Wednesday, March 31, 2010

day 52 - 31 days to go... On the run

OK...  first of all, don't forget to vote in this Progresso soup contest for me:  vote for Jen

I'm still behind in the voting but it's not over til the last drop of soup is gone.



I am gearing up for the big 7 mile run tomorrow... I'm feeling a little intimidated about it as the 3 miler I did on Tuesday felt pretty tough and this is more than double (I know, you are blown away by my mad math skills, just call me captain obvious.)

So you runners -- do you have good advice for the "long run day" now that I'm actually entering into legitimate long running territory?  I'm thinking of powering up with my favorite power breakfast (recipe below) and I actually bought some low cal gatorade to give me a little shot of sugar around the 4 mile mark (I'll also be toting along water...)

So is there anything else that might help me get prepared for the long haul to keep energy up and performance at peak?  Should I try a slower pace to get through it even when I want to run faster or is that counter productive?  Any advice would be welcomed.

Thanks!!
XO
Jen

Jen's power pancakes:

These are high in fiber, protein and complex carbs, low in fat.  They are very tasty and filling.  I invented this recipe because while on Weight Watchers and doing the "simply filling" program, I was looking for a good, healthy, pancake alternative.

1/2 cup of quick oats (finely ground in food processor (I use the magic bullet thing)
1 large egg beaten
1/4 cup of skim milk
pinch of salt, pinch of splenda, 1/2 tsp. of baking powder

combine all ingredients into batter - pour two medium sized pancakes into a non-stick pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.  Flip when edges get dry and bubbles pop thru top.

I top with a little zero calorie butter spray and a little sugar free pancake syrup.  Sometimes I serve with a piece of canadian bacon.  These would be great with blue berries or bananas added to the batter or used as a topping.

The pancakes = 5 points on the Weight Watchers program.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Day 51 - 32 days to go... Crabby

I'm feeling much more souper today, thank you for asking... :)  by the way, if you haven't voted today then please go here and hook a sister up:

Make Jen Souper She needs a new haircut!

Anyway, thank you for the support on yesterday's blog.  It was a tough thing and I woke up thinking about it.  I felt so attacked and they embarrassed me into thinking I was doing something wrong.  My sister checked out the thread and was appalled and shocked by the things going on there... I didn't go back after the first really mean things but Cheryl did say that many people came to my defense and voted for me.  That's good at least.

I am remembering to let my star shine :)

A new friend reminded me of the "crab mentality." (Thank you Ulla's friend Tricia!)  The crab mentality is an interesting concept.  They say that when you catch a crab and put one crab in a bucket or bowl, the crab can easily escape.  The best way to keep the crab in the bucket is to put another crab in there.  When a crab tries to escape, the other crab will reach up and pull him back in every time, without fail. Thus causing both crabs to be caught.  Of course, if the crab's were generous to "boost" their little crab friend up and out of the bucket, then the other crab could easily escape... But crabs want to keep each other in the same boat - and their "crab mentality" limits all the little crabs in the long run.



People are like crabs.  When one is getting out of the bucket, they are afraid of being left alone in the bucket... If they are going to have to get seasoned with old bay and served with a lovely salad, well you're going down too.  It's a crab eat crab world...

Which reminds me that crab makes a lovely soup... And speaking of lovely soups -- did you remember to go here:  Don't be a crab vote for Jen and pass it on!   LOL...

Anyhoo.  It is what it is and to be honest, I posted a request for votes at a couponing web-site that I love: A full cup - Great couponing community  as well as Spark People and while I didn't get tons of votes - there wasn't one crab.  Not one nasty comment, not one snide remark. Sometimes people can be lovely.

Today I ran 3 miles.  I ran hard between 5.0 -5.5 for most of the time.  My overall pace probably averaged out to what I've been running because I had to do a little more recovery walking - that speed really challenged me.  I sweated a lot and walked out feeling accomplished and souper.

XO

Jen

Monday, March 29, 2010

day 50 - 33 days to go... Well that's just "souper"... or is it?

Fifty freakin' days into training!  Can you believe how far we've come!?  Yay!!

So, since you guys who follow this blog are my closest friends and are probably on my facebook page and e-mail list - you probably all know about my good news:  That's right.  According to the good people at Progresso Soup & General Mills, I am SOUPER!  LOL

Somehow out of thousands of entrants I had the good fortune to place in the top ten of the Progresso "Souper" new you contest.  Only the top 3 win -- So please vote once a day, everyday until April 12th.  You can vote for me here:


I wrote a short blurb about my weight loss and marathon training and voila, here I am.  If I never signed up for the marathon, It probably would not have happened.  It's really so exciting! 




I was walking around on cloud nine and then my bubble bursted.  I was reminded there's always going to be the "haters."  I almost didn't post this because this is a bit embarrassing but there's something to be learned here.

There will always be people threatened by your good moments.  I remember when I quit smoking, I got a few half assed "you'll be back" type responses and even when I lose weight, some people act less than thrilled for you but never did I expect the response I got on my weight watcher website.

I have been a long-time member of Weight Watchers.  I love the program, my meeting, so much about it works for me.  I faithfully pay my dues and I contribute to the on-line community.  I decided to do a little campaigning for the soup contest because certainly, my weight watcher peers would be excited and supportive... no?   Well some of them.

Many were kind, excited and voting for me but there were a few who were down right mean.  It was stunning, upsetting and strange.

"Why would I vote for, you?"  "Stick to your 'home' board" (whatever that means?)  "This kind of  thing is just annoying, now I'm going to vote for Amanda everyday just out of spite."  

Huh?  And there was a bunch of other BS that I just stopped reading because it started to (annoyingly -- there's that f'ing sensitivity thing again.) really hurt my feelings.  It got me really bummed out.  I mean, over the course of my Weight Watching, I had posted over 2000 messages there.  Recipes, support, feedback, challenges - you name it.  I felt part of that community and to have these "cliquey" and catty responses was just strange.  But there they were, the haters - and they were even worse because it was done under the cloak of internet anonymity.  There's a million threads and posts.  I mean, if you didn't want to vote, you could ignore the thread but these women went out of there way to find ways to tear me down.

