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Thursday, April 26, 2012

THANKFUL THINGS THURSDAY: Things for a race

Happy Thursday everyone!  You know what that means, of course... it's time for Thankful Things Thursday.  So, let's get thankful.

1)  Spending time with some family and friends this weekend pre- and post-race was amazing.  So, while the time was brief I am thankful for family and friends.  Two of my very dear friends are moving from Wisconsin to Ohio this summer so I was over the moon delighted to spend a little time with them before they leave.  I have known them for over 10 years and while we don't talk every day when we do it seems like only minutes have passed since the last visit.  Naturally I will miss them but wish them the best on their new adventure.  Maybe my potential list of races can extend to Ohio?!?!  Who knows!!

2)  I'd forgotten to give Dan a map of the race on race morning and while he was planning on getting some shots from around the course he got a little turned around after the start of the race.  Luckily he was able to find his way down to the finish area and I saw him standing there as I came around the last turn.  Obviously I wish I had seen him while I was on the course seeing him near the finish was absolutely the push I needed to finish strong.  So I'm thankful for those mishaps I guess!

3)  I was also thankful for the serious burst of energy I got to push towards the finish line.  I saw the clock and I knew I didn't have much distance left to cover and I ran.  I remember thinking god my legs are moving so fast?  Why are they moving so fast?  HOW are they moving so fast?  Turns out that last push ended up being in about an 8 minute mile pace - you know, for the tenth of a mile that I ran that fast!.  The adrenaline you get from race day is amazing and I think that was where I got that last push to go faster.

4)  After I caught my breath, grabbed a bite to eat and drink, Dan and I started walking backwards on the course so we could "meet" up with the half marathoners.  I know this kept my muscles moving and I was happy about that because otherwise I probably would have cramped up.  We ended up walking to a gas station so I could get something to drink.  Luckily, they had good coffee because at that point my hands/fingers were really cold so it was nice to have a warm beverage to hold and to drink.  The two french vanilla creamers (that I usually don't use because they are too many points, in my opinion) were awesome too and that was one of my splurges because 'I had just run a race'!

So, what are you thankful for this week?  New shoes?  Time with friends/family?  Let's hear it!

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

MILESTONE: 175 POUNDS

About two weeks after joining Weight Watchers
A couple of weeks ago I needed a new photo and my friend Sheri was very kind to take them for me.  She also shared with me some photos from right after (read:  about 2 weeks) we started Weight Watchers.  When she showed them to me I literally felt sad inside.  I suppose you're probably wondering why on earth I would then show that to the blogosphere (yes, that's totally a real word.  Even if I just made it up)?  Well, that's simple.  I don't know that I can truly celebrate how far I've come unless I look back on where I was and while I don't really enjoy these photos it is certainly a good comparison to look at them next to each other.

April 2012 - 175 pounds lighter
If you remember last week's post you'll know that I was a mere 0.2 pounds away from hitting a milestone.  I was pretty sure I could hit that today, though my scale this morning showed a gain so who knows?!  Anyway, when I got on the scale I knew I had done it.  My leader, Karen, makes a big deal about the celebrations and the attendance at my normal meeting has been growing so there were a LOT of celebrations today, including mine.  This was a pretty big sigh of relief to me because my friend, Jen, and I have been talking about how we were going to celebrate when I lost 175 pounds.  I reached out to some friends on Twitter for suggestions and one was to spend $1-2 per pound lost on a spa day.  Now that's my kind of reward!!  Luckily, Jen spotted a deal yesterday where we get a spa day for 1/2 price ... wow - getting healthier and saving money?  I'm totally all over that.  So I am thrilled to be able to schedule a day for us to go get pampered.

Now... you know I like to share a witty story or something with you so I'll leave you with this nugget.  On Sunday I posted my race recap which included (in my opinion) a pretty funny account of the odd things we saw while we were in Wisconsin.  My sister, Brenda, sent me a text later that night that said ...
Ok, I have a new siting for you.... One lawn mower towing another down a county road.
Seriously people, you can't make this up.

