Friday, March 20, 2009

Starting over

I'm writing this from a leather recliner in my mother's living room in North Carolina. My body from the waist down is a mosaic of aches and creaks. I went for a run today. For the first time in a VERY long time. Other than running a few feet here and there in play with my son I really don't think I've run any significant distance since my attempt at the ING Half a YEAR ago. I haven't used my Garmin Forerunner since then, when I turned it on this morning it popped up with the stats from my last run, 13.1 miles in 3 hours and 42 minutes (see my old blog for a play by play of my 15K + 4 mile death march).

I'm disgusted with myself lately. I know that's not positive self talk. Whatever, it is where I am. I look in the mirror and I'm having that old familiar disconnect. I can't believe the fat I see and the pain I feel is really part of me. So I cover up with some clothes and go sit in front of the tv and eat a muffin to stop thinking about it. The old back pain is chronic again, not the pain from the injury last year, just the old ache in the small of my back that comes from lugging my overly top and front heavy form around. I'm back to that reality check I had 18 months ago. If pain is a foregone conclusion, why avoid exercising?

I broke down and bought a pair of jeans yesterday. I've been resisting for months. I grew out of my size 12's in December. I had one size 14 that I hadn't thrown out last year so I've been wearing them exclusively since then. I couldn't bring myself to buy any more size 14's, the 12's sit on the shelf in my closet and glare at me balefully. They do, honest.

But when you wear and wash and wear and wash the same pair of jeans over and over for 3 months, they start to fall apart, literally. There are holes on the insides of both of my thighs. I kinda wanted to try rock climbing with Chase when we were at the Huntsville Space museum on his cub scout trip a few weeks ago but I couldn't because I'd have been flashing peeks at my inner thighs to all the cub scout dads who were watching. Ugh. So, I bought a cheap pair of size 14's yesterday.

It is the first day of Spring. The weather is gorgeous here in NC, sunny but fresh and breezy at the same time. So I strapped on the Garmin. Reset it to remove the stats from a year ago, and headed down my mom's driveway. I set a goal of 2 miles in 4/1 intervals (run 4 minutes, walk 1 minute). It hurt. I had a hard time breathing. I felt like every footfall had about 8000 lbs behind it. I felt my gut and my chest and my big juicy ass rising and falling like they were sandbags strapped to my "true" body with every step. I was NOT graceful, or quick, or pretty. But I did it for 31 minutes. 2 full miles. I miscalculated and was approaching my mom's driveway on the return at only 1.78 miles. I almost went on in, figuring that was a respectable point from which I could round up and say I'd done 2. But it bugged me. And if I start this Spring short changing myself then I won't be out of these size 14 jeans (with the tummy slimming panel!) by the first day of Summer. So I looped up and down the road in front of my mom's house until that magic 2.00 came up on the Garmin.

In many ways I feel like I'm starting over. But unlike the first day of bootcamp 18 months ago, I know the way now. I remember how worth it those scenic vistas will be as I ascend this hill that I somehow have stumbled down over the last year.


  1. You are such an inspiration! I may be jealous of people who are always thin, always feeling good about themselves, always ON the wagon... but they are never an inspiration, because to be inspired is to feel connected and i don't connect with seemingly perfect people (even though I know they must have their own struggles I don't know about).

    I connect with your struggle, and I am so incredibly proud of you for being true to yourself and finishing the goshdarn 2.00 miles. I've been feeling really out of shape and the pain of self-loathing is so sharp that only chocolate seems to appease it. Why are we so self-destructive? Reading your blog makes me feel less alone, and makes me feel that i can change again - thank you for taking the time to write it! I wish we could go running together :-)

  2. I'm so proud of you for going out and doin' it girl! Every journey starts with one step-it's the only way anything's ever been accomplished. Let me know if you want to do boot camp. We have a 7:30 in Candler Park (maybe after a Chase drop off?) or if there's a place closer let me know. You are AWESOME!