Saturday, April 28, 2012

Susie's Run! 5k

Today was my very first ever race, a 5k.  I signed up for it right after I did the March of Dimes walk last month, because, after doing the Walk, I knew I was capable of doing a 5k and Susie's Run gave me motivation to train a little bit harder for that Princess bling in February.

It seemed like it took forever for this weekend to get here. I actually put Disney planning on HOLD while I planned for this (we leave for Disney this week!).  As you guys know, I bought a compression sleeve, found a great place to walk/run outside, and upped my mileage in the weeks leading up to this.

When I got home from work yesterday, after picking up my packet at Fit2Run, I (of course!) had a list of everything I needed to do before going to bed so I could be prepared for today.  I made sure my media player was at full battery, I laid out all my clothes; I even went as far as putting my scrambled egg cooking paraphernalia on the stove so I wouldn't have to hunt them down today!
My Shirt and Bib Number

I went to bed at 8 last night, but I was trying to sort out my coupons, since I was still going to the grocery store today after the 5k.  I think I finally finished sorting them and typing up my shopping lists around 9. I put the laptop, coupon binder and list away and hunkered down to go to sleep.  From what I remember, I fell asleep pretty quickly.

At about 6:30 this morning, my cat decided it was playtime and she was making all sorts of noise, which kept me from falling back asleep.   In hindsight, I guess this was a good thing - it gave me time to wake up slowly, make sure I had all my gear.  I found this on the refrigerator note board waiting for me:
Note of Encouragement from my Hubby

I had a leisurely breakfast (2 Eggland's Best eggs, scrambled with 1 tablespoon of cheese, what I always eat before I go out in the a.m. for a run) and watched the news. My daughter woke up when I was done eating, so she and I talked for a while until it was time for me to go get dressed and head out.

I asked her to take a photo of me all dressed, but it didn't come out very well.  I messed with the exposure a little bit so that you could actually see me:
Susie's shirt had a HIGH neck, so I wore my own
The drive to the start line was pretty uneventful, and frankly, pretty quick!  It usually takes me 30 minutes to get there, but this morning, I got there in about 10.  I got a good parking spot and headed to the starting area.  I walked over to the Packet Pickup Area to see if I needed to check-in or sign anything, but I was good to go, so I began to wander around to warm up.  I'd stop here and there to do calf raises or heel drops. I went to the restroom in a very yucky gym restroom. I drank all my water before realizing there wasn't a place (that I could see) to fill up my bottle.

Around 8:41, this was how crowded it was:
The crowd would probably quadruple before 9a.m. I didn't take a photo of that though because by then I was ready to GO!

The event coordinators tried to create corrals, or at least starting lines, but I don't think anyone even saw these:

I saw them and was standing behind the Walkers section, but there were these two families with Soccer Moms on my left who kept talking and talking and never shut up! No offense, but good lord, put a sock in it!

Finally, at 9:05, the Speedy Wheels got a 30-second head start, then the Runners got to go, but at that point, everyone went like "oh, we're going now, okay!" so there was no delineation between the Runners and the Walkers. That's fine with me, let's GO!

I had my ears (earbuds) in with some good tunes and I shot out of the gate at a quick walk, knowing that if I gave it all now, I would only run out of go later.  We rounded the first corner and I picked up speed, breaking into a jog.  I got quicker and quicker until I realized the road was going downhill and it was taking me with it!  Thank God for that hill!  I went back to walking as we cut through a neighborhood on the left and then back out onto the main road.  More jogging, more walking.  I'm getting sweaty and I'm mad at myself for drinking all my water!

We turn onto 8th Avenue by the park and I end up getting stuck behind those two damn soccer moms from the starting line.  Power-walking side by side with their jogging strollers, not caring that anyone behind them wants to friggin' pass them!  This is not the mall, nor is it your neighborhood street on a Saturday morning - get the heck out of my way!

I finally find a place to go around them at a jog, then back it back down to a fast walk and all of a sudden people are just WHIZZING by me!  Where the hell did all of these fast people come from?  Oh, I remembered that we are doing a 2-lap course, so these folks are probably on their SECOND lap, and I'm still chugging along on my first. Sad.

I round the final corner to where the start/finish line is and finally take a glance at my watch as I begin Lap 2:
I am super excited to see this!!!  Math whiz that I am, I know that if I can do what I just did again, I'll be done in 48 minutes!  Holy shit!  That got a bit of wind in my sails and I walked a bit faster, knowing the downhill was coming and I could gather some speed there.

So, repeat Lap 1 - I ran fast down the hill. I recovered in the neighborhood. And sonofabitch, wouldn't you know it, I get stuck behind Soccer Moms again!  I'm about out of breath at this point, so I just pace behind them, knowing where the sidewalk widens and I can get ahead of them.  I run/walk the way to the turn to the finish line and I'm neck and neck with Soccer Moms.  I give it all I have and run through that balloon finish line and I just COMPLETED A 5k PEOPLE!!!!!!!! And, because I'm petulant, I also beat the Soccer Moms!!!!!  My finish line time looked to be right around 48:45 or so, but I snapped this pic of my watch after I got out of the chute:
(It says 49:14)
 I walked around a moment to cool down, then asked a nice lady to take my photo:
Lookin' so awesome at the finish line!
I told her that this was my very first ever 5k that I did, she gave me a high 5 and a big congrats!

I moseyed over to where the free pancakes were, but there was no water.  I ended up grabbing a pancake anyway:
One (slightly cold overcooked) pancake
I stood near the finisher chute to see how many people were still coming in - I was convinced that I was practically last - and a bunch of people kept coming!

Once everyone made it to the finish line and commenced stuffing themselves silly with carbs, there was a raffle, so I stuck around, but I kept walking around because I didn't want to sit and get stiff.  I ended up near the finish line again and asked what the last time was.  The final runner came it at (I may have my number off, 3 might be 8) 1:03:00!!!  So, not only was I NOT LAST, I beat the last person by at least 15 minutes!  I couldn't believe it!!

Slowly, once the raffle was over, I walked to my car (legs still feeling pretty good at this point) and as soon as I shut the door, I believe I said the following:  "Woo hoo!  Holy shit, I just finished a 5k, WTF" (though, we all know what WTF means, so I won't type it out). Then I kind of cried for a second. 

It didn't last long, though, I wanted to get home and change out of my extremely sweaty clothes!  I got a huge hug from hubby and recapped the race for him, then I was out the door again to do my Wal-Mart and grocery shopping for the day.  W.I.S.H. taught me that moving after a race will keep the stiffness away!

For those of you that are wondering, my 49:14 time gives me a 15.41mm pace time!  Not only have I done a 5k, I did it beating the Princess pace time.  I can only get faster from here and my goal for this 5k next year is to RUN it.

I'm off to make love to the couch now, as my PF hurts quite badly, despite all the stretching, and there are hot dogs in my future for dinner!

As for that celebratory cake I mentioned in a previous post?  Screw that, I'm gonna have celebratory STEAK at LeCellier next Saturday at Epcot (I guess I should get to work on THAT to-do list now...)

The best steakhouse ever!

Friday, April 27, 2012

Running Warehouse Goodies Arrive!

My order from Running Warehouse arrived today (I ordered them around lunchtime on the 24th!) and I couldn't wait to open everything!

Here is the Nathan pack. I put a lip gloss, my ID and a packet of Kleenex (as a stand in for my cell phone, which is actually much thinner than that) inside the pack to see how they fit.

As you can see, they fit fine!

This is the attached ID card - you can put your personal info on one side and emergency info on the other (like "I'm a diabetic", "Latex Allergy", etc) 

It lives in it's own little home when you don't need it.

This is the amphipod pocket.  Kind of hard to see the details but there is a big flap for the clip, then a smaller flap, the one with the logo, that is the 'entrance' to the pocket. 
I decided to put in my lip gloss and my conglomeration of keys to see how much space they took up. When I do my runs, I usually take the key off the keychain, so all I carry is the black oval.

Plenty of room! I could probably fit my MP3 player in here too, because the pouch is stretchy!

Here is a pretty good view of the METAL clip that snaps to your pants. 

The long part of the pack goes between your tummy and your pants, then the clip hangs over the edge of your pants, kind of like Kilroy:
Click here to read about Kilroy
You can still access the pocket without having to unclip from your belt and if you need to move it over, you can unclip it (but leave it tucked in), slide it and re-clip it!  Totally worth $10!  Even better, since my MP3 player has thick buttons, I can feel them through the neoprene (and my pants) and skip songs without having to take it out of the pouch. I love that!

