My Summer Adventure

Last week I announced over at the Edmonton Tourist that I am running the Race to Kinvara. You can read about it here.

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It has given me the proper motivation to get my body moving more aggressively than I was before. I just haven’t felt all that keen on running even though I have the Dumbo Double Dare scheduled for September in Disneyland. I just don’t get all that exceeded about Disney Races. For someone who loves Disney and running as much as I do, you’d think it would be a match made in heaven.

Its not.

I get excited about going, I get excited about see my pals, I get excited about the expo. But the race? Meh.

I don’t run fast enough to make it fun. I think that is the large part of it. I don’t have time to stop and meet characters or goof around with pals. I need to go and I cannot slowdown or I get swept.

And I do not need a lecture on increasing my pace. I have knocked 2 minutes per kilometre off since I began running… so just keep those comments to yourself thanks. I am doing the best I can.

Races that are much more forgiving, let me enjoy them for what they are. My favourite race is the Calgary Marathon Weekend. LOVE the atmosphere, the crowd support, the entertainment on the course and you know what? The course itself is pretty. I love the Bow river, I love seeing the Rockies in the distance and I love that it is mostly flat. Not Disney flat. That is FLAT, but Calgary is Prairie/Foothills flat. The perfect flat because running downhill is awesome fun for me.

I know, I know…You can walk a disney race and still finish. Well, maybe YOU can, but not everyone can. I have had 2 sucktastic Disney experiences in a row. I am determined to make my next experience a better one. I loved my first race – the Minnie 10km.

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Crossing the finish line and having Rudy Novotny say hey to me was awesome. This next race has my mental game shaken. Friends have already asked if I am running with them…HELL NO. Go have fun. Enjoy your race. I have to work my ass off to finish and I’d rather do it my own way. Stay focused. Stay Happy and STAY ALONE.

We talked about this before. To me there is nothing I love more than running alone, by myself as in SOLO. It is awesome to hang out before and after with friends but during…get lost. My pal said to me the other day, you don’t know if you like running with people because you have never done it.

Not true.

I have and do run with people for Run Club. I ran today with these awesome people!

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It’s sometimes my job to be a pace leader for the Learn to Run Group. I like it because I set the rules and I think because I am the leader its just different. I like it better when I set the pace and then need to slow down for others. I do not like having to make people slow down for me. I just don’t. I don’t want to talk when I run. I will listen, but don’t expect an answer. A) I am deaf in my left ear and can’t hear you. B) I daydream when I run so talking makes me have to pay attention. BOOOOO that just makes running hard.

When I daydream – or get in the zone – I am aware of cars and the vibration on my wrist for intervals. Thats it. I think about  all kinds of things that I don’t want to share because its about Me sorting out MY thoughts. I love being alone with my thoughts. I don’t get to do that very often. So when I get to…wow…pure bliss.

Anyways…. Ireland.

I have felt then need to up my game because I am on a TEAM. I don’t want to let my team down. Sure it isn’t supposed to be serious. Sure its supposed to be for fun. I still feel the need to be the best I can be. That means I need to run hills, practice pacing, try out clothing and get a feel for what will work.

The best part about the Race to Kinvara is….I get to run alone without my team.

It is a relay. Everyone will be on the bus when I run. I will have been left in the dust by the other teams, so that means I will have the road to Kinvara to myself. I am pretty sure I will weep with joy. Me and my shoes running along the road alone. Honestly? Nothing sounds like a better vacation than that. Apparently I will have a Porter who will drive a scooter to keep an eye on me, hand me water when I need it and basically take care of my needs. Thats as close to being a process as I will ever be and that really appeals to me.

I will do my leg of the run and someone will feel the need to make up for my slow time. Do I care? I did a week ago. I don’t now. This is going to be MY Irish experience. How they choose to experience theirs is up to them.

I did add an element to my training that I had not done before.

I have started wearing my HRM on my training runs. I want to make sure I am running at my best. This is what I learned: I go too fast on my LSD days, but I run within my target for maximum on speed work days. So when I tell someone I am trying my best…I really am.

I have also added my footpod. It gives me my cadence (steps per minute) I am not sure what to do with that information yet. I will keep collecting it and I hope to see it increase by the end of summer.

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I have also started back with My Fitness Pal because I am worried I will gain back what I have lost. I am NEVER GOING DOWN THAT ROAD AGAIN! My jeans are a touch too tight…so its time to become aware again. So far? I have noticed that I was doing okay! I just indulged into many libatious moments over my vacation. But, I always said that I am not on a diet, I am changing my life, but with that, I need to live. Drinks with  friends is part of that. However, now that training has begun in earnest for my Summer Adventure, the beverages need to stop too – the occasional cool one at a BBQ will be fine because I will adjust my intake to accommodate.

So thats it in a nut shell! Aside from my awesome runner’s tan… I am just the same.

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Body Image

Body Shapes Sketch for blogPart of the Mo Project has been about body image. Not losing weight or looking awesome – that is a massive benefit. More importantly loving how I look.

Starting out on this journey I learned pretty quickly that my emotions around body image had a lot to do with what ex-boyfriends and an ex-husband had to say about my flesh.From them,I heard comments about over weight gals sitting on airplanes and taking up more room than they paid for. I have learned about the horrors of seat extender seat belts and I have HAD a fake hug where it was actually and belly squeeze to see how much weight I was hold on to. I have heard stories about men ACTUALLY ‘losing their chubbie’ at the thought of sex with an over weight gal- sorry to be crude but CRIMENY! Why is it that some men can be just so shallow? Why is it the ones who have weight to lose themselves seem to think its okay to to discuss the flab on their gal or worse…the flab on gals who are NOT THEIR GIRL.

