Tag Archive: running


So today I registered for the More Magazine/Fitness Magazine Women’s Half-Marathon (MFWHM). To say I’m excited is an understatement of the greatest proportions. I have been thinking about this ALL DAY since I registered! Let me start at the beginning.

I was feeling some type of way today. I just felt really crazy and off-kilter and very anxious. This morning I tried to go somewhere I have been at least three times before, and I couldn’t find my way there. I had to call and get directions. Then the rest of the day from that point on? Meh. I needed a pick me up. Something told me to check on the half-marathon registration. The site said previously that registration would open mid-January and that it’s a capped race. That meant I would have to register as soon as registration opened to guarantee myself a spot, or else it would sell out. I had planned to check on January 15th, but something told me to check today. So on a humble I go to the site and scroll down and I can tell the site looks different. I keep scrolling, and there it is:

Image

The Magic Button. I stared at it for a minute, amazed that it was actually there because it’s not mid-January. I think about waiting. I think about money; should I spend it on this registration? The race is on 4/13/14, and my 40th birthday is on 4/14/14. I decide running a half-marathon for my 40th birthday is worth it and I click the button.

And now I can’t stop thinking about this race! You would think it was my first one. But it is my first one outside of Cincinnati and it’ll be the first all women race I run. I’m not just running in NYC, I’m running through Central Park! I’ve never been to Central Park on any of my trips to NYC. I think I’m so excited because of the element of the unknown. Running the Pig here in Cincinnati, I’m running on streets I drive on (except when it goes in KY, because I don’t go to KY unless absolutely necessary). Now I’ve registered to run a race I know nothing about, I have no idea where the hills start or end, I didn’t even think there would be hills until I read the website. I mean, they tell you what miles the hills cover, but that means diddlysquat to me since I’ve never seen it.

I’m also excited about registration packet/bib pick-up, and the Health & Wellness Expo. Just to compare it to the Expo that they have here before the Pig. I’m pretty sure I don’t get a swag bag at the MFWHM. The website specified t-shirt, and you’re not even guaranteed the size of your choice:  first come, first served. So I think a swag bag is a pipe dream. No biggie, I’ll get my swag on at the Pig. Which is exactly 3 weeks after the MFWHM. Eh, I might be crazy. We’ll find out. 🙂

I’m excited to start training. I haven’t run since September. I mean, maybe a little bit here and there on the treadmill or as a warm-up during bootcamp, but that’s it. I’m not looking forward to it, but I think I’m going to have to actually run in the cold. See, I’m not a cold weather runner. When it’s cold or raining, I run on the treadmill. But I’m not sure what the weather will be like in April in NYC, so something tells me I need to do a few cold weather runs. And not even that jacked up news can take away my excitement about this race! This race is going to be special to me. I don’t know how or why, I just feel like it is. And because of that, I actually WANT to train for it. I look forward to lacing up my running shoes again. I do NOT look forward to running in cold weather, but I DO look forward to what I’ll learn about myself and about running. And I’m excited to try to get a little faster. I’m never trying to win the race; I’m not that type of runner. I do, however, like to challenge myself to get a little better every time. Last year, I finished the Pig in 2:38:45, and that was without really training for it. This year, I would like to finish both races at around 2:15. I think it’s doable, especially if I train the way I know I’m supposed to, and I will.

Oh, I almost forgot. There was an option to have someone contact you if you have an inspirational story to share. I checked the little box that they could contact me. I would love to be an inspiration to other women. I hope they contact me. 🙂

I used to be notorious for saying I would only run if a dog was chasing me. Now I’m running a half-marathon for my 40th birthday. I gotta admit, I amaze myself sometimes. You should give that a try:  AMAZE YOURSELF!

Until next time, as always, CHOOSE LIFE, CHOOSE HEALTH!

Yesterday I relaxed all day. Slept until late afternoon (and it was awesome) and chilled the rest of the day. Danced last night after downloading songs into my new favorite app, MP3 Music Download. Went to sleep at a decent hour so that I could be rested for my big day. I woke up this morning at 6:30am and snoozed until 7am. I took a quick shower, got dressed, and headed out the door. The race was held at Lunken Playfield, which is right over by Lunken Airport. I know exactly where this is because there is a Farmers’ Market out there. Still, I put the address in my GPS (which is in my phone). I pass a street called Playfield, but I listen to Madame GPS because I have now allowed technology to make my decisions for me (read: I’ve dumbed down). I get all the way to where the Farmers’ Market is and I park my car. It’s almost 8:30 and registration opened at 8:00. Although there are about 8 cars parked around me, there are not enough cars for me to be in the right place. The email said there were 800 or so participants and only 400-500 parking spaces so to carpool. Not enough cars. So I read the directions in the email in my phone (you know, the old way to do directions) and there it is, in black and white, “Turn left on Playfield Drive.” Stupid GPS. Stupid GPS owner. I think for 10 seconds that maybe I should just walk back. Then I come to my senses. I’m about to walk a 5K; now is not the time to be thinking about how to get extra steps. It had to be a mile out of the way. That would be a 20 minute walk and even though I had time to spare? I drove my fat ass down the street.

