Oh What FUN It Is to RUN!

Delirious. That’s the only word I can think of to describe my mental state when I suggested me and a few of my fellow pace group mates, run the PGRC Fun Run 5K. It was so out of character in fact, that right after I said it, even I had to step outside of myself and ask “Who ARE you?”  By then it was too late.  My pace mates, albeit with a sideways glance, had already agreed. Oh crap!

I have no idea where these sudden bursts of inspiration come from. Some days I feel like I could run a marathon with energy to spare. Other days, I feel like if I run to the corner and back I’m going to have a coronary.  Needless to say, THAT day, I was feeling like a marathon.  So of course, on race day, I was feeling more like a coronary and in what can only be described as 99% humidity to boot.   I immediately regretted opening my big mouth.

The race begins, and the first quarter mile or so, isn’t quite so bad.  I had a decent pace going. My breathing was steady and even. I was convinced I just might make it through this thing without having to stop.  And then I noticed a stampede of “more experienced” runners passing me by.  The keyword being “more experienced” runners.  The sheer act of passing me by in my twisted, obviously oxygen deprived mind, was a declaration of war.  Suddenly, I was competing!

So I took off like a shot.  All prior plans to take it slow and just finish, went out the door.  I suddenly wanted to run with the big kids.  Somewhere I’d say around the half mile mark,  things started to go terribly wrong.  That steady and even breath I was so  proud of was gone.  I sounded like a busted steam engine and I still had a full lap and some change to go.   Uh oh!

It took everything in me not to quit.  In fact it was the consummate competitor in me that kept me in the race.  Clearly I wasn’t going to catch any of the people who blew by me.   So I set new goals and focused on what I believed to be the oldest runners out there.  A man, who I’m sure was at least twice my age, if not more. And a woman, who was quite motherly looking and ran at a pace that suggested she wasn’t in any rush.  Between the two of them surely youth alone would ensure victory, right?

So imagine my surprise when the  old guy blew right by me.   All I could think was “Show off!” I didn’t have the energy to yell it or I would have fallen dead on the spot.   But I still had the woman. There is no way, (really, this time) she’s going to beat me!   So imagine my surprise when she somehow gets ahead of me and crosses the finish line, still moving at that same steady pace barely breaking a sweat. And me,  falling across the finish line behind her looking like I’d just run through a car wash and breathing like a St. Bernard!

To my credit, I wasn’t THE last person to finish that day. But when you’re sandwiched between the oldest guy running and someone who started at least 10 minutes late, it really puts your performance in perspective!

But on a serious note, it was an excellent opportunity to gauge my progress over the last 4 months.  Looking back, there is no way in HELL I would ever have made it around that course once let alone twice.  And it’s people like the old guy and the mother with the steady pace, that let’s me know that age does not equal ability and that young grasshoppers still need to learn to crawl, before they can run.

The Last Supper

Why does starting a new eating plan always feel like a death sentence?  The moment you set a date to begin more healthful eating, you immediately begin mourning the loss of all the things you WON’T be able to eat.  So you begin planning the Last Supper.  The very last, most ridiculously fattening meal that, by most standards, should send you into instant cardiac arrest.  I will not list in detail for you, what my last weekend (Yes, weekend) of debauchery consisted of, but let’s just say it wasn’t pretty, but it sure was good.

But old habits die hard, evidenced by the absolute foolishness that appeared on Day one of  my food journal.  I was pumped.  I was ready. But I was hardly prepared.  My schedule is a little bit out of control, as of late ,and regular eating hours are hard to establish.  Although I tried to make better food choices on the run, sometimes, I fell short. REAL SHORT!  Brownie bites (even if they are only 100 calories), and coffee is never a wise choice for breakfast.  (Hey, I was at 7 ELEVEN! These were my choices!)  Eating between meals was the biggest obstacle.   For every green thing I ate at the appointed hour, I ate several not so green things in between to bridge the gap.  This gave way to giving in completely with the promise of starting fresh the next day.  It wasn’t until Thursday that things seem to finally get on track.  The real test came on Saturday, when I went to a cookout and actually made healthy choices and didn’t over indulge (except for the dang chocolate cake! Damn that lady and her homemade icing!).  This week though, I’m a little better prepared. I went grocery shopping, allowing for healthier purse sized snacks that will tide me over between meals.  This is a lot harder than I anticipated, this food journaling, but I’m trying.

As for measurements and such, after posting and re-reading it a thousand times last week , I don’t think I knew the magnitude of what I was undertaking.  Writing down, even for my own eyes to see, what I’m putting in my body every day, is taking a huge toll on my self esteem.  I can’t deny now, not with proof written by my own hand, that I am eating crap 60% of the time.  And to add even more proof of what the 60% has done to my would progress and getting in to the dress,  is too much!   My little ego is already fragile. Don’t make me post number too!  Baby steps, folks. Baby steps.

As for the running, last week was tough.  I was in a foul mood most of the week, probably because I was either hungry or hormonally unbalanced from the crap I was eating.  So I was sluggish and blah.  Getting motivated was almost impossible.  But overall, I think I’m doing better.   I actually ran most of  lake a couple Saturday’s ago and I only stopped a few times! A whole 3.7 miles!  (Note: Although I finished, it was not without INTENSE motivation (i.e. kicking and screaming) from my Pace Coach. But I did it and I hope to finish many more, WITH my Pace Group and WITHOUT the theatrics.)

So that’s week one in a nutshell. Let’s hope it gets better during week two, huh?

Watch Me Pull a Foot Out of My Mouth!

It’s been quite some time since my last post.  In my absence, I guess you can say I’ve been doing some soul searching.  And in my search, I’ve discovered I haven’t been completely honest with myself.  First off, I love food.  Part of the reason I find myself running in the first place is to balance my love of food with my waist line.  I love foods good and bad.  So when I my so called “good” eating habits came under scrutiny, after comments from my last post (see “The Heavy”) suggested maybe I wasn’t “aware” of the amount of food I was eating, I was a little bothered to say the least.  Not because it was way off base. Probably because deep down I knew it was true!

From the beginning,  I pooh poohed the notion of keeping a food journal.  Food journaling was for emotional eaters and people with no self control or will power! Certainly not me!!!   And I mean who has that kind of time?  I can barely remember to balance my checkbook let alone take the time to write down ever morsel of food that happened to find its way into my mouth.  So me keeping a food journal was simply out of the question!

Well two months and zero pounds lost later, PERHAPS ( and I say this with the very distinct taste of shoe leather in my mouth) I was a bit hasty in pooh poohing the merits of food journaling.  Apparently I AM an emotional eater (loving to eat is an emotion, right? ).  And if you don’t attempt to put into practice self control or will power, isn’t that kind of like not having any?  And do I really want to own up to the nutritionally compromised crap that makes its way into my diet on a daily basis?  Of course not. But I wouldn’t be doing my job if I didn’t put myself under a microscope publicly so you don’t have to!

So here’s what I’m thinking:

With about another two months of training left, and all of you all’s love and support (insert rapid eyelash batting here), I’m going to give this food journal thing a whirl as well as an intense focus on the nutrition portion of my training. (Yes, I know I should have been doing that in the beginning, but as you all know, a hard head makes a soft, in this case, belly!)  Beginning Monday, July 6  I will begin keeping a food journal.  At the end of each week I will blog about my findings, particularly, the obstacles, and God willing, the weight loss.  So I’m looking forward to reading all of your comments and your advice.

So here goes nothing.  Wish me luck!

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