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Sunday, March 31, 2013

Race 3 of 2013

Irish Run Saint Paul 8K

I ran the Irish Run Saint Paul 8K on Sunday March 24th with some people from work.  One of the women from our Wellness group, Tonya, did a lot of organizing and a small group of us got together to run the 8K.  It's a distance I'm comfortable with and fit into my training schedule.  Ummm... holy crap!  Holy fast! And I had my first encounter with cheaters.  Yeah, I'm talking about the two women who cut across the way at about the quarter mile mark.  Did you really gain that much time?

My goal for this race was to come under 1:10.  I started out going at a good pace. It was colder than I expected and didn't have on any thermals.  I was going at a good pace so I thought.  For you locals, the race was along Summit Ave.  As I ran behind these cheaters, they turned around before the 2 mile mark and had these big smiles on their faces and were waving at their friend behind me who didn't cheat.  I was pretty mad at the smiles they had.  With great timing, the song, "Jumpdafuckup" by Soulfly came on.  I dug in and picked up my pace.  I was trying to focus less on the cheaters and just getting through what I had to do myself.  

About the 2 and a half mile mark, is when I saw the Elite runners come past me.  Turns out, I was running in the USATF MN 8K Championships!  Good job on research for me!  Hahahaha!

I kept on going and I noticed my thighs and my glutes were really starting to get cold.  By the 3 mile mark, I saw that I had made my average lately of around 40 mins.  I really didn't know how many people were behind me and how many people all together were running the race.  I felt good as I was running and just wanted to finish.

Around the 4 mile mark, snow flakes started falling.  Just a few sparse ones, but it definitely gave me an idea for what the temperature was and I really wanted to hurry up and finish.  I could at least see two runners ahead of me so I wasn't entirely alone on the course.

As I came into the home stretch, I saw Tonya waiting at the finish.  I pushed my little legs into as much of a tired sprint as I could.  I finished in 1:07:36 which was a PR for me!  I even beat my Get Lucky 7K time from the previous week!!  Woot woot!

Race 3 was now in the books.  I'm not sure if I'll run the 8K again, given that there were so many fast runners and it wasn't a fun run for me.  Maybe if I pick up speed by next year.  At the same time, I'm over running in the cold and snow.  I'm anxiously awaiting spring warm weather even if it means I have to dodge puddles and mud.  So much easier than the ice and snow!

While I was running, I was thinking about whether or not I could manage to go faster and not injure myself.  I wonder sometimes if I'm so used to being at the back of the pack, that mentally, I don't know how to make myself go faster to really compete.  Granted in this race it was an entirely different ball game, but it's something I know I'll be thinking about as I continue to half marathon train.  I'll be starting week 3 now of a 15 week program and so far it's been going well.

Here's my playlist that got me through this race.  I do take note of what my friends listen to and often download their suggestions.  I did skip a few songs when I just didn't feel right.  Until next time...

"Fight Song" ~ Good Charlotte
"Call It What You Want" ~ Foster the People
"Miss You" ~ Foster the People
"Remember the Name" ~ Fort Minor
"Head Like a Hole" ~ Nine Inch Nails
"Last Resort" ~ Papa Roach
"Searching" ~ Pennywise
"Jumpdafuckup" ~ Soulfly
"Sine Language (VonUKUF's JALV Party Remix" ~ The Crystal Method featuring LMFAO
"Walking Like A" ~ Trick Daddy
"From Da Back" ~ Three 6 Mafia
"Somebody To Love" ~ Usher featuring Justin Bieber
"DJ Got Us Fallin' in Love" ~ Usher featuring Pitbull
"Rehab" ~ Amy Winehouse
"Looking Up" ~ A Hero A Fake
"Fireflies" ~ Cardio Workout Crew
"3" ~ Cardio Workout Crew

Saturday, March 30, 2013

This is not good-bye

Two Wednesdays ago I had my usual personal training session.  I've been training with Tanya since July both in individual sessions and in Body Blast.  I can call her my friend.  I can't imagine that's the case with all trainers, but we seem to click. :)  She had to give me bad news, and that was that she was leaving the gym at the end of the month.  My next session would be our last together.

