Sunday, December 14, 2014
The roller coaster of this journey never seems to end.
I've started training for my half-marathon. Last week I ran on Monday and Tuesday but was incredibly busy the rest of the week. I had a work Christmas party Thursday night and a luncheon for my student employees on Friday, and my eating got off track. I went into the weekend with a decent gain on the scale.
I visited my parents this weekend, and Friday night my dad told me he had to work a race Saturday morning. Knowing I still needed to get another day of training in for my half-marathon, I asked him what the race was and if I could still sign up. He is an amateur radio operator and helps at races at different checkpoints to call for help if needed. He told me it was the Santa 5k, so I decided to run it as another day of training for my half.
So Saturday morning, I went to sign up, and ended up being the first person to do same day registration, so I nabbed one of the last free t-shirts. I love race t-shirts. They're like medals of honor to me, showing, yeah, I run for the fun of it!
So when I got there, I realized it wasn't a big race. About 130 people participating. It wasn't chip timed, just clock, and when you crossed the finish line, the bottom strip was ripped of your bib, to keep track of the order of runners.
So, I looked around, and it was hard to judge how many people were in my age group, but I just knew I wanted to stay towards the front of the pack, because since it was just clock timed, I couldn't waste time dodging people like I do in some races. I took off at a fast pace, and reminded myself to slow down. My NikePlus GPS watch tells me my pace, and when I first looked down, I was running under a 7 minute mile, which is a pace I just can't do for 3.1 miles. So I decided to slow down a bit and just got into a groove with my music.
Like I said, I couldn't tell how many women were in my 25-29 age group, and I started to psych myself out every time a woman would run past me, trying to figure out how old they were. And then I laughed to myself because, on Friday, I had no plans on competing, and now in the moment I was concerning myself with placing in the top three, having never done so before.
So a woman ran past be about 2 miles in, and I just decided to pace myself on her. If she sped up, so did I, and if she slowed, I did too. I just wanted to keep running because I could tell based on the music on my playlist, and the mileage on my watch, that I was running faster than I ever had.
As I saw the finish line, I could see the time clock started with a 2. The twenties! I'd never run an official race under 30 minutes. The only sub 30 minute 5k I'd run was in my neighborhood. So I kicked it into gear and ended up crossing the finish in 28:23. A new personal record! A 9:08 mile pace! I was ecstatic! And my mom was at the finish line and said "There weren't a lot of women in front of you."
I immediately got nervous. Was there a chance? Did I finally place in my first race? I decided to stick around for the awards ceremony.
And boy am I glad I did.
When it came to the 25-29 age group, the organizer said, "First Place - Jan-Marie Bales."
My heart was in my throat. Not only did I place, I WON.
I won a race that I hadn't planned on running 24 hours before.
And I got emotional. I had been disappointed in myself for indulging at the Christmas parties and luncheon and gaining a few pounds when I said I was rededicating myself.
And then I win a race. At 17 pounds over my lowest weight. And it was just another reminder that health is more than that number on the scale that I keep obsessing over. I'll probably continue to obsess over it, if I'm honest with myself. But I'll also realize that number doesn't define me or predict the kind of competitor I am.
I'm just so thankful for this life that I live. I'm thankful for my renewed health and the strength of my body. I'm thankful that I live in an amazing country and place where I'm free to run and feel safe. I'm thankful that I have the food I need to nourish my body, and even some food I don't need. I'm thankful for everyday reminders of how far I've come.
I hope you had a great weekend, too.
Tuesday, December 09, 2014
Sometimes it pays to have a beautiful best friend.
My best friend Grace was originally supposed to run my first half-marathon with me, but ended up spraining her ankle a few weeks before. She still came and supported me on her crutches, because she's awesome.
But once she was healed up, she dedicated herself in a way that I haven't yet. She runs three times a week, and another three days does the bike and lifts weights.
And boy does it show. She was radiant at my wedding, and just looks amazing.
Well last night, I opened her Christmas gift which she mailed me, and it was a pair of UnderArmor HeatGuard shorts for running. The perfect length so they don't ride up and just an awesome fit.
Well, I had just finished dinner and was contemplating what to watch on TV when she said I could open it early, and when I opened it, I decided to go for a run. I ran 3 miles in 32 minutes and burned about 450 calories according to my HRM. Not super fast, but more than I had planned on doing.
During my run, I tripped on a raised block in the sidewalk, and three years ago, I would have hit the ground, chipped all my front teeth, and probably been pretty bloody and scraped up. But somehow, I never hit the ground, I kept my momentum and managed to catch myself about a foot from the ground and keep running. It was one of those "life flashed before my eyes" moments. I seriously thought I was about to get pretty hurt, but somehow my athleticism and agility finally paid off and I managed to keep going on my run.
Anywho, the moral of the story is, my best friend has changed her life and really become physically fit. And while I've lost a lot of weight, I want to be really fit too. So I'm thanking her for the inspiration.
Hope you all had a good weekend!
Thursday, December 04, 2014
Thank you all so much for your support on my 3 year blog yesterday.
Today, I'm restarting as if it was 3 years ago. When I started my journey I was 274.8. My lowest weight ever in the last 3 years was 173.6 on my birthday this year, after I did Whole30. But when I stopped eating only Whole30 compliant foods, started worrying more about the wedding, started a new job, and moved to a new state, well, let's just say I stopped focusing again.
After the wedding and honeymoon/Thanksgiving, I came home to a whopping 197.6 pounds on the scale.
So scarily close to 200, yet again.
When we got back from the honeymoon, I went to the grocery and stocked the house full of fruits, veggies and lean proteins, and no junk. And thankfully this morning, I was back down to 189.6. But that's still up 16 pounds from my lowest weight.
This is a pattern I've had. Stuck in the 170-190s bouncing up and down for the past two years, and every time I get into the 190s I get so scared that I'm letting myself go that I recommit and lose some weight and get back down to the 170s, only to go up again.
I love my wedding photos, but I can only imagine how much more I would have loved them if I had been closer to 160 rather than 185 on my wedding day. There are some photos where I see the 10 pounds I regained in my face. But life happens, and it doesn't take away from my happiness at all.
What I have decided, however, is to go back to basics, exactly like I did 3 years ago. Logging in every day, and tracking every single thing I eat. I also signed up for my second half-marathon which will be in Ann Arbor, on March 29, 2015. So I will be getting back into my gym/running routine.
I want 2015 to be the year I reach my goal weight. I want 2015 where I finally go from "overweight" to "healthy" when it comes to BMI and body fat percentages. I want 2015 to be my year of transitioning to maintenance, rather then this continued yo-yo weightloss gain thing I've currently got going on.
So this morning, I took photos in my two piece bathing suit, to remind myself how far I've come, but also to show how far I still have to go.
I can definitely see the difference from when I was down 15 pounds to today. But I know that I can really do it this year, now that my life is finally settling down. In the past three years, you guys have been with me through my college graduation, engagement, three new jobs, two moves, and a wedding.
I think I'm finally at a point where I can buckle down and do this.
Yes, 2015 is going to be my year. But rather than wait until January 1st to start, I'm starting today.
Wednesday, December 03, 2014
Three years ago, I was depressed. I was mortified after seeing myself on TV filling out a 3XL football jersey on the sidelines of one of J.D.'s football games.
The scale read 274.8 pounds. How did I let this happen? How did I get on that scale so many times, and see that number going up, and not do anything?
When I found SparkPeople, I figured keeping a journal online would be better than nothing. I looked at the food trackers, and my suggested ranges, and started tracking my food.
I started reading articles and asking for suggestions on playlists for running, an activity I'd loathed my entire childhood, but now decided to train for a half marathon. And two days after my high school sweetheart proposed, I ran that half marathon.
With SparkPeople, I've reached non-scale victories that I once viewed as impossible.
I purchased my first pair size 6 jeans ever.
I ran my first sub-30 minute 5k.
I started to believe I was worth the effort.
And every time I log into SparkPeople and write a new blog, I get excited thinking about you, my SparkFriends, reading it.
When I first started this journey, I was sure that no one knew or cared that much about what I was going through, or how I felt about myself. But I was proven wrong again and again, and continue to be humbled and honored by the kind comments you all leave.
When I finally got married two weeks ago, I couldn't wait to post some photos on here. Some people might find that strange, that I'm so excited to share such an intimate part of my life with a community of people that I've never met. But I couldn't help it.
The reason I was so proud of how I looked, and the reason I have such an amazing happy and healthy future to look forward to, is SparkPeople.
In 3 years, I've never read a negative word said about me. Nothing but support and encouragement from all of you. There aren't many people in this world that can say they have thousands of people they've never met cheering them on in their lives. But I can. I've said it for 3 years, and I'll say it for all the years to come.
SparkPeople means so much to me. I thank you for continuing to read and write to me. And I thank you for being my friends.
Monday, December 01, 2014
Just wanted to give you a look at all 890+ pics from the wedding!
If you want to login, you can use a fake email address like email@example.com. It's just to try and sell you photos ;)
It's definitely evident to me how happy I was on that day. And when I pick the prints I want for our album, I'll probably leave out some of the double chinned open mouth laughing pics. Because those aren't that cute. LOL.
But overall, so thrilled with the pics.
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