The Note

I keep an ongoing note in my cellphone which tracks my runs. It traces more than the dates, times, and miles. Reading between the lines shows achievement, pride, and strength. It also bears witness to difficult days, or illness. And while I cannot pinpoint where or when it happened, I slowly lost my dedication to this journey.

My friends, the days of the three miler warmups are long gone. And is it just me, or is it hard to  swallow pride and realize you aren’t where you once were? Can’t I go Dorothy on this running thing, click my heels, and voila- run a 10k for fun?  Not because I must be a masochist? This ongoing list which once fulfilled a void began to claw its way into my ego, making me feel as though I failed myself. I scrolled back further, wallowing in my losses and I became transported to my past.

And then it happened. I was delivered to a place where the sun rose up and kissed the boardwalk as I ran my first mile. A place where I sat crying by myself not in sadness, but in awe. I cradled my knees against my chest as they moved rapidly up and down against the pressure of my breath. I listened to the deafening white noise of the ocean as it mixed with my inhalations and exhalations. Having grappled with chronic illness and its effects, I felt more alive in that moment than I had in years. I needed this.

Running was never easy for me. It was always a frustrating, exhilarating, endorphin releasing blessing. Being back to square one can only temporarily derail me. Plus, now I have a new note in my phone that says “5k Training: Times for One Mile.” I have given myself a goal, and it’s small, but it’s better than no goal at all. And yes, at my core I won’t lie and pretend I was not dispirited, but I’m less disappointed in myself now than when I felt like quitting altogether. Here I am, clocking in another one miler at 10:49.

Tomorrow I’m cracking 10:30.

Happy Fall

Not to rush the seasons, but when I hear Septemeber, I think fall. Yes, I know we have until the end of the month until summer is “technically” over, but wake up! It is now dark out at 8, CVS is selling Halloween candy, and pumpkin beers are in full swing. It’s fall. Fall has classically been my favorite season- I’m a typical New Yorker so I will tell you that “I love that we have our seasons.” The vibrant autumnal colors and knee high boots get me every time- what can I say, I’m basic.

What makes this time of the year even better, you ask? Running.

A true runner can run in any condition, right? Well, I can’t. 

I get dizzy when it’s too hot.

I get a pounding ache in my ears when it’s too cold.

If it’s too bright outside, I feel blinded and miserable.

Essentially, I am goldilocks and I’m looking for my perfect conditions. The perfect conditions are September. Is there anything sweeter than a warm September air with a cool fall breeze? And for that reason, I love a nighttime run in the fall- not too hot, not too cold… it’s just right. So that’s what I did- called a bestie and went for a nice, slow paced, 2 mile run on a toasty fall night.

So happy fall, and happy running!

0 Miles per Month

Get it? GET IT…?! Because I ran zero miles for the month of July! I probably could have, but I was already slowing down with my running schedule as it was. Prior to hopping on the Bikram band wagon cult, I was completely and totally lethargic. The longer I got into yoga and making sure I went each and every day, the more I did not want to run in fear that it would exhaust my body. I tend to forget that I have lupus and cannot push myself like others can- doing both at that frequency seemed like a poor life choice. The longer I went without a daily run, the longer I missed running.

Truthfully, I was fearful that I would no longer be able to run and that my body would have to retrain itself. I was hoping 105 degrees of torture would help to prepare me. Not only do I feel physically stronger than I was, but mentally I was continuously challenging myself to push through and each day I did. My new attitude: If I could do it, I can do it.

Following my 30 days of Bikram, I did give myself one day off from working out entirely, but I was pumped to lace up my sneakers and hit the boardwalk. It was actually a craving- I know, hard to imagine, I usually crave ice cream, not running, but I needed my fix. Day 2 post Bikram and I was ready for a change. I rode my bike west, met John for a 2 mile run on the beach, and rode home, totaling 11 miles on my bike. I felt alive again. I woke up this morning charged to go- making sure to take a gratuitous ring next to my sneakers photo.

photo

dirt and sparkles = love

Taking to my beloved boardwalk I ran, blasting oldies but goodies- yup, I’m talking about you Tricky…

And it felt freeing. Not easy, but freeing. Running, I love you and I missed you. I will never leave you for that long again! Today, I finished 4 miles in 40 minutes, not too shabby for a month hiatus. The muscles and brain do not forget, so maybe it has been a while since you last had a good workout, but it’s better to start sooner rather than later. Because, why not?! That’s the best logic I have for you.

