Thursday, July 19, 2012

The Long Run

I prepared as best I could. I really did. I bought Gatorade, for goodness sake, and I don't even like Gatorade. But, they say ("they" is anyone I've talked to regarding running that has some sort of knowledge that I deem credible) that if you are working out beyond an hour, you need to consider the fact that you need to replace electrolytes and need an energy source. Well, suffice it to say, today I worked out over an hour. In fact, I walked into the gym and stepped on the treadmill at 8 am. I had to restart the treadmill twice (as it only allows a maximum of 60 minutes to be programmed) and I had to stop twice to use the little girls' room. Plus I drank 24 oz. of water and I'm trying to finish up 20 oz. of Gatorade G2 now. I walked out of the gym dripping with sweat at 10:35. I ran 12 miles in 150 minutes...which is SLOW by anyone's standards, but what I want you to focus on is that I ran 12 miles!!!!!  That's a 1/2 marathon baby! I'm getting there!  Now, we can choose to not focus on the fact that when I just walked downstairs after taking a VERY cleansing shower, I declared that it would be the last time I would climb the stairs today and the fact that I have this weird feeling nausea as well as hunger going on right now. How that is possible, I don't know. Hence the fact that I'm trying to drink the G2 and keep it down. And the fact that I'm looking at this grocery list quite doubtfully thinking there's truly no possible way that I'll be able to walk into/through a grocery store, at any reasonable pace and actually make it to pick up Nate at 4:30. But, besides all that, I ran 12 miles!!!!

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Just a Blah Day

Yesterday started so well. I ran for 3.35 miles, I had devotions, I did some laundry, and then... it's almost like a switch flipped in my brain and I went "blah." I basically watched tv the rest of the day. Don't get me wrong, I did have a to do list that needed to be accomplished. I had things to keep me occupied. Instead, I watched tv and ate popcorn and felt disgustingly gross the rest of the day. What happened to treating my body as a machine? What happened to the great start I had?

Today, I've got that to do list staring me in the face. I have a 6 mile run to complete, and once again, my Bible reading is really hitting home that I am to treat this life as a race and run with perseverance. (Hebrews 12:1-2). How will this day end?  The "race" I have before me is this day. How will I finish this race? My prayer is that I will "throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and run with perseverance the race marked out for me. I pray that I will fix my eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of my faith.

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Timely Read!

I just read this great article in the NY Times. I loved it when Ryan was asked who his coach was and he said, "God." That is an awesome reminder of why I'm running.

Fun Saturday and Weigh In Sunday

As my training has increased exponentially, I'm experiencing side effects that they warned about, yet you say to yourself, that won't happen to me. I haven't ever really been one who sweats a lot. However, I've evidently developed some prolific sweat glands in the last two weeks because I'm sweating like crazy. I did my long run (7.55 miles) last Thursday and near the end I turned my head and droplets of sweat flew off my head and were dripping off the treadmill. I was quite horrified. My ear buds won't stay in my ears because they are too wet, my shirt gets so wet that even after laying it out to dry, it's still damp in the afternoon. It's gross. Plain, nasty gross. I'm not a fan. However, I stood on the scale today, after having a fairly good week of eating right and exercising and I lost 5.4 pounds. That is in one week, people. I'm excited. Part of me wants to qualify it by saying it's water weight, but I feel really good about what I've accomplished. I've worked hard this week, I've had a couple moments of screwed up eating, but other than that, I've done fairly well. So, I take these 5.4 pounds and am motivated to continue.

