Monday, September 05, 2011
This success story got off to a rocky start, with lots of setbacks. It took some serious straight-talking and thinking to overcome them and get onto the right track.
The training began in June 2011, for a group of people who wanted to run the Disney half, in September. We began with a 4 mile run then gradually built up to 12 miles. Each participant was responsible for their own runs during the week, building the mileage up from 13 at the beginning to 26 miles at then end.
During the taper week, I caught a cold. Haven't had a cold in months. That was worrying but thankfully it didn't progress into a bad cold until after the race.
The expo started on Friday. I was told that it was best to visit Friday rather than Saturday because it would get really crowded. What a treat it was to spend the day with a dear friend, who was my 5K coach. She and I had a wonderful time hanging out, shopping and having lunch. Although I was starting to get nervous, it calmed me down a lot to have such a wonderful day.
Saturday afternoon, my husband and I checked into a motel close to Disneyland. We do live close enough to drive but wanted to make it a special weekend since I'm celebrating my 50th birthday in a few days. We enjoyed dinner at a fancy restaurant and I must admit to having a cocktail with the meal. I probably shouldn't have, the night before the race but it seemed like the right thing to do, at the time.
I got a fitful night's sleep, waiting for the 3:00 alarm. When the time finally arrived, I did all the things I had to do, such as eating a familiar breakfast, dressing in the clothes I'd laid out the night before, double checking everything, then headed out to the start line.
Our group met at 5am for photos then off to the corrals. I was in 'E' and there were two more behind me. Each was huge, for a total of over 20K people. I'm told that 62% were women. Many were in costume. I wore a hot pink tutu.
The wait seemed like forever until just before 6am. The National Anthem was played and fireworks were set off as the singer sang about rocket's red glare and bombs bursting. I got real teary at that point. And then the first corral was off, and the second and so on. It took about 25 minutes to get back to my corral.
As I was taught, I kept to my slower pace for the first few miles. We ran along the highway, to the main park entrance. A view of the back lot opened up until we were actually in DISNEYLAND. It was magical. There were characters waiting for picture op's. I didn't stop, since the sag wagon was pursuing all those who didn't make a 16 minute mile.
All was going well, until I turned my ankle in a railroad line at about mile 3. Was this to be the end for my race? I limped along for a little while and thankfully all those ankle exercises kicked in and it sorted itself out.
Out into the industrial area, and I began to wish I'd hooked up my music. I had my phone and ear buds with me, but opted to follow the recommendations not to use them. There were bands and cheerleaders here and there but not as many as I'd thought there would be.
Angels Stadium was a blast. I've never seen the inside of it before. There were people in the stands, cheering for us. A gauntlet of boy and girl scouts welcomed us in the parking lot, with lots of high fives.
And then it was the home straight. I was tired. My feet were swollen and sore. My 5/1 intervals had to be pushed back to 2/1 intervals for a while. Finally, the finish line was in sight. I still had it in me to sprint the last tenth of a mile.
A volunteer placed a medal around my neck and another handed me a package with a moist towel. That felt wonderful. Gatorade was passed out, and bananas.
Thanks to the wonders of text messaging, I was able to get hooked up with my group and send a photo to my husband who was waiting in the hotel.
It was an awesome experience. I'm definitely going to do it again. In fact, it will be on January 29th 2012.
Saturday, June 11, 2011
During a recent vacation, someone mistook me for one of those active, athletic people. It was on the tip of my tongue to correct her mistake but thankfully, I thought before I spoke. Ok, so that's a rare occurrence, but I did think about it. What had happened here?
I'm the fat kid, that nobody wants on their team. During my childhood it was painfully clear that sports weren't for me. I took refuge in my books and the comfort of food. You can probably see how the future unfolded, right?
Then things changed. A friend had been challenged by his doctor to either lose the weight within a year, or have gastric bypass surgery to save his life. He opted to start an intense program of diet and exercise. I started walking with him. Then he and his wife signed up for a beginner's running class. If I could have thought of a good enough excuse I would have got out of it but they really wanted me to come with them.
Instead of quitting as soon as it got hard (this was measured in seconds, rather than minutes) I stuck with it. My friends moved out of state but I stuck with it. I had some health issues but as soon as I was recovered from surgery, I stuck with it.
Then I developed some back and hip pain that just wouldn't go away. With my doctor's help I tried everything. It took a couple of years to learn that the only things that helped were yoga and chiropractic treatment. Thanks to those things, I was able to run again but it still hurt.
Now, I'm seeing a new chiropractor who has prescribed a set of exercises to combat the cause of the pain. With his help I'm training for a half marathon this fall.
The former fat girl now gets up around 4am to do the exercises before work. After work, I take my dogs for a walk then five days a week I run. Yoga is once a week and Zumba class is weekly too. I've just got back from a wonderful trip to a yoga retreat where I did four yoga classes each day, plus various activities. There was lots of hiking, swimming and bicycling, a ZipLine adventure and a wonderful day spent Whitewater rafting.
Maybe the lady didn't make a mistake. Perhaps I turned into one of those 'athletic' types? I'm nowhere near my goal weight yet but I'm not letting a number get in the way of having a good time. Thanks to all this exercise and eating healthy, nutritious food, I feel great. Each morning I wake up around 4am without an alarm clock. I have a smile on my face because life feels so good. I have the energy to do the things I want to do.
No, she wasn't mistaken. The lady did me a favor, making me think about a dream that came true.
Friday, October 01, 2010
I'm approaching a familiar point in the healthy eating plan. Each and every time I've done this in the past, I haven't lost ten pounds a week, I have felt hungry, I haven't dropped mega inches and I haven't been infused with the energy of a two year old. And because I want it all, and I want it now, I've quit.
This time around I've lost about eight pounds in about ten weeks. That's a healthy weight loss but less than half a pound a week, in recent weeks is hardly encouraging. Better eight pounds off, than eight pounds gained though.
Health problems have prevented an increase in exercise, or are the health problems an excuse for just not wanting to do it? I've signed up for a class that will force me to work out.
I'm hoping that if I can just stay with it through the valleys when I want to quit, I will keep the motivation going to succeed.
Wednesday, September 01, 2010
In keeping with my theme of embracing the positive, I'm reviewing how well everything is going. Sure, it's not perfect and never will be but there are a lot of good things going on. Writing them down here is going to reinforce the good news.
1. I am back on the WeightWatchers' program.
2. WW@Work is making it easier for me to attend meetings.
3. My coworker is on program with me, which helps tremendously.
4. I have a new job which allows me to have regular meal and snack breaks.
5. My employer has instituted the IncentaHealth program, which pays workers to lose weight and maintain a healthy lifestyle.
6. A new Farmer's Market opened, close to my home.
7. I discovered Dream Dinners.
8. My chronic back pain is easing, allowing me to exercise more.
9. I'm learning more about good nutrition.
10. I'm refining my palate, to enjoy the better things instead of fobbing it off with junk.
With all those things going in my favor, I just have to keep going with this. Each one day at a time, leads to one week at a time. In no time at all, it's a month, then a few months and a whole year.
I can do this.
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