Recap of my Last Race

26 Feb

I just realized I never posted about my Angels 5k last year. Before I do my 8k tomorrow, I thought it would be fun to reminisce in this post. My good friend Traci and her family, who serve as missionaries in Portugal,  was inspired to start running after she read about my couch to 5k journey.  She started the program too and even though many miles separated us, we had fun encouraging one another. Last year her family was on a 6 month sabbatical back in the states to reconnect with friends, family, and supporters. She suggested we find a race to run together while she was here. What a great idea!

Traci and I taught third grade next door to one another for years and I was glad to have the opportunity to share another fun experience with her. So we both registered to run the Angels 5k on Sunday, March 27, 2011. I picked up my racing packet on Saturday before the race. That night I attached my timing chip to my shoe, safety pinned my bib to my shirt, and laid out my clothes for the next day. My youngest baby had just turned one earlier that month and still had the tendency to wake up in the night to nurse, etc. So I know I was up at least one time, if not two. I had set my alarm, but for some reason, didn’t wake up when I needed to. After staring at my phone in disbelief, I panicked because it was just two minutes before I was supposed to meet Traci at Angel Stadium. I quickly emptied my bladder, brushed my teeth, got dressed and ran out the door. I kept saying, “Oh, no! I’m not going to make it.” My husband encouraged me to go anyway. What did I have to lose? I called Traci on my way and thankfully she was still in her car and was not at our designated meeting place. She was planning on leaving her phone in her car so I wouldn’t have been able to find her because I was running so late. I have to confess that I didn’t follow the speed limit that Sunday morning on the 5 freeway. Traffic was light and I made it just in time. I hopped out of my car and could hear the National Anthem was nearly finished. I found Traci and we walked quickly to the start up line. She asked me if I usually wore my glasses when I ran. I said no with a laugh. I hadn’t even eaten breakfast because I was in such a rush. I was just so relieved to have made it to the race before the gun went off.

Traci and I weren’t worried about speed. It was just fun to do it together. We talked about marriage, family, life as a missionary, and our recent birthdays during that 3.1 mile run. Towards the end of the race, we got to run through Angel Stadium. I thought that was pretty cool. I felt like a real athlete. So many people were yelling encouragement when we came out of the stadium running towards the finish line. After we finished, they had volunteers handing out Angel baseball caps, water, fruit, and energy bars. Traci finished at 35:56 and I finished at 35:57. She’s one year younger and has always been faster than me. You should see that girl set up her classroom. I’ve never seen somebody put up bulletin boards so fast-and they look fantastic. :) I’m so glad to have run this race with my good friend. What a fun memory! Traci, you rock!

The Angels 5k is on Sunday, April 22 this year. If you are in Southern California, you should check it out here

Progress and New Style

13 Feb

So here is my big reveal! Yep, six inches off. I have never gone this short before. I barely have a ponytail! This is my version of going crazy! Watch out world! Ha! My hair stylist was so funny. She told me she would do whatever I wanted except dye my hair black. No worries about that. I freak out when my roots get ‘dark’ since I’ve been a blond all my life. I was ready for a change and it feels good.

I also wanted to give an update about my weight loss progress. I am down 13 pounds since January 1! Yay, and the crowd goes wild! J/K :) I am pleased. Slow and steady wins the race and I am definitely on my way! Counting calories and moving is really helping me.

Our sermon at church today was on attitude. Each day is a gift and we need to make sure that we are not wasting hours on negativity. Maybe you bring that negativity into your journey spiritually, physically, and emotionally. If you do, you will never move forward.  John 16:33 says, “In this world you will have trouble, but take heart, I have overcome the world.” I am guaranteed hard times, but God is faithful and no matter how bad things get I still have many things to be thankful for. I remember during my teenage years my parents would tell me I needed an attitude adjustment. Don’t we all, at one time or another?

I leave you with my vlog and a quote Elder Barry read today by Pastor Chuck Swindoll:

The longer I live, the more I realize the impact of attitude on life.

Attitude, to me, is more important than facts. It is more important than the past, than education, than money, than circumstances, than failures, than successes, than what other people think or say or do. It is more important than appearance, giftedness or skill. It will make or break a company… a church… a home.

The remarkable thing is we have a choice every day regarding the attitude we will embrace for that day. We cannot change our past… we cannot change the fact that people will act in a certain way. We cannot change the inevitable. The only thing we can do is play on the one string we have, and that is our attitude… I am convinced that life is 10% what happens to me and 90% how I react to it.

And so it is with you… we are in charge of our attitudes.

What changes do you need to make in your life? Do you need to change your attitude? How’s your progress going? Are you making your goals? You can do it! :)

Healthy Apps

11 Feb

Hey Friends! How’s it going? I never thought I needed a Smart Phone and now I don’t know what I would do without it. :) There are some really cool apps out there that can help you track your progress, keep you accountable, and do all the calculations for your exercise and food choices with fun graphs. The two main apps I use are free. Free? Free! Not only are they free, but they are very user friendly and that makes them winners in my book. The first app I love to use is RunKeeper. Now don’t stop reading because you don’t run. This app uses GPS technology to track many other activities such as walking, cycling, hiking, cross-country skiing, skating, etc. This app works with your iPod and you can listen to your music while it tracks your progress. You can also turn on the coaching updates that give you audio cues that tell you your time, distance, and average pace per mile. Below are two examples from my typical fitness activities on Fridays and Saturdays.

This next free app helps me count my calories. Its called MyFitnessPal.  There are some real benefits from recording your food choices. Awareness was a huge one for me. Until we plug in the numbers, many of us don’t even know how much we are eating. Keeping a food diary can double a person’s weight loss according to a study from Kaiser Permanente’s Center for Health Research in 2008. There is enough evidence out there that indicates this is a good practice. This app makes my life so much easier. I’ve never been very good at math and sometimes numbers scare me away, but this app does all the hard work for you. Most of us eat a pretty regular menu of foods and once you start recording your meals, it’s easy to plug in your food choices for the day. You can also can plan ahead for that birthday party where you know you will want to eat some cake and ice cream. Planning your calories makes a huge difference. I don’t have to deprive myself; I just make my calories work for me. I know that I like to eat more at dinner, so I don’t eat as many calories during the day. I choose snacks that are between 80 and 100 calories and by the time I have dinner I have a good 600 calories left to eat well. While I am working at school, I don’t have time to eat as much and I am on the go. When I get home with my family, I want to sit and really enjoy dinner with them. Giving myself that cushion really helps me. You’ll need to see what works for you. Starting to record your foods will help you be aware of your patterns.

So what tools do you use? Do you use apps on your phone? Is paper/pencil more your style? Let me know how you are meeting your fitness goals. Get out and move today! You can do it!

Back on Track!

4 Feb

Have you stopped doing what you know you should be doing? Have you started some bad habits that need some tweaking? I did. During the hardest year of my life, I started eating fast food and I stopped exercising. I ate whatever I wanted and was stuck. Unfortunately, I gained all my weight back, but now I’m starting over and I am back on track. I actually started using my gym membership weekly, paid attention to what I put in my mouth, and began exercising outside with friends. If you need to start over, do it! My journey has really been prompted by the help of friends and God. We all need fellowship and accountability to improve our lives. Start moving! You’ll be so glad that you did.

Happy New Year! Starting over

16 Jan

Hello Readers! Hello, are you still there? I know I have been MIA for awhile. Too many colds and fevers have been lingering around our household.  I’ve been sick from Thanksgiving through Christmas. About mid-December, I woke up in the middle of the night with extreme pain in my left breast. After calling the nurse hot-line, I was advised to visit urgent care. The breast infection acted much like the flu with fever and chills.  Not fun! Then after I was better from that, I knocked my big toenail off. It didn’t hurt that bad when it happened but the throbbing while it healed and fought off any infection was pretty painful. It took awhile for me to get comfortable even wearing shoes. All this sickness didn’t allow me to keep up with my running. :( I also have been dealing with some postpartum depression. I am working with my doctor and a counselor to help with that. My baby is 10 months old, but it can show up any time in the first year and I am glad I am finally addressing the problem.

It has been very discouraging to not exercise when I had established such a weekly habit. Life happens and all of these physical problems were out of my control. I had to rest in order to be well enough to make my body move. Surprisingly, even with my lack of movement, I still managed to lose a few more pounds.

Yesterday, was the day. On Friday, I got up and decided it was time to take the girls out in the stroller, snot-nosed and all, and get some fresh air. The weather was perfect. The air was crisp with just the right amount of warmth from the sun. I was kind of worried about how my body would respond. Would my toe hurt? Would my legs move easily? Would I be able to run without passing out? Thankfully, my body did not forget. I decided to take it easy and run for 20 minutes. I did it! I warmed up with a brisk walk for 5 minutes and then ran 20 minutes nonstop. During my 5 minute cool down, I reflected on how much I loved running. I had forgotten how much I missed it! I was refreshed. I felt strong. It was good to be out there again. Below is my vlog about my run:

Get out there and move today. Don’t be discouraged about what you didn’t do yesterday, last week, or month. Make a decision today to move. If your body is ill, think about what food you are eating and try to make smart choices while you rest and heal. Thanks for being patient with me. Happy New Year! :)

My First 5k -Turkey Trot

4 Dec

I ran my first 5k race on Thanksgiving morning. It was a local community turkey trot. I woke up early Thursday morning barely able to speak. I had been fighting a cold and my nose was stuffy and my throat was bothering me. David, my husband, stayed home with the girls, since I didn’t want to drag them out into the early 40 degree air. I brought cough drops with me, but then forgot them in the car. I barely could talk to the lady at the registration table. I am surprised she understood me enough to hand me the bib with my name on it. I also was given a chip to put on my shoe. I headed over to another table to pick up my long sleeved race shirt. I registered for a medium, but asked for a small.  I promptly put this on over the short sleeved shirt I was already wearing. I carefully pinned my bib on with my icicle fingers and then figured out how to put the chip on my shoe. I looked around to see how others were wearing theirs and then slid it through my laces. I scoped out the restrooms and decided I should try to empty my bladder one last time before the race. I grabbed some toilet paper and stuffed it into my pocket just in case my nose decided to run too. :) I was glad I went to the bathroom when I did because the line was 15 women deep by the time I was done. The race would begin in 5 minutes and we were told to move towards the starting line. There were people of all ages running this race. I was surprised at the number of families with young kids, dogs, and toddlers in strollers. We were instructed to run over the blue mats to start our chip time and to complete our time at the finish line. A young college student sang the National Anthem before the start of the race. I was moved to tears during this. I never thought I would be running a race. I knew my training had created a habit I will have for a life time. A local police officer checked the starting gun to make sure it had a blank in it and after this safety precaution the race began. I walked until I crossed the blue mat and then I started running. My goal was to run the entire race.  They had mile markers along the path. It was a gorgeous morning and it although it was cold, it felt good to be exercising in the cool morning air. I noticed that a lot of people ‘pooped’ out at mile 1. I am guessing they were not runners and sprinted too fast and then had to walk. This might have been me ten weeks ago, but with my training, I knew how to pace myself. They had a water station at the half way mark with people passing out tiny disposal cups of water. I took a sip and spilled most of the water on myself. Whoops! For some reason, this started to make my nose run. Most people threw their cups down after they finished, but I ended up crunching mine and putting it in my pocket. I guess I can’t stand littering, even if it is in a designated area. I thought it was kind of funny to have a water station for a 3.1 mile run, but I can understand if it had been really hot or if I was running the 10k they had scheduled to start 15 minutes after the 5k started. Around mile 2, I started to get kind of hot and sweaty like I broke a fever. I may have. I did have a pretty bad head cold. Towards the end of the race more and more people were on either side of the track cheering us on. It was a good feeling to know I was so close to finishing and I didn’t need to stop and walk. After I crossed the finish line, I turned in my chip and was given a big sports bottle of water from the local water district. I started drinking my water and walking around to cool down. I pulled out my phone to check my time. I forgot that I had slid my license into my phone carrier. I started to walk back to my car when I realized I had dropped my driver’s license. At this exact moment I heard my name being called over the loud speakers. Thankfully a nice person had turned it in for me. I was a little embarrassed, but so glad that it was located and returned to me with no hassle. After retrieving my ID, I called my husband and the girls to tell them about my run. I then called my parents to share my good news. I did it. I ran a 5k. I was so happy, it didn’t matter that I could barely talk or felt sick. I did it and I was proud. :) Below is my video recap and my stats:

Here are my stats:

  • Gun time: 38:07.6
  • Chip time: 37:02.5
  • Pace 11:57 min./mi (My quickest pace to date. :))
  • 581 place out of 910
  • 24 out of 47 females aged 30-34

Week 9 Run 1, 2, 3- I finished c25k!

24 Nov

Week 9 Run 1, 2, 3: warm up (walk 5 min), run 30 min, cool down (walk 5 min), stretch

I have been very behind on my blog. It has not been a high priority since we still have lingering colds. My husband has been sick on and off for about a month now. Abby has the nose stuff again and Katie Jane is a teething drool monster. My throat is really starting to hurt and constantly tickle. This is not a good combination. You will notice that I decided to group both videos on this post. I had a vlog recorded for run 2, but the sound didn’t work. I didn’t figure the readers of my blog were amazing lip readers, so I decided to delete it. :)

For my first run of the nine weeks, I decided to consolidate two to dos in one. I had to get some grocery shopping done so I went on a little drive and did my run in a neighborhood by the shopping center. This run was done at night and it was a bit chilly. My body warmed up nicely after a few minutes of running up hill. My route was all over the place. Sometimes I wonder how GPS can follow me. :) When running in the dark, if I ever get to a place where I don’t feel comfortable, I change directions quickly. In the housing complex where I was running, there was one section of waist high lights that did tricks with my eyes. They were spaced too close together that my eyes were tripping trying to adjust. It made me uneasy, so I turned around and went back to where I could see better.  Trust your gut, if you ever feel uneasy, get out out of a situation. I know its cliche to say, but I would rather be safe than sorry. I broke in my new shoes on this run. They were very comfortable and light weight. After my run, I picked up a few things at the market. I actually did my stretches in the produce department. :)

Week 9 Run 1 Stats:

  • Time: 30 min
  • Distance: 2.13 mi
  • Pace: 14:06 min/mi

My second run took place on November 19 around noon. This run was done with very little sleep. We (my husband and I) with some friends, went to see Harry Potter at 3:10AM. Yes, you read that correctly. My wonderful mom came over to watch the girls so we could pretend we were in college and go watch a late night/early morning movie. :) It was a lot of fun hanging out with friends, drinking a peppermint mocha and sitting out in the cold. Edwards Cinema did let us in early so we could stay warm while keeping our place in line. I was happy to be sitting because when we arrived I fell when we exited the parking structure. I thought we were going to turn left and we were supposed to turn right. My brain and body did not coordinate, so down I went. Why is it when you fall it always seems to happen in slow motion? I started to cry. Thankfully only my husband saw me. Falling is not only embarrassing, but painful. I bruised my hands and scraped under my right knee. After getting home after 6AM, I nursed Kate and slept an hour. I got up and made breakfast and then my mom watched the girls so I could sleep another two hours. Rain was in the forecast for the weekend and with my mom at the house, I thought I should take the opportunity to get my run done. I knew I was tired when I changed into my running clothes. I put on my sports bra and then my regular bra on top of it. I had to laugh at myself. Trust me, this was one of the hardest runs I had to do. After 2.5 minutes I looked at my phone. I had over 27 more minutes to go! I made my body move when all I wanted to do was sleep. I didn’t look at my phone again until 20 minutes was finished. I was concerned my bruises seen and unseen would effect my run, but thankfully this was not the case. I just felt stiff and it was hard to keep a good pace. Once my body and mind realized I was actually going to finish this run, I got it done and was glad I pushed through.

Week 9 Run 2 Stats:

  • Time: 30 min
  • Distance: 2.02 mi
  • Pace: 14:57 min/mi

The final run of my couch to 5k program took place on Monday, November 22. I ran again at night and it was 49 degrees. It took me about 13 minutes to finally feel warm. I wore a sports bra, a sleeve-less shirt, my husband’s neon yellow running shirt on top and pants. Well, I also wore underwear, socks, and shoes, but I think that goes without saying. :) I am fighting a thick throat and unfortunately I had to do something I hate: spit. I think it is so gross. Thankfully it was dark and nobody saw me. With the cold air and my oncoming cold, it was unavoidable. I finished my run with a great sense of accomplishment. I have now completed a nine week program for beginning runners. I never thought I could/would ever run. Now I can run for 30 minutes without stopping! If you are thinking about starting a running program, I would highly recommend this one. I am so pleased with the results. It hasn’t been easy, but it has been the jump start I needed to live an active lifestyle. Do you need to try something new to get your body moving? After 9 weeks, I have established a habit. What good habit do you need to start that will benefit your health? Start your new routine now, before the new year. You don’t need to wait until January 1 to make a commitment to living better. Try running. You may really like it. :)

Week 9 Run 3 Stats:

  • Time: 30 min
  • Distance: 2.27 mi
  • Pace: 13:14 min/mi

This pomegranate has been sitting in my fruit bowl for a week in a half and I finally decided to try it today. What a fun new discovery! Abigail really liked them too. Here is a great tutorial on how to de-seed one. It worked so well. :)

I hope you have a wonderful Thanksgiving with family and friends. I am registered for my first 5k , a Turkey Trot early Thanksgiving morning. Ahh! I am nervous and excited. Here is Abigail with her Thankful tree. I made it from a Trader Joe’s grocery bag. Abby colored the ‘bark’ with markers and then I ripped the bag into strips for the branches. We add a leaf she colors in each day with something she is grateful for. I write the word and illustrate it with a picture. This has been a fun activity to do this November. :) Maybe you won’t make a tree, but reflect on all the wonderful blessings you are thankful for.

Give thanks to the LORD, for He is good;

His love endures forever.

Psalm 106:1

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