Friday, August 30, 2013

What if a dog were chasing you?

Amazing!  That’s all I can say.  A week or so ago  I realized that I had to put a LOT of miles on my body in a very short amount of time (for me at least).  I attacked it with an optimistic hope and view.  I could do this.  12 miles a day wasn’t that bad….right?   Not a problem!   I started….riding daily, trying to knock in a few extra miles here and there with walks and runs.  I started to chip away at the mountain that I found before me.  I saw the miles that I still needed to drop away.  Yet on Monday I allowed doubt to fill me.  I was ready to quit.  I didn’t quit and I’m happy to say that I have completed my mileage.  In fact I completed it with two days to spare!!!!!!
A week or so my brother was talking to me.  I made a comment about hills being my nemesis.  I HATE hills.  SERIOUSLY!   I mentioned a ride a few weeks back. In this ride I attacked the hilly section of the battlefield.    I made if up the worst hills and was just attacking the gently (ha…nothing is ‘gently rolling’ on a bike) rolling hills that cropped up every time I blinked.  I mentioned my need to stop half way up the hill due to the fact that I was struggling to carry enough speed to stay upright (yes, I started to fall).  My brother had one comment for me.   “I bet you would have flown up that hill if a dog was chasing you!”
That comment made me think.  Yes, if my options were to ride like the wind up a hill or be bitten by a dog, I’d have to say that my adrenaline and body would not even think about how tired I was and I’d be FLYING.   (On the other hand, maybe I’d just lay there and let the dog maul me…ha ha ha….JUST JOKING)   So these thoughts were floating through my mind for a few days.
Then I read a book called Finding Ultra  by Rich Roll.  In this book Rich tells the story about how he had abused his body for years and on the eve of his 40th birthday he had an epiphany and realized that he had to change his life….drastically and without delay.   He changed his diet and while the book does expound on the benefits of his chosen diet, it was the exercise that touched me.  You see, he dreamt big.  REALLY big.  He started riding and running and picked back up swimming (a sport from his youth).  He bypassed the marathons and century rides.  He bypassed the triathlons and even the Ironman competitions.   He attacked an ultraman race.   Haven’t heard of this race?   Well, lets start by saying it is an unsupported race. You don’t have hydration stations.  You have to provide your own crew.     Not a biggie right?  This is a three day race.  Day one is 6.2 mile swim in the open water followed by a 90 mile bike ride (including 6000 feet of climbing).  That about sums up day one.   Day two is a simple leisurely bike ride of …ohhh nothing short of 171.4 miles (including 4000 feet of climbing).   Ready to quit yet?   Day three is the running portion.  It’s a pretty much a double marathon…don’t know how many miles that is?   52.4 miles.  This was the premiere one of a kind, invitation only event that offered no prize money, only personal satisfaction.  (they have since added a few ‘qualifying ultraman events’). 
This race really isn’t about the numbers (although I know that people give heir eyeteeth to win it). It really is about beating yourself.  It’s about persevering through personal pain and the mental challenges. 
So anyway, this guy Rich did it.  He pushed through odds and pain that the average person can’t even begin to think about.  He ran that race not once, but twice.  He also talks about completing 5 Ironman courses in a week.   This guy was in great shape, but what spoke to me most was that he also had the mental fortitude that is needed to push through the pain.
“When you believe you've reached your absolute limit, you've only tapped into about 40 percent of what your truly capable of.  The barrier isn't the body.  It's the mind.”    David Goggins
So reading this book on the heels of my brothers comment really hit me squarely in the forehead.  It reminded me that this battle to get better at running and on my bike is a fight not in my body…but rather in my head….it’s not my body giving out, it’s my head!

Thursday, August 29, 2013

Who'd have Thunk?

Todd and I were both off yesterday afternoon and we spent the day running errands and trying to get everything we need for some of the big 'projects' that we hope to complete very soon.  (Some shelves, a raised flower bed, and the biggie...a patio...which includes getting the hot tub into place on the patio and getting it wired and running).  We ran around in the rain and had a good day.  We debated long and hard about where to eat for lunch.  We eventually decided to go to a place that we hadn't gone in ages.  However it was a place we remembered well, you see in our 'I don't care' stage which coincided with the 'mega chain restaurants are good' stage we ate there a lot.   Yes, we decided to go to Uno's.  I sat down and got the salad and quickly decided on an individual cheese pizza.  Nothing major right?   I was hungry so I'll freely admit that I ate my whole portion.   Do you see where this is going?   I of course didn't even THINK to put my calories into myfitnesspal until I had a break in the activities (which means I was sitting in the car waiting for Todd for some unremembered reason).   I put the meal in.....and it was a good thing I was sitting down!

The individual deep dish tomato and cheese pizza is 1750 calories.   That did not include my salad!   Holy freakin' cow!   Seriously?   I aim to eat 1200 calories a day......combined for the WHOLE day.  I just not only blew my daily calories in one meal but I had gone over my calories by well well over 500 calories!   And of course, I had eaten breakfast and was noon when I ate, I KNEW that I would be eating dinner.  Come on now.....     Oh, and we had already stopped at Sweet Frog for a little cup of frozen yogurt so I couldn't drop that from my calories to try to keep my caloric expenditure as low as possible.

