Monday, April 29, 2013

An Open Letter to the Registered Dietician I wish I had the courage to hire

Dear Tina Shiver,

I am a coward.

Yep. Apparently this four time marathoner, half ironman finisher, and galactic badass is afraid to come see you.

Mostly, I am afraid of what you'll tell me I cannot have.

I know I ought to come see you. Your reputation is exceptional. Your references are amazing. I see hotness all around me, and many of them credit clean eating and your wisdom with their athletic prowess.

It's not that I want to be a stick figure. I just want to get my "fast" and "hot" back, and right now, that's going a bit slow because I have a coozie around my abs keeping them from being hot, and it's also heavy to carry around all the time.

For years I have been telling myself that I am a foodie. That I LOVE food. And that high quality fresh food is worth selling my soul for... or, if not my soul, then my abs. I haven't eaten at a fast food restaurant since... when... well, if we don't count Subway, probably it's been years. If we count subway, twice(?) in the last year. It's not like I'm out hitting the drive through every day at lunch time. I have no desire for processed meatlike substances pressed between refined white flour breadlike disks.

But as I look back over my past 6 months of life and food diary, I see repeating trends.

1) I don't eat as well as I think I do.
2) I sometimes know what I should do but choose not to.
3) If tortilla chips were a forbidden food I might be 14.7 lbs lighter than I am.
4) In my Food diary, Food really takes a back seat to Coffee. and Beer.

Apparently I am a lover of beverage.

I am not into bubbly soda though, no worries there. That stuff is disgusting and it hurts my stomach. Why have that when you can brew a pot of coffee, pour it into a container and serve it over ice with 2% milk? or drink it while it's so hot it stings the pads of my fingers through the ceramic mug? I like it with lots of coffee cream, light cream, soy cream, half and half, and half..... I might sprinkle a half a packet of splenda in it, but ever since I took those antibiotics this spring, splenda doesn't taste as good as it used too... not sure why that is... it's more about the Light than the Sweet.

Anyways, back on point.  I'm afraid to come see you because I'm not sure what my life would look like without coffee. and beer.

Would I look like this again?
Sept 2012

or would I become a crazy antisocial CAT bunny lady? (allergic to cats)

well, to be fair...

Beer isn't just social, it's social and delicious. It's a conversational opener. I know my beer. I know what I like, what I do not like, what I'd like to try and when it's best to just stick with a water because what's on tap is not going to work.

So, see, I don't have to have it, I just enjoy it. Does that make me bad? I've checked against my text books and I'm 80% sure that I am not an addict. I can stop any time I want to, I just don't want to.. wait, that's the definition of ... well, just take my word for it that my 3 - 4 adult beverages a week probably don't make me an addict, but I am worried that they might be making me a little fat...

So there you go.

I was GOING to make an appointment last spring when I heard about you through a guy pal who had a lot of success on your plan. Then I was going to make an appointment last fall when I was struggling to find my #mojo and starving ALL THE TIME. Then I was going to make an appointment with you this spring, but instead I got pneumonia and have been inundated with the drama of getting better... but here's the bad part about a major respiratory illness... Prednisone.

Yep. AND now it's coming into training season, and I need to lose 10% of my body weight to get back to racing weight. Also, my BMI is pretty grim right now. And my body fat % scale says I'm more fat than muscle.

I wonder if I dropped the weight if I could make it a whole season as an injury free athlete...?

So, wait... why I am I so afraid of making an appointment?
Am I really so afraid of being HOT again? 

gba gf

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Rear Window

I've stopped looking back and hypothesizing what might have been and could have been and looking for mistakes and conspiracy where there isn't any...

I registered for a Sprint Tri in May a few days before my birthday.

Not only that, it's a race I've done before, so I have a personal best on the course that I will probably not be able to match... but you know what? It so doesn't matter. I'd like to take about 2 minutes off my bike split from last time, but otherwise I'm not going out to make myself as crazy as Jimmy Stewart.

My whole point is that this is just going to get me moving in the right direction, to allow me to focus forward, rather than looking back on "what I used to be".

Is it weird, that I have to play mind games with myself, or is that just something that athletes do?

This spring has been about a little more than just being a galactically bada** runner. It's also been about being mother to a galatcially bada** son.

