Thursday, February 28, 2013

What I Didn't Do

You know the times when you are the most stressed and you don't want to do anything, let alone run, but that's also probably the time you need to run the most?

Yeah, that's where I'm at.  I hate depression but it's a part of my life.  Sometimes it's a gradual slipping and a slow crawl towards that dark hole.  Other times, it hits me like a ton of bricks and leaves me wondering what I did wrong to end up in that hole.

Stress is most often what causes the type of depression that crushes me overnight.  It's probably the most confusing not only to me but also to those around me.  I can look fine, go to bed fine, and wake up the next morning wondering what the point is to waking up.

I wrote a little about my lack of self esteem earlier this week and I'm at one of those lows right now.  I know it's never a good idea to count on others to build my self esteem but at the same time, it would be a lot more helpful to hear a few more positives and a few less negative opinions about how I do things.

I know I'm not perfect... never have been and I never will be.  But it's tough when the things I do wrong are quickly pointed out while other things that I bust my ass to do rarely mentioned.

It's never anything major but the little things seem to add up to the general feeling that I just suck...
  • You left some lights on in the house this morning... yeah, I was trying to make it out the door, get Chaney to school on time and on my 7:40am conference call right on time.
  • You didn't load and unload the dishwasher??... yeah, I made dinner and then I had to argue (help) with Chaney about her homework, have her argue with me about taking a shower, and listen to her grumble and make excuses about practicing her violin.
  • You forgot to do _______... yes, I did.  Between inhaling my lunch and running errands for our family, I forgot or ran out of time to do one thing.
  • You didn't run today?... no, not yet.  If I can get everyone to leave me alone that might be a possibility.
  • You don't take care of yourself... Because I'm taking care of everything else that I didn't do.
  • You never take time for yourself... see above.
I know that I'm probably coming across as whiny but I've got to say all this somewhere.  It's hard finding a balance where everyone is relatively happy.  Problem is, when I finally strike that balance I find that I'm absolutely miserable. 

And then I find more things that I didn't do and it makes me wonder why I try so hard in the first place.  I know it's a common thing with women but I feel like I'm losing myself.  My identity is the daily grind of home, work, and life.  Anything above and beyond that and I either feel selfish or inadequate.

And I'm exhausted.

Maybe I'll find the time to run today.  I sure hope so because I need it.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013

Time vs. Distance


I have loved my 10K Runner plan.  It was smart, balanced and I'm convinced it helped to keep me injury free. 


Now that I'm moving on to training for my half marathon, running for time isn't doing it for me.  I'm finding that I run faster when I have a training distance I need to accomplish versus running for a certain number of minutes.  Mentally it's hard for me to run hard for 60 minutes because I'm afraid I'll run out of gas.  It also gives me a bit of permission to slack off because 60 minutes is 60 minutes no matter how fast or hard you push.

But running for miles... for whatever reason it's easier for me to tell how much farther I have to go and I can pace myself accordingly.  And pace is becoming more and more important as I am training for a race that doesn't give you a medal for running for 120 minutes.  It gives you a medal for crossing the finish line after 13.1 miles.

And really, if I'm feeling good after completing my alloted mileage, I can always run another few miles.  I know this is a completely mental game but hey, whatever works because, like I learned during my 10K, running is just as much mental as it is physical.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013



As I was running my 10K the other day, I realized that I had some things to work on.  It wasn't a good race for me and I knew it was going to be tough after two down weeks of being sick.  But reflecting on it, my biggest area for improvement is in the emotional/mental aspect of my running.

I've never been known for having a great self esteem.  Those who know me well enough probably think that I'm pretty secure in myself but those who really know me know that my self esteem is crap.  So as I was running... fighting through the race... I started paying attention to how I talk to myself and it's pretty sad.

I would never talk to Chaney, Steve, or really anyone the way that I was talking to myself that day.  Ouch.

