Happy Thanksgiving!

Off To The Races!
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This morning I will be taking part in my first annual Thanksgiving 5k.  I will be making this a reoccurring part of my future holiday plans.  I feel that it is important to start these traditions as part of my healthy life.  I love that I get to spend my morning with my friends since I don’t get to spend the dinner portion of my night with them.

I just wanted to take a moment to say Thank You to everyone that stops by my blog, thank you for your support along my journey!  Thank you for being here with me.  I am so thankful to have such a great support system with my friends here in blog-world and on twitter and Facebook.  I am also so blessed to have such an amazing community here in Minnesota.  Without Jen over at www.priorfatgirl.com I dont think that I would have such a far reaching support system.

I am also thankful for the #f2fpack, they were there with me, through my first 5k all those months ago.  We all have our ups and downs and we keep trucking on through our journeys!

I am also thankful for the Charities Challenge and Gary Westlund in particular for being so amazing and supportive of those of us trying to make exercise a part of our lives.  If you are in the Twin Cities (or are coming into town) this is an AMAZING group to do a race with and I highly encourage you to.  They celebrate everyone finishing, because there are those of us for whom finishing really is a victory alone!

I am thankful this year that I continue to make the choice to keep being healthy in the face of negativity and criticism.  I am strong in my convictions and that I have found my voice.

I am most thankful that I am finally regaining my life and health.

I hope everyone has a spectacular day whether it is spent with family or friends, whether you eat a Turkey or Tofurky (yum!)! remember today isn’t about the food, it is about giving thanks for how blessed your life is.

No #c25k today

So Sunday came… and #c25k Sunday w6d1 didn’t happen. What?! Where is the #noExcuses girl? Well, work happened. This is where not having a 24/7 gym becomes a problem in my world. See I worked until 4am Sunday and promptly jumped into bed, unlike other weekends where I take some time to destress from my workday.
Sunday morning I had to be back up at 11am to head back into work! Not for the same thing as the day before, this time for a security screening. Basically I deliver a movie to a theater and ensure no one steals it. I needed to be onsite at the theater by noon. The screening is scheduled to last until 11PM. Long day of sitting!
So my plan is to do #c25k before water aerobics Monday morning, then do day 2 Tuesday putting me back on schedule. Although if I bump my long runs to Sunday it would mean I would/could/should be well rested for them in the future.
I am entering a state of limbo, things at work are on the cusp of change (noy bad) and it seems that if they swing the way it looks I truly will need to switch to a 24/7 gym. I think it would be good to have that access but I would lose the pool, and the friendships and support that I am gaining through the YWCA.
Decisions decisions. The world it is a changin… Wonder what’s up next!

#c25k Cult

So for those that have followed my blog for a while you remember the launch of the pack, we tag on twitter as #f2fpack now, back in the day we were the #priorfatpack.  We did a 5k together back on Memorial Day… it was a long time ago.

Prior to memorial day I had started to train with a #c25k app on my iPod to get ready for the 5k run.  I pushed so hard to try to get ready for that run and my body just wasn’t having any parts of it.  I went back to training again after that 5k and pushed for the Fathers Day 5k… and again my body rejected my advances.  Every time I pushed to try to move past week 3 my body was shutting down.

On this journey I have learned many things.  One of which is I don’t quit things anymore.  So once again I started pushing myself through the #c25k starting again with week 3.  Guess what?  I have been making progress!  Not only have I made it through week 3, I passed through week 4 and I am working the week 5 program right now!  Thursday morning will be my first “no walk” day.  20 minutes are on tap.  It would be a lie if I said I am not scared of that run.  I mean, the though of twenty minutes of running is terrifying!  I guess I just need to make sure I have some good music loaded up and that I don’t watch the clock.  I think that has been the biggest positive thing lately, not watching the clock as I run my intervals.  That and remembering to puff on my albuterol before I go to the gym, without that stuff I am in trouble.

I hadn’t really looked ahead in the #c25k program to see what was coming up so finding out I had a 20 minute run this week came as a bit of a shock!  Up until now most of the weeks had been the same intervals over and over again… for well weeks at a time… I redid week three so many times… SO MANY times.  There is nothing wrong with repeating weeks is what I am told.  There is no set rules for how this works.

At this point I have given myself over to the program.  It almost feels a bit like a cult.  I don’t ask why things are the way they are, I accept the program the way it is.  I know that there are reasons why I have a 20 minute run Thursday and then Sunday’s run will be intervals again.  Why ask why?  When I tweeted about the run and mildly questioning the run I did hear that many training programs have longer workouts one day and then it backs off the next.  I also was told that this is the turning point of the program… this is where you find out that you can run.  Well I figured that out last week when I ran my mile!

I have an upcoming 5k on the books, it isn’t the big Thanksgiving 5k through downtown Minneapolis I am planning to do the Charities Challenge Thanksgiving Day Giving Thanks 5k. I really am torn because I want to do both races.  I really would love to spend the morning with my friends downtown because I have never done a race there, however I know there are like 10,000 people signed up for that race and we won’t be sticking together, and I wouldn’t want to.  I never want to hold anyone back.  The CC group is just amazing, they celebrate everyone crossing the finish line because it is a goal just to finish for some of us.  I am so thankful for them this year so it is only appropriate that I spend Thanksgiving with them.

