Looking back at May / Superman / NRD coming up…

31 05 2010

If I’ve learned anything while on this journey it’s the following: Be patient with yourself. Some days you’re going to feel like you’re zipping along at 150 mph and nothing can stop you. Other days you’re going to feel like getting out of bed is an emotional chore that you just can’t seem to accomplish.

May was like that for me.

I’ve had some very tough days in May. Particularly the week my brother was in the hospital and this last week. It was hard to remember the “Be Patient with Yourself” rule as I muddled through the weeks crying,  spending endless days at the hospital, looking at a stranger in the mirror and getting hurt. Even though I didn’t feel like I was being patient, I survived both weeks a stronger person with much more clarity about what this journey means to me.

I’m ending May on a positive note.

I walked a half marathon. I ran a total of 19 miles (not including the 13.1 mile walk). I swam 800 laps (11.4 miles). I donated 6 bags of clothes to a local charity. I ran my first 5k almost 3  minutes faster than anticipated. I lost 10.6 pounds. I kept moving even when I didn’t think I could. I went to the gym even if it meant I cried in the car first and I’ve learned that I might go in feeling like crap, but always come out feeling better.  I left a lot of sweat on the floor of the gym and I’m looking to leave even more come June.

A lot more!

There are some major changes coming in June. The first and foremost is my work schedule will be much more manageable starting tomorrow. Gone are the days of working 52+ hours/week. Gone are the days of getting up between 430a – 5a to get to the gym before work. Gone are the days of coming home exhausted with just enough energy to eat, pack my gym bag and crawl into bed.

I worked so much because it defined who I was a person.

I’m going to try and change that way of thinking over the summer. I’m going down to 32 hours a week and keeping my current afternoon work schedule (1-7 most days) so that my mornings will be free. I will be running more. I will be swimming more. I will be biking more. I will begin training for the September triathlon. I will give 200% every time I see Superman. Work will no longer be the only thing that defines me as a person. My strength, my determination and my sheer desire to be a better person will also define me. If I thought I didn’t recognize myself in the mirror last week…

You can bet I won’t recognize myself by the end of August either.



kicked my ass.

I needed it.


I kicked his too.

About half way through our session he had me do an iron chair squat. Its where you stand against a wall and then squat down in an imaginary chair with your arms straight out. He says “go one minute or as long as you can”. It hurt almost immediately. I don’t know how the hell I managed to stay in that position for a full minute but I did.

I thought we would do it once.

He said again.

I squat down and I’m pretty sure I wasn’t going to last a minute. Every time I dropped my arms he would just look at me and say “Don’t give up”. My legs are shaking. The sweat is pouring off of me. A minute feels like an eternity.

Sixty seconds later I slide down to the floor.

He said again.

I just looked at him like he was crazy. He smiled and said “you got this”. Up I go and into position. The entire time he’s watching me like he’s got something to tell me.  At 30 seconds he starts a countdown. At 30 seconds I start to wonder if he’s going to ask me to do this a fourth time. At 20 seconds I’ve got snot running down my nose (so classy) and I’ve closed my eyes cause I just don’t want to quit. At 10 seconds I start to think “WTF” shouldn’t it be over by now. He’s sitting across from me and counts down 5…4…3…2…1. I relax my legs and slump to the floor. I curl up in what I’m sure was pretty close to the fetal position and he said the following: “No one, I’ve ever trained has ever gone three rounds, for three minutes on their first time…no one!”

I aim to please.


Wednesday is National Running Day. Lots of people have entered my first giveaway in honor of NRD. I too will be running. As much as my ankle will let me. I managed to get in a 15 minute run this morning at the gym and it was feeling pretty good. WednesdayI’m just going to get on the treadmill and let my ankle decide what we’re doing.

If you haven’t signed up for my bag of goodies, then get on it. You only have two more days left. If you have then go to Seattlerunnergirl’s blog and enter there too. That’s right two kick ass girls giving away two kick ass prizes!


