Wednesday, October 30, 2013

looking inward

First, a brief report on The Color Run:  I had a terrible cold, but decided to race anyway!  It was Stacey's first official 5K, and he rocked it, finishing in 30 minutes.  The race course was only 2.83 miles, and I finished in 39.  I ran a lot of it, and really enjoyed myself.  The color didn't feel good in my sick lungs, though, so I stayed away from it as much as possible.  My team was called "Mopey Zoo Lion" and this was our second run together.  We all decorate our own T-Shirts with mopey lions, and here is the back of Stacey's:

Now on to today's topic, which is looking inward.

Knowing my body as well as I know it these days, I have noticed that I have gotten a little bit bigger lately.  My size 18's are a little snug, and my stomach is a bit pouchier than it was last month.  In several of the professional racing pictures of me, I noticed that my hips and thighs have gotten quite large again.

My hips don't lie!

I'm not freaking out and hopping back on the diet bandwagon.  Instead I am looking inward to figure out why I have been turning to food for reasons other than hunger so much lately.

Some of it is emotional eating.

Sadness: The "holidays" are here again, which is a sad reminder of how different life is without Mom.
Stress: This semester is stressful as I try to improve my GPA and study to retake the LSAT and prepare my law school applications.  My life is in transition right now, as I am so close to the next step in my life, which will include planning a wedding (not officially engaged, but Stacey and I have discussed getting married before law school) and planning a move, along with planning for law school (hopefully!).

So I know the triggers for my emotional eating, and I'm glad that I've come to know my body so well that I have caught this emotional eating before it got too out of hand.

So what am I going to do, now that I've noticed this unwelcome change in my body?

I'm going to stay away from the scale and the diet books.

I'm going to take care of myself as I recover from a terrible cold.

I'm going to browse the Intuitive Eating community forums.

I'm going to work on eating more vegetables and fruits to give my body the natural medicine it needs to get well.

I'm not going to weigh myself, google the best way to lose weight quickly, sign up for Weight Watchers for the 10,000th time, make a hardcore cardio exercise plan and force myself to stick to it NO MATTER WHAT, or feel badly about myself in any way.

I love myself, and that includes my body.  I even love myself and my body when I am heavier than I'd like to be.  How revolutionary!

I will get back to a more comfortable (for me) size as soon as I am supposed to.  There is no rush.  I will be an intuitive eater who does not eat her emotions one day.

Today I have learned that I have made progress towards that goal, by simply being in tune with my body more than I used to be.  As I said in an earlier post, I am no longer avoiding mirrors or posing for full body pictures.  I am no longer scared of my body, nor do I  hate it.  This is progress.  So I'm proud.

I'm not blogging about this to admit to a failure, and to hang my head in shame at having gained weight, to give a report on how I'm going to fix it.  No siree.  That is not what this blog is about anymore.  It's about getting healthy and happy.

I am blogging about this to share an interesting part of this recovery journey with you all.

10/30/2013 - feeling encouraged!
(and rocking my half marathon tee!)

Friday, October 25, 2013

4 Bridges Half Marathon recap (subtitle: I DID IT!!!!)

Okay, so as those of you who check in on my Facebook page already know, I actually completed the half marathon that I have been planning to do since January!  What a relief.  There were some moments near the race day that I seriously thought to myself "Who am I kidding?", but I persevered.

And yes, I walked some.  Okay, I walked more than I would have liked.  But I freakin' did it.

I am a half marathoner!!!  
Hear me roar!!!

This is going to be a long recap of the entire race experience, so go grab a beverage and make yourself comfortable.

First of all, the day before the race my cheerleaders and I had to travel from Memphis to Chattanooga, because I had the crazy idea that my first half should be somewhere pretty.  Chattanooga is really pretty!  So much scenery, including mountains!

I brought my cheerleaders, Stacey and his daughter LaPrecious with me.  After we checked into our hotel, we went to the race site (Coolidge Park, Chattanooga TN) to pick up my packet.

I was super excited to see my name on my bib!  What a cool surprise.  It made this race seem so much more official than the 5Ks that I've done.

After we picked up my packet, which included a really cool race shirt, we walked around the park and found where the start line would be.  We also did some general site seeing.  Chattanooga is gorgeous!

I was concerned about the weather for the race.  The forecast said that it was going to stay between 40 and 60 degrees, which to me seems pretty cold.  I had an awesome race outfit, but was debating switching from my long sleeved running shirt to the Tshirt provided in my packet.

laid out the night before!
The night before the race I could barely sleep, I was so nervous.  I had done a 13.1 miler a week prior on my own which didn't go so well.  I was desperately hoping that the excitement of race day would help me run more than I did on my own attempt.

the course

The race started at 7 a.m., so I decided to eat my breakfast at 5:30 to give myself time to digest before the run.

I chose to have a plain bagel and peanut butter for my breakfast, as recommended for me from some marathoners as being the "perfect" race day breakfast.  Something about the carbs, protein, and fat combination, along with it being pretty easy on the stomach.

