Something, but nothing

I have so many different things going on in my head right now that all seem to be equal in urgency and importance. This isn’t a new occurrence for me. I just don’t like it. My depression is a real creeper and while I’m no longer obsessed with my own death, I’m still not quite sure about the actual place I fit into my own world and whether my presence makes any impact. Yes, that’s sad. I’m sorry. It is a reality, though.

I became a stay at home mom nearly 7 years ago and I am still not sure whether I’m doing things right. Especially in the summer months when we’re home and I need to get my day to day things done while still keeping them from doing crazy things like using their sleeping bags to slide down the steps or catch large bees with their butterfly nets. These are real things they’ve attempted on more than one occasion that I’ve intercepted. While I’d love to pretend I’m the “Pintrest Perfect” mom that does craft projects all day and has charts and learning resources everywhere, that isn’t me and would be rather out of character. I teach things and we do the summer homework that the school sent home with them. We’re behind by like 20 days with one kid, but….we’ve been trying to do it. Honestly, being the mom that knows exactly how to balance teaching the kids all of the necessary social graces along with basic curriculum is an exhausting premise and I’m not even sure I know how to behave socially all of the time. There’s no manual and no matter what moms do, someone is there to criticize it. I just worry too much about what negative aspects can be derived from my style of mom.

I am training for a marathon while fundraising for Crohn’s and Colitis. Since winter, I’ve been fundraising for Team Challenge and hoping that I’d be physically cleared in time to train for the Chicago Marathon in October. I was released from the doctor’s care and then from physical therapy with a little more than 20 weeks to go, which is plenty of time to train. I’d gained about 25 pounds in the winter and I haven’t had much luck taking it off with a lot of dietary changes and exercise. So there’s a big fail I’m mentally having trouble getting past. I was starting to feel the problems of over training, so I reduced my running to 3 days a week including one long run. My all over soreness has been curbed and my feet and legs feel mostly better. Except for one foot in one spot. It is the left foot, which is the opposite of the ankle I’d injured in November of last year. It hurt me for a few days last week, but by the time I got in to see the foot doc it wasn’t hurting anymore. Of course it wasn’t. Then, I ran this weekend and before I finished running the pain was back and even the simple task of taking my shoe off was painful. Now I have an appointment for next Monday with the podiatrist and I was a little upset about having to wait that long to get an answer about the pain and also to either take a break from training or train while in pain. All the physical stuff mixed with not being halfway to my fundraising goal is taking its toll on my worries.

I’m not really saying this for an “Aw, Jenn,” or anything of the sort. I’m saying it because those things are consuming me. I am here in my head thinking about all of the ways I’m not successful and all of the ways that I will continue to fail. This isn’t situational where it would go away once the stress is under control. This is depression pouring acid on my life and distorting my image. I’m exhausted and overwhelmed and I don’t have the energy to fight with it all of time. I’m fighting just to stay at the level where I am.

Some days, the strangest things can take me from one extreme to another. I like my  friends, but I’m not sure anyone actually likes me. I worry often that most of the people I really like don’t think much of me. I want to run a marathon before I die, but what if this foot thing is going to keep me from doing it again this year? I can’t invest this time over and over to see it not come to fruition, but I don’t want people to see me give up. Especially my kids. I want to see my kids grow up, but what if I’m not good enough for them? I want to make it to 10 years of marriage, but I want my husband to be happy and not have to worry about me. I can think of the flip side of most things that I could have to be happy about. I know there are people who have it harder than I do and have less than I do. Telling me that helps me realize that I’m a bad person for feeling this way, so it is not an effective way to bring someone away from darkness. I hope one day to find a cure for the darkness and actually just enjoy things without wondering if someone is judging me poorly or only pretending to like me in order to be polite. I’m a little upset that exercise and eating well haven’t cured my depression, tiredness, or my weight struggle.

I guess through it all, I am stronger and I am wiser. I just wish I could attain the things that I’ve been trying so hard for so long to get. Not things I feel entitled to, but for me to earn. I wish I could feel like I’ve earned the intangible things I try to work for.

I’m pretty sure I meant to write something more upbeat today. Like: Don’t forget that everyone was new at some time and to quit making fun of people for using words or phrases that you simply don’t like. If I say I want to be ‘toned’, I mean less jiggly. I don’t need you to explain weights to me or post a meme about how it isn’t a real thing. If you’re annoyed by people eating ‘clean’ because you think that isn’t a real thing, then don’t use the term. Leave the people alone who do. They’re trying. Maybe start there with a little credit for trying. It could go a long way for how things turn out for the other person. I might have a little bit of problems with negative thinking, but I don’t let that affect how I treat other people and I don’t try to drag other people down. There’s enough of that in the world.







