104th Thanksgiving Day Race

 Starting out at a brisk 28 degrees with my sidekick Kristina, amidst 15K+ other individuals who were crazy enough to be out on Thanksgiving morning, there was an overwhelming vibe for the event to begin, the longer I stood the tighter my body was feeling and the more likely I would have to use the bathroom, finally at 9:10 my feet tapped the start line and we headed uphill into Cincinnati.

I had set a goal for myself of 70 minutes or less (I did the Komen in September in 1:10:34). My foot was feeling ok, my music was not cooperating, so I had to lean on the pace of the crowd.

By mile 2 I hit my stride, 22 minutes. I less than 12 mins a miles I was pleased. Entertained by the festive holiday outfits, tutu’s (if someone could explain this one to me I would be grateful, they look cute on my kids but on adult women, ummm not so sure) and the runners dedicated to wearing shorts, that had to burn, I know cold when I see it.

 

Lining the streets were supporters for many different groups, the MS Society and Goodwill are the two that stood out in my mind. However, the most touching group I followed were a bunch dressed in red, and the lead runners carrying large American Flags. I teared up, their patriotism was inspiring, I imagine the flag wasn’t a light item, and I saw them pass it among themselves every so often, they were running for Veterans, of which I am proud to know several and cannot think of a more fitting tribute on such a day as this.

I have learned the value of the brief power walk on long runs, especially uphill, it allows me to rest a bit, but also allows me to be able to push on the flats and the last two miles. Running through Cincinnati, down into Newport, into Covington and back into the city, I reminisced about the only other time I did this event, I walked it with my mother and my dog Amy – we had no idea how long 10K was and by the time we saw the 6 mile marker we were beat -9 years later I am running it, amazed at how far I have really progressed.

One highlight for me was heading into the last mile, an older man beside me, walking with me looked over and saw my Mudder headband (great for keeping my ears warm) and said “Mudders don’t walk.” I laughed, we talked a little about completing one, by this point I had shed both long-sleeved tops and was sleeveless, sweating, and tiring…but he was right, I didn’t need to walk then, I was being lazy. I pushed that last three-quarters of a mile and crossed at 1:13:37 officially. Ok I missed my goal, not by much, I give myself those few minutes, it was the first distance greater than 3 miles I had run in over a month.

 

My pace 11:53

I have to give huge props to Kristina, she finished well ahead of her personal goal as well – she’s pretty bad ass

So my official first running season has come to a close…20 weeks until the Pig.

 

 

A Slice of Turkey and A Piece of the Pig

A week from today is Thanksgiving  will begin with a 10K, the 104th annual Thanksgiving day race, this year’s oldest participant registered to date is 85! This will be my second organized 10K event and my personal goal is to beat my personal best time of 70 minutes. I have been working back up to the distance after two cortisone shots and some therapy my foot is feeling significantly better. I will be joined at this event by my friend Kristina – she and I are quite excited and ready – we both are silently hoping for weather like that of last Thanksgiving, mild and dry.

 

This will be my last “official” run for 2013, I am amazed at the progress I have made in a little over 9 months but this is not the end, really it’s just the beginning because December 1st I begin training for:

This is really how all my journey from totally sedentary to very active began.

 A friend I went to high school with has a young son who at a very early age has had a liver transplant, I saw her post again and again about his progress and recovery, trips for test and endless medications. Throughout all of this her posts were always positive – a real inspiration of hope. Then she posted that there was a team that ran for her son, and Children’s Organ Transplant Association will get 10% donated for all members of the team.  I saw this post at almost 240#, hadn’t run a step in YEARS, had never run more than 360′ (do the math it’s the distance around four bases) let alone miles. But I promised myself that I would run at least the half…and I will meet my personal goal and run the full by 2016 (maybe sooner) before I turn 40.

Call it a ripple effect but it has changed me, my life, my health and for that I am truly thankful. So next Thursday I will enjoy my slice of turkey, and take the next step toward a piece of the Pig.

