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My HM#3 Recap - Buffalo Creek HM

Monday, October 17, 2011

Eighteen months ago I would have never imagined writing a half marathon recap blog – now I’m writing my third in 6 months’ time. Yep, me, Britt who couldn’t pass the one mile run on middle school fitness test and couldn’t run between two lamp posts five years ago (maybe even 3 years ago if I thought hard enough of an example in which I tried).

I signed up for the Buffalo Creek Half Marathon only about 3 weeks ago. When I finished my second in mid-Sept, I figured I had a good amount of time to recover from that one and train for this one. I also saw the elevation map (started at about 1300ft and went down to 780 or something) plus it was a rails-to-trails course so I thought “softer ground”. Well, good intentions were blown away with yucky weather on the weekend I was supposed to do my long run in between the races. Also, I slacked on a few of my training runs throughout the week. Still, having run 13 miles a few weeks before, I wasn’t extremely concerned. Leading up to the race I kept thinking “I can always walk”.

I could tell I was so much more laid back about this than other races. Heck at about 8:30 the night before I said to Bonnie – we haven’t even printed out directions yet. (She had, of course, since she’s more of a planner than I am.) I went to bed not 100% sure what I was even going to wear. Other races I have the outfits laid out nicely. I woke up to 48 degrees with a real feel of about 32. Hmm, how does one dress for that? I opted for a short sleeved shirt with the arm sleeves, a long sleeved shirt over top and then long pants. We get to the course for packet pick-up and it’s as windy as can be. I began doubting my clothes choice thinking I should have worn a jacket. We had to park one place (and get our packets) and they bused us to the start. Luckily, there, they had a well-organized bag drop off to put my sweatshirt in and a heated building to wait in for the start. We ran into (like we do in even the busiest of races) Lynn (LYNNANN43) and her son, Kevin, in the building. We got to chat while waiting for the start.

The bus driver said there were 850 registrants, so it was small for a half marathon. Unfortunately, it felt like thousands when it’s a big group start and no start map (what kind of half only has a clock time?). We’re off and headed to the trail. I decided going in that my goal was to finish, I didn’t even really have that little voice in the back of my head saying “PR”. I wanted to try and enjoy myself. The first mile had a guy yelling out times – he said 10 something. A little fast for us but it was only the first mile. By mile two the wind calmed down and I warmed up, pulling off my sleeves. I kept both shirts on and was a good temperature the rest of the race.

The trail wasn’t as smooth as the ones I’m used to but it was nicer than asphalt. It was beautiful to run with the orange, red and yellow leaved trees. We were cruising along and I was feeling pretty good. Bonnie wears a Garmin so I’d check every once in a while that we were pacing OK (at one point I made her slow down.) After doing some research after my last half, I realized that I have IT band issues, which makes the outside of my knee hurt. I was so laid back about it all, I stopped 3-4 times to stretch my leg to try and prevent it from hurting. I think the stretching helped in that my legs were a lot better than last two (still hurt a little but not excruciating like last time.) At mile 10 the time reader said 1:53. Doing some quick math I realized that we were on pace to get under 2:30. Well, I think I wish I hadn’t heard him because instead of pushing for a PR, I decided that I could walk more than I probably should have. This race my breathing felt heavy, like I couldn’t get enough air. The problem with starting to walk all of sudden was that starting up the running again really is an effort. I was having trouble finding a slower pace that wasn’t a walk – I know it’s mental but I couldn’t figure it out. I wasn’t that worried (although Bonnie wouldn't run without me, so I felt a little bad about walking so much).

JOPAPGH warned us about an incline at the end. Well, I know inclines and that was HILLS! We left the trail at the end and went up one ramp to the street’s incline that led to a bridge. That sure was walked! We ran most of the last mile into the town of Freeport. Happy to see the end, we finished strong and got in under 2:33 (11:35pace). I’ll take that since our last race was 2:32. Looking at the Garmin we were at under an 11min/mile at mile 5 and about 11:18 at 10 miles. So, it was those last three miles that really slowed down our time. I guess that’s where the lack of training comes in – again, I’m happy I finished and had a decent time for me. I have plenty of time to get under a 2:30!

