About Me

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Wife of Jeremy. Mom of Syd, Ben, and Ryan. Daughter, Sister, Aunt, Friend, Coach

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Wow! Where have I been for the past 7 months?

Seriously, I'd like to tell you I have been asleep, running, saving the world, or something equally interesting. However, I really have no excuse for the absence of my amusing posts. (Please don't tell me they aren't amusing. It would just ruin my image of myself).

Truth is, I've been busy.  I have run in two half marathons and one warrior dash.  I had an amazing trip to the beach. I was the assistant coach for a girls' fastpitch softball team.  I am a bad-ass football mom. (Heck, you have to be to keep up with the other moms from the team. These ladies are hard-core.)  I have been on a zip-line. I have booked an anniversary trip to Costa Rica for my 15th wedding anniversary with Jeremy. Truth is, he deserves way more than a trip to Costa Rica for putting up with my ass all these years. I've spent a lot of time with family.  Have I made adequate progress toward those goals I set for myself in January?  No, but I've been on a great roller-coaster ride called life, and I wouldn't trade it for anything.

Tomorrow is 13.1 Atlanta. I am definitely not prepared for it. I see lots of Motrin in my future.  I have the Marine Corps Marathon in 29 days.  You might want to pray now that I finish each of those alive.  While those will take hours and hours and hours to complete, "Hold on tight cuz it's gonna be wilder than any 8-second ride" (Many thanks to Jake Owen for singing that song). That's just how I roll, I mean, run.

Take care and I'll see you after the race tomorrow.  Seriously, 13.1 miles? What was I thinking? Maybe I was thinking that it is better than the 40 hours of labor I was completing this in early October 1998.  Well, I guess 40 hours of labor isn't all bad. I did get a great daughter out of the deal. Sydney will be 13 on Monday. Happy birthday sweetheart!

PS. Don't pay attention to that daily mile ticker to the right. I'm not yet close to 1000 miles in 2011, but I have done way more than 91.  Maybe I should look in to updating that daily mile thing.

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

How Do You Identify Yourself?

How do you identify yourself?  A year ago, I would have identified myself as a mom, a wife, a Christian, a friend, sister, cousin, daughter, aunt, coach, driver, maid, chef.  Perhaps the label I would have given myself, but never told anyone about is "the fat girl."  Funny, I would never give someone else that label. I save it for myself.  Why? I guess it was just to bring myself down, to keep that fear of success in the back of my mind.

I have been thinking about these labels a lot lately.  These labels I give myself are who I am. They shape my thinking (and my thinking shapes them).  Now that I have started running, I have time to think about these labels.  Side note: Typically, the first half of my run is spent in prayer (and not just about praying I survive the run).  This is where I give my cares to God, and my burdens go from my shoulders to His.  He is definitely more capable of taking care of my worries than I am. 

Now, the second half of my runs are spent clearing my mind of the things that were rolling around in there that weren't cleared out by the prayer session.  Sometimes, I think about those labels, especially the fat girl one.  Oh sure, I can gloss over it and think about what I need to cook for dinner (chef), what time sports practices are (coach and driver), what needs cleaned (maid), or even where my husband is traveling for his job this week (wife).  I always come back to the fat girl label.  When I started running with Casey (http://thefatfoodieandfriends.blogspot.com/) back in August 2010, I would complain about the way my fat would jiggle on the running portions of our Couch to 5K training plan (http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml).  This jiggling just increased that fat girl label in my head. Thank God that I had Casey running with me then.  I would likely have given up.  Sure I would have given excuses about how I should lose some weight before I started a running program. Then I would like running because I wouldn't have the jiggling.  Truthfully, I wasn't going to like running no matter what at that time. The fat girl just complained about the jiggling because of her fear of success. This past Saturday, I ran just over 7 miles for the first time in my life.  7 MILES!!!! That was a lot of time to think about those labels.

For those of you who knew me last summer and have seen me recently, there is a significant difference in the way I look.  It wasn't like I was on the Biggest Loser television show. The change in me was not that dramatic, but through Weight Watchers (http://www.weightwatchers.com/) and running, I have made changes in my life.  I've dropped three clothing sizes.  You will see me in the same clothes over and over again, because I only have a few that fit.  I think I own more workout clothes now than clothes that are not workout clothes.

I still think about the fat girl label, especially when I catch a glimpse of myself in the mirror.  I wonder who that person is and then I remember that I am seeing myself again.  I have dropped that fat girl label.  I needed a label to replace it.  I replaced "fat girl" with "runner" after that 7 mile run on Saturday.  On Saturday morning, I was a person who likes to run.  On Saturday afternoon, after 7 miles of grueling hills (those of you who have driven in my neighborhood will shout AMEN to that one at the thought of running them), I began to think of myself as a runner.  Runner:  I like that.  I think I will keep that one.

The next time I am asked to describe myself, I will use that label.  I will tell people that I am a runner.

Happy Running everyone!

Tuesday, February 1, 2011


I've been absent from the blog for a couple of weeks.  I have really missed it. My laptop crashed and my husband had to rebuild it.  Praise God that I married Jeremy, otherwise known as the Jack of all trades.  I could have used the desktop computer, but I LOVE my laptop. I only sit at the desktop computer in the wee morning hours to check email only.  Otherwise, I'm on the desktop for syncing the iPhone.  When I sit at the desktop computer, my back is to the rest of the family.  I have three kids.  NEVER TURN YOUR BACK ON THE KIDS! 

I have been keeping up with the workouts, but they haven't been pretty.  I had a particularly rough 5 mile run on 1/22/11.  It was the slowest pace I have run yet, and that is really saying something, because I make the tortoise look fast.  I'm ok with that.  I'm definitely not running for the prizes in the races.  I'm a bit more relaxed than that.  You would laugh if you could see me as a spectator or coach when one of my kids compete.  I am the furthest thing from being competitive when I am doing something. When my kids are competing, I am over the top!  I do try to keep it in check as I have seen some of those youTube videos of psycho wrestling moms, and I do not want to end up on youTube in that context.

Other changes are happening around here as well. Since my last post, I have started working for Weight Watchers.  I am currently training to be a receptionist.  WOW! There is so much to do as a Weight Watchers receptionist.  I love it.  Also, that keeps me close and in treatment.  That weighing once per month and knowing it is being sent to the territory director is motivating to get my booty moving.

Thanks for all my comments on my blog!  I appreciate reading them all!  I'm loving that I'm getting to meet people online through running!

Signing off for now. It is time to lace up the angelic running shoes. Take care and keep running.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

I'm still getting in my workouts, even if they are comical!

OK. Snow started falling here on Sunday at 11:15 pm.  We were in a winter wonderland in just a couple of hours.  6+ inches of snow when I woke up on Monday morning.  It was absolutely beautiful.  My pantry and refridgerators were well stocked.  The children were happy.  The electricity, satellite, and wifi were operational!  Life was good!  Then I looked at my training calendar.  There it was, staring at me: 30 minute run.  At least it is early in my half marathon training (and I am following a training schedule that maintains my goal is to FINISH the half and not run it for time).  30 minute run: Could I manage a 30-minute training run in the snow?  Why oh why didn't I confiscate my grandfather's treadmill that has been collecting dust more and more as his age creeps up and up?  What to do what to do?  Well, I have an elliptical in the basement.  So, I grab a library book (about running) and head to the basement in my workout gear.

I'll just tell ya.  I like to run outside.  I feel like I am accomplishing something because I am moving past objects and seeing different things.  Inside running, I feel like I'm a hamster on a wheel.  I'm trapped.  I'm putting forth valiant effort and going nowhere.  I try to shake off this feeling as I cue up my playlist and get my book ready.  Now, I know the elliptical isn't the same as pounding the pavement so I increase my time from 30 to 45 minutes and I set the program for "mountain."  Oh my goodness!  That mountain totally kicked my butt!  I know my joints were thrilled for the the break from the pounding, but my glutes, quads, and hammies were screaming "what were you thinking?"  According to my heart rate monitor, my calorie burn was about the same for 45 minutes on the elliptical as it is for 30 minutes running outside.  I think I have found my primary crosstraining activity, and I go to bed on Monday happy with my progress.

On Tuesday, I think the snow is a little less beautiful, but I have the bright idea that using the boogie boards and skim board that we have for beach vacations would make perfect sleds.  I was so right!  I love it when I'm right.  Ben chose the skim board and Ryan chose a boogie board.  Hours of fun. The princess decided not to join us.  She watched movies in the climate-controlled house.  No training on the calendar for Tuesday, but I decide to walk my driveway to see the condition of it.  Well, for those of you who don't know, my driveway is 2/10 mile long and the half of it closest to the house is very steep.  It is not for the faint of heart, and I hyperventilate a little each time my children decide to ride their bikes down the incline at top speed. At the end of the steep part of the driveway is a sharp curve and a barbed wire fence.  Now you understand why my heart stops when they fly down the driveway.  Knock on wood, we have not had any injuries requiring an ER visit due to riding a bike on the driveway.  Anyway, I decide to walk the driveway.  That may or may not have been a good idea.  I really needed track spikes.  That may have helped.  Well, I fell. Twice. On my butt.  That is ok.  The cold ice made the pain less.  I'm sure it would have been a great video to make people laugh on youtube.   I walked the driveway and back.  Yep. It is icy.  The flat part that never sees sunlight, is like a skating rink.  I think we should get out there and play hockey.

