Thursday, December 13, 2012

My First Marathon....

...was everything and not at all what I had hoped for. I have mixed feelings about how my marathon went, both good and bad. I think the most important thing is that I finished. But let's step back a minute, I shall start at the beginning.

Saturday after I blogged, Mark and I loaded up the car and hit the road. I packed entirely too much stuff: 3 different sets of running clothes (at least), my foam roller, my yoga mat, my tablet and Mark's laptop, a gazillion snacks... I was prepped! Turns out of all those things I only used one set of running clothes. Better to be over prepared than under, no? We arrived at the hotel about 2:15 pm and checked in; this was perfect timing because Rik arrived about 15 minutes later. I was a little annoyed at the hotel to find out that they automatically added an $8 parking fee and that they charged to use internet. I know the internet deal is common, but it still irritates me when you're staying at a nice hotel. Call me cheap. They did have some awesome welcome cookies, however. Shortly after we unloaded our stuff and got settled, Rik, Mark and I headed to the expo, which was conveniently right across the street from the hotel! The expo was smaller than the OKC Memorial Marathon one, but I spent a LOT more time exploring it, probably because a.) it was my first marathon and b.) I had a fellow runner to explore it with. I found lots of good stuff at the expo. I, of course, had to get a 26.2 magnet, and ended up buying several others. 
I just love one I bought that says "I thought they said rum!" Tee hee! I also found this shirt: 

And of course I had to buy a few more Bondi Bands! We also found a booth selling medal hangers... I'm thinking I definitely want one of these, check it out and tell me these aren't bad ass!
After the expo, we decided to go check out Starship Records. Mark used to live in Tulsa and used to buy records from there and Rik is a DJ in his spare time, so of course he was down for some music browsing. After checking out the record store, we met up with my SIL and her boyfriend to carb load before our big day. We got our spot in line at a little Italian cafe and walked down the street to have a drink while we waited. Unfortunately I did not have the foresight to make a reservation so we ended up waiting forever. All the Marathon runners in town were looking to carb load! Rik, my SIL and I each had one beer; I've been told that's an acceptable amount of alcohol the night before a Marathon. ;) We enjoyed dinner and got nice and carb-like loaded, then all went back to our rooms to try and settle in early for the night. Rik went through some Yoga stretches with me and I foam rolled my IT bands in hopes to prevent any knee issues the next day. I set up my running clothes and shoes, got my bib pinned and timer taped. I also put this fake tattoo I found at the expo on my arm that I had never seen before:

These are so neat! It would have been a huge help had things gone as planned.  I continued sipping on fluids the entire time to make sure I was good and hydrated. When we all got to bed, I tossed and turned for hours! This is typical for me the day before a race or a new long distance run, but I guess I had hoped that by some miracle I would just pass out and sleep well. I think I finally passed out sometime around 3-4 before waking up at 5:45-6:00.

Of course I had adrenaline pulsing through my veins the moment my eyelids popped open and I was wired. I went through my usual routine: coffee, dress, brush, wash, bathroom, eat, coffee, bathroom. I know this is probably TMI, but I had issues cleaning out my stomach. I think nerves had my stomach all sorts of tied up and I started worrying about having more stomach issues during the run. I always run best when I'm on an empty stomach. When we got ready we started to head to the start line. We couldn't seem to find my SIL and her group, but ended up running into them at the start line. It was good to get a hug and a good luck in beforehand. At this point I'm shaking I'm so nervous. My knee felt fine, but I couldn't get over my fear that something would go wrong with it during the race. Rik did not seem to be in the least bit fazed! Of course this was his seventh Marathon... I'm sure that had nothing to do with it! (To be fair, he said he got nervous before every Marathon, but he played it off well.) Initially my goal was to finish under 5 hours, but the night before I changed my mind and told Rik I was sure that 4:45 was possible and that I'd like to make a go of it; if it seemed difficult we could pace it back some. So we decided to find the 4:45 pacer and try to run ahead of him a bit. We got a couple pictures at the start line:

I was terrified at this point and it had nothing to do with the distance.  I knew that was in the bag, it was the unknown variables that scared me, my knee, my stomach, etc. I wore my brace to be on the safe side, so I hoped that if I did have issues maybe that would at least help. I was also excited, this was it, this was what everything had been leading up to, this was the telling moment of whether I could hack it or not. Here I was after months of training and hard work, struggling with nutrition and fueling, turning down nights out, turning down mornings in, exhausting nights of not only teaching Zumba, but then having to get in a training run. Months of foam rolling, stretching, sweating, bleeding (blisters), floods of "I can'ts" and "I cans". This was it. Mark took our jackets and our finish line stuff and sent us off and after what seemed like ages the gun went off. 

It took something like 15 minutes to get to the start line, but once we did, Rik and I got into a slow and steady pace. I felt great and I felt SLOW. After a week of no running and rest I felt like I could run 10 Marathons! (Or so I thought.) We got into a comfortable groove and stayed probably about five minutes ahead of the 4:45 pacer as we got warmed up. Around mile 2.5 I started feeling a tweaking in my knee. At first it felt like it could be from the pressure of my knee brace, but by mile 3 I knew it was my knee hurting. I panicked a bit, but I was determined to keep going and just hoped it would not get any worse. My knee continued to hurt, a steady, aching pain that seemed to incrementally worsen as time went by, and by mile 13 I started seriously wondering if I was going to make it. I had run with aches and pains before, but knee pain is usually where I draw the line, I've had knee issues before and I have always babied it to prevent any further permanent damage. All this to say that I was not at all prepared to run 26 miles on a sore knee. My self doubt started weeding it's way into my head, and I felt like I was going to burst into tears at any moment because after running 10 miles in pain I was positive another 13.2 miles would just be unbearable. I even had pretty much decided I did not want to do the Center of the Universe Detour, the .3 miles that would technically turn me into an ultra-marathoner. I figured I was already having problems with my knee and an extra excruciating .3 miles would be pushing my luck. During this time we stayed ahead of the 4:45 pacer and were still making great time despite my knee. Rik was encouraging as ever, and I'm sure it helped, but one's own mind is a powerful thing and I started thinking to myself very negative, self deprecating thoughts. It was horrible. Also, I kept looking for my family who were supposed to be around mile 13 to cheer me on, I started to wonder if they couldn't get to the spot or if they just did not make it in time. But then we came around a bend and I heard Rik say, "There they are!", and I looked ahead and yes, there they were: Mark, Isaac, my dad and brother, and my sister and her boyfriend. They were holding signs up and cheering me on. Keep in mind at this point I'm on the verge of tears, discouraged and despairing. When I saw and heard them, though, I nearly came undone, I choked up so much so that I could hardly breathe, I couldn't speak, I couldn't even blink for fear of the tears falling. All I could do was stare at them and wish I could just stay with them. I felt numb as I kept running past them, I cannot even remember if I managed a smile, but I remember the tears blurring my eyes. As we kept running on I felt a little bit better, and I knew I had to finish now. And then I hear from behind me Mark yelling "Go baby, you can do it!", and that's when I knew that I could finish. And I said as much to Rik, his response was "Isn't it amazing how that works?".  We kept on.

I had to start walking shortly before we got to the Center of the Universe Detour, we started up a run walk routine and the 4:45 pacer ended up passing us, but we were still a good distance ahead of the 5 hour pacer. My knee was killing me, Rik helped keep me going though. He told me stories the entire Marathon. Lovely stories at that, one quite romantic about how he and his wife met. We would run for awhile and then walk for a minute. Every time we started back up running the pain was excruciating, as if my knee were locked into place and I had to shake it loose through the pain, and then the constant ache would start again. At around mile 16.5, we came around a bend and I heard music playing and saw a beer booth and the Center of the Universe sign. Now this part may sound cheesy as hell, but I still get goosebumps thinking about it. We got closer and closer and it was the time to either keep going or to take the detour, I could hear the opening notes of a much loved and unmistakable song. A band I grew up with. 

