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What a month!

Friday, January 21, 2011

Let's see--the kids and I started the new year at my grandparents' house 5 hours away from home. We tried to drive back in time for church that evening, but we were about 30 minutes late. I guess I should have known then how this month would go!

I had foot surgery on the 4th.
The kids started back to Mother's Day Out on the 6th.
It snowed on the 9th.
I went back to my podiatrist on the 10th.
We had our growth group here, and both of my grandparents went in the hospital on the 11th.
I had a church luncheon and took my son to the doctor for a sinus infection on the 12th--my first day to drive post-surgery.
My grandpa was put on a ventilator,my grandma was able to go home, and I had a dinner for church on the 13th.
The kids and I made the 5 hour drive back to visit my grandparents on the 14th.
The kids and I drove back home (only 15 minutes late to church this time) on the 15th.
We celebrated our son's 5th birthday with a house full of people on the 16th.
I went to church for our scrapbooking group, took my daughter to the doctor (diagnosed with RSV), and drove myself to my podiatrist on the 17th.
I kept my daughter home from school on the 18th.
I went to Bible study (am) and another event (pm) at church on the 19th.
I kept my daughter home from school on the 20th.
I have a baby shower on the 22nd.
My son has his 5 year well visit on the 24th.
The kids will hopefully both be in MDO on the 25th, so I can get something done around here!
We have a church function in the evening on the 26th.
My husband leaves for Ghana on a medical mission trip on the 27th (he'll be gone 10 nights).
I'm hosting a scrapbooking retreat on the 28th, 29th, and 30th.
I will go to our scrapbooking group at church and another appointment with my podiatrist on the 31st.

Believe me, not all of that was on the calendar when I scheduled my foot surgery. Why did everyone have to get sick this month? I keep thinking, at some point, life will slow down, but it never does. I just looked at my February calendar, and the first two weeks are already packed. I honestly don't know how people get the "winter blues" or whatever. I don't have time to reflect on the weather!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

ATHIMAE 1/29/2011 2:59PM

    Wow, you are wonder woman! :) I hope you can get some rest in February. Glad your foot is getting better.

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Athi

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RUNNINGPFUHL 1/24/2011 10:17PM

    Wow! Girl take care of yourself in there somewhere!

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ABSOLUTZER0 1/24/2011 4:34PM

    Phew, busy, busy, busy!

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CARRAND 1/22/2011 9:08PM

    You sure do keep busy. I work full time, but I'm not as busy as you!

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I lost weight WITHOUT cardio!!!

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

You may or may not know that I ran a lot in 2010. I started in March by training for a 10k, my first race to ever run. Then I ran another 10k in May and started training for a half-marathon in August. I reached my goal weight and then some by the half-marathon. I then started training to run a full marathon in December. I haven't had a chance yet to figure out how many miles I ran last year, but it felt like more than it probably was. I digress.

My point to all of this is that I was always hungry while I was training for a race, and I wouldn't always stick to my calorie goals each day as my mileage was increasing. I figured the extra running would help me burn the extra calories. However, if you look at my weight graph on SP, there is a definite curve from August to December/January. The curve was going in the right direction from March to August, and then it started going back up. Of course, the holidays hit towards the end, and I just decided I would worry about my weight after New Year's. I hadn't put that much on, but I did weigh more one day in December or January than I weighed when I started SP in March!

I had foot surgery on January 4th (a week ago) and weighed myself that morning. I weighed 130.6 on our scales at home. I couldn't do any cardio this past week, but I did some strength training a few days, and I STAYED WITHIN MY CALORIE RANGE EVERYDAY! I swear that's all I did. What else could I do with a throbbing foot that won't bend? I weighed this morning, and was surprised and happy to see 128.4 on the scales.

I won't say it has been easy to stay within calorie range, especially since my hubby brought home cinnamon rolls yesterday--ugh! He knows how much I love those, but I only ate half of one and counted that as my afternoon snack.

I'm planning to check out our neighborhood's amenity center today and see if they have anything I could use for cardio. I have used the treadmill there in the past for training runs, but I didn't pay attention to what else they have. I think there is a stationary bicycle, which might work soon. I doubt there is a rowing machine, but that would be awesome. I refuse to get a gym membership because I wouldn't use it enough. We have an elliptical at home, so I can do that in a few more weeks. I just need something to keep from losing all the muscle tone I developed training for a marathon.

Anyway, I just wanted to say weight loss can occur without cardio. I never thought I could lose weight without doing any cardio, but apparently it really is all about the nutrition.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

CHEPRBYTHEDOZN 4/15/2011 2:49PM

    Hubby always says,"You can exercise all you want, but if you eat more than your body needs,you'll gain weight."(this coming from a man who hasn't been overweight a day in his life).
Nutrition is 80-90% of the whole scheme. Hope you're foot is healed by now..it's April! How are you???

