Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Back on the WW train

My first blog post was about my decision to transform myself.   I still do not know exactly what triggered the declaration in May 2010, but here are some of the reasons: 
  • I was back over 200 pounds again.  The thought of carrying 200+ pounds on my 5'4" frame disgusts me.
  • I was several months before turning 30 and knew that I couldn't keep on flitting through life.  I wanted to be sure I had time to enjoy the rest of my "youth".
  • I was just unhappy with myself.  I couldn't name a specific item, but I was just not in a good place.
But the thing that really got my butt in gear was having deeper thoughts about my future.  It was more than "I am chubby/fat and want to look pretty in this or that..."  For some reason, knowing that I was turning 30 in a few months made me realize that the lifestyle transformation needed to happen sooner rather than later, or it would never happen.  Did I really think that I could wait until I was 40, 50, or 60+ to make changes to my life?  Yes, at one point I did believe that.  However, as I thought about it more, I thought "Why wait?  If you wait, you are wasting time that you could be enjoying doing other things and accomplishing other goals."  I knew it was time to take the bull by the horns and do something.

So, as a continuation of this journey to transform myself, I recommitted to the Weight Watchers program.  I have been talking about going, but I ended up going to a meeting with my college roommate last night (hi Charity!  love ya!).  I have been on and off the Weight Watchers program since 2005.  This time, I didn't just join WW, I made the commitment to stay on WW and evolve personally while I am on the program.  This means that I will: 
  • Continue to run and try to find other fulfilling exercise activities
  • Try to reduce/eliminate foods that I am "addicted to"
  • Track the foods I eat honestly
  • Change how I think about food and life
  • Believe in me!
  • Work hard to accept that no one is perfect and success only comes with passion and persistence
So...  Time to get moving on reclaiming my future!

Friday, November 26, 2010

Ridgewood Turkey Trot

On Thanksgiving Day, I did something I have never done before.  I participated in and completed the Ridgewood Turkey Trot 8K.  Heck, now that I think about it, I wouldn't have even considered exercising on previous Thanksgivings, much less participate in an event. 

The Ridgewood Turkey Trot is a race up Ridge Road, through some relatively hilly neighborhoods, and back to Ridgewood shopping center.  When I completed my 1st 5K, I set my eyes on completing an 8K by the end of 2010.  The Turkey Trot ended up being the race that I chose. 

I got up around 6 a.m., walked some in the halls of our condo building, and got ready to go.  I met 2 of the NCRC gals to share a ride to Meredith College.  When we got to Ridgewood, I realized that I was quite slower than most of the folks from the NCRC group.  Luckily, I found Jean!  Jean was one of the first members of the NCRC women's beginner running program and she still volunteers to mentor us newbie runners.  Jean, her friend Norma, and I ran at a 3:30/1:00 intervals.  I finished in 1:11:11, according to the text I got after the race from Precision Race. 

I am proud of myself.  I have now marked "Run a 8K" off my fitness bucket list.  Now off to the next race!

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Blessed beyond measure

Today, I am thankful for:
  • My ultra supportive husband - Jason may get tired of hearing my little tyrannical rants or hearing this 'n that about running, but he rarely says he's tired of it.  He just sits there, lets me do my thing and we move on.  I am so thankful for the love that we share.
  • My family - My family and I may not always see eye-to-eye, but that doesn't mean we don't love and respect one another. 
  • My friends - What can one say about good friends?  Hmmm...  Other than the fact that I have the most awesome, supportive, funny, crazy, awesome friends a girl could ask for...
  • My health - I may be a little chubby, but I am healthy.  I am thankful that I have made some fairly significant lifestyle changes since the middle of this year and for my continued success with those lifestyle changes.
  • My home
  • My job
Although I could probably yammer on about all the things for which I am thankful, I will not.  Simply put, I am blessed beyond measure.  Here's to remembering the blessings every single day.

Monday, November 22, 2010

It's the Most Wonderful Time of the Year

I love the Christmas season.  I love everything about it - family, friends, food, and celebrating the joys in our lives.  While I pretty much love everything about my life on a daily basis, the holidays make me even more appreciative of all I have. 

I am fortunate to also have a mother-in-law with a knack for and love of Christmas decor.  While I am sure that our condo would be lovely with whatever Christmas decorations I put out, she just has a special ability to make everything "just so".  We spent the last two evenings putting up our main Christmas tree (living room) and Jason's UNC/sports tree (office).  We also spent some time putting our mantle decor and miscellaneous decorations up. 

