Monday, October 27, 2014

Run Like Hell

Well it’s Monday, right? Hmm… that’s about all I can say about that. I hate it when my weekends end. There is something pretty depressing about a Monday morning. Just not my overall favorite I guess. I had a good weekend overall. I was pretty worried about the weather but as per my crazy good luck in terms of running, both my races ended up being what I’d call a win.

Saturday morning we got up early and headed out with my mom and her boyfriend for a nice 5k. I walked the 5k with my mom. But the weather was actually quite pleasant despite raining like crazy when we got up and even on the drive to the event there was rain. In the end, it was just perfect the entire duration of the walk/run.  I will always support my mom doing these events even if that means I will ultimately have to walk with her. I don’t mind honestly. I am just happy she is willing and interested in doing them. We got cool medals with light up eyes on the skull. Pretty neat honestly.

I can honestly barely remember what I did Saturday afternoon. Oh wait, there was a crazy windstorm, and we went to Sushi for lunch. Came home, vegged out for a while, made some spaghetti dinner and tried to go to bed early because I did have to wake up very early yesterday to make it to our half marathon.  I have to admit that while there is a part of me that is sad all the races are coming to a slow-down, there is another part of me that is infinity thrilled as well.

When we got up Sunday at 5:15 AM, and it was literally dark as night and storming outside I was not entirely thrilled to be doing this. In fact, I was like what the fuck am I doing? Why I am not snuggled up warm and comfy in my bed with my doggies? But I got up and prayed that the weather would somehow part for us as it typically has in the past and somehow we’d survive. I dressed as warm as I could in running attire and wore a hat, because a baseball hat is really essential in rain running. It blocks the rain from getting in your fact so much. We drove the hour to the start location and it was a miserable yucky drive. I felt zero motivation. I did not want to run. We all have our Achilles heel and mine is cold and rain.  I truly would rather run in the heat than the cold. But this is pretty much how I prefer my entire life so that’s not shocking.

We pulled into a parking garage and just sat there in the car for a couple minutes. It was so gross outside and I seriously had to fight with myself to do this. A big part of me was like fuck it, let’s just run the 5k instead.  You didn’t get a cute medal for anything but the half, but I was not looking forward to a wet cold 13.1 mile run.

We got out and walked to the start location, still raining. Picked up our packets, still raining. Went to the bathroom, still raining. And somehow time got away from me. The race started at 7:45 and we were walking towards the start line, the sun had finally come out and lit up the sky so that instantly helped to improve my mood. Problem was, I heard the official count down to the start of the half marathon and we were not ready. Oops. Yes, I was late to start the race. My music wasn’t cued up; we were not at the start line. It happens I guess. But on a plus side, the rain had let up. Just as we started the race, late, it was no longer raining. Of course being late to start made me frazzled and I had a pretty shitty attitude to start. Not to mention somehow the first 3 ½ miles were all uphill. It was gross. It was not fun. I was climbing hills instead of running. Trying to play catch up to the pack of runners. We managed to catch people, but my heart wasn’t in it.

And of course for the first 3 ½ hilly miles it would rain a little and I’d slosh thru puddles of water left on the ground. But it wasn’t bad. It could have been worse for sure. Honestly the first 30-45 minutes were the worst of it. And then we turned a corner and it was a giant downhill stretch and as if the universe was going to reward us for enduring the first 3.5 miles of hell, the sun warmed up and there was no more rain and we could finally run.  I sped up and maintained a comfortable speed. I actually felt incredibly grateful it was not stormy and raining and I kept thinking to myself, the faster you run the sooner you are done and every mile that passes that you are not rained on, is a great thing. Closer to the finish line! 

By no stretch of the imagination was this a speedy race.  I was playing catch up from the very beginning and fighting with my own shitty attitude.  I really don’t love being cold and wet and running. But once I was able to run I just kept a decent pace and managed to salvage an otherwise horrific start to a race. The weather held out for pretty much the duration of the race, for which I was incredibly grateful. With about ½ a mile to go it started to rain. When I finally crossed the finish line, about 5 minutes later it was in full out downpour mode. But I was finished!  I had paid for the VIP package mainly because it included a private covered heated area to hang out in with private bathrooms and a catered breakfast post-race. This was an excellent idea because we immediately made our way to the covered tent and were able to avoid major rain. The weather Gods are incredibly kind and generous to us.  It always seems to rain before we start racing and after we finish but we manage to avoid major storms while on the run. I am certain that this will not always be the case and I need to count my blessings as the occur.

The VIP area was lovely; we had a great catered breakfast. Eggs, potatoes, French toast, bacon and of course unlimited mimosas. Which apparently I drank way too many of. Seriously I don’t drink all that often and apparently my body doesn’t love feeling like that. Oops. But I had a great time post-race hanging out, enjoying the festivities.

Overall, I am proud of my time. 2:23 is when I crossed the line. Not a great time, not my best time, but completely salvaged the run considering the first 3.5 miles I was WAY off pace. I swear it took me 45-50 minutes to go that first 3.5-4 miles. So I was calling this overall a total win.

This was half marathon 26 of the year.  That means in just half marathons I have completed 340.6 miles of running this year. Not including the 5 and 10K races and of course any running I do in training. That’s pretty awesome.  Next weekend I do not have a single race. The following weekend I have 1 5k race. That’s it. And then I go to Vegas. I have 2 half marathons left this year. Vegas and one in December. I think my shitty attitude is probably a sign that it might just be time for a little break. Regardless, I had a good time this weekend. And as always the weekend tends to fly by.

