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Posts Tagged ‘struggles’

My niece and I had decided to run in the Quad City Marathon this month.  We were both going to use the same training program so that we could support each other.  Things started out swimmingly.  She’s a bit faster than me, but that’s ok.  We had talked about that and we were ok with running our own race at our own pace.

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Our Playground Workout

I quickly found a friend to train with to help keep me motivated.  Thanks to her, I started getting up early to run.  The hours passed quickly and I enjoyed our time together.  We were motivating each other.  I felt blessed because she slowed down her pace to keep me company and I motivated her to keep going.

I had already modified the training plan to account for my husband’s work schedule.  My kids aren’t old enough to stay home alone and hiring a babysitter that often is just not in the budget.  So sometimes, the run had to go by the wayside so I could take care of the kids.  Thankfully, my running partner was ok with that…she had been there, done that, and was very understanding.

But then injury hit.  My knee acted up for a couple of days, and since I had struggled with it last year during my half, I made sure I took care of it.  Then my plantar fasciitis flared.  That sidelined me for a while.  We did water jogging, weight lifting, bike riding and rested.  It eventually went away.  I thought I was home free, barring the occasional summer cold.

I always knew that I was a slow runner…12-15 minutes per mile is my average, depending on the race and the heat.  The long runs kept getting longer.  The time I spent away from home kept getting longer.  I started getting discouraged, especially when it felt like I wasn’t making any progress.  I just couldn’t get faster.  I was doing ok on the longer runs, for the most part.  But things were slowly breaking down.

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A hot workout…not a great experience

My breaking point was a scheduled 18 mile run.  I knew it was going to take me a while – at least 4.5 hours to finish.  Have you ever thought about what you can do in 4.5 hours?  You can watch all of Gone With the Wind (and have time left over), you can do 3 loads of laundry, you can read an entire book (maybe even 2).  Most importantly, you can help your husband by watching the little kids so that he can work on the home remodel.  And who really wants to get up at 4:15 in the morning to go for a run so that you can be home in time to do other things?  Not this girl…so the run didn’t happen.  Family first.

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Kiddos reading in the hallway

 

It was at that point that I started feeling like maybe the full 26.2 wasn’t going to happen for me.

Over the next few days, I talked to my niece; I talked to my running partner; I talked to my husband; and I talked to myself.  It was a difficult decision.  I knew I could do the half.  I did one last year and I had felt reasonably good during my 12+ mile runs.  But deep down, I wanted my first marathon experience to be good.  I did not want to be that runner that was crossing the finish line after 6.5 hours…with the finish line being partially dismantled, the sag wagon dogging my footsteps, not having seen any of the race volunteers or refreshment tables for the last 2 hours.  I wanted to cross the finish line earlier than that.

I wanted my marathon experience to be good…not a straggling, suffering, guilt-laden one.

At that point, I decided to do the half.

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My favorite view on my favorite path.

It was a load that fell off my shoulders.  I felt good about my decision; disappointed, but good.  I felt like I was letting people down; that I was giving up.  To a certain extent, I still feel that way.  But I know that I’m not ready to run 26.2 miles the way I want to run them.  Making that decision freed up my time to focus on my kids, the big projects we have going on at home, and to focus on my husband (not in that order).  While he supports my running and is at every finish line he can be at, he didn’t like me being gone so long, running alone in the partial dark, and running the chance of getting hurt.

I know that when I lace up my shoes on Sunday to run the half, it will be fine.  He will be at the finish line waiting for me with a hug and a kiss.  Most of my kids will be there to surround me with hugs.  They will be proud of me no matter what distance I run.

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Week 3 was hard for me for several reasons – primarily due to schedule, but I also got hit with the crud that’s going around.  I lifted for an hour one day – not the scheduled workout, but a strength workout with members of my Booty Buster team.  I tried to lift a second day but my timing at the Y wasn’t good.

On the plus side, I ran in the Runs for Cookies Virtual 5k on Friday (part of my #13in2013) and I beat by goal time by almost 2 minutes.  My first 5k of the year had a time of 47:34.  On Friday, I just wanted to beat 45:00.  And I did it!  I ran it in 43:02.  While I wasn’t overwhelmed with happiness with my time, I think I did pretty well considering I was struggling with being able to breathe and coughing a TON.

