Almost 4 years later…

18 Feb

Over time I may have forgotten my password and login details, but I never forgot this blog. 

 
Four years on and the challenge is still on. The battle not yet won. The marathon still keeps on going. I’m figuring out what this means to me now and how I want to explain it all. Perhaps I will leave the excuses somewhere else and just try and start afresh. A normal girl, maybe like you, setting herself a goal and through the years still trying to make it happen.
 
The story continues…

Inner Strength

10 May

So tomorrow came and went, I apologise, and I ended up going to hospital with excruciating pains up and down my left leg that only seemed to get worse on a daily basis. After finding out that I had Lactic Acid on my muscle caused by not walking let alone running for some time before I stupidly decided to run up that hill, I broke down a wept for what felt like forever.

What is wrong with me? I should just quit. I am a failure. I am pathetic. I have let myself down and embarrassed myself in front of the world. I was ready to delete this blog and just pretend the whole thing had never happened. But then I would be a quitter.

The truth is I did this to myself. It is what I always do. I push too hard knowing in the back of my mind it will be my downfall and then I beat myself up about it for weeks after. My eagerness to actually reach my goal is stopping me from getting there and although I have only myself to blame, it is blaming myself all the time that seems to keep getting me in this position.

So what now? Now, as a wise man said, I have to walk before I can run. I go back to the drawing board. I walk walk walk and maybe after another ten kilos have been shed I will be able to run again. And when I do I will take it slow. I will start from the beginning, because as I said from the beginning of this blog, It is a marathon not a sprint.

Do I feel down? Of course I do. But this is real I guess. For those people who are still reading this tragic blog, it is the reality of a hard situation. Not everyone can simply wake up one morning, decide to run a marathon and then six months later cross the finish line and move onto the next challenge. For some of us it takes much much longer and involves a lot more inner strength to keep going.

And what gives me strength? Well the fact that since I began writing this blog a handful of people I know have started running and have either run or will be running a marathon next year. And for that I am proud. And I hope that one day, sooner that imagine I will be running again too!

Getting up that hill

19 Apr
So it has really been 7 months since I plucked up the courage to even look at this blog, never mind contribute anything towards it. Despite the fact that in the last 7 months (ok the last 3 months have been a total bust due to personal issues) I have been working my little butt off to shrink my butt further, I have still been so ashamed of the fact that I have not been running. The Marathon that we had been planning to run came and went and my admiration for my brother-in-law who completed it in 3.45 hours was marred by my self loathing for not being there running by his side… ok running far behind him, but still running!

And then there have been the awkward meetings. The bumping into people I met a year ago whose first question is, “So how is the running going?” to which my response is an er… erm… er… followed by a red blushed shamefaced face and then the line which sounds more and more false the more I say it, “I was having problems with my knees so I have put running on hold until I get to the right weight for my frame so that I do not damage my knees further.” Oh the shame. I mean seriously who buys that shit! I am the one having problems with my knees and even I don’t believe it. Seriously girl if you want to quit then quit!

The problem is that; call it stubbornness, call it tenacity, I just do not want to quit. I want to run that race. I want to cross the finish line and feel that feeling I felt when I finished the 3k and the 5k runs… Yes relief, but also a serious sense of pride. I did it! I can do it! And as you are all my witnesses, I will do it!

Today I decided to put all my urges to stay in and swaddle myself in my duvet to the side and go for a morning workout. My workouts nowadays consist of one hour speed walking, followed by squats, lunges and weights (on alternate days). As this was the first day I have done any exercise in a while I decided to stick to the walk with my wrist weights and at 6.30am I was out of the house, pounding the pavement. I could definitely feel in my legs the difference between this morning’s workout and the last time I worked out. My thighs were aching, but I was enjoying the pain, like the first stretch in the morning… it feels good!

Three quarters of the way around and I began my walk up the hill towards the last stretch home. I could run that. I mean not sprint it or anything, but I could jog up that hill. But what about my knees? Well they have had a good old rest. I could just test them out a little. See what their reaction is. So I jogged up that hill and you know what? Yes I felt tired and breathless afterwards, but for the first time in a year I felt that feeling that I felt when I crossed the finish line. I felt proud of myself.

I’ll tell you how my knees are feeling tomorrow… I am back in the game!

An Update

22 Sep

Just so that you don’t think that I have simply quit and have given up on the Marathon goal, I wanted to write a little something to set the record straight.

After a couple of months off training due to travels I began running again to find that my knees were aching. I was so upset and disappointed, but was relieved to find that there was no serious damage done. My knees are fine… just giving me a little warning shot. And so under the advice of one of my mentors in this process I have decided to put the running on hold. I am still training, getting my fitness levels up, losing as much weight as I can, so that when I get down to 70kg I can sprint the length of the Yarkon river and start back on the Marathon training.

Yes I was pretty bummed when I watched the 10K runners getting themselves prepped for the Nike Race for Life. I was so bummed that I left my apartment that faced the starting line and drove in the opposite direction, out of Tel Aviv to my boyfriends so that I would not have to watch it. Every runner I see as I speed walk through the park meets my gaze of both admiration and envy. I want to be running. But I know that the permanent damage I will do to myself is not worth it, so I am doing as I am told, following my plan and hoping that all will go accordingly and by February 1st, 2009 I will be running again.

In the meantime one of my mentors has been accepted to be a part of the Half Marathon Team in the upcoming Jewish Olympics, better known as the Maccabia Games. I may not be running along side her, even if I could she is USA and I am UK/ IL, but I will for sure be there cheering her on and soaking up as much inspiration as possible.

No dream is too far out of reach. I’ll keep you posted.

Not Forgotten

22 May

It has been brought to my attention that my ramblings may be missed out there in the blogosphere. Very sweet, so I just wanted to drop you a quick note as that is all I can currently afford to say. No I have not forgotten to write, yes there is so much going on… too much going on to find time to write about, yes I will write again…

In summary:

I am moving out of my apartment in 9 days
I am going for a month to the states in 18 days
I am running a 10k run in 100 days (but 31 of those training days will be in the States)

In conclusion:

Life is pretty hectic right now, but I’ll be back!!

What’s a girl to do?

7 Apr

Before the 5k run I had somewhat of a breakdown. “Another one?” you may say, and I guess that would be fair enough… anyway moving on, I broke down, filled with doubt, filled with self-loathing and for the first time I felt like slapping myself around the face a few times before wrapping myself in bubble wrap and giving up. But I did not want to give up, so instead I took to verbally abusing myself, drill sergeant style. Yes Sir!

Some said I was being too hard on myself, and yes I guess it would have appeared to be so, but I could not shake the feeling in my head that if I truly was being ‘so hard on myself’ that I would look anorexic by now and would be running 5k no problem… or perhaps collapsing 1k into the 5k run because I am anorexic… I could ponder this matter for hours. However, as it stands I have been training for 4 months now (not including stoppage time due to injuries) and lost a total of 5 kilos on a good day and 3 kilos on a bloated day.

I wish I could say that I see a drastic difference in my body, but although I definitely feel a difference in my legs and arms, my middle section seems as big as ever and my jeans sit the same… In fact as my legs and arms have shrunk I feel like I am beginning to look not too dissimilar from Violet Beauregarde when she turns into a blueberry. And with how bloated I have been feeling lately a good juicing might actually do me good! Ok perhaps more like an Umpa Lumpa then!

You may think me vain, but this is not vanity talking. This is a need to be able to get up that hill without my legs cursing me with every step because I am carrying to heavy a load on top of them. At the beginning I kept telling myself, “The more you persist, the more weight you will lose and the easier it will become.” But 4 months on it I see little change in ease or weight. Am I really being too hard on myself?

After breaking down to my sister we discovered 2 things.

  1. We do not stretch enough
  2. 30 to 40 minutes of running 5 times a week may not be enough

Bearing this in mind we approached our next run with a serious stretching session beforehand. Fifteen minutes of stretching followed by ten minutes walking and then a little final stretch before running, and the result? The result was a big improvement! And I finished the run with far more energy than I had prior to the 3k run. Success!

But a week on and the weight has stayed exactly the same.

(sigh)

So what am I to do? Maybe just running is not enough. I guess if I really want to change my life I have to see this all for what it is… A life change. So what if I spend more of my life in my trainers than in heals! I haven’t really worn heals for years anyway. So what if I see my trainer and running buddies more than my friends. I can get new friends! Or my current friends can jump on the train and join me! Either way I cannot cope with another 4 months of the same. We have 9 months until we aim to run the full marathon and there is no way I am going to be the same weight now for that! “Hello Heart Attack!!!!”

In order to get my head around my new time schedule I wrote a list of things I have to do every week and how often I need to do them in order to be working towards my goal.

To Do

  1. Sit ups every morning (as many as you can building up weekly)
  2. Scheduled Run (5 times a week)
  3. Personal Training Session including weight training (Once a week – I have 6 sessions left)
  4. Yoga – (Once a week – for spiritual relaxation, stretching and toning the body)
  5. Contact Nutrition friend for an emergency powwow and solve this mystery
  6. Contact Mentor and see if maybe I am ready to trail behind her running
  7. Find the joy in running again!! Might require fixing Ipod.

So far I have done sit ups every other morning (since Sunday), and contacted my Nutritionist friend and Mentor, but have as yet to book a day to run together… So much to do!!!

Duck it!

6 Apr

For real! So in all the time that we trained up for the second leg of our marathon program, and ran the 5k, I never wrote one blog? Can that be so? I feel like every time I run I have been writing blogs along the way, but it would appear that my brain sadly is not a Blackberry and telepathy blogging has not come into existence yet, so really non of you have been hearing what has been going on in my little head during this big adventure.

Not necessarily a bad thing, because as some would say, I have been a big whinger throughout most of it. Not the whole of it… No after the 3k run I was full of enthusiasm and all pumped up ready to battle the next 2 to make 5k. However within a week I found that I simply could not do it.

At first I thought I was just having a bad day, but when that day went on for a week I realised something was not right. I kept reaching the first 1.5k and feeling ready to collapse. Determined I would keep going until I felt ready to throw up, then walk it out for a minute or so and then run the rest trying either to let the vomit just do its thing and come out, or hold it in as I tried to focus on the finish line.

More importantly I tried to block out the, “I cannot do this” thought that was going through my head every time I ran. It is funny somehow that the more you try to block it out, the louder it is. I felt like I was a child battling against an older self, cowering in the corner screaming back, “But I want to!!” but the scream was more of a whimper and I just could not stand up to myself.

This is where I thank the lord every day that I have my sister by my side watching my every run and knowing the point to say, “Ok Channah what is going on? Lets fix this already. You are not stretching enough… We are going to add more stretching to our workouts.”

And like the Good which of the North Glinda she waved her magic wand (made me do 15 minutes solid stretching) and suddenly I could run again! Ok I was not going to make such a fool out of myself on the 5k run!!

And if you check out the pictures below you will see we did. Ok so I had to walk part of the way up hill (note to oneself, must learn to run uphill) but I did not care. I was proud of us for doing it! And in any case… there are going to be many more race to come!!

Running to the finish line

All the runners and walkers!!! What stars!