June Goals and May Round Up

Mt. Susitna, 2011

So, to recap the spectacle that was the month of May:

I got a new roommate and almost immediately, drama ensued. I had all sorts of plans for Mother’s Day, which were intercepted by my friend, but made for a significantly more enjoyable weekend. After spending literally months convincing myself I didn’t want to attend one of my best friend’s wedding, I finally made the decision, and to be honest, it was such a beautiful event. I’m so glad I went. While I was in Ohio, the Blogger Apocalypse happened and my Anniversary post kind of got passed over. I lost 30 lbs in a year, eating whatever I wanted. Ideally, I would have lost more, but the important thing to remember is, after actively gaining weight for nearly 10 years, I have finally made a huge commitment with evidential proof that my health is precious and I’m finally putting it up as a priority. I wrapped the month up with a nice long walk; 9.5 miles to be exact.

AKRFW, 2010

This month, I’ve got two races lined up, the Skinny Raven Twilight 12k which is THIS friday, right after work. The Alaska Run for Women is the next Saturday. I might end up banditing that one… I keep trying to register, and they keep not registering me. Its very frustrating. On three seperate occasions, they have not charged me a single time, and well… fine, AKRFW. Don’t take my money. I will still go. I will always go as long as I’m in this state.

As for the rest of the month, my goals are centered around progressing with c25k. I think I kinda chickened out. It doesn’t seem right that I should be running at any pace at the weight I’m currently at. I lost my balls, and now I gotta get them back.  I also need to do a better job of tracking my food. I think for this week I’m going to take pictures of all my meals. Starting Wednesday, and going through til the 11th because the holiday has totally screwed me up. Oops.

Hope everyone’s June is as awesome as they hope it to be!

Current weight: 290.1

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Anniversary Post


So, this was originally supposed to be posted on May 13th. Except, I was in Ohio, and Blogger was experiencing their own apocalypse. On ward, and upward, I always say!

(my official before picture)

Starting weight: 323.3
Todays weight: 292.3
Total lost in one year: 30 lbs

How I feel about that:

Awesome. I have maintained a weight loss of 30 for nearly a year. The last time I lost weight, I was 16, and I was starving myself. It hurt, and I scared me. But now, I have a lot going on for myself this year.

I was so hung over in this picture…

Originally, I was going to make this a long drawn out post, detailing all the cool stuff I’ve accomplished in the last year, all the heart ache I suffered but survived through, and a list of goals set for the future, but most of that is covered in my “about me” tab, and as for goals this year? I just want to keep moving forward.

To those that read my ramblings and constant “I” statements, I appreciate it, I love your comments and I am so glad I’ve chosen to share my journey with you. Reading your blogs and tweetchats has been a great inspiration to me, and I love you all. Thank you for sharing in this with me.

Heart Run 2011

 What can I say about the Heart Run of 2011? It was a cold blustery day, that was only made colder by activity followed by inactivity. I had hoped my new roommate and one of my friends would join me, but they bailed at the last second, so I was on my own, yet again. Of course, that didn’t stop me from participating. I got there about an hour early, and while it was chilly out, I didn’t feel like it was too cold. The clouds were shrouding the sky everywhere except for over the mountains, which made the morning look pretty dramatic, indeed.

The Heart Run this year had a nice tribute going on for me. About three years ago, my father had a heart attack alone in his apartment, and died. It was not the first one he had, but it certainly was the last. While it took some time to motivate me into a healthier life style, I am finally starting to get there, so it was nice to be surrounded by those who had experienced heart disease and lived through it, or share in the memory of those who did not survive it, and still, fitness and running aficionados who just love to move and sweat for the sake of it.

I guess there were about 6000 registrants this year, making the Heart Run one of the biggest in the state. I started out with the timed running group, even though I planned walking most of it. I jogged for about the first 2 minutes, mostly because there were people lining the barriers cheering us on, and well, I wanted to feel special. However, as it has been for all of my other races, the shin splints got me pretty quick, and took the rest of the first mile to work out.

