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!

Saturday, June 26, 2010

Week 5, Day 3 - Oh, what a feeling!

Last night I was really excited to do this morning's run.  I kept thinking about my route and the pace I would start at.  I was looking forward to putting my headphones on and losing myself in the audio book I am halfway through.  I went to bed astounded that five weeks in from the starting line, I was about to go for a 20 minute run and I wasn't dreading it.  In fact, I have 2 races on my calendar now - a two mile race that is right up the street from my house and a 5 K on September 11.  I can't wait either.  And I can hardly believe that I am doing this.  It is a most amazing physical and mental transformation.  Go me!

My run was no let down either.  I took a nice almost mile long walk to get me warmed up and then I started in on my run.  About 8 minutes in, I stopped for a few seconds to stretch my calves out as they were getting really tight and starting to hurt.  I went right back to it though and never once was I feeling like I couldn't go on.  I just ran, listening to my book, concentrating on my breathing and posture and felt great.  I didn't look at the time again until it had been 22 minutes and I couldn't believe it.  I ran for 22 minutes and I could have kept running.  I didn't.  I slowed down and walked strong to give myself a good cool down.  I felt amazing and proud and strong.

I don't know how I could have gone so long without feeling like this.  I am excited to get through week 6 so I can put the interval running behind me.  I liked just running.  I need to complete this program in its entirety so I can say I am a graduate of it, so I can have that sense of accomplishment and follow through.  If I didn't need that, I'd be throwing interval running out the window and going for it.

Monday morning I am going to repeat W5D3 with a little bit of a quicker pace.  I will be leaving that morning to make the trip down to San Francisco with my kids and will be flying to Boston the next day at 6:00 a.m.  My husband is staying home, so I'm on my own with the two kids, so it's a pretty busy and hectic schedule and for that reason, I doubt I will have the chance to blog about my run.  Rest assured, I will do it and I will update the Facebook C25K to make it "official".  I'll be doing my runs in New Hampshire for the next three weeks though and will blog from there.  So, look for the next update on Wednesday.  In the meantime, continued luck and encouragement goes out to all my C25K comrades!  I did it.  If I can kick W5D3's ass, then you can too.  I'm going to be a runner.  I'm going to run in races.  I am going to be strong and healthy.  I am going to teach my children how to do the same.  We can all do this.  You can do it and I CAN DO IT too!

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Week 5, Day 2 interval 2 - program alterations and being chased by a dog

The plan this morning was to drive my car to the car dealership for servicing and then jog home.  I spent a good deal of time online last night plotting out the route I would take so I could get an ample amount of walk time before and after my run.  I had it all figured and had decided to shorten the walk time to 3 minutes between my two 8 minute runs.  I was going to need to have my pepper spray with me this morning as I would be going on the street where the loose dog had scared me once before (which I haven't jogged past since).

So, off I went this morning, dropped the car and started on my way.  First obstacle:  a road that appeared to go all the way through neighborhoods on the map did not, and I had to turn around and find another way through.  No problem.  I can handle that!  I ended up heading back up a way further to a cut through I've taken many times.  As I made my way out, about 2 minutes into my run, a HUGE German Shepard rounded the corner all alone.  I stopped dead in my tracks and watched.  In an instant, the dog darted in my direction and started toward me barking.  Shit!  I forgot to grab the pepper spray.  I turned and ran toward a driveway and came around the back side of someone's SUV.  The dog stopped on the other side of the car, watching me, growling.  I was ready to jump on top of the car if I needed to when an old man came around the corner.  I yelled to him and asked if this was his dog and he said, "yes, don't worry, he won't hurt you."  The hell he won't.  I have had far too much trouble with animals in the last few weeks and this was the final straw.  I just unleashed on this guy.  I started to yell at him that if he has an animal that would chase someone and growl at them, then they are capable of hurting them too.  I told him that if I had a phone, I'd be calling the police.  He apologized, but that was not enough for me.  I said that everyone thinks their dogs are the nicest and would never hurt anyone, but dogs do hurt people.  Dogs, no matter how much we love them, are animals and are therefore subject to erratic and unexpected behavior and THAT IS WHY THEY HAVE LEASH LAWS!!!!!  "Get your dog on a leash!" 

