2011

I feel like a New Year should symbolize something bold and brilliant; it should be some sort of clear signpost aligned with a major life change.  I am graduating from college this May, so I guess that signifies something. But nonetheless, I feel damp; cold; stagnant.  It’s not that I’m not excited about graduating, or that I regret 2010 (quite the opposite; it was a joyful year).  It’s that the overwhelming characteristic of my emotional landscape right now is fear.

I have a tendency towards anxiety in general (I believe it is often associated with depression), but it has never been particularly associated with the changing of years or the passing of time.  As a child and adolescent, I was so unbelievably eager to grow up that sometimes I felt as though I might explode from waiting.  And there are many pleasures of adulthood: romantic love and sex, of course, but also things like living on your own, exploring new places without constraints or boundaries, and choosing the life that you want to live, in terms of education, career, friends, lovers, location, etc.  There is an exhausting number of variables.

More than anything, I felt my childhood crumble away in late 2010.  I had a similar feeling in late winter of 2009, just about two years ago. You can read my essay about that here.  Maybe there are a series of sudden moments or realizations or overcomings that signify the end of childhood.  Maybe this is one of the moments in that series.  But it still feels too sudden, too painful.  From the time I was about 12, I had the skills to take care of myself.  Granted, I was not an emotionally sound adolescent, but I was remarkably good at cooking, getting myself to and from places, and keeping track of events (gymnastics meets, doctor’s appointments, school concerts).  I don’t remember thinking of myself as a kid past the time I was 11 or 12.

And now I’m 21 and I’ll be 22 later this year and it’s too late to go back.  I want to at least stop time, if I can’t go back.  But I’m not allowed to do that either.  For the first time in a decade, I don’t want to grow up.   I want to stay the same.  I want to play outside with my cousins.  I want to catch minnows in the summer in glass jars.  I want to build intricate snowmen in the winter and not worry about how many calories are in the elephant ear I’m eating.  I want my mother to live with me and make me pad thai or spaghetti with meatballs. I don’t want to take planes and trains and buses by myself.

Maybe I’m being a bit melodramatic, but I see 2009 and 2010 as the last years of my childhood.  In May, I will graduate from an Ivy League university with absolutely no clue what I want to do in this world.  I will probably delay the inevitable entrance to the real world by travelling and going to law school.  And maybe I will eventually do something that’s sort of un-adult, like teach kid’s dance lessons or be a nanny.  But my little safe cocoon of late adolescence is peeling away.  Soon, I’m going to have to do things like pay bills and taxes and apply for grown-up jobs.

So that’s the fear and the anxiety that I am feeling.  But as I write this, I’m beginning to feel a spark of some other feeling: it’s not exactly joy or excitement.  Maybe possibility?  Or curiosity?  Or calm?  There are wonderful parts about being a grown up.  And I have a feeling that I will always be the sort of grown up who doesn’t think twice about wearing colorful mittens or sifting for shiny seashells at the beach.  So maybe 2009 and 2010 do signify the terminal point of my childhood.  But this doesn’t have to be a bad thing.

The very end of this year (the second half of December), which I spent with no less than 27.5 relatives from my mother’s side of the family, was rough.   But I think that it makes sense: I was acting out in ways that a seven year old might.  I alternated between fits of misbehavior and moments of deep, deep sadness.  I think somewhere inside, I knew that this was not just the ending of a year, but the ending of an important segment of my life.  Maybe I was trying to delay the onset of 2011.  I will admit that midnight, January 1, took me by surprise.  I was sitting on a couch with my favorite aunt and uncle.  We didn’t notice until it was about 12:03. We promptly went to bed.

In 2011, I do not want to be a misbehaving girl any more.  I want to be a real woman.  This, of course, is probably dangerously undefined, but that’s how I want it to be.  I think that my transition to womanhood began a long time ago.  USB probably sped things up, and then my 21st year ended and I was nudged over the edge.  In this next year, I wish to move away from the child who had to do everything she could to take care of herself and thus grew up too quickly.  I will never leave her behind; that girl is a big part of who I am and how I am today.  Instead, I want to move closer towards the bright, collected, exuberant young woman that I want to be.

