Month: September 2017

My ups and downs with my weight:  Trying to find the happy medium

Sluggish runner trying to find my fleet feet

9 years ago I was wearing a size 8 and was feeling over the hill at 42.    I had stopped going to the YMCA, and felt unhealthy.  Then my son Ethan badgered me to sign up for a holiday themed race, The Festival of Lights.  I hadn’t run on a road ever, I always ran on one of the treadmills at the Y, so I walked  the 5k and finished under 45:00 minutes.  I caught the running bug.  I began running/actually it was way more walking than running.  I made it to a mile just running around my neighborhood , and thought I had won the lottery.  Then I noticed my weight started to melt away.  And away, and away, and away.  I went from a size 8 to a size 2. I ate normal portions of food, I drank 8 glasses of water a day, kept a food journal, and continued to run.  I became so thin, my mom started to worry.  I didn’t, I felt fine and I was getting faster.

My fastest 5k was 24:00, my 15k was 1:19(won my 1st 10% GRR finisher hat), my PB 1/2 marathon was 1:52, and my PR for a marathon was 4:30. I won AG awards, and was able to get a seeded position for the Gate River Run.  Everyone told me I was fast.  I wanted to be faster.

Running is all in the family

2010…2011…2012…2013…2014…2015.All those years of running.  Then all of a sudden I was injured with a fractured metatarsal with no running for months and months.   The weight began to gain a foothold.    And gain I did. When I did finally get the go ahead to run again, I was much  slower.  Slower than I had been when I first started my running journey.   People said age, I would be turning 50 soon, I didn’t think so.  It was the added weight.  You see I was still eating like a athlete, but no exercise to counteract it.  Yes, I swam and cycled, but it wasn’t enough.  I am a manatee when I swim; slow and slower.  Cycling , I am a huge klutz and don’t push myself to top speeds. Cycle shoes would provide more power, but I am a super klutz and my knees have plenty of scars on them already, so no.  I’m back to running, but no matter what I do I still look like I swallowed a small honeydew melon.  So I weighed myself this week after Hurricane Irma and all the Hurricane “food” we ate-I am at my heaviest in over a decade(132 pounds)!  I’ve heard for every 5 pounds you gain, you get slower.  Not sure by how much, but I can tell the difference.  Instead of 7:00 minute miles, I am running closer to 8:35.  That’s about 22 seconds I have added to my time with every 5 pounds I’ve gained(this is a rough estimate)!  Time to figure out what I need to do differently since my current eating habits/exercise habits are not working for me.

Here’s my Plan

  • No second helpings.  I am so guilty of doing this!  I need to get a regular portion and stop while I’m ahead.
  • Stop the bread indulgence.  I love bread!  I’m not cutting it out completely or else all I’ll do is crave it.  One piece and that’s it.  That is going to be difficult.
  • Stop stress eating.  I am a teacher-enough said.  I need to make sure I am not mindless eating when I get home.  And if I want to eat something crunchy like chips or pretzels, opt for carrots.  I’ve used this trick before -it works!
  • Keep the water, ditch anything else.  No more gigantic smoothies(sorry Chrissy).  8+ glasses of H2O!
  • No eating out.  It damages the bank account, and does me no good.  When I go out, I indulge on fried foods, something we never eat at home, I just need to say no.
  • Make your own stuff and stop with the processed foods.  Delicious home cooked meals can’t compare to microwave meals.  And again they are expensive.
  • Continue to run and continue to cross train, to ensure balance and less chance of injury.

Well there you have it, my new plan.  Now please know I am not a certified dietician, so I am just sharing what I believe will work for me.  I don’t have any pre existing conditions or health concerns,so if you are trying to make a change please consult with a physician or a certified dietician for recommendations just for you.  Follow me in the next months and see if my changes make a difference.  I still want to get faster.  I’m hoping these dietary changes will finally make it happen.

