Saturday, July 30, 2011


First, to make this post slightly less boring, a photo of me before bed last night after gallivanting in downtown Fort Wayne! :) Last night I spent some time with my friend who came to visit me from out of town. We went downtown and walked a couple miles and then decided to go to a local restaurant - Club Soda. I ordered a caesar salad (sans dressing) and thai coconut chicken lettuce wraps and paired it with a flirtini (I think? my friend ordered it for me. haha). After dinner we walked back to the car, didn't get home til around midnight. Between the martini and the late night, I was petrified about how my run would go this morning. Add to that my hamstrings that were still burning from my 3.5 hours of weeding earlier in the week and I was sure I was doomed.

6 am rolled around and I made myself get up, get dressed and run downstairs. I have been struggling with stomach cramps while running, so I decided to try something different this morning. I ate a plain toasted english muffin and got my hydration belt ready while my friend got ready ready to go with me. We headed to the YMCA trail where I did a combination of the loop around Salomon Farm and the short Pufferbelly trail. I did a total of two loops around the farm and did the Pufferbelly trails 2.5 times. I managed to find someone running around the right pace and decided to fall into stride next to them. We had a nice conversation and it made the first 3 miles much more enjoyable. I made a pit stop to the rest room around 3.4 miles in.

I took two energy shot bloks between 3 and 3.5 miles. This seemed to work better than last week, so I will try that again next week to see if works again. I also plan to try eating a light breakfast before hand - it really seemed to keep the stomach cramps at bay today. My friend must have known I was struggling because they checked in with me around mile 5 and gave me a little pep talk. Knowing someone was there that would know if I was walking gave me the little extra push I needed to keep putting one foot in front of the other. At about 6.5 miles in, I gave myself a pep talk and said "I've got this.. I won't let this beat me." Unfortunately my ipod died around the same time. I kept trucking but at about 7.5 miles I was really dragging and was afraid I wouldn't be able to finish. However, at that point I was determined to finish up without walking so I pushed through despite the burning in my legs. I hit 8 miles and I don't think I could have had a bigger smile on my face - seriously felt like a huge hurdle cleared.

Good thing I burned over 1000 calories because I took my friend to breakfast at Flat Top followed by an afternoon snack of frozen yogurt at Yo-Yos! Not looking forward to getting on the scale tomorrow - but, I will have to remind myself I am dieting to be healthy and enjoy life. If I can't have a day where I eat without worrying, its not going to work in the long run. It was worth every calorie - the visit with my friend was overdue and gave me a much needed mood boost.

In addition to the running, I walked 2-3 miles throughout the day to loosen my legs up and hopefully prevent me from being too sore tomorrow. We will see how it goes, praying my approach works. :)

I am planning to head to bed shortly - I am EXHAUSTED.

Readers Question: What did you do this weekend?

Friday, July 29, 2011

Life is Crazy Busy

As my title suggests, I am super busy right now and am struggling to find the time to sit down to compose or read blogs. I promise I will get all caught up come Sunday or Monday. I have had alot of duties to handle with my homeowners association which is always fun. Daniel had pictures today too, which always takes way longer than it should.

I have to run out the door soon to go help tear down our association's old play equipment, but I wanted to post to let everyone know I am still here and haven't forgotten about all of you.

While I am at it, my weekly weigh in:

Week 42: Down 3 pounds
Total lost: 120.4 pounds
Left to goal: 11.2 pounds

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Looking Forward to Class

I find it amusing how much I look forward to my half marathon class every Wednesday. I always loved school when I was younger, I occasionally mention to anyone who will listen that I miss college. I miss learning something new, but just as importantly - I miss the social aspect of it. As a stay at home mom I don't get out a whole lot. I had a small group of mommy friends that I used to get together with a lot, we used to do playdates and get the kids together. As heartbreaking as it is, when I started running and training that pretty much stopped. Not sure if its one of those "different seasons of life" type of situations or just scheduling, but I sure do miss having friends. I am so grateful for the new friends I am making in my running class and I hope that I continue to meet new people and potentially running partners, because I am not looking forward to all the long runs alone.

Sorry for the lack of post yesterday, it was a scheduled rest day from running. As I mentioned Monday, I was pretty sick. I had a bad sore throat, earache, and stiff/painful neck to go along with my pink eye from last week. I am feeling much better since they called in a stronger antibiotic for me and feel confident that I have kicked the worst of it. I am still however taking the week off from swimming (well, all except Friday) to allow my body to fully recover. I can't really afford to get sick again between now and the half marathon.

