Monday, October 14, 2013

Now What?

It’s been 22 days since I’ve run. As I said in my last couple of posts, life has gotten in the way. What’s interesting about this is that running should take precedence over not doing anything because I know it will make me feel better. I’m done with my cold so no excuse there. I’ve taken to eating for comfort since my mom died three weeks ago. Of course this isn’t good at all because no exercise + eating badly = feeling like crap. I know this but haven’t gotten myself out there yet. I need to learn to stop being so hard on myself. My emotions over the loss of my mom are always on the surface just waiting to spill out. Running would help this, I know that. It’s going to just be a matter of getting myself out there. Getting dressed, getting the shoes on, getting my headphones on, getting out there. I ran a lot when she was alive. Doing it now almost seems odd even though I did the half marathon three days after she passed. I was in such a fog that I don’t remember a lot of it.

Now what?

I need to run for me. I need to feel like a runner again instead of thinking about when I’m going to eat next. I know that’s sad but well, I’ve been through a lot the last few weeks and I figure it this way, it could be much, much worse. I’ll get out there when I’m ready. I really hope it will be soon though. I miss it.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

How It's Going

Well, it's going.

I caught a cold last weekend which isn't surprising after everything that's been going on in my life so that has kept me from running this week. Hopefully soon I'll kick this cold to the curb and get back to running. It's been over a week since my half and I miss getting out there.

I've decided I'd like my next half to be the Brooklyn Half in May 2014. So, I'll have to train and train hard because there is a 3-hour time limit and since my time was 3:15 a couple weeks ago, that won't cut it. I really want to walk less anyway so this will be a good goal.

I've had serious brain fog since my mom passed but this cold is adding more fog so work has been challenging this week. I miss her so much. My family and I have had to do so much in such a short amount of time like going through her entire house in 2 weekends because she was renting a house and we really didn't want to pay another month's rent. Well, it's done now. There's more to be done but I'm not going to get into all that now. Needless to say, it's been a rough 2 weeks and I need to get back into running soon to get my head cleared a bit.

I think I'm going to use one of Hal Higdon's training programs for my next half. I can't wait to start!

Monday, September 23, 2013

A LOT of Catching Up To Do

It's been a couple weeks since I last posted and quite a bit has happened so here it goes...

My vacation in Maine was wonderful. It was relaxing and the food was great. Just what I needed. I was out of my comfort zone by just traveling with my in-laws without my husband but it was great. I ran on the beach for the first time and it was a great experience. I think getting out of my comfort zone every once and awhile is a good thing. And yes, I had lobster - twice. Yumm!

I got back from Maine on Sept 13th and went back to work on Sept 16th. On Sept 19th my mom passed away. I'm not sure if it was really unexpected because she has had health issues for a very long time but yes, I can say I still didn't expect it. She had endured so much for so long that I didn't ever think I would lose her. Never say never. I'm devastated to say the least. Of course timing is well, an odd thing. I had registered for my 2nd Half Marathon that was to take place on Sept 22nd. Of course I was in no shape to do it mentally and somewhat physically since my longest run was 6 miles in the last 4 months but I posted on a wonderful group on Facebook called "Running Friends" and many, many people replied to my asking for opinions as to whether or not I should do it by saying yes, I definitely should because my mom was very supportive of my running and weight loss. So after a lot of thinking, I decided to do it. It was one of the hardest things I've ever done.

The run was in Upstate NY in Schroon Lake. This is a beautiful area about 50 miles north of where I live, right in the heart of the Adirondack Mountains. The leaves are starting to change and the temperature was a perfect 55 degrees for running. I had my husband, in-laws and friends there to support me so off I went.

Before I get too far into describing my race experience, I have to admit that all of my intentions for doing this race weren't virtuous. My husband promised me a pair of Frye boots (the brand of boots I've wanted for over 30 years but never purchased for myself) if I beat my last Half Marathon time so I must admit there was another reason to do this race but yes, it was minor compared to my need to do this for my mom. 

The signs that my mom was watching over me started before I even got to the start of the race. It was while I was waiting to board the bus to take me to the start. Someone's cell phone rang and it was the same ring tone that my husband used when my mom would call him. That was sign #1.

Sign #2 was when I was around mile 10 and a woman along the side of the road held up a sign that said, "Go Mom!" Wow, that was rough to see. I told the woman how much that sign meant to me and explained to her why. She was very nice as I was balling. Jeez.

So I started the race with two of my friends who decided they were going to walk it. It was a wonderful experience to talk to them. This was what I did for the first 35 min. After that, I started my run/walk routine.

I ran in the rain for the first time. That was interesting. I'm not sure it's something I would seek out like other runners do but I didn't really mind it.