Anyway, so I took my goodies home and, even though you shouldn't train before a 5k, I wanted to do a little with my new gear. It's better to train a bit before, than to do a 5k with untested gear!  I put on my compression sleeve (damn that thing is HARD to get on!!!), put my MP3 player in my pouch (ran the earbuds under my shirt and through my collar), then put on the pack belt.  Neither the pouch nor the belt got in my way while I put on my socks and sneakers (the pouch was over my right hip), and I was ready to get on the treadmill.  

I warmed up for a few minutes, then hit 5mph and ran for a few minutes.  Back and forth for about 10 minutes, then turned off the treadmill.  I was not having shin pain this time, I guess due to the sleeve, but my lower calf/upper ankle was burning!  Stretching felt like hell!!!  But in kind of a good way, not an oh shit, I hurt myself way. I left the sleeve on for about an hour afterwards and plopped onto the couch to watch TV with my daughter.  During that time, I would flex and point my left foot (the leg with the sleeve) and there was no residual pain, so I'm considering this a win and I'll wear the sleeve on Saturday! It's now Friday afternoon, and I don't have any pain (besides my lingering PF).

Also during the run, I wore the pack belt both with the pack on my butt and on my tummy and there was NO bouncing either way.  I think it was a bit more comfortable with it in the back and will probably wear it that way unless I need to get into it.

All in all, I'm very happy with my $40 worth of gear and look forward to putting it to use tomorrow!

Speaking of tomorrow, remember last week when I said this?
I feel some trepidation about the upcoming 5k next weekend. I have a sad feeling in my heart that I will be dead last crossing that finish line, and I will probably get the pity claps and yells, but you know what?  I will have done the most important thing - I will have CROSSED THE FINISH LINE OF MY VERY FIRST 5k.  I will not quit, I will not give up, I will give it my all and I will cross that finish line, even if I am the very last person to do so.  There is no pity to be had, for I will have finished, and right now, that is the greatest thing in the world to me.
 I decided to go to the Florida Track Club website and look at the last 6 in-town 5k results.  Of those six, I can beat the last-place finisher's time in FOUR of them!  That is making me feel better about my time.  When you hear about people doing 5ks in a half-hour or less, it can really make you doubt yourself. Going into this thinking I have a 66%  chance of not being last has given me a new wind and I know I'll be able to do this!

And then I'll have cake.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

Just wanted to share this

I just found a great blog post over at DrRachelRuns that is wonderful.

Request from the Back of the Pack

She says a lot of things that us slow runners really want to say to Mr Speedy Pants.

Bought myself some goodies!

As I sat at my desk yesterday, working late, I did some internet searches for why my shins have been hurting. I didn't realize that I had posterior shin splints. I thought spin splints were something else!  So, the next thing I Googled was how to get RID of shin splints!  A vast majority of folks say that you should use a compression sleeve on your leg when you run.  Hmm, okay. I thought those were things you wear when you are healing from an injury. I'm learning all sorts of stuff today!

Next up, finding compression sleeves that were affordable.  I checked Amazon, of course, and found a few that looked promising. I put them in my cart and began looking at websites for local stores. Champs, as we know, doesn't cater to women at all!  Sports Authority had a few viable candidates, but I would need to go to the actual store to see them. Our local guy, Lloyd Clarke Sports, had one or two, but I don't know if they carried them in the store. I figured I'd have to go to one or two of these places on Friday after I picked up my Susie's Run packet from Fit-2-Run, if F2R didn't have any, of course.

Then, the Blue Fairy smacked me on the head and reminded me of Running Warehouse, a website that I recently learned about from DisBoards. They have great prices and lots to choose from. If you are a W.I.S.H. member, there is a great promo code, which I used. (I can't publish it publicly - don't want it to be abused!)

I ended up finding a compression sleeve by Cho-Pat that was only 15.95! It came in white or black, but (as usual) my size in the white was out of stock, so I got a large black one (as seen below). 

Nice pedicure!
I also got an Amphipod Micropack Landsport for $11.95 (Amazon's price was almost $5 more!) to hold my MP3 player and a Nathan Shadow Pak (in royal blue) for $18.95. I figure that one of the two of these will work for me, and with Running Warehouse's great FREE RETURN policy, I could get both, see which I liked and return the one I didn't like. 

