Monday, September 30, 2013

5K Program Update

My mom is so close to finishing her 5K Program.  Let's see how she's doing....

I am this close to doing the 5K.   This last week has been trying to say the least.  Here's what I did on the last official day of the Couch to 5K Program:

Week 8

45 minutes  total

2.69 miles   141 calories
5 minutes  walking warm up, 35 minutes running,  5 minutes walking cool down. 
 My legs felt pretty good today.  The last 5 minutes of the run were HARD!    I actually RAN 35 minutes straight and did 2.22 miles running.  Still quite a way off the 5K goal and still too slow.  Ugh.  I thought this was the end of the program, but the next screen popped up and said it would see me in 2 days for my 5K.  What does that mean??

So, I don't feel physically or emotionally ready to actually run the 5K.  I'm still having a hard time running for 35 minutes straight and I know it's going to take longer than that to do the 5K.  The rest of this past week I tried setting the pace on the treadmill a little higher, in the hopes that I'd knock off a little more mileage in a shorter period of time.  I'm still averaging 15 minute miles.  Crap on a cracker!  I am so not happy with that.

This is hard people, I'm not ashamed to say that either.  For anyone out there struggling with their weight, or a work out program, or whatever, take heart.  All of it is hard.  But you can't quit, you have to keep going, you have to keep trying, keep fighting, get up off your butt even when you don't want to.  

I'm going to work on my endurance this week and my mileage and shoot for next week for the actual 5K.  I'm afraid I'm going to fail.  Failure is not an option though, is it?  It's taking longer than I thought it should.   I keep telling  myself that I should be able to do this.  I will do this.  One step at a time.  I hope....

How is everyone else doing this week?  Anybody want to give me some updates?  Check out my video's at the top tab to see my own progress on my weight loss journey.

Monday, September 23, 2013

Mom's 5K Update 9-23-13

My mom has been posting her 5K running progress every week.  She is THIS close to finishing.  Let's see where she's at this week.

The END is in sight!!

Week 7

Day 3

35 minutes 2.06 miles   114 calories

5 minute walk, 25 minute run, 5 minute walk.  Seriously??  I was shocked when I saw the 25 minute run pop up on the screen but you know what?  I did it!!  I ran the entire 25 minutes.  After 22 minutes I SO wanted to stop but I just kept going and pushing, and panting, and I did it!!

Week 8

The end is in sight! 

Day 1

38 minutes

2.15 miles   130 calories

5 minute walking warm up, 28 (Holy Crap) minute run, 5 minute walking cool down.    Honestly, it took a lot to drag myself up off the sofa and get on that treadmill tonight.  I did not feel like running.  Not a good attitude going in, I know.  I did fine until I was 23 minutes into the running part and I felt like I hit a brick wall.  It was tough to do the last 5 minutes of the run.  I slowed down and did a little speed walking for 1 minute of it and then forced myself to finish up the run.  When am I going to start liking this?  Ever?  I just do not like this.  I hate it.  Oh God how I hate this.   Afterwards I figured out that I actually RAN 1.78 miles during the 28 minute running part.  I have no idea if that's good or if it sucks.  I just know that I RAN 1.78 miles straight.  Did I mention how much I hate this?


40 minutes

2.39 miles and 146 calories

5 minutes walking warm up, 30 minutes running,  5 minutes walking cool down.  Well, I didn't think it was possible for me to run for 30 minutes straight, but I was determined to do it.  Today was the first time where I felt like I found my “legs” after the first 5 minutes of running.  Usually my calves feel weak and I struggle with running the first 10 minutes, but today I felt stronger much sooner.  I ran a steady 3.8 on the treadmill and did fine until the last 3 minutes of the run.  By then I was getting tired.  Tony must have sensed it because he came into the room and stood next to the treadmill and cheered me on with encouraging words.  That was a huge help!  The last 2 minutes I just shouted out 1,2,3,4, 1,2,3,4 constantly in time with my steps.  And I did it!!  Woo-hoo only one official day left on the program, altho at this point I don’t see how that will equate to a 5K.  I’m still way too slow and too far from the 3.1 miles yet.  But we’ll see.  I’m averaging 15 minute miles and I know now that is a HORRIBLE speed.  But I think I’ll keep plodding along until I actually run the entire 5K and then maybe I’ll try increasing my speed.  OMG - does that mean I am actually considering continuing with this once the program is done??

Well, tomorrow I'll do the last official day of the program.  I shudder to think what that's going to entail.

Has anyone else out there started any sort of diet or exercise program?  How are you doing on it?  Sometimes it's easier to share your goals and struggles with others.  It's also nice to have a buddy to cheer you on during the rough spots.  Come back next week and we'll see how mom finished up.