In general the race was very well-organized and I will definitely do it again next year. It's actually an entire weekend of races including a 5k, 10k, Half Marathon, and Marathon, and relay. Maybe someday I'll do the full marathon but I've got a ways to go before I consider that. The Half is enough for me at this point.

Oh yeah, I'm getting the boots. I PR'd and beat my last time by 5 min. Not too shabby.

Friday, September 6, 2013

An Off-Week

This week didn't start in the best way. Rewind to Sunday afternoon. I got very sick with a stomach virus. It came out of nowhere and I was very sick for around 8 hours. It's now Friday and 7 lost pounds later I'm just starting to feel normal again. What a week.

So, with this silly sickness came no running. I haven't been for a week because I had no appetite and didn't think it was a good idea to go out without being very fueled. I'm glad I made that decision but I also know when I attempt a run tomorrow morning that it's going to be little rough. Well, ya gotta get back out there sometime.

This coming week I'm going to Maine for 5 days on vacation. I know I've mentioned it before but I can't wait. I've VERY much needed this vacation for a long time. I just want to run, eat lobster, eat steamers, sit on the beach and repeat. Yup, that's it.

I'm sorry Mr. Lobster. You will be mine...

Friday, August 30, 2013

A Crazy Time

Well, the past two weeks have been crazy at work. We are short-staffed and short-fused. Hence, the no-blogging. I've still been running though so that's a good thing.

Last week I missed a couple days because I was having knee issues but I've been trying to stay on target with my training. I figured it was best to be cautious and not push it with my knee. I rarely have knee pain so I wasn't sure how long it would last. I think I probably had the pain because of the minimalist sneakers I've been slowly adding to my routine so I haven't used them since. I'm not sure if that's smart or not.

My long run of 9 miles this past Sunday was cut short to 6. This was due to a few things. I definitely ran at a bad time of day. I went out around noon and it was already hot and humid. I should've gone in the early morning or late afternoon. I quickly became dehydrated and didn't feel well in general. I walked more than I ran but I got through it. I also worked a lot this past week so I missed 2 runs. The last not-so-positive thing is that I went out to run 4 miles tonight and ended up with 3 because there were some drunk kids on the trail and I was uncomfortable so I figured better safe than sorry and had my hubby pick me up. I'm glad I did that.

So, what have I learned this past 2 weeks? Just that life happens. It's a cliche but it's true. There are some things you can't avoid and you have to roll with the punches. Getting back up, dusting yourself off and running another day is key. I will be getting out there this weekend and getting that long run in at some point. I'm so glad I have Labor Day off because a 3-day weekend is just what I need. Then it's back to work for only 4 days and then I'm on vacation for a week. I absolutely can't wait for that. Maybe I mentioned it in another post already but I'm going to Maine for 5 days. I haven't been there in 2 years but my plans only consist of running on the beach (something I've wanted to do my whole life but couldn't), relax and eat seafood. I'm SO looking forward to this!

My half marathon is almost 3 weeks away. I'm not really nervous at this point since luckily I've already done one but I wish I had been a bit more consistent with the training. I keep trying to remember that I've only been running for 7 months and I've already done a half in that time. Next time I train for one I will hopefully be able to stick with this kind of plan which was only have one rest day per week. I really couldn't do that this time. I needed the 2 rest days. Maybe other plans are different. I'll have to check them out next time.

Would you ever consider or have you already done a destination race or should I say, one in another country? There are lots of them but one I recently heard about is at the Great Wall of China.  What do you think about this? I think it sounds absolutely amazing. I would love to hear about your experiences.

Sunday, August 18, 2013

A Productive Week

I think I ran a pretty good amount this week - 22 miles. The longest run I did was today - 8 miles. It's actually the longest run I've done since my half marathon in May. It was a hard one today though. I was already tired going into it but I knew I needed to do it because I've missed my last two long runs and it was time.

Today's run went back and forth with good and not-so-good. It seems every run is different and I've read a lot of things written by a lot of people who say the same thing. As I said, I was tired which is understandable since I haven't slept well lately and I've been working a lot of overtime.

So my next half is five weeks from today. I'm excited and a little scared. I'm not sure why though. Every day comes with different feelings about it. I think a little bit of it is that I'm looking forward to it being done. I mean I'm glad I signed up for it and I'm glad I'll be doing it but I'm also looking forward to running shorter distances and starting to focus on weight training. Since I had my gastric bypass surgery two years ago I haven't made it to my goal weight yet. The idea of actually doing that has changed at this point. My main goal now is getting to a weight where I'll be more comfortable running. It's interesting how one's perspective changes over time (oh, yeah, I'm "one").

I love this. Do you ever feel like this? I do sometimes. We all see ourselves different than others see us. A lot of the time I think that's probably a good thing.

Have a great night!

