NYC Pizza Run recap

Happy Monday!

Is anyone else suffering from allergies? My sinuses are making my whole face hurt!

So when I started Whole30 I knew there would be one day this month I would HAVE to make an exception and deviate from the plan because a few weeks ago I signed up for…THE NYC PIZZA RUN!

The gist is, you run four laps around Tompkins Square Park, totaling 2.25 miles, and after each lap you stop at the pizza station and down a slice of New York’s finest.

20120916-221858.jpg

The registration for the race was a bit pricey, but the charge went to Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation…and included a free beer post race.

I have to admit, usually I’m intimidated by the other participants when I do races so it was nice to be around a group of runners who were mostly laid back and just looking to have fun. There were people dressed like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles and a guy carrying a bottle of Coca-Cola like you would normally see someone carrying a water bottle.

I have no idea about timing or anything because there was no chip in the race bib and the start and finish lines were drawn with chalk, but I ran the first two laps and then walked most of the second two as to not risk any chance of the pizza coming back up….haha.

20120916-221819.jpg

I wasn’t sure how well my body would react to three slices of pizza between bouts of jogging, but my stomach and legs were strong. I completed the race with two friends who were just as happy as me to be stuffing their face with pizza.

After the race we walked over the Common Ground to cash in on the free beer – but I decided to make the pizza my only “cheat” from Whole30 and graciously passed mine over to my friends and sipped on water instead.

Overall the race was a great experience and I would totally be up for doing more unique races in the future.

Not to get all serious in kind of a silly post, but doings things like this really reminds me how many fun times I would have (and did in the past) miss out on because my weight just prohibited me from participating in life.

Even though there were runners of all shapes and sizes at the event, there is no way I would have ever signed up or even considered doing something like this at 243 pounds. Never.

Hope everyone else had a great weekend and enjoyed the windy fall weather :)!

Body movin’, body movin’

A Beastie Boys inspired title to kick off Friday ;)!

AND it’s been a while since I last talked about how I’m moving.

For one, I’ve stopped running. If you’re just catching up, I ran for the last time on May 6 in the Waldwick 5K on a shin that I was pretty sure was fractured (NOT at all over-dramatic). It wasn’t, but the orthopedist told me to rest for two weeks. After two weeks…my shin still hurt. I decided to continue doing everything else at that point except running.

So where am I now? My shin no longer hurts. For a while it was feeling weird, where it didn’t hurt but I was aware of it. Does that make any sense? Anyway, it didn’t feel normal, but now it does.

I’m still not running. There are a couple reasons:

1. My trainer doesn’t think it’s a good idea. He’s told me over and over again that it won’t help me lose weight and it’s probably too hard on my body right now and I finally believe him. While I was running, weight loss felt like a HUGE struggle. It was hard for me to balance what I was eating with what I was burning…because I had no idea (anyone want to buy me a Garmin??). Also, I was WAY hungrier when I ran. Sticking to a calorie limit now feels (dare I say it??) almost easy. 

2. I started to feel like running was getting in the way of other things. If I had a long (for me) run on the weekend, I wouldn’t also want to hike that day with a friend. I felt like I needed a LOT of rest to recover from even 3-mile runs. I love running, but I don’t want to turn down other activities because I have to run.

Source: iobad.com via Jodi on Pinterest

 

BUT, let me say this. Actually being able to run and completing FOUR (!!!) 5Ks hands down feels like my biggest accomplishment in my entire life. I could not run a mile in high school. I didn’t care about running a mile after high school. The fact that I was able to follow a running program (COUCH TO 5K – DO IT), stick with it, and LOVE it? AMAZING. I want to run again. I will run again. Just not now.

Source: lovetopedal.com via Jodi on Pinterest

 

In place of running, I’m walking a LOT. Walking is my first love and the main exercise I’ve done to get me to where I am now weight-loss wise.

I’m also incorporating a few days at the gym where I use the elliptical (ugh) and strength train with dumbbells and my own body weight.

I finally feel like I’m back to some sort of normal exercise routine after being injured, taking a lot of time to rest and then getting sick.

I’ve even scheduled a session with my trainer for Saturday morning to make sure my weekend starts with a big, healthy push.

 

 How are you going to sweat this weekend??

 

 

Blog Meets World

Hello Friday!

It felt like this day would never come. My big plans for the weekend include hopefully signing up for a membership at the Y so I can start swimming…and making this Crazy Woman Chocolate Blender Pudding recipe from Oh She Glows.

How good does it look?? I have to go freeze an avocado and banana in preparation..I can’t wait!

Source: ohsheglows.com via Jodi on Pinterest

 

Also…my race recap from the Waldwick 5K is finally online!

