Friday, December 28, 2012

Tuesday, December 25, 2012

Final blog post on this site...

I am moving to a new site...after all, 2012 is just about over. My new blog will be located at . I don't have a post there yet but I will. My first post will be to clarify my goals for 2013. I am still working on the plan. As always, I am trying to keep the goals measurable and clear. I do need to push myself a bit in the new year.

Before I leave this site, I did want to wish you all a Merry Christmas and leave you with a few images of my year (in totally random order).


Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Review of 2012 goals...

Before I get to the review of my goals, I do want to mention I need a new name for my blog next year. I hope people will follow me when I change the name. I will see if I can come up with something clever.

Today was a vacation day and it turned out to be a snowy blustery day. So it meant that I was a bit of a slug but I did just finish my workout and it was a good one. Now my mind is clear and I am going to review how I did on my goals for 2012.

My first set of goals was regarding exercise. I wanted to be able to do 10 full push ups (not girl push ups but full push ups). The good news is I can do this. I may not be getting a full range of motion but I can do at least 10, probably closer to 20 without stopping. The next goal was to be able to one-hand press a 45-pound kettlebell five times. I also accomplished this goal early on in the year. The third goal was to attempt burpees. Well, I have attempted them. I do not do them very well or very consistently but I do try them. Next year, I will set a goal to actually do them properly

The last exercise goal was to do an event each quarter. I surprised myself by just how many events I did do this year. Let's see if I remember them all. I did the Republic Plaza stair climb for the American Lung Association in February. I walked a 5K for Autism. I ran/walked my first 5K on Mother's Day. I did the stadium stampede for St. Joseph's Hospital. I did the CF stadium stair climb at Mile High and the Step Up for Cancer stair climb at Dick's Sporting Goods Stadium. I did the 10K run, Fans on the Field. I ran the Hasselhoff at Octoberfest. I ran/walked the Boulder Half marathon. Finally this Saturday I will be walking another 5K for Children's Hospital. I think I did pretty well on that goal.

Then my diet goals. The only goal I had was to do a 10 day detox in January and then focusing on clean eating. Well, I did that detox and another one in May, which really helped me get a handle on some things that were adversely impacting me. I am working with a nutritionist to continue to clean up my diet. I will do the same 35 day cleanse beginning January 7th. Tim and I still need to work on menu planning but we are getting better as we at least did some planning this year. We definitely are eating out a lot less and not eating processed foods. There is room for improvement but I am making progress. I lost quite a bit of weight this year and I hope to keep the momentum going into the new year.

I then wanted to do things to alleviate stress. I wanted to swim once a week. Well, that didn't happen. I did swim a bit but not as consistently as I wanted to. I did start to do yoga again. I think I am going to try to keep up with yoga. I am getting used to it and not allowing it to be a stressful thing for me.

I had a goal to read two classic novels. One was a reread, Grapes of Wrath, and one was a book I never read, 1984. I also read a few other books...some fluff...some non fiction...I did well with the reading.

I had a goal to write letters. I failed miserably on this one. I did email a bit more than normal to just say hi to people. I have to think if I want this to be a goal again.

Creativity was another epic fail for me this year. I wanted to go to more museums, which I did a bit but I did not do very well with allowing my creativity to be organic and just create. I did a few classes that were good and I have another class before the year end (jewelry making). I would like to work on this next year. I need to figure out how to relax about it and still get something done.

I did pretty well with the blog this year. I blogged more than 100 times. For me, that is amazing. It wasn't consistent about the timing but I did not force it. I blogged when I had something to say. Sometimes I blogged when I had very little to say. I look forward to continuing the blogging next year. I do think it helped keep me accountable and focused.

Now I need to figure out what my goals will be for 2013. I have a few ideas but I want to put them in an appropriate format so that they are measurable and such. I hope all are well and are looking forward to a great Christmas weekend!

Update -- I missed a few events. The September 11th Stair Climb, the MS Walk, the Retro Run....and probably a few was a good year for events!

Saturday, December 8, 2012

So, I shall walk.....for now.

Since the half marathon in October, I haven't done a lot of running. It actually hurts to run...a lot. My inner thighs, as they did in the race, seize up and I get the same shooting pains. I finally went to see my doctor, who in turn sent me to a physical therapist.

I was very apprehensive about going to a physical therapist, but after soliciting various opinions, I decided I would go. The good thing is that I liked him. He was helpful and fully explained things. The best thing is it appears to be totally fixable and purely "mechanical". It seems after losing the weight i have lost to date, my body has to carry things differently and that shift may have causes an issue with my pelvic bone. It will take a bit of time and work but he thinks I will be better in plenty of time to train for another half marathon next year. He will also be giving me exercises and advice so that this does not happen again. He also does not want me to stop doing anything that I am currently doing, unless it causes pain.

This week I was able to sit in the driver's seat of my car without pain. I was even able to do squats without a lot of pain. This is a amazing change from the prior weeks. 

I realized today that I have been a bit depressed over the past few weeks. One of the reasons is the lack of running and training. Although I have continued to work out (boxing, stair climbing, kettlebells), I miss running. I miss training for something. I also know there are a few 5Ks in the next few weeks that I would like to run. Not running is bumming me out. 

I tried today to run a bit but I cannot without the pain so I walked. I did a lot of thinking on that walk and realized that if I cannot run right now, I can still walk. I can walk some of the 5K events. There is no shame in walking until I can run again. So, I shall walk until I can run again.

Sunday, December 2, 2012

Thinking about 2013....