Sunday, April 22, 2012

RACE RECAP: Oshkosh 5K

Having lived in the Wisconsin Fox Cities area for a couple of years I thoroughly enjoy any reason to go back.  This time we ventured north to Oshkosh for the Oshkosh 5K.  My sister and brother-in-law, Brenda and Alex, and friend Kristi, were running the half marathon.  Thankfully, Dan was along for the ride to take photos and to drive home today (thank goodness)!  I have to start by listing out the number of strange things we saw once we entered Wisconsin.

  1. KFC has a buffet
  2. NAPA sells brats in the parking lot
  3. Red, white & blue striped toilet in a field where Recall Walker Petitions can be deposited
  4. A man driving a riding lawn mower down the sidewalk (as in mowing the sidewalk)
  5. Girl wearing pajamas riding a BMX with a dog (as in walking/biking the dog)
  6. Dog wearing a backpack
  7. A man driving a Prius dressed in formal wear while wearing gardening gloves
  8. A woman walking a horse (with a full saddle) down the street
  9. A man driving a camouflaged Surburban with red/black hair & full face paint
  10. A guy riding a low-rider Schwinn with speakers on the front axle outside where we ate dinner
  11. A guy with full tattoo sleeves wearing Vibram's and a Breathe Right strip
  12. A cat jumped out of a car at the restaurant we had breakfast at 
  13. A Buick Rendezvous with a WI license Plate "Bun B" - this might only be funny to my family though
Aside from the strange things ... we were there for a purpose and that started with a stop at the Outlet Mall to look for a few things.  We hit up the Eddie Bauer outlet where I got a new pair of teeny tiny (to me) jeans.  I'm pretty excited about the new pants because I realized that the ones I have are nearly to the falling off point.  I also wanted to go to the Under Armour store to look for a wind breaker type jacket.  I have a rain coat and a sweatshirt but I they are too warm to wear while running so I wanted to find something a little lighter.  I found a jacket in the men's department that I liked (it was red) and it fit (in a size medium - seriously?  awesome) but I kept looking, you know just in case.  I found a jacket in the women's department (size large) in a coral/melon kind of color that I selected.

Fast forward through a fabulous dinner with some family and friends at Gardina's Wine Bar and some restless sleep and it was time to get up for the race.  I'd luckily laid out all my clothes, bib, shoes last night in preparation for the race so all I had to do was get my pile and start putting clothes on.  We met at Brenda and Alex's house for a quick pre-race breakfast (read:  toasted slimwich and water) and then we were off to the race start.  The half and the 5K were leaving from the same start line so it was a little crowded.  My one complaint about the race is that there were no time corrals where people should line up so the start was a little chaotic with runners trying to pass the walkers.  

Coming into the finish area!
Seeing my husband (who wasn't familiar
with the course so he stayed near the finish
was awesome and a welcome site!
My plan was pretty simple.  After going out too fast during the first mile of the Egg Shell Shuffle I was going to walk the first 5 minutes.  That would also let the crowds disperse so I didn't feel like I was fighting for space.  However, as we were moving I decided to cut that 5 minutes to 3.5 minutes and then run.  The rest of my plan was to run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes and repeat those two things until I crossed the finish line.  I sort of knew where the course was going so I sort of knew what to expect.  The weather was beautiful, albeit a little chilly when the wind picked up, but I was happy to be outside on such a great day.  I finished the first mile in 12:08 which I knew was faster than my training runs but I still felt good.  I hit the water station around the half way mark and walked a little there so I could try to get water in my mouth.  It was sort of successful but not entirely.  I finished mile 2 in 12:19 and I was still feeling really good.  Mile 3 had a slower walking session but the pace stayed consistent at 12:17.  When I realized I was closing in on the finish some energy came from somewhere and I remember thinking to myself, my god my legs are moving so fast!  Why/How are they moving so fast but I saw the finish and I didn't care!  I threw up my arms and heard the announcer say my name - apparently they've done this before but I had headphones in and wasn't listening so I thought this was awesome! 

How can you finish a race without jazz hands?
After I finished I saw Dan and my friend Matt (Matt's wife, Shawn, was running the 5K too) and then we found Shawn (who crossed the finish line a minute after I did) and chatted a bit.  Then I grabbed some food, chocolate milk and a beer (which I gave to Dan cause I was too cold/dehydrated).  While trying to decide where we should go to see Brenda, Alex & Kristi finish the half I checked out the results board to find my new PR 38:01!  I'd set a goal of 38:00 so I was a little disappointed but it's still awesome to see the numbers changing so much.

We decided to walk backwards on the course to find the half marathoners.  On the way we found a BP so I got a cup of coffee to not only warm my hands but also to warm my insides.  It was delicious and I splurged on two French Vanilla creamers!!  It wasn't long after we left BP that Alex was racing by us and then a little bit later Kristi was blazing by.  We hustled back to the finish (because we were carrying Kristi's jacket) to meet up with them.  A little while later Brenda crossed the finish line and then we were off to breakfast (WHOO HOO!!)  I was cold and hungry.  All in all I walked/ran about 5 miles today so I was ready for some good, hot food.  Unfortunately, our overnight adventure had to come to an end and then we were back on the road.

Kristi, Alex, Brenda, me

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Thankful Things Thursday: Woolies, You and Races

I am, once again, shocked that it is already Thursday.  A few weeks ago I dropped my stats class because I was really stressed about it.  I would have thought that without having to work on homework all the time that I'd have hours to occupy but I've been so busy with lots of other things that my weeks are absolutely flying by.  I guess this is a good thing and it brings us back to another episode of Thankful Things Thursday.  If you're not familiar with the story behind this little blog feature click on the link and you'll find out all about it.  However, we're gonna get on wit' da show (minus Waldorf and Statler).  (2 bonus points for anyone who gets that reference).

1)  Anyone who really knows me (aka, Mom & Dan) know that I used to be perpetually hot.
All.
The.
Time.
Until I had my appendix out.  I thought this was very random but whatever and now I struggle to stay warm.  With the recent swings in temperatures I find myself with fingers and toes that are literally turning blue.  Honestly I sent a picture to Mom and Dan and asked why my fingers were blue.  Dan promptly replied with some info he found from Google.  Mom replied and asked me if I'd painted them.  Anyway, the first thing I am thankful for is woolies (aka wool socks).  I got several pairs for Christmas last year but I like the ones that Dan has better so I generally steal his and he doesn't seem to mind because then I'm not putting 10 ice cubes against his leg.  It works out well for both of us.

2)  The past week has reminded me about a bazillion trillion (yes, that's an actual measurement) times how great all of you are.  I am always thankful for the kind words of the blog readers, twitter followers, friends and family but this week has certainly brought that to the forefront of my mind.  So to all of you, thank you for the kind comments and happy wishes.  To the ACU ladies - I think you should add comments all the time but even if you don't I still love that you are reading and keeping up on this little journey.  :)

3)  Looking at the rest of my schedule (since dropping my class) there is another thing I am super thankful for and that are the races that I'm doing.  They do, without a doubt, kick my butt out of bed every morning to get in a walk or run.  I can't lazily wonder if today could be a rest day because I have specific goals about races.  For example, I need to finish this running training program before May 12 for the 5K in Eagle River.  The Journey's 5K was the first race I entered last year and I am going to back to do it again.  But much faster!  I've also set a goal (and now it's real cause I'm telling all of you) that for the race I'm running on Sunday (Oshkosh 5K) I want to finish in 38:00 - that will mean I've cut 4:20 off my time since the Egg Shell Shuffle. So I know that in order to accomplish my goals I have to train and sometimes it's fun and sometimes it isn't but I live/crave for the good runs where you can't wait to go back out.  Having friends and family to go running with also makes it much more fun.  I'm lookin at you Jen B - we need to schedule another running date!

So, what are you thankful for today?  Doesn't have to be big or anything - just share!  Go on.  Share!

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Sooooo close

I knew I was close to a big number but I also knew that I had a big loss last week.  The odds of losing nearly 2.5 pounds two weeks in a row is definitely not the norm for me.  Add that to the fact that my scale showed a measly 0.8 pound loss this week and I wasn't feeling terribly optimistic about my weigh-in.  I got to my meeting, made a fast bathroom break and then jumped on the scale.  I lost 2.2 pounds.  This was great news but I knew I'd missed the big number by 0.2 pounds.  Pat suggested going back to the bathroom, or taking off various pieces of clothing.  I declined her offers reasoning that I'll hit that milestone next week.

During the meeting we talked about color on our plates.  Essentially adding color and making the meal visually appealing so that our eyes think we'll be full even before we take our first bite.  This is how I add color to my plate.  The meal was grilled chicken thighs (2 PP each), green beans, and stuffed mushroom caps.

The chicken thighs are in charming husband's wheelhouse.  Dan likes to sprinkle them with habanero death dust and I've recently taken to eating that (before he would make two separate batches, one much less spicy for me).

The green beans are frozen and one of our favorite side dishes because they are versatile as well as fast - throw them in the pan with olive oil and sautee until they are just turning brown.  Then spray with a little butter spray, add salt/pepper.  Some days I will alter the recipe leaving out the butter/salt/pepper but adding 10 grams of slivered almonds.  Other days I'll make the beans and top with 28 grams (1 oz) of shredded Parmesan cheese.  All of these are easy and delicious - the classic salt/pepper/butter spray is my favorite!

For the mushroom caps I pulled the stems out, put about 1/2 t. of balsamic vinegar in each cap and then split 28 grams (1 oz) of crumbed feta cheese with herbs among the 6 caps.  I broiled them for about 20 minutes (longer than I normally do) but loved them because the balsamic almost reduced and the feta got browned and a little bit crispy on top.

In all honesty I had 3 total chicken thighs and one more mushroom cap than was shown on this plate and it was DE-licious!

How do you add color to your plates?  Do you make them interesting so you don't get bored with them?

Thursday, April 12, 2012

You won't even believe this!

Thankfully, my friend Sheri doesn't mind
when I stop by for an impromptu photo shoot!

If you haven't read the Thankful Things Thursday post you should go do that now.  Go on, I'll wait.  

Still here?  Great, because you may have noticed the photo that I posted and I promised more details about that.  Well... here we go.

Last fall the Dr. Oz show partnered with Weight Watchers and Sharecare to sponsor a contest called Transformation Nation:  Million Dollar You. Contestants had to weigh in and a Weight Watchers location to and register online to enter the contest (which awards the winner one million dollars!). There were seven different areas that the contest focused on:
  • Tell a Friend
  • Official Weigh-in/Calculate Your BMI
  • Connect with Your Doctor
  • Learn Your Family's Health History
  • Get More Sleep
  • Assess Your Stress
  • Start New Fitness Habits
Most of these things were no brainers – tell a friend? You guys know I can blast out an email begging people to help me out! Remember all those loving emails I sent helping me raise money for the Christine Ann Domestic Abuse Services Center last year? (Here's a little foreshadowing for you, they'll be coming out again this year!) Get more sleep? No problem there at all – let's face it does anyone need encouragement to try to get more sleep? Especially once you start training to run a race? Staying awake seems like the challenge! Starting new fitness habits? Please see the need for more sleep! Anyway, since I was already on a weight loss journey this seemed like something I'd be interested in.

About a week ago was the final weigh-in. During the course of the contest I lost nearly 47 pounds. I was thrilled but honestly didn't think that anything would happen with that. I read (or more accurately mis-read) the rules when it said that you had to achieve or maintain a healthy BMI. Apparently there was also a clause in there that said in order to be in the Top 200 you had to EITHER achieve/maintain a BMI in the healthy range OR if you lost 10% of your body weight.

On Tuesday morning I got a phone call. From the Dr. Oz show. I'd made the Top 200. I thought it was a joke. Hali, the Associate Producer, told me it wasn't. Thankfully she was really nice about everything and proceeded to ask me a bunch of questions about my journey and my life and all kinds of stuff. The answers are being used to judge who will move on to the Top 50 so fingers crossed that I'll move on!  

Thankful Things Thursday: Willpower, friends and stretching

Oh my goodness, can you believe it's already Thursday?  I thought, on Monday, this week was going to go really slowly but I don't really know what happened but it's already time for another episode of Thankful Things Thursday!!

1)  From time to time I have early conference calls which screws up my working out schedule and I often times end up taking it as a rest day.  Having just gone through the calendar this week I knew I didn't have any extra days just hanging around if I'm going to be ready to RUN THE WHOLE 5K in Eagle River in one month.  So, I used all the willpower I had and forced myself out of bed earlier than usual today to get in a few miles (3.15 to be exact) in.  It wasn't my usual 4 mile route which is disappointing but perhaps I can get out a little later to get in a mile or two of walking (I know he'd love it).

2)  The people at my WW meeting are the next thing that I am thankful for today.  We had a lot of celebrations, again, this week (WAY TO GO EVERYONE!!) and I think it is so much fun to see how everyone gets excited about the accomplishments that everyone is making.  You guys totally rock and I'm so glad that my meeting is filled with such supportive people.  I also know there were a few who were struggling and I hope that the support is helping to keep those folks engaged.  There are weeks that we struggle, maybe not plateau, but it's still disappointing at the scale.  It's really important to find the strength to keep going and sometimes that simply comes from a friend or meeting member encouraging you along.

3)  The last thing I'm thankful for today (or at least for this list) is stretching.  I saw my doctor yesterday (Hey Dr. B!) for a physical and I mentioned that my knees were kind of bothering me.  Dr. Dan (aka my husband suggested I start taking oil pills) but Dr. B (who ACTUALLY went to medical school) told me she didn't think that would help and suggested some new stretches to do after running.  I thought that was awesome mostly cause I don't like taking pills and am amazed when I do take them consistently.  The gummy vitamins don't count cause they are like candy.  Sorry Dr. B I know I sounded all grown up when I told you I take a multivitamin but let's be real, a sour gummy vitamin, YES PLEASE!  Anyway, I'm going to stretch, use the Tiger Tail stick roller and maybe buy a foam roller to keep the knees and muscles in check.

Now it's your turn - what are you thankful for today?  What made you smile or makes your socks roll up and down?!  Go on, share!

Oh and cause I needed a new picture taken let me share this with you... it's a little like senior pictures, no?  Oh well, more details on this later.


Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Sister + Text = Fun Times

Today I got a text from my sister (Hi Brenda!) asking me if I had plans on May 19?  Hmmm... No?  What's up?  She told me they were looking for a 4th person to join their team in The Color Run in Racine.  Wha??? Is this the race where you get some sort of funky colors sprayed at you while you run a 5K?  Oh, yes it is.  I thought for a minute (about the time it took me to get Dan on the phone to confirm we didn't have plans that weekend) and then said YES!  The only rules to the race are that the runner must wear a plain white t-shirt and to have fun.  That's my kind of race!!

Now... to think of a name for our team.  Do you guys have suggestions?

On another note... While at my meeting today a new(er) member asked about my weight loss.  I shared that I've lost 172.6 pounds and she asked if I had a before picture.  I didn't have a *real* before picture but I had one from about a year ago when Diane made goal.  In the picture (which isn't electronic or I'd share it with you) that I showed her I was wearing a long sleeve red t-shirt and she looked from me (when I was wearing a long sleeved purple t-shirt) and she exclaimed, "Oh my god you went from a red apple to purple asparagus!"  Having never been compared to a fruit or vegetable before I busted out laughing.  I don't really have anything else to say about that but I thought it was hilarious (and really something I would say) so I wanted to share it with you.

Also, some folks from the meeting asked for my blog address so I hope they found it.  Hi Peoples!!  Post a comment below to say hello.  Go, now.  :)

Sunday, April 8, 2012

RACE RECAP: EGG SHELL SHUFFLE 5k

Some things will probably never change, like the somewhat restless sleep the night before a race or the second guessing my wardrobe for race day.  I was struggling with the decision of whether to wear long sleeves or not when Dan told me that the temperature had already risen 4 degrees in the last hour.  I also realized that it was later than I thought so I needed to book it to Woodman's to meet Kim and Jen.

On your mark....
Meeting up with friends to carpool to the race was definitely calming because we were able to talk about lots of  things which kept my mind off the race.  We got there really early and spent a lot of time walking around visiting the sponsor booths and watching the half marathoners start their race.  Soon it was time for us to begin but I hadn't seen Dan yet.  A last minute change of plans for him meant he was going to be able to come watch us race and that really meant the world to me.  Shortly before we were ready to begin Dan walked up and gave me the needed boost of energy and excitement that I needed.
Jen M, Jen B, Kim - let's get this race started!

Finally, we'd been waiting about an hour before our start time, we were lined up to start the race and we were off.  Jen and I had planned to run intervals for the race.  Our plan was to run 3 minutes then walk 2 minutes and repeat for the duration of the 3.1 miles.  After the first 3 minute interval we both felt awesome so we decided to change our strategy and run 4 minutes, walk 2 minutes.  At the end of mile 1 my Forerunner alerted us that we logged a 12:14 mile.  I told Jen and I know we were both surprised.  It hadn't really dawned on me that we started out too fast and we needed to slow our pace if we were going to be able to keep running for the whole race.  We pushed on and logged mile 2 at 13:04 and mile 3 at 13:58.

Jen B is "encouraging me" to keep going.  I {heart} her!
Plus don't you love our matching running tights/skirts?!
One thing I didn't like about this race is that it consisted of two out and backs.  If you're not familiar this is basically where you run one direction, get to a certain point, turn around and run the exact same path but in the opposite direction.  I'm not crazy about that because there is nothing new to look at so I'm much more likely to get into my head rather than enjoy the run.  Plus I felt like I knew how far it was and at least at one point it felt like we were 10 miles away from the start rather than 1 mile away.  I know they changed the first two miles of the race course because they had so many people sign up to do the 5K so this might be the reason.  The other problem was that the first mile and a half (or so) was mostly downhill so the back part of the first out and back was mostly uphill and even though the hills weren't really bad it's enough to psyche you out.  I guess I need to work on that part so I'm better prepared for hills next time.
Hanging with the Easter Bunny after the race

The best part of the race was running with Jen.  While I think it is a little difficult (mostly because I'm not used to it) to run with someone else it was really the kick in the *ss I needed when we were about a quarter mile out from the finish.  I had told Jen that one goal I had for the race was to cross the finish line running and she reminded me of that yesterday.  So, we crossed the finish line pushing it hard and I logged a new PR (for the 2nd time this week) of 40:20!  I was completely thrilled, you know once I had caught my breath and all!

Thursday, April 5, 2012

Thankful Things Thursday: Some running things and some not

Thanks for reading the latest (and somewhat late) edition of Thankful Things Thursday.  This week has been a little crazy already with a race last Saturday, a race yesterday and a race this coming Saturday.  I say we just get on with the show, right?

With the excessive amounts of racing that I've done/am doing this week obviously the first thing I am super thankful for are rest days.  I read a blog about training for races and it said to take a rest day two days before the race so that made today a rest day.  After all the training I did last week to meet some personal fitness goals I hadn't had a rest day so it was really welcome to hang out in bed a little longer today.  That little adventure was cut short by some vacuuming that needed to be done but that's a conversation for another day.  I do feel rested and ready to bang out some miles tomorrow (a few, not many) to loosen up my legs and prepare for Saturday morning.

I'd read a bunch of blogs last year that talked about headbands to wear while working out.  Now... if you're new to the blog you probably aren't aware that when I work out I sweat.  A LOT.  At the end of a workout it is not uncommon for me to look like I've been swimming rather than running or even walking.  Even in the middle of winter I sweat like a beast.  I was home in Wisconsin for Thanksgiving last year and it was pretty chilly when I'd go workout and every time I'd come back Mom would be shocked at how sweaty I was... anyway... the next thing I am thankful for are bondi bands. Most headbands end up moving on my head and thus not really keeping my hair out of my eyes/mouth so I find them much more annoying than helpful.  I ordered some last year and loved them but lost them so this year I ordered more.  They not only keep my hair out of my eyes/mouth but they are also wicking so they absorb some of that glorious sweat.  Seriously?  Double duty?  I'll take it!

The last thing I'm thankful for this week (well really every week) is grilling.  Charming husband is always willing to light up some coals and grill up some tasty food and I love year round but now I'm telling him that I'm thankful for it.  Thanks D!  You rock at the grill/smoker and you can cook every single meal out there if you want.  You know, I'll let you and all.

So... you had extra time to think (since I'm posting this in the afternoon as opposed to the morning) what are you thankful for today?  Or any day?

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Race Recap: The Jelly Bean 5K

You're going to get more posts than normal this week because I have a busy race schedule.  It started on Sunday with the Fight Forever Virtual 5K, last night I posted about finding your anchor, and today I completed the 5K for The Jelly Bean race (no jelly beans were harmed or consumed during this race!)

