Sunday, October 31, 2010

The Eve of Another New Month

Note: this post has been updated from its original published version.  I think I must have been half-asleep when I posted it!

I started October with big plans that sadly didn't all come to fruition.  I managed Syl's challenge, but I didn't manage my dairy boycott, not even for one day.  I completed my 10K event, but I haven't been able to successfully manage my weekly long runs and complete that distance again.  I don't feel like I failed at anything, though, well except maybe with the dairy thing.  Goals push us to do more, do better, etc.  I will keep setting goals.

Tomorrow begins another new month and I'm hoping to accomplish a few things in November. I decided to plan all my workouts for the month on the calendar.  I did so well getting up before work to workout last week, I should be able to manage that for November, right?  Again, I only work 4 days a week so it shouldn't be that difficult.  I just have to make some sacrifices.  If I go to bed by 9:00 or 9:30, there just is no way that I can keep up with all my TV shows, LOL!  Tonight I performed a major purge of the DVR recordings and no longer feel like I have a massively long to-do list of TV watching.  I find that the older I get (and I'm only 36), TV definitely plays a much smaller role in my life.  I mean, I like it, but rarely do I get hooked on a show.  Or if I do, it's prematurely cancelled which drives me crazy.  It's so much easier to read books anyway.

The workout schedule is easy:
Sunday: rest
Monday: run at least 5K
Tuesday: Jillian DVD, Shred or No More Trouble Zones
Wednesday: speed workout, 30 minutes
Thursday: Jillian DVD Shred or No More Trouble Zones
Friday: Long run, 8K or 10K (scheduled)
Saturday: run a 5K

These workouts are fairly standard.   I also plan to add at least one yoga class, either during lunch or after work.  Maybe even on a weekend.  I have never taken yoga, although I am the proud owner of a brand new purple yoga mat!  Yoga has been recommended to me by several people including my therapist (yes I have one) and my best friend so I have decided I will give it a try.  I'm nervous because class environment usually intimidates me, but I might find a new activity I enjoy, or even meet new people.  Regardless, conquering my fear will be a good thing.

I have a scheduled "race" in November, but I'm not sure if I'll do it or not. It's kind of a costume/dress up type event and I'm not sure that I'm into that. It's a 5K so even if I don't participate in the actual event, I will run a 5K that day, November 20.

Today is Halloween.  I'd like to say I avoided all temptations, but I did not.  I ate chips and cheese today, along with a bunch of pretzels and popcorn which put me well over my points for the day.  I was also over my points on Friday and Saturday, so much so that I didn't even track.  Again, it was chips and popcorn.  I was marvelling at how well I'd done all week with going to bed early which cut out any snack cravings, but then it all seemed to go to hell this weekend.  It could have been worse, I do have two buckets remaining of Halloween candy.  And that's just what's left, we had so much candy that I could have eaten several candy bars without anyone noticing.  But those days are over I have successfully avoided all Halloween candy this year!

Speaking of Halloween, it was a pretty sad year for trick-or-treaters in our neighborhood.  Last year we had 22 groups totalling about 52 kids; this year only 12 groups and 22 kids.  I always stay home on Halloween to pass out the candy, but this year I'm sad to have missed the festivities with my own kid.  My husband and my son met up with some friends and went trick or treating in another neighborhood whose residents go all out with the decorations and spookiness.  I stay home with the candy because I think kids need someone people to be home in their own neighborhood.  After all, not every kid has parents who will take them elsewhere for trick-or-treating.  At least that's what I thought.  Now I am thinking either our neighborhood is filled with just such parents or kids are just not trick-or-treating as much.  I've been sitting here all evening, alone, feeling kind of sad.  I should have gone with my boys.  I'll definitely be going next year.
I hope everyone had a happy and safe Halloween.

Friday, October 29, 2010

And a Runner is Born

What makes a runner?  I have been asking this question lately.  Are you a runner if you run a certain amount of mileage, a certain speed, a certain race?  Or are you a runner if you run when you can, as far as you can, as fast as you can?  I know the answer varies from person to person.  I typed that question into Google the other day and read several fascinating articles and blog posts on the subject. Most agree that it's not your speed or distance, it's a frame of mind. 

I have wanted to become a runner, but I've been struggling with what defines me as a runner.  What does it mean to me?  Am I runner if I run four times a week, or does it need to be five?  Am I runner if I run 15 miles a week, or does it need to be 25?  Am I a runner with a pace of over 11 min/mile, or does it need to be under 10 min?  Am I a runner, if I never register for another race, or do I have to aim for a half marathon?  I asked myself these kinds of questions but couldn't really answer them.  I just knew that I didn't feel like I could call myself a runner.

Until today.

This morning I ran 4.88 miles in 55 minutes making my pace 11:13.   I have run 5 miles in the same amount of time so my pace has been faster.  I have run 6.38 miles before so this distance was not a record.  What made this day significant was my need to get out there.  The weather was awful!  It was a chilly cold 42 degrees and raining.   However, when I got up with my alarm at 7:00, I knew I was going out there.  My last three runs have been on the treadmill and I was itching to feel the fresh air on my face and experience the satisfaction of propelling myself forward as a means to get somewhere, and not just to keep up with an electronic belt.   I was cold and wet soaked from head to toe, but it didn't seem to matter because what I thought about most was how I am now a runner.

Today I earned my runner's wings!

NSV: Smaller Pants!

It has been increasingly difficult to find pants to wear each morning because most of mine are too big!  This is not a problem, of course.  The problem is I cannot afford to buy a complete wardrobe in every size as I've mentioned before.  But I also don't want to feel like a frumpy mom all the time either.  Jeans that sag in the butt feel frumpy!  So I decided that I would just go buy a couple pairs of cheap pants at a discount store to get me through for bit. 

Currently, I have size 14s that are clearly too big and even a couple 12s that seem too big.  But I also have a pair of size 12 that fits (at least in the morning) and another pair of size 12 that feels too small.  I was kind of worried about trying on size 10s, though.  I thought about the damage to my psyche if I was to find out that my size 12s just run big.  I know that probably sounds dumb, but it's true.

Anyway, when I got to the store I decided to bite the bullet and head straight for the 10s.  And do you know what?  They fit!  I can wear a size 10 and they are comfortable.  I tried on several different styles just to make sure and yep, a size 10 it is!  I'll take that NSV (non-scale victory) any day!!

Riding that high, and just for kicks, I went ahead and tried on a size 8 before I left.  While I could get them on and buttoned, they were not comfy at all.  Oh well.  At least I know that when I reach my goal weight I'll definitely be in single digit sizes!!

I can't wait!

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Bondi Bands: Now I See What They've Been Talking About

Hello, Bondi Band, where have you been all my running life? 

I am in love! 

I have seen many a blog post that mentions the Bondi Band and I finally decided to see what all the fuss was about.  Now I see.  These things are awesome!  It was very hard to choose ONE out of all the beautiful colors and prints, not to mention all the sayings!  But since I had no idea if I would like them, I limited my choice to one band.  Of course I had to go with purple! 

I usually cannot wear headbands because I have an unusually small head that's fairly flat on the back.  Head bands just don't stay on my head unless I pin them there and that's annoying.  So I am delighted to report that the Bondi Band seems to stay on my head, with or without a ponytail, and no pins!  I will take the Bondi Band on it's first official test run tomorrow morning, but in the meantime here I am rocking the band while cooking dinner last night.  (It says i RUN in silver lettering.)

I think half the fun of running is all the cute and fun gear you can buy nowadays.  If this thing wicks the sweat on tomorrow's run as well as I think it will, I can see myself with a whole collection of Bondi Bands.

P.S. Bondi Band did not sponsor this post, although they can sponsor another one if they like. ;)

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

It's not About Followers

Although followers make it nicer for sure!

I was telling someone about my decision to register a domain name for my blog and they were all, "Do you have like a thousand followers or something?"

Uh, no.  Not even close.

I welcome followers, I love followers, I want followers.  Spread the word, tell your friends.  Follow me!!  If companies want to sponsor giveaways so I can increase my followership, I'll be happy to host them.  :-)

But my main purpose of creating and keeping this blog is not about the followers.  It's about a commitment to getting fit and staying fit.  Forever.  I cannot go back to the obese person I was.  I just can't.  I'm scared of regaining the weight.  Heck, I'm even scared of never getting to my goal in the first place. This blog helps me stay motivated and keeps me accountable.  I believe it is helping me stay on track and keep my eyes on the destination ahead.  The weight loss is just the journey, but the destination is a healthy, happy life.  There are some people who think you can be fat and happy.  I am not one of those people.  I cannot go back.

Even if I only have one follower, or no followers, I want to keep this blog as a place for me.  I think it's fun to add gadgets to the page, and update my weight loss progress, and post pictures.  If for no one else, at least for me.  If I'm having an off day, I can at least visit myself.  It's motivating to see what I've already accomplished and helps me acknowledge the progress I have made.  It also gives me a creative outlet without having to know anything about web design or HTML.  :-) 

So although, I am using this blog as my journal, I am more than happy to share it with you.  Feel free to follow along.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Same Blog, New Name

Feed updates may be required!!!

I have changed my blog name to 

For the Run of It

I have registered the domain: I'm really not sure if you need to update your feeds because I'm somewhat challenged in the blog knowledge area.  If you're a follower, you might not have to do anything, but if you just subscribe to the feed, you might have to change the address.  Please change the address from to  I'm sorry if this causes any problems, truly sorry.

You can now contact me at: fortherunofit at Gmail dot com.

I have taken this step as a part of my long term committment to getting fit and staying fit!  I hope you'll join me on this journey.

Updated: okay, I don't think you really need to change anything regardless of feed subscription or follower status.  But I'm not sure completely.  If you go to the old address, you're redirected so it should be good.  I'm sorry if it isn't!!

Three Quarters Done!

First of all, I appreciate all the comments regarding the pictures I posted on Sunday.  You have all made me feel so good!  It's so nice to hear that I've done well and look good.  When you see yourself day after day, you sometimes forget the drastic change that's occurred until you see the pictures.  I think it's true for the people who see you regularly too, they stop noticing after awhile.  Compliments are so helpful and meaningful on a journey like this!  Thank you from the bottom of my heart!

I'm excited to report that my weigh in this morning brings me to the 75 pound mark!  75.8 to be exact.  I am thrilled beyond belief.  I cannot express how great I feel.  Sometimes I am amazed by how far I have come.  This morning when I was doing the Shred workout, I was marvelling at how much stronger I am and how I actually enjoy the pain now!  It's awesome!  I feel awesome!  I am celebrating this accomplishment today for sure.  I am now three quarters of the way to my goal of losing 100 pounds!

As I just mentioned I got up to workout this morning!  Two days in a row!  It's a record for me so I'm rejoicing.  I'm really glad I am still doing Syl's challenge because it helped motivate me to Shred today instead of something easy like walk on the treadmill.  I woke up to my alarm, but didn't push the snooze button.  I got up and got to it.  It's true that you'll never regret getting up, but you'll easily regret not getting up.  There is nothing better than starting the day off with positive energy!

Monday, October 25, 2010

Do I Hear 75?

I just looked back and I reached 70 lbs down on the scale September 24.  It is now one month and one day later and I still haven't reached that elusive 75!  My how the losses have slowed.  I know, I know, a loss is a loss. But I'm getting a little burned out, I must say.  I feel like I need to get to the next phase of this journey - maintenance!  I have stayed off the scale as planned this week, but tomorrow morning I am really hoping for that big 75.  December 31, 2010 feels like it is right around the corner and I want to reach my goal!  Perhaps I should stop eating so much bread! is a great day because I completed my run before work!  Now, for the first Monday in months, I do not have to fit in a run and a shower in the evening!  Woohoo!  I can go home, make dinner, and have some good family time before hitting the hay at 9:00. 

I'm doing a one week experiment.  Remember my goals will only span a week's time now instead of that crazy month long thing.  My experiment this week is to see if I can go to bed by 9:00 and get up by 5:00 to exercise each morning before work.  I only work 4 days so this should be doable, but getting up is so hard for me.  Well, going to bed is the hard part, but that makes getting up hard.  I am a night owl, I always have been.  I love to stay up late and sleep in.  But, I also like taking only one shower per day and having my evenings free to do home and family stuff without having to fit in a workout.  My long term goal is to become a morning exerciser.  But I'm taking it one day at a time.  The main challenge is to go to bed early and then get up early, but I also want to see how I feel when running in the morning.  If I don't feel good and strong, I'm going to go back to evenings. 

It's only a week, one week at a time!  I will run Monday and Wednesday and do the Shred DVD or the No More Trouble Zones DVD on Tuesday and Thursday (or some other workout I can find On Demand).  Friday is my day off and I will run, hopefully at least 5 miles.  At this point I still plan a weekend run to keep my mileage up, however, I usually rest two days and this schedule only leaves one day for rest.  I'll see how it goes.  After all it's only a week.

***Leg update***
I have run three times with the new orthotics and I am not in love.  The first time felt just okay, the 2nd time I got shin splints, and the third time my legs felt very achy during the run and most of that day which was Friday, my long run day.  I didn't even make it 4 miles, let alone 5 or 6!  I just wasn't feeling it. Yesterday I ran on the treadmill in different shoes without the orthotics and felt just okay.  This morning, it was the same, but I felt pretty good until afterwards when my shin was hurting.  I admit I'm feeling discouraged over all this trial and error.  Running is hard enough without feeling pain with every step, KWIM?  Ugh. Oh well, I will persevere. 

I was asked in the comments if I've been professionally fitted for shoes.  Well, I have gone to the running store and I have had shoes recommended to me, and I bought a pair of the shoes they recommended.  However, I didn't buy them from that store because they didn't have a color I liked.  I ran in the shoes for a couple weeks before having any issues with my leg--going as far as buying a different purple pair along the way.  I have been trying to make these shoes work for me because that's what was recommended, but if these orthotics don't help and I have to forget my beloved purple shoes after all, then I will most definitely go back to the running store and let them sell me whatever they want regardless of color.  I'm just tired of thinking about shoes and pronation, supination, pain and whathaveyou.  I want to move on from all this.  Aren't you sick of reading about it?  I feel that a solution is possible, I just haven't found it.  I share the story because there's bound to be someone who has some great advice to offer or will benefit from what I find out.  Maybe...

Well, best get back to work.  Lunch time is over.

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Some Comparison Photos

January 2007

October 2010

January 2007

October 2010

Friday, October 22, 2010

Only a Half Marathon?

I don't think I am alone in thinking that anyone who completes a half marathon has conquered a great feat.  13.1 miles?  That is a long way to run! 

But it's only a half marathon.

Why is that a problem?  Well, it's half.  Half of something means you're not done, it means you have not gone the whole way.  Maybe that's why they call it a half marathon instead of giving it a name all its own.  Because once you do a half, you feel like you aren't finished and push yourself further into completing a (whole) marathon.

Earlier this year, when my coworker was preparing for her half, someone at the office asked, "Are you running the marathon, or just the half."  For some reason, the word half seems to sometimes inadvertently cause people to discount it.  I wish the half marathon could have its own name.  I'm a recreational runner, a runner mostly for health, so if I run 13.1 miles, I want it to be a complete run and not a half run. 

But, it will be a complete goal for me and that will mean a lot!

Still, can we petition for a name change?  Who's with me?

Thursday, October 21, 2010

I can still run!

Phew, is all I can say!

I visited the doc on Monday regarding my leg/knee pain and luckily there's nothing major happening.  He sent me for an X-ray just to make sure there was no stress fracture or bone TUMOR (why do doctors throw out these words as if they are nothing?) and there was neither.  Well, he said a fracture cannot always be seen, but I honestly don't think there is one.

What he says is that I pronate (foot turns in when I run).  This causes twisting of the bone which bones do not like, and that is what is causing the strain.  The more strain, the more pain, and that is why it's travelled into my knee.  And it also could be the squats from the Shred, too.  Bad form and what not (Katie, you're probably right).

The pronation issue is not something new to me.  Google actually diagnosed this for me already, but better to pay a professional for their opinion.  Months ago, when I first experienced the pain, I thought I was a supinator (foot turns out), but the more reading I've done led me to the opposite diagnosis.  Pronation can be corrected with stability shoes or by using orthotics.  Since I went down the road with the shoes already much to my splinting shins dismay, I decided to get some orthotics.  I'm starting with some I found at Lady Foot Locker.  If these don't help, the doc recommends custom orthotics--much more expensive so let's hope these OTC versions do the trick.

I purchased the orthotics straightaway and used them for my Monday evening run.  I can say that they seemed to help during the run, at least to make my leg feel more supported and reduce the strain I've been feeling in my knee.  That is a great thing!  I used them again last night when I ran on the treadmill and around 4.75K of my 5K, the shins started splinting!  I think the orthotics might be something I need to ease into instead of just switching to full time right off the bat.  After all, it's a complete change for my feet and legs.  Therefore, on tomorrow's long run, I think I will leave them behind.  The doc said to call in a few weeks if there's no improvement, but most importantly, I can continue running.  That is all I needed to hear.

I'm struggling a bit with where to take this running thing and what I'll do over the winter.  Treadmill running is not something I enjoy wholly like I do a run outside.  That is so weird to say because when I first started, I loved the treadmill and hated being outside.  Funny how things change.  Right now I'm still trying to get outside as much as possible.  I bought myself a nice long sleeve running shirt and pants, and I have gloves; I just need to get something for my ears.  On work days, when I can't get my arse out of bed in the morning, and it would be too cold anyway, I'll have to run on the treadmill after work because by the time I get home it will be too dark.  Darkness makes it colder and is a bit dangerous with potholes, rocks and other stumbling possibilities.  So Monday and Wednesdays I'll probably be on the treadmill.  But Fridays and weekends I can run outside more towards the middle of the day when it's light out and not quite as cold.

As far as winter mileage goes, I think I'll hold steady where I'm at, getting in at least 15 miles a week in 4 runs.  By keeping the mileage the same over the winter, I can sort of focus more on speed while enduring a winter on the treadmill.  I definitely need to focus positivity into those runs because as we know, a lot of running is mental.  If I tell myself I'll hate the treadmill, chances are I'll hate the treadmill.  Being grateful that I can run at all, being thankful that I have a treadmill to run on, that's where my focus should be.  And adding up those miles!

The next distance I plan to tackle is a 12K event here in Spokane on May 1st.  After that, I don't know.  I'm not sure about what events I'll register for next year, but I'm really leaning towards planning a half marathon.  I thought I was over that idea, but the more I read about other bloggers' recent marathon experiences, I'm getting the bug to try one myself.  That's always been a bucket list item for me anyway.  I was pulling away from the idea for fairly, well, I'll admit it, dumb reasons.  I have been too concerned with finish times and running speed.  While I would like to be faster, I will never be the fastest and "first or last, the finish line is the same".  Just because my coworker just logged a sub 2hr half doesn't mean I need to also, and doesn't mean I should avoid running one altogether.  Finishing is the important thing, but I find myself getting caught up in the comparisons.  I'm me and my running pace is mine and mine alone.  When I go out for a long run with the notion that I'm going to run easy and run steady, I usually come home feeling awesome.  When I go out for any run focusing too much on my speed, I usually end up feeling defeated and blah.  I run first for my health and weight loss, but I also run because I think it's fun.  I like to push myself, but I don't enjoy sprinting.  I want to run a 10 minute mile, but not if getting there isn't fun.  I have slowly gained speed over the past 8 months and I am happy with my progress.  Running is hard work, but it's fun.  As soon as it feels un-fun, I won't want to do it anymore.  Sprinting feels un-fun.  On days in which I do speed work (intervals), those are fun times to see how I can push myself.  I will continue those days as long as they are fun and I feel like it on the scheduled day.  But for regular, everyday runs, I don't want to worry about speed too much.  If it feels good, I'll go faster; if not, I won't. Sometimes I surprise myself , logging my fastest runs without even knowing it until I'm done.  Those runs are exhilarating!  Mostly, though, the miles are more important to me, and the longer I can run, the more excited I get.  With that attitude, I think I can take on a half marathon and have fun with both the training and the event itself.  I'm sure I'll have a time goal, but running the entire thing will be the ultimate goal.  That's been the goal for every event I've done. 

With all that said, I'm not positive of my plans for a half.  Good thing I don't have to figure it out right now.  The only solid plan I have is to continue running, continue having fun, and lose these last 28 pounds.  I cannot wait to reach my goal!

I do wonder: do you still get to be called a marathoner if you only complete a half marathon? I'll be posting about only half marathons soon.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Tale from the Scale

I know, that post title is so unoriginal, but it applies. 

Here are the weights I have recorded since 10/10/10.

10/10 Sun: 164.0
10/11 Mon: 165.0 (+1)
10/12 Tues: 164.0 (-1)
10/13 Wed: 161.8 (-2.2)
10/14 Thurs: 162.6 (+.8)
10/15 Fri: 163.4 (+.8)
10/16 Sat: didn't weigh
10/17 Sun: didn't weigh
10/18 Mon: 166.0 (+2.6)
10/19 Tues: 165.0 (-1)
10/20 Wed 163.8 (-1.2)

Offically I have a 1 pound gain for the week since Tuesday is my weigh in day.  I know how it happens, but I also know that I have been eating okay and exercising as usual--well I missed a run.  But look at what I weighed last Wednesday, the day after my official weigh in!  Ugh!