I get to the real parking lot and it’s still fairly empty! I park as soon as I pull in so that it will be easier for me to get out at the end. I don’t mind the little walk to the shelter; I have time to spare. I tie my keys to my shoestring and walk down to the shelter. It is then that I realize I forgot my HRM watch. I don’t so much need to take my HR, but I use it to time my intervals. No biggie, I have my trusty-dusty WW pedometer, and it has stopwatch in it. I’ll use that. There is almost no line, maybe 2 or 3 people in front of me. I pre-registered, so it was fast and easy. She found my name on the list, gave me my number (89) and my t-shirt. The t-shirt is the nice moisture-wicking material! I wasn’t expecting that; I was expecting a plain, cotton t-shirt. So I walk back to my car and change my shirt then I pin my number on my shirt.

5k number
Yay! I’m official! I am registered, I have a number, and I’m about to complete my very first 5K. I’m excited! And hungry. Guess who forgot to have breakfast? Yeah, that’d be me. I can’t run on an empty stomach! But I *always* have almonds on me, so I grab a bag of 23 almonds (5PP). I tie my keys back to my shoestring (again) and decide to walk around a little bit and eat my breakfast of champions before they send us to the starting line at 9:45. At 9:30, I decide it might be a good idea to go to the bathroom first. I get that out of the way and head to the starting line which was marked by balloons.

There are SO many people. I’m trying to figure out how we are going to be able to move at a good pace with all these people. Runners were supposed to be at the front of the line, and I knew all these people weren’t planning on running. So at 9:55, one of the organizers starts to talk, but he doesn’t have a megaphone. He explains the route and tells us the official start will be at 10:05, but if people wanted to start now, they could. Almost EVERYONE started. I was so happy, because this meant there wouldn’t be an issue with moving at a good pace. One lady said they started, but they were moving so slow, they just came back to wait for the official start! I wanted to wait, not only to be able to keep a good pace, but also because I wanted the full experience. I’ve never done a real race before. I’ve done plenty of community walks and that type of thing, but never a real race with a gun start, clock, all that. While I’m waiting, I meet a couple of other WW members, one of them Lifetime. The non-lifer was planning on running the whole thing. She’s training for a half-marathon in the fall that she walked last year and wants to run this year. The Lifer has not run in 20 years, but regularly plays tennis. Twenty years ago she ran 3 miles, three times a week. She wanted to try to run it, but didn’t know if she could. So she decides to run with the non-lifer since she said she was not a fast runner and Lifer could keep up. Nice! I decide to stay as close to them as possible with my brisk walking pace.

