Thursday, November 29, 2012


Because I have injured myself running in the past and was faced with the real possibility of never running again after reconstructive foot surgery, I'm trying to pay more attention to how my body feels this time around. 

I'm actually listening to those little aches and pains instead of brushing them off like I usually do.  Novel idea, I know.

So how do you differentiate between the I-haven't-run-in-ten-years kind of pains and the this-could-turn-into-an-injury kind of pain?

I've had some terrible tightness/achiness in my right shin that wraps around the outside of my leg to my calf.  It's not a shin splint {thank goodness!}, it's still there but it's lessening a bit with each run, and it dissipates quickly after I finish my workout.  Hmmm...

Since I am only running 3 days a week with the 10k Runner app, I took a few extra days after my workout on Sunday and I didn't run until last night.  The tightness was still there but much better than it's been and it resolved quickly after I finished stretching post-run.

So I'm encouraged by how I felt last night and I guess I'll just continue to take it slow.  In all of my athletic pursuits I have never listened to my body.  Pain was to be expected and you just pushed through it; at least that's how I went about things.  That's also probably why I have had knee surgery, two shoulder surgeries, and foot surgery... all on the left side of my body which I find really interesting.

Listening is hard for me but I am also enjoying feeling more connected to my body than I ever have.  I think the only other time I've paid this much attention was when I was pregnant and that was more because I was carrying around a baby that I was responsible and less about paying attention to myself.

Now I just need to start listening to my body in regards to the foods that I eat.  The food thing is a dicey one for me because I can quickly fall into obsessing but I'm hoping that progress in listening when I run will translate to progress in this area as well...

I ran/walked almost 2.5 miles last night on the treadmill and I felt pretty good.  I'm proud of myself for sticking with the plan and making a conscious choice to notice my aches and pains.  Both successes in my book!

Monday, November 26, 2012


In thinking about what I want this blog to be about, a lot of things come to mind.  I love to write and I want a space where I can write about this journey to getting healthier.  I also want a place where I can have accountability and writing almost anything down helps me solidify something as more than just a passing whim.

I also know how hard it is to have life derail you and also how hard it is to get back on track.  I know that when the best laid plans are interrupted we as humans can develop some really unhealthy ways to cope.  It has taken me a long time to identify these coping mechanisms and I want to redirect that energy into something positive.  If people choose to read then they will know they aren't the only ones.  If people don't read, well that's OK too because writing it out is good for me.

I don't want this blog to turn into nothing but numbers.  Success is great but there is more than one way to measure it.  I'm a numbers girl by nature, by profession, and by preference but I also know that sometimes a number is just a number and then there are other times that numbers don't tell the full story or even the truth.

So numbers will always have their place in my goals but they won't be my focus.  How I feel, how I grow, and how I change are much more important to me at this point in my life.  Learning how to feel a full range of emotions and express what I feel as an adult have been really difficult things for me do.  So this blog is more about the feelings of health... physical, emotional, mental, and otherwise.

Where I am today:
  •  I'm in decent shape.  I've had some form of a workout routine for a year now.
  •  I still need to lose weight to be healthier.
  •  I'm a reformed perfectionist but I still struggle.
  •  Stress, depression and anxiety are re-occurring issues.
  •  Disordered eating is something I'm working to change.
  •  Living a healthy lifestyle as a family is important for me.
  •  Setting a good example for my daughter is a priority.
Where I want to go:
  •  I want to be healthy.  Emotionally and physically.
  •  I want be in good physical shape.
  •  I want to get into that shape without over-training, obsessing, or injury because of overuse.
  •  I want to resolve my eating issues.
  •  I want to develop better ways to cope with stress, depression, and anxiety.
  •  I want to have a healthy family.
  •  I want to be a good example for my daughter.
These are my goals.  All achievable with patience and persistence.

And lastly, I've never seen myself as much of a cook.  I have always been able to cook; it's just not been something I've loved to do.  But as I've been learning to cook healthier for my family there are things I'm learning and recipes that I'm making that I would love to share all in one place.  So no, this isn't a food blog but good food definitely has it's place when your ultimate goal is healthy.

Sunday, November 25, 2012

On being a beginner...

I know that everyone has to start someplace but it's tough being a beginner; especially when you weren't a beginner at one time.

I'm impatient.  I want to feel healthier, I want to weigh less, I want to run faster and I want to run longer.  I was telling Steve yesterday that the cardio part of the running/walking aren't tough; it's my legs and the lack of running shape they are in.  You can do a million minutes on an elliptical, kick box, do just about any kind of work out... running strength is different. 

The 10k Runner app is great because I feel my legs gaining strength.  It's also sensible and achievable.  But it also makes me a tad impatient because it's only three days of running/walking per week.

Now I have no problem filling up my other days with workouts but I want to be adding up miles instead of contemplating my 10 year downward spiral that has gotten me to where I am today.  It makes me mad at myself and I know that's not healthy.

So instead of stressing over my lack of miles I'm trying to celebrate the little things:
  • like completing Week 1 of the 10k Runner.
  • eating pretty healthy considering Thanksgiving
  • working out and then sewing... priorities!  This is a big one for me!
I still have that nagging I'm-an-out-of-shape-beginner feeling but we all have to start someplace right?

The lesson today is if you are in shape, stay that way.  If you aren't, well we all have to be a beginner to get anywhere... at least that's what I keep telling myself.

Friday, November 23, 2012

Turkey Planking

picture credit here

I picked Thanksgiving morning to start a plank workout.  I've known for awhile that these are good for you but good grief they are awful when you first start.  And I'll confess, my abs never returned to their pre-baby shape and yes, I know that was almost 9 years ago. 

But in reading the ultimate authority on all things healthy and workout related, The Internet, I found this blog {which I love BTW} and she shows a bunch of different plank variations.  I've always managed to over-do it and either somewhat hurt myself or full on injure myself in the past so I'm determined to get healthy the right way this time and from what I read, core strength is really important.

I made the best baked pumpkin oatmeal for my family on Thanksgiving morning, we watched the parade, I cooked squash casserole and then it was time for me to go get ready.  I paused at my rolled up workout mat and thought why the heck not...

I unrolled it and spend the next 10 minutes in a variety of plank positions.  It was awful and hard.  And then I got mad at myself for being so out of shape.  So then I did some more planks.  I wrote everything that I did down in my journal and hopped in the shower. 

By the time I was drying off I knew I was going to have a problem with being sore.  I had to sit down on our bed to put my makeup on because every part of my core was shaking too much to lean over the counter in front of the mirror.  Steve came through the bedroom, looked at the workout mat on the floor and I informed him that I wasn't going to be able to stand later on in the day but to to just prop me up on a couch or something.

It turned out to not be that bad but I am definitely sore this morning.  The sad part is that I didn't even do that much.  Here's the rundown:
  • Elbow plank: held for 10 seconds x 6
  • Hip dips from elbow plank: 10 dips per side x 3
  • Up/down plank: 20 up/down x 2
  • Beginner Elbow plank: held for 1 minute x 3
That was it and those numbers hurt my competitive nature more they hurt my abs...

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Day One

Today I ran for the first time in almost 10 years

I was an athlete in jr. high, high school, and college.  I was never a runner though; I just ran to be in shape for whatever season I was playing.  After college I entered the working world and well, I got out of shape.  But then I started working out again and decided that I should run a marathon; the Jamaica Reggae marathon to be exact.  Of course I ran some other races in between training for the big race but I also broke a tiny bone in the ball of my foot. 

Turns out that tiny bone {sesamoid bone} is pretty important in how your foot operates.

What did I do?  I ran the marathon anyways.  I got a few cortisone injections and I sucked it up.  I finished with a respectable enough time of 4:32 considering it felt like I had a sharp rock in my shoe and I was shredding the soft tissues in the bottom of my foot.

Don't do what I did. 

I ended up having surgery to reconstruct the bottom of my foot and to do a bone graft because this tiny bone wouldn't heal on its own.  Cast... crutches... non-weight bearing for 12 weeks and oh, a DVT because I was non-weight bearing for so long.  So then there were the blood thinner injections I had to give myself. 

In my stomach.

So why the heck am I running again?  Because I need to.

I struggle with depression and anxiety.  I have since college but then you add the stress of a cheating {ex} husband, having a baby, getting a divorce, being a single mom, getting re-married, raising a bright and um, high-strung little girl, a stressful job in the world of finance, and of course the normal life stuff too, I found myself in a counselor's office talking about how something had to give.

Problem is, nothing can really give.  I'm a wife, a mom, employee, quilter, etc. and stress doesn't just go away if we ask it to.  My counselor asked me to think back to a time where I handled stress better.  And for the first time I let my mind wander back to running and my marathon days.  Now, I've purposely avoided thinking of those times because while I was happy, confident, and healthy... the other shoe was about to drop and life as I knew it was about to come crashing down.

Shortly after my marathon my now ex-husband confessed to having an affair and all the mess that behavior entails.  And of all the asinine things to blame that kind of behavior on, one of those things was my running.  Not because it took time away from "us" because he worked a lot and that's when I ran but if I think about it, I believe it was more about the confidence that I gained, an accomplishment that he didn't have, and the fact that being more confident made me harder to "control".

So stopped running.  I wanted my marriage to work.  And then I got pregnant and all hell broke loose.  That was the official end of my running days and really, much activity at all because I was basically just trying to survive.

Now back to thinking about the times when I handled stress better and after letting myself open that painful file again, I know that I was at my best when I was running.  There is absolutely nothing like warming up, getting through that first mile or two, and then letting your mind run away as it is doused in endorphins.

I miss that.  Doesn't that make you want to run?  It sure makes me want to.

I never ran with music.  Partly because I was always afraid I wouldn't hear a bad guy approaching to steal me... but mostly because I didn't want any noise in my mind.  I also avoided gyms and treadmills at all costs because there's just too much going on around me in those places.

So today, for the first time in almost 10 years, I ran.  It wasn't easy but it felt good.  I'm determined to do things better this time around.  No marathons for me and I'm going to adhere to a training plan that will let me ease back in to running.  I'm using the 10k Runner app on my iPhone.  My how far technology has come in ten years!

So here's to day 1.  The start of being healthier and stronger, mentally and physically.

And BTW, I'm not a new blogger... here's my other blog where I talk about quilting, fabric and lots of other stuff.  I just figured it was a good idea to avoid turning that blog into a running/healthy living blog.  So if you are new to "me", welcome!  If you wandered over here from That Girl... That Quilt, welcome as well because I hope to find some quilters and crafter who are runners too.

I never plan to give up quilting for running though.  Hence the name... That Girl Runs With Scissors.