Taking a bye: Hitting a wall

I work with my nutritionist every two weeks to lay out my exercise plan and my calorie expenditures.  Trying to loose weight while training for the half marathon is tricky.  Cut too many calories and I break, keep too many calories and the scale doesn’t move. Layer on top a history of an eating disorder and you have a maltov cocktail.  Mary has been a godsend and a saint.  She’s really been trying to keep me from getting hyperfocused, and just keeping me healthy.

This weekend is suppose to be my 2nd 10 mile run.  Thanks to the less than cooperative mid-Atlantic weather my trail race got cancelled due to 4-6″ of snow/ice on the trails.  Ok, breathe, not a big deal, I said to myself.  I could always run it on my own, again. I saw that it was going to be sunny and 47.  Super! I could still burn the projected calories.  The calories……

Well, as the week went on I got more and more tired.  As in the please don’t make me get out of bed kind of tired; which, is very uncustomary for me, the perennial chipper morning person.  I still was making plans to do the run.  I had to run.  I budgeted the calories to do the run.  The calories….

Friday morning I woke up with no go.  I decided then and there I would sacrifice the calories I budgeted for a barre class and went ahead and cancelled it. Having an extra rest day (over the two I already had) sounded like a good idea.  Plus, I had done an extra yoga class last weekend we hadn’t budgeted for so it came out as a wash.

Saturday rolled around and I laugh; some rest day.  Almost 2 hours at the dog park in 30 degree temperatures, grocery shopping, and a Target run didn’t leave for much “rest”.  When I finally sat down I realized just how tired I was.  Even taking a nap sounded like too much work.  Even eating didn’t sound like fun.  I know, cue the shocked looks now.

Now even the weather is conspiring against me. What was suppose to be a sunny 47 degree day has now be predicted for a major snow/ice/freezing rain storm with a high of 28. Ok, so let me get this straight, I’m dog tired, no go in the tank and a storm is coming.  Even if I had the go to, well, go, the roads are going to be as slick as toad snot.  Meanwhile, all I keep hearing in my head is the calories….

Platform 9 3/4 Tourist

Not enjoying my current wall as much as this one

I’m trying NOT to be hyper-focused on the calories but I just can’t seem to help myself.  The scale didn’t move last week (but the measurements did) which only further emphasizes my need to burn the calories. I know that I need to rest.  I know that I probably should rest.  I just feel so incredibly guilty taking the bye, but I feel like I’ve hit a wall.  The Wall vs. The Calories.  I don’t see this being the next blockbuster film.  I just hope that it is a temporary glitch, and with a little rest I will be back to my normal self.  I just hope that the calories don’t come back to bite me in the ass quite literally.


Major Milestone: Properly Feeding the Beast

During my first half marathon;  which I did strictly to take the scary out of the upcoming Shamrock Half, I bonked really really badly after mile 9.  I had no idea what the heck I was doing, how to feed myself, or that I would even need that much fuel.  The only reason why I made it through to the end was out of sheer stubbornness.  This trait is good for something once in a while.  You could definitely see just how bad it was in the pictures, the lights were on but NO ONE was home.

As I have been working with the nutritionist one of the things we have been working on is the when/how to fuel.  Given that we are already riding the razors edge with calories because I am loosing weight it becomes even more critical that I fuel myself.  During my last appointment with her we went over the protocol.  Now that Shamrock is a month away and my runs are getting extremely long it is important that I not only fuel with the same stuff I’m going to eat on race day (to keep the IBS monster away), but to also train myself.  This whole fueling your body thing due to this amount of calorie expenditures is new to me.

Last weekend I was suppose to do a 9 mile run.  Due to the temperature being a whopping 9F C and I decided to do a spin and barre class instead.  Given the fact I was sick it was most definitely the right call to make.  This week brought both double digits and fear given my past experience.  Again, it was extremely cold out (at least it was 17F) so I made a date with the treadmill instead.  I downloaded a couple of moves from Amazon and headed to the gym.

The treadmills don’t go above 99 minutes therefore I decided I was going to break my run up into two chunks of 5 miles a piece.  This would give me a “loop” effect and it would also let me do the miles I needed to.  I laid out all of the water and my gluten-free snacks and turned on the movie.  I ran for 4 minutes and walked for 2 all the way through the first 7.5 miles.  I fed myself at the times at the nutritionist had said and I was plugging along.  My first movie ended and I started the 2nd with 2.5 miles to go.  Unfortunately, this movie sucked. I turned it off and turned on my tunes instead.  I started to struggle a little bit both breathing and energy wise.  I made the conscious decision to walk 3 minutes instead of 2.  Yeah, it was going to make the 2nd set a little slower, but this was about finishing the 10 miles mentally and physically intact not about breaking any speed records.  My last walk break came with .5 mile left.  I knew I wanted to run the last .25.  I set out walking .25 and when the counter flipped to 9.75 I started to run again even though my time wasn’t up.

I finished my 10 mile run today running. I felt strong.  I didn’t feel like a limp dish rag with nothing left in me.  My time per mile wound up averaging out to a 12:13 per minute mile.  I’m pretty proud of that.  I have another couple of weeks of 10 milers and I’m really hoping that I can get myself through this fear of bonking again. Exactly 1 month to go until Shamrock!