Remember it’s not about the destination it’s about the journey,

Mercedes

Marathon High Virtual and a Hurricane

13.1 Streaker

When it rains, it can be a deluge.  I caught a summer cold last week and missed my long run.  I raced and nearly passed out on my Labor Day 5k because I felt so rundown.  All week my best friends have been BreatheRight strips, Vicks vapor rub, and Mucinex DM.  I’ve missed several runs this week, and then the piece de la resistance, Hurricane Irma is looming in the Atlantic head d our way.  Thursday becomes an Early dissmal day as we prep our school for the incoming storm.  Storm shelters open on Friday and that means Chris is working because his school is a general population shelter. What do I do when I’m stressed?  Houseclean?   No.  Eat?  Nah. One guess…  run…yep!  I have a Marathon High Virtual to get done, so instead of waiting until Saturday my day is Friday.

No bib(my personal printer is packed away), so I put on my favorite Marathon High tank and off I go.  Since I’m trying to conserve gas, I decide I’ll run in my neck of the woods.  Option 1:  my one mile loop 13x’s(ugh), Option 2:  from my neighborhood to JU and back(too sketchy), or Option 3:  my neighborhood to Clifton and back(yes!).

Breakfast and coffee, water bottle, and away I go.  The first mile was straight running-boy do I feel dead.  Next neighborhood over, better.  Then at mile 3:  tried and true Galloway 60/30.  My favorite neighborhood is Clifton in Arlington.  Before the Matthews Bridge, you could only get here by boat.  Some of the old houses from the 1800’s are there including the Clifton Hotel, a general store, and post office.  All still there but private residences now.  There is also a graveyard, which is spooky but cool!  Shade is a plus.  Then after 3-4 miles within the neighborhood, time to cross the bridge into Arlington.  Pit stop at Publix and then towards Woodland Acres and home.  1.5 miles to go and I am done.  Figuratively.   I just am tired, hot, sick to my stomach, so last mile I switch up and run 30 seconds and walk 60 seconds until my blessed Runkeeper app says 13.10.

Something normal in a time of uncertainty.  Saturday…we look at the local news and prepare.  Chris comes home from the shelter and tells us to evacuate.  We hold on to hope because Irma is moving towards Tallahassee and then North.    Finally Sunday we leave to my parents’ house because there are no trees and power lines are buried underneath.  Sunday night we go to sleep at 10:00p m and 2 hours late I am awakened by sparks and a horrible grinding high pitched noise outside my window.  The wind is howling and the rain is coming down hard, and I peek out.  Nothing.  Sparks!  That horrible sound again!   What if there’s a fire from that transformer and I’m asleep.   No sleep for me.  Then 3:30 a m , a loud bang and shooting sparks and we have no power.

Running during a hurricane? Been there run that.

I finally fall asleep.  Luckily no sparks or fire at the house.  I get up after 9:00 a m and it’s still crazy windy out there.  What do I do when I’m stressed?  I run.  So began a 4 mile run to see the damage and get rid of anxiety from my sleepless night.  Lots of water, lots of trees down, lots of debris, and lots of people out gauging how bad it is and was.  Families cheered me on as I made my way through the Deerwood neighborhood, or joked that all I needed a skateboard for the wind to pull me along.  I love their sense of humor.  No power, so we head home hoping against hope that our neighborhood has been spared.  No such luck.  Our community, our neighborhood, our neighbors have been hit hard.  No power, trees on houses, across roads, and lots of tree debris in yards and electrical lines.

Notice where the water rose? It was a flooded mess
My husband calls this the widowmaker. We have driven and walked under it, so far lucky!
 

Clean up begins.  How do I cope?  Run the beach with my BRF’s of course.  The beaches fared better this time than with Hurricane Matthew because the storm was not off  our coast.  Dunes were beat up a bit, and lots of shingles along the road, but better than expected because the water had receded.

Our beautiful Jax Beach! Lots of shells and Julie found a shark’s tooth

Clean up continues and Day 3 of no power.  We get our generator up and running(1st time using it-scary), and are able to run the refrigerator so our food at least is cold.  We’re not and the temperature is climbing.    I desperately need coffee and our coffeemaker is electric.  Luckily we have a camp stove and a old perculator, so old fashioned is the way to go.  Delicious.  After a very restless and hot night, our Tuesday group met up to see how the Riverwalk and Brooklyn/Riverside area fared.  The St Johns river was very high and glassy.  Parts of our iconic Riverwalk were still flooded.

