Monday, April 29, 2013
To start off this week of training, I packed my running gear Monday so that I could meet up with my amazing friend Jenn (KITHKINCAID) to honor those who lost their lives in the Boston marathon tragedy.
Martin Richard, the 8 yr old boy killed in the Boston bombing
Lots of running stores around the country were having group fun runs to stand in solidarity, this one was through Ram Racing. I had the misfortune of getting a cab driver who didn't know where Lincoln Park Zoo was, and once he did he dropped me off at the opposite end of the zoo, so I was late and had to run around the zoo to meet up with Jenn. I called her and we met up ( she was sweet enough to wait for me!). We missed the pack, but on the way back we saw a sea of runners in blue and yellow, it was inspiring. Jenn toward the end of our run said "Well here we are, 2 people who have each lost over 100 lbs, and we are running." It reminded me of how far we both have come. Jenn ran the Chicago marathon last year, and I'm running it this year. It made me thankful and grateful for this life I've been given, for my friendship with Jenn, for both of our new lives.
Jenn and me after our run
Me and Jenn the first time we met, a few yrs ago
I had a really busy week, so didn't run again until the group run on Saturday. I did teach walk class on Thursday.
Saturday we met at Knock Knolls, a forest preserve in the suburbs. I hadn't run there before, and it was beautiful! A gorgeous day in Chicago, it would near 70 later in the day. My friend Caitlin couldn't make it due to an event at the school she teaches at, and the woman I encouraged last week wasn't there (I'm hoping she's there next week), but I found a new friend that ran at my pace and the time went by so quickly! We ran for 35 minutes as we are building up 5 min. each time. What I loved most was the smell of fresh cut grass as we ran, and being out in nature. Growing up an overweight child since the 3rd grade, I avoided being outside. I preferred to be inside, watching TV with some Cheetos and a pillow. I didn't like to sweat, to walk, to live, basically. So now, whenever I am in nature it sometimes hits me how much I missed during those years. And that makes me sad, but also, it's all so new to me. The smell of that grass made me tear up, it was just so crisp, so fresh, so alive! And I felt alive, too. I was thankful for the sun, for the beauty that surrounded me, for these new people I was getting to know. It was amazing, a life changing run. I know they aren't all like that, so when they are, I cherish them.
Here is a picture of the group after our run.
Here is a picture of some of the group after the marathon last year at a reunion run. Can you tell how positive and fun these people are?? They are amazing.
After the run we went to breakfast and I got to know some of the team better. It was great. I came back home and took the girls for a walk out in nature, I don't want them to be like I was when I was younger.
Sunday was a rest day.
Since the Chicago Women's Half marathon is at the end of June, I'm in a bit of a pickle because my training schedule doesn't have me running 13 miles until the end of July. So on the group runs I'm going to have to either get there early to run more, or stay later. For example this week we run for 40 min., and we build up to a 5k on June 8. But I need to be running at least 10 miles by that time, if not more. So I need to double my mileage.
Nutrition wise I've eliminated dairy, wheat, gluten, yeast and processed foods from my diet. **EDIT: I CAN ALSO NOT HAVE RICE AND CORN** This is for my skin condition, I have psoriasis and its gotten pretty bad. The downside is I'm not eating a lot of calories and I'm afraid my body will start losing muscle mass. I'm working on making sure I get enough protein in, but without carbs it's a challenge. For example I love toast and peanut butter plus a banana before a run. I've discovered Udi's bread, and did that this past Saturday, and it was good. Not as filling, but good. I'm supposed to get around 2,000 calories in while training, maybe not now, but when my mileage gets up there, and I'm worried I won't get those calories in.
I've also been listening solely to Christian music while running. It's inspiring me, I used to think without my rap, high paced music I wouldn't be able to do it, but I've been actually running faster with the Christian music. Score! I want to devote this time to Christ.
The schedule for this week is below:
Mon: 30 min run
Tues: 30 min walk
Wed: 30 min run
Thurs: 30 min walk
Fri: 30 min run
Sat: 40 min run (I'm going to extend so I run 5-6 miles)
The run walk intervals for the runs are: run 3/ walk 1, but for the shorter runs during the week I'm just going to run them straight out as I'm used to that distance. If anyone knows of a good app for the smart phone for intervals please let me know, thanks!
Ending with some inspiring images:
Blaize (INSPIREBYNATURE) sent this one to me, I love it!
Saturday, April 20, 2013
My good friend Jenn (KITHKINCAID) did an amazing thing when she trained for the 2012 Chicago Marathon, she wrote a weekly blog that summarized her training runs, nutrition, everything. If you are also training to run a marathon, I HIGHLY recommend reading her blogs (which I intend to re-read throughout my training). The link to her first weekly blog is below:
I decided to also do a weekly blog for the next 26 weeks, however mine will not be so detailed, I am sure, but will serve as a way to keep myself accountable, and to also help anyone out along the way. I will post them on Saturdays, the days that my team meets to do our "long runs".
Today was the first team run, and we ran in honor of the victims and families of the Boston Marathon tragedy. We had special bibs to wear to show our solidarity.
It was a cold morning, only 32 degrees and ice on the windshield of my car, and frost on the ground. But the sun was out! And that's good, yesterday it was snowing, hailing and raining in Chicago. We went 30 min. this time (each week we will increase our mileage, and train throughout the week on our own), and my good friend Caitlin is running with me, and this is the first time she has ran since her surgery in January, so I took it easy with her, "easy" meaning 2 min. of running and 1 min. of walking intervals. This only slowed my pace down by 1 min. overall, and I am going to see how I like run/walking for the marathon, just as it may be easier on my body. I am going into this with no predetermination of how things "should" go, my #1 goal is simply to FINISH.
