Training Week #9 — Half Way There!

Training Week #9 — Half Way There!

9 weeks into this Half Marathon Training Plan — represents the halfway mark.  Only 9 more weeks to Race Day.  Wow!  Ugh!  Excited!   Scared!  All these feelings rolled into one.  But that’s how life is supposed to feel right?  One part confidence, one part mystery, with a little dash of spice and surprise thrown in, just for fun.

This week brought a wild mix of things.  On the running front, I completed 20.5 miles.  6.5 miles today, outside in the 45 degree sunny day in the middle of February.  Weird weird winter, but it’s turning out to be a gift to me as I train through the winter.  So, never look a gift horse in the mouth.  The run today was 6.5 miles — half of the Half Marathon.  And I felt great.  My pace is faster, my breathing is deeper and controlled, and my knees, my legs, my back all feel stronger.  I’m so happy with my progress.  Yeah, I still stopped to walk just a bit.  I’m trying to follow Marathon Bran’s advice… slow down my pace to a slow jog.   Slow it down to a pace even slower than walking (if I have to), but keep jogging.  It sounds so straight forward, and simple…but I find that as I slow myself down, it just triggers my reflex to walk.  And there I am…..walking.  But I only let myself walk for 30-45 seconds, and got going again.  So, I have to keep trying Marathon Brian’s technique.  Practice, practice, practice.  That’s the only thing that will make something hard, feel natural.  Building a new habit takes repeating, and repeating, and repeating.  That’s how it works.

My other runs were 3 miles each.  3 miles is a comfortable distance for me now, BUT….doing 3 miles and then doing it again tomorrow, and then again the next day, and so on and so on….THAT was endurance.  It was HARD.  But once I finished the week, and finished my 6.5 miles today, I realized…wow… base is strong.  My core has really come a long way.  The Plan works.  Gotta love that.

This week brought alot of stress, and worry and hardship on the personal front.  I’m not going to go into it here.  Some things are meant to be kept close to home, so you can solve them, learn from them, and move forward from them…..and that’s what we are trying to do.  I mention it, because it leads to a meaningful, and surprising weight loss story.  Even with a huge stress bearing down on me this week……I managed to lose 3.8 pounds.    Somewhere around Friday, it dawned on me that with everything I was going through…..for the first time EVER, I didn’t turn to food to calm myself down.  It didn’t even dawn on me to stuff my face to relax.  Food wasn’t what I turned to.   It wasn’t my friend anymore.  Well, it kinda never was.  I made a point to keep up with my running.  I used the running as a tool to help me burn my stress and worry right out of my body.    I used hot showers and baths to steam ugly thoughts and worries out of my brain.  I used my Jasmine Green tea to warm up my soul when I was sad.     And I used my husband and my daughters’ love to feed my soul and my heart.

Food?   Well, I used food to fuel myself, so I could do what needed to be done to get us back to a good place.   Food, sustained me…..but it didn’t pacify me.   It didn’t distract me.  It didn’t derail me.  And by Saturday morning….I had lost 3.8 pounds.  Losing weight wasn’t the surprise.  I followed the plan, ate my DPs and WPs, and had 46 of my 66 APs left over.  The plan works!  I gotta love that too!  The surprise is…..that I didn’t miss the food at all.  I didn’t go looking for it.  It didn’t enter my mind to mis-use it or abuse it.  WOW — what a change that is!!!

On Saturday morning, at my weekly WW meeting, I earned my 75 pound weight-loss token.  I am down 76.4 pounds in total.  I’m .8 of a pound away from being under 200 pounds for the first time in over 12 years.  My WW friends cheered me on, and said such nice things to me.  I end the week thoroughly and entirely grateful.  Grateful for the love of my husband and my daughters.  Grateful for the support and advice from Denise, my WW leader.  Grateful for the encouragement from friends like Marathon Brian, and others who teach me to let myself figure out what I am capable of, and never to limit myself with my old faulty beliefs about myself.  I’m grateful for all the wonderful things that LIFE has offered me.

I will go to sleep tonight a lucky woman, surrounded by the love of family and good friends.  And at 46 years old, I’ve stopped regretting not getting serious about my weight sooner.  I am learning to appreciate that the rest (and the best part) of my life lays ahead of me — full of mystery and surprise.  Cuz — after all,  I’m only Halfway There!

Ciao for now……Diane

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