Well Hello, Muscles I Didn’t Know I had…

Yesterday I completed the farthest distance I’ve done to date since I started my quest to loose weight. I power walked 4.33 miles. It took me 1:09:25 at a pace of 16:01 min/mi, at a speed of 3.7 mph (thanks Map My Run app for logging my information). It wasn’t super fast but hey I did it! Later in the evening I went to a strength training class. Yeah that was fun (I think). It was a good work out, and my muscles really felt the burn, but it really wasn’t my favorite way to exercise. My brain was screaming “Hello, muscles I didn’t know I had!” It seriously was a class that made my body hurt… muscles are going to love me in the morning… or maybe they will hate me in the morning and love me in a few months” (the jury is still out on that). I do think I prefer the weight machines in the gym.

This morning, I went on a short run. The sun was shining, and the air was nice and chilly. I am a big woman and I get hot really easily, so the coolness was a relief. I took my run around our neighborhood. I plugged in my ear buds and turned up the music, and started Map My Run. I felt a little stiff, but it wasn’t too bad. I get about 5 houses away from my house, and the evil nasty little monsters of the neighborhood came out and attacked me! It’s like they were waiting for me so they could leap out of the bushes and get me! These monsters are the neighbor’s Chihuahuas. Now I’m not talking about one or two…I’m talking about an army of obnoxious yapping chihuahuas that bite at your feet. Seriously these dogs are so obnoxious that when I’ve walked my dog he gets scared and tucks his tail, and he is a Great Dane! I am not an animal hater, but I seriously feel like drop kicking shooing these little yapping heel biters. Or at least zap them with a taser  yell for their owner to round up the nasty neighborhood terrors. Seriously someone needs to call the Dog Whisperer to come tame these nasty snarly demons dogs. LOL I’m kidding  not kidding  It’s not that bad (I’m trying to be nice), but they are seriously annoying.

(this is a look that I encounter on my block… not so cute)

I made it past the annoying dogs, and kept on going.  I initially thought I’d get in one mile, but once the little terrors got my adrenalin pumping from fighting to protect my feet, I ended up with a run of  2.21 miles, Took me 00:32:06 to complete at the speed of 4.1 mph and burning 537 calories.  Some may not think that’s impressive, but for me that’s an improvement. I feel that I’m probably stronger than I think I am, but with my size and extra 100 pounds of weight I can’t move as well as I’d like, and I’d probably be a little faster too. I do feel stronger, and I am also finding that I’d rather be out moving than sitting around the house when I don’t have photography or cake jobs to do. I find that getting out twice a day to exercise (which I’v done every day this week) is super fulfilling, and keeps me feeling like I’m making progress.

Making progress is something that I talk with my trainer about all the time. I see progress but just not on the scale (which is what I feel will show true progress). She told me to stop looking at it that way. I needed to start thinking of exercising as just another way I take care of myself daily. Just like brushing my teeth, taking a shower or anything else that I do on a daily basis. Never thought of it that way. To think of it as an activity of daily living…yeah that make sense.

I  need to remind myself daily that no matter how slow I go, I’m still passing those on the couch.

I have to remind myself that when my muscles are sore to never give up on myself!  To make ME a priority and keep pushing myself! That I will be surprised at what I can achieve!

When I’m feeling like I’m just going no where and it’s just not worth it anymore, I have to remind myself that I promised to do my best. My best will vary from day to day, from hour to hour, from minute to minute. But in that minute, I will do the very best I can.

When I hurt and I’m tired I have to tell myself  that it’s OK  to scream, yell, swear, shout, cry, whimper, grunt, bleed, puke and pass out.. JUST DON’T QUIT!

So on that positive note I’m off to take a nice walk before it gets dark out, and hopefully I can avoid the neighborhood terror squad!

Have a blessed evening




It’s Not Shuffling…It’s Running!

Today I  Started out bright and early to meet Tahny, my trainer for my first 5k run in literally over 20 years. I thought it was more like 15 but after doing the math I realized my last 5k was PK (pre -kids). I was full of nerves and exhausted due to no sleep the night before (nerves and gut issues due to nerves), but very determined to face the challenge that I gave myself (see previous blog Anything Is Possible). Tahny talked to me about what my game plan was. Game plan? What’s that? I really just only wanted to run this 5k and finish. I didn’t care how long it took. So I guess that was my game plan.

