2013 Total Mileage To Date: 447.45
May: 52.45 and counting
I am feeling super lazy this week. But I am taking the weekend to write out my next training plan. I also feel LOST without a training plan to follow!!
Thursday, May 2: 45 min walk with Abby and walking around 4 Weight Watchers Meetings
Friday, May 3: Rest Day
Saturday, May 4: Zoo trip meant walking from 10am-1pm
Sunday, May 5: Half of Quincy
Monday, May 6: 5k Run and 50 Min Spinning
Tuesday, May 7: 3-mile afternoon walk with the pups
Wednesday, May 8: Rest Day
What is with the compression craze? Why do runners wear compression socks/sleeves? What is the benefit?
These are just a few of the compression questions I get on a regular basis.
A little about Zensah:
Based on the Italian word “SENZA” meaning to be “without” so too should athletes be “without limits.” This mantra inspires us each and every day to create the most cutting edge sports apparel. All of our products are developed using seamless technology, simply meaning they are made without seams.
Zensah was created to help athletes at all levels improve their performance by utilizing innovative sportswear made with cutting edge technology.
I first learned about Zensah and compression socks/sleeves in 2011. I had major back surgery in January 2011 and during recovery researched products that would help with the side effects of the sciatica in my left leg caused by the herniated disc. The Sciatica left my left leg weaker than the right and I wanted to try anything I could that may help.
Since that moment, I started using a pair of Zensah Compression Sleeves during my training runs.
Compression sleeves and socks are designed to enhance blood circulation and oxygen flow before, during or after an athletic performance.
When I got my first pair of Zensah sleeves, I was using just the left sleeve while running to aid my damaged leg.
But as I did more research, I learned they also had benefits during pre-running prep and post-running recovery.
Now I use my Zensah sleeves and socks all the time.
My first pair of sleeves were subtle – a nice black – that could blend in with my running pants.
But no longer – the brighter the better I say!
So I was pysched when Zensah offered up a pair of neon yellow socks.
Can you see me coming?
I took a casual recovery walk the day after the Boston Marathon and I took the Zensah socks along for the trip.
I could feel the aching and soreness in my legs slowly leaving as I wore the socks and kept my legs moving.
A few days after the marathon it was time to once again lace up the sneakers and go for a run. Again, I brought the Zensah socks along for the trip.
I had set out to run just a couple miles to shake the legs out, but wearing the Zensah Compression socks gave me the strength to run farther. My legs felt strong enough to leg out a 4 mile run – double what I had set out to do.
Not a runner or athlete, Zensah Compression socks can still work for you.
Since they are designed up help with blood flow in the legs, I love to wear socks under my pants when on a plane or around the house after a long car ride. They can easily fit under a pair of work pants so there have been times when I have rocked them under some work pants when I know I will be on my feet for an extended period of time during the day.
Or feel free to boldly wear them with whatever outfit you may be wearing.
The Zensah Compression socks will run you $50, but it is a true investment. They are versatile and improve both athletic performance and general health of your legs.
Plus, who doesn’t need a little color in their lives?
So head on over to Zensah and check out the many different colors and patterns they offer for Compression Socks and Sleeves.
Have you caught on to the Compression craze? When do you tend to wear them the most?
Annddddd the winners ARE:
Prize Pack 1: @2thfairyRDH - Marianne Elizabeth Williams
Prize Pack 2: @darciegagne13 – Darcie Gagne
Prize Pack 3: @divaonadiet - Alexis Atwood
CONGRATS!!!! I will be in touch to help you collect your prizes!
Thank you to everyone that participated and big thanks to all the Sponsors!!!
THANK YOU! THANK YOU! THANK YOU!
I never imagined I would be doing a giveaway for reaching 3,000 Twitter followers.
So thank you for humoring my posts and following my path to The Boston Marathon … and beyond!
I love Twitter for so many reasons, but really it allows me to connect with so many amazing, inspiring, motivating people that push me to be a better human being and athlete. Can I call myself an athlete? That allowed. Eh, I’m going with it. So there.
But I know you aren’t all here to listen to me rambling on about how much I appreciate you all and love interacting with you.
You are here for the SWAG!!
Well, let’s get right down to it shall we.
Thanks to amazing companies and sponsors I have three amazing Giveaway packages for you all to enjoy.