It was a weird race in that it was smaller and on a trail – it almost didn’t feel like a race since we were slower and not part of a pack. Almost felt like a regular long run (since we do a lot of long runs on trails) which is good in there was little pressure and probably a little bad in there was little pressure. The worst part of the race – no medals at the end. I need to provide that feedback. I think the entrance fee was only $40 – I’d rather pay $50 and get some bling … but that’s just me!

On my iPod play list is Lady Gaga’s “Born This Way”. I think it’s a great self-affirming song in many ways but when I hear it when running I remind myself that I’m was born this way – I’m a runner. I may not be a fast runner and that’s OK, “God doesn’t make mistakes.” This half marathon kind of reminds me of the song lyrics. While there is excitement in getting PRs and I don’t find anything wrong with wanting to keep reaching higher, some times taking a few steps back and being happy with who I am and how I ran the race is enough because as Gaga says “I’m on the right track, baby, I was born this way.”

Thanks to all my Spark Friends who have helped me along in this journey. Your encouragement at 1 mile, 3 miles, 6 miles, 8.1 miles and 13.1miles has been unwavering. If you ever doubt you can do something remember me (and many other Sparkers) who was that middle school kid who got a stitch in her side in a 100 yard dash who now proudly has a 13.1 magnet on the back of her car. If I can do something that I set my mind to, so can you!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ILOVEMALI 11/17/2012 6:30PM

    so glad that I dropped by and read your blog today! emoticon

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2BEABETTERME 10/23/2012 4:17PM

    I'm sorry I missed this post! I have signed up for my first half. It is not until the end of August...I long way off; but, I am still looking forward to it. With as off as my exercise has been lately, I need that much time to train.

Awesome time! You'll be under 2:30 soon!

I love Born this Way (I like the Glee version best), I just listened to it this morning.

Keep up the great work...you are inspiring!
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SBHPATRICK 10/18/2011 11:56PM

    Awesome, awesome, AWESOME! Congratulations on another rock star half marathon performance! I'm bummed for you that there wasn't a medal. Maybe you should buy yourself a necklace and consider it your medal for this third HM. Then you can take a picture of all three and update your SparkPage background. :)

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BILLALEX70 10/18/2011 9:38PM

    Way to go Britt!

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JOPAPGH 10/18/2011 9:31PM

    You did well, especially with that wind. You will be under 2:30 in no time.

Guess my point was it was up, not down near the end. I ran Buffalo Creek last year and had no idea that was coming and it really knocked me out.

If you want hills, I can take you on some runs around the East End. From 40th St. to Children's Hospital really gets the heart going...

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2WHEELER 10/18/2011 9:13PM

    Congratulations!! John has some funny ideas about inclines--I wouldn't trust his judgment emoticon I've run that half and I agree with you--it's a real hill. So glad that you enjoyed it; I hope to get back out there--I loved running on the trail. See you at JASR. emoticon

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CAROLANN27 10/18/2011 7:20PM

    I loved reading your blog. You rock!

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BE-THE-CHANGE 10/18/2011 7:56AM

    Like I said the other day, you have come so far, Britt! I am so happy for you and proud of you!
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JONEIL513 10/17/2011 10:11PM

    Great job! I'm glad you enjoyed yourself and had a good run. You have come so far and i'm glad you are so aware of that fact! Its amazing the things we can do when we put our mind to it. Congrats on your third HM! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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JEN-LOVES-LIFE 10/17/2011 10:03PM

    Thanks so much for posting this. You did an awesome job! I am so proud of you and Bonnie. I have a lot of the same issues. I have a lot more to learn about running and about my body.

You are awesome and I appreciate your honesty here. It helps me to be honest with myself and think things though all the way.

Congrats on HM #3!! That is one long race and sure is tough, but you did it! WooHoo!

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BOBBYD31 10/17/2011 9:57PM

    congrats! you did awesome with your race, i am so very impressed with your progress and accomplishments. so is there a 26.2 in your future????? are you doing the marshal mangler in november???

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DARK_CINDERELLA 10/17/2011 9:52PM

    I cannot even begin to tell you how awesome this is and how awesome you are! You are such an inspiration. emoticon

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Half Marathon #2 Completed

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

After our May half marathon, Bonnie and I thought we should do somewhere for another one in the fall. Looking at schedules and costs, Erie's Half Marathon on Presque Isle seemed like a good choice.

We went up late Saturday morning and went right to pick up our packets. I've never really been to Erie (maybe twice in college to visit a friend) so it was nice to see such a pretty place like Presque Isle. Packet pick-up was quick and easy and they had three vendors (I think the local running stores) with small tents. Funny how we bought more at those three tents than we did at the huge Pittsburgh expo in May. Found long running pants for 50% off. Then some capris that were a decent price. They were so comfy that we went back and got a second pair. Best purchase of the day, though, arm sleeves/wamers! Plain black but only $10! Came in handy the next morning when it was 50 degrees and windy!.

The half marathon started at 7:30 but they wanted cars in the lots by 6am...that's a long time to wait but being the rule followers that we are, we got there about 5:55. It was nice that Erie is so small, we got up around 5 and were there by 5:55. As we sat in the car eating our bagels with peanut butter cars are still pulling in at 6:30! Must be hard for the race organizers trying to set up the course!

The race was about the size I expected - I think the half marathon (runners) was about 800 people, then there were full and walking half participants. So it was a nice size but not totally overwhelming. The course was around Presque Isle which is a peninsula into Lake Erie. So the scenery was pretty with a lot of trees and water! We had gone on a boat tour after packet pick-up and the guide said there was over 700 species of plants/vegetation on PI, so you can imagine it's lushness. It may be worth going back up in a couple of weeks to see the fall colors.

The course was relatively flat which was nice. I was feeling really, really good for the first 8-9 miles thinking it was going really well. It was nice that they had water/Gatorade stations at every mile, so I started looking forward to those thinking "another one down". Somewhere around mile 10 or 11 my legs really started to hurt. I wish I knew why since they don't feel that way on long runs. Granted, I was going a bit faster than long runs but not that much faster. It could be a surface issue, remembering an article Coach Nancy posted a few weeks ago. It was mostly asphalt with some concrete (I think that's what Bonnie said) and my long runs are generally on crushed limestone trails. Shorter runs are on the sidewalks, so is that cement? Anyway, I tried moving off the road into the grass for a little bit but then was afraid of the uneveness of the grass. Once my legs started bothering me my mental "toughness" started to fade. I doubted I was going to finish and again was getting bummed that I wasn't going to hit my 2:30 goal. One thing, I can say though is I didn't walk. Well, I walked a few steps thinking I was just going to walk and then said no, just run slowly. So I did. My last three miles were at about an 12 minute mile so I guess it could have been a lot worse. I finished strong and I am happy about that. Time was 2:32 and an 11:36 min/mile pace.

Crossed the finish line, grabbed my medal and then the real pain in my thighs! Gosh, I don't remember them feeling that way before. Stretching, walking, sitting, nothing really seemed to help. They were passing out chocolate milk amongst other goodies and that may have helped somewhat. We didn't stay at the after party too much because I was getting cold (and the one thing they didn't have was the foil blankets!). So we walked back to the car trying to get the pain to subside a little bit.

So number two in the books which I am proud of. It was an improved time but my mind is downplaying that a little because the courses were totally different since Pittsburgh's had a bunch of hills (although with hills come downhills which can help pick up time). I basically ran for 13.1 miles which is a first. I'm learning that if I stick with it, I can do it. I just need to work on my mental game a little.

We're comtemplating another one on October 15th. 11 miles or so is on crushed limestone so maybe that would be good for my legs. Although, it's a lot of downhill. Oh decisions, decisions. Maybe I have to go in thinking any time is a good time since I'd be doing 2 so close together (for me, anyway).

