Monday, June 23, 2014

Running with Cows

My husband and I travel for work, which takes us to many new places. Some are beautiful, some not so beautiful, but each have their own flavor and wonders to explore. We are currently in the Midwest in the beautiful state of Ohio, near the Pennsylvania border. This is a region of trees, grass, rolling hills and cows.

Here we are rocking our hard hats!
 I have a fondness for cows. They are gentle creatures, you rarely hear of anyone that is afraid of cows, and they like to hang around and observe. They never seem worried or in a hurry and are quite content to stay with their herd. However, every rule has it's exception and every now and again there are those who wish to break free from the herd. On my drive to work this morning, I observed just that.
How sweet are these ladies?!
My drive to work is a pleasant one with twenty minutes of beautiful scenery. My favorite stretch of the trip is a hill, almost mid way from home to work. There is a slight hill with a bend in the road. As you round the bend into the gently rising sun, before you lies a breathtaking farm scene that is the essence of Ohio. Soft rolling pasture, classic 1800's farmhouse complete with a barn, and, you guessed it, cows. Most days the herd is off in the distance, but this morning they were all gathered along the fence line near the road. As I drove by, taking quick glances at the cows, I caught the eye of a young cow. Now, I do not know if this cow was really looking at me, or if she just felt inspired, but something strange happened. This young cow got up and began to run! She ran along the fence line next to my car. As there were no other vehicles behind me, I slowed my pace to match hers and we began to "run" together. So there we were, this sweet cow, who had broken away from her herd, and myself, crawling along in my car cheering like a mad woman, "go cow go!" Sadly, I came to the end of the fence and had to continue on my drive, but I did catch a glimpse of this motivated bovine as she turned the corner at the fence and kept going. “Good for you!” I thought as I returned my vehicle to normal speed and continued down the road. As I drove, I thought a lot about that cow. I will never know what motivated her to break from the comfort of her herd, but what a joy it was to see her run!

I thought to myself, wasn’t I like that cow, comfortable in my “herd”, happy to meet the status quo, afraid of leaving the group, of trying something new; my biggest fear being that of failure. For me, it was freedom from a false medical diagnosis that finally broke the chains of my fear and allowed me to run free from my herd. What is holding you back today? What weighs you down and keeps you lost in the mass of the herd? What will it take for you to break free, to start your journey to becoming more than you ever thought possible?

I want you to know that you are not alone. There are others here who have broken free and have had the courage to run. Were we scared to try? Of course! We may stumble, we may fall. We may even find ourselves returning to the comfort of the herd and need to try again. Do we regret trying? Never, not for a second and we will keep getting up and never stop trying until we succeed. I invite you to join us! Just as I slowed my car to cheer for that little cow, you will find others on this same journey that are ready to slow down and cheer for you as well. So run my friend! Run and never look back!

End of Week 1

Day 1                               Monday, July 16, 2014               
5 minute warm up, then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes, followed by 5 minute cool down

My first workout was easier than I expected. The local gym is small and there were very few people there, so that was good for the "oh dear God I am wearing workout clothes in public" anxiety. The 60 second jogging moments seemed to take FOREVER but I finished the entire session and left the gym feeling like the most awesome chick in the world!

Day 2                               Thursday, July 19, 2014
5 minute warm up, then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes, followed by 5 minute cool down

This second workout was harder than the first because I was a bit (note the sarcasm) sore (which is why I waited an extra day and did not attempt to complete this on Wednesday. LISTEN to your body!) While this session took more concentration due to muscle soreness, the jogging time seemed to fly by! Before running today, I read Matt Frazier's blog How to Enjoy Running. Matt's site No Meat Athlete is very inspiring and a good resource. I employed (or attempted to) his concept of visualizing while running. The treadmills at the gym face a window and I envisioned myself taking off down the street and running around the corner. Sounds silly, but it was effective.

Day 3                               Sunday, July 22, 2014
 5 minute warm up, then alternate 60 seconds of jogging and 90 seconds of walking for a total of 20 minutes, followed by 5 minute cool down

I actually waited until Sunday to do this workout because I got my hair done on Saturday. Sometimes a girl has to do what a girl has to do! I felt very strong going into this workout, but when I increased my speed and began my run, my back was killing me. Our mattress has been silently working against me for a while now. So, we bought a new bed yesterday! Take that mattress! Used more of Matt's visualization today and it does help. I'm looking forward to this next week, but nervous as well because the run time increases.

Things I found useful this week:
  • Dr. Scholl's CustomFit Orthotics
    Dr. Scholl's has a machine in local, large stores that you stand on and it tells you which insert would work best for your feet. My husband and I did this and it was quite fun! I purchased the suggested insert and the annoying foot pain in my right foot was gone! Yay! You can read more about the inserts here.
  • Thirty48 -Calf/Shin Splint Compression Sleeves
    I have read on several plus size running sites that compression sleeves make all the difference. Since the local sporting goods store did not have these, I did some online research and found this pair. I really like them. They fit well (even though getting them on and off is quite a display of determination) and I have had no pain or issues in my lower legs.
  • Candida Overgrowth Syndrome
    Learning about this syndrome was an eye opener for me! I have been taking ProBio5 which is an anti-fungal pro-biotic introduced to me through my friends Josh & Pam White and is available through Plexus. (for more info click here). I must tell you that I had personal confirmation that I did have a Candida issue about a week after I started taking the ProBio5. Apparently these little buggers do not simply die and go quietly into the night! I had a rash on my face and back and a lot of itching that is starting to quiet down now. I encourage you to research this subject and I know the Whites would be happy to answer any questions.
See you on the treadmill!


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