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Thursday, May 30, 2013

In these last three days...



You would think with only three days standing between me and getting to the starting line of the half marathon I would be thinking about crossing the finishing line and getting a medal.  Instead…do you know what I am obsessing about?  Shoes.  I have such massive shoe envy it is ridiculous.  Way back when…I used to run after work and school…I also used to wear 3 inch heels everyday…the result…plantar fasciitis.  So you can imagine when I decided to train…I knew that I was going to have to rethink my shoe wearing.  I have been “flats only” since February.  For the past few weeks…since I am worried about getting blisters before the big day…I’m have only been wearing shoes that fit perfectly.  Boring…but necessary.  All my pretty shoes like these just sit in my closet waiting for me.  There will be no heels for me until after October 12…now that is commitment!!

That is when I knew that I was pretty serious in my determination to hit all three of my fitness goals this year (walk 10 miles – DONE, finish a half marathon, and finish a marathon).  I am organizing my life around them.  I’m not wearing heels.  I’m sometimes late to things.  I’m taking time to hydrate, check my blood sugar and eat healthy.  I have made this a priority.  It is the first thing I think about in the morning when I wake up.  It is the last thing I think about before falling asleep.  It is forward momentum.  It is determination.  It is will.  I have not ever pushed myself to the limit physically before.  I could say that this will happen on Sunday morning…but the truth is…I have already pushed.  Every bit of everything that I have put in over the past 14 weeks is what will get me to the starting line…all that happens afterward is the reward.  

And so we are clear...the reward I am referring to is all the good "inside" stuff...and not materialistic things like some medal or a beautiful pair of shoes like these....


Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Week 13 - The Road to 13.1

And before you know it...there are just days between you and your second fitness goal of the year.  Days!!  The week of lucky 13 is behind me...all in all it was good week of training.  The only complication was a bit of a blood sugar dip when I did my 5 miles on Saturday.  Pretty good...that is the first time that has happened...after 13 weeks.  When I look at my crumpled training plan that lives in my gym bag...I can't believe I am in the final stretch.  I am running and walking.  I have been for the past five weeks.  To think, just before that I didn't think I could finish the 13 miles within four hours.  I was ready to give up.  Now, I know I can make that window.  I believe I can make that window.   I will make that window.  The only thing that can hold me back is me...and I am so not going to let that happen.  Sunday, June 2 at 8:00am...the Road to 13.1 really begins. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Week 12 - The Road to 13.1

It was a week of adjustments and lots of work interruptions.  I have been down a person on my team at the office so instead of my usual two jobs...I sort of have three at the moment.  The good news is...I did 10 miles on Friday AM...in the pretty morning sunshine.  The bad news is...earlier in the week...my time with Gym was not as stellar as I had wanted it to be.  I missed Thursday.  I missed Tuesday.  I missed Pilates on Monday...again!!  I felt very, very guilty and a little bitter.  Since my dates with Gym are how I keep my sanity with a stressful job...the tension builds...and nothing good comes from that.  My saving grace was a weekend at Camp for an Under Seven Family Weekend and it was exactly what I needed to get my calm back.  Perspective.  Fun.  Camp Family.  I got home in time to tailgate before the DC United game...and we drew!!  I'm feeling refueled and re-energized.  As I head into the last weeks of training...I have lots of good swirling around me...all of which will see me through to the end of the race.  And then...my reward...is hightailing it to a soccer game...with a medal in hand!!

Wednesday, May 15, 2013

Week 11 - The Road to 13.1

You could almost predict the fact that a week or so after I was super excited about my track record for not missing many training days...something would happen to make me miss a bunch of training days.  That is how it goes.  A cold hit...fever and general yuckiness...so I ended up missing Monday, Thursday (only did strength training, not my walk/run) and Saturday last week.  That also means that my 10 miles did not happen either.  I decided that I needed to be smart and rest.  Why risk getting sicker by pushing too hard?  Everything I do is about being race ready on June 2. I am almost two weeks away from the half marathon...which makes things even more real.  I'm shuffling workouts a bit in Week 12 to make up for the fact that I will be away during the weekend...I will do my 10 miles on Friday morning.  I really do organize my life around the training plan...I'm actually taking off work because I need to get the miles done.  I am working on the balance.  I have to say my cold was well planned...I had a four day weekend...filled with naps and soccer watching.  I'm not going to complain...I needed the rest.  Here is to plowing through Week 12...and then there will be just two weeks in front of me before I finally head down the road to get those 13.1 miles behind me.  

Thursday, May 9, 2013

Sports Fan (Take 2)


I was looking through some of my old blog posts and stumbled upon this little gem from 2009. This was the level of my sports fandom, which reading it now…well…I was not really a sports fan.  To help evaluate progress, I used to read my old journals and see how things were measuring up given my pontifications about the future.  Now, I look at my blog.   My penchant for categorization helps given my consistent use of labels…this I owe to my days working in IT.  Sometimes I remember what I write but most of the time I don’t.  If you asked me the names of my main characters in the novel I barfed out in November, I couldn’t tell you.  Crazy right?  But I can easily go to the label for my National Novel Writing Month adventure in 2012 and learn all kinds of things I have forgotten.  Like my triumphant finish at Panera surrounded by my writing friends where I wrote 5K words in 2 1/2 hours.

Just like reading old journals, reading my blog helps me to see how things have changed over the years and the new directions that life has taken me.  There is always this path that you think you want to follow.  There is a “place” where you think you want to end up.  The older I get, I realize that the best part is when you veer off of the path and then things change in unexpected ways.  When your sister invites you to a soccer match, you should just go, even after ignoring her Google invitation.  You never know what can happen.   In the those first moments of wondering if you are going to understand what is happening…you are taken over by the ebb and flow.  You know that the ball needs to get into the net but the path to get there is not clear and it changes moment to moment.  It is a constant adaption for 45 minutes straight…it rarely stops.  It appealed to the writer in me.  It is like a novel.  It is like life.  It is beautiful.

This was how I became a real sports fan.  A soccer fan.  One who goes to every game. One who has rituals.  One who has lucky earrings.  One who tailgates.  One who has a team garden gnome in the front yard.  One who could talk for hours about my theories on group dynamics and team performance.   I have become so real that I am actually starting to realize that whether or not I tailgate is not going to change the outcome of a game.  Sometimes there are technical things that the love in your heart can’t mitigate.  Sometimes there are mental blockages that your unrelenting belief can’t will away.  Sometimes…the losses keep happening…and it is then that you discover that you are a true fan.  Whether you win or lose or draw…you pick a side…you stand by your decision…you never give up.  

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Week 10 - The Road to 13.1

An then there was just a month...just four weeks left...things are really getting real...and it is just plain fantastic!!  It was a very good training week filled with good strength training, good walk/runs, and even time on the elliptical.  Oh yes...and there was shopping!!  I needed to pick out some kind of pack that will hold snacks, Gummie Lifesavers, insulin pens, water, blood sugar testing stuff, chap-stick, sunblock and anything else I might need on race day during the actual race.  This was a hard decision...I did not go by color or style.  I went by which one easiest to access water bottles from, which one felt less annoying while walk/running and which one was easiest to tighten.  I had a good test walk/run on Saturday...it was only six miles...but my time was decent...so I am feeling much better about finishing the half marathon in just under 4 hours.  Can't say I felt the same way a few weeks ago!!  I'm excited for this coming Saturday because I will have my longest walk/run before the race...10 miles!!  I should learn quite a bit of things on that journey...and probably work on my tan too!!

I should note that I have a few ideas already percolating about what kinds of fitness challenges I am going to do once the half and marathon are behind me.  Cross-Fit is definitely on the list.  The other...is kind of a surprise to me...maybe a soccer clinic.  I went to my first women's soccer game last Saturday and it made me really want to learn to play.  I would want to be a keeper...there is no doubt in my mind...but I am curious to learn more hands-on about tactics.  Books are good...but I actually think I want to get out on a pitch and see how it all fits together.  And don't worry...it is not just because I would have to get a pair of boots and other gear...I swear!!

Sunday, May 5, 2013

On my mind...



There are a few reasons why I decided to push myself this year...one of the biggest ones is in honor of my camper Becca.  Usually when cancer takes someone I care about...I vow to work even harder at work.  I sing along to The Offspring - Gone Away...cry...and then I get back to work.  This past December...my reaction was very different.  I was angry…and for the first time...working hard was not going to cut it any longer.  It really did set the theme of 2013 for me.  

My words on December 17th...
...the truth is...I have no words...and working harder at work is not going to make me feel better or less angry. Instead...I am going to work hard at laughing more, being silly, having fun, goofing off, stop worrying and not being afraid to open up my heart. That is what Becca showed me...that is what all of Parcells showed me...that is how I will chose to live each and every day from here on out.

While I was doing my walk/run yesterday, I started thinking about Becca…I was thinking about all of my campers who are cheering me along from out and about in the universe.  I imagine Joel, Chass, and Becca gathered together with a checklist ticking through the items nodding with pride on some and rolling their eyes at others.  I have more to work on needless to say…but I feel really fortunate to have made such lasting connections…not only with my campers but their families as well.  This week I was messaging with Chass’s Mom...she had posted on Facebook about how I must have been keeping Hallmark and the Post Office in business after going through some boxes of Chass’s things.  I honestly had forgotten how many cards I must have sent.  When I got home from work that day, my sister had left me a present…a scarf filled with butterflies.  Chass was all about the butterflies…these connections are everlasting.  It made me remember my words about Becca.

My Words on Becca 
The smile, the laugh, the joy...it was always within and around her.  From the moment I met her when she was six...her smile and cheer always made me joyful.  We would always find each other...at camp and on family weekends...and we would always greet each other with some sort of goofy smile and some eye rolls.  I love that Becca could make me act silly.  There was a special moment out on Molden Porch during Spring Family Weekend last year when all of us were saying goodbye.  We were talking about seeing each other at Reunion Weekend in June, Camp in August...and then Becca said...I'll just see you everywhere.  I am lucky...because I know she does.

Thursday, May 2, 2013

Is this bliss I am feeling....????

 So a funny thing has happened in the past two weeks...I think for the first time ever I am actually on top of my game!!  Maybe it is because I actually have some game...this whole training thing...this whole managing my diabetes thing...this whole eating healthy thing...good things are happening!!  My two main goals for 2013 were to eat healthy and check my blood sugar...after four months...I feel like I am finally hitting the mark...consistently.  The doubts about my ability are starting to quiet down and I'm settling in to a different state of mind.  I think it might be bliss???  Or is it too soon to declare???

When looking over my training plan last night...I realized that over the past 10 weeks...I have only missed 5 days.  Just...5...days.  I was pretty proud of that.  This work that I am doing...is really starting to show...physically...mentally...metabolically (my blood sugars are pretty decent).  I see my endocrinologist tomorrow and I'm actually kind of excited.  I will have data to show.  I have always said that the truth is in the numbers...if you look at the numbers...good things really are happening!!