Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Do you Want to Run?

There are several beginning running programs available on the Internet.  I did the Couch to 5K program available here.

I also came across this schedule today which seems like a great (easy) workout to get started on the running track. 

Workout Schedule


MON Run 1.5 miles* Run 1.75 miles* Run 2 miles* Run 2.25 miles* Run 2.5 miles* Run 2.75 miles*

TUE Crosstrain Crosstrain Crosstrain Crosstrain Crosstrain Crosstrain

WED Run 1.5 miles* Run 1.75 miles* Run 2 miles* Run 2.25 miles* Run 2.5 miles* Run 2.75 miles*

THU Rest Rest Rest Rest Rest Walk 30 min

FRI Run 1.5 miles* Run 1.75 miles* Run 2 miles* Run 2.25 miles* Run 2.5 miles* Run 3 miles*

SAT Walk 30 to 60 min Walk 35 to 60 min Walk 40 to 60 min Walk 45 to 60 min Walk 50 to 60 min Walk 30 to 45 min

SUN Rest Rest Rest Rest Rest Rest

*Begin and end each workout with 5 minutes of easy walking.

You can find the complete schedule and added information here.

Hobbies & Me

Something I have not talked about on this blog is scrapbooking.

The background: I started scrapbooking in January of 2003.  I resisted the concept thinking I would hate it, but after making invitations for my son's 1st birthday party, and visiting the local craft stores, the idea was more and more intriguing.  A few months later I was a full blown addict.

I went along this way for a few years, scrapping whenever I had time, glancing through idea books at every chance.  I became a very creative, proficient scrapper too, even going back to scrap the photos from the years of our marriage prior to parenthood.  Incidentally these 5 years filled two scrapbooks while my son's first year filled two scrapbooks!!  But anyway, I loved scrapbooking.

Part of the fun of scrapbooking is buying the supplies.  And boy did I ever have fun with this!  I bought paper and stickers, rubber and acrylic stamps, inks, diecutters, ribbons, and embellishments galore.  My supplies grew from a small drawer unit to a large 12-cube wall unit, plus more stored in the closet.  Everything has its place. 

Then long about 2008 or so, I lost my scrapping MoJo.  It just disappeared.  I do not know what did it, but I just lost the passion, lost the desire, lost the motivation.  Maybe I just got burned out.  As with most of my "hobbies" I jumped in with both feet and didn't look back.  And I seriously loved this hobby. 

Unfortunately I wasn't very far into my pictures from 2005 at that point.  Now, it's 2010 and while I've done a few more pages for 2005 in the past couple of years, I still have about 30 more pages to go.  Plus we have gone on living.  So while I was behind a couple years in 2008, I'm seriously behind in 2010!  Over 4 years and two vacations behind!

And now, even though I feel a small desire to scrap, and I have all those supplies just sitting there waiting, I cannot seem to find any motivation to move forward.  Sometimes I think I should just skip ahead to 2010 and scrap those photos and when I'm back in the groove, I can work on the past photos.  I even daydream about my "Get Fit in 2010" scrapbook.

But, alas, I have done nothing with it. 

I worry about this behavior of mine, the one where I get all excited about something, start living and breathing it, and then discard it like yesterday's newspaper.  Will this happen with running, with eating healthy?  Is "Getting Fit in 2010" just that?  Something for the here and now, but abandoned too soon?

At this moment in time, I can say, No, NeverI will NEVER be obese again, I will never stop exercising.  But how do I really know?  A few years ago, if you would have asked me if I would scrapbook forever and I would have given you a whole-hearted YES.

It's a scary thing, the future.  One never knows what life will bring.  I go on and on about not focusing on the past, only looking ahead, but the unknown is almost too much for me at times.  The unknown gives me anxiety.  And this, friends, is the subject of another post.

My Latest Maladies

Quick note: as an English major wannabe, I must go back to capitals in the titles. I know it's no big thang, but I guess it is.

So I have been running now since February. I have been running around 3 miles, 3 times a week since last month. Now, as if I haven't had to deal with enough aches and pains, I have more. My lower back has been killing me! During the day, it feels decent, not really bad. But when I wake up in the morning, I can barely move. This does not bode well for a morning workout and thus it hasn't been happening. I cannot remember when the pain started, but it's been getting worse and worse and as of this past week up until now, has been downright excruciating each morning.

