From Couch to 10k

One year ago today I was bedridden and being taken care of by my mom and John. It was a real bundle of kittens if you know what I’m saying. Yeah, I don’t even know what I am saying… This weekend was a culmination of everything I’ve been working towards-

Yesterday was the Walk for a Cure lupus walk and the most important people came to show their support. Thousands walked, and over $400,000 was raised in NYC alone. I was able to reach my goal of $2,000, and I’m so grateful for the people that showed their support. Lupus isn’t fun- a cure would be wonderful! Being able to physically walk this year alongside so many other lupus warriors and those that love us was an emotional experience. It reminded me that I need to be more active in the lupus community and continue to spread awareness.

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Today continued the All About Talia weekend showcase. I kid, I kid. Today continued to the race that I’ve been prepping for! As we drove to Eisenhower state park, I read through my blog comments again as a reminder that not doing the half was the right choice. My friend, Beth, was amazed by your kind words and support. Another reason why I blog, for the community, the love and support when I need it most. It felt good to hear from the runners and the non runners, it’s ok.

So how was the race? The race was a blast! I had my iPod ready to go with my favorite songs of the moment. I set the 1812 Overture as my last song, and I was ready to run. You know it’s going to be good when you have the 1812 Overture mixed in with Flo Rida.

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I have to be honest- I am so happy I switched my race to a 10k, it was the right choice for me. And I’m glad I didn’t push myself or beat myself up over what I could or could not do. I had to do this race for me and if that meant 7 miles less than I originally intended on running, that’s what it meant.

John and I ran through the finish line holding hands- I somehow knew that even running through together the boy would clock in at a better time. Jerk! This was the All About Talia marathon weekend I had been waiting for! But he earned his time too. He was my full on support and he was right next to me even to the finish line. And if it wasn’t for him, I would have clocked in slower. At five miles he looked at me and said, ready to kick it up a notch? And we did. Our times were 1:02:27 and 1:02:29. Not too shabby for first timers! And definitely not last timers.

At the end of the race I reveled in the fact that on this exact weekend, one year ago, I forced myself to get out of bed and take a trip to Ikea. I was stir crazy, fatigued, and desperate to leave my bed. The excitement of my weekend one year ago was a TRIP TO IKEA. I want to be real- lupus sucks. I can blame it for a lot of things, I can hate it, but I can’t allow it to take away my life. I didn’t think I could run before I had lupus, so why allow it to be an excuse now? We can all sit around and tell ourselves we can’t do things. But what I’ve learned this year is that making a statement like I can’t is not only defeating, but simply untrue. Don’t be discouraged, create a goal, and give it a shot. In the words of a wise, wise, man:

The thing about goals is that if there isn’t a chance that one will fail to meet them, they aren’t goals, they are checklist items. The greater the risk that you won’t be able to achieve the goal, so much greater is the accomplishment.

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So, I leave you with love, support, and I also leave you to get a celebratory mimosa. Happy Sunday!

The Road Less Traveled

Tonight I’m writing for accountability because my sole enjoyment at the moment is coming from my couch and chocolate.

On Sunday I attended a chocolate expo and confession I can’t stop eating my purchases. This is only problematic because I’m pretty sure I’m eating my emotions- eating feels so good. It makes me happy. Somehow, if I can only focus on the sweet and salty taste of the gourmet chocolate treat I’ve been binging on, I can temporarily think about nothing else. Until I’m done with the piece of chocolate and I’m left feeling disappointment- where’d it all go?

To clarify, there is nothing wrong with eating chocolate. If anything, power to you! The issue is that since last week I have been trapped in a hole of nothingness. This blog was created with the intent to spread positivity, so I hate to turn this into a snooze fest, but I have to be real. Since last week life has been emotional to say the least. I am still struggling to rationalize David’s passing and working with teenagers complicates these feelings. Ultimately, I want to fix them. I want to help them. I want to let them know life is beautiful, and wonderful, but full of challenges. I don’t fully understand why I feel this overwhelming sense of needing to help others- the truth is, I feel powerless.

