Friday, February 27, 2009

Happy Friday!

Today, it has been one full week that I've been off the scale.

I got up this morning and put on a pair of my least favorite pants, thinking they were going to be just falling off of me. Hoping they would be falling off of me, so I could pack them away and get out some of my smaller pants.
Ummm, nope not yet. If I reallly try, I can convince myself that they are looser. But, it may just be in my head. I feel great, and that's the most important thing. I'm not beating myself up on a daily basis over the number on the scale.

Last week, when I was on the scale, it was upsetting me so much that I was skipping a lot of workouts. I felt like the workouts weren't really getting me what I wanted so why bother. This week, I have been at the gym every. single. night, in addition to running 3 days in the morning. Maybe the number on the scale is good, maybe it's not. But, in 3 more weeks I think the scale will catch up with the workouts and show me some good news.

This weekend is a cutback weekend for my marathon training. I only have to run 8 miles on Saturday morning. I'm actually looking forward to tomorrows "long" run.
That being said, do any of you watch the Biggest Loser? I was BLOWN AWAY that the guy who was eliminated this week ran a marathon in 3:53. A couple of weeks ago, I watched "Marathon Love" where the guy pushed his wife in a HOSPITAL WHEELCHAIR through the Chicago Marathon in 3:15.
I guess the question at hand here is, WHY am I so SLOW?? Am I holding myself back because I don't "think" I can run any faster? Or, are those guys just that gifted? I really want to BQ, and my friends all think that I am capable if I am consistent in my diet and running. I would have to run a 3:45 marathon. I am planning a fall marathon this year, maybe going to Boston with my friends will inspire me to do the work for this fall's marathon.

Other than the easy 8 miles, this weekend will be a kid-hauling weekend. My DD wants to see "Friday the 13th". Joy. So, I'll be taking her and her friends to that after the gym tonight. Tomorrow night, she wants to go to a local teen hangout where they are having a band that she likes. I'll be hauling her and her friends to that tomorrow. Maybe Sunday, I can talk her into going with me to see a chic flick.

Hey, Tam, Don't you also have a son? Why don't we ever hear anything about him?
Why, yes, yes I do have a son. He's 14 years old. He is in his room.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009


Jeez, it seems like these days all I have to post about is running. It's almost as if my life revolves around it or something.

Ummm, OK. I admit it. It sorta does.

This week, I've been struggling with that silly alarm clock again. Today is the first day that I managed to get out of bed and go for a run since my long run on Saturday. I have, however, gone to a couple of classes at the gym. I went to step aerobics on Monday night and boot camp on Tuesday night.

Regarding the boot camp, it was my first time doing that particular torture. Let me just say "Ouch!" The lower body stuff, squats, jumping, etc was EASY. The upper body stuff, situps, pushups... not so much. My upper body is WEAK! I need to work on that.

Anyhow, I got up this morning after trying to talk myself out of it and got dressed for a run. It's been warming up again this week, so it was 40 degrees when I got up. I got dressed in long sleeves and NO jacket! Yay! Then, I went to turn on my Garmin. Low battery. WHAT? I just charged this thing after my 20 miles and haven't ran since. How could the battery be low?
Ah, well. I'll just run without it. So, I took off out the door, feeling naked without all the electronic gadgetry and got about a half mile when I realized that I forgot my ipod, too! UGH!

How did I get this way? I didn't start running with an ipod until 2 or 3 years ago, which means that I ran for 6 or 7 years without music. I suppose the bigger question is, how did I ever run without it?

I was faster then... I wonder how fast I would have been if I had used music back then? The world may never know...

I thought of a lot of these conundrums during my run, without the music to keep my mind diverted. Don't let me run without that thing again. UGH!

Monday, February 23, 2009

TGI... M??

Marathon training continues...

I ran my first 20 miler of the year on Saturday morning. I knew when I woke up that it wasn't going to be the carefree, meandering, sunny 20 miles that I had dreamed. Nope, it was grey and gloomy when I woke up Saturday morning, with temperatures in the mid-30's and a strong wind. I kept getting text messages from a friend telling me to get out the door and run.

So, I got dressed and ready to go. Then I went to turn on my fully charged Garmin. Nothing. I started freaking out. I finally realized that it probably just needed to be reset. Duh!
I reset Garmin and headed out the door.

By that time, the snow had started. Snow and heavy wind out of the northwest. My first 10 miles were north and west. There were so many times that I considered just turning around and cutting my run short. It was SO miserable. The best thing I can say about my first 10 miles is that they are over.

I begged and pleaded, PLEASE snow OR wind, one or the other.

I got my wish. It stopped snowing. It started sleeting.

NOT what I had in mind.

