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Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Thankfully reflecting

I wish I could write more than once a week, but I just can't find it in me lately.  But I did want to write a bit about the reflecting I've been doing lately.

I did the Thanksgiving 5K and got to meet so many more Fat2Fit Pack members.  I love hearing the support from others who are on the same journey that I am.  It really means so much to me and I try to pass it on to others as well.  At the race, I didn't have my best time, and also didn't have my worst time. It was a nice little crowded run, but everyone was there to enjoy the morning and give thanks. I was thankful to actually make it out there considering I hadn't been feeling well at all earlier in the week!

I'm thankful for a lot of things. I'm thankful for the support I get to keep me moving towards my goal. I'm thankful that I'm getting healthier, both physically and mentally. I'm thankful for all the people in my life, even if I don't like them all the time.

Part of my reflecting included reading my previous posts. I think I lost sight of what I really want my life to look like. I forgot about the details of the 2 minute challenges that I hoped to achieve a year after writing it.  I forgot about how much I struggled while I was tracking food with points and now I'm doing much better, despite not writing down my intake and just mentally thinking about it (which isn't 100% helpful. Tracking is very important!).

I recently backed out of a photo shoot because of my arms. Yes, I said my arms. Of all the things that I dislike seeing in photos, it's my arms.  I'm sure some people would scoff, but I don't want to look back on the fun photo shoot and think about how much I disliked the look of my arms.  I'm determined to look better than I do now when I finally do this shoot.

Where am I at now?  I'm running the Polar Dash 5K on New Year's Day.  I have never run a race in the snow (obviously, since I just started running again this past spring!) and I'm hoping that it'll be a great challenge for me.  And fun, of course!  I'm hoping to run a few miles a week and to also mix it up with some DVD workouts.  I also found some cool workouts on Pinterest that I've started trying.  Short, quick workouts that I know I can fit into my busy schedule.  I'm hoping that I'll keep weight off during the winter and really hoping to lose some weight.  I like to hibernate during the winter and maybe this year I'll get out and do some cold weather activities.  One thing at a time though.

What are your winter goals?  Do you have any upcoming winter races?

Hopefully my next post is sooner than later.  I have another one in mind already and should get it out of draft form soon.

Saturday, November 5, 2011

Am I done yet? Monster Dash 5K thoughts

Being sick sucked.  And it turned out that I was pretty sick.  The headaches I had thought were migraines turned out to be from a sinus infection.  So I rested.  I didn't run for over 3 weeks.  Then Monster Dash 5K was coming up and I had to start training so that I wouldn't completely die!

I've come to realize that when I am well, I have to do some form of exercise. My body starts to fight back and  I get stiff and sore in places I forgot about hurting.  And the scaled doesn't budge... imagine that! :)

It was actually my awesome Hubby's idea to run the Monster Dash.  He wanted the swag.  Bottom line, it wasn't all about exercise.  And nice swag is always a seller!

The start of the race was a cluster of runners, walkers, dogs, kids and strollers.  Honestly not my cup of tea! I have a hard time with being cut off as I do consider myself still a new runner.  The mean side wants to come out and I could trip someone and not look back or think twice.  But I don't and I try to adjust my pace and I just keep going.  I saw a dog take a tasty tumble and I saw plenty of people running with poop bags until they got to the next trash bin (points to them for cleaning up!).  There ,were angry birds, smurfs, star wars characters, jack in the box, a refrigerator (get it? hehe), and zombies of course!

One thing I forgot to mention is that the 5K wasn't chip timed. I was slightly disappointed!  But it's a great reminder to me for why I started running in the first place, and why I made a goal of races for this year.  I think I did the race in my usual time of 44 mins, but this one might have been a bit longer.  I did have my Polar HRM on, but the time doesn't really matter now.

So now I debate how far I want to take this into 2012.  It was a good jumpstart for me for sure to race and start my healthiness journey and meet and learn from some fabulous bloggers and Fat to Fit Pack members. I'm planning on a few that really inspired me and a couple fun ones.

And winter running?  I don't know where I want to be with that. I do not like the cold at all! And I'm not sure I have any desire to run in it.  I suppose I could start out with walking and see where that takes me?  I do have a dog that needs walks.

Now I debate on a November race.  There's a Veteran's Day race that we wanted to do, but then I know quite a few people are doing a Thanksgiving Day race.  And I'm honestly just feeling lazy about the whole routine of getting ready to run a race.  I feel I'm really only able to do runs over lunch since I'm horrible about waking up early in the morning.  And now lately, I feel rushed about getting a lunchtime in and then getting back to work.  I probably have to figure out why I feel rushed now and I didn't feel so rushed before...

