Saturday, September 26, 2009

Back in the saddle again

Happy weekend!! I have been easing back into my running schedule for the half marathon training after my weird setback with rhabdomyolysis.

This past week has been a hodgepodge of the distances and runs I am supposed to be doing and a little bit of rebuilding a foundation. Tomorrow I will do my long 7 mile run, again and not worry about time or even if I have to walk a bit! It's all for the love of the run.

my last long run 3 weeks ago!

How DO you ease back into a fitness routine or even scheduled runs as you work toward your destination? Here are a few simple tips for you to think about:

Set your goals- Set moderate new goals for getting back on schedule--write them down! Look at where you left off and what you were doing (the distance, intensity and time) and create a plan that is a little more lax than where you left off. If it's too much too soon, back off and adjust.

Plan ahead- Plan out your workouts! Recommit to the routine by getting out the calendar and writing down when you are going to workout. If you are feeing good and strong after the first two workouts see how aggressive you can be to meet your goal and yet not over do it. You maybe able to pick up where you left off.

Focus on doing- That is the key. For whatever reason you have had to take a break from your routine and your workout it can be a mental challenge to get back into it. The American Council on Exercise says that after 14 days, even elite athletes experience performance jitters and doubts. Whether it's doing a little and stopping, walking, taking a break or cutting it short, still get out and DO.

Listen to your body- be kind to yourself-if you need to walk or rest then do it. You are rebuilding muscle speed and endurance and most of all you are changing habits. Slow but sure will be the best way to gain your optimum performance in the end.

Cross-training is your strength! If you can cross train during your time off or injury that is best. But even if when you start to workout again and your feeling it's too much, cross-train! Bike or walk if that run is too hard you will feel better about yourself.

For me? Tomorrow I am NOT going to time my run...I am just going to go and do my best and not worry about time. I am doing speed runs during the week and have nearly another month of all my training till the big day! I am also going to walk if I need to and bring my fuel belt to keep me hydrated. I am just going to keep moving.

Speaking of moving, Mom is here this weekend and we may hit the zoo before the big run tomorrow. I don't think I can convince her to ride my ten speed next to me. But we did go rip it up at church for our wild Saturday night!

Here is mom and I at church tonight!

Part of my story..

September is Recovery Month! No not recovery like rest day or recovery socks, but recovery as in the process of recovering from or being treated for substance abuse.

But really we are all recovering from something--some of us from many things. Relationships, hurts, disappointment, that last job, last BF, last all nighter. Celebrating this other Recovery Month gives people the opportunity to voice their story and tell their triumphant journey of hope toward wellness, so... here is mine.

Truth be told, I am not in a recovery program, but if there were a 12 step program for coffee or shoe love, you would find me there! I did quit drinking almost two years ago, and with more than a little help from the big man upstairs. Yet I have not been involved in any recovery program. Up until now, my issue has been between me and myself and God.

I drank and rabble-roused like most every normal 20 something I knew, but I was still cutting my teeth at 23. I didn't drink or go out in high school or even when I turned 21 like most people. My family has a history of alcoholism in it so I steered as far away from the stuff as possible.

When at 23 I had my first beer, the results were far from what I expected. I did not stumble drunk from the table after one or even two and that was where the danger was. For me, the alcohol went from something I assumed would immediately turn me into a ranging drunk, to something that was very harmless. That was my great deception.

I didn't really look all that different on the outside from the antics of others that I knew, at least at first. I was a goofy happy drunk, one who wanted to sing karaoke and make friends at parties, one who often was the life of the party. I would have one, two or 5 too many on any given weekend and threw back a few too many at holiday parties or weddings.

But who didn't?

Then, after getting into (and 2 years later, getting out of) a bad relationships the way that I "used" alcohol changed. I was unhappy in the relationship and both myself and the other person began to use it as a means of escape, to feel normal and to cope. After the break up, I used it to escape more and more. Finally after so long of doing that, it simply became the way I was: drinking almost always led to getting drunk.

I felt horrible in the mornings, and not just hung over but I felt guilty. Did I remember what I said or did? Did I say something stupid or become emotional in a situation? Did I embarrass myself? I HATED that these questions ran through my mind. I always felt negative, embarrassed and guilty after drinking. And after a while, it didn't even matter the amount. The feeling was associated with the act and I couldn't escape that.

I was doing what I was used to and comfortable with and despite some nights that I really regretted, was my behavior that of an alcoholic? NO WAY! That was not me... I mean, what I was doing was fully accepted in society and even a norm. 3 or more drinks every other Friday wasn't quite channeling Meg Ryan from when a man loves a woman. I was with my friends, sometimes we all had too much. It couldn't be that problematic...could it?

Forget the labels Drunk, alcoholic, teetotaler, sobriety, straight edge, even recovery. I started to evaluate what problem drinking really was.
Plain and simple.

Did I have to go around hiding bottles of vodka in the night-stand to have it be a problem? Did I have to drink before starting the day to have it be a problem? Did I have to wait till I got the shakes, a DUI or lose friends for it to be a problem? No, it doesn't always have to be that extreme or look like that. If it was a problem for me and the life I wanted to lead, the person I wanted to be and was working toward, then it was a problem period.

Here I am dressed as my favorite drink for halloween--
I won a bottle of rum in the contest!

At this point in my life, I was conquering Weight Watchers, getting back into running and focusing on my faith. Drinking was one HUGE road block in each of those roads. There I was trying to be as healthy as possible yet drinking to excess every weekend! This, did NOT fit girls.

Aside from the crazy caloric intake a night of heavy drinking can dump on your body, my emotional use and abuse of drinking was the unhealthiest part of the habit. I didn't want to hide my true emotions anymore, I didn't want to bury the hurt of failed relationships and use the booze to escape the person I was and didn't like.

So I quit.

I quit for one month and then eased into it attempting to stick to a 3 drink max. The problem was for me after the second or third, my judgement was shot so 3 turned into 1o and I was back at square one.

When I finally quit for good, I basically white knuckled it for the first 3-4 months. I hadn't really thought of going to an AA meeting for help or support. I just knew that if I wanted to be true to myself and live the way I was meant to, drinking was not an option, for me. I had relied on alcohol for a lot of things and being emotionally vulnerable and real with those around me and even myself was terrifying and very hard.

One day, after about 3 months of being dry, I started to feel more like myself than ever. I felt like I did when I was in High School: funny, goofy, sassy, smart, an individual. I felt more alive and real, happy with myself than I had in 8 years. Over the next few months I really started to see other areas of my life getting better and gaining more meaning.

This coming January 2010 will be my 2 year anniversary of getting my old self back after an eight year hiatus with alcohol!

Some things in my life changed, I came back to somethings that I had forgotten and some things that no longer worked or made sense fell away. Over all I started to see that my life was my own and I could shape it anyway! My path is not for everyone, but I know I am on the right path and am so blessed to be in safe keeping even through so many detours and past so many roadblocks.

I would really love to visit a meeting sometime and I am sure that when I do, I will write about the experience, how I felt, and any deep revelations or fears that rear their ugly head. SO, that is my story, at least the tip of it. But recovery is a topic that is dear to my heart because of what I have experienced so I wanted to share it with you.

Here is a great website with some thoughts on drinking in moderation and being safe when you do drink!


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Although Mary from Fit this girl is a CPT, always consult your physician or health care provider before beginning any nutrition or exercise program. Use of the programs, advice, and information contained in this website is at the sole choice and risk of the reader.