Monday, October 26, 2009

Post Pumpkin

Howdy do.

Yes, we're here to run.  Getting nervous, really sorta wishing I'd been gently tapped by a slow moving automobile so I wouldn't have to run this thing.

In fact, no, I can't stop fiddling with my Pearl, trying to find the exact right song to start this run.  (By the way, it was Lenny Kravitz "Are You Gonna Go My Way" that worked the charm).

Aw hell, what the frak am I doing here again?  I feel like my eye is going to twitch itself out of my head....

And BOOM, like a...slow moving bison, a lemming, a three-legged deer...I am off!  That is supposed to be me kissing my boys good-bye for a bit.  It looks like I'm giving an Italian hand signal.

I'm making it to the finish, just a few more feet.  This little whippersnapper tried to sprint around me at the end, and I was of two minds whether to be a nice adult and let him pass since he was a young 'un, or whether to run as fast as I knew I could at that moment and smoke that kid.  Which way did I choose?

Oh yeah, I took the high road, that led right by the smoking section.  I earned my run, and I decided it wasn't so much about the little squirt after all.  Yes, that's what I'm telling myself, and no, my maturity level hasn't increased much lately.

The post-race endorphins are unbelievable.  So are the shin splints.

But I did it.  I said I would, I signed up, paid for it, and even with all the craziness of the past week, the rain the day of, the acid stomach and nervous nausea, I came, I saw, I blanched, I regrouped, I surrendered, and I RAN all but twenty seconds of this sucker. 

And I'm going to do it again.  In December--Reindeer Run.  These runs might be addictive....

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Bending so I don't break.

I don't know what "day" it is.  I've lost track.  I am still trying to eat healthfully, but it has been a very eventful week.

My good good friend is very very sick.  She nearly died.  I was stunned to find out how unwell she was, and Monday evening passed into Tuesday at the hospital, praying, talking, waiting, Wednesday at her bedside, holding her hand and talking to her sleeping body.  It is Thursday and I have been to see her again, reading to her while she is healing in her sleep, spending time with her family, and making sure I spend time with my own family and my little man, who missed me when I was gone, and didn't like all the talking on the phone I was doing, giving out information, posting updates, and being distracted.  Her progress is very slow, but it is heading in the right direction, and I am very grateful for that.  The world would be a lot grayer without her in it.

I am emotionally drained, physically exhausted, and honestly, exercising is pretty low on my list of important stuff to do.  Yesterday I realized at 10:30 at night that it had been more than twelve hours since I had last eaten, so I am taking the time to pack snacks for myself, to remember to eat, and to forgive myself for the junk food I grab when I am too hungry to think clearly.

Am I done with BFL?  Not on your life.  In fact, it is very important to me to continue to do this program once life calms down a little (just a little, please God, please?), and to start another 12-weeks up again after this one is over.  The Pumpkin Run is this Saturday, and while a rather vocal minority in my head thinks that this couldn't happen at a worse time, I will be there, barring disaster (please God).  I will be running for me, for my fitness, to show that I can, to show it can be done, to be proud of myself.  But I will also be running for another woman who is dear to me.

I will be running for Gretchen.  I will be running to be strong for her, because she was happy to see me getting well and healthy, because she was stunned (in a good way) to hear I'd signed up and paid money to run in a race (still sounds weird to me).  I will be running because she wouldn't want me to avoid life just because it can be inconvenient sometimes.  I will be running so I can go to her with a clear conscience the next day and tell her I did something I've never done before.  I will be running to be strong for her, because she has always been so strong for me.

I love you, Gretchen.  Come back soon, and be well.

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Day Sixty, and some thoughts.

Whew.  What a day.  And I don't just mean that for myself....

First off, I am so ridiculously grateful that the small boy in Colorado turned out to be hiding in his parents' attic the whole friggin' time that the nation and the world thought he was drifting aimlessly for 50 miles and two hours in a flimsy mylar aircrafty balloon thing.  If anyone has ever had a child, a puppy, or had to watch someone else's purse for a few minutes, I think we can all appreciate the suspense and relief over that one. 

Andrew spooked the crap out of me once.  Not nearly on that level, and please (dear God!) do not give him any ideas.  We live in an apartment building, on the second floor, and he is very good about staying on the porch-like balcony area when I have to dart in for something.  One time I was desperate to use the restroom and he refused to come in, so I ran in and was as speedy as humanly possible.  When I came out:  no Andrew.  Anywhere.  I called for him, screamed for him, and began running all over the place.  We live near the intersection of two busy streets, and I just started sprinting for the intersection, in the chance that he was near there.  I just had to make sure he wasn't going that way before I started looking in other directions.  My brain was flying, thinking he'd been snatched, he'd fallen and was unconscious somewhere, and how I was going to get help, since there was no one else around.  All of this took mere seconds that stretched into eons in my mind and my heart.  I. could. not. find. my. son. 

I ran back to our apartment building, and turning a corner, saw past a hedge that Andrew was sitting in the grassy area just outside our apartment building.  He'd been hidden by the shrubs and apparently we hadn't taught him that neat little trick of replying loudly when he was called for.  I still remember that huge feeling of relief and gratitude and the heart pounding fear and panic from just moments before.  And I just grabbed him and held him and tried to explain in a shaky voice just why I was so scared and why he had to stay put.  The fault was absolutely all mine for leaving him alone for a minute, and I've learned that lesson, but I understand, to a small extent, the fear and terror that his parents and so many other people must have felt today, watching that flimsy silver balloon drift across the sky.  I am so unbelieveably grateful that the little stinker was hiding in the attic after all.  That kid should get an ice cream sundae for dinner, in my humble opinion...oops, maybe not...I am trying to promote healthy eating and lifestyle choices here, aren't I?  Well, maybe an ice cream cone--it's been a rough day for us all!

Other things today have been less spectacular and suspenseful, but interesting nonetheless.  I feel like I may have had a smidgeon of personal growth in the past day or so regarding my personal powerlessness over people, places, and things.  This really extends to Andrew and (worst of all) to Steve.  I say worst of all because he's a grown man, a rational human, and while he's been able to feed, clothe, and keep himself alive for...a while...before we ever met, I have a terrible tendency to try to "help" the poor man to death.  And he's a pretty, um, headstrong person, and so every suggestion I make becomes the very last thing on earth he would ever want to try, and on and on.  Terrible amounts of energy are expended over this, and some hair pulling and teeth gritting on my part, and I still butt my head against this problem, over and over again.  And isn't that just the definition of insanity, folks?  You know what I'm talkin' about.

Last night, I got to be a part of a lovely discussion about letting go of personal issues and surrendering things that I have no control of.  People around me were sharing their experiences with issues similar to mine, and it was so helpful to hear about how they did it, and how they used to feel the way I feel, and now it's not like that anymore.  So last night, when I got home and found my two boys still awake, rather late, and things not done the way I would have done them, I started trying to practice that idea.  Every time I took a breath to start talking, I clamped my mouth shut.  When Steve decided to stay up and do school stuff when he's been running on the fumes for days and days and I thought he ought to be in bed, I just stopped myself, mid-word nearly, and walked into the other room.  And I made up my own prayer to God at that moment.  Want to hear it?

"God, you take him 'cause I can't do shit with him."

Isn't that classy?  That's the kind of relationship I have with the Man Upstairs, as my Grandma used to call him.  All that thee, thine, and thou stuff is really pretty and very polite, but God kind of knows the inside of my head better than I do, so maybe I'm not such a frilly talker anyway and shouldn't pretend!

Back to BFL and all it's lovely stuff:  Things are going well.  I feel like I have been pushing it very hard this week.  I have been running beyond the twenty minute workouts that are suggested for the program, and I am stunned at the amount of running I have been able to do without feeling like I'm going to expire.  In fact, I feel pretty dang good afterwards--perhaps I am becoming addicted to the "runner's high"?  On Monday, I ran on the treadmill at the YMCA, and I did my normal twenty minute Aerobics Solution.  During that workout, I ran 1.6 miles.  I then got off and went to the indoor track and ran an additional mile, so that I could get a gauge on how hard the Pumpkin Run would be for me.  It wasn't too bad at all.  I did some walking here and there, but it was totally doable.  Tuesday I worked out with weights, and Wednesday got away from me without any working out at all (bummer).  Tonight I went back to the YMCA and ran again for twenty minutes on the treadmill (1.6 miles again) and back to the indoor track to run the additional mile.  This time I had to do way less walking!  It's amazing to me, me who is not fast and can't run far, but I am doing it, step by step.  I only walked for about a minute at a time, twice.  And that's it.  The rest of the time I ran, and (not to brag or anything...well maybe a little) the last two laps around the indoor track I picked up speed and sprinted the very last lap.  It was such a nice rush to finish and smile to myself.  If I wouldn't have looked like a weirdo I'd have patted myself on the back.  This progress is so uplifting to me.  I have worked hard, and I have tried hard, and I appreciate so much what my body has been able to do in the past nine weeks.  I can't wait to see what will go down for the last three of this Body-for-LIFE cycle.  I'll see you tomorrow!

PS:  Not that you were really missing me that much, but the reason I couldn't post the past few days was because Steve was in a school/test/lab blitz and had to go into hiding on campus with the laptop.  I am so glad to have internet (and Steve) back!  :)

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Day Fifty-Seven

Here it is, the start of Week Nine.  Wow.  I don't think I made it this far the first time I "tried" BFL.  Now, however, I am already planning the next twelve weeks after this one.  Oh yeah, baby, this is just the beginning.

I switched it up today and took Andrew to the YMCA this morning (thank you Child Watch!) and ran instead of the traditional weight lifting routine on a Monday.  So I ran my 20 minutes on the treadmill (didn't knock off the emergency magnet this time, either!), and then I went to the indoor track to run a little more.  I clocked 1.6 miles on the treadmill, and I wanted to see if I could go the 2.5 miles that the Pumpkin Run is supposed to be.  So I ran an additional mile.  And it wasn't even that bad!  That's the surprising part.  I ran 18 laps around this track and kept a pretty steady pace the whole time.  I did walk one lap and I also sprinted one lap, just for kicks.  I feel a bit more confident about this run, now that I know I can actually, physically go the distance.  Now I need to start factoring in hills and such, since I am pretty much a zero incline runner.  Let's see, can Erin possibly overcomplicate a little run like this?  Ooooh yes.

Other than that, it's been a pretty good day.  Had some trouble with the people kibble (doggone Amish Friendship bread.), but since the item has been completely eradicated (read: eaten), it can't cause any more trouble.  That's my old thinking popping up.  See, if I just go ahead and eat the whole thing, whatever the particular bad food is, then it can't hurt me anymore, right?  Makes perfect sense, doesn't it?  Sort of like smoking the whole pack because you were just craving one cigarette, and since you cracked it open, rather than throwing it away, you might as well get your money's worth.

Eleven days to the run.

Twenty-seven days until the end of my first BFL cycle, the "after" pictures and final weigh and measure.

Seventy-three days until Christmas. (Are my knitting friends gritting their teeth yet?)

Approximately fifteen and half more years until Andrew is in college.

Got some stuff to do.  Going to bed so I can be well-rested to do it.  See you tomorrow!

Saturday, October 10, 2009

Day Fifty-Five, Part Deux, AKA Hot Diggety Damn!

I just missed you guys sooooo much I had to weigh myself and measure myself so I'd have something to tell you...and boy oh boy, do I have somethin' to tell ya!

Eight Weeks BFL:

Weight:     175 (down 3 lbs from Week 6-->FIFTEEN LBS TOTAL!)
Bust:         41.25" (down .5"-->down 1.75" total)
Arm:         12.75" (no change-->down .75" total)
Waist:       36.75" (down 1.75"!!-->down 6.25" total!!)
Abdomen: 41.25" (down 1.00"-->down 3.25" total)
Butt:          42" (down .25"-->down 1.00" total)
Thigh:        24.5" (no change-->down 3.50" total)
Calf:          15" (down .25"-->down .50" total)
B(ullshit)MI: 29.1 (down .5-->down 2.5 points total)

So...comparison wise, I just lost about:

60 sticks of butter!
A nice size Thanksgiving turkey
3 sacks of potatoes
a watermelon
60 sticks of butter
15 one-pounder bags of M&Ms
my post-pregnancy weight (finally!)
15 packages of butter...which add up to (you guessed it)
....and a partridge in a pear tree!
And I got into a pair of size 10 jeans today...and that means I got in, zipped 'em and buttoned 'em and everythang!

As my sister-in-law once said when I complimented her physique in a photo...RIPPITY DOO DA!

Ahem...thank you, that concludes today's presentation.  w00t!

