Wednesday, September 15, 2010

I'm Staring at the (Wo)Man in the Mirror, I'm asking (Her) to Change (Her) Ways

Yesterday should have been a run club day. But, it wasn't. Late nights, too much homework and not enough sleep have made me scatterbrained and it wasn't until I got to work that I realized I had forgotten all of my gear at home. Unfortunatley, because where I live pretty much sucks at rush hour, and it takes me an hour to make the eight mile journey between where I work and where I live, I would have never made it home and then to running club before it started.
Anyhow, the old me would have said : dramatically snapping fingers : oh, shucks....forgot my gear and can't participate.... oh, man....:dramatic pause whilst looking disappointed:... guess today is a "rest day"... who wants ice cream? But new me, while chiding myself the entire ride home for being so stupid as to forget my running gear, bolted into my house, changed clothes and charged over to the park so that I could run on my own. (which, incendentally is not nearly as enjoyable) I find, as I have mentioned before, that I am not really good at pushing myself out of my comfort zone. In swimming, no problem, I can push myself harder and harder, but its because I KNOW that I am a good swimmer and that my body will respond properly. With running, I still can't push myself. Maybe it comes with more running experience. Yesterday, as I walked briskly around the bike path, (up hills and not on flat land like we do with run club) just the walking part exhausted me. We were supposed to do 4 mins of running according to our sheet, I only did one and a half. Including the overall feeling of exhaustion, I also was having a hard time running and looking at the stop watch on my IPOD to see how long Id been running for. (Mental note, program heart rate monitor/watch when you get home tonight) I also think that maybe tricking myself will work better. Now that I know my way around Garage Band on my Mac, I think I'm going to record a workout for myself with audio cues so I know when to run and when to walk. I'm not so sure about this whole 5K thing... from where I stand right now, with half of September over and the run coming up at the 6 week horizon, I'm not so sure that I'm going to be able to do this thing.

I think that maybe I just need to grit my teeth and on the days that I'm not running with running club, do more running than walking- I know that goes off program and probably will end up hurting me and not helping me... but I'm thinking if I can go and do maybe five minute walk five minute run five minute walk this week and then maybe next week to that times two, maybe I might actually be able to run at least half of this 5K.
I wanted to take a brief moment

:prepare for soapbox tangent:

to talk to my plus size huffy puffer friends for a minute. If you are not one of these people you can skip to the end of the tangent, as this really only applies to them.

:Begin Tangent:

Yesterday, I received a shipment of pants from Lane Bryant. In case you didn't know they are having a pants sale right now $29.99 on all pants. - so cool. Anyhow, I'm always leery about ordering pants from Lane Bryant because none of them are the same size. But, thats not the only problem with them. All of us plus sized huffy puffers need to take a good hard look at ourselves and really, truly find out what our true size is. Plus sized stores sell clothing in combined sizes so as to nab a larger share of us, and make us feel better about ourselves. They sell most clothes in 14/16 18/20 22/24 26/28 etc. The other issue with plus sized stores - Poly/cotton lycra/spandex blends. As much as you think these are your friends, they are NOT. They only allow you to continue to live in a fantasy world of sizing. They allow you to fool yourself into believing you are a size that you actually aren't. All of these fabrics stretch, which allow a lot of women who have well exceeded the larger end of that sizing spectrum to still squeeze themselves into them and believe that they actually fit. If this were the case, then according to my favorite University of Iowa Tshirt- I'm a double extra large... which would mean I'm an 18/20 - and there is no way in holy hell I would ever squeeze my jiggle into an actual pair of 18/20 pants. No way. Maybe if they were a spandex/cotton blend, but a true pair of pants- nope not a prayer. So- everyone (as much as it is going to hurt to rip the bandaid of disbelief off) needs to walk into a store, and pick up an item in your size that does not have any form of stretch in it (no cottons, spandexes, poly blends, etc) and find a pair of pants with no elastic in them, that are made of an unforgiving fabric (and read the labels ladies, because even your denim has spandex(or its other forms in it) march into that dressing room and figure out your true size.
And, for those of you at the top of the sizing chart, who are still forcing yourselves to believe you are a size 28 because all of your pants are made of stretchy material- you may need to take waist and hip measurements and compare them against a sizing chart.

We are not going to win the wage against our waistlines if we keep fooling ourselves into believing we are a size that we aren't. True transformation begins with honesty and accepting what we are... and that includes accepting the fact that we may not actually be the size that Lane Bryant tells us we are. They say in Weight Watchers that for every 12 pounds you lose, you lose one pant size. This is not the case for Plus Sizers, and especially the Super Plus Sizers. There is about a FORTY pound range in inclusion sizing (ie 22/24 pants) if you are at the very far end of the 24 - (ie you are technically a size 26 but you can still squeeze into those 24s)
All that said, I was THRILLED-- and I mean THRILLED to try on my pants from Lane Bryant yesterday. They are all dress pants (so made of materials that DONT give and have NO stretch in them) and :sound the trumpets: the pants I ordered FIT like honest to goodness FIT - not "I can lay on my bed, suck it all in and squeeze them shut so it looks like I have a butt in the front as well as in the back" no.... they FIT and that is the BEST feeling in the world. But - before I could make it here, I had to be honest with myself and stop allowing myself to believe I was a size that I wasn't. Back before the triathlon I was wearing some pants in a size larger than these, and some pants in the same size as Im wearing... but the pants that I wore were mostly pants that had some give in them. Jeans, Khakis and dress pants I had to order in a size up, but I made all kinds of excuses as to why that was necessary- it was never that I was lying to myself about what size I was. But now, I am finally and truly in this size-- and it's only downhill sizing from here on out.