I did get out there this morning and get my required mileage in for today. I was relieved when I walked out the door and wasn't immediately struggling to breath - the humidity was only 77%. And, there was even a bit of a chill in the air at only 67ish degrees (probably mostly due to my choice of clothing - a short running skirt and a tank top). It was SO refreshing to be able to run more than a mile before getting gross and sweaty. This was also the first run in almost a week that I haven't had to interrupt to take a potty break - which was nice. The things they don't tell you about running before you get involved - I am not sure my body will ever adjust to the "trauma" of running. Not much to say about this run except that I got it done and it didn't feel like a struggle. That is a huge accomplishment lately - so YAY. I will probably do a few laps tonight with "L" - really looking forward to that. I am hoping she can introduce me to interval training to help me develop my running skills further.

Tomorrow is my weekly weigh-in so watch for a post tomorrow. But, in the mean time I thought I would share a few meal ideas. On Monday we made what we call "foil packet chicken" - its an idea we borrowed from my Mom and it works out perfectly for us. (We make the kids something a bit more kid friendly because they apparently won't eat any meat thats not highly processed right now - UGH!). The concept is simple - put chicken plus any ingredients you like in foil and then grill or throw in the oven until cooked. What's great about this is you can make it anything you want - I make my low sodium variety and hubby can make his with a mexican, indian, or asian flair! I wish I had taken a picture, it was delicious! And again, the great thing is how flexible this meal can be. Its such a simple idea that I hadn't even thought of until my Mom suggested it - so THANKS MOM!

Here's what I used on Monday: (just under 400 cals, 320 mg sodium, and 4g of fat without the peppers/onions)
- diced chicken 6 oz raw
- diced potato 4 oz raw
- diced sweet potato 3 oz raw
- snow peas and green beans about 1 oz of each, raw
- McCormick Perfect Pinch Garlic Pepper (Salt Free - HURRAY!)
- 2 tbsp white wine
- 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
- some chopped red bell pepper and onion for flavor (I don't like the texture so I don't eat them)

Last night I made a recipe that I found at the beginning of my dieting and I still to this day love it - Hungry Girl Chicken Tenders. We paired it with cauliflower macaroni and cheese. I do make a few adjustments to the chicken recipe to make it more friendly to my sodium restrictions - I DO NOT use garlic salt - instead I use garlic and salt substitute. I also add a bit more spice to taste - sometimes onion, ancho chili powder, paprika, or dry mustard - basically whatever you are in the mood for. As a note, I haven't found a super efficient way to grind up the cereal as I only have a small food processor and I find the blender to not be effective. However, its well worth the work! Again, sorry for no picture - I will try to do better in the future!

Question time: What is your favorite healthy/low calorie recipe? I am always looking to branch out!

And just a reminder, Daniel would appreciate your vote in WMEE's Most Beautiful Baby Contest. You can find the link at the top right hand side of my blog. Thank you in advance to any of you who take the time to vote and/or pass the link along.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Long Run and Weekend in Carmel

We headed down to Carmel this weekend for a weekend with family. We arrived just before 9 Friday night - we visited for a while. I probably didn't get to bed before midnight! On Saturday, I got up at 5:15 am or so to prep myself for my "long run" of 7 miles. I filled the bottles on my hydration belt with water and propel (2 bottles of each) and grabbed some clif shot bloks. Pepper spray and my cell phone with runkeeper app rounded out my "gear." I was really stressing this run. For some reason, this run was a major hurdle for me mentally. I don't know why, but I needed this run to go well.

Unfortunately, it didn't go well. It was warm and humid - I felt like I was drenched in sweat as soon as I started running. I felt pretty strong until about 3.5 miles in when I desperately needed a potty break. Luckily, I planned my route knowing this might happen and there was a bathroom when I got to about 3.7 miles. I wasn't sure what to think about the scary skinny fox who was standing between me and the bathrooms staring me down, but I decided that I had pepper spray if need be and ran past him quickly! After the potty stop, I decided I probably would need to take a few energy bloks, I took them around 4.2 miles.

This was my first experience with energy supplements and I was not sure what to expect. But man, the texture of those shot bloks was So difficult for me to handle. I felt like I was chocking trying to get them down. I plan to try these one more time, but not sure these will work for me. I started to feel like I was dragging soon after - I am assuming that either I took them too late or they aren't the right thing for me. Anyway, back to the run review - I was fading fast. I had to walk twice between mile 5 and 6 - probably a total of half a mile between the two walking breaks. I was extremely disappointed by this, my goal was to run the whole 7 miles! I had no concerns with my time to finish, I just wanted to finish being able to say I ran the whole thing! The rest of the run was rather uneventful. I pushed myself to run as far as I could by telling myself "run to that stop sign" and then when I got to that sign "okay you are still alive, you can run further, you can run to that street up ahead" - I did this repeatedly over and over until I got back home and had logged my 7 miles. I ran 7 miles in 1:08 with humidity of 88% and 79 degree temps!

When I got back to where we were staying I showered and got myself ready for the morning at the Indianapolis Children's Museum. We planned to be there when they opened at 10 am, which worked out just about perfectly time wise. We had just enough time to get everyone ready and get lunch packed. I won't say a ton about the museum, but it was a great time! If any of you are in the area you should check it out. Natalie loved the two "traveling" exhibits - Dora/Diego and Barbie. She also really loved the Egypt exhibit. Daniel and Natalie spent time in the playscape and rode the carousel. All in all, great morning - we left at around 2 to head back to our family's house. Here are just a few pictures from our fun times at the museum!

When we got home I wasn't feeling well and since my son was laying down to a nap I decided it would be good for me to do the same. I ended up sleeping for probably at least 3 hours. I should have known that was a sign of things to come... I am currently laying on the couch with a sore throat, stiff/sore neck, and pain/congestion in my ears! :(

After napping, we had dinner and hubby's cousin came over with her daughter who is just about 6 months old. She was adorable and it was cute watching my kiddos play with her! Sunday was rather uneventful - we went to church at 7 am, swam with the kiddos for a bit, and headed home around noon.

I am not normally huge into spamming people for votes, money, etc. However, I entered my son into a cute baby contest and would appreciate any and all votes. You can vote daily, and please share with anyone else who may be willing to vote. I would greatly appreciate it! You can find the link on the upper right side of my blog!

Question for my readers: What is your favorite energy supplement? At what point do you take it for long runs?

EDITED TO ADD: Meant to mention, I skipped swimming this am to get some rest, but still ran my daily mileage because I wasn't running a fever. Felt better after the run as far as the congestion, but its back! Do I skip swimming tomorrow too? Will the rest benefit me more than an easy workout in the pool? I really want to be healthy by Wednesday!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Pink Eye!

Bad news for me: I have pink eye! Because of that I wasn't able to go swimming yesterday. Instead I ran twice outside yesterday. Let me tell you that I can't wait to get done with this heat!
3.63 miles - 32:51 ran most of this, except for about a quarter of mile
2.65 miles - 35:36 run/walk with my half marathon classmates, SO fun :)

Running at two different times of the day made me realize that as an outdoor runner, I have two choices when it comes to suffering. So, this brings me to my first question of this blog post. Do you prefer to run when its a cooler temperature with higher humidity or a warmer temperature with lower humidity?

I missed swimming yesterday so I decided to go this morning. However I decided to just kick with a kick board to keep my eye out of the water. Because this is REALLY boring I only did 30 minutes, but after swimming I got out and ran 2.53 miles in 21:41. I really struggled this morning, the humidity seems impossible to handle. However, one more run marked off the schedule, now I can look forward to my 7 mile run on Saturday.

Speaking of my 7 mile run on Saturday, I will be out of town so I get to run with some new scenery. I mapped out a route online using google maps and sent it to my hubby so he knows where to look for me if I don't return. I am hopeful that I can manage to stay on track diet wise while we are down visiting family! Which brings me to my second set of questions for today:
- How do you manage running when you are in an area you are unfamiliar with? Will you run alone? Run on a treadmill?
- Any helpful tips on how to stay on track with a diet when you are traveling and/or staying with family?

Sorry nothing more interesting today, I will harder to be exciting next time! :D

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

What is your inspiration?

Anyone who has made a major change in their life knows that typically there is something or someone who is your inspiration. It may not be what motivates you to get started, but its what keeps you plugging along when things get tough.

I started out dieting because I was tired of being the fat girl and I wanted to make sure that I was around to see my kids grow up. When I started this journey they were one and three. They had more energy than I could handle. I found myself struggling to keep up with them. While I will always count my children as my motivation for getting this journey started (and even part of the inspiration to keep going), there is something else that drives me.

Its that feeling of knowing that you are now one of the crowd. So many people spend a large amount of energy trying to stand out, trying hard to be anything other than ordinary. It's funny how to someone who has been over 300 pounds it nice to be able to blend in.

