Friday, April 30, 2010

Day 82 - 2 days to go!! Biggest Loser

This week I felt a bit slouchy.  I really didn't run this week (aside from 3 miles on Tuesday) because I  wanted to rest my body.  I'm glad I did -- I feel good and raring to run.  But I miss the daily sweat for sure.  (Uh.  Did I just say that?)

Anyway, with all this non-running free time, I'm catching up on my Tivo'ed shows and one of my guilty pleasures is The Biggest Loser.  Holy crap, I had tears running down my face (damn reality television!)  The BL gang traveled to Texas to challenge the biggest people in the biggest state to take control of their health and do a 5K with them.

Wow.  Did this show stir some stuff up for me.  There was the stories of self-doubt, of fear of failure, of embarrassment, anxiety and assumptions of not being able to do it.  One by one these people shattered those self-imposed myths and whether they ran, walked or crawled - they crossed the finish line.

And then there was the last lady wearing team grey.  She was walking with her daughter and had to stop several times from pain and fatigue.  She was very out of shape.  The whole time she had to dig deep.  Koli and Sam (two Biggest Loser contestants) promised to go back and help her and they did.  It took this lady more than 2 hours and she was the last  to finish but her pride radiated right through the television.  Around 100 people were at the finish line and they were cheering for her like she was running in the winning touch down at the Superbowl.  As she crossed the finish line and collapsed into tears, she exclaimed through sobs, "I don't even walk around Wal*Mart, i use a scooter!"  My heart burst for her.  Here's a woman who believed she was so done that she'd been using a scooter to get around and had long given up on her body and herself and she had just walked a 5K -- she might as well have climbed Mt. Everest.

And I totally related to her.  Thankfully I wasn't at the point of needing a jazzy but  I can relate to thinking no way, not me and then all of the sudden discovering unbelievable joy and liberation when you realize you do have it in you to do something so momentous.

There's a quote that Nicole sent me this morning that I'm going to paraphrase.  It said something like:  "I run because of the adrenaline I get at the start of the race and the winner I become when I finish."  And I guess that's why we do this.

I can't think of better inspiration to help me cross my own finish line.



Thursday, April 29, 2010

Day 81 - almost there!

I'm starting to get super excited!  Only two more days!!  I've been training and working towards this for 81 days now!

I'm so proud of myself for this journey - regardless of what happens on race day because this was an amazing experience and life lesson about perseverance.  About pushing away excuses and going for something.  About working through road blocks, dealing with set backs, struggling with emotions, hard days, tempting food, bad weather, achey joints, crappy sneakers and illness.

It's about getting knocked down but always getting back up again.  It's about goal setting.  It's about accepting imperfection.  It's about shooting for the moon and landing in the stars.

My whole life I've gotten hot for some big idea, only to see it fade away after a few days or weeks.  To hit a wall and let it slip through my hands.  This is the first (meaningful) time I've set a physical goal so big and pushed towards it, no matter what.

It also feels good to have committed to and followed through with writing this blog (even on boring - not much to report days.)  I missed one entry and that was because I simultaneously had the stomach flu, a power outage and not much to report anyway.  I do love writing but every night this blog takes up a decent chunk of time out of my life - somedays, thinking about and coming up with something that I think might be relevant and interesting (plus keep myself thinking) takes as long as and is as challenging as a run!  So just being able to do this has been awesome.

Thank you for being a part of this life changing journey with me.



Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Day 80 - 3 days to go!!

"If you want to become the best runner you can be, start now. Don't spend the rest of your life wondering if you can do it." --Priscilla Welch, who won the 1987 New York City Marathon at age 42

OK, Loving that quote.

I think what makes it so profound is that you can take the word "runner" out and plug in any big goal or dream you have and it's totally relevant.

But for now, I'm keeping runner in there...

And Priscilla won the NYC marathon at the age of 42 - go on with your bad self.

Anyway, I read this great article today it can be found here:  Tips to get you motivated to run  -- number 1 tip was "start a running blog."  :)  I'm bookmarking this page for those days I just want to skip training.  I guarantee that you can't get thru ten of them without finding at least a little motivation!  There was some really great advice so if you are serious about running, definitely check it out.

This was a good one too:  five ways to break through road blocks  -- ahhh where were these articles the other day when I really needed them!  

So, my three mile run yesterday made me a little sore because since I cockily was thinking to myself, "pfff, this is only 3 miles," I decided to do a lot of speed work (well speed work for me - which is probably normal running for others.. lol) and I really pushed to run fast and do sprints.      I think I'm going to stick to the eliptical or bike the rest of the week - maybe a little power walking but no running.  I want to feel 100% for race day.  Can't wait!



Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Day 79 - 4 days to go!! Ready or Not...


Here we go - only four days left!  

Got back in the gym today and ran for 3 miles.  Felt really good and miracle of miracles - my I-Pod came back to life!  Yippee!!  Thank you Lord for small mercies.

So, there's some good news and bad news - the good news is, I think I'm going to keep this blog going past the marathon, I've really loved writing it and a few of you have said that you'd miss it - so I figure that I should keep this thing up.

The bad news is (or good depending on the day) I'm going to have to come up with an entirely new finish line to shoot for in order to justify keeping this going...

Well, what does every athlete do after winning their big game?

They go to DISNEYLAND!  And I think I might just do that too -- Labor day weekend - Disneyland has a cool race thru the theme park -- what could be more fun than  dressing up like your favorite Disney character and running 13 miles thru a theme park as Mickey and Co.  cheers you on and rides like "Magic Mountain" and "Small World" wait to usher you back to your youth?

OK, stop laughing.  Yeah, there are a lot of things that could be more fun but no matter!  I think I'm going to sign up for this (at the suggestion of running buddy Angela) where our new challenge will be to run the entire 13 miles without ever stopping to walk -- and with an obvious desire to improve my time.

Just have to run it by hubby and see if I can swing it.  Will keep you posted!

Hmmm, I always wanted to channel my inner Tinker Bell.


Monday, April 26, 2010

Day 78 - 5 days to go!! Rainy days and Mondays...

UGH.  I think I'm getting scared.

I felt super unmotivated today, in fact, I've felt a bit unmotivated the last few days.

The pouring rain kind of screwed me out of running outside, I finally dragged myself to the gym - only to get on the treadmill and find that my i-pod must really be dead. (I thought the other day was maybe a flukey, forgot to charge issue.) I did plug it in all last night so it's no fluke - it's deader than a a door nail and with only five days to go, I'm gonna have to figure something out.

So I got to the gym and still didn't feel like doing anything and with the dead I-Pod just decided to do a 20 minute power walk while watching Dr. Oz and even that dragged.

What's wrong with me!?

Am I self sabotaging?  Is it fear?  I mean five days to go - I've come this far and now I'm doubting myself, am feeling like blowing off training and can barely get thru a 20 minute walk??  Oh brother.  If I was self analyzing myself, my psychology 101 assessment would be I'm backing off from training as a defense mechanism, to protect myself from the potential of failure.

Or I'm just making that up.  I don't know.  Sigh.  I'll get it together and rally.

Hopefully the sun will come out tomorrow and I'll be back on track - 3 mile run tomorrow no matter what, even if I have to sing to myself the whole time!


Sunday, April 25, 2010

Day 77 - 6 days to go!! A week from right now...

One week from right now (8:34 PM - Sunday night) I will have run 13 miles and rocking my victory!!

For now, this adorable cartoon pre-creation, courtesy of my very dear friend Angela Lee, will have to represent my future accomplishment:

That's just too cute!!  Thank you sooo much Ang!!  You're the best!!  



Saturday, April 24, 2010

Day 76 - 7 days to go!!

It's the final countdown...

One small week until the sneakers hit the road.  I'm getting nervous and excited -- I'm excited to take on the biggest physical challenge of my life.  I can't properly articulate what made me take this thing on but I'm glad I did.

You know, besides getting physically stronger, this running thing has helped so much of my life fall into place - I've become fitter, a better writer, a more patient mother, more motivated to reach for dreams and even, "souper."

They say that one small change can lead to big life movements and it's absolutely true.  Who woulda thunk that just putting one foot in front of another -in a quick succession could do all it's done?  Not me.

I lost .2 pounds at Weight Watchers this week.  My personal weight loss goal since I started this thing was 15 pounds. (from 180 - 165)  I'm at 167.  I need to lose two pounds this week to be perfectly on target.  It's pretty amazing.  I only lost 7 pounds all of last year - I've nearly doubled that and we're not even half way through 2010!  So put out the "lose weight vibes" for me this week because I would be soooo happy to have also set and reached my weight loss goal for this thing!!

Happy Saturday.


Friday, April 23, 2010

Day 75 - 8 days to go - and 8 mile run

Hmmmmm - seems I'm good at dishing advice about running and then I have a day like today.

I just had zero motivation but with the race 8 days away, this was no time to blow off training so I dragged myself to the gym.

Eh, it was tough enough to get going for the two hour treadmill journey and then, the absolute unthinkable happened.  Horror, of horrors... at 45 minutes into the training - my I-Pod DIED.  Poof.  No music.  NOOOOOOOOO!!!  Not today, not the day of the dragging ass!  Please, oh please.  I need my Paradise City, Eminem, Pat Benatar...  even the Ludacris song with the mean lyrics.  Oh please say it ain't so.

But it was so.  It was me, the treadmill and (ugh - no offense Drew Carey) The Price Is Right.

Trying to get motivated to bean bag games and overweight midwesterners jazzed to "come on down" was not the easiest thing ever and I really thought more than once during mile five and six that this would be a perfectly good excuse to quit.  Everyone would understand.  Or really, no one would ever have to know.  Could just be my little secret.

Sigh.  But I would know.  I would know that I quit - and it wouldn't feel good.  It would suck even more than being forced to watch the Price Is Right.

It wasn't the greatest run ever.  I walked probably as much as I ran today - still, even with the walking and the Showcase Showdown, I managed to finish the 8 miles in just under 2 hours (4.1mph)  Slow but steady.  And quick enough to finish my race in time to get the medal.  And slow enough to not even feel like dying after my work out.

The best part of the whole thing is I really got off the treadmill feeling pissed off that I was "so lame" to walk so much of the training.  And then a little voice in the back of my head spoke up and said -- "You ran/walked for 8 miles!  8 miles!!  If you walked 8 miles in a week, that would've been a big accomplishment 75 days ago and you just did it in 2 hours!"  That voice is right.  Just yesterday I was writing about how "there's no bad runs, just bad attitudes."

So I'm proud to say, I (kinda) ran 8 miles today and will be running/walking/crawling if need be - in just eight days past a finish line!


Thursday, April 22, 2010

Day 74 - 9 days to go! So you want to be a runner, Part II

As I ran yesterday, I realized there were a few more things I've learned while logging the miles:

1.  Your mother was right.  You are what you eat.  Nutrition, hydration is vital - you might be able to skimp a little for shorter runs but once you are running for more than an hour, your lack of proper food pre and post run and forgetting your water bottle is going to bite you in the ass in the form of extreme, uncomfortable thirst and fatigue.  Do not get caught with an empty tank of gas or you'll stall in the middle of the road -- and trust me, it totally sucks.

2.  Comfort is key.  The right socks, a sun visor, lightweight sunglasses and some sunscreen really make a difference when running outdoors.  The more comfortable you are, the less you have to worry about and the more you can focus on the actual run - and what good is being thin and trim if you're getting all wrinkly from improper sun protection.

3.  GOALS.  Countless hours of therapy, lifetime membership to Weight Watchers and hundred's of pounds lost, regained and lost again and I finally figured it out on this running journey.  Goals are key.  They are not just a little important, goals are everything.  Without goals and something to work at, it's too easy to go easy on yourself in training, become stagnant, grow bored, blow off sessions.  Whether it's increasing speed, running a marathon or just being able to run to the end of the street, continually setting new goals will allow you to continue to grow.  (PS:  I'm learning this lesson can be applied to most areas of life and not just running!)

4.  You have to shake it up.  If you only run on a treadmill, you're missing out on a whole new world of experiences out there - if you do run outside, go off your beaten path and explore new territory.  Running can get tedious enough, it's up to you to keep it fresh.  See this post if you're wondering the pros and cons of  outside VS treadmill

5.  There are no bad running days.  Just bad attitudes.  If you got out there and ran, even if it was slower than usual, you still did something great for yourself.  It's hard but celebrate what you did right instead of beating yourself up for what you think you did wrong.

6.  When all else fails, start a blog and find a few friends to support your journey, it's made all the difference for me!!  At very least, keep a training log, a diary, or some kind of journal so you can record your progress, express your successes and frustrations and have something to review to see what's worked for you and what's not.

Tomorrow, I was to run 10 miles but I have made an executive training decision to "only" run eight.  Nine really was tough and I think that eight will be enough to get me "long running" without risking injury a week before my race.  Maybe if I'm feeling good I'll go the "extra mile" but as of now, I'm doing eight.


Wednesday, April 21, 2010

Day 73 - 10 days to go - I LOVE running (kind of...)

Let's get something straight.  I don't love running.  That's right I said it.

I can't even count the amount of people who've told me, "that's great what you are doing, but I don't like running, so you know..."

Listen, I didn't get to my highest weight of 236 pounds by loving to run.  Nooooo sirreeee.... You know what I love?  Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia, greasy chinese food, and laying in bed watching John Hughes movies with a few good reality shows tossed in for fun.

I love sitting on my ass, surfing the web, dirty martini's and Thanksgiving dinner.

I love pancakes and sausage or a giant egg, cheese and taylor ham sandwich on a BAGEL. (tres Jersey...)

I even love (sorry Morgan Spurlock) Big Macs (shudder) super sized.

I loved smoking cigarettes, drinking pina colada's and getting caught in the rain - (OK, not the rain part.  Busted.)

Running didn't even make the "like" list.  In fact I think "root canal,"  "changing tire on busy highway in snow," and "sitting in the middle seat between smelly man and screaming toddler on airplane," once ranked higher than running.

But no more.

I rarely do any of the above "love" things any more.  If I have one Mickey D stop a year, that's a lot.  I make homemade oatmeal pancakes, I occasionally have a little low fat frozen yogurt and I haven't really had a cigarette since the early 2000's...  And I'm happy.

And when it comes to running, actual running?  Well, I'm developing appreciation for running itself but here's what I do love:

A sense of accomplishment, confidence, moving my body and doing something good for it, better blood pressure, stronger bones, feeling less depressed, looser pants, smaller size, healthier weight,  feeling more in control - knowing I'm preventing future bouts with diabetes, heart disease, stroke.  I'm extending my life and the quality of that life.

And I LOVE life - that's what it's really all about.

So love running?  Eh.  I guess it's better than a root canal.


Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Day 72 - 11 days to go - So you wanna be a runner...

A funny thing is happening.

People are asking me for running advice!  Friends are calling and e-mailing.  At the end of my Weight Watchers meeting, people wait to talk to me.  It's very interesting and flattering.  While I don't know all the answers, this is what I've learned so far...

1.  Running is cool because it's the quickest thing that you can work out and see results with.  Each day being able to run just a little further, maybe even a little faster - and that's tremendously rewarding.

2.  Don't go into running thinking it's a good "cheap" form of exercising.  Cheap is sit-ups and push-ups.  Expensive might be snowboarding or skiing.  Running isn't either of those.  Running can be affordable but you're going to have to do some investing in stuff to do it right.  Good sneakers, good socks, even a decent MP3 player - all necessities.  Also, if you are interested in racing, they all come with fees.  Add to the mix some good running bras, athletic gear and possibly a gym membership if you live in a place with bad weather a lot of the year - and well, it's not the cheapest thing on the block - but it's also been worth every penny spent in my opinion.

3.  Pushing yourself slightly beyond your comfort level will not kill you but will make you stronger.

4.  Pushing yourself too much beyond your comfort level will not make you stronger and might kill you.  (or at very least, cause you to injure yourself and thwart all your good intentions.)

5.  Don't sign up for a big race (like a marathon) with the goal of "just" losing weight.  While you may shed pounds and all - this journey is not easy and it's going to take a helluva lot more personal reasons than just a smaller size to keep you motivated.

6.  There will be blood, sweat and tears.  Well  maybe not blood (at least not yet for me) but there's been plenty of sweat and even a few tears.  These long runs are HARD.  When you are on a treadmill for two + hours for 8, 9, 10 mile runs - there's pain involved.  And stretching, and heat, and ice and advil and with-in a day or two you begin feeling better again but with running, (at least for me) my body is always "just" healing and then I'm pushing myself again and it's getting re-fatigued.  I never get used to anything because there's always a new challenge.

7.  Long run days will kick your ass.  Do not plan to do anything but rest after them.  I've literally iced, showered and then slept for hours.

8.  Don't look sideways.  (Sooo hard!)  Work at your own pace.  Do not worry about what your neighbor, friend, guy on the treadmill next to you is doing.  Sure, look for encouragement and inspiration but don't beat yourself up if you're not at the same level.  You'll get there.

9.  On the flip side, totally OK to secretly smile when you're besting the guy next to you! ;)

10. Running is exciting, interesting and more fun than you've ever thought it could be if you give it a good shot.  Besides physical fitness, running is rich with lessons about life, accomplishment and goal setting.  It provides confidence like nothing else does.  Other runners are always happy to welcome you to the club and it's been a really great club to be earning membership with!!


Monday, April 19, 2010

day 71 - 12 days to go - Run today

Ahhhh back to running.  I had a great run today.  I think I like running when it's on the cooler side.  It was a brisk 54 degrees and there was a cool breeze in my face but it made it easy to run and not get over heated.  I loved it.

Once again I decided to run the 4.14 route without stopping.

Interestingly, I always start out with the goal to run without walking and as soon as I start moving,  quickly think, "I'll never run this whole thing without stopping to walk."  So then I give myself some landmark, "Hmmm, I'll just run until the Shoprite."  But then Shoprite comes and a good song comes on, or some (imagined) guy is watching me run and now, really, I can't walk.  So I think to myself, "I will run until I get to the bank."  And the same thing happens.  Before you know it, I'm in the last stretch and get that "last push to the finish line wind" and that's, that.

It's funny because I think this represents what happens with many dreams in life.  Dreams start off as these huge, looming, impossible notions.  You even start to chip away and it feels so big and out of reach that you think to yourself that you'll never pull it off... and now you're faced with choice - give up because it's "too hard" or work hard, make mini-goals,  find inspiration, dig deep and suddenly - step by step, mile by mile you get there.

So that's three times I've run 4 miles or better without walking and that progress feels AMAZING.  I even improved my time this week.  Last week this route took me 4.4 mph the week before it took me 4.1 mph... Today I did it in 4.6!  Yay!!  Getting closer to that magic 5.0 that I'm striving for.

I signed up for a May 16th 5K.  The marathon is my HUGE goal but I'm looking forward to the 5K to see how much I can improve speed from the last one I did.


Sunday, April 18, 2010

Day 70 - 13 days to go - 2 weeks! OMG!

Only 2 more weeks!!  WOOOOW!!  Where is this time going?  I started this journey in the dead of winter, (snowed!) sometimes facing down blizzard like conditions to get to the gym and now we are heading into May and race day!!

Fricken Unbelievable.  What a journey.

Today I was going to run my Sunday four miles but I woke up and my knee, hips and and other various running body parts were still feeling really tight and sore from the nine miles on Friday (yesterday I did a 3 mile "recovery" walk but it was uphill and pretty fast...) so I decided to rest today and run tomorrow.  No sense in pushing through pain prematurely and hurting myself this close to the big day.  So my schedule will be this week:

Monday - four mile run

Tuesday - Cross train

Wednesday - three mile run (as per training guide)

Thursday- rest (maybe a casual walk)

Friday - ten miles  (wanted to do this Thursday but not working out today, thru the whole thing off - so it is what it is.)

Then next week I'll do a five miler as my long run, early in the week - then maybe a few 3 milers, taper with a walk or two and then RACE!  :)

I have to say, not running today really sucked.  I wanted to do it all day and missed it.  I almost ran in the evening and then my husband pretty much encouraged me to take it easy until tomorrow, just to be safe.


Saturday, April 17, 2010

Day 67 - 14 days to go - Weighing in on weigh in!

Yay!  The scale was good today!  Said goodbye to another 2.6 pounds this week.  I guess running nine miles does have its upside :)

I'm down about 10 1/2 pounds since beginning training (down an overall 66.8 since joining Weight Watchers 3 years ago) and can honestly say I'm between a size 12-14 now -- not a 16 in sight!

I'm feeling pretty good and I'm only 4 1/2 pounds away from my race day goal weight!!  Good things happen when you commit to change and work at it.

And to celebrate my weight loss I will be getting Greek food and swilling my Saturday night martini - lol...

Of course, tomorrow I'll be up bright and early to do my 4 mile run around Nutley to keep on track.

Have a happy Saturday!


Friday, April 16, 2010

Day 66 - 15 days to go - NINE miles... NINE!!

OUUUUUUUCH!!!  Nine miles!!

I think I'm feeling pretty good about that but the pain radiating thru most of my body is blocking the path to  the part of my brain that would normally be bursting with pride...  In fact, I think the pain has opened a new pathway to, "Maybe running 13 miles is not your best idea ever."


That ouch was the sound of me smacking myself in the head for even letting that thought cross my mind.

Of course it's a good idea and it'll seem like a better idea tomorrow when my body is feeling better.  :)

To get thru it, I did tell myself a few times, "it's "only" 3 miles, 3 times..." LOL -- do you remember what an accomplishment it was for me to run my first 3 miles!?  I do:  Day 24: 3 miles

And I'm really proud of the fact that I ran for one whole solid hour until walking!  New personal record. I was feeling really good the first hour, it wasn't until hour two I started to fall apart.

So I really enjoyed listening to a few new tunes.  "Lay All Your Love On Me" from Abba was really fun to run to.  I also did enjoy, "Run to you" Bryan Adams and the Jovi, "Runaway" tune.

And I also added "Get Back" a Ludicris song I happened upon.  The beat really works but...

the problem with (some) Rap is the lyrics.  With charming lyrics such as, "Get Back m'f*cker you don't know me like that..." and "I came, I saw, I hit 'em right in the jaw..." (This was the "nicer" lyrics by the way) this might be good for you Karen and Sara to train for your next Warrior dash.

I have a personal problem with the concept of "packing heat" and "watching the bitches get drunk," but other than all that - great song.  HA!  ;)

Ironically rap isn't a genre I would think I would like and in real life, it's not really my bag but it works in running for me.  As does a lot of rock that I wouldn't think I'd like.  Go figure.

Next week ten miles and then I taper off.  I honestly am getting a little scared.  It was really hard today and I didn't think I was going to make it but here I am, still standing and still running.


Thursday, April 15, 2010

Day 65 - 16 days to go - Souper results

Well, we gave it a shot.  I came in fourth place in the soup contest.  So close to the top 3 grand prize, yet, so far away.

Thank you soooo much to you guys for voting so often for me.  Four out of ten is still respectable and I appreciate your help.

Oh well.  I'm happy that the Ovarian cancer survivor girl came in third and next time I enter such a contest I will remember to take my picture in a pair of enormous pants ;) 

It was a fun run and it was an honor to be nominated.  

Tomorrow is the nine miler -- ooooof... The thing about these long runs is it's just such a loooooong time to be on an f'in treadmill and there's no way around being on the thing for 2+ hours - it is what it is.  I'll get through it.  And then next week I'll get thru 10 and then I think I'll back off until race!!  OMG it's coming so quickly!!

Inspired by yesterday's music blog, I downloaded a few new songs to add to the mix:

Runaway (Jovi) I wasn't lying about adding that one
I'm gonna Run To You - Bryan Adams - I did kind of dig that song in the day, we'll see if it works
Here I Go Again - White Snake (I kinda liked this song in the day too - could be too slow.  we'll see)
Lay All Your Love on Me - Abba 

OK, clearly, I was walking down a lane of music past -- I don't think there's a single song from this or  even the last few decades!  :)

Don't ever hesitate to throw out song suggestions because I tire of music quick and always need something to add!!  

By the way, I added "Alive and Kicking" - Simple Minds to the mix a few weeks ago - I feared this might be too slow but there's something I really love about this song and I find it a song I look forward to running with.



Wednesday, April 14, 2010

day 64 - 17 days to go - 10 "run" songs pondered

I am always on the hunt for good running songs.   You would think that if the word run was in the title, theoretically, it could be a good running tune... but not so.  How many songs with the word run in the title or chorus can you think of?  You be the judge good running song or just running on empty?

1)  Run To You - Whitney Houston - Too slow and too sad to think about poor Whitney, just brings my stride down.  Crack is whack.
2)  I'm gonna Run To You - Bryan Adams - can go either way.  Starts slow but picks up, jury's out but I vote yes overall.
3)  Run Around Sue - Dion - eh.  This depends if you're into the old school sweatin' to the oldies type thing.  I love this song (my mom is a Sue and she loves it) but running?  nah.  I vote no.
4)  Running To Stand Still - U2 - No one loves U2 more than me but Beautiful Day this is not and while I can appreciate this song, it's snoozearama when it comes to running.  Nope.
5)  Runaway - Del Shannon - this is another sweatin to the oldies.  light jog to the sugar free jello line in the buffet after church, maybe.
6)  Runaway - BON JOVI 'nuff said.  Can take the girl outta Jersey...  Downloading to I Pod as we speak.
7)  Take The Money and Run - Steve Miller Band.  Sigh.  Lots of drinking to this song in college - one of my friends always played it at the place we hung out.  Really love it.  I think I could kind of run to it, if I can fight the urge to take a shot of tequila and smoke a cigarette during my run, could possibly work out.  Will get back to you on it.  Hopefully will not trigger former pack a day habit of marlboro lights.
8) I Ran - Flock of Seagulls -*think it could work but can't get image of creepy band out of my mind...

9.) Running With The Devil - Van Halen - when David Lee Roth was still cool.  And sane.  But back to the song.  Not sure - what do you think?
10) Born To Run - The Boss got this one right.  :)


Tuesday, April 13, 2010

DaY 63 - 18 days to go - conversation is overrated...

With heavy clouds overhead this morning and the threat of rain on the horizon, I took my four miles to a treadmill today.  I must say that four miles inside is the worst.  I feel like my long runs it's a necessity because I require so many props right now (water, gatorade, towel, CPR kit in case of emergency...) and three miles goes pretty quick but four miles is just long enough to be boring inside.

Inspired (and a wee bit jealous) of my friend Ulla who recently started running too - and who just blogged about being able to run a ten minute mile -- influenced me  to work on speed today to keep things interesting and challenging.

I know I broke the rule of being able to have a comfortable conversation more than once today.  I kept pushing myself to run for several minutes between 5.0-5.5 -- the trouble was that my "recovery" time also had to increase and by the end of the work-out my overall running time was still about 4.44 mph.  It's not a bad number, I suppose.   The same four miles I did last week averaged at 4.2 mph so it's wee bit faster.  Guess that's part of the journey.  I can't wait to be running a consistent 5 mph.  I feel like that's "real" running.  Even though I have the red face, sweat soaked gym clothes and panting to prove that 4.44 is no stroll in the park (for me at least.)

I know I've talked about the site before but to reiterate, mapmyrun -- is free and awesome.  I love that I can even keep track of my workout stats with it.  For example, I can see that we are not even half way through April and I've already logged 41.16 miles and burned 4,549 calories!!  Holy crap, that's motivating and exciting!  

Training Summary: April 2010
Total Distance:41.16 mi.Total Calories:4,549 (kcal)Weight Change:2.0 lbs.
Average Sleep:7 hrs.Average Morale:HighMin. / Max.:172.0 lbs. / 174.0 lbs.
Previous Year Previous MonthApril 2010Next Month Next Year

So that's all I got... the next time I write about running it'll be because I ran nine miles.  UGH.  Not gonna lie, that sounds a little bit like hell.  But I also know that nothing is going to be sweeter than once I can put that one under my belt!!


Monday, April 12, 2010

DAY 62 - 19 days to go - Monday rest day

I've not much to say today, I'm saving my energy for later this week and the nine mile run.

So, in an effort to say something I will say this, thank you for all your souper votes.  If it's before midnight you can give it one last shot:

LAST CHANCE to make Jen Souper

But you know, no matter what happens I'm good.

I wouldn't even be in the position to possibly win something cool if I had never started on this journey.  So many good things have come from this simply, complicated thing called, running.

I've lost some weight, lost some inches, gained confidence, found a great stress reliever, made new friends, seen new towns, have found a love of blogging and walk with a little more pride.  I'm so proud of the strides I've made and I know this is all just the beginning.

And it's corny but the amount of gratitude I have towards you guys, my friends who cheer me up when I've had a crappy weigh in or laugh at my horrible puns, indulge my over the top "rebirth of life," Jack Handy, "Deep Thoughts," type entries are the absolute best and every day I truly feel blessed for the love.

So no matter what happens when the results come down, truth is I am a souper winner.


Sunday, April 11, 2010

Day 61 - 20 days to go - Sunday Run

Ah, so today I got up and ran the same four miles run around the 'hood that almost killed me at 3PM, in the sun, the other day.  Wow - what a difference the temperature makes.  The breeze, the empty streets, Sunday morning - it just makes it all so good and this morning I had a noteworthy thing happen.  I ran the whole four miles without walking.  Not for one minute, not for one second!  I ran the whole friggen thing and that's the first time that's happened.  It felt fantastic.

Now it's worth also noting that I only saved like 3 minutes off my run/walk from last Sunday.  Last week, I ran most of the time and probably only did walk for a minute here and there.  I was surprised that it didn't translate to something a little more radical but I'm thinking that I probably ran a little slower to compensate for running further.  It probably all comes out in the wash, but it still makes me feel souper accomplished!!

If you think it's a souper accomplishment - don't forget to vote here:  Jen's souper - vote for me!

Later on in the day, Hubby and I took our son to a fantastic park and walked for about 4 miles.  It was an 8 mile on foot day for me!!  :)

It's really interesting the organic changes towards health I'm making, without feeling like it's a big deal.

Saturday nights are usually my "loosen" up meal.  Hubby and I usually order something slightly less healthy and I have a cocktail.  In the day (even when I was trying to lose weight) I would drink 1-3 cocktails depending on what we were doing.  That loose meal would typically be horrible.  A pizza, some wings, maybe a burrito... you get the picture.  But now, things have changed.  I have a one drink limit.  My martini glass has gone from mambo sized to tiny and even our ordering has changed.  Last night for chinese night - I got a little won ton soup, we split a few steamed dumplings and instead of some greasy oil dripping General Tao's Chicken or Pork Lo Mein, I ordered steamed shrimp with mixed steamed veggies and brown rice.  And I loved it.  Certainly the soup and dumplings weren't high on the food pyramid and even my baby martini isn't winning any health food awards but the smaller (one) cocktail and steamed veggies/shrimp/whole grain "splurge" in my diet is significant because it doesn't feel like sacrifice - I'm enjoying my food and how it makes me feel.

AND, these changes are based on wanting to be able to wake up early on a Sunday morning and run.  I know if I have a vodka hangover and Chinese food related heartburn, no running will take place - it's liberating to find balance and to figure out how to land somewhere between the world of the diet and the land of overindulgence.  This is a good place to be.



Saturday, April 10, 2010

day 60 - 21 days to go - SATURDAY! YAY!

Holy hell.  Day 60 of training!  I've stuck with this thing faithfully for 60 days!!  I can't even begin to tell you how awesome I feel over this - I once was the queen of fall-off-the-wagon-I-have-an-excuse-why-I-can't-but-I-tried.

But no more.

I must give up that crown and hand it over to someone else.  Someone with a closet full of excuses and a truck load of BS, because I am no longer that person.  No sireee, I'm now, "no retreat, no surrender, ain't no stoppin' me now, Roe".

Ok that's a big title.  You can still just call me Jen.  I'll be the one without the crown and running until my legs fall off.  Which might happen this week as I attempt my greatest feat (with my feet... couldn't resist) to run NINE miles.

OOF... maybe I shouldn't give up that crown so fast!  Joking.  Nine miles?  no sweat, it's just 3 miles, 3 times.  And I can do three miles pretty comfortably.  And you know, nothing like running for over 2 hours to energize ya.  It'll be, gulp, great.  :)

In other news, I lost 1.4 at weigh in this week!  Yippee!  I'm getting closer to closer to goal and I'm so happy about it.



PS:  Almost forgot... I'm souper, blah, blah,blah... please vote, 2 more days!!  Vote for JENNIFER!

Friday, April 9, 2010

Day 59 - 22 days to go - happy friday!

Good 'ol Amby Burfoot author of The Runner's Guide to The Meaning of Life says:

"Life goes on, day after day, but it also has the ability to reinvent itself, to start over. This is what the seasons show us. We all have marveled at the apple tree's ability to rest through a dark, cold winter, then to grow new leaves in the spring, to blossom again, to bear fruit. We don't often think of our own lives this way, but I think we should."

Loving this quote and still  have to order his book.  Every day is a new beginning an opportunity to be better than we were yesterday.  If I've learned anything it's, you can't be so busy looking backwards that you're missing what's coming at you.  

We need to keep moving forward and while yesterday may help to have influenced who you are, it certainly doesn't define you.  You can be better if you want to be better.  If you were once great - you still have to work at greatness because your past will only carry you so far.  It was great that I ran 8 miles yesterday, momentous even!  But, I can't hang my hat on that and stop my journey.  I must forge forward.  Onward to the next great challenge (9 miles next week!) until finally I'm running 13.  But even once I reach that goal - I will have to figure out my next goal.  26 miles?  Biathalon?  Tri?  Who knows?  

Running around outside during Spring is amazing - the smells, the warmth, the sun but it's really all about the blossoms, the little flowers that are breaking their way through cold, hard ground, refusing to be kept down.  The buds on trees that only a few weeks ago looked bleak and deadened.  Life is renewing all around and it's the perfect time for us to do some spring cleaning of our own and begin renewing our lives again.


Vote for me in the soup thing please!  Jennifer is Souper

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Day 58 - 23 days to go... Eight miles!!

I ran EIGHT miles, people.  I feel like a warrior.  A very tired, sore but none the less, ass kickin' warrior.

I did it in 1:53:44 which comes to a 4.25 pace!  That's well within finishing in time for my medal, if I can sustain it for 13 miles.

I decided to go to the gym and I'm glad I did -- the nifty cup holding, dashboard was needed, I brought three big things of liquid and needed every last drop to get through the nearly 2 hour run.

I can't even believe this is me.  I mean I got to the five mile mark and instead of crumbling, I thought to myself, "only 3 more miles..." Seriously.  "Only."  HUH?

The big downside is that I'm soooo tired.  I came home, iced down, popped an aspirin, ate a Healthy Choice entree and decided to lay down for 20 mins.  Well, 20 mins turned into a 2 hour nap and I really am still beat.  I think I have to figure out the food part for these long run days.  According to my training log, I burned 1088 calories today.  I still eat pretty light with a Weight Watcher mentality, even when I try to beef it up, I think on these days I need to really beef it up and I'm not quite sure how to or where to start.  I am no Michael Phelps but I have read that even athletes have to eat more on training days and competing days.  Not sure, I'll have to google some ideas.

My article ran in the Nutley Sun today!  It's a big story about me running around the 'hood and working towards the marathon -- they also asked readers to VOTE for JEN in the souper you contest I will scan and post it for you to check out tomorrow!


Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Day 57 - 24 days to go... Four weeks away!

Christmas is coming!  Wow.  Four weeks!

I get to run 8 miles tomorrow.  YIKES.  Debating if I should do it inside or out.  Not sure which is least tortuous.  I guess it depends on the temperature and what time I work out.  I'm tempted to do outdoors to fight the boredom of being on the treadmill for nearly two hours but tempted to do the treadmill to utilize the two cup holders that will hold plenty of (I'm sure) much needed beverage... decisions, decisions!

Anyway, my friend Nicole sends me running quotes all the time (thank you!  love them!)  And yesterday's was this:

Winning has nothing to do with racing. Most days don't have races anyway. Winning is about struggle and effort and optimism, and never, ever, ever giving up.  -Amby Burfoot, The Runner's Guide to the Meaning of Life

Now, Amby Burfoot may have had the unfortunate (or fortunate, depending on your take) luck of being named Amby Burfoot but she (or is Amby a he?) is definitely my kind of thinker and I love this quote.  May even buy the book. 

If I don't die running eight miles, I'll tell ya all about it tomorrow night!


**I'm still not sure if it's a she or he - I am too lazy to look it up right now but I did find the book on Amazon and this person has ran for more than 35 years and won the Boston Marathon in 1968!  I definitely think this might be a good read!!!  I put the link to the book it's on sale for $9.95 if you're interested.  

PSS:  Make me souper!!  Don't forget the contest!!  Vote for Jennifer!

PSSS:  I'm an idiot..  Wound up looking it up.   Amby is a guy and he's kind of a big deal.  Here's his bio:

Amby Burfoot is the 1968 Boston Marathon winner, and a long-time editor (since 1978) at Runner's World magazine. Burfoot has run approximately 103,000 miles in his life, and has finished the Manchester (CT) Thanksgiving Day road race every year since 1963 (47 straight years through 2009). He also continues to run Boston on every fifth-year anniversary of his win, with his next scheduled Boston race in 2013, and has twice completed the 54-mile Comrades Marathon in South Africa. These days, at age 63 and counting, Burfoot continues running about 25 miles a week for health and fitness, and races just a handful of times each year. He's married to Cristina, a fellow writer/editor, and has two grown children, Daniel, a Ph.D. in robotics, and Laura, a community organizer in New London, CT. He feels extremely lucky to be one of those fortunate few who have been able to combine their passion with their profession.

Tuesday, April 6, 2010

Day 56 - 25 days to go... A run in the sun, not so fun.

OK, major mistake.  After running in a temp controlled environment (the gym) and in slightly cooler weather outdoors up until today - I made a bad decision.  It was 82 degrees, slightly muggy,very sunny and 3 PM... and I thought that would be a good time to run.  Without water.  Wearing black.

My bad.

It's probably not that big a deal if I had worked up to this temp but being that it was 20 degrees warmer than anything I had ever run in, I really felt the heat.  I wound up walking way too much during the last mile or so - I was dizzy and soooo thirsty that I might have stuck my head in a puddle if I happened upon one.  Of course, the park I ran through kept giving me little mini teases of water fountains that I would run out of my way to, only to find them not operating.  Remember that cartoon where wandering nomads in the desert would hallucinate mirages of palm tree shaded ponds?  That was me.

I didn't bring water because I didn't want to be bogged down running and holding a water bottle.  Maybe that was an error.

Even a little cooled down soup would've been welcomed.  Hey, did someone mention soup?  Did you know you could vote here and make me super souper!?  it was souper hot out today but please vote anyway!

Aside from the heat, the other annoying thing I forgot to take into consideration was the fifty schools (well really 4 schools but still) that all let out during my run.  I love kids and all but trying to weave in and out of a sea of brooding high school students loitering about is not my idea of fun.  It's actually my idea of torture.  In addition to clogging up the sidewalks - they immediately make me feel old and dorky.

But alas, the heat, the kids, the mirages of water didn't kill me and I'm still standing.  I still ran four miles (OK probably ran 3 and walked one or something...) but I did it and learned some lessons - I finished with an overall pace of 4.1 mph which tells me that the time I was running must've been pretty good because I walked a lot and thought my pace would wind up slower than that.

Do you runners bring water with you on your runs outside?  Do you carry it in hand or is that some kind of fanny pack/tool belt things that you employ?  Is it cumbersome?


Monday, April 5, 2010

Day 55 - 26 days to go... Words of wisdom?

Today was a rest day but I had some interesting things happen.

1.  I was interviewed for a blogging position for a fairly big web-site.  I feel pretty confident that it went well and hopefully they'll let me know soon.  (WOW - people get paid for blogging!?  And to think, I just do this for fun!)

2.  I had an interview with our town newspaper The Nutley Sun Newspaper for my "Souper You" fame (lol)  - I let them know when I received word on my finalist status, figuring maybe I could garner up some local votes.  Megan called and we chatted for about 20 minutes.  She was kind and asked me about running routes, why I liked running around our community and finally my words of wisdom for others.   Words of wisdom?  First of all, I didn't expect to be asked about running so much - like I was some kind of running expert or something.  Soup.  I was ready to talk about soup.

So, I kind of choked on this one.  I never really considered having my own words of wisdom here.  I've spent so much time begging you all for advice on sneakers, pre-post workout meals, stretching protocol, warm-up technique, song selection, gadgets to use -  I download my training schedule and everything is pretty much on autopilot.

My weight loss has been slow and up to now I've always considered my battle with weight and exercise a pretty good failure - to have someone ask for my 'words of wisdom' in this arena was not something I was prepared for.  I thought we were going to talk soup... And how you could vote for me here:  souper Jennifer

So what did I tell Megan?

Something about no matter where you are at or how big your goal is - you can take one small step at a time to get there.  How I started as a size 16 (on this journey but my highest size was a 20!) who could barely run for a minute and 55 days later can fairly comfortably run 4 miles on a normal day and will be pushing myself to go 8 miles this week, 9 next and eventually 13.

I guess, upon further thought, it's about perseverance.  Knowing there'll be people who run faster and further, knowing that there'll be uphill climbs, forks in the roads and set backs but going balls to the wall and doing it anyway.  Taking big dreams, making big goals and figuring it out as you go.

The day I signed up to run 13 miles back in February - I had no idea how i would go from no running to running 13 miles -- i just knew (and continue to know) that somehow, someway, I will cross that finish line.


Sunday, April 4, 2010

Day 54 - 27 days to go... Easter Bunny and Jen on the run!

Happy Easter everyone.

This morning was perfect here in New Jersey.  The type of morning that if you could bottle and sell, you'd get millions for.  The flowers are beginning to bloom, the trees are sprouting leaves, the sky blue, the sun shining.  Weather at 8 AM was around 63 degrees (give or take) and all was perfect.

I decided to do my 4 mile run outside.  It was a great run.  I did it (and it was more than 4 miles - not sure how much it was because my run included going through parks and mapmyrun doesn't map park trails...) in just under an hour.  If it was 4 miles it would've been done in 4.22 but it was more so I'm really pleased with the time.  I barely walked and there's something about running outside that just is so different than running on a treadmill.

My top five reasons to run outside vs. running at gym
1.  Scenery of parks, houses and gardens more motivating than watching steroid dude misuse weights and guzzle power smoothies
2.  You never know what you might find outside... Today I found a coupon for $.75 off my next purchase at Shoprite while passing said store.  SCORE!
3.  Evading angry dogs, smiling at neighbors and leaping over potholes in a single bound makes you feel super hero like... (or just SOUPER, don't forget to VOTE here:  vote for your fav souper hero here )
4.  Pretending that the people mowing their lawns are watching you, makes you run faster (it's true!)
5.  The sun on your face, the wind on your back and the fact that once you are a few miles from home and the only way back is to run the distance back - good incentive to keep moving!!

and of course, running outside does have it's cons:

My top five reasons to run at the gym vs. running outside
1.  Steroid dude too self-absorbed to notice you doing disco guns as you run to "I'm Coming Out" from Diana Ross
2.  The floor is moving.   Move your feet or die.  (Well maybe not die, but definitely get hurt and then die of embarrassment as the steroid dude tries to peel your face off the treadmill.)
3.  2 nifty cup holders and a dashboard to hold beverages of choice and sweat towel.
4.  No rain, no angry dog no chance of, "stepping on a crack and breaking your momma's back."
5.  If nature calls, you're 2 feet away from a place "to go."

Oh man, I wish I didn't have to rest tomorrow.  I had such a good run today, I want to do it again tomorrow!!


Saturday, April 3, 2010

Day 53 - 28 days to go... Happy Saturday!

It's a gorgeous day and I did my 3 mile "recovery" walk home from my Weight Watcher meeting today.  Funny, how speed walking 3 miles is now a "recovery" from anything.  lol ;)

The really funny thing is, I've been going to that WW meeting for three years now and it never occurred to me to walk.  It seems really far just driving there to me.  So even the decision to walk home today, making it and realizing that it was no big deal - was kind of a positive step in the right direction for me.

I had my weigh in and I lost a whopping .2  add that to my giant .6 from last week and we're looking at .8th of a pound in two weeks.  Yes, you should read the hint of sarcasm in there.  I mean you would think I at very least, sweated .2 away just from running for 7 miles.

But I'm feeling thinner, things are fitting better and people are starting to notice that I'm losing weight so I'm getting to a place where I'm more at peace with whatever the scale says because I think my body is changing.  In fact, some of my clothing is getting too big to wear.  I wore a pair of sweats today that were super annoying because as I was walking home, they kept sliding down - and these I only bought a month or so ago!  :)   So I think my next run will be to the mall!

Don't forget to go to the polls and vote in the Souper You contest today!  JEN IS SOUPER - PLEASE VOTE!  I made the announcement in my WW meeting so hopefully I'll pick up a few more votes there too!!

Have a great Saturday.


Friday, April 2, 2010

Day 52 - 29 days to go... coming quick!

Only 29 days to go!  I can't believe it.

I know the day is going to be a reality some day but somehow this whole journey has made the actual race day almost an unreal fantasy.  The feeling reminds me of when I was a little kid and I would look forward to Christmas.  As a kid, every year felt like ten years.  If it was May and I was looking forward to Christmas, it seemed like a day that would never actually come but a day I would dream about.

Twenty nine days and it's no longer a novelty or a dream -- it's happening and coming quick - ready or not.

I think I'll be ready.

By the way map my run  has a really cool section (all free) where you can keep track of your training.  It's under the "my training log" tab.  I started using it in the second week of March and it's great.  not only can you track everything about each work-out (you can go as simple as how much time and your perceived effort -- all the way up to tracking how you were feeling, heart rate, pace, etc...) but it also tracks your overall month.

So you can take a glance at a month and see how far you've come, here's my March calendar.  Each day I worked out, I have a little man on the day.  At the top you can see your progress for the whole month.  In march, I ran for 37.44 miles and burned 5,238 calories.  I love this thing - and I would encourage you to poke around this site even if you don't run.  I find this training log worth the free membership!!

Have a great weekend... And if you haven't already -- cast your souper vote for me!!

Jen wants to at least win third so vote!!