Have you seen my time?

I’m not really sure where I misplaced it, but I cannot seem to find time.

Time to run. Time to clean. Time for a strength workout. Time to walk the dog. (don’t worry, they have a backyard to play in, but it’s not quite the same is it?) Time to read the book that was loaned to me a few weeks ago. Time to watch my shows. Time to play my video games. (the new Batman is going to be out before I know it!)(Yes, I’m a geek.)( Deal.)

Do you want to know just how much running I’ve gotten in this past week? 2 miles. Not very good ones either. And guess what else? I have a 5k tomorrow morning. Not ideal.  I mentioned to my hubby that I didn’t really train before deciding to do the Capital City 1/4 Marathon. His response? “I don’t think that’s the way you’re supposed to be doing it though.”  And, damn him, he’s right. It’s not. I haven’t exactly trained for any of the races I’ve done. Maybe a day or two of 3 mile runs each week. Nothing particularly thought out, just I should get out and run on this day or that day. But I haven’t really made that happen. Not the best way to be doing this. Not very good for my sense of accomplishment. Sure, I’ve gone out and run some races, which is more than most people will ever bother doing, but is it really such a big deal if I’m just kind of half-assing it?

I just don’t know.

Every week I say I’m going to do better. But I have such a hard time making solid plans and then sticking to them. That’s the hard part. Things come up, I don’t feel like it, I’m tired, I have to do other things (which also generally don’t get done). Today was ‘clean up the bedroom’ day. As I was going through my clothes, and pulling out the things that don’t really fit anymore, I came across all the workout clothes that I bought about this time last year that no longer fit. Some of them my husband doesn’t remember ever seeing.

What an epic fail is that?

So tonite, I’m going to bed early. Tomorrow I’m getting up at the ass crack of dawn and running the Ohio State Fair 5k. I’m going to go to work afterwards (after showering of course). I’m going to come home, and I’m going to take a long hard look at my calender for the next week.  And come Hell or high water (and it’s Ohio, so I’ll probably get both) I am going to get in 3 proper training runs this week. The Columbus 1/2 Marathon is in 2 more weeks, and the Emerald City 1/4 Marathon is 3 weeks after that. Making it up as I go just isn’t going to cut it anymore.

It’s time to get on it, and track down my time.

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Not so much a morning person….

Monday night, I had a plan. That plan involved getting up the next morning at 6am, take a quick shower to wake up, go for my 3 mile run, come home, eat breakfast, shower properly, pack my lunch, and be at work at 9am.

The problem is…. there are a number of problems with The Plan.

1. I don’t do mornings.

2. I have an addiction to the snooze button. This means that on any given day, I will not actually get out of bed until 7 minutes 15 minutes somewhere around half an hour past when I should have gotten up.

3. See number 1.

4. I had a softball game on Monday night. That did not go well. That I came home from feeling like I’d been hit by a truck and the 3 trailers it was pulling. I had a bad slide that left one knee scraped up, and the other knee bruised. Not to mention the previous 2o-some years of playing softball that have left my knees in a state of disrepair to begin with.

5. See number 3

 

I am, and have always been, a night owl. I love working second shift- I get to sleep in, and I’m going to be up until the early hours of the morning anyway, so why not? Except that now I’m back to a first shift job. If I’m the early person, I really need to be up by 5:30-6:00 am, but get off work around 4:30pm. If I’m the late person, I can sleep in until 7 am, but don’t get out until 6pm or 7pm, followed by a 25-30 minute drive home.  Oh boy (insert sarcasm here).

My dilemma then becomes do I get up at the ass crack of dawn and try to get a run in, or do I wait until the end of the work day when I am frequently (a) already sleep deprived from the previous night and (b) worn down from the day’s activities. By the end of most days, especially the ones that don’t end until 7pm, I can (and usually do) find any excuse to not go run. Sometimes my hubby can brow-beat me out the door, but not always.  The thought behind The Plan was if I get up and run first thing, then it doesn’t get put off. Common sense, frequent recommendation, something that everyone knows they should do, or at least try.

This did not go well.  For anyone involved. It went something like this:

Alarm goes off 6am, hubby gets out of bed, I roll over, doze for another 20ish minutes before actually getting into the shower. Out of the shower, groggy, cranky, not really wanting to run, but now I’m up. Go downstairs, slap on peanut butter on an english muffin to eat on my way to the park, trying to find mp3 player, headphones that are lost in the bottomless pit that is my purse, trying to figure out if my phone will actually fit in the pouch on my new amphipod water bottle. Meanwhile, the hubby is using the dinning room table as a temporary office, is trying to be chatty asking me questions or trying to talk to me, I’m tripping over dogs trying to get out the door.

