Wow! Where have I been? What happened? Why haven’t I kept up with the blogging? Why have a stopped being such a dedicated WW user?
I wish I had the answers. I’m happy to report, that during my hiatus my weight gain was only 10 pounds – doesn’t sound as good when you type it – so ‘happy’ and ‘only’ aren’t such great words. Let’s try that again.
I wish I had a better answer than I fell off the wagon, but I don’t. The holidays, my husband going back to work and a number of other excuses have thrown me off track and caused me to gain back 10 pounds. I’m happy to report, however, that in the last four weeks I found myself back on the exercise saddle. The eating part is getting better too, but the issues with those bad habits are a little harder to explain.
The holidays, as they are for everyone, were super hectic for us – throw in my best friend’s wedding and Pete getting a job over an hour from home and my routine was kaput. That being said, I made a huge effort at the beginning of December to get back on track – even if it meant working out just 30 minutes a day. Well, that worked pretty good until I had to switch shifts at work to cover vacation/illness and said wedding/holidays all happened at the same time.
With the new year, though, I decided it was time to get back on the proverbial wagon. I know, how cliche – but for all you naysayers out there, have a little faith, it did after all last NINE months last year!
I think the problem with blogging was the same with almost everything else – I put too much pressure on myself to do it everyday or every other day rather than when I had time, when I was inspired, when I was motivated.
I am happy to say that in the last four weeks I’ve not only kept up with my exercise routine, but I’ve added to it. Right now I’m doing an hour of cardio a day, and plan to add some ab work either today or next week. Sounds wishy washy, but I’ve been trying to add one new element a week, and I already added a new step to my workout routine yesterday.
Here’s what has kept me motivated, and what has me back at the blogging – last week it was a year since I had a drink of pop! That’s right, this self-professed Coke lover gave up all pop at the start of 2012. Now, the anniversary of my amazing achievement is later in January, because my sneaky husband unknowingly (right!?!) got me to take a drink of his Diet Mountain Dew in a moment of shear weakness in the face of thirst! The funny thing is that he doesn’t drink pop – so he must have been desperate for something to drink as well. His excuse for getting me to drink it – thinking I was only giving up Coke!
I thought it was all down hill from there – but over a year later I have no interested in the fizzy stuff. Well, OK, once last year when I was sick with the flu I was CRAVING Sprite Zero, but I didn’t go there. There’s a can of ‘emergency’ Coke in our fridge, that sadly has polar bears on it from what is now two holiday seasons ago.
Now if I can just get my snacking under control, all this working out will probably pay off! It’s been a process, and with only myself to cook for each night and no one to entertain me it’s become a burden of boredom. I keep thinking to myself that I should start up the WW bandwagon again, however, I’d like to think I can do it on my own, without that crutch. A crutch I don’t want to pay for the rest of my life.
If anyone has any suggestions for stopping the snacking, I’m all for it … I know I need to get off my butt and do stuff at night, rather than watch tv. But you know what? This weather and Daylight Savings Time are just not on my side! Here’s to another year – not just nine months – of living better.
I know I should simply be happy I was able to actually accomplish this feat, but I’m always my own worst critic. Honestly, my disappointment has overshadowed my joy of finishing. I made mistakes.
For starters, I started off way too fast. Way, way too fast. I mean, I did the first mile in 10:10. I felt great, of course, and my confidence and cockiness got the better of me. I slowed my pace a little, but not enough. I ran the first 3 miles in about 33 minutes.
By the time I hit the halfway point and I heard the timer call out 1:15:38, I should have known I was in for trouble. Sure, that pace is fine for my short training runs and 5K races, but I should have saved some energy. When I had five miles to go, I was beat. I had to take a break and walk.
Don’t get me wrong, I know there is no shame at all in walking. But that first walk break was the beginning of the end for me. My legs were hurting like they’ve never hurt before. Pain was emanating up from my feet with each pounding step I took. I was exhausted.
That didn’t last long. Sure, the next mile was OK, but once I hit 11, I was worn out again. My walk breaks in miles 11 and 12 became more frequent. Finally, with just 1.1 miles to go, I was struggling to keep my pace at what I’d call a slow jog.
I finished though. I finished a Half Marathon! Afterward, I was more exhausted and in more pain than I’d ever been before. I accepted my medal and a big hug from April. Then, I was ready to go home.
My original goal, when I signed up for this race, was to finish in less than 3 hours. Of course, as I got further into my training, I became over-confident in my mind. I thought I could easily finish in under 2:45. I never should have upped my personal goal, because that’s what has me feeling so blue.
The truth is, I did beat my original goal. My time was 2:59:36! I slid right in under the 3-hour mark.
The bottom line is, I finished. I finished a Half Marathon! I don’t think I ever could have imagined I’d be uttering those words. For that, I am happy. And proud. But … I’m not finished. Now I have a benchmark and, I plan to get better.
I’ve stuck to my training pretty religiously since I started (I missed a run here and there, and shuffled around some runs as needed). With just one short run between now and Sunday, I’m confident in saying I’m ready for this.
This past week, I’ve fallen into the trap that a lot of runners do during the tapering period — I feel like I might be getting sick, my knee hurts, my back hurts … but I know it’s all in my head.
No matter how much I worried about how I felt, I still went out and rocked each of my training runs. After today’s 3 miles, I know I’m ready.
I’ve been anxious for the past week, to be honest. I know the River Run is just days away, and I can’t even tell you how excited and nervous I am. Every day, I look at my past runs. I analyze them. I check the weather forecast. I read running message boards. (I even look at future races I want to do, just to take my mind off this big one). I already have my race day clothes laid out and ready to go!
Today is packet pick-up day, and I know once I have that bib in my hands I’ll have a sense of relief and a whole new sense of anxiousness. I know I’m ready for this, and I just have to keep telling myself that I am (of course, I know I can count on April to reassure me of my readiness — she’s been super supportive!)
So where have I been? I feel like I disappeared off the face of planet Earth sometime around mid-July.
I stopped working out daily – GASP! – stayed up way too late for way too many nights in a row – GASP! – and gave in to all my cravings – GASP! GASP! GASP!
I was so busy, people, I felt like I never stopped moving; though in reality I stopped moving in all the ways that were important to me – exercise, eating right and sleep!
You see, the irony of it all is that I stopped all the healthy things in my life to run a healthy event for more than 400 people! This year I planned and executed the largest Journal Jog yet! Oh, and we raised TONS of money – the most ever – for some really great charities!
If you didn’t participate in the Journal Jog – you should save the date for next year (Aug. 4 for those who plan ahead)! Shameless plug yes, but how do you think we got to such huge numbers this year!
Let me telling you that planning the jog is fun – it’s a 5K race and 3K walk that raises money for the Mary Lee Tucker Clothe-A-Child program, Newspapers in Education and this year Mayor Chase Ritenauer’s Scholarship fund. For those of you unfamiliar with the Clothe-A-Child program it allows volunteers to take underprivileged (they are screened and approved) children shopping for warm winter clothing each year. NIE takes newspapers to the classroom for free to help kids learn a variety of things depending on the teacher. This year, we partnered with Lorain’s mayor to raise money for Lorain High School students as well.
See, all that hard work for three really wonderful charities!
I keep telling myself that as I struggle to get fully back on my regular routine. This year’s race was on Aug. 5, so you’d think a month later I’d be back on top of things. Well, you don’t know me very well at all then! I spent the two weeks following the race catching up on regular work items and cleaning up from the Jog – which sometimes is as much work as preparing for it!
I’ve finally started working out again every night and am back to going to bed at a decent hour and reading first. The eating thing is also working itself out!
