Friday, April 29, 2011

This is It....

I can't believe the Broad Street Run is in two days. When I started this blog at the beginning of the year, May 1 seemed a million years away. I struggled with running a mile, but found such pride in completing the task. Now I live for my 2 or 3 mile run days because those are my short runs.

I'm not sure I'm ready for Sunday to get here, but I really have no choice. Do or die, now or never, cliche, cliche, cliche.

I was talking with some colleagues today and had two very poignant realizations:

#1 - I have a fear of things being finished. Not really sure what my deal is, but I don't complete much of anything I start. I commit to something with ideas of grandeur and let them fizzle out before I can complete the job. In my home, the kitchen and bathroom in my home are 50% and 90% completed, respectively. Specific to working out, I've tried jazzercise, kickboxing, Zumba, yoga, Boot Camp and hip-hop dance. I've had a personal trainer - twice. I've been a member of the YMCA, Delaware Swim and Fitness, Gold's Gym (two locations), Plexus, Curves, and Planet Fitness.

I'm not really sure where the fear stems from. Maybe I'm scared the outcome won't be good enough? Maybe I'm scared I'll work hard to get to the finish line and I won't be able to make it? Maybe I'm scared of what's next? Who really knows. But I'll have to confront it head on with my epiphany #2.

#2 - There's no "not finishing" the Broad Street Run. Once that shot gun goes off and the race starts, the only way I'm getting somewhere that will ultimately get me back home is to use my legs to get me to the finish line. Oh sure, there are technically ways I could get down Broad Street without using my legs but 1) there's too many people who know I'm doing this and I'm not a good enough liar to tell everyone I finished the race if I actually hopped on the subway, and 2) I'm way to proud to have to be taken out in an ambulance.

So that's it. The next time I post will be once the race is completed. I'm going to try to make it the 10 miles in as close to 2 hours as possible, but my focus will be simply to do my best, whatever timing that may be.

If you're reading this, and I'm not sure how many of you there are out there or who you may be, but please send up a prayer for me this weekend. Continuously. My physical strength will get me there. My mental strength will have to cooperate. I will finish without a doubt. But I want to enjoy my day and be proud of myself. Please ask God to grant me not just the strength and endurance to get through the run, but also peace and no anxiety.

Fingers crossed!

Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Words of Wisdom

As the race draws near and I deal with such mixed emotions, I have also been consistently touched by the words and actions of others around me. It's seems that just as I start letting the self-doubt and fear seep into my psyche, God places the right person or thing in my path to lift me up. Here are a few that have touched me just this week:

"Good luck and just ask Jesus to take the wheel. You will find your strength through Him.... You got this woman! Yesterday, I had Jesus on my mind and the greatest sacrifice of all that He made me, little old me, and I felt so horrible that I was complaining about not being able to run in the heat...I was thinking, "How selfish of me to be whining about THIS"...anyway, I find that running, for me, as I am not an "avid runner" continues to be a humbling experience, day in and day reminds me to be thankful everyday for SO many things in my life, even if it's as simple as having water to drink when I am sooo thirsty after my run. I guess that's why it's a love/hate relationship because, in a way, it heals my soul all awhile torturing my body!" - Jessica Williams, April 25, 2011

Carrie Underwood and Vince Gill - "How Great Thou Art" -

"Days get so busy, we don't often get the chance to tell you that you mean more to us than words can say...But your birthday is the perfect time to let you know that all year through, we're proud of you, and we love you very, very much." - Birthday card from Mom and Dad, April 26, 2011.

"You're as beautiful today as you were the day I first saw you ten years ago." - Flower card from Pedram Daneshgar, April 26, 2011

They're all sweet and uplifting by themselves. But the point is, all of these things were presented to me at times when I felt down or unmotivated or unworthy.

I don't know how to go about publishing a book, but one day, I would like to put together a compilation of encouraging words to honor those who have helped me along my life. I don't always say thank you or let them know just how much they have helped me get through the next minute, hour, day, week. Maybe the words that have meant so much to me would be able to lift someone else's spirits as well.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

OhMyGoshIt'sSoCloseICanTasteIt Blog

I have never been more tired to post a blog than I am right now. How could I not when I just sweat this much?

My goal today was to run 5 miles. Being that I was off of work because my bathtub was being refinished, I was planning on running outside for the first time since my little panic attack. Unfortunately, the weather continued to get worse over the day and by the time Joe (the bathroom refinisher) left, it was windy and raining and not at all motivating.

But I did it! 5 miles, that is. Not outside. You crazy?

