Tag Archives: mental

Staying Tough, Mentally

It’s almost August – I really don’t know where July went. I suppose I spent it logging miles, nursing my little hound, and teleworking a lot.

As of August 4, I have exactly a month until my Half! I’m excited and looking forward to the challenge. The miles we’ve been logging (seven last weekend, six the weekend before, and five the weekend before that) have bolstered my confidence. Yet, I’m also scared out of my mind. 13.1 miles is a long way. I felt so accomplished last Saturday when we finished our seven mile run. As I cooled off and walked home with Hubs, both sipping our iced coffees, I realized that we will be running 6.1 MORE miles on the day of the race. Right now, that feels inconceivable.

I know I’ve come a long way during training. Where I am now, two miles, three miles, even four miles don’t seem like long runs anymore. These are no longer “stretch” workouts for me — instead they’re my evening runs. It’s what I do when I get home from work. I love that feeling and it’s so nice to see what my body can do. Around Memorial Day, I was worried about finishing a 5k. A month before that, I could have maybe run one mile (if chased). I really love the level of fitness I’m working toward. I love that I’m healthy enough to get out and sweat after a long day at work. It’s nice to know I’m pushing myself again.

I’m trying hard to stay positive and motivated. I try not to think about the mileage increases each Saturday. I just think about the next mile. However, I do catch myself sometimes thinking about Saturday’s long run in “how in the world am I gonna do that?!?!” terms. But, I get out and I do it. Having Hubs with me is super helpful and really spurs me on to keep running. I really enjoy the time we get to spend together on our runs. Even when we devolve into grunts and panted questions about which direction we’re going next, seeing him running beside me motivates me to keep going.

Have you trained for a distance race? How do you stay mentally tough during training? On race day? I’ll take all the advice I can get!!

Also, y’all, I am suffering from the worst planning mistake ever! My passionate love of college football (especially my alma mater, the University of Georgia) has collided with this race I’ve been planning for the past seven months. I failed to look at a football schedule. 😦 Georgia’s season opener, at the Georgia Dome, Saturday night prime time, on ESPN, is the night before my half. *Insert huge sigh here* I anticipate struggles sleeping anyway, so maybe it will be nice to have the tv on in the background as I try to fall asleep? Or, there’s always the chance I get sucked in, get worked up, and get little to no sleep the night before I run 13.1 miles. If that happens (and if we lose) I will be VERY, VERY cranky. All right, I’m done being melodramatic. It’s one football game, but I’m committed y’all!

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A week in numbers

0 – the number of staples in/on Buddy (yesss, staple free!)
1 – night spent on amazon.com “trading in” our old textbooks for amazon credit. (this is awesome, you should do it. ask me if you have questions!)
2 – cups of coffee consumed this morning (also see: number of pills Buddy is down to each day)
3 – runs so far this week
4 – miles run yesterday without stopping
5 – bags of dog treats for our spoiled dog (all different too, spoiled!)
6 – food trucks I anticipate eating at/sampling from this evening at TRUCKEROO!

It has been a pretty good week! Buddy “looks awesome” according to the vet and has almost completed three weeks of crate rest. He’s such a patient little dog.

I had a few good runs (including a four miler yesterday where I never once wanted to quit), enjoyed book club (book review coming soon), my old boss’ wife had  their baby on 7-11, and we got a package in the mail from my parents for Buddy (spoiled)! Tonight is Truckeroo and tomorrow is Dan and Kelly’s annual luau. So excited. Hubs and I are also aiming for a 5.5-6 mile long run tomorrow morning. Hopefully it goes as well as yesterday’s four miler!

On the not so good side, I apparently spent a lot of this week eating poorly and fooling myself into thinking I was eating well. Whoops! This morning, the scale was up and I definitely had a moment of WTF?! I mean, I’m working out more than I have in a long time. Scale, why do you betray me?! Then, I started thinking about what I had to eat this week: BGR for lunch Monday, a 7-11 day slurpee, chinese food, beer, wine, ice cream, pizza and more wine at book club, etc. Oh, my bad, those aren’t health foods?!


