Did I Just Enjoy That Run? I Think I Did.

When I was training for my half marathon over the summer and into the fall, I was so excited.  Every run brought me closer to a really amazing goal I had set for myself, I enjoyed running in new territory (lengths) every week with my long runs, and I looked forward to lacing up and heading out.

This time around, I’ve been struggling.  I haven’t been enjoying my runs.  They’ve been painful, exhausting, and seemingly endless–and I haven’t really had any actual LONG runs!  I chalk it up to the fact that it’s cold, and I let myself get out of shape.

Tonight, I had my first enjoyable run.  The hill leading out from my house was a little rough, but the rest of the run was awesome.  I felt freer than I have felt on any training run this far.  I was a little nostalgic too.  I envisioned my marathon.  I thought about the people in my life who can’t run and never will again.  I chanted their names in rhythm with my footsteps, and it was encouraging.  I imagined those people mid-course holding signs that say things like “my daughter runs for me” or “run while you can” as they sit, incapacitated, in their wheelchairs. I even picture my twin brother standing with our parents with a sign that reads “my sister’s a friggin’ show off”…lol!

I’m happy to have finally had a good run.  I wish I had had time to do another mile or so.  I didn’t want to stop!  I may just be getting my groove back, and that’s a good thing because I’ve been questioning whether or not I could actually complete a marathon since I started training 3 weeks ago.  The seed had been planted; I was just waiting for it to germinate.  It may finally be pushing its fragile self to the surface after all.  🙂

On a side note: my mom is still in the hospital. Nursing home, actually.  She is still working at being rehabilitated enough to go home.  I fear it may never happen.  She’s been in the hospital/rehab/now nursing home since Oct. 8.  She had a doctor’s appointment today and was informed that she will need to have stents put in her legs.  Her feet are not healing properly (diabetic/kidney failure=poor circulation=foot problems).  Hopefully, blood flow will be restored, and she will begin to heal.  Back in May, my dad had this problem, and it was never rectified.  He is now a double amputee.  Mom has a better shot, but we will have to wait and see.

run-for-those-who-cant

They are the reason I run.  I’ve said it before, and I will say it again (and again, and again, and again).  I weighed almost 300 pounds, and I was going to die.  Not soon, but sooner than I should.  And painfully.  Watching my vibrant parents become bedridden made me change my ways.  1. I didn’t want to end up like them. 2. I wanted them to know that I wouldn’t end up like them.  They are so proud of the way I have turned my life around.  Especially my mom.  She has confided several times that if she had known how things would end up, she would have taken better care of herself and that she’s so happy that I AM doing just that.

I love those goofy people, and I wish I could have them around longer (and healthier), but it is what it is.  I’ll be spending as much of the holiday with them as I can.  Christmas break starts Friday at 12:30, but we are supposed to get some snow and ice tonight, so I may be off until January!

Keep running!  It’s so worth it! 🙂

Advertisements

Marathon Training: Week Two (And Confessions of a Fat Girl)

This week wasn’t too bad either.  I’m still playing catch up from all the couch sitting I did after my half marathon in October, but my endurance is coming back fairly quickly.

I ran 3 miles on Monday.  It wasn’t too bad.  I walked a few miles on Tuesday.  On Thursday, I rushed home because I wanted to get my long run (6 miles) in before my hectic weekend began.  I ran the whole 6 with a few short walk breaks up hills.  At first I was disappointed in having to walk, but now I remember how I had to take a few breaks in my first few weeks of half marathon training too.  I’m certain that as I progress in training, my endurance and stamina will catch up and I’ll be running non-stop like I did for all the later weeks of my half training.  No worries.  Well, maybe a few. 😉

I ran 2.5 last night before it got dark.  I was dressed in dark clothing, so I thought it might be best to get home.  Besides, I had a ton of cleaning and wrapping to do before the kiddos came home at 8.  Spoiler alert:  My house is kinda-not a disaster, and no gifts were wrapped.

This morning my piano is being tuned, so I’ve been able to do a little laundry and blogging.  I’d have liked to have gotten my last 3 mile run of the week in, but I guess I’ll save it for tomorrow.  I’m going out to dinner tonight with my hubby and our friends, so I’m going to make healthy choices, but I’m also going to eat as much as I want!  I’ve busted my butt all week running AND eating healthy, so I deserve a little calorie splurge.  My body is tired too, so…maybe I need the calories.  That’s what I’m telling myself anyway!

