Tuesday, October 10, 2017

Return to Running!

The last year or so has been a pretty challenging one, personally (who doesn't have those bad weeks/months/years), so I mostly stopped running. I can't recall if I've talked about the whole not-running thing, but it was mostly due to a lack of motivation/enthusiasm/time.  It was weird because I WANTED to run, but I just couldn't bring myself to do it.  I had other priorities and no motivation to add running into the balance. 

Fast forward to August, and I finally decided to give it a go again.  I had run maybe once or twice a month for most of the last year, so I knew it would be a challenge.  Although, I was much better off than I would have been if I hadn't been doing Orange Theory the last several months.  Thank God for Orange Theory (yep, still going, still loving it). 

As a motivational piece to running again, I signed up for the Boundary Waters Bank Half Marathon (AKA Ely Half Marathon) again.  This was the last race I ran...a year ago.  It's an extremely hilly race and I decided to "crash train" for it. Again.  I crash trained last year too, but I feel like that was a bit different because at least I was coming off a full marathon in June and had still been maintaining at least some short runs.  This time around the only thing I was coming off of was a year's worth of logging almost no miles.  My first training run was 6 miles, and the rest of training consisted of Orange Theory twice a week, a few 3-4 mile runs sprinkled in here and there, and long runs of 7, 9, 10, and 7 miles. That was it, that was my training plan. I don't recommend it for a new runner, that is for sure.  I think there is something to "muscle memory" at least, and I also had a mindset where I knew I was fine with walk breaks, etc. Over time I worked out a system where I'd run 5-10 minutes and take a walk break NO MORE than 1 minute long. That seemed to go really well!

So this past weekend, we did it. My friend Pamela and I (and our families for added fun and support), headed up to Ely to tackle this beast once again.  We stayed in the same cabin we stayed in last year and it was a super fun weekend. The race itself was about as expected given my year off, lack of training, and the tough course.  I ran with some short walk breaks here and there, and finished in around 2:31.  But that's okay and it was definitely one of the only times in any race where I truly didn't care. It sure did feel good to be back though!  Now that I am trained up (well, somewhat), I decided "What the hell" and signed up for the Monster Dash Half Marathon on October 28th.

It felt crappy to fall off the wagon so long, but it feels amazing to be back on.

Friday, June 9, 2017


Like many moms (and dads), my life is crazy busy....filled with busy days at work, kids activities, trying to keep a livable house, and doing never-ending loads of laundry. Lately it has been particularly crazy, with 2 kids in softball and husband coaching both their teams (bless his heart).
Although I still haven't been running, I have been sticking with Orange Theory. It's hard to carve out the time but I've figured it out and I love it! I am motivated to push hard, more so than if I were on my own. For the first month, I felt great but didn't see any results on the scale. I definitely know I've gained muscle, so that explains the delayed weight loss (along with "a few" not-so-healthy food choices "on occasion"). But I weighed in this morning and am now at a 4 lb loss. Finally! Feeling AND seeing results is the best motivator of all.  I'm taking the approach I took with my initial 90-lb loss, which was to break it up into smaller goals. My next goal is 4 more pounds. I can do this!!

It's really funny how wanting to lose 15 lbs has been feeling almost as overwhelming as it felt wanting to lose 77 (which was what I wanted to lose when I started the blog...I just ended up surpassing that). I know it's not the same...trust me, I know. But weight loss it hard, any way you slice it. Whether it's 5, 20, or 100 pounds. Your journey is YOURS. Your journey can change. And when you're like me, your journey may never really end. I'm not someone who can eat whatever and not gain a pound. It took a lot to lose 90 lbs, and it's taking a lot to maintain. But one thing I know better now than I did when I started this blog is just how worth it it is.  It's worth it, not only for my own sake but my family, too.

Never give up!

Friday, May 12, 2017

Keep on Keepin' on

I'm still going to OTF 2x a week. One thing I love about it (aside from the friendly awesome staff & trainers, variety of workouts, splat points, live stats up on big screens, motivating music and going with friends) is that you have to commit to your classes by signing up for the days/times you want. There is a cap on amount of people, so the earlier you sign up the better to ensure your spot...but you can still signup more last-minute, if a class isn't full. But anyways, when I first started my membership, I scheduled my classes for quite a ways out. Tuesday nights and Sunday mornings.
Haven't missed one yet! This is a miracle considering how busy we are right now, between softball x2, dance x2, Girl Scouts x2, and gymnastics. This time of year is crazy because the school-year activities are not quite over but some simmer activities already started. This results in a month of overlap where we sometimes juggle/choose between 3 different activities in one night. It's insanity - and it leaves little time for me to do my own stuff. But with OTF, I committed to certain days/times and it's on my calendar. I have to do it. Whereas with a normal gym, or running - I can have great intentions but it's easy to shrug off when it comes down to it.

I haven't lost much more for weight but I am definitely getting stronger and feeling better. There is still room for improvement in the eating habits 😂
But I'm doing better than I have in a long time.

Cheers to a never-ending journey!

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Comfort Zone

So I've changed the plan for this year. I was originally thinking Marathon #2. Instead, I've somehow been convinced to try something TOTALLY out of my comfort zone...I signed up for Orange Theory Fitness.  One of my friends is a die-hard Orange fan and she roped me in.

The whole group fitness thing is new to me, with the exception of Zumba. Weights and floor exercises are new to me, aside from the limited stuff I've done at home on occasion. There is also a water rower, which kills me but I love it! I've been twice now and both times were different. I'll love the variety. I love that you can see your stats up on a big screen as you work out. I love the workout summary email afterwards. And I know I'd never push myself like that working out on my own. I think it will be a great motivator.  Especially the "Splat Points" you earn for time spent in the "Orange  Zone".

