Thursday, July 21, 2011

I am Penguin...see me run!

I was reflecting on some of the factors that have gotten me as far as I've come with my running. One of those factors would be joining the Dick Pond Walk2Run group. The camaraderie of being with other people that are going through the same thing makes it so much easier to pour into my spandex and lace up the running shoes. And hey, the technical shirt I'll get after attending for seven times doesn't hurt!

Another thing that has kept me going was learning more about John "The Penguin" Bingham and reading his book Running for Mortals. Most of the running books out there are for "true" runners, and focus more in getting their 7 minute mile down to 6 minutes. When your best mile time to date is 12:59, then yeah, those books aren't for you. John's book was so realistic, and said many of the things that I was thinking. I'm glad I have it on my Kindle, so I can keep referring back to it.

One last factor would be the support of my friends and family. They've listened to me drone on (and on, and on...) about Weight Watchers, and my new found love of running. They've supported me when I've struggled, and cheered me on at the races I've done. There is nothing better to get you running for that finish line than seeing your supporters cheering you on!

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

I am a runner

I've loosely been calling myself a runner for the last 6 months. I never felt like I actually was a runner, though. In a 30 minute "run", I would probably only jog half that time. So really, I probably shouldn't have called myself a "runner". That changed last week.

The turning point was my week 5 session of the Walk2Run program through Dick Pond. Last Monday, we were scheduled to run 8 minutes, walk 2 minutes, and repeat that three times. Once we finished, I felt great...better than I have ever felt after any sort of work out. I was actually looking forward to doing my homework runs!

I got on the treadmill last Thursday, and found my stride pretty quickly. 8 minutes came...and I felt good, so I kept on going. 9......10.....11.....and on until I had actually run 20 minutes straight. I have never been able to run for that long without a walking break. I did take a quick 2 minute break after that, then finished out the 30 minute run.

This past Monday, our group met for week 6. This time is was run 9 minutes, walk 2 minutes (repeated twice), then an 8 minute run to finish it out. It was hot....and humid. But again, I felt great once we finished. Same thing happened tonight when I ran, only this time I opted for the treadmill. I look forward to my runs, and love meeting up with other runners. It's a pretty great community, and I'm looking forward to be part of it for a long time.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

One step closer

As of today, I weigh less than I have weighed in over 8 years! I finally am under 150 lbs, and it feels wonderful. I am still technically "overweight", but I'm getting so much closer to my goal weight of 135 lbs. I'd love to be at my goal weight by the end of September, but I know I'll have to work that much harder to get these last 15 lbs off. I hope that as long as I keep up my commitment of 30 minutes of exercise every day, it won't be quite as tough.

I will be doing a 5K in three weeks, then another one the week after that. I want to do at least one race a month, and I do have one I'm looking at for October. It's a 10K! Then in November I will do the Hot Chocolate 5K in Chicago...any race with chocolate sounds good to me :).

Saturday, July 2, 2011's been awhile

I have not been good about updating this blog. I figure this isn't a huge draw, and I don't think anyone but me is reading this. And that's okay. Because today I realized that I need to do this for me. If I end up inspiring someone, great! If not, then I know I have some spot where I can keep the thoughts jumbling my mind.

Right now my weight loss is going much better than I thought I would ever do. As of this morning, I'm down a total of 34.2 amount I never thought I'd be able to hit. I have never, ever lost that much - even after the births of all three of the boys. I didn't even gain that much when I was pregnant with them, so this is new territory for me. It does feel great to lose this much, but I know I still have a long way to go.

My running, however, is another story. I was doing so well with my Couch 2 5K, but when I hit Week 6, I just threw in the towel. Well, that's not entirely true. However, I didn't keep up my running like I should have done. And that is when my weight loss pretty much stalled.

Luckily Dick Pond Running here in St. Charles has a wonderful Walk2Run program! It meets on Monday nights, and l decided it was worth switching my Weight Watchers meetings to Saturday mornings so I could attend. Like Weight Watchers, I needed a running program that would keep me accountable. So I signed up to attend, and now I am so glad I did! I love the group running aspect...especially when I find people that are going at my pace.

I've found out about a term for slow runners coined by John Bingham - we are penguins. That sums me up nicely. I waddle along at my pace that isn't going to shatter any records (unless there is one for the slowest mile!), but it's a much faster pace than sitting on the couch.

Through finding out about John Bingham, I was also led to one of his books - Running for Mortals: A Commonsense Plan for Changing Your Life With Running. I highly recommend this book for anyone who is thinking about starting up a running plan. One of his quotes from the book really spoke to me: "The miracle isn't that I finished. The miracle is that I had the courage to start."

This sums up everything that I'm doing with my life now. I think I had been too scared in the past of failing to ever start any sort of weight loss or exercise plan. Now that I'm in the thick of this, I will see everything through and give it my best. Because at the end of the day, that's all any of us can do.