I have already set my 2018 fitness schedule through March. I have a half marathon on the books for March so my plan goes to there. I have set a weight goal that I would like to hit either by my half or by my birthday in May. Seventeen pounds that I want to shed is a little harder now that I’m older and doing some weight training to tone. I seem to hover around 165 these days which in my pants feels great but my eyes are still from the old school that start the name calling when I look in the mirror and still see cellulite on my legs and ass that make me wonder if I’ll ever get rid of that. Better happy and healthy and hovering at a healthy heavier weight than to be deeply depressed and either 200 lbs or 150 heading to very bad places. That was my swing not long ago. I’ve pretty much made peace with my current weight but I fight old demons that lurk in the mirror every day.
I have a meal plan of sorts in my head for this year one month at a time. ( THIS IS NOT ME BTW but I’d like it to be LOL!)
When I say meal plan I mean less sweets, more protein and less snacking. I want to up my effort in the weight training arena to really put in a full body effort with more focus on toning to try to cut just a little more body fat. My husband keeps saying I’m tight but when you’re feeling my ribs, OF COURSE, I’m tight. Not much fat there at all. LOL. I don’t really argue with him because it makes me feel good that that is the picture he sees of me and not the one I see in the mirror. I am going to try overnight oats this coming year to see if I can stomach them. They look awesome but something about oats that sat overnight kind of boges me out.
In terms of running, I don’t think this year will be as full as last year. I believe I’ll fall somewhere between 3-4 races not the 7 I did this year. One for me, one with my friend and one with my Bad Ass B’s for sure. Maybe one other but I would like to focus on strength training this year more than running to see what I have in me and how “tight” I can actually make this old body. I want to be amazing at 50 which is my 2019 birthday number. One reason I want to take it easy on the running THIS year is because I want to run a full marathon next year for my 50th. That goal scares the shit out of me because it’s bigger than I’ve ever attempted. It’s overwhelmingly ginormous and intimidating but it’s on my mind. I think even if I DNF (WHICH I HAVE NEVER EVER DONE BTW) I will have attempted what in my mind is the coo de ta of races. Can I do it? I do believe I can and I want to push myself to see if I can. So this year I’ll focus on strength to prepare for the BIG ONE next year. Get ready B’s because I’m going to need you there when I make that attempt. I’ll need my girls to help me get there and to be at the finish line with hopefully one or all of my kids cheering me to the finish. It will be a year of preparation and focus one month at a time. Watch out 2019 because this girl is coming for you with a vengeance. This girl is going to be ready when you arrive!
Here’s to the next 367 days until 2019 gets here!
There’s just something peaceful about morning running. Maybe it’s the quiet of the day or the darkness that hasn’t quite conceded to the bright glow of the majestic day ahead. There are not many cars around nor other runners where I am or even people walking dogs. It’s just quiet almost to the point that I can hear my thoughts out loud. I love that first breath in of fresh crisp air that purges my lungs of night air and fills my soul with brightness. It calls me to it, envelops me and makes me its own for 30 minutes of bliss. I can see the glow of a dawning day in the windows of my neighbors and see those who have started their day. I can smell those ambitious enough to cook something that appeals to my palette as I run on an empty stomach thinking about the pancakes and eggs I’ll make when I return. As dawn lights my way, revealing my form I realize this is the best run that I’ve had in many days. I enjoyed it a lot and am happy I didn’t wait until tonight to go. When I run in the morning I have no worries, no problems, no distractions. My phone isn’t ringing, I’m not tied to the internet and I’m not trying to organize anything. It’s just me, in the dark blending in with what remains of the night. Free as a bird and not weighted down by life at this very moment.
Today as I make my way through my neighborhood wondering who knows I’m passing by, my mind is on my race on Sunday. I’m running The Falmouth Road Race and thinking about how the race will go and whether it will be my race. It may not be. Because of the time of the month it may have to just be fun. I’m not expecting it to be a stellar race because I just don’t do well a few days before I get my period. 2-4 days prior, my legs are heavy, it’s hard for me to breathe and it’s just a struggle. Even if it’s a struggle, I’d like to beat last years 1:18. I’m much stronger this year in my core than last year which will be helpful. Nonetheless, if I go into it not expecting too much and not trying to be faster than last year I think it will be fine. Slow it down and I’ll have more fun. My friend who runs this race with me might like company for the entire 7 miles rather than being dumped at the starting line like I usually do. I well know how not fun running alone is so that might be the way to go I think. It’s all about the fun and the experience.