Over the next few days, I will begin to compile a list of ways in which I intend to become such a woman.  If it is blog-appropriate, I will most definitely share.  I am not sure they will be resolutions, per se — I strongly dislike the pressure of a resolution.  More like ideas.  Let’s call them ideas.  Stay tuned!

What did 2010 signify for you?  How will 2011 be different?  What are you favorite parts about being a grown up?  About being a child?

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Birthday/Marathon Weekend

Today’s Happy Note: Cake with friends.  That’s what birthdays are all about.  I had a large slice of Cookies n’ Cream from Make My Cake with six of my closest friends and USB.

I will admit, I am nervous for the marathon.  Scared, excited, panicky.  But I know I can do this.  I have trained so hard for this.  So what if it takes me five hours.  I am ready.

Yoga and abs for fifteen minutes on Thursday, three and a half easy miles yesterday, and two miles today.  My legs felt nice and light today.  Let’s hope they stay that way!

Okay, got that off my chest.  Now let’s have some fun!

Expo!

Best brunch ever.  I treated myself to it this morning (I turned 21 today): scrambled eggs and a wheat waffle with maple syrup, bananas, peanut butter, and bacon.  Seriously, an amazing combo.

A wee little spot of bad news.  I found out the results of my blood tests yesterday — I had a lot of tests done.  One major problem: I’m a bit anemic.  Nowhere near enough iron in my blood, and my cells are shrinking.  Uck.  It will take months to build my iron stores back up.  I am taking iron pills now, so hopefully I’ll feel less weak and tired during the race.  Eek!

Mom.

And me.  At the finish line.  That I will hopefully cross tomorrow.

And there was cake.

With friends.

In a few hours I will be up, heading South to Staten Island.  One of the biggest days of my life.  And I’m terribly nervous — more nervous than  I thought I would be, actually.  Hopefully I’ll be able to manage it.  I’ve come a long way since being in the hospital in July and running 12 minute miles in August!

If you’re running, good luck!  If you’re spectating, I can’t wait to see you!  I will probably have my name in tape on my shirt.

Goodnight friends!

The RWTL Diet

Today’s Happy Note: Rediscovering the best hair conditioner ever!  I used to use this stuff in high school and then it disappeared — it used to be the Dove light blue bottle (NOT the dark blue bottle) and now it’s just called Dove Daily Moisture.  It makes me hair softer and smoother and less frizzy than ANY other hair product.  And I am not easy to please when it comes to hair products!

Marathon Training: I cannot believe it is 6 days away!  It feels like I just started training yesterday and now we’re in the final stages of taper.  I am definitely nervous.  I think that this week is primarily going to be about anxiety control. As long as I can get my mental game under control, I have a feeling the physical side of things will take care of themselves.

I did the 30 Day Shred Level 2 and lots of walking yesterday and my last “long” run today — 6 miles. The rest of this week I’ll do a few 3-4 milers.  Hopefully I will feel nice and rested and relaxed on Sunday.  I am thrilled that my first marathon is going to be the NYC Marathon.  I have wanted to do it since I moved to the city in fall 2007.  I have watched every race since then.  There is something mystical and intriguing about fall in the city, especially in Central Park.  It’s my home.  I couldn’t be more excited.

The RWTL Diet

I wanted to do a post about the way I eat.  It is an endless source of fascination for me to learn about the different ways people feed their minds and bodies.  I think there is both a physical and mental/emotional component to eating/fueling — and in fact, I think that duality is part of what makes eating lovely and fun.

Most bloggers (and people I know in real life too) eat in a very nuanced way.  What works for one person doesn’t work for another.  Everyone likes and needs slightly different things.  This post is about finding the overlap between what I like and what I need.

