Still Kinda Struggling

Thank you all so much for your kind words last Monday. I swear, it must be some Monday funk or depression. How does the song go (I’m totally dating myself here)? “Rainy days and Mondays always get me down”? I received a couple of comments before it was time to go running. One of them really stuck with me and that was that it sounded like I had already talked myself out of running. I HAD. I totally had just justified my excuse. The bottom line is excuses are not going to get me across the finish line for my marathon.
This week is already going to be insane and is going to require a huge amount of juggling on my part to get my 4 runs in. I should have gone today at lunch, but I am lame. I forgot my socks and the socks I wear for work always fall down in my shoes and then I get really bad blisters. We just joined the YMCA last week and I really like the gym, so I figured I would go there later tonight and use the treadmill. I completely forgot that I have this stupid work meeting tonight. I think I will go home, make some pancakes for the kids and husband, go the meeting, and then go to the gym. My husband will be mad but it must be done. Tomorrow, I am supposed to run 4 miles and I’m not sure when I will find time to squeeze that in. Son gets out of school early, he has a doctor’s appointment, husband has something tomorrow night….yeah. I may just have to take advantage of the free child care at the Y so I can use the treadmill again. Wednesday I will run at lunch, no problem. Friday is another problem. I can’t leave my step-daughter and my son home alone together as they do not get along…but both of them belong to the Y as well. I think I will just take both of them with me. Yes. That will be great. See why I love blogging? Problem solving for me and entertaining rambling for you.

Last week started out slow as far as motivation goes, but I finished the week strong. Monday I did end up running 3 miles on the treadmill, Tuesday I ran 3 miles around the lake, Wednesday I ran 3 miles on the treadmill, and Saturday morning I ran twice around the lake (6 miles) plus a little more (1 mile and some change). My mileage for the week was 16.34. I also did the elliptical for 45 minutes as well last Thursday. I really, really, really need to start using My Fitness Pal again. I’m Teepers1 if anyone uses the app and wants to add me. When I track my calories I feel so much better.

The weekend was not as bad as past weekends as far as food intake. It definitely left a lot to be desired but it was a mild improvement for me. Today hasn’t been horrible but hasn’t been fantastic. I have been drinking some water…and a little DC too. I’m wondering if taking some pictures of what I eat will help me get my portions under control. I will think about it.

I also really need to get my stress under control. We are undergoing a “hostile takeover” situation at work. I don’t know if I am going to have a job when said “takeover” is done. The job market for nurses (new grad nurses) is horrid. I actually graduated 2 years ago but stayed in my current position as a nurse. I hope to work in a hospital. Since I have no acute care experience, I have to do a new grad training course. Those positions are few and far between. A girl can hope…and try to make it happen. I still have 3 months to figure everything out. I am really hoping that things fall into place for me. I’ve worked at my job for 12 years. In addition to those 12 years, I have 6 additional years in other medical offices. I know I can do the job, I’m just not sure if that’s what I really want to do. My heart is in labor and delivery, mother baby, OB, and infertility.

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2012 Orange County Half Marathon Finisher! And Race Review

This has not been the best week for me, and after my disastrous 12 miler during training, I was really nervous about the race this morning. Yesterday was my grandpa’s funeral and I was in 6 inch heels from 8am until 2pm, and we had guests over until 11pm last night. I had not slept well on Friday night either. My left foot was really bothering me last night and this morning.

Friday afternoon was the race expo. It was a total fail. It was at the Orange County fairgrounds, and I was a little bitter because I had to pay $5 to go pick up my packet. So I was already annoyed, then I saw the huge line I had to wait in, just to get in to the expo. Can we say lame? Also, I never got an email from the timing company with my bib number and corral assignment so I had to look those up, too. Once I got inside the actual expo, it was like chaos. If I could have dropped out of the race right then and gotten my money back, I would have. The lines for the shirts were huge. The chips had the shirt size on them, and it cut off the second letter on everyone’s. I registered for a 2xl v-neck shirt, and they didn’t have ANY v-necks, AND, they refused to give me a 2x shirt. Those shirts run small! So I was already totally pissed, thinking great, I spent $75 for a crappy shirt I won’t even wear! Started going around to the booths and people in the expo were such jerks, I guess they don’t know how to wait in a line. I must’ve gotten my feet stepped on 4 times. It was so crowded, you could barely make your way in between the booths. I was kind of excited because they had Mamma Chia drinks for samples. I’d never tried them before and I need some! They’re a little funky with the chia seeds in them, but I really liked the taste of the juice. I really wanted a pace band, but no one had them :(. I got even more nervous about the race because it was obvious that it was going to be huge, and that it wasn’t that well organized.

