LDRICHEL   47,525
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Solidarity, man...solidarity.

Saturday, May 19, 2012

So...tomorrow my trainer, Robert (ON2VICTORY) and WONDERWOMAN (from the Half Marathon Team) are running the Green Bay Cellcom Half Marathon. Apparently, ABSOLUTZERO (also from Half Marathon Team) is running the full marathon. These people rock. I can't say it enough.

I have just been reading about training for the marathon (as in, the 26.2 miler). That s*&t is CRAZY, y'all! Here is a great quote that I actually can't get out of my head:

"In the marathon, even when the race is going as planned, you will get to the point where you question your existence," says Willie Rios, who helped coach Jenny Spangler to victory in the 1996 U.S. Olympic Marathon trials.

You might be thinking, "Leah??? Why are you reading about marathons??? Hmmm?"

Yeah...I'm not going to say the word "can't" or "never" to myself ever again...but I can assure you, this is NOT on my radar right now. AT ALL. However, reading about the ridiculous amount of work and time and training that these runners (really, a completely different LEVEL of runner) put into training just sheds a whole new light on everything I am doing as a beginning runner.

I mean, no one starts off running a marathon or even WANTING to run one. No...you start by walking a half mile. Then, maybe a mile. I remember when walking 4 miles every day (after healing from my extensive injuries) was the greatest victory for me. And now my focus is on a seemingly simple 5k. Except...it's not simple...not when you're just starting. When I wrote that blog about finally running a distance of 5k for the first time, Robert was so incredibly excited for me and so supportive. It wasn't until the next day that I realized how special this was and said, "Why were you so excited? You've run a marathon. A 5k is like nothing for you." He responded, "The 5k IS your marathon right now. It's no different than me running a marathon...mine is just a longer distance. The feeling of victory and accomplishment is the same."

Look...I know I go on and on here about how excited I am to meet new goals in my running, etc. And it does seem like it's happening pretty fast. I don't know why...my body is just taking to it better than I expected.But I never want anyone who is just beginning...ESPECIALLY those on our 2013 Indy Mini Team...to feel like they're not going to be able to complete the half next year because they aren't as far along as me or Robert or any other runner. It's been a huge deal for me to try to learn the most important lesson in running...that it's not about comparing yourself to anyone else. If anything, it's about comparing yourself to yourself.

I just love this quote: "It's very hard in the beginning to understand that the whole idea is not to beat the other runners. Eventually you will learn that the competition is against the little voice inside you that wants to quit." - Dr. George Sheehan

I suspect I still have quite a bit to learn about not comparing myself to other runners. I am trying to mentally prepare myself for my first 5k on July 28th with this in mind. But, on race day...my FIRST race day...I'm sure this will be one of my biggest struggles.

Comparing ourselves to others can destroy a workout regime. We've got to stop this.

One of the greatest things about the running community, though, that I've discovered rather quickly is their complete and undying support for one another. Seriously...the first time you go for a run on a crowded trail, you'll see. Apparently, it's not just Indiana's Hoosier Hospitality. I have read so many statuses of runners saying how pleasant it is to wave at other runners as they pass. It's like a big family...and no matter how successful one is in their own running, they are always looking out for the others.

In light of this spirit of cameraderie, I choose to run WITH my friends tomorrow. Race start time is 7am EDT. I will be out the door at 6:55am. I might only run 3 miles with them (because that is the limit of what my body can do right now)...but my spirit will be with them and will be cheering them on the entire way.

Wanna join me?

For you...WONDERWOMAN, ABSOLUTZER0 and ON2VICTORY...we run

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

MISSILENE 6/27/2012 7:45AM

    good luck to you.

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DEBK0923 6/12/2012 1:30PM

    Great Job, I'm just starting to run, keep going

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KNITTYKITTY01 6/4/2012 3:18PM

    emoticon I did my first 5K in march of this year. I got passed by a few walkers - i will never laugh at race walkers

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ROJAKHAN 5/26/2012 10:42AM

    emoticon

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RUNNER12COM 5/26/2012 12:17AM

    You will run further and faster in the future than you can even imagine!

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SBATES63 5/23/2012 3:46PM

    I toyed with the idea of running a couple of years ago, and worked all summer to be able to run 5km. Your friend is right. Our 5km is our marathon. And who knows what's next.

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CRAZYGYMGIRL 5/22/2012 5:45PM

    SKIRNIR -- I have walked 3 half marathons so far. My best time was 2:58 and I am damn proud of it. In all 3 of these races there were many, many "runners" who came in well after I did, despite having started in an earlier coral. Don't ever belittle your accomplishments. I've walked several 10 kms and even 5 km races , I'm 57 and have a bad right knee and other issues, but I still train months for these races. I actually have done a run/walk 5 km but I was slower than when I walk only.

I did a 10 km in Cleveland on Sunday and I started trying to push passed another walker who was younger, lighter and obviously more fit than I am. I had to just keep saying to myself... "do your own race" because I couldn't keep up with her, but I still could do a pretty good 1:27 race my way.



Comment edited on: 5/22/2012 5:48:05 PM

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WENDENANNIE 5/22/2012 2:18PM

    You go girl! emoticon

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SHERMOR13 5/22/2012 6:36AM

    I've been going round & round in my mind that i want to start running, but have come up with a jillion reasons why I can't! Thanks for helping me get motivated to start moving, NOT just think about it!

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FUZZYBEEZ 5/21/2012 11:19PM

    You give me hope that some day I too can run. I've got several old high school friends that run marathons and one of my secret dreams is to one day be able to run with them...not in a marathon but maybe on one of their training runs.

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HYATTI1 5/21/2012 9:15PM

    Hope you do well and it all goes according to plan. Good luck and thank you for sharing.

