A Blessing in Disguise?

As a contrast to last week’s post, this week I’m writing about why I’m not running–at least for the moment.

First I injured myself which has prevented me from running.  I would like to start trying a little bit of running, but I’m not sure what I’m up to right now.

On top of all of that, life has gotten very complicated.  Cinderella is needing my attention around the clock.  This is all exhausting and making me very weary but under the guise that we’d all do anything for our children, I keep going.

Trying to find the time to take a walk around the block is almost impossible.  If it does happen, it’s late at night.  In thinking about when to fit running into my schedule, I come up empty right now.  The only time available is late at night, and if I run after 8:00 I can’t sleep.

Thankfully, this is all temporary.  We’re being yanked into a new schedule and way of doing things.  Once we get adjusted and figure it all out, it will be better in the end.  The adjustment period is the killer!

In retrospect, I’m looking at this injury as a blessing in disguise.  Right now I’m having a difficult time finding time to go to the grocery store and to the doctor for my injury.  If I were trying to fit another thing into my schedule (like running) it would just be more stress and more exhaustion. I know I wouldn’t be doing anything well.

Right now I need to step away from the pavement and give Cinderella my full attention.  This injury is forcing me to do that.  Maybe it was a blessing in disguise.

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305 lbs. 5 People, 5 Tons of Baby Paraphernalia

Once the Couch to 5K program was over, it was over.  It was up to each one of us as to whether we were going to continue any kind of running or exercise regimen.

One of the ladies in the group, Marie, wanted to continue to run regularly, so several of us continued to meet once a week.  We met on Tuesday nights and would run an out and back that was about a two and a half mile run.  My daughter and I also started running together even though she runs at a much faster pace than I do.  She literally ran circles around me.

We continued to run in the evening because that fit our schedule.  As winter approached and Daylight Savings time came to an end, we began running in the dark.  Darkness was what brought my running to and end the winter before.  However, my daughter and Marie were determined that we were going to keep on keeping on, so we did.

We soon discovered how treacherous running on the sidewalks at night can be.  If there was an uneven spot in the sidewalk, I would find it and trip.  A few times my daughter caught me, a few times I fell palms down with my phone in my hand.  After a few incidents, I was blessed with a running belt as a gift.

Running at night was almost like it’s own little sport with it’s own equipment.  The year prior I had bought a reflective vest but hadn’t used it much.  It was now a necessity for every run.  I tried to wear bright-colored clothing along with a light–not only for my benefit, but for the benefit of oncoming traffic as well.  I eventually fell and got scraped up enough times on the sidewalk, that I started running in the street to avoid injury.

In October we did the Pumpkin Run at a farm.  It was my first off-road race, and it was tough going.  It was still a fun day with perfect running weather.

October also brought us a new granddaughter, this one belonging to my son and his wife.

It had come to the point that my job was detrimental to my health.  I gained a few pounds and was not feeling up to par.  I left in the morning before anyone else was up, and often came home after dark when everyone was winding down for bed.  I might as well have packed my bags and left for two days every week.  It was adding a lot of stress to the family, and they weren’t handling it very well.

Worse yet, I watched the drivers.  They were all battling diabetes, obesity, high blood pressure, and the list goes on.  Some were battling the physical that they’re required to take every two years.  To sum things up, their job was killing them.

I took a weekend off in October so we could take a trip.  My oldest daughter and granddaughter also went with us.  It was five people and five tons of baby paraphernalia, but we had a great time.  My daughter and I even did some hiking/walking on the trails where we stayed.

When we returned from our trip, I handed in my resignation.  I agreed to stay until the end of November if they were willing to let me stay.  I was very saddened because I liked my job and the people that I worked with.  My reasons for leaving had nothing to do with the job, but 100% to do with my personal life.

In God I have put my trust, I shall not be afraid.  What can man do to me?  Psalm 56:11

4 Miles on the 4th

We celebrated July and Independence Day with the CRMC 4-Mile run.  This was a 4 mile run in a small community, and the funds raised went to support their local hospital.

Packet pickup was on Monday.  Cinderella and I made a day of it by getting a haircut and then heading up to packet pick up.  We got our packets and then went to attempt to find the route for the race.  I had a map of the route of the race, the only problem was that it did not indicate the direction.  It did not take long to find the arrows already marked on the road indicating where to turn and for me to realize that we were going backwards.  I turned around and we then drove what we thought was the route of the race in the correct direction.