Listening to the universe…

27 05 2010

I’ve had a bad week.

I am overwhelmed by so many things right now I’m having a difficult time seeing anything good in what I’m trying to do as a person, a wife, a friend, an athlete and as someone trying to lose weight. I don’t know if it’s because I crossed over the fifty pound mark or because I’m thinner today than I have been since my mid twenties. I don’t know if it’s because I no longer medicate myself with paxil or don’t delve into World of Warcraft for eight hours in hopes of riding through an emotional upheavel. I don’t know if it’s because of the pressure to make the right choices and keep moving forward or because I’m stressed about a portion of my work coming to an end for the summer. I don’t know if it’s because I’m feeling weak when I go to see Superman lately or if it’s because I just feel like I’m not doing enough.

Whatever the reason, I am at a breaking point.

I’ve been crying everyday.

When I get up.

When I leave the house.

When I get to the gym.

When I get to work.

When I’m driving home.

I feel like I’m pushing myself just to function. This is not where I want to be right now. However, it is where I am and unless I do something about it, nothing is going to change. I should have listened to the Universe last Tuesday once the gate to the cryfest was opened but I didn’t, so today Universe stepped in again…

I got hurt.

I was at the gym today with Superman and wasn’t paying attention to what I was doing and rolled my ankle. Bad enough that I heard a “pop” when I went down in a tangled mess of clumsiness. I probably should have stopped right there and ended the session. I didn’t. We took it easy the rest of the time but my ego was just as hurt and I didn’t really evaluate the pain in my right ankle as closely as I should have. Now it’s swollen, painful and doesn’t look to be getting any better any time soon.

Ummmm thanks Universe?

As I was crying in the gym shower, I realized I need to take a break. My life is too hectic right now and I’m not finding pleasure in anything. Not even the gym which is usually where I find the most comfort. As hard as it is for me to say this, I need to step back, unplug and relax. Just thinking about it upsets me. Not because I think it’s the wrong thing to do but because I’m trying so hard not to beat the crap out myself emotionally for taking a few days to recoup / reevaluate / readjust.

I feel like I’m giving up but that doesn’t make any sense.

If someone wrote the exact same thing or told me they were going to take a few days off to get back to a strong mental state of awareness I would think “That’s spot on! That’s exactly what I would do”. But here I am and my mind is screaming “Weak! Lazy! Told you, you couldn’t! You’ll never lose another 50!”

I can’t get it to shut up.

I know I will survive this episode. It’s a part of the healing process, the learning process and the process to moving on. Today it just sucks. Instead of trying to cover up what I’m feeling, I’m going to do my best to embrace it. I am going to unplug. I am going to relax and I am going to recover.

Here’s the plan:

  • I am not going to the gym until Monday. I don’t care if it kills me and if Stinkin Thinking Tara wants to kick and scream all day in my head and call me names I don’t give a flying fuck. If I do go to the gym it will be to check out the Yoga on Sunday at 1030a. That’s it!
  • I am going to unplug from the rest of the world. No blogging until Monday.
  • I will not have a weigh in on Saturday.
  • I will not log my food (though I will stay conscious at all times).
  • When I wake up in the mornings, I will stay in bed for at least another 30 minutes.
  • I will nap at least once this weekend
  • I will allow one indulgence this weekend (once I figure out what my definition for indulgence is).
  • Every time I look in the mirror I will say something positive about what I’ve accomplished in the last 5 months.
  • I will ice my ankle and do what is necessary to heal properly.
  • I will not talk bad about the injury.

That’s the plan.

What’s yours?

See you later Monday!

The Great Kilted Run / Mush

24 05 2010

I’m not even sure where to begin talking about my experience yesterday. It was fantastic. It was emotional. It was hard. It was awesome. It was challenging. It was fun. It was inspiring. And it was damn near the toughest thing I’ve had to do in a long time (except for today’s session with Superman…keep reading).

When one is getting ready to run their very first race, I highly suggest preparing by donning a Transformer band-aid to remind yourself WWOPD!

