Sooo…it’s been a while.

Four months, just about. Do you ever go on vacation and then that trip just completely derails your life? I admit, four months is a long time to try and get back on track. It took me about a month just to try and stop wishing I were back on vacation again (that’s a lie–I still wish I was on vacation. It was Hawaii–who wouldn’t want to go back?). I have a real problem with doing that–I’ll be doing great right up until I leave, maybe even for a day or two after, and the poof! Good intentions vanish just like that! And all my plans and goals vanish with them. I guess I should be relieved my next trip is a runcation so I can’t get derailed. Yes, it’s back to Disney, this time for the Wine and Dine–both the 10k and the 1/2 Marathon.

And no, the full marathon is no longer lurking on the horizon.

After our vacation to Hawaii, my friend decided she’d rather go back there then dedicate another six months of her life to training for a marathon for a second year in a row. As you can imagine, I put up a good fight but eventually gave in. (I sucked down a mai tai and wholeheartedly agreed.) However, we’re making up for it by deciding to run in Florida in October. I would complain about the heat and humidity, but fuck, the heat index for the past three days has been over 100 with humidity around 80 to 90% in the mornings, so really, not all that different. Just, I actually have to go out there. I’ve been hiding in the air conditioning here.

This means I need to start training. Maybe work on my shitty eating habits. (Twizzlers and beer are a terrible thing to have an hour before a run. Or even a walk, at least in this heat. In case you were ever considering it.) I’ve done my usual let’s get moving preparations–bought several new pairs of shoes, some new running clothes, a new Garmin. Ran a 10k–the Wonder Woman Race Series. Highly recommend, if you get a chance. For a first time event, they put on one helluva show. Very well organized, great cooperation with the city (every intersection either had police or volunteers to keep runners safe), everyone who participated seemed to be having a great time in spite of the thunderstorms (which I think most of us welcomed–kept the temperature down and held the humidity at bay). Seriously, if you’re looking for a first time race and want to do something fun, this is a good one. My time wasn’t great–oh my god, there were so many hills. So. Many. I was not prepared for that. But it was good enough to move me up a corral in the W&D, so that’s something. Hopefully, I can find one more before the end of July, but it’s not looking good. No one in their right mind wants to organize a long run outside in July.

And this is where I’m at. I’m doing a good job of acting like I’m going to train, I just need to do it. Come on, motivation. Where are you hiding?

Curled Toes

I missed my run yesterday due to having to get up early, a long day of work, lack of sleep, grumpiness, whatever extraneous excuses I could think up not to go. Made myself go today. One of the benefits of being off by a day was that the polar vortex had time to recede and warm weather has briefly fought it’s way in, so it was just a beautiful day for a run. Unfortunately, that also meant a lot of melting snow and ice, so poor Tony got to go straight into the bathtub when we got home. He is not a fan. I don’t care. He was a muddy mess, and now, hours later, he’s still a slightly-damp fluffball (he’s not a fluffy dog by nature, he just has a lot of fur).

Due to irregular work hours, I’m also missing tomorrow’s run, so I’ll have to make it up on Sunday. Other than a class or two at the gym, I didn’t have anything planned anyway. (Yeah, my team didn’t make the big game, and I really don’t give a damn about either the Cheating Bastards or that team that used to be in St. Louis, so I won’t be watching.) It’s not a problem right now–I usually have to work every other Saturday, and once it gets light out again, it’ll be easier to go running in the morning, but I’m a little worried about training for Dopey when I’ll have runs scheduled Thursday through Sunday. I know it’s months away, but these runs occur during the two busiest seasons at the bakery, and I’m going to miss some key runs. It’s something that makes me reluctant to sign up, because if I can’t complete the training, will I be in a good enough position to complete the challenge? Again, months away, no need to stress about it now. Right.

After not running for so long, am I the only person who feels like their feet don’t know how to work anymore? I find my toes curling in odd ways, like they don’t understand they’re supposed to lie flat. My toes right now are a little sore because they keep trying to scrunch up. It might be the shoes. I had shoes that I loved, that I bought again and again, and then the company ‘improved’ them to the point that I’ve had to find new shoes. I hate that. Why fix a shoe that’s already perfect? I don’t know how often I’ve scoured reviews that start, “I used to wear….” but they can’t anymore because the new version sucks. Just leave our shoes alone. If I wanted something different, I’d find a different shoe.

And to all the chocoholics out there, go out and try the new Lava Cake Hershey’s Kiss. It is a rich, delicious bite of chocolate that tastes just like lava cake. I’ve started keeping my emergency chocolate up the stairs at the other end of the house so that I really have to want it in order to go up the stairs to get it, and thank goodness, or the bag would be gone. Highly recommend.

…stupid run…

In an attempt to be more efficient, I’ve got a bit of time on my hands and decided to update.

Did you know that green gummi bears are supposed to be strawberry flavored? I had no idea. I knew about the pineapple ones (the best), orange and lemon were sort of obvious, but strawberry? And the red ones are raspberry? I never would have guessed. It’s sort of ingrained that green will be apple and red will be cherry. The things you learn.

