Category Archives: 5K

Return of the Blog

I haven’t blogged since August of 2016. I’m still not sure where to start, what I’m trying to say here, or if I’ll get back to blogging regularly anytime soon.

But here I am. I’m here to…collect my thoughts. Lay out my intentions. Try to tease out the thread that leads me back to what matters most for me. The best way for me to start, I think, is with the highlights of where I’ve been.

Since August, I had a full hysterectomy. I spent some time recovering, as I needed to, but in there somewhere I lost my mojo. My hormones are still not 100% settled, so I consistently struggle with being too tired and too emotional in one way or another. I’m working on it.

In January, prompted I’m sure by the New Year’s Resolution idea, I started thinking hard about getting back to the things that make me feel balanced. I set some non-specific goals:

2017
Camp Gladiator for my body.
Yoga for my soul.
Healthy food for my energy levels.
Daily writing for my spirit.
Reading for my mind.
Weekly walks for my heart.
Snuggles for my joy.
Activism for my piece of mind.

Around the same time, thanks to the husband’s awesome gift of annual Disney passes, I wanted to write a blog about what I felt like Disney was giving me.

How Disney Gave Me Back Myself
Out of shape, out of touch, feeling sad. Not enough time with family.

Lots of Joy, tons of walking, lots of smiles and laughter. Remembered movement can be fun, what my body is capable of. Love being outside. It’s cool to be joyous, be a kid.

I never did get around to writing that blog. Every time I sat down to try to write it, I felt like I was faking. I wasn’t making progress. I wasn’t making healthier choices. I loved being at Disney, I love it every time we go. But despite all the joy it brings me, it isn’t carrying over to the rest of my life. So I never wrote the blog, because what could I say? Hey, I found a place that fills me with joy and it still didn’t give me a reason to get healthy?

So a few weeks went by. I did nothing. I barely went to my previously beloved bootcamp. And then…

I’m at my heaviest weight ever. Probably about 250, but I don’t know for sure and I don’t want to know. I do a really good job of pretending it doesn’t bother me, but it does. But that’s another story for another time. I’m actually writing about something more practical. Last night I was stretching and felt a sting on my lower belly, where my belly fat roll meets my torso underneath, right at the fold. Now it’s stinging and seems to be seeping a little blood. I think it’s just a skin tear, and doesn’t hurt a ton or smell bad or itch or anything…but this has never happened to me before. I’m crying in the work bathroom. This is making me feel like shit. In one day I’ve gone from feeling hopeful to feeling disgusting. Intellectually I know it’s the wrong way to feel, but here I am.

I felt so…embarrassed? Ashamed? I hate this feeling.

It’s brutal. My husband, who I only get to see on the weekends, is like “hey baby” and I’m all, “excuse me, my fat roll is bleeding.” I just…ugh.

In some ways, the worst part of this whole fucking thing is feeling like I can’t talk about it. I’ve made such a big damned deal out of accepting my body and being fine with whatever size, and now I feel trapped…like if I say something negative about my fat body, I’m somehow going back on those things (that I truly believe to be true). If I’m miserable with my fat roll, I can’t say that without sounding like I think fat is bad. I feel stuck and so dark right now, and I’m extra upset about it because I had this great, hopeful, motivated blog post planned. I was outlining it in my head yesterday, and then this happened last night and I’m so derailed. And of course, I’ve eaten SO much better today, but it’s out of shame.

That was the end of January, and I decided February would be different. Because it needed to be. And…it wasn’t. I barely exercised except for our awesome Disney weekends. I ate terribly, brutally, with intention to harm. I made myself sick from food for the first time in a very long time.

Now it’s March. I want to say that everything will be different, that this is the month I’ll turn things around. That I’ll find the time to do Couch to 5K with my kid and get back to 3x/wk bootcamps and start eating foods that make me happy and balanced and healthy. That I’ll get back to daily (or atleast weekly) yoga and meditation. But the truth? I just don’t know, and I’m scared to even try to commit to something.

So that’s where I’m at right now. There it is. I don’t know what to do with it, but I needed to get it out.

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Run, Walk, Crawl

See those gorgeous medals right there? I’m SO excited to share them with you, and I hope I can encourage you to grab one for yourself. You see, here’s the thing. I don’t run anymore. It’s not news to anyone who has followed the blog for a while. But I DO like moving, getting some sunshine, and earning medals. I mean I really do. Since I’m out of the game for most races, I started getting into virtual medals because it meant a chance to get out and moving, and have some powerful motivation to do it.

Now it’s even more important, as next week begins my training to walk a half marathon in December. I’ve struggled with follow through in the past, so when I was offered the chance to blog for Jost Running (in exchange for a few months of their incredible medals) I jumped at the chance. Now I know I have some gorgeous bling to keep me motivated to train. On those days when I’m really not feeling like taking my training walk, it’s going to make all the difference to know that I can earn a nice shiny medal by getting out there for thirty minutes or an hour.

I know plenty of my runner friends are training for fall/winter races now, so I’m hoping the same can be true for them. The medals are big and beautiful, but they’re also a chance to support some really powerful causes. September’s SOARING medals, which you should get soon, are supporting Team For Kids.  From their website, “Team for Kids is a committed group of adult runners from around the world who add meaning to their miles by raising funds for NYRR’s Youth and Community Services programs while training for major endurance events. The funds they raise provide free or low-cost health and fitness programs to kids who would otherwise have little or no access to regular physical activity. These programs serve more than 200,000 children each year in more than 800 schools and community centers in New York City, across the nation, and around the world.” So every registration for a September medal is going to make a real impact in the life of a child. THAT is meaning. THAT is motivation.

Medals are for a 5K/10K or for a Half or Full Marathon. And if you’re not yet up for a September race? BEHOLD the beautiful October medals. GET THESE NOW on presale, because they sell out FAST. These crazy awesome medals (which are also bottle openers) are selling in support of Midwest Food Bank, which is “a faith based organization it is the mission of Midwest Food Bank to alleviate hunger and poverty by gathering and distributing food donations to not-for-profits and disaster sites without cost to the recipients.”

Even better? You don’t have to run. Walk. Bike. Swim. Get your community involved. Take your family around the block in their wagons and on their tricycles. Push a stroller or a wheelchair. Invite your neighbors to the park. Walk your dog. Just get your body moving and enjoy the gentler weather as fall starts to show up in most of the US.

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How I Get What I Want

What do I really want?
1. To go to FitBloggin in Denver
2. To work from home at least one day per week
3. To become a yoga teacher
4. To compete in one strength competition, ideally the Disney Fit Challenge

How do I get those things?
1. Save money. This means I have to stop spending money on toys, incidentals, eating out, and unnecessary clothing purchases. Time to tighten the purse strings big time.
2. Work hard all the time. Meet or exceed deadlines. Take more initiative when it comes to learning more about the company. Come up with ideas and share them more often.
3. See #1, but also get back to regular daily practice as a priority. My time on the mat is necessary to being in the right mental and physical space for teacher training.
4. Keep up with my NF training. It will also help with yoga!

This weekend someone I care about spent several hours in the ER and, in fact, is still in the hospital. The person in question is alright, and wasn’t there for something anyone could ever claim was brought on by bad choices or unhealthy living or any such thing. Still, as I waited out that first night, my stomach a mess from a combination of stress and bad food choices, I couldn’t help but think about choices, health, the passage of time, and about all I want from this life. There are no guarantees, not ever, but maybe there is power in choices. Power to say you’ve done all you could. Power to put out into the universe the right energy to attract what you desire. Power to make a difference, however small or temporary, in the quality of your own life.

I’m caught up in thoughts about the importance of really listening, of making a connection with my true needs and honoring them above all else. It’s a path I’m already on, though one I stray from more often than not. So this week, I’m scrapping the big specific goals in favor of one single goal. This week, I will strive to live the life I deserve. I will do this by making choices that bring me genuine, lasting joy. I will listen to my body every chance I get, and I will remember that one moment or day or week of choices out of line with this path is simply another chance to learn more about how to more fully align.

I’m also working hard to align myself with things that matter, and that get me closer to the goals I have of aligning better with real joy. In part, this means forging relationships with some companies that are pretty dear to me in one way or another. I’ve been incredibly lucky to have found a few things that help make living actively more enjoyable for me, and one of them is finding the right gear. Two years ago now I finally bit the bullet and spent real money on a real sports bra, instead of wearing 2-3 of the ones I found at Target or Walmart. The bra? An ENELL. Now I’ve been lucky enough to be chosen as an ambassador for the bras, and I can’t say enough. They’re the only ones that have ever worked for me. They’re super supportive, incredibly comfortable, and the only reason I can do a shoulder stand without suffocating.  More than that, it’s a company out there saying that just because I have a body that doesn’t fit a particular mold, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t have the chance to successfully and comfortably move in a way that really, truly brings me joy. THAT’s something I can really get behind. The more I thought about the ways I love to move, the ways that make my body truly happy, the more I realized how much of it was possible thanks to the support of this sports bra. Walking, yoga, strength training…it’s all so much easier with something that’s made for MY body, with the added bonus of doing less laundry since I’m not wearing 2-3 bras for every workout.

In the spirit of reaching out and moving more, I also reached out to be a blogger for Jost Running. I haven’t heard back on their decision yet, but I’m excited because it means extra motivation to get up and moving several times a month. Jost hosts virtual races every month, offering beautiful medals and donating proceeds to a different charity every month. I’ve signed up for their races before, and loved the bling and the donation. Now I’ve applied to blog for them for a few months, which means extra chances to encourage others to get up and moving, and great motivation to get me off the couch/office chair as well. And that should be perfect timing because…I’m probably walking a half marathon in December.

I haven’t signed up for the race yet. I want the idea to percolate for a while first, because I have a tendency to jump into these big plans without thinking them through well enough. I did look into a walking half training plan though, and even found a fellow ENELL ambassador who’s fairly local and might be able to meet me for the occasional training walk! I’ve always wanted to complete a half, and when running was no longer an option for me, I figured I would never be able to do it. When I found a local holiday-themed half that accepted walkers, it got me thinking again about finishing a half. If I decide to do it, my training plan would start in early September. I’m thinking I’ll stick to my 2-3 strength training workouts a week, alongside the 4-5 walking workouts for the half training, and scale my yoga back to shorter sessions on a more consistent basis instead of getting in 60-90 minutes but only once or twice a week.

I’ve also been sort of tracking my food lately. I haven’t tracked any amounts or anything, but instead have just been recording what I ate, when, and what thoughts or feelings were part of the choice. I found very quickly that my stress levels and boredom are the two biggest triggers for bad food choices, but that the other key was access. I won’t go buy bad food if I’m at work. I won’t leave the house to go get something bad for me. If, however, it’s already there…I’ll probably consume the entire bag/box/package. So as long as I’m a little more careful about what I keep nearby, I should have an easier time (particularly at work) with controlling emotion-fueled food intake.

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FitBloggin+: Recap & Aftermath

I’m home. I’m reasonably settled in too, which is nice. And what’s more? I have SO MUCH to write about. I want to share where I’m at with my Nerd Fitness journey. I want to talk about my experience at FitBloggin this year. I want to write in particular about the Tough Love session and do the “homework” of writing a letter to myself to call me out a bit.

I don’t know if that’s too much for one post…so I’ll just start going and see where I end up.

Nerd Fitness: I’m doing damned well with this. I haven’t gone perfectly as planned, but the whole point this time around is to remember that life is that way. I’m extremely unlikely to ever be able to follow a plan perfectly to the letter. My first week consisted of veggies for lunch OR dinner every day, and veggies for lunch AND dinner four out of seven days. I did the NF workout on Monday, met with my mom’s trainer for a lifting workout on Wednesday to establish my baseline, and then did some easy strength on Friday. I also did Zumba, yoga, and a 5K. I feel really good about the work I did.

This week’s goal is to do three strength workouts, stick with the veggies, and add in another nutrition goal. Originally that was going to be no grains at breakfast, since the nutrition guidelines for NF are headed toward paleo, but after a long conversation I’ll get to more of later, I’ve decided instead that I’ll aim for less sugar. I’ve already started by putting just plain half&half in my coffee, which works alright except that my body is not a dairy fan…so I tried a tablespoon of coconut oil. You do have to BLEND it in. If you stir it, it’s oily and gross. I used my mom’s immersion blender (getting this one soon – that’s an affiliate link) and friends? It’s SO AWESOME. I used coconut oil and coconut coffee and it was great. Smooth, sweet, no need for anything else. I’m also going to be tracking my sugar, aiming for less than 72g a day, which is the seemingly arbitrary number MyFitnessPal sets when you log in.

I was EXHAUSTED yesterday, so I didn’t manage a workout at all, but I hopped over to the gym this afternoon at work and did the first bodyweight workout for NF. Tough, but I liked it. I’ll be sore for sure.

FitBloggin’14: The first day of FitBloggin this year was a little hard for me. With everything going on, having just moved, so much change…I was feeling unsettled and homesick. It’s such an unfamiliar feeling for me when I’m at FitBloggin that I worried something fundamental had changed and I wouldn’t have the same experience this year.

Turns out I just needed to settle in a little bit. I had awesome roommates: Dacia, Andrea, & Angela. Not long after I arrived, I got to finally hug Alan & Christine. Then I saw Karen and Deb and Sam & Matt. The hugs never stopped, and I started to feel more and more at home. FitBloggin really is a chance for me to come home to my people again every year. I missed Jen, Meredith, Carla, and Susan like WHOA, but the chances to connect and reconnect abounded.

So what do we DO at this conference? I think it depends on your focus. This year, I spent more time with friends and a little less in sessions, and I don’t regret it at all. Let’s see. We went on a ghost tour of Savannah. Our guide was totally insane and by the end we were pretty bored, but it was fun to see the city at night.

I skipped Friday morning bootcamp in favor of sleeping, then had a great breakfast. I made it halfway through a workout session before an oncoming migraine got the best of me. Lots of water and a little medicine later and I was bouncing back alright. I missed out on CrossFit to head to a session led by Christine, which was full of some really great thoughts on maintaining weight loss motivation, and then we got a little lunch time visit from Mickey Mouse! runDisney was there to talk about their races, but I couldn’t help focusing on the strength competition at the Wide World of Sports. I can’t get the Disney Fit Challenge out of my head, so it might need some more researching. I spent some time Friday afternoon wandering and relaxing, and had my traditional yearly dinner with Gail. We wrapped up Friday night with a drag show (so awesome) and a lot of dancing. I think I got to bed at 1am.

Saturday I got up for the BEST YOGA EVER with Kia, who I adore. It was well worth getting out of bed even if I was a little hungover. Just a little. After breakfast, I went to Steve & Sue’s session on Tough Love. That one was a tough one for me, and it took me the rest of the weekend to decide whether it was because I disagreed with the idea of calling people out, or because it was exactly what I needed to hear. I decided on the latter, mostly after a long conversation with Terry. I’ll get to more on that in the next section.

I did ZUMBA!!! with Sue & Sam, also known as the only time all year I do any Zumba-ing. I love their class because I sweat, I dance, I laugh. I feel sexy and powerful and amazing, even though dancing usually makes me feel pretty uncoordinated. I had lunch at Moon River with some of my favorite people, including a lovely local beer, and got to say goodbye to Sue, who was already headed out. Le sad.

