Thursday, December 30, 2010

Auld Lang Syne

There once was a sad girl named Jenny
Of self-loathing, she surely had plenty!
But one day she went for a run,
Discovered it sure was fun!
Now who can stop her? Not ANY!

LOL. Can you people believe that I've actually been published before?

2010 was, I think, the most important year of my life thus far. It was pretty much a do or die year for me. I won't say a lot about 2009, it would just bore you, but suffice it to say that I had a complete and total mental breakdown, was hospitalized for self-injurious behaviors, and lost my job (of five years) in the process. I also began smoking again after a 3 year hiatus AND I put on 40 pounds along the way. NOT fun.

I took the first step out of the dark hole last fall. I enrolled in school to be a Rad Tech. I didn't start classes until winter of this year, but it was a glimmer of light to look forward to, and I was determined that school would be one thing I didn't totally ruin. So I started classes in January, and I worked hard, and pulled off straight A's for the quarter! That little spark of self-confidence inspired me to try to do something about my weight. Looking back, I really can't believe I had the courage to begin at all.

First, I put the cigarettes down and started walking. Read YOU: On a Diet and decided to follow along with the diet plan. I was struggling, though. Man, those cigarettes were sooo tempting!! I was very discouraged about the whole smoking thing, because I had already started back after quitting for 3 years. What was the point? But I held on, for the hubby and kids' sake, I didn't want to hurt them anymore and they HATED the smoking.  But, boy oh boy, was it hard. I was obsessed with cravings. I was about to give up, as was my pattern. I totally expected this.

And then. And then and then and then!!

I found running. Even now, its hard to pinpoint what I found so attractive about running. I've never been an athlete, and I'd always considered running to be a punishment. But all of a sudden, there was something different there. I knew that I  had been altered, but I didn't know how completely yet.

I guess what makes running so appealing in the beginning is that there are so many ways to improve that you'd be hard pressed NOT to feel better about yourself. So many reasons to celebrate--the first 5 minutes straight, the first half-mile, the first MILE (amazing), the first 30 minutes straight, first race, I could just go on and on. There is always a new record to break and a new way to measure improvement.

But that isn't why I kept running.  I run because it shows me what I am made of as a human being. There is something so honest about running. There is no way to fake it-you just have to DO it.  The highs are euphoric and the lows are worse than you can imagine, but in between both extremes, there is just putting one foot in front of the other. Sometimes I think I can't go any further, but I can always take another step.

I learn a lot about myself during the good runs. The sense of accomplishment that they produce is wonderful--and totally necessary to keep going. But I learn more about myself during the bad runs. These are the runs that teach me that I have to keep going despite the way I feel. On these runs, the negative thoughts just flood my brain and there is NOTHING to do but run them out. The bad runs are the ones that break me down, and tear away all of my preconceived notions about what things SHOULD be like as opposed to the reality of what they are. Then, like a muscle, I build myself back even stronger.  If you're a runner, then you understand.

I sit before you today a different person than I was a year ago. A year ago, I was sad. I could say a lot of things about what I was, but I think that they all mean that I was sad. Today, I am NOT sad. I am filled with gratitude at the most amazing year of my life. I have the most amazing husband, children, friends, family!! They have all been so supportive and loving and they really helped make this year nearly perfect.

I want to thank all of you for reading my blog this year. I never thought that anyone would, to be honest!! I have loved getting to know lots of you, and am very grateful for the friendships I have formed online this year.

2010 is finished. I hope that everyone has a safe and happy New Year, and let's bring on 2011!! I'm going to run a marathon, what are you going to do?

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

The Bitching Hour

I have nothing good to say today. There are times when I feel like I've come very far in the past year. This is not one of those times. This is a day for staying in my pajamas all day, feeling sorry for myself, and complaining.
I am TIRED of fighing against the current here! For the past week, all I have wanted to do is crumple into a ball and sleep. I have NO motivation to exercise, to eat well, or to get out of bed. My children and I are both on Christmas break from school. Therefore, there is nothing making me get up in the morning. My day has no focus...they are all blending together and moving by in a blur. I hate myself for being so weak that something like a simple change in routine can derail me so completely..I feel like yesterday's blog post was FAKE. I have become so used to being positive that its difficult to acknowledge when I don't feel that way. I don't know if I've ever mentioned this...I don't remember...but I suffer from chronic depression. It comes in spells...the vast majority of the time, I am completely normal, but when it hits, it hits hard. 2009 was one of the worst years of my life, and I have spent most of 2010 recovering from it! I'm not saying that its happening again...I know that it isn't...but it still frustrates me how quickly I go back to old patterns!! When I don't have the motivation to exercise (or even get DRESSED), it makes me sick to my STOMACH!! So it doesn't matter how far I've come, how well I've learned to take care of myself, mentally and physically?? Everything can just go to shit because of something completely normal like CHRISTMAS VACATION??? This is ridiculous.
And I know how it must sound!! I have nothing to bitch about...I love my life, I love my family, I love love love love LOVE!!! But I don't love this weakness...I don't love not being able to bitch slap this drudgery in the face. And I know that without the proper exercise and nutrition, my body feels bad. When my body feels bad, my mind automatically follows, and thus begins the vicious cycle which takes months and months to get out of, and only a couple of days to slip into again. Its disgusting, I'm disgusting, my family and friends deserve better.

Monday, December 27, 2010

Holiday Damage

....wasn't TOO horrible. I weighed in this morning at 202.2, which is a .6 gain from last week. I'll take it, especially as I chose to pig out partake in all of the yummy holiday foods this weekend!

 I'm learning more and more about myself and food, now that I'm paying attention. For instance, when there is a lot of rich food in the house my instinct is to eat it all as quickly as possible-that way it won't be there to tempt me later! I admit, I "got rid" of a lot of lasagna and cake this way. Do any of you have this tendency? Really, its insanity...but I have to admit that I do feel better now that all of the food is gone.

Got a few good runs in last week...and also got some thermal undies so that I can run more comfortably in this weather ;). I hope it works!!

Anyway, this is a short post. I'm still tired out from (a wonderful) Christmas. Got some Bondibands that I can't wait to use, though!! And Santa also brought me some roller blades that I plan on using for cross training. I used to LOVE roller blading, so I'm really excited about this. The more movement, the better! Right? Right!

Oh yeah...I didn't reach my goal to be under 200 by Christmas, obviously. Next goal is to be under 200 by January 1st!! I would LOVE to start out 2011 in the 100's...and never ever go back!!

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Merry Christmas

Here's hoping that Santa made it safely to all of your homes!! I wish all of you a holiday filled with joy, family, and yummy food!! And cuddly little kitty cats!! (My own preference)



Oh, and I really want to thank all of you for reading and sticking with me throughout this year. Your support and kind words of encouragement have meant EVERYTHING to me. Merry, Merry, Merry Christmas!!!

Thursday, December 23, 2010

The Battle of the Playground Equipment

Sometimes I feel like I'm split in half, and both parts of me are playing on a seesaw, and one of them won't cooperate. Weird analogy, right? Whatever, I've got nothing better today. Point is, balance is just something that doesn't come naturally for me! Which is strange, because I'm a Libra, you know. Scales and what not--I am a poor example of a Libra! They should kick me out.
Anyway, if I had to sum up the lessons I've learned in 2010 (which I will do in a later post), I think the word that I would keep coming back to is balance.  This year I have seen the worst and the best of myself trying to battle it out to see who can claim their territory.  I'm starting to realize that they're just going to have to live with each other, because neither one is going to give up. Balance...a work in progress.
Last week, I felt myself slipping back into some old habits and I made the decision to go ahead and try to stop the downward spiral. So far this week, I've done pretty well.
I've run twice! Both runs were only a little over 2 miles, but I was very pleased with them for several reasons. First, I ran them without taking more than two short walk breaks. Which means that I haven't lost as much fitness as I told myself I had--more subconscious excuses so that I don't have to try so hard, I guess. Second, I ran them at my easy pace, which used to be 13-14 minutes a mile BUT is now about 11.5. The only thing I can figure is that I'm getting a little bit faster now that some weight is starting to come off.  YAY!! Third, I felt strong and capable and I enjoyed myself.  I think I'm finally ready to start training for something again. Don't know what yet...it isn't marathon time. But I know it isn't going to be C25k--I don't need it, I can still run. I think deep down I knew that before but I was just trying to find a way to make things easier on myself without feeling guilty about it.
I also feel like I've come a long way with my relationship to food! Yesterday I craved a doughnut for breakfast. The hubby (very generously) went to our local doughnut shop and bought a dozen of my favorite kind. When he got home, I had ONE. And it was enough. I was very surprised about that--sorta scared that I would eat six or seven (like normal)...but one was really enough. I gave the rest away, had a green smoothie, went for a run that afternoon, and burned it off. Things like this have been happening a lot lately. I don't deprive myself of anything that I want, I don't have the ability to. I'm too much of a hedonist at heart. But I'm still meeting all of my nutritional needs and staying under my calorie goal. It's almost like...I can enjoy food without binging on it. What a concept!
So...I guess I'm doing better at balance. Maybe Bad Jenny and Good Jenny are finally learning to play together nicely on the seesaw?? I know Bad Jenny though...that bitch is going to wait until Good Jenny isn't looking and she's going to bump her side as hard as she can and hope that Good Jenny sails through the air and lands far, far away. Good Jenny is going to be practicing constant vigilance in the meantime.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Pleasant Surprises

OK, first and foremost--I lost 2 pounds this week!! I don't get it, I don't know how it happened, and I certainly didn't deserve that number, but there it is! I weighed myself 3 times to make sure. I'm now at 201.6...and less than 2 pounds away from being out of the 200's! I'm not one to look a gift horse in the mouth, so I'm going to commit extra hard this week with both nutrition and exercise. In fact, I've already done a little strength training routine today and I'm definitely going for a run this afternoon.

Second--and this was an awesome surprise--I was tagged in Jeff's blog to answer 5 running questions.  This actually came at a great time for me, because I really needed to sit down and remember why running is important to me and why its worth fighting for. I've let myself cop out too much lately, and that's over.
Jeff (Detroit Runner) is new to blogging but he is already attracting a large following  and his blog is just cool. From what I can tell, he is an AMAZING runner and too damn modest about it. Everyone should check him out. Anyway, here are the questions:

1. What are you most fond of accomplishing in 2010?
This one is easy. My half-marathon in October. It was the first thing that I ever finished, and also the most fun experience of my life. I also never thought that I would be able to do it, so pushing my boundaries like that really changed my life permanently I think. Plus I finished 10 minutes under my goal, and I ran the entire thing, albeit slowly.

2. What is your favorite race?
I only did two races this year. The Run for the Roost 5k in September, and the 3rd Annual Augusta Half-Marathon in October. Obviously, the half was my favorite race. It took place in the town that I grew up in, and I got to run through familiar streets, which put a nice air of nostalgia into the whole mix. My childhood best friend was there as well, along with my parents and my husband and some dear family friends. It all added up to be a perfect day.

3.What are your running goals for 2011?
I'm glad this question is in there. I've given it a lot of thought, and I've decided to stick with my original goal of doing the Rock n Roll Savannah Marathon in November. I think I can be careful to not let it interfere with my weight loss, and I'm going to follow through with this because it is important to me. I would also like to be able to run a 5k in under 35 minutes...I hate speed training,but I'm hoping that I will naturally get faster as my weight drops.

4. What is your favorite holiday guilty pleasure?
Hmm. I would have to say Pannettone. It is an Italian sweet bread, sort of like a fruit cake, only GOOD. It makes for awesome French toast, and my parents get me at least one loaf every year. As I type, it is sitting in my kitchen mocking me, and I know I'm going to break down and eat it soon.

5. What was your most embarrassing running moment?
I don't really have any embarrassing stories to tell, if you decide not to count the fact that people probably see how slow I'm going and then laugh at me. I will say this, though--all the expert advice tells you to not run a race in any gear that you have not previously tried and they are RIGHT! I ran in a pair of new capris during my half, and it wasn't until the race started that I realized they were too big!! They kept slipping down, and I kept having to pull them up for the first couple of miles. After that, they were ok...I still don't know why they stopped falling off, unless God decided to have mercy on me? At any rate, I was thankful!

Here are the people I'm tagging because I think they are awesome and I love reading their blogs:
1. Kim at Bookworm Runs
2. Crystal at Am I a Runner or Just Crazy
3. Suzy at Happy with 13.1
4. Meredith at Run is the New Walk
5. Andrea at Mama on the Run

I hope everyone has a great week! I plan to be back very soon reporting on all of my running adventures-remember, its accountability that wins the fight!!

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Standing Up to Me

OK, I just had  a sorta mental breakthrough, I think!!

I haven't worked very hard this week. I don't know what's been up with me and running lately, but I just haven't been getting out there to do it. It's having such a chain effect on me, and I didn't fully realize that until this morning.

My eating has been slipping a little bit every day, too. Not that I've gone over my calories--until yesterday, I was staying within them just fine. But I was getting closer and closer to the threshold...and then yesterday afternoon- BAM! My husband brought home some danish butter cookies and a loaf of french bread shaped like a candy cane from work. It was his company's Christmas gift to the employees.  I was doing fine with my calories until then-better than fine actually-but I was hungry. I got up to get some baby carrots and I wound up cutting a huge piece of bread and buttering it and eating that instead!! It was sooooooo good...but it didn't fill me up, so I had another one. Then after that, I was ravenous, and I descended upon the butter cookies!! Oh My God....it was bliss!!

It was at this point I decided not to write these calories down because I didn't want to know what they were. I made the conscious decision to keep eating and hide. My husband made steak for dinner...I totally didn't mean to eat the whole thing but I did. The "screw it" mentality had totally taken over.  More cookies after dinner....why not, right? The damage was already done.

I woke up this morning feeling very guilty about yesterday. I also felt like a cad for only exercising once this week. And not to mention---TERRIFIED about my weigh in tomorrow! I feel like I can't face what the scale says. I just won't be able to take it if I step on tomorrow and find out that I have undone some or all of my hard work. Then what? Then what has all of this been for??

It's almost enough to send a girl running for her covers!!

And that was when it hit me!! This has so little to do with the food that I've eaten. This is about ACCOUNTABILITY.   I was adopting my old mentality of ignoring things and hoping they would go away. I didn't want to write my calories down so I didn't have to face what I had eaten. I've been telling myself every day that I'm going to get out the door for a run, and every day I just wind up "forgetting" about it until its too late to go. This is WHY I gained all the weight in the first place. Once I stop paying attention to what I'm doing, all bets are off.

I don't know why that is, but really, how hard is it to log in what I eat? It takes about 10 seconds. How hard is it to go for a run? I love to run--at least, I used to. I miss the high, I miss the feeling of accomplishment. Why am I letting it all slip away from me? Is it just in my nature to become complacent and let nothing but my need for pleasure take over and make me lose perspective over everything that is important to me? Is it possible to write a sentence that is longer than the one I just wrote?? Probably, knowing me!!Lol. Anyway!!

I don't know why I have slipped this week, but I'm not slipping anymore. I'm taking my power back NOW before this gets out of hand. There will be time for self introspection later, now is the time for action!! I'm off to go log in my calories and do some exercise. Maybe I can still salvage this week, maybe not. But if I have to fight me for me, that's what I will do.