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ABSOLUTZER0 1/19/2011 7:11PM

    Way to go! Woohoo!

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ATHIMAE 1/14/2011 2:20PM

    Congrats! Encouraging news for sure.

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Athi

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WANT2BE123 1/13/2011 4:37PM

    I'm happy for you! I'm still amazed how true it is (to echo others above) that weight loss is 99% sticking to the calorie goal. You'd think by running a lot, weght loss would be a natural result without worrying too much about calories. Not true!

Great job! :)

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CARRAND 1/11/2011 8:44PM

    You are so right. I lost 25 pounds while I was laid up with a badly broken ankle and did no exercise at all. I tracked my food carefully and did just fine.

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TODDJAMES 1/11/2011 5:07PM

    I have ALWAYS said..."That will do it!" This is GREAT News!

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SEPPIESUSAN 1/11/2011 2:34PM

    I remember how surprised I was when I came to the same conclusion - losing weight is sooo much more about the calorie range than it is about anything else, including the cardio. That really stinks for someone like me who loves to exercise but also loves to overeat. I can work out like a fiend and still gain weight, and unfortunately I am well into the overweight range because I haven't been staying in my calorie range! (until yesterday, when I finally got on back on the calorie-counting wagon)

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DELRIO1 1/11/2011 2:26PM

    good for you!!

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Strength Training

Saturday, January 08, 2011

I must confess that ST is something I used to do when it was convenient. I focused more on cardio because that's where the calories are burned. While training for a marathon, it was important to get in all of my training runs, so the focus remained on cardio. Now that I am sidelined with a healing foot, I am unable to do any cardio, so I have no choice but to focus on strength training. I started with dumbbells for upper body ST and also did some crunches and modified push-ups. This was great, but I soon realized that my lower body was getting no exercise. I love the SP app for iPhone. I was able to look up exercises and view a demonstration and/or description of each on my phone while lying on the floor. I scrolled through the lower body exercises to find all of the ones that started with "lying" and did all of those this morning. I never would have thought to do any of these exercises if I hadn't been on SP or using their app. I hope to begin incorporating some short walks, maybe stationary biking, over the next few weeks, but until then, I will focus on strength training, keeping my muscles toned and strong.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SEPPIESUSAN 1/9/2011 9:00AM

    I think a lot of people feel that way about ST. For me finding a ST class (Body Pump) has been key. I'm glad the SP app is working for you!

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CARRAND 1/8/2011 9:41PM

    Good for you! I love strength training. I think it does burn calories, and it helps you burn more calories in the future because muscles burn more calories than fat does.

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IMSMILEY88 1/8/2011 8:21PM

    That's great! I think you are doing fantastic. And, I put my ST on the back burner, too. I know it is important, but it's more fun to work on speed, etc. emoticon

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JILLIANPRNCSS 1/8/2011 6:44PM

    Fun to try something new.

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MICHCLEARY 1/8/2011 5:32PM

    ST builds muscle which in turn increases not only your strength but your bodies ability to burn more calories by increasing your metabolism. I see a Master Trainer once a month and have for a year now. Since then I've been strength training usually 2-3 times a week and I can now eat more calories and still maintain or lose weight.

He goes over my calendar with me each month and makes sure that I'm not giving up training time for ST in favor of cardio so there's a good balance.

Glad you're trying new things. I love the SP app and use it alot to log my minutes while at the gym.

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Recovering from Surgery

Friday, January 07, 2011

I had foot surgery (bunionectomy) on Tuesday of this week. Fortunately, my foot remained numb for over 24 hours and then partially numb for several more hours. Yesterday, it started hurting pretty badly and has hurt most of the day today. It seems like the pain might be starting to ease up a little this afternoon. I had this same surgery performed on the other foot 15 months ago, but I can't remember how long the pain was severe or anything, so we'll just have to take it one day at a time. Thanks for all your well-wishes, thoughts, and prayers this week!

I prepared tons of stuff to work on while I'm off my feet, and I was able to finish a lot of it Tuesday and Wednesday before the pain became intense. Yesterday and today, I've been fighting sleep all day. I can hardly keep my eyes open to read the books and magazines I was planning to read. Oh, well. At least I've been able to catch up on SparkPeople.

I brought my dumbbells downstairs before my surgery, and I started using them yesterday for upper body strength training. I also started doing crunches yesterday. I've been watching my nutrition very carefully this week to stay within my calorie range. I had put on several pounds between Thanksgiving and New Year's, and I'd like to lose those if possible, but definitely not gain anymore weight. I have already noticed a flatter stomach--albeit a little flabby, thus the need for crunches--just by eating within my calorie range for a few days! I was afraid I would put on a lot of weight and lose all muscle tone going from full marathon training to bed rest. I had been relying more on my cardio activity to prevent weight gain/provide weight loss and hadn't been focusing much on my nutrition. The past few days have already proven to me how important the nutrition aspect is to weight loss.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

JBMN713 1/8/2011 11:54AM

    Praying your foot will not hurt today! I totally agree about the nutrition being a huge part of success! Way to go on keeping up your cardio while healing. You amaze me!

