Thursday, August 8, 2013

The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly: A Three-Part Series

Here's the ugly: I'm at a crossroads of sorts in my life. I'm getting older. My metabolism is slowing down. I can't eat nearly as much as I used to. I can't eat nearly as casually as I used to. Exercise is much harder than it used to be for me. My knees hurt, and I'm slow and out of shape from all those years with little ones when I just could not fit in a regular workout routine. So what's a girl to do when her well-intentioned friend sends her a picture taken from behind that is downright frightening? I kid you not, I opened up this picture and was positively gobsmacked; my first thought was, Why is she sending me a picture of this frumpy, chubby lady in flip flops and white capri pants? My second thought was, Oh dear Lord, that's ME!

Here's what I decided to do:


Yep, the girl who used to be a runner and is no longer a runner has become a runner again. I needed some serious accountability, and training for a half marathon seemed to be a really good fit. I had enough time to get in shape gradually, and there was lots of built-in accountability in this little plan. First of all, enlisting a partner (my little sis, per the text above) to run the race with was a good idea. There have been lots of mornings over the last few months when I've woken up and reeaaaally not felt like running, but knowing that she was training away in Pittsburgh and counting on me to be doing the same was a big-time kick in the pants to get myself out of bed and get going. Choosing to run a half marathon was also a good idea. I think if I had chosen something longer, I would have been overwhelmed and tempted to quit. If I had chosen something shorter, I think it'd be easy to skip a lot of the training. I was definitely in the worst shape of my life when I got started, but I also ran competitively all through high school and college, so I know I could get through a 10K without really training, and that wouldn't help my cause at all. There is no way, however, that I would be able to run 13.1 whole miles without preparing for it. I have to train. That's been good.

The decision to run the ROC half has been a big help in jump-starting my plan to get back in shape. When I started, I was winded after two miles, and holy smokes, was I slow!! All this time I thought I was still such a whippersnapper, and the truth was I was hardly getting my heart rate up. I couldn't believe how long it took me to run a couple of miles! But it has been so encouraging to see that even at 38...


It hasn't been easy. It hasn't been painless. And I've been saddened to realize that training for this half hasn't resulted in the full-body makeover I'd envisioned :-). I seriously thought after a few sprints around the block, those 7 pounds would be gone, and then some. That hasn't been the case, people. I know I'm gaining muscle, but did you know that muscle weighs more than fat? Sigh.

I feel good though! I feel strong - daily, committed exercise is as good for the mind and soul as it is for the body. I'm planning to post soon on my training plan, and looking forward to posting a big success story on race day!

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