Tuesday, May 24, 2011

Wow--that's quite the view!

I've been in Sydney for 4 days, and I am already in LOVE with this place.  Truly.  Hubster has been trying to convince me that we should move here immediately, and I must admit I really can't find too many things that sway me from agreeing with him (minus missing friends and family!).  While we are here primarily for work, we've been able to sneak some fun touristy things into the mix.  They were even activity based!

I climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

I am not in this picture.  Use your imagination.
I biked nearly 10 miles around Manly.  I also went to Manly Beach where the manly men were swimming in the freezing cold water.  I worked up a good sweat on the hills all over the region!

I also have spent the last two days on my feet all day.  That's activity, but not the fun kind!  The rest of the week will be spent working in warehouses and then enjoying the city in the evening.  Next week = scuba diving the Great Barrier Reef.  SHARKS!!  EEEEEEEH!!!  Wish me luck.  :)

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Dreaded Swimsuit Shopping

With the upcoming trip to Australia rapidly approaching, I was faced with finally confronting the dreaded enemy--swimsuit shopping.  We are planning to spend a week on the Great Barrier Reef learning to scuba dive and I knew that I would need some swimsuits that fit.  I have a great collection of swimsuits, but they are either too small (from college days) or too big.  I wanted something that fit just right!

Off to Kohl's I went.  I'm a sucker for a good deal, and I had seen some cute swimsuits online that were worth checking out.  I found a surprisingly good selection!  I usually do my swimsuit shopping at Target, but I have been frustrated with the quality of their clothes lately so I opted for Kohl's this time.  I'm glad I did!  In a short amount of time, I found myself with arms full of many many options.  I swallowed my fear, and went into the nearest dressing room to see what I was up against.

I know I'm not alone on this, but isn't swimsuit shopping the worst thing in the world?  Way worse than jean shopping.  I was not looking forward to seeing the way the swimsuits accentuated the flaws in my body that I'm already too aware of.  But we do what we must do...and so I tried them all on.

And they fit.  And they fit well.  I actually felt cute in a swimsuit for the first time in years.  I'm not saying that I'm going to be swimsuit model material anytime soon (or ever really), but I found swimsuits that I was comfortable in.  I liked not just the fit, but the way my body looked in them--I was actually comfortable in them.  It was probably the greatest NSV I've had to date.

So I bought three different swimsuits to celebrate.  :)

You will have to wait until I post pictures from my trip to see them in their full glory, but here's a photo from one that I bought:
They didn't have those cute bottoms, so I got one with a black skirt instead and it was super flattering.  Loves it.  Can't wait to wear it in the ocean!!  If I don't post much over the next couple of weeks, you know why!  :)

Monday, May 16, 2011

Important Lessons

I have now missed two weeks of running.  I can't do any cardio--every type of cardio I can think of uses the motion that is causing the problem with my knee and I don't want to risk it.  My doctor told me to take it really really easy for four weeks, so I'm doing my best to stick to that.

The last two weeks have been a big learning experience for me.

Lesson #1:  Running Keeps Me Sane

Running alleviates stress in a way I never had noticed.  Without the ability to run away the worries of the day, I am finding myself crippled by stressful situation.  They build and build and build until finally I breakdown.  Worse, I know that I shouldn't be as stressed as I am about these dumb work issues.  I finally put it together that these were so stressful to me because I wasn't running.  It made me miss running (and hard workouts in general) that much more!

Lesson #2: I'm High Risk for Double Damage

When I'm injured, I somehow feel like I deserve to eat all the food I want.  Apparently it is my way of showing my body who is boss.  "Oh yeah?  You want to be injured?  Well, I'll show you!!  I'll eat you into a coma to teach you a lesson!!"

Hmmm...there is some serious logic missing there.  But, I've followed this routine the last two times I've been injured so it is definitely worth noticing and being proactive about.  It makes absolutely no sense to up my food intake when my activity level has taken a severe decline.  I'm really surprised I haven't gained any weight.  Either way, no more food comas!

Lesson #3: Running is Clearly My Drug of Choice

I really like running, and I haven't had as much joy in other forms of workouts.  Since running has always been so dang difficult for me, I feel like any other workout isn't a true workout so I don't want to do it.  Lame.  I'm glad I love running, but I wish I loved all types of workouts!  Admittedly, I love Zumba and biking but I can't do either of those right now so it isn't the same.  Sigh.

All in all, there are a lot of things about myself that I need to review and continue to work on.  I can't wait to get back into the game of running and really amp up the mileage once it is safe.  I'm hoping to get in a few short runs on my trip to Australia in the next couple of weeks.  I'm nervous, but so very excited!  In the meantime, it's time to reign in the eating and stop trying to do double damage to my body!

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Sitting Kills

This was too interesting not to share.  Welcome to Corporate America and land of the sitting.  Time to find ways to break up the amount of sitting I do in a day!

I'm Not Dead

Just super busy!

Work has been absolutely insane.  I've been working till 9 or 10 every night.  I haven't had a chance to get a workout in, and eating hasn't been great.  But, I'm still committed and can't wait to start trying out new workouts.  I want to check out Crossfit and see if I can replicate some of it at home.  It sounds like a killer workout!

