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!