Monday, February 22, 2010

Back in the Saddle

It's true, blog family, I have returned. I hope that you have not forgotten about me in my absence. About a week and a half ago, I fell of the wagon--and then it ran me over. I am having a very hard time overcoming my fatigue after long days at work. Once I collapse on the couch, I am done for the evening. My poor husband is beginning to catch on to my little tricks to get him to come in the living room to hand me the tv remote from the coffee table, turn on a lamp, plug in my laptop, or bring me drinks. I have even been attempting in vein to teach my itty bitty dog to fetch me the remote when I need it, but she just looks at me with judgement in her eyes.

After a weekend of soul-searching, I have reached inside and pulled out my buried motivation. I am still signed up for a 5k in just two weeks (PANIC!). I am determined to finish it, even if I am the very last one to cross the finish line. I bought some tight exercise pants to prevent chafing during my training, loaded a couple more playlists onto my IPod, and my sweet husband mounted a tv in the treadmill room. I am back in the saddle!

Thanks for keeping me honest, dear readers. A special thanks to guy I like to call "Gymothy." He gave me a book about ultra-marathon runner, Dean Karnzes. This man is a maniac--he actually fell asleep while he was running. He has run 226 miles non-stop--which puts my 3 mile 5k in perspective! So far, it has been a pretty good read...

Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Funky Funk

Ask and ye shall receive, fan club. I have heard your pleas for a new blog post, and I have decided to grant your request. The truth is that I have not been blogging for the past several days because I am currently in the midst of a self-pitying, down-in-the-dumps, royal funk. My motivation has plummeted.

My work schedule has been so demanding lately that I have been getting home past 8:00 pm for the past week. I had the most wonderful plan to walk 3 miles with my nauseatingly fit sister during our visit in Chapel Hill this past weekend. What actually happened was that I was out late on a crisis call Friday night and was not able leave for Chapel Hill until 8:00 am the next morning. I arrived in Chapel Hill and was quickly swept up in a whirlwind tour of 5 potential wedding venues for my sister's upcoming wedding.

As a side note, I had the horrific experience of trying on a potential bridesmaid's dress for my sisters wedding. It was yellow, floor length, and entirely too tight. I looked like a lumpy banana. The other potential option was a strapless, knee length cocktail dress covered in blue flowers. It looked really good on the tall and thin Maid of Honor. I, however, would look like a sofa, or at least an overstuffed ottoman. Her wedding is not until next year, so perhaps after I have completed my half marathon, I will no longer look like plush furniture when I try on the dress.

On Monday, I was sidelined with a migraine headache and went to bed as soon as I arrived home from work. Yesterday and today, I arrived home after 8:00 pm from work. I have to find a way to work out during the day or (I am cringing even as I type this) the morning. I think I have actually become one of those obnoxious people that feel depressed if they do not exercise.

Help me, readers! I have lost my mojo and I don't know where to find it!

Thursday, February 4, 2010

High Point

Whereas last Friday was my low point, Wednesday night was/is my high point, thus far. I went to the gym, plugged in my killer playlist, and walked until my legs fell off (3 miles in 1 hour, to be exact). It had been a particularly challenging day at work. I don't know what was in the water, but every client I saw was ridiculously obnoxious. While on the treadmill, I created a very therapeutic visualization activity in which I pictured myself stomping on each and every one of them. I highly recommend this technique.

Once I had successfully stomped on all of my nemeses, I relied on my trusty playlist to get me through the next 45 minutes. I put my list on shuffle and got into the groove. Just when I though I could not possibly take another step, the Black Eyed Peas kicked me into high gear. As my energy began to wane again, old-school Britney Spears (before she was crazy) got me over the hump. For the piece de resistance--at the moment when I was slumped over with my arms braced on the rails, holding up my legs--I heard those familiar sirens, and I knew that I would work through my pain, because P. Diddy had come to my rescue with Shake Ya Tail Feather. Coma victims can't even resist the urge to dance to this song. For the first time in my entire life, I actually enjoyed exercising.

