Of frustration, jealousy, small rocks and motivation.

It’s been a week since I started my food log and just a few days ‘officially’ into the 60 day challenge, but I figured it would be good to use Sundays to share my thoughts on the journey so far, small (and big!) rocks, and motivation for the week ahead.

Frustration.

Running.  ‘Nuf said.

I’ve run twice in the past 5 days and the first was outside, by myself. I knew running alone would be a challenge since it’s even harder to try to control my breathing and keep going when I’m struggling. And it was a struggle. I won’t lie. I was frustrated as hell. I was more run/walking than running straight and I hate that. I just want to run, say, a few miles, without having to stop. That should not be so much to ask as I have done far more than that without stopping before (hello, half marathon), but now, even a mile straight feels insanely hard. I can’t breathe properly. I start to panic and my breathing gets out of control. So I stop and it takes me a few minutes to actually catch my breath. Not. Cool. Even with the inhaler (though I think I didn’t quite take two full puffs which may not have helped matters). Ended up with 4.5 miles, but again, some run/walking, which was very frustrating.

The second run was today. I opted for the damn dreadmill since we’re expecting the next 6-7 days of STRAIGHT RAIN. And if I’ve learned anything with my running struggles is that rain, cold air, and wetness in the air generally makes it even harder for me to breathe. I did okay with my breathing in terms of control, for the most part, but my stamina was again part of my struggle. Once my breathing got to a point where it was borderline tough to control, I slowed down to a fast walk/jog and my chest felt tight and heavy. Again, not. cool. I managed 3.5 miles, slightly better than the first run, but not by much.

I just want improvement. I just want the inhaler to do its job. I just want to run without hating it, without fearing it, and without anxiety. I know part of this is mental, but a huge part of it is very real. It scares me to think I may not be able to fix this. Failure isn’t an option. It’s just simply not.

~~

Jealousy.

Anyone that can run like a gazelle (I say this to M all the time when he trots along unfazed!). That can run for miles without pain or wheezing or feeling like one more step is not possible. Anyone that is improving.

I get jealous. I see the tweets, I read the blog posts,  and I get jealous.

I see my sister improving her running, getting her mojo back, and I get jealous.

And I HATE it. I hate being jealous. I hate comparing. I hate that I do compare myself. I am me, nobody else, so why do I still do it?

This goes hand in hand with my self-image and body issues. I bought this book today (thanks Sunshine, for suggesting it) and I am hopeful that it helps because I am sick of comparing and knocking myself down. I need to see myself the way you all see me (and thank you all that commented or addresses this with me in real life…including Tanya, from Barre N9ne. Thank you.)

~~

Small rocks.

Food log.

Kicks ass.

No, really, it does.

I am thinking before eating. I am planning ahead on weekends so I can have that extra glass of wine and still be within my calorie limits (yes, I have some priorities on weekends! I don’t want to give up wine, so I’ll smartly plan for it). I feel healthier. I feel perhaps lighter (perhaps mentally more than physically, who knows really), more energetic and hopeful.

Hopeful that this challenge is going to do so much for me in so many ways. But I have to put the work in. I have to be focused. I have to be motivated.

And I am.  I really really am. I thought the food part would be a much harder struggle. But so far, it’s not (and they say the first week is the hardest, and it really hasn’t been too bad. Just adjustments). I actually really recommend it to anyone that wants to reign in on their eating, or just see how many calories they tend to eat and reality-check that against what they maybe should be eating.

~~

Motivation.

We had our first 1:1 with Tanya on Saturday and holy wow, it was tough. In part because well, frankly, it’s a lot harder when it’s just the two of us with her in the studio. Less temptation to stop early or take a mini break. Even more focused on form and endurance.

I felt motivated. I felt like I was carrying myself differently. More purposefully. With more intent and awareness.

This is what I love about barre-based workouts. I already feel like I can see some slight improvements. That feels like another small rock and is so motivating.

So, despite my frustrations and jealousy? I am actually feeling pretty good about where this is going and how I am feeling. I am hopeful for change – mentally and physically. I am focused and feeling strong. I am motivated.