I point out that all these things are starting to work out because this past week has been crazy, making it hard for me to stay on task. We have a two-person city desk and I try to fill in for them while their gone. Did I mention I also try to fill in for copy editors when they leave? Well this week one city editor was off Monday/Tuesday and the other one was off Wednesday/Thursday/Friday. Oh, and a copy editor has been on vacation all week. Why would I approve this crazy week of time off!?!? What was I thinking!?!?!? Sometimes it can’t be avoided. And, well, to be honest I’m off on Friday too!
Filling in for one of the city editors, BTW, means coming to the office no later than 6:30 a.m. OUCH!
OK, back to the Jog! It was a great time and I can’t wait to do it again next year – that’ll be 4 years! The goal: more participants and more money!!!!!!
Here’s a look back at the big day – and the aftermath!
“If you run, you are a runner. It doesn’t matter how fast or how far. It doesn’t matter if today is your first day or if you’ve been running for twenty years. There is no test to pass, no license to earn, no membership card to get. You just run.”
— John Bingham
Since I’ve started this whole running thing, where I’ve struggled the most is in actually considering myself a runner. It took a while for me to classify what I’m doing as “running.” I mean, I’m certainly not the quickest person or the lightest on my feet.
It wasn’t until I was in the thick of this half-marathon training that I finally started to consider myself a runner. Yes, I’m still not very fast or graceful, but I continue to push myself.
The other day, I was scheduled to do 10 miles on my long run for the week. After consulting gmap-pedometer, I realized my parents’ house was approximately 10 miles away (give or take), so I woke up early on Sunday ready to roar.
After a small bowl of oatmeal and a banana, I got ready to go. It was a tad dark out at 6 a.m., so I waited until 6:30, then I hit the road.
It was an easy, flat straight shot down Lake Road through Avon Lake, Sheffield Lake and into Lorain. Once in Lorain, with no more bike lane, I shifted up to the sidewalk. I was about halfway there!
Through Lorain and over the Charles Berry Bascule Bridge (I was glad it wasn’t up), I charged down past City Hall to Oberlin Avenue. That’s when it hit me — I still have quite a ways to go. What was I thinking?
I chugged along Oberlin Avenue, counting down the number of blocks to go — 38, 37, 36 … When I turned up 33rd Street, I had hit 10 miles. The problem was, I still had 5 1/2 blocks to go!
I slowed to a walk, having achieved my targeted 10 miles. After a couple of minutes (and some wobbly legs), I started off again, determined to finish out this run strong.
When I finally made it to my parents’ driveway, I had gone 11.3 miles. I was as proud of myself as my parents were surprised to see me! There they were, finishing up their Sunday breakfast after church when I stroll in panting and sweating profusely. My mom couldn’t believe it.
Of course, in addition to a ride home, I got a great breakfast out of this feat (thanks, Mom).
And, if that run wasn’t enough for me to finally consider myself a runner, then here’s the icing on the cake: one of my toenails has turned black!
As famed runner and training guru Jeff Galloway says, “Almost everyone who runs gets a black toenail. Getting your first one is a sign that you’ve moved your training into a higher level.”
There’s only 16 days left until the River Run Half Marathon, and this runner is ready!
The last two times we’ve gotten our share from City Fresh, it included a bag full of pickling cucumbers. Now, we both like cucumbers as much as anyone, but we realized we’d never eat them all before they went bad.
So, we decided to try making pickles!
We had vinegar, salt, water and jars. All we needed was dill! Luckily, our favorite farm market had a whole bunch for just a dollar. So, last Saturday, we were in business.
I found a recipe on the Internet that told us the ratio of vinegar to water to salt. I started that boiling while April stuffed the jars with dill and cucumbers (and one of them with garlic!). Then, I poured the boiling mixture into the jars and sealed them up.
Now we play the waiting game … and here is the problem. The “recipe” I found does not give any indication whatsoever as to how long before these cucumbers are pickles.
Any ideas how long before we can open them up? I’m dying to try one.