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Monday, February 18, 2013

First Goal of 2013 - Done!!

My first fitness goal of the year was to walk 10 miles.  In January, I started back to walking...with 4 miles.  Each week I increased the distance by a mile.  On Sunday, February 17th...I walked 10 miles.  Yes...10 miles...and it felt really, really good.  The timing was perfect...because I will taper down a bit and then start my half marathon training on Feb. 25...I will be 14 weeks away for the real deal.  I'm learning how to push myself physically.  I'm learning how to hydrate.  I'm  learning how to trust the data.  I'm learning the things that break the good habits I'm trying to keep in place.  I'm learning that some things are going to have to give in order for to me keep healthy and keep moving towards my other fitness goals for the year (an unassisted pull up, half marathon, and marathon).  I need to get the balance back.  Work can't always win in terms of priority.  I need to take control of my time.  It will be hard...but if I can set my mind to walk 26 miles...surely I can set my mind to leave work by 6pm at the latest each night.  I need to take control of my time.  I need to just do it.

One of my ideas is to start going to the gym after work again.  For the past several months I have been going in the mornings and it worked for a while...in terms of being a good stress reliever...but now it isn't working so well.  Switching things up every now and then is good.  Plus, I have noticed that I do stay even later than usual at work now that I don't have to go to see Gym.  So, you can see where I am going with this.  The other thing is that I want to allow plenty of time for my training...doing things right...allowing time for warm-ups, cool downs, speed/form drills, and stretching.  If I work out in the morning, I'm going to feel rushed.  I don't want to feel rushed.  If I work out after work, there is no time limit.  I can just take my time.  My time.

So, I didn't set out to reward myself for the 10 miles...but as luck would have it...I found a really cute purse today that was on sale...20% off and then another 20% off.  I haven't purchased a new purse in a long while (gasp)...and my pretty Juicy Couture bag was starting to get a bit frayed at the edges.  So I did it, I bought a new bag and a few matching accessories.  It is a totally different kind of bag for me..and it reminds me of a giraffe (which is my favorite animal and my inspirational Tri-Athlete friend's favorite animal too)...so it felt like the right bag for me as I head into a new chapter of my life.  Getting Marathon Ready...

Saturday, February 9, 2013

Respecting the Data...

 As an intuitive person, I pretty much play things the way I feel it.  Even in terms of my Type 1 Diabetes...yep...it is true.  I would usually just check my blood sugar in the AM to get things set for the day...and then just adjust during the day...depending upon how I felt.  I know, bad...very bad.  One can't do much in terms of increasing their game physically while managing their lack of a working pancreas in this manner.  This Type 1 Diabetic can't expect to walk a half marathon and a marathon without embracing the data.  You need data to do accomplish amazing things. I get it now.

This is what I am learning most as I set out on this journey...that is both scary and exciting.  It is the data thing that scares me, but I am starting to embrace it.  I am respecting it.  This is huge.  I have spent the last week keeping logs of my blood sugar, insulin taken, and carb intake.  A full week of honest of numbers...I say honest because when I was a kid...I would just write numbers down and create fake trends to give my doctor something work on.  I know, bad...very bad.  There is much, much room for improvement and deciding to get to the starting line to walk 26 miles is helping me.

I'm adapting and adjusting to the fact that I need to know how my blood sugars will rise and fall over the miles.  I'm also accepting that I will need to measure other things as I ready myself, especially in terms of intensity in my training.  So a heart rate monitor is now being incorporated into my set of essential gear.  I have never trained for anything before...and since I usually use my time with Gym to relive stress and zone out for an hour or so a day...I realize that I'm going to lose that.  It is tough knowing that I'll have to start watching the HRM while I elliptical or treadmill...and vary the intensity depending upon what is prescribed for day's workout.  It will be true work.  It is going to change things.  It is going to be worth it.  My intuition tells me so...   

Thursday, February 7, 2013

Smile and Let Your Hair Down...

It will be two years in March...and it still seems like yesterday when we spent those last few months with Grandma.  They were probably the most hard moments we had ever faced as a family...my Mom, Sister and I.  When those feelings of extreme missing hit me, I turn to one thing...pictures.  I head to the basement and pick a box and then let the old photos remind me of all the fun we had with Grandma (and Grandpa too).  Grandma's Birthday was on Sunday...so I headed to the basement to see if I could find a picture that I hadn't remembered seeing before.  I did.  This one really captures the perfect smile of my Grandma...she was always cheerful and happy.  She always took good care of me.  And she always told me that there were two things that I needed to work on...1) smiling more and 2) wearing my hair down.

The good news...I have been working diligently on both.  Despite my name, I was pretty serious as a kid and as a teen and as a young adult too.  I'm growing into being more carefree and working on smiling more.  I have also spent the majority of my life wearing my hair back too...in a ponytail or a bun.  I'm making progress on there too...I actually wear my hair down more days of the week than I do up.  Although, I do keep a hairband at my desk at work...I just think better when it is pulled away from my face.  I know Grandma would be okay with that...it is still down...technically...and being productive at work makes me smile more...so one supports the other.  I think she would be happy at the progress.

I miss her so much...her bravery...her style...her heart...her laugh...her cooking...her smile...her everything.

Tuesday, February 5, 2013

I was a Vera Girl...now I am a UA Girl...

I have written before about my obsession with Vera Bradley and the many, many purchases of floral patterns of bags, wallets, pens, pencils, stationary, journals, and laptop bags.  Just scope this out to see - Vera Addiction.  I have also written about how my love of Under Armour continues to grow...so much so that I have created a new label for my blog - UA Girl.  There is something about new clothes and shoes for the gym that increase your motivation for getting there and do hard work.  The right clothes foster the right movements.

As miles continue to increase on my long duration workouts (I am up to 8 miles), so does the need to prepare for when I need to hit the streets and trails...as Spring nears.  This of course, will require more Under Armour.  And as the seasons shift, one knows that the inventory starts to shift as well.  So a trip to the outlets no longer means new purses or outfits for work or killer steals on pretty shoes...nope...it means visiting the UA Factory to restock on the essentials and some fun things too.  My favorite of the day was finding this lovely UA Storm Rivarly Jacket.  Not only is this going to keep me warm (and dry) once I head out in another month or so for outside duration training...but also at DC United Games...just about a month away from the home opener at RFK...so see...this was a good investment.  A perfectly justifiable purchase...

A nice little chat...


On the day I decided to commit to doing a half marathon and full marathon, I had a good conversation with my Grandpa on the drive into work.  It is always how I talk with him now...while I am in the car.  It was one of things we had in common...our love of cars and driving.  We would always have our best chats when we would go out for a drive, clean/polish cars, and test drive cars as well.  It was one of our things.  I miss it.  I miss him.  Every Single Day.

                                                                         
My Grandpa worked hard for many, many years...and since most of his work was physical in nature, he was always fit.  He was careful about fueling himself with the best possible food and rarely over indulged.  He respected the balance required.  When I was mulling over the idea it occurred to me that I have never had that same respect.  The balance.  The discipline.  The more I thought about it, the more I thought about how transforming my eating and increasing my physical activity would bring me closer to him.

For my family, the mighty owl is our symbol for Grandpa.  I have written about it before...but here was the first time I wrote about it...On the Wire He Sits. So my charm bracelet is complete now...I have added an Owl charm.  I really do have all I need now.  I am charmed.  I am lucky.  I have all that I need to go about doing this work.

In my reading, I made several notes in my journal about a few lines that have really struck a cord with me from the book - Marathoning for Mortals by John "The Penguin" Bingham and Jenny Hadfield..  There are two lines that I replay in my mind over and over like a mantra - "You have to take whatever talent you have, train as well as you can, and then go out and see what happens" (pg. 15) and  "Sometimes its simply knowing that we put it all together and give it our best shot " (pg. 15).  These two lines sum up not only my thoughts about 13.1 and 26.2 miles...but pretty much everything you tackle in life.  Take what you have, look around, and then go for it.







Friday, February 1, 2013

Recognizing the Obstacles...

The vision of walking a half marathon and marathon was not an overnight decision.  I have been thinking about it for a long while, but fear stood in my way.  I am a hard worker, but I have never worked hard at tackling my Type 1 Diabetes.  I know, I know...it is true.  Even with all of my transformations over the past year and a half...the T1 Diabetes stuff was not the focus.  Now it has to be.  I can't ignore it if I want this whole finishing a half marathon and marathon thing to happen.  It will happen.  I can visualize little else these days. 

As I was waiting to see my endocrinologist yesterday, I snapped this picture.  I am really enjoying all of the reading and research I am doing on Marathons.  I'm really loving this book...I mean it has "joy" in the tag line...so it must be kismet right?  The more I look at it...the more it really captures the elements of what I need to do.  The book is my goal...but the two things also captured are the other obstacles that want to stand in my way.  Work (the blackberry).  Type 1 Diabetes (the spiral notebook with my doctor/nutritionist notes in it).   I am going to have to keep these two things in balance to get what I want.  I have never had to do that before.  This really is a whole new everything.