So as I mentioned, yesterday was a very difficult and emotional day. We lived with my grandpa after my mom and dad got divorced, from when I was 3 until I was almost 7. My grandpa was almost like a second dad to me. The luncheon was subway 6 foot subs, yum! And the most amazing desserts from The Cheesecake Factory and Zov’s Bistro. Think tuxedo cheesecake, s’mores bars, and lemon bars. I couldn’t eat a ton because I knew I would pay for it during the race.

This morning, I had to get up at 4am, to get ready, make my breakfast, and get over to the finish line to park my car. Since this was a point to point race, the race organizers had shuttles to take the runners to the starting line. After the disorganized expo, I was scared of how that was all going to work, so I wanted to allow myself plenty of time. There was a ton of traffic around the area because all the roads were already closed. Surprisingly, the shuttles ran very smoothly and I only had to wait about 7 minutes for the shuttle.

Arriving at the starting line, I was greeted by massive port a potty lines. I got in line right away and made it to my corral with only 2 minutes to spare! Before I knew it, we were off! The course was amazing. It started in Fashion Island, then through downtown Corona del Mar

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Then along Ocean Blvd

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There was a lot to see! I loved seeing the ocean. Then the course went through more areas of Newport Beach, by Balboa Island, then along the “Back Bay”. Because all the roads were closed, the course never seemed too crowded. Around mile 9, my hips really started to get tight, and I was getting tired.

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Mile 10 was easily the hardest of the race. Massive hill, but what goes up must come down, right? There were a lot of spectators and there were some awesome signs!

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At this point, I knew I was not going to PR, but I was okay with that. I just focused on listening to my body and walked when I needed to. I think if I had pushed myself harder during training, I could have ran faster. I also really need to work on my focus and clearing my mind so I can “just keep running”! I was however, really proud of myself for not stopping on the side of the course for any breaks. I may have walked but I never stopped. Also, I texted Jen for some support which totally helped me to keep going. Have I mentioned, she is the best sister ever?
I finished in just over 3 hours. I definitely didn’t set any records but I actually feel good. My feet are bothering me, but I’m icing. I was stiff and I’ll definitely be using my foam roll later, but overall, I liked this race. My kids, my husband, and my mom and step dad were all there at the finish line.
Here is my picture after I came out of the race chute.

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After I was done, we went to my car and sat there trying to exit the parking lot for 30 minutes. We ended up re-parking and walking a mile to my mom’s car and going out to breakfast.
It was a great day, even if I didn’t PR. Half marathon #3 is in the books!

Overtraining?

On Friday, I had a 12 mile run on the schedule.  With only two weeks to go until my next half-marathon, I am starting to get nervous.  I’ve done this distance before, so I don’t know why I would doubt myself that I will be able to finish the race.  I just do.  I have not been fast this training cycle, but I have definitely blown off way less runs than ever before.  I should be the fastest I have ever been, but I am slow, slow, slow.   However, I am getting the work done.

Last Tuesday I ran 7.3 miles along the beach.  Wednesday, I ran 4.29 miles on the treadmill on the gym.  I was all set to run actually, on Saturday.  Thursday night, my husband asked me  if I was going to run on Friday.  I told him, no, because my daughter had a dentist appointment in the morning, and it was supposed to be 86 degrees on Friday, so I knew I wouldn’t be able to even start running until 9:30am at the earliest.  Besides, on these long runs, I prefer to just run “out”, and not “back” too.  It’s just so discouraging!  I didn’t have anyone to come pick me up on Friday either.  Well, my husband threw an absolute fit because he wanted to go play basketball on Saturday morning.  Does your husband/boyfriend/significant other do this?  Make all these grand plans and then never say one word about it to you until you say that you have something going on?  It makes me crazy.  I explained to him that this would be my last run before the race, and I knew that it was going to be way too hot to run Friday.  Well, sometimes, I have to make compromises, so I decided I would have to run Friday.

