Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Finding My Balance

I know I've talked about not being able to run a lot lately, but it's really had an effect.  There are things I've really come to realize about running.

-Running makes me happy.  It puts me in a good mood for the rest of the day.

-No matter how cold the temperature is, if I get a good run in I feel somewhat warmer. (Granted this is only in VA temperatures.  I have no idea how I'd be in negative weather).

-Running curbs my appetite.  I'm not nearly as hungry throughout the day when I run, and the food I do crave is healthier food.

So, all these things make not running extremely difficult.  Combine that with the fact that my inability to run started around the Christmas holidays, and I was set up for disaster.  It started with just a few small chocolates.  What could that hurt?  There were only a few of them.  I'd be fine.  But then I was given a few more small chocolates.  And then a few cookies.  And then it was cold, so I wanted hot chocolate.  And then it was my dad's birthday, and he had fudge he couldn't eat, so he gave it to me.  And then it was my mom's birthday, and all she wanted was cheesecake, and who can say no to that?  So, to put things plainly, I was in bad shape. 

Once I started eating poorly, I couldn't stop.  I just couldn't seem to break the habit I had started.  There were cravings, and I was legitimately hungry.  I would plan out what I was going to eat, but I'd often go and grab a snack (and not a healthy one) simply because I wanted something to munch on.  Once, on an hour long car trip with Hans, we stopped for a restroom break and I ended up buying Cheez-Its and Twizzlers because I just wanted something.  I felt tired and sore.  I couldn't seem to get enough sleep, and I was always cranky and in a bit of a fog.

Finally, though, I feel like something has finally snapped.  I went to bed on Sunday night, sore and tired even though I hadn't done much.  I'd gone to a Chinese buffet for dinner and had Mexican for lunch, and I felt gross.  I could smell the salt seeping from my pores, and I started to hate myself for just a moment.  I knew something had to change immediately.

I knew I didn't have anything that I could have for lunch in the house, so I started to figure out what I could have.  Nothing from a restaurant.  I'd go to the grocery store.  Even a frozen meal is better than take out.  I even decided to get a few snack bars and fruit to munch on in case of hunger.  I knew it wouldn't be the healthiest decision, but it was worlds better than what I'd been doing recently.

Already, less that 48 hours later, I feel better.  I slept better last night and woke up easier this morning.  Yesterday was hard, though.  I felt tired and achy, and by the time I ate dinner I had such a raging headache I thought I might be sick.  Today, though, while I'm still hungry, I don't feel the urge to go buy something.  I'm just excited about lunch.  I'm able to move better and faster, and I don't feel so gross.

I'm hoping I can continue on this trend.  I hope that I don't backslide this weekend.  I hope that I can make it to the grocery store to pick up some supplies to have on hand.  I also hope that I can continue making it to the gym.  Swimming may not be the same as running, but it's better than nothing (and the sauna afterward is wonderful).  Here's to hoping!

Tuesday, January 15, 2013


So, this whole foot thing has really been harder than I thought it would be.  Having to rest, not being able to play with the dogs, not being able to run, not being able to stand up for long periods of time (even folding laundry hurts) is really taking it's toll.

One thing I don't think I realized was happening or would happen is the drop in my energy levels.  I figured I'd have to give my foot a rest, but that I'd be able to do other forms of workouts and I'd be fine.  However, having this foot thing going on is like having a constant, low-grade headache.  I didn't really realize how bad I hurt until I had a moment of not hurting. 

After resting my foot properly on Friday, I felt pretty good on Saturday.  I felt like I was really close to being back to my old self.  It dawned on me that the pain I was feeling was leaving me exhausted and a bit haggard.  Walking with a limp is harder than it looks, and getting around quickly wasn't really an option.  Getting up early in the morning for a workout you're only sort of looking forward to, on a foot that hurts as soon as you land on it, when you're still exhausted from the day before, is almost not doable.

All this is to say, I haven't been the best about working out.  In addition, when I get tired I get hungry (my body wants fuel, I guess), so instead of working out I've been eating.

The worst part about all of this is that I know that if I just got into the gym, I wouldn't be as hungry or as tired.  My clothes would feel better, and it would probably help my foot.  I also know that all my excuses up top are just that...excuses.  What's funny is that around this time last year I was dealing with an injury too. Yet, between February and November I ended up running my first 10k and then my first marathon.

In the end, I'm just learning one day at a time.  I'm learning about myself and my body and my health in general.  I'm learning about motivation.  I'm learning about disappointment.  Maybe I'll never figure all of it out, but at least I'm learning.

Wednesday, January 9, 2013


I have to say, I'm not at all happy with myself right now.  I'm tired, I'm cranky, and I'm frustrated.  I want to go for a run, but I can't.  I want to go for a swim, but time rarely allows me to.  I want to go for a bike ride, but I just don't enjoy it the way I enjoy running.  In addition, as a way to vent my emotions, I seem to be eating my weight in chocolate.  This is not a healthy way to be.  My pants are tighter, my anxiety is higher, and I'm a lot more tired.

I had hoped that last week's swim session would get me back in the groove, and it helped a little.  I ended up going for a bike ride on Sunday, and I hit the pool for a second time on Monday.  The problem is, on Monday I was sooo tired I could barely even swim half a mile.  I felt drained and icky the rest of the day.  Yesterday, I worked from 6:00 am- 9:30 pm with only a brief break for dinner, so the gym didn't happen then, and today I had trouble waking due to my long day yesterday.  I know, there are a lot of excuses there, but the biggest excuse is that I don't enjoy those activities like I do running.

To top it all off, I'm just now realizing how much cross training I get in at work.  I spend my days playing with dogs (could one ask for a better job?), and that often means jumping, lunging, and stretching around the yard.  I would often employ things I'd done with a trainer as a way to play with the dogs.  Now I can't do that either.  All I can say is, THIS SUCKS!

I'm hoping I can get my rear in gear soon.  I don't like the way my pants feel today, and I like the strong feeling I get from a good workout.  I also hope this foot heals quickly, because right now even so much as a downward dog in yoga seems to be too much pressure for this aching foot.  Basically, what I'm saying is, any tips or advice would be much appreciated.  I'll do just about anything at this point!


Friday, January 4, 2013

Back In The Game

Last week, I injured my foot.  I told myself this was fine.  I would just spend more time cross training.  I'd been meaning to swim more and bike more anyway, and this would force me to do it, because I'd be unable to run.  The reality is, though, I like running.  I like running way more than I like swimming or biking (although those are lovely too), and the thought of running made me sad.  Pair that with the influx of chocolate due to the holidays, and I was in bad shape.

I spent the past week trying to make it to the gym, but finding excuses.  I spent the past week watching other people run and lamenting that I could not.  I spent the past week feeling down on myself and trying to make myself feel better by eating more chocolate (which failed miserably).  Today, however, that changed.

This morning I woke up early.  I packed my gym bag, and I made it to the gym by 5:00 a.m.  I had to get there early because I wanted to beat the rush of post-new year resolutioners.  I thought about spending some time on the bike, but it was the pool that was calling my name, and I heeded it's call.

Apparently I got there at the perfect time.  There was only one other person in the pool, so I had a whole lane to myself (1.5 hours later, and there would be 6 people in the pool, so I beat the rush).  I pulled out a swim plan that I'd used before, and I set out to swim 1250 meters (not including the warm up or cool down). 

As I swam, I was surprised by two things: 1) Swimming is a lot easier than it used to be.  Apparently my endurance is up after having run a marathon.  2) I don't cross train enough.  While I didn't become nearly as winded, and I was able to get through everything much faster than I used to, my arms and parts of my legs became quite tired.  Obviously there are things I need to work on other than running.