About 8 miles into my run, the sleet stopped. I had another 2 miles into the wind, then I got to turn around and run the 10 miles home with the wind at my back.

When my run was over, I drove up to Barbie's to drink some wine and relax for a bit.
Later, I took my daughter and her friend to see "Coraline". Very cute movie, good for young girls.

Sunday was housework day. I feel like I was on my feet all day.
I never thought I'd be so thankful for Monday.

Oh, and I still haven't stepped on the scale. I have 25 more days in my 4 week hiatus from the scale. The not knowing is driving me crazy. But, I will not step on that thing.

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Out with the Scale!!

I've been trying to keep as much whining about my weight out of my blog as possible, but this is the last straw. Let's recap, shall we?

I'll start from when I began this journey of becoming a runner.

1999-2002: Best shape of my life, running is a breeze.
Nov 2002: Laid off from my job, promptly gained 20 lbs, running is keeping me sane.
Aug 2003: Started my current job, lost 10 lbs- running is fun again.
Oct 2006: Decided to buckle down and lose the last 10, back in the best shape of my life.
2008: Gained 40 lbs. Ugh! 15 of them were in December.

OK, this seems like a minor setback, right? Right?


I have been busting my hump since New Year's and still haven't lost the 15 lbs that I gained in December! Ugh!

After my 18 mile run on Saturday, I got on the scale the next day, hopeful. I had eaten healthy all day Saturday, and burned over 2500 calories.

I was up 4 lbs.

This fact caused me to spiral out of control all week. It just put me into a funk that I have not been able to shake. I say out of control, but it's more my mood. My eating has been different, but not completely out of control. This morning, back on the scale again.

No Change. Still up 4 lbs.

I think that the best thing I can do at this point is just stay away from that thing. I'm considering just throwing my current scale out and weighing myself later on down the road when my clothes start fitting me again. Back in the days when I was in my best shape, I wasn't obsessing about every morsel of food the way I have been this past 2 months.

OK, OK... /whining over. I'm going to start focusing on the positive again.

On tap for this weekend, my first 20 miler of the year.
I'll be glad to get that run under my belt, and get the monkey off my back.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Fly with the Eagles Half / Long Run

I had the best 18 mile run ever on Saturday. It had been 3 years since I've run 18 miles, but I've committed to the Illinois Marathon, so I had to get out there. Barbie and I had registered for the Fly with the Eagles Half Marathon on Saturday, with the understanding that we would each get our extra miles beforehand.

In order to make this easier, we stayed over at her son's house on Friday evening, which was closer to the start of the Half. There, we got the long run preparations underway early:

Well, it seemed like a good idea at the time!! We wound up drinking one bottle of wine and then a martini after dinner, not too bad.

The next morning, we got to the race an hour and a half early, no small feat for us. We're usually the ones who come squealing in 10 minutes before the start. The race started at a visitor center for the wildlife refuge. The door was still locked when we got there. Registration was supposed to start at 7am. So, there we were, waiting for somebody to come and unlock the door (we desperately needed a restroom before starting to run). Luckily, the race director got our race numbers and sweatshirts (very nice sweatshirts for this race) out of his trunk so we wouldn't have to deal with that later.

We wound up driving up the road to a gas station to use the restroom, then came back and started running. I had to get 5 miles prior to the race, and Barbie had to run 7. I think they waited for Barbie to start the race, since we got such a late start. We didn't start running until 50-55 minutes before the scheduled start of the race.

Here we are between our pre-race miles and the start of the race, along with a couple of other friends:

My early miles went great, I had a hard time keeping it slow enough. I have developed a blister on my big toe (this is a first), so Carol helped me get it sorted out before the start of the Half Marathon. My Half Marathon went surprisingly well also. I felt fantastic the entire time. I even picked off some runners in my last mile! Mile 17 of my long run, and I'm passing people. Amazing.

I did slow down for 2-3 miles. I met a runner before the race who was fairly new to running and was talking about my training run that day. As I was passing her around mile 7, she asked me to stay with her for a while and chat. I gladly slowed my pace to do that. There were only about 100-150 runners in this race, so it wasn't like there were people around the entire time. We had just come out of the wildlife sanctuary, which for some reason was BRUTAL for this race, it's usually my favorite part.

Eventually, she needed to slow down, and I wanted to get going, so I broke away from her around the 10 mile mark.

My overall pace for the 18 miles was 11:25. I think I could have kept it under 11 min/mile if I would have pushed a bit more. The run was extremely easy for me. My Half Marathon time was 2:31.

I felt so great the next day, I think I could have ran. I didn't, but I did go shopping with the kids all Sunday afternoon. My plan was to run this morning, but I woke up with some stomach issues. I haven't been able to keep anything in my stomach all day. UGH! Hopefully, I feel better by morning, I need to get running!

Friday, February 13, 2009

Glorious DOR

It seems that the happening thing to do on Fridays is to post pictures. I have one that I absolutely must share. This is my dog, sleeping in the cat bed. Obviously, cats never sleep in these things. He probably thinks he is supposed to sleep there!

"I Is A Cute Cat"
Let me just rejoice in the fact that today is my DOR. I went from almost NO activity in December to two-a-day workouts most days this week.
Tomorrow is long run day, and I have a doozie planned. I'm going down tonight with some friends to spend the night at my BFF's son's place. Tomorrow morning, we are running a Half Marathon. I will be running 5 miles prior to the race start, then running the race, to get in my needed 18 mile long run.
UGH! Keep your fingers crossed that my legs and feet survive. It's been a long time since I've ran 18 miles. And to throw a race into the mix makes it oh so much more interesting...

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Get in Shape or Die Trying

Yesterday, I mentioned that I had gone to the gym and done an upper body workout Sunday evening following my 16 mile long run that morning.


Last night, I left work and went to a step aerobics class. My first step aerobics since I stopped instructing step back in 2003. My daughter's very first step aerobics class.
It was a pretty good size class (for small town), 16 people. The instructor did a good job of cueing, I only got off once or twice. My daughter had a tough time keeping up, but she really enjoyed it. We're planning to do step again on Thursday evening. The time of the class is perfect for me to leave work, pick her up at the library and go straight to the gym.

This morning, I was up and out at 5am for a 4.5 mile run. It was 54 degrees and breezy, so I got a little warm. The run was tough. My legs are still just a little tight from Sunday. I am so glad I got out there and did it, though. I feel fantastic today!

Tonight, my daughter and I are planning to go to Chen Tai Chi. I'm not really sure what to expect, but it was that or boot camp. I really didn't want to brave the boot camp tonight.

Now, if only the scale would catch up with my workouts. As of this morning, it was moving in the wrong direction again... I have to stop stepping on that thing every day.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Easy Peasy 16 Miles

My plan this weekend was to get up Saturday morning and get my 16 mile long run out of the way. I had a loop near my house in mind that I was going to run, but I wasn’t sure of the distance. The last marathon I ran was in 2006, just before I got my Garmin. I figured if it was 15 miles, I was going to be happy with that- especially since I skipped my long run last weekend.
Saturday morning, I woke up around 7:15am. I did NOT feel like running, so I figured I would give myself a couple of hours and then head out...

Then I took the dog out. The wind was crazy. I. Hate. Wind. Knowing that the forecast for Sunday was a little cooler, with no wind, I managed to talk myself into waiting until Sunday for my long run.

My BFF did her 18 miles Saturday morning, then called me and told me how horrible it was running in that wind. This reinforced my decision to wait and run on Sunday. I then went out for Mexican with her, and a couple of glasses of wine. Saturday night, I went with my daughter and a couple of her friends to see "Uninvited".

Before the movie, I was piddling around on Facebook and checking movie times when my friend Carol called. She said, "Did you get your long run this morning?"

Ummmm, nope.

She had actually hoped that I was going to say that, and we planned to meet up on Sunday morning to run. She was only planning 8-9 miles, but agreed to be support for the rest of the run (bringing water, etc). We started out around 9am on some local biking trails. The weather was fantastic (around 40 degrees with only a light breeze off the lake), and it’s always great running with a friend. The chit chat keeps you going- I didn’t even use my ipod. Carol actually wound up running the entire 16 miles with me. Her hubby came along and supplied the water. He would park at intermittent spots near the trail, then walk up onto the trail and bring the water and Gatorade. That made the entire run that much easier.

It was tough finishing up the run. I was dragging by the end of it. But, we walked about a quarter of a mile afterward, then I drove home. Once I got home, I got cleaned up and my daughter and I went shopping a bit, where she asked me if we could go to the gym later. Ugh! But, two things I will never say "No" to when it comes to the kids- books and working out. So, I went to the gym around 7pm with her and worked my upper body and abs.

My legs feel pretty good today, no soreness at all. But, my daughter has another trip to the gym planned tonight. Ugh! I’m thinking I’ll probably go to the step aerobic class and take it easy.

On tap for this week-
Tuesday- 4-6 miles
Thursday – 4-6 miles
Saturday – 18 mile long run consisting of 5 miles + the Fly With the Eagles Half Marathon

Plus, the gym as many times as my daughter wants to go. Heaven help me.

Friday, February 6, 2009

Heat Wave!

