Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Godiva Track Meet

Below is a picture of me and Sir Speedy...He's my runner hero, my coach, and my friend!

Tonight, Will and I went to UNC-Chapel Hill's track again. The Godiva Track Club's "fun" track meet has different race lengths each Wednesday evening. I decided to run the mile and 800 meters. Happy to say my time for both was faster than 2 weeks ago. Wahoo! It is fun to run with other people and to be on a track, especially in my zoom zoom spikes! Each race has different "heats" and you seed yourself with others of your ability. There are all ages from young children to pushing 70. It is fun to see the different runners. Some are pretty fast (well, I don't think anyone is as fast as Sir Speedy) and some are kinda slow.

As I sat there watching others compete and waiting for my turn I was so glad that these people have decided to make a change in their life and get out and exercise. Someone sent me a message today about reading my posts and wanting to get started with exercising. It made my day! That is the biggest reason I have this blog--to encourage you to make a change. Small steps at first and big results to come. So, if you have been thinking you want to get started, send me a message and I will be glad to help you out. You just gotta get off the couch!

So I'm hoping these speed workouts will be a big help with improving my time for the Myrtle Beach Marathon in February. I've already seen some improvement and feel myself getting stronger. I still struggle at times with the mental side of running but that is coming along as well.

Your comments are always welcome!

                  Me and Sir Speedy (Bobby Mack) at WCA's MOB 5K race

Sunday, June 26, 2011

June 20-26 Run Recap

No matter how slow you go, you are still
lapping everybody on the couch.

This was the wall photo from "I love to run" and it is so true. I think so many don't exercise because they are not sure what to do, how to start, and afraid of failure. Remember, what I said (or go back and read my story parts 1-3) about beginning to exercise. My first entry in my training log was 10 minutes walking on the treadmill and 10 minutes on the stationary bike. You just have to get through this mental thing and as Nike says, "JUST DO IT!"

My week of training was a pretty good one-there were some mental issues I had to overcome and I'm always a little tight when I first get out of bed and then there was the issue with not enough water and the killer headache but looking back it was a pretty good one. I've been trying to average 40 miles a week for a few months now. I am currently training for a half-marathon Labor Day weekend at Disneyland. This week I ran 41 miles total. I'm happy!!

I sometimes get questions about how much I run everyday, so I thought I would list my mileage run during the week. As you will see, the mileage is different each day and there are reasons for that. I am working on my speed and just being on my feet for long periods of time. Halfs and fulls require that lol! Sometimes I will run at an easy pace and others at a faster pace. This is all designed to help me reach a certain time goal for an upcoming race. My eyes are on 3:45 on 2/18 but my next race is at Disneyland and I am excited about that too.

Anyway, part of what my coach does is to discuss my time goals and then come up with a training plan to help me meet that time. BMack does a great job with this and takes the guess work out of it for me. A good coach is the key! I just look at the week and go out and do the run/workout. Pretty simple...I am also working on strengthing my arms and getting rid of some leftover flabby areas. :) I do core work about 2-3 times a week as well.

As a funny side note because I get teased about my shoes...I wore 5 different pairs of shoes for this week's workout. Seriously...they all serve a different purpose!

So here is this past week:
Monday-rest day
Tuesday-6 miles
Wednesday-Track meet-3 miles total (you are thinking, only 3 miles but this was a hard 3 miles including the 100 meter and 400 meter)
Thursday-7 miles
Friday-7 miles
Saturday-15 miles (the last 3 miles were all mental but I won!!)
Sunday-3 miles
Total: 41 miles

Friday, June 24, 2011

Hydration and recovery (water, headaches, and food)

Just a quick note concerning hydration and recovery during and following your workout. Water is very important not only during the week but also during your exercise time. I don't always drink enough water during the week and will end up end up paying the price later. If you are around me much you know I love Diet Dr. Pepper. I struggle with getting the water I need. This week I have not been sleeping well and have not been drinking enough water.

Today was my monthly weigh-in at Weight Watchers and of course I didn't want to eat before I weighed in so I only ate a bowl of oatmeal when I got up at 6:30 and then went for my 7 miler. I also did a little bit of speed workout. I drank about 8 ounces of Gatorade during this run. In a hurry, I went to the meeting without eating anything (um...I did shower first)-it is now about 9:45. I knew it was not smart to wait to eat until after my meeting and knew I was running a big risk of getting a headache...Well, I lost 1 pound (yay!) but the price was..You guessed it-a killer headache (boo!). I've been in the bed since around 11:00am and just finally started feeling better around dinner time and was able to eat some supper. IF I had consumed the necessary water this week and necessary recovery food following my run today I probably wouldn't have been in the shape I found myself.

