One of the girls in my run group is injured. I FEEL for her because she WANTS to run, but she has to take it easy. So last week I decided to stick with her and walk 4 fast miles instead of run the usual 5 with the crew. Then on Friday night, as we're planning our Saturday run for the weekend, she throws out "Hey anyone wanna bike with me tomorrow?" And I'm like SHYEA so we decide we're gonna bike 12 miles and I'm like praise Jesus, I don't have to run tomorrow!
Then I had a small realization. Revelation, if you will. My group is running 5 miles twice a week and ramping up to 5 plus on Saturdays to prepare for race season. That's also with hitting the gym Monday-Wednesday-Friday.
That's a lotta fitness going down and I AM ALL ABOUT IT.
Except I get burned out on running REAL quick. And my first race of the season isn't until Cajun Cup 10k in November. And my first half isn't until December or maybe even January. And I'm also planning to run another FULL ZYDECO in 2016. In short, there are many, many miles in my future. I'm already burning out and it doesn't even need to get that real yet.
So I made an executive decision. I'm going lighter on my miles, higher on my intensity. I've been wanting to work on my speed for, oh, four years or so. Why not now?! Dial down the miles, dial up the pace. Boom. Done. Plan, planned.
Except I feel like a failure.
In my warped brain, twelve miles on a bike isn't good enough.
Here's the conversation my brain is having lately.
Biking? Pffft. I should be running eight or more miles. I should be eating better. I shouldn't have eaten Cheez-Its for dinner. I should try IIFYM again. I AM trying Weight Watchers again. Wait, that teensy kid-sized granola bar is three points? I have to run 2 miles to earn back those points. What is my life? Ooh pumpkin spice latte M&Ms? It's fall y'all, get in my basket and get in my belly. I need more FitBit steps. I want a cheeseburger. Why didn't I burn more calories this morning? Am I not lifting heavy enough? It felt heavy. I'm sore! I didn't think I could lift my kid out of her crib after those chest flys! Should I have just one tablespoon of cream with my coffee? Or two? I think I earned two. I want some of Rascal's cereal. Why don't I remember Captain Crunch being this good? I should be having egg whites. What's for lunch? I'm eating breakfast thinking about my next meal. Diet starts Monday. Diet starts Monday. Diet starts Monday.
There is something seriously wrong here.
Except five years ago, a lap around the neighborhood on my bike was like WHEWWWW FITNESS. Now I'm biking twelve MILES.
I've changed so much as a person and my body is totally different but, still, I feel like a complete failure for gaining back a solid 15 pounds when I was SO CLOSE to my goal. And furthermore, HOW WILL I EVEN STAY THERE if I ever manage to reach the goal?!?!?!? One sunny day, in the near-distant future, I'll hit goal and be like yeaaaaaaaaaa let's go get Route 44 milkshakes at Sonic to celebrate!!!
Except goal will never be reached if I continue to find little reasons to "celebrate." Oh, it's Tuesday? We need cupcakes. Oh, I ate really healthy all day? Gotta have some Oreos to balance that out. It's all about balance, right? WRONG KINDA BALANCE, STEPHANIE.
Except on Saturday morning, I got on my bike and rode over 13 miles. I rode through a neighborhood that inspired me to possibly start a major renovation project on my grandparents' old house. I rode down a wooded private road with beautiful homes and decks on a hidden pond. I rode over the bridge and saw the sun rising over the Vermilion River. I rode with...this is SO CHEESY but I can't help myself...with the wind in my hair and the sun on my face and I had SUCH a good time with two of my favorite girls. When it was all said and done, I'd burned over 600 calories.
Except no more excepts. Because maybe it's enough just to be happy and enjoy the journey right now. I'm not who I used to be. I like who I've become over the past two years. I just wish this me had a little more wiggle room in my size 12 jeans.
Except ok I lied, one more except...Except tomorrow is a new day to start over. To make the good choices. To eat the healthy things. To be happier than I was today.
Now THAT'S a plan I can be all about.