Monday, April 30, 2012

Oklahoma City Half Marathon Fun

So Monday I either sprained or twisted my ankle about 2/3 of the way into class, (it was an awesome class, at least 20 ladies and I'm pretty sure most of the class had fun!), I managed to fake it through the rest of class. It was a very mild injury, but bad enough that I took off from everything except teaching my classes for the week.  That means, yup, 3 missed training runs this week.  Since I've taken so much time off  running due to the knee pain I've been dealing with, I was kinda freaking out about the upcoming half marathon.  If nothing else, however, I was up to date on my long runs.  Friday, I started to go for a run to loosen up and reassure myself that I could still run; then my ankle started hurting so I decided to hold off.  I did go to the Health and Fitness Expo to pick up packets and to try and get a good deal on a pair of Newton's running shoes.  I had heard from a couple of workout buddies that they were really great for people with bad knees and that they have a long life span.  The guy working the booth had me remove my shoes and socks so he could watch me walk to see which shoe I needed.  I immediately started sweating and got really nervous.  It's ridiculous the things that I'm self conscious about, I even nervously laughed and said something along the lines of "Gee, I should have gotten a pedicure."  It was so awkward and I felt so silly.  He first watched me walk across the floor and then run and from that he derived a recommendation.  I ended up buying the pair of shoes that he recommended and I received a $25 discount along with a free pair of socks.  The great thing about that particular running store is that you have 30 days to test run the shoes and if they don't work out for you, you get a refund!  I thought that was pretty awesome!  The guy was nice enough to even give me a bit of running advice about my form and such.  I also bought a few GU packets to make sure I had enough for the race on Sunday.  I continued about my way and found this fun booth:
I loved them all and it was so hard to choose which ones to get, but I ended up with "Sweat is my Fat Crying" (in honor of my Body Pump ladies which is where I first heard that quote), "I Run so I Can Drink" (in honor of post race beer and mimosas!), and "Eat. Sleep. Run." (in honor of Ragnar, of course!).  I really wish I had also gotten the "Run, Bitch, Run" one and the "Eat Hard. Run Hard." one, too.  But I feel like I've been spending SO much money lately and I had to draw a line somewhere...  But the "Eat Hard. Run Hard." is really one I can associate with.  Then I stopped at the sports sunglasses booth, too.  I've been wanting to get a pair of sunglasses for running, but they always seem so high at the athletic stores, so I was quite happy to find a functioning pair for only $15.  After the expo, Mark, the kiddo and I had dinner with Mark's sister (who came up for the half marathon!) and some of his other family.

