Since I am out of town, there is no Truth Tuesday today so I have filled it in with a Half Marathon update instead
I am back in my old stopping grounds of San Francisco for work and wanted to head to my favorite spot in the city – Dolores Park. But it is kind of a process to get there on the train, etc from our hotel so I decided I would run there instead. I Google mapped the course and it was about 2.3 miles from the hotel so 4.6 miles round trip – I was in!
The weather in San Francisco has been nice and cool (think overcast/foggy and 60s) – perfect running conditions. It made me think of a nice Fall morning in Boston. I basically ran straight down the main street in SF – Market St. But, with my luck, I hit every red light. Most of the run there was a complete stop and go. Also, since I was running in the city, my Runkeeper GPS stopped working about 5 minutes into the run. Thankfully, I just keeped using it for the timer and music (like during the Rock ‘n Roll Half).
I got to Dolores in about 22-23 minutes and made sure to pause the Runkeeper and just take it all in. The park is one of my favorite views of SF and just overall great place to sit and reflect. I really needed that after the last few weeks. It was great. I chilled there for about 15 minutes before I headed out to complete the run and get back to the hotel. The run back was much better than the run there. I had better luck at the stop lights and just overall felt great. I took in my surroundings and just enjoyed my feet hitting the pavement. I lost myself in the run and it was amazing.
So I ran about 4.6 miles in 45 minutes. Pretty normal pace for me, but it is just so much better to run outside than on a treadmill. I can’t wait to take my Half Marathon training into the Fall
Well, I should share with you my happy place and the reason I did this run in the first place:
So I had so much fun with the Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon, I decided to sign up for another.
*Note: This is smarter than the last time I ran a Half Marathon. After I ran that one, I signed up for a Full Marathon. Idiot.
My goal to keep my back healthy is to do one race a month and since I already signed up for runs in September, October, November and December – that left January. Thanks to my tweeps, I found out there was a Half Marathon in Chicago on January 28, 2012 (F^3 Lake Half Marathon). I immediately signed up.
Now, this run will be more special than the last as I have decided to raise money for the Ryan and Jenny Dempster Foundation. Ryan Dempster is a great guy who plays for the Cubs so I know him well and want to help out as best I can. Their Foundation is dedicated to raising awareness of the DiGeorge Syndrome (also known as 22q) and reaching out to families with children with DiGeorge Syndrome.
Click here to find out more information about their cause: http://dempsterfamilyfoundation.org/about_foundation/
I am hoping to raise at least $1,000 for the fight and would love any help. You can pledge by clicking on my page: http://www.firstgiving.com/fundraiser/daniholmes-kirk/f3eventslakehalfmarathon
Please pass this on to friends and family as well!!
Does anyone have any good fundraising tips? I want to put 100% effort into raising as much money and awareness of this cause!
You know it is that time. I really feared the scale today after the move. Not because I went food crazy, but because I decided to donate my scale and just share the one I got the wife for her birthday. So today, I weighed in … down 0.2 lbs. Not the best weigh-in, but anything is better than a gain
Starting Weight: 217.4
Today’s Weight: 168.2
Total Lost: 49.2
Pounds From Goal: 4.2
I usually put my clothes out the night before since I get home from work so late and up for the gym so early. I laid out what I figured out to be my “Tuesday attire” … or “Weigh-In Wear.” Then I wondered: Does everyone have weigh-in wear? A specific outfit that you wear every single week you weigh-in?
I definitely do.
Granted the clothing choice has changed, but the consistency with what I wear has remained. When I first got the WW, I made sure to wear the same outfit I wore on Day One. I wanted to make sure that the number was truly accurate on the scale. So everything had to be the same. I would go to the meeting, hit the bathroom, take off all my jewelry, empty my pockets and then hit the scale (that pattern rings true to this day). At that point, I wore the same dress shirt and black pants every Monday. It worked because I would go to work that day and it was totally business casual. But as the pants got bigger, I got worried. I freaked out that the scale would freak out if I changed (dramatic I know). So all I did was go and buy a smaller pair of pants, but I kept wearing the same shirt.