As an fyi-I eat 3 meals a day and 2-3 snacks (maybe more). I will try to eat something-even 2-3 crackers or piece of cheese-about every 3 hours so I don't ever get really hungry. I'm not really sure what the "necessary" amount of water is, there are differences of opinions, so I just try to drink a glass every time I'm near the fridge and several at work each day.

So, make sure you drink enough water to keep your body hydrated and eat after you exercise. If you don't know how to tell if you are hydrated follow this simple rule. If your pee is light colored, you are well hydrated. The darker it is, the less hydrated. Pretty simple to tell that way!

Happy Running!!
Oh yeah, Bobby Mack placed 9th in the 10,000meter U.S. Track and Field Championship yesterday. He was in the lead with 2 laps to go. It was very exciting to watch! Good job Sir Speedy!!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

My Story Part 3

Okay...part 3...If someone had told me at the age of 37 that I would run 26.2 miles at one time without stopping  at the age of 40I would have told them they were crazy but...I completed my first marathon in January 2011 at Disney World in 3:52:17. By the time of the marathon I knew I could run the distance. Part of the reason I chose the running plan I did was that it had me run 26 miles on one of the long runs. I needed to know beforehand if I could do this. Bobby, my coach, kept telling me that I didn't need to run the entire 26 miles to know I could do it but I was determined I would do indeed run 26 miles before that Disney race. Most marathon plans have 18-20 as the longest mile run. Well, being the extremist I am, I wanted to be really sure I could run that long so I ended up running 26.5 miles that day. Yes, I am a little obsessive and tend to go to extremes at times. But, when I crossed that line at Disney I was in the top 5% of the finishers! One of my first comments to my family was that I wasn't sure I wanted to do any race like that again. I will dedicate another blog to my race experiences and the many interesting things I saw so stay tuned. It is a hoot!! It only took a couple of days for me to retract the statement about not doing that race distance again. I reminded my sister that I never said I wouldn't do it but that I wasn't sure I wanted to. Now I begin to think that the half and full marathon may be the distances I most enjoy. I know it sounds crazy, but I actually look forward to my training each day and get upset if I can't run, just ask my family. I enjoy the long runs and by long I mean anywhere from 10-20 milers. I take a rest day each week because it is necessary for me. I don't know if my body would respond very well to 7 days straight of running. I am so thankful to my family for their support of my running. My husband Will, is my biggest supporter. I wouldn't be where I am without his help!! He is there to cheer me on and thinks I am the greatest runner ever!! :) I love you rach!! My coach, Bobby Mack, has been awesome. He is wise beyond his young 26 years. He has taken the time to learn who I am and what makes me tick--he probably thinks I'm just as crazy as my family and friends do--but he is always there to help  me try to reach my goals. I can never thank him enough for what he has done. He has helped me improve my running form and I have learned so much from him. My race times have improved as well.
So, as I close out "My Story" section I will share what invades my mind daily. M
y dream is to qualify for the Boston Marathon. I was 72 seconds short of doing this at Disney and now the qualifying times have been reduced further. This will require a 3:45 finish time, but I am up for the challenge. My next opportunity to qualify will be at the Myrtle Beach Marathon in February of 2012. So, if you see me post on facebook 3:45 on 2/18 you will know what I'm talking about.
Thank you so much for taking the time to read my ramblings...I want others to know that while they may never have the desire to complete a marathon or any race over the 5K distance, they can make small changes and see big results in just a few short years. Running can be a life sport. I see all ages at the races I attend. You do not have to be the fastest or even place in your age group to feel the satisfaction of setting a personal goal and meeting that goal. This is what I want others to understand.
Until next time!!
3:45 on 2/18!!
And, Sir Speedy is racing tonight Thursday 6/23. You can watch Bobby Mack run at 10:55pm EST. In the wind BMack!!

Love you Mickey!!!!

Tuesday, June 21, 2011

My Story Part 2

Below is part 2 of my story...I am also including a picture of me taken one month before I began Weight Watchers.

