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Saturday, August 31, 2013

Eating to Train

My blog title is really what I WANT vs. what I am writing about.

I recently posed a question to my facebook groups asking for recommendations for books that may help give me that ah-ha moment that will spur me to eat better.  If anyone has a good suggestion- please share it!

My eating habits are dismal.  What does that mean?  Here is a quick rundown:

1.  I don't eat ANY veggies.  I mean 0, zip, zilch.  I even go so far as to pick out the green things in my pizza sauce.  Why?  I don't know.  I've tried to understand my issue.  I think it's mostly textures that cause me to not like them.  I've tried them.  I've tried cooking them, steaming them, covering them in cheese, etc.  I just can't.  I've even tried juicing, but I already had it in my mind that I don't do veggies.

2.  I don't care for most fruits.  I can eat apples- only if they are peeled (the texture thing- I hate peels!) I can eat some bananas- usually if they are covered in sugar and milk.  I do like strawberries- again, if they have sugar on them!  I just have a hard time eating straight fruits.  I don't crave them.

3.  I love eating weird combinations of horrible, horrible for me foods.  I love to have a bowl of brown sugar and then dip peanut butter in it.  I also melt chocolate chips and marshmallows together.  I'm really good at making fake cookie dough.  I love to mix brownie mix and eat it before baking.

4.  I don't enjoy large meals, or meals at all.  I'd be happy just eating the things I mentioned above all day.  I have done that before.  I just go from one thing to the next and never have a "decent" meal.

So, why?  Why is it so hard to break these habits?!  

I want so badly to be fit.  I've lost almost 35 pounds by counting calories since January 1st.  The horrible truth is that while I've lost weight, I did it by going hungry because I ate 1200 calories in peanut butter and sugar.  Trust me, those calories add up fast. If I could eat decent food, I'm sure I'd feel a lot more satisfaction.

I want to train for a 1/2 and eventually full ironman distance event.  I know I can't do that on chocolate marshmallows.  I need to get my diet corrected.  The fact is, I've gotten to a place where I'm no longer concerned about losing weight from my eating, I want to be FIT.  
This is AWESOME.  I never imagined I'd be in this place mentally.  I always thought that until I got to my goal weight that I would "diet" to lose pounds.  Now I'm to a place mentally where I know that I still have some to lose, but I'm more interested in being fit and healthy with muscles rather than counting every pound I lose.  A big Woooo Hoooo... but how?

This is what I ate today....and I feel BLAH!

Tano's and DQ!

I read a blog post from someone else and it really hit home.  When I was obese I used to hide my eating habits because I was embarrassed.  I hated when I had to be with thin co-workers who could have a bowl of candy in front of them and not touch it while I was grabbing piece after piece.  I hated being the "Eater" of the group.

Now that I thin-er and trying to count calories, those same people sneer and roll their eyes when I order water and push the chips and salsa away at our night out while they drink multiple beers or margaritas and down chips plus a meal.  I'm equally embarrassed having to be "on a diet" around them.  They just don't know how hard it is to be that person who needs to work at it.  

I always feel like I put a damper on everyone's evening or lunch date.  I am the party-pooper.  It's a horrible feeling.  I feel like I'm the black sheep no matter what side of the fence I'm on.

I guess if I'm going to be the black sheep, then I might as well learn how to eat to train for something they all think is crazy- an ironman!  

So, as I read back through this post, I realize that I have 2 issues grinding away at me.  I am tempted to go back and alter and focus the post, but I think these are two very important issues to explore for me.  More blog posts to follow on these topics.  

Anyone have any recommendations for either of these?!?  PLEASE?!

Friday, August 23, 2013

The Courage to Start, the Will to Finish

I often "borrow" quotes from others to keep me motivated.

I also watch a lot of videos and see people of all shapes and sizes doing things that I fear.

I love watching the REV3 Age Group Videos because they always show people who are there at the end being supported by the Rev3 Volunteers all the way to the finish.  My biggest fear related to doing a 70.3 or 140.6 is that I won't make the cut-off times or that I will be last even if I do.  Rev3 makes being last seem OK.  I love what Rev3 stands for.  The age grouper at the end of this video says that you just have to have the "Courage to start and the will to finish."  How awesome!

I'm going to steal his quote and use it as a mantra when I work up to my first 70.3.

I also found this today....

