Blogging, Everyday, Fitness

I felt consumed

I was up at 5am for some early morning speed work at the track.  It was crazy cold, with feels like temp of about 35 degrees (well crazy cold for Central Texas).  So I layered up, ate my sweet potato breakfast and was out the door.  It was really dark at the track and only 3 other people showed up.  The work was hard; 8×400 repeats at about 5k pace with 2 mins rest between.  The view was great as the sun began to start it’s day.  If camera contact lenses existed, I would have taken a picture.  We were also taunted by an owl; with each lap came his distinct ho hoo.  He probably watched us and thought we were all crazy running around and around in circles.  His day was coming to an end while I was just starting.

It felt good to have gotten that accomplished before most people had even had their first cup of coffee.  The runner’s high did wear off pretty quickly into the progressing day.  Work was taxing.  My work has never really been “hard” in the almost two years I’ve been there, but there is a first for everything.  I had the Midas Touch but in the worst possible way.  Everything I touched turned to absolute shit.  It was horrible and I let it get to me.  I could feel anxiety creeping in to take over my day.  It wound up being 7 long hours of nothing good.  7 hours that I just wanted to end more than anything.  I wanted nothing more than to come home, draw a hot bath for my achy muscles, and wash away my tears fears.

I finally came home.  It was finally time to unwind.  I went to my soaker tub, poured the epsom salt, started the hot water, and put on some of my favorite music.   I mentally eased my way into relaxation.  After a couple drags, I began to think.  I thought about the music I was listening to.  It made me think about my dad.  I wondered if he had been scared during the last hours of his life?  I think about things like that a lot.  Death is so foreign to me and so out of anyone’s control.  I felt consumed.  I became consumed by my own morbid thoughts.  But then the music crept back into my mind.  “……echoed in the wells of silence.  And the people bowed their heads and prayed……”  I really want to make a video using that song*.  I would dedicate it to my father.  I wanted to share it with the world.  Should I go back to school?  Would I be able to make it?  To learn?  To teach and be heard?  I have no idea, but I feel a need to share my thoughts.  Maybe I need to talk to someone?  Sometimes I wonder how I get around these feelings.  What was I doing?  What will tomorrow look like?  What about the space between?

I got out of the tub and finally felt relaxed and ready to end the day.  Tomorrow had to be better.  There would be another sun rise waiting for me in the morning.  There would be another workout to tackle and another day to go onto.  Another day to love my family and miss my dad.  Another day closer to figuring it all out.  I wonder if the owl has nights like this?

 

 

 

 

**Song reference was to:  The Sound of Silence, composed by Paul Simon.  But by far my favorite rendition was performed by Disturbed.  I highly recommend listening to it here if you have never heard it before.  It is very powerful.

 

 

 

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Blogging, Everyday, Running

Gotta do what you got to do

Something that I have heard a lot of writers or authors say to aspiring writers is that some days you have to sit down and write even when you don’t want to.  Today is that day for me.

Writing when you don’t have the urge to, is like try to make a baby when you are not in the mood.  Come on hunny, I’m ovulating!  I know your tired and just got done mowing the lawn but if we don’t do it now, we will have to wait another month.  Sure it could turn out to be fun, and hopefully will pay off in the end but damn if you aren’t in the mood, you aren’t in the mood.  Ugh.  Everyday that passes that I don’t write is just another day wasted towards my dreams.  If I want my writing to take off, well then I HAVE TO write.  Just as simple as that.

I’ve also been feeling that way when it comes to my running.  I am currently signed up to do the Austin 3M Half Marathon at the end of January and right now I can barely get past running 3 miles, let alone 13.1.  My training should have started a month ago and I am in need of some new shoes as well. Excuses, excuses, excuses.  I have been keeping up with my strength training twice and week but my endurance is shot.  Plus, it doesn’t help that central Texas has not decided on what season we are in yet.  Running when it is hot and humid is why I don’t run in the summer.  Running when it is warm and humid and DECEMBER is just a cruel joke.  I am a cold weather runner.  60 degrees and under is my ideal running weather.  When it is 75 degrees and just as humid, I have a really hard time moving one foot in front of the other.  I did manage to get up and do 6×100 meter repeats on Wednesday morning.  Stupid me also did my first leg workout in two weeks the day before that.  My calves felt like water balloons ready to pop and foam rolling was excruciating.  Thank goodness our new house came complete with a soaker tub in the master bathroom!  Epsom salt to the rescue (along with some well, lets just say recreational plants of choice) to really help take the edge off.  Ahhhhhh relax-o time.  By Saturday I got back out and did my first 4 mile run in months.  It was rough but just like the baby making and writing, it had to be done.  And afterwards I felt really glad that I did it, just as I do now because I wrote about it.

