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Posted on May 8, 2012 in Pup Posts, Working Out | 12 comments

Proof of Run

Oh hey!

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I actually followed through with (the first day of) a workout plan for once, whaddya know? Yesterday evening, I met up with my lovely friend Joy for a nice 3-mile jaunt on the bike trail. My ankle was giving me some grief after a while, so it ended up being more like 2.5 miles ran, .5 mile walked or so, but still! We maintained a really good pace (er, for me) while running too, which was quite novel. The weather conditions were pretty perfect, too — breezy with the sun still peeking out as it set.

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FEED ME.

My legs do admittedly feel a little heavy today though (so pathetic, haha), so I’m actually kind of glad that I have Zumba tonight to work ’em out a little bit. All the jumping and bouncing we do in those classes really works my hamstrings… which is a very good thing as it turns out. Due to a little last-minute race leg change-up, I’m now the first runner in the relay. While I’m totally STOKED to kick-off the relay and absorb all that awesome starting-line energy (one of the things I love most about racing), it also means that my first leg is going to be straight uphill for an entire mile. I know. I KNOW. Just thinking about it makes me want to do this:

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Just bury me under these pillows and go on without me, team.

But alas! I’m going to rock it out, and the (literal) mountain shall indeed be conquered! I intend on switching up the 3.5-mile treadmill run I had originally planned for tomorrow and replacing it with a 1- or 1.5-mile incline run instead, along with some weight-work perhaps. I’m just going to crank the tready’s incline up to 5 and see how long I can last, hahaha…ha…ha.

In other news, look at Daxter’s hilarious face!

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And that, as they say, is that. Random? Maybe. But I really couldn’t think of a smoother transition, and I felt the need to share his adorable mug with you all today. Don’t even try to say you don’t love it just a little bit. 🙂

Have a great tolerable Tuesday! (Since Tuesday is by far the absolute worst day of the week, I feel it would be wildly presumptuous to think that anyone could have a “great” day today, hahaha.)

PS: I’ve got a Daily Eats post coming your way in a few, too! SHOCK! Who am I?!

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Posted on Mar 20, 2012 in Working Out | 43 comments

The Long and Short(s) of It

I know that I have already declared it to be so, but it bears repeating: I hate running. Yesterday’s torturous 3-mile jaunt around the hallowed streets of Falls Church only served to reinforce this fact. But, I did it anyway, since I’m training for the Reach the Beach Relay in May and will need to be able to complete three separate legs of 3 to 4.5 miles each. (Which I know is nothing compared to what the rest of my teammates will be running, but it’s a lot for me!)

So, as mentioned, I took to the streets to take advantage of yesterday’s beautiful weather, and also used it as an opportunity to test out one of the clothing items that New Balance sent me a little while ago. I gave the Prism Run Shorts a try — my first time running in run shorts — and what did I find? I found that I do not, in fact, like running in run shorts.


I really should have taken these photos pre-run, haha.

Yes, having now officially tested the gamut of running legwear, I can officially say that running in shorts is not for me. Maybe things would be different if I had thighs that didn’t touch, shorts that had no way of riding up, and confidence that would stop Giselle in her tracks but alas, that is not the case. I was blessed with Powell thighs, and Powell thighs touch. Good for all that pioneerin’ and baby-makin’. The chafing! I’ll need some serious Astro Glide if I’m to continue running in these puppies! Not to mention the whole thing where they rode up to my chatch and basically made it look like I was running down Broad street in a bikini bottom. I’ve really come around to my legs as a beloved body part, but I’m pretty sure nobody needs to see that.

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I’m willing to give the other pair of running shorts and the running skirt that NB sent me a try, but I’m skeptical as to whether I’ll find them any different. They’re a smidgen looser/longer though, so who knows? As of right now, however, I’m pretty sold on my past capri-lovin’ ways. I don’t really like running tights except for when winter weather necessitates them because I find them too constricting (and they get pulled down more easily as I go along), but capri-length fitness pants are my jam. Despite all of my personal issues with actually running in the shorts, they’re very comfortable. They’re definitely booty shorts, so again, this may simply be stemming from a confidence issue. Regardless, I will absolutely keep them in my arsenal for non-running fitness activities. They’d be perfect for hot yoga!