If that guy can do a 70.3.... then there should be no reason why I can't try!

I'm volunteering at the Cedar Point Rev3 event in a few weeks and I fully believe that I will be inspired to do a 70.3 next year.  Now I just have to work up the courage to sign up and begin training!!!!

And maybe I should probably try an olympic distance first??????

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Get to Know Me!

Today included a VERY painful shot (or shots) of cortisone in my foot.  4 weeks ago we hoped that I wouldn't have any more pain.  2 weeks ago the pain started coming back.  2 days ago it was getting so bad that it hurt to walk on it.  The foot doctor said that this attempt would be the last before she recommended surgery to remove the nerves between those metatarsals.  PRAYING that it works this time!  What's going on.... read here.

While I wallow in self-pity, please let me share with you 5 posters that will help you get to know me better!

While I work very hard, I am horrible at keeping our house clean.  Some days I wonder if someone will call Hoarders on me... so I just start throwing EVERYTHING away.  In fact, I just did this at work today and took 2 huge garbage cans of papers and catalogs out of my office.

I have a very hard time being "OK" with being the slow one.  I am pretty competitive, so it's taking me awhile to be proud of my times for my runs/triathlons.  I know I will never WIN a race and for some stupid reason, I'm ashamed of that!  Because, you know, the other 10,000 people also running just to finish are obviously looking and me and wondering why I'm not the winner?!?!

I have three kids and while I can't stand when they are loud, I also know that silence is not golden.  Silence is bad, very, very bad!  My kids are devious and manipulative and there is no one else to blame but their parents... if you know who they are, can you let me know so I can have them arrested???

This happens to me all too often.  My life is SO hectic all of the time that when I don't know what to do with myself, I stress about what I am missing.  If I don't have something to do on my calendar or I'm running early, my first thought is that I forgot something or I'm missing a meeting I'm supposed to be at.  The sad part- most of the time, I'm right!!!!

I'm a school administrator and this year has included having to say, "No, we don't have money for that," too many times to count.  Sometimes I think it's ok to say that, but I also have been asked for things that I know our teachers truly need and I still have to say no.  It makes me incredibly sad and frustrated that schools suffer so much in the funding department when there are other entities that seem to have an overflow.  If you would like to challenge me and tell me that schools waste money, I offer to let you sit in my office with me for just one week....or rather, not sit in my office, but follow me around while I help cover classes for a teacher who has another duty, clean up messes, sit in government mandated meetings, and run around ensuring that the safety of our students is being handled at every minute of the day.  While I'm sure no school or agency is perfect with EVERY dollar, I can say that our teachers work so incredibly hard- weekends, week nights, and summers included.  We do the best we can with 30 students in one class that all have different needs and levels.  The next time you want 30 of your child in one room for 7 hours a day, you let me know!!   I LOVE my job, but I hate that we struggle to meet the needs of our students due to financial constraints.  

So... maybe these don't tell you my whole story, but they all spoke to me for different reasons.  I'm keeping it real.  

Happy Camel Day everyone!

Sunday, August 18, 2013

Linwood Park Triathlon in Vermilion, Ohio Race Recap

At the beginning of the summer I had signed up for a few triathlons and decided to be brave and select the olympic distance for my last one in Vermilion, Ohio.  When my foot was giving me problems, I called the company and asked to be moved to the sprint distance and they happily did so... I even got most of the additional money back (because olympic distances cost more than sprints.)  Shout out to HFP racing in Ohio!  They are a great family-christian company.

I was even more thankful that I did this because on Monday I started to get what I thought was a sinus infection.  I was so worried about the race that I went that night and got antibiotics.  Several days passed and I wasn't getting better- in fact, I felt worse.  I hurt all over and I had the chills.  It may very well have been a respiratory flu.  I started feeling better Friday morning.  I still have a bit of a cough and a lot of "junk" in the back of my throat, but I felt good enough to finish a sprint.

I left our house Saturday thinking that I wasn't even going to consider times or have goals other than to finish because I hadn't been running, biking, or swimming at all this week.  I just wanted to get it done.

And to prove exactly how flat Northwest Ohio is....

My boring view on the drive east on the turnpike!

I got to packet pick up on Saturday night.  The park is beautiful.  It's a gated community of summer homes and is private.  The people who live there were very generous in giving up their weekend to allow all of us athletes to invade their space.

transition waiting!