And the embarrassing part is - I let it upset me.  More than I'd care to admit.  Not sure what my problem is but I need to figure out why I get hurt (by complete strangers, no less!) so much.  I'm better, I've shaken it off, but still - that's something to work out in therapy someday, I guess.

I can only assume it's as my mother says, there are people who can't be happy for someone else because they aren't happy with themselves.  Whether it be their own depression, disappointment, jealousy or insecurity - when some people hear good news about someone else or someone else is doing something positive, they have to undercut it.

So I did what I do.  Second guessed myself for being "so bold" to actually want people to vote for me.  Second guessed myself for letting me feel a little proud.  Second guessed whether I even deserved to be in the top ten of that contest... and then I stopped. I reminded myself that I'm a runner now.  I'm proving that I deserve good things because I'm a good person who works hard and tries to do the right thing.  

A friend posted on her Facebook page last week, "I will not dim my star for anybody."  And you know what - she's right.  None of us should "dim our stars."  I've dimmed mine my whole freakin' life in an effort to "hope" people would like me.  "ef" it.  no matter what you do, not everybody is going to like you.  The people who love you, love you for the good, the bad and the ugly.  They jump up and down when your star's shining bright and bask in it's glow and if you're a good friend to them, you support them and bask in their glow!  All of that star power makes for a cozy, supportive, warm and nurturing relationship.


- And the haters - they don't matter anyway.  They don't even like themselves, burned out little stars, looking to steal your light.  They can't have it from me anymore.  Even if it takes me a little while to keep it bright, I'm not dimming for no one.


XO
Jen


Sorry for such a long post!

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Day 49 - 34 days to go... 3 miles and running

Nothing exciting to tell ya about today.  Nothing gushy or philosophical...   I was to do a 3 miler today and I did.  I ran for the longest I ever had - I did my 5 minute "fast walk" warm up and then ran until I hit 3 miles!  I think that was running for around 38 minutes or so.  I ran between 4.2 - 5.2 depending on how fatigued I was feeling and how fast the song on my i-pod was.  I'm looking forward to better weather this week and getting outside again.  The treadmill is getting OLD!



The Jersey Shore marathon people ask that you do not use headphones for this marathon.  I'm hoping that's a rule I can kind of break.  My music is super important to me and I'm not sure I could comfortably run for 13 minutes without my i-pod, never mind 13 miles!  Do you know if this is a standard rule or is it unique to this race?  Do you think they enforce this kind of thing?   I am not afraid to be a little bit of a rebel on this one because I need all the help I can get but I also do not want to disqualify myself.  ugh.  could you imagine?   Thoughts on this?  Ang, what are you gonna do?

XO
Jen

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Day 48 - 35 days to go... weight watcher meeting

Today was a rest day, didn't even get to the gym to cross train - just kinda putted around town doing errands and wound up attending my weekly weight watcher meeting.

Weight Watchers has been a big part of my life.  I joined over 2 years ago a few months after having my son Ben and have consistently gone every single Saturday since.  (I may have missed 4 or 5 Saturdays - and I don't think it's even been that many.)  It's a constant in my life.



It's been a slow go but I'm down around 63 pounds now (.6 this week - right direction and I'm happy!)

I made a commitment when I went back to WW back then that no matter what kind of week I had (good, bad or ugly,) I would attend that meeting and I have.  I've learned a lot and have made some excellent lifestyle changes that I believe will stick.

Today, my leader who's great at what she does, told us that she thinks of me all week.  That my journey with pushing myself outside of my comfort zone to run has inspired her (after 20 years of being a leader and maintaining her weight loss!) to push herself out of her own comfort zone.  She's pushing herself to work out harder and go further.  She had tears in her eyes as she said this, as in my own perseverance inspired her to do more.  And it made me really feel great.  Because the truth is, without her guidance, advice, support and encouragement during the weeks my weight loss was crappy, I wouldn't be here.

Without friends like you guys that bother to read this thing and root me on - I wouldn't have the right songs, sneakers, socks, nutrition, training programs - even running partners!  

I think what I've learned here is that each of our own personal growth moments are so important because when we grow, you never know who grows with you.  It's corny but when you think of it, we are all connected.  Your good day, habits, thoughts, energy does influence those around you, even when you have no idea it's happening.  That's pretty cool, don't you think?

XO
Jen

Friday, March 26, 2010

day 47 - 36 days to go... running for miles

First of all - are you all digging the new blog layout?  I thought it was really cute for a running blog.  I like to switch it up.

Today was a five mile run.  Wow that's hard.  I am proud to say that I did it in 1:15 which is 1 minute quicker than last week and works out to a 4.0 mph.  I know this isn't great speed.  I'll admit I'm a little worried about the marathon.  I can increase distance or speed but increasing both seems to be pretty tough. We'll see.  My goal is to do it under the 3:30 required to get that fricken medal!  Maybe when I take it outside again, things will get better.  It gets dull inside on the treadmill!



Next week I'll need to go SEVEN miles!!  OMG!  It's so nerve racking but I guess the only way to be able to run 13 is to run seven, eight, nine, ten, eleven and twelve first. Yee haw!

Question to you runners.  I warmed up, cooled down, stretched prior and after the run.  Came home and iced down.  Mid ice, my feet curled up like the wicked witch of east into awful cramps.  My entire foot felt a "charlie horse" grip of pain - what the hell is that from!?  If that's happening after only 5 miles, I shudder to think about what's going to happen after 7,10, 13 miles!!  Anyone have experience with this? My dad thinks i might need potassium.  I have an allergy to banana's so any alternative suggestions might be good?

Tomorrow I weigh in.  I'm feeling slender this week and hope for another good weigh in (I wore a pair of size 12's yesterday - the smallest size I've worn for years and years!)  :)

By the way, my friend wrote this awesome cookbook - if you like healthy, low fat cooking with lots of taste, check it out:

Secrets of a Skinny Chef: 100 Decadent, Guilt-Free Recipes

XO
Jen

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Day 46 - 37 days to go... One good things leads to another

Whenever you put one good thing out into the universe, other good things begin to follow.

I mean this whole running journey has become one giant, physical metaphor for everything I do.

Running is hard, inspiring, rewarding, sometimes painful, sometimes something you look forward to and sometimes something you dread.  Isn't life all those things?  Isn't life about lacing up your shoes and getting out in the world, seeing where the road might take you?  Isn't a life worth living, one in which you, "push yourself that extra mile," and persevere through?  I think so.  And running has made that clear to me.



It's taught me that when you do go the extra mile, that it is hard and exhausting but it's rewarding in indescribable ways that outweighs the discomfort that you were so afraid of.  Nothing feels better than exploring new territory and going places that you've previously told yourself was impossible.  Anything is possible.

Since beginning this thing, I've grown as a writer, lost some weight, have successfully battled depression and have become stronger.  Because of these changes, I've attracted amazing things into my life.  I've connected with old and new friends and feel so much more empowered to take risks and work towards making my dreams come true.

I know this post might be annoyingly philosophical but every once in a while, I get moved to this place.

Nik sent me a great running quote the other day.  It simply said, "As we run, we become."  At first it didn't mean much to me.  I may have even employed an eye roll.  But the more I thought about it, the more it makes total sense.

I'm continuing on this journey of "becoming" and I can't wait to see where the road takes me.

xo
Jen

PS:  Rest day - five miles again tomorrow!

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Day 45 - 38 days to go... Another ten reasons to run.

As this journey goes on, running is taking more and more of a different meaning for me.  I thought I would dabble in another top ten list.  One that's a little updated.  (And really, Who doesn't love a top ten list!)

Why I will continue to run even after reaching my goal:


10.  Fresh air and warm sunshine on the face makes me feel good and fuzzy.

9.  I have found a new appreciation for Eminem, Jay-Z & Kanye West that I really only have while running.

8.  I have acquired a fantastic collection of sports bras, fancy socks, cool headphones and stylin' running pants that would go to waste if I decided not to run.

7.  Running is great anger management.  Pretending I'm running on someone's head when I'm mad with them, really helps work out the issues.

6.  I did not go to that Running Store and subject myself to all that nonsense only to hang those sneakers up.

5.  Runner's high still cheaper than drugs and alcohol.

4.  Gaining the weight back is not an option.

3.  Everything else in the gym is boring.

2.  Nothing has given me the feeling of accomplishment like this journey has.

1.  I've gotta keep running after I do 13 miles, if I ever hope to do 26!

XO-
Jen

PS:  I ran 2.5 miles today.  It was OK, since it was a 'shorter' run - i tried to run faster a lot of the time.  Much of that time I was running 5.0 - 5.5.  Not too shabby!  But I did feel this workout in my legs, hips and knees.  I have to do five miles again on Friday and I am a little nervous.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Day 44 - 39 days to go... Cravings

It's day 44 - they say it takes 21 days to create a habit -- I guess by day 44 or so, it becomes an addiction. :)

It's odd, on days that I don't run I'm thinking of running.  Looking forward to the next challenge.  My hip, knee and ankle still feel a little sore - I'm pretty sure the hip and knee will work it's way out once I lose a little more weight and continue to get stronger.  But because of the slight aches, I decided to "cross train" today instead of run.  I power walked uphill and used weights but the whole time, I was practically craving to break free and sprint.  It's a little crazy.  Crave running?  HUH?  Me?  In my life, I've craved cigarettes, vodka, ice cream, chinese food and boat loads of other crap but craving a run?  This is a first.

I've worked out lots in my life and I've always enjoyed exercising but would always savor my days off. Even though I liked exercising I can't say I ever loved it.

When I run, I feel like everything clicks in my life.  I feel amazingly connected to my body and heart.  I guess this is where the term, "runner's high" comes from.



Tomorrow the plan is to run for 3 miles, rest/cross train on Thursday and run 5 miles on Friday - and I'm looking forward to every minute of it!!

XO
Jen

Monday, March 22, 2010

Day 43 - 40 days to go - Running bug

Now that I've got my first race under my belt, I'm itching for the next.  I can see this getting addictive! 

This entry will be short.  I had an event tonight and did no training so there's not much to report.  Here's a picture of me crossing the finish line (courtesy of Angela for pulling it for me!)



I have to gear up for the six mile run this week!  Yikes!

XO
Jen

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Day 42 - 41 days to go: MY FIRST 5K!!

My first race!


 It was the Hillsdale Rover & Clover 5K

Oh it was so much fun.  The crowd, the beautiful day, meeting up with my friend Nicole (a million thanks Nicole for urging me to run this one!) -  and all the doggies.

Now there's a couple of funny things of note.  First of all, we were running with the dogs.  Literally.  Although there were a few people super serious about the race, it was all and all a friendly day.  People running with their kids and dogs.  It was a perfect first race.  I wasn't the fastest, I'm pretty sure there were times where kids in flip flops walking three legged dogs were going faster but I wasn't the slowest either.  There was definitely somewhere around the 2 mile mark where I started to pass up a lot of people who decided to walk - including many skinny teen girls.  It made me feel pretty empowered.

Running time:  40:57 which was actually, surprisingly not too bad.  I had a few snafu's (the tweaked ankle and not being able to sleep at all last night.)  I'm pretty sure if I had a little extra sleep, and a perfect ankle my time would've been better but I'm still so happy --  and it was hilly!  I mean, I guess a town called "HILLSdale" should've been a tip off.  They probably didn't name it that based on being particularly flat.  But you know me, I love a good challenge and nothing is more challenging than having to reach a finish line running up hill!

Towards the end, I actually started to get choked up - I was accomplishing this!  It was the last .10th of a mile or something and U2's Beautiful Day came on my I-POD and it was indeed a beautiful day.  I silently prayed to the running Gods to let me hold it together, I mean it was the Rover and Clover for the love of God, not the f'ing NY marathon, 3 miles is nothing to sneeze over but it's nothing to cry about either.  Luckily, I held it together and made it through like a pro.

Today's finish line really is just the beginning.  I'm hooked.

