Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Life Is Not A Test

Wednesday 10/31/12

So today I was in a venue where I was listening to someone share about a situation they had recently had and at the end the person stated that he thought he "passed that test."  That got me to thinking, life is not a test.  Life is a journey, an adventure.  It's not always to be taken so seriously.  Yes, there are serious things in life but overall, we are here to enjoy the gifts and bounty of this life.  So this is the approach I am going to take with my training.  It is an adventure.  Although there is a starting point and a finish line, it is the adventure in the middle that will make the finish line more enjoyable.

I did my usual crosstraining workout today at Extreme Results.  I also taught two Hot Yoga classes tonight.  Plenty of good movement and calorie burning.

Breakfast:  Protein shake with almond milk, blueberries, pineapple and 2 scoops of It Works Greens
Midmorning meal:  South Beach granola bar, dark chocolate.
Lunch: Herbalife shake
Midafternoon meal:  Herbalife shake
Late Dinner: tomato soup, grilled cheese, chips

It was a total unplanned day.  Due to an argument with my 12 year old this morning I was not able to plan ahead and simply did my best with what I could get my hands on.  Still better then other do on any given day.  Tomorrow, more vegetables! 

Gotta run, my computer's battery is about to die and I don't know where the power cord is.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Sandy, Treadmills and Candy Corn

Tuesday 10/30/12

Let me start by saying...I HATE TREADMILLS!!!!!!  Ok, I feel better now.  I was totally dreading the time I had to put in on the damn thing all day.  I even tried to talk myself out of it, saying to my self that it was only a 30 minute run, it wouldn't really matter if I missed it.  But I'm thinking that is not really getting off to the right start, so I trudged ahead (down to the basement) and struggled through.

I was on the treadmill and thinking about how much I didn't want to finish this and then I began to compose tonight's blog in my head.  It sounded really good as I was banging my feet down on the dreaded treadmill but of course, I can't remember what it was now.  I will be super glad when Super Sandy makes her exit from our area.  Thanks, it was nice of you to drop by, now LEAVE! 

And about the candy corn.  There I was innocently in the Halloween Candy Aisle at Kroger, getting candy for the kids to take to school tomorrow for their parties when I pass an end display of the most beautifully shelved bags of candy corn that I had ever seen (not really but it sounds good).  I just couldn't resist.  We have this weird magnetism thing going on that we can only indulge once a year when the fall decor is rolled out.  After tomorrow our love affair will be over and the beautiful yellow, orange and white triangles of deliciousness will be replaced with fruit cakes and marshmallow Santas.  I felt like it was my duty to take one of those bags off the shelf and secretly savor it while driving home.  And of course the indulgence gave me an extra push down the stairs to the treadmill.

On a side note, I finished my internship hours tonight and will be finally sending in my paperwork to get the official certificate stating that I am a Personal Fitness Trainer.  Yay me!  and thank you Cammie and everyone at the Body Factory for the best internship site ever!

This morning I went to Extreme and did my regular morning workout.  I forgot to eat something before leaving the house.  When I got home I grabbed a half of a banana and a fun sized twix bar on my way to the shower.

Breakfast:  Protein shake with almond milk, blueberries, pineapple and 2 scoops of It Works Greens.
Midmorning Meal:  banana and 1/2 a greek yogurt
Lunch: Amy's Organics Black bean burrito with Jack's salsa (truly a marriage made in heaven), graham crackers and some more greek yogurt (I still didn't finish the container)
Afternoon Indulgence:  Candy Corn (Sigh).
Dinner:  Tuna and noodle casserole with whole wheat noodles, peas, celery, onion, green peppers, tuna, cream of mushroom, milk, and crushed potato chips (comfort food on a cold evening)

30 minute run on the treadmill to fulfill today's training requirement of 30-45 minute run.

Monday, October 29, 2012

Clara's Rule

Monday 10-29-12

Yep, that's a Salted Carmel Mocha Frappucino. 

