Monday, December 26, 2011

Rudolph Run


Let me start off by saying, I was very disappointed!  What would you expect to be the very first thing you should see when you arrive for a RUDOLPH Run?  Duh?! RUDOLPH, people, RUDOLPH!  I thought times had changed!  I thought Rudolph was allowed to play reindeer games.  

I did sight Frosty!  I know he's a jolly, happy soul, but I came for a Rudolph Run, not a Frosty Fleet.  Before word gets back to Frosty, let him know I love him dearly, but no one can be as dear to your heart as a cuddly little deer. 

My anticipated conversation with Rudolph quickly turned to disappointment.  "I have the overwhelming need to talk to all animals in visual site while driving or otherwise, whether they can hear me or not.  Not many, if any have yet to respond."  is noted on my "All About Me"  page.  I have an extreme fondness for most animals, as long as they have no tendencies or desires to slither or hiss. 

So, once I got over the lack of Rudolph's presence, I proceeded to registration; a quick process and stood around for a short while in the highly appreciated heated building.  The wind chill was quite, uh, need I say "Frosty"!  This was a small organized run of under 300 runners, I'm guessing.  

Six of those 300 or so runners consisted of myself and 5 other family members, 4 cousins and my uncle.  It's always a more fun and enjoyable race to run with friends and family, so regardless that Rudolph allegedly missed his flight, I was still excited to do the Frosty Fleet...I mean Rudolph Run.  Just like the Jingle Bell Run, my 60 year old uncle placed in his age group again.  Yeaa for him!  

To keep my holiday running spree, I will be running The Resolution Revolution on New Years Day!

Thanks to those who have endured reading my long, sometimes rambling blog entries, liked me on Facebook and/or have followed me on Twitter. If you have yet to do so and are a glutton for punishment, you may find me here on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter.

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Santa Hustle 5k

I arrived to the Santa Hustle to witness thousands of Santa Claus everywhere.  In addition to the tech shirt, all runners received a Santa hat and beard to be worn during the 5k.  I wasn't sure as to how much the runners would get into wearing the full Santa gear, so I took all of my "outfit"  thinking there wouldn't be many wearing the full beard.  I was very wrong.  The majority of the participants were sporting the full hat and beard.  So, I yanked on my Santa hat and pulled my beard on just before jumping out of the car.  The beard was a tad itchy and I couldn't see tolerating that for 3 miles, so I just wore it down on my neck. 
It was difficult to run this race very quickly.  To avoid the cold, I stayed back as long as long as possible prior to heading towards the start.  I ended up not being able to start before the twelve minute pace area.  With the narrow running path provided, it was often difficult to pass slower runners. 

I usually don't take water from the volunteers on a 5k, but for some reason I felt the need on this one.  Just say what I got wasn't water and was definitely a surprise.  Thankfully, I noticed my cups contents prior to choking down the unexpected M&M's.  I quickly put those down and asked the next time I had cup handed to whether its contents were water or some other surprise. 

It was a festive event as multiple groups of runners sang Jingle Bells and other holiday songs.  I was even passed by a couple of runners carrying buckets of cookies offering them to their fellow runners.  I passed on the sweet snacks, but thought it was neat gesture. 

With a finishing time of 31:39:30, there were definitely no PR's being committed, but just running in the frigid 20 degrees is still an accomplishment for me! 

Happy Holidays! 

Thanks to those who have endured reading my long, sometimes rambling blog entries, liked me on Facebook and/or have followed me on Twitter.  If you have yet to do so and are a glutton for punishment, you may find me here on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter.

Monday, December 12, 2011

Jingle Bell 5k, Etc.

My "Elf Self" with Santa Claus after winning
 most original costume.

I just got around to cleaning up the glitter from bedazzling my elf costume that I wore this last weekend for the Jingle Bell Run.   There was so much glitter on the floor and in sporadic areas of the house, it reminded me of a past Facebook post from my sister that referenced excessive amounts of glitter and the possibility of her past life involving either a career as a kindergarten teacher or a stripper.  I had intended on getting this post up much sooner (right along with getting massive amounts of glitter off of my floor) , but as we all know, having children makes for a busy life and that's what this weekend has been; very busy

I started off the weekend, Friday evening, with picking up my race bib right after work and then rushing home to pick up the rest of the family to attend my youngest son's high school choir concert, Sounds of the Season.  I spent the rest of the evening finishing the glitter effects on my elf costume, then headed to bed as early as possible for my morning run. 

