Wednesday, April 30, 2014

The Guilt of the World's Laziest Fool

For the life of me, I cannot figure out what the problem is.  I simply have no desire to run, whatsoever.  I've tried forcing myself and it's of no use.  At the current time, I hate it, I hate it, I hate it.

 I don't know exactly what happened, or when.  I don't know if I did this to myself.  I know that in the midst of some tough times lately, I've settled into a form of a bad rut that I cannot get myself out of. 
The weight I've gained is almost unbelievable, even to me.  The set backs I've had are becoming more and more numerous.  I'm disgusted with myself more and more.

I'm far too humiliated to reach out to my running pals, ones I once went so many miles with and even mentored.   While I have some confidence they'd be supportive, kind and motivating, I'm not ready to face them until I'm on my way back up.  I know everyone in the world will tell me that it's friends and people who can help me get back to an acceptable level, but I know myself well enough to know that if I had friends pushing and pulling me up the hill I don't want to go, then I'd be filled with resentment and it might push me further into the gutter. So until I wean off this humiliation stance I'm in, I'm not reaching out much.  I'm not quite ready for that, but I know in time, it will be welcomed and needed. 

Just last night I had a dream about a mud run I was doing with my husband, my sister and my brother.  My husband started late, my sister and brother [ both who have started running/walk-running in real life] were just ahead of me when we started.  I turned a corner and I watched a group of cheerleaders in pristine clean cheer outfits carry an injured cheerleader off the course. My siblings were finishing the course.  Running was impossible for me and at the very first corner, my siblings and my husband were done, and waiting in someones apartment. I said forget it, and went to the apartment where my sister gave me my medal and my shirt.  I hadn't even gone 1/10th of a mile and they had finished. 

That pretty well sums up my mental level these days.  Sadly, that feels so much like reality that it scares me.  [ well except the mud run...I don't like dirty.  And my husband running.  He'd be on the side drinking Pepsi and smoking] I see everyone running ahead of me and even if I tried to catch up, I couldn't and at some point, I just don't care anymore. 

I'm done forcing myself to do this.  Maybe my runner days are over.  Maybe I did what I was supposed to do and that was it.  Maybe those were my glory days and it just simply- no pun intended- ran it's course. 
So why do I feel so damn guilty?! Why do I feel incredibly disappointed in myself?! Why do I feel like the world's laziest fool?!

I have two more runs I've already scheduled, Bay to Breakers and a Foam Fest in August [ yeah, me- doesn't like dirty OR heat, will embark on both in one day. oy]  Both of these, if I actually do them, will be walked.  While it might not shed any guilt or lame, no aim feeling, at least it's something, I suppose. 

What gives me hope and encouragement is my big brother, who is so incredibly eager and interested in doing these 'races' and walking them only.  That I can do. I think. 

And the depressing part of all this....My sister started running long after I did.  She soared.  She's done awesome times, putting me to shame. I'm so proud of her!  I feel terrible for not continuing this with her.  I want to support her all the way, but in my heart and soul, right now, I just can't do it. 

Call it depression, call it peri-menopause, call it laziness, call it stupidity....I don't have a clue.  I'm fighting my way back and up to a level I can stand myself and while it might take a really long time, anything is better than this. 

So here's to looking to better times....

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

The Non Directional Mess

I've been well aware of my increasing times, decreasing speed for awhile now, but with a lack of direction, ( and ya know, good eating habits and all the jazz) it occurs to me that I desperately need a plan. 
I remember hearing and seeing for eons about 'signing up for a race will motivate and scare you into doing what you need to do'.  Is that what I need? 
This is somewhat familiar territory for me, as after my first 5k, I seriously had no idea what to do next.  Work on speed?  Work on running the full thing?  Work on increased mileage? 
I opted for increased mileage and did just that, all the way to the Half Marathon a year ago, but now, I don't even know what I want.  There's a large part of me that hates running with a passion, there's also a big part of me that loves it, because I know exactly how freakin' hard it is, and it prides me to be able to say ' I did that'. 
I am forever wondering why I do it.  Maybe that's the problem.  Why ask why, anyway? Does it really matter?