Then I thought to myself, "Fuck that, I'm not NOT going to do anything!" Rik starts off "So, here's the question..." I interrupt him and say, "Fuck it, no regrets! Let's do this!" So we did it. We ran that extra .3 mile and yes it hurt, but I'll be damned if I ever say I regret anything about that day. There was a moment of horror when Rik almost tripped on the way up the slope and all I could think was "Dear God, if Rik hurts himself I will feel horrible!!!" Luckily he was okay! On the way back down the slope we stopped and chugged a little cup of beer, I was down for anything that would take the edge off. I even briefly considered asking them for more because hell running drunk would be better than dealing with the pain! 

We continued on. I forgot to mention that on and off through the later miles I had GI issues where I thought a couple times I might have to stop at a porta potty. Well at mile 18 I finally DID have to stop. At this point, Rik informs me that the 5:00 pacer just ran by and to be honest all I could think about was how the next 8 miles were going to suck and all I cared about was finishing. We start running again, my knee screaming at me as I got back into the groove. Suddenly we see my sister and Mark running towards the street hollering at us, they just nearly missed us, but I was oh-so-glad to see them again! Rik called out, asking when we would see them next, Mark responded at the finish line. This time I managed a smile and hollered at him that they'd better get there before the finish line so he could drag me across! We continue on and on and on - a lot of the last 8 miles is a blur because I honestly feel like the pain had me half delirious. I feel bad for poor Rik, I know I whined about my knee a lot, we had to walk quite a bit more frequently the further along we got. It seemed the span of time between where I could run on it and where the pain started to get sharp was getting shorter and shorter. And what's worse is that the last 6 miles (maybe more) was just FULL of hills! For the first time in my life as a runner, I prayed for all uphill for the remaining miles because the downhill was killing my knee. I even tried to formulate a method to where I could jump/hop on one foot and swing my leg around so I wouldn't have to bend it.... that was an unsuccessful attempt. We had to stop so I could stretch and try to somehow just will my knee to suddenly be better. The mental struggle of the deal was the worst of it; not only was I struggling with getting through the pain, but then I was struggling with my own mentality, I felt like a failure, like a loser, like all my training was for nothing. I did not even want to see what my time was. I was on the verge of tears for at least the last five miles and even started hyperventilating a time or two because I just wanted it to be over. I even kept apologizing to Rik throughout, telling him he could finish without me, that I would be along after awhile. But he didn't give up on me. 

The last few miles I kept saying, "Okay, I'm going to run till the end, it's only x amount of miles to the finish line!" And then I would feel a sharp jab in my knee and have to walk again. That was my rule for whether I would walk or run, if the pain got sharp or just unbearable, walk. When we finally got to the last mile, I was so relieved I told Rik I could really do it this time, I could run till finish. So we start running. As we got closer and closer, it was as though my feet had a mind of their own and I just wanted to be done. I wanted to feel that finish line feeling, I wanted my medal dammit! We saw my family hollering and cheering about .3 miles away from the line and I just kept going, I could not feel anything, I just kept going faster and faster and faster until the finish line was looming and I knew this was that moment I had been waiting for, that I had fought and worked for. 
That look is pain.
That look is jubilation. 
That is an expression of relief.
We crossed the finish line together and hugged each other, I'm pretty sure that if I had any fluids left in my body that I would have been sobbing, in fact it felt like I was.

The extreme relief I felt was like no emotion I've ever felt in my life. After we got through to the finisher's area, I scanned the crowds for Mark, I finally saw him making his way through the crowds and I ran and squeezed out of the gate so I could go hug him and my family. I was tearing up the entire time. 

Then we all made it to where we could get our free beer and where Mark bought me a finisher's shirt and we stretched and lounged in the grass for a bit. Rik was kind enough to help me stretch out and after a bit we headed back to the hotel and cleaned up and checked out. I felt surprisingly good for having just run a Marathon; my knee was aching and my hips were sore, but I felt fine enough to walk around and actually built up an appetite. 

We decided on Mexican food to celebrate our victory. 
Brisket tacos and mango, strawberry margarita.

After dinner, we said our goodbyes to Rik and hit the road back to Oklahoma City. I felt bad for Rik having to drive home after running a Marathon, but I was oh-so-glad to have had him there! What would have been a horrible, lonely, miserable run turned out to just be a kinda sucky, painful run because of him, and he really helped me get through it. I'm convinced it would have taken me even longer to finish if he had not been there. All in all I would not change the experience. I mean of course I would have rather ran my first marathon on a good knee, but I feel all the more accomplished for not giving up despite the knee. Running that Marathon was by far, the most difficult thing I have ever even considered attempting. I finished with a time of 5:27, placed overall 1432 out of 1897, placed 96 out of 121 in my division and 550 out of the 891 who completed the Center of the Universe detour. What am I left with? A couple of bad ass medals, 

a recuperating knee, and most importantly I'm left with the knowledge that I finished a Marathon and not just that, but I went the extra mile so to speak. I can do absolutely anything I will ever attempt. Failure is not an option. I am also left with one more thing: renewed goals - the most important factor to staying on track! Next time - sub 4:45!

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Marathon Madness

I know it's been forever and a day since I've posted. This time tomorrow I will be at least a quarter of the way into a marathon, so I thought this would be the perfect time to write a post. I imagine I will be too jittery tonight to be able to manage a post.

You know, I am not entirely certain about what I want to write about, so I suppose I will start with a recap of the past few months of marathon madness. Marathon training has pretty much overtaken my life the past several months; I've done little else besides eat, sleep, and run (and of course Zumba class!). I've spent months being exhausted to the point of passing out as my head hit the pillow every night and using every ounce of my being to drag myself out of bed in the morning. I have struggled through weight gains and being starving the entire time and having to fight between my own desire to calorie restrict and my body's desire to consume fuel. Just about every time I've gained weight in the past months, I would stop obsessing about what I ate and eat what I was craving and I would lose the said gained pounds. If you have been a follower of my blog for long,  you might remember that I am quite familiar with the concept of throwing my body into starvation mode throughout my weight loss journey. I missed maybe 3 runs throughout training, and changed up my mileage a few times where I may have skipped a short run but added mileage to my other runs to compensate.

My worst run was what was supposed to be an 18 mile run, but what turned into an 11 mile run. I had only a few hours of sleep (albeit I felt fine enough - it was probably adrenaline), the heat was smothering and my mindset was not positive. I called Mark at mile 8 in tears exclaiming that I just could not do it, he tried to calm me down and said he would come get me, but I protested and told him I would at least try to make it to mile 12, which would put me back at the house. At mile 10, I called Mark back in tears again and asked him to come get me, by the time he got there I had made it to mile 11 and wished that I had just pushed myself to mile 12. At this point in my training I had already accomplished an 18 mile run so I knew I could do it, it just shows to prove that a good long run really does depend on a great many variables. My best run would have been my 22.25 mile run that I accomplished about 3 weeks ago, if my silly knee had not started acting up! :( I felt amazing, even when I got to 22, cardio and fatigue wise I felt like I could keep going! My knee was killing me though. I've been babying my knee, I really haven't run much in the past two weeks, maybe 25 miles max? Foam rolling, aleve, glucosamine and ice... I hope that's enough! I just finished up breakfast: a light sausage, egg and reduced fat cheese sandwich on a whole wheat English muffin with two small blueberry muffins. Hey, don't judge me! I'm carbing up! And I may take a few marathon pictures with a protruding belly, but I'm cool with that so long as I make it through!

What I've written so far is really not much as far as summarizing what my marathon training has meant to me. It's been an incredible journey, pushing myself beyond limits I had set for myself long ago: Ever since being a child and not being picked for sports in school because I was the fat kid. Since having an extreme fear of all things physical because I was fat and couldn't do it. Even since being fat and being able to out walk/hike many of my thin friends because I had the endurance even then. I should have known back then that I had more in me than I realized. I remember my best friend making a comment about how I just kept going and going and some of our thin friends were wearing out. I should have known then that I wasn't pushing myself, wasn't bettering myself, wasn't trying to excel. This marathon training has been in so many ways just like my weight loss journey. I've gone above and beyond what I ever thought I deserved to even aspire to and the moment of truth comes tomorrow. Tomorrow I will know what I am truly made of. Because despite what people may think, the true battle tomorrow has nothing to do with my body or with my training or with how many more miles I'll be running than I've trained up for... it has everything to do with me and my mind. It will be a battle of wills and I am determined to win. So a new development, not only do I have an achy knee, a congested chest (I am almost certain it's allergies because it has been the same for the past three days), but I have suddenly developed a little bit of a stomach issue. The good thing? I am more fucking determined to achieve this than I was 10 minutes ago! I am so very, very, VERY grateful that I have people that love and care about me that have supported me throughout my training and really throughout everything. Mark has always told me I could do everything I have ever aspired to, my sister, Shakeilah is truly the best sister I could ever ask for and my dad has been behind me since day one. My best friend, Kathleen, was even thinking of coming up, but we didn't plan enough in advance so she will come for a belated celebration. And what's even better? Rik, our Ragnar Relay captain is coming to run with me! Yes, WITH me as in beside me the entire time! I'm so grateful and excited to have someone be there, that I do not have to do the entire run by myself! I'm giddy! And nervous. :-S My hands have not stopped sweating since yesterday, I really cannot wait for the run to be over so I can have dry hands again... Anyway, I must leave, we are headed to Tulsa now! I will leave you with a picture that my sister took last weekend when she helped me clean out my office/dressing room as part of my birthday present. Looking at this picture this morning I realized that crossing the finish line tomorrow afternoon will be the pinnacle of all successes I have reached in my life as of yet. I will be even more proud of that than I am of losing all that weight, but then, years ago I never would have thought I'd have succeeded at that. And a year ago I never would have thought I would be preparing for a marathon tomorrow. Do not be your own blockade, do not stop yourself from succeeding and being what you want to be; absolutely nothing is stopping you but yourself.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Healthified Chicken Alfredo

One of my secret weapons to losing weight was substitution, not elimination. I knew that cutting out everything I loved from my diet would only result in me binging on all my favorite foods. So I made it a hobby to healthify all my favorites. I made healthy versions of all sorts of things I love, taco salad, pizza, sub sandwiches, chicken cordon bleu, chicken tenders, spaghetti with meat sauce, all sorts of casseroles and one of my all-time favorites: chicken alfredo! I made this for dinner last night and posted a picture on Facebook and got several requests for the recipe, so I thought if I'm going to type it out anyways, then I may as well post it on my blog, so here we go:

*disclaimer: I don't follow any particular recipe for most of the things I make, for this reason my recipes may sound vague.

Healthified Chicken Alfredo


* 2-3 chicken breasts depending on size, diced into bite-sized pieces and very meticulously trimmed of fat
* about half a yellow onion, thinly sliced
* 4-7 garlic cloves, minced (we love garlic, if you don't then use less)
* about three cups of chopped fresh broccoli
* about 4 cups of fresh spinach (I used almost a full bag of the spinach you find with the bagged salad, saving just enough for a single serving of salad)
* mushrooms to taste, sliced
* lemon pepper to taste
* oregano to taste
* coarse ground black pepper
* reduced fat Italian blend cheese or Parmesan cheese
* crushed red pepper, optional
* Weight Watchers cream cheese, optional
* chicken broth, optional
* Ronzoni brand pasta, my favorite is the Garden Delight variety because it's made with real vegetables and tastes great, this makes it almost like a free carb, right??? (don't answer, I'm right :P)

Sauce, option A - Ragu Light Alfredo Sauce
Sauce, option B - half and half and make sure you have plenty of Italian/Parmesan cheese, cream cheese and garlic


Cook pasta according to box and preference, drain and set aside - best cooked with olive oil and salt. Place chicken, onion and garlic in hot wok sprayed with olive oil cooking spray, cook for a couple minutes, then add all seasonings.... I really can't tell you how much to use here, but I do tend to go heavy on my seasonings. Also, I've used all sorts of different spices here... you can use basil, thyme, poultry seasoning... but my most recent mix I just stuck with the basics (listed above). Cook a bit longer until chicken has just a bit of pink left in it, then add broccoli and mushrooms. Cook about five more minutes and add spinach and cook until wilted (all of this time you should be cooking on medium heat). At this point your broccoli should be tender, your mushrooms cooked normally and your chicken should be pink-less; there will also be a bit of liquid in the bottom of your wok. This is chicken/veggie broth and also the base for the sauce.

Quick and easy sauce option: add about a tablespoon of cream cheese and a handful or so of shredded cheese of your choice and let melt in the broth until it gets a bit creamy. Add jar of Alfredo sauce, mix well, add more coarse ground black pepper and tada, done! (I myself LOVE tons of coarse black pepper on my Alfredo  so this is a matter of taste) Serve over pasta with additional veggies on the side if you're just veggie crazy like me. :)

A little less quick and easy sauce option: add two-three tablespoons of cream cheese to broth and some half and half.... this part is kinda hard to explain because I never measure, but add enough half and half until you get approximately the amount of sauce you want. If you're worried about calories, you can also add chicken broth, let it bubble and add a bit more cream cheese. Add shredded cheese of choice until you have a nice cheesy Alfredo sauce. Make sure you use plenty of garlic earlier on in the recipe if you make the sauce this way! Also, add more coarse black pepper, spoon sauce over noodles and bon appetite!

Serves 6 (if you have men, boys and runners in the household. :))

Hope you all enjoy!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

SP 6th Blog - May 19, 2010

So I just have not found the time to get another blog out... so here's another one from the past to fill the gap!

Keep on trucking

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Well here I am, just going and going and going. I think what really gets me through is that i have this hope in the back of my mind that one of these days I'll just look down and be healthy, be thin. And I will be. Even if it's a year from now, or two... I WILL get there. The eating isn't quite so hard anymore, it's finding the energy to get to the gym and do my thing. Don't get me wrong, if I'm not careful I could easily blow the eating, but for some reason it doesn't seem to be quite the struggle for me. Although last night we took my son out for a Braum's ice cream cone because he did so well at his school concert. Him and his dad got some really delicious looking cones, and that WAS kinda tough, but the more I thought about eating one, the less I wanted one, I was already pretty full from dinner. It's these damn 10 hour days, I know it! But really I LOVE my Friday's off, I go and spend at least an hour at the gym usually, go have lunch with my dad, pick up the kids and just hang out. It really is a nice day usually. I keep thinking my body will adjust to getting up so early and getting to the gym won't be so difficult, but still... last night I think I passed out as I pulled my hand from the alarm clock! I don't remember anything after starting to set it, I even woke up with my glasses still on. On the plus side... I am wearing some jeans today that I outgrew several months ago, so yay! Just keep losing, just keep losing, just keep losing, losing, losing! (Finding Nemo reference, if you didn't catch thatemoticon) You folks have a good day.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Marathon Training Going Strong

Life is good. Marathon training  is treating me well. I'm tired all the time, hungry all the time, severely sleep deprived, time deprived and constantly stressing about my weight bouncing up and down. Despite all that, I would not trade the experience for the world. I'm realizing things about myself that I never would have without it and I am accomplishing things that I never would have foreseen in the recent years.

I am up to 18 miles now. I ran 16 last weekend, 12  the weekend before, 16 the weekend before that and 13.5 before that.