I don't let these numbers get me down too much because I use it as a tool to know how my weight fluctuates daily.  This way I know that later, when I'm trying to maintain, I know that my weight will not just stay the same day after day no matter what I do.  Fluctuations are normal.  Even so I think it's time to stay off the scale except on Tuesdays for awhile. 

Rather than take on big, month-long challenges, or even my own personal 4 week challenges, I think biting off a week at a time is the best idea.  So I weighed today and I will *try* and not weigh again until my next official weigh in on Tuesday, October 26, 2010.  These people that can go a whole month without weighing, I admire them, but I cannot do it.  One week?  Possibly.

Monday, October 18, 2010

Road ID Giveaway

5K Rae is hosting a giveaway!

Have you heard of the Road ID?  It's a nifty little ID tag/bracelet/anklet/shoe pouch that you can wear while out running or walking or biking or whatever which lists all your emergency contact info in the event of a, well, emergency.  Hopefully you never need it!!  But it's a good idea to have and that's why I'm entering this giveaway and also why you should too!

Head on over to Rae's blog to submit your entries!

Friday, October 15, 2010

Contest Photo #5

Here is my photo for Stephanie's contest.  I wonder how I am doing in this contest. I think I have lost less  than 5 pounds in 5 weeks!  I haven't been keeping track of the others, but my losses have been small. 

I made it out for a run this morning.  Amazingly I did not have much pain while out there.  I completed an easy 5K in 34:57.  I'm icing and nursing now, but I'm still glad I went!

This afternoon we'll be going to see the movie Secretariat.  Bring on the popcorn!

Happy Friday!

Thursday, October 14, 2010

Hmmm, what to do, what to do...

I've been sitting here for awhile, letting Google diagnose my knee/leg pain again.  Why do I do this to myself?  It's like I keep thinking I'll type in just the right thing and I'll have a solution to the problem.

I am considering that the reason for my all of a sudden OMG, my knee hurts like hell pain is from the Shred.  There are lots of squats and lunges in that DVD and perhaps my knee doesn't like it.  Because as far as my shin, it just feels like I ran a 10K in the wrong shoes again.

I admit that I have not done the Shred for a couple days while I rest my leg and try to heal.  This probably disqualifies me from Syl's challenge, but that's the way the cookie crumbled.  Bummer.  Running is more important to me and I cannot just ignore what hurts if it's going to keep me from the road!  But I kinda miss Jillian.

Tonight I came home and ate a bunch of pizza so all I can say is that tomorrow morning I'm headed out to run no matter what.  I'll give it my all and if I have to walk or limp or whatever, that's what I'll do.  I have to burn some calories.  I'm already nervous for what my Friday weigh in photo for Stephanie's challenge is going to bring!  Eeeek!

Oh well, I just thought I'd type a quick post for the blog.  I like this thing, it's a journal of sorts.

Daily Kick in the Butt

From a Runner's World quote of the day email:

Daily Kick in the Butt

Running long and hard is an ideal antidepressant, since it's hard to run and feel sorry for yourself at the same time.  Also, there are those hours of clearheadedness that follow a long run.  -Monte Davis, runner

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Would you like some cheese with your whine?

Why, yes, I would.  I love cheese!

So folks, now that my 10/10/10 event is over, I can fully focus on the problem that is a pain in my right leg/shin/knee.  As much as I hate to admit it, as much as I'm afraid of losing momentum, I think I have to admit to myself that it's time to seek the opinion of a qualified medical professional rather than Google.

The pain that started in my shin several months ago that has come and gone based on a variety of shoes, has now become a dull and constant ache.  In addition to that, my knee has joined the party and made things way worse.  So much so that for the first time in what feels like forever, I could not finish my run on Monday night.  I made it 4k through a 5k run and had to walk limp slowly the rest of the way home.  I am so upset about this.

The pain in my knee has been gradually increasing over the past couple weeks until Saturday when it would not stop aching.  I could not seem to rest or support my leg in a way that would make the pain to go away.  It finally felt better after a few hours, though.  Then there was that little 10k run on Sunday morning.  I really didn't experience a whole lot of discomfort during the run and for that I was so thankful.  But after I got home, out came the ice pack and for hours there was PAIN again.  Towards evening it got better and all through the day Monday it felt pretty good which is why I thought my Monday 5k would be okay.  Wrong!  Once I got home from that disaster and iced my knee for awhile, the pain eased up to where I could actually walk normally, but it has not gone away since.  It's Wednesday now. :(

I don't want anything major to be wrong.  And it shouldn't be. It's not like I've done anything crazy in my training; I stretch on the warm up, I walk for a warm up, I walk for a cool down, I stretch for a cool down.  The only variable in the equation over the past months is a slow increase in mileage and a few changes of shoes.  But my husband visited his doctor the other day, one who specializes in sports medicine, and he decided to bring up my "issues".  The doc said what I'm experiencing would not merely be caused by shoes.  Which I guess I knew that, but I just wanted it to be the shoes!  At least until it meant giving up my beloved purple shoes!

Not to be overly dramatic about the whole thing, which is probably minor (I hope) anyway, but I am freaked out because I do not like going to the doctor, and I hate the idea of taking a break from running, even if it's only temporary.  But what other choice do I have?  I want to heal and I'm tired of the pain so I made an appointment for the 18th.  Until then I guess I twiddle my thumbs.  Or I suppose I can tear apart the rest of my body with Jillian's DVDs. 

For the moment I'd rather just whine.

Have you had an injury that kept you sidelined?  How did you deal with it?

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

A Blog Question: How do YOU do it?

I love when I read blogs and the blog writers are so great about linking back to earlier posts when they reference something they've talked about before.  I have done this myself by going to the post, copying the URL and then adding it as a link.

How to you keep track of all these previous posts?  Do you keep a master list of all the URLs?  Am I taking the long route by saving and closing the new post, finding the previous posts, viewing it, copying the URL, etc.?  It sure seems like it takes awhile and I wondered if there is an easier way that I have not thought of.

So I ask you, Mighty Blogosphere, how do YOU do it? 

Week 39 Weigh In

This morning I weighed in at 164!  I have officially lost 72.8 lbs., 68.2 lbs of it since 1/12/10.  I am so happy to have lost the weight I gained last week and then some!  I am happy with my progress.

BUT, there's always a but, isn't there?  But, 12/31/10 is 11.5 weeks away and I am 27.2 lbs from my goal.  That puts my average weekly weight loss requirement at 2.37 lbs.  That's a little high for this stage of the game especially during the most challenging time of the year-holidays!.  BUT, and this but is most important, I am still sticking with my original plan to try and make goal by year end.  I have nothing to lose except weight, right?!


Today I am sharing a photo.  What is that, you ask?  That is the plus size catalog from Land's End that landed right in the trash after being brought in from the mail box.

That, my friends, is success!

Monday, October 11, 2010

Running Gear: Water Belt a.k.a. Hydration Belt

A couple people have asked me what kind of water belt I use and I've been meaning to share the greatness that is my belt.  So here goes.

When I started thinking about adding weekly long runs in July, I decided that I must have a way in which to carry water "on board".  Carrying a bottle in my hand was not an option because I do not like to have things in my hands while running.  But any run longer than fifty minutes would require at least a small drink.  I thought about stashing water in my yard like I hear some people do, but I thought if I had to come home to get it, I'd probably not leave again.  I also didn't want to be restricted on my course selection. 

At my 5 mile running event in July I saw lots of different kinds of these belts.  Some really fancy, some really cute, most really functional.  Some people had the Camelbak backpacks too, but I knew that would not be for me.  My parents have those for hiking and they seem like way more trouble than they are worth.  Anyway, while I usually prefer my "gear" to be somewhat feminine looking, and cute, I was most interested in the Amphipod belts, mainly because I already had the Amphipod Airflow Microstretch Waistpack which works really well and is well made.  Even though this water belt, or hydration belt as they are officially called, was a little spendier than most, I found it to be the most versatile and a solid choice.

It is the Amphipod RunLite AirStretch 2 Hydration Belt - 21 oz which I bought at REI for $45.  (I didn't shop around, it might be available for less elsewhere.)  What I like most about this belt is that the bottles can either be positioned vertically or horizontally--I prefer horizontal--and the bottles can be positioned at your sides, front, or back.  This belt came with two 10.5 oz bottles which is plenty for me, but you can also add up to two more bottles of the same size, or they also have 8 oz bottles.  (They also sell belts that come with 4 bottles which is probably the cheapest way to buy it, but right now two bottles is plenty for me.  However if I get to that half marathon training, I like that I have the option to add more later.  There's other add-on accessories too.)  The bottles "snap" into the clips which makes it easy to determine if they're secure, and also easy to remove during a run.  These bottles do not leak at all; some reviews on the REI website say they do.  Unless they had flawed bottles or didn't close the lids all the way, there should be no leaking.

This belt also has a zippered pouch which holds my iPhone, and also has a convenient slip pocket on the very front of the pouch for my iPod w/Nike+.  This pocket is great because it's easy to access the iPod while running, but it would be virtually impossible for the iPod to fall out. 

I wear the belt on every scheduled run that is 5-6 miles and it is very comfortable.  The belt is wide with a secure velco closure and there is virtually no bounce when you are running.  The belt comes in a couple sizes to accomodate different size waists.  Other versions of the belt are also adjustable so one size fits all, but I didn't like the bulk of the adjuster and then having the belt basically doubled over on itself when it's made smaller.  Hard to explain.

I took some pictures the other day while wearing the belt.  I took them myself so it was kind of hard to get a good angle.  I wear the belt with the pouch centered in front, while the bottles are slid around to the back.  Sorry, I didn't get any photos of the front.  But here's a link to how it looks on the REI site.  They have the bottles in front and vertical--completely opposite of how I wear it.

Here's sort of a diagonal side/back view.

Here's how we look from the side.

This is how it looks from the back.  The bottles are butted up against the velcro closure.

(Note: this opinion is my own, no one paid me to write it.)

Sunday, October 10, 2010

I ran a 10K on 10/10/10!

Today's run was THE RUN I have been training for.  This was the very first "race" I registered for.  This afternoon I kind of feel like I do on the afternoon of Christmas day, like all the anticipation and build up is over, and far too quickly.

I am happy to say that I achieved my goal of running the entire race.  I don't have my official race time, but as I went past the clock it said 1:09:47.  Overall I am happy with my results although a small part of me wishes I would have been faster.  I think I could have been faster if only I'd have taken my water belt.  The crucial water station, the one I felt like I needed most, had no water.  I managed to keep my pace fairly consistent during the entire run, but I was really struggling from about 6K until the end.  I was so thirsty!!  But I'm not going to dwell on the time too much.  My goal was to run a 10K on 10/10/10 and I did it in about 1:10.  Perhaps it was just meant to be that way.

This race was one of three races taking place today as there was also a marathon and half marathon.  I was surprised at how chintzy the whole operation felt.  First, there was not enough water on the course.  Second, the course had no distance markers at all.  Third, there was no water or snacks at the finish.  Fourth, you had to walk to a local restaurant to pick up your shirt and wait in line while dodging the people coming out who already had their shirts.  Fifth, they didn't use chip timing.  AND sixth, and worst of all, the shirt is an ugly yellow color and just a plain ol' cotton t-shirt.  I expected more for my 15 bucks!  LOL.  Actually, I'm sure the whole thing was fine, but some of the other races I've done were definitely organized better which really added to the overall experience.

My husband and son came to support me and below are a few pictures. (I'll have to see if they have official photos for this one.)

I'm #1341 and ready to run!

I had put both my hands up and smiled thinking my husband was taking the photo, but he didn't get it until my hands were coming down and a more distressed look took over the smile.  ;)  I'm not cropping the photo on purpose, LOL!  But you can click on it for a larger view.

I'm in the blue shirt and black capri pants passing the clock at 1:09:47.

What I love about these events, probably what I enjoy most, is seeing other runners and their running gear. It's easy to like something in the store, but it's nice to see people putting things to use.  (It was at one of these events where I saw someone with the water belt I eventually ended up getting; the one that would have come in handy today!)   After today's run, I've decided that I must get me some pink and purple running shirts!!  So cute!!  I also noticed a lot of shoes today, and it seems that Asics and Saucony are most common around here.  I had to wear the hideous Adidas shoes today because my Nikes, my new glorious purple Nikes, are making my leg hurt. :( The Adidas shoes cause no pain.  And this is one time when I believe no pain is a whole lot of gain.  So my shoe saga continues.  I'll spare you the details.  Even I'm sick of myself!

Friday, October 8, 2010

Contest Photo #4

Here is my photo for Stephanie's contest.  It's late today because I've been feeling under the weather and have basically been in bed all day.  No running.  No Shredding.  I'm sidelined for the day.  But the scale was kind to me this morning and shows no lingering trauma of the earlier bread binges.  I even changed the battery in the scale because I didn't believe it.  Lucky for me the number stayed the same.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

Addicted to Food

Having never been addicted to drugs or alcohol, I feel completely qualified to compare such addictions to being addicted to food.  Relax, relax, I am not making light of substance abuse.  I have abusers in my family so I'm completely aware of its seriousness.  I also know that addiction is addiction.  Something you feel powerless over.

the state of being enslaved to a habit or practice or to something that is psychologically or physically habit-forming, as narcotics, to such an extent that its cessation causes severe trauma.

I feel enslaved to food.  I am addicted to food.

Admitting you have a problem is the first step towards recovery.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Down to the Wire

I have two more "training" runs scheduled before my 10K "race" on Sunday.  On tap tonight is some last minute speed work.  I almost got up and completed it before work this morning, but I thought it would be more beneficial for me to get to work early instead.  I'll leave running and the Shred for after work.

I think I'll substitute Friday's long run with an easy three miles instead.  Sunday's run will be my long run, of course.  Right now 10K sounds like so far!!  Maybe it's because I am exceptionally tired this morning, or maybe I am just nervous.  I admit I have some jitters about the event.

I have only one major goal for that day and it is to run the entire thing.  This is what I've been training for since I started, to be able to run 10K, so I don't want to worry too much about my finish time.  But there's that self conscious part of me that doesn't want to finish slower than any of my training runs of the same distance, and I certainly do not want to be LAST.  I do have some pride.

I saw a bumper sticker on Cafepress over the weekend which sums it up perfectly.

Pain is temporary but your finishing time posted on the internet is forever.

Hopefully the jitters subside before Sunday.  I really wish I had my friend coming with me.  It's becoming clear to me that while I love the training aspect of these events, I do not love the events themselves.  Race day nerves, starting line jitters, it's really only fun when shared with a friend.  The prospect of being all alone just doesn't hold the same allure.  Luckily I will have my family with me and that is really all I can ask for: support.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

Bread is My Drug

The scale said 168 this morning!  Yes, that is a gain!  A gain!  I hate gaining, but I have only myself to blame.  Last week was horrible in terms of my eating plan and I believe I ended the week over my points allowance by at least 50.  That includes having used all the activity points and weekly points.  I didn't even track last night's dinner because I have no idea how many points worth of soup and bread (glorious garlic bread with lots of melty butter) I consumed.  It was a lot, enough to make me feel a bit sick to my stomach. But it was sooo good and somehow I justified eating it by saying I'd be starting a new week today and all would be history.

So today I begin anew.  Diligently tracking and counting.  No chips this week, no garlic bread.  No going over my points!

I consider it an accomplishment that I even got on the scale this morning knowing I would be facing a gain.  My normal M.O. would have been to skip the weigh in altogether and just say I'd wait until next week, which could easily turn into the next week and the next and before I knew it I'd be back at square one.  So I took my lumps and got on the scale.  And now that's over with and I can move on.

