Slowly Fading

Gosh, it’s really getting hard to write for this blog anymore. In the past few weeks I have started countless posts but I just can’t get past the first few sentences. I don’t know why this is happening but I certainly know that I feel completely uninspired to write and I don’t feel guilty about that in the least.

A few weeks ago I wrote about trying to challenge myself to have two weekly losses in a row and when the second week came around and I lost I couldn’t muster the energy to write about it. I was excited about it, too. Breaking the yo-yo cycling was great. So I tried for a third week in a row and despite suffering through my time of the month I came out with another loss. I am working my butt off hoping to pull another loss next week which would make June the month of losses for me. The thought of that makes me very happy.

Happy because I am losing? Yes. Happier because I am doing it on my terms? Hells yeah!

I have spent the past few weeks getting in the activities that I love and spending my time in ways that make me happy. I’ve been to parties, movies, bars, and out to dinner at least once a week but I’ve also been running, cycling, and Nia-ing whenever I felt like it. My exercise has become my passion and I just can’t get enough of what I’m doing.

So much so that starting tomorrow I am going to try commuting to work on my bike.

And just last week I rode down to our favorite bar/hangout on my bike to find the best/easiest route from our house.

If I could, I would ride my bike everywhere. And I am working on making that a very real possibility.

And the running. I have no idea what happened. I wrote in a post after I ran my first 5K that I was done with running. I told you that I had signed up for a second 5K but after that I was going to focus more on cycling. Then the second 5K came and it was brutal (finished with .5 mile uphill climb) but for whatever reason I still wanted to keep running. So I started running after my bike rides, and through my neighborhood, and out on the trails and now I just love it. So much so that I signed up for four races in July; three 5Ks and one 4-miler.

I’m actually going to meet a running group tonight for a run along the river walk (one of my favorite places to run in San Antonio) and of course I am trying to figure out the logistics of how I can ride my bike to and from the run meetup.

I just don’t know anymore. My life is interesting but I think it’s just interesting to me. I don’t have any great stories, deep thoughts, of words of wisdom to share with you – and maybe I never did- which is making it that much harder to post.

I’m still around posting on Facebook, tweeting when I can, and of course via email if you want to reach out to me. I’m still the same person working towards a healthy life and I will try to drop in and give you updates once in awhile but for now I think this blog is becoming less of a priority for me. And I’m ok with that.

So, thank you for being the best support team a girl could ask for. I know I wouldn’t be where I am today without all of you. I appreciate your friendship and guidance more than words can express.

Until next time- thanks for reading! I love you guys!

June 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Blogging, Life. 1 comment.

Random Thoughts…because it’s Thursday

I have a 5K this Saturday. I haven’t been running since last Saturday morning. That makes me kind of nervous. Paul says (and I have read this in running books before) that it is better to be under trained and over rested than over trained and under rested. So, yay for being over rested! 🙂

After this 5K I only have one other race I am currently signed up for which is another 5K on July 7th. After that I think I am going to run less and bike more. I have the urge to be out on my bike (or on a spin bike) almost daily so I think I will take advantage of the rides that are available to me while I can.

I’m currently reading “Born to Run” by Christopher McDougall. It is an amazing story and I strongly recommend it to anyone. You don’t have to be a runner to enjoy this book. It really is a fascinating story- almost hard to believe it’s true.

I had put a bunch of holds on some new books at the library and wouldn’t you know that four of them came in yesterday. In addition to “Born to Run” I have; “Jeneration X”, “The Skinny Rules”, “Dream New Dreams” and “Domestic Violets”. Guess I better get to reading.

I also checked out a DVD from the library; “Ride the Divide”. It’s a documentary about a bike race from Mexico to Canada. 2700 miles. Very rough conditions and terrain. I am intrigued. We watched “Bicycle Dreams” a few weeks ago, which is about a bike race across the United States, and that movie blew my mind. I expect this one to do the same.

That’s all I got for today. A glimpse inside my mind 🙂

Thanks for reading!

May 31, 2012. Tags: , , , . Life, Running. 1 comment.