Now it’s onto another crappy Monday, and trying to get my shit back together. I ate like a horrible hungry starving person this whole weekend and I don’t feel very happy about that. Hmm… back to the gym I go today.

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Here comes the rain

My ass is crazy on fire. This is a direct result of a personal training session last night where Amanda decided that the target of all her efforts was going to be this particular area. Yes, stair step ups (with a barbell), squats, more squats, leg press, lunges, single leg deadlifts and my ass is officially on fire today. In all honesty, better that we worked legs last night than tonight, as to hopefully give me one more day to recuperate from it before the weekend and another half marathon.

In all fairness, parts of me are desperate to run a half marathon because of the mental therapy it provides, while a much bigger part of me is terrified because of the weather. It is yucky outside, like the kind of yucky that I sprint to the car in between stops to avoid the nasty-ness. Of course, the forecast pretty much calls for the same for the rest of the week/into next week. This means that this weekend will most likely be more of the same, which is crappy. I am not really looking forward to two plus hours out in these conditions, getting soaked and trying to maintain levels of strength to power thru when all you really want to do is quit.

I have no illusions that I am going to have some great time, or that it’s going to be great and easy. It’s going to be VERY hard given the weather. Yuck. But I knew I was destined to hit another one in the rain at some point. And we seem to be here. I am holding out hope that the universe will decide to be at all the slightest bit forgiving and that somehow at 7:45 AM on Sunday morning that it will give us at least a 2 hour break from terrible weather.  We will see.  No point in stressing too much, it will be what it will be.

Meanwhile back in the reality of today land, I must try and figure out a way to not let what is sure to be the next couple months of crappy weather affect my every day mood too much.  I am not a yucky weather kind of girl. As I get older I realize that I should probably live in a warmer climate than Oregon. I love Oregon, but I want sun. I don’t thrive in nasty rain. And cold. I hate it. It depresses the fuck out of me.

I have another personal training session tonight as well. We are doing upper body obviously, as sitting down or standing up provides too much stress on my already over exhausted lower half.  I have a couple extra training sessions that were given to me by a guy at the gym who had a falling out with the gym, had a bunch of training sessions left that were paid for and therefore he transferred 3 sessions over to 3 different people. I happened to be one of the lucky recipients. Therefore 3 extra training sessions. Nice, I’ll take it.

It’s weird because a couple people have actually come up to me lately and asked me if I was losing more weight. It’s funny because actually lately I feel like I’ve been standing still, but they are probably referencing the 15 pounds I have lost. Funny how someone can notice the 15 pounds.  I guess I do notice it myself, but I didn’t expect anyone else to notice it. I don’t actually think there was particularly anything wrong with 160 pound me, and not that anyone was saying there was, but just that it’s noticeable that 15 pounds are gone. I guess truthfully I am much happier with 15 pounds less on my body.  I am not sure that getting to 140 pounds is really realistic or the goal at this point.

I am truly back to the concept of let’s be healthy and happy. Let’s watch what we eat, eat good stuff and exercise and let my body naturally do what it is going to do.  In all honesty, I think I’ve been gaining muscle lately which has stalled out the weight loss thing. But I feel smaller and tighter, maybe that’s all in my head? Quite possibly.

I have kind of realigned my thinking post San Jose. Get thru my half this weekend and then I don’t have another half until Vegas. Basically a little over 3 weeks now until Vegas.  My goal is simply survival. With that said, be healthy and exercise and whatever it is, it is. Just get thru this time and go to Vegas happy and healthy.  And then when I get home from Vegas I can shift my focus to strength training for a while instead of running and building muscle. Once Vegas is done, I literally have 1 half marathon in December and none in January at this moment in time. I will have the second half of November, December and all of January to focus on building muscle before I take my beach vacation trip to Puerto Vallarta the beginning of February. 

Basically, I am going to still try and run, because not only do I just love it and need it in my life, I truly believe the cardio helps slim down my frame to reveal those muscles! But I can spend some more time working on building muscle. I can actually do some intense heavy lifting leg days that I have really tried my hardest to avoid the past couple months for fear of frying out legs that run half’s every weekend. I think it will be a good time to mix things up a bit.

So basically I am going to just keep going as I am for a couple more weeks, full speed ahead, hit Vegas fast and furious and then when we get home shift over to strength training land a bit more.  Operation Bikini Vacation mode. That might be what I call it, ha ha. The reality of wearing a bikini in public looms and therefore it’s as good of a time as any to work on tightening things up again. But I do refuse to quit running. It’s not only inherent to who I am, but I need to keep up on it because I fully intend to keep running half’s next year. In fact, I’ve already signed up for a bunch of them!

At least its Wednesday, which I guess means that the weekend will soon be upon us. I would be really excited if that stupid weather wasn’t weighing on my mind. I have a 5k on Saturday and a half on Sunday and I was excited about both of them when I signed up. They look like fun ones. But the weather may just suck all the fun out of them. Let’s just keep our fingers crossed.

And I’m also crossing my fingers that the lower body pain subsides enough later in the day to make walking around the gym this evening at least manageable. Right now I hurt. Ah, such is my life.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Blog Avoidance

I have been really off the past week or so. No particular reason, just a general sense of “off-ness”… I think it’s the inevitable let down, or after effects of working really hard for a goal (my 2 year anniversary trip to San Jose), achieving said goal and then coming home and feeling a sense of fuck it. If I’m being perfectly honest I have not been a good girl since returning home. I have had a few really good days and my exercise has been really good, totally on point, but my eating is just blah. In fact, since returning home from San Jose, I have not journaled my food intake at all. Instead I’m relying on the old close enough formula and this can be very dangerous honestly.

Oh, nothing is crazy over the top and honestly taking a week or two “off” from journaling isn’t the end of the world but it does leave me in sort of an emotional tail spin I think. Perhaps that is honestly part of what is causing my general “funk”.  It’s the age old, which came first, the chicken or the egg. Am I “off” because I have not been paying that close attention to things, or am I not paying that close of attention to things because I am just “off”? 

Hence the not journaling all last week. I just didn’t feel it. Don’t get me wrong, nothing is wrong in my life. I feel like a spoiled brat sometimes because things are truly fine in my world and yet I have moments where I am not as happy as I should be, you know.  But of course, doesn’t matter your exact place in life you are entitled to your feelings and honestly a certain level of discord because honestly, life is just not perfect.  Things annoy the shit out of you. Situations come and frazzle you, and you have to fight and search for a balance.

Full disclaimer, like I said, I am fine and nothing is really that big of a deal at all, but I find myself lately a little annoyed with some people at the gym, a little annoyed with some members of my family and even probably at times a little annoyed with Chris. This is life. Perhaps I am pms’ing? No. It’s possible I guess.

I have brilliant moments of motivation and focus and then those moments where I just don’t give a fuck and instead of actually measuring any amounts of food my hand haphazardly dips into the entire bag of dried cranberries and bag of almonds.  Yeah, it’s a weird thing to be mad about eating. I totally get it. First world problems and all. Funny thing is I’m not actually all that mad about my eating, any of it. I still think I’m doing pretty okay. Just not journaling so I think the “fear” of eating worse than I should is probably more real than the reality that I have been. I am sure if I were actually journaling it I’d find I wasn’t too far off. But it’s like my crazy brain has a hard time with the lack of concrete evidence. Immediately jumping to the worst case scenario. Crazy fucked up is the story of my life after all.

I make it sound like things are way off or bad and they just aren’t. Mostly I’m fine. Mostly I’m happy and mostly I just have been busy and not feeling like posting that much. I think I perhaps was applying too much pressure to myself to once again see a certain number on the scale that as we all know is irrelevant. I have decided that I really don’t want to weigh myself; it causes all this crazy brain for me. I think what I am going to do is continue down my normal happy healthy path and then maybe just weigh myself before I go to Vegas and whatever I am, I am. Refocus energies back to being healthy and happy. Not that I ever try and lose sight of that, but every time I shift any amount of focus to a scale it gets ugly in my head.  Let the scale be the byproduct of the healthy lifestyle I love living, not the focus of the lifestyle.

I ran a half on Saturday. I was interested to see how I’d do considering the last half I ran was San Jose and let’s be honest there were so many good reasons why that one was destined to be a good race. I had so much extra motivation pushing me on. I’m not shocked that if I was ever going to PR it would be that race.  I was more concerned how I’d do on one where I had no reason or motivation to push myself. This weekend was a great test. There was zero incentive to run fast or hard. It was a “smaller” race so there wasn’t a ton of people on course, I ran by myself a lot of the time, and honestly there was nothing to special about it.  I had no misgivings that I was trying to run “fast.”  I have always said and will always maintain that my goal every time I go out and run is to simply do the best that I can every moment on that day. As long as I give it my all, I will be happy with the results no matter what they are. As long as I was giving my 100% effort than I’d be pleased.  You cannot always predict how you will feel or what issues may arise.

Saturday was a perfect example of that. I slept like awful shit the night before. Like 3 hours of sleep kind of shit. I wasn’t feeling all that hot, but I was going to run. I started out running okay. Nothing stellar, nothing awful, but consistent. A good pace for me. But suddenly at mile 5 I felt really sick. Like nacious I want to throw up kind of sick. And I wanted to quit. I seriously wanted to just walk. But I was like, that certainly won’t get you to the end any quicker, just keep going. So I ran on. I felt better but my pace slowed. It was fine. I was tired, (the 3 hours of sleep might have been a factor), but I just kept going.

Then right around mile 9 ½ it happened, that sick feeling returned. And I hate to say it but I felt my tummy turn and I thought I was burping, but it turns out I literally threw up in my mouth. I didn’t know it was going to be throw up and I was caught so off guard I just swallowed it back down. It was one of those weird moments where it just happened. So yes, clearly my stomach was off. I felt really sick. But I just kept running. I was almost done at this point. Miles 10-12 were HARD. Those were my push thru miles. We are so close now, just finish. Once I got to mile 12 the last mile is easier because you are now ticking down towards the end.

Despite the sick and exhaustion I actually crossed the finish line at 2 hours 12 minutes 45 seconds. This is my 3rd fasted half marathon time ever.  (Out of the total 27 I have ran to date) San Jose was 2:09:40 I think, and then a year ago in February I ran one in 2:11:45. So honestly I was right on pace.  I was proud of that result given that I wasn’t really trying that hard. I was mostly relieved to see that my San Jose time wasn’t a rare fluke, that I can run a sub 2:15 half now.  Well, at least right now. I have no idea how realistic this pace will be once we get thru the winter and I am not running as much. Not so many half’s left now, as we approach the nasty running weather. I literally have 3 half’s left for the year now. I can’t believe it’s only 3!  One of them is this weekend, then Vegas in November and 1 in December.