Saturday was pretty uneventful, I slept way in since I knew I'd be getting up at the ass crack of dawn to run 13.1 miles the next day.  I knew I needed to go for a short run to loosen up my muscles in prep for the race, so I strapped on my new shoes, wore one of my new bondi-bands and wore my new shades and took off out the door for a short 3-miler.  I stuck to a nice, easy pace and thoroughly enjoyed the run.  The weather was beautiful, the air a bit thick but my breathing was okay, I felt like I was running on air with those shoes and my shades didn't fog up at all!  It was great to get out and stretch my legs and feel the sweat/burn!  And I loved the band, it seriously soaked up all my sweat and didn't feel at all nasty or stuffy!  I ended up running the 3 miles in 29 minutes, I was quite pleased since I was shooting for easy and slow.
You can't see the shoes, but they're there!
I then did laundry and Mark and I went to run errands one of which was to buy an armband for my I-Pod.  Later that night we had spaghetti with meat sauce for dinner, at least half of my meal was fresh broccoli and cherry tomatoes with light ranch and a cup of steamed broccoli.  That's how I carb load when I'm a good girl! :-p  I tried so very hard to get to bed early that night, but that runner's anxiety set in, of course, and I ended up tossing and turning all night.  I think I only got between 3.5 and 4 hours of sleep by the end of it all.
The alarm went off way too early Sunday morning (4:30) and I snoozed it for 15 minutes and jumped out of bed at 4:45.  Apparently I got up way later than everyone else I was running "with", both my sister-in-law's group and my coworker that was running it woke up at 4:00.  Unfortunately, my ankle already hurting when I got out of bed.  I was so nervous, I felt my blood pulsing in my body and the adrenaline just kept rushing.  I felt so wired, yet sleepy, it's quite a bizarre feeling.  I ate a small bowl of cereal with half a banana and drank a couple cups of coffee.  My SIL called me at 5:00 (after already trying to call me a couple times) and was apparently stressing about me not answering before because I should have gotten up earlier.  So on top of the anxiety I was feeling from getting ready to go run a race that I was not at all prepared for due to skipping runs because of my dang knees and ankle, I started freaking out because I was running late.  I taped up my foot, strapped on my ankle brace, pulled on a couple of knee braces (for precautionary sake), grabbed my gear and headed out.  I flew through town which was fairly busy for being so early, to my bank so I could get some cash for parking and flew down the highway in a fit of nervous frenzy.  On the way over, I called my coworker to see where he was at and how it was looking downtown.  Apparently it was craziness and traffic and parking was insane.  So I opted to park at my office and just jog down to the start line.  I made the obligatory stop at a porta potty and tried calling my SIL and coworker to find out where they were.  I tell you what, people kept talking about how big the OKC Memorial Marathon was and about how many participants there were past years (29.000) and I suppose it just never clicked.  I was floored by how many people were there, 27,000 just doesn't sound like what it IS like.  I eventually found the corrals and holy cow!  Masses of people, everywhere.  They even had the start line gated off for quite some distance back.  It was so chaotic and seemed like there was no sort of organization at all.  Just after I got into the corral gates they started closing and locking them all while there were still runners gathered up.  It was insane!  People were climbing the fences to get in and people were pushing through the gates before they shut them and no one seemed to know what corral we were in.  There was no way I was going to find either my SIL or my coworker so I just wished them both good luck and focused on mentally preparing for the start.  After the gun went off it took me 10 minutes to even get to the start line.