So how did I handle the rest of the day?  I still ate dinner.  I couldn't skip, that would have just set me up for failure today.  I chose to not beat myself up over it.  I made a mental note to not do daily weigh ins until Saturday.  I chose to move on....accept what was done.  Accept that life happens and move on.   This is life and I'm LIVING it!

In other news.  I am 23 miles from making my mileage goal for this month.  (Thanks to a ride on the exercise bike last night......I don't get as good of a workout on the exercise bike at home.....and I feel  a bit like I'm cheating when I ride it...but it is still is still movement....and I"m counting it!!  And oh yeah, I HATE riding inside!)   As soon as I hit the publish button on this post (or very soon thereafter)  I'll be changing my clothes and heading out on the bike.  I"m hoping to get at least the same 13 miles that I did the other day....that would put me at 10 miles left.....I'm supposed to walk at work with  a coworker on my lunch there will be about 2 miles....and I'm scheduled to go walking with Sherry tonight.  We go anywhere from 2 miles to 5 miles....but typically about 3.  So I could conceivably end my day with 5 miles left! 

update:   I just got back from my ride.  19.29 miles in the hopper.  If my scheduled walks go off at the projected mileage I could finish this TODAY!

Tuesday, August 27, 2013


I weighed myself this morning.  I was 213.1.  Drat….one pound away from that elusive 10 pound gone goal.  No fear.  I WILL conquer it!  (plus this will give me more time to look for that perfect charm!)
On Monday night I walked with Sherry and I admitted to her that I was having serious doubts about completing my mileage goals for this month.  Yeah, I’ve literally ridden or otherwise propelled myself about one hundred miles (ok, I think  as of right now it is 89 miles…but seriously, don’t we all round up in that case?) in the last week to put myself in spitting distance of this mileage goal.   I was fighting that fat mini me that was telling me to quit.  Why bother.   The fat mini me was telling me that “You are tired” and “seriously why does it matter anyway?”  I was starting to listen to the voice.  
Once I voiced it with Sherry and she gave me her support (Thanks Sherry…you are tops!) it was out in the open.  I can’t say that I was gung ho to finish the challenge after our talk…but I DID get on the exercise bike and knocked out a few miles last night.  And this morning I got up and rode.  After my ride this morning I find myself with 37.57 miles left to complete before midnight Saturday night.  That is about 9.39 each of the remaining 4 days.  I can do this if I ride each and everyday.  My walk with Sherry on Thursday eveningis extra…as is my planned lunch time walk with Shantel at work on Thursday.  Maybe with those extra miles I can finish this up on Friday and be one day early!!
My ride this morning was a good one.  I just felt good.  Yeah, my legs screamed at me a few times.  Yeah, my right wrist kept going numb.   Yeah I was breathing hard on a few of the hills.  But you know what? It was a damn good ride!   And the numbers proved it!
I screeched to a halt (ok, my bike doesn’t screech…but it sounded so awesomely dramatic didn’t it?) in my drive way and whipped out my cell phone that was tracking my stats through the app mapmyride (That is the app/website that I use to track my progress).  I glanced down at the numbers while I wheeled my bike onto the deck.  I started grinning from ear to ear.   I added almost 2 miles to my ‘typical’ distance today and pushed myself over the number that I wanted to see today.  I then noticed my average speed. Yup…I’m the killer!  I’ve been averaging about 12.5 and today I knocked out a 13.2 average speed.  WEEEE

Monday, August 26, 2013

A wall or two to climb

As I approached my 40th birthday   (sorry, I haven’t figured out how to insert a link whilst on my cell phone, so I’ll just include the web address)  I took a very clear look at my life.  I didn’t like what I saw.  Was this a midlife crisis?  I don’t know.   I just know that I didn’t like where I was. I felt as if I was backed into a dark dark corner and there was no readily available way out. The walls surrounding me where thick and high.   But I realized that there was one little spark of a chance to fix something…You see, I realized that if I could just get a toe hold I may be able to start climbing the wall to remove myself from that dark dank corner.  I vowed to attack the only thing that I could fix on my own.  That was my weight.   I started to attack the weight problem (and continue to attack).   My hope was that if I got to the top and could start to see over the wall that I was climbing that a few things could happen. One was that  I hoped that the other side of the wall would be bright, sunny and a happy place.  But barring that, because I knew that there were/are many facets of my life that were out of place I hoped and prayed that the strength that I found while climbing over that first wall would be enough to carry me up and over the next wall.  I prayed that the strength and courage and fortitude that I built as I crawled out of that first place would help me as I crawled through holes and scaled previously insurmountable walls.  
I started scaling that first wall at the very end of December/beginning of January.  I didn’t see anything different in my life. The other problems were still there.  I kept plugging along.  I started feeling happier, my exercise was working as therapy within me to clear my mind and erase some of the stress.  I was moving along.  The other side of the wall still looked dark and bleak but instead of cowering in the corner of that dark place I was doing everything I could to get to a better place.
As the last 9 months have rolled by, I’ve had another wall pop up in my path.  The strength that I discovered with my weight loss has helped me start to scale that next wall.  Success really does breed success.
I’m facing my challenges dead on and I’m winning.  And the best part?  For the first time in recent years I’m daring to dream about the future. For the first time in recent years I want to organize my life.  I want to make my life better.  I want to do what I can to be successful.  I’m not just existing, I’m actually wanting to LIVE. 
Excess weight drug me down….losing the weight is the catalyst to set me free!
I’m totally within spitting distance of getting my next charm.  I know round about what I want to get.  I haven’t shopped for it (to even know if they have anything like what I want) but I know what I want.

