The One Where I Actually Want My Picture Taken

One of the biggest perks of getting in shape is finding myself WANTING to be photographed. E and I went to see Young Frankenstein Saturday night and I asked Donnie to take a picture before we left. That is the picture you see on the right. The first picture, on the left, was taken before Legally Blonde in January. OF THIS YEAR. And when I saw that picture on my phone after someone snapped it I remember thinking, “This is exactly why I don’t like having my picture taken.”

But now, not only do I feel better in my own skin, but my lovely daughter has been teaching me her fashion brilliance! I put together that entire outfit based on her guidance the last few months. I’m really proud it. I’m developing my own taste and style, even. It’s very much influenced by her, of course, but even she is surprised by my decisions. She said, “Mom! I love the purple tights! That looks really good!” I felt like I had earned my “I Can Dress Myself!” wings for the night!

My point? I don’t mind having my picture taken. I’m still not a huge fan of it, but I don’t mind it as much. Which is a good thing as I’d like my kids to be able see evidence of me in their lives when they look back on childhood photos.

Especially if the evidence shows I was fit. Then it’s just bonus.

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Do I Like Running…While I’m Actually Running?

My friend posted on Facebook yesterday that she didn’t really like running yet, not while she was running anyway. She liked the feeling after, but not during. Someone in my running group said the same thing a few weeks ago. I think I’ve said the same thing before, even.

But lately? I’m not sure it’s true anymore.

When I’m doing an “easy” run with my group, on our Long Run days (last week = 13 miles) I think I actually enjoy it. I’ve found a good pace and I’m in good enough shape that it just feels nice. Especially if the weather is cooperating and if I have some running buddies to chat with. I mean, I know I no longer HATE it. That’s for sure. Those runs on those days at that pace? I definitely don’t hate it.

And I think I like it.

It takes a while in the run to get to that point. Sometimes 3 miles, before my legs are loose and my stride is comfortable. Some days it only takes 1 mile. But every long run has that point where I stop thinking about the run and start thinking about the conversation with my running buddy, or the music if I’m wearing headphones, or the scenery. The run is no longer in the forefront…it’s just something going on in the background while I try to enjoy other things. At that point? I think I can easily tell you, “I like running.”

But on my speed work days…that’s another story. We did 800m repeats on Tuesday night. That means we ran 800m at full speed (Not really running a “sprint,” but as fast as you can run at a constant pace for that distance, several times.) six times, with 3-minute rest breaks between each one. I was running with a girl who’s 5K time is about 40 seconds faster than mine. She was pushing me to do my 800s in 1:35. That’s about 20 seconds faster than when I was doing them on my own.

And I thought I was going to cry or puke during each of them.

Is that hate? Probably. I think I was hating it while I was doing it. But knowing I ran 800 meters in 1 minute and 35 seconds? OH MY GOD…I loved that.

While I was dry-heaving in the grass, of course.

It’s such a weird process…this learning to be a runner thing. It’s why I really want to figure out a way to keep it up over the winter. I feel like I’ve come so far. I used to hate even the slowest, shortest of runs. Now I look forward to them…the longer the better! I would have never willingly done speed work before, now I’m doing it – wanting to die while I’m actually running – but rejoicing in my accomplishments later. While crying into my water bottle.

So…I think I do like running. As a general statement. I think that there’s more like than dislike on any given day. Which is why I keep going back. Now, there are also moments of hatred, even on the easy long runs. The last 2 miles of my 12-mile run last month nearly killed me. My 4-mile tempo run last week had me wanting to hurl and cry simultaneously. (They go hand-in-hand in my mind.) But overall? Yes. I think I’m there. I think I like running. Even while I’m doing it, on most days.

And that may the most INSANE THING I’ve ever said. EVER. And I’ve proclaimed for the show Pretty Little Liars.

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This Is A Two-Part Entry: One Part Therapy, One Part Running Babbling.

In my issues dealing with stress eating, I’ve explained how I tend to make 3 steps forward and 2 steps back. Two good weeks having a rational relationship with food, and then 3 days of emotional binges. And I don’t mean Oh No! I ate three cookies after dinner!. I mean – I feel like I’m going to puke because I inhaled 3000 calories between the hours of 7pm and 9pm. I AM NOT EXAGGERATING.

The last three days have been just that. My anxiety levels area about double what they were on Saturday. Every night, I have had multiple things going on after work and even more adding to my To Do list for when I get home. We have several BIG things coming up in the next two weeks. Two big theater events relating to competitions, a big party, a half-marathon, and GLEE FINALLY COMES BACK NEXT WEEK – MUST FIT THAT IN MY SCHEDULE! My anxiety levels are at code red…BE ON ALERT.

Anyway – I always find that when I come here and say, “I’ve been a bad girl,” it tends to break that streak. I’m hoping writing this downward spiral down will make it STOP HAPPENING. And that I can regain control of my senses before I undo all of the hard work from the last few months. Thank you for humoring me.

Now…ON TO THE REAL ENTRY.

CHANGES IN MY LIFE SINCE I BECAME ACTIVE (Or INSANE, depending on your definition of the word.)

  • I love shopping. FOR GEAR. I’ve never been a HUGE shopper, I don’t mind it, but it often feels like a stressful experience. But lately, when I have an excuse to buy something fitness-related I GET GIDDY. I finally bought a long-sleeve technical shirt the other day and I WAS SO EXCITED! And I spent another 30 minutes just walking around the store fantasizing about more money so I could buy more stuff. MORE GEAR!
  • My clothes smell AWFUL. I’ve gotten to that point where most of my running/workout clothes needs to be washed on hot – TWICE – before they don’t smell like death. This may not be necessary anymore as it’s gotten colder and I’m not sweating as much, but the last few weeks of warm weather? OH MY GOD. It was AWFUL. And I’m not typically a stinky person, but this new lifestyle MAKES ME UBER STINKY.
  • I have weird stuff in my car. At any given moments there’s a rubbermaid container full of hand weights, at least one yoga mat, a water bottle or two, some Gu packs (Gu CHOMPS Watermelon flavor are my NEW favorite fuel!), a couple of blinky lights for nightly running, and at least 3 pairs of extra gloves.
  • My baseline “I feel good” level has changed. I’m always sore somewhere, so now I only complain of the pain level is above a 5 on a scale of 1-10. Or higher. I actually kinda like the general achiness because it is a reminder of the hard work I’m doing. Who knew I’d one day think, I’m happy I can’t stand up without wincing!
  • I talk about exercise crap ALL THE TIME. This blog is totally proof of that, but it’s even worse in the real world. I’m constantly talking about my 800 repeat times, or the 100+ push-up we did at boot camp. It’s like when your best friend had a new boyfriend and all she ever did was talk about him? I HAVE A NEW BOYFRIEND. And when we’re not together running or doing boot camp, I’m talking about him NON-STOP. I guess this is that newlywed/lust stage in the relationship, I’m sure I’ll eventually get tired of him and start complaining about how he left the new toilet paper roll on the floor again. WHY CAN’T HE PUT IT ON THE HOLDER? IT ONLY TAKES ANOTHER TWO SECONDS? But not right now, right now I still think everything he does is adorable so I have to tell everyone I know about him. Luckily Donnie is a fitness buff too, so he doesn’t mind the chatter about tempo runs and shoulder presses. If he wasn’t also in a relationship with the same awesome boyfriend? (This analogy just stopped working.) He might not be as tolerant.
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Six going on Sixteen

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Six years ago I gave birth this rotten child.

What? Oh. It’s her birthday, I’m supposed to be sweet and loving, right?

It’s funny, I read a lot about providing strong role models for young girls so that we have more Veronica Roths (What? I’m a YA Fiction nut, of course she’s my Go-To Young Awesome Female) and less Kim Kardashians in 15 years. While I’m certain I’m doing my part encouraging Nikki to be strong and independent, she is also teaching ME that there’s nothing wrong with clothes and makeup. She spent two hours last night playing in a 1st Grade workbook her Mimi gave her for her birthday, but she also obsesses over what to wear every day. I’m learning a valuable less from her – princesses and professionals are not mutually exclusive. We don’t have to teach them to be one or the other, turns out they’re born to be BOTH.

She has made me a better person in every sense of the word, and I’ll do my best to remember this in 8 years when she’s cursing for not letting her wear sweatpants with “CUTIE” written across the ass.

Happy Birthday, my Math-Loving Fashion Diva. Thank you for teaching me that clothes can be fun. My converse needed a break.

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