It’s All Downhill From Here

Greetings.

We are enjoying a nice, low key Saturday night.  School resumes on Monday morning so an evening spent in my pj’s is valued!  In other news, I’m getting old.

I reached a big milestone today, the last long run of my training plan!  Today’s run was 12 miles.  I’ve been dreading it for a few days now, mostly because my lower back has been really sore.  I’m not sure what I did to it – I suspect I picked something up incorrectly when we were loading up to head to our cabin early in the week.  Many days later, it really isn’t doing much better, which is a big bummer.  I do find that the more I use it and stretch, the better it feels.  I ran with it being sore on both Wednesday and Thursday and they were some of my better runs, actually.  Standing up straight and walking isn’t what bothers it – bending or twisting is.  So, since I wasn’t in pain while running, I decided to continue with my training as planned.  Anyway, the run was really tough and I’m disappointed that I seem to be getting slower and having more pain in my legs toward the end, but – most importantly – it is DONE!  So it is pretty much downhill from here (until the race, that is).  I run a 4, 5, 4 miler on Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday which sounds really easy at this point.  Next weekend I only have to do 6 instead of 10+ and the following week I have just a couple of 4-5 milers on Tuesday and Thursday.  I can’t believe I am in the homestretch of this 20 week training plan – tapering is here!

We returned home from our cabin Thursday afternoon.  Erin had to return to gymnastics practices that afternoon and we got home shortly beforehand.  We drove up to Pinetop on New Year’s Eve and spent some time with my husband’s sister, her husband and her kids, which are a bit older than my oldest daughter.  My kids adore them, and they are great nye_sparklersolder cousins.  Both of them can drive now, so they took off immediately to a small-town bowling alley while we stayed back at their condo and played Cards Against Humanity (not for the easily offended!!)  We were going to head back to our place (about an hour back down the highway) but we ended up going over to the cabin of our family’s friends and hung out there until about 10pm.  There were even more kids to play with and they all had a good time.  Before we took off, the kids lit sparklers on the back deck in an early New Year’s Eve celebration.

Back to this morning for a minute.  I’m not sure if I have talked too much about this but one of the over-riding themes of my weight-loss journey is that I am really striving to be open to more fully participating in, well, life.  In the past when I was overweight, I would be more likely to say ‘no’ to an activity than ‘yes’ … for whatever reason.  Now, when an opportunity to do something arises, I’m really trying to make my response to be “just go for it, give it a try”.  This morning my daughter’s high school basketball team was having a shoot-a-thon in the gym which was to be followed by a parent vs. girls’ team game.  The booster parents in charge encouraged us to come participate and have fun.  Deep down, I really did want to play.  Basketball was my sport through school.  I harp on my kids all the time about their game and try to give them pointers – now was my chance to get back on a real court and play a bit.  Trouble was, my back was really sore and I had the 12 mile run looming on my schedule for the day.  But, I was already dressed for my run (in workout clothes/tennis shoes) when we went to the gym.  The parents on the court asked a few times if I wanted to play and I said ‘no, it’s OK’… but then I finally decided that this was an opportunity and I wanted to play.  So, I went out there.  It was so much fun.  I haven’t really played in years, but it was a bit like riding a bike, it all quickly came back to me.  I matched up with my daughter, the 6 footer, and played her tough.  We were pushing each other around and laughing.  At one point early on, I boxed her out (meaning I put my butt and back into her to try to maintain position for the rebound).  I preach about boxing out to my kids all the time – it is frustrating for coaches and us parents when kids don’t do it – so I made sure I “demonstrated” it to her.  Well, it worked pretty well – except my daughter decided to just quit on that play and I fell straight on my butt.  Ouch, my back!  I just had to laugh and get back up and keep playing, slightly humiliated, but it was funny.  I ended up making 2 baskets – including the game winning shot!!  I’m so glad I put myself out there and I got to spend time and get to know some of the parents of the JV and Varsity team.   The extra movement and playing really did stretch out my back and helped a bit, I think.  The interesting thing was my breathing sucked!!  I was wheezing and coughing and short of breath.  I was very surprised by this since I am now able to run 12 miles without issue.  This is how I spent most of my high school years playing basketball.  I think now that it is not about conditioning but rather the rapid stopping and starting of play – along with a certain amount of anxiety –  that causes me to struggle for air.  I wasn’t super anxious today, but I didn’t want to make a fool of myself.  As a high school player, I was often nervous about screwing up on the court.  I probably coughed and hacked for a good hour after I got home.  I even had to get my inhaler out.  Later that day, however, I had no issues on my 12 mile run.  Anyway, it was very interesting.  I might ask Dr. Z about it this week when I see him.

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