Confession time!  After my half, I had planned to keep running and eating healthy, but I did allow myself 2 weeks off.  2 weeks morphed into 6…and I morphed into a fatty!  In 6 weeks, I went from 164 (half marathon weight–and +7 from my lowest) to 184!  In my defense, about 5 of that was water weight because as soon as I got back in the swing of things, I instantly dropped to 179.  The last 1.5-2 weeks, I’ve dropped another 5, so now I’m back down to 174.  I’m hoping the weight keeps dropping.  I’m sure that the reason I feel extra tired on runs is because of the extra pounds I’m packing.  It freaks me out a little that I gained 20 lbs almost instantly, but I did do a lot of eating.  And a lot of lounging.

Eat-All-The-Food-Meme

I fell, but I picked myself back up.  I’m sure I’ll be seeing the 160s soon, and I’m still hoping to hit my goal of the 140s by marathon day in April.  With all the running I’ll be doing, I’m thinking it’ll all come out in the wash. 🙂

Anyway, next week is a 3, 4, 3 and 7 miler.  We shall see how that goes.

Keep running.

Run to the Lights 5k in Branson

So, I haven’t run much since my half marathon in October.  Without an immediate need for training, I’ve been a little lax about my running. And fitness. And eating. This weekend was my first run with mileage over one mile (eek!), and it was surprisingly…okay…ish.

I took the day off on Friday to clean and pack.  Hubby worked a 1/2 day and picked up the kiddos on his way home.  We ate a quick lunch and headed out the door for Branson.  After an uneventful 4 hour drive and FINALLY having the time to begin reading Gone Girl, we arrived at our hotel.  We unpacked, readied ourselves for the race, and left for Silver Dollar City, where the race would take place at 10:10pm.  We took a few pre-race pics:

1107142111a

1107142101

Let me enlighten you on this little racey-race.  We registered early.  The 4 of us paid a registration fee of $25 each.  With that fee, we each got a really nice long sleeved t-shirt, free hot cocoa, hot wassail, cookies, water, and bananas, and…drum roll, please……………….a free pass for Silver Dollar City!  The cost of an adult ticket to SDC with tax is $63.41 and a child’s ticket is $52.66.  This means for our family  of 4, the cost to enter the park alone would have been $232.14.  Instead, we paid $100 and got free food and tshirts.  Pretty sweet, if I do say so myself.

The race itself was okay.  I ran all of it except part of a realllyyy steep hill–much steeper than the rest of the hills.  I swear..the whole course felt like hill after hill after hill. I know I ran it in under 40 minutes, but it was chip timed and the official results aren’t up yet.  No worries–I wasn’t running for time.  Thank goodness…because I’m sure I lost at LEAST 2-3 minutes just dodging walkers.  I ran it…hubby and kids walked it.  They were all a little cranky when they finished, but I had hot cocoa waiting for them and that made them happy.

I wish I hadn’t been so lazy for the last month, but, well, I have.  I would have run a much better, much faster, much less physically straining race had that been the case.  I had side-stitches and my legs were tired–I attribute some of this to being soooooo flippin cold!

We left SDC and stopped by Denny’s on the way back to our hotel, and when my head finally hit the pillow it was almost 2am.  Here’s a pic of the kiddos at about 1am (don’t judge..we had just gotten back from our busy night!).

1108140131

The next day, we had breakfast (if you wanna call it that) at the hotel, stopped by the Titanic Museum because my son is absolutely obsessed ever since he studied about it in summer school two years ago.  He thoroughly enjoyed it!  It was an emotional morning, and I teared up several times.  So did the hubs.  P.S.  They give a boarding pass as patrons enter.  Each boarding pass has the name of a real passenger on the Titanic.  At the end of the tour, patrons find out if they survived or not.  We ALL survived!

We went straight to the park.  We rode a few rides, ate some funnel cake and hand-dipped ice cream, and rode the train.

1108141552

Riding the train in deep thought…probably pretending he’s on his way to Hogwarts.

1108141451

Waiting with the boy while his fearless sister and dad ride crazy death-traps.

downsized_1108141523

My extra eating kinda shows in this pic, but hey…look at those super-sweet shirts we got!

1108141611

“Look, [Mom]! I’m riding a furry tractor!”

"You'll be clapped in the stocks before you're twenty."

“You’ll be clapped in the stocks before you’re twenty.”

I was an emotional wreck at Silver Dollar City too.  I’m not sure if it just carried over from the museum, or I was just having a weepy day, or what the h-word my problem was.  Anyway, I saw so many happy families.  So many grandparents happily holding grandbabies, grandpas riding Fire in the Hole with grandsons, grandmas doting on the kids while Mom and Dad strolled into shop after shop hand-in-hand.  It abso-freakin-lutely tore. me. up.  I was relieved to be wearing sunglasses because at one point, I was climbing stairs thinking of my sick, bed-ridden parents, leading me to the verge of a full-on ugly cry.  I completely and utterly envied them.  I was desperately longing to have that in my life; in my kids lives.  But that’s not the case.  And that’s okay.

I confided in my husband later that night.  He didn’t have much to say except that at least I will be there for my kids and grandkids, and that was sweet.  Just not enough in that moment.  I just needed to wallow for a minute.  Both of my parents are back in the hospital, but that’s a story for another post.  I love those people, but I wish I had more quality time with them.

Well, that got dark…fast.  Maybe I’m still wallowing!?? lol.  I love my parents how they are and where they are.  They are wonderful people.  I just occasionally get a little wind knocked outta me when I see how things could be.  This is the reason I kicked my oversized a** into gear and lost over 100 pounds. Who cares about sexy.  I want to be healthy!

I’m going to eat well and get a good run in tomorrow along with some bodyweight/strength training exercises.  In fact, that’s the plan for the whole week.  I’m sure those things will lighten my mood too!

Sounds like a good game plan to me.  What’s yours?

I Finished my First Half Marathon!

Celebrating with the kids post-race. :)

Celebrating with the kids post-race. 🙂

Welp, I did it, and it was great!  On Saturday morning, the family got up and headed out the door for St. Charles, MO.  We stopped at Denny’s and I indulged with pancakes and hashbrowns.  Yum.  We ran a few errands, and I tried to find some compression pants in a smaller size, but with no luck.

We went to the Expo where I received an excellent stretch and a looooong, much needed massage from a young man named Ramone.  I told him I wanted to marry him.  He thought I was joking.  I picked up my shirt and car sticker and a few coupons.  One coupon was for free socks, so we visited that store, since it was basically in the same plaza as our hotel.  They were out of the free ones, so they gave me an even better pair of Saucony dri-fit compression socks.  Score!  And in talking with the young lady behind the counter, I found out her grandparents live in the same community as me and I’ve done several training runs by their home.  Small world.

We ate at a cheap Italian place.  We were tired, and the restaurant was next door.  I ordered lasagna.  It was frozen!  I was so tired that I didn’t even complain.  I just ate around the solid parts and we went back to the hotel.  We watched a bit of Harry Potter, and we had the lights out by 9pm.  I think I fell asleep by 9:30 and slept well all night–which is uncommon for me.

I woke at 5 and had all my race gear in the bathroom, so I could dress without waking the family.  I was still pretty out of it, so when I turned around in the bathroom with my clothes in my hand, I dropped my socks.  In the toilet!  I’m soooo glad I had gotten that extra pair the day before!  To run 13.1 miles in uncomfortably thin cotton socks would have been a nightmare!

I scarfed a granola bar and a fruit bar and woke the fam.  They all bounced up and were ready within 15 minutes.  We hit the breakfast downstairs.  I had coffee, and the kids had muffins and yogurt.  There were other runners there, but they were pretty obnoxious.  They really seemed to just want to hear themselves talk.  They were having a conversation, but each person’s was one sided.  Just a bunch of declarative statements, really.

We arrived at the public parking lot.  It was dark and cold.  We waited in the car for a bit, but then I decided to head to the start line at 6:40.  The race stared at 7:30.  I used that time to stand in the super long port-o-potty lines and meet up with my friend who was running too.  She and her husband lined up at the back of the 10 minute mile line.  I lined up with them so that I would have company while we waited for the start.  After a mile or so, when the crowd thinned, I slowed my pace to a 12ish minute mile pace.

After the start, I was overwhelmed with emotion.  It was a big deal for me, having weighed almost 300 pounds in 2013.  I realized how hard I had worked and how far I had come, and that I was realizing a goal I had set for myself and trained religiously for for months!  It was all I could to to not ugly cry.  The feeling passed, and I ran a great race. For the first half of the race, every time I would pass a mile marker, I would think, Wow!  Really?  Already?  

There weren’t as many spectators as I thought there would be, but the High-Five Zone at mile 5 was pretty cool.  The only negatives were that I had over-hydrated, so I had to stop at several port-o-pottys, and halfway through, I started having tummy trouble, again…having to stop at every port-o-potty. 😦  I thought it was because I had drank more Gatorade than I’m used to, but that night, my daughter got sick too.  Figures that I would have a stomach bug on my first big race!

Even with the frequent bathroom breaks, I hit both of my half marathon goals:

1. Finish in under 3 hours (My finish time was 2:48 flat)

2. Run the whole course without walking (I allowed for bathroom breaks…just didn’t know I would be taking so many!)

At mile 10, the flat course became a hilly course.  Ouch.  Bad place to add some hills if you ask me.  I was still feeling okay, and had plenty of energy.  At one point, as I was passing everyone who was walking up the hill, a woman yelled, “You run that hill!”  I loved that encouragement.

Mile 11 was the longest mile in history.  I don’t think I ever saw the mile 12 sign. I must have missed it. During the final miles, my hips were hurting, and I had to stop and stretch them and my quads, but other than that, I felt great.  Others around me were miserable.  Someone with knee pain was telling her husband it was worse than giving birth.  Some were limping. Some were sitting on the curb.  Some were basically crawling.  I was so proud of what I was accomplishing and how well I had trained for it.  My body was not giving out.  My mind was not giving in.  My heart was not giving up.

Finally, people started shouting that the finish was just down the hill and around the corner.  I was thinking:

A. OMG…If I was running a marathon, I’d only be HALFWAY!

and

B. OMG…I’m going to finish a half marathon! 13.1 miles!

And then I saw the finish.   I saw the clock.  I saw that I was going to beat my goal by more than 10 minutes.  I crossed the line.  I jogged a little farther and began walking toward a gate to get some good stretches in.

My hubby came over and hugged me.  A big bear hug.  He was so proud.  The kids were proud too.  I celebrated (even with my bad tummy) by getting my free beer and some delicious blueberry bread.

We walked around for a bit and then went to the car.  We stopped by the mall, so I could return some items, we shopped a little, and then we stopped for lunch.  After this, I was beat.  We got home, I took a shower, and I hit my bed and stayed there watching tv all evening.  Heck, I deserved it. 🙂

It was an amazing experience, and I can’t wait to do it again!  I’ll be working on speed now that I have some miles under my belt.

Now the question is…to marathon, or not to marathon…

Sunny selfie in my race shirt.

Sunny selfie in my race shirt.

T-33 Hours to My First Half Marathon!

I am beyond excited.  And scared!  I have worked so hard for this race, and it is finally here.  Long runs, short runs, painful runs, hot, cold, never-ending, euphoric runs.  They will culminate in 13.1 miles of kick-a** racery on Sunday, October 5th.

I did my last training run this evening.  I have been so busy this week that I truly did not have time to run.  I felt a little…off…so I put in 3 miles tonight.  They were okay.  Cold.  I got a side stitch.  My knees hurt a little. But all in all, I feel very prepared and oh-so-ready for my race on Sunday.

The kids and I made signs tonight.  It was therapeutic after the week from hell I had.  The signs turned out nice!  Can’t wait to see them on the course! 🙂

I'm sure hubby was thinking two out of the three signs here the whole time we were making them.

I’m sure hubby was thinking two out of the three signs here the whole time we were making them.

Yes, I know they are cheesy, but a little cheese might be all I need to push me through the last few miles.

Thanks to all who have rooted for me, encouraged me, or gave this newbie some seasoned advice.  It is all so very appreciated.  Send me good running vibes on Sunday morning!

Keep running.  I know I will.

The Old Me

She came back.  After a year and a half of hard work, determination, and dedication to a true lifestyle change, somehow, someway, she found her way back.

I like-a-da foods.

I like-a-da foods.

She started creeping her way back in about two weeks ago.  It started innocently enough: I ran 9 miles today, so I can have a slice of pizza tonight.  I ran 10 miles this morning, so I can have some cake. And beer. No…beers…plural.  I  thought I could handle a few treats here and there.  The truth is, I can handle a few treats here and there.  Unfortunatlely that’s not what I was doing.  She came back and tried to eat the world.  Instead of a slice of wedding cake for a special occasion, she took me to the store for a bag of chocolate covered mini-donuts.  I had run 12 miles.  I could eat donuts if I wanted. At least, that’s what I thought…

I ate the whole damn bag.  Every last one. Over a thousand calories and a belly ache later, I couldn’t fathom what I had just done.

images (5)

Yep. That happened.

This week at work was a nightmare.  I was feeling busy, overwhelmed, under appreciated, and exhausted.  So exhausted that I thought I surely must be sick. Nope.  No fever, no cough, no symptoms….just t-i-r-e-d, tired! I only ran two nights last week, and only a few miles at a time.  😦  I also ate well during the day, but pigged out at night (in addition to the whole not running thing).

I was feeling a little lousy–emotionally and physically because of the week I had, and as a result, I spiraled out of control this weekend.

On Friday, I ate well during the day and then had junk all night.  Junk-junk.  Like, not even real food-junk.

On Saturday, we went to a Civil War Reenactment.

1531724_819978391355679_5836312809067527294_o

10708584_819979264688925_2358575589822212269_o

10679727_819988791354639_1364952246839043285_o

(Photo cred to my awesomely talented friend Rheanna Wolk)

It was a lot of fun, but really hot.  We stopped in the little town nearby and ate.  Instead of a healthy salad, I had the catfish platter, fries, slaw, and an appetizer of jalapeno poppers.  Later that night, we went out for frozen custard, and then came home and had creamy chicken enchiladas.  We did a lot of walking, and I had run 1.5 miles that morning, but still…how disappointing.

Today, I got up knowing I was going to overeat.  Not just overeat…overeat bad food.  Stuff I normally wouldn’t touch.  I had Fruity Pebbles for breakfast (what a waste of calories).  We needed to run to the mall, so I had a huge pretzel there…with cheese sauce. On the way home, we stopped for custard again.  Her idea.  It was sooo good, but sooo out of my calorie allowance for the day.

While at the mall I got measured (34-friggin’DDD) and tried on a BRAzillion bras at Victoria’s Secret.  I bought two that kinda-sorta worked, came home to try them on again, and decided they weren’t for me.  They just weren’t supportive, and I need that in my life.  I took them off, told my husband, “I hate……….my body!”, and sobbed while hiding under my covers.  Poor guy came in to console me (I’m usually super level headed, not crazy hormonal, and pretty confident in my awesomeness these days, but today was…off).

I told him that it wasn’t fair that I worked so hard for so long, and I STILL can’t shop at a normal store.  I shouldn’t have to go to a specialty bra shop.  I should just be able to walk in and shop off the rack. But I can’t.  The sad thing is that even though I measure at a 34DDD at VS or a 32FF at Ann’s Bra Shop, my chest looks small.  My husband says so. My co-workers say so.  I just don’t understand.  I continued to cry and tell him that I was ugly. Fat.  Deformed.  It was a regular hatefest.

While I sobbed and whined about how disgusting I felt and how it just wasn’t fair…boo hoo…what I think I was really saying was I can’t believe I ate all that, why didn’t I run more this week, why didn’t I log my food, how could I have worked so hard for so long, just to let her come back again.  

I had my binge.  I had my cry.  I had my feel-sorry-for-myself moment.  Tomorrow is a new day, and it’s time to pick up the pieces and move on.  I am NOT ugly. I am NOT deformed. I am most certainly NOT fat.  I had a moment…and that’s all.  An ugly moment, and it’s over now.

This is who I really am:

Happy, healthy, beautiful momma!

Happy, healthy, beautiful momma!

I’m gorgeous.  I’m strong.  I’m happy and healthy.  I ran 12 freaking miles last weekend, and I’m running 13 point freaking 1 miles next weekend.  I’m a rockstar…to myself…to my husband…to my kids…to others around me!

In fact, an old acquaintance reached out to me via facebook just yesterday.  She had lap band surgery 2 years ago.  It failed. She recently had it drained and is looking into a healthier lifestyle…and contacted….ME!  Said I was an inspiration.  Wow, okay.  Me?  Wow.

My son told me on Friday that I was “kinda like a teen”.  I asked how, and he said “because teens are just a little bit smaller than a real adult, and usually in really good fit (shape/fitness).”  I look good, I feel good, and I love that people notice.  I had a moment of weakness….don’t we all…and now that moment is over, and I will be my strong, courageous, and inspirational self again tomorrow morning!

I can’t wait to be me!  See ya on the flip side!

It’s Tuesday: Quick HM Update

 

I’m a tired, tired lady.  Some of it is from all this running.  The rest is because I’m a teacher.  I love what I do, but boy, is it exhausting!  I’m also doing a lot of writing on the side…a novel maybe?  But it’s just for fun…Bucket List fun.

 

download (1)

 

I’m also a hungry, hungry lady.  Again–all the running, I’m sure.  I’m keeping my calories in check, but Lawd, have mercy, I wanna eat the world!

 

 

Eat-All-The-Food-Meme

 

I ran after school with a co-worker/half marathon training buddy.  We’ve only run together twice during our training.  That wasn’t the intention, but it’s the way it worked out.  That’s fine though, she’s much faster than me, and I hate feeling like I’m slowing her down.

I’m tapering this week.  I ran 12 miles on Saturday, and then took Sunday and Monday off.  Today, I only ran 2.5 miles.  I’m planning on 5 tomorrow, 5 Thursday and 6-8 Saturday.  Next week I’m thinking I’ll do 5 on Monday, 3 on Tuesday, 3 on Thursday, and then rest Friday and Saturday before the big race.  I’m so excited.  I feel very prepared.  As long as I’m healthy, rested, and injury-free, I’ve got this!

Happy running! 🙂  Enjoy every step.