Blog world, meet real world:

On the fast track to a feel good experience

That’s all I’ve got today..See you Monday!

From Scale to Zen

This needs to be said:

I’ve been an idiot about weight loss.

For the past couple of months, I’ve been exercising 5-7 days a week and not eating enough calories. Although I wasn’t always conscious of it, I’ve been eating based on the number on the scale. If it was high in the morning, I ate less that day, if it was low, I would allow myself more food.

You know where this leads?

Absolutely no where.

I’m done with daily weighing. For the first six-ish months of my weight loss journey, I was a firm believer in the once a week weigh-ins. NO EXCEPTIONS.

Somewhere along the way, it became twice a week and then overtime developed into a full blown obsession with the scale.

But I’m breaking free of that. It doesn’t work. It puts the focus on a number when I absolutely know better that that’s not where my focus should be.

This week, I exercised WAY less and ate consistently more. And…well you can see the results below.

I’ve been obsessed with reading the blog Zen Habits for the past week or two, and it’s really helped me put my head in the right place.

If you’re not aware of Zen Habits, do yourself a favor and check it out. The blog is written by Leo Babauta, who has a bazillion kids, lives in California and changed his life one habit at a time. Among his accomplishments are a 70-pound weight loss, becoming a runner and transforming his passion into a business. He’s written a book or two and is pretty much my life idol.

His blog is my absolutely my go-to reading source for positive inspiration.

Ok, enough gushing. Shall we talk injury?

I went to the orthopedist yesterday, and he told me exactly what everyone else has been telling me: REST.

Except this time, I’m listening.

The good news is that my x-rays showed healthy bones. The bad news is that for a minimum of two weeks, I can not run, walk, elliptical, bike, climb an excessive amount of stairs, or do lunges or squats.

Am I bummed? YES. Cardio for me is a sure source of endorphins, a no-fail happiness booster and what I scheduled my day around. I planned my cardio activities at night, and looked forward to getting sweaty when I woke up in the morning.

I’m trying not to get too down about it, but I’d be lying if I said the frustration over being injured wasn’t getting to me. I tried to be smart about running. I stretched, I wore compression sleeves, I got fitted for sneakers, I iced, I didn’t run two days in a row, I cross trained…and I still got hurt. I feel like I failed in some way, but I know most runners get injured at one time or another.

My plan for the next two weeks is to work on core and upper body strength, two areas where I am SEVERELY lacking, and, if my shins feel better, attempt a SHORT run with lots of walk breaks.

The doc said as soon as I feel pain I should stop running, and if I immediately feel pain when I begin running again, then he would think about doing an MRI on my shins. He also suggested that I get orthodics made because I have flat feet. But those cost a lot of money, so we’ll see.

I know two weeks doesn’t sound like a lot of time, but running has changed my life in so many unbelievable ways that I could have never expected. It’s been a huge confidence booster. By running, I’ve proven to myself that I can be someone who follows through and accomplishes their goals and doesn’t quit. I guess I’ve always thought of myself as someone who wasn’t motivated, but running has changed that.

I know taking this time to rest will eventually allow me to return to running, but I’m having a really over-dramatic sense of loss right now.

Oh man, this post is all sorts of rambly and has a severe lack of pictures.

It’s time….The numbers:

Starting weight: 243

Last week: 172

This week: 170

Change: -2

Total loss: 73

 

Me? Stubborn?

Yesterday I ran a 5K race against the advice of everyone that I knew.

Yet it didn’t surprise anyone that I was going to push through the shin pain I’ve been having to run.

“You’re stubborn,” my trainer said very matter-of-fact like in his thick Peruvian accent.

No one. ever. has described be as stubborn…..in regard to WANTING to run.

Sure, I was stubborn in high school when I refused to even TRY to run the required mile in gym class.

My, things have changed.

So let’s talk about this shin pain then.

It’s not shin splints. The pain has become very localized. I can point to an exact spot where the pain is coming from and my lower leg has been throbbing on and off for days, even through prior to the race I cut down my activity to ZERO. Oddly enough, the pain goes away after I run for a few minutes, and I was able to make it through the race without thinking about my shins.

My trainer poked around my leg a bit on Saturday and there was definitely one very tender spot. It also hurts more than normal when I foam roll over my left calf.

So in an effort not to be completely stupid, I’m taking a break from running. And seeing a doctor to (hopefully) rule out a stress fracture.

I’m trying not to be too upset…but it’s hard because I was really starting to LOVE running. The feeling of pushing myself past my limits, following a training plan and the rush of endorphins that lasted for hours.

My rational self knows that right now rest is the best thing for my body. So rest I will.

