Thursday, January 28, 2016

Back to Basics

I knew at the very beginning of this attempt to lose weight… that things would not always go smoothly. I knew there would be stumbles and falls. I knew there would be days, weeks, even months, where I was ready to just throw it in. I knew that there would be times when I would feel like I'm actually in a worse spot than I was before I even started. And that I would wonder why I was even bother to try during that time period.

But then… things went so smooth for me. The weight just seemed to fall off. Progress in weight loss as well as fitness seemed to come in leaps and bounds. I had barely been doing this for a year and I was already getting close to my goal weight. Somewhere in there I had become a role model. An inspiration for others.

But then something happened. A lot of it I can trace back to the half marathon. It was incredible. But I HURT afterwards. And it took a few days before my body felt like it was even able to move again. And then by that time, I came down with what I'm still assuming was "hand/foot/mouth" disease. That was misery. That hurt worse than the half marathon. No joke. I could barely walk. I came home from work one morning and just cried because I hurt so bad. (And it's not like I have a highly active job!) A visit to the doctor seemed to corroborate the hand/foot/mouth self-diagnosis. But there was nothing that could be done except to let time pass. And in the meantime… I was highly contagious. So, I got a doctors note excusing me from work for the rest of the week… and I camped out at home, ice packs being my only relief. At night, my sister would get me settled in bed, then actually strap ice packs to my feet with ace bandages so I could stand to sleep. She did it to my hands at one point too.

Here we got a picture of the "ice pack casts."
I managed to smile for the picture, but
what you are missing what the break-
down into tears just 15 minutes earlier.

And honestly… things have never been right since. I don't mean due to the disease. Time did pass and I eventually healed up. But I have never been able to get myself back into the game. Another part of the problem is that the time change happened soon after that and it was dark at night… which meant I couldn't run outside anymore. 

I recognized the slack-off and signed up for another half marathon in April in hopes that it would help keep me motivated. 

But here we are at the end of January and I'm am dead in the water. I keep finding excuses not to go workout (at all… forget running!). And my diet is a joke. And worse yet… my heart is not in it. I am having a hell of a time even working up the whatever to even care. I've gained back weight. I can tell the difference in how my clothes fit. 

So… here I am for the first time really… encountering those times that I knew I would encounter in the very beginning. And I'm struggling to know how to deal with it. My best guess is just to not give up. Even if the most "healthy" decision I can bring myself to make at this point in the game is just to get enough sleep… as long as I don't give up. Or rather… as long as I start again each time I give up… then eventually I will get there. I am in the phase where I have to decide whether I am truly going to make this a lifestyle change… or whether it was just going to be a diet that I went on for awhile. 

I intended this to be a lifestyle change. I want it to be. I have loved the life I have found since I started this. But right now… I'm in a slump. And I need to assess why I'm here and what I can do to get out of it. Right now, I'm still in the "just don't give up" place. Stop beating myself up for gaining some weight back. Realize where I am and accept it as part of the journey. Remember that just because I can't do everything, I shouldn't refuse to do those things that I can do. Do what I can bring myself to do right now. Eventually those other parts will come back in as long as I don't give up. Don't get discouraged. I expected this to take anywhere from 2-4 years before I got to a place where I felt satisfied about where I was and felt secure in having made it a true lifestyle change. You are not even at 2 years yet… so don't beat yourself up for not being at your goal yet. 

In fact… I need to remember what GOAL means to me anyway in this process. There is no… never was… a "goal weight." There was a simply a "maintenance weight." Goal is not a destination or an end point. GOAL is an acronym for "Get Out And Live." That's what this has been about since the very beginning. Creating a life I love. Becoming the kind of person I want to be. 

I have a very dear friend (he's easily old enough to be my father… but that does not stop me from considering him as one of the best friends I have ever had… in fact, I am closer to him that I ever was to my father) who knows me probably better than my own family does. Prior to losing weight… I went through a huge, massive, life-altering, spiritual overhaul. And this man was the one who saw me through it. Who walked by side as I struggled to figure out who I am and  what I want out of this life in terms of religion or my relationship with God. He was there for me at 5:00 in the morning or at 8:00 at night ( or any time in between) to listen to me. To talk to me. He put up with more tears than anybody should ever have to. He believed in me when I didn't believe in myself. He refused to give up on me even though he had every reason in the world to do so. And somehow in all of this… he still managed to love me. And to believe the best about me even when everything I did seemed to prove him wrong.