The cute summer houses and roads in the park.

I went down to the lake to see how choppy it was.  It was pretty windy Saturday night- there were white caps!  EEK!

The bike mount line was pretty far from transition because they wanted us to wait until we could get on a road to mount....seems reasonable, but people were really complaining about this.  I guess to each their own!

Anyway, after getting my stuff I headed back to my car and drove to my sister's house which was only about 4 minutes away.  She has lived in Vermilion for many years.  In fact... side story, I lived in South Amherst until I was 6 years old.  When driving to the park, I turned down my old road and took a picture of my childhood home:

A bit overgrown, but still "my" childhood house!!  

My sister and brother-in-law fed me dinner and we took a drive to the bike route and it scared the crap out of me.  There were a lot of small hills, bad roads (crumbling and pot holes!) and one winding, slow climb.  *gulp*

I went to bed around 10pm and set my alarm for 5am.  I needed to be at the park by 5:30 to get a good parking spot and then a good spot in transition.  I was up at 5am and out the door by 5:20am.  I got there and set up my bike in transition in the dark.  I walked around as everyone else filtered in.  

Transition was in a grassy area in the middle of the park.  

I headed down to the water at 6:40am to get a warm-up swim in and to see how hard it was to swim in Lake Erie.  All of my triathlons have been in in-land lakes.  This would be the first time I swim with waves.  It wasn't as bad as I thought it looked and the waves had settled down because there wasn't much wind the morning.  
The lake in the morning!

At 7am, transition closed and we met down on the beach.  They explained where each group would start, and of course, I needed to be at the far end of the beach.  The women's only and mini-tri started where everyone was gathering.  The sprint participants all began walking to the far end.  The announcer started the women's only waves and when they were all done, the truck drove down the beach to us.  Our waves all started about 30 minutes late.  I knew my sister and her family knew about when I should be finishing.  I hoped they wouldn't be worried about me since we were running late.

When my wave went off, I took off and it was a fight in the water for good positions.  We had to swim along the shore line between the beach and the buoys.  There were several spots where it got really shallow and some people tried to keep swimming, but I took advantage of the footing and did dolphin dives in a few places, otherwise, my hands hit the sand below.  

I knew I was pretty close to the front of the pack.  I ran into the men's wave in front of us pretty quickly.  

The swim seemed to go by really fast for me.  When I got out of the water I checked my watch and was amazed that I was right around 12:30.  I started to take off my wetsuit and ran up the huge sand hill to the transition.  My transition was pretty slow, but there was a lot of grass on my feet that I wanted to wipe off.  

I got on my bike and headed out feeling out of breath, but slowly got into the ride.  The hills hit around mile 5 and were pretty hard on the knees.  At one point I hit 32 mph going down hill.  I know this doesn't sound that fast to most people- but I'm so scared of crashing on my bike.

We passed the Mill Hollow...which is a beautiful park where I used to go as a child and look for arrowheads.  

As I was climbing the slow, long, winding hill, there were a lot of people walking their bikes.  I thought  about it, but was hoping I could make it to the top by spinning fast.  I was behind two other women riding and a car came up behind us.  The car tried to pass and a car came from the other direction so the car on our side just pushed over towards us and there was no where for us to go, as there was a curb.  The two women in front of me and I were basically deciding between crashing into the grassy hill or crashing into the car.  All three of us fell over.  UGH!  The car TOOK OFF!  Can you believe that?  Thankfully, all of the racers and the volunteers care more about our safety and they stopped to check on us.  We were all fine, but rightfully annoyed.

I finished walking the last 20 meters and got back on and picked up my speed.  We turned on the last road towards the park and had to climb a viaduct and as we turned we were warned that a lot of people had crashed on the viaduct.  When we got there we could see a bunch of ambulances and at the top there were a bunch of cyclists laying on the road.  The viaduct had some expansion plates on them and they were at a weird angle on the road.  All of the bike tires were getting stuck in the ruts  They had (due to the accident) put carpets over the expanders and directed us over those.  I couldn't see how bad people were hurt, but they weren't moving much and most of them were being back-boarded.  OUCH!

I got back to the park and made a quick transition.  As I was running out, I saw my sister and screamed that we were 30 minutes behind and that I'd be back in 30 minutes!  By this time, my chest felt like it was on fire and I had a hard time catching my breath while running.  I decided to that was just going to run my own race and not push too hard.  I figured there was no chance for me to place- the last race I did in this series, I finished 14/15!  I just wanted to finish.  My run was 1 minute slower than my other tri 5Ks.

I was running 10 minute miles.  I made it back to the finisher arch and gave my normal (dorky) two-handed wave!

And finished my race with a smile!

I was so glad to be done.

I went into the finisher's tent to get a few snack and to check to see if the times were being posted.  They had video monitors up and scrolling all of the age groups.  My age group only had 1st place listed, so I knew it would be awhile until I saw my time.  

I went out to see my sister and she was so happy for me.

After talking for awhile I told them I wanted to see my final time.  I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw my name scrolling down as finishing 3rd in my age group!  WHAT??  I never expected that.  The HFP series hands out medals to the age group placers as they are posted, so I got my age group 3rd right away.

Finisher medal on the top and 3rd place age-group medal on the bottom.

I drove home happy and tired.  It was a great day weather wise for a triathlon and I'm glad I could finish my tri season on a good note.  It makes me want to work harder for next year.

Sunday, August 11, 2013

A Local 5K race recap!

Many of my friends sign up for every 5K they see.  I just can't do it.  Those $20 add up!  On top of that, I'm just not excited to have to "sprint" anything.  Yes, a 5K to me is a sprint.  I'd much rather run a 1/2 marathon.  Even as I think about triathlons, I have much less anxiety thinking about a half ironman than I do for an olympic distance.  It's much easier to enjoy the day if I can pace myself.  I don't like pushing it so much that I can't control my breath.

With that all said, I finally sucked it up and signed up for the Tomahawk Trot 5K which benefits a local school track.  My reason?  Up until this race, my 5K PR came from the END of a triathlon.  How sad is that?  The fastest I've ever run a 5K was when I had already swam 750M and biked 23K?  I knew I could run a 5K faster, but without the race situation, I just couldn't duplicate it!  I tried on my training run, I tried on the treadmill.  I just couldn't keep that pace up.  I finally decided that I needed to sign up for a race and just do it.

My girls wanted to run the kids race, so I signed them up.

Pre-race muscle pose

Start of the kids race!

They ran their hearts out.  I tried to take pictures, but they were going too fast and the pictures turned out blurry.  

Neither of the girls stopped to walk and Tayanna ended up coming in 2nd!  She got a nice medal.  She was soooooo proud.  (And mommy might have been a little lot proud too!)

Middle kid- pink shirt.

Because I knew that my younger daughter probably wouldn't place, I brought medals for them both.  Here they are with the medal I gave them and my older daughter is holding the medal she won.

Then it was time for my race.  

I started in the middle of the pack and when I passed mile 1,  I was running an 8:47 pace.  I knew that was extremely fast for me, but I wanted to finish in under 30 minutes.  My PR was 30:20 (at the end of a tri!)  I also knew that I would slowly slow down and though I was concerned about starting too fast, I kept telling myself that I only had 2 more miles to run.  When I passed mile 2, I was at 18 minutes- perfect for my PR of under 30.  By the time I made it off the trail (a paved trail) on to the track I was trying to sprint to the end, but I started feeling really cold and sick.  I was worried I'd pass out or puke.  At one point I started to gag and managed to stop myself so that I could finish.  

I finished in 28:51!  Finally- I have a new (non-tri) PR for the 5K!  I love this picture taken by my hubby because I finally feel like I look like I have lost weight.  This is the only running picture I have ever liked of myself! 

This picture was taken before the race at our house and I also like this picture because I look much thinner here too!  (and my girls are just so cute!)  Ignore my wimpy muscle pose!!!!!

I celebrated by buying new shoes.  I HATE that I can never get cute shoes.  Because I need extreme stability shoes with WIDE toe boxes, I end up with boring shoes.  I added the PINK laces from #SWEATPINK because I'm an Sweat Pink Ambassador.  Thankfully the pink laces help to make my shoes a little cuter!!!

I also wanted to add this picture of my baby boy because he's so darn cute and I didn't want to leave him out!

Happy Sunday!

Sunday, August 4, 2013

A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to Becoming a Triathlete

Today I met with some friends to do our long run.  We are all working towards a 1/2 marathon in September and we are trying to run together every chance we get.  I live about an hour away from everyone so we try to meet in the middle.  Today we chose Farnsworth Park, which is really just a few parks along a trail through the woods along the Maumee River.  It's beautiful!