This week we have four classes and a fifth (hopefully) on Saturday outside at a park (SO fun). It’s going to be tough. But I can’t wait to get started (and hopefully have a few more chances at some runs that don’t suck quite as bad as the other two).

Happy Sunday all…enjoy the rest of it, mmk? I sure plan to.

(Re-reading this, I feel like one big ramble. I won’t be offended if you bypass this or are already sick of me waxing on about this stuff. But on the other hand, I hope some of what I say resonates with you, if you did read…)

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35 thoughts on “Of frustration, jealousy, small rocks and motivation.

  1. I so wish I had some great words for you. I know you are so frustrated with the running and maybe you’re pushing too hard with it…expecting too much from and out of running? I found that i loved running when I just freaking let go and stopped…it all. stopped thinking, stopped worrying, stopped planning, all of it. I just did it. The first time that happened, it was like the heavens opened up. Crazy sounding? I don’t think it’s anything you can learn or have someone help you with so much as just getting in tune with yourself. And the breathing, huge. Until I learned to control it, it always sucked. How do you tell someone how to properly breathe for running though? Maybe one word: relax.

    1. Your advice here and over email was really helpful, Heather. I can’t say it enough, but knowing I’m not the only one that has struggled with this actually makes me feel hopeful, if that makes sense. I actually did let my mind go today on the dreadmill (no less!) and it worked. Wow.

  2. Totally agree with Heather on the running mojo – it’s so hard for anyone else to tell you/show you how to get your stride back, but I promise you – it will happen. As Heather said, relaxing is important, trusting yourself, too. And obviously the breathing issue is something you need to contend with and I wish I could just take that all away for you. I wish more than that, though, that I could take away your body confidence issues and show you how beautiful and strong and amazing you are. I truly believe this 60 day challenge is a blessing for both of us, came at just the right time and we’re gonna learn the shit out of this experience together. And yes, I just made up a phrase, you like?

    1. It is hard for anyone else to tell me what to do, I have to do it and believe in it. And I love the phrase – we are going to learn the shit out of this experience together. well put sis 😉

  3. Regarding the running…do you listen to music while running? If you do…try to find a song that matches your stride…one with a good, strong beat. One I’ve used in the past is “Pump It” (I think) by the Black Eyed Peas. I would play it when I felt my breathing getting out of whack and it would help me get my steps in a rhythm and that would, in turn, get my breathing back on track.

    Also: belly breathing. Have you tried it during a run? That can help you open up your diaphragm and get your breathing back to what is comfortable.

    Whenever I start to panic, my chest gets tight…my airways shrink…it gets scary. However, I’ve learned to know what that “pre-panic” feels like and begin to relax and take deep breaths before it gets out of control. Running is SUCH a mental game. You can’t let your brain take over what your body KNOWS how to do. I know you know that…but sometimes it helps to hear it. 🙂

    1. Yes, I KNOW I panic. Definitely do. Your advice really helped today when I did the dreadmill. I listened to a song and the beat helped me stay on track, as did the guy running next to me. It kept me breathing well too! The pre-panic is definitely something I need to make sure I am in tune with too. Well put!

  4. I don’t have trouble breathing when I run but I do have pain. My problem is that my body feels almost perfect. Mentally I feel great. But the shin splints, ankle pain and knee pain make me have to stop almost immediately. I’m frustrated too. And jealous. And I feel like other gym goers are judging me. And I hate that the most. That feeling. Yuck. Maybe we could trade? You take one of my bad legs and I’ll take some of your breathing problems! We’ll still both be screwed though, huh? Darn it.

    1. Oh actually I just realized something that may be helpful. When I started running I only put one ear bud in. That way I can hear my breathing to keep better track of it. I also breathed in through NY nose for four steps and out through pursed lips for four steps. Always. Even when I want to start panting I don’t let myself deviate from my four in, four out. My legs are long so four works for me. Your number may vary. As you get more comfortable you may be able to breathe without thinking but it’s literally taken me years to get to that point. And I still only do cardio with one ear bud in.

      1. This SO helped me today too. The breathe in through your nose and out your mouth. I DO try to do this, believe it or not, but when it’s cold out, my nose runs, thus no nose breathing! But today, I tried the pattern you suggested and it did help. Thanks for suggesting!

        1. So glad it helped! I was thinking today when I was running, that I should have mentioned it’s easier for me to keep my breathing regulated when I’m on treadmill, not outside. I know you hate the treadmill, but it might help you get it under control. Good luck!

          1. I do hate the dreadmill but I agree that it is helping me get back to a state where running outside isn’t nearly as rough. At least I hope so! And I can embrace the dreadmill a bit given the craptastic weather we’re having here!

  5. As a former running coach, I am definitely intrigued by your breathing problem. Do you suspect exercise-induced asthma (possibly triggered by seasonal allergies)? Or, it could be a result of anxiety. I’ve definitely seen that happen before. Whatever it is, I’m sure it’s frustrating, and I hope it gets better soon!

    1. Former running coach!? Oooh did my ears light up at that. I could use any advice you are willing to share! I think it could be partially some exercise induced asthma (just got an inhaler to help me a bit) and anxiety combined.

  6. when i kept a food diary, it was super-helpful as a focusing exercise. the main thing it taught me is, like you said, prioritizing. the best takeaway i ever had in the diet/exercise world is this: if you want it, eat it; just a) compensate through cutting something else or exercise and b) make sure it’s worth it (i.e., WINE!). it helped me feel like i had a handle on things. glad to see it’s helping you! 🙂

    1. exactly – the food journal is a focusing exercise. I won’t use it forever, but for this 60 days, it will definitely help me stay on track! And um, yes, definitely making sure it’s worth it – Wine – for sure 😉

  7. I walked this morning. I went to bed last night when I was tired…10pm instead of midnight. And I woke up stupid early because my body is used to only getting so much sleep…5hrs. So after getting up at 4am, and completing all my tasks at hand, I walked.

    I feel good. I’m losing weight. (Not counting the 175 pounds I lost on Saturday…) Feeling good.

    Happy Monday!

  8. If anyone can understand your running struggles it’s THIS GIRL. I need to get moving again and I have exactly 0 motivation…even though I’m signed up for the 4miler again. I just…I think it has to do with work but…I just don’t want to do ANYTHING! And it’s been since Thanksgiving since I’ve really run and I miss it but I don’t want to do it at the same time. When I did it last it was during vertigo episode #1 from hell so it SUCKED. You’ll get better. I promise! (Oh I hate those people too!)

    1. I have faith in you too, that you will gather yourself up and just GO. You are on the cusp of it, I know it’s hard right now at work and the vertigo thing on top of it, but I know you got it in you. You CAN DO IT! 🙂 XO!

  9. It is OK to feel frustrated with the running and want to get back to where you can do something you enjoy without pain. Makes perfect sense!

    Still focus on the overall though – your motivation and care of yourself. You’re doing great!

    PS – I will always make room for a small dessert in my meals. Always!

    1. Thank you Tina! It is about focusing on the overall more than the smaller frustrations. You’re right. I am sometimes good at that but other times, it is hard to see past them, ya know? But I am learning! And I agree, always need dessert!

  10. Oh I hear you on the running struggles. I have been very frustrated by random knee pain and have had some awful runs (and races) in the past. Now I’m sort of on track but not really. The only thing that keeps me going is remembering that once I build my mileage back up, it WILL get easier.

    1. YES! I try to think the same, once my mileage increases, I’ll feel better and it will get easier. Seems like that wouldn’t be the case, but it SO is.

  11. You are so stinkin’ motivational! You make me want to try running even though I can’t even breathe enough to even dream of controlling it. I.Hate.Running. But I want to love it!

    1. Hehe! Well I am glad I am motivational, especially when I feel like a massive complainer 😉 Honestly, as much of a love/hate relationship I have with running, there really is nothing better, cardio, wise, ya know?? you can doooo it 🙂

  12. Rock on, girl. We’re all jealous from time to time. Be grateful to your body for what it’s doing for you. You’ll get past this plateau in no time!

  13. You weren’t rambling! You were writing about what you’re feeling. I’m glad that you’re turning the corner from frustrated to motivated. You might not feel that way every moment of every day, but I hope for more moments like that with each day! xoxo

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