{Semi} Wordless Wednesday: Running the River

Last night I took a nice slow run along the San Antonio river after my Nia class. It was amazing.

The path is slightly hilly and curvy which keeps things interesting. Even better is the landscaping; it’s phenomenal. So many fresh flowers and herbs I was enchanted by aromas as I ran. It was just what I needed.

I wish I could have taken more photos, maybe next time. These are from my starting/ending point. They hardly do the location justice. This is one of my favorite spots in San Antonio and I cannot wait to come back for another run real soon.

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Do you happen to know what kind of flowers these are? They are so beautiful. And huge. They are almost the size of my head!

Thanks for reading!

May 23, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Life. 3 comments.

Some Extra Motivation

I have received so much positive feedback from yesterday’s post about triathlon training and for that I am beyond grateful.

This morning I received a message from Meredith C. (@meredithclark) who is one of Monica’s Losers in the Birthday Challenge and a phenomenal and inspirational woman. She shared this story with me and it brought me to tears. I had to share it with you. Meredith is a very special person and I hope you take a few minutes to read this article.

I hope it will inspire you to promote health and wellness and become a positive role model for others the way Meredith has. I know it inspired me to follow in her footsteps.

Check it out: Meredith’s Triathlon

Thanks for reading!

March 21, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Monica's Birthday Challenge, Triathlon. Leave a comment.

And So It Begins

I have started to realize more and more lately that I greatly underestimate my capabilities; especially when it comes to running and the Couch to 5K program. Each Saturday starts a new week of the program for me and each Saturday I get scared wondering if I will be able to survive it.

Why? Why am I getting scared? I am still early on in the program and the most amount of running I am doing is five minutes at a time. In January I ran a mile, without stopping, in ~11 minutes so why the heck do I freak out about 5 minutes???

It’s because in my head I am still 286 pounds and completely incapable of doing such things.

It still hasn’t sunk in that I have spent the past 13 months exercising, building up strength, setting goals and accomplishing them.

Well, that might have been true until Sunday came and I put my body to a test. I surpassed my expectations which ended up completely changing my state of mind. But before I get to the test let me first tell you how it all started.

You remember how Paul decided recently that he wanted to start training for a triathlon? Then he went out and bought a new road bike? I was super excited for him. I thought triathlon training and cycling would be a great hobby for him and I was ready to take my spot on the sidelines cheering him on.

We started doing some research trying to figure out which tri he was going to do first. I started learning more about triathlons and the different levels (not sure that is the right word) you can choose to do. You probably know of the most famous triathlon- the Iron Man which is pretty freaking hardcore with a 2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike ride, and 26.2 mile run. That’s just nuts.

But did you know that they aren’t all that far? One of the ones Paul was looking into had three levels; super sprint, sprint, and Olympic. The super sprint (the shortest distance) is 200m swim, 10 mile bike, and 2 mile run. Hmmmm….that seems pretty reasonable for a beginner.

That seems pretty reasonable for eve a beginner like me.

I mean why shouldn’t I try to do a triathlon? I am already training to run a 5K (which is 1.1 miles longer than the 2 mile run in the super sprint), I ride the stationary bike all the time and most days I ride farther than 10 miles, and I’ve started to incorporate swimming into my workout routine 2-3 days a week so doesn’t it seem logical that I could quite possibly do a super sprint after a few months of training? I kind of started to think that it was.

Before I committing myself to this challenge and a new more demanding workout schedule I thought maybe I should do my own version of a super sprint tri at the gym (with the events done in reverse order for ease) to see if I had the strength and stamina to endure doing these three activities back to back. Heck, I don’t think there could have been a better time to push the envelope a little.

So Sunday I headed out to the gym on post for my own version of a super sprint triathlon.

First up was the 2 mile run. This portion made me nervous since I knew I could do the distances on the bike and in the swim but I had never ran for more than one mile so running two was going to be a challenge. It was also a challenge because I wanted to go all out but knew I had to conserve some energy in order to do the other two events.

I ended up finishing the two mile run in 23 minutes flat. I ran the first mile in 11 minutes but ended up walking a portion of mile two so that one took me a minute longer at 12 minutes. I was still thrilled beyond belief. I was pushing to try and complete it in 24 minutes (as a stretch goal) so to finish in 23 was a huge victory for me.

Then I hit the bike and man my legs were super loose and I was able to blow through those ten miles in 27:49, which is the fastest I have ever ridden 10 miles in. Yes! Another huge accomplishment for me and I was feeling fantastic.

Then I had to make a mad dash for the locker room, quick change into my swim suit and into the pool. 200m is only 4 laps at the pool I use and I thought I would just push, push, push my way through them the best I could. I’m not a great swimmer, my technique is shit, but damn I am buoyant and that certainly helps.

I did not have any gas left in my metaphoric tank or the looseness in my legs anymore and those four laps were BRUTAL. It took me 6:50 minutes to finish. Even though that is probably slow by most people’s standards it was better than I expected. Doing the swim portion last I was hoping to stay at/below a 2 minute lap and I finished at a 1:42 lap time. I was thrilled. Exhausted but thrilled.

So there I was, chillin in the pool, with a million thoughts running through my head. Last year at this triathlon I was looking into the person who came in first in my age group did it in one hour and seven minutes. That of course includes the transition times (swim to bike and bike to run) without the transitions her time was one hour and five minutes. Of course it is a lot more difficult to run and bike outdoors and swimming in a pool filled with racers is probably similar to swimming against a current so I am not thinking my 57 minutes and 39 seconds would be anywhere close to what it would be come race day (I am thinking outdoors this would have taken me at least 50% longer) but damn if it’s not a good starting point, right?

This made me very excited. I saw competing in a triathlon as a growing reality and started to view myself as an athlete in training instead of the 286 pound couch potato I once was. I was so excited I wanted to tell everyone I knew that I was going to start training for a triathlon but then I stopped myself and said that I really needed to discuss this with Paul first (who was out on a 40 mile bike ride) and so I waited.

At brunch I told him about my results (he knew I was going to do that test at the gym) and that I was really excited about how well I did. He asked me if this is something I wanted to do and I said yes. His response was sheer happiness. He said ‘great, that’s what I was hoping you would say’. He had such an amazing time out on his ride that all he wanted was for me to want to join him- for us to have this hobby and common interest we could do and train for together. That was awesome. I was now even more excited. Then he said ‘well, I guess we need to go bike shopping for you’. And after brunch that is what we did.

I’m going to skip all of the details of bike shopping (including the one about the douche at one of the stores we went to that wasn’t very helpful or the one about the guy at a different store that was super duper amazing and ended up selling me my first road bike) and I’m going to skip to some pictures. Isn’t she beautiful?

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Last night we went and bought my road bike and got it all set up and I bought all the necessities which included a bike rack for our car. Tim, the most amazing salesman and bike fit specialist in the history of cycling (who works at Bike World in Alamo Heights every day except Tuesday and Thursday) spent hours with me on Sunday and again last night getting me all set up on the bike. When he couldn’t get the fit just right he even swapped out the factory seat post for a better one and that made it just right. I could not be happier. Can’t you tell from my facial expression during the bike fitting?

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So here I go. Off to start a new adventure. Am I crazy? Maybe a little but is that necessarily a bad thing? 😉

Thanks for reading!

March 20, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness. 7 comments.

Training

Two things happened yesterday that I foresee impacting my routine. First, Paul went to purchase a bike. A Cannondale CAAD 10 road bike specifically. So he can start training for his first triathlon in June. This is crazy to me because I am just barely two weeks into training for a 5K and now my husband is starting triathlon training. Jeez, I may never catch up to his level of athleticism.

What does this mean for me? Well it means a husband who is training almost daily. But unlike when he was training for the marathon he won’t be doing it with the Army. This means he will still need to get in his PT as well. Which means early mornings spent doing Army PT and evenings spent doing Tri training. I am super happy for him to start and I know he is going to love it. It just means less time together and I really like Paul so that is kind of sad 😦

It’s not all bad though. Yesterday while I was at the gym I noticed they have a 5am Zumba class AND it’s free. So I grabbed a copy of the weekly class schedule and saw that on Monday, Wednesday and Friday they have 5am Zumba classes so I asked the desk attendant if they were all free and he said yes. Score! Free classes work perfectly for my budget right now. It’s also the incentive I need to go back to morning workouts. Between the Zumba classes, biking at the gym and doing Couch to 5K I think I can easily fill my weekday mornings.

This means I will be able to come home after work and spend some time with Paul before he heads out to train. I think it will be good. It will give me more time to do other things like take the girls for long walks, take a leisurely bike ride around the city (I’m signing up for a B-cycle card- San Antonio’s bike sharing program), or hit up an aqua fitness class- if I ever get around to buying a bathing suit. It seems like the tri training and my morning workout routine will be a win-win for us both.

Paul is even thinking about joining a local team that specializes in triathlon training called Alamo 180. One of the cool things about this group, aside from having coaches there to help you, is that they have a run every Saturday morning that is open to the public. I am thinking that once I get better at my running I will hopefully be able to join up with them. It would be a lot of fun.

When Paul bought the bike yesterday he also snagged a Polar heart rate monitor for me from the shop for super cheap. I am pretty excited to start using it to help with my running. I am hoping to have it all set up for my next C25K training day on Saturday. It’s week 3, day 1 and my jogging intervals are about to get longer. I really happy I decided to start this program. I will let you know if I feel the same by the end of this week 😉

Oh, and I wanted to mention to all the readers who are also participating in Monica’s Birthday Challenge- I changed up what I am going to do for my personal challenge. I am hoping to not only do it tomorrow but also have some of it recorded so I can show it to you. Look for my slightly embarrassing video to pop up this weekend 🙂

Are you currently training for anything? Do you have any fitness goals you would like to achieve this year?

Thanks for reading!

March 8, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness. 2 comments.

Finding What Works: A Guest Post from Skinny Shae

I write a blog about diet, fitness and beauty, and how much it all sucks.

 

Depressing, right?

 

Luckily, I changed my attitude, and I believe my attitude change is so enlightening that I am going to tell you about it.

 

I gained 10 pounds after I got married in 2010. I lost those 10 pounds in 2011.

 

Here’s how…

 

Sweat. Tears. Sweat. Tears. More sweat. A lot more tears…

 

I am a competitive person, especially when I challenge myself. Failing is not an option. When I chose to challenge myself to lose the evil 10 pounds I put on after I got married, I thought: “Heck yes! I’m going to murder some fat!”

 

I thought I was going to win. After all, it worked in high school… when I had a functioning metabolism.

 

But again and again I did not win, and it depressed me so much that I would give up in the middle of my workout and cry. (I did not cry at the gym. I have some dignity.)

 

I tried several workouts: I bought and completed Insanity by Beachbody… twice. I attempted to create my own workouts by combining workouts from friends and Women’s Health Magazine.

 

I also tried dieting: I counted calories. I dove in to cooking at home, and I’m no cook. I even considered Nutrisystem, which is ridiculous because I cannot eat microwaved food for that long.

 

Nothing seemed to work. I got depressed and gave up. Time and time again.

 

Then, one day, I asked a former track athlete to help me with my workouts and my attitude. I worked with her at Wichita State University as a Graduate Teaching Assistant. We taught Public Speaking and shared an office. She became my workout buddy. (According to the experts, it’s good to have one of those.)

 

I enjoyed working out with her. I enjoyed running with her. I gave up counting calories and Insanity because neither of those options worked for me.

 

We joined a community exercise program, Shocker Fitness, and went to the track three days a week at 6:45 a.m., which highlighted another turning point for me. I am not a morning person.

 

Unlike Insanity, and the other workout programs I tried, I fell in love with running on the track in the morning dark.

 

Before Shocker Fitness, I thought I had tried everything. I thought I was hopeless. I thought I would never enjoy exercise.

