Yesterday I said I was going to start lap swimming. The statement, although true, will have to wait until next week. The reason I did not lap swim yesterday was not because I didn’t want to swim. It wasn’t because I’d feel slow or awkward in my motions. No no no, the reason started right in my bedroom when I tried on the swimsuit I ordered on Amazon. This would make the second or third online bathing suit order that I’ve made and none of them have been right. I should know better especially with bathing suits that don’t really seem to have a definitive sizing chart. Oh they have sizes like NU- what the fuck is that anyway? NU… I had to Google it! Can’t you just say European cut or something that the English speaking citizen can understand? So this in my opinion is a complete Pin-the-tail on the Donkey kind of undertaking. I looked at the sizing chart and even measured my hips, waist and bust area to try and get it right. So much for that effort because my bust was one size, my waist was another and my hips fell into yet a third size. Now what was I supposed to do? Being a hippier person, which I have pretty much been my entire life I figured that it was best to not scare the kids in the pool and buy the size that fit my hips.
When I tried this suit on, I pretty much looked like a sausage busting out of its casing at the hips. I tried pulling the side seam up and that gave me a hip shelf. I tried pulling it down and that was no better. I looked rediculous! Kind of like Big Hero 6 over there. It wasn’t just me being hard on myself, it was me realizing that I probably would have been asked to leave by some mother waiting for her child to finish swim lessons or something. So instead of giving up the idea of swimming laps or never ordering a bathing suit online again, what did I do this morning? I ordered the next size up in a flashy red color instead of I’m dead black. I love red and I’ll have it in two days, Thank You Amazon Prime! Now I’m excited again to try my newer suit on and maybe finally get in the pool to work on another level of fitness. I’ll have to let you know how that goes. We never give up, we just switch gears!
Dear Bathroom scale…Fuck You!
- I hate you!
- You are a big liar!
- I’m very unhappy with our current discussions!
- Why can’t you lie in my favor?
- I think you need an adjustment!
Now that that is out of the way, I feel better. Welcome to the Bathroom scale bashing episode. Not really, it’s more like the “Take responsibility for your lack of self control asshole” episode. So, what happens when you get happier in your life? What happens when you find some complacency in rest days? What happens when you get lazy and go back to sampling everything, taking bites out of this and that and having buttered popcorn and ice cream or DQ often? You gain 7 lbs! That’s what! Ok, maybe it’s just more like 4 but it feels like 10. Not so long ago, before I began going on break with the ladies at work and when I was religiously faithful to a calorie count I was hovering around 163 / 162 for a long time and now I’m nearly 168 and not happy about it! If you think you can just count calories in your head accurately or keep portions to the right amount, perhaps you can but I sadly cannot.
So there will be some changes made immediately! First, I got my new Speedo, bathing cap and goggles so this fatty will be getting in the water asafp and doing laps until I feel like I’m going to die. Second, I need to stop effing snacking! I actually go on break with the ladies at work and we eat. There’s no need to eat on break other than I am just following the crowd. It’s not even like I’m just having one snack, OH NO! I’m eating 1.5 containers of yogurt with about 3x the servings of granola mixed in with a banana chaser. Something big like that with extra calories isn’t really called for especially when I need to lug my bag-full-of-rocks ass up a huge hill in November. Uuuggghhh! So there are those changes. I’m also trying to up my water intake and lower the coffee that I consume from two cups a day to one. Last night I was laying in bed and actually hungry at 10:30. I got up and got a handful of crackers which probably wasn’t ideal but it was an easy reach, easily digestible and did the trick. Crackers are another thing I’ve had far too much of lately. Bread, although it is my weakness, is my enemy too. Bread pounds find me like a kid finds the hidden chocolate. I’ve also stopped recording everything I eat in the My Fitness Pal app. That is where it all went wrong because if I am not held accountable for everything I’m shoving in my pie hole then how can I watch what I’m eating other than watching it go in?! I started logging again yesterday and I think that will help. Weigh ins on the same day every week and not every day will also be useful and keep me on the straight and narrow. The goal is to dump 10-15 lbs by November if possible and I’m going to do my damdest to make it so. All you need in this world is the “want to” and you can do it. So long story short is that I need to quit snacking, start logging and up the workout routine to include some new and different things outside of what I’m already doing. Here goes, stay tuned!
So I have this race coming up in November and the elevation over the first 4 / 10 miles is a bitch as shown here:
This is a 700′ or so gain over 4 Miles. That’s really hilly and we don’t have hills where I am that are comparable except to run the steep ones over and over again to try and get ready. So, I have to do something big to prepare other than the core workouts I’ve been religious about. I’ve decided to add a Pound! class to my routine once a week as well as a spin class too. I will add a pretty solid leg day a few times a week to strengthen my legs and Gluteus Maximus because I’m going to need it. So I was thinking about how else I could prepare other than running this really big hill not far from me for my long runs. I had an idea that may or may not be over the top but it couldn’t hurt to try it. I bought myself a double mouth guard like they use in MMA. My plan is to use it when I run the hill to purposely make it harder for me to breathe. Why on earth would I do this you may ask?? Well, my thought process is that if I learn to struggle for breathe, when I’m up in the mountains struggling to get air as I careen up that hill that it will be easier because I’m pre-conditioned to deal with it. Now, I don’t know if this will help or hurt me. Maybe this is the wrong preparation for running in the mountains but a few articles I’ve read in Runners World seem to point to the fact that it helps for mountain prep. So today I hit the buy button and ordered myself one to start using asap. I’m hoping it is useful but if not it wasn’t expensive. I will add lap swimming to the mix even though I’m just not sure that it will get done without compromising the integrity of my sanity. Regardless of sanity it is the last thing I want to try and squeeze in so to ensure that I do get at least one night of lap swimming in, I just ordered a Speedo swimsuit, goggles and a bathing cap so I get it done. So Every Wednesday I’ll be swimming now to top off my preparations for Vermont. Hopefully this also makes for a better finish time and performance for my 10/29 half marathon as well. Only time and consistent effort will be the determinant of that outcome so now we do the do and wait. Until then…..
This morning I got a little reminder about why i need to look up instead of down as I’m running. It was beautiful out this morning just really windy so there were branches in the street I needed to maneuver around and over. Looking down as I run is nothing new for me because when I run that’s mostly where I am looking. I do this because it’s like watching fish for me. It’s calming and easier to look down than to look ahead to see how far I have to go except during fantastic races like Falmouth. I was dodging puddles and branches that were in the road and thinking about how happy I was to be out there first thing again. I stopped at mile 1 to stretch since my legs were a little heavy today and mile 1 is always kind of crappy. Once you get past it it’s fine. Just into mile 2 my peripheral vision to the front of me caught something that caused me to look up out of rhythm and what I saw actually scared me a little. It was a dead Doe laying in the road. It must have been hit overnight but it was definitely in the next life leaving only it’s beautiful golden colored shell behind. At first I jumped over it so I didn’t step on it because I was that close before I saw it. Remember it was dark out so clarity doesn’t come at that hour until you’re practically on top of whatever it is. I feared for a split second that it was still alive and would bite me for being too close to it but it was definitely not alive. Then I hoped I hadn’t stepped in the puddle of blood that was next to it and then I thought about who I should call to get it out of the street so the kids that walk to school that way wouldn’t touch it. I’ve never been that close to a deer that wasn’t at the zoo because they run away when they see people. It was a little humbling to pass over it. If I had been looking up I guess I would have been on the other side of the road but l am a little glad I wasn’t. Feeling things that humble you is good. Being close to God’s creature alive or not, reminds me that life is unpredictable but wonderfully amazing. Circle of life has no corners of expected turns and events, just one long journey that we must traverse as happily and open mindedly and faithfully as possible. I felt sad for any babies that might be missing their mother now or maybe a Buck that now is without a mate. Today’s early event is a second consecutive day that reminds me to be happy to be alive and able to run. I’m not sure if there is a bigger lesson in there somewhere that is coming down the road to me or if I’m getting a lesson that needs to be applied to something that I’m doing / feeling in my daily life right now. I believe lessons are delivered through signs and happenings when needed and it’s our job to figure out what they are, mean and apply them to our daily lives. Maybe my lesson is just that life is fleeting or maybe i need to look up to what’s coming. Something that needs more thought for sure but for today I’ll just be happy and thank that dead Doe for her lesson to me through her sacrifice.
Today is supposed to be a run day for me but it’s raining. Ok this morning it was pouring on and off and I refused to get motivated. I just said “Phuckit” and blew it off when I got out of bed finally at 5:30. Then I thought I might ride the bike after breakfast was done but that never happened because I got sidetracked fixing up my Fantasy team for tomorrow night’s game. Then as I sat on my lazy ass swapping players for a game that I’m A) not going to win and B) not going to make money on. I thought I would pack a bag and run at lunch and I made a pie crust mental note and then proceeded to leave for work without so much as even taking the bag out of the closet or even putting socks in it. The Phuckits have no intention of allowing me to do anything today. I have a work meeting tonight which means “Phuckit” I don’t get to workout after work and to top it all off my son wants to skype me when I get home and then the rest of my tribe gets home and it’s time to get ready for tomorrow. I could work out at 10pm but “Phuckit” that’s not happening. I’ve worked out at 7:30-8:00 before and by then I’m tired and whiney and not motivated. When the Phukit’s move in, I just stop trying to make it work. I left the dishes in the sink because “Phukit” no one will do them for me anyway and I’ll just do them when I get home. I was asked to do a project at work today to help out and instead of being happy to help (this person is the nicest person and always helps out my department when we need it) I said sure….”Phuckit” like I have nothing else better to do. I’m a terrible person today. I sat in my car at lunch to read because “Phuckit” I do not want to talk to anyone at lunch because I never get anything read and I’ve been trying to read this dumb book since the movie came out weeks ago. It’s a gross rainy day and I can’t seem to get rid of what my daughter used to refer to as a “Battitude” when she couldn’t say the words bad attitude clearly. You know, when I get like this I try hard to remember people like my co-worker and her son who are triumphant advocates following his Heroine OD. His attitude is one of happiness for being alive. He has the funniest sense of humor and his mind is as sharp as a tack even though his speech is slowed and he uses a wheelchair, is blind and will never do things that I sit here bitching about. So to you Mr. Phuckit I say go home you are not wanted here! I refuse to entertain your negativity any longer today! Go home because you got me once and convinced me to stay in your little hellacious world of self pity, negativity,depression and exile. That is a world that is an exit on my life’s highway that I’m not taking because I have better places to go. I have many pictures at my desk of my family and friends and when I feel down, I look at their still, smiling faces and feel the happiness I felt at that moment and how much love they give me and I smile. Hasta la Vista Mr. Phuckit! Not sorry to say it’s time for you to go and don’t let the door hit you in the ass on the way out! Go forthe and be awesome, happy and positive, even if it’s raining!
