Day One

Yesterday marked Day One of my half marathon training plan. It called for an easy 3 miles. Easy peasy, right? Not when you took an inadvertent six day break from running. It took me a while to warm up and then my legs didn’t really feel loose until I was done. Dusting off the cobwebs. But my lungs felt good and my breathing wasn’t completely out of whack.

I went back on my Daily Mile account to try and find my “runniversary” date. I’ve seen lots of bloggers post about the day they started running or the day they first felt like a runner. It was hard for me to pinpoint a date. February 18, 2013 was the first day I did Couch to 5K and I did it almost 3 days a week for two months. But then I took a two month break due to what appears to be illness and just lack of motivation. Yeah, I checked my facebook history to figure that one out. I tried to fall in love with summer cycling, but failed when my clipless pedals and shoes didn’t agree with my klutziness. I picked up running again in June, using Couch to 5K for a bit, and then ultimately just running on my own, using walk run intervals until I finally ran my first 3 miles without stopping on August 2, 2013. That day and that run stick in my head as the day I said to myself, “Yep, I’m a runner.” It had just rained and I spent those glorious 3 miles jumping over puddles and enjoying the post rain coolness. Ultimately I guess we’ll stick with February 18th as my “runniversary.” It was the day this whole journey began.

All of that makes me really just how far I’ve come in a very short amount of time. I can run 5 miles without stopping…probably longer because I’ve yet to try running 6 miles without stopping. My resting heartrate is in the low 50s. I’m in the best shape of my life. It’s really amazing the changes you can make in six months, in a year. You just have to take that first step.

Anyway, back to the training plan… I’m using the Half-Marathon Finish It training plan out of Train Like a Mother by Dimity McDowell and Sarah Bowen Shea. I can’t say enough good things about these two women. Follow their blog, follow their twitter, follow their Instagram, read their books. I looked at several training plans before choosing this one. I looked at Jeff Galloway. I still might try his run/walk/run intervals, but a big part of me wants to run this half marathon all the way. It’s a mental thing for me, but I want to RUN! I looked at Hal Higdon, but his plan wasn’t enough for me. Ultimately I went with TLAM because it most closely matched my current running routine, just pushing me to do more and go just that much farther each week. It was also one of the only programs that included a full 13 mile training run for a half marathon.

There’s so many distances on this plan that I haven’t even imagined reaching. And yet there they are in front of me, neatly typed up onto a calendar. I’ll be crossing off the days as I go, each day closer to my goal of 13.1.

Have any of you ever used Couch to 5K or followed a training plan? Which one?


Random Monday

So far all of my posts have been about a certain topic. Today you get a day-in-the-life-random-me post.

I am now the proud owner of bras and underwear that actually fit. I’m telling ya…when I started losing weight, I didn’t really think that eventually I would have to replace my entire wardrobe from head to toe. I went from a size 38C bra to a size 32C bra. Actually, according to the lady who measured me at Victoria’s Secret, I’m a 30C…a size which doesn’t exist except at specialty stores. I got 32Cs and just hook them on the tightest hook. My feet shrunk too. I wear a whole size smaller than I used to wear. In the words of my mama…”well huh.”

I took Blue to Build-a-Bear today. It was my penance for dragging him to Victoria’s Secret. I told him that he could pick out one of the Small Fry stuffed animals. I almost had him sold on the cute little monster one, even telling him he could get the one-eyed one for his brother. But he looked up at me with his little puppy eyes and said, “But Mommy, those ones are already made. I want to make a bear and put a heart that I fill with love in it.” So this happened…


Could you say no to this face? Didn’t think so. He named her Rainbow. He was very adamant that she was a girl. She even had to have hot pink bows for her ears. I asked him if she was going to be Black Bear’s girlfriend. He told me, “I don’t know. Black Bear hasn’t met her yet. I don’t know if he will even like her.” Seriously…I birthed a comedian.

I got to run outside today. I hadn’t run outside since the Frosty 5K on New Year’s Day. No wonder my body was craving that vitamin D so badly. It was a glorious 4 miles. I could have gone more, but I wanted to get home and watch Downton Abbey. Disturbing episode, but I think it will all turn out right in the end. That’s the way it is with Downton. They break our hearts and then bring us back up. It’s a roller coast ride.

A couple of blogs I read always end with questions, so here goes nothing…

Do you wear the right size bra?

Tell the truth, you love BaB too, right?

Downton fan, yes or no?

What did you do?

I get this question almost weekly. What did you do? What did you do to lose the weight? What’s your secret?