Yesterday, Nate and I went to the Yale Peabody Museum. They have an exhibit right now called "Big Food." It focuses on obesity and how the foods we eat have changed over the years. They said that the only continent that doesn't have an obesity problem is Sub-Saharan Africa. I thought to myself, "really?  You are going to say Sub-Saharan Africa is our role model?  The reason Sub-Saharan African doesn't have an obesity problem is because they are dying of starvation!"  I thought that was a very poor statement to make. However, it makes me think about our food situation in the world. I honestly believe that there just is absolutely no excuse for there being starving people in the world. No excuse. We have more food than we know what to do with and people are starving?  Another fact that they shared in the exhibit was how much the typical American eats in a year. They said that the average American drinks 45 gallons of soda in a year. That truly astounds me. 45 GALLONS?  They also showed the amount of sugar in different drinks and it almost made we want to throw up. Of course, then I read facts that hit a little closer to home, such as, "the average American eats 8 pizzas in a year" and I think for our household that number would be quite a bit higher. All in all, I enjoyed the exhibit. We saw it right before we went to lunch and we went to Gourmet Heaven where they have a gorgeous salad/fruit bar. And for dessert, we went to Flavors, a self serve frozen yogurt place where you put on your own toppings, etc. It was quite tasty! 

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Seeing the Body as a Machine

I was shocked to find out that someone close to me was diagnosed with Type 2 Diabetes this week. Shocked because this person is the picture of perfect health. He works out regularly and is thin - just not what you picture of someone being diagnosed with such a disease. It certainly was a reminder to me that my body is a machine. It propels us - getting us from one place to another. If a machine is properly cared for, it runs well. It does what it's supposed to do and works efficiently. When it isn't given the correct fuel or cared for, it stops and will eventually break down. The other day I ate like there was no tomorrow. I ate carbs like they were going to be outlawed and I went to bed and woke up the next morning feeling "broken down." I was sluggish and cranky. However, the next day, I ate correct portions and I ate a well balanced diet and I felt great!  I accomplished so much!  It was amazing the difference that I felt just in one day - all because of the way I fueled this machine of mine. In hearing my friend's diagnosis, and with a family history of diabetes stacked against me as well, it is imperative for me to eat clean whole foods and stay away from the processed garbage that so often entices. "Just this once" and "it won't make that much of a difference" are the excuses and negative talk that I hear in my head when I'm tempted to eat the crap. I look at my friend who is now in the process of looking at everything he eats with a critical eye and I realize each choice matters - big and small.

One tool I have found helpful is I have been using it to keep track of my calorie intake and output. It has been incredibly helpful and if you are looking for a tool to use yourself, I highly recommend it.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Faulty Thinking Revisited

My ipod did charge enough for me to listen to my Christian Workout Music while running. It is amazing what a difference it made. I ran 15 minutes at a 5.7 mph pace, then walked for 5 minutes at a 4.0 mph pace, then ran another 15 minutes at 5.7 mph and then cooled down for another 5 minutes. I just need to have a reminder of why I'm running. The main reason I am running is to glorify God. That may seem pretentious, but it's true. The sermon at church on Sunday brought up the fact that there are three main issues where believers fail to connect with who they are in Christ. They either have difficulty believing (the sermon series is on James, so you realize that "belief" is an action verb) they are forgiven, or that they are adopted, or that they are a temple. We were to write down which of these we struggle with and mine is definitely believing and living out the belief that I am a temple. That's why I run. I'm a temple and I have a responsibility to treat this body as a temple. This is why I want to eat healthy - and this is what I choose to ignore when I don't eat in a healthy manner. And, to be a bit redundant, this is why I run.

Faulty Thinking

Although I am running again, I am coming up with excuse after excuse on why I don't or shouldn't need to run as far. I keep giving myself a pass on the hard work. I tell myself that I lost a month of training and so, I need to "ease" back into it. Don't get me wrong, I've said the correct words out loud. I'm just giving you some insight on what's going on inside my head. Out loud I say things like, "I've lost a month of training and I have got to get it in gear and get crackalackin'!"  That's what I say out loud. While running, I tell myself. You've run really well... You've run 20 minutes straight. I really didn't think I'd be able to do that. I think you can quit now. In fact, you probably should quit to avoid muscle strain. Yes.... that really is what I think you should do.It's really wise to take it slow and ease into things. You don't want to injure yourself. While some of that logic is true, I allow the "ease up a bit" phrase to rule. Tuesday I was to run five miles. I ran 3.5 and decided I had run enough and that I'd run the other 1.5 in the evening when I went to the gym with my husband after he got off work. And I did do that. In fact, I ran 2.5 miles in the evening, so I did end up running a total of 6 miles for the day. However, I'm going to be running 26.2 miles ALL AT ONE TIME in three months. So, running five miles in one fell swoop should be no big deal.