How's everyone else doing?  Be sure to check out Sabrina's new blog address.  She had to move domains because of some really awful people!  Be sure to hop on over and send her some love.

Happy Tuesday!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

The Diagnosis

IT Band Syndrome. Whomp whomp whomp.

4 weeks with absolutely no running.  I can't bike for at least 2 weeks.  Holy crap--what will I do with my time?  Guess it is time to bite the bullet and add weight training.

So--Ogden Half Marathon is definitely out, followed by potentially the Teton Dam 10k with my sister, and then Wasatch Back Relay.  My Physical Therapist said that I will need to start with adding one mile back on at a time, so I won't have my mileage anywhere near what it needs to be for those races.  Yikes.

Sad face.  Oh well, it is better that I do this now and get healthy then permanently screw up my knee!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon Race Recap (Photo Overload!!)

I knew it was going to be an interesting race from the moment I woke up.

Early Saturday morning I peaked out my window and said a quick thank you to the weather gods--there was no snow.  Weather reports had said there was a risk of snow for the evening, but luckily (I thought) we had avoided the bad weather.  I quickly got ready and hopped in the car to go pickup my coworker and Running Roommate (RR).

I was about 3 miles away from my house when I realized that I had forgotten my purse and my sunglasses.  I had someone meeting me in SLC to pick up tickets from me that were in my purse so I HAD to turn around.  Crap.  This meant I was going to be a bit late--no biggie, right?  I could just make it up by driving a bit faster (hee).

So, I returned home quickly and then hopped back on the road to my destination.  Roads were clear with no snow.  That is until I hit the city.  All of a sudden, there was a crap load of snow on the road.  I'm talking 5 inches of fresh new snow on dangerously unplowed roads.  In fact, on the drive to pick up RR from the hotel she was staying at a car three lanes over hit some pretty gnarly snow/slush and started spinning 360s on the highway right in front of me.  I missed getting into a really really bad accident by less than 3 feet.  At 5 am I was not ready to be dealing with these types of situations!

However, the road soon cleared up and we were able to make it to Thanksgiving Point with 20 minutes to go before the race started.  It was FREEZING outside.  It was really hard to judge what to wear--the weather was being a bit unpredictable (hello---it should NOT be snowing this much when it is nearly May!).

We settled into the start line queue and snapped some quick pics:
We so sexy!

Gingers Unite!
After a few minutes delay, they finally started us off.  We settled in to the 12 minute mile pack as we wanted to take this run nice and easy (especially since I wasn't sure how my knee would feel).  We quickly fell into a comfortable rhythm.  I tried to snap a quick photo of us on the run, but my skills are apparently lacking...
Pay no attention to my photography skills...
The course was BEAUTIFUL.  Even with the tulip gardens covered in fresh snow, the scenery was breath taking.  Or the asthma was.  Either way...  But in all seriousness, I would run this course every day if I lived near Thanksgiving Point.  It had beautiful pathways, fun tunnels, gorgeous waterfalls, and beautiful mountain views.  I loved it!
You should come run here
I was feeling really good for the first 5 or 6 miles.  My knee was only slightly stiff, but nothing even remotely unmanageable.  The course had been mostly flat or uphill up until that point.  When we reached the golf course portion of the run, we started a brief downhill descent.  I had been looking forward to the downhills on the course because I knew it would even out my slowed pace from the uphills we had been running!  Except one problem--I took one step on that downhill portion and there was INSTANT FIRE in my knee.  It was a completely debilitating pain.  I had no choice but to walk down those sections, but even that hurt.

Suddenly, this went from being a nice easygoing run to a problematic course.  The golf course was filled with MANY up and down sections.  As you runners know--a continual uphill can be quite exhausting and the brief reprieve you get from the downhill section is much looked forward to.  Except we were dreading those sections.  Both RR and I had the exact same problem--big-time pain in our left knee.  We seriously were hobbling down all the steep sections.  We even had to result to this funky side step maneuver that looked more like a country line dance move than a viable way to get down a hill!

While I'm sure we looked rather funny to all the other runners, we were in this together and we continued to push through the pain to finish the race as strong as possible.  We hadn't set out to run the race with any particular time in mind.  We just wanted to finish it and have fun.  Admittedly, the pain got so bad for me around miles 10 and 11 that all I wanted to do was lay down and cry but I knew that I would regret not finishing and I really only had one way to get off the course and that was to keep going on the path set in front of me.  I wasn't about to swim across the freezing river to get to the finish line!

Because of the continual uphills (and the dreaded downhill walking sections) our pace took a hit.  We ended up finishing at 2:46, which I am very happy with considering what we went through to get there!  The last two miles were ran on pure willpower.  Both RR and I were exhausted past the point of fun--we had to dig deep and push through pain that I had never experienced while running to finish up those last miles.  However, we did it and I have never been more excited to see a finish line in my life!

