There were two things that I signed up for this year to keep me motivated and moving. The first was the Las Vegas 1/2 Marathon, and the second was the Santa Cruz Wharf to Wharf. Last year I didn’t sign up for any runs, and therefore, did no training and gained 30 pounds.
Well, it did nothing for the first half of the year to motivate me but as the race loomed closer, I realized I needed to suck it up and start something. The last time I did the Wharf to Wharf was two years ago, and I was so ill prepared that by the time I finished I was in tears and just broken. The same applies for the last 1/2 marathon as well. So three weeks ago I started training again. What I discovered is that the 30-pound gain and lack of general exercise for the last year and a half have made an impact in my timing. I can no longer punch out a two miler in a half an hour on my lunch break. In fact, I can barely get above a fast power walk at all anymore. That shouldn’t shock me. I’m not dumb enough to think that I could just pick up where I left off after all the time off, but it was a blow to my ego just the same.
So while I have kept at my training the last three weeks I was kind of discouraged. Especially since this last week was pretty painful for me in my lower back on my walks. I was pretty sure I was going to fail at this run miserably. I was picturing me stopping at the mile 4.5 mark where my husband was playing with his drummer friend for the race. Or worse, just giving up before that and sitting down, waiting for the bus to come get me in the end.
The back pain was specific to the left side of my lower back. That usually means my pelvis is tilted again, so I made an appt with my chiropractor on Friday night after work and got adjusted. Saturday I didn’t run because I had rehearsal and then went to bed super early because I had to get up so early the next morning. You see since my husband was playing the race, he had to get there really early before they blocked off the streets. That meant I had to be in the shower at four this morning so he could drop me off at the start line before heading out and setting up for the gig. Yeah, that kind of sucks because that meant that not only did I have to get there very early and sit around for hours, but I also had to run the race and then double back after getting my goodie bag, another 1.5 miles to get back to him so we could go home. It seems a bit extreme, but I’ve done the route where I finish and take the bus back to the car and believe it or not, it’s quicker and less painful just to walk back to the 4.5-mile mark.
Anyhoo cut to this morning. I woke up a bundle of anxiety. I really didn’t want to do the race because I had convinced myself it was going to be painful and horrible, and I would never finish it. I showered and got ready anyway. I vowed that even if I had to just walk it slowly, I would.
Rob dropped me off as it was just starting to get light out, and I walked about five more minutes to get to the boardwalk. I found a cafe that was open, so I grabbed a yogurt parfait and took a seat outside. That is where I stayed for the next two hours playing on my phone and people watching.
When we got closer to 8:30, I got into my corral but we didn’t start moving until at least 8:50 or so. The first two miles were really tough, which is kind of ironic since that is the most distance I had been getting in on my weekdays. You would think it would get harder AFTER two miles.
As I have found with most races I have done, once I hit the three-mile mark I was hitting my stride. Once I settle into my stride it just becomes a different mindset. The first two miles I just kept thinking: “Oh dear Lord, this is never going to work. I’m so tired already; there is no way I can make it another mile!” After mile three I think I relaxed a little bit, and I realized that I had made it that far, I could finish. It felt like it got easier.
Long story short, I finished and then made it back the 1.5 miles to find my husband already packed up and waiting in the van. I was in good spirits. I didn’t cry, even cracked a joke and shocked the heck out of my husband.
I’ve been back home for a couple hours now, and a sunburn has begun to redden my skin, but other than that, some minor chafing and a couple of popped blisters on my left foot/toes, I seem to be okay. Much better than the last time I did it.
Things I did differently this year:
- I didn’t push myself.
- I walked 90% of this race and was totally okay with that. I managed an 18 minute mile average.
- I listened to an audio book on tape instead of music.
- For the first time ever in my walk/run history, I didn’t listen to music. I downloaded the sequel that Stephen King wrote to The Shining and listened to that as I walked. It was a little weird at first, and I think that is why the first two miles were a little hard. Once I got into the meat of the story I was able to get my mind off how many more miles I had to go and let myself get lost in the tale.