Even more inspirational is knowing someone who has gone through the journey before. Someone who can give you pointers, knows what you are going through, and knows just what to say when you are struggling. I have been blessed to know several people who have been successful with extreme weight loss. I thank each and every one of them for being there for me. I have one good friend in particular, who we will call "A" who has been with me through it all. Without "A," I may never have had the confidence to even attempt to lose weight. "A" lost more weight than I am attempting to lose, so its great to constantly see that motivation in front of myself. If "A" can lose x pounds, I can lose 130." "A" has also successfully kept it off for over 3 years through healthy eating and continuing to work exercise into their routine. When I was feeling overwhelmed by slowing weight loss, "A" always reminded me that it takes time, that when you do it the healthy way it isn't going to happen overnight, that a person can be amazing no matter what their weight may be. When I decided to start running in January, "A" supported me 100%, never made me feel like I was slow (I WAS, trust me), and was constantly encouraging me and complimenting me on my accomplishments. Everyone needs a friend like "A." I know that I will be relying on "A" a lot when I get to the "maintenance" stage, I hope I can be as successful. I want to thank each and every one of you who has been there for me through all of this, those of you who have listened to me go on and on about nutrition information, exercise, etc.

Anyone who has been overweight knows that its not a diet, its a lifestyle change. I have made some very positive changes in my life, but of course it is overwhelming to know that for the rest of my life I have to think about what I am eating. I will have to make conscious decisions to eat only the healthiest foods to fuel my body. Since I haven't talked in great detail about how I have lost weight, here are some big changes I made:

1. I used to drink 5-6 diet soda's a day, I cut back to only one.
2. I used to eat mostly all processed foods (think hamburger helper, prepacked sides dishes, etc) and now I am cooking almost everything from scratch.
3. I have tried to increase "natural snacks" like fruit and air popped popcorn and decrease the amount of chocolate, etc in my diet.
4. If I want a dessert, I do berries and fat free cool whip, apples with fat free caramel dip or a low fat graham cracker with a teaspoon of Nutella if I am craving chocolate.
5. I don't eat salads for a whole meal as a general rule. I have meat, carbs, and vegetables at most meals. When I eat just salads I find it is hard to stick to.
6. USE SPICES - there are some really awesome diet foods out there which make uses of spices and as a result, they don't taste healthy!
7. I have cut back on sodium - I try to stay under 1500 mg a day! This is probably the hardest!
8. I used to drink NO water at all, now I drink at least 8 bottles of water a day.
9. I drink water or chew gum to curb hunger!
10. Nothing is off-limits - everything in moderation. I try to make one day a week where I can be a little more lax with my food choices. I try not to go crazy, but I do allow myself to enjoy foods that are typically off-limits on a diet
11. Make healthy substitutions: 2% cheese instead of regular, skim milk in place of 2% or whole milk, brown rice instead of white rice, whole wheat pasta instead of regular, using lean cuts of meat, and eating light bread instead of regular bread (aunt millie's makes a fantastic light potato bread and its only 35 calories a slice).
12. SALT SUBSTITUTE - I use it in place of salt in almost all recipes except baking
13. When shopping, compare brands if possible, you would be surprised how different nutrition is on some basic items depending on store brand (for instance, cottage cheese is crazy different depending on brand). I find this to be especially true of sodium content.

So there you have it, how did I lose 116 pounds? With a little motivation and inspiration from my kids, inspiration and support from "A" and my other friends and family, and pure determination (being slightly OCD helps with this one).

What is YOUR inspiration (for weight-loss, running, or whatever your passion may be)?

Tuesday, July 19, 2011

192.6 - back on track!

I am pleased to share that after yesterday's careful calculation of everything I did and ate I am back on track. I weighed in at 192.6 this morning, that is down from 198.8 Monday morning. This leads me to believe that alot of that gain was water retention, but it feels great to be back on track. Hooray. I am still a pound or so up from my lowest weight, but I hope to be back to that weight by my weekly weigh-in Thursday.

I have been trying to figure out where my motivation started faltering and I have traced it back to what I see as an unlikely source - getting a body fat composition test done. I went in expecting to get a relatively bad number based on the calculations I had found online. Based on all of those I was still dealing with a pretty high percentage of fat. However, as I have learned many of those calculations don't take into account enough factors to be accurate. When I went in to be tested, they asked if a new employee could observe while they did the testing so that he could learn how to do it. I was of course mortified because it was a guy, and it wasn't until about two weeks that I felt comfortable enough to "own" what my weight is and accept it. I didn't want to share my weight in front of him. While I am sure he could have cared less, it was difficult for me - but I think doing it once made it easier to do now, so I am grateful. Anyway, the actual test was easy and straight-forward - they put in your weight, height, bone structure, some stats on your exercise, and then put a sensor on your bicep and do two readings. I was shocked when they told me that my body fat percentage was only 19.1%. I think they may have been too! They were both said "that's GREAT, good for women is between 20 and 25%." I shared with them that I had lost alot of weight recently and was shocked by the numbers, they asked how I did it and I gave them a quick recap.