Yesterday  (Wednesday), was supposed to be another 30 minute easy training run.  That didn't happen.  What did happen was two hikes of the driveway, up and back walk on the road to my grandfather's house, a hike to/from my uncle's house through the snow, and some shoveling.  I think I got the workout done with all that.  Oh, and I only fell once during all that. I will be thrilled when the ice is gone. I'm clumsy enough without ice.  The ice just exaggerates my lack of grace.

So today is another day, and another workout. It is still icy and my driveway isn't passable.  I'm waiting for higher temps and the thaw that will come with it.  Until then, I guess I'll hit the elliptical and if I'm feeling motivated a strength and ab workout as well.  I've gotta do something to combat the 5-day buffet I've had since the snow started falling.

Keep running!

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Shoe Love!

OK. So, have I told you that I am training for a half marathon?  I did? Oh, well then, let's get started.  Yesterday, I set out on my second training run. I am following a beginner training schedule that I found on Jeff Galloway's website.  My goal is to finish the half-marathon.  I won't be making any speed records by any means.  Back on topic: Yesterday, I put on my gear, and set out for my training run (30 minutes) as soon as I dropped the boys at school.  I put on my tights, pants, compression shirt, dri-fit tshirt, hoodie, Wrightsocks (thanks mom!), and my New Balance running shoes.  It was 27 degrees when I got to the training location of the day.  I like winter and all, but 27 degrees makes this Georgia girl want to move back to Apollo Beach. I get out of the van and shiver.  I wonder if the half-marathon is worth it.  Of course, I've already called myself out on facebook and this blog, so I have to do it.  I put my ear-muffs on and use a headband to cover my mouth.  Breathing the cold air during a run just kills my throat.  I start with a slow walk to warm up the muscles.  Immediately, the left hip feels strange. I chalk it up to the temp.  After a five minute warm up, I loosen up a bit and start on my SLOW pace.  The left hip begins to ache.  I keep on trucking.  Soon the left knee begins to ache as well.  The strangest part about all this is that it is the right hip/knee that usually ache if something is going to ache during a run.  Hmmmm! What to do that to do!  I'm having trouble getting into the zone. You know the one where you forget a bit about running, and think about other things that make time pass more quickly.  I never reached that place yesterday.  All I can think about is pain.  It wasn't a sharp pain that made me want to stop.  Just a dull, annoying pain.  The kind I imagine that I was to my big sister growing up.  Sometimes easy to ignore, but mostly there under the skin annoying the crap out of an otherwise sane person.  Melissa: here is my official apology for the annoying things I did when we were growing up.  Still I keep trucking, but my mind is trying to recall if I have a bottle of motrin in the van with my water bottle.  Finally, I look at my watch/hrm and I am 5 minutes over the necessary 30 minutes of running on the calendar for the day.  I practically leaped for joy, and it really made the left hip and knee hurt when I landed.  I slowed down for 10 minutes to bring my HR back to normal. I talked to some people. I did my stretches.  Left hip continues to gnaw at my cheerful disposition.

As I set off for home ( a hot shower and motrin), the hip is really starting to tick me off.  I am thinking of colorful language to describe how I felt about the hip at that time, but it isn't appropriate for this blog.  However, the pain subsides before I get home and the motrin is unnecessary.  The shower was necessary.  Even at 27 degrees, I'm still sweating when I run.  as I go to put my New Balance shoes in the box, I see that I still have the receipt from the purchase.  I bought them almost 3 years ago.  Hmmmm. Maybe that explains a lot.  The shoes still look ok, but I have no idea on the mileage of the shoes.  I try to recall the running moments of the last 3 years.  All those times I said I was going to run a race, then starting a training schedule only to discontinue it.  I know the bulk of the miles on the shoes really came between August 2010 and present day, but I have never kept a training log (until now), so total miles on the shoes are a mystery.  Maybe the new pain might be breakdown of the shoes.  Of course it is, because it couldn't possibly be me!  I have a few errands to run and things to prepare, but I want to get a new pair of shoes.  Doesn't every girl want a new pair of shoes?

I finish the errands much earlier than anticipated. WooHoo! I have time for shoes! I think about the running store near the Avenues on Hwy 141. I like to go there because they carry shirts from my favorite running shirt retailer (http://onemoremile.net/). The store on 141 is where I purchased my "Running is cheaper than therapy" shirt that I love so much.  However, I remember that there is a running store near Jeremy's office.  I'll check it out and report to him because he could go on his lunch one day to get new running shoes.  So, off to Windward Pkwy I go to find Big Peach Running Company (http://www.bigpeachrunningco.com/).  They were fabulous!  I now have a favorite running store called Big Peach Running Company.  The fit process is very thorough and I don't remember all this "stuff" the last time I bought running shoes (three years ago).  The sales associate was  nice and knowledgeable and asked questions to find out about the hows and whys of my running.  Then she brought out the shoes.  I was getting a little light-headed from being so excited.  I tried on four different running shoes.  All were ok and I would have liked any of them for running.  However, when I tried on one pair, I swear I heard a multitude of heavenly hosts singing.  This was the shoe for me!  It was the second one I tried, so I still put the others on to be sure the singing one was the one for me.  After trying on all the shoes and running through the store with each pair, I again tried the singing shoes.  Sure enough, I heard a choir of angels again! I know some of you are thinking that I probably need professional medical attention if I hear angels singing about running shoes.  Please know that I am seeking medical attention very soon. In the meantime, I am going to run in these heavenly shoes.  OK you have been in suspense long enough. The heavenly shoes are the Asics GT-2160 (http://www.asicsamerica.com/products/product.aspx?PRODUCT_ID=240014594&TITLE_CATEGORY_ID=250001549&PARENT_CATEGORY_ID=250001547).  It is amazing! When I arrive home, I decide to look at the Runner's World website to see if they have a review of this singing shoe.  Here is a video about the shoe. http://www.runnersworld.com/video/0,8052,s6-4-0-4,00.html They reviewed the shoe and it won the Editor's Choice Award for December 2010.  They think the shoe is as wonderful as I do!

Now, the Asics GT-2160 can only do so much. After all, I am the one who is wearing it to run.  I'm going to work at being a faster, better runner.  I can't let down these glorious new shoes.  I love them too much for that!

That is all for now.  Happy running!  After all, it is a journey that begins with tying your shoes and putting one foot in front of the other over and over and over again.

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

I'm not making any resolutions

Every year at this time, a lot of people make resolutions for the new year.  I'm not.  I'm not making another new year's resolution again.  A resolution is a resolve or determination to do something.  If I treated new year's resolutions according to the definition, I could probably deal with them.  However, in my head, resolutions have a negative connotation. They are vague promises that I make to myself and never keep. 

Last August, I had my aha moment. I hope that moment eliminates the need to ever make another new year's resolution. At that time, I decided to do what I needed to do to put my life on a better track for myself and my family.  I researched goal-setting strategies.  I made a list of things I want to accomplish in the next two years.  These were measurable goals, not vague, unmeasurable statements.

There are a lot of things on my list, including church, reading, writing, working, etc.  This blog is not about those things (though I may throw them in from time to time). This blog is about a journey I'm taking. A journey that begins with lacing up my running shoes.

This year 2011, I plan to run in 6 races.  They are races because someone will win them.  Will I win them? No.  For me, winning is finishing the race.  I'm the slow one.  I am there so fast people will have someone to pass.  A few days, I was trying to decide what those 6 races should be.  My ultimate goal is to run in the Marine Corps Marathon on October 30.  When I'm trying to work out how that would be possible, I mention it to my husband.  He surprises me by saying he will run in it too.  FYI: Jeremy and I cannot run together.  He is a lot taller than I am.  His stride is much longer and I can't keep up.  I'm thinking this is never going to work.  I say that if we are going to do it, we need to run a half-marathon between mid-April and late May.  He says ok.  I'm still thinking this isn't going to work.

The next day, I start looking for a half-marathon in my time frame.  I am realistic in knowing that I cannot be ready for the half in Atlanta in March.  I find the Country Music Marathon and Half Marathon (http://nashville.competitor.com/) for April 30. It fits my time frame perfectly.  I found it on December 30.  We have less than 48 hours to register before the entry fee increases as the new year arrives.  I'm so excited.  Jeremy thinks it is a bad idea.  He wants something that won't require an overnight stay.  When I present the options, he caves and we register.  We also made a hotel reservation.  Now, I'm really on the hook for this.  Slight panic sets in.  I pull out my handy dandy beginner half-marathon training schedule.  It is 17 weeks.  I get out a calendar we are using to log our training.  WE HAVE EXACTLY 17 WEEKS UNTIL THE COUNTRY MUSIC HALF MARATHON.  How perfect was that?