He dragged the dog off by his collar and I took off running, my body surging with adrenaline that I didn't want to waste.  Boy was I pissed off.  I ran for 6 more minutes at a very fast speed and then slowed down to recover a bit.  I didn't want to walk a full 5 minutes again, so I shortened it to 3 minutes and then started running again.  This time, that last eight minutes was really good.  In fact, I ran a little more than 9 minutes.  I had decided to forgo the podcast this morning and ran listening to my audio book (it is a really good one and I've been listening every minute I possible can).  The segments are long enough and I've done this enough times now that I know when I need to check my time.  When I looked at the clock at the end of my run I was pleasantly surprised to see that not only had I finished, I had surpassed my goal!  A great feeling to have just before the 20 minute run.  I feel very encouraged and actually excited for this.  I think I'll enjoy it.  I hope so anyway.  But today's run melted my doubts away and has lifted my confidence.  Saturday morning, I will run for 20 minutes without any walking and for the first time since this all began, I feel very sure that I CAN DO IT!

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Week 5, Day 2 - Too much of a good thing?

Ain't nothing gonna break my stride
Nobody's gonna slow me down
Oh no, I've got to keep on moving
Ain't nothing gonna break my stride
I'm running and I won't touch ground
Oh no, I've got to keep on moving

Those are the words that went through my head as I started my first eight minute segment this morning. I wasn't sure what to expect when I started out this morning, but I quickly felt that I was hitting my stride and was enjoying the run. For the most part, I have been running the same route the couple of weeks. I do it in part because there is a good amount of dirt roads and paths and I find it much easier on my body to run on dirt. Also, I like being able to see how much further I am running as time goes on. It is another way for me to measure my success.

What's funny is the fact that though I am seeing the same scenery day to day, I am always seeing something new as well. Sometimes it is something like a bird's nest I didn't notice before or a nice yard with pretty flowers that I am enjoying for the first time. Other times, like today, I see new people walking their dogs, letting them take care of business on other people's lawns and leaving it for the homeowners to clean up later. I know you all know how much I love bad animal owners and if you knew me personally, you'd know how hard it was for me to keep my mouth shut this morning. Obviously, it would be unwise to confront someone when I am all by myself and there are hardly any other people out and about yet, but some people really need to hear how lame they are!  I can only hope that my disgusted gaze burned some self-awareness into John Q. Lamo's  thick, inconsiderate skull.

But I digress...eight minutes went by really fast and then my 5 minute recovery walk began. And here's the thing: three minutes would have been enough and five minutes was too much. Once the next run began, I felt it was much more difficult to carry on than it was last time after a three minute recovery walk. I am very happy to have found this program and am grateful to it for the progress it has helped me achieve, so forgive me for being critical, but I don't understand why such a long recovery walk would be built into the workout when the very next day in the program more than doubles your run time without any walking break at all. I don't understand the logic. Shouldn't we be gradually adding more running time and less walking time? I am going to repeat this day once more before moving on and I think I will try reducing the walk time. I'll let you know how it goes. Until then keep thinking positive. I know you can you it just as I know, I CAN DO IT!

Monday, June 21, 2010

Week 5, Day 1, version 2 - Booya baby!

I did it!  I mapped out my route in advance and made a goal to make it the entire 2 miles regardless of how long it took me.  I figured I would be really tired because I didn't know what my pace was, but I was pretty sure it was slow and that I wasn't really hitting the distance marks.  So on Sunday morning, I got up early and set out. 

As I usually do, I started with a short walk and then some stretching before I kicked into my 5 minute warm up walk.  Then the running began.  So far, W5D1 is my favorite run.  I find the run times to be challenging, but not defeating and the walk times in between to be just enough.  It is amazing to me that as I am moving along, watching the scenery go by, running further than I have in a great many years, I find myself actually feeling stronger by the minute (as opposed to weaker like I did in the beginning).  And do you know what I found even more amazing???  I hit the 2 mile distance marker 20 seconds before the last 5 minute interval was over.  I know it is only 20 seconds, but to me, it was so much.  It told me that I was stronger than I had been giving myself credit for.  I really felt so full of pride and accomplishment!!!!

