Wednesday, February 29, 2012

In Honor of "The post I hate to write"

There is a lovely young woman in my running group (Marathoner in Training) who has a blog I follow called Words to Run By.  In a recent blog post she shared about her struggle with self-confidence and her battle with weight loss.

Her words gave me the courage to share my own struggles.  Looking at me you see regular girl-but I know EXACTLY how Sara feels.  I remember 5th and 6th grade like it was yesterday.  All my little friends were tiny sticks and I was starting to hit puberty.  Gosh, I think I ate everything in sight and would try and eat two lunches if I could!  Of course, as luck would have it-my height has stayed pretty much the same, but I remember going to the doctor and being in 'the triple digits.'  It seems so silly now but I think what was more upsetting was the impact it's had on my mind set!  Suddenly I was aware of differences (physically) between myself and others.  Those differences made me second guess myself and question my own worth.

Most recently I have gained a little weight (THERE I SAID IT)  A life of full-time job, plus ABD (doctoral candidate) plus any other work, plus the assumption that somehow I can eat all the same things as my husband.  All the running in the world is not going to keep the weight off if I keep eating fast food, junk food and sitting like a desk jockey all day!.

I know this and I am working on it, but it all came to a head last weekend.  I was signed up for Last Chance for Boston Half marathon and was really dreading it.  The added weight has slowed me down some and I feel awkward.   So...I haven't really been running as much lately. Plus I am self-concious in my running gear.  When I woke up that morning I had a HUGE panic attack!!!

I felt sick, I was nervous....all I could  think of was- NO WAY! I am NOT going out there, in public.  So- I laid down and fell back asleep.  Later that morning when I woke up, my husband and I were going to go to breakfast, he voices his concerns.  The look on his face made me burst into tears.  Poor DH was horrified.

Was it a little irrational?  Probably, but gosh I just felt so-low.  And I didn't want to run, I didn't want to go out- NOTHING!

DH and I started lifting weights again and slowly it's helping me get my confidence back.  It's something else for me to track- how much can I bench press this week?  Plus, I get looks of admiration because other than a couple of fitness diva's I'm usually one of the only chics who regularly hits the free weights.  The gents have been giving me space in the weight room :)

It's also helping me a bunch when it comes to building my confidence.  Do I have a little extra padding to lose?  Yes, I do-but the body is an amazing thing and it will do what you ask of it if you treat it right.

So, slowly I am trying to re-train my brain.  I am trying to look at the big picture of life.  Change is slow, but slow change is permanent change.

So, yes Sara- I know how you feel.  It's a battle everyday.  Some days just plain suck.  Other times I feel on top of the world.  I try to remind myself that this is it.  This is the body I was born with, no I really didn't choose it, but I admire it for all the things it's done for me.  Other days I hate it!!!  In a society where conformity is valued and diveristy is demonized it's easy to fall prey to self-loathing.  Don't forget that you are a powerhouse, and the fact that you WANT it and you WORK everyday to do better...well, my friend, the battle is half won :)

See you on the trails!

Friday, February 24, 2012

Why Running?

A couple of weeks ago my husband asked me why I felt obligated to run marathons. It was such a strange question and honestly I was a tad annoyed because...well...why didn't he just read my mind and 'get it?'
Well...even if he did read my mind I'm fairly certain there wasn't much to get. Honestly I don't know why I run anymore. It started in college as a way to keep the weight off, but somewhere along the way it was no longer about that and I was still running.

But I can't think of a reason why other than that going for a run has become the equivalent of eating, breathing or sleeping-it's just a natural part of my day (or every other day as the case may be). So...I really don't have an explanation other than an annoying one of 'just becuase.'

Sometimes I think we overthink things....sometimes we run just to when you watch a dog run it's sheer joy. It's enjoying the movement, the process, feeling the lead fall out of your legs. It's feeling your lungs expand and take in the fresh air and exhaling out all the negative gross stuff you've had to endure during the day.

Running is about the challenge, because you really never know what race day is going to bring. Sometimes shit happens and the race falls apart. It's about how you come back after it all shakes out that spells who you are as a runner (I've DNF'ed 3 times at the Columbus Marathon by the way).

Most days running hurts-sometimes the hurt is physical and other days it's a mental agony of forcing yourself to just move your feet for a few moments longer. What keeps a person coming back is the feeling of accomplishment. Even on the worst days I come back and am proud I chose to do battle that day!

The easy days are blis- as runners there are moments you run and you feel like a gazelle, your form, your breathing...all of it is just so easy. We live and run for those days too.

I joke that I am the raccoon of the family, because I also run for the bling or the medal that may be at the end of some races. I love that shiny piece for something I see when I cross the finish line. I make no apologies for this either :)

So running and rabbits you ask??? started with the Columbus Marathon and as I continue to blog hopfully more will be made clear.