Sunday, March 21, 2010
Today I ran/walked my very first 8K in Chicago, called The Shamrock Shuffle. They usually have a category for walkers, which is a 3k, and then the 8k for the runners. This year, due to construction in Chicago, they re-routed the route and only had one route instead of the typical 2. It's a tradition for me to walk with my dad and sister (who runs) and any other family members that want to join in.
Well, this year I wasn't going to join. I didn't have the funds, ($45 entry fee), and the no walking category made me hesitate. I couldn't run an 8K. Now the guidelines said that walkers were "Welcome", but that you would have to finish within an hour and 15 minutes. I knew I couldn't do that - my sister finishes in about an hour and she runs it.
So I didn't sign up. This is a very popular race in Chicago and it always sells out - it is the race that signifies the beginning of Spring and of race season. The day the race sold out, my sister gave me a gift - she had enrolled me in the race, and said that she knew that I could do it. She believed in me. I had been sad when the race sold out, and the fact that she signed me up and believed I could finish was so touching to me. I was still apprehensive, but I couldn't wait.
I've trained off and on for the race, I haven't been diligent about it, but I've upped my workouts and focused on my cardio as I knew I would need a lot of steam to finish the race.
Today was THE DAY.
As my dad and I navigated through the crowded streets full of very fit people, fierce looking runners, we were both a little scared. We knew we were going to walk most of the way, and it didn't look like there was one walker in the crowd. I even texted my sister. "There are no walkers in the crowd!" Her reply was simply "Sure there are." It was us. I gave my dad a pep talk as we were lined up with the 30,000 other runners near the starting line. I told him we could do it, and if we ended the race walking, we were still winners. Most people wouldn't be caught dead outside in the freezing rain and slush to run an 8K. We were living, and no matter how badly our race results might be, we were going to finish.
As the race started it was apparent that there were no other walkers. My dad and I almost got trampled. There were camera crews, and people on the bridge cheering us all on. He looked at me and winked, and said "Want to run just a little bit? Just for show?" I said yes (I had been fighting the urge to run as I didn't want to leave my dad behind). We were off! I felt such a rush of adrenaline that surged me forward. I looked around me - I was doing it! I noticed my dad wasn't next to me anymore - I looked back at him in the sea of runners. He waved at me and said "Go ahead!" So I did. I couldn't stop. I told myself I would make it to the bridge, then walk. Then under the bridge. Then through the bridge, then around the corner. Well, 2 miles later I finally slowed down. I felt bad I had left my dad behind. I called him on his cell phone. "Where are you?" He said he was blocks behind, it would cost me about 20 minutes from my time. He told me to go ahead. And I did, but blocks later I felt bad. I knew he was one of the only walkers and I knew he was terrified of being the last one to cross the finish line. I couldn't let him do it alone.
I called him again and told him where I was and that I would wait for him. I could hear the relief in his voice, and also the exhaustion. I waited about 20 minutes, and then saw him and ran over to him. We walked the rest of the way together, both tired, but determined. We were the last people to finish the race. But you know what? It doesn't matter. We did it. We finished. I felt pride at crossing the 5K mark, to finish an 8K is HUGE. I don't care if it took me 3 hours, I would still feel proud. But, it only took us 1 hr. 30 minutes - and that was with me waiting for my dad. Who knows what I could have done on my own? But I wouldn't have had it any other way. With my dad by my side I was the proudest daughter, mother, sister, woman and athlete to cross that line.
I ran/walked 2 miles and walked the last 3. I burned a total of 1,230 calories and gained a whole lot of pride.
For those of you that think you can't do it, YOU CAN. As Nike says, JUST DO IT. You WILL surprise yourself. I know I have.
Me (left), my dad (middle) and my sister (right) after the Shamrock Shuffle 8K, 2010, with free beer in our hands!
The start line of the Shamrock Shuffle
Tuesday, March 16, 2010
I tell you the truth, if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, 'Move from here to there' and it will move.
"Don't give up though the pace seems slow
You may succeed with another blow."
(2 lines from the poem "Do Not Quit", author unknown)
Last week I weighed in at my lowest weight in so long. I don't remember when I last weighed that weight, other than it had been at least 5 years, if not 10. I was so happy, I felt like a new person.
But I can feel myself drifting from this feeling of elation. I didn't make the best choices this past week, after seeing that low number on the scale. I was busy, yes, I didn't workout, didn't go to my Plan B or C, but instead just sort of got lazy and fell into old habits. Then the weekend came and I had a romantic weekend getaway with my husband to celebrate our 11 yr. anniversary. I had planned not to track calories, etc., but what I didn't expect was to step on the scale and find a weight gain of 5 lbs.
My weigh in day is tomorrow, but I peeked today and the 5 lb. gain is more like 3. I'm drinking my water, tracking my food, and crossing my fingers that tomorrow shows that I maintained, and not a gain.
But, if that scale shows that I have gained weight I am going to move forward. I am not going to look back at what I could have done and go downward in a spiral of depression, ruining all of my hard work. I am, instead, going to move forward and keep doing what I have been, and pray for the faith in myself, and for the strength, to continue on this journey and NOT LOOK BACK.
Here is some instant inspiration - a video created to the poem "Do Not Quit", author unknown. I hope it lifts your spirits as it has mine.
Thank you all so much for your supportive words and for your friendship. We are all in this together.
Wednesday, March 03, 2010
I wanted to share something that is working for me with portion control and weight loss, and getting my veggies in.
This month I’ve instilled a few new self-imposed “rules”
1. I will not eat any snacks such as chips, pretzels, etc. until I’ve eaten my fruits/veggies for the day. I’ve consumed less calories and sodium this way, and I’ve found that once I get my fruits and veggies in, I am no longer hungry for the chips.
2. At lunch I typically bring a sandwich to work. I am always full about halfway through, but tend to eat the rest of the sandwich “anyway”, since I’ve tracked it, etc. Well, now that is just silly. So now what I do is I only eat HALF. I put the other half in the fridge. Then later, around 3 p.m. when I would typically reach for the chips, I will go get the other half of the sandwich and eat it. This has really helped me stay within my calorie range.
3. With my sandwich I eat a side of carrots with the sandwich instead of chips (see #1 above). Now I am not a carrot fan, per se, but I know how healthy they are. So my trick to eat them is to dip them into a wedge of Light Laughing Cow Cheese. I believe it’s only 35 calories for the wedge, and it helps me to eat my carrots!
4. Move EVERY day. Even if it’s only for 10 minutes. I have been looking for ways to incorporate movement now into my day, even if it isn’t a “scheduled”, “official” workout. I tend to be a black and white thinker, and if it doesn’t hurt, it doesn’t count. Well, again, that’s just silly. For example, the other night I danced around the house holding my 6 month old daughter and got a great 10 minute cardio workout in, and she loved it! Today I am going to walk to Starbucks on my lunch and get some writing done (killing two birds with one stone).
5. Be easy on myself. I am NOT going to beat myself up if I maintain one week, or ONLY lose 1 lb. or 1 ˝ lbs. one week. I am going to keep going forward and not look back.
6. Just added - Take my Lunch! I usually work through lunch and then work late, and it's really taking a toll on my family and on me. I am a writer in my spare time, and I walked today to the coffee shop and wrote and it felt great! I need to remember this and claim my time as my own! I encourage you all to do the same, whatever it may be.
Tuesday, March 02, 2010
MOVE IT, MOVE IT!!
Below is my March Move It! Plan (to be altered as needed). I also posted it on my SparkPage, but I thought a monthly blog of my actions would help keep me accountable.
Let's all MOVE IT this March!! March to the beat of your own drum!!
MARCH MOVEMENT PLAN:
Cardio 4x a week
Strength training 2x
Every day- at least 1 mile w/ Leslie or 10 minutes of cardio. In addition to that, strive for:
Sat: Core Commotion or Aqua class
Sun: Track or bike
Tues: Ultimate Conditioning or Aqua class
Wed: Strength (if I don't go to Ultimate Conditioning)
Fri: NIA (If I can go at lunch)
One aqua aerobics class per wk.
I will also be walking/running my first 8K this month!! Training for that as best I can.
Try to get up from my desk job once every hour and walk for 5-10 minutes. Also in nice weather walk next door to Starbucks to write.
Monday, March 01, 2010
Weight lost: 5.5 lbs.
Weight lost since the beginning of the year: 10 lbs.
Fitness minutes: 460 (vs. 1,030 in January)
Miles: 30 miles (vs. 66 in January)
Measurements: No change
I reached a milestone of 50 lbs. GONE!
I am out of plus size clothes
I fit into my "skinny" size 18 jeans I bought, thinking I could wear them in Spring.
Looking at my February calendar I know that I slacked off this month. (The pink represents the "good", the X's the days I didn't meet my goals). All last week I didn't workout due to my busy schedule, but I know that is an excuse. I could have made time in the morning or at night, and I didn't. We were planning for a family party and therefore I was running errands on lunches and after work and was exhausted at night, but still, I feel I could have done better. I would grade myself at a C+, B- for the month.
My goals were in 4 categories: water, exercise, stay within calorie range, and eat fruits/veggies.
My goals for March are:
1. Lose 8-10 lbs.
2. Train for the 8k I'm signed up for so that I can run part of it and finish within the time allotted (a little over an hour).
3. Run/Walk 8k (Shamrock Shuffle)
4. Have 1,000 fitness minutes again in March. I did it in January, I can do it again.
5. Work out EVERY day even if it is only for 10 minutes.
6. Balance my life - family, writing and work. Take my breaks at work, or at least my lunch. Get out of the office and write. Leave at 5 sharp to get home to the family. No more staying until 5:30, 6 or beyond. Claim back my life.
PROGRESS PHOTOS (from January 1, 2010 to March 1, 2010. There isn't much visible change from February to March)
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