(Source.)

Oh, yeah, I guess not. That probably explains my situation this morning. So, I’ve scaled back my grand ambitions (mac and cheese, grilled cheese, poutine, empanadas, tacos, cupcakes) for the food trucks tonight and have tried to make more logical decisions. Hubs has generously offered to split poutine with me so I can still have it – I married him for reasons like this! I’m still looking forward to trying some new trucks and it’s not like I’ll never have another chance to try the grilled cheese truck or the mac and cheese truck. Delayed gratification, right?

Coming next week: more cooking, a book review, and hopefully a report of a successful long run!

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Stress (Less)?

Here’s a little Anna factoid for you: I am prone to anxiety. Fortunately my anxiety is not debilitating and panic attacks are rare things for me. But, I do seem to love a good worry. I really envy people who are able to look at a situation, consider the facts, and move forward. Also, the people who don’t “what if” a situation to death. However, along with many wonderful traits, my family also carries a predisposition to anxiety and mild depression. Yum.

My current worry? We took Buddy for his first follow up appointment this afternoon. Buddy is looking great – aside from his wound on his tummy. I’ll skip all the nasty details. Basically, the vet wants us to hold a warm compress to his wound for five minutes or so 3-4 times a day. This seems to feel good as Buddy settles down as soon as the warm compress hits his skin. Poor little guy. We have another follow up appointment on Thursday. From that point the vet will decide if he needs to have his wound cleaned and closed with staples or stitches. This is where I start to worry things around in my mind.

Worries: I don’t want him to get an infection. I don’t want him to be in pain. If he has to have the wound closed by the vets, what is that going to cost? If they use staples, how long do those have to stay in? Right now, Hubs and I have enough telework approval to stay home with him until the first set of staples (from all his cuts) come out. But, if he has to get another set of staples, I don’t know if one of us can stay home with him. He should be fine in his crate — but I worry he’ll get his e-collar hung up on something or find a way to lick/nibble at his wound and staples.

End crazy. Okay, so I need to leave this alone. I don’t know if he’s even going to need staples. We could wake up in the morning (after three hot compresses and another good night’s sleep) and his skin could look healthy and pink. It could look even better Thursday morning. And, if that’s the case then I’ve wound myself up for no good reason.

I think I’m a little tense tonight because Hubs is going into work for the rest of the week and I’ll be home alone with the little guy. I’m so fearful of hurting him somehow or exacerbating his injuries. I know he’s a tough little guy and I’ve handled things with Hubs around often enough to know what I’m doing with Buddy-care. But it’s still nerve wracking.

Blah, okay, fretting over with. Thanks for joining me on my crazy train this evening. In other, actual blog related, news — my house arrest with the hound is paying off in some ways! I’ve cooked — Banana bread and two new recipes (Mama Pea’s Mmmm sauce and a Creamy Taco Mac that Brie shared), worked out (a run, a strength training session, and a hill incline session), and devoured my book club book. (Too bad Buddy’s Thursday follow up appointment falls during book club. Oh well. Hound first, wine second.)

Hubs just leaned over and asked if I was “blogging about my feelings.” 🙂 He can always tell when I’m worrying something around in my mind. Time for me to put this worry aside, get my little dog to eat dinner, and read some more in my lovely book club book. (Review coming shortly!)

 

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Oh, so that’s what it’s like…

I remember what a good run feels like! 

After my blog post about intimidation and my bad mindset when it comes to running, I chatted with a few of my runner friends and Hubs. Basically, the jist was — if you’re not going to enjoy it, why do it? Hubs reminded me that I need to think of running as fun and enjoy what I can push myself to do.

