Tuesday, August 16, 2016

We All Need a Push Now and Then

This is very hard for me to write because I am typically such a positive person that can motivate others so easily, but I have found myself in a funk and I am having an extremely hard time pulling out of it.
Im not sure how or when it began but it has been going on now for way too long.  I gained weight before my spinal fusion and during recovery and just haven't been disciplined or motivated enough to take it off.  I get super mad at myself because there are clothes that I want to fit in and just don't.  I know weight does not define someone and I know I am in great shape but I do feel best about myself when I am a little thinner.  I also know that in order for me to get thinner and stay thinner that my calorie intake must stay super low even with all the exercise and calorie burn I have.  It never has made sense to me that I can burn so many calories yet if I eat over 1400 a day then I either gain weight or stay the same. In the past I have found myself going to extremes to get rid of the calories that I put into my body and that essentially will only lead to more health issues down the road so I have to watch myself and be sure to keep myself from those impulses. I really believe most of the population men and women have some sort of eating disorder. Whether is it overeating, to not eating to binging and purging most of us have one or are fighting one.  I find it sad that society as a whole has taught us that our bodies and looks is who we are - sure we may say that we don't fall into that category but I would be willing to guess that very few of the population wake up and look into the mirror and honestly say to themselves "I love you...you are perfect just the way you are" We compare ourselves to other physical traits where if we want to even compare ourselves to others we should be comparing ourselves to those that are compassionate to others, giving to others, and loving to others and want to be more like them rather then have a body figure of Jennifer Anniston or Channing Tatum.
Currently my funk is not only weight and food related but fitness related.  I moved at the end of the year to Southern Utah and the summer is super hot....whoever says at least it's dry heat has no clue. When you step outside in the heat of the day it actually feels like you have stepped into a wood fire pizza over.....your eyes burn and your body feels on fire!  Granted I could get up and head out the door at 5am and go for a run or a hike and not be in the major heat but I am not an early morning person unless I am getting up at an event.  Work has me working most days from 2-10ish which I prefer because then I would have the mornings to bike, hike or run but with my lack of motivation I don't do it! I miss going to events every weekend or 2 out of 4 weekends a month like I did for a couple years but some sacrifices had to be made in order for me to move to this amazing place! The dog kenneling expenses are 5 times what I would pay in Portsmouth so that makes traveling hard, I sold my business and am currently working at a park for shit wages but I did want something to keep me busy some of the days...I will be leaving there right after Labor Day as I agreed to help them through their last super busy weekend.  No room for any growth there and for roughly $60 a day there is so much more I would rather be doing with my time and energy and can pinch pennies a little more and travel less to make things work.  All I need is a roof over my head and food for my body.
I think some of it is burn out and some of it is that I don't think I need to train to do an event.  I look back and think - damn in 2015 you could barely stand up due to your back. I finished 2014 with my 50th State marathon/ultra finish did the New Years Double Double, paced Mississippi Blues January 10th then ran First Light Marathon January 11th. When I got back from the Blues/First Light Double I had one more test on my spine and after that test I was unable to stand up at all for more then 30 seconds at a time without crying!  My first surgery was at the end of Feb and it took the pain away for 6 weeks.  We then knew I would have to have a 3 level spinal fusion....I was able to hike after the first surgery leading up to the fusion in June of 2014 but no running and actually my depression had gotten a little better.  I was depressed thinking that I would be 1-2 years without running but I was also hopeful that I would be out of pain.  I had the fusion in June of 2014 and even though that first week of recovery was like nothing I have even been through and I didnt see light at the end of the tunnel I was determined to come back!  The doc said walking was the best thing for recovery and that I did...I walked and walked and walked and took breaks in between and was walking so much before you knew it.  The doc said he knew I would recovery well and to just listen to my body and if it hurt don't do it.  3 months post spinal fusion I was doing a super hilly 20K called The Indian Run. Who does that shit??  I took it slow and easy but still how was I running/hiking a 20K technical trail just 3 months after a spinal fusion.  The following week was the Adams County Marathon.....being a 2 loop course I thought well I will do one loop and see how I feel and if I feel good I'll do another.  My friend Heather said she would hang with me for whatever distance I decided to do.  I felt really good after loop one and seeing some friends from out of town that I hadn't seen all year and being around the atmosphere of an actual event just made me feel like I was back!  Granted my time was a little over 6 hours but this course is a pretty hilly up and down course so I was pleasantly pleased, plus this was only like 16 weeks after major spine surgery and 37 or so weeks since I had ran a marathon and really ran any kind of distance.  I think doing these 2 events so soon afterwards and considering the NO training at all and feeling really good after totally has messed up my mindset.
