Sunday, August 30, 2009
Tuesday, August 25, 2009
The 20 Running Commandments.
- Don't be a whiner. Nobody likes a whiner, not even other whiners.
- Don't make running your life, make it part of your life.
- When doing group runs, start on time no matter who is missing.
- Don't compare yourself to other runners.
- When standing in starting lines, remind yourself how fortunate you are to be there.
- The faster you are the less you should talk about your times.
- Don't always run alone.
- Don't always run with people.
- The best runs sometimes come on the days you didn't feel like running.
- Be modest after a race, especially if you have reason to brag.
- All runners are equal; some are just faster than others.
- There are no short cuts to run excellence.
- There is nothing boring about running, there are, however, boring people who run.
- Look at hills as opportunities to pass people.
- Don't try to out run dogs.
- With out goals, training has no purpose.
- Go for broke, but prepare to be broken.
- Unless you make your living as a runner, don't take running too seriously.
- Runners who never fail are runners who never tried anything great.
- Running is simple. Don't make it complicated.
Monday, August 24, 2009
The training miles increase, as does the ibuprofen, soaking in the bath tub and Thai oil rub downs. Mostly after the weekend long runs I just want to sleep and eat. In reading I have learned that on marathon day upon the completion of my glorious 26.2 miles I will have burned approximately 8000 calories, no kidding. I believe that number shocks me more than 26.2 miles. I have a hard time fathoming either of these two numbers honestly. I am almost certain that I will not fully understand them until crossing that finish line. I will be the one sobbing or as I prefer to call it "doing the ugly Oprah cry" as I finish. I will be overwhelmed for sure and starving.
Saturday, August 22, 2009
We pushed ourselves to finish and actually added half mile to the run. We completed six and a half miles in a little bit over an hour. I felt another sense of accomplishment.
Today I motivated Lori which is usually the other way around. She told me she wasn't feeling well, her cousin had passed away, her mother was mad at her and she was tired. (The latter is plenty enough to make me tired, dealing with mother issues is exhausting. I have given people around me permission to put me out of my misery if I start becoming my mother, dear god help us all.)
I enjoy our runs more and more as she talks more. I think we are really becoming friends. We discuss our children, books we read, things that annoy us, you name it we talk about it. I am fully aware that what we discuss is between her, me, the fence post, and maybe a horse, cat or pig, literally.
After these longer runs, which will soon be accompanied by "only five miles" which is so wrong for only to proceed five miles, are tougher on my hamstrings of all things. I am thankful for eucalyptus Epsom's salts that my friend Rebecca introduced me to, and I am ever so grateful. They compliment our garden tub perfectly. I believe she must have bought stock in the company as now I need an intervention to stopping using those salts.
All in all, I remain on track, progress continues. Tomorrow is my day off and for that I am thankful.
Thursday, August 20, 2009
A little history on Tony Horton and how our relationship began. First off I was flipping through the television and happened upon an infomercial, which under normal circumstances I would have avoided like the plague, not on that day though, Tony Horton was selling his workout plan. (I ask myself daily what was I thinking and believe it or not I have watched this infomercial repetitively since!) At first glance all that I saw was ripped bodies on fit people that were not eighteen years old. They were people around my age. The exercises they were doing was challenging and intrigued me a little more. I decided I must order this workout program. I did every little bit of it and waited ever so anxiously to get it in the mail.
Finally P90X arrived in the mail. I was elated and ready to inflict whatever on myself in order to challenge my workout and switch things up a bit. ( I saved the box because if I didn't feel challenged I was sending it back immediately. Can we say ego which was by the way crushed like an egg on day one!) Needless to say the box was thrown away after round one of pure hell. I have never in my life done as many pull ups or push ups as I did that day. My whole self hurt which to me is a good thing, it was what I wanted, right?
After completing the first weeks of this hell in a box that I paid for, I became to know these people who were inflicting such intense workouts on me by name. I learned in the beginning if Dreya is on the dvd, watch out I was in for a extra dose of pain. If Tony and Dreya could only hear what I say to them, they would do more damage to me. I have cursed them out, flipped them off and told them how much I hate them out loud, as I masochistically finish those workout everyday. Will I ever learn? Probably not.
