Tuesday, November 30, 2010

>Looking back and ahead

>I was just looking back on where I was this time last  year.
195.6 lbs was my exact weight. I had just ran a 5k in over 40 minutes.

Wow. What a difference a year can make!

This was roughly the same time last year.

I don't have any pics of me from the 8k race I ran Thanksgiving morning but here is a more recent pic of me.

I'm amazed at how much of a difference there is even though I am only 20-22 lbs lighter than this same time last year.

I can see the change not just in my face but other areas as well. That same black UA shirt I wore last year which I wasn't 100% comfy in at the time is now baggy and loose. Unfortunately that is because I have lost so much up top. BUT at the same time I can tell a huge difference in what the BodyPump classes have done for my chest and shoulders. I like looking in the mirror when I am doing chest exercises in Pump because I can see that I actually have nice shoulders! teehee

I was looking back to later in December of 09 and had set some goals for 2010.

1. to lose 30-35 more pounds
Actually lost 20-22. I can kick another 15 in 2011, right!?
2. to run a 5k race in 35-37 minutes
Current 5k PR is 33:06!

3. run an 8k race
Achieved this goal on Thanksgiving morning!

4. run a 10k race
Gotta move this one to 2011!

5. begin training for a half marathon
Sorta, kinda started this. I'm on week 2 of training and it's going ok.
My goal for the half marathon is to run one in April 2011. I think I can get there but it is going to be hard work.

At the end of December I am going to reevaluate my plan, my workouts and my goals. I will not be setting New Year's Resolutions but again, I will set goals for the new year. I realize they are one in the same but calling them goals (for me) makes them seem more attainable.
For now my focus in December is going to continue on the loosing track with weight loss but realize that part of my challenge at the gym is to maintain so if all I do is maintain through December it will be a success. I am still going for a loss even if it is a small one. I also plan to continue running and half marathon training. I would LOVE to get a few training sessions with my favorite trainer (Rachel!!) at my gym because I have heard she's good! But until then I will continue with my classes and other things as strength training.
So, what's your December plan? Are you already looking ahead to 2011?

Sunday, November 28, 2010

>Post Thanksgiving plan

>So, here we are a few days after Thanksgiving and as if I wasn't feeling the bloat before indulging in turkey, dressing and pumpkin pie I sure am feeling it now! We had 2 Thanksgiving dinners within the weekend and I am more ready than ever to just get over the food coma. While I did indulge in the wonderful pumpkin cake my hubby made and a small slice of pecan pie today I really did not overdo it all weekend with my food choices. However, I haven't exercised (unless you call Black Friday shopping for several hours exercise) since the 8k Thanksgiving morning. I feel quite sluggish.

I plan to be 100% back on my healthy eating plan in the morning. Not that I won't be the rest of the day today but for the sake of making it official for blogging purposes, tomorrow is the magic day. I have already devised my workout schedule for the week.

Monday - run an "easy" 3 miles
Tuesday- Core Challenge class, BodyPump
Wednesday - 2 mile run or crosstrain
Thursday - BodyPump (and maybe Zumba)
Friday - off
Saturday - 30 min crosstrain, BodyPump (this will all be dependent upon what time we get home Fri night/Sat morning from the State playoff game)
Sunday - 4 mile run

I am trying to follow the half marathon training plan by Hal Higdon (novice plan). I have made some modifications to meet my specific needs and what will work into my schedule. Hopefully by April I will be able to run a half marathon. The training plan is a 12 week program but I can tell you from experience it is going to take me much longer than 12 weeks to reach a milage goal of 13.1. But I will get there.

This past week I only made it to the gym 3 days which is not the 4 I committed to for the Maintain Don't Gain challenge, but as long as I have 40 visits in before the 10 week period is up it still counts. I am going to try and find some way (or ask it there is a way) to make my 8k race from Thursday count towards this week. Sounds silly to worry about one day when I am already ahead of the game with my attendance but I want it to count!

My weigh in day at the gym this week will be Thursday and I will post an update on how that is going. I'm hoping to make it through December on the losing side. Can you even believe that we are creeping up on December??Wow!
Hope you all have a great week!!

Friday, November 26, 2010

>My first 8k

>Exciting title, huh!?

