Monday, January 30, 2012

A Visual Reminder

I had planned to post about my weekend run and the local running club's banquet today.  Instead, I spent most of my day doubting myself as a runner.  I have been dealing with some pains lately and its been making me wonder if I should just give up.

To counteract the negativity I was feeling I decided I needed to start looking into future races.  If I have a race on my calendar I will be less likely to slack off when i am feeling down.  So, I registered for a few small races today.   I am looking forward to the Fanny Freezer on February 11 - it was my first ever race when I started running last year and I am looking foward to seeing how I do this year!

Signing up for the Fanny Freezer caused me to start reminiscing, so I was browsing through my old race photos and such on facebook.  I came across some pictures that reminded me why I run, even when it isn't easy.

I may have shared some of these in the past, and if so, I am sorry!  Just, wanted to get them all in one place on my blog!

My "before" pictures.

Disney - Feb 2010 (and no, I am not pregnant!)
October 2010? 

This was after about 4-5 months of dieting

This comparison still shocks me

The Jan 2012 picture and the Sept 2011 picture above are about the same weight.  Wish I could say that I had lost more, but proud to be be maintaining for the most part. 
Yep, those pictures were all I needed to remind me why I run.  I run for my health, to be a better mom to my kids, to make sure I don't die prematurely from obesity related health problems.  I am so grateful for my success thus far and I truly feel blessed to have come this far.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Running Apparel SUCKS

I am researching options for a new style of running skirt and let me tell you it is depressing.  Even after having lost 120 pounds, I am still at the top of the available sizes in most things.  Depressing, truly.   I know its because running clothes aren't made for big people, but its still mentally difficult to be in the "big size" again.

And, even more frustrating is when the size charts make no sense.   According to measurements I need one size and according to the "pants size" referenced I need another size.  Of course, you can exchange if you get the wrong size, but typically you then still have extra shipping charges.

Running apparel manufacturers take note... just because I am not a size 6 doesn't mean I want to look frumpy when I run!

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Breaking the Bank!

It's been an off week for me with my husband gone.  I haven't run since Tuesday and I am feeling pretty bad about it.  Wednesday I decided against running because I just wasn't feeling it (achy and tired) so I was already considering skipping, then I did something to my back while getting my daughter ready for school.  Not sure what it was, but it was a sharp intense pain - it eventually went away but I didn't want to risk it.  Then today I woke up to a school cancellation.  This would seem like a good thing to many people, but for me it slashed my motivation.  I normally work out while my daughter goes to preschool, so with school cancelled, I opted for another rest day.  Honestly, I could probably use it.. my feet and ankles still ache!  (Is this normal?!?  They ache when I am NOT running but I typically can run pain free.. injury?  or just normal runner's aches?)

After struggling with some pretty serious depression on Tuesday and Wednesday, I was feeling much better today.  I am happy to say that for the first day since my husband left I have not relied on food to calm me down. I came in 10 calories under my calorie goals for today and I am hoping to see some sort of movement on the scale.  But, as long as it doesn't go up I will count it as a win.

In an effort to make myself feel better about not running today, I have been researching the Disney Marathon.  My race plans have changed and I decided to shift it out a year.  Because we live so far from Florida - if I was do go by myself I would have to fly which would be terribly expensive.  So, instead of spending $1500 (I am guessing here, I have no clue) to go for a few days by myself I figured I should make it a family vacation.  I sent some initial requests trying to get pricing.  Granted, I know its not going to be accurate, but I figured at least getting a ballpark figure could help me start planning our plan to save money.

Let's just say that I had a minor heart attack when I got the quote... combine the fact that we will actually have to pay for both our kids next time, plus the prices just seem to inflate every year - our trip is going to cost us probably double what it cost us in 2010.  Yikes!  And, that doesn't include race costs and souvenirs.  I am really hoping we can make it happen... but the sticker shock has me reconsidering! But, really, who wouldn't want to earn a pretty Mickey medal?  I have heard there are 2 "must do" marathons (well, besides Boston... but I have no chance of every qualifying for that!) - Disney and Greece.   While Greece may never happen, I would love to cross Disney off my list.

Not to mention if I start saving up for this it affects my plans to do several Rock n Roll races in 2013... hmmm
Anyone know where I can find a money tree?! Hah!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Warning: Jumbled Mess Ahead

Necessary warning:  this entry is a disjointed mess, I promise to try harder next time.

Sunday was hubby's birthday, so this whole last week has been a bit of a celebration.  Lots of food that I shouldn't be eating and I have put on a few pounds again.   Just lovely.  Every time I get back on track, life happens and I fall off the band wagon again.  The only good thing I can say about this is that its giving me the proof that no matter how many times you slip up you can get back on track.

I've come to a pretty obvious realization.  Its going to be a hell of a lot harder to keep the weight off than it was to lose it.  I know what you are thinking... well, DUH.  I always knew that it would be, but I didn't realize just HOW hard.  I mean, I think I am safe to say I won't ever get back to where I started, but it is really easy to slip up and gain back 5-15 pounds.  I guess, even at that point I am far better off than I was before... but I so badly want to get to that final goal weight.  Looking in the mirror and being repulsed is no way to keep yourself motivated and on track with weight loss and fitness. One day at a time... I will be stronger than my self doubt.

I took Friday and Saturday off from running, so to make up for it I had 8 miles planned for Sunday.  Friday night we got somewhere between 3-5 inches of snow.  I was annoyed to find out that loop I typically run around our Y had not been plowed at all by Sunday, and my other "fall back" is running through my neighborhood and most of the sidewalks hadn't been shoveled.  I considered running on the streets in my neighborhood but they weren't plowed well either and I don't have my Yak Trax yet.  I was so tempted to not run, but after psyching myself up I headed to the Y to run on the treadmill.  I figured 3-5 miles was better than nothing.  To date, my longest mileage on the treadmill had been 5 miles and that was back in May.  But, I was determined to at least try.

The Y was PACKED, every treadmill was full.  It took everything I had to not walk back out, but I waited and within a few minutes a treadmill opened up.  I hopped on and got everything set for my run.  Two bottles of water, my ipod, two "sweat towels," and a chocolate #9.   Typically when the treadmills are full you are supposed to give them up at 30 minutes, so my plan was that I would probably get 3 miles, maybe 6 if I could get a treadmill quickly the second time.  I started running and decided that the other treadmills were "turning over" enough that I was just going to stick with it as long as I could.  I made it to about 6.25 miles before needing to take a bathroom break.  I left my towel on the treadmill in the hopes that it would still be there when I got back - it worked!  So, I hopped on and did another 1.81 miles.  I ended up doing 8.07 miles in about 1:11.  I was SO proud of myself for sticking it out... I actually ran a much faster pace than most of my recent long run paces.  Needless to say I was sore on Monday and had to take an unplanned rest day.

I did get out there today and get 2 laps done for a total of 3.43 miles in 28:19.  I had hoped to do 5 miles but things just hurt and I couldn't manage it.  I did spend 20 minutes doing strength training, which always makes me feel better.

This week's challenge is AWESOME.  The challenge is to read a book per child per day.  That means, two books a day... this works out PERFECTLY for me because with Tommy being gone I am in charge of his usual bedtime ritual.  Its always been his thing to put the kids to bed, so this is something I have been missing out on - so this is perfect.  It almost feels like I am cheating on this weeks challenges, but honestly if I didn't have the challenge I would probably put them to bed without story time.

Last weeks challenge recap:  sorry this is lengthy, but I wanted to share pictures of what I got accomplished
 - Monday: deep clean bathrooms (pics in previous post)

 - Tuesday: clean fridge/pantry (pics in previous post)

 - Wednesday: change bed sheets on all beds (the washing was easy, I hated remaking them!)

 - Thursday: clean out junk drawer

 - Friday: clean  off desk, clean out van (the desk was supposed to be done Thursday but I put it off to go out with a friend)

Frontseat Before
Backseat Before
Backseat After
Frontseat After

Saturday: organize clothes (sort clothes, get rid of clothes that don't fit/get worn, put away the rest correctly)

Natalie's toss pileNatalie's closet after
Me and Hubby's toss pileMy closet after

 - Sunday: Re-arrange room and sort daniels clothes
beforeroom beforeroom before

closet afterroom afterroom afterroom after

shelf after
toss pile after

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The last thing I wanted to do

When I woke up this morning, I felt terrible.  Like I had been hit over the head with a brick, stuffy nose, headache and just plain tired.  Even though I had gotten a good amount of sleep it just didn't feel like I was rested at all.  The last thing I wanted to do was work out, so I laid in bed until after 10 am.  Yes, I have two kids and they both let me sleep in until 10.... I know, I am VERY lucky.

I finally had to roll out of bed to get my daughter ready for preschool.  Because I had to leave the house I decided that even though I didn't want to do a darn thing I should head to the Y while she was at school.  I grudgingly put on my workout clothes and got the kids around and away we went.

Remember my run on Sunday when it was 9 degrees?  Today it was around 50 degrees - seriously, what is up with this weather.  While the temperatures were nice, the weather itself was not... it was very windy and there was a drizzly rain.

If you see the picture to the right, you can see the gloom sky in the background. I still opted to run outside though. I was running at a fairly easy pace, and there were times when the wind was so strong I felt like I was running in place, this was especially true in mile 1 and mile 4 which shoes in my splits below.  Those miles included a stretch of nearly half a mile running straight into the wind.  My plan was to run two laps of the trail, 3.5 miles. When I hit 3.5 miles though my body wasn't ready to quit so I ended up running another lap for a total of 5.16 miles.

Avg Pace

That's the end of my "running" blogging for tonight, so I apologize for the long off topic post below! :) Feel free to skip it if you aren't interested in my weekly challenges!

This weeks challenges have been going well.  When Audrey at A Mama's Goals announced the "cleaning/organizing" challenge it sparked something in me, so on Sunday night I actually cleaned up my daughter's room and then put away the three loads of clean laundry I had been avoiding.

Monday morning I decided to tackle the task of deep cleaning a bathroom.  I started with the half bathroom downstairs.  I took a long time doing that: scrubbing sink, scrubbing toilet, cleaning the outside of sink and toilet, cleaned the mirror, cleaned off and organized the shelf, as well as taking apart and cleaning the two potty seats that are in that bathroom.  After getting that bathroom done, I decided to tackle the others.  So both the guest bathroom and the master bathroom were done as well.  Both included the same level of deep clean of the half bath.  The master required the most work - our vanity is ALWAYS a mess.   I didn't take many pictures yesterday because lets face it, bathroom cleaning isn't all that interesting.  But, I am including a picture of the finished kids' bathroom.  After getting all the bathrooms done, I was still feeling motivated so I picked up some of the random mess sitting around the house and did two loads of laundry. Plus, I got a 30 page document scanned for my homeowner's association.  I have been putting it off for a while, finally I decided to get it done because I couldn't clean up the stack of stuff on my desk without scanning the document. These challenges are really motivating.

Today's cleaning was actually not as involved as yesterday, but quite frankly I was definitely NOT looking forward to it.  When I went grocery shopping this weekend I stocked up on several things that were on massive sale so I just shoved everything in the fridge. So, the fridge was a HUGE mess.  So, to put it off even longer, I started on the cleaning the pantry.  Our pantry is actually also our laundry room - so it was a combo deal for me.  I organized all the food in the pantry portion (again, I stock pile when things are on sale).  I also organized the several hanging baskets for misc stuff and then organized all of the laundry essentials.  While doing all this I washed another load of laundry.  To finish off the laundry room cleaned off a bunch of junk that was piled on the dryer and took 20-30 hangers up to our room.  We keep some down there for air drying our clothes, but they had started to take over the laundry room.  I wish I had taken better pictures, but my original plan was just to clean the pantry portion so I didn't photograph the rest of the mess.

Laundry AFTER
Pantry AFTER
After getting the laundry room done I had nothing left to keep me from cleaning the fridge so I couldn't put it off any longer.  I not only organized the fridge and freezer, but I also wiped off the shelves and cleaned up any messes.  I had to throw some things out, but not too bad.  I try to keep up with my fridge and freezer, the worst problem I have is that when you stockpile its hard to keep things organized!  I also wiped off the outside of the fridge and rearranged the stuff on top of the fridge.  Again, didn't take a picture of the top because it wasn't part of the original plan, but here's a picture of how it looks now.  We keep our meds up there, so I rearranged them to a kids bin and an adult bin with the most frequently taken things sitting on the very edge.

And now, the before and afters of the fridge/freezer.... I swear I did more work than it looks like! 
Freezer AFTER
Freezer BEFORE

Fridge AFTER

Stay tuned, I plan to update more this week as I complete more of these cleaning challenges.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mad Scientists and the Ice Queen

I hope everyone had a pleasant weekend.  This weekend, hubby and I decided to take the kids to the local children's science museum.  Its not very big and there aren't a ton of things to do there, but they had fun and it was a great use of 2-3 hours of our day on Saturday.  Just a few pictures from the museum:

Today I had plans to do a long run.  I hadn't really set any expectations for what I wanted to accomplish, but I was hoping for 6ish miles.  I started out and it was SO cold (I think it said 9* when I started!) and I was trudging through snow on the sidewalks.  My fuel belt was falling of and I had to head home at 2 miles in for a potty break... I was SO ready to give up, but miraculously I made myself head back out the door.  All it took was to remember Sherry Arnold, the runner who never returned from her run... tomorrow is never guaranteed, so don't let fears and doubts hold you back.

It wasn't my fastest run, and it was PAINFUL to run in the snow, I can't believe how much harder it seemed. my quads and calves were burning, so I decided to head to the streets.  I was nervous about running on the streets but since its my neighborhood I figured I would be safe as long as I was aware of my surroundings.  So, I took one of my earbuds out and kept on trucking.  

I had to stop at mile 5 to take my fuel (Chocolate #9) because it was a frozen rock so I had to massage it in my hands to take it.  Then I stopped again at mile 7 because my water was frozen in my fuel belt and it took some wrestling to get water out of it.... But, other than that, it was a pretty uneventful run.

Once I hit mile 6 and I realized my legs weren't really tired I decided to shoot for 8-9 miles, and once I hit 8, I decided I had to push to 10 miles!  This is my first double digit training run since September 8!  Since then I have run 3 halfs, a 9 miler, and a handful of 6 milers.  Mostly though I was running shorter distances due to injury and recovery.   This was a well needed reminder that I have what it takes to run a half marathon.

When I finished my 10 miles, I realized I was covered in ice... my hair, my bondi band, my face, eyebrows, etc...   I guess that makes me the ice queen? hah!  Just a few pics... notice the pepper spray in the second picture, you just can never be too careful!

My splits were ALL over the place today, but like I said, I was just happy to get it done.. that is a HUGE success regardless of anything else.

Avg Pace

A couple last minute thoughts... this weeks challenge over at A Mama's Goals was a success, I managed to get in at least 8 servings of fruits/veggies and 90+ oz of water each day.  I am going to carry this over into the rest of the year, maybe not 8 servings every day but I definitely want to work on increasing my fruit/veggie intake.   This next week's challenge will be interesting, its all about cleaning and organizing... two things I am NOT very good at!

I also realized today that I should be in my official training schedule for my half in April, WHOOPS!  I think I will be okay, but I need to get onto a schedule... I am just not sure what to do, looks like I could start at week 4 and progress from there.  That would have me running 4 days a week this week with my long run  being only 5 miles.  I wonder though if I shouldn't do like 8 instead and then bounce back up to 10 to increase my double digit runs before the half.  In the training schedule I have, there are only 4 double digit runs.  I always struggle towards the end..... decisions decisions!

What would you suggest as my training plan?  My race is April 7 so I have 10 weeks to "prepare." 

Also, anyone have any experience using a treadmill to "mimic" hills on a course?  There is a monster hill at my next half and I want to be ready for it!