I think I’m turning into a Running Hermit. What I mean by this is that my entire life is seemingly revolving entirely around my running schedule. I’m scheduling things around when I want to run like taking senior pictures, returning my son to college and getting my family fed. If I wasn’t a crazy organizer before, I certainly am now. Every night I think about the next day’s schedule and confirm in my mental calendar when I will do my exercise for the day. This would actually be the second time this is done because I do it on Sundays as a preliminary process first. If I have to go to a meeting I’ll get up early and do my run first. If my kids need something I mentally rearrange my plan so I still get my stuff done. If I have to run dinner to my family while they are at the High School rehearsing, I start thinking about the easiest thing I can make so I can get it up to them on time and get home so I can work out without finishing at 9pm. I seemingly have an unending number of calendars both mental and actual that I schedule my workouts on. One for my stuff, one for my running friends plans to run together and all on a calendar that I can also see the family commitments to make sure things don’t clash. In my head and until I actually start my workout, I’m deciding what to do if it’s a strength training workout. Changing exercises and reps and duration depending on how brave I am feeling. I must do a calendar every single month with the latest updates. Organizing for me is like an OCD issue. I might have it on paper but it’s always open for refinement. I look out to the scheduled group workouts at my gym because you never know when you might change your mind on the class you want to take. If that changes then my plan might need adjustment so nothing falls through the cracks. Then of course there’s the chart that I keep for all the strength exercises I do each week so I can keep track of that too. All this in addition to the mental struggle that goes on while I’m working out because I’m thinking about and confirming the next day’s activities to ensure that they work. Some days I wish I didn’t care if I was fat and out of shape but life 6 years ago blew that option up for me forever. Never again to get lazy or be a slacker. Depression is a very bad place to be so I’ll die working out before I give up on anything ever again, especially myself! I can’t really organize beyond a month at a time because as we all know things can change or go to hell in a New York minute! If that were not bad enough, all this scheduling I’ve noted here, I also find the crazy need to color code the damn thing! What?! Having a bloody packed schedule just isn’t satisfying enough so I add a colorful Crayola Crayons vomit explosion to the mix! It’s just what I do! It makes me happy and feel like I have control over something in a world where my kids are getting ready to leave for their own lives within the next 5 or so years. It’s how my world rolls and as long as no one else in the world gives a shit, I am a happy Running Hermit!
Today for the first time ever I ran hills on purpose. I run them when they are on my routes and I know when I’m running them so I guess I plan on running them every week but every week I don’t repeat them unless they are on my route back. I started my hill training for November’s Vermont innaugural 10 mile race. That race is straight uphill for 4 miles. The hills I ran today are comparable in incline to what I’ll be dealing with there. My two month plan is to eat hills until November for all my long runs… gonna get boring in terms of scenery but I need to do the hills. Squats are also on my plan. Flat ones, one legged lunges, raised leg angled squats and a ton of core core core. Between these two initiatives and maybe a bunch of Pound! classes and maybe some spin stuck in there for good measure I think it might just get me ready for such a big challenge. I have no intentions of walking these hills unless I absolutely have to. I could but the fact is that I don’t want to because I signed up for this race as a challenge to myself. I knew it would be hard and wanted to take it on for that reason. The bonus here, the thing that is going to make this all a great experience is that my friends signed up to run it with me.
So I purposely ran the two biggest hills (almost 100 ft inclines over 1 mile and .63 mile) in my town. Over and over again it got progressively harder on each incline run. I feel like the homeowners were all wondering what the hell I was doing but more than likely no one noticed me. I did it 3 times and then decided it was all I cared to do today. I only needed to run 7 miles today and I ended up with 7.36 total for the day. I feel really accomplished running hills. I ran the entire way even when I was running slowly on the third time up. There’s something so affirming about not only running a long way but purposely tackling hills all before noon or at all for that matter. I hate hills but I will just say that I hate them less with all the core I do. I couldn’t say it enough about how much easier it is with a strong core. I wouldn’t have bought that two years ago but I’m a believer now. So for now it’s hills / core | hills / core | hills / core and some other fun stuff thrown in there for good measure. Now if I can just stay away from the amount of junk that I have had lately it would be good!