Monday, September 28, 2009

I'm famous!!!

Well, sort of.

My Operation Beautiful posts from the NEDA conference went up on the website over the weekend. Yea!

Monday, September 21, 2009

Zoo Run Run

So, I guess I will subscribe to the belief that there is no such thing as a bad race. Yesterday was the Zoo Run Run at the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison. The event was so well organized. There were more than 1200 runners; by far the largest race I have been a part of! It was neat to be at the zoo. I checked out some of the animals before the race started: giraffes, rhinocerouses (rhinoceri?) emus, very loud, squaking flamingoes, tapirs, a beautiful, majestic Bengal tiger, and some graceful seals out for their morning swim. It was a great family environment and next year I will take the Son and the Husband to the event. Maybe the Son will even want to run the Roo Run Run.

Suzy Favor Hamilton was part of the event and she gave a little motivational 'speech' before the start of the 10K. After the 10K, the 5K started. This was my first ever timing-chip race. I am definitely going to keep the chip as a reminder.

The weather was perfect; not too cold, not to hot, a little bit of a breeze. The course was beautiful. We ran through the Vilas neighborhood and there were only a couple small hills. One of them was a little bigger than 'small' and my quads started throbbing. At one point, I had to step over a dead chipmunk. Poor thing. But, I made it. I crossed the finish line and saw a very disappointing time, but I remembered that my timing chip would have the accurate time for my race. I still drove home pretty bummed out about it. I really wanted to set a PR for this race, and I didn't think I accomplished that. I was so bummed that I actually didn't want to check out the results on the website, but I did. I ran a 30:12. I was hoping for sub-29; but no race is a bad race, right?

I don't have another race until the first weekend in November. I really want to do some speed training and maybe some hill workouts to increase my chances of success in these races. I like running, but I very infrequently challenge myself in my training. I usually just set out and run on my flat ground at a relatively easy pace. But, NO MORE!!! I am heading to the track tonight to do some speed workouts. And if I'm really motivated, maybe hills later in the week!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009


This is a picture of a very happy Heather after my run tonight. (Pay no attention to the chaos that is my kitchen counter in the background. I gave up cleaning for running.) I headed out right after dinner (pork chops, corn on the cob and a salad....YUM!) I just started running, determined to keep going for an hour. I don't wear a watch when I run, because I know that I would constantly look at it and get discouraged at how far, or not far, I have run.

On tonight's run, I passed two banks with time displays. The first one was about 35 minutes into the run. The second was about 52 minutes in. As usual, I started to doubt my resolve a couple miles in. I was tired, my thighs were burning and I was convinced that I was the world's slowest runner. I had no idea how far I had gone because I don't map out my runs ahead of time. I always wait until I get home and then I map them.

After I finally got home, the first thing I did was go to the kitchen to check how long I had been gone. One hour and 2 minutes!!! I finally broke the hour barrier. I was so excited. After struggling to put the Son to bed and doing a quick homework assignment, I got to the computer to map my route....5.97 miles! I couldn't believe it. My previous best distance was 4.63. This was more than a mile further. And, less than a quarter mile from a 10K. Life is good. Running is better.

Then, I got to enjoy my favorite part of each day. Dessert with the Husband. I had some banana ice cream with a little bit of peanut butter and some Craisins. Yum.


Too many days without running makes me cranky and uptight. I have been dreaming about running. I have been trying to plan my evening around running. I just don't know how it is going to happen. I have been up to my ears in homework this week. It seems that every teacher has taken the opportunity to load a huge project on my shoulders this week. The irony is that if I took the time to go for a run, I know that I would be better equipped to handle all the other stressors of my life. But, I'm scared to take the time away from my homework.

This is one of those days when I wish I hadn't taken on a second job...especially a second job that I'm not all that interested in. I could just go home after the first job and get some studying done. I could make a nice meal for my family, instead of stressing my husband out with dinner preparation instructions. Then, having accomplished my studying tasks for the day, I could run with a clear conscious. But, that is not what I get to do. I get to work and stress out and not run as much as I want to. Boo!

Monday, September 14, 2009

getting philosophical

Last night I ran. It wasn't down this particular road, but one very similar.

When I run, I am always amazed at how much I don't think. I know of so many people who talk about their running as their time to pray or reflect or let their mind travel to the deepest corners of consciousness. That doesn't usually happen for me.

Last night's run began with me thinking about how much I didn't want to have to run through the construction. Then I started thinking about what route I would run and if it was going ot be long enough to get 5 miles in. Then I started getting tired and thought about just turning around and going home, but I knew that I would just hate myself for not putting in the miles that I wanted to log.

But a strange thing happened as I started getting closer to home. I started being really thankful for the physical act of running. I was glad that my body was able to do what I was asking it to do. I knew that I wasn't running very fast. I knew that I certainly wasn't a top-notch athlete...and that I never would be. But I could run. And I could run a few miles, without stopping. I think that puts me in the minority of people in this country. I came up a little short of my 5 mile goal, which was disappointing because I had contemplated going around the block once more to put a little more distance under my feet.

Sometimes, I don't want to run. Sometimes I get discouraged that I can't go faster or farther or push myself harder. But there comes that point in my run, when the simple rhythm of my feet on the pavement produces a change in the way I view the world. It sounds so philosophical. Maybe it is all the extra oxygen I'm getting, or maybe it is lactic acid build up, or maybe I'm just crazy. But I finish my runs a whole lot better than when I start. I'm happier, more energized (but still physically tired) and just think that the proverbial glass is half full. And I am so thankful that I can run.

Saturday, September 12, 2009

NEDA, day three

It is impossible to try to explain how wonderful the NEDA conference was. I am a little numb from getting so much information and meeting so many wonderful people. One of the highlights was definitely getting to see Diane, my dietitian from my time at Remuda. Knowing that she got to see me healthy and knowing that she is proud of me was entirely worth the trip to Minneapolis. But, there was so much more!!!

As promised, I have pictures of some of the operation beautiful post-it notes. I think the best part was when I was washing my hands in the bathroom on the second day and a woman came up to me and told me to look at the note on the other side of the mirror. :-) It was great to hear women comment on the notes throughout the weekend.

I posted many more, but some of the pictures came out really dark. And, I'm still trying to get the hang of this picture-posting thing.

Anyway, I'm sure that there will be many more NEDA-conference references in future posts.

Once I got home, I realized that the Son is pretty sick. :-( He has a fever and an ear ache. I came in his room to give him a hug and to try to comfort him. He was crying and I could tell he was in some pretty considerable pain. But he is such a trooper. Through his tears and his sobs, he said "don't worry mommy, I'll be ok." Even typing it now makes me want to cry. My poor little man. I hope that he feels better by tomorrow.

As for me, I'm off to unpack and sleep in my own bed.

Friday, September 11, 2009

NEDA, day two

This conference is beyond amazing!!!! I am learning so much from so many wonderful people and I'm so encouraged by what the entire ED community is doing. Not only do they band together for the benefit and support of those who are suffering, but they provide a resource for families and friends, and they kick some major butt when it comes to lobbying for mental health parity in the treatment of eating disorders.

I listened to a great speaker this morning talk about the research they have done with activity based anorexia in mice....yes, I'm a nerd. The research is fascinating, but the thing that endeared this woman to me (other than her infectious energy) was her belief (and commitment) to disseminating the research findings to the providers who are treating the disease.

And, I have made it my own personal mission to plaster the Minneapolis Hilton with post-its. Pics to come.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

NEDA, day one

The first evening of the NEDA conference has been amazing. I have met some wonderful people who do really great work to bring progress in the fight against eating disorders. I'm learning about some neat opportunities that I may want to be a part of. And....shocker....I saw my dietician from my days in treatment! It was great to see her. We caught up a bit and laughed and took a picture (that I will have to post later). I also enjoyed some Guinness cheese and a really great white zinfandel.

It is a little strange being here alone, but so many people have come up to me and introduced themselves; included the NEDA director. She was fantastic and took me around to introduce me to some other people. This is unlike any other event I have ever been to. The people are so inviting and embrace everyone as family. I am really looking forward to some of the breakout sessions the next couple days. I just have to remind myself not to spend too much money. There is so much great stuff....and books!! This is an event I'm sure I will never forget. I already know that I want to go to next year's conference!

Saturday, September 5, 2009

bad day

A bad run can put me in such a sour mood. My 2 mile race this morning netted me a time 45 seconds slower than I had hoped. Granted, there was a killer hill the last 1/4 mile. But I have been berating myself all day about not trying harder and getting up that hill faster. I so desperately wanted to keep up with Rachel, but once we got to that hill, she just blew me out of the water. My legs were burning. The kind of feeling where your quads might actually explode through your skin. Of course, now that I am several hours removed from it, I am thinking that I could have done a better job. I think that I could have pushed myself harder and not given in to the pain. I know that I need to let it go and to learn from the experience, but I'm such a perfectionist that I just want every race to go exactly as I plan it out in my head. Now, I have two weeks until my next race (a 5K in Madison) and I know that I am going to stew over how to improve and make it the 'perfect' race.

Friday, September 4, 2009

I'm a winner

I never win anything. I'm not the best, or fastest, or smartest at anything. I'm pretty much average. Maybe slightly above in some things, but I'm not used to winning.

So, when I did win something, I was thrilled! I've been reading a great blog ( and she recently had a giveaway with I had seen some of the ways that she used flax in her foods and I thought that it would be something that I could incorporate into my diet. I am all about eating healthy and doing what I can for my body. And I even had plans to add it to the Husband's diet. We'll see if he lets me.
The picture isn't all that great. I had just finished a 3 mile run and I didn't have anyone to man the camera, so I just sat in front of the Mac. But, I think that I'll try the pancake mix first. And I can add it to pretty much anything. I'm definitely going to be doing some recipe research to see what interesting things I can do with flax. Any suggestions???