In other news, I will have a race recap…but it’s going to have to wait, because I’m actually writing about the race for my job. I can’t wait to share it!

I'm probably asking a very important question in this photo.

Credit to Bill Smithuysen for capturing the awkward moment where I’m interviewing the president of the Waldwick Chamber of Commerce.

Hope everyone else is having an injury-free Monday!

 

 

Whispers of the weekend

It’s raining, dreary and cold now.

But this weekend, oh this weekend.

The sun was shining.

The drinks were flowing.

I was busy running and sweating 😉

And eating!

Now I’m off to the gym to begin Week 2 of 10K training with strength and stretching! I’m still having shin splint issues…but haven’t had any Charley Horses, which I think might be because I started eating a banana every day again. Major points for potassium.

I know running is putting a lot of pressure on my body, so I’m just being patient with all the random aches and pains, wearing my compression sleeves, elevating my legs and icing as much as possible and hoping my body gets with the program soon. Nothing hurts bad enough too make me think I should stop or cut back.

Here’s hoping it doesn’t rain half as much as is predicted! Happy Monday 🙂

Trust in the must

Some days I wake up giddy to work out. I’m full of energy. I can’t wait to say hello to all the friendly trainers at the gym.

Some days I love going to the park, running, walking, moving.

These last few days were not like that.

I’ve been sticking to my 10K training plan, albeit a little reluctantly. So what do I do when those lulls hit? Bribe myself. It works every time.

 

Most of my weekend runs are coerced by promises of lunch at the Whole Foods salad bar. I get my self pumped up the night before for early morning gym session by searching for motivational sayings on Pinterest. And if all methods fail to get me out the door, I promise myself I will only stay at the gym for 10 minutes, and if I hate it, I can leave.

I’ve never left.

 

On Wednesday my training schedule said to do 30 minutes of cross. I had an early deadline at work and used my 6:30 a.m. wake up call to get to the office early instead of the gym. The thought of going to the gym after work, when it’s really crowded, is so undesirable. It was a little bit cold out, slightly drizzling and I was feeling sorry for myself.

But then I happened to glance out my window and saw the most beautiful pink sunset. I knew I had to get outside. I stopped being a wimp, put on some warm clothes and went for a head-clearing walk around my apartment complex.

It was just what I needed.

 

The benefits of exercise continue to amaze me. The power of using a workout to transform a bad day into a good one has been so useful to me.

Yesterday, too, I had a stressful day at work. Nothing has gone according to plan this week and the actual work I had to do was slowed down by phone calls and emails. I had a 2 mile run on the training plan and was dreading it all day.

I was too hungry to go straight after work, so came home and made a quick and simple dinner of eggs and veggies and then finally got to the run.

And you know what? It didn’t suck. Near the end of the 2 miles, I was getting a little antsy to be finished when it dawned on me that an hour ago I wasn’t sure if I would do it at all.

It’s a struggle every day to push against the habits I lived with for 23 years. As weird as this sounds, it’s very strange for me to actually set goals and follow through on them. This thing, where I do what I say I’m going to do, is very new to me. And sometimes it makes me nervous.

I’m learning to have faith in myself. That when the time comes, I’ll do what is right for me, even if it’s the hard thing. That I can depend on myself and trust myself. It’s been a process.

 

When I was traveling around India two years ago and making plans that were shaky at best, my traveling companion would always say “Trust in the must.”

The phrase stuck with me. It obviously meant something else in India, but lately it’s reminded me to believe in my healthy intentions and that, at the end of the day, what is meant to happen will happen.

It’s helped me to stop doubting that I can be successful. This is so cheesy, but it’s helped me to believe that I can do the things I want to do.

It’s Friday, the week is over and everything got done that had to get done. My deadlines were met, my workouts done..and now my sink of dirty dishes are all clean 😉

Putting yourself in the path of least resistance to your goals rarely means taking it easy.

Align yourself with the energy of the universe and then take action.

You will get to where you are meant to be.

 

 

10K Training Go Time

I can’t believe I’m saying this.

I’m going to run a 10K. I don’t know when. But I will.

And training starts today.

After checking out a few different plans from Runner’s World and Cool Running, I decided to go with Hal Higdon’s 10K training plan for n00bs novice runners.

 

I really liked the simple layout and think it leaves a lot of room for customization. It also only has me running three times a week, which, considering the condition of my knees and shins, is probably a good thing. I also like that it incorporates two days of strength. That’s currently my weakest  (is there a pun here?) area and the one I want to most improve.

I felt so good on my 4-miler Saturday that I’m confident I can push myself even further. Believing you can do it is 75 percent of the battle and I’m pretty sure the other 25 percent is compression sleeves haha.