My son asked me for years if he could do a tri. I always blew it off. It wasn't something I could afford, or the timing was bad, or (insert personal drama here that has nothing to do with my son). So this year we made it happen for him. And he's loving the training.

I made him a cute little plan that has a lot of "10 min Running", "Ride OC 3 laps", and "Go Outside & Play Hard".

Speaking of riding, GBAson & I rode about an hour of hills and such at a local office park on Sunday (a great place to ride on a weekend afternoon, because no one is on those roads). It was at his pace, but he enjoyed getting some speed and practicing gears.

I knew it was going well when he, instead of unclipping at the end of his ride, undid the velcro on his shoe and pulled his foot out.... for those who don't know, that's how the speedy triathletes "do it". OH yeah. That's *my* kid.

Afterwards we went to pick up the girls, and as I hopped in my sucktastic beige minivan this was what I saw in the rearview mirror:

GBAson makes me proud.

Monday, April 22, 2013

love conditioning, and running

Falling out of love equates to believing the one you're with can't support you emotionally, ever again. It means that you believe that nothing they do in the interest of changing will make them as good as they had been in the past. 

It's funny how easy it is to embrace that idea. That humans are inclined to say, "I'd rather take a chance on something new than go back to something known".

IF that is falling OUT of love does that mean falling in love equates to believing the one you're with is the only person who can ever support you emotionally for the rest of your life.  That seems a tall order for even the most galactic individual.

At what point do we start viewing our mate as a chore, rather than a gift? 

When they become too demanding, or when they fail to demand enough?

I've begun to realize that the key to this is making small changes before operant conditioning takes over. 

Operant conditioning works.

It does. Quite simply put, if you end something on a good note, you'll enjoy that activity. So, if you are training a horse and the horse does EXACTLY what you want when you are 3 minutes into your session, you quit. Right then. And the horse knows it did a good job.  If you're training a dog, its the same, though we tend to live with our dogs.

So this is a blog about running, training, food, food, eating, food... wait... and MOJO. and love. ~savor~

I ran. Like, for freaking REALZ. a REAL run. I went for a 40 minute spin first, and then laced on my shoes and ran like a Galactic Bad Ass....


For the whole 15 minutes.

WHAT?! 15 minutes? Why stop? I bet I could have eeked out another minute or two. It woulda been ugly. It might have been difficult. I... am so glad I stopped when I was high on life and smiling. Because here it is almost 48 hours later and I am still grinning.

And a friend of mine nailed it when he said, #MOJO.

I quit while I was ahead. And so falling out of love is less of a fear... and my run & I are getting back together. Despite what Taylor says...

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Flying Pirates & missed opportunities

"it's 106 miles to Chicago, we got a full tank of gas, half a pack
of  cigarettes, it's dark and we're wearing sunglasses ..."
Obviously anyone who follows my blog knows I've been unable to run enough this spring to get trained for a Half Marathon. The Half Marathon
was exactly 5 weeks and 2 days after my pneumonia diagnosis.... so... yeah, about that. I am out and about, and getting my fitness back one step at a time, but running 13.1 miles would have been a death wish.

All that drama didn't stop me from spending the weekend with a posse of giggling women who seem to appreciate mocking themselves as much as I enjoy mocking myself.

We went down to the race venue, picked up bibs at the surprisingly good expo, and admired the GIANT costume contest trophy.

I made eye contact with T right then, and I'm pretty sure we were thinking the same thing... well... I was thinking, "I wonder what it takes to win this hideous trophy..."

We drove the rest of the way down to the cottage and did some touristy things ... ok, ok, we did all 4 touristy things you can do at the beach this time of year.

1) We visited the Cape Hatteras Lighthouse.

2) Drive past a known Osprey nest to see if the birds are home (they weren't, sorry T, Kim & Erika)

3) Got our feet into sand and take a photo on the beach that should be an album cover for our next CD, which will be named "Hill Repeats" and the first single will be "Flat Sand Running", which will be UBER appropriate because I'm probably going to be off key. "We'll put the band back together, do a few gigs, we get some bread. Bang! Five thousand bucks." Blues Brothers

4) Admire the inappropriately young HOT surfers <~ seriously, this is actually an acceptable tourist activity.  holy carp....

Still, I think this is a post of Important Safety Tips:

Important Safety Tip: Check the race location in relation to the cottage you own before offering to host everyone for the weekend.  not that it was a major problem, but I thought the race was on the Manteo side of OBX, not on the Kitty Hawk side of OBX... right.... so after an hour and a twenty minute drive to the start I parked the car.