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STUDLEEJOE 1/7/2011 10:47PM

    Welcome to the Rangers team. Hope you are up in running again soon
Steve

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IMSMILEY88 1/7/2011 10:06PM

    I hope you have a speedy recovery, too! And, great work watching your calories & getting in some strength training!

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CARRAND 1/7/2011 9:31PM

    Hope you have a speedy recovery!

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JILLIANPRNCSS 1/7/2011 8:28PM

    I hope your pain does not last. This should be nothing compared to the marathon.

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CHELSEAANNE8 1/7/2011 5:43PM

    You are pretty amazing in the way you have prepared to recover from the surgery. Planning is everything. I hope you will continue to feel better. Feeling sleepy a lot is part of healing. Your body recuperates as you rest. I hope you do well from the surgery. I am really impressed about you using dumbbells. Keep up the great work and take it easy while you heal. emoticon emoticon
Chelsea in FL emoticon
Leader of "Sparking with MS" emoticon

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Dallas White Rock Marathon

Friday, December 10, 2010

First of all, let me say that this was NOT the hardest thing I have ever done. It was challenging, but it is an attainable goal for anyone who has the desire to achieve it. I hope you will enjoy reading my blog and get inspired to set a new goal for yourself.

I do not enjoy running in the cold. Most runners will tell you that we had perfect weather for the marathon, but I think it was about 10 degrees colder than perfect. It was in the 30's when we started and upper 40's when we finished. I was prepared for the cold though. I made myself some arm sleeves out of some "thing high" socks (yes, that is what they were called!), and I had purchased a cheap cap, gloves, and some Hot Hands hand warmers.

Amber (WANT2B123) and I had connected through SparkPeople in the two days prior to the race, and we were striving for the same time for the marathon, so we met near the 3:50 pace (8:47 min/mile) team leader in the starting line. We talked a little before the race started and then as we were running the first half mile or so. There were so many people moving slower than I wanted to, and we had gotten separated from the pace team, so I started weaving in and out to get in front of people. I know you aren't supposed to do that, but I think I expend more energy being frustrated with people than in weaving. Maybe not, but it made me feel better. I was feeling great, so I increased my pace and caught up to the pace team. I was still feeling great, so I passed the pace team leaders and kept that pace for several miles. My pace for the first quarter (6.2 miles) was 8:32 min/mile.

It was so much fun running with so many spectators cheering you on. People would call my name and offer encouragement, and I'd forget that my name was printed on my race bib. CRYSTALSTAMPS was there watching her hubby race and encouraging others that she knew. IUSECRAYONS was there offering support to her runner girls. One of my former student's mom was there watching her hubby. All of the spectators were friendly, encouraging, and generous, but it was nice to see some familiar faces too.

I had made up three little packages for myself and given them to my mother-in-law the day before the race. She and my FIL were bringing my kids (ages 4 and 2) to meet me near mile 6, 11, and 21. My packages included a 1-inch thick stack of Puffs plus lotion tissues, a 1-liter water bottle, and half a package of Clif Shot Blocks, tied together with a yellow ribbon. After mile 5, I was feeling a bit warm, so I took my Hot Hands out of my gloves to give to my kids at mile 6. I had a few ounces of water left in my bottle that I started with and a few tissues left, so I drank the water quickly and used the tissues. I was able to spot my family easily and ran over to them, handed my kids the warmers, and looked to my MIL for my package. She said they were running late and had left them--I was devastated! She asked me if I needed it. I was like, yeah! Then she said they'd bring it to the next meeting place. At first, I thought she meant they left all of my stuff at their house, but when she told me that, I was relieved that I just had to go five miles without water, tissues, and fuel.

Now most people wouldn't worry about taking tissues, but my nose always runs when I am running, and the cold makes it even worse. I have dry, sensitive skin anyway, and the constant wiping chaps my nose. I tried reusing the couple of tissues I had in my hand, and then I had to start using my arm sleeves and gloves.

At some point around mile 9, I caught up with a guy who was eating mustard from a packet like it was gel or something. I watched him and then ran alongside him, and he started talking to me. (He was not at all out of breath.) He was very encouraging, said he had run about 20 marathons, and offered advice and humor along the way. He was running a little faster than I should have been running, but I was enjoying the conversation and experience. We got to mile 11, and I got my much-needed water, tissues, and fuel. We stopped around mile 12 at the porta-potties, which I think messed up my rhythm. I came out just behind him, but he was a few paces in front of me. He started chatting with another runner, and before I knew it, they were quite a ways ahead of me. My pace for the second quarter (6.9 miles) was 8:30 min/mile.