 

I was wrong.

 

I had not tried everything. I was not hopeless. I do enjoy exercise. I just had to find the right program.

 

I lost the 10 pounds I had gained after I got married, but I gained a positive attitude toward fitness and health. I also gained self-esteem, which I had lost at some point in 2010.

 

Fitness isn’t fast. I expected it to be. I learned how to accept the process, and I learned how to love the body I was given – metabolism malfunctions, stretch marks, cellulite and all.

Thank you to Skinny Shae for this amazing and inspirational post. You can check out her blog at skinnyshae.wordpress.com  

Thanks for reading!

February 13, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , . Exercise, Fitness, Health, Weight Loss. 1 comment.

Finding Her Muchness: a Guest Post by Yerttle

What’s up, Shipmates! I’m Yerttle from over at BloggingMolly. Dacia asked me to write a guest post for her and since I love her and her blog, I agreed wholeheartedly.

And now this guest blog entry is late…because life happens.

I’m an Army Wife, FRG Leader, a Girls on the Run coach, a Religious Education teacher, have three kids, classes, a dog, a couple of blogs and a camera. …I’m busy. 🙂

During the Spring of 2011, I was just as busy as I am now, only I was carrying an extra 25 pounds. I was grumpy, hated looking in the mirror, and complained about the effort it took to convert oxygen to carbon dioxide. I’d been Blog Stalking (don’t act like you don’t do that, too…) over at Ginger Couturier and saw a comment by “Dacia”. Being an effective Blog Stalker, I clicked on over to her blog and quickly fell into cyber love with the positive tone. I found recipes, information about Weight Watchers, and other bloggers who were looking to improve themselves, as well.

Dacia was generous enough to chat with me on the phone about Weight Watchers and I felt instantly at peace. Dacia is just as nice on the phone as she is in her blog. 🙂

Anyway, I joined WW as Monthly Pass member and I’ve never regretted a day of it. I’ve lost weight and dress sizes, to be sure, but I’ve gained so much more than that…

I’ve gained my Muchness back.

I remembered that I am strong, physically and emotionally. (three natural deliveries, deployments, a marathon, a happy marriage…) I forgot all that, you see. I forgot that I am worth taking care of. My husband is loving and supportive and wonderful, but I never believed anything nice he told me. I thought he was telling me those things because he had to. I forgot that I can run fast when I really want to, that I am good at helping my kids with their homework, that I have things to offer the world. Those 25 pounds weren’t just hiding my quads…I was allowing them to hide me.

Me and my Muchness.

So I’ve been wittling away the extra fat, slowly but surely. I now buy only food that is really Good for us: organic and/or sustainably grown produce, whole foods with ingredients that I can actually pronounce and NOTHING from outside the United States. I got back to running and those happy endorphins it brings. I go to Zumba twice a week and play it at home on the Wii. I drop and do push ups in the kitchen while I wait for dinner to cook. …the change has been slow and sometimes challenging, but I remembered…

I remembered finally that I’m worth a challenge.

I dropped from a size 16 to a size 10 (loose fitting now…). I dropped 10 inches off each thigh, two inches off each arm, and 8 inches off my waist. Sadly, my bra size has decreased, too…

…the fun stuff always goes first…

Dacia and WW helped me see light at the end of the tunnel, even gave me a leg up when I needed it. The thing is, though…my hard work belongs to me. Just me. I sweat. I run. I lift.

This year, I’ve signed up for the Bataan Memorial Death March 26.2, the Flying Pirate Half-Marathon, and will, on March 7, sign up for the Marine Corps Marathon. I’d have never had the guts to dream so big if I hadn’t been inspired to sweat my ass off. I’d have never thought I even deserved a chance at such great things. Now, though…with a little help from my friends, I have discovered the old me, the strong me, the me who really does deserve all the Sweet Nothings from my husband.

I found my Muchness again…hear me roar 🙂

Did this story make you cry? It did for me. Thank you Yerttle for sharing with us! Please stop by Blogging Molly and check out her amazing blog! Thanks for reading!

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February 12, 2012. Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , . Weight Loss, Weight Watchers. 2 comments.

Wordless Wednesday: Rock n’ Roll Marathon

Just wanted to share some pictures from Sunday; the Rock n’ Roll Marathon. Of course these pictures aren’t of me but instead of my awesome husband, Paul, who ran his first full marathon. I tell him I am proud of him but saying I am proud is such an understatement. He is an amazing person so it’s no surprise he was able to train for and run a freaking marathon. Congrats Paul and to all if the runners/joggers/walkers (and cyclists, too) who participated in Sunday’s event!

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Thanks for reading!

November 16, 2011. Tags: , , , , . Fitness, Running, San Antonio. 2 comments.

On to Plan B….

Yesterday was day one of my new, fantastic workout program and here is how it went…

Our apartment complex has a fitness center located above the office and it’s pretty ghetto. It has weight machines, two elliptical machines, two treadmills (one of which does not work and has not worked as long as I have lived there) and a stationary bike. The plan I am following is geared for the treadmill as it is mostly interval training mixed with straight walking or jogging. I knew going into this that if I wanted to work out at the apartment complex I would be vying for the one available treadmill. Since I get home somewhat early from work, in comparison to my neighbors, I thought it would be no big deal.

I get home yesterday and quickly change, take the dogs out for a walk and then make my way over to the gym. Of course, when I arrive at the gym someone is using the treadmill. I have a couple of options; go home and try again later but I know I would end up getting distracted by something and not make it back. I could drive up to the gym on post but that is a big hassle. Or I could just wait for the guy to finish, and that is what I did. I quietly waited in the back of the workout area, I didn’t want him to feel pressured to finish his workout but I also wanted him to know that I was waiting.

After about 20 minutes he was finished up so I hopped on the treadmill and got started. I have my iPod with me but the TV in front of me is tuned to ESPN, max volume, which is competing with my music. I am starting to get a headache but I push on. At my 20 minute mark I decide to increase my speed a little, I wanted to push myself for the last 5 minutes before my cool down. Nothing crazy, though, I was still at a walking speed. So I bump up the speed and then BAM! The treadmill dies out on me and I almost fall over from my forward momentum. Oh, shit! Are you kidding me??? I futz around with it for a few minutes but there is no hope. I officially killed the world’s oldest/crappiest treadmill. Yay me!

I leave the gym and head back to my apartment and grab my lab Maggie and finish up my walk with her. She is great to walk with because she will always keep a faster pace than you so you are forced to speed walk. After about 15 minutes I head back home, I have completed day one’s activity of walking for 30 minutes but now I have a new problem, how am I going to continue my work out routine sans treadmill?

The way I see it, I have two options; force myself to go to the post gym, which is a pain in the ass to get to and always super crowded with fit army guys/girls, or join a gym, which would still probably be a pain in the ass to get to but not as bad as going to post. Luckily, my friend K., who is an army wife and lives on post, had mentioned that she wanted to start getting back to the gym. It didn’t take more than a text to her to have myself a workout buddy. Problem solved, plus who wouldn’t want a workout buddy? It might be a pain fighting the traffic and having to change at the gym (I hate gym locker rooms!) but I am sure I will adjust and plus it really is the fiscally responsible thing to do.  Free always wins.

So now I have my new workout plan and today after work I will head over to the gym on post and give it a whirl. I really don’t think it will be as bad as I imagine it to be. I really do like the post gym, I am just not used to going there by myself- K. won’t be joining me until next week- so I guess I have to just put on my big girl pants and suck it up. I am pretty sure I will survive.

Oh, and you know how I say that things always go wrong every time I start a new workout plan? Well, last night I could feel myself starting to get sick so I loaded myself up with juice and vitamins. This morning, I got my period, so I loaded myself up with Midol. I think my body is attempting to sabotage my workout plan but I am not going to let it stop me. I’m not giving up so easily this time….

February 23, 2011. Tags: , , , . obesity. 2 comments.