I left my house at 9:30, it wasn’t too hot but I made sure to put a TON of sunblock on.  I was golden until about mile 5.  By this time it was 10:30 and it was really getting hot.  There was not any shade on my chosen path.  I started really struggling mentally, and I hate to say it, but I was thinking of how much I hated my husband.  I got to the halfway point, turned around to head back, and was just so discouraged that I had 6 more miles to go.  At about mile 7, I realized that I was almost out of water in my camelbak.  I should have taken my husbands, as it holds 120 ounces, but it’s a backpack and I look so lame running with it.  Mine only holds 50 ounces.  Mile 7 was in a park and there was a drinking fountain.  Normally I would not drink out of these drinking fountains but I was desperate!  Well, of course, the thing barely worked and I couldn’t really get any water into the camelbak without spilling what was left so I abandoned my attempts and kept going.  Now, I should also say, that this running path is pretty much downhill on the “out”, and pretty much uphill on the “back”.  I could just not wrap my head around running at all anymore around mile 8.  I have a friend that lives close to where I was, and I tried calling her to see if I could come to her house and get some water and a ride home.  I think I was delirious at this point.  I made it to mile 9, walking, and then mile 10.  At mile 10 there is a huge sports park and they had a WORKING DRINKING FOUNTAIN!! Yay sports park!!  It didn’t work perfectly but I was able to get more water and as an added bonus, the huge sprinklers for the grass were on too, so it was like a mister.  What I really wanted to do was run naked through the sprinklers, but I refrained.  I made it to mile 11 and let me just say, I was thinking of anyone and everyone that I could call to come pick me up.  The last mile to my house is up a steep hill.  I knew if I stopped to rest, that I would not have time to shower and make it to my massage appointment, because it was now 3.5 hours later and I had not allowed enough time for myself.  I was getting so discouraged with my Garmin that I just turned it off.  I was hot and so upset and now stressed because the thought of that massage seriously pushed me through some very tough miles. 

I finally made it home.  I wanted to take an ice bath but I only had time for a very cold shower.  I made it in time for my massage, which was heaven.  When it was over, I just wanted to lay there and take a nap.  I think I drank 150 ounces of water on Friday.  When I got home, I was so spent, my stomach was so upset that I could not even think about eating, but I had actually planned and had spaghetti sauce cooking in the crock pot.  Yay for meal planning!  All I had to do was roast my veggies and boil the noodles.  I love homemade spaghetti with meat sauce and I usually have a huge heaping plate of pasta, but I just was afraid I was going to throw up if I ate too much. 

Total mileage last week:  23.59

This week I will taper down quite a bit.  I’m going to do (3)–4 mile runs and one 8 mile run.  It is supposed to be cooler this week so I should have no problem getting this done.  Goals for the week are to not have any “crap” miles and clean eating.

Weekly Recap and Some Drama

Last week was a good week for me, as far as training goes.  I did a quick 3 mile run on Monday night when I got home from work, a 6-ish mile run on Tuesday, and a 9-ish mile run on Friday.  The Monday run was uneventful, the weather was nice and not too hot.  Tuesday was hot, I ran during the middle of the day, through an ecological preserve.  I saw a 4 foot long snake right in the middle of the road!  At first I thought it was a dead animal, but then it moved right in front of me.  The THING WAS HUGE!  It was just a garter snake, not poisonous, but definitely the biggest garter snake I’d ever seen.  Luckily, I’m not too afraid of non-poisonous snakes.  Rattle snakes, and any other poisonous snake, scare the bejesus out of me!  The 6 mile run was good, I really pushed myself to improve my time, and get in my “marathon mind” and I was about 10 seconds a mile faster than my run on Monday.  My run on Friday was hard.  I was trying to hurry, and my average overall pace was about 30 seconds faster than any other during this training cycle, but I just wanted it to be over.  It was hard physically and mentally.  Let’s face it, 9 miles is a long way.  Sometimes I think, oh 9 miles is nothing, but it really is far.  I did well for about the first 6 miles on this run.  After that, I really had to push myself mentally to keep going.  I run this particular route often, especially when I have my husband home to come pick me up, but I end the run at different points.  I’ve never ran 9 miles on this trail, so I got off the trail at what I *thought* would be a good place to go up to the street and run to where my husband could come pick me up.  I should have just ran back up the trail.  The trail is flat.  The street, I did not know, is one huge massive hill.  So the last mile of my run was all uphill.  I was spent mentally and just walked pretty much the whole last mile.  But I made it for 9 miles.  I added up all my miles for last week and I did 18.5 miles.  I’m going to try for 19.5 this week.

