Friday, March 25, 2011

No Pain...No Gain

Around this time last year I began changing the way I looked at life.  I don't think I was really a "cup 1/2 empty" type of person before but I decided that I would become a "cup 1/2 full of *insert favorite drink of choice*" kind of person.  Whenever something wasn't going my way I decided I would look at it positively.  Ankles the size of softballs during pregnancy turns into....thankful for a healthy pregnancy.  Heartburn = thankful for medicine.  Baby crying in the middle of night = thankful for sweet sweet baby.  You get the picture.

There is one area of my life however that I can NOT seem to see through the rose colored glasses.  I haven't blogged about it before because it's kind of one of those personal issues.  But it is a serious issue for me and I need some encouragement.  And accountability.

I am totally addicted to food.  I love food.  And after I did "no sugar September" this past year I realized that I am an emotional eater.  At night I would tell Peter that I "needed" something sugary.  After a short lecture on need vs want I realized that I just want sugar.  I want it all the time.  I want to just sit down in front of the tv with a gigantic bowl of 15 different flavours of ice cream and eat until my heart is content.  The problem is sugar does not = happiness!!  And when I really stop and think about it I know that fitting into my pre-pregnancy/pre-Peter jeans doesn't = happiness either.  But it DOES = healthiness. 

I want to be healthy for my son.  I want to be able to run after him.  We all know I am not going to be able to teach him ANYTHING that even remotely resembles a sport but that doesn't mean I can't get out there and get dirty trying!

I've been training for this 1/2 marathon now since the beginning of January.  I can't say that I am always consistent but for the most part this former couch potato is running at least 10 miles a week.  Here is where my frustration lies. 

#1 I have lost about 2 pounds in the last 3 months.  If you have struggled with weight loss you KNOW how discouraging that is.  Not only am I nursing Stafford but I am exercising and eating well too!!  Yes I have noticed a SLIGHT difference in the way my clothes fit.  But I am 30 pounds overweight.  There should be some difference!

#2 I am officially THE slowest runner on earth.  I'm not embarrassed about it, I just hate it that it takes me so darn long to finish a long run.  I can't even tell you how many people I've told that I'm running this 1/2 marathon and then they tell me that they run but they are "really slow".  I laugh and then they tell me that they run an 11 minute mile.  Or a 13 minute mile.  Or even a 15 minute mile.  And secretly I sort of want to kick them in the shin.  Because even after running at least 10 miles a week for the last 12 weeks I am still running a 16 minute mile!!!  Add that up and tomorrow when I do my first long run of 7 miles I'll be out there running for 112 minutes.  That is almost 2 hours!!!!!!  This 1/2 marathon is going to take me 16 days to finish!

I don't want to be an expert runner.  I want to be healthy and I want to fit back into my old jeans.  Of course by the time they fit again they'll be so out of style I need new ones so I should probably just get rid of them all now.    I get so frustrated when my friends are literally leaving the hospital in their pre-pregnancy clothes.  I knew that wasn't going to happen to me.  Let's be realistic!  I had so much water retention I looked like a beached whale.  But 7 months later after eating decently well and exercising I wish I had more progress to show. 

I'm not going to give up.  I'll get up tomorrow morning and get out my new ipod running thingy that will let me listen to 2 wonderful hours of music.  I'll put on my new shoes that came in the mail this week since my old ones actually had a hole in them!  And while I'm running I will be thankful that I am able to run.  That I have a sweet baby.  That I have the time to go out and train for this race.  That I've already lost over 40 pounds That I have a dear sweet husband cheering me on. 

Tomorrow maybe, just maybe, that running glass will be 1/2 full.

These moments keep it all in perspective.  So thankful for my little man!!!

8 comments:

Julia Levin-Rector said...

Laura --- I ran my first half in February and it took me 3.5 hours - that's more than a 16 minute mile! My sister, roommate and roommate's 50 year old Mom all ran it faster than me, but you know what? I finished it and that's what's important. You're out running and who cares how fast you run!

I know this is a random comment, but I do randomly read your blog and wanted to give you some encouragement. Running is hard - but you can do it! :)

Mama Marchand said...