Saturday night I had an incredible dinner at Alligator Soul. The atmosphere was fancy and fun, and the food was amazing. I had a moonshine flight, mind-blowing shrimp & grits, and was briefly married to Steve. We headed back in time for some truly amazing Ignite presentations. My favorite, and not just because I got a shout out, was Dre & Martinus rapping. I also got the chance to reenact a presentation in the hopes of winning a gift certificate. I HATE speaking in public, but getting the chance for some great yoga gear from be present was too much to pass up, so I bit the bullet and got up there.
I’m SO glad I did. I was so nervous, and so amped. I felt silly and weird, but I also loved it. The energy was amazing, and I had such a good time. I always say I’m going to try to do more with public speaking, so there is FitBloggin yet again helping me achieve a goal. There is nowhere more supportive or fun to be taking those risks.

Awesome new bracelet with green beads, and BRAVE ring from bama + ry

After the Ignite reception wrapped up and I managed to get my hands on some SWEET jewelry there was more fun in store. Side note: I love Jasmine from bama + ry SO FREAKING MUCH. For starters, she’s one of two people who understands my blog reference without me explaining it. Secondly, she makes amazing jewelry that’s breathtakingly beautiful and still affordable. I do need to save up for the Maya Collection though, because it’s incredible and I want every piece. More than that though, Jasmine is just…amazing. She’s got the sweetest smile, this incredible understanding of grief and loss, and she’s just…I don’t have the words. I feel like I’d hang out with her all the time if we lived close. I just realized I never got a pic with her and now I’m mad.

And then…I played Cards Against Humanity. First time ever, and fortunately I was with some awesome people who just laughed at my discomfort. J It was completely hilarious, so much fun, and gave me a chance to get to know some great people even better than before. I went to bed at 2am.

Sunday came too fast, as always, but I got up with Christine and headed out for the 5K. I can’t run it, so I walked with Steve instead and it was a great chance to catch up with him. I really enjoyed our chatting, and got a bonus phone booth photo. I had breakfast, got to have some wrap up conversations with a few awesome people, and made the six hour drive home.

And like that, it was all over… except it wasn’t. So many things still brewing. Emails to HR, food revamp plans…all for another post it seems, as this is long as crap now.

Next year FitBloggin is in Denver, and I WILL BE THERE. With bells on, perhaps. Or maybe not. But there. I will be there! I might even be brewing up a tattoo idea so that I can get one there like Dubyawife did this year.

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Of Tracking and Chocolate

I’ve been tracking my food for… I don’t know, maybe a week now? Overall, it’s been pretty predictable.

As it turns out, although the reassurance of this fact is comforting, I actually have a pretty good idea of what I’m eating on a given day. When I first started tracking I worked hard not to alter my food choices because of the tracker, and my results were exactly as I suspected. My calorie and fat levels are low enough that I should be losing weight (and although I’m curious as to how that could be true yet I’m NOT losing weight, it’s just not my focus) and on any given day I’ve had either too much sodium or too much sugar, and sometimes both.

The sodium is coming from packaged foods. Canned or bagged soups to make lunch easy at work, packaged crackers to go with my goat cheese, and anything eaten at a restaurant or from take out. The sugar has obvious sources too, particularly in Easter candy season. I just eat more candy than I need to about half the time. It was a surprise to realize that I’m only over on my sugar by a handful of grams, and I’d even set it a little low per the heart healthy guidelines I’d found. My sodium, on the other hand, is THROUGH THE ROOF on the days when it’s over, which is about half the time as well.

In the last day or two though, since Easter really, things have taken a turn for the worst, and I’m still muddling through whether it’s some latent stress from tracking that’s causing it, or whether it’s just that because I’m tracking I’m aware of the extent of it. I overate on Easter, though not as badly as I have in years past. Somehow that led to the next two days being fueled nearly entirely by chocolate, with little side trips into Pringles and other food designed to make me feel crappy.

