Tuesday, January 31, 2012

January Numbers

I'm completely stealing this idea from my friend Aaron over at Gregerson Tri. I went to college with Aaron at Winona State and actually we were two different years at the same high school. He started doing triathlons a couple of years ago. He also posts his month end numbers. I thought that was the best idea. So I'm copying him. Sorry Aaron.

Total Miles Ran: 31.77

Average Pace: 13:00 mph

Total Miles Biked: 15

Calories Burned: 5430

Total Workout Time: 7 hrs 49 mins

February will be the start of marathon training. Oh! I didnt write anything about the fact that I gave in to a marathon. I will post that tomorrow.


Thursday, January 26, 2012

2012 Events...So Far

So 2012 is going to full of some new events to participate in as well as some new goals. When I ran my first 5k on Thanksgiving without stopping to walk, I knew it was about time to look into some new distances, specifically a 10k race.

Shamrock Shuffle 2011
So the 10k race that I signed up for is the Shamrock Shuffle 10k in downtown Madison. I have a great friend that is urging me to do this with her. She urged me last year but I knew I wasn't going to be ready for 10k. It was just too far for me, in my head. Hubby is doing this race with me but he is doing the 5k distance instead.

Crazylegs Classic
The second race I am hoping to do is the Crazylegs Classic. This is an 8k race on April 28th and is yet again in downtown Madison. This is one huge race and it will be my first year doing it.

Minneapolis Duathlon Medal 2011

The third event I have planned is the Minneapolis Duathlon. After doing the Iron Girl Duathlon with my super cool sister last year, I decided to give this race a chance because a couple of other people I know are doing it. Actually, a lot of people I know are doing it. It's run/bike/run just like the Iron Girl but this one has a longer run course (@5k each leg) and a shorter biking leg. I'm looking forward to it.

I would like to get in a half marathon distance sometime over this upcoming running season. I am aiming for late June or later so I am thinking about doing the Red, White & Boom Twin Cities Half Marathon on July 4th. Problem is, my boss usually takes this Holiday off for his once yearly vacation. Hm. We will see and I will keep you updated.

After typing this post, I think I've come to realize that I would like to complete a Marathon distance sometime in 2013! Eeek! Did I just say that? 

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

It's Been Worth It

When I was searching my brain for something to write about today, I kept coming back to the changes that I have experienced over the past year and a half. I know I've written about this before but I am still in awe of things that are so much different.

The change that keeps coming to me is how much better I feel when I run and how much further and faster I can accomplish that feat. I think back to when I first started running how much it really hurt. At the very beginning, even three years ago when I was running in the snow with Anne, I remember coming back home feeling exhausted! I usually wasn't running more than a mile or two and it was probably more walking than running. I remember one particular night, getting in my car after a workout, I was actually dizzy and had to sit in my car before starting it for just a little while until I got my bearings back.  I have felt the dizziness since then but its been rare.

I remember how bad my shin splints were. I remember having to stop and stretch because my feet just wouldn't flex. My shins were just too tight and it just hurt too much. But I stuck with it.

I don't know when I pushed past that because it doesn't hurt as much anymore. Now I have more mental barriers versus physical barriers. Those barriers are still there but to a lesser degree. Maybe it's just because I'm more confident? I know I can achieve any distance I put my mind too. It may take some training and pushing but I've learned it's so worth it!

If my body has made this much in changes in the past two or three years, where will I be in another two or three years? Where will I be in a year? Where will I be if when I get my weight down? How much easier will it be? These are all questions I have to think about. If I keep pushing, I know I will feel better. So why not keep pushing and striving for goals?

Tomorrow I will fill you in on my goals for the year.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Garmin Cycling & Running

I got a Garmin for Christmas from my Hubby. I'm sorry if I've already written about this but I don't believe I have. It was something I had wanted for a long time. It is a great tool to use for training. Of course, it's not necessary but it does make things easier.

When I was running this last Spring and Summer, I was using a combination of a watch with a timer and mapping out my distances when I got home from my run. The numbers weren't exact but I am hopeful they were pretty close. It took some extra work but it was the only way I had available to me for tracking my progress.