Sorry, folks. It’s not secret. I watched what I ate and I ran my a$$ off, literally. I made small changes over time. I’ll try to make a list of all the things that I have done. Here’s the disclaimer: just because this worked for me, doesn’t mean it will work for you. However, in my experience in watching others follow a somewhat relative path to mine, this is a very successful method for slow, long term, lasting weight loss.

Side note: I have tried about 100 times to write “the weight loss” post, but it’s just too long of a story for a blog post. Here’s the condensed version. I lost 40lbs over the course of 7+ years. That’s a little over 5lbs a year. That’s REALLY slow. I went from a size 16 jeans to size 8. I went from size XL tops to size S tops. I’ve been heavy virtually my entire life. When I got my driver’s license at 15, I lied about my weight. I told the DMV lady I weighed 135lbs. It was a lie back then, but it’s no longer a lie. I went from 175 at my heaviest to my now current 135. Goal weight…BOOM!

So here’s what I did:

1. I learned to cook. Thankfully, I fell in love with cooking. I love to make things from scratch, from the bottom up. I like knowing everything that’s in my food. Cooking from scratch does take a bit more time, initially. However, once you get into a groove, you will forget all those processed food shortcuts you used to take. It’s about changing habits.

2. I cut out processed foods, as much as possible. I’m talking the super processed stuff. No canned soups, no ready-to-eat meals, no frozen biscuits, no “helper.”

3. I read labels. I don’t put anything in my grocery cart without reading the label first. I want to know what’s in it. I don’t avoid HFCS completely, but I’m more likely to buy something if it’s made with real sugar, real ingredients. If there’s too many things that I have to stop to pronounce, I’m not going to buy it. It takes time to read labels, but you will quickly learn what brands make the effort to be more natural. Again, changing habits. In the short run, it will take time and effort, but in the long run, it will be a lasting change…just another part of your routine.

4. I researched portion size. For example, a serving of cheese is roughly the size of 4 dice. Compared to the amount of cheese you find in casserole recipe’s on Pinterest, that is tiny. A serving of meat is the size of a deck of playing cards. No wonder Americans are so heavy. Restaurants knowingly serve food that is two, three, and four times the recommended portion!

5. I went relatively dairy-free. I found out about a year ago that I have a moderate to severe lactose intolerance. I gave up milk, anything made with milk, and ice cream. I use almond milk as a substitute, because I also seem to have an issue with soy. I limit myself to a serving of cheese per day and at once, one tablespoon of butter. This took off about 5lbs almost immediately.

6. I try to eat a balanced diet, with a variety of things. Different fruits and veggies. Different grains. A variety of proteins. I have expanded my palate and found that healthy things taste better to me than the junk. Basically I reprogrammed myself. When I eat better, I feel better, which makes the food that’s better for me taste better. Food is fuel, and it helps me to treat it that way.

7. I keep my cheat foods sacred. I LOVE Chipotle. I LOVE Oreos. I LOVE brownies. I LOVE sweet and sour chicken. I LOVE cinnamon rolls. And I still eat these things, but not every day, not every week. It’s that much more a reward to space it out.

8. I found a workout that I love. I tried weights. I tried yoga. I tried aerobics. I tried cycling. I fell in love with running. I look forward to my runs. It’s not just something else on my to-do list. I see running as my reward for waking up and making it through another day in this world. In order to lose weight, you have find a workout that you love and works for your body. It’s the same idea as finding a job that you love. If it’s a chore, you are less likely to do it.

9. Calories in and calories out. I occasionally count calories to keep myself on track. I have used the Livestrong food iPhone app and now I use the FitBit app. I can’t say enough good things about the FitBit…awesome tool. I wish I had had one all along. Your calories in have to be lower than your calories out to lose weight. It’s simple math, simple science. If you want to eat more, you have to do more. If you want to sit on your butt all day, you can lose weight, but you won’t get to eat much while you do it. You also won’t tone up while you drop the pounds.

10. I worked hard. Sometimes I look back and it feels like the weight just fell off. But it didn’t. This was a SEVEN year battle. I had ups and downs. Giving up certain foods was tough. Changing my routine was tough. Getting started running was tough. But I did it. I persevered. And I know I’m stronger because of it.

You can do it too. You can make changes for the better. You can become the person you want to be. It’ll be a battle and sometimes you’ll feel defeated. But you have to believe in yourself, in the power of your own mind to do the right thing for you and your body.