Tuesday, I came home to a sweaty Husband — fresh off 3 miles from our training plan and the treadmill.  I knew I needed to run, but decided that outside was the way to go. I set out with the aim of running 2 miles. I finished those two. They were not easy, but they were definitely not as hard as I had thought they would be. I decided that, after a half mile walking break, I was going to finish another mile. Hubs was not going to “beat” me! 

And, I did it! Granted, the last .4 mile was spent in the large parking lot across the street from my house. Cops use it for motorcycle training so it’s  closed to traffic. I’m sure I looked like a loon — jogging slowing back and forth across the parking lot. I was BRIGHT RED and at the point in my run where I didn’t give two damns if I even looked like I was running. My level of effort was a run in my mind, so I trekked around that parking lot until my trusty Garmin said it was quitting time. Proud doesn’t cover it!

Perhaps I needed the element of competition. Or, maybe I just needed crunch time? I had another pretty good run on Thursday. That time I stuck to 2.25 straight and walked it out to three miles to complete my mileage. After two recovery days (my poor, sore legs), I hit the treadmill this afternoon. (It was a little warm and sunny  for my pale skin outside.) This time, I ran intervals to keep myself from getting bored. 2 minutes at 5.5 and a minute at 6. With half a mile left, I increased my speed by .1 mile every minute until I finished my 2.5 miles. (Much speedier than normal too!) It sucked, seriously, but I made it happen and I’m pretty pleased with myself. I walked another mile to meet my mileage. (Cannot wait until I can run the full mileage for the week!)

So yeah, here I am, less than a week later, with three (for me) fairly strong runs under my belt. Our families are coming into town this week for Hubs’ graduation, but I’m going to try to still get my three runs in this week! Hooray consistency and double hooray for finally enjoying (for the most part) running again!

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Intimidated

Hi friends,

Let’s have a truthful moment, shall we? I am scared out of my mind about this half marathon in September. I mean, I am excited, but I feel woefully unprepared.

I’ve mentioned before that I’m not good at not being good at something. Got that? I struggle with running, or really getting back into running, because building up to three miles is hard. I huff, I puff, I turn red, I get tired, I sweat prolifically. And, a lot of times I just quit. This is not a good way to train for a half marathon.

Husband and I met up with our racing buddies: Thea (who has run countless full and half marathons) and Nick (one of our groomsmen who has agreed to take on this challenge as well). Over a nice brunch, Thea mapped out (via crayons on a paper table “cloth”) a training plan for us newbies. It’s very gradual and builds a great base. Each month we increase our weekly mileage and we have a long run of 12 miles three weeks prior to the race. It is a wonderful training plan and I am excited to complete it.

Starting on the other hand, that scares the bejesus out of me. After hurting my back (and re-hurting it on Friday) and not running for two weeks, I am petrified. I am going to suck. I need to accept that. It’s gonna be hard. But, I need to get myself into a good head space. I need to harness some positive thinking and bolster myself up to keep pushing when it’s hard and not just stop to walk. Training isn’t supposed to be easy so I need to accept that challenge. I don’t want to keep coming back here week after week and blogging about how I’m going to start training next week, the week after, on Saturday, next Sunday, whatever. The race is less than four months away. I could probably run a mile straight right now. Maybe a mile and a half if I were chased.

Training starts now – no matter how hard it is!

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Enjoying Marathon Monday

It’s tax day — but more importantly it is also Marathon Monday!


I subjected husband to two hours of runners and compulsively updated the race tracker for my boss. I went down to the gym intending to use the race as motivation for my training run of the day. Sadly, our gym’s cable receivers are undergoing maintenance so I was stuck to local news channels. 😦 No race finish for me. Instead, I focused on pushing myself through today’s run.

Let’s say this, I’m very glad I’m starting my training for this half now — because I am going to need every second of the time I have left. I’m running intervals right now because that’s so much more attainable and less intimidating to me. Thankfully, today’s run was better than Friday’s! 🙂 

I am, h0wever, currently famished. The problem with that is I finished an extra large lunch (left over chicken curry and quinoa) about two hours ago. WHOOPS! Going to chug some water and hope that tides me over a little? Husband gets out of class at 7ish so that means we’ll eat around 7:45 or 8. Eeeek!

