The Journey to Five Miles

August 2010

August 2012

October 2012

October 2012

November 2012

November 2012

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December 2012.  The first mile back.

December 2012. The first mile back.

A little further.

A little further.

March 2103.  First 5k.

March 2103. First 5k.

 May 2013.  Memorial Day 5k.

May 2013. Memorial Day 5k.

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June 2013

Five.

Five.

10 months and six days (last Sunday) after a freak accident with glass and a partial ruptured left Achille’s tendon, I ran 5 miles.  I was so happy while I was running I waved at every person I passed.

I’ve missed you, running.  Welcome back to my life.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Control

Title Nine Mother’s Day Run, May ’09

I’ve been thinking a lot about food and losing weight recently.  One lingering habit I have left from my disordered eating is associating exercise with weight loss.  There is definitely some merit to this claim, that exercise can help one lose weight, but my inability to exercise does not mean automatic weight gain.  In all honesty, the first thing I thought of when I found out I could not walk for 6 weeks was, “How will I exercise?”  Getting up to go for a run in the morning is so ingrained in my mind that it has taken quite some time adjusting to a new morning routine.

For me, my disordered eating was always about control.  There are very few things that one has direct control over and deciding what to eat is one of those things.  Exercise is another thing you can control.  When I discovered that exercising rapidly increased the amount of weight I lost, I started to exercise quite frequently.  I am glad I started the habit of regularly exercising, but my mind set when I started was not a healthy one.  Exercise should be something you enjoy.

My first Bolder Boulder.  Yes, it was early.  

My injuries this year added an enormous amount of stress to my life, and as a result, I have slipped a little back into my habit of trying to tightly control what I eat.  I have lost my control over exercise, so food is the only thing I have left to control.  I know I have slipped a little into my old thinking, but the fact that I am cognizant of this pattern makes it different than when I had disorder.  I don’t think that restrictive eating is “healthy” any more and recognize that when I start to have those thoughts, it’s time to adjust my thought process.  I also can recall exactly what it feels like when I don’t eat enough, and I never want to feel like that again.

My body is trying to heal and I need to give it all the fuel it needs to do that.  Now is not the time for me to be over-thinking my food choices, when there are more pressing issues at hand.  Remembering that food should be a friend is better than treating it as a necessary evil.

An Open Letter to the Athletic Chef

Dear Athletic Chef:

I am a recent culinary school graduate and am working at my internship right now.  Although it has been an enjoyable experience so far, I have one question for you.  How is it that you manage to be an athlete and a chef?

I used to run 5 days a week and I used to run for hour or longer runs when I did.  I’ve trained for a few distance races and really enjoyed training for them.  Now, I feel like I can never train for one again.  I tried to maintain my fitness level while I was in school, but it just didn’t happen.  I had super early classes and I was working full time.  I had homework to do and a 35 minute commute to school and a 45 minute commute back.  Now, I am on my internship and I am on my feet for 9 or more hours a day, often times standing in one place prepping food.

Horsetooth Half Marathon, 2011

My knees are killing me, but then again, I’ve always had bum knees.  My quads are so tight that I can’t squat without uttering a groan that sounds like I’m 80 years old.  My calves have been in pain since day one of my internship and after rolling out pizza dough for 2 hours straight, my arms felt like they were going to fall off.  My whole body aches when I get home from work sometimes.  I’m just plain exhausted!

I know I signed up for this lifestyle voluntarily and that it is a physically demanding job.  I also know that the culinary world is not forgiving and often times I will work long hours and not be able to do everything I’d like to outside of work.  But, can’t I keep my running?  It’s the only thing that keep me sane.  I had a bad day at work on Friday, working my first shift on the line.  The only thing that made me feel better was going for a hard, hot run the next morning.  I paid for it later at work when my feet were screaming at me, but I didn’t care.

Super cool compression socks

Isn’t it possible to remain reasonably fit and still work in the food service industry?  Tell me your secrets, please, because I am very frustrated and a little disheartened.  Last year at this time, I was recovering from running my second marathon.  Now, I get sore when I run 6 miles.  I’ve been doing some yoga, which is a nice change of pace from the frantic energy of a kitchen.  I bought some compression socks that seem to help the soreness in my lower legs and I wear padding around my bunions so my toes won’t ache as bad.  Surely, there must be some way to incorporate running into my life.  Thanks for listening to my ramble.

Sincerely,

Sarah

Running Playlist

50 degrees.  Not a cloud in the sky.  Light breeze.  Favorite music.  There is really nothing better than pounding the pavement with my shoes.  Here’s what I listened to this morning:

Telescope Eyes: Eisley.  I haven’t listened to this in a while and forgot how much I liked it.

Stop This Train: John Mayer.  I know he’s a giant tool, but this was pre-tool/ass hole stage.

Chiddy Bang: Opposite of Adults.  One of my absolute favorite songs to run to.  Fast and up beat.

Lights: Ellie Goulding.  Helps me keep a pace.

Florence and the Machine: Dog Days.Run fast for your mother, run fast for your father/ run fast for your children, for your sisters and brothers.”

Talk that Talk: Rhianna & Jay-Z.  “We’re heading to the top, if you’re comin’ come on.”

Closer to Fine: Indigo Girls.  I’ve seen them twice in concert.  And I’m going again this summer.  “Darkness has a hunger that’s insatiable.”

Crossroads: Cream, x2.  Who doesn’t like Eric Clapton, especially when he’s singing a Robert Johnson song?