I continued running events and ran a total of 5 half marathons and one I felt so good I ran it in 2:20 almost 4 months to the date of the spinal fusion. Granted thats not fast for some but a 2:20 not running much at all for 9 months and 2 spine surgeries leading up to it freaking blew me away!  From October to June of this year I really still couldn't get into training because now I  totally have that mindset that I am fucking super woman or something and training is totally over rated.  I continued to run events and completed the 1 20K 4 half marathons 11 marathons 1 50K 1 56 miles and 1 100K.....but I haven't ran since the Bear Lake Trifecta in June. These were all completed from August 2015 (3 months post fusion to June 2016)  These numbers are super low in comparison to what I did in 2013 and 2014 but I could go a month or so without running a lick and head out to a marathon or 50K or more and just do it and feel totally fine afterwards!  I have done some hiking and have really been busy trying to get my new house built and moved into - so this on top has helped create more great excuses in my mind.
Each afternoon and evening I go to bed with the intention that I will wake up early and go for a run...even if it is only 2-4 miles I tell myself that is better then nothing.  On the average when 6 out of the 7 mornings roll around my mind reminds my body that look what all you have done...you don't need to go out this morning....get some extra rest and you have to work till 10 or 10:30 tonight anyways you may as well finish getting things done at the new house.  The good news on that I did manage to get my house completely unpacked and really organized within the first couple days of moving in! So now I don't really have that excuse any longer.
I need some goals, I need to dream again and I just don't know where to begin. I want them to be fitness related.  Some have said after finishing their 50th state they felt like they had reached a huge accomplishment and got depressed because what would be next.....I was told this would happen after my first Ironman Triathlon.....well it didnt as I did 3 Ironman's and actually they were my very first marathons as well.  I did however get bored with triathlons after completely 3 ironman and thats when I decided I wanted to do an ultra. My goal of the 50 states never was a goal as when I thought about it I thought there is no damn way....maybe I will do a half in all 50 states.  That changed quickly after I finished my first 50 miler and of course I needed more so I had to try a 100miler!  In training for that I found it easier to sign up for events, whether it was a single marathon on a weekend or one on a Sat and one on a Sun....this kept my training in check and I couldn't convince myself that I had some laundry to do or I needed to clean the house since I was too far away to come home to do it.
I did set a goal to complete 100 marathons/ultras as I was leading up to my 50th State and things were actually set to be completed by May of 2015.....my spine issues put that on the back burner and I did choose to skip a couple events and repeated states because Hawaii for state 50 was the most important.  On Thursday June 9th in Wyoming I finished my 100th marathon/ultra at the Bear Lake Trifecta.  I did 101 the next day and decided to do the half on day 3.  Ever since this I have not been on a run longer then 3 miles and have done limited hiking, mostly due to the heat and work but I still can't get my mindset back.
I need to as I managed to get registered for one of the most exclusive events in the west called Canyon De Chelly which will take place October 8th.  I do have a marathon and half in Sept and a marathon the week before Canyon De Chelly but I have to figure out how to convince my head that I must get out and train for this event.
Not only do I need to convince myself that it needs to train, it needs to convince itself that enough is a enough. Stop eating the cookie dough the ice cream the pizza the amazing corn chips from Lins with mango salsa and all this crap food that taste so yummy but afterwards when you look in the mirror you ask yourself why the hell are you doing this!?  The easiest part is taking the weight off once you set your mind to it but the hardest part is keeping it off.  I still sometimes find myself comparing the current me to the me from 2002 and rationalize where I am now is still a huge jump in a positive healthy lifestyle but I also know I am more confident even for a person that lacks self esteem confidence on every level when I am about 20 pounds thinner.

Tuesday, January 26, 2016

So much going on!

This is going to be one heck of an update.  I have not posted since September and so much has happened! I know my head will think faster then my fingers will be able to type and I will be all over the place as I normally am.
Lets go back to after feeling so good after the Adams County Marathon.... Full marathon 114 days after a L4-S1 Spinal Fusion....who woulda ever dreamed that possible.  So let the possibilities grow endlessly!  The following weekend October 4th; Heather, Jackie and I went and ran the Broke Mans Half Marathon....I felt really good during this event too but think I went a little too fast for it being so soon after surgery finishing in 2:20.  The next couple days I did have some aches but nothing that had me alarmed.
Then the next weekend we all heading to Northern Ohio where Jackie and I did the Towpath Marathon - Jackie did the half in which she qualified to be a Half Fanatic!!!! It was a very pretty course I got to run into my friend Joe and again I felt super finishing in a time of 5:36? Still not back to my normal speed but I will take it!!!
We took a break the next weekend then Heather and I found a marathon called Eastern Kentucky marathon which was only about an hour and a half drive away so we just drove the morning of the event.  This marathon promoted that it had the largest finisher medal.  Now I do love a nice finisher medal but its not all about that for me.  This things was crazy huge and heavy! I honestly think I like the cute and simple medals best.  Heather stayed with me this entire race and we had a super fun time. I got to see a couple of my maniac friends that I hadn't seen all year which was awesome! I started to feel like I was back and also feeling like I had not been laid up for 9 months!
After the EKY marathon I found a house in Hurricane Utah that I would rent.  I had to go ahead and pay for December rent since this is when it would be available knowing I could not move until after Christmas. It worked out really nice because on November 15th I was running the RnR Vegas and it is only a 2ish hour drive so I was able to at least physically see where I would be living before hand.
RnR Vegas - what can I say about this event! To start Kid Rock put on one hell of a pre show and trying to get motivated to run while listening to him put on a kick ass show was very tough!!! The race starts at 4:30 and I had already signed up for this before my surgeries and had talked to them about dropping to the half due to their 5 hour course time limit but I thought I may as well try for the full if I felt good.  I was able to start in an early corral but the weather was not as predicted! 40 mph winds came, rain and cold! It was miserable.  I knew about mile 6 that I was just going to do the half and I had no ego problems telling me this was not ok.  I didnt take that many photos on the course because the rain was so bad.  I had a great time meeting some new people and since I knew I was only going to do the half when a group of Texas gals saw I was running with Fireball they started calling me Fireball.  I had 4 on me so knew I didnt need them all and I convinced them to give one a taste. They debated for awhile thinking they should wait until they finished but I convinced them it would be ok.  One swig and their eyes lit up and they passed the bottle to each other in amazement of how great it tasted!!! I continued on the course and I was wearing my Team Beef jersey when I had my first heckler come upon me.  She was yelling "yeah go team beef murder all the cows,,, you cow murderer - good for you" I didnt waste my energy to saw anything back and all I could do is laugh.
The week after Vegas I went to Nashville to do The Flying Monkey...I was so excited to be able to do this this year because the past 3 years I have had other commitments and have been unable. I really worried I wouldn't be able to do it this year due to my surgeries but it all worked out!! I stayed with Cathie and Troy the night before and was so great to be able to catch up with them. Hard to believe I had not seen them since they ran with me when I finish my 50th State in Honolulu in December of 2014! We took an early start at the event and got to see so many folks that I have missed all year! I ran about half of the run with them and Troy's hip was bothering him and he had to go a little slower on the uphill and I had to go a little faster on the uphill or I would use my back too much so I went on.  The course was very hilly but beautiful!!
I didnt run any for the next couple weeks due to packing for the move and working on getting things together for the run I host the First Day of Winter Half/Full/50K but I was also signed up for California International Marathon on Dec 6th and I had to go!  My friend Nicole was there and introduced me to her friend Jerry who just wanted to party on the course......and all I can say about that is ....this is what we did! Super fun time - My friend Jenine was doing the event and she said her goal was to catch me! Around mile 22 she did! Just in time for us to find a bar serving Guinness. By this time Jerry and I had too many to even count along with shots and gin fizzes and wine! After we finished Jenine and I hung out a bit and got to visit.
The First Day of Winter run was another huge success for Portsmouth! This year is was held Sunday December 20th. I had one guy come from Japan to run his 685th marathon...a couple that came from Brazil, one from Canada and 22 other states represented!
We were leaving December 28th to drive a 17 foot Uhaul while towing a car carrier with my car on top 2105 miles to Hurricane Utah.  The northern route we decided against due to the Colorado Mountains driving the truck and snow so we opted for the southern route. This would add a couple hundred miles but safety was much more important! Tanner, the dogs and I headed on Monday the 28th.  There was a nasty snow storm that hit a couple days prior but it did not effect us and also Missouri received a ton of rain and flooding but our timing was perfect.  Some of the highways had high water when we went through but the day after we went through some of them were actually closed due to high waters! Timing was perfect.  It took us 3 days and we really had an uneventful time! Once we arrived we inflated an air mattress to sleep on since it was already late on the 3rd full night and got some decent sleep and got up to start unloading the truck in the morning. My realtor who I had been working with for a year and am still working with came and even helped Tanner unload! We then had time to go to the furniture store down the street to get a couch, table and things like that and they even delivered it that afternoon to us. For the next week it flew by! Tanner stayed until Jan 6th and we shopped for furniture and other necessities. We never had a single get on each others nerves time in the entire 10 days that we spent 24 hours a day each day together!
I took him to the airport on the 6th and then on the 8th I was flying out to pace Mississippi Blues on the 9th and run First Light the 10th. I flew into Dallas since it was so much cheaper and rode with my friends Bre and Andrew 6ish hours to Jackson...just because i hadn't had enough time traveling in a vehicle.
I was a little concerned but knew I would be ok because i had not ran a single block since CIM on Dec 6th and there was no way my base was built back up to par. I had made a commitment to pace and I wasn't going to back out on that. I had no business going as I wasn't even settled into my place nor where my poor dogs who had to go to the kennel...and the kennel here ...holy hell are they expensive!!!
I had a fun group with me while we ran Mississippi blues, we ended up about 15 min over our pace time but we had one of the runners fall into a hole while trying to cross a culvert to go to the bathroom. She went to the bathroom and was there for awhile before we could be sure she was ok and we all agreed we were not leaving her behind. We had all been together for 14 miles and someones well being is way more important then coming in at 6 hours. Our pace group wasn't a time that was going to qualify anyone for boston and with everyone feeling the same way we waited.  She felt bad because she knew our time was going to be off but I reassured her it was no big deal at all!! The weather for Blues was raining....and when I say raining it was pouring!! Then the thunder came and them warning us to be careful but we were not going to stop!! We all finished and then I took a quick shower and headed to Alabama with Clyde and Gary.
Cathie, Troy and I were going to run this one together and I felt like I should drop to the half and not risk any issues since I had not been running much.  The night before they almost had me convinced to just walk the full with them but then with Troys hip we all decided it was best for us all to just walk the half together.  We had a super time!!! Afterwards we grabbed some food and a shower and they brought me to the airport.  It was a long weekend of travel but I was glad I went and got to see everyone!
Now I am trying to get settled into my new location. I am loving every minute of it and have been exploring new trails.  I did decide to apply for a job at a State Park and got called in for an interview so will see what happens on Feb 11th.