The organizer goes to the front, raises the gun in the air, and . . . nothing. He tries again. Still, nothing. Finally he yells, “GO!” And we’re off! I start my time on the pedometer. I decide to walk briskly for 5 minutes. Right at the 5-minute mark, Moment for Life comes on. Perfect! Because I do wish that I could have this moment for life! I’m doing something I’ve never done, I’m challenging myself to beat my fastest time, and I’m doing it! It was an awesome feeling. I decided to just run until I couldn’t run anymore. The song went off! What?! I get tired and decide to stop running only to see that I ran for 4 minutes and 12 seconds! Straight! I couldn’t believe it! That was the longest interval of the day, but still, I was really happy with that! I realized that the longer I go, the more tired I get, the harder it is to keep running. The intervals dropped to 2 minutes at time. I keep looking at my pedometer and alternating with running and walking. I am trying to pace myself. I keep telling myself, Monique, if you slow down, you won’t finish in less than 45 minutes. You have to finish in less than 45 minutes. This is so much easier without a stroller! I’m tired as hell, but I’m determined to keep running, even if it’s just a little bit at a time. I need those few seconds. After about 15 minutes I realize I’ve lost site of the Lifer and non-lifer. Oh well. I’m wondering where our water stop is. I decided since they are giving us water, why carry my water bottle? Cumbersome. But I know it has to be before he halfway point, so it should be coming up soon. It was. At around 18/19 minutes, there was water. I grab my cup and keep it movin’. I know I need to reach the halfway point at no less than the 22 minute mark. I turn the cone at 21:23. I’m good! I’m going to finish in less than 45 minutes! At this pace, I should finish in 43 minutes. But I’m tired and I don’t want to run anymore. I’m seriously beat. I decide to walk as fast as possible for the rest of the race. Just keep pace. At one point, around minute 35, I pass these two women and I say, “Passing on your left!” I swear, it took me SO long to pass them! When I get next to the lady, I say, “Barely!” They laughed because it seriously took me forever to pass them! I could not walk fast enough to finish in less than 10 minutes! It was like a river of blue shirts in front of me. I couldn’t even see the baseball fields. I start to get discouraged and slow down, just for one song. Then I remember that if I slow down, I won’t finish in less than 45 minutes. And that’s when Sabby showed up. Remember Sabby? The self-SABotaging bitch? I have not heard from her in forever, and she picks today, of all days, to show up. She goes, “What difference does it make if you finish in less than 45 minutes? It’s not a competitive race. What difference does it make? Slow down, catch your breath. You finish when you finish.” I almost listened to her. She was right, after all, what difference did it make? The times wouldn’t be recorded. And regardless what time I finished with, I could always work to beat that time. But it did make a difference. It made a difference to me. I wanted to see if I could do it. Was it possible to move my legs faster than 15mph? Could I run when I didn’t think I could? Could I push myself? Harder than I’ve ever pushed myself before? Hell yeah I could! And I would! So to silence her, I started running. I ran for a minute or two, then walked for a minute or two. Whenever I would feel myself slowing down, I’d push myself to go a little faster. Just a little bit. Jog if you have to, just don’t slow down! I finally see the baseball fields! It’s around minute 38/39. I start running again. I have to make it in less than 6 minutes! I get tired and I walk a little bit. Then I can see the balloons! I start running again. I check my pedometer, then I see it: the time clock! Big numbers, 43:25 or so. I crossed the line at 43:54! I stopped my pedometer so that I could take a picture of it later. The man at the finish line called out to me to make sure I got my little blue ribbon.

blue ribbon
I didn’t even know we got a ribbon! Nice! I was SO tired! My body was hurting. I was so happy my car was less than 500ft from the starting line. I stumble to my car, bend over to untie my shoe and decide to stretch. My back was killing me! The pops it made were music to my ears! I untie my car keys, and start the car to turn on the air. I need air conditioning like nobody’s business. I tweet, upload a pic to FB, and send a text to my friends. Then I remember the snacks! They have an after race buffet at the shelter! So I let the car run so it could get nice and cold (SO worth the wasted gas) while I walk to the shelter.

When I finished the race and got back to my car, I had 10,092 steps. I had around 3,800 when I started. Not bad. I get to the shelter, get a cup of water, and I run into the Lifer and non-lifer! I ask Lifer if she kept up and she said, “Yes! I’m hooked!” The non-lifer says, “She left me!” Seriously?! Yes, the Lifer finished 2 minutes faster than the non-lifer who has been training for this! How about that?! Being fit in one area (tennis) gave her the confidence to run a 5K! That was just awesome to me! I tell them good-bye (because my car is running, hello!) and go to the table. I’m thinking there would be bananas. There are bananas (0PP), salted peanuts (5PP), 90-calorie chewy granola bars (3PP), and skim string cheese (1PP). My favorite part of this layout is that the PP values are displayed on the table in front of each snack. How awesomely thoughtful is that? I decided to have a banana and string cheese. I swiped a granola bar for later, don’t judge me!

So that was my first 5K experience.I’m so proud of myself for reaching my goal!!! Now I just have to keep working at it and keep bettering my time. I’m looking up races throughout summer and fall that I can keep on my plate to make sure I am training. For now, I’m ready for a nap!

pedometer time

at home after
The mirror is dirty, not my shirt!

This next picture I’m only adding for myself. Monique! Look at your midsection! This shirt is a Large and it is large on you! Not hugging anything! No bulges sticking out! You’ll be in a size Medium in no time! Don’t you let minor eating setbacks (read: binges) throw you off! You are on your way to a healthy weight! Keep at it! I love you, you’re doing awesome!

number at home

Last minute edit: I just ate an orange and the chewy granola bar I picked up at the race. My granola bar? The 90-calorie oatmeal raisin one? Only 2PP! It’s been so long since I’ve had one, I forgot how many PP they were. What a pleasant surprise!

I lost 4lbs this week!!! WOOWHOOOOOO!!!!! I’ve lost a total of 24.8lbs. Can you believe that?! It’s cool, though, because I’m sure I’ll get my 25lb charm for my 10% key chain next week. Remember, I’m committed to the scale going down EVERY week between now and May 22nd. I’m very pleased with my progress this past week and thus far on the program. I watched my eating as far as staying within my points as much as I could. I used my weekly allowance points mostly at the end of my week. And I got some activity in every day this week! There were three days I got less than 10K steps: two days I got 9K and one day I got 4K. My highest was a little over 14K. I earned 50AP according to my PP pedometer. I did a lot of walking and I did a couple of days of alternating with running, too. I danced A LOT (just listening to Pandora) and even did my first strength training DVD (streamed instantly from Netflix through my Wii, I love it) which had me DRENCHED in sweat. It is the first time my entire body, including my legs, was covered in sweat. It was more than toning; it’s a cardio workout, too. At least it was for me. Try it out!

So tomorrow (4/14) is my birthday. I’ve already ordered my cupcakes. I’m only eating one and I’ll be giving one to Reuben, one to his dad, and the other three to friends. One large cupcake with buttercreme frosting. I. Can’t. Wait!!! I went to lunch today with my son’s grandmother. We went to O’Charley’s and I ordered a meal with less than 500 calories that worked out to be 12PP. I figured that was less than a WW meal at Applebee’s by 3PP, so I could have a yeast roll! *AAAAAAAAHHHHHHH* I actually had a 1.5 yeast rolls (5PP) so my lunch was only 17PP. Not bad for a meal that I didn’t plan. Tomorrow I’m going to dinner with Reuben and his dad and we’re going to Mongolian BBQ!!! YAY!!!! I haven’t been there in over five years! This weekend I’ll probably go to Benihana’s for dinner. Your girl is going to be eating LOTS of fruit this week!!! I have to offset these calories somehow! And there is not that much exercise in the world! Of course there will be ice cream. What’s a birthday without ice cream? Actually, I’ll get frozen yogurt instead. I’m a little concerned with how things will go this week, but I’m going to be diligent. I’ve already decided that since I’m having the cupcake, I won’t have any alcohol. This is a totally stupid idea because I would like nothing more than a glass of Moscato, but I can’t blow all my WAP at the beginning of my week. I’m a points hoarder; I need to save them so I don’t stress over not having enough points as the week goes on. But really, there’s nothing to worry about. I’m focused. I have nothing else planned for my birthday, so this should be a non-issue.

My goals for next week?

1) Don’t let birthday celebrations throw you off plan.
2) Get your 25lb charm
3) Complete all training for the 5K
4) Continue strength training

My BHAG? You do know what a BHAG is, right? A Big, Hairy, Audacious Goal? Ok, my BHAG is to enter into ONEderland. I am currently at 202.6. If I lose 2.7lbs, I’m in ONEderland. I think I can do it. So this week while I’m repeating to myself the Live or Die mantra, I choose to not only live, I choose to live in ONEderland!!!!

Here’s to a great week!

WW Walk-!t Challenge

So I just registered for the WW Walk-!t Challenge here in my area. This is my first ‘real’ race with a bib number and everything! I’ve participated in walks before, but they were all more like community walks. You didn’t get a bib or a finish time or anything like that, just people walking and/or running. But this, this is a real race! I’m going to get a bib number! I can’t wait to get a picture of myself. Seriously, anyone who knows me knows this is a serious matter! Before I got pregnant, I was training to run a marathon (which is still a goal of mine), so this isn’t my first time training to run. It’s just the first time my training will actually culminate in me running a race. Me running is a oxymoron in and of itself, but that’s all about to change.

So why am I running when it’s something I don’t really do? Because it’s something I don’t really do! I can’t participate in a challenge knowing that what I’m doing is not challenging at all. A 5k is equal to 3.1 miles. When I go for a walk, I walk 4 miles. Why 4 miles? Because I could do it in an hour (I’m not quite back to that pace yet, but I’m getting there) and an hour is just a good amount of time to walk. I get an hour’s worth of sunshine so I’m getting some Vitamin D, my lungs get worked out, my heart gets pumping, I’m getting fresh air, I get to listen to music and escape for 60 whole minutes (no Mommy Mommy Mommy, and if there is, I can’t hear it because I have on ear buds), and my son gets to go for a ride in the stroller. The walk usually ends at a playground where he can absolutely wear himself out before we walk back home. So that’s why I walk for an hour. Why 4 miles? Because that’s how far I was able to get in an hour. I’m a fast walker and can’t really walk at a slow pace, plus my legs are long. I sometimes go fast because I figure the faster I go, the faster I can be done. That’s on days I just really don’t feel like being bothered.

This past Sunday I was walking while waiting on my clothes to finish drying at the laundromat. A really fast song came on and I couldn’t walk fast enough to keep up with it, so I started running. I ran for probably about 2 minutes! And that’s a long time for me! I knew that I would start running again and then I get the email about the WW Walk-!t Challenge. It was meant to be. And I was meant to run this race. I plan to find more races to run so that maybe I can do one every month. I figure if I run a 5K every month (and work up to a 10K then to a half-marathon then a marathon), I will constantly be training. If I’m constantly training, I’m constantly exercising. If I’m running, I’ll have to eat like a runner. If I’m constantly exercising and eating right, I’ll be constantly losing (and ultimately maintaining) weight. I’ll have to cross train, so I’ll keep working out with my Wii, the dance games, especially. And of course I’ll incorporate strength training as well.

Speaking of, I tried a couple things at the playground yesterday. I did two sets of tricep dips off the park bench (10 reps per set). I also tried this other exercise that I don’t really know how to explain. Then I tried pull ups. FAIL! If I take my feet off the ground, I can’t pull myself up at all. I need someone to kind of hold my legs while I pull up until I’m able to do it with no help. My son’s father, Zeke, is supposed to be helping me with that. He was an athlete in high school and college (wrestling and football), so he’s kind of trying to get back to that person, but he’s not very motivated. As motivation (and to get free training), I’ve enlisted his help in strength training using my body. It’s good for us because taking our son to the park is a necessity (in his 2 year old mind, everything is about The Slide), so we can workout while he plays. Now that the weather is breaking for real, I can harass him about when we’re gonna start. Clearly, I need help. Anyway, I was happy that I even attempted the three exercises that I did. Go me! I’ve also started doing a few medicine ball exercises. I’ve been basically practicing different strength training exercises so that I can create a circuit I enjoy and that gives me a good workout. I love my medicine ball, but I have to admit, even though it’s only 4lbs, my arms tire out really quickly!!!

Anyway, back to the race. I’m so excited to be training for this! I thought this would be Week 1, so I did my Week 1/Day 1 workout yesterday. But when I wrote down all the dates, I realized that next week would actually be Week 1. Yesterday was a serious struggle. I was supposed to alternate walking and running for a minute each, but there were some intervals that I could only run for 45 seconds. As I went on, though, I noticed that I didn’t even look at my watch until 40 seconds had passed by. Even still, it was hella hard. During my minute walks, I was walking slow as hell! No way I could keep up a brisk walk after running for a minute. But at least I finished the workout. Then I get home, look at the training schedule and start to write down the dates next to each workout (so that I can plan my workout days in advanced cardio vs strength training). I get to the end and it had me running the 5K on 5/17/11. So I erased all the dates and started at the end with 5/22/11 on race day then filled in the dates moving backwards. Doing this makes my first official day of training Monday, April 11th. So between now and then, I’m going to just try to incorporate running into my walks however I can. Sometimes I’ll alternate minute to minute, and sometimes I’ll run for as long as I can until I tire out, then I’ll walk. I’ll start following the running guide on the 11th. Now, even though the trainings are only 30 minutes right now, I’ll still walk another 30 minutes to get my hour in.

I’m committed to doing this, to running this. I know I am because I actually paid to register for the race. Now, at first I was just going to train and then map my own 5K route and do it for free. But I know that I would totally slack off if I did it that way. Nope, I’ve registered. I want my very first bib number! I want a finishing time to work toward beating in my next race. And, of course, I want my free t-shirt! I’m thinking of buying a WW Walk-!t t-shirt, but I’m not sure what I’d want it to say or what color I’d want it to be.

I can’t believe I’m going to run a race! I’m so excited! Yesterday I weighed in at 206.6lbs. I’m excited to see how much I weigh (and how many inches I’ve lost) after completing this 5K. I know it’s only 7 weeks away, but I’m looking forward to my 5/25 weigh-in! My goal is to see the scale go down EVERY week between now and then. I want to see a 10lb loss over the next 7 weeks. I know I can do this.

So tell me, are you up for the challenge?