Thursday, July 30, 2009

Jes' doin my thing

I love living my life, embracing my dreams, doing my thing.

I love taking care of my body.
I love the adventure of discovering it as I ride along.
I love reaping what it can give me back when I listen to it.

I love maximizing everything in my power to go after my goals, hardcore for the bigtime things I thrive off of!

And I love that when things go wrong I can address the real issue and make the changes that matter in order to get where I really want.

I love the freedom to be me, at my max.

Monday, July 13, 2009

Breakfast of a Champion [in the making!]

I'm so proud of myself for actually "cooking" today--and something real, not just a concoction!

After eating some of my mom's lactose-heavy pancakes yesterday and paying the price, I vowed to make my own today. I ended up deciding on French Toast to get some eggs too--and I like that breakfast specialty better anyways!

OMG-it's been so long since I've been out to eat, I forgot how much I love that stuff! wait, since when does getting things like french toast mean you must go out??!

Not anymore! This gal is learnin' to make some good foodz to go with all the fooding :-)

I also noted how good the sausage tasted with the toast and sweet toppings, not just on the side, which gave me an idea for a yummier breakfast even when I don't have time to "cook:" A sausage roll-up in bread, dipped in syrup!

Probably would have to chalk that one up to one of my notorious "disgusting food concoctions" but a long as I enjoy it, I don't care!

and I actually took photos! I can't figure out how to type between pictures, so I'll just publish and paste them here:

#1. At the start [yeah my photo editing sucks-I don't know how to rotate it!]

#2. Gotta have me some meat!

#3. Scrumdeliscious toppings!

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Stepping up to the Challenge

I was not thrilled about running the 5K this weekend. The 5K isnt my favorite distance anyhow, between my lack of [to nonexistant!] speed training over the last couple years and the fact that running faster and shorter just isn't my thing--I'm just getting going and the race is over.

I was especially disgruntled about running one this weekend having just come back from old injury maladities at the end of May. I've built running back in the slow cautious fasion I do so well on and have yet to get above 30mpw or do an actual workout.

I would be so much more comfortable in my readiness and my legs ability to not get hurt with a 10K.

Why is it so hard for people to understand that a shorter race is harder for me and riskier for my legs than a race purely becaues of the intensity?
But alas, having it engrained in his head that a 5K is "safer" my coach made me do this instead of the 10K.

Plus, I was primed to go for that with the rest and zone my training was in this week!

Ok ok, rant over.

Nonetheless, I had a lot of fun. I got to do it more with the team than Dexter-Ann Arbor since we were all running together. It was also our biggest turn out. The race took on a festival sort of nature which I love, all be it crowded and HOT!

I was hurting during the warm up, even at an easy 9mpm pace. But [unlike the last race] I felt fine on the course. As a bonus, it was one of the strongest races I've had in terms of how I felt physically. Depite lack of training in this pace range, I felt powerfull and energetic. I got heat sick on the pavement in the hot and humid weather, but it wasn't bad to run through for 20 minutes!
All in all it was fun and I ran strong considering the place I'm in now--if and when I swallow my ego, I truly am satisfied with the race.

I got second overall for the woman, also in my age group considering we were the same age. Too bad I can't accept prize money or I'd loose my amateur status! I need to get in one of those races where you win a gift card to Panera or something, lol.

Now I just need to stop the eat-dink cycle and get on with my day already!
The runner's addict is building and taking over worse than ever now, running or not-
and I can't wait to start getting a bit more in the swing of things next week! :)

Monday, June 22, 2009

You Choose the Priority

I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately on the concept of priorities.
Particularly when it comes to the things we “want” or “like.”
I’ve come more in touch with this as I work with myself, clients, and even friends on physical habits and goals.
There is often this frustrating contradiction between the ultimate goal and what a person is willing to do. But then when you zone in on the behavior, there is always some “reason.” I used to think of these reasons as excuses—the perplexing thingis why would someone be finding excuses to continue to do something that keeps them from what they want?

Just simply reading the runner’s world nutrition forum, you see a trend of people striving to eat better, yet stuck in their ways. They “want” to revive their metabolism, better fuel their running, but when it comes down to it the overall trends of action are the same, with perhaps a few token changes that make little difference in the big picture of things.
Often in discussing things with a client I find the person so excited about what they want, so determined to achieve a goal. Yet when I address a key behavior that hinders this, there’s always a reason for it.
I frustrate myself with this—how can I “know” something could be better, have the tenacious spirit and guts to do things “top notch style” and yet repeatedly do something I know holds me back?

Lately I have stopped looking at this as making excuses and faced it for what it is:
There truly is a need/want/like for the behavior.
To use eating habits as an example, you/me/she/he truly does “feel like that” or “like that” or “feel full” or “it’ working” with certain things.
At the same time, this is coming from those of us who would like to see an improvement, whether it be seeing how much more potential we can have in running, have better digestion, or a speedier metabolism.
This means change. If changing habits were something we felt like, we probably wouldn’t be in the old habits in the first place. We truly do like something about the way things are.
So it comes down to prioritizing: do we want the bigger goal or not?