And tomorrow...I'm facing that scale. I am going to own whatever it says. It may not be pretty, but knowing is half the battle!!

And I'm going into battle....

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

Wii Fit Fun!! (Eyeroll)

I've really been trying to find some new alternatives for exercise lately and unfortunately my Pussycat Dolls workout DVD has suffered a terminal scratch and will now be laid to rest. :(
So I decided to do the Wii Fit for a little while today! I used to do it all the time before I started running and I thought it offered a really good workout. I started off with the Wii Fit Island Run. I've only done this twice before because it just wore me out too badly. Anyway...so I did it and I didn't even break a sweat and it only offered about ten darn minutes of exercise. The funny thing about it was that the two previous times I did it, my burn rate results were 35% and 48%. I remember thinking "What in the world do you have to do to get a good score on this?" Well, today my burn rate was 115%!!! That made me laugh. I guess these past few months have made at least a slight difference in my fitness levels, eh?
Aside from the amusment factor, I wasn't too thrilled with Wii Fit this time around. It was boring and I burned only like 98 calories and none of the exercises made me feel like I was accomplishing anything! So I gave up and just went for a brisk walk outside. I could've run, but I took the hubby along for entertainment value.
Wii Fit isn't exercise!! I can't believe I used to think it was!

Here is a video making fun of it like it deserves:

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Would It Be Insane.....????

Ok, I can barely write this down because it sounds so dumb to me but I really don't know if it IS. I was just thinking this morning about exercise and my running and how my running isn't where I want it to be right now...and then this idea just popped into my head.

What if I did the Couch to 5k program?

Yes, I did just run a half marathon. I realize that. But it was almost two months ago and I haven't run further than 4 miles since. And that was only once. Realistically, I think I've lost a lot of my fitness. I have to take more and more walk breaks, my breathing is just out of control all the time. I don't know if the cold weather may have something to do with that??

This is why doing C25k appeals to me right now:
  • It would be like following a training program, which would definitely get me out of the house and burning calories!
  • BUT it wouldn't be too much pressure, either. It would be something that I know I could do and wouldn't be ultra time consuming.
  • There's a 5k in April that I want to run, and I think a good goal would be to run the entire thing.
  • Maybe it would make me a faster runner? (Not that that matters to me at all, of course it doesn't.)
  • It would be a structured way for me to focus on losing all the walk breaks without feeling like I failed everytime I start to walk.
And this is why it doesn't appeal to me:

  • It feels like a huge backward step.
  • My ego doesn't want to admit that I may need it.
So, anyway, I don't know. I could download the podcasts and just get out there, eh? Or perhaps I should just "shut up and run". Hehe...love that blog...

Anyone have an opinion on the topic??

Monday, December 13, 2010

Monday Weigh In

Okay, here are today's results. I'm down 1.2 pounds this week for a total of 11.4 pounds. I'm happy with this.  Last week it was t.o.m. plus nothing but stress anyway so I'm surprised that I'm down anything. I only got out to exercise twice because of the weather. I really need to bump up the exercise...I'm going to start trying to find some things I can do indoors in addition to my running so I can increase my calorie burn. :0)

Like I said in a previous post, though, I did really well with my food...I feel like food and I are starting to come to an understanding with each other. I won't eat every meal like its my last, and the food will still be there for me the next time I'm hungry. ;)

And thanks for all your kind words last week. Things are looking up, and I am DETERMINED to have a much better week this week!! And I doubt that will present much of a challenge!

Okay, I'm off to do a Pussycat Dolls Workout DVD! Don't hate!!

Saturday, December 11, 2010

On Running--A Rant

This post has been building up inside of me for a while now, and I haven't written it yet because I just haven't been sure where to start or just exactly what my bottom line was. But I'm just going to type until I feel better, so bare with me.

Like millions of other people across America, I watched The Biggest Loser on Tuesday night. It was the marathon episode. I've been an on and off watcher of the Biggest Loser for the past few seasons, but I've never really paid attention to the marathon episodes before. Needless to say, I was really looking forward to watching it this time around (now that I'm an expert on the subject and all. Ha.)  I was really surprised by a few things. First, they only gave the contestants 30 days to train for the marathon. What?? OK, whatever, I guess they were just in fantastic shape. Second, Ada was the only one who really trained for the damn thing. She had an awesome time, too, much better than I could pull off if I were to try to run one anytime soon. Elizabeth made a comment that she had only run 8 miles before the marathon. Again, WHAT? That's just stupid! And her time reflected it, too...7.5 hours to complete! Even I could do better than that, probably today. But Elizabeth sucks anyway and I sure do hope that none of you vote for her! Third, Ada lost the least amount of weight. Even Sucky Elizabeth lost more weight than she did!! Way unfair.

I've read a few blogs and message boards rehashing the whole Biggest Loser Marathon subject over the last few days. Some people brought up some great points, other people just made me angry. One blogger pointed out something that had a pretty heavy impact on me:  Marathon Training Does Not Equal Weight Loss.  I should have the word DUH tattooed on my forehead for being blown away by this little statement.  I mean, like I said in an earlier post, I've basically proven that to myself already while training for my half.  Now that the weight is finally coming off of me, I have to admit that I am only running a fraction of the distance that I was when I was training.  I'm losing weight because I have cut my calorie consumption drastically, something that (especially during my last 6 weeks or so of training) would not have been the wisest thing for me to do while training.  Granted, I totally admit that I could have made major improvements with my diet, but even under the best of circumstances I don't think I would have lost much weight. In fact, as I seem to be reading over and over and over again, most people who train for marathons actually GAIN WEIGHT during training.  Its really not a surprise when you think of all the muscle you put on (I know I did) and all the calories you have to consume to help your body recover.

So where does this leave me now, I'm wondering?? There's no way that I'm going to be down to my goal weight by the time I would need to start training for the RnR marathon in November. I still have 74 pounds left to go! Do I put the weight loss aside while training or do I try to do both or do I just weight until I reach goal weight before I try to take on a marathon?? I don't know, and I guess I don't have to decide right now, but it bothers me not to have a plan set in motion either way. I do know that I totally lost sight of the weight loss aspect until I ran my half. I got consumed with running (no regrets) and forgot my original goal for awhile. I don't know if I should do that again.

And so that gets me thinking why do I even want to run a stupid marathon in the first place? I've seen a lot of blogs and online posts lately from "real runners" who I seem to have nothing in common with. First of all, these people dedicate their lives to running and making a PR. Good for them. Second, they all have really expensive equipment that I can't even fathom spending the money on. Fine. Third, a lot of them seem to have a really bad attitude towards people like me!! Fake runners, I suppose. I've seen a lot of people advocating 5 hour time limits for marathons saying that slow runners clog up the streets and cost the city too much money and dumb down the greatness of the marathon! WHAT?? Back to that in a minute, but first I will repeat my original question.

Why do I want to run a marathon?  Well, I'm really not sure. Mostly because I want to accomplish something great and I know that I'm not going to do it with a 5k PR. I'm not a fast runner. I don't enjoy running fast and I'm not good at it. But I've proven to myself that I can go the distance. I know now that I have the ability to set a goal, train for it, and accomplish it...beating back my own personal demons along the way who only want me to fail. Crossing the finish line--hell, crossing the STARTING line-- at my half marathon was a great feeling. One that I want again. Only now I know that I can do a half. The thought of doing another one to improve my time does not interest me as much as the thought of pushing myself to go twice as far. Testing my next distance boundary and conquering it.  I like the feeling of accomplishing something that I once thought impossible.

Soooo....it really hurts my feelings to think that some runners would look down on me and my little accomplishments. Some runners would rather that I not be able to participate in the marathon at all because I wouldn't finish within 5 hours and would therefore be somehow dragging down their own accomplishments. Some runners would advise me to stick with distances "more appropriate for me" like a half or a 10k. Apparently the marathon is some sort of holy grail that only the elite should be able to tackle. Apparently letting in the slow runners is simply a way for the city to make more money and it doesn't show "respect for the distance." Apparently running a marathon is just becoming "trendy" making everyone want to do it!!

Okay, so here is what I have to say to these people. Screw you.  SCREW YOU SCREW YOU SCREW YOU. If you think that I will drag your race down if I run a 6 hour marathon, then you might need to work on your own self esteem instead of trying to crush mine. If you think slow runners aren't trying every bit as hard for their 11 minute miles as you are for your 7 minute ones then you are an ignoramus and I feel sorry for you. Speed does not equal effort, you ASS. I ran a 2:50 half marathon so I guess I'm just a joke because a "real runner" should be able to make it in under 2 hours. Well, maybe my 2:50 had something to do with a fact that I'm a 28 year old obese woman who had absolutely no fitness base whatsoever before I started running 6 months prior to the race. I busted my ASS training for that race and I think that my time was pretty amazing!!! And if you can't stand it that I have the same medal hanging on my wall as you do for your finish in 1:45, then I am so sorry for you. And if when I do decide to run a marathon, I am not going to shed one little tear over the fact that you don't think I deserve to be there because I'm not fast enough.  I am going to complete something wonderful and amazing and stick my tongue out at your back as I choke on your dust while you pass me. With a smile on my face. NAH NAH NAH NAH BOO BOO.

With all that being said, I realize that by far and wide, the running community is super supportive. I've never been ridiculed or made to feel like anything less than a hero at either race I've done, despite my slow time.  I've just read some things on some message boards lately that have really affected me, and its my blog so I get to rant when I want to!

If you're still with me, thanks for reading. I still don't know what I'm going to do about the marathon. I guess time will tell--it's still almost a year away. My instinct right now is that I have to make weight loss my number one priority but I don't want to give up my marathon.

I guess I'm just going to have to strive toward balance...whatever that is.

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Emotional Eating...or not

This is a hard week for me.  Some things have happened in my personal life that have really just thrown me for a loop and punched me in the stomach.  On top of that, its TOM (which usually isn't regular at all but this month arrived right on time for some reason) which is making me extra sad and weepy. So I've actually spent the last few days crying and moping and going to bed at 8 o clock just to escape the day...NOT very pleasant, if you were wondering!!

But the purpose of this post isn't to make you feel sorry for me. (Although if you want to, please feel free). It is to tell you about the one positive thing that I've picked up on this week.

I'M NOT TURNING TO FOOD.

Really. If this were to have happened to me 3 months ago, I'd be through two full chocolate cakes and a whole bucket of fried chicken by now. Not to mention all the mac and cheese and potato salad....okay, I'm getting off track here. Point is, that's not happening. In fact, food hasn't even OCCURRED to me until this morning when I woke up and realized that I am not comfort - eating. This is a pretty major accomplishment for me, and one that I can take pride in right now.

And the weird thing...I think that, because I'm not filling up this hole inside of me with pounds and pounds of food, I am allowing myself to feel what I need to feel in order to get through this. There is really nowhere to hide and I'm just dealing with things the best I can. It hurts, oh it hurts bad, but I know that I NEED to cry these tears right now and that when I am able to put things behind me, they will really be behind me because these emotions will have been dealt with.

So there is the silver lining in my life's humongous cloud right now...it is a very pretty and picturesque lining, and I will enjoy admiring it until the cloud dissipates.

Monday, December 6, 2010

Finally!! (Monday Weigh In and a Little Announcement)

I am happy to report that I am down 2.8 this week, which makes my weight 204.8. I have FINALLY passed the 10 lb threshold! I began trying to lose weight in April of this year. I started running. I hurt my knee. I healed and kept running. I trained for a half marathon. I RAN a half marathon. How did all that affect my weight? Nothing, zip, zero, zilch, NADA!! I sort of feel like I have scientifically proven to the universe that exercise doesn't make you lose weight. But anyway!!

I haven't given up the running, by the way. I don't really track my running on Daily Mile anymore because I'm trying to log it into My Fitness Pal and its a totally different system there. MFP only counts your miles per hour, not your pace per minute. Actually, most of my runs are still too slow for me to even log them into MFP as runs!! Lol. It usually qualifies as brisk walking...but whatever. I am still running, is the point.

I was supposed to do a 5k this Saturday, but decided not to. It was a bridge run, and I just flat out didn't feel like doing all that hill training to get ready for it. Ever since the half, I'm really enjoying just running for myself. No pressure, no specific distance, just me and my legs and my breath. I feel like I'm being reminded of why I fell in love with running in the first place. I'm gonna continue to just run for me for awhile. BUT that doesn't mean that I'm going to slack off on my running goals, oh no. Just the opposite in fact.

So here is my official announcement that I am going to be running the Rock 'n' Roll Savannah MARATHON on November 5, 2011.



 Yes, I said marathon. 26.2...the whole way. Yes, its almost a whole year from now, but what do ya want from me?? I just started running a few months ago!! Its going to take me a long time to train for this one. Anyway, I figured I would go ahead and tell you guys now. Once I say something on The Blog, I just have an awful time taking it back. I think I blogged (not trained) my way into running the half.

I hope everyone has a great week!! Oh, and I'm going to try to be under 200 by Christmas!!!

Monday, November 29, 2010

Monday Weigh In---Small Victories

Well....I wasn't thrilled with these weigh in results, but they could have been a lot worse, so I am content. Today's weight was 207.6...which is down .6 of a pound since last week. Which means....I LOST WEIGHT OVER THANKSGIVING!!! Okay, yeah, I am kinda thrilled.

These results were despite the fact that I majorly overate on Friday. I had like 3 turkey dinners on Friday!!! I was a woman possessed---I couldn't stop!!! On Saturday night, I went out with my BFF for drinks and dessert to celebrate her new job. I had a piece of strawberry cake and two glasses of Reisling wine...BUT I'm totally proud of myself because I planned for these calories, knew in advance what I was going to order, and ran 4 miles Saturday afternoon in order to get ready for my splurge. Now, I still probably shouldn't have eaten the cake due to my little turkey episode on Friday, but screw it. Its the holidays and I'm NOT going to be one of those women who are terrified of every calorie they consume. I still maintain that's no way to live!!! So just because I'm counting them now, does not mean that they are going to rule my life and take over my existence!!

Anyway, this week I'm planning to pump up the running and MAKE myself start strength training. WAHHHHH!!!!! I feel like a whiny baby about that one!! I despise any exercise that isn't cardio. But we'll see how it goes!!

I hope everyone survived Thanksgiving okay!!

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Happy Belated Thanksgiving!

Just wanted to check in real quick. I hope everyone had a fantastic Thanksgiving! I will call mine...semi successful. I DID get up and run two miles Thanksgiving morning. I DID start my day with a green smoothie. I DID only have one plate of food and one piece of cake for dessert. I DID go on a long walk with the hubs Thanksgiving night. All of these things I consider successes, especially for me.
Here is where I didn't do so hot: I grazed on the turkey ( and turkey skin) after it came out of the oven before we sat down to dinner. I had a few bites of cake as soon as my sister brought it in. All in all, I would say Thursday was a definite success for me. However, FRIDAY came and with it came leftovers and I am sorry to say, I had a plate of turkey and mashed potatoes for lunch yesterday and TWO PLATES of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and gravy for dinner. I am so ashamed to tell you that, even as I write this, the thought of that food is making me feel like I'm starving all over again.  And to top it all off, I was as lazy as lazy gets yesterday. I barely moved off of the couch. I didn't even input my calories to MyFitnessPal yesterday.
Thankfully....all the leftovers are gone now and I'm starting over. I'm going on a run this afternoon and I'm going to be watching my calories extra closely for the next two days. It may be crazy, but I'm still hoping to weigh in Monday with a loss. ANY LOSS! I'll take it!

I guess holidays and setbacks are going to happen. The most important thing is to pick yourself back up and start again. Which I'm doing right now. Gotta go...need another green smoothie!!!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Monday Weigh In, The Sequel

I'm not a very good blogger lately. I wonder if anyone is still reading this? Anyway, if you are....GUESS WHAT!!! I'm down to 208!!!

It has been a YEAR since I weighed 208...I will never forget the day, it was a weekday morning last October and I was over at my best friend's house for coffee. I hadn't weighed myself in a while and decided to step on the scale and it said 208. I burst into tears--until that day, I didn't know that I was over 200 pounds. I'd never been over 200 in my entire life!! I knew that I'd put on some weight, but the last time I'd checked the scale had been 5 months prior and it said 185.  So, basically, I'd put on over 30 pounds in 5 months...I was shocked.

I wish I could say that that was the day I decided to get it together and start losing weight, but unfortunately I chose to drown my sorrows in food and cigarettes for another few months. My highest weight was 217.

ANYWAY, fast forward a year, and I'm back to 208, but MUCH happier about it this time around! I'm also smoke free and have completed a half marathon! What a difference a year makes, right??

For those of you keeping track, I've lost 7 pounds in the past two weeks. Go me!! I can't wait to see that scale dip below 200 again! Once it does, I am NEVER going back!!!!

Monday, November 15, 2010

Monday Weigh In!!

OMG!!! Omg. Omg. OMG!!!

Oh. My. God.

The scale did something strange this morning. It dropped below 212.8 for the first time since....um...well since way before I decided to start losing weight!! I'm not even going to lie to you, I'd sorta convinced myself that the scale was broken...because obviously somebody training for a half marathon would be losing gads and gads of weight, correct? Whatever!

So! One consistent week of eating right (with the exception of Tuesday) and getting just moderate exercise resulted in...

211.0!!!

What???? Do you have any idea how long its been since I've seen that number on the scale? A long flippin time, I'll tell you that. (This is a 4.4 pound weight loss, by the way, since I was back up to 215).

I am so happy right now but I feel like a MORON too!! Like I said, this happened with just one week of eating right, and nowhere near the exercise that I'd been getting while training. Just goes to show you the importance of food---I sure had my head buried in the sand when it came to that. Oh well. I shall be ignorant no more!!

I'm off to make a green smoothie. I can't wait to see what the scale says next week!!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Three Out of Four Days Ain't Bad

I think I did pretty good this week! I have to say, watching every single calorie that I put into my mouth is very annoying eye opening!! Anyway, here's a quick breakdown of every day.

Monday-Green smoothie for breakfast, small salad for lunch, a few almonds, LOTS of water and a cup of hot green tea. I don't think I ate enough during the day, though, because I had seconds on meatloaf at dinner. I did stay within my calorie range, but by dinner time I was STARVING and could think of nothing but shoveling as much food in my head as possible! Even so, my calories for the day were only 1082...with about 700 of them coming from dinner.

Tuesday- Bad day!! I had to go eat breakfast with my daughter at her school that day. They served us sausage biscuits, blueberry muffins, and apple juice. I was hungry and ate it all, justifying to myself that it was okay because I had no choice but to come and eat with her. After that, the "oh, well, I already screwed up so may as well go for it" feeling kicked in and I'm sorry to report that I ate like a pig the rest of the day. Not only that, but I ate out EVERY SINGLE MEAL on Tuesday. My calorie count was through the roof-like 3000. I'm ashamed.

Wednesday- Great day! I had my smoothie in the morning and motivated myself to get off my ass and I ran/walked a mile and a half in the morning before school. First time EVER I decided to go running before school. The rest of the day was great, too. I went on a 4 mile walk with my hubby later that day, and made him run quite a bit of it with me. I had lots of fruits and lots of veggies, and I made sure to eat more than I did on Monday, but healthy things. I totaled 1500 calories for the day.

Thursday- A lot like Wednesday. Started out with my green smoothie and a banana. Chicken soup & a (carefully measured) PBJ for lunch. Snacked on apples, carrots, and pretzels throughout the day and I made a nice homemade soup for dinner with lots of veggies. I did have a cup of ice cream for dessert. My calories totaled 1639, and I went on another 4 mile walk/run with Jeremy (who is also counting calories now).

I learned a few lessons this week. #1- I have to start my day out healthy! As of right now, I don't have the mental strength to do a turnaround if I start out eating crap. Maybe that will come sometime in the future. #2 I have to eat throughout the day or I will totally pig out at dinner time.  #3 Chicken noodle soup has all my recommended daily sodium! Wow. I never paid attention to how much sodium was in things before.

So anyway, I'm making progress. I'm out of spinach, so instead of a smoothie this morning I had a yogurt and some apple with peanut butter for breakfast. After that I went to WalMart and decided to treat myself to a new book- Eat This, Not That.

So anyway, I'm making progress. I'm out of spinach, so instead of a smoothie this morning I had a yogurt and some apple with peanut butter for breakfast. After that I went to WalMart and decided to treat myself to a new book- Eat This, Not That. I'm the type of person who, every time I undertake something different has to read a book on it! And since I'm paying attention to calories now like never before...anyway, so the book has an Egg McMuffin on the cover and said it was only 300 calories! All of a sudden I was craving an Egg McMuffin! I came sooo close to buying one, but I reminded myself that I need to start out my day with healthful food, so I didn't. That was a major victory for me, let me just tell you!!

Here comes the weekend. Wish me luck!!

Monday, November 8, 2010

Cleanse

Enough of all the crap eating. I've made myself sick over the past few days by eating all the junk, and today I'm starting fresh. I'm sick of excuses...I KNOW how to do this. Its just a matter of doing it!
So today I'm doing a (makeshift) cleanse to get the ball rolling. Nothing but green smoothies, raw fruits and veg, water, and green tea. I will probably break this at dinner time, but I'm going to attempt to stick the rest of the week out doing green smoothies and salads during the day. I went grocery shopping today and STOCKED UP on healthy groceries, so no excuses there.
I have also set a goal of NO eating out this week. This is a real issue for me...I normally eat out at least 10 meals a week. And from what I've learned by tracking my calories over the past few weeks, a lot of the restaurant food that I thought was (relatively) healthy is NOT. Food has way more calories than I gave it credit for!
A piece of good news...I haven't gained any weight from last week! I'm still back up to 215, but no major damage was done.

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Beginning To See What the Problem Is

OK, so my race was two weeks ago and the glow that I've been basking in is finally starting to let up a little bit. In its place (unfortunately) some hard realities are setting in. I haven't been doing much as far as diet or exercise goes the past two weeks, but the one thing that I have been doing (give myself a quick pat on the back) has been tracking my calories. This isn't like the other times I've tracked them...you know, do it for a few days while I'm motivated and being super good, and then when its time for the huge piece of chocolate cake, I'm done tracking...has anyone else ever been like that? Or am I the only completely pathetic one here?
ANYHOO, so I've tracked them-the good, the bad, and the ugly. I haven't restricted my calorie intake, but have just eaten completely normally. This has been soo eye opening. Here are some things I've learned about my eating habits:

  • On my worst days, I take in about 2900 calories.  That's a lot, but less than I would have thought my binge days would be. I was thinking at least five or six thousand?
  • On my good days, I eat around 1400 calories.
  • Even on my good days, I still have sugar...in the form of candy, cookies, or cakes.
  • On EVERY SINGLE DAY, I have gone over my recommended sodium intake. On some days, I've more than doubled it, but even on the best day that was recorded, I went over by 300mg.
  • I give myself more credit for eating vegetables than I deserve. I eat meat, carbs (like rice and potatoes), fat, and sugar sugar sugar.
So...yeah. Maybe I'm running across some clues as to why I'm not losing weight? Is excess sodium a factor in obesity? I LOVE ME SOME SALT.

Oh, another thing I've noticed, now that I've been paying more attention. This last week was super stressful, especially yesterday. I've realized that when I decide that I'm dealing with undue stress that I do not deserve, I give myself total license to eat whatever I want to that day.

I'm sure that the scale is going to be very harsh with me on Monday morning. I expect it, and I know that I deserve it. BUT I'm not going to say that these last two weeks have been for nothing, either. I've spent a good deal of these last few years feeling helpless when it comes to food and weight gain, and paying no attention to my diet. At least now I'm getting to know my habits better, and I truly believe that information is the first step. I know this probably sounds silly, but seeing my food intake right there in black and white is a lot different than grazing through my day and forgetting about the food as soon as I've eaten it. ( I bakes sugar cookies yesterday and ate NINE of them. NINE!!!! I'm so ashamed of myself)

Another thing I've learned: trying to will myself to NOT do something is a lot harder than getting off the couch and doing something. In other words, it takes ten times more mental stamina for me to resist a sugar cookie than it does to go on a 5 mile run. But this is what it comes down to..this is the real battle!

Does anyone have any advice as to how to proceed forward from this point? Should I post what I eat every day for accountability? That would get boring to read, right? Should I make a ridiculously hard to accomplish goal, like losing 50 pounds in the next three months?  Or should I just shut up and eat poached chicken and celery for every meal? I see so many of you resisting temptations and I do NOT envy the kind of things that you're eating, but those numbers on the scale keep going down!! Maybe I should just grow up, right? Its just that I KNOW I could lose weight on some kind of Jenny Craig diet, but I also KNOW that I would gain it back once it was over. I really just want to "fix" my disordered eating so that this won't be a problem again.

HELP me.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Augusta Half Marathon Race Recap

I have attempted a lot of things in my 28 years. I've tried college (many a time), fad diets, Catholicism, smoking, quitting smoking, veganism, writing a novel, starting my own home business, you name it. I can begin things with gusto, but it wasn't until last Sunday that I finally finished something I'd started. As I crossed the finish line of the 3rd Annual Augusta Half Marathon, surrounded by my family and friends, I felt a sense of peace that I have never experienced before in my life. I did it. I am a half-marathoner...I am a finisher.


The week before the race was not a good week for me. My running went severely downhill, and I could barely run a mile without stopping to walk. I was burnt out, tired, and zapped of all my self-confidence. I felt more like I was being led to my death than a race. I actually found myself wondering if I had really experienced any growth at all over the last few months, because I felt as if I was right back to the scared, self loathing person that I was in April.

On Saturday morning my sister-in-law came up from Florida to babysit the kids for the weekend, and Jeremy, our friend John, and I took off for Augusta. We got an earlier start than we had planned, so we got to the race expo as soon as it started. It was teensy tiny at that point, and no vendors were even there yet, so I picked up my packet (Jeremy literally had to push me into the packet pick-up tent because I saw all of the "real" runners coming out and was so intimidated I was frozen in place), and we decided to drive the race route. Well, before we got back in the car, Jeremy and John insisted on taking a picture with the James Brown statue in downtown Augusta.



Whatever????

Anyway, so after they paid their respects to the Godfather of Soul, we drove the race route twice. It didn't look too bad, and the hill that I had been fearing was long, but not awfully steep. I knew I had run on worse. It was while driving on the route that I finally started to feel better and I knew that I had this. After we finished with that, we checked into the hotel and then they dropped me off at my high school best friend's house while they went off to do whatever it is they do. ( I actually lived in Augusta from when I was 11 until I was 17) So I got to hang out with Erin for a long time, and she took me out for my pre-race dinner. I had bread (lots of bread), rice, and some grilled shrimp and veggies. Good stuff.

It was after 10 when she dropped me back off at our hotel. I didn't even try to go to bed early...I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep. Instead, I got my race outfit together and pinned my number to my shirt, and made sure I had everything ready for in the morning. (This is totally unlike me...I am the most disorganized person you could ever hope to meet)

My race number was 123! How cool is that? I took it as a good omen...

After that I settled down to read John Bingham's The Courage to Start. Let me just say that I don't think that there is a better pre-race book for calming nerves and getting you excited to be alive. Anyway, long story short, we tried to sleep, but nobody succeeded with that. Everyone was wound up! This ended up being a good thing for two reasons: #1 I was up and ready to go early and didn't have to worry about rushing #2 While flipping through the channels at 4 am, we came upon The Joy of Painting on PBS!! Hello, show from my childhood!! Hello Mr. Happy Afro Guy and your happy little trees and streams and mountains! It was awesome...nuff said.

OK. We arrive at the race. Wow. I can't even describe the atmosphere. It was charged...there was just energy buzzing from everything. It was still dark outside and the air was perfect- cool and crisp. The man on the loudspeaker kept announcing how many more minutes until the race, runners were racing back and forth across the park doing their warm up runs, people kept shouting to each other, hugging each other, making PR predictions. It was a crazy feeling to be standing there among so many other people who had trained so hard to do the exact same thing that I was there to do, and I knew that it meant as much to all of them as it did to me. I guess that was my first real feeling of camaraderie with other runners. I just kept wandering around and soaking up everything. I almost burst into tears a lot before the race.






Right before the race. Look to the guy on the left in jean shorts. He ran the entire race in that outfit, and came in at 1:50!! In DENIM. He is a bad ass.


So its finally time to line up at the starting line. I get as far in the back as possible so I can let all the faster runners not have to deal with going around me. Then its time to sing the national anthem, and there I go again with the tears! But then I look over to my left and see a woman standing a few yards away holding a very large cat who is wearing a race number. That was an odd enough sight to stop my waterworks.

The gun goes off. I thought that I was in the back when I lined up, but I underestimated that, judging from all the runners who were flying past me. I almost got caught up in the excitement, but I knew that pacing myself from the beginning was going to be the most important factor of my success. So I just stuck with my easy 13 minute per mile pace and let them go. I felt strong, and that gave me confidence.

The first aid station was at mile 1, and from thereafter they would be at every other mile. The volunteers were awesome and enthusiastic and didn't laugh at me just because I was in the back of the pack. Who woulda thunk it?? I took my water and kept on running. By this time, runners who had rushed past me when the gun went off were stopping to take walk breaks. I passed them one by one, drawing immense satisfaction from the fact that I was still running.

After the mile 3 water station, I started climbing "The Hill". That's what all the locals were calling it..it was a 2 mile, gradual uphill climb. I took a few planned walk breaks during this time in order to conserve my energy. I managed to maintain 13 minute miles and had a great conversation with an old man and a young couple who were dressed like Batman and Robin. Towards the end of the hill, there were a bunch of locals cheering for us and assuring us that we were almost at the top.

Miles 5-8 were FUN. That was when it really occurred to me what a fantastic time I was having. During this time I was coming DOWN the hill, and I felt like I was flying. I didn't stop to walk at all except for at the mile 5 and mile 7 aid stations.  Which was amazing, because my last few training runs were just crappy. I guess you really should trust your training, because mine certainly paid off. I passed several more runners and finally became confident that I wasn't going to come in last!

At Mile 9, we turned onto Calhoun Expressway for the last leg of the course. I made it there by 9 o'clock on the dot, and it was then that I knew I was going to make my 3 hour goal. It actually hadn't been worrying me very much--I was having a great time and decided that no matter what my time ended up being, I wasn't going to ruin this accomplishment for myself. No matter the clock said, I had already decided that I was a bad ass.

Miles 9-12 were a little tough. I was still running, and I was still having a good time, but I began to feel my effort in my legs and in my lungs. A lot of the highway was another gradual uphill climb. For a little while there, I felt as if I'd hit a time warp. I was moving but I didn't feel like I was going anywhere.  I started playing tag with this girl who looked about my age. She was really nice, and as we would pass each other we would chat a little bit. Once she asked me what time it was, and when I told her, she was happy and said that the only thing she was worried about was coming in under 3 hours. I was like " Do you think we'll be able to?" And she was adamant about the fact that we would. Then she goes "We passed the Mile 10 sign a long time ago". I almost kissed her!! Apparently, I missed the mile 10 sign and I just kept looking for it. I thought we were still on mile 9 and we were almost at mile 11!! Woo hoo!! That gave me just the pick me up I needed to get through the rest of the race strong.

At mile 12, I exited the highway and headed back downtown for the last mile. This was awesome. The crowd was thick and everyone was cheering and screaming. They kept telling me I only had a little way left to go. Then I finally turned back onto the last street, where the finish line awaited me. It was far in the distance, but I could see it. I just kept running and running and running. As I turned the last corner into the park and ran for the finish line, people kept cheering "You go 123!! You go 123!!! You're almost there, 123!!" I looked up and saw my mom and my niece and they were screaming. I waved and then charged towards the finish line.

 2:50.08!!! I obliterated my 3 hour goal by 10 minutes!! I accepted my medal and then fell into Jeremy's arms and began sobbing. Then I hugged my dad. Then I just started hugging people!! It was a great moment. I was surrounded by people that I loved, and they were proud of me. And I was proud of me.

Right after I cross the finish line

My mom, dad, and niece...oh and me guzzling down an entire bottle of water at once.




 

It all ended up with a big party at Red Lobster, where I promptly ordered the largest cocktail on the menu and guzzled it down. FYI...alcohol dulls post race aches and pain. Try it!!

I don't think I could have had a better experience for my first half. But this is just the beginning. There are definitely more halfs and a full marathon on the horizon. I also have a bunch of weight to lose.  But now, I know that I am capable of pushing my boundaries and doing something hard. So I kind of feel like the world is my oyster.

Thank you to EVERYONE for reading this blog and sticking with me, encouraging me, and lifting me up when I needed it.  You will never know how much that meant to me. I hope that you guys will stick around for my next big adventure, whatever that may be.

Oh, and Happy Halloween!!

Friday, October 22, 2010

This Is It

Hi everyone. This is going to be my last blog before the race. I was going to blog more this week, but I've honestly been in such a bad place that I couldn't even bear to write it down. I won't go into long, whiny detail--suffice it to say that my last few runs have been really bad ones and my confidence is pretty shaken. People keep saying-trust in your training. Well, I am telling you: I do not.
Do I know that I can make it to the finish line? Yes.
Do I think that I can make it to the finish line in under 3 hours?  Not really.

If I don't make it in under 3, the course will be closed and they will already be giving out awards and I don't think I'll even get a medal. They seem to be very strict about this in this particular race-not sure if most or all other half marathons are like this. In fact, I have to make it to a certain street by 9 am or I can't even finish the race on the race route. They have a special "walk of shame" route for the losers who can't make it to Calhoun Expressway by 9 am. And I don't even know how far that is! Oh, and here's the kicker: they sent me an email with last minute race details and it stated that WALKERS must maintain a 13 minute mile or they wouldn't be able to finish. WALKERS?? Hello, I RUN 13 minute miles. Don't tell me that people walk faster than I can run. Oh somebody shoot me.

So, we'll see. I've come too far to quit now. I am going to cross that finish line, even if its a totally humiliating experience. And if it is, I never have to run again.

Hopefully things will go well and I'll have some interesting stories to tell when I get back.

I want to thank all of you for reading this blog and sticking with me for the past few months. I truly do cherish every comment that I recieve, and every person who chooses to become a follower. You guys are the best, and I never would have come to this point without you.  Wait a second, maybe I'm actually pissed off at you for that! Lol...just kidding. No, really.

Okay, off to Augusta I go...send me some good energy on Sunday!

Monday, October 18, 2010

First Weigh In and an Awful Run

First things first-I've been doing great tracking the calories since my last post a few days ago. Staying under 1700 calories really isn't that hard and My Fitness Pal makes it SO convenient to keep a record of my eating. They simply have every food under the sun! I decided to go ahead and weigh in this morning because it's Monday and I would like to do my weigh ins on Mondays. Anyway! I'm down 3 pounds! YAAAAY!!! Actually, I'm happy and all that, but not ecstatic, because my weight is still 212 and its been fluctuating between 212 and 216 for the past two months. The scale has yet to get under 212, so I guess next week will be the real test, eh? Regardless, I'm happy to be on the low end of my weight range instead of the high end!

I wish I could be as happy about my run last night, but it was just awful. Terrible, horrible, no good, very bad run!!! Let's see. I was supposed to go 9 miles...kick in the bucket, right? Ha! I was good for the first couple of miles--I was taking it real easy and I felt strong. THEN around mile 3 I started to get an upset stomach. This has NEVER happened to me before. I tried to push through it, but running on a sick stomach just makes things worse! I was able to stick it out until somewhere between mile 6 and mile 7. Hey, at least my GPS decided to reset itself so I couldn't get an accurate reading of my run! That was a nice touch.

It's not like I haven't had bad runs before...duh, read the blog. Its just that this was my LAST long run until the RACE. It was IMPORTANT and I SCREWED IT UP. Now what if I'm not ready? I mean, the training plan didn't put that run in there just for kicks.

Sigh. It's not the end of the world, but it sucks to have my confidence shaken like that a week before the big day. If I can't make it 9, how in the world am I going to finish 13.1?

Friday, October 15, 2010

These Are My Confessions

Just when I thought I said all I can say...Okay, off the Usher track. God, my husband hates him! He'll be so pissed when he sees this post. Anyway!!
A few posts back, I stated that it was time to get serious about my weight. Well, I haven't.  I got discouraged when it comes to weight loss months ago, and I just gave up. Not on running, mind you. I Love Running! I love working toward a tangible goal and the thought that I am about to achieve a major one (half marathon-8 days-gulp) seriously is starting to bring tears to my eyes. I never thought I would make it this far, and I certainly don't intend to give it up now, even after the race is over.
But weight loss? Yeah. I checked out on that a long time ago. Part of the reason why is simply because I like myself so much more now than I did before I started running. I've gained so much self esteem, self respect, self regard, all kinds of self stuff. So, even without the weight loss, I'm starting to look in the mirror and not hate what I see. I'm holding up my head in public and basically saying "Yeah, I'm not a barbie. So what? I'm hot and I bet my fat ass can run a lot further than your skinny ass can!"  Which is a good thing. A good, good thing and I'm totally grateful for it.
BUT...that doesn't change the fact that something is wrong here. Weight loss is stalling, and I refuse to believe that there is something wrong with my body. I just lack discipline when it comes to my food. Sure, I've made some positive changes, and on the days that I run I generally eat pretty well simply because I don't want to mess up my run. I don't drink soda, 95% of the fluids I take in are water, I love hot green tea with no sweetener, and I have been known to down a green smoothie or two. All that being said...
--When I want a cake, I bake a cake....and Jennifer has never been known to stop at one slice of cake. Cake is my great love/hate/eat until I'm sick affair.
--If I want fast food, I eat fast food.
--A great number of the vegetables that I consume come from Chinese buffets and are lathered in Whatever that sauce is
--I don't say no to fried chicken.
--I totally have seconds at dinner a LOT
--I never count calories--ever
--Aside from my running, I'm not a very active person.

What can I say? I just DON'T want to be that girl who kicks her own ass every time she has a bite of dessert. That's no way to live!! There has to be some happy medium, right? RIGHT??? Come on, tell me I'm right!!

And so, I run my ass off 3-4 times a week, the scale never budges, and I just think I can't lose weight. A very large part of me really believes that I should be able to do it just by running. That I have EARNED a hot body by becoming a runner! But then last night I sat down and did a little bit of math...
If I run 15 miles a week, I'm burning roughly 1500 calories through exercise. Which is fantastic. However, that is less than half of what it takes to lose 1 freaking pound. ONE POUND!!!! So of course I've only lost 4 pounds...doing this through exercise alone will take forever. And lets not forget the weeks I have where I don't run as much and eat twice my usual amount.
I never count calories, so I have no idea what I take in on a daily basis and how much I should cut to get a bigger weight loss deficit. BUT i found this cool website, My Fitness Pal, where you can input all your personal info and how much weight you want to lose a week and it just spits a plan back out at you.  So I put that I would like to lose 1 1/2 pounds a week and that I expect to exercise 4 times a week for 30 minutes. (Ha! I always do much more than that, but will probably take a little downtime after the race).  Anyway, so I can have 1770 calories a day, and I don't know much about much, but that seems like a pretty reasonable amount to work with. Also, on this website, the food tracking aspect is really easy, so there is just no excuse.
This is GOING to work. I do deserve the body I am dreaming of. Oh, and I'm putting a little  weight loss widget thingy on my blog to stay accountable.
Please wish me luck! This feels like starting an entirely different journey all the way from the beginning.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

12 Miles

Running 12 miles is:
-HARD
-painful
-disorienting
-redundant
-chafing!
-longer than most people walk
-kinda dumb when you think about it
-time enough to talk yourself out of every goal you've ever set
-eventually numbing

But after you're FINISHED, running 12 miles is:
-over!
-a great excuse to eat WHATEVER you want the next day
- a reason to walk around town tooting your own horn for the next two days
-totally something a goddess like you can do--YOU, my dear, are the queen of the world
-and last but not least---OVER!!!  (it bears repeating)

So I ran 12 miles last night. It wasn't my best run ever, and it wasn't my best time ever. (Although it certainly wasn't my worst time, either, considering) It was HARD. I've been staring at this run in my training schedule ever since I signed up for this race. It's literally been looming over me for the past 3 1/2 months and I have been DREADING it. Even as my long runs started to increase in distance, even after I ran 10 miles, nothing ever made me feel better about this damn 12 miles. It was everything I could do to get dressed and make myself do it, and every damn positive thought that I've been holding onto lately flew right out of my head. I was Pissy.
I started off a little bit too fast and that affected me the rest of the run. Pacing is SO SO important, I will never be able to emphasize that enough.
The first couple of miles were okay, and then on about mile 4, I started to despair. Are you kidding me, I've only gone a THIRD of the distance I have to go tonight? Who does this??
After my body numbed out around mile 5, I had a good next few miles. At mile 8 I started to feel woozy, so I took a Gatorade prime and that really helped me. I've never refueled my calories in the middle of a run before, and I didn't realize how much effect that can have on performance.
By mile 10 I was spent. All the body parts that had gone numb were now fully awake again, screaming at me. Ironically, at this point, it hurts more to walk than it does to run. Hell if I know, but I ran as much as I could and took as few walking breaks as possible.
The last mile I wanted to lay down and die. I couldn't even think straight anymore, and I hurt so bad everywhere. All I knew was that I was almost home and if I could just get there, I could lay down. Somehow I gathered up the energy to finish the last quarter mile at a good, strong pace...
AND THEN IT WAS OVER!!
WOOT WOOT!!!!
I DID IT!!!
I started to get cocky and think things like "Hell, I may as well have just gone the other 1.1 miles and then I'd have my race done."
"That wasn't as damn far as I thought it would be".
"I may be the most awesome person alive".
"I am going to kick this race's ass".

I just find it all so funny. Running is the sport that OTHER sports have to do as a punishment for when they screw up. Running is hell!! I don't really think that anyone actually likes to do it, and yet we do. Even somebody like me, who has never stuck to anything very long that has ever caused me a little discomfort, is absolutely ADDICTED to running. I have a permanent scar at my sports bra line from the chafing. My feet are so blistered and callused that they barely resemble human feet anymore. I am juggling four children, a husband, and a full time school schedule and on top of that setting aside several hours every week to just kick my own ass. And for what?
We do it for the feeling AFTER we're done. Nothing compares to that. Nothing feels better or more empowering. Nothing is as satisfying as knowing that we've just done something that most people can't even think about doing without getting tired. Nothing feels as good as that surge of energy we get after we're done, I swear its like a high.  And nothing is as addictive. I want it again already.
TWO WEEKS until the race. I am so there...got my hotel booked and everything.
I wonder how long I'll be able to ride THAT high???

Monday, October 4, 2010

This is funny

Not that I'm anywhere near an Ironman yet, but I do identify with this a little bit.  Sometimes I think if I hear one more person tell me that they wouldn't run unless they were being chased I will totally scream. Get a new tagline, people!!



If the thing won't play on my blog, you can click to watch it here.

Sunday, October 3, 2010

DOH!!!!

I have 9 miles coming up today. I haven't been on a long run in 2 weeks, since my 10 miler. I am so freakin nervous. About everything. This race is in 3 weeks and I just don't feel ready. I know I'm not really supposed to feel ready yet, because that would mean that I'm peaking early, or some such twaddle, so I suppose that everything is going according to plan but it doesn't FEEL like it. It FEELS like I've gone and done something REALLY DUMB and now its too late to back out!!!
Two weeks ago, I was excited about this race and knew I was going to kill it. Now I want to vomit!! WHAT WAS I THINKING?????????????!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Too Sunny in Vidalia???

Life has been doing some pretty amazing things for me lately. Ever since I read The Secret (and the sequel) and started to apply some of the principles, I'm seeing changes. I'm learning that visualization works and brings good things into my life. On the running front, I've improved my speed by quite a bit. 2-3 minutes a mile on average. I also found the exact pair of running shoes that I'd been visualizing in my head (I explained about that a few posts back). As far as life in general goes...I found my Zune that's been lost for a year. It had all of my music on it, and since my computer broke last year and we had to start using an old, obsolete one, most of my music was lost. But now its back, in perfect condition, and all of my music has come back to me. My children aren't fighting anymore, and they are keeping up with their responsibilities better. I randomly made $30 because when I found my Zune, I realized that I also had an extra online accecss code for a school program and it just so happened that the guy who sits next to me in school spotted me taking it out of my bookbag and bought it from me on the spot. I'm not having any trouble sleeping anymore, when a month or two ago there were some nights that I never slept at all. I'm looking in the mirror and feeling good about myself. The list goes on and on, all the way to today when I literally recieved an out of the blue $500 check in the mail. It was so weird because yesterday was my first day of class for Fall Quarter, and also my first time taking an online course. My computer has Windows 2000 on it, which just totally sucks, and I couldn't download any of the plug ins necessary to do any work at home.  I started visualizing getting a new computer last night and I swear to God there was a $500 check in the mail today. No, I was NOT expecting any money...this was totally random. Anyway, the computer that I wanted was on clearance today, so I'm writing this from my new computer and I still ended up pocketing $200. And I know this is just the beginning.


My only concern is that I tend to be a better writer when I'm miserable, and I really love this blog and I don't want to bore everyone to death with all of this happy happy happy crap! I feel like something is slipping as far as this blog goes, and I don't want it to. Is anyone losing interest? If so, what should I be writing about in order to get that interest back? Let me know, I can take it.

Okay, I'm off for a run. Got a half marathon in 3 weeks!!