What is your run wear of choice? Are you a shorts person? Fellow capri lover? Running skirt fanatic?

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Posted on Mar 14, 2012 in Dear Diary, Weigh Ins, Weight Loss, Working Out | 47 comments

Retreat (Weigh-in)

I have something to say, and you’re probably not going to like it. Hell, I don’t like it. But, it has to be said.

Despite all my best intentions, I will not be running the Cherry Blossom 10 Mile Run on April 1st. I will still be running that day (there is also a 5K that I will be bumping down to), but not in the way that I had initially planned. I know that long ago I said that my ultimate running goal would be completing a 10 miler — this 10 miler, in fact — but the fact of the matter is that I have not been training for it. At all. And I need to own up to that.

It’s embarrassing as hell for me to admit, and it makes me feel like I’m letting you down (and letting myself down too, but you already know I’m usually okay with that). I guess this is the problem when you make declarative statements about your fitness intentions to the entire interwebs, eh? As much as I would love to be able to justify this with an injury, or sickness, or some other totally believable excuse, I can’t. I simply haven’t trained, and more than that, I just don’t have any desire to build my running endurance back up that much right now. Knowing me and my fickle, fickle self, this might change. And in a month I might be saying I’m going to train for a half-marathon — who knows? What I know right now is that I am not going to be able to just up and run 10 miles in 3 weeks.

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Sure, I’ve been running a few miles here and there as part of my greater commitment to exercise. But racking up two or three miles on the treadmill once a week does not an endurance runner make. Instead, I’ve been strength training and doing group classes and at-home videos and am actually starting to enjoy integrating exercise into my regular routine. I KNOW. Who am I? I wouldn’t say that I’m a devoted lover of sweating yet, but I can say that what I have been doing for the past couple of weeks seems to be working. So I figure I can continue to ride this wave of general working out, almost-kinda-sorta liking it sometimes… or I can force myself to huff and puff for long distances, and be miserable.

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When I began this blog, and started discovering the myriad of wonderful healthy living blogs that exist out there, I thought I needed to be a runner. After all, it seems like 90% of the bloggers in my Google Reader are runners. Not to mention the fact that I continue to read and be told that cardio is what helps you lose weight, and running is a pretty obvious form of cardio. So I gave it a try, and while it was hard in the beginning to even get through a full mile (I don’t care if it makes me sound pathetic, I still think that a mile is LONG!), I eventually worked my way up. I ran my first 5K, then a 5 Miler, and then I even completed a 15K!

Hot Chocolate 15K

I am so proud of myself for hitting these milestones, and experimenting with running did help me discover how much fun participating in RACES is, even if I still find the running part pretty miserable. But I’m finally at the point where I think I need to stop trying to make this happen just because it’s what I think I should be doing. I want to do things that I want to do, not things that I think I should want to do. Because when I try to force myself into doing something, it usually ends up backfiring. And that applies to making myself hate exercise as well as to my weight loss in general. Does that make any sense at all?

I am in no way saying I’m going to stop running completely. After all, I still have the Reach the Beach Relay in May, and I am legitimately looking forward to it and will continue training for it (my longest leg should hopefully be no more than 5 miles). But I am going to stop focusing on ZOMGDISTANCE! so much. I enjoy running 5K races. While the half- and full-marathoners out there may scoff at a mere 3.1 miles, I consider it a good, challenging distance for myself. So come April 1st, I will be running the Cherry Blossom 5K, and I will try very hard to focus on it as a victory, instead of feeling like a flake about the 10 Miler.

Whew. So, there you have it. I hope that none of you will look down on me too harshly for changing my mind like this. I have openly admitted many times to being wishy-washy when it comes to exercise, but I hope you can see that this really isn’t about making an excuse or copping out. This is about the larger picture. It’s about me actually, actively wanting to continue getting healthy and fit. So I may be retreating from the 10 Miler, but only in order to strengthen my resolve as I move forward. And speaking of moving forward…

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Weigh-in: 190.0 lbs
This Weigh-in: 189.0 lbs
Difference: -1.0 lbs

Ohhhhh hey, 180s! It’s nice to be back! Clearly, I am ecstatic that I have an entire pound’s loss to show this week, which pushes me firmly back into the good ol’, pre-holiday 180s. I feel like it just helps justify everything I just said with regard to the way I’m working out, y’know, working out (heh). Given last week’s wompy 0.1 loss and all the bad eating out that I’ve been doing lately, I wasn’t expecting much. But after so many weeks of half- and quarter-pound losses (if that!), not to mention the gains — Heaven forbid! — I am doing my superhappydance. So hey, at least we get to end on a positive note!

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Posted on Dec 4, 2011 in Races, Working Out | 42 comments

Hot Chocolate 15K

Cue the fanfare!

I'm alive!

Ring the bell!

Victory!

Let it be known to the world: I ran a 15K and survived!

Take a Bow!

Now, some of you may have already heard about how the Hot Chocolate 15 & 5K may go down in infamy as DC’s most horrible race (just check out the comments being left on their Facebook page if you need proof!) It was a logistical clusterf***, and I agree with a lot of what is being said about it. That said, I don’t feel it wasn’t the life-ruining event that some people are making it out to be. Not to say it wasn’t truly awful. Soooo, I may just be saying that because I’m so psyched that I can say I (mostly) ran 9.3 miles and lived to tell the tale. Here’s how it all went down for yours truly. BEHOLD!

Hot Chocolate 15K

I woke up bright dark and early Saturday morning, around 5:45 AM. Took care of the doggies, rinsed my face, got dressed, and tried to quell the growing ball of fear and regret in my stomach before heading to my parents’ house to meet my sister and her hubs, and Steve, Lara, and Janie who were running it as well.

Nerves

Oh, it should also be noted that it was frickin’ FREEZING. Of course after a straight week of unseasonably warm weather, the day that Mother Nature seems to recognize that it’s, uh, December is the day of the race. Womp. I tried to get excited anyway…

Excitement?
Try being the operative word, of course.

The six of us crammed into a car and left my parents’ house in Falls Church around 6:45 AM (the race was set to start at 8 AM) and headed toward National Harbor, a normal half-hour trip. All runners had to choose a parking option way in advance — some were at the race site but you had to pay to park there, and some were free but further away so you had to take a shuttle. Since we are cheapos, we obviously chose the free option and figured we’d just deal with the shuttle drop-off (which on the website was quoted as being up to 20 minutes away.) Well, as it turns out, this was probably the best thing that we could have possibly done. Traffic and parking ended up being a HUGE issue for this race, with people being stuck on the Woodrow Wilson Bridge trying to get into National Harbor for up to two hours. And these are for the people who PAID for the closer parking. We, however, barely hit any traffic on the way there, since we went up and around National Harbor to reach our parking site. The shuttles to-and-from our satellite lot (Rosecroft Raceway) were plentiful and the trip barely took 10 minutes from site to site. We arrived at the starting area around 7:40.

This is where things started to turn a little sour for me. Despite us getting there pretty much right on time, we ended up having to wait around in the cold for the next hour and a half before the race actually began. (Thank goodness I ended up wearing an old sweatshirt that I ditched on the course. I might have literally frozen to death if I hadn’t.) I should have known something was up when the 5K (which was scheduled to begin at 7:30) hadn’t started when we got to the race site. I do understand them delaying the race start for those who were stuck in traffic, but with very little communication being given as to when the race would be starting or why it was being delayed it was very frustrating to just have to… wait. As I understand it now, the 5K’s start was delayed because the layout of where the parking lots in National Harbor were, were on the opposite side of the 5K route. So the path for parkers to get to the 15K start was ON the 5K path. Therefore, they had to clear pedestrians from the route before it could begin… which is extremely poor planning, IMO. And the 5K delay contributed to the 15K delay as well, of course, so there were not many happy campers in the lineup, to say the least.

ClusterF.
I know how you feel, bottom-left-corner lady. I know you feel.

After my feet and legs had the opportunity to go thoroughly numb, the horn for the start of the 15K finally went off at around 9:10 (in case you had forgotten, that’s an hour and 10 minutes after the original start time). 20 minutes and some 8,000 runners later, I made it through the starting gate and was off! From here on out, my race experience actually wasn’t too bad. The first 5 miles of the race were a down-and-out on Indian Head Highway, which still had one open lane of traffic, and a lot of people had issues with that. I didn’t really enjoy running with a huge mob PLUS an open (though crawling) lane of cars, but it wasn’t terrifying or anything since the cars were going slower than we were, haha. And despite my freakout over the race elevation (which was indeed terrible), the first part wasn’t too hilly. After about 2 miles, I regained feeling back in my tootsies (though I did get that annoying itchy-toe feeling from the blood rushing into them, which wasn’t pleasant) and the numbness probably helped contribute to my speedy start — we did the first mile at a sub-10 minute pace! Yes, me, the champion of the 12-minute mile. It was insane.

Another issue with the race, however, was that the 5K timing mats were on the wrong side of the road, so we clocked our “5K” split in at around 2.5 miles instead of 3.1. Womp womp. Therefore, my unofficial 5K time (according to my RunKeeping app) was 36 minutes and a few seconds — a PR based on my past 5Ks! Also unofficially, I beat my 5 mile time by almost 7 minutes! (1:03:0-something vs. 1:09:53 from the Navy 5 Miler!)

Mile 8
The harbor was beautiful, though the clock isn’t accurate for me, since I went through the gate 20 minutes after the gun.

After the first 5 miles, the race headed down into the actual National Harbor area. We did a huge loop around the harbor, and there was finally something pretty to look at, though this was the part of the race that really was incredibly hilly. In some ways, it worked to my advantage, because I was literally flying down some of the downhill slopes. However, the sadists who planned the course route also had the race end on an uphill stretch. WHO DOES THAT?! So I kind of died at the end. Also, there were a few parts of the race that were on rocky gravel and shells, which was kind of crummy. I walked most of those parts, but if I had been running fast, I can envision me biting it pretty bad on a stray rock, haha. You should all be proud of me though — all together, I’d say that I ran about 75% of this race, which is crazy since I didn’t think I’d be able to run even half of it!

At the last .3 miles, Jenny came back and forced me to run the end, something for which I simultaneously cursed her and thanked her for. As is always my goal, I managed to sprint the very last stretch, finishing strong with a time of 2:01:48! And I didn’t even puke!

RAWR

I ended up with an average pace of 13:05, which is actually much better than I anticipated given my frequent walking breaks. After forcing Jenny to take many pictures of my sweaty self, we crawled over to the tents housing the chocolate fondue and hot chocolate. Here is where I will give the race organizers props again. Even though the tents were cruelly far away from the finish line, we didn’t have to wait in a single line for our chocolate, and they looked like they really did have enough for everyone (I mean, let’s face it, I definitely finished on the tail-end of the race, and there was still plenty of chocolate.)

Will Run for Chocolate

Plus, it was DELICIOUS. It kind of messed with my stomach a little, since the last thing I had eaten was a slice of apple spice bread at 6 AM, but the pretzel stick dipped in melted Ghirardelli? OMFG. Amazing.

Reward
With a face this red, I deserved my chocolate.