Just to give you a small idea...
Immediately after I started actually running I looked around to find someone to pace with, I found a couple of older men that looked like well seasoned runners holding what seemed like a good pace.  I decided to stick with them.  Damn near right off the bat there was a really steep hill to run up and there were a couple other hills throughout the course.  For some reason I had the idea that the course would be relatively flat, luckily where I run there are several hills so it wasn't too big of a deal. After mile 3 or 4, I realized the men in front of me were running at a pace quite a bit slower than what I was used to, and that perhaps it would be a good idea to pass them over and find someone else to keep pace with.  Sure enough when we got to a clock it showed my pace of somewhere around 12 minute+ miles, I couldn't believed I hadn't realized how slow I was running.  My ankle was in a good amount of pain from the beginning of the race, but I couldn't not do the race, I had made committments, I had paid the registration fees, I had picked up the shirt and by golly I was sure looking forward to mimosas afterwards!  ;)  So I pushed through it.  All along the route people had chairs and little spots set up in front of their houses to cheer on the runners.  There was a huge support and cheer group for all of us runners, it was really quite moving.  There were even several spots along the way where people had liquor booths set up!  If you can believe it!  I walked through all the water breaks and a couple times I walked a few paces when my ankle started really getting to me.  But then the endorphins kicked in and I felt a rush, almost like the beginning of a runner's high, so I started back up and kept at it.  My theory is that since I was in pain my body was creating an extra amount of endorphins to keep me going... isn't that the science of how it works?  *Please, please, please, don't get me wrong.  I would never recommend that someone over train or run with an injury.  You could definitely develop a serious perhaps even permanent injury if you don't follow your body's instincts.  I just knew that the sprain/twist/w/e the hell I did to my ankle was minor and felt confidant that with rest after the race I would be fine.  DO NOT use me as an example when conducting your own training, only you (or your doctor) can tell how much your body can handle!*  There were a ton of kids standing at the sidelines with their hands out for high fives, which at first annoyed me because I felt guilty for not partaking, but then I decided that so long as I didn't completely stop, I'd be okay to swing by a kid for a high five, and the smile on that little girl's face was definitely worth the veer off.  Then at what was called Gorilla Hill there were a group of kids dressed up in banana costumes and dancing around.  Way cute!  There was also a guy dressed up as a teletubby and dancing around in his driveway that was not at all cute, but a more like a bit creepy.  It started raining the last 3 or 4 miles, which wasn't too bad except that I worried about my I-Pod getting ruined, but I couldn't stop to protect it.  I felt as if I stopped I would never make it, so I just kept going and prayed that my I-Pod would stay in one piece.  When I finally passed the 12 mile marker, people kept shouting that we were almost there and to keep it up!  Great job, etc., etc.  My thoughts kept going back to "Define almost".  How close is "almost there"?  Are we talking about 1/4 mile... 1/3... 1/2...?  Finally, we got to a guy that was shouting, "less than half a mile, less than half a mile guys, you can do it!"  and suddenly I felt a lot better, that meant less than 5 minutes and even less time if I picked it up.  So  I looked ahead at the Finish Line and busted ass to get there.  I surprised myself with how fast I made it to the Finish Line and how I felt like I might have been able to keep going if it  hadn't have been for my ankle.  This realization made me a bit disappointed in myself especially once I found out that my time was 2:28.  I just keep telling myself that a.) I was injured; b.) I was running on less than four hours of sleep; and c.) I did not get trained up properly for the race.  Even under those circumstances I ended up being in the 43rd percentile for women and 54th percentile overall, so I'm okay.  After the race was just as hectic and chaotic as before.  I accidentally left the area in search of water and I was informed that I wouldn't be allowed back in, so I snuck around a security guard so I could get a bottle of water and an ice pack for my ankle.  I called my SIL and coworker and arranged to meet my SIL and her group of people for breakfast right down the street and wished my coworker a good day.  He was definitely not down for going to eat and celebrate.  I ended up walking about 2 miles to get back to my car after getting turned around and disoriented by masses of people.  I finally made it to the restaurant where we celebrated with mimosas and an awesome breakfast.  For the first time after a long run I actually had an appetite!  My SIL had to get our official post race picture as soon as I got there.
Best post race picture to date!
After breakfast, part of the group dispersed and the rest of us walked over to McNellie's to drink some beer.  After all the socializing, my SIL and I got to do some sisterly bonding over another drink on the way to dropping her off.  (I'll use this time to make note that I did not at any point get drunk, nor do I condone drunk driving.  For the record.)  I finished running around 9 and got to the restaurant 10 till 10:00 and didn't get home till 3:30 pm.  I was exhausted!  I was so tempted to take a nap, but I knew this was a bad idea because then I would not sleep that night and alas I did indeed have to go to work on Monday.  Instead I vegged out on the couch after a nice hot shower and we got BBQ for dinner.  Eventually I made it to bed in one piece, albeit a tad delirious. Sunday was by far the worst actual race as far as the running part went.  The pain was hard to ignore, but the course was really nice and the fellowship and camaraderie of the event was awesome.  And on the other hand, it was by far the best race day I've had yet.  It was nice to be amongst other runners and to celebrate with them in the best way possible:  with food and drinks!  I can't wait until the next big race event, it will be twice as good, I can feel it! 

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Ragnar Relay 2013 - Key West

Last month I wrote a blog about my runner's passion being revived, in large part due to an upcoming event that I'm incredibly excited to do.  I wrote a brief description about it here.

On February 22, 2012, I received an email from an esteemed young woman whose blog I had been following religiously.  I first found her page on Sparkpeople, then after realizing that I could completely and utterly relate with her, I found myself hooked to her blog.  I considered her to be a normal woman set about on a task that would change her life for the better and this was exactly what I had in plan for myself. I looked to her for inspiration many times throughout my journey.  Katie and I were not keeping up a steady flow of communication or anything, but I was following her blog and she was following mine, so she knew my story, as well.  The email Katie sent me was to invite me to join a team of 12 people whom had lost large amounts of weight and became runners along the way to participate in the Florida Keys Ragnar Relay Race in January of 2013.  I have no doubt in my mind that email was the starting point of a series of events that will change my life; that will change me.

I was floored.  Me, join SlimKatie (Sparkpeople name) from Runsforcookies and people whom she and the designated team captain deemed worthy to run 198.5 miles from Miami to Key West?  Katie was practically a celebrity, she had even been on the Dr. Oz show!  And she considered me a good addition to her team!  I honestly don't know if I've ever felt so honored.  Of course, the pragmatic Lealah had to really think this through.  A trip like this would definitely not be cheap and I had to do some serious number crunching to decide  whether this could be budgeted, so I told Katie I would think about it and get back to her.  Can you believe it took me a week to finally email her back and tell her yes, I would join the team and be happy to run with them?  I mean really, how often does an opportunity like that come knocking on your door?  I honestly do not know what in the hell I was "thinking about".  For this kind of trip, this kind of experience, you do not "see if you can afford it";  you find a way to afford it, and by golly I was going to do this.  We've changed our plans a bit, and decided to just fly into Miami, the Ragnar Relay will be enough of a vacation without the stops on the way and honestly I think I will be fairly nervous the days prior to the race and I doubt I will be able to think of anything else.  Here's a taste of what is to come:


I really like this video, too, particularly the song at the end of the video:

At this stage in my sentiments, I think I have moved a bit beyond the "super excited and stoked" phase and it's gotten a bit deeper for me.  I have reached the "my gosh, I'm really going to do this" stage.  I have been running for less than a year, I have gone from couch potato to Zumba Enthusiast to long distance runner in two years.  I'm an athlete.  I have overcome crazy obstacles, several injuries and I'm still pushing on.  I think being invited to join this team of amazing people has been a huge stepping stone to help me realize that I'm a success story.  I used to browse the success stories on Sparkpeople, thinking "that's going to be me one of these days", and I think I've reached that point.  Don't get me wrong, I'm definitely still a work in progress and will never stop trying to better myself.  In fact, that brings me to why I love the song at the end of the previous video above.  "You could do better, you could do better, you could be the greatest man in the world."  Exactly.  Period.  The End.  Of course, I prefer to think "woman", but it just does not have the same ring to it, so I'll give them that.  ;)


We had our first team conference call on Sunday and we got to hear everyone's voice and "meet" for the first time.  It was pretty cool to put a voice with a face (or internet persona) and our team captain put on a great meeting!  It was so coordinated and I feel that we really covered a lot of ground.  After the meeting I was even more excited about the race, if that is even possible.  I cannot wait to do this!  I will say that I'm glad it's so far in advance so I can train and also give my knees time to repair.  But I plan to be fully trained up for this, I want to be able to fully enjoy the entire event and not have to worry about whether or not I "can" do this or how my body will handle it.  I want to focus on camaraderie and enjoying the adventure and not worry about injuries or the fact that I haven't trained enough so "how will I ever get through this?".  I already know I can do this, it's just a matter of how much I'm going to allow myself to enjoy it and what can I take from this experience and how will I enhance my life from being a part of such an amazing group.  No, this venture is one of friendship, fellowship, self-discovery and flat out FUN!

The best part of doing this is that I'm doing it with people that really understand what this race means to me.  It may be a little different for each of us, but I know that there is a sense of unity among us that not everyone would be able to fully appreciate.  Runners in general have a sense of camaraderie, but to come from where we have and to know what it was like before.... when "anyone can run" was a myth (a laughable one at that) and "anyone can lose weight, be active and healthy" was beyond our scope of vision... well there's a sense of pride and fellowship there that no one can touch.  Here is a list of the amazing group of people with which I will be running the Florida Keys Ragnar Relay Race of 2013, with links for the people that have blogs.


Rik (our team captain)
Katie 
Mary 
Linda 
Allison
Jen R
Andrea
Jen S 
Meredith


So there you go, this is one of my biggest endeavors in the near future and I will continue to provide updates as time goes by.  This may prove to be my biggest adventure yet!

Monday, April 16, 2012

This Almost Never Happens Anymore

First a quick recap of the weekend.  The weekend was fairly uneventful.  I ran 3.5 miles Friday before I went to donate platelets, the plan was 11 miles, but I felt tired and achy and I decided to do my long run on Saturday.  Well Saturday came and I was exhausted, barely made it through 8.5 miles, later I realized that it was probably due to donating platelets on Friday.  I had planned on getting up, running 11 miles and then going to Zumba, however I woke up too late to go to Zumba, so I just ran.  I do not usually consider the platelet thing because I feel ten times better after donating platelets than I do donating whole blood, but they take something out of you all the same. Sunday I just cleaned house, did laundry, and slept.

Originally I intended to talk about the Ragnar Relay event I will be participating in Key West in January 2013.  However, I have run into an obstacle.  I woke up this morning really feeling down in the dumps.  In fact, I feel really low right now, to the point that I really just want to go home and hide under my blankets and pillows. Maybe even shed a couple tears and just be a big fat cry baby.  I don't want to talk to anyone, I don't want to see anyone, I don't want to do anything.  Luckily I had some time sensitive things I needed to get done at the office because otherwise I could very well still be at home in bed and sulking.  Depression and anxiety used to be a huge problem for me back "in the day"; I really haven't encountered it very often since I've lost all the weight and I've stayed active.  Sure things get stressful and I might cry if something sad happens, but there's a difference between having a justified time of melancholy and between being downright depressed.  Today, I am depressed.  Again, luckily I have a commitment to teach a Zumba class tonight, so maybe that will help me through the funk.  My point is however, that instead of bullshitting you all about how awesome the Ragnar Relay is going to be and how amazing and excited I am about it, I'd rather just be honest and tell you that I'm not excited about anything today, at least not at this particular moment.  And honestly, my first thought was to just wait on the post altogether, but I want to be an honest blogger first and utmost, because I know I'm not the only one that goes through things like this.  So instead I'm postponing my Ragnar post and just using this post as a way to vent per se.  And I know that maybe someone, somewhere has to go through this everyday and they might need to know that yes, it still hits when you've lost the weight, but you get through it and then things are beautiful and awesome and happy again.  And losing weight and becoming more confidant and significantly reduced the amount of times it does strike.  And then you're working towards your goals again and that Ragnar Relay you're getting ready to train for is just beyond the horizon and all you see is sunshine.  This may sound a little melodramatic to some, but for some of us it's a reality.  (Honestly I think my mindset just improved a notch by putting that into writing.)  So, I'm putting off my post about the Ragnar Relay until I can properly express how excited I am (when I'm in a proper mindset) about participating in this event and about meeting my team members, because I really, truly am exhilarated to be a part of something so amazing and wonderful, and it just would not do my team or the event justice to blog about it right now.

So I shall post in the near future about sunshine and flowers and running through Key West in a blur of glory to make up for this downer of a post.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

A Great Weekend and the OKC Memorial Half Marathon

Okay, first I want to get the awkwardness out of the way.  I absolutely despise asking for money.  BUT, it's much more bearable when I do not directly profit from it (ie - fundraising).   I'm running the OKC Memorial Half Marathon at the end of the month and they have a whole fundraising system in place.  Since it requires absolutely no work from me besides registering on the website and then sharing the link, how can I be a good person and not do this?  So below I have a link to my own fundraising page, if you feel the urge to do so, donations are appreciated; if not, no hard feelings, we'll still be friends.  ;)   My disclaimer:  if I raise a minimum of $15 I do receive a pair of green laces to wear on race day, in that manner I do profit.  Financially, however, nada. In fact, I paid $80 to run this thing.  Never in my wildest dreams would I have thought I'd pay money to run!  I probably would have bet you $80 that I would never run a mile, much less 13.1!  Wow, have things changed!
Oklahoma City Memorial Marathon Fundraising Pages

