Thursday, December 31, 2015

2015 - Year In Review

I want to take a moment and review 2015. This has been an amazing year. With my first 2 marathons, in addition to my berry first marathon that I ran in December 2014, I qualified for the Marathon Maniacs at the beginning of March. A short time later, in May, I then qualified for the Half Fanatics and became a Double Agent!

There were many ups and downs for me this year. For the first 5 months of the year I was steadily logging over 100 miles a month and running up to 4 days a week. Come June, I found myself burnt out and my desire to run was seriously lagging and lacking. I was so discouraged that I was having this issue. But I had over trained and simply needed a break.

In 2015, I have run:
° 4 marathons
° 4 half marathons (was supposed to be 5 but 1 got canceled due to weather)
° 8 5k's (but I walked 3 of them due to injury)
° 1 10 mile
° 2 10k's
° 1 5 mile
Needless to say, it was a busy year for me. According to my running log that I keep, I ran 882.32 miles in 2015! I had a goal of running 1200 miles in 2015, but between injury and burn out, that just didn't happen and I'm okay with that.

When I realized I was burnt out, I decided to take a break from running. My running friend, Kirsten, suggested 2 months off, so that's what I was aiming for. After the 2 months were over, I started running again. A week into running again, I stepped off a curb that I didn't realize was there and sprained and fractured my ankle. I was then in a walking boot for over 6 weeks. So, almost 4 months later, I finally got to run again...with only 5 weeks to try and be as ready as I could be for my 4th marathon. Eek! But I did it, I ran the marathon in South Padre and it didn't suck! It wasn't even my slowest marathon like I had thought it would be.

In 2015, I went for my first trail runs, or maybe I should call them "off road" runs to distinguish them from the many, many runs I've done on highly manicured and maintained city park trails. The first was when I was in Oregon visiting. My brother recommended the Peavy Auditorium and it was great, even had some adrenaline rush moments as I ended up running through some active logging areas. Super scary!

My out of state run for 2015 was the Rock 'n' Roll Portland Half Marathon. It was fantastic! Portland is such a beautiful city. As we ran through the city, I decided that on one of my Oregon trips, I want to run the Portland Marathon. On my list is also the Eugene Marathon.
I ran 4 marathons in 2015. I ran the Austin Marathon, the Army Marathon, the South Padre Island Marathon (an inaugural event), and the Rock 'n' Roll San Antonio Marathon. When I ran San Antonio, I scored myself an accidental PR by a minute and 29 seconds!

When I ran the South Padre Island Marathon, I was spurred into action to get what I consider my first running related tattoo.  I got a paraphrased JFK quote: “We choose to do these things not because they are easy but because they are hard.”  Why do I consider this a running related tattoo?  Simple.  If running were easy, everyone would do it.  Sure, running has its easy moments, but it’s mostly hard.  When I ran SPI against all odds and it didn’t suck, I was super emotional and wanted nothing more than to have that quote tattooed on me.
Overall, 2015 was an amazing year for me in the running world...despite the injury and all the down time from running I ended up taking. I really wouldn't change anything if I could.

How was 2015 for you?  What goals did you achieve?

Sunday, December 27, 2015

December Goals

I’ve slacked quite a bit on posting monthly goals.  In fact, I am resolving to post monthly goals at the top of each month every month in 2016.  Seriously.  I need something to help me stay focused and making goals for each month will help me to do that.  With that said, I’d like to tick off a few goals for the month of December.  This was the month of my birthday so that means I took 2 weeks off of work to celebrate.  It also ensured I got to go to BOTH agency Christmas parties and this year, I ran another marathon near my birthday.  Last year it was Dallas, this year was San Antonio. 

So, my goals for December were:
• run at least 75 miles (I had the same goal for November and blew it out of the water by running 91.4 miles)
• lose a couple/few pounds or at the very least, DON’T GAIN weight!
• work 2 shifts of overtime a week on the weeks I’m not on vacation
• go to the gym twice a week for strength training
• control my eating more/stick to my intermittent fasting schedule more

I more than met my goal of running at least 75 miles.  At the posting of this, I had already run over 90 miles!  I definitely and unfortunately succumbed to my eating disorder and gained more weight than I care to think about.  But, I’m stepping on the scale weekly again starting with January 2nd and am determined to undo the damage I did this month and finally get to goal.  I most assuredly hit my overtime goal for this month.  The first week I worked 2 shifts and last week I worked 3 and then I’m working 3 again this week.  I completely missed my gym goal and I think I’ve gone twice this month (three times if I make it there today).  And I totally crapped on my goal of getting back to intermittent fasting.  So, about 50-50 this month. 

How about you?  Did you make goals for December?  If so, how did you do?

Saturday, December 26, 2015

Weekly Recap

So, I’m sure you’ve noticed that the last couple weeks I haven’t posted my weigh ins and that I did “unofficial weigh ins” by using my old scale that I just haven’t gotten around to getting rid of yet instead of my new, fancy, Wi-Fi, auto-updating my MyFitnessPal and FitBit accounts Aria scale.  I touched briefly last week on my depression.  For the last 5-6 weeks, I’ve been having issues with my eating disorder.  My depression symptoms were overriding my medication’s ability to control them and when that happens, it sneaks up on me and next thing I know I’m already a week or two into regular binge eating before I realize what’s going on.  Now, I know what you’re thinking, how could I not realize that I’ve been binge eating for a week or more on the regular?  Bless you because you do not suffer from an eating disorder.  I’m not saying that sarcastically at all, either.  I mean it.  You are blessed.  I am cursed.  But, I can also see it as a blessing.  How, you might be saying?  Because having an eating disorder, or any kind of disorder or disease really, is a daily reminder that life is not easy and that if anything is worth it then you have to WORK FOR IT.  Nothing in this life is a given to you for nothing.  Sure, it’s a gift when you reach goals and accomplish things, but those are gifts you give yourself through your hard work and dedication to your goals. 

All that said, for better or for worse, I’m back on the Aria scale next week (hello New Year!).  I will tell you that I gained way more weight than I was expecting to gain, thanks to being unable to control my urges to binge most days.  You’d think it’d be easy to just say no to junk food, but unfortunately you’d be wrong.  It’s so hard.  But, I have to face the music and in today’s post we will see just what tune my scale is playing.  Will it be the death march or something more positive?  We shall see.  But first, let’s check out this week in exercise.

Saturday: another run with my awesome new friend and running buddy, Stacey!  She had 6 miles on her schedule and I wanted to do a little more.  My original plan was to get to the trail an hour early and run 4-5 miles before she got there.  However, I had a migraine all day on Friday that no amount of pain meds could seem to get rid of, so I opted for an extra hour of sleep Saturday morning instead.  So, what we did was the loop that is a little over 4 miles, plus about a half mile.  Stacey turned around and went back to her car to change into dry clothes and then head to the restaurant while I finished up another 2.5 solo miles.  While this worked great, I think I will hope for no all-day migraine the day before our runs together so I can arrive an hour early to get in the extra miles I need for my long run.  These Saturday runs together are pretty much going to be a weekly thing except when one of us has to work or has other plans.  I love this!
Sunday: so…I had actually wanted to run a total of 12 miles and not 8 on Saturday but was not up to finishing up the mileage after I got home in my sweat-damp clothes, so I moved the 4 mile difference to this day and decided to make it a SPEED workout!  Woot!  My first officially planned speed workout (that wasn’t on a treadmill)!  And instead of a tempo run, which is pretty much the only kind of speed work I have ever done, I wanted to do fartleks!  Oh yea!  Instead of doing fartleks, though, I perused the manual for my Garmin and figured out how to program interval alerts and did a 6 minute warm up and then alternated with 1 minute of near sprinting and 2 minutes of easy running, then a 5 minute cool down.  I loved it.  But, I will be honest, at 3.8 of the 4 miles, I was all "I’m ready to be done"...good thing I almost was!
Monday: HILLS DAY!!!  I love this workout!  5 miles of delicious hills!  They burn so good!  Ran this same route last week.  This day was about 4-5 seconds slower per mile than last week, but I had just run a good, hard speed interval workout run the day before so I’ll take it!
Tuesday & Wednesday: worked overtime on Monday and Tuesday nights, so no workouts on these days, just as much walking as I could do in order to hit my 10K step goal each day.

Thursday: Since I worked a double this day on the overnight shift, I’ll be sleeping Christmas morning, so I had to get my Christmas run done on this day!  It stupid warm down here in Texas right now, so I donned a green tank top, my INKnBURN red Christmas sport skirt, my brand new Hoka One One Speed Mafate green running shoes and a sparkly red Santa hat!  I got loads of honks and people waving at me as I ran down the sidewalks.  Also, the few people I came across walking and running were all happy to see me so festive.  I ran a 12K run (7.5 miles).  Why such an odd number, you’re asking?  Well, I signed up for this virtual race called The 12Ks of Christmas (instead of the 12 days of Christmas, get it?  haha).  The idea behind it was to do 1K each day leading up to Christmas, but 1) there are some days I literally cannot run because I’ve worked a double shift and 2) that’s only like .6 mile and that would just be annoying…a total tease.  So not doing that.  I just decided to run the whole 12K at once.  The run went great.  I ran by feel and somewhat by heartrate the whole run.  But I went faster than I meant to.  I meant to keep it around 11:00 min/mi the whole run, but ended up around a 10:34 min/mi average pace.
Friday: as mentioned, I worked overtime Thursday night, so sleep and hitting my 10K steps is all that happened on this day.


I’m a little annoyed I didn’t get to the gym AT ALL this week.  I was hoping I’d get there on Sunday, post speed interval run, but I went to a Christmas party Saturday night and didn’t get home until after midnight and I drank a little, so I slept waaaaaay later than I wanted to and lost about 2 hours of my day as a result.  So, there went the one opportunity I had to go to the gym this week.  Wah wah.  I HAVE to get to the gym once, preferably twice next week!  As it stands right now, I have no overtime scheduled at all next week, so I’ll have the time.  I just need to make it happen!

I would like to go over my “plan of attack” for how I want to do my workouts between now and the Austin Marathon on February 14th (V-Day!!!  Hopefully it’s a day of victory for me!).  I want to do 3 runs a week: a hill workout, a speed workout and a long, slow run (aka: LSD…that’s long slow distance, not drugs).  I also want to make it to the gym twice a week for strength training.  I will do both workouts as full body workouts.  One will be all the machines and the other will be done in the personal training area (last time I did that one I was SORE for a week!).  If I sign up for the once weekly membership at Orangetheory Fitness, then that will take the place of one of my gym strength training workouts, unless I have the time to still do both gym workouts AND the Orangetheory workout.  But, I’m going to wait until I get my tax return before I decide on Orangetheory (right now, I'm leaning heavily toward not doing it for various reasons).  Most of my tax return will be set aside for my April Oregon trip.

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Weekly Recap

I was a little late posting last week’s recap because it was bedtime last Saturday and I logged off the computer and THEN I realized I hadn’t posted my recap, but I had a 5K race Sunday morning and didn’t want to go through the process of logging back into my computer again, so I just went to bed.

This was week 2 of my birthday vacation.  My birthday was on Monday and was pretty much uneventful.  All my friends had to work and nobody sent me any birthday cards.  Only my friend Amanda gave me a gift.  I don’t have a whole lot of friends to begin with and my family lives 2500 miles away (or, rather, I live 2500 miles away from my family)…so, out of sight, out of mind, I suppose.  I went to the Cheesecake Factory and had a slice of cheesecake by myself.  Exciting!  I’d be 100% lying if I said this didn’t upset me, because it did.  But, whatever, it’s done and over and now I’ve moved on.  I much prefer to be positive about things and not dwell on things that upset me.

Anyway, let’s check out how exercise went for me this week.

Saturday: started this workout week off in a fantastic fashion!  Went for a 4.9 mile run around Ladybird Lake hike & bike trail with a coworker’s wife (not the same one that ran the marathon in San Antonio).  Her name is Stacey.  This was the first time her and I had met.  She’s easing her way back into running and I’m attempting to take it somewhat easy post-marathon, so it worked perfectly.  We trotted around the lake at an 11:15 min/mi average pace, chatting the whole time.  We even ran into Santa Claus!!!  He was there with the trail clean up group and they were raising awareness about trail clean up and inviting people to join them in helping clean up the trail.  Santa was nice enough to take a picture with us!  This run was lots of fun and Stacey and I will definitely do it again!
Sunday: since I ran the San Antonio RNR marathon last Sunday, which was the same day as the Brown Santa 5K Christmas-themed run I usually do, I had to find another Christmas-themed run to do, cue the Austin Jingle Bell 5K benefitting M.A.D.D. (Mothers Against Drunk Driving, in case you didn’t already know that).  It was held on Camp Mabry grounds.  I run 3 other races during the year on Camp Mabry, 2 are also 5K’s.  However, this was a different 5K route than the other 2 use.  It’s not a simple out-and-back course, at least not the whole thing is out-and-back, just a small portion.  Even though there were 2 hills, one was not so bad, the other was pretty good sized and almost kicked my behind.  Overall, this was a great run and I plan to do it again next year.  I ran it in 28:08, making it my 3rd fastest 5K time.  Unfortunately, the age groups were in 10 year blocks so I didn’t place in my AG.  However, I plan to be faster next year and take an AG award!  (stay on the lookout for my race report, pending official pictures, of course)

Monday: ♫happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me, happy birthday dear meeeeeee, happy birthday to me♫♪  Meh, my birthday isn’t exactly my favorite day.  People forget it all the time.  It’s only 11 days before Christmas, so that’s what everyone is thinking about.  I rarely get birthday gifts because people don’t want to buy 2 presents for the same person in less than a month, not that more than a couple people ever give me Christmas or birthday presents to begin with.  Anyway, this is the exercise portion of this post, so I have gotten way off track.  I was going to go to the gym and do the elliptical and the machines, but I really wanted to do a run.  So I ran 3.8 miles for my 38th birthday!

Tuesday: all I did this day was lots of cleaning and storage shelf building and made sure I hit 10K steps for the day.

Wednesday: I went with my friend Javier to check out Orange Theory Fitness.  I have to say that I like it.  I like it a lot.  I need to wait before I invest in it, but I think once I get my tax return that I can prepay for a couple/few months of the once a week basic membership that way there’s NO EXCUSES!  I loved the treadmill portion of the workout, weirdly enough.  I mean, *of course* I loved it because it WAS running…but it was the TREADMILL…aka the DREADmill…and we’ve discussed this before, I don’t like the treadmill.  I just get so bored on the treadmill.  However, the treadmills at OTF are right up against the wall and the wall is covered in mirrors and I found myself spacing off and not paying attention to the trainer and had to keep asking the people next to me what incline and speed I was supposed to be switching to.  Oops. 

Thursday: went for a run this day.  I decided that I wanted to hit some hills, so I drove over to the Far West Blvd area and ran up and down this one portion of Hart Ln that has killer hills!  I had driven down this road last week when I went to pick up my packet for the Jinglebell 5K.  Some of these hills were pretty serious, let me tell you how serious.  There was actually steep grade warning signs on some of them.  Also, when I was going down these super steep hills, I was basically just walking kinda fast to keep myself from tripping and tumbling all the way down the hill.  And then, what goes down must go back up, so when I went up the super steep hills, I was running on my toes like I was running up stairs because they were so steep that it was basically running up flights of stairs, minus the actual stairs.  I had to pump my arms and breathe mindfully to keep from dying on the way up those hills.  That said, I loved it!  All 5 miles!  This route is in my top 5 favorite routes of all time and I will run it again, maybe even once a week!  It’s a really good workout and a great way to build strength and stamina.

Friday: went to the gym and did my 65 minutes on the elliptical.  I wanted to do some strength training too, but between ridiculous traffic getting to the gym, having to pick up a prescription at the pharmacy and then in a time crunch because I was going to a Christmas party that started at 6pm, I only had time for the elliptical.  Boo!  But it was a good elliptical workout.  About 5.5 miles!


I don’t talk much on here about my depression issues.  They’re mostly under control thanks to well dosed medication, and thanks to a caring and attentive psychiatrist.  Do I wish I could control my depression without meds?  Absolutely, of course I do.  But I’ve tried and it’s not pretty.  I don’t really want to go into detail about it, but let’s just say I once almost checked myself into a hospital for suicidal idealizations.  Yea, not pretty, not fun, not something I want to dwell on or even talk about.  But, if you’re having problems, and you have no one you feel you can talk to, please, please, please message me and we can talk privately and know that I would never judge you or belittle you.  I am here for you, always.  You ARE worth it. 

That said, my birthday is not my favorite time of the year.  People think I take 2 weeks off for my birthday so I can do fun things to celebrate, but they’re wrong.  I take 2 weeks off work for my birthday so I don’t have to be around anyone I don’t want to be around if I get depressed and start crying uncontrollably…which happens more often than not when my birthday is involved.  It’s the time of year where it becomes glaringly obvious that I don’t have very many people in my life that truly care about me and, frankly, who wants to be reminded that your true friends can be counted on one hand only?  So, I take 2 weeks off and I isolate myself.  I use that time to deep clean my apartment and organize everything in it.  I go through all my clothes and donate what I don’t need to those that do need it.  I clean out my pantry of all the food I didn’t eat and I donate that as well.  I catch up on household and sewing projects and just generally distract myself as much as I can.  (disclaimer: I don’t want the people that DO care and show it on and around my birthday to think I’m ungrateful, because I love that they care and take the time and effort to show it.)

Okay, that’s more than enough of that.  I’d like to talk about a couple non-scale victories I had this week.  First, my Timehop showed me a picture I posted a year ago when I was starting a 90-day challenge.  I weighed around 20 pounds more than I do now.  (I’m not stepping on the FitBit scale again this week.  I’m unofficially weighing myself on my old scale right now, but I’ll face the music again starting next Saturday by getting back on the FitBit scale.)  That kind of brought the food issues I’ve had the last little over a month into perspective.  Sure, I’ve regained some of the weight I worked really hard to lose.  But you know what?  I could be 20 pounds heavier than my lowest weight instead of just 5-7.  So that helps a little.  Not a LOT, but a little bit.  Just to know that it could be worse. 

The second victory was when I went to the Orange Theory Fitness class, the heart rate monitor they loaned me (no, it did not replace my FitBit, it was just to monitor the data they use) wasn’t working properly and they wanted to make sure that I was wearing it properly and without even thinking, I pulled up my shirt and bared my whole stomach!  And I didn’t do it just once, I did it twice!  About 5 minutes later is when it hit me that I had done that!  Just a couple months ago I wouldn’t have done that.  At least not so easily and without hesitation.

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