(Not so) Fit-versary: Two Years (Before, During, After, and back to During Pics)

April 30th was my two year anniversary of the day I decided to get fit.  I had big plans for the month of April:

  • I was going to weigh 150lbs.
  • I was going to be in the best shape of my life.
  • I was going to run a marathon.

None of these things happened because little did I know, I was no longer going to have a mother.  Just four short days after my half-marathon on October 4th, my mother became ill.  She was already ill–heart disease, kidney failure, dialysis, but she became hospital-ill.  In January, she became gravely ill.  A month later, she passed away.  And it was awful.  All of it.

I am a binge eater.  A stress eater.  An emotional eater.  A drinker. Bad, bad combo.  From October-January, I ate a little extra.  When I came to visit my mother at least once a week, I would also visit my favorite restaurant and order a burger and booze.  On occasion.  Infrequently.  Once in a while.  I put on a few pounds, but no big deal.

In February, my world blew up.  I dealt with her death well.  I stayed composed when everyone else crumbled.  I made arrangements.  I printed pictures for the tribute table.  I made a video slide show.  I composed a beautiful obituary.  I contacted family members.  I lovingly chose the last outfit my mother would ever wear.  I sifted through jewelry, found her dentures, located her glasses.  I chose flowers, signed papers, wrote thank you cards, and closed bank accounts.

I barely got to say goodbye.

There was no still, quiet moment with a single streaming tear in a solemn room alone with the woman who gave me life.

There was just busyness followed by emptiness.

To ease the pain, I drank.  A lot.  And I ate.  A lot.  I binge-ate, binge-drank, and binge-watched Grey’s Anatomy reruns. As a result, I don’t feel any better and I certainly don’t look any better.  I have gained about 40lbs (I’m TOTALLY guessing because I refuse to get on the scale).  I’ve been getting back into the swing of things.  Running or hiking a local trail after school, body-weight strength training, and eating the proper amount of calories.

So far, it’s been hit or miss.  I’m on the wagon a few days or a few weeks, and then I tumble off that sucker for a week or so and go hog wild (emphasis on the “hog”).

I did take measurements about 2 weeks ago, and I have lost inches, so that’s good.  That’s motivating.  Writing about this is also motivating, not to mention therapeutic.  Once I work up the nerve to get on the scale, I’m sure watching those numbers go down will be motivating as well.

I have set new goals for the summer and fall of 2015:

  • Run a 10k
  • Run a 13.1
  • Run a marathon in October.

Goals are good.  Goals keep a person going.  Goals give me something to focus on.  School will be out soon, and I plan to spend my summer running and getting back into the best shape of my life! 🙂

Where I was two years ago:

I like-a-da foods.

I like-a-da foods.

No chins were harmed in the losing of this weight...

No chins were harmed in the losing of this weight…

I had gained from the 2012 pic, and then started losing again in Apr 2013.  This pic is probably about 245-250.

Approximately where I am now:

Weighing in at about 190 here on April 9, 2014.

Jay Sheets and Marie Pearl…and ME!

Where I want to be:

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Baby Boomers 12 2014 017

Selfie-alert!

Selfie-alert!

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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.

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.

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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.

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(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.

 

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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.

5 Mile Run…Scratch That…5 Mile Walk!

Tonight sucked, but I’m not going to beat myself up about it.  I knew as I was teaching my 4th hour class, and my legs began aching and tightening up, that tonight’s run would be crap.

I still don’t know why my “short” runs during the week are so….weak.  I killed my 10+ mile run on Saturday.  I walked a few miles on Monday, but I thought I’d be “rested” enough by today.  Nope.  Negatory.  The legs just wouldn’t go.  I ended up interval running the first few miles walking the middle mile and interval running the last mile.  And by interval running, I mean lots of walking and a weeeee bit of jogging. :/

I will be trying another 5 tomorrow on my tired legs.  This is mainly because I want to do some crosstraining on Thursday, rest Friday, and run my 12 miles on Saturday on fresh legs.  I have a few weeks in between the end of the Hal Higdon training plan and my actual half marathon, so I’m doing 12 this weekend and 13 next weekend. After my 13, I will taper per Hal and run my half on the 5th!

Also, my scale is a b-word.  It WILL NOT MOVE (except to fluctuate…in the WRONG direction!).  Is it from all my training?  Is my body holding on to weight for some reason?  Am I building a little muscle?  Surely some of you runner peeps have been through this!  I’m holding at 164ish (so I obviously have a little more to lose…it just won’t come off).  My lowest was 157.  Last week, the scale crept up into the 170s!  I ate a little extra that weekend, but not 10 pounds worth of food!  Any ideas from my veteran runner friends?  I’m not beating myself up over this either.  I know my calories and food choices are in check.  I also know that even though I haven’t lost anything since I started training, that my body is actually smaller.  Much smaller.  So something is happening!  I guess we will see what happens when training is over.

I’ll be back tomorrow to cry about another bad run!  🙂

Fly Like an Eagle: Long Run (10.6 miles) Update

Today was my long run. Again, it was amazing.  I swear, the long run is my favorite run of the week!

I did my 5 mile runs on M and W and did some crosstraining and/or walking on off days.  Today I had 10+ miles on the agenda, so I got up at 7, ate, drank some coffee, and got ready to head out the door.  It was cold, so I wore my hubby’s pullover over my tshirt, since I have no cool weather gear.  Honestly, I don’t really have any “gear” at all.  I own one pair of (much needed) compression pants and 3 moisture-wicking tanks. The compression pants are a large and don’t do much compressing anymore.  I ditched the pullover halfway through, and was fairly warm for the rest of the run.

I felt like I was flying for most of the run.  At one point, I saw three bald eagles soaring above me which is pretty rare.  I just kept thinking that that’s how I felt: Free, soaring, proud.  Here’s a pic I tried to snap of the eagles.  I was running, and I couldn’t see what I was photographing. See that teeny-tiny speck?  That’s an eagle. You can barely see it, but Lord have mercy, what a beautiful day!

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I saw two other runners, both men.  They looked like “real” runners, and they were running FAST.  Someday, I will be fast. That day is not today.  Even though I felt amazing, my overall pace was 12:33 per mile, but the first 4.8 was a 10:45 pace, which is pretty amazing for me!  I can’t imagine hauling myself around 140 pounds ago at a 10:45!  In addition to that, my long runs just a few weeks ago were coming in at around a 13-14 minute per mile pace. I have noticed a big difference in my abilities these two weeks!  My goal for the half on Oct 4th is to finish under 3 hours and to run the whole thing (except for bathroom breaks if needed!).  I no longer foresee any problems hitting that goal!

During mile 9 I saw a man walking toward me.  He actually scared me because he looked around and seemed to be gauging his surroundings, and then veered straight toward me.  Luckily, it was a false alarm.  We were at an intersection, and he was crossing in front of me.  It still scared me though!  I said good morning, and he said something about needing to dig out snow boots soon (it was super chilly this morning!).

I passed him again after I made my turn around.  He said, “You’re slowin’ down!”

I wanted to strangle him.   I wanted to say, “Yep!  I sure am!  I’m now working on mile 10 of my run and the wind is blowing against me now.  Of COURSE I’m slowing down!”  But I just laughed and picked up my pace a little.  He was just being friendly.  No need for harsh words. Or murder.

During the 10th mile, my hips and knees started to hurt.  It lasted a while, but then subsided.  They are still a little sore now, but everything feels better after a cool down walk and some hard core stretching.

I used granola bars for breakfast and Gatorade and Skittles on my run again, and it seemed to work fine.  It’s also pretty cheap, so…yay for that.  Hopefully it will keep working these next few weeks leading up to the half.  I’m still dreaming of that full Marathon in April.  It’s almost all I can think of on my long runs.  Dream big, right?

Happy running.  Happier stretching.  Have a great weekend!  I’m heading to my friend’s outdoor/barn wedding.  Here’s to hoping I don’t freeze!

Half Marathon Training Week 5, Day 3

 

During the week on my shorter runs, and by the way, I NEVER dreamed I’d refer to four miles as a “shorter run”, I have been doing speedwork.  I’m a slow-as-molasses kinda gal, so I thought I’d try to step it up for my half in October.

 

Today was a crosstraining or 2 mile run day.  I chose the run.  It’s weird how I only feel like I’ve worked out after a run these days.  I did what I’m guessing was a tempo run.  I ran much faster than I normally would.  When I say “faster”, please remember that it’s all relative, baby!  I averaged 10:50 per mile, much faster than my comfy ol’ 12 minute jogs.  I ate and hydrated well today, but this run was not enjoyable.  I didn’t feel like I had much energy, so it made my worry what my four miles will bring tomorrow.  Since I pushed speed on yesterday’s four miler and today’s two miler, I think I’ll be “lazy” and jog an easy 12 minute mile tomorrow.  Heck, I’m just happy I can run at all!  Never, ever in my wildest dreams could I have imagined that I would absolutely LOVE running.

 

One other thing I’m mildly concerned about is my left heel.  I broke some bones and hurt the tendon/ligament a few years ago.  It’s been aching lately, so I’ve been on the hunt for my ankle brace in the hopes that that will shut it up.  I’ve looked everywhere!  It’s not in my bed, or in the fridge…sooooooo….

 

Anyway, tomorrow’s a four miler and strength training.  I’m hoping I have more energy by slowing down my run.  Looking forward to seeing what I can do with six miles on Sunday!

 

Happy running!