This was such bittersweet news.  I'm so so happy for my friend because I know it wasn't an easy decision for her.  She said she's been a trainer there for over three years and has trained lots of clients.  (Of course, I'm her favorite *wink wink*).  I'm bummed out because that means that I will have to get to know a new trainer.  I understand that the other trainer is well qualified and very personable.  But still...

At my last session this week, after training, Tanya and I sat and talked a bit.  We had laughed while working out, mainly over the music that was playing.  "Open Arms" by Journey is a hard one to really go all beast mode to!  And then the song "Goodbye to You" by the Veronicas comes on and I'm like, "Are you kidding me!?"  I didn't want to say goodbye! :(

So as we sat and talked, she told me that I'm going to be amazing the rest of the contest.  She said that I already am and that I've come so far already and that I'm a success story.  And I am still tearing up as I type this.

Tanya isn't just my trainer.  She's also a friend of mine.  She knows a lot about me and she knows to push my limits and knows what I can accomplish.  She listens to my rants and understands the emotional aspect of getting healthy and the learning involved to get there.  I can share my goals and I know she isn't going to belittle what those are.  She is my cheerleader.  And I'm going to miss seeing her every Wednesday at the gym.

But I'm not going to be sad when I start working with Martin, my new trainer.  I'm going to work hard and make sure that I get to where I want to be.  I still have my support system in place and when the going gets tough, I call on those people.  I now get to move Tanya to that list in a different way.

I'm so thankful that I was able to work with Tanya over these last few months.  She had been by my side as I've made progress and has given me a new perspective on personal training.  Anyone who had the chance to work with her is very lucky.

Thank you Tanya.  I can't express enough how grateful I am to all you've done for me.  I love you girl and we'll see each other very soon! <3

Saturday, March 16, 2013

Race 2 of 2013: Get Lucky 7K

Get Lucky 7K 2013
***Before I start recapping my race, I want to give a shout out to a very inspiring person I passed after the 5K mark.  I don't know your name, and I'm certain that I've seen you at races in the past.  This woman inspired me to push harder when my legs were feeling tired.  I could feel the cold and my glutes were also having issues as well as my arms. This woman was doing the race despite having orthotics and using canes on both her arms.  My experience would tell me that she had cerebral palsy, but whatever her diagnosis, she did not give up!!  She wasn't the fastest, but she was moving and she was working her way to cross the finish line.  I had to tell her she was doing great as I ran past her because hearing those words myself make a difference.  I honestly kinda got choked up because whatever fatigue I was feeling, I knew I could push past it to cross the finish in my goal time of an hour.  And I did.  So thank you for inspiring me to do my very best at the end when I could have easily let myself slow down.  Had I slowed down, I know I would not have done my very best.  I'm not sure that you would ever read this, but I will not forget the rest of the race because you inspired me.***

The race started at 9am, and at 8:45am I was still sitting in traffic on Washington Ave trying to get to my parking ramp!  Remind me next year about this, okay?  So I finally got my gear checked and stood in the street by 9am.  There really aren't any corrals since there were about 6500 people running the race.  It was around 20 degrees F.  And I waited and waited... and waited some more.  I tried wiggling and bouncing about to keep my legs warm and loose.  I was dressed in sporty thermals, long pants, my shin compression sleeves, ankle socks, sports bra, long sleeve wicking tee, t-shirt, half zip fleece, gloves, a head band to cover my ears and my green sparkly headband in my pic.  I debated taking off my fleece, but I remembered how cold I was during the 10 miler.  My biggest fear was slipping on ice and injuring my hip flexor again.  I really appreciate how they send us off in waves so that we're not so bunched up together and knocking elbows.  Especially on a day like today with cold and ice and snow.

I finally got past the start line and the chip timer at about 9:41am.  At least, according to my Polar RS100 (I like this one for races.  It's easy to hit my lap time and know my pace.)  I should also mention that many of the elite athletes were done running at this point.  I'm sure all of them were!  Amazing!  But anyway, things were pretty sloppy and then suddenly rounding the 2nd bend there was ice.  Make that, snow covered ice.  Most of the people around me slowed down.  I saw a couple people slide, but I didn't see anyone fall.  Did I mention I was nervous about my hip?  This area was not a place for speed.

When I hit the bridge the 1K flag was up and I remembered they don't use mile markers for this race. Crap! There goes my math skills and trying to figure out my MILEAGE pace.  Oh well.  At this point I can pretty much visualize the rest of the course.  I knew we'd hit another bend and run on bricks and then up an incline and the water stop would be around there.  The brick was also hard to run on and I did walk a little bit again.  When we finally passed the 3K flag, I tried to gauge it as a halfway point.  I seemed to be making good time.  The incline up the bridge to the water stop kinda sucked considering I was a bit sweaty and cold.  When I got to the water stop I popped a Clif Shot gel pack.  Yes, the timing seemed off, but I did it.  I did feel more energized after and maybe it was the water and just getting closer to the finish.

Rounding another bend and past the 4K flag I saw the other "landmark" that I think of and it's another bridge and incline.  I tried really hard to run up most of this, but did have to walk for a few seconds.  I also looked at my watch and saw that I had about 13 mins left to my goal of one hour.  I started thinking about whether or not I'd actually make it.  The 5K flag was at the end of the bridge and another turn heading towards the finish.

At this point we run along the river and under some of the bridges, and I could feel the cold air had almost pooled in those spots.  I was really glad I had kept my fleece on.

When I looked at my watch and saw 58 mins on it, I really tried to run faster.  I was trying to gauge the distance and thought about my intervals on the treadmill.  All I could do was go for it.  I passed walkers, other runners passed me, but when I hit the chip mat and pressed stop on my watch, the time was a few seconds over one hour.  HOLY CRAP!  I was a few seconds off, but I finished in an hour!!

My official time was 1:00:37.  I still can't believe how much faster I can run with the weight I've lost and the strength training.  And how much better I feel after a race.  I'm a bit sore and will keep stretching.

After getting my medal, the first thing I heard was, "That was fun!"  I agree and I'm already looking forward to next year.

Here is my Get Lucky 7K playlist:
"Big Pimpin'/Papercut" by Jay-Z and Linkin Park
"Block Rockin Beats" Turn It Around Remix (I got this off some workout remix)
"Bluegrass Stain'd" by Mark Ronson
"Bout To Get Ugly" by Mark Ronson
"Crazy Bitch" by Buckcherry
"Ooh Wee" by Mark Ronson
"Symphony of Destruction (2004 Digital Remaster) by Megadeath
"Never Wanted to Dance" by Mindless Self Indulgence
'Lights Out" by Mindless Self Indulgence
"Just Like a Pill" by P!nk
"Stupid Girls" by P!nk
"So What" by P!nk
"Party in the USA" by Cardio Workout Crew album
"Pumped Up Kicks" by Foster The People
"Otis" by Jay-Z and Kanye West
"Yeah" by Usher
"Girlfriend" by Avril Lavigne
"Fuck You" by Cee-Lo Green
"No Competition" by Common
"Without Me" by Eminem
"Lose Yourself" by Eminem
"Shake That" by Eminem
"Welcome To the Jungle" Remix by 2011 The Workout Heroes
"Waking up in Vegas" Cardio Workout Crew album

Thursday, March 14, 2013

What About Non Scale Victories?

Last night I did my measurements again with my trainer.  We've been trying to do measurements every 4 to 6 weeks.  Here's my progress:

Assessment 2/6/13               Assessment 3/13/13
Weight: 203.5                      Weight: 189
Body Fat: 36.6%                    Body Fat: 35.3%
Neck: 14.25                          Neck: 14.00
Bicep: 15.5                           Bicep: 15.25
Chest: 40.25                         Chest: 38.00
Waist: 38.25                         Waist: 35.50
Hips: 49.25                           Hips: 46.50
Thigh: 28.00                         Thigh: 26.50
Calf: 18.375                          Calf: 17.00

I can't even believe my own results!!  I can't believe how many inches I've lost! 

Yes, I'm in a contest that is dependent upon scale readings, but I definitely celebrate the Non Scale Victories (NSV) too.  And I'm trying to encourage so many others to do the same.  I don't want my friends to get down on the scale not budging.  I want them to be happy about their clothes being looser, and working out that extra 10 mins, and being able to walk for further, and even just being able to say pass on the unhealthy choice that sits in front of them.  I will celebrate those NSV's right with you!

After my training session, this happened:

My Polar stopped working while I was working with my trainer so I had to adjust and I have no idea how long it wasn't tracking.  I then got on a bike because I had to finish the book I was reading (Falling Into You by Jasinda Wilder).  If you've paid attention to my Facebook posts, I could not put this book down.  I had luckily received an Advanced Reader Copy.  So there I sat biking for over an hour.  My arse got sore because those seats are not comfy, but I biked and biked and biked.  Eventually I knew I had to go home and would be able to finish the book in bed.

I'm lucky that I have the support of my husband and kids to be able to do two things that I enjoy, working out and reading.  And it's awesome what can be accomplished when you do the two things together.  

Race weather for Saturday doesn't look wonderful.  I'm still really hoping to finish well under an hour.  Wish me luck! :)

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Heading Into Week 6: First official weigh in

***Disclaimer: I am not compensated for my blogging experience during this contest.  Everything I choose to write is my own experience.***

Yesterday was our first weigh in.  You can see the results here. In five weeks, I've lost 14.8 pounds which translates into 7.1984% of my contest starting weight.  I am so ecstatic about these results!  And I have to say that I'm also excited for my fellow contestants.

At the weigh in, which is held at a local TV studio, there was quite the buzz of excitement.  Our first visit at the start of the contest, I think you could feel the nervousness radiating off of all of us.  You definitely could from me!  But yesterday, you could hear people talking to each other even though we were supposed to be a little quieter while the camera was recording.  I missed a lot of the weigh ins because I had to use the restroom first, but was ready to jump on the scale when I got there.  I have been weighing myself at home, but not every contestant has been.  When I stepped on that scale, I was so happy to see the loss reflected in the numbers.  As I stepped off, one of the guys yelled, "Someone's been working out!"  I had to come back with, "Half marathon training!"

Then I had to get on camera and answer some questions the producer asked me.  I was nervous about that! I'm not sure why, but it was hard to maintain the eye contact I needed to with him.  GAH!  It's still kinda crazy that I'm on tv and in commercials and people call me "famous".  I guess there are worse things to be famous for!

My weight loss puts me in fourth place.  The top two are men (which I think is expected) and then there's Tunisha in third.  I'm behind by less than 1%!!

The numbers can really REALLY mess with my mind.  Today I was thinking over what I've lost in the last month, but I forget what I've lost overall!  I'm down about 30 pounds!!!  I really need to focus on the total number, whether I win the grand prize or not.  As cheesy as this sounds, I KNOW I'm already winning.

I haven't been taking food pics lately, and I guess I need to get back at it.  The food continues to be so tasty!! This week we're back to the meals that we had the first week we were in the contest.  Today for lunch I was excited to have a salad.  Yes, a salad.  We actually don't have a lot of salads in our meals and that's probably a crazy concept for a lot of people.  Cuz eating healthy equals salads, right??  I love eating salads, but I am learning about the salads that I was eating before and portions.  Portion sizes are SO important!

And here I sit, watching The Biggest Loser, and it always makes me tear up because I know the same struggles they are going through.  I have to make the choice every day to only eat the food already prepared for me.  And I have to choose to go to the gym and get a good calorie burn.  I make the choice to go to my training sessions and to work hard at those sessions, even though I've been a whiner lately.  And now I have to make the choice on how I'm going to step it up.

This Saturday is Race #2, the Get Lucky 7K and I'm so pumped to run it!  It'll be my 3rd year running it and my goal is to finish in under an hour.  I'll let you know in my next post!

My reading list this week was three books by Katie Ashley, The Proposition; The Proposal; and The Party.  By Abbi Glines, Never Too Far.  I'm now reading an ARC and the latest episode of Blank Slate by Tiffany A Snow.  My music has been mainly Justin Timberlake and Pink.  Pink concert is on March 19th and I cannnot wait to go with my bestie Suzie!

Make good choices you guys.  It makes all the difference.

Thursday, March 7, 2013

And Then She Jumped

We're in the fifth week of the contest now and I'm still going strong.  This week has been crazy and my schedule has been thrown off.  We were at the Maroon 5 concert on Monday.  Owl City and Neon Trees opened for them.  It was an awesome show!  One of the best concerts I've ever been to.  One of the differences for me being at a concert this time is that I only drank water.  Yup... no beers, no mixed drinks... I paid probably $4 for a 20 ounce bottle of water.  And I was fine with it.  I couldn't tell you a concert that I didn't drink alcohol at unless I was under age.
Maroon 5~ The gorgeous Adam Levine

I have not been to the gym in the morning at all this week. With the snow storm, concert, and just being tired, I haven't had it in me.  I did do a lunchtime run with intervals the day of the concert.  I knew I needed to do something.  I'll be back on track and I'm not worried one bit.

Last night at training I had a breakthrough.  Usually Tanya mixes things up with me and we'll do strength and cardio in the sessions.  She had me do mountain climbers AND she knows how much I HATE them.  I also mentioned to her that I feel like I whine more throughout these sessions lately.  It's something I've been thinking about because I'm really not much of a whiner when I'm working out.  Just when it comes to mountain climbers... and jumping.  I hate jumping.  Wait, I already said that, didn't I?  All the mommies out there know why I hate it too, without going into too much detail.  But anyway, I got to pick my cardio "poison" for the last set.  I thought hard and decided on jump rope.  I think I shocked Tanya!  She and I joke about what happens when I jump and she knows it's bothersome.  At the same time, if it's something good for me, I know now I can put the discomfort out of my mind.  And I did.  20 seconds of jumping rope, 10 second rest.  Repeat for a total of four times.  The best part.... I survived.

Making changes and challenging myself is not easy.  In this case, the discomfort only lasted for two minutes. I don't feel like a kid again when I'm jumping rope.  But what I can tell you is that I felt good and accomplished.  Sure I can run for a long distance and sure I can lift some heavy weights and do pushups on my toes and not half ass a burpee.  But being able to jump and pushing through... that feeling is what I strive for each time I leave the gym or a finish a race.

On the days when I don't want to work out as hard or get up early or even eat a meal that I don't have to prepare, I know I need to remind myself about that feeling that I get.  I wish everyone could know what I'm talking about.

Monday is the next weigh in at the TV studio. I know I've done well, but I'm also anxious to see who's in the lead. Whether or not it's me, I know what I need to keep doing.

This week's reading, I finished Truth by Aleatha Romig (Tony Rawlings! Holy intense!) and Reckless by S.C. Stephens (I love Kellan Kyle).  I still have to write my reviews on Goodreads.  Right now I'm reading Never Too Far by Abbi Glines (Rush! Woods!) I also have still been listening to Pink and have thrown in some of the Glee songs.