Unfortunately this placement didn’t last very long since I was a nervous wreck and sweated it right my wrist on the way to Seattle. No worries though I’m a McGyver athlete so I rigged it onto my finger with a strip of 3M/Scotch lint roller (RAWR!).

I ran the race with my friend Elizabeth. This would be the first time I’ve actually run a long distance with someone else. Elizabeth would prove to be a great running partner. She’s getting ready to do an ENTIRE MARATHON (Rock and Roll San Diego) June 6th. Unbelievable!

Then I got my number.

I’m seriously thinking about having that number tattooed on me.


10 minutes to race time!!

Donning our skirts!

If you look closely I am dressed in about 3 layers of clothing. It was freaking cold out there that morning (about 48 degrees) and it didn’t look like it was going to warm up any time soon. With the wind coming off the water it felt like it was going to start snowing on us. I’m wearing my shirt from 1/2 marathon, a regular t-shirt and then my Great Kilted Run shirt. I look bulky. I think about what I looked like when I only had one shirt on six months ago and I’ll take this 3 shirt bulkiness anyday.

The race had about 400 participates. We took our place sort of in the middle and just as the race is about to begin, Elizabeth says to me “We’re going to walk the first minute”…


No wait, I want to run. I mean I knew we were going to do a walk/run interval but I thought it would start out with running. I was wrong and it was the best piece of advice she could give me. It did three things 1) it got us warmed up 2) it gave the faster runners a chance to pass us and most importantly 3) it gave me a chance to work through the nervousness of running my first race and forced me to slow down and not jump the gun and start too fast. The minute came and went and we were running. I was hoping for a 40:00 minute race but with our 1 minute walking intervals I was able to keep a pretty good pace. The last time I ran a 3.1 mile distance it took me 43:00 but now I was with Elizabeth and she helped to keep me paced.

All in all the race was a blast. I got passed by runners. I passed runners. I walked when it was time. I ran when it was time. The last mile was the hardest but I continued to talk myself through it and breath. I saw the finish line and I crossed it with a vengence. My time – 37:40. Two minutes and twenty seconds faster than goal and five minutes faster than my last personal 5k (I think the mile sprints every morning are helping too)

And then I almost threw up.

Elizabeth looks smashing. I look like I’m going to fall over lol.

Then I got back to my normal self.

Nice hair!

Then it was time for Bagpipes, beer, and cute dogs!

Not only did I survive my first race. I left there with a smile on my face.

And my hair back to normal!

My next race is slated for June 12th (Sound to Narrows). Now that the first one is out of the way I won’t be nearly as nervous (at least I hope). I’m shooting for another under 40:00 run but I’m not going to try and best my time of 37:40. The route is much different. Kilted run was very flat most of the way (with a few inclines). Word on the street is S2N has a much longer incline during a portion of the run. This Sunday I may run it just to get a idea of what to expect. I’ll go back to running my mile sprints and longer runs on the weekend until the 12th. I’ll reevaluate where I want to take this running business and push myself toward a 10k. I’m hoping to knock one out before the end of summer.

Who would imagine I’d become a runner?


So what’s a girl to do when she’s just run her first 5k? How about see Superman the next morning and damn near get my ass kicked? I’m not sure what I was thinking. Hell, I’m not sure what he was thinking. No lower body work but man oh man did I work my arms to the point of mush. Seriously. Mush. As I write this I think my forearms are having a meeting about whether or not they are going to cramp up on me at some point tonight. Don’t get me wrong, it was pure awesomeness as usual. I think it was just a little frustrating because I was still in la la land over my run and now I’m in the middle of the gym trying to do a bench press and it’s harder than I thought it would be. He let me work through my frustrations and didn’t once tell me to stop because he thought I couldn’t do it. It was me that thought I couldn’t do it and in the end he pushed me and proved me wrong.

He checked my measurements today and while I forgot to write them down I am smaller in all areas. Some places  (calves, arms) I’m one inch smaller. Other places (waist, thighs and shoulder) I’m up to three inches smaller. Not bad for a month’s worth of work.