This deep rooted reflective state that I’m in is not helping my health- I can feel the exhaustion from the lupus and I feel my energy and excitement in training waning as a result. I bring this up because all I want to do is eat garbage food. Somehow in my life I have allowed food to be a thing of comfort. Tonight I needed to write that down. This is my post of accountability. Tonight my goal is to turn it around. My favorite things to do when I’m upset are close people off and eat food. Neither of those options seem like the path I should take given how far I have gotten up to this point. So I’m going to take my road less traveled and I’m going to run. Not away from problems like I have done in the past. I’m literally going to go for a run. And I hope in my run I can find solace in the fact that there is only one controllable thing in my life- it’s the choices I make. And that’s why I pay it forward. I want to put happiness back into the world. I believe in saying hello to people, and smiling, and asking people how they are. Not because it’s what’s “right” but because I genuinely care. And maybe, just maybe, if I keep doing it, it will help even one person.

Oh, and thanks google for the inspiration.

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Two More Miles

Two miles- if I tell myself only two more miles I can keep running. Those two miles are the increments that I find myself depending on to push through. Generally I rely on this trick heavily, along with my new favorite- reading trashy magazines. One trashy mag for every two miles- I have it down to a science.

Yesterday the gimmicks were unnecessary because all I could think about doing was my run. I needed to shake off everything. This week was one of the heaviest emotional weeks of my life. Finding running has provided me with an outlet that I never had before. Running, like writing, has become a channel for everything in my life and alI could think of was, what do people do when they’re upset that don’t run?! Riddle me that.

And so I got on the treadmill and I ran. My ankle cracked, my neck was sore. I truly believe that emotions impact our physical well being and let me tell you, I felt like a wreck. I lowered the speed, I slowed down, and I continued. And I ran and I ran until there was nothing in my mind or my body. I just looked ahead, straight into the blackened television screen that I did not bother to turn on. At times all I could think about was David, and my mom, and my brother, and life. I was overcome with grief, but this sadness somehow kept my thoughts so blank, yet so consumed.

The minutes turned into miles and the miles allowed the emotional pain to turn into physical pain, and ultimately it all evaporated. And I don’t know how, and I don’t know why, but running allowed me to feel angry, and sorrowful, and manifest that negativity in a better space. I could feel these emotions boiling inside of me and I was afraid that they were going to be taken out on those closest to me. I needed to run, and I needed comfort. Yesterday I ran eight miles straight.

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My brother and David climbing a reservoir- typical boys being boys behavior. My mom was so angry when she saw this picture- I can’t believe you boys climbed up that! What’s wrong with you two?!

In some strange way I kept running for David. I kept envisioning this life that needs to be fulfilled- Never be afraid to go out on the limb, and climb as high as you possibly can. Keep going. Don’t stop. Life is too short. Challenge yourself.

Practice Makes you Closer to Perfect

The room was nearly black with only the melodically changing traffic light peering through the window. We sat in the silence of savasana and in that moment, in my breath, I knew that going to yoga tonight was necessary.

I’ve been fully focused on my running endeavors while neglecting my yoga classes and as I entered class I recognized my dedication to running has put a damper on my ability. What they say is true- practice makes perfect. Or at least near perfect. Balance. There needs to be balance, and yoga helps establish that equilibrium in my life. I need to remember that when I get wrapped up in my training.

Tonight, for the first time, I did crow pose, and I did it twice. Remember that time I uttered the words “crow hell no“- well, never say never. My body understood the posture and I felt the comfort within it. Going to class was the right decision.

That Time I had Acid Reflux

This past week I have felt like a true lupus girl- sick. Constantly. As soon as I begin to feel better the cycle of weakness began again. This week consisted of attempts to workout and now that I’m reflecting on the week, the result aren’t too bad, but none of it was my best.

Monday: an excellent yoga class.

Tuesday: a horrific run- I could only do 2 miles and it was HELL!

Wednesday: 8:15 yoga class that was bittersweet. I did a semi-acceptable crow but felt mediocre throughout class.