Another plus was that I managed to get in my fruits/veggies most of the days and I also got enough water in me most days.  I think I need to keep up with that a little bit more because the water will counteract the sodium in my meals (tortilla chips, tacos, potato oles, etc.).

I’m hoping to actually do the scheduled workouts this week.  I am a little worried about the endurance circuits, but I think I will be able to get through it ok.

Tina said in her check-in email this week that it’s not unusual to be a little unmotivated this week.  I think I was unmotivated to a certain extent.  I just got discouraged pretty easily and frustrated with my general lack of progress.  I have a lot going on and I need to be able to focus.

My word for the year has been patience, and most days have been a struggle, but especially in this last week.  I’m hoping to be able to refocus on it.

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Well, week 2 has come and gone.  Was I successful?  Kind of.

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I ran 4 days and was able to finish up weeks 5 and 6 of Couch to 5k (which is the furthest I have ever gone in that program).  I lifted twice during the week.  One of those days was BBB workout A and the other day was a random strength workout with my friend Tracy.  Water is always hard for me to get in over the weekends, so the fact that I did it on Saturday was amazing.  I didn’t get any writing in over the weekend, but I got lots of thinking in.

My workout availability schedule is so crazy that sometimes I have to modify things so they fit into my schedule.  So I didn’t do BBB workout B during week 1 or 2, and only did workout C during week 1.

Overall, I am pretty happy that I decided to do this challenge, although I have realized that if I want a chance to be included in the grand prize drawings, I need to step it up for the remaining weeks.

We start week 3 today.  The workouts for weeks 3 and 4 look TOUGH, but I’m hoping they will challenge me and give me that push I have been looking for.  Goal 1 is remaining the same – drink 8 cups of water every day.  Goal 2 is changing to eat 5 servings of fruits or vegetables every day.

On a personal note, I am hoping to push myself and stop telling myself that I can’t do things.

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A Look Back

2012 was a good year for me, overall.  I lost almost 40 pounds, ran my first 1/2 marathon, and logged 315 miles since Mother’s Day.  For the local Grand Prix, I came in 7th in my age group (one of my best friends came in 1st – yay!).  I overcame my fear of free weights.

Southern Tennessee Plunge 1/2 Marathon with my beautiful niece Bethany

Southern Tennessee Plunge 1/2 Marathon with my beautiful niece Bethany

Not that it wasn’t without its struggles.  I battled heat, knee pain, foot pain, and a general lack of motivation at various times during the year.  I started, stopped, and restarted New Rules of Lifting for Women and Couch to 5k.  I started and finished some challenges (Y’s Weigh), but started and did not finish others (Holiday Squat-a-thon).

But you know what?  My family didn’t completely fall apart while I was working out.  I figured out how to work around everyone’s schedules, for the most part.  Yeah, it was tough getting long runs in, but I did it – even though they were mostly walks.  My family learned all sorts of different words – energy gels, hydration belt, heart rate monitor, foam roller, and negative splits.  I learned how to plan workouts, nutrition, and life so that I can accomplish those things that I need to finish.  My girls learned how much fun the finish lines of races could be – kids’ stampedes and mommy’s races.  They learned that if you work hard at something, it doesn’t matter if you win or come in dead last – you finished it.  My husband learned that sometimes it’s easier just to let me go running (or let me talk about running) just so that I can get my nervous energy out.

A Look Ahead

What do I want for 2013?  I want a lot of things.  Here are some of my main goals:

  • 5k time at 30:00 (or less)
  • Run my first full marathon (scheduled for 9/23 – Quad City Marathon)
  • Run all Grand Prix races and come in better than 7th in my age group
  • Participate in Muscatine Running Club group runs
  • Lose 30 pounds
  • Complete Couch to 5k (currently on week 4)
  • Complete Insanity
  • Complete Best Body Bootcamp (starting cycle 4 on January 8)
  • Complete New Rules of Lifting for Women

This isn’t all, but they are the first ones that come to mind.

I have the following challenges lined up for the year:

  • #13in2013
  • 5 by the 5th
  • Y’s Weigh
  • BMI Challenge at my work
  • #BestFoot Challenges
  • Run this Town

Will I get through them all?  I don’t know, but I’m going to try.  I will get through them with the support of my husband and kids.  I have learned that I just need to stay quiet to essentially everyone else.  People don’t always understand, and it’s easier to just stay quiet than to keep explaining why you are doing some things.

What are your goals for 2013?

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You know, sometimes, life just happens.  Sometimes things don’t work out how you have them planned.  That’s been my experience with HBBC the last few weeks.  Between school concerts, choir practices, meetings, and just plain schedule issues, workouts haven’t happened.  Meals have not been the most organized thing happening.

Are those necessarily valid excuses? No.  I saw this picture (from Run with Jess).

Source: Run With Jess

Source: Run With Jess

But are they my excuses for the last few weeks?  Yep.  That doesn’t make me a bad person, that just makes my choices different than maybe they should have been.  I was focused on keeping my kids at their activities, getting my things done, trying to stay rested (and healthy), and keeping myself sane.

I had some HBBC Facebook interactions during those 3 weeks.  Plus, I got in a bunch of cleaning/cooking time on Christmas Day.  But I know my attitude suffered while I wasn’t eating right or exercising.  I know I’ve been more stressed out than usual.  I know that if I had followed through on my plans, all of that would have been different – even slightly different.

So what’s my goal for the last week of HBBC?  To make it through the last week with some kind of mileage and workouts.  We will see.

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you-will-tell-them-yesI have a lot of time where I hear “No” – whether it is a real “no” or a perceived “no”.  All my life, I have been the girl that would rather read about something than do it, or would rather read/watch TV than be outside.  Over the last few years, I grew unhappy with my appearance and my health.  I wanted to be healthier for our kids.  I wanted to get back to that person in the wedding pictures, only a healthier version of me.   It wasn’t until January 2012 that I did something about it, seriously did something.

Even at that time, there were a lot of perceived “nos” coming at me.  People didn’t think that I had any issues, or that I was doing the wrong thing, or pushing myself too hard, or whatever.  I won’t say that it’s been easy, because it hasn’t.  I will say that it’s been the best change in my life in years.  Every time someone said “no” or I heard a “no” implied in something else, I tried not to let it bog me down. I tried to take it and change it.  Even when someone would minimize my accomplishments, I tried to change that around in my head…or I used it as ammunition to get my butt off the couch and do something about it.

I’ve decided that “Yes, I Can” is going to be my motto going into 2013.  To all of those who don’t think I can achieve my goals for the year, or those who don’t think that what I am accomplishing is all that important – thank you for providing me the motivation to push past my blocks or to keep pushing even when I want to give up.

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So last week in the HBBC 2012 scores, I had a big, fat, 0 staring me in the face.  Sure, I got 7 points during the week for checking-in on Facebook, but there were absolutely NO exercise points.  Boy, did that suck!

This week, I slightly redeemed myself.  I had 6.85 exercise points (ok, so 5.85 exercise points and 1 fruits/veggies point).  Still not spectacular, but considering I waited until Tuesday to be “released” by my chiro to exercise and then my birthday was on Wednesday, I think I did ok.

Here’s how my week ended up –

  • Monday – 1 Facebook point and 1 freggies point (plus 30 squats)
  • Tuesday – 1 Facebook point (plus 35 squats)
  • Wednesday – 1 Facebook point (it’s my birthday!) (plus 40 squats)
  • Thursday – 1 Facebook point (had workout plans, but they were superseded by hubby & kiddo plans)
  • Friday – 1.75 mile run and 40 minutes of yoga = 3.75 points + 1 Facebook point (plus 1 set of 45 make-up squats and 1 set of 50 squats)
  • Saturday – 1 Facebook point (plus 55 squats)
  • Sunday – 2.1 mile run and 1 Facebook point (plus 60 squats)

Here’s why I like this challenge.  First, it’s introduced me to a bunch of new people.  Second, it’s keeping me accountable for my actions when I would usually give up and just let things slide.  Third, it’s motivating me to try new things – like a 13 in 2013 challenge.  I may not win any prizes during this challenge, but if I can lose some weight and inches, then I will be happy.

I’m looking forward to the remaining weeks in this challenge and am hoping I can get back into the swing of things, even with as busy as my schedule will get.

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