Luckily our van was not parked in our driveway

A lot of people were suffering.  So many of my friends reached out.  We are beyond blessed.  The heat continues and freezing cold showers(brrr!), luckily we’re members of JCA and they had hot showers.  We ate canned food cooked on the camp stove and continued to swelter.  It was cooler outside, so that’s where we spent our day.  Then we got lucky once again.  My parents’ house got their power restored-hallelujah a/c and hot showers!  Laundry was done, and we worked together to bag the rest of our debris. at our house.  Now to just keep checking the outage map and pray that JEA would restore our power.

Last run before long run Saturday.  What a difference.  It was a beautiful run, but again a warm one.  Time to clean out our freezer and fridge-heartbreaking to throw out all that food.  I did the same for my parents since they were afraid of spoilage.  Then great news!  Our power is restored!  Home.

What I learned.

  • Even though I may not show it, I get stressed.  Running is my stress reliever and therapy.  It does a body good.
  • Even though I think I am mostly a loner, I am blessed to have so many friends who reached out a helping hand.  I am very lucky!
  • I hate heat-yeah I already knew that.
  • Camping in your house is not as much fun as camping in the NC mountains.
  • I am stronger than I thought.  Physically and mentally.  Important for me to admit, no I am not elaborating.
  • I am beyond thankful that I lost no one in this horrible storm.  My house is unscathed.  I was inconvenienced but that is all.
  • Kindness comes in many different forms.

Remember it’s about the journey not just the destination,

    Mercedes

    Tough it out or hit the sack?

    The race that almost wasn’t

    I have been under the weather since Thursday, my sinus cavities were draining and I had massive headaches.  I was not calling in sick because it’s more trouble to have a sub than just to tough it out at school.  Plus a long weekend was coming-plenty of time to recover.   It was pouring rain and lightning on Thursday, so I did yoga at home and then because the rain let up; I ran one lap around the neighborhood.  Next day was a rest day, and then 20 miles on Saturday.  Then…

    Fever, chills, and phlegm.  4:00 a m wake up call, no way.  Jax Galloway training run, nope.  Chris went out with Getting Started, still in bed.  It was a terrible horrible no go very bad Saturday.  Emergen-C, Mucinex…I couldn’t breathe.  Still, I did housework and laundry to get moving.  Then more chills.  Boom!  Huddle under a blanket again.  

    Sunday.  Everyone is exercising on FB, instagram, Twitter, and I’m sleeping in and feeling like such a loser.  Day 3 of doing nothing.   I can’t do this anymore.  I vow tomorrow I am running.  Chris suggests that I walk.  We’ll see.

    Labor Day.  Run Jax Labor Day 5k, and I am ready.  Bathroom-check, good parking spot-check, say hi to friends-check…the race is ready to begin.  And what happens?  I feel feverish and faint during the National Anthem.  Oh my goodness! I had to sit down-so embarrassed (I am not protesting I swear!).  Chris comes over and checks on me, gets me some water, and tells me to chuck the race.  Nope.  I am starting with the walkers and strollers, but I start.  Just keep walking…ok, try out the legs…ok, speed up here I go.

    1st mile-10:20.  Water stop, drink water.  Fartlek until Beauclerc Rd.  I am passing people.  Legs are yelling at me, but everything else is ok.  Walk to the bridge, run until the speed limit sign(2nd mile-20:00?!?). Second water stop.  Hi Coach Paul!  Hi Coach Jack!  Run to the stoplight on the corner of San Jose Blvd.  There’s Chris-hi honey!(walk so he doesn’t yell at you).  Then I run on, my goal is under 31:00 or survive, whichever comes first.  30:04?!  I’ll take that-9:40 pace, I really sped up!

    What did I learn?   Listen to your body, and if you are sick and feel horrible don’t attempt a training run or ride or whatever.  Your health is more important than what’s in your training log.  You can run another day.  I have had to push my long, 22 miles, run back to next Saturday.  Inconvenient?  Yes!  Juggling?  Yes!  But my body will be stronger because of my 4 rest days.  No use pushing, what might I get out of it?  Nothing other than longer recovery time.  

    I was actually feeling quite good

    No records were broken, but  I am happy to report I collected my medal, ate breakfast, and am ready to start my day.  Always listen to your body!  No one know you like you do.  Live to run another day!

    Remember it’s about the journey not just the destination,

    Mercedes