Monday, April 29, 2013

Winning is not what you think!

Our society has a very warped sense of what winning really is.   We think we know...but it's totally wrong!!!!

I was talking to my friend Sherry yesterday about her daughter and her daughters issues with sports.  Her daughter starts gung ho and then peters out.  I was the same way growing up.  I wanted to try lots, but then I hit the brick wall (be it pain, boredom, etc etc etc) and quit.  I told my friend that she needs to focus on the victory being in that her daughter completes the season.  The victory is not in setting wonderful records or winning every game.  The victory is that she does it and COMPLETES it! 

 This conversation was fresh in my mind while my brother and I talked later in the afternoon.  We were talking about soccer.  He is coaching a young team (my 6 year old nephew is on that team). His beef with coaching the team is that the purpose of the age group that he is coaching is to get the kids out there and moving and to let them have fun.  He stresses out because some parents are hard core about winning.  These parents are running up and down the sidelines yelling at the kids and pushing the kids.  They are stealing the fun from the kids because the pressure to win has been elevated. Seriously, these kids are 6 years old!    My brothers words were 'we are creating a society of children, future adults that are hyped up on winning.'  We are teaching them that winning is the end all be all and nothing else matters.   Is this really what we want?

My brother and I talked about team sports and such.  I looked at him and said "I think that's why I'm liking running".   He looked at me and smiled and asked me to clarify (although I think he knew what I was going to say.)   I replied with. " Lets look at the Boston Marathon simply because that's all we hear about lately....they had what?  30,000 runners?"  He and my sister in law nodded in agreement to my rough (really rough) estimate.  I went on.  "I would wager a bet that there were only a handful of people that ran that that actually even thought that they had a snowballs chance in hell of winning that thing."   Less than 100 people probably were really only contenders to win.  (And I'm being very liberal, I bet it was even less than that).  Yet tens of thousands of other people ran it.  Why? Why would they run it if they knew they were not going to win?"   I of course paused dramatically at that point before I made my profound point.   "They did it because for them the victory was in finishing the race.  The victory was in possibly setting a personal record for running  marathon.  The victory was in the flush of success!"    THAT is what sportsmanship and winning is about. 

My brother quickly nodded his head. He looked at me and said "Most individual sports are like that.  Why do you think I ride a bicycle?  I win every time I climb a bigger hill in at a faster pace.  I win each and every timee I successfully finish."  My brother looked toward my niece who was sitting quietly listening to the conversation.  "Ali gets it.  While there are winners in gymnastics and she is striving to win and we do celebrate when she places, she is competing against herself.  She celebrates her 'best ever' scores.  She is competing against herself first and foremost!" 

That is what winning is about.  It's about competing with yourself.  Some days winning is simply getting out there and running or riding or whatever.  Some days it's about setting a personal best record.  Admittedly, some days it IS about taking first place in an event....but not always. Winning is SIMPLY doing it!

That all said.  I have been very quiet about posting goals and numbers and such.  I know round about where I want to be weight wise, but I'm not stressing about it. Yes, I would like to be there as soon as possible and I would LOVE to set goals to be a a certain weight by a certain time.  But I'm refusing to set goals like that...they only set us up to fail.  But I'm going to set a goal today.   Right now I'm running a 5k distance in bout 43 minutes (that was Saturdays run).  My goal for Mary 18th, which is the paws on the pavement 5k that I am registered for is the run that in under 40.  I don't care if it is one second shy of forty minutes, I want to be UNDER 40!   So I have to shave 3 minutes off my time in 3 weeks.  Can I do it????   Yikes!   That's my goal! 

Sunday, April 28, 2013

Why quit?

I'm a quitter.  Yes, that's me, or rather it was the old me.  It has taken me years 40 to be exact to 'get it'.  It has taken me 40 years to realize that you don't quit when  it gets tough.  You don't quit when you get bored.  You don't quit when you don't like it.  You push through and FINISH.   It started with me working to finish some of my unfinished cross stitch projects.  (I've made headway...out of the ten unfinished projects that I had last fall, I now only have 3...and that will go down to 2 in the next day or so!).  It carried through to the C25K program.  I was DETERMINED to finish it and I did!  I'm tired of being a quitter.  I am going to be the finisher from now on!

My favorite quote from The Biggest loser was a few years ago when one of the contestants realized that they were not going to win a difficult challenge so they just walked off and didn't finish it.  When the reckoning with the trainers came about the results of the challenge Bob looked at the contestant and said "What's the use of starting if you are just going to quit?"   How true!!!  

So the previous two weeks of my weigh ins I posted WONDERFUL numbers    I lost 2.9  pounds one week and the following week I lost 3.1 pounds.  Yes, 6 pounds in two weeks!   I worked my tail end off this week and my eating was spot on.  This week I posted a 1 pound loss.  I'm OK with that.  7 pounds in 3 week is AWESOME! 

The other day I officially registered for Pedal to Preserve in Lancaster, County on June 1!   The first time I did this ride I weighed about 210 pounds (give or take).  I'm 225.6.  I don't think I can get back to that 210 in time for the ride this year (how cool would that be) , but I am to be as close as I possibly can be!!  (OK, I'll be happy with being in in my 'teens' so anywhere 219 or below! 

I am realizing that my blog is being overrun with running information. ....and so utterly repetitive! Oh's my blog so read on.......!!

Saturday was gorgeous!  Absolutely gorgeous.  My husband was judging a battle of the bands at a local campground park.  We had passes in and and heard that they had some great hiking trails, so the plan was to go hiking after the end of the battle of the bands.  However, that didn't materialize (Todd hadn't eaten lunch and was hungry so we went home).  I didn't let that stop me from being active.  He went out to mow and I went to the C&;O Canal and ran.  I started the run and almost immediately I felt heavy and just well slow.  I wasn't quitting.  The run quickly became a thing of 'I just want to finish the miles I had planned"  It was not a thing of trying to better my time it was simple a thing of finishing.   I ran (ok ok ok, I jogged) onward!  I started noticing that my heart rate was running higher than normal.  Odd.  Very odd. Could it have been that I don't normally run in the afternoon, so maybe my HR is higher in the afternoon?  I thought about it for a while, but then just said  oh well, I wasn't in any danger, and I wasn't struggling to breathe so I just carried on.  Eventually I checked my mileage and that's when I realized why my heart rate was higher.  I was pushing it at my fastest and while I thought I was going slow, I was actually running at a fast clip (for me).  I finished my run with 3.5 miles on the clock and my best average pace ever (I did walk a cumulative of about 30-60 seconds).   What shocked me was my fastest pace.  I just keep track of it, but I don't hold it as any set in stone thing, just basically as the fact that I for a few short seconds at least, got my body moving that fast.  I was previously tickled because I had showed a 10:00 fastest pace.  I finished yesterday with a fastest pace of 8.27.  What?   My body actually went that fast (even if only for a few seconds).  ha ha ha     So what felt slow actually was a pretty good run!!!

Sunday morning I woke up at 5:30 and I was out on the battlefield early.  I wanted to get my run in before my weekly Sunday morning walk with Sherry!  I don't know many stats about the run as my GPS malfunctioned (I have no clue what happened).  I did actually realize this fact about a half mile into my run but said 'screw it' and decided to just run to run.  I knew the route I was using would be just a hair over 3 miles so that was all I needed.  :-)   I finished it in an average time frame and my heart rate actually ran lower than normal.  Go figure.  Oh well.  (and I knew I wasn't pushing it as hard as I could during my run because of my heart rate reports). 

Running on the battlefield at sunrise makes me want to get out with my camera!!!!!!!   So home now....relaxing......I'm going to have lunch and then mosey up to hang with my family for the day.  Not sure what I'll get into whilst there!

Friday, April 26, 2013

Analyze ME!

