Thursday, November 15, 2012

Race report: Morton Plant Mease Hospital Prostate Cancer Awareness 10K

Why yes, I am writing up a race report TWO MONTHS after the race occured...what of it? :) Things have been a little hectic, so I'm just now catching up. This race was my first ever 10K (6.2 miles) and was step 2 in my "stepping stone" training plan to train for my half marathon in December. I ran two 10Ks in September and a 15K in October to work towards surviving a half marathon in December. It may not be the soundest training plan, but it's been working for me. Anyway, I was excited to make this my first 10K because my Dad is a 10+ year survivor of prostate cancer and I was proud to wear a shirt saying that I was running in his honor. (It's in the pic above.) The run was in through the ritzier neighborhoods of Clearwater (we ran by Hulk Hogan's old home twice), over the HUGE Clearwater Pass bridge (the same one I ran over for the Iron Girl 5K)and back to the hospital. When I turned around at the halfway point past the bridge I counted the runners behind me, then subtracted or added when I passed someone or was passed. I stayed ahead of an average of 15 runners for the second half of the race- way in the back, but not the caboose of the race. I ran at a steady pace for the first 5 miles, then I took a 5 minute walking break. I was so happy to see the finish line and to know that I had successfully completed my first 10K! Once I finished, I stopped to have my timing chip cut off and had to be held up by a priest who was volunteering at the finish line- my legs didn't want to stop after running 6.2 miles! Here is one more picture, this is when I saw my son and husband just a few feet from the finish line, I was happy to see them!

Monday, August 6, 2012

Race Report: WFYRC Beach Series- Race 4 (Clearwater Beach, Florida)

This past Friday was the final race in the summer beach race series I did. This one was very different from the other two races in the series that I did, thanks to a late June tropical storm that resulted in record levels of beach erosion that really resculpted the look of Clearwater Beach. This time, the race was a bit of an obstacle course- there were easily a half dozen times where the runners had to cross up to ankle deep trenches of water where the surf had encroached on the beach for many, many more feet than it used to. My shoes and socks were soaked by the time I finished! There was also a huge amount of seaweed carpeting the beach, it made for a wet, slippery, uneven running surface. I wore my new "Sweat Pink" tank, check out the link to the right of this blog entry for more information about the Sweat Pink movement to get women active. My son fixed my headphones so they stayed in place this time, but my Nike+ GPS program didn't work at all so the headphones didn't really serve their purpose for this race. I'm afraid my iPhone is almost ready to give up the ghost, lots of things are getting wonky on it. I finished in 36:50, which is a few seconds faster than my time in race #1- but that didn't involve all the water obstacles, so I'm calling this one an even better time. :) My next race is my first official 10K, the Morton Plant Hospital Prostate Cancer Awareness 5K and 10K race. That race is special to me because it was my very first race, two years ago (with a 5K time of 49 minutes, which I've now dropped down to 33 to 35 minutes for road races) and my Dad is a prostate cancer survivor of over 10 years so I enjoy doing a run that supports that cause. The race is just over a month away, I'm excited to conquer a new distance!

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Vacation is over and race report: Race for Grace 5K

While I was on vacation I got the chance to do a 5K outside of my home state for the first time, doing the Race for Grace 5K in Logansport, Indiana. I like the picture above because it actually shows me RUNNING with relatively fit people at the finish line, lol. I'm on the far right in the teal "Fight Like a Girl" shirt. The race was to raise funds for a 72 hour prayer and discipleship event that the church where the 5K was held does every year. This was also the first time I've done a 5K with a family member other than my husband. This time, my nephew (who is on the cross country team at his school and finished 6 minutes ahead of me), my sister in law and her father all did the 5K. Before it started, we were warned about "Holy Hill", a very steep hill with several churches on it that starts and ends the race. However, we were reminded that one the way back, once you get over Holy Hill, "the promised land" (the finish line) is just feet away. The coolest part of this 5K was the view from the top of that hill on the way out- from there, I could look down and see the hundreds of people ahead of me in the valley created by the hill, it was really a pretty sight. The two hills really did about do me in, with all of my races being in flat Florida I'm not used to those! I ended up coming in 147th place (almost exactly in the middle of the pack) with a time of 35:48 according to my chip. I somehow paused my Nike+GPS at around 2 1/2 miles, so the time on that was way off. The very best part of the race was the AWESOME post race snacks- grapes, apples, oranges and hundreds of amazing homemade cookies. I tracked every bit of it on WW, but I surely did enjoy using up 1/4 of my points for the day on those wonderful peanut butter/chocolate/oatmeal cookies. Way to go, church ladies! I was very careful on my eating while on vacation (I actually lost 2 pounds over the 3 weeks), but since I hadn't weighed in at WW since the beginning of June I showed a gain of 6 pounds and had a lapse in my lifetime member status. I had to pay for a week of WW and I'll continue to have to pay until I lose another 4 pounds to get to the high end of my goal range. Hopefully that will only take a few weeks, it's very disheartening to have to pay after striving for so many weeks to earn that "free" status. :)