This weekend is Pittsburgh's The Great Race - we're doing the 5K. We got a 5K PR two weekends ago but I do think we're going to push too hard this weekend and just enjoy the race. Our legs will probably thank us :)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MHANE02 9/23/2011 9:36AM

    Congrats on your 2nd HM. Good luck this Sunday at the Great Race

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BE-THE-CHANGE 9/22/2011 9:02AM

    You are awesome, Britt! Angela and I were talking about when we first met you and how you were just starting. You have come SUCH a long way!
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WONDERJUL 9/21/2011 11:13AM

    emoticon on a race well run! Sounds like a pretty place to run. I hope your legs are feeling better--I imagine they are. Keep it up!

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KAREN_NY 9/20/2011 9:28PM

    CONGRATULATIONS!!! Must be feelin' groovy!!!

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SBHPATRICK 9/20/2011 7:53PM

    Congratulations on a great race! It's awesome that you ran the whole thing!

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CAROLANN27 9/20/2011 5:58PM

    HI Britt,

Love your background! Your account of the race is so interesting. I still marvel at how far you have come with the running!!

Carol

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BOBBYD31 9/20/2011 2:00PM

    congrats!!! yes the surface difference will make a difference in you legs, i am sure that is why yoyu had issues. your time was close to where you wanted it and faster than the last which is great! buff creek is nice but i would advise going out and training on it once or twice, there is some small up hills at the end which you legs will fight at first. good luck at the great race

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BRIAN36 9/20/2011 1:37PM

    Could it be the Buffalo Creek half you are referring to next month? You'd really like that run. The trail is so beautiful at the time. I'm registered. Let me know if you go for sure. We could do lunch afterward!

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LUV4CHOCOLATE 9/20/2011 1:26PM

    Good job!! I want to run JASR next year (my birth town) -- but it will have to be a destination race for me since I live in Florida. We will see!

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EATUZA 9/20/2011 1:03PM

    Congratulations on a great accomplishment! I'm currently training for my #3 but the first two were several years ago so I'm sloooooow at getting ready for this one! You go girl!

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JONEIL513 9/20/2011 12:20PM

    You did great! I don't know anything about running but I hope your legs feel better in your next races.

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LYNNANN43 9/20/2011 12:14PM

    You are my Hero, Miss Britt!!! emoticon

I'm SOOOOOO proud of you!!!!!!!!

P.S. How sad I wasn't there to take pics of you & Bonnie!

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SKINNYPOWELL1 9/20/2011 11:30AM

    Loved reading your story, thanks for sharing. I am nervous about my upcoming first half-marathon in 50 days, but your story really lifted me up today. Congrats on your 2nd race and wish you the best with all your future running endeavors, after all we are always looking for the next race, lol.

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PASTAFARIAN 9/20/2011 11:27AM

    I've been wondering about arm warmers too! Why not just wear a long-sleeve shirt?

BTW, I bet the leg pain is solely due to your small increase in speed. (Hey, if it was easier to go a tiny bit faster, we all would! Repeat logic until you are running at the speed of light.)

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KGLOVER71 9/20/2011 10:54AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

So you liked the arm warmers? I've been wondering about those.

It's SOOOO much about the mental game, isn't it? You have to give yourself credit where credit is due. You ran 13 miles! You are awesome.

It sounds gorgeous. I love traveling to run, but I think it puts an extra strain on your body, don't you? Maybe that might explain the fatigue and leg pain.

You go, girl!!!!!!!

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The "doctor's scale" and a new mini goal

Friday, August 12, 2011

Since I bought a new scale earlier this year I was a bit bummed that I'll never know how much I really have lost since my new scale was higher than my old one. While I totally understand that scales are calibrated differently, having just one scale would help with knowing total pounds lost - apples to apples.

It hit me this past Monday that I have a consistent scale - the doctor's style one in the locker room at work (we have a small gym). I used to use it all the time when I used the gym my first year on Spark. Today is my weigh-in day so I stopped in the locker room before I went to my desk.

I liked the number I saw - 158 (1.2 pounds less than my scale at home, no biggie) but what I liked even more - the short distance from the weight thing that I move and the left hand side of the scale. Only 8 more pounds until I can move the bottom weight to "100" and start all over again on the right side with the upper weight!! I remember when I moved it from "200" to "150" on the bottom one - that was exciting. When I would dry my hair I would look at it and how far I've moved the weights. - A good visual.

While I generally stay far away from "lose X pounds by X date" because it's a goal outside of my control - I'm going to focus on trying to lose 8 pounds by October (not sure when in Oct) because I will have to go to my doctor's for a physical and get my thyroid checked. It would be so cool for them to be able to move the bottom weight down! (although their scale is most likely calibrated differently).

- For the most part my eating is in check - but I'll try to make even better choices. (like I had a banana instead of the other half of a big muffin as a snack this morning).
- I continue to train for my next half - so cardio is good. I would like to get a cross training day in there, though.
- Strength - I never do this and I keep saying I need to. So now my goal is 2 times a week. I have to determine which two days and also a reward for this!

I think I may cancel my LA Fitness membership and use the (free) gym at work - it worked my first year and I can do strength and my cross X here! I do like the bikes at LA Fitness better, though - although it's been months since I've gone.

So that's my small goal. Well, it's kind of a big one because it's basically a pound a week that hasn't happened in A LONG time! The added focus will be good for me and will help with Nov & Dec - those holiday months that I tend to get hectic.



  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MERESGED 5/26/2012 2:47PM

    I love that feeling!!!! I actually cried when I went from the '200' on the 'big numbers' down to the '180' mark at the gym. It was amazing!

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JIBBIE49 9/16/2011 7:34PM

    emoticon

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SWITALAINC 9/16/2011 2:18PM

    What a great post. Makes me want to start running.

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HAPPYCUPCAKE 9/6/2011 10:26AM

    Great job! =) emoticon

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BGSTELLA 8/16/2011 11:23AM

    you gave me motivation today to start running -- thanks

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SHAR140 8/15/2011 3:29PM

    emoticon

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KGLOVER71 8/13/2011 9:49PM

    Girl, you are such a great example to me. I've had a really tough couple of weeks with my grandma passing away, my friend being shot down in Afghanistan and my daughter leaving for a year. I know it's going to show on the scales. It's so nice to log back into sparkpeople and see your positive, shining example of steady, smart, realistic progress. I love it. Thanks! I'm ready to face the scales and hit the reset button. I'll start wherever I happen to be. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Comment edited on: 8/13/2011 9:50:26 PM

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WOMANCHEF 8/13/2011 8:28AM

    emoticon emoticon Keep up the good work - you are really progressing!

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BE-THE-CHANGE 8/13/2011 8:06AM

    emoticon

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CARILOUIE 8/12/2011 8:45PM

    I cannot WAIT to move that lower bar to the 100 mark FOREVER. I flirted with it in the spring, but it moved back up to 150. UGH

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IONA72 8/12/2011 4:24PM

    Doing great Britt. My gym membership has just expired and I'm not too sure yet how I feel about that. There is plenty I can do without it but I do like those machines!
Have a great (active) weekend!

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JOHNWBROCKSR777 8/12/2011 1:32PM

    Way to goooooo!

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MICHELLETHOMASY 8/12/2011 12:52PM

  That is Awesome!!! You inspire me! Thank you!!!

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JONEIL513 8/12/2011 12:46PM

    You're doing awesome! It will be a great feeling when you can move the scale down to 100!

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WONDEROONA 8/12/2011 11:27AM

    Keep up the positive attitude!! You're doing great!!

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CAROLANN27 8/12/2011 11:23AM

    You are doing so well! I love reading about your progress!