After that, Cinderella and I found a local diner, and we both had a delicious and inexpensive meal.

I was a little apprehensive about this race because I had not been consistently running distances over two miles.  My last race was a 6K (3.8 miles) and I had walked a lot of it.  My goal for this race was to run a majority of it and to finish in at least the same time as the last race even though it was a longer distance.

On the morning of the fourth, we had typical summer weather (hot and humid) but we were blessed that it was cloudy and overcast.  When we lined up for the race, we lined up going in the opposition direction I thought we’d be going, so I didn’t know what to expect.  I had told my daughter that it was a pretty flat course, and she’d be fine.  The first thing we did was run up a big hill!

Evidently, I had somehow missed the first leg of the race.  I was not mentally prepared for the two big hills that were in that leg.  I decided I wasn’t going to wear myself out on the first mile and then be pooped out the rest of the race, so I did go ahead and walk some of the hills in the race.

I was about the same pace as a guy that told me he had been running for 30 years, hadn’t done any running in the last 11 years, and was starting to run again.  After I told him I had just started running two years ago, it seemed like he was trying to be an encourager.  Evidently, we had opposite strategies, so we kept passing each other.

The race was exhausting, and I definitely felt like I had reached my max.  However, not only did I reach my goal, I actually finished over a minute under my last race which was a shorter distance!

Afterwards, we hung around for the awards and then went back to the same local diner for breakfast.  It was a great way to kick off the Fourth and enjoy the freedoms we have thanks to so many that have gone before us and made many, many sacrifices.

So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed.  John 8:36

 

305 lbs. I Will not be Afraid

It was good to be employed again.  What money I made was our safety net.  It was a good, secure feeling.

I also enjoyed seeing the drivers that I worked with on a weekly basis.  When I worked from home, I talked to them a lot on the phone, but rarely actually saw them.  It was good to see them face to face and many of them would come in and talk to me for a few minutes during shift change.

The question of the day became, “Have you talked to Mr. G?”  I nearly strangled the last driver that asked me that question, and no one ever asked me that question again.

It didn’t take long before working on Friday and Saturday cramped my style so to speak.  We often went to the pool on Friday nights.  In the past, I could take my work stuff with me and work poolside.  I was not able to do that this time around.

My oldest daughter came up with the idea that we should run a 5K a month.  That meant we had to find 5Ks that were on Sunday.  They were out there, and we were able to do it, but it very much limited our choices.

In June we did the SuperDad 5K.  I don’t think we were able to find a race to do in July.  August was a race called Run by the River.  It was the same course as the SuperDad 5K, but the weather made a huge difference.

Saturday was also a time that my daughter and her husband wanted to go out.  It was a time that they needed a babysitter, and I was not able to do it.  There were also plenty of local events and summer activities that I simply wasn’t able to go to because I was working.

I was trying to cram seven days of household duties into five, so I soon found that I had come up with a strict schedule of what had to be done each and every day to get everything done every week.  On Saturdays while I was at work, I would often order a few groceries and schedule pick up for Sunday after church.  Sunday was my day to pay bills and do paperwork.  Monday was my day to stay home and clean house.  I don’t remember what Tuesday was.  Wednesday was my day to go grocery shopping and run errands.  Thursday was my day to stay home, do laundry, and meal prep for the next several days. It was hectic and demanding, but I was able to make it work.

I was very concerned that working would mean eating more, being less active, and gaining weight.  I would drink a smoothie for breakfast on my way to work.  I brought a salad in a jar to have later in the day as a meal, and various snacks of fruit, vegetables, and cheese for any other time I needed something to eat.  I didn’t want to be eating out or eating from a vending machine, so having more than what I would probably need with me was my solution.

As far as activity, I had to walk about 50 yards up to another building several times a day, so I would turn that trip into a brisk walk around the parking lot.  I tried running a few times and thought that I could at least work on my pace or do some sprints, but I soon found that it was not an option without being properly attired.  During the summer, I was also able to go for a walk after work.  I would often walk down to the end of the street and back which is about a mile and a half.

In June the Couch to 5K program started again.  I decided to join the program again in hopes of getting better at running.  My speed improved a little each race, but I was still very, very slow.  Also, it would put running on my calendar three days a week.

This time around, I was able to get five of my friends to join the program with me.  One of those being my closest friend who was also on her own weight-loss journey and another being my oldest daughter.  It was great to do the program with people that I knew and to share something that I loved and enjoyed.

The summer was a time of adjustment that went by quickly.  I felt very alone, but I kept telling myself that this too, shall pass.

“THE LORD IS MY HELPER, I WILL NOT BE AFRAID.  WHAT WILL MAN DO TO ME?”  Hebrews 13:6

Stopping the Binge

Monday was a day to get up early and get Cinderella to her gardening class.  I’ll have to admit that her little garden plot looks better than anything I have growing around the house.

My running has shifted to evenings now that our running group is meeting.  We meet at 7:00 pm, so I have also shifted all of my meals.  I cannot eat a meal more than three hours before running.  Breakfast has now become brunch.  Lunch and dinner are now “linner,” and I eat a very late supper somewhere around 8:30 or 9:00 pm.

Since Cinderella had her class and we often don’t get back until after lunch, I fixed my breakfast and took it with me.  I waited as long as I could stand to eat it, but I woke up hungry Monday morning–most likely because I went to bed hungry Sunday night.

We stopped at the grocery store on the way home to get groceries.  The refrigerator was completely empty after going out of town the week before, so it was a big haul.  And, of course, I let Cinderella talk me into buying a few things I normally wouldn’t.

I was starting to get hungry again by the time we got home right after noon.  I knew this was bad news since my next meal wasn’t scheduled until 4:00 pm.  Cinderella opened the treats I let her pick out–a few chocolate covered raisins from the bulk section of the store and a bag of Pirate’s Booty we found in the clearance section.

I was curious about our unexpected purchases, so I gave them a taste.  And then I mindlessly ate another, and another, and another.  I was putting food away in more ways than one.

Then my mind said, “STOP!  What are you doing?  You’d be better off eating a whole other meal instead of binging on this junk!”  I immediately stopped and fixed myself a healthy snack that would hold me over until 4:00.

This, my friends, is monumental!  Why?  Because never before has my mind reacted in such a way.  Never before have I been mindlessly stuffing my pie hole only to have my brain wake up and yell, “STOP!”

What do I think precipitated this?  I have only made one change to my eating habits.  I am following a food plan, planning all of my meals ahead of time, and weighing my food.  This sounds like a lot of work, but it’s really not.  This has taken a load off of my mind as far as thinking about food, what I’m going to eat, when, was it the right amount, etc.  I have been eating three meals a day, so I think that eating outside of this framework made red flags start popping up.

We have to have food to survive.  It’s everywhere, and marketers are intentionally manufacturing foods that are addictive and appeal to all of our senses.  We can give up certain foods, but we can’t give up eating all together to break the addiction.  It’s easy to see why controlling our food intake (at least in this country) may be one of the most difficult hurdles for a large portion of the population.

Whether, then, you eat or drink or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.
I Corinthians 10:31

Heart and Sole 5k

On Saturday, May 6, my oldest daughter and I (and a few other friends) ran the Tri County Heart and Sole 5K.  This race benefits local children with mental health issues.

Last year, this race was my first race of 2016 and the second race of my life.  I had taken the winter off and was just starting to get back into running again.  Not only was it wet and rainy the morning of the race, we had had torrential downpours a few days before.  There were patches where the trail was covered in one inch deep mud.  I had never ran the race route before, so I had no idea what to expect.

This year was completely different.  It was sunny and warm the morning of race day.  We had not had a lot of rain beforehand, so the trail was dry and clean.  My daughter and I had gone out a few times before the race and ran the course, so we knew what to expect.  Also, we did not take the winter off.  In essence, we were much more prepared this year.

This was not just a race, it was an event!  Before the race, there was a Zumba warm up by my favorite Zumba instructor, Shertoine.

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After singing the Star Spangled Banner, it was off to the race where we had great trail support!  This is the stuff that makes you smile and run a little harder.  Thank you to whoever got up early to do all of this!

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Then it was time for the kids fun dash.  My granddaughter ran her first race and got her first finisher’s medal!

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After that, we got to test drive this awesome vehicle!  (Wishful thinking.)

ClayCoSherrif

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Vroom, vroom!

 This was a fun morning with family and friends.  Like I said, this was not just a race, but an event–all for a great cause.

Indeed, may you see your children’s children.  Psalm 128:6a

Cinderella Runs Her First 5K

Well, official 5K, anyway.  Last year I signed Cinderella up for a one mile fun run.  The only problem was that instead of turning around at the one mile point, she kept going and ended up running the entire 5K.

On April 1, I ran the Tortoise and Hare 5K with both of my daughters!  My youngest has been asking me to sign her up for a 5K.  I didn’t think she was ready for it and told her that she needed to do some running beforehand.  This race had a reduced price for children, so I didn’t mind signing her up.

I was only able to get her to run with me one time before the race, and it wasn’t pretty.  Two days before the race, she realized the race was around the corner and it was too late for training.  She was starting to feel like she had a mountain to climb and was not at all prepared for it.

The morning started out as many days have this past winter and spring–cloudy and overcast.  This was one of the more casual races we’ve run.  We had bibs and prizes were given out for the best in each age group, but this race was not timed.

When the gun went off, I wasn’t quite ready and everyone took off like it was the Kentucky Derby.  I knew I couldn’t sustain that pace, so I backed off a little.  I was concerned about Cinderella not knowing where to go, so I decided I would stay with her no matter what.  Before we got to the one mile mark, she was complaining.

During mile two, she said she was never running another 5K again.  After that, we went into run/walk mode.  We would run until she tired out, then we would walk until she caught her breath and we could run again.

We were nearing mile three when Cinderella told me to go on and that she would walk the rest of the way.  By now, we had gotten to the point that the people that were participating in the two mile walk were close behind us.  We were close to the finish line, but she didn’t know it because there was a curve in the road right before the finish line.

We couldn’t see the finish line, but I could see part of the building that we had started in front of.  I said, “We’re almost there.  Do you see that building?  That’s where we started.”

We continued to walk, until we made it around the curve and could see the finish line.  I told Cinderella that we were going to sprint across.  I found a landmark and said, “When we get to that sign, we’re going to run as fast as we can.”  A few seconds later, I grabbed her hand, and I drug her across the finish line. Finishing with her was a great feeling!

305 lbs. The Phone Call That was Never Made

I went into my second day of work with one hour of sleep under my belt.  Shortly after my phone call with Mr. G., he sent me a text reiterating everything he had said to me on the phone.  I kept reminding myself that hurting people hurt people.  I could not imagine how this whole experience of the past several months must’ve been for Mr. G.  Three hours later I got another text taking back some of what he had said–mostly anything that could be considered slander against his former employer.  He did not take back anything hateful he said about me personally.

I was devastated and had no idea how I was going to make it through the day.  Unfortunately, I had about a 20 minute drive to work, which was just enough time to think about the events of the night before.  I walked in the door sniffling, and my boss, Mr K., asked me if I had a cold coming on.

Once I got situated, I went into Mr. K.’s office and gave him a Reader’s Digest version of what had happened the night before.  I told him that I thought it would be a good idea if the number on the phone was changed since a lot of the drivers and probably Mr. G.’s friends already had it pre-programmed into their phones.  Mr. K. called Charles about the matter and I heard, “. . . she’s very upset about the way Mr. G. treated her.”

Before the day was even over, I got a text from one of Mr. G’s friends.  I ignored it.  Mr. K. and I went online and tried to change the number, but we were not allowed access.  I stopped by the cell phone store on the way home and tried to get the number changed.  I personally was not listed on the account, so I was not able to do so.

I went home that evening physically and emotionally exhausted.  I had huge doubts about accepting this job, and a very bad feeling about it once I did accept it.  Was this what the bad feelings were all about?

I was concerned about it being a strain on the family.  I knew we could make it through the summer, but my main concern was the fall once school started.  We would have to make some huge changes to our homeschool.  Every negative concern that I had about taking the position, my husband had a solution for.  I reluctantly accepted the job after he convinced me that we could “make it work.”  Moments after I called Charles and accepted the job, my husband walked in the front door and said, “I think maybe it would be better if you just stayed home.”  I couldn’t believe what I was hearing.  I told him if I wasn’t going to take the job that I needed to call Charles back right that moment and tell him.  That phone call was never made, and at this moment I was truly regretting it.