Thursday, August 22, 2013

I will not......

In the month of July I stumbled upon a challenge that really held appeal for me.  It was/is called the Move you’re a$$ challenge.  It is a monthly challenge in which each participant sets their own goals.  It is a mileage goal (ok, to be fair to countries that use the metric system) and there are some people that have insanely high monthly goals.  Seriously, there is one person that has a 1000 mile goal (well, maybe it’s a km goal…which makes it a little less daunting now that I think about it).   There are some people on there that only aim for 20 or 30 miles for the month.  So this challenge is individually tailored by each person.  WE decide what our goal is.  Then you just periodically post how many miles you have completed to date and they update a Google spreadsheet that we can all see. So this way you can see where you stack with everyone else.  If you post your miles daily, that’s good.  If you post a week worth of miles at once it’s all good.  No stress no nothing.  Pretty easy challenge I’d have to say.
In the month of July I set a goal for myself. I decided that I could attain 150 miles.  Sadly, I got sick and missed a whole week of riding….ouch!  The month started winding down and I was short on completed miles.  Not too bad, I just had to ride 3 out of 5 days.  Not too bad.   I pushed myself to get out there and ride and run.  I squeaked it but I managed to get my 150 miles in.  Knowing that I had done 150 miles but in essence had missed at least a week of exercise, I was a bit more ambitious when I set my August goal.  I decided that I could swing 200 miles. 
And here is where we have a problem.  I kind of fiddled around the beginning of the month.  Kind of?   OK, I did.   I did thankfully put 20-30 miles into the books each week….but since I’m reasonably sure that August only has 4 weeks and not 8-10 weeks I have to admit that I didn’t do enough to reach a 200 mile goal.   I’m still only consistently riding 10-15 miles on my road bike at anyone time (and usually toward the lower number…darn hills get me!) so it’s not a simple thing of just riding once or twice to complete all the miles.
So where exactly am I?   As of this exact moment I’m 89.15 miles into my goal.  The bad part?  I’ve only got 9 days left to knock out roughly 111 miles.   That is 12.3 miles a day.  Quite doable.  My normal morning ride is 10.5 miles….so one extra loop in the north end of the  park (the Antietam battlefield) would add the extra miles if I were only riding that day.  If I just did my short 10.5 route I would need to pair it with a run.  EVERY DAY.
I have a couple things up my sleeve that I may pull out to help me add some mileage. 
  • the exercise bike-  indoor equipment bores me…but if I hop on that while watching tv in the evening there is a cool 10-15 miles.  (So basically, while I’m watching Dexter on Sunday night, I need to be riding…..and when I’m watching my tivo’d Breaking bad on Monday night…ride).  One additional ride (basically ride outside and then ride inside) would set me up ahead of the game and get me a little bit out of the hole.
  • Of course I’m trying to run…so if I run once or twice to round this week out and run my 3-4 times next week I can expect anywhere between 12-18 miles from that.  
  • Sherry and I are walking tonight and will probably walk at least once next week…so there is between 3-8 miles
  • Lunch time walks.  It doesn’t net much but each time I walk on my lunch break and do the circle around town I earn about 1.5 miles.  Not much…but every little bit counts!
  • My ace in the hole, but one I hesitate because I’d be pretty much by myself and I would rather not go up there and ride by myself…..The final day of the month is on a Saturday.  I get off work at noon.   I can take my bike up to the WM rail trail and ride. It’s flat and since it’s the hills that do me in on my road bike, I should be able to knock out some significant mileage.   Ohhh …for that matter maybe THIS weekend I can take my trek out and ride on the canal…..ride from Sharpsburg down to Harpers Ferry or some such ride…..and knock out some serious mileage on a nice FLAT terrain.  Knocking out 20 miles on one or two days would be SPECTACULAR. (and I don’t feel as iffy about riding here…probably because it’s so local to me.)  I still wouldn’t be out of the woods, but I’d be in better shape for actually accomplishing my goal in this challenge.
And I swear….next month I will NOT be scrambling at the end of the month!!!!! (And yes,  I’m choosing 200 again!  This time I will ROCK it!)