When I finished swimming, I breathed a sigh of relief.  It felt good to move my body like that.  I tallied my total distance (with warm up and cool down included) and realized I'd gone 1550 meters.  Of course, I then immediately cursed myself for not having added 50 meters to my swim and getting a mile. I  could have easily done it, but I hadn't realized how close I was to a mile.  Oh well! Next time!  Now, I'm relaxed.  I feel good because I worked out.  I'm already thinking about the next work out I'll do (maybe ride a bike or do some weights).  Yes, I'm still ticked off about my foot.  Yes, I miss running terribly, but at least I got out there and did something.  That, at least, feels good.  It's much better than sitting around eating chocolate!

So, what about you?  What's your go-to feel-good workout?  Do you cross train?  Have you noticed surprising changes in yourself?  Let me know!

Thursday, January 3, 2013

Looking Forward

When I was younger I used to hate New Year's Day.  It meant the end of one year.  It meant that this great year, full of amazing things, would be forgot.  It meant change was about to happen, and no one knew what that change would be.  What if the change wasn't good?  What if it was awful?  A single year can bring tragedies beyond our wildest dreams.  What if those tragedies affected me?  For the most part, even in recent years, I've taken some time to mourn the passing of one year.  Now, however, things are different.

This year I can't help but to simply look ahead.  I can look back on 2012 and see that some amazing things happened.  Impawsible Pups expanded, I ran my first marathon, I made some great new friends, Lollie has improved ten-fold, and all in all I've had a fantastic time.  To think that 2013 won't be as fabulous, though, is foolish.  2013 holds endless possibilities. 

In 2013 I hope to:

-Run more marathons (and possibly do a couple of triathlons)
-Get a handle on cooking healthy meals at home
-Become more financially stable as the business grows
-Watch the business grow (and work hard at it)
-Have a good time!

Really, I don't think that's too much to ask for.  The end of this year could see me broke, fat, and depressed, but I really don't think that will happen.  I think the end of 2013 will see me happy, healthy, and secure.

Here's to hard work and the pay offs that come with it!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Thoughts About Me

Before I get into the gist of this post, I first have to say one thing: Not running SUCKS!  I had planned on ringing in the new year, but NO.  I can't.  I have to rest my foot.  It's annoying and it's leaving me with way too much pent up frustration.  OK, I said it.  Now on to the real post.

Lately, I've been thinking a lot about me.  I've been thinking about my life experiences and who I was and who I am and who I am going to be.  One thing that I've really thought about is how my life experiences compare to those of others.

I've always been a bit of  nerd.  I've always had my head in the books, and I've always been a little awkward and shy when it comes to meeting new people and making new friends.  On top of that, things that often bond others don't interest me at all.  I've zero interest in partying or tailgating, and I'd much prefer staying at home and reading to going out and shopping.  Don't understand?  Let me spell things out for you:

-I've never been drunk.  While I'm not opposed to drinking, I really just don't understand the point in drinking that much.  I also don't really enjoy the taste of most alcohol, so it's very rare that I crave a drink.  Occasionally I'll have something, and on one occasion I woke up with a bit of a cotton mouth, but nothing serious.

-I've never smoked pot.  While most people I know have enjoyed a joint or two in their youth (including my parents) I've never been in the situation where it's offered to me, and I've never actively searched for it.

-I don't have nor do I plan on having any tattoos.  Ummm, yuck!

-I've only pierced my ears...once.  I don't have any other piercings, nor do I plan to get any others.

-While I've dated a few guys, I've only ever had 2 serious boyfriends, and I married the second one.  The first one was while I was still in high school, and even at the time I knew it would never go anywhere.

Now then, after reading all this, some of you may think I'm a prude, and I guess I kind of am.  I don't mind people who partake in these things, though, and I'm certainly not against any of them (except the tattoo...ick).  I just don't see the point in most of them.  That said, it kind of makes me worry that I don't have these experiences. 

How can I relate to others without having these experiences?  How can I bond when I don't socialize in the same way?  When I have kids, how will I guide them when I don't truly know the world they face?

I don't really have an answer to any of these, so I'm asking for some feed back.  Don't get me wrong.  I like who I am, and in general I have no issue with any of these things.  I just wonder how this will affect my life.  Any thoughts?  Thanks!