Tuesday, May 24, 2011
Today is my husband's birthday! If you have a moment, stop by his page www.sparkpeople.com/mypage.asp?id=FI
TFORLONG and wish him a happy birthday. I happen to think he is the most wonderful guy in the world and I'm the luckiest woman in the world to be married to him, but I suppose there is a remote chance I am slightly prejudiced about that.
Edit: He hasn't quite gotten into the whole social side of SP yet--he uses the site to track his food and read articles, but he WILL see your message if you post a comment on his page!
Monday, May 23, 2011
Today (finally!) we were able to go out for a long, slow run in the evening, one of the cornerstones of training for a half marathon or marathon. It has been a couple of weeks since we went out for anything longer than 4 miles, and our first half marathon is in five short weeks. I was getting a little antsy to extend our distance; the longest we had gone was about 8 miles. That is, before today!
Here's the Garmin report:
In case you can't read it from the picture, here are the stats.
- Total distance: 9 miles
- Total time: 2:00:50
- Average pace: 13:25
That is a snail's pace for some people, but I am thrilled to have been able to done that today. We tried the run/walk method, using a 2:1 run/walk pattern on the first half and a 1:1 pattern for the most part on the second half. That seemed to work really well; we were as fast or faster than when we have run without specific walk breaks. There were a couple of times we had to stop because my husband needed me to help him adjust his heart rate monitor and then put his hat away for him, so without that we might have ended up doing it in just under 2 hours, and that is without pushing it at all, keeping it slow and easy.
Getting a run in that long makes me feel a whole lot better about the half marathon next month; if we can go that far now, we should have no problem extending our runs and being ready for it.
Sometimes I feel like I need to pinch myself to see if it's true that I'm really doing this, training for a half marathon and going out for 2 hour runs. I still have trouble at times wrapping my brain around the changes in my life over the past year and a half. Losing over 80 pounds has meant so much more than wearing a smaller size; it has given me a whole new life and an appreciation for life in ways that I never dreamed of before.
Wednesday, May 18, 2011
I love jeans; I can't help but look at jeans whenever we are out shopping. I have several pairs in different styles, washes, and colors, and I wear them all the time. If there is one thing you can be sure I have, it is jeans! Comfortable, practical, and cute, that's how I see jeans.
Here is my dilemma, though: I am having a hard time finding jeans that fit completely right. I am just not proportioned quite right, I guess. If jeans fit my hips and thighs right, I usually have a muffin top at the waist; if they fit my waist well, the butt is too loose within a very short time. I guess you could say I have been literally running my butt off, LOL! That seems to be where I have lost the most anyway.
My size 12 jeans that I love are getting baggy on me, but I can't quite wear size 10s in the same style unless I want to live with a muffin top. The only pair that I feel like really fit well at the moment are some size 11 jeans I picked up on sale--yes, I got some jeans in the junior section for the first time in years!
It still takes me a minute or two when I am looking at clothes to realize that I really CAN wear that small a size. I look at smaller sizes and wonder what size I will wear when I'm finally down to my goal weight (whatever that ends up being). Since I am still losing weight, I don't want to invest a lot of time and money in new clothes, but a girl has to have at least a couple of decent pairs of jeans, doesn't she?
That's my dilemma; I may have to just take time and go try on a bunch of different styles and sizes to find some new jeans if I want to avoid the extremes of muffin top or saggy bottom. Any suggestions of styles and stores I should look at?
Sunday, May 15, 2011
Today my daughter and I ran our first 5K together. My daughter is 28, and she recently started running at her gym regularly. Knowing that I do races, she asked if we could run one together; COULD we?! I quickly got online and found one that would work for both our schedules and located conveniently between us (we live about an hour apart).
We met up at the registration area after picking up our packets and putting on our cool race shirts (honest, I run for the shirts and the goodies!). After a little time hanging out with our respective spouses and the cutest little boy ever born, my grandson, we did some dynamic stretches and warmed up a bit while trying to calm the pre-race nerves before lining up towards the back of the pack at the start line.
Before the race, I had tried to find a course or elevation map, but they did not have that posted. That meant we had no idea whether the course would be flat or hills; it doesn't really matter, but it IS nice to know a little about it ahead of time.
My only goal for this race was to do it with her. She hasn't run outside very much as yet, so I expected that I would not be setting a PR--running outside is harder than on a treadmill. I have yet to be able to run as fast on the road or trail as I do on the treadmill.
We took off with the crowd, and I thought we were probably going a little fast at the start; it is so easy to do that when you are in a pack and the excitement of the race has your heart pumping a little faster! Turning the corner, we saw a hill ahead--great, nice fairly steep hill at the start of the course. We walked for a bit, then ran again; the course was rather convoluted, going out and looping back, then around another part of the campus down and around. Down a hill, around a parking lot, up a hill, down a path; we kept running and walking periodically. At one point, my daughter got a stitch in her side, so we stopped for her to stretch it out, then started walking fast again and finally running.
About halfway through, she said she wanted to run the last mile without stopping. We did not quite do that, but pretty close--probably the last three-quarters of a mile we ran, crossing the finish line with a time of 44:12 according to my Garmin. That is great for a first race--an average pace of 14:3. The boys were there to greet us, and my grandson was so happy to see Mommy!
I am just bursting with pride at her for doing this. I would never have suggested it to her because I never thought she would be interested in running. Whether she has been bitten by the running bug or not remains to be seen, but I hope so, and I hope we have a chance to do it again. It was fun to do it together!
Saturday, May 14, 2011
Tomorrow I will be running a 5K race with my daughter; it is her first race, and our first race running together. I started figuring up how many races I have run or walked in, and this will be my 14th(!) race in just over a year--seven last year, and tomorrow's will be the seventh already this year. I have the crazy idea to run in at least one race a month this year; the difficulty is limiting it because there are so many fun ones to choose from!
That got me thinking about why on earth I am running and entering races; I mean, I am anything but fast. I will never (repeat, NEVER) be the first person to cross the finish line, or the first woman, or probably even the first in my age group. Well, at least unless I just happen to be the only one in my age group, and that is not likely for quite a few years yet. (Where did all these fit, fast, 50-something women come from, anyway?)
It's kind of weird in a way that I enjoy races so much when I have zero chance to 'win' in them in the traditional sense of the word. By nature, I am a very competitive person; I was never the kind of girl who would play dumb or deliberately lose to make a guy feel good. No way; if I am playing, I play to win. So why do I keep running in races with zero chance of winning?
All I can come up with is this. Every time I lace up my shoes and put on a number, I am making a statement: I am a runner. I am doing something no one, including and maybe especially me, ever thought I could or would do. Whether I am first or last, I am a winner simply by showing up, putting on the number, and going for it. I love the atmosphere of a race; there is something about getting out with a group of people and giving it your best that is just amazing. The feeling when I finally cross that finish line is almost euphoric; a glass of water, dry bagel, and green banana never tasted so good or so well earned as at the end of a race. Even though I'm slow and towards the back of the pack most times, I am eager to see my time--did I do better than last time? What can I learn from the experience to apply to my next run, my next race.
I am really looking forward to tomorrow's race; being able to do it with my daughter, who just started running recently, is so special. I didn't ask her to start running; she just decided to do it on her own, and then asked me about doing a race together. I'm incredibly proud of her for doing it, even though chances are she will leave me in the dust tomorrow.
So I race for me, for what it does for me, and I plan to continue to do so as long as I am able. Oh, and I do love getting a new tech shirt and swag bag; I need to have a shirt that says "Will run for race shirts," LOL! I may eventually turn them into quilts as they wear out, but for now it is fun pulling them out for runs and remembering the races.
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