Last night was one of those nights where I had a vivid dream, one that I remembered clear as a bell when I woke up.

I walked into the gym.  (not my own gym weirdly enough) There were people everywhere.  I looked around for an empty machine to hop upon.  I had originally planned to hop on an elliptical, but it really didn't matter what I used.  I would be just as content on the treadmill or a bike, I could adjust.   I weaved through the people toward an empty elliptical (which turned out to be a stair climber instead).  I hopped on and started to workout.  I listened to the chatter around me.  They were holding a fat-to-fit boot camp (Is there even such a thing?)  and lucky me, I was working out right in the midst of the first workout.  I tried to focus on myself but I couldn't help but see the overweight gal standing next to me.  (I won't bore you with the details of what she was wearing, the color of her hair) She was on a treadmill and she was cranking away.  Her face was beat red.  She was pushing herself to the utter max.  I started to worry about her.  Seriously, she looked like she was going to have a heart attack at any minute.  I glanced at the fit to fat instructor that was supposed to be watching the group and he was preoccupied.  I looked back at this woman and she wasn't there anymore.   She was kneeling and bent over on the floor at the end of the treadmill crying and sobbing.  When I hopped off and went to her, she sobbed out her frustration.  She was frustrated with exercise already after only a minute or two.  "I can't even make it a minute, there is no way"    I talked to her for a few minutes (the instructor never showed up through that) and figured out that she was frustrated because she wanted to do it and do it 'right' and she couldn't.  She told me that she wanted to do what everyone else was doing so that she didn't stick out like a sore thumb. She wanted to follow the fit-to-fat instructions.    After talking to her and listening and remembering what I saw while she was on the treadmill I knew that she indeed COULD exercise, that it was just a simple problem of she wanted to be fit right at that moment.  She looked at me and said "you are doing it".   I laughed and said, I'm a big girl, still but I've worked my butt off to get to the level of physical fitness that I am at and I still have a long way to go.  I instructed her to get on the treadmill  She was hesitant but did it.  And then I started the treadmill so that she was walking at a snails pace.  She did it and she immediately pushed the buttons until the treadmill was flying by at warp speed, in the dream it was set at speed 43  (ha ha ha,, as if a treadmill cold go that fast).  Yes, she flew backwards (ok ok ok , that didn't happen but I wish it would have..that would have added some comic relief to my dream).  I pushed her back to a slower pace.  She kept looking around and wanting to go faster (back to that speed of 43)   I had to work to keep her going at a slow pace.  She had to see that she could do it.  We slowly added more speed until she was at a comfortable pace.   I was in the middle of reminding her that we all have to start somewhere and we can't push ourselves too fast.  At this point the very hot looking instructor arrived and without butting in just started to listen in.  The dream did go on..but well, that involves the instructor and I and some private.......  (Dang, once again that didn't happen......DRAT!   Or did it?????  ha ha ha)

I woke up from my dream and I remembered how far I've come.  Not just in my running, but in my whole physical fitness.  I've had some major ups and downs in my physical fitness in the last few years.  But I have come SOOOO far.  I have been the girl on the treadmill trying to do what they say is the 'thing' to do, the 'speed' to go, the 'incline' to achieve.  Years back I had to come to the realization that exercise is immensely personal.  My abilities lie within myself, not within what someone else tells me I SHOULD be doing.  It is not contingent upon what the person on the next treadmill is doing.  It is contingent upon what my body says it can do (notice I didn't say what my brain says I can do...that's a totally different story).  Sometimes we have to swallow our pride and start small.   Slow as a snail on the treadmill was a victory for the gal in the dream.   Slow as a slug running (but improving each time I run) is a victory for ME!  

So any other deep thoughts about my dream?  Should I take anything else from this dream????   Analyze me!

Today is my day of rest.  Goodness, I love the day of rest....ok, my BODY loves my day of rest.  But my mind is just itching to get out there and do something!  What a quandary!  (and heck, where did the old MaryFran go!)   My eating is planned for today.  I made a nice breakfast for Todd and I and I have packed my lunch and snacks.  Yes, I am still trying to adhere to this new 'habit' of eating a snack between my meals.  One snack for today is carrots and dip and the other snack is grapes.    I'm doing pretty good with the whole thing though.  The first couple days of the snacks, I would pack my snacks but forget to eat them, but I've got that regulated now...I think.  :-)    So food for today is ready to roll and I'm in charge!  I like the feeling of being in charge.  A food addiction leaves one feeling so out of control...and this in charge feeling feels dang good!!!!

Thursday, April 25, 2013

A little bit of this and that

It hit me last night during zumba.  I was all calm, cool and collected when I casually said that I had to cut a mile off my normal run.  Uhhhh three months go I couldn't run more than 90 seconds without feeling as if my lungs were exploding and now I'm talking about dropping a mile due to time and still haven't completed 2.5 miles even without that mile.  The progress that I've made just totally hit me lst night!

Yesterday was a good day.  I got run in in the morning.  (and I liked what I saw on the gps/tracker thingy).  I worked a few hours and in the afternoon Todd and I went for a walk/hike in the afternoon on one of our favorite trailes on the battlefield.  We hiked/walked about 3-4 miles.
I did a bit of laundry and some stuff around the house (prepped for dinner, prepped some food for future meals for the next couple days, etc etc etc) and then headed to Zumba.  After zumba I was greeted with a gorgeous sight!  You can faintly see the double rainbow in spots.....
I dont' have much else to say.  My eating is spot on. I'm happy with where I'm at and what I'm doing.  I've got the food addiction currently buckled down tight and that is good.  I am not expecting great things on the scale.  For one reason, I've had two incredible weeks on the scales.  Secondly, the monthly scourge should arrive that can herald a lower than average week in my weight loss efforts.   I'm not expecting great things....but I'm fighting to achieve them.  Just becuase I'm not expecting them, it doesn't mean that I am not doing the work to GET them!  In other news,   I'm fighting some depression and sadness in everyday life, but I'm pushing onward.  

Wednesday, April 24, 2013


Another day has dawned. I actually saw the dawn too. Last night I pondered my plans for the day. I knew that up on deck for my day was the hour of social fun, also known as zumba at 6:45PM. I also knew that should the weather and my husband both be amendable that we would hike or bike in the afternoon after I got off work (at noon today). I have learned to not count on that as a plan because the weather has been fickle and well, my husband is also fickle when it comes to those things too. I just take our walks and hikes as fun activity and not so much as exercise (although it is that). I WANTED to run. This running thing is quickly becoming a thing that I want to do and when I do not do it, it really bothers me. I decided that while my alarm was set for 6:30 that if my body woke up naturally early enough (5:30) that I would go for an early morning run. (This is not too abnormal, because I typically wake up between 5:30 and 6). Like clockwork this morning I woke up at 5:30. I wanted to go running so bad…but my body was sooooo comfortable in bed. And then I saw a post on face book. The picture is posted at the end of this post (I haven’t figured out how to place pictures interspersed into the post while posting from my phone). I was up and out the door within minutes. It was gorgeous….deer were feasting in the fields as I ran in the dusky dawn light. I didn’t push myself too incredibly hard. I hoped and thought that maybe I was going faster but it felt pretty comfortable so I thought that I was simply running at my average pace. I was ok with that. I was also ok with the fact that I knocked a mile off my normal run. I had to get back to my house to shower, for some reason my co-workers want me to shower before I come to work. I finished and looked at my app that tracks my mileage and pace. What????? My average pace was 12:49 What??? Are you serious????? At the beginning of April my average pace was running about 14:50 . Granted, my heart rate was about 10 beats faster per minute but that will drop as it becomes more comfortable for me! Progress! (Now I just need to get that pace to be my consistent pace…and of course get faster!) I am going to beat this running thing yet!

I was thinking about running last night while I planned and plotted and this morning whilst running. What is the attraction to running? It started as a personal mission to actually complete something I had tried to do time and time again. I was determined to smash that C25K program in the keister! I did it! Then I started on this mission to run WELL and FAST! I’m currently on that mission. Is that this attraction? Or is it something deeper, dare I say an addiction? Just conquering something or is this attraction something deeper. I’m just very curious. Regardless, I’m going to ride the wave and see where this running thing takes me. (Would I be sick if I admitted that when I stripped my clothes this morning after I ran that I was immensely proud that my tee shirt was drenched with sweat? That’s kinda gross isn’t it???)

Life has been crazy. I’ve had some depression and sadness. (That’s the understatement of the year.) The exercise for me is the way to shut out the sadness and the dark. It’s almost as if when I’m sweating my guts out that I’m shedding some of the sadness, if only for a few minutes. Is this transference of an addiction? I’ll admit it… probably is. Instead of eating away my sorrows, I’m going outside and sweating my guts out! Is it healthy? Emotionally, probably not. I don’t know that any addiction is good. Is this addiction hurting me like my addiction to food? No. I’m not doing the exercise thing stupidly. I don’t like pain. So the other morning when I was really achy, I didn’t run. This morning my legs felt fine when I went to the bathroom, so I knew I was ok. So maybe since I’m operating under the guidance of how my body feels I don’t have an addiction. Ha ha ha Regardless…..I’m riding the wave! All I know is that exercise clears my mind. It makes me feel alive and it makes me happy! That's what matters!!!

My eating of late has been doing REALLY well. I don't want to say it too loudly because it can change at the blink of an eye, but the food addiction has been safely packed away of late. I don’t eat crazy since I’m exercising. I eat healthy! My calorie counts have been right where they need to be. I’ve been monitoring and limiting my intake of carbs (this is sad…so sad….but necessary) I’ve been eating lots of healthy foods. My diet has been heavy on the fruit and veggie intake. Pounds are lost in the kitchen and my weight loss (6 pounds in the last two weeks) reflects this! I’m eating healthy. I’m living life fully. I am eating out with my family when the opportunity arises, no matter where they go…..I just make the best choices possible and work to accommodate those choices within my caloric budget. I’m happy with where I’m at. It’s a good place. This is life and I’m making it work!

I try to take the focus off the numbers. But it’s so difficult to not think about how the numbers are dropping, where I’m heading and when I may possibly may get there. Regardless of how fast I want to lose the weight…my body will get there in it’s own time. Patience MaryFran…..Patience!

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Selling myself Short

I'm a bit frustrated today.

  I dont' know what's up with the personal trainer.  Originally we talked about exercising tonight.  I asked, but I haven't heard back a time.   I'm not worried about the weight.  Hello, I lost 3.1 pounds this past week dn 2.9 pounds the week before....on my own!  I can and will continue this journey one way or another.  No worries about that.    My frustration is stemming from the fact that I usually have a rough schedule in my head of when I'm working out and what I"m doing. I try to plan my runs so that I'm not doing two incredibly difficult workouts on the same day.  Intervals kick my butt, so I typically have not been doing them on zumba days.  I save them for a day when my only formal exercise is running.  But,  it's hard to plan when I don't know.  So normally I would have run this morning but should I not run because I don't know what's happening tonight.  When I pack my gym bag before work, should I take zumba shoes or regular tennis shoes?   Will I be inside at zumba or outside with a personal trainer?  That affects what I wear.  Planning is huge!   It's just frustrating to not be able to plan well.

I opted to not run.  My legs were heavy.  My gym bag is packed tonight.. capri workout pants and a teeshirt with a sweatshirt thrown in for good mesure and I have both sets of shoes in my gym bag (however, since it's 8:30 and I haven't heard anything I am pretty sure that it will be a zumba night).

However more frustration mounted.  I planned on riding the exercise bike this morning.   I got myself all set up (laptop on a bar stool beside me to keep me company, music on the stereo) and I hopped on.  I spun the bike bout 10 rotations and heard a horrible grinding noise and the resistance raised to sky high.  I lowered the resistance as low as possible and the noise persisted and even on resistence of 0 it is hard to spin.  Uhhhh not exercise bike is broke!   More frustration!!!

I've been starting to ponder something.  Something very serious.  Am I selling myself short?  When I was going to weight watchers I got my weight to the 180's and then stalled.  I beat my head against the wall and stalled.  Every once in a while I would dip down into the 170's but it didn't last and when I did get down there people would literally panic about my weight.  I eventually went to my doctor and talked to him about my weight.  In fairness I will say that when I went I wore a spanx type article of clothing and I sucked it in the whole time.   I told him my concerns about reaching the recommended weight to become  lifetime member  (the high end for me is 164 pounds).  He looked at me and his exact words were "honey, You look great and furthermore I think you would have to be working out like a professional athlete to be 160 or less at your age and body type"   I was happy with that.  He signed a note and I took it to the weight watchers meeting and my official goal weight (doctor recommended) is 180...and yes, I made lifetime at that goal weight.  So this 180 mark is big in my mind.  Personally though, I know that my belly was stil pudgy and fat at 180 pounds.  But yet I put this 180 pounds as the end all be all weight that I want to be at.  It's where I say I would be 'happy' at.  But I honestly think I'm selling myself short.  I think that I need to say "I want to lose it ALL!" I think I've been selling myself short!!!

Unsolicited Heart Rate Monitor Review

This is a review of my new Heart Rate Monitor. I am a total novice, but this is my findings, with a few tidbits about my exercise thrown in.

This past weekend I purchased a heart rate monitor. I have been contemplating this purchase for quite some time. I had/have a watch that I can touch and it will give me my heart rate (well, when it has batteries that are not dead) and I did use it somewhat regularly way back when….but I wanted something more. I have frequently perused the heart rate monitors online and had always steered clear of anything other than Garmin or Polar when I looked. I mean, afterall, those are the names that you hear about. So I never really looked too much at anything else. I also tended to look at the granddaddy heart rate monitors, those heart rate monitors that had GPS and all sorts of other information that would be tracked during my workout. I mean, how cool would that be? I knew that I didn’t NEED to have the GPS, I use a sweet little app on my phone that will allow me to track my runs/bike rides and give me the speed, elevation and all that data. But seriously, to not have to have my phone running (and thereby sucking the battery life from it each time I use it. So I wanted one with a GPS. I also knew I wanted one with a chest strap. So I was looking at GPS enabled heart rate monitors. The price was honestly more than I wanted to spend and thus every time I looked I tended to stop the search and say “I’ll wait.”

Last week I decided that this was the time. I was doing it. I knew I wanted a GPS model but I finally decided to buy an introductory model that didn’t have the GPS and see how much I used it and how much I liked it. Part of me hated the fact that I was going to sink between 50 and 100 dollars on a heart rate monitor and still not have what I REALLY wanted. But I talked to my husband and he agreed with my decision to start with an entry level one. He also agreed that if I do stick with this running thing that in a year or so we could upgrade me to a full fledged granddaddy heart rate monitor. (And let me say that a heart rate monitor is NOT necessary for running.)

I walked into Dick’s Sporting Good’s store on Friday afternoon. It took me a while to find the heart rate monitors (duh, I only walked by them 4 times). I was looking at the pretty pink Polar FT4. That is the heart rate that I had basically decided to get online. It was $89.99, a little more than I wanted to pay…but the next level down seemed like a pretty big jump in quality and features! So I was pretty settled. Then along comes the sales man. He asked what I was looking for and I said “A basic heart rate monitor. Nothing with lots of bells and whistles, I don’t need that at this time.” He immediately picked up the Sport line Women’s Duo. I glanced at it….$69.99. Hmm 20 bucks cheaper. I looked at him and said “I was looking at the Polar” He actually talked me out of the more expensive one. I was worried about going with a brand that I don’t readily recognize. He told me that he sees returns and hardly ever sees the return of the sportline. So I went with that. The features seemed really similar. The only feature that the sportline doesn’t have that the Polar does is saving 10 workouts in it’s memory. I log my workouts religiously anyway, so that’s not an issue.

