A New Perspective

I know this blog is about my journey from being a certified couch potato to becoming a runner but today I’d like to take a moment to write about life in general.  This has been an eventful few weeks for me and I’d like to share them with you.

Just about three weeks ago, I turned 40.  That was on a Saturday.  Everything seemed great that weekend.  My husband planned a party for me with some family and friends and everyone had a great time.  I got to visit with some friends that I rarely get to spend time with these days and it was really special to me.  The following Wednesday, I had a crown seated.  I’d had the temporary in place for only a week with no problems whatsoever.  The permanent one was a little different story.  I had a terrible toothache and headache that evening once the Novocaine wore off.  The next day I called the dentist office because the tooth was extremely sensitive to cold.  I was assured that it was normal and nothing was wrong.  She told me to call back next week if I was still having issues.  The dentist would be out of the office (actually out of the country) but the hygienists would be in the office to help if needed.  That was on Thursday.  On Monday evening, I went running with a group of runners from church like I normally do.  It was very hot that evening and I had not hydrated properly.  I was sick by the time I made it back to the car and had a headache that lasted for 24 hours.  On Wednesday, I was still having a toothache so I called for an appointment.  They can see me when the dentist gets back – June 7th.  On Thursday, my sister and I went for a bike ride.  I fell off my bike and into the ditch as a car was passing by.  My right leg was cut and bruised but I was ok.  The next week I went for a run on Monday and Wednesday without any problems.  My sister and I planned on going for a run on Friday afternoon but I got tied up running errands and grocery shopping so she ended up going alone.  After dropping off the groceries at home, I went to pick up my daughter from my parents’ house.  About a quarter-mile from my house, I went straight across at an intersection and a car coming the opposite direction turned left into the front end of my car.  That earned me an ambulance ride to the ER and a long evening for me and the rest of my family.  Fortunately nothing was broken and I wasn’t seriously injured (neither was the other driver).  I had planned a quiet, relaxing weekend for my family over the Memorial Day weekend.  The housework was caught up and all the grocery shopping had been done.  Instead we spent the day Saturday getting a rental car and finding a new car seat for my daughter.  I found out yesterday that my car was totaled.  The insurance rep came to the house yesterday with a check for the difference between what they paid and what was owed on the car.  That was a total blessing!

So I sit here today with bruises, healing cuts & burns from the airbag, a sprained wrist, and a toothache and I have to tell you – Life Is Good!!  You may wonder how I can say that given all that has happened.  Well first off, I can say that BECAUSE I’m here and able to say that.  When I got so dehydrated after running, it could’ve become much more serious and landed me in the hospital getting I.V. fluids.  But it didn’t.  When I fell off my bike, I could’ve fallen toward the car that was beside me instead of the ditch.  I could’ve been hurt much more seriously or even killed.  But I wasn’t.  When I had the car wreck, I could’ve been a second later and she would’ve hit me square in the driver’s side door, causing much more injury.  But she didn’t.  As far as the toothache goes (and I’m fully expecting to have to have a root canal at this point), I could live in a place where dental care is poor or non-existent.  But I don’t.  So you see, life is good!  Even though all these crazy things have happened, God has protected me through everything.  Yes, He could’ve prevented each and every one of them but He didn’t.  I believe that sometimes the only way we learn lessons is by going through trials in life.  These trials have helped me to remember that God does have His hand on my life and is protecting me.  They also remind me that life is short and delicate and should be lived to the fullest every single day.  I hope you can live your life with that in mind.  Have a great – and safe – weekend!

Posted in Inspirational, Overweight adult, Running | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Setting Another Goal

Tonight was supposed to be a run night but since rain was in the forecast, my sister and I decided to run last night.  Monday night I was able to run a mile and last night I ran a mile and a half.  So I’m building my distance back up.  I also made sure that I hydrated yesterday so that I didn’t have a repeat of Monday.  Take it from me, it is extremely important to be well-hydrated before you run, especially in warmer weather.  I had a headache that lasted almost 24 hours and ended up taking 2 doses of a migraine relief medication before it finally went away.

