Wake Me Up When September Ends

How is it already the middle of September?  Time really does fly and it has seem to be going extra fast here lately.  Let me begin by saying thank you for all of the wonderful thoughts and sentiments on my last post.  I received several comments, emails, and texts from various people telling me that they too have had some of the same thoughts that I wrote about.  It is so nice to know that I’m not alone and that other people have gone through similar struggles.

After my post, I received a message from a gal that I knew in high school telling me that she felt my struggles and offered to start exercising with me.  I was elated that someone was willing to get up super early with me so that if I wanted to exercise in the dark mornings before school then I would have a partner to keep me from harm.  It is pretty scary out there in the morning time.  The fact that I get to have adult conversation before work is a big motivator when my 4:00 alarm goes off in the morning.  She even joined the same gym that I go to so now we can take lots of fun fitness classes together. I’m very thankful for new found friendship and a new workout partner.

sweaty and happy

sweaty and happy

Teaching has been a great experience for me thus far.  I often feel overwhelmed and stretched fairly thin, but having a group of 90 kids each day makes it all worth it.  My coworkers are fun and lively people, and I enjoy going to work each day.  We recently had Spirit Week at school which allowed us to dress up for each theme day.  My favorite day was Decades Day since I got to have some crazy hair and comfy 80’s clothes.  Our kids were probably mortified to be in the presence of such tackiness, but I think they secretly loved it.

Rosie and a crazy 80s gal

Rosie and a crazy 80s gal

do you feel sorry for our students?

do you feel sorry for our students?

Our friends Brittney and Cameron came up to visit us a couple of weekends ago and we loved having them here!  It was their first time to Townsend, so we had so much fun “playing tourist” and showing them around town. We did a little off-roading in their Jeep, drove all over the beautiful Townsend countryside, rode two different Alpine Coasters, and had some delicious food.  We love the time we get to spend with them and it was even better that they got to see where I grew up as well as us doing things we normally wouldn’t do since we are local.  My handsome fella and I will be traveling down to Chattanooga next weekend to spend some time with them and to volunteer for Ironman Chattanooga.  It is going to be a lot of fun.

jeep life

jeep life

goat coaster

goat coaster

This past weekend I did the Great Smoky Mountain Half Marathon that was put on by Vacation Races.  It isn’t very often that a race is in Townsend, and an old friend from Nuun that I met in Seattle now works for Vacation Races so it was just a win-win.  I had an extra entry so I invited my coworker to do it with me with TWO days notice.  Yes, she’s crazy.  I obviously had not trained for the race but knew that I could walk it and enjoy it. I was able to visit the expo briefly on Friday to get my bib and talk to a few folks.  The race began on the campus of the school that I work at and went all the way past my house so it was literally like running home from work.  Crazy stuff.  It was a great race and had an awesome medal.  I carried a handheld water bottle the entire time since they don’t utilize cups at their water stops but each stop had plenty of water and most of them had things like bananas, oranges, and Honey Stingers.  After spectating last year, I was glad to see that the field had more than doubled in size, making it a great time.  I will definitely be doing this race again.

really awesome.  can you find my name?

really awesome. can you find my name?

there i am!

there i am!

my beautiful mountains

my beautiful mountains

racing for the bling

racing for the bling

Last night I went to a special event for teachers at the Titanic attraction.  It counted as professional hours but was a great experience since we got a personal tour of the ship and museum, as well as a lot of hands on training on how to incorporate Titanic in our classrooms.  We had a fantastic dinner catered to us and we felt pretty fancy with our super special VIP passes.  I’ve always loved Titanic and it was great learning about so many different people that were on board and debunking a few myths.  We even met the owner whose husband was the second person to command an exploration of Titanic.  Pretty neat stuff!

first class ticket

first class ticket

Hopefully I will be blogging more in the month of September, but if I don’t then just wake me up when September ends.  I’m looking forward to fall and seeing the leaves change with the cooling temps.  Thanks again for all of the support you guys have shown me here lately.  It reminded me of why I enjoy blogging so much in the first place.  Y’all are the best.

 

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Strawberry Plains 10k: Race Recap

When I set out to do one race per month this year, I had trouble coming up with a February race.  There isn’t a Valentine’s themed race in my area, so I was at a loss for which one to pick.  Luckily our local track club puts together a 10k/half marathon race in a neighboring town.  After convincing my friend Robyn to do the 5k with me, I signed up and added it to the calendar.  I’ve only ever done one 10k and it only had 6o people running it so I was up for a  new experience outside of my comfort zone.

We were lucky enough to pick up our race packets the night before at a sporting goods store.  I was grateful for this because it meant sleeping in a little longer than usual.  Our shirts had donkeys on the front which made me giggle a little bit even though they definitely were not my style.  Fortunately I was able to get a great night’s rest the night before so I woke up fairly easy on race morning feeling very Olympic.  (if you don’t get the Cool Runnings quote then we can’t be friends)

On race day we met up with Robyn and basically just hung out until the race started.  Robyn and I milled in towards the back and waited for the gun to go off.  I knew that I wasn’t going to have a stellar race since I haven’t been running very much, but I did know that anything faster than my first (and only) 10k would be totally acceptable to me. The course was an out and back so I was able to gauge where I was at by the number of runners passing me on the opposite side.  The first mile or so was torture.  My legs were tight, my lungs were on fire, and I just couldn’t find a groove.  Sometime around mile 2 I found my happy place and ran strong when I could but still took walk breaks.  Everyone who ran past me headed back to the finish line looked strong and I made sure to tell them good job.

I felt proud and strong until I hit the 5 mile mark.  The man standing by the mile marker had a stopwatch and was calling out times as people reached him.  I passed him at 60 minutes on the dot.  That was okay with me and I was pleased with my effort.  At that point, it was a sure PR for me and that made me happy.  My legs didn’t feel as great as they had earlier, but I was trucking right along and walked until I could see the finish line.  I was able to kick it in and look strong for the finish.

I finished with a solid time of 1:13:13.  Over an 11 minute PR for me from my first 10k.  I”ll take it.  I thought having two 13s in my time was a sign that good things were headed my way for 2013.   strawplains

After finishing and getting a big hug from a former track club president, I found my man and got a big old sweaty kiss.  Cheesy, right?  My main focus was to get water and to sit down.  We were able to chill for a quick bit before heading back out to watch Robyn kill it and meet her goal time by over 3 minutes!  So proud of her and everyone else who met their goals at the race.

It was a great race and I was so thankful to have done it, to have my friends do it, and to have someone cheering for me at the finish line.  It wasn’t my best effort and I was not trained for it, but I’ll take an 11 minute PR any day.

New Goals

Goals.  Everyone has them.  They are what drives us to live our dreams, accomplish things we thought we couldn’t, and help keep us accountable.  The past few weeks I have been forced to not only evaluate my current fitness goals, but to set new ones.  It is no secret that in the past year I have managed to gain back every pound of what I originally lost.  I stepped back on the scale and a big blue number of 242 stared back at me.  Ten pounds less than my heaviest ever.  Talk about an epiphany.  I was hurt, I was disappointed, I was angry, and I was scared.  That number is a direct reflection of the choices I have made and the goals I have chosen not to work towards.  A lot of people will say to not focus on the scale and to just look in the mirror.  It is appalling to look in the mirror at times and even my workout clothes are too small for me now.  Major wakeup call.

I’m not happy with where I am right now.  I’m heavy.  I’m sluggish.  I’m quite miserable.  I’m sad.  What do I do with my feelings?  I eat them.  And the more I eat, the worse I feel.  Then, after eating so much, my stomach makes it almost impossible to get out and exercise.  Sitting on the couch sounds much more inviting.  My goals for the year are just collecting dust.

This past spring I was able to PR my half marathon and break my (so-thought) lofty goal of breaking the 30 minute 5k mark by running it in 28:36.  I was on the right track. I was able to run 8 whole miles without walking.  I was unstoppable. But I got comfortable.  Clothes at Banana Republic and Gap fit me right.  My belly didn’t completely pooch out, and my arms had definition.  And I threw it all away.  But you know what?  I may be pretty low right now but slowly and surely I’m crawling back up.  The fighter in me isn’t going down without a fight.

I think the thing that have hit me the hardest this week and forced me to make new goals for myself was me attempting to clear out some of my PhotoStream pics from my iPhone and seeing so many “skinny pictures” of myself back towards the beginning of the year.  I was in a good place then.  No sucking in my belly, no worrying about how I looked in photos, just pure bliss.  Now that will get your head in the right spot.

So, where to start?  I have talked to a few people in the last couple of weeks about getting back on track and legit starting from scratch since I’m so far gone and that is basically what  has to happen.  I also thought about potential rewards for hitting milestone marks in this weight loss journey.  Literally having something to work towards other than self satisfaction can totally make a difference.  With the help of my friends, family, bloggers, and any other form of support, I’m going to make it happen.  Watch me.  I’m also clearing out my old goals tab on the blog and adding my new goals and will update every week with weekly weigh ins.

Goals

Fitness Related
>Run one mile
>Run 2 miles
>Run 3 miles
>Run 5 miles
>Run a 10k
>Run a 15k
>Run an entire half marathon
>Complete an entire marathon
>Ride 50 miles in one sitting on my bike
>Run a mile in under 8 minutes
>Learn to do a manly push up
>Benchpress more than 100 pounds

Weight Related
>Hit 220 lbs  (Reward: Go see a movie NOT at the Dollar Theater)
>Hit 210 lbs  (Reward: Manicure)
>Under 200 lbs  (Reward: One hour massage from a professional)
>Hit 194 lbs (lowest ever) (Reward: New DSLR camera for blogging)
>Hit 179 goal weight (Reward: A Lilly Pulitzer dress to show off my new body)
>Have a fat percentage less than 35%
>Be confident enough to run in a sports bra and shorts

Boom.  There you have it.  Have I lost my mind?  Am I capable of completing these things?  I suppose time will tell.  But let me just say that weight loss is a very personal thing and making this public takes guts for me.  Any advice I am more than welcome to soak in.  Weight loss is truly a lifetime battle.  I thought I had it figured out when I was able to get my weight down to 195 but I got comfortable and am now sitting at 242.  It happens but this weight is not going to defeat me.  I ain’t got nothing to fear but fear itself.