Finally, I changed to a Tuesday night meeting. Since I was smaller, I decided it was finally time to switch up the “Weigh-In Wear” so I went with a tank top and capri yoga pants. I didn’t want to wear it outside/it was winter so I would bring it to work in my bag and change at the WW center. That attire worked until I started attending WW at work…
Once WW at work started, I went back to shirt and black pants. But, then I thought one day, I wonder if there is something that is work appropriate that weighs less than the shirt/pants combo. So one morning, I got 3 outfits out and weighed myself in each. I found out that my white shirt and skirt was the lightest, adding just 0.6 lbs to my overall weight, whereas the shirt/pants or dress I tried added 1.0 lb. I know I know. I am splitting ounces here, but in my mind it made perfect sense.
So now I have my outfit. Every Tuesday you can find me at work in my white shirt/skirt … and I am A-ok to share that!
What do you wear to weigh-in?
So I should’ve known this morning was not going to go as planned when I went to bed at midnight and realized my alarm was set for 5am for a now routine Monday morning run. Let me tell you I like sleep. I am used to functioning on little of it when work gets busy, but I do enjoy it. I have learned that I definitely need more than 5 hours of sleep to be functioning enough for a run…
Well, the alarm went off at 5 and I was soooo tempted to hit snooze. It was just glaring at me so gently. It was telling me “you can run tomorrow so sleep … just sleep!” But, I ignored it. I got up and got myself ready for a run.
Now I normally always run in my Lululemon capri pants, but I have seen so many people rocking the running shorts I wanted to give them a try. So I borrowed my wife’s pair of Lululemon shorts this morning. I can tell you this is big for me. I am not really a shorts person. If you have read my rants about the bathing suit process, you would know I cannot stand my thighs. They are just large and in charge and I like to hide them as much as possible. So, even trying these running shorts was stemping out of my comfort zone.
Now, from the new place. The walk to the lake is less than 9 minutes, 8:30 to be exact. Yes, I used my Runkeeper to track it. Hey, I was a math major – I like to be accurate. Once, I got to the lake, I knew I made the right choice of getting up for the run when I saw this…
I should’ve known from the start it was going to be a tough run. My Nathan belt bottles were leaking so the back of my shirt was nice and wet. The belt was also twisting a lot (for some reason my safety pins weren’t working to hold it in place this morning). My ankle was aching. My hamstring was tight. My back was sore. The shorts kept riding up. I spent the first two miles adjusting all this, while trying not to wallow in the downward spiral that was the run/my thoughts.
I had to push through and I was when I caught this gem at the halfway point…
Simply breathtaking. This gave me the kick in the pants to turn around and finish the run I had started. My first mile was at about an 11:00 min/miles pace and I ended up finishing 6 miles in 1:02.13 (10:21 min/mile). Not the best pace, but a lot better than what I started at.
I was proud of myself for sticking with the run and not quitting. I could’ve done so at multiple times, but I didn’t. I saw through what I started … even if I felt pretty crappy the entire time.
I have learned one and for all that I am NOT a running shorts kind of person! I cannot wait to go back to my capri pants next week. Not only did they ride up, but I am just too self conscious. I kept wondering how bad my thighs looked in them. Wondering if other people on the path were noticing how bad I looked in the shorts. I am just not mentally tough enough to pull off that look.
Thankfully, I was able to come home and sit down on my back deck and take some time to write about the run. I think I have found a new space to blog from… Look who joined me:
This is not a post about being sad about being married or anything like that. I love my wife and happy with our little family. This is more about the actual wedding ceremony.
I am not sure how many of you know about my wedding. Tori proposed September 15, 2010. The night before my birthday. It was great. I was thrilled. We knew we had to get married in November or December because of my work schedule. Now, gay marriage is not legal inIllinoisso we knew we had to travel. On a weird note, the closest state toIllinoiswith legalized same-sex marriage isIowa. Yup, you read that right. So in order to have a legal marriage we were going to have to go toIowaat some point. Now we had originally decided on 11-12-11 for our wedding (I am a math major so I like the ring of the number). But, if we had done everything in 2011, we would’ve had two different wedding anniversaries: the legalIowadate and theIllinoisceremony date. That bugged me. So I came up with the idea that we would go toIowaand have the legal ceremony on 11-12-10 then have the bigChicagowedding 11-12-11 that way we kept the same anniversary. Also, we were worried it was going to be possibly taken away fromIowathen we wouldn’t have had any state close to us with legal gay marriage.
So we planned a great little ceremony inIowaand had three of our closest friends with us:
We set up to have the ceremony with an officiant I had found online in one of the conference rooms of the hotel:
Then we took some shots upstairs on the roof:
Well the day itself was lovely, I was so happy that El, Mel and Jessica were able to be a part of it. What was actually funny was as we crossed the border back toIllinois, Tori turned to me and said “And now the marriage certificate means nothing.” We both laughed at the absurdity, but it was true. This was beforeIllinoispassed Civil Unions. We crossed the border and had the same rights as we had before … none.
As life got back to normal after adding a little puppy to our happy family, we realized that we would not be able to afford to have the bigIllinoisceremony we wanted. One big thing that set us back was my back injury and subsequent back surgery in late 2010/early 2011. So we had to make the decision to cancel theIllinoisceremony.
This was so hard for me to do (as I tear up as I write this). I had always pictured the big wedding with tons of friends, the white dress, the flowers, the dancing, the joy! But, unfortunately, that doesn’t seem to be in the cards for us. I know this is how life goes sometimes. It is something I still need to accept.
But, it is hard. As more and more of my friends get engaged or have their weddings (especially since it is the summer), I feel these constant pangs of jealousy and sadness. The pictures and planning updates online are hard to look at. I’ve stopped watching “Say Yes To The Dress.” They all get to plan the perfect day. They get to have exactly what they want. And I don’t. Sure, we can plan a ceremony down the road, but it won’t be the same. It just won’t be what I had imagined in my head for all those years.
Hopefully, while inHawaiiin November on our Honeymoon, we can have a small civil union ceremony on the beach. My wife has always wanted to get married on a beach. I would like, at least one of us, to have a wedding dream fulfilled. Especially since she had to sacrifice having it in November because of my work schedule.
So, now that I have written my feelings down, I want to move on and think about the Haves rather than the Have Nots. I have an amazingly incredible wife. I have loving little puppies. I have friends that continue to love and support me. I have my health. I have a roof over my head. I have a job.
It is time to stop being jealous of my friends and to support and share their happy moments…
Okay, so we know how little I looked forward to purchasing a bathing suit. But, Lindsey came up with a good idea of ordering the bathing suit online and trying it on the comfort of my own home. I can tell you that that was an awesome idea.
I ordered a “Mix and Match” tankini from Lands End. I had to guess at the sizes since every store has different sizing charts. So, I ordered a size 14 top and a size 12 bottom. I finally got the package in the mail a few weeks back and tried it on. The bottoms fit great, but the top was too big. So, I did my first return online purchase return and ordered a new size 12 top and … here it is:
I put it on and immediately had the wife take pictures so I could send them off for approval from my fashion brigade: El, Mel and Linds. They all gave it the thumbs up, which was reassuring.
I feel comfortable in this bathing suit. I don’t think I have ever said that before. I really like the skirt aspect since I am self conscious about my thighs. I also like the tank top idea since I am used to wearing those while running I know I am comfortable in that style.
I know there is still a little stomach pudge that needs to go away, but I bought this for our honeymoon toHawaiiin November so I think I will be able to have that gone by then. J
What do you all think?
I faced the scale this morning. I weighed in like usual at home and saw a +2.0. I was a little shocked since I had been really on Monday-Thursday, but let loose a little Friday-Sunday with my dad in town. But, on the official Weight Watchers weigh-in I was +1.0.
Starting Weight: 217.4
Today’s Weight: 168.4
Total Lost: 49.0
Pounds From Goal: 4.4
I have definitely been having some stomach issues since the Half Marathon on Sunday so that gain might be from the bloating, but I am not sure. I know that I will kick butt next week to make up for it. But overall I had an amazing week. I was wicked happy that my dad was able to come out to enjoy the Half Marathon weekend with me.
I was pretty down on myself this morning seeing the gain, but the wife reminded me that this is life and there will be ups and downs, gains and losses. I mean, I should know that. I have been playing the losing weight game my whole life. But, there is still a part of me – the perfectionist in me – that wants to lose every time I step on a scale. Yes people I know that in unrealistic, but that is just a part of me. It happened when I first started this journey, but now that I am so close to seeing the goal – seeing the end – and the losing gets tougher. The other part knows that is unattainable since life happens. And the whole point of being on Weight Watchers is to enjoy life and the overall healthy lifestyle I am creating.
Plus, I need to think of the recent victories in my life to keep me going. Buying Size 10 pants. Completing my first Half Marathon since 2006. Seeing the same first 2 numbers in my current weight as are in my goal weight. Filling my Healthy Checks on a regular basis.
The biggest hit to my day was facing the possibility of losing Weight Watchers at Work. Currently we have the 15 people necessary to have the program, but it looks as if only 13 people would be interested in joining the next session. I am really hoping that new people see the awesome work this group is doing (We have lost over 170 lbs so far!) and want to join. I can see how the program is really helping my coworkers and selfishly, I love having a meeting 1) in the morning and 2) I can regularly attend even with this being my busy time at work.
It would be a serious adjustment for me to go back to weigh-ing in at night. I obviously know it is possible, but it is a whole overhaul on my normal daily routine. We will just have to wait and see. If you can all keep the positive thoughts and the fingers crossed that we can find two more people to join our little WW family and keep the program going.
So, I can say it … I ran and finished the Chicago Rock ‘n Roll Half Marathon on Sunday, August 14. I am beyond proud of myself … and my back!
I was psyched that my dad made the trip out from Boston for the weekend. He did a great job as cheerleader/camerman/stuff holder.
On Saturday afternoon, we hit up the Expo. I really liked the organization of the Expo. You got your number in one line then went to get your t-shirt in another area then picked up the gear check bag. The best part was you could exchange your shirt for a different size before leaving the Expo. For me it was much appreciated since I continue to order sizes that are too big for me. (I forget I’ve lost 50 lbs ). We didn’t get to spend that much time at the Expo since I was called away for work, but it was great to do a quick walk-thru. Especially since the wife got to do some sampling.
We laid low on Saturday afternoon/evening. I got some more work done then made sure I had all my supplies set out. I am a tad OCD, but I also didn’t want to risk leaving anything at home since the race was wicked early in the morning.
I had done at least one trial run with everything pictured except the Zensah leg sleeves (they arrived too late in the mail). But, I knew that if they didn’t work on race day, I could always stop and remove the sleeve (I had planned on wearing just one on my left leg, which was left weaker from my back injury). I triple checked that everything was there and finally headed to bed.
Alarm was set for 4am Sunday. That wasn’t a big deal for me since all of my training runs were done in the morning and I was routinely waking up for those at 4:45am.
The wakeup was easy. I hopped out of bed and was off. I am a person that likes to stick to a schedule so I knew I had a lot to get done so I had to keep moving. I was up at 4 and knew we had to be out of the house by 5. So I showered, put my makeup on (I know I know, I am one of those people) and suited up. Now, I am one of those people that cannot eat before a run, but I knew that the run was 2 hours away so I forced myself to eat 1/2 a banana.
We left (basically on time) and headed downtown. The train was full of runners and people coming home from the bars. An interesting mix to say the least. I was nervous the entire trip down to the starting line, but excited at the same time. It was so cool to walk down and see the Start and all the corrals set up. Once I saw everything, I wanted the race to start immediately.
Once I took my token “pre-race” photo. We checked out the rest of the layout. We needed to find my dad a map so he could point out which mile markers he would be at. We stretched and finally decided it was time to get to our corrals around 6:20 since the race was supposed to start at 6:30.
It honestly didn’t feel real until I was standing in my corral, alone, just taking it all in. I was jealous of the people running with friends. I wanted a pal to be chatting with. Instead, I spent the time as photographer for all the people around me.
It took us about 12 minutes for my corral (#22, woo!) to make it to the Start. It was kind of anticlimactic. The organization kind of fell to the wayside by the time they got to our group. So rather than getting a “On your mark, get set, go.” We got nothing. So I just started my Runkeeper as soon as I passed the line and was off…
I figured out rather quickly that my Runkeeper wasn’t going to be able to track the run. The course was basically in the city – in between big buildings – and hidden from the satellites. I wasn’t even at Mile 1 yet and the Runkeeper told me I had run about 2 miles. So from that point on, I knew I was going to have to use the Runkeeper for time and music only. I needed something to remind me to have a jelly bean every 30 minutes.
Since my GPS wasn’t working, I really had to rely on the course markers to figure out where I was at. I was more wrapped up in trying to figure out my pace since I was trying for a PR than how far I had run.
I figured out after passing the 5k mark that there were sensors at certain areas during the run. Once I passed that mark, my dad got a text message with the time and distance I was at. (Wicked cool feature) So when I saw him just after the 10k mark, I asked him to text me the information. I wanted to enjoy the run, but I also wanted to keep my mind on my personal goal.
It was a gorgeous course. It was nice to take in Chicago with no distractions. No appointment to rush to. I wasn’t just getting from Point A to Point B. I just took in the beauty.
I felt bad for some of the volunteers. There were a few people that were on “sprinkler” duty, but it was actually raining during some of the run (straight up downpour during Mile 4) so they weren’t the most popular stations along the course. Same with the water soaked sponges.
I was happy to have my water/jelly bean belt on me because I was able to power through every water or gu station without stopping.
I can honestly say the run didn’t seem as long as the time said. I didn’t feel like I was out on the path for over 2 hours. There were bands every so often and tons of people cheering on the runners. Not sure why, but I find a lot of joy in high fives. Spectators got creative with their costumes – lots of Kiss inspired outfits!
The final update from my dad came just after Mile 10. At that point, I knew I was going to get the PR I wanted. I had been keeping a consistent 10 min/mile pace and felt great. I just told myself ‘C’mon, you just have a 5k left. That’s easy!”
I was feeling so good during Mile 10 that I even took a picture while running … and maybe checked some email!
The final 3.1 miles were actually almost the same from the Terrapin 5k from a couple weeks back. It was nice to be back in familiar surroundings. However, no one told me there would be two hills in the final 2 miles of the run. Who does that? But, I made sure to power up and over each of them. There was no way I was going to let them slow me down.
I think the final 1/2 mile was the longest of the whole run. Mainly because you could see the Finish Line taunting you the whole time. But, I powered on. My dad said “You had one determined look on your face.”
I ended up knocking off 8 minutes from my previous 1/2 Marathon PR and came in at 2:12.15! Woo! I was PSYCHED!!
I know! Hot! Okay, it downpoured during Mile 4 AND curly hair doesn’t do well with that…
I love any race that wants to give me a medal. I felt BEYOND accomplished when I picked it up. I have run a 1/2 Marathon and Full Marathon before, but those were back in 2006. I have gone throughout A LOT since then. The biggest of course being back surgery a mere 6.5 months before this run.
I am stronger than I give myself credit for! I just need to remember that.
Here are the final results:
I made sure to celebrate the best way I know how … Dunkin Donuts! #DaniRunsOnDunkins
Medals galore: showing off the Rock ‘n Roll Tune-Up 5k & The Half Marathon.
Tonight Fleet Feet Chicago offered free engraving for all Half Marathon medals. You know I had to stop by!
Overall, this experience was amazing. I feel so much better and more accomplished than the first time I did it. I think I may really miss my Monday morning runs so I may just continue the tradition. I need to soak up the nice mornings before Chicago turns to winter!
I hope I am proof to you all that you can do anything you want if you put your mind to it. Anything is really possible.
My next run is the PAWS Chicago 8k (5 miler) on September 25…