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's all me

About two years ago I decided to take the steps to follow through on one of my bucket list items.  Which one?  I decided that maybe just maybe I could complete a triathlon.   What had sparked me to think more deeply about this was the fact that CNN was calling for videos for their next batch of triathlon wannabes.  Yes, I made a video.  I was hopeful.  I wanted it.  No, I didn’t get selected.  And I threw in the towel.  I had attached a savior mentality to CNN’s role that I had hoped that they would play.  CNN was going to be my savior.  In my mind they were going to swoop in and save me from my own obese demise.  I was looking for a savior from a life of obesity.
I see this savior mentality over and over again in my ‘travels’ through the world of health and fitness.  The most frequent place to actually see this mentality is on shows like “The Biggest Loser” and “Extreme Makeover: Weight Loss Edition”.   For the most part, the participants on those shows are barely living. They have given up.  They are too enmeshed in their obesity to help themselves.  They are waiting for a savior to ride the white horse into their lives and fix them.  Time and time again we watch these people get the news that they are picked to transform their lives.  We hear them babble about how they can’t do it without Chris, or Jillian or Bob…their saviors.  They are so happy because their savior has entered their life.   And I’m not discounting the work that these trainers are doing.  They ARE invaluable and if I would have ever been brave enough to send in a video and gotten picked I would have been just as excited and would have loved to have their expertise and support. I probably would have been no different; I would have seen them as my savior from obesity.  I would have placed so much importance upon these people.
I wasn’t picked for CNN.  I never had the courage to send in a video for any of these obesity busting shows.  I didn’t have anyone ride in on a white horse to slay my obesity.  I’m glad.  I needed to learn that my salvation from obesity can’t come from someone else but from deep within myself.   It is all me.  
So what do I think about the CNN thing? I’m toying with submitting another video later this year if they decide to continue on with this storyline/project.  The video will be MUCH different.  I won’t be looking for someone to slay my obesity for me.  That is all me and I’ll make that clear.  It will be a video talking about how much I want this so that I can continue to strive to be the best me there is.   But you know what?  It’s no longer a matter of life or death in my mind.  I don’t need someone to hand me salvation from obesity.  I already have that deep inside myself.
Yesterday I kept my eating totally under control.  I got my exercise in and I was very close to my goal of water intake. Today I’ve already been out on my bike and my food has been planned for the day.  I am planning to go to zumba tonightand life is good.  I’m working this…and I know that I’ll see results!

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Old Habits Die Hard

My world has fallen apart things with my husband went from bad to worse.  There is a silver lining in that, because sometimes you have to reach rock bottom before you can move on.  So we reached rock bottom.  The bad part?  You don't reach rock bottom and immediately have things resolve.  Rock bottom means that there is a new start. Where the new path leads, I don't know yet...but at least I'm on a path.    Simultaneously with that I had a handful of friends stab me in the back (metaphorically).   I was not exercising with my previous intensity due to this foot problem.  I was reeling from everything and it set me up for some bad bad things.

 I  reverted back to long known habits.  Comforting habits.  Friendly habits.  Yes, I eat.  I don't say no when a piece of cake is offered.  I don't say no when I'm asked to bake cookies.  I don't restrict myself while baking those said cookies.  No is not a word that is in my vocabulary when it comes to food.  I haven't gone totally off the cuff, but lets be honest, it's not good.  

When one thing falls away I seem to lose it in all aspects.  What does that mean?  It means that I've been sporadic at best with my exercise.  Once again...not good.

So the old habits have reared their ugly head and I succumbed to the pressure.   Since the beginning of July when all of this started (that is when I slowed down my exercise due to my foot). I have pretty much not lost any weight.  I have wasted two almost two months!   That makes me angry!

So baby steps.  I'm going to focus.  I can do this.  I know how to do it.  I want to do it.  I want to be in control of my life and I WILL be! focus is getting my water!   Like I said, baby steps.  I need to drink my water.   Yes, I'm going to try to keep my calorie intake under control.  But the ONLY thing I'm worried about is water.  Ohhh and I already ran today!!!!!!!

Wednesday, August 14, 2013


I've been totally honest with myself the last few days.  I feel more in control.  It's amazing how actually taking control of my food addiction and actually controlling it versus letting it control me changes my whole attitude.  I like being in control!  It's very empowering.

I got out for a ride this evening. (Thanks to my big brother for once again coming through for me and giving me a small lesson on road bike tires.........he's always been awesome....however, don't tell him, I don't want it to go to his head).   It felt GREAT!   It also reminded me that I've not just been running from the truth in my eating.  I've been running from the truth or rather running from the acceptance of what I know to be true.  What is that?  It's the truth of knowing that the life that I want to live, the body that I want to live in, the energy and vibe that I want to have in my life is all attainable....but it means that I have to actually get off my butt and LIVE that life....put the work in to HAVE that life.  It means that I go out and run even when I don't want to.  It means I ride even when life screams at me to not ride.  It means that when it's pouring rain and I can't follow my original exercise plan that I get on the exercise bike or get my butt to the gym.  It means I do what is needed to have the body I have the energy that I be the person that I know that I'm capable of being.  It's not going to come to me...I have to go after it!

I have made the decision to live this lifestyle.  I don't demand or expect anyone to join me on this quest.  I have never expected Todd to run with me.  I've never expected Todd to get a road bike and ride with me. (However, I do hope that he does continue...or restart, to ride with me on the canal).  I don't expect him to be gung ho.  I have hoped that he would support me (and he has, in a passive way.....however he did support me in a very hands on way at the Donut Alley Rally).   I would LOVE to have him join in and embrace this lifestyle by doing everything with me...but I don't expect it.  This is MY decision and my lifestyle.   However, there are some signs of him taking a more active roll......

So the moment of truth is upon us.  Friday night was the Donut Alley Rally.  I had a great time.  I had asked Todd to go along as my cheering section. He grudgingly went and found out that he really liked the energy that coursed through everyone in attendance.  He has talked to me about starting to fact he's told me that tomorrow he plans to run Day One, day one of the c25k program.  I

The weather today was GORGEOUS!!!!   The weather for my ride was fabulous.  I got home, swapped out my shoes and push mowed our an hour bike ride followed by an hour and fifteen minutes of push mowing.  GREAT activity for the evening.  And yes, I ate my leftover pizza and I don't feel at all guilty (yes, I ate a LOT of pizza today...both lunch and dinner..)

