Thursday, October 16, 2008

The pounds are a-kickin' & a-screamin'

Obviously, one of the initial reasons to begin running was because it's an efficient means to an end. My overall goal is to lead a healthier life so that I will be a much more healthy, much more happy wife and mom for my family. Running is an incredibly effective way to achieve that overall goal.

So after 11 weeks I am very pleased to report that I feel great and definitely have a healthier body. I may not be losing a huge amount of weight as far as the pounds go, but I'm losing inches as I can definitely tell a difference in my clothes. Most important, I am proud of my accomplishments and that equates to just a happier, more self-confident person.

I read this quote by a poster on one of the Runner's World forums & think it's a hilarious way of describing the difficulties of weight loss ...

"There is no efficient way to lose weight. You have to peel the pounds, one by one, kicking and screaming off your thighs, butt, and waist. Then you have to throw them as far away from you as possible, knowing that they're only going to travel a few feet. Then you have to do anything you can to get as far away from them as possible. You can run, bike, yoga, swim, or crosstrain. Anything that puts distance between you and the evil pounds, and you know that they're going to be right behind you laughing as soon as you peek over your shoulder. And they're armed with doughnuts."

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Worldwide Festival of Races

I ran the inaugural "Hawkins Farms Pumpkin Patch 5K" and I placed first out of 1 entries! Woo hoo! My prize for completing the race in 37:07? A bottle of water and big hugs a little later from my daughter and son.

It was a wonderfully cool morning of about 65 degrees and a light breeze. The course was and out and back from my in-laws' pumpkin patch to the church so it was a trail section by the pond and then the farm paths by the cotton and soybean fields to the church. And the good news was that I remembered to bring the church key with me so I was able to take a much-needed bathroom break : )

This was only the second time I've run this distance since starting on July 30. I'm still not able to run the entire time, but the walk breaks are much shorter than my first 5K in September. I will run the Harvest Days 5K next week and hope to finish in 35 minutes.

This was my first virtual race and I heard about it from Steve Runner's wonderful "Phedippidations" podcast. I enjoyed pushing myself to run the extra little bit to log 3.1 miles and "compete" against myself and others virtually. What a blast and a great way to stay motivated as there are not a lot of local races around here.

Monday, October 6, 2008

My old self ...

So do I have an old self I'm trying to leave behind by taking up running? Yep, probably so ... the old self that liked to say "I can't do this because ____________"

Yep, I can do anything ... it's just a matter of setting my mind to it and not letting the self-doubt take over.

I am blessed with a wonderful life. I'm married to my soul-mate -the man I love and have loved for many, many years and our two children are such a gift from God that it makes my heart want to burst. And I need to accept that I am deserving of all of these gifts and, at the same time, I deserve to believe in myself in other ways, too.

So how does this fairly new running "obsession" fit into it all? It's a way of letting myself go & taking the challenge to do something that's tough and new ... and about having the courage to do something that has the possibility of failure ... and then overcoming that potential failure.

Make sense? Maybe not to anyone else, but to me, yeah it does make a lot of sense.

20 minute mark & running away from home (not what it sounds like!)

I DID IT! For the first time, I ran for 20 minutes without stopping.

Of course, this was on the treadmill instead of outside like normal, but I'm in Chapel Hill until Friday. I'm not really comfortable running by myself in a strange place, so I decided to use the hotel workout room instead. Zero percent incline & still slow, but that's the most time I've run without stopping for a walk break yet!

It felt great and I am so very, very proud of myself. What a great way to start the week. I'm really, really missing Taylor and the kids already so this was a good mental pick-me-up.

I can't wait until Friday when I'm back home ... just talked to Kate, though, and she's doing much better now. She and Taylor are baking halloween cookies and Will's at Papa's house. I'm glad Kate's not so sad now ... I left her crying this morning which just broke my heart. She's the "star of the week" in Mrs. Garrett's 3rd grade class. I'm going to surprise her Friday afternoon by going to school to be the "mystery reader." I can't wait to see her reaction when I walk in the door.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Ford's Colony 5K

I'm so excited and proud of myself. I ran the Ford's Colony 5K this morning and had a great time. I had two pre-race goals ...

1) Run more minutes than I walk. I don't think I hit this goal because I lost track of the number of running minutes. I finished in 41:50.3 which is slow, but that's okay. I've only been doing this for a month and a half. I would have liked to finish under 40 minutes, but I'll try to achieve that at the Harvest Days 5K in October.

2) Not finish in last place.
I achieved this goal. I was 48th out of 68 women who finished the 5K. Again, not very fast and not a great finish, but that's okay. Again, I'll try to do even better in October.

All in all, it was a great event and I had a blast. Even though I don't have anything to compare it to, I really think the Rocky Mount Endurance Club organized a great race. I certainly hope they'll do it again next year.

A special thanks to Bobbie from Rocky Mount who ran with me from around 2.5 miles to the end. It was great finishing together. Since I always run by myself in the mornings, it was a nice change to have a partner. Maybe I'll see her again at another race.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

I'm a Wal-Mart Runner

Not that there's anything wrong with that ...

As I mentioned before, I do not have a very good track record for developing new hobbies and/or lifestyle changes and actually sticking to them. So, I decided from the beginning I was going to try to limit my investment in this adventure until I am 100% certain I'm going to follow through with it.

That commitment lasted all of, you know 1 day, as I decided I really did need a few essentials as I defined them. So that meant a trip to Wal-Mart where I purchased a digital watch with a stopwatch (can you really call it a chronograph if the watch was only $7.87?). I also purchased some wicking shorts and shirt (both by Athletic Works). And, even though I knew it was probably a waste of the money, I spent a grand total of $12 on a fancy, schmancy pair of Athletic Works running shoes.

That's the one purchase that I promised myself I would do-over at an actual running store and have a sales associate fit me with a proper pair of shoes that cost more than $12. And that's where I am right now, my Wal-Mart watch & clothes are still just fine. The shoes, however, I am already looking forward to replacing after the September payday and a visit to Raleigh Running Outfitters!

Friday, September 5, 2008

Even I'm still amazed ...

It's been 5.5 weeks and I'm still waking up at what is, for me, the ridiculous time of a few minutes before 6:00 each day to work out. But it gets even better ... every other day during those 5.5 weeks with few exceptions I've actually been going outside & running.

I know, I can't believe it either! 5.5 weeks of consistent anything is like 5.5 months in Doris-years. I've had so many times in my life of starting a hobby/project/almost anything & being so very excited for a week or so & then tiring of it.

But not this, not so far. I'm still struggling with running for a very long time, but I've built up to 4 minutes & then recovering by walking for 2-3 minutes before starting another 4 minute run. I've even signed up for a 5K on Saturday, September 13. I have 2 goals for the 5K: 1) run more minutes than I walk and 2) not finish in last place. The unwritten but obvious goals are obviously: 1) do not die and 2) finish the race.

So there you go. Things have been exciting for me since July 30. I've started a healthier lifestyle that I'm really enjoying. And I'm doing something new by running a 5K. And now a blog ... wow, what next?