Sunday, November 17, 2013
I suppose if you are a runner, you have probably read Chad Stafko's article in the WSJ about being a runner. If you haven't, you can read it here. online.wsj.com/news/articles/SB10001
424052702304448204579186401818882202 He really sounds very angry at us. And states that we are glory hounds, in this because it is visible and we can be seen by every car, leaf raker, etc.
I read a "translation" of his article, which basically says "He's really angry." It's funny and you can read it here. www.runnersworld.com/fun/the-wsjs-ge
But, it's been weighing on my mind much of the week. Are we really in it to be seen? No. Most of us aren't in it for the glory at all. In fact, most of us are much more like James Kelley. I didn't know Jim. But, I read about him yesterday. He was struck and killed by a car doing the thing he loved to do, which was run. By all accounts, he was the first to congratulate someone for meeting their goals. He would give up his goals to run beside someone who needed the encouragement. There is a bond, a camaraderie between runners. We support and encourage each other in a way I never encountered in any other sport. (You can read Jim's obituary here. www.runnersworld.com/runners-stories
I don't like to be seen when I run. I don't like my neighbors seeing me. I don't like my friends or even my family watch. Because they aren't runners. And I feel a sense of judgement from them. I run races to be surrounded by other runners. To feel that bond.
I didn't put the 26.2 sticker on my car to get a stranger's adulation. I don't care if you know or not, care or not about how many miles I run. I put it on there, so that I can be reminded that I did it. That I have accomplished something that at one point in my life was something only done by Olympians and elites. I may not be elite, but my slow-ass 26.2 miles is just as far as Stephen Kiprotich's 26.2 miles (He won the gold in London 2012).
I don't understand why Chad Stafko is so upset that we have running magazines and running stores. I don't fish. But, I understand that people who do fish might like to read about it in Field and Stream or need equipment that can't be purchased at the sporting goods section of Target. I don't get the purpose of fishing. I don't understand why someone would wake up so darn early to get to the stream to stand there for hours to only MAYBE catch a fish. But, when my fisherman friends say "Why do I do this? It's so early!?" I can honestly say, "I don't know." but there isn't the same sense of judgement that Mr. Stafko is putting out there.
However, while I was running yesterday, wearing my high visibility shirt, because Jim Kelley, I realized something. I don't actually think Mr. Stafko is angry. I think Mr. Stafko is jealous.
I've actually heard this kind of complaint before. It's the kind of complaint I have actually heard a lot during my weight loss journey. It's the kind of complaint I used to make.
I think Mr. Stafko actually, deep down in his heart, wants to be a runner. He wants to put a sticker on his car and wear his 5K tee shirt in the line of Starbucks. But, it's hard and he hasn't yet found the courage to do it. It takes time and training and is a real process to get to the point where you can earn the sticker. It takes dedication, determination and courage to wake up and put on our high visibility vests and go for a run. (I'm actually NOT that kind of runner. I much prefer to run at 10AM and if I don't have child care or if it's not the weekend, I cross train. Because 5AM runs--gah!)
I have sounded a lot like Mr. Stafko. Back when I just wanted to lose weight. It's hard. It's stupid. Why would anyone do that? Why would you eat that instead of this glorious burger? Why would I challenge myself to do new things? It's so comfortable here! It's comfortable here in my judgement! Your weight loss ideas are poppycock! It's all just mumbo jumbo and some people are made fatter than others. Why would you rub your Zumba or weight lifting in someone else's face?
I actually feel quite bad for Chad Stafko. He's missing out. Not that I think everyone needs to be a runner. But, he's totally missing out by not being the person that it seems to me he really wants to be. By holding on to his jealous, petty thoughts. Because, if nothing else, that kind of thing can't be good for his spirit.
Well, its 3PM and its the weekend, so I'm going to change out of my church clothes and go for a short run.
Monday, October 14, 2013
I did it! I did it!
I finished my first FULL MARATHON! 26.2 miles done in one go! I finished in 5:55:33, so I am not any kind of speed demon, but I finished! I FINISHED! I set a goal to complete a full marathon in 2013 and I did it!
It was crazy. It was fun. It was awful. And it was amazing!
I woke up at 4:30 AM. I drank a coffee, ate an English Muffin and egg. I got dressed. I woke my hubby up and the kids at 5:30 then we drove the hour to Baltimore. They dropped me off and I spent about an hour and a half just twiddling my thumbs. I was so anxious I went to the bathroom 3 times in that hour and a half! But, then it was time to line up. This marathon is self seeding, so I set myself up behind the last pace group of 5:15 finishers. I set off just after 8AM.
The first half of the marathon was easy peasy. Really, it was. I'm pretty experienced at half marathons and so I was trying to just really pace myself and keep it slow and steady. I did a bit of walking to keep my pace down and yet, I still found myself in front of the 5:15 pace group, but after the 5:00 group. I knew that this was probably a bad idea, but I struggled to bring myself back behind the 5:15ers. I stayed in front of them until mile 12. They passed me and I was okay with it, because I knew I still had 14.2 miles to go and I needed to save some gas. I wanted to keep with them in my sights though and I managed to do that until mile 16.
Mile 16 was a landmark for me. My training had been very haphazard and 16 miles was the longest I had ever run in one run. So, every step was a victory after that point. At mile 17 I was "all out of run". There was no more run in me. I was walking. At this point I was texting my good Sparkbuddy, 4EVERADONEGIRL. She was giving me encouragement and pushing me through. She kept checking in on me and told me it was okay to crawl if I needed to! (Thanks so much Kristen!!!) She asked me at one point if my body hurt or if my mind hurt. In that moment, I didn't have the strength to text back, but I was really thinking, "Its all my body. I'm determined to finish. My mind is strong!"
