On nausea and wavering motivation.

I could feel it, the hand of fate upon me. Reaching out, right down my throat, and directly for my gag reflex. With all the dignity a woman about to hurl could muster, I lowered myself from the pullup machine, wiped the clammy sweat from my brow, and smiled weakly at Kevin The Trainer.

“Be right back.” These were the only words I could manage before walking off to the bathroom. I learned it is incredibly difficult to find the perfect speed with which to walk through a crowded gym so as to still appear vaguely composed but to also not vomit all over your shoes.

There, in the Anytime Fitness bathroom, I met my destiny. Twice. This isn’t the first time I’ve found myself in this position. I am, as anyone who has ever worked out with me will tell you, A Puker(™). Too much caffeine, not enough water, small lunch,  bad pre-gym snack–the reasons could be many.

But I’d been doing SO good. I’m working out better, and harder, and making progress and everything had just been going SO WELL.

Not this day. This day I left the gym, only 20 minutes into my workout, covered in a cold sweat, and wearing an unmistakable expression of defeat and shame.

I put on my fuzzy robe and prepared to wallow. Since wallowing often requires snacks, I had one moment of good judgement and thought, “No! Let’s just focus on motivation! Let’s make a little collage of motivational quotes to put in front of the treadmill at work! Won’t that be nice?!”

If you’re familiar with the endless pinboards and facebook shares of  motivational pictures, you know what I’m about to find. I don’t always have good ideas.

proud

Only I didn’t stop when I was proud. I stopped when I puked. What now?

(Side note, I bet she never gets googly eyes stuck in her button. )

PS_0333W_PAIN_BODY

Except when it’s vomit. Sometimes it is just pretzels leaving your body at high velocity.

Don’t we still get to be proud? So some of us puke, and some us have bad knees, and some of us are still intimidated by intense workouts. I know we are supposed to only strive to be better than our past selves, and not make comparisons against those who live in beast mode, and talk about doing our workouts for warmups, but that isn’t always easy. Some of us still struggle through “easy” workouts and secretly worry about being judged. Some of us are maybe one more emotional defeat from throwing away the gym bag and another year off our lives.  Not every day is chock full of motivation, and some days the goals seem so very unattainable.

There just aren’t enough posters to keep me going through days like that. So I made a couple of my own. (I bet some of you hilarious and clever people can do even better. If you do, please share!)

Special thanks to 9Round Oak Creek for being the first place I ever saw this quote (I’ve almost puked there lots of times!)

Advertisements

Running is still stupid. All 5k of it.

On August 20th, I did my first day of Couch-to-5k. On October 5th, I completed my first 5k (The It’s Glow Time! 5k).

My first 5k. The medal even glows in the dark!

My first 5k. The medal even glows in the dark!

The lame, Inner Critic Me wants to tell you: Don’t be impressed. It took me 40 minutes. I only jogged about 25 of that, and never more than 10 minutes at a time. My jogging pace on a good day is about a 15 minute mile.

There was a whole 4 minutes I jogged and could not manage to pass a group of gossiping women in tie-dye tees, and I wanted to lay down on the track and have a glow in the dark tantrum. I should have run faster. I should have run longer. I should have done better after 7 weeks of training.

At least, that is what she has been going on and on about in my head since. I am SO tired of her nagging. Here’s what she left out:

It rained before the race started. Buckets. Little girls in light up tutus frolicked in puddles and downpour like it was the best day ever, and some of us grownups secretly thought about just going home and forgetting this whole stupid idea.

But the rain stopped. And we walked, and jogged, and did that weird hobbling not-sure-if-this-still-counts-as-jogging thing with wet shoes and socks. When I saw a mile marker, if I was jogging, I talked myself into running as fast as I could for just a few seconds past it. If I was walking, I talked myself into jogging. I crossed that finish line jogging. And I LIKED it. (I mean, not as much as napping and cookies, but still, it felt pretty awesome.)

I don’t know if I’ll ever be able to call myself a Runner. I’m slow, and it’s always a struggle when I’m out there. I still think running kinda sucks. But now, it sucks for LONGER when I try it, and I think that is pretty cool.

Plus, this is my after-run photo (with the awesome teammates who stuck it out with me)…I would have NEVER guessed 7 weeks ago that I would actually look HAPPY after 40 minutes of walk/splash/jogging.

I'm smiling? After running? They must have drugged the fog machine.

I’m smiling? After running? They must have drugged the fog machine.

Sometimes I just need a little help remembering that it’s not about being perfect, it’s about not giving up:

555887_243995662414229_942582898_n

The Tale of Kevin The Trainer and the Second Session

6pm. Anytime Fitness. I walk in, already anxious. Maybe a drink of water will help, I think, as I move to the bubbler. This is where I discover a new poster for the Mayor’s Challenge–it’s me, my name and “before” photo, plastered to the pinboard right at eye level. All I can picture are the buff young things adding water to their protein powder while staring right at the most unflattering full body picture of me ever released in public.

This is already not going how I imagined.

“So, you thought you hated me last time….”  This is how Kevin The Trainer greets me. I briefly imagine what it would be like to run screaming from the gym, move to a new city and start over. I give up on it–KTT, Destroyer of Dreams, would surely catch me before I even made it past the ellipticals.

Today I get to do a version of squats holding a medicine ball and sitting down on a box. I like the sitting down part. I’m good at the sitting down part.

I also learn to do something called a Russian Twist. After 20 of them, I suddenly understand all the stereotypes about vodka.

My first cardio interval is jump rope. KTT has made sure to tell me, “If you can talk, you’re not working hard enough.” He likes to ask me questions and make conversation during my intervals. It’s a lot like going to a talkative dentist. My vocabulary has become limited to the following, “ok” “uh-huh” and a very ironic “awesome.”

“Your next interval won’t be so awesome,” declares Kevin The Trainer.

He was informed at the start of this that I’m a bit of a Puker. I thought I was providing a warning. He clearly sees it as a challenge.

Turns out the last set of cardio intervals is shuttle runs. Outside. In the parking lot. The busy parking lot. Busy with people. Strangers. Looking at me.

Did I mention Anytime Fitness is two doors down from Toppers Pizza? Carryout customers stare as I run back and forth between the parking lines while Kevin stands there smugly with his stopwatch. I should be proud, instead I want to scream at them, “I hope you feel bad and your pizza tastes bad!” Only we all know it doesn’t, and I don’t have enough air anyway.

Before my last interval, Kevin asks how I’m doing.

“I hate you so much right now.” I say between ragged breaths. He just laughs. Kevin is a twisted cookie.

Finally, the hour ends, and we cool down with a casual walk around the parking lot. He gives me a pep talk about sticking with it, and getting out what I put in. I can’t decide if I want to hug him or punch him in the face. Since I no longer have any conscious control over the muscles for either act, I settle for a nod. Nodding doesn’t hurt. Yet.

Running is Stupid and It’s Hot Outside.

I’ve had a lot of really dumb ideas lately. One of these little gems struck me a couple weeks ago, and I signed up for a 5k.  A 5k?? C’mon guys, you’ve heard me say, “I only run if something is chasing me, and even then–it depends on how painful of a death I’m looking at if I get caught.”

Why didn’t one of you stop me?! Alas, you did not, and now I’m “training” for a 5k. Day one of this training consisted of recruiting a 6′ Blonde running “partner” and then puking outside on my lunch break.

Today was week 2, day 3 of my little plan. It meant we needed to run six 90 second intervals with 2 minute walks in between. In case anyone forgot, it was approximately 6000*F today. I believe the dewpoint was 200%. My running buddy hates the treadmill. So outside we go. Luckily she is cute, and we get to have conversations like this:

Me: Oh God.  What is the deal with the sun?! It’s hot!

Her: SO.HOT. I don’t feel like running.

Me: Me neither. Screw this, lets walk. It’s SO FREAKING HOT.

But, we’re idiots. Every time our interval came up, we ran. Every time it was time to walk, we repeated various f-bombs and curses upon the indecent heat. We repeated the above conversation at least twice. BUT WE RAN.

She finished ahead of me, well, because I have a 22″ inseam. As I was running my last interval, co-workers were leaving for lunch. They all waved and smiled encouragingly (or, perhaps the way you would smile at someone who has completely lost their mind). Jerks. Smiling and waving. I’M DYING OUT HERE! I fought the urge to flip every single one of them off. Non-running, not sweaty, too happy a-holes.

At least the end was in sight–I decided if I just run to the front door, I could go inside to the glorious air conditioned work gym and cool down in there. You know, I never really noticed how reflective our office windows are until I found myself running by them– sweat flying off of me, extreme mouth breathing, beet red, sad little legs pumping. Today I learned what I looked like when I run. Some things you cannot unsee. Some things your coworkers cannot unsee.

So, in case anyone was wondering, running sucks. The sun sucks. It hurt, and it was too hot outside. I hate it. No part of it was fun. But none of that matters, does it? Because today I ran. And I’m going to do it again.