
This post may be a downer for some, but its real life.  And something I've been giving a lot of thought to..and its not like I haven't been 'educated' on how cleansing this might be ... after all these years of just keeping secrets about something so deep, so dark, so personal...

***********************************


There is so much about me that no one really knows about.
Mostly about the 'ghosts' or 'demons' of my past; that semi-defined my life, up to a point I suppose. And to this day, still haunt me but I am much better at understanding and realizing that because of those of those things, not in spite of them, I have come to this place.
This place in my life where I've matured even beyond what I would have ever imagined, but yet still so very young. At least in my body, mind and spirit.
Yes my biological age is a number I don't necessarily equate with young, but it certainly isn't old either.
 
This past weekend, as I was watching Scrooged, I began to think about my own past, present and future. And figured I should write ... I'm not going to lie, some of this might not set well with anyone who might read it (I realize I've lost readership through my semi-retirement from this blog); but maybe that's a good thing.
It's no secret that I've had in my past the things that made me struggle with weight, eating disorderish type behavior.
Wait, lets stop right there. Maybe its obvious to those that actually know me IRL, but I've strugged with an eating disorder my entire life.
 
Sometimes it would be worse than other times, but still there nonetheless.  Not in a 'traditional' sense or anything like that...most people associate ED with anorexia or bulimia, but those were neither of my demons.  I will write more on this at a later time, but its now there for now;
 
I also suffer from body dysmorphia.  If I remember right, I've written about this before here...
 
Both of these are a direct reflexion of a 'ghost'; from early childhood through 9th grade or so and well, continues to this day.  I just have a realization of it now that helps me not be destructive with my thoughts or actions.
 
And another 'ghost' of past, is actually something that had a direct correlation to probably the weight/eating issues I've suffered since.
 
As a child I was sexually abused.  I don't remember at what age it started, but I do remember when it ended.  More or less.  I couldn't recite what grade or age, or anything like that.  I shut it out of my mind for so long, but then bits and pieces would come back. 

I was clearly still too young to realize the horror of it all, so when it stopped it just stopped. 

This was WAY before 'stranger danger' and all the television shows...and where people actually warned children at every turn about what wasn't right...or even if a family member or friend...Wasn't right and you should tell someone.

I can still clearly remember incidents though, almost as if a dream...but they were real.  And the conversations around this were very real once the 3 of us realized we weren't alone.
 
Several years back it was discovered that not only myself, but my sister, and my niece as well.  So basically it stopped for my sister when it started with me, and then it ended with me when it started with my niece.

And no, we never told anyone.
 
Then the nightmare was over.

I sometimes still think about these incidents...and how they've shaped me into the person I was; and who I am still becoming.  They have MUCH less of an impact on me as I've gotten older other than sometimes I regret that especially the abuse one, it possibly kept me from ever really becoming able to seal the deal on getting married and having kids.  I don't really know about that last part though... LOL ... kids?  Ummm...

Don't get me wrong, I love babies and kids...I have a maternal side, but I am also extremely selfish, and then there is the whole sub-issue of the weight/body thing..that also, as much as I hate to admit it, was always in the back of my mind whenever the subject of kids ever came up in a few of my engagements to be married.  Yeah, didn't you know?  Engaged 5 times, and 5 times I backed out.

So yeah to say I have some ghosts that for so long I only dealt with in the way of too many men, too much alcohol, too many drugs and overall self-destructive behavior is an understatement.  Thankfully though, through the past decade, other than a very bad self destructive relationship for a couple of years, I'm definitely better.

That 'relationship' was the last of the self destructive behavior though. That one was rough and I struggled really badly through that. Being sober and clean finally while dealing with crisis was ROUGH. I mean rough beyond anything I ever want to experience again.

I still have issues with that every once in a while.  No where near what it use to be.  Shortly after my mom died, the last thread of that relationship and unfortunately any chance of lasting friendship died as well.

This time though it was painless.  Even after all the lies and accusations from their side, which were so far-fetched even I couldn't believe them..LOL..I just laughed most of the time, and now almost 3 years later, I only sometimes wish I could call him up and just chat.  Seems like it only occurs during the holidays now...

