Friday, May 10, 2013

Project Stimey Update: Discouraged But Optimistic

Would you look at the time? It’s May! How did that happen? Since we are nearing 2013’s halfway mark, I figured that it is time to update you on how I’m doing with Project Stimey.

Unfortunately, the answer here is that I am not sure. I have been running and I haven’t stopped running. I am fitter, I am stronger, I don’t get out of breath when I walk up stairs. My double chin is going away, I worry a lot less that someone will ask me if I’m pregnant, and I have gotten rid of all that troublesome wrist fat that holds my watch in place.

(Seriously. Why do my wrists get thinner but my ass stays chubby?)

I’m also getting faster. Last September, I was running a 14-1/2 minute mile. I’m currently running about a 13-1/4 minute mile. That is a respectable change.

So, I see progress.

But.

But.

I am still discouraged.

Lately running has been really hard for me. I don’t know why it suddenly feels like I’m running through peanut butter on half of my runs, but it does.

I am also tired of being the slowest runner around. I know that I’ve improved, but I also know my pace is even slower than what other runners consider to be reeeealllly slow. I am tired of being the slowest person on the road.

Alex has started running. I started him on Couch to 5K and I am running with him. His endurance is not high, but he runs his running intervals at, like 8-1/2 minute miles. It is incredibly demoralizing.
I know that I’d be faster and running would be easier if I weighed less, but I don’t have my diet under control yet. I have seen some recent movement on the scale, but I hate weighing myself so I don’t focus on that very much. Also, I get depressed every time I do, so there’s another reason I avoid it.

So.

I’ve been discouraged lately. I feel like I’ve been working really damn hard and I’m not seeing results like I want. I feel like my goals are so far away. I have put myself out there very publicly as working to improve my fitness and it makes me feel sad that I am not getting the results I want to put out there.

But I’m not giving up.

I may not be getting the results that I want, but I am working really damn hard to remember that I am getting results.

I run sometimes with an awesome friend of mine. I was telling her about all of this on our last run and I was telling her that I’m worried about not being awesome enough for the 11 other people on my relay race team in September. She told me about her father, who is in his 80s, who goes to the gym every day. Her story reminded me that my goal isn’t weight loss; my goal isn’t even my relay race; my goal is to be 80 and still healthy enough to go to work out every day.

That goal I am well on my way to achieving. That goal is the one that really matters.

I’ll take that.

I thought I should let you all know how things are going, because I’m sure some of you are on the same path I am on and it is hard. I want you to know you are not alone. Some of you are scared to start or have given up because it is SO damn hard. (Some of you are on this path and are kicking serious ass at it. To you I say, rock on wit’ yo’ bad self. Way to go! Also, I hate you juuuuuust a little bit.)

I want you to keep at it. I am going to keep at it.

So, yes, I am discouraged. And I am likely to stay discouraged for a little while. But that doesn’t mean I am going to stop. I will get to where I want to be. I may not be there by September. I may be the slowest person on the course at my relay and I’ll cry a little inside and put on a brave face, but I will still know that I accomplished something.

Every time I run I will know that I accomplished something—because I am out there, putting one foot in front of the other instead of sitting on the couch eating cookies. So I am optimistic. And I will remain optimistic longer than I stay discouraged.

And that is how Project Stimey is shaping up as we enter May.

*****

Thank you to my friends the Paulsons and Ardis for donating to the Cheetah-thon. Team Stimey’s donations to Jack’s Cheetah-thon now adds up to $1015 (plus our $500 matching donation). That is a lot of ice time, you guys. That is a lot of athletes that will get to play because of you. Thank you all so very, very much. I cannot tell you how much your help means to me. For anyone still interested, you can donate online and/or you can come by the Rockville Ice Rink this Saturday, the 11th from 5-7 pm to skate with the Cheetahs!

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