This weekend is Memorial Day, which is what most people consider to be the official kick-off to Summer.  Most kids are already out of school or will be in the next couple of days, vacations are being planned, and Summer reading lists are hanging on refrigerators.  Maybe because a new season is starting, I have been thinking about setting a weight-loss goal.  I’ve had some numbers in my mind but haven’t put a date to anything.  Now I’ve set a goal to lose 30 pounds by Labor Day.  That means I need to be consistent with my running and also add in a few days of other exercise, such as Yoga/Pilates or bicycling.  I’m not sure when I’ll ride my bike again after my crash last week.  My husband may be looking into getting me some training wheels before I’m allowed to ride again.  Guess I’d better stick to running.

Posted in Diet, Exercise, Inspirational, Overweight adult, Running, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Pounding the Pavement

For the first time in about a month, I ran a mile last night.  I wanted to run two miles but ended up walking the second mile, which is perfectly fine.  I think last night was probably the hottest weather so far that I’ve run in and I could really tell a difference.  By the end of the run I was dizzy, nauseated, and had a throbbing headache.  Unfortunately the headache is still with me 16 hours later.  It will just take my body a bit to get used to running in the heat.  I didn’t hydrate as well as I should have yesterday and I think that played a big part in it.

I mentioned in my last blog post about a book that I’m reading entitled “No Need for Speed.”  This book has changed my whole attitude about running.  I am not a runner because I’m fast (I’m very slow), or because I am thin (I’m most definitely not thin), or because I am a gifted athlete (not even close), or because I look good in my running shorts (we won’t even go there…).  I am a runner simply because I run.  Period.  I don’t have to be fast or talented or look like I know what I’m doing or even look good trying.  I just have to get out there and run.  It’s the same for you.  I realized last night that if it weren’t for slow runners like me, the fast runners wouldn’t look nearly so fast.  So really, I’m doing them a favor.  Haha.  If you want to see if running is your sport, I highly recommend that you get out there and give it a shot.  It may take a while before you actually enjoy it.  But don’t give up!  Go through a program like I did.  My church offered the “Run For God” program that baby-steps you to becoming a runner (click on the link at the right to take you to their website).  And remember, you don’t have to be good at it – you just have to try!

Posted in Exercise, Inspirational, Overweight adult, Running | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Getting Back on Track

Wow!  It’s been a long time since my last post.  You’ve probably wondered if I’d given up on my exercise plan.  The answer is simply no, I haven’t given up.  But I have let life get in the way of my progress.  Getting sick a few weeks ago knocked me off course.  While you can usually modify a program to work around an injury, it’s a little difficult to exercise when breathing is inhibited.  I stopped running and started walking once a week just to keep doing something.  Last week I decided to try riding my bike as a means of cross-training.  I was doing much better than I expected and my sister and I were heading back to the truck for the end of the ride when my clumsiness overtook me.  A car was driving past and I remember getting as close to the edge of the road as I could, looking at the shallow ditch below.  The next thing I knew, I was in the ditch – but without my bike.  I’m not sure how I fell off the bike but I managed to do it with style.  I landed mainly on my right leg and have scratches and bruises for my effort.  I’m just thankful that I fell in the ditch instead of the road because I would’ve collided with the car.  And that would’ve been really ugly.

Monday is the day that I’ve been going walking with the running group.  Tomorrow night I plan on running again.  I’ve been reading a book that is really inspiring to me.  It’s called “No Need for Speed.”  If you’ve been thinking about running or even just thinking about starting any kind of exercise, I highly recommend this book.  I hope by now you’ve found a calorie-burning activity that you enjoy.  If you haven’t, why not try something new today?  Enjoy the remainder of your weekend and I promise not to wait so long to blog again!

