Master Debater

Sometimes you just need to make a decision.   I remember when we were kids, we would torment my Mom.  Ok, maybe there was no “we”.  I would torment my Mom.    “If all four of us kids were hanging off a cliff and you could only save one, who would it be?”  She’d reply with her typical response that she loves us all the same.  When I would push further, she would say she would have Mom strength and grab us all at the same time.  (We all knew that my brother would walk away dusting himself off, as we plummeted to our deaths…. Just kidding, Mom! #GoldenChild). 

Thankfully, I have one kid, so there’s no issues saying he is my favorite, but I do struggle sometimes with making decisions.  Not only do I suffer from analysis paralysis, but the fact that always envision every possible worst case scenario doesn’t help much.  I realized that was contributing to my self abuse.  I was trying to achieve too many things at once and over analyzing each one.  Having lots of goals is great, but can you really work on all of them with 100% effort at the same time?  I can’t.  I knew I needed to do something or nothing would change.  I started by re-reading the post I did about how I was beating myself up.   It happened most concerning two things, my weight and the fact that I had lost my workout mojo.  I was eating garbage, and absolutely berated myself for it.  I stopped doing triathlon, which I considered a failure.  I was barely running, and hated getting up to workout every morning.  I didn’t even recognize the person I was beating up anymore.  I knew I had to make a decision and focus all my energy on it, but I had no idea which to choose.  I felt like they went hand in hand.  What’s a gal to do?!  Um, make a list and analyze it, duh!

I gave myself a time box to ensure that I wouldn’t over analyze and debate with myself over and over again, delaying a decision.  I made two columns: Change my eating habits and change my workout habits.  This had to come down to something I don’t always deal with well, feelings.  I started writing anything I felt, good or bad.  If I focused on cleaning up my diet, I know I would get back to my old weight = Happy?  If I focused on working out every day and get back to feeling athletic, fast and strong = Happy.  Notice the difference?  It’s subtle, I know.   I wasn’t sure that I would be happy if I got to my goal weight and wasn’t working out, but if I was working out consistently like I used to (even if a little heavier than I would like), I knew I would be happy.

I started down the self sabotage route again, telling myself I would be most happy if I had both and should work on both, but I haven’t been successful at that, not for a long time.  There is an old saying along the lines of “jack of all trades, master of none.”  I snapped myself out of it and reminded myself that it was making a choice.  Doing both is too much for my body, and definitely too much for my mind right now.  Debate over, decision made.  For those of you that might be thinking “well, if she works out more, I am sure the weight will come off anyway…” Thank you, and I wish, but it doesn’t work that way.  You can’t outrun a bad diet. I resolved that my running tights would stay, well tight, for a while. 

I told myself my only goal was to complete my workouts as long as there was no illness or injury.  I no longer had food related goals.  Now, that did not mean I had a had a free ticket to overeat and chow down on garbage at every meal.  It was simply a promise to myself that I would not beat myself up for what I ate when it happened.

It’s been about three weeks since that decision, and I have worked out every single day.  The first morning was exciting!  The second and third day, and into the first week took a little more convincing to get moving, but as of this last week, I am finally just getting up and getting it done.  I can’t tell you how happy I am!  My chubby little cheeks are full of excitement again!  (Just a little dig for old time sakes, I’m still a work in progress!????)


Halloween Horror Half

As I mentioned in my last post, I had signed up for a half marathon.  A couple months ago, I told my coach I felt like I needed something on the calendar.  I was looking for a nice 10k but there aren’t many of those and since I had fallen out of love with triathlon, it was either a 5k or half marathon.  To this point, the only half marathons I had done were Disney events.  I loved getting into character and the atmosphere was so relaxed.  It was all about having a great time, so I thought I’d do the same with the Halloween half.  Things were not the same.

I did everything wrong, and I am not being hard of myself.  I literally broke just about every cardinal rule in the book.  First off, I really did not train properly.  I missed some workouts and when I did get them done, some were admittedly “phoned in”.  I just didn’t try. 

What else did I do wrong?  Well, I bought a brand new pair of running shoes a few days before the race and had only run in them once.  Yes, I needed new shoes, but I should have broken them in before the event.  Know what else was new?  My entire outfit.  Two rules broken in my attire alone!  If you don’t run, you may be asking yourself what’s the harm in some new digs?  Well, new clothes can chafe, especially new unwashed clothes.  Yeah, I wore them right out of the Amazon package because they literally came in the day before the race.  Why you ask?  I originally told myself I was going to take the race seriously and not dress up, but I decided a few days beforehand that since I didn’t take the training seriously and there was no real time requirement, I would treat it like a Disney race and go full character mode.  Since I planned to wear my hydration pack, I thought it would be cute to go as Luke carrying Yoda on his back in Dagobah…. Seagulls, stop it now!  (Google it if you don’t know it, and you are welcome for the enrichment it will bring your life and our friendship.) . There I was, looking all monochrome quite literally from head to ankle.  The outfit is all tan. I am tan.  Didn’t really think that through, but oh well!

