Sunday, September 21, 2008

An Update

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.

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Not Forgotten

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!!

Monday, April 7, 2008

What’s a girl to do?

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.


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!!!

Sunday, April 6, 2008

Duck it!

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!

Sunday, March 16, 2008

Check it!

So we did it. Our first run, 3 kilometres around Raánana park with the entire population of the city and neighbouring towns as our running buddies and at time hindrances. There is something about running in a Fun Run that is just not fun. I am not sure whether it was the children that I kept tripping over or their parents who insisted on walking in the middle of the track that annoyed me more… “Walkers stick to the left!! Let me run in the fast lane!”

Seriously though it was an experience, especially for someone whose past experiences of Fun Runs had been walking at the back of the pack and whose current experience of running had been more of the one on one variety. So after a while I got used to swatting children out of my way and began to see the fun in the run.

The t-shirts were a big hit. On the way to the run I suddenly realised that the run was in Israel and that perhaps an English t-shirt might not get the reaction that we were hoping for, but then we realised that being in Raánana there were no shortage of Anglos to find the humour in our dress. And sure enough before we reached the crowd heading to the finish line we had people walking by, turning their heads to find out why they should quit checking out our asses. High five! It worked.

Even two days later, Dalya and I began our run with meeting a lady running while pushing her baby in a sporty push chair who saw us coming towards her in the distance and said, “I have a picture taken of me at the run with you girls… Great T-shirts!” Hopefully the message got across.

Anyway, back to the 3k run, we did it! We crossed the finish line together, grinning from ear to ear and ready to do our ready prepared victory dance for our supporters, but in the craziness we lost our fan club and instead we queued up to get water… Yes Israel is slightly less organised on the re-hydration front that I had expected from watching the end of the London Marathon, but on the up side it was only a five minute walk home so we could afford to wait a little for aqua.

So for all those out there who did not think we would get this far. Yes we did. For those of you who doubt if we will go any further, we are running 5k in Bet Shemesh on April 4th. And if you still don’t believe it, well get off your asses and come see for yourself! Seriously… quit checking mine out and check out YOURS! Run people run!

Sunday, March 9, 2008

Going for Gold

The heat is on… Friday is race day. Now I know that I had previously said that we were going to ignore the fact that we were no-where-near ready and embark on a kamikaze mission to complete the 10km run, but after much thought and the realisation that there was a 3km run going on at the same time, we decided to lower our expectations and stick to what we could achieve.

So this Friday morning we are running the 3km run in Ra’anana. I still have no idea what time it is at, nor have we signed up for it yet, but we shall be running it even if I have to pull one of my Miss Personality acts, just turning up on the day and winning them over with my smile. The T-shirts have also yet to be made, however today is the day that we are finalizing the front logo. So if you have any more great ideas let me know NOW!

In the meantime we have finished the beginners 2 mile run and we have begun the 5km Training Schedule. It is the shortest program, as there really is little difference between 2 miles and 5km, and they expect that 5km will be the standard run that we do for the future. All this seems perfectly logical and nothing I can really argue with, that is until I get out on the road and then I have my doubts.

As we measured out the run in my car, we soon realised that the extra kilometres to our run were not simply an additional short stretch of road. No, the extra kilometres amounted to, after running the whole way around the park, completing another half of the route. One and a half times around Ra’anana Park is approximately 3 miles (4.8km). Including the walk back to the beginning of the park and the walk from my parents’ house to the park and back again the total distance is 5.2 miles (8.5km).

To be honest, none of the walking distance was in my mind when we began the run. All that was in my mind was getting to the half way point of the bridge which would make the end of the run. And yet by the time we reached the bridge the first time around my legs felt numb, my calves were stiff and my breathing was heavy. Time to push through the pain barrier; block out the voice saying, “How the hell am I going to do a full lap of the park now!” and just chant the words, “I can, I will.” I can, I will… it is also very good for steadying my breathing.

