Monday, September 14, 2015

Week in Review: 9/7/15 ~ 9/13/15

Monday
Evening Walk with the fur babies

Tuesday
Rest Day

Wednesday
90 min Bikram Yoga

Thursday
90 min Bikram Yoga

Friday
Walk with the fur babies

Saturday
Walk with the fur babies

Sunday
Rest Day

Saturday, September 12, 2015

Double Digits Are Coming!

I've been watching our weather forecast like a hawk the past month, waiting for a break in our insane temperatures, and I'm excited to see that double digit temps are finally on their way!  This is definitely a new experience for me, as I really don't mind the Arizona summers all that much, but even I can admit that they are too hot to run in.

So, here's to cooler temps and attempted runs soon!


Thursday, September 10, 2015

Feeling Frustrated

Bikram Yoga is hard.  I know it, and expect it.  So, when I fall out of a pose due to poor balance or can't hold a pose the entire time due to muscle weakness, it might irritate me that my fitness level isn't what I want it to be but it doesn't specifically frustrate me.

What frustrates me is not being able to give the class my all due to external factors, and that has been the case the past two classes.  I don't know what is causing it but I've been finding myself struggling with the heat recently, and I've had to sit down several times because I'm feeling dizzy.  As a result, I'm not working as hard as I would like to be during the classes and I'm feeling very frustrated over it.

I need to figure out what is causing it and try to rectify it!  I did a little reading and found something that suggested it could be a sign of dehydration.  That would make sense because I did drink less water before the last few classes.  I'm going to make sure I get my 8 glasses of water in before class and see if it helps.  I keep half expecting to get sick, as that has always been the case in the past with my running.  I'd have several sucky runs in a row and then I'd end up getting sick a few days later.

Regardless, this seriously needs to stop!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Week In Review: 8/31/15 ~ 9/6/15

I'm still ironing out what I might want to include in my weekly exercise/health log, but until I figure it out I at least wanted to record my exercise for the week. Although, in doing so I realized I was a bit of the slacker.

Monday
Rest Day

Tuesday
Evening Walk with the fur babies

Wednesday
90 min Bikram Yoga

Thursday
Rest Day

Friday
60 min Bikram Yoga

Saturday
Rest Day

Sunday
90 min Bikram Yoga

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Adios, August

It's hard to believe that September is here once again, and with it another birthday is right around the corner for me.  September has always felt like a time of new beginnings with back to school and my birthday falling so close together.  I always loved back to school time, with new school supplies and a new wardrobe and the promise of new things for the coming year.  And of course, my birthday always brought with it the same feeling of promise of good things to come for my next year.

Although I'm no longer in school, and haven't been for several years, I still find myself looking at this time of year as the time to set off on a new path and attempt to make some good changes in my life.  This year those changes are centered around my health and well being with this attempted return to running.  So, with that in mind, let's look back at August's goals and look ahead at what I have in mind for September.

First August...

My first goal was to drink eight glasses of water per day, and for the most part I succeeded.  I missed a few days during the month, but I tried not to let the slip ups derail me from my over all goal.  I don't know that I feel any different for the efforts, but I know it's important to be properly hydrated for running (and Bikram Yoga!) so I'm going to keep up my water drinking.

My next goal was to lose a few pounds, and I started off the month doing great but quickly fizzled out.  I gained back a few more of the pounds that I lost at the beginning of the month, but still ended the month 3 lbs less than I started it.  Not great, but any loss is good in my book.  So I end the month thankful for where I am, and refocus my attention and efforts so I can report another loss at the end of this month.

My third goal was to start building a community of online runners, and I'm still slowly working on that, as well.  I'm still diligently reading other's blogs and trying to find some runners who I feel like I 'click' with.  I haven't done much reaching out yet, as it seems silly to be connecting when I haven't really been running yet.

My final goal was to beginning running a few days a week.  I didn't run as much as I thought I would - mainly because of our temperatures.  I don't have access to any place to run inside and I wasn't realistic about just how hot it would be attempting to run in our triple digit temperatures.  But the temps are slowly dropping, so September should bring a few more days of attempted runs.

Now September...

I said I was going to reevaluate where I was after a month and decide if I was going to continue with my return to running.  I haven't done enough running to determine if my old aches and pains are going to allow me to resume running, but I do know that this past month has been good for me and I feel better than I have in a long time.  I'm slowly noticing changes in my body's abilities while walking and at yoga, and it feels good to be pushing my limits and feeling myself grow.  It also feels good to be concentrating my attention on my health again for the first time in several years.  So, regardless of if I end up running or not, for now I'm definitely going to continue on this journey.

I don't have any new goals for September in mind.  I really just want to continue with my efforts toward the goals I set in August.  The only thing I want to do differently is to figure out a better way to check in with how I am doing.  Right now I have several different apps and papers tracking my progress with different goals, and I'd like to combine everything into a single record on my blog.

And with that, all I can say is Bring on September!

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

Pleasantly Surprised

I'm pretty freaking excited to report that last night's venture back to Bikram Yoga ended up being a very pleasant experience.

Well, as pleasant as Bikram Yoga can be.

I expected to get my butt kicked much worse than I did.  I'm not claiming it was easy, or that I didn't have to sit down a few times.  And I'm not even going to pretend that I didn't keep toppling over during the balancing poses.  But I didn't think I was about to die a single time, and for my first time back in 2 years, that's HUGE.

I was also pleasantly surprised by the other individuals in the class last night.  Hubby and I are going to the same yoga studio, and the same class time, as the last time we did Bikram.  Before there was a group of women there that seemed very cliquey, and very in shape, and very seasoned at Bikram.  Quite frankly, they were a bit intimidating.  This time all of the others in the class seemed more 'real' and a lot of them seemed like newbies.  It was a good vibe.  I'm hoping that is typical for the students who are now attending the class, as it is the one that works with our schedule.

I'm excited it turned out even better than expected, and I'm looking forward to our next class tomorrow.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Still in Prep Mode

It's been almost a month since I first posted about considering a come back to running, and in some ways it feels like I've been dragging my feet about getting started, and perhaps I have been.  If I'm being totally honest about it, I have to admit that I'm scared.  I know that this is my last go at running. EVER.  If I can't find a way to run pain and injury free, I'm going to have to let it go for good.  And I really don't think I'm ready to face that possibility.  If I don't start, then I won't ever have to quit.

Yes, ridiculous, but it's where I am right now.

So perhaps I am being overly cautious and spending a ridiculous amount of time preparing to get started, but knowing that this is my last chance, I'm just trying to do everything I can to succeed.  It's like the quote "By failing to prepare, you are preparing to fail."  If I don't properly prepare, I feel like I'm guaranteed to fail.  So, I'm sticking to my August Goals like glue as much as possible, and looking for other things I can do to prepare as well.

In that spirit, I've decided to start doing Bikram Yoga again.  Hubby and I found a really good deal on Groupon for 3 months worth of classes, and we are going to take our first class tonight.  I suspect I'll spend half the class sitting on the floor trying not to vomit, but I know it gets easier with each successive class.  I'm a huge believer in the benefits of yoga for runners.  I suppose Bikram isn't quite the same as other yoga, but something about the challenge of it resonates with me and I feel like it still provides the stretching and flexibility benefits that are the prefect balance to running. My goal is to do yoga 2-3 days a week, so we will see how it goes.

Now, if only our temperatures would drop and I could get back out there and do a little running.  I may be willing to do yoga in a sauna, but I'm not up for running when the temperature is over 100° F.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Week #3 Check In

Just a little recap of this week's attempts at my August goals...

Water: I had it in my head that I didn’t do so great with my water consumption at the beginning of the week, but it turns out I actually only missed on Monday. Probably because I spent my evening drinking wine instead of water. Oops.

Yay for being pleasantly surprised!

Weight Loss: Yikes about sums it up on the weight loss journey this week. Our anniversary was Monday and we went out to eat on Sunday night to celebrate, and then had pizza, wine, and movie night at home on Monday. Then of course, there were leftovers in the house for a few days. So, I really didn’t eat that great the first half of the week. I did get back on track and manage to repair some of the damage, but I’m still up 2 lbs from last week, with my overall total at 5.2 lbs lost.

But on a happy weight loss note, I did wear a shirt to work yesterday that I haven’t worn in a while because it is really long and felt too tight across my hips. The small amount of weight I have lost is just enough to make the shirt tolerable to wear again.

Small victories. It’s all about the small victories.

Community: I added a few more blogs to my blog roll again this week, and I’m definitely developing some favorite blogs to read. I’ve even started getting a few comments, which always bring a HUGE smile to my face. I really don’t know why I gave up blogging. I really do love it!

Running: I didn’t run at all this week. It’s still insanely hot here, and I just wasn’t up for it. So, my week was full of evening walks with my hubby and two sweet fur babies.

I did, however, spend a lot of time daydreaming about buying a treadmill and pondering where in my house I could find room to put it.

Instead of actually running, I spent some time preparing to run. (Which is equally important, right?) I went shopping and bought some athletic socks since I only owned 2 pair and every time I turn around they’re both in the laundry. I’ve also been doing some research about pool running. From what I’m reading it sounds like a great alternative that would be easier on the joints and much cooler during the hot Arizona summers where we spend at least 4 months in the triple digits. Not to mention the convenience factor, since I’m fortunate enough to have a pool in my backyard.

If anyone out there has any experience with pool running, I’d love to hear what you think about it!

Friday, August 21, 2015

Yup, It's Still Hot Here!

I truly love where I live for a million and one reasons, but the summer temps do make it a bit challenging to run without owning a treadmill or belonging to a gym.  At least we should be kissing the triple digits goodbye sometime next month.  In the mean time, I'll just embrace the sauna that I live in.

from inside.

with the A/C blasting.


Thursday, August 20, 2015

Refusing to Fall Off the Weight Loss Wagon

Hello.  My name is runnergirl and my biggest fault is that I am a perfectionist.

But not in that clich├ęd way of attempting to turn what is usually seen as a positive into a negative when forced to respond to the common interview question, "What is your biggest weakness?"

I am a real perfectionist.

And it has been destroying my life.

OK. OK.  Destroying may be a bit of an exaggeration, but still.

When I set a goal for myself, my standards are ridiculously high and I'm unable to cut myself any slack.  I am my own worst enemy because of it and in the long run I end up sabotaging my efforts.

I find it next to impossible not to have an all-or-nothing attitude.  When I set a goal of doing something, like say drinking eight glasses of water every day in August, as soon as I miss a single day I end up thinking I may as well just quit because my goal was to drink the water EVERY DAY, and even one slip up renders my goal unreachable.  I can't help but see my attempt to reach a goal marred by failure when I slip up, and wondering why I should bother continuing.

Stepping back, I can obviously see how ridiculous this thinking is.  The real goal is to be healthier by consuming more water.  Even if I miss a few days out of the month, I'm still better off than I was when I started.  But even though I can logically think this through and see the bigger picture, I still have a hard time keeping myself on track as soon as I allow myself to miss one day of whatever I am trying to achieve.

I've missed a few days of drinking my water the past week or so, and I haven't exercised every day like I wanted to, AND I fell off the healthy eating/weight loss wagon for a few days while we celebrated our anniversary.  Normally this would be enough to derail me and I'd just give up, telling myself it was too late to succeed and I'll try again next month (which really turns into more like 6 months before I give it another go).  But I REFUSE to do that this time.  I really really want to get healthier and lose some weight and start running again.  So I'm fighting my internal perfectionist and plodding ahead, even with black marks on my record.  I can (and I will!) do this.

Here's to (eventually) losing those damn 10 lbs!

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Week #2 Check In

How are we halfway through August already?  I cannot believe how fast this year is flying by!

Water: I'm still hanging tough on the daily water consumption, although I did miss one day mid-week when I was out of the house all evening. When I got home, I had to pick between guzzling a ton of water before bed, resulting in many groggy bathroom trips or a good night's sleep.  In my life, sleep always. wins. out.  ALWAYS.

Weight Loss: I've completed two weeks of South Beach diet and I'm down a total of 7.2 lbs. The weight loss really slowed down this week, which is to be expected, but still makes me sad.  My second goal of losing 10 lbs is feeling a little too daunting and like I'm never going to make it.  Sigh.