I make it to the park around 7:15am. My park has a walking path around it that is a 1.1 mile loop. My usual run is to go around 3 times, essentially doing a 5k.  It’s shaped like an oval, so there are 2 long sides, 2 short sides.  I have been jogging the short sides, walking the long sides until I build up some endurance.  That morning, I decided I was going to jog the long sides, and walk the short sides. I’ve now done a handful of races, and running(walking) 1-2 times a week (dedicated, I know), and my last 5k race, which was 3 days before on saturday, went really well with a PR pace of 13:51. So I figure I’m ready to kick it up a little.

Right.

So I trudge off up the long side, I’m able to continue running for the entire length, walk at the short side, head back around,  rinse and repeat. It’s early, it’s humid, I’m still grumpy, now I’m sweaty and grumpy, but I keep trudging along. My knees are killing me, my ankle is throbbing (collateral damage from that bad slide on monday night), and sweat is pouring off of me.  By the end of the second lap, I throw in the towel. 2 miles is better than no miles at all I figure, and since I did not get up when I needed to, I was out of time if I was going to get to work on time.  As I limp towards my car, I pry my phone out of the pouch, and check my time on the mapmyrun app that I’m trying out.

Distance: 2.2miles  Duration: 34:04  Average Pace: 15:29 min/mi

Are you kidding me? I nearly lost it. 3 days out from my last race, and I am running almost two whole minutes slower????

If I was grumpy before heading out, I was teetering on the edge of bitchy by the time I got back home. My hubby is frustrated over the dogs (somebody made a mess), can’t find the cleaning supplies, and is trying (once again) to engage me in conversation. I snap at him, needing to leave for work, not getting my proper shower, just a change of clothes and some more deodorant, need some breakfast (which Husband did kindly make for me), packed a quick lunch, off to work. Traffic sucks, people are stupid, and I’m still sweating somehow.

Needless to say at this point (but I’ll say it anyway) The Plan did not go very well. Some things are going to have to be worked out before attempting it again.

1. Not going to happen the morning after a softball game. I’m already too beaten up.

2. Need to lay down ground rules for appropriate interactions that early in the morning with the husband. Support and encouragement is great, just not at 7am.

3. Need to break up with the snooze button.            That one’s going to hurt.

In the beginning…

The first thing you should know is that I am over-weight.

So I am taking up running, and I am going to document my struggles and, eventually, my triumphs. By documenting, I will hopefully keep myself honest and on track.  With any luck I will also be able to entertain and, perhaps, someday inspire you.

Here’s some back story for you: As a kid, I played sports and was very active. Softball ruled my life while it was in season, and the rest of the time was being outdoors riding a bike or running around the neighborhood. This trend continued in high school, lots of sports and other activities, blah, blah, blah, continued playing softball in community college, still mostly active.  Even after I was done playing softball, I was still active. This would be the first time I’ve tried making friends with running.  Two or three miles a couple of times a week, supplemented with 2-3 nights a week out at the local clubs dancing.  All the dancing canceled out all the drinking, my occasional workouts held off everything else.

It started going steadily downhill about 7 years ago, after I met my to-be-husband.  At that time, I was still wearing a bikini and I was checking in at around 160 pounds on my 5’5″ frame.  I was comfortable enough with myself, but (like most women) still would have liked to be at my ‘fighting’ weight of 140.

Now, I would like to clarify here that it is not my husband’s fault that I got fat. There seems to be a correlation between being in a longterm relationship and gaining weight. The more content you are, the less you feel that you have to maintain a certain image. At least that’s what people tell me.

Anyway, back to the main story, over our (to date) 7 years together I have been packing on the pounds. It was slow, nothing too noticeable at first, a couple of pairs of pants that weren’t fitting very well anymore, a cute top that was not quite as flattering anymore.  And then all of sudden, I realize I am having to buy size 18 jeans, XL tee shirts, and that nothing I own looks good or feels good on me. Every time there is some event that is going to require me to dress up, I start to panick. I don’t know if my friends haven’t realized that I pretty much wear the same 2 outfits, or if they are just being kind by not saying anything.

And so goes the cycle of mental breakdowns over my self-esteem and rash promises to the gods that I would do better and I would get my body back. But it’s a work in progress. I currently weigh in at around 220, sometimes a little more, sometimes a little less.  The goal is to get down to 140-145 pounds, one race at a time.  And if I’m lucky, I might fall in love with running just to run.