Regardless, I actually liked the half this weekend and would definitely do that one again. The course was fine enough and the post-race stuff was good. Not a bad one at all. We did manage to avoid the rain, but I just don’t know about this weekend. The forecast is not looking as kind. As for the rest of the weekend, did much needed grocery shopping (Costco and the dreaded Wal-Mart shopping), we saw a movie, Gone Girl, and then we went out to eat at the Old Spaghetti Factory. Pretty rounded all around.

Also, I got this lovely new purse, and I do mean I am in love with it. Coach zebra. Yes, please. Tonight it’s back to the gym for me. And somehow I have 2 personal training sessions booked this week. One Tuesday night and one Wednesday night.  So we will see how that goes. It is yucky raining out now and honestly it just makes me feel miserable. I HATE the dreary rain. It is depressing. It’s completely un-motivating.  But I will push thru. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

What to do with myself

It is Friday afternoon and I am officially ready for the workday to be over. I do not have really any plans for the weekend. Nope, not a single concrete plan. This scares the shit out of me in a lot of ways. It has literally been months since I had an entire weekend without a plan, or more specifically a run. I am not sure I will know what to do with myself.

I killed it pretty good at the gym last night so my legs actually feel a twinge of sore today. I honestly can’t imagine running today which is a probably a good reason to not worry so much about running. I ran for half an hour last night and then did about 45 minutes or so of weights. My legs felt it. I have kind of mentally decided at some point either tomorrow or Sunday I need to do a nice long run. I don’t have to run 13 miles, but at least like 8 miles. I need to force myself I guess. I also could really use a good ass kicking upper body workout. Since I pretty much have my entire weekend free I should be able to make this happen. I should be able to write down some sort of plan and just spend some time at the gym. I haven’t gone to the gym on a weekend in months and months.

Mostly this is all precautionary so that I somehow don’t end up binging on bad food choices. I need a solid weekend to keep me on track. I’ve had a pretty successful 3 days and I would really like to continue that trend.  Tonight Bella has a doctor’s appointment for a vaccination and then we (Chris and I) are going over to my mom’s house for dinner. Her boyfriend is over and wanted to get together. Her boyfriend is a healthy kind of guy and I think he appreciates the fact that Chris and I try and keep it healthy. This is contrary to most everyone else in my family. With all that said, we are making dinner and therefore it should be healthy which makes me happy. I honestly don’t know what we are having at this point but I’m not worried or stressing over it.

I kind of hate that I don’t have a run this weekend. I am a full-fledged addict.  But I just couldn’t find one that met my criteria. Oh well, it’s only one weekend. Next weekend I have a half, and then the following weekend it’s a 5k followed by what looks like a really fun half. So I shall survive.  Do you know what is excessively crazy to me though, I only have 4 half marathons left for the year. Just 4. The 2 Halloween ones I just mentioned and then Vegas Rock and Roll and then 1 Christmas one.  I can’t believe it’s just 4. I have like 3 more months left in the year.  I might need to try and shift my focus for a little while and that does scare me. It might be time to pay a little more attention to some serious strength training, getting stronger. Of course I do not want to let up on the running either because not only am I really liking where I am at right now, but I swear the running and extra cardio is what is helping me lose this little bit of weight.

Sometimes I sound so ridiculously petty. Seriously. I know there are far greater problems in the world than my petty little stupid shit. And honestly as one of my blog friends said the other day on her blog it’s easy to make these blog posts sound so crazy happy and good all the time. When in reality life hands us a lot of lemons at times and we just choose not to blog about it. I don’t really want to give the illusion that my life is perfect in any way. Am I happy? Absolutely, of course. But in all fairness I think I am mostly a very happy person, it’s just sometimes you lose your way here or there. When I spiral out of control and gain weight is me losing my way and the misery sets in.

Not everything in my life is always perfect. No one is perfect and no life is perfect. I swear at points sometimes I feel like I am just moving from one crisis to the next. Or in other terms, dealing with what life throws at you next. I have found that this is why it is critical for me to have fun adventures planned to help get me thru the challenges life throws at you. I am okay as long as I know I have something fun to look forward to. Right now I have Vegas in 6 weeks and of course Puerto Vallarta in February. That is more than enough to get me thru.  And I am pretty much dead set on Maui next September to run. There is simply nothing else I can think of that would be more rewarding than running that particular Maui race because it is exactly the area of Maui where I stay and adore.  I am pretty sure that will forever be one of the highlights of my life. Therefore I am beyond convinced it has to happen.

Anyway, I guess my point is that often times I just come on here to write about the highlight reel of my life and there is so much more that goes on.  Always, always is. But I just try and remain happy and positive because in the end that makes life far more enjoyable. So today I am going to smile because it’s Friday. I am going to smile because I am strong and healthy and active and in love and loved. I am going to smile because I have decided I freaking love my hair! I will smile because while I may not have a race this weekend, I have an entire weekend at my disposal to do as I wish and let’s be honest, that is a rare thing!  Have a fabulous weekend everyone. 

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

5 in 5

So yesterday I failed to mention the reality that while the first 2 days of my vacation were pretty good in terms of food consumption, post half, things took an ugly turn for the worse. I knew they would.  I was in celebration, let it go mode.  Nothing like celebrating 2 years of healthy living by eating like shit. We are talking Applebee’s Buffalo wings, 2 margaritas, ribs, French fries, mozzarella sticks etc. I should also mention that our hotel room was literally steps away from a vending machine and for some reason just being that close to a plethora of candy choices proved too much for this girl. I would by lying on the bed at night watching TV and all I could think about was candy.  Something about vacation does that to me. Things I would not under any other normal circumstances consume seem awesome to me. I suspect that is why they seem awesome because I really only allow myself these indulgences while on vacation.

The crap eating continued from Sunday well into Monday where pizza and cheesy very greasy breadsticks were consumed. And as if I knew it was my last hurrah, I made sure to get in some frozen yogurt. All of the consumption left my tummy less than happy Monday night when we were home resulting in a 1 AM barf fest in the toilet. Yup, generally speaking my stomach does not actually handle crappy food that well.

Never fear, yesterday I was right back to what I know and love and my stomach felt oodles better as a result. I really am a girl who does better on healthier foods. I had made the mental decision that I was going to allow myself to indulge, skip any sort of scale this Thursday and instead just get back to it yesterday and plow on thru until next Thursday the 16th and then weigh myself. I think this is a safe/good plan for me. I don’t need to see any sort of gain on the scale as a result and I know if I stick to some good eating all will be fine.

The thing is, I swear I have to have a weekend here and there where I am allowed to indulge like that. Partly, because it reminds me that I kind of hate that stuffed, sick feeling and therefore makes me grateful for how I normally live. I don’t feel like I am depriving myself or missing out on anything because ultimately that crap is just not for me.  Sure, would I mind a cupcake every now and then? Of course not. But I don’t need to eat buckets of food to be happy. Quite the contrary honestly. This life I generally lead is exactly as it should be.  I feel good on a daily basis because I am not loaded with gross sick foods. My body just doesn’t tolerate them well.

With all this said, skipping this weeks’ weigh in and starting with next week, on Thursday, I will officially have 5 weigh in’s until Vegas. So my 10 in 10 challenge is done and it’s time for its mini cousin, the 5 in 5 challenge. Yup, Round 2 started yesterday. 5 pounds in 5 weeks.  I’ve GOT this. I can do this. And ultimately that should put me at 140 pounds when I hit Vegas, exactly where I want to be. All right, in all fairness it would be lovely to be 139.9. I mean, just to see a 3 as the second number, but clearly after Vegas that number would NOT still be in the 130’s. Vegas is going to be much of the same indulgences.  But that’s how I roll. I am good and healthy and active to get me to the amazing adventures of my life where I can relax and enjoy my life.

5 in 5 has officially already begun and it’s a good thing.  Today I am feeling motivated and ready to go on this new challenge. I always need challenges.  Last night I really did not want to do anything at the gym. I ended up lightly jogging on the treadmill with Amanda for about 20 minutes or so. And then other people joined us and I pushed up my speed and in the end I ran for 45 minutes, about 4 miles. Nothing fancy, nothing to write home about, but it was decent enough.  Honestly it felt easy and good. It felt like I could have just kept running and running. After that I did about 15 minutes of weights or so, just to get myself to over 60 minutes and over 500 calories burned. EASY day, but I will take it.

Tonight I am not 100% sure what I am doing. Normally its personal training and Iron Power class but Amanda is gone so neither is happening tonight.  There will be another class in its place but I’m not totally sure if I’m taking it or not. I might honestly go and try and sprint out 30 minutes of an intense run if I can manage it and then take the hour class whatever it is. Might be good to ix things up a little bit and push myself.  I honestly feel like I need to get my ass kicked in terms of some serious strength training. But alas, not sure if and when that is going to happen.

I’m working out tonight and tomorrow night. Friday night is my night off. Bella has a doctor appointment for more vaccinations so that has to happen after work. I honestly have not a single plan for this weekend and honestly it’s freaking me out. Not having a race is fucking with my psyche. So much so that I keep looking for races to run. Like I’ve got this awesome momentum going and part of me is like fuck it, go run another half. Of course I’ve ran 6 in 6 weeks and I have 2 more planned for the following two weekends. So if I ran a half this weekend that would end up being 9 in 9 weeks and that just seems a bit intense. BUT, I really feel like I could manage it.  I feel a little lost honestly not doing a long run this weekend. Of course I could always just do a long run all on my own, but again, that’s probably not likely. I’ve still got a little bit of time to maybe figure that out. Of course with my new 5 in 5 challenge, I need to get in some intense exercise so maybe.

In other topics, I am falling more and more in love with my hair each day. I wasn’t sure at first, but honestly it’s growing on me, and I’m loving it… It’s a lot of work and maintenance but it’s totally worth it. I guess after spending so long with short ugly hair, it feels great to have long flowing locks. I am pretty sure my hair has never EVER been this long, but I really love it.

When I was walking in Santa Cruz with my long blonde hair down, in a tank top and short shorts some dude totally hit on me. I don’t handle that well. I am not one of those people who knows how to accept compliments or tactfully rebuff such comments. I just kept walking, totally ignoring the man who was talking to me. Part of it felt good, and the other part kind of creepy. For the record, Chris was up ahead already, he was doing his own thing while I was shopping in a store and was walking up to meet him. Not sure the guy would have said anything if I was walking next to a man.  But I blame the hair.

All right, it’s almost lunch time and I have some errands I have to go run. Healthy, healthy…

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Most Epic Moment

How can you possibly ever put into words the entire epic-ness that is one of the single greatest moments of your life? I feel like the past two years have all lead me to this exact place, this exact moment, that exact single experience of true bliss.  The earth, the moon, the stars and the sun all aligned perfectly to provide me the coolest 2 hours 10 minutes of my life. Funny how I find such bliss and happiness in the solitude of running.

I should start by saying that on the Saturday before the half I had a really awesome 5k run. My feet felt light, and my body felt capable and ready. I was just going to run. And in the end resulted in my fastest 5k time to day. I think I finished at like 28 minutes 30 seconds or around there. Bottom line is I managed a 9:20 minute pace which is great for me.  So I was already feeling amazing. Then we spent the rest of the day in Santa Cruz on the beach boardwalk and it was wonderful and amazing and I was just so happy.

Based off of my 5k running secretly I wondered if it was possible to have a great half time. Chris kept saying things like, maybe you’ll PR. I laughed at him. The truth is my PR was set last February.  Back when I was running a lot more than I have been.  It was 2 hours 11 minutes and like 44 seconds or something like that.  I never came close to that again. After that, my time started to creep up and up. I quit caring as much. Times went to about 2 hours 18 minutes, and then they shifted to about 2 hours 28 minutes. I just couldn’t muster much desire to push myself. Not really sure why.  Last weekend I actually ran a 2 hour 19 minute half and I was excited about that. It never occurred to me I could ever come close to PR’ing again. In fact I honestly truly thought I’d never ever see a PR again in my life. I just wasn’t at that speed.

It was hot. Like hotter than I think anyone expected. I was really nervous about the heat and apparently so were the event organizers because they sent out an email the day before telling us all how to prepare for the heat and all the precautions they were going to take on course to help us runners. Let me tell you I did not feel like running. Before we started I was completely unsure how I was going to feel.  But then a funny thing ususally happens. I start running, and somehow after a couple minutes, once my heart rate elevates and then levels out, I feel great. So I ran. And I kept checking my watch telling me my pace. After all things had settled out I was running consistently at a 9:35-9:40 pace. But more importantly I felt good, and this was a comfortable pace for me so I thought I might be able to keep running this for a while.

I had a lot of inner dialogue going on. Somewhere around mile 3 when I looked down and saw my pace and knew I felt good, I actually starting visualizing what it might be like to finish the race with a PR. What it would actually mean today, on that particular day of all days, October 5, my true official 2 year WW anniversary. And for no reason I wanted to cry. I felt pride. And excitement. That maybe, just maybe, I could PR. But I tried to not get too far ahead of myself, considering it was only mile 3, and I had a lot of miles left to go. I REALLY did. But I kept running and thinking. The first hour was quite pleasant. The heat hadn’t picked up too much. It was warm, but bearable. And because you never know exactly what you are going to get with running, sometimes things strike you at odd times. And I guess because of the whole idea of the anniversary of my recommitment, I started thinking about the past.

I found myself thinking about my dad. It felt odd that suddenly I felt overcome with feelings about my dad. I guess it’s because of his own weight issues that I will always feel some sort of weird connection about health surrounding my dad. I remember once we had a conversation about how he swore it didn’t matter if you were healthy and active or overweight and unhealthy because when it was your time, it was your time. He had a friend he told me who was a marathon runner who dropped dead of a heart attack at the age of like 40 something. In hindsight these were the excuses he told himself to make himself feel better about his own life and I guess that is okay.  That is what he needed. But deep down, I know he was hurting.

And then I was thinking about how sad it is that my dad never got to see this, to see me, living this life. In my trip down memory lane I had this moment of clarity where I thought, it is so sad that my dad never got to see me become that athlete that I am today. And then I paused on the word athlete. And then I went, yes, you know what, Emily… you ARE an athlete. You have become a full-fledged athlete and your dad would be proud. I am sure he never thought he’d have an athlete daughter and yet, here I am. And in the midst of all of this inner dialogue I wanted to burst into tears.  And then as clear as day I envisioned myself crossing that finish line with a PR and how it would feel to accomplish something so special today and I just kept running.

Overall it was a pretty emotional race for me. 2 years to the day. As I ran I thought about myself 2 years ago on this day, not even the inkling of what was to come. I thought about the girl I was, at 220 pounds, scared and afraid to live. The girl who believed she could be more.  And I ran. And I just kept running, solidly at the same pace and before I knew it 5 miles, 6 miles, 7 miles had passed. And I thought that a PR was closer than ever. It was somehow, miraculously, within my grasps. But it started to get HOT. And of course with the sun and running comes a lot of dehydration and fear. Fear that I would tire out and or my body would give out. But I was prepared. I kept drinking the water at every station while I tried to run on. I did not want to slow down to drink because holy hell I was on a PR pace.

In hindsight, at some point early on I think I had mentally decided that I was going to have a PR, come hell or high water today and nothing was going to stop me. I think half of running, actually more than half, is mental. It’s simply being crazy enough to believe that you can.  Knowing that my determination is stronger than any physical force holding me down.

Around mile 9 I picked up a rock in my shoe, or the bottom of my foot that I couldn’t shake loose. I didn’t want to stop, but I felt it every step so I had to pull off to the side for a brief second to yank it out. Turned out, it wasn’t a rock, but instead a giant shard of broken glass. Glad I actually stopped to take care of that.  But getting going again is tough after you stop, even for only a few seconds.

My speed started to slow down. I kept telling myself as long as I can keep my average pace under 10 minute miles I will be on track to PR. I knew as long as I was 2 hours 10 minute something I would have bettered my old PR. But secretly I was being greedy and wanted under 2 hours 10 minutes. I was so close. But it got HARD. It got HOT. And mile 11 was all mental. Just keep running. Mile 11 might have bene the hardest mile of them all. Simply because it was close to done, but not close enough. Mile 12 was better because once I hit 12.1; every step made it less than a mile to the finish. Somehow knowing you just have a mile to go is glorious.

I was probably moving at a snail’s pace, but in all actuality it was still around a 10 minute mile pace. It just felt like an eternity. The seconds ticked on. We rounded a corner and I saw the finish line in the distance.  2 tenths of a mile to go and I knew I had a shot at the less than 2 hours 10 minute mark. I saw my watch and saw it tick over to 2 hours 9 minutes and I saw the finish line and I sprinted. I was like Fuck it, just RUN… muster up every single ounce of crazy you have left and finish in less than 2 hours 10 minutes. And I sprinted like my life depended on it. And I crossed that line under the 2 hour 20 minute mark and pretty much almost immediately had to fight back the tears. The tears of joy and happiness. Sure, to the average person my time wasn’t that impressive or great, certainly nothing life altering, but for me it was the symbol of everything I have been thru the past 2 years and I literally wiped the tears from my face.

I cannot describe in words what it felt like in those couple moments after crossing the line and having a PR, when you had no idea you had that inside of you.  The pride I felt. The concept of setting a goal early on and not letting it go, finishing what you started. BEST FEELING EVER. Seriously one of the single coolest moments of my entire life.  This is what running does for me.  It gives me something nothing else possibly can. It is my sanity. My health. My happiness. My release. My sense of self. That moment is going to be hard to ever top. I might have other PR’s in my life. I might not. Doesn’t really matter. But having that PR on my 2 year anniversary to the day, while in San Jose, living this amazing life that I could never have imagined. That is magical. That is what this is all about anyway.

And to give you an idea of how crappy the heat might have been. Chris was on track to PR himself, he might have been running too fast honestly, because around mile 8 he passed out. I wasn’t around him, but apparently he passed out into the bushes and he woken up by other people around him offering him water and helping him. SCARY stuff. He walked after that, and did not PR, but still had a great finish time despite passing out. I am glad I didn’t see if because it would have freaked me out big time. Also so incredibly grateful there were people around willing to stop their own runs to help him out. Runners are good people.

That race is a memory I will treasure forever, and that really is the point of all this after all.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

The conclusion of 10 in 10

Insane BUSY day. I wanted to write this post all day long, instead you are going to get a very short little blurb, just so I can put it up there.  My hair extensions took a hell of a long time. Ooops. I say oops because during the time I was in the chair from 11:30 until 3:00, I obviously got a lot of work calls. My boss kept calling and when I didn’t answer he just kept calling. But he’s a good guy. My bosses are. And when I finally called him back he was like, it’s fine I was just worried about you, are you okay? Those were his first words. He wasn’t mad; he just wanted to make sure I was okay. It’s unlike me to be so unavailable to them.  All is fine now. I presently have amazingly long blonde hair. I took a few selfies but they were blurry and did not do my hair too much justice. I am going to try and have Chris take a few pics tonight and I will try to get a couple uploaded. It’s pretty but I’m in shock and it’s totally going to take major getting used to. CRAZY.


But mostly the thing I wanted to say today is it’s officially the least weight in- Number 10 in my 10 lbs. in 10 weeks challenge. And not shocking well, kind of, but whatever. I lost 1.6 pounds today, meaning I weighed in at 144.4 pounds today. AMAZING. I am very excited about that. Seriously. I did it. I made it. Actually I lost 15.1 pounds in my 10 weeks and I feel really good and happy today. Obviously. I met my 145 pound goal. I got beautiful gorgeous blonde long hair. I feel amazing and I’m going to San Jose tomorrow to run and celebrate my 2 year weight loss anniversary. Actually it’s my 2 year being healthy and active anniversary and that is a huge deal to a girl like me who has only made it past 1 year 1 previous time.


I get to celebrate by running my 24th half of 2014. I am also running a 5k on Saturday and in doing all these will be picking up 5 medals this weekend. I am just feeling really good and happy and proud of everything I have accomplished these past 10 weeks to improve my well-being and my overall health and wellness. It’s bizarre to me that even 10 weeks ago I was 15 pounds heavier. I lost 15 pounds. That’s pretty cool. Last night in personal training Amanda was like, look at you. Your muscles are really popping and I was like, yeah, because I’ve lost weight they really are showing more. They were always there but when I lose a little bit they pop more.  It was honestly pretty cool. I just feel pretty good about things.


The hairdresser told me that my long hair makes me look younger. It does. Perhaps I shouldn’t be a 35 year old woman with this long of hair, but I don’t really care. It’s amazing how quickly you can change something like that. This morning I had short hair, now I have hair down to the center of my back.