Not bad at all.

Food as part of the solution, not the problem / Pre-OWiS week in Review

21 05 2010

Dang it!

Its Friday already.

Seriously, did someone come here and steal my week cause I’m not sure what happen to it. Seems I woke Monday and then BAM its Friday. I tried to look for a pause button on this crazy ass week but I guess I accidentally put it in the last bag of clothes I donated to the Goodwill.

Before I get to the week in review, I wanted to share a small (yet victorious) epiphany I had today while shopping for my weekly lunches at Trader Joe’s. I’m pretty sure Seth (Fit with a Purpose) would classify this as an NSV or Non-Scale Victory.

My food choices are now part of the solution.

They are not part of the problem.

When I was at Trader Joe’s, I was looking at all the frozen entrees and I realized at one time I had 5 different items turned upside down and I was comparing nutritional value.  Not just calories but everything: Fat content, sodium amounts, protein values. It was like second nature. Six months ago I would have just gone into a store willy nilly and put stuff in my basket without a thought to anything but how it would taste in my mouth.

I see food as fuel.

Not as a way to make me feel better emotionally.

I looked down at my basket full of veggies, flax seed, greek yogurt and delicious Trader Joe’s frozen entrees and I just stood there, thinking about how different things are for me now. How every decision is conscious and deliberate.

Conscious and Deliberate.

Nothing in my life was conscious and deliberate before this journey.

Life just was.

I’m not saying the battle with food is over. I’ve not yet been in a situation where there wasn’t at least a healthier option to food. I haven’t been in a room alone with a birthday cake. I have wished my protein filled fish was a cheesy slice of pepperoni pizza from dominoes, but it quickly faded without incident. I’ve consciously had Baskin Robbins ice-cream that led to unconscious S & P (snacking and picking) so I know it is still a learning process for me.  But that’s the great thing, I’m learning. I don’t know what macronutrients are, but I’m starting to learn. I don’t know exactly how many grams of each macronutrient I should be consuming, but I’m starting to learn.

Food is part of the solution now.

I hope it is for you too.


This week has been…well I’m not really even sure how to describe it. Major milestones were hit. Humbling lessons were learned. New adventures tried. I guess I can only use Valerie’s (Seattlerunnergirl) word:


Saturday – I saw the biggest weight loss since starting this journey. I also received a letter from a friend I’d lost contact with for some time.

Sunday – I participated in my first race event. I walked the Capital City Half Marathon. My number was 1469. My running shirt was a large! It was awesome!

Monday – I ran my fastest mile ever out of frustrations with Superman and then I learned to never complain again.

Tuesday – I gave an anatomy lesson.

Wednesday – Was just a typical Wednesday…however I did see 7 mph on the treadmill that morning, but I had to take a break from running in anticipation of my first 5K. I will be revisiting that speed again soon (oh hell yes I will).

Thursday – Just your average Thursday, if  your Thursday includes deciding to do a TRIATHLON! Oh and of course I talked about my own tipping point!

Today – A great session with Superman, a great 2 mile walk to stay limber and I am learning to like taking pictures of myself!

This was taken today.

Just for comparison, here is a picture from a year ago.

So the week in review is done. This is the part where I try to predict whether there is going to be a gain or a loss come tomorrow’s weigh-in. The scale has been all over the place this week. It did get back down to 213 this morning so I can’t really say what I think is going to happen. Here’s what I do know for the first time in this journey: Regardless of what the numbers show me tomorrow, I could give a RAT’S ASS! That’s right, I don’t really care. I know my first gain a few weeks ago was overly emotional but mixed with a family crisis it was understandable. I made it through and pushed forward. I’ve lost 50 pounds so far and I am starting to suspect my weight loss is going to slow down now that I’ve added weight training. I may even see some gains along the way.

  • I am not gaining because of lack of movement.
  • I am not gaining because of bad food choices.
  • I am not gaining because of lack of determination.
  • I am not gaining because of lack of self pride.
  • I am not gaining because I can’t move forward
  • I am not gaining  because I am afraid.
  • I am not gaining because I am depressed.
  • I am not gaining because I am weak.
  • I am not gaining because I think I can’t be successful.
  • I am not gaining because I want to give up.
  • I am not gaining because I don’t have any fight left in me.

So take that scale! And for the rest of you, I’ll see you in the morning!

T-minus 6 days!!!

18 05 2010

Short post today. Then off to catch up on blogs. Six days left until race day!


Six days left. I’m trying not to think about it. Impossible. I’m thinking about it all the time right now. Is this normal? I feel like I should be making some major plans but right now I’m just worried I won’t wake up in time to drive to Seattle that morning.

Okay that’s not true I am making some major plans. I need to adjust my work out schedule for the rest of the week to give my legs a rest. The muscles along the shins are really sore…

Oh wait, here is a great opportunity for an anatomy lesson!! Okay so these little red delicious muscles are your Tibialis Anterior and today mine are super sore. I know why. I probably shouldn’t have run that super fast mile yesterday but I did. I had good reason. It helped clear up some frustrations and I needed that more than anything.

So now I need a game plan to help me recover. I’m going to modify my time in the gym for the rest of the week. No elliptical, no Arc trainer and as much as I hate to say it: no running for the rest of this week. I love that one mile run before each workout but unless I see some major improvement in the next 24 / 48 hours I’m putting a hold on it.

That being said, I am still going to the gym this week.  Tomorrow (Wednesday), Friday and Saturday I will swim to my heart’s content.  Thursday is Superman and he is aware of my upcoming run so upper body for that day.

So, any last minutes words of wisdom from my VBB(s) out there? Any advice on first run anxiety?

Speaking of Superman we had our session today.  I have to steal Seattlerunnergirl’s word in order to describe the 60 minutes I spent with him:


I lifted weights, I got to pick up and slam down a punching bag (yes the big one), I rolled around on the floor doing push-ups (girl push-ups) and leg lifts while he yelled “FRONT, BACK, GO, STOP and KEEP MOVING” at me, and I got to swing around on gymnast rings. A total party package if you ask me!

One mile madness / Tractor Tires / Fog is clearing

11 05 2010

In anticipation of meeting with Superman today, forging a summer long training schedule and being pushed to a sweaty mess of muscle soreness, I woke up with a lot of anxiety . I decided that my one mile run was going to be faster today than it was last week which meant I was going to need to come out under 12:00 minutes.

I don’t know how your math skills are or your time keeping for that matter but in order for my mile to be better than 12:00 I was going to need to see an 11 on the machine when I was finished. 11 can be a very intimidating number only because I knew I’d have to keep the speed at nothing less than 5.1 mph if I wanted it to happen.

I wanted it to happen bad!

I started at 5.o mph and slowly but surely bumped it up little by little. I got so far as 5.4 for a bit. I like the speed. It feels natural. I wish I could keep the pace but after about 5 minutes I had to bump it down to 4.7 and stay there for a while. At 8 minutes I slowly moved my way back up to 5.2 and there I stayed. At about 10 minutes I had to make a decision. This pace would put me over the 12 minute mark (still an excellent time) but it’s not what I wanted. Under 12 would jump start my workout with Superman and push me forward back into the frame of mind I lost last weekend. I needed to force myself back to that fighter mentality…

I needed my mojo.

At the .90 mile mark I pushed.

5.5 mph.

5.8 mph.

6.0 mph

6.3 mph.

It was amazing. I was running at 6.3 mph and it wasn’t killing me (at least not too much). Granted I only ran at that speed for a minute but when you start from nothing and 4 months later you’re running at 6.3 mph, it was FREAKING AMAZING! I crossed the one mile mark and looked at the time..



