|I got caught in the rain this morning.|
I've been jotting down a lot of notes and random sentences and paragraphs the last few weeks. They are not going to become one very long blog post but I think it's time to start developing them into something I can share.
Last week I signed up for two ten-mile races, one in July and one in October. I haven't raced any distance since the Marine Corps Marathon last October. My longest run since then has been about seven miles and that was back in March when I thought I was going to run a half marathon in April. I knew I wasn't ready for it, though, between the injury and some other health issues that cropped up so I backed off running and started doing some serious thinking about my health and my habits.
I'm recovering from an injury that came up during marathon training, disappeared with ice, stretching, and rest, and then hit me like a sack of bricks during the race. At this point I feel like I will probably be managing it for the rest of my life, but at least I can manage it with stretching and strength training and cross training. It's my IT band across my left hip and sometimes in my left calf. If I sleep wrong, I wake up in the middle of the night with pain in my hip and I have to figure out how to fall back to sleep and rearrange my workout routine for the next day.
Since I turned forty a little over a year ago I feel like I've been in a constant battle with my body. One friend put it this way: At forty plus one day, all your warranties start expiring. I know my body isn't the same as it was in my twenties and my thirties and there's only so much I have control over of my forty-year-old body. I'm not thrilled with my body right now. Summer clothes from last year don't fit and it's not because I got so muscular from marathon training. It's because I've eaten too much macaroni and cheese.
I'm trying to come to terms with the difference between accepting my body and accepting the changes that I have to make in order to maintain a body that I want. I need more quality rest. I need more water and less sugar. I need more stretching. I need to make the time to be cognizant of the little changes I need to make regularly in order to fit back into those favorite shorts and skirts from last summer. I'm pretty sure that eating less junk food and exercising more is going to be cheaper than buying new clothes.
I'm not on a diet, other than the gluten-free one that I have to be on. I am being more aware of the calories I choose to put into my mouth, although I've decided that some of those calories are going to be chocolate and wine. I've got a ten-mile race training plan that involves a lot of cross training in order to take the pressure off my injury-prone areas while still building strength and endurance. I'm making my family eat more vegetables, since I'm the one who does most of the grocery shopping, meal planning, and cooking, and I'm not inclined to make different snacks and meals for every family member. If I'm putting this much effort into our food, it's going to be good for all of us.
One of the things that has held me back from wanting to make some changes is struggling with how my child might perceive these changes. She's six. I don't want her to know that I'm unhappy with my body right now. I want her to see exercise as a fun activity that sometimes we do as a family and sometimes Mommy and Daddy do as individuals, and that eating healthy gives us the energy for everything we do, whether it's swimming with friends or going to work or school.
This is hard.