This was pure fuel eating for me, as I was not hungry at all at 5:30 a.m.  It was the first time in my life that I had actually eaten just for fuel and it was interesting to say the least!  I didn't like eating when not hungry, but I understood the need to fuel before a race.

I chose to go with the long-sleeve running shirt instead of the T-shirt, because it was FREEZING.  Here I am before the race, trying to get jazzed.

I tried to find a pacer that would work for me.  I was aiming to finish the half in three hours.  I couldn't find anyone before the race started, so I just stood in the middle of the crowd.

When the race started, I set my Garmin as I crossed the start line.  I was going to wait  a little while until I started my audio book, because I wanted to just enjoy the crowd for a bit.  And it was exciting!  All of the running energy surrounding me made me feel like a strong warrior!

A little after the 1 mile marker, I looked at my Garmin, and was upset to find that it had stopped working.  I tried to reset it, and it still didn't work.  It had charged all night long, so it was definitely malfunctioning.  I was sad about it, but I kept on, hoping that the mile markers would actually be shown every mile (they mostly were).

There were aid stations about every mile, which was nice.  Some had only water, some had powerade and powergels, and every one starting at mile 8 also had snack options.

Around  mile 3, I found a pacer for a 6 hour full marathon.  (The half marathon and the full marathon were running at the same time).  I did some quick math and figured that if I stuck by this guy I would maybe hit my 3 hour goal.  I told the guy my goal, and he pointed to the guy next to him and said that he was going to do the half in 3.  I decided to stick with that guy for the rest of the race.

I stuck with him until mile 7 or so, and then I lost him at a hill.  It was a very hilly course!

4 Bridges Half Marathon Elevation Profile!!!  Yikes.
At that point, I was feeling pretty worn out, but excited that the race was more than halfway done.  I looked at my watch and saw that I was halfway done and it was 8:40, so I was almost on schedule for a three hour half.

I happily accepted some apple slices at the mile 8 aid station, along with a bit of water.  I walked that mile 8 the entire way, and totally lost sight of my pacer guy.  At mile 9, I was rejuvenated with Powerade and ran all the way to 10, then ran/walked the rest of the race.

There was a giant germ-infested bowl of Reese's pieces at the next aid station, and I grossly grabbed a few.  The sugar rush really helped me get through the final 5K!

At mile 11, my lower back suddenly ached terribly, and I had to stop and stretch a bit.  It was a sharp pain, but I stretched and then kept on going, and it went away.

At mile 12 I felt like I was about the die, but was so thrilled that it was almost over.  I saw that it was ten minutes past 3 hours at that point, and I was a little let down to have not met my goal, but still excited to be almost done.

The final mile I switched from my audio book ("Not  Young, Still Restless" by Jeanne Cooper - AMAZING memoir!) to my Jock Jams Pandora station.  I wanted to be PUMPED at the finish line!

Finally, the finish line was so close!  The race had the one feature that I always love to see at races: The last stretch was past a corner!  This made it possible for all racers to run the last stretch and to look like maybe they had been running the entire time.  I love it.  :-)

The final tenth mile stretch was exhilarating.  The crowd was great!

And when I crossed the line, I saw that my time was 3:23.  (Later, the official results actually said that my finish time was 3:18).

Someone placed a medal around my neck, someone else handed me an official water bottle filled with ice cold water, and someone else handed me a bag of snacks.

I took out my headphones and searched for my team.

Finally, they found me.

I was so proud of myself.  I was a half marathoner!  I had accomplished this, for real.  I felt the spirit of Mom with me the entire time.

I only realized after I had accomplished this that this was the very first thing that I had done completely without Mom.  Mom had never known me as a runner, though she knew that I dreamed of being one. This was all accomplished in a world without Mom in it.  It was the first goal that I had made, seen through, and accomplished without Mom.  It was a very healing experience.  Mom would be so proud of me.

I placed first in the division of
women born on October 7, 1984
with blonde hair and green eyes!
Anyway, after the race my legs felt like noodles.   Stacey and Precious took me to Chillis for a post-race chow down.

Sitting never felt as good as it did after the half marathon.

Injuries:  blister on my right heel, blister on my left pinkie toe, and sores all around the bottom of my sports bra.  Also, my left heel hurt so badly whenever I put pressure on it that I suspect that I may have plantar fasciitis. No knee pain thanks to the braces, and no chafing thanks to this guy:

cheaper version of Body Glide
($5 at Wal Mart)
I'm thrilled that this race is behind me.  I am planning to do more training soon, but I had to take some time off because I came back from Chattanooga with a very bad cold with flu-like symptoms.

There is a 5K tomorrow that both Stacey and I are doing, even though neither of us are 100%.  Still looking forward to it, though.  The Color Run should be a blast, and hopefully really easy compared to a half marathon.  ;-)

I'll share more about my upcoming training plans on a future blog post.  I hope that you enjoyed reading all about  my first half marathon!!!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Some possibly helpful epiphanies...

The last few weeks I have had several little epiphanies about my EDNOS/Diet Addiction Recovery Plan.

I thought that I would share some of those first, and then end this post with a vent about how scared and excited I am for this weekend's half marathon.