I know that I'm training properly for a few reasons:

a.) I don't feel like shit after my long runs. There have been many times that I have had horrible stomach problems and cramping in my legs after a long run. I've also been known to not feel like doing a single thing after my long runs and end up sitting around for the majority of the day afterwards. I actually felt better after my 18 miler on Saturday than I did after the Jack Rector Beacon 25k I did a few months ago. I went grocery shopping, cooked dinner, did laundry and ran errands. We even went to a buddy's house and hung out till the late hours of the evening.
b.) "Just four miles" is really just four miles. It seems like anything under 7 miles (my mid-length distance right now) seems to fly by.
c.) My time seems to be very slowly making progress. I was looking at 11+ minute miles a couple weeks ago, now I'm looking at sub 11 minute miles - about 10:45 or so.
d.) I ran up 5 flights of stairs today and was barely winded!

Physical Assessment:
The bad - I have gained a couple pounds and can't seem for the life of me to keep it off. My weight has been varying between 129 and 131, and my lowest weight was 127. This may not sound like much of a difference, but at my height it really does matter. Not just that but I know I ran faster at my lowest weight. I would be SO happy if I could get my weight down to closer to 120 before the actual marathon. I think my problem is essentially explained in this article. I need to try and focus more on eating less processed foods and less on calorie restriction! Also, I'm not as toned as I once was, I haven't had time to go to Body Pump in weeks and it's killing me! I miss it!!!!! I'm going to attempt to reorganize my training schedule a bit to make time for Body Pump again, I hate not being able to go!

The good - No injuries as of yet! *knock on wood* My plantar fasciitis has bothered me once the entire time and I just rolled my foot over an ice bottle a couple nights in a row and that has disappeared again. No muscle pulls, tears, or spasms. And, my knees are doing great! Rik, our Ragnar Relay team leader had strongly recommended that I do some Yoga to help prevent injuries, and I'm ashamed to say that try as I may, I can't seem to find the time to do it. But I have taken up his suggestion on getting a foam roller and have rolled the shit out of my legs since then; focusing primarily on my IT band. I've also made it a point to stretch really well about a quarter of a mile into my run and immediately after a run. While I haven't lost any weight, I feel like I'm still looking good, I'm sporting a 27.25-28.5 inch waist (it varies depending on when I've last ate, etc.), all of my clothes still fit well, and I don't feel disgusted when I look in the mirror! <---- MAJOR non-scale victory! I feel pretty lean for the most part excepting a bulge that sits on my lower abdomen, but I really think that's mostly skin that hasn't tightened up from my weight loss.

Marathon training is not only a physical strain, but it's a mental battle, as well. It seems like every long run is a journey. Katie at wrote an awesome blog post comparing a run to her weight loss journey here. It was so right on and inspiring that it got me to thinking about how I can relate the two and this is what I came up with:

1.) Pre-journey - I putter around the house thinking about how much I really do not want to run ___ miles and wondering if I cn even make it that far. At the beginning of my weight loss I wondered how in the world I intended to lose 130 pounds and if it was even a possibility.
2.) Warming up - The first couple of miles are tough, I feel stiff and out of sorts, I am still slightly nervous of the task ahead of me and start thinking of alternative options if I can't make it all the way. I wonder why the hell I wanted to do this in the first place. I'm in the habit forming phase of my weight loss journey, learning to eat right and move more, I still feel a bit lazy and don't want to give up my junk food. I'm still just testing the waters and wondering if I can really do this.
3.) Finding my rhythm - I find that I'm suddenly comfortable in my pace and stride, I no longer feel awkward and stop focusing on the movement on my legs and just enjoy the forward motion. I continue to lose weight and find a plan that works for me, I'm going strong and feeling encouraged and hopeful.
4.) Bumpy roads - I come across points on my route that slow me down: uphill treks; cracked pavement; long, seemingly endless roads; I trip and fall, skinning my elbow;  I honestly just wish I were done with this run and already home. I hit plateaus and burn outs; I'm tired of counting calories and working out. I'm tired of being "halfway there" and "2/3 of the way there" and "3/4 of the way there". I want to BE there. I want to be at my goal weight.
5.) Determination - I convince myself that I can, must and will finish this run. I stop to stretch or walk for a few paces while I eat some GU and drink some water, I mentally pump myself up to get through it. I force one foot in front of the other and repeat "I know I can, I know I can, I know I can". I play mental games to keep me going, like envisioning the finish line at the Marathon. I listen to songs like "Into the Wild" that remind me that I have a team full of people that has as much faith in me as I do if not more so. I rededicate myself to counting calories and up my strength training workouts. I refocus on what nutrients I'm eating and how to best fill my body with healthy foods. I remind myself that failure is not an option.
6.) Finish line - I'm a half mile from my house (or the finish line) and I have reached the point where there is no question about whether I'll make it or not. I know that I can last giving it ALL that I've got for the next few minutes and so I do. I finally reach my porch enriched with a sense of fulfillment and accomplishment. I am sitting at 135 and realize that yes, I will reach goal weight, I've lost 125 pounds, five more is nothing! So I bust ass and not only get to 130, I shoot beyond and hit 127. I am oh, so happy to have reached my goal. I actually did it, I lost half my body weight and hit my goal weight.
7.) New goals - I realize that I am not done just because I've finished the run. I've got longer miles, bigger races and new personal bests to set. I reach my original goal weight of 130 pounds and decide that I would prefer to go for closer to 120 pounds. I decide that I still want to work on toning and becoming not necessarily skinnier, but stronger. I decide that fitness and health is my passion and I want to try new things and reach for higher accomplishments. I'm no longer happy being stagnant.

And this folks is what just about every long run is like for me. It's a journey and sometimes a struggle, but without my long runs, my journeys, I would never know exactly how strong and capable I really am. My journeys are what have made me what I am today.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

SP 5th Blog - May 13, 2010

This is the part of the weight loss journey that I miss, seeing positive changes and being excited daily about my progress.

Better spirits, today!

Thursday, May 13, 2010

I'm coming back from my spell of depression! I keep reminding myself that I'm doing good and the only way I'm not doing good would be if I were not trying at all. And believe me, I'm trying! I wore my new jeans and a shirt yesterday and I kept checking myself out in the mirror... not like oh I'm hot! But like wow, I'm seeing a difference! From the side, my butt is lifting and my back fat is getting smaller. There is not very much of a bulge underneath my bra line anymore! This is exciting for me because it is one thing I really noticed when I realized how much weight I gained. And... one of the best things... my collarbone is coming out again!!!!! YAY!!!!!!!!! Now THAT is really exciting. That's one of my favorite parts of a woman's body. I think the collarbone is just very graceful and elegant and I'm OH, so excited to have mine getting defined again! I've decided to only track my weight changes as I lose five pounds at a time, it's difficult to read in between the 5 lb markers on my scale; but I DO think I'm close to coming down another 5 lbs! It looks like I'm maybe 1-2 lb away from being 5 lbs less. Okay, fellow Sparkers, I'm off to work again, if I can do this so can you! emoticon 

Monday, August 27, 2012

From Fat to Finish Line Kickstarter Page

Hello everyone, I know it's been awhile since I've made a post and I have one in the works, but in the meantime I'd like to tell everyone about the newest development with my From Fat to Finish team project. Our media team has put together a kickstarter page to help fund the documentary. We could use all the help we can get, any little bit helps. So feel free to stop by the page and show your support and donate if you choose to!

Wednesday, August 8, 2012

A Little Bit of Relief

Suddenly my stress level has plummeted. On Sunday I bought a car. I had no idea how stressed I have been about my transportation situation. Let me intercept with a little bit of history here. To make a long story short, let's just say due to events out of my control, I have been limited to driving POS cars for the past several years. I had been driving my Camry, albeit totaled with the driver's side rear corner smashed in, it at least had AC. Then that died and I switched to our backup Cavalier, this vehicle has no AC. Oklahoma heat is exhausting, I literally would start to nod off driving to my Zumba class in the evenings after work. It was a bit terrifying. Anyway, I had a settlement check for a wreck I was in and some money in savings to supplement it, and started vigorously searching for a car. I cannot even count how many cars we have looked at in the past month. My favorite was the Mazda Miata we looked at, but it had a couple of oil leaks so we passed on that one. Then on Sunday I was searching through ads and came across this:

Something in me told me that this was The One. I had a feeling that my search was over, I immediately emailed the man and asked if he was available to show the car that same afternoon and he was. I ended up driving that baby home. And I love it. Wait, hold on, I don't love it. I LOVEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE it. I have since been driving my Civic since Monday and I love it more everyday. So there's one headache out of the way.