But there I was being all kinds of negative towards myself and that, I'm not so sure how to fix.  Where is that confidence supposed to come from?  Because more often than not I find myself being negative and holding back... just in case.

And then I get mad at myself for holding back and then the really negative stuff starts running through my head.  It's a tough thing to conquer; this self confidence thing.  I keep searching for the smallest of things that could give me a stepping stone towards confidence and even when I find it, I almost always end up holding back.

As I ran this morning I started thinking about the last time I fully embraced running.  That was 10 years ago when I trained for my marathon.  And while I'm in a completely different place in life now, I still have scars from that experience.  Less than a month after completing a destination marathon combined with a wonderful vacation my then husband began having an affair. 

Do I fear that happening now?  No, not at all.  But I'm being stretched and old scars hurt as they are stretched.  With each pop of the scar tissue those nagging, hurtful words from my past are released.  I didn't have good support the last time I ran and I actually had quite the opposite.  But I kept going, finished my marathon, and had lots of little successes along the way.

Problem was that those small victories, my growing self confidence, even my healthy life changes were not celebrated but instead thrown in my face as a reason, an excuse for my ex-husbands affairs.  That's a tough pill to swallow after coming as far as I had because somehow it was my fault.

So even after 10 years of healing, there's still that lingering scar tissue that at times makes me feel defeated and scared.  The key, I suppose, is finding away to turn those scars and the fear into fuel and motivation.

But that's the hard part.  The easier part is taking what I have been able to learn and that is that the words we say matter.  They stick with people long after we have said them and think that they have been forgotten. 

Our words are powerful, including the ones we speak to ourselves.

Monday, February 25, 2013

Cowtown 10K

Yesterday's medal.  I really should find a better way to keep these than in a pile on a bookshelf...

I finished!  To more advanced runners that might not be super impressive but I'm happy with it... this time anyways.

I'm super competitive so it was tough to go into the race knowing that I wasn't physically 100%.  But I made the best of it and tried to find the positives.

The 7 am start was ffffffreezing!  The good... my legs felt great. The bad... my lungs haven't recovered from being so sick.  I finished and I'm proud that I stuck with it and didn't quit.  Obligatory medal pic to follow...

It was supposed to be warmer but a cold front came thru on Friday so at 7am on Saturday it was in the mid 30's.  My lungs were not great after back to back upper respiratory/sinus infections and the cold air did not make things better.  By mile two I couldn't get a decent breath and I started coughing.  I tried to breathe through my nose by my sinuses were still super congested.  Ugh.

By mile 2.5 I was having to walk/run.  I hated doing this but when I coughed I ended up with a metallic taste in my mouth and I knew better than to push it.  I don't need to add pneumonia to the list of illnesses.

The last 3.2 miles were basically an exercise in distracting myself with random observations to avoid crying out of sheer frustration.  My legs felt great but my lungs were just not cooperating!

A few observations...
  • Port-o-potties on the course should have a warning sign on them:  BAD THINGS HAVE HAPPENED IN HERE.  I ran past one and the door happened to be open... people pee before a race.  If you are stopping during the race then you probably have other issues going on.  Like I said, warning sign needed.
  • Headband/ear warmers are not a good look if you have short hair like I do.  I discovered this in the mirror at home before we left.  You look like a running mushroom.  Or worse.
  • Picking a person ahead of you and working on trying to pass them really does work.  I felt kinda bad about doing this until I realized someone was doing it to me too. Game on ;)
  • Big races are a lot of fun.  If you're middle of the pack like me, you don't run alone.
  • A big hill to start the race and {what felt like} an even bigger one to finish is hard.  And elevation charts lie... things seem much easier when you're just looking at a squiggly line on paper.
  • Texting, Instagramming, Facebooking, etc while running... really??  I left my phone in the car and it felt good not being tethered to the thing.  But that's just me, well until you stop right in front of me to take a picture, then I'm kinda annoyed.  I can see carrying a phone on a longer race but not for a 5K or 10K.
All in all I had fun.  Like I said, my legs felt great and that's encouraging.  The race was well organized, especially for there being 11,000 people there between the 10K, 5K, and kid's 5K.  I'll definitely run this event again.