Sunday, July 8, 2012

Vacation 2012...staying on track, on the road!

We're about 10 days into our 3 week summer vacation to my hometown in Indiana. We'll be in Indiana with my family for about 2 1/2 weeks, then we'll spend 5 days (two days of that is travel time) hiking at Fall Creek Falls State Park in Tennessee before we come home. I need to drop about 3 pounds by the time we get home to keep my Weight Watchers lifetime membership intact, that's rough to do but I've tracked everything I've eaten and I've been able to stay within my points range. I've been walking almost every evening, so I'm getting a little activity in- nothing like my 50 activity points some weeks at home with my gym classes, but it's something. I did find a great snack/lunch idea that I've had almost every day. I take a Flat Out original light bread, and I spread a Laughing Cow lowfat cream cheese on it. Then I mix 2 tbsp of PB2 with 2 tbsp of unsweetened almond milk and spread that on top of the cream cheese. Fold up the sides to hold in the cream cheese and PB2, then roll up. It makes a very peanut buttery treat, only 4 WW points and 16g of protein. Delicious! Today at church the pastor (who is also my brother's father in law) announced that he was doing a 5K next Saturday in the next town and of course my ears perked up at that. I got the information from him, and I just registered for it. It's the Race For Grace 5K, to raise funds for ministry events at a church. I'm very excited, it will be my first 5K in another state (for that matter, the first one outside my home county in Florida). I brought along all of my running gear just in case, so I'm all set. I'll be back with a race report after the race on Saturday.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Race Report: WFYRC Beach Series- Race 2 (Clearwater Beach, Florida)

I did the second beach race in the WFYRC series on Friday night, I improved my time over the previous race by a bit....not much, but any improvement is good! I started off running with one of my good friends from the gym, then I passed her a little bit and I was feeling really good about my pace. Suddenly I realized that my craptastic headphones that I had carefully threaded through my shirt, out my collar and into the one ear that I use during races had fallen out and were rapidly winding around my legs as a ran. My friend caught up with me, helped me extricate myself from my headphones and off she went. I never did catch up with her, and she ended up finishing about 2 minutes ahead of me as I struggled with my headphone cord and never did get it arranged right. We had a tropical storm off the coast, so while the wind was delightfully at our backs on the way out, it was a struggle coming back with the wind. (In fact, on Sunday the lifeguard shacks we ran past at the races came off their foundations and were adrift in the storm surge!)I was dragging a little on the way back, and for some reason I thought if I encouraged the runners just starting the race on the opposite side of the beach that I would gain a second wind. I saw a group in matching t-shirts that indicated they were in a weight loss challenge, they were clearly struggling. I ran up to one of them, yelled "way to go!" and went in for a high five. I startled him, and he veered into me so my high five was more of an elbow to the ribs. I turned to apologize, and noted that he was doing sign yeah, I totally nailed a deaf runner in the ribs. Go me! :( I don't have any pictures of this race, because my son (the official photog of my running support team) was gone at a yearbook seminar. We're leaving for vacation on Friday, so I'll miss the 3rd race in the series, but we'll be back in time for the final beach race the first week of August.

