Wednesday, January 27, 2010

What's Your New Year's Resolution? Ugh, I Don't Make Them

New Year’s resolutions aren’t my thing. To me, it seems like they are made to be broken so why make them. Now I’ll admit I use to make them. The ones I remember all involved some weight loss goal I failed to reach. So I gave up on resolutions years ago but not my commitment to a healthy lifestyle.

For years I struggled with my weight and body image issues. I was always one of the bigger kids in class since I was so tall. As young as 8 years old, I felt fat. I pretty much outgrew children’s clothes by third grade and could barely fit junior’s clothes by middle school.

Secretly I tried to lose weight. I ordered diet books advertised in the back of fashion magazines. I ordered exercise books from Scholastic Book Club. One time I tried starving myself. That didn’t last long. After about 8 hours, I had a bad headache and felt weak. I told myself that was not the method for me. In college, I would work out sporadically with little success. I was 50 pounds overweight when I graduated.

It turns out living on my own was good for me. I still had crappy eating habits at first – pizza and cereal were staples of my diet – but I wasn’t eating as much. When I started working third shift, the excess weight fell off. Fast forward nine years and I’m at a healthy weight and have an active lifestyle. Organic foods make up the bulk of my diet. I eat junk food in moderation and exercise 200 – 300 minutes a week.

So no resolutions for me – just a continued commitment to living a healthy lifestyle, something we can all commit to.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

When the GI Tract Attacks

I’ve been debating whether to write about this topic for a while. It’s kinda embarrassing, one of those things you do but you don’t talk about. But after reading “A Few Rules to Run By” in the January issue of “Runner’s World,” I figured why not, the cat’s already out of the bag, so here I go.

There are lots of benefits to running – better health, weight loss, reduced stress, etc. I’ve mentioned them time and time again. But there are some interesting and sometimes unpleasant side effects, namely GI issues or to put it plainly gas. All that bouncing around combined with a healthy, high fiber diet is bound to keep things moving so to speak. You just try to have a bathroom break before heading out for a run and hope for the best.

As you already know, I started running with a new running group several months ago. When I went out on my first group run, I ran with two nice, older guys who were kind enough to slow down and run with me. Our run took us through this nice wooded preserve. It was my first outdoor run after a week of hotels and treadmills and it felt good. I was enjoying the conversation and the scenery. About a mile or so into the run, my nose started to pick up an interesting odor. I think “Did one of these guys pass gas? No, that couldn’t be it. It’s just something in the air.” We kept running along and I smelled it again. I brushed it off again and just kept running. We were about 4.5 miles into the run and then I heard it and thought “Yes, one of these guys is passing gas. I knew it.” I just laughed to myself, kept on going and thought “What a way to break me into the club.”

Now I’ve had my share of GI issues while running. Bathroom pit stops and trying to not eat too close to going for run help. Have any GI stories that you’re brave enough to share?

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Falling in Love

I don’t know about you but I remember I would get on my friends’ last nerves each time I started seriously dating a guy. If we are talking about music, I’d chime in “my boyfriend likes that song.” If we were debating basketball, I’d go “oh such and such thinks this team is great.” And I seriously would go on and on no matter how obscure the topic.

In retrospect, I think I do the same thing when it comes to running. I’m just so excited about my new love and I want others to feel the way I do. I’m always trying to work my running and workout schedule into conversation. Then I’ll mention which races I’m doing, running gear – the shoes, the clothes, the gadgets and on and on. Being the good friends they are, they humor me and listen. But deep down, I hope my enthusiasm rubs off on them and they catch running fever too.

It’s like when you get a good deal on a pair of shoes that are to die for, you can’t wait to tell your girlfriends. Well I found a great deal in running that’s to live for and I’m telling everyone. Hopefully, they’ll run out, fall in love and get a good deal too.

Friday, January 1, 2010

Running Goal for 2010 - Just Have Fun!!!

By: CTRun
Special to RunDivaRun

"Whether you are 16 or 67, the desire to hit the road is not easily explained to those who do not run. We understand the pull of the road. The joy of losing yourself in the solitude of a good long distance run, or the sisterhood you experience when you find that great running partner. Running is more than a feat of athleticism, it is therapeutic. There is an unexpected exhilaration that we experience having challenged our personal limitations...Finally proving to ourselves that we can indeed make it to the finish line!"

I purchased a tee shirt with this quote on it in Las Vegas (for the Rock ‘n Roll Las Vegas Marathon and Half) while shopping with my running partners. For a lot of runners a race expo is a real treat. There you find everything you need to be your best and you are in the company of others who truly understand your passion. The day of the expo I was full of excitement and promise. Unfortunately, my marathon didn't turn out to be all I had expected. I've replayed a pivotal moment - mile 20 - seeing my split of 3 hours and knowing that I only had 50 minutes to run the last 6.2 miles. Knowing that on my best day I've only run a 10k in 47 minutes and thinking, it was impossible. So instead of pushing on, I just STOPPED. For no reason at all, I just STOPPED. It never occurred to me to just to keep running and adjust my goal for the day. I finished the marathon in 4:01, very disappointed in myself.

I've taken a few days to reevaluate my race and my attitude and I decided that I enjoyed running more when I did it for pure fun. On August 2, 2007, almost 2 1/2 years ago, I walked out my front door and jogged 3 miles (my legs itched the whole way). Two days later, I went to an area park and joined the local running club. I was so nervous, but the coach told me to run with two ladies and I was in love with running from that moment on. In fact, I was so in love that I ran my first 10K, half marathon and marathon all within my first 10 months as a runner. By my second year, I was placing and winning races in my age group. Every race was a PR and I was on top of the world. But then I started having injuries, minor and major setbacks with my feet, hamstrings and then calf muscles. And when I would have a bad race I would pout and over analyze the situation, which brings me to where I am now.

My coach always told us that you are novice until you've run for 3 years. "The body needs time to strengthen and grow the proper muscle," he said. He also told me that I only do things one way - "the hard way." Now I understand what he meant. As I enter my third year as a runner, I've learned a lot about myself. I've always had an all or nothing personality and after 42 years of living I realize I'm missed out on some things because when I focus on a goal I get tunnel vision. I now know it's not the destination, but the journey is what's more important. So in my running and in my life, I’m going to have more fun. Take myself less seriously and enjoy this crazy journey called life.