Thursday, May 31, 2012
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
I did it. I did what I said I would never have the desire to do. I did something that I once described as, "ridiculously boring" when I pondered the idea of having to run any race that would take me over 2 hours to complete. Well, eating crow never tasted so good.
My parents and Fred's mom all came up with us. I know that aside from Fred, my parents are my biggest fans. Especially my Mom. She really is. This was abundantly clear to me when she hugged me the night before and said, "Don't worry about being first. You'll do great no matter what." At which point I just cracked up because clearly my mother has not been following my short little running career as close as I'd thought. I just laughed and told her my goal was to finish and enjoy every minute of it.
The race was an incredible experience that I will always cherish. Even though it started at 4am...
So, yeah, 4 am. Fred and I woke up after a not-so-restful 4 hours of sleep, to get ready before catching our shuttle bus at 4:50am. We took that bus to the high school in Traverse City where we immediately boarded another bus bound for the start of the Bayshore Half Marathon. The race took place on a peninsula. The Half started out at the end of it and headed in to finish at the high school. The Full started at the high school and then went out to the peninsula and back.
At about 5:45am, we were dropped off in a field by the start line. The race didn't start until 7:30am so we had some time to kill which we pretty much spent by freezing. It was in the low 50's. The event coordinators did however provide us with water and music to freeze to. Fred was so cold that he pulled his arms into his shirt which was amusing enough but when he began dancing the armless 'lawn mower' and 'sprinkler', I almost peed myself.
When the race began at 7:30, the sun was shining bright. The weather was perfect with cool temps and beautiful sunshine. The course ran along the shore line so that there was a great view of the bay and Lake Michigan. Amazingly serene.
Me: Hi. Is something wrong?
Mom: No. I was just calling to see where you are.
Me: (In my head) Uh..... seriously? What came out of my mouth though was: "Well I'm kind of running a half marathon here... can I let you go?"
Mom: Sure. I'll talk to you later. Love you!
See, Biggest. Fan. Ever. I love you, Mom.
I wasn't expecting to see Fred until the end. His pace is much faster than mine. However, he experienced some serious knee issues at mile 3 and by mile 7 he was having some pretty horrific pain. He pushed through, stopping to stretch or walking when it got too bad. When I caught up to him I knew it wasn't good. I felt awful for him knowing how disappointed he was about his knee. It had never bothered him this bad during training. Serious bummer that it did it during the race. I felt crushed for him.
Our friend, Tyler, who was a Featured Runner a while back, rode his bike along the course during the race. A very nice surprise. It was pretty cool to have someone cheering us along the way.
I felt really good throughout the whole race. Just soaking it all up. My foot bothered me a little around mile 9 but I pushed through. I took a few pictures during the race and stopped for water and GU but never paused for more than a few seconds. I kept a pretty steady pace staying between 11:00 and 12:00. I stopped once to untangle my iPod which had managed to get all messed up and kept skipping. I remembered to pause my Garmin though. I pushed really hard the last mile and finished with a strong sprint.
Once I crossed the finish line I grabbed some water and walked a little bit along the fenced in path. I stopped to drink my water and then remembered to stop my Garmin. When I looked up from my Garmin, I saw my family standing in the bleachers across from me, all waving like maniacs. It was the best sight ever. My emotions overwhelmed me and my eyes filled with tears.
This amazing life moment was made ever more memorable by another female runner who quickly walked toward me and said, "Block me. I have to pee so bad and I can't wait any longer." right before she stepped behind me and dropped trow. I tried to spread my running skirt out but really there's just not a lot of material there. I think I probably let her down with my incompetent blocking abilities. I think she was too relieved to notice though. I hope. If you're reading this, sorry, I really tried my best.
At the end of the path I was given my medal and then congratulated by Tyler. Which was another great surprise. I was glad that he had stuck around to congratulate us. Very cool, Tyler, thank you!
Then, my calves exploded. Never before, I mean NEVER have I experienced such excruciating pain in my legs. My calves hurt so bad. I never had any pain during training so I know it must have just been the last mile of really pushing myself. I didn't know if I could keep walking let alone standing. I bent over into a forward fold and tried to stretch them out. It helped a little but now my foot was hurting again too. For crying out loud, I went from 35 to 90 in about two minutes. My chip time was 2:35 and my Garmin time was 2:33. I'm guessing I finished around 2:32 or so since I forgot to stop my Garmin at the finish.
Fred was able to finish the race running. I know he is disappointed with his time, his knee, and the overall experience of his first half marathon. I'm still very proud that between January and now he has lost over 50 pounds, taken his health and fitness to a whole new level, and completed his first half marathon. The big picture, babe, it's all good.
We all headed back to our hotel after the race. We stayed at the Grand Traverse Resort. (Very nice, and they have a Starbuck's in the lobby! Awesomeness!) We showered then went to eat at one of the resort restaurants. Then we went back to our room and declared it nap time for everyone. We hit the pool with the little ones after nap which was quite the challenge since we had no energy and were incredibly stiff and sore. Looking back, I'm probably lucky I didn't drown. Our kids didn't seem to notice any of that though.
Between his knee and my legs and feet, we were quite the pair hobbling around the next day. It really was quite comical.
I'm already making plans to do it again next year though. I totally get why this race sold out in 3 hours. Traverse City is beautiful, the race course is beautiful, the beaches are beautiful. There's practically a winery on every corner. So yeah, it's my kind of town.
Huge love and thanks to my family, friends, and everyone who offered support, advice, encouragement, and congratulations!!!
Major 'thank you' to my Fred. For everything.
Peace, Love, Happiness!
|Brinklee loves the Sheraton!|
|The twins...father and son :)|
All tuckered out from our adventures!
Thursday, May 24, 2012
|Cathy and her adorable girls!|
|Cathy running during the Chicago Marathon|
|Cathy's supportive family!|
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Wednesday, May 23, 2012
Monday, May 21, 2012
I've been training both mentally and physically. Now that it's down to just a handful of days, my nerves are trying to get the best of me. Not going to happen though. I'm kind of stubborn that way. My inner bad-ass is smirking shamelessly at my inner anxiety.
Thursday, May 17, 2012
Every runner has a story. At Sexy Mother Runner, we believe that sharing those stories is a great way to share the gift of running
literally changed her life around in every aspect!
You won't want to miss reading her story!
also quite smoking, quit drinking heavily, and started hitting those curve balls right back to center field.
Wednesday, May 16, 2012
|This is a photo while "Steppin' Eleven" |
was on a training run together!
|This the one and only Bob Michael Bridge |
that our group crossed not once, but twice now!
|A wonderful gift of wheat grass from the|
other Building Steam 11 minute pace group!
Oftentimes after our runs we head out for dinner, drinks, and socializing! This is a picture of our group with a couple of other Building Steam groups at Kelleher’s after we tackled the Bob Michael bridge for the first time. We chatted it up and even my husband and kids came. It was so nice to hang out with everyone.
Tuesday, May 15, 2012
This morning's juice tasted especially good. I mixed it up a bit and added a few new twists, mango and lemon.
4 Cups Baby Spinach
4 Stalks of Celery
5 Full Size Carrots
2 Small Zucchini
3 Small Green Apples
1 Pink Lady Apple
1/2 Lemon with Rind
1 Mango - Mangos have a hard center, I sliced the mango first and used only the softer slices.
This made 32oz of juice. My husband and I had 16 oz. each. The lemon gave it a really nice fresh quality and thanks to the apples and mango it wasn't tart. The mango was ripe and needed to be eaten so that is why I decided to add it into my juice this morning. It was fine but because it was so ripe, it produced a mush along with the juice. I've had this happen with over-ripe pears as well. If you juice them before they get really ripe they juice much better.
Peace, love, happiness!
Friday, May 11, 2012
Fast-forward about 6 months, I had switched jobs, took a desk job at 40 hours a week, quit smoking, and was in a steady relationship and we bought a house. Sounds ideal right? Not really. The day we moved into the house I realized I couldn't fit into one of my favorite dresses, I couldn't even zip it up. I had nothing to wear, and was far from unpacked, but had my Grandparents 50th wedding anniversary party to go to within an hour. I was very upset to say the least. Believe it or not though, it still didn't quite hit me.
Fast forward another 6 months, I was in the shower and was scrubbing my back, I realized I had developed back rolls. I figured that was a good time to weigh myself. I weighed in at 186 pounds. I had gained over 50 pounds within a year. I knew I had to do something to change. I was so out of shape I couldn't walk up my stairs without being out of breath. For someone who was always pretty active, and had never been over weight, this was hard. I was very depressed.
I was invited by a few girls I knew but didn't really know to try running. I hadn't ran since high school, and even then I wasn't a great runner, probably not even a good runner by most standards. I couldn't run half a mile at a pace most people walk faster than. I still tried that day. I even had to pull over driving home because I had dry heaves.... They invited me to come out again the next day. I begrudgingly got out of bed again at 5:00 in the morning ( I was and still am not a morning person) to go try to run again. I was so sore I couldn't believe it. So I met them, results were the same, but I was excited, the girls were talking about running a 5K. I had run/ walked 3 miles that day so I thought, hmm sounds interesting. So I signed up for one.
Three days after my first attempt at running I was standing at the starting line of my first 5K. The gun went off, we started. It was late June, it was so hot, and there were HILLS!! What?!?! Hills? Where we run there aren't any hills? I didn't realize there were hills in 5Ks?!?!? I was determined to make it, I ran at my own pace, was passed by some walkers even, but I finished that first 5K in over 45 minutes.