I will likely join CC for the Christmas and New Year run’s as well.  Nothing set in stone, finances will be a determining factor as will the weather and my overall health by then.  I am excited to be moving forward with my jogging though.  I am happy to be an actual athlete, or stating to feel like one.  Slowly, one step at a time I am changeing, creating my new self from the lump of clay I was given.

Riding the High

So Thursday was AMAZING!  I think it was quite possibly one of the proudest moments of my entire life!  I talked to my parents and told them about my accomplishment because you know what… I got bragging rights from that run!  My dad had always struggled with his weight, he was heavy as a kid, and for a bit of his early adult life.  He was SO PROUD of me.  He has become a great cheerleader for me during this weightloss and healthiness journey.  When I was young there was a lot of picking on me due to my weight problems and I know he didn’t realize just how bad it hurt me.  Our relationship is being repaired.  He told me that he has never in his entire life been able to run a mile.

Dad was always, in my opinion, the more fit of my parents growing up.  Yes he struggled with his weight, he had been near 200 pounds for as long as I can remember, but he did things like go hunting in the mountains.  That meant he had to “be in shape”.  Not in that “round is a shape” way.  We had a treadmill, he used it.  He had a gym membership, and he used it.  Mom exercised too, she would swim laps while she went to night school, but I never really thought of her as active.  Her job keep and kept her sedentary.  So when I told them both about my accomplishment I really felt amazing when they both told me that they had never in their lives run a mile.

I felt like an athlete.  I woke up wanting to go back and run again, but I resisted the urge because I know I need to hold off and wait to see how my body responds.  It is sometimes so difficult for me to walk the line.  I want so much to push my body, push it until it breaks and I vomit in the gym like you see, or don’t see on The Biggest Loser.  I know that because of things like my fibromyalgia, and my ehlers-danlos I need to respect my body even more than normal.  I know watching friends recover from injuries and how long it takes healthy active normal people to recover that an injury to me could be a potential disaster!  So I strive to create balance.

So Friday begins my crazy work schedule and my next formal workout won’t be until Sunday… when I head back to the gym for another #c25k run.  I am excited to try week 5.  I wont lie, there is a part of me even now that is still scared to try week 5, even though I just did this amazing thing the thought of those intervals and the potential to not do it scares me.

I will be squeezing in two sessions of Just Dance or Just Dance 2 in on the Wii during Friday and Saturday as workouts since my gym isn’t available 24/7.  I also need to make a shopping list and pick meals for the next week.  I am setting myself up for success any way I can.  #NoExcuses That mile reminded me that I really am making progress, even if I can’t see it all the time.

Have you done any amazing things lately?  Surprised yourself?  Got any suggestions for my dinners this week?  Let me hear it!

Today I am a Runner

Yes, just last night I sat at a table with Jen, a priorfatgirl and said I was not a runner.  Today my tune has changed.  No I have not yet completed c25k.  I did clear a hurdle which I never completed before though.  I finished week 4!  I did all three days of it!!! Freakin AMAZEBALLS!!!! I mean, let’s be honest here for a moment, holy flippin cow!

As I drove to the gym this morning I was nervous.  I didn’t have nervous tummy or anything but the nerves of my impending run were starting to weigh on my mind.  I told myself I had done this run twice before and it was no big deal.  I was sadly the FOURTH person checked in at the gym this morning.  Such a slacker.  I signed up for my machine and away I went.

As I got to my last interval I reached for my dumbphone… as in not smart phone I sent the saved text that it was my last interval for the set and I knew I was almost done.  I ran my little heart out thinking about how proud my family would be of how far I have come.  I thought about people in my lives who had passed away… sadly there has been a lot of death around my friends and I lately.  Perhaps it is the time of year, but as the woman on my app said One minute remaining I grinned knowing “I got this!”

The “cooldown” kicked in with the app, which I don’t generally do because I have more working out to do, and I looked out into the darkness of the morning to see rain falling from the sky dancing in the lights of the parking lot.  It felt like those raindrops were full of emotion for me.  A release, a gift from above to remind me to keep going.  After about 90 seconds of walk… I hit the 1.5 mile mark on the treadmill and I did the self inventory and at that moment I knew it was time.

I sped the treadmill back up to my “run” speed.  Now with my short little legs my maintainable run speed is 3.6.  I can sprint at 4.2, but running is 3.6… so I keyed 3.6 and hit enter…. and away I went. #c25k counted down and finished itself off and I figured it grooving to my tunes, feeling the rhythm in my body and I ran.

I let my feet pound of the deck of the treadmill planning only to run until I was tired of running or my body was ready to give up.  Then it happened… that thing… that only seems to happen to other people.  I didn’t stop running at .1 or .25  when .5 came around the emotions started welling up inside of me.  (in fact I am getting a little emotional right now!) My body was ready to be pushed, ready for a challenge.  I kept running and I ran the entire mile.  That is right… I RAN A MILE!!! Today I became that person.

As I neared that last tenth of a mile I have to admit I started to get scared, mostly because I was doing it.  I wasn’t too tired, I felt like I could do more.  I wanted to push myself farther.  However I am bad about knowing my limits at times and I don’t want to overdo it.  I also was feeling fearful that once I stopped I would never be able to do it again.  What if this was a fluke?  What if I can never run again?

I left the gym and wanted to call and text everyone I know!  I wanted to text Ann and tell her right away because she has really been behind my running since before I did my first 5k but I didn’t want to wake her up… but this morning really changed something inside me.  I can feel it.

Today I became a runner.

Back To “Normal”

After yesterdays breakdown I am feeling a bit better.  I had a talk with a friend at the gym about how I was feeling stuck and trapped and wanted to give up.  I was riding the high of once again finishing off week 3 day 3 of c25k when I got to water aerobics.  We chatted away for the hour of class, cracking jokes and being our silly selves.  Somehow in the mix of silliness we mixed in the seriousness of what I was dealing with.  By the time I got home my blog had gone live and I had already started getting an amazing outpouring of support.  I was amazed.  Thank you, each and every one of you.  It really means a lot that you took time to cheer me on, give me strength, share a thought or a prayer.

As I sit here it is 3am, and I am sitting down to dinner.  My calories are being tracked.  Homemade soup and a banana for dinner.  A strange combo but it is what I wanted.  The open bag of popcorn that I had been taking handfuls from is gone.  The unopened bag of popcorn will stay that way.  Once it is opened it will be bagged down and sealed off into single servings.  If I baggie them out I will be fine.  I have done this before.  I just need to go back to basics.  One step at a time.  Asking for help when I need it, planning my meals, and for the love of god stop eating out of the packages!

Pot Of Soup

I did make myself some lovely soup at the beginning of the week when I was starting to lose grip on things to try to have something that I could go to, to feel kinda healthy about eating.  Beef vegetable soup, I basically browned off a tiny bit of beef and added every veggie that was left in my fridge and freezer.  I added water, herbs, spices, and a few cans of low-sodium broth and stock.  Tonight I added some noodles since I didn’t have any barley.  There are enough veggies in the soup that it is more like a stew with the noodles but it is hearty and I know what went into it.

There are several quarts of non-noodled up soup frozen off ready for dinner at a moments notice.  I will be making a chicken soup this next week.  Before I do that I need to organize my freezer so I can fit the cupcake pans in there.  I like to freeze my soups off in cupcake molds as opposed to quarts because it allows me to thaw out just the amount I want.  I will be prepared for the fall and winter months coming up.  I won’t have to resort to higher calorie processed to go meals and foods.  I will be able to grab something I made and it will taste good!

I also am doing something I didn’t want to do right now but I am starting a #7daychip for #NoDesserts which is especially difficult because I just bought a pumpkin chai cheesecake from my favorite cheesecake bakery Muddy Paws!  It is a brand new seasonal flavor, and you know what, it will still be in the bottom of my freezer later on.  I need to break myself from this sweet treat before bed habit.

A cup of tea or some of my beloved Crystal Light might be okay, but no more cheesecake, ice cream, popcorn, veggies, apples etc at the end of my day.  Bad behavior needs to stop.  If I am hungry I can wait to eat until I wake up.

Now, its dinner time for me!

Dinner!

Guess Who’s Back

At 5:30 this morning my alarm beeped at me, it wasn’t a wake up alarm like most normal people. It is my are you at the gym or on your way alarm. My evening reminder that I need to move my body.
Since getting the news from the cardiologist that I am cleared to resume activity on Monday… I had yet to test my limits. I knew Wednesday would be the day. Usually I get to the YWCA about 6:15 on Wednesday for water aerobics… Not this time.
The excuses are gone. My heart is strong and it has reinforced my mind. I know now what needs to be done. I know what I want and how far I am willing to go to attain my goals.
Shortly after 5:30 my membership card was scanned at the front desk and with my Polar Heart Rate Monitor on I climbed the stairs to the cardio area. Today would not be an elliptical day. Oh no, the eyes are back on my desire to run. My body wants to be like everyone else. Diseases and difficulties be damned, I am pushing for it again.
I picked my favorite treadmill, located in the weights section infront of the windows and started Week3 again.
I ran. I did my intervals like a champ! When the 28 minutes were up I wadn’t ready to stop. My obsessive nature pushed me… I dug in and rooted out and found myself finishing out 2 miles in just under 38 minutes. While I am not breaking any records I did it and I was proud.
I then headed to my class and started to feel like the old me. I miss my long workouts. The feeling like I accomplished something great, something amazing. When people would find out how much time I spent in the gym they would always be surprised. I enjoyed that surprise. It made me feel like less of a fraud at the gym, like more of an athlete. Endurance… the ability for my body to match the sheer will of my mind. I need that, it keeps me strong, it keeps me going.
So I am restarting c25k. I may end up on Week3 for six months but I am not giving up! Balancing that training with the elliptical, water aerobics, and hopefully some Zumba I will be all set for my next adventure.
Eyes on the Prize! I am back! RAWR!!!