My biggest goal for this winter is to not gain any weight. Of course I want to keep losing it, but it may be more of a challenge to not gain any.  I want to keep exercising and making healthy choices.  And maybe I'll get to blogging more often!

What are your winter goals?  With cold and fewer hours of daylight, do you find it hard to stay motivated? I hope to hear from others and maybe get some new ideas!

And I leave you with a picture. Not the best, but it was fun nonetheless!







Tuesday, October 4, 2011

I RAN A 10K

I never planned on running a 10K when I started my racing journey, much less with people that I work with. Running the 7K was difficult enough for me and I was not entirely prepared for it.  Since then, running seven 5Ks including 2 obstacle courses is also something that I pushed to be able to accomplish.

The last couple weeks have been a little stressful, to say the least. I did not get as much running in as I had hoped. But I really felt ready to run the race. It was a part of the Twin Cities Marathon weekend! Dubbed the country's most beautiful urban marathon!  My allergies were bothering me, but I really thought they weren't getting any worse. My body felt fine for the most part. Mentally, I was nervous. 6.2 miles! What had I gotten myself into!?

The course started out at the Capitol grounds, past the Cathedral, west on Summit Avenue. The turnaround was at Albert Street, then east on Summit back towards the Capitol.

When I woke up Saturday, I was able to wake up earlier than I would for a workday, The race started at 7:30a.m. and I wanted to meet the rest of my teammates and also see my bestie and her hubby.  Sometime in the night, our 7 year old crawled into bed with us. He can't just sleep like a "normal" person would. He likes to make the letter "H" between my husband and I.  My child is not the little peanut he used to be.  So when I finally got out of bed, my back was not aligned as I would expect. It was very sore, and then I had a headache on top of it along with some sinus pain and a very dry throat. Greeeeaaatt (sarcasm)....

My hubby was dropping me off on his way into work so that I wouldn't have to worry about parking. I thought my back might get better with some movement and stretching, I popped some allergy pills and was drinking an energy drink. I know I ate something for breakfast, but right now I can't remember what it was.  I just hoped the headache would go away and that my throat would feel better.

I met up with some teammates, but I didn't find my friend. So we got in the starting gate and before I knew it, it was time to start! I started out slowly, since I really didn't quite know how to pace myself. I was getting passed and I was ok with that. Within a couple minutes my throat was burning. I already needed water.  I also realized I forgot my gum, which I tend to have in my mouth during races.

The first mile took us up a hill, down Marshall Ave and past the Cathedral before going on Summit Ave. The first mile seemed easy, but I also seemed to be rather slow. The second mile I noticed more people were running past me, and then there was a water stop. Between the second and third mile is when people started coming past me the other way.  I didn't realize that I would really see the people passing me, but it was kind of fun to see the people I knew doing such a good job.  Next year I hope to be in that crowd.

When I got to the 5K sign I saw that I was 50 minutes in. Slower than I wanted to be, but I kept on going of course. There were fewer people running around me at this point.

I reached the 4 mile mark and saw that I was at 1:04. I got excited because that would mean I knocked off about 10 minutes from my 7K race time that I had run in the spring!! I was running faster than I had about six months before!  That put a smile on my face.

At the turnaround I felt myself slowing down and I was trying harder to make my legs go faster.  At the last water stop I was really hoping I could pick up more speed.  At this point there was really no one else around me. I remember seeing some people behind me, but I just wanted to finish. I passed the five mile mark and saw my bestie running making her way toward me. She paced beside me and cheered me on. I was still trying to make my legs go faster and yet try to talk a little bit.

As the finish line came into sight, the 5K crowd started going past me. That confused me because I really thought that they wouldn't start until two hours after the 10K started. I soon realized I had done the math wrong. I started picking up more speed as we passed the six mile flag. I couldn't wait to be done with the race and get a drink! My throat was screaming for water.

My time was 1:40:48.  I had really hoped for a time under 1:30, but I wasn't going to complain for my first 10K. My bestie kept telling me, "you did it, you did it!"  It means so much to me to have someone cheering me who knows my struggles.

I've learned a lot from this race and so happy to have actually finished it. I can say that I am a 10K finisher!

And next year, I'm totally running this one again!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

I am...

So the last couple weeks have been very stressful for me. I've been craving lots of snacks, I haven't run very much (most days, not at all), and the scale has been unforgiving.  I've expected that from the scale and I own it.  Luckily it wasn't a huge jump, but I know I have work to do.

We have 2, soon to be 3, extra people living in our house now. Peace and quiet is hard to come by.

My brother got married recently, and I fit into the dress a size smaller than I was wearing before! YAY ME!! And as happy an occasion weddings are, this one was stressful too.  When my family gets together, things aren't always peachy. My younger sister can make things about her, and maybe she doesn't realize she's done it, but I'm pretty sure it has a lot to do with being the baby of the family.

