Monday, November 15, 2010

It never really goes away

I'm a nice, normal, outspoken, funny, occasionally vulgar, happy and well adjusted 30 year old.

I have lost over 100 pounds and kept it off for 18 months (tomorrow)...and have completed 3 half marathons, a full marathon, and a handful of 5k's and 10k's.

I am getting married to my best friend and the love of my life in 14 months.

Growing up, I was a chubby, bookish kid. Pretty decent personality, but not much to look at and certainly not any kind of real standout. Basically, very average. And as was typical of us chubby, bookish kids...the last one to get picked in gym class/ the fat, dumpy friend. Since I was always so horrible at sports and games, I really never developed the confidence to just try something. You know, you never want to do that kind of stuff when you're used to getting made fun of. To this day, I still have trouble getting up the courage to try that stuff. Next week, I am going to a friend's swim practice to learn how to not flail like an injured seal so that I can maybe start getting into triathlon. I am scared to death and all I can think of is how stupid I will look and if people will make fun of me. Forcing myself to go and do these things is my form of therapy. Unsure how wise all that is, but I guess we'll see.

And don't get me started on the fat/dumpy friend who hides in plain colors thing. I see all these really adorable, trendy clothes on other people. People who are my size, and larger, and smaller...and I envy them. I want to wear not-boring clothes and have interesting prints. And I could, but that whole fat/dumpy friend voice whispers a "that's not for you" and I don't even try it. So ridiculous. I'm working on it. Ironically, in most of my groups of friends, I am no longer the 'chubby girl.' I'm often the smallest now. So it would stand to reason that I would not want to hide. But, no. I am busy hiding in things I don't even like that much.

For as much as I don't care what people think about my personality, I sure do get hung up on that old stuff. I'm so not that girl anymore, but the woman I described at the beginning. Sure does take a lot longer for all those mean self-thoughts to go away than it did to lose the weight.

One day, though.

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

In My Next 30 Years...

First things first, you may notice that the upcoming entry will probably not have much to do with running. Why, you ask? That is because I've decided to fashion this blog into a life blog. While running is a huge part of my life, it's not the only thing. And to be honest, I'm just too flippin' lazy to maintain both a training blog and a personal blog. So, here you have it. Besides, "One Foot In Front Of The Other" is just as appropriate for the everyday.

Now that THAT is out of the way, I sit here with a little over 6 hours remaining in my 20s. That's right...when midnight strikes, I will enter a new decade. The big THREE-OH. In the past, I had my fair share of 'almost 30's angst,' but that has faded quite a bit over the last couple of months. The past 29 years have been as much a rollercoaster ride as anyone else's, but I am excited for something new. So, instead of dwelling on the past or what I have/haven't done...I'm preferring to look ahead with excitement for my next 30 (and hopefully, lots more) years for new goals to set, things to try, and a host of new experiences. Here are just a few of my hopes for my next 30 years.

+ Be the wife and mother that my FH and future children deserve. I want our home to be the kind that I can't wait to get to after a day at work; the kind where our kids and their friends can come and hang out while feeling safe and loved. I want a home filled with the kind of love and happiness that can be felt by anyone who comes to visit.

+ Always doing something I am afraid of. Now, this may not be an every day phobia-conquering kind of thing. It could be something small that I have just never had the confidence to try. Anything, really. The point is just never to settle and stay complacent.

+ Continue to keep my body and mind healthy. This includes feeding my body good food, staying physically active, getting rest when I need it, and taking time for me. I am no good to anyone else if I don't properly take care of myself.

+ Boston. Yes, kids. I have a not-so-secret dream of qualifying for the Boston Marathon. At this point, it's probably on the 10 year plan (mostly because the qualifying time goes down as you get older)...but with hard work, I really think I could make it one day. So what if I'm 60 when I do?

+ Keep learning. Even if I never return to school, I want to continue to quench my thirst for knowledge in any way I can. Whether it's taking a photography or yoga class, it's something I didn't know before.

+ Strive to be a better person. Be nice to strangers. Tell my friends and family I love them every chance I get. Live every day like it's my last. Never lose hope. Don't sweat the small stuff. Relax.

Farewell, 29 and not-really-holding...I'm ready to move on. And I can't wait to see what my next 30 years will bring.

Saturday, June 5, 2010

“Maybe some women aren't meant to be tamed. Maybe they just need to run free til they find someone just as wild to run with them.” ~Carrie Bradshaw (Sarah Jessica Parker), "Sex and the City"

One of my favorite quotes from one of my favorite shows. (I originally typed that as "shoes." Subliminal, perhaps?) Since I am a runner, I can take that quite literally. This marathon hopeful has her someone. The love of my life asked me to marry him on Wednesday, May 26. Of course I said YES. Actually, it was more like "Hell yeah, I'll marry you!" Maybe I'll take the suggestion I've been given more than once and wear running shoes to the wedding. That's a valid excuse for shoe shopping, right?

And in more happy not all that related to running news...

As of June 3, I have maintained my 100 pound weight loss for a whole year! Never thought I would lose it in the first place, let alone keep it off that whole time. Yay me. Now, let's see how many more years I can get in.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Adventures in Cross-Training, aka What Hell Must Feel Like

I'm trying to get better about cross-training and active recovery days, so I've recently been finding ways to mix up my workouts. Enter bikram yoga, also called hot yoga. I've heard fab things about it, and saw a news segment one day where various types of yoga classes where being spotlighted.

OK, what is bikram yoga, you ask? It's a class where a series of poses are performed (in my class, we did 26) in a room set to a temperature of 105 degrees with 40% humidity. For 90 minutes. Sounds fun, right? Right.

I made plans to meet up with a friend yesterday morning for class, against my better judgment. The same can be said about most of my athletic endeavors, but that's a diferent story. Got lost on my way to the studio, but I eventually made it there -barely on time, of course...but there nonetheless - and it was what I'd call stuffy in the reception area. There was still time for me to turn around and run back to the Jeep, I hadn't handed over the check card yet...but I hung around regardless. Got myself signed in and headed into the studio.

Oh Em Gee, I don't think I have ever been anywhere that hot in my life. Seriously, not outside in a hot Maryland summer. Nowhere. It was like I was standing on top of some fire...and I was sitting under a vent. Actually, there were so many vents in the room that I think EVERYONE was sitting under a vent. So, this is what Hell must feel like. Hmm. Anyway, class started and there I went. They say that the only real goal for a newbie should be to stay in the room for the entire 90 minute class, and it's advised to take water or rest breaks when necessary. I based my expectations on that, and didn't try to be a rockstar or anything with the poses. You know how it is, do what you can. And for a first time yoga (of any kind) student, that was as good as it was going to get. I have never sweated so much in MY ENTIRE LIFE. From every pore, down my shins....everywhere. Talk about swamp ass. It was full body swamp action. Thank goodness for the towel, wash cloths, G2 and water. I even had to lose the shirt I wore -it was that serious.

The 90 minutes went by (mostly) painlessly, and I did survive staying in the room. Didn't even do too horribly with all the poses. By no means a pretzel, but standing balanced on one foot with sweaty legs crossed is certainly nothing to sneeze at. Felt good to sweat the ickies out and all those stretches were amazing. Guess there is a symbiotic (?) relationship between my running and the hot yoga...distance running makes me mentally tough enough to push past major discomfort, and yoga will make me a stronger runner. Good deal.

Definitely doing it again; gotta take advantage of that introductory offer. The relaxation doesn't hurt either. Just need to turn into a fish for all the water I will need. Good times.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Running With Sparkle

Just have to show off my fabulous new running bling -or friendship necklace- or cult marking. I love this for so many reasons...the stars and their symbolism for us, the simplicity, the uniqueness...could go on for days. Don't know where I'd be without my ladies.
"We are all of us stars, and we deserve to twinkle." ~ Marilyn Monroe

Monday, May 3, 2010

Red lipstick and smiles make it all worthwhile.

So, the first of the big races of 2010 has come and gone, and it was a-freakin-mazing.

For those not in the know, I have been training with a wonderful group of ladies -a group known as STARS (She Trains And Runs Strong)- of all ages, backgrounds and pace levels for the last 4 months. As a group we spent the winter training for half marathons in the spring, which were run this past weekend and the one before. We get out there in all the crazy weather to train, vent, laugh, and cry...while we shine and show off our fab selves with red lipstick.

After not nearly enough sleep, we met up at the fairgrounds with our fab outfits consisting of STARS shirts and running skirts/shorts, adorned with face tattoos, star-shaped earrings and the all-important red lipstick. Even with a race start time of 6:30 am, we don't skip that. It would just be wrong. Once we had everyone present and accounted for, we all made our way over to the start and were off.

It was definitely warmer than most mornings, but it didn't bother concern was my asthma and the humidity. My goal pace was 11:30/mile, but I wasn't going to flip out if I couldn't keep it. Off I went through the start...and surprisingly enough, my pace at mile 1 was 10:45. Super happy about it, but I also knew that was pretty unreasonable to maintain so I pulled it back to where I could be comfortable and 'run happy." With all of the preparation for heat, I had consumed more fluid than a fish on Saturday and knew that no good could come from that. All was going just peachy until I hit the water stop around mile 4 and knew that I would have to give in and pause for a potty the next time I saw one.

Cue mile 6, where I was lucky for a short wait of about 5 minutes. Not short when you are losing minutes in a race, but much better than the longer lines I'd already passed. Obviously, there was no way I was making up that much time in the last 7 I just kept on running happy and comfortable.

We were pretty lucky during the first half of the run before the sun really came out, but by the time I got between 9 and 10, it was shining pretty hardcore without a bit of shade in sight. Just kept throwing back the water and Powerade (nasty regular fruit punch Powerade, no less) and just kept moving the best I could. By the time I got to mile 11, I had never wanted to stop running so badly in my ENTIRE life...but that was just not happening. That hateful Jillian Michaels quote I like to throw around kept nagging me.

"If you're not puking, fainting, or dying - KEEP GOING!"

I was not puking or fainting, and judging by a heart rate over 180 I wasn't dying, so I kept going. See, when I ran Baltimore last October...I couldn't run the whole thing because of cramps in my legs and feet. My major goal for Frederick was to run the entire thing. I had time goals, but they weren't as important - I just didn't want to walk. And so I didn't. Fueled by Eminem, Metallica, Garbage and Westside Connection...I ran those last 2 miles like someone was chasing me. I made it up that last hill -who puts the finish line up a hill?- and through to the finish line...and I couldn't have been prouder of myself or my teammates who were in various stages of the race around me. We are AWESOME. And, best of all...we all still had our red lipstick on at the end.

Original goal time 2:35:00

Clock time 2:41:22

Chip time 2:38:21 (Probably would have made it if not for the potty, but you gotta do what you gotta do.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

One of THOSE people...

Yep, one of those "crazy runners" that people drive by and shake their heads (or worse) at. We did 8 miles in the rain. Like constant, cold, sideways kind of rain. For almost 2 hours. Ugh.

Physically, it felt really good...but that whole being drenched business is some BS. But, I got up at 5:30, dragged myself out of the nice, warm, DRY bed and went off to meet the girls. iPod-less, because of the water...I earned my mental toughness points for the day. Made it home, got some hot coffee, food, shower and a nap. Life is good.