Category Archives: Health

Finally, I relaxed

I can’t remember the last time I took a nap. I’ve tried to relax, but can never commit. I’m always finding something else to do or thinking about everything I have to do or making myself feel guilty about napping.

I’ve been so busy lately. Between the running, yoga, chores, races, dinners, parties, and other shit that has made up my life over the past couple of months, I haven’t had a moment of peace to begin to relax and it’s caught up with me this week. I went to bed at 8 PM every night this week and slept well, but was still exhausted. All week, my body has been slow and slurry. On Wednesday, I really believed that I could have fallen asleep standing up on the train. I couldn’t keep my eyes open.

I told everyone to fuck off this weekend. I had one obligation yesterday morning, a breakfast with family, and then nothing but my Sunday run. I got home from breakfast and stared at my bed with longing. I turned all of the ringers off on my phones and snuggled down. I slept for 2 hours and felt wonderful. This morning, I ran 5 miles and cleaned the house. After my shower, I snuggled down again and slept for another 2 hours.

The older I get, the more I need to chill out and recharge my battery. I need quiet time. I need to calm my overstimulated mind. I really need to start taking one day a week to be by myself and just bask in quiet. I think it’s a good plan.

In other news, my drunk ass neighbor might be losing his life tonight if he doesn’t stop cutting the 3 twigs he cut off of a pine tree with a chain saw. He’s been at it for several hours over sticks I could have broken off with my bare hands. It’s right outside my living room window. It’s driving me mad.

Rebuilding the machine

First, holy shit I’m actually writing something on this blog.  Right?

This is my first post in 2012 and this is what’s what.

Things that haven’t changed:  I’m still single.  I have the same job.  I live in the same apartment.  I still have 4 cats.

Things that have changed:  My state of mind, my attitude, and my body.

Over the past 5 months, I’ve come to view my body as a machine.  I was once in such good shape, a talented athlete.  But like a machine, you have keep up with the maintenance.  I didn’t.

I decided in February that I wanted to run a very popular race in Philly, a 10 mile race that requires runners to run a 15 minute mile or faster.  This was a huge decision for me.  I was running slow at the time I made the decision and needed a goal.  This race is so popular that I didn’t get in at first, but got picked in the lottery.  I felt like this was fate.

Running is hard work.  When I got the word that I got into the race, I was running 3 miles, 3 times a week at a pace of 13 minutes per mile.  I had to pick it up.  I gradually increased how many times a week I ran and increased my distance.  I got terrible blisters and lost the nail on my big toe on my left foot.  I kept on running through body aches and a tight back and bad weather.

I pushed my body until my muscles started remembering what being fit felt like.  I pushed until I could maintain a 9 minute mile pace over several miles.  I pushed until I didn’t have to worry about how my body felt because running felt like home again.  Yes, home again.  Muscle memory is amazing.  My body remembered my gait and form.  And even though I wasn’t in shape enough to handle what my body wanted to do in the beginning, once my cardiovascular system could handle it I took off.

The hardest part about running is exercising your mental muscle.  Finding the part of you that shuts the negative part of you off.  Figuring out how to let go of fear and just relax.  Learning to trust your body and realize that our machines were built for movement.  I feel better when I keep moving.  Rest only makes me hurt, both physically and mentally.  Newton was right, “a body in motion stays in motion”.  I think of members of my family who sit around and don’t move.  The ridiculous walkers or canes they use, all because their leg muscles are too weak to carry their body weight.  They have no injuries, except for a broken mind.  What’s the other cliche…”use it or lose it”?  Too true.  I don’t want to be that person when I’m 50, a prisoner inside of a abandoned shack of a body.  Who wants that?  I see the 70-year-old runners at races with their smiles and strong bodies, and that’s what I want not just for myself but for everyone.

I have changed.  I am better.  I am rebuilding my machine.

So, what’s your excuse?

I gots to be running

So before the year of all of the deaths and sick babies and family drama and drug addicted sisters and horrible luck…I was running about 20-25 miles a week.  I wanted to run a marathon and was on my way.

And then I just got the blues.  Life came in all at once and kept punching me in the face.  I stopped running.

That was 3 years ago.  I joined a gym a year later. It was a small gym and I liked it.  I stayed there for over a year and then ended my membership because it was just so inconvenient to get there.  I joined another gym last year and even hired a trainer, resulting in my injuring my hip and back.

That was January and I didn’t work out for  months.  My body hurt.  The chiropractor helped.  Yoga helped too.  But I missed running.

When I was running years ago, I was so happy.  It was like free therapy.  I just put my music on really loud and just go.  I missed the peace.  I missed how powerful my body was becoming.  I missed the stamina it gave me.  I slept so well.  I just felt great.

This past Sunday, I started running again.  I’m doing the couch to 5K program again, I did it many many years ago.  I did the 5 minute warm-up and thought…I got this.

And then my thought pattern went like this:

First 1 minute run…hells yeah.

The 90 second walk after…phew that was great.

Next 1 minute run…shit, it’s uphill.

90 second walk after…it’s still uphill.

1 minute run…my ass is starting to hurt.

90 second walk after…now my calves are burning because it’s still uphill.

1 minute run…shit.

90 second walk…I can do this.

1 minute run…when does this fucking hill even out.

90 second walk…an old man just yelled “Go get’em” at me.  Or I think he was yelling to me.

1 minute run…a teenager just yelled out the window at me.  I could get pissed, except I was just as big an asshole when I was a teen.

90 second walk…another damn hill.

1 minute run…I just farted, I hope nobody heard it.

90 second walk…it’s really hot out here, why is it so hot in October.

1 minute run…the last run, I can do this…how can I be going uphill again.

5 minute cool down…fucking hills.

Tonight’s run went so much better.  My body felt good and I didn’t struggle at all.  I can’t wait until I get used to the activity and can fly through my run.  Tonight felt like I was on my way to that.  I know there will be bad days, but today gave me hope.  I just have to keep going.

The blahs

This week has not been a good food week for me.  I haven’t eaten as well as I usually eat.  By well, I mean healthy.  I’ve eaten out, salty and greasy foods that are making me feel like shit.  And speaking of shit, well you know what eating lots of beige, salty, greasy food does to your poop schedule.

And nobody messes with my pooping.

I’ve been getting headaches all week as well.  I can’t tell if it’s because of allergies or because of my contacts.  I have decided to wear glasses for the next couple of days to see how that goes.  I sincerely think that I wore my contacts for too long.  I can’t remember when I opened this packet of contacts.  I hate when I do that. I’ve also had a twitch in my left eye for a couple of days that disappears once I remove my contacts.  A call to the eye doctor probably isn’t a bad idea either.  Better safe than sorry.

I did an hour of yoga today.  The class was about pressure and it was just what I needed.  I’ also ate better today…lots of fruit, veggies, unsalted nuts, grains, and water.  I had one of my favorite salads tonight.  Isn’t it pretty?

It’s just spring mix, chopped walnuts, red grapes, dried cranberries, pumpkin seeds, feta, and red onions.  I just use red wine vinegar as dressing because vinegar is crazy good for you and I don’t like a lot of dressings.  It went perfect with this…

And after dinner, I did treat myself to one of these…

…with milk of course.

Now, I’m off to a relaxing bath and then sleep.