Hydration Vest: Buying a space shuttle would be easier

BISCUITS AND GRAVY!  I think I’ve uttered this swear word stand in at least two dozen times today. Why is finding a hydration vest so ding dang difficult?

Let’s start at the beginning.  Self supporting I am over about 5 miles is difficult.  Why?  First, as an asthmatic I am a perpetual mouth breather.  This means my mouth gets dry quick.  This combined with medicine that is specifically designed to dry you out means I drink water like a fish.  What this translates to is that I have to design my longer runs to be loops so that I can hand carry my hydration flask, drink it on the first loop, and then stop at the car for a refill.  It’s a pain not only in planning, but it keeps me off of some of the prettier trails in the region.

We had both looked at the waist belt systems and had nixed them.  Too much weight, too little water, and too much around the waist.  We both decided that hydration vests were a better option.  While out this past weekend she found a hydration vest after trying on just a few, but the one thing to realize about C is that she is super petite.  Meanwhile back in Dancing-Hippo-land I was having a hard time finding a vest that wasn’t going to chafe my boobs (above or below), my arms, or my waist.

Frustrated with the lack of choices at the local running store, as well as, REI I turned to the trusted interwebs.  There has to be something out there, right?  Apparently not.  The few vests that are out there that are designed for women are designed for tiny petite women, not a Dancing-Hippo like myself.  Then the men’s bags aren’t designed for boobs.  Great googley moogley is there not a single solitary company out there that makes a hydration vest that will fit me?  I swear, buying a space shuttle would probably be easier than this.

Are there any well endowed women out there who can help point me in the right direction?  Please?

My Inner Sloth: The animal not the sin

I have an inner sloth.  No, not the cardinal sin, rather, the animal.  Sloths are known slothto be the slowest creature on the planet.  They move so rarely that algae grows on their coat!  The hang in the trees, sleep over 20 hours a day, and have been known to die clinging to the tree and they stay there.  I promise this isn’t a National Geographic article.

My inner sloth dislikes exercise.  He prefers to stay on the couch (in jammies), watch movies, and eat. If he could avoid all types of exercise and eat all day long he would be exceptionally happy.  My inner sloth knows/cares nothing about genetics.  He is a smug SOB.  Unfortunately for me, his will is strong and he has had my inner badass bound and gagged.

I guess you can say my inner sloth is just like one of those exceptionally ill-behaved kids you see out in the store who throw themselves on the ground kicking and screaming until they get their way.  I do what I can to try to short circuit him by;  bringing my workout clothes downstairs so I don’t have to go near the jammie gravitational force field, schedule all of my spin/barre classes a month out and by way of the nutritionist for my weekly calorie counts.

However, there are days where my inner sloth has an outright temper tantrum and doesn’t want to go.  Mentally, these are the days that are hardest for me.  Some days just showing up is a major accomplishment.  I try, on those days, to really push myself harder than my inner sloth thinks I can go as a punishment of sorts to tell him to sit down and shut up. If those days happen to coincide with my cross-training days I will reach out to the instructors to request a song to give me something to look forward to.

Trail DogWhere my inner sloth is strongest are the days after a really hard day, like yesterday.  Yesterday was my 8 mile day.  Two loops of a very hilly trail.  Today I hurt.  My inner sloth is smugly saying, “See I told you that that would suck.  Why don’t you ever listen to me?”  It’s days like today that it really takes a great deal for me to go do what I need to do.  I will admit, I fully worry that one of these days I’m going to be too tired or too sick to fight back and and he is going to take over.  I just am hopeful that my inner badass will be strong enough by then that he won’t win the fight.

Perry the Trail Dog

Neurotic and running what a great combo

I’m a worrier.  It’s what I do.  New things?  Forget it.  I will obsess over the tiniest of details.  It took me several months to commit to a new washing machine.  I like predictability.  I can deal with chaos as long as I knew it was coming.  God bless the DSCN0951friends who have traveled with me (and stuck around after) because I am borderline neurotic.  I will pack/unpack/repack several times before I am satisfied.  Maps, research, where we will go, how we will get there, yeah, I’m that person.  It makes me feel better doing the research.  I wish that there were things in my life that I could just be free with, but running isn’t one of them either.

Orange trail CedarvilleLast weekend is a classic example.  I was scheduled for my 7 mile run. I spent all week fretting over the tiniest of details.  Where I would run, what trail was appropriate, what was the weather going to be, please don’t force me to have to do this on the treadmill.  The list goes on and on.  Sunday morning I obsessively refreshed my weather app until the temperature was above freezing.  Why?  I didn’t want to have to wear my ColdAvenger for the first couple of miles and then have the temperature warm up and have to then wear it around my neck.

What’s ironic; whether it be with travel or running, once I’m moving all of my fears and frets go away.  With travel once I’m on the road (or at the airport gate) I’m fine.  Once Perry is clipped into his harness I’m fine.  I don’t know what this is, but it just is.  This is probably the reason why when I do my races without him I have such a hard time.  I don’t have that moment where I let go.

This coming weekend I’m suppose to do an 8 mile run.  What am I doing?  The IMG_4792same exact things I did last weekend; fret about where to run, weather, etc.  You’d think I’d learn or become more relaxed about it.  Nah, it’s part who I am.  I’ve learned to embrace it.  Thank goodness Perry doesn’t seem to mind.  All he wants to do is run.