An act of survival

I have been having a hard time with running lately. Mostly, because after the Claire Witch Trial I was in a lot of physical pain. I knew that run would be harder than our actual half marathon but the fear of feeling pain like that again has kept me away from running. I’m still up and moving because I knew that’s what Claire would say. Go for a walk or go for a shake out run. I even ran a 5k and got a new PR. Still, I was struggling with motivating myself. I had admitted to Claire that I wasn’t sure why I was running. That’s the hardest thing about running. You have to want it for yourself. You have to be selfish in that way.  

There are a lot of ways that people and the internet will tell you how to find the motivation again. I know all of those suggestions. “Tell yourself you GET to run”, “reward yourself with new running items”, “don’t wear any technology – just go run”. They can all be helpful, don’t get me wrong. I guess this whole post is a reminder of what I get to do or more like what I can do now.

The first time I ran a race was in 2010. It was in October and I completed a 5k in 53 minutes. November of that same year, after training for 9 week prior, I ran a 5k in 45 minutes. My pace was 14:446yearsago

Training for anything is hard. Training is work. Sometimes you make it fun but really it is ritual and it is work. I get a little frustrated with training when it feels like work, instead of being fun. Worrying about when can I fit in my long run. When can I just get in the milage for the week that is being asked of me. How do I fit it all in, still stay mentally fit at work, be there for my partner, friends, family? How do i drink enough water, eat enough food, stretch the way I need to?

2011 I trained with my first group and I met and made some amazing friends. The finish line photo of my 10k is one of my favorites because four friends ran back to find me and run me to the finish. That 10k was 1:35:54

I made big running plans and started to have wide-eyed dreams of running. I ran the Boliermaker 15k in 2:34:46 – I completed it. It was hard. I was 250lbs at that time. Walking back to the car was difficult.

first run of 20122012 I trained for my first half-marathon. My first 5k time in 2012 when starting training was 49:08 with a 15:55 pace. I trained with a new group with some old friends.It wasn’t a good group fit. Medically, the coach believed I couldn’t achieve the goal. It was a struggle and I was stubborn. I completed the half marathon in 3:34:00. A stress fracture had me sit out for awhile after. I tried in 2013 to train on my own for another half marathon. I ran that one in 3:43:25. I gave up after that.

2015 my old friends I liked from my first running group were trying a new group called New Beginnings. I was coming off two major surgeries but wanted to do something physical again. The first time I was able to run the entire SUNY loop I completed it in 49:33 with a pace of 16:47. New Beginnings Season 01 (NBS01) I ran the 5k in 44 minutes flat.

NBS02, I told Claire my goals. To get as close to a 30 minute 5k as I possibly could. A year ago today she took me out on a secret run where she had me run a 5k in 37:54 with a pace of 12:13.

My season 2 5k was 36:55 with a pace of 11:55. NBS03 I moved up to the 10k group, I made a lot of great friends in the New Beginnings group and Claire believed in what I could do when I couldn’t believe in it. I ran the season 3 10k in 1:10:20 with a pace of 11:28. Making the decision to move up to half marathon training with New Beginnings (NBS04) was two fold. 1. My swolemate and running buddy was in for it if I was. 2. I wanted to beat my old Hudson Half time. I wanted to show my new body what I could do.

That leads me to now, where i’m stuck. My new body felt pain like my old body did. Listen I get all theyearago logic behind it. You push a body, it’s gonna hurt. The emotions, that’s where I am stuck. Fighting through pain and hardship has never been my problem. Seeing the successes, that has always been my problem. In my last 5k I ran it in 34:17 with a pace of 11:03. Claire even reminded me how last year I would have killed for an 11 min mile. Until I saw the photo reminder from a year ago today, I was still stuck in not feeling successful.

The half marathon is 12 days away. For me that is a big deal. It’s also a big deal to our 5k, 10k, and Ragnar Relay groups. While this whole post has a ton of numbers and times and data, i’m trying to not get swept up into that. The Claire Witch Trial was fucking hard but I completed it, my body survived it, my spirit was challenged. That’s what the head unicorn knows is true for each of us in our journey.

“It was was fucking hard but I completed it, my body survived it, my spirit was challenged”



What’s that?

I’ve had tinnitus for ages. That constant ringing in the ear. High pitched enough to throw off singing. Mix that with like the low dull tone that a speaker gives out when there is scilence. That’s what has been going on today. It’s been so bad today because it’s like the sounds and pressure are trying to find a way out. Which is a good thing, even though it’s quite annoying. 

Why is it a good thing? Because it might mean that the high pressure surrounding my brain may be receding. It means everything might be successful. 

Lately I’ve been dizzy and lightheaded. Each time I try to increase my water or protein intake in hopes that it will take away the lightheaded feeling. 

Once again it’s been two full days. Work. School. Rehearsal. I’m exhausted. Tonight I’m going to try swallowing my evening meds. I think not taking my sleeping medication has had an effect on me. That whole not going into REM sleep thing, it’s kind of a bitch. We’ll see what happens. 


Strength and exhaustion 

My first week back at work was only a four day work week. I made it through 2.5 days of that work week. 

I know that part of the exhaustion is from not getting enough protein yet. It’s also probably from not taking my amitryptiline. The medicine that puts my brain into REM sleep. Without it, I rest and sleep but it’s never restorative.

Why am I not taking my meds? That’s because each time I crush them up and attempt to swallow, I gag and spit them back up. Eventually soon I’ll be able to just swallow pills again but I’m stuck in this weird area. 

So it leaves me exhausted. 

I’ve always been one to push myself. To try and heal quickly or get back to a routine. I rested for 6 weeks back in March. I really don’t want to have to rest an entire month again.

I’ve signed up for some 5k’s and joined a running group. I know the first night will be a lot of walking. So will the second week. At the third week I’ll still miss the gathering but I’ll be able to run. 

I planned a perfect storm. Show. Surgery. School. Work. It’s all a little rocky, along with some of my friendships. I just need it all to settle down. Fall in place and create a routine.

I’ve got a lot weighing on me that I haven’t figured how to navigate. I guess while I try to do that it isn’t weakness to take a little nap. 


New non-scale goals

My first 5k back in 2010 took me 53 minutes. Today’s 3 mile walk took me 73 minutes. My first fitness goal is to get my 3 mile walk time down to 53 minutes. I’ll keep working on that until I’m able to start a couch to 5k program on September 28th. 

So I’ve got about a month to cut my time down. Leaving me a month to get into the walk/run groove before my Halloween morning 5k. 

After I’m cleared for more vigorous workouts on the 28th, I also want to do two days of weight lifting in between the three days of running. They say the more muscle you can build, the less skin sagging there is. Muscle then replaces the gap between where the skin & fat used to sit. 

I lose weight in my face first and I can already see it creating these weird new dimples. I am nervous about my elephant ear arms and what my stomach area will look like as I lose weight. All things that will come in time. All things that can be solved in millions of ways. 

I am however ready to stop all this daydreaming/catastrophing due to so much free time. I’m happy to be going back to work Tuesday and happy to have rehearsal tomorrow. 

Today just reminded/proved to me that I am capable of some great things. I kind of needed that.