I love ice cream, and right now the freezer is full of weight watchers ice cream sandwhiches.
I also love South Beach bars—they taste better than candy to me.
High fiber cereals are my favorite.
This morning I had one of those days when I could run forever—or at least a good 10 miler.
Here’s the thing: none of these choices would “hurt” me per say,
and they truly are something I like and can work with:
I'd a million times rather have a bar than a sandwhich. Kashi over rice crispies.And you know what? My stomach can tolerate a bit of lactose [I’m lactose intolerant], I could say I still eat way less fiber than the person next to me, and I can get enough calories despite eating diet-geared food, to do my running and whatnot.
I could have run 8-10 miles this morning without gimpifying myself, even still being at less than my average mileage this spring.
-- I have to ask myself what matters most: am I satisfied with okay or do I want to maximize my results, prioritize the big picture goals?
I've decided the latter to be true.
Fiber one sat in the pantry untouched, same with the bars and ice cream.
I ate PBJ which I happen to dislike and cereals I less prefer--becaue I know what I'd really "like" out of the choices.
I ran a solid hour on cruise, putting the rest in the bank for peak performance overall.
None of these choices were made because doing otherwise would have hurt me—
--it was done because I want to be the best I can be.

I love ice cream, and right now the freezer is full of weight watchers ice cream sandwhiches.

I have to remind myself that it's my life and ask myself what matters most:
Am I okay with what "works" or would I prefer maximum potential in my goals, my dreams?

This applies to all situations. You can eat what you like or feels safe, you train as makes you fulfilled today—but each choice I yours to decide: what do I want most?

While I’m talking about choices, another important thing to keep in mind as we write each page of our book of life, as we paint the future one stroke at a time.
Try replacing “I can’t” with “I won’t.” Instead of “I can’t give up this way of doing things because…” get real: “I won’t do it because….”
Then replace “won’t” with “will” and ask yourself what that would be:
“I will do this because…”

…and then it’s up to you to decide which I more worth it.

For example [using a common scenario when the fear of weight gain rules habits]:
“I won’t eat something with more calories when there is something lower calorie that’ more filling and tastes better.”
“I will eat the higher calorie item because I want the change in how my body uses calories for metabolism, muscle, and fuel so I’m leaner, stronger, and can get more out of my life and athletics. As a bonus I want to face a fear to eliminate it so I don’t have to carry it haunting me the rest of my limited life.”
…and decide which way you’d rather: which do you want more:
something that tastes better and feels more secure, or the long term dream/goal?

This really helps you get real with yourself: It’s up to you but you do make that choice.
It’s your future and your life—you make the choice about what matters most for the long haul

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Another year of LIFE :-)

Highlights of My Year at 23

Running: Officially Back in the Game!
-Summer 2008 had dream training: 80-100mpw: faster, stronger, more injury resistant
-Backed off in the fall due to severe Anemia and chronic nagging injuries
-Frustration with feeling "stuck" sick and injured lead to complete break over the holiday to "take care of my health first--backfired with all time low in health, emotions, and life
-2009 started building back training and experienced massive turnaround for the better
physically and in life
-Most consistent string of training yet—and most rounded [with speedwork, etc.]
-My first year of “real racing” since before college [after the marathon kickoff in spring, 2008]: the CRIM 10 miler in 2008, then a 5K and two ½ Marathons with steady improvement in 2009

Career: In my Field at Last!
-Started with a job at a running headquarters/store: still retail, but at a place that worked
not just to sell running merchandise, but serve runners [services, classes, etc.],
also run by a racing team itself
-After pursuing work under and RD to help get into grad school for nutrition, surprised to
land a “real job" [not just volunteer] as part of the nutrition staff at the hospital
*Clicked right away with “my thing” and the people there
-Started out independently personal training from a client at the Running Store
-Spring 2009 officially hired as a personal Trainer at a big gym
*Not only a gym with a lot of client base, resources, and opportunity for future potential,
But really come alive as click in that place/with those people =Finding “my home” at last
-Also started coaching for the local youth Track Club

-Overall energy, performance, injury resistance =Healthiest been in years
-GI problems escalate to suspect might be something going on beyond just a sensitive stomach and fast metabolism--but testing cut off when lost insurance
-Found reasonable coping with what could control-mainly diet-through self-testing, but still in state of chronic discomfort with eating and constand bathroom problems
-weight still stuck too low, regardless of intake vs. output ranging from well over 4000+ calories and no activity, to 3000 cals while running 100mpw
-Severe anemia diagnosed in Fall of 2008—so low I should have been on IV’s
Also low WBC counts, and hightened concern for malabsorption issues.
-Period of inactivity over holidays to "get healthy" backfired:
wound up with rapid weight drop to new low point, despite increase in intake.
Also low point with GI problems, improved as began training again in 2009,
plus better in tune with coping best I can through diet
-Successful gain in 2009 most steady yet, but plateued in same place as was last summer, despite entirely different training and nutrition habits

Lifestyle: Doing my thing…just not sleeping inbetween!
-Finally finding my kind of life, niche, groove, even people vs. feeling like I’m “on hold”
while living at home.
[Still feel more “alive” and able to be “me” when out with my people/stuff vs. at home]
-OCD much more under control: Recognize when something is "pointless" for what I really want and able to go through the immediate "yuck" of not acting on the need because have proven it will pay off for more out of my real life in the long run!
-Sleep still as much or more an issue than ever: rarely make it 8hr in bed, never make it through the night without waking a couple times at least.
*Probably main hindrance in physical habits that back up what I want out of life

…What’s in Store at 24?
I'm ready to rock to the top with it!

Thursday, June 4, 2009

The glass is half FULL!

I got up to another gorgeous, runner's dream kind of day. My fourth day of not running, on the very week of "ideal running" weather, conditions--and lifestyle conditions for me [not much else going on].
This sucks, I keep thinking, why do I have to take so many "breaks" and why am I alway missing the best running days?
Not to mention I feel great--I probably could be running and not hurting myself!?

But then I remembered something.

Two years ago, a couple weeks before my birthday, I had my second sfx. It was more than just another serious injury, it was a sword in my soul because I had just realized what a gift, what a part of me my running was, after having it taken from me for so long with the first slow-to-heal sfx. It was such a slap in the face, just when I was thriving aas me again, raving my gratitude for this blessing, to have another injury come for no apparent reason. I felt like it was a cruel joke, and I felt hopeless--just when i had finally come back from an injury I couldn't seem to recover from for a good two years.

I remember I didn't even want to celebrate my birthday. It was the closest I have ever come to true depression. Normally I am the kind of person who always takes a problem and looks for a "gameplan" to solve it and gets on task. But having spent the better part of my college running doing just that, only to be knocked down again, i had the wind sucked out of me. And not just my running, it took something out of every area of life. That day i limped in bawling, nothing else I wanted to do that way had any appeal--not my planned lunch reunion, grad school interview, I didn't even want to eat.

And this year-a week before my birthday...
Yes, I'm missing runs again. Yes, running at the perfect time to run.
Yes, this is after not having done a whole lot of training to begin with [aka not a long overdo break].
But you know what?
I look forward to not only a summer full of running, but the best running I've done since coming back. I'm taking a normal break, not a sfx layoff, and already looking to a race in a few weeks.
My dreams are coming alive before my lives--I am nothing but blessed.

So while I can't deny a selfish pout as I glance out the window, my soul rejoices that it is being resurrected in the sport that gives it such life! :)

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Cheater Chip!

So apparently my chip time was 11 seconds faster...not that it makes a difference, but I'll take it!

Monday, June 1, 2009

Recovery, Rest, and Blah

I didn’t go to practice this morning. Normally I’d play it by ear, see how my leg feels [since it’s so unpredictable], but having finished the second half marathon of my cycle, and just getting ready to start my summer training, I want to use this week to make sure I’m fully healed, solid to start a strong summer—not one I hang in there, get through, or compromise.

It’s tough where I’m at here. Recovery days/periods are refreshing after a phase of hard work, but coming off of two weeks of cutting stuff out of my training, I’m not exactly feleing like more rest days.

Nonetheless,I was definitely exhausted! I stayed in bed over 8 hours [not counting getting up every hour or two for the rest room], and after sitting around eating and on the computer for a couple hours, went back to bed for a shut-eye pretend-it nap for another hour just now! The idea was that I’d do something after lunch…and yet I find myself again in zombie mode on the computer, just counting down til I leave for work. Ah well, I’ve gotten through days like this before, and if nothing else I’ve just got all that much more pep once I finally get movin’ with life!

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Half Marathon #2!

I am so exhausted right now, I feel as though everything I wanted to write eludes me. But I have been trying to “get it together” to write all day now, so I must start to put down something!

The thing that stands out most for me, and was also the most important aspect in respect to my “race training” for this race was it was the first time since the college running days that I was running under pressure, that I didn't just have hopes for where this can lead, I had expectations for this race, today.
My first time with expectations. The first time competition wasn’t just a last minute whim, but something I fought for from before the race started.
My competitive spirit has never died, in fact, it has only grown in the last couple years. However, the part of me longing to be the “best of the best” is always a dream.
Slowly but surely, as I work my way back up [and beyond?!] I am getting to that point where I—and those who support me—realize I do have chances at things like placing and time cuts.
Pressure has always been my weakness. I don’t want anyone to expect anything of me. I’ve always been that way, it has even left me balking at races [I still think it’s one reason I DNF’ed at nationals—realizing I wasn’t going to run on par with how I had at states, much less better, scared me more than the athsma attack that lead me to drop out].
This is a weakness I have to work on if I want to run at the top levels. I can’t expect to be highly competitive and have the reputation of a recreational runner: I can’t have it both ways. As I gain ability to compete at higher levels, as I run more races and lower my PR’s, I’m going to get labeled. People aren’t going to think “you’re doing good to finish,” and I have to accept it when someone says “you know the winner last year ran a 1:31…hint, hint.”

The other thing about this race is it’s the first one I’ve trained for this year. The last couple races I enetered on a whim. True to my “no pressure” strength, I did well. This time, I had to practice running where I expected something of myself. Where others “knew” I was good enough to do more than finish.

I was pretty good with all this—after all I’d been working up for this race, feeling my runs get stronger and surpassing boundaries, until this last week.
Then, two weeks out of “my race,” one of my famous phantom injuries hit.
This time, I don’t have a great reason. My training level has been the same over the past couple months. It’s much lower than what I’ve done in the past. With a few 1-3 day exceptions, even my sleeping and eating habits have improved this spring.
The only thing was that I did spend my peak training weeks in past-dead shoes. Could definitely have sealed my fate, seeing as my second sfx occurred the minute I tried to run in non-specialty-store shoes.

To add to the enigma of my injury sagas, I couldn’t figure out how to recover as best possible. As usual, the standard ideas don’t work for me. Gets worse after resting, worse after upper body strength. Run and then it’s better. Getting that message the first week left me doing only easy runs during race week [no strength, no cross training]. Low and behold, I hit an all time low, barely able to walk the day before the race.
I’ve been hear before—that unbearable frustration with no cause and fix, the huge letdown of another crash just when I’m roaring strong.

But what really, really had me upset here was that I am in the best race shape I’ve been yet since starting my comeback.
Not just how “much” I can run or even how fast, but the race specific training and all-around training from every angle: strength, endurance, speed. From fartlek’s to progression long runs to hill sprints to strength training, I’ve incorporated it all these last couple months and seen a lot of fitness gains. It was obvious, even as the injury hit, that I was peaking just right when even a painful 7 miles felt like a 2 mile warm up. When my last long run felt like race pace at the end.
It just killed me to be so perfectly ready for a great race and have my leg just not work!

I actually toyed with dropping out. I really didn’t want to just “run 13 miles.”
I know I can do that…I want to race doggonit.
But I decided to give it a try—heck, with the way things work for me you just never know.

Well, there was no “enigma recovery” but I did manage to “race.” It was pretty solid from a racing perspective: even splits, strong finish. I wasn’t quite where I wanted to be, what my training had been on par for, but it wasn’t a complete flop either.
I was frustrated with the bursts of energy I had at 9-10 miles, and again in the last couple miles, but my inability to actually sprint or even run terribly fast just because my leg felt like it was being torn off. Almost disconnected, unable to use the “juice” in there even as I ignored the pain.
But, I did push it. I gave it all I had, right down to a heaving finish. I PR’ed by just over 2 minutes and took 5th in my age group. I wanted to win, but looking at the field I can understand that it was a different group than last year, and certainly much bigger and faster than Borgess. [I’ve met the girl who won it, she’s running for a sponser and has years of experience and healthy training on me—but you better believe I’m chasing her!]

In sum-

5th Place Female Age Division
30th Place Female Overall

Saturday, April 25, 2009

Race Report!

First Half Marathon: 4/25/09

This race gets the prize of the best distance race I’ve run since my comeback. The trip was fantabulous, the race was the most fun, and it was the best I’ve ever felt mentally and physically [from my strength to my lack of pain*]. I loved it!
*Disclaimer: I woosed out and didn’t really start working until well past halfway, which could contribute to my “feeling so good”

It didn’t start out as a big deal. I’m on a 10K training program and just getting back into things with training since my full blown break over the holidays.
This is the first race I’ve run coming off <70mpw training—just getting into the 40’s the last couple weeks.
I was excited because I got to “travel.” This lovely little club dealio not only has given me a fantastic coach and friends on the team like I never expected, but they also pay for my races…and in this case, food and accommodations! Combine that with the way the treat me and take care of me and I feel like I’m an elite!

Anyhow, as the week went on I went from being nervous about my “unpreparadness” to run this distance to a bit of excitement about the fact that for once I wasn’t hurting. I felt fresher every day, energized, strong, and pain free. I ran Bayshore still in tricky territory from the stress fracture I’d had through half my training cycle. I ran CRIM severely overtrained and anemic. My iron is still low and my legs are tricky territory, but overall I have not felt this solid, powerful, and just plain healthy since before college!

I had to wonder—what would happen having trained less but faster, and healthier + stronger? Would I do better, or did I need to wait until my training builds up a bit more to really reap the benefits of a healthy body?

Today’s race showed me that something’s going right this year…
…and that God has blessed me more than words can describe as my legs once again become the wings of my soul! :)

Miles 1-3 =Frustration!
There were a lot, lot, lot more people than expected. I’ve never had so much pushing, shoving, tripping at the start of a distance event. 900-something women and who knows how many men. Of course I was at the back. This not only meant over a minute before I crossed the start, but it was at least 2 miles worth of not only slow running, but a lot of wasted energy jumping around everyone!

Miles 4-6 =cruising and wondering
I just plain had no idea how I should feel. Churn my legs a bit, or would I crash? Run easy and pick it up the second half? I have to confess, with painful memories of CRIM still strong, I aired more on the latter—woosy—option. L I decided I’d “cruise” and see how I was doing halfway.

Miles 6-7 =Hot, but more energy?
I ditched my tshirt at mile 2. Having not run in above 60 degress this year, the 70-80 degree race was getting to me a bit. Still, the energy seemed to be coming, not running out. At miles 6-7 I realized I felt more energized than I had at the start. Feeling like whimp, I decided to pick it up. Then I got nervous and went back to cruise mode….whimp!

Mile 8 on =ok, time to pick things up!
Alright, still not even winded at mile 8 and all I could think was I guarantee Kara Goucher doesn’t feel like this at mile 8, or anything close. I mean come on—it’s one thing to not be in the kind of shape for the kind of running I dream of doing, but to not even be on that level of effort? That’s ridiculous. Here’s where I tried to pick it up. I knew I could run 5 miles sub-7, and I knew I didn’t want to have another 10 mile run left in my legs at the finish!
I got a little feisty with the competition too. Having started at the back, I’d been running by people all along, but those last 5 miles I turned my focus from one woman too the next. In the back of my mind I hoped there just might be a chance I’d place…

Miles Something = Hills!
A lot of rolling hills, which I took surprisingly better with the new nature of my training. The toughest part was actually going down. The second steep drop especially—I could just feel my legs slamming as much as I wanted to “ride the hill.” And I have a feeling the thick/lactic acid feeling that kicked in at miles 11-12 was from that…as will be any DOMS I get tomorrow!

Miles 11-12 –Finally hurting!
Now I knew I was pushing it. I still went back and forth between really “running” and just trying to pick up the pace, but I did focus on moving my legs faster. Especially as the heat got to me and the nausea set in. I kept thinking “my stomach doesn’t have to do a thing, just keep the legs moving.” This was actually the sickest I’ve ever gotten in a race. The marathon took more out of me physically, but I wasn’t this sick, dry heaving and what not. The only thing I can think is that I was less acclimatized to the heat here, because it was definitely not the hardest race I’ve run.

Finishing Hard
Despite having taken a while to get going, I did satisfy myself with giving it everything at the end. My legs were very much just about to go as I churned through the finish line. It was pretty exciting because they announced my name coming down the chute—that’s never happened to me before. I was kinda mad that some women still came in ahead of me, but I hoped my time was an improvement and maybe a start of actually getting competitive with my running again.

