I want to run again

It’s been quite some time since I laced up my sneakers- over a year. I signed into wordpress after several months of just flat out avoiding everything, and reading some of your posts, I’m feeling a little… inspired? Ashamed? Guilty? I missed you. Sorry I haven’t been around.

I don’t even know if my running clothes are going to fit anymore. I’m way out of shape. It will probably be night by the time I get home and gear up (if I can), so I don’t even know where to go to run. No sidewalks on my street, so I’d have to drive somewhere. Maybe I could give the treadmill a try tonight, but in my experience, I am more likely to finish my run when I have to do so to get back to my car. =)

Running made me feel good but I struggled with being slow and not losing very much weight. Maybe I can throw in more strength training or cross training and let the running take a bit of a back-seat. This is very much like starting over from square one. I might need a little encouragement.

Lately

Lately, I’ve been focusing more on the awesome, and not so much on the running. Since April, we’ve been busy planning my sister-in-laws baby shower, which I actually volunteered to do, and threw myself into it. I hoped it would be cathartic, and it actually was. It was a few weeks ago, and it was pretty epic. I finally felt like something broke after that, like there was a crack in the dam and I could finally let everything go. I’m still pissed that I’m not getting pregnant even though we’ve been trying again, but at least I can function again. I’ve gone on some trips with my sister and I’ve just been enjoying things for a while and ignoring any kind of discipline. This is the first year I haven’t signed up for the Halloween 5K in MD (the first race I ever ran) and while I’m a little sad about it, I just can’t make that fit into my life right now. I don’t know if I’ll race again.

Lately, I’ve been trying to add more steps to my day. I know I’m not in the right condition to jump right back into my running routine, so I’m trying to add about 2000 steps to each day. I work in an office and some days, seriously, I average like 600 steps (per the app on my phone that tells me how many steps I take while I’m carrying my phone. I’ve been getting out into some parks, and a few days ago I met a friend for coffee. I geared up in my workout clothes since we usually take a walk in the nearby park, but we’d kept our coffee date short and I wound up going for a walk by myself. Since I already had running gear on, I went for a little run. I mean LITTLE. Like, a grand total of half a mile, and I couldn’t keep up a run for more than .2 miles, but I felt pretty good about it. I’ve been doing wall pushups and desk pushups at work once in a while, and throwing in some weights and stuff when I can. No routine yet, but that seems to be working for me for now.

First Steps

Hello friends! Hiatus over…maybe?

I’ve been working out once a week or so for the past three weeks, trying to find the will/energy to get back in shape. In the few months I’ve been wallowing in my own misery, I’ve gained something like thirty pounds and gone up another pants size. Yup. Time for a change. Especially since Facebook showed me a picture of myself from five years ago, and I’m looking at this skinny chick, and I’m sure that I thought I was fat then. I would give anything to be that comfortable in my skin again.

So, for starters, I need to make small changes. I don’t think I’m going to try to jump right back to running, or at least, add more strength training, cut down on the cardio – can’t stress my body out too much, and I certainly can’t expect to pick up where I left off. For now, I’ll be trying to do something every day and, one day each week, I’ll only drink water.

For the first two weeks, I’m going to go for a walk every day. I’d like to do a mile a day, but I’m not sure I’ll be able to track my distance all the time. I’ve also got some bodyweight workouts, videos, etc and I will do something every day, even if it’s for no more than fifteen minutes, I just need to start a habit again.  So much of working out and staying fit is mental, so much of it… I should probably start by taking on the mental challenge. Fake it ’til you make it.

I WILL walk every day. I WILL do some strength workout every day. I WILL drink only water on Wednesdays. I’ll be back later tonight to track my progress, fill in one more day on my battle log.

An ode to the stranger who wished me a Happy Mother’s Day

I’m reposting this from my Facebook page, so please ignore the FB mention because of course, I tell you guys all the personal stuff:

Well, not so much an ode, as a simple thought:

Thank you.

I don’t usually post really personal stuff on Facebook, but I just felt the words in my head begging to be let out. I have something that needs to be said, for me, and maybe for so many others.

I was hanging up the phone at work, saying “buh-bye” in that weird voice that comes out of me when I’m “professional Sarah,”and the guy on the other end of the line, who didn’t know me and had no way of knowing I had a miscarriage a few months ago, said, “Happy Mother’s Day.” I was so flustered… I couldn’t say, “Oh, I’m not a mother,” because that didn’t really feel true. I stammered my way towards the words “Thank you” and I hung up.

On the drive home from work, it really hit me hard. This is my first Mother’s Day, but I’ll never get to hold the child who made me a mother. It didn’t occur to me that this holiday was now for me, and will always be, whether or not I ever have a child. It is a bittersweet thought.

This total stranger, who made a quick assumption about my motherly status based on nothing I had told him, actually said the words I needed to hear. The words that probably some wouldn’t say for fear of upsetting me and the words that everyone else wouldn’t even realize applied to me.

So, thank you, kind stranger. And to all the women in my life, to my mom, grandmothers, aunts, to my fellow moms of four-legged fur-babies, to the mother figures, adoptive mothers, to the teachers, to the mothers of my friends and my friends who are mothers, to the friends who have mothered and nurtured me in so many ways, to the mothers that are with us in spirit, and to the mothers who love their babies in spirit: You’re wonderful, you’re loved, and Happy Mother’s Day.

 

Up and Down

On Tuesday, it was so beautiful out that I just had to go outside after work. I went to a (very) small park nearby that has a trail I’ve been meaning to check out. I had a fitness app on my phone that was also begging to be checked out (I finally put down my old iPhone 4S and got a Samsung Galaxy S4 and I LOVE IT but that’s another story for another day) and it wanted me to walk 2 KM in 30 minutes. Hey, I can do that! and I did!  I didn’t have any back pain on the nice flat parts of the paved path, and then the path turns into a trail that I’ve never been on.

Unexplored locations require my attention. Like, I’m hungry for exploration. I really should have been an archaeologist.

The trail went into the woods and emerged in someone’s backyard…. yes, it skirted two someone’s backyards, but in the distance I saw a busted bench and realized I was still on the trail and not trespassing. I moved quickly while thinking to myself that I would absolutely hate having strangers wandering through my backyard but I would absolutely love the quick access to the park. There was a pretty steep downhill bit, then I hopped across a steam on some well-placed rocks, and then a pretty formidable hill back up. I tried to keep my pace up, and my back did start to ache a bit. It kind of calmed down once I emerged from the woods and the path became paved again.

I did walk the whole 2K. It really shows me how far I’d come in running; I could just about run the whole 2K a few months ago and now just walking it was really hard. I’m hoping it doesn’t take as long to get back to the same level.

I’m working through whatever this slump is that I’ve been in.. Ok, it’s really depression. and it’s getting old.

I wanted to work out yesterday. I got home and put on my running clothes and just felt BLAH so I laid down on the couch and slept all night. This is the awfulness of depression: one day I’m up and the next I’m so down. I may need to talk to my doctor about changing the dosage on my medication; I remember the absolute clarity I experienced after starting the medication, like try to imagine: every time you make a mistake or think about something bad that might happen or if someone even looks at you funny, it creates dozens of negative thoughts and feelings about yourself that replay over and over in your head, getting louder and louder until that’s all you can think. They swirl around you, grab you, hold on to your arms and legs when you try to move, like some kind of giant spiderweb that you can’t free yourself from; they slowly drag you backwards into a pit full of negative thoughts and feelings and it’s impossible to pull yourself out. When I started taking medication, it acted like a shield and blocked the thoughts from reaching the vulnerable parts of me that they cling to, so I was able to think clearly and my brain could function freely; I could think about things I actually cared about, instead of being forced to listen to my own brain talk shit about me. Lately, I can feel myself starting to get mired down again. Isn’t that weird? I can feel it holding me back.

 

 

Changing the game plan

So running is still pretty tough. Actually, even walking long distances is tough right now. My lower back aches. I don’t know if its from extra weight gain or loss of muscle, but I’ve never experienced this before and I hate it. It makes me feel old.

My boss has been working out several days a week for the past two months, and he’s looking better and feeling better. He’s doing mainly weight lifting and body weight exercises, very little cardio. So since I’ve been having trouble getting back up to speed (I know you love my running puns, don’t deny it) I’ve started doing body weight workouts. I’ve had almost one solid week of keeping up with workouts, which is, in itself, a miracle. One night I was super depressed and laid down on the kitchen floor to cry about pretty much nothing. My husband, supportive guy that he is, laid down next to me. He asked me what he could do to help. I asked him to go downstairs with me and read something he’s been working on to me while I worked out to keep me on task. It worked;  I got the workout in. I also put “Clean kitchen floor” on my list of things to do.

I’ve decided to skip breakfast. I used to skip breakfast every morning. Like, all through high school, through college, up until I met my husband. I skipped breakfast. I know it seems weird, but I gained a lot of weight when I started eating three solid meals a day. Even when I tried to make those meals healthy, I still was gaining weight. I’ve been skipping breakfast for a whole two days (I know, that’s dedication) and I gotta say, I actually feel great. My husband is concerned that Hangry Sarah might make an appearance, but so far so good. She only appears at night, once in a blue moon when she’s hungry for dinner. Like a werewolf.

Skipping breakfast: I’ve felt incredibly hungry right when I wake up, but as soon as I get moving, get dressed, get to work, I don’t really notice a thing. I’m still drinking fluids, just not eating food in the morning. I haven’t noticed any drops in energy that haven’t been caused by my inability to put down the book I’m reading and go to bed at a decent time. and I’ve been trying not to eat past 8 PM. Lots of changes from my currently mopey state, but I think it’s time.

Thanks to my online running buddies for good advice, and for telling me it’s going to get easier – I’m glad to be back & catching up with your lives.

 

Oh, hi.

I’ve found it REALLY REALLY difficult to get back on track since my miscarriage. I have never really ever hit my stride as far as workout consistency goes (but I bet you like my running puns, huh? DO YOU? stride? track? Bueller?)

Anyway, yeah. I had a miscarriage, got really depressed, and took a raincheck on a lot of things I normally love. I just had no desire or strength to do anything, really.

I painted a little; something sort of modern with triangles and pinks, blues and yellows that I had been planning on painting for the nursery, and a painting of gladiolus. I wanted to do a flower painting sort of in memory of the baby we lost, and the gladiolus is the birthday flower for August. The baby was due August 6. Painting really helped with the pain.

I’m trying to get back into running and it’s really hard. My body is totally rebelling. It got used to sitting on the couch playing videogames and now it just wants Cheez-its. I want my clothes to fit again. Body and I… we’re in negotiations.

I’ve tried to hop on the treadmill, and for like three days, I was sticking with a beginner’s running program. Then I got my period and got really depressed again because.. I wasn’t pregnant. Fast forward to two weeks later, I decide to try the treadmill again, and it’s SO HARD. I couldn’t even run for five minutes. I was SHOCKED. It was so discouraging.

After my two minute attempt, I’m sitting on the couch crying because I’ve gotten so out of shape and my husband realizes he set the incline on the treadmill to like, 4. Of course I couldn’t run for five minutes.

One week later, I hop on, hoping I will be able to run for just five minutes. Nope. Still too hard. I ran for three minutes, a whole quarter of a mile. Woo-hoo.

Tell me this is going to get easier again.