Last week I sat down about 23957457 times to write a blog post, but I was having a horrible week as far as eating and workouts (and well basically my entire self esteem/confidence was in the can) so I never completed the post. Actually, I just deleted the 3 I started and decided to put that behind me and give you a little race recap from Thursday morning.

A couple of weeks ago I was lucky enough to come in contact with a new Running Buddy (or two) and they asked if I would be interested in running an upcoming 8k near our town. I was hesitant but as I have said before I like a challenge and am looking to move beyond my same ol' same ol' 5k race routine. So, let's do it! I registered and last week we went on our first group run together. I felt the group run went really well and was excited about the race. I had done well on a 5 miler with these wonderful ladies so I knew the 8k race would be a huge success.

I picked up our race packets and was pretty excited about running the next day with these ladies. It would be the first race I was running without my husband by  my side or even there for support. I tried not to dwell on that though because I knew with his schedule it just wasn't possible but I knew I didn't need to not do it on that account also. Anyway, Wednesday evening was upon me and I didn't have the prerace jitters I normally had. I hadn't really even decided on my race attire or laid anything out to go except our race packets! I typically have everything laid out in proper order well in advance and give a lot of thought to my outfit. Maybe this was a good sign!

Now, you will recall I mentioned having a rough week. My eating wasn't spot on, my weigh in at the gym wasn't great (did you even notice I didn't do an update??) and I just felt horrible about myself most of the week. And yes, I am aware that I said that was behind me. It really is but I do have a point.

I usually do not eat any kind of breakfast before a race because I worry about getting cramps, a side stitch or the food just hitting me wrong. SO, whether this is the right or wrong method I don't know, but what I do is nibble a couple of Gu Chomps and go. At least with that I have a little extra energy and they force me to drink water prior to so I figure it's not all that bad.

Again, I have a point. :)

I met Terri and the gang everyone was chipper and having a great prerace ride to the venue. All was well. I felt good, ready to go. Go as in run.

I'm still getting to the point.

This race was cool because it being Thanksgiving morning they were taking donations for a foodbank for a chance to win a Garmin 110. So, we all unloaded our donations, got our tickets and went about our business to prepare to start the race. All was well.

We chatted it up the start line, paused for the National Anthem and the gun sounded we were off. Our original plan was to use the Galloway method of 6:1...6 minutes of running, 1 minute recovery walk. This worked well on our group run last week and as long as the ladies didn't mind slowing down and going at my pace well you know I was happy. :) However, for me things took a different turn.

We were making a great pace I felt good with my breathing, my legs felt fine...
BUT I had a differerent issue. After the first walk break, Melissa picked up the pace and took off and Terri and I followed not too far behind. Something hit me. HARD. And I had to literally stop to walk within minutes of having just taken back off running. Great these women are going to think I cannot pace or keep up with them. Here I am wussing out within the first mile of the race. Crap.  Crap is exactly what it was. At that point, Terri was a bit ahead of me and kindly came back to check on me. She saw the look on my face and knew something was just not right. It wasn't. I hated even admitting that I was not going to be able to keep up with them but I had issues. She asked if I was ok and of course I couldn't lie. Freaking intestinal issues. Really??!? NOW. I have waited a week for my body to talk to me and it decides to finally make it's move within the first mile of my first 8k race.Convenient, no??

Terri could relate and for that I was thankful but in no way did I want to hold her back. I shooed her on, not in the sense that sounds! But I told her to go on and run her race that I just knew if I went any faster things would not be good for me. She asked again if I was sure and of course I was. Either way I was finishing and I was not going to be last. I gave her a slight smile and said I'd be fine and off she went. To my surprise I managed to hit the 2 mile marker at just a few seconds over 20 minutes. I was surprising myself by actually making decent time at that point.

Between mile 2-3.5 things were pretty tough and I probably had to take a few more walk breaks than I normally would have anticipated but between my intestines and the impact of my feet hitting the concrete if I had not taken it slow that stuff was coming and fast. No way was I going to make a mess of myself at just an 8k race. Perhaps one of these days if the same thing happens at half marathon we might be telling a different story but not for this race! And I am sure Terri and the gang can appreciate me taking it slow so as to prevent an accident becaues they picked me up and might not have been thrilled about taking me home! haha

I was glad to have had my watch and actually enjoyed this race without my music. People (including Terri and the gang) cheering each other on along the way was a huge help and nice change up from my usual race tunes. I was able to hear my breathing and was in tune with my thoughts (which mostly had to do with  my mind telling my guts to simmer down!).

Once I hit mile 4 and saw a familiar face (friend of ours and a track coach the hubby helps) and rah rah Emert I knew I could make the last. 97 even if it was at a slow jog. I knew by the time on my watch that Terri and the gang were done and at least they would be waiting on me when I finished. I didn't have a time goal for this race since it was my first 8k (a race length I had not done before) and once my current tummy troubles reared their ugly head I knew time was thrown out the window. 

I finished in 54:51 which is about an 11 minute (and 3 second) mile pace. A bit slower (30 seconds) than my pace on the treadmill but again given the tummy troubles not too shabby. The gang was there and gave me a big RAH RAH and I am just so thankful for that and them!  I am glad that I was able to take this experience as a positive one even given what I had been through. People could relate to me and what had happened and still know that I had a reason to be proud. I finished.

It was an absolutely beautiful day for a run, too. This time of year is crazy here in E. TN and you might have 20 degrees and frigid wind (like today) or 65 degrees and a breeze (like Thursday). I am thankful that Mr. Weatherman came through and gave us the latter. I am also grateful for my hubby for supporting my running. I am thankful for new running friends who can appreciate the success of finishing even a crappy run.

The best news of the day was Terri's awesome win!!! She knows I have some serious envy!! ;)
I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving! I know I did. And as much as I wish the race had gone differently for me, I am thankful for even these kinds of experiences.

Monday, November 22, 2010

>Winner, Winner Turkey Dinner (haha)

>Thank you to all of you that entered the BIC bands giveaway here on my blog! There were 16 entries. I used Random.org with numbers 1 through 16 and it chose lucky number 15.  Here is what the 15th comment said....

Terri said...
Just liked them on FB!

Sunday, November 21, 2010

>Saturday's Fun Run

>Let me start off by warning you that I have sat down more than a few times to write this post and hit delete more times than I can count. The fact is, I AM NOT a writer. I'm not good at it but I enjoy blogging for you as much as I do for me. That being said, if this post is all over the place...forgive me in advance.  ;)

I have talked on here about previous running "friends"  (I put that in quotes because I though these people were friends but have since learned otherwise) and the fact that while I felt they were running with me it turned out they were running against me. Meaning, for them it was a competition. Each race wasn't a personal accomplishment for them unless they beat me/my time. If you've ever been in the same position it can leave a bad taste in your mouth in life as well as running. I for one was bothered more by it in terms of the friendship/life than I was the running. I've said before, I will say it again... I run for ME. I am my own worse competition, every single run.

Moving on....

I was contacted through bloggy land by a new friend. I call her a friend because I think she is even though I only just met her. We hit it off (I think) and anyone that can approach a stranger (albeit the www) is the kind of person I want to be my friend. I am the most shy person you will ever meet, but I am slowly coming out of my shell. My hubby teases me about my phone phobia. I hate talking on the phone for the most part unless I am talking to him or my sister. Ha, I talk to them daily so maybe it is because it is easy. Ok, off track much? lol  I warned you it would happen.

Anyway, it took me until Friday after I got off work to call and confirm plans for meeting my new running friends for our Saturday run. But I was proud I did...oh and extremely happy! I have wanted running buddies for a while and it just so happens that I got me some.. YAY!!! And the non-competitive type of running friends, too! Double score! 

So, we arranged to meet Saturday (they picked me up!! Rock on!) and we headed out to a local trail for a 5 mile run. In the past my 5 miles has been done solo on a local greenway or on the treadmill at the gym. Both extremely tough. My new friends assured me that they were not running for time and were happy to go at a comfortable pace for me. This made me (and still does) very happy!

Saturday's run was one of my most favorite runs to date. A cool fall morning with friends on a nice (but hilly!) trail that I had never run before. We ran the first 1.25 miles before *I* had to stop. I can't even tell you why I had to stop but I did. I told my hubby later that day that I could feel my abs engaged the entire time I was running, perhaps the hills were the reason for that? Either way, I liked that they were right there with me the whole time. This was also my first run with no music but talking. I loved that. These women were great at keeping me motivated the entire run. We took walk breaks when walk breaks were needed. I appreciated that.

And because she is so sweet, towards the end of the run Terri asked if I would like her to snap a pic of me for her blog! YES! Please do! :)

Here Melissa and myself are on our way towards the end of our run. Thank you, ladies for an awesome day, for motivating me, boosting my running confidence and making me believe that I too am a great runner!  My only regret is that I don't have a pic of me and Terri running, but don't fear!! We are running together again on Turkey day and I have a feeling there will be many more group runs in our future!

I hadn't even mentioned that these ladies just completed a half marathon not too many days ago! Wow! They have me thinking seriously about 13.1 myself. I have a training plan printed out ready to go (my second atttempt) and tomorrow will be a 3 mile run as the program calls for.

So, there ya have it... my long post about Saturday's awesome 5 miler and a little blip about new running adventures I'm goin on.

>Giveaways you should check out!

My own BICbands Giveaway HERE. Did you know BIC stands for "because I can,?" Awesome, right! My giveaway ends today and a winner will be selected tomorrow so hurry and enter. :)

Lift Your Sole Stocking Stuffer Giveaway by Running Diva Mom HERE. Ends Nov. 30th.

Embrace Each Step Giveaway by Running Diva Mom HERE. Ends Nov. 30th.

Inspired Endurance Giveaway by Running Diva Mom HERE. Ends Nov. 28th.

iPod Touch giveaway over at Setting You Free. Check it out HERE. Winner announced on Thanksgiving day!

Enjoy your Sunday! I will be back later to talk about my awesome run yesterday but for now a load or two (or four!) of laundry is calling my name.

Friday, November 19, 2010

>Really, Mr. Weatherman?


Warm and sunny
Not too high
Not too low
 And then....
Thanksgiving morning 60% chance of rain and breezy.

Thank you, Mr. Weatherman. 
I am not a fan of running in the cool temps but I do run better when it is chillier. But rain? Oy. 
Please, all of you lovely bloggies, do the sunshine dance or the no rain dance for me, will ya?! 

Thursday, November 18, 2010

>Maintain Don't Gain - WI #3

>This week marks the start of week 3 of the Maintain Don't Gain challenge at my gym. I skipped weigh in on Monday because it was a crazy morning but thankfully they offer Thursday as another weigh in day. So, I decided to go this morning. That allowed me to work a little harder at the gym and focus more on my eating a couple extra days this week. Not that I wasn't already doing that but it helped keep me focused on what the goal is.

Funny thing happened at my weigh in. I always change into a pair of Under Armour cotton shorts because I typically have on jeans and a belt. I am weird about weighing in clothes to heavy even if they give me a 2lb clothing allowance. So, I change. Anyway, he gets my name and age (which he input as 30 rather than 31 yrs..lol) and had me weigh. There are apparently a couple of different weight loss challenges going on at my gym because he said to me, "Oh you gained this week. Like 4 lbs." No way, not possible. I was down on my home scale and all I had this morning was coffee and I'd peed 2 times since then! lol I just knew he was wrong. I hopped off the scale and walked over to him to look. Haha. He had the wrong book. Whew. Turns out I was actually down 2lbs from last week for a total of 5 lbs down since the challenge started.

I am, of course, very pleased with the progress so far. If you remember me going to the dietitian you may recall that I was bummed she told me only to lose between 8 and 17 lbs over the next 6 months. So, 5lbs down in just a couple of weeks is exciting for me. The goal is to maintain over the holidays but I am determined to prove that I can lose!

Monday, November 15, 2010

>A run, a review and a giveaway!!

I've read a lot of your posts and seen your pics where you have these super cute little head bands that are "sure to not slip" or "stay in place."  Since running I have wanted to try one of my own and I gave up trying to win one (haha!) so last week I went to BIC Bands   shop on Etsy and started shopping. I purchased one, the Turkey thin band. I thought it would be the perfect way to top off (get it? haha) my running attire for an upcoming Thanksgiving Day race I am participating in. 

I was stoked when I opened my mail Friday when my BIC band was right there in my mail! Happy happy. I had just ordered it on Tuesday! Super fast shipping. 
Anyway, I had decided then that Saturday morning would be the perfect time to test out this cute little band. I decided to skip my regular Saturday morning BodyPump class and mapped out a long(er) run when I got home from the football game Friday night. See, I was determined. 

I had my 7 yr old daughter snap a few pics before we left the house. 
Now, I know I am not as cute as some of you other (more serious) runners but just bear with the running outfit. haha It was chilly and I was also going to be testing out the full legnth running tights for the first time. And because I read on RLAM about seams in running tights being split (I go commando in those things!!), I became fearful of what *could* possibly happen. Hence the reason for the shorts over my tights. ;)
please also excuse the messy kitchen in the background

When I got to the gym the first thing the ladies in the childcare room noticed was....
you guessed it! My super cute BIC Band. :) Just knowing someone else thought it was cute and that it looked super cute on me is another reason to love it. But, it still needed to be tested out in a run. Off I went. I had 5 miles scheduled but wasn't sure I'd actually stick to my plan.

This is the trail I was running on. 
It was a beautiful fall day!

And here I am running in my Turkey BIC band. 
Do you know how hard it is to capture a decent picture of yourself with a cell phone while running? Yeah, well it is not easy. At least in this pic though I am sorta trying to smile. 
You will notice my BIC Band is in the same place it was in the picture from home. 

It didn't move! 
The sweat was not in my eyes!
It was comfortable! 
And it's flipping CUTE!

Some other things that are awesome about BIC Bands are:
~ the seams are all made well.
~it is washable (hand washable, but washable).
~ inexpensive
~they're fun. with many styles to choose from you could find one to match every running outfit you have!
~super fast shipping time (for me anyway...from Cali to TN - 3 days!)
and here is what really made me decide to purchase my BIC band....
~ proceeds from your purchase go to The Leukemia & Lymphoma Society.
The kind owner of BIC bands has offered to give one of my awesome readers a BIC band of their own. I will run this giveaway through Sunday, November 21st and pick a winner on Monday, November 22nd. Once the winner contacts me with their info I will forward that on so that your prize will be mailed to you!

 Here is how you get entered to win.
1. Like BICBands on Facebook
2. Follow my blog
3. Go to BICbands (Etsy shop) and tell me what your favorite is.
 4. Blog about this giveaway!

Please leave me a comment for each entry! Now, hurry on and add these to your Christmas wish list!

*Disclaimer - I wzs NOT sent this product to review. It was purchased with my own money and I just reviewed it on my own. The kind owner of the BICBand Etsy shop threw the giveaway in out of generosity. :)

Thursday, November 11, 2010

>Three Things Thursday

>1.I have hopped on the computer more times than I care to count to in order to write a post here. I would type a few words and decide to come back because I felt nothing I had typed had much substance. I still feel that way. ;)

2. I went to BodyPump and Zumba tonight. I love how I feel after 2 hours at the gym. Funny how 50+ pounds ago I didn't even love how I felt after 2 minutes at the gym.

3. I am totally excited about new running adventures that are ahead of me. I may dive more into the details on that later but for now I'm just excited with what is to come.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

>Bootcamp = Tight calves

>Monday afternoon I left work early to head to the gym. I had made my mind up that I was going to try the bootcamp class at my gym. I had never taken it before and was doubting I would survive when the class description was followed by "advanced." But I went anyway.

The class was great. We started with a 2 mile warm up jog around the building (outside). I jogged along side a friendly girl in class who chatted with me the whole way. Fun. Then we ran up the stairs once we were inside and headed back to the room. The class consisted of different intervals of jumping rope, shuffle running, jump squats and push ups. Once those intervals were done we did a few upper body exercises. I felt great being able to keep up with the hard body group that was taking it despite the fact that I was the fat girl in the class. I didn't let that intimidate me too bad! ha

After the class some of the ladies that run asked if I want to go run the loop around the pond with them. I very hesitantly said yes and that I knew they would blow me away. They assured me I would be fine. And I was. I felt (and still feel) really good about the class and the run following it. I've come a long way in the last year and it has taken me a while to finally realize that I am capable of great things.

The only bad thing is that my calves are tight! Tight. Very tight. I'm pretty sure it is from all the jumping rope (which I actually liked!) during bootcamp. I am planning a trail run tonight but am worried about the tightness causing me problems. Part of me thinks they will losen up once I get going but the other part of me is afraid they won't. I started having some cramps in my right calf during my last 5k race (10-30) but ran through that as best I could with no real issues other than it showing up here and there during some of my recent runs. We will see how today's run goes. I'm not shooting for time or distance but just getting out and enjoying my run and the beauty around me!

I leave you with this quote that was shared by Active.com on Facebook today.

"Being your best is not so much about overcoming the barriers other people place in front of you as it is about overcoming the barriers we place in front of ourselves." -Kieren Perkins

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

>Maintain Don't Gain

>A challenge.

Beginning November 1st I have been participating in a challenge at my gym. It will run for 10 weeks.  The concept is to make it through the holidays within 3 lbs (+/-) of your starting weight. Tips given for this were to get plenty of sleep, exercise (at least 150 minutes a week), drink plenty of water and of course a sensible diet. They will check our weight once a week and keep track of our attendance based on how many times our card is swiped at the front desk. Easy enough, right!?

Having been at this weight loss thing a while and recently meeting with a dietitian to fine tune some things my goal with the challenge was to continue with my weight loss and work on my fitness during the holidays. I of course want to be able to lose weight during the holidays but even just maintaining is a huge success.

Our first weigh in was this week and I stuck with going on Monday mornings. I figured keeping a Monday weigh in would hold me more accountable on the weekends which is when I tend to get a little off track with my eating. So far my plan has worked and I have made it through the weekends just fine and without any gorging on unnecessary foods. I also committed to making it to the gym 4 days a week. I didn't want to say 5 and then have a week where something might come up with the kids or myself getting sick or anything else with our schedule being off. 4 feels like a safe number! And I can certainly get 150 minutes of exercise in 4 days especially since I usually run 3 days a week for over 30 minutes. You do the math. ;)

The water drinking I have down no problem at all. I carry a Camelbak water bottle with me every where I go. I rarely ever go a day without drinking 80 or more ounces of water. The only other beverage I drink on a daily basis is my morning coffee (an my smoothie, but that's breakfast. lol). I had given up diet soda completely but about once a week I have one can or less which is much much MUCH better than the 2 cans a day I was drinking.

With the tools I have from all my years at this weight loss thing, the info from the dietitian and just the fun of this challenge I do believe I can reach my goals during the holidays. So, all that being said here are some stats. I like to keep in mind that 1. my monthly friend decided to pay me an early visit the day before my first weigh in and 2. my gym scale is slightly off from my home scale.

Nov. 1 - (gym scale start weight) 179.3
Nov. 8 - (gs) 176.3
total loss week 1 - 3 lbs!

I was very excited to see a loss and a significant loss at that. I knew at home the scale read 177 the day of my weigh in when I started and that this weekend it read 174. I knew I was down according to my home scale so my only hope was to at least see that I had indeed maintained when I weighed in at the gym. But to have seen a loss was a big boost for me! Now my goal is to keep the momentum going and to lose a bit more before Thanksgiving. I already have a Thanksgiving day plan which includes a Turkey day race (8k...my longest race yet) and an eating strategy to keep me on track! Look for more details about both in the days/weeks to come.

My question for you is...
What are you doing to make it through the holidays to keep from gaining?

Sunday, November 7, 2010

>If You Give a Mom Some Free Time

>You never know what she will want to get into.
The possibilities are endless.
~ shopping
~ a warm tub and a closed bathroom door
~ read a good book
~ a nap

And the list could go on and on.

Today after church my hubby went to a football meeting and the kids went with Mamaw and Papaw. What does that mean??? Free time for mom! Woohoo!
I was just going to grab something quick to eat and head to the gym (since I thought ahead and packed my bag!). But hubby felt bad about me "eating alone," so I called a friend and we had a great lunch. Then I drove home to put away my leftovers and change clothes. Minutes later I was back out the door and off to the gym. I had a nice little Sunday run.

5 miles in 50:56

I could have easily came home and napped or played on the computer a while. Heck, I should have been home doing laundry and dishes and preparing a grocery list for the week. But I must say it was nice being able to have a little time alone and I am proud to have used it to go for a run.

>My Last Shameless Plea...

>As you know (because I have only posted it here a bajiliionzillion times), I ran the Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure on October 30th (I set a new PR, by the way). This cause is very dear to me as I lost my grandmother to breast cancer and know so many others battling this disease. I don't know the specific statistics but I'd venture to say breast cancer affects all of us in some way whether it be a family member or friend. I set up a fundraising page this year and my goal is to raise $250. I am at $215. $35 away from that goal. If you'd like to help by even donating $5 I would be forever grateful. :)

Please visit my page  HERE!! But do so before midnight tonight as that is when time runs out!!! Thanks!!