To my surprise, my brother had some of my parents' Cambodian friends there.  Sounds great and harmless, right? First words out of the woman's mouth "Oh, this is the fat one!"  Gee, thanks...

Might work as a cute nickname for... who am I kidding? That's just plain MEAN to say to a grown woman! And to one who knows that she's the fattest of the kids.  I was formal and cordial and pretty much didn't talk to her and her husband.  But it was an easy task to do with two little monsters running around.

Do I want to blog on and on about being called the fat one?  Or how stressed out I am?  Not exactly. I know how far I've already come, and I know I have further to go.  I'm RUNNING MY FIRST 10K on Saturday and I'm both nervous and excited.  More nervous than anything, but I can't wait to say that I ran a 10K!  And during Twin Cities Marathon weekend!  I didn't know that I would be running a 10K when I started on this running kick. I hoped I could, but it has been a lot of work.  As the mommy martyr, there's always something else I think I need to be doing rather than taking the me time and running or working out.  With the hours of daylight getting shorter, I know I'll get too comfortable after work and even in the mornings.

After Saturday's race, I am going to make some new goals. I am going to make some ATTAINABLE goals for myself to get me through the winter months. And hopefully get into smaller clothes come spring!  I am going to decide what races I'll run in 2012. Maybe not one a month, but hopefully longer distances.  And I am going to be happy with whatever decisions I make and know that I am doing them for a healthier me.  And I'll keep blogging as much as I can as a dormant 5K mom about my life.

What about you? What do you know about YOU?




Thursday, September 15, 2011

Never Forgetting

Where to begin on a day that most Americans know where they were 10 years ago... September 11, 2001... yes I do remember where I was when I found out about the World Trade Center.  I was actually not in a very good place in my life. I graduated from nursing school in the spring, but had to rewrite a paper to actually "pass" and "graduate".  I had until the end of June.  I already had a job lined up contingent on my passing the NCLEX, which I took in August and failed. I didn't have a job at that point, not even a part-time job that I thought would pan out.  I actually had interviewed at the plasma center and was waiting to hear back that day.

Anyway, I was in bed, living with my ex-boyfriend at that time. My brother called me, and told me what had happened. I had no idea what he was talking about or why it even mattered. I actually went back to sleep.  When I finally was awake and turned on the tv, I saw what he was talking about. Whoa...

10 years later, I'm at Como Lake with my husband, a member of the US Navy, who also had worked one time at the Pentagon.  We had found some matching t-shirts to commemorate the date, ones that we would run in, but also have the t-shirts from the race.  The morning felt a bit warm for September.  The race was scheduled to start at 9:11a.m. There was music, special words by Gary, a moment of silence to remember those we lost.  I was feeling emotions for sure, and then there were 36 white doves released.  You know the tears came at this point.

There were so many people at this race, more than I've seen at any of the Charities Challenge races.  It was great!  The race started and Jason and I were together, but I could tell that he really was adjusting his stride to slow down with me. I told him about 2 mins in to just go ahead of me.  People were passing me as I expected, and I had a hard time finding my groove.  I wasn't sure if I was fully recovered from the bronchitis.  I made the first lap at about 20 mins and saw our friends Mike and Chiara who came to cheer us on!  I kept on going and there was a person ahead of me that I really wanted to pass.  We went back and forth for a bit and after about 2.5 miles, she really got ahead of me.  When I passed the 3 mile marker, I saw my husband coming towards me :) He was done and wanted to come and get me past the finish line! (I love this man!)  He was kind of walking fast while I was "running" and giving me words of encouragement.  He also stayed with me as I sprinted to the finish.

My official time was 44:28. Jason's was 31:51. I was aiming for under 40, but I guess my times are getting slightly better. Jason was hoping for under 30, but I"m just proud that he even did it with me!  I have things to figure out as to why I can't get under a 14min mile, but I'm not super concerned at this point.

Next race is the TC 10K on October 1st.  My goal is to just finish. I'm running for my work corporate team and not aiming for a particular time. It'll be an early race for me, but maybe that'll be a good thing.  I'm trying to do more cross-training and today I even broke out the Shred! Hours later, I'm feeling it in my arms. Gotta get back to what I was doing before and tracking daily. I know I'll get there.

And I'll never forget this 10 year anniversary of 9/11/2001 as the first race my husband ran with me.  I'm hoping for many more!

Saturday, September 3, 2011

Hitting refresh

It's been a couple of weeks since I last blogged.  August always seems to be a busy month around our house.  I've started this blog entry several times and it's evolved each time I get into it, but hasn't been finished until now.