What To Do With Injury Depression

I went to the podiatrist this week, finally, pretty sure that the knee pain that has flared up is a result of overcompensation for my foot and my suspicion of plantar fasciitis was confirmed. The Dr. did a ultrasound and gave me an anti-inflammatory injection (which by the way hurt A LOT), gave me some exercises to stretch the muscle and my Achilles tendon, and a night splint to wear but that didn’t fit my leg so I have not been able to utilize it.

Now what?

Since early October I have really been depressed about not being able to go at the pace I want to, I have been frustrated that I set a goal and I get out and go, to feel my body telling me to stop, my head telling it to hush, my heart breaking because I am so afraid that compromise will lead to a total stoppage. I have cried and fed my sadness that revolves around this internal struggle, to a physical condition; my mental well being right now relies heavily on my exercise and weight loss success, with other facets of my life not in line I need this to hold me together.

This morning laying in bed, after a horrid night sleep, feeling tension in my shoulder, my lower back, feeling like a failure…but I shouldn’t.

 

My progress is still good, just stalled; injury does not mean stopping, it means finding another way. 

 

 

My success in the past didn’t include running,  I know that I can do it outside of that one activity.

I choose, to make this a change for life.

I accept that in life there are setbacks.

I believe that setbacks are temporary.

I love myself enough to not give up.

 

 

 

 

 

Exercise is only 4%

The past few weeks I have been asked by people what I am doing to slim down (that feels darn good, especially when I am making very slow progress). I tell them Weight Watchers and running, and the conversation goes on and on and I share a little about how I got into running, and then I hear it “I can’t because…<insert lame-o excuse.>”

I know that running isn’t for everyone, but for everyone there is something! A class or video, walking, swimming, yoga, weights, the important thing is to find the thing that you love to do and do it. Pour all you are into it, make time for it, not excuses.Make a friend or find a partner or coach and make it happen more days than not.

  “I don’t have an hour to give to working out?”

 I personally struggle with this statement, one hour is 4% of a day,  I give 32% of my day to my job, 8% to traffic, 44%to sleep, cooking, cleaning, kids, and other domestic duties….guess what that leaves 16% of my day to give me.

 I selfishly take some of that and run, this week I am adding in some videos that I have and used to really like, free weights that have been door stops for far too long, and reading.

 It’s difficult to make exercise a habit, it’s part of you; speaking for me it’s a crucial part of my day.

 My journey is far from over, I really want to be below 200 before the end of the month, I have been so close the last two months and I can’t seem to break through. The impending holiday season is my inspiration we have a work event to attend for the husband and I have an amazing dress in my closet I haven’t worn in over 5 years – I WILL WEAR THAT DRESS.

I love pinterest and a lot of the pictures I post in this blog I find there but this one (to the left), really hit home because for a long time what I saw in the mirror was this fat lady, with rolls, stretchmarks, full of imperfections…today when I look at me I see the progress, I know what I will be, I know that the desire to look like the sexy woman I feel like will push me to my goal, and I will not quit until I reach that goal.

 4% of my day that’s all it takes to inch toward that goal….I can make the time can you????

TOUGH MUDDER

 “Tough Mudder is an endurance event series in which participants attempt 10-12 mileparticipants at

long military-style obstacle courses. Designed by British Special Forces to test mental as well as physical strength, obstacles often play on common human fears, such as fire, water, electricity and heights. The organizers encourage teamwork, and many obstacles are designed to be very difficult to complete alone. The events are untimed,and an average 78% of entrants successfully complete the course.

 

Weather forecast for Saturday 10/19/2013: 48 and rainy

The accuracy of words to describe this event is almost impossible. After a night of very broken sleep, I put my mudder motivation/prayers on my left arm, knowing at each mile I would have a new thought to push me, there were several times I scraped the mud off to see these thoughts and I knew I would finish.

I left my house at  8:30 to meet my running partner (Brad) in Wilder. He and I have been training, pushing, motivating one another toward this day since early this year. I have at times questioned if I would be in that 78% that completes the course. I knew going in that the running portion I could do, I can run 10 miles. The obstacles I told myself I would attempt, even if they posed a fear.

Artic Enema – well hello mile two, a plunge polar bear style into a vat of ice filled mud water, knowing I had about 10 seconds give or take to get my already frozen body in and out, shockingly cold, never have I felt anything like it, burning & breath stealing – but I did it and with help I did make it out and that chill wore off quickly

Boa Constrictor – a pair of corrugated pipes with a mud-water swim between was probably the hardest for me, it came in the second half and claustrophobia set in the minute my head ducked in, I gulped in fresh air in the swim and crawled my way up the slick pipe, being pulled out the last foot or two by Brad.

This course, as I am sure any of them, are not for the weak – mentally or physically, there was hiking, crawling, clawins…there was very little running, I would say not more that a mile stretch,  and this was because of the mud. Now, that may sound silly, it’s called “Tough Mudder” it should be muddy, but 3 days of rain prior to the event made it start out water logged. The progress was incredibly slow, physically demanding (think walking on ice uphill and down for miles). Shoes so laden with mud, and nothing to remove the mud with, not a tree that hadn’t already been grasped my mud covered hands hundreds of times, no grass that could assist in pulling some of it off so that maybe for a few steps you could use any kind of traction….and the rain, off and on throughout the day.

I am so very thankful and honored that I had a partner who pushed me, who made me want to finish, his bad ass did complete Everest (a half pipe one has to run up and pull themselves over – 20′ feet high – his badassery has no limit).

At mile nine, limping, on an injured foot I’ve been nursing for weeks but I wasn’t going to give up, or in, but I did have to listen to my body and be content with completing the course distance even though it meant bypassing several obstacles for fear of injuring myself more so. A woman watching as we passed her said “We’ve been out here rain and shine!” my response, “I call bullshit on that, I haven’t seen any shine!”

She then asked if I was hurt, I said “Yes ma’am” she asked if I needed a medic I said “No ma’am” there is no quit in me, I was not done.

Crossing the finish line, exhausted, starving, emotional, proud, sore…the ladies slipped the headband on my head, gave me my shirt, and commented that my pink bow (in honor of my girls and breast cancer awareness month) survived, I said “Of course it did”. Grabbing my free beer, Dos Equis (the worst beer I have ever had think church wine and cheap beer combined) we got our bag and pulled on our damp but warmer jackets. Standing in line for an hour to get the bus back , stripping down in a field to pull on long, dry, clean pants, cutting off shoes because the mud was so caked on there was no hope of untying them, sitting down a chore in itself.

 I have already been asked will I do it again? 

Yes – I deserve a dry day to attempt those obstacles I had to bypass.

Why?

Because officially I am a Tough Mudder.

How many sticks????

This wasn’t the progress I was hoping to see this month. a minuscule .4#’s and 1/4″ isn’t very much, however it’s still progress toward the goal. I started to feel disappointed in myself, but I can’t. I stopped tracking, measuring, controlling food instead I let it control me, I didn’t say “no thank you” as often as I should…now I look to the left and see that massive pile of butter – 120 sticks  and realize that even though I didn’t drop as many pounds as I wanted to, I have still made progress. I didn’t gain any, I maintained, and that itself isn’t an easy feat. I also realize that if I was paying more attention to what I ate combined with the calories I am burning I would be seeing the loss I desire – note to self: it works if you work it.

 This month’s “during” photo features a skirt I have kept in my closet as a go to when nothing else fit. I wore it to work one day and had the realization that it was a little too big to keep wearing and then I put it where it should be worn, at the waist and this is what I saw! There’s enough room in there for a lot more of me! This was the last time I ever wore this garment, it now resides in the trash. I had to part with this favorite to remind me that is not the body I want any more  I don’t want it to fit, EVER AGAIN. Then I re-visited my wardrobe and sure enough there were a few other items that needed to go.

Motivation for the next 4 weigh in’s: I am so very close to being below 200#, I haven’t seen that since April of 2008, yup the month I got pregnant with Ailey I was in the 190’s and since then I have gotten close but never broke through – this is it. This month I will say goodbye to the 200’s FOREVER. 

MEASUREMENTS for August Progress:

Bust   44″ now 42.5″

Rear 47″ now 42″

Waist  42″ now 36″

Arms  17″ now 14.25″

Thigh   29.5″ now 24″

Calves  20″ now19.25″

BMI  37   now 32.1

Pants  14/16 now 12/14

Shirt  XL now L

Total measurable loss   21.5″ and 30.4#

Miles ran: 75.23

 

 

Easily Defeated

Just when I start to feel really good about the progress that I have made, seeing that I am half way in fact to my personal goal, I am reminded that people still view me as the “fat kid”.  When I was out running today, a run that ended up being one cut short due to circumstances beyond my control, some man driving past me had to yell out the window of his jalopy “Look at you fat ass!”  I normally can’t hear much of what is going on around me because of the music, but I was running on a busier street not near my house, a lot more traffic I felt it was smart to turn it down a little, at home I wouldn’t have heard him. But those 5 words cut me. I have spent the rest of today battling the emotions that it stirred up.

I know what I am. I know what I’m not, I know what I never will be and what I don’t want to be. I like my curves, it’s womanly, motherly…what that man stole from me today will take months to rebuild. For he crept in with 5 words and stole the confidence that progress had built up over the past 7 months.

This journey has been so much harder, personally I have had to face more set backs due to life events than I ever have before, I have had to adopt and learn, teach and teach myself again how to eat, what to eat, how to exercise, to not feel guilty when I take time for me to do these things. It’s taken me 7 months to drop 30#, in my head I would have been within pounds of my goal by now based on my past successes. But, I’m not 27 this time, I have children and I have accepted that losing this weight slowly, in the long run will lead to loss that is more permanent. The mindset is so much harder to reshape than the body.

In my head I am always going to be the “fatkid” I am always going to think about what I looked like before, what I want to look like, what I look like in comparison to other women around me. I am always going to think about every bite I take, and what people think about what I am eating. I am not certain that I will ever overcome completely the emotional aspects of food, it’s who I am.

In 5 words that man, who I will never see again,  will never know how his few words brought me down so much. I am disappointed in the fact that I let it bother me that much, but it did. I know what I am, I didn’t need a reminder, and he doesn’t know that 7 months ago I was bigger, softer, weaker; he doesn’t know what I have accomplished, it doesn’t matter to him, for 15 seconds he got to be cruel to a total stranger (and let that be a lesson when I have negative thoughts about anyone else because certainly I don’t know their journey and have no right to think anything about them over me).

So, tomorrow I will approach the day with a better attitude. Start my climb back up, reach for that goal that isn’t so far away, and tonight hope that the man who brought me down, thinks twice before he does it again.

Confidence is so fragile.

One Weekend, Two Events

This weekend was a busy one….

 

Saturday: I did the Color Run in Cincinnati. I highly recommend this as a good first event, family event, or gathering of friends who want to get a little exercise and have some fun. Standing in the chute waiting for the wave to begin the DJ humored the group and color was flying. Pink, blue, yellow, purple the pavement stained with it, the air thick with residue. The weather was optimal, cool and sunny; the course was laid out in a zig-zag pattern near Paul Brown Staduim and the first dose of color came within a half mile. In less than thirty minutes I toed the finish line, this was not a officially timed event but runkeeper says I completed the 2.76 miles (it was advertised as a 5K which is 3.14) in 29:06 my personal goal was the 3.14 in less than 36 minutes, I most certainly would have met that goal with ease.

Sunday: I joined this event due to the large participation of the Sunday Fundayers at WW in Erlanger. It’s modest $10 entry fee made it difficult to say no. This 5K course took me through old parts of Erlanger beginning and ending at the Kenton County Library. My mother, Uncle Ken, and littles were also present to push and encourage me. Crossing the finish line in 35:44 – next year I will win my division, I was only 2 minutes behind the second place finisher and 3 behind the winner – I know I can accomplish this. The girls were able to participate in the kids fun run around the parking lot and they had fun being chased by mommy and their Ms. Kris; both are quite proud of their participation medals.

 

How these events measure my progress: In seven weeks I have cut a little more than three minutes off my 5K pace. When I finished the event on July 4th I knew then that I could do anything I set my mind to. My bib and timer for the Komen 10K showed up today and I am revising my personal goal from 1:45 to 1:15. In this last month I have also decided to set a long term goal – I am going to run a full marathon by the time I am 40, I have 3 years to meet this goal.

 

Katy Perry: ROAR   http://youtu.be/e9SeJIgWRPk

 

I got the eye of the tiger, a fighter, dancing through the fire

Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR

Louder, louder than a lion

Cause I am a champion and you’re gonna hear me ROAR

Now I’m floating like a butterfly 

Stinging like a bee I earned my stripes

I went from zero to my own hero

24 Trips to the Scale

MEASUREMENTS:

Bust   44″ now 42.75″

Rear 47″ now 42″

Waist  42″ now 36″

Arms  17″ now 14.25″

Thigh   29.5″ now 24″

                                                        Calves  20″ now19.50″

BMI  37   now 32.8

Pants  14/16 now 12/14

Shirt  XL now L

Total measurable loss

 21″ and 30#

Miles ran: 79.44

Another four trips to the scale, another month where the loss was more in inches than pounds. I have finally broken through into the 200’s and , my goal is to make it below 200 before the month is out.

 RUNNING…has become quite the obsession for me. I lace up 6 days a week and rarely run less than 3 miles. I have created several routes at home that I enjoy and am slowly increasing my distances in preparation for the 10K in September – this past Saturday I did my first 6 miler in 1:15 I was pretty pleased with that time, and last night I had my best 3 to date with a pace of 11:57/mile.

 The best moment had to be last week when the girls asked to run with me. When I got back from my 4 miles, they both put their shoes on and we ran to the stop sign, its a good little distance for a 3 and 4 year old and they were amazing – they ran the whole thing. They and Scott are so supportive, without them my progress would not be possible.

 The Battle with Food…I tried this past month to be a more faithful tracker.

 I have found that I eat well during the day – clean, fruits, veggies, bread, lean protein and nuts, when I get home and run my appetite is for protein, I am no longer living to eat, I am eating to live. This is a monumental task.  For when I eat to nourish my body and choose the right things, I am satisfied longer.

I can’t say we haven’t splurged, but I have kept it smart, allowed myself to enjoy pizza at a party, ice cream with my kids, a few chips now and then but I have come a long way.

 This membership to Weight Watchers has come at a point in my life where I really feel like I can live it, it’s not a weekly struggle to lose, it’s about accepting my reality. Knowing that loss every week isn’t realistic, and when I have a gain, I am not crushed  because I know it means I have to think more the next week.

 

 

 

 

 

Pantyhose

This week I had a moment where my loss in inches and body re-shape was confirmed when I had to put on pantyhose. Now you’re reading this thinking, “What in the hell do pantyhose have to do with anything?” Any person who has ever taken on the task of putting on a pair of them knows the thought process behind it.

  • first how uncomfortable they can be, especially if you purchased the wrong ones or you selected based on the package recommendation to know that their suggestion is rarely correct; then you put the first pair on and run them, I always buy at least 2 pair because I know this is what will happen to me.
  •  Once said pantyhose are up there is the “Maybe I should skip the panties…” thought, because who needs an extra line.
  • repeat process
  • Admire shape in mirror and instantly feel the top roll down – immediately self-criticize  “geesh I’m a fat ass” while inspecting package suggestion  – my clothes are a 14 but my hose are a Q2 – that makes me feel awesome
  • decide maybe hose aren’t needed and take them off, put on pants and be done with it

My mother raised me with the notion of a skirt or dress shorter than ankle length should have hose under it, it’s professional and appropriate for many situations. I had such an event this week and I went through this process, at work none the less so the option to change into pants was not available.

However, I had a most unusual and unexpected experience. I slid the hose up and into place and when I pulled my dress down, there wasn’t a line, they didn’t roll down. I finally fit into them, they way I think they are supposed to be worn. My dress slid right over them and I couldn’t “see” where they were.

No self criticism for me today, a little pat on the back and off to my event I went…where did I go keep reading and I will post it soon.

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