But seriously, I need to get my shit act together.  Whether with writing or running (no baby making for me) it’s time to get back out there.

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Everyday, Fitness, minimalism, Running, Vegan

Living with intention

I want to live a more intentional life.  I want to eat better.  I want to love harder.  I want to exercise and get faster.  I want to cut out the crap and be more inline with my personal values.

I know today is actually June 5th, but for me it marks the start of many things.  For awhile now I have gotten a little off track with my eating (don’t worry still vegan, but being vegan doesn’t automatically mean being healthy) and with my exercise.  I want to incorporate better food choices into my diet and get back into my running after a brief, but very much-needed break.  I also haven’t been to the gym since maybe November?  My work picked up and my hours changed to a point that I couldn’t get motived to workout.  To be honest with myself, yes work did pick up, but I am still working under 30 hours a week, so not having enough time is not an excuse.  And my hours did change, but truth be told, it’s more about me not wanting to wake my ass up earlier to hit the gym!

Having a good balance between food and exercise is very important.  Even though I haven’t been eating as well, I am by no means overweight, but I have noticed that my muscle to fat ratio has changed.  Last summer I actually weighed more but the extra pounds were from the extra muscle I had built.  I would like to build back some of the lean muscle I have lost in the past 6 months.  I am not sure what I am going to do about the gym; whether I am going to rejoin or join a different one, but I am going to get back into my running, actually starting today.  I have joined an 8 week speed work program that meets every Monday and Wednesday at 6:30pm.  I don’t particularly like speed work.  It is hard and the Central Texas summer weather doesn’t make it any easier, but I am more motived to get back into it because it is a group effort.  I have a couple close friends that are joining the group and our coach, is my trainer from the gym that I have been friends with for over 3 years now.  Plus if you can run in the summer you will be in tip-top form for when the fall/winter races start back up again!

As far as food goes, I am going to try to focus more on whole foods; getting in more fruits and especially more vegetables.  Last week I went to see my new doctor (Dr. Linda Carney in Buda, TX) because I was having issues with dizziness, foggy mind, and my cycle had been going  a little wack-a-do these past few months.  Dr. Carney is a 100% plant-based, vegan doctor.  So many people have raved about her in the Central Texas vegan community.  She is located about 40 miles from where I live, but after meeting her I have absolutely no issues with the distance.  She promotes healing through nutrition and tries to steer clear of medications whenever possible.  She ordered up about 15 different blood tests for me, to help her narrow down what/if anything is wrong.  I go back to hear my results on Wednesday!  This doctors visit was the first one I was ever excited to go to.  I had no anxiety and I can’t wait to find out what blood tests say.  Dr. Carney had a great “bedside manner”.  She sat and went over a bunch of different things with me for probably over 40 minutes.  Asked a lot of questions and took notes on our whole meeting.  Her office has plant based resources everywhere.  From Forks Over Knives posters on the walls, to a book shelf full of plant based authors (many of whom’s books I currently own) and a website for clients filled with even more plant based nutrition information.

I mentioned that my female cycle has been off for a little while now.  Nothing too extreme but sometimes, somethings are just too much to let go unnoticed.  I ordered a book called:  “WomanCode:  Perfect Your Cycle, Amplify Your Fertility, Supercharge Your Sex Drive, and Become a Power Source” by Alisa Vitti.  The author takes a very close look at how what you eat during your 4 stages of your cycle (yes I said 4 stages) can affect your overall health.  While she doesn’t promote being 100% vegan, I am curious to read about what foods she suggests to eat when and then why.  I do not plan on adding animal products back to my diet but I am open to reading as much information as I can about how what we eat can affect who we are.   The book has great reviews, so hopefully I won’t be too disappointed at the mention of animal products.

One more thing that I am finding to be more and more important to my overall health and welfare is just living my own life.  Cutting out things that don’t add to it and focusing more on things that do.  I realized this past weekend that I had spent a lot of time on social media.  That time could have been used for far more important things.  I literally could have written this blog yesterday and then had time to write another one today.  I could have spent more time with all of our fur-babies more evenly (we recently got two new kittens and our rabbit I think has been feeling a little left out).  I could have went out and bought the rose-bush that we wanted to commemorate the passing of our 13-year-old kitty, Raspberry.  I could have read more.  Talked with my husband more.  Or just enjoyed the silence, that comes with the lack of social media clutter.  (OMG I just realized that I just checked my Facebook page, oh my phone, while typing this on my laptop!)  It is time to disconnect a little.  The Minimalist talk about how they both took all social media off of their phones and only allow themselves 30 mins or so a day to scroll through their feeds while on their computers/iPads.  I mean do we really need that much information at the tip of our fingers at any given moment?  No.  I know for a fact we don’t because I am old enough to say that I grew up without the internet (until I was in High School) and without a cell phone (until I was out of High School).  (OMG I literally just did it again!  Something live came across my feed so I had to click on it!)  We have become like Pavlov’s Dog when we hear our phone “tweet”;  we are zombie slaves to our little glowing screens.  It is time to make a change.  So besides changing up diet and exercise, I am going to delete all social media platforms from my phone for the rest of the month.  Hopefully I will live to share the accounts of my actions with you all.

Oh and one more thing I forgot to add is that I will also be cutting back on all alcohol and caffeine intake as well!  Man, when I set out to do something, I really know how to go to the extremes, don’t I?  Honestly, I don’t drink much of either substance.  Alcohol I am eliminating just from the weekdays, and will only have a drink with dinner on the weekends.  And the only source of caffeine I have is from my morning tea, but I also have plenty of decaf teas and herbal teas that I can use as substitutes if needed.  I love having the will power to make these changes in my life.  I am the master of going “cold turkey” and I can’t wait to see how I feel about everything in a month.  If you have changed up anything that you consider pretty drastic in your life, please feel free to share your story in the comments!

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Running, Vegan

Priceless practice

This morning my Lifetime Run group had a change of pace (pun intended) and we went out for a long run instead of doing our Saturday speed work.  I was thrilled with this.  The temperatures here in Central Texas are finally starting to cool off and feel like fall; like perfect running weather.  We met up at Brushy Creek Regional trail before the sun had even come up and the temperature on my Garmin said it was a chilly 59 degrees!  There were about 10 of us that made it out this morning and after introductions, distance goals, and when the sun started to make its grand appearance, we were off.

It felt really good to be out there this morning.  I ran with one of my running/work out buddies the whole time and we pushed each other through an awesome 5 miles that neither of us thought we would survive in the beginning.  I love being able to run with someone else that has a similar pace to my own.  I feel like I push myself harder to keep moving when I am running with someone, instead of behind someone.  Lately I have been a “back of the pack-er” and honestly I still was this morning, but today it just felt different.  I didn’t hit my 2.5 mile wall, my body felt good, I still love my new shoes and the temperature…. oh man did I already mention how great it felt outside?  Well either way it was wonderful!

When I got a little past the 4 mile point I picked up my pace a little and started to feel like I could have gone an extra mile.  Afterwards I wasn’t overly tired or sore and really felt like myself again.  Even though my pace isn’t where it was this time last year, I can defiantly see where over time it will get better.  And right now I’m pretty happy with just running and not looking to “beat” something.  Improvement is great but just feeling like yourself again is priceless.

5 miles 59 degrees @ 7am

  • Overall time 50:23
  • Average pace 9:52
  • Splits 9:56, 9:50, 10:13, 9:53, 9:29
  • Average cadence 176

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Running

Goals

“Find a goal.”  “You are fit and healthy…”  “Don’t press the issue, it will come.”

These words spoken to me from my personal trainer and running coach yesterday after I texted him about being in a funk.  I was looking for support because I just haven’t felt like myself lately when it comes to fitness.  I’ve been feeling burnt out and tried.  I’m having the “OMG I’m going to get fat” thoughts as well.  I’m totally ready for summer to be over and I want to be running in the cool morning air again more than anything.  Everyday that we spend in 95 degree weather kills my soul a little more.  I feel like I have seasonal depression, but instead of it being in the cold, desolate, winter months it’s during the life zapping, heavy, summer months.  I’ve tried to combat it by going to the gym more, but this runner is ready to be outside again STAT!

I was contemplating signing up for the 3M Half Marathon that’s in January of 2017.  Seemed like a good enough goal to me; but is it a forced goal or something I really want to do?  I’m not too sure about that.  I wouldn’t have to start training for it until the end of October and by then the weather will be perfect.  I did my first half marathon back in February of this year and upon finishing it I said I would never do another one!  But that was the Austin Half Marathon; quite a different (hilly) beast.  3M is literally all down hill.  It is the half that everyone said I should have started with.  Should of, could have, would have. It would be nice though to have completed both of Austin’s biggest and most sought after half marathons.  Then I can be one of those people who tells others, “you should have run that one first”!

I’m feeling more and more compelled to register just writing this!  This is the excitement I am looking for.  This is the light that had burnt out back in the spring after I got injured and the days just kept getting hotter and hotter.  I do need a goal.  I do need to have something that I am working towards.  I get down on myself when I don’t feel a “purpose” for my fitness/running.  Maybe it’s time to fork over that $95 and hit the road once again!

$95 to run 13.1 miles…… I must be crazy……

So I texted my trainer again and told him I thought I might have a goal!  His response:

“‘Think’, ‘Might’.  Those to words equal I’m not sure.”

One thing is for sure, I can always count on him to be brutally honest!  I am confident in myself that I will get back in the game.  I will always be a runner.  Right now I am just a runner without a race; without a goal and in a slump.  Some runners go their entire lives without entering a single race.  Honestly, I do wish I could be that runner (think of the money I would save!?) but my personality doesn’t allow for it (damn goal orientated, type A people).  I do love running, but what keeps me going is seeing the finish line at the end of a goal.  I just need to find “my race” and commit to it and then live happily, ever after. 🙂

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Fitness, Running, Vegan

Summer slumps

So far summer time has taken quit a bite out of my running.  I just cannot get myself into it.  I missed our interval group run yesterday (due to having to take a fur-baby to the vet).  Then we had a group, hill run, scheduled for this morning that I had to pass on as well.  My mileage just isn’t ready for 4 miles of horrible, humid, hills.  I have recently contemplated taking the summer off from running and pursuing more weight training.

I want to do weight training that is specifically for building more total body, lean muscle mass (I want abs damn it!).  The current training I do now is running focused.  Just enough to get the import muscles working with a bit of cardio mixed in.  I know that in order to really build muscle I would have to cut back on cardio.  You just really can’t do both.  I think I would be ok with that.  I just feel a little burnt out on running right now.  My injury set me back and the summer weather is not making it easy for me to make a come back.  I just think I need a break until fall.

Not sure how my trainer will take this news.  I was paired with him two years ago because of my interest in running and I have become like his “right hand man” ever since.  He bounces ideas for our group runs off of me and I help him to organize events that the group participates in.  I’m sure he would support my choice but I would also miss our group.  But I guess it’s not like I’m moving or anything.  Once the temps cool down again I know I will be ready to run again.  This is not the first time I have taken a break from running.  And I really don’t plan on stopping all together, but my weekly mileage probably would make it into double digits for a couple months.

Listen to me, it’s like I am trying to reason with myself.  Why do we do that?  Why is it so hard to just admit that you need a break from whatever it is that you are struggling with? It’s really not a big deal.  And there is nothing wrong with variety and change.  How I decide to workout is my own business.  I guess it’s the sense of “giving up” or “failing” that sits heavy on my shoulders.  I can be pretty stubborn and hard on myself when it comes to that.

Oh well.  July is right around the corner so maybe this is the best time to try something new!  To be continued…..

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Appalachian Trail, Fitness, Running, Vegan

Social run turned into social circuit

So it was still raining last night when our social run was to take place.  I actually walked over to the gym in my rain jacket and wore my Luna sandals to get through all the standing water.  I had my running shoes and socks in a sling bag on my back.  There was a steady rain as I walked the .6 of a mile over to the gym.  But earlier it was really coming down so there were some areas of standing water that were over 4 inches deep.

In away it was fun navigating my way over.  Times like this always make to think of the Appalachian Trail and how I will most likely spend part of my time hiking.  I just have to smile and laugh to myself because my half mile walk is nothing compared to hiking the AT.  I actually cut through a small, wooded area, on my walk over (or actually an over grown section of land that I’m not sure who owned).  It was a tunnel of green, with a narrow foot path and a mixture of rocks and mud.  I went that way to avoid the main road, where cars going 50mph would have sprayed me with water.  That small section of trail was really cool and made me feel excited.

After I made it into the gym and dried off and changed my footwear it was time to meet up with the group.  About 6 people showed up and we all knew that we wouldn’t be running outside tonight.  My coach had a circuit in mind for just such a day.  It would involve an Olympic row, Ski and 1 mile run on the treadmill.  We had an hour to rotate through each one.  I made it through the first round ok.  The mile run on the treadmill did me in though.  My leg did not enjoy the dynamics of running inside.  So when I got around to it for the second time, I had to switch it up with a 5k bike instead.  It was frustrating to have my leg hurt again, but I don’t think the treadmill is really good for anyone.  It feels nothing like running outside and I feel like I “pound” too much on it.  This morning my leg already felt better, so I am not going to push it until our run on Saturday.

The circuit was defiantly a heart pounder and my arms, shoulders, and well just about every part of me, felt it going into the second round.  I was pretty sore when I got home but after a good night’s sleep I feel pretty good this morning.  I am going to go to barbell strength class in a bit, but I am going to try to take it easy so not to over exert my body.  Luckily it is sunny out for the moment too!

One hour group circuit @6pm

Do as many as possible in an hour:

  • 1200m row
  • 800m ski
  • 1 mile run (or 5k on bike)
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