For starters, I took my boys camping to Star Lake BY MYSELF! I didn't believe that I could handle taking the boys out in the woods alone.  I had help from some friends and that made all the difference.  I need to be in the woods each year, listening to mother nature, being unplugged from all things that are distracting.  Being at Star Lake is good for my soul, as cliche as that sounds. And it's an experience you have to find yourself. It's really one that I can't truly explain.  When your soul feels it, you'll know what I'm talking about, wherever you are.  Whether it's the feeling of spirituality with your God, or the oneness with nature.  What I feel is a quiet and peace that I need and can only get when I'm up there.

When I got back from camping, I decided to juice.  My friend Cassie told me about this juicing reboot she tried. I thought I'd try it myself. ***Disclaimer: I am not encouraging or discouraging anyone from doing a juice detox or reboot. I would encourage anyone to talk to their own health care provider about health concerns.****  So for about 3 days, I drank juice from raw veggies. It was carrots, beets, spinach, kale, swiss chard, green apples, ginger root, celery and lemon.  I did different varieties and they didn't taste so bad.  The outcome I was looking for was something that would help my psoriasis.  Maybe give me more energy.

What I got was congestion and increased mucus.  Was it a coincidence?  That I don't know. There was also a knot that I've had in my right shoulder for years that disappeared. I've seen massage therapists, chiropractor, and my own provider about it.  I swear to you it's gone.  Was it toxins?  I don't have an answer, but it's gone.

Despite being congested and mucusy (is that a word?), I decided to run the 5K for Arthritis on Aug 27th.  I did ok, but had a hard time breathing at the end from all the symptoms I was having. My time was decent, around 45 mins, and I have hope that I would've had a faster time had I been able to breathe as normal.  I later had a Navy family picnic with more coughing and feeling tired.  By the time Monday rolled around, I decided to go to my clinic.

Bronchitis. Not good.  More coughing... more rest needed, meds.... all the stuff I really wanted to hear.  *sigh*  It's a good reminder to me that I do need to slow down at moments.  And I literally had to catch my breath.  Today I'm on day 6 of my meds and I'm finally starting to feel like I'm getting back to my normal self.

I have my next race for the 10th Anniversary of 9/11 and my awesome husband is going to run his first 5K with me!  Not sure if he'll stay with me or go ahead. I'm used to running alone, but I want him to feel good about this race as well.  That day will have a different kind of meaning for him than it will for me.  And for me it'll be about the sacrifices that military spouses and families give.  And I'm hoping the next blog entry I write will be about that race and that I'll have a great time to write about!




Monday, August 8, 2011

15

This coming Saturday is my 15 year high school reunion. Just saying that makes me feel old... but not too old!

So what does this 15 year reunion mean to me? What has happened in the last 5 years since I've seen a lot of these people?  Some I'm seeing for the first time in 15 years.  A few are gone and I'll never see them again while on this earth.

Fifteen years ago, I thought that I would be married to my high school boyfriend, have a few kids, and be working as a physical therapist. My how college and real life changes things!!  I know I started to gain weight during my junior year of high school. Lots of different things were going on and just making a lot of bad choices.

Five years ago was our last reunion. I was a newlywed. My husband and I had a decent time at the reunion, aside from the unwelcome comment of "are you pregnant?" that I got, while I was drinking a beer. (Yes, people need to learn tact.  And I can't even blame the small town closemindedness in this case.)  I was overweight at that point, and probably had being healthy in the back of my mind.  I now have 2 kids, a career that I can feel passionate about (at the right moments).  I feel I have a lot more stability in my life.

And my life today.... I wouldn't change a thing.  I have a wonderful husband, beautiful kids, a great family and friends... I've been running 3 miles on my workouts to get ready for a 10K.  When I started out on my healthiness journey, I had no idea that I'd have the desire to run a 10K.  Or even be able to run a race a month.  And I'm running the distance of a race with no problem. I may not be the fastest, but I finish.

One of my favorite quotes lately is:
Nobody can go back and start a new beginning, but anyone can start today and make a new ending ~ Maria Robinson
This is how I've been living my life. Where I was at 15 years ago, it's shaped me, but it's definitely not who I am today.  I look forward to chatting with some old friends and sharing some memories.  A few drinks, lots of laughs, making new memories.  I don't have ripped abs, but I don't think I look pregnant.  I'm not one to be living in the past.  And who knows where I'll be at in another 5 years? I am hoping to be healthier and thinner. I hope I've run a half marathon with some of my closest friends.  I hope I have continue to have healthy children. I hope to see some of the same people at our 20th reunion (I think I do anyway!)  And I hope I keep looking forward.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Warrior Dash

So much to remember! It was A LOT of work! Can you say HILLS?  Lots and lots of hills, both up AND down. I actually was more excited about the obstacles!