It was bound to happen sooner or later and with all the training I’ve been doing sooner was more like IT. IT is as you may have guessed, some minor and irregular discomfort on the outside corner of my knee cap. It’s been bothering me for a few days but infrequently. Since my 10 mile race on Sunday following a dose of Ibuprofen, I thought it felt better at least I had no pain. When I say pain I really mean uncomfortable and sudden twinges that are painful for a moment…stairs or if I put pressure on the knee leaning or getting up from sitting mainly. When I’m at work or walking or just not running I’m fine. Yesterday I went for a run and not 50 feet out of the gate what felt like a sudden shard of glass poking my knee caused me to hop and interrupt my motion for a moment. It didn’t happen again but it did make me think to look it up to see what it could be even though I had a pretty good idea already. Sure enough I didn’t have to look far before I found the obvious, IT Band Syndrome. Iliotibial Band Syndrome aka IT Band Syndrome, shows up when the outside ligament running down the thigh (hip to the shin) is tight or inflamed. The IT band is attached to the knee and assists in stabilizing the joint. When it isn’t working properly, running and sometimes knee movement becomes uncomfortable and even painful. If it isn’t monitored a happy runner can be taken off the road for quite a while. Funny thing is that when you look it up on Google the first thing it says is to stop running. LOL it’s almost like getting yelled at by the doctor.
So I’ll do some adjustments like taking today off from running and making it a Tabata strength training day which in order since I try to do it every other day if possible. Riding my bike is a great and recommended alternative in addition to swimming which I just haven’t found the time to add into my jam packed fitness schedule. Hopefully a day off is all it needs. I’m also proactively taking Ibuprofen for inflammation despite the fact that at the moment my legs don’t feel swollen nor does my knee feel tight. Better safe than sorry. I have so much going on this year in terms of races that I have to monitor regularly and modify whenever I can if I need to so I can make it to the end of the running season. Yes, I take the winter off from racing. I just don’t like winter races much but 8 – 9 months of the year I go at it hard so I need to be careful. I
Since it just showed up all of a sudden and since my running shoes are just about ready to be changed out, I’m going to try that to see if maybe it was caused by end of life gear. This time I’m going to try a pair of New Balance to see if I like them. I have been a devoted Saucony disciple nearly exclusively give or take a few Reeboks and Asics here and there. My friend runs in New Balance and loves them so we’re going to head over and see if we can find a pair we like. Wouldn’t it be interesting if it was indeed caused from needing to change the guards so to speak. We’ll see and advise. Till then…
For more information about causes, prevention, symptoms and treatment of IT Band Syndrome you can read this article from Runners World http://www.runnersworld.com/tag/it-band-syndrome
As you know, I am a solo runner. I don’t belong to any running groups although I do have running friends who I run with sometimes. Mostly however, I can be found sorting through my thoughts quietly to myself as I make my way through morning miles alone. I see all the news about the terrible things that happen to many people but especially to runners who run alone. Yeah, I’m one of those most of the time. Recently I booked my trip to see my parents in the land of nothingness, I began to thing about the fact that no one runs where they live. Not only does no one run, their neighbors are less than a stones throw away. I love the quiet and peace there because you can sit on the porch and just enjoy the actual sound of nature instead of cars, horns, kids, and all the air pollution we have here in suburbia. I thought about how excited I was to run in the morning there and then I began to wonder what would happen if Texas Chainsaw Massacre decided to come to the street during my run…. Who would miss me? Who would care? That made me nervous! Here, everyone knows me by my bandana wearing flamboyance, my gate as I run which my kids refer to as the “Brenna-Wobble” and because I’m out running all the time. Chances of someone noticing if I were Brenna-napped or injured are much greater here than they are in the sticks of VA. I’ve run there before both alone and with my son and usually there isn’t anything to worry about but then again there aren’t many women running around in fancy running skirts early in the morning to attract attention either. Not really looking for attention but the thought of it made me reach out to a police officer friend of mine to inquire about Mace. I thought I would need to fill out an application for an FID card to carry Mace but as it turns out, back in 2012 or so, due to domestic violence rights for victims, the need for a license or permission no longer exists in any state. I did check to see what the law was in VA just in case it was illegal. Yeah, that would have been an interesting story to tell my husband. “Well Hunny Bunny, I got arrested for carrying Mace. Can you send bail money! LOL. Well come to find out it’s legal in all 50 states now which is good to know.
I promptly ordered myself and my daughter some right away. Nothing fancy or in a blinged out case or cleverly disguised. Just a simple small palm sized fat can with a sheath and a clip for my waistband. My can and case came in and are a bit bigger than I imagined. They are not delicate or really easy to conceal although they aren’t huge. Probably as big as a knife sheath. Come to find out they do make them lipstick case size but hey, I’m not buying more now. Now, I feel safer when it’s clipped to my waist in the morning. I didn’t feel unsafe before but I don’t stop and lollygag when I’m out there alone either. It’s a heavy clip/case and pulls my waistband on my running pants that are looser in the waist. It doesn’t however, fall off which is all I care about. Now I just need to remember EVERY morning to actually get in the habit of clipping it on to me before heading out. Today, I had it, the other day I was doing the V-8 forehead slap 1/4 mile into my run. Hopefully trouble doesn’t find me on a V-8 day! All in all at the end of the day I’ll feel safer in VA from bears, crazies and weirdo’s with nothing else to do but harass a runner. If you run alone, you should be safe. Carry Mace, have a Road ID with your important #’s and info on it. I have yet to order that but I’m getting there. Have something to protect yourself with so that you won’t have regrets. Better to have it and not need it at all, than not have it and need it desperately. What do you do to stay safe?