If you haven't already done so, check out my videos at the top of the page under the MY VIDEO TAB.  Have a good week!

Monday, September 16, 2013

Mom's 5K Running Update 9-16-13

My mom is working really hard on her 5K training program and has been blogging about it here.  Has anyone else done a 5K program?  Let's see where mom is at this week:

If you've been following along you'll know that I came up with the brainy (not) idea of doing a couch to 5K training program.  I hit upon this idea when my cholesterol levels came in too high and in an attempt to get a little more fit.  I've almost finished with week 7 of the program and here's where I am.

This is what I imagine I look like on the treadmill.....

But this is really closer to my reality.....

WEEK 6   

35 min. 1.97 miles  128 calories
2 – 10 min. runs and 1 -5 min walk.  I did REALLY good today.  Ran the full 10 minutes both times.  It wasn't bad today.

Day 2
33 min. 2.10 miles  168 calories.
2-10 minute runs.  OMG – I HATED it today.  The 2nd 10 min run I had to slow down twice and walk.  It seemed to take forever to do 33 minutes.  

33 min.  2.19 miles  178 calories
1-15 min run and 1 – 5 min. run.  I had to take 2 short walk breaks during the 15 min run.  It was torture.  I was sweating and breathing so hard but by the last 5 min run I was running pretty good.

Week 7
Day 1
30 minutes 1.95 miles 160 calories

1 -20 minute run and I could... Not... Do... It.  Ugh!  I started off by running 8 minutes and then walked a minute, ran a few minutes, walked a minute, ran a few minutes, walked a minute until I finished the 30 minutes for today.   I got off the treadmill and sweat was pouring off me like a waterfall, my throat was burning, my chest was heaving.  

I hate this program!  I can’t do it.  It’s too hard.  I’m so angry!  Why can’t I do this???  I’m not a wimp, or a quitter.  I thought I was in better shape than this.  I had natural childbirth when I had Tony for pete’s sake – no drugs at all, and I’d rather do that again than train for this stupid 5K.  I don’t think I've ever hated anything as much as this except for algebra and having to draw a picture of a stupid horse in 4th grade.  Neither of which I ever got.  Cripes am I mad!  I just want to kick something!

I stomped off to the shower and stood under the flow of cool water, hung my head and seriously wanted to cry.  I’m not kidding.  I was that mad.  Slowly my breathing returned to normal, I calmed myself down, and I started thinking about Tony and how hard it was for him to lose 85 pounds in a year and totally change his eating habits.  I thought about my friend Mike, who hiked the entire Appalachian Trail and then all 48 – 4000 ft. mountains in New Hampshire in a month, all for charity.  I told myself to stop whining and quit acting like a baby.  Yes, it’s hard. Who ever said it’s going to be easy?   The hard is what will make it worth it.
And so I’ll keep plodding along.  I probably won’t finish the program in the 8 weeks it’s supposed to take, and if it takes me a little longer, well, that’s ok.   I’ll keep at it.  I just don’t know if I’m ever going to like this.

30 minutes  1.72 miles 106 calories
OMG – I did it – I RAN 20 minutes straight today.  Linda, our guest blogger last week, gave me some great tips.  First of all, I slowed my pace WAY down – to 3.8 on the treadmill.  I started running the 20 minute stretch and did 10 minutes and then told myself to keep going, I could do another minute,  and then I did another minute, and kept running until 19 minutes and then I told myself that I only had ONE lousy minute left and to keep going.  So I did.  I RAN 20 minutes straight!!  And I actually ran 1 whole mile in 15 of those minutes.  I’m not breaking any speed records, but I did it!!  I went out into the kitchen and told Tony and he gave me a big hug and told me how proud of me he was.  But more important, I am proud of myself.  Wow!!

Twice more this past week I've done 30 minute work outs.  5 minute walking warm up, 15 minute run for 1 mile, and an additional 5 minutes running just because I CAN, and then a 5 minute walking cool down.  I'll be honest with you, the last 3 minutes of the run are tough and it's not a pretty sight.  My arms are pumping and flailing, I'm sweating, feet are pounding on the treadmill and I am chanting "three more minutes, two more minutes, one more minute."  Ugh.  Then I'm done and I am shocked I did it.

I think I'll be ready to do Day 3 of week 7 tomorrow!

Visit Tony's Life Changing video here.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

Guest Post - Learning to Run

Today I'm really happy to have a guest post from my moms friend Linda from over at Linda's Lens.  Linda is an avid hiker, runner and snow skier   This girl is busy and active!  Mom was talking to Linda about her struggle with completing her 5K running program and she offered to give us some tips and suggestions to share.  So let's hear what Linda has to say...


During high school I got caught up in the first running boom of the late 70s-early 80s.  I ran track and cross country for my school, and although never a fantastic runner, had fun and enjoyed the camaraderie.  During my first year of college, I was a casual runner, competing in local 10k races.  Then during a dark nighttime run, I hit a rock and twisted my ankle.  My running career came to an abrupt halt.   From that point on, school, then marriage, then job and kids dominated my life.

Not to say I wasn't active.  I fit in some skiing and hiking whenever my work and mom duties allowed, and became a regular attendee of aerobic classes at my gym.  But running still nagged at my subconscious.  I was now living in Oregon, home of Nike, Hayward Field, and a huge running mecca.

Then my sister trained and successfully ran two marathons.  This inspired me to sign up and train for a race of my own.  So, in November of 2008, at 45 years of age, I signed up to run the Hippie Chick Half Marathon, held Mother's Day weekend 2009.  I had about six months to whip myself into running shape.
To say it was hard to start a running program in my mid-40s would be an understatement.  I began walk/running a mile loop in a nearby neighborhood park.  Slowly I worked at running more than walking until I could cover a mile nonstop.  Then I tried for two miles , then three, then four.  By February, I was running nearly five miles.  But that was still a long ways from the 13.1 miles I'd need to cover for my May race.  Time to find myself a training plan .  Scouring the internet, I found a plan that seemed to work for me.  In the weeks to come, I would follow it to the letter.

Finally, race day arrived.  My sister flew in for the occasion.  Although not registered for the race, she jumped in after mile two and run the rest of the way by my side.  It helped so much to have her there, to talk me through the rough parts.  I'm happy to say I finished my first half marathon with flying colors, and my time was faster than anticipated.  I remember crossing the finish line and thinking "Wow - my training plan worked!  All my hard work paid off."

Since that day, I've gone on to run three marathons, countless half marathons (my favorite distance) a few 5 and 10ks, and three Hood to Coast relays.  Running is now a big part of my workout routine.  It's helped keep me in shape for my hiking and skiing activities.

Tips for Beginners:
·         Before beginning a running program, check with your doctor, especially if you haven't been active.

·         Invest in good quality running shoes.  Go to a specialty running store.  All running shoes are not created equal, and what works for your friend may not work for you.  The running store staff will analyze your gait, and recommend the best type of shoes for you.  Try on a bunch of different brands, and actually run around the store in them (the staff will not mind!)  The shoes should be comfortable right out of the box.  If  they're not - don't buy them.  Expect to spend around $100.  Yes, it's a lot of money, but running in the wrong shoes and getting injured is even more expensive.

·         This tip is for the ladies - invest in a good quality running bra.  Make sure it holds the girls in tight, but doesn't chafe.  My favorite brands are Moving Comfort and CW-X.

·         Start slow.  Warm up before you start your run.  I usually walk for the first 5-10 minutes to get my body used to motion.  When I'm finished, I also walk the last 5-10 minutes to allow my body to cool down.  I also recommend following the cool-down with a few leg stretches (quads, hamstrings, calves)  The Runner's World magazine website has some good suggestions for stretches.

·         Be patient.  Building up your mileage takes time.  Running is hard work, and starting out from scratch is difficult.  You will have tough days in the beginning.  Expect your muscles to be sore.  They're adjusting to being used in a new way.  But keep at it, and after a month or two, you will see results.

·         Be consistent.  Set aside a certain time of day and days of the week for running.  Don't let anything interfere with these times.  The more regular you run, the more you will progress, and the fitter you'll become.

·         Find a running buddy.  It's much easier to work out with a friend.  You're less likely to skip a scheduled run, and you'll have someone to talk to during the workout.  The miles go by much faster when I'm running with a girlfriend.  Check out local running stores, most have weekly running groups.  These are great places to meet running buddies. 

·         Join a training program.  Many local running stores have "Couch to 5K" programs.  It's a great place to meet other beginning runners, get moral support, and receive professional coaching.  Most training sessions culminate at a local 5K race.

·         Get inspired!  Read books, magazines, or blogs about running. Listen to podcasts. Some of my personal favorites:  books:  "Mile Markers" by Kristin Armstrong, "Born to Run" by Christopher McDougall, "Run Like a Mother" and "Train Like a Mother" by Sarah Bowen Shea and Dimity McDowell;  magazines:  Runner's World; podcasts: "Another Mother Runner."

When I'm not training for a race, I typically average three running days a week.  I get up early before work two weekday mornings and do a long run (5-10 miles) on Saturday.  Running in the morning is nice, because the world is quiet, there's little traffic, and you get your workout done before anything else in the day can interfere.  And I always feel really good after a morning run.
Kim asked me what I do to stave off boredom while I'm running.  I'm lucky because I'm kind of ADD and am easily entertained.  I love to look around at the world as I'm traveling my neighborhood.  But here's some suggestions to keep your mind busy while on a run:

·         Listen to music or podcasts.  Everyone now has an ipod.  They're perfect for runners.  But if you're running outside, for safety, keep the volume low, or only use one earbud, so you can hear what's going on around you.

