February 29, 2012

Disney Princess Half Marathon

So, yeah, I ran a half marathon this weekend and this was my costume.

The Disney Princess Half was an amazing experience.  I've never participated in anything else quite like it.  More than 20,000 participants were registered for the race.  I mean it: incredible. 

Every single person there was there because he or she wanted to be.

I ran with a smile on my face the entire time (I think).

My official time was almost exactly 3 hours.  I wanted to run it in under 3 hours but I had to wait in a long line for a restroom at one point and that added a good bit of time to my official race time.

I got to meet Jeff Galloway at the runners' expo the day before the race.

Jeff Galloway is a famous runner and an Olympic athlete.  He advertises a run/walk method to make races like this more accessible to people.  He also started the Tallahassee Gulf Winds Track Club 30-something years ago.  It was awesome to tell him I was from Tally and that I had started my own career as a runner with the running/walking method. 

This is after the race.  My friend and teammate, Jenn, ran as Ariel from The Little Mermaid.  I ran as Princess McAwesome.  If you can't tell, my shirt says "I'm living my dream."  The tiara never made it to the finish line, actually it didn't make it beyond mile 1.  Too distracting and kept getting snagged with wind and stuff. 

Overall, this was a fantastic experience and I feel like I accomplished something really special.  I'm excited for my next race on April 15 in Pensacola, not to mention the Warrior Dash on March 31.

Tomorrow I am starting a 30 day challenge, check back for details.

February 19, 2012

Why do you subject yourself to these things?

“Why do you subject yourself to these things?”

This, or something along these lines, was a question that a friend asked me the other day when I was expressing excitement for some of my upcoming events, like the Disney Princess Half and Warrior Dash.

“To prove that I can” was the only response I could come up with immediately, but the question stayed with me so I thought I would answer it more fully here.

First, the most pragmatic reason for signing up for these admittedly self-punishing races and challenges is to keep me on track with my weight loss.  Now that I’ve lost almost 65 pounds since I started this whole thing I better understand what keeps me motivated.  Signing up for some kind of race and acknowledging it publicly commits me in a way that nothing else will.  So, expect me to look for more races and athletic events and expect me to talk with you about it.  Publicly committing keeps me honest.  Additionally, I’m less likely to eat crap when I know I have CrossFit or an 8 mile run in the morning.  It motivates me to eat well.

Second, it part of my insatiable desire to be considered an athlete, and an extreme one at that.  I think that a lot of people who grew up heavy/fat/portly/chubby can agree that people may have thought of them as smart, funny, cute, humble, kind, jealous, awkward, whatever else and a hundred other adjectives but probably do not remember that other people, or themselves, saw them as athletic or as an athlete.  There are always some exceptions: lots of female softball players are a bit rounder and it doesn’t hinder them at all.  Also, there are a lot of men whose heavy bodies gave them an athletic advantage like in football, rugby, or wrestling.   But for me?  No, not athletic.  And so now, as I try to make up for something I can’t even label and try to redefine myself, being a casual exerciser is not enough.  I need to compete.  I need to improve.  I also need to visibly show people that I can do these things.  It is the bizarre, psychotic need to validate myself and be validated by others.

Third, it is addictive and quantifiable.  Losing weight is addictive.  Lifting more weight than I did a month ago?  Addicting.  10 and 11 minute miles?  All consuming.  I have to try to do them again.  Can I beat myself?  Counting pull-ups (or attempts at pull-ups) is a quantifiable thing.  Measuring weight?  I can count that and actually document improvement.  Dead lifting 100 pounds one week and 115 two weeks later?  That’s something I can write down and see on paper that I am improving and getting stronger.  Running one more mile than the week before is something I can keep track of.  Unlike my pants which some days fit better than others or my struggles with binge eating which can emotionally wreck me for days, finishing a race or doing what others think you cannot do is this identity-changing, all-satisfying, fulfilling experience I would wish for everyone.

So, with that, I think I’ll sign up for the Gulf Coast Pensacola Half Marathon in April.

February 13, 2012

The briefest of updates

1) Comps (the Big PhD exams at FSU) start next week.  I won't be around in person or in the inter-world. 

2) 10 miles on Saturday with a very respectable, best-ever time.  Also, saved a yellow lab and was able to reunite this dog, Buster, with his owner.  The dog was lost and miles from home.

3) Probably won't have time to run tomorrow morning; will be grateful for the CF class.

4) When I panic I eat more to the point of excess/feeling angry and frustrated with myself.  Tomorrow I will not do that.

5) Internet is sporadically out at my house.

6) When comps are over then Anna and I are throwing a post-stress party at her apartment.

7) This blog will be updated, even if it just these kind of blurbs.

February 9, 2012

Even faster than Tuesday!

Today I ran 3 miles.
First mile in 10:08.

Total three miles in 32:25 for an average pace of 10:48.

I am amazing.

But any potential readers probably already know that.

February 7, 2012

What I've got to look forward to...

Things right now are crazy insane.  I've got more work than I can actually do, comp exams in less than two weeks, and my first half marathon on the 26th.

And I'm not done.

Three people have commented on my weightloss and newer, more muscular, svelte body since Friday.  Winning!

On March 17th I want to run the Trail of Payne 10K in Gainesville.

And here's the awesome: I signed up for a Warrior Dash!  A CrossFit friend posted that the Jacksonville Living Social Deal of the day was half off the entry fee and here's what else is fantastic- the race is in Live Oak.  That's only a bit over an hour from here.  Closer to Tally than to Jax, at least.  A Warrior Dash, and other obstacle-based races are very popular right now.  There are similar versions called things like the Spartan Race, the Savage Race and the truly amazing, the Tough Mudder.  These are for-profit races so there is a real emphasis on everyone leaving as a satisfied customer, meaning people feel like they completed things and had a good time. 

On Saturday I jogged 10 miles.  It was exhausting and at mile 8.5 I almost started to cry I was just so frustrated.  I just wanted to be done, desperately.  But I did it and I'm glad I can check that part off of my training. 

One more thing: today I reached a PR.  I went out to run three miles with my friend Jenn and I was flying.  I finished my first mile in 10:38 and ran the whole thing in 32:54 for a 10:57 average pace.  That is amazing.  That is amazing for me and overall awesome to shave so much time off my mile pace.  I don't know if I can repeat it (I like to think that I can) and I know that I won't even be trying for those kinds of speeds on race day because I need a pace that I can maintain for 13.1 miles, but still, Ah-May-Zing.

Here's a Warrior Dash video for those that might like more info:

February 2, 2012

Maybe it will get easier to say the more I say it?

Hang tight any possible readers because tonight's post is of a different timbre than other posts in that its application to healthy living is that a healthy mind makes my body better as well.

For fourteen months I've been hanging on to a lot of anger and sadness.  Frustration because of unanswered questions that always created more tears.  Paralyzing heartbrake. 

And so much hurt.  So, so much hurt.  Swallowed and consumed by absolute and unending hurt and capsizing grief.

No amount of speculating about why K did what he did and why his choices were his satisfy my heart.

I felt like something was stolen from me.  Like I was robbed of promises that I believed would actually be fulfilled.  And, as my friend put it (gently), I went into hiding.  Everytime someone knocked on my door or I received an unexpected phone call I thought it would be him, calling to tell me that he'd come to his senses.  That he'd realized what a mistake he'd made and that he wanted to try and repair what he'd broken. 

K will never do that.  First, because K is not the kind of guy who calls and admits wrongs and apologizes when he doesn't need to.  Second, because as frustrated as I am by what he did (to me) I feel that he's certain that he did the right thing.

He's not coming back.  There will be no knock. 

That has to be good for me.

That has to be good for me even if I presently hate it.

My friend encouraged me to pray about it and to change my prayers.  Instead of praying for our relationship to be healed or to feel relief from such sadness she suggested, instead, that I be thankful.  Thankful that God spared me a lifetime of hurt because K isn't right for me.  Thank God for keeping me from someone who wouldn't be able to emotionally satisfy me.  Thank God for letting this man walk away from me now instead of him walking away after there were vows and children and mortgages (either literally walking away or emotionally walking away).  Thank God that this man who kept me at 'arm's length' in regards to his family made a decision that I couldn't but that deep, deep down (I mean, Mariana Trench level) I knew it would happen. 

Thank you Lord for saving me from this.

Maybe it will get easier to say the more I say it?

Thank you Lord for knowing what's best for me even when I hate it.

Thank you Lord for letting him walk away.  Thank you for letting him give up because I just kept trying to give us CPR and it would be no way to live.

Thank you Lord.  Now, please, please help me to come out of hiding.