A friend loves at all times . . .  Proverbs 17:17a

Time, Energy, Hate, and Anger

As I get older, my time becomes more and more valuable.  I know my days, and therefore my time, on this earth are numbered.  I know that the time I have left on this earth is limited, limiting the time I have for accomplishments and spending time with my family.  I also know that at this point I am on the downhill slope, meaning that most likely more than half my time on this earth is behind me.

I also know that the amount of energy I have is limited.  I have been able to boost my energy level by changing my diet and exercising, but it’s still finite.  Most days my energy bank is full, and I can make it through without any problems.  Some days my energy bank is running on empty, and I have to make adjustments to make it through the day.

My energy has also become a valuable commodity and something that I have decided to spend carefully.  Continuing to eat a healthy diet and to exercise almost daily is something I continue because it’s like earning interest on your investment.  I might be spending some energy to do it, but it’s going to pay me back with more energy.

Just like the money I have in my pocket, I decided a long time ago that there are things I refuse to spend my energy on.  I refuse to spend my energy on hate and anger directed at other people.  Sometimes it’s a difficult thing to do, but I remind myself that it’s not worth it and what other people do is out of my control.  It’s natural to want to defend ourselves when we’re being attacked.  Often, the better course of action is to remove ourself from the situation than to spend our time and energy yelling back at someone that’s not even listening to us anyway.

Hate.  It’s just an ugly word all the way around.  Spending time and energy hating people is not a wise expenditure.  I’d much rather spend my time on actions that are going to make a difference than on inaction that is just going to wear me out.  The one thing we don’t hate enough is sin.  We would be different people and live in a completely different world if we hated sin enough to steer clear of it.

With the idea of reaping what we sow; hate, and you most likely will receive hate in return.  Love, and you most likely will receive love in return.

“BUT IF YOUR ENEMY IS HUNGRY, FEED HIM, AND IF HE IS THIRSTY, GIVE HIM A DRINK; FOR IN SO DOING YOU WILL HEAP BURNING COALS ON HIS HEAD.”  Rom 12:20 NASB

305 lbs. Family Time

It felt great to finish the Couch to 5K program and to run my first 5K.  The last thing I wanted to do at this point was to lose any progress I had made during the summer.  I continued to try to run three miles three days a week from home.  Once daylight savings time went into effect this became very difficult.  Not only was there less daylight everyday, the weather was not very cooperative either.  Once the leaves started falling and they became wet, it was very treacherous going.  Running at night and not being able to see made it even more dangerous.

October also brought my first grandchild!  Prior to that my pregnant daughter ended up in the hospital in the middle of the night with the flu.  I had to enter the hospital at the emergency room and then go down to the maternity ward which is at the other end of the hospital.  I was told it was half a mile.  I ran it (literally) without any problems–something I couldn’t have done that long ago.

My good friend and cheerleader, Mr. G., told me one day that I was an inspiration to him.  He bought a membership to a community center near him for his entire family and was going there almost daily to work out.  I was a bit dumbfounded and asked, “How did I inspire you?”  “By all of those texts you sent me telling me to get up off my a**,” He said.  In shock I said, “I never sent such texts.”  His reply was, “That’s how I felt every time you told me you were running.”  I never knew that my texts were perceived that way.  When I was working, I was on call 24/7.  I felt it a responsibility to let him know when I was running on the days I worked in case someone tried to get a hold of me and couldn’t.

In the middle of December I got a phone call from Mr. G., “I’ve lost 15 pounds!”  I had not, so feelings of jealousy and unkind thoughts were what went through my head.  I felt like it was my turn to be the cheerleader, so in a cheerful voice I said, “Way to go, congratulations!”

Once Thanksgiving got here, running was almost impossible.  There would be a day here and there that I could run, but nothing consistent.  I also needed to support my daughter and her husband who were first-time parents, so I let family life take over.

The community center where I took classes also changed their fee structure.  Initially you could sign up for classes and just pay to go to those classes.  Now, you were required to have a membership and all classes were included in your membership fee.  I wasn’t sure that I was willing to pay for a membership just yet.  I really, really loved running, so I really only needed a membership during the winter months that I was not able to run outside.

I knew the Commit to Get Fit program would be starting again in January, so I decided to hold out until then.  I didn’t think I would get my money’s worth out of a full-year membership, so I decided to enjoy the time I had with my family until then.