Monday, August 29, 2011

Lots going on right now

It has been a busy few weeks in my household. School started last week for the boys and me, luckily this is my last semester and I will have earned my Bachelors Degree. It has been a long, hard road and I am very proud of myself. I will be graduating with Honors, and while that may not be a huge deal to some, it is a major deal for me. Because, I am a perfectionist when it comes to school; it killed me to earn a B, I had to earn A's. Stupid, I know, but that's just the way I am.

Another thing major going on in my family, as I have posted before, I have finally realized that I can't help my son on my own, it was time to turn to professional help. We went to the doctor 2 weeks ago, and he gave him some medicine to take. Let me preface this saying, I have been totally against taking him to a doctor to get meds. I did not want him to become a zombie, or take something that would hinder him in the future. In fact, I have been fighting this for the entire 9 years of his life. He has always been a challenge, and I thought that he would grow out of it, but unfortunately that wasn't the case, it only got worse. So, I finally gave in, and took him to a doctor, and it was probably one of the best decisions I could have made - thank you hubby for pushing me to do this. Things are already so much better, he's much calmer, and even tempered, but yet he still has his spirit. I was worried he would lose it, but he didn't. He is also going to see a counselor, which with him being so shy, I was worried that he wouldn't open up to him, but after our first visit, even though he didn't really speak to the counselor, he acted in a way that I knew he would open up quickly. A huge relief on my part, now I know he is getting help and will be much happier because of it.

On the running front, things have been challenging but still good. I am currently on week 3 of my 1/2 marathon training plan. Last week, I began to start with my excuses like last time. The only difference is this time, I do not want to let myself fall back into the "easy" way out. It's so easy to say, I'm too tired, or I had a bad night, etc., etc. But those are just excuses and if we let ourselves get away with that, we are only hurting ourselves. I looked over my training last time, and it was so inconsistent. I would run 3 times one week, and the next only once, and there was no cross training at all. No wonder why I felt so completely unprepared when it came to race day. My own goal for my next 1/2 is to run it without feeling like I am going to die, and the only way I know to do it is to make sure I train completely for it. So this is where my mind struggles. I know that I should work out, and I want to work out, but I also don't want to work out because its hard, and I'm "tired". So I have to keep pushing myself. They say you form a habit after 21 days, but I'm not so sure about that. I think it is always a struggle, no matter how many days it is. You have to keep convincing yourself to do it, its good for you physically and mentally. I hope some day it becomes a little easier to convince myself, but then again, maybe the struggle is there to make me stronger. I guess I will never completely know.

Wednesday, August 17, 2011

Which is a better run?

A question that has been playing in my mind is which would be considered a better run. The run that you were really in to, and just felt really right, or the one that you didn't want to do but pushed through and completed it. I would love to say, of course, the one that felt awesome, I was so into it, and it just flowed, but would that be taking the easy way out? Wouldn't the better run be the one you had to fight for, the one that you just really didn't want to do, but you did, you talked yourself out of quitting, and did it, what an accomplishment.

I know I am only just a week into my 1/2 training, but I have been so committed to doing this one right, and really putting my all into it - while every run hasn't been necessarily easy, I have had the determination and want to get it done, and it felt good. Unfortunately, yesterday I was extremely exhausted, and have no real reason why, but I turned off my alarm, without even knowing it went off. Yup, I was that exhausted. My husband told me that he kept smacking me until I turned it off, I have no recollection of it, definitely a deep sleep, thank God for hubby's alarm that goes off later or I wouldn't have made it to work on time. Anyways, I definitely missed my morning run, and with Florida heat, and no more energy later in the day I wasn't sure I was going to get through my scheduled 4 mile run. As I did my inhaler and changed my clothes, my energy level stayed the same - I thought for sure, I am going to get on the treadmill, run a mile and quit - so I got on the treadmill, one side of my brain saying " you are going to do this", the other " its okay if you quit, you're really tired, at least you did something", but my "good" side of the brain kept saying, you cannot give up, you want to have a better half and that won't happen if you don't train well. I decided I would hold myself accountable, so at mile one, I texted my sister in law and best friend, saying 1 mile down, 3 to go. I knew that she believed in me and if I didn't do the next 3, I would have to tell her why. I kept up the texting for mile 2, and mile 3 and at that point, I was like, really, I can't quit when there is only one mile to go. So, I didn't - I'm not saying it was easy, because it surely wasn't. I wanted to quit at every 1/2 mile, but I knew if I did, I wouldn't be happy, I knew I had to do this.

So back to my question, which is a better run, one that feels good and you really enjoy, or one that you have to really work at to complete, and in the end it is a huge accomplishment? I'm going to have to say both are great runs, but I think the one that you have to work at is better, because it is a bigger feat and a much bigger push on your ego, which makes later runs more easy, because you know you can do it. So along my running trail, I long for good runs that keep me enjoying it, but also hard runs that challenge me and convince me that I am stronger than I think I am.

Monday, August 15, 2011

1/2 Marathon training plus life

So, I've decided to do another 1/2 marathon. For those who know me, the last one almost killed me. Ok, I'm exaggerating. But it was pretty bad. It was before I knew that I had asthma, and I didn't train as much as I wanted to, I just wasn't dedicated and determined enough - basically I gave up. I have decided this time, I am not letting myself quit, and so far I am going strong.

Last week called for 4 running days, 1 XT or running day and 2 rest days. I did all my running days (very impressed with myself because I did them all in the morning. I made myself get up which is a feat in itself - I am not a morning person. I even got up at 7 on Saturday to do my 6 miler. That is amazing because normally I would stay in be until at least 8:30 - 9. My only disappointment is that I actually did take Friday as a rest day, while the schedule called for a rest day, my own schedule called for a XT training day. But, I forgave myself and moved on. I didn't totally rest on Sunday, because we went horseback riding for my son's birthday. He was so excited - a great surprise :) Week 2 has started out great - I did my Monday run and am excited to do my 4 miler tomorrow.

Tonight brings other challenges. My son,that I have been having issues with, was awesome last week. No fighting, no tantrums, etc. Well it was his birthday Sunday, so obviously he was working us. Tonight, he is throwing a major tantrum. Obviously, he knows how to behave, so why all the sudden is he not behaving again. Hello, its not going to bring a different response, matter of fact, it makes me more ticked off. Hello, you can only behave when you want something, UH NO, I don't think so. Right now, I am so mad. I have been the biggest supporter of my son, making excuses for him, thinking I was doing the best for him. Well I guess I was wrong, because obviously, he knows how to behave, he just chooses to do it when he wants to. Ugh, I feel so stupid, my child has totally played me. I feel like a total fool, and I know my husband feels the same way about me. He is my baby and I guess I have over babied him. My oldest was so much different, never demanding attention, always a good baby, and very easy to raise. I am only now having some issues with him (he is a preteen) but nothing major.

My youngest has been a challenge since he was in the womb. I was in labor for over a month. I couldn't eat a meal without having to hold him, etc. So, I guess his behavior is now my fault because I probably gave in a little to much when he was younger, but honestly it was because I was trying to avoid a conflict. I would fight the important stuff with him, but if it wasn't a huge deal, I would let it go to avoid the fight, which my husband hated. It is a huge power struggle between my husband and him, and I am smack in the middle. I am severely stressed because of this, and I seriously don't know what to do. Running helps a lot, but not enough. Wine, a little more, but still not enough. I'm at the point that I truly don't know what to do anymore. I don't know if I have caused this problem, and I can fix it , or if it is something beyond my control. I had a consultation with one doctor who felt family therapy is the answer. While I like that more than drugs, I do not see my son opening up to anyone - he is extremely shy and rarely speaks to anyone until he has finally opened up to them. So my struggle continues, have him evaluated which might lead to him being on drugs (yikes :() or continue to deal with this, hoping he will grow out of it, which seems unlikely since he is nine. As I sit and listen to him still continue to throw a fit over an hour later, I seriously wonder if I am a good mom, did I do something wrong? I just don't know anymore :(

