eat, move, think, feel


Couch to 5k

Runner’s HIGH!

Roadwork girls

Originally uploaded by B℮n

I had the best run ever today. And I mean maybe the best run I’ve ever had in my life. I can’t remember another time when running has felt so absolutely effortless, pain-free (YES!) and joyful. I just set out intending to walk, but then Earth Wind & FIre “Fantasy” came on and that got me GOING. And instead of my usual little old-lady run, (very short strides, more like a fast shuffle) I just WENT with it, and I was like, FLYING, uphill! It felt so so so good. Then I walked a bit. Then another song came on and again I just pumped it out.

Partially it just felt great to do that. It was a cool, beautiful morning in the woods. Partially I was rehearsing for the Weight Watchers 5k walk I am going to be leading this Friday (SO excited about this!). I was thinking about telling the members about stride length and pace, and remembering all I’d learned from my racewalking coach with Team in Training.

But all of a sudden I thought, what if I just ran… like a gazelle? (OK, don’t laugh) Instead of like the little old lady I’d started to think of myself as being, since my ankle got injured again. And my body just took off. It took off and I was like, WOO HOOOOOOOOO look at this!

I was also trying to show my Phillips Directlife monitor a thing or two. According to it, I’m not running even when I think I’m running. So today I was like, “I’m RUNNING, dammit!” I wanted to know exactly what I need to do for the stupid thing to actually register as “you are running.” As it turns out, it takes this “running like a gazelle” thing as opposed to the little old lady shuffle. Figures.

Anyway, I feel a renewed happiness about running. I hope I can run like this again because it felt so awesome. But to just have experienced it this one time was amazing. Now I’m even more excited for the 10k Trail Run/Hike I signed up for in September. Who wants to join me? Brunch at my house afterward because it is just 3 blocks away!

(note: that is not me in the photograph, but it looks a lot like my woods and it is how I FELT)

My Feet Hurt

Some days you feel like Rocky. Other days, it’s hard to take a few steps. I don’t know what was going on today. I had the same exact foot gear as Monday (ankle brace + newish running shoes). I procrastinated my run workout until I didn’t have enough time to do anything except a quick session from Couch-to-5k. I think it was week 5? 6? Five minute run, two minute walk, seven minute run, two minute walk, five minute run.

It hurt. It hurt a LOT. At one point my feet were just screaming out. I got really discouraged. I do not know what was wrong. Maybe I should’ve put in my orthotics. But I didn’t have them on Monday and it felt great. I am not sure the new shoes work really well with the orthotics because I think they caused me to have pain on TOP of my feet.

At any rate, it sucked. It was a really bad run. I suppose it was better than no run at all, but after my victorious Monday run, it made me really sad. It made me want to throw away my shoes and just say forget it. Wah.

I did have my iPod on. At one of my lowest points, the song “Drive” by Incubus came on. I couldn’t help but feel they were singing, like, directly into my brain.

Sometimes, I feel the fear of,
uncertainty stinging clear.
And I can’t help but ask
myself how much I’ll let the fear
take the wheel and steer.

It’s driven me before, and it seems to a faint,
haunting mass appeal.
But lately I, am beginning to find that I,
should be the one behing the wheel.

The fear of uncertainty stinging clear. Yeah, that’s it, all right! Listening to that helped keep me going a few more blocks. Then my very very very VERY favorite and best running song came on. It’s a really sad song but it motivates me and moves me like nothing else: “You Found Me” by the Fray.

Lost and insecure
You found me, you found me
Lying on the floor
Surrounded, surrounded
Why’d you have to wait?
Where were you? Where were you?
Just a little late
You found me, you found me

When I think of this, I think I’m the one who found me. Susan found Foodie, or vice versa. After a long while of waiting. Isn’t that a crazy running song? It’s no “Eye of the Tiger,” that’s for sure. But whenever I hear it, it makes me want to run. It makes me feel really emotional and glad to be alive.

Did another 5k – But am I a Runner?