I was about to keel or hurl at the finish, but after a few minute of walking around felt capable of jogging again. The toughest part was drinking and eating. I’ve frequently gotten quesy and had my appetite surpressed after a race or hard long run, but not this extreme for this long. It literally took me hours to get half a water bottle down, and I definitely didn’t keep any food down within a half hour of the race, or even an hour for that matter. Normally I make this happen no matter what, but this time I literally couldn’t. I only hope that my usual make-up eating can compensate somewhat so I don’t totally jinx my recovery and future performance, though I know I missed the primetime for glycogen replenishment. :(

The coach and team were amazing yet again. Seriously, I’ve never been treated like this. I felt so special! Haha it’s so cheesy I know, but true. The coach walked me around, got my Gatorade and coat [which I couldn’t even think of wearing!], figured out when and what I could stop for food, and helped me analyze the race, the competition, and where to go from there. On the half hour back to the hotel we discussed what this race indicated in terms of my ideal training. I feel like he understands my goals, my dreams—the fact that I really do want to be a top level runner, and that is what motivates me perhaps more than my “love for running” to overtrain like I did last summer. I mean I had a lot of people tell me that, but I felt like they didn’t get it, the way I’d trained and run in the past, the way I wanted to be. It’s not like I just want to stay in shape or be capable of a marathon—I live to run and want that running life at the top.

But my coach understands that, and he was talking to me about finding what your body responds to best. About elites who run 2:30’s off 70-80mpw, despite most of their peers running 100+. Plus, having been a 2:30 marathoner himself, he’s done it all from 120mpw training to over training to finding that ideal balance. AND his big “thing” as a coach is to work with individuals to help them find what they need…just my style, being such a complicated individual myself!
I don’t know what kind of mileage my future holds, but I do know that I can only run at the level I want to from the kind of training that I respond to best.
It’s not about compromising my running goals to “stay healthy.” It’s about seeing what type of training can best get me to those goals.

The team just cracks me up. They all ran the 5K and think just running “farther” makes you this great runner. They kept asking me stuff like if I was going to go to the Olympics and whatnot! Seriouly, too. Definitely gave me a confidence boost, and a big change from being the gimpy one chasing from behind!

The fact that they not only “put up with me” the whole entire trip, but seemed to like me and want to be my friend was so cool too. I admit, one of the guys compared me to “the squirrel” on some move that just wouldn’t stop bouncing around. He said “then give her her morning coffee and it’s like when the squirrel gets that can of pop and goes haywire!” hmm…complemenet or insult? I wasn’t sure, but I sure didn’t get the feeling anyone was annoyed with me, though they did threaten to make me run laps around the hotel at midnight!
It was like I felt that “runner connection” that makes me feel so at home, so me, plus the feeling that I am accepted as me, and maybe even liked? I dunno, but it was a cyclic effect to making me thrive this weekend in ways that far surpass even a normal good day. :)

Overall this whole experience was undescribable, and while I kept thinking of everything I wanted to write about, I just can’t find the right or enough words to explain it. Between the trip, the people, and the race—it far surpassed the “cool traveling race” I was so excited for!

And my dreams are alive and rarin’ stronger than ever…I can’t wait to move on!

1st Place Female Age Division
5th Place Female Overall

Thursday, April 23, 2009

I wanna come back to blog land!

I didn't mean to evaporate....I've still been reading blogs and wanting to participate, but I was a bit unsure where to go with mine. I really want to restructure my blog a bit, rather than on and off rambling.

I thought about starting a new blog on wordpress or something, like a lot of others have, but I really like my layout and what I've started here. I just want to be able to post in a more structured fasion, and maybe have some themes.

I'd like to kindof make this my blogging otu of the "days in the life of my Olympic training center" as I like to call it. :)
Themes like daily eats, training, daily life, and pondering posts.

So I'm asking you--my fellow bloggers who have this thing down so much better:
-Is there a way to have posts categorized by themes?
-Any suggestions [and specifically how! I'm a dunce at figuring out technology] to how I could restructure this?

so this is my hello!!! ...and... help!!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

The Blogging Family Grows!

Who cares that it's not officially Valentine's day anymore-what better way to make a normal day a special one than surprise packages and "meeting" my secret Cupid and Cupid-ee! :-D

I was on my way to practice when I came down and found a large manilla envilope lying on the table addressed TO ME! Needless to say I neverminded the fact that arriving at practice late means missing the beloved run, as I dashed upstairs to my new goodies and friend. :)
Mrs LC from "Life according to Mrs. LC" had sent me some tasty goodies--chocolate and Lara bars--and somehow she "knew" to send me the coconut kind! I always wanted to try more coconut flavored things, and in a beloved "bar" couldn't be better!
Better yet, I feel like Mrs. LC must have stalked my facebook, not just my blog--she created a gorgeous MOTIVATIONAL QUOTE BOOK for me! I absolutely love quotes. I have several documents and an email file of ones I've saved. I repeat them as mantras and they have had an extremely positive impact on my life's journey and are part of the core of my tenacity. I was just thinking that my old emails and files were getting redundant. I've browsed the booklet eagerly, and look forward to taking one or two to heart each day with a new zest and RAWR!
She also had the very creative idea to "send me flowers." Have I ever said anything about the fact that one of my main girlie touches is that I have a big soft spot for getting flowers? For someone who loves the practical and has a tomboy sort of theme, flowers are the one thing I consider so special and touching. Since flowers are a bit difficult to package she sent me some Zinnia seeds. I plan to plan them over spring break next week and use the flowers as a manifestation of the life I am trying to "grow" for myself this year!
Muchos thank you's to Mrs. LC from "Life According to Mrs. LC" for these wonderful treasures:
...I did make it to practice just in time, but the moment I got home I anxiously popped on to check out Mrs. LC's blog...and guess what? My own Secret Cupid Anna at had received her package as well.
Here's a toast to new friends and ties amongst our fitness/foodie blogging community. I love you all!