In addition to that, my right hip started hurting last Monday after that terrible, no good, very bad run. The rest days helped last week and I was able to complete three miles on Wednesday and also run on Friday.  That run took place in the heat of the day so I only went out for 30 minutes (which turned into 27 due to misery, but that didn't have anything to do with my hip).  Anyway, I walked on Sunday, but my hip felt very good yesterday so I thought maybe whatever was the problem was no longer.  WRONG.  I have started a new training schedule (more on that later) and I went out for a 2.5 mile run last night.  During the run I felt okay, not a lot of issue with my back or hip, but after I returned home I could tell my hip was going to start hurting again.  And this morning that was very clear.  Both my back and hip were killing me when I woke up, killing me!  I limped to the shower and have been limping ever since.  Luckily my back feels a lot better a few hours later, but my hip hurts while just sitting!

So where does this leave me?  I have to admit that I am getting a little discouraged.  I keep thinking this running thing should be getting easier.  It can still be hard, but shouldn't it be easier, and shouldn't my body be adjusting?  I haven't made any major changes in pace, mileage or equipment over the past couple weeks so I do not understand why I have new pains.  And how do I "fix" it?  Do I continue forward, do I take time off?  Since neither issue has affected my actual running, I feel like I should just continue and hope it goes away.  Maybe I just need to continue working on my core strength and all that.  But the discouraging feelings are hard to beat right now. 

I've read a little about these "symptoms" and found that it could be caused by various things, one of which is running hills.  I have been working on incorporating hills into my runs because my run on 7/15 is on hilly roads; I'm not sure about the one on 7/24.  So last night I stayed away from the big hill and just went around my neighborhood.  But there's still some smaller hills, I never realized how unlevel this place is until I started running!  Anyway, I guess I can take a break from the road by going back to the treadmill, or limit my route to the two block "track" I started with and just go around and around.

As I said above, I have started a new training schedule.  I have been looking at various 10k training plans at ideas for increasing my distance to 10k.  I basically merged two plans together to come up with a plan I think I can stick with.  It is an 8 week schedule which gradually increases the distance and also incorporates a bit of cross training and strength training into the mix.  It only allows for 1 day of rest each week, although I could also rest on the cross training day (Tuesday).  Given how my hip and back feel, I might be resting today, but we'll see how I feel later.  Here is a copy of the schedule (you can click on it to view the whole thing):

CT=Cross Train
EZ/Walk=easy run or walk

One final piece of business is that today is my official weigh in day and I have gained .8 pounds.  I'm not concerned because I know it's water retention related to being female.  Such is life.  Next week I hope to report a large loss to make up for it.

Monday, June 28, 2010

i LOVE pizza

Lest you think I have it all figured out, let me tell you about my addiction to pizza.

Yesterday we went to the pool for the afternoon.  The day before, I thawed a package of ground turkey in anticipation of making tacos for dinner that night.  But then my son went to dinner with a friend and I didn't have to cook.  (My husband doesn't get to eat when my son isn't home.)  So yesterday when we left for the pool, I had it in my mind that when we came home I would make tacos for dinner.

But then the pool was so relaxing and the sun was so draining that when I got home the last thing I wanted to do was stand over a hot stove and cook!  Tacos take work, people: grating cheese, slicing olives, chopping lettuce, cooking meat!  That's a lot of prep!  So my husband talked me into Papa Murphy's.  (This was not a long debate.  Him: "Should I go get a pizza?"  Me: "Yes.")

I was starving so I promptly inhaled a whole bag of 94% fat free kettle corn while he was gone.  I calculate points on the whole bag so it works out to be 9.5!  So now I'm down in points left, but I still have enough left for a couple slices of pizza.   We just get the Delite after all, and that is 4 or 5 points for 1/8th of the pizza, depending on the toppings.

So he returned with the pizza, the oven was already preheated, and 14 minutes later the cheese pizza was ready.  The Hawaiian required a few more minutes.  I cut the pizzas into 16 pizzas, so while I was waiting for the Hawaiian pizza, I ate 1/16th of the cheese pizza.  No biggie.

We sat down to eat and I had 4 slices of the Hawaiian, that is, 1/4 of the pizza.  And when I polished off those, I grabbed two more pieces.  By now I'm really starting to worry about my points total.  I know that 1/8th of a cheese is 4 pts, so 1/16th is just 2.  And 1/8th of a Hawaiian is 5 points, but 3/8ths is bound to be more than 15 (1+1 does not always = 2 at Weight Watchers).  So I decided to push away from the table, I am done.  But...

When I get back to the counter, the cheese pizza is staring at me, taunting me.  And since I only had that one little piece, I decide it can't hurt to have one more, you know, make it an even 1/8th.  You'd think I'd be stuffed by now, but sadly, no.

I take a break from the kitchen before packing away the leftovers--I like it to cool completely before storing it in Ziploc.  So about 30 minutes later, I go to put everything way and see that there are only 2 slices of the Hawaiian left and whole bunch of cheese slices.  Well, I can't possible taint the cheese by storing the Hawaiian in the same bag, and I cannot justify the use of another Ziploc just for two teeny tiny slices, so I ATE them!!

So when all is said and done, for dinner I had kettle corn for 9.5 points, 1/2 of a Hawaiian pizza for 19 points, and 1/8th of a cheese pizza for 4 pounts!  And I swear I could have eaten more. 

The good news in all of this is that even though each piece of Hawaiian pizza is 5 pounts, 4 pieces of Hawaiian is only 19.  Bonus, a free point by eating so much!  (If you don't know points, you might think this is crap, but even if you do know points, you might think this is crap.  But let me tell you that with points, you just never know.  For example, one sandwhich thin is 1 point, but two sandwich thins, when eaten together, are 3.5 points.  It makes a difference to count points correctly, it really does.)

The bad news to all of this, besides the fact that I seem to still have the binge tendency, is now I am over my points for the entire week, having used all activity points and extra weekly points.  And that is a yucky feeling.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

the past is the past

While I sit and wait FOREVER for my iPhone to update, I shall tell you about my run the other night.

It was Monday.

First, I was a little late getting out of work (as per usual) and all the way home I thought I would head straight out for a run before dinner.  You see, my son was sick with a sore throat and had been home on his first day of summer all day with my husband, so I didn't think he would possibly need to EAT the minute I walked in the door.  WRONG.  I walk in: "Mom, can you make me something to eat?"

(Did you see that word 'MOM' in the quote?  He's 8 and is already starting to call me MOM as opposed to MOMMY as I am accustomed.  It kind of makes me sad.  I'm MOMMY!)

Anyway, I put plans for my run on hold while I head to the kitchen to make double noodle soup for him and tomato soup and grilled cheese for my husband and me.  And then we eat.  And now it's around 7:00 or so.

I give myself a bit for the food to settle because I know running right after I eat = disaster.  So long about 7:17 I get outside to run, hopefully while it doesn't rain.

About 30 seconds into it, I realized that running sucks.  Truly.  That's what I was thinking while asking myself why am I doing this, again?  How is it that one run can come along and make you question everything you've been doing for the past 4+ months?!  So I ran for a bit, then walked, then tried to run, then limped home.  To the treadmill, always my trusty friend.  I ran for about 10 minutes on that, then walked for about 10, then raised the incline and ran for another 10.  But still, my heart wasn't in it and the rest of me was questioning my sanity.  And all evening afterwards I regretted that run.  (I also regretted watching "PS I Love You" while I was on the treadmill because really, why is Hilary Swank in that movie?  I like her in the dramas, 'Boys Don't Cry", "Million Dollar Baby", etc.  But romantic comedies?  Huh uh.  Give me Jennifer Garner, Isla Fisher, even Amy Adams.  NOT HILARY for crying out loud!  That move could have been so awesome with another actress who has smaller teeth.)

So after the shitty run--and I hardly ever swear, but it was a shitty run, no other adjective to describe it--I woke up the next day with a different attitude.  Instead of regretting it, I was determined to figure out why it was the way it was.  Was it eating too close to running?  Was it the cloudy, dreary, cold evening that just made a person want to crawl into bed, screw this running business!  Did I not stretch enough?  Did I cut my warm up walk too short?  All of the above?  Mainly I focused on putting that shitty experience behind me and never letting it happen again.  Mostly, I found a way to look forward to the next run instead of dwelling on what was.

Don't look back; always look ahead.

This I am doing a lot.  The other day I was reading my journal and long about April of 2009 I was stoked to have "found the zone" knowing I would never lose control of my eating habits again.  Um, that abviously was not the case since that was actually the beginning of where I am today.  It all started with a bread bunny on Easter last year.  Just one more piece, just need a little more bread with peanut butter, just need to eat the ears before bed, just need to finish off the legs so it doesn't look like a masacred rabbit, just want a bit more peanut butter on the foot, and so on and so forth.  But focusing on that really doesn't help matters at all.  In fact, if I let it, it could really upset and depress me.  So instead I am thinking about NOW.  How I am closing in on 60 pounds lost!  60 pounds that I am running away from.  It doesn't matter how I got here, only that I don't plan to get here again.  Each new day can be a new start, no matter what happened yesterday, last week, or last year.

Now before I forget, I must tell you about a great blog I have discovered.  Lyn, has lost 80 pounds!!  She has been documenting her weight loss in pictures and the transformation is amazing.  Check her out if you have a moment.

Good night.  The iPhone is STILL updating but I must retire to my chambers.

Monday, June 21, 2010

This is My Blog

I have been reading a few blogs lately that are just plain awesome and make this one look so lame by comparison.  I sometimes get caught up in the feelings that I want to be one of those bloggers who has like 1,000 followers and receives comments on every post and picture. 

But then I remember that this blog is for me to have a place to share my thoughts about me and my life.  I'm grateful to have some followers (I'll take more!) and I hope I haven't bored anyone to tears.  If anyone finds something of value in my experiences, that's wonderful.  If not, that's okay too.  This blog isn't going to be about giveaways or contests, it's not going to be about ads and promotions, it's just about me.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

The "In Between"

The point of my last post was to point out how I am rewarding myself for losing weight and getting fit!!  I went away thinking that it sounded like a big brag fest, but that was not my intention. I really think it is important to reward yourself, whether it be with a trip, a new outfit, a pedicure, or all of the above!!  I am over half way to my goal and I wanted to celebrate.

As for my new clothes, I did want to share that I bought all size 14 shorts and capris along with size large tops.  This is very exciting for me!  When I started this journey I was wearing size 18 pants that were TIGHT (probably could have worn a 20) and XXL tops.  53 pounds later and I am almost able to wear a size 14.  I say almost because most of them are wearable, but not completely comfortable in the waist.  Depends on the brand, but I figure about 7-10 more pounds and I'll be wearing all 14s.  For tops, I first tried on all Ls but they all seemed snug, so I went back through the store and picked up the XLs.  But those seemed too baggy.  Then I had to go back and get the Ls, try them on again, and it was those I ultimately bought.  It took me forever to decide, but I wanted to be sure.

The 14s still feel a little tight, the Ls still feel a little tight.  But 16th and XLs are too loose.  So I guess I am in between sizes right now which is a little bit frustrating.  Do you know how you feel great when you have clothes that are 1) cute and 2) fit?  Well, 1 out of 2 isn't bad, I guess.  But I'd rather be 2 for 2.  So I will continue my efforts and hope that in another couple weeks or so, all the clothes will feel great!

And since I now have quite a few things in those sizes, I will probably be wearing them until they are very baggy!  I do not plan to go out an purchase a new wardrobe at every size, but I do plan to end up in a size 10 or 8.  This means I might have to bypass the size 12s.  But we will see.  My body is so much different now that I have had a child and stayed heavy for basically 9 years.  The skin is damaged, the muscles are different (or nonexistent).  Exercise will help, but ultimately, I know I will wish I could afford plastic surgery. I really doubt I will want to pay for it or deal with the pain involved, so I will have to deal with what's left of my body once I reach my goal.  As Ruby said once, you wear the scars in the form of extra weight or extra skin or surgery scars.  Once you've been "obese", you'll have scars forever.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Shopping Recap

I am back from a weekend full of shopping!!!  I had the best time visiting my best friend while we shopped until we dropped, literally!  If you'll recall this was a shopping trip to commemorate losing 50 lbs so I felt I deserved a little splurge.  Here is a full recap of the weekend (and what I purchased).

Day 1, Saturday: I didn't get on the road until 1:30 because my son and I walked 2 miles in the Parade of Paws and thanks to very generous people, we were able to donate $305 to help the animals!!  That made my day! 

As soon as I arrived at my friend's house we walked straight to the nail place for pedicures, picking up her daughter along the way.  Afterwards we went to dinner at a great Mexican restaurant called Anna's.  I had a Southwest Chicken Salad and it was soooooo good.  I ate it all.  And by that I mean, even the fried shell bowl that I usually don't even allow at the table!  I also ate way too many chips with salsa, but it was vacation so who's counting?  Certainly it wasn't me!  I felt okay by this which surprised me, really.  I am trying to relax about counting points occasionally in order to make this my lifestyle and not just a diet.  I was truly surprised that it worked.  I ate fine all day so I felt like indulging for dinner was okay.  And since it was so tasty, it was a great time to indulge!  After dinner we walked to pick up my friend's daughter from a girlfriend's house and then walked back to their house.  All that walking in flip flops sorta made my feet hurt, but the exercise I was getting made it worth it!!

Day 2, Sunday: we got up and went on a 3+ mile walk which ended at Starbucks!!  Then we walked home.  After showering and getting ready, we went to the Coach outlet so I could use my coupon which was expiring THAT day.  We ended up spending nearly two hours there as I was having a hard time making decisions.  In the end, I found EXACTLY what I wanted and ended up with a new bag for work, a new crossbody purse, and a smaller wristlet.  (I pretended most of the weekend that my husband works and we have two incomes and therefore money to burn!)  Once done with that, we dropped off my friend's daughters at their grandma's and headed for the U Village--a shopping center near the U of WA campus.  We started with late lunch at a little Asian noodle place which consisted of lots of water, Diet Coke, Dan Dan Noodles and some kind of chicken salad.  It was sooooo tasty.  And again, I have no idea how many points.  We shopped around there for a couple hours, but with everything closing at 6:00 we were kind of rushed.  We went to a Juicy Couture store (sunglasses), a Life is Good store (hat), a Bumble and Bumble salon (hair spray), and a store called Fireworks (ear bud holder). 

From there we headed to Pike Place to visit the first Starbucks store.  I had been there before, but I really wanted to get a new mug to commemorate my trip.  We parked near Nordstrom were we stopped (perfume) and then walked to the market where literally Starbucks was the only thing open (2 mugs and coffee).  After that, it was back to the car to head home.  Once there we visited for awhile and then headed to bed!!

Day 3, Monday: my friend took one daughter to school before I was up, then we both walked the other one to school and then went to a little pond that was surrounded by a track so we could run 5K.  My friend was in front of me the entire time, but we both ran the entire distance.  This is when I noticed that she was singing along with her iPod which prompted our later discussion about music.  After we were done with that we walked to Starbucks for coffee and then walked home to shower.

We headed straight for Ikea and spent a long time walking through there as it is huge!  My bum leg was paining me which wasn't making me happy, but it was still fun to see the store again (straws, garbage can, two fake plants, a pot, bag clips, chocolates, little spoons, drawing book and tin cans).  From there we were going to go to lunch, but couldn't decide on what to eat!  We ended up at Starbucks eating almonds and having coffee.  We then went to Trader Joe's (chips, pretzel thins, bean dip, BBQ sauce, mini PB cups, reusable shopping bag).  What a cute store!  So far I have eaten some of the pretzel thins and they were excellent!

We went to Costco after that (shorts) which was big and required more walking and then made a quick stop at Target for a gift card--I waited in the car! Once done with that, we settled on Panera for dinner.  We should have eaten earlier!!  I was famished by that time and had polished off half a bag of the pretzel thins while waiting in the Target parking lot.  Panera was awesome!  I have heard about it before, but we don't have them here so I didn't know what all the hype was about.  I had vegetable soup, a tomato and mozzarella panini and a multi-grain baguette.  Yummy!  While eating dinner we decided to head to Bell Square for more shopping and frozen yogurt from a place called Red Mango.  We saw people the previous day at U Village with these yummy looking dishes of frozen yogurt but we were too full after lunch to enjoy it.  At Bell Square we visited Nordstrom, Lulu Lemon, Lego (Toy Story Lego set for my son), the Apple store and of course, Red Mango.  I had their signature yogurt with blackberries and it was so thick and creamy and yummy!  By the 9:30 closing time my friend had a splitting headache so we went straight home to bed.  Well she went to bed, but I stayed up and organized my stuff for the trip home.