IMG_0625I did my 3rd 5k race today. I was really nervous about it since I have not been running very much at all – maybe a 20 minute run per week -and I had not trained for it. But I was curious to know how the rest of my exercise would prepare me – does general fitness help? And I was curious about how my running time would stand up to the previous two runs.

There were all sorts of impediments that I was sort of hoping would make us decide to NOT do the run. I realized that the major bridge between where I live and the run took place, was closed all weekend for construction. But we ended up going around, and taking two other bridges, and we actually got there in about half an hour.

We got there so early we went to a Starbucks nearby (there are ALWAYS Starbucks nearby, aren’t there?) and I had my 2nd cup of coffee for the morning (probably not wise). We went over to the race course about twenty minutes ahead of time, registered and got little tags to pin to our shirts. This was definitely a low-budget, low-tech, volunteer affair, unlike the other races. Which meant that most of the people participating were more serious runners.

There were only a few minutes to “warm up” and I was sort of kicking myself, because the point of getting there super early was to WARM UP, not to sit and drink coffee at Starbucks. Duh! There was no bell or gun or anything at the Start, just a guy yelling, “Ready…. set… GO!” We went. Most of the crowd (a few hundred people?) took off really, really fast. M and I had sworn to each other that we would try and go at a comfortable pace, and not get all worked up about trying to keep up with folks. This was hard as most people just kept passing and passing us.

For the first mile or so, my feet hurt. My feet haven’t hurt while exercising in MONTHS. But they hurt. Plus I knew I was breathing harder than usual. M kept saying, “It’s going to get easier.” Probably the middle mile was the easiest. My foot pain eased up and we were in sort of a rhythm. It was super windy. We were going against the wind and it felt like a huge hand was just pushing us way back. The good part was that it was right along the water and the Golden Gate Bridge was right there and it looked quite pretty. (not that I looked at it much)

After a while, we started seeing the front runners coming towards us. The route had a turnaround point and those out in front were sailing past. They looked pretty awesome and cool and I felt inspired seeing them. Then I kept wondering, when do WE get to turn around? It took a lot longer to get to that point than I would have liked.

The last mile was both better and worse. The prospect of finishing made me happy, but I think we were both struggling a bit and wondering if it was going to happen. Then the finish line was in sight. We sprinted at the end, so we could finish with a time of 36 minutes. We did! But then I felt instantly nauseated. I had to walk around. I felt pretty awful.

After we drove home and I dropped M off, I noticed that I was only about a mile from my Sunday morning Nia class, and it was starting in 15 minutes. Part of me said, “That’s crazy” and part of me felt like I really, really needed it. I think the run had stressed me. I felt pretty anxious during most of it, asking constantly about the time and trying to figure out if I was going to survive. I was sure I was filled with adrenaline and stress hormones. I felt like I needed the calm and grounding of Nia, even if it was another workout. So I went.

It was lovely, and very energizing. I felt like the run had really warmed me up, plus the room was super hot. I was really happy to be in there. The teacher was fantastic (again).  I was glad I had done it. After the class, I decided to go check out the mega amazing super organic million-times-better-than-Whole-Foods new grocery store.

And it was in there that I bonked. Suddenly I was pushing my cart like a 100 year old person, feeling faint, nauseated, overwhelmed. None of the amazing food looked good to me, even though I hadn’t eaten anything since my PB-on-whole-wheat-English-muffin at 6:30am. (MISTAKE) But I pushed it along for an hour, came home, brought the groceries into the kitchen, feeling worse and worse and worse, then promptly fell into bed and did not move except to moan for the rest of the day (I am still in bed).

I think I got super dehydrated. I also did not do myself any favors by not eating, especially before the Nia class. But I had been feeling so upset-stomachy that food did not appeal. So I pretty much messed myself up today. Oh well. I learned. And I recovered by having some super salty chicken soup that my nice husband brought to me.

