Friday, April 29, 2011

Friday Fitness Fantabulousness

I have a confession...I had not run or done any type of formal exercise since Monday. In the informal range, I had to pump out the water from the flooded basement twice this week--it's rained every single day, and apparantly living on a hill does not make you immune to flooding. My coworkers thought it was weird that I described it as "Zombie-Water" since my backyard is a graveyard. So I'm morbid--I would think after 7 years of working with me they'd know that by now!

I also got to mow the lawn that grew 4 feet with all the rain (OK, so 1 foot), which means the neighborhood got to see me huff and puff and push the lawnmower. I feel like such a bad-ass when I'm mowing and running the weed whacker--maybe because as a child I wasn't allowed to do it since my stepbrothers were sure I'd cut my feet off or something. Anyway, I was strong, powerful Marge out grooming the lawn yesterday! I wish I'd have taken pictures! By the end of the mowing and pumping water, I was covered in dirt, water, and grass clippings. Then I promptly fell asleep (after a well-earned shower).
Let me rewind: I am a Crisis Mental Health Counselor, so I get called in to talk to people that are suicidal, homicidal, or psychotic. I work a lot, and it's very high stress, since I decide who needs hospitalized, either willingly or not, and set up all necessary services and safeguards. I interact with physicians, law enforcement officers, corrections officers, and other mental health professionals, as well as individuals and families dealing with mental health crises. It can be exhausting. In addition to the "normal" workweek, I work two overnight shifts during a pay period. That equals one 24 hour shift every week. So Wednesdays are my 24 hours, and this week's started at 9am Wednesday and ended 9am Thursday. I was the only Crisis Counselor covering 3 counties, and was out most of the night. So after my homeowner duties, I laid down to nap, and woke up 6 hours later!
A couple other tidbits: I also do a gig with counseling at the regional jail for a few hours every couple of weeks, and sit on a board that works with law enforcement to identify individuals with mental health issues and divert them from jails into the mental health system if appropriate.....
Anywhoo, so today I woke up and knew that I'd run. I got on the treadmill, knowing I wanted to figure out how fast I am running, just for reference. I ended up running a mile in 13 minutes, and a total of 2.35 miles in 30 minutes (the second was run/walks between 3.5 and 5 miles/hr). So now I know where I am and can keep track of myself.
I love how encouraging you all are, and I will be trying this weekend to get caught up on stalking your blogs. I don't have any running friends here in Ohio (other than big brother that lives a couple hours away and is a MACHINE!! (I'm still waiting to hear how he likes the Garmin I splurged and bought for him!!) So having the inspiration and encouragement from you guys means a whole lot. Thanks!!
And so now, I will go wash the sweat off and get on with the day!


Wednesday, April 27, 2011

Just a quick note

It has been a rough few days. I feel like I could say that again. It's been a rough few days....but to rewind--Monday I ran on the treadmill, which was nice (it's been like a monsoon here lately, with flooding and near-continuous rain). I ended up with about 2 miles, running various speeds and a warm up and cool down walk in there. So total time 26 minutes, so rough estimate at least 13 minute miles, which sounds ridiculous with you guys and your sub-8's and such, but I was proud of myself! Next run will be trying to cement how fast I am really going, minus the warm-up/cool down.....I've also decided that I will only watch The Biggest Loser when I am on the treadmill--
The monsoon weather has made the basement flood, so I spent a good part of yesterday pumping water out (p.s. it's fun to be able to accomplish that, and I love my new pump. I don't love flooding, but now I can at least manage it).
The hardest part of life to deal with right now is that I took one of the doggies, Abby, to the vet last week and they removed a tumor. Monday afternoon they called to say it was cancerous. They think they got it all this time, but it's 50/50 that the tumor will return, so really  it's just 'wait and see' which is the hardest thing for me to do. I usually can find something that I can do to help improve a situation or make it manageable, but with this, the only thing I can do is watch her and see how she does. Except I can and will be continuing on with the Spoil the Boxers Project (wish that really existed, but for now it will just be here in my house).
Anyhoo, I wanted to check in and say I didn't disappear, I'm still running, and a longer and more upbeat, non-depressing post will follow soon. And I'll know how fast I am running, while continuing to increase my stamina, and giving me a way to process the stuff with Abby.....
Brighter posts to come, I promise!!!


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Bike Path Rules

Are there things that one should not do while running on the local bike path? I know, I re-read this and thought "what the heck kinda things? you some kinda weirdo?" I swear, I am some kind of weirdo, just not THAT kind......

 For real, though, I was running on the bike path today (in between downpours--it's super-flooded!) and was listening to music, trucking along, doing my thing, and got a side stitch. I said (not too loudly, I thought) "Oh Jeez, ow" and slowed down to a walk. Just at that moment, a guy and a young girl rode by on bikes. They were looking at me, not so much with a look of concern but more like I was acting suspicious. They rode past and kept turning around and looking at me. I didn't do anything but hold my side and walk, then they were gone. So I guess my questions are these: 1. Should one not wear headphones? Maybe they said something ("get outta my way, slowpoke") or asked something and I didn't hear it. 2. Should I try not to talk to myself out loud while running? Maybe they were shocked by my near-sacrilege (sounds like....Jesus. and so close to Easter. Shame on me.)..

 So the run: I turned on some music and decided to move back to Week 6 of Couch to 5k. I feel like life has been overwhelming and I'm not where I want to be, physically and mentally. So I decided to backtrack and get back onto the "eating as fuel" track--I've been working my butt off and my sleep and eating habits fell to the wayside the past couple of weeks--anyway........I did 5 minute warm up walk, then ran 2 1/2 miles, walking a little but mostly running, then a 3 minute cool-down walk. Overall a pretty good time. And farther than last time. I wonder, though, if I'm making it harder by not having any idea about running form. I think I  draw up my shoulders. Suggestions?

OH, And I won Steph's giveaway at RunOn--I'm super excited about the giftcard to Forever21! Thanks Steph!

Monday, April 18, 2011

Spring's here (for today!!)

So in case you were on the edge of  your seat wondering, I'll tell you a little about me. I live in Ohio, and I graduated from Ohio University in 2001 (B.S. in Human and Consumer Sciences, Major in Family Studies, Certificate in Gerontology) as well as in 2004 (M.Ed. in Education, Major in Community Mental Health Counseling). I have been a crisis counselor since 2004, and feel like I've really settled into myself and my career over the past few years. It's high stress, and the schedule is wacky, but I can't see myself doing anything else right now....So over the weekend I worked 10 hour days Saturday and Sunday, and now I'm off until tomorrow. On my off days, I spend a lot of time doing things around the house and taking the dogs out and about.

Today I wanted to get in some exercise and decided to take the dogs hiking in Zaleski State Forest. Mind you, I have never taken the dogs hiking because I'm scared they'll run off or drag me down a ravine or something, but I decided to give it a chance today. It was amazing!

We first got there and it's like they didn't know what to do with themselves. I kept them on leashes because I'm paranoid, but they didn't seem to mind. We all were having a blast, and then this happened:

Pond water stinks! But they splashed around and got muddy and loved it, so who am I to complain!
We ended up hiking around for almost 2 hours, going about 3 miles total up and down hills, over fallen trees, and -in the lake-
At the end, we looked like this:

What an awesome day! I plan to run tomorrow mid-morning, outside if it's nice and on the treadmill if not (I'm still a weather wussy). Have a great day!

ps, The Red Cross sent me a t-shirt the other day

Giveaway from Run On!

Yay! Steph at Run On! is having a giveaway to celebrate getting to 100 followers! Go check her out and follow a really inspirational person!


Friday, April 15, 2011

And so I ran

My first run of the week (or run/walk, if you will) was from home to the Water department to pay bills for mine and a friend's water--I knew I had to go, and she said "why don't you kill two birds and just run there and back?" Logic, whaaat?? (So I paid her bill too, but only because she's broke and will be paying me back, I'm nice not a fool!)
I mapped the run: 1.7 miles, a total of 35 minutes (including paying the bill), and I must say my lungs and legs were burning. I came home and chugged some water, then headed back out with the princesses for a walk, which I mapped at 1.08 miles (I adore being able to see how far I've gone!!). I tried running with them for a second, and realized that Bella gets way too excited and starts jumping on me. I have to start running with them separately and see which one (or both) will be my training partner. They're both crashed out now...AND:
My brother called to tell me he'd gotten the Garmin I'd sent him for his 35th birthday--he was so excited, which was awesome!
The rest of the afternoon has been spent stalking blogs and trying to figure out this whole 'bloggy' thing.

The First Time

So here I am, moving from lurking and stalking other people's blogs to starting my own...I want to start finding ways to hold myself accountable for the goals I've set--specifically, I am a beginning runner and want to start running 5k races (short-term) and want to do a 1/2 marathon by next year (long-term). I started with the Couch to 5k program on in December, but got kind of derailed by a severe bronchitis around week 7, so I've just been doing an improv run/walk a couple of days a week for the past month or so. It seems easy during my run to just stop and walk, so I don't feel like I'm pushing myself like I was before getting sick and I don't have friends in the running community that can help push me (yet, anyway)....

These are two of the (canine) loves of my life, Bella and Abby (they were sad because I had to leave for work at 3am and couldn't stay in bed), and I adore BooBoo, the Scottish Fold kitty (called such because her ears flop over instead of stand up).

Running goals:
1. Run 30 minutes per day, 3 times per week (at least) either outside or on the treadmill at home
2. I am signed up for Warrior Dash for June 4, 2011 in Logan, Ohio, but want to run at least one 5k before then.

Please help hold me to my goals and encourage me to keep going!