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The journey of becoming a runner

Monday, May 09, 2011

I want to be a runner. I love the idea of it. It can be done anywhere. It is fairly efficient way to exercise and burn calories. It doesn't cost that much. But the reality is that I got it in my head that I hate running. So, for me, running is as much a mind game to get through as it is physical challenge. I pursued the running goal once before in my life -- 6 years ago before my father died. I wanted to run a ten mile race. I was running for 70 minutes at a time and could keep a 6 mile/hour pace (more or less) and then it all broke bad and I spent my afternoons at the hospital finishing the pints of ice cream that Dad had said he wanted and only took a few bites. The "all Ben and Jerry's, all the time" diet isn't ideal for athletic activity. The training ended. I went on a couple of runs here or there after that but very quickly gave up the running and the running goal. So with a single 5K under my belt and fees paid to a few more races that were never run, running was abandoned.

Over the past 6 years I have gone through more and less active times (choosing activities including biking, hiking and some intervals on the treadmill -- these are done with a HR monitor). I am clearly not in the same shape I was in back then but I signed up for a 5K last March to try to get myself exercising more than twice a week because 40 is starting to mock the changes in metabolism that came at 27. I started the couch 2 5K just like last time but wasn't quite as dedicated as I should have been and had only gotten to week 6 of the program by the time my race came around. I had managed 6 weeks of training in the 11 weeks I had allotted. I ran the race. My goal was to run the whole thing, no walking. I made that goal but my time was considerably slower than my one previous experience and a little slower than my goal which I set when I realized I hadn't trained enough.

I won entrance into another 5K this past weekend. I wanted to improve my time but I really hadn't been doing that much training. I finally finished the last three weeks of the Couch 2 5K in about double that time. It was a very small race and everyone seemed to be runners -- there didn't seem to be that customary contingent that you see at large races who will walk the course or maybe are just starting a long journey with fitness and losing weight or who are quite advanced in age and still out there. No, there were less than 100 people and as I looked around they all looked pretty serious about the sport. My mantra of "you won't come in first but you probably won't be last either" was starting to sound less convincing.

And when I started the course after the starting gun had sounded, I changed my goal. The out and back course started down a steep hill that lasted for about .6 miles and then continued down a slight grade along the creek until the lowest point on the course -- the turn around point. The second 1.56 miles of this race would be all uphill. And a good bit of my training has been on a treadmill with no elevation. I kept the goal of no walking but decided my effort here would be to find a positive place in my head. No internal complaining. No hating the race, no hating running. Enjoy the course, the beautiful weather, the beauty of rock creek park in the spring. I was pretty sure there was no one behind me when I made it to the turn around but there were maybe 6 people who finished behind me (2 of whom I passed on the gentle uphill before it got steep). The official results haven't been posted yet but I think I added about a minute and a half to my previous time. I feel good about it. I finished, I didn't walk (although there were points of that uphill slog where I was sure I could walk faster than I was running), and I saw three deer. I wanted to sprint the last .1 mile but my heart rate was so high I decided not to risk it (like 190 high)

In two weeks I am running an 8K -- what was I thinking? My goal? to finish and keep my head in a positive place.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UMDAWG04 5/9/2011 3:59PM

    emoticon Keep it up! As the weather is warming up, I know it's getting just a little bit harder than the week before for me, but I'm so glad to hear that you are doing well! Best wishes with your goals for your 8K, and take care!

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SENATOR9 5/9/2011 1:56PM

    Great restart who knows Just keep at it You did great

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REDFOXTROT2 5/9/2011 1:17PM


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Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Well, I never got around to my February goals -- I am still plugging away on the couch to 5K program and have 6 weeks until my race in March -- the plan is getting harder but I know that I can do this...I have been trying to do one workout a week outside so that the road isn't too much of a shock (the weather hasn't always cooperated). I was looking into the bridge to 10K program but I am not sure if running is for me -- the plan adds quite a bit of running on that first week but it goes back to intervals so there is the recovery time -- I have yet to actually find the program that isn't trying to get me to buy an ap for my phone -- it must be somewhere.

I am trying to be focused on better food choices because I have been struggling with body image for the past couple of weeks -- I need to get serious but I am not sure what that means -- I am exercising and trying to track everything with Weight Watchers (I have gone over the past two week). I will be starting Weight Watcher's at Work -- which is what worked for me before -- I hope I can find that mindset as well.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UMDAWG04 2/14/2011 2:49PM

    Way to go for keepin' on keepin' on with C25K! While your desired destination might be clear, it's not always easy to know how to get there. Congrats to you for taking action - for exercising, for tracking, for starting WW @ Work. Keep it up and hopefully, the path will make itself a bit clearer to you as you go.

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SENATOR9 2/8/2011 11:36AM

    If you buckel down you should get there emoticon

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January is approaching its end

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

This month has had it's ups and downs. I started the couch to 5k program on January 4 and 4 weeks later I am getting around to day 1 week 3 of the program. But I am still doing it and I signed up and paid for a 5K yesterday -- I will be running it on March 20. I better keep my schedule or I won't be ready.

I have eaten out an immense amount this month...my addiction to groupon www.groupon.com/r/uu131658 and living social https://livingsocial.com/redeem_invi
saves me a ton of money on eating out but sometimes if I don't plan it right, I end up going out to eat 6 days out of 7 like the beginning of this month. Follow that up with a weekend of union business that includes meals (served buffet style) and I am up to my highest weight ever.

I had some disappointing news when some one convinced me to be more persistent in following up on old career dreams and then to suffer rejection again. I am not good with rejection. Not to mention on the same day, I got some disappointing medical news. I had my suspicions that it was a possibility but the actual news from the doctors office hit like a ton of bricks.

I am trying to find a font of positive self talk and motivation. I can do this -- we might be starting a WW at work session which words way better for me than the regular meetings which I have a hard time fitting in my schedule. It worked for me before and kept me motivated and accountable. I keep wondering if I should pay for more training but it is so expensive, and they don't have that many good times open at my center either. Maybe pick up a couple of sessions at the Y? I don't know, I imagine life will just get too busy again but I will find a way to make this work. I am going to come up with some goals for February and post them sometime over the next couple of days.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SENATOR9 1/26/2011 7:50AM

    There always seem some up and down.We just got to deal with all the stress that surround us Keep you head up Kiddo and keep moving forward one day at a time emoticon emoticon

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UMDAWG04 1/25/2011 2:50PM

    emoticon on signing up for the 5K and keeping your C25K training going.

This month, I've been trying to work on adding a little strength training into my schedule, so I've been using some of the short videos here on SP. I just shoot to do 10 minutes a day, and so far, it's been helping me work it in. Maybe something like this might help when time is tight?

Hope you have a great week!

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SHERYLDS 1/25/2011 2:45PM

    Sorry you got bad news. emoticon

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FITMARY 1/25/2011 1:10PM

    Wow, I'm impressed that you've signed up for the 5K. Good for you!

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Reflections on my body image: what better time than now

Tuesday, January 04, 2011

I have suffered with body image issues for much of my life. While I was not over weight as a child/teenager, I was not happy with the body I had. I was a small child and hit puberty fairly early (not by today's standards). With the curves came body issues. With fairly small bone structure my hip bones didn't protrude and cause my stomach to lie flat or even concave across them unlike my much larger friends. I always had a bit of a pooch in my belly and can remember walking with one arm across my waist at all times on the beach to try and hide this "fat". (I was maybe 87 pounds sopping wet). I had quickly developed quite a few other curves that soon made clothes no longer fit and my tween love of shopping for clothes soon dissipated. It was just too frustrating to find things that didn't leave me looking like I was wearing a potato sack after passing over my breasts. Or didn't gap at the buttons. While I still struggled finding clothes that fit, the closer fitting styles of the 90s were more flattering to my top heavy figure.

When I entered college I weighed about 103 pounds, I didn't think much about my weight or my eating. I was a vegetarian at the time and this limited my options but I ate what I wanted and didn't think about it much. Financial circumstances led me to take a couple of years off after my first year and a half. One of the jobs that I had an outdoor education center, gave me unlimited access to cake and brownie edges (the cook wanted every child to get a piece that was the same so cut off all the edges and left them in the kitchen for the staff) as well as a walk in cooler full of ice cream. I was still underage so calories from drinking had yet to enter the equation. After this job and re-enrolling in University, I was at a healthy 114 which I maintained for years despite my regular forays to bars and the associated drinking and occasional bar snacks. I had discovered the gym and aerobics classes and good weather usually found me out on my bike or hiking off Saturdays drinking binge.

At 27, I suffered a couple of cracked ribs after a biking accident right before moving to a new area and a different climate. The result was another 5 to 10 pounds. Since then it has been a steady climb a little at a time -- I had managed to lose about 10 pounds on my first diet (South Beach) just as my dad entered the hospital, his eventual demise led to a lot of poor eating (the hospital had no cafeteria although the gift shop sold Ben and Jerry's and Dad liked a bite or two).

The past couple of years have been an up and down of weight (I had a successful run of weight watchers and then the at work group disband and the wining and dining of new relationships leaves me at my highest weight -- just under 145 pounds. These days I try to appreciate my body for what it can do but I still have days where I am plagued by bad body image. I know the best thing I can do for my health is lose some weight and it is only going to get harder as I age. It has to start somewhere, it has to start sometime. What better place than here, what better time than now.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

UMDAWG04 1/4/2011 10:39PM

    I wish I had the words to explain how moved I was by this entry. Best wishes with your restarting C25K, and just keep believing in yourself even when a bad body image attempts to set in.

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SENATOR9 1/4/2011 9:00AM

    You know if you set your mind to it you can do it
One day at a time emoticon

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My birth month approaches

Thursday, October 28, 2010

Some people celebrate a birthday -- me? I celebrate that anniversary for the whole month. But I spent the past month getting way off track and so while there will be plenty of celebration I need to get things back under control.

1. Track my WW points every day and stay in range for the week. I know there will be lots of opportunities for eating a drinking through out the month, it becomes important that I plan for these and really up the veggies and fruits to help balance these others out.

2. Earn an Average of at least 2 Activity Points per day -- so a minimum of 14 for the week -- considering the eating opportunities, I will likely need to do more. I also need to exercise at least every other day (ideally daily but I can already see days where it will be hard to fit in.

3. go to meetings -- I pay for them I should actually show up and I think it helps me stay on track.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

VBPARROTHEAD 10/28/2010 6:02PM

  The anniversary of my 21st birthday is coming up too! Friends and I celebrate for a month also; so, I know what you are experiencing. It is a lot of fun but ya gota plan, that's a fact, or you blow all of the hard work of the past 11 months! For "girlfriends' night" I chose a place for dinner that doesn't have the best happy hour prices, that way I will have 1 martini rather than run up the bill for friends' to pay. For the couples' celebration I will do the same thing and have a small cake; so, no leftovers! Gotta love celebrations.

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ZOOLOVER 10/28/2010 4:55PM

  You're off to a good start, you know you need to plan for the events that are coming up. Now you just need to make sure you do it. You can earn extra activity points by just walking in place while on the phone, etc. Good luck to you and have a great birthday. emoticon

Comment edited on: 10/28/2010 4:56:19 PM

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QUIKSYLVER 10/28/2010 4:52PM

    We celebrate birthday weeks in our house. I like your idea better! emoticon

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