New classes / The run that almost wasn’t / Superman

21 06 2010

I made some immediate goals for this past weekend. One was to spend at least 90 minutes at the gym both Saturday and Sunday. The other was to try the some new classes offered at the gym. To know me is to know I don’t do well in social situations. I avoid them like the plague. But this strange thing is happening now that I’ve been on this LCJ for almost six months.

I kind of don’t want to avoid them anymore.

I kind of want to be around people now. I’m not looking to have some serious parties at my house anytime soon, but I am definitely interested in spending more time with the masses. I am what is typically known as a “parallel player”. If you’ve  ever watched a group of children play house and notice one child sort of playing in the same area but separately from the group (maybe playing a one child version of house) and they do it often, they would be “parallel players”.  Most children grow out of it. I however, did not. I can go to Starbucks alone for hours and sit amongst the people. Sit with someone and it’s over in about 30 minutes. I can go to the mall and roam around for endless hours. Go shopping with me and maybe I’ll hit one store. I spend far too much time wondering about the logistics of the visit (how long, when is it over, what do we talk about) that I often don’t enjoy the visit. Some of my friends are very good at having structured visits but even those are few and far between.

I am ready to move out of my comfort zone.

It wasn’t even really a comfort zone I guess. More of a prison with the walls built out of Depression / Anxiety / Self Loathing. So it’s time I start to look into improving my social skills. Since I am comfortable at the gym (again a great parallel play situation) I thought I’d start there. I picked two classes happening last Sunday back to back: Step and Yoga.

The Step class was pretty awesome. Fast paced and not a whole lot of opportunity to shake anyone’s hand and say “Hi my name is Tara and I’m trying to be social”. I got some good laughs with the woman in front of me as we both stuggled to keep up with the moves. I did place myself in the back (I’m assuming that’s where the newbies go) so that also made it harder to interact but I was there and I stayed for the entire class (Go me!).

The Yoga class was even better. I did this class a few weeks ago but put myself way in the back of the room. It had a fill in instructor that week. I ventured a little closer to the front this time (not too close though) but the  regular instructor had everyone move up into a straight line right up front (GULP!) and then she asked if anyone was new to Yoga which I raised my little non-social hand. The woman next to me introduced herself and said she’d been doing Yoga for years so to ask if she had any questions.

Ninety minutes later I was done and had just participated in two successful classes. I didn’t freak out. I didn’t spend the entire time wondering what everyone else was thinking. I didn’t wonder about what I was going to say if someone approached me. I didn’t wonder if I was doing something wrong. I didn’t obsess over the clock. I participated to the best of my abilities.

I just was.

And it was awesome!


I’ve been having a mental block about running lately. Don’t get me wrong, I love it. I’m quickly loving it more and more with better weather and more time to actually get out there and “kiss the earth” (Thanks Jess!). I’ve broken in my vibrams and within the first week of actually running in them I ran a 5k without stopping (first time ever). My mental block is with distance. I’ve been stuck at that 3.1 mark and too afraid to go past it. I can’t really explain why but for weeks now I’ve been mentally trying to break free from the 5k length.  I’m watching all my other VBB(s) that took up running and I see them adding more miles to their runs and I’m wondering why I can’t do the same.

Last night after reading Ed’s blog (Monday315) and his 10 mile running challenge I started really examining that mental block. I just needed to get out there and run past the 3.1 in much the same way I needed to run to the 3.1 when I first started the c25k program. I need to know I’m not restricted to just doing a 5k. I need to know I can go farther. No let me rephrase that I have to know. So last night I mapped out a route that would not only take me past 3.1 but would put me pretty far from my starting point once I hit that 3.1 mark. I’ve gone farther in the past but there was a lot of walking involved. I don’t want to walk anymore. I want to run and run the entire time.

I went to bed with the anticipation of kicking this 3.1 in the ass.

I woke up sore as hell.

My 120 flights of stairs  a few days previous and attempt at being social caught up to me and my calves had a different idea about running past that mental block. Bummed out I went to the gym with the notion of just doing something low key for an hour and then heading into work.

I hopped on the treadmill and thought “well I’ll just walk” for a bit. About 10 minutes into the walk, it donned on me: MY CALVES DON’T HURT! It didn’t take me but a quick wave to the lady at the front desk and a exclamation of “I’ll be back in about an hour” and I was out the door. I had the route laid out (starting point – gym – smart Tara) so it was just a matter of shutting my brain off and turning my legs on.

I shut that brain off.

I turned those legs on.

I ran 5.0 miles.

I didn’t stop. I didn’t complain. I just did it. I drifted in and out of thinking about what I was doing (more out than in lol) and it was delicious. Once I hit that 3.1 mark I knew the only thing I could do was keep running. I’m not a walker. I’m a runner. I woke up this morning and ran 5.0 miles. I didn’t walk/run. I ran. Once I made my way back to the gym: I cried.