Anyway… My point. I was talking to him just this past Sunday. Mentioned I was struggling. He took the spiritual side of it… as that is what our relationship has been based on… and shared some thoughts that he hoped would help me. One thing he mentioned was to forget all the fluff. Forget the intricacies. And focus on those simple and beautiful things that is at the very base. He was speaking in the spiritual sense. But that's kind of what I'm trying to do here… Forget about everything else and go back to the basic reasons why I started this in the beginning. I've learned a lot about nutrition and exercise and the way the body works (especially since I started studying to be a personal trainer). I have a whole list of stuff in my head as what I should be doing and how I should be doing it and why it's important. Maybe for right now… I need to forget all that and remember what this was all about for me. Creating a life I love. Becoming the person I want to be. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Deciding You Want It

This is not really news. But it's hitting me really hard this evening.

When a person decides they want something… I mean, they REALLY want it… they will do whatever it takes to achieve it. They find a way. But until that time comes… NOTHING anybody can do or say will make a difference.

Take weight loss for example. When someone decides they really want to lose weight, they are willing to do whatever it takes for that to happen. They will undergo painful, risky, and expensive surgeries. They will endure hours upon hours of brutal workouts. They will follow whatever diet plan anybody tells them to. And they actually will do it. But until they really want it… it does not matter how easy it is, they won't do it. They will find an excuse why they can't.

If you want it, you'll find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse.

It's something for me to realize. To think about right now. Because I seem to be making a lot of excuses lately. So, I need to take some time to decide… is this something I really want?

Thursday, November 26, 2015

Off Track

I've had a hard time getting back on top of things after my half marathon. I came down with a virus just a few days after my marathon (seriously… days. I was still sore from my race when I came down with this) and it completely threw me into a tail spin. And I haven't been on track since.

I have gained a few pounds back. Enough so that I'm starting to notice it in how my clothes fit. And that's freaking me the hell out. It's been really hard for me to stay motivated to workout. The time change and having it dark and cold out now makes it really hard. I have learned why they call it the "dreadmill" after learning to love running outside. And without a race to train for… it's especially hard to keep motivated. And my niece is dealing with an injury that has sidelined her. She hasn't been able to run since the half marathon, so she isn't signing up for any races either. So, without a racing partner, it's really easy to slack off.

And my eating is a joke. Seriously. JOKE. I'm having a hard time disciplining myself to get that under control.

However… I feel like I'm starting to get back to my routine with working out. I have a co-worker who has been going to Golds Gym. And she has slacked off for several months and is trying to get back to it herself. She invited me to her Body Pump class I think in hopes that having someone counting on her… will help her stay with it. So I went with her to that class (I got in on her guest pass). And surprisingly really liked it. I have never had the slightest interest in classes before, but I really enjoyed the Body Pump class. It kicked my butt! Holy crap… after that first class, I hurt in every muscle in my body. Including some I wasn't even aware I had! But I loved that it was a full body strength training in one hour. So, I kept going on her pass for a couple of weeks. But hard an increasingly hard time wanting to go back to Planet Fitness on my cardio days. So, I finally just joined Golds Gym. That's been helpful to me in wanting to get back to working out. I'm hoping once I can get back into a routine again, that I will find the discipline to get my eating under control.

I tried out a Zumba class once I got my own membership at Golds. And I didn't really like it. But I was glad to try something new and figure out what I like and what I don't. And that's one of the main reasons I decided to go over to Golds Gym is because it would offer me more opportunities to try new things. And that's what I want for myself right now… I need to challenge myself. Try something new. Push myself to go further or faster. To lift heavier. I love Planet Fitness. I have nothing but good things to say about them. But I feel like I've gotten everything I can out of them. I credit them with getting me to this point though. The point where I'm not afraid to try out something new. Even if I suck at it. Even if I end up hating it. Even if I'm back at feeling like an absolute beginner. And even though I'm not in a great place right now… I know what to do to get back to where I want to be. And I know that I can do it. And it's gonna be a hell of a lot easier to get there from here than it was to get there the first time!