Thursday, November 4, 2010

>Call me crazy, but..

>I like to say I am determined!

On Tuesdays my gym offers some great classes beginning at 5:00 p.m.
They have what is called Core Challenge. It is described as a 25 minute boot camp that challenges all the core muscles from shoulder girdle to hip and everything in between. A great lead into cycling, bodypump or to stand alone with your exisiting cardio workout.
BodyPump begins at 5:30 and if you have read here before you know that I LOVE me some BodyPump. You can read more about it here and even find a location near you that offers these classes! Check it out.
Following BodyPump is Zumba. I know you have heard of it. It's a funky cardio dance class that is designed for anyone! The first time I took the class I did it alone as my only workout for the day and believe it or not I broke a pretty darn good sweat.

This past Tuesday I woke up determined to make the day's workout count. And I did. I took all three of those classes (back to back!). I even increased my weights a bit in BodyPump. Here it is Thursday and I am still feeling it all over my body. And no I was not trying work off a gorge fest of Halloween candy. I am happy to say that I ate one snack size pack of Peanutbutter MMs while we were Trick or Treating. I think I burned those with all the walking that night, but just in case I was determined they got burned at the gym. haha

As part of a holiday "Maintain Don't Gain" challenge at my gym I had to commit to so many days of attendance at the gym. I committe to 4 days a week. They handed us a whole sheet of ideas to burn calories and also suggested a minimum of 150 minutes of exercise per week. Hello? I surpassed that suggested minimum this week already! Woohoo! So, my friends, I am determined to reach my goal of not gaining over the holidays. The challenge runs for 10 weeks. I am pretty sure I can make it to the gym a total of 40 times.

I'm not crazy (as a couple of friends have said!) but you better believe I am determined!!!

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

>Then and Now...

>a look back.

I told you yesterday that I finished the Race for the Cure about 6 minutes faster this year than I did last year. I always like to reflect on how I did now compared to then but the thing I like to see the most is the difference in how I look in pictures. I've come a long way and forgive me while I boast and explode with pride.

These were pictures from last year. Same time, same rice. 
But there is a difference.

I don't know the exact amount of weight I have lost since this time last year but I plan to read back through my blog to see. I just know that I look like a completely different person from the front and the back! My hard work is definitely paying off and I could not be more proud than I am right now. I have a lot of work left to do and thank goodness I still have the drive, determination and motivation that will get me there! 

Oh and official results were posted last night....

ME - 33:06
Hubby - 30:40

We kicked that 5k's tail and I am ready for the next finish line!!

Monday, November 1, 2010

>Racing for a Cure

>This weekend was our local Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure 5k. The hubby and I ran this together (even if he finished just before me). Everything went great again this year; although I am bummed that I still have not reached my fundraising goal. I think there is still time if you feel inclined to donate (even as little as $5 helps, I promise!!). And let's face it, we all have boobs that could potentially need the help of the Susan G. Komen foundation. So, if you wish... CLICK HERE! I am only $60 away from my goal which is $200 less than last year's goal. Boo.

Anyway, for the race recap....
The forecast scared me all week long. High's in the 60s but the lows... 34 for that morning. Brr.
I worried about getting my race outfit and gear just right for the temps especially since last year I overdressed. And as you know (if you read beforehand) that I was going to be sporting the awesome PINK Travel Skirt from Team Sparkle (check there often for my story!). I felt amazing in that pink sparkly skirt and do believe I am going to add one to my Christmas wish list. It had magic in it, ya know! And I of course turned lots of heads, had lots of fingers pointed my way... "Cute tutu!" and "Look at her cute skirt!" Who wouldn't feel amazing?! I mean... LOOK at me!

My hubby and I left the house around 6am or so. We  I like to get there early to get good parking and check out all the pre race things going on. However, it was so cold that it took us a while to want to get out of the car.  After we snapped pics, bundled up, and chatted with some friends we headed to the event site. We got our back signs all ready to go and walked around. We decided not to pick up any pre-race goodies due to the lines and I really didn't want to have to lug stuff back to the car and risk being "too late" getting to the start line. I'm sure we would have made it just fine, but my nerves are always giving me fits before a race.