While 2012 has been a great year and I have accomplished many things, it is winding down. I am now turning my attention to what I will do next year to push myself to new limits. This year was all about putting myself out there and pushing myself physically and emotionally to complete certain things. I participated in several 5Ks and ran a 10K. I climbed stairs for several charity events. I ran a half marathon.

These are definitely things that I never thought I would do. Now the question is what do I do to keep moving forward. I know I will be doing the climbing events. I love them and want to see if I can improve on my time. I will run more 5Ks. What else?

I am thinking of at least one more half marathon, maybe two. I really want to learn to stand up paddle board and how to kayak. Then my big dream is to train and finish a sprint triathlon. I am contemplating one in August. It would be a half mile open water swim, 11.4 mile bike ride, and a 3.1 mile run. It terrifies me but it has long been on my bucket list. I feel that 2013 could be the year to tackle this challenge.

I would also like to end 2013 with an "X" of any sort in my clothes size. While I try not to set weight loss goals of ## pounds, I think that this is a good goal for the year. I have worked my way down to being able to fit into some "L's" but for the most part, I feel more comfortable in "XL's" right now. My goal is to keep moving down in size.

I also would like to continue to build my support system. This last year has been interesting for me as I have gained a good solid group of friends. It is a bit surprising to me but I am not as much of a loner as I always thought I was. Now I still like my alone tie but lo and behold, I actually like hanging out with some people. I like talking about my goals and hearing about theirs. It is good to feel a part of something.

So, this is not my "official" list of goals for 2013 but it is some of my initial thoughts. I know that not everyone is into New Year resolutions but I do like the feeling a clean slate that the new year brings.

I found this quote and I am going to make it my mantra for the upcoming year:

“Courage is being scared to death, but saddling up anyway.” -- John Wayne

Monday, November 26, 2012

It's my birthday....and I'll.....

Well, today is my birthday. I do plan on having cake. I bought gluten free cupcakes from a local bakery. I do not plan on going over board as I know it will make me feel sick and I don't want that. I know that will not sit well with some bloggers but it is what I have learned works for ME. I do not deal well with depriving myself 100%; however, I know enough NOT to look at "treats" as something I should turn to on a daily basis or even a weekly basis. I certainly do not subscribe to eating just because everyone else is eating something. I deal quite well with the holiday season and manage not to indulge in things that are available every day. I only choose to indulge on things that are well worth it and even then it is not to the extent that I would have in the past. I know that there will be a point that I need to cut even more back and when I reach that point, I will. In the meantime, I will have my cupcake today. I will go to boxing class tonight. I will spend some time with my husband. I will do what I choose to do! I will take most of the day off.

Yesterday to signify the last day of my 47th year, I did something that I would have thought impossible at the beginning of that year. I climbed to the TOP of the Manitou Incline. If you have read my blog earlier this month, you know that I already did part of the incline. But everything in me wanted to prove that I could make it to the top. So, I made plans to do it on November 25th of 2012....and I DID!

Yep, that says 8565 feet in altitude (you start at about 6500 feet) and 2610 steps. It was hard. It was challenging. It was so worth it!

So, today I turn 48 and today will be another day of reflection and looking forward. I can't wait to see what I accomplish this year. I had a lot of time to think yesterday. As some of you know, I do not step on the scale very often. I have no idea how much weight I have lost this year. I will have an idea later today when I go to the doctor but to me, the important thing is how I feel (emotionally and physically), what physical challenges I can meet, how my clothes fit (or don't fit...i.e., too loose these days). This year I have felt great for the most part. I have met many physical challenges. I have had to remove boxes of clothes from my wardrobe. I believe I have had a successful year.

Well, this is enough for a birthday post. I may be back later to post about the upcoming year and what I hope to accomplish!

Happy to be at the top!

Saturday, November 10, 2012

My jeans are just getting too big...

Today I noticed how big my jeans are getting. I happened to be at a bridal shop with a friend (she found a dress!) and others. There were lots of mirrors all around and I happened to catch myself in the mirrors and saw just how big the jeans really are. I remember it was not many months ago that they fit for the first time. Now I need to go shop again.

I really do not know how much weight I have lost this year. As I say, I am holding a grudge against my scale and I don't tend to step on it much; however, I do have some photographic evidence of progress. I am taking a big step right now and sharing it. I am not sure why this is so difficult to do but it is. I like the anonymity of my blog. I also think that part of the issue in sharing these photos is that I always have a problem with feeling like I am bragging and looking for kudos for people. I'm not. I am also not looking to be labeled an "inspiration" because I certainly do not feel like one.

Anyway, here are the photos over the last 22 or so months.

Updated to add these photos based on hubby's encouragement


I am not sure how difference you see between July and today but I can tell you there is a difference. Keep in mind that even in January of 2011, I was working out like crazy and had even worked with a personal trainer for about 10 months. It wasn't until I really started to listen to my body and to change up my work outs that I started to see progress.

Well, there I shared the photos. They are now out there for the "world" to see. As a final word, I just want to say that clean eating and hard work do produce results. I too think that it helps to step out of your comfort zone and look fear in the face.

Sunday, November 4, 2012

I took on the incline...

So, today a friend and I went out to take a hike. One of the things we have talked about doing for the past few months is the Manitou Incline. When we discussed doing a hike today, we thought about doing another one when I thought about the Incline. We agreed that we would try it.

Then yesterday I started to do a lot of research and I started to fear the incline. I really did not think I could do it. I knew there was a bail out point but I didn't even think I could make it that far. When I talked to her last night, we thought we would go and check out the incline. We would decide if we wanted to try climbing to the bail out or look for a different hike in the area. We thought if we need to do so, we could start up and come back down the incline (not recommended by the "friends of the incline").

