Wednesday, November 24, 2010

My first race!

Before the race
I did it! I ran my first 5k on Saturday, and no surprise, I totally loved it. It was the most fun I've had in a long time, and I had to force myself to quit thinking how much I wished I'd done it sooner. The point is, I'm doing it NOW. I'll start from the beginning...

Friday night I had friends over for lasagna dinner, and enjoyed good company, good food, and good encouragement. I also made roasted squash and brussels sprouts, in the hopes that I would get my one friend who is working on eating healthier to try a sprout, but all she did was lick one and throw it away. I already got her to eat spaghetti squash, so I will keep working on her! I was not feeling too nervous and managed to get to bed at a pretty decent hour.

Set my alarm clock for my regular time, 5am, knowing I would hit the snooze button a few times, which I did, and ended up getting up at 6:00. I enjoyed some quiet time before the kids got up (who am I kidding...before I had to pry them out of bed), took a shower, ate some yummy Bob's Red Mill 5-grain mix with bananas and walnuts, got dressed, and woke the girls up. We managed to get out the door on time (rarely happens!), and as soon as we were headed toward the park, the nerves kicked in!

At the park, we met two of my friends, who had made a poster for me and brought one for my kids to make! Too cool!!! My mom met us there, as well - my Dad had a stomach bug, but he was with me in spirit. I had the best cheering section ever. There was about an hour until the race, so I checked in, used the bathroom, kept drinking my water, got a massage, used the bathroom, warmed up, got stretched, used the bathroom...I was rather obsessive about that! There were all kinds of people there, and I did not feel intimidated or overwhelmed at all. I saw one of E's classmates (2nd grade) at the starting line with his Mom - there were LOTS of kids there, in fact.

At the start, my main goal was not to start too fast and my main concern was getting around slower people and not being a hangup for anyone else. No problemo. I hit the first mile right on pace (my slow pace, that is - 12 minute miles). Got through the "hilly" part (which is so much less intimidating now than the first time I ran it weeks ago!). Made it to mile two. Feeling steady and strong. The last bit was up a hill, a loop around a parking lot, and then to the finish line. As I got to the top of the hill, there were my mom, C & E, waving a poster and cheering!!! Just the encouragement I needed - I motored on around the parking lot and stepped it up to cross the finish line.

Official time...37:03

Originally my goal was to finish in under 35 minutes. However, the past few weeks I have been having a lot of problems with my right hip. About a month ago I had mentioned it to the orthopedist when I went in to have my shin pain evaluated, but he suggested stretching and monitoring it. Last weekend I went for a 45 minute run (doing the Bridge to 10k program), and the last 5-7 minutes were awful, my hip hurt so bad. That was Sunday, and I did not run again until the 5k. I experienced mild discomfort until that last bit, thank goodness, but once I got home and stopped moving, I could barely move had I wanted to. Sunday I felt good enough to work out at the gym - 30 minutes on the elliptical, 30 on the stairmaster and 30 cycling, but I think I need to stay away from high impact until I get back to the doctor. I am really bummed about this!!!

Probably one of the most exciting things about the 5k was the support I got from my friends and family. Everyone who came to watch me said they wanted to do one with me, so it makes me feel amazing that I inspired them! I see a training program for kids in my future...

The whole experience was unbelievable, and I can't wait to do it fact, in another post I will let you in on my plans for that!

After the race with C, E, & the turkey, wearing my hard-earned shirt.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Word Play

Just having a little fun. If you have never played around on this website, it is very cool and addictive! You can print out whatever you create and use it for anything you want - I think this needs to be printed out and put somewhere I can see it every day!

Monday, November 15, 2010


I know this means "non-scale victory" in the world of gettin' fit, but for today I have declared it temporarily to mean Non-Smoking Victory. I weighed in on Saturday and was down just under 3 pounds. I stepped off and on the scale three times to be sure, then I jumped up and down and squealed. I DID IT!!!!! I quit smoking and LOST WEIGHT. I am so proud of myself. Now I know beyond a shadow of a doubt, this is it for sure...this is definitely my time to become a Fit Mama!!!

Six days to race day. I am nervous and excited and nervous some more. Mostly I can't wait! I work out with my trainer tonight and Wednesday, and I plan to tell him tonight that under no circumstances can my legs be as sore for my race as they have been since Thursday! I am already planning my races for 2011 - this is so much fun I really wish I had started years ago.

More later - I am in that mode I get into sometimes where I have a tornado of ideas and thoughts and things to say in my head, but I have a hard time getting my fingers to cooperate making them make sense coming many things going on in my life right now it's pretty overwhelming!

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Week 1 as a FORMER smoker

I quit smoking one week ago today, and I am so thrilled and grateful to be able to say that it's been a breeze! I have not had any cravings at all. I have not gone overboard on eating (though I did have to leave my favorite Justin's chocolate hazelnut butter at work because it was seriously calling my name every evening!). I am so glad that I waited until I had developed good eating and exercise habits before tackling quitting, because now I have something else to concentrate on and motivate me. I am very curious to see what the scale says on Saturday, but trying not to obsess about it too much!

One thing that has really been a help is my new gym membership and my awesome new trainer. Tuesday evening was my first session with him, and we did an upper body workout. My pecs hurt so much on Wednesday morning I could not hold the phone. He should have recorded himself telling me to "hold my core in" to save himself repeating it 500 times - I tried to tell him my core has not seen any action in over 14 years, so it might take awhile to rouse those muscles from their hibernation. And planks? Holy Batmobile, Robin, my whole body was shaking! But it felt SO good. Best part of my week.

Then, THEN, internets, I got my butt out of bed and to the gym at 5AM on Wednesday morning and ran for 45 minutes on the treadmill AND I did not fall off! I am so proud of myself  - I may have mentioned once or twice that I did not used to be a morning person. I even managed to call J from the gym and get her out of bed and to the bus stop, no small accomplishment in itself! I will definitely do that more often - I love getting my workout out of the way in the morning.

Tonight was lower body workout with my trainer. Can you say jelly legs? I will definitely be walking funny tomorrow, but I will love every second of it. This journey has become so much more than just losing weight or getting in shape. My entire life is changing. I am reconnecting with dreams and goals and ambitions long buried. I want to try new things - I want to try everything! I want to breath in life! It has not been without struggle - in placing my new lifestyle at the top of my list of priorities, other things have suffered, and I am still struggling to reorder everything so that I am not dropping so many balls. I know it will take time, but it is still a source of some frustration. Having to wear a belt with my size 14 previous "skinny" jeans makes it a little better, though!

Well, two of the things that have sort of fallen into place for me are earlier to bed and getting back to one of my favorite hobbies - reading. Snuggling under the covers with a good book also helps me avoid food temptation at night, and getting a good night's sleep is a big bonus! I've rediscovered the library and have stacks of books I'm reading on all sorts of things, so I think I will get the kiddos ready for bed and head there myself.

Monday, November 8, 2010

Sun Salutation!

So my gym (I love the sound of that) offers a "family yoga class" on Sundays at 5:00. I thought it would be a fun way to get the girls involved in exercising, as well as a good introduction to yoga (my mom is on her way to becoming an instructor, but I have never even tried it!). Well, J was out of town this weekend and C decided it was way too uncool to be seen in public doing anything with her mom, but E was game to go with me. Unfortunately, she was so unfocused and distracted that after about 10-15 minutes, she could no longer follow along, and after 30 minutes, we had to leave the class to avoid further disrupting everyone. However, I totally loved it and have added that class to my weekly calendar. Very excited about the next class, when I can concentrate on me and not my chatterbox 7 year old!

Now one thing E does love to do is ride her bike. I had been stressing about my Sunday morning run because C had a slumber party Saturday night and I had to get J to school at 6:30 am to leave for an out of state band competition, so I didn't know how I was going to manage to get my run in with no big sister available to babysit. I had a lightbulb moment while working out on Saturday, though - since I was going to have to wake E up to come with me to drop off J anyway, why not let her ride her bike while I ran? She got a little whiney toward the end (I ran at the lake where my 5k is in less than 2 weeks and my only goal was to make it around the lake), but she was a champ and it is definitely something I can add to my "bag of tricks" to ensure I get my workout in! 

Two good things about the run: first, E held true to form and was a real chatterbox the whole time, forcing me to answer her. Since I always run alone, I have never been able to take the "talk test" while running, so this was a good indication that I was in the right zone; second, since it was quite chilly, I was a little worried since in the past I have been bothered with inner ear pain while trying to exercise in the cold (even light walking). However, I wore one of those earband headbands and was thrilled to find I had no problems with any ear pain, so it looks like I may have no excuse not to hit the trails this winter (brrrrr....). The only thing that hampered the run a bit was that my pants kept threatening to fall off! Could it be time to try a size large instead of extra large? I may need to take some of my quit smoking funds to invest in a new pair before my race, because racing bare-assed would be bad! 

