Sunday, May 17, 2009

Running away

I noticed the past two weeks that my self confidence had started to wane and that I hadn't visited my usual twice-weekly step class or Tuesday morning weight routine. I even found myself lagging during my session with my amazing trainer Janice.

Now if I'm not enjoying a session with Janice then something's wrong. She may be all of 5-feet nothing, but Janice is solid muscle and with more energy than the Roadrunner after a hit off a crack pipe. Even if your entire body felt like jello and your insides wanted to make a run for it out your eye sockets from sheer pain - Janice would still make you wanting more.

I was not myself.

It's been a stresseful few weeks as I have mentioned and I think that now that I've had a chance to slow down and take it all in, that my mind can't handle everything at once. When this happens I tend to fold back into myself and eat the pain away.

I found myself going for high-carb, high-sugar items that left me burned out and dead tired. I was living off drip coffee and zero water. The scale was sticking at 212 although just the week before I had hit a 5-pound loss reachin 210. I REFUSE TO HEAD BACK DOWN THE SLIPPERY SLOPE.

When I felt myself start to panic after a near run in with some people who in the past made me doubt myself and feel like an outsider - something I thought I was WAY past - I new I needed to find a way to grab hold of something and climb back out of this wave of depression.

So I've decided to do two things.

Return to writing
And return to running

Writing has always been my refuge and the best way for me to express myself. I used this blog heavily as my own form of therapy when talking just made me feel worse. And I could care less if people think I'm lame, or people think I'm whiney or people just think I'm plain nuts. If they dont' like what I have to write about don't read it.

I think a lot of my newfound anxiety is being triggered by the fact that we are appraochign the 1-year mark of my first real anxiety attack and first real experience with feeling lost in this world. It is a very deperate feeling to not know who your friends are or who you can trust. It's like being dropped into a pool of crazy glue where you feel stuck and unable to free yourself from the pain.

I'm finding myself sticking my neck out there again and I'm waiting with eyes squeezed shut and breathe held for the axe to fall. The HAHA we got you SUCKER!

It was right after my first anxiety attack that my friend Karen pushed me to start running with her as a way to not only help me cope but as a way for her to train for triatholons. I found running difficult, but very freeing. Though I was a slow runner, I used that time to sort things out in my head. It gave me a goal to push for and something to look forward to. It was me and the clock and no one else.

The more I ran the better I began to feel and I even lost a few pounds along the way - until I injured my shins. Not being able to challenge myself left me a little lost. Over the next fall and winter I gained 25 pounds and hit my highest weight ever. I was busting out of a size 16 and teetering at 215 on my 5 foot 3 inch frame. My back hurt and all I wanted was to sleep all day.

A trip home to visit family only hammered a few extra nails into coffin for my slowly dying self esteem.

Enter Karen again.

Upon arriving home she whipped out the new race schedule and motivated me to get back to the gym. This time I hired a personal trainer who not only knew my struggles but really pushed me to better myself.

The first 5k I did was tough and I came in second from last at a measly 44:40. Little did I know I was running in the wrong pair of shoes and slowly destroying my heels and shins. The second 5k a few weeks later I came in even slower at 50 minutes. With shin pain so severe I was forced to walk the majority of the race, again coming in second from last. I felt a bit like a centipede who was born with all left feet.

Though devestated Karen and our friend Kristen reminded me that what mattered was I finished.

The next weekend after a pow-wow with Janice and Deb - my step instructor - Robert took me to Poulsbo Running to get properly fitted for a pair of running shoes. The difference was amazing and It was sheer torture to forgo running for a month while my shins healed. In the meantime Janice and Deb pushed me through thier own versions of cardio and resistance hell in an effort to repair my shot muscles and build up my strength.

I wasn't sure if any of it was working until tonight when after thinking too much about last year and starting to feel the hurt and sadness well up I found myself reaching for the junk food.

It was late, the kiddo was asleep but I couldn't turn off my brain.

So I decided to try an experiment.

I laced up my running shoes and hopped on the treadmill. It was awkward at first but I managed to pump out 2.3 miles in 35 mintues. I alternated walking with 1 minute sprints. It was tough but I felt more alive and that I was doing something with my grief.

Hopefully this time when I run away from stupid people and situations I'll hit my stride and leave them in the dust.

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