Sunday, July 29, 2012

Yankee Homecoming, with a twist..

One of my favorite races is coming up on Tuesday - The Yankee Homecoming 10-miler. I've run it the past 2 years, and will again toe the line on Tuesday. This year, unlike past years, will have a different flavor; I plan on run/walking the 10 miler with a good friend who has never run the distance before.

I've gone back and forth about a million times regarding what I want this run to look like; I know I've mentioned in here before that I wanted it to be my first real test of my running post surgery. I have to be brutally honest with myself - I'm not ready for any type of real speed. I have been working incredibly hard on my endurance, and I actually ran 2 hours and 35 minutes this morning. However, it's been really slow, and with a focus on getting my confidence back. I would be kidding myself, and setting myself up for disappointment, if I toed that line with any kind of a time goal.

I'm choosing to be smart (I know, wonders never cease), and I'm really looking forward to the run. It's always an incredible feeling to run alongside someone in their first effort at a distance. It'll be awesome to cheer on all the other runners around us, while we make our way around the course. For once, I'll be able to truly appreciate the course, instead of being so head down and focused, and cursing every little incline with the scorching sun in my face.

I would be lying if I said that I wasn't slightly disappointed that I'm not ready to lay down marathon pace for 10-miles. However, I AM proud of my progress - I'm being intelligent, and with that, comes sacrifice. Yet, it also comes with long term success. For so long, I've been so focused on the next day/week/month. Since my surgery, I've been much better about thinking about keeping myself injury free for as long as I possibly can. With that, insert Tuesday night's run.

In other non-running related news, I married off my last sister on Friday night. Here is a picture from the bachelorette party, and my favorite of me and Caitlyn from the wedding.

Happy Training!

Bumblebee bowling sucks - yup, I went there. 
I promise we kept a serious face during the ceremony

Thursday, July 5, 2012

The Great Weight Debate

What you were thinking when you saw this post come up in your google reader: What? Yet ANOTHER person posting about weight, what they eat, and how they feel "fat" even though they don't come close to the definition? Oh, super.

This post isn't about me, my weight, or any body issues I may/may not have. Its to understand (through your feedback) how different we are as people: endurance athletes, couch-to-5K'ers, dancers, bowlers (okay, maybe that's a stretch) view weight, and how, as individuals, we measure it.

I'll go first, since, well it's my blog and my hair-brained idea. I don't own a scale, and I don't weigh myself. I never ever have. Even when I was pregnant, I would stand on the scale backwards, and threaten the nurse's life if she uttered a number. I have an incredibly addictive personality (wait? did you just gasp? I know, I find it shocking too); I have a hard time doing things in moderation. Not to say that I can't or don't, but it's a challenge for me. And I know if I got a scale, I would become obsessed. It would be a competition with myself to see how low the number could get, I would stress out about it, and that number would dictate whether or not I have a good day. For me, the scale isn't healthy, so I simply don't make it a part of my life.

Which leads me to my first set of questions: do you use a scale, and if you do, how often? How are you able to remove the emotional tie to the number on the scale?

While I have made it 32 years without a scale, that doesn't mean I run around and shove my face with M&M's on a daily basis (although good God that sounds awesome). By not having any numbers attached to my body per se, I have become VERY in tune with how I feel, how clothes fit, etc. I can tell when I've been cycling more than running, or swimming a lot, just by the difference in how my clothes fit.

If you DON'T use a scale, how do you measure your weight?

As I've been making my comeback, I've relied on cross-training to keep me fit and uninjured. My running days are still far and away my favorite days, but I've been very diligent to not run more than 1-2 consecutive days without putting in a spin/elliptical/swim day in there. With that said, I always feel most fit when I'm running high mileage. I 'spose that makes sense, in that you're torching a ton of calories every day, in each session that you're out pounding the pavement. Lately, it's been hard to associate me with the word "fit", because although I'm getting in those sweat sessions, it's not what my mind associates with being "in shape". And for all those who just eye rolled your laptop screens, I'm aware it's not rationale, it's purely emotional.

Do you have a certain activity that makes you feel the most "in shape"?

Finally, recovery. It's importance is so incredibly overlooked by so many athletes, and it's crucial to our success. However, so many athletes (myself included) struggle with executing recovery properly. As in DOING IT. I used to be one of the biggest offenders of this. A day off would entail a "30-45 minute easy run", instead of actually taking the day off. This has led to over-training a few different times in my athletic life, and I'd like to think I've learned from it. From several people I've spoken with, it can be so easily associated with food/weight. "If I'm not working out today, I should probably just eat whats necessary for basic survival, right?" used to run through my head on every recovery day.  It took a lot of educating myself, as well as self-discipline to shift this mindset, and view recovery as a positive thing.

Do you struggle with eating/how much to eat on recovery days?

I'll freely admit that I'm a work in progress; I most definitely still have days where all I want to wear is a tarp, and there are most certainly days where all the money in the world couldn't get me into a bikini. I'm pretty sure we all have our own journey when it comes to body image, and the tools we use to keep ourselves feeling our very best. I'm curious to hear about everyone's individual journey...

Happy Training!