I brought it home and set it all up on Friday evening. It was very easy to set up. Within a matter of a few minutes I had set the time, entered in my personal stats (height, weight age) and even set up the heart rate zone that I want to work within. It came with a chest strap but also has the dual function of being able to test it manually. This watch has two touch sensors. In case I’m not wearing the chest belt I can touch the sensor and it will give me my heart rate at that moment. I like having this feature, because it makes it a bit more versatile. That said, I immediately turned this feature off because I knew that I would be mostly using the chest strap. I tried the chest strap on. It fit. This may not seem like a big deal, but I’ve been obese most of my life, it was a real worry! It immediately picked up my heart rate! I felt comfortable and was ready to roll!

Saturday morning dawned and I got dressed for my run. I remembered to put the chest strap around my body. I wear it right under my bra line. I can barely feel it. (I felt it on Sunday, but since I was somewhat injured on Saturday, that is not too surprising). I started running. All of a sudden I heard a beep. I panicked for a moment, until I glanced at my watch and realized that I had set it to notify me when I had reached my target heart rate zone. I smiled to myself and continued running. My mind of course never quits. I wanted to know what it would do when I reached the top end of my zone. I pushed it full throttle. It beeped again. Yup…it let me know when I was maxing out. Other than that, wearing the heart rate monitor was pretty anticlimactic. I can hit the lap button when I want (at each mile or landmark or whatever).   It does beep every once in a while, and I'm not quite sure why.  lol 

After my run, I stopped the watch from recording. When I got home I looked at my stats. To do this you simply cycle through the different settings by pressing one button.  This watch gives me how many minutes I worked out below my zone. It give me how many minutes I work out in my zone. It gives me average heart rate. I was also able to see how many calories I really burned.  Those are the main ones I looked at. As I said, when I reset the watch for my next run, all the stats from my previous run was gone and gone for good. That is the drawback.

On Sunday I ran again using the heart rate monitor. This was the day that I could feel the chest strap (once again also most likely due to the bruising and soreness from my kersplat fall on Saturday). But even though I could feel it, it wasn’t painful, I just knew it was there. Once again, it worked like a champ! I was impressed. My heart rate registered pretty consistently with Saturdays, and each run was a ‘comfortable’ run so that makes sense and actually made me feel better about the reliability of the heart rate monitor. On Sunday I got back to the car and flipped through the settings on the watch and wrote down the numbers that I am monitoring (calories and average heart rate at this point) and then reset the watch. I had a walk to do. I monitored through the walk also. I watched the heart rate and saw it rise exponentially with inclines and then fall back to a normal walking heart rate while walking on flats.

I decided to give this heart rate monitor a total test, so when I got dressed to go to zumba sentao on Monday evening, I put on the heart rate monitor.  Being a nervous nelly, I tried to start the heart rate monitor in the car and it wouldn't set to a consistent reading and the readings I was getting was with my heart rate up at 226.  Uhhh, that is definitely NOT right.  I was panicked and continued to fiddle with it the whole ride but it never regulated and didn't start working.  (yeah, not good whilst driving).  I arrived, parked and set about trying to figure out immediately it picked up a true reading (at least more where I expected the reading to be) and worked perfectly.  Could the vibrations of the car and road messed it up.  I'm not sure.  The watch then worked perfectly throughout zumba (although I will remember to turn off the beep if I wear it to zumba again remember all those random beeps...that got annoying during zumba).  During songs that were more intense, I saw my heart rate rise, and I saw it lower.  (I was amazed at how fast my heart rate dropped back to normal between songs.  I was zumba sentao last night, I can't wait to see what happens at a regular zumba class).

 I am happy with this heart rate monitor.  The upgrade would definitely be nice to have everything all in one place, Most definitely. It would be nice to have a watch keep track of best times, personal records, my runs/bike rides, etc etc etc. But for right now, with the money that I have and my current level of fitness, this watch is perfect for me. In fact, I can garauntee that anything with more bells and whistles would have caused me to drown in the technology. I probably wouldn’t even use all those bells and whistles for a while.
So it's Tuesday morning and my final thoughts  on a heart rate monitor.  Honestly, do I really need one?  I think at my personal fitness level and committment it is overkill.  Just another way to sucker money out of a fat girl that wants to be thin.   What purpose does it really play in helping me?   I already push myself to that aerobic zone and when I struggle I throttle back in my intensity.  Turns out that I've been managing my workouts naturally without the help of a heart rate monitor.  I could have figured out everything I needed to know by taking my pulse for 30 seconds, multiplying it by 2 and having my heart rate...old fashioned, but it works.  The calorie thing is nice..but even though I had 'exact' calories, I still just put in the estimated number that myfitnesspal gave (which wasn't too far run I burnt more calories than mfp said and the other run I burnt less calories than mfp allowed....but both times it wasn't that great of a difference).  
The guy that sold me the HR monitor told me that I had 90 days.  I have decided that if the personal training works out, I will definitely keep it, as I know that he is focused on us being in the right zone and it will make it easier (although he didn't say that this was a necessary thing we had to have) to check and heed his advice and instruction.   If for whatever reason this personal training thing falls through, I m not honestly sure that I will use it.  was it worth it? Probably not. Not because it didn't work, but simply because I'm not sure it's worth the money for me.  That said, I will continue to wear it for a while for every exercise and maybe my mind will change when I do an interval/speedwork run.

Monday, April 22, 2013

Weekend Review in Picture form

I knew that the weekend had the potential to be quite busy so on Friday when I got off work I headed to town to run the bulk of my errands.  I had some big purchases to make along with the normal weekly groceries.  I purchased a heart rate monitor, protein powder, blender bottles and resistance bands.    I had been waffling on the heart rate monitor for quite a while and I actually didn't get the one I wanted. (one that has GPS and all the bells and whistles).  I talked to Todd and I opted for a no frills heart rate monitor, one without the GPS and all the bells and whistles.  I figure that if the running stays around, I can upgrade later.  Right now $70-$80 bucks was a big enough investment in something I'm not sure that I'll be using all that much (will I use it if I discontinue running.....however I'm liking running so maybe it won't be discontinued.....but the jury is still out).    I have been pondering the protein powder thing for a few months, in fact I had started gathering recipes, I had just never bitten the bullet.  And the blender bottle seemed like a good idea to go with the protein powder.  

I woke up early Saturday morning.  I knew that it was going to be  crazy busy.  I knew that if I didn't bite the bullet and get the exercise in early that I would be doomed!  So I was up and on the battlefield at 6:30 AM on a Saturday morning!  It was chilly!  I was wearing pants and a sweatshirt and the wind whipped right through my clothes!  Regardless I ran. I felt like I was running slow, but I didn't do too badly and if I don't count the runs where I am really pushing myself and doing intervals and such then I was actually faster than my normal average.  Not much but a hair.  I'll take it!

Running must give me some kind of high....for the second time, I went home and tore into the house.  I scrubbed down the tub and the toilets and worked on laundry.  I was  cleaning machine!   I didn't have too long to work though.  I had things to do, people to see and places to go!!!!

I was meeting my parents at about 11AM to ride with them the hour to where they were holding the state competition for my niece.  I didn't think they were planning on stopping for lunch based on the time that we were leaving and the time that the competition was starting, but I called my dad to verify.  With that information, I packed some food for my lunch and some food for my snacks.  And yes, I actually ate a snack between my meals.  I've known that I should be doing this and should have been doing it for a while.  No looking back, I am working on it now!  I sometimes forget...even if it's packed.  But I didn't forget today.  I pulled out my grapes and nibbled on them whilst waiting for my niece to compete!

It was at this point that I decided to try my new blender bottle and protein powder.  I decided to start with  protein that was called  Peanut Butter Cup Shake.  How could I go wrong?    I put the peanut butter into the blender cup and closed that.  Into a separate container with a lid I placed 1 cup of milk. (I used almond milk as that's what we have and use at our house) Into a separate container I put 1 scoop of protein powder.  (I bought the vanilla protein powder for it's functionality, and just added a tbs of cocoa to make it  chocolate).    I would mix it when I was getting ready to eat lunch.  That would be part of my lunch along with some fruit and veggies. 

The next segment is kinda sad.  As I was packing my lunch, I upended a box of baking soda in my kitchen.  That stuff is a MESS to clean up!  But I cleaned it up and went on my merry way!.  I got to my dad's house and they weren't there and I didn't have the key to their house so I sat in my car and listened to music while I waited.  I decided to mix up my shake and try it (it was lunch time so I was good).  I put all the ingredients in the cup, tightened the lid and started shaking.  Uhhhhh after a few shakes the drinking spout lid popped open and I was instantaneously covered with chocolate shake.....uhh not good!   I drank what was left (delicious...but a little gritty), switched jackets (luckily I had a spare in the car) and when my parents got there I quickly washed my jeans (while they were on my body) and dried them with a hair dryer.  I should have known...things come in threes.  Back on track with mostly dry jeans, I was helping my mom empty her car.  I was carrying a big plastic tote and somehow tripped.  Down I went.  My knee hit the ground.  My torso hit the tote and I continued to fall over the tote and hit it again with my upper chest.  Yeah...not my hour!   As for the fall.  Bruises on my knee and my stomach and my right shoulder and upper chest is sore.  Todd is getting the brunt of it as he said Saturday night I just moaned in my sleep, and Sunday night every time he touched me I screamed and pushed him away.  I don't remember Saturday night, but I do know that Sunday night he kept trying to touch me where I"m all bruised up!  Regardless, the show must go on .

We traveled to my nieces gymnastic of that are in yesterdays post posted as I talked about my niece and lessons I am learning from this amazing 10 year old.  After the meet, we drove the few miles to the Arundel Mills mall and had dinner and did a bit of shopping.  We headed home and I went to bed almost immediately upon my arrival at home.

Sunday morning I woke up at about 5:30.  The alarm was set to go off at 7 as Sherry and I were walking at 7:30.  I laid in bed and pondered my choices.  Todd had talked about a bike ride, if the weather was nice and if it was cooler we would go hiking.  If I knew that was going to materialize I wouldn't run, but what if we didn't do any of those activities?   I started thinking about going for a run before my walk with Sherry.  I waffled.  I went to weigh myself and I told myself that the results on the scale would dictate.  I vowed that if I lost 1 pound or less I would stay home and if I lost more than 1 pound I would run. (yes, the irony is not lost on me that it probably should have been the opposite).  I hopped on the scale and low and behold I was down 3.1 pounds!  I got dressed.  WARMLY because it was COLD!  I was on the battlefield by 6:30.  I was out for about 45 minutes with my run and ended up back at my car with about 10-15 minutes to spare as I waited for Sherry.

As I waited for Sherry, I drank some water and had a protein shake (yes, peanut butter cup again).  

Sherry arrived and we walked for an hour.  The hour is activity of course, but just as important and even more importantly, it is our time to share our week, our hopes and dreams, our struggles and honestly, just to vent at times!   The walks are wonderful!

I got home and Todd was just rolling out of bed.  The day turned into him working on the mower, lunch out and then outdoor work.  So I didn't get a hike or a bike ride in.  I did some housework, laundry and weeding.  So it was a good decision to run before my walk!

Sunday, April 21, 2013

I get it

There is something that athletes 'get'.   I'm sure we can all remember the 1996 olympics where Kerry Strug her her ankle on her first vault.  It was do or die for the US team, she was our only chance.  She pushed through the pain and ran the second vault and blew it out of the water.....on a bum foot.  She got it.  She wanted something so badly that she pushed through insurmountable odds and who knows how much pain and did it.  I remember watching that and thinking, "holy moley, that girl is nuts to push through, seriously, she was hurt!"   I didn't understand then.

In December I reached the end of my rope. I didn't like where my life was sitting. There are aspects that I can't change but I decided that I could change my weight and my lifestyle. I vowed to do whatever it took.  I started exercising more and those workouts were at a much higher intensity.  I don't care that I wake up everyday and at least one part of my body aches.  I don't care that I'm out at 6AM running in VERY COLD (some days) weather.  It quickly became the norm and I am OK with it, simply because I want it bad enough. 

My niece loves gymnastics.  She commits to 12 hours minimum in the gym each week and she flips around and stretches and does stuff all the time.  In the last few months, I have noticed her wearing an ankle brace here and there.  Not all the time but on occasion.  A week ago today she was riding in my car with me and she talked about this sore ankle.  Her exact words were "My foot is really sore, I'm pushing really hard because State competition is next weekend.  After that I will rest it to make it better."  I looked at her and I actually understood her drive, isn't that what I'm doing with my exercise pushing hard and working through pain?

This past week her foot started to hurt worse.  It went from an occasional pain to a consistent pain.  She was given a choice but insisted upon competing (she has a doctors appointment set up to check it out) with her coaches approval.  She was 'juiced up' as my brother told me with ibuprofen and they crossed their fingers that the vault would be the last event that she competed in as that was the hardest on her ankle, second only to floor (floor due to the tumbling).  We got our wish.  Floor was second to last and vault was last.  We watched as she competed.

My brother and I were talking about her, the ankle issue and her drive.  Not many 10 year old little girls opt to spend 12 hours at the gym each week on a consistent basis, more if there is a meet.  Not many young girls would push through an injury.  My brother looked at me and said "Our family has never "got it", she does.    The typical response of our family is to quit when it starts to hurt.  (excuses...hmmm I guess I still am beating this dead horse eh?)  My niece however realizes that it is going to hurt but she gets up and keeps doing it.  She is driven and accepts the downside which is the occasional injury (yes, she has fallen off the beam...when she was 5 or 6 and broke her arm) and lots of muscle aches.  He looks at me and said "She gets it". 

And at that is when I realized.  I get it....40 years later, but I get it now!  I can not succeed easily unless I accept that it's going to hurt.  Running WILL hurt some days.  Those marathon runners that we've seen on the news so much recently get it.  Running hurts!    The bikers in the Tour de France get it.  Biking hurts too!  These athletes get it.  And FINALLY, I get it too.  I'm not gonna be sadistic and say I want or like the pain.....but BRING IT ON!

I get it?  Do you???

And since I have inundated this post with pictures of my niece from her competition yesterday, I feel as if I should add one of each of my nephews.  They look chipper in the pictures, but let me tell you...they HATE siting through gymnastics competition.  (They may have been chipper due to the promise of a visit to the Lego Store after the meet!)

Friday, April 19, 2013

My bone

As if I haven’t beaten the excuses dead horse conversation enough….lets rehash it again.