 So I had a great Easter weekend. Friday I ran 10 miles, then I was supposed to donate platelets, but at the location I went to they said my platelet count was too low for them to take from me. Apparently if you're below a certain weight and height and do not produce enough platelets they worry about bursting your veins on your return or something... I don't really understand it (honestly I don't want to, the thought of my veins bursting is a bit unsettling and if I dwell on this I may just switch back to donating whole blood), but I rescheduled at the location I usually go to (which has different machines that can apparently handle me just fine) and carried on with my business. With two hours to kill before a lunch date with my sister, I went out to Edmond to check out the Sunflower Market's grand opening. I spent $60 on a basket full of fresh produce, chicken and this most delectable treat:
 I first saw this on Katie's blog and boy am I glad I came across it, this stuff is like heaven in a jar! 
 My favorite way to eat it so far is to spread it on a graham cracker with raisins on top. YUM! This is also the first place I have found unsweetened vanilla almond milk and unsweetened coconut milk, so I picked up one of each of those. After that I swung by the Mediterranean market to pick up some cucumbers. They have the best baby cucumbers, seedless and sweet! There happened to be a few bunches of fresh basil left that I just had to grab since there rarely is any left.  By this time it was lunch time so I met my sister and we headed to the Cajun King, a Cajun buffet that I've been dying to try for months. I love Cajun food and was super excited to check the place out. I tried a bit of just about everything, all of which I thoroughly enjoyed. Especially this bread pudding:

This stuff was freaking amazing. While I would definitely give this place a good review, for some reason I have no desire to go back, so I'm not sure if the reason everything was so delicious was because I was so hungry, or if it's because it was really that good. Possibly the reason I have no desire to return has something to do with the fact that I left feeling miserable. I got my fix and now I am satiated.  Maybe the craving will strike several months down the line.  My sister and I then went thrift store and grocery shopping and we started feeling better after walking around for some time. Friday evening I spent at home with the guys reading e-books and doing laundry while they watched TV and pretty much entertained themselves. Saturday was a day full of errands, cleaning and Easter dinner preparation. I spent nearly the entire day on my feet (burning 2800 calories which is about 600 more than what I burn on a day of doing one Zumba class) and my knees were definitely screeching their protest by the time I fell into bed. Sunday morning I got up early and went for a 5 mile run before guests started arriving. Then I spent pretty much the rest of the day cooking and cleaning (on my feet). By 4-5:00 I finally got to lay down on the couch and considered taking a nap, but I felt totally restless (probably wired from all the desserts I indulged in :-S), so I got up and got laundry going and practiced Zumba for the equivalent of about an hour. I had some new songs to get ready for Monday's class. Monday I taught my class including my new songs and class went pretty smoothly, my knees behaved and I only fumbled a tad. Then Tuesday since my knees had been doing well and it was the new Body Pump release launch I decided to go to classes for the first time in two weeks! I am SO glad I went! I had such a blast and I felt so great afterwards. My right knee started to hurt a bit a little into squats, so I dropped my weight and just did them with body weight and was fine after that. Here's a picture of us after class.

Then I stayed for Zumba, I really enjoyed taking someone else's class besides my own for the first time in two weeks. Zumba is fun no matter what, but there are different types of fun and it was nice to just follow again. My foot started hurting about halfway into class, but I got my new Zumba shoes last night so hopefully that will help. I intended to go to Zumba and then run 3 miles afterwards, but we ran out of leftovers Tuesday and I needed to go home and cook the boys some dinner. I also spent a couple of hours on my feet at work yesterday and my knee was acting pretty grouchy by the end of the day, so I really did not need my arm twisted. I'm so very glad I went home and cooked though because I made the most delicious dinner:
Garden rotini with grilled chicken, spinach, fresh basil, tomatoes, bell pepper, mushrooms, olives, garlic and feta with salad on the side.
 This was SO good! Afterwards, I just had to check out my new Zumba shoes so I did some Zumba practice for about 45 minutes. I only felt a twinge in my foot and there is plenty of cushion and support with these shoes, they are Ryka's and I think they will really work out for me. Well, I suppose that's all for now. I know I had a lot to cram into one post, but I feel so cramped for time these days.  The little bit of spare time I get I've been spending on reading lately. I find that reading a good book is really meditative and helps me de-stress so I have definitely been taking advantage. Speaking of, The Running Man is a spectacular read particularly if you're an adult who enjoyed The Hunger Games. It's a more graphic and shocking story, but has the same premise. I feel that this book has drawn me back into a Stephen King phase, but I've been told the books he wrote as Richard Bachman are quite a bit less winded than his other novels so we'll see if I have the tenacity to start a Stephen King reading frenzy. Anyhoo, I'm off to shower and bed. Ttfn, hopefully I'll get a post in on Friday!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Never Easy

Things are never easy, especially not the case when you assume they will be.  Life has been stressful lately, definitely not easy and worse yet, my knee still is not better.  I've been taking a plethora of rest days lately, trying to give it time to heal up, and I've been taking glucosamine, icing it, all that good stuff.  The rest days are killing me though, I'm not training like I want to be for the half marathon at the end of the month and to be honest I just want to run!  I haven't even been doing Zumba or Body Pump, besides teaching on Monday and Thursday.  I'm aching for the stress relief I get from running and getting a good hard workout.  My eating has been so-so, not bad, but not the best.  I think I have a tentative plan set into place now.  I will keep training for the half (I already freaking paid, man!); but this is really no big deal.  I ran 10 miles last Friday without too much pain, a bit of soreness, but nothing like Tuesday's pain.  After the half, however, I plan to take 2-4 weeks off from all high impact working out (excepting the nights I teach).  I will try to use this time to get comfortable biking and swimming. Then I can get back into running in June and start marathon training by July.

Last night I almost went to Zumba, I wish I had because I've SO missed going to other instructor's classes!  But my knee started getting a bit sore towards the end of the day, so I opted out.  I need my knees and there's no point in ignoring what could become a serious issue because then I'll have to stop running (and maybe Zumba!) altogether.  My own class is going well, there's usually at least 15 or so people present and I have several regulars.  I enjoy it and feel like I'm getting there as far as improvements, but it's not the same as taking a class.  I think the participants enjoy it, too, or else why would they come back?  I ordered new Zumba shoes last night, this was long overdue!  My knee is fine thus far, so I think taking yet another rest day yesterday was the right decision.

I've come to realize that my journey will never be over and probably never be easy, either.  In one way I'm resentful of this fact.  Extremely resentful, in fact.  But at the same time, I will never take being healthy and thin for granted!  Buying new clothes is especially awesome, as are compliments, fitness accomplishments, etc.  I've sat at 130 for what feels like forever now and I am somewhat resentful of that, but I'm trying to just remember that I've lost half my body weight, I can afford to maintain for a few months if that's what my body has a need to do.  What I'm really resentful is of how difficult it is to maintain!  It's not easy!  It's a fine line between eating to fuel training and using training as an excuse to eat poorly.  Of course here lately I haven't exactly been training, so then I struggle to adjust my eating to not working out very often.  Weight loss is not a science by the way.  As much as we all would like to say eat 1500 calories and burn 2000 calories and you will lose one pound a week... it is not so!  Sure, I would definitely say eat less, burn more, but there is no exact calculation that will guarantee you lose the weight exactly as you plan to.  Anyway, so 2+ years after the start of my journey I still struggle, I still am not quite where I want to be; but I am still progressing.  Whether it be mentally, emotionally, physically... something is changing for the better.  I have plenty of time to lose the rest of this weight, I'm healthy and fit, more confidant than I've been in quite some time and I'm at least satisfied with my weight and appearance, if not thrilled.  130 pounds was my initial goal and I have met that, so I shall be thankful for what I have accomplished and just keep in mind that it still isn't over yet.