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Best Pound I've Lost

Friday, August 05, 2011

I stepped on the scale this morning to see 159.2. I think this means I officially ended a 5-6 month plateau. In February, I had to buy a new scale which showed me about 5 pounds more than the older one. I didn’t like it but it was what it was. Since then I have fluctuated between 161 and 164. That’s a long time to see the same 3 pounds up and down. Two weeks ago I was at 160.4 and then this morning’s results…the plateau has ended. In this time, I lost a half inch to a full inch in the major places – nothing really to write home about.

About two weeks ago it hit me that I should buy myself a reward when I break the plateau. I have showed myself that I can maintain! How exciting is that?!?! I’ve been on this journey for a long time with fast weight loss at first and then very slow weight loss after. That’s the way my body has decided to work. I am thankful for it, really. Along the way I have learned to make healthier choices that can be sustained over time. Along the way I have learned that weight loss is just a great bonus to healthy living. Along the way I learned that if I stick with it, good things can happen. If I lost all my weight within a few months’ time, I wouldn’t have been able to learn those things – I would have probably regained the weight.

I didn’t miss a day of Spark in that time – my log-in streak of 422 days will continue. While I didn’t track my food every single day – I did have more healthy days than not. I drank a lot of water. In February, I started a “no candy from the boss’ candy bowl” streak that is still going strong. I ran a half marathon during that time and am training for my second. I have a couple pairs of size 8s in my closet. I ate more, food; I ate less food – trying different things. I stayed involved in the Spark community. While this is a small list of very positive things I did, the thing I’m most proud of is that I kept going forward. I trusted that if I kept looking at where I wanted to go, I will get there eventually.

I still have about 20 or so pounds to lose and it could take another year to get there but since I’m not really going anywhere, I’ll just keep doing what I’m doing.

Now I just need to figure out what kind of reward to get for myself for finishing this plateau!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

IONA72 8/7/2011 3:45PM

    I weighed in at 161 this week so hoping to get in the 150's next week. I know just how you feel, slow and steady is just how it works for me too. I am amazed I have been able to maintain without tracking what I eat, but being active is such a big help.
How tall are you Britt? I would not expect that you need to lose 20 more pounds, surely 10 will be sufficient?


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BE-THE-CHANGE 8/7/2011 8:43AM

    Congrats on breaking that plateau! You have definitely earned a reward.
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BILLALEX70 8/6/2011 6:40PM

    Congrats!

How about a cool new running top or shorts as a reward?

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CAROLANN27 8/6/2011 3:10PM

    Congratulations on breaking the plateau. It's been such a pleasure watching you be so consistent and see all the positive changes you have made!! What a good example you are.

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KAYEGURL08 8/6/2011 3:06PM

    skinny party, skinny party, yeah! yeah! emoticon

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MADDEELOU 8/6/2011 11:57AM

    You are rocking it! Way to go.

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MELISSAT123 8/6/2011 8:38AM

    That's such a great attitude! Congrats on busting your plateau!

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WOMANCHEF 8/6/2011 6:49AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MATTERJT 8/6/2011 6:34AM

    Yay! Congrats on breaking the plateau! You've worked hard and have earned it. I'm so happy for you! Keep up the great work and you'll reach your goal in no time! Woot Woot! :-)

Good for you for running a half marathon. I'm still working my way towards a 10K. You are definitely motivating me to get there. :-)

I hope you reward yourself with something you've been wanting for a long time. Be sure to tell us all what you decided on. :-)

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KGLOVER71 8/5/2011 8:41PM

    YOU ARE AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
!!!!! Thanks for being such a great example. emoticon

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ELAOPET 8/5/2011 7:41PM

    That is what I believe too - if you stick to it, results will come! Congratulations on the consistency! Happy for you! And so very proud of you! I love my spark friends!
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COFFEEMUG2009 8/5/2011 6:44PM

    emoticon

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COUNTING_DOWN 8/5/2011 5:46PM

    What an instightful post!!! You have more than just a log-in streak going...you have a real health streak going! Nutrition, your running, your ability to turn down temptations. That's just plain awesome~~ Like, like, like.

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JONEIL513 8/5/2011 5:36PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon that is an amazing log in streak and an amazing no candy from the boss's bowl streak! you are doing amazing!

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SYLBA61 8/5/2011 5:31PM

    Congrats! I have been losing very slowly. I have noticed that I am eating (most days) a lot better or healthier than I was before. That is a plus for me. I like that you kept maintaining while on your plateau and didn't allow yourself to give up. I think that is the key to permanent weight loss - not giving up. You are an inspiration to me. Thank you for posting.

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VEUVEGIRL 8/5/2011 5:24PM

    YEAH!

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Why I Run

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

I saw Serene_Me's blog about "Why I Run" and thought it was a great idea. Since hers, I see there have been a few more - I guess it's a good bandwagon to jump onto!

My dad started running when I was about 8 and continued for another 30 years or so. I remember he going on runs every morning - rain, snow, heat, whatever - I don't think he knew what a rest days were. He'd come back all sweaty but always in a good mood. We slept in the race shirts he acquired over the years. He is/was such a geek (I say that lovingly) if he drove past a runner he'd give him/her a thumbs up. As a middle schooler, I'd look the other way in total embarrassment. Now I understand it. ( He walks daily now - he has some leg issues and walking is easier on them.)

Mostly because of my dad, I thought many times through the years that it would be cool to say "I'm a runner" - not that I did anything about it. Of course, I didn't want to get as gross and sweaty as my dad - to me, it would mean I was out of shape (although, I knew my dad was in shape). I was stuck in the fear of not being able to do it. Little did I know - almost all of us can do it - if we want to and we try.

When I started Spark, I knew I needed to start exercising. I'd get on the treadmill and read a book while I was walking. I decided one day to run a little - went for about 30 seconds. Emailed a good friend of mine who is an avid runner and asked her if the pain goes away. She assured me that it does just work through it. She was right.

For a good while, I wasn't sure I even liked running. I'd try to run a couple miles, walk some. Finally, I made a goal - 5 miles by my 40th birthday. I found a plan, trained and accomplished my goal - I was hooked.

I run because it has taught me to let go of fear
I run because there may be pain - but it goes away. A metaphor for life
I run because it reminds me that I can do anything that I put my mind to.
I run because it is slowly teaching me competing against others if useless - it is best to compete against myself
I run because I enjoy a plan and a goal.
I run because running clothes come in fun colors!
I run becuase going a new distance (even if it's a half mile) is a new accomplishment.
I run because it adds an extra bounce to my step during the day.
I run because many races are for charity - so I'm giving back while getting exercise
I run because it gives me emotional strength, a sense of confidence
I run becuase it's "me" time
I run because it require more heart and mind than special talents.
I run because my lungs and legs feel good
I run becuase it's setting a good example for my nieces and nephews
I run because it's great to have status updates of "I ran 7 miles today" - some days, it's still unbelievable that I do that.
I run because I feel a sense of community with millions of other runners - ones that I could give a thumbs up to while driving by (not that I would)

I run because I love saying .... I'm a runner!

Happy National Running Day

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

COWGIRL888 10/5/2011 7:56PM

    Well said!! After every run is over it's such a sense of accomplishment! I love the list and as I get more into this running journey I know I will identify more strongly with each point on your list. Love the blog!

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ECASPERS 7/31/2011 5:20PM

    I really like your blog. Very inspirational!

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KGLOVER71 7/28/2011 2:09PM

    I read this awhile back but was reading it from my phone, not my computer, so I didn't respond. I love it. I just may try to come up with a list of my own one of these days. I LOVE your list. And running clothes DO come in fun colors! Happy running!

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TWINZMOM7 7/13/2011 9:06AM

  LOVE LOVE LOVE THIS! And I'm doing this for me...won't be able to until tonight after girls are in bed, but I can't wait. Thanks for the motivation. emoticon

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TERRYT55 7/5/2011 3:59PM

    Great blog........I love your list and will probably steal it! You write better than I ever will! I never thought I could call myself a runner but I am. I'm slow BUT I do it! Thanks for sharing!