Today I got up and could barely keep my eyes open. It had rained and I used the possible puddles as an excuse to not run today. I zombied my way through making breakfast and showering and getting to work. I feel like I was in slow motion all day. If there were a fire drill I would probably have been the last one out the door. All day I thought about running and I seriously struggled with having thrown in the towel so easily just because I was what I called exhausted. I played devil’s advocate with myself like I would have with anyone I was encouraging. I reassured myself that rest days are good and necessary for healthy improvement. I know this and I believed it but I just couldn’t put it to rest. I kept thinking about working at my son’s school tonight on play props and how that would keep me from doing something stupid.
Still wasn’t buying it…still felt like I could do something, anything other than resting. It does not feel like my rest day. Tomorrow might but today just didn’t feel that way so I went with my gut. I got home and decided not to go to the school. As I sat outside watching my husband mulch the leaves I just felt like it was a wonderful evening to get a few miles in. When he left I didn’t sit on the couch, I didn’t go to bed, I didn’t eat dinner.
I changed my clothes and slipped on my running shoes and headed out before I could change my mind. I figured it would either go my way OR really poorly and tomorrow I will be paying for it. Good thing it paid off in my favor. Good thing I don’t take excuses and a really good thing that I know when to push myself beyond my mental comfort zone. Running has taught me what my limits are. Running has given me the strength to push my limits and to understand when it is ok and not ok to do so. I love running for so many
reasons. It makes me proud of myself and confident that I can do things I never thought I could. It has saved me and shaped me and has seen me through some pretty shitty times. Running is the greatest teacher, cheapest therapist and most devoted support system. I am so happy to have run that first mile back on 6/27/2011 and that I have not looked back.
You know what you know but sometimes you have to take what you know and apply it outside where you know it. I for example, know that a Gatorade – water mix is great for my races but I don’t usually apply Gatorade to my everyday runs. Sometimes we get stuck in a rut of where we think things belong and don’t take a minute to think about where else they might be good. This summer feels so hard running for me. My everything swells up now especially my legs. It happens when I sit on a stool and when I’m out running in the heat. This weekend I decided to run with straight Gatorade. I wasn’t sure about doing that …what if I needed water instead? I don’t like to carry anything with me on my runs but will in the heat or a run longer than say 6 miles. Forget running with two things, one for each hand…that’s like running in shackles for me. Not happening. I decided to risk it and go Gatorade only. What happened? I had a much better run that’s what happened! I learned that I need straight Gatorade in the heat. I felt better, still stopped at every mile to take a sip but not for long and I didn’t feel totally wiped out when I was done. Gatorade isn’t for everyone but it is for me! I love running lessons because they make me stronger and a better runner overall. so now it’s on to how do I make my chubby little legs feel lighter and move with more ease. I don’t think that one is as easy for a short stubby Ukranian but it can’t hurt to try!
I am Ukranian. To you it might mean nothing but to those who frequently spend time with me, it means I’m stubborn, hard to break down and very determined when I get my mind set to something. I always tell my husband not to worry about me because you can’t kill a Ukranian to which he promptly gives me a “yeah yeah” attitude coupled with an eye roll that might send a moth tumbling. Until this year I haven’t really given much thought to my health, actually I haven’t really cared much whether anything happened to me or not. Part of that mentality is because I’m not really “old” enough to be worried but part of it is just mere stupidity and being distracted by other more pressing issues on my mind. This year however, I have given in to being tired and not run or stayed in bed or both. I have cut back on my fitness routine from something short of mild lunacy to running and occasionally something else thrown in the mix. I have started cutting back on things like NutraSweet and cliff bars (even though they are my favorite snack on any given day) for things like more salad, oatmeal, less bread, some milk and other adjustments because I want to get in the habit of trying to live a fun happy life that will lead me to old age. Now I won’t waltz into old age gracefully…I plan on screeching into home plate yelling HELL YEAH! What a ride!!!
Today I gave up my morning run because the humidity was at 76% and my husband insinuated something along the lines of my being crazy to run in this kind of weather and when he mentioned the humidity factor I mentally gave up without much of a fight. Now I didn’t want to go when I got up in the first place. I was tired and achy and just not in the mood. Today I got out of bed talking myself into going and put my running clothes on hoping that it would improve my mood and change my mind. It sort of worked because I didn’t change my clothes right away. Previously I would have headed out and run through it but given Rob’s input that was pretty much all I needed to scrap it. I’m more upset about having two rest days in a row than I am at having given up in because it’s hot and humid with many severe weather warnings plastering the news this morning. I just thought that it might be safer for me to not go out…tomorrow will be better and I’ll get my run in then. I probably did myself a favor letting myself get talked out of it.