XO
Jen

Saturday, March 20, 2010

day 41 - 42 days to go: The Good, the Bad, the not so ugly.

Well what a day!

THE GOOD:  Started out with some good news -- after many painful and disappointing weigh-ins, I finally had a big loss at the scale:  4.2 pounds!  Over the course of 2 years I am down a total of 62 pounds!!  Even though it's been slow, I'm proud of the accomplishment and I truly can say that the changes I've made are everlasting.

I then went out to Hillsdale, NJ to pick up my race kit for tomorrow.  My running number is 167 and the bib thing really makes you feel so official!  I was sooooooo excited about this race.  And still am but...

THE BAD:  I've been so very careful to properly train, rest, take that flex-a-min stuff, stretch, ice, etc... and then what happens to me today? I'm chasing after my son at a birthday party and trip in the backyard... and roll my ankle.  UGH!!!! REALLY?  Only me.  Only me.  I've been elevating and icing it.  Hoping it doesn't swell and that it's not a sprain.

THE NOT SO UGLY:  I think it's OK -- if I wasn't running I probably would walk it off and not think about it at all.  It's a little "stiff" feeling when I put weight on it but it's not killing me or anything.  I'm still icing and my plan is to see how it feels in the morning.  I'm PRAYING it's good enough to at least give it a try.  As of right now, I want to try to run it.  If it bothers me, I can walk it out.

It just blows.  I was so hyped for this and I didn't even get a cool injury.  Just lame-o, klutzy ol' me, playing in the backyard on the first nice Saturday of the year.  Sigh.

I'll let you know what happens!

XO

Jen

Friday, March 19, 2010

Day 40 - 43 days to go: FIVE miles

Holy crap.  five miles.  FIVE MILES.  Wow, that was hard!  But, I am proud of myself.

It was the first day that I really had to push myself to keep going.  I started out strong.  Ran for thirty minutes and feeling good.  Walked for a minute or two and then ran for another twenty or so.  Then started to run five or ten minutes and walk a minute or two.  I think the real "hard" part came around 3.5 mark.  I started to run out of energy.  I'm not sure where I went wrong (although there were a few power songs in there that definitely had me running quicker earlier on... maybe I should try to run slower to conserve energy?  not sure.)  The last .5 mile of the run had to be the hardest ever and I walked more than I would've liked during the last 1.5 miles.  Oh well.  I think I had a good breakfast for fuel.  One hearty-fiber filled, slice of whole grain toast, one egg, one glass of skim milk.... I also sipped my water thru out.

hmmmm...

Or maybe there's no reason except running for an hour and 16 minutes to complete 5 miles is freakin' hard.  LOL.  The upside is, it won't be as hard as SIX miles will be next week!  yikes.

Anyway, found a few good songs to add to my running mix.  Thought I would share some of the highlights  -  (keep the suggestions coming!! Can never have too much music!)



I found this Eminem song called, "Til I collapse"  First of all, it has a very similar vibe as "Lose Yourself" and the beginning has a military marching beat and these are the opening lyrics:


'Cause sometimes you feel tired,
feel weak, and when you feel weak, you feel like you wanna just give up.
But you gotta search within you, you gotta find that inner strength
and just pull that shit out of you and get that motivation to not give up
and not be a quitter, no matter how bad you wanna just fall flat on your face and collapse.

Perfect combination of motivating words and good beat.  I had no idea I would like Eminem so much.

I also was recommended a Kanye West song, "Stronger."  That's pretty good too.

Since I like Let's Get It Started and Gotta feeling from the Black Eyed Peas so much, I figure I also give Pump It and Hands Up a try - thumbs up.  

I went old school Pat Benatar and downloaded, "Promises In The Dark"  - the beginning is a little slow but the chorus is good and fast - and I loved that song as a kid so it was fun to hear again.

I also decided to download the old Smashing Pumpkins song, "Rat in A Cage."  Which is not really motivating lyrically but there's something about the pace and the angriness of the song that made me want to increase my speed and just run hard.  So it worked.

I'm half way to the race!!  Seems like it's coming quick -- When I started this journey it was over 80 days away!!

Have a great weekend.  Tomorrow I weigh in... I'm a glutton for punishment so will be weighing in and reporting back :)  I'm feeling good about it though, no matter what happens.

XO
Jen

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day 39 - 44 days to go... 5 mile run tomorrow!

I'm excited and nervous about the five miles tomorrow.  It'll be quite an accomplishment for me to pull off. I'm not even sure if I have enough music to last me that long! (ha)

Which brings me to another music request.  MUSIC SUGGESTIONS Part Two, please.  Keep your ideas coming.  I can't do this without music!


To give you an idea of what kind of music really gets me running, these are my top 5 "go to" songs when I'm lagging:

1.  Lose Yourself (Eminem)
2.  Paradise City (Guns N Roses)
3.  Let's Get It Started (Black Eye Peas)
4.  I gotta feeling (Black Eye Peas)
5.  Pretty Vegas (INXS)

I'm also psyched about my 5K on Sunday - can't wait!!

I'll let you know how it goes tomorrow -

xo
Jen

PS:  After posting this blog - found this web site:  Running Music mix  It's really cool  It seems this site has taken the time to find songs and figure out the beats per minute to help you with your run.  I just started exploring the site but it looks really cool.

PSS:  That web-site wasn't as great as I thought it would be, still interesting to kick around at but thought it was going to be more.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

day 38 - 45 days to go... back on track

So I was feeling better today (I would say about 85%) so decided to get back into the gym and do a 3 mile run to build up to the big (scary!) 5 miles I'll need to run on Friday.

It was good - I did it.  I think I did it in 45 minutes (I walked for the first 5 mins to warm up) so that's not bad it's 4.0 mile and I'm happy with that.  I ran pretty easily for the first ten minutes and even to reach 20 minutes of running wasn't too stressful -- these are such significant moments!  It was a few weeks ago that running for ten minutes was truly pushing myself and the first few weeks I remember when I could proudly run for five!  Running is kind of an exciting sport because you can truly see progress week to week if you stick with it.  Who knew?

