|Me, post-run this morning around Ring Rd. in Delaware Park. Lipstick on teeth and all!|
I love birthdays, and yes... even now that I am "of a certain age." To that, I say, "Harumph!" I enjoy getting older and continuing to grow and learn and develop. I like that I get smarter and more confident with each year. I like that I challenge myself more and more and try things I didn't think I could do. I like the person I have grown into and wouldn't go back to my 20s if you paid me.
Well, OK, maybe for a day. One of the good days. My 20s were pretty tumultuous!
Anyway, I wanted to make sure to start my new year in a positive way, so I made plans with one of my co-workers to meet up for a run before work, even though we're working summer hours which means coming in early four days a week in order to have every other Friday off (Kristen opted to stay late for her days, so extra kudos to her for meeting me out extra early!).
To be honest, I haven't been feeling super great since the Gay 5K last week, with some more aches and pains and more fatigue. Not sure where that's coming from, but if it continues another week or so, I may make an appointment with my doctor just to be safe. As is often the case, I almost bailed on our plans and couldn't imagine how I could possibly run, but... (spolier alert!) I did!
Granted, I didn't go quite as far as I ideally wanted to. In fact, in retrospect I am kicking myself a little because I fell short of that loose goal by a measly .3 miles – silly to not have gone for the full 2 miles. I did however, have about a 5 minute warm up and cool down walk, so that kind of makes up for it, I guess. All told I got a solid half hour of good exercise in, and that's the most important thing!
Then, I got this in my email – the Sea Change little e-newsletter thingy. Its message was something that Kristen and I touched on in our conversation this morning. Be kind to yourself! We talked about how when you're running, you need to listen to your body and allow yourself to slow down if it feels really hard, and not to beat yourself up for it. It's something I really, really need to keep right in front of my thoughts.
I've really been struggling with running lately. Questioning my abilities, wondering why I bother when progress seems to be so slow coming, feeling all the aches and pains, seeing so many of my friends run circles around me (figuratively, though I am sure they could do it literally as well!)... it has been really hard to not compare myself to everyone else, even though I know that it does me no good and honestly, it really does not matter! It doesn't matter what everyone else is doing or how I compare to them. It matters that I continue making an effort even if the gains aren't so quick to happen. I mean, what am I doing this for? Sure, I'd love to run a marathon one day, but why do I have to do it by a certain date? Well, I don't. Darn those time-based goals again, always getting me where it hurts.
Right now my priority is developing a good running base again, which I lost a little bit in the past few months. I'd like to get back to running a solid 3-4 times a week again, but this time with the only requirement being one mile, at least to start. To just get out there consistently, even if it's only for one mile per session. I plan to get another run in this weekend and then next week try for three times out. Consistency in running is so important. I need to get back to basics.
As I have mentioned though, I'm now playing tennis regularly, also 3-4 times a week and we'll probably work up to more by the end of the season just because we enjoy it so much. So I'm getting that work out – some of it is standing around, but a lot of it is frantic sprinting, either after an errant ball or just trying to get across court to hit it! We go anywhere from a half hour to an hour lately, again building that up through the season. I'm definitely in way better shape for that this time now than I was last year, and a better player, too, though sometimes I also get discouraged and down on myself for not being better at something I really love to do. Part of it is my body's limitations, and some of it is just needing to master the game better. I've thought about taking a lesson or two, and I think I will try to do that this summer.
Back to running: Originally I was going to mentor for No Boundaries this session, which started a few days ago, but after my Gay 5K experience I really didn't figure I'd be helpful to anyone in the program for the level I was running at – they signed me up for mentoring 2.0/3.0 – where I left off myself. Pulling out at the last minute didn't feel great, but at the same time it was a relief to not have any obligations to the program, either as a participant or as a mentor, the first time since last February! I'll continue to run on my own and with friends (I started yet another group, this time at work, called Rosen Runners where a small group of us try to meet up once a week), but for now feeling relatively untethered and responsible only to myself seems like the best choice. My plan for the upcoming session at the end of the summer will be to do 3.0 over again. (That's the program that takes you up to 8 miles running, but last time I was in it I only got up to 10K, or 6.2 and change.)
Then there is that 10 mile run that I am signed up for in August. I still think I could pull that out as long as I work on my consistency like I'm planning to. It'll be hard, but I will have lots of support and I know I can finish – it just won't be pretty or spectacular.
*sigh* So that's where I am.
Eating-wise, I am still working on getting back to a good plan. I have been logging my food all week and that has helped get into the right mindset – that is, being more mindful – even if I haven't always met my calorie goal. My weight was up to 290 on Tuesday, which was positively frightening, but then dropped back down to 286 and change and that is where I am today, thank goodness. Sure, it's my birthday, but I'm planning to stay mindful and not go too crazy. I don't have any big plans and I don't even have a cake, though I was considering making myself one. I'd like to get solidly into the 270s again ASAP, basically. It's a must.
Like Leo said, trying to be kind and compassionate to myself, especially on my birthday. I've made it this far, right?