The Run started in the very back parking lot of the UAA campus, went down to the main road, took a detour, wrapped around APU’s campus and went back to the parking lot, making a very odd shaped T. Even though I was experiencing some shin splints during the first mile, there was this group of people walking ahead of me, and I decided I wanted to catch up to them. So I jogged. I picked light posts to start and stop at, and completed the first mile at 17:50.

I was really excited just after we passed the mile 2 marker at 33:22 because just beyond it were a group of native drummers. I love drums for the atmosphere they create, for some reason they just lift my heart. I wish I had actually stopped to get a better picture of them, but alas, I was in my zone, and pictures are a distraction.

As we wrapped behind the APU dorms, and started heading downhill again, I decided I was going to jog all the way down it. So I did. I stopped momentarily to take this picture:

Isn’t he totes cute? He was giving out high fives to all the passersby.

Now, I know I shouldn’t get all uppity about my time, and that finishing is the greatest part of participating because it means I’m capable, and while my friends and strangers were home nursing hangovers, I was being awesome and healthy. But. The first woman to finish the race did so in 16:58. That is less time than it took me to finish one mile, and she did just over 3. I’m so jealous. Anyway. I’m nearly over it.

Afterward, I stuck around to see who would win the drawing of Alaska Airline tickets, and got a slice of cinnamon chip bread from Great Harvest. It was so cold, I thought I would cry. I should have gone around the track again, so I could stay warm! I caught the bus in the nick of time, did some light grocery shopping, went home, talked with my roommate a little bit, and then slept for 16 hours. It was great, but I’m thinking I need to work on my stamina a little bit more. After all, it was only 3.1 miles.

MS Walk 2011

I once met a woman with MS. Her mother was my college!sister’s Godmother. During thanksgiving, we went to visit her at the hospice center where she lived. She was completely immobile, her hands looked like arthritis had played a dirty dirty trick, and her eyes wandered about the room, constantly looking for something new.

I don’t remember her name. I do remember feeling terrified. Multiple Sclerosis is a relatively terrifying disease, with many stages, symptoms, onsets, and no cure.

On Friday afternoon, I got a text from my friend, asking me if I was going to be attending this 4 mile walk, to which I responded, “There’s a walk this weekend I don’t know about?!” as we were figuring out the details, I registered for it online. There was no fee, just a suggested donation/raising of funds for $50.

Saturday arrived, and my friend picked me up half an hour earlier than originally planned, because her friend thought there was something we needed to be early for. Turns out she was incorrect, and her friend showed up about 20 minutes after we did.

We all chatted, and one who was in the army offered me some unsolicited advice on how to lose weight. It involved interval running, and building up to a set amount of miles. “When you let your heart rate go back to normal, and then raise it, and repeat that cycle, the weight just drops off like that!” she explained to me with a snap of her fingers.

I was quite happy to explain to her that I was already doing something similar, though, as with everything, when I start talking to strangers I tend to start stuttering, and lose my confidence, therefore trying to end the conversation as quickly as possible. Unfortunately for me, ( I don’t remember her name) she had a 5hour Energy, two red bulls and a handful of other ridiculous energy boosters that may or may not have been laden with sugar as well. She continued talking to me, telling stories and eventually drowning out the speakers as the “race” was beginning with her chatter.

The countdown began, runners were called to the front. I was right at the imaginary starting line, and decided, “What the hell! I’ll start off jogging.” And so I did. For about… 25 seconds. And then my legs started hurting real bad.

The last time I got any real mileage outside was probably the end of September when it became to cold and rainy and dark to continue walking home from work. Since then, I’ve used the treadmill and elliptical machine, and the difference was stunning. My first shinsplints set in, and my legs felt like lead. My music was bumping, and I tried to get into it, but singing while walking always leaves me a little breathless. So I started to really focus in on my breathing, the “left-right-left inhale right-left exhale”.

At the end of the first mile, there was a station with port-a-potties and volunteers handing out water and orange slices. I grabbed an orange slice gratefully, bit down and sucked out as much juice and pulp as I could in one bite, then threw the masticated carcass in the trash, about two yards head. I kept going. At that point, I noticed the pain in my legs had gone away, my breathing had evened out, and I wanted to finish as quickly as possible, so I picked a place to start jogging, and went to a predetermined place to start walking again.

I did this again and again. Of course I forgot to count how many times this happened, but I would say no less than 7 times. Each jog wasn’t long, maybe 10 or 15 seconds, but it was more jogging outside than I had done all year (which is to say, I haven’t jogged outside at all this year) and I was pretty happy to do it. At one point I really hoped we were already on mile three. I was ready for it to be over. Just as I was wondering how far left there was to go, there was a sign posted that said, “Congratulations! You are half way done!” Instead I pulled my shoulders back and marched onward. (I think I used that sign as a starting place for a jog, actually.)

The MS Walk took place at Lake Hood, which is right next to the Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport. It is the busiest float plane lake in the entire country, however it was still frozen over while we were out there. We saw a handful of planes take off, and one even held up a hoard of walkers just in front of me.

Finally I could see where the walkers were turning off into the parking lot where the race started. I considered jogging the last bit of it, I felt I had it in me, but when I saw that the walk truly wasn’t timed, I decided to just walk instead. As I was turning the last and final corner into the parking lot, I saw a car full of my new friends, waiting for me to finish! It was nice to see them cheer me on. I finished the four miles in approximately 1:08, according to my friend’s timer. 17 minute mile average. Pretty slow, I think, but I’ll take it. Its better than not finishing at all!

Afterward, I grabbed a hot dog and some water. We ate them in her car, and I got ketchup on my face. She drove me home, and then I took a long bath, and a 4 hour nap. It was a good day. Perhaps next year I’ll actually try to raise some money. I sure would like a teeshirt!

My Blog

I changed the header and color scheme of my blog tonight, and I must say I think it looks quite pretty. I love the brown and pink and cream color scheme. Its my favorite. My room is that scheme too.

I also updated my “about me page” (the link  can be found just below my header) with links that update new readers about my varied journey thus far. It was very interesting to me to see how many times I “started over” this last year. I think I never counted it as starting over before that implies giving up. I never gave up, I just gave in. Or maybe I didn’t report as much progress as I should have. But mostly I think I just had a really hard year, and every step backward taught me something new about myself. Lessons I am now taking with me and truly learning from. I went to the gym 5 days this week. It was all I could do to keep myself from working out today,. I’m addicted to the endorphin rush.Though I will be honest, I haven’t weighed myself the last couple of days. I’m just so happy to be out of the 300’s!

I also think a lack of some blogging is due to twittering. its a lot easier to write about small successes as they happen then sit down and write a whole post about it.

Today I made banana bread and chili. Its actually chilling’ in my crock pot because I haven’t had time to let it do anything other than cook. I was going to share my pictures of making chili with you, but my phone hasn’t uploaded the picture yet.

I think I found some good pointers for controlling my breathing while running, so I’m going to put those into effect this week repeating w2 of c25k, and see if I will be ready to run 3 minutes next week. Cross your fingers!

Shamrock 5k Scramble Report

I don’t mean to keep putting off this post. Quite a few things happened this weekend that are worth mentioning, the first of which, I completed my first 5k of the year, the Shamrock 5k in Anchorage. It was outside, it was snowy, and I rocked it. I walked the there-and-back course, on the trails groomed for cross-country skiing, in 43:15. This is a new PR for me, though I haven’t really been keeping score. The day before I had walked one mile in 17 minutes and thought that was pretty bragworthy, so imagine my surprise when I saw that I had managed a 14:33 pace! I had no idea I had it in me to walk so fast. All my time at the gym and Zumba’ing has really paid off!

I had never done this race before (I had no idea what the course was going to be like either!) and I had a hell of a time trying to get someone to join me. I eventually went by myself, though I had to call a cab (which was the one thing I was trying to avoid).  Half way to Alaska Pacific University where it was being held, I realized I left my bib at home. I couldn’t ask the cabbie to turn around and cost me even more dollars, so I just went with it. It was very uncomfortable for me to be there by myself, and I wasn’t sure how to dress because, well, its Alaska.

Then, just to make everything a bit more interesting, when I got there, I realized that one of my ear bud jellies had gone missing. What was I gonna do? What else could I do? I couldn’t just… go home. I couldn’t just give up. When I realized that basically everyone around would be running, I wanted to shake myself and ask why I had even gone in the first place. But I did it anyway.

The trail was pretty. The beginning was pretty hilly, and I was kind of scared that the whole thing was going to be like that. But it evened out pretty quickly, and as the runners all broke off, I settled into a walking pace not to far behind those in front of me. It didn’t take very long for me to start passing them. The trail was clearly marked, and with every bend there were a handful of people, and at two occasions, EMT’s,  cheering us all on. Part of me wanted to be rude everytime I walked by and they were cheering me on. It was very difficult to accept their enthusasm as something that wasn’t… contrived. I of course was the perfect picture of grattitude, saying thanks along the way to every one that was cheering. One lady said, “You’re almost there!” and made me believe for a moment, that the turn around point was just over the next bend.

It wasn’t.

I found it very difficult to not stop and take pictures at every turn, yet at the same time, found my pace increasing more and more and wasn’t sure how I’d make my legs stop, even if I wanted. (Thus, I apologize for the crappy photos.) Finally reaching the half way point was less thrilling than I had hoped. It was just a circle marked off, and you wound your way around it. There was one woman, sitting in a chair, and ringing a cow bell.

I kept going, and going and going, I passed all the other walkers, and although all the runners had finished, I was certain I was at the head of the walker’s group. Finally I made it back up the hill, then back down the hill, and suddenly there was a small group of people, a ticker and a pink line with two safety cones on either side, in the snow. I finished. I looked up at the ticker, and nearly paused. 43 minutes, you say? Surely I’ve been out here huffing and puffing for an hour! No? I did pull out my phone, which confirmed I had been walking for less than an hour. My mind was blown. So blown in fact, that it took 4 days to write this blog post about it. Anyway, as I was crossing the finish line, they asked me where my bib was. I felt a wave of shame try to wash over me as I explained as earnestly as possible that I left it at home. They called me a bandit, the first one of the race, and had a laugh. You see, I couldn’t feel too much shame, because I already felt freakin’ awesome.

Actually, Saturday was a very eventful day for me. That evening I went to see No Strings Attached with my friend Rachel. It was my second time seeing it, and I loved it both times. I love how awkward and skinny Natalie Portman is.

However, before I went and saw that movie, I attended my very first, and hopefully only,  Military Funeral. One of my very good friends committed suicide after returning from her deployment in Afghanistan. I didn’t know what to say or do. I still don’t. I just hope she can finally find the peace that has evaded her for so long.

So again, if you have any military people in your life, make sure they’re talking about their experiences, not holding it in. That they’re seeking proper medical assistance if they need it, and make sure they know you love them. I had no idea the last time I saw her would truly be the last time I saw her. I’m very grateful that I was able to see her one last time.

Mini Road Trip!

I had a fabulous weekend. Considering that my new roommate that came in on Wednesday locked herself in her room over the weekend and is leaving for home tonight and has made my house feel super awkward since her arrival, it was fantastic.

http://maxime4009benard.piczo.com

On friday, walking home from work, there were two moose blocking my way so I called my neighbor to pick me up (I was literally just half a block but there was a sow and a calf and well… its icy and I didn’t like my chances). She pulled up, and I slipped getting in to her car. I caught myself “breakdance style” but still partially slid under her car. I thought for a moment I might have sprained my wrist.

Eating wise, Friday was not so good. I had gone out to lunch and gotten a salad. Just before dinner I had a long conversation with my roommate, trying to convince her to stay. She wasn’t having any of it. Went to Spenard Roadhouse, grabbed some alcohol and a burger with avocado and tots (which they’re FAMOUS for) then headed off to Sugar Spoon where I got a 12 oz. skinny chai latte and a slice of chocolate crumble cheese cake.

Downtown Anchorage

That meal of course is what prompted me to go to the gym on Saturday, which I left feeling awesome. I am excreting awesomeness even now. I did realize as I was walking down the stairs that my thigh hurt a bit, it took me a while to realize it was from the fall the day before. That didn’t stop me from 35 minutes on the elliptical and 20 minutes on the treadmill, 5 of which I spent RUNNING. Awesome. I can’t wait til its the whole 20 minutes! I bought some apple juice, and a protein shake and went to town on both of them once I got home. 

Then I cleaned around the house for a bit, before going to see Narnia: The Dawn Treader. I’m not really into the Narnia fandom, and haven’t seen the second one. It was in 3d and I couldn’t understand why, but other than that I really enjoyed it. For dinner I had rice and bean tacos with gaucamole. It was nice.

Sunday I did a lot of laundry, watched a couple of movies, and then finally went on a mini road trip down to Portage Glacier with my neighbor and her friend. The drive from Anchorage to Girdwood is one of the prettiest drives in the country. I become so awe-inspired every time I get to go, and I feel honored to view the majesty of Alaska. Surely there are prettier places in Alaska, but that this one is so accessible just adds to its beauty, I think.

I came home, made vegetarian stroganoff (which I couldn’t decide if it was good or not… I didn’t go back for seconds.) finished doing some laundry and hit the sack. It was exactly how a two day weekend should go. Busy, but relaxing. Fun, with a side of cleaning.  And somehow managed to lose some weight. Quite impressed!

When it rains, it pours… awesomeness

I feel awesome today. I am excreting awesomeness, in fact. Today, I went to the gym, and with no hesitation hopped on the eliptical. I kept my heart at its target rate, rarely going above it (it was nice to be in control of how hard my heart beats) and burned 485 calories in 35 minutes. Then I hopped on the treadmill for 20 minutes. 5 of those minutes, I ran. I ran. I runned. It. Was. Beautiful. I am so proud of my self. I called my mom just after I left to tell her the awesome news. Hey mom, hey. Hey mommy hey. Mommy, hey mom, hey. Hey. Hey, hey mom hey! Guess what I did! You’ll never guess what I did. Guess what I did! I ran. I RAN. I. Feel Awesome. Its like crack. (I don’t know what crack is like.)

Now, I didn’t run all five of those minutes together. I sparsed it out over the 20 minutes, but I’m new at this. I haven’t attempted to run since some killer shinsplints, and some guys watching me out their window from last summer.


Did I mention how awesome I feel? I will probably not feel so awesome tomorrow, I can feel my knee tighening up right now, as a matter of fact, but I’m feeling pretty awesome right now, so I don’t really care. Tuesday. Either in the morning, or in the evening, but I can’t wait to try this again.

Current weight: 302.7

*I was going to make this a post about how awesome I am, and how terrible my new roommate is, and the fact that she’s leaving in a handful of days, but then decided to just focus on how I am currently feeling. I think I’ve fully established how I feel, but in case you missed it, I feel AWESOME.

Enter Witty Title Here

Yesterday I woke up, and tried to Zumba, but I just wasn’t feeling it. After 20 minutes I stopped, made breakfast and then got ready for work. Its really frustrating that I just can’t seem to wake up early enough to get a good workout in with time left to shower and get ready for the day. I was hoping once the sun started coming up at 8 it would make a difference, but so far, no such luck. While waiting for the bus a moose crossed my path. It kind of terrified me because they’re big and kick sideways. (That last part may or may not be true.)

My work day was relatively unimpressive. The best part about it was participating in Fitblog. I’m so lucky that I’m able to do that during work. It makes the last couple hours of my day just fly by. Afterwards, I kept thinking about my terribly unexciting Zumba workout. I decided when I got home, I would try it again.

Man, I impressed myself last night. I did the whole cardio party (minus the jumping bits, but I was doing other active stuff during those bits). Its impressive because I started at 9pm, and I never workout at night. I think I’ve decided to start, at least for the next few days before my roommate gets here.

Did I mention I’m getting a new roommate and my house will no longer be my own? We’ll see what kind of wrench that throws in my plans. I’m hoping not much of one. I mean to say, I’m going to try my damnest to make sure that it doesn’t. I’m going to Hawaii this fall, and I need to be able to MOVE.

Anyway, today I feel awesome and I can’t wait to go home and do it again!

Accomplished: Alaska Run for Women (Except I Walked)

Boy am I glad I went out and bought a sugar free Red Bull last night. I knew I was going to need it this morning.
I know I’ve gone on about the sun here in Alaska, but man, I just don’t remember it affecting me like this last year. I didn’t get to bed until two, and just as I was falling asleep, my roommate finally came home, and was loud until about 6 am, when my alarm went off for the first time because I knew I was going to need additional time in waking up.

I made sure to get some good stretching in, as well as two large glasses of water, and made some eggs with cinnamon chip bread. I ate half of the slice before the walk, and the other half well after the walk was over.

So, I live near where the event was taking place, and decided it’d be convenient for me to walk, and it was. Just not so much walking home. My legs felt like led at that point, and every step jarred my hips, something I usually don’t have an issue with. The path was actually part of the route, and so I got to walk the same mile three times today.  It winds underneath two of the busiest roads in Anchorage and deposits you right next to the Sullivan Arena. Once I reached there, I went to where I was told to meet up: at the port-a-potties near the back. I went there, and didn’t see a single person from when we decorated shirts on Thursday. Granted, there were only four people at the decorating party, but still. I did my part and showed up on time, where were they?

http://www.flickr.com/apps/slideshow/show.swf?v=71649

Finally, the last call for stragglers was called, and the crowd moved through to the parking lot where the walk actually began. There I saw an entire wall of portapotties. Encouraged, i started hanging out near the back, as explained to earlier. But alas, I still couldn’t find anyone.

I was in a sea of people. The goal was to have 10,000 women sign up this year. They didn’t reach it, but they did get 7100 women registered, which is pretty amazing. I love how active Anchorage’s community is. I think the announcer said something about it being the 3rd largest women’s only run in the country, but I can’t be sure. Either way, it was amazing to see all the different teams, the survivors of Breast Cancer, and all the love that was there.  Being me of course, I brought my headphones and ipod, and turned it up full blast. I occasionally took my earbuds out to hear the bands as we walked by, and I know if I had left them out, eventually someone would have tried to talk to me. But I couldn’t. I needed my security blanket to get through this walk.

The walk takes us downtown, then wraps around the Tony Knowles Coastal Trail, before heading back to the arena. At one part of the walk, during mile 3, we go very close indeed to my house, and my legs were killing me at that point, and it took every ounce of strength in me to continue onward. I credit 98% of my willpower to continue onward to this blog and its readers. I didn’t want to disappoint you, or  more importantly, explain any potential disappointment in myself. When I finally made it through the pink finish line, I was excited, but I was tired. I was already considering how I was going to get home. I briefly considered calling a cab, but thought that if I’m going to be a Walker today, then I was going to be a BAMF about it and walk home too. All together I walked 7 miles.

Minutes after crossing the finish line, I walk over to the water station and grab a cup. I look over to find the nearest trash, and who should I see, but one of my team members! Yay! Finally! Apparently they hadn’t been able to find anyone else either. So we snapped a couple of pictures, and went on our way.

I went home, slowly, talking on the phone with my mother the whole way. There were so many times when I just wanted to sit down, and take a break. I know my body though, and knew if I sat down before I was really ready, I would not get up. I would not be able to, or if I was able to, it was hurt more than it did already.

I took a shower for as long as I could stand to be on my feet, and then crawled into bed. Once in bed, I fell asleep.  I woke up around 5pm, disoriented and in a lot of pain. My right hip and my left knee were just on fire. Finally I considered the day a success. I love the feeling of my body being worn out. Its oddly rewarding.

How did you feel after your first walk/run event?