Ooooh, it was a cold one.  This was my coldest run yet. I waited until the last minute possible to head out of the building to hit the start line.  I was sure I was never going to feel my fingers again, standing out there in 20 degrees.  Just like the last time, I started to warm up to a comfortable temp within the first mile or so.  

It was a fun race.  There were a lot of Santa and elf hats being worn.  I heard quite of few "Go Elf!" as I ran the streets.  That was amusing being my first costume run.  Of course, being the "Jingle Bell Run", I heard lots of the bells as I ran.  I kept thinking, though, those bells never stop.  EVERYONE must have put their bells on until I remembered the continuous, non-stop bells were me.  They were in my hair and on my shoes. Duh!  I seen quite of few of them that had fallen off and were laying in the street.  I made sure to pay attention to the abandoned little noise makers, fearing they would be the reason for elf road kill instead of the freezing temps. 

I'm not sure of my finish time.  Just call it runner error times two.  I attached my timing chip on my elf belt at my waist.  I don't see my finish time on the list, so I'm assuming the chip must be located closer to the ground a.k.a. my shoe, for it to register.  I was having Garmin issues as well and wasn't able to get the timer started in order to register an accurate time.   I was only off by probably 3-5 seconds, so my unofficial time was probably 00:30:04. 

I ran into my uncle, a serious runner, prior to the race.  I got the pleasure of hanging out with him until start time.  He has bigger goals and faster feet than I do, so he ran off to get as close to the start line as possible.  Congrats to him!  He won first in his age group 60-64 years. 

I might not have placed in my age group, but I did win a prize that day.  My cute little elf self won a prize for the most original costume.  I'm not exactly sure what is most original about an elf around Christmas, but I'm not complaining.  My son and I definitely appreciated the restaurant's gift certificate I won. 

Thanks to those who have endured reading my long, sometimes rambling blog entries, liked me on Facebook and/or have followed me on Twitter.  If you have yet to do so and are a glutton for punishment, you may find me here on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Very Random Rambling, Rants & Raves

I finally tried on my elf outfit that I plan on wearing in the Jingle Bell 5k this weekend.  I've hinted at it all weekend to the kids.  Wearing any type of costume any time of the year is way out of character for myself, no pun intended.  The kids keep whispering to dad, "Is she serious?".  I don't think he really knows for sure, himself.  I figure I might be getting old, but I don't have to get boring.  What's the worse that could happen?  Maybe I'll get picked up by Santa and Rudolph and returned back to the North Pole.  Oooh, that would royally suck, considering I absolutely abhor the cold.  Is there any place colder than the North Pole?  Maybe I should reconsider this elf costume.  By the way,  the picture is very similar to my lovely outfit.  That's not me, but I will be resembling that lady on the left this very weekend.

I try to eat fairly healthy.  My latest snack choices have mostly consisted of greek yogurt with added fruit and red and green peppers with hummus.  That's getting old, so I tried unsweetened applesauce with cinnamon.  Definitely not my preference.  I'll leave the applesauce for the toothless babies.  What are your snack choices that don't solely consist of fruit?  I prefer vegetables but I'm always looking for healthy vegetable dip alternatives.  I just discovered guacamole.  Believe it or not, in my 38 years of life, I've never had an avocado or guacamole until about 3 weeks ago. 

Christmas will be here in less than three weeks and guess what Santa's elves have purchased for Mom Runs Faster Than Dad's offspring.  Absolutely, nothing, nada, zilch.  Yes, that's right! Some slacking little elves we've got going on over here. I think the little elves have a whole lot of catching up to do.  I wonder if I promised the elves a few extra cookies by the fireplace for Santa to bring back to them, would they increase their shopping efficiency? Probably not, after they discovered the cookies were made with whole wheat flour.