Going through my mom dying was something that was also new to me and so so so so painful.  When my dad was diagnosed and died within a year of cancer, I dealt that in the old way.  When it was mom's turn...whoa.

That was brutal.

I've been a master and hiding, fleeing, lying and burying...only to let a chosen few in on some of my ghosts, but clearly no where near the what I would consider the worst of them...

Bet you can't wait for Ghosts of Christmas Present right?






Sunday, December 8, 2013

We Got Above Zero Today!!!

It's been below zero for what seems like forever (it's 7 right now real temp) either real temps and certainly wind chill!  Was -30 one night w the wind.  Clearly I've been running on treadmill but as soon as it gets above 20 we'll be on the road again :). They say Tuesday but we'll see; hopefully they are right. I'd like to get my 12 miler in outside this week if at all possible. 

Stay warm!

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

The Is Reality Where I Live -27 Wind Chill


I felt like I was gonna freeze in my tracks and getting out of the car this morning?  Quite possibly the hardest thing EVER.  :)

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Happy Thanksgiving!! Gobble! Gobble!

 
Staying in NE for the Thanksgiving holiday but only because I will be home in December, January, and again in February.
 
It's obviously cold as hell here (a bit warmer this week tho; no single digits!), snow still on the ground from LAST weeks snows...but other than that, things are just moving along.
 
I am getting in 6 days of either running, running and weights, yoga, Run Club (new!  and fun!), Step, sometimes more than 1 activity in one day...I take a single day of complete rest unless my body tells me to take an extra, then I do, but right now, thats happened I think twice?

And let me just say that doing things other than RUNNING RUNNING RUNNING has made a HUUUUUUUUUUUUUUUGE difference in my weight and physique.  Duh.  I am SO over training for ANYTHING over 13.1 thank God. My body AND my mind thank me repeatedly.
 
Have a couple new buddies for running with, that I actually like, so thats been making life easier here...
 
Still not sure if I am running a half down near Denver in 2 weeks; I was actually thinking I need to finish Christmas shopping that same weekend to get everything shipped off to Texas in time without having to pay an arm and a leg.
 
We'll see.  It has race day sign up which I love for the singular reason of being able to monitor the weather up until the day before if need be.  You never know if snow and ice will take over and so being able to sign up last minute is great.  Close enough to just get up early, drive the 2 hours there, run, and drive home.
 
Otherwise Houston is next up.
 
I know I don't blog much, no desire really, but I am on Instagram, Twitter and Facebook and thats enough sharing really...other than here at least I will post from time to time or races, current events, etc.
 
Till next time!!
 
Don't eat too much!!!
 
No really.  Don't.
 



Monday, November 18, 2013

Lululemon vs The World

It is no secret that I am a Lululemon lovah from waaaaaaaaaaaaay back.
 
I've bought, worn, sold on eBay and bought more enough times that I seriously couldn't put a # on the amount of $ I have spent and subsequently made back (from selling; AMAZING that Lulu's most popular pieces have a VERY good resale value as long as its in great condition).  For the record MOST of what I sell ends up being pieces or patterns I buy, then wear once or twice; decide I don't like it, so I sell it.  Most often I get what I paid for it, sometimes even more than retail.
 
Lulu fanatics are cray yo.
 
And I am one of them.
 
So unless you have been living under a rock, don't watch TV, don't use social media, you know all the hoopla of late over the CEO making a statement in an interview that in my opinion, people took WAY out of context.
 
I don't know, I am of the thinking that society in general seems to be uber sensitive about EVERYTHING, or they are those that just like to be in the middle of whatever controversy whether they honestly agree with it, or for that matter, care.
 
So here's the deal.  So far, the ONLY blogs, tweets, FB status' that I have seen on this matter, quite frankly are those that fall out of the Lululemon demographic, the media (to stir shit up), or the ones I mentioned above: that just like to get their .02 cents in on EVERYTHING.
 
I don't get all worked up about it, except I did get a little peeved when I read two girls blog (Cant remember which ones now), where both of them wrote basically 'break up' letters to Lululemon.  Even though one girl stated right off the bat that she hadnt been able to fit in Lululemon yet, but it was a goal, but now she didn't want to be able to fit into Lululemon after all.
 
Oy. 
 
She further went on to state that she wished women who could wear Lululemon should be up in arms and how disrespectful and should see what a stain we put on our gender if we keep purchasing...
 
Um.  No.
 
YOU don't get to shame me (which is how I felt reading it) because I CAN wear Lululemon.
 
I don't go all half wit crazy because I can't shop at Lane Bryant.  Or in any number of other stores that cater to the larger womens sizes.
 
Someone on Twitter said I cannot make that comparison because Lane Bryant is open about their demographic.
 
Um. So is Lululemon.
And Ambercrombie & Fitch.
Among MANY others I might add.
 
But the difference is that people get more all up in cray-mode when someone shames or calls it like they see it about 'fat' people.
 
Look, I hate the F word.  I have enough issues with my body perception etc., that I am highly sensitive to it all.
 
But at the end of the day, whoever starts up a company, chooses the merchandise they are going to sell, at the end of the day, its THEIR business.
 
Choose to shop or boycott whoever.  I don't give a flying flipper fuck.

Every week I wait for Tuesday so I can see the new product drop.  I follow so many Lulu blogs where folks get the scoop on whats coming out each week, month or even in the next season.

At the end of the day, their product ROCKS (sans you know that little production issue they had with the yoga pants issue earlier this year), is the cutest patootiest, and I like my fashion, even when it comes to fitness clothes, especially running! 
 
But don't make it about ALL women and that we have a duty to band together?  Or else we should be demonized for thinking with our own heads, hearts and wallet.

Hey, its not my fault you cannot wear below a size 12.  I can't wear over my size either without looking like a buffoon, but you don't hear me whining about it.
 
I'll buy Lululemon till the cows come home.  Some dude telling it like it is, isn't going to change that.
 
The end.
 


Friday, November 1, 2013

Chicago Marathon Recovery Period

It's been 19 days today, and they say a day for each mile for 'recovery', but I'm calling it.
 
It's important to realize that when they say the 1 day for each mile of a marathon for recovery, it does NOT mean sitting on your ass for 26 days.
 
What it does mean is you run easy, much less mileage of course and get in regular exercise whether it be walking, strength training, Zumba, or whatever.
 
Just not like you were prior to taper.
 
I've run 6 and 8 miles respectively the past couple of Saturdays, with both being super easy pace; e.g. my 8 miler time was 1:30:20  (tomorrow I will do 10 miles)
 
I still did intervals, but was doing 7/1's (shorter runs I am pretty much for the most part running straight through again finally!)  Its getting harder and harder to get out the door for morning runs no matter the distance because of the cold here in NW Nebraska.  Its so hard as a matter of fact that I've only done it on my Saturday runs.  During the week, I'm like I want to stay in my warm house please!!
 
My runs during the week average 3-5 miles at a time.  Which is fine for half marathons coming up in the next few months.  Long gone, at least for another month, are the 6-7 milers mid-week.
 
I've really upped my game in the gym.  Typically my sessions are 1 to 1.5 hours and up to 2 hours on Sunday.  And the 1-1.5 hour ones are generally AFTER a run on the treadmill.
 
I've also done Step and started doing Yoga at least once a week as well.
 
Here, where I live, there just isn't a whole heck of a lot to do.  Last Winter, while I did train, it was lackluster at best (a LOT of treadmill running); I didn't know how to adjust to the harshness of the weather, so basically I stayed off the roads a lot.
 
Now I've come to realize that there is no sense in that.  A huge majority of my time this Winter will be spent with hours in the gym.  There is absolutely NO reason to sit in the house because its so cold, snowy, icy, whatever...spend that time working out.  Plus I have the treadmill now in the basement for those days you just cannot get out due to snow and ice. 
 
It happens.
 
I'm still hoping to motivate myself for the sub 10deg running Saturdays; I'm good with gear other than a buff, which I have yet to buy...but my weekdays will more than likely be spent in the gym unless it warms up enough (and not the high winds we generally get) to run after work outside.  But then that ruins my gym time, so running on the TM then working out for at least an hour doing either weights or a class is just more time efficient.

Anyhoohoo, thats pretty much what has been going on that I care enough to share that is ;)

One of my goals is to get back to close enough to peak performance weight by January 19th.  It'll be close, but its doable.  With the holidays though, makes it a bit more challenging.

I have a couple of other posts started, just not yet ready to publish.  There are some things I feel strongly about, but want to a) research more and/or b) need to word just right.

TTFN!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

What Can You Expect Now?

Well now that I've finished 10 of these crazy ass 26.2 milers...
 
And sworn that I was done...
 
What's next?

Well hopefully a lot of half marathons and some 10 milers too.

The 10 mile races seem to becoming more and more popular which is kinda cool!

I've done 2, maybe 3?  I know my PR at that distance is 1:38ish which was done gosh, I cannot remember!  Maybe 2010?  Anyway...I know I can beat that time...

And well, I've decided to not yet give up on the sub 2 half marathon.  My PR at the half is 2:06:xx and that was in 2011 I think...maybe 2010.  I know it was up near Dallas and it was awesome.

I have a couple of half's coming up: one in early December (hopefully; weather permitting) and then Houston in mid-January.  Now neither of those are on my radar to even come close to the 2:06, but the Houston one I will definitely hope to be at least in a specific range, again, weather will be a big factor.  With the new course there, void of all 'hills' it should prove to give me a good indicator of where I am.  That's 3 months away...

Actually there are a couple of goals I have for Houston; more on that maybe in another post.

I am going to be a little less generous here on the blog about upcoming races (names, places, distances, etc), training and goals for personal and private reasons, but I will still blog about those things, only just in much less in depth as I have been with over the past few years.

I think amongst everything, my training is going to be the most changed drastically, along with my nutrition.  A lot more seriousness on speed training, hill and tempo.  And the biggest change is incorporating a lot of strength training back into my routine a la 2009/2010.

After Houston, I have a couple of more races planned up around this area.  After that, I am not sure simply because my hope is that I can return to Houston.  Or at the very least Texas.  So for a few months I probably won't plan anything unless its really close by and requires little to no effort other than just the running part.

Yeah, its time for me to go home  HOME SWEET HOME ...Just a little bit longer here and that can become a reality.

Fingers crossed.



Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Chicago Marathon 2013 - Event Report

Well seeing as how I got all of that out of system in the previous post...
 
A day later, and I still don't feel any better about my decision on that day.
 
I doubt I ever will to be honest.
 
And I was honest.  It is how I felt, and still feel.  I think I was open with the fact that at the end of the day, the blame for my feelings, lie squarely on my shoulders.
 
Not anyone elses.
 
But...this post is about the 'experience' of this event, not the downside of it.
And actually there was another negative.
 
The weather.
 
Yet again.  I am 3 for 3 in Chicago.
Although at least this time, the temps only got to 70 with full on sunshine (and a 3rd Chicago sunburn by the way) instead of the normal 80's and 90 in the previous 2 years I ran there.  Surprisingly enough, even in those temps I still managed to marathon PR at 4:42:xx (2011) and a 4:51ish in 2010.  Eh.  Apparently still not ready to let go of the fact that I pulled a 5 for the first time since my 1st in 2007...let alone a marathon PW.
 
OK...so where were we?
 
Oh yeah the good parts...
 
I will say that the weather at the start was glorious.  Cool (53ish) with a slight wind to make you feel chilly.  In hindsight I SO should have worn a tank.
 
At least later in the race, there were 'cooling stations' that were opened up, mist'ers and some folks with sprinklers, it was nice to have a second to get cool.
 
And of course the first 13 miles of the course is pretty much completely void of sun, so that was awesome.
 
Oh and Chicago in October?  Beautiful foliage!!  So that was nice.  I actually got to pay attention to how pretty things were for a change.
 
Which really is the one big takeaway from the event:  That I actually saw things I had only ever heard about because I was always so focused on my time or the race itself, I never took the time to look around at my surroundings.
 
I read signs.  SO FUNNY!  There were so many good ones that were done relative to current situations (govt shutdown), television shows (Breaking Bad, Walking Dead), and just overall funny ...
 
There was the nursing home around mile 6ish where they wheel all the people over the glass windows, in their wheelchairs, they've made signs and just wave and wave and wave.
 