Monday, October 12, 2015

Half Marathon Recap

Well, it's official. I am a half marathoner! On Saturday October 10, 2015 I ran the half marathon option of the Layton Marathon. It was my first. But it won't be my last!

The Layton Marathon is relatively new in the world of marathons. It has only been going for 6 or 7 years. The reason for the hesitation… I was talking to a guy on the bus to the starting line who said he had run this 6 times, ever since it started. What I don't know is if that day would be number 6 or if that day would have been number 7. The Layton Marathon is unique among the Utah marathons. Utah is a mountainous state. Therefore, almost all of our marathons include quite a change in elevation over the course of the race. Layton is advertised as the "flattest course in Utah" with only a 200 foot elevation change over the course of 26.2 miles.  It is a Boston qualifier. I understand it is also an Olympic qualifier. I chose the Layton Marathon for my first half for three main reasons… 1) it was local. I live 15 minutes away from Layton. No traveling required. I would be training in basically identical conditions that I would be running in. And I would be able to sleep in my own bed in the nights prior to the race. No worrying about "the first night in a strange bed" syndrome. 2) It was flat! I'm pretty comfortable on downhills, but uphills still test me. And I figured a flat would be a good one for a first timer. 3) By the time I decided I wanted to be able to do a half this year… I needed to find a race that was far enough out that it gave me adequate time to train. This one fit.

Training went pretty good, until my "long runs" started hitting 8+ miles. Then finding time to get in the long runs became a real challenge. I could easily dedicate 2 hours in the evenings for running, but my speed is slow enough that 8-ish miles is about all I could get in during that time. If I wanted to be able get in longer runs, I would have to do them on Saturday mornings. But I work a graveyard shift and I worked Friday nights. I could do a speed work run or a mid length run on Saturdays, but I did not have the energy to do a long run at that time. I finally had to split up my runs, by doing 3 miles on the treadmill on my break at work, then doing 7 miles during my normal running time. I was able to get 10.5 miles in in a day, before it was time to taper. But 8.5 miles was the longest I was able to get in in one setting. So, I was a little nervous going into it. I had talked to an employee at a running store when I went with my niece to get her some new shoes. She said the important thing was to get in the miles. Doing it all in one setting was more about the mental advantage it gave you. So, I tried to psyche myself into it with positive self-talk and simply stating… without question or hesitation… that I would finish. That was not the question. The only question was "how bad will it hurt afterwards?"And I am not afraid of pain. I am not afraid to sweat. I am not afraid of "hard." I am only afraid of giving up.

So, the night before the race, my niece came up to my house. She would stay with me that night, so as to maximize the amount of sleep she could get. Once she got here, I went with her to the expo for packet pick up. Then we came home for a pasta dinner and an early night.
My bib for my first half marathon.

My sister (Sue) was going to take my phone the
next morning and get pictures of us on the
course and at the finish. So I gave her a last
minute crash course on how to use my iPhone.
She's technologically challenged and doesn't
own a smartphone of her own. And my phone
takes better quality pictures than even my
camera! Sue hams things up and Jen and I were
getting a bit punchy with nerves. So everything
was hilarious. 

One thing I have wanted to do for a couple
of months was to get a photo of Jen and I
wearing the shirt that I was wearing in my "before"
photo 18 months ago. Since, I had essentially
lost the same amount that she weighs. That was
an exercise getting our heads through the neck hole!

And finally… this was the result. Obviously
the shirt didn't fit quite like that… but you
 get the idea!

Jen and I woke up about 4:45-5:00 in the morning the day of the race. And Sue got up early as well to take my phone from me and see us off. And she decided she needed to get pictures of the "getting ready" process. There is a photo of me putting on sunscreen wearing nothing but capris and a sports bra. That one will not be included in this blog post! :-) 

Laying out my shirt so I could pin on the bib.

Jen putting on her shoes

Grabbing the last items. A sweatshirt for the
standing around time at the start line and of course,
can't forget my hat or my hydration belt. 

Jen had her phone and took this photo of our fellow
 runners hanging around at the start line as it started getting
light enough to see. I had to hi-jack it from her Instagram feed!
It was a frigid morning at the start line! Luckily Jen and I were smart enough to bring sweatshirts, but that was all. Live and learn for next time! Once the full marathon had started, then they transported all the equipment to our start line and they had a heater attached to a generator. But until that time… COLD! We had to remind ourselves that once we got started we would be loving the chilly temps. And we would be sweating profusely shortly thereafter! Jen and I both started out walking. For less than 5 minutes, but it gave us a chance to warm up and to let the crowd thin out a little so we weren't running in a bottleneck. Smart choice on our part, I think. My game plan was to go out easy for the first 8 miles. But I was passing people within the first mile. And I stayed ahead of them the whole way. And I'm not a fast runner! We hadn't been running for very long (in fact, Jen was still in my sight) when I saw Sue on the side of the road, phone in hand. I couldn't believe she was there that early. But I loved it. I loved knowing that I would periodically be seeing her along the course. Somebody to cheer me on specifically. Somebody who would care if I was struggling. Or if I was running strong for that matter. 

The race started on the Causeway going out to Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake. The full marathon actually started on the island. But the half started on the causeway. It was beautiful watching the sun come up, but once we got started… I don't pay much attention to anything except running. So I was glad Sue got a nice shot of the scenery for me. These next photos are some of the earlier photos (taken within the first 5 miles).

Just before the 5 mile marker, I heard someone behind me say "I thought that was you." And I turned around to see my cousin! I was so thrilled to see him. It was such a surprise. I haven't seen him in so long and yet he's one of my favorite cousins. That little drop by made my day! Aside from the sheer fact of finishing, seeing him was the highlight of the whole experience. He jogged with me for a few minutes and we chatted. We took a running selfie together, then he ran up ahead so he could get some action shots of me. He then had to take off… but it was a wonderful experience for me to see him. 

Running selfie with my cousin! I LOVE HIM!

Approaching the 5 mile marker
(taken by my cousin)

She's still smiling, but you can tell Jen is
starting to hurt in this picture.

My plan was to run easy until mile 8, then start picking people off. But they were far enough ahead that I would have had to kill it in order to start passing them. And by 9 miles, I was starting to hurt. I was okay. I could keep going. But I was at the point where this was longer than I had ever run before and my body was feeling it. So, at this point… the goal became to just keep going, rather than to try to pick people off. Long around 11 miles, I could see Jen up ahead of me, walking. Jen is almost always out of my sight during a race… so I knew when I was able to see her, that she was in trouble. I caught up to her. Before I could say anything she said "Don't touch me!" She was hurting pretty bad by this point and could no longer run. But she was determined to at least finish. And she said she knew if she stopped for even a half a second, she'd never be able to finish. So, she told me to go on ahead. 

Rounding the bend, just before the finish line.
I didn't have quite enough "juice" to finish
with a full-on sprint, but I was able to pick up
my pace and finish strong.

I MADE IT! Time was 3:07:45

Jen coming around the final bend. A marathon
pacer had passed her earlier and noticed she was
struggling, so after she finished, she went back
out to find Jen and walk with her back in.
Jen managed to dig deep the last 10 feet and
cross the finish line at a jog. But it was painful
looking. Poor girl!

And she made it! I can't remember her exact time.
It was about 3:15. She proceeded to find the
nearest patch of grass and she collapsed and
started to cry. I was so proud of her for finishing
when she was hurting that badly. 

I was hurting too. And this last photo
is of the two of us hobbling off together
to find the massage tent!

So, my takeaway lesson from this experience was that training can beat genetics. And youth. Jen is younger than me. She has never been seriously overweight. She has an athletic background. And just general more natural ability. But I was able to dedicate more time to training for this race. When I started to hurt… I was able to keep going. I couldn't pick up my speed like I wanted to pick people off, but I could keep running. Jen crashed. She walked the last 2 miles. And then collapsed at the end. The ONLY reason I was able to finish ahead of her and finish stronger, is because of my training. Because youth, genetics, natural ability… was all on her side. I find it a valuable lesson. People often use age or genetics as reasons why they can't do something. But training (aka. hard work) trumps that. You absolutely can do it if you are willing to work for it. 

"It's going to hurt. Accept that. We don't train so it won't hurt. We train so that we can handle the pain."

I had three goals in mind for this half marathon. I accomplished all three of them. They were, in order of importance… 1) Survive! 2) Finish strong. This has nothing to do with my time or whether or not I could finish at a sprint. For me it meant to finish feeling good enough (both physically and about the experience) that I would do it again. 3) I was hoping for a time at 3:15 or better. I heard something that the best predictor of your half marathon time is 5x your 5k time. Well 5x my average 5k time would have been 3:20. 5x my best 5k time was 3:15. So, to come in ahead of that was a great victory for me.

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Another Major Life Change

As most of you know (if you are my friends on MFP anyway), I have recently decided to make another major life change. 

My job has been driving me up the wall. Burning me out. Pissing me off. Constantly. Every night. I have always been able to find the good points about this facility even when they've been being stupid. But lately… I have nothing good to say about this place. And even less good to say about the upper management. I'm just done. I been contemplating making a major career change for awhile. And now with things going so bad here right now, it's really been on my mind. I will have to get some certification to be able to pursue employment in the area I'm thinking of. And being that it's a completely new direction for me… it's made me highly anxious. And I've had my doubts about whether or not it would even work out for me. Could I even do this job? And could I make a living at it? And if I do pursue it… do I just stick it out here until that time, or do I find another "in the meantime" job? I've considered just getting another job doing essentially the same thing I'm already doing. But since I've been here 8+ years, finding a job that will pay me at an equivalent level is a little tricky. 

I've talked to a few people about the new direction I was considering. Mostly my family. One very close friend. People I can trust to be honest with me. And to be honest… I expected them to laugh in my face. Even if they were trying to be supportive and kind… I expected a long silence followed by a skeptical "are you sure you've thought this through?" But in every case… they've been surprised, but immediately they've said something along the lines of "that's great! You would be awesome at that. That could be the very thing you've been looking for your entire life." Every time. 

As some of you may know… I'm highly religious. So in making a major decision like this, I had to involve God in the process. So, after talking to several people, after thinking about it A LOT, and even taking the matter up with God… I decided to go for it.

So, I have actually gotten online and made the purchases to pursue the education necessary for certification as a personal trainer. I just got an email yesterday confirming that my manuals have been shipped. It's still a little nerve wracking. But I've felt good since jumping in. None of those "oh, crap, what have I just done?" feelings. And it's really exciting too. I keep wondering what else I can do. And that's fun. To realize a world of possibilities and start getting excited to explore them.

Thursday, September 3, 2015


This blog has gotten neglected the past couple of months. Partly because I spent most of June and July "off-track." And partly because there have been other projects that I've put a higher priority on than updating this blog.

But I feel like I'm finally back on track. I broke through my "plateau" that persisted all the way through July and the first couple of weeks of August. And I'm down to a new lowest weight of 202.8. Soo close to One-derland! My new "goal weight" since my body fat testing a few months ago is 195. So, I'm getting really close to where I want to be. And I'm really looking forward to maintenance and being able to focus on fitness related goals and less on the the scale. 

I'm still running. Half marathon coming up in October. I just did 2 back to back 5k's this past weekend. Well, kinda back to back. One on Friday night and one on Saturday morning. I was pleased with my time in both of them. The one on Friday night was the only one that was actually timed and according to the results they posted on their website, my time was 39:36. Which I thought I was about 40:some odd. But assuming 39:36 is accurate… That is a new PR for me. That was better than my time at the Liberty 5k on the 4th of July. And based on my nieces highly unofficial app… my time for Saturday morning was comparable. So I'm happy. And I have to say… having my niece there for these races have been enough to push me into finishing these races at a sprint. I started that on the 4th and I've done  it at my races ever since. But the one on Saturday… I had my eye on these 2 runners the whole time. And we were always passing each other periodically through the whole race. Well, on that home stretch going into the finish… they were just a head of me. I pushed into a sprint to finish… but they were doing the same thing, so I did an all-out, balls to the wall, "run like your child's life depends on it" effort and I passed the finish line ahead of them. It was an all-out effort. Obviously not something I could sustain for long… but their was an incredible post-run exhilaration afterwards. I wonder if that is what is referred to as the runners high? Because even though I had just gone all out… I was ready to go again.

I'm way done with my job lately. Getting so frustrated with all the crap that's going on. And seriously thinking about just getting a new one and moving on. But I'm thinking I want to go in a whole different direction. I'm thinking about going the personal trainer route. It appeals to me. And I've heard from a few people that they think that would be a great idea for me. But if I do that… I think I'm going to stick it out where I'm at while I get the certification I need for that. 

The idea appeals to me. I think it could possibly be something that I could be really good at. There is a part of me that hesitates because I see my own limitations. And I'm aware of how much I don't know. And I see the parts of my body that I'm not satisfied with and I wonder why anybody would ever hire a personal trainer that looks like I do. But then I also think about how far I've come. I think about those times that people at the gym have stopped me to tell me how wonderful I look and how inspiring I am. And I think about what I have to offer. And then I can't help but think that this is just another case of doubting myself. Its another case of finding excuses. I mean… what am I afraid of? I priced it out. I could get the certifications I want without having to go into debt. So, what's the worst that could happen? It takes awhile to get a job? Additional education will only be good for me in the long run. Even if I were to never use it… the education would be good for me. If nothing else, I could learn how to train myself.

And what if it worked? I daydream about what my ideal career would be in the fitness industry. What my life would look like. What if I could get everything I dream about? Is that not worth at least trying for? And besides… if I can lose 178 pounds (to date)… what couldn't I do if I simply decided to work for it?

Well, I feel like I've kinda rambled on this particular post. But oh well. At least you now have an update as to where I am. Things are pretty good right now. I'm happy. 

Tuesday, August 11, 2015

FroYo 10k Recapped and Getting My Head Back in the Game (and My Butt in Gear!)

I have not been on my game lately. Obviously... since it's been so long since I've posted on here. There have been other things that have seemed like a greater priority than keeping this updated. But unfortunately this blog isn't the only thing that's gotten put on back burner.

But first things first…

I told you about the Liberty 5k in my hometown on the 4th of July. Well, the very next Saturday, my niece (Jennifer… the same that ran the 5k with me) and I ran a 10k. It was a first for both of us. I've been doing more dedicated running than Jen has. But she was an athlete in high school, and running was one of her sports (cross-country). So, even though motherhood (and adulthood in general) has taken it's toll on how much time she is able to devote to running these days… she's still a step ahead of me in her running abilities.

Hanging out and getting warmed up and
pumped up beforehand.
And just an interesting side note…
The amount of weight I've lost is the
same amount that Jen weighs.
Someday I'll actually remember to bring
my "before" shirt and see if both of us
can fit into it!
Anyway. Jennifer lives about an hour away from me in a suburb of our state's capitol. The 10k was in her neck of the woods… actually in the capitol city. I picked up Jen at about 7:15 a.m so we could make it to venue in plenty of time. It was a fairly big event. Definitely the biggest that I've been a part of. It offered both a 5k and 10k distance. And it was extremely organized and "official." Lines of porta-potties, complete with hand washing stations. Music, contests, Zumba warm-ups every half hour. You get the picture. They offered water stations every mile… which seemed overkill for a 5k, but it was certainly nice for those of us doing the 10k. Anyway… There were enough people running that they had to start us in 3 separate waves. Jen and I lined up with the run/walk crowd and we were still in the last wave. We decided that we are lining up with the runners at the front next time. See if we can start out ahead of the crowd. It was a little crazy for the first little bit running with so many people… or rather trying to run with so many people. Jen started out walking for the first 5 minutes and I moved up ahead of her. But once she started running, she caught up with me and then was actually ahead of me for the rest of the time.