(my number)

We got registered and put on our numbers and took a quick bathroom break, and headed to the starting line. I would have to say at this point I was OK. Pretty calm. We decided that I would let Tahny know when I was comfortable and she could go on ahead of me when she wanted. I was OK with that because I had my music, and I didn’t want to hold her back. Enter the first melt down (as I have said before I like things stress free with no hitches or I tend to come a tad unglued). My music wouldn’t load! How can I do this with no music to drown out my thoughts and breathing? I literally started fidgeting  to keep the tears back. After a few minutes I was able to calm my self down. Seriously who has a melt down because of music?  I couldn’t be the only person there to have a  panic attack! That would be so embarrassing!!! Enter melt down number two…yeah I said it number two and the race hadn’t even started!  All of us runners of the 5k parted and watched as the 12k runners  started their race. As I’m watching all the fit and tone bodies run by looking so confident and strong the tears started flowing. Partly because that used to be me, and I know what it’s like to be that way. I also teared up because I realized what I was getting ready to do. I am a big lady, and it’s a lot to run with at least 100 extra pounds on your body. I was scared that I couldn’t complete the race. I knew I could walk it. I wanted/needed to run it.

We faced the starting line every one squished in ready to go. Then the “cannon” (that’s what I will call it because that’s what it sounded like) and the crowd of 5k runners started. Off we went. I felt a lot of the adrenalin  from those around me and tried not to focus on that. I knew that in order to complete my goal of running the whole run I had to do my pace, which is incredibly slow. As we started to be able to spread out I was feeling a little less emotional. Soon I was passed by a speed walker that started after the runners. He passed like I was a snail. Then came the mom with two kids in a stroller. Ok that was no big deal, but when the grandma (no offense to the elderly because I love the elderly) passed me and she was walking I knew I was in a for a tough time. But Tahny just kept encouraging me. Reassuring me that I was doing just fine.

Thany and I had discussed that at any time I felt that if I felt OK she would run on ahead and run her race.  She was really not running the way she would if I wasn’t there to slow her down, but I was completely OK with her talking to me guiding me. We had also discussed if I had an “OK shut up” moment I was to let her know. My first “OK shut up” came after the first hill and these ladies who were walking, and yes passing me were laughingly discussing that the first mile marker hadn’t been passed yet. Really? That’s what hey needed to talk about and so loudly?? OK shut up now! That’s another reason I wanted my music! I think I may have grumbled under my breath a little. Tahny kept saying that my speed walk was faster than my run. I shrugged and said I wanted to run. After a hearing this a few time I felt a little guilty because I felt that I was slowing her down. I told her to run ahead, but she stayed with me.

Right around the one mile mark, I felt some sense of relief that my breathing felt easier, and my legs were OK and not feeling tired. Tahny said again that if I needed to walk I could (after all it was faster than my running) Once again I refused. She said “wow you are stubborn” I honestly don’t thing she was being mean. I think she had a goal set for my time (she had the watch) and maybe thought I wouldn’t meet that time.  But yeah I was being stubborn. I wanted to run the whole race! Shortly after the one mile mark the We started to see the 12 runners on their 6th mile. Holy cow the front runners were still looking so strong! maybe I felt a tad bit of envy, but I still said “good job” as they passed me.  We approached the two mile mark and Tahny said that once there we would have our one big hill. She said “Feel free to power walk up the hill or not it’s your race do what you want” I think I may have walked up the hill, but then she said “Your walk is faster than your shuffle”  My response sounded kind of whiny as I loudly said “IT’S NOT A SHUFFLE IT’S RUNNING!” Ok maybe it was a shuffle but I was really trying. Yet once again I think she was trying to make sure I didn’t get discouraged. I love her for that! I love the fact that she cared enough to stick by me, and offer words of encouragement even if she thought I was shuffling. I ran up the hill. It wasn’t a big hill, but it was still a hill.  At the top we rounded a corner and were in for the home stretch. I felt good. I had a slight butt cramp, but other than that I felt good. My pace was steady. I never went slower than the pace I started at. I guess that’s good.

Right around the 2.5 mile mark Tahny said she was leaving me so she could be at the finish line with her camera so she could capture my finish.  As soon as I was alone I felt like an abandoned child. I wanted to yell “wait don’t leave me! Come back!” Enter melt down three (I’m so pathetic) Tears that I had been fighting back began to flow. Tears of joy. I was almost finished with something that just a short time ago seemed impossible. As I rounded the last turn I heard a few people that were watching the race shouting out cheers for me! Telling me that I was doing great. I had tears of sadness, because my family was not among the voices that I heard. Their faces weren’t among the ones at the finish line. As I entered the entrance to the finish line, I heard someone yelling my name and cheering me on. It was a lady I had just met before the race. She came back to the finish line to cheer me on! That was pretty cool. Not as cool as it would have been if my family was there showing their support….but still pretty cool. I finished the race in under an hour. I don’t know my placement or official time, I just know it was under an hour. I’m happy with that! I set a goal, and I achieved that goal. I’m happy with that!

I never dreamed that I would ever be able to run in a 5k again. I never thought that I would be so excited about running again. Once the tears stopped and I recovered my breath, and ate some watermelon, I realized that I had fun! I’m ready for my next 5K!



Anything Is Possible (Once I Put On My Big Girl Panties And Just Do It )

Wednesday I was doing a track workout with my trainer. I was feeling kind of blah after a few days of gut issues and migraines. I was not not feeling positive about anything. We talked about signing up for the Clark Lake 5K that is this weekend (in 2 days). Not sure if I really wanted to do it, I decided that I would sign up to be a walker, that way I wouldn’t be disappointed if I couldn’t run the whole thing. I mean why would I be able to? I’ve not been able to run farther than 1.2 -1.5 miles so far.

Today (actually about 2 hours ago) after a phone conversation with Tahny (trainer) I decided that I would sign up as a runner and if I couldn’t do the whole thing then that is fine, I will just do what I can and walk to rest then run again. Somehow That just didn’t seem good enough. Would I be satisfied with not running the whole thing? I mean I’m a big gal, and let’s face it I’m really out of shape so why would I be upset? I knew deep in my heart that I would be disappointed if I didn’t run the whole thing. It would be one more thing that I’ve let myself fail at. I knew that I needed to suck up this self pity mode that I’ve been stuck in and “put on my big girl panties” and just do it.

Lacing up my running shoes (actually my son’s running shoes.  I find that his shoes are just more comfortable), my water bottle of nice cold water, my headphones and cell phone (I really need an iPod), put on Pandora and hopped on the treadmill. I was determined to run 3 miles. I set my speed at 3 mph and just went for it. Ok I know that 3 mph really isn’t that fast but I’m not fast like I used to be and that’s plenty fast enough for me. At about 1.2 miles, my body said Hey this isn’t fun. I kept going. At 1.5 miles my body said “I don’t like this”, and my brain responded “Neither do I”. Yelling out to Caleb (my oldest son), I think trying to find some mental support, I told him that I was struggling with a mental block. He said “Keep going mom, you just have to find a way to get through it and keep going”. I did, I kept going.  I turned up the volume and kept on going only having a minor tear filled melt down. At 2 miles I realized that my breathing was good, and I felt that my running form was good. My brain told my body “Suck it up butter cup this is the farthest you’ve run”. I turned up Pandora just a little bit louder. Then I was at 2.3 miles and I hit another wall. I walked about 20 steps and said to myself “This isn’t good enough! QUIT WALKING!”

I needed to  get my focus off of what I was doing so I could ignore my brain and my body. Looking straight ahead, I found that the boy’s bedroom door was quite boring to look at. I wonder if they would care if I put up a poster of Channing Tatum or Dwayne  Johnson? Yeah that would be worth looking at 😉  Somehow I think they would protest. Wow another good song! That’s awesome Pandora! It’s way easier to keep moving when there is good music playing. I really tried to not look down  at the monitor on the treadmill. UGH still had a quarter of a mile to go! YES another good song!! Will this ever end? 2.7 miles…..another couple of good songs. 2.9 OMG! will this ever end???????

Sweating, wobbly legs, dry throat and no heart attack, I finally reached 3 miles! After my cool down, I danced a happy dance! I felt so proud of myself! I am proud to say that I am a runner! Now I feel confident that I can handle this 5k on Saturday! For me it’s not a race it’s a challenge and a new goal to meet.




Sweat, Stink, Shoes And Shin Pain

This week I started my workout at the fitness center. Oh yeah I’m loving it! It helps that my dear friend is my trainer, and is right there by my side the whole time. She makes it easier by being my brains. I just listen and do what she says to do. We chat and laugh. It sure makes the time go by faster! The fitness center is hot and not air conditioned, but it’s clean and well maintained, so there is nothing for me to complain about (yes I am a bit of a germaphobe when it comes to some things). It’s just hotter than blazes in there! Maybe it’s supposed to be that way? Does sweating make the fat go away faster? If so turn on the furnace!

I am not a girly girl. I never have been.  When I was younger, I was a cross between girly and tomboy, a  nice mixture of the two (I loved sports but liked to look pretty). I am enjoying being active again, but I really really REALLY hate being sweaty! My feet getting sweaty and cramped in my shoes, yeah that is pure torture! UGH-  The sports bra sticking under my boobs, and my undies stuck to my butt…yeah I don’t care for that at all! I can’t begin to describe the amount of baby powder I use on my rolls to keep comfortable while exercising!  I’m sure if a big gust of wind hit me there would be a puff of white powder trailing behind me! But hey I’m a big gal and I need to be comfortable! Yeah yeah yeah…. TMI I know, but I have to keep it real.  It’s all a part of my journey. It’s all a part of my getting healthy. It’s all about me sharing the good the bad, and the totally embarrassing parts of my process. My trainer said that she loves a good sweat. That it makes her feel like she has had a good workout. I guess I never thought of it that way. Maybe I need to change my view point of sweating. Although I think that may take some serious mental effort on my part! There was one really stinky, sweaty man there the other day next to me …. Oh how it made me want to gag. He was dripping like he had been soaked by a hose. Did I mention I don’t like sweat? Oh I really need to just get over it! It’s a gym for goodness sake! People are supposed to be sweaty and stinky! I need some serious therapy! I am sounding really snooty and stuck up, and really that is so not the way I am. I just need to relax and let go of some of my hang ups!

I am not a super comfortable person in a gym setting. It’s hard being that “fat lady” in a place where people as a rule are “fit and skinny”.  However the fitness center that I go to is not like the fancy fitness centers that you’d see those  big buff body body builders at (like Golds Gym, and Planet Fitness). I have been to gyms like that before and felt so out of place that I never wanted to go back.  This fitness center is at a local high school and is really down to earth. It hasn’t been crowded at all, and every one seems to be pretty nice. I don’t feel uncomfortable there at all. I’m not quite ready to go alone with out my trainer. I’m still in the “infant” stage of my fitness training so I still need to have my hand held so to speak. I’m sure that with time I will be able to go and workout on my own. But for now, I’m happy having my trainer by my side. Besides having someone with you makes it more fun!

I did notice that my shins have begun to hurt a bit. I’m thinking that it’s probably because I live barefooted, and at the gym I have to wear shoes, so my feet are forced into a different position and it just is going to take some getting used to. It’s just slightly uncomfortable. Today I found that while interval training on the treadmill during my up time, I cranked the speed up where it was hard to walk quickly, and was just natural to run, and the shin pain was lessened quite a bit. Down time walking was a tad more uncomfortable. Kinda odd huh? One would think walking would be more comfortable.

What kind of athletic shoes do you wear? Can you make some suggestions? Someone suggested Vibrams because I love being barefooted. But I think that they may take a while to get used to and may not offer the support that my still quite large frame will need. I wear Nike right now, but I’m not sure if they are a good fit for my feet. What about New Balance? Reebok? I’m thinking that a trip to Running Fit (a store in Ann Arbor) is in order. They will watch me walk and look at my foot placement and see what my feet need and fit me with the right shoe.

I mentioned that I ran today. Yes I did run, but to be honest, it was in comparison to someone who is a runner probably a pathetically slow jog. But you know what? I was pretty darn pleased with myself. I used to be a great runner, and was quite competitive. I would love to be a runner again. Not competitively, just run to be healthy. I find walking boring. I’m not sure why, I just do. I always felt a great accomplishment when I finished running, and a new personal time was met. I loved the challenge. I don’t think that I will ever run the mile in the low 5 min range like I used to, but I do know that one day I will run a mile again with out stopping! It won’t matter if it’s a slow pace. It will matter that I’m just doing it! I may not look graceful they way I used to while running. It will matter that I am achieving a new goal that I have set for myself!

I saw this picture and had to laugh! How true this is! I felt so good running today even if it was just in intervals. I know I looked silly. And that’s OK with me!

I just want to run!


I have one more week before I start adding to my workout routine and I am so excited! I am ready for my transformation! I’m ready to be fit and healthy! I’m ready to have my butt kicked in the gym! So I say bring it on!! I can do this!