Finally, I weighed in Sunday morning instead of Saturday (truth be told, I had a rather weak moment or several on Friday night and gobbled up a, several...ok, ok, many pieces of Halloween candy and just couldn't face the scale the next day!). I was up a tiny bit - .6 pounds at 183 - but am ok with that considering I had just quit smoking a few days earlier and have really been quite good about resisting the urge to nosh my way through the cravings. Actually, my cravings have not been all that bad at all, it's just the times I would normally go outside and smoke I'm left without anything to do and am trying hard not to turn to food. Or, if I must have a snack, I am trying to make it healthy (plain popcorn, carrots - LOTS of carrots!!!, etc). I will have to accept and forgive myself if I hit a bit of a plateau for awhile, as I know quitting causes lots of changes in your metabolism and your body in general. If I can get through it without GAINING, I will consider it a victory!

Well, now I have the munchies so I am off to make myself some popcorn! Tomorrow night I work out with my new trainer, so I will let you know how that goes - I am so excited!!!!!

Friday, November 5, 2010

It's all good...

Sorry I have been AWOL for a few weeks - it's been a rough month. Lots going on. The girls and I have been fighting fall colds - nothing as serious as last year's swine flu, but we all just have these sort of low-grade, lingering bugs. I would like to think that my exercise and healthier eating have lessened the impact of the fall funk - usually I end up in bed for a week with something nasty, but this year I was still functional.
The last week was emotionally tough because I thought that I might have a stress fracture. What I passed off as shin splints for probably too long started to freak me out the longer the pain lasted and the closer I got to my race, so I scheduled an appointment with an orthopedist. Good news is - no fracture! I went 5 days without running before the appointment, and boy, was that tough! Talk about withdrawal. The bad news is, when I finally got to run on Wednesday, I ended up with some very achy hips, so I definitely need to start doing some stretching or yoga. This old body is NOT going to let me down when I have such lofty goals!
Speaking of withdraw...I quit smoking yesterday. Yes, I have been a pack a day smoker for a lot of years, and quitting has always been on my mind, but certainly more so since I've been exercising. I felt like such a hypocrite, lighting up after a run! But, the last time I quit (February 7, 2007), I ended up gaining over 50 pounds, and I was terrified of a repeat. I wanted to get some good habits in place before attempting to quit again. So, I've been just over 24 hours without a cigarette, and doing ok - the biggest problem is that my body apparently does not know how to function without any stimulants and I can barely keep my eyes open!

In order to make sure that I don't backslide on my weight loss after The Big Quit, I decided to join a gym! I figured that a gym membership was a good redirection of funds previously spent killing myself slowly! I also signed up to work with a trainer for a month to get me into a program and stay motivated through the most difficult time after quitting (and holidays coming up, what was I thinking!). I have a lot of guilt associated with "treating" myself to these things, both the money and time I'm devoting to my new healthier lifestyle and goals - I feel like it's taking away from time and attention and things that my girls deserve. I know logically that you have to put your own mask on before helping others, but guilt is always my first reaction and sometimes it doesn't help that they, too, are struggling with the changes I'm making. I know it's all for the best in the long run, the example I am setting and the lessons they will (hopefully) learn from my journey.

Now, I'm a little upset about one thing...they have this great little contraption at the gym that records your blood pressure, weight, body fat percentage, blah blah blah. Very nifty, reads higher than my scale at home. Very depressing. Last Saturday I weighed in at 182.4 at home, but last night I registered 187 at the gym. Now granted, I usually weigh first thing in the morning and nakey (of course), and I was at the gym in the evening, fully clothed, with shoes on. I'm not really sure what numbers to use - I guess the most important thing is that there is consistent movement no matter what. 

So, overall, things are going well and I am looking forward to November being a better month than October was. Definitely looking forward to (hopefully) getting my butt kicked at the gym, some positive movement toward goals (I will post my "gym" stats soon) and my race in just over 2 weeks!!!!

Today, I am a runner, a gym member, and former smoker, so yeah - it's all good!!!