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LDRICHEL 5/21/2012 7:51PM

    SKIRNIR - That is just rude of them. Any runner I know appreciates walkers. Frankly, those two were just a&*holes. Sorry you had that terrible experience. Especially considering your accomplishment. You walked that thing faster than I could run it. Screw 'em. You're a champion!

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MSTAPLE1 5/21/2012 7:38PM

  emoticon

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SKIRNIR 5/21/2012 6:35PM

    I bet you can run a half, given time and training. I am glad there is a all for one attitude for runners, there doesn't seem to be much respect for walkers though. I mean, I walked a half marathon, my first and only so far and had to listen to two runners talk about how ashamed they would be to have to walk across the finish line. My accomplishment means so much less because it is walking, even though I walked a half marathon in 3 hours and 13 minutes, just under.

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HEALTHY4ME 5/21/2012 5:15PM

    I am entering my first 5k june 10th, for arthritis. My brother in law just finished the Bluenose half marathon in 1:57:57 he wanted to be under 2hrs. I used to wonder do I want to run, but was lazy, and naw I can't do it, now drs orders not to do it as I have severe arthritis in my knees. so will walk and do my best. but watching dave do the half, I was tearful, for those doing it, young, old, even one guy in crutches froma car accident, and I just thought I want to do something momentus like this too.
first step 5km walk for arthritis and I am signed up.
you are doing great!! Keep on!!
My blog has pic of brothter in law he has only been running a year and loves it.

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SANDYLH1 5/21/2012 4:20PM

  emoticon

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PEACOCK15 5/21/2012 3:21PM

    From a fellow beginner runner, I can't tell you how encouraging this blog was to me and so many others. It is hard to get that little voice out of your head that is telling you something you don't agree with. Kudos to you for putting it in to perspective. I will use some of your words of wisdom (and quotes-which by the way- I LOVE)for an upcoming 5k in June and the 1/2 I will be doing in September. YOU GO GIRL!!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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~INDYGIRL 5/21/2012 2:18PM

    emoticon

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CTUPTON 5/21/2012 2:15PM

    The mental tapes are what keep us from succeeding! You sound good. Hope everything goes well for you! Chris emoticon

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CROWLEY123 5/21/2012 12:39PM

    I love the idea! Thank you for inviting others to join you in support of your friends.
I have done a 1/2M, and I run regularly (although it is usually 5-6 miles a day) I am more of a casual runner, than a serious one. I do love it, and I will run with you. Not knowing what time zone you are in...I will run early AM in EST! emoticon

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BLOOMING52 5/21/2012 12:31PM

    Thank you.

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QUIERRA 5/21/2012 11:07AM

    I'm right there with you. I've been telling a few Sparkpeople members about my twin sister who runs marathons. I don't think anyone wakes up wanting to do it either. In fact, my goal is to start with a 5K. I'm still trying to find the one that's right for me. Way to go and stick with it. You sound like your on the path to success. :-)

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PETESKI24 5/21/2012 9:33AM

    emoticon

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JLEMUS1 5/21/2012 8:25AM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PATTOMMC3 5/21/2012 7:46AM

    My daughter and I both run....she can run for a long time and I can run about a mile. We are on different pages but yet we are the same! I run for my health and she runs because she wants to go into the army! I love the way running makes me feel! I think it's awesome that you run 3 miles and I look up to people like you and my daughter! Have a great day!

emoticon

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SCHNEBL 5/21/2012 7:42AM

    Thanks for your words. The biking community is like that too. (bicycle not motorcycle - although I suppose they are as well.) As I rode yesterday I waved at every biker I saw. It's a wonderful thing to exercise and discover a supportive community out there! GOod luck with your running....Robert has inspired me more times than I can count and in fact, he is the reason I have decided to do a century ride this September!

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LEANMEAN2 5/21/2012 7:10AM

    Thanks for sharing

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JOYCECAIN 5/21/2012 7:07AM

    HOW YOUNG ARE YOU? I AM VERY EXCITED FOR YOU. I WALK 10 MILES A WEEK, AND I CAN TELL YOU AT 240 LBS. AND ARTHRITIS, I HAVE TO MANY HEA.LTH ISSUES TO DO A MARATHON. I KNOW IN MY HEART YOU WIKK SUCCEED. KEEP US POSTED. T, RUTH BE TOLD, I AM 63 YRS. YOUNG I TRIED JOGGING DOWN OUR BLOCK, AND GOT 10 FT, COULDN'T TAKE A BREATH. SO I WALK.



Comment edited on: 5/21/2012 7:12:22 AM

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SANDIK9806 5/21/2012 6:46AM

    What a great blog!! I am not a runner, I've tried, I just would rather Zumba my tail off...that being said, I'm going to do the 5K color run in July and you just helped me bunches. I've always wanted to beat my own time, but I also always have it in my head how I'm going to stack up against my teammates...ones who like to run...ugh! I also get out there and think that, at the beginning of my 'training', I should be able to pick up and run (ok, jog at best) with the wind. Thanks for the inspirational words!

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BLUEJEAN99 5/21/2012 1:58AM

    emoticon

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KNEWMETODAY 5/20/2012 11:30PM

    A runner I"m not, and I really don't aspire to be one. Yea to those who love the sport and are improving daily.

KD

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WILDFLOWER521 5/20/2012 11:26PM

    From those of us who are just starting towards similar goals as yours, I say Thank You. It's nice to hear that the focus should be on ourselves and not what others are doing better than you because one day, we will be right beside them cheering eachother on because we are doing the best we can in that exact moment.

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MCFITZ2 5/20/2012 11:07PM

    wow emoticon

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JAMER123 5/20/2012 10:43PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon
I am not a runner nor can I run for health reason but I cheer you on as you head towards your ultimate goals!!
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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FITWITHIN 5/20/2012 9:07PM

    I just entered my first 5k in April. I didn't manage to run the entire race non stop, but I did finish running into the finish line. I will be signing up for my 3rd on at the end of this month and I hope that my body will allow me to run the entire race, but if it doesn't happen I will be fine with that, because each time I doing something that I hadn't done since the late 90's. I agree with the statement and not worry about others runners, but just enjoy the moment of accomplishing new milestone in your fitness level. Rejoice and enjoy! emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PMFISH 5/20/2012 9:01PM

    You might be amazed at yourself. I have a friend that started running after he was 54 and before you know it he was running marathons. His runs just got longer and longer. He has run marathons in NY, NC, Fl and Greece. He has now turned 60 and is still running. He has never "Quote trained" he runs on the treadmills and outdoors. This man had experience extreme back pain before he started running. The human spirit, body and mind are truly extra ordinary!

You go girl and keep us posted on your runs!

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MARGARITTM 5/20/2012 8:12PM

    I am always surprised when I meet a runner I don't like. Most are supportive and friendly. ...... and love it when someone discovers running!

See you at the finish line!

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REENIE131 5/20/2012 8:03PM

    A saying I've been using a lot lately, with others and myself, is "It's not that you can't. It's that you haven't...yet."



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FARIS71 5/20/2012 7:54PM

    Never say never! Love it!

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CORINA-MOMOF4 5/20/2012 6:45PM

    Great blog and you can do it!!!

BTW, I started running 12 years ago and I remember that I had to struggle just to run 10 minutes. Well, 2 weeks from today I'm running my first half marathon and then in October I'll be running my first full marathon!! So far in training, I've built up to 13.5 miles. Been a LONG road to get where I am. Take it slow and steady - slow and steady wins!! If anyone told me 12 years ago that one day I'd run a marathon, I'd have laughed at them "ya right!!"

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LOGOULD 5/20/2012 5:33PM

    Runners are THE BEST - no better sense of community and encouragement!


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LFBTSMYWY 5/20/2012 4:27PM

  emoticon

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WORLDSERIES11 5/20/2012 4:20PM

    emoticon emoticon

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GIRLINMOTION 5/20/2012 4:01PM

    Way to go! Who knows maybe you may go beyond your own expectations in the run.

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SPEEDY143 5/20/2012 3:44PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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MORNINGWALKER 5/20/2012 3:29PM

    emoticon you go girl!

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ISABELLE31 5/20/2012 3:14PM

    Thanks for sharing! :)

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KLYNNADDIS 5/20/2012 3:07PM

    Sounds like you have an awesome coach!! Way to share and inspire others :)

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GRAMMAOFFIVE 5/20/2012 3:00PM

    Great goal. To be in a marathon no matter how long it is. I can walk 3 miles but running for me is out. To much stress on my joints. But I sure would love to be able to run it. It is your marathon. And congrats for doing it. I heard they changed the route this year.

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LINDAKAY228 5/20/2012 2:49PM

    Great blog! Unfortunately I read it too late to joint you this morning but I would have if I'd caught it sooner. I am 57, somewhat overweight still, and also a new runner with ups and downs over the past couple of years and a lot of starts and stops but I keep coming back to it. I've run several 5k races and right now that's as far as I can go but maybe somewhere down the line I'll do a longer one. I've dreamed of it and although I am no where near it yet I still think it's attainable. At least a half marathon. But it's one step at a time. I am definitely not fast, and have even been in very last place a couple of times. But we do it for ourselves not for anyone and no matter how fast or slow you go you know what it's taken you to get out there and do it. I have no idea what your times are like but it doesn't matter because you're going to rock it! It so beats sitting on the couch!

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Every Day A Choice Is Made

Friday, May 18, 2012

WOW. Is THIS a beautiful day or what?! I woke up this morning and reeeeaaalllly wasn't wanting to get up when my alarm went off at 6am. But I pulled myself out of that comfy cozy warm cocoon of blanket and immediately donned my running clothes.

Last night, I was pretty excited for this run today because it's the first run I've felt comfortable doing with only one rest day between runs. My ankle has not given me any pain or trouble at all...so it must be getting stronger. Also, I have been getting REALLY sick of my old workout music mix, so I put together a brand new playlist last night! And, well, that's just fun.

I don't know if it was my new tunes, the feeling that you all are counting on me to be consistent, the fact that I just started a team to train for the 2013 Indy Mini or the fact that my incredibly inspiring trainer is running a half marathon on Sunday, but I hit a NEW LEVEL in my running this morning. I choose to believe it was a combination of all those factors.

My best running interval thus far has been 7.5 minutes and I thought that was pretty great. But, this morning, I told myself I would go as long as I am comfortable and nothing hurts and I can breathe. YOU GUYS!!!!! I did a 16.5 minute running interval!!! I haven't run that long since high school! When all was said and done, I had cut my mile time to about 14:20. That's a 45-minute 5k. Of course, I immediately texted Robert and I said to him, "Today...I became a runner."

On my run, I realized...you and I? We don't have a song! emoticon
People that love each other have GOT to have a song!!! Right???

Well, it just so happens I came across this one and it literally froze me in my tracks, y'all. If you've got a moment to spare, take a listen and watch the video. I GUARANTEE it will resonate with you the way it did me. I love you all. I'm just *alive* because of you!

www.youtube.com/watch?v=j6z-H3_hgEU

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

EMILYDOODLE 5/29/2012 6:49AM

  congrats on your running interval.

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STEPHERGAYLES 5/23/2012 1:50PM

  Wow, what a great post. Congrats on the 16.5! I also run further/faster when i make a new playlist. and I love the Switchfoot song :)

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THEIS58 5/23/2012 8:19AM

    Love it!

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LAURENBNJ 5/21/2012 12:01PM

    I need to make a new playlist, too. Music inspires me. Congrats on your longest interval. I remember that feeling!

emoticon

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REGILIEH 5/21/2012 8:13AM

    WTG!!!! tHANKS FOR THE SONG!

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HICALGAL 5/20/2012 10:04PM

    congrats on ur new running interval..and just so u know....U..were a runner when u started. keep up the great work and have a wonderful week.

and thx for ur support and encouragement on my blog. i really appreciate it. and i love that song!! emoticon emoticon

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SCOUTMOM715 5/20/2012 8:36AM

    emoticon on the run!! Love the song too!

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BLUEJEAN99 5/20/2012 5:06AM

    emoticon

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MIMIDOT 5/19/2012 10:48PM

    Good for you!!!!

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MARYJEANSL 5/19/2012 10:43PM

  Good for you!

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CLAYARTIST 5/19/2012 9:44PM

  emoticon

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SANDYLH1 5/19/2012 6:49PM

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MAYBER 5/19/2012 6:23PM

    thank you for sharing your thoughts on your great run today
best wishes as you continue to reach for your goals
one day at a time
emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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LIVELYGIRL2 5/19/2012 5:36PM

  Awesome song, I never heard this one.

It reminds me of , Sarah Groves

Add To the Beauty CD

the song is, Just Showed Up for My Own Life emoticon

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CICELY360 5/19/2012 5:18PM

  Good blog.

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MYSTERY-LADY1 5/19/2012 4:30PM

    emoticon

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SIMOFDIM 5/19/2012 3:37PM

    emoticon Great job! I know that feels good

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NCSUE0514 5/19/2012 3:33PM

    You're right on!

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SERASARA 5/19/2012 2:11PM

  emoticon emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 5/19/2012 1:52PM

    emoticon

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HEARTS116 5/19/2012 12:57PM

    emoticon emoticon

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ROBYNLN 5/19/2012 12:50PM

    Thanks for the great blog. I've been there, done that at 6AM under the covers. LOL I always feel better if I manage to get out and get in my workout. Even if I don't always enjoy the actual run, I almost always LOVE the way I feel physically and emotionally when I am done. Thanks for the link to the vid. That song is being added to my running playlist.

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MOMMY445 5/19/2012 12:45PM

    amazing!

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BRIGHTSUN4 5/19/2012 12:06PM

    emoticon

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SHOAPIE 5/19/2012 11:08AM

    emoticon

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CARAMELSMOM 5/19/2012 10:48AM

    Thank you for sharing the video. What a great song. I saved it in my favorites so I can use it for my motivational music.

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GRAMPIAN 5/19/2012 10:42AM

  Well done! emoticon

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VICKI-B--56 5/19/2012 9:39AM

  emoticon emoticon

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CPATRICK9 5/19/2012 9:06AM

    emoticon

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TONYVAND1 5/19/2012 8:07AM

  Thanks

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STEADFASTNSEE 5/19/2012 7:41AM

  Beautiful! HUGS

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KIPPER15 5/19/2012 6:48AM

    emoticon emoticon Great job

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NANA2ANGELS 5/19/2012 6:19AM

    emoticon emoticon

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SUSANK16 5/19/2012 5:18AM

  atta girl!

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FRUITYSPARKLES 5/19/2012 1:07AM

    Way to go! I really enjoy seeing your progress. Running is something that inspires me but I'm always afraid to try it. I really like hearing you overcome many of my mental barriers. It gives me hope that one day I will be able to do the same as you.

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LIBRARYBELL1 5/18/2012 11:00PM

    Congratulations!!! That is so fantastic. I know what that means to your self-esteem, because I have the same hope and desire to run 5 minutes straight. That day will make me so happy. I can't imagine running 16.5!!!!!

I wrote a message on your main page. I told my youngest sister today about joining this challenge and she is very excited for all of us. She said that the mini-500 is a great place to have our first run. She said the whole way is filled with people and bands and that the thousands of people that will be running with us will be a great encouragement. I'm really looking forward to it. I never thought I'd be this excited about something that doesn't even seem possible yet :)

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POKEMOM2THREE 5/18/2012 9:22PM

    Two words: WOoooooooo and Hooooooo!!!
or You Rock
or Awesome Job
or GO, GIRL!

pick two, they all apply.

Congratulations!! (I feel like I say that to you a lot)

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SUNRISE14 5/18/2012 8:15PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIDMIS 5/18/2012 7:44PM

    emoticon

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FRANCES-AGAPE 5/18/2012 7:36PM

    emoticon

emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

Great beat

emoticon emoticon

BLESSINGS!


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FRESKA 5/18/2012 5:55PM

    sounds like a great morning! great job!!! :) also, i dont have a song with my man either. lol we danced to maggie mae by rod steward at our wedding. cause of the chorus. lol but yeh. its all good. one day a song will keep coming on when your togeather and you'll have a song! lol i have songs with random other people. lol nieces and stuff. but not him. so your not alone. lol

keep up the great work and motivation!

emoticon

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TIFFY0906 5/18/2012 4:29PM

    Congrats - great job

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LDRICHEL 5/18/2012 4:18PM

    Sure! My playlist is very eclectic. Haha. Here is what I heard this morning...

"Teeth" - Lady Gaga (now THAT is a song to wake up to! lol. A bit naughty. OK, not a bit...actually...FILTHY)

"He
aring Damage" - Thom Yorke

"Beautiful Day" - U2

"This Is Your Life" - Switchfoot

"Undiscolosed Desires" - Muse

"Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da" - The Beatles

"Disco Heaven" - Lady Gaga

"Geek In The Pink" - Jason Mraz

That's about 45 minutes of music - the length of a 5k for me.



Comment edited on: 5/18/2012 4:22:09 PM

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SWEDE_SU 5/18/2012 4:13PM

    yay you! you are a runner! can you share your playlist? does the beat match your running pace? sometimes i listen to music, but other times i download podcasts and listen to them when i run. makes me forget about everything around me.

emoticon emoticon

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WILDFLOWER521 5/18/2012 2:22PM

    Great job girl!!

Love the song by the way, thanks for passing it on.

WooHoo!

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NEWTINK 5/18/2012 1:49PM

    emoticon I am so happy that running gets you so alive ....

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OPTIMIST1948 5/18/2012 1:27PM

    Empowerment through exercise?? Sounds amazing! Yes YOU CAN!

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MENACE79 5/18/2012 1:22PM

    I've seen your blogs, but haven't commented yet - just stopping by to say hello, CONGRATS on being a runner, and to let you know that your enthusiasm is contagious and you are just TOO cute! Way to Go - you inspired me!

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LINDAK25 5/18/2012 12:53PM

    emoticon
You more than doubled your time! emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/18/2012 12:53:34 PM

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ON2VICTORY 5/18/2012 12:39PM

    way to rock the run my friend! Im packing to head out for the big race Sunday. Im pretty excited.

Anyway, ill check out the song and get it on my playlist, i can always use a little fresh music on a somewhat stale playlist.

Great job, you ARE a runner :)




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Motivation Isn't Hard To Come By

Thursday, May 17, 2012


A special call to action...

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KWADHAMS 5/22/2012 10:06PM

    I loved your blog. Robert is really sparktastic.

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POKEMOM2THREE 5/18/2012 9:18PM

    You ROCK, girlie. Wonderful VLOG and Congrats on your nomination to SparkPeople Motivator! emoticon You absolutely deserve it!

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CHIPLEY_FL 5/18/2012 9:11AM

    I love the video blog. It is cool to put a face to the heart.

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1GODISMYROCK1 5/17/2012 11:06PM

    Thanks girlfriend! emoticon

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BEAUTY_WITHIN 5/17/2012 10:44PM

    Thanks so much! this was the perfect timing! I really needed a bit of a push, so thank you!

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WUBBY82 5/17/2012 8:09PM

    Woohoo, thanks for the shout out!! Your adorability factor completely went through the roof on this vlog, my dear :)

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JENNNY135 5/17/2012 7:38PM

    You are Sparktastic, thanks for this lovely blog. You made my day.

emoticon

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FREEDOMSTAR 5/17/2012 7:09PM

    wow YOU are Sparktastic... so glad I just became your Spark friend a few days ago.

You will reach all your goals

God Bless

emoticon

John

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MARVEEME 5/17/2012 5:23PM

    You're pretty SPARKTASTIC yourself, my dear Leah!
emoticon emoticon
Now SPARK ON!
emoticon

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FRANCES-AGAPE 5/17/2012 4:35PM

    Girl, YOU are emoticon

emoticon for taking
time to motivate us

BLESSINGS!

emoticon emoticon


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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 5/17/2012 2:59PM

    emoticon
You are so amazing!
Love you girl!
So glad there is YOU!
We WILL get together for that BBQ!!
I am not THAT far away from you!
emoticon

emoticon MY SP BFF!!!

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SUNRISE14 5/17/2012 2:48PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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ON2VICTORY 5/17/2012 12:26PM

    awwwww... sniff... thank you SO much, that was so sweet of you. :)

you have so much heart for this... keep going, you're going to make it all the way my friend...

wow... Sparktastic...

emoticon emoticon

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THE_NEW_MELISSA 5/17/2012 11:54AM

    Love it! You are adorable :)

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DANILYNNG 5/17/2012 11:37AM

    Lovely video, Leah.

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JOHNTJ1 5/17/2012 11:12AM

    You Rock!!!

You are an amazing motivator because you share the beautiful essence that is YOU with all of US and it resonates amazingly well and keeps us all going.

Thank you so very much for being who you are and having the courage to share part of yourself with me. I am a better person for it.

Keep on Sparkin' my friend

Much Love

John

BTW: did i say "You Rock?"

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THE_COUNTESS 5/17/2012 11:08AM

    I absolutely love-love-love this!

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NEWTINK 5/17/2012 10:50AM

    You are a beautiful person with a beautiful heart. Robert is a great guy although i am just learning both of you I find motivation and inspiration from both you. thank you for sharing with us

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Listen To Your Body

Wednesday, May 16, 2012

In terms of exercise and eating, I've been really thinking a lot this past few weeks about this idea of listening to our bodies. And, by that, I mean reeeaaally being in tune with what this wonderful machine that we call our body honestly and truly needs from us to function at its peak.

I've sort of naturally divided it up in my head into two separate streams of thought - food and exercise.

FOOD

If you've been around SparkPeople for awhile or read much on nutrition, you might have heard the term "food as fuel". I was unaware of what this meant for most of my life and, quite honestly, did not fully understand this concept until the past few months.

But, I do remember the first time I heard of this concept. It was a few years ago and my brother had moved to California and, when he left, he was extremely overweight, having been overweight most of his childhood and adult life. One day, I received a photo from him and was shocked to see that he'd lost more than a quarter of his body weight in a few short months! I asked him what in the world he had done to lose the weight...besides, you know, living in California. His answer was, "I walk everywhere because I can't afford a car and I eat vegetarian 6 days a week and only let myself have meat once a week." Then he said this and it always stuck with me (even though, at that time, I lazily shrugged it off): "Leah, you just have to look at food as fuel for your body and that's all. I don't care what I eat anymore...I just eat what I have to for my body to work correctly. There's not this huge level of enjoyment attached to eating anymore." Well, that did not sound appealing to me at all at the time.

When I returned to SparkPeople in February, you might remember that I rather flippantly agreed to do South Beach Phase 1 with a friend, which is basically a metric ton of vegetables and some protein every day for two weeks. The first few days were odd for me. I had never eaten so many vegetables in my life! It was extremely time-consuming in the first week to plan all my meals and snacks so I would end up having what I needed to not be hungry throughout the day. But, as time went by, it got much easier. By the second week, the diet had become second nature and I was throwing meals together within minutes. It was during this time that I realized that I was beginning to see food as fuel. This phase of the diet completely re-set the hardwiring in my brain regarding food. I no longer desired food as a reward. I don't really crave sweet things anymore. And even though I moved to the Spark Diet (as opposed to staying on South Beach's more strict Phase 2), I kind of just naturally stay away from carbs now without even realizing it. In fact, most days my Nutrition Report shows that I'm low on carbs.

Now that I've added running to my life, I am re-learning how to properly fuel my body with the extra activity in mind.

Of course, I've got a couple interesting examples to share, in which I will walk through this process with you of listening to your body.

First, I need to confess that I got 3 hours of sleep last night. This is in no way advisable or healthy - frankly, I made a choice to stay up late and I knew it would affect my body today. But I did it anyway. I don't do this often (if ever) so it won't become something that taxes my body in the long-term. But it is important to know this for the following examples. So, just go ahead and stick that little feather in your cap and hold onto it and I'll tell you when to bring it out again.

I actually woke up at 6am and my body felt good - so I did my run. I had not eaten anything before my run, but I felt perfect upon returning home. I made sure to get some carbs in me immediately - a slice of whole grain toast with some natural peanut butter for protein and good measure. And coffee - I mean...DUH. I felt satisfied and left for work.

At 10am, I went into our Accountant's office to work with her on some bookkeeping. We were just chugging along doing our work and something happened to me that has never happened before. I suddenly stopped and gasped. She looked up and said, "What's wrong?" I said, "I'm desperately hungry." Now, it's one thing to know the feeling of your body's natural hunger cues, but it is quite another to have hunger savagely pounce on you like a ninja assassin. I was literally fine one moment and the very next moment, I sat straight up and my stomach felt COMPLETELY EMPTY...and I was dizzy. So, using this as an object lesson...what does this tell me? I can discern that I probably should have eaten more than a piece of toast with peanut butter after a 3-mile run. I believe if I would have added a banana or some juice, or even some milk, it might have helped balance my system a bit more...even if I wasn't feeling hungry.

WHAT? Yeah...that brings us to our next parable.

Today I went to lunch with a friend and we were good little healthy girls and got delicious salads. These were wonderful, balanced salads with some meat and cheese (protein) and some healthy fats (avocado and olive oil). I ate most of my salad, but not all because I felt full. When we stood up to leave, I didn't feel dizzy but my entire body felt extremely weak...even though I had just eaten.

SIDE NOTE: Now, pull that feather out. YES...I slept for 3 hours. This is most likely WHY I felt weak. But...I am also a grown-up and I have a job so I can't just take a nap whenever I want on a Wednesday.

The surprising thing was that I immediately said to my friend without even thinking about it, "My body feels extremely weak. What should I eat?" To be quite honest, I shocked myself with this automatic response. Again, it goes back to food being fuel. In lieu of falling asleep in the park like a bag lady, I needed an alternative to give my body the energy boost it required to get through the rest of the afternoon. The answer? CARBS. So I hustled on over to my local co-op grocery (which, by the way, I believe is the SAFEST place to purchase carbs because, more often than not, they are made from natural ingredients or whole grain or delicious organicness) and plopped my handful of Clif Bars (stocking up - they were on sale!) and bananas on the counter. I just looked at the cashier and said, "I NEED CARBS NOW." Haha. That's me...freaky weird co-op grocery girl.

But food as fuel is not the only factor in this magical equation...

EXERCISE

So, I woke up this morning and actually felt decent at 6am! I was tired but my body didn't feel sick like it usually does when I wake up with not enough sleep. I was able to get out of bed, so I decided to go for my run. I walked out the door and I'm telling you guys...that first breath of air in the pre-dawn hours is like an instant drug the moment it hits your lungs. IMMEDIATE wake-up and an exhilerating feeling of being alive. And this is BEFORE my run even starts.

Turns out, I had the best run of my life. Cut quite a bit of time off my 5k time by adding longer running intervals. Listen, don't get overly impressed here. I don't run fast at all. I think LMFAO wrote me into their Party Rock Anthem when they wrote the line, "Every day I'm shufflin'". But I was proud of my progress...and can now run a straight 7.5 minute interval with absolute comfort and no heavy breathing. That's a huge improvement over just a few weeks ago when I was doing C25K and could barely run the 1.5 minute intervals.

I was really listening to my body this morning, as I knew I had had so little rest and it could affect me. I walked when I felt the need for more air. I had a super lame interval of running that wasn't even two minutes long in the middle of the run. But made up for it with my longest running interval on the way home. Normally, I'd only walk the final 5 minutes of a run, but this time I walked the final 11 minutes. I probably COULD HAVE run again...but I didn't want to push it.

I truly believe this run is what has given me the energy to make it this far through my day. If I wouldn't have done it, I might have face-planted into my computer about 4 hours ago.

My focus on listening to my body with running is not only in relation to the actual run. I have found that, probably due to my previous injuries, it is best for me personally to take two days of rest in between actual runs. So, my schedule for the week starts with a run on Sunday, a cross-training walk on Monday and a complete rest day from cardio on Tuesday. Then, the next real run is on Wednesday. And so on and so on. I find that I feel more soreness and possibly strain in my ankles the second day after a run and not the following day as one would expect. Thus, my complete rest day on that day. I have found this to be a great plan so far. And have avoided any injury or pain.

Last night, I started reading a book called "Complete Book of Women's Running" by Dagny Scott Barrios. This book is put out by Runner's World and I had received a recommendation from a friend. I picked it up at the library and, quite honestly, didn't feel it would be that interesting. I mean, come on...a book about exercise??? BORING. I figured it would be all tables and charts and training schedules. But I was surprised when I flew through 5 chapters because the author's voice and writing style is just so beautiful and easy to understand. What a great read!!! In the tune of this whole idea of listening to your body, I thought it would be appropriate to end with these beautiful excerpts from that book:

"When listening to your body, it's important to understand that you can't separate your running from the rest of your life. If you're tired from other activities, it can and will affect your running. You might find your energy drained from a family problem, a bad night's sleep, or office stress. You can't fight the impact of those things; nor should you ignore them. Factor them in when gauging how hard to push in your workouts. Running at this stage (beginning stage) should remain a positive, enjoyable complement to the rest of your activities. If any day proves too challenging - your legs hurt or your breathing is uncomfortably labored - back off. Walk as much as you need in order to finish. Take the next day off, and repeat the previous workout until you can complete it comfortably. Do this as many times as necessary.

Over time, you'll come to understand these training principles as you see them in action. You will feel the bounce in your step after you take your off day; you will become aware of the microcycles of improvement in your running from month to month; you will recognize when you push too hard or when you're being inconsistent and your training suffers accordingly. Pay attention to these principles and to the message your body sends. Eventually, you'll find that you can tailor a training program to your own needs, no matter what type of runner you are."

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

RELISA4HEALTH 5/17/2012 4:35PM

    Thank you for the gentle reminder that food is to be fuel. I remember reading this truth before.. It is a powerful way to look at food, not as some reward for good behavior, but as the fuel to keep one moving forward.
It is like an old saying," Garbage in, garbage out.
As a vehicle that carries us from place to place, I am learning that I truly have become what I eat, but this is changing daily as I apply proper nutrition.
One day at a time. Step by step.

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HKARLSSON 5/17/2012 11:45AM

    If I am truly hungry, I actually hallucinate smells until I get something to eat. It is torture!!!!

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ANNE007 5/17/2012 9:42AM

    emoticon]

Very eye opening!

Comment edited on: 5/17/2012 9:43:04 AM

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SWEDE_SU 5/17/2012 5:55AM

    well put - you've gained some important insights! emoticon

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APIKULENA 5/17/2012 5:20AM

  A very nice blog!
A few ideas regarding food were in my had but I could not put a pin on them!And now I have a new spin....I really can't explain better=)I'm bad with wards - but Thank you so much for this=)

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AWOOD1973 5/17/2012 4:48AM

    Love your blogs! Look forward to reading them everyday, so keep doing what you are doing! They're great!

Way to "listen to your body"!!

emoticon

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JENNCABA 5/16/2012 10:32PM

    Thanks for sharing...I am going to check out that book... emoticon emoticon

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BIRDLSLAURIE 5/16/2012 7:50PM

    It's amazing how well we function when we grasp the idea of nutritious food, decent sleep and proper exercise as fuel for our lives...for living. Thanks for the blog. Great fuel for our minds emoticon

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TALENKARR1 5/16/2012 7:32PM

    this helped alot thank you

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MADDIEKEEZER3 5/16/2012 7:21PM

    I'm sooo glad that you chose this particular topic for your blog today. Regarding running, I fall somewhere below the novice category. It's clear that I'll have to rework my walking (and later my walking/jogging) plan. Perhaps I should also read "Complete Book of Women's Running". I'll check out Amazon and see if I can get a used copy. Thanks, Miss Leah!!

Jan

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DIANNEMT 5/16/2012 6:32PM

    I remember when I was pregnant and would suddenly be RAVENOUS. So yes, food is fuel!!

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NEWTINK 5/16/2012 5:20PM

    This is wonderful advice .... thanks for sharing emoticon

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JENNNY135 5/16/2012 5:15PM

    Very well said.

emoticon

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SUNRISE14 5/16/2012 5:09PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SHELBEY74 5/16/2012 4:56PM

    So true!

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Let's Do This, People

Tuesday, May 15, 2012

A lil shout-out from yours truly!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHIRPYBIRD 5/17/2012 1:48PM

    Hi, I wonder if I could follow the training for the 1/2 marathon. I'm currently in Spain. I've so far booked 2 races in the past but failed to turn up to any of them because I didn't keep up the training. However, if a you are doing it, and are blogging what your progress is for the weeks ahead, I would like to join you on the training (well in a virtual way); and eventually book myself to do another race.

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JOYCRN 5/17/2012 1:13PM

    Go Leah! I did my first 1/2 marathon last year but wasn't able to properly train due to an inflammation of a hamstring or insertion site. But I still did it! And it was awesome. It was in Lake Placid NY and my husband, daughter, son and sister did it as well. This year I am TRYING to get my 5 K under 30 minutes. I don't know if I can do it but I'm going to continue to try. I am not having any pain issues so I think for now it is the way to go and as I get stronger maybe add in some distance again. (but I am a lot older than you)
Good luck! emoticon

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NASFKAB 5/17/2012 1:25AM

  thaks inspiring

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SHOAPIE 5/16/2012 6:26PM

    emoticon

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TRISHMO1 5/16/2012 4:30PM

  good luck, you've inspired me to ramp up my exercise regime, running's not my thing but I definitely need to do more cardio Zumba style emoticon

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GRAMPIAN 5/16/2012 3:56PM

  emoticon

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ALIDOSHA 5/16/2012 3:39PM

    A great blog! Congrats.

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NAENAEB 5/16/2012 2:23PM

  Amazing job Leah emoticon
Last year, i've started to run everyday then stop emoticon
My everyday busy life makes it so hard to even start emoticon
and with that I've gained so much weight.
I truly want to start again and the reason why is,
I have asthma and I want to build a strong breathing lung the natural way!


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IAMAGEMLOVER 5/16/2012 1:52PM

    emoticon

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JUSGETTENBY42 5/16/2012 1:44PM

    emoticon

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LAINYC 5/16/2012 12:54PM

    emoticon emoticon

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MOMMY445 5/16/2012 12:06PM

    what a great blog! you can do this! you are worth it!

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CLAYARTIST 5/16/2012 10:53AM

  emoticon emoticon

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TONYVAND1 5/16/2012 10:05AM

  emoticon

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BAUERP1258 5/16/2012 10:00AM

  I am totally in on this!! You are so inspiring Leah! So proud to have you as my sister! emoticon

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LDRICHEL 5/16/2012 9:42AM

    Update: 15 team members so far. NOT TOO SHABBY, Y'ALLL!!!!

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NCSUE0514 5/16/2012 9:34AM

    YOU ROCK

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IAMFRANSGIRL 5/16/2012 8:51AM

    emoticon
You go girl!!

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MIMIDOT 5/16/2012 8:48AM

    Sounds like fun! BUT... at 74 I think I'm a little too old to start running. Wish I could join you. Have a ball!

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FARIS71 5/16/2012 8:27AM

    Ohhhhh, you are stretching me. I have a super friend/college roomie who lives in Indy. Hmmmmm . . . .

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RUN_BAKE_BLOG 5/16/2012 7:20AM

    Awwww!! You are beautiful! I love the video blog and it is so great to see you!

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LOGOULD 5/16/2012 7:18AM

    GO FOR IT! emoticon

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LIBRARYBELL1 5/16/2012 7:03AM

    YES!!!!

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BELLEMORTE83 5/16/2012 6:55AM

  That was a great video blog. You can count me in even though I wouldn't be able to be there for the half marathon. I could make my own route or do it on the treadmill the day of the race so I was still doing it with you. If that's a cool alternative with you all, I think that would be great motivation to take up running again.

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VIXSTERLU 5/16/2012 1:43AM

    I am in baby!!!

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WUBBY82 5/16/2012 1:34AM

    Oh Leah, you make me want to fly out to Indy for the mini-marathon - that would be EPIC!! LoL

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KULA42 5/15/2012 9:21PM

    emoticon

Comment edited on: 5/15/2012 9:22:37 PM

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KULA42 5/15/2012 9:20PM

    Hi Jan:

Well i would love to run a 5k. How do i prepare for something like this... Can you send me suggestions or a plan. I think it would be awesome to do this and then meet face to face when the time comes... Count me in!!!

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FRESKA 5/15/2012 9:15PM

    God Speed! ;) it was cool seeing you on the video blog. cant wait to hear how many people you get going on it and how many stick with it! emoticon

I know YOU will!

Take Care!

emoticon

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FRANCES-AGAPE 5/15/2012 8:13PM

    emoticon HI !

So nice to hear the voice
that goes with such an
enthusiastic blog !


emoticon WE can do it!

BLESSINGS!

emoticon emoticon


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DBOWMAN830 5/15/2012 5:13PM

    Good for motivation. I can't run yet, because I am still recuperating from open-heart surgery. I am walking almost everyday now and soon I hope I will be able to jog. Your video renewed my enthusiasm. Thank you.

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DANILYNNG 5/15/2012 5:03PM

    So count me in as one of the crazies who's in! I just finished W3D1 of C25K, I'm planning on running my first official 5K on 7/28, so I'm as newbie as you. I've no desire to run a marathon, I've always told my husband a half marathon is lofty enough for my ambitions emoticon One that's a year away will be perfect!

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KBRADFORD88 5/15/2012 4:35PM

    Ok. Looks like the word is out there. I think a lot can happen in a year-a Lot of GOOD things! Oh yeah. Kathy

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LDRICHEL 5/15/2012 4:21PM

    JAN - You are PRECIOUS!!!! YES! You are on the team! emoticon

You can kick that city block in the rear, honey!

emoticon

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MADDIEKEEZER3 5/15/2012 4:20PM

    Leah (did I spell your name correctly?), you are a cute mess! I am Jan, your 70 year old, previously inactive (for a looong time), fan of yours. I am so very proud of you, dear. I live in Virginia, Southwest Virginia to be exact. I'm very encouraged by your enthusiasm and courage, so I will train with you and all the other folks who follow your blog and wish to participate with you. Of course, I won't be running any mini-marathon at my age, but I WILL walk, increasing my distance from time to time. Then I will walk/jog relatively short distances and go from there. My goal (as a 70 year old) will be to run the distance of an average city block. Keep in mind that I have to guess that distance, because I live in a quasi-rural area. All right, I'm on-board!

Comment edited on: 5/15/2012 4:40:59 PM

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KMSIMMONS1 5/15/2012 4:07PM

  Yes We Can!! Count me in as well. I will train for my goal in my hood and keep you nformed. You are a wonderful motivator! Let's roll!!

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JACKSON1224 5/15/2012 3:50PM

    You can definitely do this. You are very brave to branch out and try new things. I hope to also try "new" things one day soon. With you for inspiration I'm sure that I'll make it. It's so nice to have people that share the same goals.
emoticon

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KRISTENSJOURNEY 5/15/2012 3:26PM

    You can do it!!!! I am worried I can't! :(

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LINDAKAY228 5/15/2012 3:05PM

    Yeah!!! We're gonna do it!

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YPSISHRINKY 5/15/2012 2:56PM

    I'm IN. emoticon

I'm training for a 5k in Sept. if i can do that, i can do this!

Wow! emoticon emoticon

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JENNNY135 5/15/2012 2:55PM

    I'm on board to help you train. When is this this HM and the name of it? Probably won't make it out there, live in Alberta, Canada but if I'm ever in your area you can bet I'll contact you and we'll go for a run.

Great idea and can't wait to start.

emoticon

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THE_COUNTESS 5/15/2012 1:28PM

    Whoo! I love this! You GO girl!!
btw - You are beautiful, girl! What a great smile! ^_^

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ON2VICTORY 5/15/2012 12:57PM

    hey spunky girl! sounds like a winner! let me know if I can help....

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