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!

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!

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

Getting ready for my first race

Since I will be running in my first ever race as an adult this Saturday, I decided that my time was best spent this week making sure I was ready for the 2 mile event.  That said, I skipped week 6, day 2 this morning and plotted out a 2.6 mile route.  I did my warm-up walk and got to running.  I ran most of the way, but did stop briefly to stretch my calves and catch my breath a couple of times.  All in all, I'd say I ran close to two miles, but not all of it.  I know that I've said it is OK if I come in dead last on Saturday, and it is, really, deep down I know that it is OK, but still, there is a part of me that is really nervous and hopes I don't make an ass of myself.  It won't be long now until we know and the comfort I will take, if I do in fact embarrass myself, is that it will make for an entertaining blog update that will provide my loyal readers a hearty laugh.

What I really hope though is that I exceed my own expectations on Saturday.  I hope that the energy of all the other runners helps me get back the spark I've been looking for.  I looked up the results from last year's race and am fairly certain that I will be in the back of the heap.  The course is a one mile there and back so we finish where we started.  My husband and kids will be there to cheer me on at both ends, so that will be really nice. I laugh to know that some people finished the race last year in less time than it takes me to go a mile, but with any luck, seeing a runner passing me in the other direction will give me some motivation to kick it up a notch.  The real goal for Saturday though  is that I finish the race and feel good about it and myself.  That's all I can hope for.  So the rest of this week, in addition to readying myself physically for Saturday, I will also be readying myself mentally.  I have to talk my nerves away, and remind myself that I can do this.  I will do this.  When summer began, the idea of running in any race was absurd and I can't let myself forget how far I have come.  I am so proud and excited to say that I know I CAN DO IT!

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Week 6, Day 1 and a little recognition!

Well, I got through it.  Week 6, day 1.  Seems like it should have been easier than it was.  I did great for the first two legs and even did OK the first 2 minutes of the last 5 minute leg, but then I was really feeling it.  I know that the third leg must have been comical to watch from the outside.  I know I wasn't walking, but I wonder if everyone else watching did!  I had Chubby Jones with me though, and her encouragement to keep it up kept me going.  I will say that when she announced we had only one minute to go and pushed us to sprint it if we could, I could only stare at the hill before me and let out a laugh.  Thanks for trying Chubby, but not this time!

I also ran on Tuesday of this week.  I went out to run the 20 straight minutes again and ended up walking for a minute or two after the first 10 minutes before finishing the last 10 minutes.  I intended to blog about it, but it has been a crazy week and my computer has been a bit in limbo, so no go on Tuesday.  C'est la vie...

Despite my frustration over feeling like this process is a puzzle with a missing piece, I continue to look for it and strive for completion.  But more than that, I strive to get back to that place I was in my head where I looked forward to running and felt exuberant about it.  I liked how that made me feel and I won't give up until I have it back.  I am so thankful for this blog and all of you who read it because it is helping to keep me honest and forcing me to keep thinking about this and not pushing it to the side.

On that note, I move on to some recognition I have received!  Tara from So Skinny On the Inside nominated me for a blog award called The Versatile Blogger.  I've never received any kind of recognition like this, so it is kind of exciting!  It isn't a contest with winners and losers, just a way for bloggers to recognize each other.  There are a lot of amazing blogs out there covering every topic under the sun and this award is a great way for people to share some of the great ones they know.  I think it is great!

So here are the rules that go along with this particular award:

Thank the person who gave you the award.
  1. Share seven things about yourself.
  2. Nominate bloggers who you have recently discovered and who you think are   fantastic! 
  3. Let your nominees know about the award.
 And so with that:

1. THANK YOU TARA!!!   You like me, you really like me!  I can't tell you how much I appreciate your recognition and praise.  There are so many blogs out there and it means a lot to me that you chose mine to honor.  I love writing the blog and it is enough motivation in and of itself, but I love that it is helping and inspiring others.  Thank you, thank you, thank you!  Your blog is also great and I encourage my blog readers to check yours out too:  http://soskinnyontheinside.blogspot.com/
2. Seven things about me:

  • I can't even remember what my true hair color looks like anymore.  Between the hair dye color that changes every other month (because I can never remember the brand or exact color from last time) and the almost full head of grays I have now, the truth is likely to remain a mystery until the end of time.
  • I like to play the guitar.  I used to do it far more often, but my time is in high demand these days.  I look forward to getting back to it more in the future.
  • I am 35 and have lived at one point in time in all of the following cities:  Peabody, MA, Allenstown, NH, Manchester, NH, Durham, NH, Dover, NH, Portland, OR, Chicago, IL, Oakland, CA, Berkeley, CA, Sacramento, CA, Fair Oaks, CA, Orangevale, CA, Bayside, CA and McKinleyville, CA...those of you who have been in my life long enough started using pencil in your address books for my info long ago.
  • I met my husband in Las Vegas in early summer of 1999.  We were married on September 8, 2001
  • I love to play board games.  Scrabble is my favorite, but love any game that challenges my mind
  • I am a life-long, die-hard Red Sox fan and therefor hate, loathe, detest the Yankees.
  • My favorite flavor of ice cream is Ben & Jerry's Chubby Hubby:  vanilla ice cream with ripples of peanut butter and fudge throughout and chocolate covered, peanut butter filled pretzels throughout...it is salty and sweet heaven in a carton.
3. I wish I had more time to read more blogs.  I know there is so much out there that inspires, motivates and helps people through their day.  I will nominate some now, but in the future, if I come across more that are deserving, I'll take the time to recognize them too.  Without further ado:

There are so many more, but I'm feeling like a mushbrain now and need to go to bed.  I will finish step four tomorrow and let my nominees know.  In the meantime, as always, discouraged or not, don't forget that we are all capable of acts of strength bigger than we can imagine.  That's what it feels like I need to channel some mornings to finish a run, but the bottom line is that I CAN DO IT!  And so can you :-)

Sunday, August 1, 2010

Week 5, Day 3 - if at first you don't succeed

I decided at some point last night that I was going to move along to the day 3 run of week 5.  I just didn't want to deal with intervals.  So I headed out this morning and gave myself a good warm up walk and some good stretching.  At first, I felt tight and winded, but I warmed into it and it felt pretty good.  I made it most of the way, but at about 17 minutes, I felt my legs getting rubbery and I need to stop for fear that I might fall. 

I could be disappointed with that, but I'm not.  I'll do the same run on Tuesday and I am sure that I'll finish then.  After that I'll move along to week 6 (where I was when I went on vacation) and get the rest of the interval runs behind me.  I do need to stay focused and work hard the next two weeks as I am entering a 2 mile race on the 11th.  Not a huge one, but the first race I have run in since high school.  Having never done this as an adult and never having witnessed a race before, I have no idea how my pace will stack up against the rest of the field.  I have no illusions of winning and even suspect that I could finish dead last, but to me, that hardly matters.  Having the motivation of a race is what is helping me right now.  Knowing that as long as I run the two miles without stopping to walk, I'll feel a huge sense of personal accomplishment.  And hey, if I do finish D.F.L, then at least I have no where to go but up!

I have my first 5K planned for Saturday, September 11, so I have just over a month to be ready for that.  My husband, who is not training, is planning to run with me in this race.  I am both excited and nervous about this...you see, he has always been more athletic and in better shape than me and so I look forward to running with him and being able to keep up.  However, I am nervous that he might still beat me and that would just drive me crazy!!!  So there's some more motivation:  small and petty, yes, but also effective, I hope. 

Onward I shall run then.  I feel like I am getting back to it, but I still feel I am missing some of the fire I had before I went on vacation.  I'm still looking for it and if anyone knows where I could find it, I'd love to hear from you!  Until then, I'll try and remember that I CAN DO IT!