Energy Reboot

I’ve tried to restart my running program about 10 times since getting the go ahead from my dr. Each time has failed, not because of injury but because of lack of energy. Here are my top reasons for lack of follow through:

  • I’m too tired 
  • I’m too busy (work, family, politics, etc.)
  • I’m too overwhelmed (see above)
  • It’s too cold, gym is too far, workout clothes don’t fit anymore, excuse of the day…
  • I don’t seem to be getting better. 

I’ve tried to get back on track with eating about 100 times in the last six months. I know which foods  give me energy and make me feel good and which foods give me food cravings and make me feel out of control. Here are my top reasons I fall apart:

  • I’m too tired to cook, shop, prep food
  • I didn’t plan for my day properly
  • I’m in a lousy mood, so I just don’t care anymore
  • I’ve already eaten the wrong thing, so what’s one more
  • If it’s not about weight loss, why can’t I eat what I like?

It’s like a viscous cycle. I eat foods that suck the energy out of me and the. I have no energy. I don’t exercise so I have no energy. 

In addition, I’ve gone back to drinking regular coffee. It started with just a cup or two a week, but progressed to the point where I get a splitting headache if I don’t have 2-3 cups a day. 

After thinking about this for a couple of weeks, I’ve decided that I need a complete reboot. I need the human equivalent of turning it off and turning it back on again. 

I went back to where I started, when the journey was just starting. I need to set small enough goals that I think I can achieve them. I need to take it much more slowly than I have been. Things didn’t break down in a couple of weeks; it was a gradual process of little slips. 

I’m going to stop focusing on trying to be a runner so much. I’m going to put my attention on things that get my energy back. 

So here it is ~ 30 days to reboot my energy:

I need to focus on things that will give me energy. Whole foods, not processed. Eating more proteins and veggies and less sugars.  Avoid wheat. Cut down on caffeine. Move my body every day.  Think about how to improve sleep. 

I don’t have the answers now. I’m going to play with a few things and see how it goes. 

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Long Run Long Time Coming

I planned a long run today. I planned on getting up early to do it, but that didn’t happen. I spent several hours talking myself in and out of running at all. But finally I put on the gear, and that really is half the battle. 

I’m really glad I did the full 3.5 miles. This is farther than I’ve been running, but not by so much that I’m overdoing it. I have a plan on MapMyRun that will slowly increase my distance over the next few months. I don’t have an end game right now. It might be 6 miles. It might be 10. If all goes well it might be more. I’m taking it cautiously and am cautiously optimistic as well. 

The real test will be how I feel tomorrow. 

Wanted: Endorphins

My daughter used to say running was my drug of choice, and there was a certain truth to it. I loved getting that “runner’s high” and that kept me going. Signing up for longer runs, running faster, were just ways I chased better highs. 

I’ve been noticing lately that I don’t love running the way I used to and I’m starting to think it has to do with releases endorphins, or lack thereof. 

Today I had the closest thing to a runners high. It showed up in the last half mile of a 2.5 mile run. It wasn’t enough to get me to extend the run. More like a runner’s hiccup rather than a runner’s high. 

I’m not sure what exactly triggers runner’s high. It isn’t strictly a distance or pace thing. I know some runners who never get them (sorry mom). I just know that what flipped me from being someone who runs to a “runner” was largely based on those chemicals that literally make running worth the pain and effort. 

So if you want to know what I’m chasing when you see me running, now you know. I’m chasing my runner’s high. 

Ode to a Not So Bad Run

3 miles is better than 2
14:12 is better than 14:30
45 degrees is better than 34
3 runs this week is better than 1
Feeling that little, tiny flower of empowerment
        rising in your gut through the ash of cynicism and self-doubt
                    is everything.

Recovery has made wax poetic. Not sure why. 

Today was better. My running was better. My emotions were better. My expectation that I might run again this week, that I can get past a “bad run” was better. Just knowing I can get through a bad run helps me get to the next one. 

I’m sure I have many more bad runs in my future. But I also believe they will be followed by better runs. And maybe out there… way, way out there… are some good runs. 

Ode to a Bad Run

It’s too early.
I’m too sick.
     everything hurts
It’s too cold.
    too snowy. too icy.
I really dont want to.

OK, I’m dressed.
Are you happy now.
   Two pants.
     Three sweaters.  
        Wool socks. Gloves. Hat.
It’s still too cold. 

One mile.
That’s all I’m doing.
   sore
   breathing hurts
   is that a cramp
How can I run?

…well it is pretty,
I’ll give you that.
But I’m too slow.
I’m dragging.
I look ridiculous.

Isn’t it supposed to get easier? I’m not having any fun. 

One more mile.
I’m not kidding.
that’s it. I’m done. I…
huh? Look at that… 

I’m done
somehow
huh?

I guess it’s better than no run at all. 

Beach run

If I didn’t live near a beach, I most likely would never have started running.  Running gives me an excuse to go to the beach in February. 

I love running on boardwalk over pretty much any other surface. I love running in air that tastes salty. I love listening to the waves crash as I cool down and stretch. 

Driving home from NYC after work can take anywhere from 1.5 to 3 hrs, depending on which part of the city I’m coming from, how early I get out, and general traffic conditions. 

The beach is considerably colder than the mainland, and the sun sets very early in winter, so running on the beach is often a matter of timing and luck. 

Even though I was cleared to run for a while, I didn’t get going as fast as I could have/should have. It has been months since the weather conditions and my own sense of timing provided me with the opportunity or inclination. 

Today was the day, though. Weather was unseasonably warm, despite the fact that we are due for a blizzard tomorrow. I made it past the Queens border by 3, clearing my way to hit the beach before the sun went down. 

And so I ran… for sheer joy it seems. 

To TCS or No?

maybeIt’s February 2, which means I have less than 2 weeks to decide if I want to sign up for the NYC marathon.  I was so excited last year as I trained hard, only to have my hopes and dreams dashed in August. Injury prevented me from making it to the November race and even now, I’m only a few days into running and I’m starting to feel the tightness in the calves.

My head says “no way!” I mean it makes no sense to even think about it. Maybe… maybe I could do a half by the end of the year, but a full marathon?

But then again…

The way it works is this: I deferred last year, but I can’t defer again.  If I sign up and don’t run, I will have paid twice, but I don’t get another chance next year.  If I don’t sign up, the chances of me making the lottery again in a future year is pretty slim.

Look, I know there are other marathons. Probably some really fun ones.  Maybe I could think about them.  But it is kind of hard to give up on the dream all together.

So I think the next 14 days are going to be like the time between buying the Lottery ticket and hearing the numbers drawn. I can dream about what it might be like, plan out a running schedule, and pretend like this even has a chance.

But I’m pretty sure the odds are about as good as winning the lottery.

Run Two

I almost didn’t get my run in today.

I was going to run when I first go up, but I woke later than expected and needed to get some emails out by deadline.

Then I was going to run before driving into the city, but I couple of calls for work distracted me.

All this was before 9 am. I finished a meeting at two  (about 45 miles from home) and had a conference call at five. It was tight but I managed to get a run on the treadmill between these two appointments.

I don’t like running in the tread, but it wasn’t quite nice enough weather for an outdoor run.  I really think I could have talked myself out of the run, but I’m glad I didn’t.

Run 2 isn’t as momentous as run 1. It doesn’t have the same gravitas. I think that makes it harde, but you never get to run 5 or run 25 or run 200 if you don’t get through run 2.

First Run

The only way this works is if I start over; pretend I never ran before. I’m not looking at time or pace or distance. I’m looking at “did I get it there and run.”

I’m the unfaithful lover That has to earn back trust.

I’m the prodigal son who doesn’t deserve another chance but gets one anyway.

Loving my body means loving it when it can’t perform, and I’ve failed miserably on that front, but I’m ready to make amends.

So I ran today.

It was hard and lovely and just the beginning.

I promise to care for my lovely body that is sometimes amazing and sometimes fragile.

Wanted: Motivation

horseGetting “back on the horse” (so to speak) is harder than I expected. I will have a few good days followed by days of inertia.  Where did I find the time to run 25-35 miles each week? I barely have time to do a 20 minute run?

So I had a good couple of days, and then noticed that this weekend is Christmas Eve/Christmas Day.  (Of course I knew that, but realizing how this will effect my routines just sort of hit me.)

pie

Don’t be fooled… There will be pie!

I need (NEED) to keep things going. It is crucial to make my workouts part of my routine, even on days I have no routine. So I did something out of character – I invited a group of fb friends to do a fitbit challenge with me. I even gave them the real reasons why. I need to stay motivated in spite of all the holiday celebrations. I need to get my walking and my running in. I need to move my body. I need to eat as clean as possible.

I’m already planning how I’m going to get my steps in tomorrow. 20 min Run, followed by lots of shopping (which equals walking) and maybe walking to my sisters for Christmas Eve dinner, if I can convince my family to join my craziness. Sunday will be harder, but I’m hoping the friendly competition will get me to do what I need to do.

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