Monday, August 5, 2013

All the wrong things!

All throughout my journey people have asked me what I did and why I did it.  The typical "what was your breaking point?" or "What gave you the motivation to lose weight finally?"  were questions that I got frequently and quite honestly I always had the stereotypical answer - my kids and my health. 

However, as I have been evaluating my recent failures (weight gain) I have stumbled across a humbling truth.  As much as I want to believe my love for myself and my kids was enough to motivate this journey, its just not the case.  I have been looking for validation, to impress someone, to feel like I was doing something truly exceptional that make me special and unique.  When I stopped getting that I stopped being motivated to continue the hard work that I had been putting in. Now, reading that I feel ridiculous even typing it. 

Now that its off my chest I am going to be working towards a more healthy mind-set.  I know it won't happen overnight but I know its essential for the long term success of my healthy living changes.  I know things started going down hill last fall, its been nearly a year, here's hoping that somehow I can "reset." 

Things I've realized: 
 - I hate to workout but love the feeling when I am done. 
 - No matter what I do, there will be people who will disapprove or disregard me - and I need to get over caring about it
 - If someone doesn't contribute to your life positively, let them go (no matter how long they've been there)
 - lifting weights and swimming resulted in the best body I have ever had - stop being lazy and get back to the Y! 
 - I have LOST my will power, if its in the house I WILL eat it - so keep it out of the house
 - if I miss one run, have one bad meal, etc I crumble - I need to work on letting go of the failure quickly and getting back on track
 - when I am failing at healthy living and feeling fat I check out of life all together, my mood is tied to my weight way more than I care to admit.  
Sorry if this is disjointed, I wanted to get all my thoughts "out on paper" so to speak. Hoping that if I have them somewhere I can go back and re-read them as possible it will help me in the long run.  

Anyone have any insight on how to get back on track? 

Tuesday, July 30, 2013

Running on Empty

When I started running in January of 2011 I had no clue what I was doing.  I pretty much hopped on a treadmill and started running hoping I would eventually be able to run a 5k.  I didn't do any research, I had no clue what the couch to 5k program was, and I most certainly paid little attention to any resources on how best to train.

Fast forward two and a half years and I have accomplished so much more than that.  I have completed more 5ks than I can count, a handful of 10ks, some special distances/races, 8 half marathons, and a full marathon.  Now I wonder if it was too much, too quickly.  I lost the run love after my marathon in December - it was a humbling experience that left me questioning my abilities as a runner.  Instead of being tough and training harder I didn't run for several months.

While I have run a half marathon already this year, I didn't train well and my heart wasn't in it.  I only have two more races planned this year: Color Me Rad with my daughter and another half marathon in September.  My focus this year is supposed to be on building my endurance to complete the Dopey Challenge in January.  To this end, I have told myself I will run slower and allow walk breaks - the problem is that I feel like I am losing fitness, or maybe just not regaining as quickly as I would like.

That means that running even 3 miles feels incredibly hard right now, my hearts not in it and neither is my head.  I am looking forward to being able to say I completed Dopey, but there are days when I sincerely doubt my abilities... if 3 miles feels hard how on earth will I run 48.6 over 4 days with little to no sleep?

Friday, July 26, 2013

It's almost August?!?

I feel like I should just discontinue this blog - I am terrible about keeping it up to date.  It's not even a matter of not having the time, its more so that when I sit down to blog my mind goes 1000 different directions.  I feel like a fraud sometimes and it makes me want to hide behind the internet.  More on that later.

It's insane that the summer is almost over - Natalie goes back to school August 14!  Between now and then we have a trip planned to Michigan for a family gathering and we are also hoping to make it to Kings Island in Cincinnati before Labor Day and to Northern Michigan before the end of September if possible.  We also have a wedding in October and then of course the BIG trip to Disney in January!  It doesn't sound like much on paper but I am overwhelmed just trying to imagine how we are going to adjust to Natalie in 1st grade, Daniel in preschool, my training schedule, and Tommy working part time from home! 

This summer has been rather uneventful.  We have made a couple trips down to Alabama but outside of that we haven't done much.  Our first trip to Alabama was to celebrate my 30th birthday - my sister bought tickets to the New Kids on the Block Package Tour in Nashville on my birthday.  It was an amazing concert and I wish that I had money to go to the concert again here in Indiana - if only I could win the lottery!  It was fun reliving my childhood! 