Well so Hubby bought me this Garmin watch for Christmas along with all the accessories. He got me the foot pod, the heart rate monitor and the set up for my bike.
The first time I put this one on, I thought it was really bulky. I've gotten used to it the more I wear it.  I like how it is able to keep track of my running while I'm inside with the foot pod. During the Summer, when I'll be running outside, it has a GPS feature that I am sure I will be using more often.

The accessory that I am really just starting to use is on my bike. My wonderful Hubby, that keeps buying me healthy Christmas gifts, got me a Cyclops trainer for indoor training for my bike last year. The problem i was running into was tracking my speed and distance. When I ride my bike outside, the computer that is attached tracks from the front tire. On the trainer, its the back tire and not the front tire that rotates. Since the front tire isn't moving, I'm not getting any numbers on my computer. I really didn't want to buy another wired computer for my back tire since it would only be for the Winter months. So Hubby thought this would be a great compromise because the Garmin has a bike kit that will allow me to use the watch to wirelessly receive information about my cadence, distance, and speed while I work out.

Numbers are always a good thing for me. Having numbers pushes me to push myself a little further. This is what Garmin gives me to track my numbers.

Check out this link for my readings.

What do you use to track your workouts?

Monday, January 23, 2012

I Got a New Job

As I said in my previous post, I had a job interview last week. My interview went pretty well even though I was quite sick with a head cold.

I started my job as a Personal Banker about seven years ago when I graduated from college. I wasn't one of those people that graduated from school and knew that moment what my career path was. I needed health insurance and was looking for a job that I would have for about six months. By then, I should know what I want to do for the rest of my life.

Well, here I am, er here I was, almost seven years later at the same company but will a ton of experience under my belt. I had come to love my job and the customers that inspired me to come to work every day. My branch is in a fairly small community where everyone seems to know everyone else. It is the type of town where a typical run to the grocery store will mean multiple run-ins with people you know. My husband calls me a "townie" and I'm actually proud of it. Growing up in a suburb of Minneapolis, I'd experience this to an extent but not much. Because of this, I wanted to stay at my branch instead of taking a promotion at a different branch in a different city. These positions had opened at near by branches but I didn't want to leave our customer base so I didn't apply for them.

In December, my Branch Supervisor was offered a promotion to a different branch in a near by city. I figured he would take it because he had been hoping for that position for a long time. I knew he had been training me to take his job for years but even then, I wasn't quite sure I wanted it. It was right before the Holidays and I had a vacation coming up. I wasn't sure if I was ready to make the decision to apply for the job or not. So I waited until after coming back from my vacation to make a decision. I applied for the job.

After my sickly interview, I did well enough to be offered the job last week. I took it ofcourse. I'm a little nervous but pretty confident I'll be able to do the job. And I'm confident that I get to keep working with the same customers.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Discovery: Emotional Eating

I was lucky enough this last week to get that cold that's been making its rounds through the area. I had been taking Zicam in the past weeks to avoid this cold at all possible but I decided I should just let the sickness come and so I stopped with the Zicam. Last week was a hard week to be sick.

A couple of weeks ago I applied for a promotion at the company I work with. I knew an interview was coming but I had no idea I would be sick during it. I was actually sick enough to call in an absence to work. But ofcourse I couldn't do that. I had to make it to that interview. I walked into the office with a box of tissues and a bottle of water. My manager's boss was somewhat surprised and commented that she had never had an employee cry at an interview. My interview went really well even though I struggled over a question or two.

Another part of me being sick is that I always lose my sense of taste by the third or fourth day. It usually is due to my nose being so plugged that my taste buds just don't work. I can try as hard as I want but it will still happen. I've come to realize that the longer my nose is plugged, I tend to eat only what I am hungry for. This week it went one step further. I discovered that when I can't taste the flavor of the food, eating is not as enjoyable!

When did eating become such an emotional event for me? I noticed it at one of my lunches at work. I was almost depressed thinking about not being able to taste the food. Really that's pathetic but I need to figure out how to change this, or make it so it isn't so dominant in my life. I don't really think it's possible to get rid of all the emotional attachment that comes with eating because there are so many memories associated with food. But I dont want food to run my emotions throughout a day.