Those weren’t the only rules I broke.  I also broke one of the most important rules (besides train for the thing).  I didn’t eat.  Now, hear me out on this….  Since I run in the early morning hours, I pretty much never eat first.  That’s fine on a run up to an hour or so, but a half marathon, not so much.  I just wasn’t thinking.  The race started at 6:30 and was way down in Miami.  We had to leave not long after 4 and I didn’t plan ahead.  I know, it’s me!  How could I not plan ahead?!  I don’t know either, but about 5 minutes before the start my stomach was rumbling and I was already living in regret.

The race started and I got going.  I was in good spirits, until I started to think about how it would take me nearly 3 hours and the longest I’d run in months was like an hour and a half.  I felt drained and I hadn’t even completed mile 1.  I had plenty of water on me, and planned to drink whatever sports drink the race offered.  I also had with me a sports type drink that was going to be my magic fuel about halfway through.  As I passed the first mile and grabbed a cup, I saw Darin and D2 cheering me on!  I was so excited and my energy went up immediately.  I thought they had gone to eat as soon as the race started.  It meant so much to see them.  I chugged the sports drink and kept plugging on.  It didn’t taste great.  I am not sure if it was kiwi or something but it was a slightly familiar fake fruit taste.  Not long after, the burps started, and I knew that was the last of the sports drink I’d be having at this event.  I wasn’t sure I would keep from yarping it back up, but eventually things settled down.

The run was along the beach, which was nice since the sun was starting to rise. There was a bathroom with plumbing every half mile or so.  Plumbing is rare, so it was nice to think I didn’t have to use a port o let if I had to go.  I’m always terrified I will need to pee and not have a bathroom.  It felt good knowing there were so many, so I figured I’d go a little later when I felt the first urge at mile 4.  Little did I know the string of bathrooms would suddenly end and not be available to me again for another 4 miles.

Around mile 5, I decided I need my go go juice early, so I started sipping.  My hope was to get halfway, but I needed it.  At mile 8 I took a gel.  I hadn’t had a gel in probably a year.  I choked it down and knew that at least I had a few calories in me.  I knew it was too little, too late.  I was starting to bonk.

Another challenge, albeit not self inflicted, was the terrain.  A few miles of the race were on the boardwalk.  I’d never tried to run on the boardwalk.  It was very awkward.  Since we were running the length of the planks, I tried to keep my feet directly on the wood.  A couple times, it wobbled in the gap between the boards which sucked.  Not only that but there were hoards of people that were not in the race just strolling along. We had to dodge them and their dogs, and bikes and strollers. At mile 9, I hit a slick spot on a plank and almost busted my butt!  One leg went one way, the knee went the other.  I almost went down but somehow wriggled my way to staying upright.  I immediately began to walk the rest of the boardwalk.  I felt off from that point on.

At mile 11, the course was changed from years prior due to a different event going on and we had to run in the sand.  In. The. Sand.  That, I was not expecting.  It was fairly packed sand, but still sand, and it was undulating mounds.  It was about a half mile, so not horrible but not ideal.  Just before the finish line we had to go up hill and then I could finally see my boys again.  I got high fives just before the finish line, and then got one of the coolest medals (aside from my Star Wars collection).

I felt horrible and awesome all at the same time.  I was sore, and absolutely starving but really happy that I made it.  One of the things I was most happy about was that I reached my goal.  Not finishing the race, but my goal was to avoid negative talk.  I wasn’t 100% successful, but I was successful overall.  When I started to beat myself up about not eating, I tried to change it into listing what I learned from the mistake, rather than how many bad names I could call myself and how many curse words I could use to describe the situation.  When I started to feel those pains that come with not training hard enough, I did my best not to replay every missed or phoned in workout in my mind.  I tried to say things like, image how good I could feel if I trained more or trained better next time.  I think if I hadn’t focused on being more kind to myself and showing myself some grace, I would have quit before the half way mark.

I wish I could say that I learned a lot from this race.  I didn’t learn anything I didn’t already know.  What I did get was valuable reminders.  I got reminded of how important training and fueling my body for these events is.  I got reminded that I have an amazing support system willing to sit in the sun for hours and cheer me on because they love me.  I got reminded of times not long ago when I didn’t beat myself down, but rather do what I could to pick myself up and keep moving.  I also got reminded that new clothes chafe and you don’t know you chafed until you get in the shower and scream out loud like a little girl.

Do you know what else I was also reminded of?  How much hard stuff makes me want more of it.  My next half is in three weeks.