Tuesday, October 20, 2015

It hurts

The tracking is going well.   I have weighed myself almost every day and I'm happy to say that the numbers are dropping.   Official weigh in for the week is tomorrow....so holding it together for that event.  I did eat late last night and for that reason decided to forgo the weigh in this morning.  While I was out on my run I started to regret that decision.   Lessons learned.   I will weigh tomorrow.

Running.....well.....what can I say, but I have reached a decision.  The pneumonia set me back in the training by a few weeks.  I tried to pick it up and get back to it...but bumping my mileage so quickly didn't go over well with my body (maybe it was that in combination with the weather changing that messed with the arthritis....who knows).    But I have officially decided to announce that I will not be running the half marathon in a week and a half.  It pains me to say it.  It pains me to give up on this one.   I feel like a failure.  But, I also know that it wasn't right for my body at this time.   I will do things differently should I ever decide to once again attempt to undertake running a half marathon.   What would I do differently?   

1.  Be at a lower weight for one.   My arthritis typically hurts at a certain weight and fades away at a lower weight.  So it stands to reason that I would have much less difficulty at a lower weight.  

2.  Secondly?  I need to be much more consistent with my running leading up to the beginning of a training plan.  I would like to go into the training plan being able to consistently and somewhat easily run the minimum (or more) that the training plan expects.  Yes, I was following a training plan that 'assumed' that you could run 3 miles.   I could run/walk three miles, and that came back to haunt me time and time again as my base 'knowledge and endurance' were lacking from the get go.  

3.   Plan more wiggle room in the training schedule for the little surprises that life throws at me. (Like pneumonia.....and a raging case of poison that made running absolutely miserable....and a week of rain that messed with the arthritis......and whatever else that life throws at me).  Starting earlier......important!

4.  Possibly, try to find a support group that is also training for a half.  Even if it is just online, that would be super motivating for me for sure!  

So yes, the decision is made.  It's official.  It bothers me, but it's for the best.  Last Saturday I ran with the thought in mind that the run would be the deciding factor.  I ran 2.5 miles.   It felt good to be back out there.  I completed my zumba class on Monday.  This cool fall Tuesday morning I laced up my shoes again....and knocked out 3.5 miles.  I'm enjoying the shorter mileage.  I'm enjoying the lack of pressure to complete a certain number of miles.  I'm just enjoying the run. 

Today's run was a good one.   At about one mile in I started to falter.  I wanted to quit, I wanted to give up....I wanted to stop.  And I asked myself a question.......and this next part of my post is what came from my mind.  (As a side note, I have been long writing down lessons I've learned during weight loss.......this lesson grew in my mind while I was running....hopefully it wasn't a delusional thought and actually makes sense!)   Ohh, and for the record?   I didn't stop at that one mile "I think I need to stop moment"   I didn't stop until I was in front of my house at mile 3.5!

It hurts!

 The weather was perfect!  I was out running which should have made me smile to be outside on such a gorgeous day.   However, it wasn't an easy run.  It wasn't an easy run at all.  I wanted to stop so bad.  My breathing was ragged and choppy and my legs.  Oh, how my legs ached!  I wanted to stop.  I wanted to give up.  I wanted to call it quits!   But some words of wisdom that my brother had given me came to my mind.  He had gently (or not so gently) reminded me that aches and pains are there but they are rarely going to make you die...it's your brain TELLING you that you are going to die.  The being out of breath from pushing yourself?   Yeah, your not dying, you just think you are.  You would pass out first and that is your bodies way of regulating your bodies systems.  I remembered these words.  And I made it a point to ask myself this one question every time I wanted to quit.  "Am I dying?"

Exercise hurts.  It's not for the faint of heart at all.  It is going to hurt.  If you are really pushing yourself, you will ache.   I can't tell you how many days I have been sitting at my desk at work quietly minding my own business until I go to stand up.  Then the groan that rips forth rattles the windows and causes my coworkers to all look my way in surprise. (OK, they have gotten used to hearing me whimper a bit and to watching me hobble.)  My muscles protest and that's just the way it is going to be, because the end result is fantastic.  You see, exercise if not for the faint of heart, but it is for the people that crave a total success in their healthy lifestyle journey. 

Half of the world has heard and repeated the quote from one of the earlier seasons of The Biggest Loser. It is a quote from the trainer Jillian Michaels.  And what is that quote exactly?   "Unless you puke, faint or die;  Keep going"   Jillian Michaels nailed it on the head with that quote.   Pain is inevitable in exercise.  

There is a fine line between in the spectrum of pain.   Aches and pains and tiredness are one thing.   Hearing your bone crack as it breaks seconds before you fall to the ground, well that's a different story.  There has to be some kind of question or realization within us that lets us correctly make a decision to continue on or to stop.   For me that question is "Am I dying?"

Am I dying is my first question I ask myself when a run gets difficult.  It's the first question I ask myself when I want to back down my level of intensity at a zumba class. It's the first question on my lips.  Am I dying?  I will say that some times when I ask myself this question I actually have to stop and think about that question.  I will actually start at the top of my head.  "Is my head hurting?  NO.  Are my eyes seeing things clearly?   Yes.  Neck?  Arms?  Stomach?   Yes, I systematically work my way down my body (all while continuing to run, zumba, ride or whatever I'm doing).   I can pinpoint exactly where I'm aching and then I can correctly and efficiently make a decision.   I'm not going to lie, there have been times I have stopped, because of the pain but many many more times I have continued on because I have realized that 'it's just a stupid ache in my shin".

Drat, I could feel the hot spots only seconds before the blisters were just miraculously there.   I was a mile or so from where I parked my car.   I thought about my options.  Should I walk?  Should I run.  Yes, I better walk.  This was pain you know....pain demands one to stop running, right?    I stopped myself just in time and asked my question.  "Am I dying?"  I went right down the line and pinpointed exactly how I felt.  It was just those stupid dratted blisters.  Everything else felt wonderful.   I decided to keep running.   Ok, I'll admit that the decision was partly because I realized that the pain would end sooner if I ran back to my car versus walk.  I ran back, my blistered feet were on fire.  I felt utterly victorious.  Ohhh, and that last mile?  My fastest mile ever up to that point in my life. Turns out I wasn't dying!

I guess I'm maybe a bit more hard core than Jillian.  She gives permission to stop for Puking, fainting and dying.  My creed is only to stop if I'm dying.   

Am I dying?   Hasn't happened yet. 


KB said...

Jillian comes out with some beauties :)

finding lori said...

"Am I dying?" I like that and it's so true. Exercise IS hard work. No pain, No gain they always say! Oh and don't beat yourself up about the 1/2. You have no control over how your body reacts or if you get sick. Put it away and concentrate on moving forward :)

Shelley said...

I agree that exercise isn't supposed to be a walk in the park, metaphorically-speaking. Pushing yourself to comfortableness yields results. THAT SAID, it still should be enjoyable, so pick something that you like, mostly, even when you're (not) dying.

I think you made the wise decision to not do the half marathon right now. You missed out on too many long training runs and the race probably would have been pretty miserable - not what you want for your first half marathon experience!

MyStalkerIsFat said...

I wanted to run a half marathon last year, and I trained for it. I had even already paid for it. Then I got shin splints and horrible pain in my legs, and I knew I wasn't going to be able to do it. I hated not being able to run it when I had planned for it for so long. But you need to do what is best for your body right now, and train for another one later if you still want to, when you are healthier and can enjoy it instead of force yourself through pain that could cause worse injury.

Darcy Winters said...

I think you made the right decision. For one, the half-marathon never really was "your" dream. You were initially doing it because of your former friend. Secondly, it's possible that your body is not built for the endurance of a half-marathon. When you look to the Olympics - there are sprinters and there are marathon runners. You may find, that you're capable of a higher speed if you train for a shorter run. For some reason, we usually think longer is better and that's not necessarily always the case. Anyway, I'm sure you feel some relief so now you can concentrate on finding what goal you really want to set...for you! :-)

Fran said...

If I were you I would run a while just for fun, no pressure of runs you have to do. Just go out there and enjoy it. Since I decided I don't do races anymore, running is much more fun and relaxing. Sure there are days I don't feel like running and the good part is, that if I really don't want to, I don't have to go because there's no schedule.

MandaPanda said...

Very inspirational post and I like that you said you're enjoying the shorter runs. I don't like running. I like weights and zumba and kick boxing and things like that but I HATE running. As I was training for a 10k years ago, I stopped and asked myself why am I doing this when I really don't want to do it? I would reevaluate that before you start training for your next half marathon as well. If you like to run but don't like running 13.1 miles....maybe it's not the right goal. :)

Ann Summerville said...

I admire you. I have never been able to run. I know it takes a commitment and I haven't got there yet.

Anna said...

Sorry about the race, but it was great to read that you are enjoying pressure free running. I think it is a great idea for you to find a group that is also training for the same thing....great encouragement.

Anonymous said...

I know it's a disappointment, but please don't beat yourself up about it. It's not your fault. Life happens. Let your body heal and enjoy running again!

Denise said...

you go girl. you are doing great. you can, and will succeed. cheering you on.