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Sunday, January 09, 2011

In my attempt to keep to my goal of racing every 3 months, I signed up for my very first 15k - Badger Mountain Challenge! 1500 ft climb on this one...the biggest climb I will have done to date!!

What a beautiful, challenging & fun way to check out the surroundings of our new home here in southeastern WA.

Race details & pics below:

15k (9.3 miles)

Runner and hiker friendly!

Date: Saturday, March 26th, 2011

Check in: 7-7:45am

Start time: 8:00am

Entry fee: $25 which includes entry for one entrant into the inaugural running of the Badger Mountain Challenge 15km, one goody bag with an assortment of gifts/ schwag from event sponsors, access to fully stocked aid stations, a nice tech fabric long-sleeve race shirt, one raffle ticket, one ticket for the post race meal, and access to race photos.

Packet pick up: at Runner's Soul in Kennewick on Friday, March 25th, 2011 from 10am-7pm.

Course: the course consists of a loop that follows footpaths, multi-use trails, dirt roads, and short stretches of pavement on and around Badger Mountain. A couple of sustained climbs make the cumulative elevation gain near 1,500'. More details to come!

Aid: stations every 3-5 miles stocked with electrolyte drink and all the goodies you'll need.

Cut-off: there will be no cut-off for this distance.

Award: special awards for 1st, 2nd and 3rd male and female finishers. All entrants will receive a nice, long sleeve technical shirt.

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JLEEROSS 1/12/2011 9:58AM

    This race looks awesome Laurel! I can not wait to hear all about it. Good luck with training.

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LUVSBULLDOGS 1/11/2011 6:15PM

    Very nice pics. Do you have to run to do the 15K?

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CHANCE0719 1/10/2011 9:21PM

    Woohoo - good luck with training! An inaugural race sounds so fun! You can go every year and be one of those people who's run every year the race has been held!

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GO-LOEW 1/10/2011 6:29PM

    As I was driving home today, I had the idea to see if you wanted to walk to the top of Badger Mountain next week. My brother hikes up there once a week usually. I have gone up twice but wanted to incorporate that walk into my exercise plan once a week. It takes a couple hours the at my speed. Let me know if you have any time available next week, assuming the snow that is suppose to come this week will be gone by then.

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JOYEISH 1/9/2011 7:38PM

    Nice, nice, nice!!! WTG, Lars!!!


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Biggest Loser Challenge!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

I have struggled w/a lot of anxiety & stress in 2010 & even more so in Nov & Dec 2010. There were some major life decisions being made & the process of making these decisions were so long drawn-out & unknown for so long it just led me to gain nearly all my weight back (30+ lbs).

So here I am, week 2, in our new home of WA state & I've joined a gym (I was so excited about having a gym so close that I joined before we even moved, lol). Last week I signed up for the Biggest Loser Challenge that started today & ends on March 5th. I'll be chronicling weekly here on this blog until the end of the challenge.

Today was orientation: paperwork, weigh-in, measurements, fat percentages, "before" pics, & team & individual assignments.

Weigh-in: 167.8 lb

Waist - 36.75"
Chest - 36.75"
Hip - 38.50"
Thigh - 23.25"
Arm - 11"

Fat %: I didn't get a chance to write down but will be getting in an email later

"Before" Pic:

Now this is my personal "before" pic. The official one was taken w/out my purple tank...yes, that means I personally opted to go shirtless (obviously w/my sports bra) for the challenge "before" pic!!

Team: Yellow w/18 other teammates (soooo excited about this part!!)

So I met this amazing woman who was standing in line w/me. She's 78 & is in amazing shape. She works out daily (& it shows), she's doing this challenge w/her daughter-in-law. This 78 yo woman works out on the rowing machine, elliptical, treadmill, bike. She has beautiful bright blue eyes, glowing skin & a smile that just held me in conversation w/her for a long time. I left her energized & revamped just having had conversations w/her...what it would be to be 78 yo & still be going strong! Wow.

First place for the men & women receive $1k!! Second place is $800!! There is also a 1st place team winner (prize is unknown @ this time).