Okay, so let me pretend that a big race is exactly what's needed.  I'm not ready to even consider a full marathon.  Nope, not yet.  Another half, perhaps.  But with summer and hotter than hell weather coming up, I'm not sure about that either.  The trouble is, I have no idea what I want. At all.

Why, What, Where, When, Who.....the list of never ending questions is making me batty. 
In the end, what does it really come down to, anyway?

Monday, March 10, 2014

Taking a Load Off

Another challenge came before me that of course I could not pass up- a series of races through A Change Of Pace Foundation, to complete a certain number of races they host and get more bling. 
Now if you know me, I can't say no to bling.  I love the bling on the walls of my tiny hallway, people bumping into them to make a clinking sound...just like champagne glasses- OK, not really. I had signed up for the Lucky Run, which was a nice 7K (4.34 miles) that I thought was doable without killing myself.  I signed up, only to realize my two comrades were already doing the 7 mile route.
So of course, like I do, I crumbled at the least bit of peer pressure and switched to the 7 mile.....for one reason only. 
We were walking it. 
One friend is a walker.  She's not a runner, might never be a runner, but she walks & she rocks.  So there would be no running on this particular one, it was something I had never done before since I started running.  Walk it all. 
The first thing I noticed was the night before, there was not huge anticipation, no nervousness, no feeling of utter dread about the harder than hell task I was facing.  It was a simple, relaxed anticipation.  That was huge for me.  The feeling of dread before a race is usually this enormous load on my mind, at times weighing me down like a piano sitting on my back.  Never a good feeling, and lately?  It's almost enough to get me to stay home.  The feeling of dread appears worse and worse these days, as lets face it...running IS harder for me.  Not doing anything in terms of cross training, eating bad, not of course I'm going to dread it.  I'm making it 10X harder for myself.

So the concept of walking it was a new one and while I didn't completely discount the difficulty of it all, I knew it would be much easier than running it.  Longer, but easier, sure.  I loaded up and prepared as I would any race and we were off.
While I was glad for the change in pace and whatnot, I was baffled at the non-use of headphones.  I was super glad to have two to talk to, but honestly, I'll admit I missed my headphones and the pump up music to get me going.  But that being said, the conversation was great, I loved just chatting about everything and nothing all at the same time. 

I guess one could point out that I've forgotten about walking.  Just walking.  My patience is the biggest issue here though.  Less than half way through, I just wanted to be done....knowing we had a long time ahead of us, yeah, that was tough.  But in the end, we walked it, we laughed, we bitched and we finished. 


Monday, March 3, 2014

Finding the Passion: Is It Possible?

I recently read a comment on Facebook recently about someone who was irritated about not getting in her evening run. 
"Nothing feels the same. I hate days I can't run." she wrote.  She felt her entire world was knocked off balance as she wasn't able to do the one thing she loves.  Run.
As soon as I read that, I had a mini surge of excitement, knowing that I would NOT be running that evening, and I was glad.  happy.  Elated.  But of course...I also wondered why I didn't have the same experience. Why didn't I feel the loss of running when I wasn't able to?  Why didn't I have the drive to run even when I didn't need to or didn't have time?

When I miss a running workout, I feel glad that I don't have to do it.  It's hard.  Of course I don't want to do it.  Whether it's a buddy cancelling out, a twinge in my ankle, a scheduling conflict, whenever I'm am unable to run, my emotions are a mix of relief, happiness and guilt.  I hate feeling happy over it, because I think I'm supposed to love it.  But I don't.  Still.  I used to get a LOT more joy out of it, but then I worked harder at it too.  These days I'm lucky if I get three runs a week in- and even those are 3 miles or less-.  I'm confident there's a connection there, work harder, enjoy it more, but the motivation is lacking as well. 