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COUNTING_DOWN 6/26/2011 11:00PM

    Love it!

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MADDEELOU 6/21/2011 8:42PM

    This is a great blog. Thanks for sharing and congratulations on becoming a runner!

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FLYINGB16 6/11/2011 7:37AM

    Thank you for sharing such a great blog! A lot of our reasons are the same. Now I think I should do a running blog as well. LOL

HUGS,
Bonnie

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ELAOPET 6/10/2011 6:27PM

    Oh....OH! OOOH! I LOVE THIS! LOVE, LOVE, L-O-V-E it!!
I will copy it on my usb and go some place they have a printer and print it out and frame it, put it on my wall - that's just how much I LOVED IT!
emoticon

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ESBINSB 6/7/2011 1:41AM

  Hi. Good Blog - I used to run, I want to run again...so I embrace your list

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KALISWALKER 6/5/2011 12:03AM

    emoticon emoticon

I loved your blog, and it will help me focus on what I need to do push harder and farther with my fitness. The time has been flying by, I joined in 2008 too and it great to see we have both kept Sparking. I appreciate your friendship!

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ADMIST5711 6/4/2011 2:36PM

    This was such an awesome blog. I felt inspired and pumped up just 'running' down your reasons for RUNNING! It is amazing how much we learn about ourselves - when we put ourselves out there - and challenge ourselves. When we stretch beyond what we think our limits are. We grow beyond where our imagination might even take us. I bet before you started running, those bullet points you mentioned, were far from you what you thought you could accomplish! You are an inspiration. Keep up the fervor! emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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BILLALEX70 6/2/2011 8:23PM

    LOVE it!

This was a great blog and I'm glad our running paths have crossed. See you on a starting line soon!

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CAROLANN27 6/2/2011 7:35PM

    I love your list!! I remember well the blog you wrote the first time you said "I'm a runner." It's so exciting!! I love your enthusiasm.

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KAYEGURL08 6/2/2011 12:59PM

    Just loved it! emoticon

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MSSUNBUG 6/2/2011 12:55PM

    I love this blog! Thanks so much for sharing. I relate on so many levels. I may just do one of my own, thanks for the inspiration!

Sending you good wishes. Sorry to be so out of touch, but I hope you are well!

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LYNNANN43 6/2/2011 9:16AM

    I smiled at the embarrassed you when your dad was giving the thumbs up:-)

And BOO YAH to bright, obnoxious running colors!

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BE-THE-CHANGE 6/2/2011 7:06AM

    Great blog!

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DARK_CINDERELLA 6/2/2011 12:28AM

    Loved this!

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WONDERJUL 6/1/2011 11:07PM

    I loved your blog.
A big thumbs up to you. I also love feeling part of the running community. Only other runners understand.

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JONEIL513 6/1/2011 10:09PM

    awesome blog! I'm glad you found something you love, Happy National Running Day!!!

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EMBRACE_SUCCESS 6/1/2011 10:08PM

    Hmmm... I think a run is in order for me tomorrow:) You rock!

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BEANPOD77 6/1/2011 10:03PM

    Love this blog! I have a few (non Spark) friends who are just starting, and I am going to share your words..( Hope you dont mind)..While my own running is on hold for now ( oooohhhhh how I miss it!!) I would like to think I can do some small part to encourage or inspire others to give it a shot!
Keep it up! ( hope to see you at jasr next year ..maybe I will be able to run by then...she types hopefully )..

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OMAHAMAMA 6/1/2011 9:54PM

    This is an awesome post! Thank you for saying all of that! I just started a C25K program this week and my goal is also to say "I'm a runner." It is so great that your dad was your inspiration - I hope to do the same for my girls someday.
Here is a big "THUMBS UP" to you!


emoticon

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MOXIE-IN-MOTION 6/1/2011 9:53PM

    I loved the story about your dad, and how you are no following in his footsteps! And you list of why you love to run was great! Keep it up!

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