About Me

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CA, United States
I have been a stay at home mom for the last 5 years. I love being with my children and feel so blessed and lucky to have the opportunity to do so, but I often get lost in the shuffle of it all. I have tried to lose weight and get in shape many times in my life, with varying degrees of success. It has seemed especially hard since having kids. So, I've decided to sliver out a little piece of time for myself to get back in shape and get back to feeling good about myself. I am hoping that this blog will help me find an outlet to talk about my experiences and find a community of people who have similar goals. I hope you enjoy reading this blog as much as I enjoy writing it!

Tuesday, September 14, 2010

An amazing breakthrough and the program draws to a close

It has been a tough couple of months for me and the C25K program.  I haven't given up though and despite the great desire to stay in bed, morning after morning, I forced myself to get up and go for my run.  Last week, I decided I needed to really take stock of my situation: (1)  I wasn't seeing any new results on my waistline, (2) I wasn't really feeling I could add more distance, (3) despite the fact that it is usually quite chilly, I was feeling too overheated during my runs, and (4) no matter how much stretching I did, my lower calves always seemed to be too tight to continue running. 

I decided I had to make some changes - both mental and physical.  First, I decided I needed to stop wearing my ball cap while running, so I braided my hair and clipped the bangs out of my face.  This may seem a minor point, but I can't stand having hair sticking to my sweaty face and I also hate the feeling of a pony tail or clump of hair bouncing on the back of my neck.  I also decided that I needed to loosen up a bit while I was running and take longer, more bounding strides.  I figured my calves were cramping up so much because the effort of taking smaller more controlled steps was working against me.

So last Saturday, I had planned on running in a 2M race.  I had been looking forward to it until I found that the route was mostly uphill and that by and large, people walked it.  Once I found that out, I decided I would be better off hitting the trail near my house and trying for a 2.75 mile run for week 8.  What a good decision this turned out to be!  Not only did the changes I made help, I felt totally in control.  For the first time in a while, I felt strong enough and sure enough to make it.  I stopped twice for about 30 seconds to catch my breath a bit, but I ran the entire way and in fact, when I got to my end point, I felt so good, I kept on running and by the time I stopped, I had run almost 3.5 miles!  That is the longest run I have ever completed and I was AMAZED that I had done it.  I repeated it again yesterday and will do so tomorrow as well and it is my intention to declare myself a C25K graduate once I have finished!

I am so glad I stuck with it through the rough patch and can only say that if you are out there and you are going through a rough patch and you feel that it just isn't clicking, don't give up.  Persevere and you will feel the rewards.  I can say this because I now know it to be true and if I CAN DO IT, so can you!

Sunday, September 5, 2010

Week 7 finale and feeling good!

I had a great run today!  I am so happy to say it because it has been a long time since I've been able to do so.  I began at the same place (once again) that my race began and I followed the same route, except instead of turning around at the one mile mark, I kept running along a little one lane dirt trail that follows the coast line.  It is only about .25 miles until it takes a big turn and moves steeply upward, but it was long enough for me today.  When I got to that point, there was a tiny little trail about 50 feet long that led right out to the water and a huge piece of drift wood.  I stopped there to take a look and stretch my calves (because let me tell you, they get so darn tight and I can't really seem to stretch enough to keep them loose) and after about 2 or 3 minutes, I was back on my way.  I stopped again only for a few seconds to greet a father and his daughter that I knew and I ran back to the park.  I ran the rest of the way and had no inclination or desire to stop at all.  I was enjoying it and feeling really good.  My journey was 32 minutes start to stop which is not great, but I did it!  And for the first time in a while I am really looking forward to my next run.

I hope this keeps up and I feel like today was a major breakthrough mentally for me.  Another good run or two and I will believe that I am back on track.  For now, I remain cautiously optimistic and surer than I have been in a long time that I CAN DO IT!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Another week 7 run with some better results

I did manage to get out there yesterday and go for a run.  I repeated the same run I did the time before on the same trail and it was nice.  My wonderful husband postponed going to work (it is nice when you work for yourself!) so I was able to get my son on the bus at 7:30 and then go for my run.  It was nice to be a little more awake and have the blood flowing a little more before I hit the road!

What was also nice was that I felt a little more able to push myself than I have been of late.  Again, I think the physical part has been there all along, so I think the mental aspect is starting to come back.  I need to find a way to get in a workout tomorrow or Friday since my hubby went out of town and I'll be on my own with the kiddos.  I know I can take my daughter with me in the stroller and I suppose I will if I can't work anything else out, but really, I just want to go alone (hear my toddler whining voice there?)!

Also, I am pretty far away from hitting the 5K mark.  I should have been there by now, but alas, I am not and so I am thinking that I am going to run the two mile race again next weekend and will attempt to better my time from the first race (20:54!).  There is another 5K I can run in early October and I think I am going to shoot for that one.  Sorry if I am letting anyone down, but I'd like to run an entire race and not have to stop and walk, so this is the direction I am going.  I've adjusted the path I am taking to get there, but the goal remains the same... I will finish C25K and will continue to run because I know it is what I need to do to BE healthy and promote healthiness to my children.  If ever there was a good reason to stick to something, that is it.  And for that reason, because I love my children and myself and I want to live long to see them grow to be health,y happy adults, I remain convinced as ever that no matter how tough it may seem at times, I CAN DO IT!

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Week 7 - limping right along

While I haven't really hit my stride since racing day, I haven't given up either.  I know that I am physically able to do this, so the problem I am experiencing lately is clearly mental.  I feel quite sure that a large part of it is my boredom and frustration with the local route.  I haven't really gotten to the heart of anything else, but I have a mental block happening and it is making this process quite challenging.

Despite the fact that I haven't been blogging religiously (in part due to a very busy end of summer schedule and in part due to computer issues that I hope are nor resolved), I have been getting up every other day and completing a run.  I don't feel they have been very impressive and I don't even feel that I have pushed myself to the next level.  In fact, I'd have to say that what I have been doing these last few weeks is going through the motions.  I VERY much want to overcome this and get back the passion that had been building over the first part of my C25K journey.

Today was a good step in that direction.  After a cup of coffee and a few bites of breakfast, I was able to dress and head out...except this time, I got in my car and did some driving around to check out some other neighborhoods and the coastal trails near my home.  I ended up starting my run where my race had begun a few weeks ago, but this time, ran in the opposite direction.  It was a nice trail and people were riding their bikes, jogging and walking their dogs.  I ended up down on a little trail off the main one along School Road that had me running right at the ocean.  It was breezy and quiet and I quite enjoyed the run.  At the end of the trail, I stopped and stretched some more and then turned back to head toward my car.  I admit that I did walk a few times for 10 - 20 seconds, but ran most of the way and enjoyed it far more than I have in weeks.  The total distance was just shy of 2.4.  I wasn't keeping track of my time, but am pretty sure I was going for a little more than 25 minutes.  Not great.  Not a total week 7 success, but a step in the right direction.

I wish that I could share a more successful outing with you, but I have confidence that more will be coming soon!  I hope my honesty about this reminds you all that we can't give up and that everyone struggles at times.  If you are out there trying to find the motivation to get out there or have, like me, been struggling to finish C25K, like me, just get out there.  Even if it isn't as good as it has been or you can't quite get as far or as fast as you want, you just need to get out there and put one foot in front of the other.  Stick with the routine and commitment to the overall goal...even if you get off track a bit, at least you can feel good about being out there and not derailing completely!

My son starts kindergarten tomorrow and he is slow to get going in the mornings.  This means I'll be waking him at 6:30 to have him ready on time for his bus.  What this means for me and my run schedule, I do not yet know.  Something will have to change because I won't run alone in the dark and as the fall continues on and winter moves in, I won't be able to run earlier...My husband is very committed to doing his part to make me successful in this goal, so I know we'll come up with something that works.  Of course we will because he knows and you know and I know:  I CAN DO IT!

Tuesday, August 24, 2010

Running, exercise and apologies

So the fact that I haven't updated my blog since the race does not mean that I have abandoned my mission!  I have done a couple runs and went on a little end of summer vacation with my family, so getting to the writing has been difficult.  My computer is even down and my husband left me his laptop for the day so I could catch up on some business.  While visiting family and friends in Sacramento, I did get to use my mother-in-law's gym and did my miles on the elliptical trainer.  I must say, I LOVED IT!  It felt like a great workout, but my knees felt so good.  It is now my mission in life to attain one for my home.  Would be nice to have it in the winter especially!  But until then, I'll keep running! 

Tomorrow is another run day and I am planning to repeat Week 6, Day 3.  Interval running is a thing of the past and I need to now focus on getting the distance under my belt...I need to be running 5K in just under a month, so that needs to drive me forward.  I am hopeful that I'll be able to write tomorrow, so keep your eyes out for the update!  And remember, we can do this.  We can be healthy, happy, physically fit, and sane.  Some days it may seem impossible, but we must always remind ourselves that though there are bumps in the road from time to time, we can do it!

Sunday, August 15, 2010

On your marks. Get set. Go!!!

Strange as this may sound, I was not the least bit nervous when I woke up yesterday morning.  I'd been battling the nerves all week, but when I got out of bed, I felt calm and collected.  Sweet!  Started the day with water and a few sips of coffee.  I got ready  and dressed the kids, then said goodbye and drove away.  I parked about a mile from the starting line so I could walk and get warmed up.  It was super foggy out and the mist in the air was pretty thick...it was going to be a wet one for sure.

I arrived in plenty of time to sign myself up and get my number.  I can't tell you how proud I was to pin my number to my shirt.  It was very exciting.  While stretching and waiting, I was happy to bump into a few ladies I knew.  To my surprise and awe, they were running in the half-marathon race.  I never would have imagined at the beginning of this year that I'd be voluntarily entering myself into a 2-mile race, so I'll never say never, but it is difficult to imagine myself running over 13 miles.  And these people are running 13 miles at the same pace I run 2, so my hat is off to them!

