Saturday, June 26, 2010

Introducing, the Purple Ninja!

Today I ran my 2nd 5k race in Chipley, Florida, aptly named, the "Hot Trot" and MAN it was HOT!  I am pretty sure the heat index was in the 90s by the time we started.  I got to use my new Garmin Forerunner GPS today and it was awesome.  It kept track of how fast my miles were at all times, my total time and my distance.  It was great to glance down and see that I had reached certain points on the course and then make decisions about how long I could keep going.

Today I finally reached my main goal - and I ran WITHOUT STOPPING!  I can't tell you how great that feels!  I smiled my way across that finish line.  I was exhausted, completely drenched in sweat, but just ecstatic to have reached this goal.

One year ago I had trouble walking out to my car and giving my daughter a bath.

One year ago if you had told me I would have run an entire 5k race without stopping I would have laughed...then been embarrassed since I knew I would never be able to do that.

The whole point of this blog is to motivate other people.  If you are reading this and you don't think you could run a 5k, listen, I promise you can!  I still have plenty of weight to lose - so I'm looking at it as an even bigger accomplishment - who else ran today with 60 pounds strapped to them?  Just me.

Throughout the race there were two girls in front of me who ran and walked the whole way - they may have been doing the couch to 5k program for all I know, but as soon as I got close to where I might pass them they ran again.  :)  It wasn't irritating, really, it was good to be watching them the entire time.  I weigh at least 100 pounds more than each of when I passed them at the last 1/3 of a mile and they tried to run but couldn't keep up, it was exhilarating.  I really poured on the speed that last 1/3 mile - I was going to dump all of my quarters right there!  (and not leave any in the arcade as my wise triathlete brother Alex says).  And I'm so glad to say I did.  A few of the finished runners were cheering me on.  My family didn't come with me this time as we have a ton to do in 24 hours to get ready for vacation - and really, I wanted to do this on my own, by myself.  To prove to me, only me, that I could.

On the way to the race I was telling myself "I will finish the race today.  I will run without stopping.  Today, I will accomplish my goal."  I really believed that...even as I stood, sweating already just waiting for the race to start.

In other related news, I lost another pound, so I am down to 227, which is 58 pounds down! Very exciting.  Crossing 60 pound will be a major mile marker for will be halfway to my goal of 120 pounds down.  These mini goals in between the big milestones are helping a great deal.  It is so important to have realistic goals you can meet along the way!

I had my last week at my amazing job this week (I have a few weeks left of work, just from home).  As a going away gift, some wonderful best friends at work made me a goodbye video. It was so touching!  And hilarious. They had some video footage I didn't even know existed...seeing myself on video and in pictures I was amazed at how much I almost didn't recognize myself.  Almost 60 pounds doesn't seem like as "much" as I appeared to be carrying.  It amazes me how completely I have changed the way I look.  I don't even know that woman anymore, the one who stayed away from the camera as much as possible (hence the not knowing video footage existed, ahem).  I'm so going to miss that job...and especially those people.  But what a journey I have taken this last year.  I am less nervous about interviewing for other jobs than I would have been at 285 pounds.  I look like I am on my way to being fit.  That feels great.

So today I will bask in the glory of accomplishing a huge goal.  I will celebrate how much healthier my heart is today compared to a year ago.  I will look at my current blueprint realizing, that even though the plans are not completely drawn out, the end result is so going to be worth this effort.  And I will continue to share and encourage along the way, hoping that if you are that one "starfish" out there who isn't sure you can make it, you read this and let me toss you back into the water.


Thursday, June 17, 2010

Goals, Goals, Goals!

So yes, the title should be sung in your head to the "Girls Girls Girls" tune of the 80s. 

I'm having a fantastic week.

I have lost another 2 pounds - to bring me to 57 pounds lost total.  Super duper exciting.  I now weigh 228...I have not weighed in my 220s for several years!  I'm excited as I am getting closer and closer to my next mini-goal - 214.  That is what I weighed when I became pregnant with Elizabeth.  Getting there will be amazing...and then the next mini-goal of course is under 200!  I can't even imagine the day I get on the scale and my number leads with a 1 again.  It has been at least 8 years since I can say that I weigh in the 100s again. 

I just finished my *last* exam for my Bachelors degree in Marketing today on my lunch break...YAY!  My degree should be arriving in the next few weeks and yes I plan to frame it - that was super hard work for someone who is not a learner at all!

I have run almost 5 miles already this week with my longer run set for Saturday.

You know, doing these great things - it all comes down to GOALS.  I'm so happy to achieve ones I have set - and excited for the ones I will achieve to come. 

I read a short article about motivation yesterday on Spark People (this is a GREAT and FREE website to help you get healthier - check it out! and it said that one of the things that keeps you motivated is seeing successes.  This is why "Small Changes, Big Results" has been such a great thing for me to do.  By making small changes, I have progressively seen success over and over again.  The past 10 months have been amazing and I have grown to truly believe in my own ability to accomplish goals.

Do I think I can do "anything"?  Um, no, because like on American Idol, not everyone is meant to carry a tune anywhere except a bucket.  But the things I *need* to do and am *meant* to do I absolutely *will* do.  Nothing will get in my way of becoming who it is that God wants me to be - and who I need to be physically in order to carry out that plan.  This summer I will be working on devoting time to daily devotions and time with my Creator.  Now that I am achieving goals right and left its time I tackle this one.

Man, I like the way my blueprint is looking. 

Now that you have that song in your head (make sure you use the new lyrics of goals, goals, goals) what goals are you thinking about setting for yourself?  What would motivate you? I'm here to help if you want to toss around ideas.

Happy Thursday All!


Monday, June 14, 2010

So, I've Been Doing Some Thinking...

It takes alot of thinking to get past what I went through this past Saturday.

What? you ask?  You should be so happy you finished a 5k and ran 42 out of 45 minutes! Well, really, I am VERY happy with how far I have come.  But I still didn't meet my own goal of running the whole time. 

So I needed to get underneath that.  Because I am a runner now.  I'm not giving up on this.  I'm just not necessarily the person dominating the 5k mile time in my age group...or any age group for that matter...yet.

So I discovered a few things I will try to do differently in my next race, June 26th.

1) I am going to eat more for breakfast.  Before this race I ate the half of banana like I normally do at 6am before heading out for my run.  I didn't think about the fact that the half banana would probably not last me the 2 hours I needed it I will eat more.

2) I'm not going to wear a hat.  I wore a hat for the first time ever in this run.  It was supposed to wick sweat away from my forehead.  I think it made me hotter.  It matched my tank (see the pics below) and I wore it also because of that and it was cute.  I think it made it harder for me!

3) I'm scoping out the course before June 26th.  I will get either a course map and drive it or a description of the streets, whatever it takes to know what I am up against before that morning!

4) I'm going to go back to running for 35 minutes for the next few weeks until I get comfortable there.  I jumped crazily in my training the last few weeks - going from 28 mins, to 33 mins, to 37 mins to 42 mins and then staying at 42 mins for 3 more workouts.  I never got really "good" at 33 mins to begin with.

5) I'm going to pace myself really well in this next race and start really slow.  My amazing friend Heather who has legs twice as long as mine paced us a little at first and man that girl was holding her stride back - pretty sure my first mile was way faster than I normally go - and she was holding back - seriously!?.  I will miss having a buddy in the next race but I want to race with her again sometime to watch her do it in under 30 mins - the girl could have won in our age group I'm sure.  That's a good friend right there.  I'm going to make sure to thank her appropriately!

6) I'm NOT GIVING UP UNDER ANY CIRCUMSTANCE.  This is huge for me.  I said to Heather, literally, during the run, "maybe I'm not cut out to be a runner? this is too hard."  Shame on me!  A moment of delirious trying not to puke-weakness.  I am a runner, by golly, and I'm going to just continue to improve.