Dear husband has asked me what I want for Christmas.  I told him the dreaded answer husband's don't want to hear.  "I don't know."  They want you to know, so it makes their job that much easier.  It's not that I really don't know.  I just have to figure out what I value most receiving.  I'm not a girly kind of girl.  Please don't bring me flowers, candy or cards.  My husband knows my true feelings on all of these things; a big waste of money.  Flowers die, cards get thrown away or stuffed in a drawer and let's not even talk about that candy.  Do you really want to be THAT husband responsible for the additional 5 pounds of weight I gained over the holidays?  Believe me when I say I will eat every freaking piece in that box that doesn't contain nasty coconut. 

There are plenty of things on my wish list.  Running and cycling are expensive habits.  My options are endless.  As mentioned above, I just have to determine what I need or want most.  Do I want a cycling trainer so I can bring my beloved bike in the house and ride to infinity and beyond?  My safety is always important. Should I ask for a Road ID bracelet?  I could always use some cold weather gear compression pants.  Everyone just knows how much I love the bitter cold.  The list goes on and on.  For my husband's sake, he only wishes I would tell him sooner than later.

I'm quite proud of myself for my future running/race endeavors.  I just completed my first ever cold weather run for myself with the Turkey Trot and will be completing my second even colder one this next weekend with the Jingle Bell.  As well all know, I just love, love the cold; NOT!   I'm preregistered for the 500 Festival Mini-marathon training series, which will mostly consist of frigid temperatures. I'm breaking barriers for myself, woohoo!  Now if I could just get myself to run in the rain.  Besides the treadmill, that's my only option as it has been raining almost non-stop for two days.  Anybody have some connections with the Mother Nature?  I'll share the elves cookies with her if she can make it stop raining. 

Thanks to those who have endured reading my long, sometimes rambling blog entries, liked me on Facebook and/or have followed me on Twitter.  If you have yet to do so and are a glutton for punishment, you may find me here on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter.

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Drumstick Dash

Me (to the left-hopefully obvious) hanging out
with the Drumstick Dash Turkey!

I stepped out of my comfort zone and did the Drumstick Dash.  It was cold as expected, 40 degrees.  I know, some of you think that's nothing.  I, on the other hand, think it's cold.  Honestly, it wasn't as bad as I thought it would be.  I did forgo the parka and just went for some sensible running pants, layered tops, hat & gloves.  I did not run with the scarf as pictured. Do not think I did not have fleeting thoughts about capturing the turkey and his warm "outfit".  Nobody would have known the real turkey was tied up in the back of my van. I would say it was still pretty dang cold the first 3/4 of a mile or so into the run.  Then, it started to warm up quite significantly and thought, this isn't so bad.

I actually headed down the night before to register. I figured if I didn't register now, I wouldn't be so inclined to get up early and go if I hadn't already registered.  Later that evening, I was gathering my stuff to have it ready for the morning when I realize my bib and time chip are nowhere to be found.  I kind of panicked for a quick second and retraced my steps at the registration.  Two options stood out to me.  I registered for another race while I was there and could have left it on their table while filling out their forms.  I also used the restroom at the Blue Mile, the local running store and one of the sponsors of the event.  I told myself I would get up, get ready as if I were going to run this and head back to registration and see if by any luck, it got found and turned in.  There was actually a "help" table at the morning registration and they had it.

It was  a decent run for me.  It was 4.5 miles with a time 46.34, a 10.21 pace.  I never claimed to be fast, but I ran the whole thing.  I never endured any knee issues, which seemed to have been this year's curse. I've been running recently and somewhat consistently, but not of any considerable distance.  I ran this one myself, which is a rarity.  I usually run most of my races with my Stalker, a.k.a running partner.  Stalker, a.k.a. known as my aunt, was hosting our family Thanksgiving at noon and didn't want to risk not having it ready on time, so she didn't want to run this one.  I have to admit, running by myself is harder mentally.  I "found" 2 guys running who seemed to be at my pace but also intent on not walking and paced myself with them.  It also helped that they were quite talkative, therefore keeping my mind elsewhere.  I stayed my distance to the side so as not to seem stalkerish, lol.  Hey, a girls got to do what a girl needs to do, at least to finish without walking. 

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving! I'm Thankful for....

Happy Thanksgiving to all of my blog readers, fellow cyclists, runners, moms, dads, & fitness enthusiasts!  I have a lot to be thankful for, as well as most of you probably do also.  Let's face it. If you are able to read this blog, more than likely you have a computer or an overpriced smart phone.  That alone is more than what many of our homeless citizens have.  While you are surfing the internet, they are surfing the alley trash cans looking for their next meal or sitting on a downtown corner asking for some spare change. 