Through much experimentation, I have figured out that my body needs the following:

  • Lots of protein from a variety of sources
  • Lots of fats (both saturated and unsaturated), again, from a variety of sources
  • Moderate carbohydrates — some grains and some fruits, maybe 2-3 servings a day
  • Tons of veggies; basically, an unlimited amount
  • Occasional desserts — if I don’t have some sweets, I feel deprived, which results in overeating
What my body wants:
  • Flavor!  Spices, fat, sweet, sour, bitter, etc.
  • Variety — I like consistency, but I also get bored easily, so I need a good mix of foods.
  • Breakfast!  Breakfast is by far my favorite meal of the day.  I crave breakfast foods all the time.
  • Plant and animal sources of protein and fat.  I think this goes with variety, but I have also found that I thrive when I include both types.
  • Pastries.  I wouldn’t really call myself a junk food person — I have no interest in pizza, fries, wings, or candy.  But I love good scones, muffins, or cookies.
So how do I balance the needs and the wants and get good things into my body?
The short answer: with frequent meals and snacks that are built around plants, protein, and fat.  I never build a meal or a snack around a carb.  It just doesn’t work for me.  I am somewhat insulin resistance, and more carbs just don’t do anything for me — I feel sluggish and tired and they seem to make me gain weight.  People have different body types and metabolic systems, so this is NOT something that will hold true for everyone.  I follow some pretty simple guidelines:
Breakfast: build around a whole grain in tandem with protein and fat, sometimes with fruit.
Examples:
On the left we have 1/3 C of oats cooked with 2/3 cup of low-fat chocolate milk, 2/3 cup of water, cinnamon, a little less than a quarter cup of peanut flour, and a tablespoon of peanut butter.  On the right we have a toasted cinnamon raisin bagel (a little more carby than normal) with peanut butter and bacon.  It was a delectable combination.
I used to eat tiny breakfasts (100-200 calories; usually an instant oatmeal packet) and would feel SO guilty whenever I had a more substantial breakfast.  But I was always starving by 11 AM and miserably forced myself to wait for lunch. Satisfying breakfast=happy Caronae.
Lunch: Veggies with, surprise, more protein and fat.  I usually either build lunch around a salad, stir fry, egg scramble, smoothie, or, occasionally, a sandwich.  Has to be simple and quick: think things like pre chopped veggies, steamed/sauteed veggies, deli turkey, sliced tofu, avocado, whole eggs, or cottage cheese/greek yogurt.
Examples:
On the left we have half a can of Amy’s spicy chili mixed with a boatload of broccoli and topped with TJ’s hummus/guacamole mixture.  On the right we have today’s lunch of two eggs scrambled in EVOO mixed with chopped brussel sprouts, broccoli, and mozzarella.
Both were quite tasty and filling.  I often add a piece of carb-y fruit, like grapes or an apple, with lunch, depending on how much I’ll be running that day.
Dinner: I usually do more actual “cooking” here, often with fish, chicken, tofu, beans, ground beef, or steak, paired with roasted veggies, squash, and/or salad.
Examples:
On the left is tonight’s dinner of heated pumpkin topped with steamed carrots and a divine stir-fry of ground beef, EVOO, salt, basil, garlic, and portabella mushrooms.  On the right we have baked salmon with a peanut/ginger sauce, roasted cauliflower, and steamed squash with cinnamon and avocado.
Snacks: usually a mix of fats and proteins, eaten in the late afternoon.  I like nuts, protein bars, fruit with nut butter, yogurt with various add-ins, low fat milk or soy milk, eggs, etc.
Dessert: almost always involves chocolate. 🙂  I like hot cocoa with dark chocolate melted in, oats with protein powder, peanut butter, and chocolate chips, pumpkin with cinnamon and yogurt, frozen berries, plain dark chocolate, and weird combinations of the above.
I make sure to eat enough to get me through lots of studying and running and yoga and life.  I would estimate about 2500 calories a day, although less when I am running less.
So there you have it.  The RWTL “diet.”  How would you characterize your “diet”?
Oh, and some Halloween pics for fun.  Guess what I am!
How was your Halloween weekend?  Anything fun?  What’s on the table for this week?

The LSAT Monster

Today’s Happy Note: The LSAT is over. Over.  Over.  Over.  Well, for this time at least.  I am kind of freaking out because I know I really screwed up at least one section (read: I guessed on over half of the questions) so I might have to take it again.  It took 2 hours to get to the site, then there was 4 hours of testing interspersed with 3 hours of administrative BS then 2 hours to get back.  Yep, I left the dorm at 6:30 this morning and got back a little after 5.

