Thursday, March 31, 2016

Time for my comeback

Life happens. This has been a rough patch and I'm not proud to say I've put on some weight. I can pinpoint the time that it really got out of hand, but looking back on my blog, it is clear I've been putting my thumb in the holes in the wall for a few years. I don't want to dwell on my perceived reasons why I'm where I'm at, but I also want to acknowledge that I was knocked off my game pretty hard, and looking at all the triggers as a whole, I'm not too surprised to find myself here. I had two deaths in my immediate family this past year, one of them being my grandfather. He was almost 92, so it wasn't all that surprising, but I was able to spend the day before his death with him in hospice where he had probably the best day he's had for quite awhile. I was also there and in the room for his passing, for which I feel enormously honored. Earlier last year, my maternal grandmother who was 101, also passed away. Both of them lived full and happy lives and I carry them with me every day.

However, it was that day in September when my grandpa died that my running took a severe hit. I put everything else before myself, including daily movement. Yes, we also adopted a greyhound last year, and I'm out walking her 4-6 times per day, but that extra amount of schedule commitment, in addition to my children's activities and husband's schedule and I found myself at the bottom of the list -- sometimes not on the list at all.

I have managed to gain 30 pounds in about six months. I have felt like my body is not my own for almost a year now, and I fully believe this is the start of menopause, even though I am still getting my period every month - actually more regular than it has ever been, but the distance between the cycles is shortening. My skin is an adult-acne, rosacea nightmare, night sweats suck ass, and the mood swings are brutal. I think I still would have gained some weight even if I was running regularly, but not quite this much. I recommitted to 3x per week strength training this Fall after thinking that I could maintain it myself and devote more time and effort to running (this didn't happen sadly, and the lack of lean muscle mass also decreased my metabolism). This amount of extra fat I'm carrying around with me is just not what I envisioned for myself, especially after having a breast lift/tummy tuck back in October 2013. I still maintain both my surgeries in 2013 and 2014 exacerbated the inflammation process in my body, but the processed white carbs and sugar that have snuck back into my diet are the biggest problem I face today.

Twelve weeks to the Garry Bjorklund Half Marathon (Grandma's up here in Duluth) so this week begins the start of my Intermediate Higdon Half Marathon Training. I signed up for the Duluth Running Company training group in January, but the commitment just wasn't there when it started, and then we went to Hawaii on vacation, and life intervened. This will be a get out there and get it done race rather than the PR chasing race I had wanted at the beginning of the year. I am faced with a new normal, and I have to adapt to what my body will give me this time around.

I vow to fuel my body with abundant fruits and vegetables, healthy whole grains, lean proteins and a limited amount of healthy fats with the occasional treat thrown in to prevent the "all-or-nothing" mindset I seem to fall into in times of stress. Now is the time to treat my body with respect and love and get back to my healthy, happy place and then march on to new accomplishments and experiences. I obviously didn't learn all I needed to learn when I lost my original amount of weight and reached goal in 2011, and really, I knew it then. I felt like I was tenuously walking a tightrope and wondered when the bomb was going to go off, and I'd fall off the beam and never recover. Well, here I am, and it's up to me to get back on and stay there; find a way to get there in a healthful manner, and learn something about myself along the way. Who knows, maybe I'll be able to help others with the struggle once I get through this myself.

I am going to take a selfie every day after my run and/or strength training/cross-training sessions until my race in June to document the process mostly for myself, but also for anyone else finding themselves in the same spot. I also have a big race planned for the Fall, but I'm not focusing on that quite yet. Here is today (3/30/16) along with a screenshot of the last song that was on my shuffled run mix -- Don't Look Back by Boston -- my mantra of late. Away we go.