Day Fifty-Five

This is becoming the roaming laptop, since Steve is so busy with school.  Rather than being accepting of this, I have come to feel like maybe we just need another laptop so I can futz around with the internet, rather than having to wait for Steve to take study breaks or whatever so I can check out my favorite blogs and see the news and what-have-you.  Or maybe I should just get an iPhone or something...yeah, 'cause I really need one (um, no, not really).

This week has been going well (knock on wood).  I did miss working out on Thursday because it got so late that I was too tired to work out.  I ended up doing my missed Aerobic workout last night (on a Friday! Shakin' it up!), and I will do my weights workout tonite.  That also means that I will go running for fun on a Sunday (SAY WHAT?!).  I haven't been running in over a week, maybe closer to two weeks now.  I have had my aerobic/cardio workouts, but it has been more in-home Dance Dance Revolution style.  While that is fun, it's not the same as running, and I am only doing DDR because I can't figure out how to be ok with leaving my sleeping child alone in the house so I can go to the apartment complex's gym to run.  Just can't seem to frame that in my mind as an ok I'm making do with what I have.

There is supposed to be a trail near where we live, and it is rumored (by my boss Darcy at work, who would know) that this trail is the trail for the Pumpkin Run.  So I am going to run it on Sunday and see what happens.  I will take water, my little Pearl, some rescue flares, a machete, and a first aid kit.  I wish I could take those things, though, because I am a bit of a mess on a trail run.  Let me "splain":

When Steve and I first started hanging out (read:  I was obsessed and horribly crushing on Steve and sort of latched onto whatever group outing he was a part of), he and another friend decided to run a trail.  I had been running before (like two or three times on a track), and I was assured that I would do great for the four miles of fun they were going to do, and I'd have a blast, and it's awesome, and all that.  So I felt fairly sure that I would be able to hold my own.  I wasn't going to be a speedy runner, and Steve and the other runner (a friend of both of ours) said it would be fine, don't worry, just come, whatever.

We get there for the run and start running.  I have only ever run on a track or on the pavement.  Here there be roots and dirt and rocks and puddles and stuff.  It is exhilirating, but only because I'm trying to not fall on my face and I'm trying to look like I know what I'm doing and not look like a panting rhino because, if you recall, I am running with the guy I have a huge crush on.  So all goes well for maybe a quarter of a mile, until a rock jumps out in front of my right foot and I go sprawling, slip-n-slide style across the ground.  My left ankle is in agony, and I can tell something bad happened because that foot is numb, but I can feel warmth spreading under the skin of that foot's ankle.  Something tore and I am in big trouble, and not only because I hurt myself and my right knee is bleeding and I'm dirty and smudged, but oh my gosh I fell down like a sack of potatoes in front of STEVE!

This is where I get teasing rights for the rest of Steve's life.  Mr. I-Know-Everything-About-Running says to me, barely panting, that this is probably just a little thing, and I should get back up and continue running, that the movement will force out the fluids in my ankle (which is starting to swell) and I'll be as good as new by the end of the run (a big fat frackin' lie).  Uncertain that he is right, and also wanting to look like I have confidence in him, I agreed to try it, once my foot stopped being numb.  Gingerly I got back up and starting running the trail.  This was, as you can guess by now, A BAD IDEA.

My ankle tried to comply...maybe it thought the reason we were still running was because I was being chased by a dude with a hockey mask and a chainsaw.  But then my ankle decided enough was enough.  And my pride was too invested to stop and say that I needed some help, and I was lost in the woods on this godforsaken hilly, crap trail.  I think this sucker was more like six miles.  Six miles of running on what turned out to be a severely sprained ankle.  Well, limping for six miles...running was out by then.  I got back to the parking lot and fortunately took my shoe off before I sat in the car to drive.  When I got home, my sister had to help me climb the stairs, since my ankle was black and blue and the size of a grapefruit.  I was pretty dang sure I was done with trail running (and quite possibly Steve) forever.

Until now...

So wish me luck on Sunday, pray for steady ankles, sure feet, well-tended trails, and no rocks.  Please?  Thank you.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Day Fifty-Two

You know, laptops are super awesome, in my opinion.  You can just flip 'em open, use 'em, flip 'em shut.  You can pull them into the bed with you and look at cool thingies on "teh interwebs", as my lol-speaking friends like to say.  You can also unplug them and take them all over the place, which is cool, too.  Except when the person taking the laptop all over the place is not you.  Then you (read: me) is sad and unhappy that some silly student person has taken the computer and left you with the plugs, which don't do zip except make you feel like you got robbed.  But I am getting over that, and also am becoming aware that I may have a little addiction to Facebook.  The itchiness in my fingers only subsides when I am cruising FB, posting, visiting other people's "walls"'s getting a little embarassing.

Anyway, back to business.  I did eat well yesterday, and I did work out, although I didn't get to run.  Since I was all alone, with just my toddler and no (sniff) laptop, and I didn't want to leave my apartment to go run at the gym and leave my sleeping two-year old unattended in the house (Division of Social Services probably wouldn't like that idea too much...or my mother, come to think of it), I ended up celebrating my inner dork and doing a hard-core twenty minutes of...DANCE DANCE REVOLUTION! 

I think I just lost a couple of followers for my blog, just now. 

It does make it interesting though, since I look like a drunk rhino/rabid water buffalo falling in slow motion.  And even better is the humbling part, where I get so tired and ragged and my feet tangle up so I get my left confused with my right.  That and my downstairs neighbor must l-o-v-e me. 

I also just finished my Upper Body Workout, about thirty minutes ago.  Apparently I am embracing that whole night owl thing.  Also, when Andrew falls asleep for nap, all I want to do is nap, too.  So I'm rolling with that. 

A friend paid me a compliment today and asked if I was losing weight.  She asked me what I was doing to lose the weight, and I told her a little about Body-for-LIFE.  I also told her about the Pumpkin Run, and she was so sweet to tell me that she wanted to be there to cheer for me.  I'm part charmed and chagrined about the idea of running towards some kind of finish line with friends being supportive.  Except that my vanity will be wondering how much of me is flowing all over the place (thighs, arms, etc) and whether I look like a runner or someone having an epileptic attack.  I guess that's a problem for another day, and perhaps I should get my head out of my butt.  See you tomorrow!

Monday, October 5, 2009

Day Fifty. I may be down, but...

I am not out.

Last week, well, I didn't write in the blog.  There was nothing to write.  I felt sick, aggravated, hormonal, you name it.  So I let it slide allllll week.  No workouts, no controlled eating, no healthy food.  And I told myself that, come Monday, I was getting back up on the horse. 

I didn't get up at the crack o' dawn to work out, but I got my workout in while Andrew had his nap.  I ate well today, and I have to say that my body must have missed all that healthy food.  It really makes a difference, what kind of fuel you put in your body.  With all the emotional, hormonal eating I did last week, I haven't felt so depressed and miserable and puffy (for lack of a better word) since before I started Body-for-LIFE.  I was sure I had put on all the weight I had lost.  I felt like I had "outgrown" all the clothes I had just slimmed down to fit into.  I felt like I would forever feel horrible about myself, miserable about my body, and just yucky in general.  However, after about two meals into today, my outlook on life brightened considerably.  I think I may have rejoined the human race.  Finally. 

The slight downside to all that time off was that my strength went by the wayside when I went to do my Lower Body Workout.  JELLY LEGS!  That is going to feel very interesting come tomorrow.  I had to scale back the weights I had been using, and even with lighter weights, my muscles were quivering like Jell-O in an earthquake.  But I did it.  I am so glad I did.

This feels a little bit like a triumph for me, in more than one way.  For one, in the past, any workout/lifestyle change attempts had to be 100%, come-rain-or-come-shine, every day.  Because if I missed one day, I very likely wouldn't make it back into the routine.  That's all it would take--one missed day.  Let alone seven.  And, for the second part, I don't feel like this lost week was such a big frickin' deal.  I was sick, I was unhappy, I just fell apart for a few days, and now I'm back.  So what?  And that's a pretty cool attitude for me to take, rather than to whip out the cat o' nine tails and go to town on myself. 

It's also 19 days until the Pumpkin Run...the little run that could.  I had meant to be getting out much sooner than this to start running out in the elements, as it were, on the sidewalk or on a trail, in the weather, rather than in a gym in the hamster wheel.  I am hoping to get an extra run in this week where I go the 4k distance and see how it feels.  Such a short distance, and yet it fills me with dread and excitement.  Sort of like climbing a really tiny Mount Everest.  Ah, back in the saddle...see you tomorrow!  I missed y'all!