Why I completely disappeared.

So... it's been over a week since I last wrote a thing on here.  Let's go through the week, shall we?  Don't expect any fun pictures or anything... this is going to be a massive pity party.

Last Tuesday (last time I blogged): went for an awful run, realized I was overtraining, and vowed to take it easy for a while so that I would not kill anyone.

Wednesday: took my own advice for once and didn't do anything... including blog.  I was going to write a Triple Tangent Twednesday, but it was going to be a whole lot more like this girl's tradition of WTF Wednesday.  Not a great day, but not horrendous.

Thursday: horrendous.  Felt completely off all day, and the only thing getting me through was that I was so excited for the last rehearsal for Cinderella before we went into tech and dress rehearsals.  Then I got to rehearsal.  And both the artistic director and the show director were eerily quiet until they told us to sit down.  Then came the really horrendous part: they announced that they had gotten a phone call that morning from the licensing company that they worked with asking why the ticket information was on the website.  Turns out they had pulled the rights to the show back in November and notified the artistic director, but she'd never gotten the notification.  So the show was cancelled.  Three months of work and my dream role down the drain.  Cue lots of crying and drinking.

Friday: more crying.

Saturday: more drinking.

Sunday: got into a horrible fight with David that lasted for three hours.  Lots more crying.  Finally resolved everything and went to bed not crying for the first time since Thursday.

Monday: relatively harmless.

Tuesday (yesterday): David and I decided to break up.  This sucks.  I honestly still can't believe it.  We had a lot of obstacles to deal with (long distance, two different religions and backgrounds, different career goals) but I always thought we could get through it.  Part of me still thinks we can get through it, and wants nothing more than to book a ticket to Los Angeles and just show up at his doorstep.  I think that's the only thing getting me through right now, actually... it doesn't feel permanent.  And maybe that's just me and maybe he's thinking something completely different, but I've never had a breakup like this before.  In the past, it's always been very clear that the other person wants out (read: I get cheated on and dumped), so I am just forced to move on.  But David and I didn't break up because we wanted out... we broke up because we weren't sure if it was right.  And while part of me thinks that maybe it's for the best, and he and I will both find someone else who has the same dreams and ideals as us, another part of me is just desperately hoping that a couple months from now, he'll still love me and I'll still love him and we can figure this whole mess out.

So that was my week.  The good news is that I know I didn't keep overtraining, because I didn't exercise at all.  I blew off two training runs.  I'm probably blowing off another run today.  I'm not completely sure that the half marathon is going to happen right now, because while running is often therapeutic to me, I don't think I can face being left with my own thoughts for at least another few days, and I don't want to do the half having missed a lot of training.  I guess that is just up in the air for now, as is most of my life. But I'm trying to set some goals.  I've been toying with the idea of getting my personal training and/or fitness class instructor certification for a while now, and given the fact that I have now lost two of the things that filled my time... I think it's about damn time to get on that.  I'm also thinking about getting my teaching certification and finding a job teaching tiny children.  Or sucking it up and doing another audition to be a Disney princess.  I guess that's the only good part about having your life fall apart at the seams... you get to create a new one.

Guess who has two thumbs and is suffering from overtraining?

Yup... this girl.

Today I went on a super craptastic run that I'm not even sure I can really refer to as speedwork because it wasn't very speedy.  It was a helluva lot of work though, so maybe I'll just refer to it as that.  I felt awful for the entire run - I nearly gave up 15 minutes in, but I really didn't want another failed run.  Afterwards, though, I was struck by that thought and realized that I have had a whole lot of runs and workouts lately that I felt like were failures.  The sad run on Sunday comes to mind, or the strength training workout that made me want to hide from my free weights.  In fact, as I thought about it more, I noticed that not a single workout this past week was any good.  I had a great run on January 1st, but that's the last exercise that I remember feeling great about, and that one honestly came out of nowhere because I'd been struggling for at least a week before that.

So I did a little Googling and realized that I had pretty much every sign of overtraining you could come up with.  I admit that a small part of me is rather proud - who would have thought that the day would come where I was exercising too much?  The girl who felt successful if she exercised once a week has come a long, long way.  But that is a very small part of me... for the most part, I'm honestly relieved.  Does that sound crazy?  I was reading the lovely Amylee's post about her trip to the physical therapist, and completely understand what she was saying about feeling like you "wuss out" when you give yourself a break.  I knew I was walking a fine line by combining the half marathon training (with faster, harder runs than my last plan) with as much extra cardio as I was trying to do for the now cancelled Cinderella Bootcamp.  But I did feel like a quitter when I skipped a workout, or did just strength training and no cardio.  I realize this is absurd, but it's the mentality I let myself slip into.

That mentality is now no longer welcome, though.  After having done plenty of research (read: looking at a bunch of articles on the interwebs), I am realizing that I need to incorporate more recovery time into my week.  And not just active recovery, but full on rest.  I need to let go of the idea that as long as I'm not doing the same workout every day, I can still work out every day, and I can work out hard and intensely every day.  This is simply untrue!  Sometimes I need to just take Bonnie on a walk or do some stretching and call it a day.  I am also going to take one full day of rest each week, and just relax.  Though I might not need a full day of passive recovery every week physically, I'm realizing that I desperately need it mentally.  I have to relearn the fact that I can take a day off every week and not gain back all the weight I've lost, or lose my ability to run or lift weights.  I think it will help me mentally and emotionally to have that whole day off each week, and I'm sure everyone in my life (mostly poor David) will greatly appreciate having sane Jessica back.

I am still feeling a little ridiculous even calling it "overtraining" because to me, overtraining is what happens to Olympic athletes who are exercising and training 6 hours a day, 6 days a week.  But it honestly feels kind of nice to have a name for it.  Lately I just haven't felt like myself, but I couldn't pinpoint why, and so many of the signs of overtraining (there are a lot of signs!) really fill in some blanks for me.  I was kind of starting to think something was genuinely wrong with me, and now I feel like I know what is wrong and I can fix it.

Have you struggled with overtraining before?

Jillian Michaels is RUDE: a DVD review.

I decided to splurge yesterday. I woke up wondering what workout I would do, and realized I didn't feel like doing any of the DVDs I had. Yet another example of me being five years old: I get tired of all my new toys quickly, even if they're still shiny and pretty. Um... Insanity anyone? Still waiting for me to hate life enough to give it another shot.

I had some returns to make at Target, and I swear it's impossible to go to Target and not purchase something, even if you need nothing. So obviously I ended up in the fitness aisle, staring at a variety of torture inducing workouts. I finally decided to pick up two Jillian Michaels DVDs: Yoga Meltdown and Ripped in 30. I was a little hesitant because let's face it... She's evil. I've had 30 Day Shred for a long time now and only pull it out every once in a while because I can't deal with it more often than that. Anyone who actually does the 30 days of that thing is a rockstar and deserves a medal. It is a tough workout, and I don't doubt that it is incredibly effective... But she's annoying! And this is from someone who went through the whole 90 days of Tony Horton and didn't punch the television.  So I must have a higher tolerance than I thought.

That being said... I was pleasantly surprised by both workouts. They were both a little rough in their own way (who knew yoga could hurt that much?!) but great! I loved that Ripped in 30 followed the same circuit format that 30 Day Shred used, but I thought the moves were much better. And Yoga Meltdown was exactly the workout I've been looking for lately - a mix of stretching and bodyweight exercise. I struggle calling it "yoga" because... Um... It's Jillian Michaels, and she says things like "who's your daddy?"  Not exactly the typical yogi one imagines.

But let's be honest, if I can end up looking like that... I'll put up with her craziness.

On a completely different note...

A friend of mine who did his first full marathon at the Denver Rock 'n Roll (probably in the same amount of time that it took me to do the half, damn fit men) posted this on his Facebook.  I appreciated it more than I probably should have, but thought I would share!

His mile 10 and mile 11 are pretty much my mile 4 and mile 5.  Every damn time.

Speak da Troof Sunday: Sad runs are... well... sad.

Love that eloquent title... despite the fact that I haven't felt the need to even attempt blogging in several days, I am still clearly sharp as a tack.  A worn out, dull tack that no one would actually use.

Today's run:
Half Marathon Training Week Six, Day Three (but not really)
4.66 miles/1:02:47

Seriously... this training and I are not meant to be.  I will keep at it, and I will strive to do better this week, but I am grateful that this is my second half marathon and not my first because I am losing mileage left and right.  At first, I thought I was just going to be consistently one mile short on every run, but today I was four miles short.  Um.

The truth is, I don't think I should have gone for this run.  For one thing, it was incredibly icy out today.  Okay, so it's not the end of the world, but I just had this image of myself slipping and falling and breaking something and getting to call my director and ask if she would be okay if Cinderella's glass slipper was a cast.  That's super magical, right?

So I sat around most of the afternoon hemming and hawing and being irritatingly indecisive (this looked a lot like my normal behavior, really) about whether or not to go out on the run.  I finally decided to do it, and was trying to get psyched up when two things happened: I had a tough conversation with David that ended in me bawling, and my Garmin died.  In case you're wondering, this is not a method I would recommend for getting yourself ready for exercise.

Once I finally got out the door, I knew I couldn't do the eight miles that I had planned on because it would be pitch black by the time I was done.  And thus began my sad Sunday run: trying desperately not to fall and break all my limbs on the ice, all while beating myself up over not leaving earlier and not letting go of the painful conversation.  Mostly dead Garmin included.

Of course, when I'm not being Debbie Downer, I know that of course it was not a fail, because I still got out and ran four miles, which is a great way to spend an hour.  I burned 500 calories that I would not have burned if I had stayed on my couch.  I got outside and took in some fresh air.  My life is really not at all hard.

But (you knew the whining was coming)... this run completely sucked.  There was only one point in the entire run that I thought to myself, "This is fun, I'm glad I came out."  It was during my five minute warmup walk, and it was because I was dancing along to the music.  Note that this is before I started running, as it all went downhill from there.  I will not go into a long explanation of why it sucked because really, that's not fun for anyone... but what I learned was that if I leave for a run while I'm sad, it doesn't necessarily mean that I will get happy.  I might just be sad the whole time.  While exercise often improves my mood, being left alone to stew over my emotions and freak out about my future while running does not improve my mood.  Just ask my mom, who was kind enough to pick me up after I called and said, "I cannot face running for a minute longer," and saw me start crying almost the minute I sat down in the car.

I got home, took a boiling hot shower, put on sweatpants, and did my best to forget those four miles.  After all, it was one run.  I know now that it won't make or break my training plan.  Maybe by doing four miles today instead of eight miles, I will lose a tiny bit of my long run endurance, but I did eight miles on Friday and rocked it, so I'm not terribly concerned.  Plus, I still have five more weeks of training to get over today's crappy run, including a 10 miler next weekend and a 12 miler the weekend after that. So will today's run kill me?  Nope... but thank God almighty that it is over.

When the mind games fail, it's time to quit.

Today's workout:
Sculpt 30 & Ab Ripper X
276 calories/47:18

Today's workout may also be known as:

One of the best pieces of advice I ever got about exercising when you don't feel like exercising is to commit to doing it for 10 minutes.  If after 10 minutes, you still don't feel like it, you can quit, and then you've at least done something.  I have used this little mental trick many times, and every single time, after ten minutes, I feel great and finish my workout.

If I had used this trick today, I would have done ten minutes and then eaten an entire pizza.

Do you ever have days where working out just feels terrible

Today was one of those days for me.  Cinderella opens in just over two weeks now, so I really wanted to push it this week, especially since last week got a little off because of the dumb cold I caught.  So last night as I was planning my day, I was all set to do my HIIT workout and my Sculpt workout and really go all out.  Then I woke up this morning.  I don't even know what it was, really - I didn't feel sick, I'd gotten plenty of sleep, I had a healthy breakfast.  But I knew right away that the HIIT workout wasn't even on the table, because just the thought of jumping up and down like that gave me a headache.  I got through the Sculpt workout, but I had to take several breaks and skip reps because my muscles got tired and achy so quickly.  I thought Ab Ripper X was going to make me pass out. 

