Category Archives: legs

True Confessions Tuesday (with a little twist…)

Tuesdays sure do seem to come around quickly. And Tuesday means it’s True Confessions day. Today’s confessions are done with a little twist, they are all about running. This all came to me as I was running this morning.  (I seem to have my best blogging ideas when I’m running…). 

  • I CONFESS that I run for me, myself, and I. I don’t run for anyone else.
  • I CONFESS that running is as much mental as it is physical for me. I need to run not only for the sake of my butt and thighs, but also for my well-being. It is an outlet for every emotion that I am feeling on any given day. It is good for my mind and my heart, and it reminds me to just breathe.
  • I CONFESS that I don’t feel the least bit guilty when I take an hour to run. When I put my headphones on and listen to whatever music fits my mood, I am lost in the music and the pounding of my feet on the pavement and how good it makes me feel.
  • I CONFESS that if I did not run, it is highly likely that I would need some form of medication. I’ve been down the anti-depressant path before and while I am not opposed to taking medication when it is needed, I would much rather deal with it naturally, without other side effects. The benefits of running far outweigh any little pill I could take.
  • I CONFESS that I have a hard time considering myself to be a runner, but every time I get out there and run, it’s a little easier.
  • I CONFESS that some days it is really hard to get out there and run, but it is ALWAYS worth it when it’s done.
  • I CONFESS that running makes me feel confident, strong, and healthy.
  • I CONFESS that I don’t run fast and I don’t run pretty. But I put one foot in front of the other and keep going.
  • I CONFESS that I am so very luck to live next to Eagle Lake Park, where the sunrises are amazing. Here is a  a photo from this morning’s run…

Sunrise over Eagle Lake Park 04/03/12

 Do you have confessions about why you run? I’d love to hear them!

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Race recap ~ Gasparilla Distance Classic 5+3K

For the second time, I was outside on a Sunday morning, in crazy wind waiting for a race to start. This might be how my luck is…

Yesterday, I ran the Gasparilla Distance Classic 5+3K along Bayshore Blvd. in Tampa. This is my first time to take part in this event and I will absolutely do it again next year. This route is so pretty, a gorgeous water view on one side and beautiful homes on the other side. I met up with my good friend Terrie and we waited *patiently* in the wind for it to be time to line up at the start line.

This was an out-and-back course, 4.97 miles that started right at 9:00am. Despite the wind, it wasn’t really cold. Nothing at all like the weather at the Rock ‘n’ Rock 1/2 Marathon last month.

I started running very soon after starting. In my mind, I wanted to beat my time of 1:04 that I did last weekend when I ran the same distance around the park to see how I did. I ran more than I walked in this one. The first half, the wind was at our backs. When we turned around, it was right in our faces. I kept pushing along.

I had my Garmin on, of course, but it was a little off from my chip time. When I hit the 5K mark, I knew I was doing well as I was right around 37 minutes, which would be my fastest time yet. I wasn’t sure how off my Garmin was as I was running, but when I neared the finish line, I knew I was going to be EXTREMELY close to the 1 hour mark. Fortunately I had signed up to get a text alert on my time and I knew very quickly after crossing the finish line that my time was 1:00:16. My first thought was “16 SECONDS?!?!” Oh what I would give to have been 17 seconds faster and had my time right under 1 hour. But all in all, I am VERY happy with how I did, how much I ran, and how great I felt. I definitely push myself more in an event than when I am just running around the park. I think I psych myself out, thinking I can’t do as much as I can.

I waited for Terrie at the finish line and we were both pleased with how we did. It’s a great feeling to finish an event and celebrate with a good friend. So far this year, we’ve done 3 events together!

Here are a few pictures from the day!

Early morning and ready to go!

My running must-haves!

Back side of the start line.

 

Official chip time

Finished!

Super cool medal.

True Confessions Tuesday

It seems that I missed my confessions last week. No worries there, though,  because I am sure to make up for it today. Here goes.