I’m sure everyone in the gym thought something was wrong, but I was crying because I broke that mental block. I was crying because I wanted something and I went out and got it!


Every time I run I won’t be thinking about that 3.1 number anymore. I’ll be thinking about better numbers: 10k, 12k, half marathon and beyond!


I haven’t heard from Superman since he canceled last Friday. In fact, no one has heard from him. This can’t be good. I talked with another trainer and he said if I come in and he’s not with a client he’ll do a session with me. I’m not looking to switch and leave Superman, but it has been almost a month since our last session together. Granted much of that time was vacation related but he’s never not called before so I’m thinking something serious has come up. If I don’t hear from him by tomorrow I’m going to set up an appointment with Chuck for Thursday. From there we’ll just play it by ear until we know whether or not Superman is coming back.




17 responses

21 06 2010
Sarah (Fat Little Legs)

OK you are freaking awesome!! I have not yet run a distance so great either… I’ve gone up to 4. I am inspired by you… I will do it… this weekend. 5 miles. You have my word. Plus a great way to use out my new Nike+

22 06 2010

You can so do it. Just turn off your brain and turn on your legs (and your Nike+)!!

21 06 2010
Debbi Does Dinner Healthy

You go!! Glad to see you’re hitting those higher numbers and broke the wall down! Awesome!

22 06 2010


22 06 2010
Ring Around Rinn

You are amazing! You are breaking walls and breaking boundaries! Before you realize it, you won’t recognize the you who is in control of her emotions and her body. (I’ll see you when I get there too!)

I am worried about Superman as a person. But as a trainer, you may want to move on.

22 06 2010

Rinn, I think you’re closer than you give yourself credit for! I am worried too about Superman too (way worried). I made an appointment with Coach Chuck for Friday.

22 06 2010

Tara, I want to “start” running, so when you describe your feelings, that is what I “want” to feel. I know I can do it, and with my first 15 lbs lost, now may be the time to begin.

Keep it up, girl!

22 06 2010

Check out the c25k (couch 2 5k) from That’s how I got started back in January. I was down 10 lbs (253) when I started running. Start slow!

22 06 2010

Tara: You are my idol. Thanks for all the inspiration you provide. I have found you through Tyler’s blog. I am slowly making myself more accountable and “out there” in terms of becoming public. I totally understand your parallel player thing, totally. Keep up the good work – but of course, you don’t need me to tell you that…I think you have that covered too. Praying for your superman.

22 06 2010

it wasn’t until I went balls to the walls public did I realize how much of a change I needed to make. The first time I said “I weigh 263 pounds” I was devastated but it really opened my eyes. And the really awesome thing is that the more honest I am here, the more I realize I was far from alone.

You’re not alone either!

Thanks for thinking of Superman.

22 06 2010

Woo-hoo! First things first: when you have that massive party at your house, I want an invite. WTG on the 5 miles! I was so excited when I saw that on Twitter. I think it’s okay to train with someone else, and I will think some good thoughts/prayers for Superman. Keep it up, Tara – you’re awesome!

22 06 2010

Thanks Val! I almost starting crying today when I set up an appointment with Coach Chuck for Friday. I hate to think something bad has happened. Just trying to stay positive about the whole situation. Someone will let me know I’m sure. He’s such a cool ass guy too.

23 06 2010

One thing to consider is allowing for a bit of walking or a stop for water on your longer runs. As your mileage builds, particularly in the summer, don’t forget to hydrate. And since very few people are lucky enough to have water stops set up for them as in races (including where they can just toss the cup on the ground afterward), and since at some point you might be running far enough that you can’t carry all the water you’ll need, taking 20-30 seconds to walk about every 2 miles while you hydrate is a good idea. All the stuff Galloway says about getting the benefits of a little walking during the run will still apply (your muscles will relax briefly when you walk). Spacing the breaks out to every 2 miles will also benefit you for longer distance races, since most halves and marathons space the water stops about 2 miles apart. Trust me, no one will question whether you’re a runner if you stop to take a drink — in fact, in some ways that shows even more that you’re a runner — you’re out there going the distance, not just a few miles where fluid intake wouldn’t matter! Congrats on 5.0!

23 06 2010

Thanks for the advice. In the few races I’ve done I’ve always walked through the water station to drink and relax a bit. I may need to think about investing in a water system soon (oh man that sounds so hard core!)

24 06 2010
Stephanie G

Wow, congratulations on the 5 miles! I almost cried just reading about it – you should be so proud of yourself.

25 06 2010

Tara, that is frickin’ awesome that you ran for 5 straight miles! I’ve been finding much the same thing lately, that’s it’s often just a mental block holding us back, rather than a physical one. Our bodies are capable of SO much, we just have to allow our minds to realize that!


25 06 2010
Anonymous Fat Girl

Girl you are such a freaking ROCKSTAR! Congrats on the run.

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