And here they are:
Prize Pack One
Sample of ENERGYBits
Pair of PRO Compression Socks
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Gear
Sparkly Soul Wide Gold Headban
Same pack of Vitalicious Vitatops
Prize Pack Two
Sample of ENERGYBits
Pair of Lock Laces
Marathon Sports $50 Gift Certificate
Perform Pain Reliever Recovery Kit
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Gear
Prize Pack Three
Bulu Box March Box and T-shirt
Sample of ENERGYBits
Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series Gear
Pair of X-1 Momentum Headphones
Pair of ZENSAH Neon Compression Socks
Giveaway is open from March 28 (today) through Midnight on April 2!!
Here’s how to enter:
The three winners will be announced on Wednesday, April 3!!
Please be sure to show some appreciation to these amazing sponsors by tweeting them some love…
I think by now we have all learned I like a good challenge… #plankaday, #100ozchallenge, #pnptrackstar, #7daychip, #30daychip, etc.
Obviously it was time to add another one!
Enter the #30for60 challenge created by my girl Samantha from Running and Cupcakes.
Sam first presented this challenge back in December 2011-January 2012, where I happily participated in. Here is the post I wrote halfway through the challenge: read on!
Once I heard Sam was considering bringing it back in preparation of Summer 2013, I HAD to be a part of it … and Sam graciously agreed to let me pair up with her. YAY!
So here are the details:
The challenge will run from April 1-June 1 and the main just is simple – get moving for 30 minutes a day. This doesn’t mean we need to hit the gym for 30 or more minutes a day since like everyone else I like/need a rest day at least once a week. But, we want to motivate people to get out there and get active with friends and families – take a walk, play some soccer in the backyard, have a dance party in the kitchen. Whatever you enjoy doing to get yourself off the couch will count!
Seems pretty simple right?
We will be tracking everyone’s progress on the google spreadsheet I created – #30for60 Tracking – and you can update your stats at any point in time. Each column represents a 5-day period so if you successfully accomplish the challenge 3 out of the 5 days, you would mark a 3 in the column, etc etc.
You want in?
What you need more incentive?
***PRIZES PRIZES PRIZES PRIZES PRIZES PRIZES PRIZES PRIZES PRIZES PRIZES PRIZES PRIZES***
Did that get your attention? Sam and I have been working to secure some amazing prizes for you all and will be sharing those throughout the next 60 days.
So if you are ready to get up, get moving and get ready for Summer then head on over to the #30for60 Tracking sheet and sign up!
Let’s Do This Folks!!
Who’s with me?
… are okay!
This simple three word sentence has taken me YEARS to understand and accept.
Well, I’m still working on accepting it, but getting closer and closer.
For years, I put on the smile and kept the way I really felt buried deep deep down. And in case it wasn’t far enough, I piled food on top to make sure it was good and packed down. And to make sure the food was covered, I loaded up on layers and layers of fat to really make sure no one knew what was really going on on the inside.
There were times in high school where all I thought about was ending it all. I would look out on to the backyard or lay in bed and wonder if people would even miss me or show up to the funeral. But, I never wanted to burden anyone else with my thoughts or problems so I just let them sit in my brain and fester those negative thoughts. Which I think has to my ongoing journey of trying to nix the negative in my head.
For years I would tell myself that if I only lost weight all my problems would disappear. I can vividly see me – maybe in 8th or 9th grade – sitting in the car with my aunt telling her: “If I just got rid of like 50 lbs, everything would be better.”
Well, news flash: losing weight does NOT make the problems/emotions/negative thoughts magically disappear.
But, what losing weight has taught me is that it is okay to have feelings. It is okay to share the feelings. It is okay to release the feelings.
So now, when I am sad or mad or happy or frustrated or depressed I no longer feel like I have to bury those emotions under a plastered on fake smile.
I am allowed to be sad even when I feel it isn’t justified. Does that make sense?
I know there are so many things I should be grateful for in my life and I don’t want to seem unappreciative, but now I know it is okay to be sad even when I don’t think I should be allowed to.
I AM allowed to feel any emotion at anytime.
Through this blog, this tiny little space on the internet, I have given myself the freedom to release all of the emotional weight that bore down on my shoulders for years … hence the title Weight Off My Shoulders.
I have shared more on this blog than I ever thought I would. I thought I would bring those dark demons – eating disorder, cutting, etc – to my grave. But, once I wrote the inner thoughts down and hit publish (many times nervously) I felt a wave of relief come over me. I didn’t have to bear these demons alone.
And you know what happened? I found others who were going through similar situations. I found confidants that I would never have otherwise. I found an outlet.
Now, I’m not saying everyone has to go around starting blogs – if that’s not your thing – but I want to let you know that it is OKAY!
You are allowed to feel however you want.
If you feel more comfortable confiding in friends, do it.
If you want to see a therapist, do it.
If you like to use social media, do it.
But, just let it out.
Don’t let the negative thoughts and feelings bury themselves into your brain and foster a harmful environment. I know from personal experience that it takes a looooong time to turn it around.
Just know … you are NOT alone!
I am still a work in progress, but I know that I will not go back to the miserable/lonely person I was before.
Solo runs can be the best and worst experiences in my opinion.
On Saturday, I woke up at 6:30 to do a little weight check on the home scale and get ready for my Tedy’s Team 18 Mile Group Run.
I owe a special thank you to the wife for getting up at 7am on a Saturday to drop me off at the group run (and saving me $8 in parking fees).
The weather was saying mid to high 30s so I kept with the normal winter running attire (Lululemon jacket and long pants with my Under Armour long-sleeved shirt), but decided to risk it and left the winter hat and gloves at home. I was hoping if I put the “I want nice weather” vibe out there – the universe may finally answer back. I mean we’ve run through every type of conditions this winter on our group runs … except a nice sunny morning. C’mon Mother Nature.
I arrived at FitCorp on Beacon St in Boston (our weekly starting point) earlier than usual so there wasn’t anyone else really there yet.
It seemed may people from the group were taking part in the Black Cat 10 & 20 Miler so there weren’t as many folks milling around as usual.
As usual I had to head outside before everyone else to give my Garmin Forerunner 110 enough time to locate satellites. I’m not sure why my watch takes so much longer than everyone else in the group’s watchers, but I know with all the tall buildings that it takes anywhere from 5-10 minutes for my watch to get ready. This leads me to be chilling outside for awhile before everyone else has to enter the cold weather.
And it gives me enough time to take a pic of my shadow while stretching…
Before I knew it everyone was heading out of the gym and hitting the course.
I started the run chatting with some fellow Tedy’s Team running mates, but quickly found myself in between two different running paces … it was at this point I realized I would be running a majority of this 18 mile training run alone.
I was not mentally prepared for that and soon knew this would be a long 18 miles. Running with people always helps the time pass quickly and takes the focus off the task at hand.
But, I knew I had to dig down and get it done. Especially since on the day of the marathon I probably won’t have anyone running with me so I will need to get over the running alone hurdles now. Plus, I ran Rock ‘n’ Roll Savannah alone and we remember how that turned out (well in case you don’t ).
I started playing the normal mind games with myself.
Okay 3 miles in, you are 1/6 of the way there. Just do that 5 more times and you’re Golden.
Alright 6 miles in, you are 1/3 of the way done – just 2 more times and you are done.
Woo 9 miles in – halfway there – less than double digits left.
That helped get me through the first 10 miles of the run, which took us out from Beacon St in Boston to Chestnut Street in Newton, where we take the turn onto Comm Ave and head back to Boston … running along the Boston Marathon course itself, including Heartbreak Hill.
The sun was shining. The air was comfortable. I was ready to own Heartbreak.
Note: Many people know one thing about the Boston Marathon and that is Heartbreak Hill. It is actually about 2 miles of rolling hills through Newton with the toughest hill at the end of the stretch. But, the hills themselves aren’t that bad it is placement within the race that makes it tougher. The hills come about 16 miles into the race. Yeah, that makes them suck people say.
As always I needed to psych myself up to get through the hills, but yesterday I needed a little something extra since I was alone. So I just kept repeating to myself:
You Can Fucking Do This
Excuse my language, but I needed to repeat that over and over to get through the final push.
And it worked.
I felt strong throughout the rolling hills … and I thank my cross-training with Spin for that!
I even saw my girl Robin kicking some booty on the hills – as usual! I love seeing familiar faces during a run.
Once you take the decent over the final hill, it was a little over 12 miles into the run and the next water stop was at Mile 13. So it was nice to get through the hills and have some much needed water and Gatorade waiting for me.
That water stop is always a great sight. Usually Jackie (the volunteer) has her pup there, but he was home sleeping this week. But it is such a symbolic point because I know there is just 5 miles left and I can run 5 miles. It just makes the final stretch of the run doable. I don’t really know why or if I can even explain it, but I think other people who do long runs understand what I mean.
I texted the wife that I was 5 miles out so that she could time her pick-up accordingly.
At the water stop, I ran into another Tedy’s Team member and ran a little bit with her. She is from Venezuela and is a Boston qualifier (so wicked fast) so it was nice to catch up with her for about a mile or so before I told her to feel free to run ahead and off she went. I hate holding people back.
The last 5 miles are on the same part of Beacon St that we start out on so it is always nice to get back to familiar sights. Plus, it is useful to know how far from the finish you really are.
I hit the final water stop – about 2.5 miles from the finish – and downed some water and Gatorade and picked up some Swedish Fish.
I really owe Tedy’s Team a big thanks for showing me the awesomeness that is eating swedish fish on a long run. They really do give me a bigger boost than the sport jelly beans I normally use.
I texted the wife again that I was about 2.5 miles out and asked her to bring a full water bottle as well.
I think I stopped at the final water stop a little too long because the last 2.5 miles were TOUGH. But, I knew I couldn’t stop.
Even though at Mile 16 I thought: “I can just hop on the T.” NO!
I set out for 18 – I was going to run 18.
Plus it wasn’t physical at all … it was all mental.
So I refocused, turned the music up and just kept moving one foot in front of the other.
It didn’t help that at every light I hit a red light and had to stop. Grrr…
But I just kept moving forward.
At Mile 17, I tried to get my legs to move faster. In my head they were, but looking at the Garmin – they weren’t.
But I just kept pushing.
At 17.75 miles, this song came on
as I was running towards the Massachusetts State House
It was one of those moments that you couldn’t plan, but was perfect. The right song came on at the right moment.
And all of a sudden 18 miles were run.
As I did the nice post-long run shuffle into the car, I was pleased especially after figuring out I had been spot on with my previous 18 mile run.
I mentally beat those 18 miles. I wanted to stop. The self-doubt crept in. But, I silenced it all and just kept moving forward.
We headed to home so I could complete #myafter:
Dunkin’ Donuts Iced Coffee
Low-fat Chocolate Milk
Apparently Molly even wanted to get into the foam rolling action…
… or just distract me.
Overall, the 18 miles were done in good time and I felt strong throughout the run. The mental part on the other hand is something I will still work on.
But that is why we do these training runs – to train the body AND the mind.
Next week, I will miss the Tedy’s Team 10 mile group run because I will be at a Spin Instructor certification class. I will however be running the Half of Quincy on Sunday, March 10 to make up those miles.
I went so far out of my comfort zone on Friday and signed up for my first triathlon …
… and immediately made this face:
Yup – exactly.
This is the face expressing:
If you told me four years ago, that I would be training for the Boston Marathon, that I would be attending a 9-hour class on Saturday to try and get certified as a Spin Instructor or that I would be constantly going outside of my comfort zone … I would’ve told you to stop dreaming!
But thanks to Weight Watchers and shedding 60+ lbs – it is happening. It is the truth.
In December 2012, I was thinking back about how I had set out my goals for 2012 and completed them all, which I was proud of on it’s own. But, it got me thinking about what I wanted to see happen in 2013.
And a little voice in my head kept repeating “triathlon … triathlon … triathlon” over and over and over again. So I took that little word and stored it in the back of my brain for safe keeping since clearly it wasn’t something I would ever really do.
I mean I’m not built to do a triathlon.
Plus, I was focusing on my Boston Marathon training plan and making sure I could follow through with that.
Then a few weeks back I started thinking – what am I going to do after the Boston Marathon? What do I want to do next?
I’ve been toying with the idea of trying to qualify for Boston (aka take 24 minutes off my current marathon time), but then that pesky little word crept back into the front of my mind: triathlon.
Now, I’m not sure if it was a high power or fate or destiny or dumb luck, but on Friday I was wasting some time on Facebook and up posted a status update from Boston Triathlon. I really don’t remember ever even liking their page.
So I had to click through to their Facebook page, which led to clicking on their webpage, which was followed by reading through the event details, which somehow ended with me pulling out my credit card and registering.
Do we see how this all happened because of Facebook. Can I blame them?
I was gchatting with the wife while I kept clicking through from page to page and asked if I should really do this. But, before she could really say yes – I had already hit SUBMIT … and the rest is history.
It’s like the stars aligned and it was just meant to be as I was looking for something to train for locally so I’m excited that my first tri will be in Boston so my family can come cheer me on.
So now once I run the Boston Marathon on April 15 I will take a couple weeks off and then begin Tri training.
The Boston Triathlon is on August 4 and looks to be a Sprint Triathlon (or closest definition of a tri I could find). It features a 1/2 mile swim, a 9 mile bike and a 4 mile run.
I know I can complete all of the components now I just need to make sure I can do them consecutively on the same day.
I am currently shopping around for Sprint Triathlon training plans so if you know of any, please pass them along!
Now that the registration is complete – it’s time to buy a bike and a wetsuit.
I am excited to share the training process with you all … since this is completely new to me!
Let’s Do This!
For so many years I hid from the mirrors on the walls …
For so many years I hid from the photographs of everything …
But that all changed – thanks to Weight Watchers!
I even mentioned this in my “Only Human” video for the latest Weight Watchers campaign, which you can check out here:
When did it really dawn on me that things changed?
Why on Tuesday!
This past weekend the race director (Eddie) for the Cambridge 5k race series asked me to be one of the featured runners for the upcoming inaugural Freedom Run on May 26.
Ahhh someone wanted ME to be in a picture for their race!
Here are a couple of shots from the shoot:
I met Eddie at City Sports in Downtown Crossing and felt confident enough with myself to actually go through with it. Of course in my head, I had come up with reasons NOT to do it, but I wanted to prove to myself that I am changing for the better.
Being able to finally step in front of the camera or stopping to look at myself in the mirror is a huge leap forward for me.
I may not like everything that is looking back at me, but at least now I like myself enough to give myself the time of day.
For too long I hid from seeing what I had let myself become.
Now I am learning to embrace my body faults and all.
Yes people call me vain for posting pictures of myself on my website/Twitter/Facebook page.
Full of myself.
Yes people tell me that I have changed and become someone who is full of themselves.
Yes people say they stop following me because I post too many pictures of how I look.
TO those people I say “your loss” – my blog/Facebook page/Twitter account etc are places where I share the highs and lows of weight loss and fitness journey.
IF you think I am vain or boastful, then you really don’t read what I write or know me at all.
I am FAR from those things.
I am a girl working to accept my body faults and all.
I am PROUD that I can now take the step from behind the camera to the front of it.
I am HAPPY that by taking the time to look in the mirror I am now acknowledging that I am worthy enough to look at …
Ahhh how was it already the final day … it seemed like we just got there!
Day One – 1/10-11/13 – Arrival, Run Disney Expo & Hollywood Studios
Day Two - 1/12/13 – Walt Disney World Half Marathon
Day Two - 1/12/13 – Magic Kingdom
Day Three – 1/13/13 – Epcot
… and then there was Animal Kingdom!
On the final day, Monday, January 14, we started the day by heading back to Hollywood Studios to see Toy Story Midway Mania! and it was TOTALLY worth any sort of wait!!
YES! I beat the wife in a video game…
After waiting in line for Toy Story Midway Mania! (which had a line even though we arrived when the parks opened), we headed to Animal Kingdom.
I LOVE the Tree Of Life as soon as you walk in … it is breathtaking!
We immediately headed to Expedition Everest – Legend Of The Forbidden Mountain … aka the whole reason the wife wanted to go to Animal Kingdom … and the wait time was only 10 minutes, which was the time it took us to go from the opening of the ride to the ride itself.
It was wicked fun and I recommend it to everyone.
After Everest, we took in Finding Nemo – The Musical, which was freakin’ awesome!!
Nemo was adorable, entertaining and comes fully recommended with two thumbs up!
We followed Nemo up with the DINOSAUR ride, which was the Jurassic Park ride last time I was at Disney (12 years ago).
DINOSAUR was part of DinoLand, but within DinoLand was Chester and Hester’s Dino-Rama that featured Primeval Whirl, which was kind of cheesy, but kind of awesome – it mixed old school carnival with Disney magic.
We took a break to enjoy lunch at Flame Tree Barbeque, which was absolutely delicious. We both had the pulled pork with a Disney Safari beer.
We had one amazing lunch with a great view of Everest.
After lunch we went on the Kilimanjaro Safaris that was breathtaking!!!
This safari was entertaining and full of information!
After the safari, we headed to Rafiki’s Planet Watch before having to return to the shuttles to go back to the hotel and check out.
Ugh … how could it already be time to return home.
We were at the hotel early because I was starting to feel under the weather so we caught an early Disney’s Magical Express to head back to the airport.
We hunkered down at the Outback in our terminal for beer and food before our flight home.
Our flight was on time and we landed back to Boston on schedule. Thankfully my dad picked us up since we landed at 10:20pm and we wanted to shorten our trip home as best we could.
The trip overall was magical. I’m so lucky my wife and parents were on hand at Disney and the race with me. It was an amazing weekend that I never wanted to end.
If you have the chance to experience Disney – especially a Run Disney race – PLEASE DO!!!!