This is my "stop taking pictures and go run" face

I’m going to continue with intervals of 10 min. running/1 min. walking because it’s working really well for me right now, and Higdon’s plan encourages walk breaks.

I also already have two more 5K races planned for April 28 and May 6, but I think the schedule will work nicely with them.

I wholeheartedly believe that putting your goals out there is the first step to achieving them. So here it is. I’ll also leave you with this picture of delicious trail mix from Whole Foods that I devoured after Saturday’s run.

How’s that for a Monday? 🙂

 

 

 

 

Everything is illuminated

I woke up excited to run Thursday.

It was a bright morning with a slight wind, and a little chilly. I ran slow. I ran steady. I admired the wispy clouds, nodded “hello” at the other morning runners and smiled at the sunshine.

I took time to appreciate the movement of my body. Thanked it for working so hard. For coping so well with all I put it through.

It’s easy to get frustrated. I sometimes get angry that for so many years I didn’t treat my body with the respect it deserved. And now? My knees ache, I’m sore from the gym, my shin splints throb. My body still isn’t used to the physical exertion.

But yesterday I ran through the pain. My mind was strong when my legs were tired. I had my spirit motivating me to complete the miles.

After I finished the run and stretched out my legs, I took a moment to just be still. Let my heart beat slow and my breath deepen.

I stared up at the sun and felt a rush of gratefulness.

One year ago, I thought, I would not have been up before work to run at the park. I would not have seen the sun streaming through the trees. I would not have heard the first signs of spring, chirping birds and a babbling river.

There is pain, there is frustration, there are moments of weakness. Keep going.

“Nature does not hurry, yet everything is accomplished” – Lao Tzu

Glen Rock Opt-In 5K Race Recap

I knew this race would be for me when I read the description “flat and fast” on Active.com.

All week I debated signing up, however, because my last few runs have been terrible. I’ve been having a tough time getting through just 2 miles from a combination of wind and allergies, so I was less than stoked to conquer 3.1.

Also, I had no one to run it with. Would a race alone be any fun?

Enter: Meetups!

A few months ago I joined a runners group on Meetup.com, not actually thinking I belonged in a runners group, but figuring it would give me the motivation to run faster so I could eventually be in a runners group. Wacky logic, I know.

Anyway, I got an e-mail the day before the race that the runners group had posted the Glen Rock 5k as an event and knew it was a sign that I should do it. I RSVP’d immediately, then registered.

Then I started hydrating. The day before I had gone out with some coworkers and drank a bit too much and was absolutely dehydrated (Charley Horses, UGH) so I hit up Trader Joes for some Zico Coconut Water, bananas and Lara Bars.

Saturday I woke up at 7 a.m. Breakfast was half a banana, a cashew cookie Lara Bar and a Coconut Water. Fantastic fuel.

Around 8 a.m. I headed over to the park where it started, which was only a few minutes from my apartment. I was a little shocked to see how few people were there and a little worried that it would mean I would be coming in last.

My nerves soon disappeared as I began chatting with Michelle from the runners group after we found each other by text message. Her longest distance was a marathon, and I told her the 5K distance still felt like a marathon to me! I was so grateful to have her there to distract me from the impending start.

The race kicked off with a playing of the Star Spangled Banner and then all 150 of us (hah!) were off!

The race course was an out and back, which I wasn’t too excited about, but it turned out to be a great thing. Around Mile 1 I saw the winner heading back in the other direction – he was FLYING!

It was a sunny day but cold and I was glad I had chosen to keep on my gloves and ear warmers.

It felt like it took forever to get to the turnaround, but once I passed it I was feeling good again. There were a few spectators along the route who were cheering, which I love.

I got a bit of a stomach cramp around Mile 2 so really concentrated on my breathing and the pain disappeared quickly.

At Mile 2.5 Eminem’s “Lose Yourself” came on my iPod and it was just what I needed to carry me to the end.

No heel striking here!

As the finish line came into site, I knew I could cross it in under 36 minutes – a new PR! I saw Michelle on the side cheering and started sprinting!

My official time was 35:31! More than a minute faster than my first race on Thanksgiving where my time was 36:38. Obviously the total time on RunKeeper is a little off because I started it early and stopped it after finishing, but you can see my splits below:

I’m super proud of those numbers! Every mile was under 12 minutes, which is not the norm for me.

This race definitely gave me confidence in running again. There is something about being surrounded by a bunch of other runners that is always so motivating!

After the race I headed straight to Starbucks for a giant iced coffee and then spent most of the day lying around watching Mad Men. A perfect Saturday 🙂

Hope you all had a good weekend, too!