Once I returned home, there was little time to relish my milestone.  It was Father's Day, after all, and I had a breakfast to make for my husband (eggs Benedict), food to cook for a potluck, children to get ready and day bags to pack.  I barely had time to squeeze in a shower and get myself ready, never mind sit down to write my blog.  It was a wonderful day though...and while I may have eaten and drank more calories than I ran off during the party, it was a really fun and special day.  More running to do in the morning and less food to consume over the course of the day, so hopefully the scale will tip the other way!  Tomorrow, I move on to W5D2.  I will be running for time and then I will repeat the day and run for distance on Thursday.  That gives me until Saturday to mentally prepare for W5D3, the dreaded 20 minute run without any walking.  No matter how good I am feeling, that run still seems like a giant leap...I will be prepared though.  I am doing now what I though impossible a few weeks ago, so why not 20 minutes?  I can do it.  I CAN do it.  I CAN DO it.  I CAN DO IT!!!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Week 5, Day 1 - Restless nights and early mornings

The first words I uttered in my head this morning were, "No Excuses."  I had many for not wanting to get out of bed:  up many times last night with a distraught toddler who has 5 new teeth arriving all at once; a stuffy nose and itchy throat from the brutal allergy season; still feeling salted about the Celtics loss last night.  But alas, I dragged myself, bleary eyed and bitter, out of bed and dressed myself.  My blood was slow to start moving.  I walked for several minutes before the yawning subsided and I felt at all ready to fire up some Chubby Jones and begin the power walking.  Once I did though, it all started to click into place.  I always stop mid walk, be it at the beginning  or during the so-called recovery walks, to stretch my legs, calves, and lower back a little more.  It amounts to about 30 seconds, but it makes all the difference to me.  I have yet to experience any shin splints (which I always have in the past when I run) or cramping in my legs, so I stick with it religiously. 

Once I started running, it felt really good.  I found today's intervals to be much easier to finish than last week's.  I'm not sure I am quite hitting the total distances the program calls for, but I think I am pretty close.  I discovered a website that allows you to enter your running routes and then it calculate the exact distance.  I was going to check out my total mileage this morning, but the site is down until tomorrow.  If you're interested, the address is www.gmap-pedometer.com.  At any rate, it felt good and I think I am going to run W5D1 once more with the goal of hitting the distance mark.  The cool thing about today's run was that for the first time since I started this program, I really did feel that I could be running 5K.  I mean, up to now, that always felt so far away.  And while I have been positive about this C25K thing, it has still been hard for me to even imagine myself running for 20 or 25 or 30 minutes without stopping.  Even last night, thinking about day 3 of this week, I felt nothing but dread, but now, I know that while it may be hard, I will be able to do it.  It's like the more I say it, the more real it actually becomes.  My hard work, my commitment, my mindset, and the support of friends, family and fellow C25Kers - it all adds up to the wonderful truth that I know deep down:  I CAN DO IT!!!

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Week 4, Day 5 - The real deal

Since I haven't actually run since Saturday morning, I was quite fearful that I would find myself out of shape and unable to run this morning.  I was afraid that 4 days without a run was going to be the undoing of all my hard work.  I was, I am happy to say, a bit of a Chicken Little in this regard, as the sky did not fall and I was fully able to run my last week 4 workout without too much difficulty.  I was sucking air pretty hard that last five minutes, but I made it.  In all honesty, the last of the week 5 workouts scares me, but the first looks very doable.  In fact, I think that I'll prefer three 5 minute runs to the varied run and walk durations of week 4.  We shall see. 

I realize after this little hiccup I encountered how important the routine is in physical fitness.  Each day away from it seems like a exponential leap from the last.  And while I did walk on Monday, it didn't have the same impact on me as a run would have, and as a result, I felt miles away from Saturday morning in my head.  On Monday evening, I laid out my clothes intending to do my run Tuesday morning, but a bad night of sleep with a teething baby and a stuffy nose had me rolling back over and going back to sleep.  Now, I know this is hardly the end of the world, but that one break from the routine I had established also altered the mindset I had established about it - NO EXCUSES.  I have to say all this and cement this idea in my mind because in two weeks, I am travelling back to the east coast to stay with my family.  I'll be there for three weeks and if I wasn't totally sure of what my commitment level had to be and didn't have my attitude about carrying on the C25K program set, then I can see how easy it would be to slip. 

We've all said it before, but so much of the success of this program, or really, any fitness program, is dependant on attitude.  It is mental toughness as much as physical toughness.  I must stay committed to my routine and the program and to myself. No excuses, I CAN DO IT!

Monday, June 14, 2010

Week 4, Day 5 - A day late and a dollar short

I had just an amazing weekend!  Starting with the arrival of a good friend and his kids and ending with a great wedding and a fun night camping.  I was so glad I got up early and ran on Saturday before we left.  It was a far better run than the last and I felt energized by it.  I had a ton to do so we could get out of town on time, so I couldn't sit and write (much anyway).  My plan was to write yesterday, but I returned home with the most unbelievable allergy attack I think I've ever had.  I couldn't breath.  I couldn't stop sneezing and my nose wouldn't stop running.  My sinuses were stinging and swollen and I hated life.  I was in no mood to sit and write anything. 

Despite this, my resolve to stay on track had me doing the normal nightly preparations for my run and I set the alarm to get up at 6:10 am.  I got out of bed, still feeling pretty crummy, dressed and left the house.  All started well, but as soon as I started running and breathing heavy, I thought I was going to DIE.  The sinuses were burning and I felt like my temples were going to burst open, so for the first time since I started this program, I abandoned my mission.  I could not go on.  I walked the entire route I normally would just to go through the motions and not feel like a total loser.  Providing I feel better on the morning, I will try it again.  Since I am not feeling great and now I missed a day, I am going to do W4D5 one last time before starting week 5.  If I am still illing tomorrow, then look for me on Wednesday, but I really want to jump right back in before I lose my momentum.

I remain committed and have my goal locked into my view.  This day is but a small setback and I am choosing to focus on the positive that I still got up and tried.  I want this, I need this and I am determined to do this.  So, watch out, I'll be back and I know that I CAN DO IT!

Saturday, June 12, 2010

Week 4, Day 4 - Running, Running, Running

Woke up this morning and went running.  Came home and ran around getting ready to go to the wedding and camp.  Was running late all morning and now I have to run out the door, so I will write my blog tomorrow when I am not running myself ragged.

Hope you all have a very nice day!

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Week 4, Day 3 - not every day can be a good day

I want to be honest here, so I have to start by saying that today sucked.  I was awake for hours last night and when I was just on the verge of falling back asleep and able to catch an hour of precious slumber before the alarm went off, my daughter woke up.  All she wanted was her pacifier and she went right back to sleep, but I would not be so lucky.  So, a few minutes before 6:00, I got out of bed, drank some water and scarfed down a banana.  I don't usually eat before I run, but I figured I had the time to let it sit and digest before I hit the pavement, so I gave it a try.

I don't know if it was the lack of sleep or the food in my stomach or both, but this run never felt good to me from the start.  I finished each run interval, but labored through them all.  Try as I might to think positive thoughts, each gruelling minute seemed to last an eternity and I felt nauseous the entire time.  Normally, I really enjoy walking at the end of the last run interval and intentionally go further than I need to so I have a good 3/4 - 1 mile to  cool down, but today it was tough.  My legs were rubbery and slow and it seemed like I would never get home.  It was, of course, raining, but the one bright spot in this morning's workout was the beautiful rainbow I got to see along the way.

Some days are just going to be like that I guess.  I'm glad I pushed through, but I wish I felt better about it.  I have a wedding to go to on Saturday in a nice grove in the Redwoods.  We are camping there afterwards and I decided that there was so much happening that morning to get me ready and out the door that I was going to repeat one more week 4  workout rather than trying to take on something new and unknown.  I'm glad I decided that in advance, because after today, I definitely am not feeling like I am ready for week 5 yet.  Hopefully, like every other 4th workout I do, I kick its ass and move on the next day.

I'm sorry, my friends, that I was not able to sprinkle a little ray of sunshine today.  As much as I try to be positive, I am also trying to be honest, so there you have it.  I wish you all the best in your runs today or tomorrow and leave you with this though...if I could get up today and finish this run, despite feeling tired and sick to my stomach, the YOU CAN DO IT too!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

Week 4, Day 2 - half way through the program

On my refrigerator is a spreadsheet with the entire C25K program printed on it.  Every time I return from a run, I "X" out the corresponding box.  When I repeat a day, I make a cross through it so it looks like a little star.  It is a very satisfying exercise and it gives me a visual representation of what I am accomplishing.  Today, as I marked the W4D2 box I realized I was half way through the program.  Wow!  I have come so far and am excited to know that there is still a long way ahead of me.  If I have made such amazing strides for myself in 4 1/2 weeks, just think what I can do in the next 4 1/2 weeks!

Yesterday afternoon was just beautiful.  I had every window in the house open and the evening was warmer than usual.  I got my things ready last night for today's run expecting more of the same, so was deeply disappointed to awaken to the realization that I'd be running in the rain again.  It's fine to run in the rain, but really not as enjoyable to me as starting the day running in the crisp, clean, cool air of a bright, blue morning.  On top of the crummy weather, the rain brings out the slugs.  I swear, it's like the onslaught of rain is to slugs is what the lighting of the Olympic torch is to humans.  They come out in force ready to show off their finesse and skill.  The only problem is, I feel like I am running on an obstacle course.  I haven't spoken to this yet, but I have a history of unique and cataclysmic accidents that have landed me hurt, on crutches, in the ER, and wrapped in bandages on many occasions.  I'll say that no one has ever used the word graceful to describe me, so it is with extra caution that I tread on this slug land mine field.  And of course, as I've mentioned before, I don't live in an area I would consider to be inhabited by the most responsible dog owners, so there are quite a few land mines of another kind I must watch for on the sidewalks (argh!).

Nevertheless, I kicked W4D2's ass.  It had me in a tight corner that last 2 minutes of the last run, but I found some punch and finished strong.  It felt good.  I felt strong and alive.  I want to continue feeling this way.  I hope now that we are moving into a phase of longer running, I'll start to see more results in the weight loss department.  I am still noticing differences in how my clothes fit, but I'd really like to start seeing more differences on the scale.  I am committed to this 100% though, so I know that I will reach my goals, I know that I CAN DO IT!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Week 4, Day 1 - I have to do what?

I am so very glad that I didn't read ahead to today's workout ahead of time.  It would have given me far too much time to fret.  The task seemed very daunting to me:  3 minutes of running, followed by 90 seconds of walking followed by 5 minutes of running and then repeat it all again.  I decided that my best approach would be to get a lot of extra warm up and stretching in advance, so I walked for quite a while before I stopped and got in a great stretch session.  Then I started the Chubby Jones week 4 podcast and got moving once again. 

I was pleasantly surprised to find that the first eight minutes of running went extremely well.  In fairness, part of the first 5 minute run was downhill, so that helped, but I was feeling good at the end.  The vengefully fast 90 seconds of walking between runs seemed too short, but  isn't it always?  The next three minutes were good, but I was starting to slow down a bit.  But oh boy, that last 5 minutes really killed me.  I did OK for the fir 2 minutes, but then I was really hitting the wall.  I really had to push myself.  Mia kept coming on to be encouraging and was pushing for a last kick of speed to end the run, but there was no reserves for me to do that.  I made it the full distance, but man, it exhausted me.  I walked for a while afterwards.  I just needed to keep moving, albeit, very slowly.  I even passed my house and kept walking because I felt the need to keep cooling down.  I wanted to have my breath back and feel human again when I got home.  I was at a particularly enthralling place in my audio book, so the extra time was nice.

So, I'm home now, baby is napping and my husband took our son to a baseball game. I have utter silence and solitude and I didn't even need to lace up my running shoes to get it. So on that note, I will leave you for today. I am tired and glad for a day of rest, but feel sure the next run will be even better.  I would have found it impossible to believe a month ago that I was capable of finishing a run like today's.  I need to remember that going forward, because bigger and more difficult challenges await me!  No matter what though, I'll be out there, working hard and trying to make myself a stronger and healthier person because I know that I CAN DO IT!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Week 3, Day 4 - Another week bites the dust!