I like the idea of the micropack - the small part hangs on the outside of your pants and the bigger part tucks securely inside your pants and clips tightly closed.  I'm notorious for tucking things in my pants, anyway, if I don't have a pocket, so this will be second nature to me :)

The Shadow Pak, to non-runners, is deceivingly small, but it says that it will fit a smartphone. My phone is more of a Public-Educated-Not-So-Smart phone, so it's smaller than an iPhone and should fit fine! All I need to carry is my cell, lip balm, ID, car key and mp3 player. Hopefully it will fit ME well and not bounce. There's enough of me that jiggles, I don't need any extra bounce!

The best part about ordering from Running Warehouse? FREE 2-day business delivery!  I just placed my order at about 10am, and they say that my estimated delivery will be 4/26 (Thursday)!!  That's FAST and will give me a day or two to play with the two bags and the sleeve. So, with a promo code, no tax and free delivery, my final cost was $39 for all of this!  DEAL! I just got my order confirmation and it's on it's way to me.  

I'll let you know how they all work out later!  

Sunday, April 22, 2012

Correction to Last Week's 3.01 Mile Run Walk

So, once I came down from my Yee Haw High of being so fast, I went to Map My Run to enter my time and realized that my run was only 2.94 MILES!!  I didn't take a certain street during the route, which made me miss .07 of a mile.  Grrr.

I was determined that I would do 3.1 this weekend, so back at MMR, I set up a no-fail route, basically an out-and-back from my house.  It was actually 3.6 miles, but was able to see what street was at 3.1 miles, so when I was on the return trip, I'd stop my watch at that location.

All week, I was looking forward to this run/walk.  I made sure my MP3 player was charged, made sure my clothes were clean. I got myself psyched up so that I didn't let the couch suck me in. 

It started raining Saturday afternoon and was still raining Sunday morning. Sonofabitch!  I ate breakfast and waited for the rain to stop.  I checked my email. I checked my Facebook. Around 11:30, I gave up, did some dishes and ate lunch. Once I was comfy on the couch with my Publix Cuban sub, a handful of chips, a magazine, a cat and QVC - the rain stopped.  Sonofabitch!

After lunch, I threw on my gear and headed out the door, determined to beat my 52 minutes.  I walked down our street to Waldo and veered onto the greenway. It's nice and quiet, no creepy people who talk to themselves or smokers out for a stroll (I got stuck behind that guy last week...)  I was able to get in a few bouts of running, but even with the awesome new shoes, I think my ankles and shins just can't handle the sheer mass that they are being required to move so swiftly.  I feel like I'm near a 1:2 minute run-to-walk pace, which is good, but I know I can (and will) do better.

It seemed to me that the turn-around spot took forever to reach, but at the same time, I felt like I got there really quickly. It was kind of weird. I think it's because I drive that road every weekend and it seems weird to me to be ABLE to walk (next to) a road that I usually drive on.

As I paused to drink some water at the turn-around spot, I glanced at my watch.  I think it said 33 minutes. I knew then that I wasn't going to beat my 52 minutes.  I was kind of bummed, but used it as motivation to walk faster on my walk intervals and go just two or three more steps when I was jogging.

The walk back to the greenway exit was pretty fast, partly because I was now familiar with it's length and had made 'landmarks' in my head as I passed by them.  I could see street signs through the trees, so I knew when I passed the bread store or the flea market. I could SMELL when I passed Sonny's BBQ (I think I need to do lunch there one day soon, it smelled really good!) I began to see cars through the trees turning left and right, so I knew that the red light to my street was coming soon. It made me go just a little faster.

While I waited for the light to turn green, I checked my watch again.  I was about 5-6 blocks from the end of this walk and I was already at 49 minutes.  Bummed, still, that I wouldn't break that 52 minute mark, I powered on, running when I could until I finally got to the end of that 3.1 miles. I stopped my watch and looked down...

55 Minutes.

3.1 Miles in 55 minutes.Technically faster PACE than last weekend, but I didn't beat that 52 minutes.  Here's the pace breakdown.

2.94 Miles in 52 Minutes - 17.51mm pace
3.1 Miles in 55 Minutes - 17.49mm pace

However, I still must say that it is a lot better than I was expecting (I was thinking it would have to be at least an hour) and I did get a little choked up with happiness at that 55 minutes. I crossed the road when the light changed and made my way home.

