I went out on Tuesday night for film club knowing that 25 days of sobriety lay ahead (remember, I am breaking this streak on the day of the Rugged Maniac rather than the end of the month).
I had two craft beers at the Brazen Fox where my film club meets every other Tuesday.
This was one of our better discussions. One of the films we talked about was Martin Scorsese’s Last Temptation of Christ. I am an atheist and I love this movie although it is far too long and the acting occasionally veers into the absurd. I tell the group that I thought the beautiful little snake in the desert (Satan) had great advice. You will find advice similar to that snake’s echoed in all those #selfcare blog posts. I tell them I watched Antichrist after finishing the film as a palate cleanser. We finished early enough that I make it home and am in bed before 10.
In the morning, I get up at 5:30 (an hour before my alarm) and run a mile and a half. It’s a short run, but I run fast. At home I do 10 sit ups, 5 push ups, 5 tricep dips, 30 standing twists (elbow to knee) holding 8 lb weights, take a cold shower, and leave for a 5-mile walk before getting on the train to go to work. Off to a great start. I am feeling inspired and motivated. I am a machine.
Caught a glimpse of myself in a shop window as I was leaving the office… How can I still be so fat when I was so good all day!? By the time I get home I am ravenous. I make guacamole consisting of one large avocado, half a white onion, and a healthy squirt of Sriracha. I eat it on quinoa tortilla chips. I consider this a healthy dinner but concluded day 1 by eating an entire bag of Tate’s chocolate chip cookies. Guess that is how…Whoops!
I dreamed of vodka and punk music. The best Bloody Mary you’ve ever tasted. Go to work wasted! When I wake up I am afraid that I have already fucked up my streak on day 2. It was only a dream.
Because I am out of shape I feel sore from yesterday and I want to stay in bed but I get up at 5:30 to run anyway. I am slow and ungraceful this morning. I follow my run with the same calisthenics from yesterday. Still, I feel pretty good. I like the soreness and I am no longer beating myself up for the cookies.
Today I will be crushing it. Avocado and Sriracha for breakfast again. This is my favorite breakfast. At work, they are out of the tea that I like, but that is also okay because I have resolved to drink more water anyway. Today I will have fruit for lunch and will be sure to have enough that I don’t go crazy when I get home and binge on some nonsense food. It’s free at the office and it’s good for you.
I have also taken to doing squats every time I hit the ladies room before I leave the stall- unless someone else is in there; I don’t want to seem like some kinda weirdo…
By the end of the day work has me down. Another rough one. Like a full moon of mistakes, not just mine, but mine are the ones stressing me out. I want to set my own hair on fire. I promise myself I can eat another bag of cookies when I get home like I did the night before.
I do not eat the cookies when I get home.
This feat of self-control is accomplished by not having bought any cookies in the first place. I make the same guacamole recipe as Day 1 for dinner.
Getting up is easier today. I run my mile and do my other exercises. When I try on a dress I haven’t worn in a while, the waist seems a little looser! Last time I wore it I had to sew a strap back on after it just popped off because I was stressing the seams to such an extreme. But it is raining so a sundress is not really going to work and I change into pants to head out to work.
I have been taking the long way to the train every day, walking about 3 miles to the Barclay’s stop rather than getting on near the park. I have been walking at lunch and taking the long way home too. On average I walk about 7 miles by the end of the day. Working in an office I have had to make walking more a goal all it’s own. When I was behind a bar for a living I probably walked a marathon each night. No one asks me to carry ice or change kegs anymore, though. Now I mostly just type. I love my job but I’m starting to wonder if I should get one of those treadmill desks or one of those balance ball chairs like my desk neighbor has.
Avocado and Sriracha for lunch (I text my mom,”Do you think I will die of malnutrition if all I ever want to eat anymore are avocados?” Mom says she thinks I will be fine. Avocados are good for you).
Tonight I am seeing The Lobster with my friend Vanessa. I have lobster fettuccini at Union Fare in honor of the film. The dish comes with a whole half of a lobster on the side. It is rich and delicious. Because they are a new restaurant they are promoting themselves by giving away things they believe will hook you. They give us a couple oysters and complementary dessert of cornbread creme brulee. It worked, I’m hooked. I could not be happier.
