Archive for September, 2011

Tomorrow I run my first 5K

I haven’t posted here in a while.  It seems like time has been going so much faster since the beginning of September, and I feel like I’m having to be really picky about the things I chose to do in my “down-time” (which really translates into an exhausted clean up of the house after the kids go to bed, followed by an hour of reading, tv, or blogging).

When my boys went back to school, my sickness karma kicked in and decided it was time to make up for all those months that I enjoyed being cold-free during the summer.  It was a doozy of an illness, too!  Full on hacking cough,

This is how my soul felt.

fever, stuffed nose, the works.  I totally lost the ability to smell or taste, which was not the end of the world, but made cooking food edible for others a challenge.

It also totally halted my active life.  No lifting, running, yoga (upside down poses sounded like torture) for a week and a half.  I had just finished Stage 1 of

NROLFW, and even though I was excited to get going on a new stage – begone prone jackknife! -, it just wasn’t going to happen.  So I laid down a lot, become friends with my heating pad and pillow, and caught up on missed episodes of Sons of Anarchy.

Just as I was coming out of this cold-stupor, a friend of mine asked me to run with her in the Twin Cities Marathon 5k, coming up on October 1st.  I said “Yes!  That sounds great!”, and thought it would be a good motivator to get me up and off the couch again.  What I didn’t factor in was how close it was to October 1st.  You see, one of the things about being a (mostly) stay at home mom is that you shed the need to stay on top of things like dates and calendars – unless it has something to do with your kids needing to bring something to school.   So in my head I felt like it was still weeks away from the 5k, but in real-time it was only about 10 days away.  Ten days away after a long sickness and an interruption to my exercise program.  But I didn’t really put together how far behind I was until I went for my first post-cold run.  Let’s just say, it was a wake up call to how tired I had gotten and how quickly things can start to go backwards when you take a workout break.

Fast forward a week, and tomorrow is the big day!  I’ve been running every other day, about three miles each time, and I started Stage 2 of NROLFW.  The runs have been getting better and better, but I really wish I had another week to get myself comfortable.  As of yesterday, I’m averaging about 14 minutes a mile, with a walking break thrown in about every three-quarter mile.  I’m hoping to be able to do the 5k in around 40-45 minutes, but I’m nervous!  It’s going to be hilly, it’s near our State Capital and I haven’t run this course before.  In fact, I’ve never run in any event before!  I totally have pre-event jitters (What if I can’t find parking? What if I forget my papers? What if I am late/can’t find it/get lost/wear the wrong clothes/etc/etc/etc).

 I’m starting to remember this feeling, it’s pretty similar to the one that sat like a brick in my stomach as a teenager in junior high gym class (performance/body anxiety and just hoping to god that I don’t come in last).  I realize that this line of thinking is really un-productive, and so I’ve been countering it with thoughts like:

  • I’ve never done anything like this before;  just by signing up and showing up to run I have accomplished something.
  • I never thought I could run at all, much less in an actual event, and doing this 5k is just the beginning of my fitness future.
  • As long as I finish the race upright, and feeling like I enjoyed challenging myself, it has been a huge success.

And finally, this one (a little less optimistic, but still helpful):

  • Just assume now that I will be last.  Get over the fear of it, and if there is any other result besides coming in last, it will be like a special bonus.

    I'll be part of this crowd tomorrow!

I’ve been reading 5k running books.  It may not have been the best plan, because it gave me a clearer picture on how far behind in training I am, but it did teach me some important tips for tomorrow.

  1. Don’t eat anything too heavy the night before.  It sits in your stomach for a half day, and who wants that for a morning run?
  2. Eat 2 hours before you run, but nothing too fatty or multi-grainy.  I’m thinking a small cup of coffee, a banana and maybe some toast.
  3. Bring some kind of replenishing drink, a protein and a carb to eat after it’s over.
  4. Just try to have fun and remember it’s my first time!

I hope it goes well. 

More than that, I hope I can chill out and just have a good time.  I signed up for this because it sounded fun and challenging, not because I thought I needed some special torture in my life.  8th grade gym class is over, and this is something I can do.  I got this.


My first time being a Gorilla Yogi

I have a friend named Heather who is living out the cool-urban-tatooed-pierced lifestyle that I always pined over in my adolescence but never quite made it into as an adult. 

This may be how I feel on the inside...but yeah, I didn't turn out to be that kind of girl.

It seems as thought I have been forever cast as the suburban friend to all nice hipsters and punks that cross my path, and I’m trying to learn to be cool with that instead of wishing I was a different kind of person. <Sigh.> 

 Anyway, this friend had mentioned to me that she was part of a group of people who met monthly and had entire yoga classes outside in really public areas of the twin cities – parks, busy streets downtown, zoos, anywhere!   They were called Gorilla Yogis, and the next meetup was in July at a very busy public park.  I immediately got all excited and wanted to jump right on that bandwagon – I love all these things! Yoga AND being outdoors AND non-mainstream activities?? I’m there.  But then I wondered….Am I going to feel secure enough to get out there in my spandex and join in with people who were probably going to be a lot more fit than me?  My old junior high gym class insecurities popped up, and my “doing physical things in front of people who are thinner than me” monster who has been following me since I was 13 woke up.  I suddenly felt disappointed and kind of tired. 

I thought about it for a few more days, and I realized that one of the major things I really dig about yoga is the ability to let my body dictate how far into the practice I am able to get.  That is to say, everyone who was going be at an event playing up how great yoga is was going to be working at their own pace and doing things as they could – it is a practice that centers on the self and your own improvements after all.   Also, I figured it was going to be pretty hard for anyone to be judgy or snooty when we all have our asses up in the air doing our best downward dog. So why not?  I decided to go, and my friend and I showed up on the day of the event with our yoga mats, our water bottles, and yes, our spandex. 

It was great. 🙂  The energy of the crowd was more focused on having fun and doing fantastic yoga in front of the packs of families and seniors walking by than it was on ranking their fellow yogis on how good or bad they looked or practiced.  It was, in fact, so supportive that I didn’t even get self-conscious when people would stop on the sidewalk and take pictures of us, or when old men would sit on park benches and watch the group of 50 or so people all standing with their hands in prayer pose.  I was good!  I felt happy to be there, and glad I knew how to do most of the poses from my workouts at home.

That is, until I did something crazy to my right leg.

I was happily moving from pose to pose, enjoying my flexibility and the camaraderie of group yoga, when something inside my hip got very mad and let me know about it.  Here, this is a picture of me at the event:

No.  Not the super fit woman in black leading the class.  Look again.



Yes, there I am in all my pink and black outdoor-yogi glory.  This pic was pre-injury, and I’m looking pretty relaxed and flexible here.

10 minutes later, as I was transitioning into Warrior 2 position, there was a loud and concerning *POP* that came from my right hip joint and I’m pretty sure I made a noise like “aaahck”.  Thank goodness I had already made it into the next pose, the shock of whatever my body had just done left me standing there with my arms spread out thinking “I wonder if I’m going to be able to stand up straight with everyone else when it’s time to move?”.  Luckily, I did manage myself out of the spread-legged pose as the class moved into a standing forward fall.  I had no idea what could have made the horrible sound… my hip joint? A tendon? A ligament? A hamstring? And why the pop?  I still have no idea.  But I do know that once the class was over and I was relaxing on my friend’s couch a few hours later, I was considerably more sore and stiff and sporting a noticeable limp when I got up to go home.  Pretty hot.

So now here I am, a month and a half later, and I am really missing my yoga!  I have tried to coax my body into it slowly by breaking out an old favorite yoga DVD, but that right hamstring is having nothing to do with it.  My left leg, no problem!  I can stretch and bend and lunge all day long.  But that right one…well, she’s still mad at me for trying to do yoga on lumpy grass and overextending myself.  I can’t decide if it’s better for me to try to stretch it slowly and work my way back into it, or leave it the hell alone and just focus on the nice easy movements that come with running.  It appears that moving my leg forward and backwards = no problem; moving in any sort of leg spreading/triangle shaped pose = massive ouches.   Maybe pilates is the answer!  I remember a nice stretchy pilates band in my workout room, that sounds just about perfect for a gimpy leg.   Hmmm…

There is another Gorilla Yogi event coming up, and I hope I will be able to go.  But if not, I can’t wait until next spring when I can start it all over again.  If things go as planned, I will be a smaller version of myself and I will try to remember to take things nice and easy so as never to hear a horrible pop coming from any part of me again.

Today’s Running Progress!! 10 minutes faster :)

This morning I woke up extra early because I wanted to go for a run before the kids woke up.  I knew that it had been about a week since I had time to get a run in, and I really wanted to get out there before the afternoon heat came – one less reason to have an excuse to stay home and sit on the couch.  So I dragged myself out of bed just as the sun was coming up, and drove to a nearby lake armed with my water bottle and my HRM.

Here’s something I found out: it’s so beautiful outside in the early morning!  There was a fog hanging over the lake that hadn’t been burned away by the sun yet, and it was just me, the rabbits, and the early morning birds on the path.  I started out with a fast walk, for around 3 minutes.  Then  did something I haven’t been able to do until today – I ran all the way around the lake!  It was a big deal for me.  Continue reading

That Bleh kind of feeling

Sometimes, things just don’t work out the way I think they should.  Normal fact of life, right?  Should have gotten used to it by now, I would think, I’ve been on the planet for 35 years.

And yet I still manage to get all riled up and discombobulated when things don’t go the way they should be going according to the movie playing in my head.  That’s a really sad statement, I know.  Can I blame it on the fact I was an only child until I was 16 and pretty much had the rule of the roost?  Hmmm.

I work part-time, and on those days my lovely husband (who works overnights) gets up after just a few hours of sleep to be with our young children until I get home.  For a few weeks now, he’s been letting me steal away from an extra hour after work to go running by myself – without children on bikes.  So I woke up at an unholy hour on my workday  to get all my gear together, make sure I didn’t forget to pack shoes and my sports bra, and Continue reading

Starting Stage 2 of NROLFW!

Well, it took me 7 weeks, but I am one workout away from finally getting to start stage 2 in the strength training book I follow, The New Rules of Lifting for Women!

Okay, it may not seem like super groundbreaking news.  But hey, over the last six months, I’ve started and stopped Stage 1 about five different times.  And believe me, after all this time I am totally ready to move on from doing these same two routines over and over again.  I love you, NROL, but I’ve had about all I can take of the deadlift for now. Continue reading

Today’s Realization: Weight loss begins in the kitchen.

There was a point in time when I read a lot of forums that dealt with weight loss and fitness, and I was always obsessed with the people who had huge success stories and photos that showed giant body transformations.  And of course, I was dying to know how did they do it???

Just like every other person in the world, I was waiting for the ONE person who would respond to that question with “Oh!  I found a pill/drink/formula/DVD that REALLY worked, not like all that other crap for sale.  THIS one is the one to change everything!”.  At which point, I would gladly stop paying all my bills and send every dollar I had to this magnificent manufacturer.

Everybody knows that it always comes back to those two pillars, diet and exercise.  In fact we hear them together so much, I almost unable to say one without saying the other.  Continue reading

First goal met! Just need to keep on keepin’ on…

I have weighed myself in for a few days in a row, and I think I can safely say that I’ve reached my first goal of losing 25 pounds!  It’s a start, and I feel pretty good being here.

However…I’ve totally become one of those people who gains and loses the same 25 pounds over and over again, and that part kind of blows.  A couple of years ago, I was the smallest I had been in years, and it was freaking great.  I loved it!  I was still overweight, sure, but I was shopping in the regular sections of stores.  For anyone who hasn’t been cast off into the blah world of plus size clothing sections, let me tell you, it is a bleak and stifling world, full of neutrals pastels, and florals in boxy shapes.  Not a great selections for a girl who grew up loving Ragstock and Chucks in their heyday.  There are, of course, some cute things you can Continue reading