I feel some trepidation about the upcoming 5k next weekend. I have a sad feeling in my heart that I will be dead last crossing that finish line, and I will probably get the pity claps and yells, but you know what?  I will have done the most important thing- I will have CROSSED THE FINISH LINE OF MY VERY FIRST 5k.  I will not quit, I will not give up, I will give it my all and I will cross that finish line, even if I am the very last person to do so.  There is no pity to be had, for I will have finished, and right now, that is the greatest thing in the world to me.

Then I'll go to Disney World :)

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Being Frugal, but with Calories

Last week, as you know, I had to spend $110 on shoes.  It was a budget-buster for sure, but it was needed to ensure that there wasn't a bigger, joint-related budget-buster in the future.  Let's say that, after spending all of that money, we also went out for a fancy dinner on Tuesday, bought a new TV on Thursday and took a quick weekend-getaway to Disney - you'd think I was crazy!!!

Well, it's the same thing with calories.  So what if your office had cake for Secretaries Day (excuse me, Administrative Professionals Day)?  Why does that single slip-up make you feel it's okay to say "fuck it, I already screwed up" and then eat pizza and cheeseburgers for dinner the rest of the week?

If you look at calories the same way you look at money, I'd bet you would rethink a lot of what you eat.

The general recommendation for us is 2000 calories per day. That is 14,000 calories per week.  If you want to lose a pound per week, you need 3500 fewer calories per week, which is only 500 calories per day. Sure, you can starve yourself, or you can create a 500 calorie deficit with diet AND exercise.  If you burn 250 calories via daily exercise AND  you skip the 16oz Grande Vanilla Latte* from Starbucks, you have successfully created that 500 calorie loss (and probably saved a bunch of money, too!)

*Disclaimer - I don't drink coffee, so I don't even know if this IS a latte!
 However, we don't live in a perfect world and Lord knows I don't exercise every day. What I DO do, is to look at my caloric intake as a WEEKLY thing, rather than a daily thing.  Sure, we all have "oh crap, I blew my diet" days. I had one on Tuesday.  Our office celebrated Secretaries Day with cake and ice cream. I didn't go crazy, and only got ice cream, but it was still a 200-calorie splurge that I hadn't budgeted for, so it put me over my daily calorie limit.  However, because I could deal with it from then on, I ate a bit less for dinner the next few nights to compensate for that splurge.  I'm back on track with my calorie budget and didn't let a little splurge (don't call it an "oops" - that makes it seem like a bad thing) get in the way of my success.

On the flip side of this, I want to also say that, if you KNOW there will be a party coming up, or something that you want to eat that is hi-calorie, budget for it!  You know that vacation is expensive, so you budget for it. Food is the same way.  If I know that on Saturday, we are going out to eat at Cracker Barrel, I plan on eating lighter the entire week and splurging on Saturday.  It works both ways, folks.

Sunday, April 15, 2012

Shoe Shopping and Taking Them for a Spin

I did a treadmill session on Tuesday (April 10), but my legs were hurting so bad I was beginning to wonder if my spiffy new compression capris were actually to blame (the pain in my shins started where the capris ended). Hubby talked me down from my little mini-crisis and told me that he gets pain there when we walk too fast at Disney.  Okay, good, it's not the clothing's fault - it's still me...

I've been battling leg and foot pain for a while now. PF (Plantar Fasciitis) has been with me for months and months (even before I started on this journey), but the leg and knee pain were relatively new.  I decided that I had to make getting a new pair of shoes a priority.  No more treadmill til I can get to the store for professional gait testing and new shoes.

I suffered through the rest of the week, my legs and knees slowly getting better and when Friday night came along, I checked and double-checked that my sneakers were ready to go for my trip (back) to the mall.

I got to Fit-2-Run about 5 minutes after they opened and there were like 5 tiny, college-age kids with no body fat all hanging around. They all worked there. I wandered over to the sneakers, while (I'm assuming) they all played rock-paper-scissors-lizard-Spock to see which of them loses and has to help the fat girl. A cute blonde apparently lost and made her way over to me. I described my problems (legs hurt, knees hurt, supinate, PF, blah blah) and she grabs an Asiacs for me to try on. She takes me to the coolest treadmill where I can see my feet from behind and sets the treadmill for 4mph while she watches me go for about 30 seconds then played the video back in slo-mo.

Turns out what I've been doing is landing on the outsides of my feet (what I thought was supination) to compensate for the way my ankles roll inward (over-pronation).  Over-pronation is much easier to shoe, so she brought me three different pairs of sneakers to try on.  Two Brooks and a Saucony.  I thought that the Saucony was very cushy, but when I tried on the pink Brooks, it was like the heavens opened up and angels sang.

 So THIS is what a good sneaker feels like!  I tried on one Brooks on my left foot, then the pink Brooks on my right and got back on the treadmill. Both shoes fixed the over-pronation and it was a very tough decision - one was cushier, but one offered better stability.

I asked the dreaded question - how much are each of them?  The cushy ones were $130 and the pink ones were $110.  I tried to not focus on price but what each shoe would do for me and came to the conclusion that I need stability right now, until my feet learn how to run. She took them to the front register for me and told me they would be there, and feel free to browse!  I browsed for about two minutes and finally went to pay for my super-de-duper technologically advanced supersneakers.


I took my bag of hi-tech sneakers with me on a trip around the mall, honestly just wasting time until Long John Silver's opened at 11.  I went looking for the Champs sports store, but when I got to where it used to be, it was a Coldwater Creek. Hmm, I guess it's been a while since I've walked the whole mall!  The directory said it was on the far other side of the freakin' mall, down near Lane Bryant, which I had earlier talked myself out of going to.  Irony - if I'd gone to LB, I would have found Champs.

Long story short, I got to Champs and the new store was about 1/4 the size of the old store and I didn't see a single item for women in there. Granted, I just kind of slowed up as I walked by - I did see women's shoes, but seriously, WTF?  I guess next time, if I want to browse girly sports stuff, I'll have to go to Sports Authority, down the street.  Waste of time!  I decided to walk around Macy's since I was down that way, and then remembered why I never GO to Macy's, pretty much as soon as I stepped into the store. However, they do carry Dooney and Burke, so I may need to keep that in mind!  Macy's comes out with some good sales and coupons every few months, so I could possibly score a cool Dooney for a great price.

I left the mall and headed over to LJS, where I got the Sampler basket - 1 fish, 1 chicken, 3 shrimp, 2 hush puppies and Diet Coke (of course!!) I ended up only eating the proteins and the hush puppies; LJS has changed their fries and they are not anywhere near what they used to be.  Also, I didn't request crumblies like I usually do (even tho they are my crack), so no extra calories there. All in all, my lunch was only about 650 calories.  Not TOO horrible for a fast-food splurge! Luckily, there is no LJS close to my house, so I don't eat there often. I didn't feel guilty in the slightest for eating all of that! It was so gooooood.

Anyway, I did my Walmart and Publix shopping pretty quickly and headed home. I got some laundry done, some dishes done and some quality veg-on-the-couch time.  It was a good Saturday.

Sunday, I woke up and did my usual routine - take hubby to work, then curl up in bed to watch some DVR'd tv shows before getting out of bed for real.  I read my email and my Facebook, waiting for my daughter to wake up - I don't feel comfortable leaving the house for a run while she's asleep. By 10:30 I was ready to go jump on her bed to wake her up, I was going stir-crazy, wanting to go for my run!

However, she was up by 11 and I headed out the door.  I had already mapped my run (LOVE!) and had a pretty easy route to follow.  The majority of my 3 miles was on sidewalks, but one leg of it was a nice greenway with benches and water fountains. I definitely plan to hit up that greenway more often, even if I just go back and forth to get my miles in!

I rounded the last corner and headed for home. It had gotten very hot outside and I was sweating like a pig! I ran the last block to the house and clicked my stopwatch off at 52 minutes!  I just did a "5k" in 52 minutes!! (It was actually 3.01 miles, but who's counting?!?)  That is a 17 minute mile!  Only 1 minute off of the required 16 minute mile for Princess.

My goal for Susie's run in 2 weeks is to NOT FINISH LAST.  That's all I want.  Judging from other 5k results I've seen, 52 minutes is last. If I can get down to 50 minutes, I will feel more comfortable, because I know that the competitive spirit in me will give me the extra oomph to be second-to-last!

Sunday, April 8, 2012

Easter Run and The Dreaded BEFORE Pictures

I never took any!

Before we get to that, let's back up to that morning. The weather was gorgeous, so I decided that instead of being cooped up in my bedroom on the treadmill, I'd actually GO OUTSIDE!

I put on my spiffy new compression capris and the teal top. The capris were actually ALMOST one size too big!  The waist was a bit loose, and I had to use the interior drawstring to tighten it a bit. That was weird!  The tee was just about perfect (I'm still retaining a Volkswagen, so I've bloated out to almost a full size bigger...) I tucked my cell phone into the little pocket in the back and headed out the door for an 'out and back' from my house to a major road about a mile away, giving me a total of 2 miles.

The day was gorgeous, not too hot, but after I got 3 or 4 blocks down the road, I realized that perhaps I shouldn't be doing this today - the winds changed direction and smoke from local wildfires began blowing my way!

The Caribbean, Olive and 8Mile are the local wildfires
It wasn't too bad, so I kept going. I would run 'from this pole to that pole' or 'this mailbox to that sign' until I was running about as much as I was walking. Running outside is very different from running on a treadmill!  I'm going to have to make sure I practice outside as much as possible, if I want to be ready for running in the Princess.

Anyway, by the time I make it to Waldo Rd (the big road and my turn around point), I looked at my watch and saw that about 16 minutes had passed. I must have not started the stopwatch correctly, that seemed wrong.  I turned around and headed home, missing a red light and having to stop for about a minute or two, which I took advantage of and stretched my legs.

When I got home, I looked at my stop watch, which said 34 minutes.  I looked at the microwave and it jibed up with my watch.  I DID 2 MILES IN 34 MINUTES!!!  That is a 17-minute mile, people!  1 minute off the race-required 16-minute mile!  I was stoked, so happy! I was also sweaty, tired and thirsty.  I grabbed a huge cup of water and headed to my bedroom to change.

When I got into my room, a though dawned on me.  I never took before photos when I started this journey. I've since had two separate people (who don't know each other in the least) tell me that I've 'got it goin on!' and that I've 'lost a fuck-ton of weight'.  My husband says he sees it, but for me - once a fat girl, always a fat girl.  It's very hard for me to see it. I decided that, before I got changed, I'd take some photos.

I have to be very clear on one thing:  In my before photo, I was sucking it in. In my current photos, I had to deliberately NOT suck it in, to get an accurate reflection of what my body looks like. As a woman, it is so hard to not suck it in!

December 2011 - About 225 Pounds
I don't know why I didn't smile.

I could fly away with those wings!
Side view - much smaller gut
Run Disney tech tee I recently bought
Back of Run Disney tech tee


I have a dilemma regarding this RunDisney tee. I bought it to train in.  It doesn't fit (it's so much scarier in person!).  Should I return it to get a men's version (that will fit my boobs and gut) or should I hang it on my closet (like in the 'soon' photo) and use it as motivation? If I hang it, I probably won't fit into it for at least 2 months. If I get the men's version, I can wear it NOW.  I'm so torn!  If I could find an extra $30, I could have both :)  Maybe I'll think about that a bit....

 So anyway, that was my Sunday. It was the first Sunday since I started (I think) that I ran. I'll keep it up as long as weather permits, but in Florida, summer comes early and it brings disgusting humidity. 

Saturday, April 7, 2012

My Saturday trip to the mall

I was going to the mall so that I could go to Fit 2 Run and get my new sneakers. Halfway to the mall, I realized that I was wearing Teva sandals and forgot my sneakers! DOH! I went anyway and discovered two things - 1) they have about 4 treadmills to check you out on and 2) I'm still too fat to fit into any clothing they carry.  The largest size I saw was LARGE.  I'm not there yet, so I didn't even bother to keep looking at everything they had. I saw SPIbelts and GU, which I'm discovering as I research running, but I didn't buy anything.

After Fit, I went down to Bath and Body Works to grab a few deals and freebies - I had a Q for a FREE mini shower gel or body lotion and an internet Q for a free sleeve when you purchased a hand soap.  I got all three of these for $5.83!  What a deal.

I successfully avoided pizza, chicken nuggets, chinese food and french fries at the food court, Auntie Anne's AND Cinnabon on my way back to JCP.  WIN!