But I’m feeling ambivalent about running now. The good news is:

  1. I finished.
  2. I finished with the same time as my last race.
  3. 36 minutes for 3.1 miles is not amazing, but it is also not too shabby. For a 50 yr old who does not run a lot.
  4. It made me feel happy and accomplished, and I got another little ribbon to add to my collection.

The bad news is:

  1. I was really pretty anxious during the whole run.
  2. I was dumb and did not hydrate or eat enough.
  3. I basically was useless the entire second half of the day. I mean, I felt TERRIBLE.
  4. I do not want to run all the time, which is probably necessary for doing better during races than I did today.

The thing is, I actually like running when I am running to run, but not in races. I get too caught up in keeping up with people. Meanwhile, today, an 80 year old limping guy passed us. A woman who probably weighs 150 more than me passed us. A ton of little kids passed us, including a few who fell down and were crying, but got up and still beat us.

We ARE the running Penguins, that’s for sure. Should we just run for the fun of it when we want to, as far as we want to, or should we (or mainly I) keep doing races?

Exercise as Pleasure, Not Punishment

3388196563_528db7559eIt was not too long ago – less than a year – that I viewed exercise (or “activity” as WW likes to euphemistically call it) as painful, something to be dreaded and endured. Even though I was going to a personal trainer twice a week, I rarely did anything on the other days. And I often could barely get through my workouts. Sometimes I cried. Sometimes I threw up (I am not kidding). Sometimes I acted like a total whiney wimp so my trainer would have mercy on me and go easy on my poor pathetic self. It wasn’t pretty. I’d also use exercise as a tool to flog myself when I ate too much. Again, NOT pretty.

But things changed when January 2009 and this blog and my diabetes diagnosis rolled around. I knew that I was going to have to step it up or my body and health were in for big trouble. So I upped the trainer to 3x a week, and started myself on the Couch-to-5k running program. It was not so easy at first, but eventually my 60 second runs turned into two minute runs, then three and five and fifteen minutes. Around that time I actually began LOOKING FORWARD to working out. Once I began working out 5-6 times a week, I began feeling that endorphin rush that I had believed was a mythical state of being. I started feeling happier and more energetic. I stopped wanting to take naps every single day.

For many months, I felt like the longer, the harder, the better. I would go to the gym and go at the elliptical like a mad woman. All this was good. I got a lot stronger. I lost weight. All good!

But I started thinking, how the heck am I going to keep this up when I am sixty years old? Seventy? The idea of it made me feel kind of nervous and worried.

Not long ago, a friend of mine brought me to a Nia class for the first time. It was really one of the most unusual exercise experiences I have ever had. I was not sure what to make of it. I sort of mocked it but I had to admit that it made me feel good, and after that class, I really wanted to do it again (that’s always a good sign!). So yesterday I went to my second class. It was even better than the first one. I enjoyed it so much. The teacher had fabulous dimples (I am a complete sucker for dimples) and kept using words like “juicy” and “gooey” and “yummy.” She was just like that – yummy! and really happy. At the end of the class she put on this song called “Dream” and she was singing along with it really loudly and joyfully, just like you sing in the car with the windows rolled up. I mean, she really belted it out and it was so great! I did not have the guts to belt it out along with her, but it was great to hear.

Today I went to another class, at another place. This teacher was super graceful, elegant and willowy and just beautiful to watch. (that’s her in the photo above!!) She was so cool. The other two Nia classes I went to both made me want to laugh out loud (I did, actually) but today’s class had me almost crying in parts. I got really emotional and lump-in-throat as we were moving around. But in a good way.

If you look at the Nia website, one of the testimonials has this woman saying she used to pump iron and such, but now all she does is Nia and she is in super amazing shape. And I had to think, WOW, could you really be in such awesome shape from something that is so much FUN? It does not seem possible. And this is something that seventy year olds can totally do. And thirty year olds.

But I also did not think it was possible to lose weight while eating yummy foods like cheese, brownies, birthday cake and Prosecco. And here I am, doing just that.

It’s made me rethink all the ideas I had about “dieting” and “exercise.” Maybe it doesn’t have to be torture. Maybe the secret is that it CAN’T be torture.  🙂

Back in the (Itchy) Saddle

IMG_0543I went running this morning for the first time since the poison oak struck. It didn’t go too badly – about 2.5? miles in 40ish minutes. I was running a lot faster than usual, spurred on by my happiness at seeing GOATS near my running track. Every year when the grass is tall and dry in the summer, a goatherd travels around my area with his herd of goats, and they act as live lawnmowers. It is SO SO SO awesome. Every time I passed the goats (once per lap) I got really happy and yelled “HI GOATS!” and they gazed at me with sweet and startled expressions and then resumed munching. I just wanted to keep going and going so I could pass them again.

So I did 9 laps? maybe 10. But a few of them I walked because I was receiving calls from my endocrinologist (to advise me on blood glucose control while I am on steroids) and had to walk while speaking. And I needed the walking breaks, believe me. I started experimenting with a different kind of gait – higher and faster and bouncier, instead of my usual shuffling old-lady jog. It definitely wore me out more quickly – I was a LOT more short of breath than I ever have been, but in a good? way.

I have to rememer this. I like running! It makes me feel good! Even when I am struggling and have various aches and things. I was all endorphined up afterward which was partly due to seeing the goats as well. In addition to the hundreds of adorable creatures, there was the goatherd, whom I did not see, but who was standing at the back door of his little trailer (with solar panels!) on the hill, playing jazz saxophone into the hills. Now what could be more perfect or surreal? The whole thing was just too great for words, and a perfect re-entry into runnerdom.

My friend K (hi nutellamama!) invited me to run a 5k this Sunday but I do not quite feel ready for that. Too many weeks of nonrunning have passed. But I do hope I can find a good one to do in late August or maybe September.

My stupid poison oak really flared up after my run. I think maybe due to heat and sweat. But I had big new welts on my face, neck, back, stomach, hip. I came home and took a hot shower (which I really needed) but that only made the PO worse. Itch itch itch!

The prednisone (which I think I would be insane without) has definitely helped things, but it hasn’t gone away completely and does have periods of worsening. It also is making me sleepless and sort of manic. Last night I stayed up until 3am, working on making two books on  I have been reading a lot about prednisone AND poison oak and I see that this could go on for weeks (please, no). Weirdly, it seems that a common side effect of steroids is weight gain and appetite increase, but I have had the opposite (thank you!). I’ve barely eaten.

So it’s weird. I don’t feel like myself at ALL.  I feel manic and jumpy and sleepless and odd. But also a little euphoric and very goat-happy. And glad to be running again.

Did you know that the last time I had poison was 10 years ago, the week that I completed my first and only marathon? My dog had gone for a walk in the woods (with dog walker) and come back to sit on my lap and kiss my face. That was brutal. I took steroids then and my racewalking partner was convinced that it helped me really pump it up for that marathon because I ended up running the last mile, something I’d never done before. So. Who knows. Don’t anybody report me to the sports authorities, please.

Running Up That Hill

Had another NSV (nonscale victory) today.  For the longest time (5+ years, ever sinc we have lived here) one of my biggest nemeses has been this HILL around the corner from my house. That hill lies between our home and this beautiful regional park where I love to walk/run. But the problem is that the HILL is extremely steep. And since it comes at the very beginning of my workout, I am often winded, stiff, and in pain as I do the worst part of my workout first. It used to make me so cranky and distraught that I would avoid working out altogether, because by the time I got to the top of the hill I would be in such a bad mood that basically the stress hormone in my body (cortisol) negated any endorphins I might enjoy.

That hill was seriously psyching me out. I used to tell my trainer, “If I could ONLY get to the point where that hill doesn’t kill me….” But after 3 years of training, the hill was still kicking my butt. Not one time went by when I didn’t have to stop halfway up, lean over with hands on knees, gasp, pant and swear a bit. It really felt bad. I wanted to be able to make it up the hill without feeling like I was dying halfway.

Sometime in February, I made a deal with myself that I would not put myself through the Agony of the hill, because I knew I was avoiding walking in the park because I hated the hill so much. I told myself it was OK to DRIVE the stupid 1/4 mile to the parking lot, get out and walk or run from there. So that I wouldn’t get myself all distraught by doing the hill first.

Well, so guess what happened today? You can guess! THE HILL DID NOT KILL ME! Sure, I was breathing harder than normal, but I kept up my fast rate, I didn’t stop, and I didn’t feel like utter crap by the time I got to the top. It was just what I had always hoped for.

Today, I told myself I was going to “take it easy” because I’d been doing very hard workouts this week. I ran three times, did a few killer gym workouts, and did 1000x hops on the spin bike. My arms were screaming from the many pushups and crab walks I did.  I didn’t want to skip exercise altogether so I told myself, just walk in the park. It’ll be a … walk in the park! (LOL) I set off with my music and chugged up the hill. YAY.

I ran into a friend of mine I haven’t seen in a few months. She was running. She stopped and said many nice, shocked statements about my size and state of fitness. That was nice. (although I realize I am not exactly graceful at accepting compliments yet. I guess the appropriate response is probably a simple ‘thank you’)

I continued on. One of my “running songs” came on (“Heat Wave” by Linda Ronstadt) I couldn’t help it. I started running. I just ran until the song was over, then resumed walking. Then another “running song” came on (“Don’t Fear the Reaper” which is one of my favorites ever). I ran again. This happened 3 or 4 times and at one point, I was at this very steep hill (much like the one near my house) out on the trail. Normally I feel pretty macho if I just WALK fast up that thing. But I kept running. I was like, HOLY CRAP I AM RUNNING UP A HILL.

Remember that old Kate Bush song, “Running Up That Hill?” I used to love that song. Anyway, some of the lyrics go

“If I only could, I’d be running up that hill.
If I only could, I’d be running up that hill.”
And if I only could,
I’d make a deal with God,
And I’d get him to swap our places,
Be running up that road,
Be running up that hill,
Be running up that building.
If I only could, oh…

And EVERY TIME I heard that song, I’d sort of sigh a little bit and think, *I* could never run up ANY freaking hill.

But look at me now.

Why I Need to Exercise (Almost) Every Day

I’ve actually exercised probably 6 out of 7 days, most weeks, for the past several months. And on days that I don’t I realllly feel it. I’m cranky and irritable and depressed. It’s kind of strange. I was never quite sure about this endorphins thing, but now I am a true believer. And it’s hard to fathom that I actually had years of not feeling very happy, and that was my “normal.” Now I feel like it is normal to be pretty happy – I mean REALLY happy, and enthusiastic about life- most of the time, and when I don’t feel that way, it’s like something is wrong.

I know that I used to think that it was best to exercise 5 days a week. Which is very good! Especially compared to my 2x a week (if that) in previous times. But then the question would be, what days would I NOT exercise?

Yesterday I had all intentions of going to cardio boxing class at 6pm. But I worked until 5, and I really wanted to cook dinner at home, and the logistics of it were just impossible. So I told myself I’d exercise after dinner. My EA Sports Wii thingie even came in the mail. But I was too tired. (or so I told myself) and so I didn’t do anything. And my mood just dropped and dropped as the evening progressed, and I went to bed feeling crummy.

Today, I wasn’t sure when or how it was going to happen. I thought, I might not do anything today either. But I don’t think I’ve skipped TWO days in a very long time. I had gotten up really early to take my daughter to the airport. So by 4pm I was super sleepy. I really wanted a nap.

I Twittered aboutt this. (I LOVE TWITTER, in case you haven’t noticed!) Some people suggested that I nap since I probably needed to. But a bunch of people said (rightly so) that if I exercised, I’d probably feel a lot better. I hemmed and hawed and in the end I decided to “walk” down at the track near my house. It was low pressure and I figured it would be better than nothing. But when I got there, there were already two women on the track. One was in her mid-sixties and the other had to be in her 70s. The 60-something woman was RUNNING. (slowly, but running) I was wildly impressed, seeing her white hair bounce around. I thought, come ON, I can do that. So I walked two laps (1/2 mile) to warm up and then I figured I’d run as long as felt OK.