Now, onto the drama.  My husband and I have this friend.  He’s a really cool guy but he talks A LOT of crap.  I’m not sure how we got on the subject but I think I asked my husband if this particular friend ever said anything bad about me.  He said, “Yeah, once he wanted to know if you really run that far, because you never get skinnier”.  My husband did stand up for me, and said, “Yes, she really does run that far, she just likes to eat a lot too”.  I brushed it off, but the more that I thought about it, the more it started to bug me.  Yes.  I am obese.  Yes.  I need to do something.  I’ve been better lately but I think my expectations are just unrealistic.  I want to step on the scale (which needs a new battery and currently isn’t working) and see a Biggest Loser type loss.  Like 10 pounds or so :).  I know I don’t exercise even half as much as the people on the show, but I really try hard and it is so completely frustrating to only sometimes see a 0.5 pound loss.  Obviously there is room for improvement.  Food is my biggest downfall.  I just love to eat.  I don’t know why.  I’m not counting the minutes until my next meal or anything like that, but I just love cooking and eating.  Take yesterday for example.  I planned the Easter dinner for about 2 weeks.  I was so excited!  I definitely ate less than in years past.  I had one plate of food and half of that plate was salad, and then I went back for a second (way smaller) plate and I felt absolutely sick for hours.  We ate around 2pm I couldn’t even eat dessert until 8pm last night!  About 9:30 last night I told my husband that I just needed to go to lay down because I felt so awful.  I way overate!  And I am not proud of it.  Another problem I have is that it is just way too easy and tasty to go out to eat.  I love eating out.  I know that sometimes it just has to be done, but I’ve seriously got to cut back.  Too many calories!

Then, to add insult to injury, my step-daughter posted some pictures of her and her mom on Facebook.  Her mom (my husband’s ex) had gastric sleeve surgery (a new type of gastric bypass, pretty much) about a year ago and is now totally skinny.  I am so tempted to try the HCG diet or get weight loss surgery.  Here are my issues:  I wouldn’t be able to exercise on the HCG diet, and since I’m in a training cycle, that won’t really work for me;  and I feel like gastric surgery for weight loss is kind of like “cheating”?

What do you think?  Is gastric bypass cheating????

This Is Weird For Me

I only have about 4 weeks until the Orange County Half, so most of my spare time has been eaten up with training and enjoying the lovely weather we’ve been having.
Last week I ran 3 times–a short 3 miler on the treadmill, a 5 miler along the beach, and a brutal 8 miler at the end of the week. Total mileage for the week was a little over 16 miles. The thing that I love most about running is that there are little improvements each time I go. I get a little faster or run a little more each time. I still walk and this is something I’m working on. I think it has to do more with my focus (lack of focus) more than my level of fitness.
This week I have started out strong! I ran 3 miles on Monday and 6 miles yesterday. I won’t run again until Friday, I have 9 miles planned. Hopefully, I can make it.
The reason for the title of this post is because meeting my fitness goals and mileage goals is weird for me. I usually set goals and then don’t meet them, and totally rip myself up in my head over what a disappointment I am. I started to get down on myself the other day about how I wasn’t doing what I was supposed to be doing and I had to stop because I AM doing what I am supposed to be doing. Am I doing it perfectly? Well, no, but seriously, I am making the best effort that I can right now and that is HUGE for me. Am I a super model? No. And that’s ok. I am happy with where I am at right now. I may not be at my goal weight but I am working hard and I have to be happy with my effort for now.