So this is what happens when I start thinking.  But to me, this is a good kind of thinking.  I'm making real progress here, and I'm going to be sure to share it with whomever out there is needing to hear it.  This journey is as real as it gets, folks, and I am living proof that you can set goals, readjust them, and NOT be on a diet and lose weight.  Its a lifestyle and one I am so happy to be living right now.

Until next time...I'll be thinking some more.


Saturday, June 12, 2010

Before...and Now

That's the Hardest Thing I've Ever Done...Seriously!

OK - well, I survived!  Woohoo!

I underestimated the course that sweet Norma said was "really flat."  I wanted to roll Norma down that first huge hill!  So major hills and serious heat without much shade (running an hour and a half later than usual makes a big difference I found) ...those are not excuses, just major challenges I faced today and part of why I did not full on make the goals I had set for myself.

I finished in 45:25.  I had to stop and walk 3 times for a minute or two each time. 

I'm pretty sure our first mile and a half were faster than I normally run - which may have contributed to me hitting the wall.  But the hills and the heat are really to blame.  I usually run at 6:30am at the latest...and it was soooo muggy and hot by 7:30 that by 8am it was steaming.  There were also a few "dead" somethings along the way - we never saw them but man did we smell them! I also had to pee about halfway through the run - but then ended up not having to pee (weird) I think because of all the sweat!  I was really encouraged that the seasoned runners were so encouraging to us as they passed us on their way back - one guy even ran the course a 2nd time (showoff) but checked on me both times to be sure I was ok.  You don't see a large pink ninja sweating her head off running up hill every day I guess.  :) 

Toward the end there was one last police officer cheering us on - I asked if he would mind chasing us, that might get me there quicker.  :)

People who are more competitive than me may think that I "failed."  But I can't feel that way.  A year ago today, I could barely walk down the street much less jog most of a 5k race.  There were seasoned runners who were walking parts of the course even - it was a tough course!  Lesson learned - check out the course in advance and maybe even run it a few times.  :)

So I'm focusing on where I've been and what I've accomplished today!

I've lost 55 pounds.

I rebounded from a serious ankle injury in February.

I have reshaped my blueprint and am working on the building.  

I am certainly NOT the woman I was at the start of this journey.  I am a completely different person with a whole new path.

And two weeks from today I just may try again in another reach goal #1 of running the entire time.  It may be hard this summer given this heat, but all I can do is keep on trying!

My brother Alex, who flew here to cheer me on helped me learn something today about matter how hard you train, how many times you hit the mark and perform during training, you don't have any guarantee of what the "day" will be like when its time to race and you may not perform the way you have been up to that point.  And so it was for me today.

Today was the beginning of a new journey for me even.  And I just may begin calling myself an Athlete...or at least a "Pink Ninja" in the meantime!


Friday, June 11, 2010

Tomorrow is a First...

Hey all!

A quick post to say a few things.  Tomorrow (Saturday) I run my first 5k race!!!  I'm so super excited about it.  I have two main goals:

1) run the entire time
2) *my stretch goal* finish in under 40 minutes

I've run the entire 3.1 miles several times so I know I *can* do it.  I usually average a 14 minute mile so I'll be looking for some extra adrenaline to get me through it in less than the 40 mins!  I will be happy with anything under 42, though, really.  But what fun is a goal that isn't a   s-t-r-e-t-c-h??? 

I'm so excited!  Unfortunately I was hit with a migraine literally out of nowhere last night, and I'm hoping it passes by the morning.  I've been migraine-free since I started being healthier in August of last year.  I think it was triggered by aspartame or some other sweetner that I OD'd on last night.  Not going to do that again!

Had a WONDERFUL surprise last oldest brother flew in from Colorado to cheer me on in my first race tomorrow!  I'm so excited and thrilled at the show of support!  In fact, I really feel honored that he came to support me.  WOW!

I will be sure to post pictures and the like tomorrow after my race.  Looking forward to a FIRST I never thought I would attempt!