Tonight I am going to the gym, but only for a little bit and I don’t really want to work that much. Then I get to come home and pack and get ready for my vacation that starts tomorrow.  What a crazy fast busy week. I’m sure this weekend is going to go just as fast! But I’m getting excited now. It’s finally all here. Just a few hours and I am officially on vacation mode.  And did I mention I reached my goal!!!! I weight 144.4. Yeah! I plan to go to San Jose and have fun and not care too much about the food and then come back home and get back at it, so that I can set my sights on the next goal. Las Vegas, 6 weeks, November 14th. 140 pounds.  That’s the next goal, but for now it’s time to celebrate all of my accomplishments and enjoy my San Jose vacation.  Have a wonderful next couple days; I am going to be basking in a glow of happiness!

Wednesday, October 1, 2014


Well hello October. We are now officially ¾ of the way thru 2014. That is CRAZY, CRAZY. I mean, 2014 has just flown by. What an awesome year and as it gets closer to its end I’m a little sad I have to be honest. BUT with that said there is no reason to assume that 2015 won’t continue being an awesome kick-ass kind of year.

It is also Wednesday and a payday and most importantly 2 days away from my mini-vacation. Hello San Jose.  The weather forecast for San Jose looks amazing and I am excited about nice warm sunny weather. Although admitingly it’s still pretty gorgeous here today in Oregon so I can’t complain too much.  I just have to get thru today, this payday and then tomorrow am a magical day. Tomorrow is hair extension day. Can you tell I’m very excited about this? And then that means that Friday is get on a plane day. All things to look forward to.

Tonight I have personal training and then an hour of iron power weights. Tonight is my last big push in terms of exercise before San Jose. I do intend to hit the gym tomorrow night as well, but with my new beautiful hair extensions and general been doing this for 6 days in a row Thursday’s are usually fairly weak for me in terms of energy levels.

Last night I ran. Yup, I try and make Tuesday night my longer cardio night and I did not fail at that endeavor last night. I got on the treadmill and set it at a 6.2 pace. I just started running. I have to say that the very first 5 minutes of a run are BRUTAL. I guess that’s why you are supposed to warm up instead of going cold turkey on the thing. Because I was seriously doubting my ability to run period. But after a couple minutes your heart rate adjusts and everything is fine. So much so that at about 25 minutes I bumped up the speed to 6.3. Yup, not much of an increase, but enough to secure that I would run 6.25 miles in less than 60 minutes.  That was my goal.

It’s been a while since I could maintain a 9:40 minute mile pace for that duration of time. I was really happy that I managed. And honestly it wasn’t that awful. There comes a certain point where your body just accepts the run and manages.  I was pretty much at that point. The calorie burn was good, and I felt great. Of course after I was done with my hour I wasn’t sure what I was going to do. I headed down to the weights not really wanting to do anything honestly.  A friend came over to me and we started talking for a few minutes when Amanda came up to us. She was like, who wants to go do hills on the treadmill with me?  At this point, because I simply did not want to do anything else, I said sure. Why not? As long as I was not sprinting I’d be fine.  We ended up walking for 30 minutes at a 12 incline on the treadmill at 3 miles per hour. I have to admit at points my heart rate got up there. 

When it was all said and done, my high cardio night resulted in 90 minutes, 1100 and some calories burned. It was a very good workout.  I already warned Amanda that no legs would be happening tonight because I wanted full mobility when I was going on vacation. So tonight will definitely be upper body of some sort. I don’t mind a heavy cardio night thrown into the mix on occasion.  As Monday night was mostly strength and tonight will be pretty much heavy strength training as well. Got to build those muscles.

Overall I’m doing good and feeling good and those are the most important things. Yes, tomorrow I weigh in. I’m nervous because of some of the less than stellar food choices I made. But also, it will be okay no matter what.  I think my body can use some food from time to time so perhaps it will all workout exactly the way it’s supposed to. I should mention that Saturday night I made a dozen cupcakes and proceeded to eat 9 of the 12 of them. I probably would have eaten the other 3 but Chris ate them so I guess that’s okay. They were delicious rainbow chip cupcakes and I REALLY wanted them. Yes, all 9 of them! This was just one of a few stupid decisions but I am not blaming myself to much. Clearly I wanted it and I will live with it. I still think I will be able to pull thru and hopefully fingers crossed hit my 145 goal. We will see tomorrow AM though.  I just have this gut feeling that I did manage to hit 145 despite my horrible eating.

Either way, it doesn’t matter because tomorrow I refuse to be anything but happy happy.  Did we mention that I am 4 days away from my 2 year weight loss anniversary? At this time 2 years ago, I was one depressed messed up girl.  And certainly I could not run for the life of me, yet alone 13.1 miles, yet alone run like 23 of them in a single year. 2 years ago I was pretty upset about being 220 something pounds and having to buy size 18/20 clothes.  Not that there’s anything wrong with that, just that for me it symbolized my failure to care about myself and my giving up.

Two years living this lifestyle and the most convinced I am ever that I am not ever going back. I can have a hiccup in the road as life happens and turn it around.  I’d call my 10 in 10 challenge a huge success. That was my idea to lose 10 pounds in 10 weeks before I went to San Jose. I’ve already accomplished that. I’ve got this. I really do.

Now it’s time to be off and go collect the paychecks and do my work thing. Have a fabulous one my friends!