Friday, November 21, 2014

Runners Tell All: #1 Running Fan

Linking up with Amanda & Beka for the second-to-last Runners Tell All link-up to share a little bit about my #1 Running Fan.

Which would be lovely if I felt like I had a #1 Running Fan. Other than myself of course. You could probably save the hassle of reading this post if you’ve already read Kate’s – we’re pretty much in the same boat. I never felt like a “real” runner when I started (and sometimes still), so I just never forced running onto others. I was just like, okay, I’m going to run and that’s that.

Most of my races have been solo. It’s not that I don’t have supportive people in my life but none of them are runners, so the idea of them standing out in the weather for 30 minutes to 6 hours (hi non-marathon!) just to cheer me on for 30 seconds seemed kind of selfish. I mean, honestly, I’m not breaking any records here.

My husband is probably the most constant (because he has to deal with hearing about running way more than any non-runner should) and my best friend, Emilie, a very close second. She’s actually done a few 5ks with me.

5k Finishers!

And I guess my daughter. But to be fair, she thinks she’s the fastest human in the world right now so my running is pretty slow motion for her. Unless there is a park available near the start line, she’s not around to cheer me on. She does know when my Mizuno’s are on though, it’s about to go down. Which makes me pretty proud.

Houston Half Jan 2013

Both Alfred & Emilie have been amazing while I’ve ventured into this world of running but the people that get it, the people that are there when I need a mental boost and understand – are you guys. Abbey, Kate, Amanda, Katie, and Amanda are people who I could chat with about running & fitness all days if I could. The blogging community has been monumental in what I’ve accomplished and in what I hope to accomplish in this upcoming year. I don’t know if these people I’ve mentioned are actual “fans” but they’re certainly people who support the hell out of me & I love them for it.

Monday, November 17, 2014

WW- Week 3

 

Week 3: November 10 – November 16

Original Weight: 197.6 lbs

Week 3 Starting Weight: 193 lbs
Current Weight: 191.4 lbs
Weekly Weight Loss: – 1.6 lbs

Total Weight Loss: –6.2 lbs

*Current Goal: 183.7 lbs*
Ultimate Goal: 155 lbs

Confession: I didn’t track my food Saturday & Sunday.

Bonus confession: It was totally planned.

The husband & I decided to take ourselves a little mini-vacation (no kid!) I decided early on in the week that I wanted to enjoy the experience as opposed to worrying about what I was (or wasn’t) eating the entire time. I told myself throughout the week to stick to my food plan, if I was hungry to reach for something filling and not just convenient, because on Saturday I could choose whatever I wanted – guilt-free.

Alfred actually drinking Starbucks. SAY WHAT?!

It worked! I tracked everything throughout the week early on in the day, my lunches were planned & accounted for & I focused on my food slumps throughout the week. (2:30-3:00 pm is when my “munchie” clock goes off apparently). I thought I would weigh myself Friday morning, just to see where I stood and it was 189.8 lbs. I knew it wouldn’t be that low when I weighed in this morning because well, nachos were on my mini-vacation agenda, but I felt really good about that number.

Like, wow, eating (mostly) quality food that satisfies me in the long-term actually does work. I never felt hungry last week or deprived. I had two really great runs – that should not have felt as easy as they did because my actual running in the past few months has been sporadic at best – and I really feel like that is because of what I’ve been putting into my body.

I ran today after my weekend of not-as-good-choices and I could really tell I was struggling much more (even though the mileage was about the same).

I did make better choices than I normally would have over the weekend but I was still able to enjoy myself. I had margaritas, French fries, & nachos. But I also had grilled chicken, water, & the best steamed asparagus ever. When I was full, I put my fork down. I didn’t eat with the mind-set of “I’m on vacation, why not?” I ate from a place of “That sounds good, I’ll have it.”

I didn’t lose as much weight this past week as I potentially could have (as evidenced by my unofficial weigh-in on Friday) but I am starting to rely less on food being the main course in my life and instead letting it be just be the side dish. For so long, it seemed like everything was surrounded by what we’re having for dinner, and what or where are we going to eat, etc. I want my focus to be on what I’m doing and not what I’m eating or planning on eating. I think I’m moving in the right direction.

Christmas lighting in our hotel

I don’t know how many of you guys are actually reading this but if you have any questions about the Weight Watchers program or just about me in general, feel free to ask.

Thursday, November 13, 2014

Miracle Match 2015 Training Shenanigans

This was my first week back into half-marathon training. I’ve been out of the running long distance game for what seems like forever. I have done a couple of 5ks over the past few months but the last time I ran anything longer than 3.1 miles was in April (just a few short weeks after my failed marathon.)

After devoting so much time to running over the past few years, I think I got a little burned out. I told myself that when I start running again, I want to do quality over quantity. I mean, last year I ran 14 races. FOURTEEN. I never really got much better/faster even though that’s something I kept saying I wanted. I’m pretty sure it was because I refused to focus my energy on one race. Instead, I was all like I WANT ALL THE RACES AND I WANT THEM NOW. It was fun though.

Also, race registrations can be expensive and with the starting of Alfred’s business, I’ve been a little more conservative in my spending.  When I chose my next long-distance race I wanted to devote some quality running to it.

So, what race did I choose?

Miracle Match 5k & Half-Marathon 2015!

I ran this last year as part of my marathon training. I love the course, it’s practically in my backyard & you get extra swag for running the 5k on Saturday, then the half on Sunday. I do love me some swag. (Also, this was my first ever 5k five years ago, so it holds a special place in my heart.)

But to make this even more exciting I’m actually going to meet Amanda from The Lady Okie. I plan on giving her a wonderfully awkward hug & forcing her to take fake running selfie’s with me.

Here is my tentative training schedule. This is fairly fluid, depending on what’s going on in my life I’m up to being flexible as long as I end up getting my long runs in. We shall see.

MM 2015 - Training Plan

On the speed/tempo days I’m just going to use my Jeff Galloway running app. It will tell me exactly what to do and when. I’m clueless when it comes to actually getting faster, so I’m just going to trust he knows what he’s talking about and take it from there.

Moj days are whatever she sets up for us. Sometimes that’s a 40 minute burpee session, other times it’s a 40 minute stair workout. She likes to make me swear & sweat. I like her for putting up with my snarky attitude. Win/Win.

Rest/Lift days are just that. If running is wearing me out, I’ll take a rest day. If I feel up to a weight lifting day, I’ll pop open my BodySpace app and get some dead lifts in.

I’m excited to see how this training schedule will work with my WeightWatchers. I’ve never actually lost weight on a running plan (EAT ALL THE FOODS) and it will be interesting to see if it can be done.

(I know it can but dude, running has the ability to make the best of us HANGRY, so yeah.)

Any races in your future?!

Monday, November 10, 2014

WW – Week 2

I’m still trying to figure out how I want to format these posts – so, things may change up weekly until I get it down but the information should stay relatively the same.

Week 2: November 3 -November 9

Original Weight:197.6 lbs

Week 2 Starting Weight: 195.2 lbs
Current Weight: 193 lbs
Weekly Weight Loss: -2.2 lbs

Total weight loss: –4.6 lbs

*Current Goal: 183.7 lbs*
Ultimate Goal: 155 lbs

I am also going to add my measurements - just as another form of progress. I forgot to include them on last weeks post & I re-measured this morning just because, so this is a 2 weeks difference but my plan is to only update monthly.

  10/27/2014 11/10/2014

Change (+/-)

Hips: 44 43 -1 in
Waist: 34 33 -1 in
Bust: 39 39 0
Rt. Thigh: 27.5 27.5 0
Lt. Thigh: 27 27 0
Rt. Arm: 12.5 12.5 0
Lt. Arm: 12 12 0
Total loss:     -2 inches

I feel good about this past week. Although, right now when I get on the scale it doesn’t really feel like a loss. Since these pounds are ones I’ve lost once and have now regained, it doesn’t feel really that special as it did the first time. I can feel myself saying it doesn’t really matter, I shouldn’t have gained it back in the first place, and why even bother. Which is ridiculous. I made an active effort this week to clean up my food & consciously made good decisions, so I should be celebrating staying on track.

I’ve heard & read people knocking Weight Watchers because it doesn’t really teach you how to eat – it gives you points and you use them how you want. You want to spend 20 points on McDonald’s Angus Mushroom & Swiss Hamburger, go right on ahead. Sure, let’s add large fries for 14 points and just eat nothing for the rest of the day.

Technically, you can lose weight doing that. But I think those people who are using it in that way are setting themselves up for failure & really not interested in changing their life anyway. They want a quick fix & then it gives the program a bad name. You could probably say the same for other programs – Paleo, Atkins, etc. If you cheat the system, it’s probably not going to work long-term for you. You have to be willing to recognize & take responsibility for what you’re doing wrong and then figure out how you will overcome it.

Mine is my diet. I feel like I eat okay – which means I probably do not at all. I snack a lot and while I really do enjoy vegetables/fruits I’m more prone to reaching for a bag of chips than an apple. It seems more convenient and so much more satisfying.

So, I’m really trying to focus on cleaning up my diet so that this a sustainable change. I’m not going balls to the wall right away (that in the past has been a recipe for disaster). It’s just that once I reach my goal, I know I’m going to have to figure out how to maintain – and if I can work on that while I reach towards my goal, I think I will be in a much better place than that of complete restriction.

I actually had a Jack-in-the-Box burger & curly fries last week because I simply could not get them out of my head. I figured if I wanted them that bad, why not, so I did – and they were wonderful. I still managed to lose because the rest of my food for the week was mostly lean meats, vegetables & fruits. I’ve been working on not eye-balling things either. Like if I track a tbsp of peanut butter, it’s actually a tablespoon. It’s been a little eye-opening to me this past week in regards to my portions.

In fitness related news, I attended my orientation for Team Beef last night & officially started half-marathon training today! I’ll share more about that in a separate post later this week.

Also, if you’re not already following Holly from My Own Kind of Beautiful, check her out & give her some love. She’s a runner but is just starting weight lifting – and I can’t wait to see her progress!

Monday, November 3, 2014

The Best Possible Me

One of the things I’ve learned about myself in the past 6 weeks is that I stress eat. I don’t even realize I’m  doing it half the time. I mean, I know that I am eating I just don’t realize how much I’m eating.

Bluntly put - I have gained back what I had previously lost over the past couple of years with running & exercise. I’ve been able to maintain that weight loss but with the over-eating & the under-exercising, it crept up on me & while I will never equate my self-worth with the weight on the scale I do hate the feeling of sucking in while buttoning up my pants.

I think one of my biggest issues with actually losing weight is that I like myself. I look at my body and I’m proud of what it has done for me & what it continues to do for me. I have come a long way from the girl who couldn’t jog 30 feet without her heart flying from her chest. And then I think, why would I want to lose weight when I can enjoy my life just the way I am? I can run for miles, I can zip up my pants, I have wonderful friends & family – why can’t I enjoy that extra piece of cake? And so I do. And I never really lose weight. I go up & down within a 10 lb frame over a course of a couple months & I’ve really only learned how to maintain.

Well, until I un-learned it by stress-eating.

My problem is not moving more. I can settle into a routine & be good to go, my problem is what I eat & the amount of it that I eat. I’ve tried entering food into My Fitness Pal & while it is a wonderful tool & helped me see what I’m doing, it does not hold me accountable. I see I’ve lost 3 lbs, I think I need a treat for doing so, then I’m right back where I started.

I guess the whole you can’t out train a bad diet mantra is true. Sigh.

You can't out train a bad diet. Someone may need to tattoo this to my forehead!

Before I had Lillie, I lost about 30 lbs doing Weight Watchers. I was successful because I was being held accountable by others (and because I was paying for it!) – this was before they rebooted the program with the different point system. I tried doing it right after the reboot (and right after Lillie) but my mind was so confused with the new & old system, I gave it up. Then, I found running and well, losing weight wasn’t at the top of my list because I was just focusing on establishing a running routine.

I received an email offering 50% off for 3 months with WW online. I signed up and have been on it for a week. I did really well the first part of the week, then the weekend & Halloween candy extravaganza happened. After my weigh-in this morning, I thought perhaps to hold myself even more accountable I should blog about it. While I’m sure this won’t be everyone’s cup of tea, I plan on posting every Monday where I’m at and what my plans/goals are for the week. And whatever I may be struggling with or thinking about.

I promise they all won’t be this long. Or…well, never mind I won’t promise that. I get wordy sometimes. (Clearly.)

So, here goes.

Week 1: October 27-November 2

Starting Weight: 197.6 lbs
Current Weight: 195.2 lbs
Weekly Weight Loss: -2.4 lbs

My ultimate goal weight is 155 lbs. I can recall being comfortable at the weight years ago & based on my height, it is a reasonable long term goal. However, that is a lot of weight to focus on, so I’ll be focusing on 5% of my body weight at a time (this is WW recommendation & to be honest, makes it a lot less scary.) I would really like to start my 30s (next August!) being the best possible version of myself I can be.

Current Goal Weight: 183.7 lbs

Once I reach this point, I’ll reward myself with something (not sure yet what, but it won’t be food) – likely a pair of shoes. Because, duh, shoes. 

Next week, I’ll plan on laying out my training plan schedule (I have to figure it out) because I have a half-marathon I would like to complete kill at the end of January 2015.

IMG_4423

Thursday, October 30, 2014

Let’s Bullet Point!

It’s been a while, right?

I’ve had a lot going on and unfortunately, for my amazing followers, you’ve had to suffer as blogging was knocked down on my priority list. I know this must have been a terrible time for you. I sincerely apologize.

But, I’m starting re-prioritize (actually, I’m just organizing my time better) and am planning on getting back into the blogging world. I figured I’d start with a bullet point list of what’s currently going on with me and then follow-up those bullet points with posts over the next couple of weeks. Sounds peachy, don’t it?

  • We’ve started our own dirt work/contracting business!
    ALServices 

    And by we, I mean my husband does all the actual work & I’m figuring out all the behind-the-scenes stuff. It’s been interesting. I didn’t talk about it much (or maybe not at all) but he quit his full-time job last December (by trade he is a plumber) and so over the course of this past year, this has just been the natural progression of things.
  • We lost Biscuit. I have at least two separate drafts dedicated to her that I haven’t been able to finish, I will get there eventually. She nestled her little wiry body into our hearts in a very short period of time & (hell, I’m tearing up right now) this was honestly the first animal I ever connected with so deeply. She was part of our family, she still is. I miss her very much.Puppy Love
  • I was in a play for our local community theatre! I used to do these regularly (prior to having my daughter) so this was the first one back, and it was wonderful. I was actually a theatre major my first semester in college and had plans to be an actress someday. Once I realized how much sacrifice and work goes into being a paid actress, I changed my major & settled with doing local theatre whenever I could to get my acting fix in. Rockin' Around The Bed Posts
  • I’ve been given the opportunity to join Team Beef! Per their website, “Texas Beef Team is a community of runners, triathletes and cyclists who recognize benefits of lean beef and the vital role high-quality protein plays in their training.” You have to apply and I applied when I first started running but was not accepted, so when their email came this go around I was jumping out of my skin excited. I have an orientation session November 9th to explain what is expected of me as a member of this team. I am really eager to see what 2015 brings me in terms of my fitness.
  • Speaking of fitness, I am still hitting the weights & can definitely tell a difference in my strength. As in, I can actually bench press more than the bar & feel like I’m not a complete amateur in the free weights section of the gym. I give credit to www.bodybuilding.com and their free phone app Bodyspace with giving me the tools to move past my insecurities and squat this shit out. I will continue to lift but will probably cut back to make room for a little more running in 2015. I petered out after my marathon in April & haven’t quite figured out where to focus my energy but I’m ready to make some PRs (Personal Records) in my 5k, 10k and half times. Like I said, eager to see where 2015 brings me.IMG_4685
  • And lastly, Lillie is basically an adult now. At the very least, she’s a card carrying princess. I mean, look at her. It’s hard to believe she’ll be 4 years old in the next couple of weeks.
    Princess Lillie Fishing Like A Boss Well, I end this post here & I’ll do a more detailed recap on some of the things I mentioned. Hope everyone has a Happy Halloween tomorrow evening!
    IMG_4894
     
     

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Why She Stayed

What I’m about to share is a part of my story, a part of my life and is only told from my perspective. One thing I’ve learned is there is always two sides to a story and so I do not pretend to know everything that took place to lead to this ending.


I’m not really into sports. Like, I know the fundamentals but I don’t make it a point to watch them on television so any kind of sports commentary is quickly skimmed over and placed in the waste receptacle in the back of my brain. After all, I have to make room for training plans and dinner ideas for a 3 year old and which shoes to buy to annoy my husband. You know, important things.

So, when Ray Rice, a football player for the Baltimore Ravens, was indicted for aggravated assault towards his fiancé (now wife) in March of this year – I didn’t hear about it. I simply don’t recall anything about it on the news – now, that could be because I’m sports deaf or it could be because it just wasn’t that big of a deal to the news media because he’s you know, a famous football player and his fiancé was not.

But now it has become a big deal - because a video of the assault has surfaced. You can view it by clicking here. If you haven’t seen it, or really aren’t interested, Ray punches her (Janay) in the face hard enough to knock her unconscious and drags her body out of the elevator (security cameras caught this). It’s domestic violence. Straight-up.

I’ve talked a bit about my mother in past posts, she is an amazing person whose positive outlook on life would never let you know that she was a victim of domestic violence. Sure, you could probably tell by the bruises, the black eyes, the scratch marks if you wanted to see those things but most people didn’t. But I saw them, I saw them every day of the week – I dreaded the weekends (when things were more likely to escalate) growing up and I did everything I could to never be home. I was really fortunate to have a couple of great friends with wonderful parents who did their best to protect me and my siblings, but they could only do so much.

I was 9 the first time I saw him hit her. I did what I was taught in school – I called 911. She cried for me not too because it would make it worse. I never thought it could be worse than that. It was explained to me that sometimes adults fight – she was my mom and why would she lie to me, so I just said okay. This was in the early stages of their relationship, we lived close to our family, and these “occurrences” were very spaced out. To a 9 year old who knows very little about the world, I took what my mother and he said and tucked it away. Sometimes adults fight. Big deal.

But then we moved. We moved to a city where all of his family lived and none of ours did – and things got worse. The violence became not only more frequent but more vicious , the blood splatter across the carpet became increasingly difficult to clean and the more I ventured out and witnessed my friends’ parents relationship I became more and more ashamed of my home life.  I didn’t want any of my friends to know what was happening, so I would lie and say I wasn’t allowed to have sleepovers. I never knew when a fight was coming and couldn’t risk it. That was, until my mom promised me for my 13th birthday she would make sure he wasn’t around so I could have one of those coveted middle school sleepovers I had only every participated in but never hosted.

I invited friends, we rented scary movies, and holed up in my living room – I felt normal and happy. We had all went bowling earlier and hopped up on Surge and cake. But then he came home. And he was drunk. And she was insistent he leave (full disclosure, she too had been drinking) because she had promised me he wouldn’t be around. He got mad, lashed out and I was standing there screaming at them to stop.

They didn’t. They never stopped. I don’t know why I thought this night would be any different.

He drug her by the hair into the kitchen and one of my friends called the police while I begged them all not to say anything to anyone. I tried to play it cool but that’s really kind of hard when the police officer comes to your front door and knows you by name - not because someone told him but because he had been there enough times to remember. And then, you know, you have to sit in his police cruiser filling out a police report of what happened on your 13th birthday while your friends called their parents to come pick them up.

At school on Monday, I vividly remember sitting in the library at a table for four and some girl I didn’t really know leaned over and said, “So, your dad beats your mom”. I quickly cleared up the fact that he was not my dad but then what else do you say to that other than, “Yes, it happened.” And then silently think to yourself as you watch the look of pity and disgust come across someone else’s face and think, “Wow, my mom is one of those women.”

I hated that she thought she wasn’t more, I hated that she allowed this to take place in front of us – that we weren’t enough for her to leave, but mostly I just hated. I can’t tell you the number of times I researched safe homes, was offered a place to stay for all of us, and then told my mom we could do this, we could get away. She would dismiss it with a wave of her hand as if to say, “Silly girl. You don’t know.”

She was right, I didn’t know. I had no idea what she thought he was capable of but there was one time she answered. They just had a fight, her face was swollen but no blood this time – although, I could tell her cheek would be bruised in the morning – she sat next to me on the bed and apologized. I was 11.

She apologized for screaming my name while he hit her, she apologized for the fact that he ripped the phone out of the wall so I couldn’t call the police to help, she apologized for him and as we went through what was now a routine apology, I asked again - “Mom, why don’t we leave?”

And she turned her head slowly, looked me straight into my eyes and said, “Because he will kill me.”

And two years later, if he hadn’t been too drunk/high to take the gun off of safety – she would have. Instead, she shot him. Years of abuse and she was finally free of him. It cost her children, it cost her freedom, it cost her name – but nearly 5 years later she was finally released from prison after being charged with manslaughter.

I don’t know exactly what happened that night. We were lucky enough to be visiting with family in Texas when the phone call came in that Mom was in jail and he was dead. I’ve never pushed Mom to explain in detail one of the most terrifying nights of her life, although she has shared bits of it over the years with me. But there’s one thing I do know – she stayed with him because she was scared for her life.

She wasn’t strong enough – and a lot of that has to do with her own childhood. Things I learned later on as an adult. Things I won’t share because those are not part of my experience. But they are things that help me piece together why I wasn’t enough for her to leave. On why it’s not as easy as just getting up and going when it comes to domestic abuse (verbal or non-verbal). There is so much more to it than anyone can know.

No one, man or woman, deserves to be abused. I’ve shared with you one story of many I have growing up witnessing domestic violence – and there were times when my mom fought back. He would be the one to wake up with a bruised eye or swollen lip.

So, Ray Rice beat his fiancé. She’s now his wife. People can’t understand why she’d choose to be with him after that and so they make assumptions.

She’s only with him because he’s rich.
She must be really stupid.
If she’s sticking around, she deserves it.

I can’t pretend to know what their relationship dynamic looks like, I just have my own perspective into this world – and having a little empathy/sympathy can go a long way in helping people find their way. Whether that way is to overcoming anger issues by counseling (which they have been involved in & I hope it works for them) or whether that way is packing it up and leaving – just be a human being and acknowledge each other for what you are and for what you hope to be – someone who is capable, who is beautiful, who is strong. 1619445_776791332331471_1851068138_n