Growing up in school, I always had issues with my feet. I went to doctor after doctor. They immobilized my foot for a while. Don’t ask me why it was immobilized, it wasn’t broken, but I was in a cast for weeks upon weeks upon weeks. It seemed like a lifetime for an 8 year old girl. The casts came off and the pain was still there. They continued to poke and prod me. Eventually one of the doctors came up with a surgical plan. It would have called for total immobilization for months upon months. I had already tried this and that and to myself and my parents it just seemed as if this was another shot in the dark. It was opted to pass on the surgery. Right about that time we stopped going to the doctors. I had by that time learned how to deal with the chronic pain. The pain was pretty intense at times while I was growing up. My pain developed its own catch phrase within my family. I would just say “my bone” and everyone knew. The problem is that this foot pain is partly what set me up for the colossal failure that my weight has been in my life. I was a very active kid. I was always outside playing, just like any kid in the 70’s I’d wager. I didn’t really gym/PE at school. I loved when they pulled out the nets and we played floor hockey, but I just wasn’t athletic and it wasn’t my favorite subject in school. And then these mysterious feet problems reared their ugly head. When it hurt I had no desire to play outside. I didn’t have any desire to participate in gym classes. I had the perfect excuse, “my bone”. I even had doctors notes that made it A-OK for me to sit on the sidelines during gym class should ‘my bone’ be bothering me. It was a recipe for disaster. For a girl that didn’t get into the team sports that is so typical in gym class I used the ‘my bone’ card much more than I probably had to. Don’t get me wrong, there were some days where I really did ache. But there were many more that I skipped simply because I didn’t want to participate. I know that in high school for that required class, I milked it for all it was worth. It was very easy to find someone that had PE before me , simply to find out what we were doing. If I didn’t feel like doing it I used the ‘my bone’ card. I’m not saying that ‘my bone’ is what made me fat. But it certainly didn’t help matters.
As I stopped participating, I let my fears start to rule me. Seriously! I wasn’t athletically inclined but with a foot that I DID hobble on and with the lack of continual exercise I became the girl that got hit with a softball (true story) and the girl that got hit with the volleyball (true story) and quickly became the last one picked because I was a liability to any sporting team. It was a self-perpetuating manifestation of obesity inspiring factors.
Luckily as I’ve gotten older the pain slowly died away and I can go for weeks, months even without any pain. Or maybe, just maybe it’s just a way of life and I don’t even pay attention to it. I think it’s a combination of the two. Either way, it is an excuse. It’s an excuse that I worked for 30 years. I am was the queen of excuses

Today is my rest day. I used to cheer and applaud when I would declare it a rest day. Looking back, I had NO CLUE. I woke up feeling fresh as a daisy. I was chipper and my body felt fine. Now-a-days, I am working out much much more. I am working out with a much higher intensity. By the time my rest day rolls around, I feel like I’ve been through a war! My all or nothing personality/mentality makes me want to exercise, but I know that I need the break. My body screams at me to take the break. And even as much as I want to exercise, I can’t imagine what it would be like to not take the day or rest at this point. It makes me want to cry just thinking about it. The good thing about the day of rest? I wake up the next morning and I’m ready to go. That one day is pure magic.

I’m holding my own with my eating. I’m trying to incorporate snacks into my day. I’ve been simply eating my three meals and calling it good. (yeah, I know….but it’s worked for me in the past and it’s still working). But I am really trying. SO I am incorporating snacks. Today it was really stressing me out. I got to work at 7:45…and I was sipping on my breakfast smoothie. I leave at 2. If I didn’t finish breakfast until 8:30, how in the world am I supposed to get a snack and lunch in before 2PM. And I certainly don’t want to eat lunch at 2 today. Ahhhh stress about a snack? Only me! I eventually decided that I would eat my morning snack at 10 (well I nibbled on my grapes for a while so it was longer) and I’m going to go to lunch at 12:30….can’t really push it too much later since I get off at 2. The one thing about the snacking thing…I’m not hungry…my lunches have been half eaten since I incorporated this new habit.

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Time efficiency

No time to complete the tasks in your life? I have found the perfect solution.

Last night Todd and I were sitting in the living room and I asked him what time he had to be at the studio in the morning. He said he had clients that would be there by 9AM. My mind started to whirl about how to fit my run in and still cook breakfast. Graciously, he did tell me that I didn’t have to cook for him. However, I’m trying to not let my new lifestyle affect our lives negatively. That is MY choice. I quickly decided that if I woke up by 6 I could wake up and be out on my run by 6:30 and I would be home by 7:30. I could then make breakfast and he would be out the door by 8 or 8:15. PERFECT. (Am I insane? Really? I just decided to wake up early for exercise???? Holy crapballs!) We went to bed and my alarm was set.

I was actually awake by 5:30 and took the time to wake up my normal way (which is checking my email, facebook and playing a round or two of Candy Crush). I was up and out of bed though before too long. I hopped into my clothes (which I had the presence of mind to lay out the night before) and I was out the door. I opted to drive to the battlefield this morning and run over there. I started running and decided that I was NOT going to run at my comfortable pace. (I just recently got to the point that I realized that my pace had become comfortable) Comfortable is good when you are buying a bra but it’s not the way to improve when you are exercising. I wanted to see what I was capable of doing. I pushed myself. I ran, no intervals…I just ran, and faster than comfortable. It felt uncomfortable and it honestly reminded me of those first weeks when I started the C25K program. I remember feeling like I was so awkward when I ran. I remember feeling stilted and odd. I know that just like that feeling was replaced by comfort, so will this newly revived feeling. My first mile was excellent. I pushed! The last two miles and the loose change after mile three were much more difficult and I actually did some of it as intervals. But even the intervals showed how much I have improved. Just a few weeks ago my intervals consisted of me switching between walking and jogging. Today I alternated between jogging and running….or at least a faster jog.

Here is the amazing thing. I was so full of energy after my run that after Todd left, I started cleaning the house. In the morning! Before work! By the time I got to work I had blown through half of the chores that I normally complete and drag through each week. So many times people say that they can’t work out because of time. But what they don’t realize is that the exercise is so energizing that it actually carries over into other aspects of your life. It’s really the perfect solution…..exercise in order to have the time to complete everything in life!

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

Excuses and opportunities

I’ve been thinking a lot about one subject of late. Excuses… here we go with another post about excuses.

Last night I was at zumba. We were doing some move across the floor and my ankle flipped and I stumbled. The pain was immediate. I lifted my foot and started rotating it to stretch it out and see what was up. The pain was sharp for a few minutes then abated. Now let me tell you, this is not a rare occurrence. My ankles do this somewhat regularly. Todd is used to it….happens when we go out walking and hiking…happens in zumba…it just happens. Last night I sucked in my breath with pain and waited for a few minutes for the pain to subside. It did finally drop to a dull roar and I recommenced with the exercise. It still pricked painfully for a song or two…but overall it was ok. As I moved on the foot that was a little achy I started to think about it. For years upon years I used this phenomenon as an excuse as to why I couldn’t exercise. Last night I wasn’t going to be swayed. If the pain was intense I would have stopped. If the pain wouldn’t have eased up I would have stopped. I’m not in this to injure myself. However, I can’t abide by the excuses anymore!

I have eradicated excuses from my vocabulary in the last few months. I’ve pushed through sickness. I’ve pushed through bad weather. I’ve pushed through all sorts of obstacles. There is nothing going to stop me right now.

Consequentially, I’m kind of getting really sick of hearing everyone else’s excuses. Suck it up buttercup. Seriously, the excuses as to why you can’t do something is getting OLD! I don’t care if your leg fell off….get up and run! (Oh hell, I sound like Jillian Michaels now) I’m not saying that there are never any valid excuses. Quite the contrary, I think there does come along a valid excuse on occasion. I think that the true valid excuses are rare and far between. We give up and use anything we can come up with as an excuse.

We don’t run because we are uncomfortable. We don’t go to an exercise class because we have the sniffles. We skip going to the gym because we are tired and don’t want to get out of bed. I’m sorry….exercise IS uncomfortable. EVERYONE gets sniffles….if you still go to work you are ok to workout. As for being tired….the gym and a good round of exercise is energizing….I’ve had a good workout eradicate a headache too! Excuses no longer hold a power over me.

So last night my friend Paula and I met up with a personal trainer. He’s just starting out. He had been looking for some people that would be willing to be trained by him…for free. In return we will give him feedback about his techniques. We will also submit to before and after pictures that he can use as he builds his business. (success stories…lol). I was somewhat skeptical when I agreed to it. I have my routines and I don’t want to mess it up. I made my commitment to run and that is important to me. I also really enjoy my zumba social hours and don’t want to totally throw them under the sacrificial bus. I also know that I’m a bit of a picky eater. Come on now, I eat very limited meats (only chicken or turkey maybe 2-3 times a week). I’m not a fan of milk….or yogurt. Mushrooms are nasty and eggs are ok, if they are in a cake, but plain…..blech! So it had to be someone that understood that and was willing to work within that. It also had to be someone that understood that food IS and always will be a part of my life. Telling me to give up pizza is not a valid way to change my lifestyle. Allowing me to learn how to manage it is the route that I want to go. Deprivation is not the way to go.

So we met. He is quite nice to look at…so I was impressed at the first moment. Ha ha When he found out about zumba and my running he made it very clear that he wanted those things to continue. In fact he is training to run a 10k and since Paula also is starting to run, he talked about the three of us doing a 5k together. So that was one hurdle crossed. He didn’t seem too phased by my eating preferences. Just kind of chuckled when I would say ‘eww’ at some suggestion. Each time he immediately rattled off some alternatives and seemed comfortable with my eating preferences. Ok, so there is another hurdle crossed. . Ha ha ha As for understanding that there WILL be food that while I could give up, I just don’t want to. He started to laugh. His words were “this is life, you have to live and have fun” and then he went on to talk about his addiction…..Oreo cookies…and proceeded to validate his words by showing us his kitchen cabinet with a few packages of Oreos in waiting. I laughed and said Pizza is one of my non-negotiables. He immediately asked if I’d had a certain restaurants pizza and seriously looked at me and said “you have to try it!” So he understands that this is life and not a quest for eating the most perfect and healthy foods 100% of the time. I felt quite comfortable with it. And of course did I mention that he’s quite easy on the eyes????? He is realistic in his plans for how long it will take us to lose the weight and seems like he is it in for the long haul with us (remember before and after pics to help build his portfolio).

So unless for some reason he rescinds his offer or fizzles out on his plans, I’m in. I talked to Todd about it when I got home. I told him the highlights of the evening. I then asked him what he thought. Right now I’m already committed to a few nights a week of zumba and of course I disappear a couple times a week to go running. Committing to working out with a trainer and working with a trainer on other weight loss aspects will take even more time, especially going up to mert him to workout...30 minutes each way fir me to get to town and my gym. My husband looked at me and said, You are going to have a personal trainer for a few months where you work out with him a few times a week and he is going to also help advise on diet and exercise and be there for you via text/email/fb the rest of the week….and you are asking me if it’s ok. He reminded me what this ‘deal’ would cost me were I paying for this. It’s a once in a lifetime opportunity (well I could pay…but being free is a once in a lifetime). He said that he would help me work around the scheduling stuff. So I’m on board. We shall see how this goes.

Tuesday, April 16, 2013


I am going to start with a statement saying that I am utterly sickened and saddened by the tragedy at the Boston Marathon.   It is horrible for anyone involved...especially for those who were injured.  I don't want to downplay the suffering of those people. I pray for everyone involved for healing, emotionally and mentally.   However, my heart goes out to the people who have long held the Boston Marathon as the holy grail of running.  The people that have trained, qualified and taken the time off work and money out of their savings to run in it this year.    They pushed for their dream and unless they crossed the finish line before the 4 hour mark, they had their dreams dashed.  Yes, I (and they) can be positive and say "they still have their lives and they still have their legs'  and that is so very true.  But I know how it feels to have a dream crushed and my heart goes out to them.

Running.  So I've been running.  Today I upped my mileage.  I'm up to an official 5K in length. This morning I ran at my comfortable slow pace.  I knew I was adding mileage and I figured finishing it was the main goal....not increasing speed. 

The scary thing about running?   On the days that I don't run I think about it and long for it.  Last night I was getting ready to go to zumba and part of me wanted to ditch zumba and go for a run instead.  I didn't.....zumba is good.  It's a good social outlet and it's good for different parts of my body.  But I'm starting to long to run.  Hmmmmm am I starting to actually like to run?  

Monday, April 15, 2013

Weekend report and weigh in results

My weekend was chock full of activity and craziness.  My weekend really didn't start working until noon on Saturday when I got off of work.  I rushed home and made a nutritious lunch for Todd and I and then we headed out with our bikes on top of the car safely ensconced in my car bike rack.  We decided to head about 30 minutes west of us to do our ride on the C&O canal.  We headed out.  I had a delightful ride.  It is after all only one of my first rides of the season, so my butt was SOOOO sore, as soon as I sat on the saddle it hurt.  I pushed through it though (and encouraged Todd to push through his issues).  Overall though, I was happy as a lark.  I may or may not have been an obnoxious riding partner at times with my singing.  I was just so happy to be out there that songs burst forth....although I did try to curb it back to humming when I realized what I was doing.  It was a great ride!  We spent the rest of the afternoon visiting with family, getting groceries and having and early dinner.

A view on my run
We got home and rushed around the house. I had already expressed my plans to Todd while we had dinner and he was on board so we rushed the groceries into the house and quickly put away the cold stuff (it was a small trip so it didn't take long) and then we headed out.   He ended up at the studio where he did  bit of work for the 45 minutes that I would be running on the battlefield. (His studio is technically part of the battlefield, but right next to government land.)   I started out my run.  I could tell that I was just totally void of energy.  The bike ride had sapped the jump and pep in my legs.  I was determined however to keep going.  For the first mile or so my only thought was just to FINISH.  This was the last 2.5 miler that I would be running, the next week I would swing into 3 mile runs....building myself up.  I got to about 1.75 miles in and I glanced at my gps/counter/clocky thingy app on my phone and I got this hair brained idea in my head that I could finish it in 30 minutes. (That would be a three quarters of a mile in 4 minutes.....which is actually insane for me as my average pace has been about a 14.5 minute mile).  I started full out running...the likes of something this old body hasn't seen since I was probably 10 years old (I was being generous, I actually wanted to type 5...but I wasn't overweight until about 10 or 12 so I figured go higher).    I was flying (for me).  I could feel my body jiggling and shaking from movement.  I mean face it....I have fat on my body and it was doing the santa thing, a bowl full of jelly.  It felt really odd...not the comfortable feeling that I've fallen into with my normal pace (and yes, that pace has become 'normal and comfortable')  but surprisingly it wasn't bad.  I glanced down at my phone....oh my word I was running at a 10:30 pace.  Me????????  I kept it up for about a quarter of  mile.  I then dropped back to the comfortable pace.  I ran comfortably for another quarter of  mile and then I picked up the pace again for the last quarter of  mile.  I walked back to the studio after my 2.5 miles were complete and finally looked at my stats.....I literally shaved a minute off my best average pace.....on a day where my legs felt heavy and I feared I couldn't go on!

Sunday morning I woke up and weighed myself.   228.7    That is a weekly loss of 2.9!!!   For this year I can now say I've lost    25.5  pounds!   And if that isn't enough, from my highest weight I have lost 87.7 pounds!!!

I didn't have much time to gloat and celebrate yesterday.  I headed out. I literally just grabbed a cheese stick as I ran out the door.  I had a bit of traveling to do.  I headed 45 minutes north where I had the pleasure of working with a fun fun couple.  We were doing pictures for their wedding invitations.   We travelled around to some fun locations and actually had a lot of fun. LOTS of walking and squatting was done by me!

When I left there, I headed straight to my parents house where I hooked up with them to go to my youngest nephews soccer game.  I was able to eat a half peanut butter and jelly sandwich and some mandarin oranges before we headed out to the game. There is nothing cuter than 6 year old kids playing a game.....half clueless and just fun to watch.  And of course my nephew is such a cutie that I cant help but smile! And yes, the coach behind him in the picture helping is my brother.

After the soccer game my whole family (minus Todd, he was working) headed out for pizza with some friends.  I ate three slices of a margherita pizza.  It was tasty!  Not exactly a healthy day, but I realize what I did wrong (I should have packed my breakfast and lunch the night before....and pizza will never be totally eradicated from my life....I would be miserable so I will figure out how to work it in)  I bid adieu to everyone at the restaurant and headed home.  I knew that I had hundreds of pictures to go through...editing and converting them to jpegs.  I worked until about midnight doing the first edit and conversion.  I did eat a skinny cow strawberry shortcake ice cream sandwich while I worked. (and no, I was under my calorie count for the day)  Tasty! 

Busy weekend.  My house is a wreck.  I have baskets of clean laundry sitting on the kitchen table that needs to be folded. I have some food that needs to be prepped for this week. TONS of pictures still need edited.  So much undone! I of course return to work this morning.  I'm running behind...but I'm happy.

I'm not running this morning, and instead I'm going to try to get some stuff done here at the house so I'm not running behind all week.  I'm not worried about delaying my run though....I will still get exercise today, tonight is zumba sentao!

Thursday, April 11, 2013


Thursday was a busy day for me.....Ran/jogged in the morning, worked for an hour in the garden and then walked after work for an hour!  I rocked out the chocolate gear.  Wilbur's Chocolate factory hat and a Reeses' cup shirt for my run...and I wore my Hershey Kiss hat for my evening walk!

I love to write. I have recently started a project. This new project is to basically write 'lessons learned' about my weight loss. I've got a few pieces written. Some is very introspective, others are more general. Today I was out jogging and I had some thoughts come to me. I went to work and I wrote.......this is the first draft, simply my first thoughts of what came out of my mind today.

I wasn’t paying attention to the TV that Sunday morning. I was working around the house while my husband watched the morning news. I don’t know what caught my attention but something did. Was it the word triathlon? I don’t know. I had long been interested in completing a triathlon as it seemed like the ‘ultimate’ sport…three things rolled into one. Was it the promise of getting my life in line health wise that caught my attention? I don’t know. Whatever it was, the news report caught my attention. I watched as they ran clips of the lucky chosen viewers from the previous year as they completed a transformation in their lives which culminated in them participating in a triathlon. I sat on the edge of my seat watching with interest. The report ended with the call for video applications. Yes, they were looking for a new group of people to work with to train for a triathlon that would take place in about 9 months. They would provide the tools and the training; I would simply need to provide the grit to complete the training and ultimately the triathlon. I sat there quietly. I didn’t say anything to anyone. The television continued to play, but my mind was stuck on the concept of becoming one of the tri-athletes for CNN. Over the next few days and weeks I spent a lot of time in thought about this possibility. I scoured the Internet for the I reports from the previous group of participants. My desire to apply and to actually do it increased each day. I finally broached the subject with a few people. I got the green light from everyone that I talked to. I made my video and submitted my name as a hopeful and then I waited. I wanted this. I wanted it so badly. I wanted to complete an item off of my bucket list but even more I wanted so badly to get my life in line. By the new year I knew that I didn’t make the cut. I was not chosen. I was disappointed. I felt hopeless. I didn’t feel as if I had any valid options to me on my own. I gave up. I felt like I had absolutely no chance to make the changes necessary…not with out the assistance that I would have gotten from CNN. I wasn’t despondent, life went on, but I threw my hands up in the air and consequentially gained more weight. A year went by. They called for a new round of applicants. I briefly contemplated applying once again. I didn’t do it though. I was still mired in my helpless pity party. Then one day I woke up, figuratively speaking. I knew that I wanted to be healthy and it didn’t matter what it would take.  I was ready to pay any price. I started moving more. And then I started to run. It was slow going. I had to research information on my own. I didn’t have a coach standing at my side advising me. I did it on my own.. I started thinking about getting a road bike. I started saving my extra pennies so that I could buy an entry level road bike, and in the meantime have decided to be happy with my current bike. (and just stay off the roads) I didn’t start doing these with the goal of running a triathlon. I ran because I wanted to be healthy.
Excuses. I have always been full of excuses. I wasted one year of my exercise life by making excuses about why I couldn’t get out and train myself to participate in at least aspects of a triathlon. There was always an excuse. If it was the fact that I didn’t have the coaching I found another excuse. My knees are riddled with arthritis so they are a prime excuse. Housewife duties? They make great excuses also. Too cold? Too hot??? Rainy??? Snowing???    My gym (any gym in the country is a pain sometimes) is about 20 minutes from my house... that is a huge excuse as to why I can’t work out. Give me more time and I can fill pages with the various excuses that I have used. Excuses were my best friend.
 Are there valid excuses? I’m sure. Are there workarounds for almost any excuse? Yes. But it is truly amazing how the excuses fall away when you desire something from that deep place within your heart.
I’ve made this commitment to be healthy. I’ve made a commitment to really give running a valid fair shot as a part of my life. I want this healthy lifestyle more than I want anything else. (Maybe I should be honest and say that I want to be thin more than I want anything else.) Because that desire is so intense I am willing to push myself to great lengths to succeed.
 I push my body out of its comfort zone on a continual basis. When you are pushing your body out of it’s comfort zone it is the perfect environment for change….good change. The problem? Being pushed out of it’s comfort zone means that most days I wake up and my body is stiff and sore. It’s different muscles at different times. It’s part of my life right now. I accept it as a necessary step to the rebirth of myself. Aching muscles are no longer a valid excuse.
 Cold weather? I completed the c25K program and never, not once did the temperatures raise above 35 degrees. There were days that I ran with temps in the single digits and teens. There were days that I ran with snow falling around me and yes, I have run in the rain. Heat? Well, that’s rolling into my neck of the woods and I am out there sweating it up. The weather will NOT stop me. I may adjust my run schedule a bit to accommodate the weather as much as possible…but if I am scheduled to run three times in the week I WILL run those three times. (Even if it means going to the gym and running on the much hated treadmill.)  Weather is not a valid excuse.
 Arthritis? Yes, I was diagnosed with arthritis when I was about 28 years old. Arthritis in my knees. I take the steps that I need to in order to make sure that my knees don’t hurt. But not all precautions are foolproof. Yes, my knees hurt. I know why they hurt. I know that I’m not injured. I also know that the more weight I remove from my body, the less pain I will feel. (and consequentially the knees are what may ultimately make me decide that running is not my cup ‘o tea). Right now they are just an invalid excuse as to why I should stop. (Ironically, my knees are feeling good on my runs… was the Thirty day shred that ripped them up…….and I DID stop the thirty day shred for time and knee issues)
 Excuses are no longer welcome in my world. Will I run in a triathlon? I don’t know what the future holds. I will say this…..if I decide to do it there will be NOTHING that holds me back! (And possibly could there be a duathlon in my future??? Hmmmm food for thought.)
 I was running on the battlefield thinking about my failed attempt to be selected for the CNN triathlon training group. The usual disappointments flickered in my brain. But then I looked at my progress that I had made on my own. Maybe a year later, but I’m finally making progress! I am dang proud of myself. Furthermore, I instantly knew without a doubt that had I been picked a year and a half ago that I would have failed miserably. I didn’t have the drive and determination to succeed. I would have hated every minute of the pain. I would have tried to back out when my knees started to ache. I would have NEVER had the fortitude to run in bitter cold, with high winds and falling snow. I wasn’t ready and thus they made the best decision.