Thursday, March 22, 2012

Starting Over

Last year, I worked with an amazing coach and mentor, Christine Kane, participating in two of her awesome programs: Uplevel Your Life and Uplevel Your Business. One thing that I learned from her is that the journey we are all on in this life is not linear, but more like a spiral. We keep coming around to the same place, but as we move along the spiral (hopefully upwards), we see that place from a different perspective. I love this way of looking at things, because it means that when we stumble or struggle, even if it feels like we are "starting over," we really aren't back at the beginning of a long and bumpy road or at the bottom of a mountain we worked so hard to climb.

The last year has been hard for me in a lot of ways, and I totally let myself take the easy way out and give in to old habits. I ate my way through a lot of bad feelings. I forgot to practice smile therapy. I let myself step back into the role of "victim" on way too many occasions. I let myself down a lot. I'm not proud of it. I'm not happy about it. In fact, I've let myself feel quite depressed about it for quite some time.

So now I sit here, frustrated and feeling like a big fat failure (literally and figuratively) for gaining back all the weight I was so proud of losing just one short year ago. But, I know that while the scale (and the dark side of my brain) may try and convince me I'm right back where I started, I have two half marathon medals and an established and non-negotiable weekly running schedule that tell another story. I may be looking at the same problem, but certainly from a better place. I know what I have to do. I know I can do it. I just need to take action. I'm not giving up, dammit!

Last Sunday I ran my second half marathon. I knew that I was not as fit or prepared as I had been for my first one - I did not put in the time or mileage I had for OBX, and I had suffered an injury less than a month before the race. Since I, like most runners I know, am not a quitter, there was no way I was going to not run, but I was definitely looking forward to having the race and the stress of training behind me. I knew I needed to cut back, get healthy, and fall in love with running again. Oh and also, drop those pesky pounds.

Tuesday I went for a short run with the Big Red Dog, and it was a miserable run that nearly had me in tears. My foot hurt. I was gasping for air after just a few minutes. I barely made it 30 minutes doing 2/2 intervals. I felt worse than I had when I first started running! I tried to tell myself that a bad run is better than no run, but then I decided it was time to get over myself, toss out my unrealistic expectations, and "start over." Today, I did just that...

Good old Couch to 5k. I started with week 3, adding an extra "circuit" to make it a 30 minute workout. I'm sure that my body is still recovering from Sunday's painful 13 miles, but I have been wanting to work my way back up to running without walking as well as work on getting faster, so I thought this would be a good way to do both. Today's run was a struggle, but much better than Tuesday. My foot still hurt for the first mile and I had to stop several times to stretch, but it was a gorgeous day out on the Tobacco Trail and it was nice to be running alone, and when I was done I felt a kind of satisfaction I haven't felt in awhile. 

It also felt good to be running just to run, not to train for the next race. In fact, I don't even have another race on the calendar right now. Way back when I was setting my goals for 2012, I had a lot of running-related goals, but I think I will let those sit on the back burner for now and just take it workout by workout for awhile and just enjoy running, and improving as I work my way through C25K. It feels right.

I also need to get back to eating right and tracking my food. I don't know WHY I have been so blocked about that, but for sure I have been over-thinking it. We are going to Disney for spring break, so I'm not going to stress heavily about it right now, other than to simply get back into the habit of writing down everything I eat. After vacation, I will get for reals about dropping the pounds - I WILL reach my goal this year!

Well, that's about it for now. I'm just going to keep taking small, imperfect steps, one at a time, over and over, until I get to where I want to be.