My trip to JCP was two-fold:  try on some smaller-sized clothing and purchase a new item for training. I pulled a Misses (not WOMENS) size 18 slim-leg trouser, a few XL tops, a 16w jean and a size 16 dress.  The result of these choices really blew me away!  Both XL tops fit - as long as I didn't eat or breathe.  Considering I've purchased the same brand/style top in a 2X, I consider this a huge win. Also, considering I'm retaining a Volkswagen, thanks to my time of the month.  After a few more weeks of walking/running, I'll be back to buy that shirt!  The slim-leg pants fit perfectly, and they were on clearance for $8, so I put them in the pile to buy. The jeans WERE TOO BIG IN THE LEGS!!!  I pulled them on and they pooched out like jodhpurs! I did a little happy dance, then took them off.  Finally, I put on the dress... I've shied away from dresses pretty much all my adult life because of my belly.  I'm an apple gal, and just about every dress I've ever tried on makes me look 6 months pregnant. Empire waists are the WORST! The waist is between big boobs and big tummy, bleck! This dress however, was just about perfect.  It was a deep v-neck, with a ruched waist and a faux belt in the front. It hit at just the right leg area and made me look pretty. The reason it fit so nicely?  All the walking and running was whittling away my fat tummy!

So, why didn't I buy it?  Well, it was $35, which is never a huge sum of money, but it felt too fancy for work and not really anything I'd wear out on the (very) rare occasions that we go out to dinner. I figured that, while it made me feel good, it would be a waste of money.  I decided that I'd rather spend that money elsewhere. I put everything except the pants back (and 2 sweaters that were super-clearanced to $4 each, that I was going to stash away for Christmas 2012 for myself), and headed over to the Activewear Section!

It was only my 2nd time in this section of the store and it all was still so new to me. Mesh tees, tech tees, yoga pants, what is all this?  However, I knew that I wanted another tech tee like I already have and a pair of compression pants. Maybe if I have compression, I will have less jiggle!  I ended up with an aqua tech tee, a gorgeous purple tee that says it 'actively cools' you (we'll see) and a grey pair of compression capris, all pretty much for the cost of the dress. (Okay, maybe like $10 more than the dress...) I paid for all my goodies and headed out the door, satisfied with my purchases. I couldn't wait to wear them tomorrow!

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

What's on the horizon?

Last week, I was pretty busy getting things ready for my mom's 60th birthday party picnic shindig, so I didn't do anything fabulous or spectacular. I did Sunday, Tuesday and Thursday on the treadmill, but ended up skipping the rest of the week. I had food to prep, stuff to go buy, LOTS of stuff to do, so while I didn't get in an actual run, I certainly got a workout!

Her party was really nice and she loved her cake. It was great to see my little niece and nephew, even if they are not so little any more!

I headed back to work on Monday, realizing that I had no race or walk to plan for, and my weekends were free until May, when we were doing a weekend trip to WDW for the Flower & Garden Festival.  I was actually kind of bummed there were no walks or races!!

After I signed up for the MoD race, I had been thinking that it was a good way to get a few walks and races under my belt before the Princess, but hadn't *really* been looking or planning for any! So yesterday afternoon, I dug around and found a few for April, May and July.  I ended up signing up for Susie's Run! a 5k Run, Walk or Stroll on April 28 at Westwood Middle School.

First Annual Run to benefit Spinal Cord Injury Research
 The route is a 2 lap, wheelchair friendly route, that rolls through the tree shaded areas surrounding Westwood Middle School and Westside Park. The run, walk, or roll will finish in the front parking lot of Westwood Middle School with a block party! Music and food will be provided.

When you register, you also get a tee shirt and a patch! I love swag!

I hope the shirt I get looks like a cartoon!

This is the patch - where shall I put it?

There are some great sponsors for this event, including Publix, Fit2Run, Gainesville Running & Walking, RoadID and D'Lites Emporium!

I'm hoping that I can do this in ONE HOUR or less and not kill myself. It would be great to do it in 45 MINUTES, but I don't think I'm there yet. If I can keep a 19-minute mile pace, I can finish in less than one hour. If I can keep a 141/2-minute pace, I can finish in 45 minutes. As of today, I can NOT keep a 14 minute pace.


I've got a little over 3 weeks to train for this (24 days, actually), and while I don't know if I'll meet that 45 minute goal, I know I'll finish, and that is what counts right now!