Wednesday, October 15, 2014


So I've been MIA a bit.   Last week was incredibly difficult for me emotionally.  My emotions were a total roller coaster.  I know I usually get that way (just want to cry...). if I'm tired (not the case last week) and on maybe one night a month in my cycle.  (Which was on target last week). But seriously?  A whole week????  Some of the emotions were serious. But there were stupid tears.  We pulled into the driveway one morning and I saw a woodpecker.  One that I've only seen once in our yard....and I've laid out there trying to capture this particular woodpecker on my camera a bunch of times.   I catch woodpeckers but not this type of woodpecker.   So what did I do when I saw it in my yard last week???  I cried because I didn't have my camera.  Hahaha. Silly, I know!  Either way, emotions galore.  What's up with that?  It better not be the new norm!!  

So I'm doing much better this week.  (Thank goodness!).   I am holding steady on the scales. That's a good thing, but I know I need to shake it up to get the weight to start dropping!  Dare I say that may mean I go back to tracking?  I've enjoyed the stress free weeks of not tracking.  But I want this excess weight gone...

I have set up my next training plan for running...focusing on speed.  I have a goal.  My personal PR for a 5k times tun is 38:20.  I want to set a new PR.  I'd like to knock off 3:20.....i want to be under 35:00!!!!   There I've said it!   I've announced to the world my goal.  (And yes I'm gunning for a sub 30 5k at some point in my future.).  So my training schedule has basic runs...longer runs and it has runs of torture....fartleks and hill repeats.  bring it on!

Zumba is going well.  This week has really kicked my tail end.  I am usually tired and can feel that tiredness in my body, but very rarely am I sore.  Holy cow this week is kicking my hiney!!!   My abs are screaming at me!!!!  Even laughing hurts!  Hahaha.  (Ouch!).  But I'll be back for another round this evening!

Monday I set out for a run.  Only 2.5 to 3 miles...but intervals the whole time.  Todd and I had eaten lunch and had a dessert of chocolate chip peanut butter bars.  I waited two hours before I went out running.   I made it a mile  before I started to feel it.  What is it?   Before that chocolate chip peanut butter bar began making its presence known.   I kept running...and I made it about 1 3/4 miles before I gave up and walked the rest of the way back to the car.   I have no desire for that dessert any time soon!!!

Tuesday, October 07, 2014

Lessons and reinforcement

This past weekend I had to confront my slow running pace.  I know I'm slow as a turtle in peanut butter.  I accept that.  However I obsess about it!   I worry about it and I downplay my running because of it.   

This past weekend I had to confront the very real possibility that out of the 68 participants in this small 10k that I could very well be last.  I won't lie.  Part of me wanted to walk away and not even try.   I didn't!   I decided to run this and if I came in last across that line I would cross it victorius!!!     Victorious in the fact that this former 315 pound girl could actually run (jog?) for 6.2 continuous miles!  I'm doing it and not many people can!!!

I faced my fear and I won!    

And then on Monday I got another reaffirmation.   Early this year I decided to participate in a running challenge.  I agreed and committed to run a virtual 5k each month.  The organizer has drawings each month from finishers.  I didn't do it for that though.  I did it for the challenge!   There was one month where I had to sit back and walk my 5k.  I felt like a loser.  I had wanted to run it and it just wasn't happening.   I have run every other month though.  Ironically enough the month that I walked slowest 5k of this challenge I won the drawing.   I even made a comment to the organizer about how I felt guilty because I didn't even run it.  She immediately wrote back that it didn't matter how fast or how slow I did it in, I DID it.   She and I talked a bit about my prize...a hand painted mini canvas.  I got to chose the subject.  I saw it on fb while she was working on it, But it didn't arrive until yesterday.  How perfect after my struggle this past weekend.   Thank you!!!!   I'm on my phone writing this so I can't post an actual link to her page but here is her address!!!

This painting will be my reminder that as long as I'm doing my best I am a winner.

And of course a picture of my painting!!!  I put a grape beside them to show  how adorably tiny this is...and so you can appreciate the details in the painting!!   

Thank you Kyra for hosting this challenge and for having a part of my awakening!!!  :-)

I forgot to announce my progress.   I had vowed to lose 10 pounds before my 10k (5 weeks).    I lost 5 pounds.   Not what I vowed but victorious none-the-less!!!

