Hey everyone. First let me say THANKS for all the comments on my first post last week. What an awesome welcome! I was so psyched when comments started coming in. And how great are my friends and family? So sweet!
So, I am amazed to report that I completed Week 1 of Couch to 5K! Can I get a What What?! Let me tell you, this is such a huge accomplishment for me. I am not so good at the follow through with this kind of stuff. I have no doubt that knowing that I would be writing a blog post this weekend and that you are all rooting for me was a massive push in the right direction for me when I was not feeling like going down to the basement and getting on the treadmill. (In all honesty, another great incentive this week was the fact that my 2 year old cannot come downstairs when I am on the treadmill lest she pinch her little snausage fingers in the belt, and oh sweet lord, the peace in the basement is heavenly. That girl can bring the crazy.)
Now, I should note that things did not go totally as planned. I said in my first post that I would be doing my first run on Saturday. That day was my daughter’s 2nd birthday party, and with all the running around I had to do for that I decided to push the run to Sunday. I spent most of that day with a headache and just feeling generally crappy, and talked myself into waiting another day. Monday came, and I was too nervous all day to go downstairs when my husband wasn’t home. I hemmed and hawed even after he got home, and then when the baby went to bed I took a deep breath, put on my running shoes, and JUST DID IT. It. felt. so. good. Yeah, I was surprised by how hard it was to even run 60 seconds at a time, but I got through it and was so happy.
At that point I had decided that I would have a MWF running schedule with weekends off. Wednesday came and went and guess what…no run. I ate way too much at dinner to then feel like running (this won’t be a factor when I — hopefully before too much longer — get over my fear of running when my husband isn’t home). But, Thursday night…DID IT. Felt way better and stronger than I had on Monday, and was even able to pick up the pace a bit. At that point I decided that it will be best for me to go with the flow each week and not worry about sticking to a certain running schedule, as long as I am doing my three runs per week with at least day of rest in between. I have three kids, a busy life, and am still subject to a certain amount of fear and anxiety that hits unpredictably. I have to be able to bend with all of that and not let it derail me (“Well, I was supposed to run today and didn’t so screw it, where da chips and dip at?!”).
I did Week 1 Day 3 Sunday night and again, FELT EVEN BETTER! I feel amazing for having completed this first week. This might be the longest I have stuck with a plan for a long time, as sad as that is. I actually teared up when I came upstairs and exclaimed to my husband and kids “I did it!”
I did have some trouble with heart palpitations during my runs (although less on Day 3 than the first 2). Not sure if the palpitations are a function of my anxiety, something that my heart just does and nothing to worry about, or something I need to be concerned with. To be on the safe side, I made an appointment with my cardiologist (and how many 39 year olds have their own cardiologist? Yeah me…?) for the end of March. As long as they don’t get worse between now and then, I will keep running. I’m kind of hoping that he will do a treadmill stress test so that I can move to the longer runs without too much worry. When these issues first started back in ’05 I was hospitalized for a couple of days; at that point, I was so dizzy and nauseous that I could not do a treadmill test and was given a nuclear stress test instead, which showed no problems. But, in the back of my mind is the nagging worry that because I was not on a treadmill I can’t trust the results.
Someone commented on my last post that for her, exercise has worked way better than therapy, SSRIs or Ativan in “treating” mood disorders. I have to say I have experienced that in the past as well, and certainly it feels true this time around. As much as I have struggled with anxiety, and at times depression, I have no clue why I have not jumped wholeheartedly into regular exercise. I really don’t “like” taking Zoloft, and am kind of sporadic with it which may do more harm than good. I am hoping that running regularly will let me get rid of the Zoloft once and for all. (Let me be clear though, I think antidepressants can be a great thing when they are needed and used appropriately, and they certainly saved me at one point when I felt like one more panic attack was going to tip the scales of life to “Not Worth It Anymore.”)
Oh, and on the diet front…my goal was to not have Starbucks from Monday through Friday, and I did it! One day I met a friend at an indoor play area with our kids, and there is a Starbucks DRIVE THRU right across the street. That crap is like black tar heroin to me, and somehow I managed to resist. I did have a mocha on Saturday and Sunday, and crap, now I realize my plan was only one on weekends. Well, what’s done is done, and I will do better this week. And going from 5 or 6 mochas a week to 2 is pretty effing good I’d say! I’m waffling a little with the sugar vs. Splenda in my coffee at home though. Should I use the sugar because it is “real” and just train myself to use less, or go with Splenda? Any thoughts? In terms of eating, I have become really interested in the “Real Food” movement, especially after watching the Oprah episode with Michael Pollan (his book “Food Rules” is amazing and I recommend it highly). What I have to keep in mind though, is that even though those brownies were made from scratch, they will still go straight to my ass. I will write a post sometime soon dedicated to the diet aspect of my efforts…I would love to hear from you all about what has worked for you, and I am so psyched to read Katie’s new Takeout Takedown blog…perfect timing!
Again, thanks to all of you so much. I knew in theory that writing a blog and being accountable for keeping my goals would be helpful, but I had no idea just how helpful. See you next week!