I don’t know why it’s happening, and my body is unhappy about it. I’m focusing quite intentionally on NOT berating myself for it, but instead on taking the one meal at a time mentality and trying to make ONE good choice. For today, even ONE choice for nutritious food versus comfort staples that mistreat my body will mean a victory.

I’ll also be focusing more on meditation daily, on getting back to my daily yoga practice, and other ways to promote gentle behaviors that foster my self love.

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Lessons

Stop Stroke Shuffle 5K

Lesson #1: Get out there when the mood strikes. It’s worth it.

I had the urge to go for a walk yesterday, which just happened to also mark the beginning of Dani’s Stop Stroke 5K. It was snowing, so I put on boots and warm clothes and topped everything with my purple raincoat. The snow had been falling long enough to cover the sidewalks, but no one else was out in it. It was quiet and peaceful and still. It was sort of wonderful. I’m so glad I just got up and went.

Honestly, I struggle with things like this on the weekends. We get so little time together as a family that I often feel guilty doing anything on my own. Sometimes even twenty minutes of yoga feels selfish. I did invite the husband and kiddo to join me on the walk and they weren’t feeling it. Most days I’d have sat back down and just hung out with them, but I was feeling antsy and wanting to earn my adorable heart medal, so I got up and got outside anyway.

It wasn’t as cold as I thought it would be, and in the end the forty six minutes I spent outside on my own served as a pretty effective meditation. I had time to think quietly. I had time to chat a little with my bestie. I had time to think through lots of what’s been in my head lately and it just made everything feel clearer. Plus the cold air was sort of invigorating, and not in that awful way people say it when they mean “freezing and miserable.”

Lesson #2: Do it yourself. I have finally learned that I do best when I eat protein and (not sweet) carbs for breakfast. This led to me buying super expensive breakfast sandwiches at local cafes and Starbucks. SO EXPENSIVE and not terribly good either. So I started buying the frozen variety. Cheaper. Less tasty. Finally this weekend I decided to just make my own. I got some frozen bagels, and brought them to work along with precooked bacon, eggs, and shredded cheese. This morning’s sandwich was MUCH cheaper, MUCH tastier, and kept me full longer.

Lesson 3: Don’t give up. There is a way. I planned to start the Beautiful Badass strength program today. I wrote out my exercises. I knew the first one was a pullup and I don’t have a gym or a bar or a suspension trainer, so I found a video online where you can sort of lay on a smooth floor with something slidey beneath you and pull yourself. I felt awesome about all my planning.

And then I got home. And the kid was cranky. And my period started. And I realized none of the smooth surfaces in my house are big enough for me to lay down on. And I tried pulling myself on the carpet with a mat, a garbage bag, a train of hardcover plastic covered kids books. Nothing worked. I couldn’t move my body at all.

I tried shutting my yoga strap in the bathroom door and using it like a suspension trainer, except that strap is crappy and doesn’t have enough resistance to be useful for anything. I fell down.

I abandoned the pullups in favor of pushups, then moved on to the one leg squats, which I also couldn’t do. I cried. I gave up. I messaged my bestie. I unloaded on her way more than she deserved.

And then, in the middle of wiping my tears, I realized I wasn’t doing one important step of being a Beautiful Badass. I wasn’t owning where I am RIGHT NOW. I wanted to be further along. I was upset and embarrassed by how much strength I’ve lost. I was trying intermediate versions of the moves. So I backed up. I did the easiest level of everything, and had to spend the whole workout ignoring the part of my brain that said this was too easy, shouldn’t be so hard for me, wasn’t worth doing, couldn’t be helpful.

I finished the workout. And I’ll do it again and again.

Lesson 4: Still working on it. I’m still (always, forever) working on food issues. When I saw this picture from Heather Waxman’s FB page today, it got me thinking.

I AM still struggling with food. I don’t eat well, and I turn to food when emotions or stress get overwhelming. It’s NOT going away…so what is it trying to teach me?

I have no idea. Really. It’s something I need to meditate on, I think.

