Back from the Cruise

I managed to get through Thanksgiving and a week-long cruise and only gained about 3 pounds. There was much over-indulgence in food and booze. I didn’t hold back.

I did exercise several times over the vacation and we did a lot of stair climbing on the ship and walking. I’m sure that helped. Probably should’ve done more.

Today was back to Boot Camp. Ugh! Travis was trying to kill me, or at least make me beg for mercy (mission accomplished on the begging). I’m going to be sore tomorrow. But I’m glad to be back in the swing of things.

Started back on Eating Clean yesterday (Monday) and that feels good too. I really, really want to look good when Spring rolls around in 2011. I know I’m MUCH stronger and healthier than when I started this journey back in May 2010. BUT, there’s still too much of my butt, and belly.

I was really depressed when I saw the pictures from the cruise. To me, I still look like the same fat broad. What’s up with that? I have gone from a size 22 to a size 14 jeans.  (Which still fit after the cruise, BTW.) But I think I still look awful, can hardly tell there’s a change in my appearance. Shouldn’t 8 sizes show some progress?

I’m trying to use the disappointment to motivate myself, but it’s hard.  I did a good job with my eating today: steel cut oatmeal, roasted chicken and veggies, an orange, burrito bowl. Except for the white rice in the burrito bowl it was all “on program.”

Baby steps… one day at a time… Hanging in there.

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My New Friend, Spanx

Yes, its the girdle for the new millenium. www.spanx.com And it does give a smoother fit. I could zip up the size 14 jeans already but it was a snug fit. Yeah! 14’s Woo Hoo

The Spanx made it fit nicer. And I do believe that it helps keep me mindful of not over-eating. Kind of like wearing really tight pants for Thanksgiving.

The purchase was inspired by the upcoming cruise. I wish I had lost a little more weight before the vacation, but size 14 is great progress (started at size 22 in June).

My feet finally healed up enough from the 1/2 marathon to go get a pedicure last weekend. Lots of gross dead skin from blisters. Now my feet are all smooth and toenails are purple. I’m thinking of changing to this bright blue for vacation.

I was eating really well the last couple of weeks. Started working towards Eating Clean. I might look on the surface like yet another “fad” diet, but the principles are the same I have heard over and over. Cut out the processed foods, sugary stuff, alcohol very limited. Lots of fresh fruits and veggies. It was a lot harder this week, cause I was sick (URI #1 for the cold/flu season). I just wanted comfort foods. So I’ll hop back on track AFTER the cruise.

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I AM the Warrior Babe!

(Cue Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive”)

Yes, I finished the half marathon! It was HARD. I am still sore two days later. But it was so worth it.

So here’s how it went down:

Saturday, 6:30 am wakeup call. I have everything laid out from the night before, but it still takes me longer than I thought to get ready.

7:15 am. Race starts at either 7:30 or 7:45 (I got conflicting information from the race website). We hit traffic just before getting to the race location. Traffic? In Mabelton? Huh? Mark and I ditch the car at the strip mall and walk. I get my number and confirm that the start is 7:45 am. Oh yeah, its DARK and it’s about 45 degrees.

7:30 am Stand in line for the Port-o-let. Very nervous stomach. I took Imodium on Friday afternoon and again when I woke up. This is NOT a good start to the day.

7:45 am Line up at the back of the pack. They have Signs for each min/mile group. The last group is 14 min/mile and up. I’m aiming for 15-16 min/mile, so this is my group.

Mile 1: It’s still dark, the sun is just coming up and it’s cold. I’ve done some stretching, probably not enough (the line for the Port-o-let was really long). I turn on my tunes and start with the Disco Jog that should put me at a 14 min/mile pace.

Miles 2 and 3: Getting into the groove. The sun is up and I’ve warmed up enough to shed the windbreaker. Just after Mile marker 3 I see the front-runner. He’s running — really running hard, like you would expect for a mile race. There’s no one even close to him.

Mile 4: I start to see one and then two more of the racers. I’ve done well at keeping to my pace, but I decide that the underwear were a bad idea. Even though I used what I thought was a generous amount of Body Glide, there’s chaffing in the crotch-al region.

Mile 5: Hooray! The first outpost of Port-o-Lets. I really need to go (again). I decide that I’m going to ditch the underpants. Just basically ripped them to pieces and down the hole they go. Commando time. There is a very steady stream of people heading toward the finish line passing me. It’s really nice when someone gives me a thumbs up or “Keep Going, You Can Do It.” And really encouraging, since they are all running hard and I’m sure they are getting tired too.

Miles 6 – 7: Just trucking along. There are 3-4 people that are going about the same pace as I am, we pass each other back and forth, depending on water stops, etc. The turnaround is just after mile 7. I can finally see that there ARE people behind me.

Mile 8 and 9: My fastest miles so far of the race. I’ve been averaging 15 min/mile (bathroom and water stops), but I break thru and have two 14 min./miles. I’m feeling good. I’ve counted at least 10 people that will finish behind me. Yes, I’m just a little bit competitive.

Mile 11: I hit the wall. I hurt all over. It feels like my toes on my right foot are going to break off every time I take a step. My hips hurt, my knees hurt. I’m sure I’m getting another blister on my left heel. I keep going, but change my music to just songs instead of a running mix. I keep going by mouthing the words and sticking to the beat.

Mile 12: This is reminding me of childbirth. It’s painful, it seems to be taking forever.  I want it to be over. I have only 1 more mile to go. I change back to the running mix and push ahead. I go faster because I just want it to end.

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Mile 13: I can see the finish line! Oh frabjous day! I squeeze out the last of my energy to run through the last 0.1 mile to the finish line. As I get closer, I can see Mark taking my picture. Yeah! Three hours and 30 minutes! A fantastic time for me.

I get a big hug from Mark. A girl comes up and puts my medal around my neck and points us to the t-shirt and goodie-bag people. I get my shirt and stagger over to the food/water and get my bagel, water and a banana. I can barely think, much less talk. The euphoria of the finish is tempered by the fact that we have to wait around for the shuttle bus to take us to the car. I’m getting stiffer and stiffer every minute.  I’m thinking, “I never want to do that again.”

Yes, it was HARD. But, few things that are considered a major accomplishment are ever easy. For me, this was a major accomplishment. I’ve never run more than a 10K before and in July couldn’t even run a quarter mile!

Now, when things get tough in the future (and we all know they will) I will tell myself: “Hey, you can do this. You ran a Friggin’ Half Marathon! If you can do that, you can do anything!!!”

It’s two days after the race and I’m still a little sore. But I went to Boot Camp tonight (didn’t occur to me not to). And maybe I’ll think about doing another half next year — someplace fun like the beach or Disney World.

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A few words about the passing of a friend

Last week we had to make a very hard decision. Our 16-year-old Brittany Spaniel, Windy, had to be put to sleep. She had been fading fast the past 6 months and no longer cared about her favorite things like People Food and Petting.

Windy joined my family when it was just my daughter and I. We already had a cat, TipTip, but DD (dear daughter) really, really wanted a dog. So I started looking into breeds that would be good with kids and with other pets.

If you’ve never met a Brittany Spaniel, they are great with both kids and other dogs, cats, etc. Windy never acknowledged the cat’s presence. This annoyed the cat from time to time, but they worked it out in their own way.

Windy came to us through the National Brittany Rescue and Adoption Network (NBRAN, http://www.nbran.org/). She was about 3 years old and her first family was going through some tough times and could not keep her. I drove out to meet with the foster Mom and Windy was so pretty. Orange and white and lots of freckles. She was very shy (not at all Brittany-like) but loved attention and petting.

So at first, she was very timid, very shy. It probably took a year before the full Brittany craziness came out. Then she would bounce. Bounce, Bounce, Bounce. For treats – for people food – when we came home – when we let her outside – when we let her inside. You get the idea.

Still, her favorite things were People Food and Petting. My husband (who joined the family a few years later) once tried an experiment to see if Windy would get tired of being petted. Not a chance. I don’t remember how long he petted her, but his arm got tired way before she lost interest.

Windy never did learn to do some of the things that most dogs (at least sporting breeds) do. She wouldn’t chase a ball, she hated the water. A spaniel who hated water?!? She didn’t even like getting her little, delicate feet wet after it had rained. Silly girl.

As the years passed, Windy calmed down again. In her senior years she was very sweet and even did several months volunteering as a Pet Pal visiting local assisted living centers. Stand (or sit) and be petted for an hour? Yep, Windy was great at that.

We added a second Brittany to the household 2 years ago. Koda — Koda Bear, Koda the Destroyer. She is all 100% Brittany from the start. Silly, bouncy and lovable. She and Windy got along wonderfully. Windy was a little too old to play, but Koda didn’t let that stop her. As long as Windy was outside with her, she would run and chase things and have a ball.

When we left with Windy last week, Koda ran around the house and howled. Howled! She still seems to be looking for her buddy. Well, I’ve forgotten a couple of times too that she isn’t around.

If you have room in your home, please consider adopting one of these dogs. They will bring laughter and joy to your family for many years. Saying goodbye is so hard, but we all know Windy had a very good life. She was well loved and there are many people whose lives she touched that will remember her. Thank you to all the people who have sent virtual hugs and condolences.

Goodbye, Windy girl. I love you.

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Only 2 Days Left! Eeek!

Yes, Saturday is the big day. The Silver Comet Half-Marathon. (Trumpets sounding a flourish in the background). Wow. Exciting and more than a little scary.

Missed Boot Camp last night due to car trouble. Stupid car. But I don’t mind too much. I wanted to take it kind of easy this week. Should be able to make it tonight and then nothing but stretching tomorrow.

I met a woman this week who is also going to be running the race. She’s going to be running, I will be jog/walking. She’s run move than 50 marathons. And got up every day this week to run 10 miles before going in to a class. That’s being in some kind of incredible shape. She was very encouraging and gave me a little pep talk. I hope she wins. (No, really, she WINS when she runs, like getting a check or prize!)

I will consider just completing the race to be a HUGE win for me. I couldn’t even jog around the block back in July!

And afterwards, some champagne, some eating and drinking. And Sleeping. Zzzzzz. And I’m definitely going to get a massage early next week. If my feet aren’t raw meat from blisters I want a pedicure. Might have to wait a couple weeks on that. Man are my feet looking rough. But my toenails are a pretty purple, so that’s fun.

Then next week, it’s time to stop eating junk and concentrate on eating healthy. I want to lose a few more pounds before the cruise. Now that’s something to get really excited about. Western Caribbean, 7 nights. This time even though I won’t be svelte (yet!) I will look better and feel better in my clothes. I will be able to do any of the walks, hikes, excursions that I want to do without worrying about holding other people up due to my being out of shape.

I weighed in a couple days ago and was down to 207 and down almost 1% in the bodyfat from a month ago. I guess I’m getting denser.

What a journey! This is a big landmark, I’m not finished yet, but I’m making progress.

That’s all for now.

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Not as sore as I expected

Saturday was 9 miles. I did a run/walk where I probably ran (jogged) about half. I improved my time over last week, finished in 2:37 for 9 miles vs 2:30 for 8 miles. I think that getting my workout playlist was a big help. I love the Motion Traxx podcasts. They help me get in a rythm and that’s really important for me. Just zone out on everything and keep up with the beat. One step at a time.

The first couple of miles totally sucked, I just felt tired. By about mile 3 I was getting into it. Enjoying the day, the weather was perfect, chipmunks and squirels running across the path. At the halfway point, I was charged up — I was still keeping to a 14 minute/mile pace and felt really good. Once I got to the last 2.5 miles it was a bit harder, so I walked more but still kept the same pace. I STILL jog slower than I can walk!

So the 9 miles wasn’t as hard as I had expected. And I’m not as horribly sore as I thought I would be. Only one new blister — I tried putting “moleskin” on the places of the recurring blisters and it worked — no blisters on the heels this time. I came home and was already stiffening up from the ride from the Y to the house, walking in like a 90-year-old woman. Then I soaked in the tub with the water as cold as I could stand it for about 15 minutes. A friend recommended that little technique. Seems to have helped.

Still sore, but I can walk around today without problems. Stairs are a little tricky, a moan here and there. I did wonder yesterday afternoon when I was bone-deep exhausted whether this whole 1/2 marathon thing was just crazy. I’m spending hours and hours running, then I’m pretty useless the rest of Saturday. I fell asleep during the UGA game (although it was getting pretty boring, score was 35 – 0 for Georgia when I stopped watching). It did ocurr to me to question whether all this time, effort and pain is a reasonable thing to do.

Reasonable? Maybe not. But it’s only 13 days away. Crazy or not, I’m going to be out there Oct. 30 and I will finish. I just hope I’m not DEAD last… but if I am, at least I finished what I wanted to accomplish.

I am eating whatever I want these next weeks, lots of protein, good carbs, taking my vitamins — especially D and C. I don’t expect to lose any weight this week, but I can tell that my legs and abs are really getting stronger.

Monday is Boot Camp, Tuesday is rest, Wednesday is Boot Camp, Thursday Boot Camp, Friday is 5 miles, Saturday is 10 miles. w00t

It’s mind over body, over pain — determination. I’m getting lots of support from hubby and the kids. They keep telling me how proud they are. That’s really helping me keep going. Thanks guys!

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Less than 3 Weeks to 1/2 Marathon

17 Days to 1/2 Marathon

Wow, not much time left. This past weekend I ran (really, ran mostly) 4 miles on Friday; 8 miles on Saturday. Eight miles is a long, damn way. It took me 2.5 hours, probably because I was jogging almost all the way. I really do go faster when I walk/jog. A blister on each heal and I was pretty sore all the rest of the day and Sunday… and Monday. Not sure what I’m going to do about this blister problem.  My daughter says that there’s nothing that can be done — you just wait until your skin gets tougher. Probably not going to get calluses before the 1/2…

2.5 hours — not a great pace, almost 19 min/mile. I need to pick up the pace.  The run/walk method will help. I guess we’ll see this Saturday when I do my 9 mile day. 9 miles!!!!

Signed up for the next 4 weeks of Boot Camp. Travis, my boot camp instructor/personal trainer/sadist in-training has been working my ass off. Last Thursday this was the program:

Round 1: 15 jumping jacks, 15 squat jumps, 15 lunges, 15 push-ups, 15 mountain climbers, 15 bicycle sit-ups

Round 2: see round 1, but its 30 for each. 30 push-ups is A F’ing Lot of Push-ups

Round 3 (yes, round 3): 45 lunges, 45 push-ups, 45 mountain climbers (yeah, take a few things off the list, since I’m about to DIE). If you thought 30 push-ups was a lot, then 45 is just Crazy. The last 25 or so were not pretty, not really push-ups, but I did move. Then collapsed in a pool of my own sweat.

So, yes — I’m getting in much better shape. I haven’t lost much weight lately. Weighed in at 210 this morning. But the next 17 days will be no alcohol (except for Saturday at the play) until after the 1/2 marathon. So that should help with the weight loss. Way too many empty calories in booze lately. After the race, a more concentrated effort on the eating part.

There are seven weeks until our cruise to the Caribbean. I want to look Good.  It would be great to get into a size 12 by then.  I tried on the 14s on Monday, but they were too tight.

That’s about it for now.

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