Well, we got there today and this is what we saw.

It didn't look too bad so we started up. I thought that we would make it up to the no trespassing sign (yes, part of the incline is on private property), which was about 600 steps up the incline. We walked...rested...walked....rested. We made it to the no trespassing sign and kept going. It was shortly after that point that I looked back down and thought that there was NO way I was going back down that way. It looked scarier going down that it was going up. 

We got a bit over half way to the bail out section and this is what it looked like when we looked back down the hill:

 It is actually a bit steeper than it looks in this photo.It was right after this point that we hit a section where I actually had to start crawl up some of the steps because they were so far apart and quite a big step between the rail road ties. It was also in quite rough shape as a lot of it has been washed away and then reset with rebar and big iron culverts.

The bail out look so far away. I had to stop looking down the hill and just look forward. It helped to count steps. More rest breaks were taken but we kept going. I felt sorry for my friend as I am sure I was slowing her down but finally the bail out was in sight.

This is the last shot on the incline that I took:

We had made it to the bail out section. We met that goal....the one I did not think we would do. Now it was just down the trail to get back to the car. Of course, the trail down was longer than straight down the incline but it wasn't as scary. Here is the Garmin report from the hike:

So it was long in distance but it was quite steep. This whole year has been able doing what I considered impossible. Next time I do the Incline I want to go to the top....maybe next year!

Sunday, October 21, 2012

Race report...

Ok. Race is done...recovery food and drink consumed...Epsom salt bath taken...bling still it is time to decompress and write up my report.

My first half was not quite what I expected it to be. Maybe I was a bit too confident that I would be "okay" doing it...that it would hurt but I would get through it. Well, before we go too far, let me just say that I finished. Yes, I FINISHED MY FIRST HALF MARATHON! 

The morning started very early. I was up by 4:30 and preparing. I wanted to get up about 4:45 but I was awake already so I got up. Let the dogs out and ate my prerace meal of chicken and sweet potato so it would have a chance to be digested before the half started. Tim (yes, Tim was now able to come!) and I got on the road at 5:30 and pick up my good friend Kristin on the way. I had all my supplies for during the race (ultima replenisher and stinger fruit gels) and my postrace meal of squash soup and chicken. I was prepared for colder weather but that turned out not to be necessary as it was in the 60's by the time the race started.

We drove the hour plus to the reservoir that the race was at and waited. We got there just as the marathon was starting so I had about an hour to wait. We walked around a bit. I removed my sweats and got my water bottle and such ready. At the start line, we waited. The race actually started about 15 or 20 minutes late but soon enough we were off. The start was a little dicey as it was through a patch of grass that they had attempted to cover with gravel but it still had a lot of ruts. The crowds of people started and stopped a few times but we eventually reached the road.

I started out pretty well. There were some hills in the first few miles but they actually did not bother me. I stuck to my 0.9 mile run and 0.1 mile walk. I felt good. I was slow but I felt good and I ran when I needed to do so.

We continued down this dirt road for about three miles or so. Then we hit the asphalt for a bit over a mile. The asphalt didn't bother me. I just kept to my 0.9 mile run and 0.1 mile walk. I hydrated. I used the stingers. For the first four plus miles, I felt really good. About the five mile mark, I started to think that I wasn't going to make it. My mind started to tell me that I couldn't do it. People continued to pass me. It was about this time that the fastest finishers were making their way back. Maybe it had a bit to do with my mood but I kept moving. I knew that I could make it to the turnaround. I knew I had to make it to the turnaround. After the asphalt, we were back to the dirt roads. As I continued towards the turnaround, I started to meet the middle of the pack coming back...but I really wasn't that far behind. I really felt like I was going to make, maybe even surpass, the 3:30 finishing time I had hoped for. I know it is slow but it was my target.

I made it to the turnaround and refilled my water bottle. I kept running. There were plenty of walkers and walk/run participants that I passed as they approached the halfway mark. I kept running. It was about eight miles that my calves started to scream. I stopped and stretched for a bit. It helped. At the aid station at mile 9, I put another pack of ultima replenisher in my bottle and topped off the water. There was a small hill after mile 9. It was fine. Nothing I couldn't handle...or so I thought. At about mile 9.5, I hit a wall. I wish I could say it was a literal wall because that is how I felt. My inner thighs started to cramp, which is something I never experienced in training. I so wanted to finish but felt like I couldn't go another foot much less over 3 more miles. I stopped in my tracks. So many runners (by this time the marathoners were coming in on the same course) offered support, asked if I was okay, asked if I needed help, told me that it was okay to walk, etc. I felt so much support but all I could do was stay there bent over, crying. I couldn't even to an upright stance. I tried to walk but couldn't.

A support van stopped and asked if I was okay. I just burst into more tears and said I just wanted to finish. They suggested that I eat a banana and gave me some Gu. They made sure I still had water. I said I just wanted to keep moving and I was able to do so. I kept moving...but I was in pain for sure. I texted Tim and Kristin. They both were so supportive. They knew how much I wanted to finish, how hard I had trained. I started to think that even if I did finish, I wouldn't deserve the bling. I wouldn't have accomplished what I accomplish. I had trained so hard but it was unraveling.

I moved through the section on the asphalt, running a bit, walking a lot more than I thought I would. I made the turn on the road that led back to the reservoir and made it to the last aid station at about mile 11. I even ran a bit before as there was a race photographer there. He even made me smile a bit. After that aid station, I hit that wall again. My inner thighs were in so much pain. Some spectators asked if I was okay. One offered to walk with me for awhile. All I could do was cry. We walked for a bit. Finally I felt like I could make it. After all, it was less than 2 miles. I tried to run but it just caused my toes to curl up and my legs to scream. I walked. I walked. I walked. 

At about one mile left, the lady on the bike came by again and was very encouraging. It caused me to slow down, which in turn caused my inner thighs to tighten and was so painful. I didn't know how I was going to make it another mile....but I did. I used her bike to get me in an upright position. I started to walk again. I texted Tim and Kristin when I past the 12 mile mark. I warned them that I was walking so they knew it could still be awhile.

I hit the grass as the final stretch to the finish line I tried to run but it wasn't going to happen. I saw Tim and another friend, Heather, up ahead. I waved. They waved. I burst into tears when I was close enough to them to tell them how much I hurt. Tim walked with me a bit and said Kristin was ahead at the finish to take my photo. I decided I had to at least run across the finish, which I did. They announced my name on the PA. I got my bling. I hugged lots of people (yes, even sweaty, I hugged people...strangers even that had helped me on the route). I had finished. I had struggled but I had finished...and I deserved my bling. Photos were taken. I had some orange slices and more water. I stretched.

I finally had time to send photos and text other friends when we got into the car. One of my friends, who lives too far away, replied to my text where I indicated that I had struggled with the following words:

"I know the feeling well. I had the SAME thing happen during the marathon. For a long time, I felt kind of defeated about how much it hurt even though I had trained hard. But then I realized that it's an even greater accomplishment to truly struggle and STILL finish, then it is to just sail through it...."

While I have a great amount of respect for anyone that does sail through these events (and I know my friend does as well), these words just meant so much to me. I did struggle. I did have a hard time. BUT I FINISHED. I am so grateful for all the support I received today in so many ways. I appreciate everyone that:
  • has commented on my blog
  • has commented or like a FaceBook update
  • gave me a high five on the race course
  • encouraged me with a "you're doing great" as we passed on the race course
  • offered aid (four women in particular on the course and I never got their names) as I struggled to keep moving
  • emailed me encouragement
  • let me vent about how stupid/silly I was to think I could do this
  • reviewed my nutrition/fitness plans with me
  • came to the race to see me run and finish
  •  gave me hugs at the end even though I was sweaty and salty
  • AND so many other things that I am not thinking about right now.
Believe it or not, I am already thinking about doing another but not until May of next year. In the meantime, I am going to get back to the business of being strong. 

I don't know what my official final time was. It was less than four hours but it was close to four hours. By the way, after extrapolating my Garmin information and allowing for some slow down, I do think I could have finished in just about 3 hours and 15 minutes, even better than I was estimating. Also, Tim is thinking that the inner thigh issue may have had a lot to do with the uneven and the off camber terrain of the back roads. It is true that most of my training has been a bike path, although a bit of it was done on dirt roads, but he is probably right about the issue. I am going to work on that the next time I train.

My bling that I worked so hard for: 

Friday, October 19, 2012

The training is over

Yesterday was my last training run before the half marathon. It was a short run. I was a bit thankful because it was cold. I did feel a little sad about it. I guess I really do like the training part, the pushing me part of getting ready for an event. 

Since March of this year, I have moved more than 428.68 miles. Not all of this was running as I also use my Garmin for some of my walks (especially when doing hills) and not all of my runs were included as I often forget my Garmin for events. Beyond this, there were multiple stair climbing events and training that I did not use the Garmin.

I have used my Garmin for just under two years. My ever supportive husband bought it for me on my birthday in 2010. It made doing the C25K program so much easier than using my watch. Since late November of 2010, I have recorded 712.90 miles on the Garmin. So, that means more than half my miles have been since March of this year. I think I have pushed my progress a bit in 2012.

I have learned so much during these past few months. I have learned that I have tenacity. I presevere. I am strong. I am weak. I found out I needed help. I found out I needed support. I found both. I have added some great friends and advisors to my life. I have reconnected with people from the past that added to the support network. There have always been people in my life that supported me but I have learned to lean on them more. I have learned to share with them more. I have met some new people in the last year or so as well. These people have endeared themselves to me and have helped me shape a plan to move me towards a more healthy and fit life. I would like them all but I know I would miss someone and feel awful about it. Let me just say there are so many of you out there and I thank you.

I have also started to listen to my body. On the nutrition side, this has meant to change my diet to one that strengthens my body and avoid those things that cause it to falter. I have learned a lot about body inflammation. I have learned not to listen to the media, the diet world, etc but to depend on my body and how it is performing on certain foods. This has led me to a primal lifestyle. It led me to do some work with a great nutritionist. I am not perfect on this front but I am making progress. 

On the fitness side, I have learned to adore...these funny shaped things called kettlebells. I learned that I am strong and that I am quite capable of "keeping up" with others. I can push myself to new levels. Of course, I have also discovered a love for stair climbing and a like for running...okay maybe it is growing to be a love for running. In the past few weeks, I rediscovered a passion for boxing. However, I did have an ephinany this week. One that led me to start to understand the need both for the proper nutrition for workouts and for rest and recovery. My nutritionist is helping me to understand how to fuel my body for workouts. It is working. Many people have told me over and over again that I need to rest more; however, in my mind, if I wasn't working out, I was slacking off. But this past week as I hit the end of my half marathon training, I realized that I wasn't as physically strong as I had been earlier this year. I know now that I need to concentrate on getting some rest during the week and manage my workout schedule a little better. I am going to try to workout more on a given single day but also put in a couple full 24 hour rest periods each week.

On Sunday I will be adding another 13.1 miles to my total for 2012. I am excited. I am nervous. I am scared. I am going to do it. I can't wait to show off my bling. I can't wait to have a personal best (it is my first afterall). I look forward to Sunday when I can say 13.1 because I am only half crazy!

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

So maybe I am not superwoman.

Such was the subject of an email I sent to a few of the people that have helped me move towards my fitness and health goals. It is hard for me to admit that I have hit a wall. If you have read my blog entries, you likely know that I am reaching the end of my training for the Boulder half marathon on Sunday. My last long run as I blogged about recently was this past Saturday. It was 11 miles. It was hard but I did it via a run/walk protocol. Sunday was a rest and ice day.

Then Monday I decided that I could do some hard workouts through Thursday of this week. I boxed in the morning and then I went to kettlebell class after work. While the workouts were okay, I didn't feel strong. I struggled through them. I think maybe my body was telling me that I needed to rest, that I was asking too much from it right now. I had a short run this morning, which I did but it wasn't get. Tonight I went to swim rather than go to yet another kettlebell class as I had planned. Swimming is great therapy for me. Think of it as my version of yoga. I am glad I did. I feel a bit more refreshed.

My body is tired. I need to think about rest and recovery. I need to make it more of a priority than I have in the past. So many people have told me this over the past few years but I think it is finally sinking in. I am still looking forward to the half marathon but I am also looking forward to go back to the business of building strength after it is done.

I am mentally tired. Someone once told me that she felt that for me, the training for an event was perhaps even more important than the actual event. It could be true. I am sort of feeling that post event letdown already. Strange since the event is still days away. I am going to work on this attitude about things.

I have learned a lot about training for events like this. I know now that I need to learn to manage my workouts in better the next time I train for a half marathon (that likely will be next May). I am realizing that taking rest/recovery days doesn't mean I'm slacking off. It means that I am listening to my body and understanding what I need to do in order to be stronger.

I am still doing well with my October goals. My Whole 30 has reached day 16 and I feel good about it. I am slowly getting through the one hundred pushup challenge. I haven't logged all my workouts but that's okay. My caffeine consumption was cut drastically from what it was in September. So things are going well there.

For the rest of the week, I am going to watch what I do so that I am not burnt out (physically or mentally) for Sunday. I am going to focus on enjoying the accomplishment. I can't wait to report how it went. I guarantee you that when I finish the 13.1 miles, there will be tears...of happiness, of relief, of pain....and maybe some day I will be Superwoman.

Saturday, October 13, 2012

My last long run....until the 21st

On October 21st, I will be running a half marathon. What? A half Just a few weeks ago I ran a 10K for the first time. It was an emotional time for me. I blogged about it here. At the time, I was training for a half marathon in December; however, after reading reviews of that particular marathon and other issues (travel for work, etc.), I decided that this marathon would not be ideal. So, I looked for another one. I truly thought I would either do one in Michigan at the end of October or one in Kansas in November. 

I thought more and more about it and looked at my training schedule. Traveling just didn't make sense. It was a few weeks ago that I stumbled upon a local half marathon for the 21st of October. I thought about it for awhile. I reviewed my training plan. If I did this half, it would mean there was no slack in my training. It was going to be quite a challenge to try and do it. BUT there is nothing wrong with a little challenge. 

I signed up...then I regretted it. I kept training but struggled. I talked to someone who just finished her first half. She mentioned that she used the protocol that our nutritionist suggested of 9 minutes run and 1 minute walk. Lauren had suggested it to me in the past but in my mind, if I didn't run the whole thing, I couldn't say I ran a half. Well, the more I thought about it, the more I realized the key was to finish and have a starting point. Does it really matter if I have to walk parts of it? does not take anything away from the accomplishment of doing a half. So, I tried the protocol on my long run and had an epic fail. I was struggling...a lot.

I changed the protocol to something that made it easier for my mental preparation to handle. I did run 0.9 miles and walk 0.1 mile. I used it on my long run last week, which was to be 10 miles. I made it nine and walked the last mile. Even with the walking, it was quite an improvement over the prior week. 

Today was my last long run. I spoke with Lauren about the nutrition before, during and after the run. She made some great suggestions. I used them today on what was to be an 11 mile run. It worked. I was able to run all 11 segments of my 0.9 mile runs. I so wanted to give up after mile 5 but I didn't. In fact, I turned down a dirt path and saw some hills and decided to do the hills for the next 3 miles. By the time, mile 11 came around, I told myself that I would be okay if I quit running any time during that 0.9 mile segment. I didn't quit. I ran the whole thing and found a few more hills during that segment.

I am not going to say it was easy. It wasn't. I am not going to say it was miraculous. It wasn't. I just did what I need to do. I was happy to get home to my bath tub. Tonight my legs are sore. I have been working on recovery. I feel good about what I accomplished.

I am still nervous and scared about the half next week. I know it is not going to be easy. I am also a bit sad because Tim will not be there with me as he had previous commitments; however, it will be okay. I am sure I will be emotional about it. I was emotional today when I finished the 11 miles. 

I am just going to keep repeating to myself -- "It doesn't matter how slow you go. The important thing is finishing what you set up to accomplish." It got me through today. It will get me through next Sunday.

Thursday, October 11, 2012

Where does the time go????

Hubby and I are still rocking our Whole 30. After a few days of blah, he is feeling great. Food has been good. I made a spaghetti squash type goulash the other day for lunches this week. It has been awesome to not have to think about what I am going to eat at work. Dinners have been lots of veggies and protein (asparagus and bison burgers, broccoli and ground beef, etc.). 

On the caffeine side, I am drinking coffee again but am able to keep it to one cup in the morning, which is way down from what I was consuming while I was on my break from work. So much better.

Workouts since I last blogged --

Saturday -- 5.46 run/walk training session and boxing
Sunday --5.05 hike through the hills
Monday -- 3.18 run/walk train session and kettlebells
Tuesday -- kickboxing
Wednesday --5.36 run/walk train session and kettlebells

The half marathon is getting closer and I am starting to freak out a bit but it will be good to go out and accomplish it. I love to meet goals and for me, this is a big one. It is not quite like the 10K as my goal to run the 10K was set just days before I actually ran it. This one I have been training for and looking forward to for some time. 

I just have to remember to keep putting one foot in front of the other and carry on.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Oct. 3rd, 4th and 5th

Things continue to go well. I just got a bit busy at work so the daily posts fell behind. Let me see what I remember about that past three days.

Oct. 3rd -- I remember squash soup with chicken, brussel sprouts and ground beef, and fish with asparagus for the three meals. I am sure there was an apple with almond butter in there too. No work out as it was a rest day although I did my pushup challenge. I also took a one mile walk with one of the pups.

Oct. 4th -- Beef broth definitely was consumed with some chicken as meal one. Broccoli and chicken for meal two and brussel sprouts and chicken for meal three. I ran/walked 3.52 miles (3 miles running) and took kettlebell class.

Oct. 5th -- Beef broth and a banana with almond butter was meal one. Meal two was at Jason's Deli -- salad bar with olive oil and vinegar for dressing (not a lot of protein choice so I still need to work this out). A cup of beef broth was a mid afternoon snack and then meal three was a Whole 30 compliant chili and sweet potatoes. I walked hills with a pup for 1.5 miles and then I went to another boxing class Friday evening.

I am going to try to keep up with the posting but am not going to stress about it as I don't need to add to stress in my life.

Hope your October is going well!

Tuesday, October 2, 2012

October 2nd

Day 2 of the Whole 30 went well. Food was the squash soup with chicken again, some mashed pumpkin and sweet potatoes with coconut oil as a pre workout snack, beef broth, apple with almond butter, and brussel sprouts with ground beef. 

No caffeine consumed yet again. I am not planning on totally eliminating it but it is working for now. I did have herbal tea and lots of water. 

Working out today was a 10 mile run/walk as part of my half marathon training. It wasn't easy but I did it. I also went to a boxing class today. SO much fun! 

Tomorrow I am back to work after a bit of time off. I am looking forward to getting back into a routine.

Monday, October 1, 2012

October 1

So, here goes the report on the goals. Today I complete Day 1 of the Whole 30. It went well. I had some butternut squash soup with shredded chicken for meal 1, zucchini with ground turkey and diced tomatoes for meal 2, and tuna with spinach and pickled ginger for meal 3. I also had an apple with almond butter for my pre workout snack. Meal 3 was post workout so no post workout snack necessary. 

I went out for a four mile walk today with one of our pups. While I won't always count walks as a workout, I will when they are lengthy or include lots of hills. Today's was long and included hills. Here is the elevation map of the walk.

I also did a hard kettlebell workout with kettlebells weighing from 25 pounds to 55 pounds. It was about 500 reps of various moves. I sweated a lot. It was great.

I had NO caffeine at all today. I drank a bit of herbal tea (licorice flavored) and lots of water.

October is going to be my month!

Sunday, September 30, 2012

My October goals

October is going to be a big month of goals and challenges. First, I have a two challenges to finish up:

1. Half marathon training -- I am signed up to run the Boulder half on the 21st of October. I am currently planning on a run/walk protocol. I had a horrible long run this past week but am not yet giving up. I know I can do it. I just need to stay focused.

2. One hundred pushup challenge -- I am on week 2 of the 100 pushup challenge. So far so good.

Here are my new ones I am starting tomorrow:

1. Whole 30 -- Basically, this will be a 30 day challenge of totally clean eating. My eating has been okay of late but not perfect. I definitely can benefit from eliminating some things from my daily food intake for the next month.

2. Logging my workouts -- I want to log my workouts on my blog so I can evaluate if I am slacking or pushing too hard. I want to be able to see how balanced (cardio versus strength) my workouts are. 

3. Decreasing my coffee consumption -- Over the past month, I have drank a lot of coffee. I just feel the need to back off a bit. I will see how I do, with the ultimate goal of eliminating it completely for a couple of weeks.

I am going to try to blog each day, which is not one of my goals because I am realistic about it and likely will not be able to do this. I want to have a record to review and analyze by the end of the month.

I look forward the challenge of October. What is one your list for the month?

Thursday, September 27, 2012

Time for a confession

There are two times that I often let my choices for food not be the best. One is when I am traveling and I seem to be getting a handle on that. The other is when I am alone at home. Well, this weekend Tim is out of town and I am home (mind you with three very protective dogs).

In the past, this would have been a green light to go ahead and splurge on really horrible food choices. I can remember the frozen pizzas, chips and such, and other bad things somehow making their way into my grocery cart. It is true that often these things were the "healthy versions" of things that I know realize were not very healthy (like baked cheetos, the light version of a frozen pizza, etc.). After all, I wanted the comfort of the food without the bad health consequences. Little did I realize that many times these things could have been the worst choices.

One the way home from the airport, I did stop at the grocery store to pick up some grass fed beef that was on sale. I will admit that mind started to wander about what I could buy to "comfort" myself over the next few days. Of course, I know that bad food choices do not lead to comfort so I just told myself to put my head on straight and get what I came for and get out of the store. I did.