We all know that guy. We also know that guy learned that behavior from somewhere.

After my run on Sunday I saw my photo with the medal around my neck and I was shocked. I have not stepped on a scale in over a month, mostly out of fear that I have gained weight but also out of fear that I have not. My mom pointed out to me that my weight is coming off from head to downwards…my ass is massive and that annoys me because I run to tun my ass OFF…so far it doesn’t look like it…but after seeing my photo, I have to say it’s coming off everywhere, just slower than I had hoped.

I read Plus Model Magazine…not for the articles, for the photos and to be inspired. Curvy girls are beautiful. The secret is to wear clothing that makes you feel beautiful and makes you feel sexy. That is a common truth for everyone. If you feel it – then you are it.

I have turned a few heads this year. Something that hasn’t happened in FOR FREAKING EVER because 1) I am older 2) I stopped taking care of myself and 3) clothing was meaningless for a while.

It’s not that I am looking but it certainly feels great when a stranger checks you out! It makes you feel attractive and that is all part of the body image for self.

Hair, makeup, clothing, jewelry and shoes do not have to be expensive, but there has to be thought put into it.

I am sick of fat shaming. Walk a mile in ANYONE’S shoes before you get to do any shaming. Learn to love yourself in spite of comments from others. Eat food that makes your body feel good, when I say feel good – sugar doesn’t do it. Fresh and natural does.

And coffee… but that is just me.

So today when I got up, I did my hair, my makeup and chose my clothes carefully because who am I seeing today? No one…working at home. But it helps me feel great about how I look, which helps me be careful about what I eat.

Love yourself. Those ex’s didn’t make the cut for a reason.

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Body Image

So when was the last time you looked at yourself NAKED in the mirror? Come on, be honest. When I started this journey I detested looking at my self in photos. The mirror was fine but pictures, holy crap…who was THAT fat girl??

I recently went to California, the land of the Malibu Barbie, Movie Stars and all the pretty people. You know what I saw? Pretty people, and regular people. To me a regular person is someone who isn’t rail thin, doesn’t have perfect hair or makeup and is mostly oblivious to the Pretty People around them.  I found it horrifying that teenage girls in California were dressed in heels, minis and caked make up  for a day in Disneyland. Their hair had taken them hours to do before they arrived. They were there to see and be seen. I saw some moms like that too, their hair and make up perfect. Now I am about to make a generalization here, but it is based on my conversation with the pretty people on my vacation. Those women who spent a ton of time on their appearance, couldn’t carry a conversation…with the exception of one person.

I was looking at the Disneyland Hotel grounds when I discovered the Wedding Gazebo. There was a woman inside taking pictures of the flag stone. She was dressed in an Armani Suit – how do I know? I covet that very suit. Her hand bag was M.Kors. She had simple gold cuff earrings and white open neck blouse. Her skirt was cut just above the knee. She was wearing a name badge that implied she was part of the convention crowd. She had an air of Michelle Obama about her. She immediately struck up a conversation with me. We talked about her building project at her home and the various colours of flag stone. We talked about coordinating the stone with the house colour. Then the conversation moved into architecture and artisans. It was the kind of conversation that I would have loved to continued over drinks. We stood there for about 30 mins thoroughly enjoying ourselves. She was one of the most beautiful woman I have ever seen, not in that artificial way. Here strength, and intelligence made her gorgeous and her face and body were only enhancements to the whole package. If I was a man, I would have asked her out. She was put together in a subtle way. After meeting her, I started noticing other women in ways I never paid much attention to before.

It makes me wonder what men really see in women. I know there are tons of men who like the aesthetics of a beautiful woman. They subscribe to internet porn, etc, to visualize their sexual fantasies. But do men really expect women to look like Victoria Secret Models all the time? Is it important to look that good or is being smart and funny enough? I know for me I want to be able to have an intelligent and interesting conversation with someone. Looks are very much on the bottom of the list. I tend to quickly dismiss beauty as something that equates stupidity. Wrong I know, yet I know many of us are guilty of it.

As I flipped through my pictures of my trip, I notice I am thinner – 60lbs thinner. I am 4 clothing sizes smaller. I still have a long way to go, and yet I don’t ever expect to look like a model – for one thing they are in their 20’s. Yeah I was hot in my 20’s although I had crap hair…. I don’t expect at the age of 44 to look like that even in pre-baby state without plastic surgery. As I lose weight, there is a realization that I will need to get skin removed. It just isn’t as elastic as it use to be, again the age thing comes into play. I do think being smart includes being well put together. Great shoes, clothes that fit well, hair done all adds up to confidence. Confidence makes a person beautiful.

So to improve my body image:

  1. I must keep up with the workouts because fitness makes me feel confident.
  2. Check my appearance before I leave the house, because dressing for success makes me feel confident.
  3. I must keep reading about world events and topics that interest me because being able to carry an intelligent conversation keeps me interested in the world around me.

I will never be anything else but the best version of me, and that has to be good enough. But I need to live up to that part of the deal. Being the best version of me takes work, pride and confidence. Everyone deserves to be the best version of them-self.