I feel like I have to keep revisiting this issue over and over and I whine about it every time.  I have experienced that 'thing' in me that makes me feel like I'm on fire and cannot and will not ever stop...I love the feeling more than anything...yet it doesn't last. 

Maybe it comes from not having a set goal in mind, maybe it comes from not having the 'whole' package of decent eating and exercise going on for me right now. Maybe I'm expecting too much, maybe  need to account more, the fact that I have a full time job, a family and other 'stuff' going on all at once.   In any case....something is lacking.  Something huge.  It has been for awhile, but I push on anyway.  I'm thinking it's quite likely time to start reading again, the many books I have on the subject.  The old issues of Women's Running and Runner's World magazines.  Those usually can ignite a spark of inspiration. 

What I do know, is that I've been stagnant for too long.  Not a minute of cross training, little or no running training and I'm not happy with it.  I don't know if I'll find the passion I'm needing, but I have to start somewhere, right? One foot in front of the other....I know this stuff like the back of my hand. I tell it to people all the time.  Yet doing it for myself?  Now that's the hard part. 

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Oh The Battles In My Head...

" I'm not going to do this.  I'll send Katy a text saying I've got...uh...diarrhea and I can't go.  Damn, I have her bib.  Okay, I'll deliver her bib to the race site and come back home to sleep"
" No. Don't do that. That's not right.  For God's sake you haven't even paid her back for the registration fees." 
" I can't do this.  Forget it.  I'm not a runner. I quit."
" Oh shut the *&^# up and get your @ss out of bed.  Whiner.  Sh!t.  No wonder you aren't improving your time."

"I just don't want to.  It's lost it's appeal.  It's not fun anymore"

" God, she'll be so disappointed. Okay, I'll go.  But then I'm done. For good."

There it is. 
The battle that loomed my head before I even finished hitting the snooze button my usual six times. 

Had I been doing that last race alone, I'd never have gotten out of bed.  Ok, so it's true...having a partner really DOES make you get out there.  Especially THIS partner.  My sister.  If I never showed up for a race, she'd make me feel guilty, for a minute or two.  But then seeing her move on, faster and better than me would kill me. 
( as if she's not already way faster than me already...yeah, no logic there. Big surprise) know, it's not like she'd totally reject me if I didn't show up, right? I mean...she's family, she has to like me and be nice to me, or I'll tell mom. 
Yes, this was the conversation in my head driving to the race. 

My heart wasn't in this last one.  Not surprising.  I can't say my hearts really in any of them, because it's just hard.  I don't like hard.  I like easy and tasty.  Running is neither of those. 
I had had a weird twinge in my ankle a few days prior, nothing huge, but didn't seem to be an issue come race day.  So I moved forward. 

About 1/2 mile into it, I felt that ankle twinge from a few days prior.  "Eh, whatever.  It's not that bad."  Not even allowing myself to think about hurt, pain, quitting....Nope. 
By mile two, I knew I was in trouble.  It hurt.  Every damn step was like pounding nerves into my heel.  I altered my gait, my feet, my strike to see if I could work with it.  Nope. 

I could still see Katy, and Company ahead of me, and still held the hope that I'd not come in dead last out of the group.  I had not even considered quitting.  I could still catch up with them.  A burst of speed, another burst of speed and I can do that.

Meanwhile, there was a wonderful realization that I was not dead last.  Because this was a charity race, there was a group of 'militaries' in their full camo and gear doing the race too.  Most of them looked like the sh!t they carried on their backs weighed more than they did.  That kept me going for a bit. 

My left leg began to get incredibly tired.  I realized that I was overcompensating, trying to relieve my ankle, only to be putting more weight, pressure and work on my left leg, namely my thigh.  Ok, back off on the thigh.  Less than a mile until turn around.  I got this.  I can still see my peeps. I got this. 

Ohhh, no I don't.  About .20 from the turn around, I see Katy on the other side, after the turn around and I knew I'd have to stop.  She told me 'stop!' ' Wait for the others, sit down...' something to that effect.  As If I was going to listen. 
I decide I'm just going to turn around right then.  I've never cut shirt a race before, but .40 on a 10K wasn't the end of the world.  I still could get out about 5.8 miles.  That's good.  I can do this. 