I had a few minutes before Superman so I ran to see if there were any messages from work. There was a message but not from work. It was Superman. He had to cancel our session today. Dammit all to hell! But hey I ran a 11:55 mile and had some time to kill so I swam laps.

100 of them to be exact.

That’s what I like to call an awesome workout. I highly suggest you get yourself one real soon. It can help jump start your morning, your day and even your life…


I’ve been talking about these bad boys for a while now and finally got around to taking some pictures. They are my new best friends. There is a third but I won’t show it’s beautiful tire-goodness until I can flip that bitch!

It might be a while.

I’m gonna call this little guy “Baby Bear”. It’s the smallest of the three but still fairly large as you can tell by my backpack. I needed something to compare sizes. That’s a huge backpack and it is stuffed full of all my stinky work out clothes from running my mile today…oh and in case you missed it I ran that mile in 11:55 FREAKING AWESOME MINUTES!!! Baby Bear isn’t too bad to move but after 200 feet the return trip can be a doozie!

Of course this is “Mama Bear” (You see where I’m going with this right?). She is sooooo freaking heavy. The first time I tried I couldn’t even get my hands under it (but moving baby bear 200 feet and back might have had something do with that). I wasn’t about to be defeated so on a non-Superman day I went out there and flipped her once. Just once but it was cool. I kind of felt like one of those guys from the “worlds strongest man” competition (only their tires are 450 pounds…this one not so much). The next day Superman was so excited I went out there on my own he made me do it again…I flipped it 3 times! Watch out Strongman competition.

Better yet, watch out “Papa Bear”


When one decides to swim 100 laps there is this little thing called “Time” that you have to reflect on life and the what-nots that come along with it. I mean you can only think about your shopping list and what bills need to be paid for so long.

I’m feeling much more clear headed these days. I’ve had a few setbacks emotionally what with the news that my brother is refusing to get help but I really have come to a place in my life that I truly understand those are his actions and his alone to live.  I realize I am upset/sad at his situation because it is not what I chose when I was in his shoes. I can’t put that on him.

It’s not fair for the both of us.

As I swam those 100 laps I  said a quiet thank-you to the universe for giving me the opportunity to become human again. I thanked my past for all the hardships that brought me to where I was this morning. I thanked my body for working hard to lose 100+ pounds. I thanked my mind for staying in the moment.

I thanked Superman for not showing up today.


Moving on and moving forward…

9 05 2010

I allowed myself 24 hours to be emotionally distraught over my first weight gain and today I’m ready to move on and move forward. Here are some things I know to be true about my life right now:

  • I do not weigh 263 pounds
  • I am not living the life of my brother
  • I am not sitting in front of the computer for hours and hours on end
  • I am moving more today than I ever have in my entire life
  • My muscles are getting stronger
  • I look forward to getting up in the morning
  • I am inspired by folks that have fought this war before me
  • I am inspiring folks that are just beginning to wage their own fight
  • I am emotionally stronger than ever
  • I am focused
  • I am looking forward
  • I am a runner
  • I will do whatever it physically takes to never go back to where I came.
  • I am in a better place today because I am learning to love who I am and what I can offer this world.

24 hours is over and it’s time to get back to this fight. Last week was chaotic and emotional but it does not dictate how I move forward. It does not dictate the dedication to my own life and becoming a stronger, faster, more emotionally stable person.  The experiences of my family members are not my experiences today. I know what it’s like to feel despair and depression. I know what it’s like to have to convince yourself to get out of bed only to return because you can’t function in the real world. I know what hopelessness feels like but not today…


This morning I strapped my running shoes on and ran because I have hope.

I finally ran an entire 5k without stopping. NOT ONE STOP! I wanted to. I cried because I wanted to walk but today’s run was about moving on and moving forward. Running towards a new life and away from an old one. Running toward change and away from mediocracy. Running toward living life and away from emotional death. What my brother chooses will not deter me from my choices.



Superman called today and said the following: “Hey there favorite client of mine…just called to tell you to be prepared to get dirty tomorrow during our session“…I have the best.trainer.ever!