The shocking thing is we did! We even managed to pick up the pace somewhat towards the end (Dalya outdid me by sprinting to her finish… I just about ran). We had decided to time the run, as it was the hardest run we did so far and would ultimately become our standard run, so we wanted to know our time so we can improve on it. Now understanding that this was our first time… 40 minutes. 3 miles (4.8km) in 40 minutes! Now ok I know professionals get through 3 miles in around 15 minutes, but I thought for a first attempt this was a pretty solid time. I remembered my mentor once saying to me that 5k is approximately 30 minutes of running at an average pace. So we are not that far away from the average. Yes I am pretty proud of that right now.

The funny thing that has happened is that I am really looking forward to my runs. I never thought I would reach the point where I enjoyed running, and yet here I am looking forward to my next run and wondering if I can better time. I am no longer nervous about running in public. I am no longer concerned about completing the 3km race. I am more focussed on the next race… the 5km race we will be running at the beginning of next month.

Sunday, February 24, 2008

Got Enema?

Time has flown by so quickly and I cannot believe that it is now a month since I last wrote. I am ashamed to say a month… I mean I made a promise that I would do this; do all of it including document the entire process and how can I do that when I am missing out entire months of details? Truth be told, I have lost a little of the momentum and to go out running, immediately come home and write about it is just an addition chore I don’t exactly loath, but would rather avoid most evenings.

It is truly a shame as most of the time while I am running my head is filled with witty anecdotes and musings that I would like to write about the life of a runner, but then I get home worn out, limp into a shower and allow the hot water to steam the thoughts out of my head and I walk zombie like to my bed and collapse.

I would like to emphasise at this point that although I may collapse into bed, it is a satisfied fall. We are now running distances instead of time and although it is hard and I am still plagued with doubt that we can actually do this, after running 2 miles yesterday with a 5 minute break in the middle. I have to say that I certainly have it in me. Whether I can step up to the plate on the day is another matter.

Since I last wrote we have also decided to partake in our first race. A 10k run in Ra’anana on March 14th, 2008. Now I know that we are no way near ready to run a full 10k, maybe 5k at a stretch, but the idea is that we run as much as we can, walk the rest and ultimately get the ball rolling. I would like to stress to all those out there who are planning on coming to see us, we are not running to prove that we can do it, we know we can’t, we are doing it purely to spread awareness of Colon Cancer… ergo I am hunting for inspiration for CCA (Colon Cancer Awareness) T-shirts. I have seen little out there currently that is suitable, so I figured I would call on our supporters to come up with an appropriate slogan, but other than “Got Enema?” we have got very few suggestions back… I guess people are more sensitive about their bottoms than I thought.

Dad: I don’t want to see anything too rude
ME: So no a*$#hole?
Dad: No
ME: What about “How’s your Anus?”
Dad: No
ME: What about “Got the Runs?”
Dad: Am I expected to wear a T-shirt?
ME: Yes
Dad: No

Please HELP! Post your suggestions below... please!

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Smack That

It would seem that this flu thing going around is hitting everyone twice and not to be one to be left out, I have once again spent the beginning of this week back in bed with a temperature and a runny nose. I have to say that the last couple of days have truly opened my eyes to what it must be to live ones life as a narcoleptic.

However, moving on and feeling once again my perky self I headed back to the gym to carry on with the training. Although after so much time off I was not really sure where to start. Should I go back to where I started from after my first relapse or should I just continue on as form. Right or wrong I decided to just push on and somewhere in the second half of my workout I felt a strange sensation surging up from my stomach and wondered to myself if it was just the need to pass gas.

Ok now… I know this may not be the most ladylike conversation, but truth be told exercise loosens the muscles and if done well, all the muscles. Not one person out there cannot admit to letting one rip in the middle of a yoga class, especially a yoga class! It is pretty much just part of nature.

When running outside one gives little thought to breaking wind as you are breaking a sweat, but when inside surrounded by people this simple bodily function becomes a whole other saga.

I weighed up my options. I looked to my left and there were two women running side by side and chatting, clearly friends. To my left was a personal trainer giving a first timer a hard going over on the treadmill. I decided that perhaps now might not be the most discreet of times to let out a silent yet deadly. And then I realised that that was not half the problem.

The funny feeling in my stomach was not a build up of gas… I needed to throw up.

I had two minutes left on my run and while quickly looking around for any sign of a bucket nearby I played battle of the wills with my body and my own bloody mindedness. Hell no! I only had one and a half minutes now left and if finishing that meant having to run to the bathroom to vomit afterwards then that was just the price I was going to have to pay. I told my body that I was sorry that I had pushed it too hard the first day back, and reasoned with it that it was for its own good.

Now I understand that this may all seem that the ramblings of a crazy person and lets face it, where is the sanity in deciding to run a marathon… hello that is 42 kilometres! Nevertheless I promised that this would be a no holes barred blog and I think I am covering every orifice in this particular blog… ok that was a joke.

So I finished my run and yes I am feeling pretty damn good about myself. Well I have felt so bad about not running that I have decided that I am no longer going to dread my runs because of how far back I have slid and I am going to attack every run with the tenacity and drive that I approached my first run… I am going to do this coz I sure as hell cannot fail! Smack that!

Sunday, January 20, 2008

Week (what week are we on?) The Results

Weight: 94.3 kilos

So I ran 3 times last week and lost 0.2 kilos. On average it is pretty average. Not too happy with myself and feeling sick again, so I am having a sulk. Ok well at least the scales went down. Some small consilation at the moment...

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

We’re Back!

It has been a long month. A whole month of dealing with a sprained ankle and bronchitis and after a whole month of being too depressed to write anything I am back… and yes I am still running.

Last time I wrote I left you with a bruised and swollen ankle and although I could not run I was sure that it would only be a week and I would be back on the schedule. A week later I realised that there was more to it and went for x-rays to find that my ankle was in fact badly sprained. The doctor told me that it was a repeat injury from the sprain I had the year before and that the running had most likely triggered it. What does that mean for someone training for a marathon? Well it means that I needed to give it time to heal and then wear an air-brace every time I run in the future.

The idea of having to rest it was both a worry and a relief at the same time. I was relieved that I was not just overreacting and that I was going to have a set period of time where I could rest, recuperate and finally sort this problem out. Yet I was so worried that this would never a hundred percent be sorted out and that perhaps running was not the best idea full stop. Perhaps I should train to swim the English Channel instead…

Initially I was determined to keep my fitness level up and so headed back to the gym to do light cardio on the elliptical and lift weights, but within a week I had fallen sick to the winter cold and I had no energy to even get out of bed. The cold spread to my chest and so just walking up the stairs left me wheezing and catching my breath. I was beginning to feel like a walking, or better a limping ailment and I hated the feeling of self-pity that surrounded me.

On the up side I was still losing weight, but could feel that this was muscle rather than fat loss and I was dreading how my legs would feel the moment I started running again. I realised at this point that it is one thing to decide that you want to start running, to set targets and goals and go into it with such excitement and enthusiasm, and then there is restarting something when you were not even half way through.

This is why I could not write about it, because the only thought that was coming out of my head was, “We would have been doing the final practice run now”. And it is not as if we were staying where we were and could carry on as if nothing happened. For every week we missed we had to go a week back. It reached a point where I was so full of self pity that I thought we would just have to start over from scratch.

And then a cliché came to mind… When you fall you pick yourself up and start again. So what if we would have to start from the beginning and build ourselves up again! At least this time around we would be more prepared and perhaps we would progress quicker. It would be hard and would possibly take more determination than before, but if we were up for the challenge in the first place then we certainly were up for the challenge now.

So this week we weighed in and restarted our runs. I was not deterred too much that I had returned to 94.5 kilos. I was at that weight for so many weeks I guess my body is used to it. We thought we would see how we went and surprised ourselves by being able to do the 5 minute run/walk, so instead of being at the beginning of the 2 mile training program we were in fact half way through. That is not so bad… 4 weeks away from doing the full 2 mile run.

It has been a long month and I am so glad to put it all behind me.

And looking to the future, last week was the Tiberius marathon and my mentor ran the race in 3:19. Other than being unbelievably impressed and proud of her, I am re-inspired. Tiberius 2009… the FIRST marathon we plan on running. I hope to see you all there cheering us on!