 Pre race photos! It was still dark and very early, but we are smiling. And my hubby wore a pink shirt for the first time in the 12 years we have been together! :)

 I ran in memory of my Nana. 

Hubby and I had a little pre-race warm up. We both felt really great. I really thought the cold air would bother my lungs espeically since I had not done as much outdoor running (in the cold) as I had planned to prior to the race. But I was surprised that I felt great, minus a bit of jittery nerves!

 Here I am just before the start.
I suppose I could have smiled but I didn't want to look obvious. haha 

At exactly 8:30am the horn sounded and we were off. 
I felt really good. I didn't start off too terribly fast since there were so many people. My only real problem was the SLOW people in front of me and trying to dodge my way through/around them. Hubby and I were side by side for the start and I had hoped to stay that way at least for the first mile, but there were these two women in front of me moving much slower than I was. I couldn't go around either of them because of the people beside me. I tried my best to go through them, edging closer to them, trying to squeeze through (I had room!) and even saying excuse me, but the closer I got the closer they squeezed together. I finally just say, "Geez!!!" and ran around them quickly only to almost be stopped by a couple of WALKERS! That was the only negative part of the first mile. I ran the entire first mile and when I looked at my watch I saw 8:47 and thought to myself that I would most definitely make the first mile marker at under 10 minutes. However, once I rounded the corner and came to the end of the hill where the marker was my watch had already reached 10:20, which was still a good pace for me. I kept going telling myself that I would make it a point to hit mile two at 20 minutes (wishful thinking). 

At mile marker 2 I was at 21 minutes, which was still right on pace for where I wanted to be. I grabbed a cup of water at the first water station but really only stuck my tongue in the cup because I didn't want to stop or slow down to drink it. So, I tossed it in the trash and kept moving along. I don't really know what my thought process was through mile two other than I felt a cramp in my right calf. I walked about 10 seconds but picked right back up to running. 

There was a "friend" (who ran this race with me last year) there as well. She started behind me but by mile 2 was closer to me. My goal was to not let the fact that in my last race she sort of made me feel as though she was hoping to beat me and/or compete against me. This began to mess with my head as the night before she text me questioning about the race. First of all, I run for ME! Any competing I do with my running is AGAINST MYSELF. I don't like feeling as though a "friend" is hoping to beat my time or compete against me. I felt as though she was thinking that since I have continued running for months and she hadn't it was her goal to prove her running was better than mine and finishing before me would make her feel better. I don't know. I didn't like. 

At any rate, she approached me at some point during mile 2 and I of course, smiled. She made conversation that her inhaler didn't work or she didn't have it. I noted that my right calf was crampy and that (I really need to go deal with a tummy issue but by golly I was meeting my goal!). And with that she slowed and I sped up. A hill of bricks was ahead of me and I was determined to not walk it like I had last year. And I didn't. I kept trucking along as bystanders were yelling, "You go girl! You are almost there! Don't stop!" And soon enough I rounded the corner to the downhill finish.

As I looked at my watch, I knew that hubby had to be done as 31 minutes had past. I came under a bridge where a group of acapella singers were singing to finishers and I knew from last year's race I didn't have far at all to go and that a PR was mine! I booked it only to see my "friend" pass me but because there were so many runners finishing at the same time it was hard to speed up much as the path narrowed and there just wasn't much room to move sideways. So, I kept my swift pace and tried desperately to get a good view of the finishing clock, but the sun.. oh the sun! It was bright and even though I had my sunglasses on I couldn't see it until I was actually crossing the line.
I set a personal record! 
6 minutes faster than last year!!! 
I wanted to cry, I wanted to find my hubby and hug him so big. 
I love that he snapped this picture of me at the end even if I do look weird.
This is one of my proudest post race moments. I accomplished something I had not done before.
I said over and over on the way to the car, "I am so proud of myself. I did what I came to do." 

And looking back on where I was this time last year, I realize I accomplished a whole lot more than just a pr. But there will be more on that later.

Here are a couple of more post race pics. I love that my hubby runs *with* me. I always  say with me and then add, even though he finishes before me. He's so silly that he reminds me each time that I am catching up with him. He finished in 31:06. I am so proud of him, too. I can't think of anyone else I'd rather have by my side when I start a race. One of these days I am going to finish right beside him, too. Wait and see, I have goals for my little huge running legs!!!