I keep contemplating whether or not to do our local Drumstick Dash, a local run that benefits The Wheeler Mission, our local homeless shelter.  Forecasts predict a high of about 39 degrees at start.  I'm not a cold weather kind of girl to the extreme level.  Keep in mind when it gets below 50, I've already gotten out the flannel pajamas and thermal underwear.  Then I had a "Ah Ha!" moment, a reality check. The people that this run benefits often LIVE in this kind of weather, morning, noon and night and I'm whining about running 4.5 miles in it for less than an hour.  Ok, decision made, before I change my mind again.  I'm off to register as soon as I can get out of this place I call my job.

I'm thankful for:
  • The house my husband & I are capable for providing for our family.
  • The food my husband & I are capable for providing for our family.
  • Both my husband and self are employed.
  • My 3 absolutely, stunning, intelligent, gorgeous, annoying children.
  • My husband!
  • My 2 obnoxious little dachshund duo, Bailey & Dexter.
  • The ability to run and bike.
  • Our extended family. 
  • My mom & my mother-in-law.  If it weren't for them, we wouldn't be here.
  • My Brooks Adrenaline. :)
  • My running partner, "The Stalker".  Otherwise, I'm sure I wouldn't run as often as I do.
  • The list goes on and on! 
So, this Thanksgiving, I’m going to stop whining about the cold and reflect on how fortunate many of us are.

What about you?  What are you thankful for? 

Oh, if you want to find me at the Drumstick Dash, just look for the crazy chick in a parka, 3 layers of thermal get the idea! 

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Runner's Holiday Ornament Giveaway

  • High quality porcelain
  • Oval 2.3" x 3.25"
  • Ribbon for hanging included
My FIRST ever blog giveaway! Yeaaa!  Well, more yeaaaa for you!  It's your chance to win one of these cute holiday ornaments.  I'll be giving away one of these adorable ornaments to one lucky winner.  The winner gets to choose the guy or lady version.  So, you say, get to the point lady. How do I win this funny little ornament?  Slow down people.  I know you're excited.  Maybe you're thinking, well if she runs slow, maybe she types slow. Actually, no, but good try.  I'm quite the fast little typist, so there! 

Ok, so here it is.  Enter as many times as you want.  You can do a combination of Option #1, Option #2, & Option #3 to increase your chances of winning.

Option #1:  Follow me on Twitter and/or retweet the Giveaway Tweet. You may retweet as often as you would like. It will count as multiple entries.  
Option #2:  Like me on Facebook and leave a comment.  Obviously, you can only like me on Facebook once, but if you leave multiple comments on any post, that counts as multiple entries.
Option #3:  Comment on this post and join this site with Google Friend Connect located on the right side of my blog.  

Contest runs from now, Wednesday 11/16/2011 at 9:30 a.m. est. and will come to a sad, exciting conclusion on Friday 11/18/2011 at 9:30 a.m. est.  The winner will be picked at random by my gorgeous dachshund duo, Bailey and Dexter.  Ok, just kidding, maybe!  I'll have one of the kids do it.  You know they don't care who wins.  Their only goal is to get out of the same room as me as quickly as possible to ensure I'll quit talking to them like a baby sooner than later.  Therefore; randomness is guaranteed. 


Tuesday, November 15, 2011

I'm Cheating on My Husband!

All names have been changed to protect the guilty.

My husband tells me one morning that the neighbors are going to start talking. Of course, I ask him about what.  He was referring to Fabio, my neighbor and our weekend rendezvous.  I quickly remind him that if he would give me what I need, I wouldn't have to sneak out with Fabio early Saturday mornings. 

When I'm not with Fabio, I often sneak out with Daisy.  She's been my "partner in crime" for years.  Fabio can't do what Daisy does, and Daisy doesn't do well, what Fabio does.  Therefore; I keep my options open.  Don't they say variety is the spice of life?   

My motto is the more the merrier.   Many of Fabio & I's Saturday morning rendezvous have often been threesomes and on one occasion, we were really swinging with five willing participants!  My husband has even been adventurous enough on occasion to get in on the action.  He's just not into it as much as Fabio & myself.  

