Tuesday, October 06, 2015

The end of the road

Crazy day.....I was leaving for work and walking out of the house.  Luckily there is hardwood floors.  That is how I noticed that my left foot was making a weird noise.  It was clicking....the soft rubber soles of my shoes shouldn't be clicking.   I looked down and immediately started to laugh.....I was wearing two different shoes.  Similar at least....but different.   OOOPS

I didn't do exactly good with my eating yesterday.   GRRRRR   I had vowed to run today....but I ended up sleeping for 10 hours....and even when I woke up just going up and down the stairs is painful with my knees.   Meanwhile, I have the money I need a new pair of running shoes!

Last week I got some bad news.   One of my favorite customers where I work had had a stroke. He usually comes in and shoots the breeze with us on Saturday mornings. (He had been to see me the preceding Saturday.) He usually hangs out for a bit (unless the EMS squad is busy....he is the chief)   He is a great guy.  Over the last few months I have watched him and there have been more than one situation where I have flat out asked "Are you ok."   Life was stressing him out and it was obvious to everyone that knew him.  He remained upbeat and moved forward.   The news after the stroke was grim.   Very grim.  He had slipped into a coma and the damage was irreversible and furthermore there was nothing they could do to halt the degeneration of the damage.  We knew it was only a matter of time.   This morning the EMS Chief for this small town passed away.   He was 45 years old. 

I knew it was going to happen.  The reports were bad.   But it still hit really hard.  He was only 45 years old.  That is too young to die!     But as I thought about it, I knew that he had signs...he apparently had high blood pressure.  He was overweight.  He had stress.    But still...he was only 45 years old!  Yes, the signs were there, but at 45 do you take them seriously or are you still in the 'invincible' stage/age?

I am only 2 years and a few months behind him.  I am not invincible.   I have signs.   I am overweight.  I have high cholesterol.  My knees are riddled with arthritis.  My blood pressure has been known to spike (I'm still thinking it's the white coat syndrome......I just panic at the doctors office.....but who knows).   I have been lucky thus far that  my issues are 'quiet'.  But when are they going to rear their ugly heads and cause me a problem.   I'm not invincible.   It's time to start living my life in a manner that takes care of my health.  Which means that little 'oops' like my eating yesterday have got to stop!

Monday, October 05, 2015


Cakes and cookies and Pies, Oh My!   Ok ok ok, I haven't had pie...probably only because I'm not a big pan of pies.  Oh, who am I kidding, I haven't had pies because there haven't been any readily available.    

So those first few lines are rather telling.  I fessed up and said I hadn't had pie....which means that I did have cake and cookies.  Yup.  I can't lie.  And if you combine that with my most recent blog post....you know, the one where I said that I was going to get serious again (I believe I said right after I wipe the grease from my Burger King breakfast from my lips) about weight loss; well then you know that it didn't exactly happen.  Well, I did wipe the grease from my lips, I just didn't get back on track.  Oops

I knew the 'restart was looming'.  I knew it all weekend.  Yesterday I just ate with abandon, telling myself the whole time.  "This is the last hurrah'.    What a pitiful attitude.  It was so pitiful that I had cheese and crackers for lunch (a lot of cheese...and a fair amount of crackers), some bread and butter and jelly, some oreos, and why yes, some apple cake (which was delicious by the way).   For dinner I did Subway...I got full fatted chips Doritos actually, I was thinking the whole time, "it's my last chance before I straighten up my act, better enjoy it!"  I actually ordered the cookies to round out my meal.   Later in the evening I went ahead and had some ice cream.  Yup, I did it up good.

But I had vowed that Monday was the day.  So I got on the scales, with fear and trepidation. But I needed to know my 'starting' figure.   What's the use of trying if I don't have a benchmark to show how far I've come.  So I did it!   It wasn't as bad as I thought.  I am NOT back into that 5 pound vortex that I was stuck in for a while.  I am not even on the edge of that vortex...so I am happy.  :-)  

Seriously contemplating rejoining weight watchers.  They are offering the 'lose 10 pounds in 2 months' and get your money back" deal.  Tempting.  Haven't decided yet!

Here is to plowing through this excess weight once and for all!

Thursday, October 01, 2015


It is not secret that I have been struggling with this decision about the half marathon.  It’s killing me.  I don’t want to quit, but I struggle with going on.  Admittedly, I have now this week not run once since my long run last Saturday.  Yup…I’ve skipped two 5 mile runs and one 3 mile run.  I feel a bit guilty about it for sure,   I’ve had my reasons…even if they are just trumped up excuses that my mind has made up.


The decision isn’t made.  I’m still waffling.



But here is a thought that I had this morning. Yeah, I had this thought while I was driving to Burger King to pick up breakfast on my way to work….don’t be a hater!   I was thinking about this stupid marathon and its importance in my life of late.  That is when I realized that this training and this half marathon and this running thing has hijacked my efforts to lose weight.  Yeah, I’m still wanting to lose weight.  And most certainly, running a gazillion miles each week can cause weight loss. However, it has actually been harder than I thought because running a gazillion (to me at least) miles each week means that I’m just really hungry!  Running became my focus.   Running hijacked my blog.  


I’m not entirely sure that the blog being hijacked by running is a bad thing.  Afterall, being healthy and weight loss and all that jazz goes hand in hand with running.  But my focus definitely slipped away from weight loss sometime in the last few months. 


Luckily, over the last month or two, I HAVE pretty consistently tracked my food intake.  I track,even though may days I am not within my caloric budget range.   Furthermore, my water consumption has been spotty at best though.  


So here is where I’m at.  The half marathon hasn’t been scrubbed yet.  Time will tell.  There is no reason to make a decision at this point. Everything is line up to do it and if I chose to not do it nothing will change other than that Saturday morning in Philly I will be doing something else versus running.  (Crying maybe ha ha ha).  I can keep running but my focus will be returning to weight loss and the WHOLE picture and not just one aspect of what I’m doing.      


And as soon as I wipe the grease from my breakfast hash rounds off my lips, I’ll be working on keeping my calories in check!

Yeah they were tasty too!!!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Rain rain go away

Rain?  Fear?? Body sending me a message?

Let me back track and start at the beginning.   I ran over the weekend. I Advil'd myself up and I managed to make it through the rest of the weekend with only minor aches.   What was concerning was my knees.  Yeah, the arthritic ridden knees.   I didn't let it stop me.  On Monday night I went to zumba....and my legs ached.  You ask how my knees did?  OUCH.     I ate dinner later on Monday night and almost immediately I felt 'odd'.   Not really sick, but just not right.    I still felt off kilter on Tuesday morning.  Enough that I didn't run my 5 miles.  Like I said, I wasn't really sick, just not normal.   I was able to eat ok...and other than a few minutes of queasiness I was fine...just off kilter.  I was ok with my decision to not run.  

As I navigated through the day I could feel that ache in my knees that comes from the arthritis.  Grrr...What is with this.   It wasn't constant, just sporadic pain.   

This morning I woke up early enough to run.  I checked the weather and there was a window of opportunity for me to run. (It is scheduled only a light run, but I do have to make up that 5 miler from yesterday) I was achy as all get out.   I got out of bed and trucked up the stairs.   It wasn't until I was coming down the stairs that I totally got scared.  My knees hurt BAD and not only did it hurt, it actually wobbled and I had to grab the hand rail because I thought I was going down.   

!(*&(*^(*&#(*&(*&@(#*^%   (that is my choice words for the betrayal of my knees)   Is it the long run that threw my knees into a fit of despair?   Is it my fears that circulate through my mind that are making every little ache and pain seem much worse? (our minds are totally capable of playing those kinds of tricks).   Or is this just a sign.  

Either way.....No running for me today.  

I'm still not calling this half marathon a no go.   I don't want to quit.  I want to persevere and do this.   The weather is NOT going to be cooperating with me.  Rain is forecasted for the next umpteen days.  I don't have access to a treadmill....and running in the rain....well. I guess it could be fun.  (I'm very skeptical.  Being out and soaked in clothes and running for an hour just sounds miserable!)

Meanwhile....I'll admit it.........

Today was just that kind of day for me...and I couldn't resist the chocolate and peanut butter.  And yes, I know.....eating and indulging in this yummy goodness will just make me cringe because of the calories and only brings the cycle back around full circle, making me more emotional because I have goals and plans that are hindered by the weight....which is hindered by the indulgence....which is hindered by the emotions....which brings on.... yeah yeah yeah.

Monday, September 28, 2015

Really? I had cake!!!!

Ok, I could get used to this.  Really get used to it!   

What in the world am I talking about????   

I've tracked my food for a while now (maybe a month or two at this point...although just one day last week I just didn't have time so I didn't get my food input until the next morning...I still tracked.   The bad part?   I haven't exactly been on target with my calorie counts.   Oops.    

But this morning I stepped onto the scale and low and behold my weigh was done....just about three pounds!    I thought my eyes were deceiving me.  It was after all pretty early in the morning!  But nope...3 pounds (2.5 but seriously. If your rounding....).   I guess running just shy of 20 miles really made the difference. (18.62 miles of running plus some walking on top of that)

Secondly, I received a compliment yesterday...someone saw me and commented on the weight I've lost.  I just laughed and said 'not much weight, but thanks".  That person then went on to say 'Maryfran your being dumb...your looking much more toned and if your not losing its because your exchanging fat for muscle'.    Interesting thought...because I don't know that I see it.  (But I do well remember when I first started running religiously back in 2013 that I liked the way my body changed through running)

Hmmm...maybe I'll have to think more about this running stuff.  Maybe I won't give up on this half marathon yet. 

That said...arthritis blows chunks!  My knees ache!!!!  

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Gut instincts

Last week on my long run I lamented the fact that at numerous points in my run I reached a 'bailout' point where I could turn away from my run and be home within a half mile.  I talked about the willpower needed to actually ignore the bail outs and continue on with my run. I vowed that I would do my long runs on the canal.....run and out and back run.  

I planned it out.  I was good to roll. (er.....run).  I would run on the canal and I would be running anywhere between seven and eight miles.   Seven miles was the bare minimum, but I'm an over achiever and I have pushed most of my runs about a half mile to one full mile more in mileage.   I knew where I was going to run and by Thursday I knew when I was planning on running.  It was a done deal.

Or was it?  I started to panic.  Was I panicking about the length of the run? My longest run to date has been 6 miles (A hair over 6 miles if I want to be exact) so that could be it.  Was I just lamenting the time spent, as I had tentative plans for the weekend and this long stretch of time would have to be squeezed in between work and fun?  Whatever it was....I was dreading this run like nothing else.  I wanted to call it quits.  I wanted to just put a halt to this insane torture that I am calling my  half marathon training.  I may have even prayed that something would come up to prevent me from being forced to complete this run.   

I don't want to be a quitter...

The self doubt was real.  The negative talk was real.   And on Friday as I drove home from work, I knew that my planned run was doomed.  Absolutely doomed!   Negative self talk is one of the most debilitating things to happen to progress and productivity and success.  I didn't know what do to.  I floundered in my thoughts....I tried to bolster myself by saying, "you can do this....piece of cake, it's only 1-2 miles more."  But I was in near tears.   I didn't let it deter me.  Last night (Friday night) I actually packed my bag with my running gear.  I was determined to run on the canal as soon as I got off of work.  I double checked my mileage of what landmarks I would be running to and from (yes there are mile markers but I wanted to know...to have an idea)  No ifs ands or buts, I was moving full steam ahead.   I laid in bed and tossed and turned.   And then I had the almost near brilliant idea.  "Why not just run where I have been running lately....I can cobble an extra mile or two onto the roads and alleys that I routinely run."   Almost instantly, I was filled with a sense of peace and the fears went away.  I'm still wondering how my run will go. I'm still wondering if I'll be able to complete it.  And I still dreaded running immediately following work. (Although the forecast for Sunday had changed, so I could swap out my run day, with little to no threat of rain.)  But I'm was no longer panicked!

I don't know what the deal was but I am trusting my gut instincts and every fiber of my being was obviously saying don't run on the canal.  (I have run on the canal by myself for the last few years...I normally love it!)

Coming home from work and turning right back around and heading out for a long run is the pits.   The little voice in my head (my mini me) kept telling me to push it off until Sunday morning.  My mother said I even looked like I was about to cry.   I was that despondent and down about heading out for this run.

The first mile felt horrid!   I stopped and walked a few times.  (Looking back at the stars mile one was my fastest miles followed by mile 3 and mile 6).   Right about the mile and a half mark I had a little talk with myself.  I said 'maryfran, you are being absolutely stupid!'  (Yes I said that!). I went in and had a pep talk to myself about the fact that I can easily run a few miles.   So I should've be struggling yet!!!   I pep talked myself a bit more but it wasn't until I said this to myself that it sunk in.   'Maryfran, trust the training plan'. You are scheduled for a minimum of 7 miles.  You've done the work to get to that point.   Trust the training plan." (I'm using a Hal Higdon plan).     

I made deals with myself 'run the long roads and walk the cross over roads'.  I'm not going to say it was easy.  I'm not going to say I enjoyed it.   I'm not even going to say that I feel good now that it's done...because I don't!   I HURT!  (I took some advil.).  But I did it!!!!    

Still undecided about my future with this half marathon dealio.  But I squeezed out  my 7 miles so I guess I'm still in the game.  (I just hope that game doesn't have me walking too much the rest of the day!!!)

Thursday, September 24, 2015

Following the leader

On Tuesday when I got back to the house after my run, my mom made a comment about how long I was gone.  I had run 4.72 miles.  I laughed and told her I was gone just about the time that I had expected to be gone.  She responded, 'I guess this was one of your long runs.'   I laughed....4.72 miles is considered my average weekly run now (according to the master schedule...right now I'm scheduled 4.5 miles it will go to 5 miles in two weeks) and that is considered a short run.  My weekend runs are the long ones.  I giggled and moved on.

Today, Thursday I was out there pounding the pavement again. (Ok, I was out there on Wednesday too walking a LOT....cross train light workout day).  My Thursday runs are typically much more difficult for me.   I think it's because it is the tail end of a 4 day stretch of exercise and my body is just READY for a day or rest.   I don't know but Thursdays kill me.  Most of the run this morning was done with some words pounding in my head. Seems like this happens a lot.   Today was pretty much one phrase over and over.  "What the freak are you doing, thinking you can run a half marathon.  This is insane!"  I heard the voices but pushed through them and completed 4.91 miles.  (slow laborious miles)

So even though I pushed through it I am wondering, "What in the hell am I doing???"

There are and always have been concerns about doing a longer distance run.  The biggest?  My knees.  I have arthritis....can my knees withstand the long hours of 'abuse'.   My feet are not much better.   So far my feet and knees  have held up to an hour or running....kinda.  (they hurt).  But will they manage two hours.....or three hours?  How much can they take? 

Today however, I'm poindering my decision.   Is this half marathon even what I want?   What's happening?  Do I even want this.

Two possibilities pop into my mind.

The first possibility is that I was in a way railroaded into doing a half marathon.  My running partner was gung ho to do the half marathon.  I fell into line with that thought process.  But was it because I had always wanted this.....or was it because like most things in my life for the last few years, I wasn't thinking for myself and allowed others to make the decisions and assumptions and whatever and I just went along simply because it was easier to agree than to actually think and make my own decisions.    And yes, I allowed friendships (and my marriage)  to operate that way, I'm sad to say.  I was desperate for friendship.  I started disallowing that behavior a few years ago...and slowly but surely started standing up for myself and trusting my thoughts.  And here I am....wondering if a half marathon REALLY is my goal or if it is just a remainder of a 'follow the leader' idea that I latched onto in my darker days.

The second possibility is that I really do want this.  I really do want to push my body further than it has ever been pushed.  I want to revel in the finishers medal around my neck.  I want to feel the ache in my body and know I accomplished something that so many people can't even fathom.      If this is the case, my questions about my sanity could just be a cry of fear.   Fear that I continue on and fail.  Fear of doing this all alone. Because yes, I am training by my lonesome.   I will be running my race by my lonesome.  This is all me.  

I'm honestly not sure right now which option is the true one about why I am doing this half marathon.  My mind is reeling with the possibilities.  All I will say about it right now?   Until I know why I am pushing myself, I will continue to train.  This weekend I will be attempting one of my longest runs ever.....7-8 miles.  I'm scheduled for 7....I would like to push for 8.    If I can make it 8 miles, I will know that I can run two-thirds of a half marathon.  At my current (slow) pace I will be out there for a while slogging through my miles.   But I will do it...until my body flat out tells me I can't do it....or until I know for sure that this idea is NOT one that I ever really wanted.  I will continue to obsess and dream about different routes and roads that I can link up to make the mileage that I need yet be somewhat interesting (same roads running the opposite way sometimes shakes things up...different roads are a huge treat).  I will continue to stare at my training schedule that hangs on my wall at work.  I will push on until I can figure out what's happening in my mind and then make my decisions.