Warrior Dash MN took place at Afton Alps - a ski resort. I went on Saturday the 23rd.

The first hill was right away, about 2 mins in. And I ended up walking most of it. It took about 10 minutes to walk up.  When my wave started, the announcer had told us that the fastest male at that point did the course in 24 mins. Insane!!!!  Here I was taking almost half that to get up the first hill! I think I was worried about getting tired too quickly.

Somewhere after the top, was the first obstacle: tires and junk cars. I went slowly since I've got short legs and that damn hill took a lot of energy! After the cars, it was water, which was supposed to feel like a hurricane. Then guess what came next?! HILLS!

Honestly, after this point, I can't remember what order the obstacles came in nor can I tell you the distances for running. I was hoping to make an hour, but I was not prepared for the hills. I "ran" as much as I could, telling myself that I didn't pay to WALK the stupid Warrior Dash!  I was also thinking other expletives asking myself why I had signed up for the event!  :)

Most of the obstacles were easy enough for me to do. I had an issue with one obstacle because I was only able to lift myself up and climb over three of the "bars".  You had to climb over before crawling under barbed wire. (My note to self was more upper body strength needed).  The other obstacle that I couldn't do was the Warrior Wall. It was (I swear) 20 feet tall, and there were ropes to help get up it.  I got up about 2 of the "rungs" and didn't really know how I was going to use the rope to climb up the rest, so I jumped down and went around.  This was almost at the end. Then there was lots of mud to run through, another (you guessed it!) hill, down the "water slide", jump over fire, and then the mud swamp before the finish. In the swamp you had to crawl under barbed wire, pretty much on your belly (mine wasn't that far away!), get out, and cross the finish.

My time? 1:11:00.20  Not bad, I guess, but I was really hoping for around an hour. Yes it was hot and it was HARD!

My swag included a warrior helmet -- made out of fabric, a finisher's medal, and a t-shirt.  I ended up having to buy a towel because the "showers" were water misted out of the snow making machines.   I wasn't able to get enough mud off of me.  Oh and there was a free beer!

Next year? I'm thinking yes at the moment!  It gives me goals to set for myself. There's the fitness challenge for Navy standards, but I also want to shave a bunch of time off. I want more upper body strength. I want to be able to run up hills!

My next race is one called Challenge Arthritis. It's again at Como Lake (or is it Lake Como?), and is only a 5K. Weird that I'd be saying "only a 5K".

OH! And I also signed up to run the TC Marathon 10K on Oct 1st. My longest race yet! Wish me luck!!

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Woulda, Shoulda, Coulda

Things have been busy lately. Warrior Dash is Saturday!! ALREADY! Right now, given the heat, I'm not sure that I will be able to run the whole thing, but I'm going to give it my best shot.

My youngest, my baby, turned 4 this week! Labor with him was the exact opposite of labor with my oldest, now 7. Funny how the boy's birthday makes me think about things. Woulda, shoulda, coulda....

How far back should my weight gain actually go? Aside from having children, I'd have to say that after graduating college I started to put on some weight. While in nursing school, I used to go for runs and go to the gym to procrastinate. I hated nursing school! I also really didn't know if I wanted to be a nurse. So I got thinner. Best description would be "stuck up barbie bitch", which I was actually called by someone once (long story for another day!), and I kinda took pride in that name when I was out at a certain bar.

But I digress. So by the time I started dating my husband, I had gained about 15-20 pounds since college. We soon got pregnant, and after having our oldest, I didn't lose the weight. I was a first time mother and really didn't know how to do it.  We couldn't afford a gym, we had a house and a baby!

Fast forward to 2007. Another baby and more weight gain.  I now had 2 kids, a husband, as well as a stepson that lived with us. While pregnant I had started at my current job.  I still didn't know how to get myself to lose the weight.  I was also having issues with psoriasis, migraines (which I'd never had before!), back pain, anxiety and depression.  I had also been diagnosed with gestational diabetes during the last 2 months of my pregnancy.  I was over the range by one point. ONE freaking point!

And here I am today. If I had known what kind of support I could find in the blogging community and other social media, I WOULDA started my journey to health a lot sooner.  I SHOULDA sought out more options and talked to more people. I COULDA been healthier by now!



But as they say, hindsight is always 20/20. I'm moving forward. I'm stronger now and motivated and determined to see this to the end. I have a wonderful and supportive husband, family and friends. My kids are so impressed by what I can do, even if I really can't do what I'd like to.  But I'm also on this journey for them. I don't want my kids to think it's ok to be unhealthy when it's all preventable.  And I want them to understand success. That even Mommy has to work for things to get what I want.

No more woulda's, shoulda's, coulda's... it's all I can and I did from now on.


Me and my boys Memorial Day Race 2011

Monday, July 11, 2011

2 minutes

Being a Navy spouse, I have been asking the hubby about physical fitness standards. I've known for a while what standards he needs to fall into, but I've been more interested lately in what standards I would need to fall into.

Firstly, the weight standard. It's obvious that I'd be considered obese.  To fit into MINIMUM STANDARDS (yes minimum) I can't weigh more than 145 pounds. Ok, that's doable, but I haven't weighted that in over 10 years.  But it gives me a goal.

2 minutes... In 2 minutes, I would have to do 13 pushups.  There's no such thing as "girl pushups". 13 just doesn't sound ominous.  And in 2 minutes? I know I can do this part!

2 minutes... Also in 2 minutes (a different 2 minutes), I would have to do 44 curl ups. Not crunches. Full out crunches like sit ups.  Also sounds entirely doable!

Now comes the probably more difficult task. Mile and half run in under 16:15. Right now, I'm lucky if I can do a mile in 16 mins!!!  Again, a goal for me.

So tonight I had my husband watch my pushups. Practice makes perfect right? I got up to 8, but he said that if they were watching me closely, I only did about 2. Two's good though, right? ;-)  Although I think I really did 8...

And the curl ups. Holy cows batman! I was able to do 24 "real" ones in the 2 mins. I can do much better at crunches.

My new one year goal is to be minimum Navy ready. I hope to do it sooner, but I think a year is a long enough stretch.  Short term at this moment, I just want to be in Onederville. Yup, I'm still not there. But I'm not ready to say how much weight I have left to get there. Luckily it's not much. Maybe I'll be ready to say it when I do get there.

Of course, these standards don't determine everyone's health. But it's something that I want to work toward on MY journey.  So in the mean time, I have to keep tracking. I'll keep doing the 100 push up challenge. Maybe I'll get there on a daily.  And I'll keep looking forward. 12 days until Warrior Dash!

Monday, July 4, 2011

Happy Independence Day 2011!

Freedom. It means so many different things to so many people. In 1975, my parents fought for the freedoms of themselves and their children. They had to flee by foot, with young children from the village they lived in of Cambodia to a refugee camp in Thailand, escaping the Khmer Rouge.  My brother and I were born in Thailand, and we came to the US on May 9th, 1979.  We had to go through the process of becoming citizens, which is really not a difficult task, but it isn't super easy either.  Freedom means more to me as a military wife and also a refugee.

Today we celebrate America's freedom from the British.  This last year, I've been working to free myself from lots of things: stress, excess weight, ill health, drama... Every day I knew I could let things keep me from succeeding, or free myself from the all the baggage. In some cases, it meant talking less to some friends.  We can all free our minds and keep the bad thoughts/advice from taking over.  I needed to surround myself with people who would motivate me and also pick me up when I needed it.

This weekend has been a good one. On Saturday, we went to Valleyfair with the kids and I didn't get tired from all the walking. Killer sunburn though :-p I think if I had done this last year, I would have been tired and sore.  Sunday, I then ran all of Lake Phalen without walking!  Last year, I was only able to walk most of it. I know I would have tried, but completely given up.  I also would never have run 3.1 miles after a day at Valleyfair! There was no giving up yesterday.  It made me wonder if I could have run 4 miles and how long it would have taken me. I could go for a run now if we had the time.  I stepped on the scale after my run before the shower and I saw that my BMI had dropped and that I also had lost some fat pounds. I really wonder if it got burned off... I wish I could hear that sizzle in the sun!!

I've been saying for a few weeks now that I'm frustrated with Weight Watchers. Mainly I think it's the leader, but I also know it's my own lack of accountability. I'm having such a difficult time with tracking the WW way. I'm not sure if it's the points, or just tracking in general. I also find my leader to be quite unmotivating. I go to the meetings on Weds over lunchtime. It can't get any more convenient than that!  I know I have to find it in myself to get the weight off.  And free my own negative thoughts and excuses for why it's such a challenge for me to track. I know it isn't an easy process, but I also don't quite know why it's such a struggle.

So freedom. I celebrate it. I want to be free of many things. I have big goals for next summer, for my health and for shopping!  I want to be free of this body that was holding me back! I want to be free of the thoughts that keep me from all the successes I want to achieve.  I know I can achieve.  This is what I'm thinking of today.

Sunday, June 26, 2011

I'm a Commando

Saturday was my second time racing the Go Commando 5K Adventure Challenge (obstacle course) by Team Ortho and I would have to say that I did much better!  I trained this time, I ran most of it, and I only went around like 3 obstacles, after trying them at first.  I started at 10:15, and had a yellow rubber wristband -- much better idea than last time!  My goal was to complete in under an hour.

I thought the hardest part was getting through the first mile. I'm not a hill runner (yet) and running on farmland is very challenging. The first obstacle was about a 1/4 mile in (I'm guessing) and it was HUGE hay bales stacked on top of each other. I was already tired! But I crawled my short legs up as best I could. Then it was running into a "lake" and up a hill. On the hill was my quote I won the contest with:
Don't limit your challenges. Challenge your limits.  
All I could think was, "SHIT! Now I have to work harder!" The cool water did feel good. The next obstacle was at the 1 mile marker, and it was giant wooden spools.  (I should mention that at this point, I was like 4th from last in my wave, and the next wave at 1030 was about to start.)  I stopped in front of the spool and the other folks back with me crawled under.  Looked like a good idea to me! ( I have to mention that one of the women tried to go around, and ended up walking right into a cow pie, that was planted there on purpose! hahahah!) I didn't feel I had the strength to jump up or pull myself up and then jump, skip over.   It was down another hill on some flat land, up a hill heading to the next obstacle... where I had to pass my quote a second time!  Focus, focus...

More obstacles, more hills, more mud, more jumping... I won't go into details about all the obstacles on the 2nd mile.  Once I conquered the Monster Hill from Hell, I have to admit that I may have found a 2nd wind.  I was able to run a lot more than I thought I could. When I got to go down the water slide, into the mud, I knew I was almost at the end and really found myself excited to finish.

Last obstacle right before the finish was the swamp. I tried jumping in and immediately fell down, but kept my head above! There were things to go under and then climbing out, more slipping in mud, and the finish line. After I crossed, I could hear them announce yellow group. I made it under an hour! Barely, but I made my goal!  YAY ME!!!! :)

Now it's onto the Warrior Dash at Afton Alps on July 23rd. Right now I'm in the 11:00 wave. I'm debating switching to the 6:30 wave to be with a friend, but not sure if I'll get more race jitters or what. I'm used to the morning races, and with kids, I could be worn out by then! But my husband could come watch, which would be a huge plus!  I have to make a decision by Friday.

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Happy Birthday!

Who blogs on their birthday?! OH, me!

I have been reflecting on life in the last year. I've definitely had, what I would consider, more than my fair share of stress.  And that has surely been reflected in my health, physically and mentally.

Despite the stress, I really wanted to get back to running for "fun", like I did in college as a stress relief.  I would love to have my college body back too, but 2 kids later, I'm not sure that will ever happen!  I did notice that when I would read up on running and talk about it with friends, I would be more motivated to try.  And I'm determined to keep up the motivation to finish a race in October, a 10K and then see where this journey takes me.  I'm not getting any younger, and I definitely want to be a good example for my kids.

So what do I wish for this next year? Well, I think you're not supposed to tell your wishes because they won't come true.  But I think writing them out is more confirmation than anything.

1) I wish to lose the 60 - 70 pounds that I'm "supposed to".  What this really means for me is not the number on the scale, but the fit of clothes and what I am able to do physically. I do realize this may take more than a year.  I've been doing Weight Watchers and have a WW scale at home too.

2) Get my kids involved in an activity, whether a sport or something else. My youngest will be 4 soon and is a smart cookie! I strive to make sure that they will be successful and healthy.

3) Take more ME time.  I'm the mommy martyr. I will ALWAYS put my children first. I know mothers who are so selfish and never do anything with their kids, never make them a priority, need a man to make them happy and take care of them, use their kids as an extra paycheck with child support payments... I could go on and on.  But I know that when I take care of me, I'm taking care of my kids. I have a hard time putting words into action, when it comes to me.  Blogging seems to help.


Saturday is the Go Commando 5K obstacle course and I am as ready as I'll be!  I'm excited to beat my last time and just have a fun time too!  And drink beer and get mud hosed off by hot fire fighters!  And challenge my body proving it can handle the challenge.

33 is going to be a good year!!

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Decisions, decisions

Today I decided to run on the treadmill at lunch.  It's the first time I've been able to run all week. I managed to run at a 5.0 and incline of 2, which is running for me! I wish I could have run for much longer, but given it was over the lunch hour and I didn't want to stink at my desk, I only did a total of 30 mins, walking and running.

I titled this post "Decisions, decisions" since there are so many things we don't seem to have control of, but we have to decide for ourselves what is best. I can't let decisions negatively affect my children.  But I seem to be more of the mommy martyr that will let my decisions negatively affect me.  I'm trying to change that and focus on my health.

In about 8 days now, I'll be doing the obstacle course, and my friends I was hoping could do it, will not be there now. I'm bummed, but determined to complete the course, and hopefully can do it in less than an hour! I'm not quite ready, but now I'm focused.

I know everyday we make choices and we decide our actions.  Today I'm celebrating my decision to finally run this week and feel good about it!  Tomorrow is a new day, more decisions to be made and hopefully more running.

Friday, June 10, 2011

Don't Limit Your Challenges, Challenge Your Limits

This title won me a pair of Newton running shoes today through Team Ortho!! After the craptastic week I've been having around car insurance, it was nice to finally have something good go my way!

I got on the treadmill today to do some intervals. Actually ran a lot faster than I thought I could! I also upped the incline to do some hill work.  I'm really looking forward to the challenge of Go Commando!  Got my trail shoes all ready to go!

This weekend is going to be crazy busy with a wedding and later the Navy Dining Out. More details to come!

Wednesday, June 8, 2011

Hurdles

Finally! My car has been found, and we have it back home. I would never wish this nightmare on anyone! We've learned lessons and know to be more vigilant in many aspects of our life!

This week I realized, I have a little more than 2 weeks until the Go Commando (not naked people!) 5K obstacle course on June 25th. My wave time is 10am.  At this point, I am so not ready!  I haven't run for over a week.  I had a lousy 5K time on Memorial Day!  I haven't done any workout videos to do any cross-training!!

I had a ton of fun at the last Go Commando! You'll have to check out my pics on facebook!  And I plan on having fun again, but I really want to be able to RUN at this one!

So starting tomorrow (right?) I'll be on the dreadmill at work (aka, Marge) and I'll get in some hill intervals and maybe some sprints?  I really feel off in having not run for this brief amount of time.

And if anyone has some suggestions on how a mommy with a working husband and 3 kids at home, is able to also workout at home, please share! I have the mommy martyr syndrome where I feel compelled to devote all my time to my family, and less of a focus on me.  I am trying hard to overcome it, but have definitely retreated to my old ways. I know what I should be doing, but it's definitely so not easy!  I can dish out the advice, but at this moment, I sure have a hard time following it!

Friday, June 3, 2011

I just want to run away

My love, my husband is back home! Some may not know that he was mobilized with the Navy to Japan to help with Operation Tomadachi after their earthquake and tsunami.  You would think everything would be right in my world, but this morning, we discovered that our SUV was stolen.  From right in front of our house.

Yes, we've made all the reports, but how do you live somewhere for nearly 9 years and then some jerk has to steal your truck! We are now getting the insurance runaround.  I will run circles around them if they give us grief in the end!

So I want to run away.  I would love to wake up to a new start. I would love to just get carefree on my feet and think about nothing else, but breathing and posture and trying to make my short fat (yes fat!) legs move faster.  To sing along to my motivating song of the day, look for my finish line.  But such is life that I can't run away. I have to deal with what life throws at me. Stolen truck and all.

I am very lucky to be married to my husband who keeps me sane in these times.  I could be crying and a wreck, but what would that accomplish?

And when I can get my run in, I'm going to sing curse words to the thief that stole my truck. Hope you end up in jail!

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

National Running Day 2011

Today is National Running Day!

Pictures from the race were finally posted.  I love the ones of my kids and my family! I wish the Hubby had been able to join us, but I'm so glad I made the decision to sign the kids up!

I'm glad I decided to join this event. Just seeing the smiling faces of all the participants, *that* is a big reason why I enjoy running. No one is ever crabby at these events. Everyone is there because they want to be.  This is the energy that I need for myself.

And as much as I hate to see the full body shots of myself, I really need to remind myself, that this is me now. This is my starting point. This is where I never want to go back to, when I am finally healthier and in shape.  But for now, the pictures remind me that I can finish something I started. My kids love me and are proud of me. As are my family and friends.  And that is what keeps me going.

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Post race inspiration

This is my first blog entry and hoping it only gets better from here!

Yesterday I completed my 4th race this year. Woke up an hour before race. BAD IDEA! Had to get boys ready and myself, and make it to Como.  My time was less than stellar and I'm just glad I finished the race. Unofficial 51:00.

Boys ran the kids race and had been talking non-stop about it since my telling them they were running.  Kid sprints are tough on this momma yet, especially post race.  I have a long way to go on weight loss and getting stronger and healthier.

Was quite inspired by those who are also trying to be healthy and those who worked hard to be healthy. It's my time to stop excuses and use what time I'm given to work on me. I can't be the fat mom anymore with the BMI of 41.

I know I can do this! I just have to keep at it. And I search for inspiration at each of my races. I am READY to keep doing this.