So I plan to figure out how to make this less apparent. I figure I am going to have to find something else to bring up those same emotions, something more healthy. So the next couple of weeks are going to be a discovery process.

Monday, January 9, 2012

Women Food and God (and Friends)

I received this wonderful little book in the mail on Saturday afternoon. I am borrowing it from Becky over at The Fab Miss B. She recently re-read the book before sending it to me all the way from Hawaii. Please go to her blog to read about her experience with the book. I will be reading this book in the coming weeks. I am looking forward to what it has to tell me. I'll write a review and my thoughts on the book when I complete it.

A little bit about Becky. We went to high school together. I knew who she was but in a graduating class of over 600, we did not have the same group of friends and it was easy not to have a single similar class.  My first memory of her is in 8th grade when we were put in the library for some standardized testing. I remember thinking she was super nice, in 8th grader talk. She is definitely one of those people that I wish I would have been friends with when we lived in the same state. Maybe I will just have to make an excuse to go visit Hawaii.

Becky is genuine, caring, supportive, and extremely down to earth. I can relate to so many of her blog entries. Her entries often make me feel like I'm wrapped in a warm fuzzy blanket on a cold day. They are comforting. Please read her blog and check out her Etsy shop. I wish I was nearly as creative as she is.

Do you have friends you've made recently that you wished you'd been close to your whole life? 

Nail Biting is to Weight Loss

I know it's a pretty silly title for a blog entry but I wanted to just go with it. I'm sitting here knowing what I want to write about but having an issue finding the want to put the effort into the entry. Ugh! I hope it's a good sign that the second song on my random mix of music tonight was Mr. Blue Sky.

One of the goals I set during the last part of 2011 was to stop biting my nails. I set that goal on October 31st. There is some background so go back to read the entry. Overall, it's been a pretty successful venture. My nails are still short compared to the general population but they are not nearly as short as they were. There are some things I've done really well and some things I haven't done as well with. I find that if I keep my nails painted, I tend not to pick at them. If they look pretty, I try to keep them looking nice by not picking a the polish. Oh and I think nail polish is really fun. Oh and finger nails are helpful tools. They are great for getting the edge of tape undone and opening things. It makes itching so much easier.

Things that made me struggle are few but so important to remember. I have to keep a nail file around at all time because if my nails snag or have horrible edges, I will pick and peel at that nail until it has a smooth edge again which often means the nail will be shortish again. Sometimes I get these awful craving to just pick and I just literally have to sit on my hands to get over it.

Starting last week, I was back to work after being on vacation for 10 days. I started picking at my nails last week! What was I thinking? My nails were strong and healthy looking and now they arent as much anymore. I guess it was just so much easier to give into the wants. I actually think my nails reached that point of being too long. Mind you, they are/were just at the tip of my finger and the length was really just starting to bother me. I could feel my nails on my eyeball when I would try to take out my contacts. I get this annoying feeling when I type, my nails hitting the keyboard along with my fingertip. I have issues texting because I keep punching the "buttons" with my nails, which doesnt get picked up.

I got to thinking the other day that my struggles and feelings about my nails could be applied to my wanting to lose weight and get healthy. The cravings, the snags that make me want to give up, and the benefits that make me feel out of place. Anyone that has struggled with a craving can relate to these feelings, I'm sure of it.

When I think about my goal of healthy eating, I can apply each of these emotions to it. The cravings. Oh, the cravings! I know how it feels to overcome these cravings but I also know how it feels to give in. And the snags, just like the snags in my nails, one Snickers bar can lead me down the path of giving up on the rest of the day, just like I do on my nails. I thought I would struggle to find something that made me uncomfortable after I'd adjusted to eating healthier but the answer if obvious to me. After I kicked the McDonald's habit, I just cant eat there any more because it makes me physically ill.  The foods I used to eat make me sick if I eat them after not having them for so long.

I'm really glad I stopped biting my nails 10 weeks ago. Now I just need to apply those lessons learned to my other bad habits. It will be a discovery process.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

2012 Resolutions

I'd like to say resolutions have worked for me in the past but they haven't. So I am setting some goals. Some goals are really random, and some build on what I've done in the last year.

1. Stay caught up with the dirty dishes and empty the dishwasher right when the dishes are clean. I like to cook. I dont like to cook in a dirty kitchen. When the kitchen is dirty, i tend to go for something easy and highly fattening like frozen pizza because it doesnt take much in the way of dishes to make. So if the dishes are in the dishwasher, the kitchen is clean and I cook healthy.

2. Keep the interior of my car clean. I heard some where that if your surroundings are organized so is your mind. My car never gets all that bad but it does get away from me at times and I find i cant find a pair of shoes in the closet because my car has become a closet.

3. I have committed to two races this year; the Shamrock Shuffle 10k on St. Patty's Day and the Minneapolis Duathlon. Ive never run a 10k and I'm working on training for it. Should be interesting. And the Duathlon has two 5k runs. So these two are going to be pushing my limits.

4. Track my food every day, no matter what I eat. Enough said.

So here's to 2012.

Monday, January 2, 2012

A Year in Review: 2011

Oh what a year this has been. I wouldn't say it's been my best year and I am actually glad to be moving on to 2012.

2011 was relatively quiet. Hubby and I didn't take any big trips this year. There was only one wedding to attend. I pretty much spent my time working and running.

Running. I did a lot more of it this year than I did ever in previous years. Right after New Years, I committed myself to doing the Iron Girl Duathlon in Bloomington, MN at the end of September. This really meant a lot of training. When I committed, I couldn't even run a single mile without stopping to walk. Come September, I completed the race. I placed 798 out of about 1100 women. I finished better than I anticipated.

At the beginning of May, Hubby, my friend Christina, and I traveled to Chicago to run the American Brain Tumor Association Path to Progress 5k to benefit brain tumor research. Dang that day was colder and windier than expected but we made it through. 

At the end of May was my first committed organized race with the Challenge Charities 5k on Memorial Day. I finished in just under 40 minutes and was ecstatic to have run 7 minutes at the beginning without stopping to walk. Oh the little things in life that makes us happy!

The night before the race, I met up with a group of weight loss bloggers, most of whom reside in the Twin Cities area. It was amazing to be able to talk to people who have similar experiences with weight loss and know the struggles. I have also gained a great group of new friends. I'm really happy I stepped out on a limb and took a chance with them.

 A couple of weeks later, I ran in the Verona Hometown Days 5k by my self.   This was quite a change from the Memorial Day 5k where my family and the pack were there to cheer me on. Complete strangers were commenting on my PriorFatGirl T-Shirt. At most events where I've worn it, it has been popular among women. Even though I ran this race with no support team, I had my best time.

The summer was filled with more running and biking. I was pushing myself to run longer and bike faster. These things were often done alone. My hubby went with me a couple of times but I really enjoyed the time alone. Time to be in the quiet of nature and really concentrate on how I was feeling. I could push myself when I wanted.

On Labor Day, I ran the Safe Harbor 5k. I learned from this race that I really need to learn to warm up before race time officially starts. I was slower on this race than I was in June because of leg cramps. You live, you learn.

The end of September came the Iron Girl Duathlon.   I already told you how I did for that race. Thank you again goes to Anne from Twelve-in-Twelve for coming out to cheer me on!

I had my sister there to push me through that race. Even though she completed the Iron Man Wisconsin just two weeks earlier and her feet were killing her, she still did it with me. She stuck with me the whole time and kept me going when all I wanted to do was walk. It's great to have a sister as supportive. Oh, and my parent's too, and Pat and Christina.

Within a couple of days of my race, I blogged about starting to set weekly goals until the first of the year. I will write about those goals in a future post. I wanted to give them as much attention as they deserve.

Just last month, Hubby and I joined Gold's Gym as I continue to work out through the winter months. I wont be able to use last year's excuse of cold weather to stop me from getting my exercise. 

Thank you to every one for your support over the past year. 2012 holds more lofty goals. Another post about those will come in the next post. Happy New Year!!!!