Burn After Reading

I’ve made this blog private.  The need to express freely outweighs the need to share publicly.  It’s all for me once again. I laid in bed last night unable to think, once again the thoughts taking over both the conscious as well as the subconscious; both keeping me from sleep.  Once again it’s because life is so unsettled and on the verge of breaking.

It’s New Years Eve.  My social media newsfeeds and time lines are full of others celebrating with friends and loved ones.  I’m not alone, but I’m alone in this room and it may as well be a gulf between the two of us. I’m ready for 2015 to be over with yet not quite ready to face 2016.

I’m in limbo.  So I’ll sit out here a while longer and pour myself another glass of wine.

Run Your Own Race

I started training for the 2015 Disney Marathon in August of 2014.  I knew right from the start that I would not try to run the race continuous.  I’m a run/walk kind of gal and carry no guilt or shame over this.  I’ve run/walk different intervals my entire running life and this time, after some trial and error, landed on a very comfortable 3 minute run/1 minute walk interval.  My training partner was equally comfortable with this and throughout the fall and early weeks of winter we consistently and fairly effortlessly put down some serious mileage using this interval.  Peak week came and went with my second 20+ mile run and I headed into taper, confident in my ability to finish the marathon, but growing weary of the process of running as a whole.

I had previously checked into joining a pace group at the marathon.  Cliff Bar is the official pace group sponsor and it was easy enough to find the leader for my “best effort” finish time off 5:30.  I knew this would be a stretch goal going in and figured that I’d play leapfrog with them at times but ultimately keep them in sight throughout the race and finish within a few minutes after the bulk of that group.

Race morning arrives and once I entered my corral I easily spotted Sharon, the pace leader, holding her sign (red & white balloons that she carried on a stick THE ENTIRE RACE). We chatted for a few minutes, quizzing each other about previous race and running experiences and she told me that she takes frequent walk breaks throughout the race.  I imagined this would line up perfectly with my plan to run 3/1.  She let us all know that her plan was to take a one minute walk break at every half mile point and that this would work out to about a 5 minute run/1 minute walk interval.

At that moment, something changed.  For no reason that makes any logical sense, I decided to throw away over five months of consistent, solid results of training with 3/1 and run the race at 5/1 just so I could keep up with the pace group.

I didn’t run my own race that day.  I tried to run Sharon’s.

I managed to keep pace for the first six miles. By mile eight I was falling further and further behind. At mile nine, I finally snapped out of it and went back to running 3/1, abandoning any hope of sticking with the 5:30 group.  No worries, I thought, I should still finish by 5:45-5:55 at the latest.  What I hadn’t planned on was completely running out of gas so soon in the race by pushing myself so hard for the first nine miles. I still want to go back in time and smack myself for thinking I would feel fine at 5/1 when every time during those months of training, even a 4/1 left me winded.

Mile 12.  I pull out my phone during a walk break and start texting obscenities to my husband.  I’m not proud of how quickly and deeply I mentally lost it in this race.  He never wavered though.  His encouragement was strong and consistent.  I quickly shot off texts to a few girlfriends who have supported me not just during this training cycle, but for years.  They too were incredible sources of encouragement.

I kept playing head games with myself.  Anything to keep going.  “You can’t quit before the half way point. You’ve already bought the shirt.  And the car magnet!”   “Make it to mile 16. If you can make it to 16, you’ve only got 10 miles and change to go, you can drag yourself 10 miles.”

At mile 16 I went from a 3/1 interval to a 1/1 interval.  That’s right – ONE minute of running (more like shuffling) and ONE minute of walking.  For the next 10.2 long and painful miles.

Mile 17. We were passing side by side with those coming off the back-end of a loop and who were at mile 20.  A familiar face in the crowd called out my name and with a huge grin on his face, I ran past a buddy from church who was with the mile 20 group.  That was a huge mental boost and I carried me for several miles thereafter.

Mile 22. Tears. But good tears because I knew at that point I was definitely finishing the race.  Barring a physical injury that would knock me off my feet, I was finishing that race.

Mile 26.2.  Tears.  But good tears because I was now a marathoner.

My immediate thought was that if anyone asked me to run another marathon, I was going to punch them in the face.  My official time was 6:44.  Why on earth would I want to put myself through that torture again?

But now, a week later?  I could run another one.  Only this time, I would run my own race.

Happy New Year

Let’s see if I remember how this thing works. Girl starts a blog. Girl writes on a blog for several years consistently. Girl totally forgets she has a blog. Girl starts to really miss the blog.

No going back and explaining everything that’s happened last few years. Let’s just move forward shall we?

It’s now January 2, 2015. I am nine days away from my second marathon start. Training has gone fairly well and been mostly consistent with the standard marathon training for “beginners.” Yes, I still consider myself a beginner. Running has never come naturally and although I enjoy it I find myself not coming into it naturally.

I’m starting to stalk the 10 day weather forecast for Orlando and on any other day would have wanted Disney’s weather to be sunny and bright, for this one day, I really wish it were overcast and cold.

If I’m honest with myself, I have stopped looking forward to the race. What I most look forward to now is it being over with. I look forward to running losing its grip on control of my life. I look forward to running for the sake of running and the enjoyment of it, and not because a schedule dictates when and how far I run. I look forward to getting back into CrossFit and pushing myself hard in a new direction.

I’m really looking forward to sleeping in on Saturdays…

My Breaking Point

It’s not that I’m unsympathetic. I do see where you’re coming from. I’ve been there myself. I was there for many many years. I relished being there. I relished being fat. I lived it. I earned it. I was content in it.

Until I wasn’t.

I stopped believing the lies I constantly told myself. I couldn’t look in the mirror anymore and see the chubby woman who “held her weight” pretty good. I only saw the fat chick. I couldn’t walk into the plus size stores anymore, believing that an 18W just had more leg room than the rare department store size 18. I couldn’t sit on the couch anymore when all my four year old little girl wanted to do was go outside and have mommy come play with her. I couldn’t believe that I was big boned. I couldn’t believe that I was ok with how my life was turning out.

I was done.

Done accepting the excuses and done believing the lies. So I decided to do something about it. I decided to take control of every bite of food that went into my mouth and to be accountable for the physical activities I participated in.

2004 to 2013

It didn’t happen overnight. Far from it. It’s taken years of dedication, commitment, consistency, blood, sweat, and a whole lot of tears. The path wasn’t straight but ultimately it’s brought me to where I am today: HEALTHY.