Posted in Exercise, Inspirational, Overweight adult, Running, Weight loss | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Forced Time Off

As you know, I was registered and ready to run a 5K last Saturday.  I had been fighting a sore throat for a couple of days prior to the race and woke up on race day feeling much worse and wasn’t able to run.  I was very disappointed since this race was the one I had been running during my training the past few weeks.  I took it easy on Saturday and ended up staying in bed all day Sunday.  Yesterday I decided to go to the doctor.  I have a sinus infection, ear infection, and bronchitis.  So it’s a good thing I didn’t push myself to try to run on Saturday.  The doctor said I’ll miss this Saturday’s 5K as well.  She said I might feel like going to watch but not to run.  And since I won’t be able to run any during the week, I definitely wouldn’t be ready to run a race on Saturday.  It looks like I’ll be taking it easy for the next several days.  Well, ‘taking it easy’ has a different meaning when there’s a 15-month old little energizer bunny to care for!  Thankfully she’s obsessed with her new Elmo DVD so as long as it’s on, she’ll stay in the living room with me and play.  So while I’m taking a break these next few days, I hope you’re all getting out there and finding a calorie-burning activity that you enjoy doing.  Spend some time with your family this Easter weekend having an egg hunt.  It’ll get you outside in the fresh air, burn a few calories, and give you a chance to enjoy being together.  But most importantly, remember why we celebrate Easter.  Without the resurrection of Jesus Christ, we would be lost for all eternity.  If you want to know more about this, please ask a Christian friend or family member, a pastor, or even leave me a comment and I’ll be glad to help.  Hope you all have a wonderful – and healthy – week!

Posted in Exercise, Inspirational, Overweight adult, Running | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

One More Run

Tonight will be the last run before Saturday’s race.  My sister and I ran 3 miles Tuesday night and will run a mile and a half tonight.  Tuesday was a really great run.  Not sure if it was the perfect weather or what but everything seemed to click for both of us.  I ran the whole way without stopping!  My sister and I go running together but basically we just carpool.  Remember in a previous post when I referred to the tortoise and the hare?  Well, you all know by now that I am definitely the tortoise.  My sister, on the other hand, is the hare.  She’s doing really great and I’m very proud of her.  She seems to really enjoy running and that’s part of what keeps me going.  We are both so busy with our families that we very rarely get any time for just the two of us and running has given us that time.  She never makes fun of me for being so slow, even though as the baby sister it’s part of her job to harass me.  Instead, she’s been very encouraging and I appreciate that.

I heard something on TV the other day when I was watching “The Doctors” that I’d like to pass along.  They had a guest on the show that had lost a significant amount of weight and then became injured and couldn’t do the same workout.  So instead of modifying his workout, he quit altogether and started gaining back some of the weight.  Dr. Travis told him something that we all need to hear:  Don’t focus on what you CAN’T do, focus on what you CAN do.  My life has been full of ‘can’t do’ for years now and finally my thinking has changed and it’s made a huge difference.  You can’t do 25 stomach crunches right now?  Fine, can you do one or two?  You can’t run a marathon?  Fine, can you walk down your driveway?  You can’t climb Mt. Everest?  Fine, can you take a flight of stairs instead of the elevator?  I think you get the point.  Regardless of your condition, there is something that you can do to just get started.  If you do have physical injuries/conditions, check with your doctor and ask him or her what you can do.  Start small.  But just get started.

Posted in Exercise, Fibromyalgia, Inspirational, Overweight adult, Running, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Changing it Up

Ever since my daughter was just a few months old, I’ve been telling myself that I needed to workout to some of the many exercise DVD’s I have while she is napping.  I told myself I have no excuse to not exercise during this time, yet everyday I seemed to find one.  I decided today was the day to start.  At 10:30 I put her down for her nap as usual.  I played on Facebook for a few minutes, talked to my mother on the phone, sent a couple of emails, sent a few texts to my husband and sister, then finally decided it was time to exercise.  So I dug my yoga mat out of the closet and dusted it off.  My hand weights weren’t with the mat so I searched around in the basement for a bit looking for them.  No luck.  That’s ok, I can do the workout without weights this time.  Since it’s been so long since I’ve done any type of upper body workout, I don’t want to do too much right now and make myself so sore that I have trouble running in Saturday’s race.  I popped in one of my favorite Pilates DVD’s and sweated and panted my way through the 30-minute cardio portion.  As I got my shoes off and stretched out on the mat, I heard Elizabeth crying, signaling the end of her nap.  Thinking she would enjoy having Mommy in the floor to play with, I decided to continue with the mat portion of the workout with her in the room with me.  It didn’t work out so well.  Even though my child loves to be barefoot, she cannot stand it when someone else is.  So I’m lying on my back attempting to do leg lifts with her trying to put my socks and shoes on me.  She finally gave up and laid on top of me.  We both just started laughing and got up.  Needless to say, I didn’t finish the workout today.  There’s always tomorrow….

Posted in Exercise, Inspirational, Overweight adult, Running | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Moving Past the First Race

It’s been a couple of days since the first race now and the sense of accomplishment is still strong.  This is the first week since January that I have no scheduled group runs.  But I do still need to run this week because I have another 5K on Saturday.  I’m hoping that my time will improve with this race.  But even if it doesn’t, I just want to cross that line again.   This morning my sweet baby girl was still a little sleepy when she woke up.  Normally I hear her in her room talking and playing before I go pick her up out of her crib.  But this morning she was crying so I knew she wasn’t quite herself.  Once I got her up and dressed, she would hardly let go of my leg and would just look at me with that precious smile.  Every time she hugs and kisses me or just smiles, I am reminded of how much I love being her mommy.  She’s the reason I’m trying to get healthy.  I want to be a participant in her life, not just an observer.  I want to run and play with her, go on walks and hikes, and play ball.  And someday I hope to be able to play with her children.  Everyone has a reason to get and stay healthy.  So discover your reason and take the first steps toward good health today.  Talk to your doctor and find out a good starting point for you and then go for it!  You have nothing to lose but pounds!

Posted in Exercise, Inspirational, Overweight adult, Running, Weight loss | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Race Day

“I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race” (2 Timothy 4:7).  This morning was our first 5K.  This was the day we’ve been anticipating for twelve weeks now.  The weather was beautiful as was the country road we were running.  There were 298 runners lined up when the airhorn sounded.  And we all finished!  Some were fast and took off like rabbits.  Others of us were like the proverbial tortoise.  And the rest were somewhere in between.  But regardless of style or speed, by the grace of God we all finished.  And that was the most important thing.  I’m sure there were some people that had personal goals set and I hope they met them.  For me, my goal was simply to finish.  The fact that I finished on my own two feet and didn’t come in dead last was just a bonus!  Maybe one of these days I’ll get a little bit faster but who knows?  Seeing my daughter’s smiling face at the finish line was my reminder of why I’m doing this.

Posted in Exercise, Inspirational, Overweight adult, Running | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

It’s almost here!!

Tomorrow morning is the race.  It’s the day we’ve been training for the past 12 weeks.  When we had our very first workout on January 17th, it seemed like April 9th was a very, very long time away.  Running non-stop for more than 60 seconds seemed like an impossibility.  Yet here we are less than 24 hours before lining up at the starting line.  Wow.  All I can say is God is good.  It’s only by His strength and power that I’m able to even take a breath, much less run for 3.1 miles.  This evening we’ll pick up our race packets with our race numbers and t-shirts.  I think somehow that will make it seem even more real.  As I watch my little energetic daughter play, I am reminded that she is a very big part of why I’m doing this.  I want to play with her and be her mom for many, many years to come.  She’s my little shadow these days and I want to set a healthy example for her to follow.  I know she’d be out there running with me if she could.  Of course, she gets distracted easily so it would take us quite a while to get to the finish line.  We’d have to stop and smell the roses along the way – literally!

Posted in Exercise, Inspirational, Overweight adult, Running, Weight loss | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment