Thursday, December 3, 2015



Back in October, my group at work toured Fenway Park and then socialized at a nearby bar, which also happened to be connected to a batting cage used by visiting teams.  When not in use, the batting cage can be rented out, as it was for our group.  So, yeah, apparently drinking and hitting baseballs thrown by a machine go well together.  I guess that's why we had to sign those pesky waivers.  I wanted to get in the cage and try it out, but it had been 30+ years since I had played softball/baseball and I was imagining the harm I could inflict upon myself.  Especially as it was all outlined in that waiver. But I did it.  It was so much fun that I went in twice.  So when I sent Rich a text telling him that I did it, his first question was, "Did you wear a helmet?" and then later he asked me if I had actually hit any of the balls.  Please.  Have some faith in me. (So, granted, I'm sure they had that machine on the slowest setting possible but yes, I hit a good amount of what was pitched to me.) 

The night before this particular outing, Rich suggested that I add strength training to my extremely minimal workout routine, which, at that point, consisted of three runs a week.  I scoffed.  Strength training?  Sure, I'll add that to my to-do list.  24 hours after my batting cage time, I was feeling my lack of strength big time.  From my hands to my arms to my sides.  I'm out of shape.  Here's the thing:  I work full time, I have a time consuming commute, I have three young kids, and I like sleep.  Some may call these excuses.  I, myself, have called them excuses.  But I'm realizing that you need to have a certain level of acceptance of who you are and what you can think of as realistic achievements.

I picked up running again in August after an extremely long hiatus.  August through October, I consistently ran three times a week and running slowly became easier.  I gently bumped up my mileage and speed on the treadmill (I usually run inside when it's below 70 degrees or after the sun goes down) and while I felt slightly stronger, I didn't feel like there were any noticeable physical changes going on.  In other words, my skinny pants were still waaaaay too tight.  I ended up taking two weeks off from running at the end of October, for various reasons.  Cleaning out the rental property, I didn't feel well, someone didn't feel well.  My first run after two weeks was one mile to ensure that I wouldn't injure myself and then I decided that Camp Sally was over.  I'd been so afraid of injury that I wasn't increasing my mileage by very much and while I know that you aren't supposed to increase it too much week to week, I believe my starting point was too low.  So I increased my mileage and the treadmill speed.  I also added strength training (I know, I know) and ab work.

The weekend before Thanksgiving I ran 3 miles, followed by 2.5 miles on Wednesday.  I was feeling strong.  And then I fell ill.  A week later and I still have this obnoxious cough and while a younger me would have attempted running regardless, I know that to do so now would only drag this cold out.  And so I rest.  I accept that sometimes I just need to rest.

Oddly enough, while I accept that my mid-section is permanently scarred and I'll never have a belly button without surgery, I still have this crazy notion that I'll be able to make it look better if I could only get back to running 20+ miles a week.  It's been 8 and a half years.  When am I going to let it go?      


Anonymous said...

I have been reading your blog for several years.

I am quite a bit younger than you....and I have to be honest. Your admissions as of late on your day to day survival have me totally freaked.

I'm grateful that you've been so candid about the day to day bullshit, the unfair..bullshit loss of Abbey, the financial aspects, and juggling motherhood. But lately I can't help but notice how much the struggle to balance it all is all encompassing -- and grading at the very fabric of your existence.

Is this simply what happens to us in America (or elsewhere) as we age? As women are we condemned to ether be housewives or workers who are never home? Are we to either be bored at home or guilty at work?

Sarah, please don't stop writing or take this as insult but your blog is about as real as they come and it has got me asking some serious questions.

Teej said...

I am also slowly struggling to accept that my body will never be what it was pre-kids. I made a really concerted effort over the last 6 months to be more active and eat less, and I did lose some weight, but the old pants of my 20s still don't fit. Not even close. My body has just changed shape. And, like you, I am slowly embracing that there are parts of my life more important than focusing obsessively on fitness. Thanks for keeping it real!

Jenny said...

You've often mentioned the need for surgery on your core. Why don't you have it since it would alleviate your back problems, and repair your belly button?

Sarah said...

Jenny - Many reasons. Mainly the recovery time. Returning to work at the prescribed time is not something I could do with my current commute. The pain. And the expense. I've already been told that it wouldn't be covered by insurance.

Melissa B said...

I know you love running but it seems like a battle you are losing and forever frustrated with. I have never loved running and with all my knee issues I won't. I felt the same as you about 2 years ago - frustrated with my body and with getting older. I found the beachbody workouts. Shaun T and T25 shed inches from my body - 18 to be exact in about 20 weeks - so two cycles of the whole program and I felt so much better. 25 minutes a day is all it takes. I have since moved on to some different programs, 21 day fix, Piyo, Chalean Extreme for strength training, and now Turbofire. I am in better shape than I have been in years and I can do it at home (I was NOT going to find the time to go to the gym). Maybe you just need something different other than running. I have followed you since my son was born nearly 8 years ago and I love your blog.

Anonymous said...

I just read the above comment and felt the need to comment... I get your battle with running, I have been there for most of my life and am still there! However I totally agree with the above advice (even though I don't follow it)- maybe both of us should open our minds to something new... I did start cross training and doing strength workouts a few months ago (while still trying to run) and I did notice immediate differences in my body. I sometimes feel like if I'm not running than I'm not working out, so the comment from Melissa was a good reminder that there are other things out there!
I love your blog- and everything I am saying is meant in a respectful positive way, so I hope it comes across that way :)

Anonymous said...

I will third the above comment. I was a runner through my 20's and 30's. After kids, I struggled to continue running, finally realizing that my body didn't like to run. This was further confirmed when multiple doctors and friends told me running wasn't going to help me shed any weight. I switched to T25 and other beachbody workouts and it was transforming. I still run occasionally, and have absolutely noticed that I'm stronger and can go farther when I'm supplementing running with other workouts.

Now, I'll be the first to admit that my workouts are few and far between right now. I've made my peace that at this time in my life, a hot bod just isn't a priority. But when I'm ready to get back into working out, it will absolutely be more on the strength training side rather than running.