When I started training for this marathon, I decided I needed to let my body adjust to all the running and take a break from P90X for a little bit. During this time, the marketing geniuses at Beachbody (P90X distributors) sent me a message to say they had an additionalfive workouts to challenge me even more. What a sucker I am, I ordered them. These dvds encase the very bowels of hell. They make the first fifteen, yes fifteen dvds look like a cake walk.
After my two week break I restarted P90X. I must say that I will not make that mistake again. Once I was in the routine of doing the program I was pretty anesthetized to the pain, my body had adjusted to. Day one back on P90X, I went running with Lori, my hip flexers locked up, not a pleasant experience. Note to self, P90X never gets easier and the additional pack not necessary.
I did complete the upper body "hell in a dvd" workout this morning. It was the longest thirty-five minutes of my life, yes I said thirty-five minutes. I almost threw up, when doing an upper body routine that is not the norm at all, legs possibly but not upper body!
Tony Horton is genius for having developed this plan, it is not to be entered into lightly as it will kick your ass in high fashion. The results are phenomenal when you follow the program, strength improves and body changes happen rapidly. His workouts are comprised of all the elements that we forget to use, being wrapped up in machines at gyms. Endless amounts of pull ups and push ups, lunges...he takes it back to basics and some days I could just ring his neck for it. Some mornings I could punch Dreya and him in the face, but the end results are all worth it, vomit and all.
Tuesday, August 18, 2009
My running has been consistent now with times and distance. I have been shocked, elated and pretty damn proud. I am doing it, I am really doing it!
In the 103 degree weather this afternoon, we ran five miles in 40 minutes. The progress is happening, as long as I continue to push myself I will remain on track.
Lori and I are now running three days a week. We run rain or shine and even when the heat is unbearable. It is something I look forward to though sometimes I think I might not be able to finish the whole course but somehow I do.
Each small run is a means to a greater end like putting together the pieces of a puzzle...26.2 miles.
I am fortunate to have someone in my life that I am able to share some of these things with her name is Irma, Nik's mom. The anticipation of meeting her the first time was so intense. It didn't help one thing that Nik had given my about two weeks notice so I had way to much time to analyze the initial meeting. My worst fear was that she would not like me because I was divorced, a single mother and that I am heavily tattooed. I must convey the amount of anxiety I was experiencing, I had gotten some Xanax from a friend to get me through the meeting.
When I met her that night, she hugged my with the biggest and most welcoming hug I'd ever had. Instantly I felt completely comfortable around her (no Xanax required), she was one of the nicest people I had ever met. She never judged me at all, not for the tattoos, the divorce or the children. I came to find out that she and I had a lot in common.
When Nik and I got home that night, I told him that I hoped he knew how lucky he is to have a mother like her. I know he does.
I have spent a lot of time with her, even without Nik. She and I enjoy sitting on her deck, drinking coffee and talking. She really listens and is genuinely interested. We have gone to the movies together. She frequently comes to our house for dinner, which I thoroughly enjoy.
Lately, we have been so busy that I had not called her. I also must admit that when I feel like I'm getting too close to someone I will hit the brakes and throw it in reverse quickly, I am terrified of getting hurt. I am the "wall up queen." Nik would tell me she said hello when she would talk to him. She called me the other day. Immediately I thought that something was wrong, she called to tell me I had not called her in a while. Truthfully, I didn't think it mattered to her if I called or not. It did though, even better than that I mattered.
I made a surprise stop by her house on my way home a day or two after the phone call. She and I just visited. I enjoy those times so much.
Times like these I have never shared with my own mother. I can not even fathom stopping by just to visit, we don't even talk on the phone. These moments are what she is missing out on, not me.
Monday, August 17, 2009
I have come to the conclusion that the people that share my DNA are uninterested, not encouraging and are not loving. I think that sometimes they forget I exist, literally. A difficult conclusion, I might add and certainly not one that I wanted to accept. I quickly come to mind when they have need for something.