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Really back to reality

So I went back to work today - Ugh is really all I can say. I've decided that as soon as I can afford to, I am retiring. Which for me is really sad. I have always loved to work, now don't get me wrong, I really do like my job, but I'm at the point where I really don't give a crap anymore. I guess I'm just frustrated. While I know everyone has a lot of work to do, and I appreciate those that did help me out when I was gone, but I came back to a huge pile on my desk, and when I sorted through it, about 1/3 of it wasn't mine. I guess because I normally do the mail, no one felt "comfortable" sorting through it and seeing that most of it was addressed to other people, or obviously had nothing to do with my position. Really? It's not that difficult, but when it piles up it is time consuming. It took me over 1 1/2 hours to sort through it and deliver it to the correct people, when realistically I should have been able to come into work today and sorted through "my" mail, prioritized it and then began tackling it. And the thing is, I have complained about this for the last 3 vacations I have taken to no avail. It's very frustrating to me. They all say how much they missed me, well, duh, I'm the one who does all the work you need done, so of course you are going to miss me. I guess its job security, but sometimes its just overwhelming. OK, off my soapbox now, but it felt good to get it off my chest.

On the running side, I started my 1/2 marathon training yesterday, and so far I have been motivated to get it done. I know, I know, only 2 days in, but I am really hoping to stay motivated for this. I don't care if I PR on this race, I just want to feel better when I'm done. My last 1/2 marathon, I felt like I was dying and almost wanted to quit. I thank my friends for motivating me to the finish, I even had 2 of them run back to me after they had already finished and run the rest with me. This time, I hope to be more prepared. Most of you know, I just found out I have exercise induced asthma, and that was part of the reason I felt so horrible, but I also think I didn't prepare enough, and just wasn't fully ready for it. This time I am determined (I hope) to work hard and actually "do" this race :) Let's hope this optimism and dedication stays for the next 15 1/2 weeks - I'm counting on all of you to help keep me motivated. I tend to allow myself to get lazy very easy, always coming up with some kind of excuse on why I "can't" exercise today. This is the time that I need to kick myself in the butt and just do it. So, that's what I am going to do!!

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Back to reality.

Home, sweet home. As much as I enjoyed my vacation, and didn't want to come home - I am truly glad to be home, and glad I have a few days before I have to go back to true reality and back to work. I spent the last week in the Blue Ridge Mountains. What a gorgeous place! This is the second year in a row that we went, and I think I enjoyed this year more than last. Last year we did more touristy things, like Stone Mountain, and hitting the shops downtown, etc. This year we spent more time relaxing and enjoying the outdoors. The cabin we rented this year had a little creek in the back, and a lake (more like what I would call a pond, but big enough to enjoy).

We went with two other families, so there were 5 boys ages 7 - 12. They had the best time, not spending a lot of time playing with video games or on the computer. They spent time outside, really playing. They fished, swam in the lake, played in the creek, canoed with their dads. It was so nice to see them play and enjoy the outside, like I did when I was a kid. I was amazed, too, that they spent almost 7 full days together, and no one fought - they all got along awesome together. We didn't see the boys almost all day. They would come in for meals, but most of the day they spent running around playing with each other. It was a very refreshing sight.

I didn't get as much running in as I would've liked, but we hiked almost every day. I ran 1 mile the first morning I was there to kind of get an idea of what the area was like. Unfortunately, I didn't give my inhaler enough time to kick in, so 1 mile was all I could really tolerate. I didn't run again until today, which was my last day there. I did over 3 miles at a 3/1 run/walk pace, and I defeated the huge hills. As you Floridians know, there isn't many "hills" here, so I don't get a lot of time on them. I was so proud and happy as I made it up the first huge hill, I swear it would be considered an incline of 10 on my treadmill. I was running right along side of the Benton MacKaye Trail and a creek. I was so beautiful, and relaxing. After doing my run today, I wish I had done one every day this past week. What an enjoyable run it was.

Not to say that my hikes were any less enjoyable. On Monday, we did our most intense, but yet most beautiful hike the entire week. We went to Amicalola Falls, and for those who haven't yet been there, you definitely should go there if you ever are in the Blue Ridge area. Amicalola Falls sits at the bottom of Springer Mountain and is the beginning of the Appalachian Trail. The falls are 749 feet up, and yes, we hiked all the way to the top. :) I'm not sure how many miles it took us, but I do know there were 600 steps plus a hike on trail to get there. Let me say, it was not easy. I met a women who did the steps twice a week, and then she ran down the road to the bottom. There was a road to the top of the falls for those who did not want to hike to the top. I have never seen a true waterfall, and this waterfall was gorgeous! It is the highest waterfall in the southeast. We thought about going back to hike the beginning of the Appalachian trail and back, but it would have been a total of 16 miles and none of us were really ready for that this trip. Maybe next time. :)

On Tuesday, we did a very easy hike (honestly I would've preferred a little more intense hike, but I went along with the group). We did a hike on the Rhodendrun Trail in the Ocoee Whitewater Center which is in the Cherokee National Forest. This was the site of the 1996 Summer Olympics. Another beautiful place, and next time I am going to hike some of the harder hikes. When we were done with the hike, the boys played in the little pools of water, which when the water is released from the dams become white water rapids. The adults just sat with our feet in the water and just enjoyed the view. While I had my feet in the water, 4 tiny little fish were intrigued by my toes. They kept swimming around them, getting closer each time. I thought for sure, they thought my toes were food and were going to nibble on them. This place was my boys' favorite. They kept asking to go back, but if you have ever been to Blue Ridge you would know that there are so many beautiful places to go, you really don't have time to go to the same place twice. Wednesday was just a relax day. We hung around the cabin, floating in the lake, fishing and canoeing. Definitely a needed day, just to de-stress and enjoy the view from the cabin.

Thursday was probably my favorite day of the entire vacation. I got to do something I haven't done since I was about 10 years old, and have wanted to ever since. We went horseback riding. I didn't realize how much I missed it. It felt so right to be back on a horse, riding through the trails. It's like the saying "once you ride a bike, you never forget, and can get right back on like you've never missed a day" (or something like that, LOL) It was like I never stopped riding; everything came right back to me. I am making a promise to myself that I will find a way to keep riding, and if ever possible have my own horse. My kids got the riding bug, too, even my oldest who really didn't want to go - he wanted to go tubing with our friends. My horse was named Carmel, and I didn't have to do any work with her. She knew exactly where to go, and how fast to go. She had the best temperament; I would've have loved to take her home with me. My boys felt the same way about their horses, too. Ryan's was named Tux, Hunter's was named Scout, and Adam's was named Blue, which I found fitting since our favorite dog was named Blu :)

Friday was another hike to another waterfall. This was a much shorter hike, only about a 1/4 mile in. It was called Fall Branch Falls and was also on the Benton MacKaye Trail. A much smaller waterfall then Amicalola Falls, only a 75 foot high falls, and we didn't hike all the way to the top. It definitely wasn't a challenging hike, but enjoyable anyways. We also did a driving tour throughout the Blue Ridge area, and there are definitely some beautiful sights to see.

That brings me to today, the day we had to drive home.:( I was determined to get another run in, and especially today, because my friend and sister in law was running a 1/2 marathon in the mountains up north (on her vacation, too) and I wanted to show her some support. I was not about to let her down :) I am so glad I ran because it was so peaceful and relaxing - I think that was the only way I was able to get through the almost eight hour drive. If you have never been to the Blue Ridge Mountains, I definitely recommend it. There are things to do for everyone from the very brave, very active person to the one would rather sit and fish and see the beautiful mountain views.