This was another virtual race I found out about via some Chicago area bloggers.  The organizer actually held a physical race near Peoria last weekend but I couldn't make it there.  There are a bunch of events you could participate in but I was focused on the 5K.  I had another Learn 2 Run training run scheduled for today anyway so I used that as my pacing strategy.  I was wearing long sleeves because the weather man said it was cool outside this morning.  I sort of regretted that decision around mile 3 but I was definitely glad I started out with warmer clothes on.
not bad...

My training run looked had me doing this:
Warm Up:  5:00
Run:  3:15
Walk:  2:00
Run:  4:30
Walk:  2:00
Run:  4:30
Walk:  2:00
Run:  4:30
Walk:  2:00
Run:  3:15
Cool Down:  5:00

My splits looked like this:


At the end of that run I was still over a mile from home which was good because I hadn't gone the full 3.1 miles yet.  Luckily, my Garmin Forerunner calculated that it took me another 4 minutes to travel the last .24 miles (at this point I was in cool down mode so I was moving slow(er).

All in all I felt pretty good, I had a little pain in my knee but it's been tight lately so I've been trying to stretch it out more and will continue to do so over the next several days because Saturday is another race.  This one will be the first "actual" (read:  not virtual) of the year and I'm super excited.  Two of my friends from WW are doing this race as well so it should be a blast.  Stay tuned....


Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Finding your anchor

Ever since the meeting last week I've "known" that the weigh-in today wasn't going to be good.  In the last month I've lost a lot of weight so I knew there would come a week where I'd bounce (so to speak).  That happened today and even though I knew it was coming it still sucks.  That said let's move on.

The meeting topic was about anchors and not the boat kind!  Your anchor is what helps remind you to stay on plan and make healthy choices rather than unhealthy choices.  I thought for a minute and decided my anchor is being active, and racing to be specific.  Over the weekend my friend, Jen, came over and we went for a run together.  I realize how trivial this may sound but normally when planning a get together with someone it was about what restaurant we would meet at or something that had to do with food/drink.  This was not at all the intention of this get together and I had the best time.  Seriously, an awesome time working out.  I'm not sure where this came from but it felt awesome.

Having someone else to not only be silly with (cause let's face it, we are) but also to share the struggles (e.g. chaffing) and the successes (e.g. an upcoming spa day when I hit 175 pounds) of trying to be active with is awesome.  Who'd have guessed that?

So what or who is your anchor?  One member in our weekly brochure got the WW logo tattooed on her wrist so she would constantly see that.  Do you have a token that you look at to remind you to be healthy?

Sunday, April 1, 2012

Race Recap: Fight Forever 5k/10k

I can't even remember how I found out about this race - likely from a blogger or someone I follow on Twitter and I really wanted to get my racing season started so I was excited to sign up for this race.  Colleen, aka The Fit Bee, organized the Fight Forever 5K & 10K Virtual Race.  The deal was you can do it either Saturday, March 31 or Sunday April 1 and then report your time back to the organizer.  Apparently we were also supposed to take photos but I forgot so we are  picture-less.

As you may know I am training to run my first 5K which is one of my 2012 goals.  I'm a little over half way through my training plan that I got from an app on my phone called Learn 2 Run.  Today's run consisted of the following:
Warm-Up:  5 minutes
Run:  4 minutes
Walk:  2 minutes
Run:  5 minutes
Walk:  2 minutes
Run:  5 minutes
Walk:  2 minutes
Run:  4 minutes
Cool-Down:  5 minutes

We decided to cover 4 total miles so our cool was really about 1.5 miles long.  Other than my weekly walk with Dan and both dogs I'd never had a work out partner.  This definitely made things fun and we were even able to chat a little while we ran, albeit in short bursts, because we decided to leave headphones at home.  I felt really good while we were out even though my hands were freezing.  This spring mid-west weather is not easy to dress appropriately for because I wished I had worn gloves when we left but once we were into the second interval I was pretty much ok.  My legs felt good the whole time so I was a happy runner!

Our finish time was 47:18 which was pretty good.  Slightly faster than finish times from last year and definitely a time to build on.  Jen and I are running the Egg Shell Shuffle on Saturday and we've already worked out our running strategy so hopefully that will yield an even faster time!!