I cried a bit because it just reminded me of my momma.  Seeing those older people who were SO DARN EXCITED!  It was just so wonderful.  And sad in a way.  I wanted to just stop, go inside and hug them.  There was another place along the route where there was a rehab center or something like that where they were outside...just younger it seemed...Still it was cool.
 
It was cool to actually see the boy cheerleaders in BoysTown, the Elvis, and while I have always notice the dancing dragons in China Town as its a right turn I always wait for (4 miles to go!), it was cool to actually dance to the so so so loud tune of Gangnam as you were approaching and long after you turned. 
 
There really were just a lot of wonderful things to see.
 
I high fived a lot.
We stopped and took pictures a time or two in certain spots.
And unfortunately I encouraged others on a lot as I would get far ahead of my buddy at points and stop and wait for her.  Without a plan for the end, I didn't want to lose her.  No phone, no room key etc...
 
I had 2 bad miles...where my left quad was in excruciating pain, but then once I figured out running felt better than walking, well thats what I did.
 
The only other bad time I guess would be where I drank Gatorade.  That messed my stomach up but once I tried to stop, couldn't and then it passed.  Thankfully.  My stomach is not used to sugary drinks of any kind! ESPECIALLY when its hot.

Oh and one of the other things I did that I have NEVER EVER done in a race? Took an orange popsicle from someone oh, I dont know...around mile 20something? Can't remember, but damn it was hot and that popsicle was DELICIOUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! And for some reason, no GI problems from it!
 
Let's see...what else?
 
Oh yeah!  Seeing Char and L shortly after finishing!!!  That was great!  We all finished just about 4 min apart as she ran with L for his 2nd!

That was awesome!  Pics are on my Facebook; sorry lazy to go and get them :O)

Seemed easier to move about and exit the finish area too for some reason?  Maybe because I was distracted by talking to Char and L?  Also taking the subway back to the hotel?  AWESOME.   Have never done that, but it was definitely the right thing to do after!

Before we got on the subway, we both grabbed iced drinks, then once in our hotel, ordered room service.

You would think after a marathon I wouldnt be concerned with what I ate, but I still didnt eat the bun on the hamburger, and only allowed myself about half the fries!  Honestly it was more about how that stuff makes me feel than about the calories.  :O)

All in all, you know Chicago Marathon is and always will be my favorite favorite favorite marathon...I just absolutely LOVE that town and that race!

My choices just didn't coincide with the best experience and for that I will always have regret. 

Part of me thinks I need to do it again...



Monday, October 21, 2013

Checking Your Ego (aka Feeling Like Crap After Running a Marathon Because You Did the 'Right' Thing)



 
While it sounds good, and maybe even feels good (to some people), this is not the case with me.
 
I feel horrible for feeling this way, most of the time anyway...and even 8 days later after the marathon, I am still bitter.
 
I've at least realized that I cannot blame the other person on the finishing time, because at the end of the day, it was me who decided to do the event with her before it even started and continued to stay with her throughout.
 
There were a few times, OK more than a few times where I wanted to just leave her, but then something would make me just suck it up knowing full well that I was going to not be happy at all with my decision.
 
I think I was mostly OK with it up until late Monday afternoon.  Then I was just angry and bitter and I wanted nothing more than to just be alone, or at the very least, not with this person.
 
I was blaming her, and well, as I said, I now realize that was wrong.
 
I am so mad at myself for going into this and ending up with a time that most definitely does not match up to the effort I put in training.
 
While I did have some challenges, at the end of the day, I did every single long run and clocked the early morning before work miles, etc.
 
She did not.
 
Even though there were a couple of weeks where she couldn't run due to injury there were plenty of opportunities where she could have, but 'being an ultra-runner, my goals are different than yours'.
 
Oh how I should have listened more carefully to those words.

Its true you know.  Ultra runners could care less about time for the most part.  They are more about the experience regardless of how long it takes them to get there.

And thats fine.

If you are an ultra runner.

I am not an ultra runner.  Nor do I ever care to be.  I do not and will not ever understand that mindset.

Or that desire.

Or level of crazy :)

While I said it was my last marathon, I would be lying if I didn't tell you I searched for a marathon anywhere near me over the course of 3 weeks.  This would give me time to recover, use it as taper and go do a marathon and post a time that I know would be at least 30 min shorter, if not more.

