Monday, November 21, 2011
This post is still motivating to me so I decided to save it as a blog to myself.
1-16-09 All right, so its another year. 2009 and the year I turn the big 4-0. And I am not scared one bit! Bring it Mother Nature, you don't scare me. I am a streamlined, healthy woman who has been through worse than turning 40. I look forward to it. I have embraced it and am even excited to be part of this age group. I have so many inspring and awesome examples in my life of what "life is after 40" that it sounds kind of fun. My running group is an amazing assortment of "after 40's", my own mother, my cousin Michele who is my hero, my friends here who have hit that number before me all make it seem like a little bit of nothing. I am honored to walk to line before a lot of my other friends and even my husband. I want to be one of the people on their list who can say made 40 seem so normal.
I am not sure what to expect of 2009, other than my looming lurch into another decade which I will celebrate by doing my first trail marathon with the running group. 2008 will be hard to top. I graduated from college 18 years after I quit. I ran 3 1/2 marathons. One with the Martians-yep green ones, once with Hungry Ducks-mmmHmm and the 3rd to honor a life taken too soon. I ran (yes, ran baby) my first FULL 26.2 in Detroit and exceeded my time goals. I ran a few local races placing in most. I ran the Mackinaw bridge-twice. Once with my Dh in his first and only race and the second time as a lottery draw to run with our Governor. During that one I also got to run with Bobby Crim who is an idol and the creator of the run in our town that made me start running in the first place--how cool is that! (I have a blog on it with a pic too) For someone who does not like bridges it was the year for them as the Detroit Marathon has the Ambassador bridge into Canada that we ran with Elvis (not kidding since I have the image burned into my brain) so there is 3 crossings. I also ran the worlds only International under water mile in a marathon by coming back into the USA through the tunnel in Detroit during my marathon. How Cool! While running I saw a lot of beautiful sunrises, a skunk stuck in a jar, herded sheep back to a pasture, saw migrating Sand Hill Cranes, ran on ice during a thunderstorm, saw lots of deer and met a lot of great people. And I ran healthy. I have 2 marathons on the board already with more coming I am sure. 2 1/2's are planned as well as trying to get back to my pre-injury pace of 7:03 in a 5k.
I also got the unique opportunity with my job to learn to see life in a different way and with much appreciation for what I have. And what I have is a very blessed life. I have learned to be happy that the laundry is piled up because it means I have enough clothes to wash and the means to do it. Same with dishes. It means I have food to eat. I have family and friends that I care about and they care about me. I have a very good man in my husband. You see I work for a Domestic Violence program that also runs a shelter. Unfortunately I will be leaving it soon, but will take the life lessons with me forever. I will think twice before I complain about life or luck. The women I have met in the past 18 months have left a mark on me and I only hope that I could have their courage.
On a lighter note I would like to maintain my weight for another year, work on continuing healthy habits and improve a couple. Why is beer so good? lol.
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Seeing Bfit's blog reminded me that it has been a while since I have done one too. My New Years resolution seems to be holding still. It was to accept my body for what it is and to appreciate it for all it is and does. I am no longer hating my body, but embracing it and accepting that I will be 5'2" for at least another 20 years and then it will change. Unfortunately I will not get taller, but shrink. So those oh so long legs I would love to have are never gonna happen. But the strong marathon running legs I do have look pretty darned good! Arms-check. Abs-no to shabby. Behind-a little low, but powering me through. So all in all not so bad.
Of course I could be ultra super happy with them because last weekend I ran the marathon you can only dream of! My one big goal this year was to get a sub 4 hour marathon. But its spring and I was kind of slow and lazy during the winter. I logged the 20 milers all winter and other long distances. Did a marathon and helped a rookie runner finish in February in Birmingham, AL getting my only Mercedes emblem I will ever own for a medal. I did a bit of speed work last month, but nothing like I do in the summer on long runs. Now keep in mind that I only need 3:50:59 to go to Boston. So getting under 4 is my only real goal because to knock that much off of my PR of 4:02 just seems ridiculous. Ok, here's the story and it is in black and white on a finishers website.
So 2 weeks ago I procrastinated on doing a pre-marathon tune up half. It was 3 loops and I hate loops. But cheap and a good taper run. When I procrastinate till the last minute it usually is not going to go well because my heart isn't in it. And it wasn't at the half. I signed up the day before if that tells you my feelings. But I ran strong and did 1:55. ok. Great. Half of the time I need for Boston. But can I hold another 13.1 at that pace. Probably not. But its ok because I haven't put the time in so I can't expect it. So the marathon I did last Saturday had a price break ending on the Tuesday before. So I sign up. None of my group is signed up. All usual suspects are bailing, etc. Yeah, heart is not in it. Ok, so long before dawn breaks and officially before the butt crack of dawn I get up at 4am for a race that is traditionally boring and one I swore I would never do again last year. But to get Marathon Maniac status I need it. I eat, do the usual morning "stuff", pick up George my fast running bud and off we go. Its 33 and I talked myself out of a throw away shirt/jacket. We still have 20 min to start and cold is all I can focus on. I remember a broken zippered fleece in the car that is now resting in immortal marathon discardation. Life is feeling better. The gun goes off, I shuffle to the start and am off. Just me and my ipod. And all the halfers pulling me too fast. And yet at 9, well after their turn for the out n back, I am still at that pace. 12, still there. 14-yep no slowing down. I am telling myself that this feels pretty good, but there is a lot left. 15 it starts to dawn on me looking at my pace between intervals that this is gonna be good. (I set my garmin for intervals so I can not see the cumulative time or I play mind games-and I do run/walk) So I start to tell myself that I have it. at 16 I am convinced Boston is in reach. I get through the worst of the miles telling myself how good it is going to feel to post that on Facebook. That is pretty much all that got me through 22-25. So as I round the 2nd to last corner a half mile out it dawns on me that the Garmin pace I am looking at is only for the time running and it is not keeping score on walk breaks. Panic! Sheer panic! I have left all I have out on the course. I try a kick and nothing except the downhill helper. I turn the last corner but can not see the clock yet. I know I have 4. I hadn't seen the perfect pace snotty 4 hour girl in a long time (sorry). I see it. Is it good enough? I don't know because I am on intervals! Auughh. There is a man with his whole entire herd of children running him in hogging the chute. (normally I find this totally acceptable and cute since my DH has never seen me finish any race)Then out jumps this man with a crank siren and he makes direct eye contact and starts running just ahead of the herd. There it is. The kick. I pass the herd, get to the man and cross the line already choking on tears. Clock time-3:55 and change. Sub 4-COMPLETE!!! But what about actual chip time. How long did it take me to get to the line? How in the heck do I work my garmin to find my time????? Still choking, crying and being hugged and swung by George I can not believe it. I know though in my heart the clock time is too far out. 20 minutes later the official posting. 3:51:28. Missed Boston by 29 SECONDS!!!
But no tears. I can not cry at that. I had no intention of having that run. It just came. I felt so good. And I hate to say it didn't feel that hard. It was, but you know what I am saying. It was one that was just there every step. I laughed with people and smiled the whole way on a course I usually hate. But at mile 5 I knew I felt good so I started going positive. How can you be upset by a run like that? Sorry, I am crying again writing. I am SO happy to have a PR with a 3 in front of it!!! So proud of myself and all my friends who without a doubt help me be the runner I am. I am only as good as the people I surround myself with. I would be lying if I haven't thought of a hundred things I did out there that would add up to 29 seconds. You wouldn't be human if you didn't. But the old me would not have been able to be happy with just the PR. I would have been upset by what I didn't get instead of what I did accomplish. How stupid is that? I am still smiling today and it has been 5 days. Still shocked at that run. Still beyond happy with my shiny new PR.
So, I guess the new year, new attitude is working. Because all I really pledged to do was accept my body, not myself...
Friday, December 18, 2009
Ok, so I don't do resolutions. I don't believe in setting myself up for major change in one fell swoop of a statement. If I am going to make a statement it will need more than one sentence and 10 words. My usual New Years mantra is "to find humor in every day." Its doable, it helps ground you on a bad day, makes a good day worthwhile and doesn't set me up for failure because, lets face it, I do something stupid that is humorous each and every day. On a good day I do it more than once. And there are enough other idiots in this world if I am running flat that day.
So with that said, I am going to break my rule and make a resolution. Actually I am thinking it will be more of a gift to myself and if I dig deep it is already perfectly wrapped. So what is this great resolution? I AM GOING TO ACCEPT MY BODY EXACTLY AS IT IS! Yes, it is in caps for a reason. Because I am going to have to shout this at myself repeatedly. So why do it? Because I can. Because I can accept myself and be happy. Because I am alive, I am healthy, I am happy, I am loved. Because I am the only one who doesn't see what others see and I am tired of tormenting myself with statements that tear me down. Why? Why do that to yourself? No one is perfect. Ya know what? I am 40. My butt is never gonna be where it was when I was 20. And I didn't appreciate it then so why worry about it now???? I have some jiggle to my backside and inner thighs. SO WHAT! I have them and they work very well. It could be far worse! I could have them and not be able to use them or appreciate them. So there thighs and behind, I accept you for who you are. You are my power houses when I run marathons, you look really good if I wear the skirt style bikini bottom and jeans look pretty good on you. So its not your fault, its mine for not accepting you. I just need to see you differently.
Abs, I like you too. You are not as ripped as you were a couple of years ago. You are a bit more soft and womanly and I like you. You help me stay upright when I run, your pretty good in a bikini, you hold in my guts which give me my strength from food. Ok, so finding 3 things wasn't so easy. It was humorous. (see mantra above)
Arms, shoulders, back and chest I like you too. You are looking good! You help pull me through runs, lift objects me think a woman shouldn't attempt and are really good at wii boxing!
So, there you have it. I had a really good stare at myself today in the mirror, gulp, neked and it wasn't so bad. It was pretty good actually for 40. You have been good to me. You have been the same range of numbers for over a year when I am eating good or cheating. You rebound after a night of beer, you go right back after a big salty burger and fries and don't really make me work too hard to stay at this range of numbers. So why am I mad at you for doing something really great? You may not be the number I am wishing for, but I need to accept that the number you are stays the same no matter what I do. And I test you. Who wouldn't kill for that? Apparently me. But not any more. I am going to appreciate your dedication to me.
So today I pledge to stop worrying about that damned 5-8 pounds I have said that I am going to lose simply to achieve a certain number for the last 12 months. I am tired of wishing every morning for a certain number on the scale that is not going to be there and I am not going to do it anymore. (kind of feels like 9-5 all of a sudden) If I focus on what I like and remember what I looked like 8 pounds thinner I am not sure I will like as much. Actually I just looked at some older pictures and I am right, that number didn't really look that great on me. I get bony pretty easy. Ok, refocus. I do have a lot more muscle at this weight. No, I am not using the "I gained muscle not fat" argument here. Well, maybe a little. So give up muscle and long running for a smaller number and less strength? I don't think so. I even ate a cookie today without guilt. Because one stupid cookie is not going to end my life. Why is that? Because I like my body!
Happy New Year everyone from someone who likes their body! Ok, I may not have totally embraced this already, but I am well on my way and will shame myself no more!
Wednesday, August 26, 2009
All right, day 3 of unemployment. Woo! Yippee. whatever. What do people do all day? Day 3 and I am lost already. What do I do for the next 6 months? This is not fun. I feel like such a loser. Yeah, I have a job to go back to. Ok, great, its not until March. So I looked for jobs before my ending date. Somehow $7.50-8 per hour for 20 hours per week does not seem to stretch enough to cover the bills. And it cuts into the bottom line of unemployment. So say you want to do the right thing and work you get hosed because whatever you make comes off of your check. Ugh. So the blackness is creeping in already. I feel so lost. I feel like a BIG LOSER and not in a Jillian Michaels sort of way. Today I want to enjoy a good cry with the rain. It seems appropriate. I worked out and got in a great sweat, but no help in the mood department. I have done this before and while we got way behind, we survived. But that was only for 3 months. This is 6 this time. Positive thinking would tell you that if you can do it once you can do it again. Not feeling that today. I just want to wallow in cake and ice cream and rainbows and none of them will help.
So its 11:32. Now what? I got up at 8. who does that? I need footing. I need to feel like I have worth. I am just tired of the slant my life keeps taking. Up, down, even keeled for short periods and then it starts again. This is how the last 5 years have been. I know its normal. Life can not be perfect. Challenges build charecter. What doesn't kill you makes you stronger. Tomorrow is a new day. Yeah, yeah, sit in my chair. I put on my big girl panties this morning and I am dealing with it, but it is not fun today. Maybe its just the weather. Or the worry. Or anything else. I just know I feel like a big ole loser and hate it. So today I decided to drag the rest of you down with me. I know it will pass. I have a great husband who is not echoing my thoughts, but I worry he thinks it. Again with worry. Its just such a blow to the ego. 5 years ago I was the bread winner with a $40k job and now I work seasonally in a job I love and is my passion. Great, but it isn't working for me today. I have plenty of jobs around the house, I will hopefully pick up some yard work jobs, I can always sell myself I am not that far from the seedy part of town? Thanks to SP I do have a pretty good body?? Ok. Stop. Tomorrow I know will be a different day. I know lots of other people are in the same situation and are making lemonade of their lemons. Today I just think my lemonade needs vodka.
So thats it. Confessions of the unemployed. It is a wierd place, but I can find my way through it. I can run marathons so I can do anything! Yep, I will keep saying that over and over today. Sorry if I am a downer today. I just needed to get it out there. I can't tell my mom or husband how I feel because they don't get it and both are trying to convince me, and them, that it will be ok. Brave little soldiers that they are its not working today.
Soooo, tomorrow. Tomorrow will be a new day. Tomorrow will feel better. Tomorrow I will do something to make a difference. Tomorrow will be here soon...
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Ok, so this post is quite late. I have taken a lot of time to think on this one. I have talked with lots of my running friends on it and have come to some conclusions:
-I rocked it! Everything went wrong and I still rocked it!
-Plan, plan and then plan again and it still may not matter. Roll with it!
-Do not get hung up on the plan you started with. Things change and you have to too.
-Be in the moment and focus only on what you can handle.
-Trust in others they will help.
So what prompts these conclusions? Well, here is the play by play that only runners can love, lol.
The day was beautiful. Perfect temps at 40 or so. This is an out and back course so there is no congestion with the half marathoners at the start. It was so easy to weed through right off the bat. It also meant that last minute bathroom stops we entirely possible. ( I ran the 1/2 in 07 and was in the porta pottie at the start-good thing it was chip timed) So I should have known what was to come after the first mile. Standing in line waiting to go I turned on my MP3 to find the battery I had charged the day before totally dead. But I have another. Must be a bad battery or something. No problem. Mmm, hmmm. I had on tried and true shorts, but an untested tank. I had run in it, but not with my fuel belt. I could not get the belt to settle onto my hips. I like it low. Somehow in the process of pulling it up and back down to get my shirt out I pulled the shorts up a bit? Not 100% sure here. I also had an additional clip on the belt that fell off twice in the adjustments. Bad omen...but on I go. Its a marathon for gosh sakes and I am only 1/2 mile in-plow on trooper. So the belt settles and I find a groove. A very good groove. I wanted to shave some time off my PR of 4:17 and felt good that morning.
Here comes problem #2. I had run a 5k the weekend before and had strained a calf slightly. No biggie, panic, ice, panic for a couple of days. Try a couple short runs and feel good right? sure. Except that at mile 7 it decided it did not like this plan. Let the cramping begin. Fun, fun. Knowing this was a possibility and having been very well trained by my wonderful friends I packed quite a few electrolyte tabs. So I go into emergency mode and chew them. GACK! I have also discovered a new word to me along about here. Chafe. A nasty word. And this is more than chafe, this is short seam digging into my leg like it would if you pulled a string back and forth like a saw. Misery, but the cramping is over riding it. A couple of miles later the calf is settling down as long as I don't push past an 8:40 pace. So I keep trying to slow it down worrying that this is the first half and I have a long way to go. I do not want to hit a wall. I took my gel when planned and then some beans and am approaching the turn around. My Garmin was set for intervals so that I could not see my overall time. I get to the half dead on for the 4:06 I had in my head according to the clock there. Make the turn, do another interval and yep, more problems.
I look down for the next interval and discover the Garmin has died! Should have wondered a bit more when the initial battery was dead in the mp3 and all four were charged together. Aha, the light comes on, lol. So I get the the 14 mile mark take a walk break by counting to 40 and on I go. And back come the cramps. I have my trusty electrolytes though. Not! They must have fallen out when I got the beans out. Crap! Well, I have been praying and making deals for 14 miles, why not 12 more? I switch to more of a shuffle step and pray. I start asking strangers what mileage we are at explaining my gps died. Most people were beyond helpful. There was a man pacing his wife and once he heard what was going on he helped until I passed them. I found a runner, and neighbor, from our group and hung with him for a couple miles until cramps overtook him and he slowed. I was still on a mission. Running blind was either good or bad and I wanted to do all I could do no matter what the obstacle.
I did good through the rest of the race. No more real issues. No Montezuma this time. I ate my go to dinner the night before of a monster burger, fries and 2 beers, Success in the morning before I left the hotel, lol. I kept at it one step after another. I even did the beer shot at mile 24. Hey, with all that was happening why not? I died a bit in the last mile. I was feeling spent. But I was still passing people had this girl that I played tag with the whole way, I could still see her. I could also see her pick up the pace. I followed with what I am sure I thought was a much faster pace than it was. This race finishes on a track and when you make the turn on the road that goes to it there is tons of support. A friend was there to run a couple hundred yards and let me cry for a minute and then sent me on. I did all I could and crossed the line in 4:02:17. 15 minutes better than my PR and 4 better that what I committed to on paper.
I am still startled, upset and ecstatic over this marathon. To know that I overcame everything thrown at me and I did better than planned has me now really ready to train and try to take 12 more minutes off for the one thing every runner would love to try-Boston-Ecstatic. I have waited to write this blog because this marathon has me in a strange spot. I thought I would only move 1 step closer to this goal, but in reality it was 2 or 3 with that time. Enter startled here. If you can cut 15 once, can you do it twice? How do I feel about failure?
So you probably wonder about upset? This is the petty part of me. The dumb side of me that just can not be happy with her accomplishment. The part of me I hate at a lot of times right now. The part that will always have to wonder and say "what if." What I wonder is could I have broken 4 hours. Could I have had Shangrila? If I hadn't lost my garmin would I have stayed on pace. If my garmin had worked longer I would know where I was and could have guessed. Most of my what if centers on that damned Garmin. Have to have it though. I am like Pavlov's dog with it. It is a very useful tool to me for training so its a cursed need, lol.
So all in all I am so proud of myself. Proud that I didn't curl up in a ball and wait for a car. 3 years ago I did not even have the word marathon in my vocab. What kind of idiot runs 26.2 miles for fun. Well, the kind that wants to know what they can do in life. The kind that strives with every race to see what I can do. The kind that sees every 5am run as fun and the way to the promised land of being stronger and more focused. The kind that will accept 4:02 knowing I did all I could do. That I did it very well. Knowing that there will always be another marathon. Another chance. Another challenge. Opportunity. And with the knowledge of this one pushing the confidence that I am an athlete. I have hard time calling myself that, but after pulling through this one I will try it out today.
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