I claim defeat

“Defeat is not the worst of failures.  Not to have tried is the true failure.” ~George Edward Woodberry.

Nice quote.  Today I don’t buy it.  My run sucked.  I know why and I don’t know why all at the same time.

This was my second run, back to back, that sucked.  My past two runs have sucked, and incidentally, I was just feeling in stride and rhythm with this whole running thing and thinking that maybe this was finally getting easier.

Guess what, it’s not.

I want to quit.  I want to give up.  I want to live a happy, peaceful life on the elliptical and sit down bike at the gym instead running.

But…

Thursday I’ll lace up the damn running shoes again.

And I’ll go for it even when all parts of me and shouting and screaming.

At this point, it’s not even because I want to.  It’s because I have to.

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There’s no such thing has a bad run.

“Anybody can be a runner. We were meant to move. We were meant to run. It’s the easiest sport.” ~Bill Rodgers

Today was supposed to be my easy run day.  In my training schedule Sundays are the days when I only run 2 miles, no matter what.  I can go any speed I want as long as I complete the run.  The best and worst part of having a schedule is always knowing when and how long you are supposed to run.  Knowing I only had to do 2 miles today made me overestimate myself.  I had just done 3 miles on Friday and most of it was uphill so 2 miles was going to be a piece of cake.  I didn’t have anything to worry about

Long story short, it was the worst 2 miles I have run yet.  What could go wrong, did go wrong.  First my shoes felt too loose, then they felt too tight.  The sidewalks are covered with ice so I had to run on the road which wouldn’t have been so bad but there is also a ton of ice on road and I have to stop and wait every time a car drives by.  My legs felt tired and heavy even from the very beginning (it usually takes a while).

And then the worst possible thing happened.  After running for only about 5 minutes, my Map My Run app announces that I’ve run a mile.  Um…no.  I haven’t.  I know this 2 mile loop.  I run it every week.  I am no where near a mile.  These are all the things I am yelling at my phone…outloud.  For me, the first mile is always the hardest.  Usually, once I hear my phone tell me I’ve hit a mile, it’s all smooth sailing.  So, now, knowing this app is completely wrong and messed up, I am so pissed off that I basically give up especially because this is not the first time it has happened.

Around what my Map My Run App said was mile 2, I began to get back into the swing of things and get my bearings.  For a while on my run I blamed my bad mood on the app, but really, it was me.  I knew I was going to have to run today and just assumed that because I had been able to complete every run up until now that this one would be easy.

But last night I got a lot of sleep (as in 5 hours more than normal), making me more tired than usual.  I haven’t done my hip strengthening exercises in a week.  I did an hour of cardio and bike riding the day before.  I was clearly dehydrated since I drank almost no water the day before.  I had too many hard ciders (celebrating a night with no kids for the first time in a month).  I ate a crappy dinner (don’t ask) and then ate salty tortilla chips for a snack (ugh).  All this stuff  combined together, including my terrible attitude, really affected my run.  I never really thought about things like drinking enough water or eating the right meal the night before could have such a negative effect, simply because when I first started out I couldn’t do it anyway.  One crappy meal or one glass of water was not going to propel me past feeling like death after running for 5 minutes.

While my run was terrible (lets not even talk about times, considering I’m already as slow as a turtle), it was definitely enlightening.  I’m learning now the more I push myself in the running department, the more I need to take care of myself in other areas.  I can’t slack off in one area and hope that it doesn’t effect the others.  And now that I’m actually doing THIS I need to do it the right way.

So, the rest of today is all about drinking water, stretching, making friends with my foam roller, and planning my meals for the week.

Oh yeah, and finally buying a Garmin because I am so over the Map My Run lady telling me I ran a mile in 5 minutes.  That would have been nice…but no.

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The Long Way Home

“You live but once, you might as well be amusing.” ~Coco Chanel

Do you ever get that feeling that you know you want to write but you have no idea what you are going to say?  That’s how I feel at this moment.  I feel like I’ve been writing this post in my head all week, but when I sit to write, nothing is actually coming out.