But the only thing was Denver RnR and that was yesterday.  Which would have been one week post Chicago.

It would have been a disaster obviously, so that wasn't an option.  Even if it had been 2 weeks post Chicago, I would have gone and done it!  I knew several people from here either doing the half or the full.

Now there just arent any due to the weather being so unpredictable here as we never know when ice and snow will hit; even in October.

So here I sit, still upset by my decisions and nothing I can do about it.

I made a huge, huge mistake.  Now I wonder... WILL I try and recapture my deflated ego and go out with a # I am capable of?  I cannot rest easy with this.

Believe me I have tried...

I will write more about specifics in the 'event' report (I refuse to call this a race this time around...)  There were SO many times I started to just keep going and not stop...and you'll read about them all :O)

Yes, I had 2 rough miles there around 18, but then I was fine; what could have been is now just a what if.

I wouldn't recommend this to anyone.  Especially if you have one bone in your body that is competitive.  And especially if you put the work in, then you should reap what you sow.
 
 


Sunday, October 20, 2013

Post Chicago Workouts (and I Know I Owe a Race Report)

Monday
Walked, and walked, and walked.  Magnificent Mile in Chicago for lots of shopping!  Oh Michael Kors how I love ya!
Tuesday
Lots more walking and making the day long trip home.
Worst part about living where I live.
Its a challenge to travel to and fro anywhere.  But I was happy to be home if in fact they were making me leave Chicago.
Wednesday
Gym
35 min on the treadmill; walking of course
Row - 1300m
Some walking of laps around the indoor track
100 Weighted ball sit ups
Thursday
1 hour Step class
Oh how I have missed Step class!  They started the class back up early September but I didn't want to interupt my running schedule or risk soreness, so I didn't return until this week.
I just love Step class!
Friday
Nada
Saturday
Just about 6 miles on the treadmill; still staying off the pavement this week
LOTS of weighted sit ups, push ups using stability ball and planks

Felt SO good to run again!  Legs feel great!
Sunday
2 hours at the gym

1 mile warm up on the elliptical
2000m row
Weights: back, bi's and tri's
In between sets I either did 25 fast jj's, or sprinted around the track OR in some cases before doing the sprint or the jj's, I would do a 2nd set of some sort of alternating weight movement.
Stretching
So many crunches
Cooled down with 2 miles on the elliptical

***************************************

I have a couple of blog posts I have to write, obviously the race report and a couple of others with thoughts on a few things from Chicago and for going forward.

I learned a lot about myself in Chicago
1) I am still highly competitive
2) One should ALWAYS run their OWN race
3) I'm not quite done yet with achieving some goals I thought I couldn't achieve, but now know I am NOT ready to just lay down and let those go...

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Chicago Marathon 2013 .... Just Another Photo :)

Leaving Chicago today to head back to Nebraska...I will get a race report up sometime this week...

In the meantime, finish line photo of Jaime and I :)


Friday, October 11, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Last Week of Taper AKA Race Week!!!

By the time you read this I will either be IN Chicago, or close to it  :)
Writing it as I have been, daily, but posting it end of week.
 
Monday
3 miles easy (on the roads) before work
31deg
No wind!  After a weekend of debilitating winds, it was so nice this morning.

After work I hit the gym for 1 hour of a bit of cardio (2500m on the rower) along with some walking on the track and some weights for biceps and back
 
Tuesday
3 miles
70deg
Waited until around 6pm to run my 3 mile loop
It was way too nice outside to go to the gym
Typical feeling of oh my gosh this sucks, how am I going to do 26.2?
It happens.  I remember.  So I am trying not to worry too much about how my head is telling me to think right now.
 
Wednesday
Took the day off!
 
Thursday
4.5 miles
treadmill
Working from home half a day and just stayed in early with my coffee; went to gym after my ONLY conf call scheduled :)
 
Friday
Rest/Travel to Chicago
 
Saturday
Rest
 
Sunday
CHICAGO MARATHON!
 
***************************************
 
I have been struggling with a decision about this race for a few weeks now.
I am not sure if I ever noted this, but signing up for this race and doing another marathon was never part of my current life plan.
 
I was peer pressured into doing this, and thankfully I LOOOOVE JMc to death or else I would be calling her out right now for all this mess!  LOL...
 
And to say that this has been the toughest marathon training ever for me would be an understatement.
 
From having to do the training mileage alone, self supported and in a town no more than 6miles wide, let alone that I hadn't seriously trained for much since leaving Houston in the summer of 2012..higher altitude...boredom from the same streets over and over and over...and pre-menopause?  Yeah, it hasn't been pleasant.
 
And certainly I am nowhere even close to the runner I had become, even early 2012 pre-injury.
 
However judging by where I think I might be...race readiness is what I mean here, it certainly wouldn't be my longest time out there (which was my first marathon Jan2007 where I was 5:33), but yeah I figure I might not (but could if I have the stars aligned!) be able to go sub5 this time (I havent gone over 5 hours since that first marathon by the way!), having to do run/walk's again after so many years of not doing that! (I'll never forget the first time I ran an entire marathon AND it consequently was my first sub 5 AND my 2nd marathon)...  Well its humbling.  Its hard to go back to that when your last marathons dating back to the beginning were all done running straight through (sans water stops).  But I have slowly come to grips with that.  For now. :)
 
At least my shorter runs (8 miles and under) are now doing with 7/1's so I'm getting some endurance back, so at least I have that W in my column.  I am also doing much, much better and accepting being uncomfortable when running instead of being a pussy and deciding its OK to walk now....

Hoping to capitalize on that for Houston in January (another post, another day)...
But here comes the bigger connundrum: My running partner for Chicago has not had an easy time of it since mid-August. She went to Iceland for a stage race, got injured, took a few weeks to recover...then did a 50K in horrible conditions and just hasn't had the opportunities to train for Chicago...in the sense that one trains for a marathon that is.

I would add that also JMc has become a bonafide ultra runner in every sense of the word.  She lives and breathes for not only hours on end of being either running, walking or a combination of both, but loves the thought of stage races.

The 'problem', if you can call it that, at least for the Chicago Marathon this year with me...is that the mentality of ultra runners is WAAAAAAAAAAAY different from a marathoner.  Their motto seems to be: Slow is the new fast

A marathoner wants to get out there, get it done, and get it done in the shortest amount of time possible.  That is not to say that ultra marathoners don't think like that, but a LOT less so.   They go out to do the mileages of upwards of 30+ and don't really give a damn how long it takes them.  e.g. JMc's 50K a few weeks back?  Almost 10 hours.  Um.  No thank you.

And what happens is that ultra runners use marathons as training 'runs'.

Do you see where I am going with this?

Several weeks ago, JMc mentioned to me that while we had pinky-signed up to do this race TOGETHER NO MATTER WHAT...that if I felt like I needed to go ahead of her at any point in the race, it would be OK and she would understand.

And I've struggled with the fact that while I am not as trained as I once was...nor am I as fast as I once was...I did train to hopefully do my best.  And I know

Ultra runners don't care.  Very laid back approach.  Knowing that they'll finish when they finish and yes, make the cut off.

So I have struggled internally for weeks, even though during that conversation with JMc, I assured her, no, we will finish together just like we said.

So the struggle within has been do I stick to that, or do I go out there and do the best that I can?  Be selfish and make it all about me; afraid to have a finish time 'beneath' me?  And in doing so, in some way, feeling like I would be letting my friend down?  Gone back on our word we gave the day we signed up?

I am 95% sure I know what I am going to do on Sunday...and obviously 5% not sure.

At the end of all, though...I think if I say 'actions speak louder than words' that might give you some insight as to what I'm figuring will happen.  After all, her friendship and my integrity mean more to me than numbers on a clock.

And I've almost come to peace with that.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Taper Week 2 - Overall Week 18


Monday
Still ouchy right calf
Waited until after work (wore flats today!) to run 5 miles on the treadmill
Stretched
Wore compression sock for a couple of hours after while keeping it elevated and resting
The calf felt fine while running; actually all of me felt pretty darn good!
Almost 100% certain I somehow just overworked it somehow on Saturdays run?
 