Craziness.  It was one of the most intellectually/physically/emotionally draining things I have ever done.  I am *praying* I did ridiculously well on the sections that I thought went alright.  Feel free to join me in prayer.   We’re all constituents in this universe.  And I think that going to law school would make me a better constituent.  Therefore I need a good LSAT school.

Okay, that sounded really selfish.  Sorry.  You don’t really have to devote your prayers to my LSAT score.

I made a new friend while I was there though!  She is a super hot mom librarian.  Yeah, I know, random, but she was awesome — she even gave me a ride back to the train station afterwards so I didn’t have to take a cab.

I love when nice people come out of nowhere.  I needed it today. My LSAT story in pictures:

Studying on the elliptical last night.  Don’t worry, that wasn’t the first time I studied!

Taking the LSAT is pretty much an exercise in national security: you can only bring a limited amount of items into the test center, all in a one gallon plastic bag. Your water bottle must be less than 20 ounces with no label. You can only have an analog watch.  You get fingerprinted.  You bring your passport and should basically have your Social Security Number tattooed on your head.  It was super intense.

Moving on though!

First of all, thank you guys so much for your sweet comments Thursday!  It means a lot to me that people want to read about my therapy journey and that it proves valuable to some of you.  It certainly is valuable for me to write about it! 🙂

Fun fact: I have not taken a single picture of food in front of USB.  Not one.  And you know what?  I don’t want to.  I do take pictures of most of my food, both for personal record-keeping (I find that it helps me to keep track of what I have eaten, and to make sure I am getting plenty of variety), and to share in some posts, but not around USB.  It was something I thought about for a long time: I thought that I wasn’t being a true food/healthy living blogger if I didn’t photograph absolutely everything.  But, as my first nine months (!!!!) of blogging have shown me, blogging about health is about finding a balance.  Sometimes it is a very delicate balance, but I do believe in my heart that it exists for everyone.  For me, that balance has a couple of points relevant to this situation:

1.  So much of my health and well-being is tied to being social and having loving, caring people in my life.  USB is more important than any meal or any food picture.

2. Taking a brief break from thinking too much about food everyday helps clear my head; that way I don’t get obsessive about it.

By no means do these things hold true for all bloggers!  This is just what works for me.

Conclusion: USB and I have gone to lots of nice restaurants that I might tell you about someday, but for now, I don’t really want to think about food when I’m around him. 🙂

Dried fruit and nuts is the best snack ever!  I had dried apple rings with honey sesame almonds for my snack during the break for the test and it was definite brain food.

Oatmeal reflections.

I just did an awesome 20 minute pilates video from yoga download.  I also walked a bit — I needed a really easy day, activity wise.  Last night I lifted weights for 30 minutes and ellipticized for 40 minutes.

Hopefully all the rest I took from running this week (which I reallllllly needed) will pay off on tomorrow’s 20-miler!

Time to go in quest of some dinner.  And back away from the LSAT percentile/score chart websites. Back away, Caronae.

Nighty night!

Therapy Thursday

Today’s Happy Note: Herbert: Herbert George is my big, soft yellow stuffed duck that I got for Easter when I was 14 or 15. I fell in love with him at the store; I don’t know why.  He is just special to me and makes me very calm.  He has been to Michigan, New York, California, Canada, and Paris.

Marathon Training: I got over my weird running anxiety that I’ve had for the whole week!  Well, it took me about 45 minutes of running to get into it, but once I got into the zone, it was all good.  I think I just needed to take the speedwork pressure off myself.  I did 8.5 miles in about 90 minutes.

Last night I ended up doing 35 minutes of strength and gymnastics moves (like back walkovers and such — I was a gymnast until I was almost 14).

Today was an intense day – and not in the normally intense way, either.  It wasn’t about me opening up about something that has been locked inside me for a while, although I did tell her that I think I am starting to love USB, which might just be the most terrifying feeling I’ve ever felt.  The intensity and fieriness came from what was happening between L and me.  I meant for today to be about my body and my weight and my anxieties surrounding the dissonance between the shape of my body and my lifestyle and blah blah blah but sometimes, therapy just goes in a whole other direction entirely than what you had planned.  And when that happens, I accept it, and go with it – usually my random thoughts end up turning into deeper musings and then we have a lovely, revealing dialogue.  I think that a big part of my journey through therapy had been about recognizing that sometimes things want to go in a different direction than what I had planned, and that accepting this (rather than fighting it) might be a little bit fun and adventuresome.  I like to be adventuresome.

So I began today by talking about pillows.  I told her that I love the four main pillows she has on the couch (which I always rearrange to my liking when I come in – is that weird?) but that she has these two little ones that just don’t fit in.  One of them matches the coverings on the couch but doesn’t logically fit anywhere (it’s a small couch) and the other one has no actual pillow fluff content and clashes with everything else.  It was obvious that it was there for some sort of sentimental purpose, which L readily confessed.  I wasn’t mean about my pillow-criticism at all; I was pointing it out unintentionally at first just because it was something I wanted to say, but then I realized how much my frantic pillow rearranging (and the degree to which I get upset about their mismatched-ness) is a reflection of anxiety.  I tend to go through anxiety phases every few weeks or few months.  They are periods, lasting from a few hours to a few days, and usually not much longer, where I feel very anxious, tense, nervous, and uptight.  I am easily rattled and shaken.  Last night, I dropped my water bottle as I was getting into the elevator.  There were a few people already in the elevator who had obviously seen me.  I felt humiliated – like I couldn’t be in the elevator for another second longer.  The feeling went away relatively quickly, thankfully, but it’s an illustrative example.  I guess I would say that I go through brief periods of heightened self-consciousness.

During these moments, I find that controlling my external environment – for example, the pillows on L’s couch – can be a huge source of comfort and relief.  I am famous for rearranging scrabble or rummikub tiles such that they are all perfectly straight.  I hate when books on a shelf are not properly arranged.  There are a few big sources of anxiety in my life right now, and as I talked through all this with L, I noticed more and more where the anxiety is coming from and where I reroute it.  This might sound pointless, but it is actually very useful and calming for me to be able to sort through the tensions in my life in a quiet, non-judgmental, comforting environment with someone who cares about me deeply.  Big sources of anxiety: body image issues, LSAT, and USB.  USB isn’t making me anxious in a negative way at all; it’s just that the intensity of my feelings for him (and the fact that I have never felt these things before) is scary and wonderful and confusing all at the same time.  The word ‘love’ entered my head for the first time this week.  I’ll leave it at that.

A lot of today was about what therapy means.  That probably sounds vague, and if you have never been in an intense therapeutic relationship, I don’t know that I can explain it to you.  But there is a lot that goes on in the relationship between therapist and client – far more than you would ever think.  There is a lot of complicated material and tensions and meaningful things in what happens between the two of us.  We spent the rest of the hour talking about this.  In an email L sent me a few days ago, she expressed that many people in this world – herself included – would be sad if I were to leave it.  I don’t know what exactly her wording was, but it was the simplest, most powerful expression of caring that I have ever felt from her.  I told her this today.  Then we got into this whole thing about why she cares about me.  I know that many people don’t want to know anything about how their therapist feels or his or life, but as someone who has struggled tremendously with a pretty solidly formed identity based around non-lovability, it is very important for me to hear how and why she might care about me, as my therapist.  Wow, that was a long sentence.  So we went back and forth on that for a while, her telling me the ways in which she cares about me and why, and explaining that she can care about people in different ways (I hadn’t thought about this before).  This might sounds really self-centered, but I have a sneaking suspicion that it’s actually true: I think she might direct slightly more caring-energy to me than some other patients.  In other words, I think she just plain old likes me a lot and feels close with me in certain (appropriate) ways.  She said one of the biggest reasons for the intense mutual caring we have for one another is simple: that I’m genuine.  And this is true.  I have been looking for that word for a while, actually.  I am intensely genuine both in my life and in therapy.  In her words, if I don’t want to fucking talk about something, I don’t.

We spent a long while after that talking about me revealing things versus her revealing things.  It’s a fascinating subject, for me.  Both because I am curious and I like to know things about her (I also think it’s useful in many cases, which I’ll get to in a minute) and because the idea behind therapy – this relationship where one person is sort of the caretaker and receptacle and the other has the entire burden of identity – is of genuine interest to me.  L has told me in the past that some patients really ask very little of her, or nothing.  Some people just talk.  Some people don’t know that she has two sons or anything about her basic life facts, let alone what she is thinking.  For me, it’s important to know both of these things.  It helps me contextualize her.  Otherwise, she is just an empty figure sitting a few feet away from me.  My guess would be that I probably know more about her than 90% of other patients.  Mostly just because I ask.  Only once has she not wanted to talk about something.

Today, something happened that has never ever happened before.  I was trying to think about love and relationships – I have a rough idea of how this has worked in her life.  I probed a little deeper, intentionally but gently.  I can’t stand the idea of never taking care of her, in a weird way.  I sometimes genuinely just want to listen to her.  If other people don’t want that in a therapy relationship, fine.  But that’s not me.  I obviously won’t talk about what it is that I asked her or what her response were because that is her business.  But she cried.  She cried. I pointed out that she had never cried in front of me before and she said that she has cried in front of a patient very, very few times.

I wanted to hold her.  I think I did provide some verbal comfort.  It was a fascinating, humanizing experience for me.  It was both heart-wrenching and touching. The saddest thing was when she first started to cry and I realized that she was going to cry and she said “you’re going to make me cry now.”  It was like suddenly a shade had parted between us and our relationship was in color and I understood something very tender and painful in her life.  And this made me connect with her in a different, deeper way than I have before.  A good way, for me, although I certainly don’t enjoy seeing her in pain.  I wanted to make her pain go away.  My heart ached for her.

I don’t think that it was a waste of my energy or time to feel so intensely towards her, because in a way, that caring was redirected back at me.  Listening to the outline of her experience (she obviously doesn’t go into nearly as much detail as I do), the pain and reality of it was so stark; it made me realize that sometimes my own experiences are exactly like this and I need to be kinder to myself.

So in sum: L cried in front of me, for the first time ever (and not because she was emotionally moved by something I said – it was entirely about her) today and it was immensely moving and helpful for me.

An Exhausted Pumpkin Seed

Today’s Happy Note: My new string of fake pearls!  My cousin recently moved from NYC and gave me some things she wasn’t taking:

I am NOT normally a take-my-picture in the mirror girl, but I made an exception for this necklace. 🙂

A few notes…

I’m getting to a point in the school year where I am feeling a little bit overwhelmed.  I have a lot of schoolwork and reading.  I’m a history major which means that I spend a lot of time, well, reading history.  History is long. Historians are verbose.  School has to be a big priority in my life.  It’s feeling like I have a million priorities right now.  I certainly like being busy, but I also know that I do need to devote myself fully and passionately to the things that I do.  All this is the long-winded explanation for why blog posts will be inconsistent for the next two to three or so months.

Inconsistency upsets me, so I might like to have an actual schedule of inconsistency.  That makes no sense, but whatever.  Perhaps every other night?  I’ll see what works.  But, especially during the school week, I need evenings to focus on schoolwork.  Last night I went to the library for the first time all semester.  That needs to happen more often.

Another note: Marathon Training. It’s getting annoying.  I’m exhausted.  I originally was planning on rearranging my runs for the week, but I quickly realized that I’m just too tired.  I have some weeks where I am more tired than others (both sleepy-tired and physically-tired) and this is a very tired week.  I took a four hour nap this afternoon.

I’m coming to understand that I need to be flexible with the plan and be gentle with myself.  My body is not some sort of crazy marathon-running-automoton. It has aches and pains, wants and needs, tired moments, lively moments.  I need to listen.  I ran 57 miles last week and so far, this week, I have done four (last night — an easy four with 6×100 strides in the last mile and 20 minutes yoga).  I skipped out on 14 miles worth of speedwork.  I am really struggling with feelings of guilt.