However, my enjoyment was short lived. I quickly understood why women wear tight exercise pants. My loose fitting sweats did nothing to keep the friction created by my thighs rubbing together from becoming potential fire hazard. An hour of constant skin on skin contact reeks havoc on the sensitive area of the inner thigh. I eventually stopped the treadmill and hiked my pants up as far as they would go, thus creating the worst wedgie I have ever experienced (I am sure the man on the treadmill behind me found me absolutely irresistible at that moment). I am still feeling the burn today.

I have decided that, no matter how ridiculous I look, tomorrow I am going to purchase the tightest, most unflattering exercise pants I can find...

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Low Point

Friday night was a low point. My Wii Fit gleefully informed me that I had gained 0.4 lbs. I was devastated--my stomach was empty, my muscles were sore, my burps were fishy, and I had nothing to show for it. I flung myself onto my bed and began to sob loud enough for my husband to hear so that he would come console me. I dramatically informed him that I was a complete failure and was making a fool out of myself by committing to this ridiculous goal. Like a good husband, he gave me a pep talk and coaxed me out of the bed and off the proverbial ledge. The next morning, I weighed myself again and was elated to discover that I had lost 2.4 lbs. Apparently, I had just eaten a big dinner the night before. Although the subject of this blog is not weight-loss, my half-marathon will be much easier if I am not carrying so much extra weight.

I visited my parents over the weekend by accident. My husband and I had planned to visit my nauseatingly fit sister and her marathon-running fiance in Virginia. On Saturday, we were packed up and heading in that direction--determined not to let the blizzard swirling around us derail our plans--when we conceded defeat and stopped at my parents house instead. Since my parents are avid readers of my blog, they promptly asked me if I had exercised yet that day. In that moment, I was reminded of the irritating reality of accountability. I twisted my dad's arm, and he agreed to lead me in a yoga session.

My dad has been doing yoga since before it was cool. I have clear memories of him rolling around on the floor while the rest of the family was watching a movie or playing a board game during family night. He has even been known to take his mat out into the back yard in the wee hours of the morning for some sunrise yoga. During family beach vacations, it was not uncommon for us girls to be sunbathing in lawn chairs and look over to see our dad standing on his head. (As a side note, I have told many people that my dad can stand on his head for two hours at a time because I thought I remembered him doing so as a child. I was recently informed that it was actually more like ten minutes. Apparently, if you stand on your head for two hours, your head will, most likely, explode.) Anyway, I was not disappointed. He led me in great routine and gave me some pointers. I am not even sore today.

Today, I walked a mile in the snow with my mom. After my low point on Friday, I was thrilled when I didn't even get winded when walking up the big hill at the end of my parent's road.

I recently made a killer work-out mix for my ipod, so tomorrow I am back on the treadmill...

Thursday, January 28, 2010

The Ugly Truth

Yesterday, I was finally able to get in touch with my doctor's office to receive my lab results. As expected, my cholesterol was too high. I was instructed to take fish oil (gross) and avoid high cholesterol foods. I have this favorite food that I call fried lump. Basically, fried lump is anything that is breaded and/or battered, fried, often covered with cheese and bacon, and always dipped in ranch dressing. There are many variations of fried lump, but I am fairly certain that they are all considered high cholesterol foods.

I also discovered that my vitamin D level is too low, which most likely explains why I have been so tired lately. During my physical, I tried in vain to get my doctor to give me a B12 shot, but she told me I was about 30 years too young. I remember these shots from my days working as an activity director at a dementia and Alzheimer's care residence (and yes, that job was as glamorous as it sounds). Every month I would watch with envy as the residents eagerly received their B12 injections. They would hobble up to the nurse's office, get their hit, and happily skip back to their rooms. For the rest of the day, my job to keep them occupied and stimulated became much more interesting. I believe that in addition to B12, these injections also contain a serum of liquid happiness and pure energy. I am not a medical professional, this theory is just a working hypothesis.

As a newly dutiful patient, I purchased fish oil tablets and 1000 mg tablets of vitamin D. My choices of fish oil were original or odorless--the odorless bottle actually said " proven to reduce fishy burps." The odorless fish oil cost $5 more than the original. Consequently, I chose not to reduce the fishy burps. I took the vitamins for the first time today. I will let you know if my energy level comes back and whether I am experiencing fishy burps--this is my attempt to build suspense for my future blogs.

I was not able to walk for 3 miles today as planned due to the havoc last night's yoga session has reeked on my body. Although I did enjoy my yoga work out, I would not exactly call it relaxing. It involved a lot of shaking, stumbling, and laying face down on the floor willing my body to move. At no time during this work out would I describe my moves as graceful or flowing--especially not when I kept falling over sideways during my warrior pose. This morning, I rolled out of bed and immediately crumpled to the floor in pain. I am not exaggerating when I say that every muscle in my body is stilling hurt 24 hours later. I think my ab muscles are in the most agony--which I was reminded of every time I moved throughout the day. During a counseling session today, I actually had to ask my client to help pull me out of my chair because my muscles hurt so much that I could not get up by myself. This is not the impression of professionalism for which I have worked so hard.

Today I discovered first-hand that, between fishy burps and incapacitatingly sore muscles, this journey is not going to be a glamorous one.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

The Universe Aligns

My sincerest apologies, dear readers, for yesterday's absence of a post. After working very late, I came home, walked on the treadmill for 30 minutes, performed my wifely duties (by which I mean cooking dinner for my husband, for those whose minds reside in the gutter) and hit the bed. I am finally getting over my cold, and my energy has returned.

I am beginning to feel as though there is some cosmic conspiracy to force me into getting in shape. Today I experienced the ultimate betrayal by my favorite guilty pleasure. I opened my People magazine, and too my disgust, there is a 10 page spread entitled "Half Their Size." As if this ridiculous article with the half page pictures of smiling skinny people holding up their amorphous fat clothes was not enough, the next article featured six bulky brides-to-be pledging to lose 40-50 pounds by their fall nuptials. One such subject even stated that she was prepared to call of her wedding if she did not reach her goal. Something tells me that she may be missing the deeper meaning/purpose of the wedding ceremony. I said a quick prayer for her soon-to-be husband.

In the attempt to diversify my work outs, I chose to use my Wii Fit tonight. It has been quite a while since I last used it. As I stepped onto the board, it actually groaned (no lie, it made a sound effect). After scrolling through the perfunctory greetings, I was quickly reunited with my arch nemesis--the scale. When the Wii Fit had finished calculating my weight, it gave me drum-roll and cheerfully announced "You're Obese!" At that moment, I watched in horror as my Mii figure bulked up in front of my eyes, hung her head, and looked at me with disgust. I had just been ridiculed by a video game. My humiliation is complete.

I endured the abuse and dutifully completed a surprisingly vigorous 45 minute workout. All hope is not lost, however. Although my Wii Fit appeared to relish in my obesity, I am nine pounds lighter than I was when I went for my physical. Hooray for small victories!

With my first 5K fast approaching, I am beginning to feel an urgency to step up the pace of my workouts. Tomorrow, I am going to attempt to walk the distance of a full 5K on my treadmill. I am more than a little scared...

Saturday, January 23, 2010

Traitor Summit

You are in luck, dear blog family, as I write this update, I am sitting in a room with 4 of the 5 traitor girlfriends. In true traitor fashion, our visit began with a 45 minute exercise session. After an intricate stretching session, the girls quickly left me behind as they jogged ahead, leaving me to wheeze along in their wake. I am still under the weather, so I was not able to keep up with them (at least, this is the excuse behind which I am curently hiding). To my delight, head traitor limped along with me the entire way. At the end of the walk, I was red faced, coughing, wheezing, sweating, and snotting all over the place. I look over and witness head traitor jumping from foot to foot, stating that she is going to go for a "quick run" on her own. Our truce was short-lived. I was back to hating her again.

Although head traitor did not find our training session as vigourous as I did, it was my most successful session to date. I believe that I walked at least 8 miles (at this moment, head traitor is looking over my shoulder and informing me that we actually walked a maximum of maybe 2 miles). I kept my pace up for the entire 45 minutes. Our path was hilly enough to cause my calves to burn, but flat enough to allow for rest periods. I am still not running for any substantial amount of time (so far, 1 minute is the length of my longest trek). Hopefully this feat will occur sometime in the near future.

I am going to cut this blog short tonight in the hopes that I will be able to have some non-marathon related fun with my friends (whom I still love dearly despite their recent unacceptably healthy behavior).