I completed my 5K run last night with an average pace of 11:03/mile.  I felt pretty good during the run so when I saw the average pace, I got a little bit excited.  One of these days I'll get my speed under 11:00 then move closer and closer to my ultimate speed goal of under 10:00 per mile.  It's a process. 

After my run I completed day 4 of the Shred.  I feel stronger than when I started and it's only been 4 days!  Awesome!  I cannot wait to see how I feel after 10 days, 20, 30! And today is the first day since beginning the workouts that I can actually walk normally, both going up and down stairs.  We are headed in the right direction.

I don't want to get down on myself for topping off a great run and workout with a bread overdose (for the second time in a week!), but looking back on it, I really wish I wouldn't have done it.  But it did taste really, really good, so there is that!

Monday, October 4, 2010

New Shoes

Before my run on Friday morning I took a picture of my running shoes. I wanted to use the photo on my blog somewhere, kind of like 5K Rae does.  So I took this picture.

Later that day, my husband and I went to the mall and I wanted to browse the workout clothes at Lady Foot Locker.  I didn't find any clothes, but I found these:

Leave it to Nike to come out with the perfect PURPLE shoes right after I bought boring gray ones.  Luckily, I'm within the 30 day return window!  Yahoo!  I love purple, can you tell? I think I will devote an entire post to purple one of these days.

That reminds me, I hope you read this blog on the blog site once in awhile.  So much is lost when you only read posts using Reader, or some other feed service.  I love pretty blogs, visually stimulating blogs, and cute blogs.  I hope mine fits into one of those categories.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

I am Human

I've been debating about something for the past couple of days.  Last Thursday I posted about a plan to cut out dairy for one month.  I was resolved to do this at the time, yet I could not even make it one day.  I haven't had yogurt, but I've had milk, butter and cheese.  So I've been debating about fessing up to this or just deleting the post about dairy altogether.  I hate admitting my mistakes and failures yet that is what this blog is all about, I guess.  So here I am, letting everyone know that I cannot make it without dairy even one single day.  It's not as if dairy is chocolate or candy or cake or something else incredibly detrimental to my weight loss, but on Thursday I had made up my mind to try going without it for one month, and I was completely convinced that I would be able to do it.  Now I feel like a failure--again.

So this has led me into further soul searching.  (Doesn't that sound deep?  It's really not.)  I'm reminded of so many times when I *planned* to do something, start a diet, start an exercise program, go to bed earlier, etc., only to have the plan fly out the window within a day or so.  There is nothing better to fuel the fire of self loathing than to back out of a deal you made with yourself.  And why is that?  Why do we have to beat ourselves up so much?  What good does it do?  I have been somewhat off plan this entire week and I have been so down about it.  And why?  It really serves no purpose except to make me feel bad.  It's not like I berate myself completely and then get right back on plan with a renewed resolve.  Usually the opposite.  I berate myself completely and then when the craving for chips or popcorn comes up I say well, I've already ruined the week, why not?   

How do you stop beating yourself up and start loving yourself?  I have a hard time even congratulating myself on losing 70 lbs.  Because while I feel great about it, those feelings are easily overshadowed by the disgust at having to lose that much in the first place.  So how do we let go of the past and move on?  I have a post-it note on my bulletin board right here next to me in my home office where I've written, "Don't look back; always looks ahead."  But do I do that?  No, I seem to be stuck in the failings of yesterday.

I wish I could sum this up by saying I'm making a change starting today.  But I can't because that would probably be just another *plan* that doesn't last the next 24 hours, and I know it's an evolving process anyway.  I can make the effort to be kinder to myself, and at the end of each day I can consciously focus on the good I have done that day instead of the bad.  I can try not to waste precious time during each day with self loathing.  I can strive to be a more positive person.  Positive people are happier people, aren't they?  I've been a pessimist for 36 years, I'd really like to try optimism on for size.

Today's positive focus is on the 3.2 mile run I completed this morning which was followed by day 3 of the Shred.  I want to tell you that my muscles are so sore from the Shred.  My legs felt like lead during my run today, but I also felt empowered to MOVE.  I like that the workout feels complete but still only lasts 20 minutes.  It's really awesome.  And I am so much stronger than the first time I tried to do it several months ago.  That is a wonderful feeling!

Friday, October 1, 2010

What was I thinking?

I overdosed on bread with butter at dinner tonight.  Why did I do that?

A Breakfast Pictorial

As promised, I will now show you my favorite breakfast.  This is what I have been eating nearly everyday since January.  I still love it and look forward to it.  Yummy stuff!

We begin with our cast of characters.

The English muffin must go in the toaster for warming and slight toasting.  Not major toasting, I don't want any mouth scrapage, this is supposed to be enjoyable!

Meanwhile, we measure our peanut butter.

We do not heap the peanut butter in the tablespoon.

When our English muffin is ready, we slather it with the peanut butter.  A tablespoon really is enough.

Now scary neck vein lady sinks her teeth into the scrumptiousness that is this breakfast.  Bite after bite, until...

All gone.

Now we sit down with this and enjoy the afterglow of a 5.35 mile run and day 1 of The Shred.

Happy Friday (and please ignore the eyebrows).

Contest Photo #3

Here is the weekly photo for Stephanie's contest over at She's in there Somewhere.  I'm not happy about this one.  But I will not dwell.  I am off to run for an hour (hopefully) and then it's back for day 1 of the Shred.