Who's ready for Christmas?  We are!

Jason with the UNC/sports tree

Closer look at UNC/sports tree

Jason with living room tree, showing mantle

Another view

Sunday, November 21, 2010

Boo to injuries

This week has been an off week for running and I have to say that it has totally sucked.  My normal routine  usually looks like this:  running with Sarah on Monday, personal training on Tuesday, cross training/weights on Wednesday, running with Sarah on Thursday, rest day on Friday, running with Sarah on Saturday, and cross training on Sunday.  The normal routine was a total bust this week and it has gotten me into a funk. 

Why getting out of the normal, you might ask?  Well, back in late August, I did something to my adductor/IT band in my right leg (helpful image below).  I took about 3 weeks off, but was feeling OK enough to finish my 1st 5K with my beginner's running program at the end of September.  Last Saturday, Sarah and I ran at Oak Park and things were going well.  However, after our run, something in my leg/"girly bits" just didn't feel right.  I stretched more when I got home, took and anti-inflammatory and hoped for the best.  Needless to say, this week has been tough.  When those muscle are strained, it makes everything more difficult - getting in the car, crossing your legs, lifting your leg to put on pants, etc.  So, needless to say, it has been interesting.  I am going to take it easy again for the beginning of this week, in hopes that I can actually run my Turkey Trot on Thursday.

I have signed up to do the Ridgewood Turkey Trot 8K on Thanksgiving Day.  In October, I attended Diva Night at Fleet Feet.  They had all kinds of door prizes that you could put your ticket(s) in the running to receive.  I put mine in the free Turkey Trot registration and I won.  I never, ever win anything and I took this as a sign that I should bust out of my comfort zone and do it.  I am looking forward to the race on Thanksgiving, but hoping that my little leg issue doesn't cause me any issues.

In other news, we are putting up our Christmas decorations today!  YAY!  Jason and I love the Christmas season.  I think that Christmas decor has the potential to make almost any person happy.  I'll post pics when we are all done. 

Sunday, November 14, 2010

Thankful for the past few days

The beginning of the past week was a little tough, but going through tough situations makes me even more thankful for all I have.  Today I am thankful for many things:
  • A husband that is beyond supportive of anything and everything I want to do
  • An awesome group of friends that are always there
  • Celebrating the life of special people that have passed away, but realizing that they will always be in hearts and memories
  • LIFE - being able to live, breathe, participate in, and celebrate each day

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Sometimes it just doesn't happen

And yesterday was one of those days.  I left work and went to the gym.  I met very quickly with my chiropractor to work on some IT band and lower back issues.  When we were done, I went upstairs to begin my workout for the evening.  I guarantee that I was on the elliptical less than 5 minutes.  I just wasn't feeling it.  I decided to try the stair mill; that didn't work either.  After trying to make myself do two different pieces of equipment and failing, I decided that it was OK to skip a day at the gym.  I usually work out five or six times a week (running - 3 days a week; cross training and weights - 2 or 3 times a week) and realized that missing one day wasn't going to kill me.

The more I thought about it on the way home, the more I realized that expecting that I will love working out every single time I go is unrealistic.  I have to tell myself that it is OK to have days when you don't want to workout, but don't let that become the norm.  Maybe I need to try some classes to add some spice to my gym days.

Do you force yourself to workout even when you aren't feeling it

Monday, November 8, 2010

New experience

Yesterday, I served as a course monitor for the City of Oaks Marathon and Half Marathon.  My assignment had me stationed at Snow Avenue/Hillsborough Street from ~6:30 a.m. to around 7:45 a.m.  The City of Oaks race started at 7 a.m.  While I was expecting to see many different types of people, I didn't realize there would be such diversity in the race:
  • Several guys (and a few girls) running about a 5 minute/mile pace
  • No less than 4 pregnant women.  When I say pregnant, I mean belly-button out and running
  • "Skinny" and "fat" people (I hate those labels, but how else can you describe it?)
  • Old and young
  • Straight runners, run/walkers, and walkers
Being able to see so many different people on the same course, all trying to accomplish the same simple goal of just finishing was an inspiration for me.  After my course monitor assignment was over, I joined some of the NCRC gals over at Applebee's, near Meredith College.  We decided to meet up there to cheer on one of our NCRC friends that was running.  Beth is one of those folks that I can definitely call an inspiration too.  Beth and I have similar histories with our weight loss and she is definitely a person from whom I gain hope and positive thoughts.

I'll be out there next year!

Saturday, November 6, 2010

Results: The 5K that wasn't

Well, the results are in...  The 5K that wasn't a 5K was officially a 4.34K.  So, if a 5K is 3.1 miles, how far is a 4.34K, you might ask?  Thanks to the help of a friend, 4.34K is 2.69675 miles.  Our estimate that the race was between 2.6 and 2.8 miles was right on the money.  I finished my 4.34K (for some reason, I just love typing that because it is so strange to me) in 36:45, at a pace of 13:38.  Not too shabby.  My first race was at 14:53 pace, so I have knocked off about 1:20 of my pace since end of September.  Go me!

Kay's Cancer Kickers and the 5K that wasn't

Today was the Free to Breathe 5K, benefiting the North Carolina Lung Cancer Partnership.  When I found out about this race, I decided I had to do it.  I had a wonderful coworker pass away from lung cancer in March 2010.  I was on a team with her husband, son, friends, and coworkers.  Our team, Kay's Cancer Kickers, was able to raise over $3000 for lung cancer research.  

  Kay's Cancer Kickers
Front, left to right:  Andrew (Kay's son), Dottie, Jason, and me
Back, left to right:  Mark, Kevin (Kay's husband), Bob, Karen, Audrey, and John

So, you might be wondering why the post title is "The 5K that wasn't".  Well, that is because that is exactly what the race was - a 5K that wasn't a 5K.  A friend and I were running the route, trying to make the best of being absolutely frozen and dealing with the "spitting" rain.  We get to Oval Drive and I tell her that something isn't right and we're supposed to go to the right and loop around.  Unfortunately, no one is doing this and there was a police officer sending everyone to the left, toward Centennial Parkway.  In the back of my mind, I kept telling myself that something wasn't right.  I previewed the race course on Wednesday and knew that they wouldn't have changed it in the span of 3 days.

The suspicion that something wasn't right with the route was evident again when we got to the mile 2 marker and it had only taken us about 10 minutes to run a mile.  While I would love to say that I ran a mile in 10 minutes, it isn't possible at this stage in my running career.   We just kept on trucking along, chatting, and enjoying the race.  When we got close to the finish, I could see the clock and knew there was no way that I could finish a 5K/3.1 miles in ~36 minutes.  But, I was going to revel in the fact that I did it - I had completed my second race.

A few minutes after we finished, another friend came over and said that the course was routed incorrectly at Oval Drive.  It made me feel better to know that I wasn't going completely nuts.  I mean, seriously, I had just previewed the route on Wednesday.  I knew they hadn't changed it.  Given that, I think the 5K was about 2.6 to 2.8 miles (Two of us were wearing our Garmins and had conflicting information).  I am hoping to receive an email from NC Lung Cancer Partnership with the exact distance in the next few days.

So that folks is the story of the 5K that wasn't.

Friday, November 5, 2010

Fleet Feet Racing Team

I have been thinking about joining the Fleet Feet Racing Team since I discovered it on their website last month.  I went to Fleet Feet for the first time the week after I started the NCRC Women's Beginner Running Program.  I felt comfortable when I walked into the store and didn't feel like I was being profiled as a runner (or in my case a non-runner). 

So, I finally decided to email Amanda, the store manager, yesterday to get a little more information (and reassurance) from her.  I am definitely no Pheidippides, but I do love to run (slowly).  Amanda calmed my nerves about being the only "penguin" on the training team.  She I went to the store last night, purchased 2 new base layers, a pair of Smart Wool socks and my team singlet.  I will be wearing it tomorrow for the Free to Breathe 5K.  I am looking forward to being a part of the Fleet Feet Racing Team and encouraging other people to join in on running.

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

A little bit of the willies

I ran my first 5K on September 25.  I have my second 5K race this Saturday (Free to Breathe - NC Lung Cancer Partnership).  If I said that I wasn't the least bit nervous, I would be lying through my teeth.  For some reason, it is only Tuesday night and I have the biggest case of the willies.  There is absolutely no reason for me to be nervous.  I survived the first race and I can do this one too.  I wonder if part of the nervousness is that the hubs is going to be sitting there waiting for me for a the entire ~45 minutes it will take me to run it.  Of course, his sitting there waiting could provide the motivation for me to go faster.  I can't stand for someone to have to wait on me!