Megan :)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013

Cross Training and The Treadmill

Sunday was the beginning of week six of my half marathon training which means there are only six more weeks until the race. Oy! That's coming up fast. The one I'm doing is called the Adirondack Half Marathon and I can't wait. It's gonna be hilly but I doubt it will be like the one I did this past May in Gloucester, MA. I'm SO happy I didn't look up the elevation changes on that one before I went. I think I would've had to rethink the whole thing before even going.

My training so far this week has consisted of a 2.5-mile run on Sunday, a 6-mile bike ride on Monday and a 5-mile run tonight. Regrettably I've missed my long runs the past 2 weeks which I know isn't good but I'll be doing one this week when just by coincidence my training doesn't call for one. The Sunday run was short because I got new sneakers. Well, not just any sneakers. I'm attempting to delve into the "minimalist" category of sneakers. I've only been running since January and I got new Brooks Adrenalines in March but I've just always had this feeling of almost being clunky when I run. I'm sure some of it is me and I'm thinking (well, now I know) that some of it is the sneakers. So I went with these: Merrell Run Glove Dash 2. Whew! Long name but so far I'm acclimating very well with them. They feel so, shall I dare say it?... natural. They will definitely take time to get used to and on my 5-mile treadmill run tonight I did 2 miles in them and the other 3 miles in my Brooks. And I should also add that that was the strangest transition ever but I know it's got to be done. I'm not sure yet if I will wear the Merrells in the race but I'll see how the training goes.

On another topic, what about trail running? I think it looks pretty interesting. I've been reading some things about it and I think I might try it sometime. I would think it's probably better on your joints than road running too. Maybe a little trail running might be in my future? Hmmm...

I can tell you one thing that definitely won't be in my future and that's the Badwater Ultramarathon. A 135-mile marathon through Death Valley where the average temperature is 120 degrees. Yeah, no thanks but I gotta say that I think it's pretty interesting. One of the statistics I read is more people have climbed Mt. Everest than have finished this race. Pretty crazy, huh?

Here are some questions for you. I would love to hear back from you!

Is there a race you've always wanted to do?

Are you looking to change your style of running at some point from trail running to road running or vice versa? Or possibly add something new to your routine?

What race(s) are you training for currently?

Megan :)

Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Promise of Pizza

I don't know how many people have done this before but I figure that there are people out there who have done A LOT worse so I'm neither embarrassed nor shy about admitting this to the internet masses (or in this case, the few people that may read this).

I admit it. I ran tonight with the promise of pizza. Yup, I knew the pizza was waiting for me and I did it. So here's the story... I was too lazy to run this morning before work. I looked forward to running after work all day while I was at work but got home from work and then attempted to talk myself out of it. Last night's leftover pizza was calling my name from the fridge which is odd because I really didn't think I would be able to hear it that well from the bedroom. But I digress...

I knew I HAD to get out and run but it was muggy and crappy outside so off to the dreaded gym and treadmill I went. I made a bargain with myself that if I completed my 5-mile run that I could have that slice of pizza that had been unwillingly trapped in a ziploc bag and placed on my car's passenger seat. I completed the run, went out to my car and had a few bites of the lovely pizza.


Tuesday, August 6, 2013

Am I Secretly A Morning Person?

Oh sweet Christ on a cracker! I hope I'm not becoming a morning person. Wait, does one morning a morning person make? Is that Shakespeare? I don't know any Shakespeare really so I shouldn't be trying to quote him.

Yes, I got up and ran this morning and I'm VERY unhappy to say it was a great run. Why am I so unhappy? As I said in a previous post, I am NOT a morning person! But alas, can this be untrue?

I don't know how to handle this situation. My mind is blown and I'm unsure how to even pick up all the bits.

Anywho, I ran 2.5 tempo miles this morning at 7am. It was beautiful outside and I felt great and I still do. I had energy (which I guess I don't have anywhere near as much of after work when comparing it to this morning) and a sense of peace. Yikes! what the heck is happening to me?

As a side note, this is an hysterical must-read. Angry Jogger Story.

Well, I guess that's it for me for now. I suppose I need to get back to work.

What is on your agenda today? Are you going to run? Cross-train?

Have a great one!


Monday, August 5, 2013

Cross-Training Day

Today was a cross-training day so I went biking with my hubby. We rode about 7 miles and I had a great time. The weather was beautiful - sunny and 78 degrees. I couldn't ask for nicer weather.

Tuesday will be a training day and my plan calls for a 35-minute tempo run. I think I'll probably go to the gym to do that since I have a few errands to run in that area anyway.

An ongoing issue that I'm dealing with is needing to lose weight. I had Gastric Bypass surgery in May 2011 and while it was the best decision I've ever made, the so-called "honeymoon period" of rapid weight loss has been over for more than a year. I think that I'm very good about keeping with the plan (most of the time) but I have to constantly remind myself that protein and water are most important and everything else food-wise is secondary. This is and always will be difficult to me because I love carbs. Any kind of carbs too, I'm not picky in the least. Unfortunately, that love of carbs helped me get to the weight that finally got me to the point to think about getting the surgery in the first place. I also need to take vitamins twice a day, everyday. But I knew this going into it and I'm still very happy with my decision.

My point is that I've never reached my goal weight and while my outlook has changed on weight in general and the need to be a specific number, I also know that getting to the size that I want to be will help in all areas of my life, including running. I'm working to be more diligent in getting all the protein and water in and keeping my calories down but I also need to find that balance because of the training which means I know that this isn't the ideal time to try to lose weight. As I said, this is a lifetime change so while I know how to be diligent, I try not to be so strict that I'll be miserable because I know that training makes me more hungry along with needing more carbs but I also know that limiting everything doesn't make me happy. So, everything in moderation is the key and I'll be following that for the rest of my life.

Did you run today? If so, how far?

Did you do any other kind of activity or was it a rest day?

Let me know!

:) Megan

Sunday, August 4, 2013

Breakfast, Laundry and 2.5 Miles

It's Sunday.

I've never really known how I feel about Sundays. I mean sure, it's nice to have the day off (usually) but it's also the day before I have to go back to work (usually - there are always exceptions).

Today has been nice though. I slept in. Before I go ANY further, let's get this out of the way now. Yes, I "sleep in." And yes, this means I sleep until 10am - 11am. I am NOT a morning person. I never have been. This doesn't mean I can't get up early, it just means I hate to. So please don't judge the sleeper. I love to sleep and must admit it's one of my favorite past times. But like I said, I will get up early if I have to and even some days when I don't.

Something that will get me up is going out to breakfast. I had a wonderful mushroom, scallion, tomato, and American cheese omelet with rye toast. Yum!

And then... there was the coffee. Double yum!

I love coffee. There isn't much to say about it. I just love it. I love it iced, I love it hot, I love it anytime of the day. (I feel a Dr. Seuss rhyme forming) I have to switch to decaf early in the afternoon but that's ok, I don't mind. My favorite place is right here in Saratoga Springs called Uncommon Grounds. I go there everyday and I don't feel guilt for spending the money because I have a refillable cup from there and it only costs me $1. So yes, it's worth it.

I had to share this:

What do you think of it? It speaks to me as someone who definitely weighs herself too often having battled weight issues my whole life but it means I need to stop worrying about my weight and just run. I love this picture.

Last week was a rough week. I only ran on Monday and then just didn't feel like myself for the next 5 days. I'm so glad I ran today though. I got 2.5 miles done. I also need to get back on track with my half marathon training tomorrow. I've decided to skip week 4 since I missed most of it and proceed to week 5 since I don't have the time (the race is 9/22) to make it up.

Did you run or walk today? If so, how'd it go?

What's your favorite breakfast?

Till the next time...


Tuesday, July 30, 2013

The Beginning

Why start a blog?

I think what I have to say might help some people. Maybe not many but a few, and well, it will make me feel better to get it out.

The “about me” stuff is an ongoing work-in-progress but since my main interests are running and getting healthier and I enjoy talking about those things, well, I figured why the hell not talk about it to the masses?

So, here it goes. Enjoy the ride or get off the bus. You can read this or ignore it. It’s your choice. That’s why the internet is so cool, right?

I start this blog in my 41st year of life. Jeez, I still can’t believe I’m 41. I’m not sure what 41 is supposed to feel like but I remember being a teen and thinking 40 was old. Well, 40 (41) is the new 20 (21), right? I can honestly say I’m healthier now at 41 than I was at 21 so that’s certainly a good start.

I’m a runner. I’m not fast but I enjoy it. I’m currently training for my 2nd half marathon on 9/22/13. My first one was 5/5/13 and I’m happy to say that I survived it and actually had a good time. I finished that first one and said I would never do one again. I signed up for my 2nd one, 1 week later. I’ve heard that happens among runners.

Running is a lot easier than it used to be. I’ve lost about 115 lbs through Gastric Bypass surgery in 2011 and trying to eat better in general. For all of you who think Gastric Bypass was an easy way out, you couldn’t be further from the truth. While it was the best decision I’ve ever made, for me it’s just as easy to gain weight now as it was before the surgery. There are lots of positives and a few negatives of having the surgery but I’m not going to get into all that now. I’m healthier for having it so that’s all that matters.

As for the running, I’m currently in my 4th week of training and it’s been a little rough. PMS has been kicking my butt this week so every step feels like I’m running through mud but I did a 4.3 mile run last night and live to tell the tale. The weather was beautiful so I had no excuse not to. It was supposed to be a 7-mile run since that is my long weekend run at this point but since I wasn’t feeling too hot over the weekend, I didn’t do it. I’m going to just continue with my training to keep on track and I’m not too worried about that one run. There will be lots more where that came from.