- I think the disadvantage to this is that since I normally walk to a certain BPM, I walked slower than I normally would have.
- I had taken an Advil right before I got into my corral.
- I have no idea if this helped or not but I DO know that my back didn’t hurt at all this race. Even going uphill, and it ALWAYS hurts going up hill. It could be because I got my adjustment right before the race. It could be because I had my hydration belt on, and it was tight, thus serving as some sort of support. All I know is that for the first time in a long time my back didn’t hurt during a walk, so I’m going to stick with the Advil from now on.
Overall, I’m happy to report that I did much better than I thought I was going to. In endurance anyway, this race was not about a time for me to finish by, simply to finish at all.
I HATE EVERY LITTLE THING ABOUT IT EXERCISE
- I hate knowing that I have to do it:
- Just knowing that I have to run on my lunch hour makes me not want to do it. Every minute that precedes said lunch hour is spent in an internal debate about why I should or shouldn’t go on the run. It’s a toss up by lunch time whether I have talked myself out of it or not.
- I hate getting sweaty for it:
- I sweat…A LOT. I always have and I always will. I can sweat just sitting in a chair doing nothing, so it is so much worse when I actually get active. I hate that I go through so many different articles of clothing because washing them no longer gets rid of the stink. Yes, I sweat that much. The number of tank tops and sweatshirts I have tossed because even I couldn’t stand the armpit stench anymore is pretty amazing.
- I also hate that once I have gotten active and sweaty, there is no real way to cool myself down short of a cold shower or maybe a nap. It makes it really uncomfortable to carry go on about your day when I work out in the middle of the day and don’t have access to a shower/nap. I can’t tell you the number of times I have apologized for profusely sweating for no reason to a cast member at rehearsal for a play.
- I hate that it takes time out of my day:
- In order to get in a work out that makes a difference in my day I have to go for at least a half an hour. Given that I like to sleep a lot and usually have some sort of play rehearsal going on that limits my work out time to usually my lunch hours during the week. That gives me a half hour to go for a run and then I have less than 30 minutes to prepare my lunch, eat and change to get back to work. Just thinking about it makes me sweat – see above.
- I hate that no matter how many times I run, I still hurt:
- It’s not in what my husband would call a “bad hurt” like something is broken or torn, but in the sore muscle way. I’ve been running for three weeks straight, shouldn’t my shins and calves be getting used to this by now?? It’s not that they hurt so much after as it is during.
- What does hurt after is my knees and hips and ankles, and I know that is probably the sheer weight that is coming down on those joints but it doesn’t make me like it any less.
- I hate that I hate it:
- I desperately want to be one of those women that look forward to every single workout and become addicted to it. Sadly, that is not me.
UNTIL I WORK OUT
- I love how I feel after a workout:
- I love how it clears my mind and gets me back in control of my emotions. I have fought depression all of my adult life and exercise seems to be the only way to combat it without chemicals. I have managed to ween myself down to half the dosage on my anti-depressants this year but I still kind felt off, unless I work out.
- After I work out I am at peace. My thoughts are clear instead of jumbled and nothing really bothers me. I have a pretty hot temper and so to say this really means a lot.
- I have had pretty bad anxiety for most of my adult life as well. At one time it was so intense that I was very afraid of large open spaces. I couldn’t walk outside without having something to hold onto. While that has gotten a lot easier over the years I still have a tendency to panic over nothing for no reason. That dramatically decreases on the days I work out.
- I love how I still feel pretty good even the next morning. I love waking up in the morning, stretching and feeling like I gave my body a run for it’s money the day before.
- I love how it motivates me:
- On a day when I have no desire to be productive, after a work out I am on a mission to get sh*t done. I cannot be idle so I have no option other than to get to work at whatever task is at hand.
- I love how it lowers my blood pressure.
- When I was 26 years old and over 300 lbs I was put on blood pressure meds. When I was TWENTY SIX! As I lost the weight I was able to ween myself off them and haven’t taken them in many many years but my BP tends to run on the low end of high still. When I work out consistently I notice that it drops a significant amount.
As you can see, I have quite the love/hate relationship with working out. In theory, the good should outweigh the bad every time, but it doesn’t always work that way.
What are your reasons to get out there and get a work out in?
What are the most common reasons that you bail on them?
Okay, so it’s no secret that I am a big girl. And being a big girl, I have big arms, funny how that works. Something I discovered early on in my running training is that when I run for more than two days in a row I get a nasty chafing underneath my arms in my armpit area. It was something I just came to accept. I hated it and it hurt. It made me not want to go for my runs, but it was just something I had to accept. Years of running came at a price of not being able to rest my arms properly without pain.
Recently, my husband told that he switches out his deodorants every so often because he feels that after a while, his body gets used to one brand and it just stops working as well. This isn’t something he hasn’t told me before, but I usually don’t pay much attention because I was raised on Secret deodorant that tells you it is PH balanced so your body doesn’t get used to it.
I don’t like the smell of most deodorants. I think they smell like bathrooms and that doesn’t thrill me. Secret came out with a vanilla scented one a few years back and I fell in love with it. It appears that they are discontinuing it, so about two weeks ago I was at the grocery store and decided to look for something new.
Well, I have to say I’m a total convert. It not only keeps me from stinking better than my old favorite Secret, but I’ve been running consistently the past two weeks and I have not had ONE problem with the usual painful chafing. This is a pretty huge deal for me since I used to put off going on a run because of the inability to put my arms down without pain after. I LOVE this product!!!
In other news, I’ve been running pretty regularly, whether I want to or not. It has helped immensely with the work stress I’ve been having lately and it really calms me down after. I don’t think I would have survived this week without it. I have hated every step of the way some days, but I always feel amazing after.
The Wharf to Wharf is a week away and while I haven’t gotten a LOT of distance in, I’m more confident in myself than I was the last time I ran it. It’s going to hurt, I have no doubt about that, but my only goal is just to finish before the truck comes by to clear the road.
My food intake has not been so good. Yesterday, after rehearsal I hit the store and stocked up on a LOT of frozen diet dinners. The Lean Cuisines and generics of that sort of brand to try and help. I’m going to be going into rehearsals of my current play and I’m hoping it will make it easier on my husband for not having to cook every night and also easier on me for actually having some sort of portion control. I know it’s a lot of sodium but I’m hoping I can just use this as a sort of jump start.
That’s pretty much all I have to report for right now.
Oh, and I spruced up an old layout. What’cha think?
I did not want to run today.
Last night the husband and I attended a lovely low-key BBQ with friends where there was much music, drinks and tasty, but bad for me food to be had. We didn’t get home until late(for us) and then I continued to snack on the bad for me (but seriously, these were some tasty sausages) food and go to bed really late.
I woke up at eight thirty because my eldest dog was feeling left out of whatever was going on in the living room and repeatedly barked at the bedroom door until I got up and let him out. After I peed I realized that my tummy wasn’t feeling super great. Not bad, but more like a tummy that had ingested three Pineapple Sausage Dogs in quick succession not too far in the past.
Since I had put off my run the day before in favor of sleeping in, I knew I had to get it in today or else it would be three whole days with no activity. As I’m sure most of you know, the larger the length of time in between workouts adds fuel to the procrastination fire. The less activity I do, the less I want to do an activity. It’s simple math really.
So I puttered around and played on my computer, trying to justify an excuse in my mind that would save me from running other than I had some bad gas. I found none.
Finally, I put on my running gear and headed out. My first stop was my usual track right at the end of Carmel Valley at the middle school. What I saw was a packed parking lot overflowing onto the lawn because of what I had forgotten was the dog show they were having this weekend. Okay fine, off to my second choice, Carmel High. When I got there, I found it was under construction. There was nothing but gravel where the track used to be.
My only other choice is in the valley at the park and as I drove by that on my way to my other two spots I was made aware that they were having a car show, so that wasn’t an option either.