And also, I'm pretty psyched about this.  I think I'm officially down a dress size.  I had to bring my computer to the Apple store today and had some time to kill.  Decided to window show --  then decided to try on some clothing to see how things were going.  You all know how frustrated I've been with the scale -- but they say the true test is in how things fit.  Well, I tried on a bunch of fourteens - and all of them fit.  I even bought a new pair of jeans in the 14 because I was so happy that they fit and a really cute shirt.  :)  I also loved this dress but they only had it in a 12 - now it was definitely a bit snug but the 12 fit!  Belt and all!  Yay!  So no matter what the scale says - I know good things are happening.

I know this is soooo corny, but here's a picture of me in the size 12 dress - couldn't resist!



xo

Jen

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

day 37 - 46 days to go... down but not out

Well the last two days have been tough -- sorry about missing yesterday's post - (and thanks for looking for it, Angela!)  I lost power yesterday from 1:30 PM until 6 AM so no power, no light, no internet.  To make things even more fun, I got hit by a nasty stomach flu yesterday so I really was down and out of commission yesterday.



The upside to the stomach flu, is I usually have good weight loss results at weigh in when I get hit.  (It's so sad that this even crosses my mind.)  sigh.

Needless to say, there was no workout yesterday.  I didn't do much today either - still recovering, feeling weak.  Hope to get up and running tomorrow.  I need to run 5 miles one day this week and was supposed to technically get a 3 mile run in today.

I'm kind of a stickler for "following the rules." So my diversion off course is annoying.  But I think this is what often trips me up.  That all or nothing thinking.  Sometimes, we hit roadblocks, or get detoured, or get food poisoned -- instead of throwing in the towel, you have to find another way to get to the destination.  So I'll figure out a way to run 5 miles and get to my ultimate marathon goal.

XO
Jen

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Day 35 - 48 days to go... take that, stupid scale.

Holy crap!  I'm under 50 days away and my first 5K is a week from today!  (Uh, I didn't mean for that to rhyme so Dr. Seuss like...)

Anyway.  Listen.  "F" you scale.  I said it, double fingers blazing, effffff you scale!  Why?  Because  I'm the most badass 178 pound, size 16 chick out there... (or at least at my gym.)  You can stick on that number all you want because I will not be stopped.  Today I ran for over 2 miles and for 30 minutes straight!  Young guy next to me?  Ran for 20 and was out.  Not me.  Thirty, 3-0, 30 minutes before walking.  So put that on your scale and weigh it.



And not only did I accomplish that but I accomplished it on a day where I wasn't walking in that gym feeling my best.  I was a little down about the weigh in, I was a little shaky (ok hungover) from my giant martini last night - didn't get much sleep and I had cramps.  But I sucked it all up, ate a little oatmeal and got my (still) big ass to the gym and running.

So there, scale.  Bring it.

XO
Jen

Saturday, March 13, 2010

day 34 - 49 days to go... the scale is still not my friend


Bah.  Up AGAIN.  It's just so cruel.  Especially sitting next to this woman...

"I'm so excited.  I lost 4 pounds and I haven't been to weight watchers in a month and ate McDonald's for lunch all week!  I don't know how I did it but whew.  Awesome!"  Must have been the soda.  I cut coke out of one meal a day and it's done wonders.

Yeefriggenha, lady.  Awesome.  You know what's awesome?  The restraint I'm showing from not smacking you in the head.

Oh?  How did I do?  Great.  Ran 15 miles this week, ate 6 apples, 4 bowls of oatmeal and ate a bowl of plain iceberg lettuce as my best friend ate some monster burger and cheese fries at Johnny Rockets and I *only* managed to gain .2!  WOOOfriggenHOOO!

I cut out regular soda, butter, milk, icecream, bread, most sugar, mayonaise and cheese in 1984.  I've got nothing else to cut out.  I know.  Maybe I can give up air.  Maybe that last glass of water of the day is doing me in.  I can give that up.  Surely, that'll get the number to move.

OH BAH HUMBUG.  It's fine.  I'm fine.  Just venting a little.  I know all about the muscle and the inches... blah, blah, blah.  Just complaining.  I feel a little ripped off is all.  I really thought that really watching my food and exercising every day of the week would move those numbers - and 1.6 pounds in  34 days is not what I had in mind.  My husband can lose that if he eats just half his bagel one day in the week!  SIGH...  I gotta go.  I'm on my way to the gym.

XO

Jen

Friday, March 12, 2010

day 33 - 50 days to go Happy Weekend!




A marathon is like life with its ups and downs, but once you've done it you feel that you can do anything.

-Anonymous 

This quote  came from Runner's World via Nicole  - thanks, love it.  It's pretty much my main reason on setting such a giant goal for myself.  I truly believe it's important for my psyche to know that things are within my power if I gather necessary information, believe in myself and work hard.  So many times and about so many things I've mentally beat myself into thinking, "I can't."  It's a process but this is one of many steps towards doing anything and everything I want to.

Nothing exciting to blog today.  Went to the gym to "cross train."  The eliptical machine seemed ridiculously easy, even on a pretty decent level.  The machine says I burned 300 calories and went 2.5 miles in 30  minutes but I'm skeptical.  I don't remember that thing being so easy but I haven't done it since I started this training... maybe I'm just in better shape!

Tomorrow I weigh in at the good ol Weight Watchers.  Fingers crossed for a little good news at the scale!

XO
Jen

Thursday, March 11, 2010

day 32 - 51 days to go - I ran four freakin' miles!


Yay!  Four mile day -- I did it!!  "High fives" people... I fricken fracken ran four miles!

My hip is a little achey and I feel a little stiff but I'm still standing.  It wasn't the quickest time anyone has ever run four miles in -- towards the 3 mile & 3 1/2 mile points I definitely was running less quick but at the end of it all, it took me 1:02:40 to run those four miles.  it works out to about 3.8 mph - but I am quite OK with that because about a month ago if you told me I was going to even do Disco Abs for an hour, I would've told you you were nuts.

And another proud moment:  I ran for as long as I ever had.  Last week I ran for fifteen minutes straight - today, 22 minutes!  I ran for 22 minutes before walking for a few, to sip some water and wipe my brow!  Woo.  And then I ran for ten minutes, 11 minutes and a few series of five minutes and I think total running time was around 48-50 mins -- lost track of it -- those little Indians dancing around the fire, roasting marshmallows and singing "Let's Get It Started" by the Black Eyed Peas - around 50 mins began to distract me.  (This was a hallucination.   I think...)

I did learn this about the treadmills at my gym that I never thought I would have a reason to know or care about, that kind of sucks.  There's a 60 minute max.  So at 60 minutes the treadmill automatically goes into "cool down mode."  You could imagine my dismay when I was less than a quarter of a mile away to the big four goal at 1hr, with power song blasting,  Indians dancing, sweat dripping, grin a spreading across my face and the freakin' treadmill goes from 4.4 down to 3.1 and loses my incline.  GRRRR.  REALLY?  I mean REALLY!?  Now is the time, the friggen machine decides I've worked out long enough?  I was able to up the speed and reset the incline but every one minute after 60 mins - it would return back to cool down.  Thank God I was done at 2 mins and 40 into the cool down because at 65 mins the thing completely stops.

So, tomato faced and fresh off the treadmill, I addressed it with the gym guys who looked at me like I was nuts.  Finally they fiddled with the thing and discovered that it was indeed preset for a 60 min. max.  "Huh, no one ever told us about this before."  they offered no solution, but did think it was cool that I was training for a 1/2 marathon.  The twenty year old, buff trainer said that he too was a runner but had never braved anything more than a 5K up to now!

Well, HA.  Take that world.  20 year old trainer - too scared to take on a half marathon... not ME! :)

Guess I'll have to be pro-active once I reach an hour and immediately re-start -up.  I'll take the one hour mark as my "walk for a minute time" and get on with it.  Who would've thunk I'd ever have such problems...

XO

Jen

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Day 31 - 52 days to go - Ain't no party like a disco party...

Today was a rest day but I am trying to keep active so I decided to flip through Exercise TV, and came across this Disco Abs 30 minute cardio routine.

Now if you know anything about me, you know I do have a few guilty pleasures... Old John Hughes movies of the 80's, board game night, poker and ranking high on the list of guilty pleasures is old school disco.  Chic,  The Village People, Diana Ross, KC & The Sunshine band... ah, bring it on.

If I could transport myself back in time to do anything for one night - throughout the course of time, what would I do?  Would I have dinner with George Washington?  Partake in a philosophy discussion  with Socrates?  Discuss poetry with Edgar Allen Poe?  Art with Degas?  NAH...

I would choose winding up at Studio 54 and getting (socially) high with Andy Warhol, chain smoking cigarettes with a young Rod Stewart and making out with some hot celebrity while doing the hustle and brandishing disco guns under the legendary giant coke spoon that floats high over the magic dance floor.... OH the good old days.... but I digress...



So what other than Disco Abs could possibly have my name all over it for a casual, mid-week work out?  I mean minus the chain smoking, making out and drugged induced conversations with celebrities - it's practically like having Studio 54 right in my own living room!


(Or not.)  But whatever.

I will tell you, while I barely broke a sweat and I think the calorie burn was probably equivalent to the calories in a small strawberry - I did have fun and what more can you ask for from a "rest day?"

Tomorrow's challenge:  I'm to run 4 miles!  OOF.  This marathon training program is not f'ing around.  This will be the furthest I run.  Will let you know how it goes!

XO

Jen

PS:  Here's a link to Youtube if you want to see a bit of the Disco Abs workout.  The chick who "teaches" class is Cheryl from Dancing With The Stars... Disco Ab Workout preview

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Day 30 - 53 days to go!! It's a Spring thing!

It's a funny thing - while running outside is tougher - (I don't care what anyone says, it's easier to run when your "ground" is moving fast under your feet!) I was lured outside by the early, beautiful days of spring to do it again!  You can check out my progress today and the map of my neighborhood that I accomplished here:


MapMyRun.com - Regular Run: Regular Run on 03/09/2010



Karen, I am loving that Map my run site!

Anyway, it was cool because I don't run with a watch on.  So there's something nice about not watching the time.  Right now it's all about distance in training and today I was to run 2.5 I mapped out a 2.67 loop around the 'hood - figuring the extra little distance would benefit for some "warm up" and "cool down" walk time.

Anyhoo.  I made a note of when I left and when I returned - it took me approx. 40 mins which mapmyrun converted to 4.0 an hour (15 min per mile...) That's not bad!  Yes, at the gym my time is a little bit quicker but my neighborhood is filled with slopes, mini hills, dogs to avoid and cracked sidewalks to leap over - so I am proud of this.

I really feel it so much out there.  legs burn a little more, I'm sweating and catching my breath but it's a great shake up to the gym and when I get home I feel great.

By the way, if you are going to try to buy the Nike + and don't have the Nike sneakers that they try to sell to you for the chip thing -- make sure you get a shoe lace doohickey that will attach the thing to your sneaker while you are still at the store.  My poor friend Nicole bought it yesterday, was eager to get up and try it and then wound up on a wild goose chase all day to figure out how to get it attached to her shoelace...  She did leave me with this funny text by the end of the hunt:

Roadrunner pouch:  $5 dollars
time spent searching for it:  1.5 hours
having an awesome new (running) toy:  priceless

Mission accomplished!

have a happy tuesday!

xo
Jen

Monday, March 8, 2010

Day 29 - 54 days to go! Running around town


Today was run for 2 miles day.    I gave up on the official training (run for 2 mins and walk for 1) that the training calls for.  I feel it benefits me more to try to run for as long as I can and walk when I need to.  I'm mindful of rest days and keeping up the other protocol but I feel ready to run a little more.   I ran for close to a mile in one direction and probably about 3/4 of a mile back home (with walking in between for a total of 2 miles).

Took the training outside and it was pretty good.  It definitely was a little more challenging and I found it a little frustrating not to have the "control" I feel like I have on a treadmill... (setting pace, knowing distance, calories burned, incline.)  I felt like I was more out of breath and there was more of a burn in my legs - yet I felt like I was going slower.  I guess it's just something to get used to.