Now I will likely pack up a container of coconut aminos and go out for sushi one day as Tim is no longer big on sushi. I will stick to sashimi, which I prefer anyway and only have one sushi roll of some sort. I will get my planned workouts in (kettlebell tonight, 9 mile run tomorrow, a 5K downtown Saturday, and stair climbing on Sunday) and take the dogs out for walks. I did stock up on some healthy protein choices for home over the next few days. I have lots of veggies and my first honey crisp apples of the season.

I know that I can do this and do not need to go off the deep end with Tim gone for a few days. I just need to remember (as I did when I was on the last few road trips) that it is just not worth it. I love how great I feel these days. This is worth more than indulging in any food no matter how bright and shiny the wrapper or how "comforting" the box may appear.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Stop putting qualifications on accomplishments...

Yes, I know I posted about skyrocketing confidence and that is still very true. My confidence is definitely at an all time high, but I have noticed something these past few months. I also have to qualify my accomplishments. You know what I mean, right? 

Rather than being proud of all I have done and where I am, I tend to downplay accomplishments or only see how far I still have to go. I need to realize that just a few years ago, I would not have been doing any of these things. I have had to change my mindset about things. I had to step way outside my comfort zone for many things. So, I am working on that inner voice that responds with these qualifications on accomplishments.

Perfection is not required. Progress is.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

An unexpected side effect....

First, THANKS to all who commented or emailed on my last blog post. I still am in a bit of state of disbelief that I was able to run the whole 10K and I appreciate all of the kind words and encouragement.

Second, I had yet another epiphany when I was responded to someone about the 10K. It was all about the unexpected side effect of the growing confidence in who I am and who I am becoming. For me, this may be just as important, if not more important, then the better physical fitness I am working towards.

While running on my own has been something I have been working on and off with for the past couple of years, events were not something that were really on my radar...and certainly not the number of events I am challenging myself with over and over again. I certainly was never one to put myself out there on the physical front. 

I remember fretting over the first aqua aerobics class I went to at a local recreation center. I honestly did not think I was going to do it. I made an excuse that I did not a swimsuit that fit and would have to wait for the one I ordered to be delivered; however, I found one that fit in the back of dresser drawer. There was a class the next day and I knew I had to I went. This was in 2007 and I have continued to challenge myself over and over again.

After a few months at the rec center, I joined a 24 hour gym to have more pool options available. Soon I found myself doing Zumba, step aerobics, body pump, and other group classes. It was hard to walk into those first few classes as one of the biggest people in class but I soon found out that most people are really concerned more about what they are doing than who else in class (not universally true but I try to ignore the haters). I kept going to classes.

A year or so later I hired a personal trainer. I appreciated Shelby a lot but yearned for more challenge. It was at that time that I started my first Couch to 5K program. I even did an event (a Turkey Trot) but had a horrible experience. I honestly thought that would be the end of my signing up for events.

Then this thing called Groupon and Living Social came along. I bought one for a boxing gym. While I continued to do my cardio and weights at the gym, I also went to boxing or kickboxing classes five to six mornings a week. I loved it. I didn't feel odd going to class. I still stationed myself at the back but I went to class. I learned to hit and hit hard. I decided to keep trying new and different things. I was gaining confidence to try things and not to worry about what others thought.

The next offer I purchased was for 10 kettlebell classes. This was about a year ago now and I loved the workouts from the start. There is nothing like combining the strength training (and I want to be strong) with the intense cardio work. I knew I found something I wanted to continue to do so I signed up for more...and more.  I continue to do kettlebell classes now and love challenging myself to use heavier and heavier bells. I also met some people that continue to be important on my journey. These people helped enhance my sense of self confidence.

I read more and more about healthy eating and changed my lifestyle diet to include real food and avoid processed foods. I no longer dodged questions about what I was doing to be healthy or what I was doing to lose weight. I no longer felt compelled to follow what others thought I should do. I started to listen to my body and figure out what was best for ME.

During this time, I started running again. I started to sign up for events. The first one that I signed up for was a stair climb for the American Lung Association. It was 56 floors at the Republic Plaza in downtown Denver. Honestly, I signed up even though I thought it was impossible and that I would never finish. I trained. My friend Kristin helped me train. I finally decided that I would finish, even if it took me an hour. Well, I did finish and it took me less than half that amount of time. It was quite the accomplishment.

I did more events and I finished them. This included some 5Ks that I did not run completely but I still finished them. I did some more stair climbs and finished them as well. Then, as you read in my my previous blog, I ran a complete 10K. All the time, I felt confidence surging throughout my life. I am ready to challenge myself even more throughout the coming years. It feels good to gain this self assurance while I am gaining physical strength and health as well.

Sunday, September 16, 2012

I didn't expect to be so emotional about it...

A few days ago, I signed up for a 10K, Fans on the Field. This 10K snakes around Denver in and out of the three professional stadiums. I wasn't convinced it was a good idea as I have not successfully run a full 5K event. I can run on my own and have run up to about 7 miles on my training program for the half marathon; however, events always throw me off. It is for a good cause, National Sports Center for the Disabled, and I am always happy to help out organizations like this.

My friend Kristin was running it (her fourth time doing it) and said that she really liked the event PLUS if things were too bad, I could switch to the 5K if I needed to do so. So, I decided to challenge myself and signed up and the race was today. AND Tim said that he wanted to come to cheer me on. He has never mentioned coming to one of the events in the past and this meant so much to me.

Last night was an awful night of sleep. I kept waking up with various nightmares. The most frequent of the dreams was that they were shutting down the course before I reached the various checkpoints or that I wouldn't finish and disappoint Tim. I was up for hours throughout the night. With me being so restless, the whole family was as well (dogs and husband). It was not a good night. I woke up tired for the first time in a long time but I got up at 6:00 to get ready. I needed to leave by 6:30ish to meet Kristin to get to the run.