Tuesday, August 13, 2013


I've not been honest.  I've tracked my food....sorta.   Yes, I go on every day.  Yes, I put my food in.  Or rather I put in my 'plans'.    I have been living in the delusion that I'm doing OK because I'm tracking.  However, I have to admit.....when things go awry and I allow stress to overtake me and I eat something extra......or when my plans don't go the way I want and I eat something other than planned.....or when.....yeah, best laid plans have not been my friend, I don't ALWAYS go back and change my food on myfitnesspal.  This is BAD.  I am hurting NO ONE but myself!

I've struggled with my exercise in the last week or so also.   Yesterday morning I got up early and got ready for my bike ride...and had a flat tire on my road bike.  I struggled to change the tube the last time and eventually had to go into a bike shop and look like a retard and ask for assistance. (my brother was out of town).  I have no problem changing the tires on my Trek or even my husbands trek...but this road bike KILLS me.  I never got it changed...and I've talked to my brother and tomorrow night I'll be going up to figure out what 'concept' I'm missing...because SOMETHING is not clicking for me.  SO my ride yesterday went out the window.  By the time I thought about switching and riding on the canal on my Trek I didn't have enough time.

I woke up this morning.  I rolled out of bed.  I couldn't ride so I was determined to RUN.    And then I heard it......pouring rain.  GRRRR  So no exercise today.   The saving grace for TODAY is that I have zumba tonight and yes, I am packed and ready to zumba after work.

Honesty...I ate an extra piece of breakfast pizza this morning.  I have already gone on and adjusted the food intake for the day.  I'm good.  I've got this!   Honesty with myself is the most important thing!!!

Sunday, August 11, 2013

I did it for the donut!

August 9th...I have mentioned that date over and over in my posts in conjunction with running.  I had planned to run at least three 5k's this year.  The possible culmination (yeah, I'm already looking for another it won't be the culmination)  would be the Do-nut Alley Rally in my hometown of Hagerstown, MD.    As soon as I heard about the fact that the local legendary do-nut shop sponsored a 5k I knew I wanted to run it.....I knew this months and months before I ever ran a step.  So August 9th was the date that I was looking for...the day that I would run the do-nut alley rally.

I was worried the weeks building up to this 5k....I had this pesky pain caused by the plantars fasciitis that I had been diagnosed with a month earlier.   I knew I wasn't going to run it to set any personal records...that was not my plan.  My plan was to simply 'run' and finish.  (seriously, I hadn't run more than 5 miles TOTAL in the previous 6 weeks).   My foot wasn't/isn't better so I wasn't sure how it was going to work.  Stupidly, I canned pickles the night before the my foot took a beating with that! (yes, my foot ACHED after the hours of standing). The icing on the cake?   The weather forecast was HORRIBLE!  I was determined.  This was NOT a race I was sitting out.  Rain or shine....ache or pain...I was RUNNING!

Did it rain????   It rained on and off all day long. (this was an evening run).  It looked clear when we made our way to the do-nut shop (yes, this was held outside of the local legendary do-nut shop!).  I picked up my swag bag and got my timing chip.  And then it started to rain.  Yup, we were all huddled under umbrellas while we waited.  Sherry and I were not to be deterred....wet or dry we were running!  (pardon the crappy picture, I was dodging raindrops and of course my cell phone was in a baggie to protect it wasn't exactly the best conditions for a picture!)

The rain however, did stop with about 15 minutes left until race time!   WEEEEE.   We all posed for some extra pictures.  And passed a bit more time.  I had the pleasure to run this race with Sherry, Paula and her daughter Alex.  :-)   

I even had time to take a picture of a tattoo that really intrigued Todd (it's a Beatles tattoo).  Turns out the tattoo was on a gal that both Sherry and Paula went to school with.  You can see that my shirt is already pretty wet and the run hasn't even started!  (I think we may be running a mud run in a team with this gal!)

We moved up to the start line and waited for the gun to go off (well, really there was no gun....or maybe we were just talking and missed it!)    One last picture and then we were off!

 We started out and I cautioned Sherry to pace it.  I reminded her that we did NOT have to keep pace with the  people that had started out beside us.  We needed to keep a pace that we comfortable with us.   Within a half of block or so the crowd thinned out and we settled down into a comfortable pace.  Ufortunately, we lost track of Paula and Alex after the first quarter of a mile. We kept a comfortable pace, using my HRM as a good guide to where we needed to be running to keep us from wearing ourselves out.   At one point I was breathing heavy and Sherry threw my own words back at me and said "I hear you breathing, but are you dying?"   She knew what my answer would be...that NO, I wasn't dying.  So I KNEW what her response would be (the same thing I've been telling her)  "then keep going!"  The race course was actually ingenious.  We weaved through some roads and then into a grave yard.....and we did at least 2 of the miles of this run inside the graveyard (no public roads to have to cars no nuttin').  As we got to the graveyard I saw my brother and his family standing along side the road at the entrance gates.  They cheered for Sherry and I!  It was awesome!   We waved and said hi and trucked on.   No stopping for us!   We weaved into the graveyard and pretty soon saw two more people on the side of the road.  Mom and dad stood there cheering for me!  As we ran by I introduced Sherry to mom and dad and they started cheering for her also.   We ran on.  Mom and dad moved to a different spot in the graveyard and they waited for us to run a mile or so and cheered for us as we finished up the loop through the graveyard.  As we left the gates and reentered the public roads my brother, sister in law and there three kids were there cheering us on again!  Motivated and knowing the end was in sight, we waved said hi and bye and kept going.

As we turned onto the final stretch before we turned onto the finish line I looked down for the first time and took note of the time.  It was only 8:02.  Uhhh the race started at 7:30 or thereabouts.  So we were with less than a half mile from the end and we were at only 32 minutes.  I chewed on that thought in my head and within a minute or two told Sherry about my thought that we just may have a chance to be under 40 minutes or at the very least she had a VERY good chance of setting  personal record for herself.  That was all that was said.   We reached the final corner and turned onto the last stretch. I could see the finish line.  It took me a few seconds to register that the time on the big clock was saying 39 and some change.  I made one comment to Sherry.  It was something along the lines of  "Oh no, I refuse to cross the line over 40 minutes."   I then instructed her to haul A$$ if she wanted to beat the 40 minute mark.  Sherry took off like a bat out of hell and I followed along a few paces behind.

My official time was 39:23.  I'm actually REALLY good with that time.  I was running on a bum foot after not running for weeks.   My PR for a 5k was the 38:20.  So I only lost 1 minute and three seconds during the last month of hell.  NOT bad.  Yes, I had originally planned to run the Do-nut Alley Rally in 36 minutes or less...but life changed and I rolled with it!

Of course we had to take the obligatory post race picture!

After our picture taking extravaganza, we headed down the alley toward the do-nut shop (yes, the do-nut shop is in the alley....stop laughing, these donuts are HEAVENLY and well worth the trip down the alley!) .   It was do-nut heaven festival.  The smell of freshly cooked donuts wafted through the air (this is a normal scent in the alley).  But the best part?  About every 2-3 minutes the back door of the do-nut shop opened and out would come a person carrying trays of donuts.  They walked through the crowds and we were able to simply grab a warm freshly baked do-nut as they walked by!  

Why yes!  I do believe I DID have a do-nut.  I can not tell a lie.  I chose a cream filled chocolate iced do-nut and boy oh boy did it ever taste GOOD!  

I even have proof!!!!!!!!  (although I don't have a picture of the chocolate do-nut that I took a huge bite out of before I gave it to Todd!) what's up next?   Possibly the Muddy Mamma raising money for Girls Inc.  Or maybe a 5k raising money for Habitat for Humanity.  (both of those are in September).  Hmmm, there is a breast cancer run in Early October.  And let's not forget the specter of a turkey trot again.  Choices choice choices!

Friday, August 09, 2013

Restart and reinvent

The last two days I've lost control.  I've lost control of my eating.  I know what happened.  I made cookies.  I made the cookies for Todd...they were for his band practice and they are for a band that has been working with him for a while (I do that for long term clients sometimes).  I also brought some into work.   I made them on Wednesday night.  Cookie dough is a HUGE attraction for me.  HUGE.  So yes, I had some cookie dough.  Normally I am only irresistably drawn to the warm ooey gooey cookies......except for my banana peanut butter chocolate chip cookies. Uhhh yeah, those cookies are like crack!  And of course that's the cookie I made.  So out of control cookie consumption on wednesday evening and it carried into Thursday.  Uhhh NOT good.  But I recognize it and the problem WILL be rectified!

Songs are very powerful.  They make me smile, they make me cry that transport me back to a different time and place and evoke memories and feelings.  Lately on the one station that we listen to at work they have been playing a LOT of REO Speedwagon….in particular one song “Heard it from a Friend”.  This isn’t a bad thing.  It’s a good song.  It transports me back through the years.  Each time I hear this song I am transported back to a time where I am roughly 20 years old and I’m in my car driving around Fort Wayne , Indiana .  I am attending college and myself and my friends are out having fun.  The warmth and acceptance of the friends that are in the car with me is evident in the feelings that flow over me.  However, more importantly, for a few seconds I forget that I have become the jaded 40 year old woman that has had her dreams and hopes squashed like a bug on the windshield of life. For those few moments I am the idealistic young woman.  For that brief flash of time I feel as if the world is still at my fingertips.  I am positive that my world will turn out exactly as I had always dreamed. 
The real world comes crashing back down upon me.  I won’t lie.  Those few moment of memories and feelings that the song evokes fades. Life wasn’t what I planned. 
At zumba the other night a girl walked in…flush from the beauty and fresh love of her very recent wedding and the honeymoon that she had just returned from only two days earlier.  I choke down the bitter pill of her happiness and wish her well .  I try not to cry when she talks about how “I just got hired so I’m now officially a teacher too”  She then says “It’s all falling into place”.   Well, it didn’t fall into place.  Yes, I eventually got married…I was also full of happy love….but it’s been a rough rough patch for quite a while.  It wasn’t the ‘fall into place fairytale life”.   I counted back on face book.  I’ve had no less than 6….friends have babies in the last two to three months.  SIX.   One more had a baby that is not included in the six, simple because I’m not friends with her on facebook and 2 friends who have recently announced pregnancies.  I would not want them to hide their births or good news from me.  But it HURTS.  That was MY fairytale.  That was MY dream….that’s been dashed.  It hurts.
So what the heck does this have to do with a weight loss journal?   Everything.  Good weight and good healthy habits are grounded in having our whole life in balance.  So it has EVERYTHING to do with it.  But even more importantly I need to turn my life changes into a full all encompassing change.  This is my chance to reinvent myself.  I don’t know what kind of person I want to be.  For 40 years I wanted very specific things.  I’ve dreamt for all of my life about some very specific dreams.  It’s not easy to change those dreams. It’s not easy to just all of a sudden have new dreams.  But I know this…..there is no better time like NOW to reinvent who I am!   A new, better than ever