So today’s run was a near complete disaster. There are two paved run/walk/bike/whatever trails around here, one that goes around the lake, and one that runs through town. The lake one is always wonderfully maintained and I know that while there might be a couple tricky spots along the way, for the most part, it will have been cleared and ready for use. I assumed the same about the trail through town. I was wrong. The trail through town was a goddamn death trap. So much ice. And you couldn’t even run off the trail because so many people had already done that, the area around the trail was ice. Dog had a blast, because at one point, we were walking through a field, so he got to roll/skid/slide across the snow, which had been melted and frozen so many times, it was little better than ice. We persevered through three miles of this crap, mainly because I didn’t have the time to change my mind–I needed to get this done and then make it home to meet the cable guy, because we all know what happens if we miss that appointment, even if we’ve already spent the better part of the day waiting for him to show but he was running late and so he kept putting it off and putting it off and you only have so much of your life you can spend waiting around for a five minute fix. Fortunately, I made it home about ten minutes before he arrived.

I should have just gotten on the damn treadmill, but it was only just at freezing outside and the sun was attempting to shine. I knew that if I was moving, it was not going to be that bad. And it wasn’t. Had no trouble staying warm. But I don’t know if the ice was the reason or the cold air or what, but I had trouble breathing, my legs felt heavy, and it just seemed like I was struggling the whole time.

Ugh. What a day. But I’m going to make it to the yoga class in a couple hours, re-center myself (like I was ever centered to begin with), and maybe feel like I’ve accomplished something . It’s amazing how one bad run can make you feel like the whole day is a disaster.

On the other hand, at least the trail was so bad, no one else was around, because the words coming out of my mouth might have gotten me in trouble with parents, or decent people, or anyone easily offended by ‘colorful’ language (though they themselves probably have let go a swear or two after slipping on the ice for the twentieth time).

In the beginning…

Yesterday, I began my plan to be marathon ready by July. I’m not actually going to run in one, I just want to be capable of running in one so that in July, I can start on training for Dopey. Between my confidence journal and my training journal, I’ve been able to fully establish what my goals are for the year. Marathon ready by July, Dopey training beginning in July, two half marathons at two different points to establish where I’m at in my training and what I need to focus on, and hopefully along the way, establish better nutrition and sleeping habits, as well as a cross training routine that will help build up my core, shoulder, and hip strength. Seems reasonable, doesn’t it? And I’ve got a whole year to do it. Mostly. January is almost over, after all.

The hip strength is going to be key as I go along. A couple years back, I tore my hamstring doing single leg deadlifts. There was a sharp pain, the sensation of a spring vibrating up the back of my leg, and that was that. Only, I didn’t understand what had happened at the time. It wasn’t until I sucked it up and went to see a physical therapist seven months later that I learned I had actually torn it. There was a lot of scar tissue built up, and because I’d ignored the problem for so long (big lesson learned there), my body is totally out of whack from having to compensate for my injury. I now have hip problems that I didn’t used to and my hamstring can start to ache where it attaches to my hip. I’m hoping that extra classes on my non-running days will help with this. Core, barre, yoga, strength training, anything that can strengthen my muscles to help support my legs and body.

All talk at the moment, right? Instead of going to a class today, I went and saw Aquaman and then took the dog for a walk. Admittedly, it was 3.26 miles through the snow and ice, so we’re not talking a quick walk around the block, but it wasn’t exactly the kind of activity I need to start incorporating into my routine. Okay, that’s not true. What I really should have done was skipped the movie, gone to a class AND taken the dog for a walk. My priorities aren’t exactly in line yet, but that’s something to work on. Not that I have anything against going out, relaxing, having fun, watching Jason Momoa do his thing on the big screen, but it didn’t even occur to me I should have taken a peek at the class schedule until just now. That’s the kind of thing I need to start thinking about as part of my routine. It’s hard for me to think of classes at the gym as potentially fun. They’re a chore, work, something to find ways to get out of. If I give them a chance, maybe I will actually enjoy them and start seeing them as something to look forward to.

Same with running.

The first thing I usually hear when someone mentions running is, “I hate running”. And for some people, that may actually be true. Personally, I don’t hate running. I hate the effort that I have to put into running. I know it will get easier the more I run, it’s just getting out there and doing it. That always seems to be the hardest thing.

I obviously don’t have a point tonight. I missed out writing last night because I was too busy obsessing over the storm and whether or not we should close today and if it would be safe for everyone to go into work. Today, I just can’t seem to focus. Too many things to worry about. Too many thoughts in my head. Beginning to sound too much like a self-help book. Funny thing is, most of this is just stuff I’m figuring out as I go along. Writing it down does help to make me think a little deeper about my motivations, my issues, my goals, and hopefully I’ll be able to find ways to untangle them and set them on a better path.

But most likely, I might read this over next week or next month and think, oh crap, I forgot I was going to do that. That’s usually the way it goes.

I blame you, SNL.