I'm writing about all of this right now - at 5:56 AM because I woke up and the faulty thinking wasn't just talking it was screaming inside my head. "You didn't get much sleep last night. You stayed up late and watched fireworks. Then you had the dog sleep with you because she was afraid...or you were worried she'd be afraid....the cat woke you up at 4:15 AM playing with who knows what and it's just not good to run when you're so tired. In fact, you probably should just take a nap! Plus, did you notice the humidity level?  It's 87% humidity right now!  It's soup out there!  Even though you're running at the gym, I thought I'd throw that in there too."

Today's run is to run 3 miles and to run them "hard."  So, I'm to run as fast as I can. With the faulty thinking as my cadence, I'm not sure how fast I'll be running. I pulled out my ipod hoping that there was some tiny bit of battery life left so I could drown out the internal dialogue, but there isn't even a hiccup of life coming from it. And, of course, I have no earthly idea where the chargers are. But, after confessing my frustrations and my fight with you, I'm going on the search for the charger. Hopefully I can get the ipod charged enough to get me through this run.

Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Happy Fourth!

Happy Fourth of July!  I'm excited to announce that my running program is, well, off and running!  We joined the gym on Sunday and we've been going ever since and I've logged 11 miles of running/walking. We decided to rejoin Planet Fitness instead of the gym at Yale as Planet Fitness is so close to the house and the convenience will help us maintain our consistency.

As we continue to adjust to life in Connecticut, there is so much to like: lush green, lots of parks and hiking opportunities, a rich history, proximity and easy commute to NYC for fun trips...but probably what I like most about this place is the friendliness of the people. People here actually make eye contact with you and greet you. I have had wonderful conversations with people in line at the grocery store, at the bank, at the garden store, etc. People are welcoming and friendly. I love that!  In Michigan that was the most difficult thing for me to deal with - unfriendly people. People here remind me more of how people are in Charlotte. I greeted a woman that was entering the grocery store as I was leaving and she was very pleasant in return. When I did that in Michigan after we first moved there - the woman I greeted stopped and glared at me and I never did it again.

With the good there are always difficult things to adjust to as well. The number one thing that I don't like about Connecticut is the driving manners (or lack there of) of the people here. Coming from Ann Arbor where the pedestrian rules, it has been a bit of an adjustment to realize that cars rule and the fastest car wins. Although the speed limit in our area is 25 miles an hour, we are easily traveling over 40 mph with a police car right beside us and we are not the fastest car driving. I think the driving motto is: if there's space, you may go. This is the motto regardless of the rules of the road. This is the motto regardless of the traffic signal or the stop sign, or the "No Turn On Red" sign. NO matter what the sign says, is there is space: GO! Since moving here, although my mouth drops open at the audacious acts of the drivers, I'm adjusting. And it has been reminding me of somewhere else I have driven and I have been trying to figure out where. What I realize is that they way I drive now is very reminiscent to how I drove in Haiti. Which is quite scary when you think about it. However, in Haiti, although people drove wherever they could and pedestrian beware, they were driving such poor decrepit vehicles that they really couldn't drive that fast. Here, people are driving much better and faster cars and they are driving like bats out of hell. You honestly believe that someone must be dying in the back seat for there to be any justification for how they drive. Driving through stop signs and red lights is so common that we have adjusted and now pause and look both ways before venturing out into the intersection. Be prepared that if you do slow down to stop at a yellow/orange light people will whip around you and drive through the orangy/red light. There is no "zoning out" while driving here. You drive assertively and defensively. Someone said to us that we have to remember that most people that live here either work in NYC or they have migrated from NYC and therefore, they drive like they do in NYC. That has certainly helped me gain some perspective into the driving mentality of CT. My advice if you are going to visit from out of town?  FLY!!!