Clean vs. Tequila

January 4, 2018

Miles run: 0
2018 total: 12.7/2018
Days without spending money: 1/365 <— WOW

Fourteen days ago I started a 21 day cleanse – called the Clean Program. This is the third time I’ve done this program; the first time I lost over 25lbs – not in 21 days. The 21 days kickstarted the weight loss, and it took a few more weeks to get down to my goal weight. A year later I did it again, to reset my weight. A couple of weeks ago I felt like first, I wanted to reset my weight after months and months of marathon training, and second, I wanted to enter 2018 nice and clean and detoxed.

ButWhyI won’t lie; I felt like total horseshit during the first 36 hours; my dependence on caffeine has become intense, and the headache from caffeine withdrawal was worse than any hunger pain I imagined I would experience. After that, the cleanse became really, well, cleansing. My energy is low, but my focus is so sharp! I know, it seems contradictory, but its true. I love having my brain working so well; but I hate slogging through my day, my running, feeling as though I’m going to topple over.

I won’t lie; I “cheated” a couple of times. On New Years’ Eve I allowed “a” sip of tequila. I love tequila; did you know? Well I do. And I did on NYE. One other time too; I can give up dairy, cheese, wheat, gluten, white rice, nightshades (no tomatoes, no potatoes), processed foods, you name it. But tequila? That one; well, that one hurts.

Have you ever cleansed? Finished Whole 30? Sugar Detoxed? How did it make you feel?

 

That cute little pug photo is by Matthew Henry on Unsplash

Running in circles

Miles run: 5
2018 total: 17.7/2018
Days without spending money: 1/365

Behold, the cul-de-sac where I ensure that all of my road runs end on whole number. My neighbors may think I have a screw or two loose. Or maybe they don’t. Who knows?

Spent: January 3, 2018

January 3, 2018

Miles run: 5.7
2018 total: 12.7/2018
Days without spending money: 0/365

Yep, having a tough time with that spending thing. So why am I tracking the number of days that I do not spend money this year? Because I read somewhere, someone  saying that this year they were going to only purchase things they really need, and try not to spend money unless absolutely necessary. This sounds like a fantastic idea to me and, since I’ve been toying with making some career changes, it would be helpful to be mindful about my spending. But really, I didn’t think it would be that difficult to go a day without spending.

I blame technology – well, it’s my fault for using technology, but the ability to add my credit cards to my phone, have websites save payment methods, just that one step of “not” having to pull out the purse, dig out the plastic, squint my eyes and punch in 16 digits, well, it makes it way too easy to spend without thinking.

Had technology made it difficult for you to be mindful of your spending?

 

The cute little piggy photo was captured by Fabian Blank on Unsplash

Daily Check in: January 2, 2018

January 2, 2018

Miles run: 3
2018 total: 7/2018
Days without spending money: 0/365

Full moon. Like a harbinger of doom…

Sometimes just a quick check in will do.

The run: My legs hate running in the dark, cold of early winter mornings. Got it done. No goals other than getting 3 miles done.

Spending: Today was the day to pay bills. That’s just life.

My sanity: It only took 2 hours at work for my “equanimity” goal to be tested. Outwardly, I was fine. Inwardly, I failed. It’s okay, though. I’m not going to beat myself up (anymore; I spent the rest of the work day doing that).

What I learned today: I learned how to use css to create a sliding accordian menu. Exciting right? No really, it was totally exciting.

What did you learn today?

October 10, 2017: Not running with the cool kids

I don’t want to sound critical of the whole social running scene. Call me old school, but for me running has always been, first and foremost, a solitary activity. Yes, I loved my cross country running experience back in high school. Yes, I love that my husband has become a solid running partner with whom I run about 99% of my workouts with. But before and after XC, before I met my husband, before I had anyone to run with, I still ran. Why? Because I fucking love running.

Even as I run beside my husband, we spend very little time talking (we do talk more now that I’m HR training and have slowed way, way down). Mostly we are in our own heads, our own thoughts, processing whatever comes across our minds. It’s not necessarily meditative (although it can be with some focused intent). It’s just time to think. Or listen. Be quiet. Be in tune with our minds, our bodies. So for me, the pressure of socializing with a group of people during a run would sap all of my energy and leave me with nothing for the run itself. It’s just who I am.

The problem I’m seeing, and maybe it is just my problem, is that social running seems to be offering itself up as a solution to helping people who dislike running in the first place. And I know people come to the sport for many reasons: to lose weight, to collect fancy bling at the end of a race. So what I’m feeling is this: if you don’t like to run, for fuck’s sake, stop running. Go find an activity that you enjoy. If you enjoy group activities, join a boot camp, or cross fit, or a spin class. If the only reason you are running is to socialize with other people, there are such easier ways to do that, that might actually appeal to you.

Is that harsh? Why? I feel terrible seeing people suffering through injuries, illness, discomfort, physical therapy, surgeries, etc., in order to participate in a sport they don’t actually enjoy, just so they can be part of a group, or earn a medal, or lose some weight.

Now let me clarify one point: I don’t enjoy the feeling of being overheated. I don’t enjoy when my legs are sore, or my feet trip on a rock and I scrape the shit out of my knees and elbows. I don’t enjoy getting up early when I haven’t slept the night before. BUT here’s the thing: the act of running, the act of bounding from one foot to the other, for any length of time – I LOVE that. That love overrules any discomfort, or fatigue, or inconvenience that I might experience. You know what else? If I take more than a week off from running, I get runner’s itch. It’s horrible. By the end of that first run after a break my thighs are covered in bright red streaks from where I’ve attempted to scratch off the outer layer of my skin. I hate it. I hate it. BUT – I love running. So I’ll endure it. It goes away after a few days of running.

So this is my roundabout way of saying, if social running groups do not appeal to you, that’s perfectly OK. You don’t have to #RunWithTheCoolKids (a hash tag that evokes a wave of bad high school memories but that’s another story for another day) to be a runner.

 

 

 

Unguarded Thoughts: Don’t be gross

HR training journal: Today was a long run – 90 minutes. I covered 8 miles. I maintained an average bpm of 141. And I loved every step! Total mileage for the week: 29.5 miles. That’s my mileage for week 2 of a 20 week half marathon plan, folks!

This past week I’ve bumped into more than a few examples of gross human behavior. I’m not talking poop or blood. I’m talking…utterly disappointing. Mean-spiritedness for no real reason other than to assert superiority. I’ve seen it more at work than in my personal realm, but it feels like it’s everywhere lately.

I went on Facebook “hiatus” back in 2012. I remember it well; it was when President Obama was running for re-election, and after four years of his presidency, during which (thanks to Facebook) I was exposed to the “secret inner thoughts” of friends, family, in-laws, co-workers, bosses, etc., I found that I no longer wanted to know about 90% of them. For me, it was better to just go “offline” for a while. So I de-activated my account.

When I returned last year, it was solely to have a convenient communication forum for a Ragnar event I was part of. When I signed in, I cleaned up my “friends” list, whittling it down to just those handful of people I actually knew and loved, along with some long-distance friends and family for whom this would be a convenient way to keep in touch, and my Ragnar teammates. Gone was anyone even remotely related to the place I worked. And gone were those whose cruel vitriol left a permanent, painful impression on my heart and mind. The result: a nice, small friend list. One that looked more like my reality. I thought I’d created a well-curated feed.

When I signed up for Heart Rate (HR) training, I was invited to join a closed FB group created for all of us who had signed up for this training plan. For the most part, it’s been really positive. I mean, overwhelmingly positive. Seriously, a mostly amazing group of women who inspire me daily.

Which is why recently, as I was quickly glancing through some posts, I was so strongly struck by the negative tone of person who posted a “pet peeve.” And several others who joined the herd, pitchforks in hand.

The pet peeve? So stupid it isn’t worth explaining. Except to say that “I” have totally done this. And it has ABSOLUTELY NO IMPACT ON A SINGLE OTHER LIVING BEING WHATSOVER.

It was a “behavior” that they witnessed, that they didn’t understand, and rather than ask the person “why are you doing that” they instead jumped to (possibly erroneous) conclusions, and deemed the behavior to be riduculous. Dumb. Stupid. Suspicious. Deceptive even.

As for those doing the complaining? Well, THEY were such BETTER human beings for NEVER engaging in such strange behavior. They were superior. Their way was better. SUPERIOR.

Holy fuck did this strike a nerve. To think that as I’ve gone about my business, doing my workouts, keeping to myself, that there might have been some asshole sitting nearby observing me (rather than minding their own damned workout) and thinking about how “irritated” they felt. All because I was engaging in an activity that had absolutely no impact on them? The fucking nerve of me, right?

I posted a reply; it went something like: Hey peanut gallery, it turns out that “I” do that same thing too. And the reason is too long to post here (not to mention I don’t actually owe you a damned explanation). But there are legit reasons. And just fyi, I do try to reserve judgment when I see something I don’t understand because there might be a completely rational explanation that I am unaware of. 

Oddly, just this week I’ve run into similar encounters at work (possibly made worse because I was face-to-face with said peanut gallery). And it can only be described as: Gross. Fucking gross. The need for people to find ways to assert their superiority is out of control. I know it’s real; there are studies that show this phenomenon to be absolutely real. Coupled with the need to control the behavior of those who have absolutely no impact on their lives in any way, shape or form, simply because they do not understand the behavior (therefore it must be not only inferior to their own, but it must be eradicated)? Gross. Fucking gross.

It reminds me of people who are opposed to gay marriage; who themselves are not gay, nor do they have any gay people (that they know of) in their circles of friends and family. Yet they will assert with passionate fervor their opposition to gay marriage, and throw down their religious texts as proof of their righteousness. It’s so fucking gross. Why do you even care?

I should not have posted any response at all. My rational brain knows that. I’ve come to understand an important truth about Facebook. For the most part, by the time someone has posted something – a personal opinion, support of a “thing,” opposition to a “thing,” whatever – their position on that “thing” is final. Nothing anyone posts in response will sway their opinion . And the more extreme that “thing” is, the stronger their resolve to stand by that opinion. It’s pointless to offer an opposing view; no matter how much kindness, how much logic, or how much evidence you offer; once a person has declared their position (on Facebook), they won’t be moved (by replies on Facebook).

Still, I wish people would just mind their own business. As I type that, I realize that Facebook is, quite literally, the opposite of minding your own business. So live and let live? Or better yet – don’t be a dick? Really, just don’t be gross.

Endorphins Rock!

img_5555Hell yes they do! Today was a free run workout, meaning no heart rate cap, just run at whatever speed my heart desires for 60 minutes. These free runs have been on the plan since I started with the pre-plan workouts (HR101) and I’ll admit right now, I definitely didn’t get them right at first. Initially I read “free” as “fast” as in, I can go my “normal” pace for an hour. The problem was, I found that my old normal pace (around 9:30 for the average, no-goal run) felt challenging. I chalked it up to the heat (this was still August), residual burnout from marathon training, and of course, running super slow the rest of the week. So being the brainiac that I tend to be, I would try to force myself to go faster, which felt like shit on my legs, my lungs, my…wherever. And I grew to dread free runs.

Today as we walked out the door to start the run (I totally forgot my pre-run workout – dang it), said to Dar “maybe we’ll just keep it at 140bpm today.” That’s the effort at which I do most of the other runs in this plan. I didn’t feel like being demoralized by my lack of speed. So we started out at a slow plod; I didn’t worry about heart rate at all; instead I focused solely on “feel good.” Because I’ve come to feel really flipping good at 140bpm. The first mile was on the slow side (10:45); it felt great, it felt like a proper warmup. At the start of mile 2 of every run on this particular path (which is, like 90% of my runs) goes straight up a hill for about .2 miles. Instead of trying to maintain pace, I focused again on maintaining feel good. My overall pace for mile 2 was 10:15.

That trend continued – run at feel good pace, slowly get faster: 10:08, 9:40, 9:45. By the time I got home I felt amazing! At some points my pace actually dipped down to 8:55, enough to get some drops of endorphins in my brain! Speaking of my brain, it was nice to know that I could still feel good at those paces – and not just my “old” good, but dare I say it, at paces that felt downright easy. I guess “trust the plan” it is!