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.

#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.