Then just last week we drove down for a week while Tommy was in California.  Originally I was supposed to fly down alone for my sister's graduation but with his trip to California we had no one to watch the kids so we made it a road trip!  It was a proud moment for me to see my sister graduate.  She's been trying to accomplish this goal for so long - I know it means alot to her to finally have that diploma in her hands!  And, not a week later she found out she will have a new job starting mid-August!  Congrats sis! 

One more exciting thing that has happened this summer is that we have booked our dining for the trip in January and we were able to get everything that we were hoping for with just a couple small (15 minutes or so) adjustments in time.  And, a week after getting out dining we called and scheduled Natalie's Bibbidi Bobbidi Boutique makeover and Daniel's knight makeover.  We are doing it our last day - first thing in the morning.  We will be able to get into the park before it opens, which should allow for some good pictures.  Then we have dinner scheduled at the new castle restaurant - Be Our Guest that evening

To sum it up, this summer I have: 
...done some running, although not enough.  
...done some dieting, although not successful. 
...created a cleaning schedule, but I haven't stuck with it. 
...planned and obsessed over our Disney trip, but I still feel lost!

That's all for now.  I plan another entry this week, but you know my track record, so no promises! 

Friday, June 7, 2013

Five for Friday!

So, I have had lots of blog posts floating around in my head but I can never seem to find the uninterrupted time to sit down and actually compose them.  Natalie graduated Kindergarten last Friday and since we have had a visit from my in-laws as well as a fun visit to the strawberry patch and swimming at the Y.  It's going to be an interesting summer keeping my kids entertained while hubby works from home.  Speaking of - we are coming on the end of week 2 and so far its going okay.  I do think I could start to really need some "me time" as this progresses but we will see how it goes.

For now, for my "five for Friday" I am going to leave you with 5 photos of my daughter from her graduation.
Natalie (far left) and her best friend (flower dress, far right of pic facing away)
were making faces at each other before Grad started.

Expect another blog post this weekend or Monday... :)

Friday, May 24, 2013

Three Things Thursday - A bit late...

Sorry for the late posting, my photos wouldn't attach last night, so you get a Three Things Thursday on Friday! :) 

1.  First and most exciting - my 6 year old daughter ran her first official 5k on Sunday.  She did fantastic and took first place in her age group.  And, she looked fantastic in the process (thank you sparkle skirts!).   As far as a "race recap" - it was brutally hot given the cool temps we have been having this year. Bonus, it was on a trail I use daily and there was a mile of nice shade.  Admittedly, if I hadn't been running with her I don't know that she would have done nearly as well.  She lacks internal motivation at right now, but she was beaming when she found out she won - so hopefully with time and practice she will learn to push herself.  I don't care if she is never competitive, but I want to feel like she's giving it her all!
Just starting out... hate running on grass!

She doesn't look very happy here!

A medal and an award - MUCH happier now!

2.  I completed the Flying Pig Half on May 5.  While training started out well, things started to peter out at the end.  I knew going into it that it wouldn't be a PR - I have heard about the brutal hills compared to our area and I knew I hadn't trained perfectly.  Race day was pretty warm and I started out too fast, all this meant the wheels fell off towards the end.  But, I finished and that is a success - I am working on allowing myself to be happy with slower finish times as I feel that is crucial to successfully training for the Dopey Challenge and remaining injury free.  I tried to focus on the environment, spectators, etc.  (As a side note:  my daughter ran the kids marathon as well)  Be on the lookout for another post later with more race photos and such!
Crossing the finish line of the 26th mile kids race
Funny Photo-bomb!

3.  Its no secret I have gained some weight back.  During marathon training I slowly put on between 5-10 pounds.  Then, when the marathon was over I was burnt out and mentally over running.  I gained a huge amount of weight in the month after the marathon - 15 pounds.  While I blame some of this on holiday/Christmas/family visiting, it was NOT okay.  I took a lot of time off and ate whatever I wanted.   I've added another 5-10 pounds since January.  I was spiraling out of control.  I feel like I am finally starting to get control again.  I have lost 5 or so pounds in the last week or two.  I have my good days and bad days.  But, at the end of the day I have to remember how uncomfortable I am in my skin now versus how happy I was before.  I will win this war!

Monday, April 29, 2013

I'm back?

It's been a long time since I last blogged - I am going to try to get back at it because I found that I felt better when I could put "pencil to paper" and express my thoughts.  Of course all this could be accomplished in a personal diary but I never keep up with that because there is no accountability!

I last blogged about my marathon experience in Memphis.  I am STILL to this day reflecting on that experience and what went right and wrong, what I could have done better to have a more successful marathon.  Quite frankly, I probably wasn't well enough hydrated and didn't eat well enough in the days ahead of the marathon.  Readers of my blog know of my struggles with fueling during runs - I had tried starlight peppermints during training and they seemed to be sufficient.

However, with the heat and humidity in Memphis I was sweating more and I think my body needed some electrolytes.  Late in the race when I was walking I started taking Gatorade because I figured I had nothing to lose!  It turned my stomach, but I did eventually feel better.  I stopped sweating at about mile 20.  When the going got tough I chickened out.  I failed to put the children I was running for at the forefront of my mind - I couldn't look past my own pain and I think thats what I am still most upset about.  Someday I will go back to Memphis and run the marathon again as redemption.  I may not run it faster, but I want to run with more purpose - after all, that's what the St Jude Marathon is all about!

Now that I have tied that up - let me summarize whats been going on in my life since:

1.  I have gained weight.  I am NOT happy about it.  I put on quite a bit of weight after the marathon and I haven't been able to get it back off.  I lost motivation somewhere along the way and have been eating like crap for months.  Hoping this entry can signify a "new day" and motivate me to make the right choices.

2.  In January, my husband got notice that his office was closing at the end of May.  It seemed like the only options were to relocate to California (no thanks!) or find a new job - we were really worried until someone mentioned that he should get an offer to "telecommute."  That took some stress off,  but we still had to wait for the official offer and then of course there was the debate after we got it of whether it was the right decision for my husband career wise.  In the long run, we decided to stick it out here in Ft Wayne with the telecommute option.  He will work part of his time from home and part time at a co-working office downtown.

3.  We booked out hotel for a trip to Disney in January of 2014 - we will be staying in a 2 bedroom villa in Kidani at Animal Kingdom Lodge for just over a week.  We were super excited and we are struggling to keep this a secret from the kids but we decided unless we want to go crazy with the "is it time to go to Disney yet" we need to wait!  Right now the plan is to tell them at Christmas - we bought each of them a disney  themed suitcase.  Inside we will wrap some other Disney goodies as well as a paper chain countdown for them.  It should be great fun - can't wait to see how they react.  They do know we are saving for a trip to Disney so it wont be a complete shock, but hopefully they will still be surprise.

4.  Girl scout cookie sales - Natalie busted her butt this cookie season (and so did I).  We worked a ton of booths and she sold I think over 900 boxes!  I was the cookie cupboard Mom so it kept me pretty busy for about two weeks.

5. After a few quite months we got the bad news that my daughter needed major dental work - to the tune of $2000 out of pocket!  Luckily, I decided to shop around and found a highly recommended pediatric dentist that would do the work for less than $750 out of pocket!  *phew*  Crisis averted!   All dental work is done and she was a trooper!

6.  Just after we found out about the dentist, my daughter's dog started acting very sick.  He was throwing up a clear bubbly substance, had a distended tummy, wouldn't eat and got very listless but restless at the same time.  Of course, this happened late at night so we resolved to just keep an eye on him and take him to the vet in the morning.  Then he threw up blood and was acting like he was basically on his death bed and I knew I couldn't wait - a search of google had me concerned he might have bloat.  $300 later we had ruled out bloat, re-hydrated a VERY dehydrated dog (at only 7 lbs he doesn't have much room for error), and given him anti-nausea meds but were no closer to an answer.  He started throwing up not 8 hours later so we were at my regular vet as soon as they opened.  They did several blood tests to rule out the obvious causes, then an x-ray, followed by a barium series x-ray.  The barium series was "abnormal" so he was taken in for exploratory surgery.   I am so thankful they were proactive because they found what looked like a small peach pit in his intestines.  It was stuck and his intestines were so thin that they could have ruptured at any point.  So, $900 more to my regular vet, but at least we have a healthy happy dog to show for it.  I joked with my husband that he better live for quite a few years to pay off the debt!