Stereo Hearts: Gym Class Heros & Adam Levine.  Cute song, and this was the song playing as I pulled into the parking lot on my first day at Johnson & Wales.

And one final song that I didn’t listen to while running, but when I got back.  Dedicated to an old friend of mine who left the world way too early.  It was his birthday on May 4th.  May the 4th be with you!  ha ha

Yoga.

I can do maybe two of these poses.

Source

I took up running in college for a number of reasons.  My mom is an incredible runner and I had watched her finish many, many races growing up.  She was (and still is) incredibly fit and is in better shape than I am.  I wanted to do what she did.  Boulder is also a running town.  No matter where you are in this town, chances are, you’ll be passed by a runner or watch someone running down the sidewalk.  I so wanted to be a part of that elite running group of people in Boulder.  All of my room mates worked out and I didn’t.  I had recently lost 20 pounds on Weight Watchers, but exercise still wasn’t something that was part of my routine.  So, I started running.  I was completely motivated by shallow reasons when I started, but I quickly realized that running was also fun for me.  I liked pushing myself to go longer, faster.  I didn’t have to compete with anyone except myself and I didn’t have to rely on others, like in a team sport, for a great outcome.

For years, all I did was run.  Sure, I would go hiking or walking with friends, but my primary exercise was always running.  Run, run, run until I started injuring myself.  Even then, I still ran.  I learned to run through knee and Iliotibial band pain.  I damn near ran my knee to the ground before my physical therapist stated mentioning things about cross training.  It had never occurred to me to do something other than run, to get better at running.  I like the heart pounding, sweaty, hot mess that running left me.  I wanted to work hard.  Nothing seemed as intense to me as running, except for weight lifting.  Even when I tried lifting weights, I still didn’t think I was pushing myself hard enough.

So, why I have I been doing all this yoga recently?  It would appear that yoga is the exact opposite of running and therefore I would hate it.  That was true at one point, until last summer when I hurt my IT band so badly during marathon training that I needed to take a break from running.  I was forced to take it easy and since my muscles were so tight, yoga seemed like an appropriate thing to do.  I have also been plauged my entire life with self imposed extreme stress and anxiety.  I was hope that yoga could help me find the inner peace I craved so badly.  I joined the boyfriend’s gym, purely to start taking yoga classes.  It was much cheaper to take them there than at an actual studio.

I started going on a pretty regular basis to yoga and opened up my mind more to it being something I could enjoy.  I discovered that it wasn’t yoga itself that was the problem, it was the environment that I didn’t like.  I used to take hot yoga with my room mates in college and I always left feeling shaky, light headed and dehydrated.  It sometimes took me the whole day to recover from those classes.  But, my gym classes weren’t heated and I was only sweating due to my own physical exertion.  I liked that much better.  I found a teacher’s style who I really liked and started going to her classes.  I was actually enjoying myself in yoga!  But, then school started and my hand became injured, and yoga slipped to the way side.

I’ve finally returned to yoga, simply because it calms my mind and it’s challenging in ways that running isn’t.  My hand’s failure to heal and work properly really has me down, but when I do yoga, I forget about being hurt.  Yesterday, I took another one of Lululemon’s 9:29 yoga classes and it was absolutely one of the best classes I have taken.  I was sore from my run the day before, but my commitment to yoga has been unwavering as of late.  I will not skip class.  I felt free and alive as I went through the sequences in class.  I was also working incredibly hard; there was sweat forming on my forehead.  Right in the middle of a warrior stance, my arms out at my sides, but bend at a 90 degree angle.  “Let something go,” the teacher said.  I exhaled and gazed up at the ceiling and suddenly there it was.  I let go my anxiety about my hand, my job, my financial situation, everything that really isn’t worth worrying about and I finally understood what inner peace meant.  I felt radiant; there was energy flowing all throughout my body, like electrical currents coursing through it.

This is why I will continue to do yoga.  To capture that ever elusive inner peace.  And maybe actually be able to do Crow pose one day.

Day off.

Today was a glorious day off.  I spent most of it by myself, which was actually quite enjoyable.  I ran along the Flatirons and took in all the Autumn colors.

Flatirons, how I love this view!

Perfect length of run

 

It's still 75 during the day here, as evidence by my face. Cool down already, Boulder!

I learned all about how to store and receive food, which was super thrilling.  If there was a way to type sarcasm, that sentence would have been loaded with it.  My online sanitation class is a huge time suck.  I made some lunch and then took a trip to the grocery store.

Wardrobe malfunction? I just wanted to be barefoot! Boulderite indeed!

Cooked some chicken, quinoa and green olive stew!  Straight from my newest Sunset magazine.  I didn’t feel like splurging on ancho chile powder, so I just used cayenne.  I also used a rotissery chicken instead of cooking my own and used water instead of broth.  Turned out well!  I loved the salty olives in the stew; I would have never thought to put them in there!  The orange zest added a nice subtle flavor as well.  The boyfriend enjoyed it as well, so it’s a keeper!

 

If you can find the beer to go with it, I bet it would be wonderful.  I couldn’t and instead got some gewurztraminer, my new favorite white wine.  Ever since I tasted this in class, I have been obsessed with it.  It’s a drier white wine and has a long, peppery finish.  It has a complexity of flavor unlike any other white wine I’ve tried.

 

The boyfriend and I are relaxing now and I’m thinking about getting ready for bed.  Early day tomorrow!  Second day of Storeroom and Product Identification.  Another non-cooking class; I haven’t used my knife kit in almost a month.  It’s all important though.

 

Slick new sunglasses

 

I hope you had a relaxing day too!  Be well and happy eating!