First Run After Rest

Yesterday I dragged myself out of the house to do my first run after one week of rest. I stuck to 30 minutes, and despite not figuring out how to set my Garmin to beep at me when my heart rate went over 148 bpm, I was pleased with how I did. I ended up doing 2.79 miles in those 30 minutes, and stayed rather consistently under 11 minutes per mile the entire time.

My joints, however, are not feeling so good today. Specifically, my big toe joint (bunion) was particularly unhappy. I’ve been using my Healthy Toes after runs and in the evening to stretch my toes out. I have no evidence this will do anything, but it’s kind of fun, and I like the idea that it might help. I also picked up some Boiron Sportenine at my local co-op over the weekend, with the hopes that the homeopathic (or placebo) might work to ease some of my training pain.

I definitely woke up to full body aches this morning, though I feel like I slept better. Emotionally, I feel a bit more on-edge, and a little more anxious. I’m not entirely sure that strenuous exercise is good for me. I’m beginning to wonder if I’m going about this wrong.

I plan to try another run tomorrow, to get myself back in the routine. Again, I don’t plan on doing more than 30 minutes.

I feel like I’m trying to walk a tight-rope between health and well-being. Every day I’m inundated with different ideas of what health can be. I just hope I’m choosing the best path.

Week of Rest Near End

Tomorrow rounds up my week of rest since I came to the conclusion that I was overtraining.

So far, I’ve managed to do pretty well, despite the fact that I’ve been wanting to eat more despite not burning as many calories. My joints are finally starting to not complain as much, though the rain has made my bunions particularly painful when I’m walking outside.

A few friends that I’ve talked to have convinced me that I don’t need to run a full marathon. At this point (and after reading up on it) I’m questioning even a half marathon. I want to do it right – not just do it for the sake of doing it. I also don’t want to cause myself a lot of damage. I’ve already got painful bunions, I really don’t need a bum knee, wrenched back, or anything like that.

I hesitate, because part of me wanted to be awesome. I think that running is awesome (and fun), but I also have respect for competitive distance runners, who are perhaps more crazy than I, but have what it takes to get into the Boston Marathon. I’ve heard rumors that some old-school runners bemoan the fact that average times for marathons have decreased over the years, mostly due to people like me entering the sport at a lower level, and doing it for the sake of doing it, instead of elite athlete competition.

Let’s face it – our country could use more of the idea that being active is fun. For all of us who sit behind a computer, tv, video game for most of the day – it’s good to have a hobby that actually peels us up from our chairs. Competition and/or challenge and community are just some of what makes a hobby worth it. Not to mention the pride of completion, be it a sweater for your best girlfriend or a 5K. A friend of mine tried to convince me that swimming may be the best fitness, especially for its low-impact and high reward (if you really swim instead of just hopping in the pool.)

The past month or so I’ve been living off of endorphins. I’ve found out that I don’t get a defined high from running, but I do get a respite from my troubles. As another friend (I’ve been listening to a lot of friends) said to me, it’s a way to help you feel less pain so you can go the distance. Emotional pain seems to be another thing it softens, but I can tell you, the backlash these past few weeks have been horrible. Very topsy-turvy.

I look forward to my next run – which may be only 20 minutes long, and likely, on Thursday. I look forward to seeing how my body takes it, if my new Garmin was a good choice, and if I think that the Team in Training will be reasonable.

I’m still on the fence about the Team in Training, mainly because I need to take care of myself first. Mentally and physically.

Goal Oriented Rest Days

A friend of mine recently proclaimed his pride in my fitness accomplishments. I’ve gotten this a few times recently as I’ve been talking more and more about my training. I shrug it off – for one, I’m a bit self-conscious, and for two – my accomplishments are often a benefit of my neurosis.

A few years ago, my doctor told me that I was “goal oriented.” She’s a rare physician that actually takes time to talk and listen to me, and frankly, this was the first time I realized that my compulsive need to finish what I start, when I have a goal in mind, could work to my benefit. I was over a hundred pounds over weight at the time, and I had a specific goal in mind (it was not scale related, but health related). I joined Weight Watchers that weekend with the goal being to just try it, and not to expect any other results but to just add some accountability to my life.