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Back to Tracking

Run Cupcake Run

SUGAR: I’ve done a half decent job of maintaining less sugar. I’d say I’ve done it about half the days this month, which I’m proud of. I’m working on a full shift to consistently less sugar over time.

RUN: I ran a 5K on Sunday. I hadn’t run nearly as often and I’d intended leading up to the race, so I was pretty terrified. I met a few cool people while waiting, then managed to find a running busy around mile 2 who I crossed the finish line with. I really wanted to finish in less than 45 minutes, and I think I could have pushed a little harder… But when I crossed the finish line at 45:28 I get incredible so I’m trying not to care about my time.

I’m also wondering if I’ve developed a nerve issue. At about 2.5 miles today my feet started to get tingly and by the end the toes and bottoms of both feet were totally numb. I’ve had some numbness before on the bike or treadmill but never this much. It didn’t hurt and it went away as soon as I stopped running. I lace my shoes loosely and wear thin socks, so I don’t think it’s the shoes… I might see a sports med doc just to be sure I don’t have a nerve issue somehow.

FOOD: I left the race feeling awesome. I turned the post-race cupcake over to the kid because I just didn’t want it. I chose a really healthy and super satisfying lunch. I treated myself to my favorite chocolate candy. I walked a lot after the race. I came home, over-ate, followed that with ice cream and went to bed with a stomachache.

I’m feeling panicky about food and tracking and mindfulness. I’m gaining weight. I’m making bad food choices. I feel like NOT tracking my calories is better for my head overall, but I’m terrified of the damage that might be done while I’m learning how to be mindful. Aaron says if anything I’m MORE neurotic than before, talking constantly about not tracking (both positively and negatively) and acting much less peaceful overall.

 I’m starting to wonder if maybe I just want so badly for it to be “the answer” that I’m pretending it’s more peaceful, so much so that I’ve faked myself out. I think I’m going to go back to My Fitness Pal today and see how it goes for a week or two.
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hello, Björg

Thanks, History Channel! I actually think Björg looks exactly like this, but maybe with dark hair.

This is Björg… or at least something like I’d imagine she looks, except with hair that’s dark and big like mine.

I just picked up a book at the library called “blink: the power of thinking without thinking” and deals with our inner voice, or the part of us that makes snap judgements. It’s so far talking about how it developed from a good, protective place and still often does the best things for us, but can certainly backfire on us as well. I think it will go into how to deal with that, how to decide when the voice is right and when it needs to be reframed.

Then I found something in this post about the process of acknowledging the voice and how to handle it. Basically, it said to recognize it, name it, reframe it, shift it, claim it, and blow past it. I’m working on following those steps right now every time a negative thought or weird food urge surfaces. It’s exhausting sometimes, but I think it’s necessary work to get me better in tune.

The “name it” step was intended to be literal, but the way the article phrased it was to give it a name so that you could, essentially, tell it to shut up. I think it said “put it in its place” and suggested names that you don’t like. The idea of giving it a specific name really resonated with me, but I wanted to be working on the compassion aspect I’ve talked about with Karen, so I named her Björg. It’s Old Norse for help & protection. I chose it for several reasons. First, I love mythology. Second, I think it’s sort of funny and is extremely unlikely to be the name of anyone I know, which avoids uncomfortable associations. Third, it IS about help and protection. Björg really is just trying to help. She’s doing the best she can with the information she’s got. I can’t hate her for wanting what she thinks is best for me. I have to be patient with her, help her learn that her reality isn’t my/our reality.

Baseline 5KI actually had a full on mental discussion with Björg while pushing through today’s lunchtime 5K. I’ve really let the running go, and I knew today would be a struggle, but I wanted to set a new baseline, a new starting point, and just go from there. Björg was less than pleased. It’s hard. It hurts. And in total weirdo fashion, I found myself reassuring HER. By stepping back from that voice, I found it ever so slightly easier to deal with. It was sort of a nice moment.

