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!