Something else that has been weighing on me is the state of my house. While the affect of a messy house on my mental health is not apparent, I feel so much lighter when my house is clean. So this weekend I did a ton of cleaning out and reorganizing. I even got the boys to help a bit! We bought some new curtains and hung them in the living room, some in our bedroom and the kiddo's, as well. It looks so much nicer now, the clutter is damn near eliminated. This coming weekend we're going to tackle the office and maybe do a bit of reorganizing in the shed.

This past weekend I ran 13.5 miles on my training plan; that combined with working 4.5 hours on Saturday, the cleaning, shopping, laundry, reorganizing and car shopping made for a full weekend. By Monday morning, I was beat! I think I even turned off the alarm clock in my sleep I was so tired!  =/  I was terrified of getting Mark in trouble with his work, but luckily he was spared. :-P  I have also started working Fridays at Mark's shop to help out with some work they are behind on. I really enjoy the work - the busyness of it and the number crunching, logic, and organization the job requires is right up my alley. I think if ever given the opportunity, I would make a killer businesswoman. I will be putting the extra money I make into savings towards my school/house fund. Even after such a hectic, tiresome weekend, I found myself in a much better mood come Monday morning. I found that I actually felt pleasant! Imagine that! The sourness I had been carrying around inside me suddenly dissipated and I felt semi-normal for the first time in weeks/months(?). It's amazing what a little stress relief will do for you!

The past couple of weeks have been nonstop. Between teaching Zumba, working 50+ hours a week, marathon training, car shopping and household keeping, I have been lucky to find time to breathe. I am up to 13.5 miles in marathon training, on week three. I am starting to get my runner's legs back, the short and mid-length runs are getting easier and easier and I am starting to remember why I love to run. My weight has been hovering around 130. It dips below here and there and then I screw up and it bounces back to 130. Meh. All my clothes fit and I only feel a bit "fluffy", not fat, so I will get through this. I know part of my problem is that I have not been keeping up with Body Pump. If something has to give it's my Wednesday night Zumba class and/or Body Pump and here lately I have been missing out! Last night, however, was a lovely workout night! I got in a good hard Body Pump class and then hit the treadmill for 6.25 miles. I felt glorious and well-used afterwards. I am definitely feeling the soreness today! My chest, shoulders, glutes and thighs (especially these!!!!!)  have been an aching reminder of how thorough of a workout Body Pump is! I am so glad I went! Speaking of aching, my knees have been doing relatively well. I have tiny bit of pain here and there, but it seems that a little work on the foam roller smooths out all the kinks. Yes, I have finally started using a foam roller and it does miracles folks! I am a believer!

My evening Zumba class has been so great lately! My attendance has come close to thirty a few times here lately and after almost every class I get positive comments. I so enjoy my ladies, and just here recently one gentleman. After one class I had a woman come up to me and to thank me and tell me how much she enjoyed my class. We chatted for a couple minutes and I found out that she was also a Zumba instructor and subbed around the area. I take her comment as a massive compliment coming from another instructor! After my last class I had another woman come up to me after class to talk and she informed me that she had attended other instructors' classes around the area but they just weren't the same, that I was the best! Can you imagine? Me!?!?? When I first started Zumba I would never have foreseen where I am today. Hell, I never would have foreseen where I am today when I first started teaching Zumba just since February! I never in a million years would have thought that I would be someone's favorite instructor! I feel incredibly honored to be in such a position and I only hope that I am helping people find a way to enjoy exercise.

My eating has been so-so, I think I've probably been following the 80-20 rule (80% good, 20% splurge), hence my ability to maintain. But I want to lose just a bit more so I need to re-evaluate my dedication. I know it's impossible to exercise as much as I do, however, while greatly restricting my caloric intake without burning myself out (or seeing my performance suffer), so it's been tough trying to get my eating straight. I have been loving the hell out of my fruits, veggies and grilled meats:
Favorite summer meal - grilled chicken and veggies.
Fresh fruit
My friend, Angie, inspired me to keep a container of fresh sliced fruit in the fridge for convenience.  Apples, cherries, oranges and watermelon are missing from this picture, but are ready at hand, too. I discovered years ago that I was allergic to pineapple when my face swelled up like an oompa loompa's after eating half a pineapple in one sitting. I SO love fresh pineapple though, so I decided to give it another go. Unfortunately I am still allergic and find myself with swollen, tender lips after nearly every time I consume it, yet I can't seem to keep myself away. So long as it is not too noticeable I think I can manage a few slices here and there.

This is really about all I have to say right now. Besides getting the boy ready to get back in school there is not much new going on. Oh yes, have I mentioned that I have a super sexy beast of a car that I like to zip around in now? :-P

Thursday, July 26, 2012

SP 4th Blog - May 10, 2010

Things are going along swimmingly, I completed my 5 mile training run on Tuesday and my 3 mile training run yesterday. I have a 3 mile run scheduled tomorrow morning and a (hopefully) 12 mile run early Saturday morning.  I ended up with an average of 9:48 miles on Tuesday and 10 minute miles yesterday, but I'll get there!  My weight is still bouncing around from 127-130, but I've definitely noticed more definition the past week what with getting back into the running groove again, so maybe I'll have more news on that soon!

When I first started my re-posting of Sparkpeople blogs, I was hesitant to post these because I would blog on Sparkpeople with the comfort that very few people read my blog. Now that I have more readers, I suppose I feel as though I'm making myself vulnerable to other people's criticisms. I also hedged around the idea of posting my more negative blogs.  But at least these types of blogs are something I know many people can relate to, just know it does get easier!

Down 30 lbs, why aren't I happier??

Monday, May 10, 2010

Well, I've lost more weight, I'm officially 30 lbs down since February. So I should be ecstatic right?? I am happy, I just feel kinda down because well... even after 30 lbs I still have 100 lbs left to lose. That really just makes you think a bit, but at the same time I guess that also means I'm almost a quarter of the way through. I'm trying to be optimistic, but man, sometimes it's just so dang hard to not be self-pitying... I mean I've been fat since I was a little kid, like 8 years old! It's like I never had a chance! But at least I'm doing something about it, so I'll just keep trucking. I think what really threw me into a downward spiral was that on Saturday my fiance and I were going through the manual for his bike when we came across the weight limit. It was 359 lbs and my fat ass broke the limit. Well, this really sucks because I've ridden with him many times and all of a sudden now I can't because I'm too dang fat! Course my fiance said that he would still take me out, we just had to be careful. But honestly how would I feel if his bike broke because of me??? I've got to lose 32 lbs before I can ride with him again. Which summer will be practically over then! I broke down crying after we did the math. I was so humiliated and self loathing. It'll be okay, I know, and there's always next year, I just wish I had started this journey last year before I gained 55 lbs. Then I'd only be 45 lbs away from my goal right now. But I do believe there's a reason for everything. I just need to pray more and keep my chin up. Sorry for anyone that reads this, we all need encouragement not depressing blogs!

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

I am a Runner. It is fun.

I believe one of these videos was posted within our Ragnar Relay team's chat pages and I found it so funny I had to look up more.  This one is one of my favorites:
Particularly because as a runner I find myself having this conversation with myself.  Yes, runners do realize they sound fucking insane (or maybe are a little bit). 

Here lately I've been thinking myself quite insane indeed.  Why?  Because I am running a marathon.  Shocking news, I know!  Let's step back a bit.  Do you all remember the Jack Rector Beacon 25k? After I finished that run, I was convinced that I could run a marathon, and that is essentially all it took to make me decide that I would run a marathon.  Don't get me wrong, I had a terrible time of it the last couple miles of that run, but I had not properly trained and was not at all prepared.  Because of these minute details, I was convinced even further that I could run a marathon; if I can run 15.5 miles with little training, then surely I could run 26.2 with aggressive training!

From this point on, I continued with my running and Zumba instructing, all the while the prospect of running a marathon became the pinnacle of everything I had worked towards.  I became more and more excited and when my SIL told me she and her friend were thinking about running a marathon in San Antonio in November, I told her I was in!   I stayed excited for quite some time after this decision, then suddenly, once the time had come to register, I became irrationally terrified.  Not irrational because running a marathon is a piece of cake, but irrational because I know I can do it.  I made a post about my terror to my Ragnar Relay team and they told me all the stuff I already know.... "Just do it." and such, but apparently I needed to hear it, or else I needed to post about it so I would have some accountability.  How am I supposed to tell my Ragnar Relay team that I bitched out of running a marathon?  I mustn't, I can't, and I won't.  (One of the few times that it's okay to utter these words).  So I registered for the marathon, now taking place in Tulsa as opposed to San Antonio (for timing purposes) and am in my second week of training.  During my freak out, our Ragnar team captain, Rik, offered to call me and go over my training plans.  This phone call helped quite a bit, actually.  He has run 4 marathons, now, and gave me great advice, helped me alter my training plan to be more manageable and even suggested a few things to help with my knee pain.  One suggestion was Yoga for Runners, I still haven't started this yet. =/  But I intend to this week.  I did, however, start doing some exercises for my IT band that seem to be helping.  Since registering for the marathon, my terror has ebbed, but I do go back and forth between nervousness and excitement.  "Why be so nervous?", one might ask.  Well, one morning I stumbled upon marathon finishes on Youtube; I spent the entire morning watching videos like this one and psyching myself out.  Probably not entirely healthy for my marathon training mentality.
This, along with hitting "The Wall" and shitting myself are my big concerns in relation to running a marathon.  But I'm going to train thoroughly, eat well and just do my very best.  I plan to use porta potties as needed, when it comes to shitting myself vs. 2 minutes off my time, I'll take the slow road.  

While I am still nervous... I believe my excitement is starting to predominate again.  I have a friend that is not running the marathon with us, but wants to do the long runs with me during training and she actually runs about my pace!  I'm SUPER excited about that!  The runs she can't make I can run with the OKC Landrunners, but it's nice to actually have an unofficial running partner!  Most of the runners I know locally are fast runners, or not long distance runners, so it's been kind of a bummer thinking about doing those 14+ mile training runs by myself.  Speaking of training, I have my training plan in order, I might try to make it a habit to post it every week to help keep track and to keep myself accountable.  Last week was my unofficial start; according to Hal Higdon's training plan it's a week early and I'm a few long runs ahead of the OKC Landrunners so I wasn't as strict as I hope to be throughout the rest of my training.  On the schedule I had two 3 mile runs, one 5 mile run and one 6 mile run.  I ended up doing one 3.3 mile run, one 2.6 mile run and one 10 mile run. So a bit more than a mile short.  Not a great start, I admit, but there was lots going on last week.  This week, I have one 5 mile run, two 3 mile runs and a 12 mile run on the agenda.  (I've adapted Hal Higdon's training plan and the OKC Landrunner's plan to add in some extra mileage.  I have an extra 18 mile run in there and I made one of the 20 mile runs a 22 mile run.)  Below is a summary of what I have been doing as far as workouts go:

 This is what my workout schedule will be during training.  I'm sure the items in red will drop off by the end of it all, though I plan to try and keep at least one Yoga class in my rotation to try and help prevent injury.:

So, there you go.  I am running a marathon.  I am a runner and it is fun.  I am fucking insane.  This is one aspect of insanity I feel privileged and proud to take part in.  I thank God for my strong body, the determination to keep going forth with new goals and bouts of insanity, and especially the awesome people to share this special part of my life with. ;)

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Giveaway! (Not mine)

Carrie from What Have I got to Lose is doing a giveaway for a Bondi Band Armband.  I hate the armband I have for my I-Pod right now and would love to try this out, so I obviously had to get all the entries I could!  So if you're interested, you can check out Carrie's giveaway here.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Runner - It's What's for Dinner

I  had a pretty good weekend, uneventful for the most part, but enjoyable.  Friday morning I got up and started my weekend off right, with a long run of course.  I set out for 10 miles around 8:30 (all too late for these Oklahoma summers!); it was already hot and muggy and it took me a good half a mile to find my tempo.  A little over two miles into my run, something came out of nowhere and whacked me on the back of the head.  Then I felt claws graze my scalp.  It was terrifying.  I hollered what I think sounded like "What the fuck!!??!", then promptly surveyed my surroundings to see if anyone overheard my explicit outburst.  Luckily no one was around (I'll take this opportunity to explain to the reader that I have been working on my foul mouth for some time now; however, when it comes to running I find myself fully uncensored, so please excuse me), except for the bird.  The damned creature had swooped down in front of me after it's attack and then proceeded to park itself in a tree across the street from me.   We're not talking about a sparrow or a pigeon or whatever the hell else kind of small birds you see all over the place - in the streets and lining the telephone lines.  We, in fact, are talking about something not unlike a crow or a raven or maybe even a small hawk.  It's wingspan was massive, at least a foot and a half across; I will even venture to say it was probably closer to two feet.  At this point it was necessary to cross the street to continue about my course.  I warily eyed the creature sitting forebodingly in the branches of a suddenly eerie looking tree and as fast as I could, sprinted across the street and away from the demon creature.
It was staring at me as I did this and I could feel it's eyes boring into the back of my head as I took off down the street.  About a mile later, I finally calmed down a bit after freaking out about the bird germs that were all in my hair and continued on my run without further incident.  I made it through 7.5 miles at a decent pace and walking only once to eat some GU gels, but after that point the heat and humidity started dragging me down and I found myself walking quite a bit the last 2.5 miles.  Even so, my pace ended up being ~11:00 min/mile.  Not my best, but I'm satisfied with myself for facing the hellish weather and making it through 10 miles.

The rest of my Friday was really busy.  I had to finish birthday shopping for my sister and getting her a cheesecake tart thingy for the family get together later that night.  This doesn't sound like much, but when my sister was coming over directly after work it left little time to spare.  I managed to finish everything before my sister showed up and then we headed out to do a little bit of shopping.  My sister had some Kohl's cash to use and ended up getting a really pretty top and a new bra for only a buck and some change out of pocket!  Later that evening we went out for dinner for my sister's birthday after opening presents.  I'm pretty sure this was her favorite gift from my dad:
Her first electric guitar!
Saturday, I got up early and headed to the gym for Body Pump and Zumba.  I got there a bit late and missed the warm up, but made it in time for the first regular track.  I've been leaving class during lunges and sometimes squats to jump on the elliptical and it seems to have been making a difference with my knees.  Both classes were good, I especially had fun in Zumba.  After Zumba, my friend Fida, and I played around with some songs we're working on and spent a good deal of time just chatting.  It's hard to find time for friends when you work a full time job and teach and I really enjoy the post-class camaraderie.  Fida and I decided to go have some Thai food for lunch afterwards.  I really have very little experience with Thai food, so Fida and I ordered a couple different things and shared them.  We ordered seafood Yom Tom soup (I think that is what it was called!), curried vegetables and Shrimp Pad Thai.  The soup was SO good!  Ohmyallthingsholy kinda good!  It was full of shrimp, squid, crab, huge chunks of tomatoes and bell peppers.  It was also served with rice, which was awesome mixed into the soup.  We ordered the soup at a level 5 of hotness which was fairly spicy.  Fida piled on some extra pepper sauce, which of course prompted me to try said sauce.  I put just a small teaspoon and couldn't tell a difference, so I added a larger spoonful with little pieces of Thai peppers in it. I mixed it into my soup and went at it.  At first I could tell it was a tad spicier, but it was still delicious, I just felt the burn afterwards.  Then I bit into one of the peppers.  That was the end of that!  Tears started pouring down my face and my nose started running and I was an embarrassing mess!  And Fida was enjoying her soup, peppers and all with not a care in the world.  In fact, she was enjoying my discomfort, immensely!  While I had the flames of Hell burning rampant in my mouth, Fida was rolling in laughter.  Eventually I cooled off my taste buds enough with the Pad Thai and could go back to enjoying my soup, but not without Fida hiding the chili peppers from me.  ;)  After some time, Fida started fanning her mouth and made the comment that it was indeed hot.  At which point I chose to laugh and say "that's what you get for laughing at me!", to which she replied "at least I'm not crying!".  Well, um, yeah.  I shup.  I'll have to find a way to get her now!

Later that evening, after visiting with in-laws, we went to look at cars.  Not a total waste of time, but I'm still without a car.  We ended up not getting home until almost 9 at which point I decided I was not cooking dinner and so we decided on a completely healthy, quick and easy meal:  Taco Bueno!  I figured I had only eaten once all day with none of my usual snacks or even breakfast, plus I had worked out 6 days this week, so I justified to myself that Taco Bueno was certainly acceptable.  (I still haven't decided if I was just fooling myself.)  Sunday was a lazy day for the most part.  Breaking Bad was premiering that night so Mark and I decided to watch all the episodes available On Demand to refresh ourselves.  Man, that show is so suspenseful and keeps you on edge the entire time!  So later that afternoon, we hit the grocery store, went to visit with Mark's grandparents and ran a couple other errands before returning home where I finished laundry, cooked dinner and got ready for the coming week.  Breaking Bad did not disappoint, I can tell it's going to be another awesome season!    I had a couple of great classes yesterday, the evening one especially.  I had another pretty full class and someone came up to me after class to tell me how much she enjoyed and loved my class.  It seems here lately that after most classes I have someone come visit with me about how much she enjoyed the class.  I love it!  I am not sure if I ever thought I would be a successful Zumba instructor, of it it was just the thought of never trying that prompted me to go through with it, but I'm so glad I did.  I like to know that if even for only an hour I make someone's life a  little bit more enjoyable!  Tonight's workout plan?  Body Pump and a 5 mile run.  I'm actually kind of nervous about the run.... it's been so long since I've run on a treadmill that I worry about my speed.  I'm hoping for 10 minute miles.  I hope to get my speed back into the 9:30-9:45 range by the end of the summer, maybe even faster by mid fall!  Welps, now I have to get to work for a lovely Tuesday!

Monday, July 9, 2012

SP Blog 4/11/2010

Life has been crazy as ever, now I'm in the midst of car shopping, birthdays, holidays!  I've been doing deep cleanings of the house.  One of the more tedious days involved sorting through a massive pile of old paperwork which led me to the discovery of this:

This was sent to the shredder seen in the background.  I'm not sure why I hung onto it for so long, or if perhaps it got shoved off behind something else, but it felt freeing to shred it.  

Last week we had dinner with my dad for his birthday.  We went for Mexican, which of course means I had to get one of my favorites: 
Sangria Swirled Margarita
Those never get old, and yes I have an affinity for frozen drinks, what of it?  For my meal I ordered a taco salad with chicken fajita meat and Spanish rice instead of the shell.  I feel like it was a relatively healthy choice considering we were at a Mexican restaurant. 

We had a lovely time. 

For the fourth we grilled and then went out to the country to shoot off an assload of fireworks, we had a blast! 

I worked out everyday even though I was off work most of the week, I ran 8 miles on Wednesday morning and I'm pretty sure I almost suffered from a heat stroke since I waited until it was kind of late before I headed out.  It was somewhere in the mid 90s when I got home and I felt really sick and I was sweating what tasted like water (an indication that I needed sodium) and then when I got home and sat on the porch I started getting goosebumps.  It was a tad scary, I plan to carry water on me from now on and (I know I keep saying this, but) I'm going to get off my butt and leave the house early from now on!  I know I was running in hot weather last year, but I think the difference was that I was running a lot shorter distances this time last year, like I believe a mile or two.  I did not run my first 5k until August 2011. 

The past week/weekend I have spent most of my spare time  car hunting, I am currently using our spare POS car until we find one.  I'm not all too bothered about driving it though, I'm thankful we have a "spare" for me to drive.  With that in mind, I have not rushed into buying anything, I do not want to get screwed and I feel like I have plenty of time to be picky so it will probably be a long, drawn out process; and I am totally okay with that.  So if you see me scooting around town in a dumpy beat up Chevy, do not feel bad for me, it's of my own preference.  No one got anywhere in life without a bit of hardship.

Speaking of hardship, I've been worn out... I really have tried to wrap my head around how people do everything they do...  Between work, working out (my personal work outs), teaching Zumba, feeding the family, doing laundry, cleaning, grocery shopping and all the other random errands/chores that come up, I find it SO hard to make time to blog.  I know it sounds like I am full of excuses, but really?  I get very little time to just do nothing, or to do things I want to do.  Ie: read a book, watch a movie, etc., etc. I miss reading a book.  Not ebooks or audio books, a plain old fashioned book with paper pages and that old musty smell of wisdom and adventure. This is one reason I like going to donate platelets:  besides the obvious giving something back to the community sentiment, it's the one time I do not feel at all guilty for sitting still for two hours.  Speaking of, I will only donate 1-2 more times before Marathon training begins!  eek!  (I still owe you all a Marathon post, believe me, it's coming!)

The following  blog post is one I wrote about two months into my journey.  It's actually a bit coincidental, because I just got done fighting the bloat and feeling like a whale for the past week and sure enough it's still an issue.  I guess it can't all be sunshine and roses.  Meh.  Here ya go:

Patience = Rewards


Sunday, April 11, 2010

So, life has been good. I figured out what's been wrong with me... I haven't been eating enough!! Blah! I need to remember to be patient. It took a bit to gain this weight, it's going to take a bit to lose it! I had a scare with weight gain, course it was my time, but I thought man there is NO way I gain 7 lbs in water every month. Sure enough though, the day after I quite, I was not 7 lbs lighter again.... no, I was 12!!! So, I found out I lost another 5 lbs, so exciting!! So now I'm going to call my doctor and see what can be done about that once a month weight gain, because I got really depressed and it can be distracting when you're on a mission to lose weight when your monthly visitor comes by and throws a fist in your face... Course I know I prolly could cut back on the salt, too, so I'm going to be trying that and I really need to up my water intake, I've been hovering about 7 cups a day, and I really want at LEAST 8 if not 9 everyday... Baby steps though, baby steps! Keep rocking it my fellow spark people!

Monday, June 25, 2012

Tulsa Trip (and Color Run)

So the past couple of weeks have been busy, stressful and completely disarrayed.  But, I survived them!  I have not hardly run at all though, and I suppose that is really all I can complain/admit to not doing well at.  Last weekend I was running around from early morning to late night each day, what with Father's Day shopping (for my dad and for Mark) and then cooking Father's Day Brunch and we also bought a new bed! Then we also visited the in-laws and spent the rest of the day cleaning and rearranging our new bedroom furniture into our bedroom.  It was hectic and I did not work out once!  But I was on my feet the entire time, so I definitely felt the exhaustion.  Then I had a long week, my workouts went something like this:  Zumba, Zumba, Zumba, Body Pump, Zumba, Zumba, Body Pump, Zumba.  I was about Zumba-ed out!  So I truly enjoyed getting my long run in on Friday, 10 miles!  I then got to enjoy a yummy lunch with my dad and sister at Hummus Mediterranean cafe.

Saturday morning is where the real weekend fun began.  I had The Color Run scheduled for Saturday morning, and I had already begun to dread it since I had to get up so early to drive to Tulsa and since I was bailed on.  It was supposed to be a super hot day in Tulsa and I was sure the humidity would suck, too.  But I had paid money for it and I needed that post-race picture; plus, I had convinced Mark to come with me so we could find something to do in Tulsa afterwards.  I had packed a bag Friday night and had everything laid out since the plan was to be on the road by 5:30 am.  When I crawled out of bed the coffee was brewing and I quickly got ready.  I had to prompt Mark a few times before he rolled out of bed.  You have to tread with care when waking Mark up super early, he can be awfully grouchy when forced out of bed before light on the weekend!  Poor Bella was not at all happy to see us go, but she ran, got into bed with the kiddo, and promptly curled into a furry ball when I told her we were leaving.  We took the turnpike the entire way into Tulsa and the trip flew by relatively quick.  Mark slept in the backseat with his pillow and I had no problems keeping awake on my own.  As we started getting into town I tried waking Mark up numerous times, but he would not wake up!  Finally, I got him up a couple minutes before I found parking and had him drinking coffee, but I knew he wasn't quite there yet.  We found parking in an apartment complex about a third of a mile from the race start.  We started walking towards Veteran's Park (where the race was taking place) and I could tell Mark was having some waking up issues, so I told him to go back to the truck and just meet me at finish.  After I assured him that it was no big deal and that I would not at all be mad, he went back the way we came and I jogged to the park.  I was concerned about getting there on time because I still had to pick up my packet, but once I got there I realized I had plenty of time and that there were hardly any lines at the packet pick up or at the porta potties either one.  So I got my packet and got ready when I realized they didn't have a check in.  This annoyed me, I had just assumed that an event that big and expensive would definitely have a check in.  It was only a 5k, however, so I figured it wouldn't be too much of a pain to hang onto my stuff for the next 30 minutes or so.  I got into the crowd at the race start and stood around for awhile when I realized the waves were taking a really long time to get back to me.  I started hopping around to try and see where the start line was and saw that I was probably close to a quarter of a mile back and the crowd was not moving noticeably for long periods of time.  So I started pushing my way through the crowd to try and get closer to the front.  At this point I just wanted to get it done, I figured it wouldn't be the ultimate color run experience since I would be running it alone, so I was ready to get on about my business.  Finally somewhere between 8:30 and 8:40, I got into a wave that was allowed to start!  (Waves started at 8:00!)  And we were off.  It was a fun experience, and I know the run was for fun and not speed, but I was annoyed because the walkers would walk all the way across.  I kept having to run up on the grass and in between people coming from the opposite direction to get around them.  I don't have anything against walkers, but a little consideration and leaving maybe a two person width gap for runners would have been much appreciated!  Everyone walked through the color throws and many people laid down in the middle of the road and rolled around in the color, it was a very fun atmosphere!  The air was thick and sticky.  It wasn't very warm yet really, but the humidity was horrible.  I finished up around 9:10 and opted out of the color finish party, I was ready to find Mark and enjoy the rest of the day.  I jogged back the way I came from and met Mark at the apartments we had parked in earlier, I didn't mind him not being at Finish, the reason I wanted him to come along in the first place was to explore Tulsa post-race.  And to get my post race pictures, of course ;):

The truck's windows are heavily tinted and the apartments were pretty quiet and empty, so I had Mark hold up a towel for me while I changed and cleaned up in the parking lot.  I had brought a wash cloth and water and such and actually did a decent job of cleaning up considering the conditions.  I finished up in the truck while we started to drive around and figure out what we were going to do.  Mark used to live in Tulsa so there were a few things he wanted to do; that, combined with a few things I had done research about and wanted to do left us with a full plate!  First Mark showed me where he used to live, then we went to visit the Center of the Universe.  This phenomena is a tad tricky to explain, but it's a part of the detour on the marathon course I plan to do in November (I will post an official blog about this soon!), so I was excited to check it out.  One stands on the cement circle and when speaking can hear one's voice reverberate, it's super cool!  Then we drove around downtown looking for a hotel that is bizarrely narrow from a certain angle.  We never did find that hotel.  We decided on lunch at Cherry Street somewhere and parked a block away because the street was blocked off for farmer's market.  We wandered around that for a bit, but they were just starting to wrap things up so it looked like we missed the best of it.  After walking up and down Cherry Street, we ended up eating at a Mexican restaurant that was SO good!  I got the brisket tacos with avocado salad and what I think what was cilantro rice.  I definitely would like to eat here again when we go back to Tulsa!

Everything was amazing (the Queso Blanco - to die for) and somehow I managed to stop before I became an overstuffed turkey.  After that we decided to do a bit of random exploration before we decided on picking our next stop.  After driving around a bit we saw a sign for the Tulsa Garden Center which just happened to be on my list, so we stopped there.  We walked all over the grounds and saw so many pretty flowers and plants.  We got a few good pictures.  This is the entry garden upon arrival:

Some of the prettier flowers:

Mark demanded to be cropped out of this one because he looked a bit grumpy:

And here's take two:

And deeper into the gardens:

I thoroughly enjoyed exploring the gardens, and Mark actually did, too!  After the gardens we saw a sign indicating that the Philbrook Museum was near by, so we ventured there.  This place blew my mind.  It was so massive and luxurious, I could never imagine living in a place like that.
Love the columns!

One of my favorite displays.

The other wall.

There were beautiful high ceilings throughout, love the skylight here!


And the outside grounds were so beautiful and sprawling, I wish I had taken more pictures, it truly was an experience to remember!
The view from the back patio, note the gazebo at the end.

View of the house from the gazebo.
After the museum expedition, we were parched and baked, so we decided a frozen drink was just what the doctor ordered.  We found a Mexican restaurant/tequila bar and each ordered one of these:

We left the facility feeling quite cool, indeed!  Then we drove around downtown a bit more looking for the illusive hotel.  Mark used to go to this shop called Starship Records so we went about finding the place to drop in and take a look around.  Mark went through every record they had and ended up finding one of his favorite bands.  And I found this:
I just couldn't resist, where else would you find a boobie cake pan???  They also had boobie cupcake pans, but somehow that just seemed over the top.  :-P  I'm just hoping he forgets about it before his birthday so I can surprise him with a boobie birthday cake!  Tee-hee!  After leaving the shop, the sweltering heat drove us into another bar where we enjoyed a couple more margaritas (this one actually had Skinny Margaritas!!).   At this point we were ready to head home, we needed to feed the kiddo at home and I was ready for a shower to wash the sweat and sun off.  We stopped for gas and drinks and  then headed out of town!  The projected home arrival time was 7:45, so we opted for Louie's for dinner; that way we could order it and pick it up on the way home.  The boys got bacon cheeseburgers and I got a turkey burger with fried green beans.  I think I would have been happier and felt better if I had ordered a salad, but it was delicious all the same.  

Yesterday I spent the morning relaxing and watching Heroes on Netflix, then I started cleaning and went grocery shopping.  After grocery shopping I came home and worked on laundry and getting tonight's dinner ready:  ham and beans with cornbread muffins and spinach.  I'm not a ham and beans kinda gal, but a lady at work had brought some up and I really enjoyed it so I thought I'd try and recreate what she had made.  (She refused her recipe.... the best cooks do! :-P)   I then cooked dinner and did some more cleaning and finished up the laundry, I ended up in bed by 11, w00t w00t!  Now I'm off to relax for the rest of the evening.  Today was decent and both of my Zumba classes went well, but it was still a Monday and I'm puttered out!  In fact, I'd say my evening class went really awesome, I had nearly 20 people and everyone had a really good time from what I could tell.  They even clapped at the end of class!  I really enjoyed tonight's class and I think most of my students did, too; it was the perfect capper for a Monday.  Anyhoo, I'm off to sleep!  Ttfn!