Where Dreams Come True

Today I ran 6.22 miles, or in Disney Princess Half Marathon terms, I have run from Epcot and made it into Magic Kingdom and around the Castle :)!  This has made my day!

My pace was 13:40 but I ran 6.22 miles!  Six months ago I would have thought this impossible, now it is reality and I made it a month before my first 10K race, so I have time to work on my pace.  To do this five months before my Half makes me feel good, if I keep training at this rate I will finish and have a decent time.

It blows my mind each time I have a breakthrough whether it is pace or distance, I still pinch myself to check that it is real.  Sometimes after a run, I am a little sore and KNOW it is real.  I can remember thinking, I will never make it past a mile, I will never make it to two miles, I will never get faster than a 15:00 minute mile, and on and on the impossible becomes the possible and the possible becomes the real.  The goal is met, the bar is raised, and the excitement grows!

Now off to pack for the next six hours or so, moving in 10-days and I still have three rooms to wrap and pack.  I do have a nice little mini-vacation coming up right after I move, we are going to the beach.  I have never run on the beach!  Should be challenging and fun.

183 days smoke free and 158 more nights sleep before the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

Do not stretch the truth, but definitely stretch your body

Never underestimate the importance of stretching before and after a run; that is the lesson I learned today.  I mentioned yesterday that I had not worked out for a whole week until my run yesterday. When I put in my regular 5-day workout I stretch each time before and after my run or strength workout; not getting to the gym all week I also did not stretch last week.

Saturday before my run I did some stretching and also after, but I definitely fell short and knew it, I was trying to get done early.  Today, I felt it in my hip.  I got 2.25 miles into my run and I was done, I walked out the rest for a total of 3 miles, but was done with my run.

I came home and stretched, especially my hips and then again later today, definitely helped, but the soreness is still there, so resting and cooling tonight.

So, note to self and anyone else out there…when you take up a physical activity at the age of almost 50 after being overweight for a decade, you will get some aches and pains.  Figure out what they are, why they are, figure out how to fix it and Carry On, cautiously.

On a better note, I am getting things packed up for our move, what seemed like an impossible task a couple of weeks ago, is feeling a little more under control.  I have keep and pack, trash, and yard sale piles, in other words I have too much crap and have to purge.  I am not a hoarder or anything, just a keeper of stuff, my kids stuff and old stuff from my family.

Plan for this week, rest day Monday, strength Tuesday, short run for pace Wednesday, same Thursday, rest day Friday, 6-mile Saturday, strength and swimming Sunday.    What is your plan for the week?

176 days smoke free and 165 more nights sleep before the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

Fanny Packs and other things that inspire you

Today I did my five-mile run/walk on the river; I did five miles and it took about 70 minutes, about a 14:00 minute mile, considering the air quality was awful and humidity had to be 186% I was happy with it.

Before I finish this inspiring message, I have to tell you about my conversation this morning before my run.  I do not own a belt, pouch, or anything that I can carry my stuff in while I run outside and I have found I do not like putting my keys, etc in my pockets.  This is how I solved that this morning –

Me:  “Hon, are you awake?”

My Husband: (laying in bed, eyes closed) “Yes.”

Me: “Do we still have a fanny pack lying around (I am talking 1990s fanny packs here) anywhere?”

My Husband: “How many do you need?”

Me: (thinking we have more than one!? I am ashamed) “Just the one.”

My Husband: “Does April need one?” (April is our 22-year-old daughter)

Me: “April probably does not even know what one is and if she does, she may not come with me if she knows I plan on wearing one, so no, she does not need one.”

My Husband: “Go downstairs and finish getting ready I will find one and bring it to you.  What color?”

Me:  Exiting room hanging and shaking my head.

*As of this afternoon I own a new belt, slim with a small pouch.

I had my daughter with me for the first time and that was exciting and motivational!  She has agreed to run the Princess Half with me so we are going to start training together.  Oh, a brief side note, I do not look anything like the woman running  in the photo, but I love the saying, to see what I look like running see my post from August 21st :).

In my last post I gave a lot of information about where I am in my running and how far I have come and how my training is progressing.  Today I want to talk about how awesome I feel about what I am doing!

When I started working at getting healthy I took on a personal trainer for about four weeks, the thing I dreaded most was ANY cardio.  Give me some weights I am fine, abs go for it, stretching yes!  But get on the treadmill, the bike, the elliptical??  Ugh!

In May I signed up to do a charity walk with my daughter on June 2nd.  I thought it was a 5K; turns out it was one mile but I walked 5K because I could.  While doing light training in May to walk this 5K I realized how much I was enjoying myself, feeling motivated by this goal I set for myself; and by the end of the 5K walk that day, I was hooked!  I immediately found a 5K in our city for the end of June and started training to do it as a run/walk.  Got that one under my belt and here I am training for my 3rd timed 5K in September, a 10K in October and a Half in February 2013.

How did I get here!?  It just seems so crazy!  On Thursday at the gym I had the treadmill up to 6-miles-per hour at one point and kept that pace for a bit, in May if someone would have told me I would do that I would not have believed them.  Today at the river I realized I had run my first .75 straight, all running, no walking!  Heck if someone would have told me that two weeks ago I would not have believed it.

I could give you another dozen or so of these revelations, but I am sure you get the point.  Any time the voice in your head says that you cannot do something, call it out as a liar, you got this, no reason to doubt it!

So this week my runs will consist of more short runs to gain speed and longer runs (adding a mile to get to six next Saturday) to gain stamina, by the time my Half gets here I will be running the whole thing, with one pit stop to take a picture with Sleeping Beauty in Magic Kingdom.

Couple of other things.  I purchased a Nike+ GPS watch today, so far I loved setting it up and I am taking out on my run tomorrow, I cannot wait!  Also, I broke up with my scale I feel amazing and I am doing good things for my body with activity and food, I will NOT let the scale talk to the liar in my head.

172 days smoke free and 173 more nights sleep before the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  “More powerful than the will to win is the courage to begin.”   -Unknown Author 

Failure is NOT an option

I had a great run at the gym tonight, at least it was great for me.  I am really new to this whole running for pleasure as opposed to running from danger thing; a lot of what I have done to this point has been lots of trial and a little error (do not want too much error someone could get hurt).  I have done some reading and research to try to understand so I do not pull a bone or break a muscle, or something like that.

I think I mentioned in one of my earlier posts about how I really need to see how I am doing so I like the treadmill, tells me all the neat little stats I want to see.  I want to note that I am going to buy some sort of measuring device this weekend, I will write and let you know how that goes; could be dangerous, with one of those things EVERYONE will be timed for everything :).  Anyway, I like to see how I am doing.  In my attempt to get better I have tried many methods, some of them I read about, others I just tried thinking they might work.

Trying not to give you every boring detail of my workouts, here is a short version of things I have tried and what I did tonight (Please do not take these away as sound advice, as I mentioned earlier I am new to this).  My best time for an official 5K race is 42:22 on a pretty hilly course in a local park.  I want to get my time better AND I have to build distance to run 10k and half marathons I have planned over the next year.

1.  The longest run/walk I have done to date is five miles, I have done this twice.  Once I did not time it, the second time I was running/walking at a 15 minute mile pace.

2.  I spent two nights at the gym last week keeping my run to 30 minutes and trying to improve my run each time.  The first night I finished 2.15 miles in 30 minutes, the second night I finished 2.25 miles in 30 minutes.  Not much improvement, but I will take it.

3.  And finally – Tonight I decided to focus on doing half of a 5K or 1.55 miles.  I did that 1.55 miles in only 18 minutes!  That is roughly 11:40 minute mile, better than any mile time I have done to date, if I can push that time to a 5K I could finish my next 5K at about 36 minute; six minutes off my best time!  I want to make that my goal for one of my next two 5k races.

I am going to run/walk another five miles this weekend and see if I can get just a little better than my last, and then next weekend I am going to add a mile.

I will get to and finish my Half Marathon in February, my only goal for that right now is to finish!

174 days smoke free, 42 pounds down and 175 more nights sleep before the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

I am Iron Man!

I am not Iron Man as the title of my post implies, nor do I have an Ironman Tri on my bucket list.  I did however go watch the running portion of the Ironman in our city today and it was inspiring.  As most of you know an Ironman consists of a swim, a bike, and a marathon length run.  The run portion of our city’s Ironman goes through the streets of the city two blocks from my house and I decided to walk down and humbly support the participants.

The location I chose to view the race was right before the 12 mile marker for the run.  To watch these amazing athletes was nothing short of breathtaking!  I have only participated in a 5K I cannot pretend to know how they felt at that point but I can tell you I found myself cheering and shouting words of encouragement.

These athletes are truly admirable and I am so glad I got to see their faces as they worked towards that finish line goal, although at that point what they have accomplished is astounding with or without a finish line.  Next year I am volunteering I want to be around that energy all day not just for the 60 minutes or so that I watched.  I also want to be at the finish line and meet every one of them, get their stories.  OK that last part sounds a bit stalkerish; I promise I will not follow anyone home.

170 days smoke free, 42 pounds down and 179 more nights sleep before the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  “There are no shortcuts to any place worth going.” – Beverly Sills

Ease on down the road

One more run down towards my half marathon goal.  Today I ran my 2nd officially timed 5K race.  I ran the race at the same place where I ran my first one.  This course is at a local park with many hills, it is so easy to forget how hard it is to run uphill. I beat my first time!

When I did the 5K at the end of June I ran the course in 43:38, today I had an official chip time of 42:22!  Shaved over a minute off my time, and my daughter was there at the finish line to cheer me on, it was an awesome feeling!  I placed 10th in my age group, 44-49 and 290 overall out of a field of 700.  I am not exactly an Olympic athlete BUT considering I just took up running a few months ago at the age of 48, I am very happy.

Already signed up for the next one, on a much flatter route, it is a few weeks away, hoping to do a little better than this one.  Each incremental improvement, no matter how small, makes me feel amazing.  I have a friend who participated in her first Half Iron Man today; she was nervous, a little scared and uncertain how she would do. When someone suggested perhaps she should wait and do one at a later date this is what she said – “It is ok for me to not finish, it is not ok for me to not start.”  I thought that was a pretty strong statement about overcoming fear and doubt and allowing yourself the courage to move forward.

169 days smoke free, 42 pounds down and 180 more nights sleep before the Disney Princess Half Marathon.  “It’s the job that is never started that takes the longest to finish.” – J. R. R. TOLKIEN

A walk down memory lane…no regrets just great memories

This has become my new favorite running song.  I am not really sure what the composer/writer’s original meaning for the song is but what it does for me is stir memories and the beat gets me moving.

I have had some good times in my life and most of my younger days were spent with “no money but lots of heart” (a line from the song).  We grow into adulthood idealistic, enjoying ourselves and those around us focused less on material things and more on experiences.  Each day on this journey I find myself feeling more and more like I am headed back to this same place.  Not sure I can party, go to work and stay up for 24 hours straight, but I can certainly remember how to appreciate my experiences more than my stuff.

On to this past weeks experiences.  I had a great week with my diet, definitely got back to eating better and as a result pushed through my 40th pound of weight loss (go back and read that again and smile).  I was not as disciplined with my activity this week.

We had family come to town and if you read my blog this past week you know I had to spend at least one night cleaning. The family coming to town was a real distraction but also a bit of an excuse, I could have found a way to get to the gym I just did not.  I did do a lot of cleaning and while they were here we did quite a bit of walking and I feel good that although I was not officially working out I was out and about and moving.

Our family left this morning, I had a little breakfast and hit the road!  I picked a new place to run this morning we have a park nearby that has a path that is 1.55 miles long I chose it since I still do not have a pedometer, GPS watch or other measuring device and I wanted to time my run.  I do have a digital watch and used this to time it.

I am doing another 5K this weekend and I want to beat my time from my first one, the time for my first one was 43:38 and I was proud of that.  Today I did the 5K at the park in 42:12 which is a 13:35 minute mile and I am happy with that.  This week coming I am going to try to keep my runs to two miles and continue to work on speed and I hope Saturday will be better than 43:38.

As I walk down memory lane I am looking ahead to the Disney Princess Half Marathon 2/24/13.