Oh, friend ... I know just how you feel! This weight is coming off VERY slowly for me, too, and it's frustrating. I admire your desire to be a glass half full kind of person ... I need to be in that mindset, too. I know that WE CAN DO THIS! :)

Amber said...

1st- Thank you for sharing this!

2nd- I am with all of the others in saying that running a half marathon in any amount of time is an achievement. I would get discouraged while training and my wise husband, your wise friend would remind me that there is only a small population who ever run that far.

3rd- I must ask, are you using a run/walk method or jogging the whole time? I ask because the run/walk method has always worked best for me and allows me to run at a faster pace than when I attempt to run the whole time.

4th- Believe it or not, I understand the whole sugar thing. I get frustrated that I am going to pass bad habits onto Bennett and that I drag Sam down due to my constant sugar cravings. I keep trying to kick it, but I am not there yet.

5th- My sister was so frustrated when we trained for our first half, because I was losing weight and she wasn't. She kept going and the 3 weeks of training she began to notice a difference and began losing some of the weight. Her weight loss continued a few weeks after the race, as well. I think your metabolism remains increased for several weeks after running a long race.

Karin said...

Also a random comment from me, Laura, but I DO want to encourage you!

First, I have this issue with eating sweets, too. It feels a bit embarrassing because my husband does not. Sometimes I feel like I've brought contraband into the house:)

Second, I am a really slow runner, too, but unlike you, I've not even attempted a half-marathon. You go, girl!

Third, after my first baby I was really discouraged that I wasn't losing weight more quickly. When he was 8 months my husband and I started an intensive 12-week exercise and diet program. My husband's pounds started falling off, but mine were so slow to come off. After we finished the 12 week program I felt physically great, but was really bummed that I was still holding onto some extra weight. Then just a few weeks later my son decided to wean himself. Within a week that extra weight - and then some - was gone.

So that's to say I discovered my body was refusing to get rid of all of the weight while I was breastfeeding - it knew what it needed to get that job done. And also, I learned I wouldn't do a fitness program like that again while still nursing. It was too intense, and I think it was the reason my son gave up nursing before I had planned - my milk had been changing.:(

You'll get there soon enough, Laura:)

Laura said...

My sweet friends! Thank you so much for your encouragement. Julia it makes me happy to know that I am not the only "non-runner" out there attempting this! Karin & Mama M....it is nice to know other mommies in the same boat. I would NEVER change having Stafford but wearing the same pair of jeans for the past 7 months has gotten a bit tiresome :)

Amber!! Why has no one told me of this run/walk method before? I googled it immediately when I saw your comment and read an article. And you know what? I ran my 7 miles today in 1hr 40 minutes! That was just over a 14 minute pace!!! I was SO excited!! I did the first 5K in a 42 and that is only a little more than a minute slower than my best time ever!!

Thank you all so much for your encouragement!!! I feel like a new runner :)

Karin said...

That's wonderful that your run today was so much better, Laura!

One more thing came to my mind after you said wearing the same one pair of jeans for 7 months is getting old. It may help your attitude and feeling good about yourself physically if you will allow yourself (if you can) to indulge in even just one more pair of pants that fit you at the size you are now. After my first I had it in my mind that I would be more motivated to get the weight off if I had little to wear and so I NEEDED to get the weight off. I was so wrong about that. Instead of feeling motivated, I felt frumpy and didn't want to go many places or do many things to be physically active. This time, after my second I decided to buy just a few outfits that fit me well at my larger size. I am feeling much better now that I have things I know look good on me (all the while still planning to get all of the remaining baby weight off after we're done nursing.:)

Just a thought for you as you're also in transition:)

Rachel L Riley said...

Laura I am so proud of you for training for this 1/2 marathon! I could not run as far as you are currently running! I do highly recommend the jog/walk routine. It actually helps you burn more calories than just jogging! I feel like it spices my routine up :)
Hugs!

Amber said...

I was so excited to read your response and WOO HOO for the faster time.

I meant to say the LAST 3 weeks of training before the half, my sister began to tell the difference.

Let me know if you have any questions about how I do run/walk.

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