Friday, September 27, 2013

getting back on track after a derailment

It has been a week of noticing my weakness.  

Noticing my extreme reluctance and general bad attitude about changing our run time from pre-dawn to post-work.  Noticing my body not adapting quickly to the change. 

Noticing how slow I am in adapting to a new sleep schedule.  

Noticing how hard I have to fight to eat in ways that will work with the new run schedule and the new sleep schedule. 

And then today I was just WEAK and GREEDY all day long.  A coworker brought donuts.  Know how many I ate?  THREE.  Two in the morning, one in the afternoon.  THREE.  FREAKING.  DONUTS.  Cuz once I had had one, then I NEEDED more - such is the nature of the sugar junkie, and I know this, and I know the only way around it is not to start down that road.  But start I did, and oh BOY did I run hard down it.

Furthermore, I was in a lunch meeting where we were served A LOT more food than I needed.  Early in the meal, I reminded myself that I COULD just eat a small amount and let the rest of it go. 

But that's not what I did.  I ate it up.  All the spinach salad.  All the big bowl of pasta with breaded chicken and marinara sauce.  All the buttery garlic bread.  All the pineapple upside down cake.  All, all, all.  

I finally did better at supper, managing to eat in a way that shouldn't derail early sleep (I'm already 20 minutes past our bedtime, but hey, it will STILL be early when we get the lights turned out.) And hallelujah, thank you JESUS for my friend who made such a body-loving supper.  A nice end to the day!

So.  Tonight and tomorrow and all the days going forward, I can focus on the many failures of this week in my behavior, attitude, choices, etc.  


I can say that I have a fresh start right this minute.  I can refuse to speak condemning words to myself.  I can go as gently with me as I would with you.  I can do better NOW (which is the only thing I have the power to change - can't change the past or even the future - yet - but I CAN change NOW.) 

So that's what I'll do.  So long, suckish choices.  Sorry we hung out so long.  Hope I don't see you again soon. 

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

outriding fear

I used to be a lot more fearful than I am today.  I had a chance to reflect on that over the weekend as I rode my bike with G. 

First, we came to Credit Island, which was the first place that I gathered my courage to ride with traffic here in the Quad Cities.  Riding the Critical Mass in Chicago with hundreds of other riders had emboldened me enough to think I might one day manage to ride on the streets without the wall of bicycles on all sides of me.  So when I got back to Rock Island, I would put my bike on the rack on my car and take it to a park in Davenport.  From there, I could ride directly on the bike path to Credit Island.  It is a quiet road, but still I was terrified when cars and trucks would pass me.  I had to ride it a lot of times before I could consider riding other, busier roads.

We crossed the main Arsenal bridge, and I remembered my first time to cross – how I stood trembling, barely able to make myself get on and pedal, so sure I was that I would somehow slip and slide and fall over sideways, getting a head injury on the metal edges that are everywhere on all sides. 

We crossed the other, smaller bridge for the Arsenal, and I remembered countless rides across with terror of heights clambering inside my head and twisting my belly in knots.

We did a little sharp u-turn to exit from that bridge to head north-bound on the bike path, and I recalled how I used to have to stop and get off to make that turn, so sure I was that I would fall over otherwise. 

We crossed stoplights, and as I properly took the lane for maximum safety, I felt calm certainty inside, rather than the fearful notion I used to have that some driver was probably going to mow me down in a fit of road rage.

I stood on the pedals as we rolled down a big hill, and I remembered the days when I couldn’t even summon the courage to stand on them while riding on flat ground.

The thousands of miles I have ridden my bike since April 2010, when I first purchased Lulu, have been among the most empowering, liberating forces in my life.  I would never have gathered up what it took to start running, had I not started with biking.  My confidence and competence in all modes of travel – even driving – have been boosted immeasurably by my bike time.  My comfort level with my body has vastly improved – I am more graceful, more sure, and that has chip, chip, chipped away at my self-loathing over the years.

It makes me wonder – what physical challenges will the Lord throw at me in the coming year (because YES I believe the bike was a God idea) to continue to stretch and grow me?

May I meet it with gladness and courage, even if only just barely.

Monday, September 23, 2013


G and I changed our plans to run at 3 AM.  Upon further review, we have decided it is worth attempting to run after work, despite my many and strong objections to running at that time of the day and in daylight.  My objections are not as strong as my aversion to rising at 3 AM.  So we're giving it a go.  

Today was our first after-work run.  Like all runs (for me) after being off running for a week or more, it was miserable.  I lose so much momentum when I don't run.  And then there were all the things I hate about running at not-before-sunrise:  sunshine, warmth, traffic, lots of other pedestrians/runners. On top of that was that my tummy isn't nicely empty like it is first thing in the morning.  So my belly felt HUGE and HEAVY and HORRIBLE and it slowed me down.  I will need to adapt my lunch, I think, to something smaller to accommodate this new run schedule.  

I can do that.  And I trust I will have a better attitude after a week, when I've regained some momentum.  Meantime, I will run and piss and moan and you can feel free to smack me when you see me for my bad attitude.  If you see us out on the street, my husband will be the one smiling and easily outrunning me.  :-)  

Saturday, September 21, 2013

gotta recalibrate

We got a nice bike ride in today.  It was a beautiful day and I was tickled to be out in it. 