My current view. Pretty much the perfect afternoon. #quiltdog

After I finished we raced back to pick up Chaney.  She had a birthday party at 10:30 and another one at 4:30.  I crashed on the couch between the two parties with Gus a.k.a Quiltdog.

Go Stars!!

Steve had also bought Dallas Stars tickets about a month ago so we had that to go to Saturday night.  I wasn't super thrilled about walking around downtown Dallas and up and down arena steps but it was a great game and a fun date night which made it totally worth it!

Friends and family also helped make Saturday less stressful and more enjoyable by helping out with Chaney.  I'm super thankful for them because it would have been tough waking her up at 4:30am and then worrying about her standing around in the cold while I ran.  And of course there's Steve.  He never complained about the early start or the cold.  He really is my biggest fan and it's wonderful having him with me at these races.  Love that guy!

Thursday, February 21, 2013

and then just as soon...

... as I post about posting about not being sick and missing workouts; I get a horrible sinus infection that likes to alternate between my sinuses and my chest making it stupid to breathe and run at the same time. 

So yeah, I got an upper respiratory infection and just as soon as I got over that I got a sinus infection.  Yay for winter and working in a bank!  Money is absolutely filthy and then you get these little tellers who touch that money and then touch everything else in the branch which makes everyone sick.  I wholly blame the tellers.

I have my 10K race this Saturday and I am super stressed about it.  Obviously I'm not as ready as I should be which makes me really frustrated because it's not like I skipped runs just because I wanted to.  I'm still going to run because I'm stubborn like that and I'll just gut my way through the last few miles that I know are going to be tough.  Oh well.

In other news, I have to go buy new running tights and shorts because when I run they are now falling down.  Not a good look... hence the absence of a picture in this post.  You're welcome.  But that's also exciting because that means that I'm losing weight!

I'm still sticking with my no-weighing myself rule and it's working really well for me.  I'm not obsessed with food, counting calories or balancing calories burned with calories taken in.  I'm just doing my best to be healthy and it's paying off. :)

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Just as soon...

fancy new hair!

... as I post about not missing any workouts, I get sick.  I should have known better! 

Last week I came down with an upper respiratory infection; probably from allergies that went south.  Thankfully it wasn't flu, strep or any of the other illnesses that are floating around work right now.

I knew better than to run while I was wheezing so other than some yoga, I didn't do anything until this past Saturday.  That was a rough workout!  I ran two miles and I was done.

Sunday I tried again and finished my 10K Runner workout and felt much better.  I was doing my best not to freak out about missing workouts and then I remembered that I had an extra week between 10K Runner ending and my first 10K.  Thank goodness for that extra week!

It's interesting though, even just missing a week's worth of activity, I started to feel that familiar cloud creeping into the corner of my eyes.  If you've ever struggled with depression then you probably know that cloud that I'm talking about.  If you haven't... well, I promise that I'm not crazy. ;) 

So I was more than relieved to get back to my normal routine and for more than just the reason of not wanting to completely suck at my upcoming 10K.  I've always been a believer in exercise but seeing what it has done for my emotional health makes it that much more important to me... and probably to everyone around me as well.

I'm on the "downhill" slope of my 10K Runner plan.  My longest runs {time-wise} are done and now I'm doing intervals and then the final stretch of working towards running a solid 65 minutes straight.  I'm actually excited about that because I am beginning to hate stopping to walk when the program says to.

On a completely and mostly unrelated note, I got my hair cut yesterday.  I went with a pixie cut that is working surprisingly well with my thick curls.  I don't even have to blow dry it which makes me very happy!

Less time drying and styling = more time running and quilting. :)