Two quick side notes: (1) Chicken Curry went well! Hooray! And I did it all by myself. It’s so fun to have a meal ready for husband instead of the other way around. (2) Husband has, after today, four classes left before he gets his masters! Now, if only all his work was almost done and he was stress free! I guess you can’t have it all.

How did you celebrate Marathon Monday? 

Do you get insane post work out hunger? (Or am I weird in wanting to eat my arm sometimes?)

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Back in the Saddle

I love the feeling of accomplishment that comes from toughing out something you really didn’t want to do in the first place. That’s what I did yesterday. I didn’t want to run — still sore from Tuesdays Kettlebell attempts. But, I reminded myself that (a) I was going to HH/needed to earn my beers and (b) the half marathon wasn’t getting any farther away. It wasn’t pretty, but I’m so glad I did it. I’ll be lacing up my running shoes again tomorrow (either before or wayyy after my brunch with a few friends).

What I don’t love right now is the pollen. Ugh! I can’t breathe and my throat is sore. I love spring time and the arrival of temperate weather but it really wreaks havoc on my ability to suck in oxygen. I guess I can properly appreciate today’s nasty, rainy weather since it is hopefully washing away some of my nemesis!

I’ll be packing in an early lunch today before heading out to meet up with Aidan and head to Nicole’s baby shower. I’ve got my gift (which I may wrap in a garbage bag to keep it from getting soaked in transit) and I’m excited. I’ve never been to a baby shower before! I’ll have to try and control myself when it comes to finger foods and drinks. My weight has been falling again and I don’t want to mess that up. (This is one of those times when the struggle of giving up cheese for Lent comes in handy – it keeps me from eating ANYTHING and EVERYTHING  I want.)

Speaking of cheese, I have a hot date with Noodles and Co for a huge plate of Mac and Cheese in a week and a day! Anyone want to join me for that? (Or for the run I’ll be doing in an attempt to try and counteract some of that?)

Do you suffer from pollen like I do?

What’s your favorite party finger food? Mine is probably pot stickers or cheesy dips!

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Snacky McSnackerson

Thanks y’all for your kind comments on my previous post. Things are a little better/I’m trying not to let stuff bother me too much right now. Working out last night definitely helped!

I am ravenous today. I feel like my body realized it worked out last night and is now demanding payment. I’m trying not to snack as I have a lovely lady date this evening (happy hour and the Smithsonian Craft Exhibition) but it has been hard to keep my snacky hands to myself. This morning we had a staff meeting which led me to confront my arch nemeses:

+

Sigh. I resisted their siren song. I even kept my fingers out of my boss’ candy bowl (even though he has twix AND rolos right now). I’m pretty pleased with my will power. 🙂

I had plans for a workout tonight, but my lady date takes precedence. I will, however, be lacing up my sneakers and heading out for a run tomorrow. I’m kinda looking forward to it.

What else is on deck? A lot actually! Tomorrow is a delightful day of telework followed up by a happy hour/hockey watching with Husband’s former coworkers (all of whom I adore). (Bonus fact: Tonight’s lady date is the wife of one of those coworkers. You should probably check out her blog!) Saturday I’ll be going to a baby shower for a friend from school and his wife. It promises to be laden with delicious homemade fingerfoods and handcrafted cocktails. (The girls throwing this thing are serious about it!) Finally, Sunday will contain another training run and a brunch date in Old Town with a few friends. Dear Weekend, I like how you’re shaping up!

Are you snacky today? More importantly, what are you up to this weekend?

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Pacer’s Quarter Marathon

So, after writing my post yesterday, inhaling as much vitamin c as I could, and resting up, I decided to go for it with the race today. I didn’t want to let myself or Kelly down.

4:30am found me wide awake about an hour before my alarm. I managed to rest for a little bit longer before hauling myself out of bed. I’d laid out my gear the night before so it was nice to not search for anything in the dark. I chowed down on a slice of peanut butter toast and grabbed a Naked Juice and Cool Mint Chocolate Clif Bar for the car. (I have to say, that is now one of my favorite bars!)

I was ridiculously early to meet Kelly, so I found a parking spot and tried to “harness my chi” and get my mind right. We met up and took a cab to the race start where Kelly picked up her packet and we dropped off our bags. After a quick port-a-potty break and a jog around the block to warm up our legs, we were ready to go.

The first two miles were great! Kelly is a joy to run with and talking with her really took my mind off of the fact that I was running a race I was ill-prepared for. (Yes, that’s right folks, I talked while I ran! That’s another first for me and I was surprised at how “easy” it was.) We crossed the mile three marker before we took our first walking break — I was pretty proud of that.

We ran through mile five and then walked for about half a mile. My left ankle was feeling rather tight so it was nice to walk a little and let it loosen up. The entire time, I was monitoring it for “bad pain” and thanks to Caitlin’s post about “normal pain” I felt like I was able to assess the situation and keep going.  Normally, I would have used that as an excuse to stop but I knew nothing was out of sorts so I kept pushing through.

Kelly and I set a goal during our first walking break of finishing in 90 minutes. Neither one of us was really prepared for this race so it was more about having fun and finishing. The race was also a half marathon — folks completing the half ran two loops of the course. It was really inspiring to see the lead runners for the half!

I struggled through the last mile and having Kelly there kept me moving. She told me that if we pushed, we could really kill our goal and complete the race in under 80 minutes. With that goal in mind, we stepped it up a notch. We crossed the finish line around 79:30, got our medals and celebrated!

Officially, this is the longest distance I’ve ever run. We averaged just over a 12 minute mile. For a race run sick, tired and un-prepared, I’m so so thrilled! (I think I would be thrilled even if I wasn’t sick!) Even though I walked and even though my times are nothing compared to some of the amazing women whose blogs I follow, I know that I personally have to start somewhere. I’m proud that I gave it a shot. I’m thrilled that I ran the first three miles straight. I’m elated that I finished under my goal!

Kelly and I also chatted about running the Disney Princess Half in about a year. I’ve never been to Disney and her husband-to-be hasn’t either. Stay tuned, I may be buying a tutu and training for a half!

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No music = no run?

Before yesterday, that was how I worked. The only thing that kept my feet pounding the ground were the tunes flowing out of my trusty little ipod. Moving hasn’t been kind to the ipod and thus it was uncharged yesterday. I didn’t realize this until I made it down into the lobby and had finished stretching.

At first, I panicked! I’d be able to hear myself breathing (like a heart-attack victim) and I wouldn’t have upbeat songs to carry me along when I got tired. But, I knew that if I took the time to go back upstairs and rifle around in our boxes for my old ipod, I probably would lose my tenuous motivation to run. So, I decided there was a first for everything and I needed to run!

I headed out on my usual course down into Old Town and to the waterfront. The weather was beautiful and breezy — five degrees warmer and it would have been perfect! The lack of music was surprisingly not detrimental. I think my pace was faster than normal too. If I didn’t have music to entertain me, I wanted to get there and get back! (I super-awkwardly ran with my ipod strapped to my arm and my earbuds in because I really had nowhere else to put it!)

My original goal was for a 5k-4miles. Getting home late from work and being behind on moving necessitated a shorter run. Based on my googlemap calculations, I made it about 2.5 miles. Not the best distance, but pretty darn good as far as I’m concerned for a girl who has never run tune-less before!

No work out tonight as it’s our last night with the old apartment — aka everything has to be out, thrown away and cleaned before we go to bed tonight. So, we’re gonna throw together some dinner — put tomorrow night’s in the slow cooker and make a little moving magic happen!

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