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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.