Like a Hurricane

 

*Important Disclaimer: Use of this title in no way serves to imply that hurricanes are anything less than life-changing, severe storms. It is only my lame attempt to profit from the popular song “Rock You Like a Hurricane.”*

HERE I AM! Sitting at my desk at lunch chair-dancing to the Scorpions. ROCK YOU LIKE A HURRICANE. HERE I AM.

“Katie,” you may be asking, “why are you rocking?”

Well, You, I am in training for a race. Proper training in running is important. It not only prepares you physically and mentally for race day, but it can determine how you feel before and after the actual race. For those you who don’t know, I ran my first mile last January (2012.) It hurt so much but I was so proud.  After that mile I decided to run a few 5Ks. After that second 5k I knew I wanted to run a half marathon. I ended up running two.

After all that running, I took some time off and focused on cross training and what I would call “playing” at the gym. Essehospitalhillrun-logo-2013ntially, I just did what I wanted to with no real goal other than to get a good workout and enjoy myself. I tried spinning for the first time, I revisited an old favorite class, I varied my cardio and started working out with a buddy on the weekends. Essentially, I loosened the reigns and it felt goood. But after a while, something was missing. I needed to run again.

There were two major races in 2013 for which I really wanted to register. I already wrote about the Chicago Marathon (I’m a 26.2 virgin!) but the other one is a nice half marathon at home in Kansas City called Rock the Parkway. Sadly, I couldn’t afford the registration before it sold out so I resigned myself to missing out and signing up early for 2014 before all my money was eaten up by end of year and beginning of year expenses. I ended up registering for another great Kansas City race (one that actually got a nod in Runner’s World) for June and started training.  Hospital Hill Half Marathon is one of the toughest races in KC. It was also on my list to complete so I could proudly wear my gear reading “I conquered the hill.” [I need to find a way to be an elitist. To prove that I am a real runner who runs real things.I might not run it fast, but I’m going to beat those hills.]

So far, the training has been going well. I feel good and I’m enjoying my runs. I’m looking forward to Hospital Hill in June — bonus, my uncle is also running the half marathon! While I’ve been excited, part of me was still sad that I wasn’t going to get to “Rock the Parkway”. I’ve run bits of the course during training runs and they’ve been some of my favorite. I’ve felt light, strong and grounded. Truly connected.

I take you to Wednesday, March 20, 2013. It’s late afternoon and after struggling to stay awake I finally gave in and drank some coffee. [I am pretty strict about drinking caffeine after lunch –no bueno and if I drink it, it’s usually tea. I’m not a huge hot tea fan** (though I keep trying.)] As my mind starts to revive and my limbs feel less corpse-like, my phone vibrates. Someone is selling her Rock the Parkway registration, do I want it? My immediate reaction was “HELL YES!” In fact, I would have responded in the affirmative much quicker had my brain not done the quick, “will I be ready? how will this impact my training for Hospital Hill?” Once I remembered that I’m fit, have run distance and am not out for a PR I pounced. I’ve been in a happy running place ever since. Who knew that getting to run one race could make me so happy?

rtp-logo

Now I’m in dual training. I’m adjusting my long run schedule a bit to account for the addition of Rock the Parkway and I’m firmly committed to devoting a good portion of time to working on my “rocking.” So far today, I’ve sung  “Rock the Casbah” as “Rock the Parkway” and of course, there is the “Rock You Like a Hurricane.” I might have to make a “rock” song themed playlist.

Here I am after last night's training run. It was about 28 degrees and snowing lightly. So rock 'n' roll. Isn't my closet messy! Also, say hi to my cat (Baby) Oliver. "Hi Ollie!!!!" (he's a really good cat.)
Here I am after last night’s training run. It was about 28 degrees and snowing lightly. So rock ‘n’ roll. Especially the interior pocket full of Kleenex. My closet IS messy and that mirror IS dirty (hairspray maybe.) Also, say hi to my cat (Baby) Oliver. “Hi Ollie!!!!” (he’s a really good cat.)

This race is all about FUN for me. Joy. The goodness of running and loving the city in which I run. The course starts at the south end of the street near a major shopping center and winds down one of the loveliest residential (suburban-urban) areas in Kansas City. You run past well manicured lawns, beautiful Tudor and Colonial style houses and finally, you loop around one of the most well-known parks in the city — Loose Park (a few pictures below.) All the while the median is like one long park with quintessential Kansas City fountains peppered throughout.

The race is in mid-April so I’m hoping the weather is going to cooperate and it will be green and pretty. We’re preparing for another snowstorm this weekend, but this IS the Midwest where one minute it’s snowing and the next it’s 75 degrees so it could be a whole new KC in a few weeks. Regardless, it’s going to be great!

Let’s rock!

 

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**Side note: I adore iced tea. I’m a sun-tea makin gal. I think it came from the time we lived in the South (Alabama and Georgia). I’m guessing that’s where my mom picked it up. If I’m wrong I don’t really want to know.

I’m also practicing eating while rocking; however, I doubt I’ll be ingesting salad while on a long run any time soon.

How Much is That Doggy in the Window?

Volunteering at "Hoops for Hounds" benefiting KC Pet Project, March 14, 2013.
Volunteering at “Hoops for Hounds” benefiting KC Pet Project, March 14, 2013.

Well, that’s me. Only, I didn’t recognize myself at first. Weight loss is strange. I have cheekbones. And my nose is interesting. and I’m making a face because that’s what I always do in pictures. (sigh) [and my roots are showing]

The Lottery

I entered the Chicago Marathon lottery. They regretted to inform me that I was not selected. The morning of the lottery announcement this happened:

Now I must decide how badly I want to run this race. I can still gain entry through a charity. I just have to raise a certain amount of money and they not only get me a registration, but they will pay for my entry fee.

Last year, I chose Chicago for three reasons:

  1. It’s consistently ranked as a great course for first time marathoners.
  2. I saw a glowing review for the 2012 event on Fiterature.
  3. It’s in my mom’s hometown (with “her people.”) [This likely means crying because I am a baby.]

Oh yeah, I actually decided I was going to run a marathon while I was training for my first half. Being consumed by running and surrounded by people who were running them and training for them, it just hit me that I wanted to do that. I was reading books about running, I was running, I was talking about running, I was writing about running. (I was punctuating badly.) Running a marathon is also like the ultimate way to say “F’ YOU! I’m not the obese girl lacking confidence and afraid to try anymore. [I’M NOT JOSIE GROSSIE ANYMORE!]  F YOU FEAR.

After I entered the lottery, I really thought I was going to get in. I just had a feeling that it was supposed to happen. Now I’m a little less certain. Watching Spirit of the Marathon certainly inspired me as I cheered on the regular guys and the elites alike. That could be me.

Here’s my dilemma:  I am a terrible fundraiser. Remember those candy selling fundraisers? I ate the candy. I ATE IT ALL.

What do you think? Can I raise $925 for Girls on the Run? Can I run a marathon?

Stuck in the Middle

Something has been in the back of mind for a few months. A fear, a worry a perpetual pest. For the last several months, my weight loss has been slower than I’d like. As soon as I get down, I seem to go right back up. Why am I bouncing around so much? Why can’t I break this barrier? Why is this so hard?

I’ve hit the spot where I’ve failed in the past. I fear that I will never surpass this point and reach my ultimate goal. Sure, I am in a lot better place than I was 2 or 3 years ago, but I am not satisfied. There is more fat to lose and more fitness to be gained!

With 45 lbs left to go, I don’t feel like I should be having so much trouble. But here’s the thing: I keep making concessions for myself. I keep making excuses. I keep sabotaging weight loss for instant gratification. I’m still working out and I’m still eating mostly healthy — but it’s the stuff that doesn’t fall under “mostly” that is costing me. Too many indulgences.

I’ve been telling myself it’s okay to just maintain for a bit. This is a long process and at some point, I’m going to be done losing weight. I’m going to be in maintenance. What then?

The take-away (ha!) for me is that I need to hold myself accountable to my goals. If I truly want this, I need to keep plugging along. Keep pushing. Keep challenging.

So, bye-bye my darling M&Ms! Bye-bye, sweet, sweet Reese’s eggs! Bye-bye ice cream and Fro-Yo Friday*! Bye-bye: Dove Promises, random dark chocolate, Junior Mints, boozey treats, Jelly Bellies, gluten free cookies and cake! Until I can learn to moderate your consumption, I must steer clear.

One thing is different — I’m not beating myself up. I’m not tut-tutting or feeling shameful. It’s okay that I’m not perfect and I’ve sort of coasted. It only becomes un-okay if I never get passed it.

So, here I go again. Focused. Competitive. Optimistic.

 

*Lord how I love Fro-Yo Friday. Screw going out on the town on Friday. I like settling in with my jammies and a giant thing of frozen yogurt from my local shop. They had dark chocolate curls (HAD :() and my goodness. Perfection. Sometimes I get fruit, but usually not because it gets gross in the freezer. Sigh.