Quest for a Healthier Life: Part One

After living in Indiana all of my life, my husband, Mick and I decided it was time to take our family elsewhere.  Having visited my parents numerous times in Sheridan, Wyoming, it began to feel like our second home.  So, Mick applied and accepted a job with the Wyoming Department of Transportation.  In the Fall of 2016, we loaded up a U-haul and headed out West to embark on a crazy journey.

One of our family goals since arriving in Sheridan, Wyoming, is to become healthier.  In order to do so, we joined the local YMCA, keep a close eye on what we eat, and limit our consumption of alcoholic beverages.  One other action that seems to keep us motivated is finding road races.  We started off with a simple 5K, that supported our local CHAPS organization.  Then after some research and consultation with my mother, Mick and I decided to sign up for the Mickelson Half Marathon, held this year on June 4 in Deadwood, South Dakota.

Being filled with excitement and determination, we signed up as early as possible.  This left us with quite a bit of training time.  Granted this was going to be our first long race, so it seemed like a good idea to take the extra time and do it right.  Yet it was important to remember, as Hal Higdon warns in his book Marathon, The Ultimate Training Guide, one of the worst things a runner can do is over train resulting in an injury.  Depending on the injury, it can be a significant setback or even elimination from the race completely.

Each of us picked our training program and away we went.  I chose to follow Hal Higdon’s 12-week Half-Marathon: Novice schedule.  I took the month of January to ease into the groove of running.  It had been quite some time since I had been in a regular training routine.  As soon as February hit I was off and going full force.  I wrote my required distances on a workout calendar, counted my calories, and did a weigh-in every week.  I was doing good.  Then the end of March came and with it a huge upset to our lifestyle.

We had been renting a house in town.  A temporary situation, but I had come to think we would be there for at least two years.  Earlier than expected, our landlord decided it was time to sell the house, and we were given the chance to move into my parents home in the country.  Considering, we still favored the country life and our horses were coming to Wyoming at the end of April, the move was inevitable.

Having moved three times within a year, I was pretty stressed and frustrated (to say the least).  The move took its toll on my sleep, eating, and exercise routine.  In order to avoid getting sick, I decided it would be best to take the next week off.  I was hoping this would reset my nerves and give me a chance to get the house in order.  Back at the old place, I had formed a routine of sorts and changing it up made it hard to get into the right training frame of mind.  The week off ended up turning into a month and a half.

As the race date got closer, two weeks to be exact, I realized I needed to do something to get my body mildly prepared.  Running to win was never my intention, but I would like to run the majority and in a decent time.  So, I stopped the excuses and jumped on the treadmill this last week.  When starting back up I usually like to run at lease three miles.  WOW!  It felt great to be running again.  I felt awesome on the treadmill and after I finished.  It was like I had almost forgotten how accomplished one can feel after a good run.  Not to mention all the wonderful new thoughts and ideas that pop into the mind.

Overcoming the negative thoughts and just doing it can be very tough.  I was so pumped at the beginning of this adventure, but then something got in the way and distracted me for far too long.  One of our family goals was to change our lifestyle, but unfortunately, like many, I got caught up in the race to loose bunches of weight quickly.  I became too hard on myself.  When I didn’t see the scale budge each week I got angry.  I felt like I was making sacrifices for nothing.  Perhaps our second goal should be trying to figure out how to carry out the lifestyle change and maintain it.

To be continued…

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