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My Dory Blog and how it applies to Sparkpeople...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

I've had this blog brewing for awhile and since I have very little to report today it is time to finally put this one out there.

So, there are lots of Sparkers who like to quote Dory (Dori, Dorie? whatever), the little blue, forgetful fish from Finding Nemo. I love Dory too. She cracks me up. Personally, not a huge fan of Ellen, but as a little blue fish she rocks!! If there is ANYONE who has not seen or heard about Finding Nemo I am sorry. Its a great movie, check it out, there is a message there that anyone can appreciate (in fact there are several so that really adds to the universal appeal).

Dory is this little blue fish with short term memory issues. She can't remember what she did, said or heard 3 minutes ago, but she has this mantra that keeps her going. "Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming, just keep swimming". Sorry fans if I didn't get that exactly right, but that is the gist of it anyways. When things get hard she reminds herself to just keep swimming. She knows if she just keeps swimming she will be okay. It is only when the swimming stops that the REAL problems begin!! How many of us do the same thing? Probably every single one of us do something like that. "Just keep running". "Just get through this last set and then you are done for the day". "I really do like baked chicken (I'd rather have a burger and fries but I know this is better for me)-oh wait that is the blog about the sharks in Finding Nemo, not Dory-LOL!!"
I think that is why Dory pops up so much here at Sparkpeople. If we had a mascot it would probably be Dory. Her mantra inspires all of us to do better and keep trying. Even if we "fall off the wagon" (sorry Karvy-put that in there just for you emoticon!!) we can look to Dory for inspiration and start swimming again.

But my inspiration and how this relates to Sparkpeople comes from the end of the movie. Remeber the scene very close to the end where Dory has just found Nemo and for once her memory succeeded and she remembered what she needed to? Dory realized she had Nemo, but Marlin (Nemo's dad) was swimming off into the ocean in despair, thinking his son was dead, he was headed towards the "feeding grounds" where surely something aweful would happen to him. As Dory and Nemo swim off looking for Marlin they are passed by a large school of really ugly fish, then they find Marlin, the family is reunited (joy, joy) and then the really ugly fish swim back the other direction yelling at everyone to swim and get out of the way. A giant net comes sweeping along grabbing up a bunch of the ugly fish as well as Dory (Marlin and Nemo are too small to get caught in the net). Nemo knows he has to help his friend. In an earlier scene Nemo learned that a bunch of fish, working together, can pull down a net. Nemo knows he can make his plan work and convinces his overprotective dad that he can do it. Marlin, Nemo and Dory work together to get all the fish swimming together back down towards the ocean bottom. Dory chants "keep swimming" while Nemo and Marlin show the others what to do. The group succeeds and all the fish are saved from the fisherman's net. There is a moment where they let you think Nemo gets killed when the net falls on top of him, pinning him to the ocean floor, but he is fine and everybody lives happily ever after.

So, here at Sparkpeople, sorry to say it, but we are all the ugly fish and Dory and Nemo and Marlin!! In my version we are all beautiful fish. We are stuck in a net. A net of unhealthy habits, whatever they may be. In that we differ widely. Some of us are already at a point where we eat right, but as age takes over things start to change and we need to put a little more effort into ourselves, some of us are working on eating and working out, and some of us have lived a sedentary lifestyle laden with unhealthy food for years now and are ready for a change. I have never found a sparker EXACTLY like me. We are all unique but we all share the desire to break free of whatever net is holding us down. And for some sparkers the battle is life or death, just like in the movie. The great thing is that we have help. We don't have to figure out how to break that net all by ourselves. We have Dorys who, while battling along side of us, are there to cheer us on, give us encouragement and keep us swimming in the right direction. We also have Nemo and Marlin in the form of coaches and leaders who have done this, they know what needs to be done and how to do it. They know that it will work and we will break free if we can all work together and get the job done. Just keep swimming and you will start to feel that net bending and breaking and eventually you will find yourself free of that net that was holding you down. Just watch out for other fisherman-there are a lot of them out there, but, that is the other great thing. If you happen to get caught in another net...Dory, Marlin and Nemo will be there waiting to help you again!! So, there you have Dory blog...

Now, thinking about something, afraid to consider it though. A good friend of mine has a son (13 years old) diagnosed with Ulcerative Colitis. He is not responding to any of the treatments thus far and his doctors are beginning to seriously discuss surgery. A large portion of his colon will be removed and replaced with a colostomy bag. Looking into this I've discovered that this is a serious issue with A LOT of people. 1 in 200 people will be diagnosed with this illness or one of it's cousins-Crohn's or Collitis. I want to do a Team Challenge run-13.1 and try to raise some money for research. But the only two coming up are SOON, like in JULY!! Don't know if I can do it...well have a little time to think on it anyways. There will be others...