My workout schedule is going well and I have managed to follow it for two weeks.  Now that I’m running more and going to the gym less I know I need to work more on my stretching and strength training.  I neglected it this week, and after my run today I can definitely feel it.

I started talking up the fact that I signed up for the Baltimore Half Marathon to some friends at work and a lot of people seem really interested.  A few have even signed up already.  It really shows me how much I have grown during my running and since the summer.

6 months ago, if someone had said something about going running with me or running a race with me I would have laughed and tried to figure out some way to get out of it.  I would have been too embarrassed about my size, my ability, and my speed to even contemplate running near someone I know.  Even today when I decided to run this afternoon instead of tomorrow (too busy, more snow) I ran in broad daylight in my tight running pants singing along (rather softly) to my music.  I was super slow with all the snow and ice, I wore an old ratty t-shirt, and sweat was dripping down my face and I just didn’t care.

And the fact is, why should I?  I’m doing this for me, not for anyone else.  Sure, the more the merrier.  I love when I hear that I have motivated someone to run or workout, and I am still desperately searching for a (non-speedy) running buddy, but that’s not why I am doing what I do.  I have no problem being friend or a motivator or a cheerleader for anyone who needs it.  I don’t know what I would have done without mine.  But the days are gone where I always need someone to hold my hand and go with me as I jumped into the unknown abyss.  I no longer feel the need for the outside reassurance that I so constantly craved.

I stepped on the scale today for the first time since I hit my 50 pound mark.  And guess what.  I’m still at the 50 pound mark.  This would have bothered me before, but not now.  I know my clothes are getting looser, even the next size down for some of my items is too big.  The number on the scale doesn’t define me like it once did.  While it took me a long time to figure it out, that’s not what this running journey is about anyway.

Every day I remember why I started running in the first place.  August, and the summer in general, had been tough and one day I had had enough.  I was depressed, and moody, and couldn’t find joy in even the smallest things.  I didn’t want to feel like that anymore.  So I went for a run.  Or really, not even a run, as I couldn’t even run a quarter of a mile without stopping for a break.  And while I didn’t get serious about it until January, it quite literally saved my life, and continues to do so every time I venture out.  The first mile is always the hardest, but once I hit it, I feel like there is no stopping me.

I know I’m still super slow.  I know I don’t look like all the other runners out there.  And frankly, I just don’t care.  Months ago I would have.  Months ago I wouldn’t have even thought to run when other runners, “real runners” might be out there.  I didn’t want to embarrass myself.  But with the smiles and waves I got today as I trudged along through the snow and slush, I know no one is judging me except for me.

And right now, I’m feeling pretty fabulous.

100 Mile Challenge Miles Completed: 24

Weeks to the Baltimore Half Marathon: 35

Current Weekly Miles: 9

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In vino veritas…unless you’re giving it up

“The purpose of life is to live it, to taste experience to the utmost, to reach out eagerly and without fear for newer and richer experience.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt

If you read my last post, you know I did something completely insane.  I signed up for a half marathon.  And I don’t just mean “signed up”.  I mean paid a rather large entrance fee to run with other people who are “real runners” and huff and puff for 13.1 miles…after which  I will promptly die.  I know I am NOWHERE close to being ready for it yet, but the half marathon isn’t until October, so I know I have time to get there.

After making the commitment, I decided that I should actually get serious about it.  Since I’ve only been running off and on for a few months, a couple times a week at most I still don’t know exactly what I’m doing.  I don’t know a lot about “training” or pacing or any of that other runner lingo, so I did what anyone else in my position would do…took to the computer.  So, after much internet (Pinterest) research I created a plan that includes running and cross training and takes me to June.  This is the first week in my training plan and I’m proud to say as long as I complete my short run tomorrow, I will have followed it every day.  It’s crazy to see that my first week I’m only running 8 miles, but by June, I’m up to about 25 per week.