Tell Me Why I Don’t Like Mondays

Last week was a good week. I ran 3 times, for a total of 15 miles. I am feeling stronger. Unfortunately, I am only getting (a little) faster which is kind of crappy.
This week has been a little overwhelming. I have always hated Mondays since I was 10. I used to fake sickness so that I could skip school on Mondays. Unfortunately, my mom caught on fairly quickly. I don’t know why, but I just hate Mondays. So many things went wrong. Like, you know when you open a cupboard and everything falls out on your head? That’s how I felt. Everything that went wrong was minor, but it just all added up and took a toll on me. I don’t remember why but I had to skip my run during lunch on Monday, too. I think that when I skip runs, it makes me a little weaker mentally.
Tuesday morning, I woke up and thought, this *will* be a better day. I gathered up all my running gear and went to work. After work, I went to Newport Beach to run. It was so windy! This was my first time running into the wind, and my goodness, IT WAS SO HARD. I felt so lame because I pretty much walked almost the whole first half of my distance, which was like 2.5 miles. I tried to run but could not get strong enough mentally to keep going. Coming back was easier, thank goodness the wind was blowing at my back, almost pushing me. I went the whole 5 miles I had planned. I felt amazing after. I wish I could take the way I feel after a run and bottle it up, and take a sip when I don’t feel like running as a motivator to make me go again.
Today I had 3 miles on the schedule. Once again, I thought of 15 other things I would rather be doing. I did motivate myself and I went to the gym to run on the treadmill. I really hate the treadmill but I always push myself harder when I do a run on there because I really just want to get out of there! I did 3 miles in 39 minutes which I know is pretty slow, but I ran almost the whole thing (very slowly I might add) and I feel good. My average speed was 2 minutes a mile faster than anything I have done lately so it was not a wasted workout.
On the giving up Diet Coke front, ugh. I am definitely drinking less, and I am not drinking it every day. I would probably give it up completely if it made a difference in my leg cramps, but I am still having them. I am definitely drinking a lot of water so that is one good thing! I think drinking a lot of water is really helping me feel less yucky than when I quit before. I haven’t even had a headache!

Sorry for the lack of pictures in this post. I will try and post some later this week. I got a new camera and I’ve been taking a lot of pictures and trying to get used to it. More on the camera later, but I am IN LOVE!

I’m Sexy and I Know It

Cue the LMFAO…..Girl look at that body…I work out!  How do you like my new Zensah compression sleeves?  Remember I posted that I was having problems with calf pain and shin splints?  I had read a lot on the internet from a few other runners who have the same problem and decided to give these beauties a try.  I got them from Amazon on Thursday night and immediately put them on.  I will admit, I was skeptical they could help *that* much, but I figured I would give them a try.  My husband had a good laugh but my goodness, my legs felt better right away.  I did not run on Friday, but wore my Zensahs all day.  I was supposed to take my long run for the week on Friday, but it was too hot, and I had a bunch of stuff to finish for my etsy shop.

Saturday morning, I set out about 7am.  I was so annoyed with myself and I wanted to quit after about, hmmm, 500 feet.  But I kept going.  Every mile felt like a struggle, but NO LEG, CALF, or SHIN PAIN.  It was awesome.

Around 3.5 miles, I stopped to enjoy a vanilla gu and the scenery.  The sun was shining, it was about 65 degrees, the flowers were in bloom, and I was feeling good!  This is my favorite running trail for the long runs, and only if I have someone come pick me up!  It’s a pretty flat trail, but it does go downhill at a slight decline.  I refuse to run back home.  I don’t run hills, because I really, really, really, hate them.  I feel like I’m going to have a heart attack or even expire! I was only supposed to go 7 miles, but I ended up going about 7.5 because I did have to back track a little bit to get back to where my husband could pick me up.

I put my Zensahs on after my shower and wore them for a few hours because they are supposed to help with recovery too.  My husband was horrified that I would wear them out in public with capris, but comfort is more important than beauty (well, sometimes).  I had minimal leg pain on Saturday, and none on Sunday.  Usually I am hobbling around like a cripple for a day or two 😉

My weekly mileage total was 19 miles.   A little high but I did throw in an extra longish run during the week, which I won’t be doing this week.  Only 7 weeks until my next half marathon!