In that moment, I was SO proud of myself, so proud of everything I had accomplished. But in that moment, I also found myself a bit intimidated by the numbers. Given my weight of 191 pounds and 19.1% body fat, that meant I had just over 36 pounds of fat left on my body. 36 pounds...and I wanted to lose another 15-20. The thoughts swirled in my head: "how on earth is that possible", "I will never get to my goal", "maybe I should just give up now", "why push myself so hard to get there when it will never be maintainable". In that moment when I found out my body fat percentage was "normal" I gave myself a permission slip to slack off. It's taken me a few weeks to realize this, but I am glad I finally realized where my lack of motivation has come from so that I can work on getting myself back in the right mind set. So much of a weight loss journey is mental and emotional. I have to remind myself to take time to focus on that too!

Today is a "rest day" on my half marathon training schedule. I woke up this morning and put another hour of swimming in at the pool. I may do some DDR or Zumba on the wii later. It will depend on how my back feels. Apparently, when laying on the floor playing with your kids you need to prepare yourself for injuries. My four year old daughter jumped knees first onto my lower back yesterday and it is pretty painful. I spent last night on a heating pad and am doing the same as I type this blog post. I am praying its better by tomorrow because I still have 13 miles to run by Saturday!

And to make things a bit more interesting, a quick poll question: If you could only do ONE race the rest of your life, which would it be and why?

Monday, July 18, 2011

A confession...

Time for a confession, I have lacked motivation the last few weeks regarding my weight loss. I haven't lost a pound in weeks and actually was starting to creep back up a bit - I weighed in Sunday at 193.8. I am not sure why it happened, but something snapped, I had a major binge day yesterday. I ate anything and everything that sounded good. I probably ate at least twice the calories I should have. And this morning, the scale made me pay for it.... *gulp* 198.8 (I am sure some of this is water weight from all the sodium)!

I have come so far, I refuse to get back over 200 pounds. It just cannot happen. So, I decided after having a splurge and eat whatever I want day yesterday I am going to get VERY serious again. I haven't been directly logging the foods I eat - I have relied more on a mental list and we all know how easy it is to cheat on those! To get myself back on track, I am going to start using again. I used their dailyplate feature for at least the first 6 months of my weight loss journey. It was a great way for me to keep track of not only the calories I should be eating, but also what I ate (sodium, fat, and calories) as well as my exercise. I am excited to start using it again and think that it will be extremely helpful for me.

I was late getting to bed last night - I think I went to bed just before midnight. But, I think my body realizes this is not the week to challenge me - I actually woke up before my alarm at 4:45 am. I went swimming for an hour (first time in several days I have swam over 30 minutes). The weather this week is supposed to be crazy hot and humid, so that means I need to do my runs in the morning when at all possible. So, at just after 7:00 I set out for my run. Almost immediately I could feel the effects of the humidity but I was determined to run the 3.5 miles I needed to run without stopping. It wasn't a pretty run or an easy run, but I am happy to say that I managed to successfully complete the mileage. I would LOVE to know why mother nature decided to pick this week to get hot and humid. This is the week that I have to increase my daily mileage a half mile every day. Not a big deal to most runners, but for someone like me who isn't a great runner and struggles to not push herself too hard, the humidity is killer.

I have been SUPER careful today with food. Here is the rundown:

2 starburst (post swim, pre-run -- was feeling like I needed some sugar) - 40 cals
1 Crystal Light Pure Fitness - 30 cals
1 serving chocolate mini wheats - 200 cals
1 serving skim milk - 90 calories
Salad (Romaine, broccoli, cheese, salad dressing, 4 oz ground turkey - 280 calories
1 slice of light potato bread - 35 calories
navel orange (afternoon snack) - 80 calories
4 oz Honeysuckle White Lean Ground Turkey - 130 calories
3/4 cup Potato Leek Soup - 146 calories
9 bottles of water
Total Calories: 1031
Calories Burned Exercising (per livestrong): 1287

I know this is generally too low calorie wise, I don't plan to do this on a regular basis. I find that doing this once in a while is a good shock to my system and get me motivated again. I CAN DO THIS, I will get back on track and get to 175!!!

Anyone have any helpful words of advice or motivation for someone who has fallen off the wagon?

Saturday, July 16, 2011

More Retail Therapy!

