Why even try…
To prove myself – and everyone else – wrong.
During one of my many runs this past week, I thought back to how many times I wanted to do something. But didn’t – all because I feared failing.
How many times I thought how cool it would be to try a class at the gym? But opted for the Stairmaster instead since no one would be able to laugh at me for messing up.
But, that all changed when I took that first step through the door of Weight Watchers and said to heck with it. I don’t care what people think because for that one moment – I put myself before anything else.
What has happened since then?
I took up, and fell in love with, Spinning. I still try to take a seat in the back, but I am there – pushing myself to my limit.
I made a complete fool of myself attempting Zumba … but kept going back and even moved up from the very very very back of the room.
I’ve worn spandex pants in public. I’ve worn workout clothes in public. I’ve worn workout shorts in public. I’ve worn a BATHING SUIT on a beach in Hawaii.
What? If you told me 2 plus years ago that I would have the confidence in myself to do any of the things above, I would’ve called you out of your freakin’ mind.
But, I had to take the time to 1) leave my comfort zone behind and 2) prove to my mind that my body is stronger than it thinks it is.
We know that one of the hardest parts of weight loss is the mental aspect.
How many times have we tweeted or blogged about how we look in the mirror and still see the “old” us? More than I can count personally.
But, that has been the challenge for me over these past few years. Proving my mind wrong.
On so many training runs, my mind has said – we don’t have to go all 12 miles. 9 is enough. While the brain is saying that, my body is happily going through the motions and ready for more.
It was finally time I told my mind – I. Am. Stronger. Than. YOU. Think. I. Am.
It was time to push myself past the familiar and into a new dimension.
And let me tell you this new dimension is pretty freakin’ cool.
No one would’ve ever thought that the girl that ran 12 min/mile pace back in 2005 could post a sub 8 min/mile pace in 2012.
Do I still question whether I will be able to accomplish something? Of course. But now, instead of scrapping the idea of even trying it – I will give it a shot.
Amazing things can happen when we take the first step…
Boston’s Run To Remember has a 5-Miler option and a Half Marathon option. I chose the 5-Miler option, but after looking at the course – I regretted not signing up for the Half. The course was through downtown Boston and beautiful. The 5-Miler course was still awesome, but obviously not as long so you don’t see as much.
Since I was upset with myself, I made myself run a Half … just over three days. So on Saturday I knocked out 5 sweaty sweaty miless in the 84 degree weather, on Sunday I did the race and on Monday I polished off the last 3.1 miles to complete my own Half.
But, back to the race at hand.
The course was through major streets in Boston so it had to start early so the streets wouldn’t be closed ALL DAY so the Half Marathon kicked off at 7am and the 5-Miler at about 7:15.
Early start, but it was worth it for the cooler temps as well.
Tori was supposed to run with me, but she ended up playing in a gay hockey tournament over the weekend so Kim stepped in to take her place.
Additionally, I finally got to meet my Twitter/Facebook/Weight Watchers friend Melissa. For so long, we have chatted through social media and never got to meet up … until this day! Woo! Melissa is a brand new Weight Watchers Leader and a great inspiration. She has lost 125 lbs! Wow! I know. A whole person. So impressive…
Don’t you love her patriotic outfit?
After snapping these photos, we headed over to the Start Line, listened to the National Anthem and lined up close to the bagpipers…
… then we were off!
It was nice to be running in my normal running attire after wearing a cotton t-shirt and carrying a golf club/golf ball during last week’s Harpoon 5-Miler.
Despite running 5 miles the day before, I felt strong right out of the gate. I think the Superman socks help.
I found a person that’s pace was just ahead of mine, zeroed in and followed them all the way to the finish. Plus, her shirt said something about chocolate – how could I not stare at it for 5 miles?
The crowd of spectators may have been on the small side, but the dedicated people on the course sounded like thousands.
Plus, I love hearing all the people comment on my socks now … thanks wife!
Mile Three may have been one of my favorites since it was sponsored by Racemenu (the racing team I am on) so it was great to see all their signs along the way … I even ran into their two Founders after the run.
As I neared the Finish Line, we got to battle one final hill. Oh man, I thought it would never end. I had to dig down and use all my Spin training to conquer it.
But, I thought as soon as I made it over the hill the Finish Line would be there … nope, I was wrong. The Finish Line seemed like years away. But again, I just dug down and gave it everything I had.
And it paid off … a new shiny PR!!
My official time was 37:59 (7:36 min/mile pace) … I finished 125th out of 2,041 overall and 17th out of 478 in my division… Woo!!
Cray Cray?? I still can not believe these are my times I write about.
I finished this race 24 seconds faster than last week’s 5-Miler and 22 minutes faster than my first ever 5k – which is 3.1 miles.
Wow! I’ve come so far since March 2005 … and I can’t see what else I will accomplish!
Yes folks! I kept talking about transitioning from Truth Tuesdays to Face It Fridays, but I finally had an OFFICIAL Face It Friday with the Weight Watchers scale … since my last official WW weigh-in/last Truth Tuesday post on April 4, I’ve only been weighing in/monitoring on my home scale.
Why? Well, when you are Lifetime you only have to officially weigh-in once a month. But the real reason was, I wasn’t happy with the numbers I was seeing on the scale because I was having a tough month regulating my off plan vs. on plan days … too many off plan days in my mind. So I set up a goal for myself called Marvelous May to try and get me back on track.
Well, I didn’t stick to every little thing I had set out to do, but I did much better overall in May than I did in April.
I have posted a food log for 19 of 24 days in May … even if I didn’t figure out the points value for everything I ate, I at least wrote it down. I am really proud of myself for that.
So back to today. This morning, I got my lightest dress on and headed out to work … and weigh-in.
(Note: Weight Watchers employees need to weigh-in once a month so I was cutting it close this month)
I was the first one in so I was able to weigh myself in before the official weigh-in.
Anyway, I got on the scale and ….
I was 155.2! Woo! Just 0.2 lbs over goal! YAY!
I was beyond thrilled!! If you can’t tell…
Today: Loss 1.2
Starting Weight: 217.4
Today’s Weight: 155.2
Total Lost: 62.2
I was able to give myself my third Bravo sticker, which meant I have weighed in within my goal range (153-157) for the last three months since hitting Lifetime in February.
I like stickers!
Reminding myself of how far I’ve come keeps me motivated to maintain…
… and keep this healthy lifestyle going for the rest of my life!
Thank you Social Media for holding me accountable. On Wednesday morning, I posted on both Twitter and Facebook that I would be doing a long run that afternoon. It has been noted that people are more apt to stick to a plan when they write it down. Well virtually writing it down is the same to me.
Additionally, I chatted with Jen from the Biggest Loser Blog and told her that I was going to head out for a 10-11 mile run after we got off the phone.
Well, damn, saying it again meant it had to happen, right?
I put the running clothes on, laced up the sneakers and headed to the Charles River for my run. I wasn’t sure how the run would go since the temperatures really starting getting higher the later I had to wait to run.
But, I was committed. I was ready to hit the pavement and just ENJOY the time I had … ENJOY the scenery and NOT worry about the pace.
So I hit my normal “usual” port-o-potty and headed out.
The sun was shining, the River was glistening and I had good tunes on the iPhone.
It was a beautiful run and I smiled the entire time.
I even stopped to take some pictures while crossing over the Mass Ave bridge…
How could you not smile while running along here…
Ahhh it is nice to be back in Boston!
It was just too pretty of a day not to be outside!
Despite stopping to take these pics, I was still rocking a sub 9 min/mile pace … the bridge was at the 6 mile mark so I was psyched with myself.
As I kept running, I just couldn’t believe how far I have come. I look at the running paces I have been producing over the past year and I think they should say someone else’s name next to them. This can’t be me. I’m the overweight girl that HATED running.
But … it IS me. I am proving to myself that I am stronger than I give myself credit for on a daily basis.
And I love it.
I approached Mile 8 and passed by Genzyme in Allston. This is where I host a Weight Watchers At Work meeting on Thursdays. Just seeing the building and knowing I had a group of members in there – pushed me to keep going strong in the final three miles of my run.
I got to Mile 10 and prepped for the final leg. Isn’t it funny when we know our run is coming to an end that the final mile feels like it takes longer than the previous 10? I thought Mile 11 would never end.
But, I am happy with the results…
It was a hot and sweaty time, but it was great! It is just so funny how much I look forward to heading out for a run these days …
I’ve caught the running bug and it’s sticking this time!!
It’s funny the difference a day makes.
The beginning of last week was very very frustrating for me. As a result, not a lot of blogging, but instead a lot of agression getting taken out on my steering wheel and a lot of stewing in my own misery.
Why? What can that possibly help?
Well, at the time, it felt good. Then I woke up Wednesday morning and decided it was time for a new attitude.
I needed an adjustment … badly!
A bad mood/negative outlook can greatly affect every aspect of life.
I was not having it.
I was not going to let things that transpired or people’s bad attitudes ruin my life.
It was time for others – and myself – to stop getting in the way of my own happiness.
Okay, some of it was also the weather.
I mean really? How much rain does Boston need?
But, I digress…
I woke up Wednesday morning to a sign … literally, on Pinterest.
It’s funny. I said I wanted to get back to my positive outlook … drag myself out of the little ditch of negativity I dug myself into.
And I did.
And boy was the rest of my week … A-freakin-mazing!
And as I sat in traffic this morning while running errands … I looked down at the poor steering wheel I had so abused last week and smiled.
I love my life. I love my wife. I love my job. I love my family. I love my friends. I love my dogs. I love where life is going.
I love … who I am becoming!
I’d been looking forward to this race on May 20 for awhile … who doesn’t love a race that allows you to wear costumes and ends at the Harpoon Brewery?
The 5-mile race is so popular – there is a lottery to get in to it. You can enter as an individual or a “6-pack” … we entered as a “6-pack” and were selected … Go “Team Big Man”! Woo!
Next big decision – what costume to wear? Hey, there is a contest, we had to enter.
Lots of e-mails back and forth between the group before we picked a nice and timely option.
Yes indeed we were the Josh Beckett “situations”: Beckett and Lester with the Popeye’s chicken and beer … Beckett and Buchholz out for an off day of golf.
Thankfully the wife came along to act as official “Team Big Man” photographer and to enjoy the post-race party!
The Starting Line opened up to the masses at 9:45 to prepare for the 10am kickoff.
The crowd was huge and pumped for the run. It took us 3 minutes to make it to the Start Line.
We ran the first half mile together as a group then headed out at our own paces…
I do want to state for the record that each of us ran all 5 miles WITH our props! Yes, I ran 5 miles with a golf club and golf ball. Let me tell you that it gets heavier as the course went along.
It was HOT and HUMID. I also am not used to running in a cotton t-shirt so I felt out of my element.
But, I gave it my all. I couldn’t believe that I was posting sub 8 min/miles after 3 miles – I hadn’t done that before.
There were a couple slight hills, but the real opponent was the weather. Thankfully there was some extra shade during the homestretch.
I made it almost all 5 miles without dropping my golf ball then BAM! right before the Finish Line I dropped it and thankfully the guy running next to me scooped it right up.
As soon as we crossed the Finish Line, we got a Harpoon 5-Miler Pint glass full of water … that would later be used for beer!
I officially finished in a PR of 38:23 (7:41 min/mile) … I finished 98th out of 999 in my division and 706th out of 3,555 overall.
Wow! I still couldn’t believe those numbers came from me.
The entire “Team Big Man” finished strong and everyone had a sub 9:20 min/mile pace. Hot damn we were working it.
We enjoyed our post-race refreshments and food before the costume contest began and …
… we were jipped!! We lost to a group from the movie “Cool Running” and a set of American Gladiators. We shoulda won! We were timely and part of the costume was based on beer! Hello! But, that is okay – we will win next year!!
I even ran into my friend – and Spin Instructor – Jess, who I didn’t know was running until after we finished.
Overall, the day was a BLAST … and I cannot wait to run it again next year!
Woo hoo! Thursday (May 17) kicked off the much anticipated Summer Run Series… with The Blues Run.
I remember doing this series back in 2005/2006 when I just started running and obviously hadn’t been in the state to take part again … until now.
Each race has a theme, a big post-race party and a BBQ. I loved the races because they were a non-standard distance of 4.2 or 4.4 miles – something like that. But, this year they had to be shortened to a 5k because of construction on one of the bridges the race used to cross over.
Oh well …
I knew the races would still be awesome.
Plus, if you complete all five races, you get a jacket. Yay schwag.
Well The Blues Run had a 6:30 pm start, which was a little early for us since my final Weight Watchers meeting of the day ended at 5:15 and we had to get home, change and get back to Cambridge.
Of course, we leave the house by 5:45 pm, but proceed to hit every red light, get stuck behind drivers taking what seemed like a Sunday stroll and every other traffic delay you could think of.
But, we made it to the race in time and headed to the starting line.
We didn’t start in the normal place – again due to construction – but we found the new line and were in position.
We couldn’t remember which direction the run was going – who reads the emails with the race course in them anyway – so we ended up right at the front of the Start, which was kind of nice.
The course is a familiar one for me. I used the same area for my long runs when I was training for my first marathon in 2006 and will be using them for my marathon training this year.
It is nice and flat with great scenery so I was hoping for a good time.
But, I NEVER expected to see 22:23 when I came across the finish line. That works out to a 7:14 min/mile pace. What? Who? Me? No way!!
I couldn’t believe it.
Every race I amaze myself with what I am capable of. I would never give myself the credit to accomplish what I have accomplished in the past two years.
My friend Kim is doing the entire series as well … I LOVE having so many friends in the area that love getting out, getting active then celebrating with a beer!
You know I stood next to the grill to get that yummy smell…
Some people were debating on Facebook whether the course was actually 3.1 miles or not. My Runkeeper had 3.14 miles so I think it was actual length … but we will see at the Raggae Ramble 5k on June 28.
General Population? Nope.
The Dogs? Nope.
I know that we are always toughest on ourselves, but sometimes I take it to a whole new level … okay a LOT of the time I take it to a whole new level.
Since deciding to switch careers and move the family cross-country, I’ve put a lot of pressure on myself to succeed … and quickly.
I mean – the whole moving thing was all my idea.
If I didn’t get my boo-tay in gear and start excelling then the whole trip was a bust … the whole uprooting my family was my fault.
So while I have been finding the move back to Boston – A-freakin-mazing, I feel like I haven’t been on my “A” game. My fitness suffered slightly, my eating habits hit some speed bumps and while work was going well, I wasn’t living up to the expectations I had set in my head.
The self-imposed pressure that had been sitting in my mind and heart hit the forefront over the past couple days … where little things that happened, turned into big frustrations, which turned into me taking out the emotions on my poor steering wheel (and thus on my hands).
Finally, I cracked.
And this morning, while sitting with the dogs on the bed and being all ready for work … out came the tears. I’m not talking a cute little tear. I’m talking full on waterworks – a full on Farrah-from Teen Mom – ugly cry. (Especially since I had already done all my makeup for work so there went the mascara)
But, you know what.
I let the tears fall and while they did out came the pain – out came the frustration – out came the pressure.
And I honestly felt amazing after I let it all out.
I released it.
The stress headache magically went out.
Following the waterworks, I chatted with my wife on gchat while she was at work and she brought me back to reality. If I stumbled and bumbled while getting used to our new life in Boston, the entire move was not for nothing. We did NOT move here for my career. Heck, I didn’t have a job when we decided to move. We moved back to the East Coast for me to be closer to family and friends that I missed so much. And for a new adventure together – for our little family.
I don’t have to be perfect all the time … yes I know I am FAR from it … but sometimes the little voice in my heads keeps pushing:
But, that is not how I am designed.
I. Am. Human.
And sometimes I just need a little mental freak out to remember that.
Sharing my journey and life through this blog has helped me so much, but other times – like now – when I just want to curl up in to a ball on my bed … I feel like sharing my world is a curse.
Showing the world that I am vulernable is hard and scary, but through this whole experience I’ve learned that it is better to let it out rather than hold it in (see: ugly cry from this morning).
I share what I go through in hopes that it will help someone else going through a similar situation know that they are not alone.
And while it sometimes pains me to bare my soul to the world, I know that it is necessary for me to survive … and thrive!
While magically everything can’t be fixed in one day and I know I have a lot to still work on and improve on – for today I know, the world will NOT stop spinning if I overindulge one day or miss a workout or forget the plug to my scale at a meeting.
The world will keep on spinning and I will keep on keeping on.
I Am Stronger Than I Think I Am
I Will Stop Getting In My Own Way!
After coming off the “bathroom incident” from the Newburyport Spring Fever 5k on May 6, I was hoping for a really good run at the M.O.M.’s Run 5k in Somerville on Mother’s Day (May 13).
I had missed a PR in the previous week’s 5k by 10 seconds – OUCH! Damn my small bladder!
But, I digress.
I also need to point out since my wife reminds me ALL. THE. TIME. I know I do not NEED to nor WILL I PR every race … BUT, I was just looking for one at this race since I know how close I had come the week before.
Plus, I am competitive. I KNOW! None of you could tell that one bit in reading this blog that I have that tendency. Since no one picked up on it I thought I would let you in to the secret. I want to be better than I was the time before. Yes, I am
slightly wicked competitive with other people, but I am 20 times more competitive with myself.
So in summation – yes logistically I know I will not and do not have to PR every time, but it is a little extra umph that pushes me throughout the race.
Well, that and the damn lady on my Runkeeper that chirps in every 5 minutes with the distance I’ve run and my pace. Does she have a name? If not, I need to name her. Ruth? She sounds like a Ruth and sometimes she can be RUTH-less. Get it? Oh gosh, I am so on today.
Anyway, back to the run.
So I was excited to finally wear my cool Racemenu singlet and I, of course, rocked the Superman socks again.
The wife and I met up with Liz and Lauren before the race, drooled over the pre-race carb-loaded snacks, hit the port-o-potties (YES!) then headed to the Start Line.
The race was small, which meant we were actually up towards the official Start Line – made of duct tape (YES!).
The gun sounded and we were off.
Well folks, no one reminded me how hilly my hometown is. My goodness this race was the complete opposite of flat. Yes, the uphills seems to go on for days, while the downhills seemed like a millisecond long.
But, I was pushing myself.
There were great cheerers along the way and I got some more awesome shout outs for my kick ass socks (Thanks hun!)
I found a few runners in front of me and just tried to keep them in my line of sight the entire run. I tried to catch up to them, but knew that wasn’t happening so I just tried to make sure I could see them at all times during the run.
Focusing on a person just ahead of me is a great motivator I use during races. I always love being pushed by people that are faster than me and this is a way for strangers to help me without even knowing it.
As I rounded the corner and saw the Mile Three marker ahead, I could also see the clock. I just kicked it in to another gear.
I came towards the finish it was still in the land of 23 minutes, but as I crossed the line I could hear the people at the Finish saying 24:06.
What? 24:06? 7:46 min/mile pace? Me? Wow! I was able to knock 27 seconds off my PR in one of the hilliest courses I’ve ever run … I wonder what could’ve happened had the course actually been flat?
I ended up finishing 65th out of 303 overall and 5th out of 36 in my division.
I was beyond thrilled with how the race went and couldn’t wait to hit up the post-race spread.
Let me tell you. This race had some of the best donations I’ve ever witnessed at an organized run – from the Harpoon beer to the Redbones‘ BBQ. I enjoyed myself. I knew this day would be off my Weight Watchers plan and I was totally okay with it.
I had a great time with friends and picked up a shiny PR to boot.
I had planned on knocking my first double-digit run in since January on Monday buuuutttt my legs had a different idea. They were wiped out from the Spinning & 5k combo on Sunday that Monday was a no run kind of day.
So I knew that my next free day would be Wednesday, but with the rain I totally wimped out and pushed the run off til today.
Friday works out better for a long run anyway … I just have to reception one morning Weight Watchers meeting and the rest of the day is all mine!
So today, I was ready and I needed it.
After seeing a number I didn’t want to see on the scale, I took it out on the pavement!
I can’t wait to break it out on Sunday at the M.O.M.’s Run 5k in Somerville!
After grabbing the singlet, I headed out to the Charles River … it would be my first run around that area in six years!
I, of course, had to go the bathroom as soon as I got to the running path, but thankfully – to my surprise – I saw an entire row of port-o-potties!
SCORE! (yup, I just did a fist pump to port-o-potties)
Then the plan was FOILED…
Thankfully a few yards away, I finally lucked into an open port-o-potty. Ahhh…
Now that the TMI is over, we can talk about the run itself.
I was ready to rock this run after managing my first 9 under 9 last week and enjoy the beautiful scenery that the Charles River has to offer.
I even managed during the first two-three miles to snap a couple photos – even grabbed a self-portrait
The weather cooperated. It was nice and sunny during the first half of the run then cooled off just enough during the second half.
I love that my Runkeeper has the mile by mile pace breakdown. I can’t believe I managed a 8:18 during Mile Three and 8:19 during Mile Four. Every mile was under a 9 min/mile pace except for Mile 7 – we can blame that on the little hills around the bridges I was crossing … plus the wind!
Don’t you love when you are trekking right along on one side of a river/street then turn around and realize the wind was at your back for that whole time? Helping you along.
Yup that happened a couple times.
It was nice to change up my normal running spot. It also gave me a time to re-familiarize myself with a part of the Charles River that I run a lot during the Summer Run Series (which starts on Thursday, May 17).
Once I hit Mile Nine, I started booking it. Ha! I was ready to see the 10 on the ol’ Runkeeper. Proof was that Mile Nine was run at a 7:58 clip.
But that burst of energy at the end, showed me that I should be able to keep that 8:40 pace for my next Half Marathon in July.
Once again, as I hit the “complete workout” on my Runkeeper – I shed a couple tears.
I get so emotional whenever I prove to myself that I am stronger or faster or better at something than I give myself credit for.
As soon as the run was over, I plopped down on the closest bench and just breathed…
It was at that moment, that I just took in all that I have accomplished and how thankful I was to have so many inspirational runners that I can call on to push me through a run – even when they aren’t there – especially Robin and Colleen!!