Week 1

Yay, I made it through my first week!

I had a slow start this week but that doesn’t mean it wasn’t hard. I definitely ran into some hurdles so I wanted to take some time to document/or share my top challenges this week:

  • Shin Pain
  • Hip Pain
  • Back Pain
  • Hamstring Pain
  • Developing a Routine
  • Staying Committed

One of the things that helped me this week was simply knowing that it was my first week. My expectations were not set too high and my one goal was easy to manage. The goal this week was to log 25 miles. I am happy to announce that I logged exactly 25 miles. According to my calculation, if I log at least 25 miles a week then I will meet the 2021k annual goal. Of course I intend to increase my mileage but this is the minimum. Yoga was also my friend this week. Yoga and rolling out my shins with my Costco foam roller ($19.99) has been very helpful and they both have allowed me to keep moving!

Costco Foam Roller, Lolë High Density EVA Foam - Costco Fan

Just because I met my mileage, it doesn’t mean I did everything I set out to do. For one, I wanted to commit to no fast food and no alcohol this week, but I lost myself over the weekend. What can I say, pizza and beer is my go to. It’s hard to stay away, especially when you have a gift card from Christmas!

It might seem like a lot, but I actually did a lot better than my usual pizza and beer run. I had 3 slices, a few wings and 5.5 Modelo’s. Yes, I said 5.5! If you know me, you should know I would never not finish a beer! This is progress! I am moving toward a new direction to meet my goals. The next day, I felt great and logged 4 miles in the morning! So, even though this may have been a tiny set back (calorie set back), it was well managed and I am improving. I can’t help but feel proud. It’s the little things that make all the difference. Depriving my body completely has never worked in the past for me, so I don’t intend on reliving that failure.

Ultimate 6er | Chicago's Best Pizza & Beer Pairings

Yoga Wednesday

As Wednesday approached, I was 6 days into developing a routine of running/or walking. Even though it has been a slow start, it still has been a challenge for me to get back to my cardio self. I know 6 days doesn’t seem like much but for me it is progress. In the past I have been both successful and I have also experienced failure. By combining both, I am developing a flexible plan to meet my own personal physical needs.

Last year when I learned of my bulged herniated disc in my lower lumbar area, I also learned I have been suffering from osteoarthritis in multiple parts of my body. For this reason, it is critical that I practice self-awareness to promote a no injury workout.

I have discussed running with my doctor as well as my neurosurgeon and in my early stages of osteoarthritis it’s all about balancing a routine. Because I no longer have the luxury to push myself to the fullest, I have incorporated yoga as part of my recovery. I was first introduced to yoga last year by my doctor. It was recommended to help alleviate pain. Sometimes it is difficult to find the time but the consequences of not finding the time will impact my running goals and prevent me from succeeding.

“Yoga with Adrienne”, is definitely my go to yoga tool. The tone of her voice is calming and she has a way of relaxing both my body and mind. The breathing alone has been a huge benefit for me. When I first started, the breathing took some time to get use to. I am always in a rush so it took a few sessions to be comfortable with my own breathe. The breathing has also helped reduce my anxiety level.

Some days I do freestyle yoga and some days I target my bodies needs. The YouTube clip above is what I have used in the past and will continue to use when I need some extra attention in my back, hip and hamstring areas. As Adrienne encourages you to go at your own pace, she suggests multiple modifications to meet your level of yoga. Keeping a balance is important. As I move forward, I will continue to introduce new workouts/or yoga clips in an effort to increase my success.

I Bend So I Don't Break: Blank Lined Notebook Journal Diary Composition  Notepad 120 Pages 6x9 Paperback by Kelly Jacobs

Monday Motivation

Sweet T Makes Three - Food, Fun, and Family Travel | Inspirational quotes  motivation, Uplifting quotes, Running quotes

It is no secret that Monday’s can be a struggle. Today started out very slow. The morning run that I had planned did not exactly take place. Instead my snooze button got the best of me. The soreness from the weekend was real. I had logged 3.5 miles a day since January 1st and my body was feeling it. I had also done yoga and rolled the crap out of my legs while watching football on Sunday. I swear I did all my recovery moves, I even alternated ice and heat after my runs.

It wasn’t until this morning when I finally realized that I have not been very active for about 6 months due to my injury. It is for this reason that I asked myself, “Why did I start out at 3.5 miles a day”? This is what I came up with.

  • I know I can run far more than 3.5 miles a day
  • I feel like a 5k is a baby run for me, so I bumped it up a bit
  • I am impatient
  • I tend to push myself to the limit
  • I am anxious
  • I need to average out my mileage in order to meet my annual goal for my virtual 2021k run
  • I want to be at the same running level I was before my injury
  • I feel frustrated with starting all over from the beginning

I needed some motivation today so I decided to share my thoughts and a picture I came across. I realized today that it’s not about how fast I run or how quickly I get to a more advanced mileage. It’s about sticking with my goal while listening to my body, which is extremely difficult to do. We all want to do better but remembering how we increase our speed and mileage is half the journey. It’s all about how we get there.

As I woke up slowly, I stayed committed. I knew I needed movement but not intense movement. I decided to split my run/or speed walking.

Before work I completed half a mile walking on the treadmill. While I was at work, I utilized my chair and desk to do some light stretches (5 minute desk breaks). I did some speed walking on both of my breaks and on my lunch. When I finally got home, I was comfortable enough to run a mile. During my run, I was surprised at my energy level, my body was feeling stronger than it had all day. Afterwards, I finished with a 15 minute stretch before calling it.

I completed 4.06 miles today and I am feeling somewhat proud. Proud that I didn’t consider today a wash because I walked. I have learned a lot since my injury and sometimes you need to walk before you can keep running. Starting slow is not what matters. It’s all about not stopping while listening to your body. Progress is key, any progress.

My First Blog Post

Why have I finally decided to post on my blog that was created in December of 2019

When I first set out to start this blog it was to inspire myself and anyone else who would listen. The truth of the matter is, I LOVE to RUN! I need to run! It is my passion in life that makes me feel like I can do anything.

Hi, my name is Elizabeth and just like so many others I have allowed life to get in the way of my true passion. When I first started this blog in 2019, I was on a mission to run my first marathon in 2020! This has always been my goal except I wanted to run it before I had turned 40 (too bad so sad).

Now, I don’t really consider myself an avid runner however it is something that I really love. Whether I was healthy or not, I have always kept at it. I have completed numerous organized runs including 2 half marathons, but never a full marathon. I swore 2020 was going to be my year!!! Needless to say, 2020 was not much of anybody’s year. In an effort to keep this brief, here is a rundown of my training for the marathon in 2020, at least from what I can remember.

2020 Rundown

  • January was naturally a good month to start, (typical New Years resolution) I was eating somewhat healthy, reading a few running books to inspire me and doing my thing on the track (running outdoors/or treadmill). I had even taken my measurements and locked in my weight (162 lbs.) Yikes! I started the year in the worst shape of my life. If you are thinking this weight is not that bad, consider my height, 4′ 11″. Technically, I was considered obese.
  • February-March was a blur because I wasn’t tracking my progress. Fatigue was at a high and I was drinking a ton of alcohol, I guess you can say I was making up for lost time. Just a tiny bit of history about me, I love to drink beer, eat pizza and watch football! Once I get going, I’m usually at the point of no return, but I survive. By the time March was over, COVID hit and I knew I wanted to make a change in order to stay healthy.
  • April-June I was doing well. I had decided to cut out alcohol entirely and started running again. My motivation was back and I was going to stay committed. Somewhere during this time though, there was a mountain lion spotted in my yard. I seen it on the news and said, OMG that is my house and there is a mountain lion right by my car. I remember it was morning and the sun was coming up. After that, I was frightened to set foot outside. The mornings were my peak running times and I was traumatized but very grateful that I was too sore to run that morning.
  • July-Mid November was my worst. I had stopped running because of the mountain lion sightings and soon after I had developed some unexpected back pain which put me out of work until the middle of November. I ended up having a bulged herniated disc in my lower back and my nerves down both legs had been affected. I had never felt pain like that in my life. Due to COVID, my marathon was postponed until October of 2021. Either way, I was in no shape to do any runs for a while. The neurosurgeon said I would run again and it would be okay, he said I would be able to train soon for my 2021 marathon. A sense of relief set in and although I was impatient, I felt content that I would run again.
  • December was a chill month for me. My therapy, yoga and the epidural spinal injections helped alleviate the pain. I took a lot of time to recover while listening to my body, for once! I started having a few beers here and there but nothing over the top to keep me out of the game. At that point, I had been sober for 8 months and I was feeling good. Obviously, with COVID, there was more to my year than just the bullet points here. I can go on and on about the horrific year that has taken a toll on so many, including my own family, but instead I am going to commit to staying focused toward my mission and my point for this blog and that is to RUN.

My Mission

I am registered for the Long Beach, CA 2021 Marathon! I am feeling good and my mission is to keep this blog as a journal, track my progress (good or bad) and really hold myself accountable with each action throughout my journey.

Goals to Self:

  • Be committed to myself by getting back up, even when I feel like a failure
  • Be honest to myself by being honest to this blog
  • Be positive with each day, good or bad
  • Be comfortable with allowing my body to go at its own pace, no injuries please
  • Be consistent with posting at least weekly, even if it’s just a quick check in. It’s all about the journey and tracking progress
  • Be grateful and remember what it was like to not have the ability to walk, drive, get out of bed and the most terrible of them all to RUN
  • Be proud of all of the accomplishments that you will achieve in your journey
  • Be aware that the challenge is tough and learn from the mistakes you know are inevitable

January 01, 2021 – Day 1

Along with the Long Beach, CA Marathon, I have also registered for a virtual run that will literally take me all year to complete. The goal of the virtual run is to complete 2021k by 12/31/2021. Once completed, I will receive my recognition medal. This run will be the base of my training.

Today, I weighed in and took my measurements. I have managed to keep off 8.4 pounds and 6.75 inches since last years results. Even though it doesn’t seem like much, it is progress. I am starting off better than I was last year and that is something to be proud of. Today, I logged 3.5 miles and I am feeling hopeful.