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Today I became a runner!

Thursday, July 08, 2010

Last year, when I tried "running" for the first time in ten years, I was probably just shy of 280 pounds, 15 pounds from where I started, but a far cry from being able to call myself a runner. I managed 4 sixty second segments of what could loosely be called jogging during the course of an hour long walk. I didn't even have the shoes to do it. I had thin soled walking shoes with worn out tread, but the hubby insisted I make it a "habit" before buying proper shoes. Yes, I was going to start running-he'd heard that before.

After a while I worked up to two minute segments and got new shoes. I told the hubby I wanted to be able to run "to the cow and back" one day. For those of you not the know, "the cow" referred to a miniature cow at a farm a mile down the road from our house, where now resides a miniature pony (that terrifies Cricket, my running buddy) instead. It seemed a pipe dream. Yes, I know people run MUCH longer distances but to the cow and back seemed so FAR to me.

Well, that summer, I eventually worked my way up to 4-5 four minute segments during my hour long walk and that's where I stopped. Winter came and I took up other sports. I continued to loose weight and told myself I would get back to running "someday." I would occasionally lace up my shoes when I read a particularly inspirational blog from one of my Sparkfriends -TEAM_SARAH or PINKCOCONUT-but then when SPUNKYDUCKY ran her first 5K, I read her blog (I think it was titled "I did it! And you can too!) and thought "Maybe I need a race to get motivated to do this regularly!"

Now, if I was going to be motivated I also needed a unique race with a cause I could believe in. Unique- I could run it with Cricket, our springer spaniel. Cause-Carolina canines of course!

I started out pretty close to where I left off last year in terms of endurance-three or four minute segments, working up to 10:1 run/walk in the last couple of weeks. I got new shoes again to correct over-pronation, went through four sets of headphones to find a pair that would stay on my ears during the run, and three camel backs to find one that didn't leak or chafe. Last week I even found a visor to keep the sun and the sweat out of my eyes.

And today I made it to the cow and back. OK, pony and back. Two miles without stopping in under 25 minutes. Today I became a runner!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPUNKYDUCKY 7/27/2010 10:22PM

    Whoo-hoo! I am so proud of you! You are a RUNNER! And you are a pretty fast runner at that! I love that you ran to the cow and back! Thanks for the shout-out - I actually mentioned how you inspired me to bike last year after I read a blog of yours last year about a bike ride with your husband. I am so excited for your race. I will be cheering you on from a distance

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BOO-SHAY 7/22/2010 5:15AM

    I haven't been very active of late, but really appreciate your sharing the progress you've been making. You help to inspire me. I just started a new walking program at the High School and we just finished day 3. I'm hoping there are no more crisises in my life as I'm starting to get more active with Sparkpeople again. Jim and I are walking at least 2.5 miles each day and I'm working up to 6 miles for a volkswalk I want to go on in October across the Astoria Bridge (the mouth of the Columbia River).

You are looking so good and have done a great job.

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CALLIKIA 7/12/2010 11:18AM

    That's wonderful! I love that - "to the cow and back" - brilliant! You are so inspiring!

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HSMOM2FOUR 7/9/2010 11:46PM

    Way to go!!! Thanks for sharing - you are helping to keep me inspired & motivated to keep trying to run too!!!

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LCHADBOURNE 7/9/2010 11:12AM

    Awesome! Way to go girl!!! :)

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ANNE7X7 7/9/2010 7:45AM

    That is awesome!! Thank you for sharing the story on how you became a runner!! That is fantastic!!

I wish you many many more runs to the cow and beyond!

You rock!

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SBHPATRICK 7/8/2010 11:16PM

    That's awesome! Congratulations on accomplishing your goal!

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TEAM-SARAH 7/8/2010 9:59PM

    Yay that is amazing I am SO FRIGGIN PROUD OF YOU!!! Are you friends with KARVY09 on here? She has a great blog series RWC (Running while chunky) and she's super inspirational with her running journey too. I'd definitely recommend seeking her out for some motivation. Keep up the great work!! You were a runner as soon as you decided to commit to it... but I'm glad now you FEEL like a runner!

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BAM0827 7/8/2010 9:47PM

    Congrats!!!!! That is such a great blog to read!

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KARLA_33 7/8/2010 9:20PM

    Congrats, keep it up!!!!!!! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ASHARON 7/8/2010 9:15PM

    You go girl! What a wonderful story!
Thank you for the blog.

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ERRANTMAGPIE 7/8/2010 8:49PM

    Thank you for the inspiration! One day, I hope I'll make a similar post!

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Sounds so much like my journey to running! Love it!
Keep up the good work and enjoy your race!

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TXWINS 7/8/2010 8:18PM

    You go girl! What an inspiration.

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For those of you curious-blood test results are in...

Wednesday, July 07, 2010

Well, got the blood test results back and I am the picture of health. Even the few results that were questionable when I had my last workup done three years ago were spot on now. I would be ecstatic if not for the fact that I still have an unexplained food or drug allergy lurking about (none of the foods I eliminated from my diet caused a reaction when I added them back) not to mention the mysterious bout of dizziness and nausea last week and general tiredness lately.

The doctor suspects last week was due to a combination of dehydration and heat. Only trouble is I generally drink about 8 ounces of water every 2 hours. so I find it hard to believe I was dehydrated...and lately I have been RUNNING outside in 90 degree heat so I can't see how the heat in an air conditioned exercise studio would get to me. We weren't even 20 minutes into the routine!

And there is still the perplexing fact that my blood pressure was low on the day I went to see the doc - 90/60. Ah well. much like the unexplained allergy, this too will likely remain a mystery until symptoms develop again. Maybe it's all an allergic reaction and I need to explore testing to determine if I have any food allergies or intolerances.

The hubby thinks last week was due to a bad reaction to a "wrap" I tried at a party one of the neighbors had on Monday. They are getting into this home based business where you sell body wraps that claim to "melt inches" in minutes and detox your body.

I was a skeptic but since the claims are the product is all natural I thought I would go an support them. Upon the hubby's insistence that the wrap was the problem, I pulled a complete ingredient list and, while there are natural herbs and ingredients in the product, there are also scarier questionable ingredients like Ceteareth 12, Urea, Magnesium Aluminum Silicate and all kinds of parabens. Lots of skin care products have some of these in them (though I try to avoid) but most you don't leave on for an hour while you wrap yourself in saran wrap so your skin can't breath. So maybe the hubby is right...

Oh well, at least I am feeling better this week. My foot is a little tender after my run-in yesterday with the earring, so I may have to skip HipHop today in favor of swimming again (will be extra careful where I step), but I am on track with sticking to the lower calorie range I set for myself this week and exercising daily.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

TEAM-SARAH 7/7/2010 11:05PM

    Sorry there's some unresolved medical issues. I'm sure that must be frustrating! You could try drinking more water, you'd be surprised how much your body needs when it's hot... even if you're not working out outside. I probably drink 8 oz every hour on average. Today I worked out in the morning, but not since then and I've been drinking quite a bit of water and the urine has still been more yellow than I'd like. So... can't hurt to drink more... though I doubt that would explain everything. I'm glad your lab results were positive and I hope you get to the bottom of whatever else is wrong and fast! and I definitely hope it's nothing serious!

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LHACKING13 7/7/2010 1:01PM

    I'm glad everything looks good and I agree with your husband about the wrap. Our skin is supposed to breath, so I've never wanted to do that no matter how "natural" they try to make it. Anyway, I hopt you don't have any more symptoms in the future.

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BOVEY63 7/7/2010 12:47PM

    Happy to hear the tests results came back so good. Hope you're feeling like yourself real soon.

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BRILLIANTAQUA 7/7/2010 11:09AM

    Could your sodium be too low? That can cause your blood pressure to drop which can definitely result in dizziness. Healthier diets tend to contain less sodium and it's something to watch out for with low blood pressure (I finally started taking salt tablets to manage mine because I couldn't get enough via diet to keep me from getting dizzy & almost passing out every time I stand up).

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CODEMAULER 7/7/2010 11:08AM

    Keep in mind that snake venom and anthrax are "all natural," too. It doesn't mean it's automatically good for you.

I hope that you are feeling well soon. The summer months are short enough without losing time to illness.


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ANNE7X7 7/7/2010 9:59AM

    Sounds like that wrap could definitely have been the problem!! I hope that things get better and that you find your energy!!

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MBVMFLUTIST 7/7/2010 9:47AM

    So relieved you're alright! Very strange about the wrap; I've never heard of something like that but hubby is right, it could've been a reaction to that. I'm glad you're feeling better this week and back in a groove! :)

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JMEPAYNE 7/7/2010 9:44AM

    glad to hear that you're okay!

sometimes our bodies just do weird things for no reason. i remember standing in the bathroom a year or so ago brushing my teeth, i lifted my head to look in the mirror and my vision just started closing in and i fell back against the wall.
i already had a Dr. appt that day, so she checked me out and nada... hasn't happened since. SO WEIRD!!

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It's on!

Monday, July 05, 2010

Well, if you've been following my blogs lately, you may have noticed a dramatic change in recent weeks from my usual upbeat "can do anything" attitude. I've been in a funk, to put it simply. I have been feeling poorly, overworked and overstressed, frustrated with snail's pace weight loss results and suffering from a general lack of motivation. Let me see, yeah, that about covers it.

I've been to the doctor and am waiting on final blood test results tomorrow, but am feeling much better after the long weekend. I am somewhat de-stressed and better rested and, regardless what the tests say, ready to start kicking some butt again. Que the 80s inspirational music montage...it's action time!

1) First, clean up the diet. I wouldn't say I have been eating badly these past few weeks or even overeating, but there is a reason there are a few days missing from my tracker each week. Snacky days when I mentally tallied my intake and found I had at least hit the high end of my ranges (which I suspect is a little high for me anyway). Days when the hubby and I went out to dinner and estimating my intake was just too big of a pain. I have been eating like I am in maintenance mode and, with 50+ pounds still to go, it's time to demand more of myself than that. So this week I will:
Track every day
Aim for 1200-1500 calories per day (yes, less that SP recommends but one week won't hurt after living at the high end of my ranges for the last two)

2) Exercise every day this week. I haven't felt up to doing much the past couple of weeks. Sometimes the heat was to blame. Sometimes a busy schedule. And of course there was the exhaustion and the dizzy, fainty spell I blogged about last time! But I didn't say I had to run every day this week or make it to the Y every day this week, just exercise. I can take it easy and do some yoga or use the stability ball on days I don't feel like doing much at all, but I will meet (or exceed) my calorie burn!

3) Strength train. I have actually been much better about this lately. Even the last two weeks I managed to fit in a couple of ST sessions and am definitely starting to see results. But the hubby and I have decided to take a canopy tour on our cruise this December, so I am going need a whole lot more upper body strength that I have right now before we sail!

4) Stop psyching myself out! When the hubby and I were discussing the canopy tour, he mentioned that he needed to lose 30 pounds to meet the weight restrictions. I did a quick calculation in my head and told him he still had five months to do it. He laughed and said "You think I MIGHT be able to lose 30 pounds in HALF a year? Yeah I think I'll be OK" And he will be, no fear at all of failing. But me? Even breaking into the two teens was anticlimactic since my normal 3 pound weight fluctuation took me right back up to the 220s (barely) just days after my hard won victory. But its OK, before long I will be down again and the high end of my weight fluctuation will be 219 vs. 221 and then I'll do down again. Onderland 20 pounds away, people!

I got this

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPUNKYDUCKY 7/6/2010 5:36PM

    Congrats on dipping into the teens, soon you won't see that 220 at all. My weight does the same thing. I will dip down, swing up, then eventually dip down again. Currently my scale is stuck and I want to hurl it against the wall :)
Glad to hear that you are feeling better and getting your energy back, I think the heat is getting to all of us. Keep moving forward, I am cheering you on!

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CALLIKIA 7/6/2010 10:59AM

    You TOTALLY got this! It's on like Donkey Kong!

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JMEPAYNE 7/5/2010 4:52PM

    you can totally do it!

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    Sounds like what I need to focus on too!

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TEAM-SARAH 7/5/2010 2:34PM

    It is not fair how much easier it is for men to lose weight! Damn our bodies for being so super efficient at using the food we take in!!!! You are doing so great overall, and you're such an inspiration. You've always been doing this the right way... slow and steady. Believe me I know how easy it is to let yourself start eating like it's maintenance mode time... but that can get away from you quick, slippery slope and all. So it's good that you're making plans to get back on track. Exercising every day for the week is a great idea. Especially since you're planning to really just be active every day, not like... kick your butt every day. It will hopefully get you mentally back in the game and keep you from overindulging. Wouldn't wanna ruin that hard workout! I've been eating a little too much like it's maintenance mode the past week, admittedly. I've been making great progress and I am comfortably out of the 200's at this point, so I start to cut myself some slack... then a little more.... then a little more. Maybe with entering the 2-teens finally coupled with all the stress at work it's been a little easier to slack. let's make this week a week filled with much better portion control and more nutritious food choices!!

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ANNE7X7 7/5/2010 1:20PM

    Way to refocus and move forward! I hope that the tests come back with good news and that it was just stress and tiredness! You will be in Onederland in no time!

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MBVMFLUTIST 7/5/2010 11:59AM

    Yippeeee!!! You're back! You can do it! Let's get to Onderland together! :D

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CODEMAULER 7/5/2010 11:05AM

    It's a great day to be recharged. Get into attack mode and drive those blahs away!

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HEALINGHANDS615 7/5/2010 11:02AM

    God you took the words right out of my head! Good luck and keep the faith!

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When "I'm too tired" isn't just an excuse not to work out

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

I really thought I had just been lazy for the past 10 days. I chalked my constant fatigue up to stress. I even blogged yesterday about how bad I felt for slacking lately (at least in the exercise department).

But folks, tired doesn't begin to cut describe what I have been feeling, especially this week. I got eight hours of sleep last night (except for waking up once so thirsty I downed eight ounces of water and a cup of watermelon mindlessly before going back to bed) and still felt like like I was operating at about 40% in the energy department all day. I am eating right, sleeping decent, hydrating adequately. The only negative factor I can pinpoint has been anxiety and mental work overload.

So I told myself I would stick to the plan today despite my fatigue and go to HipHop. I did NOT feel like going, but I felt like I NEEDED to go. My Sparkbuddies would be holding me accountable and, after all, I don't want to back slide. So I was tired; that's just my mind rebelling against doing something my body doesn't want to do. That's just me being lazy (or trying to anyway).

So I went. Twenty minutes in, I felt a hard wave of nausea. I suspected I had just overheated a bit, so got some water and took it down a notch. Thirty minutes in and the nausea had not subsided. Side to side motion made me feel like losing my water, so I took it down three or four notches, enough to avoid movement that would make me hurl but not so far that my heart rate would come down too fast. Thirty five minutes in, I felt like I was in serious danger of passing out. Luckily the instructor wanted to get out early, so started the cool down and stretch. Things at least got no worse until the last minute or so of stretching when I got stomach cramps so bad I had to stop. As soon as class was over, I put my water bottle back in my locker and went into the lobby to sit down until I felt okay to drive. A friend in class took one look at me and said my color was so bad, my lips had turned white.

To put it in perspective, tonight I did what would usually have been a WEAK workout (250-350 burned max) and burned 530 calories because my heart rate was so high. Not good. So apparently this fatigue thing is not just stress and I am not so lazy after all. Going to the doctor in the morning to get my new ailment sorted out. First, the hypersensitivity vasculitis (rash/undiagnosed food or drug allergy), now this! What is going on with me????

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CALLIKIA 7/6/2010 11:01AM

    You're having a rough go of it lately. I hope the doctor can sort all of this out for you!

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    Hope you feel better soon. Sounds like your body is telling you something...hope you can find out what soon!

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KISMET10-3 7/1/2010 1:57PM

    As soon as I read this my first thoughts was go get some blood work done. I have been feeling drained and just blah, sometimes barely putting one foot in front of the other. I had an appointment to go give blood and told them I wasn't feeling very good. They did the little finger prick iron test and told me - we aren't doctors, but your iron level should be anywhere from 15-40 and your's is at 9.2. Get some iron supplements and get to the doctor sooner than later!

Take care of you!

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BRANDI0074 7/1/2010 1:31PM

    hmmmmm sounds very familiar. The fatigue got so bad that I was nodding off while driving and in the shower. Make sure they are checking all your vitamins and minerals. I have a b-12 auto-immune disorder, and It took my ending up in the hospital and 10 doctors, and 6 months to figure it out. The lack of b-12 was causing everything to shut down, and my body could not absorb any vits or mins. But it sure could absorb the fat! Email me if you want a few more details.

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CHRYSTALM0214 7/1/2010 12:38PM

    Oh no! I hope they can figure out what it is quickly and get you better! Hang in there chica and take care of yourself.

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TEAM-SARAH 7/1/2010 11:42AM

    Oh man that sounds rather scary! Glad you're going to see your doctor to get this checked out!!

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KYMMC3 7/1/2010 8:48AM

    Not good!! I hope you feel and get results from the doctor. Would it be rude of me to ask if you may be expecting?? That would for sure cause of those symptoms....... I hope you don't think that's mean, just looking out for you! Feel better

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YOGAGIRLNH 6/30/2010 10:27PM

    Hope you feel better soon. Be gentle with yourself while you heal.

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MBVMFLUTIST 6/30/2010 10:25PM

    OMG Please let me know what happens at the Dr.! I'm so worried about you! :(

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HSMOM2FOUR 6/30/2010 9:52PM

    oh wow! that sounds awful!! I'm glad you're going to the dr! Make sure you take your notes on what you've been able to do/not been able to do. I'll be praying for you!

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NANA2THREEGIRLS 6/30/2010 9:49PM

    I hope everything is back to normal very soon. I got sick a few months ago and it took forever to get back in the swing of things. Don't forget to keep us posted~ I will be thinking about you. emoticon

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WINSTONSUZ 6/30/2010 9:37PM

    I feel for you........ and you do have to listen to your body and know what's normal and what isn't

I know it's more difficult when we're asking ourselves to do things we haven't done........ in maybe ever?

So take care of yourself and hope you'll be feeling better soon!


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GALSAL59 6/30/2010 9:30PM

    Oh my...please DO take care of YOU!!!

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Tuesday, June 29, 2010

I can't believe it has been 10 days since my last blog! I have barely glanced at my friend feed at all in the past week. I have comments I need to reply to and kudos to dole out and I just can't bring myself to get around to it.

The workload since my coworker left has been unimaginable and, since we won't hire a replacement until September, there is bound to be little relief for several months yet. In the end, it will be good change, but right now I feel totally overwhelmed.

On top of it, I feel guilty that I have been totally slacking on my workouts for the last week! I worked out ONCE last week-Zumba and Strength Training on Monday- and only managed a 2 mile hike on Sunday because it was so HOT. I had a party to go to yesterday (not an eating or drinking party so at least I didn't overindulge), so nothing this Monday either. And today I am just tired and, to be perfectly honest, all I want to do is curl up with a good book and chill.

As much as "I'll start tomorrow" was a mantra of the old me, I think I AM just going to wait and get back in the swing of things tomorrow with a fresh perspective. HipHop is tomorrow. and I am REALLY looking forward to it (instructor was out last week, so no class). So here's the plan: Wed-HipHop and ST, Thurs-5K training, Fri-Zumba and ST, Fri-5k Training. That ought to meet my calorie burned goal for the week and I can just relax and go to bed early tonight.

On a good note, I hit the two-teens on Saturday!!! The 220s have been the toughest plateau I have reached yet on this journey, so I really want to gain some momentum now that they are behind me. I am 17 pounds away from being out of the "obese" category. So here's to hitting it hard tomorrow...and procrastinating a little longer tonight. Keep me accountable folks!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

BOVEY63 6/30/2010 5:17PM

    Congrats on reaching the two-teens.
Enjoy the hip hop and hope your work load decreases a bit.

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TEAM-SARAH 6/30/2010 11:58AM

    Sounds like you have a great plan for getting back to it. Life happens, ya know. You haven't lost your focus. You finally got out of the 220's which is so awesome. Keep at it and before you know it you'll be celebrating being out of the 200's forever PERIOD!!

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    I want to hear all about your fresh new start tomorrow. No more slacking and no more excuses. You can't break a plateau by doing nothing. You can do it and we are hear to help you.

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ANNE7X7 6/30/2010 10:34AM

    There you go! You will be back on track and out of the obese category in no time!! You can do it :)

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HSMOM2FOUR 6/29/2010 8:37PM

    I'll be here tomorrow, waiting on an update from that HipHop class!! Better get rested up tonight so that you can give it all you've got tomorrow!!!

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