I am still consumed with thoughts about stuff that's happening in my life.   I know that I have some major decisions to make in my life.  I know it.   I know that I have to make changes.  I'm just waiting for some kind of divine intervention (hahahaha) to direct me upon the path I need to take.  I pray for courage, knowledge and direction to make a course correction in my life. 

And I will leave you with a picture of Paula and I running on Sunday.  Maybe it was the lucky green underwear she was wearing that got us through this race in fine form!!!  She's smiling I look utterly focused and intense!!!!  (Green underwear I tell ya!!).  This was at about mile 4.5 in the run.  And yes, my legs do look fantastic if I do say so myself!!!

Sunday, October 05, 2014

Leesburg 10K

This was my big weekend. Why yes, it was the weekend that I had my 10k.  My longest run to date and the longest (by double) race I've ever run in.  I had been absolutely religious about my training.  Until a week ago that is.  And then I fell off the rails.  I only ran once in the last week and a half.  It was a four miler, but only once.  Uhhhhhh....why does this seem to happen to me each time.

I was nervous about certain things.  I am always afraid that I'm going to be last across the finish line.  Huge fear of mine. (stupid I'm sure)   But regardless I packed for my short trip with my friend Paula and we headed out yesterday at about noon.   We made the trip to Leesburg, VA in fine time.  The first stop was the store where they were holding packet pick up.  We picked up our bags and perused the store.  Stop one complete we headed to the outlets in Leesburg.  A few hours of shopping later. (I bought new lids for some of my damaged and old Pyrex storage containers.....and otherwise I was a window shopper).  We did find a perfect bag.....we didn't buy just posed for a picture with it.

 We hit up a local park for a nice little walk.  We lounged a bit in our hotel and we had dinner.  Let e add that I had breakfast and a diet coke with breakfast and we had dinner really late at about 8:30 and I had a diet soda with dinner.  Dinner I was so hungry that when I started to eat I gobbled my food and my stomach started to hurt so I only ate half my meal.  That was ALL I ate and drank the whole day on Saturday.  Yes, I know....not exactly the healthiest and wisest food and drinking choices.
Sunday morning we were up bright and early.  It was COLD outside.  Brrrr.   We got ready to roll.   I typically run on an empty stomach (ha ha ha...once again probably not the wisest but hey, it's what has worked for me).   So we headed out. 

The run was VERY small.  Only about 50 people or so.   I decided to not worry about being the last person.  Who else can say that they once weighed over 300 pounds and are now running a 10K???   And doing it on arthritic knees and a few other feet issues???  
 We started to run and I kept my pace steady.   I have been consistently running a 13:00 to a 13:40 mile pace. I knew if I stayed at that (slow) that I could finish it no problem.   I ran where I felt comfortable...or rather edgy comfortable.  It went well.  It was an out and back route, so at the turn around I grabbed a water and walked for maybe a minute and then picked back up running.  (my stats showed that I lost about a minute on that mile from what I was running so that's why I assume I walked about a minute.)  I was fine...getting tired but fine.  (And admittedly I saw I wasn't last....and I even passed a few people on the return trip! My fear of being last vanished and by that time I had decided I DIDN'T CARE Anyway!)   And then about midway through mile six I began to struggle.  Oh yes, I struggled.  I started to get physically ill.  My stomach and head started to hurt.  My legs felt like they were so heavy that I couldn't even pull them up to walk.  It was BAD.  At about mile 5.70 I waved Paula on (so as to not ruin her run) and I began to walk.   

And then a lady, a skirt wearing lady came up beside me...literally less then 10 paces after I started walking and she looked at me and said "You've got this, the finish line is just ahead."    She ran on and before she was even 3 feet in front of me I knew that she was right.  I felt like dog doo but I knew that I could do it.   I started running.  I stayed on her tail the rest of the way in.  

I can't find the official times posted was not a chipped run (go was a small small run...maybe 50 people doing the 10k...if that).  Luckily since Paula had gone on ahead she was able to grab a pic. Yes, that is me in the glaring sun but I have my time!  Slow but you know what?  Who the heck cares!

So I got across the finish line and I had something important to do.  I had to talk to the skirted lady.  I needed to tell her what her words meant to me.  I found her easily (remember she was only a bit ahead of me....although she pulled further ahead in the last 100 feet or so).  I told her that her words are what pushed me to run. I told her that I had decided to just walk the rest of it and call it a good deal, but her words gave me the courage and spunk to run the rest of the way.   Her face glowed when I told her and then she turned to me and said "Thanks is due to you too though"   I looked at her and she giggled a bit and said "I was on your tail the whole run and I decided that I was not going to let you pull ahead of me.  You didn't walk so I had to run the whole time also!  Thank you for unofficially pacing me."   :-)

I grabbed a water and headed over to Paula.  That water tasted so dang good.  And then I remembered to turn off the mapmy app.  Oops  I got it turned off.   My last 3/10ths of a mile look slow....partly because I didn't get that turned off immediately and partly because I was STRUGGLING! my pace was much better than my average for most of the run.  My turn around mile was slower and  mile 6 were I hit that wall was slower...but still 'average' pace.  Go figure.

 I took another drink.  Holy cow that water tasted good and I drained that water bottle in a few seconds.  And that is when I knew it.  What did I know?  I had to sit down or I was in danger of falling down.  Yes, I KNEW that that horrible feeling of being sick that I had encountered back at mile 5.7 had reached its pinnacle. Oh yes....I was ready to drop.  I sat down for a few moments and answered some well wish texts and knew I was ok.   I stood up, grabbed another water bottle and Paula and I headed back to the car.  Yes, we stopped along the way for another picture.  Come on's us!

10K done!!!!!  I've got my starting base line numbers and now I can improve upon that!

So upon further reflection.  I realize that I had totally dehydrated myself on Saturday and since I hadn't drank anything in the morning before running it was carrying over to Sunday.  I was suffering from total dehydration.  Ooops.   

Sunday, September 28, 2014


Why yes, I know I've been MIA.   It's a multitude of reasons.  I can wax poetic about how I photographed a wedding last weekend and then spent the multitude of hours editing them.   Yes, I could say that and it would be absolutely true. 

However, using that as an excuse would be a total stretch of the truth.  The reason I've been absent is the fact that I've just been struggling.   I am torn many times about saying too much on in my posts because I don't like to air my dirty laundry.  The flip side is that I have always operated my blog with total honesty.  So I'll just say it.....I'm struggling.  Big time.

How can I sum it up????    I just think that there has to be more to life than this.  I have moments of joy, peace and happiness.  But the rest of life is just hard.  So many aspects of my life is just wrong that I feel as if I am drowning.  I've written my blog posts about my plans.  And I still am working in that direction (ok, I've been bad and I haven't been utterly disciplined with my writing as I should be.) I just live for the good moments and try to push through the rest of the time.

I saw this sign last night and LOVED it!
My running.....Last week I only ran once!  It was a 4 miler and I should have done TWO of them last week but life happened and the run didn't.  I had a 6 miler on the schedule for this weekend.  That didn't happen either.   Shoes that I LOVE and that I've worn a gazillion times before (ok, maybe not a gazillion) have all of a sudden started to give me blisters.  Friday night my feet were BURNING.  I'm in that stage where the blisters WANT to happen but they are on the cusp.  SO my feet HURT.  I chose to save myself from blisters and not run (any shoes HURT) to heal so that my feet are in good shape for next week.  Yes my 10K is next Sunday.   I am going to try to do the scheduled 2-3 milers this week!  All depends on he blister-age.

Even with the foot problems I did get in a walk with my friend on the battlefield. :-)  Always good o walk and talk.  Wish I would have had a good was PERFECT for photographs!!! Oh well, I grabbed one with my cellphone as we walked.  (nope, I didn't break stride)

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

Makes no sense

Running really makes no sense.   Sunday I ran.    I ran 5.9 miles.   I felt pretty good.   Yeah toward the end I had a slight pain in my heel (planters fasciitis) and my knee bothered me a bit.   I got home and I rolled my foot on a frozen bottle of a water.  

I then somehow ended up in the hot tub reading.    When I got out Todd and I spent the afternoon out roaming.  My legs felt FINE!

Fast forward to my run Tuesday morning.    It was slower by about 10-20 seconds per mile.   I can let that slide as I did tackle a road that I usually ignore because it's quite a bit more hilly.  But my legs felt heavier than all get out the rest of the day.   What's up with that????   I only did 4.3 miles!  

I was still smiling at the end though.

Bad runs....good runs....they all equal out.  I'm just hoping and praying for a fantastic run on October 5th!!!!

I'm doing GREAT with my training schedule.   I have had to make one or two minor adjustments due to rain or schedule conflicts but I'm doing it!!!

Eating.   I'm still not to tracking and I have broken my 'rules'. So this past week I don't think the weight has been dropping.  (I have been horrid with weighing daily too!)

Last night I skipped Zumba and went home instead.   I immediately fell asleep on the couch and other than a few moments of being a wake here and there I slept all evening and then slept the night through.   Not sure what is up with that...but hopefully my body recovers from whatever.  I'm still feeling sluggish today....I'm vowing to do Zumba tonight though.....

Monday, September 15, 2014

Redo, change, adapt

(yes read through the whole thing, I will talk about weight loss and this journey I'm on to be healthy!!!)

It's no secret that I'm not happy with where life has led me.  No secret at all.  It's also no secret that I would like things to change, but in many ways feel powerless to make he change.  (Means to change, knowledge to know how to make the change and yes, guts to do it).   But that's neither hide nor hare but it does explain why I had this thought in my head , because it's in my mind...a LOT.

What would you do differently were you given a chance to redo your life?

I of course have a handful of answers.  It's easy to roll out the answers, choosing to change the aspects of life that didn't work out as planned.  OF course I would change my college education, probably to journalism and then of course the subsequent career path because we all know how that turned out.  (Poorly!!!!)   But it's easy to say that I would do things differently with the glasses of hindsight firmly affixed to my eyes.  I know how that turned out and of course I'd change it.

But then I started to think totally open and honest about it and I know that I had thought about Journalism before I hit college.  (It's in my journals...and they don't lie!).   Yet I still picked Elementary Education because that was my dream and we SHOULD follow our dreams.  So how WOULD I do my life over if given the chance.

In terms of education I would NOT pigeon hole myself into an education and career path that is so narrow.  I have a degree in elementary education.  Not exactly a degree that offers tons of choices in terms of a career should one choose to not teach.  (Especially in this job market.)  In a redo I would still pursue the education degree but I would opt for a dual major.   Open up my options.  Give myself some room for opportunity.  Yes, probably journalism. (although I did end up with a LOT of history classes...probably enough for a minor had the school I went to offered it...ha ha ha).   The career would follow... based on variables at the time...but my options would have been more open for sure.

Ha...notice I would still choose fields of education that would offer me a passion....and not lots of money.   Money is nice, but it's not everything.  I would far choose happiness over money.  That said, I would take greater steps to insure that my savings was intact and my home what I wanted.However, I am blessed with a roof over my head.   Our place is mortgage free, so I can't complain too much.

I would make some interpersonal relationships that I have.   I would hold the people that I ask into my life to be the kind of friend and person that I try to be . I would stand up for myself more and not wait until I've been used to the point that I'm so thoroughly disgusted and hurt before I turn away.  (And yes, I reached that point today with a friend just today.   I've made plans to go to dinner with this friend..I arrive at the restaurant and she's already eaten..I agree to do her a favor and she shows up 2.5 hours late leaving me sitting in a parking lot for that time.....and today, just another broken promise.....i'm done).  I would......well enough on interpersonal....that's a biggie and well...this is not the forum.

But would I redo everything?  NO, I would adjust and adapt what I did...because at the time I thought I was making the best possible decisions for me.    The really there is only ONE thing that I would change and redo TOTALLY...........

But the big change?????  The HUGE change???? The biggest thing that I wish I had done differently.  I wish I would have lost weight so much younger.  Instead of thinking about it and vowing to do it....vowing to start right after I finish my HO HO (do they still make Ho Ho's?)  And yes I've still got a ways to go, but I know that i'm on he right track.   Furthermore, I would say that I would have wanted to change that couch potato girl into an exercise girl so much sooner.  You see, I realized it yesterday morning during my run and it was reinforced tonight at Zumba.   Exercise is emotionally liberating.   I may have cried on my run yesterday as I thought about something that's happening in my life.  I may have been quiet tonight at Zumba while I thought about this blog post.  But I sweated it out of my system both times......I cleaned out the old and opened my lungs and breathed in the fresh healing air.  (oh hell, that was so utterly corny, but I'm leaving it there!!!!)    But yes, exercise is liberating.   Exercise is also amazing.  I have to say I'm finding that it is absolutely amazing to watch my body and see what it is really capable of.  (really?  did I really run 5.9 miles yesterday??  And I still went shopping and walking with Todd in the afternoon?   And I'm walking and zumba'ing today?   After running?  ME??????  And I'm planning on running in the AM?, not Maryfran!!!!!!! Amazing!!!  Maybe it's not out there for me to say I may someday run a half marathon or a full marathon.......because you know what....if I want to do it, by golly I think my body is capable of it!)

A redo isn't possible........but an adaption to my life is.  I'm starting.  I'm starting with the friend that has taken advantage of me one too may times. I'm worth more than her treatment.   I'm starting.  (the weight started when I put down the Ho Ho's).   I may not have the answers.....the means.....the guts to make some changes.  But I"m going to do what I can. Even if it means I have to pass up the Ho Ho's.....dang now I really want a HO HO! (I can't even begin to tell you how long it's been since I had a Ho HO!....I have no clue why I chose Ho Ho's as my focus 'bad food' for today's very well could have been a Twinkie, or a Little Debbie cake or a maybe a  milkshake, ooooohhhh or an Oreo!!!!...ha ha ha)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Settled the Nerves

I didn't manage to run on Saturday.  It was raining pretty  hard when I left work.  I weng grocery shopping and decided that that running would wait until Sunday.  In fairness, the rain cleared and I could have run later in the afternoon but oh well.  Sunday it was.
I was out on the canal at 8AM on Sunday.  Brrrr, it was chilly!  I LOVED IT!  Perfect weather for running!   I started out and just started to run.   I didn't look at my time, I didn't look at my mileage, I just ran.  (The canal has mile markers so all I had to do was count the mile markers and I knew I would be pretty close to my mileage.)    
I was running in the peaceful morning when a guy on a bike crept up behind me.  He called out that he was 'coming up on your left'.  I jumped about a mile, and he laughed that he was afraid I was going to jump right into the river.  I trucked on.   I felt pretty good.  Before I knew it I had reached the mile marker that I knew to be my turn around point. (I knew I would be over my 5 mile run, but I was actually ok with that.)   I had run every step of the 2.88 miles.  I did walk for a bit at the turn around. I saw a jogger coming up and I didn't want to jog right in front of her....and then I wasted a few moments because I didn't want to jog right on her tail end.   So I waited and then followed her dust.  She was actually only remotely faster than me so I kept her in my sights for about a mile or so on the way back.  I ran the whole way back and I felt pretty good.  I knew that if I ran back to where I started I would be over 5.5 miles.  I knew in fact that I would be pushing 6 miles.  I figured it would be a 2/10th of a mile deficit and I briefly thought about running the extra segment to finish it up.  
However, right at the 5 mile mark I started to feel it in my heel.  Darn Plantars Fasciitis.  (my knees bothered me a bit too at the end)    I made it to the bitter end  and decided to not push the foot.   It was SO stinkin' close too!!!!!!

How amusing to see that I actually got last first and fourth miles were about the same. I turned at about 2.88 so that's why the third mile was slow...because I wasted that minute or two walking.    But how amusing to me that the last 1.9 miles were faster than anything else.  Go me!  (and that is when I was starting to feel it in my knees and heel!)

I came home and rolled my foot on a frozen bottle of ice......then I got in the hot tub to relax a bit.  By then it was lunch time.  We toyed with going for Mexican, but ended up at a diner because I enjoy a salad that they have.  I really felt the need for something nutritional.  As much as I love the Mexican, I just was craving a salad.                                                                                                                                   The weird thing.  Last week I ran 4.12 miles and my legs felt it all that day and into the next day.  They were just tired and achy.  Today I feel fine!   It was so hot so maybe the achy legs were just a kickback of the heat that just pummelled me.  Maybe it was the hot tub that eased the muscles in my legs today.   I don't know...but I'll take the no achy legs.                                                                                 I'm totally stoked though, because I KNOW now that I CAN complete a 10k.  Yes, I was a few tenths of a mile off of officially running a 10k, but I could have EASILY finished it if I wanted!  So now it's just a thing of keeping running, working on speed and just rolling with the 10k on the day it happens.

IN other news, we ran into Walmart. (don't hate's the only place I can find my favorite drink mix......Crystal light used to have a cherry pomegranite and I can't find the Crystal light brand...but Walmart carries their cheap version...and it tastes good!)  I call it my 'pink stuff'  and while I should be drinking only water, it adds variety and is better than me drinking Diet Soda.  :-)

But anyway, I digress......I ran into Walmart and low and behold I saw this back in the toy section. (Yes, I walked through the store.......stretching my legs some more....)   I'm a little disturbed by this!!!!!!     I was tempted to get it for my nephews.... but thought that my brother and sister in law may have killed me.  (ha ha ha...whatcha think Alan and Cindy???)