My family arrived about 15 minutes prior to race time and my 5 year old son was excited to see one of his old preschool mates there...getting ready to run in the 2-miler.  His mom was running the 1/2 marathon and he and a small group of his friends were running the shorter race together.  First, kudos to them...I respect greatly that they are capable at this age of doing this and following through.  That being said, all my previous banter about coming in dead last went out the door.  There was no way I could let a bunch of 6 and 7 year olds beat me!  So with a new sense of purpose and motivation, I got myself over to the starting line and waited for it to begin.

That's me at the front of the pack, 3rd from the right.
I stood there listening to the instructions being given then heard the words.  "On your mark."  Here we go.  "Get set."  Oh my goodness.  "Go!"  Holy shit, I'm doing this!  I took off with everyone and saw my kids and husband waving goodbye out of the corner of my eye.  I quickly came to realize an important truth about racing:  unless you're really fast and you're in it to win it, don't stand in the front!  I came out running far faster than my normal pace and regretted it right away.  I had to resume a more normal pace or I'd never make it, but had to let countless runners pass me to do so.  My competitive instincts and my sense of self-preservation were at odds, but logic had to win out over emotions here.  By the half-mile mark, I was far more winded than normal and I had to work really hard to maintain my pace and catch my breath.  By now, the leaders had already reached the mile mark, turned around were beginning to pass me in the other direction.   Not sure who was running the shorter race or the longer, I had no idea where I stood at that point.  Finally, I made it to the halfway point and stopped just long enough to take my jacket off and tie it around my waste and take one long, deep breath.  I turned around and was back on my way.  It was not until this moment that I realized that the small, wee ones were close on my trail!  Let me tell you, it was just the kick in the pants I needed to keep the pace up.

It wasn't more than a quarter mile later that two of the boys came screaming by me.  I couldn't believe it, I thought I had been keeping up a rather good pace for myself and I was surprised to be passed so fast and watch them create a large and larger distance between us.  I stayed my course though and kept moving as fast and best as I could.  Slowly but surely, I gained on one of the boys, then, he had to stop, but as I passed him, I saw the other boy staying strong.  I just focused on that kid and set my sights on catching him.  We were getting closer to the end and I was beginning to see the finish line.  He still had a sizable lead on me, but I was making up some ground.  As we exited the trail we had been running on and the space opened up into the lot where everyone was gathered, he slowed, but I stayed strong.  In the end though, he crossed the finish line 5 seconds ahead of me!  I thank that little guy though for keeping me strong and making me push to the very end...the next runner ahead of us was about a minute away, so having someone (even, especially, because it was a kid) so close to me kept me pushing hard.
Just a few moments before I crossed the line, before
my son passed me with my husband and daughter
following in the rear.  What a great cheering squad!

I do need to mention that as I came into the big lot near the finish, my 5 year old ran out to me and finished the race with me, or, I should say, just ahead of me and as I crossed the line, he turned to me and said, "I beat you mommy!"  That's fresh.  In the end, I finished the race 20th out of 31 people with a time of 20:54 and I felt really great about that.  I far exceeded my own expectations for the race and I felt so proud of myself.  I also felt exhausted, thirsty, sweaty and hot!  I got myself some water, a piece of watermelon and slapped 5 with some of the other runners I had met that morning.  I even congratulated the little guy that beat me and told him how impressed I was (then secretly sneered to myself that I had his number and I'd be kicking his ass next time!)

So now I get back to finishing the C25K program and preparing for my next race...a 5K on September 11.  Today I feel much more enthusiastic for it than I have in a few weeks.  I also feel a bit sore, but that happens!  So any of you out there reading this who feel fear or doubt, just know that you can do it.  I never would have thought I could, and after yesterday, I feel on top of the world and proud to not only to say that I CAN DO IT, but that I DID DO IT!

Friday, August 13, 2010

The pre-race run

Once again, I decided to skip the program run and do my own thing.  Today, my own thing was to run two miles without stopping.  Not 20 minutes or two miles, whichever comes first, but two miles, and today I timed myself (to the minute, not second).  This was a very good idea because what I found was I was doing a lot better than I thought I was.  At then end of the first mile, I was at about 9-10 minutes.  I stopped briefly to stretch my calves and take off my sweatshirt (about 1 minute) then got right back to it.  My second mile was slower, about 11-12  minutes, but to have gone start to finish in 23-24 minutes, I was very pleased with myself.  Sure, I have room for improvement, but I feel much more confidant going into my race on Saturday and feel a little closer to where I was before vacation.  That is some great progress and I am so relieved for it!  I will keep this brief today and end with a promise of details from the first race (and a picture if I can muster it!)...Saturday is the first real test of my progress and I feel better about it than I could have hoped.  I am filled with excitement and confidence and the knowledge that I CAN do it!