I continued to run that summer and ran 7 races. One 5 mile race, and 6 5Ks. I was passed by runners, I was passed by strollers, I was passed by young I was passed by older. BUT I finished every race I started, and got faster every time. Around winter I had basically stopped running, I ran Thanksgiving morning that year, but then didn't pick up my shoes again until March of last year (2011). I was engaged to be married, the weather was getting warm again, so I figured it was time.
I ran once or twice, but then my life changed drastically. My relationship had been sliding downward for quite some time. The date set for the wedding was quickly approaching and I was taking stock of my life and the choices I had made in it. I realized getting married to that man was not the right thing to do. We had not been happy for a long, long time. I called off the wedding, and through a very messy breakup, my two girls and I moved out of our first house, and into a little apartment. Through all of the stress of the changes in our lives, I had lost about 15 pounds. It took about 2 months for us to move out after I called off the wedding.
During this time, I started dating who I affectionately call my running coach, or my trainer. We now live together, with 4 girls, (three being pre teens and one is a 4 year old), I work part time for a local newspaper, and go to school for my associates in accounting full time. In the mean time, we coach basketball, and softball, and find time to run, and play softball.
Since November, 2011, I have been running regularly, and am training for a half marathon. I currently average about 23-24 miles per week. I have officially as of 04/01/2012 lost over 50 pounds. I had to teach myself portion control and to eat breakfast. I used the My Fitness Pal app on my iPhone to track calories for about 90 days. Doing this I taught myself the correct amounts of food to eat, and every once in a while I still pull it out to check certain foods, and to make better choices, especially when eating out. Being busy can not be an excuse, even the busiest of people have to take time to take care of themselves. I have learned that. When I can I do yoga, and I love to go to Zumba when I can. But there is always a way to find time to run. I am far from perfect, I still love ice cream, especially soft ice cream, they know my name at ice cream shops in the area. And I certainly have my over eating days or terrible food days once in a while. We need those, well, I need those.
As of now, I have improved my 5K time from my very first 5K to my most recent, by over 17 minutes. I have improved my 5 mile time by over 21 minutes.
I have a long way to go with my running still, but it's my me time, it's my motivation time, and it's my sanity time. I have an amazing support group in my family, my children and the love of my life. He is an amazing runner, and helps to keep me going when I hurt and don't want to.
So I plan to continue to grow as a person and as a runner.
The most important thing I've learned with my weight loss, is that one day of bad eating won't ruin you, that's not the time to give up, not even two days.
Keep trying, every day there is room for improvement. When you see no change on the scale or weight gains on the scale and you KNOW you have been doing everything the "right" way, don't get discouraged. There were plenty of times I would see increases on the scale, or I would go months without a weight loss. My body took it's time to shed the pounds, but now that I've gone from a 12/14 to a size 4/6 I see the difference. I could feel my clothes fitting differently before I saw the results on the scale. Don't let the scale get you down, but do keep a watchful eye on our body and your weight so as not to wake up 50 pounds heavier a year later.
Wednesday, May 9, 2012
Since finishing up the Select 55 Weight Loss Challenge in March I have only lost one pound. My total weight loss since January is 24 pounds and holding. I am glad that I have maintained because that has not been easy for me in the past due to my insulin resistance and undying love for cake. Probably more the cake part... However, I would like to move forward and not just maintain.
I have had several people tell me that they gained weight during half marathon/marathon training. So, again, I am glad I have maintained. I would just be more glad if I was still losing. The only reason I can give, and trust me I've tried to come up with something else, is that I'm not doing what I need to be doing.
My husband and I drastically changed our diets since the beginning of the year. So now instead of say a Five Guys burger with cheese, sauteed onion, sauteed mushrooms, lettuce and mayo... we eat grilled portobello mushrooms on a whole wheat bun with tomato, baby spinach leaves and homemade organic guacamole. I'm still eating the right food, (most of the time) I'm just eating too much of it and I'm not tracking it anymore. Not cool.
I refuse to get too down on myself though because that's just not fun. Plus, I know it's okay to slip up. Sometimes it feels like there may even be people just watching and waiting for you to slip up so they can say, "See, I knew it wouldn't last." Ever feel that way? I do. Whether that is really the case or not though, you just can't let it be your issue.
Starting today, and no I don't want to but know I need to, I will start tracking my food again. I used www.MyFitnessPal.com before and really like it. It's very easy to use. Several foods are already in the system so you just start typing and they pop up. It also allows you to enter your daily calorie goal and any exercise you did. Then it recalculates your calories so that you are getting enough in regards to how much exercise you are doing.
Now, my other issue. First half marathon coming up. I'm training and it's going great. This weekend is a long run and I'm debating what distance to run. Should I just run 12 miles like the training plans say? Or should I run 13 miles and not have to worry about hitting a mental wall the day of the race, wondering if I can actually run 13.1 miles not having done it before?
Suggestions and advice, please?
Peace, love, happiness!