About 100 yards before the finish line, I saw some people waiting on the corner cheering runners on.  As we got closer, I recognized my in-laws cheering loudly for us.  They were beaming from ear to ear.  At that point, it was taking everything I had in me not to walk (though walking hurt worse than running, so that really wasn't an option either).  However, once I saw them I was able to forget my pain and power through to the finish line where my husband was waiting for me.  It was so amazing to have their support and hear their cheers.  I may or may not have gotten choked up as me and RR crossed the finish line together after the most grueling thing I've ever done physically.  I was SO PROUD of us for powering through and finishing strong.

Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon 023
Who says you can't smile when you are in pain?
Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon 020
It might have helped that my super sexy husband was the one taking the photo!
Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon 016
We can do it!!
Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon 037
And we did!!  PROUD FINISHERS!!
Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon 042
And chocolate milk for all!
Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon 039
I wish I knew what I was saying in this photo...either way I think it is funny so I'm posting it!
I normally am not one to get all mushy on ya, but I have to take a moment and give a quick shout out to Running Roommate.  She is a freaking rock star.  I would never have ran a 10k (and DEFINITELY not a half marathon) without her encouragement and support, and she's been there for me 100% of the way.  She is continually sending me texts of support, and checking on me to make sure I'm taking care of my body and resting properly.  (It's not her fault I don't listen.)  She was in just as much pain as I was, but she never complained and she continued to push through to finish something that neither of us ever thought we would ever be doing.  Not only is she a fantastic running buddy, but she's also an amazingly selfless person.  She's the kind of friend that only comes around once in this life, and I am so lucky she's crazy enough to stick around and hang out with me!
Thanksgiving Point Half Marathon 033
Love this girl...
Anyway...I better stop before she gets mad at me for being a softy.  :)  Moral of the story is that even though the knee pain sucked, the race was still awesome and I left it feeling like I had accomplished so much.  I can actually say that I've ran a half marathon!  WOW.  It hasn't sunk in yet, and I'm not sure it ever will but I am glad to have actually achieved this goal.  I can't wait to see what else I am capable of!

I actually ran a half marathon!  Proof!!
Oh...and for those of you that might be wondering about my knee:  Yep, I totally screwed it up and I am going to have to take an extended break from running.  My physical therapist suspects it is IT band pain from learning about my symptoms, but we won't know for sure until I see her tomorrow.  Either way, she says that I need to chill out and rest my poor knee for quite a while.  I'm not going to lie--Sunday morning I woke up in so much pain that when I needed to go use the restroom I had to army crawl the whopping 15 feet it is to the toilet.  In tears.  Ummm...yeah.  Let's not talk about that, shall we?

I'll update you tomorrow as I know more, but in the meantime I guess I will be spending a lot more time on my lovely bike!  Hopefully it treats me better than it did last time.  :)  Perhaps this is the event I need in order to actually start lifting weights.  We shall see!

If I had blogged yesterday...

...it wouldn't have been pretty.  Yesterday I was feeling the agony of defeat.  I was reading everyone's updates on their progress for April goals and I realized that I barely eeked out one of my four goals.  Let's recap, shall we?

April goals were as follows:
  • Lose 4 lbs by April 30th (this would put me at around 148)
  • Run 80 miles
  • Rock my first HALF MARATHON!!
  • Fit comfortably in my size 30 jeans from Buckle (they used to fit and are now back to being dangerously tight, especially given my history....

Hmmm...Lose 4 lbs?  I'm not sure what my current weight is, but let's just say that I got clear down to 148 and then the next week weighed in somewhere around 155.  W.T.F. people.  I'm not even sure how that happens.  I counted calories religiously for the month, and busted my butt running and I ended up higher than I started.  Last night all I could think was, "what was the point of all this?"

Run 80 miles:  I ran 74.  I had a knee injury that stopped me from hitting those last 6 miles.  I'll give myself a pass on this one because I made a valiant effort, and it was a good decision not to run those missing miles on a hurt knee.

Rock my first Half Marathon:  Race recap will be tomorrow.  I finished it, and considering the knee pain I was running through I consider it "rocking" my half marathon.  So yay!

Fit comfortably in my size 30 jeans...yeah, that ain't happening.  They fit the same as they did earlier this month, which means that all the weight I gained wasn't muscle weight.  Boo!!

Anyway, the sum of all these missed goals was too much for me last night.  I was discouraged, frustrated, and frankly, quite ticked off.  I nearly posted "I QUIT," and left the blog at that.  I'm going mental not being able to break this stupid plateau, and now I'm injured which means my physical activity level is going to take a hit making it worse for my body.  Yikes.  

But...today is a new day.  I am not a quitter, and I'm in this for the long haul.  I'm going to use this injury to branch out to new activities and hopefully mix it up enough that my body starts responding again.  Biking tonight...lifting weights for the rest of the month.  I have an appointment with a physical therapist this week to look at my knee and I will see when I can start adding running back in.  She says it is not likely I will be able to run this month which is a big bummer.  I'm trying not to think about the races I will miss out on because that is highly discouraging.  

Anyway, here is to continuing on this journey and one day (I know it will happen someday!) finally seeing results from all this effort!  :)