My husband had to work his 24-hour shift at the fire station the day before and got off at 7:00 Sunday morning, so he didn't make it to mile 6 in time, but he was there at mile 11. He told me they would meet me again at mile 23. This was a little further than I had planned, but I knew there was a Clif Energy Shot aid station at mile 19, so I figured I'd be OK. I threw away my knit stocking cap around mile 14 because I was getting warm. Around mile 16, my right hip started aching just a little. My friend/running mentor CAROLMATHUS had told me she'd be near mile 17, and she was there ringing her bell and ran with me for about a half mile even though her hip has been giving her extreme pain. She prayed for me as we ran, prayed that my hip would stop hurting, prayed that I'd have energy to complete the race. It was so nice to have that experience. My hip did stop hurting somewhere over the next few miles, but I hit the wall around mile 18. My pace for the third quarter (about 6.9 miles) was 9:06 min/mile.

Between miles 18 and 23, I was miserable. I didn't want to quit, but I really wanted to just walk the rest of the way. I wondered why anyone would want to run a marathon more than once. I pushed on and got my Clif shot blocks at mile 19, but then we hit the Dolly Parton hills between miles 21 and 22. My quads were really getting tired and sore, but I tried running up the first hill and made it about halfway before I had to walk up the rest of that hill. I ran again once it leveled out and was running up the next hill when the 3:50 pace team caught up to me--and passed me. This was so discouraging that I stopped running and walked up the rest of that hill. I think there might have been one other hill before mile 23 that I walked part of, but I ran the rest of the way. I threw my gloves away somewhere during this time. I wanted to cry a few times between 18 and 23, but I wouldn't let myself waste the energy or oxygen. Plus, I knew my family was meeting me at mile 23, and I didn't want my little ones to see me crying and get upset. Besides, my FIL was taking pictures. :) In fact, the one I'm now using for my profile photo was taken at mile 23.

Somewhere between miles 23 and 24, a lady gave me a small piece of a Snickers bar. I really enjoy Snickers bars, but it had never tasted that good before! Around that time, I also got a second wind and ran a little faster for the last two miles and finished strong. My pace for the final quarter (6.2 miles) was 9:49 min/mile. RunPix says I passed 53 runners in the final quarter and 68 passed me. I guarantee you I passed those 53 in the last 2 miles because I don't remember passing anybody in the 4 miles before that! My official time was 3h:55m:21s. I am very happy with that time and have no plans to run another marathon anytime soon. I *might* try to run another one the year I turn 40 (2018), but we'll have to wait and see what life throws at me in the next several years. I think I'm going to post another blog entitled, "If I ever run another marathon...", and list all the things I would do differently because I find myself saying that repeatedly. I am definitely more open to the possibility of running another one today than I was a few days ago!

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GRAMMY13X 12/28/2010 1:44PM

    Congratulations! What a great finish time on your first marathon. I have loved reading all your race reports. I am really proud of you and your determination not to quit. You are an inspiration to a lot of people. Way to go!

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RUNDARCYRUN 12/23/2010 7:15AM

    Wow! Simply wow!!! I am training for my first in February, and could only DREAM of finishing under 4 hrs!!! Amazing! How many weeks did you train? What plan did you use? What kind of pace did you have with your long runs? How many miles was your longest training run?? Sorry lots of questions...

Congratulations
!!! What an accomplishment!

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ABSOLUTZER0 12/12/2010 5:28AM

    CONGRATULATIONS! You did GREAT! Next year, this will be my first marathon! I look forward to it! Thanks for sharing your race report. I enjoy reading them and maybe it is because I like the stream of consciousness style since most post exactly what they are thinking. You pushed through and came out victorious! Again, congrats marathoner! Woohoo!

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WANT2BE123 12/11/2010 11:29AM

    You rock Leslie! So much talent... I can't believe this was your first marathon! I know you aren't sure if you will do another, but if you do, I bet you could qualify for Boston in a heartbeat!!

I really enjoyed your story. It's neat to read about the race from a different perspective. So you are a warm weather runner, huh? I lost my arm warmers at mile 3 and the gloves at mile 4, and wished I had shorts at mile 6!

What a cool experience to have a friend run with you and pray for you.

I understand how frustrating it is when a pace group passes you. You just want to cry, or walk, or quit. Way to tough out the hard patches and congrats on the awesome time! You are my running hero! :)

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CARRAND 12/10/2010 10:41PM

    Wow! I loved reading this blog. Congratulations on your successful race!

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EDGEOFSANITY 12/10/2010 5:16PM

    You'll do another ;) They're addicting.

Congrats on a fantastic first marathon. You know, you're only 15 minutes off qualifying for Boston...

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