Life of a Mogwai

I hate showering.

TMI?

Well that’s what blogs are for: Too much information for the good of humanity. How else would you find out that other people hate cleaning themselves as much as you do? Don’t worry. You’re normal. Says the person that hates showering… And apparently this piece of work too:

2015/01/img_0108.jpg
If you’re wondering to yourself who is that you’re a better person than I am. Kudos.

Anywho!

Despite my aversion to water that’s comparable to a mogwai, I always manage to bathe myself after a workout. Mostly because I believe in overcoming obstacles in life. It makes you a better person.

Wednesday I had a choice to:

A) blog about my kickass workout

or

B) shower

Good for me, I chose the latter. So, three days later and I’m finding some time to indulge you in my progress in life. Here we go!

I, Talia Timberlake* am the heaviest I have ever been in my whole entire life. Maybe it’s because part of my resolution this year was to have no resolutions. Screw the man! Maybe it’s because Maslow had it so right when he wrote about the significance of food. Maybe it’s because Meghan Trainor sang an inspiring song about having all the right curves in all the right places.

And I may or may not have sent this gem out to a few people on New Year’s Eve:

2015/01/img_0107.png
Ugh, I’m such a jerk! Granted, there are a lot of topics of conversation that could come up when looking at that picture again. For instance, I’m wearing a romper. Normally, rompers are a welcome addition into my clothing family- not on a night where bathrooms are sparse and the streets are flooded with drunken humans. The romper on New Years Eve was single handedly my worst decision of 2014.

So after I came home from a fabulous vacation in Key West, help take me back! I weighed myself and had a life sized (literally) reality check. Remember that one time I wrote a whole post dedicated to my hatred of the scale (see here). As much as I hate the scale sometimes it’s necessary to reflect. Especially when you’re consistently opting for stretch pants because unbuttoning the top button on your jeans all of the time is looking increasingly obvious under your now tight shirt. Then again, you can always just buy a moo moo.

It hurts to see a number you have never seen before. I swore that working out was not about weight loss- until I gained weight. And it doesn’t matter what size you wear, it isn’t fun. I have many opinions on my current insecurities, for example, shut up, you’re being so annoying right now. But whatever, on a rainy day I’ll blog about how photoshop, magazines, and the porn industry have destroyed us all. So back to my recent destiny: As groupon would have it, a local cycling studio was offering up a deal, and I’m a sucker for deals so I bought into it with a few friends, thus scoring our workout classes for $5 a pop. Unheard of!

That was in December.

I procrastinated going. I got sick. I was tired. I had a really long day at work. I had a longer than usual week at work. Oh yeah, and I was afraid!

There it was! The root in my procrastination. I was terrified of going because the last time I cycled I swear I saw Jesus through beads of sweat blinding my eyeballs- and I’m Jewish. But that was over one year ago, before I realized that it’s ok to feel like death may be closer to 30 than you imagined- because it’s not. Because you’re going to walk out of your workout feeling like … Things that release endorphins. Which p.s., feels sensational.

So I took a class with my girl, Sarah, which always makes going to workout easier. Forget the fact that you won’t even be close to each other or recognize the other person exists once the workout begins, the sheer accountability is the perk. We signed up for the one hour class which is the longest class they offer. My immediate thought was: fuck. The class was also the one that incorporates weights so naturally my second thought was: why didn’t I read the description of the classes before I blindly signed up. Damn you, Sarah!

Since I have a tendency to vacillate between diligence and laziness, clearly I chose the one pound weights over the two pound weights. Like I said, I love challenging myself. Actually I always feel ashamed in weight classes because without fail I will choose the lowest weight option. One pounders are less challenging to hold than a baby rattle. Literally, a baby could lift this with ease. I don’t care. It make me happy.

My fears aside, the class was wonderful, the instructor was helpful, and I got a great workout in. I love looking around a room and seeing people of all ages, genders, abilities, sizes- it’s a beautiful thing. If you are a near the Long Beach area check out Ocean Ride. The first “ride” (they call it that, aw, so cute) is free. My intention is to go once a week minimum as a supplement to running. And maybe to fit into my pants again. Dream big, folks, dream big.

*name changed for privacy. And because Justin asked me to take his name. I know, I know, I’m a feminist… I should have hyphenated.

