Thursday, July 28, 2011

The Plateau That Ate My Motivation.....


Okay, seriously. I'm soooo over this.

Let me preface with this:

1. I know this happens to everybody and every body.

2. I know my body is still changing and getting healthier.

3. I know I'm stronger and could do things I couldn't do before.

4. I KNOW I'm not supposed to care what the scale says.

and there is a big BUT (not to be confused with a big BUTT)

I'm still technically obese so the scale does freakin' matter. I still haven't hit the half-way mark of my weight loss, so it does freakin' matter. It makes me, an otherwise peppy, sassy, happy lady, GRUMPY. Therefore, my friend....IT.REALLY.FREAKIN'.MATTERS!!!

I know a plateau is a natural part of this journey, but that doesn't make it any less annoying. I have been within the same ten pounds for the last two months. It goes down, it goes up a little, it goes down a lot, it goes up a little.

So, I'm gonna try a few things to shake it up. I'm going to start some serious strength training, maybe rearrange my diet a bit, etc.

I'm going to keep my positive attitude. I'm going to keep running. I'm going to keep believing that I will reach a "maintaining" point in my journey. (I'm smart enough to know this journey I'm on is called, "My Life" and it doesn't end until I do)

But, I'm still allowed to be annoyed. I'm still allowed to want to eat an entire pizza followed by an entire cake. I'm still allowed to feel like I want to quit.

What I'm not allowed to do is let being annoyed derail me. I'm not allowed to eat my feelings.


So although the Plateau is after me, I'll fight it. I'll fight it like Luke fights the Dark Side. Like Harry fights Voldemort. Like Ricky Bobby fights Jean Girard.


Because (and this is for Angela "Boobies" Ilich) a year ago I looked like this...

and now I look like this.....

But the goal is to look like this....

So giving up is NOT an option....


Friday, July 22, 2011

Get Back On That Horse

When I was 22 or 23 I went horseback riding. I went with a group of friends and my mom, who's always up for an adventure, came along. About halfway through the ride my horse stumbled on a large rock as we were running and I went face first into the ground. (Note to self: Break fall with HANDS, not FACE) I was fine. Bumped, bruised and scraped, but altogether fine, albiet a bit shaken up. On the other hand, my mom was terrified. This was around the same time that Christopher Reeve was thrown from his horse and paralyzed. As I lay on the ground thinking, "I'm mortified, can I just get up now?", my mom, voice shaking, was asking the trail guide to "get her off the (f-word-ing) horse." I'm her baby after all. If this was scary for me, it was twice as scary for her. In fact, my first visit to the emergency room was probably more traumatic than the incident itself, but I digress.

About a month after the accident, when I was all healed, my mom insisted we go for another ride. Her reasoning? That old saying, "You gotta get back on the horse." She refused to let the last memory of horseback riding for both of us be a traumatic one. So, we went for a lovely ride. Shaky at first, but we did it. My mom was right. We had to make a bad experience better.

I recently signed up for a Summer Series of 5Ks at the local community college. Every Thursday for eight weeks in the summer, a group of people get together and run a pretty difficult cross country trail that goes through the college and into the surrounding hills.

I only started running in October. I'm slow and I prefer pavement. I know it's harder on my body, but I like it. The city I live in has 30 miles of paseos that are perfect for long or short runs. Needless to say, this Summer Series is difficult for me and yesterday was the worst!

First of all it was hot. I live in the Southern California desert and we've had a fairly mild summer by normal standards but it's still hot for running. Secondly, most of the people doing this run are really good runners. Like 200 kids from the local cross country teams and 7 slow pokes. These people are crossing the finish line in 15 minutes. I'm lucky to get in under 40 minutes, so it's a little intimidating. Lastly, I was just plain not feeling it.

So I went yesterday. My friend bought me the series as a birthday gift and I wanted a run and want to do this, right? Honestly, I could have easily been persuaded to blow it off, but I made it there.

Mile One Sucked. I couldn't get a good rhythm in my running or my breathing. It got better when I realized I was further along when the leader past me that I had been the week before but then the water table was set up on the side where the FAST runners were going and I had to STOP, sneak through the line of young, fast, in shape runners to get a drink, then WAIT to find a place to cut through again.

Mile Two Sucked Harder. This is the roughest mile anyway. It has two pretty nasty hills. These hills have been named "F You" and "F You's Little Sister". They suck. I always try to run, but usually end up walking most of them. Again, I couldn't catch my breath and was feeling out of sync. I had a cramp for most of this part of the run that I couldn't shake and my feet hurt during a run for the first time. And the water table had no water left when I ran back by. I was thirsty!

Mile Three Sucked Too. Mile three is usually my best mile in most races. I was annoyed at the water situation, mad at the fact that I was pacing the 70 year old man that "walk/runs" and pissed that I wasn't doing my best. Then, clarity.

I literally thought to myself, "Well, I have to come back next week because this has to be better." Then I thought about horseback riding. I knew in my heart and my head that I couldn't have a bad taste in my mouth about this or any other run for that matter. I KNOW, with certainty, that I will go back next week and try to make it a better experience. I'll go back every week for the next 5 weeks and run. If my last run there feels bad, I may go back again to make it better. (Although the In-N-Out Truck comes after the last run, so I think I'll have very warm and fuzzy feelings after that race ;) )

That's the point, right? When we have negative experiences, we can choose to leave them in our memories or we can choose to replace them with better, more positive ones.

I'm trying to replace my negative trail running feelings with positive ones. It may take one more run or one hundred more runs, but I think I can do it. Maybe when I can start running as fast on hills as I do on the road or maybe when I just have a particularly strong day and it feels really good. Either way, I'm not going to stop trying to make the last memory a good one.

I'm going to keep getting back on that horse.

Tuesday, July 5, 2011

12 Races in 2011!

So, about 2 months ago I decided I was going to do a race a month for the rest of the year...then looking back, I realized at the end of the year I will have participated in some way in 12 races in 2011.
Here's a rundown of what I've participated in so far and a wrap up of my latest race!

It was last October when I decided (with the help of some friends) that I needed to start taking better care of me. At the time, if someone asked me if I ran my answer was always, "Only if someone's chasing me". Who would've thought that 9 months later I would be a runner? I can say I'm a runner for two reasons:

1. I'm obsessed with any and all running accessories! Road ID bracelet-check! UV arm muffs-Check! Belt with water bottles on it-Check! Fancy compression socks-Check! New shoes and newer shoes-check! Next purchase is that super fancy Garmin watch that Staci has....oooooh I want one, but I promised I'd lose 5 more pounds first!

2. I smile when I see a photographer during races.

In November I started C25K and decided I would run the 5K that I was co-chairing. Well, I didn't run that race BUT I have done A LOT more!

Here's a quick recap of what I've done so far:

Race #1
3/5/2011- Mardi Gras Madness 5K - Goals were- under 45 minutes, run the whole time, don't come in last
Finished in 40:22, ran the whole time, didn't come in last!!!!

Race #2
3/12/2011- St Patrick's Day 5K-Goals were under 50 minutes (it was a tough cross country course with big hills), don't come in last.
Finished in 47:12, didn't come in last

Race #3
4/9/2011- Footsteps 5K-Goals were under 40 minutes, don't come in last
Finished in 39:36, didn't come in last

Race #4
4/17/2011-Down & Dirty Mud Run-Goals were have fun, finish!
Finished in 1:02...I had no idea what to expect but it was so much fun, I'll definitely do it again!

Race #5
5/14/2011-BMCF Fight It! 5K-I didn't run this race, but I co-chaired it. It was by far the hardest thing I've ever done (and I'm still finishing a few loose ends) however, it was rewarding and exciting as well. We had over 380 runners and raised over $21,000 for a great cause. This was the hardest "race" I've ever done. No amount of training can prepare you for the amount of work it takes to put on a successful event!

Race #6
6/5/2011-Love Run 10K-Goals were to run the whole time, finish, don't be last (and my secret goal was under an hour and a half)
Finished in 1:22:12, ran the whole time, finished and not last!

Now that we're all up-to-date...Here's a recap of yesterday's race!

Race #7
7/4/2011-Independance Day Classic 5K-Goals were to run the whole time and finish under 39 minutes
Unofficial time is 38:18! I ran the whole time and it was HOT!!!!

We all wore red, white and blue! Shout out to Nicole for the cutest running outfit EVER! (That's her in the tutu if you didn't already figure it out!) This is the first race I didn't wear my "That's not sweat it's my fat crying" shirt....but I made up for it.....

I wrote it on my arm along with "Sub 39:00" to remind me what I was doing there and that I had a new goal for a personal record!

That afternoon someone turned my joke around and said, "I can't believe you ran! Was someone chasing you?"
My answer? "Absolutely someone was chasing me! Me....70 pounds ago!" I'm definitely running away from the out-of-shape 70 pound heavier me and toward something soooo much better!

Something better like my next 5 races!

Race #8
8/21/2011-Mc Connell's 10K Santa Barbara
Race #9
9/3/2011- Disneyland 5K
Race #10
10/2/2011-Santa Monica 5000 10K
Race #11
11/6/2011-Santa Clarita Marathon 5K
Race #12
12/4/2011-Rock n Roll 1/2 Marathon in VEGAS!

I also plan on doing more Fun Runs, Running Pub Crawls and training of course. Running has become a big part of my life! I can't believe I'm saying it, but I LOVE IT!

For those of you who think, "I can't run!" You can! I always thought I wasn't a runner, but I'm just not a fast runner. I can do it because my body is so much stronger than I give it credit for! So give your body the credit it deserves and take it for a run!