Day 4, Tuesday: I woke up at 9:00 but didn't get out of bed until 10:00.  I didn't have anything to do except shower and get ready while my friend was getting ready to take a group of girls on an overnight to Great Wolf Lodge.  I stayed out of her hair while she did that!  They left at noon and so did I.  But not to go home, to go shopping at the Factory Stores in North Bend.  There I visited Eddie Bauer (clothes, clothes and clothes), Nike (soccer cleats for my son, t-shirts for my husband and son), Adidas (t-shirt for my son), Gap (clothes for me), and Gap Kids (clothes for my son).  I had a sandwich from Subway before finally getting on the road about 5:30.  I also stopped for gas and Starbucks before officially heading home. 

I arrived home about 9:15!

Can you tell this was a fun weekend?  All about girl time, shopping, eating and exercising?  This is the first time that my friend and I have really exercised together.  Usually when we see each other she gets up to walk or run before I'm out of bed!  She's still a morning person and I will never be, but it was fun to get out there and burn calories together!!!

While I did not count points during the weekend, I do know what I ate and that I did not overdo it too much.  We really only ate two meals a day and breakfast consisted of only an egg on a sandwich thin, and one day I added an apple.  We also had Starbucks, but always nonfat and sugar free.  Plus we had all that exercise!  I am happy with myself and my efforts. 

Now it's back to reality.  I took most of today off, but will work tomorrow.  I wish I had taken the whole week off, I'm not sure what I was thinking there.  My son's last day of 2nd grade is Friday!  And then summer vacation.  My husband is still not working so he and my son will have a whole lot of fun during the summer while I am at work.  Luckily I will still only go in four days a week and we'll all have Fridays together.  I really hope a job comes along for my husband soon as I think he's getting a little bored, even if he does enjoy being home.  It will definitely be a transition for all of us when he goes back to work.

Listen to music you LOVE. I guarantee it will make a difference.

I discovered something today.  My music for running has been all wrong.  I've been trying to find music that has an upbeat tempo, something to keep me going.  Of course it has to be a song that I actually like, but none of it has been very great, or music that I love.  After visiting my friend over the weekend, she convinced me that I needed to try different music, music that I love regardless of the tempo.  And do you know what?  She is really on to something there!  I switched my music today, playing all songs which I absolutely love at the moment, and I was practically singing through my run.  I logged my fastest 5K and completed 6K for good measure!  I am so happy!!  I am already looking forward to Friday's run.  Here is what I was listening to today:

Addicted by Kelly Clarkson
Apologize by One Republic feat. Timbaland
Barking at the Moon by Jenny Lewis
Boulevard of Broken Dreams by Green Day
Breathe by Ryan Star
The Climb by Miley Cyrus
Everybody Knows by Dixie Chicks
Gotta Be Somebody by Nickelback
I Run for Life by Melissa Etheridge
If Today was your Last Day by Nickelback
Last Train Home by Ryan Star
Need you Now by Lady Antebellum

I have always loved music!  Music can carry you away.  Sometimes I turn on my iPod (best invention EVER by the way) and just close my eyes and listen to song after song.  There's no rhyme or reason to my choices, just songs that I absolutely love.  I had no idea I could do this while I was running and feel the same escape.  I am stoked by this discovery!

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

I've Gone Green!

Not in the planet loving, earth conscious way, but in the Nike+, I've logged 155 miles way!  Woohoo!!!

I went from this:

To this:

Here are the closest comparison photos I can find.  The one on the left is from Christmas Eve 2009, about 3 weeks before I started this journey.  The one on the right was taken on May 30, 48 pounds lighter and sporting my new CDA Marathon shirt from the run.  Right now I am wondering why I cut my hair!  Oh well.

P.S. The most impressive part of this blog post is that I figured out how to make and post the screenshots from Nike+ and also how to make one side by side photo using two separate photos.  I've really outdone myself here!  And since it's 11:19 p.m. I guess it is time for me to put my big brain to bed.  Good night.

Recap of my First Official 5K Race

I completed my first official timed 5k on Sunday, May 30, 2010.  It's about time I wrote about it, I'd say.

It was kind of a last minute decision to sign-up, but I decided after finishing the Couch to 5K program, I wanted to actually get a 5K on the books.  Lucky for me I found one close by, even closer to my parents lake cabin where we planned to spend Memorial Weekend.  As an added bonus, my parents both signed up for the race as well so it lessened my nerves a bit knowing I would have someone there with me to navigate the packet pickup, starting line, etc.  I'm kind of a Nervous Nellie when it comes to uncharted territory, obviously.