·         Run outside!  The treadmill (aka "the dreadmill") is way too boring for me.  I love being outside, taking in the sights as I run.  That's entertainment enough.  Plan your route through someplace scenic, such as a local park.  Or run on a local hiking trail.  With the proper clothing, one can run outside in all seasons, in most every type of weather. (one of my best runs was on a snowy cold day in Colorado)

·         If you must run on a treadmill, position a tv in front of you and catch up on movies, or Netflix series.

·         Run with a friend.  Friends are the best distraction ever! 

·         Use your running time to think through a problem, plan dinner, or brainstorm ideas for work.  It's your quiet alone time to get your thoughts in order.  I often use my run to think up ideas for my blog.

·         Have a mantra.  One of my high school coaches once told me running is 90% mental.  If you think you can, you will.  Find a simple power phrase that you can repeat to yourself when the going gets tough.  (examples:  "I got this"  "I can do this"  "I am strong" "believe" or my personal favorite "kill the hill")

·         If I'm really having a tough day and a difficult run, I remind myself of the people who would like to run, but can't (like my two running buddies who are currently injured).  I remind myself that I'm lucky - I get to run!

One last tip - to keep up your motivation, sign up for a race.  Today, running is a very inclusive sport.  You don't have to be fast, or have a runner's physique.  I see runners of all ages, shapes, and sizes at the races I've participated in.  Most races also allow walkers, and no one minds if you need to take a walk break.  The emphasis is on finishing - not how fast you can cover the distance.  It's very fun to have spectators cheering you on - what other time in life do you get so much positive attention?  It always makes me feel like  a rock star.

Although I've run marathons, and long distance relay races, I still consider finishing my first half marathon my biggest achievement in running.  Training for, and completing this race showed me that if you work hard and stick to your plan, anything is possible. 

I'd like to thank Linda for taking the time to do this great post.  Please go check out her blog.  Not only does she hike the most amazing mountain trails and ski the best places, her photography skills will knock your socks off.

Monday, September 9, 2013

Week 37 Progress

How is everyone doing this week?  I'm back in school so my eating schedule has had to be changed a bit.  I just take a small cooler with me and load it up with bottles of water, fresh fruit and sandwiches or chicken.  It's fast and easy.  Lately my mom and I have been on a watermelon kick and we've been eating a lot of it.  How about you?  What fresh fruits are you enjoying right now?

As you know, my mom's been working hard on bringing down her cholesterol levels.  One of her weaknesses is using margarine and butter.   I had her switch over to a healthier choice - Smart Balance buttery spread.  It has no trans fats, so it's a good alternative for her.  Extra added bonus??  She doesn't really notice any difference in the taste or texture, so it was an easy, yet healthy switch for her.  I also had her switch to all natural peanut butter, and again, not a big difference taste wise, so she's happy.

Be sure to check in later this week.  I have a guest blogger stopping by with some great tips on starting a running program.

Monday, September 2, 2013

My Moms 5K Update

My mom is working on her 5k running program.  Let's check in with her and see how she's doing....

If you remember, I'm on a mission to run 5K.  Not an actual race, I just want to be able to do it.  I talked about my high cholesterol and my start of the 5K program here.

So here's my progress since my last check in..... 


Day 1 

32 min.  2.11 miles   173 calories 

2 -5 min and 1- 6 min. run.  OMG – dying by the 2nd 5 min.  Cut it one minute short.  Breathing very heavy.
 DAY 2 

36 min.  2.37 miles  202 calories 

2 – 5 min runs and 1 – 8 min. run.  I did much better today and ran the entire required time.


Day 3 

31 min.   1.92 miles    160 calories 

2 – 8 minute runs and 1 – 5 minute run.   Half way thru the 2nd 8 min. run I had to slow down and walk for  1 min.  Then went back to running.  OMG – heavy breathing  at the end.  10 days off really hurt me. 

Ok, we were out of town for 10 days after I did day 2 of the program this week.   I didn't run at all the entire time we were gone.  When we got back home I tried to jump right back on the program for day 3 and I was whipped.  Wow.  That time off really hurt me. 

I spent this past week re-doing week 5 of the program to get back on track. 

On the food front, I am doing really good as far as eating a lot more fruit.  I'm having watermelon every day.  I'm also having a yogurt and fruit smoothie almost every day.  My fruit intake has really improved.  

I'm looking forward to getting back on track with week 6 of my 5K program. 

Have a great and safe holiday everyone!