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Letting down my bloggin fam!

I know, I rave about how I love it, and yet I'm struggling to do my part! I got my secret Valentine's package all set and yet I've been driving this pink box around in my car all week now! grr...hopefully now that the insanest-schedule part of the week is over I'll actually make it to the post office!

My deepest apologies to a blogger who might get bit by cupid a bit late this year...

Saturday, February 7, 2009

First Race...rebirth of my dreams, of me

Last minute decision to run the first race of the year with the team.
I haven’t run a race I didn’t anticipate and to some extent prepare for.
I haven’t run a XC race at all in years.

And of all times…
I just took the longest COMPLETE break [no training at all] that I have had in ages.
I’ve been running less than three weeks, less than 20mpw, no speed work.

But my running has brought me back to life.
And I’m loving my team.

Why not?
I get to do something with the team.
I need the racing experience even if I can’t “race.”I asked the coach, addressing my concern for injuring myself without training/speed foundation, and he said go for it—treat it like a training run.
…and like I said, what I need most training in is just the practice of racing!

So I was in. And I couldn’t have made a better decision!

Words can’t describe it. I have been resurrected, and this seals the deal. 2/7/09 feels like a birthday of sorts, one in my soul—not just for my running, but for the me I now feel.

I love the team. The race was so much fun. The whole experience was the best I’ve had in ages. I’m happier than I can remember. I have more hope than ever before.
I feel alive, and though I’m putsin’ around doing nothing, dealing with a GI flareup,
I’m thriving. I’m me.

Bonus Points:

1. I won for my age group women [20-24]! The first time I’ve ever won a race, too.
2. I was a racer, not the invalid on the side supporting my team: and I felt strong!
3. It gave me a lot of hope:
I didn’t run the race well, technically speaking. I was suck in the pack for the first mile, then when I broke loose at the second mile I had no idea how to run. How fast can I run 3 miles? How fast should I run? So I just cruised and had fun. I know I could have easily doubled the distance at that pace…and I certainly have a lot of areas I can improve with more training, race specific preparation, and better conditions!
Maybe, just maybe, I CAN reach the top levels of distance running I dream of with such passion…

Friday, February 6, 2009

Blogger Love ...and freebie question

After being non the outskirts of blog-land for so long, I'm finally starting to feel like part of this community, and loving it and the people in it so much! I may have yet to meet my friends physically, but the bonds I have with those I've met here are pretty incredible. Actually, in a way I think online communities help us to find true friends--because we are able to reach out to a bigger pool of people and find the souldmates that we might not otherwise meet, halfway round the world or across the country! ...and I do hope that we shall someday meet and I know we'd have quite a time together. :)

That said, now that I have some more readers of my own [too often neglected blog],
I have a question for you more experienced foodies:
By in large I have to drool over your tasty eats, since I can't afford large amounts of "health geared" products, special bars, or even large amounts of fruit and the like.
But one thing I've seen on several occassions is people talking about getting free packages from companies. How do you manage that? I emailed cliff bar on a whim last night, just hoping.. I love the nutrients and macronutrient breakdown of those, but can't afford them. Plus I've heard of all these new flavors, and since I'm not huge on peanut butter or chocolate [please don't murder me right then and there!] I would really like to try some of the random ones I keep hearing about like pumpkin and even zuccini. Anyhow, I was hoping they might send me some of these to "sample" in a marketing quest, but no word so far.
Those of you who have managed great deals or free samples: any tips for snagging some of my own?!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Please don't kick me down...

No, make that: I won't give you the power to take me down.
...easier said than done...

This week has been incredible for me on the eating front. Not so much what or how much as my overall mentality. I realized I was getting way to obsessed with planning and logging and figuring--even with all the complications, I was getting caught in my infamous trap of thinking too hard.
So I decided to let it go. I made decisions about how I was going to monitor and guide my intake, but didn't obsess over outlining plans and logging things and reoutlining an altered idea.
I kept my goals on the forfront of my decisions about what to eat, but I kept my life on the main plate of my daily time spent.

The crazy thing was, I did what I put my mind to more than I ever did when I outlined all the details. My target total, the WHOLE improvement aimed at for the next day, and all my quotas and makeup goals. I ate my allotted healthy balance of beloved fruit, veggies, and fiber--even after coming off an extreme of having none for a week, and the abundance of new groceries [which has previously triggered me to lose control and eat it nonstop]. I cut back on coffee. I ate my favorite foods and enjoyed leisurely snacks where I could, and I crammed whatever calories I could get when and how needed when necessary.
I prioritized my life and didn't neglect my eating, but made it work with my life.

Then comes the downer. I was home for a big chunk of the day, but determined not to be the misunderstood victim of all kinds of judgements and assumptions typically made by my family, especially in terms of my eating and diet needs. In fact, another big thing I'd done this week was take some baby steps to heal the relationships instead of running away--talking and opening up to one of my sisters and my mother. Boy did that backfire.
Now it's not just comments under the skin, but outright picking on me constantly. And the thing is, I WANT people to talk to me and not just make assumptions. But I want it to be an open slate--I want them to listen and be open to thinking outside the box. Instead, I got the point of what they thought and then a wall came up--no room to listen or hear where I was coming from.
So much for support and understanding. Now I feel even more hurt than ever.
And instead of excited about my progress, I feel angry. So angry that I've already let it go to some extent today. Not all down the drain, but I'm struggling with old habits again, and feeling so very, very alone.

I want support, I want understanding. I have a lot of work to do and I let myself down a lot and I need tough love to keep me on track--but that only works if the person who gives the "tough love" is also open to thinking outside ther own little box of how things must work.
Or the box they've put me in because it's the only thing they can understand and discovering something-someone-different brings on too much insecurity?

Thursday, January 29, 2009

Gettin' Back on Track

I've officially gained back the weight I lost when initially stopped training, back to my ol' setpoint of sorts [the weight I seem to stick at with calorie intake vs. output ranging from a literal 2000 cals!]...

Good stuff. :) And my body is happy, it likes me this way. Energy is good, not feeling weird freaky ill symptoms, even digestion is stable for me.

Am I saying no room to improve? Absolutely not. But I'm sure glad to feel like myself again as I continue my Journey 2009--a quest to my best!

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Run Happy :)

Running again = Living Again

Funny thing is I don't even entirely consider it "running." But every moment brings me to life...a life that goes beyond the run or even the runner's high itself. I'm beginning to feel like myself again--from the times I'm agitated and stressed to the times I dink around to the time my head hits the pillow. Even my emotions are more under control--sure I'm still a drama queen, but not in this panicked state of doom.

I went back to check out the running club today, and loved it. I met yet another new friend who had a freakish lot in common with me. We both went into college as dance/performance majors, have a gymnastics background, and came out Personal Trainers! Now we're both at the community of the colleges as we prepare to apply to the same grad schools, both currently moved back in with our parents. Anyhow, it was great to be part of a team of sorts, and I hope this friendship blossoms into something as well!
As for the run...well, my barrier is no longer getting back in shape. My cardiovascular fitness still increases far faster than my legs are ready for! I stuck to the slow, chat filled, 2 mile loop and didn't follow the speed demon for a second spin. But I almost wish I had the way I was still flying high by the time I get home! I'm not planning on running myself to the ground anytime soon, but I didn't even feel, well, nearly "done!" Ah well, always next time...and I want it to be an uphill ride back to real running times and lots of great races this year!

My digestion improved significantly too, and while I'm still working through a lot I am thinking clearer in sorting it out. The same way it was a long process of breaking away from the "find the perfect plan" mindset for my training, I have to do for my diet, my nutrition backbone. Because the more I learn about digestion issues, from severe IBS to Crohn's, the more I realize that while the key principles definitely apply [and I'm trying to incorporate them into how I eat], so much is individual. I have to find out for myself. And while I'm in desperate need of medical testing and treatment, i can only work with what I can control. i've found out enough to know enough 'likely possibilities" to proceed to coping mechanisms.

However, even with the ups and downs, one thing is for sure--my appetite is going full force! - likely more due to feeling myself then the running itself [since I ate enough to compensate for a week of running in one day with the amount I've increased!] - haha, I'm just about hitting 4000 this week, after struggling to hit 3000 last week. But honestly, I'm thinking of breaking off counting. At this point I think i have a lot more to learn by focusing on my needs, be it for my healing and digestion, or for my running/general nutrition types of needs. One way or the other I have to keep going. Keep learning. I think 2009 truly IS my year--I haven't flipped to my ideal life, but I'm on my way because I'm hanging on and holding strong, dealing with real issues and barriers so that I can get through to my goals, my dreams.

Thursday, January 8, 2009

Lessons Learned and Progress Made

Another low night through morning for me on the GI front. I got a little carried away with allowing things yesterday. After deciding to test some products that have only minor [<2%] lactose or soy ingredients, I had the deliscious soup I’d been craving which had both. Then I just let things go downhill-citric acid and artificial sweeteners added to the mix! Oh no…I didn’t have any immediate flare-ups aside from the usual digestion discomfort and bathroom prob’s, but nothing new. Then the night plummeted to reminiscent of the old times. This morning was back to barely coping.

At first I thought I’d lost it. So much for rebuilding my diet. But you now what? I haven’t. So far I’ve stabilized enough in less than ten days that I could actually pinpoint things to flare-ups—for instance, the last few bad nights were always after adding flax to my shake. I also only had problems with oatmeal with flax. So even if not healed, I was steady enough to be able to notice problem foods already! Plus I digested veggies and even a bit of red pepper like I never could have handled in the past. Healing already begun?

Now I just need to get back on track…
Same diet makeup, system continued. Yes, I can probably try out some citric acid and minor soy or lactose ingredients—but not all at once and not going crazy with it! I have to keep the overall goal in mind and not be so “either eat it or don’t”—finding out what I can handle and how much.

A few other positive notes:
-I’ve kept my intake solid at 30-3200 for a full week. Yes, I anticipate stepping forward, but so far this is a major step forward as I haven’t maintained an intake even when I was running and active. Plus, I’ve actually been gaining steadily! .5lb the first week [starting from my December low], 1 the second, and so far another 1-2 halfway through the third week. I am moving along steadily towards my physical goals and healing!
-my *training* is progressing even if at a laughable level.
This week I get 1hour and 15 minutes of activity.
I went for my second run of the year today, and all be it a measly one, I was shocked to look down at my garmin and see that I’m cruising—in thick snow, no less—at a pace I was fighting for back in the midst of hardcore training last summer! I’m getting stronger and going faster with less effort now, even with practically no training, just by tending to my physical needs. Woohoo!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

First Run of 2009!