I also had to fight harder to staying true to the diet this past week, and I gave in to that movie theater popcorn craving I mentioned last week. The first two weeks of South Beach are quite restrictive and I am soooo bored with my options!  That being said, I'm still committed to my weight loss goals, and I'm determined to keep plodding along.  Today starts phase two, where I get to add more foods back into my diet.  Yippee!

Community: I'm still reading all of the posts from the bloggers on my blog roll.  I haven't been at it long enough to really 'get to know' anyone yet, but there are a few blogs that I'm already really enjoying.

Running: No runs for me this week.  Our temperatures have been 111°F - 115°F all week, and there has been an excessive heat warning, where they tell you to stay inside as much as possible.  I may be crazy, but not that crazy.  So, no running for this girl until they lift the advisory.  Man oh man do I miss owning a treadmill.  I've really been pondering the idea of purchasing another one as soon as I can afford it, but I have no clue where we would put it in our house.  (I sure do miss my old house in Indiana with my huge bedroom and basement!)  Even though I haven't ran, we still did get out for a 1-2 mile walk with our fur babies almost every night.

Overall, a pretty good week!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Between the Goals -----> Success!

I'm quickly deciding that I was a bit too ambitious with my second weight loss goal of losing 10 lbs.  The scales haven't been moving much all week and I'm feeling like I am NEVER going to make it to goal #2.

In order to cheer myself up, I'm celebrating a little non-scale victory.

I have a right hand ring that I had made several years ago.  I like to wear my rings fairly loose, and I let the salesperson convince me to have the ring sized smaller than I should have.  As a result it feels tight a lot of the time and it annoys me, so I end up taking it off when I gain a little weight.

Well...

I'm happy to say that I am wearing the ring again!

Go me.

Sunday, August 9, 2015

Week #1 Check In

Since we are already a week into August, I thought I'd post a little update about how I'm doing with my monthly goals.

Water: So far so good on this one, as I've managed to drink at least eight glasses of water every day.  I do struggle with it at one of my jobs because of the limited time I have for bathroom breaks, but luckily I only have to deal with it 1-2 days per week.

Weight Loss: Again, so far so good.  I've successfully completed a week of South Beach diet and I'm down a total of 5.6 lbs.  I'm having an easier time staying faithful to the diet than in the past, probably because I have been mostly sugar free (except for fruit) since May 1st so I'm not having to deal with the sugar cravings.  However, for some insane reason I have been fighting one hell of a craving for movie theater popcorn covered in butter.  I do have to say, though, that I am so sick of eating eggs for breakfast that I want to scream.  One more week and then I will have some other options.  I can't wait!  But it is soooo worth it to finally be losing some weight.  It feels good to once again be focusing on doing some good things for my health.

Community: I have been reading each new post to the blogs that I added to my blog roll, and I've even added a few more this past week.  I'd really love to find some newbies to connect with since I'm back at the beginning again, but so far most of the blogs I've been reading are of seasoned runners.  I know it will just take some time.

Running: I did a 1.5 mile run on Sunday, and another one on Friday.  Our temps have jumped up again this past week, so the first run was completed in over 100° temps.  Yuck.  The runs are still feeling pretty slow and exhausting but that's ok.  I'm expecting slow and exhausting right now.  In addition to my runs, I've been trying to get some form of exercise every day.  For the past week, hubby and I have taken our dogs for a 1-2 mile walk every evening.

All in all, not a bad week if I do say so myself.

Friday, August 7, 2015

To Face Lift, or Not to Face Lift...

that is the question.

It had always been my habit to give my blog a face lift when I started training for each new race.  Of course, I haven't actually trained for a race in years.

and years

and years.

So, this little ol' blog has had the same design for a really. long. time.  In some ways I'm tired of it and want to redesign it in honor of my attempted return to the running world.  At the same time, I sort of want to keep it the way it is because it brings back such great memories of my running past.  But maybe that isn't necessarily a good thing.  I've been spending way too much time feeling melancholy and nostalgic about my past life and wishing I could find a rewind button to go back to the happier time.  So, maybe a fresh start would be good for me.

Knowing myself, I will probably end up changing it eventually, so I'm adding a photo of it to remember what it looked like back in my running glory days...



