Monday, April 13, 2015

So Happy I Pushed Myself to Run and not Sit Out!

Excitement.  Guilt.  Fear. Anticipation.  Indecision.  Anger.  Hopefulness. 

These are all of the emotions I was feeling as I got out of my car this past Saturday at the Forbes Road CTC 5K, an event my sister organized to raise funds for the school's scholarship program.  I had been one of the first to sign-up when registration opened several months ago.  And then the sinus infection happened.  The longest and most annoying illness of my entire life.  It would not go away and I was sidelined for over a month. 

Now here I was at the first 5K since I had finally recovered.  Should I run?  Walk?  Cheer from the sidelines?

I was excited to be there and feeling good.  Yet I was angry at myself that I hadn't pushed through the fatigue and exercised more over the past few weeks even though my head knew that I had done the right thing.  If I sat out, what kind of example would that be for my kids?  There was the fear of being embarrassed in front of my fellow runners if I couldn't finish and had to call my brother-in-law to pick me up at Mile 2.  I was also hopeful that the excitement of this event would be the motivation I needed to get back on track!

Standing at the Starting Line I still hadn't made of my mind of how I would handle the next 3.1 miles.  As I stood there I was reminded of advice my mom had give me when I was training for my first 5k and had been ready to give up.  She reminded me to not worry about what other people around me were doing or saying.  To not worry about the way I felt I "should" be running and do what works best for me. 

In that moment I decided that I would start off with my normal 2/1 interval.  However instead of running for 2 minutes and walking for 1 minute, I would run for 1 minute and walk for 2 minutes.  If that turned out to be too much, I would drop down to pure walking. 

My sister yelled "START" into the Megaphone and I took off (I know that gives the image of me sprinting from the starting line.  It was more of a slow gallop.)  1 minute run . . . 2 minutes walk . . . 1 minute run . . . 2 minutes walk . . .

The Finish Line showed up much quicker that I anticipated.  I maintained my pace the entire race and I felt FABULOUS!  Not one single time did I want to quit or question my decision to run/walk the event.  My body felt great, my spirits were high and I felt such pride in myself.  I did it!!
My son JJ and I at the Finish Line
If I had opted to walk, I would have been happy with myself for finishing but not felt the exhilarating high of having pushed myself.  If I had opted to sit out, I would have missed the joy all together and been kicking myself for not participating.
I am SO happy that I made the choice to participate!  What a huge reminder for me to push myself and go for it.  Five years ago I made the decision that I don't sit on the sidelines anymore.   I want to experience life and not always be the one cheering on others.  I encourage you to not sit on the sidelines - get up and join the FUN!!  That choice will change your life! 
(NOTE: Medically I am all better and was cleared by my doctor to return to my normal exercise routines.)
JJ and his friend Blake volunteered at the event.
More pics from this fun event:
My awesome sister and Race Director Meg (in green)
Beauties Ellie and Katie

One of the many selfies Ellie took during the morning.

Friday, April 10, 2015

A Bad Food Day . . . on Purpose!

Yesterday I had two important events take place.  In the morning I had a rather stressful meeting for work which actually created a great bonding experience with several of my co-workers.  That evening my husband and I celebrated 23 years since our first date during our freshmen year at Ashland University. 

As is common in today's world, both events involved food.  At first, I was a little stressed out by this.  I don't eat out too often, let alone twice in one day.  For me there is so much temptation when eating out.  The more I thought about it I realized that everything was going to be ok because I was THINKING about it! 

I didn't go into these two meals a mindless madwoman shoving every morsel of food in my mouth.  Did I make the 100% healthiest choices available to me?  No.  But because I purposefully gave my choices some thought, I didn't make the worst choice. 

We had lunch at Primanti Brothers - a Pittsburgh Classic!  You can't say no to a Primanti's sandwich piled high with coleslaw and french fries.  I ate the whole thing which was delicious, but I got water instead of pop.  Two PURPOSEFUL choices.  A big choice for me at Primanti's was that I tried a new sandwich.  I have always gotten the same sandwich at Primanti's.  My WHOLE life I've gotten the same sandwich.  As I attempt to be more open to new adventures, going with fish instead of the Pittsburger was a big move (May sound like no big deal to some, but I think it is important to grab onto even the smallest opportunities for excitement!). 
Following lunch, we hit up another Pittsburgh Classic - prantl's bakery.  YUMMY!  I treated myself to one cookie.  ONE.  My plan was to eat half and then give the other half to my son, but I have to confess that when I handed him the bag later in the day there was only about 1/8 of the cookie left.  Oooops!  Not much thought into that one, but at least I savored small bites throughout the day and didn't scarf it down in three huge bites.  Every bite was SO good!

Finally dinner.  My husband and I had both been craving Chinese food so a trip to Azan Wok in Plum was our choice.  We saw and discussed several "healthy" options on the menu, but we went with our favorites - Sweet-n-Sour Chicken with Pork Fried Rice and an egg roll on the side.  Mmmmm!  I may not have chosen the healthiest menu item, but I did choose to stop eating when I was full rather than stuffing myself because it tasted so good. 

The best parts about this Bad Food Day were that I had a great time with my friends and husband AND I did not feel sick at the end of the day.  I had a great time because I chose to not focus on the food - I focused on those I was with.  I didn't feel sick because even though I didn't make the healthiest food choices, I gave each choice thought and didn't stuff myself.  My Bad Food Day turned out to be a GREAT day!