Nothing like last year when I was kicking off my marathon training program, but in a way, better this year because while I’m starting from a lower point, I’m building to better things!
I am pretty sure I still have, down there within, what I gained this past year with training—ready to be grabbed and put in action with the progress and performance that lead to both better races and long term top level training.

~4m @9:15 pace~
Felt wonderful—once again riding high off the runner’s high all day. A little tweak in the groin, but overall strong and solid legs—better than last year at this time. (But the whole point is not just to train as much as I can get away with until I crash!) My training is so restricted with the criteria I’ve set at this point that I don’t fear overdoing it—as long as I stick through with my program! <-If I do that I should be at a reasonable mileage level for “real training” all be it less than my ideal—maybe 30-50mpw by spring-summer…not top level training, but working with my needs to get me TO that top level for the long haul. –plus hopefully still giving me better performance results even than I was when training twice as much, because this time I’m going there strong and solid!

A roaring finish!

Friday, January 2, 2009

My Athletics and Nutrition 2009

~since this blog is themed based on the athlete roaring within me--and the physical needs that get me to those dreams~

-A[nother] comeback as an athlete--but for the long haul and to a level I've only dreamed of achieving!*Which starts by working from the ground up and dealing with the root needs that must be met physically for a foundation to build on--and structured building from there.*
-Solid and strong as I make my comeback. Not treading tricky territory between how much I can do and how easily I'm injured.
-A functioning GI system so i can eat and digest normally, both from a technical point of view [systems working] and also just for living--so I can casually eat with friends without it being a time of "coping with or ignoring problems and hoping they don't take over" but rather something enjoyable.
-Proper eating habits that serve my needs--for healing, for whatever conditions or intolerances I have, and also just the amounts and balances that support my goals and quality of life.

...and since wishes don't make changes, here's how I plan to get there:
Mostly it's all about starting from the ground up-

Nutrition: Rebuilding my diet.
-Eliminating key suspects and keeping careful log of intake and reactions
+ CAREFULLY testing and building my diet
-Counting the total intake and makeup of my diet and setting consistent steps to make sure I build and give my body what it needs to heal.
-Meal planning: This is something I have yet to conquer because I hate planning, but I think I need to do it more to get better about my timing and steady input until I can take it as I go without getting into trouble with trying to continue my life while coping with unpredictable GI.

Training: Building from the Base to the Top
-Start by tending to the basic fundamentals, from healing and basic health to fundamental strength when my body can tend to that.-Slow and structured building back my training based on where I'm at physically so my training can serve my goals.
-Hold steady when I reach my first training plan levels rather than just building nonstop until I break down.
-Continue to adapt my nutrition steps and goals to keep up with and support my training needs as they change and progress.

And keys for making both of these happen:
-Don't allow mysef to rethink it, restart it-
-just stick with it all the way to the end goals
-When I get frustrated, impatient, or it doesn't feel right or I'm unmotivated just stick to the plan on autopilot because it's holding strong THEN that will make the difference in allowing me to really get there!
-Continue working with support systems.
-I need people to back me up and keep me going lest I get confused or cower in moments when I'm beat to the groun.
-Keep my eyes on where I want to be, the end goals, and not how I feel [or what I feel like doing] right now.

2009 is MINE!

So many hopes, dreams, goals as typical, right? But this year stands out to me in an important way. Because underneath all the details and specifics of where I want to be this year there is a key thing:
I am taking over. My body, my way of life…and starting my future.

I’m making decisions. I know I have to make it happen.
I can’t wish it into being, and I can’t plan it into being. I have to take my life by the horns. Decide and do.

Highlights of the Year
First year as a college graduate
First real job in my field
Official running comeback [after injury saga throughout college]
àsolid training and racing seasons
Ran my first marathon—and a solid successful one at that!
Ran my first national-caliber race [other than the marathon] amongst elites
Hit my peak training season [and heaven therin!]—with my first 100mpw

What I want for 2009
Healing and proper functioning
-digestion, no constant GI discomfort, bathroom episodes
-body temperature, blood counts, bones
-my period???!

The body of an athlete
-go all the way through with sorting out my nutrition needs and finding a solid nutrition backbone that serves my needs
-no more stares, assumptions, self consciousness
-[instead] thought of as the athlete, great running body, even sexy and attractive
….look hot in my summer clothes vs. needing to hide
Build [back] to Top Level Training with top notch Performance and for the long term
-base training type and amount based on my needs to get me where I want to be vs. what feels good/what I "want" to do in the moment
-don't compromise long term goals or limit performance results for "max out now" with training
-BUILD a solid foundation: strength, flexibility, etc.

To be the Kind of Friend/Person that makes a difference
-put others first, shut up and let other people talk, listen better
-get out more
-not be edgy, isolated
Have Discretion
-what and when to share things
-thinking before I speak, write/send
-stop making rash decisions and actions

Heal family relationships
-Write a letter to my mom [but don’t give on impulse!]
-find a way to show my sisters that I care without pushing them away more
-stop being fake [pretending I’m not hurt when I am, so bad….]

Rock my Job
-make a difference in the lives of my patience
-build a reputation as capable as well as caring
àpermanent full time position?!!

Back to School
-Take the **** GRE
-Apply to schools
-Take the time/effort to hunt down financing options and pursue them

Time and Schedule: the early one I thrive off of and more+ consistent sleep
-regular bedtime when I’m home dinking around anyways
-less compulsive checking: don’t need to check everything before “done”
-prioritizing: what can wait, what attend to first
-Dinking: break time vs. dominant time—not replacing needed sleep or neverending procrastination!

*I definitely need more specifics to put these in action vs. imagining the ideal. Already started on some objectives as I take over the specifics I need to make changes and start new habits!