Thursday: In bed by 7:30 p.m. contemplating calling out of work.

Friday: woke up and felt better. Work was a go. Gym when I got home and I did a 5K in 29 minutes. Not my best time, definitely not my worst time.

So what’s going on immune system? You scallywag! After being convinced through self diagnosis that I have acid reflux (pretty sure I totally made that one up in my head) I decided to cut out all things associated with it. No more red sauce, goodbye Frank’s Red Hot my one true love, sayonara beer my other one true love. I did take up popping tums like candy- why aren’t tums candy?

By Wednesday I eliminated coffee from my breakfast. Webmd told me it was a good idea due to my probably fictional case of heartburn- Hello… I have a shirt… with a gun… that says MAKE ME COFFEE. And sometimes I think I actually have that kind of relationship with my coffee- highly aggressive. By 12:00 p.m. I was light sensitive, mean, and I had a pounding headache. Hey, webmd said nothing about these symptoms with acid reflux. It turns out that I’m just a coffee addict with a cold, and the symptoms I was going through more closely resemble withdrawal. One IV injected into my veins cup later and I was once again human.

And on that note, I will leave you with a wise a quote I frequently sang in 1997:

I get knocked down, but I get up again, you’re never gonna keep me down…pissing the night away –Chumbawamba

If Happiness was a Light Switch

This morning as I was stalking perusing facebook, I came across this little motivational poster.

change

I had to question this poster a bit.

1- What is happiness? How can we easily identify it?

2- Can we change our emotional state simply by making a change?

3- If it takes change to find true bliss, then how can we figure out what it is that we need to change?

This has been part of my struggle all along. Losing my shine, trying to find it, and recognizing what I needed to change in order to get it back. Something I learned this year: I’m the only person in this equation that can change and I’m the only one that can control how I ultimately feel.

So while happiness definitely isn’t as easy turning on a light switch or just “turning off” what is creating negativity in our lives, I have to say, I’m OK with that. But imagine if it was that easy? We would have nothing to complain about! Relationships would no longer be as tumultuous and exciting! And- Facebook would no longer exist as a place for people to air our their problems with strangers! Oh, life. I love you.

Haterade

She’s so annoying, no one cares that you went to the gym.

That may or may not be a direct quote from me circa 2012. I used to drink the haterade- my favorite flavor was Too-Cool for the gym blue. I made that flavor up guys, it’s not real. But I was a hater, that is highly truthful.

I’ll give you a classic example. John and I just became friends and we decided to make our relationship more official so we added each other on Facebook. One day a post appeared on my newsfeed:

John (the guy you will date in the future): going to the gym

I see this and I take a sip from the tall glass sitting next to me – of haterade.

I should reply to John

Talia: No one cares.

Yes, I did that! Today I can say that I am mortified that I thought that was acceptable. In all reality it was a very pathetic attempt at flirtation via Facebook. Which is mortifying enough. But who do I think I am that I can take my time to criticize his choice to better himself? To add insult to injury, I actually think I even wrote I’m eating ice cream and sitting on my couch.

I don’t think I’m alone in hating on gym goers. On the list of annoying people of Facebook, courtesy of Huffington Post, the “bragger” makes the list at número 7. HuffoPo: Annoying People on Facebook

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My question is, now that I’m an annoying person on Facebook, why do we find this individual so irritating?

I began to reflect on my own disdain for this person. It has a similar annoyance to the cute couple on Facebook. Now, the interesting thing that I’ve learned is this. When I’m happy, and I’m in love, that couple is the cutest thing I have ever seen. Cute on the scale of puppies playing in snow for the first time. But if I’m single, or John and I got into a tif, eye roll. Please. Get a grip. Or a room. This is a public sphere.

It’s haterade. And we all drink it.

When I decided to change my life and hit the gym instead of the fridge every time I got slightly bored, I was proud. I wanted to shout it from the rooftops. I also needed to be inspired and I needed to be held accountable. I found that forum through blogging. I figured it would be a good outlet for me, but I also realized that some people would find me insanely obnoxious. Ultimately I decided that I was ok with that. Today when I see someone post of Facebook about a great workout I feel a sense of comradery. I want to high five them because it is a choice and it isn’t the easiest one to make.

