Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Running Group Success

First off, let me go ahead and tell you how much I love my running group. Last Saturday, rain was in the forecast. I’m not going to lie, the first thing I did when my alarm went off at 6:30 AM was check the radar and the hourly predictions and hoped for a bunch of rain so I could stay in my warm bed with my handsome man and snooze away the morning. But what did I find? Only clouds and no chance of rain until much later in the morning. So I got up, got dressed and headed towards the meeting spot.

As usual, I got really nervous before we started. I’m still not over my fear that I won’t be good enough or I’ll slow the group down. Once we got started, the first mile was brutal. I don’t know why mile 1 is always such a crappy 11 minutes of my life but it is. The beauty of this group is that there are so many volunteer coaches that no matter what pace you’re going at, you have a coach with you. This week I was with one other girl who was running and then two coaches were with us. Susie, the coach I talked to the most, is 62 and has been running for 5 years. She has completed 4 marathons and is amazing. Throughout the entire run she was so nice and talkative and encouraging. She and the other coach that was with us routinely told us how great we were doing and kept our spirits up.

This is exactly what I was hoping to get from this. It makes me so excited to be doing my long runs for marathon training with them. I’ll need all the help and support that I can get during the super long runs.

In other news, my Visalus shakes are going pretty well. Due to some poor eating choices over the weekend, I’m not really sure if they’re effective or not yet. I’ll give you a full report at the end of the week. The protein powder is much tastier than others. It’s also a lot easier to add things to it and blend. I’ve added both veggies and fruit to it and it’s been wonderful. It’s something I’d probably purchase again.

I hope everyone has had a wonderful week thus far and I’ll catch up with you this weekend from the BEACH!

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

WHAM! (said the scale)

Yeah - I did it. I stepped on the scale. I'm now in "oh my GOD I'm going to the beach in 2 weeks and I am an elephant (and not the cute baby kind)" mode. The only good thing that has come from this is I am strictly looking at portions and eating totally clean. #hopeitworks #gottagetintoahabbit

Let's see...oh! Group run last week! Super awesome. Was very pleased with getting to run with a group of people who weren't judgmental or mean. Just there at different levels and wanting to run. I'm honestly looking forward to going back again this Saturday! It was a short (about 3 miles) course but it had some killer hills. I know I'll for sure get my money's worth. There are coaches with every "group" so each pace has someone there cheering them on and talking the whole way. I love it. And they stress so much that time doesn't matter. Maybe if I hear it enough, it'll sink in ;)

And now some photos to capture the week...

Spring in Atlanta also means "hot as balls" This was after a lunch time run - omg. 

Panera style lunch. Love their classic with chicken and avocado. Nom! 

Flew kites on Sunday with my loves! 

This is Kennessaw Mountain. It's pretty wonderful (and local!)

A mile straight up, up, up! 

The view from the top! 

And on the way down we made a new friend! He was literally 10 feet away. Just hang in' out and eating like it was no big deal that a bunch of humans were in the woods....

Here's to another great week and some great decisions! 

Friday, May 2, 2014

The Quote that Let me Know I Wasn't Alone

You know, I used to be really good at running. I was putting up some pretty fantastic times and had lost a bunch of weight. I weighed probably 15 pounds less than I do now. When you're only standing about 5'3", 15 pounds is pretty considerable. Fast forward through tearing my achiles tendon and being forced to take 6 months off of running....and then just losing the will to run anymore which turned into a year out of running and the 15 pounds gained and here we are today. And I've had a hard time really describing what it felt like to try to make a come back from what I used to be.

I was reading articles on CNN Health and came across this one. It's about a guy who was faced with cancer and had his health taken away from him. Now that he's cancer free, he's making a giant come back. Truly an inspiring article.

One thing in particular that stood out for me was this quote:

Exercise isn't new to me. It's something I used to thrive on. Training for a triathlon isn't even new to me. I had a regimen before. I'd swim in the mornings before work. Saturdays were my big workout days. If I wasn't doing a big run or ride, I'd take a spin class and jump right on the treadmill after and run 4 miles. Interestingly enough, that doesn't make it any easier. It's often more frustrating. Not being able to do what you used to do sometimes makes you not want to do it at all. It's a constant fight I have with myself. Trying to push through one barrier only to be stopped at the next makes me feel helpless.
It's like the sun just started shining again. This is exactly how I still feel today. I look back on my old mile times and I can't help but be sad and beat myself up. Why can't I run like I did before? What's keeping me from going as fast? Why can't I run 13 miles without stopping like I used to? Why haven't I lost any of this weight like I did a couple years ago? And let me tell you - it's exhausting.

It's exhausting to train. It's exhausting to constantly analyze and wonder and think and try to fix whatever problem you think you have that is preventing you from being what you once were. I haven't aged a decade. I don't smoke. I drink too much wine but the intake is about the same as it used to be. I can't figure out why I can't get to where I was. We're talking 8min miles vs 11min miles here folks. Absolutely frustrating.

And as a result, the motivation is uneven. Some days are just a bare to get out for a walk and others I wish I could run for miles and miles and miles. I miss the constant motivation and the will to do better and run faster. Instead, I'm faced with constantly battling the "why bother?" thoughts.

It's nice to know that maybe I'm not as crazy as I thought I was (or that he's just as crazy). I highly suggest you read the article - great story and a great outcome!

Atlanta Marathon CANCELLED

So, today as I was perusing Facebook, a fellow runner posted that the Atlanta Marathon had been cancelled. Yeah – THE marathon. The one I have signed up for a training program for and everything. I frantically searched my E-mail for the undeniable truth – the Atlanta Track Club had cancelled the marathon and is putting all their efforts into the 10 miler set for the same say.

I was immediately very upset and even texted the handsome man that clearly this was a sign that 26.2 just isn’t for me. Nashville fell through and now Atlanta just wasn’t even an option. At some point a person just has to accept what the universe is trying to tell them, right?

The good news is this: I told the universe to suck it. They are allowing everyone who registered for the marathon to run the 10 miler AND transfer their marathon registration to either the Savannah Rock n Roll Marathon on November 8th or the Silver Comet Marathon which is on October 26th. I chose the savannah because it is F-L-A-T. I was lucky enough to be able to get a hotel down there still. So. My Marathon Dreams are not squashed, just postponed to the following weekend. I now get to run the 10miler with a friend of mine and I still get to get my triple peach medal. And let’s be clear – I am ONLY running the Peachtree Road Race to get my snazzy medal.

And truth be told, running the savannah is probably a blessing in disguise. Running my first 26.2 on a totally flat road without any humidity may be the best plan of action. Get my confidence up and then I can come home and tackle the hills that are Atlanta.

In other news…things are going pretty well. Nutrition is…so so. Getting my perception of food and what I’m eating is going better. Not perfect and not aiming for perfect, really. Just trying to make it through.

I’ve got the group training run on Saturday morning and then barre. Pretty excited to have a fun filled weekend in the sun!