So yes, there were plenty of problems with the race from a logistical standpoint, but other than the huge delay, I wasn’t really that affected by them. I just feel so bad for those that got to the race site earlier than we did. The race communications originally had told us to be on a shuttle from the parking site no later than 6:45 AM. We value sleeping too much to actually listen, but if we had then we would have been waiting for ANOTHER hour. My honest opinion is simply that RAM Racing oversold the race. It really should have been capped at half the amount of runners. National Harbor just isn’t made for having so many people trying to get in all at once — there’s really only one way to drive there, and it isn’t metro accessible. That said, I am really proud of myself, so in spite of all the issues, I’m definitely glad I did it. I mean, I finished 9.3 miles. NINE MILES!! AHHHH!

Okay, and just so every single photo in this post isn’t of me being gross and sweaty, here are some pictures of me hamming it up before my company’s holiday party last night. (Hooray for vanity!) Not sure where I got the energy to go considering what I had accomplished only hours earlier, but I guess that’s what they call rallying, eh?

ANTM Work Hard, Play Hard

The party was at the Air & Space Museum in Chantilly! You know, because one grown-up event at a museum this week simply wasn’t enough, hehe.

Survivor Heels

I think I deserve extra credit for being able to put on heels after the race! Of course, the soreness didn’t really hit me until this morning. As in, it has never been more painful to go from my bed to the bathroom and back. ‘Cause that’s about all I’ve managed so far.

Worth it.

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Posted on Oct 12, 2011 in Dear Diary, Weigh Ins, Weight Loss | 67 comments

A Lofty Goal (Weigh-in)

So let’s talk goals.

I’ll be honest with you and admit that I’ve never been a very goal-oriented person. I guess I’m just not ambitious enough when it comes down to it – I don’t have that truly competitive spirit that drives me. That forces me to finish what I start. That’s not to say that I don’t HAVE goals, of course. I make promises to myself, and I try to aim in the right direction.

On Target
source

It’s just never really mattered all that much to me whether I land exactly on target.

And the goals I’ve been setting for myself lately? They haven’t been what I would call revolutionary.

I told myself that I would go grocery shopping today, so I did. Goal!

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I told myself that I needed to cook a healthy dinner, so I did. Goal!

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And I told myself that for these two consecutive wedding-filled weekends, complete with buffets and cake and probably a few too many vodka sodas, that I wasn’t going to worry about losing weight. That I simply needed to maintain.

Starting Weight: 246 lbs
Last Week’s Weight: 186.2 lbs
This Week’s Weight: 186.0 lbs
This Week’s Change: -0.2 lbs

Goal…?

“It’s about the journey, not the destination.”
“It’s the thought that counts.”
“A for effort!”

I’ve never really thought of my aversion to “real” goal-setting as a bad thing. The way I’ve always seen it, the world is simply made up of different kinds of people: some are driven by always needing to be harder, better, faster, stronger. And then there are those of us who are okay with 2nd-through-last place. I’ve always known that I am one of the latter. And I’ve always been okay with that.

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After all, it’s gotten me this far — through the past 60 lbs, a few 5Ks and even a 5 miler!

I did it!Jump Shot Fail

The thing is… I’m starting to think that maybe I’m using it as a bit of a crutch. Another excuse, another justification. The whole “I am the way that I am!” schtick only goes so far, and we already know that my activity level goes from wimpy to non-existant if I don’t have something I should be (but probably am not) training for. While there’s really no denying the fact that yes, I am the way that I am, it doesn’t mean I shouldn’t still strive. That I shouldn’t reach. That I should settle only for goals I know that I’ll meet.

I think I’m realizing why I generally set the bar low. Yes, it is a great feeling when you’re able to cross something off, when you can say you’ve achieved yet another thing you wanted to achieve. But it is absolutely terrifying when you think that you can’t. I’m proud of the goals I’ve been able to meet thus far, but c’mon. How am I supposed to inspire anybody if the loftiest goal on my list right now is “cook dinner”?

All I know is, I’m tired of settling. I want to strive, I want to reach. I want to try, even if I fail.

15K.
9.3 miles.
December 3rd.

Here we go.

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