But sh!t, it hurts.  I wonder what I've done.  I might need to stop. 
'nope, you've never gotten a DNF. No.  Worst thing ever'
"oh whatever. It is not. If you are hurt you are hurt.  There's no shame in a DNF"
' Really?  So you'd be proud?'
" Well no...but isn't well being more important?"
' sure, so the guilt and shame can set in? that's not well being'
" true"

Oh God, here's the battle of my head again.  One of these days I'm going to meet someone who can read minds and they'll petition to have my @ss locked up for being crazy.  hell, even I'd sign that petition. 

In the end, I did not quit.  But I very likely should have.  I hobbled more than I've ever done.  Barely there.  But I had to finish.  I was glad to finish, but I did pay the price.  The pain was horrific by that night, but I heal.  I always have.  I assume I always will.  I wasn't proud, nor embarrassed by the decision I made.  It is what it is. In the future, I'd like to think I'd know what to do, but no.  I'll have to learn it the hard way...again.  Like I always do.  So is me. 

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Big Brother is Watching

My older brother has always been larger than life.  Not only in his personality, but his size as well. To put his weight on here I fear will earn me a punch in the arm, but he has more than a couple of hundred to lose. 
So at some point, and I'm not sure when, he started losing on his own.  We started seeing the difference in inches, but he was frustrated since the scale wasn't moving.  I noticed it for sure around the fall when it looked like he was a kid playing dress up in his daddy's pants.  Huge clown pants that once fit well. 

So he's mentioned before he wanted to start running.  At his size, he knew it was a bit unlikely.  But with more lost inches and more weight lost, he's decided to go for it. 
I found a program for beginners, similar to the one I started a few years back and we both signed up to start 5k training.  I was so very grateful that a few of my previous running pals were also in the program, so I had an instant comfort zone. 

Thus far, I'm pretty impressed with Big Brother- he's actually shown up (on time!)  to all the workouts, his humor and dedication are noticed and admired already by others and he's well on his way.  Still being the giant of the group doesn't seem to even matter or hasn't even been noticed by anyone. 

While browsing his weight loss helper site profile, I came across this....    

My Inspirations

  • Doing activities -participating in athletic events
  • My sister doing things I WANT to do
  • Changing my life for the better
  • Looking good for women!
Does he mean me?  Wow.  Didn't see that one coming!!
But overall, I'm glad I can help him.  Good to know this running nonsense is...contagious!?

The Sisterly Standing Sprain

So in a previous post, I mentioned my sister had taken up running.  Now right off the bat, I was excited to have yet another running buddy, someone to keep my ass off the couch, someone to slightly 'compete' with, someone to keep me going. 

Little did I know, she'd be kicking my ass all the way to the finish line.  Geez.  But I still love it.  While she's beat me pretty much in every race we've done, I don't care much.  I do, though...have the goal to at some point kick her butt.  Hasn't happened so far.  But maybe some day. 

In addition to her, she's recruited a few co-workers of hers, so it almost feels like a team effort. Quite fun, since we don't do all the races together, but usually have someone to partner with. 

Our last race together was A New Years Resolution race.  She beat me, of course, my vow to beat her had kicked in, but still didn't happen. 
Afterwards, I finished, met her at the finish line, standing in line for something, lightly stretching,  talking of times, she had grabbed my arm and in a panicked voice said " I did something. It hurts" 
She had literally sprained her hip while standing. So she's been off for a few weeks to let it heal.(  okay, okay, in all fairness, she likely did the sprain during the run, and it 'kicked in' while standing, but it's so much more fun to say she got hurt standing)

Yes, she sprained her hit standing.  So sounds like something I would do.  But I felt her pain.  Injuries suck. 

So here's to sprains while standing, getting old and at some point, being able to beat my sister.  Happy times indeed.