We are still in the process of adjusting to my husband Gary's schedule at his new job.  Since I have to drive him at 5:30, we can't get up to run at 5.  We have taken a couple of weeks to adjust our schedule, getting up around 4 so we can do breakfast and devotionals and prayer before it's time for him to go.  I think we're pretty well adjusted to that.

Now this week, we'll need to push it back to earlier.  Not running is really not an option for me.  I can feel the difference in my body when I don't run, and I don't like it.  It looks like we'll be getting up around 3 in order to accommodate a run 3 mornings a week. I don't see another way, since I just don't realistically see myself running at the end of a work day. 

I realized last night while pondering all of this that I need to make another adjustment as well.  We go to bed at 8, to make the early mornings work out.  Eating supper after work means there is very little time between supper and sleep.  I've been eating too much, I realized, for that close to bedtime.  I need to cut my intake down by probably three quarters, or this belly is just going to keep growing. It has definitely been growing steadily with all the reduction in exercise, combined with all that eating like I'm on some kind of holiday, and that is not going well with me.  

So!  Here's to taking responsibility and making necessary changes. 

Monday, September 9, 2013

back to more movement

I am back to regular running, for about the last week, after being more or less "off" since the Bix (with a few exceptions).  My husband Gary wants to run with me, so this was the perfect time for me to help him get in the swing.  I downloaded a C25K app to my Iphone - C25K stands for "couch to 5K" and is a program by which one can move to running 30 continuous minutes within something like 9 weeks.  In theory, that 30 minutes is a 5K.  That has NEVER been true for me - I am such a slow runner - but still, it's a great help for learning how to run without stopping. 

Gary is a faster runner than me.  I can run for 2 hours without stopping, but it's all at a speed that isn't really different from walking.  Right now, the C25K app has us do 5 minutes of walking warmup, then 20 minutes of 1 minute running, 1 minute walking, then 5 minutes of walking cool down.  We walk together.  Then when the voice tells us to run, he shoots off ahead of me (though he keeps trying to slow down to stay back with me, which is noble of him but usually doesn't sit well with Grumpy Morning Karen - I tell him he doesn't need to do that in my friendliest possible voice, and then he does it anyway.  LOL)  

Last week, I didn't even try to catch up with him on the run parts.  I'd just regain the ground during walking and that was fine.  But it occurred to me that once we get to running 30 continuous minutes, we will not be running together AT ALL.  And I need to pick up speed, so that next year's Bix won't be another experience in the frustration of walkers sauntering by me, discussing their favorite pinterest recipes, while I die a thousand deaths inside.

So this morning, I was determined to keep up with him.  I need to get faster.  This is my chance!  And I should get a better workout, going faster.  The problem was:  it was a very muggy 72 degrees out at 4:30 this morning.  Perhaps you've been around long enough to know how badly I handle that much heat for a run.  I need it to be 52, not 72.  I LOVE 32.  72 is torture.  So for the first half of our running, I sort of kind of almost kept up with G, though I was sweating like a madwoman and blowing hard.  The second half....fuggedaboutit!  My butt and legs weighed 20 million pounds, and no amount of the mental push could make the body move a bit faster.  So he was back to slowing down to wait for me and I was back to trying not to glare at him or hold it against him that he's so much nicer a guy than I deserve!  :-)  

I'm going to keep trying.  Maybe Wednesday will bring us a cooler morning.

I also hadn't ridden much for the last 5 weeks or so - something like 2 bike rides total, one of them being the little 1 mile ride to work.  I have had a case of the crankies about that which kind of ebbed and flowed and yesterday BABY IT WAS FLOWING.  I was one grumpola after church, when I figured out that we might not have time for a ride.  Thankfully, we worked that out - we rode to and from the evening church service.  It's only 3 miles from here, and sometimes I wouldn't count that as a "real" bike ride, but when you've done NUTHIN' for so long, 6 miles of road time is a sweet, delicious treat.  I am so grateful that I have a husband who likes to ride!

So hopefully we are getting back into a swing of more exercise.  This body needs it badly.  

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

un-discipline brings its own consequences, thank God

Sometimes it is really hard to get oneself to exercise more, to eat less, to eat better.  Sometimes, though, a motivation is provided.

Since the wedding, I have been in "honeymoon mode," which has meant all manner of GOOD things, but has also meant I have more or less given myself permission to just wildly eat anything and everything and entirely too much of it, as well. 

All of that accumulated last night when I WAY, WAY overindulged at a cookout.  The food was delicious, the company was great, and I just ate, ate, ate, and ate some more.  I didn't just eat stuff that loves my body, though there was an abundance of that available.  I also stuffed my face with stuff that I KNOW will not go well with me.

So I went to bed last night physically miserable, and I stayed that way all through the night, and this morning I've been rubbing my belly and drinking hot water and desperately hoping the worst of it will pass soon. 

All of which will make it not hard at all to get back to running (which I've only done a little bit of, since the wedding) and back to body-loving food intake.  I AM READY.  My poor big round miserable belly is begging me to get back to better treatment.  

Back we go.