Tuesday, August 30, 2011

A break

I gave my body a break.  It was tired.  Day after day my calves hurt.  They were sore to the touch and my poor hubs who tried to massage them(at my request) was surprised to see me flail around like a fish out of water when he touched one.  So I gave myself two days of rest.  My calves are feeling better.  My body is feeling thinner (knock on wood) .  But I am still super tired.  My hubs was a rockstar and let me sleep in the past few days, and even take a nap while he cared for the girls.  So I figured after a few days of rest I would be rearing to go today.  Wrong again.  Last night I could not sleep.  It wasnt stress or anything, I just couldnt sleep.  So it was well after 3:00 when I fell asleep last night.  I had a run scheduled this morning for 7:30 with my friend.  Again, my body was so tired during and after our 5 miles.  More rest needed?  Must be.  I am getting good at listening to my body.  I just hope it gets out of this slump soon!  Its hard to get out there and run after having a tough run.  But I will do it...no doubt.

I was supposed to go home to Albany and babysit my niece.  I was going to leave yesterday and stay until Wednesday.  The New York State Thruway is closed (this NEVER happens) almost the whole distance between our houses...which is like 2 hours, due to Hurricane/Tropical Storm Irene.  So that changed my plans.  I thought I would make it fun for the girls and look into a train ride.  Apparently I was not the first to consider this option as the trains were ALL booked.  And from what I hear that back roads have severe flooding as well.  So I will not be making it.  It wasnt bad near my house but I have seen pictures.  I really feel for these thousands and thousands of people whose lives are changed because of this disaster.  I think our state was prepared but, really, how much can you prepare for such extensive flooding and damage?  My thoughts and prayers go out to everyone involved.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

30 miles this week

This week I pushed myself.  I ran 30 miles in total this week.  I decided to add the last 3 to make a total of 30 yesterday.  I figured it would be a quick 3 miles; that because it was such a shorter distance that what I have been running that it would be easy.  I thought I could go quicker and that maybe it would be effortless.  WRONG.  My body told me just how tired it was.  I should have just left the running watch at home instead of trying to push myself.  In the past I have done 5K in 30 minutes.  My body was just not having it.  It was tired and I was forced to slow down.  I ran 5 days out of 7 last week.  I know you are supposed to give your body 48 hours between runs, especially longer or tougher ones.  But for some reason the "I need to push myself" came out.  I am happy to be able to say I ran 30 miles last week.  For the first time.  But my body is tired and I am going to give it a few days off.  Two full days of rest. 

Yesterday I weighed myself and saw 176 on the scale.  So frustrating to still be up 16 lbs from my lowest weight in the journey.  Especially with all this running I have been doing. But because (to me) running is still fairly new and something challenging, I am able to let the scale number go and still feel like I am accomplishing things for myself.  I am still proud.

When I was at the 10K last weekend I saw women of all sizes there.  They were sporting all sorts of outfits.  And while some women were thin and wearing short shorts, I was happy to see that some also had excess fat or skin behind their thighs.  It made me be able to relate.  Here are these women running 10K or half marathons (we ran together) and they are not perfect looking.  Some were big, some were small but they were capable of pushing their bodies.  And despite their size they were healthy.  It was eye opening for me.  Its NOT all about the number on the scale. 

My pulse used to be well over 100, even at rest.  Its now in the 70's.  That speaks volumes to me.  My blood pressure at the drug store the other day was 123/85, even though my kids were screaming and I was stressing at the moment it was taken.  So yaay.  Yaay for me for continuing on this journey and not giving up like I used to when I see a number up on the scale.  Running has changed my life.  There is something amazing about not being able to run 30 seconds at a time to going to running 30 miles a week that makes me realize how far I have come.  Yes, there are struggles along the way.  But I will handle them. 

The half marathon I am training for is 7 weeks from today. So far, yet so close...  But what it comes down to is that I AM TRAINING FOR A HALF MARATHON...big boobs and large Fupa and all...   It still seems surreal to me.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Frustrated-Calling all runners (for help please)

I am in the midst of trying to figure some things out.  I have been running like what seems like a madwoman.  Over the winter months I was not doing much exercise.  I was not watching what I was eating either.  Actually, I was eating a lot of fast food :(  There was not much calorie counting either.  Yet, I was hanging out somewhere in the 160's wearing comfy size 12's all winter. 

This summer I start the half marathon training feeling like I am doing so awesome.  It feels great to accomplish every single run I do.  I have been running for months now, on a very rigid schedule even.  My mileage increases almost every week with an exception of vacation week.  Yet, my pants are tight.  Not just a little tight but tight like there are some I cant even wear anymore.  My boobs are getting bigger(this is not needed).  My shirts are tight.  All my clothes are small.  This is not muscle.  They are so tight I am avoiding the scale all together at this point.

What is going on??  A few weeks ago I ran 27 miles that week.  This week I am at 18 miles already and its only Wednesday.  Yet I feel disgusting...at least my body feels disgusting.  I feel fat and flubbery and my roll is hanging over the top of my pants (well if I want to zip and button them anyway!).  It just doesnt seem fair.  I am past the whole pity party part of this frustration and now I am just trying to figure it out.  Am I eating too much? Allowing myself to eat more than I should because I think I should be able to for all the exercise I have been doing?  Am I eating the wrong things? Too many carbs?  I burned 911 calories on todays run alone.  I am running 4x a week or so.

I just dont know.  Why over the winter could I eat crappy AND not exercise and still not gain much?  Yet here I am working my tail off and not only am I not losing but CLEARLY I am gaining.  Last night was the first night I got so mad about it that I caved.  I was at dinner with my friend Karen.  They didnt have the soup that I planned to order.  So I got my phone out and I was researching calories for other things.  Then all of a sudden I got mad and said why bother?  I ordered (get this)... an appetizer, a full meal, oh...and then dessert.  In which I ate ALL of everything.  What was I trying to prove?  I havent done that in ages.  But if I am going to gain weight I may as well deserve it I thought.  I know that it was not a rational thought but I was mad.  And after that I felt terrible.  Like the old cycle I used to be in.  I used to eat like that day after day when I was much larger. 

This morning I got up and ran 7 miles with my friend Laura and it felt great.  I ate very well today and feel I am on track.  But other than my lashing out dinner incident last night I have been feeling pretty on track for a long time now.  So, I think the only option for me at this point is to write down every single thing I eat and evaluate from there.  So thats what I will do I guess.  It just makes me mad that even with so much effort with running that I still cant get ahead of this weight thing.

I would love to hear any thoughts or opinions that any of you might have.

Monday, August 22, 2011

My first 10K race!

Sunday was my first 10k race.  I have been super excited about this one for a while now because I knew they were giving medals to all finishers.  I have never gotten a medal so I was totally on board!  I rounded up my friend Laura and off we went for our first 10K.  I  have also been chatting with Kristen who I found out lives near(ish) me and was doing the race too!  I knew we would have to meet.  We did :)  Here we are pre-race:

It was so nice to meet her and and her hubs!  I knew what her bib number was and when my friend Laura pointed her out in the distance I ran up and gave her a big hug!  She looks great and should be so proud of herself!

So...let me back up a bit.  On the day before the race we went boating with some friends of ours.  I did some kneeboarding and waterskiing which felt great!  It has been probably 10 years since I have been able to do these things!  The last time I tried I was not able to because my weight was just too much for my wimpy muscles to pull myself out of the water.  Sad, but true.  So it was very exciting when I was capable of doing both.  I also had some wine that day.  Maybe not the smartest idea but I figured if it was early enough I would be fine.  So....morning comes and I am really dragging.  But I got up when the alarm went off at 5:30.  The race was about 45 minutes from my house and I needed to shower(to wake up), get the kids ready, eat something, and make sure I was early.  Here I am on the way to the race....

HAHAHA!  Yup...
So, the hubs stopped and got me some coffee. Thanks hunny!!!   Luckily I woke up some by the time I got there.  We met up with my friend Laura and her awesome family.  Here we are pre-race.

We hear the announcement that its time.  My stomach was a bit upset that morning and I was nervous about that.  I wasnt really nervous about the race, just that my stomach was off and it might be a miserable 6 miles.  We lined up near the back of the pack.  And off we went. 

 Luckily Kristen had warned me that the first half of the race (all three miles!) was uphill.  They were gentle long hills but we managed them.  I was happy that my stomach was holding up.  My feet were sore probably from waterskiing the day before.  Who does that?...goes waterskiing, kneeboarding and drinks wine a day before a race...ugh. 