But, this time it was necessary and related to running. :) I went to Dicks today to return an Under Armour shirt that was falling apart. While I was there of course I had to check the clearance racks. Right now, they have 50% off clearance merchandise ending in .97 I don't have a ton of real running apparel so I had to look. Here's what I found:

2 x Under Armour HeatGear Get it Started Tee
Under Armour AllSeasonGear Reversible Temperature Regulation Long Sleeve Tee
Under Armour ColdGear Long Sleeve Turtle Neck Tee
Under Armour AllSeasonGear Compression Capri/Shorts
Nike DriFit Running Skirt (going to see if I can deal with the super short length)
Speedo Swim Trunks - for hubby obviously
Harbinger Wrist Wrap Gloves - for the warrior dash
Gummy worms - for the kiddos

The retail on all this would have been $364 but I paid only $126. And, actually, the shirt I returned was $25, so technically I only spent $100. (And bonus, I was able to get a replacement for the Under Armour shirt I returned for half the price I paid for it the first time, which is why I bought two. Woohoo)

Anyway, if anyone in the Ft Wayne area is in need of running/workout stuff, you might want to check out Dick's. They don't have a ton, but I got some great prices.

Friday, July 15, 2011

I am the worst blogger ever.

I had great intentions of getting online last night and putting together a blog post, but unfortunately after a long day of errands I just ran out of time and energy.

It's been a rough week or two me motivation wise. Its been hard watching the scale stay stuck (or go up a few pounds and then back down). I have been able to keep at the running because I know I have to to be prepared for my half marathon in September, but the whole food choices and swimmming have not been as good. I have been super tired and just feel like I am dragging. I am hopeful that something will give soon and my energy will return.

Anyway, the point to this story is that I needed a morale boost, and what better than retail therapy?! I have been in search of a hydration belt so I checked a few low price retailers in town and finally found a Nathans 4 bottle belt for $20 at TJ Max. Not a great deal, but better than full price. I don't know if I will use the fuel belt for races, but I wanted to try one out on my training runs so that I don't have to carry a bottle of water in my hands. After getting the hydration belt I decided to drop by the running store about the wear problem on my shoes. Long story short, they agreed it wasn't normal and I have a new pair of shoes on order. Hopefully it was just a bad pair and these next ones work out better. I love my Brooks Adrenaline and don't want to change shoes if I don't have to!

I promised the kids lunch, so we went to the mall so they could eat lunch and I ate my packed lunch. (Yep, I packed myself a salad... very proud of that!) After lunch we decided to just walk around and browse the stores - well, I did and they didn't get a say in it! I happened to pass Banana Republic and saw they were having a big sale so I just had to go in. I am a new blogger, so many of you may not know this, but I am a HUGE sucker for sales! I hate paying retail for anything! I spent at least an hour browsing and trying things on. I walked out with a big bag full and spent just over $100! And, then I hit up Express and bought a few things there too, though the deals were not as good! Let me tell you, no better retail therapy than being able to walk into a "regular" store and buy clothes. I never thought I would get there, NEVER. I can now shop at most the trendy stores and for the most part can wear what I want. I do still have some issues because of my height and finding things that are made for someone with a bigger than "C" cup bust - but all in all, things are much more available. This has to be my last retail therapy for a while, but it was a blast! Now, this isn't running or health related or even exciting, but because I am such a dork, I have to detail my purchases:
- Banana Republic dress - retail $130 -> paid $18.44
- Banana Republic Cord Pants - retail $79.50 -> paid $0.58
- Banana Republic Cord Skirt - retail $59.50 -> paid $2.38
- Banana Republic Tweed Skirt - retail $79.50 -> paid $4.78
- Banana Republic lace trimmed tee - retail $39.50 -> paid $9.87
- Banana Republic silk top - retail $69.50 -> paid $6.28
- 2 pairs of Banana Republic Pants for DH - retail $59.50 each -> paid $18.74 each
- Express Cami - retail $22.90 -> paid $5.99
- Express Lace Trimmed Cami - retail $29.90 -> paid $5.99
- Express Skirt - retail $49.90 -> paid $11.99
- Express White Woven Shirt - retail $49.90 -> paid $11.99

The core exercises went off without a hitch. I did some planks and such. I know I should be more detailed, but this post is already long and I still have to make my exciting race announcement! I will do more detail on the core exercises maybe this weekend. My run yesterday wasn't terribly exciting either, 2 miles run around my cul-de-sac street in the heat with no music. I struggled to not give up - but I am proud to say I stuck to it and got it done.

Now, on to the more exciting part of this post: I AM GOING TO ST LOUIS TO DO THE ROCK N ROLL HALF MARATHON IN OCTOBER!! I have been wanting to do a destination race for a little while but never wanted to do it alone. I was talking with fellow blogger "L" and she invited me to tag along with her and friends while they do the half. At first I was hesitant because I wasn't sure how to make it work logistically, but the more I thought about it, the more excited I got. I talked to my hubby and we decided that it was something I should do. Within a couple of days I had purchased plane tickets, booked a hotel room, and registered for the race! I am super excited and know that I will have a blast with "C", "L", and "A". This trip will interesting for me - I am using this trip to address some of my fears. I will be flying for the first time in 5 years and I am TERRIFIED of flying. I plan to go up in the Arch and I am claustrophobic and scared that the arch will somehow collapse with me inside it! For most of my life I have had these ridiculous fears and I am trying to overcome them so that they don't rule my life.

Sorry my posts aren't more interesting! Hopefully I won't scare off my whole 2 readers! :)

Wednesday, July 13, 2011

2 runs and 7+ miles = one happy Jenn

One of these days I will sit down to write a blog entry and it will be funny and entertaining. Or at least that's what I keep telling myself. Tonight I can't even come up with a good title for my entry. I must be tired, or just plain boring! Either way, just warning you this post will not be entertaining!

I mentioned my trip to Michigan in my last entry, but I failed to mention my souvenir from the trip.
From July 13, 2011

I was walking through a convenience store and managed to kick the back of my heel on a display of fishing rods. I knew I cut my heel open but I had no clue it was even possible to bruise a heel. I mean, I guess it makes sense you could, but seriously... I have never known anyone who did! I didn't notice the bruise until I went running on Monday. It isn't exactly comfortable to wear running shoes with a bruise on your heel like that. Thankfully it is starting to heal, but its still pretty tender!

Tuesday is a rest day with my half marathon training schedule, so I swam for an hour and did some strength training. Nothing too strenuous, but I had to do something... I was going crazy sitting on my butt! Today I cut my swimming short to only 30 minutes so that I could get 3 miles of running in this morning before it got too warm. 3 miles turned into 3.5 because I didn't want to stop until I had done the Y loop twice! This run felt pretty easy, well not easy, but I wasn't dying at the end, which is always a plus.

Tonight was my half marathon class and we discussed form and core strength training. I think this class was interesting for all of us because we were mentally trying to pick apart our run to see if we do things the "right way." More than once we joked about video taping each other so that we could check our form. I actually think this is a brilliant idea, I think that we could not only learn from watching and analyzing our form, but also our classmates'. I love this class, we all laugh and have a good time with it.

I am making it a goal to do the core strength training 4 times a week (Eric suggested 3 times, but I am an overachiever.. haha!). This is simple easy stuff and each workout will only take 8-10 minutes so its not a huge imposition on my schedule. And, really, with all my weight loss, I could use some major core workout!

I asked Eric about what seemed like an unusually high amount of wear on my new shoes. I have less than 40 miles on them and there are parts that are almost worn flat already! He suggested I take them in to the running store, so I guess that will be on my "to do" list this week! I am hopeful that I can figure out why they are wearing the way they are. Its the same shoe I had last time for over 6 months. I have had this one a little over 2 weeks and its looking worn already?!?

And, because I am crazy, I planned to run with whoever was running at the end of class today. It turned out most people were not, but "D" was running with a friend so I joined them. This was one of the slowest runs I have ever done, but it felt great to be able to socialize and get to know the two of them a bit more. We did a combination of walking and running to accommodate "D"s friend who wasn't feeling well. We did a couple of nice hills, so I think despite the slow speed I got something useful out of this run. I started my gps late, but it says we did 3.7 miles in just under 51 minutes. I would venture to guess that in total we did about 4 miles in 55 or so minutes. That makes my mileage total for today 7.5 miles!! I never would have guessed even 6 months ago that I would be running 7+ miles in one day! This is progress...

I plan to do another post tomorrow night about my run tomorrow, core exercises, as well as an exciting announcement about a future race! I have so much more I could post about, but I am exhausted and need to get to bed so that I don't sleep through my alarm tomorrow!

Monday, July 11, 2011

Long Run: 0, Jenn: 1

I woke up bright and early Saturday really dreading the 6 miles that I had ahead of me. I hadn't slept as much as I wanted the night before because I am a slacker and put off packing for our trip to Michigan. I must have been feeling brave because I decided to try out the new wicking underwear that fellow blogger Wells L recommends on her gear page. I probably should have tried them out on a shorter run, but I am happy to report that they were fantastic! When I get around to a gear/recommendation page I will be including them!

Anyway, onto the actual RUNNING. I started running before it was totally light out - while I enjoyed the cool, I wasn't super comfortable running until the sun was up. I started out slow knowing that I needed to keep a slower pace or risk not being able to finish. I kept one earbud out so that I could listen to my "app" on my phone which gives me stats on my run every 5 minutes. I was shooting to stay somewhere close to 10 minute miles. I think I did pretty well considering I am the WORST at pacing!
Mile 1 - 10:18 total
Mile 2 - 19:55 total --- + 9:37
Mile 3 - 29:12 total --- + 9:17
Mile 4 - 38:27 total --- + 9:15
Mile 5 - 47:59 total --- + 9:32
Mile 6 - 56:42 total --- + 8:43

I don't know much about pacing, but I think I remember somewhere reading that having negative splits was a good thing, so I will be happy that for the most part these are negative splits. And, even if I hadn't read that somewhere, I would think that its better to start slow and finish strong.

