Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Lacking motivation? Um yea, to say the least.

Week five of my 24-week training plan started yesterday and I’m sad to say I haven’t walked in almost two weeks. I met my fundraising goal (or will as soon as some gift matching funds are applied) and I guess everything else just turned off. I am struggling with several issues that I am allowing to get in the way of reaching my goal to improve not only my own quality of life but also that of my fellow human. Let me start with outlining a few of my issues (I apologize in advance if this turns out being a venting session) in hopes that the air will be cleared – maybe even some tough love or positive words from my fellow 3-day’ers – and I’ll be ready to jump back in feet first.

1. Gear. I am a plus-sized walker (5’8”, 275 lbs) which makes for some difficulty in finding correctly sized accessories. I’ve got stuff I have to take on my walk (e.g., phone, ID, keys, snack, etc.) and I can’t find something comfortable to keep them in (although I’m hoping to correct this with a very helpful post by The Pink Purpose titled Train with it, walk with it). I’ve been using a waist-pack (I call it this because a. I hate the term fanny pack; b. I would never and have never called my rear end a fanny; c. I don’t wear it on my fanny so that doesn’t make sense anyway; and d. a tummy pack, which is where I wear it, doesn’t sound any better). This waist-pack is anywhere from a few to several inches too small (and yes, I’ve got it extended as far as it will go) and though it doesn’t hurt while I walk (yet!) my waist is sore once I take it off and I’m certain that means I should NOT plan to use this particular piece of gear during the actual 3-day event, which also means I’m not doing myself any favors by training with it.

In a previous post, I included a few pictures of some other waist-packs I might try but I’m beginning to rethink the entire waist-pack idea at this point. To come back to the blog mentioned above, I think I will test out one of those super lightweight nylon drawstring backpacks and a hand held water bottle. I walked in the Fleet Feet Sports’ Women’s Fitness Festival in Sacramento earlier this month and carried my water bottle. I thought this was going to be a pain but I found that I drank more often and used my hands more (keeping them from swelling) so in addition to maybe solving the waist-pack/corset torture device I usually use and possibly improving my hydration and swelling – I’ll definitely be trying this one in the very near future.

2. Loneliness. I want to preface this by saying I am typically a loner, which is not to say that I don’t enjoy company or prefer to be alone but simply that I’m comfortable with myself and don’t require company. However, walking with myself (rather than “by myself” which sounds negative) has led to feel a bit lonely on my walks, which doesn’t really help the time go by faster. I have been walking on secure bike trails so I feel comfortable using my iPhone for entertainment but that just isn’t cutting it these days.

In hopes of remedying this, I am taking the advice of fellow the fellow 3-day walker known as 60 Mile Girl. Her post, Connections Really Count, has me thinking that I could definitely be doing more to break out of my loner shell and become a fully invested participant in the 3-day community. I created a Twitter account this morning (which I’ll admit is totally overwhelming right now but I’m sure I’ll get the hang of it) and am committed to finding local walkers that I can join up with. The only possible issue with this is finding some local walkers that are on the same schedule as me (Arizona, Nov 12th-14th). The closest events are San Francisco (Oct 1st-3rd) and San Diego (Nov 19th-21st). I’m thinking that anyone walking in the San Diego event will be pretty darn close to my schedule so that might be my best bet.

3. Time. I almost feel lame putting this one down (although it is my last issue…YAY!) because I KNOW this is something EVERY 3-day walker struggles with so although these reason are nothing new, I still need to get them out there so I can work through them and LET THEM GO! I have two kids (10 and almost two), one husband (probably didn’t need clarify the number there), a full-time job, nearby family, too many summer activities planned, and just not enough time in the day! I tried getting up early during week to come to walk on the beautiful 32-mile bike trail by my office. This worked for a while but I was having such a hard time getting up early enough to be finished, presentable, and at my desk by 7:30am that I just stopped doing it. I tried walking in the evenings on a 1.5-mile bike trail closer to my home, which was okay until we hit 100+ degrees. Working is the evening is definitely tough. Once I get home, I usually do not want to leave again because I change clothes and get comfy and am enjoying my family. I find it hardest to sacrifice this time with them. So – I guess that just means I need to suck it up and drag my “fanny” out of bed in the morning, huh? Grrr…I HATE having to suck it up! I’ve heard of some folks splitting their walks up into chunks that are more manageable but I think for me, if I’m being honest, I just need to “get ‘er done!”

Okay so, there’s my semi-small laundry list of motivational issues. Nothing too surprising I’m sure but difficult to manage for me. Any suggestions on how to get over this hump?

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Week two and I am NOT feeling blue.

Well, I am on day 11, week two of the 24-week training program posted on the Susan G. Komen website. We're holding steady at three miles, with a quick jump up to four miles this Saturday. I know it's still early but with my fundraising goal just about met (I think I'm $1 short right now but am waiting for some gift matching to come through to make sure) I'm very relieved to be finished with that part of the preparation – at least for the time being. At least now, the "pressure" of fundraising has lowered, allowing me to focus more on my training and fit additional fundraising in where possible. As I see these walks will quickly become longer, I'm really starting to look into the training gear/accessories that I will need to have a more successful and pleasant walking experience. For instance, I REALLY need a nice waist pack to hold my water bottle (or two). I can squeeze a little 16 oz. plastic bottle in my current pack but that just won't cut it for anything much further than three miles. I have walked while holding my water bottle, which was okay but also not realistic for longer walks. Here are the two I'm considering right now, both are pricey so a clear return policy is a must since I have NO idea how they'll feel on my body. Not to mention, I'm a plus size girl and there's no mention of actual inches on the waist strap – just that it's adjustable. These are both Ultimate Direction waist packs. I've read many excellent customer reviews and the website offers pretty much any configuration or style a person could want.

Anyway, like I said there are many things to consider and I just won't know what works for me until I can use it. I've seen several posts about the importance of drinking both water and a sports drink and that we should 1) alternate between water and a sports drink at each pit stop or 2) have both with me. I have no idea which is best or if it's just another personal preference thing...

I also really need to look into some new socks. I've read so many posts about socks and I guess the only consistent piece of advice is to try everything until you find what works. I don't seem to be incredibly prone to blisters but we'll see what happens after 14 miles! LOL – I have begun to feel some minor hot spots on my three miles walks that have my attention. Right now, I'm just happy that I'm able to listen to my body enough to recognize a possible trouble spot before it turns into trouble. I may still try some new socks but I actually think that it might be my shoes or the way I lace them. My foot tends to slide forward when I walk which creates a hot spot right in the center of the ball of my foot. I'm assuming that either I don't have the right shoes for me or that I'm not lacing up properly, although the answer could be behind door three and just be a sock problem. I don't live in a city with a 3-Day so there's only one official outfitter listed on the website. I'm travelling to Arizona for the 3-Day but live in Sacramento, the nearest 3-Day city is San Francisco and a two hour drive (one way) to look at shoes doesn't sounds all that great to me. However, my mom and I participated in a 5k walk just this past Sunday. This was an event sponsored by Fleet Feet, a locally owned and operated running shoe store, that may also be a good option. See the pictures below of my mom and I before the race and after of the finish line.

Not only was this women only 5k a blast to walk in but it also turned me on to another local resources for my walking gear.
Anyhoo, I'm just trucking along here in Sacramento. Enjoying our extended spring weather and walking in the evenings (and thus sleeping in a bit longer) while I still can. I'm pretty sure that will be over this weekend and I will yet again need to set the wicked alarm clock for somewhere around 5:00 or 5:30 to get my walk in before work, hot sun, etc.