Have a great day all!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VERGE_OF_ME 3/24/2010 7:12PM

    I love your blogs! I always enjoy and appreciate your perspective. I want to encourage you to do the half : ) If you can comfortably do 4 miles have plenty of time to train if it is something you really want to do. My Sunday school teacher's granddaughter, 17, was recently diagnosed with UC and had to get a colostomy for a while. She has had a few other surgeries though and is now doing's a great cause to run/walk for. Looking forward to your next blog : D

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KARVY09 3/24/2010 2:29PM

    Wagons ho!

Cute story though. I like it!

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NANC304 3/24/2010 1:58PM

    I love your way of looking at things. This is a great blog! Sorry about your friend's son. I think it's great that you want to run a race to raise money. You're awesome!

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NEW-CAZ 3/24/2010 1:15PM

    Sorry to hear about your friend's son Heather I so hope all goes well for him, poor lad at only 13 faced with that. My heart goes out to him but I think it's great that you're willling to do your bit to raise funds.
I love your blogs so much, great analogy and well thought through- I'd forgotten I'd seen Nemo but can see exactly what you mean.
You'd make a good story writer!!!!!!!!!!!!

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    Sounds like a great idea. Nice blog.

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MOCOHOLO 3/24/2010 12:02PM

    What a wonderful blog!!! Thank you so much!

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2FUN2B_LAZY 3/24/2010 11:57AM

    Aw I LOVED this blog! You are so intelligent haha!! I love that movie too.
As for raising money for research, you are AMAZING for feeling that way. Really and truly. It makes me proud to be your sparkfriend. =)

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PRINCESSMANDIE 3/24/2010 11:54AM

    I LOVE Finding Nemo and Dory is definitely my favorite character. Her message is definitely appropriate for Spark People and weight loss. When we back slide we shouldn't give up we should "just keep swimming".

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Quiet day...acorn squash recipes??

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Not much going on today. Spending a lot of time on the computer trying to fix a glitch with some OLD, OLD, OLD student loans so my application for my Bachelor's degree can move forward. Finally found the contacts I needed now hopefully they will respond quickly!! Another beautiful spring day. Son has baseball practice tonight so I need to get dinner started. Carbo load night with spaghetti and bread sticks. I'll also be enjoying some of the acorn squash I made the other night. First time I've ever made or eaten Acorn Squash and it was quite tasty!! Very impressed with that little squash. Baked it in the oven with a little butter and a little brown sugar sprinkled over the top. It was just enough to sweeten it a little bit and almost gave it a pumpkin-y type taste. Think I will try it again but leave off the brown sugar and sprinkle a little pumpkin pie spice over the top. Anybody have a favorite way to cook Acorn Squash-for that matter any squash-tell me and I'll give it a try!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

FLYBALLJRT 3/24/2010 11:11AM

    Its yummy in soup too :-)

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NEW-CAZ 3/24/2010 6:29AM

    Sounds yummy!

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LITTLEWIND53 3/23/2010 10:29PM

    I had squash at one of my sisters,and I really liked it but she just gave me verbal directions which I promptly forgot, so never able to make it myself!

So the only squash I eat regularily is Spaghetti squash! I love using it in place of pasta!

Reminds me, I have a squash so I need to get it out and cook it ha ha!

Have a great evening!

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KATIEWELL 3/23/2010 6:23PM

    That is the best way to cook the squash, you can microwave it also. I usually just cook it without butter or br. sugar, its really good with cinnamon.

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The world is full of cactus...

Monday, March 22, 2010

Today's quote, like all truly great quotes, got me thinking. Will Foley said "The world is full of cactus, but we don't have to sit on it."

At first I was busting a gut over this quote. See, where I live cactus and the possibility of sitting on one is a complete possibility!! Once, when I was Christmas caroling with some teenagers from church I bumped into somebody's pet cactus and got some spines in my ankle. How did I get the spines in my ankle at Christmas time? I wasn't wearing socks! Or, for that matter, even actual shoes, I was wearing clogs (you know those leather ones so popular some years back). Yep, Christmas time and I was out in what equates to sandals, I was wearing a jacket, but it wasn't so cold that socks were required!! I live in the desert, cacti are all around me and the sitting on one, well I can't think of anything sillier. One would only do that on accident!!