The challenge is based on:
Weekly percentage of weight loss
Assignments completed & turned in on time
Attending last chance workouts
Total percent of body fat loss
Total inches lost
Extra points for attending team challenges & health seminars

Seminars look awesome!! It includes:
How & Why to Keep a Food Journal
Knowing When & How to Change Your Exercise Routine
Importance of the Foam Roller
Why & When to Supplement
The Core, What To Do

I purchased a training package which entitles me to three 1 hr sessions w/a personal trainer. What I need to learn the most: how to deal w/"life" in a healthy way.

I feel like I took some healthy approaches to 2010 (I went to yoga often, took up meditation, forced myself to take "me days", achieved all my fitness goals despite weight gain) so I'm not considering 2010 a failure in any way. I'm realizing that I need to tweak more to find a good balance to "maintain my emotional & mental self". I'm seeking insight on this from my trainers, teammates, friends...& then really learning a way to implement it more.

So that's where I'm at today. It's a good place to be emoticon

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANCE0719 1/10/2011 9:20PM

    Sounds like you've got a lot of fitness stuff to be excited about! That gym challenge sounds so fun! Good for you for recognizing what you need (balance) & doing something about it :)

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JOYEISH 1/9/2011 1:42AM

    I'm so glad you're getting back at it & seeking balance in your life. I will definitely be one of your accountability buddies!! (And I'll be expecting the same from you!!! emoticon)

Let's do this thing!!!


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ALLBW2U 1/8/2011 10:59PM

    Good for you at getting back "on the attack" of those pounds that have come back. You can do it!! Work hard in the challenge....but have fun, too. You CAN do it!!!

I wish you the very best as you continue to work towards your goals....on SP and in life.

Best wishes always.....Bill

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JLEEROSS 1/8/2011 10:41PM

    2010 was a big year for you! Although I have no doubt that it was challenging the fact that you incorporated so many good habits (yoga, meditation, etc.) and met your fitness goals is a measure of how well you handled those difficult times. I can not wait to see your updates as you work toward this new fitness goal. WAY TO GO!!

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26.2, what a number!

Saturday, December 04, 2010

A Facebook note I wrote a few days after my first marathon in October.

* * *

26.2, what a number!
by Laurel Webb Weaver on Thursday, October 21, 2010 at 4:39am.

And it was the only number that ultimately mattered to me this past weekend. Last night our family drove home from Denver CO where I ran in my very first full marathon, 26.2 miles.

I have planned & trained for this run since Apr 2010. I had planned on running it in Portland OR as we were planning on moving there this summer. That plan changed & it provided me an opportunity to "hang it up" & revisit the goal for another time. Of course I considered it, then I quickly decided that if it wasn't Portland it *should* be somewhere, that the location didn't matter but honoring my goal was more important.

I trained. I started working part-time jobs (first time working in 5.5 yrs). I found myself keeping to my long runs but the short-during-the-week runs started to fall by the wayside (they are the ones I dread the most). I still kept my eye on the prize - race day on Oct 17th. I scheduled time off of my weekend jobs in order to keep to my long runs. I learned what foods worked & which ones didn't. I learned how to keep myself company on the really long ones since taking my Molli dog was proving to be too difficult. I learned that I was capable of doing very demanding, difficult physical things (long training runs, 34-42 hr work weekends, little sleep & keeping to Colt's preschool schedule that involved a lot of driving & prepping our home to sell & preparing to move).

I was getting through just fine.

2 weeks prior to the race I started to feel nervous. Physically I was not in very good shape. I had gained weight, done zero strength workouts & I started to doubt. The uncertainty of this upcoming move possibly being pulled was always a concern in the back of my mind & it was starting to creep in the forefront. I started to loose focus...& confidence.

I started just going through the motions day-by-day including my long training runs (I was still avoiding my difficult short runs). A week before race day I needed to either get on board mentally or just throw in the towel. I rallied in some advice from friends & family. I received a lot of reassurance & positive thoughts. It stayed w/me. I re-decided to keep my head down & steady the course for Denver & race day.

I had a fun distraction w/my trip to Denver. I got to work in a side visit w/my cousin & his family...met his brand new baby boys for the first time & got a chance to catch up w/him & visit w/his wife, whom I had only met previously @ their wedding. I always enjoy family visits & this one really meant a lot to me. It's not near often enough I get to have extended family visits, I do cherish them, no matter how brief they are.

A good friend of mine from Jemez was also on her way to Denver w/her family for race day. Her husband's first marathon (she just completed her first in May). What a treat to have her there - she's a dear friend of mine & having her around was comforting to me. She's such a wonderful mom, friend & amazing runner. Good company for me to keep this past weekend :)

Packet pickup was the day before the race. I went by myself to pick up my race bib #, shirt & other instructions. While I was in line I learned that it was the very first Rock n Roll Marathon in Denver, their inaugural! What timing!! It was my first too after all ;) Learning that immediately boosted my spirits through the roof. After getting my packet I went to try on some racing shirts that I decided I was going to splurge on purchasing. In the changing room they had rock music blaring. The atmosphere was electric & I left *so* amped to start the race the next day!

That same night I received a note that I had something @ the front desk of the hotel. To my complete surprise my Jemez Mtn Mamas arranged for a gift package to be delivered the day before the race. It was filled w/all kinds of local goodies from Colorado. Of course the note was the most meaningful, "Have a fantastic race. We're all behind you 100%. Signed The Jemez Mtn Mamas." Know that a handful of these mamas are my training buddies. I run w/these ladies countless times in our mtns on dirt trails & have run in several races w/them. These women are the reason I even started to run in the first place. Having a bit of the Jemez right there in my hotel room was so heartwarming & gave me an extra boost as I went to bed early. It made my experience richer.

It was a mad rush to get to the event in time. Traffic was great underestimated (or @ least the driving directions we had). Mark & the kids gave me kisses & dropped me off a few blocks short of the start line, they wouldn't be able to see me off this time. I finally made my way & started the race.

If given the opportunity, run a Rock n Roll 1/2 or full marathon. I've run several races in the past & nothing compared to the energy this race provided. The live music on the street corners were amazing!! The cheerleaders from the local high schools, everyone holding signs, cheering us from store fronts & front yards of houses was unbelievable!! The residents of Denver were very gracious hosts. People were offering cupcakes, coffee, beer, water on the race route from their homes or businesses. Countless residents hung out in their front yard in lawn chairs to root us on & offered music from their home stereos when bands were lacking. The generosity & support from Denver residents is something I'll always remember.

Mile 13.1, 12:12 pace. I was 45 minutes ahead of schedule even though I was strictly following a 4 min run to 1 min jog/walk ratio. I was surprised I was this far ahead of my projected split time. I decided to take longer jog/walking ratios in order to "save" for mile 20+, I dropped my pace down a bit.

This provided me an opportunity to visit w/a lady who was participating in the relay marathon race. What a treasured mile or two we shared together. It always heart-warming to learn how much people are willing to share when they're in the company of people w/the same goal. Her name was EJ & I posted a few pics of her & her story in my Oct photo album.

I started back to my 4:1 running/jogging ratio. While doing this I chatted up w/2 other runners, mom & daughter team. This was the daughter's 45th marathon (she must of been my age) & her mom's first - well in her 60's. What an admirable sight these two were. It made me think of how I want to include more of my goals w/my immediate family. It provided me a lot to think about the next several miles.

Mile 18: my mind went to realizing how sore my left hip was feeling.

Living in the Jemez I have only trained on the asphalt 2 times since the only option for non-trail running is the main highway w/a lot of blind curves. I had never gone this far on the highway in the Jemez & my hip was feeling the jarring from the pounding of each step. I decided to walk to give my left hip a break.

Aggghhh...the agony from that decision! Instantly when I started to walk my quad muscles were screaming in protest. I felt my muscles starting to tighten right away. I guess the walking stride was too much w/my very fatigued quads. Quickly I realized that I would not be walking any portion of this race. Instead I picked back up into an incredibly low gentle jog.

With this slower pace I met this guy who was finishing his 49th marathon. His goal was to finish 50 marathons in 50 different states by the time he turned 50 yrs old. Guess what state is left? New Mexico! He's considering the Duke City marathon...I told him that I just might see him there!

I spent quite a bit of time talking w/this guy. He was an "all size athlete" & learning about his accomplishments was truly inspiring to me. I shared a lot about my race experiences w/him & found myself getting emotional when asked what I've learned the most about myself. My response, "that I'd NEVER allow my weight or any other self limitation dictate what I can accomplish". That thought stayed w/me the rest of the race & the grueling miles yet to run.

Mile 22: the live bands were gone. The pain from my left hip was unbearable. I stopped @ the next medical aid station & got some aspirin & hobbled on. Man! Where was that mile 24? It seemed so far away & time kept mind wondered off. "What if Mark won't be there when I finish?" "Chris (Jessie's husband who ran) must have finished HOURS ago." "Where are ALL the other runners?" "What happened to the bands? Am I finishing so late that they all left already?"

Then my mantra set in. "This *is* hard. I *can* do hard things. This *is* hard. I *can* do hard things...."

Fast forward to mile 25 & realization that I was not alone on the race course. Seeing that mile sign for 25 was such a relief for me that I just had to take a picture of it so I'd remember it being such an encouragement that I *was actually* doing this to FINISH! It was this moment that I had decided that I wanted to run one more marathon. I made that commitment to myself then in that moment.

I met up w/2 other runners, friends running their first marathon together. He was spent in a big way. She had a bit of pep left in her. A conversation w/them was humorous & so helpful for me. He was getting on a plane later that night to fly back to Minnesota & he talked about fighting to get an aisle seat no matter what, lol. They took the pic of me @ mile marker 26.

We rounded the corner & she said to him, "That must be your brother ahead, I hear someone calling your name!" It was indeed his brother, who is wheelchair bound. Watching him embrace his brother just prior to that finish line was everything. I thought of what his brother must be feeling watching him finish his very first marathon. It was such a powerful moment to me. I wished I had the time to learn more about the reasons for his running & what this marathon was about to mean to him. (Always fascinates me to learn what motivates people.)

I came through the finishing corrals, quickly scanned the small crowd left & found Mark, the kiddos & Jessie's family. They *were* stlil there. My heart beamed. I really was doing this & my family is there watching me achieve this! I high-fived every single person I passed until I crossed that finish line w/a time of 6:08. Exactly 1 hr & 3 minutes later than I had anticipated (hopes of 5:05 was not in the cards for me w/this one).

To finish. You hear people say this a million times over. It is EXACTLY all that mattered to me. To finish.

I grabbed the person closest to me milliseconds after stepping over that finish line & gave the medical lady the biggest hug! She whispered in my ear as we embraced, "you did it, YOU did it!!" I was already crying. A few steps more & someone was placing my finish medal over my neck. My throat swelled up & I could hardly squeak out a thank you.

Any pain, any exhaustion I was just feeling moments ago melted away in what seemed like a frozen moment. I wanted to take it all in slow-motion to allow it to soak into my being of what just happened. I slowly walked to the photographer who was taking backdrop finishing photos. I wiped my eyes & posed for my picture. I was so incredibly proud to be there for that picture w/my finish medal.

At the end of it all I was most proud that I kept a promise to myself: I'd run the race & I'd enjoy it.

It *had* been a good day for a run.

Pics @

  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHANCE0719 12/12/2010 7:51PM

    AWESOME recap for an AWESOME race! I love all the details and how you were so open about your doubts. You've achieved so much - you're a huge inspiration to me!

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FELIXC 12/7/2010 10:39AM


Woo hoo, Laurel!

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JOYEISH 12/4/2010 2:06PM

    I loved reading your marathon journey. I found myself pausing...rereading...going to Facebook to look at the photos that correlated with each stage of the story. Thank you for sharing. I am *SO* proud of you!!! FYI: This is my favorite part of the story:

"I grabbed the person closest to me milliseconds after stepping over that finish line & gave the medical lady the biggest hug! She whispered in my ear as we embraced, "you did it, YOU did it!!" I was already crying. A few steps more & someone was placing my finish medal over my neck. My throat swelled up & I could hardly squeak out a thank you."

I could almost feel myself getting teary-eyed as I read it. You wrote this well...I could almost imagine myself what it felt like. What an amazing accomplishment, Laurel!!!!


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Need Fitness Goals

Saturday, December 04, 2010

It's been a loooooong time since a blog entry. As I prepare to outline fitness goals for 2011, I'm revisiting the goals I outlined on my main page:

Track my food

Healthy BMI

Race every 3 months:

Oct - full marathon, COMPLETED!
May - 10k: didn't do, instead COMPLETED in 50 mile bike event
Feb - 5k, COMPLETED!

Nov - 10k, COMPLETED!
May - 10k, COMPLETED!
Mar - 5k, COMPLETED!

Dec - 5k, COMPLETED!
Sept - 5k, COMPLETED!

I've accomplished all of my fitness goals yet have not conquered my overall health goal of getting in a healthy BMI range.

Hmm. What does this mean to me?

I'm driven w/fitness goals w/actual dates that I have to train & show-up for on race day. This is clear to me. My biggest accomplishment was completing my first marathon in October. A race I did not feel as prepared for as I *should* have but I *did it anyway*.

My push to accomplish my daily goals are not as driven as my fitness goals. Have to find a way to work on that.

2011 Fitness Goals to be defined soon...need a clear target to tackle come January!


A bit overwhelmed

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Team assignment: blog. 4 times this week.

I'm avoiding myself. I'm avoiding my feelings. Good timing w/this assignment.

I'm feeling a bit anxious, stressed, defeated & overwhelmed. I'm also feeling motivated to keep moving through this difficult emotional time. So far I've done just that.

Feeling unsettled b/c we don't know our final move date from New Mexico to New York. Suppose to know any week now. I'll feel less anxious having some cold hard facts to work w/.

Struggling w/my 2yr old son. Trying to find the best way to respond to his tantrums, yelling, hitting, defiance, frustrations. Such unchartered waters & I'm feeling unequipped & unknowledgable. Today I have reached out & did some internet browsing which provided some hope.

My volunteer commitments has become a bit much lately. I volunteer w/the local Fire//EMS dept as an EMT & also w/our local animal rescue group. I've been doing both for over 1.5 yrs...just hoping this "too much" feeling will soon pass. I hate to turn back on something I've already committed to.

I've learned that I'm averaging a C+ in my math online class. My first college class ever. Took my first math exam & am hoping I brought my average up.

Okay, this is longer & detailed more than I had anticipated. Well there's my "assignment blog"...3 more to come this week.

I have kept to my workouts despite all this. I AM keeping this commitment numero uno!


  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ABETTERCHERYL 2/17/2010 9:59AM

    Sounds like you are being pulled in so many directions that it's becoming hard to juggle it all. Might be a great time to step back and see what you can cut back on so that you can focus on the most important tasks.

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ABETTERCHERYL 2/17/2010 9:59AM

    Sounds like you are being pulled in so many directions that it's becoming hard to juggle it all. Might be a great time to step back and see what you can cut back on so that you can focus on the most important tasks.

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JOYEISH 2/17/2010 1:56AM

    I'm also so impressed with your persistence, Laurel. emoticon

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STOP.WAITING 2/16/2010 10:16PM

    Good job on upping your math update! Doing math in college is wayyy harder than people think. I'm in a medical course online and it's SO much more difficult than I thought it would be - and I did a year of university last year! haha.
Volunteering is great - but if you keep giving so much of yourself to strangers, you might end up burnt out for those closest to you.
I wish I could give "parenting advice" as I was a babysitter for years.. but babysitting and having children are very different things! Hope things get better though!

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LAURELNMARK 2/16/2010 9:52PM

    Just learned that my math average is now 91...I'm SOOOOO relieved about this!!


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TREATL 2/16/2010 9:48PM

    Congratulations on your weight loss and your running achievements!

I empathize with your situation. In my humble opinion, your are indeed overloaded. I think your volunteer colleagues would understand if you had to back off a little on your commitments because of family issues. They will have to say goodbye to you anyway when you leave for New York. ....Just a thought....

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