Run For Good 5k 2011

The Run for good 5k on Saturday was a lesson in discipline. These last few weeks have had me slacked off and scared to achieving success through exercise. On Friday  the day before the race I went to happy hour.

And got drunk.

The next morning I did not awake bright eyed and bushy tailed. There was nothing I could bribe myself out of bed with, just the knowledge I had spent 17 dollars I didn’t really have to attend a race i didn’t really want to go to. Before the last minute arrived, I called a cab and made my way to the start line.

I did not research the course. If I had, I probably would not have gone. It was 2 laps of 1.5 miles around downtown. I used all my energy (mind you, I was already running on empty) for the first lap. When I realized I had to make a second lap I wondered if I should just stop and go home instead.

I didn’t. I kept pluggin’ along. I tried making a game out of the songs that played. I would walk one song, run one song. It varied a bit, but I think its safe to say I jogged at least half of the race. The sun was out, and bearing down on my face, and every step felt like lifting dead weights, not to mention I was starving… and hungover. Finally the finish line appeared and I sucked up every last ounce of muster I had and ran through it.

47:57. I’m getting better all the time.

They had a pretty sweet (if small) expo after and I snagged as much fruit as I could hold in my hands, and promptly devoured it. A lady walked up to me and offered me congratulations and said something I never thought anyone would say: “I tried so hard to keep up with you, but I just couldn’t, there at the end. Good job!”

Run for Good, indeed.

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My Beginnings

Growing up, all I wanted to was to get out of Oregon. I grew up just outside of Portland. First in Tigard, then moved to Sherwood, followed by Tualatin just a few short years later. Each move was a cathartic release from the pressures of being me, but also left me even more isolated than the move before it. For a long long time, it was just me and my mom.

Me and my mom, Summer 2010

When I was 18, I enrolled myself into a womens college in Virgina. With $25 in my pocket, I took a 4 day train ride to a state I’d never been in, to a school I’d never seen, with no place to stay that first night (as far as I knew) and learned just how self sufficient I could be. I only attended for one year.

I spent the following summer in Colorado Springs with my cousin and uncle. That was a lesson in tyrannical depression. I fought valiantly to return to my school, even without any support from my family but ultimately, when I found out my best friend who was stationed in Anchorage Alaska, became pregnant it seemed only logical to move up there and help out with the baby.

A month after I moved up to Alaska, we had a falling out and we haven’t spoken since.

The Sleeping Lady, 2011

Alaska is the place where I found myself, where everything started making sense. I often talk about leaving here, but it finds a way to get under your skin. My friends are here, the family I’ve created for myself is here. I’ve found my niche.

I enjoy traveling. This year I went to Ohio for a friends wedding, and last year I visited Oregon and my mother- we drove down to California and back up the hwy 101. I visited my cousin in Colorado just before she went off and got pregnant and married, and my grandfather just before he passed. In a few months I’ll be heading to Hawaii for the first time, doing my first two races outside of Alaska.

So… What Do You Wanna Know?

I’ve been blogging here for just over a year now, going on and on about my trials and tribulations, successes and events. I’ve seen the stats on my blog rise and comments being left, which I totally appreciate and enjoy. I also start a lot of my sentences with “I“, something  I‘m very aware of.

So I’m wondering, to you out there, yes YOU. What do you want to know? What do you want to know about me or what I think or what I do, subjects that I haven’t delved into? I like having readers, and I’d like to keep you entertained.

So, let me know. If you don’t want to leave me a comment, you can always send me an email. lilyfluffbottom @ yahoo dot com

So until next time, Have a happy and safe Independence Day Weekend!

Thankful Thursday

I don’t usually have topical posts, but I’m feeling pretty thankful today so I thought I’d chime in.

  • For starters, I’m quite thankful for my job. I work as a Youth Employment Specialist which basically means I put teenagers on jobs through federally funded grants, and help them find their own jobs. I love what I do… when I have something to do. Its very rewarding and I honestly can’t imagine doing anything else. 
  • I’m also very grateful for my mother. She’s awesome. We’re going to Hawaii in three months and I am so excited I might pee myself before we leave.
  • Doctors. Yesterday my bff’s 3 year-old son had a lump removed from his chest and biopsied. It was a outpatient procedure, but they just don’t know whats going on. I am very glad the doctors got all of whatever the hell was in there.
  • Alaska’s 24 hour sun. Okay, so its more like 19 hours where I live, but trust me, 19 is plenty. It makes sleeping a joke during the summer, but you’re so hopped up on vitamin D that you just don’t care!
  • Payday! Within the next week or so, I’ll be buying my madre’s flight to here in September, and then all the major purchases (that I’m responsible for) will have been taken care of!

Friends and Weight Loss

I have two friends. (okay, so I have more than two friends, but for this post, I only have two!)

My two friends are roommates.

One is very active and likes doing things like walking through tunnels and climbing mountains and sweating in general (followed by eating earned calories).

The other likes to wander under the pretense of shopping, actually shopping, followed by a meal full of calories that may or may not have been earned at that point.

Its kind of an interesting experience, and I’ve found that the only thing the three of us really do together is eat. A couple of weekends ago I met up with friend #1 to participate in a race, went home and changed to meet up with friend #2, shopped around at a used book store, grabbed lunch and then later we both met up with #1 to eat dinner.

Before I started on my weight loss journey, I can’t say that I spent a lot of time with #1. We had all the same friends of course, but it always more of group situations as opposed to our own little outings. That has changed now, because I am looking for all sorts of new and exciting ways to move my body and make it sweat. (That sounds kind of dirty, but I like it!)

What I’m finding now is that I’d almost rather spend less time with friend #2 because her lack of interest in sweating kind of annoys me. I understand I don’t necessarily have to spend all my time with either/or, but I would like to do things with her that don’t involve just eating delicious albeit high calorie junk food. I’m not going to let this affect our friendship. There are always healthier decisions to be made, and I’m well on my way to making them. I just wish all of my friends would join me, instead just the one.

That said, I’ll take what I can get.

How do you manage your times spent with friends who don’t enjoy sweating as much (or at all) as you do? Have you noticed a change in your relationship?

Whittier Tunnel Walk 2011

Entrance to the the tunnel

On Sunday, Fathers day, The March of Dimes hosted a walk through the Whittier tunnel. A fun fact about this tunnel, its the longest combined train/automotive tunnel in North America at 2.5 miles. Whittier started out as a Military outpost during World War II, but to get supplies there they had to drill through the tunnel. In an effort to save time, they started drilling at either side of the mountain, and met in the middle. Turns out they were off, but only by about an inch.

       
Me and my Friend Rachel

When we reached the visitor’s center, it looked as though they were wrapping up. I couldn’t quite figure out what was happening- where were all the people?! Suddenly a women hollered, “All walker’s on the bus! The bus is leaving now!”

Turns out the walk didn’t start at the visitor’s center, it started about two miles further down the road, at the actual tunnel. Who knew?

Me in my required hard hat.

It was so neat inside. The tunnel was lit at the top, and all sides were covered by netting, and it was kinda wet inside.  (Thats what she said.)

The light at the end of the tunnel

 The further we got in, the more stale the air became. At two points, volunteers were handing out water bottles. I grabbed one, even though I had brought my own. I always bring my own.

Upon exiting the tunnel, to the left.

 When we reached the end, we weren’t really sure what was going to happen next. Did we have to walk back to the otherside? Where were all the finishers ahead of us? Why did it have to be so dreary?

Turns out, they loaded us into the buses once more, and took us into town. Rachel and I grabbed some halibut and chips, and a beer. The thing is about this, the walk was technically free. There was no registration fee. If I had known all that went into organizing this event, I would have actually tried to donate. Next year, I definitely plan to.

beers

We sat at a table for 6 people, and so two others joined us. One was a retired designer, the other a school administrator. We had a fantastic conversation about life and where we came from, death, and of course, bear attacks. 

Me at Portage Lake.

God, I love Alaska.

Saruman the Chatterbox (Rated R for Language)

After a long day of wandering around the mall, I met up with my friend Rachel and we went on a “run” not far from my place of residence. As I was getting ready to leave, Saruman walked in, and I causually invited her. She decided to join in, and after waiting for her to change, we left.

Rachel is a very fit person and went off running at a pace I can only dream about. Saruman and I stayed behind, I wanted to get a longer walk in before I started off running, and she decided to stay with me. At first she seemed surprised at how slow I was going, and kind of made comments about it. “Oh, I thought were were going to go at a full tilt pace” and “this is a lot easier than I thought” “this isn’t hard at all, some people just run really slow, I guess.”

Foul Language Ensues….

I wanted to punch her and say, “bitch, I weigh 300 pounds. The fact that I’m jogging at all is a fucking miracle, now shut your fat fucking mouth before I toss your fucking ass in the ocean!”

Instead I just tried to focus on my breathing and nodded along to her incessant chatter. Usually I’m a good and happy listener, but then she starts saying things like, “Oh yeah, my friend trained me to run 6 miles 12 years ago. I guess I still have my endurance,” and “not much of a runner, hm.” and I take a hit on my confidence because clearly she thought I was more capable than I am.

I’m trying to be understanding and listening and calm and all those things that good people do, and I especially don’t want to start a conflict with her, but dammit, I wish someone would rip out her vocal chords already.

/rant

I’m really excited about tomorrow. I have confirmed my plans with Rachel and the three of us will be going to Portage Glacier, the start of the Whittier Tunnel Walk. Its the longest tunnel in North America, and Whittier is one of the most magical places I’ve ever seen. I’m hoping having a familiar friend around will make it easier to be around Saruman. And hopefully I’ll actually be able to post pictures from my last three walks. I know I’m laggin’ on that front.

Until next time, friends.

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

Stair Climbing and Burning Out

This morning instead of going to the gym, I climbed the Stairs of Doom five times. They’re relatively close to my home, so it was just a short walk to get there. I used my heart rate monitor, which I’m pretty much in love with. I was only active for about 20 minutes, and burned just over 200 calories.

I didn’t think to bring my camera because I was running a little behind this morning. All this sun is making it difficult to get quality sleep! I forget to go to bed because its still light at midnight… I wake up at three am to pee, and the sun is coming over the mountains! I’ve lived here for 5 years, you’d think I’d be used to this by now.

 After I came home, a little disappointed in my calorie burn, despite being covered in sweat, I decided to turn on a little music and dance for another 15 minutes.
I’ve been thinking a lot about my goals for the next couple of months, and I’m starting to feel burnt out. If I want to see more results, I have to work for it much harder than I have been. Working harder also burns me out. Having my schedule changed burns me out.  Asking more of myself burns me out. 
I think the part that I keep forgetting is, The more I ask of myself, the more I’m able to accomplish. Perhaps I won’t reach that “goal” but I’ll be so much closer to it than if I hadn’t started at all.
Even though I have all these walks planned, I almost don’t even care at this point.Okay, even writing that doesn’t feel true. I guess I still just want to be at the finish line, and skip all the hard stuff- you know, the stuff that matters. The stuff that shows you who you are, the stuff the creates memories. 
As Miley Cyrus sings, 


Ain’t about how fast you get there

Ain’t about whats waiting on the other side

Its the climb
Yup. Totally just quoted a Miley Cyrus song.
Speaking of things leading me closer to my goals, I was invited to go on a hike this Friday immediately after work on the Bird Ridge Trail, near Girdwood, Alaska. It is listed as a moderate to difficult 2.5 miles one day with a 3500 elevation gain. My head is kind of spinning just thinking about it. Several other people will be going, including two of my documentary programmers for the AIFF this year (whom I recruited myself) so in theory it should be fun. But I don’t want to be that person that holds every one back. I don’t want people waiting on me, cause it makes me feel lame.
The view from the top of Bird Ridge (source)

I really really really don’t think I’m ready for such a hike. But if I never go, I’ll never know, right? Maybe I should go climb some more stairs…

How do you keep from burning out?

Over the weekend

My friend took this picture of me over the weekend. I don’t recognize myself in any of it, well, except for the purse and phone. I really want to ask her to take it off the internet, but if I don’t have these reminders, then it’ll be easier to pretend I don’t have a problem. This is what the rest of the world sees when they look at me.

In two fridays I have a 12k to walk, immediately after work. I’m excited, but I must admit, I totally forgot about it until just this morning, and, I really haven’t done any “long” walks. I cap out at about 3 miles. I am really planning on getting one in this weekend. I might make it my only plan this weekend, in fact. The week after the 12k, there’s the Alaska Run for Women, which is 5 miles, but as I’ll be walking to and from the starting line, it’ll end up being closer to 8. My body is still under prepared for this. I need to shift my focus and start doing more, challenging myself more.

Instead of going to the gym this morning, I went on a walk around the neighborhood. It was nice to get out and enjoy the sunny weather.

I kind of got derailed, going to Ohio last week. I’m slowly getting things back on track, but damn it’s hard. I bought a pack of cigarettes upon my arrival home, despite that I had quit nearly two years ago. I’m not happy to admit this. I bought a second pack, and gave 75% of it to my friend (the same one who took the picture). I’m done with that now. For now.

One day at a time.