Well, it looks like the universe was smiling down on me, telling me to take a break. But I still had to go to the store, so I stopped at the Safeway in mid-valley. I realized as I parked my car that this was a relatively flat neighborhood that surrounded Safeway and maybe I could at least get a mile in. I had, after all, slathered on the sunscreen already so I didn’t really want to waste it.
I pulled out my phone and headphones and started out on a journey around the Safeway. Less than two trips around the block I had done my mile, but I didn’t feel too bad so I decided to keep going. By the two-mile mark, I was done but I was super proud that I even got a run in at all. And all the reasons that had kept me from wanting to run in the first place were negated by the run itself. The fatigue, the tummy upset, the overall feeling of ick. All gone with a two-mile run that almost wasn’t.
Not my personal best by any stretch of the imagination, but what is important to note here is that I felt good. As in, I felt progress.
Ever since I’ve been trying to get my runs in on my lunch hours I have had mostly nothing but pain during them. The pain in my lower back from hauling around this big belly. The calves that were burning intensely the second I started up the first hill. The stitch in my side as soon as I started to attempt a jog.
I still had that this morning, but everything felt less. The back pain is always pretty consistent, but that didn’t start to nag at me until I was at least half way done and even then it wasn’t bad. The calves were feeling less of a burn and the stitch in my side was delayed and less persistent as well.
As I was partway through I noticed that I was jogging on the flat areas as well as the downward hills. I usually only jog on the downhills and speed walk the rest. At the same time I noticed that, I noticed a smile on my face and realized – GASP! – I was ENJOYING my run! I know! I can’t believe it either!
Of course, when I reached my mental goal of 1.5 miles I was ready for it to be over and only pushed myself slightly more, but it felt good. It felt like my body is finally starting to appreciate what I am trying to do for it and is starting to object less. That may not sound like much but holy cow is it huge to me!
Not to mention the euphoric feeling that lasted hours after the run. It felt amazing and helped get me through a rough day of transitioning a new phone system at work.
It may not be like this again tomorrow, but today…today is what I need to remind myself of when I don’t want to get out there.
I was diagnosed with Dysmenorrhea when I was fifteen years old. After missing at least one day of school a month because I was at home throwing up due to the extreme pain of my menstrual cramps, my mother finally cracked and took me in to get checked. I was put on birth control pills shortly after even though I was not sexually active because we were told the hormones in the pills would make my periods easier and boy did they! After three years of knowing I would be down for the count on a monthly basis, I was able to get my life back.
When I had my gallbladder removed a few years later I was checked out for Endometriosis but was told that it was a negative. She said I had beautiful ovaries. That reaffirmed the diagnosis of Dysmenorrhea, but all was good because I was on the pill, and life was golden.
As I got older and developed a nasty smoking habit I was less likely to want to take the pill due to the warning notices, and I eventually stopped taking them.
The cramps and symptoms came back almost immediately, and I was back to square one. This time I was missing work instead of school. Not cool, as I never got paid for going to school, but I did for work.
I quit smoking over a year ago, but now that I’m much higher up there in age the risk of stroke is still there. And to be honest, I had a system down. At the first sign of cramps, I would take a couple Advil, and it would usually snuff them out pretty well, as long as I got them right at the first twinge. I’d have all the other symptoms, but as long as I wasn’t puking from the pain I was able to live my day to day life.
It was on the days when the cramps snuck up on me while I was sleeping that were bad. If I wasn’t able to get the Advil into my system right away then nothing short of vomiting for awhile and then falling asleep would help. And honestly, there were days when the Advil just didn’t work. Thankfully these days were few and far between.
I had another bad day today. I’d been spotting for the last couple of days with some minor cramps. We went to my in-laws for breakfast and had a good time, but the cramps were starting to manifest at the tail end of the visit.
In true Kelly fashion I just hoped it was nothing and tried my best to ignore it, having no Advil on me and not wanting to cause a fuss. I took some when we got home, but it was too late.
Thankfully, I only threw up once and was able to put myself to bed with more Advil and a heating pad for an hour and a half. I only dozed in and out for a little while, but it was enough. I woke feeling a bit queasy still but with no more pain.
I’m not really sure why I’m writing about this right now. This isn’t my main journal where I pour most of my crazies onto the interwebs. I think it started as an excuse to validate why I only got a two mile run in over a three day weekend. I think though, in the end, it’s more of a means to get the word Dysmenorrhea out in the public a little more.
I think a lot of women have it and don’t even realize it is a health condition.
When I was a kid, I had no idea what was wrong with me. I’m certain my teachers and peers all thought I was faking since I hated school anyway. Great excuse…no one can actually PROVE you have cramps right?
When I was finally diagnosed, I had a name, but had no idea what it meant other than I could get birth control pills approved by my mom’s insurance.
As an older adult when it started to effect me again there was this glorious thing called the internet. I was able to type in the word and pull up the exact description of what had plagued me my whole life, print it out and show people.
The thing is; I still felt like no one really believed me. “Yeah Kelly, you get bad cramps, join the club. Isn’t Mother Nature a bitch? Do you actually think it warrants missing work?”
It might just be my own little paranoid mind; most things are. Sometimes I just get very worked up about something, and having to explain myself month after month to people that don’t understand or “get it” starts to piss me off.
This entry has nothing to do with weight loss, but it has everything to do with me freeing myself from the guilt I feel on a somewhat monthly basis when I simply cannot function without a heating pad and a puke bucket.
At any rate, it made me feel a little better to write it.
- 8 egg roll wrappers
- 8 teaspoons store-bought pizza sauce
- 24 turkey pepperoni slice
- 4 light Mozzarella string cheese sticks, each cut in half to make two short sticks
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Mist a baking sheet with cooking spray and set aside.
- Pour some water into a small dish and set aside. On a cutting board or flat surface, place an egg roll wrapper, corner facing toward you (like a diamond) and spread a teaspoon of pizza sauce horizontally across the center of the wrapper, leaving ½ inch or so of space on each side. Add a row of 3 pepperoni slices over the sauce. Place half a cheese stick on top of the pepperoni. Fold the bottom corner closest to you up over the ingredients and give it a 90 degree roll. Fold the side corners in and tuck them as you give the filled section another 90 degree roll. Dip your finger in the dish or reserved water and lightly wet the edges of the remaining top corner of the wrapper. Finish rolling the filled pizza log over the wet corner so that it adheres. Place wrapped pizza roll onto the baking sheet. Repeat with remaining ingredients.
- When all of the pizza rolls are wrapped and on the baking sheets, mist the tops with cooking spray. Bake for 11 minutes, flipping once halfway through, until the wrappers are golden brown.
- 2 WW+ points per serving.
- This came out really well once I got a handle on the rolling technique. My husband was really impressed with them. I think I will be filming an episode of Kelly's Kitchen on these in the near future as I plan to make them OFTEN! :-)
- 1 cup 2% milk
- 3 cups fat free chicken broth
- 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
- 2 tsp poultry seasoning
- 1 cup quinoa, uncooked and rinsed
- 1 16oz bag frozen chopped broccoli, mostly thawed
- 1 lb skinless boneless chicken breasts, sliced into strips
- 1/2 cup reduced fat shredded mozzarella cheese
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Mist a 9 x 13 baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place a medium sized saucepan over medium high heat, and pour in 2 cups of the broth and 1/2 cup milk. Bring this to a boil and then whisk in the flour, poultry seasoning and remaining 1/2 cup milk. Whisk well until the sauce is creamy and smooth. (about five minutes) Pour into a large bowl.
- To the bowl of sauce, add remaining 1 cup broth and quinoa, and mix well.
- Place chopped broccoli evenly into baking dish and pour quinoa and sauce mixture over the broccoli.
- Lay the chicken strips evenly over top of the casserole.
- Cover with foil, and bake for 30 minutes. Remove and stir slightly.
- Keep uncovered and bake for another 15-20 minutes or until quinoa grains are cooked and tender.
- Remove and top with the mozzarella cheese. Bake for another 5 minutes until the cheese is melted and bubbly.
- Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.
- I had my doubts about this one because I wasn't sure how quinoa would cook up in a casserole setting but I was pleasantly surprised. My other doubt was that it wouldn't be hearty enough as a stand alone meal but it really is. The portions are quite large and it is really filling!
- Also, as a tip: I initially tried this recipe with skim milk to further reduce the calories and fat and what I discovered is that the milk would curdle almost instantly when put on the stove. You must have some fat in the milk to stop that from happening. Luckily I had just enough on hand to finish the recipe after two miss-tries with the skim milk.
- 7 Points+ per serving
- PER SERVING: 302 calories; 5.5g fat; 34g carbohydrates; 27g protein; 5.5g fiber
Weight on 6/12/14: 255
Weight this morning: 250.4
Total loss: -4.6 pounds!
For not dieting, I’d say I’m pretty proud of myself.
Like I said in the last entry, I’m trying to make better choices but I am by no stretch of the imagination counting calories/carbs/points right now.
In the weeks following my birthday(May 30th) I was making some very poor choices and, as a result, I gained those four pounds I just lost, but more than that I felt like total crap, and my blood pressure was the highest it has been in many many years. Like, since I was put on BP meds when I was 26 years old and 300+ pounds. That scared me. A lot.
The good news is that this week of working out for four consecutive days in a row(another mile and a half today!) have brought my blood pressure back down, and I have to say I feel pretty amazing.
This is not new information. I know how great I feel right after I work out. However, it has been well over a year since I exercised regularly enough for it to effect me even longer than the immediate endorphins.
This week I have been going to bed earlier and sleeping better than I have in a very long time. My mood has improved by leaps and bounds. I have been fighting depression a lot the last two years and it had gotten to the point where I just accepted it. I didn’t even notice that it was effecting those around me. I can’t even imagine being my husband and having to put up with me coming home in a foul mood every single day, not wanting to talk only shutting down and wallowing in my own self-pity.
I have felt like a completely different person since I have been exercising. It’s almost shocking. A complete 180 degree turn. I know this sounds like I’m gushing, and I guess I am – but if you have ever lived your life in the dark tunnel of depression, it’s amazing that all I had to do was get out and walk in the sunshine for a half an hour a day.
I’m sure that I knew that back when I was training for the half marathons the first couple of times, and that would make sense because I wasn’t struggling with the depression back then. Not sure if I connected the two things at the time because it’s been a long time since the depression was so encompassing as it has been lately.
I need to make sure I remember this. Hopefully, I won’t need to since I hope to keep on trucking with the exercise.
I was going to give myself a day off since I had done a mile and a half each the last two days and a girl has got to reward herself. By my lunch break, I had talked myself into only doing a mile, and that would be a sort of break but still have me moving. In the end, here is what I did:
Not only did I do 2 miles, but it is also the third consecutive day in a row that I walked on my lunch break. I haven’t done that in years. I usually start out with the best of intentions on a Monday and putter out to maybe twice during the week but never in a row.
I do feel I pushed myself a bit too hard for the heat out there today, but I’m still pretty proud of myself.
My official weigh in is tomorrow but I did sneak a peek at the scale this morning and I was very pleased with what I saw given that I haven’t been dieting, just trying to make small better choices in what I’m eating.
So while I seem to have gotten back on track with the walking(if three days counts – it does to me!), I still don’t have a lot of motivation to start cooking good recipes again.
I think that is mostly because the ones that I’m finding that I want to try are rather involved, and I’ve gotten so used to the time saving convenience foods that I’ve been preparing lately. Not much of an excuse, I know but my lazy butt has gotten used to having a couple hours of couch/tv time a night. And what is stupid is that, just like with exercise, cooking makes me feel better. I enjoy dancing around my kitchen cooking and grooving to my favorite music. I always realize this after I do it – just like running – but it’s like pulling teeth to get me motivated to do either.
I know that I will get there eventually. It’s all a process, and at least I’m making progress, right?
Oh and while I remembered to put sunblock on my face, three days worth of 1/2 hour exposure in the sun has left me a wee bit sunburned.