i'm darkness and light, bubbles and faerie wings. i am sparkles and glitter, shadows and clouds. i love purple, and faeries, and books, and music.

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Ramblings by Year

diary of a non-jogger: chasing away the fears and shadows in which our demons hide

run23march

I took last week off from work. Since I was a bouncing ball of nerves and anxiety, and since the streets were clear, and the days were somewhat mild, I knew exactly what I needed – and wanted – to do.

Run.

I haven’t been out on a run in forever. If I look back at my blog, it was 2 years ago April. Sure, I’ve run a couple of times at the end of a personal training session, but nothing on my own. By myself. For me. And I am ready to get back into it.

Something I learned in the past few years of trying to become a jogger? I miss running when I am NOT running.

Who knew? Certainly not I, said the Cat.

run25march

And it’s hard. And tough. And I am so crazy out of shape. I didn’t work out much at all in the last year because of health issues. My body needs to be retrained, but thankfully the muscle memory is strong and I am seeing results faster than I have before. My body just needed me to be back in the right state of mind.

One of the days I went out was wet, slushy snow, damp, and COLD. And yet, I ran. I’d have run more that day if my pants had not been falling off each time I did a running portion. Mental note: Only run with the draw-string leggings from now on because your body is changing shape again and your pants fall off.

I have a new training program to try through Runkeeper, and so far I kind of like it. It’s alternating between running and walking, in short bursts for the super beginner. And although it’s not easy peasy, it’s easy enough that I feel like I have accomplished something at the end of it. I’m only going out for short 12-15 minute jaunts right now. I’m trying my best to go twice a week (though I have not yet been out this week).

I miss it. I don’t want to be a non-jogger anymore. I want to jog and feel good about it. And sometimes I have too much going on in my head, and my body hums (LOUDLY) with nervous energy, and all the negative thoughts and feelings threaten to explode. So I run. I run from all of it. I walk to catch my breath, and I run some more. And generally when I am done, and I collapse onto the couch when I am home, I feel quieter and safer.

I have no goals this time around. Sure, I’d love to be able to run a full 5K, but right now I want to run for other reasons. Because I need to. I am not aiming for time or distance or endurance. I know those will all eventually fall into place if I keep at this.

I’m running from my demons. They keep me on my toes.

 

*the title of this post is a lyric from a song I wrote lifetimes ago. It popped into my head all last weekend.

diary of a non-jogger – slow & steady

2.20 km total; wonky gps. Grr.

I have a four-day weekend and after being back at work full-time, I’m really looking forward to this weekend! I have been out running three times this week, I’m super proud of myself. I didn’t blog about the last run because I was tired. And I forgot. Plus, this blog seems to be just about running now and well, you’re probably all sick of that.

ANYHOW…

I had to force myself off the couch today so I could go run. I had grand plans for this long weekend. Plans that included running as often as I could. Not sure if I’ll be able to get 4 days in a row in, but I wanted to get out there more often so I can build up endurance.

With each run I have done this week, I have gone a little farther than the last time. Sunday I achieved my first full kilometre and Monday I went a few feet farther. Today I went a lot farther than I had but the gps didn’t track it at all. Grr. I know what I did though and I know how fast I did it.

In all I got 1.88 km of running in out of 2.20. I’m increasing at a snail’s pace, but I am happy with my results. I feel great during the runs and afterwards, so I know I’m improving. Right now I need to work on breathing because I’m stopping due to my lungs feeling like they are going to collapse and not because of any pain when I run. This is a good thing, and a new thing for me. My legs are stronger and I’m getting faster (I still run slower than I walk though!)

I have my first outdoor Crossfit of the year tomorrow morning. This will include some form of running so I might just count that as my exercise for the day. Not sure yet. I’m trying to build up endurance and strength before the Spartan race at the end of May. I will admit to being terrified about this race. I have registered and I paid, so I’m in it whether I like it or not. Let’s hope I can make it through in one piece!

I keep waffling on whether or not I want to try the Couch to 5K app again, or if I want to keep going the way I am now. I’m not sure what works best for me. I think I need to switch up my training programs once in a while in order to progress. I find that if I do the same thing too often it becomes difficult, or something. I can’t quite explain it. I sort of like my current routine so I’ll stick with it for a while. Who knows, maybe in a month I’ll be able to run that full 2km without stopping and then I can just build from there. Mostly, I need to work on teaching my lungs that they like to work while I run because I am enjoying the running so they should too!

diary of a non-jogger – new personal record

Well, golly. I haven’t written on my blog in weeks! I only wrote one post in March! Oops. Obviously I’ve been going through some stuff, but I’ve also been swamped with my grammar course this semester. I just did my final exam in that course today and I’m both happy and sad that the course is over.