I was all prepared to write about the point at which I felt like I couldn't go any further, I looked at my map and figured out where it was mileage wise and not surprisingly it happened between miles 4 and 5 when I had a slower split. I was running out of steam and wanting to quit. I rounded the corner and as if it were put there JUST for me, to provide the encouragement I needed, there was a van with a "26.2" sticker. Now, 10 months ago I would have been discouraged by that sticker, but on Saturday it was just the motivation I needed. I thought to myself, "if they can run 26.2 miles, you can certainly finish 6." I also had a moment where I visualized realizing my new "bucket list" dream of finishing a full marathon. It was just what I needed to keep moving and finish up mile 5 and 6 strong.

Overall, it felt MARVELOUS to finish this long run. This is only the second time I have run more than 5 miles at a time. Since my first experience was a race, I was afraid that the adrenaline from the race had pushed me past what I could accomplish on my own. Not to mention I had two walk breaks during that 10k, courtesy of two monster hills (one was uphill, the other downhill) - guess thats how it got its name of the "Beast 10k".

One major downside to this run was that I did 6 miles all on residential association streets. It was boring and hard to stay focused and motivated. Thank goodness for my ipod shuffle! So, that leads me to two questions I have for my readers:
1. What are your favorite running songs?
2. Anyone in the Ft Wayne/Huntertown have any close trails they would recommend? I have done the Parkview Y loop, but I am looking for something new.

This is a "rest" week so my long run will only be 5 miles this week, which is much appreciated after the sunburn I got this weekend while on my in-laws boat! It was a blast so it was worth the sunburn, but it is rough running when it hurts to wear a sports bra and tennis shoes! (I burnt my collarbone/shoulder area and the tops of my feet the worst!) I am looking forward to seeing if I can run 7 miles next week, if I can, it will be the longest I have ever run in my life!

Friday, July 8, 2011

Struggling with motivation and pacing!

Last night was one of the first nights since I started my half marathon training class a few weeks ago that I just was not in the mood to go out for a run. I needed to do 2 miles, but wanted to do 3 to make up for not running the full 3 miles on Wednesday. I was trying to come up with any way I could to get out of it... but I decided that I just needed to get off my butt and run.

And boy, I am really glad I did. I was able to get the full 3 miles in, although it felt like alot more work than 3 miles should. I don't know why but I have really been struggling with my runs lately. I am glad I got it done, but given how I felt afterward I am sort of terrified for my long run tomorrow morning. I need to do 6 miles!

The worst part of it all is that I have to wake up early to do it because we are going to Michigan for the weekend and I need to be on the road by 7 am. Of course, the positive side of running so early is that it won't be nearly as hot so the run should be slightly more enjoyable.

I am looking for some advice on pacing. When I run a race, I have a hard time running a given pace... maybe its the inexperienced runner in me, but when I run a race my goal is to pass whoever is in front of me. This has led to some awesome times which I am proud of, most recently - the 4.5 mile Freedom Run in Carmel that I ran in 37:38.2. However, I am afraid that if I don't get past this mental roadblock I am going to have a really hard time completing a half marathon. Everyone keeps telling me to "just slow down" but I have been truly trying for weeks and I just can't seem to slow down as much as I think I need to. I did have some success running with someone from my half marathon class last week, but unfortunately I don't have someone to run with 90% of the time! Any tips on how to slow your pace when you are running alone?

I will post about my long run when I get home from Michigan on Sunday... this will only be my second time running more than 5 miles at a time! Really praying that I can somehow pull this out and that it will be easier than I am fearing!

Thursday, July 7, 2011

What better way to start...

Than with a few "before, during, and sort of after" pics! I am still 16 pounds from my weight loss goal, but having lost 116 pounds so far I feel like I sort of need to call my most recent pictures "after" shots.

Here I am around October of 2010 when I started dieting

I posted this "during" photo comparison in January 2011

Before running the 5kilt race in March 2011

My anniversary, June 2011

July 2011, not the greatest pic, it was a "before" shot when I got my haircut, but its the most recent full body shot I have.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

First Post!

I am going to venture into the world of blogging. I may suck at it, but I am sure going to try! I will add a bunch of stuff and tweak format over the next few weeks. Please feel free to leave me any tips or pointers!