I truly hope that you all do the same.

:end tangent:

I hope you all have a fabulous day!
~One Pant Size Smaller, Millie :)

Sunday, September 12, 2010

Its The Eye of The Tiger, It's the Thrill of the Fight

Saturday morning was my 2nd meeting with my Walk to Run club. And the whole morning was just a comedy of error upon error that one can only look back and laugh. This previous week, school wise has been a killer. Taking the summer off was a big mistake, because I am finding it extraordinarily difficult to get back into the swing of things and refocus my brain on school. I find that every time I go to open one of my books (and seriously, why did I decide to take three really brainiac courses in one semester... I totally should have taken at least ONE bird course.. damn that over-achiever in me) I read three pages, my eyes start to cross, and I decide that Project Runway is a much more interesting endeavor, and shut my books, only to start feeling guilty around nine o'clock and start working again. Or, I come home, exhausted from work, brain not wanting to cooperate, decide that having some coffee will give me focus, and then I'm amped on coffee until midnight or one in the morning.

I promise, this crazy tangent will find it's home soon. So Friday at work, I'm thinking "thank God its Friday and I can sleep in tomorrow"...only to have that dream crushed by the realization that I in fact can NOT sleep in on Saturday because -sound the trumpets- I have RUNNING club on Saturday morning. Cover me in honey and call me sweetness, JUST what I want to do is wake up with the non-existent crows and beat my legs and feet into a bloody pulp trying to keep up with the bouncy gazelles.

Friday night, I drift off, cursing the fact that I had to set my alarm to get up earlier than I would on a work day, so that I can arrive bright and early to running club. (We use the local college's track on Saturday mornings, hence the early start)

At five in the morning, I am ripped from blissful slumber, not by Vivaldi's Spring (I love that your IPOD can act as an alarm clock) but by an incessant high pitched bleep coming from a direction that is no where near my alarm clock. My husband and I play a half roused game of "who's on first" discussing where the beeping is coming from, and realize that it is HIS alarm clock that has violated our auditory senses. A (read:ten) slap to the alarm clock finally launches our bedroom back into silence, and I once again attempt to fall back into slumber. At 5:30, just as I am on the precipice of sleep, his normal alarm clock goes off (sleeping bear must have activated that one his half awake paw went to silence the previous). Fully awake now, and totally pissed off, I gave up on trying to sleep since I had to be up in thirty minutes anyway.

As I sat there, stewing in the fact that while HE would be able to remain in bed as long as he wanted (and sidebar:he was still sleeping when I came home) I would be outside working my tail off. That's when I heard it. At first, I though, no... can't be, I must be imagining it. Maybe there are chestnuts falling on my roof .. which lead me to wonder if in fact any of the trees in the surrounding yards are, in fact, chestnuts... and if they actually sounded like raindrops when they fell on said roof.

But, just maybe, I dared to hope, they cancel running club if it's raining. Suddenly full of energy provided by this hope, I shot out of bed and ran (I love to use that word, but we all should know by now that clearly, I never actually "run") to my cell phone to see if just maybe I had a voicemail from my coach telling me that run club was cancelled. No. Such. Luck.

Annoyed, I finished dressing, and headed to the college. At least it's really just a mist... I told myself as I made my way to the football field (which is surrounded by the track).

The gazelles had already assembled, drinking their Starbucks, chatting amicably with one another, clearly not even phased by the mist - turned- drizzle. Which only made their hair shinier and gave their skin a dewy refreshed look. Figures those gazelles would look good even fresh out of bed at quarter to seven in the morning.

Then, as if being the frumpy huffy puffer, barely awake with puffy eyes and messy hair standing next to the gazelles wasn't bad enough, the clouds open and God laughed at me until he cried...big, fat, cold raindrops.

And, we ran, ala Rocky, in the pouring rain. Thankfully, the "running" portion is still intermittent, but I think the fact that we mainly walked in the pouring rain was perhaps worse than had we run in it, because it just prolonged the suffering.

I did however, learn not to be afraid of running in the rain. As the footing along the track was fairly solid, even in the rain ( I had been afraid I would slip and hurt myself). And, running on a smooth track is SO much easier than running the path through the downtown area that we do on Tuesdays. I was virtually pain free (as in pain in my heel, Achilles and knee) the pain from being out of shape, I fear has taken up a permanent residence with me. The out-of-shape pain, is going to be like that annoying cousin that stayed "just for a bit, until I get back on my feet" and still hasn't left four months later.

We've also been assigned core workouts and ab workouts. ( better known as torture and water-boarding in huffy puffy slang). Today, thankfully was a rest day. Tomorrow, will be a water boarding day coupled with twenty minutes of walk/run. And, Tuesday will once again, be time to run with the gazelles.

There's no where to go but up, from here!


Wednesday, September 8, 2010

The Gazelles of the Serengetti

Last night was my first experience with my Walk- To - Run- Club. I didn't die, clearly, but seriously, I just barely didn't die. Granted, its been a few "weeks"(read: months) since I have worked "running" (read:walking) into my workout routine. As I had been focusing solely on swimming since the last triathlon. But, I seriously hadn’t expected to be as bad as I was.

The program only has 12 people in it. One would think great, only twelve people, all the better to get more individualized attention. True, but definitely not enough people to blend into a group either… like when you want to die and slow down for a second and hope they don’t notice. Not like an oversized huffy puffer in a pee yellow tshirt (the one from the previous triathlon- it’s the only one long enough to cover up the jiggle in my wiggle when wearing spandex pants) really “blends” into a group anyway. Of the twelve of us, there are only 3 newcomers. The other 9 did this same program in the summer session also, so even the huffy puffers of the first group, have a leg up on me.

For some perspective… if the twelve of us were a pack of gazelles on the Serengetti …. I’d be the one that got eaten. Maybe I’d get lucky and the lioness would pass me by because she knew I wouldn’t be gamey and tender enough to her liking… but most likely, I’d be dinner. And while the lioness dined on me all the other beautiful gazelles with their long legs and perfect gaits would just keep bouncing along, their gorgeous manes flapping gracefully behind them as they effortlessly made it across the plain.

Damn gazelles. Who am I kidding, I’m not a gazelle. I’m a platypus, at best. A platypus? You wonder. I’m awkward, don’t really fit in on the land, love the water, but not entirely equipped for a life completely submerged, either.

I’m in over my head. As I "run" (read: walk/shuffle/gimp), every fiber of my body tells me to quit. The whole workout last night, all I could think was “I’m sure I could get my $75 bucks back… it’s only the first session. And then “yeah, I don’t really need to do the Hot Chocolate 5K, I mean, Triathlon season is a year away… do I really need to start working on running now” But as I pushed through the pain of being an out of shape huffy puffer, and made it back to the running store, and all the really nice gazelles told me what a great job I did, and how I just need to keep coming back, that its hard but eventually I will get there… I know that no matter how much it hurts, and how much I currently loathe it… it will get easier. Perhaps I’ll never be a beautiful lean gazelle, but maybe I can work my way up to like a Clydesdale.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Hello.... Is It Me You're Looking For....

And so I'm back, from outer space!

Ok, so maybe I'm just back from Mexico, but it certainly feels like Ive been forever gone. Mexico was gorgeous. Hot, but gorgeous. A very welcome week of relaxation. We were so relaxed in fact, that when we returned to the Cancun airport for the flight back home, we apparently forgot that we were in Mexico, and somehow either from the table side guacamole we ordered at the airport restaurant, or our drinks, contracted a Parasite. Lovely, I know. So we arrived back home with more than just our purchased souveniers. Hence why a one week vacation has turned into a two week hiatus from my blogging (and who am I kidding from my exercising, training, dieting, weight watchers, and well anything else that was keeping me on a healthy track). But, fear not.. the inability to eat for the past week has afforded me a ten pound weight loss. Woohoo! I need to contract intestinal parasites more often. Kidding, totally kidding. I'm sure now that I can stomach solid food again that ten pounds will vanish faster than the sweet table at an Overeaters Anonymous meeting.

Anyhow, other than just a "yep I'm alive" check in. I did also want to let everyone know that in the "off season" I don't plan to just lay around and well get lazy again. I was serious about my off season goals. I joined a running club through my local running store. It is a walk to run club, on Tuesdays and Saturdays. By November, I *should* be able to run a 5K thats my hope anyhow. I have also decided NOT to allow myself to rest on my laurels. The Walk to Run program automatically comes with an entrance into the Turkey Trot- which I may or may not be able to attend given its Thanksgiving Morning. But I have signed up for the Hot Chocolate 5K the first weekend in November. So regardless of whether or not I do the Turkey Trot, there is a 5K in my future.

I also have, in the distance, my sights on the Shamrock Shuffle. Which, is an 8K and not a 5K, but all of my friends will be doing it, so hopefully if I can run 3.2 miles by November, I'm hoping to be able to do 5 by March. Running was my weakest even this past Tri season, I am hoping that even though it will probably never be my strongest even, to at least not suck at it :)

Aside from that, my husband bought a Spin Bike for us to use in the winter months when the actual bikes will be collecting dust in our garage. That way, I can stay in biking form over the winter months as well. And of course, there will always be my morning swims. Next years Tri season, I'm not kidding you about wanting to rock it. My goal is to finish in 2 hours. That would mean taking 40 minutes off my time. Which if I work on my biking and my running should be doable. By spring Im hoping to be able to do the bike in an hour and the run in 45... if I work on my transitions a bit and keep my swimming where its at or even get a little better, I should be able to finish right around 2 hours.

That's the plan. Formulating plans is the easy part- sticking to them an entirely different story. :)

Til next time!