9.2 mile later I was sucking wind and struggling up really small inclines!  One friend and I even deemed the smallest hill "Mt. Rushmore" because we felt like it went up at 90 degrees.  It really didn't (obviously!) but it felt like we were scaling a wall!  The run felt great until about mile 7.  We call runs like these "sucktastic" because they suck, but hey, we are out there doing them- which is fantastic!

How could you not love a run that has views like these?

The trail goes through several nice parks and where you can often walk down rocks to the edge of the water.  

Little flowers are tucked everywhere.

It's on runs like these that I think back to where I was over a year ago.  I was lazy and felt like crap every single day.  Since then, I have found a love for running (even when they suck!), biking, and swimming.  

Just this afternoon I had to put little baby T in the car and drive around to get him to nap- he doesn't like to miss any action!  When this happens, I often drive on different roads to find good bike routes.  Today I was so happy because I found a road that I haven't taken before that has massive rolling hills (a VERY unusual aspect to Northern Ohio!)  Ok, so they probably weren't massive to those of you in other southern states, but for NW Ohio, they looked pretty big and rolling to me!  Expect a post on this in the future!

I used my trip odometer on the way back to find the distance and it's just 8 miles from my house where I would turn around on this road.  It will be a good 16 mile ride there and back!  Perfect!

I laughed to myself as I thought about all of this- NEVER would I have been excited to find a bike route with hills before.  Suddenly I like finding a good place to ride my bike?  What?   I laughed because I even thought about asking my hubby if I could take my bike out tonight for the ride....  after I JUST ran 9 miles this morning!  Who does that?  (BTW- I didn't!  I just decided that my legs needed some rest....but trust me, I REALLY wanted to!)

My life has changed so much since I started this thing called running.  I now look forward to my run, ride, or swim.  It's amazing what feeling good can do for you!

Saturday, August 3, 2013

Kids, Weight loss, and Rides

This post will be filled with a few random things put into one... my LIFE!

I saw someone else post about a comment that she received after writing a post NOT related to running...her blog is mostly a "running" blog, but I read it because she is darn funny.  I could care less if she posts about her trip to the zoo, a new car, or other adventures.  I read her blog because I think she is a great writer.  Obviously someone else only wanted to read about running.

Here is my disclaimer, "This blog shall be about my LIFE.  Yes, I run, but my blog title is 'Michele On the Run' which is a play on words since my my life is so busy and hectic.  I'm always on the RUN.  Therefore, you will read posts about a million things other than running!"

So, on with LIFE:

My son (20 months old) has been struggling with some issues that are yet unknown.  His pediatric Gastro doctor wanted to do a colonoscopy and endoscopy to see if there were any concerning whatevers in there.  If someone told me that I couldn't eat for 24 hours, I'd cry.  Try telling a 20 month old who doesn't understand!!!  He was allowed clear liquids and chicken broth.  Thankfully he liked the broth and was so weak without food that he went to bed VERY early the night before.

We live about an hour away from the hospital, so we were up at 4:30am and on the road at 5am for a 6am check in.  Baby T was a trooper and just went along with everything since he was so tired when we got there.

The scope did not show anything unusual.  Biopsies of the tissues in there were taken and may tell us more later.  When baby T woke up, he asked for his "foo-foo" which is his pacifier and then when the nurse offered him crackers, he freaked out and kept eating them as if he was starved all of his life!  He inhaled 12 of the crackers.  We kept asking him if he was ready to go bye-bye and he would reply, "No!  More Coo-coos"  Which is his way of asking for more crackers.  He was so darn cute!  We finally handed him several packages and let him eat on the way out and in the car just so we could get out of there!  

When we got home he had a whole corn dog and an entire personal sized pizza.  He couldn't get enough!  

Now on to less "cute" stuff-

I've been working on losing weight and inches since January 1st.  I'm happy to say that I've lost a total of 35 pounds and I've gone from a size 16 to a size 8!  I haven't been in a size 8 since middle school!   I love visuals, so here are the old vs. new jeans.  The 8's fit great- not tight!  I was so excited when I tried them on after I bought them today.

My foot is still sore, but I'm just pushing forward.  I had a great ride outside today and enjoyed the beautiful farms as I rode.  I took this picture and thought it really represented the area where I live: