How many races have you done in your lifetime?
As far as official races go, believe it or not I’ve only run in 6 races in my entire lifetime. My first was in elementary school. It was only 1 mile, but all participants got a shirt and a medal so I was stoked about it. 1 was a 2-mile pre-season race in cross country when I was a freshman in high school; 1 was an 5K invitational for said cross country team. Then I ran in 1 5K last September, a 5K done in this past March, and then my most recent one was my first ever 10K last month in June.
That’s right. SIX races. Throughout cross country freshman year, I never actually completed that many races and had to stop after only 1 or 2 miles during a race (and so not finishing). I think that, at the time, it was too soon after me coming out of in-patient treatment and the fact that I knew nothing about nutrition nor did I have a nutritionist or anybody other than a psychiatrist working with me at the time for me to really have reached the level of fitness that I needed to be able to run and train. But, now I’m hooked again! I have my first half marathon race coming in mid-September and I can’t wait to do that and sign up for more!
What is one thing you love about yourself and one thing you would want to change about yourself?
I could go with the obvious and name the various aspects of my body that I dislike, but I won’t. Women, myself included, struggle enough with body insecurities as it is for me to contribute to that. However, one thing that I want to change about myself is how I handle stress. I tend to completely shut people out and anyone who even tries to talk to me will cause me to lash out and I yell. It’s no fault of theirs, and I know that it hurts them for me to be so angry for seemingly no reason. It’s not even major sources of stress that trigger this, but can be completely stupid event or situation that I know in my head I shouldn’t be upset about. But I am. It needs work.
One thing that I do like about myself is that I don’t procrastinate. I plan months ahead of time for most things and don’t delay on starting assignments. It’s fairly well known among my friends and classmates that I do readings probably about a week ahead of when they’re supposed to be read by and I never wait until the last minute to write a paper. If anything, I at least start on the paper the same day that it is assigned. I’m pretty sure that I am the only one of my friends to have made up a complete 4-year plan for all of my college courses that I made before I was even done with my first semester at university. Yes, it has changed extensively, but it is always up-to-date and makes scheduling each year lots easier.
What are some of your favorite blogs?
I have a blogroll that shows the majority of the blogs that I follow. But, if I really had to choose which ones I look forward to reading the most, I would have to say Emma’s (Sweet Tooth Runner), Carrie’s (Moves ‘N Munchies), and Freya’s (Brit Chick Runs). Although, of course, I love everyone on my blogroll. Hmm… I should probably update that page soon, right?
I’m constantly discovering new blogs by looking at who comments on my blog, participating in chats like #fitblog and #runchat, who comments on the blogs that I follow, and who the bloggers that I follow follow.
Do you enjoy any other forms of exercise besides running?
Of course! Running is just my favorite though, because you don’t really need any equipment to do it. I do yoga once a week, which I probably would like more if it weren’t always the same DVD and if I were doing it with other people. I’m scheduled to take Zumba! classes with my mother starting about mid-June through August. Team sports always make for good exercise, too! But I don’t really get the opportunity to get in large groups of people to play games except maybe once or twice over the summer at barbeques, but then I play ultimate frisbee or volleyball. I also try to really make an effort to strength train 1-2x a week.
I’m not a fan of swimming, just because I never learned how to swim without keeping my head entirely above water. Biking I consider more a form of transportation than as exercise, so I never think to bike just for the sake of exercising. I’ve tried Pilates once, which I didn’t hate. The only actual fitness class that I’ve taken is Zumba, which is alright, but I’m not in love with it.
In the past, I’ve played soccer, basketball, volleyball, gymnastics, cross country, and softball, as well as ballet and modern dance, so I’ve been all over the place with sports and other activities. I loved modern dance as a kid and I wish that I were taking a dance-fitness class now, but I’m one of those people that doesn’t like to sign up for stuff alone.
During your recovery were you ever told you couldn’t exercise at all? How did you deal with this?
Yes, during my first recovery (when I was 13) I was told that I couldn’t barely even walk anywhere. They were just concerned with getting me to gain weight regardless of how healthy that weight gain was. Technically I was also using exercise to restrict, but since I was so young I didn’t have a gym membership or access to anything like that. Instead, I paced. For hours. They wouldn’t even allow me to fidget anymore (shaking my leg when I’m sitting, etc.) I still shake my leg a good portion of the time, but it’s not really a conscious act, it’s just something that I do and it’s especially in full force if I’m nervous/excited/anxious about something.
I much prefer this time around where I am essentially dictating my own recovery and, thus, allowing myself to exercise. Because of this, the weight that I have gained has been a good portion of muscle (and some much needed fat here and there as well). This has helped me so much in accepting the major changes that my body has been, and continues to go, through. I remember crying in my mother’s living room one night those many years ago because I felt like all the weight that I had gained in treatment was fat and I hated the way that it made me look and, especially, feel. I literally wanted to tear my skin off because I was so uncomfortable in my own skin.