7.  Before the dentist and dog issues Disney announced the Dopey Challenge (48.6 miles in 4 days - 5k, 10k, half, marathon).  I started out swearing at Disney for ruining my families plans to run the 5k together.  As time went on I thought more and more about it and decided I was going to somehow make it work.  So, I took the plunge and signed up for Dopey and signed my hubby and kids up for the 5k.  Thank you Disney for taking way too much of my money.  I don't plan to really run the events.  I will do a "run/walk" combo and just try to FINISH!

8.  My little girl turned SIX!  Isn't she beautiful?  I had fun taking her pictures, although there are lots of squinty eyes - she seems to be very sensitive to the sun!

9.  Art themed birthday party for 16 kiddos in my house - success!  The kids had cake/ice cream, popcorn, and rainbow goldfish.  All while painting a plaster animal, a 8x10 canvas, and making fruit loop necklaces.  They were sent home with a goody bag containing a collage kit, rice krispie paint brush, melted down muffin tin crayon, pencil, and a paint chip notepad! 

Sorry for the novel and update about things that are probably boring to you all, but wanted to get my last few months out on paper.    I will try to keep this blog a bit more updated going forward - if you dont hear from me in a week - email me and call me out! :)

Monday, January 7, 2013

Marathon Recap - Part 3?

**Disclaimer, HOLY CRAP have I been away for a while.  The holidays and a trip to Alabama kept me busy.   I am going to do the best I can to recap my actual marathon experience, but I know it will be lacking since it's been over a month.

Best way to start off the post, a random photo of my favorite little girl.  She was an awesome cheerleader rocking her St Jude tattoo, pom-poms in her hair and either a cow bell, pom-poms, or sign in her hands most of the day. 

I can't recall what time I woke up, but I do thank my Mom for keeping the kids the night before the marathon so I could rest well!  First up, breakfast - half a plain bagel, then shower/shaving legs, and getting dressed.  I spent alot of time anxiously pacing the room.  We met up with my Mom, sister, and kids in the lobby of the hotel where my mom gave me an awesome card (no pictures, it was a victim of my son).  After lots of hugs and some tears we headed out so that I could line up in my corral.

I headed to the corral 7 were I knew the 4:25 pace group would be.  After my training and talking to the pace group at the expo I figured this would be the best place for me.  I made small talk with the the other runners and laughed (internally) about the pacer in my group who was wearing a Goofy hat with a kitchen timer on the back... (it counted down from 4:25 as soon as we started the race... what a neat idea). It was warmer than I would have liked - mid 60s with humidity of near 75% but I knew there was no turning back now.

Like most races there was a staggered start, so I ended up crossing the start line 12 minutes after the first racers.  I started off easy as planned, my only goal was to stay with the pace group. There was about a mile (roughly 1.5-2.5) that we ran along the river PLUS it was mostly downhill - I really enjoyed that part! The only bad part is that we seemed to catch up the corral before us and it got pretty crowded for a while.  There was a short hill as we headed up towards Beale street.  It wasn't terribly long, but it was enough to get my attention - at this point the pace leaders said we had seen the worst hill of the day so I was feeling confident. Beale street was awesome, lots of spectators - although I will admit I was too busy trying to stay on pace and relax that I wasn't able to take it in.
Beale Street
5k: 31:12 (10:03 pace)

After Beale Street we headed towards the St Jude Campus (about 4.5-5 miles, very short distance).  While this was a very short stretch it was one of my favorite.  It was a great reminder of why we were running, it was very emotional to see all the patients and family out cheering for the runners.  I fought back tears the whole time, giving high-five to all the kids offering their hands.  I was sad to see this end, it surely didn't help that the next 3 miles were just straight down one road, I do terrible with long stretches like that.  Just before mile 8, we turned to head through Overton Park.  Somewhere around here I got ahead of my pace group - I was feeling pretty good and confident in how I was doing.

Just before exiting Overton Park
15k: 1:34:13 (10:09 pace)

As we exited Overton Park, the lack of cloud cover and heat/humidity started to have an affect on me.  I noticed running was requiring more effort and I just wasn't running as efficiently as I would have liked.  I feel like somewhere in here was the first time I saw ice cold towels being handed out to the runners - although I unfortunately missed them and didn't think to turn back and get one.  Leaving Overton Park, we were in for another 2 mile straight-away.  I kept reminding myself why I was running, and mentally prepping myself for the break-off of the half marathoners.  I knew this would be the point of no return and it scared me.  Luckily for me, my family was just after the split and it was great to see their faces, though at this point I was HOT and I had no clue how I was going to run another another 13+ miles.  They yelled out encouragement and it really helped, although it didn't alleviate the effects of the heat. 

Agonizing over the heat

13.1 miles: 2:11:59 (10:00 pace)

Then THIS happened...

Somewhere between mile 14 and 15 I started to feel it was just impossible to keep up with the pace group so I let myself walk.  My family stationed somewhere around mile 14.5  (?) and I must have looked terrible because my Mom asked me if I was going to quit.  I assured her that wasn't the plan and I got back on course and kept plugging away.  It was about that time that I pulled out my cell phone and made a post to facebook - this was probably a mistake, I was letting myself give in mentally and if I had it to do all over I would have left my phone in my pocket. I trudged on, walking for a while until the 4:40 pace group caught me (around mile 16.8). I tried to run with them for a while, but in the end I just couldn't cut it and had to let them go at around mile 19.  HUGE mental hit - but I kept doing what I had to do to get closer to the finish line. Run, walk, crawl.... I was going to FINISH.

19.6 miles: 3:38.27 (13:13 pace)

There were a total of 7 calls placed and two calls received on my cell during the marathon - thank goodness for my support crew.  Much of the miles after 15 or so are a blur.  I don't have much memory, the details here are a result of analyzing call logs and my garmin.  I do know it was around mile 18 or so that I realized that even though I was hot I wasn't actually sweating anymore. Sometime around mile 21 was a turning point of sorts, I couldn't possibly get any further from the finish line, so I knew it was "all downhill" from there on.   Somewhere in the last 6 miles I was able to pick up an ice cold towel.  I also took gatorade several times in the last 6 miles, again don't ask me when.  It upset my stomach nearly every time, but at that point I felt it was absolutely necessary to finish the race.

My mom called me at around mile 22.8 to "talk me in" to the finish like I had done for her at her last 5k.  I really needed it.  I wanted nothing more than to see my little girl (who was with my mom) and to have her run with me.  When I run with her it always feels so effortless.  I talked to my mom until about mile 24, or actually, she mostly talked and I mostly listened.  It was nearly impossible to breathe, talk, and walk all at the same time. 

Around mile 23.5 I started to get a "second wind" and by mile 24, Mom and I decided to get off the phone, I was going to try running and see how far I could get.  I ran most of the rest of the race with a few short walk breaks to collect myself.  The photos below were taken at about mile 25 as I ran past St Jude for the second time (you can see the Pyramid in the background of one and the Memphis Grizzlies House (I believe?) - its one of the places where the patients stay while being seen at the hospital.

I came across my mom and daughter at around mile 26 and I knew at that point I wanted Natalie (my daughter) to help me finish the race so I asked her to come out and run with me - luckily none of the race staff said anything about her running with me.  I ran with her right up until I entered the stadium.  At that point, she ran over to my sister and hubby while I ran inside the stadium with everything that I had.  It may not have been pretty - but I had finished a marathon! 

nearing the stadium

Finish: 5:14:39 (14:39 pace) - 12:01 avg pace overall
Garmin measured: 26.6 - 11:50 avg pace overall

It wasn't within the time goal I had in mind - I wanted to, at worst, finish sub 5.  But, it was way better than I envisioned when I signed up for the race.  I remember calculating the times and being worried I wouldn't be able to finish in the allowed time.  From the beginning it was supposed to be a race I ran/walked but as my training went on I realized I should be capable of more.  Unfortunately, December 1st just wasn't my day.

Analysis and post race thoughts/festivities will have to wait for another day, this is already a novel.