In the end, I finished a little over a 5K (I did 3.2 mi) in 47:40. It was super difficult. My new plan, however, is to forget about those longer distances and perfect the 5K. (more on that later) I want to do one 3-4 times a week and just try to run longer and longer segments. This time I managed 1.5 to 2 minute runs every 2-3 minutes, and I was pretty proud of that as a starting point. It also led to a pretty fabulous day of food too. And in the end? Björg was proud too.

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Associate

SupernaturalGif13. associate [LISTEN]: What blog/book/article spoke to you the most in 2012?

I had a lot of help this year, but I think Jen, Erin, Mara, Meegan, Tara, and Carla are the blogs that most helped me get to the kind of place where I could really see what I needed this year, where I could focus on ME in a different, healthier, happier way. They helped me write this:

This morning I realized that I might be barely hanging on to my health and fitness goals right now, but for the first time in a very long time (maybe ever?) I AM STILL HANGING ON. For me that’s a pretty big deal and something I am really, really proud of. It makes me feel like this ridiculous goal I’ve set to run a marathon next fall might… not be ridiculous? Might even be… dare I say it… DOABLE! How weird is that, to think I might be a marathoner by this time next year? Now if only I can convince someone to do next year’s Warrior Dash with me, I’ll be set for my modest 2013 fitness goals. I don’t want to clutter things up with races and such for fear of burning out, although now that I’m writing that I’m wondering if I shouldn’t ask for race registrations for my birthday and strategically plan distances to fit into my training. How cool would it be to be earning medals along the way for runs I’m intending to complete anyway? I think I could do a 5K in January, and then I should be up for a 10K by late spring and a half marathon by July. There is actually a 10K race here in Annapolis that I would love to do and I think would fit right into my training. I’m hoping by the time I get there I’ll have a better idea of how to do the runs that are only marked by distance versus the intervals I have pre-planned right now.

Speaking of intervals – I went to the gym late last night and did my scheduled run. Well, it was scheduled for the day before, but close enough. As I may have mentioned to Aaron, I would have rather been poked in the eyeballs with forks than have gotten off the couch, driven to the gym, and done this run. And yet… I knew I was in a loaded place emotionally and due for increasing stress levels, so it was either stick to the training plan as much as I can, or eat myself into a hibernation state and watch my goals and progress slip away.

(Sidebar: it’s really weird to be so aware of this point now, when it’s something that used to slip right past me and I’d never see it coming until I was weeks into terrible, self-destructive habits)

Anyway, the point is that I did it. I got up, drove to the gym, set my interval timer, and started it up. It wasn’t easy. Not at all. But… I DID IT. I finished the run and, as I usually do, I felt superhuman for a bit after I was done. More importantly, for the forty minutes I spent on that treadmill, I didn’t once think about something stressful. Even during the walking bits, I wasn’t thinking about work woes or financial stress or holiday worries. I wasn’t thinking about what I looked like in my gym clothes or whether my hair was just so. I wasn’t thinking about what I needed to do when I got home, or about what I left undone at work during the day. I was a sweaty, huffing, crazy mess… and it was entirely awesome. It was freeing. It was peaceful in my head for forty whole minutes. Right now that is a real achievement, and it made me smile. I walked out of the gym thinking about what a complete MIRACLE it is that I can do that, that my body is strong enough to give me that gift, that my head is in the right place for me to stick with it. I gave myself the gift of peace, for forty minutes, on a day when I felt pretty stressed out. That’s a priceless gift.

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I WILL (NHBPM #29)

Philly (by me)Prompt: Day 29 – Thursday, Nov. 29 – “If I could accomplish one thing (anything) in 2013 it would be…”

Easy! The one thing I WILL accomplish (not could or should, I WILL) is to run a marathon. I don’t care how slow I go. I don’t care if it’s awful. I will do it, because I know that I can. Because running is therapy when I make myself step over the threshold of comfort and just do it. Because I deserve a medal. Because I am a WARRIOR.

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