Here is the beginning of my list of 6 races:
1. Country Music Half Marathon 4/30/11 (already registered)
2. Warrior Dash Georgia 5/15/11 (already registered)
3. Marine Corps Marathon 10/30/11 (I really want to run this one)
4. ?
5. ?
6. ?

So, no resolutions for me.  Just a list of races I want to run in 2011.

The "Aha" Moment

OK. I'm a smart girl, right?  Well, maybe you shouldn't answer that question.  I have known that my weight was not in the healthy range for a while.  I avoided being in front of the camera by always being the one behind the camera.  I said to myself that I would do something about it later.  I can exercise anytime I want.  I don't have time for that because I am too busy taking care of my responsibilities. 

So my BMI (Body Mass Index) was in the overweight range.  I thought I was ok because it wasn't in the obese range.  Yes, I was the girl watching NBC's The Biggest Loser while eating junk food and saying to myself "if they can do that, I should be able to do that too."  Still I did nothing.  I saw the photos from our beach trip in July 2010 and I still did nothing.  I just didn't think I could make it a priority.

Once the kids started back to school, I thought I might try the Couch to 5K program by Cool Running (http://www.coolrunning.com/engine/2/2_3/181.shtml).    I had a difficulty time running for 60 seconds. It was embarrassing.

Finally, I went to an annual check-up with my doctor on August 24, 2010.  When I stood on that scale, I realized I had gained 10 pounds in less than two months since the beach vacation and since beginning to run.  How had that happened? Maybe I should really think about that.  I was still in shock at what I had let happen to me.  When my doctor walked in, I realized that he had lost about 20 pounds since I had last seen him and I had found it.  He asked if I was having any problems, and I replied, "none other than I'm fat."  My pride took a big hit when he didn't disagree.  Kudos to my doctor, he sat down and really talked with me.  First, he suggested Weight Watchers.  I said that I tinker around with a Weight Watchers on my own at home.  He  gave me the look that said if I was following Weight Watchers, I wouldn't be talking with him about being fat.  Anyway, my doctor is a Lifetime Member of Weight Watchers and told me it was time for me to find a meeting and get going.  He also said to me that I needed to get active. I told him I was running (a little).  He said I needed to get running more.

WOW!  I am fat!  Other people notice it too!  Kudos to my husband Jeremy for loving me at whatever size I am.  I am fat and my husband still loves me.  People love me no matter what I look like.  However, I need to be healthy for those people.  If I am not working to be healthy, I am not setting an appropriate example for my kids.  I didn't want them to think it is ok to become an unhealthy blob after having children.  I sat around thinking of all these things for a few days.  I decided I didn't want to continue in this manner. 

I continued to do the Couch to 5K program (C25K).  At this point I enlisted a training partner, my awesome cousin Casey.  Casey and I registered for a 5K race that was in 9 weeks and set up our training schedule.  A few weeks later, I finally went to Weight Watchers.  A few weeks after that, Casey and I (and my 9 year old son) ran the Big Pumpkin Run 5K.  Casey and I were slow, but hey, first or last, it is the same finish line.  Two weeks later, we ran the Tiger Trot 5K.  Three weeks after that, I ran the Walk the Walk 5K with all three of my kids.  The next week, I ran the Reindeer Run 5K with my two boys.  All through this, I was steadily losing on Weight Watchers.  I even lost over Thanksgiving.  Two weeks after Thanksgiving, I met my goal weight that is within the healthy range BMI for my height (short).  Weight Watchers started a new program called Points Plus, and I met the weight goal just after Points Plus began.  Currently, I have completed three of six weeks of maintenance (Yes, I maintained my weight through Christmas and New Years celebrations), and I hope to earn Lifetime Membership with Weight Watchers at my meeting on January 21, 2011.  I have even applied with Weight Watchers to become a receptionist.

So, between August 24, 2010, and December 31,2010, I finally (for the first time since before I was pregnant with my middle child) reached a healthy weight that I believe I can maintain.  I also developed an addiction to running. I'm slow and I will likely be slow always, but slow mileage is better than no mileage.

I'm thankful for that "aha" moment.  It led me to where I am now.  I have put 2010 behind me and I look forward to what 2011 has in store for me, my husband, and my kids.  Thanks for stopping by and keep running.