This just shocked me. I renewed my license in 2013. I was about 140lbs there…5 lbs away from goal weight. The left image is from 2007, right after the birth of Brown. Crazy how much my face has changed!


This was the goal weight picture! 135lbs! Check out that skinny arm!


The left image is at my absolute heaviest, 175lbs. I had been married for about 6 months. I was 23 years old. The right image is 135lbs and 30 years old. I love 30! 🙂

2014 Goals

I don’t make New Year’s resolutions. For years, I made the resolution to get healthy and lose weight. It never worked. I was only successful once I stopped over thinking it, stopped seeing it as a diet, and stopped seeing working out as another chore to add to my list. I made a lifestyle change for good…not a resolution.

Instead, I will make goals and I have a lot of them for 2014.

1. Run 1,000 miles. This should be easy once you read the next one.
2. Run two 10Ks and two half marathons.
3. One indoor and one outdoor triathlon.
4. Bike 500 miles.
5. Continue the hunt for the sub-30 min 5K PR.

My training for the first of the two half marathons begins in two weeks. I’m nervous, excited, and ready to rock!

I’ve got some other non-fitness related goals too.

1. Be happy with what I’ve got. I have enough stuff.
2. Try new foods. Quinoa and spaghetti squash are both high on my list.
3. Read 75 books. I fell 5 books short last year.
4. Become a LunaPads Ambassador.
5. Get a puppy…maybe.

I toast my Tervis water bottle to the year 2014. It’s gonna be awesome!

Frosty 5K – Race Report

Let’s run a 5K on New Year’s Day, they said. It’ll be fun, they said. And they were right.

The race started the night before with an 11:30pm text from NuhNuh. “The race starts at 9:30, not 11!” Whoops! We had an old copy of the race registration, which had the wrong time for the 2014 race. I set an alarm and didn’t worry about setting out race kits for all of us the night before. That’s a first for me.

I woke up around 6:30am to a quiet house. I tiptoed out to the kitchen and started the Keurig. I put bibs on race belts and made peanut butter toast. I pooped…a pre-race must. And then I roused my fellow race companions.

The weather was forecast to be perfect for a January road race. Right at about 30 degrees…no wind until later in the afternoon. I picked tights under shorts, a short sleeve tee under a lighter long sleeve top, my mid-weight headband from my SIL, and my Saucony wind gloves, also from the SIL. She likes me to be warm when I run.


The Frosty 5K is run to benefit the Wichita YMCA fund various projects throughout the year. And since it’s the YMCA, the race started with some pre-race Zumba. I’m a runner…I don’t Zumba. But I enjoyed watching and clapping…and giggling with Brown, who also moaned, “I’m a runner…I don’t Zumba.” Gotta love that kid!

And then we were off. It was a route very similar to the Mustache Dash and included the loop around Exploration Place, which I always enjoy. I kept a nice easy 11min/mile pace. Brown and NuhNuh stuck with us, but Brown was struggling in the cold air. He had just gotten over a bout with his cough-variant asthma. He and NuhNuh fell back and ran together. Daddy Man and I ran side by side, skipping over ice patches and goose poop. We saw Brown and NuhNuh right behind us on the turns and whooped and hollered along with all the YMCA people who learned Brown’s name at registration. NuhNuh said she had trouble keeping up with him, because every time someone would holler his name he would turn on the jets.

We kicked it up to a 10min/mile pace for the last half mile or so. Daddy Man and I crossed the finish line holding hands. No better way to start 2014, which will be a year of running and racing for me and my man. Brown and NuhNuh sprinted to the finish as well…no need to teach that kid how to kick at the end.

Daddy Man and I finished at 33:48 and Brown and NuhNuh finished at 35.47. I was very comfortable the entire time. This was an easy run pace for me. Maybe I need to add some speed work back in to my weekly runs.


Daddy Man just reminded me that we realized much later in the day that he got 1st in his AG! We usually hang around for a bit to see if Brown medals, because he usually does if the youngest age group is 9 and under. This race had the youngest age group end at 14, and those kids are FAST. We don’t usually think that Daddy Man or I would podium. But Daddy Man did! The Y is mailing his medal to our branch, so I will post a picture as soon as he picks it up…hopefully tomorrow. Yay, Daddy Man!!


These tights make me famous at races. People call them my “galaxy pants.”

As soon as we finished the race, the wind picked up. Perfect timing! The rest of the day was spent in our jammies watching Despicable Me 2 on an endless loop. (And Daddy Man nursed an injured foot. A doctor appointment two days later confirmed it’s just a tendon sprain…not a stress fracture. Whew!)