Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Of running days past...

I had originally planned to post up my PolarLoop review in between my gift "guides" so I wouldn't look like a total greedy bastard, but of course, since it's me, it turns out it's a lot longer than I anticipated and not quite ready yet.
In the meantime, here's what's been happening lately:
Workout Round-up:
Run/Walk Two weeks ago: 3.70 miles
Run/Walk Last week: 2.69 miles
Cross-Training: BIG FAT ZERO
We've still been going to the indoor track every other day at lunch, but I'm just not able to bring myself to go any faster to get any more distance.  It was pretty much averaging out for the last month or so, but I've noticed a really steady decline these last few days.  I think the baby's at the point where she's got herself positioned in a way that's pushing up against my lungs because I can't seem to catch my breath these days and every little thing makes me sweat like I've done an actual work out when in truth, it was just me lifting up my foot so Bart can get my sock and shoe on.
I'm sad because I really wanted to be like one of those people that I had read about who just casually mention that they were out for an easy run the day they went into labor.  
I think it's a combination of self-fulfilling prophecy and just plain old laziness that I'm not in that category because I guess I could still be trying.  I've always wondered about that when I've read about other pregnant runners on their blog mentioning that they're still running easy 5 or 6 miles while being only a couple weeks behind me.  I think, is it me?  Could I actually be running instead of shuffling if I really tried or is it because I told myself that I'm pregnant and that it's okay if I'm not, that that's what's really making me shuffle instead?

I recently joined the land of Facebook Pages for my blog.  Besides wanting a bit more exposure for it (in the hopes that I'd get more of a readership that doesn't just solely include my mama and Bart, who I manually subscribed myself to receive my updates), I also thought it would be a good way to give people on my personal friends list the opportunity to decide whether or not they really wanted to see my "health and fitness" related status updates.
I don't update too much anymore, but I noticed that when I do, most of it is running or workout related and apparently, people can get tired of seeing those.  So I thought having a dedicated page where it's expected that I would post things like that there would help alleviate any irritation anyone on my list is feeling towards me when I post yet another picture of my feet in running shoes *LOL*
This past weekend, in the interest of accountability (and also to have something to say since I now have a page that needs content), I announced that I would be stuffing my face at a holiday party but that it would be okay because I was going to go work out.  In fact, I was going to go to Courtney's spin class that I haven't been to in forever.  There. It's out there.  I've told all these people (all 28 of them at the time) that I was going to do something, so I'd better go and do it.
Such was not the case and I am really upset about that.  We were out and about and we had gone to watch my old team's frisbee game and ducked out early so that I could go home and get my things ready for spin class since I had also told Bart that I planned on heading to the gym.  I got everything ready, my gym bag packed full of the things I would need - including the obligatory towel that I would lay across my spin bike's handlebars to make me look legit - and my new Skora running shoes (the white, gray and cyan ones because they would look AWESOME strapped to the pedals - like real cycling shoes!) and it was still a bit early and I was feeling a bit tired and out of breath and slightly sweaty from having gathered everything together.  So I thought I would have a quick lie down just to get a quick re-charge - to give the systems a quick little boost before heading out the door.
Sooo....three hours later and I wake up and the room is completely dark and I have completely missed Courtney's class.  At the time, I wasn't all that sad about it because I was still feeling groggy after having just woken up, but the more alert I became, the more upset I was.  
I know growing a human is tiring and takes a lot out of a person, but I still really feel like I might be taking too much advantage of that and not doing even a little bit of my part.  Couple that with the fact that I am now basically on a food free-for-all.  These last 5 weeks are going to see my little Ava-bear go from a cute little regular sized baby to like, a 10 lbs ginormous baby.  I just KNOW it.
On other, non-baby-pregnant-whining news...
I may have mentioned that I like to start blogs and then abandon them here and there.  I recently remembered about one of them that I was using during the time Tara and I started our Couch to 5K program.  Just curious, I thought I'd look back on it and it totally floored me.  Perhaps I'm being too hard on myself lately (or perhaps not) but there is nothing like looking back on actual written words/accounts to really feel a sense of accomplishment.  Before and after pictures are fine, but for me....reading what I used to think and experience when I first started out running really brought things home for me.
So much so that I got all the entries together and made them a "series" page on my blog's menu bar.  I replaced the "Recipe" bar with the Couch to 5K Series because #letsbehonest, I'm never really going to "invent" or have a "take" on a recipe because I can't bring myself to really cook anything *LOL*.  The other series I added was my journey through Insanity.  I thought it would be a good resource to look back on when (if?) I get back around to re-setting my lifestyle change journey.
Just for fun, here's a look at a few excerpts from my Couch to 5K entries:
From Dazed and Confused:
Oh how I *SO* wasn't prepared to have my ass kicked by week three.  Tara's saying when we finish a run is that we kicked asphalt, to me, it felt more like I gently nudged it with my little toe and it turned around and drop kicked me.  After the run, I was joking that while Tara was looking to see if it was safe to cross the road, I was looking for a car to jump in front of, because if I got hit by a car, I could at least stop running - maybe catch my breath.  It was BY FAR, the most difficult run ever. EVER.  It was ridonculous!  I'm still in shock how difficult it was.

...I was focused on noise of my breathing.  Tara said it's pretty much how she knew I was still behind her.  As long as she could hear me huffing and puffing away, I was still behind her - and alive. *LOL*  Imagine Steffi Graph running around looking like a complete shit show - complete with the tennis sounds.  That was me dragging my ass down the sidewalk.  It didn't help that while I was focused on huffing and puffing, I ended up sucking back a wad of my own spit and practically choked myself with breath that I didn't even have to spare!  I didn't even have time to see spots in front of my eyes, I could have pretty much went straight to unconsciousness.
This was week three folks.  If I look back on the training plan, week three is:

Only TWO repetitions consisting of a 90 second jog and a 3 minute jog and I was contemplating suicide by traffic just to get it all to stop.  This floors me and really illustrates to me that regardless of how I'm doing right now "running"-wise, I really came from somewhere.  I started out at the bottom.  Heck, I started out in a HOLE at the bottom considering I couldn't finish a 60 second jog during week one.

One more...

From Fear:
Everytime I think about running this afternoon, my tummy does a little Mexican fiesta jig and I feel like I could pee myself a little...
I fear the self-induced punishment that is waiting for me outside...

I need a paper bag.

And I know I tend to exaggerate a lot, but besides the "funny" descriptions, there really was REAL fear in all of this.  I knew I was asking my body to do things that it was literally proving to me it wasn't quite up to doing!

The thing is, there is no movie-style happy ending with this.  Not really.  I don't manage to overcome my fear and pull out this giant win in slow motion montage.  I don't get up from a beating I took from running and mutter "it ain't ova until I say it's ova" all Rocky Balboa style.  I finished the program on a treadmill because it was easier than running outside and therefore made me feel like less of a failure and after that, I dropped mostly off the face of the earth only to show up at the Niagara Falls race having barely run at all the last couple of months.

But giving myself a chance to read back on this really opens my eyes to the fact that things can always get better if you stick with it.  It may not be the leaps and bounds that you expect, but persistence really does mean something.  I'm sad now that at thirty-something weeks pregnant, I can only run walk 3 kms in a half-hour span, when before I couldn't run walk 90 seconds!  And right now, I'm just IN THIS moment.  What will I be feeling a year from now when I read all of this again?  If I just keep AT it...will I be posting that I went SLOWER than 3 kms in half an hour?  I doubt it.  Not if I keep trying and just getting out there and making the commitment, having the will and putting out the effort.  Water eventually erodes rock.  I can keep at this until I forge my own way.  Setbacks are minor moments in the long run...so long as I allow myself the chance at a long run.

Whew....I got a little after-school special inspired there.  But even THAT'S inspiring.  I inspired MYSELF!  With success!  Most people - especially now that the year is coming to a close again - I see a lot of people trying to push themselves through by guilt or shame - by looking at the things they didn't do.  You can only beat yourself up so badly that you can  motivate yourself.  After that it's a fine line until you just give up.

As much as I love getting comments and knowing other readers out there are reading and/or interested in anything I have to say...THIS shows me why I'm keeping this blog.  It's for ME!  Because I can't measure how far I've really come if I can't look back on where I started.

And despite how fun and awesome before and after pictures are (especially when there actually ARE after pictures) reading past posts and comparing them to now and then imagining what the future could hold is way more satisfying. 

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