Adjust and carry on

The goal is 26.2 miles on October 8th at the Chicago Marathon. Training has begun and I have a calendar using a training plan I got from the coaches involved with Team Challenge. I even plugged it in to a calendar that accommodated my plan to have my long runs on Sunday morning. I have had trouble following it because I feel like I’m not getting adequate rest between runs.

Last weekend, I needed to do 9 miles, but I wasn’t returning from an out of town wedding until late Sunday afternoon. I was able to plan a run for Monday morning, but I didn’t want to get up early, so I scheduled an 8 am meeting time with a friend. I was positive talking the heck out of that run ahead of time. I kept telling myself it was going to be the best run since my boot and that it was going to be epic. In reality, it was hard to put one foot in front of the other for almost 6 miles. The conversation and adorable woodland creatures along the trail kept me moving forward for almost 6 miles. When she and I were done running, I decided to hop in the car and head home to get sunscreen before finishing the rest of my run. I wouldn’t have finished that first bit had I been alone. The second part was rough and it was solo. The heat and humidity were bearing down. I got one cheer from a car driving down the road and that was a nice distraction. I struggled to keep moving and was running on pure desire to get home. I went home and halfheartedly stretched so I could hit the shower. Little did I know that for the entire week following that run, I’d have a painful soreness in my right calf and my hamstring would be achy.


9 hot and humid miles

My first run after that was Wednesday. It was tough, but it was like shaking off cobwebs. My legs were loosened up for the last half of the run. I was able to focus my attention on random things like, “Hey a White Castle box,” and “We don’t even have White Castle near here.” I looked around and took in the scenery and tried not to focus on any discomfort. I felt pretty good finishing up and I actually did my hip strengthening and stretching afterward. The soreness continued, so my next run was replaced with a session of runner’s yoga.

Saturday was my long run day this weekend due to social plans. I’d planned everything out ahead of time. I was going to ditch the camel bak hydration backpack I’d used in previous weeks and go back to the Amphipod brand hydration belt. I filled one bottle with my BCAA powder mixed with water and the other with just filtered water. I put a protein shake in a lunchbox cooler. I planned to meet the Saturday group at 6:30 am. I’d lost my Garmin watch and found it after a frantic search through my belongings. It was on the passenger seat of my minivan face down and the same color as the interior. My frozen water bottle was completely thawed, so my buffer from the heat wasn’t going to be there. I shook it all off, showed up at the meeting place at 6:45 with nobody else there, and I did a little arguing with my brain to take off on the run. My watch went off a few times for the 5 minute run, 1 minute walk intervals. I ignored the first 2, then I started walking quickly the 3rd time it went off. I wasn’t dropping too far below a 13 minute per mile pace with the walk breaks, so I just kept doing the intervals. I reserved water and gel breaks for walking intervals and it worked out well for mentally preparing. I passed people I knew periodically on the trail and felt encouraged to keep going. It was the epic run I’d wanted the previous week. Then, toward the end, my stomach. It was revolting. I didn’t #2 before leaving for my run. I was about 1/2 mile in either direction from a bathroom and both were portable bathrooms (porta potties). I opted for the direction of my car and ran/walked my way back trying to ensure that no accidents would happen to me. I was a tenth of a mile from the big 10. I had to go, though. I ran to the bathroom, went in, paused my watch, and used the porta potty. I made up the last .05 running from the bathroom box to my car to get hand sanitizer and get my yoga mat. I felt energized instead of exhausted.


I will run for beer, guys….lol

I made the decision after running that if I was going to have good long runs,  I was going to need to adjust the plan. I read some articles in running magazines and websites about training and found that it is not unusual to have as few as 3 runs per week in training for a marathon (assuming other cardio and resistance is included in most other days). I invited myself to join some running buddies on their swim days and they welcomed me. Tomorrow, weather permitting, I’ll be joining my friends in the morning to swim. Wednesday and Thursday, I’ll run. Friday, I’ll get on the elliptical or have a instructor led cardio workout in addition to resistance. Saturday remains rest day so I can long run Sunday morning. Today, I did a resistance workout midday and realized that it has been too long since I’ve done my planks or burpees. Running can suffer from not keeping up strength in all areas. I’m changing my plan to prevent burnout and to prevent injury. I want to do this marathon. I wasn’t balancing my whole body fitness properly and it was affecting my running. Now we’re going to see how well this change of plan works and adjust as needed. I’m happy I can do that.

Also, I am fundraising for Crohn’s and Colitis through Team Challenge. I have 90 days until the marathon and I’d like to raise $2k by then. So far, I’m a little over $900. Consider helping? Thanks!  My Personal Fundraising Page