Daisy has been my consistent partner for the last five years.  Dear husband doesn't mind.  He would rather it be her than him.  He's not into the looong, sloooow action we prefer.  In fact, every time I convince (coerce) him into it, he starts out too fast in his attempt to keep up with me and has to stop.  

I've been running with Daisy for almost five years and have done all of my half marathons with her, a feat my husband refuses to do. Daisy and I run everywhere; the neighborhoods, downtown, the park, etc.   

Fabio and I just started cycling this last summer.  We usually like to get in at least 25 to 40 miles before noon by riding the Monon or heading over to a local apple orchard.  

Thanks to those who have endured reading my long, sometimes rambling blog entries, liked me on Facebook and/or have followed me on Twitter.  If you have yet to do so and are a glutton for punishment, you may find me here on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter.

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Perils of the Teenage Daughter

I get home from the gym eager to jump in the shower.  I'm absolutely freezing from sweating it out on the treadmill and walking out into the cold Indiana air.  I only want to submerge myself under hot water sooner than later.  I run up the stairs faster than any effort I put into the treadmill only to come to a screeching halt.  "Um, dear daughter, why are you in MY bathroom?"

She proceeds to explain that the lighting in my bathroom is brighter, therefore more suitable for makeup application.  What's the big deal, you ask?  Where do I start?  She applies makeup as if she's Picasso putting the last touches on a work of art.  It's a loooong, sloooooow, tedious process.  Of course, she tells me I wouldn't be interested in taking a shower quite yet, anyway.  She lets me know she had to shave, therefore she's pretty positive her shower was long enough to reduce our hot water to zero. Really?  What were you shaving?  A woolly mammoth?

So, I plant myself on my bed while of course still in freezing mode, impatiently waiting to get into MY bathroom.  I do have to say I learned something new while waiting it out.  Dear daughter and dear husband were conversing about who knows what, as I was truly not paying attention to their conversation when I hear dear husband mention "getting bit", and dear daughter then mentions "only 6 days".  My interest only peaked because for whatever reason, I have seen both of these terms on my Facebook page numerous times, mostly from females without any explanation.  Ok, what are you two talking about. They both blurt out "Twilight".  Are you serious?  People are counting down the days?  I still don't comprehend the vampire rage?  Are there any sane women still out there not obsessed with blood sucking vampires and werewolves? 

While dear daughter and dear husband are chatting, dear daughter asks if I have any eyeliner.  Is there nothing sacred?  First my bathroom, now my eyeliner.  Of course, being the absolute best mother ever, I tell her yes, but just make sure it makes its way back to where it came from. 

Yeaaa, dear daughter is now done with her masterpiece and vacates MY bathroom.  I warn dear husband that dear daughter is leaving, that his car is in the driveway and she will be backing my mini-van out of the garage.  Keep in mind, dear daughter  has managed to total 2 vehicles in less than a year, back into a friend's mailbox and in another incident, back into her cousin's car. Knowing that dear husband values his dear car as much as I do my infinite supply of Diet Dr. Pepper, I felt that this piece of info was imperative to maintain a continuous, loving, amicable father/daughter relationship.  He immediately runs outside faster than any effort he put into the gym treadmill, to quickly move his car to safety.

Finally, I get to take a shower in MY bathroom.  Because I do not want to be the woolly mammoth she must have shaved, I reached for my razor.  Dear daughter has struck again.  My overpriced four blade razor is gone, not present, missing, kidnapped. Of course, since I literally screamed in disgust, my husband comes running to confirm my impending death. 

Twenty minutes prior to prior to dear daughter's curfew, she calls.  Since her incoming ring tone is specifically hers, my immediate thought is oh joy, my van is the most recent victim of dear daughter's creative driving skills.  Thankfully, no, that isn't the scenario; this time. 

Thanks to those who have endured reading my long, sometimes rambling blog entries, liked me on Facebook and/or have followed me on Twitter.  If you have yet to do so and are a glutton for punishment, you may find me here on Facebook and/or follow me on Twitter.

Sunday, October 9, 2011

I Need Goals!

I started running in 2007, I think.  At least that's what my oldest event shirt tells me.  I started out with half marathons and continued with half marathons.  In the last year I've ventured into cycling, which I absolutely love, hence; the R.A.I.N. Ride. I've done the Rebel Race, a mud run, and ran Dances With Dirt, an Ultra trail running relay.

When I started running, my initial goal for the half marathon was for daily motivation to run.  I was running to lose weight and maintain my health, not because I enjoyed running.  It was pretty much a form of self torture.  I was at least 25 pounds overweight, if not more.  I didn't want to go into 13.1 miles without the proper training, therefore; I would be more likely to be consistent with my running and exercise in general.  Whether it worked or not is another blog for another day.

Since 2007, my running has been very inconsistent.  History seemed to always repeat itself.  I would try hard, be as consistent as my childrens' active lifestyles would allow me, and run as much as possible about 3 months prior to every half.  I would complete the half, then somewhat if not completely disappear from the gym/running scene.  I would sign up again for another half to rediscover my motivation to get back to pounding the pavement.

Last year's seriously unexpected hysterectomy obviously sidelined me, again.  Again, that's another blog for another day.  Regardless, once again I was spending less days out on the street.  Of course, I rebounded.  Strangely enough, even after my last half, an obnoxious knee issue and the completion of other races I've completed within the last year; I have yet to regress.

I seem to be motivated more than ever. I dread missing a daily run or a bike ride. I want to run every 5k, 10k, 15k, and half marathon I'm aware of. I search for organized group bike rides as often as possible. I eagerly read others' blogs to hear about your triathalons, marathons, trail runs and century rides. Obviously, I can only do what my family obligations and financial abilities will allow me.

With my current motivation level I've been seriously thinking of higher goals, bigger things.  I have yet to decide what "bigger things" I would like to move onto.  Do I want to do a full marathon or do I want to stick to the half that's incorporated into a 70.3 triathalon?  Once I know, you'll be the first to know!

I want to hear from you why I should or shouldn't graduate to the full marathon versus a triathalon.  If you have a better idea, you can tell me that too.

Thursday, October 6, 2011

Diary of a mad fat girl ......

The following is not my story, but it is Jane's story.  Jane has a story that's been weighing on her shoulders for the majority of her adult life and she chose to tell it.  Jane requested to remain anonymous, so Jane is not her real name, but this is a true story, a story that rings true for many, a story that many claim they could have written about themselves.  This is Jane's original story.  There has been no editing other than to change her name.  Oh, if any of you get stumped with the initials DH, it refers to her Dear Husband.  
So, I know the title seems a little harsh, but to me it holds many truths. I'm not exactly sure what motivated me to write this, but I felt an overwhelming need suddenly. This may be long, so bear with me. I was watching the "Biggest Loser" as I do every Tuesday night thinking the same things. "I can do this" and "what's my problem?" I always have the best intentions and have probably started as many diets and exercise programs as there are days in a year. Nothing sticks. The mental anguish my weight puts me through is weighing heavy on my mind (no pun intended).

I haven’t always been a “big girl” but I have owned that title most of my adult life. Growing up my mother always had us eat fairly “healthy.” We didn’t get Pop Tarts, ice cream, Swiss Rolls, chips, pop or must junk food. If we had chips, it was pretzels. If we had ice cream, it was sherbert. So naturally, I REALLY wanted all the junk when I was old enough to get it myself. As a pre-teen and teen I babysat frequently in my neighborhood. I vividly remember pilfering through pantries and refrigerators looking for junk food at other families’ homes that I had no access to at my own. When I began to drive and got my first car, I would go to Taco Bell every day after school and get a BLT soft taco before I went to work at 3p.m.  I think as a child I kept my weight fairly under control because I was always active in sports. The first time I noticed that I was truly “different” from my thinner friends is when I couldn't borrow clothes and swap back and forth like everyone else or shop in the cute stores.
At this point, I think my first defense mechanism started to develop. I became a comedian. If I could make fun of myself or use sarcasm to break the ice, then someone else couldn't get to me first. I used sarcasm and comedy to build a wall to protect myself. I became very outgoing, friendly, talkative and almost the class clown. I made a decision early that I would succeed in all other areas of my life to overshadow the fact that I failed miserably at health and self-image. I graduated with honors from high school and went to college right away. I received my Bachelor’s degree in nursing. I excelled, I always got good grades and I strived to be “perfect” in this area of my life. I strongly felt the need to make my parents proud to avert the shame I knew they must be feeling at my appearance. Although they never made me feel ashamed, there were always those subtle comments or hints that confirmed what I knew they must already feel about me.
Dating was awkward for me. I just knew there wasn't going to be a guy that would EVER be interested in me or love me as I thought I should be loved. I was insecure. I fell for guys that I knew from the start were bad news. I fell for the jerk, the loser, the cocky one and ones I just knew weren't for me. Finally, as my career was going well and my social life with friends was great, I met DH online. We talked for some time before I finally felt comfortable to meet in “real life.” The first day he met me he told me I was the most beautiful girl he’d ever met. I didn't believe him. I really made him work to prove it to me.
While dating DH, I decided to go back to school to further my career and became a nurse practitioner. I entered the world of women’s health and have never left. I love empowering women, helping educate them and trying to make a real difference. I just wish I could empower myself. I’ll be honest, I hate myself. It stings just typing those words. However unfortunate though, it’s true.
This weight and self-image issues control my life and almost every move I make. I don’t get ready in a bathroom. I shower and then I sit on my bed in the morning do my hair and makeup looking into a small grapefruit-sized mirror. Less mirror, less Jane. My wardrobe is mostly made up of black—slimming of course. I don’t have pictures of myself taken or allow myself to be in them. I have a son who I adore more than life itself, and hardly any pictures of the two of us together. I don’t try clothes on at stores—the mirrors are too big. If I get food through the drive through, I eat it before I arrive at my destination-less people to see the  cliche “big girl” eating fast food. Let’s not even get started on bathing suits, pools and beaches.
I’m not sure what my point in writing this was, but I know that no one in my life really knows how I feel or how I mentally struggle with my weight issues. I don’t feel comfortable enough to discuss it with friends, family or Facebook. Sometimes I don’t even feel comfortable enough discussing it with my DH. People who are naturally thin or who have great metabolisms don’t understand. I’m sure many think, “just stop eating so much,” or “get off the couch and workout.” I wish it was that easy. I depend on food. I use it to comfort me, fulfill me, make me happy, keep me company and soothe me when I’m sad. I look forward to it and enjoy it more than anyone ever should. I center my life around it and it has a gripping hold on me mentally, physically and emotionally. It’s spirit-crushing looking around an office of 40+ employees of both men and women and realizing you most likely outweigh them all. DH is 6’1” and about 170lbs. It sucks. He doesn't get it. His issues with food are 180 degrees different than mine (he’s put on about 30-40lbs. in the past year). It does make maintaining a healthy marriage harder.
I know I have to figure out something—and soon. This is literally killing me slowly. I have hypertension (since my early 20’s) and ended up with gestational diabetes and in the ICU with after delivering my son. Thank goodness he was healthy at delivery, but I don’t wish my experience on anyone. Laying in an ICU because your blood pressure won’t come down despite a constant drip of medication, is no way to spend your first few days of new motherhood. Here’s the hitch. I desperately want to have another child, but I’m terrified of pregnancy again. You would think this would be motivation enough, but once again I have yet to make a concerted effort. I have often thought of seeking the assistance of a surrogate, and then realize how ridiculous that sounds. I can have someone give me all the babies I've ever wanted, but if I’m not around to raise them, what’s the point?
I need help. I am strongly considering therapy. Of course I have the gym membership, but that’s just $23/month I consider a donation to LA Fitness lol. I stepped out of my comfort zone earlier this year and tried out for the Biggest Loser, but alas, my charm didn't win them over. As I said earlier, I’m not sure what the point of this exceptionally long and wordy post was, except a chance for me to type out my inner most thoughts and realizations. I am not looking for ridicule or even sympathy, but maybe I feel as though I can trust my virtual family more than my own in ways. So moral of the story, next time you walk by a “fat girl” on the street, don’t judge. You may not know the internal struggle she deals with or what her life circumstances are. And if we ever have the chance to meet in “real life” you’d probably never guess I was the author of this post. I don’t act like the downtrodden self-pitying big girl. In fact, I’ll probably talk your head off and act like I’m the happiest person on Earth. I’ll get this figured out one day. After all, before too long it won’t be a choice but a necessity.
Thanks for making it this far and I apologize for the redundancy.   Jane

Everyone has a story! What's yours?

Monday, September 26, 2011

Conquering The Wall

I ran the Rebel Race this last weekend.  This was my first obstacle course race ever.  I've done many half marathons, a trail relay, a century and a half bike ride, so I'm not a total newbie to what most outside of the runner's & cyclist's community consider a tad extreme.  As most of are when doing something new, I went into this with a few nervous jitters and some fear.  I wasn't scared of the running, this was only a 5k.  I've ran 3.1 miles over and over again.  That was the least of my worries.  I had read and seen the course description on Rebel Race's website, so I was somewhat familiar with what I was about to get myself into.  As the Rebel Race promised, I started off my dash toward the woods, slid through some mud and into the river for more mud sloshing.  I went over and under the logs in the river and climbed back out the slippery slope where I was expected to do a forward roll in the mud. So much for only washing my hair once this week.  Everything was great so far.  Getting wet and dirty was not what I feared, it was what I expected. I continued my trek jumping through tires with confidence that was about to be shot down as fast as my children disappear when it's chore time.

I was wishing this moment wouldn't come.  I knew there was no way to get around this, literally.  I approached the cargo net wall with much hesitancy.  Must it be so high?  There was no way my arms were going to pull this body up those ropes.  My upper body strength is equivalent to the amount of motivation my children have to maintain clean bedrooms, non-existent.  I nervously began my ascent.  Much to my surprise, I've underestimated my arms' ability and easily maneuvered to the top of this wall.  As I gave myself an imaginary pat on the back and "yeaa for me", I realized my premature excitement.  I still had to hurl myself over to the other side of this wall and make the descent. All this time I wasted worrying about my lack of upper body strength was misplaced.  My real fear, the fear of heights, came to the surface.  Once I looked down and over the side of wall, I was done.  My legs started shaking so bad, I was sure to be the reason for Japan's next tsunami.  I remained still for fear of falling as my legs now registered a 10 on the richter scale.  Regardless of the encouragement from the other participants, I was unable to get past this mental block and came back on the same side I went up.  I was determined to finish the rest of the course, while wishing, hoping & praying for no additional "walls".

I scrambled through the tunnel and made it across the ditch with ease.  I completed sit-ups, push-ups and leg lifts with military effort.  I picked myself up off the muddy ground to be greeted by not only one, but two more walls.  Before you begin to "Oh, No!" for me, much to my own amazement, not only did I make it to the top of both walls, I crawled over both and came down the OTHER side of both walls.  "Yeaaaaa, freaking', whooo, whooo for me!!!"  Of course, I didn't repeat that outside of my own head.  I'm sure I would have gotten the same look from the other participants that I get from my husband when I say "Gag a maggot".   "What was different about these two walls versus the first?", you ask. Be patient people. I'm getting to that.

I continue with my boot camp crawl on my elbows and knees, leap over the flaming fury of fire and proceed to what I believe is close to the finish.   What?  Another "insert bad word" wall?  Are you kidding me?  Let me guess!  Some jerk I refused to date in high school found out I was registered, figured out one of my worst fears and set this entire shebang up just for me, right? No, wait a minute! This is how karma rears its ugly head for throwing a worm on my best friend's head when we were younger, much younger. This wall was just as high as the first, but constructed of intermittent boards versus the net. I did the last two walls with unexpected ease, I can do this one.  WRONG!  I made it to the top and once again, froze up faster than my frigid, cat lady destined sister. I couldn't make myself throw my leg over that wall to climb down the other side. Once again and with much disappointment, I crept down the same side of the wall I came up.  I finished my adventure with a crawl through a very muddy pit under barbed wire.

"So, what was the difference between the two walls you conquered and the two you didn't?", you ask again.  Lacking the proper psychiatric training, my non-professional opinion brings you this conclusion. The two walls that didn't like me both had the same characteristic.  When approaching the very top and attempting to climb over, I was in a position that I could look down and see the ground regardless of where I focused.  The other two walls were solid structures and I could throw myself over the top while staring at the walls themselves and ignoring the fact, that at any given moment I could come crashing to my imminent death.  Would I do this course again?  Absolutely!  I'm determined to conquer this fear.  Hopefully, when I do, it's about 10 feet closer to the ground.