Because of this new venture/unfamiliar territory, and crazy life, I'm going to forgo the Marathon this year. I'm hoping to find a Half Marathon later in the year, and I think that level
of training plus OTF will be manageable and a motivating enough.

I have lots a few pounds since finally focusing on getting back on track again. And I feel muscles I didn't know I had!  Stay tuned...it's a never ending story when you're naturally and biologically inclined to gain weight just by looking at food. It's a great eye opener that the weight loss journey is not just the period of time when you initially lose all the weight. It's a lifetime commitment to keep up the good habits, knowing that you're not one of those people who can eat whatever and never gain an ounce. Though even if I could...I wouldn't get stronger without actively working for it...and that is want I want. I want to be strong and fit and feel good.

Monday, April 10, 2017

Maybe, probably.

There have been at least a few times over the last several months where I told myself I would get back on track - but didn't.  

I told myself I would get back on track after Christmas. That didn't happen.
I told myself I would get back on track after the peak of Minnesota cold weather. That didn't happen.
I told myself that I would get back on track prior to vacation.  That didn't happen.

I mean...even a trip to Mexico didn't motivate me to get back on track enough to at least lose a few winter poundages. So to say that I have been lacking...something...is an understatement.

However - I think I'm ready now. For real. Maybe. Probably. Here is why....

This past weekend, I was able to get out for a run with a friend.  It was my first actual run in nearly 4 months (yes, 4 months) and it was hard.  Like, really hard.  We did 3 miles (and then a short walk afterwards). That 3 miles included a couple of walk breaks.  My legs are sore like I just ran a half marathon.  I am so out of running shape.  It feels like a lifetime ago that I ran my first full marathon, but it was only 10 months ago!!!  How is that even possible?  Now, I feel like I'm starting from scratch. 

However... Getting back out there this weekend was just what I needed.  I had forgotten how I actually kind of miss that soreness after a good run that challenges your muscles.  I have been missing my running friends. I realized I physically felt so much better the whole weekend, just from getting in that run.  I didn't even bloat as much as I normally would on a weekend after eating weekend-y stuff.  All of that, plus recent conversations with my husband about the possibility of doing Marathon 2 this fall, and I am starting to feel (dare I say it) excited. 

If the Marathon thing is going to happen, I will know very soon.  I am looking at Twin Cities Marathon, and the price increases in 9 days.  I'm all about value so if I sign up, I will do it soon to save that $25. To be continued.....

Monday, April 3, 2017

Life happens...

And when it does, it can be a challenge to get back on track after falling off.

And I'll be honest...life happened to me. And I fell off track. Wait, no...more like I fell off, rolled down a hill, and landed traight in a pile of dog crap.  Maaaaybe I'm being dramatic but it's how I feel. I've barely run in months. I've gained more than I usually do over the winter. I'm hoping to lose about 20 lbs. My clothes are tight and I once again hate pictures of myself.

It feels shitty. It's complicated...in any case, Ive been struggling. But you know...life happened. Now I'm ready to fight my way back to where I was. Last week I was on (a desperately needed) vacation for 9 days. Now, it's time to get down to business.

First is to clean up my eating habits and start getting active again.
Then get back my running mileage...working up to 6 miles just for funsies.
And finally, my sights are set on Marathon #2 this fall.

High expectations? A fall marathon, after an epic fail of a winter? Maybe, but I've proven to myself many times before that I could do what I thought seemed impossible.

I've got this. I've run half marathons. I ran a 5k in 26 minutes. I ran my first marathon under black flag heat warnings. I lost 90 lbs. 

I've got this.

Sunday, October 2, 2016

Boundary Waters Bank 1/2 Marathon

The fam-damily and I traveled to Ely, MN at the end of September, where I ran the Boundary Waters Bank 1/2 Marathon....my first experience with a smaller race, with just a few hundred runners in the half and another couple hundred in the full. I finished in roughly 2:16, and considering the crash-training I did for just 3 weeks before race day, I am thrilled with that. Not to mention the course was hilly. So very, very hilly. 

We headed up on Friday so we could get settled in our cabin, which we rented along with 2 other friends and their families. Us moms also had to grab our race packets.  And made a stop at Kohls because I forgot the pack comfy pants. Comfy pants are a MUST!!  We all ended up buying the same pair just for fun... Don't worry, I don't mind that you think I'm a giant dork (photo proof below...I'm on the right). 

  It was an exciting race-eve...this was a first half marathon for both of my friends.  I may or may not have been the instigator for the whole thing.... 😎

Race morning, my very supportive husband dropped us off at the start. This is early morning, in Northern Minnesota in late September...so it was a tad chilly.  One thing I loved about this race was that they encouraged participants to bring a blanket to stay warm prior to the start, and then ditch it....blankets are then gathered and donated to those in need. What a fantastic idea!!

The race began and I did a good job of pacing myself. Soon, that decision was confirmed in my head...as I went over hill after hill after hill. 

The best part of the race came fairly early, after just a few miles. My husbands best friend happens to live on the race course, so my family and my friends families were at the end of the driveway way cheering us on. ❤️

The rest of the race went fine, apart from feeling like the hills would never end (and they really didn't). Like I said, I finished in 2:16 and felt great about it given my crash training and the hills. My friends finished in 2:13 and 2:10 respectively (post-race pic below, me in pink). 

I loved the race and I loved the weekend at the cabin with family and friends and the kids being able to just explore the outdoors. I'd love to do that race again next year and highly recommend it to
Anyone looking for a smaller, scenic and well-organized event.