My favorite sketches on Saturday Night Live are those parodying the game show Jeopardy with Will Ferrell as Alex Trebek and Darrell Hammond as Sean Connery. The utter vindictiveness and willful stupidity portrayed in those sketches never fails to make me laugh, and I love how Sean Connery always manages to misread a category, turning it into something awful. Having said that, one night, the category was “Let it Snow”. Sean Connery, being the asshole that he is, reads the category as “Le Tits Now”. Because of this sketch, I can never see or hear “Let it Snow,” or even walk through a winter wonderland without thinking, “Le Tits Now”. Thank you for that, SNL.

I’m currently in the middle of another winter storm, and I’ve spent a good hour texting with my employees trying to decide whether or not to open tomorrow. I’m not expecting much business, but these days, every little bit counts. The worst part is that I live thirty-five minutes away, so the driving for me can be somewhat hazardous in winter. And it’s not even driving on the roads themselves (though I’ll admit, ice packed or snow covered roads are not my favorite), it’s the idiots who think they’re invincible and drive without any sense of safety for themselves or for the people around them. The ones who creep up behind me, get pissy when I’m not going ten miles over the speed limit, and then pass me while I’m just thinking, “Please, don’t kill us both.” They’re the reason I hate driving in winter. Them and the ice.

Forecasters have been predicting this storm all week, and I’ve had trouble sleeping with the anxiety caused by the anticipation of having to deal with winter. It’s been a great excuse to sleep in instead of getting up and maybe going on a long walk with the dog. Well, not great, but it’s been an excuse, and excuses are just so easy to come by. Being a business owner, I can really take advantage of that to let myself off the hook for a lot of things. The excuses may not necessarily be real, but they do come in handy. Time for that to stop, I suppose. If I make it through tomorrow, I’ve got one day off before returning to work, and my goals for that day include laundry, actually getting on the treadmill since the snow and the wind and the crazy low temperatures are not going to make it feasible to walk outside, working on my confidence journal, beginning my training journal, and meal planning (not prep, mind you, just making sure I have the right kinds of foods around the house so I’m not tempted to search out the wrong kinds). One day to get my shit together for next week. The beginning. Week one.

If you read Day 1 (I honestly don’t know what else to call it–I wish this thing were formatted more like a book. Who wants to come in right in the middle of anything?), you’ll recall I’m supposed to start marathon training on Tuesday. I’m kind of looking forward to it? I know it’s not much to start, and I’m okay with that. I can’t do a whole lot right now and it’s been months since I last attempted to run. I had to hunt for my poor Garmin, which was shoved deep in a bag in a corner of my desk, the battery completely dead. I’m happy it charged. Now I just have to remember how to work it. I once spent two minutes trying to save a run and just kept starting and stopping it over and over again because I forgot the watch had a touchscreen. Not one of my finer moments.

Maybe some of my winter anxiety can be written up to training anxiety. There’s always that fear of failure. I have to remember it’s actually okay if I can’t run a full marathon by the end of June. That’s when my challenge training starts, and my marathon training is supposed to help get me in shape for that. Still, it would be nice to know I can actually get through one before devoting myself to four days of running hell. But that’s not something to worry about right now. Right now, my immediate worries are centered around what the weather conditions will be like tomorrow and if I’ll be able to drive to and from work without sliding off the road.

Le tits now, le tits now, le tits now. (Damn you, SNL.)

Well, shit.

Consider this an accountability blog. Or a blathering blog. Or a bit of both, really. The point is, I need to figure some shit out, and the best way to do that anymore seems to be on a public forum. This might be where the accountability comes in.

(As far as formatting goes, there’s going to be some trial and error. I’ve never tried anything like this before and trying to set up a site on a tablet is a truly terrible idea, so bear with me while I figure it out.)

Let me begin with the summarized version of my life story. Fat. Always have been. Came close once to coming within sixty pounds of my goal weight, so I was halfway there, then bought a bakery. You can imagine how well that went. So, here I am, starting over. Again.

What’s different this time? As you might have guessed from the tag line, my reluctant goal is to run a marathon. But why stop there. My overall goal is the Dopey Challenge. If you’re unfamiliar with Disney races, and I assume most of you are, they’re races where people throw away a ridiculous amount of money to spend a weekend running through the theme parks. I’ve done this four(?) times now? I’m old, my memory is going. A friend and I always do the Princess weekend, which involves the Fairytale Challenge—the 10k followed by a half marathon the next day. This is how we celebrate our birthdays. Fun, right?

Next year, she turns forty and wants to do the Dopey. The Dopey involves four races over four days—5k, 10k, half marathon and full marathon. Fucking crazy. Over the past few years, I’ve done the Princess races with no training and ended up demoralized physically and emotionally, with my confidence eviscerated by my misery. Seriously, I don’t recommend doing anything like this without training. You’ll just hate yourself in the end, and it’s not worth it. She, on the other hand, will be running the Houston marathon for the third time this year, so she’ll be fine. In order not to embarrass myself yet again, I’ve got to get my shit together and start running. I’ve got the gear, I’ve got a training calendar, I’ve got the planner, I’ve got my confidence journal (should really crack that bitch open), I just need to set foot out the door.

Starting next Tuesday.