My friend Clara gave me some good advice last week regarding my training.  She knows how much I love the Salted Carmel Mocha at Starbucks, so she suggested that during my training I only indulge in one per week.  This is a good rule.  Which I am adopting into my program.  But then I got to thinking about other rules for my training.  Not that I want to set a lot of restrictions on myself but I am a person that usually does better with a definitive plan rather then a fly by the seat of the pants approach.  So Clara's rule became number one and then I added a few more.
1.  One Starbucks indulgence per week.
2.  6 small meals per day instead of 2 or 3 big ones.
3.  Take one day of REST per week.
4.  Walk and stretch it out after each run (this I am bad at, I usually think I am in too big of a hurry).
5.  Only run the time/mileage scheduled, no more.

This is a good place to start with my discipline.  I may add others later.

Today I worked out at Extreme Results as it was not a scheduled run day.  I also taught a 60 minute yoga class.

Pre-workout meal: banana and coffee
Breakfast:  Protein smoothie with almond milk, blueberries, pineapple
Mid-morning meal: Celery with goat cheese and almond butter
Lunch PB&J on low cal flaxseed bread with natural PB and raspberry jam; apple
Afternoon meal: Panera Vegetable soup with whole grain baguette, tall salted Carmel mocha, graham crackers
Dinner: Super Supper cheese manacotti, garlic bread, peas, white gold popcorn

My sweet tooth is gonna be the death of me!  I hate that I do that but it doesn't seem that I can really give that up.

I'm feeling a little headachy tonight and am looking forward to turning off the lights and going to sleep.  Gonna have to tackle the treadmill tomorrow based on tomorrow's weather forecast.  Thank you Super Sandy!  Where's the dislike button?

Sunday, October 28, 2012

No Carb Left Behind

Sunday 10/28/12

Yesterday my kids had a Halloween Party and somehow my willpower escaped me all day!  I ate like it was 1999.  I had cupcakes, graham crackers with frosting, chocolate, pizza, Carmel corn, cheese corn, much more coffee with flavored cream then I typically allow myself.  I even finished the macaroni and cheese that the kids had for lunch!  I feel super ugly about it today but I can't take it back so I just need to move forward.  /today is a new day and a new chance.

I traded my boxing gloves in for my running shoes today and went on a pre-training schedule run.  The weather is quickly slipping into a more wintery feel.  This morning, although the sun was shining, it was only 38 degrees outside and the winds were about 16mph.  I was kinda of dreading going out there but once I got out and starting moving I was energized.  I did 4 miles at a gentle pace in the low tens.  Just me, God, the elements and my iPod. 

Week 1 Playlist:
1. Darkside - Kelly Clarkson
2. Life is a Highway - Rascal Flatts
3. Honky Tonk Badonkadonk - Trace Adkins
4. Eye of the Tiger - Survivor
5. Stronger - Kelly Clarkson
6. No Easy Way Out - Robert Tepper
7. 19 Something - Mark Wills
8. Finally Found You - Enrique Iglesias
9. Little Smirk - Theory of A Deadman
10. 50 Ways to Say Goodbye - Train
11. Hands All Over - Maroon 5

My Run:
4.03 miles, 41:25, 10:17 pace, 386 calories burned.

My Food Intake:
Pre-run Meal: Coffee with Heathbar creamer, 2 pieces of low cal flax seed toast with fresh pressed roasted honey peanut butter and half a banana.

Post-run Meal:  2 eggs scrambles with spinach, onion, tomato and garlic; 1/3 protein shake with vanilla protein, almond milk and strawberries.

Snacks:  fun size heath bar, handful of Carmel popcorn, cup of green tea.
               2 (stupid) cupcakes!  (I tried to get rid of them but the soccer team didn't eat all of them)
               Honey crisp apple
               Coffee (at the soccer game)

Dinner:  Baked Pork Chop, Apple Raisin stuffing, steamed broccoli and cauliflower with Earth
              Balance, leftover coleslaw.

Dessert:  Brownie and a glass of Almond Milk

Not my best day ever, I will be super glad when Halloween is over!  Too much temptation, EVERYWHERE and God did not grace me with a whole lot of willpower. 

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Welcome to northern Ohio

I know I have lived here my whole life and should be used to drastic weather changes but this one takes the cake! My training officially begins on Monday with my first running day scheduled
For Tuesday. Exactly the day that Super Storm Sandy is gonna make an appearance here in Ohio. Really? What luck! 2 inches of rain and strong winds. Sigh...I hope that isn't a sign of how this whole winter is gonna go. It seems that my first run will be on my treadmill in the dreary basement. I hate treadmill running! And now I am setting myself up already to be discouraged by it.

Okay, enough whining. Back to the positive. I start training on Monday! How exciting. I can't wait to dig into the training schedule and the discipline of working toward a tangible goal.

However, the weather report keenly reminds me just where I live and what time of year it is.

Ready, set...almost time to GO.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Preface to Training...aka...My story

I’m going to begin this 6 month journey to complete my very first marathon.  26.2 miles.  It may  not seem significant to some but to me, it has become a bucket list obsession.  I have not always been the “svelte”  person that stands before you now.  And in my best Dolly Parton as Truvy voice…”there’s a story there.”  Yes there is!  And what a story it is. 
I intend to keep a log of everything I think, feel, do, train, eat, supplement, etc. for the next 29 weeks.  That is the length of time that I will be taking to train for and recover from my first marathon.  I am 40 years, 5 months, and 29 days old at the moment that I am writing this sentence.  I did not even pick up my feet to run a step until I was 36 years old and had almost died from a life threatening lung disease.  When I picked up my feet to run that first step, a marathon was not in my sights.  Hell, I didn’t even want other people to see the pitiful sight that was me at that stage, so I would run/walk (hyperventilate) at 5:00am in my very small town so that no one could see me with my awkward form, tramping down the block like an elephant in tennis shoes.  I knew nothing about running.  I had no idea that I needed special shoes, clothes or other paraphernalia.  What I found though was an avid love for being on the road, feet hitting the pavement, heart pounding in my chest, and music blaring in my ears. 
I spent an entire season teaching myself to run.  I ran every morning, Monday through Friday.  I got up early, I went outside and I ran.  It took me the whole season to get up to running 2 miles without a walk break, but what an amazing accomplishment that was the first time I did it.  When I began running, I was significantly overweight and a smoker.  Two things that were definitely not working in my favor.  I remember going out for my morning ritualistic run and the first thing that I would do upon returning home would be to light a cigarette.  It was several months into this new lifestyle when I had my Sesame Street moment, as I like to refer to it.  One day, while smoking a cigarette it began to dawn on me that I was eating better, taking vitamins, exercising, practicing yoga…and smoking.   Hmm, which one of these things doesn’t belong?  I made a decision to quit smoking, got some Chantix (not through the usual route) and told no one what I was doing.  I finally beat my 20 year nicotine habit.  I didn’t advertise it, try to get attention or pity for it.  I just did it, as the Nike ad says.  I was two weeks off of them before anyone noticed.  By then, the hard part was over.  That was 4 years 1 month and 4 days ago (as of the date that I am writing this).  I have never regretted my decision to quit smoking.  Immediately after quitting, I began to see an improvement in my running ability and endurance.  This pushed me to keep going.

As the weather got colder though, my lungs were not conditioned to adapt to the cold air entering them and I abandoned running for the winter.  I used my elliptical and yoga to maintain what I had started.  I couldn’t wait for the weather to break to get back out on the pavement.  As soon as the weather warmed up, I was out there again.  I was surprised to find that I had not lost the conditioning that I had built the previous season.  Again I ran every morning, Monday through Friday.  And when I met my current husband, I did not abandon it.  I still ran every morning.  When we were dating, he would even get up in the morning and ride his bike alongside me while I ran.  I began to build some friendships with fellow runners and they encouraged me to get into my first timed race.  I was reluctant to do that.  I had not focused on time up to this point.  But, I am usually up for a challenge, so I went for it.  On September 27, 2009 I ran my first 5K.  Can you say hooked?  Because that was exactly what I was the minute I crossed the finish line.  So a month later, I signed up for and completed my first 10K.  Why not, right?  A couple more competitive races, including one at midnight on New Year’s Eve and I had officially caught the race bug.  I was not concerned with winning, or even placing in the races, just finishing. 
The moment I crossed the finish line of my first 5K, I was thinking about 26.2 miles.  I couldn’t even begin to comprehend what that kind of distance would entail, but I was hungry for it.  Unfortunately, fear overrode my hunger.  It was like a starving man in the jungle trying to figure out how to kill the lion before the lion kills him.  So, instead, I set my sights on half of the lion.  That I could successfully manage, I thought.  I began training for the Glass City Half-Marathon.  A local, flat qualifying course.  I went for it.  Week after week I hit the pavement, tracked miles, built playlists and learned how to control my bowels (yes, there’s a story there too).  On April 25, 2010 (one day after my 38th birthday) I finished the Glass City Half-marathon with a time of 2:24:45.  A time I could totally live with.  I then went online and immediately registered for the Detroit Half-Marathon and began training through the summer for a fall race.  This time, I trained with an injury.  Plantar Fasciitis.  Not being a professional athlete or much of an athletic person, I had no idea what I was up against.  I also didn’t realize that this race went over the bridge to Windsor, Ontario and came back through the tunnel.  I knew it was an international race because I had to get a passport to qualify to participate.  I’m not sure why the bridge/tunnel didn’t register with me but needless to say, I did not train on any hills.  I was seriously overwhelmed when I realized what I was about to do.  But I made it through that race with an injury and inadequate training. 

So, at this point I have nothing standing in the way of me and 26.2 except fear.  For 2011 I diverted my attention to a Sprint Triathlon.  Again, I am not an athlete so it took a lot of effort for me to train to simply complete this event.  I was scared to death of drowning in the quarry before finishing the first leg of the race.  Gratefully, I didn’t drown and I did finish.  I wasn’t last to finish but there were not many behind me.  That’s okay though, I did it and…I got the sticker.  Now my car has an OM symbol sticker, a 13.1 sticker and a TRI sticker.  I am on a quest to earn a 26.2 bumper sticker.
After the triathlon, I found a specialized gym training system called Extreme Results by Vince.  Hmm, new addiction.  The only way I know how to explain the type of training is this:  it’s like Insanity on crack with punching bags.  It’s an amazing workout and refined my body into a condition that it has never been in before.  I put running on the shelf and basically went full out in this new training style.  There are a few races that I am particularly partial to.  Race for the Cure (obvious reasons), Racing for Recovery (addiction recovery is personal to me) and the Turkey Trot (guilt free Thanksgiving eating afterwards).  So, even though I had not really run since the TRI, I signed up for the Race for a Cure and got my second best 5K time ever.  Shocking me, to say the least.  Something was working.  A few months later I entered the Turkey Trot, again with very little running up to that point and got my best 10K time ever!  What?  Something was really happening.   I ran sporadically over the next year, when it fit into my Extreme Results training and yoga teaching schedule but nothing too much.  Again signing up for the Race for the Cure in September 2012 and finished under 30 minutes!  Unheard of!  A month later I finished the Racing for Recovery 5K with an 8:49 pace.  Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself running an 8 minute pace!  Now, I am really getting pumped up and stoked.  I start to really see 26.2 as a doable possibility.  So I get down my Marathon Training book and start building a vision for the Glass City Marathon in April 2013.

That brings us to the present and the reason for this blog.  I need you to help me.  Help me train, help me keep going on the days that I don’t want to, hold me accountable when I slack and cheer for me when I am rocking it out.  I intend to record every single moment of the next 6 months not only for my benefit but for others to benefit from in the future.  So other people can find the encouragement they need to reach their goals and go beyond their wildest dreams.  If this former alcoholic, chain smoker, donut smashing, overweight Queen of Negativity can get here….well then, so can you!  Let’s do this!
A picture of the Ambassador Bridge during the Detroit Half