But, of course, in the metaphorical world, the cacti are not real, so what are the cacti we would sit on? Geez Louise...those metaphorical cacti come in all shapes and sizes and all sorts of varieties, more varieties than actual cacti come in!! My darling son, who I love so much, sees cacti everywhere he goes. Poor thing is a born pessimist (I have to work at not being one myself so I see how he got it). He does a wonderful job of overcoming his cacti problem though and I have a feeling that by the time he is an adult he will have learned the wonderful lesson of this quote...yep, those cacti are everywhere, but I don't have to sit on them. And, should I accidentally fall down on one, it is possible to scrape out those spines and move on with life.

A bit ago I felt surrounded by cacti. Every run was fraught with cacti. They were everywhere. Sore shins, short distances, miserable results, and no end in sight. But, I refused to sit down on those cacti. I persevered and kept and eye on those cacti and made it through the forest. My work paid off in a record time run on Saturday. I beat the cacti into the ground. Now, since I was also a born pessimist (learning not to be) I am fully aware that while Saturday's run was cactus free that is not the end of cacti in my world. Some more will sprout up, but I don't have to sit on them. I am commemorating my victory by buying a piece of jewelry I've had my eye on but considered too expensive to buy for myself. A leather bracelet with a metal tag on it that says "persevere"! Might have to wait until next paycheck, but it is still mine!!

Watch out for those cacti, they are definately there, but remember, you don't have to sit on them!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RITEEBEE 3/22/2010 1:45PM

    great blog! I will keep my eye out, they seem like they are sprouting out at record speed in my world right now, trying to avoid them! Great metophor and way to go with the run!!

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NEW-CAZ 3/22/2010 1:30PM

    Great metaphors, great inspirational blog as always Heather
I always feel uplifted after reading your blog emoticon emoticon

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KARVY09 3/22/2010 1:13PM

    Love the quote and blog!

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ESBELL 3/22/2010 12:35PM

    So true - it reminds me of Dorie from Finding Nemo - "JUST KEEP SWIMMING, SWIMMING, SWIMMING!!" Don't stop in the cactus - run through them emoticon

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MOCOHOLO 3/22/2010 12:33PM

    Your blog was the first thing I read this morning and I'm so glad. What a great post!!

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ITSALMOST30 3/22/2010 11:59AM

    That was a GREAT blog post. Truly inspirational!

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Virtual Race Day!!!

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Today was my Virtual 5K running day. First day running a 5K in about a million years (okay so maybe just since Thanksgiving or so). I was a little worried about the distance-longest distance up to today was 3.2 WITH warm-up and cool-down walks.

Yesterday I was at our local sporting goods store buying baseball pants for my husband, he is coaching our son's youth baseball team and the coaches have to wear a uniform similar to the kids' and he needed pants. While I was there I decided to look at shoes. I really needed a new pair of shoes but they just haven't been in our very tight budget. This store does not do professional fittings it is look, try and buy, nothing special and you get what you get. What is good about this store is the prices, generally they are a season or so behind and the shoes are often marked down-sometimes WAAAY marked down. Last tim16e I bought a pair of shoes there they ended up not being the best for my feet. I didn't know then what I know now about different types of running shoes and the shoe I bought fit really well, but they have a very stiff forefoot. Apparently I underpronate (?-my foot turns out not in) and shoes with a more flexible forefoot are better for that problem (so I read in Runner's World anyhow). It makes sense since the pair I've been wearing are very flexible and they work very well for me, except the support has broken down, they are done, I didn't keep mileage on them but I think they've gone the distance. So...the pair I bought are now my aerobics shoes and they work very well for that purpose. There were a lot of shoes on sale yesterday so I decided to try on a few pairs.

First, I checked the forefoot for flexibility before even asking for the shoe to try on. I also bypassed any shoe that felt heavy when I picked it up. Then I checked the cushioning inside to see if it was soft, but not squishy. I found three pairs I wanted to try on. I started by trying on two pairs, one shoe on each foot to see how they compared to each other. One pair got kicked out of the running right away because even though they were comfy they squeaked when I walked and I wasn't going to go running in squeaky shoes-LOL!! I am sure the squeak would go away, but I just didn't want to deal with it. Down to two pairs and since I'm not committed to actually buying a pair I was objective about the two pairs. Did a couple of rounds with one of each on and didn't notice any major differences in feel so I went to the complete pair of each one and did a couple of laps. I felt kind of silly running through the camping section-oh well!! Tough cookies!! I did finally settle on a pair. The best part is they fell within my budget!! I figured for the price if they ended up not working for running then I had a cute pair of running errand shoes, or walking around Disneyland shoes. Only $21-down from $60-ish is a bargain for any shoe.

Got up this morning, put on my new shoes (figured might as well break them in now), drove to my sister's and we were off. First we took the dog for a warm-up walk, dropped off the dog at the end and stretched a little then the race started!! Took it a little slow for starters, kept with my 2 min. running, 1 min. walking intervals. Finished my first mile in 19:14 and thought UGGGH that is downright awful!! It is going to take me an hour to finish this "race". Started my second mile feeling warmed up and increased my pace some. Kept going and going-chased a few ducks who were walking down my sidewalk. Finished mile 2 at 34:30. Hey, that was a 15:16 mile!!! Hey that was cool!! Much better number there!! A 15 minute mile is a VERY good time for me!! Woo Hoo!! Started getting in the groove and actually started to let my mind wander a little, started thinking about the good and bad parts of doing a virtual race. Kept glancing at my stop watch to check my intervals and actually ended up playing with them just a little. Running really hard for the full two and then taking a two minute walk and then running for just shy of the two and walking for just shy of the one. Only did this a little bit and came around the corner to the long home stretch, the "finish line" was at the end of the road and a bit around the corner. Looked at my stopwatch and thought, "hey, I'm making really good time. I'm going to beat the Disney 55, what about my Turkey Trot 48:21?" I took a slightly slower walking interval, held myself back on purpose to give me a little more chance to catch my breath because I was giving that last run all I had. Time to run-lengthened my stride, turned that corner, saw my sister standing at the "finish line", high-fived her as I ran past and click the stopwatch to end my 5K. Looked at the time and started yelling "PR, PR, PR!!!" 44:16!!! How the heck did that happen???!!! Jeff Galloway, that's how that happened!! It only happened at the end and only because I had enough power left to really torch that last mile!! I could tell that even my walking intervals were speeding up during the last mile. Awesome-blossom!!

That was a fun race!! I'm calling it the inaugural Hemet Duck Race. My sister also had a PR so our race is a really good one-all of the participants had a PR!! LOL!!!!! I think next time I will make us bib numbers I'll be 1 and she can be 2 and then we can switch for the next race!!!

The shoes worked fine. The left one bugged me a little-I tied them differently to see which way worked better for me-definately the right foot!!!

I went grocery shopping right after our race. It was a really good plan because I didn't want to buy anything that wasn't healthy right after running. I got the kids some cereal they will like to eat, but discovered that Special K is really high in sugar and Honey bunches of Oats beats Special K on nearly everything I check for-calorie, fat content, fiber content, suger content and protein content!! Hmmm wouldn't have thunk it!!

Now it is time to get on with my day, lots to do still!! Hope everyone has a great Saturday!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JILLIANPRNCSS 3/20/2010 8:56PM

    You will be hitting that 30 min 5K in no time the way you are headed. Congrats

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KARVY09 3/20/2010 8:16PM

    Congrats on your PR and the shoes!!! Hopefully you'll break them in soon and they'll feel great. I'm so happy your run went well!

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NANC304 3/20/2010 6:25PM

    Great job!

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FLYBALLJRT 3/20/2010 4:59PM

    emoticon Great job mama!!! Too funny about making the bib numbers, how fun. I'm doing my first virtual race tomorrow :-) CONGRATS on your personal record!!!!

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4EVERADONEGIRL 3/20/2010 3:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Those just say it all! It was a great morning!

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NEW-CAZ 3/20/2010 2:47PM

    emoticonon your PR Heather emoticon emoticon

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MOCOHOLO 3/20/2010 2:37PM

    Great job!! And congrats on finding inexpensive new shoes too! What a bargain!

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THENEWCINDY 3/20/2010 2:28PM


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BILLALEX70 3/20/2010 2:14PM

    WooHoo on a PR!

It takes me the first mile to settle in before I can pick up the pace. I think that's a splendid idea for 'bibs.' LOL

Keep on ROCKIN!

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PHDMAMA06 3/20/2010 2:12PM

    Congrats on your PR!!!

emoticon emoticon

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Another awesome run!!!!!!!!!!!

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Woke up this morning and most of the soreness from Monday's killer aerobic class is gone and I woke up ready to go running. I tried something new today. I've been doing running/walking intervals following week 4 of C25K. Week 4 for 2 weeks just because it has pretty good interval times. Today I went off program and tried Jeff Galloway's 2:1 ratio. Two minutes running to 1 minute walking.

First off I forgot my stopwatch, but I remembered my ipod!! I have the ancient 2nd generation 30 GB and it has a stopwatch feature! Kind of cool. It was fun getting to listen to my music today instead of Robert Ullreys from C25K. I got a good mix today too. U2, INXS, Cold Play, good music for some good running.

It did get a little annoying constantly looking at my ipod to see what time it was. That's okay though because like I told my mom and sister, before long I'll get the feel of the new timing and won't need to watch the timer all the time. My ipod died during the last 2 min run. I need to send it in to have the battery replaced but I don't want to be completely without it. I was really draining the battery today, listening to music and running the stop watch function and constantly turning the backlight back on to see the time...poor thing no wonder it wanted to go back to sleep! At least it waited until the last run I already knew where I would be running to no matter what the timer said anyways. For these runs my stopping point is an electrical box right next to the biggest lake.

I've developed this little habit where I run up to the box, touch it, and my run is over, then it is just a walk back to my sis' house and a stretch and done.

I LOVED the 2 minute intervals, at first the cycles seemed to be going too quickly, but then I got into the groove and it was awesome!! I definately ran faster today and I could enjoy the running sections a little more knowing that they were shorter. The shorter times let me really push during the running sections instead of holding back, afraid I would get too tired or my legs too stressed. The 2 minute times let me develop a nice loose stride, the recovery times were just long enough to catch my breath so that I could really work again during the next running interval.

Okay, totally off topic but this is too cute! I am sitting here typing, my son is playing his Leapster (a handheld game kind of like a Nintendo, only educational), he is playing I Spy, he has to find objects hidden in pictures to collect pieces for a map. He finally finished the last picture on that section and got his last map piece. My littlest comes over and touches my knee and tells me "Mommy, I have something very important to tell you". "What?" "Matthew found his last piece of his treasure map!" (Said with eyes wide open!!) There is something so hilarious to me about a little 3 year old saying something like "Mommy, I have something very important to tell you" and then that something important being about a game!!

Okay back to the run...It was awesome!! Saturday is a big day!! My first 3.1 mile run in a long, long, long time!! Last week I went 3.2, but that included warm-up and cool-down. This will be 3.1 running!! I'm going to be timing it for the virtual running team I joined recently, we'll see how it goes!! Truthfully, after all that has been going on I will be happy if I finish under 55 minutes!! I know that is a horribly slow time, but it would match my Disneyland 5K time from last September-my first 5K after finishing C25K and I was running with a chest cold on a very humid day, but since it will be my first time back at the old distance I will be very happy matching that time!!

Okay, time to get on with my Thursday, busy, busy day today, lots of errands to run in addition to the normal everyday stuff!! Hope everyone has a great Thursday too...weekend is almost here!!

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

4EVERADONEGIRL 3/21/2010 12:37AM

    Just think back to that period of time where you were so frustrated and we talked about how someday you would be back to enjoying running again...through compromise and a lot of persistence it has really paid off!! Way to go!!

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FLYBALLJRT 3/18/2010 11:31PM

    Yay!! Glad you had a great run! Virtual runs are the best, I'm doing my first 8K with my running buddy (who lives in Chi town, I'm in SoFL), my wallet loves it too!! Something I've learned in the past year as a new runner--forget "Horribly slow" and think about "wonderful for you" because its all about your personal best. So what if you can't beat the chick that's been running her entire life emoticon emoticon

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BEENIE76 3/18/2010 5:16PM

  Seriously. I'm not sure its emotionally healthy for anyone to love running so much. Maybe you should have that checked...just saying. ;)


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NEW-CAZ 3/18/2010 4:30PM

    emoticonon a fantastic run Heather!
You'll do great on Saturday!!!!!!!!!!

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WBOYACK 3/18/2010 3:24PM

  I'm so impressed!

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DASSCHUS 3/18/2010 11:33AM

    Woohoo! Great run! I've also tried the Galloway run-walk-run during one of my C25K sessions and my time actually improved with the walk intervals! I was surprised. Plus it was more enjoyable.

You're doing great. And don't worry about those times. They'll improve as you run more.
My first 5K I was 230 pounds. Could hardly run 12 seconds. I finished in at 53 minutes. This year I was 196 pounds and finished in at 39 minutes.

Keep up the hard work. It's paying off. :)

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ESBELL 3/18/2010 11:09AM

    Sounds like you really got your groove on! Enjoy Saturday - it will be a breeze!

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KARVY09 3/18/2010 10:39AM

    Congrats on your great run! I'm sure Saturday will be great!
BTW, your jellybeans are making me hungry!

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MZLADY77 3/18/2010 10:18AM

    emoticon emoticon

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