  • I CONFESS that I am afraid of weighing in this week. I’ve had a loss every week except one (which was a minor gain of 0.4). I have not made the best choices this week, totally on me, and while I have been active, I feel that some of it is out of my hands. I’m going to blame Evil Bloated Woman. Remember her? She’s been nice enough to have a few mentions on my blog before.
  • I CONFESS that despite my fear of weighing in this week, which started yesterday morning, I still chose not to run yesterday. I just did not have it in me. My legs were tired. I made myself read my post from last week about listening to my body to remind myself that it is okay. And while I *mostly* believe that, there is still that nagging voice in my head telling me that I should have done it.
  • I CONFESS that in addition to my lack of running yesterday, I made a BAD decision for dinner. I made the mother of bad decisions. Pizza Hut. It was all my idea, no one to blame but myself. I had such a craving for it – or shoud I say Evil Bloated Woman had a craving for it. It sounded so good. And it was good. We got the $10 Dinner Box. Pan pizza (ham and onion), breadsticks, and cinammon sticks. It was so bad and so good all at the same time. I felt guilty as I was eating it but it sure didn’t stop me. But, what’s done is done, and it’s time to move on. Today, I have stayed within my points.
  • I CONFESS that today’s run was H.A.R.D.. I knew all day that when I got home, I was going to change and get out the door as soon as possible so as not to change my mind. My legs were still tired and heavy today but I was not going to let it stop me. I had to undo the damage I did last night. I ran 3.11 miles in 40:38 and in all honesty, I’m surprised it didn’t take me alot longer. My legs felt like lead weights. I ran and walked in short spurts, fighting the urge to just walk it. And it was HOT outside. I was so happy to be done and I am proud of myself for pushing through it.

Do you have any confessions for this Tuesday? Now’s the time to ‘fess up!

Listen to your body

Normally I take Wednesday and Friday off as rest days. By the time Wednesday gets here, I am done and ready for a day of no running, walking, whatever. This week, today is that day. And it’s only Tuesday. I should be out running or walking right now, but honestly I don’t have it in me. And it’s hard to listen to my body when it’s telling me it needs a break.

I ran Saturday morning, Sunday morning, and yesterday evening. I felt great Saturday and Sunday and had great times (being the competitive person I am with myself). Yesterday, I could feel it in my legs. They were heavy and tired and sore, and it was a hard run. But I did it.

As I was driving home today, I thought about ignoring the little voice in my head that was saying “skip your run today and just relax”. I thought about getting home, changing quickly and getting out there to do it and get it over with. I’d be fine once I started. But when I walked into the house, I decided I was not going anywhere. Taking one day off won’t hurt. Right?! Or will it?

This is the part I struggle with. I am an all-or-nothing girl. Whatever I’m doing, I have to give it 150% or it’s not worth doing. The minute I start to slack, my thoughts start to stray. “Well, I skipped yesterday, may as well skip today”. You get the idea.

But it’s important to listen to our bodies. If my legs are heavy and sore and I’m tired, then it’s trying to tell me to ease off. The last thing I want to do it push myself and end up hurt or injured.

Taking a day off from time to time is not the end of the world. I will not instantly gain 5 pounds if I don’t run today. My eating habits won’t change overnight if I don’t run today. I won’t wake up tomorrow and decide I never want to run again because I didn’t run today. What it will do is make me feel better tomorrow. So today, I am listening to my body.

Listen to your body...

My first half-marathon!

Today was a very a special day. I will remember it for a very long time. Back on December 29, 2011, I registered for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Half Marathon in St. Petersburg. I was determined to do it. I walked and ran in preparation. I expected to walk most of it and run what I could.

This past week was full of anticipation. It was all I could think about. After I picked up my bib, shirt, and swag bag on Friday – I couldn’t contain my excitement any longer. This was the weekend I would finally become a half-marathoner. All day yesterday, I wanted the day to pass quickly so I could go to sleep and wake up this morning. Like a kid on Christmas Eve waiting oh-so impatiently for Christmas Day.

The alarm went off at 4am this morning and I was ready to go. I showered, dressed, ate a good breakfast, got my stuff together, and we were out the door at 5:20am to beat the traffic to Tropicana Field in St. Pete. The only thing I was worried about was the weather. IT. WAS. FREEZING. With the wind chill it felt like it was in the 30’s and it was windy. I was shivering all the way to my bones. I started out in 2 shirts, a jacket, and gloves.

Finally it was time. The first corral started at 7:30. I was in Corral 12 based on what I thought my finishing time would be. We had to finish in 4 hours and I projected 3:25. We started at 7:46:23 am. Within the first mile, I could not contain myself and I started running. I ran off an on through the whole race. I wasn’t running to beat others or to finish by a certain time. I was just running because I could and because I was on an adrenaline high. This was the farthest mileage I’d ever put in where I was running a good portion of it. I’m not a fast runner, but I run.

Hubby received texts on his phone as I crossed certain points: 5k, 10k, 10 mile, and finish. I saw him three times during my run – right at the start,  the 5k mark, and at the finish line. He took some great photos for me.

There were bands and music throughout and lots of wonderful people cheering us on, handing out water and Gatorade. It all kept me going.

By the 5k mark, I was ready to take my jacket off, as I had finally warmed up. The gloves would stay on the rest of the way.

At about the halfway point, I realized that I was really going to do this. I was going to finish this and finish it good. For me. It was very emotional experience. I cried many times during for many reasons…. This was a HUGE thing for me, it was HARD, and I was so proud of myself for taking it on, and riding out the determination of doing it as the weeks passed leading up to it. I didn’t let my insecurities get in the way or focus on all the what-ifs, and my downfalls. I cried from the sheer beauty of the route, especially as we ran along the water. I cried because I knew there would be so many people who would be proud of me for accomplishing this. And I cried because I wished more than anything Daddy was here to hear all about it, to tell me how proud he was of me.

When I hit the 10-mile mark, it felt SO close. Never had 3.11 miles felt so far or so close all at once. When the route was closest to the finish line and I could here the music and people cheering, it made me want to push myself farther and harder. When I rounded the last corner in mile 12 and saw the 13 mile mark and the finish line just past that, I was in tears again. I was so close to finishing, so close to completing this goal I had set for myself.

I saw hubby just before the finish line and that made me cry more. He was there for me as he always is. He supports me and I love him dearly for it.

Crossing over the finish line was a blur. My official finish time was 3:11:33, coming in 6503 out of 7006. I was handed a medal, given a blanket, a bottle of water, and a banana. My picture was taken with my medal on. It was then that I realized I had not stopped my watch. I texted hubby to tell him I was waiting in the family area and waited. When I finally saw him, I was so excited. And then, I saw my mom and Jenna! What a surprise that was. I had just texted my mom to tell her I had finished. I had no clue they were there, even though I found out afterwards that they were standing right by hubby at the finish line. Me and my tunnel vision…

Again I was crying, overwhelmed at finishing, seeing hubby, and seeing my mom and Jenna. they had balloons, and were so proud of me. It was a moment I will not forget.

The day could not have gone more perfect. I started the race with my good friend Terrie, knowing that she was doing it in honor of two very special people as part of Team In Training. I ended the race, feeling extremely proud and strong and loved. And I was so excited to hug Terrie and enjoy the moment with her, knowing we both finished. We did it.

The afternoon was topped off perfectly with a great lunch, with Nick and Autumn joining us. I am exhausted and sore beyond belief, but it is still a wonderful thing. And tomorrow, the 13.1 decal will go on my car. Finally.

Terrie and I in the freezing cold this morning. Brrrr!

Starting line!

At the 5K mark.

A beautiful day for a half-marathon.

What a view!

Approaching the finish line - determined!

So excited to see everyone!

Love!!

Feeling very accomplished! Terrie and I did it!!

A well-deserved beer at the end!

Bee an inspiration!

One of the blogs I follow is Bee Fit, written by an amazing gal named Colleen. She started her weight loss journey at 272 pounds and joined WW on Feb. 24, 2010 weighing 252.6 pounds. This past June, she made her goal at WW, losing 102 pounds. Her weight loss is AMAZING and her progress photos really show the hard work she has done to get to this point.

But what I love most about her story is her determination. When she reached her 220’s, she started jogging. She ran her first 5k in September 2010. Since then she has completed several half marathons and many more 5ks. This is incredible to me. You read so many stories of people who say “when I reach my goal and lose all the weight, I’m going to run a half marathon”. Not Colleen. She didn’t wait. And I love that. And she’s not stopping anytime soon. She just completed another half marathon over the weekend and is training for her first full marathon in November.

The reason I’m telling you about Colleen today, besides the fact that you should all go visit her blog and read for yourself how incredible she is, is to tell you that she inspired me to do something. I read today’s blog post while I was eating my lunch. It was about the half marathon she completed this weekend AND set a new personal record for herself. Pretty amazing, huh?

A couple hours later, I read it again. I kept thinking about how incredible I feel to go out and walk 3, 4, 5, even 10 or 11 miles. And then I wondered how incredible she must feel about herself with all she has accomplished. To run a 5k would be a huge thing for me. To run a half marathon? Well, that almost seems out of reach for me but it is something I would love to do and it’s a dream I have.

So I was driving home from work, trying to beat the rain clouds so I could get to the park and log my 3.11 miles for the day. On a normal day, I will alternate walking and running – mostly walking with probably a third of it running throughout. A little bit here, a little bit there. I tend to run more near the end as I am trying to make the most of my time, always trying to beat my best time.

Today I decided I was going to run 1 mile – all at once. Colleen’s ability to go out and run a half marathon and train for a full marathon inspired me to run the first mile, just to see if I could do it. And I did. It took me 12:02. Not a fast mile by any stretch, but one that was comfortable for me. I DID IT. It felt great and kept me going for the rest of my walk, during which I did more running. As always, I am thankful for my strong legs that allow me to run and push myself.

Another exciting tidbit to mention… I have a new personal best for my 5k – 40:48, beating my previous best by 17 seconds. I am SO competitive with myself.

Now, I know I can run a mile. I’ll work on that for a bit and then I’ll try 2 miles. And one day you’ll read about me running a 5K. Maybe I’ll inspire others the way Colleen has inspired me.

Don’t forget to check out Colleen’s blog Bee Fit . You WILL be inspired.

Sunshiney Sunday

After my 10 mile walk yesterday, which is approx. 6 1/2 miles more than I would do on an average day, I thought that I might not walk today. I would leave that decision until this morning, but I know when I was thinking about it last night, the idea of laying on the sofa all day sounded pretty nice.

Hubby went to play paintball this morning and I found myself craving the sunshine and I decided I would go out and walk. No running today, all walking. Not wanting to necessarily go to the park, I took the opportunity to go to downtown Clearwater to walk the causeway over to the beach. Plenty of sunshine there.

I filled my Camelbak with ice cold water and off I went. There is parking at the base of the causeway bridge (shaded no less!). I walked all the way over the causeway, south on the main strip and then back up again to the pier before heading back over the causeway. It was H-O-T and I was definitely getting my share of sunshine on my shoulders. This girl loves to be tan and I am loving the sunkissed look of my shoulders now.

I contemplated going over the bridge once more when I got back to my starting point but by the time I got there, I had walked 5.30 miles in 1 hr. 31 min. and I was tired, soaked with sweat, and hot as hell. I decided best not to be stupid about it and quit while I was ahead. As it is, my hubby wanted me to text him when I was done just so he wouldn’t worry about me in the heat. Even at 10 am this morning the heat index was in the upper 90’s and the UV index was VERY high at 10. Hence, my super sunkissed shoulders today. =)

I’ve walked a total of 15.30 miles in the past 2 days. That is more than I do in most weeks. I could not walk the rest of the week and be ahead of the game. Or I could walk as much as I can this week and see if I can hit 30 miles for the week. I wonder which one I’ll do….

So now that the walk is behind me, I’ve had a fantastic cool shower, and put aloe lotion on, I am ready to take over my spot again on the sofa, guilt free.

Enjoy your Sunday!

Beautiful white sand of Clearwater Beach – such pretty scenery to walk past

View of Sand Key from the Memorial Causeway

My route to the beach and back – 5.30 miles

com·pet·i·tive

com·pet·i·tive
–adjective
Having a strong desire to compete or to succeed 
This morning’s walk/run was my best to date. My 3 best times so far are:
41:04
43:34
43:35
Last weekend I shaved 1 second off when I finished in 43:34. 1 SECOND.
This morning when I hit the start on my nifty Nike+ app on my phone, I decided I was going to beat that 43:34 by more than 1 second. And I did, by 2 min. 30 sec. to be exact.
I start out walking and I have certain landmarks at the park where I will run – between signs, etc…. It’s a great way to alternate walking and running with an end in site. A lot of times, I’ll push my running a little farther – not to this tree, how about the next one. It’s always fun to challenge myself.
I am not a fast runner. And it’s certainly not pretty when I run. I am the person who looks like I’m going to keel over – heaving breathing, shoulders hunched, and a bright red face. But you know what? I’m doing it. I will never be that person who runs so gracefully it looks like they are taking a leisurely stroll. My pace will get better and over time I’ll be able to run farther than I do now, but it will never be pretty.
I am VERY competitive with myself. When I beat my previous time by 1 second, my first thought was I can do much better than that next time. I ran more than normal and when I did run, I tried to run a little faster. And it made a difference. My legs feel great and they feel strong and I am super proud of myself.
My next goal? To get under the 40 min. mark. That is just a matter of time. Because I am crazy competitive with myself, moreso than anyone else.
I took this picture at the park this morning – isn’t it beautiful??

Eagle Lake Park

I *heart* walking!

I went for my first long walk in 2 weeks. Being sick and just plain old life got in the way. It took me days to get over being sick and then some to really feel like myself again so I did nto walk until Wednesday. That was on the treadmill because even then I dreaded being out in the heat and humidity of the afternoon. Yesterday morning we took the dogs to the park for a walk. That was nice but my walks with them are much slower (since they have to stop and smell everything…). So this morning after we ran a few errands, I decided it was my time to get back out there and do what I do best – and what I so enjoy.

I love to walk. I am thankful for my strong legs to get me where I need to go and to allow me to walk farther ad faster as I need to. I walked a pretty good pace, 15:24 which means I finished 3.11 miles in 48:01. Not my fastest to date but still very good.

I love the feel of the sunshine on my shoulders. I think the sun is a drug, the more I get it, the more I want it.

I sweat my ass off today. There is nothing pretty about walking in the heat of summer in Florida and when I’m done, I am a disgusting mess. But man it feels good. And it makes me want to walk more. It’s funny how the more I walk, the more I want to walk. But when I miss a day or two, it can be harder to get back to it.

I am hopeful to get a walk in tomorrow morning.

Strong legs

I caught a glimpse of my legs this morning when I was running. Between the endorphin-rush I was in the midst of and the sun hitting them just right, it occurred to me that I have strong legs. I have worked them hard this week, so far I’m up to 17 miles for the week and I did TaeBo twice.

I am fortunate that my body responds as it does. When I am good to it and treat it right, I get results. Obviously this isn’t always an easy thing. Sometimes it’s easier to sit on the couch and do nothing or eat junk food. But I am a muscular person and after doing the right exercises, those muscles will show. I’ll have the legs that I used to have and the arms and shoulders that I love to show off in tank tops.

I took this picture after my run this morning. They were like jello and I could feel every muscle in them, bitching at me for pushing them so hard this week between walking, running, and TaeBo. After a rest, they’ll be ready to go again and will continue to see me through this journey.