Only thing I did differently was run a bit faster and increased my run to walk ratio up to 7/1's
Tuesday
No run

Opted to get the front and back yards mowed etc. as there is a storm coming with rain, ice, wind and snow!  Already!  Although it was this weekend last year (OctoberFest) that we got quite a bit of snow and ice, enough to cancel the parade and that is a BIG deal here; they dont just cancel that for nothing!

Wednesday
4 miles before work
46deg
No wind

Wanted to test the calf out on the road.  Probably shouldn't have.  It seems to be 'OK' on a flat, but since I have to run uphill for about 1/2 mile to get back to my house, that wasn't so great.

I am sure it will be fine by race day (praying), and at least the weather is going to force me indoors on Saturday morning for my last 'long' run before the marathon (8 miles).  This is probably a blessing in disguise.

Thursday
3 miles: Treadmill
Leg feeling good; hoping to keep it that way!
Stretched really well for about 10 min
100 weighted sit ups
40 min of weights focusing on back and triceps

Friday
Rest

Saturday
8 miles
Treadmill
While my leg was feeling better, I had planned on doing this one on the treadmill, and even if at any point I thought otherwise, the weather here definitely solidified my decision.
Early winter storm, feels like in the single digits and 40mph winds?  Yeah.  No thank you!

After the run, I spent another 1.5 hours on stretching, A LOT of ab work and then free weights with sprints in between.

Almost 3 hours at the gym on a Saturday morning?
Yes please!!

Sunday
35 min walk on the treadmill at home

We are in full on taper mode now....


Monday, September 30, 2013

Chicago Marathon Training Recap - Week 17

Well anyone that has been reading along knows that I am in my first week of taper!
 
And while it still might seem not exactly a taper, it is...At first I was like what?  Still a mid-week of 7 and 13 on Saturday?
 
Oh well, at least its not 20  :O)
 
Monday
Got up to run a short 3 miler before work, but it was raining.
Eh.
But then it POURED AND POURED AND POURED ALL DAY!
I took it as a sign, along with my sore legs (definitely DOMS from Saturdays 20 miler), that I needed to just chill.
So I did.  It was fantasic.
 
Tuesday
Up before 5am, out the door by 5:25
38deg!!!!!!!!
And no wind!!!!!!!  Note: we are getting dangerously close to that time where the winds are relentless no matter what time of day or night.  Its going to be brutal, but I learned from my first Winter here for sure.  I hope hope hope that what I've learned, that it will keep me on the roads running through even the coldest temps.  We'll see.
 
This morning obviously still a shorts morning (yay!!), although a long sleeve and an ear band.
To me when I can wear shorts and a long sleeve, its my perfect everything.
 
5 miles
 
Wednesday
 Some mornings, I just can't.
I'm exhausted.
Or something still hurts and the thought of running (even though I know its temporary until I get going) just makes me ... well ... not very willing.
This morning was one of those mornings.  Mentally Tuesday night I was ready, willing and able.
Then 4:45am came and I was like 'ugh'.
I even tried to tell myself instead of 7, do 5.
Didn't care.
It was even in the 30's...cool and fun to run!
Didn't care.

So after work, still didn't care.
But since it was a bit warm out, and I didnt want to wait, and I didnt want to sweat :O), I went to the gym and did an hour on the treadmill.

We'll just call this a win with a big fat W because I was {this close} to crapping out the entire day!
 
Thursday
 Switched Fridays rest day for today
 
Friday
3 miles before work
37 deg
18mph North winds
At least the winds were on the downhill and assisted me back home on the uphill :O)
 
Saturday
11 miles
36 deg with winds from the west (thank goodness!)
I was supposed to do 13 miles, but I had a couple of things bothering me: left knee and right (outside) calf
Better safe than sorry
Was just a BEAUTIFUL morning for a run.
With the much cooler temps now, and shorter mileage, I didn't get out the door until close to 6:15.
So lovely!
  
Sunday
Nada
Had 3 miles on my schedule, but my calf was worse than Saturday; especially going up or down the stairs at home, so I called it a no-go, sported compression socks all day pretty much and stayed off the leg as much as possible.
By the evening it was feeling MUCH better

TWO WEEKS TO GO!!