Sunday, June 17, 2012

Race report: WFYRC Beach Series- Race 1 (Clearwater Beach, Pier 60)

I signed up for a summer beach race series, there are 4 races but I'll be on vacation for the July race so I'll do two in June and one in August. They all begin and end at beautiful Pier 60 on Clearwater Beach during the sunset festival that is held there each night. The races are run just inches from the water, at times you have to step quickly to the side if you'd like to avoid soaking your pricey running shoes in saltwater from the tide coming in. A friend who is a marathoner told me that beach races are harder and slower, and it surely was. It was a beautiful location, but not even half way in I got a wicked stitch in my side and nothing that I tried would clear it. So, I just focussed on finishing (and not falling in the sand castle moats that sprinkled the shoreline, THAT'S very important in this race series!) and didn't worry too much about my time. My finish time was 36:57, over 3:45 longer than my personal best. I have the second race in the series this coming Friday, I'm hoping to improve my time a bit and perhaps avoid that darn side stitch this time. The picture above is me after the race, you can see the pier where the start and finish line was under ("under the boardwalk...down by the sea..") right behind me, as well as my husband popping his head into the picture to say "it's raining, can we GO now?" :) I achieved my first "lifetime" monthly weigh in at Weight Watchers on June 2nd- you have to weigh in once a month within 2 pounds (up or down) of your goal weight to remain a lifetime (free) member. The receptionist noted that I don't have to weigh in again until sometime before July 31st, and something clicked in a bad place in my brain. I guess I got a little cocky because I decided I could "take a few days off" of WW to enjoy my anniversary and get through the last week of school. Bad move- when I went to my doctor's appointment 11 days later for a checkup, I was up over 10 pounds! (However, that was weighing in heavier clothes, with shoes on AND after eating lunch...but that surely can't account for ALL 10 of those pounds!) I've been hitting the gym hard since then and eating well and now I'm back to within 5-6 pounds of where I need to be before July 31st so things are looking up. I just have to keep reminding myself that there is NO "free week" allowed in maintaining a 100+ pound weight loss. To paraphrase the quote about the price of liberty, the price of maintaining long term weight loss is eternal (nutritional and exercise) vigilance.

Thursday, May 24, 2012

Lifetime member at last!

Tonight was my 6th week of WW maintenance after reaching my goal weight, and since I stayed within 2 pounds (up or down) of my goal weight at today's weigh in I became a lifetime member! (Best part of being a lifetime member= no more paying for Weight Watchers!) My final weight after maintenance was just 4/10th of a pound above my goal weight, to be a lifetimer I have to keep it within 2 pounds with a weigh in once a month. My total weight loss was 101 pounds and 7 pants sizes in 2 1/2 years. (From a size 22/24 to a 6/8...not sure how that is counted but I think it's 7 sizes.) When I weighed myself this morning I was still 2/3 of a pound too high to make lifetime so I got in a 4 mile run before the meeting and that did the trick. :) This picture is me with my Weight Watchers leader and the receptionist who has been so encouraging to me for the last year and a half or so. I plan on still attending a WW meeting every week, though I'll only weigh in once a month. :) I also had a dexascan (bone density test) today, I'll be interested to see if the weight loss, strength training and cardio I've been doing will show as improved bone density. I was told that I had osteopenia in my late 30s due to a tumor on my parathyroid that was somehow pulling the calcium out of my bones. My endocrinologist said that I had the bones of a woman in her late 50s- not a good thing to hear in your 30s. I had the parathyroid tumor removed, which improved my calcium and Vitamin D levels. This was the first dexascan after that, so I'll definitely be looking forward to the results of the dexascan in two weeks. It was funny, the lady doing the dexascan had my records from 3 years ago and she was concerned that she had the wrong file due to the big difference in the weights listed- over 100 pounds. Once I explained that it really was my file, she never quit asking me questions the whole time she was doing the dexascan, lol. I joined a local running club yesterday, mainly to get a discount on their series of beach 5K races this summer. They also offer Tuesday morning workouts (at 4:50 AM!) at the track at my old high school, so I may give that a try once I'm out of school for the summer in two weeks. Thanks for the support as I've stumbled through this maintenance phase of Weight Watchers, I hope that I'll continue to have it as I work on the "lifetime" WW part!