Mile 20 was awful. It was around a lake and it took me nearly 20 minutes. I was limping and dragging myself around. I was in so much pain. But, guess what? It really was my brain, not my body that hurt the most.
Mile 21, this gal taps me on the shoulder. "I'm Heather and this is Chuck! We picked each other up at mile 16 and have been running together since then, want to join us?" Oh my! How I needed that! I was so much in my head and fully focused on how much I hurt that I am not sure I would have finished with out them. We talked each other through it. "Look, here's a down hill. We can run to the end of the hill, to the far side of that traffic light, right?!" "YEAH! we can do that!!" "Let's run to the mile marker." "Where the *bleep*is that mile marker?" "Okay, guys, we can do this!" And so on and so forth to the finish line.
Heather finished a bit before me, Chuck a bit behind me. But, we finished and while I will never see them or likely have any communication with them... Chuck and Heather are my marathon heroes!
Sunday, I was amazed at how not sore I was. I had planned on skipping church, but I woke up energized and got up and went to church. My little boy had a birthday party for a friend at the bouncy castle place and he asked that I take him, so I did. I felt good enough I chased him through the bouncy castle obstacle course a few times. I've got a bit of shin splints in my right leg and my back hurts, but my plantar fasciitis doesn't hurt and my ankles feel fine and I went for a walk this morning after walking my son to school.
I really couldn't be happier with how it turned out. Despite some rain and bad weather, I finished. I finished before the 7 hour finish limit.
Thanks to all who encouraged me, answered my questions, and tolerated my anxiety. You mean the world to me. Thank you.
Friday, August 30, 2013
I am ruled by the scale. I live or die by the number on that little machine. I've gotten past the point where it gives my life value or not, but darn it... It's been driving me crazy that I cannot get back down into the 130s. Let alone the 120s, where I was 30 months ago... before I gained a few pounds to get pregnant, then 9 months of pregnancy, and now 19 months of beautiful wonderful Miss A.
I am stuck. I am easily, comfortably, maintaining a 145. Plus a pound here, or minus a pound there, I've been 145 since Christmas 2012. 2 back to back half marathons and I got down to 141, but as soon as those were over... back to 145.
And you know what? I realized the other day... I don't care! Sure, it would be awesome to slip back into those size 2 jeans I've kept. But, I was OBSESSIVE when they fit. I measured and pinched and poked and skipped and ran until I passed out. I ate green beans and green beans and green beans and salad and green beans and spinach and green beans and green beans. I was still "Healthy" on the BMI, but borderline underweight.
Today, I'm smack dab middle of a healthy BMI. I wear a size 4/6. Most of my tops are smalls. I can run 14 miles and am training for my first full marathon and haven't passed out once from low blood sugar. I lift weights. I eat bread, pizza, cheese, green beans, spinach, salad, roast beef, and okay, more green beans (I really like green beans!). I'm stronger than I was 30 months ago. THAT'S HUGE.
I still have a little niggling desire to get back to "half my original body weight". But, was I healthy at half my original body weight? Was I ever obese enough to need to be half my original body weight? Probably not. Sure, 261 is big. But I don't need to be 130.5 to have worth. I have a lot of worth at 145.
And, its weird, how much pressure I felt 30 months ago... when what I wanted most was recognition for how much I had accomplished. I wanted to be a "spark celeb". I wanted a "popular blog post" and a magazine feature (I was interviewed, but not chosen for a major magazine article). And part of me still wants that. I watch Extreme Makeover, WL edition and think... I did that, I did that without a trainer and a free home gym! Where's my $25,000 gift card from Walmart?! Where's my recognition?
But, really, I'd have to be less happy with myself to push for that recognition again. I'd have to be getting my value from that darn number again.
I spent part of this last week back "home". I spent time with family and friends as we celebrated my grandmother's life. She passed away on August 23. She was 99 years old and she died on her 75th wedding anniversary. She simply decided that, "I'm going to spend my anniversary with my beloved." and she left us. And, for the first time since I've lost the weight... no one mentioned my appearance. Neither good, nor bad. We talked about Grammie. We talked about running and soccer and kids and life and work. But, never once about my appearance. And, you know what... that's amazing. It's wonderful. I'm no longer "Weight Loss Melanie". I'm just Melanie.
And, I think that's Just Fine!
Friday, August 02, 2013
I'm back from vacation.
I've got lots of pics.
I had a ton of fun.
I gained a ton of cheese and bread kilos.
I'm jet lagged beyond words.
Laundry drying on the line.
Costco shopping done.
Aldi's shopping still to do.
Grateful for Spark's August back on track challenge.
It's what I need right now.
More to come.
When I'm not so tired I can barely see.
Thursday, July 18, 2013
I'm taking a brief sabbatical... known as a REAL vacation. We won't have tons of internet accessibility while I'm gone, so I'm going to be out of touch for a while. I'll be back the first full week of August. I tell you, so that I can get snarky comments on my page if I claim jet lag for longer than that.
In other big news...
I registered for a full marathon. Making the leap. I'm planning on going in as a "walker" rather than a runner, because I figure I've never done more than 14 miles and I don't have a ton of training time, but I said last year I wanted to complete THIS marathon, THIS year. So, I'm going to do it.
Off to finish packing!
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