I decided I wanted to run in a 5K race. My first 5K was August 29, 2009 at North Myrtle Beach. My time was 27:56 and I placed 3rd in my age group. This was the first race for this organization so it was a small group of runners. I was so excited to have won something, even if it was only a medal. It somehow validated my hard work up to this point. My second 5K was in September 2009 at North Hills in Raleigh. This was my first experience running on hills and my time was 28:46. I did not place but was proud of myself because I did not stop running at any time during the race. By this point, I was seriously obsessed with running. I was reading everything I could get my hands on about running. I bought several books to try and learn all I could. I was running about 4-5 times a week, averaging 10-15 miles per week. I began to increase my mileage and run at least 5x a week, sometimes 6.  My close friends and colleagues thought I was crazy because all I talked about was running. To this day, it is hard for me to understand exactly why I love it so much. I grew up playing sports but never enjoyed the running aspect with those sports. To illustrate my need to run, I like to use a story from February 2010. Our treadmill was still broken and work was cancelled because of snow. I could not drive to the gym or go for a run outside, so I decided to run in place in the living room. I ran for a total of 30 minutes that day. My family and friends really thought I had lost it. I sometimes wonder if I have myself...  
Even though the thought scared me, I decided I wanted to run a half marathon. I once again started to increase my mileage to about 25-30 miles a week. I was ready for the race by March 2010 and commented to my husband at the finish that I felt like I could have kept running longer. Before the half, I would allow myself to dream about running a marathon one day but I never really thought I would. After finishing the half, I felt like I could do it. More about marathons later...
A highlight during the 2010 year was my 40th birthday. I celebrated by running in the Women’s Distance Festival 5K the week after I turned 40. I am now considered a “masters” runner or just a nice way of saying I was getting old. Fortunately, I finished 1st in my age group. It was at this race, I was introduced to “The Athletes Foot”. I was wearing my red T6 Racers and just happened by the TAF tent. I got to talking to the person there (wish I could remember his name) and he told me I would get a percentage off a pair of shoes if I came to the store and showed my racing bib. I visited the store and really liked all of the items they had to offer. Of course, I bought a pair of shoes. I am actually a frequent buyer of running shoes! I have been shopping at TAF(The Athlete's Foot) ever since and I recommend TAF to everyone who will listen. I thought I was a "real" runner but because of my insecurities with my weight and other things from my past, I was always second guessing myself. I toyed with the idea of hiring a running coach. I thought maybe this was a silly idea, I am 40 years old, what will people think, and what will any coach think of some old woman wanting help. But I came to the conclusion that plenty of people spend money on silly things and if this is one of those times, well, who really cares. Turns out, it wasn't so silly after all. I was very fortunate to hire Bobby Mack as my running coach after Thanksgiving. I cannot praise him enough for the help he has given me. But, I will speak more of him in another post. But, I do have to say this, he is running in the USA Track and Field Outdoor 10,000 meter Championship this Thursday, June 23 in Eugene, Oregon. Let's go BMack!!! I just call him Sir Speedy!

Well, I hope you have enjoyed Part 2. I don't want you to think, my life is easy since I have lost so much weight. I think I will always have an obsession with food. At any point, I could devour a bag of chips. It is a daily struggle that I sometimes win and sometimes lose. I can look in the mirror sometimes and still see that girl below. Right now though, I have the most wins...
 I still have lots to tell and will write again soon. Your comments are welcome and if you have any questions about running or Weight Watchers, please email me!

                                                    This is what 195 pounds looks like...

Monday, June 20, 2011

My Weight Loss Journey: Part 1

I decided to begin a blog and share my story in the hopes that someone else out there who struggles with their weight will realize they can make a change. Running has changed my life. Read my story below and see the pictures for yourself...

My weight loss journey began in late June 2007. I had ballooned to 195 pounds and knew I needed to make a change. In fact, I realized I needed to change a few years prior but was not motivated enough to begin the process. I had lost almost 30 pounds before with Weight Watchers but had gained those pounds back plus many more. I was now at my highest weight ever and ready to take measures to change. I attended a Weight Watchers meeting and began the journey that brings me to who I am today in the year 2011. By December of 2007, I had lost 42 pounds and began to exercise regularly. The first entry in my training log included 10 minutes of walking and 10 minutes on a stationary bike. Over the next several months, I walked on the treadmill about 3x a week. I was proud that I was consistent with exercise. By the end of February 2008, I had lost 52 pounds and began increasing my 3x a week to 4 or 5x a week exercise for about 30 minutes each time. I was still just walking on the treadmill. I began jogging on the treadmill at some point and increased the amount of time I spent to one hour per session. My treadmill broke in early July of 2009 and I began using the elliptical machine at my school's gym. It had not yet entered my mind to actually run outside. This is something I had tried to do when I lost those 30 pounds many years ago but shin splints stopped that real quick. I now understand I most likely increased my mileage too soon. One day in mid-July, I decided to run inside the gym around the basketball court. I ran 50 minutes that first morning. Yes, I ran around and around in circles in the gym. I still used the elliptical machine for a couple more weeks but then switched to running in the gym. I did not have a Garmin to track my mileage so I would count my laps. Twenty laps equals one mile and I usually did 5 miles each session. Keep in mind that my pace was anywhere between 10:00-12:00 minutes per be continued