Monday, July 27, 2015

Orange Leaf Half Marathon Recap

This was a small, local race, so there was no expo for the packet pickup.  I was completely cool with that because I had no money to spend at an expo anyway.  This race is hosted by Orange Leaf Frozen Yogurt company, so the packet pickup was located in their New Braunfels store.  There wasn’t a line for pickup and me and my friend Kirsten were able to basically walk right up to the table, give our names and get our bibs and shirts.  We were in and out in less than 5 minutes.  Easy peasy, lemon squeezy.  We didn’t indulge in any frozen yogurt as there would be free frozen yogurt the follow day for all runners post-race!!!  How cool is that?

After we got our bibs and shirts, we headed just slightly down the road to our hotel and checked in.  We watched TV for a couple hours.  This was a “treat” (as she said) for Kirsten because she doesn’t watch TV and hasn’t watched TV for about 5 years.  So we watched junky TLC shows.  It was awesome.  We went to dinner at BJ’s Brewhouse.  I had never been there before but had heard great things about their pizzas.  As I said, I didn’t have much money to spend on things this weekend and had to keep my dinner tab (with tip) limited to $36 or less.  Kirsten bought us a calamari appetizer.  OMG, the best calamari I have ever had.  It was so smooth and buttery.  Not rubbery at all.  I got the mini BJ’s Favorite pan crust pizza and the strawberry and ice cream “beignet.”  I say it that way because an ACTUAL beignet is served topped only with powdered sugar.  I should have done what Kirsten did and gotten a McDonald’s hot fudge sundae with nuts on the way back to the hotel.  Oh well.

Here’s my flat runner:

We watched more junky TV until it was time to try and go to sleep.  Kirsten had no problem dropping off to sleep.  However, I had slept until 11:15 (hooray being pseudo sick with allergies and sinus issues) that morning so I had a lot of problems falling asleep.  Part of the problem was the a/c was set to 70° and I was warm, so I got up and clicked it down a couple degrees and that was better.  I finally got to sleep but woke up a few times during the night.

4:45am came early.  We were going to stop and grab me an iced coffee at McDonald’s on the way to the race start area.  We got parked and chilled in the car for about 5 minutes before Kirsten announced she was going to go do her warm up shuffle.  I almost joined her, but decided not to.  Maybe if it was a 5K I definitely would have joined her.  We had gotten to the race start way early so we got super close parking.  There was a short line at the portas, but I mostly went out of habit.  Then we went near the start area so I could do my leg swings and other warm ups I do.  While I was doing that, a guy wearing a Half Fanatics shirt came over and let me know they were doing a group photo in a couple minutes if I wanted to get in it.  Of course I did!

Shortly after the photo op, we made our way to the start line.  Like I said, this is a very small race.  There were 381 participants this year. 

Okay, so let me tell you how this race went.  Kirsten was pacing me and we were hoping for a 2:15:00 finish for me.  That meant we had to do a 10:20 pace for the majority of the race and then kick it up a few seconds per mile for the last few miles.  I felt great at first.  Around mile 2.5, it started feeling harder and my breathing was more labored.  We slowed down a little.  Finally, around mile 4.5, I told Kirsten to go on and run her race.  I ran for about a mile with a nice lady named Donna at about a 12:00 min/mi pace before I had to stop and walk.  I got emotional when I stopped to walk.  I haven’t walked in a race beyond walking the water stops since Helvetia last June.  I was so disappointed in myself.  But, then, what do I expect?  Honestly.  I haven’t run more than once a week the last few weeks, the few weeks before that I hadn’t run more than twice a week.  I was far from trained for this race and I attempted to run like I was trained.  Mistake.  Biiiiiiig mistake.  And I paid for it.

Everything was okay until mile 8 when the wheels started to fall off and I ran a 13:59 mile.  Ugh.  I had taken a Stinger Ginsting gel at mile 5 and hadn’t felt any difference…no little boost at all.  I was taking in the cups of Gatorade at every aid station that had Gatorade.  My back started cramping and when I would take my walk breaks I had to stretch it.  Probably around mile 9, I noticed that it felt like I was developing blisters on a couple of my toes on my right foot.  At about mile 10.5, I discovered I had to go to the bathroom.  Ugh.  Mile 11 the wheels straight up fell off the cart.  A 15:16 mile.  What the heck?  Seriously?  I did pick it up a little after that and mile 12 was 14:58 and mile 13 was 14:51.  I ran the final .23 at an 11:31 pace.  I refuse to WALK across the finish line.  This was my second slowest half marathon EVER.  The only time I ran slower than this was at my very first half marathon after I hadn’t ran at all for 6 weeks.  So, I guess that running just once or twice a week is NOT enough to keep up my fitness levels.  Duh, right?

Kirsten had told me when she took off from me after mile 4 that she would run back along the course and find me to help me finish strong.  So, I figured any time after mile 11.5 I should expect to see her running back toward me.  However, she didn’t do it.  She was waiting near the finish, probably about 100 feet from the finish line.  She told me after she finished that she was actually starting to get worried.  She saw the guy in the Half Fanatics shirt that had approached me pre-race about the group photo and asked if he had seen me.  He said “the girl with the tattoos?  Yea, she’s right behind me.”  Haha!  Kirsten said it is a good thing I like to dress up for my races…makes me easy to spot!

I was 103rd out of 200 total females and 15th out of 22 in my age group.   Heh, at least I wasn’t dead last, right?  And, even better than that, at least I finished!  As my friend Kirsten posted in response to my Facebook post about this race, I “sucked it up and finished.”  And, really, that is ALL that matters.  I embraced the suck and I did it.  I’ve said it before…I NEVER regret a run or a race.  While I was running this race and it was sucking, I had the realization that even though it sucked I was actually still having fun!  Yep!  It’s true!
Just past mile 1 on the way out (this was an out-and-back course) there was my favorite sign.  But, at that point I was still going for a PR.  Well, on the way back, I had clearly abandoned any chance of a PR, so I decided to stop and snap a photo of it!
Kirsten snagged 2nd in her age group!   So awesome!  She ended up finishing in 2:02 and some seconds.  Her friend that runs with her in Rogue got 1st in her age group.
I was so happy to run into Donna after the race.  I truly do love running and how it brings so many people together.  Donna and I had some great conversation in that one little mile we ran together.  It got me thinking a lot about things I need to do to make myself a better version of myself.  So, thank you so much Donna!
Overall, I’m very happy with this race.  There were aid stations almost every single mile.  All had water and most also had Gatorade.  I would definitely like to do this race again next year and see if I can keep up my training up until the time for the race and THEN start my break from running for the year.

Best funny from this race?  My shorts were on backwards the entire race!  I discovered this fact when I was using the porta post-race.  Hahahaha!

Saturday, July 25, 2015

Weekly Recap

Seems like I’m starting to get in a good habit of working out more days than not.  The last 2 weeks I have worked out 5 out of 7 days.  Last week I exercised all days I didn’t work overtime at work.  This week, I exercised all but one day that I had the opportunity to work out.  I only worked 1 shift of overtime this week, but still took 2 rest days.  I could have worked out last Saturday, but didn’t.
• Saturday: I was contemplating doing a run this day but ended up doing nada.  I can’t remember why.  I just know that nothing workout-wise happened.  So, REST DAY!
• Sunday: went for a 16 mile bike ride with my friend, Sam!  We made these plans early last week, so I’d been looking forward to it for almost a week.  I haven’t ridden a bike WITH another person in well over 10 years, so this was really nice.  I didn’t let him know that he was obligated to take a selfie with me until I was about to take said selfie.  Ha!  Ninja style!  Nah, he was cool with it, actually.  It was a really good ride and we both agreed that we need to do this again.

• Monday: I was going to do a 10K run this day but, 1) I had random and unignorable nausea Sunday night which prevented me from falling asleep for over an hour and then I just slept horribly after that.  THEN, as if that wasn’t enough, I set my alarms for the wrong day, so instead of waking up at 6:45, I woke up at 10.  Oops.  Good news is that I did still have time for a gym workout, sans the stair climber.  So, that’s what I did!  No excuses!!!

• Tuesday: since I didn’t run on Monday, I decided would run on Tuesday.  Did I?  Nope.  I slept horribly the night before yet again and was completely not up for getting up at 6:45am.  So I reset the alarm for 7:30 and then proceeded to hit “snooze” for an hour.  Ugh.  I had changed my workout from running a 10K to doing the hour Bob Harper’s “Yoga for the Warrior” DVD workout (an hour long), but ended up only having time to do Bob Harper’s “Bob’s Workout,” part 1 (30 minutes).  But, wow, I forgot how hard that workout is…and didn’t even go all out because, well, it was hard.  It was a good workout and, as usual, I never regret a workout.