Today was a good day. In the midst of my lack of motivation, God sent me some of the best advice I've received about running in the form of my bathtub refinisher. That's right, God sent me Joe. We got into a pretty in depth conversation about everything running, and I just soaked up the advice. (I don't soak up advice.) Here is what I took from our conversation that helped me tonight and will hopefully set me up to finish these last 2 1/2 weeks:

1) Endurance is not going to be achieved if I keep focusing on time. My 2, 3 and 4 mile runs are nice to get those low numbers, but I have felt like I couldn't walk another step when I've finished them because I've been worrying about the time. Joe mentioned Jeff Galloway who has a proven training schedule, which brings me to number 2.

2) Make walking a part of how I will finish the run. Don't let it effect my mental state by making me feel guilty. This is a big one for me. I always rewarded myself with walking after pushing a mile. But I would push so much that my "quick" walk ended up lasting longer and longer the more I went. Jeff Galloway's schedule is a run/walk ratio. Since my standard first mile is between 11 and 12 minutes, my ratio would be run 3 minutes, walk 1 minute. Walking wouldn't be a reward or cause guilt, but instead would be integrated into the deal.

Amazing results. The brisk walk every 3 minutes gave me just enough time to get my breathing under control and mentally prepare for the next running section. The outcome was twofold - I maintained a 12:17 average mile and I felt like I could have kept going if I had to.

3) Let this be all about me. Let myself be selfish because that is the only way I'm going to have fun with it or get through it with my sanity. My friends have been so great with their encouragement, but I do feel like I have started to put more emphasis on making sure I'm proving something to them rather than proving something to me. My run will be completed in my time, in my technique, and I will be focusing on finishing that race for me.

So that's it. I got some good advice on outside locations to run in Delaware that are safe. I completed 5 miles comfortably and mentally stable. And I'm going to be selfish for the next 2 1/2 weeks because this is all about me.

I'll be 29 in 2 weeks exactly. This birthday will be different. Because this year, I'm going to be happy with myself.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Inaugural Phillies 5k

This 5k was awesome because I got a rad Phillies tshirt. And I got to stand where Shane Victorino stands. It was like we were one; I felt his aura.


My First 5k

Horrible picture. But documentation, none the less, of my first 5k. May be the most expensive outfit I own and it doesn't even come with a sexy pair of heels.

6 Workouts a Week

So I promised in my last post to blog more often to hold myself accountable and keep myself motivated. 7 days and 4 workouts later, I'm apologizing to myself and working on the forgiveness side.

Here's a recap of my week (in horrible to better order):

  • Saturday, April 2: 6 miles outside with Megan
Talk about a sucky workout. I swear I have mental issues. The first mile went okay, but by the time I got through half of mile 2, anxiety crept up and punched me right in the stomach. Literally. I had to stop moving and bend over, half hyperventilating, to keep myself from a full blown panic attack. Megan was a trooper and kept trying to encourage me, but it just wasn't happening. I got through the second and third mile, intermixing running and walking, and finally sent Megan on her way.

I'm not sure if it was running with someone else, or the concept of running around a very long track 6 times, but my brain...had a brain of it's own. I finished the 6 miles, but walked the last 3. My iPod filled my head with worship music as I prayed the whole time for strength.

This run scared me. Will I get like this at Broad Street?

  • Monday, April 4: 50 minute cross train
I'm trying to figure out why running isn't getting easier. My first try for remedy is to follow the training schedule to a tee. This was only my second time cross training in the whole time I've been working out. As I go into a 6-day-a-week workout schedule, I'm hoping the cross training and strength training will build up my lung and muscle capacity. (And help me drop a size before bikini season?)

  • Wednesday, April 5: 3 mile run
1 mile - 11:24
2 mile - 23:16
3 mile - 35:30

My average running time on the treadmill is 5.1 mph. After running 2 miles, I normally need to slow down to a walk for a tenth to a quarter of a mile. Jess suggested I take it down to a slow run instead of a walk. And that's what I did. Instead of going to a 4.0 mph fast walk, I slowed down to a 4.5 slow run. My times weren't the best, but distance and endurance are my focus now instead of time.

  • Thursday, April 6: 25 minute cross train
If I were to work out today, it would have to be at lunch due to an after work appointment. It's a little bit of a hassle to get to the gym, workout, shower, and put myself back together to finish out the rest of a work day. I will not use that as an excuse anymore and got to the gym to do a modified cross training workout. 25 minutes instead of 45 minutes, but I still got something in when I normally would just opt out completely.

So that's been my week. I have runs on Friday and Sunday, 3 miles a piece. Hopefully, I'll be back on here with great updates. If not, I may have given up and you'll be able to find me at the local McDonald's eating french fries, fish sandwiches, and cheeseburgers.

Prayer and uplifting words of encouragement are much appreciated.