I ran for 30 minutes nonstop. It felt SO SO GOOD. I was so happy! and not sleepy anymore. And certainly not grumpy.

I went to the grocery store and got some very delicous black bean burgers, and turkey burgers. Then I found those super thin hamburger buns which made me very happy. Guess what? The black bean burgers were less than half the points of the turkey burgers. The super thin buns were one point each. YAY!! I added cheese and avocado, I went crazy.  And they tasted really, really good.

Anyway, it was a good day. And it reminded me once again how good it feels to move around. I am really really happy when I have nice sweat rivulets running down my face. So I’ve decided that my default will be to do SOMEthing every day. And if I can’t for whatever reason, then that will be my rest day, but when I get up it won’t be “do I exercise today?” but rather “what/where/when will I exercise?”

This is so new. And so good.

I Did It! Ran the entire 5k!!!!!!!!!!!

I was unsure yesterday whether I’d actually make it to today’s 5k. Yesterday I was beset with horrible female problems (groann) as well as gastrointestinal distress, aka major constipation. (sorry if TMI) It made running impossible, so I walked the 5k lake, hobbling and groaning the whole way. Not very auspicious. Yesterday afternoon/evening I did not feel very well. I laid low.

I slept a rather fitful sleep, and shot out of bed around 5:50am. I think I was so pumped on adrenaline. I did a self-eval and decided I did not feel so bad. I was not sure what I should eat/drink in terms of having energy and also in terms of my GI situation. Coffee? No? I got a quick consult from EatWithoutGuilt on Twitter and she said OK to whole wheat English muffin with PB, and NO COFFEE. So I drank water.

It was raining on the way out there. I did not mind. In my opinion, hot weather is a lot worse than rain. I got there around 7am, picked up my Tshirt, tried to use Starbucks bathroom (fail), then warmed up with a brisk walk for about 4-5 blocks. My friend K showed up and we went over to the start line. We had decided that we’d each go at our own pace, and I was realllly relying on the music from my iPod to keep me on pace. (actually to keep me going slow enough so I would not burn out)

It was very exciting there at the starting line! My heart was pumping like a jackhammer. I did some stretches and then they counted down. I took off. K rounded one corner with me, and then SHE took off like a bunny. I lost sight of her in seconds! But that was okay.

The second song that came on (my “run list” is on Shuffle, so I don’t know what order they will play) was “Don’t Fear the Reaper.” It was perfect. I was sort of crying and laughing the whole time, and the pace was just right.

Seasons don’t fear the reaper
Nor do the wind, the sun or the rain..we can be like they are
Come on baby…don’t fear the reaper
Baby take my hand…don’t fear the reaper
We’ll be able to fly…don’t fear the reaper
Baby I’m your man…

Who was my man? The 80 year old guy right in front of me! He was plodding along at a nice slow rate, and his feet were matching mine. I loved him. I was like, you go, guy! Clearly he did not fear the reaper, and neither did I. (for those who don’t know, I started exercising just a few months ago when I was diagnosed with diabetes)

The first half or so was good. I was in the zone. My feet did not hurt at all. (backstory: I have had massively painful flat arches which KILL me when I run. I just got fitted for orthotics which arrived on Thursday, and the sports podiatrist was dubious about me running with them without breaking them in enough). The orthotics were really comfortable and my feet felt great.

It was raining. I did not care. “Amie” (Counting Crows) and “New Year’s Day” (U2) came on. Both pretty fast paced, but they felt good. Yay! “Friend of the Devil” came on and it made me smile, as usual.

Set out runnin’ but I take my time
A friend of the devil is a friend of mine
If I get home before daylight, I just might get some sleep tonight.

I peeked at my watch at the 18 minute mark. I was a little concerned because we had not turned around yet (it was a big loop) and I was almost at the point of my longest run ever (20 minutes). I was wondering how much longer than my longest run I would be able to manage. I figured adrenaline could take me to 30, but more..? I wasn’t sure.

It was interesting to see people’s approach to the race. A bunch of people did run-walk-run. Some people kept passing me because they were running fast, then they’d walk and I’d pass them. My 80 year old pace boyfriend vanished into the front somewhere. I also paced for a while behind a woman who looked like she weighed about 250 lbs (my guess) and she also took off, was much faster than me. I passed a bunch of Juicy-Couture slim little mamas who were walking, not running. That made me feel amused.

Finally we passed a sign that said either 3k or 2 miles, I don’t remember. It made me feel discouraged. I was getting tired for sure. I could still breathe OK, and I wasn’t hurting, but I was just fatigued.

When I could see the finish banner up ahead, maybe 1/4 mile, I got REALLY tired feeling. I think my body was like, “OK, you’re done now! Stop!” But I could not stop. So I forced myself to look at the ground. The last song was an amazing song by Ferron. It could not have been more perfect. It’s called “It Won’t Take Long.”

But you who dream of liberty must not yourselves be fooled
Before you get to plea for freedom, you’ve agreed to being ruled
If the body stays a shackle then the mind remains a chain
That’ll link you to a destiny whereby all good souls are slain
And it won’t take long, it won’t take too long at all
It won’t take long, and you may say
“What has that got to do with me” and I say,
“You mean to tell me that’s all?”

At noon on one day coming, human strength will fill the streets
Of every city on our planet, hear the sound of angry feet
With business freezed up in the harbour, the kings will pull upon their
And the banks will shudder to a halt, and the artists will be there
‘Cause it won’t take long, it won’t take too long at all,
It won’t take long, and you may say,
“I don’t think I can be a part of that,” and it makes me want to say,
“Don’t you want to see yourself that strong?”

Hell yeah! I do!!!! By that point, I was only yards away from the finish. I got a huge burst and SPRINTED past my husband with the camera. I saw the timing clock and it said 39 minutes something. I knew I wanted to come in under 40. I was also like, HOLY MOLY I just doubled my longest running time!!

I ran across the finish and was completely drenched, exhausted, ECSTATIC. Kathy was there. She’d come in quite a ways before me, although she said she’d walked some. She came in 10th in her age division! Go girl! I got the online results and saw that I was in the exact middle of the pack for my age division. (and if I moved up to the next division, which I will in August, I would’ve been 13th!) I was very very pleased with this. And I was also in the exact middle of the pack for the race overall.

We got home and I took a hot shower. I then started feeling massively nauseaus and crampy. I spent the rest of the day in bed, sleeping and groaning. I wonder if I was really sick yesterday and then just got adrenalized this morning. I don’t know. I feel like poo, but I am so so so so amazed and proud that I did this!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

No More Excuses

Not too long ago (not long at all!!) a day like this would have been one giant excuse not to exercise. It’s raining outside. My trainer is out of town. My running buddy is sick.

But I really wanted to get going on the 3rd week of Couch-to-5k. I remembered that back in the day when I was training for a marathon with Team in Training (this was 9 years ago, and I WALKED the marathon, didn’t run it), we would train even in heavy downpours. NO MATTER WHAT. I got a really great waterproof jacket then, and I still have it. It’s still waterproof!

So I put it on, put on a baseball cap and went down to the muddy little track at the bottom of our hill. I was sad to get my beautiful new white running shoes muddy and wet. But heck.

I set my iPod to C25K Week 3, Day 1 and set off. After the first lap I was still cold. But by the halfway point I was totally warmed up, pumped up, jacked up and ON. It was great. My glasses got all steamed up. (do I need to get contacts again??)  I did a little 3 minutes extra at the end and was DONE. It felt so good. The rain felt nice and refreshing. I got in my car and it also got all steamed up. Came home, showered, felt great. STILL feel great.

The thing that I don’t remember when I’m making all the excuses is that THIS feels so, so, so much better than THAT.

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