Proof.

The thing I’ve been telling people the most often about running, is the thing I can’t remember the source of. But the basic idea is this:

Have a running schedule. When the time comes for one of your scheduled runs, if you don’t want to do it? Just put on your running clothes and get out the door. Jog/Walk for 30 seconds. If you still don’t want to do your run? Come back inside. But you’ll probably keep going.

I have fallen back on this rule of thumb dozens of times in the last 2 months of training for a half-marathon. And strongevery single time I’ve kept going. We play horrible mental games with ourselves that thwart our efforts to exercise (I’ve had to do the same thing with boot camp in the mornings as well) but those same mental crutches seem to also be what keeps us from stopping once we’ve started.

For me, some days I’m too lazy to go for a run. But that same laziness also keeps me from stopping once I’m out the door and ready, if you can believe that.

Yesterday was hellacious. I took the dogs to the vet and finished prep for pest control before leaving for work, went to the office until they called, came home while they did their thing. Spent the next several hours trying to transition the house from Pest Control to Carpet Cleaning and then bagged up bedding to be washed and stuffed animals/pillows to be quarantined.

THEN we had a soccer game that had us out of the house until 7:40pm. I usually am in bed by 9pm so running was off the table if I wanted to watch Glee. So, I put on my clothes, went out the door, ran 30 seconds, and then continued for 5 miles. Had a GREAT run as it seemed I was a bit stressed and running helped ooze that anxiety out of my body. I was faster than usual and I walked back in the door about an hour later dancing.

I AM INSANE. But also? PROOF.

So I keep telling people about that wisdom I read and hold dear to my heart. Just put the gear on and get out the door. Chances are? You’ll keep going. And if you don’t? You’ll at least feel better about not doing it because you put forth an effort.

P.S. If you find any article or quote or motivational poster that says something like what I tried to say in my blockquote? PLEASE TELL ME. I know someone said it somewhere (A book maybe? An interview? BAH!) and it will bug me until the day I die if I don’t ever find the source.

Where I’ve Been.

This weekend was stressful and I was quite absent online yesterday. Instead of doing that again today, I’m just to going to write a very BORING entry to explain so that I can get this off my chest because it’s STRESSING ME OUT.

Thank you for letting me vent…in advance.

As everyone who has pets that spend any time outdoor knows, sometimes you see the periodic flea around your home. Which we have seen them a few times recently. And Nikki had a few bites which didn’t phase us too much because she has always been really sensitive to bug bites.

Well…Friday night Nikki woke up with MORE bites. Which seemed weird since I slept in her bed and woke up with NONE. Saturday night? She woke up in the middle of the night and needed an oatmeal bath, she was itching so much. SHE WAS COVERED IN BITES. The rest of us? Still none.

Since it was the weekend there wasn’t much we could do. We treated the yard, the dogs, and Donnie vacuumed the hell out of the furniture. We let Nikki sleep in Wes’s bed since it appeared there were fleas in HER bed. WHICH IS CRAZY because the animals RARELY go into the kid’s bedrooms. I keep them out for that reason specifically. Yet SOMEHOW…she was getting bitten CONSTANTLY. Even in her brother’s bed. WHERE HE WAS NOT BIT ONCE.

(This is evidently common, one person being the yummy target.)

So…Nikki came to work with me yesterday instead of school. We scheduled for the pest control to come out today after they inspected yesterday. We took Nikki to the pediatrician where she got chewable steroids and no magic remedies to keep her from itching. Not that I expected any…but basically she’s miserable. And then we took the cats to my friends house and spent the night picking up everything off the floors of our house for the flea treatment tomorrow.

Basically? This has been four days of STRESS. My daughter won’t stop scratching and she now looks like she has leprosy. AND she was on steroids. Which, you know, makes kids AWESOME to deal with. I’ve tried about every itch creme available and oatmeal baths and the only thing that really works is distraction. WHICH IS WEARING ME THE HELL OUT.

And I fear this is all my fault. I’ve not done a great job keeping house lately with the half-marathon training and the boot camp and the soccer and the theatre…I’ve not vacuumed regularly for awhile. That seems to be a key. If you vacuum regularly you can get rid of eggs/pupae/larvae etc so infestations don’t occur. I also hadn’t washed bedding much in forever nor had I given the dogs baths. Donnie’s schedule is just as insane, so while we’re both enjoying our lives and our extracurriculars, our house was/is suffering.

And now Nikki is paying the price.

So I’m tired, I’m stressed, worried this won’t work and wondering how long it will take before my daughter scratches all of her skin off. Or…will I lose my patience with her first and just lock her up in the bathroom with duct tape on her hands? And I feel gross. Embarrassed. Like somehow the world will conclude that my daughter’s bites indicate a higher level of filth than is truth. And then will conclude we’re lazy, as opposed to busy.

All in all? This is what’s been going on and why my weekend was so stressful and why I burst into tears on my couch last night asking my husband for reassurance I was doing a good job. I was tired, moving everything off the floors (which is IMPOSSIBLE, for the record) and I’m looking to another day of prep as I get the dogs out and move the last bit of stuff onto the beds after we leave the house. And then? WE HAVE TO PUT IT ALL BACK.

Thank you for letting me vent. I thought about posting pictures of my daughter so you can see how bad she is, but it’s so bad I just don’t want to document it. THEY’RE ON HER FACE. While the rest of us are bite-free. Because she is evidently the tastiest.

That Time When I Was Happy To See Monday.

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My patience has been pushed to the limits this weekend. I went from a proud high on Saturday morning after a pretty decent long run (TWELVE MILES) to a stressed out low due to a number of things too boring to discuss on my blog. Basically I have a list of things to do today that include:

1) Call pest control
2) Taking a kid to the doctor
3) Making an appointment with the vet
4) Double-checking some stuff associated with my volunteer gigs as it seems I made some mistakes this weekend I don’t want to happen again
5) Try to think of a way to thank my friend for letting us do laundry at her house AGAIN yesterday (this is the THIRD washer/dryer malfunction we’ve had in just a couple months)
6) Figure out how to make up time lost at work this week for all of the above appointments. Especially with a BUILD week for my training which means I’m running over 30 miles total again.
7) Meal Plan since I’ll be gone many nights either working or running.
8) Research solution #73 for dealing with blisters.
9) Get Prescription for Anxiety Meds and begin abusing it.

All of these things are directly related to the chaos that unfolded in our lives this weekend. Things I couldn’t really do anything about because it was the weekend. So, for the FIRST TIME EVER, I think I’m joyful it’s finally Monday. I can finally try to deal with several of the challenges we’re facing. Nothing fun or exciting that would make good blog entries, just a bunch of stressful boring stuff that makes me stressed and anxious.

So, can we guess what Kim did last night?

If you said, “BINGED!” you’re right! Because that’s what Kim does, she undoes a week’s worth of hard work with 17 bowls of raisin bran! (HA! I typed “raising brain” first which gave me the first laugh of the day. I needed that. THANK YOU STUPID FINGERS!) I’m trying to just get into Monday without thinking about falling off the wagon last night.

I’m hoping that by the end of the day I’ve at least got game plans in place to deal with the malfunctions in our lives, which will alleviate a lot of the anxiety. So, hopefully I’ll go back to the drinking my tea tonight instead of 9 peanut butter and jelly sandwiches, and tomorrow I’ll wake up to a better day.

Until then…let’s start writing our next Vegetarian Zombie Flick: RAISIN BRAINS!

Autumn Chase

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Now…on to brag about my DAUGHTER! She ran the Autumn Chase yesterday. It’s just a 1-mile fun run, but it’s a huge event kids from all over the city attend. As legend has it, Donnie won a medal in 1st grade from doing the mile in 7 minutes plus some.

Nikki had never run a mile straight before yesterday, but we were pretty confident she could do it. Wes went first, and finished in 17 minutes (he walked/ran the whole thing by himself!) so she had been running for a few minutes when he finished. I picked him up and ran back along the course to find her. When I got to her, she was already zapped, having sprinted too hard at first. One of the high-school aged pacers was with her, trying to encourage her. I started screaming for her and y’all? SHE STARTED RUNNING AGAIN.

(Yes. I AM trying to take some of the credit for her success. What?)

She was SPENT, guys. I could tell. By the half-mile point she was practically crying. I was running along cheering my heart out for her because I could tell it helped. When she got to the last stretch I left Wes with Donnie and ran the whole way with her and she was miserable. BUT SHE NEVER STOPPED. NEVER. She just PUSHED herself like she had no choice.

It was AWESOME. Crazy, but AWESOME.

She was corralled for a bit and feeling that post-race misery. We got her water and then headed to the pavillion to listen to awards. By our count, she came in THIRD but we didn’t want to get her hopes up. We knew she was top 10 so we knew she’d get a special ribbon, but we held out telling her about the medal until they announced 4th place. Then we KNEW she had come in third.

When they called her name? I CRIED. Not because she got third, but because she showed a sense of determination during that run that was AMAZING. She didn’t get that from me. I’m good…but I don’t have that Push Myself To The Point Of Puking thing. That’s ALL Donnie, there. But I’m just as proud of her for showing it as I am when he races and I see that side of him.

That’s my girl, there. On the WINNER’S PODIUM. No longer wishing she were dead and feeling DAMN PROUD of herself.

As she should.

Oh, and then she went on to play a soccer game. WHERE SHE SCORED A GOAL. Yeah. That’s all her Dad, right there. I push myself, but I also know when it’s time to stop pushing and turn on an episode of ‘The Vampire Diaries.’

How Boot Camp Taught Me That I Can Be AWESOME.

Faster.
My changes of speed over the course of a year of boot camp.

A while back I wrote about how losing weight and getting fit – for most of us – is not about finding that one magical moment. There’s not ONE exercise plan or ONE diet or ONE book or ONE magazine article that is going to change our lives. For most of us – it’s about the tiny moments along the way. The small moments of triumph that may be followed by a trip-up or a failure…but that gradually lead us to success.

While this is all very true for me – my year journey has had as many successes as it has failures – I do need to talk a bit about how boot camp started pushing me, and keeps pushing me, in the right direction.

I started my boot camp a year ago this week. I remember being TRULY TERRIFIED on my way over there the first morning. I was actually scared the entire first class, wondering if I was screwing up, or if anyone was making fun of me behind my back. Did Joe (The trainer) wonder what in the heck I was doing there? Did I stick out like a sore thumb? AM I THE ONLY ONE DOING THESE PUSHUPS ON MY KNEES?

After a year I know that all of those questions and fears were ridiculous. In a class of women ranging in age 60 years and in body sizes and types covering the spectrum…no one was laughing at me. Probably because they were too busy laughing at themselves, as we’re prone to do. Joe would never think anything but positive things about anyone and HELL NO, I wasn’t the only one doing the pushups on my knees.

But I want you to truly understand how scared I was. I want you to see how little confidence I had, and how my self-doubt took over every second of every thought during that first week of class.

My first week of boot camp I was struggling with 5lb weights, I did pushups and planks on my knees and I had absolutely no balance because I believe I actually had negative core strength, if that’s possible. But now, one year later and I’m using 10lb weights, I’m doing pushups on my toes and holding a plank for 3 minutes.

Why 3 minutes? Because several months ago a girl in our class held a plank for 3 minutes and I thought there is no way in hell I could ever do that. But yesterday – I did it. And for the record? I have video proof of that 3-minute plank. It’s HIDEOUS. I’m sweaty and gross and frumpy BUT IT IS PROOF. Mainly because I didn’t believe I could do it either, so I thought you wouldn’t.

So…that’s where I’m at now! Smaller! Stronger! And a WHOLE LOT Sweatier!

Somewhere along the way, boot camp did do something magical for me. Did it allow me to immediately become fit and lose weight? No. Even better: It showed me I have the potential to be AWESOME.

I’ve been my own harshest critic for so long, there was no part of me that ever believed I’d be posting video of myself exercising on the internet. (THREE MINUTES!) But somehow, with each shoulder press and bicep curl; with each set of squats and sprints across a parking lot; somehow I learned I that I had potential to be BETTER.

It was a slow transition, but eventually I found myself doing more reps and advancing to tougher techniques. I started using heavier weights and doing longer holds. I learned to sprint faster and run longer. And then, one day, something strange happened. I casually referenced something being difficult and a girl in class said, “I don’t see anything being hard for you.”

I did a double take.

What? Was she talking to me?

Suddenly, it occurred to me, new people in the class each month were looking at ME like I was at some sort of unreachable level of fitness. ME. ME? ME. One girl mentioned looking to me when she wanted to push herself harder. Another girl called me FAST. Another called me STRONG. Me? ME.

And that’s when it hit me: I AM BETTER. I always just assumed I couldn’t do it. And “it” can be anything from using 10lb weights in boot camp to running 6 miles in the rain. (Two things I did this week, for the record.) But boot camp showed me that I can keep getting better until suddenly I’m doing all of those things and more. (THREE MINUTES!) BETTER. Boot camp proved to me that I can just get BETTER. And each time I get BETTER? I’m getting further from the girl who started out. Boot camp helped me redefine my limits.

Actually? Let me be honest with you: It has helped me REMOVE my limits ENTIRELY.

Because each step I made along the way, from planks on knees to planks on toes, was a step I didn’t think I could make. And each time you make a step you thought was impossible, you start reanalyzing all of the things you call “impossible”. I didn’t think I could do 5 on-your-toes pushups in a row without dying. Now I can do 20. So…who says I can’t do 50?

And somehow, in redefining and removing my previous self-set limitations, I’m allowing myself to be PROUD. I see my accomplishments and my advances and I just tear up because I just CAN’T BELIEVE IT. I can’t believe who I am, and what I’m doing. I can’t believe I got up and went to boot camp on Tuesday at 5:30am and then ran 6 miles IN THE RAIN at 4pm.

And here is when we come to the truth of it all – The beauty of what boot camp has done in my life.

Do you know what I would say about that girl if I had seen her a year ago? If I watched her do an hour boot camp with 10lb weights, and then (less than 12 hours later) run 6 miles in the RAIN? Do you know what I would say about her? That she was AWESOME. And AMAZING. And POWERFUL. And BEAUTIFUL. And I would have said – EMPHATICALLY – that there is no way, in ONE MILLION YEARS, that I could ever be like her.

But here I am. I am her. I am that amazing and powerful woman that I would have been in awe of a year ago. And if I’m her right now…who can I be in another year? I’ll tell you who: I’ll be LIMITLESS.

So…THANK YOU, Joe. THANK YOU, Adventure Boot Camp. I can’t wait to see what the next year brings.
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Edited to Add – I was not compensated in any way for this promotion of my Boot Camp. I do love it with all of my heart, and would accept payment in the form of Burpee Passes, but I have not been offered such a deal. YET. I am simply praising a wonderful fitness class and the coach at the helm.