In other news, I went for a brief run this evening.  I managed to sneak in a run (mostly) between rain showers, so the humidity was much higher than usual but the temperature was much lower.  I got a bit wet at the end, but I have to admit it felt great. We don't get much rain around here so I actually didn't mind being out in it.  I made it a mile and a half, which seems to be my go to distance as I get started, but that's a-okay.  I'm all about doing what feels right for now.  I did walk a bit during the last half mile, though.

Splits:
Mile 1 12:21/mile
Mile .5 12:57/mile

Temp: 86° F

Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Weight Loss Goal #1 -----> Success!

Since I don’t really have an ultimate weight loss goal in mind, I’m concentrating on reaching one small goal at a time. Once I’ve reached each goal I will decide on the next one.

My first goal was to kick the 150’s to the curb, and I’ve managed to succeed!

(Although I must admit that my first goal wasn’t all that lofty as I started out weighing 150.6 lbs)

I’ve spent the past 20 years bouncing around between 127 lbs and 155 lbs.

When I weigh in the 150’s I feel down right miserable.
When I weigh in the upper 140’s I feel uncomfortable, but tolerable.
When I weigh in the lower 140’s, I start to feel ok.
When I weigh in the 130’s, I feel comfortable
When I weigh in the upper 120’s, I feel fantastic.

I’d really like to feel fantastic again! But I haven’t weighed in the 120’s for YEARS! I’m not even sure I can get back down there again. For now, I’m going to concentrate on my next goal of losing a total of 10 lbs so I can start this running journey a little lighter on my feet, with less stress on my joints.

In other news, I went for a run on Sunday evening. I made it a mile and a half before the heat and exhaustion did me in.

Splits:
Mile 1 12:28/mile
Mile .5 12:18/mile

Temp: 105° F

Saturday, August 1, 2015

I've Got a Plan

Well hello there, August!  Where in the world did you come from?  

As I've been pondering rejoining the running world, I've been feeling excited about something for the first time in longer than I can remember.  Not to mention how happy I am at the idea of blogging regularly again.

I'm thinking this running thing is gonna be good for me!

But....

I've got a long way to go to get back into it.  And I am not.  I repeat AM NOT.  Going to start off too fast and risk reactivating an old injury or causing a new one.  Therefore I decided I need a slow and steady plan of attack to get myself back into the swing of things.  So, I've developed a plan for the month of August to get me started.

First, I am going to step up my water consumption.  I'm going to aim for the recommended eight glasses a day to get started.

Next, I am going to work on losing a few pounds.  I think I see a few weeks of South Beach in my immediate future.  My body always responds really well to the diet.  I don't eat a ton of simple carbohydrates in the form of breads and pastas; however, I eat way more fruit than I should.  Chowing down fruit like crazy has been the only way I've been able to give up added sugar for the past three months.  I've known that I was going to have to rein it in at some point, and I think the time has finally arrived.  A few weeks of focusing on eating lean meats and vegetables will be a good way to reset my body and mind to adjust to a more reasonable balance of fruits to other foods in my diet.

Then, I am going to start finding myself a new online community of blogging runners.  I'm going to spend the month of August looking for some fellow runners whose blogs I enjoy reading.  Once I give myself some time to 'get to know' them (and time to actually start running again), I will start trying to connect with some of them online.

Most importantly, I am going to start running again.  I'm going to keep it light and easy to start off, aiming to run 2-3 times per week for as long or as short of a distance as feels right for the day, at whatever pace feels reasonable.

I'm going to reevaluate where I am in September and then decide if I'm really going to do this thing.  In the mean time, I do feel good about revisiting something from my past that brought so much amazing-ness to my life.  It's helping me realize how important it is for me to figure out what I need to be happy again and figure out how to make it happen.

Friday, July 31, 2015

There's Life Out There

I spent some time wandering around the blog-o-sphere the past few days and I'm very happy to see that there is still a community of blogging runners out there!  I know it's going to take some time and a lot of effort to find some new online running friends, but I'm excited that it is a possibility.

In my searching, I did find a handful of blogs that I thought I would enjoy reading, so I've added them to my blog roll. --->

Let the community building begin!

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Going In Eyes Wide Open

I spent a lot of time rereading my entire running blog start to finish after my last post.  While it did stir up a lot of emotions for me, most of them were very positive and made me really want to take on this new running endeavor that I am considering.  If I’m going to actually do this, I need to evaluate where I am compared to where I need to be, which is something that I did not do two years ago when I decided to give running another try.

So let’s start off with the good….

Hair

As crazy as it sounds, my hair is a big deal when I am running. I can’t stand having it in my face or on my neck while I run, and I hate having to use a bunch of bobby pins. So my hairstyle must be one that fits in a ponytail. The good news is that my hair already fits the bill! I cut 8 inches off of it about 2 months ago, and when I first did it the sides didn’t reach into my ponytail. However, it’s grown enough that it all stays in now.

I’m calling it destiny!

Running Shoes

Luckily, I have the running shoes I purchased two years but I quit so soon after buying them that I’ve only worn them a handful of times. So, with any luck I should be set to start running in one or both of them, depending on what my aches and pains have to say about it.

Sleep

I’m not sure exactly when it happened but somewhere in the past few years I think I grew up and became an adult. I actually have a somewhat regular bedtime, and I’m usually in bed on time. This is huge compared to the past - especially two years ago when I was consistently existing on 4-6 hours of sleep a night.

Diet

I've been working hard over the past two years to improve my diet.  So far I have managed to eliminate all artificial sweeteners, and almost all processed foods, as I rarely eat anything that comes from a bag, box, or can.  I've been caffeine free for 3 1/2 months, meaning no coffee, tea, caffeinated pop, or chocolate.  Currently, I am working toward eliminating all non-naturally occuring sugar, meaning all sugar except what is found naturally in fruit.  I haven't eaten dessert in 3 months, but I'm still occasionally consuming added sugar in other foods or the rare non-caffeinated pop.  Overall, I feel like I'm eating very healthy, which is quite the change from where I was two years ago!

Life

I really don't want to get into details but the past 5 years of my life have been extremely stressful for a lot of reasons.  Some of those stresses still exist, but the majority of them have been eliminated or are on their way out.  I can't necessarily say that I am in a good mental place in my life (if I was, I wouldn't be writing about being unhappy and looking for ways to make things better), but I do feel like I am in a stable mental place where my non-running stress won't be too much to handle and lead to me quitting again and where the stress of adding running into my schedule won't send me into a downward spiral.

And now on to the bad…

Running Clothes

Unfortunately I’ve gained too much weight to currently fit into the running shorts I bought two years ago, but they are still hanging out in my closet – feeling forlorn and rejected. However, I do have a few pair of older shorts I could make do with, even though running in them does drive me crazy. (Yes, as sad as it is to admit, I have owned them so long that I used to run in them years ago.) I desperately need some new running tank tops, but again I do have a few old ones that I can make due with for now.  I also have several newer tank tops I could use, but I prefer the ones with a built in sports bra for running and my newer ones don't have them.

Hydration

I do drink water most of the time, but that doesn't mean I drink enough of it.  It's a rare day when I consume eight 8 oz glasses of water as recommended.  However, I don't think stepping up the water intake should be too much of a challenge.

And last but not least, the ugly…

Weight

Ugh.  My weight is the one thing that is worse now than two years ago.  When I decided to give running a go last time I was coming off of a few months of weight watchers, where I had lost 10-15 lbs.  Sadly, I allowed myself to gain it all back since then.  Ideally, I probably should weight 25 lbs less than I do.  Realistically, I need to lose 10 lbs before I get too far into running.  Obviously the more weight I am carrying, the more stress on my joints.  With my various past injuries, I want to do everything I can to prevent them from acting up again.

Community

I have a lot of work to do to re-establish a running community if I am going to jump back in, as I currently don't know any runners.  I know how important a community is to me to keep me motivated and supported.  If I'm going to start again, I have to find some new running peeps!  One of my favorite parts of running in the past was the awesome community of runners I had found.  Most of them where online running bloggers who were members of the RBF (running blog family).  It was amazing to share my running life with them and vise versa, and the advise and encouragement was invaluable.  I also had made friends with a few local runners through my participation with Team in Training, and it was great having someone to run with every week once I had found my training partner.