Swag bag. It included a free frozen yogurt
at the end. It didn't last long enough to
get a picture of it! :-)
The best I can say is that it was a valuable learning experience. Long around mile 4 (leaving behind all the 5k runners)… I was dead last. And I was dying! I knew I could keep going. That wasn't the question. But the idea of putting on some speed so I could catch up with even the people closest to me seemed impossible. But I started getting smart. I was watching these two girls that were the closest ahead of me. They weren't terribly fast. And they were taking walking breaks. Up to this point… I hadn't taken any walk breaks. I'm a slow runner, but I'm a fast walker. I can pretty much out-walk anybody. So, I started taking walk breaks myself. But timing them according to the people ahead of me. Doing that, I was able to catch up to them… even pass them when they were on their walk breaks. There was another girl close by too that I was able to pass when she was walking. There was a girl just a few paces ahead of me as I neared the finish line. Jen was waiting at the finish line for me and having her there pushed me in to a sprint so that I crossed the finish line about two steps ahead of that girl. When the official results were posted online… I found out that I was actually 4 from the last. My time was 1:24:54. Jen finished at 1:19:14. So we weren't that far apart from each other.

A screen shot of my official results.
You had to register online to get
your time posted by name.
Otherwise, it would be by
your bib number. 
Anyway… Like I said… valuable learning experience. Apparently I do better when I take walking breaks. So, I have started to incorporate that into my half marathon training. I have a cousin who's a pretty hard-core runner. Well, she's hard-core in my book. She's qualified for and ran Boston. That's hard-core to me. But when I told her I was training for a half marathon, she mentioned that she is a big advocate of the run/walk method. She's done all her marathons using that method… and that was how she qualified for Boston. That was enough to convince me that run/walk methods are not a cop-out. They are actually a very smart method of running. And then my experience at the 10k proved to me that it would be a good method for me to employ.

But like I said, I haven't been on my game lately. I did okay the week after the 10k, but then things started falling apart at that point. I have not been eating the way I should. And it seems like even on my runs… my head just hasn't been in the game. I got in an 8 mile long run the week following the 10k… but then… nada. Okay. Not exactly nada. I've still been out there. But I haven't been able to match my 8 mile distance.

I'm still debating about how to preserve
and display my bibs and medals from
my various races. 
The weekend of August 1st and 2nd were A JOKE as far as my eating goes. I mean ridiculous. The worst I've had in a very long time. But maybe it was a good thing, because it opened my eyes and made me realize that I had seriously slacked. On Monday (the 3rd), I woke up way late and didn't go work out. But I cleaned up my act as far as my eating goes and managed to stay under my calorie goal even without a workout. The rest of week was on point as well. I realized that I had actually registered for this half marathon. I had paid money for it. My niece was counting on me. This was happening. And if I had any hope of being ready for it… I better get my butt in gear. Not just with my workouts… but that every pound I piled on (even if it's just water weight) would only slow me down. I needed to be in the best shape of my life when October 11th rolled around. I needed to slap myself around a little bit and get back in gear. I could do this. I just needed to DO it. So, the last week has been better. Good workouts the rest of the week. On track with my eating.

In interest of trying to figure out why I allowed myself to get so far off track… I've been doing some thinking about what my problem was and what I could do to get back on track and stay there. I've decided to revisit the "cheat day." I've decided that one day a week… Saturdays… I would allow myself to eat what I wanted to eat, when I wanted to it and not log it. I would try to moderate of course. I wasn't going to use it as an excuse to go hog wild. But I am hoping that by giving myself a day "off" that staying on track won't feel like quite such a chore.

Remember my little "celebrity crush" on Jackson Carter? I follow him on Facebook. And I remember reading his blog once where he stated that eating clean throughout the week and having his weekends "off" is what made it sustainable for him to be able to keep his weight off. So, to be honest, that is one of the main reasons I have decided to revisit the "cheat day."

This past Saturday was my first revisited designated "cheat day." And you know… I feel pretty good about it. I moderated fairly well. And knowing that I didn't have to log it… was a nice mental break for me. I also think it gave me back a sense of personal control. Rather than feeling like I had to answer to MFP. Which I know is ridiculous… but that's kinda the way it felt. Knowing that I didn't have to log. Didn't have to answer to anybody else for that day… gave me back that feeling of control. And when I was in control… It was actually easier for me to moderate than it would have been if I would have been tracking everything religiously. We'll see how this goes as time goes on… but based solely on how it felt to me… I'm going to call it a very wise decision on my part.