Facts of Life

A few revelations that I’ve come to in the past two days:

  • You have to save your drafts to wordpress or they will be deleted.
  • You will be seriously disappointed when you realize this.
  • My dog is better groomed than I am.
  • If you listen to Faith Hill’s Breathe long enough, you will start to breath.

In the spirit of going to the gym yesterday and running 4 miles in 40 minutes, I would like to thank the warped mirror which makes me look 10 lbs lighter. Making each and every trip to the gym feel like it’s working, damn girl, check out that butt!

In the spirit of my dedication to my last blog post that I never saved, I’m going to keep this short and sweet.

These are the…

get it?

Facts…of…life…

le sigh.

Hey, Girl, Hey

I’m still alive and here! I’ll give you a morning synopsis so you know it’s me and not my evil twin (a little Halloween spirit in the household!) I am still running. I had a rough three weeks following the extraction of my wisdom teeth- it was followed by a hardcore cold (allergies?) that lasted for weeks. The cough still hasn’t gone home ::cough:: welcome to fall/winter, body!

Last week John and I began our quest to run while most people, including ourselves, would be asleep… The dreaded 5 a.m. haul out of bed. We took Tilly on a few morning runs, the dog is a good companion! Who would have known those four little legs could carry her so well. Don’t worry PETA representatives, we know her limits. This morning we dragged ourselves up but the weather was like, no way… Don’t run out here… so we decided to hit up the gym spot. We made it to the gym only to find a pitch black building. A pitch.black.locked.shut.building. Seriously, gym! Does this mean that tonight I can say I already went to the gym?

No… It doesn’t work like that?

Since the gym wasn’t open and I made it clear that I am not diehard enough to run outside we decided to do the food shopping that we swore would happen over the weekend. We get to the supermarket, dedicated and ready to speed shop or at least get some kind of sweat on. Hopes dashed! Two workers eye me through the large glass windows as I repeatedly try to open the front door. They don’t even blink. Or laugh at my expense.

What is going on world?! At least laugh at my misfortune!

Now, at 6:20, I have enjoyed a cup of coffee (made using a napkin as a filter since filters were on the shopping list) and watched 50 cent learn about his heritage on a vh1 show about celebs revisiting their origins… Talk about racist old people, what the hell is a Mongolian Slave?! (See what I’m talking about)

On another note, things I need to purchase:

IMG_0057.JPG
(From here)

Simply because I’m positive that’s the exact opposite of how today is going for me right about now. I guess I’ll just go to the gym twice today. I can say that now.

Grinding

When the summer began to wind down, the last thing I felt like doing was stationing myself in front of a computer to write about life. If life is about living I wanted to make sure I was actually doing that in my fleeting hours of irresponsibility. Irresponsibility because I did not work at all this summer. And it was glorious. Side note: somewhere along the line I convinced myself that I am a workaholic and not working would be like not breathing. Impossible. That was what I believed until I didn’t work this summer. Turns out I can still breath.

So in my final few weeks I was determined to do a lot of running- I mentioned in my last post that I ran four miles. Oh, was that overshadowed by my whining that I didn’t see James Franco? Sorry. Four miles might not seem like much of anything considering in my heyday I was doing that each day. Now…times have changed. As I slept in during the long days of irresponsibility, I dreaded physical activity. I was pushing it most days with two miles runs, or I would ride my bike six miles, do a 1.5 miles beach run, ride my bike home and call it a day. Three mile days were few and far between until the past two weeks when I finally acknowledged how lazy I have become. As I mentioned before, it turns out that I’m marvelous at watching every season and episode of any Real Housewives. Indiscriminately.

I forced myself up and out, riding my bike to the gym on days it was too hot to run outside, I took my bike everywhere I needed to go, and I stopped thinking I can’t. Because I have run that much and more. And before I could put in the distance I started with the basics. No excuses. And it was one day as I was riding my bike, blasting some version of Calvin Harris / Avicii something or another that it clicked in my head- today I did not think about going for a run. I just did it. And it took one whole year, but it happened. The day has finally arrived where I workout because it’s what I do and not because I require it of myself. And it feels damn good.

And today I went back to my daily grind and into my fifth year of teaching. I went back to the mornings of fighting with John for mirror space before the sun is out. Back to the days of responsibility- in my job and for myself. And now that the days of irresponsibility are over I hope that stays true. I hope I continue to hold myself accountable and I hope I continue to remember that it always feels worth it after the workout is over. Even when you swear you are going to die and ice cream seems like the only cure in this harsh, harsh world we live in.

IMG_0005.JPG