One woman on my team had a very difficult time running, she wants to lose 30 lb., and she feels very out of shape. At one point she stopped and said "I suck~!" out loud. I stopped running and put my hand on her shoulder and emphasized that she did NOT, in fact, suck. I motioned for Caitlin to go ahead as I wanted to encourage this woman as I clearly remember how it felt to be the last one in a pack of runners, and someone was kind enough to take me aside at that time, and I wanted to do the same. I told her how when I first started running I could only run 30 seconds at a time, and that once you continue to run, it gets easier. I do hope I encouraged her, and that I see her next week.
I am blessed to have a group of people to run with, and that we are all working toward the same cause, to bring water to those in need through Team World Vision. Everyone in the group is so nice, helpful, and willing to share their knowledge (most of the runners in this group run the Chicago Marathon every year).
Our team name is 121:Run. We are named this for the scripture in the bible, Hebrews 12:1.
This verse says:
Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.
(New Living Translation)
Boy, does this verse apply to my life right now, and also the upcoming marathon. Let us run "with endurance". Let us "strip off every weight that slows us down, especially sin."
I am excited for the road ahead for me.
A picture of Team Run:121!
Thursday, April 18, 2013
This is my favorite race. This race and I have a history (was once the very last person to cross the finish line, etc., etc.). To read more about that... www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
After successfully running this race the past two years, and hitting a PR last year, this year I almost didn't run it. After running my first half marathon in January, I took some time off. Too much time off. So when I started running again, 2 weeks before this race, and couldn't run 2 miles without being sore, I was concerned. Plus I was going on a business trip early the next morning, and I felt compelled to just sit this one out.
I didn't. Couldn't. This was my race. So I decided I would do my best and really just enjoy the day. The weather was great, mid-50s, so I joined the other 33,000 runners to kick off the racing season.
I had such a great time! I felt healthy, and knew I was doing something good for my body, and also my confidence as a runner. I could do this. And you know what? I finished less than a minute past my PR time, which I didn't think was possible given my non-existent training for this race. It reminds me how far I've come, and how fit I am now. I am so proud of myself for running and pushing forward.
I celebrated after the race with a customary beer, and cheered those who weren't there, such as my dad, my sister and my friend Jenn - all who have ran it in the past with me.
2013 (pic on top) and previous yrs. below:
Monday, April 15, 2013
"The person who starts the race is not the same person who finishes the race."
Last Saturday we had our first team meeting and running clinic -- I am getting so excited (and nervous) about beginning training for something so much bigger than myself. I never thought I would want to tackle a marathon, or that I could...but God gave me this desire to run, and it's definitely a "God thing" because seriously I would only run before if I HAD to (late for a train, being chased by someone) - ok the later never happened but it's funny to say.
So when God put this God-sized dream of running a marathon in my heart, my first question was "Why?" I knew the answer even as I asked it. To get closer to Him. It isn't about me, it's about raising money for those in need, but also about my walk (and run?) with God. About my journey. Too often I try to do things my way, and take the shortcut right to the result I want. I leave God out of the equation. I know I shouldn't, but sometimes I feel like I'm still this baby Christian, making all the wrong decisions, and slowly trying to stay on the straight path that God intended.
Running a marathon is a BIG deal. It's a big thing to set out to do. And there definitely aren't shortcuts to the finish line. You need to train, be smart, and you will make it. But try and take a shortcut? You're toast.
I know that this journey will change me. They say that the person to cross the finish line at a marathon is not the same person who started that race. And the same will be true for me. I will need to rely on Him for strength, and continue my walk with Him. For if God is with me, who can be against me? But if I am not for God, how can I ask him to be there for me? It's a relationship, give and take, and I need to give much more than I have. I need (and want) to stay grounded in faith and rooted in prayer.
And I know I will not cross that finish line alone.
**My prayers are going out to those killed and injured in the Boston Marathon. You are in my heart and in my prayers. **
Friday, March 29, 2013
When I first began my weight loss journey I joined a health club that is part of a local hospital near me -- I loved it because there were people of all ages and sizes, and they didn't discriminate. The classes were amazing, the facility is beautiful, always voted one of the best in our area year after year. When I started attending classes there and getting to know the instructors, I thought to myself that I would love to work there someday -- now mind you, this is when I was morbidly obese and I don't know who or what reasoning put that thought into my head, but there it was.
As the membership dues are high, as I neared closer to my weight loss goal, I needed to stop my membership since we are a single income family and I couldn't justify the cost any more -- I began going to the YMCA and for a family we could join at a fraction of a cost of this health club. But I have to admit, it broke my heart a little. The instructors had become my family, my cheerleaders. This was the track where I started running at, this was where I learned what "boot camp" is really about. This is where I tried spinning, zumba and NIA for the first time. This was my place. I told my boot camp instructor at the time that it felt worse than a breakup. But when you are on a fixed income, a girl's gotta do what a girl's gotta do.
When I became a Walk Leader about a year ago, and I reached out to the fitness director at this Wellness Center, who happens to be my old boot camp instructor, I thought it would be great to teach my classes there. We went back and forth, but the timing wasn't right, however I never gave up on the dream to teach at this amazing wellness center. I began classes at a local church, but I kept her in the loop on my classes, and offered to teach free demos, etc. Well I am happy to say that a year later I am now an instructor on staff at the wellness center! Last night I had a free demo to promote my class that starts next week.
It just goes to show -- never give up on yourself-- or your dreams! They really do come true. And sometimes that little voice in your head, the one that says you can, is worth listening to.
My dad on the left, my friend LaTannya, me and her daughter Taria
Get An Email Alert Each Time LOTUSFLOWER Posts