Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Running bug & my back (no weight today)

I ran 14 miles last week, during a total of 4 runs.  3 during the week and my 10k race on Saturday.
I should say I "wogged" (walk+jog) 14 miles, because I'm nowhere near a running pace.  But it's easier to just say run and it helps me mentally to think of myself as a runner, since that is what I am, even though my pace per mile isn't there.  Yet.
Last week gave me the running bug again.  I loved how I felt after every run.  I had so much energy after the 10k Saturday (thank you endorphins), that when I got home I cut the grass* for an hour and spent another hour trimming tree limbs.  Yes, by 11 a.m. I was done like a turkey on Thanksgiving.  But I felt great afterwards.  My quads burned Sunday and yesterday; they are almost back to normal today.

Yesterday I took the afternoon off because we went out to dinner to celebrate Mark's CFP success (that's the reason for no weight...I know am carrying water retention from eating out, and I'm not going to weigh for a few days).

This morning after the kids left for school, I put on my running duds and hit the pavement.  I had some trouble breathing, even though I used my inhaler.  I think it may be the muggier air today (hotter temps today).  I didn't have any breathing problems Saturday, and my pace Saturday was 12:50 min/mile and today it was 13:30 min/mile, so it wasn't my speed or exertion.

Other than the breathing, though, I felt great.  I love running.  Love how I feel afterwards.  Love that it is ME time.  Love that I can feel myself getting stronger with every run.

That leads me to the "my back" part of this post.  In Sept of 2007 I went to visit my BFF in Arkansas.  We went to a spa for a massage, and the massage therapist said I had the loosest upper back she'd worked on in a very long time.  Very few knots.  I was shocked.  I carry all my stress in my upper back/between my shoulders.  I joked with her that we need to make sure that didn't get back to my husband/boss, because he'll think I'm not working hard enough.

Now that I've had the recent upper back issues again--which are 100% better since I installed a keyboard tray and got a new office chair--I realize that my loose upper back had little to do with stress.  It had everything to do with running.

When I run, my upper back muscles get a lot of work.  So do my shoulders and biceps.  My upper back muscles show up quickly because I lose weight first in my upper body.  I am starting to see them already as the fat is making way for visible muscle underneath my skin.

When I stretch my chest muscles regularly (which I've been laxed on the past week, and I can tell a difference is how much poorer my posture is when I don't stretch) by lying on a rolled towel down the length of my upper spine, my back and my posture are even better. 

Running rewards me in so many ways.  I just needed to get this body in motion and keep it in motion, and now the running bug can stick around for good.

*We have had our lawn mowed by someone else for years and years.  Mark can't cut it because of his serious allergic reactions to getting overheated (and to the grass).  I refused to cut it for years because I have so many other responsibilites, I didn't feel like I should have to take that one on, too.  It's a man's job, afterall, right? :) 

Anyway, our lawn guy that we've had forever broke his leg in the spring and had to quit his business.  I hired the young man who sold us the Scott's lawn treatments this year, since he'd mentioned he cut grass on the side.  I paid him the same amount we paid our lawn guy, and the kid does half the work.  He was doing a really poor job of it, and I finally just got tired of spending the money on half assed work. I figured I could do half assed work for free.  So I bought a push mower for $125 at Walmart.  My mom set it up for me (she is invaluable to me, truly).  And I cut the grass for the first time in probably 10 years on Saturday. 

This may sound silly, but I loved the sense of accomplishment afterwards.  Now, granted, it was only in the upper 60s and overcast, so I wasn't dealing with the heat.  I'm sure next summer I'll be bitchin' a plenty when I'm out there. 

The bonus here is also that I don't want our kids getting a sense of entitlement.  They already have that in so many ways.  We are a convenience family.  My husband doesn't know how to do anything handy man wise; his dad died when Mark was 8, and his step dad was a verbally abusive alcoholic who never spent any time with Mark.  So I don't blame him; it is just a fact.  So we have to pay people to do everything for us. 

I started having a girl clean the house this summer once every 3 or 4 weeks (yes, it's glorious; yes, it's a total splurge; yes, it's worth every penny).  When Sophie told me "I don't need to clean my room, mom.  Courtney will do it the next time she comes," I knew I was in trouble.  I put a stop to that attitude right away; Courtney no longer picks up their rooms, the kids do before she comes to clean (with no picking up--just deep cleaning). 

I figured the lawn was of the same caliber.  Our kids need to see someone in the family cutting the grass, or they'll never know that's something you DO and not pay someone else to do.  When they are old enough, they will do it (allergies permitting). 

I don't want them coming to a rude awakening someday, that life requires a lot of work.  They are going to learn that as young people.  It's my job (and my husband's) to teach them.


Jill said...

Good job on the running! It's like you have reconnected with an old friend. :)

And you know what? I love to mow. Granted, we have a riding lawn mower, but I get into a kind of zen state when I'm mowing - other than dodging the occasional limb, I zone out. It's nice! :) And think of all the calories you are burning while you are pushing the mower! Double duty exercise right there.

Vickie said...

you are smart not to get on the scale. I think about 4 days of very dependable food and a lot of water to flush.

Julie said...

Good call on
a. having help in the house
b. being smart about what the children see/learn

I too had help in the house when the children were young. We had our own business and I worked one and a half jobs outside that. Yes, it was crazy and no we are not rich as we managed many things, including our finances, very poorly then. Fortunately we have learned a lot since those days! Like you Laura I was aware of what the girls might learn from having someone clean so their rooms were off limits to the cleaner. They were responsible for them themselves (they were older than your two are obviously). I needed help but didn't want to raise children who didn't know how to/ didn't think they should clean up after themselves. And yes it truly was worth every penny to come home once a week to a spotless house. It was the highlight of my week ;-)