Yesterday morning, when I woke up it was 7 degrees.

Today, the high temperature is expected to be in the mid-50's. It will stay this way all of next week. I am SO glad that I don't have to do my 16 miles tomorrow morning in single-digit temperatures! I couldn't imagine running 16 miles on a dreadmill.

My daughter and I joined the gym last night. My son is also a member, but he refuses to go... yet. I'm so excited that I just have to share this. My daughter told me last night that she was thinking of walking and working up to running! Woot!

She tried this a few years ago, in the 5th grade. She was in Cross Country that year. Cross Country is one sport that has no "try-outs" in our schools. If you want to run, you can run. She was one of the last finishers at every cross country meet. I told her back then that it isn't about winning, it's about beating yourself. But, that's a difficult lesson for a 11 year old. Since then, she has become more health-conscious. She became a vegetarian a 2 or 3 years ago, and has stuck with it (which really shocks me). She is interested in fitness, now. I hope she sticks with it, too. I know that it really would have helped me at her age (15), but I didn't get serious about fitness until 10 years later.

I've got no plans for the weekend. It feels strange to have so many weeks in a row with no races planned. Luckily, the Fly with the Eagles Half Marathon is next week on Valentine's Day.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Joining Up?

I didn't have to worry about Day 2 getting up early today, since my work hours are out of whack this week. I'm working evening shift tonight for testing at the end of the shift, then back to normal tomorrow. It sure is nice to have the morning off, but tomorrow is going to be rough getting up early again.

It was 7 degrees when I woke up this morning. I got a text from my BFF at 5:30am saying that she was packing it up and heading to the gym for her 7 miles this morning. I decided not to brave the weather, either. I did some strength training instead, at home.

Yesterday, I received a card in the mail, an advertisement for the newest gym in the town where I work. OK, it's not really new, they just relocated. The new location is more convenient for me. The gym is small, but it is a 24 hour location, also convenient for somebody who aspires to working out at 5am. The "special" rate that they are advertising is $12.50 per month. $12.50 PER MONTH! There are family packages available, but I don't know any details about the cost for that.

I'm torn about this. I have a friend at work who is already a member. Somewhat motivational, but I think I would be more of a motivation for HER than the other way around. She is not very dedicated to fitness at this point. I have everything I need to work out at home- free weights, treadmill, countless dvd workouts. But, I do miss the gym. And, you sure can't beat a price of $12.50 per month.

I have an appointment at 6pm tomorrow evening for a "tour" / sales pitch. I'll probably take the kids (or at least my daughter) along and check it out. We can decide from there.

My plan is to get up tomorrow morning and run again. It's supposed to be 7 degrees again tonight, so it's gonna be tough. The forecast has changed again. It's going to be near 60 degrees by Saturday. I am so ready for spring to get here and stay.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

21 Day Habit - Day One

If it takes 21 days to make something a habit, I suppose I'm on Day 1.

I managed to drag my sorry arse out of bed this morning for a run. I didn't get up a lot earlier than normal- I didn't get out the door until around 5:45am. In order for me to get a 4-5 mile run done and still make it to work on time (7am), I would have to be out the door by 5:15am at the latest. Luckily, I'm working late tonight, so I was able to come in a bit later this morning.

Also, luckily for me, I did NOT turn on the weather forecast last night or hear the wind howling this morning before heading out. If I had known how cold and windy it was, I surely would have talked myself out of running.

I ran 4.5 miles, and only 2.25 miles of it was into the wind. It wouldn't have been nearly so bad if it hadn't been approximately 9 degrees. When my alarm went off the first time, my thermometer said 19 degrees. By the time I got home from my run, it was 9 and dropping.

It's going to be in the 50's by Friday.
Gotta love Southern Illinois.

Monday, February 2, 2009

It's Official!!

Three steps forward and two steps back.

That’s how I’m feeling today. I had lost 9 pounds as of one week ago. Then came last week. Last week was rough. I was struggling with so many cravings, I wound up gaining 2 lbs throughout the week. Not so bad, I can recover from 2 lbs. Then came the weekend. I gained another 2 lbs on Saturday. I decided to watch it on Sunday and try to recover. Well, I didn’t really eat that much on Sunday. I was within my target calorie range. It was obviously sodium-packed calories, since this morning’s weigh-in was up another 3 lbs. That’s a 7 lb gain since last week! What is going on with me?

As of today, I am back. I think that a large majority of those pounds are water, due to the mass sodium that I consumed yesterday. I also was not on the ball with running or working out at all last week. It was pitiful. If I’m going to make this work, I’m going to have to get back on the ball.

As if I needed another reason to kick it in gear… As of Friday afternoon, I’m officially registered: