Friday, August 31, 2012

I'm getting fat

I'm getting fat.

OK that's a little bit dramatic but that's how my brain works. And that statement keeps rolling around in my head like a bowling ball bouncing off bumpers... and with those words a slow panic keeps threatening to rise, and other even scarier thoughts of plus-sizes, pigging out, depression and being out of control start their way drifting in too.

Even though I'm getting better at silencing those thoughts and shutting up those voices. It's still hard.

I've been a bit in denial, but, it's true, I'm up in weight. Not terribly so, but still.

I could feel it in the waist of my pants.

See it on my hips and belly.

Felt it as I huffed and puffed a previous run (which felt like it should've been a 9'45 pace or so but was only a 10'20).

And finally had it confirmed on the scale.

I've been drifting upwards for the last 3 months. A pound here. A pound there. Now I'm just shy of being up five pounds.

I hear scoffing and eye rolling happening all over the place but before you give me the, "it's only five pounds" speech, let me tell you this -- as a former yo-yo dieter, all of my previous "regaining of the weight" (and when I talk about regaining weight I have regained 30, 40, 60+ pounds in my life) started with just five pounds.

I'm on right - at my heaviest... 
Ironically, I've never eaten more lean and clean in my life. I'm eating a mostly plant and grain based diet, I eat mostly organic and pretty healthily. I don't snack on junk anymore, however, I'm (apparently) eating too much. Easy to do. I can over-do an avocado, eat one too many handfuls of nuts, enjoy a mid-week glass of wine or just take in too many calories with the best of them.

But here is what is different this time. I am going to silence those voices of failure because now I know that I won't fail this time. And I don't hesitate for one hot second to say that.

I just have to go back to the tool box.

Yes. I have tools. Tools like exercising, this blog, fellow friends and fellow bloggers for support. I have Etools from Weight Watchers and I'm going to use that as well as my journal and the community at Spark People.  I might make time for a WW meeting again. I always loved the support I found there and relied heavily on them for most of my weight loss journey. I've only stopped going regularly because I started running with the Moms In Motion on Saturday mornings (during my meeting time) so maybe I just have to find another meeting.

I'm still within goal at Weight Watchers and that is good. My WW goal weight is 150. My personal goal is 144 and I'm now sitting at 148.6. Again, I know the number might not be that scary to you but it scares the shit out of me.

But this time I'm not going to let five pounds become more. I will keep my head out of the sand and my eyes on the prize.

Besides, I have to keep my weight down if I want to do a triathlon. Those wetsuits are pretty tight!

Does weight gain freak you out? What's the biggest tool you use to keep things in check?


Thursday, August 30, 2012

Thinking of trying a triathlon

I am back from Maine and I just have to say, what an incredible trip. It was awesome to finally meet Jen and Jason in person and even more awesome to be able to root them across the finish line of their half distant (70.3) REV3 triathlons.

While in Maine we made other new friends too. Marc from Jen's Tri group, Dawn - Jen's bff, Scott and his wife Christine (other tri folk friends of Jen's) and Matty O. and his wife Heather. It was pretty great.

jason, jen s and marc
Here is what I loved about the REV3 race (from a spectator's perspective). The staff seemed warm and cheerful - everywhere I went, I saw smiling faces and people genuinely enjoying their jobs. I liked the family atmosphere that was created - athletes could choose to cross the finish line with their kids. I also liked that everyone gets a free finish line photo.

But the best part? The absolute awesomeness that occurs for the last few racers. The REV3 team, volunteers and remaining spectators line the finish corral shoot to welcome in the last runner. It was so special. The DJ blasts "Sometimes I get a Good Feeling" and everyone becomes exuberant with anticipation; clapping, dancing, hooting and rooting as that finisher rounds the corner. It's really special.

You're talking someone who's been out there for 8 hours or so. Most spectators and racers are long gone, but this last person is someone who has never given up, not thru the swim, bike or run. Someone who made a deal with herself to finish no matter what. I get choked up just thinking about it. So this person comes in to everyone cheering, high-fiving her and her name being announced like she just won the Boston Marathon. It was amazing.

cheering on the last racer she's right ahead of the multisport ministries dude
I'm in purple on the left Jen S and Matty O are next to me
photo credit: REV3

So now, of course, I want to do a tri. Now this isn't as impulsive as it seems. I've been fascinated with triathlon for quite sometime but has let the logistics of not having a bike or pool stand in my way.

I have simply decided that I will overcome those obstacles. My Mom In Motion coach, Dana might just be able to lend me a tribike to train on and use thru my first sprint (my first sprint would be spring 2013) and there is a gym within 15 miles that does have a pool (I'd have to join it - not ideal and more expensive but I could make that happen.)

And Ang. who got me on the running path keeps talking about training and how fun it would be to come back next year, and...

I'm throwing it down. I'm putting it in the universe. I will run my first sprint this spring and my first Olympic distance next August. In Maine REV3. Oh yes I will.

PS: On my run today, I wore a Quassy REV3 visor that I bought at the EXPO and fantasized all about my swim/bike/run future during the whole 6 miles. The visor and vibe made me feel already like a tri person and I could SWEAR that the hard core bikers in my park nodded their respect at my visor. (Yeah, I'm sure I'm projecting that - but whatever.)

after my run in my REV3 hat and feeling
very triathlete-ish

Have you ever done a tri? what kind of advice would you give a newbie? What's your big "scary" next goal you want to go for?


PS: Please support the little, inspirational running documentary film, From Fat To Finish Line, that I'm trying to produce. We desperately need your help. Pledging gets you cool stuff - bumper stickers, DVD's, bling, even an Exec. Producer credit! Check out the trailer and see if you can help here.

Saturday, August 25, 2012

Rising to the occasion - Running in Maine, film stuff and Rise Bar Giveaway!

I'm in Maine!!

We are continuing our country-wide journey in shooting our Ragnar Relay team members and this weekend lands us in beautiful Maine to film the beautiful Jen from Mile, Muscles and Mommyhood. She's running the REV-3 Tri this Sunday and we are here for the ride. It's absolutely beautiful here and we couldn't be more excited. To make things even more awesome (if that is possible) one of my favorite bloggers in the whole-wide-world and one of my biggest inspirations, Jason from Cook, Train, Eat, Race is here too! Soooo totally awesome.

Mark - Jason - Jen R - Jen S - Lola

This morning was fun because I even got to run with Jason and Jen's friend Mark who is running his first half tomorrow. They were doing a little pre-race day shake so I went along with.  Too cool.

I am really looking forward to the race tomorrow and will update you on the race in a few days…

In other news -- we've got a cool giveaway!!

Being gluten free (and dairy free, almond free and artificial-sweetner free) is challenging. It's not always easy to find tasty portable snacks.

Angela, one of my bff's and biz partner on From Fat To Finish Line the film happened upon Rise Bars at the OC marathon expo a few months back. She decided to pick up a few varieties and instantly fell in love.

Recently, when we were on location in NYC shooting Linda's interview and story for the film, I was lamenting about being hungry and needing a little pre-running in Central Park snack. So Angela gave me the Pumpkin seed one, called Crunchy Perfect Pumpkin. Yum. Yum.

Since we are trying to raise awareness for our doc film, Ang thought she'd ask her (and my) new favorite snack bar for a sampler pack to giveaway - and they agreed!

So if you want to check out a sampler 12 pack of Rise Bars - click here to enter the giveaway.  There are tons of great bars and flavors.


And one more thing… THANK YOU, THANK YOU for those of you who've donated to the Fat To Finish Line Kickstarter campaign. I hate asking for money. I really, really do -- but I'm on my hands and knees begging, begging you - if you can possibly help support the film in any way it would be HUGELY appreciated. We are woefully under-funded - my and my partner's credit card is busting at the seems and we are mile 14 of this marathon - a long way to go but never giving up. So please - your pledge will help make this inspirational film come to life and will buy you cool stuff like a DVD of the film, special bling, even training with some team members. Thank you again for your support.

Hope you are having a great weekend. All this tri stuff has me seriously wanting to do one… Have you ever done a tri?


Wednesday, August 22, 2012

Suck it cheerleaders

Somedays you just have that "ah" moment. Not an "ah-ha" moment but an "ah" moment.

Today I had one of those.

I was running around my 'hood for a 3 mile run. Despite a slight hangover and despite sitting in a smokey cigar bar last night with hangover-inducing cocktail - I was cooking.

And then up ahead about a quarter of a mile, I saw them.

A group of 15 and 16 year old cheerleaders doing some kind of jogging and looking beat.

It. was. on.

I (surprising myself) not only caught up but cooked right past them. Even the two "fast" ones up a head. I imagined they were the cheerleaders i so wanted to be a part of but shunned me as a chubby pre-teen.

That chubby teen in me was gleefully cheering today though! I even slowed down so those huffing and puffing teens could kinda catch up and then smoked them again!

Nothing against cheerleaders - and I'm sure they were lovely girls but it really felt satisfying. The 12 year old me was definitely cartwheeling (I could never cartwheel or do a split -- was so upsetting at the time…) and giggling past.



40 and fabulous indeed.

Have you ever had an 'ah' moment like that? Another ah moment for me was showing up at a HS reunion feeling confident and successful… while some of my classmates (including the meanest and most popular) hadn't fared so well. Ooops.


PS: Pleeeeeeease support the From Fat To Finish Line Film if you can - your pledge will get you really cool stuff - you can score a DVD, training sessions, even some specially made bling! We are so far from the finish line if we don't raise our goal we get nothing, nada, zilch. Also check out the updated trailer while you are there. It's pretty cool.

If you can't afford to donate money - you can help just by helping us spread the word. Share on your FB page, tweet, blog about it… anything would be super appreciated. Takes a village to raise a running documentary! xo thank you.

Monday, August 20, 2012

Sweaty girl and a Handana review

It's time to pick up the pace.

I have been running enough to recognize a pattern in my running, I seem to lull in miles during the hot and humid months of July and August. My runs get reduced to generally 2 - 3 milers - in addition to the heat, I usually don't have a race on the schedule until late October.

Well. Time to kick it up. I did the math and realized that I'm only 10 weeks away from my next half so it's time to get my ass in gear.

Today I went to my fav. park and did 5 miles. Ah. Awesome. Of-course the Nike+ App tried to tell me that this run was a 6.2 mile run and I ran it with an average pace of 8:30 but, that is woefully, woefully inaccurate. Sigh. I wish. the good news, I kind of knew the distance because I have done this route before and Nike recently updated the app to be calibrated. So we are straight.

But even today was warm and I was sweating.

Unfortunately, I often get very strange and obscene sweat marks:

WTF? I just can't
Sigh. I guess it's a good thing I'm older and slightly just don't give a flying F anymore if people look at me funny. But I really wish I didn't get those little circles RIGHT ON MY BOOBS. It's annoying. Yet funny. I used to get mortified by everything and while I would die if I ran into Ben Affleck or my high school crush like this, I guess with the other sweaty folks in the park, I don't care too much. I guess. It helps that I don't usually notice this debacle until I'm back to my car. If I caught a glimpse mid run I might be way more self-concience. 

Last week was even worse. I ran in really bad heat and humidity and I just looked crazy. My pants looked like I had peed in them, my face was tomato red and my hair was frizzing out from under my running hat -- I'm sure I was a sight for sore eyes. I guess I'll never be one of those girls that looks like a supermodel when I run.

And yes I think you should give me brave points for posting this hot mess of a picture on the internet.

So while these aren't good looks in sweating… I'll tell you what is - The Handana.

She's rocking a Handana
The good folks at Handana dropped me a line to see if I'd like to check them out and I jumped at the chance. I always am carrying sweat rags with me and have even resorted to having those sweat bands that tennis players have on their wrists to help mop the sweat. But those things are so hot and bulky. I liked the sleekness and design of Handanda and according to Handana's website: 

Sweat. Snot. Handana handles it! 
Handana is a high performance athletic band designed to be worn on either hand. Handana just slips on like a glove with your thumb in the center hole.  Made of supplex Lycra, which is nylon made to feel like cotton, Handana wicks away the moisture and drys quicker than cotton.  Wash in cold with like colors, line dry, and Handana is ready for the next workout. 
Whatever it's made of, it's great. I loved the convenience and feel of it and definitely felt like a rockstar wearing it at the gym.

I am not the best photographer
but you get the picture
So if you're interested in learning more about Handana - check them out at their website or Facebook page!

Are you hot or a hot mess when you're running? Any embarrassing sweat experiences? Do you have to carry a sweat rag or something when you run?


PS: Don't forget to check out the trailer (and possibly support) the documentary film I'm co-producing and directing that shares the same name as this blog: From Fat To Finish Line the film

PSS: Handana sent me their product to try but this review is entirely my opinion and that ugly sweat picture is really me. True story.

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Running your happy pace and showing off the bling


Today I got to run. It's been 5 days or so and felt like forever. I picked up a freelance job this week playing being a wardrobe stylist for a television shoot. It's a challenging job and we worked long 13 and 14 hour days with early morning call times. It was tough but I've gotta pay the bills while building the empire ;-)

I have to say it absolutely sucks when I don't get to run. I get crabby easily and feel a little off. So I was very much looking forward to a solid run today.

It was glorious. Perfectly cool/no humidity/overcast skies allowed for a freeing 4 mile run.

I just felt good. My first mile I ran around 11 min. mile pace. On the slower side for me now-a-days (tho I remember times where I would've considered that fast!)

And I didn't care if it was 11 min mile or 13 min mile. It just felt good and right.

The rest of the run picked up and I averaged out at 10'18 min mile. It was my happy pace. And sometimes it feels nice to just run without worry of trying to run fast or anything.

And speaking of happy paces, check out this awesome medal rack that Running On The Wall sent me:

Nice rack, baby

They hand make these and I love how pretty it looks. I decided to hang it in my bedroom so I can see it all the time. It came in the nick of time because prior to getting it, I've just kind of had my recent medals in a shoe box looking like this:

I kept meaning to get something but just hadn't. Darling hubby did give me this cool thing for Christmas but lets face it, I plan on running a lot of races! I can't put all of my bling in shadow boxes!

I do have to say that every time I see it, I smile. 

If you've been thinking of getting your bling out of a shoe box and on to the wall - I would encourage you to check out Running On The Wall. They've got tons of cute styles and designs and even this nifty thing for your bibs:

Of course it taunts me with the NYC marathon bib…
One day I'll run my dream race!

You can find Running On The Wall on Facebook.

Do you have a medal rack? How do you show off your bling? Have you run this week? Do you get cranky when you skip a couple of run days?


PS: Don't forget to check out the trailer (and possibly support) the documentary film I'm co-producing and directing that shares the same name as this blog: From Fat To Finish Line the film

PSS: Running on the Wall sent me this medal rack as a gift but I chose to blog about it because I love it, it's cute and I appreciate the good will.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Happy 40th birthday to me! So much to tell ya!

This past Sunday, August 12th - I started my birthday morning with a hangover and watching the Olympic Men's marathon :-) I was bummed about Ryan Hall but still enjoyed the sights from London.

My hubby carefully planned a 40th birthday bash with my sister's husband (I have an identical twin sister) for us to celebrate our 40th together in style. So my Saturday night we partied like it was 1999 and we said goodbye to our 30's. It was a great party.

I got some awesome gifts - lots of gift cards to my favorite running stores.

Cheryl on left me on right - yes we are both clutching our beers
must be a twin thing ;-)
My hubby thoughtfully made sure to have my favorite gluten-free beer on ice and in spite of a giant cake for all of the guests, made sure to find a bakery to make me six little gluten-dairy free cupcakes…

gluten free cupcakes - chocolate one was best!

And my business partner, Angela, even flew in from LA to come to the party!

I'm actually excited to be 40. I really believe this is going to be my decade. I'm far more confident now than I was in my 20's or 30's and I'm in far better shape.

Leading up to my birthday a few cool things happened:

1. Ragnar Miami teammate Linda from Frickin' Fabulous at 40 had this amazing article about her posted on-line at Huffington Po!

2. The From Fat To Finish Line Documentary website went live.

3. I received two cool running products in the mail to review (more about those in a later post)

4. We launched our From Fat To Finish Line Documentary Kickstarter fundraising page.

We are trying to raise money for the documentary. In case you don't know about the documentary you can read all about it here. My credit card, my partner's credit card and my husband's patient can't handle anymore debt and so we are turning to you for some assistance.

We desperately need to raise these funds or the dream of bringing this inspirational project to you might not happen. You can help. From as little as $1 and all the way up we'd appreciate anything you can do. And you'll get cool swag! For example, at the $25 level you'll get a DVD of the film that has all kinds of extras and behind the scenes footage.

So if you can, please help. If you have a blog and can't help financially we'd appreciate you sharing the link.   It really would be the best BDAY gift ever! ;-)

You can also check out a small sneak peek at the trailer here.


Wednesday, August 8, 2012

Mourning the loss of a Mom in Motion: Heather Boyum

Heather Boyum and her children
So this blog post is long overdue but I've been paralyzed to write it for some reason.

Another tragedy has occurred in the running and fitness world.

As you may know I belong to a running group called Moms In Motion. It's a wonderful running group for moms of all running levels - from beginner to seasoned runner. There are also training programs for triathlons.

On Sunday July, 29 Heather Boyum, who trains with the Rochester, NY MIM's group was killed at 7 AM when she was out training on her bike (she competes in tri's) and hit by a reckless, drunk driving duo. A recently released from jail (he had served time for DWI) dirtbag was popping wheelies on his motorcycle while his dirtbag girlfriend, Megan Merkel, was following in her car. The dirtbag on the motorcycle hit Boyum and then Megan ran her over with her car. You can read the details here.

What made it even worse is that Megan Merkel went on a FB rant the next day, blaming the victim and telling haters to "suck a d!ck and choke on it.".

Really, Megan. You KILLED someone. How dare you. How f'ing dare you.

I felt so many emotions from this case. First and still heartbreak for Heather and her family. She was a popular teacher, a wife and a mom to small kids. All of these people are heartbroken. I'm heartbroken for them and I never knew her…

And then Megan's action brought out a rage that I don't experience often. If that person was in front of me I might have lost my shit and I don't lose my shit. I don't yell, I don't like confrontation, I'm not a fighter but I swear, when I read what this piece of crap woman did to another human being and then read her evil response - I wanted to rip her face off.

It's just too much. With the recent losses of Sherry Arnold and Sarah Hart and now Heather Boyum - it's just too much. Three moms pursuing health. Out for a run or a ride, doing what we do to keep fit, fight stress and be better moms - needlessly snatched away because of dirtbags. Megan's response was the icing on the cake and puts a real face of evil to these needless deaths.

It enrages me that someone like Merkel can hop on her computer, without a scratch and Facebook away to her hearts content while a mother is dead and a family's life changed forever. Her children are left motherless. A huge hole that will forever be with them. I know life isn't fair but it's a tough pill to swallow.

I have been thinking of Heather a lot. I don't want to get paranoid about running and I don't want to dishonor these women by carrying all this hate and anger around - I'm working on it.

This tribute to Heather helped but you might need tissues…

If you want to help support Heather's family you can donate here.

Keep safe.


Wednesday, August 1, 2012

My, I did not get a PR 5K but great race anyway, report

We finished!!
A week ago I joined my friend Juliet to run the "Downtown Westfield 5K run and Pizza Extravaganza."

Juliet and I have been great friends foreva and when she asked if I would run this one with her, I told her absolutely without any hesitation.

I almost hit a small snag though. I assumed it was a morning race because that's all I've ever run… Now why the pizza part wouldn't make me think otherwise is beyond me… I did figure it out the night before so all was well.

I LOVED this race. Westfield, NJ is an upscale (but not stuffy) New Jersey suburb and boasts beautiful neighborhoods with homes that are pridefully kept up. It was a beautiful town to run through and the race was well-organized.

Juliet's family was cheering us on after the first mile and was excited to see us at the finish. Juliet and I ran, stopped to talk to neighbors, high-fived and hugged the kids and chatted the whole time.

This was not a race that I was thinking about time on. Juliet is more of a casual runner so we decided that this would be run for fun. And it was fun.

As we chatted and not 'killed ourselves' to finish in record time, I remembered how fun just stopping to appreciate the course, the spectators and another runner's company could be. I wasn't huffing and puffing and trying not to die as I usually feel during a 5K and that was nice.

The only bummer was that it was a pizza run and thanks to the gluten and dairy issues I've got, there was no celebratory slice for me at the finish. But eh, I survived.

Time? Oh 40 minutes or so. And I love every minute of it!

I hope to run it again next year. Who knows, maybe we'll even run it in 39 minutes! Then again, maybe  we won't and that would be just fine with me.

Do you ever run a race just for fun or are you always "balls to the walls" racing it?
Have you ever run an evening race? I kind of liked running at night.