The Lobster was great. I can’t wait to see it again.
I wake up at 5:45, but it is Saturday and I feel tired so I stay in bed until 7 and feel like it might as well be noon. The laundromat allows drop off starting at 8, so I gather everything I own and haul it on down there. That’s about 30 lbs carried down the stairs of my 3rd floor walk up.
Back at home, I clean my apartment so thoroughly I feel like it is a whole new apartment. I schedule pick up for two large trash bags full of donation clothing, take out two full bags of trash, even scrub out the litter box. I lift my vacuum up to vacuum each of my six dining chairs (the upholstery on the cushions is a cat hair magnet). I have broken a pretty serious sweat. I get the baseboards and the fan blades; I move the couch; I bleach the bathroom on hands and knees. When I am finished I cannot believe the clock only says 11:30. Why do I always let the place turn into a public health hazard before I clean it up if it only takes a couple hours to get all this done?
Around 1 pm I have a tomato and onion sandwich. Boil the potatoes that need to be cooked today or thrown out tomorrow. I will be making potato salad later. When the potatoes are off the stove it is time to run.
It’s about 80 degrees outside but that suits me just fine. Sunscreen, shoes, and shades and I am out the door for a tough 2 miles (18 minutes!! Apparently I can do 9 minute miles over two miles, but it hurts and I can only do it if I can stop and walk after), then a hill workout followed by as many tricep dips as I can stand. I am dripping with sweat and my thighs are starting to chafe (the dreaded chub rub! It’s terrible how good it feels to sweat, but how quickly the salt in your sweat can turn into fine grain sandpaper. This is why you see men running marathons with blood stains soaking their shirts over their nipples).
I return home, change into longer shorts, grab cash and my laundry ticket, and dash back out. I pick up the laundry with my face still the color of a tomato and haul that 30 lb bag back up the stairs to the third floor.
The productive part of my day is concluded with the best cold shower of my life. It’s Netflix time and I really feel like I have earned it for a change.
Well, It’s day 5 and the scale says that I weigh exactly what I weighed on May 27th (that being the date I started training in earnest, but before I began my running-every-day/sobriety streak). HOWEVER, according to my tape measure I have lost two and a half inches from my waist! I’d say that is a pretty nice result. I also feel so much better.
I wake up pretty consistently without an alarm at 5:45 now. The 5 tricep dips I began this week with have now turned into 3 sets of 10 each morning. Arm workouts are important preparation for the Rugged Maniac.
Today is No Excuse Sunday which means 3 miles is the minimum. This week has made it easy. I do 3.5 miles in as fast a time as I have ever and then walk a few miles after. Thank you to Mariah Carey and O.D.B., Le Tigre, M.I.A., and Sleigh Bells for setting my tempo for the sprints and getting me through the big hill.
I hate the term ‘fartlek’ (FART hahaha) but I am told that in Swedish it is technically accurate to describe the way I tackled this run (and almost all of my runs actually). It means ‘speed play’ and it refers to the unstructured alternating of hard efforts with easy effort. When I see a hill I try to sprint it, telling myself when I am at the top I can go as slow as I would walking, or I have to sprint until the edge of this shadow, or I have to run hard until I pass that man with the dog but then I can slow it down, or I need to run hard until this long-ass song is done but then I can walk for the next one.
For breakfast, I have a tomato, spinach and onion sandwich.
I meet my friend Alicia to walk about 2.5 miles to The Painted Pot so we can paint ceramics and catch up. She will be running the half-marathon with me in October along with my parents. We ran our first half-marathon together back in 2013. I finished in 02:42, She beat me that first one with a time of 02:27. I beat her in 2014 with a time of 02:32 minutes to her 02:35 minutes. She did not run the half with me in 2015 and I did not beat my previous time. Now this year my number one goal is to beat her again. I’d like to be under 02:30, but so long as I beat Alicia I will be happy. I tell her this and she tells me it’s on. I tell her it has been on since 2013. She says her goal is 02:25 and I say my goal is 02:24. She agrees and we paint our ceramics. Both of us are sure that the other is going down when October rolls around.
We have sushi for dinner and walk home.
Today I walked 9.5 miles in total.