Important Safety Tip: When snuggling your friend in the porta potty line, make sure the guy behind you  understands you're joking when you tell her, "I don't know you but here let me hug on you". .. unless of course you want a hug from a RedShirt named Daniel. In which case, go ahead... #seriously #HuggedARedShirt

Important Safety Tip: Take a photographer with you on the cool parts of your MTB adventure... otherwise all the photographs will be of you MTB on PAVEMENT. I assure you, I had a wicked good time exploring the trails on the way to find the girls out on the course, and I am TOTALLY looking forward to MTB in OBX ASAP...

Important Safety Tip: Be a bad ass.... oh, wait. seriously though, I had a great weekend and pulled some ridiculousness, like cycling while spectating, taking photographs while cycling, and convincing another runner to take our photo while he was running...

And finally:

Important Safety Tip: If you're planning on running with us next year at this race, be prepared to share that hideous trophy for 1/5 of the year, because we are so going to win it.

Uh yeah. Cos that's how we roll.
I'd guess it's about 18" X 24"... maybe 30"

Thursday, April 11, 2013

April Showers

April showers bring May flowers

When I was a little girl that was my favorite little April rhyme. I think it's because my birthday is in May, and what better thing for a child than a looming birthday and the promise of flowers?

This spring I'm not obsessed with flower beds and towering iris that encase the mailbox in awkward purple blooms.

I'm obsessed with surviving the last 4 weeks of nursing school without forgetting to turn something in, and with getting my fitness back.

Forget "getting well soon".
I want to get my strong back soon.

Of course, being me, I threw together a recovery training plan when I was sick.

I took a Basic 5K Plan, a 6 week basic Cycle plan, and a "6 weeks to a mile" swim plan and merged them into one giant mess. I figured most of them had 3 workouts a week, and combining them, I dropped some things, added others and BAM.

A "6 week back to Base" plan came together.

Interesting how a base build plan from ZERO looks less like a RUN plan and more like a TRI plan, but, it's what has to happen. I can't go from 0 miles to running 5 days a week, even if I am a super hero. I'll get hurt. And I like riding the bike... so it makes sense. Swimming I view as a necessary evil at this point.

So with all the merging and adjustments, the plan will not be complete in 6 weeks, because I'm not focusing on one discipline. However, it will get me to moving in a positive direction.

I figure if I can run 60 consecutive minutes, swim a consecutive mile, and cycle for 20 miles, I'll be happy... and what I've learned in the 10 days since I started this plan is that some things are just way easier than others... #evil?

I swam a mile on day 3 of my swim plan. No, it was not consecutive, but the plan has me at about 1000m broken into sets of 200m & 100m, with breaks. Oh, I took breaks, but that's about the only part of the plan I followed. 500mX1, 400mX1, 300mX1 all the way down to 50mX2... Was it easy? nope. But will it be easy in a week? yep.

I think I can easily beef up the swimming to 2000m by the end of April and work some speed drills in there to get my 1600m time down again. But, um, hello? Why does the thing that comes easy have to be the necessary evil and not the other stuff I really actually enjoy?

so unfair.

This week I managed 3 <~ THREE whole miles at a sub 10 pace without dying of loss of breath. AND as for cycling....

well... that's a disaster I'm not feeling the need to blog about at the moment. We could probably hash tag it as a #feckinghotmess.

Monday, April 8, 2013

They Are Watching

Yesterday I took my kids to the gym. Sometimes I wonder what they're getting out of that, you know? The older ones "work out", which seems to consist of a lot of hopping from eliptical to treadmill to stationary bike to various weight machines. The little one goes to the kid zone where they color and hang out.

However, it occurred to me yesterday that the little one is also getting something out of it. When time allows I make time for her to swim after my workout as a reward, and she loves that. And yesterday at the gym I interrupted an active game when I picked her up, and they'd played in the gym, which seemed to thrill B'nut.

So after a 60 minute spin class I was beat, but when we arrived home, B'nut arrived in my room where I was studing Professional Role Development of Nursing. She was with G...

and they were dressed like this:

and they wanted to know if I could take a study break and go for a run.

Yes. Yes I can.

