If you're lucky enough to be in the mountains, you are lucky enough.

When something bad happens, you have three choices: let it define you, let it destroy you, or let it strengthen you.

The purpose of life is to discover and develop your gift. The meaning of life comes from sharing your gift with others. - David Viscott

Saturday, January 19, 2013

3 weeks into the year - are we ready yet?

Today was the day I had to fulfill my personal promise and run a  5k. Last night I was still not sure if I want to go, and yet realizing, anything and everything I could come up with would be simple an excuse - just like everything pretty much always is. So I set the alarm clock, calmly got up and drove 30 min North to where Georgetown Running Club puts their monthly $1 entry fee 5k races. The only good thing a the time was the temperatures - Austin has been blessed with 30F all week long (or is it the second one already? Either way I am loving it). I ran out for a couple miles to see if I can get my legs moving smoothly - and despite 40 minutes of plyometrics yesterday the responded. The race is local and on a smaller side, but gets anywhere from 200 to 400 runners (today was more of a former as Austinites are not big fans of frost on the ground). And then I put my i-Pod on, lowered my eyes down, looked inside myself - and set out for work.

It was new to me, when I didn't smile at others, didn't try to encourage, didn't even care who's around and what's happening. I just focused on 2 breaths in-2 breaths out falling simultaneously with the steps and ran, trying to keep good form. I had no goals, no ideas, no plan. I ran. For some time there was a girl in front of me who looked like a professional ultrarunner (if such image exists, but for me today she looked like Michele Yates who just won Bandera 100k). She was dressed like one too - and I was a bit bewildered why am I behind, but to my defense, I worked, and she looked relaxed and gliding. Before we hit 1M mark, she began her pull - and that was the only time I smiled inside. All is well in this world.

I clicked my steps and my breaths like a metronome, at times having glances "back" to my first 5k for some reason. I counted them, breaths and steps, and hardly brought my gaze a bit up when we hit a first turn-around at 1.3M - counted girls and I was 6th. OK, Miss Metronome, keep counting, keep clicking. At 2M 2 ladies passed me, but one struggled to stay ahead, and I slowly reeled her in, and another quickly disappeared. I wasn't breathing incredibly hard, and I wasn't panting with my staple of working at my limit - I was simply working. Another turn-around, head down, last half a mile and a turn onto a cinder track for the last push to finish. 24:24. Yup, I am putting it out here, and I am not ashamed. It is not my fastest even on this course in my "more adult life" (half a minute slower than last year's better of 3 times), but considering I didn't cough or bend over in pain gasping, and that my legs felt great, and that I didn't train since end of September - it was great. Solid. Felt right where it supposed to be...

And here I thought: it doesn't always have to be fun to be good. Sometimes it has to be work to feel like it belongs here, in this time frame of my life.

May be this is where I am right now in general. Just working through some stuff. I've been on vitamins and adrenal and thyroid supplements for 1 full month now, and I'd like to think I am turning a corner with my adrenal fatigue. I don't feel as sluggish - although I am as slow. A few days ago I felt to yell out to the world: "I am ready to train again!" I started dreaming races, seeing what else I can pack...and then I wore Larry's "toy" (he got himself Garmin XT-310 for New year, he wanted it for a long time, and I kept saying why waste a good run on numbers?) - and the reality hit. I am slow, and there is no cover for it. And this "toy" keeps you honest - finally I succumbed and seeked a used same device for myself right that day. Time to do something about it, besides measured intervals and a stop-watch. Time to do easy runs at "easy pace", not at "snail pace". Time to remember that I actually like to train almost as much, as to run free in the mountains, and since Austin is lacking said mountains, I might as well train - otherwise running here gets boring rather fast.

So, how are my January goals going? Not bad at all.
1. The Whole30.  I knew from get-go the results will be tremendous for Larry and so-so for me, because he, as he admitts easily, is a true born and raised sugar and flour addict (or was), and I had eaten cooked from scratch foods with an emphasis on veggies and meat since I was a baby (comes with territory, though more often than not "veggies" meant white potatoes). Not to mention I was "near-Paleo" for 2 years now, and had gone through one Whole30 already. With that said, Larry sees exactly the outcomes (already, less than 3 weeks in) program describes: mental acuteness, no slumps, even energy, less hunger (to none) between meals, better sleep (no snoring too), disappearance of joint and back pain...and he tightened his belt on already almost 3 notches. For me, the idea behind mostly is health-concerning (my digestive that is). I do react on many vegetables, as I knew that before, but now that I eliminated dairy and grains, I am certain which one (sadly, my options are limited in the future to only zucchini and sweet potato, because broccoli, all cabbage, bell pepper, eggplant, pumpkin, and every kind of squash gives me problems). I don't see changes in my body (we haven't stepped on a scale or taken measurements yet as we're trying to "play by the rules" of 30 days focus and no distractions). My sleep is sporadic, and my joints don't hurt as is (thanks to Bikram). So, bottom line, we are on it, we like it, we're sticking to it more long term, but the jury for me is out there whether or not I get healed - and the result of "turning on" the fat metabolism during long races will only be tested in February's 50k race at Mt. Cheaha (although come to think about it, may be my 5k fluid sailing was having something to do with it?). 
2. That home variation of CrossFit was one thing that, while didn't completely fall off the wagon, surely got seriously adjusted to fit my life. First week was fine, until school and early schedule kicked in, and it got reduced to "something", a.k.a. crunches and some push ups after a run, and on Thursdays, when I run to work (10M commute), it is non-existent at all.
3. University (work) gym is going great. 4 times, 30 minutes, loving the break from the desk and focus on splitting workouts (previously done in 2 days) into 2x upper body and 2x lower body (with 5 min abs at the tail for each). Life is good. Once I even hit a sauna!
4. I am running every day, yes, I am. And I am liking it. A few times (4?) I did 2 miles only, but the act of getting out the door before work and moving is really beneficial - if not for my overtraining, then for my mind:)
5. Water is also a hard one, just as I thought it would be. At work I am forcing those 2 bottles (often with 30 minutes before catching the bus), but at home, on the weekend, it is sporadic at best. But I am trying.
6. I am taking care of my aging face - and along with it of my cracking hands and feet too. Almost like a real adult woman!
7. My knitting is going well, and I would have been done by now, but I decided to re-do the front of a jacket I am making to perfection, so it'll be delayed now. But, I am on it, last project till new yarn comes in (and I got 3 other done), and I am also reading some books too (when have time).
8. That "kids" situation is better for my benefits - I told them where I stand, and it's up to them to act knowing the consequences. I am calm and it's out of my hands what they do - just how I react. I actually fall asleep a little faster now.
9. I ran a 5k - see above, and-
10. The attic is done!

I won't be re-capping these goals again, I have no problems seeing them through, but I will post the numbers for Whole30 when we officially get the scale and measuring tape out. But in a meantime, I am already thinking how can I make my life keeping moving in the right direction. I'll need to add stretching to my evening routine, 5 min I all I need. Try and hit Bikram twice a week regularly, not from time to time. Sleep (!!) at least twice a week for 7 straight hours, and once for 8! This would be so beneficial to my recovery from the funk I got myself into - and so hard! But I got once 8 hrs recently (by turning in at 9 pm no matter what the family was doing) and it felt awesome. And - I want to continue resolving my IBS (digestive symptoms), staying on top of vitamins being absorbed (not simply consumed) and to pick some racing goals later in a year. What the heck, I like challenges!

And I want to make sure I see friends (not for runs) once a week, one or another, to simply catch up on life. Larry's best bud from high school came and visited. Made me miss my friends. Friends are precious. I need to figure some things out and find time.

And last but not least - I stumbled upon a great blog post that made me think quite some. Who knows. I might even synchro-post with those few people without invitation:)


Thomas Bussiere said...

5K are tough when going all out without any speedwork training. You are still a beast in my book - I know what you have done, and what you are capable of. Got a Garmin 610 myself and it made me realize I was not running as far as I thought, and slower!!! Got some work to do, and it's hard.

Karen said...

This is basically how I run everything shorter than a half marathon too, kinda hurts so good. I like your weekly friend meet up idea, sounds awesome. :)

Liza said...

Nice!! on the 5k! So can we invite ourselves to the synchro-post party? Synchro-post crashing?

fitmacdaddy said...

Nice recap, Olga! Glad to see your goals are going well...I blogged today :) Thanks to you !

Steve Pero said...

Love reading your blog posts, Olga, they get me thinking.

I wish I could run more 5K's, but living in the mountains, the closest city is 2 hours away...and I've gone the opposite way of you, going with an every other day running schedule after reading this. http://tinyurl.com/bzmk7u7 Of course I'm in my 60's, so more rest can't hurt after running about every day for 37 years ;-)

This is certainly the time of year to try new things, before the real training crutch "has" to happen!
Hope to see you and Larry around somewhere...

Olga said...

Yes, lets crash! I even got OK'ed on it:)

Sarah said...

I hope you can find the food that's still bothering you. I'm sure you've already gone totally gluten-free on the Whole30 plan, but that's my only thought. Glad to hear you're turning the corner on the adrenal fatigue!

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