I can tell you that packing for the lake and including a bag just for my running clothes and gear made me feel so great!  I have never looked foward to a rainy weekend at the lake so much! 

Unfortunately, I ended up waking up on race day at 4:00 a.m.!  We didn't have to leave until 6:00 so I tried to go back to sleep, but I think the excitement was getting to me and it was impossible.  So I got up and got ready, ate a whole wheat english muffin with PB for breakfast, and had time for two cups of Starbucks Via before we left.

The event was organized very well in that the traffic was being directed nicely to the FREE parking lots which were close to the festivities.  It was all part of the Coeur d'Alene Marathon.  We arrived just as the marthoners were starting at 7:00.  What a feeling it must be to take off on a marathon!  We made our way to pick up our packets which included the timing chip, race bib, and shirt.  Now, why do they give the shirts out before the event?  That makes no sense to me.  Shouldn't you have to earn it? 

Anyway, we attached our bibs and timing chips and made our way back to the starting area just in time to watch the Half Marathoners start their race at 7:30.  That was by far the largest group.  I watched them running by wondering if I would be joining them someday.  It's an item on my bucket list, but I just don't know (more on that later).  We now had a half hour until our race started and it was fairly cold.  The wind was chilling, chilling I tell you!  We found a place a little bit out of the wind, but it was still uncomfortable.  But the excitement of the event was keeping me going, keeping me feeling upbeat and happy to be there!

We finally made our way to the starting line.  The group wasn't huge so we got pretty close to the front which was nice, although I was wondering if we'd get mowed over by people.  My husband snapped a few pictures of us lined up and wished us luck.  The gun sounded and we were off.

Once I started running, I realized just how cold my feet actually were because they were kind of aching with each step.  But soon my adrenaline took over and I felt okay.  Mile 1 was the easiest, of course.  Running on an unfamiliar course is hard for me, but I had my Nike+ coach to let me know how far we'd gone.  I was just reaching the 1 mile mark when the leaders were coming back!  Amazing!  Since it was an out and back course, there was a turnaround at the halfway point.  When you were running back, you got to see all the people behind you.  This made me feel good!  I was not the fastest, but I was not the slowest either!  I was just a couple minutes in front of my stepmom and my dad was just a couple minutes behind her.  Seeing them as I was running back made me feel so accomplished.  I have never had a fastter time than my dad in a fun run.  He just turned 60 last month so I guess it is about time I did so!

When I got to the 2 mile mark at around 22 minutes, I thought, okay, not much more.  But the last mile was the hardest!  I kept thinking they should have more markers: 2.25, 2.5. 2.75, etc.  Instead it seemed that the last mile took FOREVER.  I thought once I saw the finish line I'd be able to take off, sprint even.  No.  I just continued my jog until the end.  But the best part was when you cross the finish line because they announced your name and where you are from!  Can you believe that?  It was a great feeling, hearing my name, knowing that I had reached my goal of running the entire 5K with an average pace of at least 12 min/mile!  My official stats are below.

36:27 chip time
11:44 pace
11 out of 21 in my age group
93 out of 167 women
142 out of 239 overall

The way I see it is I cannot be dissatisfied with my results at all.  The only thing I would do differently is to leave my sweatshirt behind.  I felt cold at the start and thought I needed it, but about half a mile in I was wrestling with taking it off, getting it unstuck from one of the bib safety pins, wrangling my iPod armband, and getting the sweatshirt tied around my waist--all without slowing down or walking.  I'm sure it was quite a sight.  But as to the rest of the experience, I could not have asked for a better one.  And I'm so glad my parents were there to participate with me, and that my husband and son saw me cross the finish line.  They were all proud of me, but not any prouder than I was of myself.

I was so happy, I even purchased my official race photo! 

As for my future in a half marathon, we will have to see about that.  I feel like 3-5 miles runs are doable on a regular basis.  That is my goal for keeping fit.  And quite frankly, spending an hour on exercise sounds like plenty for this non-exerciser.  Running a half would require a lot of endurance and speed training.  And once you get to that point and complete the event, do you just go back to 3-5 mile runs?  For me, that would probably feel like backsliding, something that is a scary, scary feeling for me.  After being where I've been and attempting to lose weight and get in shape over and over again, I just don't know what backsliding would do to my confidence.  Granted, I might love running 13.1 miles and want to do it often, but right now I do not see that happening.  For this reason, I am looking more at staying with the 5K-8K distance and training hard for Bloomsday which is a 12K every May.  If I get to the point of wanting to do the half marathon, great.  If not, I'm not going to feel bad about it.  For this reason, I am officially editing the item on my bucket list.  Instead I'm going to change it to "Run a race in another country"!!  Hopefully this will coincide with my other bucket items of travelling to Italy, Ireland and Australia someday (probably not all in the same trip).  Oh wouldn't it be grand to run 3 to 5 miles through the rolling hills of Ireland??

