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Celebrating National Running Day: Why I Run

Wednesday, June 01, 2011

It is no secret now to anyone who knows me; I am a runner, and I love to run.

I started running because it seemed to be one of the most effective ways to burn calories in order to lose weight. Somewhere along the way, though, it changed from just a way to help me lose weight faster to so much more.

I run now because it connects me to my body in ways that nothing else does. I feel more grounded, more in tune with my physical being when I run. All of the pressures and problems in my life vanish while I am running, if only for a short time. I am more present and truly just 'in the moment' when I run.

Running does even more for me on the inside than the outside. It has helped me gain confidence in myself and my abilities, push through limits, and try things that would have seemed impossible before.

I run because every time I run, I am reminded that I can do more than I ever believed possible; it has helped me break through mental barriers as well as physical ones. Why do YOU run?

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

THENEWSHANNON 6/2/2011 9:55PM

    I love this! You seem to really have a handle on that elusive "runner's high". I'm still working on loving running, but when I get in the groove and start to feel like I'm flying...yeah, it's good. emoticon

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LESLIES537 6/2/2011 9:33AM

    Fabulous blog! I love it! You really make me want to go out there and RUN! I've been really thinking taking up jogging but haven't figured out how to do it yet, being a single mom of 2 kids and all. Treadmills just don't do it for me. I'm going to work on this idea though and figure out a way! Thanks for the inspiration today! emoticon

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DAMARIS89 6/1/2011 10:12PM

  It sounds like a fabulous outlet for you! I can feel all my fat hanging from my body when I run through, and it's so discouraging....

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HARRINGTON5 6/1/2011 6:04PM

    I think that is fantastic! I love to read about things that are life changing. I can't say I love running like you do, but I love to challenge myself. I didn't start running until I turned 60 and I think I did it because I didn't want to be a senior that couldn't walk any more. I want to keep active as long as I can and I think running will help me reach that goal. I love competing in races and the other runners seem so fit and active. That is how I want to be for the rest of my life.
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Long weekend milestones

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Well, I reached a couple of significant milestones in my journey over the long weekend. First off, I saw a new low weight on the scale that I have been waiting to see a very long time: 169.2. That is the lowest I have been in at least 14 years or so; finally getting out of the 170s has been a very slow process. That's significant in and of itself, but the real significance is that

I AM NO LONGER OBESE!

Yup, I am now just plain 'overweight' according to the BMI charts.

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Never thought I would be happy to say that I am 'overweight,' but there you go--I'm thrilled! After having been morbidly obese for many years, that is a ginormous step on the way down to a healthy weight. I don't pay a whole lot of attention to the BMI charts because they don't take into account a whole lot of things (like muscle weighing more than fat). They are a general guideline, though, and it is really nice to leave 'obese' behind finally.

The other major milestone was in my half marathon training. All weekend we have been talking about getting out for a long run; with the half marathon now less than four weeks away, those long runs are, well, LONG; they take a couple of hours at our pace. We finally got out this evening to do one, but it was later than I had hoped. I was not at all sure we would have enough daylight to go as far as we wanted, but we figured we would go and see how things worked out; anything was better than nothing.

We decided to again use a 2:1 run/walk ratio at least on the way out, then play it by ear on the way back. We started out at a fairly quick (for us) clip on the run segments; first couple of miles went by quickly. We got to mile three, and we both were feeling fine; it looked like we were still okay on daylight, so we kept going. Mile four, no problems; maybe we could at least go to where we had gone last week when we did nine miles. I looked at the time and told hubby maybe we should plan to turn around at an hour; we looked ahead and saw the place where he had measured out would be five miles--not that much further . . . ahhhh, go for it! We pushed on to the five mile mark and turned around. Both feeling fine still, we opted to continue the 2:1 run/walk ratio on the way back; the daylight was waning, but we figured the worst that would happen is we'd be running the last little bit when it was really getting dark.

We were definitely slower on the way back, but we were able to stick with that run/walk ratio throughout the return. As it turned out, we had enough daylight to make it all the way back--not a lot to spare, but it was fine.

So today we did TEN MILES in 2 hours 15 minutes, our longest run to date! Our average pace was 13:34, just a hair slower than last week when we did nine miles. Most of the training plans for a half marathon only take you to a ten mile run; they say that if you can run ten miles, the excitement of race day will enable you to go the extra 3.1 miles. I'd like to get in a couple more long runs of ten miles or further just to prove to myself that I can do it, but I have more confidence that we will be fine come race day.

Now we'll see if I can walk tomorrow . . .

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BROOKDOESLIFE 6/1/2011 10:26AM

    Awesome! I'm so proud of you! Way to go!!!!

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RUTHKB2 5/31/2011 10:19PM

    Yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay!

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SMILE2HAPPINESS 5/31/2011 12:34PM

    emoticon This is great news! You work so hard and have such a great attitude. Thank you for being so motivational! emoticon

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DRB13_1 5/31/2011 11:07AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
Proud of you! You both will rock the half marathon!
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MOM2MXKE 5/31/2011 10:44AM

    soo soo proud of you...I am STILL dying after 8 miles on Sunday lol (: Oh well I know I will live just hurting for sure (:

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JEANUT 5/31/2011 8:23AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
great on the wt loss and walking

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Hubby's birthday is today!

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.

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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!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

1BEARWIFE 5/26/2011 11:58AM

    I'm a day late and a dollar short in reading the message on time, but I do wish him a very happy wonderful birthday!! Thanks for letting me know.

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BROOKDOESLIFE 5/25/2011 2:05PM

    I left him a happy birthday on his page. I hope he has a great day!

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THENEWDARLENE 5/25/2011 12:51PM

    I left him a birthday message. I hope you both have many more Happy Birthdays together. I think it's great that you can go running with him and work on your fitness goals with each other.

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MOM2MXKE 5/24/2011 2:30PM

    I left him a message but told him that I was offended that he didn't friend me back lol (: GOSH and He knows me in real life lol

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The long slow run

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.

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SMILE2HAPPINESS 5/24/2011 2:08PM

    That's great! I honestly can't run for 30minutes without feeling winded! emoticon

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EMSJOURNEY 5/24/2011 11:20AM

    BRAVO! great job! =)

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BROOKDOESLIFE 5/24/2011 10:53AM

    That's fantastic! Congrats on all your success. 9 miles woohoo! You're going to do awesome at the race. You and your hubby.



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SWEATONCEADAY 5/23/2011 10:58PM

    congrats on 9 miles!

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BEXNEW 5/23/2011 8:31PM

    congrats Denise - slow and steady...
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ALEXIAAG 5/23/2011 7:29PM

    Congratulations to you! What an accomplishment! You are truly a motivating person! You can do ANYTHING!!!!

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GRACEISENUF 5/23/2011 12:53PM

    You are an AWESOME runner and have accomplished so much this past year!

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SP needs and AMAZING emoticon :)

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ROXIT22222 5/23/2011 12:18PM

    Way to go! I am currently thinking of either a 1/2 marathon (some day) or a triathalon sprint (some day)... I'm only just now walking 3 miles but some day in the futres.... Your blog is inspireing.

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EARTHTONED84 5/23/2011 12:15PM

    Whoohoo!!! Congrats! Keep up the great work :D

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READYRACHEL 5/23/2011 12:05PM

    Thank you for sharing. Congratulations on all you have achieved so far. I know you will kick butt in that half marathon!

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MISSFORTE 5/23/2011 11:57AM

    emoticon that's great!

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TARANITUP 5/23/2011 11:50AM

    Beautifully said!

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1BEARWIFE 5/23/2011 11:45AM

    It sounds like the run/walk is the way to go. Your timing didn't change much at all by doing it this way, and I am sure that your stamina will last longer doing this. You and your hubby are becoming obsessive runners.......or perhaps I should say "HAVE BECOME"!!!

By the way.........The Spirited Underdogs have left you cats sleeping in the sunshine while we are experience life!!! emoticon

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TERP_TERP 5/23/2011 8:58AM

    That is wonderful! emoticon I am still in the "amazed I walked that far" phase and wonder if running will work for me.

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The jeans dilemma

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?

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  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BEC_232 5/19/2011 1:00PM

  I have good luck at Macy's. They have so many different brands and styles that you can spend hours trying different cuts and figuring out what is best for your body type.

I don't like going to used stores for jeans because the jeans tend to be stretched out. Plus I want to feel great about myself and it's nice to have a reward of a new pair that looks and fits fantastic.

Take half a day for yourself and try a million pairs on!

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1BEARWIFE 5/19/2011 12:50PM

    I buy my jeans at GoodWill or some place like that while I am losing weight. No sense in spending huge prices for new ones until we get settled with our chosen weight mark. You might try men's jeans. Their waist seems to be a bit bigger.

Such a Problem to have, huh! emoticon emoticon

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CANDOK1260 5/19/2011 10:01AM

    BOYS YOU AND ME SEEM TO AS THE SAME PROBLEM SO i USE RESALE SHOP Yoo hoo, where are you Cats? Let's go! MEOW

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CATHERINEL66 5/19/2011 6:59AM

    Here's my solution -- especially if losing weight still ....

Try the resale shops. I go through the junky ones (Salvation Army sorts of places) as well as the fancy ones that promise "designer" resale. I grab everything that looks interesting, and try them all on. I've ended up (lately) with a fancy pair of Levis with the pockets on the rear and a pair of Lucky brand jeans. Each pair was $10 or less AND were in styles and sizes (6) that I would NEVER have thought would look good much less FIT (look tiny on the racks).

To me, it's worth the time to flip through and pay a hugely discounted rate. Then I don't feel badly when I throw them in a garbage bag later for charity donations!

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KATHIERAE 5/18/2011 1:09PM

    Stupid clothing manufacturers; why cant things be uniform sizes?? Makes us all a bit crazy. Gotta try on different COLORS in the SAME BRAND even!! emoticon I love jeans too, and quit wearing them for a long time when I was at my heaviest. Now I'm back into them and back at being crazy trying to find ones that fit!! Good luck, shop away!

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BRITT831 5/18/2011 11:03AM

    This may be a crazy idea, and may even be too time consuming for u but what abt buying a cpl pairs u like and taking em to an alteration shop to get 'nipped and tucked' in the right places? If u dont pay much for the jeans, the alterations shouldnt be too pricey, it just might work out for ya.

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LOOZINITNOW 5/18/2011 9:48AM

    I get most of my jeans at CATO. They have many styles and are inexpensive. I am totally jealous of you and that size 11! Way to go girl! The last time I saw that size was high school. You rock!

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FUNKY5RED 5/18/2011 9:06AM

    Jeans that fit are difficult to find for many of us. I struggle with it, too. Just keep trying different brands and cuts until you find the right ones. Then, buy one than one pair, if you can. Used clothing stores are a great suggestion. I have found great, look-like-new jeans there.

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MIGURLINNC 5/18/2011 7:33AM

    You may want to try a resale shop. They usually have several styles, sizes, etc. at a fraction of the cost. That way you don't feel so bad when you can't wear them any more.

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JOAN_HEO 5/18/2011 7:27AM

    I can identify! I have at least 6 pieces of fabric I have bought since starting this journey. I'm waiting until I get to where I want to be before I cut into it and make new pants...and yes, a pair of jeans. I limp along in the old ones with lots of seam adjustments until then.

How about trying used clothing stores? They have decent stuff at great prices.

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ROSET491 5/18/2011 7:18AM

    You may have good luck at Target~they have lots of styles (color coded) one may just work for you!! Also consignment stores, not a huge investment then! Good Luck can't wait until I can buy smaller sizes!!
Rose

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JLUVSHIKIN 5/18/2011 2:36AM

    I too have problems exactly like yours. I tried Old Navy and the style is the flirt. I can still get a saggy bottom after a day of wearing but no muffin top.
The other thing that seems to work is when I find a pair of jeans that fit, I won't dry them in the dryer.
If you try the flirt, let me know if they work for you!

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