Wednesday, September 28, 2011

And So It Begins - The #Shrinkvivor Challenge!

I've started the Shrinkvivor Challenge that's being hosted by the awesome folks at the Sisterhood of the Shrinking Jeans.  Today is Day 1.  Each Wednesday for the next 7 weeks we'll weigh in and report how we did.  We're on teams....there are 7 on my team which is the Lime team (affectionately renamed The Limeaholics).  Just like on the hit tv show with a similar name, a tribe member will be voted off each week.  Those who don't check in by the appointed time each week will be booted as well.  If booted, you participate in the Exiled Team and compete there as well.  There are immunity idols, there are prizes.  It's going to be fabulous!
I think this challenge is just what I need.  I'm going to give it my all and really have fun with it!  From time to time I'll update here and you all can see what's going on with our team.  I'm lucky enough to be on a team with some pretty awesome people.  I'm excited to get started!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

First 5k Race Recap


I wonder if I'll ever forget that number.  I couldn't believe that number was mine and mine alone at the end of today's race. I ran 3.18 miles in under 40 minutes. Me.  Colleen.  I did that.

I started my morning early - I couldn't sleep any longer.  After laying in bed awake until after 1am, I woke up around 5:30 and stayed up.  I headed to my YMCA (where the race was scheduled to start) after about an hour of me saying to myself, "What have I gotten myself into?"  I got there, checked in, got my swag (a new gym bag and a Subway gift card! Score!) and then headed home to get my family.  My mother-in-law came over to cheer me on.  My husband was getting our girls ready to see me off.

And I was nervous as hell. 

On the way back to get everyone, I drove the course.  I thought, "This seems a hell of a lot longer than 3.18 miles.  Surely they've made a mistake."  They hadn't.

So everyone loaded up and we took off to the race's start point.  I stretched, pinned my number to my shirt (stomach or boobs?  I decided to pin my in my general stomach area).  I hoped and prayed I wouldn't come in last.  I wanted to vomit.  Instead, I headed to the starting line.  And then....

I started.

A few minutes in, I saw my family drive away (they were headed back home so the girls could eat a quick breakfast & then were going to meet me at the finish line).  Then it was truly me and the road.  I was going at a decent, steady pace.  I normally run on a paved trail in the park so navigating the side of a road/street was a little trickier.  I got used to it and just kept going.  A mile in I said to myself, "I want to quit.  I don't want to do this running."  But then I saw a checkpoint where we were to cross a street and it was Dee from the Y.  She's a truly wonderful person.  She cheered me on and then I thought, "Hell yes.  I can do this.  Push past the want to quit."  And I did.

I ran/jogged the whole race with the exception of the two times I stopped for a brief walk of about 50 yards each.  As I got closer to the finish line (I found it incredibly cool that the course took me almost past my own front door), I found myself thinking, "Already?  Seriously?  I can't be almost done!"

I jogged up a BIG hill.  I rounded the corner and I saw it...The Finish Line.  In that moment tears formed in my eyes and the following thought ran through my head - I am a RUNNER.  And another thought - "Where are my people?"  I couldn't see any of my people anywhere.

And when I crossed the finish line and heard "39:45" I knew why - I'd told my husband to get there about 45 minutes after I started the race.  I laughed & called him.  They were on their way & he was disappointed he missed me.....but I was ok with that because I finished MUCH earlier than my goal. 

When he got there he snapped this anyway:

My girls kept telling me how proud they were of me.  Aron congratulated me, and my mother-in-law cheered for me to. 

I never thought I could do this.  Ever.  And I did it.

I am living proof that even a woman who is still 60 pounds overweight and who 7 weeks ago couldn't run for 39 seconds let alone 39 minutes can make herself strong enough to run a 5k....

My father's been gone for 10 years now.  I kind of think he'd be proud of me.  And for the record, this is the FIRST competitive sports-like thing I have done IN MY LIFE.  Even as a kid, I never did anything competitively athletic. 

I tweeted my time & texted it to some friends and the love literally poured in.  I can not thank all of you enough for all the support you've shown me.  It's overwhelming and completely amazing.  My 7 year old has told me all day how proud she is of me.  But the best thing I heard her say today?  "Mom, I want to run of of those with you someday!"

My next 5k will be the Run The 'Hood Virtual 5k on 10/22!!

Preparing for This Morning's 5k

Today's the day....the day that looked so far off just a few months ago, and here it is.  I'm having a lot of "Why did I want to do this again" and "What have I gotten myself into" this morning.  I know that once I start running all will be fine.  It will just be me, the road, and my iPod (I created a new playlist especially for the event last night including such musical wonderfulness as AC/DC, Eagles of Death Metal, Fear Factory, Iron Maiden, The Ramones, The Rubberbandits, Slayer, and Judas Priest).

The truth is I can't wait for so many reasons.  I can't believe that I've stuck with C25K thus far (today's technically W7D3) and have progressively made my body stronger over the course of these past months.  I put my "I want it now!" attitude on the back burner and trusted and followed the program.  It feels good.  And I'm not done - I'm going to follow the program to the finish no matter what happens today.

I want to show my daughters that hard work is worth it and that fitness can be fun - and that even when you doubt yourself, you're stronger than you think you are.

Mostly, though - I want to prove to myself how strong I am.  Because ya know what?  I am.

I'll do a race recap at some point this weekend.  Wish me luck, and get out and do something WONDERFUL for yourself this weekend!

Tuesday, September 20, 2011

I'm participating in #shrinkvivor - are you?

The folks over at the Sisterhood of The Shrinking Jeans are hosting yet ANOTHER awesome weight loss competition.  This one's called SHRINKVIVOR and it's a 7 week challenge based on the principles of the hit reality series "Survivor." 

Go check it out and sign up if you're so inclined.  My friends @APilgrimSoul and @projectJAEMIE are participating too!  Check it out!!

I'm going to be doing my best to blog about my results each week.  The challenge starts on 9/28, so get crackin'!!

Why Saturday's 5k Race Scares The Crap Out Of Me

So you've heard me talk before about my very first 5k race that I've got coming up, right?  When I took the plunge and signed up for it, it was a thought, you know - just something that was coming up.  Well now it's almost here and I confess:  I'm scared to death.

Mostly I'm scared that I'll be running in the daylight..  Up until now, it's been the very rare occasion that I've run in the daylight.  I usually always head to the park well before dawn and the only people I meet along my way are the regulars who walk their dogs every day, The Weights Lady (who walks with reflective hand weights) and Portable CD Player Lady (a nice old lady who brings with her a portable cd player and big headphones....and she's SO happy!).  But on Saturday (for those of you not strong in math, that's only 4 days away) I will be running in the daylight, with other humans.  And when I cross the finish line (and I WILL be crossing the finish line), my family will be there. 

Yes, in some ways I'm still that 10 year old girl scared of what other people will think of me.  In my head I'm just sure that someone will say to me, "Still a bit fat to be running a race aren't you?"  I'm afraid, also, that I'll get hurt or freeze up.

But I've got to start somewhere, and this is where I'm starting.  Saturday is technically Week 7/Day 3 of the C25K program for me, but that's ok.  I'm going to do the best job I can possibly do.  I am going to set the bar that I'll try to beat in future races...because I have a sneaking suspicion that after I have this one under my belt, I'm going to want to do a whole lot more.

Saturday, September 17, 2011

Goal Making At The Right Time

As a former smoker, I can tell you it's much easier to say, "I'm going to quit!!" after you've just smoked a cigarette.  The reason for that is that you've got that drug in your system - you feel strong.  You feel like you'll never need it again. And then in a few hours, or whenever you'd normally smoke again, you get that itch....the feeling is so powerful that you think, "What the hell was I thinking?  I can't do this!  Why did I want to do this?  I don't wanna!!!"

Although it's possible to get through that feeling (I'm living proof of that, over here!), it's much easier to make that decision and stick with it after you haven't smoked for a while.  You think, "I have gone this long without it, why do I need it, really?"  I've had several people go about it this way after being ill and it's worked well for them.

The same can be true about making the decision to get fit.  It's incredibly easy to say, "I'm going to stop the binges!  I'm going to eat healthy!  I'm going to go to the gym!" right after you've overeaten or been on a binge.  But when it comes time to actually stick to it, it's not always as easy.

If you make your goals at the right time, you're more apt to stick to them.  I try to avoid setting a sky-high goal after a negative experience with food.  Those are the times to set smaller, more attainable goals.  Get your legs under you and then jump for the stars!

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

Tuesday Check In

I really don't have a lot of substance to say except that I'm on track and have been following my workout schedule for the past week and 1/2.  This week looks like this:

Monday - Elliptical workout at the gym
Tuesday - Week 6 / Day 1 of C25K
Wednesday - Weights workout at the gym
Thursday - Week 6 / Day 2 of C25K
Friday - Elliptical workout at the gym
Saturday - Week 6 / Day 3 of C25K
Sunday - Rest

My training for the 5k I'll be running next Saturday, 9/24 is going very well.  While I don't have any delusions of winning it, I KNOW I will finish it.  I'm nervous.  I'm excited.  I can't freaking wait!

You know what else?  This isn't all about me (well sorta, but - not really).  How are YOU GUYS doing?  How's your week going?  What have your strengths been this week?  What do you need to work on?  Let me know!

Saturday, September 10, 2011

What "Week 5 / Day 3" of C25K Means To me

As many of you know, I decided to start the C25K program - which stands for "Couch To 5k."  The program is essentially designed to train a person with 0 running experience (that would be me, for sure) and have them work their tolerance up to being able to run a 5k (or 30 minutes) continuously.  When you start, your intervals of jogging are only 60 seconds at a time and you work your way up throughout the 9 week course.

I've tried the program twice before, never truly getting past the second week.  And so I put it on the back burner, sure that running wasn't for me and I'd never be able to do it.  Something changed in me, though, and I got the spark back.  I felt like I wanted to be a runner.  Maybe it was losing more weight and feeling a bit fitter, but I came back to it.

This morning I completed "Week 5 / Day 3" of the program.  Today was the first time IN MY LIFE that I ran continuously for 20 minutes.  That's not a mistake.  TWENTY.  As in, TWENTY! I'm not too proud to admit that when I finished my run I had tears (and a lot of sweat) running down my face.  I never believed I could do this before I started this program.  And truthfully, there have been days I was skeptical I could even after having started the program.  My legs started hurting and my lungs nearly declared mutiny a couple of times but I DID IT.

The lesson for me here is that if I believe I can do something, there's not a hell of a lot that can stand between me and my goal.  This time around I've started the program with the mindset that I'm going to finish it.  I knew after my last run that today was going to be a challenge, but I got up this morning and ran anyway, knowing in my heart that I could do it.  You don't hear this come out of my mouth often, but I AM SO DAMN PROUD OF MYSELF. 

You have to find what you love and do it.  In my case, the least likely thing has turned out to be what I've started falling in love with.  I never quite understood why someone would want to run unless a serial killer was chasing them.  But now I get it - if you're a runner, you're going to be way faster than the serial killer, and the non-runners are going to be the ones the killer reaches first.

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Brand New Blog Design!

On January 6, 2011 I entered a contest over at my buddy Charlie's blog - Operation Shrink Charlie's Big Butt.  The winner of which would receive a blog redesign by April Showers Blog Design.  I was completely enamored with the work that April had done so I gave it a shot.  What the heck - nothing to lose, right?

Wouldn't you know it....I actually WON!

Well, if you're reading this then you're seeing the completely wonderful work that April and her administrative assistant Laura have done for me.  I am in LOVE with it and wanted to take the time to thank April, Laura and Charlie for such a wonderful refreshing change for my blog!

I chose the character that I did because despite telling myself "I can't" for 35 years, I am becoming a runner.  And this girl I like because she's happy.  And I'm happy.  And I'm running away from the old self I used to be.  I'm running toward the new self I'm becoming and life never felt so damn good.

This fresh new look has inspired me to write more often in my blog whether I feel like I have anything to say of substance or not.

I just love it!  Thank you April, Laura, and Charlie!!

Sunday, September 4, 2011

The "I Want" vs. The "I Need"

It's no secret that I am completely and helplessly in love with sweets.  In another life I could have been a baker - not that I'm that good at it right now but I feel that I have the aptitude and passion to be fantastic at it if I tried.  I don't try, however, because when I do try - even a little, I eat all of my efforts because I'm simply not strong enough (yet?) to say "only one" when it comes to sweets.

I'm trying to find that balance between the "I Want" part of my brain and the "I Need" part on this weight loss journey of mine.  The "I Want" is what frequently takes over when I'm around a lot of good food like I was last night at a family gathering.  I was ok when the "food-food" was out, but when the desserts came out, I was like a vampire who hadn't fed in a week.  I had (not proud of this) THREE different desserts and if I hadn't been completely and entirely miserable after those I would have had more.  "I Want" had totally taken me down and glazed over my eyes.  (That being said, the desserts were incredible).

The "I Need" could have stepped to the forefront and said, "I Need to keep this to one dessert and enjoy every bite of it."  But the "I Want" is a strong bastard indeed.  The "I Want" shakes it's fat ass until the "I Need" shuts up completely and isn't thought of again until you get that bloated/miserable feeling.  And then you make friends with the "I Need" and hold on to it while you whisper, "Next time I'll listen to you.  I promise.  You're important to me."

It's easy to side with "I Want" in the heat of passion.  And by passion I mean when you're confronted with whatever happens to be your food kryptonite.  For some it's salty/savory foods.  For some it's cheese.  For some it's soda.  For me, certainly, it's sweets.  The "I Want" looks so damn cute and alluring to you that you think, "Just this once.  Then it's back to being all hardcore.  For real" - and then you start holding hands with that handsome "I Want" and the two of you decide doing a little damage together won't hurt. Nobody'll know and it'll be just fine.

But really, truly, you know it's not the best idea. 

So the balance I'm looking for?  I want to hang out with both "I Want" and "I Need" simultaneously.  Why do I have to pick one?  I want to keep "I Want" at bay.  I plan to keep the "I Need" with me daily and have a quickie with "I Want" now and then.  Not often, mind you.  And the "I Want" is going to scale back considerably.  But I just can't get rid of it all together.  I know some of you will say I should.  That I should send "I Want" packing and maybe some day I will.  But for now, I'm going to build a solid relationship with "I Need" and visit "I Want" sporadically. 

That's just something I have to do right now.  And this journey is discovering what you have to do RIGHT NOW, each moment of each day, to be successful.  To each their own.  If it doesn't work for you, that's ok.  If it doesn't work for me, I use the blocks I've got to build the best tower that'll support me while I learn as I go.
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