Sometime around mile 3ish it leveled off and I gained some of my mojo back.  It wasnt too sunny that day but it was pretty humid.  It looked like it might storm.  The course was nice but not too many spectators because of the rural area it was held in.  Regardless, the course was gorgeous.  I think between mile 3 and 4 I was dying for a water station because I wanted to use some Gu.  I didnt see one but knew it couldnt be far since the last one seemed to be a while back.  So I used my Gu and sure enough a few minutes later we came up on a water station where they were also handing out Gu.  I drank some, poured some over my head and then a really sweet volunteer joined in on the fun and splashed a cup of water on the front of me.  It felt great!  The Gu kicked in quickly, thank goodness! 

A little before this point we also met up with a girl named Amy.  She was such a sweet girl.  Laura and I were chatting with her and she seemed to be struggling a bit.  She was there alone.  She doesnt have any friends that are runners she said.  I told her she could do it!  We came up on the last hill which was tough.  I saw the panic in her eyes,  and she said  she didnt think she could do it and to go ahead.  Laura and I were on each side of her.  We told her thats not how we roll and that she could do it.  We stayed with her.  I told her to look down at the ground directly in front of her and not ahead at the hill.   And before we knew it we were over the hill.  I could see how proud she was of herself.  She had said she had to walk a few times in the beginning on the hills and they werent nearly as tough as the last one.  We kept talking back and forth for the rest of the race.  Near the end when my watch was already telling me we were at 6.2 miles (10K) we still werent at the finish line.  Huh?  My garmin couldnt be wrong...could it?  We were coming up to the end and a man said we had about a quarter of a mile left.  Again, I saw the worry in her eyes.   I reminded her how good she will feel when she is all done holding a medal in her hand, and that we were almost there.  When we came up on the finish line (finally at 6.6 miles according to my watch) Laura and I sprinted to the finish line and she was right behind us!  She finished running and she was so proud of herself.  We hugged and even got some post race pics.  We are now friends on Facebook and she later wrote me this comment that means so much to me:  "It was so great meeting you!! Your support and encouragement was exactly what I needed. good luck training for your half, stay in touch and let me know how it goes!"   Here are some post race pics:
Me post race sporting my medal :)

Laura, me and our new friend Amy  :)

Kristen and me!  So awesome to meet her!

Sprinting to the finish.

Done!  Obviously my little blonde was quite interested...hehe.

Our sign crew.

Love it!

Waiting for us.  Apparently they were very patient.

Me and Laura post race.  My oldest was loving my medal too :)


And there you have it.  My first 10K.  It was a great experience.  I came home and I was exhausted.  I napped for like 3 hours.  My weight still feels pretty high.  My pants are tight.  It just seems so odd that I am doing all this exercise and gaining.  Two weeks ago I ran 27 miles.  Last week was less but still in the teens.  Oh well.  Right now I am focusing on my half marathon.  And if it feels anything like how I felt when I finished the 10k and received my medal, I cant wait!  And another thing that made me feel good... the hubs came up and kissed me yesterday before my nap.  He told me he was so proud of me and that I am "hardcore".  He said after skiing, kneeboarding and drinking wine he thought I would be in bad shape.  A round about compliment but I will take it.  He has been so supportive of my running and it means the world to me. 

Thursday, August 18, 2011

My first 8 miler and the upcoming 10k!

Last weekend I ventured out for my first 8 mile run.  It was great!  I wasnt too tired and handled it well.  I did learn though, that it would be beneficial to have some water and/or a Gu packet or something of the sort around mile 4 or 5.  Because around mile 6 I started to get thirsty and felt my energy dropping off.  It wasnt exhaustion or anything like that but I could definitely tell the difference.  I was sore for a few days after the run.  I rolled my ankle so that was sore and my legs were kinda sore in general too.  I felt like I was walking in slow motion and looked like maybe I had just gotten off a horse.  But that went away with time  :)

It still amazes me how much that stuff works for me.  I went for a 4 mile run a few days later and it was awful.  I didnt have anything before.  No Gu, no caffeine, no breakfast.  And I was really struggling quite a bit.  It was really eye opening to see how differently my body "performs". 

This weekend I am skipping my long run because I am signed up for my first 10K race!  Whoo hooo!  The most exciting part is that participants of the 10k and half marathon (starting together) will receive a medal!  I have never gotten a medal.  And I am super excited!

One struggle I have been facing since my long run last week is that I gave myself the day off to eat what I wanted.  I burned almost 1000 calories.  Well that snowballed into two days, three, and now it is almost a whole week later and I am still not eating very well.  Tomorrow and Saturday it is a MUST for proper eating because it plays a big part in how well I will run Sunday(another lesson learned along the way). 

