I read somewhere that it takes at least four weeks to notice a change in your body after you begin working out. And it takes those around you eight weeks to notice a change. Because, you know, we’re all pretty darn vain and focus more on ourselves than others and then you only notice when it’s like “wow-ie! What have you been doing and can I get on that train?”
Caveat: It is likely this bit of advice I read on Pinterest four years ago. This is no Harvard Medical Journal insight.
I also read this week that drinking one glass of alcohol can lower your metabolism by as much as 73%! I’m just going to assume that isn’t true. Because, if it is, my metabolism died in Mexico. Officially. RIP.
Rabbit trail…coming back to ya….
Anywho, whether it was Harvard Med School or Sally from Tulsa’s Pinterest post, I felt it this past week. I felt the change.
I wasn’t squeezing back into those jeans I folded nicely and placed in the back of my drawer.
I didn’t even take that second glance in the mirror after I got out of the shower (oh heyyyy, girl. Looks like you’ve been working out! Then you do a little flex, check that backside, and grab your toothbrush. No? Just me. Ok. I’ve just heard people do that).
Instead, it was just a Wednesday night. And I went for a run around Victorian Village.
My SOS tread plan said I needed to run 3.5 miles at half-marathon pace—race pace.
Vulnerability moment. I’m going to tell you my goal pace—for accountability and to track progress. My PR, from a few years back is a 1:37 half. That’s a 7:24 pace. I can’t even fathom that now. I don’t even remember that chick. I think she may have even avoided alcohol—all alcohol—during training season. *YAH. ANNOYING. I know.
BUT, I’ve finally gotten over the fact that I don’t need to be that girl. At least at the moment. [And maybe one day, I’ll pass that girl]. BUT, in order to get there, I need to take baby steps here. In that direction without the ego. Because that weighs you down. So damn much.
I want to break an 8-minute mile for the half. That’s what I’m aiming for. It’s aggressive for where I’m at but I think I can do it. A sub 1:45. BLAMO.
Oh and one more side note. All of you wonderful, beautiful BAs that walk up to me while I’m dying in Clocked or the Course and tell me you love my blog (as I try and control my breath and hike up my yoga pants over my belly button): BLESS YOU. It means everything and encourages me. It makes me feel less crazy and a little more comfortable putting my #messy out there and totally owning it.
So back to Wednesday. It was after work. The first full day back from Mexico. End of a long day.
I noticed the dishes needed done. Haven’t done those in a while….hmmm…I should do them.
Messy living room. I’ll fold the blankets, position the pillows, clean up the coffee table.
And just sit with those beautiful dogs for 10 minutes.
Time flies. By the time I got around to thinking about a run, it was 9 p.m.
BUT I RAN. I couldn’t let that beautiful no-excuses of a night escape.
You heard me. I officially stepped off that justification train.
CHOOO to the mother-freaking choo. Left that baggage at the train station.
I put on my old Oiselle running shorts and a long sleeve (that was, a little snug). Grabbed a pair of thin cream-colored gloves that you buy at marathon expos for a buck, laced up my favorite pair of Mizunos, and took my pup, Quincy out for 3-1/2 miles.
I listened to an old marathon playlist on Spotify.
Florence and the Machine’s Dog Days Are Over…
….Ice Cube’s You Can Do It…
…Roxette’s It Must Have Been Love…
My watch dinged. 8:07.
WHAT? I’m not supposed to be that comfortably close to goal pace. I mean, aren’t I overweight and out of shape and not good enough and …. Haven’t I already told myself I can’t? Haven’t I made up my mind on that?
BUT I CAN?! Holy shiz.
And a smile creeps in.
Rage Against the Machine “Bulls On Parade”…
…Kanye’s “Gold Digger”…
…The Offspring “Self Esteem”…
I mean, this is hard but I can hang onto this. After all, it’s supposed to be hard. That’s what I loved about it. Challenging. Mental toughness.
And I start to remember mantras I used to tell myself.
You can do hard things.
It won’t hurt any more than it does now.
You’ve done this before. You can do it again.
Quincy and I take a detour to end at the Scioto Mile. He’s keeping pace. I know he missed this. I did too. Every few blocks, I tell my red friend he’s doing well.
And, I’m glad to just be outside. I feel lighter. Thankful for healthy legs…thankful that I’m thanking my legs and not cursing their size.
…Gin Blossoms’s “Hey Jealousy”…
…Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean”…
…The Fray “In Over My Head”…
I can’t believe it. No, really. I can’t. This isn’t supposed to happen. I mean, I’m feeling like a runner. And I haven’t felt this way in…well, three years.
I hold in tears. Joyful tears, of course. Smiling. Picking up my pace.
I can’t really explain what was going on as Quin and I ran down Neil Avenue. Besides the fact that its been a hard fucking three years. And yet, I’m still here and all the good that has happened in my life is still with me. It hasn’t left me.
And I’m thankful to be back running. With my pup. And do hard things again.
I want to do four miles. And we do.
The Killers ‘All These Things That I’ve Done’…on repeat.
We finish. Walking down the steps towards the mile strip
I sit down, hug Quinn, and let the tears go. (And I mean UGLY cry go. Joyful, ugly go. Those tears that confuse your fiancé and make him proceed with caution….are you…okay? Happy? Sad? What is going on with you.)
Again, I repeat: I still can’t fit into those jeans.
I’m not sure the scale has even budged.
And you know what? The way that run made me feel? I don’t give a shit.
There is some sort of je ne sais quoi feeling you get when you finish a run like that, and you have a slight burn in the back of your throat, and you just feel like this is exactly what you’re supposed to do. That your specific dna, 23-n-me body needs this run to be yourself. I’ve been beating myself up about getting back to a particular weight and pace time, but for tonight, it just felt so good to feel like myself.
It’s been four weeks and I’m feeling it.
Sally from Tulsa was right.