Running

My main focus has to be remaining injury (and chronic pain) free.  I have to face the reality that I am now almost 10 years older than I was when I started my long distance running endeavor, and I ultimately quit because my body just wasn't willing to keep going.  I also have to be realistic about my goals this time around.  I would be lying if I didn't say that I'm dying to search out a spring marathon and sign up, but I realize that I'm going to have to let my body dictate where my running journey goes.  If I can't do the distances any more, then maybe I'm going to have to focus on improving my speed and running 5K's.  I really want to get back to running, so I'm willing to accept whatever that now means for me.

In the two years since I gave running a try, I have spent some time in the gym and hiking.  I have also been taking my two dogs for a walk most evenings for the past 6-8 weeks.  But in all reality I haven't gotten much exercise nor have I done much running - a little here and there at the gym, but the last time was probably 9 months ago or more.

Of course, the only way to judge where I am with my running is to actually get out there and run.  So keeping my new reality in mind, I went out for a little trial run last night.  I really just wanted to see how I felt and gauge where I am.  I'm happy to say I am right where I expected.  I ran a mile and a half through my neighborhood, but the last half mile consisted of a few more drink/walk breaks than the first mile did.  While I was running my left ankle had a twinge or two for a few seconds that had me worried but it went away instantly.  I'm just hyper-sensitive now to every little thing, and I doubt it is something I would have even noticed pre-injury.  Once I was done running, nothing hurt and I felt great.  Today I wouldn't say I am sore per se, but I can just tell I did a little more activity than I usually do.  My pace was right in line with where it used to be, which was exactly as I expected.

Splits:
Mile 1 11:35/mi
Mile .5 12:39/mi

Temp: 99°F
(I've always known that I struggle more in hotter temperature, but moving to Arizona really enforced it!  So, I've decided to try to record the temperature at the time of my run along with my splits.)


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Considering Another Go

Two years?!  It has been almost two years since I last posted?  How is that even possible?

When I was younger I remember people saying that the older you get the faster time goes, and I'm realizing that statement couldn't be more true.  I never intended to stop blogging, or to stop running for that matter, it just sort of happened somewhere along the way.

Honestly, I don't really even know why I am posting.  Other than a few infrequent, and very brief, sprints with one of my fur babies on her nightly walks, I haven't done any running since I decided not to recommit to Team in Training two years ago.

I think the need to write this is a combination of the fact that I've spent the past four years filled with an overwhelming sense of loss for my past life, and this post, written by someone from that past life, making me realize just how far off track I am from the path I intended for my journey through this life.  And maybe, just maybe, I'm wondering if returning to running (and blogging) are the keys to start heading in a new (or perhaps old) direction.

A quote from the post that really struck a chord with me with this,

"Find that one thing that you know you absolutely need in your life. That one thing that could possibly open up the flood gates in discovering or rediscovering your truest self. Practice it. No exceptions. This is your time."

Since being forced to give up running, I've come to realize that working towards a difficult goal is the one thing that I absolutely need in my life. Running was the perfect fit for that need, because I spent years thinking that I would never be a runner.  When I finally decided to challenge that preconceived notion I became someone else entirely.  Someone I really liked.  Someone who was happy.

And now, I am not happy.

I've slowly been waking up to the fact that somewhere in the past five years, I stopped living.  I'm merely existing - putting one foot in front of the other, day in and day out, but finding no joy in anything I am doing.  I still feel exactly the same way as I did two years ago when I wrote this post. Only now it has been eight years instead of six, and I. am. so. over. it.

Looking back, I've realized that I set myself up for failure when I tried to resume running in 2013.  I was so desperate to regain the happiness I have lost that I went running back (pun intended) to the one thing that I thought could bring back that happiness.  Not so coincidentally, it just so happened to be the one thing that I had control over during a time when I was feeling very powerless to change the things in my life that needed to change. Ultimately, my life was so full of stress and disappointment that I was unable to get past it to commit to giving running a real go again, and I quit before I even got started.  I never even decide to quit, it just happened - which speaks volumes about my lack of commitment at the time.

I've spent the past month thinking about where I am, where I want to be, and how to bridge the gap between the two.  I'm obviously considering giving running another shot, or I wouldn't be back here writing this post.  I don't know if I'm ready, but then how can I not be?  Time waits for no one, and I really don't want to be back here two years from now writing another post about how there's still a big gaping hole in my life where my happiness used to be.