So thats it for now.  I will keep you posted on how my run goes this weekend!  Fingers crossed its a good one :)

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

Then what?

I have been on track with my running.  I have been using Roctane to see how it helps me with my runs in the mornings, especially when I havent had any coffee.  Sometimes I dont eat breakfast before I go because I  roll out of bed (literally) and go running.  I have used it twice this week and really enjoyed the results.  Its about 100 calories and carries me through most of my run.  As my runs get longer I plan to use it to refuel along the way.   Right now, during training, is the time to be experimenting.  Its Wednesday and I have run 15 miles so far this week.  I still have at least my 8 mile run left and possible a 3 miler. 

I usually do my runs in the morning when its coolest.  The heat and humidity is often too much to even attempt to run in any later in the day.  But I have been finding myself getting *the itch* to run in the later afternoon or evening, even after I have already run earlier in the day.  This tells me that I must really have been having some great runs!  I love how I feel during and after.  I love getting outside and enjoying the fresh air. 

Which got me thinking.

 I am training for this half marathon which is in October.  I have been training for it for months now.  It has become such a big part of my life and my daily routine(with the help andsupport of my hubs) .  And I am enjoying it.  I like looking forward to the big day and doing my best to make sure I am ready for it.  But soon that day will be here.


What happens after the half is completed, all my hard work has paid off (this is all hopeful thinking that all will go as planned), and I leave with a medal and pride of steel?  Then what?  What happens when the weather here in NY gets cold, very cold, and it snows, almost every day where I live.  I am probably not going to love running in the freezing cold, or in the snow.  And I certainly do not enjoy it on the treadmill.  This training has taken so much time and determination.  So much effort.  And I absolutely love being on the training schedule.  That is something I have learned about myself along this health journey.  I do best when I have some sort of guidance and dont have to wing it. But what about when its done?  Then what?

For now I am going to live in the moment and enjoy myself.  But in the back of mind I am thinking about what I will do after the half marathon.  I guess I just dont want to feel "lost" when the half is over and the weather gets cruddy.  I like to have a plan.  Any ideas?

Saturday, August 6, 2011

Two sides of the coin

Today I was talking with one of my friends.  I dont know her all that well but we get together with our kids to hang out.  She ran one of the local 15K races last month (9.3 miles) and I was asking her about it.  I am pretty sure it was her first.  Her response was an unenthusiastic "10 minute miles, same old, just what I expected".   Like it was effortless for her.  Like training and finishing (quickly in my opinion) was no biggie.  She finished in an hour an a halfish...with lots of hills.

Well this got me thinking (uht oh right?)....

On one side of the coin I am sooooo proud of me for running and setting these goals for myself.  I am excited to inspire others which I am told I am doing.  I am happy that I ran seven miles yesterday and wasnt gasping for breath.  It feels amazing for me to accomplish something that I never thought I could (or would) ever do.  And when I complete my first 10K and my first half marathon it will be with such excitement and pride!

But(you knew this was coming)....on the other side of the coin I cant help but feel not good enough.  My pace is much slower than hers.  It is and effort for me.  Its an effort to keep up with my training schedule. And, I am running and running and the weight is going up.  My clothes are tighter.  Why bother?  I am feeling below mediocre.  A little pity party started creeping up.

So I stomped it out with these thoughts below. Let me know what you think...

A.  I AM RUNNING....and the fact that I can even write that is a miracle for me!  I AM RUNNING!  Why do I need to be so hard on myself?

B.  She is probably almost a foot taller than me.  She also doesnt have large boobs and a FUPA from having two children surgically removed .  So she is probably capable of running much faster than me.

C. I am training to complete a half marathon.  And thats what its all about, right?  FINISHING it, regardless of time.  Again, why do I have to let the "not good enough" in?

D.  So I have put on some weight while training.  Although I still dont understand it or agree with the 20 lb quick gain...I saw it, I hated it, and I am doing my best to fix it.  I am choosing what I eat very carefully and making healthy choices all around.

E.  Did I mention that I am RUNNING?!!!!  Regularly.  I am running 20ish miles a week at this point.  I never dreamed I would ever do such a thing.  And while I feel like I should be able to eat whatever I want in return for my efforts, I am not.  I have committed myself to making lots of good EFFORTS!.  Thats what its all about right?

So there.  I will have to revisit this post when the pity party creeps in.  I hate pity parties. 

Friday, August 5, 2011

My longest run so far...

I had a run on Monday that was just awful.  I mean A*W*F*U*L.  The hubs let me sleep in which was so very nice of him.  But I had a run planned and wanted to keep to my  half marathon schedule.  So I really just rolled out of bed, suited up, and off I went for 4.5 miles.  Right from the beginning it was awful.  I did *that hill* that I am always talking about when I run at camp.  I didnt have to stop or walk and I was proud of that, but it did NOT make the run any better.  My breathing was fine.  It was my body that wasnt cooperating.  It didnt want to GO.  Like at all.  I literally had to think about running...  About putting one leg in front of the other for the majority of the run.  I couldnt wait for it to end.  Maybe it was humid and a few hours later than usual but I couldnt say for sure what was causing this run to be awful.  Maybe it was the lack of coffee.  I have been drinking coffee in the mornings.  Its a new thing for me.  Most of my running books say it helps people.  Its true.  I notice a difference.  I am not sure how I feel about that...

Anyway, so I was thrilled to get out there for my run this morning and not struggle!  It was really pleasant!  So pleasant that around three miles in (it was a planned 4.5 mile run) I decided to make it my long run.  I ran 7 miles today!  Yaaaay!  It felt great.  And I like knowing that I am now more than 1/2 way to my half marathon distance!  I wasnt totally spent either.  I definately had more in me.  I had a cup of coffee and a Powerbar gel packet (with no caffeine) before my run.  Maybe that was the trick...  There is so much trial and error!

I was super sweaty after my run today.  I love to sweat when exercising!
Yup, thats a whole lotta sweat :)

Here's a running skirt I came across at the running store...on clearance.   What do you think?

It has tight shorts built in underneath.

My eating has been great!  The scale said 177 yesterday.  Thats down 6 from the last time I checked.  Annoying that I am still 15 lbs up from my lowest but I am not going to be ruled by a number on a scale.

Nope.  I refuse. 

Monday, August 1, 2011

5k pics!

Hello all!  I am happy to say that I have been very on track with both my eating and running.  I have not been on the scale in a while and plan to weigh in tomorrow just to see where I am at.   I am back to not wanting to weigh too often and to just enjoy my healthy eating and exercising lifestyle.  It feels so good just knowing that I am trying.  So why let the scale interfere too often right?  I will let my clothes and how I feel guide me along in my progess checks for now with a check in on the scale here and there.

I ran a 5k this weekend with my friend.  It was her first and I was so proud of her.  She made a comment on FB last week that said "Youre going to have a clan of people following you soon, Jen, just like Forrest Gump. Whats your t-shirt going to say?".  It made me smile and think...hmmmm....am I really inspiring people?  Boring ole me? 


We got there and to my surprise I didnt have the pre-race jitters I have had in the past.  There was excitement but the nerves werent really there.  My hubs and our girls were there.  They made signs  :)  And my friends daughter was there too with her sign.  But her other daughter woke up sick so her hubs stayed home with her so my friend could come run the race!  How nice!  So we piled in her minivan and off we went.  I was a little concerned about the hills that were on the course but not nervous or doubting myself.  I knew about them only because we checked the course out the day before.  The race was awesome.  One of the smaller ones I have done yet the envirnoment was one of my favorites!  There was music, spectators, people sitting outside their houses with sprinklers set up to run through, and snacks for after.  Not bad for a smaller race.  We told ourselves before the race that we wouldnt put a time goal on it because of all the hills, and because it was her first race. 

I am so very happy with how we did.  I was most proud with how I felt during the whole run.  I felt energized and empowered.  I didnt get exhausted and we handled the hills well!  Our finishing time was 34:53.  Definately not my fastest 5k, but not my slowest either.  And honestly, I felt so good and energized that time took a backseat to how good I felt!  My friend agreed that it was an awesome run.  Here are some pics!

the girls cheering some peeps in!

Just finished!

fixing the hair pre-race...hehe.

My family +1

Or average time was somewhere around 11:24 minute/mile and according to my garmin watch we were at a 6 minute mile when we sprinted to the finish!

After the race, we headed to camp for the weekend.  Here are some pics from there.

This deer ate all sorts of food all weekend.

There was a mama and two babies

"hey...can I get some of that?"


I must say I am less than thrilled with the rolls as I sit there.  But...at least I am on track and working on it!

Hope everyone is well!