Thursday, September 27, 2012

Reflections, plus a weigh-in

Last Saturday, I had the privilege of attending a fantastic funeral.

When is the last time you heard that?

My friend Jack died the previous week. A heart attack killed him, and he was only 58 years old. Yes, I'm at the age when my friends die of natural causes. That's enough to make a girl stand up and take notice, for sure.

The service itself was incredible; a fitting tribute to a man who could wear a Viking helmet while playing the ukulele and make it seem completely ... well ... not normal, per se, but certainly appropriate. We laughed. We cried. The funeral director even took to the microphone at one point to proclaim this the most fun she'd ever had at work. No, I am not surprised.

Following the service, at Jack's request, we all walked New Orleans-style to the Riverfront Playhouse to celebrate his life. We strolled behind the hearse and the band. Yep; band. There can be no more enjoyable way to say goodbye, for sure. As we all gathered at the Playhouse, we ate, drank, talked and reconnected. There were a few tears, but mostly it was just a day for everyone to reflect and remember. It was powerful.

I headed home in mid-afternoon, knowing I had a six-mile run on the schedule. Now, at this point it was about 3:30 and I was full of pizza, barbecue and cheap red wine. I was tired and emotionally drained, so I did what any runner would do: I laid down.

And I did not feel like I could get up.

I napped for an hour or so. I talked myself completely out of running. I didn't want to go; what's more, I didn't feel like I had six miles him me. But, knowing that my plan might need to be adjusted this week, with the big Hawaii trip on the horizon, I knew that if I gave myself a pass now the whole damn thing could derail.

So I got out of bed, suited up, and hit the trail. It was a great run.

There's something about accomplishing something you don't think you can do that just feels awesome. When I was done, I was tired and I was sore, but I was also a damn rockstar. That's success.

A few days later, I weighed in: 213.2. Whatever. I want the scale to move; I hope the increase in my mileage will help make that happen. If not, I am just going to let it be okay. I can't let my entire focus be my weight, so I'm just going to be the healthiest 213-pound woman I know, until the scale begins trending downward.

Monday, September 17, 2012

A winged creature, and yet quite heavy

Not all creatures with wings are built to fly. Ostriches and penguins spring to mind. So I guess I shouldn't feel bad that I am far too heavy to fly, even though I had wings on Saturday night.

The bad news: today's weigh-in said 213.8. Grr.

The good news: I had a great, fun run on Saturday night.

Dee, Meg, Linda, Shelly and I participated in the first Firefly Run in Chicago. In the spirit of the event - an illuminated night-time run through the city - we agreed to wear wings and other wacky things. Because I am clearly out of my mind, I ran in a wig.

 My sister Pat said I looked like Pauley Perette from NCIS; I took this as a compliment.

It was so much fun to dress up and be goofy for a 5K! Here are my buds, with Montrose Beach as a backdrop, in all their finery.
Mama Dee, Meg, Linda and Shelly, winged and ready to race. 

The setting couldn't have been more beautiful. There were a few race glitches - such as a terminal line at bag check pickup and no water at the finish line - but we had a great time.
 The five of us, from the back. In the back row are Linda, Dee and me; front row is Meg and Shelly.
Me, in my wig. And tie-dyed compression socks. And wings. And a borrowed tutu.

Overall, I'd call the race a success. My only true goal in any race is to finish without injury, so this one was a good one. I continue to deal with complications from plantar fasciitis, which causes me some nasty heel pain, but it didn't get any worse throughout the race. Score!

Did I do well? Not particularly. Two years into this running thing and I am still not able to run a 5K in less than 40 minutes. This race found me clocking in at exactly 43 minutes, running a 13:53/mile. I came in 1451 out of 1862 overall (which means there were more than 400 people slower than I) and was 27 out of 44 in my age group.

So in all honesty, it was not a good time ... but I sure had a good time. Sometimes ya gotta focus on what's important.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Monday weigh-in and whining

I hate my scale. Today it said 213 to me. Asshole.

So I'm not going to dwell on that. Sure, it may be a sign that I'm just going to yo-yo the same five pounds back and forth and back ad infinitum. Whatever. Sure, that sucks ... but you know what sucks more?


I've been nursing an injury to my left foot for a few weeks now. It gets a little better, and then it tells me to get bent. It's really pissing me off.

I'm worried about the training I'm supposed to be doing right now. I'm worried about the half marathon in February, training for which starts full-on in one month. And I'm worried about my long-term goals of health and wellness. And it's making me sad.

For the moment, I am going to throw myself into the things I can do that don't compromise the foot - swimming, biking, and the elliptical.

But I sure do miss running. Dammit.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Monday Tuesday weigh-in

Last night, my dad asked me how much I weigh.

The sheer number of things that are weird about that fairly boggle my mind. And yet, I found myself answering him - "210, Dad; I'm a big girl" - as if it were the most normal question in the world.

And as I said it, I realized I was proud of the number. In part, because I started this journey almost 90 pounds heavier than I am now. In part because I work hard to keep the number steady while I work (slowly) at bringing it down, bit by little bit. But mostly because I may weigh more than 200 pounds, but I am also an athlete.

That's somethin', right there, and it's something to remember. You do not have to be thin to be an athlete. You do not have to look like an athlete to be an athlete. You only have to be an athlete to be an athlete. Sometimes people are surprised to learn that I have completed countless races. They seem shocked when I tell them I'm a triathlete. But most of the time, people just take it in stride, because fitness does not (always) equate to smallness.

I am a dangerous combination of fit, strong and not tiny. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

Oh, for the record, I got on the scale yesterday morning. It said 209.4; to me, that's 210. Down one for the week. Booyah.