Any other marathoners out there who can relate?

I want to not feel guilty, but it’s there. I know that, at this point, I have a solid enough running ability and cardio-base built up and that I need to take a break when I need to.  So this week I’m taking it easy.  So there.

Onto some fun eats from the past few days!  Many of which have involved pumpkin, hence the title of this post.

Guess what?  Tonight, I do not want to run.  I just don’t have it in me.  So I’m going to do what I do want to do, which is swim!

I really want to be in the pool again.  I miss it!  I used to swim hardcore in high school.

I refuse to let marathon training get in the way of what my body really wants to do. I have a history of over-exercising and I will not get into that cycle again.  I will not do what my body does not want to do.  I have a feeling that this will pass and, in a day or two, I will be ready to run.

Until then, I shall be a little fishy.

Grete’s Great Gallop/Mental Health Update

Today’s Happy Note: The sunshine on my skin in the afternoon.

Mental Health Note: I have been struggling a bit lately, I must admit.  I don’t necessarily feel sadder than usual — in fact, I feel more in control of my depression than I have since, well, before I was depressed (which was long, long ago — like middle school long ago).  It’s the body image stuff.  It’s miserable.  It’s painful.  It makes me want to die, in certain ways. I feel like I’m being taken back to a dark place in my life — say 2-4 years ago — where my body was never good enough.  Every single day was spent hating myself, because of my body.  Everyday.  I thought of so many ways to say “I hate you” that it isn’t even funny.  It wouldn’t even make a bad comedy routine.  It’s too sad.

So this moment finds me facing difficulties with my body and my weight, and, as a consequence, my mental well being.  The most frustrating thing about this anxiety and weight gain and hatred and queasiness — whatever you want to call it — is the fact that I know better than this. I know not to do this.  Not to work myself up into this state.

I guess that admitting how much I am struggling is a good first step.  Better than outright saying “alright, I’m a failure, I’ll just give up and let it all get worse.”

Also, I surprised myself and opened up to USB about it.  That was a big step for me, I think.  A really big step that I’m proud of.  And L, as always, has been there for me.  I think I sent her an email late last night and she responded today, a Saturday, with a long comforting response.  I guess I haven’t talked a lot about therapy/L lately, as things have become more and more private, I guess.  It’s a really beautiful feeling to know that someone is there for you 24/7, no matter what, when, where, why.  She’s there.  And I need her, very much, at this moment in my life.

Grete’s Great Gallop Race Report!

This morning was my third official half-marathon! Unlike my first two (read my recap of the NYC half here), I was not going into this one with the goal of running fast or PRing.  I had two goals:

1. Get into a “race mentality” — early wake-up, race breakfast, getting ready to run fast.

2. Run slightly under Marathon Goal Pace.

That’s it.  Plain and simple.  And I satisfied those two goals, which means that I am happy with the experience.

A few notes:

~I probably should have slept for more than 4.5 hours last night.  USB is such a wonderful, wonderful distraction though…I’ll be sure to get 8-10 hours of sleep before the marathon.

~I went out at a solid 10:00 pace and worked my way down to a 9:00 (overall average pace was 9:36).  This is good.  I would like to replicate this slower-to-faster strategy on marathon day (although probably being a bit slower overall).

~I think GU Shot Blox are my favorite mid-run fuel.  I had to take a clif mojo bar today which wasn’t ideal.  I also need to figure out my ideal method of carrying fuel or water.

~It’s time to get new shoes!

~If I can run a half marathon in 2:05:50 at the end of a 57-mile week, with relative ease, I most definitely can run a marathon, while tapered and well-rested and properly-fueled, under my goal pace of 4:30!

So today was an experiment of sorts.  A happy, succesful experiment.  I’m pleased.

Oh, and USB took me to get a foot massage afterwards.  I can’t really explain what I feel for him.  But just know that it’s a lot.  I feel a lot.

Tell me about your weekends thus far?!?!  Any races? Long runs?  Non-running related exciting happenings?

What do you do when you feel like you’re in a mental health rut — like you’re slipping and you want to be able to get a better hold of things but you don’t know how?

Goodnight friends!

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