Wednesday, August 07, 2013

Tingling and Alive

I woke up this morning and I knew that I was going for a bike ride.  It was scheduled.  It was on the books.  I was doing it.   I had made plans with Todd for the morning, all centered upon my bike ride.  I was going to ride early and on the way home, I would stop at the local ‘gathering hole’ where Todd would meet me and where we would breakfast together.  After breakfast, he would continue on to the studio (work) and I would bike the remaining 3 miles home…where I would have a bit of time to relax and get ready for my work day.  All planned….and I woke up ready to roll with that plan.  And then I stood up to go to the bathroom and my head felt like it was going to totally explode.  Woo hooo, what a fun thing to discover upon awakening.   I stumbled to the bathroom.  I listened for the sound of rain…..I wanted to hear the sound of rain so that I had a valid excuse to not go out riding.   I heard nothing…but made my way back to bed, hoping that a bit of rest would ease up the pressure in my head.  Seriously?  
I laid there thinking.  I knew that if I didn’t ride that I would castigate myself all day. I knew I had to push through and ride.  I changed the plans.  We went for an early breakfast where I downed some ibuprofen and some diet Pepsi (double whammy….meds and the breakfast drink of the Gods).  When I got back to the house, I prepped as much as I could for my day (packed my lunch) and then I headed out.  Yes, my headache had eased off to near nothing.   I checked my tires and headed out.   Ahhh the feeling of the wind on my face……the birds chirping…..the overcast skies….the sprinkles of rain.   What a feeling of being ALIVE!
Excuses.  We are so full of them. Headache, rain, sore foot, busy schedule, time of the month, too tired, to achy…..the list goes on and on and on.   But when we push through the excuses and carry through with our plans to exercise and better ourselves, the world opens up and it’s an amazing place!    I would have missed the euphoric feeling of a great workout.  I would have missed the gorgeous scenery.  I would have missed seeing the young girl selling cucumbers, trying to earn enough  money to buy something for herself. (yes, I swung around and ended up buying a bushel of cucumbers…..I’ll be making pickles…cinnamon….icicle…..dill…..and we didn’t plant cucumbers for some odd reason……ok ok ok, the girls brother works with me…so he delivered the produce to me at work…and since I had no money, I’m sending the money home with him).  I would have missed SO much!
Even more than that feeling of actually living, I would have denied myself the opportunity to take a step toward the ‘me’ that I want to be.  Yes, I know where I want to be and I know that it takes work.  If I would have skipped my ride and listened to those gazillion excuses I would have missed an opportunity to move closer to my goals.   Every day is an opportunity to move closer to my goals and dreams.  I don’t want to waste ANY days!

Monday, August 05, 2013

A better me

Losing weight the CORRECT way is a lifestyle change. It is a total change in how we view our lives and the world around us.   To really make life altering changes that result in weight loss that is maintained, we have to look deeply into our lives.  It’s not just eating and exercise. It is the very fiber of our lives that we have to evaluate.  
Obesity, or even just being overweight has a profound impact on how we live our lives.  Some of us had circumstances and situations in our lives that caused us to turn to food to bring on obesity….those circumstances impacted us.   Others of us are simply fighting genetics and a love of food that has caused a weight issue in our lives.  Regardless of if we are dealing with one issue or two issues or even untold other scenarios about how obesity affects us, know that it DOES affect.
For me, I don’t know of any deep seated reason for my obesity.  Maybe some psychologist out there would beg to differ, but I feel I’m a product of genetics and growing up in a family that loved food. Food was an integral part of our lives.  It got out of control with me and left me morbidly obese.  Yes, 315 pounds (my highest) was morbidly obese.  (I’m still considered obese…..I have about 16 pounds until I can be considered in the ‘overweight’ category. There will be much celebration when I reach that weight!)   I began to live my life as a fat person.  There are things I’ve wanted to do, that I didn’t do because “I’m Fat.”   There were places I would have gone but I felt unworthy because, “I’m fat”.   I let the fat eat at me from the inside.  I let it rule my life.
I started reading a book the other day.  I actually picked up the book because it was free (gotta love the free books for my kindle…I’ve read some amazing reads, and admittedly some pretty lame ones too…LOL) and because it was about running.  It is called Running the Edge: Discover the Secrets to Better Running and a Better life.  It’s by Adam Goucher and Tim Catalano .   I hadn’t even gotten past the first chapter and I was highlighting sections of the book because it was speaking to me.  Seriously…I NEVER highlight books that I’m reading (ok, I have once before because I wanted to see how the feature worked on my kindle…..I’m a geek…what of it.?)   It’s all tied to running…but it is stuff that goes much deeper than running.
So my thoughts from this book. 
Mediocrity.  I have settled for a life of mediocracy.  I have not pushed myself to be GREAT.  I have not tried.  I have just settled in and let life wash over me.   I have become complacent with everything being good enough.   I don’t want just ‘good enough’ anymore.  I want spectacular.  I want awesome.  I want over the top superb!   I need to take control of my own life.  CONTROL.   That means not only in the food I eat and the exercise I do….but also in how I spend my spare time.  How I approach my finances.  How I attempt to live my life.  I have control over my life and I’m no longer going to sit back and allow life to happen…I want to push forward and MAKE it happen.
The second thing that stuck out is a bit of a story that these two authors shared. They talked about how early on in their friendship that they decided that the adage that everyone uses so much “someday I want to…” was not allowed in their vocabulary.  They made allowances for some things that it really is not feasible to do at that point and realize that sometimes it is acceptable to say “someday I want to….”  (for example….”someday I want to have kids”   or  in my case… “someday we will finish our patio and get our hot tub in working order”….it’s acceptable to say that because right now it is not a possibility due to money constraints.)   But overall,  all those things that I you say “someday I want to…” needs to be DONE.  They talked about how one day one of them said  “someday I want to learn to scuba dive”  so they went right out and signed up for scuba diving classes.  But they also talked about how one of them had said “I’ve always wanted to ride my bike the 50 miles to my parents house.  So 2-3 hours later on old ratty bikes (one of them borrowed) they were on the road in the blazing sun riding for 50 miles.  They did it.  The conquered and they conquered it in a blaze of glory.   They did not wait until the next day.  THEY DID it.  The were LIVING.
I want to live my life that way.  I don’t want to be mediocre.  I want to live to my fullest and push for greatness….and I want to LIVE!   My weight may hold me back on some things (seriously..I think they have weight limits for sky diving…which I’m still pondering….so right now I may not qualify for it…but I may qualify for it in a month down the line….should I decide that I’m serious about that thought).  
This morning I went out running.  I learned a valuable lesson.   Cheap ‘knock off’ KT tape is NOT a good choice.  I may have saved 8 bucks…but it was not a good savings….considering I went through more pieces of tape just trying to get it to stick to my skin in the first place (no I’m not a grease ball) and then halfway through my run I could feel that it had totally popped free.  SO off to the pharmacy on my lunch break to buy the REAL stuff.  I have been using the KT Pro…..the local pharmacy sells just the straight KT tape. I’m going to try that next.  If that doesn’t work, I’ll be back to the pro stuff. 
I ran 2.5 miles. I would have run longer, but I ran out of time.  Yeah, I got a late start. Seriously, I blame it on the off brand KT tape….messing with that had to have killed all my extra time!  I felt good and I’m going to say that I’m ok to run the Donut Alley Rally on Friday night.
So my exercise plans for this week.
Monday:   Run-  morning
                  Exercise bike- evening (optional…depending on time and opportunity)
Tuesday:  Road bike-  Morning
                 Zumba- evening
Wednesday:  Road bike – Morning
                 Exercise bike- Evening (optional…depending on time and opportunity)
Thursday:  Rest day
                Walk- evening
Friday:   Donut Alley rally Race
Saturday:  Road bike
Sunday:  Run AND road Bike
I wanted to try to do my higher impact things earlier in the week to save my foot for my race.   Even though I’m not running the race to set any PR, I do want to finish it without having to hobble or even crawl across the finish line…which means at this time babying my foot.  So that’s my plan. J  Lets see if the weather cooperates!

Friday, August 02, 2013

Weekend control

Day two of August is here.  I'm doing ok with my eating.  I really was just a thing of saying "I'm going to do it" and actually doing it.  Todd and I even stopped for ice cream at one point and I managed to have my ice cream and eat it too.  Yes, I had to adjust something in the budget for later in the day...but I managed.  And my weight has dropped quite a bit. (yeah, I'm sure some of my weight being up on Monday was due to water retention due to the chinese food, mexican food and pizza that I consumed in the days leading up to the weigh in...ohh and the lack of water and flood of Diet soda).  So it's working.

I've worked out pretty regularly this week.  I've been happy with what I've done.  Ok, I'm happy that I worked out every day.  I'm not happy because I want to do more....

The weekend is upon me.  I personally find it so much easier to eat 'right' on weekdays. I"m in a routine.  Routines are good.  On weekends life goes upside down and I have to loosen my reigns on the control sometimes.  Wait, wait wait.......I am ALWAYS still in control.  No one forces food into my mouth. (well not usually...Todd has been known to shove snacks in my mouth.).   Yes, I am in control.  I may have more limited options and I may have to use more willpower, but I'm still totally in control!

Thursday, August 01, 2013

Don't Wait

Finally....July is over.   I was waiting with bated breath for that horrible month to be behind me.  I know that I'm still dealing with the fallout of July, which is why I sat with my foot on ice after zumba last night.  (and why I will roll my foot on that same frozen bottle of water...refrozen of course after running tonight.)   I couldn't wait for July to be over so that I could have a fresh start.

But I didn't wait until August to have my fresh start.  I planned my eating and kept it totally under control on July 30th.  I also ran on the 30th.  I carried that trend on with July 31.  I ate within my caloric budget and went to zumba.  I am now rolling into that fresh start with two days of 'fresh start' under my belt before the new month really even gets going.

So many times we say "I'll start on Monday"  or "I'll start with the new month, or the new year or whatever"   There is no time like NOW to start.  No excuses.    Excuses don't help us reach our dreams and goals.   Going out after those goals and dreams are what causes them to happen.

So today starts my next monthly challenge to propel myself 200 miles.  That's 50 miles a week.  I typically do about 10-15 on my bike...about 3 times a week.....I'm hoping to get back to where I was with running which was about 10-12 miles a week.  Plus random walks interspersed through the week.   So I should be be able to accomplish this goal!