Thursday, November 15, 2012

Life Hype: Memorable Holidays

You know I was just thinking back to 2005 when the holidays was a very tough time of the year for me and my son. I had lost my job, my car and was barely hanging on to my house.  We had no heat or hot water.  We had to heat up water on the kitchen stove to take a bath and on top of it my refrigerator wasn't cooling properly.  We hardly had any food.  And certainly no money for a Thanksgiving meal, let alone Christmas gifts or a Christmas dinner. 

This was the one time in my life I was totally surprised and shocked by the kindness of strangers and friends.  Around Thanksgiving, my son's boss showed up at my door one day with a co-worker and had a huge box full of a wonderful Thanksgiving meal for us.  I was so surprised and just so touched all I could do was give them a big hug and thank them from the bottom of my heart all while crying.  I'm thankful to say we had a wonderful Thanksgiving meal after all.

Then at Christmas time, one of my dearest friends and his mother came to my house one day and told me to relax while they cleaned my house for me as a gift.  They also totally cleaned out my refrigerator and cleaned out the dust from under the bottom which solved my problem of my refrigerator not cooling properly.  They also brought over a gift for me, it was a AM/FM CD Player.  And in addition brought me a box full of groceries donated by the food pantry.  Then they took me to the mission where I got a few warm winter clothes and the mission also gave us a $50 Gift Card to Walmart for Christmas.  And that's not all.  My son's co-workers also gave him a Christmas card with about $250 in it and gave him a gift too.  And of course, we received nice gifts from my family.  So as it turned out we had a rather nice Christmas after all.

It just goes to show you, we thought these were going to be the worst holidays ever for us and they actually turned out to be one of the best.  Not just the gifts, but this was the first time we had ever seen real kindness from others.  It was very touching.  We still went through some pretty rough times for the next three years, but somehow we made it through thanks to the grace of god and kindness of others. 

I've had some nice holidays since then, but I can honestly say none have felt as wonderful nor held the same wonderful meaning as the holidays of 2005.  I will never forget the kindness of others that year.  

Today's Life Quote:

In a world full of people who couldn't care less, be someone who couldn't care more.  ~Author Unknown

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Life Gripe: Running With Injuries

Week 5 Day 3 of my No Boundaries C25K Training.  So not only did I do 1 1/2 miles, but I did well over that and did the past Saturdays required 2 1/4 miles at home on my treadmill. And guess what? Strange, but I had absolutely NO PAIN in my lower legs. I did however have a little bit of pain on the inside of my right shin. Nothing too major a couple days rest & ice should help. Hopefully that won't be a new problem. This was the first time for that pain. But as for my usual lower leg pain I had been getting with every run.... NONE with my treadmill workout. My breathing seemed to also be a tad easier on the treadmill. Not a lot, but a tad. I also set the incline on 2 to more mimic outside running like they said to. For some reason the interval times seem to pass by so quickly and it seemed like I did twice as many running & walking intervals at home than I do at training. Also at home it took me 40 minutes and our training is usually about 30 minutes I think. I'm just happy I was able to do it. 

So went to the Dr. and she said they are not typical, but are considered a form of shin splints. She was proud that I was doing the No Boundaries Program...that's it's good for me and wants me to continue doing it. So, she prescribed me an anti-inflammatory and is sending me to physical therapy. She said absolutely nothing about wanting me to stop running. But we'll have to also see what physical therapy says too. Meantime I told her about running on the treadmill with no problems, so she said that probably the surface helped, but is still surprised my legs didn't hurt even on there, so maybe that's a good sign.

So on to Week 5, Day 1 of my No Boundaries C25K Training. I ran with the group outside on the asphalt.  My breathing was tough about mid way through as it has been with the now 1 1/2 minute runs. I have to admit I'm a little worried about next weeks 2 minute runs. My breathing was pretty decent until we got up to the 1 1/2 minute runs.  And now it's tough. As far as my legs, I started to feel a little pain in my lower legs about 1 3/4 miles into our run...nothing major this time, just a little, so I went ahead & slowed down my speed a little. That helped, it allowed me to make it the rest of the way. The pain wasn't near as bad as it had been in the past. I have anti-inflammatory medicines to start taking and I have a physical therapy appointment on Thursday. Gonna continue to ice and stretch. And see how my legs do. It may be that I have to do my Saturday long runs on the treadmill depending on how my legs keep doing with the asphalt running.  But who knows maybe my legs are finally getting use to it and with the stretching/physical therapy and anti-inflammatory drugs they'll be okay.  Time will tell.

Today's Life Quote:

"Run when you can, walk when you have to, crawl if you must; just never give up."
-Dean Karnazes

Saturday, September 29, 2012

Life Gripe: Injuries are a Pain!

Well it's week 4 day 3 of the Fleet Feet Sports No Boundaries Couch to 5K Program and where was I?  Home!  My breathing has actually been pretty good through week 4 day 2, but my legs just aren't cooperating!  Especially my right front lower leg.  I believe it to be what they call the beginnings of shin splints.  There have been a couple of runs I was in so much pain I honestly don't know how I made it through and finished, but I did.  And funny thing is the pain usually went away after the stretching was done.  Except for after Thursday.  The pain did lighten up a lot, but I still felt it a little when I walked.  So anyway, everyday before and after training I have been icing for about 20 minutes on and off and consistently stretching.

I have read online how calve sleeves are good for your legs and for shin splints and the coaches have suggested them too, so I went to Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke and bought me a pair.  They gave me a leg massage while I was there which helped.  I was hopeful with my new calve sleeves.  I wore them to week 4 day 2...Thursday's training.  Although they did help, I still felt some pain in my legs.  Mostly my right lower leg again.  Everyone online kept telling me I was pushing it and should rest my legs, so I asked my coach and she said it might be a good idea, but ultimately it was up to me based on how my legs are feeling.  So I decided it was best to take today (Saturday) off.

It broke my heart to take today off.  I feel so frustrated and feel like I'm failing.  I'm trying not to let this get to me because it's only one day.  I just hope I'm able to keep up with the program now that I'm behind a day.  Saturday is a kind of transition day from 1 minute runs for 1 1/2 miles to next weeks 1 1/2 minute runs for 2 miles.  Saturday is 1 minute runs for 2 miles.  Now I'm going to be jumping right ahead into 1 1/2 minute runs for 2 miles on Tuesday.  All I can do is my best and hope that giving my leg 4 1/2 days of rest will be enough to set me on the right path again.  With the exception of my legs I have been doing pretty good.  I really think I could make it through this program if my legs would just cooperate.  Running makes me feel good and it makes me feel better about myself, so without it I am sad.  It's funny but I kind of crave the running now.  I'm just going to continue icing and stretching, as well as wearing my calve sleeve for the next few days and hopefully by Tuesday my legs will be good to go!  One thing I can tell you is injuries suck and they are a pain!  But I am determined not to let this get me down! 

Today's Life Quote:

"There are no shortcuts to any place worth going."  - Beverly Sills

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Life Hype: Couch to 5K

My health has not been the greatest over the past few years.  I had lost some weight in 2008 down to 152 only to gain it all 178 again, actually since starting the program I have lost 2 pounds, so I'm 176.  Now overweight again and on high blood pressure and high cholesterol medicine I have decided to try to do something about it.  so I joined a running program.  The Fleet Feet Sports No Boundaries Training Program which is a Couch to 5K Program.  It takes you from the couch to running your first 5K in just 12 weeks. 

I am currently getting ready to start Week 3 which is 1 minute of running alternated with 2 minutes of walking for 1 1/2 miles. My first week I really struggled with breathing and my right lower leg muscle which is either my lower calf or my soleus muscle. The last week my breathing was better but I'm still struggling on some days with my right lower leg.  I have been doing some stretching and icing it as the coaches suggested.  On my days off I walk my dog for 20 minutes, then on Sundays I we go for a longer 45 minute walk.

I have also been trying to do better with my eating habits and I am doing better although there is still room for improvement.  I only drink water throughout the day.  I try to have something fairly healthy for breakfast and lunch then just eat a regular dinner, but not over do it.  I am hoping with the C25K, the walking and the small changes in eating that I will lose some weight and become healthier.  I hope to down the road, eventually be able to come off of high blood pressure and high cholesterol medicines. 

Everyone says the Fleet Feet Sports No Boundaries Program aka Couch to 5K is a great program and that it will change my life.  I hope so, I am counting on it.  I know it takes my 100% effort to do this program to make it successful and I am trying to do my best at sticking with it and attending all three weekly workouts.  So far, with the first two weeks, I have managed to do so.  I am just going to keep on going best I can.  And hopefully this program will have a great payoff and in the end I will be able to run a 5K and become a consistent runner.

Today's Quote:

Race or no race, Fast or slow, We all come from the same place:  The Very First Step!

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Life Gripe: Another Rainy Day

Here we are with another rainy day.  It seems for the past two weeks it's either been cold or been raining.  I hate rainy days.  So dreary, dark and downright depressing.  Rain is cold and wet.  There is one thing I like about the rain.  I like the sound of the falling rain and it's always great when we need it, but still it's not one of my favorite things.  At least it's not thundering and lightening.  I really hate thunder and lightening.  I find them frightening.  I don't find them exciting in the least bit. 

Another thing about the rain is my poor dog has to stay couped up indoors all day long.  If it's raining the least little bit, she won't go outside.  She does not like rain and most definitely does not like to get wet.  I feel so sorry for her.  I usually take her outside two to three times a day for about a half hour.  Instead she's sleeping all day. 

And then there's me.  Rain depresses me.  Rain makes me feel dark and dreary.  I like it when everything is bright and lively.  Rain just makes me feel like I want to curl up under the covers.  Also rain keeps you couped up in the house all day.  And if you go out, you get soaked and that's not a great feeling.  Another bad thing about rain is that is sometimes causes flooding.  So while there are good things about rain, the bad out weigh the good for me.  I prefer the sunny days any time! 

Life Quote:

Weather is a great metaphor for life - sometimes it's good, sometimes it's bad, and there's nothing much you can do about it but carry an umbrella. ~Terri Guillemets

Monday, March 5, 2012

Life Gripe: Working Out

I find that lately, I have absolutely no motivation to exercise, especially on days where it's cold and dreary. Nice warm sunny days is not as hard, but days like today I just can't bring myself to do it. So today, my lack of motivation wins out. No working out today.

Where does one find the motivation to workout. I know a big part of it is mindset, but I just can't seem to get there. I guess one reason is because for the first 1 1/2 months I exercised 5 times a week both walking with inclines and with jogging intervals, I lifted weights and exercised, and I watched my calories. I did all this hard work and for what, a measly little 5 pounds of weight loss. I even took a week off hoping that would help, but unfortunately it didn't. I think once it's warmer and nicer out on a regular basis where I can get out more will be better because then I can alternate the treadmill with getting outside some. Right now, it's too cold for me, so I have no motivation to get outside either. Also, I have a real problem with lack of energy. Even when I exercise, I still have lack of energy, it's even worse. Hopefully, my doctor can tell me something on this when I go later this month.

Some people get outside and run miles everyday. I really admire them, I don't know how they do it. They seem to do it so effortlessly. When I first started working out, I had some motivation, but after not seeing the results I wanted it has waned significantly. I wish I could be like those people who run for miles and seem to have tons of motivation. I would feel very accomplished and very proud if I could do it. Maybe one day I'll be able to, I guess I just have to get the right mindset, but I'm just not there yet. I'm not going to stop working out, but I'm not going to push myself right now either. And somehow, some way, I have got to find the motivation again.
Today's Life Quote:
Exercise is a dirty word. Every time I hear it, I wash my mouth out with chocolate. ~Author Unknown

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Life Gripe: Getting Healthy

I really hate to call getting healthy a life gripe, but it's the getting there that's the gripe.  The fitness, working out, exercising, they're no fun.  But as much as I hate it I started working out January 6, 2012.  I am now getting on the treadmill walking/jogging five days a week and lifting light weights two days a week along with some exercises.  It's tough everyday to get onto that dreaded treadmill.  Once I'm on there it's not too bad, at least after about 10 minutes.  But everyday I have to talk myself into it and drag myself onto that thing.  I'm trying to be consistent with working out everyday because outside of working out, I'm pretty sedentary.

Eating healthy I would say is the toughest part for me.  I eat pretty healthy during the day, but eat a regular dinner.  I pretty much stay within my calorie range of 1350 everyday, but it's "what" I'm eating for dinner that's not particularly healthy, such as manwiches, corn dogs, pork chops, Italian sausage, etc.  I just at least try to eat my dinner in moderation.  During the day I do well.  I have a protein shake for breakfast, a green giant vegetable such as broccoli & cheese sauce or cauliflower & cheese sauce for lunch, and then a clementine for a snack.  For evening snacks I have almonds or rice cakes.  So as you can see, it's the dinner that's the only problem. 

So far, I have lost five pounds in a month.  It's not a lot, but it is something.  As long as I can keep on losing I will be happy, even if it is only one pound a week.  And I know what I'm doing is a lot healthier for my body, especially for my blood pressure.  I also get better sleep.  As far as energy, I have a tad bid more, but I'm still struggling in that area.  I have some energy about an hour after exercise, but then it goes away.  I'm hoping that will improve more with time.  Bottom line is exercise and activity are a great way to feel better, gain health benefits and have fun...well try to have some fun anyway.  Are you getting fit or are you a couch potato?

Today's Life Quote: 

Exercise and application produce order in our affairs, health of body, cheerfulness of mind, and these make us precious to our friends.

– Thomas Jefferson