Tuesday, May 8, 2012

Here you go!!! Updated photos!! I was REALLY worried about posting these because #1 I was worried about the fact that there may not be a difference and #2, they are in my undies, my husband is really the only person to see that LOL!!! BUT I get so many messages about how I have inspired other women to take control of their health and maybe even take up running. So I feel like I owe it to my friends and to myself to be honest and share my progress. 

I may not be at goal, but in just a few short months, I am noticing a big change in these pics. Especially on my backside:) YAY!!

I have also embarked on an new fitness journey which is the Insanity workout. So I will post my starting measurements as well as my beginning Fit Test results. Currently I am on a break when it comes to the scale as I am getting close to my goal (will be working hard to tone) but I will now be focusing on my measurements and not on that evil bitch, AKA: my scale! :)







Monday, May 7, 2012

RR, PR and 13.1? OH MY!

Well yesterday was D-Day! I went to bed Saturday night a runner, and now I am a HALF MARATHONER!!! I went to bad a bundle of nerves, I barely slept! Woke up at 345am and got dressed in my running skirt and "Thirteen Point Freaking One Bitches" shirt and laced up my Brooks and away I went. I had a feeling of dread the ENTIRE ride to the race. I don't know if I was more nervous about running 13.1 miles or wearing a running skirt without leggings. But either way I made it to the start line!

Most people don't encourage you to have a time goal on your first half marathon...but "most" people would also say going from a 5k in October to a half marathon in May is crazy...Guess I don't really care what "most" people think ;) That being said, I had a time goal and it was 2:45. That equates to about a 12 min mile. Which is a pace I knew I could maintain for 13.1 miles if I paced myself properly. I set myself up to know that I needed to aim to maintain a pace of 11:45. And I needed to remember to not let the excitement of the race get to me. That is much easier said than done.

We waited amongst a group of 3900 other runners, hanging towards the back as to not get caught up in the excitement or even to slow other runners down. It was gorgeous out!! In the 60's and cloudy. For the first mile we had a nice light drizzle. Unfortunately, for the rest of the run, it was 90% humidity. ICK!

There was not a moment on this race where there weren't spectators cheering on the runners in the streets of Frederick. It was AMAZING!!!! It also caused me to run the first 4 miles at an 11:16 minute mile pace. NO GOOD!!! I was wearing out and backed off. But I fear the damage was already done. Between the pace being a little too fast AND the humidity I was getting tired and very concerned about being able to finish at a pace that I had wanted.

Taryn and I kept plugging along, chatting on and off. We goofed off and were singing and laughing. Thank God I had her with me to help keep my mind off of what my body was telling me...which was to just STOP!!! There is no shame in walking! Well that is true, but I didn't want to walk! LOL! Taryn and I walked each water stop to hydrate every 1.5 miles. We made 2 other stops for 30 seconds. We decided to run through the final water stop which occurred directly before Highland hill. Highland hill is a big hill, know what makes it bigger? Having to tackle that damn hill at mile #13.

I told Taryn that I would run the last water stop with her, but I couldn't promise that I would be able to run up Highland hill without stopping to walk. We are halfway up the hill and I am exhasted, and just when I am ready to cry, I see a fellow runner and mommy who is in our running group come running towards me. She tells me it is just a hill and I CAN do it, NO crying! I pick up the pace and I make that hill my bitch ;) When we crest the hill, we finish on a horse track which had to be the LONGEST quarter mile EVER!!!! I crossed the finish line with pride and covered in goosebumps because I DID IT!!! I grabbed my sister in a bear hug, and I cried. Everything I have worked up to, everything I had trained for all came together in that one moment.

In that one moment, I was not the "heavy set" wife/mommy/daughter/sister...I was a HALF MARATHONER!!! That moment I learned that I can leave that sad, heavy set girl behind. It is time to know that I am strong woman!!! One who sets goals and ACHIEVES them! I work hard and it is worth every moment of pain, tears and doubt. In that moment, I realized that I cannot doubt myself anymore. It is time to believe in ME and be proud of everything I have accomplished!

Hard to think back to that first day in August when I did the first Couch to 5k workout and I nearly DIED running for a full minute straight!! I still can't believe I ran for an entire 13 point FREAKING 1 miles!

And did I reach my goal??? Well as a matter of fact I did!!! 2:44:57!!!!!!!!! I could NOT be happier with my time:)

Now, how about a little reminiscing to my very first race ever??

Here I am on October 1st, 2011 where I completed the Freedoms Run 5k, with my favorite running partner:)

And here I am just over 7 months later, completing the Frederick Half Marathon on May 6, 2012, again with my favorite running partner:)

My what a difference 7 months has made!!! I have a waist!!! WHO KNEW??? :) Running is the ONLY thing I have done in months, no strength training as of now. But I am getting ready to switch up my routine. As well as add some hill and speed training to help me get faster!!

I have tackled a half marathon, there is not marathon in my near future. I have come to realize I am not a distance runner....I don't enjoy the long distance runs as much as I do the 5k and 10k's. So I am set to focus on my speed so that I can continue to get faster on the distances I enjoy. I am NOT saying that I don't ever want to complete a marathon. I mean how cool would it be to say I ran 26.2 miles?!?!?! But right now it is not in my plans! Maybe as I mature as a runner that will change. Or maybe it won't! In the mean time you will see me get FASTER, slimmer and more toned!!! You will seee me working HARDER to improve my times and my endurance. And you will see me complete more half marathons!!! Including one that is coming up in September of this year:):) I say BRING IT!!

Until next time!

Saturday, May 5, 2012

Pre-race revelations!

I am about 12 hours out from my first half marathon. And I find myself TERRIBLY nervous. I have trained for this! I should be READY!!! So I am left to reflect on my journey to date.

I get Facebook messages and texts asking me for running advice or telling me that I have inspired someone to take up running. I am always honored to receive such a message. Funny thing is, I run and I do races, but I rarely consider myself "inspiring." For me it is simple...I set goals, I ACHIEVE them. That has always been the way I do things. When I laced up my running shoes last August with a goal of completing a 5k without walking, it was HARD! At 210 pounds I am sure people silently judged me. But I ignored the judgement and DID IT.

Then I finished my 1st 5k, then another, and another, and then my half marathon dream was born. I was 200 pounds and people were encouraging but I could still sense some doubt, but it was ok because I was the primary source of doubt. And every time I laced up my running shoes to tackle a long run, I was overwhelmed with self doubt. Every step I take I doubt myself. This stems from YEARS of being overweight and doubting myself. I have YEARS of living in a world where I hide behind my sisters, their beauty and small waists. I remember a family friend telling me his daughter saw me the week before, and I said how did she know it was me (because I had never met his daughter) and he said "she told me it was the "heavy set" sister." *THAT* is what I had become. That is how I lived for years.

So in any moments of self doubt, I revert back to that girl. The heavy set girl in me SCREAMS! So every time I pushed my distance further, I doubted myself more. But I kept reminding myself that I had plenty of time to prepare. Though veteran runners may tell you that taking your distance from a 5k in October to a half marathon in May is a tad aggressive, but let's face it, that is how I live my life. I push the limits. I strive to LIVE.

Maybe this is crazy to you, or maybe it is inspiring. But I wasn't born this crazy. On April 25, 2003, while I was a freshman in college I learned a hard lesson...

We don't live forever.

I learned this lesson as I arrived at my brother, Steve's house to see my father leaning on his truck crying. I learned this lesson when I pushed passed the paramedics to run to my brother only to collapse crying at the entrance of my dead brothers bedroom. I learned this when I had to become a big sister and big brother to my little sisters.

I learned this lesson when I nearly lost my dad the day after I buried my brother in a horrific propane explosion. And this lesson was etched in stone 9 mos later when I found myself having to bury our only remaining brother.

And in case I didn't remember this lesson, I was reminded on January 18, 2011 when I delivered my child who was dead in the arms of the doctors until they were able to resuscitate him. I almost had to live in a world without my son. 

Every day I live for my brothers, for the lives they no longer can lead. Every day I live for my sisters to give them someone to look up to, I live my life to make them proud. Each and EVERY day I live my life to be the mommy my son needs! To show him how when you set your mind to something and work hard, you can truly achieve ANYTHING!

So maybe I am crazy, but Lord knows I have earned the right to be. Maybe doing a half marathon only 9 mos after first lacing my running shoes is "aggressive" but when I learned that the Frederick Half would be ran on May 6, 2012, there was NO question that *THIS* would be my first marathon. On May 6, 2012, but brother Steve would have turned 40 years old if he was still here. And I can tell you that he would have thought I was TOTALLY crazy for running at all let alone a half marathon, BUT I can also tell you that he would have supported me, and he would have been there to see me cross the finish line. I would like to say I have 2 angels running beside me on this run, BUT my brothers weren't runners and I can assure you that hasn't changed;) But I do have a pretty amazing cheering section in Heaven <3

And while all of that should inspire me and have me excited, I sit here sick to my stomach. I am terribly nervous, and I KNOW I will be nervous until the gun sounds for the start of the race tomorrow. In the meantime, I suppose it is time to rest up and prepare myself and my body for my first half marathon, AKA: