There’s Always Gonna be Another Mountain

I’m finally getting excited about this fitness thing, and I feel like I’m settling into a routine.  Yay me!

In preparation for a quick hiking trip at the end of this month, I’ve been hiking a local “mountain” after school.  It’s a quick up and back with an elevation gain of a little under 400 feet.  It’s a good workout, but it’s definitely no Mt. LeConte!  On May 31 we will be doing the Alum Cave Bluff Trail up to LeConte Lodge for lunch–an elevation gain of about 2700 feet.  I am SO excited, and this time, we are taking my hubby’s boys, Zach and Tucker, along with Zach’s gorgeous and super fun fiance.  This will be her first trip and I’m happy to get to be the one to take her.

When I arrived home, I did the bodyweight exercises I had planned for myself.  I did three rounds of 10 kettle bell swings, 15 squats, and 10 lunges per leg.  I thought about going for a run, but a shower sounded better.

I have about 27 days to get in shape for this trip.  I love setting goals for myself, planning an attack and executing that mother-lover!  I know I won’t be in the shape I was in when we went in October, but I know I’ll be 27 days fitter than I am today.

Here are some pics you’ve probably already seen from my October trip.

Smoky Mountains 2014 077

Smoky Mountains 2014 066 Smoky Mountains 2014 068

Smoky Mountains 2014 086

Happy trails! 🙂

Advertisements

(Not so) Fit-versary: Two Years (Before, During, After, and back to During Pics)

April 30th was my two year anniversary of the day I decided to get fit.  I had big plans for the month of April:

  • I was going to weigh 150lbs.
  • I was going to be in the best shape of my life.
  • I was going to run a marathon.

None of these things happened because little did I know, I was no longer going to have a mother.  Just four short days after my half-marathon on October 4th, my mother became ill.  She was already ill–heart disease, kidney failure, dialysis, but she became hospital-ill.  In January, she became gravely ill.  A month later, she passed away.  And it was awful.  All of it.

I am a binge eater.  A stress eater.  An emotional eater.  A drinker. Bad, bad combo.  From October-January, I ate a little extra.  When I came to visit my mother at least once a week, I would also visit my favorite restaurant and order a burger and booze.  On occasion.  Infrequently.  Once in a while.  I put on a few pounds, but no big deal.

In February, my world blew up.  I dealt with her death well.  I stayed composed when everyone else crumbled.  I made arrangements.  I printed pictures for the tribute table.  I made a video slide show.  I composed a beautiful obituary.  I contacted family members.  I lovingly chose the last outfit my mother would ever wear.  I sifted through jewelry, found her dentures, located her glasses.  I chose flowers, signed papers, wrote thank you cards, and closed bank accounts.

I barely got to say goodbye.

There was no still, quiet moment with a single streaming tear in a solemn room alone with the woman who gave me life.

There was just busyness followed by emptiness.

To ease the pain, I drank.  A lot.  And I ate.  A lot.  I binge-ate, binge-drank, and binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy reruns. As a result, I don’t feel any better and I certainly don’t look any better.  I have gained about 40lbs (I’m TOTALLY guessing because I refuse to get on the scale).  I’ve been getting back into the swing of things.  Running or hiking a local trail after school, body-weight strength training, and eating the proper amount of calories.

So far, it’s been hit or miss.  I’m on the wagon a few days or a few weeks, and then I tumble off that sucker for a week or so and go hog wild (emphasis on the “hog”).

I did take measurements about 2 weeks ago, and I have lost inches, so that’s good.  That’s motivating.  Writing about this is also motivating, not to mention therapeutic.  Once I work up the nerve to get on the scale, I’m sure watching those numbers go down will be motivating as well.

I have set new goals for the summer and fall of 2015:

  • Run a 10k
  • Run a 13.1
  • Run a marathon in October.

Goals are good.  Goals keep a person going.  Goals give me something to focus on.  School will be out soon, and I plan to spend my summer running and getting back into the best shape of my life! 🙂

Where I was two years ago:

I like-a-da foods.

I like-a-da foods.

No chins were harmed in the losing of this weight...

No chins were harmed in the losing of this weight…

I had gained from the 2012 pic, and then started losing again in Apr 2013.  This pic is probably about 245-250.

Approximately where I am now:

Weighing in at about 190 here on April 9, 2014.

Jay Sheets and Marie Pearl…and ME!

Where I want to be:

004

Baby Boomers 12 2014 017

Selfie-alert!

Selfie-alert!

A New Lesson

Just a quick update:

I’m still hitting bumps in the road, but I am not giving up.  I’m getting some decent runs in in the process.  Today I stayed after school–not to tutor–but to run with a student.  Things like this are part of what makes me a great teacher.  She’s a junior and wants to get into better shape the right way, so she came to me!  (Me!?  Really!?  It’s still hard to picture myself as a healthy person!)

In everything you do!

In everything you do!

We ran for 30 minutes after school, and she said she plans to run with me any day I am willing to stay.  We ran and talked (and walked in between!).  I helped her set some goals.  She wants to run a full mile (without stopping–no intervals) for her P.E. final in May.  I assured her that would be a piece of cake!  I convinced her to do a 5k with me in May as well.  That one, she’ll have to work for! 🙂

I’m excited, and so is she.  This may be the motivation I’ve been looking for–to BE someone’s motivation.

Yeesh…What the Bleep!? Droppin’ like flies over here…

So…it’s been a while.  In blogger world, it seems that’s almost never good news.

I have fallen off the face of the earth with marathon training.  I will still run one, but it may be Octoberish instead of April.  Here’s why.

My life is a wild and crazy ride right now.  I’m crazy busy at school.  I sponsor student council, and we just put on homecoming festivities.  It was a lot of work and even more chaos.  I thrive on organized chaos.  This was not organized chaos.  It DID go VERY well though, so there’s that.  Live and learn.  Next year will be even more awesome, and I won’t have to pull out as many handfuls of hair.  Get some, homecoming.  Get some.

I’ve also had a few “injuries”.  I had an issue with my back recently that kept me out of work for 2 days.  The chiro said I need to strengthen my core and back if I want to continue running.  Fine by me.  I never want my back to hurt that bad again.  It. was. excruciating.

My hips also hurt. And pop. Every 5 seconds.  They need a break.  They’re getting one.

I’ll start training again in about a month.  I think I may do a half sometime this spring and try for a full in the fall.  We shall see. 🙂

Another reason is that my mother…my reason for running…is not doing well.  She is in such poor health that the nursing home she is in is suggesting palliative care.  Other doctors say she is doing well and may have another year left in her.  It’s an emotional rollercoaster.  Momma  is not fully lucid anymore.  Sometimes she is off this planet, and other times she is orbiting somewhere in our atmosphere at least.  Tuesday she was a mean ol’ bat.  She wanted a drink so badly, but she is on fluid restrictions, so…no fluids for her.  That meant that she mostly fussed at me all day long, which was okay with me because it was the first time she had recognized me for three weeks.  The poor thing has 2 broken knee caps (from one of her FIVE falls at the nursing home), is hallucinating, and is in a lot of pain with her knees and her feet.  I’ve been burning up the highway between her town and mine trying to get her medical care lined out.  No one communicates well: the nursing home doesn’t communicate well with dialysis and vice versa.  It’s frustrating because I then have to act as the go between–and although I’m intelligent, I do NOT have a medical background.  It’s difficult and upsetting. Boo-freakin-hoo.

Tomorrow I have to go sign durable power of attorney papers so that I can take over medical decision making for her.  She never did that when she was healthier.  She never filled out an advanced directive either.  I’m meeting with a social worker and the notary to take care of all of that.  It’s fun. 😉

In addition to the rest of my out of control life, I had one of the most terrifying experiences of my life tonight.  My hubby started feeling sick to his stomach after dinner.  He continued to feel worse and worse.  He sat on the side of the bed for a few minutes, and then began walking toward the bathroom because he thought he was going to be sick.  A few feet short of the door, he stumbled, fell to his knees, grunted and slumped over face down in the bathroom floor.  I ran to him and he wasn’t moving or speaking.  I did notice he was breathing.

I grabbed my cell and dialed 911.  To my surprise, I was able to dial properly and someone picked up right away, unlike multiple dreams I’ve had where I can’t dial or the phone just continues to ring or I get put on hold.  I was back at my hubby’s side in our cramped bathroom where he still was unresponsive.  I was giving our address as my husband began to seize (or something!).  His body went completely rigid. It felt as if I’d shatter him if I touched him hard enough.  He made and awful groan and then some clenched labored breathing sounds…almost like gurgling.  I seriously thought he was dying.  And then I noticed blood pouring from his nose.  At this point I KNEW he was dying.  I was certain it was an aneurysm bursting in his brain.  A very long  minute or so passed and he loosened up and regained cognition.  He was weak and disoriented.  The EMS flew passed our house because the dispatcher gave the wrong address.  Hubby at this point was still worried he was dying there on the bathroom floor and was asking if they were close.  I called 911 again and gave my address once more.  Ems arrived shortly after.

Hubby continued to improve as ems checked him out.  Then the ambulance arrived.  They loaded him up and took him to the hospital.  I found an emergency sitter for my poor scared kiddos, packed a “just in case” bag and headed out the door.  I drove the icy roads (we were getting bad weather at the time), and made it to the er about 20 min after hubby.  All tests came back negative, so I’m hoping it was an isolated incident.  It sure was terrifying, and to be quite honest, I was scared to bring him home.

I’ll probably spend most of the night (what’s left of it) watching him sleep…like a newborn…to make sure he continues to breathe.  And in 12 hours I’ll be signing POA papers to become my mom’s medical decision maker.  Jealous?

Did I Just Enjoy That Run? I Think I Did.

When I was training for my half marathon over the summer and into the fall, I was so excited.  Every run brought me closer to a really amazing goal I had set for myself, I enjoyed running in new territory (lengths) every week with my long runs, and I looked forward to lacing up and heading out.

This time around, I’ve been struggling.  I haven’t been enjoying my runs.  They’ve been painful, exhausting, and seemingly endless–and I haven’t really had any actual LONG runs!  I chalk it up to the fact that it’s cold, and I let myself get out of shape.

Tonight, I had my first enjoyable run.  The hill leading out from my house was a little rough, but the rest of the run was awesome.  I felt freer than I have felt on any training run this far.  I was a little nostalgic too.  I envisioned my marathon.  I thought about the people in my life who can’t run and never will again.  I chanted their names in rhythm with my footsteps, and it was encouraging.  I imagined those people mid-course holding signs that say things like “my daughter runs for me” or “run while you can” as they sit, incapacitated, in their wheelchairs. I even picture my twin brother standing with our parents with a sign that reads “my sister’s a friggin’ show off”…lol!

I’m happy to have finally had a good run.  I wish I had had time to do another mile or so.  I didn’t want to stop!  I may just be getting my groove back, and that’s a good thing because I’ve been questioning whether or not I could actually complete a marathon since I started training 3 weeks ago.  The seed had been planted; I was just waiting for it to germinate.  It may finally be pushing its fragile self to the surface after all.  🙂

On a side note: my mom is still in the hospital. Nursing home, actually.  She is still working at being rehabilitated enough to go home.  I fear it may never happen.  She’s been in the hospital/rehab/now nursing home since Oct. 8.  She had a doctor’s appointment today and was informed that she will need to have stents put in her legs.  Her feet are not healing properly (diabetic/kidney failure=poor circulation=foot problems).  Hopefully, blood flow will be restored, and she will begin to heal.  Back in May, my dad had this problem, and it was never rectified.  He is now a double amputee.  Mom has a better shot, but we will have to wait and see.

run-for-those-who-cant

They are the reason I run.  I’ve said it before, and I will say it again (and again, and again, and again).  I weighed almost 300 pounds, and I was going to die.  Not soon, but sooner than I should.  And painfully.  Watching my vibrant parents become bedridden made me change my ways.  1. I didn’t want to end up like them. 2. I wanted them to know that I wouldn’t end up like them.  They are so proud of the way I have turned my life around.  Especially my mom.  She has confided several times that if she had known how things would end up, she would have taken better care of herself and that she’s so happy that I AM doing just that.

I love those goofy people, and I wish I could have them around longer (and healthier), but it is what it is.  I’ll be spending as much of the holiday with them as I can.  Christmas break starts Friday at 12:30, but we are supposed to get some snow and ice tonight, so I may be off until January!

Keep running!  It’s so worth it! 🙂

Marathon Training: Week Two (And Confessions of a Fat Girl)

This week wasn’t too bad either.  I’m still playing catch up from all the couch sitting I did after my half marathon in October, but my endurance is coming back fairly quickly.

I ran 3 miles on Monday.  It wasn’t too bad.  I walked a few miles on Tuesday.  On Thursday, I rushed home because I wanted to get my long run (6 miles) in before my hectic weekend began.  I ran the whole 6 with a few short walk breaks up hills.  At first I was disappointed in having to walk, but now I remember how I had to take a few breaks in my first few weeks of half marathon training too.  I’m certain that as I progress in training, my endurance and stamina will catch up and I’ll be running non-stop like I did for all the later weeks of my half training.  No worries.  Well, maybe a few. 😉

I ran 2.5 last night before it got dark.  I was dressed in dark clothing, so I thought it might be best to get home.  Besides, I had a ton of cleaning and wrapping to do before the kiddos came home at 8.  Spoiler alert:  My house is kinda-not a disaster, and no gifts were wrapped.

This morning my piano is being tuned, so I’ve been able to do a little laundry and blogging.  I’d have liked to have gotten my last 3 mile run of the week in, but I guess I’ll save it for tomorrow.  I’m going out to dinner tonight with my hubby and our friends, so I’m going to make healthy choices, but I’m also going to eat as much as I want!  I’ve busted my butt all week running AND eating healthy, so I deserve a little calorie splurge.  My body is tired too, so…maybe I need the calories.  That’s what I’m telling myself anyway!

Confession time!  After my half, I had planned to keep running and eating healthy, but I did allow myself 2 weeks off.  2 weeks morphed into 6…and I morphed into a fatty!  In 6 weeks, I went from 164 (half marathon weight–and +7 from my lowest) to 184!  In my defense, about 5 of that was water weight because as soon as I got back in the swing of things, I instantly dropped to 179.  The last 1.5-2 weeks, I’ve dropped another 5, so now I’m back down to 174.  I’m hoping the weight keeps dropping.  I’m sure that the reason I feel extra tired on runs is because of the extra pounds I’m packing.  It freaks me out a little that I gained 20 lbs almost instantly, but I did do a lot of eating.  And a lot of lounging.

Eat-All-The-Food-Meme

I fell, but I picked myself back up.  I’m sure I’ll be seeing the 160s soon, and I’m still hoping to hit my goal of the 140s by marathon day in April.  With all the running I’ll be doing, I’m thinking it’ll all come out in the wash. 🙂

Anyway, next week is a 3, 4, 3 and 7 miler.  We shall see how that goes.

Keep running.

First Long Run of Marathon Training

Welp, it’s done.  I just ran my first “long run” of marathon training.  I was planning to do 6, but it ended up being a 5 miler instead.  It wasn’t too bad, though.  I will say it wasn’t as enjoyable as some of my other long runs from previous training, but it was doable.  I cut it short because I think I just hadn’t eaten enough and my body was tired.  I’m also getting strange feelings in my legs and feet, so parts of the run were very uncomfortable.  The feeling is kind of an itchy/crawly/light buzz or tingle.  It doesn’t hurt, but it feels very strange.  As I type this, I notice the same feeling in my left hand.  Usually, if I feel in in my hands, it’s my right hand–not the left.  Weird.  Anyone have any ideas?

My hubby ran with me for a bit.  I did a 1.2 loop and then he met me when I came back by the driveway.  We ran down across the dam, which offers pretty views even in winter, and then looped back home.  Hubby ran so much faster than me, and it really ticked me off!  I’ve been serious about running for almost a year now, and he can out run me–at least with speed.  He lost his momentum when he hit almost 2 miles.  I kept going strong for 3.4, then I walked up a huge hill and ran the rest of the way home for a 5 mile run.

Along the way, I found a cell phone on the dam.  I called the last person they had talked to, and a neighbor from down the street answered.  She came by to pick up the phone and was very grateful.  When she called me back on the found phone to let me know she was on her way to my house, the ring tone was Me and Bobby McGee.  I told her it must have been fate for me to find it, since that is probably my all time favorite song…or at least top 5!  Too funny.  Anyway, I did my good deed for the day, so I hope karma was watching! 🙂

1207141321

I’ll be running three 3 milers and my 6 (that I was supposed to do today) next week.  Wish me luck on week two! 🙂