I was mentally exhausted when I was done the exam (almost 2 hours long!) and I went up to take a nap but I couldn’t sleep. I kept thinking about how it was a lot nicer out today than it was supposed to be. It was supposed to pour rain all day and yet the sun had started to peek out from behind the clouds. It’s cool enough outside that a run wouldn’t have been uncomfortable. So, I got up, changed into my running clothes and went out.

Now, I haven’t run since February 23rd and I have been quite ill for the past month and a half (possible bad reaction to medication, not sure. Seeing my doctor tomorrow.) I kept the same goal in mind I had last time though – run as much as I can in a shorter distance and work on building that up. Last time I was thrilled that I was able to run a full 7 minutes without stopping. I didn’t make a full kilometre in distance though, but because I had a shorter route, I was happy with what I was accomplishing.

This time I got the 5 minute notification from runkeeper and I’d only covered about 0.63km. I was determined to make a full KM though so I kept running. I wasn’t feeling like I needed to stop yet, so I took that as a good sign. I was waiting for the distance notification to sound but it didn’t. Finally, I needed to stop because I knew my body couldn’t go much longer without a walking break. I was disappointed that I hadn’t made a kilometre yet again. Imagine my surprise when I looked at my phone and saw that I’d actually ran 1.10 km!! Seems I need to turn on distance notifications! I forgot to check the time though, I think it was just under 7 minutes.

I walked for 0.05km and then started running again and managed to get another 0.45km of jogging in before I got home. Which means I ran 1.55 km out of the 1.63! I’m so proud of myself.

Sure, this isn’t even close to 5km and I really need to build up my endurance and distance again – especially since I’m doing the 5K Spartan Sprint in May! I’m hoping that most of my health issues are going to go away finally and that I can go out for runs more often. I’d like to try and keep 3 times a week as a general running schedule, plus I have my two nights a week of crossfit/interval training (and hopefully soon, the weekend morning outdoor classes!).

I shall continue to run this shorter route until I can run the entire thing. I am thinking that if I keep this up regularly, I should be able to make some decent progress this year. I have obviously built up a lot of muscle and stamina over the last year with regular exercise. I’m still enjoying the jogging and exercise too, and now it has the added bonus of NOT feeling like I have to do it or my world will collapse. I can enjoy the activity without it being necessary to help battle my anxiety because the anxiety has lessened a whole bunch lately.

When I got home, I sat on the stairs for a few minutes and drank the rest of my water. Then Shawn and I leashed up the dogs and we went out again (almost the same route) and took the dogs for their walk before the rain started once more. It was a nice cool down after the run.

I’m hoping to go out again tomorrow since it’s supposed to be warm out, and I’ll be home early from work (oh, yeah, I’m back at work full-time again…) because of the doctor’s appointment in the afternoon.

Let’s see if I can actually achieve my goal of running a full 5km without having to walk in-between this year! I’m super excited to try!

diary of a non-jogger – first run of 2014

1.35 km out of 1.92 km

February always makes you feel like winter will never end. The warm(er), sunny days are few and far between, so when you find yourself gifted with a rare perfect, winter’s day, you need to take advantage of it! I will admit that I haven’t been taking advantage of the nice days as much as I should have. I haven’t been doing so great with the PTSD thing and I recently returned to work and that hasn’t gone well at all. I only worked three days last week and I ended up a huge mess.  I was supposed to go into work for 4 days this coming week, but I’ve worked it out so that I’m only going to be working 2 days. Even those two days are filling me with dread but I’m going to do the best I can.

I was such a mess last week that I didn’t even go to my fitness class on Tuesday and Thursday evenings. I have been hiding in my house, sleeping through the days and trying to occupy my brain with anything and everything that wasn’t what I was supposed to think about. Even school work has been too overwhelming but I gave myself yesterday a free pass on my work and hunkered down today.

The call of the sunshine was a little too loud this afternoon though, so I took a break half-way through my module (adjectives before lunch, adverbs after!) and laced up my runners for the first time this year. I haven’t been out for a run since November 16th and before that, mid-September. I have been feeling the urge to go out but I am too chicken to run on ice and snow. Today the streets are clear and I needed help to get out some of the pent-up anxiety so off I went!

My goal was to see what I could do before I needed to take a break and although I didn’t make it a full kilometre before I had to stop (darn!) I did run for a full 7 minutes which is a personal best! When I stopped I met up with Shawn and the dogs and walked for a bit until we reached the spot I stopped running. I started running again from there and made it home (with one 15 second walk stop)! I was quite proud of myself!

I might start the Couch to 5k program again as the spring makes its way into my life, but I might just try shorter distances (like my almost 2km route) and see how long it takes before I can run the entire thing without having to walk. I can build up endurance from there. This year I think I was to focus less on the distance and focus more on my endurance. This is the first time I have run this much without feeling like I wanted to die. I think if I give myself smaller distance goals I will feel more like I am accomplishing something as I reach them (because I WILL reach them!)

I’m just enjoying the feeling I get from running and exercising and I am becoming some strange Fitness Girl version of myself. It’s helping my anxiety and I really hope that eventually it’ll help when my PTSD gets too overwhelming. I’m now working on trying to make myself healthy both physically and mentally and that’s something that makes me happy these days.

Meanwhile, for my first run in 2014 (and my first ever winter run!) I’m pretty happy with how it went!

diary of a non-jogger – spring in fall

2.56km if you wanted to be all technical about it

The weather was unseasonably warm and spring-like today. I had an outdoor crossfit class at 10am this morning and it was just gorgeous out as we worked out. The last few outdoor classes have been about 2 or 4 celsius and that’s cold! We were up around 10C today with nice, warm sun and I think that’s my most favourite kind of work out ever.

It was so nice out I was itching to run. I haven’t been out since September 14 and, honestly? I have missed it. I have a whole bunch of other activity in my life right now but there’s something about this jogging thing that I’m still digging.

I took Jinx with me and Shawn walked Sophie. I did a walk/warm-up around the block since I knew we’d pass the Sniffing Trees and trying to get Jinx by there without stopping would have been difficult and well, I’d feel bad. So we all walked as a family for the first little bit, less than a 5 minute warm-up if I were doing the Couch to 5K app program.

Since I knew I hadn’t really been out running (the sprints and warm-ups in my crossfit don’t count) for a while, I had a stern talk with myself before I set out about how I was not to expect miracles and I was NOT to get DISAPPOINTED IN MYSELF if I couldn’t run much.

I was seriously surprised by how much I did run as I started. I would have probably have been able to go a little further than I did if everything wasn’t against me. Jinx was being a brat, wanting to pull and sniff and trip me, I was at a rather bothersome corner that had two cars coming around it and people walking on the sidewalk who looked scared of Jinx. I had to stop finally and pull over. I was getting to the point where I was trying to push myself just that little bit further to see how far I could go, but it was too complicated and I was uncomfortable so I stopped, paused my phone and texted Shawn to let him know where I’d be going next.

My next bit of running weren’t nearly as long as the first, but I didn’t walk much between them either. I’d run for about a minute and walk for about 15-20 seconds. I spent a lot of that time pulling at Jinx’s collar to keep in him line. Ugh. By the time we met up with Shawn and Sophie I just tossed Shawn the leash and told him to take Jinx because he was being a pain in the butt and I was fed up trying to deal with him. Normally he’s really good when we run, but he was full of Bratty Beans today.

I  ran/walked the rest of the way home and in all we came in just under 3km. I had to edit my distance manually since I had started Runkeeper only when I started running and not the first part of the walk. It also got confused when I paused it the first time.

Anyhow, I ran way more than I thought I could and although I was slow, I was also pretty steady and I was happy with myself when I got home. I miss running and I am looking forward to the switcheroo with the sun setting being later. Since I can’t run alone in the dark. I don’t feel safe.

I have heard that we’re supposed to get a ton of snow this winter and that both makes me happy and sad. I am happy because I love the snow but I don’t think I’ll be a very good runner in those conditions. Ice terrifies me and I won’t even walk the dogs when it’s icy. I both want the snow to stay away longer so I can try and get a few more runs in before winter really hits AND I want the snow to come SOON because, well, CHRISTMAS WHIMSY! And WINTER WHIMSY!!

But I went out today and I ran and it was nice out and I feel  a little less down in the dumps. Now I just need to spend tomorrow focused on school work. And Christmas card making. OMG I have no time for anything!! GAH!