For now, though, I am looking towards my next running event which is the Cherry Picker's Trot.  This is a 4 mile (hilly) run through orchard country on July 15th.  I think it's time to start training on some hills.

I also can't forget to mention that this Saturday my son and I will complete a 2-4 mile walk to raise money for our local Humane Society.  We have been collecting pledges for the animals and look foward to this fun event. 

Afterwards I leave for a shopping spree in Seattle!!!  I think I've earned it.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Was this Heartburn?

Today doesn't feel like Thursday.  Monday holidays usually mess me up this way.  And when I'm right in the middle of month end at work, things feel like they need to slow down.

I had the worst experience last night.  I met some friends for dinner and a movie (this is not the bad part).  For dinner I had a sesame chicken salad which was really good.  Didn't have a whole lot of flavor really, but the chicken was encrusted with sesame seed and there were sliced almonds aplenty!  I devoured it and I have no idea how many points were in it so I counted 15.  We saw the movie Letters to Juliet which was predictable and not great, but it was somewhat entertaining.  Plus it was fun to go out with friends after work!

Once I got home at almost 9:00, I put on my running clothes and headed to the treadmill--too dark and wet to run outside.  I completed a 5K which didn't feel that great, honestly.  I mean, once I was done I felt great, but the whole time I was running I was feeling like running sucks!  I think it was just too late to be down there, but I had to get my workout in after taking Monday off.

So after my run, I had a shower, drank lots of water, ate some string cheese, and then worked until about 12:30 when we finally went to bed.

The next thing I know it's about 2:30 and I bolted awake because of a painful burning sensation in my throat.  It was awful.  It was excrutiating.  I think it was heartburn.  I experienced something on a much smaller level during the latter months of my pregnancy, but this was so much worse.  And it doesn't make any sense.  Here I am, I've just lost 50 lbs, I didn't eat anything out of the ordinary yesterday yet I was up for nearly two hours in the night with heartburn!  I was so upset.  Course I was googling franticly with my iPhone to find home remedies for heartburn, and to even read the symptoms of it since I'm still not positive that's what it was.  Acid reflux?  I was thinking that if that's what acid reflux feels like, no wonder babies who have it scream their heads off.

In the end the only thing that worked was sitting partially upright and sipping cold water. Long about 4:30 when it was nearly light outside, I finally felt like I could lay back down and sleep.  But the mood was broken and it was hard to get back to it.  And when I finally did, it was already time to get up.  Not that I got up, mind you.  I proceeded to sleep until after 8:00!  Remember that break up with my snooze alarm?  Well, we've gotten back together.

Anyway, I am already afraid to go to sleep tonight worrying that it will happen again.  If I never feel that again in my life it will be too soon.  I really feel for those who suffer regularly with heartburn or GERD.  And I really, really hope it doesn't become regular for me.

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

50 Pounds Gone Forever!!!

I have lost 50.2 lbs as of this morning!  50.2!!!  I am thrilled!  More than thrilled!  Elated!!  After completing my first official 5K on Sunday and now this today, I feel awesome!

I will share more about my race after I get the digi-pic from the photographer.

To celebrate my achievement I shall plan a trip to Seattle where I will shop until I drop.

I will also be sending my rings to the jeweler for polishing and possibly upgrading!!  I think I can finally get my real wedding ring back on now.  I couldn't get it off when I started this journey, then I nearly lost a finger when I finally decided to pry it off about 30 lbs ago.  Since then I have beem wearing a different ring which is slightly bigger.  But I want my diamond back!!  I will not force it back on my finger, but I decided at 50 pounds I would at least get it polished and maybe trade in the diamond with some other diamonds my mother in law gave me and come out with a larger diamond.  Not that size matters.  Oh wait, size does matter.  It matters what size I am!!!  

And I am getting smaller!!!  And that matters more than anything right now!