My hip is a bit more achey too.  I don't think it's anything to be way concerned about.  I warmed up and stretched (both pre and post run) iced said hip and knee for good measure and have been taking my flex-a-min...  hopefully it'll be fine.  I read an article that said that some aching is OK and that as you get stronger, these aches go away.

Of course the upside is, fresh air, the feel of a little wind and warming sunshine.  It's not as boring as the treadmill and everyday presents a new way to look at your town.  I think the Nike + will be handy for this once I recoup my "fun money" and invest in it... oh and thanks to Karen, found this great website: mapmyrun.com  you can map out any route and it'll give you the miles - this was really cool and a big help!

Like anything, everything takes some time to get used to and I'm looking forward to doing it again tomorrow!

XO
Jen

Sunday, March 7, 2010

Day 28 - 55 days to go! And the Oscar goes to...



This blog will be short and sweet as I really have to concentrate on The Oscars...

In case you haven't figured it out - I love to write.  If you don't know me that well, I actually write screenplays on the side and fully plan on having a film nominated someday.

So, this training is important.  I've gotta get my ass in shape for the Red Carpet.

Today was a "long walk" day - strapped up the kid and headed for a long walk.

Tomorrow we run.

For now, see ya at the Oscars!

XO
Jen

Saturday, March 6, 2010

day 27 - 56 days to go! Mean girls.

"Muscle weighs more than fat."


"You might be retaining water because of all the extra exercise."


"Maybe you're not eating enough."


"Maybe you're eating too much."


Well, maybe it just sucks.  


I'm sorry.  I try not to let it get to me.  I try to keep perspective on this sort of thing.  I do feel healthy and strong.  My endurance is building and just last night I was doing the "Happy Dance."  (with a bottle of water by the way because even my martini celebration has been cut to one cocktail a week - and that comes on Saturday night.  And all I can say is thank God tonight is Saturday night!


All the above statements probably have legitimacy but it's still frustrating.  And though I love my Weight Watcher meeting and though I may be totally projecting here, it's still highly irritating to get the "look" from the weight watcher weigher.  The "yikes, you're up but it'll be OK, honey - hang in there" look.   The look of - "certainly you could do better."  


And that's probably what gets me the most annoyed.  No, I can't do better.  I'm eating healthy, following program (while also making sure to eat the right Pre/post run foods...) I've cut out almost all alcohol - my treats are no longer chocolate but fat free yogurt with a tsp. of preserves.  I'm on a treadmill and RUNNING... and when I'm not running, I am cross training (or shopping for new running gear!) so, no, I can't see myself do much better... and exhale.


Ah.  I feel better now.


When you struggle with weight your whole life you're always battling the little disabling and evil voice that tells you, "you're not good enough."  "Who are you kidding?"  "What?  YOU run a marathon?"  And a setback on the scale wakes that voice up -- It's like I have my own set of "mean girls" that live with me and just follow me around, trying to put me down and make me feel bad.  The mean girls in my head are far meaner than any mean girl I've ever met in person!


But, the good news is, the marathon training, this blog, journaling and my overall weight loss journey has awoken another set of voices in my head... (Jeeze with all these voices in my head - it's a surprise I haven't lost my mind all together!  but I digress..) The new voices in my head says, "You can do anything!"  "Those mean girls are toxic!  Ignore them or kick their asses but don't believe them!"  "You are strong, healthy and your son think's you're beautiful just the way you are and especially when you are happy and healthy!"  




So there's the battle.  I believe in happy endings... So clearly, the mean girls will lose in the end.


xo
Jen


PS:  Rest day today -- after running so much yesterday I'm taking it easy today.  I'm bringing my son for a nice, long leisurely walk to enjoy the day.



Friday, March 5, 2010

Day 26 - 57 days to go! Woo hoo - Happy Dance! :)



15 minutes!  


Some people want 15 minutes of fame, others, 15 minutes in heaven... well, I ran for 15 minutes straight today!  Yayyyyy!  WOW!  do you know 26 days ago what a struggle to run for a minute was!  yay!  :)  I was so proud of myself I almost cried on the treadmill...!  For the record, today's assignment was to run for 3 miles. So this is how I did:

1 mile at 14:07 (yes!  and ran to 15 for good measure!  I ran for more than a mile!  YES!)
2 miles at 29:40 (not too shabby, walked for 2 mins to catch my breath and sip some water and then ran for 10 mins and then walked for another minute or so and ran into the 2 mile mark)
3 miles was reached at 44:33!!  YAY!!!  I think that's a pretty respectable time for a late 30's, newbie, 30 pound overweight woman who is running less than a month!  woo hoo.

It can only get better from here!

With the promise of spring coming, I'm going to be taking some of the running outside.  Anyone have any suggestions for a gadget that could help me with pace and distance?  I have no idea how to guestimate pace  or distance.  Brendan from the Road Runner store said that people seem to like something called the Nike +.  Ever hear of it?  It's a nifty little gadget that has your name all over it (ANGELA).  you can either hook it up to your ipod or you can buy a wrist band thingy... it's an UB port  thing that supposedly records your pace, distance, and other stats and then you can plug it into the computer and it keeps track of your runs and progress.  There's also a whole Nike + community that you can connect to and it has different training programs (from 5 K - to full marathon) to help you get trained.  There's even a virtual avatar of you that does something... (don't remember what.)

Anyone have experience?  It's $59- but I spied it at Sports Authority today.  I would definitely find a coupon to use and get it cheaper.

If you're interested in checking out the Nike + -- kick around this web-site.  There's an interesting informational video there:  http://nikerunning.nike.com/nikeos/p/nikeplus/en_US/

Have a great weekend - I'm off to happy dance!

xo
Jen




Thursday, March 4, 2010

Day 25 - 58 days to go! Running to the store!

OK, so I heard you all loud and clear... time to bid the Payless sneaker adieu and a big hello to a "real" running shoe.

So, (thanks Nik for the tip on the store!) I went to the Road Runner sport in Paramus on Rt 4W.  Well.  What an experience.  First of all, everyone who works there are actual runners.  The associates all have their "running" stories on the wall and, at very least, look like they're in shape.  I mentioned I was running a 1/2 marathon to my sales guy, Brendan, and he immediately guessed I was running the May 2nd Jersey Shore marathon.  Skilled in running, cute and psychic!  What a guy.  By the way, he's also running the same 1/2 marathon.  He assured me that it's a pretty flat course and I shouldn't be "too" worried.  OK then.  

He peeked at my Payless kicks and literally shuddered but had the good manners to hold back on the berating he probably wanted to give.  I couldn't help but babble on about not being sure on the whole running thing or the Payless shoes were just an impulse buy.  I'm sure I sounded insane.  And then he asked me to take off my shoes and socks.  UGH.  Really?  My socks too?  and then he had me (THE HORROR) roll up my pants!  COME ON.  I know this is no foot locker but if I knew I was going to have to expose naked foot and shin I would've had a pedicure and at very least, shaved my legs.  I was itching to bolt but I sucked it up and obediently did what I was told.

I walked across a weird jelly pad that took some kind of image of my foot and then my stubbly legs and un-pedicured foot was up on a giant screen TV in the store as he put me on a treadmill to do some kind of high tech analysis.  FAB.   It was a little strange to be jogging in the middle of the store, barefooted but OK.  Guess this is what runners do.  Here's a shot of my feet that I took with my blackberry to share.





Well, after trying on a bunch of sneakers that Brendan thought would work for me I settled on these Saucony's: 


On the floor under the table, you can see my old payless sneakers and my beat to shit Addidas.  LOL

I have to say the prices were fair and Brendan didn't price gouge me which he could've tried to do.  I didn't give him a price limit when I walked in but I was  not going to spend more than a $100.  To my surprise with th 15% off coupon that I found online - I got them for around $76 dollars!  Excellent.  This store also has a "buy them and love them" return policy.  I can try them for 30 days and if I hate them, I can return them.  GREAT!

It's a chain store and they are all over the country.  If you want to check them out yourself, here's their website:  roadrunnersport.com  (and text "run75" to 46786 to get 15% off your total purchase)

I also purchased some flex-a-min at the suggestion of some of you.  It's supposed to help with joint and knee pain.  If you need it, here's a link to download a $4- off coupon if you sign up for the flex-a-min newsletter.  Rite Aid has a buy one get one free sale on flex-a-min so if you print the coupon and go to Rite Aid, it's a pretty good deal.  I had 2 of those coupons so I really made out well!  Here's the link for the coupon:  http://www.flexamin.com/pages/Signup.asp

AND finally  (sorry this is gigantic blog today!) I had a "rest" day but to keep active, I decided to power walk for 20 mins and do some weight machine work.  I have to say my endurance has dramatically improved.  I was walking 3.5 - 3.8 on an incline for the whole "walk" and I never lost my breath or even broke a sweat.  You have no idea how far that is from where I was 25 days ago.  my first day of training, I was "running" at 3.9 / 4.0 (no incline)  and walking 3.2 was challenging!  And yes, I wore my new sneakers.

XO
Jen

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Day 24 - 59 days to go... ow.


Decided to go for 3.1 miles today to see what if felt like to do a 5K.  I ran for ten minutes and that was good... then I walked for one and ran for five but my knee started to bother a little and my hip started to ache and the rest of the training was more or less running for two, walking for one - with a little more walking towards the end.  It took me almost 50 mins to do 3.1!  UGH.  That's probably not a great time....

I guess I will just turtle along and remember that the most important thing is just to finish right now.

My hubby did remind me that I'm only on day 24 of training and that I'm doing great for an amateur but you know, I put high expectations on myself.

Also, this was interesting.  I dreamt about running.  And it wasn't even a nightmare! ;)  I think I was running some kind of race and remember feeling out of breath but accomplished.  I finished whatever it was that I started in the dream.

Tomorrow is a rest day, I might do a little walking and weights but will try to take it easy on my achey breaky knee and hip.

Is it normal to have a little discomfort or do I need to be concerned?  I think it doesn't seem like any huge deal but what do I know?  Any remedies or advice?  I always warm up but maybe I should be better with some stretches or something.  If we've learned anything from my foray into attempting yoga it's that I have the flexibility of a tree stump.

xo
Jen

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Day 23 - 60 days to go & 19 days to my first 5K


Well, thanks to Nicole's urging I decided to sign up for my first 5K it's a walk/run thing on March 21st.  I'm excited for it but also a little bit nervous... I'm hoping that this isn't so hard for me that it freaks me out for the big event!

But I think it'll be ultimately helpful to get my head into what a race feels like so I'm taking the plunge.

I've had a tough last few weeks and today I felt it.  I'm still sad about Jazz.  I really wanted to plunge my head into a bag of fast food or a pizza box today.  I refrained.  I ate an orange instead.  Old habits die hard and somedays I miss stuffing my feelings, pulling up a seat for my pity party of one.

Today was a rest day and I chose to take it.  My knees and hips were feeling a little tight (I ran hard Sat, Sunday and Monday) and thought it would be best to completely lay low and let my body get caught up.  I tried yoga on demand.  I tried that for about 11 minutes found it annoying and decided to clean my house instead.  Someday I hope to find an appreciation for yoga - today was not that day.

Tomorrow I get back on track (literally!) and back to the training.

xo
Jen

Monday, March 1, 2010

Day 22 - 61 days to go - Goodbye Jazz :(





We had to say goodbye to our Jazz today.  She wasn't feeling well and the vet recommended we let her go.  It was a hard goodbye and I'm sad.  I'll miss her very much.  We're devastated, even though we know we did the right thing by her.  We had her for 15 years and she's been through a lot with us.

I started the marathon training today.  I'm following this program:  http://running.about.com/od/halfmarathonracetraining/a/runwalkhalfmarathon.htm?nl=1

It's a run/walk 1/2 marathon training program and I think that's probably the best approach for me right now.  It's dictated by the same woman who got me running 30 mins - so we'll give it a shot.

xo
jen