So, G hopped on his new (old) bike, Orange Crush and practiced clipping and unclipping as we ran on a B'nut directed run. I didn't make any plan for the route, she had arrived with her own idea of how far and fast we would run and even planned a route. What can I say? She's my kid. 

I estimate my little B'nut did 1/2 mile of running with me before asking to ride her bike, and G did a solid 20 minutes of cycling yesterday in addition to the very active water gun fight (<~ yes my kids played with water guns, and while I'm not afraid they'll get into a real gun war when they're teenagers, I do worry they'll get expelled from school for talking about a water gun fight...).

And then my oldest C asked if we could get Hot Tamale out (G's "old" new road bike). She tooled around for a bit on that, and also got some vitamin D and sweaty.

It was kind of a perfect day.
It was my kind of perfect day.

Every night we gather around the dinner table and evaluate our day. "What was your favorite part of today?"

B'nut said the run was the best part of her day.
C said going to the gym, "It felt good to work out, it's been a while since I've done that."
G said mastering his clips was "AWESOME".
and me, well I said spending the day with my active and fit kids was my favorite part.

I guess what I'm saying is that my fitness endeavors don't go unnoticed.

And on that note, I wonder what else they notice? I think it's time to evaluate my other habits for a few weeks.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

35 minutes later... I am still a runner.

Sunday I managed to ride my bike a whopping 35 minutes with the British Gentleman. That's not miles.... MINUTES...

This coordinates with the 35 minute Run I pulled off on Saturday...  I even did a few strides...

Do you realize that in February I rode my MTB for 22 miles over several hours? And Yep, I was BEAT after that adventure, but DAMN, I rocked the sh*t out of it. The part of me that was tired was my legs. My lungs and heart coulda kept going for days. It's an endurance thing. I hear it a lot from endurance athletes. We train our lungs and hearts to just keep going. (That's what she said).

And all through February I spent Wednesday morning's running my weekly 16 mile long run...

yeah, it's rainy and there are wet roads, but I did
 have a yen to go for a ride on Easter.
I'm not her anymore. That girl who was consistently running 14, 15, 16 miles on any given day, and then tooling around the James River Park system on her mountain bike with a few crazy guys & our Fearless Fear-dra, well... she doesn't really exist anymore.

That's what I need to forget, remember, hang onto, and let go of...

The person who lives in her body now has no lung capacity, no endurance, and not only that, the lungs she has are finicky. They don't like cold, heat, wet, dry, etc etc etc. And if they get tired, they hurt. There's pain that sneaks in on the right side and slides through the bronchioles like an icy wet sponge... that will make sense to some people, I swear...

The new girl needs to
FORGET trying to compare herself to the athlete.
REMEMBER that the athlete didn't become an athlete over night, and patience is required.
HANG ONTO the feeling of getting high off a 2.95 mile run for the days that are hard.
LET GO of your fear... Yoda says fear is the path to the dark side.

The fear that I'll never get "there" again, that it was a one time thing, that I can't, or won't... it is LAUGHABLE. 

and at the same time, it's there. It NAGS. It FESTERS. It GROWS.

I'm a four time marathoner, and Half Ironman finisher. Why in the world would I believe I can't get there from here? It's like I just need to remember how the story goes. I need to remember that the path wasn't lined with Personal Bests, it was lined with hard work and sweat. And Hard work.

Once upon a time, on a Tuesday, I went out and ran...

...a 5K out and back. ..But I wasn't stopping.  No way.  I had my 20 (thousand) pound stroller making me look cool...and an amazing thing happened. I realized that I was one of the runners at the 5K....  My run is place to lay my worries, with the knowledge that if I want, I can choose to heat them and gently tap them into the shapes of acceptance. ... and I was rewarded for my patience. “How you doing?” “Galactically BadA**”....  I was cruising down a hill and spray painted on the road were the letters GBA. I honestly looked around for people I knew....and then I paused for a minute as a random thought hit me, "Except, honestly, I hate 5K's enough to not want to do one right now. They hurt so much more than marathons."... and on some level they become impossible to separate.  Sometimes that pain comes to me in the form of fear.  It burns as it's torching me from the inside.  Other times it’s physical pain that I can articulate on a moan as aching muscles beg for attention. ... I did a 72.3 mile race this weekend.  Not a typo... 

So there you go....

even though I am not doing a whole lot of running these days... I am still a runner.

And runners are weird.