I'm proud of getting through what I got through, and I know in the long run, skipping the HIIT workout was the right thing to do and is not a big deal.  But I think once you're used to being able to get through tough workouts, not being able to get through them really does a number on you.  That being said... in the spirit of remaining positive, I am choosing to see today's workout as successful simply because I did it.  It may not have been the best I've ever done, but it was the best I had for the day, and I did it!

What do you do to overcome a bad workout?

Triple Tangent Twednesday!

1.  In keeping with the theme of learning something new every day... today I learned that I also have a problem with oyster crackers.  Weird, right?  Maybe someday I will realize that what I actually have a problem with is all food, anything even remotely edible... but today is not that day.  Today I merely have a problem with oyster crackers.  But not oysters, because those are disgusting.

2.  My Lululemon addiction keeps getting worse.  It's sick now, honestly, and I'm helping sub a bunch of meetings this week and just took a receptionist position at another meeting because I want to keep buying stuff.  I want this jacket so much that it physically hurts (especially the price - DON'T LOOK AT THE PRICE, you will weep openly).  I took these crops on my 10 mile run on Sunday and fell madly in love, and now need them in every color they were ever made in.  My behind has never looked so good.  Lululemon, what do you put in your pants?!  Is it magic?!!!

3.  I found this video randomly, watched it, and cried.  Is that silly?  If it is, don't tell me... I love it.

You learn something new every day.

Today I learned that weight loss really is a New Year's Resolution for a lot of people.  It's not a myth.  The meetings tonight were packed - we were almost standing room only.  I really hope everyone who joined tonight sticks with it, though.  Many of my co-workers have told me that it generally follows a specific pattern... big rush through January, and then a gradual fade in February and March.  But I'm hoping this year is different and we can help get people to their goals.

Today I learned that lunch at a Pizza Hut buffet is not the most ideal running fuel, even if you have water instead of Dr. Pepper and try to trick yourself into thinking that you are carbo-loading with breadsticks and pasta.

Today I learned that I have a serious problem with Milky Way bars.

So far I am a big fan of 2012.

I know it's only been one day, so it's too soon to say for sure... but I think 2012 and I could be BFFs.  It's only January 1st, and I've already run a great 10 miles, refueled with delicious chocolate milk and spaghetti, and devoured another silly romance novel on my Kindle.  Success.

... and that's all I've got.  I can't even say how long it took me to run the 10 miles exactly because my Garmin is downstairs and there is no way stairs are happening after 10 miles, no matter how good the run was.  Plus, my Kindle is right next to me begging to be read.

How was the first day of 2012 for you?  

What are your resolutions?
I want to read more, pray more, practice yoga more, floss daily, and run at least two more half marathons.  Which shouldn't be too hard since I've already found another one that I absolutely must do because Lululemon has a half marathon, kids.  Can you imagine the swag?!

Here's to a new year!

In about 5 minutes, it will be 2012 here in Colorado.  I'll be the first to admit that 2011 was a tough year... but with 5 minutes left in it, I'd rather think about all the things that were awesome!  So, I think a very quick "best of" is in order:

Jessica's Best of 2011 List!
  • I ran a freaking half marathon!!
  • My wonderful Bonnie puppy came into my life!
  • I celebrated two lovely years with David :)
  • I got cast in my dream role, and am looking forward to performing it in just a few short weeks!
  • And let's not forget that I started this crazy blog, and have been thoroughly enjoying it, and all of you, ever since.

And now... it's finally 2012 here, and way past my bedtime.  I am looking forward to the year ahead - I think it's going to be fantastic.  HAPPY NEW YEAR, MY BEAUTIFUL READERS!