I’m so over the haterade. It’s disgusting. For now I’m sticking to water. And coffee. And maybe some adult beverages. On that note, I’m going to the gym. Drink that.

I would love to know your thoughts on this- are there any Facebook people that drive you crazy?!

Alive at Five

After a lovely and festive week with family and friends, I woke up yesterday and appeared to be “expecting” my first little food baby. If you have never heard of a food baby please follow this like right here to this totally accurate and real definition.

I find it extraordinarily simple to get stuck in a couch rut. You’ve been there, you’re no better! You sit down, hours go by, the gym sneakers by the door are giving you looks like you’re lazy, but you don’t care because Real Housewives is hilarious. That was about to be me yesterday, but then I looked at my Nike Fuel band. That little bugger calculates your daily movement.

It knows when you’ve been lazy
It knows when you’ve been fit
It knows when you’ve been good or bad
So get your ass to the gym and move around a bit

Also, I love new toys, so it seemed essential that I get in action for the day.

So I get to the gym and I just had this feeling. Today is the day I’m running five straight miles. This was a goal I created for myself when December began, I knew I wanted to hit 5 before 2014. I know to some that seems minuscule, but for me, that’s a possible life or death scenario. Remember that 5k I did in November for my birthday- the zombie run. Well, I died in it. The zombies got me on mile 2. Had I been able to run 5 consecutive miles, maybe I would have survived. Now I’m daydreaming about running from zombies, and bears in the woods, I’m very imaginative, and my best songs are playing into my headphones and I’m doing it. I pass 3 which has become my new standard. I get to 4. Then I’m thinking to myself, a mile is nothing. And I’m there!

My first five miles in 47:29.

I’m surrounded by people in a packed gym taking selfies like a weirdo. Just a girl and her treadmill. And for now five is alright and I’m pumped to go for six. I just need to be able to walk right first- holy soreness! Happy Saturday loves!

Decisions, Decisions

What do you do when you made a blog about running 52 miles per month and then attain that goal? 

I’ll tell you the advice I would give to anyone: Feel satisfied, and continue to feel content with the fact that you set out a mission and now, can not only accomplish it, but regularly hit that mark.

This is the advice I should really be giving myself. Or some kind of mirror mantra talk a la little girl in the mirror:

Instead of embracing achievement and enjoying success, I usually see that there’s always more that can be done. I’m not sure if this is a strength or a weakness. 

Well this week, I got a message from a friend asking me to do a half marathon in May. This is the second time I’ve been asked to do a half marathon by a running friend. They see I can suddenly run two miles and think I can be sucked into more running. The first time I was asked I laughed and then said nothing at all. She has not asked me about it again since. That was months ago. Well, now I have a little more experience under my belt and I’m feeling good with my regular three mile thing, I have even floated the idea around of doing a 10K. So, why then, when I was asked to partake in the half, did my three-mile safety-net of a cocoon get shaken up and unraveled?! I thought about it for a few hours and messaged her back:

Let me think about it.

That was my exact response.

This weekend I spent a lot of time doing as I said I would – thinking about my running future. Thinking things such as: at this point the most I’ve run is 4 miles… brain doubles the number- so double the most I’ve done and it’s still less than a half marathon. And I realized something when I began to do math, because I hate math, I’m self sabotaging before I even attempt to try. I want to do the half marathon but my fears are real. Fears like, am I pushing myself too much too soon? What if I have a flare because I’m putting too much stress on my body, can I physically handle this? Can I mentally handle it? I think I can. In my three months of running I have done more than I knew was possible. So what’s holding me back other than my own insecurities? I would also like to thank quite a few blogs that I perused through for inspiration- many of you set your sights on anything from a 5K to a marathon to ultra running (which I will never ever do) – You guys are phenomenal humans.

So what conclusion have I arrived to on this half marathon debate?

I’m in. I’m going to begin training for a half marathon.

Starting… Now!