Okay, so here are some of the epiphanies, in no special order:

1) In my dieting days, I always thought "Exercise more to eat more!" and I'm realizing exactly how backwards I had it.  That approach motivated me to exercise using food as a reward.  For me, that did not help me gain a healthy relationship with either food or exercise.

the ole' "twinkie on a plunger" trick...

 I realized recently that I've stopped thinking that way since stopping tracking those things.

Now I exercise because I want to, not to earn food rewards.  Also, when training for a race, sometimes the opposite of that rule is true, and I need to "Eat more to exercise more!"  That isn't the new rule, because if I made that a rule then this would be too diet-y, but it definitely has been a pattern, and helpful.  For example, if I try to run 10 miles at 2 in the afternoon when my relatively small breakfast was at 9 in the morning, for example, I'm going to crash and burn around mile 3.

It improves my exercise greatly when I eat more.  Of course, it improves even more when I eat more healthy foods, but my performance is improved with ANY food, even if that food is a leftover slice of pizza and a poptart.  The point here is that I'm finally understanding that age old adage about how food is fuel.

Any fuel will work, of course premium is best, but energy is energy.

2) I was hanging out with my 11 year old cousin, and he lied about having already ate dinner so that he could continue playing video games with his friends.

I'm not condoning the lie, but just to imagine a life where food was so unimportant that I would rather play with my friends than eat dinner was liberating.  I used to see eating that way, too.  Sure I had favorite foods, and enjoyed eating sometimes, but eating was not my top priority when I was a kid.  It didn't even make the top ten list.

Sometimes I need to remember to listen to my inner child.  This is especially true for me when it comes to recovery, because that was the only time in my life when I didn't have a messed up relationship with food.  My inner child can remind me that there are so many things in my life that are more important than food.

(Of course, obviously food and eating are very important things, but I'm sick of focusing on them so much!)

Hmmm...  okay, I guess that is only two.  I know that there is a third, but I can't remember it for the life of me.  So, I will go on to the second part of this post.

I'm so freaking excited and terrified about the half marathon that is happening in three days!!!!!!!

I became a runner in January.  I had noble intentions to be able to run most of this half marathon.  At this point, however...  I'm running a mile at a time.  I take a walk break every mile.  I'm cool with this for my first half.

My new running mantra:  Finishing is winning.

I'm super excited for the beginning of the race.  I imagine that the crowd will be exciting, and Chattanooga looks really pretty in pictures.  My first time there, and I chose to go running on  their bridges.  :-)

Please send me strength on Sunday morning!  I can't believe that the half is finally here.

the medal that I'm going to get!!!
So I'm excited but scared.  I know that I can do this, but I also know that it won't be easy.  I'm mostly looking forward to it being over!  That finish line is going to look GOOD.

I have a new audio book that I plan to listen to during the race.  I love listening to music while I run, but lately I've found that when I'm going a long distance, I'd rather listen to podcasts or audio books.

I need new shoes, but I have been warned to not get anything new right before a race, so I will keep these guys around for a bit longer.  It's amazing how quickly shoes lose their support when you run a lot...

Anyway, my next post will be after the race, so I will be a new woman.  Seriously, I do expect to be a new person after this race is over.  What an accomplishment!  I am proud of myself for signing up.  I can't imagine how proud I will be when I finish.

Monday, October 7, 2013

Camp for Good Grief 5K

First of all, TODAY IS MY BIRTHDAY!!!  YAY for being born 29 years ago!  Now to the actual point of this entry:

Yesterday I ran another 5K!  It was a very special race, too.  The folks at Camp Good Grief are the same folks who run the Center for Good Grief, which is where I go for grief counseling.  It's a wonderful organization, and I fully intend to be a donor to them some day.  The work that they do is important.

Anyway, this was a great run for me!  The course itself was very hilly, so I took quite a few walk breaks, but I still managed to beat my last official 5K time according to my Garmin.  Yes, that's right, I have a Garmin now, thanks to my wonderful boyfriend and my birthday.  :-)


I'm hopeful that this new gadget will inspire me to run outdoors more the next couple of weeks...

The run was special for many reasons.  Everyone running had lost someone special to them.  I was literally surrounded by people who understand what I'm going through.  It was magical.  It was wonderful to see  how not alone I am, and also it was such strong symbolism for what all of us who lose someone have to do every day:  Keep going.

Each bib had a spot for you to write the name of who you are running in memory of.


Like I said, a very special race.

Plus, Stacey took this extremely flattering shot of me, pre-race.


And, Stacey even decided to (illegally!) run the 5K himself.  Here he is, about to cross the finish line, sans bib.

I'm so proud of him!  It was his first 5K.  His first official one will be in a couple of weeks at The Color Run!!!  Now he knows that he can do it.  :-)

I placed #245

So the good news is that I ran a 5K, and I actually did run the majority of it.  The bad news is that I cannot imagine doing a 20.5K (a.k.a "half marathon") in just a couple of weeks...

I think that I will have to do a couple of short runs this week, one half marathon attempt next weekend, a couple of short runs next week, and....  Then again, I don't want to overtrain.

Anyway, Stacey is about to take me out to brunch for my birthday, so I have to go!