Today is going to be a good day.  I can tell.  I woke up feeling well rested and looking forward to my run.  And even though it was raining really hard (seriously, I am about to start a new Noah's Ark themed blog), I couldn't wait to get outside.  I stretched in the rain and to my great delight, just as I started walking, the rain stopped.  This really is going to be a good day!

My run went well too.  I felt pretty loose and strong through all the runs.  I even added in an extra 3 minutes run to test my endurance a little.  I was tired at the end, no doubt, and there was certainly less spring in my step for the rest of the walk home, but I started and finished strong and that feels so great.  I'm not even going to look ahead to what comes next in week 4 until tomorrow because I want to ride high the rest of the day without fretting about the next big leap I am about to take.

This entire experience so far has been so empowering to me in so many ways.  First, taking the steps to make this time for myself.  Sleep is great, don't get me wrong, I love sleep, but there is no better way to start the day than getting up alone, leaving the house alone, and doing something that makes me feel good in my body and my mind.  To feel such a sense of accomplishment by 7:30 in the morning is great!  Second, having found an outlet to talk about the experiences I am having, whether they are good or bad, has been huge.  It is so nice to use this part of my brain on a regular basis.  It is surprising how little it gets used when your mothering and housekeeping and you don't realize it until you start using it again!  And last, though I absolutely love and need to the support of my friends and my family, I have found the support and encouragement from my fellow C25Kers and bloggers to be inspiring, motivating, and heartfelt.  We need each other as much as we need our loved ones.  There is an understanding and a true sense of camaraderie in this community.  We all seem to relish each other's successes and feel each other's pain.  And though I have not met the other people I have been going through this program with, I feel so invested in urging them on and enjoying their successes as much as my own.  It has been an unintended but unbelievably wonderful benefit of writing this blog.   So friends, keep up the great work!  If you can do it, I CAN DO IT!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

Week 3, Day 3 - No rain, no gain

I need to start going to bed earlier.  That was my first thought this morning when the alarm went off at 6:20.  Didn't turn over to go to sleep last night until 11:30 and then had my slumber rudely interrupted by my daughter at 3:30.  I have plans to meet some girlfriends in town this evening for a Cosmo and some Sex in the City 2, so it will be a late one and the prospects of me getting any sleep between now and then are doubtful.  As I continue on, I know that being well rested is going to be a key to my success, so today a new resolution is born:  I must get to bed by 10:30 the night before a run.

I allowed myself a single snooze and then bounded out of bed and got ready to go.  It was raining pretty hard this morning, so I threw on a rain jacket and headed out the door.  I had hoped to get in a little extra warm up walking before I started the C25K podcast, but it was too wet and I just wanted to get it done, so I stretched and jumped right into my 5 minute walk.  The first 90 second run was OK, though I still felt a little tight.  I did a little extra stretching during the 90 seconds of walking and the 3 minutes of running that came next were great.  I felt looser and was really into it.  When Mia told me to slow it down, I think I could have kept going.  When the next 90 seconds came, I powered through and did well, but the last 3 minutes of running seemed unbearable.  Honestly, it was night and day from the first 3 minutes.  I am not sure if it is all in my head or if there is too much walking in between or what.  If I look back, I always struggle with the day 3 workout and then kick ass on day 4.  I don't know...I am going to do another week 3 workout just because it has worked out so well for me up to now.  I am planning on adding one more interval to increase the challenge a bit and see how I do. 

One thing I think I'll reconsider in the future is the rain jacket.  It was both too hot and too heavy (not that I don't like hot and heavy like the next person, just not while jogging!).  If anyone out there has any suggestions on what to wear in the rain, I'd love to hear them.  I figure unless any better ideas come my way,  I'll be going with the C25K wet t-shirt program.  Who knows, maybe I'll inspire some new runners that way!  In the meantime, you all keep up the good work and I will too.  Remember, when excuses start to clutter your thoughts, beat them back with the mantra of champions:  I CAN DO IT!