Monday, June 24, 2013

Running groups do's and don'ts

I am always full of fear the first time I do something. And sometimes I get so scared that I do this thing where I start crying which, for whatever reason, turns into laughing.   Running with a running group was no different.          I would love to say that I took every effort to make sure that I was going to be at my best for this first run.  But I didn't.  I stayed out late with a friend and only slept 4 hours before my run.  Which leads me to my do's and don'ts for your first run with a running group.

Don't stay out late the night before you go on your first run with a group of people you know are faster than you.  You need all the rest you can get.  So if a friend asks you to stay out later, just apologize and let them know that you have made a commitment to become a better you and need to get home for some rest.

Do lay out your clothes the night before.  I had to be in Galveston, about 45 minutes away, by 6:15 AM.  That meant that I had to leave at 5:15 if I wanted to give myself some wiggle time.  Having everything together meant all I had to do was brush my teeth, pull my hair back and put on my clothes.  No hunting through my drawers for matching socks or headbands. No running across the house to the laundry room to find my bottoms and then to the living room for my shoes.  Just do it.

Don't leave the address to the running group at home. Thank goodness I had wiggle room because I made it there at exactly 6:15.  I lost time when I had to Google the store and then GPS the location from downtown Galveston.

Do hydrate the night before and the morning of the run.  It was hot out there and you'll see later on why it was so important for me to hydrate well.

Don't take off on a run without knowing the route.  You see I was slower than the rest of the group and within the first few blocks I was alone on the road. I didn't know the route so I spent alot of time GPSing my location and trying to figure out how to get back to the store where we started.  I wasn't frustrated but I was annoyed with having to stop, pull my phone out of the armband, turn off my Nike+ app and go to Maps.  Eventually I made it back to the store but not on the same route as everyone else.

Don't beat yourself up if you get left behind. I have to admit there were a few times on my run that I felt  a lump in my throat and thought I was going to cry.  It wasn't because I was alone...I run by myself all the time.    I felt defeated.  I felt that my inability to stay up with the slowest group just confirmed my inability to be a part of a group.  Bottom line, I just felt less than. And true to form, what started out as a feeling of wanting to tear up and give up became a feeling of just wanting to laugh. But when I shared how I felt to my husband and daughter, my daughter said something profound, "Stop beating yourself up about how far you have to go and start celebrating how far you've come.  Remember the first time you cried because you couldn't run a minute? Well look at you now.  That is what you need to focus on. "  She is 17 and wise beyond her years.

And yes, if you caught that...I have cried before.  I am a llorona (Spanish for cry baby).  I cry for joy and I cry for sadness.  So don't feel sorry for me because I cried.  The physical expression of the emotion that I am feeling seems to get exaggerated in my body and I know it is ridiculous so I start to laugh.

So this week I am taking on the Kemah Bridge.  Fortunately, I live about a mile from the only safe bridge to train for hill work.  I believe it is 1.9 miles over and back.  Wish me luck.

Monday, June 3, 2013

It's me not you

Dear John,

Let me start by saying that I have always loved you.  You have been there since the beginning.  You are known as comforter and used as an reward.   Have a birthday to celebrate?  You'll be there.  Getting married?  You are one of the most important things at the wedding celebration.  Gathering with fellow Christians for a prayer session, committee meeting, retreat, seminar...heck anytime we gather as a congregation, you are there.  End of school year party for the elementary kids?   Teachers are sure to send a note home with little Tommy or Sally reminding us to bring you to school that day. We would die without you....literally we would die with out you.  But your importance for living has become an obsession and people are dying a slow death because of you.  What was meant for good, has somehow turned to bad.  And that is becoming more apparent now than ever in my life.  

Please don't cry.  It's me not you.  I took advantage of you.  I used you and abused you in my times of need.    I was too clingy.  I wanted you to be my everything.  If I was stressed out during the day, I ran to you to comfort me.  If I was celebrating any occasion, I wanted to do it with you.  I wanted you so much that I found reasons to celebrate.  I smothered you and put you on a pedestal.  It is for that reason that I have to distance myself from you.  We will still see eachother and be good friends but I can't let you consume me.  I want us to have a healthy relationship.  

I can't let you be my joy and my sorrow. I hope you understand. I will always care for you and need you but in a different way.  I hope you understand.



When I read this months challenge for the Fatty Must Run Marathon Challenge, my heart just sank.  I knew  I would have to have the most difficult conversation with my food.  I had to admit that my emotional attachment to food can be unhealthy.  It's not that I don't like healthy food, that's not the issue.  I love vegetables, fruits, chicken etc but I obsess over chocolate, whip cream, flour tortillas.   Remember that song from the 70's Torn Between Two Lovers?  There is a line in there, "torn between two lovers, feeling like a fool.  Loving both of you is breaking every rule"  Well that is me. I don't mind eating healthy food but I want my bad also. And it isn't a hunger thing, its a "I want ______" thing.  No amount of filling health foods is going to satisfy my desire for chocolate.

So this weekend I went to Penzeys's Spice and picked up Fox Point, an amazing blend of herbs and spices that make everything yummy.

Last night we had chicken with a baby spring salad that consisted of Baby Spring mix of lettuce, celery mandarin oranges, cranberries, strawberries, pecans and a raspberry vinaigrette. 

Next time I will probably leave out the strawberries but may put apples. For lunch, I had more chicken on organic corn tortillas, with beans and lettuce.  I really enjoyed that and can't wait to eat more of that.  

I had cherries and grapes for a snack.  They were meh.  I didn't really satisfy my desire for something sweet but they satisfied my need to chew.  I have to come up with something clean to eat that will help with my sweet tooth.  Any suggestion?

I keep telling myself it is only for 30 days but in reality, I am hoping that this 30 day challenge will give me a new perspective on food.  It's fuel...nothing more, nothing less.  I need to grasp that concept.