With getting serious about the training plan, I feel like I also need to get serious about other things, such as food, getting enough sleep, and de-stressing.  And because of that, I think it’s time to say good-bye to the wine.  Now, you wouldn’t know if from my facebook account, but I actually don’t drink that much.  But, it’s probably more than I should, I know it’s taking the place of the water I should be drinking on certain nights.  Now, I’m not saying I’m completely giving it up.  There is nothing stopping me from having a glass out with friends after work, or toasting at a wedding, but I think it’s just time to take a break from it, especially at home, and see where this leads me.

Honestly, if I’m going to do this running thing, I want to really do it and I want to do it right.  I love it and it has changed me in more ways than most people know.

I can already see so many changes since picking running back up last month.  I can go for miles (yes plural) without having to stop.  I’m not as out of breath.  I’m not as sore afterwards.  2 miles no longer seems like an eternity (though that first mile is always the hardest), in fact, to me it feels super short.  Even tonight when I attempted to take the kids out with me on a 2 mile run, they got tired before I did.  I used to simply get tired watching them play.  And that was really the most amazing thing.

I’ve also seen changes in my mood.  I’m happier, less stressed, and have a more positive outlook.  Sure, I still vent and get upset, but not to the degree I used to.

So, a toast to how much I’ve put behind me and all the things I have to look forward to in the future.  A toast to say goodbye to a stress reliever I don’t need as much any more.

A final toast with a fancy bottle for a most important occasion.

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What Goes Up…

“We may encounter defeats, but we must not be defeated.” ~Maya Angelou

I guess I should start with the good.

I finally hit my 100 Mile Challenge miles.  On Martin Luther King Day.  I can’t believe I finally did it.  So what do I do to celebrate?  Made another challenge.  Now instead of running and walking 100 miles, I plan on running 100 miles by the end of April.  If I stick with the new training plan I’ve come up with, and it stops freaking snowing, it shouldn’t be a problem.

Also, I finally it my 5o pound mark.  I have officially lost 50 pounds as of January 25 (the eve of my 33rd birthday).  I can’t believe it.  It has done nothing but motivate me to lose another 50.

Plus, I ordered new running clothes from Old Navy in my normal sizes.  Which I now have to return because they are too damn big.

And yet…

I have to admit, it doesn’t take a lot to make me feel defeated.  More likely than not, it’s because I’m not used to failing.  I usually don’t try things that I know I might fail and because I have such a deep seated fear of failure, I usually accomplish everything I set out to, no matter the cost.  But on Wednesday, I went out for my run.  It was supposed to be 2 miles, but after a mile I decided to call it quits.  It was cold (as in literally 3 degrees), I was tired, I did over 3 miles on the elliptical at the gym the night before, and really, the list could go on and on.  I probably could have kept going for that two miles, but I didn’t want to, so I didn’t. And for the rest of the evening, I was in a funk, mad at myself that I didn’t finish what I was supposed to.

And you know what?  I haven’t been running since the night I quit early.  This is what I always do.  I do what I want to do, and don’t do things I don’t want to do.  Plain and simple.  It’s pretty selfish, if you think about it.  I have trouble pushing myself past the comfortable.  I have trouble pushing myself, period.  I don’t like pain, I don’t like to feel uncomfortable so I do everything in my power to avoid it, whether that be in my workouts, at my job, or in my personal life.  And because I don’t like to be uncomfortable and because I don’t like to fail, I don’t take risks. And I need to start.

So what does a girl who needs motivation and needs to take a big risk in order to push herself do?  She signs up for a half-marathon.

Oh yes, you read that right.  I signed up for the Baltimore Half-Marathon.  13.1 miles.  At one time. In front of other people.  With real runners who don’t “trot”.  I can’t guarantee that I’ll be able to run the whole thing.  I can’t even guarantee that I’ll finish.

And I’m sure people will laugh when I tell them. But I like a good challenge.  And I’ve come this far.

Plus, you should see how motivated I am when people say I can’t do something…

So here’s a toast to new life choices, to challenges, to proving others wrong, and to simply proving to myself that I can do this.

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