Tim also got up and got ready. He really was going to come and sit around for however long it took me to cheer for me at the end. This really meant a lot to me.

We met Kristin, got coffee and headed to Mile High (Broncos -- football), where the start line was. Getting out of the car, I dropped my coffee. Fortunately, I had drank a bit of it on the drive so I had enough to keep me going. Kristin and I walked over towards the event, leaving Tim behind as he was going to run some errands and then come back to see the end.

There were a LOT of people there. I hate crowds and, as we started to line up in the corals, I freaked out a bit. Thankfully Kristin was there and that calmed me down a bit. We also struck up a conversation with someone else from Wisconsin (I was wearing a "Somo Lake, Tomahawk, WI" tshirt). Before I knew it, we were off and headed around the stadium.

I did pretty good maintaining a pace that I felt I could manage as going out too quickly has always been an issue with me in a 5K. The first loop took us around the outside of Mile High. It was on an incline but not too bad. We then started down the streets towards the Pepsi Center (Nuggets -- basketball). Plenty of people passed me during this portion but I passed a few people too. 

I had my Garmin with me and I kept thinking, if I could make it 3.1 miles, I will have run a 5K. I just kept running. We went into the Pepsi Center, high fiving the Rocky the Nuggets mascot on the way in. There were a couple of basketball players there, encouraging us as we ran through. At least, I think they were basketball players as they towered over the crowd. My Garmin went crazy as I lost satellite reception in there but whatever. It was okay as it really is only a crutch and I had a timing tag for the event.

At this point, I am still running and it has been over 2 miles. We get past the break off point for the 5K and if I want to do a 5K, I must turn left; turning right will continue the 10K. I turn right.

My pace is slow but I know I can sustain it so I keep going. Now we head towards Coors Field (Rockies -- baseball). It is over two miles through the streets of Denver before we get to the field. I am not sure if I am going to make it or not. I pace myself with some people that are doing a run/walk strategy. When they run, they pass me. When they walk, I pass them. It is working well.

At several of the streets, there are police directing traffic. I keep hoping that they will have traffic stopped for me so I can keep running. I am not sure if I will be able to start again if they stop me. Fortunately, I never get stopped for traffic. I loved how smoothly this all worked. Finally, I see Coors Field. We run into the stadium and turn around a cone at the home plate. There was a baseball player there as well as someone I assume was a coach. Dinger the Rockies mascot was there for photo ops. The coach (?) high fived me as I turned the corner and I kept running. I wasn't there for photo ops.

Out of Coors and four miles were done! Now it was just making my way back to Mile High. Again, back on the streets of Denver and heading towards a bike path for the final mile plus of the run. I have run on the bike path previously and I was anxious to get to it as it was a known path for me and I thought it might help. It also helped that I saw a lot of people still running into the baseball stadium as I was on my way out. I wasn't going to be last and course was NOT going to be shut down on me.

Right before the bike path was a hill. There were a couple of other hills and inclines on the course. I had managed them quite well. This one had me worried as I watched it come closer and closer...but I was still running. I started up the hill and passed a couple of people that were walking the 5K course. I kept running until the final few steps when I slowed my pace for a few steps. I then told myself to get going. I really wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get running again but I did. I made it up the hill and knew that there was only one more small incline right before the finish when we were making our way into Mile High.

Finally, on the bike path, one of my first 5K's was on this path so I knew what to expect. My Garmin chirped and I was done to 1.2 miles to go. I started to think that five miles would be respectable but then I thought about this:

I think my pace may have slowed a bit so that I could continue to run and it was okay. I ran past the Children's museum and Elitch's amusement park. I kept thinking about how proud I would be when I could say that I ran every step of the 10K. I kept thinking about how great it would be to tell those people that have supported me in my fitness quest that I had made it.

Since we ran by the six mile mark on our way around the football stadium, I knew where it was. I knew that I had to make to the six mile marker. I just kept running. I wasn't fast (in fact, I probably could have walked faster) but my feet were moving. I was still pacing with the same run/walk team. Finally, I made it over the bridge to Mile High and the six mile marker loomed ahead.

My brain started to tell me that there was no shame in running six miles and I could walk the remaining length into Mile High. WTF???? There was no way I was going to do that. I told my brain to shut up and let my legs just keep moving. As we entered the stadium, we were put on the jumbo tron. I saw myself up there, all sweaty and such (although most of the wetness was from the fact that I would pour water over my head after taking drink at each water stop). I looked up and saw Tim in the stadium with Kristin. I waved and they waved back. 

This is where I got emotional and started to hyperventilate a bit. I knew I had to finish and it was only 50 yards or so to the finish line so wipe the tears and sweat from my eyes and ran. I forgot to turn off my Garmin when I finished and walked so I don't know how long that final split was but I felt like it was faster than most of my previous splits.

I walked through the stadium, picking up the race swag and meeting Tim and Kristin outside. It felt good. I cried when I saw Kristin and was able to say that I ran the whole thing. I cried when I saw Tim and was able to say that I ran the whole thing. I cried when I was able to text faraway friends that I had done it. I cried when I post to FaceBook that I ran every bit of the 10K.

I was so happy Tim was there. I hope he knows how much I appreciate the constant support he provides. He is truly my soul mate.

Getting home, my Garmin was a bit screwed up with the time in the stadium and such. Discounting those splits, my 1/4 splits ranged from a low of 3 minutes to a high of just over 4 minutes. Again, I knew I wouldn't be fast but I ran each step of this run (other than the three or four steps on the hill just before mile 5).

I guess I am becoming a runner!