My inability to give up on a goal has led me to lose almost 100 lbs through Weight Watchers over the past two years. I’ve had some bumps and setbacks, but my compulsion to do it right (track what I eat, make the right choices for the given day/week, not over-do it) has paid off.

Now I have a new goal – to run a distance that in my whole life, I never thought I’d do. Frankly, even running a 5K or a mile seemed crazy. My current weight is what it was at age 13 (and I’m still overweight.) I’ve never had this skill until now. I’m shooting for my goal – and frankly, I’ve been training too hard the past couple weeks.

I know this because I ache all the time. I was jumping up to running for over an hour before I got really comfortable with just running 30 minutes regularly. I was excited. I realized, “hey, I can do it! It didn’t kill me!” But that’s not a measure for success.

Despite the fact that I want to run today – and tomorrow, I’m taking a couple days off before I start up with my official Team in Training schedule. I’m considering taking a yoga-for-runners class. I know I’ve mentioned it before – but being still is just as important as running, and is probably harder for me to do.

So this is a reminder to myself – and to those out there that are like me – rest days are important, and are goal oriented. You can’t train if you don’t let your body recuperate. Your body will fail you.

Day Off of Training (Plus note to readers)

Today was a running day, but I was feeling absolutely beat. I ached everywhere – partially due to starting to do yoga again. Then there was the four mile run I did on Thursday, and the five mile walk I did yesterday. I’m just working myself too hard, too fast.

I decided to take a long bath and read again from the Runner’s World Complete Book of Women’s Running. Again, I was reminded that I should be easier on myself, as a novice, train a little slower, and train for time, not for mileage. Instead of going out for 4 miles, I should be going out for 40 minutes. I need to just chill out, especially to keep my injuries to a minimum. I think I’ll do an easy run tomorrow, maybe just a 30 minute (and ignore the mileage) and just have fun. I need to not work myself so hard.

I have started to look at the Team in Training official marathon training schedule for the Fall season. It’s not unlike what the book I have recommends. Slow and steady, right? Injury prevention, right? OK. I’ll chill out. Do some yoga. Weight training.

In other news to my readers – I know that some that know me that come across this blog might not have an enthusiasm for running the way I do. If you find this blog triggering, or upsetting in any way, please don’t read it. This is the way I’ve found to cope with stressors in my life, one of the major ones being a consciousness of mortality, and a willingness to do what I can to put myself in the best odds. I don’t expect anyone to make the same choices I do. To each their own. Take care of yourself. This is how I’m trying to take care of myself.

Yoga Today, and more TnT

I started my morning with some much needed yoga. I used Shiva Rea’s Solar Flow Yoga, which is an invigorating vinyasa program that has the option of mixing and matching the programs together. It’s not for a novice, and requires the ability to flow in and out of asanas quickly, but it’s exactly what I like. I should do this more often. I spend so much time running, and not enough being still, or just being in one place. I figure this might be a good counterbalance to all that pavement pounding.

The Team in Training sent a flood (ok, just a phone call and an email) to check in and remind of the upcoming kick-off. I’m not bailing out yet, because I signed up for this, and frankly, maybe I *can* do it without too much stress. The fundraising is a little stressful, though. I’m far more worried about that than running 26.2 miles (though truthfully, I may just go for 13.1). We’ll see! I just don’t want to be in debt!!

Take care – have a great weekend!

If you’re looking for something to do, my scuba friends with Girl Diver are hosting an Earth Day event, Girl Diver Goes Green (Not with Envy)

Plant a Tree! Spread some mulch! Come help GirlDiver & People of Puget Sound celebrate the 40th Anniversary of EARTH DAY with restoration of North Wind’s Weir located at Seattle’s Duwamish River. NO EXPERIENCE NECESSARY!!!

No diving required – but a great group of people doing good stuff.