I was born to my parents in 1973 after they had lost a child due to a miscarriage which I have been reminded of repetitively during my life. After the miscarriage the conception of me took eight years. Living in that shadow, I was expected to be the perfect child, sad but true which was the catalyst for a plethora of problems that would overflow into my adult life. More than once I have been told that I was not worth the wait or she (my mother) wished I had not been born at all. She said that she had waited so long for what, me? How's that for loving?
Our existence was filled with falseness that spilled over to the outside world. I was hugged when in public to maintain the facade that my family was "the perfect family." Inside those walls of the house there was a completely different atmosphere sometimes smothering. The portrayal of perfection was so stressful and expectations so high, I literally collapsed at six years old from exhaustion.
As I grew up and went school, the classroom became my escape. I attached myself to my teachers and the search for a family had begun. The older I got the harder I tried to seek acceptance from my own family. I would strive to make the best grades, get the lead in the play, or whatever it took to get their attention, because in order to do that I had to be perfect.
As a teenager I was in advanced classes as I had been my entire school life, I brought home my first "B" (not a typo, yes a B). I trembled as I handed it to my mother, a beating ensued as I had embarrassed her by not making an "A". The next time I made a "B" I forged my mother's name. My teacher called me out of class to ask me why I had signed her name to the interim report, I explained what had happened before, she never sent another report home.
At sixteen, I got pregnant with my oldest daughter Brittany. I attended a private school, I had to hide it. I decided I would graduate in summer school a year early. I did, then I told my mother I was pregnant. By this time I was seven months. I kept it hidden because I knew she would make me have an abortion or give her up for adoption. I was right. Of course, all of it ended up being about her as I again had embarrassed her, how could I have done this to her. She made me stand up in front of the church and announce that I was having a "bastard child." What more support could I ask for?
Everyone knows that my mother is a saint, after all. She fails to remember that I was alive and old even not to forget the affairs she had. Not to mention the times she decided she wanted my dad and us to move out, it never failed that it was near the holidays. Still to this day I hate the holidays, all thanks to her. This will put the icing on the cake, for Christmas the first time she had us move out, Santa brought my sister and I a luggage set. I would never forget that Christmas, not because of my mother but rather my Daddy. He built me a doll house from the ground up. I even got to pick put the wallpaper, he and I made curtain rods out of q-tips. For about six months I lived in a camper outside my granny's trailer. That was when I really started to get close to my granny. She liked for me to read to her, she couldn't read.
I made a profound decision after having had Brittany. I decided and was determined not to become a statistic. It has not been easy, especially with two other children, a failed marriage and until now being completely alone in the world, literally. I have succeeded and continue to be successful everyday despite the lack of concern, encouragement and support from my immediate family. Never once have they said,I am proud of you or anything else positive but I have accepted the reality it won't ever happen, not from them at least.
Therefore, I search out and surround myself with people who will support me, who will be there even when I fail and love me just the same, and encourage me to go after my goals no matter how big or small and by no means expect me to be perfect. Some of them are clients, some are old family friends, some new people that trickle into my life and they all play very specific parts in my life.
For me letting people be a part of my life, to truly let them into who I am and break down the exterior that most people see is in all cases frightening. I am probably the most unsure person. I am afraid of rejection, of not meeting expectations and of just not being good enough. All of these come from a life lived in the shadow of the one they lost and my mother's inability to become less self-absorbed and love me.
My mother's words were far worse than her hands, the abuse happened both verbally and physically. I lived with fear stuck in my throat for most of my childhood and through my teenage years. A few years back I confronted her about a few things from the past, I laid it on the line and asked her reasoning for many things she had done. Her response to me was that she didn't know what I thought she had done to me but that I was crazy. I should have realized then that this relationship was not worth my time, she is toxic and that unless she changes it will remain unreconciled. A harsh conclusion to come to I know but I don't know what else to do.
Since then I have been in search of a family, not blood kin. I have acquired many sets of people that I consider parents. I have Mia and Bob, Toni and Randy, Kathleen and Lewis, Irma, Donna and JM, Brownie and Bill. Each of these people play a huge part in my life. They have cried with me, celebrated with me and watched me evolve into the person that I am today. I am fortunate to have them be a part of my life.
Friday, August 14, 2009
I chuckle each time I start a new endeavor because her comment comes to mind every time. She was referring to finding out that at 28 years old, I had decided I was going to be a bodybuilder. To most this doesn't sound like too much a feat I guess but, I had already had three children, one by c-section which is supposed to deter the ability to have a six-pack abs. I was 165 pounds, 5'6" tall and could not even walk to my mailbox with out getting out of breath.
My youngest child had just begun kindergarten so I did not know what to do with myself having been a stay-at-home mom for years. I had let myself go, focusing just on my children. I decided that I would go to the gym and see if I could get someone to guide me on what to do. I found someone and because he saw my determination he trained me everyday at lunch. There were days that I trained until I literally threw up. I started out not being able to make it to the mailbox, within six weeks I was running two or three miles on the treadmill. I progressed so rapidly that from March to July my results we remarkable due to persistence, discipline and a lot of sweat. In July, he asked me if I was interested in trying my hand at a Bodybuilding show. I asked him if he thought I had a chance. (In the beginning of our training relationship, I had stressed so much that I do not want to be lied to and do not feed me to the wolves. He swore he would always be honest with me.) He told me with much enthusiasm that I definitely had a chance.
November rolled around, after many months of grueling workouts, running eighteen miles a day to cut body fat, and a strict beyond belief diet, the competition was here. I had learned a routine, and was ready to take the stage. After all the pose downs, routines, and long waits the judging took place. I had won my weight class. I had taken 2000 Southeast Women's Open Middle Weight First Place title. Yes, I have a national title in bodybuilding.
Within an eight month period, I had gone from stay at home mom with floppy arms, saddle bags, a baby belly, to a national title holding bodybuilder with an 8 pack. I say that to say this, when you dream, dream big, you just never know how far you can go. We are the only people who can tell ourselves no, we defeat ourselves, most of the time before we begin something new. Courage is all it takes, make the first step and if you merely ask, people are normally overjoyed to help you succeed.
Having the title is not something that I brag about at all, I am proud, but was taught to be humble about any accomplishments. Many times I have been told that I am not proud enough about my feats, but to me it's just another day of doing what I have to do to reach the ultimate goals that I set for myself.
Thursday, August 13, 2009
I want you to know that I was thinking about your post as I ran in the rain this morning...kept me going. It's not that I went that far or did anything amazing...just that I did not turn around and go home. Thanks for the spark
I'm so glad. Felt good didn't it? And you did do something amazing - you hung in there. I'm proud of you!
It was awesome...see you tomorrow!
It is and yes you will.
After reading that first chat, I actually teared up. Here I am thinking that my blogging and other posts never have any affect on other people, I was really shocked. I inspired someone. Never underestimate the power of words...
Wednesday, August 12, 2009
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Yesterday, in the sweltering 105 degree weather (not including the heat index), we trekked three miles. Believe it or not it was not unbearable. Don't get me wrong it was not pleasant but we did it. Afterword, we cross trained. These days I use Muay Thai as my cross training. It is my sanity and has made me a much nicer person. Muay Thai is also beneficial to the cardiovascular system, which we refer to as "having lungs." I have been training Muay Thai for over two years now. I am happy that I am able to continue with it while doing all this running.
Monday, August 10, 2009
This past weekend had been anticipated since May - UFC 88 in Atlanta, Phillips Arena - the fight - Liddell vs. Evans.
The adventure began on Saturday morning as a motley crue headed down to Atlanta. The trip down consisted of a gas station stop, that was the first of many sugar overloads that would occur in less than twenty-four hours, fight predictions being discussed and the need for Krystal Burger. Having missed the exit to Krystal a much needed stop was made to the Golden Arches, I think I heard the Hallelujah Chorus singing out as the bags of purchases were opened and consumed. Quarter pounders with cheese, fries, chicken strips, cheeseburgers and a caramel sundae were all eaten as though it were fine dining.
The music selection was random as stories of childhood memories, adult occurrences, G-Man and the knowledge that Joe Burke's name fits in any song's lyrics perfectly were shared. (You should try it, it really does work!)
As we proceeded on our trek to the fight, our next stop would be the hotel. Dear God! Thank goodness we were only there to crash for the night not a good choice for an extended stay, but one perk was that there was continental breakfast, which ended at 8 or 9. The other perk was that the hotel was conventiently located by a gas station that sold $2 40 oz. Miller Lite. The beds were tested out for "spring-abilility" by jumping on them. The five of us re-loaded, re-couped and returned to the xterra to continue the journey to Phillips Arena and to get a peek at Chuck "The Iceman" Liddell and whoever else we could see.
The trip was an eventful one as we got lost in Atlanta, but who doesn't, the roads are always under construction, detours and lanes that are too small. DON'T DRIVE A WINNEBAGO THROUGH ATLANTA! Thanks to GPS we got back on track. We finally arrived, Hallelujah Chorus, again I swear! We were uncertain where the arena was so we just decided to follow all the other people wearing Tapout, Throwdown, Fairtex, Affliction and any other fight tee shirt.
There were a sea of tattooes, Chuck-style mohawks, scantilly clad women, beer guts, MULLETS, and a plethera of bad hair and no teeth. YES WE HAVE STEPPED BACK INTO THE DAY OF WRASTLING, I KNOW IS WRESTLING BUT IF YOU ARE FROM THE SOUTH, IT'S WRASTLING! UFC fans are crazy and that's an understatement.
Upon arrival, we decide that we are starving. Golden Buddha, a Thai restuarant, is spotted. (I swear two people on the trip should have slanted eyes and sprout wings, but they shall remain nameless.) Apparently as we are seated, the five of us became either transparent or invisible as we could not get serviced. We exited the Golden Buddha disgruntled, sadly without any food in our bellies which is not good especially for me. Next stop some Mexican restuarant where we just strolled our way right through, from the back and guess what, NO SEATS! We finally settled on Chick-fil-a which I ate in two bites while sitting on the floor straight out of the bags. I think that was probably the best food we have ever eaten, sitting on the floor.
Time to line up for entrance into, Hallelujah chorus again, the arena, almost fight time, woohoo. 18000 seats all sold! We even watched the undercard fights. Just so you all know the blood on the mats at the UFC fights that you pay-per-view at home, come from the undercard fights not the main events.
Time was fastly approaching for the Main Event. As we took our seats, lo and behold, an action sized Chuck Liddell sat in front of us. I don't think I can convey appropriately how much this guy looked like a pint-sized Iceman. Mini Chuck as he was loving nicknamed by all of us, had the chuck hawk, the Iceman teeshirt and the yell and poking out of the chest down to a science. He is probably Chuck's biggest fan. We all laughed at and with Mini Chuck as he provided us free entertainment all night long.
Finally, after much anticipation the Main Event, the last Hallelujah Chorus! Round one of the Liddell/Evans fight was pretty low key. But in the second round and much to our shock and amazement, Evans knocked Chuck out. COLD! The arena went completely silent.
It only left me wondering one thing...what would become of Mini Chuck?
Now you have to realize that food consumption had not occurred again for about 7 hours, a gas station was very appetizing! Ice cream, reeses pieces, poppycock, and pretzel combos were on the menu for the late night dinner buffet. I ate so much sugar that I went into crash mode and fell asleep so hard that I woke up at 9:30 which is unheard of. For those who know me, the consumption of that type food is not something that I do, EVER. Disbelief was on the face of those around me!
The next morning, we all decide that we are starving literally to death, and hit up Cracker Barrel, which was delicious and odd being surrounded by over-all wearing people, who are shocked and amused by the way that we look. The waitresses are staring in the direction of the table and come over to ask if the guys fight for the UFC. We all had a great laugh and filed our bellies. The store out front as you all know is filled to overflowing with candy and games and other stuff that impulse buyers crave. Travel Bingo was purchsed and played on the way home as well as Big League Chew, which resulted in bubbles the size of the guys faces being blown.
A great time was had by all, with discussions of attending the next fight that is near by.
My only question, what will become of Mini Chuck?