Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Mid-Year 2012 New Year's Goals Report Out

 It is important to evaluate progress toward goals at regular intervals. Here is my belated mid year report on how I'm progressing.

  1. Run a sub-55 minute 10k:  Due to running injury, I won't be achieving this this year.
  2. Run a sub 2 hour half marathon: See #1.
  3. Design, prototype, and test my running apparatus idea: Not done, but I don't know if I want to do this anymore.
  4. Continue improving eating habits: This feels like it is 2 steps forward and one step back at times. Still, I think overall there is progress.
  5. Support my husband through the end of his 2nd year of law school, whatever summer work he ends up doing, and the beginning of his 3rd year of law school: Hopefully I am doing this. He is doing great.
  6. Write at least 150 blog posts: Only about 20 so far.
  7. Write at least 50 pages of memoir: I have written about 5 pages, so have a ways to go.
  8. Between the two of us, save at minimum the equivalent of half of my 2011 salary: We will most likely achieve this goal this year.
  9. Draw closer to God. Pray for at least 5 minutes/day on average. This is a hard one to quantify. I'm making some progress, but not nearly as much as I should/am capable of.
B goals:
  1. Take week-long finance course at work  N/A. Got on the wait-list 2x for this, didn't get in the class.
  2. Execute another Six Sigma project at work N/A to an extent due to job change.
  3. Learn more about mold design and manufacturing. Done. Went to a trade show and read literature, prototyped some new mold designs.
  4. Finish painting our living room ceiling Done!
  5. Explore where we want to live after Shane graduates Mostly done. We have talked and our order of preference is: Lexington, KY; Knoxville, TN; Louisville, KY, Winston-Salem, NC; Raleigh-Durham, NC; Charlotte, NC; and Cincinnati, OH.
  6. Tighten ties with family and good friends A work in progress
C goals:
  1. Grow a small vegetable garden on my patio: In progress. Very dry summer, so not very successful but I have enjoyed at least 20 cherry tomatoes this season so far.
  2. Try running with a running group. Just once. Probably will hold off on this due to running injury.
  3. Try a yoga class. Done-numerous times! And PIYO (Pilates + Yoga), Zumba, weight-lifting, and a boot-camp style class, too! It has been the year of the class.
  4. Cook more and experiment with new recipes. So-so. Haven't really tried many new recipes (although did make guacamole for the first time last night).

Sunday, July 22, 2012

Honoring My Body

It's no secret that I have been very frustrated about my injury and its consequent impedance of my running. Six months ago, I could not imagine not being able to run at least 3-4 times a week and maintaining a weekly tally of at least 20 miles. Running gives me energy, an outlet, and goals to work toward. My life without running was unfathomable. That sounds a bit extreme, but it was true. It was the mentality that kept me running even when it became painful.

Psychologically, I gradually came to the realization that if I continued trying to run, it was going to be a perpetual exercise in fighting frustration rather than in improving fitness. There was nothing more from a medical perspective that could be done other than stretching and limiting exercise to what I could tolerate (a rather vague recommendation left wide-open to personal interpretation). Drastically reducing my weekly mileage from 25+ miles down to fewer than 10 didn't eliminate the discomfort even during those fewer miles.

For the past few years, my identity has been wrapped up in being a runner, albeit a very slow one. "I'm going for a run," was a common phrase uttered to my husband as I headed out the door, sunglasses and iPod in hand, after a long day at work. I often told people that running kept my head on straight. The pride of finishing my first half-marathon last year was intoxicating, and later that day I was already planning which race to tackle next.

That was about 8 months ago. I haven't run more than a few hundred yards at a time in over a month now. And I survived. Actually, I've more than survived. My weight and energy levels have been about the same, and my overall fitness has actually improved. These benefits aren't solely due from not running-rather, from replacing running with other activities such as yoga, power walking, elliptical, group fitness classes, and spinning. I even ventured back into the 90's and enjoyed some roller-blading! 

During yoga class, the instructor often reminds us that while some discomfort is OK, pain is not. If we are feeling pain during any pose, we need to modify it or return to child's pose. She uses the phrase, "Honor your body," and it is simple but true and sometimes very hard to do. My injury is still healing, and it will probably be some time before I (hopefully) feel back to normal. I can say that in the past month, the rate of progress of recovery has been at its highest.  My overall fitness just might be too, in spite of (or perhaps because of) not running.

I think that I have come to the conclusion that identifying myself as "fit" is much more broadening and liberating than being just a "runner". I think my body agrees with me.