After my workout and before work, I had my first therapy appointment with the new therapist.  His office is like 2.5 blocks away from work, so I parked at work and walked over.  This saved me money on the parking meter AND I wasn’t quite yet at 100% of my daily activity per my Polar M400 after the workout I did.  After my appointment, I walked to Einstein Bros Bagel Company and got a fountain drink, then walked back to my car, moved it off the hot roof of the parking garage to a lower level and turned the a/c on full blast.  Thanks to my post-appointment walk, I reached 100% within a couple hours of going in to work.  YAY!
• Wednesday: I had planned on a 10-ish mile bicycle ride.  I was talking to my friend Sam Tuesday evening at work and mentioned this and he asked if he could go with, so I of course said yes!  Riding bikes is way more fun with a friend!  So, I got up early, though not as early as I had planned because I set my alarm for the wrong day…ugh…third time in the last 7 days I have done that.  But I still got up early enough that it didn’t mess up our plans.  We rode 10.75 miles per my Garmin Edge, took our selfie together, and then went and ate pancakes!  He went home, I showered and then laid down for an hour and a half nap.  I slept GREAT for that hour and a half!!!  My abs are starting to get a little sore from Tuesday’s workout DVD.  By the end of this day, however, they were pretty dang sore.

• Thursday: I woke up before my alarm by over half an hour this day, but laid in bed until after I’d gone through all the snoozes on my alarm.  Haha!  Some days you just don’t want to get out of bed.  But, I DID get out of bed and got ready.  I went and filled my car up with gas and got an iced coffee from Starbucks before heading to the gym.  I did 46 floors in 10 minutes on the stair climber, then about an hour of strength training.  My abs were super sore from the Bob’s Workout DVD I did on Tuesday, so I had to adjust the weight down a little bit on the exercises that use my abs even ever so slightly.  But, on some of the other exercises, I actually upped the weight I was lifting!  YAY!

• Friday: REST DAY!  Worked overtime on the morning shift, so no workout this day.  Also, my abs are still pretty sore from Tuesday’s workout.  I think I definitely need to do 1 workout DVD a week just to mix things up and use different muscles than I’m used to and to using.

So, I completely spaced on doing my tape measurements last week.  So, here are my measurements and my current weight and body fat % and BMI stats:

I'm down another 1.8 lbs and .6% body fat from last week's measurements.  I didn't use my Omron when I weighed in a couple weeks ago, but i'm down 3.8 lbs since that weigh in 2 weeks ago.  I'm pretty happy with my results so far.  I just hope I can stay motivated and keep losing every week.  I'm really hoping to hit my goal of getting as close to 170 as possible by the Austin Halloween Half Marathon on October 24th.  I really want to look as good as possible in my costume for that race.

Sunday, July 19, 2015

What's Cookin'

A few weeks ago, one of my co-workers brought in some homemade fried rice for a going away party we were having.  She's part Filipino, so this is sort of what would be called a "family recipe."  Except there is no actual recipe.  There is basically just a method.  I asked her to explain the method to me, and am now putting it down here as a recipe.  She said to start with whatever meat you want to put in there and season it with whatever spices you want, so I chose shrimp and beef seasoned with garlic powder, cumin, and black pepper.


• 1 cup dry rice of your choice (I chose Basmati as it's my favorite)
• 1 lb cubed stew meat
• one 12 oz package precooked medium shrimp
• 2 cups water
• approx 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 1 medium onion
• 1 package frozen mixed veggies
• 1/2 tbsp Kikkoman low sodium soy sauce

• cook the rice in your preferred method.  For ease of prep, I simply followed the package's directions on how to cook rice in the microwave.  Once the rice is cooked, set aside so it can cool to room temperature.
• next, brown your meat in a non-stick skillet with some of the oil.
• when the meat is fully browned, add your frozen veggies, still frozen.  Cook until the veggies are tender and fully mixed with your meat.
• remove meat and veggies, with juice, from pan and set aside.  Put the rest of the oil in the pan and turn up the heat.  Heat the oil until it is HOT HOT HOT.  Add the rice and soy sauce and fry the rice.  Be careful to scrape the bottom of the pan to keep the rice from sticking/burning.
• add the meat and veggies back into the pan and mix with the rice.  Do NOT put all the meat/veggie juice into the rice or it will be soggy.  You do not want soggy fried rice.  Trust me.  I added about half of the juice into the rice/meat/veggie mixture.  Cook the meat, veggies and rice until they are fully combined with each other.
• Now, I got a little mixed up when I was cooking and sort of skipped a step.  I say sort of because I prepped the onion by rough chopping it and setting it aside.  HOWEVER, I completely spaced on cooking it when I was "supposed" to.  Per my friend, you're supposed to cook the onions IN the rice as you are frying it.  So, since I forgot to do this, I just sauteed the onions by themselves and then added them into the mix.  No biggie.
This is surprisingly a fairly healthy dish.  You can add more rice, if you wish, but in my dish the rice is just sort of an add in and not the main focus of the dish.  Also, I made this as a main dish, not a side dish.  If you're doing it as a side dish, then I would suggest doubling the amount of servings to 10 instead of the 5 I did.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Weekly Recap & Starting Over

Sooooo!  Looks like I had a week worthy of a recap this past week!  YAY!  Let’s get this ball rollin’!!!
• Saturday: ran the Orange Leaf Half Marathon with my friend Kirsten.  It went okay.  Nowhere near as well I was hoping it would.  I gave up goal A about 1/3 of the way in.  Goal B got shot out of the sky a mile after that.  Goal C died a couple miles later.  Goal D where all I wanted to do was finish is all that happened.  Haha.  Stay tuned in the next week or so (after I get the official pics I will post it) for my race recap for the full story.

• Sunday: since I was most definitely NOT trained properly for running a half marathon, I was pretty sore all over the place from the half marathon.  Seriously…all over the place.  Kirsten had recommended post-race that I go for a walk to break up the lactic acid in my muscles.  I had originally planned on hitting the gym, but decided it best to follow her advice.  So, I went for a 5.3 mile walk!  Got a little sun in the process.  About ¼ of a mile into the walk, I realized that I forgot to slather myself with sunscreen.  Did I turn around and go put some one?  Nope.  I’m stubborn like that.  Weird thing is, if I had been running at the same time of day for the same amount of time I was walking, I would not have gotten burned at all.

• Monday: I had an early morning dentist appointment that isn’t all that far from my house.  So, Sunday evening I decided that instead of driving to my appointment, I would ride my bike and then after my appointment, I would take the long way home and get a nice long bike ride in.  Turns out the dentist office is 6 miles almost exactly from the front of my apartment building.  The appointment took about 50 minutes.  My teeth are fabulous, by the way, according to the dentist.  YAY!  The long way home consisted of 12 miles!  Whoa!  So, a total of 18 miles with a LOT of hills included were ridden.  I got to use the cycling setting on my Polar M400 activity tracker.  I also got to use my Garmin Edge cycling computer/GPS for the first time!  I got up to 26 mph at one point…going downhill, of course.

• Tuesday:  REST DAY!  Also, I worked overtime on the night shift Monday night, so no choice in the matter really.
• Wednesday: so, I set up this post at the beginning of the week and put notes like “did I go to the gym as planned?” and such.  This day had such a note and I would like to report that YES I did go to the gym as planned this day!  I had set my alarm for 8:15 but hit snooze until 8:30.  I slept great.  You know you’ve had a great night’s sleep when it feels like you’ve been asleep for a really long time.  I got up, got dressed for working out and then promptly sat down at the computer.  This was payday, so before I did anything else, I had to pay my bills.  And while I was online, I ordered my official photos from the Orange Leaf Half, paid registration fees for a couple 5Ks, ordered a couple more of the toe spacer bunion thingies because there was a Groupon deal for them going on.  Then, I had to go to 3 different stores to get my vitamins, jugs of water, and some other grocery items.  THEN I could go to the gym.  At this point it was almost 10:45 before I got to the gym.  I have to leave for work at 12:40.  That SOUNDS like plenty of time to workout, go home, shower and then go to work.  However, I worked a double (16 hr) shift this day, so I had to make sure I had ALL of my food for the entire day, my evening vitamins, enough bottles of water filled up, then I also had to cook my eggs.  I was 1 minute late leaving.  Whew!  Anyway, I kicked it into overdrive at the gym and got a good calorie burn going.  I got everything except my 10 minutes on the stair climber done. 

• Thursday: another REST DAY due to working overtime the night before.  I did call and make my first appointment with the EMDR therapist for next Tuesday before work.  So, next week I’ll be telling you about how that went!
• Friday: we’ll start this day off with I was originally looking to work overtime on the morning shift this day.  However, after partially failed sleep Thursday morning due to my neighbor moving out of her apartment and then doing kitchen upgrades in it before the next person moves in and there was a lot of banging about going on and I missed out on about an hour of quality sleep as a result, I opted to not get just 4.5-5 hours of sleep and skip the overtime even though I did really want the money from it.  I did, in fact, make it to the gym after getting a fantastic full night of sleep!  Going into this workout, I was planning to do 10 minutes on the stair climber, do my strength training circuit of 90% of the machines, then hit the stair climber for another 10 minutes.  However, I upped the weight I was using on most of the machines so by the time I got done with my strength training, I was done and ready to go.  So I did. 

I am so beyond proud of myself for this week.  Every day that I was able to and had the time to workout (aka – not working a double shift) , I actually did!!!  This might seem like a small thing to some of you, but right now, with how sketchy my motivation and drive to go workout and then the complete lack of follow thru that I’ve been suffering from as far as my workouts is concerned, this is huge for me.  Also, I went back to eating according to a structured eating plan and stayed within my calories all week as well.
Something else I would like to recap from this week is that I decided it was time to start actually tracking what I put in my mouth everyday instead of just logging into MyFitnessPal every day so I can keep up my log in streak.  My weight has creeped back up over 190 and that is just plain unacceptable.  I need to lose 20 lbs.  I need to lose more, but I’m just going to focus on 20 instead of 28.  Seems like a much more manageable number, don’t you agree?  That last 8 is pretty much just a vanity 8 lbs anyway.  But I seriously need to drop the 20.  I want to lose this 20 lbs by the time of the renaissance festival, mid-October.  I want to look good in my costumes and not have to worry about if I will fit into them.  So, 3 months to lose 20 lbs.  I can do this!
Tuesday, since I had worked overtime Monday night and got off work at 6am and had to wake back up shortly after noon to be back at work by 1:45pm, I usually pack my cereal and eat it in my car in the parking garage at work.  Well, about 2 miles from my apartment on my way to work I realized I didn’t pack my cereal.  I had to stop at the gas station for gas anyway so I figured I’d go in and see what healthy options that weren’t expensive (day before payday, you know) that I could get to eat.  I ended up with 2 of those single-serve portioned out things of Cherrio’s and a 2 cup bottle of 2% milk.  I would have really preferred to have almond milk.  That 2 cups of 2% milk was 260 calories all by itself!  The cereal was 300 by itself.  Oh well, I still stayed within my calories for the day.  Not as much within my calories as I would have been had I remembered my own cereal, but it worked out in the end.
I said on Wednesday that I registered for a couple 5Ks.  For the past couple years, I have ran the Schlotzsky’s BunRun.  2 years ago, before it moved to its current time of the year and physical location, and when they also still had the 10K option, I ran the 10K.  Last year, I ran it at its new time of year and location as a 5K (that’s the only option they have for it now).  I found out about a smaller local 5K early last month that benefits a fund for people with melanoma cancer called Fight Like a Girl 5K.  I found out this past week that the BunRun is scheduled for the same day as the Fight 5K is.  So, I had to decide which one I wanted to do more.  I decided to go with the Fight 5K.  I also registered for the Run With the Heroes 5K that I have done the last 2 years.  This year we are running in honor of Travis County Sheriff’s Deputy Hollis that was killed in the line of duty during heavy flooding last year.  Since I’m a member of Team Sheriff, I’ll be getting a tech shirt that is being made in memoranda of Deputy Hollis.  I plan to wear the shirt when I run the race.
So, I randomly stepped on the scale last week on Friday, I think.  I had no particular purpose or reason other than I was just curious.  I hadn’t stepped on the scale in quite a while…probably about a month, maybe a little more.  I was a little disappointed to see that all the weight I had lost during my 90 day challenge that ran from mid-December to mid-March was back.  Plus a couple pounds.  Ugh.  That mixed with me actually making an effort this week with getting my workouts done and I think I’m going to start doing my weekly weighins and Omron measurements.  I was going to do my different inches measurements, but I forgot to do that when I go up this morning.  I'll do them tomorrow morning if I remember and post them tomorrow by themselves.

I have lost 2 lbs since I stepped on the scale last week on Friday out of curiosity.  So, while I had hoped my efforts had garnered a little more of a drop than 2 lbs, I'll take what I can get.

Sunday, July 12, 2015

What's Cookin'

This "episode" of What's Cookin' is simple.  I made a quicky, easy, cheap, low calorie, healthy snack.  Baked green bean "fries."  I've been itching to make these for a few weeks now and finally got around to it.

First, I bought about 5 lbs of fresh green beans from the local chain farmer's market styled grocery store (it's called Sprouts, if you're curious).  They have the best prices on fresh produce and it's usually a really good quality as well.
I used my kitchen shears to snip the ends off of the beans and spread them out on a foil-lined cookie sheet.  I then sprinkled Hidden Valley spicy ranch mix over them.
One packet of the spicy ranch mix was enough to season about half of my beans.  I could have used the second packet I bought, but decided to mix it up a little bit and used garlic pepper to season the other half of the green beans.

I then baked them close to the top element at 425° for 15 minutes each batch.  I made 4 batches.
These will make a great volumetrics type snack for me this week.  I bought about 5 lbs, like I said, and will be splitting them up into 5 servings.  So, that's about 1 lb per serving!

I would like to buy a food dehydrator and try making these in it.  I know it will make them crunchy and probably easier to store.  I could make a huge batch of them and just vacuum seal them into the 1 lb serving sizes and stick them in the pantry.


Saturday, July 11, 2015

I Think It's Time

At the Orange Leaf Half this morning, I had the pleasure of meeting a wonderful lady named Donna.  We only ran together for a mile, but it was a great mile filled with great conversation.  We talked about eating disorders and the pressure that is put on women by society to be a certain version of themselves.  She said something that I already knew but have been pushing to the side.  She said that I would most likely benefit from surgery.  Well, I procrastinated a little too long for getting my tubal removal surgery done this year (in regards to my running training and the end of the fiscal year).  So, I think I will use the money I had put on my flexible spending account and get me some much needed therapy.  I want to do this certain form of therapy that is highly recommended to me for my situation.  It’s called EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing).  It’s supposed to be fantastic for treating PTS and PTSD, anxiety related disorders and general trauma response issues.
Here’s a description taken from the website:
“EMDR (Eye Movement Desensitization and Reprocessing) is a psychotherapy that enables people to heal from the symptoms and emotional distress that are the result of disturbing life experiences.  Repeated studies show that by using EMDR people can experience the benefits of psychotherapy that once took years to make a difference. It is widely assumed that severe emotional pain requires a long time to heal.  EMDR therapy shows that the mind can in fact heal from psychological trauma much as the body recovers from physical trauma.  When you cut your hand, your body works to close the wound.  If a foreign object or repeated injury irritates the wound, it festers and causes pain.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  EMDR therapy demonstrates that a similar sequence of events occurs with mental processes.  The brain's information processing system naturally moves toward mental health.  If the system is blocked or imbalanced by the impact of a disturbing event, the emotional wound festers and can cause intense suffering.  Once the block is removed, healing resumes.  Using the detailed protocols and procedures learned in EMDR training sessions, clinicians help clients activate their natural healing processes.

Twenty positive controlled outcome studies have been done on EMDR.  Some of the studies show that 84%-90% of single-trauma victims no longer have post-traumatic stress disorder after only three 90-minute sessions.  Another study, funded by the HMO Kaiser Permanente, found that 100% of the single-trauma victims and 77% of multiple trauma victims no longer were diagnosed with PTSD after only six 50-minute sessions. In another study, 77% of combat veterans were free of PTSD in 12 sessions. There has been so much research on EMDR that it is now recognized as an effective form of treatment for trauma and other disturbing experiences by organizations such as the American Psychiatric Association, the World Health Organization and the Department of Defense. Given the worldwide recognition as an effective treatment of trauma, you can easily see how EMDR would be effective in treating the “everyday” memories that are the reason people have low self-esteem, feelings of powerlessness, and all the myriad problems that bring them in for therapy. Over 100,000 clinicians throughout the world use the therapy.  Millions of people have been treated successfully over the past 25 years.

EMDR therapy is an eight-phase treatment.  Eye movements (or other bilateral stimulation) are used during one part of the session.  After the clinician has determined which memory to target first, he asks the client to hold different aspects of that event or thought in mind and to use his eyes to track the therapist's hand as it moves back and forth across the client's field of vision.  As this happens, for reasons believed by a Harvard researcher to be connected with the biological mechanisms involved in Rapid Eye Movement (REM) sleep, internal associations arise and the clients begin to process the memory and disturbing feelings. In successful EMDR therapy, the meaning of painful events is transformed on an emotional level.  For instance, a rape victim shifts from feeling horror and self-disgust to holding the firm belief that, "I survived it and I am strong."  Unlike talk therapy, the insights clients gain in EMDR result not so much from clinician interpretation, but from the client’s own accelerated intellectual and emotional processes.  The net effect is that clients conclude EMDR therapy feeling empowered by the very experiences that once debased them.  Their wounds have not just closed, they have transformed. As a natural outcome of the EMDR therapeutic process, the clients’ thoughts, feelings and behavior are all robust indicators of emotional health and resolution—all without speaking in detail or doing homework used in other therapies.”
So, hopefully the counselor that does this form of therapy will have openings for me.  I’d like to go once or twice a week.  And while I’m taking this break from running is the perfect time for me to start doing this.  I’ll let you know once I’ve started the therapy and keep you updated on my progress and how it’s working for me.  I know if I can get a handle on my anxiety and stress and my responses to them, then I think I will see the extra weight I need to lose just melt off.  I think I’ll be able to control my eating better and not turn to food so much when I’m feeling vulnerable due to stress or anxiety or fear or sadness, etc.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Running Plans & Goals

I had posted a couple/few months back that I had some time goals for different distances.  Those were:
• 5K – 26:41 for an 8:36 pace
• 10K – 55:24 for an 8:56 pace
• half marathon – 2:03  for a 9:24 pace
• marathon – 4:20:00 for a 9:55 pace
All of these goals are completely doable for me…with the proper training.  I had originally hoped to hit all of these goals by the end of this year.  I am super close to hitting my 5K goal (or I was a back in May when I ran the Stand Up 5K in 27:14…a mere 33 seconds off my goal time), but with this break, I’m not sure I’ll be able to pull it off by the end of this year.  (I do have two 5Ks planned for September.)  But I won’t let that stop me from trying to hit the 5K goal this year.  That being said, beyond my 5K goal, I have abandoned all time goals for this year.  I have made this decision after a lot of thought and soul searching.  Because of the break I’m taking, I will lose some speed.  I will be able to pick it back up, but it will take a little time.  I’m completely okay with this.
I have reset all my current time goals for next year.  And I have come up with just a marathon goal for the following year.  I want to be able to complete a marathon in 3:42:00 or faster by September 2017 so that I can qualify to run Boston in 2018.  That won’t be easy.  And I’m pretty sure I won’t be able to do it on my own.  A while back, I joined an Austin Runners Meetup group, but haven’t gone to any of the runs they’ve posted.  So, I’ve decided that next year, I will start joining them for runs and will make a point to pick people that are faster than my comfortable pace to run with so that I can get a good tempo run workout in when I run with them.  I don’t think this group does track workouts or any kind of structure speed workouts or fartlek runs, but maybe some of the members would like to meet up once a week to do those kinds of runs.  Worst case scenario, I ask the other members and none of them are interested in doing speed work.  But, I’m pretty sure that at least one person would like to join me for speed work. 
I also want to add hills to my weekly workouts next year.  I’d actually like to add them this year, after I’m done with my break.  I recently went to a wedding out in the hill country to the west of Austin where the rich people live.  The hills there are fantastic.  Let me tell you that I could probably do 2-4 miles of hills in this area and be completely spent.  Totally worth the 30-ish minute drive each way to run them, though, even for the short distance I’d be able to do.  There is also a nature trail near the country club where the wedding was that I’d like to check out and see if it’s runnable.  There is also a nature preserve in the same vicinity that I have gone on hikes in previously that I know is runnable, so that is also an option for trail/hill work. 
So, add in some fartleks and hill work after my break and make an effort to start running with the Austin Runners Meetup (ARM) group for some tempo and long runs (hopefully…not sure what their idea of a long run is…might be doing those on my own).  Next year, more fartleks and hill work and running with ARM.  Also, next year, I will PLAN to take a 1-2 month break from running, most likely during July and August.  Those are the hottest months of the year and therefore the most miserable to run in.  I use that time to focus on cross training with cycling and more gym time and rowing and stair climber and workout DVDs.

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