Sunday, September 27, 2009

Reflections of a year gone by.....

This week not only marked my 9th training week for Disney, but it marked my 52nd week on Weight Watchers. To date, I've lost 56.2 pounds, have dropped from a size 26 to a 16, and have completed two 1/2 marathons. Words can't describe fully how much my life has changed, but I figured I'd try anyway.

Last September, I nearly had a mental breakdown over the situation between my father and his ex wife, the mother of my 3 young siblings. I was 290#, and ultimately miserable. My pictures from vacation last year showed a very plump version of me living with a family that is, for the most part, very health conscious. So, I decided to start WW. And I decided to buy a pair of running shoes, and start running.

Since the first day I wandered into the Track Shack, where all the employees are stick figure distance runners, and got fitted for new shoes, I've gone through 4 pairs of the same shoe, and gone from not being able to fit into anything on the racks, to being able to shop off the racks. My first sports bra was a 44ddd, and my new one is a 38dd. My first pair of "running" pants were cotton capris from the avenue, and my first "running" shirts were special ordered and therefore special priced for big women. Now, I don't have to order from the "Women's" sizes because I can wear the "misses' size. Yesterday, I tried on a pair of NikeFit capris in a size L?!?!

When I first started running, the crossing guards near my house would high 5 me everyday they saw me running, and all the kids would look at me funny. Fellow runners would look on me with encouragement, and then kind of shake their heads. Lets face it, a lot of people say they're gonna run to lose weight and get fit, but honestly, not that many people follow through. I fully intend to be one of the people who follow through all the way.

At first, the thought of running for 3 miles straight made me squeamish. But, I figured it out, and managed to start running 5k's pretty regularly. Then, I completely bypassed all the other distances like 10k, and 15k, and leapt straight to the 1/2 marathon. I'm the kind of person who goes big, or goes home. So, I decided to train for the Disney Princess 1/2 Marathon and managed to complete it. Then, I set my sights on the Flying pig 1/2 Marathon in Cincinnati in May, and managed to complete that one despit the really hard course.

I trained religiously through the summer, through my husband's illness and unemployment, and all the stress of losing my beloved Jeep back to the bank. God, if not for my running, I surely would have backslid into insanity and eating.

When I decided to undertake the full marathon distance, everyone around me thought that surely I had lost my mind. My brother agreed to coach me, and devised a 24 week training plan that can best be described as grueling. As I finished week 9 today, after running 11.45 miles, I realized how far I'd come. Never in a million years would I have imagined a year ago that I'd be able to run almost 12 miles without having a heart attack or being crippled.

A year ago, life was very different, and life will continue to change as long as I"m running through it. One thing is for sure, life will never be the same as it was ever again.

Sunday, September 13, 2009

Injuring and injury

I started running at 290#. And I managed to make it almost a year without an injury. I thought, "Gee, I must really be doing something right to be so fat and not get injured." It's amazing to me that with all the miles I run every week, and how I abuse my body, that an injury can occur in the oddest of circumstances.

Up until 16 days ago, I had been chugging away at my weekly workout schedule. Grueling long runs, cross training, and eating were my life. Then, enter the community service.....
I went to try to finish some hours, and got put to work reorganizing their walk in cooler. So, I bent over for 4 hours sorting through boxes of rotten fruit, tossing the bad, managing the good. I told myself all along the way that I was doing this for a good cause and that they needed my help, and that if someone didn't go through the rotten fruit, it would all go to waste. (I still don't think I'm ready to eat zucchini yet after knowing what one looks like when it's turned to liquid)

Then, enter the lower hamstring strain. All running stopped. All emotional eating started. Nearly two weeks later with no running, and I'm at my wits end with this injury. The problem is, now that I'm ready to start running again this week, I find that I'm only further injuring my quest by my destructive, self sabotaging behaviors. I will take me another month to work off what I've eaten on while down with this strain.

I've made it almost 1 year on WW, and for the longest time, I was religious. I don't know why I'm no longer religious. I take a great deal from the meetings, but not having a car has made it hard to get to them. I know that's part of this. And, I just haven't had time to plan and cook properly.

My life is only going to get more hectic, and somehow I have to manage all this. I'm just not sure how. My mom says to take like one day at a time. But, I find that if I do that, I end up with more injuries. Apparently, I've come to that place in my life where I have to sit down and schedule out every minute of my days in order to make it all work.

What's funny to me is that sooooo many people tell me that all the miles I'm running is insane. The irony is that my running keeps me sane, and I've realized now that not running leads me back to insanity. I don't really care what I have to do to save myself, but I'm jumping ship, and rowing back to the wagon.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Week 5

It dawned on me today that I haven't written about my hardest week to date yet.

Sunday, I completed a near 1/2 marathon. This is the longest I've ever run, and I'm paying the price for it.

Last week was intense. I'm not gonna lie. Last week made me question my abilities as an overweight athlete to accomplish my marathon goal. My workouts are greuling, my weight is plateaud, and my aching body begs me to back down. My husband thinks I've lost my mind,m and my best friend just rolls her eyes at me in disbelief and sarcasm. My mom thinks I'm a trooper, and is immensly proud of me and my dad could care less. My coach just says "ice, ice, ice" and gives me a figurative pat on the back through text messaging.

Last week I ran for a total of 325 minutes, or 5:25:00. My total running mileage was 23.44, for a total mileage to date of 101.30 in 5 weeks! I biked over 40 miles last week. That doesn't seem so insane, except when I consider that I weigh 235#. My marathon buddies say, "Oh, just wait until you're running 40-50 miles a week.....then you'll really hurt!".

Here was last week's schedule.
Monday- 70 minutes bike, not including the bike ride to and from the gym.
Tuesday- 45 minute run, weights, and abs (and bike ride to and from the gym)
Wednesday- 70 minute run, abs (and ride to and from the gym)
Thursday- 70 minutes bike, abs, and 10 miles round trip to WI and home on the bike. 25 total.
Friday- 45 minute run, weights, and abs (ride to and from the gym)
Saturday- OFF. THANK YOU, GOD!
Sunday- 165 minute long run, which ended up being 11.75 miles. Considering that a 1/2 marathon is 13.1 miles, where is my medal???

The saving grace to Sunday's run was the trainer who came up to me on the treadmill and said," You sure do lead by example! I couldn't run 11 miles if my life depended on it. You're more dedicated than I could be." At that point, I had less than a mile to go, so I knew I cold make it.
Last week was tough. This week is gonna be tough. the long run isn't as long, but the other days are getting longer.

The muscle at the top of my calf under my leg bend is still bothering me. I ice it every chance I get. I take Motrin like it's going out of style. I have a 1/2 marathon in 3 1/2 weeks, and I'm terrified. I just hope I can survive the next 3 weeks.